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Studies in Contrast

Does the Bible contradict itself?

More than a few people have written books or hosted websites to say that they lost their faith after seeing how often the Bible contradicts itself. Some have spent a lot of time compiling lists of apparent discrepancies in both Old and New Testaments.

Collections of alleged Bible contradictions are apt to include statements like:

How can anyone believe in a Book that tries to get away with saying at the same time that:

God is one (Deut. 6:4)
God is three (Matt 28:19)

We don’t need to be afraid of God (1Sam. 12:20-22;1 Jn 4:18)
We do need to be afraid of God (1 Sam. 12:24-25)

God loves his enemies (Luke 6:35)
God hates his enemies (Psalm 11:5,6)

God’s anger is brief (Psalm 30:5)
God’s anger is everlasting (Matt. 9:44-48)

God is impartial (2 Chron. 19:7)
God favors some over others (Isa 66:2; Gen 12:1-3)

Some people compile lists like these and call them proof of contradiction. But there is another way to see them. That’s to view such opposites as important contrasts of truth. In that sense, we can freely admit that,

The Bible is full of “studies in contrast”. Some of us have even tried to make the case that all truth is in tension. Whether that overstates the case may be hard to confirm or deny. But it is readily apparent that a great number of ideas in the Bible complement and counterbalance one another.

When such pairs of truth get out of balance, the results can be dangerous. But when rightly considered, pairs of  “opposites” help us find boundaries, balance and richness of wisdom.

Being convinced that the Bible is full of studies in contrasts rather than real contradictions  is no reason to take these “tensions” for granted.

Dangerous Religious Groups teach false doctrine built on half-truths.

Young believers— are apt to overemphasize one side of truth, to the exclusion of the other.

Personal blind sides— incline all of us toward that “side of the coin” that seems most consistent with our own temperament, plans or experience.

Personal moral choices— causes many to look for problems with the Bible as a way of attempting to avoid its moral influence. This factor prompted an author who has written a classic on the subject to say,

“Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them”
(Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible John W. Haley)

So how then do we explain the healthy tensions and contrasts to someone who really wants to understand the Bible? If we really are convinced that the Bible is not full of self-contradiction how can we explain the fact that those who want to go to war with the Bible have such an easy time coming up with ammunition?

Maybe we can begin by offering four categories of studies in contrast:

1.  Contrasts that reflect tensions of Divine mystery–
Isa 55:8  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (His ways include but are not limited to “revealed/Bible truth”

2.  Contrasts based on ironies of principle–
Matthew 5:1-12 3 “Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4  Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5  Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth…”

3.  Contrasts of wisdom and timing–
Ecclesiastes–3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3  a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build…”

4.  Contrasts of purpose and perspective–
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each provide their own account of the life of Jesus. The fact that they tell the story in different ways can be regarded as a problem. Or the differences of perspective can be seen as complementary perspectives that reflect their credibility.

Would be interested to know whether seeing such “differences” in the Bible as honest and helpful contrasts of perspective, purpose, wisdom, timing, irony of principle, divine mysteries, and overall truth in tension (rather than logical contradictions) resonates with you as an honest approach to the Bible?

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65 Responses to “Studies in Contrast”

  1. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    The Bible is what it is! a collection of books and writings and eye witness accounts put together by scribes a long time ago.
    Stuff was left out on the grounds of editorial content etc.
    But I believe it to represent the mind of Christ and therefore God.
    Like I have said before, it contains absolute truth, about God, truth about men? and stories to help us with our daily living.
    Yes Jesus said He devides and unites. That is the truth, and don’t we know it on this blog! We are one and united behind the word of God and thank Him that it is not “Jot and Tittle” word perfect.

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning, Mart and all. I can say that it is morning, because where I am at this time it is. But since we are on a world wide blog somewhere it is not morning. So does this make my statement inacurate or in contradiction to the fact that somewhere else it is evening?

    The miracle of the Written Word is that it fits all time lines and all ages. That it can speak to each individual person at a level they can understand at a time they are ready to be taught. Only the Holy Spirit can know when such timing is perfect.

    God is the author of scripture. The Word, or scripture is actualy a living entity.

    There is no contradictions only a lack of understanding.

    How do we teach skeptics and blind sided people?…
    With love and patience.

    Any time, we try to force feed scripture to someone they choke on it.

    Every story of scripture is an actual event. It caries with it all the experiances of life. Each story also carries with it some lesson for us to learn from and most often a glimpse of future events.

    This may sometimes seem to look contradictory, but is actualy complimentary in a very special way.

    We are all at different levels of understanding. So we must be patient with thoes who have not learned what we have and also humble enough to recognize the wisdom of others who may have a little more insight than we.

    I remember a lesson from a phylosophy study, that said all truth is tied to time. As in, what may be true “now” may not be true before and after “now”.

    The Word of God, 66 books written by 40 men over thousands of years, Is remakable in every way. If it were not written by the Holy Spirit through these 40 men. I would expect to see plenty of contradictions. But these truths have no time lines, as God is the same all the time so is His Word and so is His Truth. Outside of time.


  3. Mart De Haan says:

    Thanks, Bob, for starting the conversation. In looking at your last sentence, did you intend to say “…and thank Him that it is not “Jot and /Tittle” word perfect”?

    Good morning, Steve…thanks for your thoughts this a.m. Am guessing it’s high noon Bob’s time.

  4. poohpity says:

    Over the years of reading I have found places that seem to contradict other places and at first it was unsettling. I am in a hurry so I do not have them at hand. When I come across them I usually ask God to show me what is the meaning and do some research myself on the backgrounds. A majority of the time the truth is revealed other times my questions go unanswered but so far with my relationship with God that is normal about many things. I always believe that if it is something God wants me to understand He makes sure I do and otherwise I go on what I know and have faith about the rest. There are in those pages many mysteries yet to be revealed and most I know by heart only to have my eyes opened to a further meaning. It is alive and I will probably always have questions.

  5. carlj says:

    I believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures and that all scripture is God-breathed. I come across scripture at times that seems to be out of sync and can sort it out at times and some times I can’t. Usually, after a length of time I will read something or hear something that will help with my understanding. My approach to scripture is that it is God’s way of teaching me about His nature. When I question something in scripture, I ask mself does that fit with God’s nature.

  6. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Yes Mart, I am not sure which time zone you are in but I think I am six hours ahead of you and often comment when you are all asleep.

    ‘jot or tittle’. both jot and tittle refer to tiny quantities.
    Matthew 5:18: William Tindale’s translation of 1526

    “One iott or one tytle of the lawe shall not scape.”

    King James Version of 1611 renders that verse as:

    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    A jot is the smallest letter of an alphabet or the smallest part of a piece of writing. It comes from the Greek iota – the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet, which is the same as the Roman ‘i’. Derived from the Hebrew word jod, or yodr. We still use the word jot, we ‘jot it down’.

