Contradictions — and too many translations: Can we really trust the Bible?

Can we really trust the Bible? After all, critics say it’s full of contradictions. Plus, there’s an alphabet soup of translations — from the KJV to the NIV, and the NASB to the HCSB.

When someone raises the “contradiction” objection, a reasonable first response is, “Show me one.” Often, the person cannot do so. However, it must be acknowledged that there are numerous places in Scripture where there are seemingly conflicting testimonies and apparent contradictions. If the Bible comes from God, and if God neither lies nor makes mistakes, how do we reconcile these Bible difficulties? There are good explanations for these seeming contradictions.

Even so, the explosion of modern Bible translations has led some people to ask, “Which version is right?” and others to conclude that because there is so much variation between translations, none of them is correct. Keep in mind, however, that the autographs, or original documents, of Scripture are inerrant – not the subsequent copies and translations. Even though there are dozens of English translations that differ in varying degrees from one another, we have a high degree of confidence that the source documents from which these versions come are accurate representations of the autographs.

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  1. rphilli

    Thank you Shawn. Did you mean 1 Kings 4:26? That verse reads: “Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen.” Not sure this is the verse you had in mind, but in any case I appreciate your question. I do not believe a person must learn Hebrew and Greek in order to understand God’s Word. The Holy Spirit, who authored the Scriptures, can help us understand God’s Word in any language. Certainly, a knowledge of the source languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) will help identify errors in translation, but there is no language barrier for the Holy Spirit when it comes to discerning God’s message to us in His written Word. I encourage you to keep reading and studying the Bible. Thanks again.

  2. Shawn Statzer

    I know God exists, for He literally and audibly talked to me and two other people after our near fatal car accident. I also believe Jesus is the Christ because of something I had witnessed. Also, I have had a Holy Ghost experience, but, in your opinion, must we learn Greek or Hebrew to enable us to know God’s word? Compare 1 Kings 4:26 the New International Version with The New International Version…this is causing my confusion