Contradictions in the Bible

Did you know that the Bible contains thousands of contradictions, from minute differences in narrative details to sweeping theological and ideological disagreements? And that this has been a well-known fact in the scholarly community for roughly three centuries!

Join in this educational adventure here, at my new website, where I will be posting and explaining a biblical contradiction a day! That’s right—a contradiction a day!

Unlike many sites that have attempted to enumerate the Bible’s many contradictions, and in somewhat simplistic or even antagonistic terms, this site is devoted to explaining why there are contradictions in the Bible using modern biblical source criticism. As the term implies, this methodological approach to the Bible looks at the Bible’s sources, that is its once separate and individual texts—all of which were penned by more than 70 different authors, over a period of roughly 1,000 years, to vastly different audiences, and to address vastly different historical, political, and religious circumstances [read more…]

Contradictions in the Bible is first and foremost a website dedicated to the Bible. That is to say that it is a website about the very nature of the biblical text itself—a nature, moreover, which is readily perceivable from a cursory glance at the Bible’s table of contents: the Bible is composed of a variety of books. In other words, it is composite in nature. The Bible or “the Book”—from a later Latinized form of the Greek biblia (“books”)—is actually no book at all, but rather a collection of a number of ancient scrolls and codices. It is a compilation of other books, a text composed out of other texts.

This entry was posted in Biblical Studies, Studying the Bible, The Torah its Authors and its Contradictions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Contradictions in the Bible

  1. Bruce Byers, PhD says:

    I have enjoyed the insights of your website and wonder what the purpose is. It also makes me wonder if you ever got ordained and if so what church you serve.
    My Masters work was in Greek NT at Talbot Seminary (1977). I am struck that sometimes the atheist community with which I dialog, not understanding the process of scripture, consider even one flaw to be invalidating the whole of the religion. I think your site is being used for that, perhaps unwittingly. It appears to be a gross overreach of purpose.

  2. Hi Bruce,

    The purpose of this site, and my more current site contradictionsinthebible.com is, I suppose, to disseminate knowledge about the specific texts, with their unique and often competing views, beliefs, and ideologies, of what only later became “the Bible” by a generation of readers who had their own interpretive beliefs and agendas about these ancient texts. So the majority of my interests focus on the once individual texts of what later became the Bible, their authors, historical and literary worlds, their audiences, beliefs, and worldviews—and not our beliefs about them, nor the beliefs of later readers and scribes who codified them, misappropriately, as “the Book.”

    I’m interested in hearing the individual voices of these texts, their own beliefs and why they had them, their different ideologies, and most of all their disputes and disagreements with other scribes and priestly guilds who also wrote texts, all of which were later collected together and authenticated as “the Book.”

    I generally avoid words like “flaw,” “invalidate,” “truth,” or “false,” etc. because such terms reveal more about our assumptions and false presuppositions about the texts. Such words assume incorrectly that these ancient scribes were composing history, or that these texts were somehow divinely-penned. The study of the texts themselves refute such claims (e.g., see How do we know that the biblical scribes were not writing history?), plus the additional fact that many of these claims were again created centuries after these ancient texts were written, with no knowledge of their historical and literary context, and in accord with the interpretive perspectives and agendas of these centuries-later readers.

    cheers.

  3. Fr. Joseph G. Hlubil says:

    Dr. Di Mattei
    I read your blog several months ago. I teach a course at The College of New Jersey called : Scripture in Context (300 level). I think your explanations and insights are extremely, and I an directing my students to read them. Hope you do not mind. They are more helpful than anything I have so far read.
    Let me know if you prefer I not use them.
    Thanks,
    Fr. Joe

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