    A tittle is now most commonly used as the name for the dot over the letter ‘i’, but really applies to any small acsent over a letter in greek, latin etc.

    It seems from Mathew 5:18 that Gods Law is Jot & Tittle word perfect. But although the bible contains the law, the bible itself contains more than just Law.
    It tells of human life and experience. Eye witness accounts,historical document(Luke,Acts) letters written to help others. Poems from the heart and words of wisdom.
    Although inspired by God it is written of and by humans so is not Jot or Tittle perfect.

  7. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I forgot the prophets.
    The Bible also conains prophesy. This is fulfilled at various times in history and refers to events past and future and sometimes, like in Isaiah, refers to Jesus’s first and second coming, so can look very contradictory if not read in context.

  8. bubbles says:

    Dear Daisy,
    I responded to your blog on Nov. 11th.

  9. foreverblessed says:

    Mart asks a difficult question,
    There are many things in the bible I do not understand, but it does not unsettle me anymore since I got the overall picture, which is:
    That God the Father sent His Son to die for our sins, and that He was raised, so we could have divine Life through faith in Jesus in the Holy Spirit.

    With that in mind I can now read the Old Testament, and make it useful for wisdom in my life today. But I need others to interpret that for me, like Spurgeon wrote for todays meditation:
    (Jacob had to marry first Leah, than Rachel)
    For instance, many men desire the beautiful and well-favoured Rachel of joy and peace in believing, but they must first be wedded to the tender-eyed Leah of repentance.
    The cross must be carried before the crown can be worn. We must follow our Lord in his humiliation, or we shall never rest with him in glory.
    Like Jacob, thy years of service will seem unto thee but a few days for the love thou hast to Jesus;

    When I was younger I would read the jot and tittel, and could not get passed the literal meaning. Thank God He gave me insight in the overall message: reconciliation through Jesus Christ.

  10. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I woke up with this thought this morning and I hope it grows. It seems to me that although the Bible may not be “word perfect”, it is “The Perfect Word of God”.
    It is what is known as “Soul Food” and without it we die.
    As was said earlier, It has something new to say every time we read it and, if we allow them to, our Soul and Spirit hunger for more.
    Other than CS Lewis’s Tales of Narnia, I have not ever been held spell bound by such a book.
    I have to go to work now, God has provided me with a part time job, just 3 hours a day 7-10am but it is a start to my road to recovery(I would tell you more but this is not the forum for personal chat)
    Take care
    especially you Steve!

  11. carlj says:

    The comment about the Perfect Word of God reminded of hearing someone say ,”I may not have the origional manuscript but I have the Originator”.

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Bob, I am glad that God has provided for you, work. Do not be hesitant to share more of your personal life here. Some of us do and it blesses others that their life is not so different than the rest.

    The personal experiances we all have with Christ in our hearts is what makes the blog work. It is the real life struggle each of us have and how our Lord guides us through them that aids in giving others hope.

    The life stories of the men and women God used for His purposes are written for all to see and pick apart down to every “jot and tittle”. To learn from and grow closer to God.

    We, all of us who call upon the Lord, have entered a pathway of life that is strewn with pitfalls and traps. Though we know the destination of our walk with God, we are on a journey of exploration and enlightenment.

    Each of us should be ready to reach out a helping hand to each other, over the pitfalls and traps and stumbling blocks the enemy puts before us.


  13. SFDBWV says:

    jeremiah, you are so correct. Many people just like to argue. They usually count on the people they argue with not to have a good foundation in scripture.

    Which is why it is so important for us to be well versed in what the Bible actualy says, if we are to battle with a person who thinks they do.

    I have learned also that there are some who as William Shakespere said “doth protest too much”, They are hiding behind a mask of outwardly sounding as though they don’t need God. But the truth is they are desperatly seeking the peace that Christ offers and want to hear. It is with such people we must be the most tender and patient with.

    Christ carries our burdens, whose burdens then do we carry?


  14. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Thanks for your comments. I did feel we nearly came to blows in the last blog about Remembrance. We got off subject and confused patriotism with bravery and sacrifice. Thank God we do not all think the same way, else we would be like dumb sheep and not equal partners with God in Jesus. There’s a thought to cunjur with for the day :-)
    There is a slogan in my village “Porthleven,a quaint drinking village with a fishing problem” It is difficult to socialise without a drink in your hand, and you can imagine how I have tumbled down into despair since I lost my job in September. It is not so much the drinking as the cost that effects me most. I am always closer to God when I am down than when I am happy and just having to get up at 6am to work is like a miracle to me and has given me new vitallity and purpose. Today was my first day and it all went very well. Praise God! He never lets us go too far before nudging us back online. Every hair on our head is numbered and every “Jot & Tittle” is accounted for.lol

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Bob, I liked your village slogan.
    Life here in the Appalachian Mountains is a hard and difficult one. Work when found is usually in the coal mines or in the timber industry. The most coveted, is working in the power plant. A huge electrical generating operation that is the hub of our economy, localy.

    The idle time given most are taken up hunting and fishing,

    Unfortunately the traditional pastime for boys to become men is…drinking. It is the way boys can prove to themselves that they are men. Deer hunting,bear hunting, trout or bass fishing, and getting drunk.

    In most cases if the young men survive the worst of their misadventures between the ages of 16 and 25, they will be alright. They will find a better way of proving their manhood.

    But for some they spend their lives setting at the barstool with others whom they consider their friends and waste away their time.

    In total contrast, are the men who make up the local volunteer fire departments, and bring their families to church. Who volunteer to manage the youth sports leagues, support their local communities by being good citizens and teaching their children to respect others.

    I have found many life truths spoken by Christ in the daily life that goes on around me. If you want a friend be a friend, if you need money give the money you have to someone who needs it more, if you want forgiveness be forgiving.

    Christ is there with us,all the time.

    Have a good day, English Bob.


  16. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Bob for sharing. Over here I shared my struggle with migraine. Just as you said, it seems that I am much much closer to God when tthings are not well. Then it is so obvious I cannot cope with life at all. If there would be no God, how could we go through all these trials? Where would our comfort come from?

  17. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Quoted from Steve above,

    “I have found many life truths spoken by Christ in the daily life that goes on around me. If you want a friend be a friend, if you need money give the money you have to someone who needs it more, if you want forgiveness be forgiving.”

    Now that is absolute truth! It is what Gods Word, The Bible, is all about. There is no contradiction.
    This is how God’s Kingdom works in a practical way here on earth.
    And when we read all those stories, both old and new testament, apply them to everyday living and you will be blessed without measure. Pressed down and running over etc.
    Bless you Steve for those words of wisdom from the heart.

  18. InHisHands says:

    Bob and Steve, Your comments on the way things are handled in 2 different areas of the world brought to mind what Solomon found out when he was seeking something, other than God, to fill the void he thought he had. “There is nothing new under the sun..” and ” all (without God) is vanity.” I have lived in many places around this vast country of ours and ‘arm-bending’ or other substance uses are the methods people tend toward – but, praise the LORD that when those that know Him are ready to look up (instead of out) He is there to welcome them back.

    Jeremiah, I love what our Pastor has taught us as a possible answer to those who would attack as you expressed. ” How much evidence would it take to prove to you that God and God’s Word is TRUE.” Another thing that our Pastor says, that comes to mind when people act the way you expressed, is that you (meaning me) need to stop expecting ungodly people to act Godly.”

    As for contrasting, it is amazing that people are able to except the apparent contridictions that are around us ‘daily’ yet, want to put God on the spot and question everything, and decide what they want to believe and what they want to throw out. That ‘Free Will’ God has given us allows them to do just what they do. All we can do is love them, pray for them, be a living example to them and seek every opportunity to share God with them. God just tells us to give the Word, He is reponsible for the rest – and His Word NEVER returns void.

  19. tandgmartin says:

    Context. That says it all as far as explaining so-called contradictions. Those claiming there are contradictions that ultimately keep them from accepting Christ as their Savior are just making another excuse to reject Him.

  20. saled says:

    Yes, seeing the differences as honest and helpful contrasts does seem to me to be an honest approach to the Bible. The differences are there; maybe even contradictions. There is a lot in the Bible that troubles me, but I choose to place my hope in the God that it reveals. Remember, God values faith to the point that he counts it for righteousness. Maybe the differences are another way to exercise our faith.

  21. Becky M says:

    Steve, you said…We are all at different levels of understanding. So we must be patient with thoes who have not learned what we have and also humble enough to recognize the wisdom of others who may have a little more insight than we.

    The word is living and since it is living it breaths with each and everyone of us as we live our lives. Yes we do learn each individually and God knows when we are ready to understand. If we just share what we know and let God do the rest we will be alright. I wrote a poem that expresses this,if I may share it with all of you here…

    God’s Grace

    Do not go thoughtlessly about your day with your fellow man,
    Do not think that he can handle it the way you know you can,
    Give consideration to his place,
    As you know God gives everyone his grace.
    \To the one who cannot talk he gives power to the hand,
    To the one who cannot walk he lets his words stand,
    To the one with ease of mind he gives physical strength,
    To the one who can’t help oneself, guardians at lengh.
    \Do not make expectations poor,
    Where someone lacks you may have more,
    Just keep in mind their strenghths and see,
    God’s grace shown upon thee.

  22. Becky M says:

    Sorry I picked out something not exactly keeping with contradiction of the Bible. Which I believe there is no contradiction just how we perceive before we understand, as I see that many of you think also.

  23. BobbiLee says:

    tandgmartin – thank you for “saying it all”. I have been waiting for someone to mention the three “rules” of Bible interpretation: context, context, context. In my years of teaching I never allow anyone to take Scripture out of context to try to prove contradiction or anything else. I call this “cut and paste” theology.

    If one abides by this rule, usually all “contradictions” fall into place. Are there hard places in the Bible? Yes. Keep reading and keep in context and eventually God will explain His own Word.

  24. foreverblessed says:

    Bobbilee, isn’t the context Jesus Christ? I say this because God often speaks in a verse out of the bible to his people, and they usually are not in context of the chaptre. Also the prophecies of Jesus “the Servant” predicting is death in Isaiah are not really in context of the prophecies about Israel. That is why it was so difficult for the disciples to see what would happen to Jesus. The prediction of His suffering, was spread out in the OT, here a little there a little.
    I am saying this not to refute what you are saying, taking scriptures out of context to prove your own point, not Gods point, you are right.
    But God speaks in mysterious ways. So much that even the prophecies of the end time are not clear to us yet. The Holy Spirit must enlighten us on His time.

  25. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Unlike previous subjects it seems we all tend to agree on this one. Whatever the content, apparent
    contradictions or various interpretations we have on the Bible, we all understand it to be the living word of God. Just as Jesus is “The Word made flesh” so the Bible is Alive to us.
    It does not have to justify itself, like God, IT IS!
    Because God’s own Spirit Lives in us we accept, by Faith, that He will guide us through and speak directly to us as we read His Word. In fact we are told by Paul to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds” and also that His word shall be written in our hearts.
    We do not know all the answers. Like the previous comment by foreverblessed:

    “But God speaks in mysterious ways. So much that even the prophecies of the end time are not clear to us yet. The Holy Spirit must enlighten us on His time.”

    Without the Holy Spirit we would be arguing about every contradiction in scripture, as do the atheists and others, but with His help we see clearly and more clearly each day what His plan is for us and the world.
    We were talking about division in an earlier blog and this does seem to effect the man made religions/denominations of this world, but I get a strong sense that as the end time draws closer God is uniting His people. And as unity of purpose (all of one mind, in one place) resulted in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early church, we are about to witness something truly awesome on a global scale like of which has never been seen before.
    In Israel the early rain is in autumn (fall to you guys) and the latter in spring. (their growing season is in the cooler months) Jesus said when you see these things start to happen you know summer is at hand.

  26. SFDBWV says:

    2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
    :17 ” That the man of God be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

    It sounds as if the one solid truth that exists is the timeless Word of God and all else is measured against it.

    By studying the Word each mystery leads to an answer that leads to another mystery. The process grows and matures us.

    Even when Christ spoke plainly to the disciples they were confused, until they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit it is that leads us into all truths.


  27. xrgarza says:


    I myself have had these questions various times through out my life as I go through the Bible. Often times I find myself asking a more profound question than what it actually sounds like and in return I get a simple response or simply rhetoric.

    That’s when I have to reel myself in and realize that first and foremost I need to go the Lord and ask for clarity and understanding, I believe that in due time He will reveal certain things to me just as he Keeps them from me.

    Similarly, when my children were young I had certain “rules” that we had to abide by, simply to develop good healthy habits. As they got older I did away with the rules and began living by principles. Because I knew that as they became more independent they would not always be able to keep the rules.

    Their intentions were much more important to me than their actions as they got older. I believe like Steve mentioned earlier it’s morning here and evening someplace else we are all at different levels in our Christian walk, and the Bible was not written simply for one level, it was written for all of us.

    2 Timothy 3:15-17 (New International Version) tells us
    15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    The word is not just for infants, nor just for the scholars if it were then it would be a contradiction.

    God Bless and have a great day

  28. xrgarza says:


    After I left my posting I noticed that you also left one, praise God that we are on the same page here quoting the same scripture.


  29. marma says:


    I liked that you said “But when rightly considered, pairs of “opposites” help us find boundaries, balance and richness of wisdom.” I find this very helpful for believers–when we look at contrasts in context it can be very helpful.

    The boundaries scripture sets are important, because we humans so easily take things to extremes not intented by God.

    I think we must initially approach the Word of God with faith; for two reasons. One, there is a lot we don’t fully understand because of culture, history, and language that can explain the seeming contradictions in the Word of God, and secondly, because Scripture plainly tells us that we need the Holy Spirit to give us understanding.

    The other issue is, that many read the bible in a way that they would read no other book; out of context and by putting a subjective interpretation on isolated passages.

    Coming from both a Bible Institute and BA in English background, I find it appalling that this is so; however, I’m reminded that the natural mind is antagonistic towards God and easily accepts anything that supports the unbelieving heart.

  30. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Steve & Xavier

    I couldn’t agree more!
    Even though it is morning there and mid afternoon here we are on the same page, even if at different levels.
    The deciples were in the upper room in one achord and in one place and a miracle happened. We are of one achord and, although a quarter of a world apart are, by technology, in one place.
    Miracles will happen!

  31. pegramsdell says:

    Interesting comparisons of The Word. Good job Mart.
    The Word of God is alive. And deep calls to deep. Those of us who believe and have faith understand it. No matter what time zone or part of the world we live in.
    We also know in part and see in part. We don’t know the whole picture yet. But…we will! Yeah!

  32. poohpity says:

    I wanted to mention a couple of things I read that I found may have contradictions. One was in the Hebrews text that says, “and they were not afraid of the king’s edict,” in reference to Mose’s parents. But it would seem that because of fear that they placed Moses in the basket that was pitched in tar. Another was I believed that God had given the law to Mose’s Himself while in the NT it says it was given my angels. These are just a couple I have seen.

  33. SFDBWV says:

    Xavier, I believe that the Holy Spirit always confirms Himself, so though miles apart, the Holy Spirit that is in your heart is that same Spirit that is in mine.

    Don’t need to go find science fiction stories to be amazed supernaturaly. The supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit is awsome beyond our imaginings.

    Once at a bible study meeting many many years ago, I ask the preacher where in scripture is the prophesy writen that Elijah has to return and proclaim the coming of the Christ. He didn’t know.

    So at 4 oclock in the morning I was up with the bible in my face looking for the answer. After I found it (Malachi 4:5&6), a woman who was also at the meeting called me to say she too had found it. So the Holy Spirit in her and in me confirmed what we had discovered together though miles apart. It was very early in the morning and usualy most people would not call another that early. But the Spirit put an unction on her heart that she had to obey. It is realy awsome how our Lord loves us and helps us learn the truth.


  34. foreverblessed says:

    So Pooh, is bringing up some questions:
    Galatians 3:19-20 The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party, but God is one.
    That whole verse is a mystery to me, not only the angels, but even more the mediator.
    If you read the whole context, it is trying to say, that the law was there to lead us to Christ.
    Now that faith has come we are no longer under supervision of the law. v24,25
    (Not that is means we can sin, but we now follow Christ in faith)
    But what does that say about the mediator? and the angels?
    I sometimes get a vision that the Mediator is Christ. We know He is, through other scripture,
    1 Timothy2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
    and that the angels might have helped the mediator, maybe in carving the stones. But this is just me speaking.

    This is one of those things, Mediator and God, which are parallel, lines walking parallel, very closely together, they go from us to God or the other way round, so far and far, and come together at the throne of God.

    There are many mysteries, but we can live our lives very well, because God will be to us or: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path, Psalm 119:105.
    What are still questions are not necessary to us really to go on living as a christian.

  35. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh, I love the story of Moses. God talked with Moses face to face, yet God said no man can look upon the face of God and live. When Moses ask to see Him, God only showed Moses His backside. The Ten commandments were written by the finger of God.

    God wrestled with Jacob, and gave him a limp to remember it.

    The mysterious `Melchizedek.

    The geneology shown in Matthew is different than the geneology shown in Luke for Jesus.

    None of these things are contradictions, only wonderous truths waiting to be discovered.

    Moses’s parents were not affraid for their own lives and so disobeyed the order to kill all male children by hiding Moses from the officials, following the directives from the Holy Spirit, they placed Moses in the basket but Moses’s sister made certain the basket found its way to Pharoah’s sister. All God’s intentions and plans carried out by people who did not know God was behind the scenes. No contradictions only explanations.

    The two different geneologies are one for Joseph and one for Mary. Mary being the uninterupted line from David to Jesus.

    The Lord often appeared to men of the OT as an angel of the Lord. As He did with Abraham.

    I think finding the truth behind what seems contradictions to be very satisfying.

    Out of time…

  36. zip says:

    our Lord is a god of paradoxes. i see some things this way: God can do the little stuff easy, like healing us or making sure we don’t take this way to work and instead take that way to work because we would have been hit by a train — stuff like that. but God is especially a master of the impossible. I was reading about quantum physics. Supposedly, the ‘natural laws’ of physics on a universal scale works, as do the natural laws of physics on a subatomic scale. They both work. However, one cancels the other out. Only one can be “true” or absolute, or even, they both cancel each other out. Our God can take two things that make each other not work, yet make them both work. I think that is an example in the scientific world of God, along the lines of God being able to bridge the chasm between death and life. Now that’s the ultimate paradox — bringing a dead person back to life. It’s kind of mind blowing that not only can God make the possible happen — it is possible that I could be healed or cured of an illness; but the mind blowing awesomeness of a God who can somehow unite black and white, death and life. I don’t know how to put it other than the way Job did. God is too wonderful for us to understand. Not too smart, too big, too infinite (though those are also things God is too much of for us to understand), but that God is simply too GOOD for us to comprehend his goodness. I readily admit that I have no clue why God would love me, or even humans — I would have stopped at puppies, personally (that is humor). I have no idea what about me God could love. But He promises he does, and so I believe him as much as I am able. I fail but I still believe He loves me. That’s the biggest paradox of all — why on earth would Christ die for me, for any of us? I suppose the answer isn’t on earth. Too wonderful for me to fully grasp. That’s pretty wonderful. Literally, mind-blowing.

  37. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, such paradox, make a dead person alive. We are dead in our sins, and He makes us alive. How does He do that? Yesterday I was really touched by wretch-like-me, and for a moment I saw that God’s grace, it is so great, so powerfull, like a river of living water flowing through us and cleaning us, making us a saint. His name is a saint-like-me.
    God loves us because He knows that He can make us clean, and holy,and a saint, and lovely people, all of the dirt gone out, far far away. Far as east is from west.
    The age of grace.

  38. DBT says:

    Greeting Mart, In response to your Studies of Contrast; we go all the way back to Genesis 3:1, 1. Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. and he said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
    It’s obviously clear that the main scheme of the athiest was to confuse just as the serpent did at the garden of Eden and the battle of the heart will always be with us until the day the Lord returns.

  39. wretch-like-me says:

    After reading your post for the 4th or 5th time, I noted your reference at the end to “3 categories”… yet you listed 4… hmmmm, unintentional or planned?

    How’s this for contrast… despite my 60 yrs, 6’2” and 275 lbs… I am an infant before God. Naked, helpless, and exposed to the soul… desperately seeking approval.

    My reference to ‘loose monologue’ was as much toward me as anyone else. Wish I could say more with less words and eliminate the ‘chaff’. Sometimes, I think the ‘hardness of your shell’ is there to protect the sweet soft center you save for the ‘very’ few. T’will be so wonderful to tear down the walls in heaven.

    My paradox point is that balance between being strong and vulnerable at the same time.

    I am learning that the strength we find in Christ makes us impregnable to all the ‘petty’ assaults of Satan.(As if Death had any power over us)

    A friend of mine once told me my problem was ‘living under the circumstances’. Said I needed to ‘climb out from under and begin living ABOVE the circumstances’.

    Are we not ‘born again’? (another contrast?)


  40. jjhis says:

    Steve, The apparent contradiction in the Bible of the God who cannot be seen and the God who can be seen is discussed by Meno Kalisher, pastor of the Jerusalem Assembly, on a Day of Discovery DVD titled “The Oneness of God”,Part 2. His understanding of the Hebrew text by this Jewish believer in Jesus Christ is very satisfying indeed. While this may not answer all questions, it is helpful in understanding this apparent paradox.
    A friend and Bible teacher once said something to the effect that two truths, one going north to south and the other east to west, will eventually be brought together and intersect at the Cross. All our questions and paradoxes are answered in Jesus Christ. Praise Him!

  41. poohpity says:

    Steve I understand that it says in the OT they were written by the finger of God in Duet 9:10 but it then says then in the NT that they were given from God to the angels who then gave them to Moses Acts 7:38; Gal 3:19. I understand how it works but it does seem there is a contradiction. I was not trying to prove anything one way or another I was just showing some areas where some could consider it a contradiction.

  42. Mart De Haan says:

    On the 3 or 4 categories, I forgot to update my notes. Sorry for the mistake. Will update.

  43. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. My time zone is Central. I’ve read through many of your comments, which is very informative, as well as edifying. I hope my thoughts will come across in the same manner.

    Some Scriptures come to mind regarding whether or whether not the Bible contradicts itself. I will share them ahead. But first, I’ve been a born again believer almost 50 years, and I can honestly say that I don’t ever remember doubting the validity of God’s Word. Doubt is a sign that the Holy Spirit is not in full control of a person’s heart. Doesn’t mean he’s not saved; however, it’s a sign that a person is not a student of the Word (2 Timothy 2:15), which in return, develops faith in his life (Romans 10:17).

    I’m reminded of the words of Yeshua when He instructed His disciples about the arrival of the Holy Spirit, and how He would minister to them. Yeshua said, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will shew you things to come” (John 16:13). Now that every believer has the blessed Holy Spirit dwelling in his life, he can enjoy the fact that He will lead each of us into all Truth, which is God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation (See John 17:17), and that He will show us things to come; referring to prophecy.

    Then, I am reminded about the many interpretations we encounter everyday of our lives. Let’s admit it: All the interpretations we experience can be confusing, but we know that God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Therefore, let’s look at what the Apostle Peter said in his second epistle. He said, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). I realize that many of us could write a volume of books on just this one Scripture, as well as those before and after, but I would like to encourage each of us to focus on the words, “no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.” We already know that the Holy Spirit is the One who interprets Scripture.

    Now, please don’t mis-understand me! We don’t need any man to interpret Scriptures for us: Only the Holy Spirit, because He’s the One who moved upon holy men of God as they spoke, as well as during those moments when they penned the Holy Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21). Why do I say we don’t need men to interpret Scriptures for us? Let’s go to 1 John 2:27, which says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.”

    This Scripture throws a lot of people, so to speak, but it really makes sense regarding whether or whether not there are any contradictions in God’s Word. First of all, no, there are no contradictions in God’s Word: NOT ONE! When John said, “ye need not that any man teach you,” he wasn’t ruling out human teachers. “Why?” you may ask. We have to realize that in John’s day, and even today, there are Gnostic teachers planted in churches, Messianic congregations, over the radio and TV waves who are preaching their propaganda. We know the Word of God advocates men to teach others: (Matthew 28:20; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:11; 2 Timothy 2:2, 24); hence, God doesn’t rule out human teachers. However, John’s emphasis on us not needing men to teach us, but only the Holy Spirit, this was his way of reminding us to exercise our discernment.

    Today, I believe we still have this same spirit: Gnoticism, which has infiltrated the Body of Messiah. These false teachers teach that the teaching of the Apostles was to be supplemented with what is known to be “higher knowledge” which they claim to possess. Sound familiar?

    One subject to focus on is the Deity of our LORD Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah. John made it clear that true believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and they have an anointing by the Holy Spirit, who shows them that Yeshua is God come in the flesh (cf. 4:2, 15; 5:1, 10).

    Gnostics will tell you there are contradictions in God’s Word. For example, my wife and I are Israelis, as well as Americans. It’s quite common to hear leaders in Israel, that Yeshua is the Messiah, but not God come in the flesh. We, who are true believers know where this lie derives from: Satan, the father of all lies (John 8:44).

    May the Master who sent His Holy Spirit to live in us, bless you all! May you prosper, as well as be in good health as your souls prosper.

  44. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Hi Bob in North Carolina.

    I agree, in my first post I said that and even Mart queried it?
    I actual was trying to say that as an historical document it would not hold water if it was word perfect. But if you read on to my next few posts you will see that I refer to it as God’s Living Word, and although it may not be word perfect it is the perfect word of God.
    I have just read Ron Ben Yaakov’s post above and he has reminded me that most of us use various English translation and do not refer to the original Hebrew or Greek manuscripts. Even the Apostles had Greek translations of Ancient scriptures. This is why there are anomalies between old and new testaments. But God, I am sure, knew exactly what he was doing when they were written.
    As Ben said, it is the Holy Spirit that teaches us all things and is truth and is no lie. There are no contradictions in The Bible, if we struggle with something then The Comforter will show us what God is really saying.
    Thanks Ben for your wonderful perspective on Scripture and your use of the proper name Messiah and His real Hebrew name of Yeshua. My spirit tingles when I here that name.
    I am finding I may start out with one view and then, through the many comments on here, I have some great truth revealed.
    It is good for us to share and examine our hearts and minds and to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.


