Common objections to the Bible – Part 2
In a previous post, we shared four common objections to the Bible. Here, we respond to four additional objections.
Objection 5: The Bible is full of contradictions.
Response: Not so. Consider these guidelines for dealing with Bible difficulties: 1) logic and reason – examine the Bible like other documents; 2) translation – consider the nuances between various English versions; 3) time – some seemingly contradictory statements are separated by years and must be seen in their proper time frames; 4) context – study the chapters and books in which apparent contradictions occur; 5) sense – words and phrases may be used literally or figuratively; 6) quotations – many Old Testament passages are paraphrased or summarized in the New Testament; 7) perspective – when two or more writers provide separate accounts of the same events, differences in names, numbers, and conversations may be accounted for by each writer’s perspective.
Objection 6: The Bible can’t be true because it depicts a different God in the Old and New Testaments.
Response: The Bible is God’s progressive revelation of Himself and must be understood in its context. When one reads both the Old and the New Testaments it becomes evident that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8). For example, both testaments tell us that God judges the unrepentant in time and eternity; He is compassionate and gracious; He desires a personal relationship with people; and He is actively engaged in human history. Concerning the Trinity, while the Bible emphatically declares that there is one true and living God (Deut. 6:4; James 2:19), the Old Testament hints at the triune Godhead and the New Testament more fully reveals one God in three persons (see Gen. 1:1-2, 26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 3:16-17; John 1:1, 14; 10:30; Acts 5:3-4; Col. 1:16; 2:9; Heb. 1:8; 1 Peter 1:2).
Objection 7: There are so many translations of the Bible today, it’s impossible to know which translation is the right one.
Response: There are many Bible translations available today, leading some 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 came are accurate representations of the autographs.
Objection 8: There are so many Christian denominations today, it’s clear that Christians can’t agree on what the Bible teaches.
Response: Christian denominations generally developed out of a desire for fellowship and joint ministry between individual churches – a biblical concept (Acts. 11:27-30). There is a rich diversity among Christian denominations today, and the differences between them are not as wide as they appear. Many of the disagreements are over matters of conscience, such as which day of the week to worship, dietary restrictions, or which translation of the Bible to use (see Rom.14:1-23; 1 Cor.10:23-33), or they focus on lesser points of doctrine, such as the manner in which missions activities are organized and funded. It should be acknowledged that Christians often have engaged in petty squabbling, internal power struggles, and political wrangling. The New Testament implores believers to be gracious toward and forgiving of one another (Eph. 4:32).