Guarding Your Faith
by Ken Ham, President, Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum
O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge — by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen (1 Timothy 6:20-21 NKJV).
In more than 30 years of defending the authority of the Bible from its very first verse, I can’t recall the number of times that someone has told me there are contradictions in the Bible. I ask them to name one. This is usually followed by silence, or perhaps a few vain attempts to name one.
Many people today buy into the assertion that the Bible is “full of contradictions,” but they haven’t bothered to look into the claim for themselves. Since God’s Word is perfect, any alleged contradiction in the Bible is going to be due to fallible, imperfect people having misconceptions. I have found time and time again that when an alleged Bible discrepancy is brought up, it only takes a little research to refute it.
Most Christians, however, fail to give a good answer when they are presented with an alleged contradiction. This is especially true regarding the Book of Genesis and the charge that evolution/millions of years contradicts the Bible. The inability to have answers to such claims has had a particular effect on the youth in our churches. In my co-authored book Already Gone, which presents statistics about young adults (in their 20s) who have walked away from their conservative churches, 44 percent said they did not view the Bible as true and accurate. These 44 percent were asked “why?” Some of the top responses were:
24 percent — the Bible was written by men (which means the Bible would be in contradiction, for it calls itself the Word of God)15 percent — the Bible contradicts itself14 percent — science shows the world is old (which signifies that the Bible in Genesis is in contradiction)11 percent — the Bible has errors (which means again that it is in contradiction)4 percent — evolution proves the Bible is wrong (another alleged Bible contradiction)1
At least 68 percent of these young adults gave an answer that indicated that the Bible had contradictions. It should make you wonder: would they have walked away from the faith if they had answers for these many alleged disagreements when growing up?
As Dr. Jason Lisle notes in Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions, “It is a popular view these days. Many people have the impression that the Bible is simply an outdated book of fairy tales and contradictions. We are told that biblical stories are fine for children, and perhaps they even contain some moral value. ‘But surely,’ says the critic, ‘such stories cannot be taken seriously in our modern age of science and technology.’… While we might come to accept many of the peculiar claims of Scripture, a genuine contradiction cannot be true even in principle. It is not possible to have a sunny night, a married bachelor, dry water, a true falsehood, and so on.”
Dr. Lisle adds: “Thus, the claim that the Bible contains contradictions is a serious challenge indeed. For if the Bible has even one real contradiction, then it cannot be completely true. Yet the Christian asserts that the Bible is the Word of God and without error. The claim of contradictions is a serious allegation against the Christian worldview, and we must be prepared to defend the Bible against such claims.” 2
Some popular supposed conflicts among the 40 addressed in the book include:
Why do the inscriptions on Jesus’ Cross differ among the four gospels?Can all sins be forgiven or not?If Jesus is God’s only begotten son, then how can angels and Christians also be God’s sons?Does God change His mind?Can God be seen face to face or not?Is it okay to kill, like David killing Goliath or Joshua eliminating the Canaanites? Or is killing forbidden?Could the loving God of the Bible order the complete destruction of Jericho’s inhabitants in the Old Testament?How could young Samuel have slept in the temple when the temple was not built until much later?
This book is a great starting point in answering these alleged difficulties, and to teach you how to think and then respond to such claims. Otherwise, just as the Apostle Paul said to Timothy, they could stray from the faith. When Paul wrote these words about 2,000 years ago, he was warning Timothy to avoid a number of things, including contradictions that lead to false knowledge.
We should heed this advice as well, and not buy into false claims, as some Christians have (including many seminary and Bible college professors). When even some professing Christians bring up alleged disparities in Scripture, they have a contradiction of their own to tackle: how can they call the Bible the Word of God and say God got some things wrong?
I hope this book will be an encouragement as it equips you to stand on the authority of God’s Word with all boldness and without compromise.
— Ken Ham
President and CEO, Answers in Genesis
Popular author of Already Gone, Dinosaurs for Kids, How Could a Loving God, and Raising Godly Children
1. Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, Already Gone (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2009), p. 107.
2. Ken Ham, general editor, Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2010), pg. 11