  45. Becky M says:

    How awsome! God hates sin but loves the sinner!

  46. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. I’m always interested in conversations about the “jots” and the “tittles” of the Torah. Some people who are accustomed to other languages, especially English, would capitalize these words, but I took the initiative to spell them with lower case letters. “Why?” you may ask. Because, in the Hebrew, there are no capitol letters, nor punctuations like our English Bibles.

    There are many examples to focus upon in the Hebrew Scriptures that help us to understand about the “jots” and the “tittles” that many overlook. By way of illustration, we can focus upon King Solomon. After Solomon built the Temple, a beautiful structure with the rich smells of cedar panels, along with the fragrances of perfumes. If we were there, our eyes would also behold expensive imported silks and other delicacies; all these things tantalizing our human senses. As Solomon, in all his splendor, sits on his massive throne decked-out with ivory and gold, precious stones, and joined with huge figures of lions facing the onlookers.

    I know this sounds dramatic, but try to imagine what this all looked like! But here comes the excitement: We see Solomon gazing upon two priests (Hebrew: cohanim), holding heavenward a scroll of Torah. As they held the Torah upward, it’s already opened to the book of Deuteronomy. Laying across Solomons’ throne is another roll of parchment over which the king is arched, pen and ink in hand. He is copying a Torah scroll, which meant he was obeying the special commandment of the king to write a copy of the Torah.

    The commandment for the king to write a copy of the Torah is found in Deuteronomy 17. Therein it is written, “And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this Law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites…” (Deuteronomy 17:18).


  47. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. I apologize for not editing my last comment, especially in the second paragraph, which I will redo for clarity:

    There are many examples to focus upon in the Hebrew Scriptures that help us to understand about the “jots” and the “tittles” that many overlook. By way of illustration, we can focus upon King Solomon. After Solomon built the Temple, there stood a beautiful structure with the rich smells of cedar panels, along with the fragrances of perfumes. If we were there, our eyes would also behold expensive imported silks and other delicacies; all these things tantalizing our human senses. As Solomon, in all his splendor, sits on his massive throne decked-out with ivory and gold, including precious stones, it was joined with huge figures of lions facing the onlookers.

    Okay, getting back to Deuteronomy 17:18, we see where God commands the king to write a copy of the Torah. Why was this commandment given? It was given to ensure that the king himself submits to the rule and law and does not become authoritarian without accountability or boundary. We see in this same chapter, a specific passage that says he shall write a copy of the Torah so that “his heart be not lifted up above his brethren…” (Deuteronomy 17:20). In other words, the king was just as subject to the Torah just like everybody else under his authority. He had no royal exception given to him from God. By writing a copy of the Torah himself, the king was reminded that he is not above God’s Law (Torah). In the eyes of the Torah, the king is just another citizen of God’s Kingdom. Oh, if it were that way today with our leaders; from the President, down to the common laborer.

    You may be wondering what this has to do with the “jots” and the “tittles.” Hang in there! You’ll see. It gets more exciting.

    It’s been said that the basic ethic of God’s Torah is called the Rule of Law. Sounds dominating, right? It all depends on how a person looks at it. We can compare the Torah to our American Constitution. The Constitution was formed for a good reason. It was formed for a way go govern our country. In theory, our constitution is a document that presides over both the governed and the government; hence, ultimate sovereignty is not bestowed within the government; it is bestowed in the constitution that formed the government.


  48. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. We’re getting there :-). When we look to modern politics taking place in the workings of the United States (how can we not look with all the low moral that’s taking place in our country), we often forget that our Constitution lays out the framework for the American government. Seemingly, the American government is only permitted to legislate and govern withing those parameters. No government official is allowed to overstep the bounds of the Constitution. Government officials are just as subject to the authority of the Constitution and the legislation generated by it, just as we private citizens are subject.

    In light of this synopsis on the Constitution formed in the United States of America, in God’s Kingdom, the Torah is the constitution that governs Israel’s government. No one is above God’s Torah because no one is above God. His Word is the final authority, and even the king is not to transgress it.

    There’s a Jewish story about King Solomon and the Torah. I mentioned about the two priests, along with King Solomon, who were all busy with the Torah. As King Solomon was penning the Scriptures, which were to be an exact duplicate, held heavenward by the priests, Solomon looks down toward the priest with a nervous smile. As he looked down, he uses his finger to dab a “jot” of ink off his scroll. It looks as though the king had just erased a letter from the passage he was copying! The priests overseeing the work didn’t seem to notice.

    The words that the king is supposed to be transcribing are “Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away…” (Deuteronomy 17:17). But what did the king do? When he used his finger to dab a “jot” of ink off his scroll, he actually erased the little letter yod (‘) from the word yirbeh (“multiply”). The yod is a letter shaped like and apostrophe and is no larger than one. It is just a small “jot” of ink. But by erasing that little letter, the king had changed the whole meaning of the sentence. Now it said, “He did not multiply for himself wives and his heart will not turn away.” By Solomon erasing the yod, he changed the tense of the verb “multiply.” Looking at it, it appears to have been a small and subtle change; however the verse is no longer an imperative forbidding a king to multiply wives. Thus, it became a statement implying the his past-tense multiplication of wives will not have the effect of leading his heart astray. Solomon had removed a “jot” from the Scripture.


  49. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. The above story about King Solomon and the Torah, is more or less described for us in an ancient collection of Jewish teaching called the Midrash Rabbah. Thus we find a crucial teaching that not only relates this brief story about Solomon, but also informs our reading of the precious words of the Master in Matthew’s Gospel:

    Think not that I am come to destroy the Law (Torah), or the Prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot (i.e., smallest letter) or one tittle (i.e., stroke) shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled (i.e., accomplished). Whosoever therefore shall break (i.e., annuls) one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so (i.e., others to do the same), he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do (i.e., keeps) and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-19).

    The midrash (story) continues about Solomon’s edited version of the Torah:

    At that time, the yod of the word yarbeh went up on high and prostrated itself before God and said, “Master of the Universe! Didn’t you say that no letter shall ever be abolished from the Torah? Behold, Solomon has now arisen and abolished one. Who knows? Today he has abolished one letter, tomorrow he will abolish another until the whole Torah will be nullified!” God replied, “Solomon and a thousand like him will pass away, but the smallest tittle will not be erased from thee.” (Exodus Rabbah 6:1)

    According to this story, the little letter “yod” that Solomon had blotted out of the verse in Deuteronomy, was so offended that it ascended to God in order to file a formal complaint against the king. The letter “yod” warned God that if this kind of editorial process were allowed to continue, the whole Torah would soon be abolished and nullified. God then assured the letter “yod” that not even the smallest decorative crown would ever be erased from the eternal Torah. He pointed out that Solomon and men like him are temporal and passing, but the Law of God is eternal. Solomon may use his wisdom and logic and creative scribal work as much as he likes, but God’s Law will still stand long after Solomon has disapeared. To reiterate, Yeshua virtually quoted this midrash when He said:

    Think not that I am come to destroy the Law (Torah), or the Prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot (i.e., smallest letter) or one tittle (i.e., stroke) shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled (i.e., accomplished). Whosoever therefore shall break (i.e., annuls) one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so (i.e., others to do the same), he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do (i.e., keeps) and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-19).

    Although it was quite lengthy, I only hope this bit of information about the “jot” and the “tittle” will spark a will in the lives of people to do more research about the “jot” and the “tittle” that God so loves, and that we love :-).

    May God’s peace and joy keep you smiling in these trying times as we see things unfold before our very eyes; things that can rob us of peace if we don’t keep our eyes upon the Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

  50. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Thanks Ron

    That was amazing!
    It puts a whole new emphasis on The “jot & tittle”.
    I will read it all again later when I return from work.
    I now understand the idea of Sovereignty of the law of God.
    We have no Constitution and the Queen is sovereign, but it reality it means our government can change the law at will. I now understand why “The Law” was written in stone.
    You can’t remove the tittle from stone!

  51. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom Bob. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I know there’s a kinship between all of our brothers and sisters there in England. I’ve never been there longer than to exchange planes as my wife and I travel between the states and Israel. I do correspond with a ministry called Watching and Waiting in England. I love to study the old Puritan writings.

    As usual, when I’m up late writing, I have a tendency to procrastinate and not attend to my duties of editing. Another area the LORD is working on in my life LOL! So, please accept my apology, and anyone else reading this message :-).

    In Israel the common greeting in congregations is chesed v’Shalom, which means grace and peace to you. When we go our separate ways, we leave by saying, Shalom, Shalom. So, I leave now with my extended love, grace, and peace to you, my brother. Give our love to all our brothers and sisters in England.

  52. foreverblessed says:

    About the Torah, it must be read with the understanding of the New Testament with it.
    One example:
    Because in the Torah a man is allowed to have more women, as long as he would take care of them all. In the New Testament Jesus explains this: because of the hardness of their hearts God allowed many things, like multiple wives, certificate of divorce, having slaves.
    But from the beginning it was not so. Jesus said one man and one woman, being true to each other. That was the original plan of God with marriage.

    Now I agree that when a man is not lead by the Holy Spirit, he will read the bible as he himself is. He would justify having more wives by literally interpreting the OT, for himself now.

    One verse in the Torah is crucial:
    Deuteronomy 18:14-22, v15 The Lord your God will raise op for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.
    Jesus was to come and explain things, what was meant with the Torah, not one jot or tittel, till all be fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled them.
    And after Jesus had left the earth, the Holy Spirit did continue the teaching. Pauls letters are full of that. He called the Torah or the keeping of religious festival, the shadow of the things that was to come, the reality however is found in Christ. Colossians 2:16-17

    So in a sense, the literal meaning of a man having more than on wive, is changed. This jot and tittel are explained by Jesus.

  53. SFDBWV says:

    Good to hear from you again Bob (North Carolina).
    Pooh, I knew you knew, just adding to your comments.

    Ron Ben Yaakov, With in depth bible study, the addition of Hebrew scholars is always a welcome tool in aiding to understand better the meanings of words and sentences. Many times the addition of the Rabbi’s explanations are also enlightening.

    With the more detailed Greek and Hebrew language scripture takes us deeper into details we may overlook or not fully understand.

    I have heard the jot and tittle stories before, and it is what causes many to not want new translations of the Bible.

    I stay with the King James, though have a concordance and some other study guides handy.

    I have read some of the newer translations that are just not accurate.

    I read also that there is an even newer translation coming out that takes the gender out of scripture so that instead of it written man or men it is written people.

    The farther we stray from the jots and tittles the more trouble we cause.


  54. daisymarygoldr says:

    Frank, glad you are able to see the contrast in me and the “very few” include you and all the others here in this blog! Hope phpatato:) and bubbles:) are also convinced about the same. The hard shell is the ‘armor’ which is important to deflect thoughts of the flesh… both mine as well as others. You are right, it’ll not be there in heaven because then we’d sport brand new bodies that have no trace of sin!

    Bob/rdrcomp, thrilled to hear back from you after a long time. You were greatly missed!

    Mart, great post and some good discussions going on over here! Agree with almost everything that is being said and wanted to add some of my thoughts on this… The Bible, to me is a very personal-personal letter from a Father to His child. It reveals the very person of God! The more I read His letter, the more I got to know Him. Although my eyes do not see God, yet His words make me feel that He is so close to me…speaking right from within me.

    And honestly I have never found any contrasts up until I started to converse here on this blog site. Even truth in tension was an absolutely new concept for me. There was never once in my entire life so far when I ever doubted His words that spoke of His love for me. As I matured from my days of infancy, everything about His divine person made perfect sense to me. My spirit completely agreed with everything He said and did…His eternal plan for me in Jesus Christ… why He created people and destroyed people, why He loves one and hates the other.

    Not once do I ever remember my thoughts have clashed with His thoughts. From His letter I’ve even discovered the intimate details about what makes Him glad and what makes Him sad. To my understanding, both His love and His wrath are perfectly just and right. His Law and His grace are absolutely flawless. I don’t know how to explain this…it has to be experienced in order to be understood.

    Books that use scripture to explain scripture can be good resources to help explain the Bible but in my experience the Bible is self-explanatory! One can have lexicons and dictionaries and degrees from Bible schools and yet not understand scriptures… just like the scribes and the Pharisees. And Mart, I’m not sure what you meant by young believers. If you are referring to physical age, then we do know of a Jewish boy who at age 12 confounded the spiritual leaders of Israel with His knowledge of God’s Word.

    Speaking of “Differences”… they are like different pieces of a grand puzzle. As you rightly pointed out, they all complement i.e. perfectly fit-together to consistently present only one theme- Jesus Christ! as foreverblessed said. Those “differences” do not reflect personal opinions and neither do they refute another writer’s works…like Calvinism and Arminianism do. Personally, I am always thankful to have grown in the middle of nowhere without the influence of those human interpretations that may have adversely affected my relationship with the Word!

    And so, when I never read the Bible with an analytical approach I do not focus on contrasts or context… actually it beats my mind to think how one can analyze a personal letter from a dearly loved one! For ex. Isa 55:8 quoted above is out of context because it applies to OT folks that lived before Jesus came. However, it can be argued that it still applies to us living today because God never changes and His truths are eternal.

