The Inspiration Of The Scriptures #10
We are presently considering the accusations of the inconsistencies which some have made against the Bible. Today's article shall be concerned with some of the statements which have (without proper regard for context) been arrayed against each other.
(1) Accusation: John says there will be one, and Paul says there will be two resurrections (John 5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
ANSWER: True, John in John 5:28-29 wrote, there will be one resurrection. Likewise, Paul's statement "the dead in Christ shall rise first" as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, seems to necessarily imply there will be two.
However, when we read from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 we see Paul in verse sixteen was not saying the dead in Christ, or the righteous, shall be raised before the unrighteous. No, what he said was, the dead in Christ will be raised first, before those living, when Christ returns and are caught up to meet him in the air.
(2) Accusation: Luke's account of the genealogy of Jesus disagrees with that given by Matthew (Matthew 1:1-6; Luke 3:23-38).
ANSWER: It is true that Luke's account of the genealogy of Jesus is not in complete accord with Matthew's. In tracing the lineage according to Luke, we find names which are not found in Matthew's account.
However, this by no means proves these writings are inconsistent. No, when we take into account all that is said in both accounts it becomes evident that Matthew began with Abraham (the father of the Israelites) and traced the lineage forward to Joseph, the husband of Mary and supposed father of Jesus. Whereas, Luke began with Joseph (as son-in-law) to Heli (his father-in-law) and traced the lineage all the way back to Adam the father of all. This being true, then there are two reasons why different names appear in the two accounts. Matthew traces the lineage on Joseph's side of the family, but Luke traces it on Mary's side. Then, too, Matthew's genealogy begins with Jesus as the promised seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) while Luke traces His lineage as the promised seed of woman (Genesis 3:14-15). So he goes all the way back to Adam.
Please, oh please, let's read all that was written before we conclude we have found an inconsistency in the writings of the men who wrote the Bible.
(3) Accusation: Those who sin are and are not to be rebuked publicly (Matthew 18:15; 1 Timothy 5:20).
ANSWER: True, these two statements appear to be contradictory. Yet, when considered in context the contradictions vanishes like snow on a hot sunny day. Matthew 18:15-17 teaches we are to first rebuke privately those who have sinned against us personally. Whereas when we read the complete chapter of 1 Timothy 5, we find that Paul was pointing out to the young evangelist, Timothy, what he should preach. So in 1 Timothy 5:20 when he said to him "Them that sin, rebuke before all that others also may fear." He was not teaching Timothy what to do when some one sinned against him but how he (as a preacher) was to deal with any and all sin being indulged in by members of the congregation.
(4) Accusation: Women are and are not to be teachers of God's word (Acts 2:17-18; Titus 2:3; 1 Timothy 2:12).
ANSWER: The critics claim that Acts 2:17-18 and Titus 2:3 say women are to have a part in the teaching of God's word is true. When we read 1 Timothy 2:9-12, we see Paul in verse twelve was not saying women are forbidden to teach, but was speaking only of a restriction which God had placed on their teaching. Paul did not say I suffer not a woman to teach period. No, he said "I suffer not a woman to teach over a man."
(5) Accusation: Matthew reports that Jesus in a sermon said, "Blessed are the poor" (Matthew 5:3). Whereas Luke's record, as recorded in Luke 6:20 states he said, "Blessed be ye poor."
ANSWER: If Matthew and Luke had both been quoting from the same sermon as preached by Jesus, then as the critics say, this would be a contradiction. However, such is not the case. According to Matthew 3:1-3 Jesus went up into a mountain and there preached the sermon from which Matthew quoted. Whereas according to Luke 6:12-20, Jesus after preaching his sermon on the mountain came down into a plain (or valley) and preached another sermon. This is the sermon from which Luke quotes Jesus as saying "Blessed be ye poor".
Now I ask, where is the critic who can prove Jesus in the sermon on the mount did not say "Blessed are the poor in spirit", and in another sermon which he preached in a valley say "blessed by ye poor"?
In closing, I want to say, it never has been, is not now, and never will be fair to condemn what one said or wrote with statements isolated from their contexts.
By resorting to this unethical tactic I could prove the Bible teaches we should hang ourselves quickly. Yes, Matthew 27:5 says "Judas hanged himself". Luke 10:37 says, "Go and do likewise" and Psalm 38;22 says "Make haste".
No, O no, my readers, we do not have a Bible which is (as the critics have said) contradictory. So, how, O how were forty men who did their writing from the time of Moses until the days of the new Testament writers, able to accomplish this?
This one thing we know for sure, they of themselves were not capable of achieving this. Therefore, we must conclude that those forty men (as the claimed) did indeed write that and only that which they received from an infallible God.
By: Tommy Hodge
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