Why are there contradictions in the Bible?

The naive answer:

There are no contradictions. Different Bible authors had different perspectives of the events, and some omitted details others may have included because it was not relevant to their story.

The problem with the naive answer:

It does not work for many of the contradictions.

The scholar’s answer:

Each book of the Bible was written independently, by different authors, over the course of a thousand years. The authors did not suspect their book would one day become part of a collection of books we today refer to as The Bible. Therefore the authors made no attempt to ensure their stories were consistent with the stories of other books in existence.

Here are a few examples of contradictions:

  • The Genealogy of Jesus
  • The following passages:
    • “… I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” - (Genesis 32:30)[https://biblia.com/bible/esv/genesis/32/30]
    • “No man hath seen God at any time…” - John 1:18
  • The last words of Jesus
  • The differences in the record of the people that came upon the empty tomb of Jesus as well as differences regarding who was at the tomb, if anyone, to meet them: Contradictions in Resurrection

There are hundreds more apparent contradictions. Some stories and information in The Bible are true. Some stories in The Bible are based on truths but were altered by the author attempting to persuade the reader to the author’s point of view. Some stories in The Bible are fiction or allegory.

Food for thought: If God really guided the authors of all the books of the Bible, wouldn’t He have made the minor modifications to each book to eliminate the contradictions?

Logically, we can conclude that The Bible is not the inerrant word of God. Some passages could be true, and some entire books may be without error, but the entire Bible isn’t inerrant.

Some references for further research: