Satan has sought to undermine the authority of the Word of God since the beginning. He whispered to Eve, “Yea, hath God said,” suggesting God was withholding something from our first parents. But more often than not his attacks are far more subtle. The liberal, for example, would have us believe the Scriptures contradict themselves; therefore they cannot be trusted. This is nothing more than an attempt to cast a shadow of doubt upon the veracity of God’s Word.
Despite the claims of the liberal, God never contradicts Himself. He’s omniscient! He knows the end from the beginning; how could He possibly contradict Himself? When we’re confronted with an alleged contradiction, the problem isn’t with the Word of God; rather, it’s with our understanding of the Scriptures. Most times there is a simple solution to the problem.
The account of Judas’ death is often appealed to as a glaring contradiction:
“And he [Judas] cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matt. 27:5).
“Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out” (Acts 1:18).
We believe the Acts record is merely an augmentation of Matthew’s account of Judas’ dishonorable end. After Judas hanged himself, either the limb or rope broke, and since the top part of the body is heavier than the lower extremity, he fell headlong to the bottom of the ravine where his body burst open upon striking the jagged rocks.
Another supposed contradiction is found in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:
“Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand” (I Cor. 10:8).
“And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand” (Num. 25:9).
Once again, Paul’s account of the plague is simply a fuller description of what actually transpired during the wilderness wanderings. The key is found in the apostle’s words, “and fell in one day.” Paul reveals 23,000 died in this judgment on the same day, but according to Numbers, the total number of Israelites that perished, which included the days that followed, was 24,000. The apostle was merely emphasizing the seriousness of committing fornication, by showing how many fell in one day.
While these two purported contradictions are easily resolved, this is not always necessarily the case. In those areas where we are unable to adequately address a discrepancy, we must patiently wait upon the Lord for additional light, which may not be given until eternity.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.