The Bible: is it contradictory?

Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest heavens; from Gustave Doré’s illustrations to the Divine Comedy.

In the previous chapters you could read how in this world many (Christian) denominations came to exist one next to the other. We have a thousandfold of churches from which many claiming they are the only one true church or claiming that only when you become a member of their church you shall come into heaven. Many churches tell people that if they do not become one of them they shall come into hell, by which they mean a place of eternal torture.

When people look at those different churches they find a lot of teachings which seem to contradict each other. Therefore a lot of adversaries of God and religion claim that the bible would be contradicting itself. Though they and you should know that there is no contradiction in the Bible, the infallible Word of God. It is because a lot of churches went astray from the Word of God and introduced human teachings which people have to accept as true and have to take them as church doctrines that people come to see text which seem to contradict with each other.

A classic example that may raise up confusion and doubt is the teaching that God is an omniscient Supernatural or Supreme eternal Being while those who view Jesus as God (god the son) are confronted with a god who does not know everything and can do not everything and who had no eternality, him having been born and being killed. For those who believe that Jesus is really the son of God and a son of man, him being a mortal being to whom other people could do something, there is no problem with the biblical saying that man can do nothing to God, because for them it is clear from the biblical saying that Jesus is not God but the sent one from God and therefore what is said about him is not in contradiction with the things said about God.

When Jesus was put at the stake or “crucified” a sign was placed above his head, with wording that differs in each of the four Gospels. Some people say this is a discrepancy, but is there an explanation?
Were the Gospel writers inaccurate? What do we find if we look more closely?
Is it possible to resolve the difficulty and confirm the harmony of Scripture?

These are the contrasting records:

“THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Matthew).
“THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Mark).
“THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Luke).
“”JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (John).

There is no disagreement between the writers; just some extra detail typical of real-life reporting. Identical words

The King of the Jews

are in all four Gospels and the reason for the differences is not hard to discover.

“Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS” (John 19: 19).

The crime for which Jesus was falsely accused and crucified was that he was The King of the Jews. Pilate, who knew Jesus was innocent of rebellion, chose the words to insult the nation and annoy the priests who had manipulated him.

“This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin” (John 19: 20).

That the title was written in three languages explains the slight differences between the Gospel records. It is unlikely that inscriptions in three different languages would correspond word for word.

Not only does John write that many Jews read the title, but also their Hebrew language is mentioned first. Only to Jews of Palestine did it matter that Jesus had lived in the Galilean village of Nazareth.

“A superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Luke 23: 38).

Here Greek comes first, in the Received Text.
Luke, the author, has a Greek name and readership. Greek was the language of Jews of the Dispersion, who thronged Jerusalem at Passover.

“And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Matthew 27: 37).

This would be the Latin inscription.
Matthew, former tax gatherer for Rome, was used to using Latin, which was the language of the Roman army and Roman administration of Judea.
The Greek inscription gave the crime only. The Latin inscription, according to Roman usage, gave the name of the criminal, and his crime.
The Hebrew inscription gave his name, his crime, and also that he came from Nazareth.

“The superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Mark 15: 26).

The shortest Gospel has no additional words. So we see that there is an explanation for the slight differences between the recorded words; and there is certainly no cause to claim any discrepancy.
When details in part of the Bible appear difficult to reconcile with details in another part, careful readers accept the challenge of trying to find reasons for the difference.
Sooner or later a satisfactory answer will emerge, confirming the truth and reliability of God’s Book.
Those three languages also proclaim that what was accomplished by Christ’s death at the stake (or on the cross) was a message of importance and inclusion for people of all languages.
Pilate unwittingly wrote the truth. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ will come again and rule as King of the Jews and of the whole world.

(Description: A Bible full of discrepancies would be untrue and not worth reading. But do alleged contradictions bear examination?)

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Preceding

God’s Self-Revelation

The Greatness of the eternal God

The real God

God as Father

Born of the Father

The Love of God

The Wrath of God

The New Testament and Judgement

To be prepared for the Day of Judgment

Living as a believer in Christ

A participation in the body of Christ

Do you believe what Christ’s Apostles taught?

Different wineskins

Bible Reading: is it worthwhile?

The importance of Reading the Scriptures

A Messiah to die

Next: The Canon of Scripture

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Additional reading

  1. Bible basic intro
  2. Collection of books
  3. Bible, best Book of books to get to know the truth
  4. Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible
  5. A collection of holy writings to show God and His Works
  6. Words of God to stand and to be followed and to believe
  7. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  8. Life and an assembly of books
  9. Recommended articles about the Book of books the Bible
  10. The Word of God in print
  11. Reliability of message appears from honesty writers
  12. One not without the other
  13. Backbone book
  14. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  15. Today’s thought “nonsense surrounding the many gods” (July 28)
  16. Tri-union gods and Pagan, Christian, Muslim and Jewish views on the Creator God
  17. Omniscient God opposite a not knowing Jesus
  18. A solution for a damaged relationship 3 Insight and prophesies given
  19. Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters
  20. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  21. Out of the seed of Eve
  22. Imprisonment and execution of Jesus Christ
  23. What is the truth asked also Pontius Pilate
  24. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  25. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  26. Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 27

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Related

  1. God and eternity
  2. King of the Jews. Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?
  3. Let’s talk about Pilate
  4. He Had No Answer
  5. On the Way to the Cross
  6. The Way Of The Cross
  7. Jesus dies – as a fool or a lover?
  8. What do we make of Christ’s death? (Crucifixion Day)
  9. Governor Of The Jews
  10. An unusual king and an “otherworldly” kingdom
  11. To the End of the Age
  12. Jurisdiction
  13. INRI and Politics
  14. John 19: What I Have Written
  15. King Of The Jews Early in the morning Jesus was taken back to Pilate’s palace
  16. The King of the Jews 
  17. 24. King of the Jews (Israel)
  18. King of the #Jews Above the the Cross of Christ is a sign which reads ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’ (INRI – Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum). The Jewish rulers wanted it changed to ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’, but Pilate over-ruled them saying, “What I have written I have written.” (John 19: 21-22)
  19. Hail, King of the Jews!
  20. Giving Up Your Throne
  21. Reimagining the King of Israel

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