    As long as I do not pick and choose parts of scriptures out of context to justify myself as good, I do not dissect to peer at the letter to see whether the truth is being applied out of context. Personally, it is so amazing to see how the Holy Spirit uses random portions of scripture to convict, rebuke and expose evil rebellion that exists within me.

  55. daisymarygoldr says:

    I also never try to convince unbelievers about God’s Word. My part is to simply present it to them and pray for the Holy Spirit to do His part. It must be noted that in the Bible passages, the Holy Spirit always worked in both the one who shared and the one who received God’s Word.

    But then, if scriptural truths are being presented as psychology, philosophy or theology, then it not only lacks the convicting power of the Holy Spirit… all the trouble we take to make it convincingly presentable is also going to be an utter waste!

    As I have always maintained and what others here have said above, we can only understand the Bible if the Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes, our minds and hearts to give us understanding.

    It is not that God’s spirit hovers over my head like a little halo to reveal deep secrets of God. It is just that His Spirit makes me malleable and soft… i.e. teachable. He enables me to hear and obey the instructions which train me to live according to His godly way!

    Having said that, it is important to note that the Bible can be understood by everyone… illiterate fishermen to learned physicians and even a child but not everyone will understand the Bible! Jesus said: “To you it has been given to know (and understand) the mysteries and secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that, looking, they may not see; and hearing, they may not comprehend” (Luke 8:10)!

  56. poohpity says:

    Joseph Smith was illiterate and had the KJV read to him and thus the Mormon religion was developed.

    I believe that the fisherman were able to read but not only that they had the Word living among them.

    There is nothing wrong with reading other translations because old English has been tweaked and bible scholars have used the original text to develop new translations.

    To make excuses for Solomon and all his wives seems like an ol’ wives tale. Then we should excuse the fact that all his excessive riches also caused him to move away from God but that is a hole different subject.:-)

    I think it is so neat that we do not just have to be blind and believe in the bible but we are given permission to test it to see if it is true. I do not believe since we were given a brain that we not use it. I have seen however that some over analyze the simple truths in those pages to fit what they would like to argue. Thus we get different religions.

    Reading that wonderful book usually causes our hearts to soften rather than hardening especially when the very Spirit of God lives in us because Jesus was not hard to the people only those who thought of themselves higher than they ought. I imagine like everything else people have different spiritual gifts and not all have mercy because it takes all kinds to be able to understand all the different people we are to minister to and to be able to direct the church. I did not say run because it is God who runs it.

    Really understanding takes an open mind and heart where we put God in the top place and not ourselves. People for ages have tried to prove it has contradictions or anything else for that matter because they do not really want the truth or to experience the presence of God in their lives. I for one having read it in many translations over many years still have so much to learn and am deeply humbled by the wealth of knowledge that is contained in those pages. I know just how much I do not know. To tell you the honest truth it seems the more knowledge one obtains sometimes it causes one to be prideful so maybe it is better to have the mind of a child because they are more open to trust the Master’s plan and His Guiding Light. In that Solomon is a good example.

  57. pegramsdell says:

    Yes, in the beginning Solomon wanted only wisdom to lead his people. He didn’t ask for riches. But…God gave it to him anyway….because he didn’t ask for it. Sweet.

  58. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Dear Brother Mart:

    Shalom. I was reminded during the night that I haven’t taken the time to express my deep gratitude for your love for the Body of Messiah. Please accept my apology for not expressing my heartfelt gratitude before now. The Word teaches us to honor one another. Therefore, I want to honor you by saying: Building this blog expresses your heart. I’m sure that what I’m saying hear is felt by each of us in equal amount. Thank you for the time and effort you have spent in designing this beautiful classroom :-).

    May the LORD bless you and your staff as you labor in His Kingdom in these trying times!

  59. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    I would like to echo Ron Ben Yaakov’s sentiment and words.
    I only noticed this blog about two months ago, I am not sure how long it has been going, but without it I would be dead by now. I would have fallen into the ocean outside my house in a drunken stupour, that was my plan as life had got too difficult to continue. Do you realise what a wonderful thing you have created here! my only wish is that we could have private chat rooms/forums, as I would dearly love to chat with Steve on a one to one, and also Ron Ben Yaakov, he is one of the brethren of Yeshua. I am a child of Abraham by faith but would love to be a brother of Messiah. We are going to be His bride, so I don’t think we will miss out.
    Thank you Mart

    Isn’t it strange that I start the blog with a casual mention of “jot & tittle” and it has caused such a wonderful debate. Praise God!

  60. SFDBWV says:

    Would like to expand on the #2 category, Mart mentioned above. Matthew 5:1-12

    A composite of the Character of Christ.

    He was poor in spirit, Though he shared His fathers nature, He lay aside the robes of heaven for the rags of humanity.

    He mourned, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief, weeping over the gravr of a friend and over His nation.

    He was meek, rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, and remained stong enough to remain silent in defence of Himself.

    He hungered and thirsted for righteousness, He refused bread offered by Satan in the wilderness and wine while on the cross. But waited for food from His father and the cup He was to drink for all mankind.

    He was merciful, wherever He went he fed the hungry and healed the sick.

    He was pure in heart, Satan could do nothing to defect from His fathers will.

    He was a peace maker, coming to earth to reconcile world to the fathers love.

    Not a contrast but another view of the Sermon on the Mount.


  61. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Yes I know Jesus said that He was the first born among many brethren. So I know by faith and without doubt that He is my brother.
    And no one will “miss out” in His Kingdom.

  62. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Bob, Jesus the first born. Jesus and all his examples stand in contrast to us.

    Tho we strive all of our days to be like Him, there is only one Christ.

    Yet He accepts us just as we are, broken and damaged goods.

    His love for us stands against the judgement of the world.

    Tho we deserve judgement He gives us forgiveness. Love wins out in contrast to everything else.


  63. fluer says:

    God is crazy good!

    I found this site a week or so ago, and was excited to see it existed. I read, and posted.

    My original joy in finding this site was to have fellowship with other believers, and grow in my wisdom of who Christ is, and how we can be Him to others. After reading some post from others, and contemplating my own, I did not like how I felt. My spirit was uneasy, and a little disturbed.

    I did not log on for awhile, in attempt to understand what was going on, and what God was stirring in me.

    This thread seems to address the very thing I was ultimately contemplating. Thank you Mart.

    After much searching, I realize for me, how and why I found/find myself in debates with others. And no real surprise, it is evidence of my woundedness and brokeness.Lol!

    I come from a place where I was consistently put in situations of defense,combat,oppression,etc. In order to be a person, I often found myself in a kinda daily war with those who were supposed to be life givers to me.

    I believe in God, and all that He is and says as TRUTH. I love Him and His truth so very much.

    But where I have continued to error is to “use” this truth as my weapon of protection. His truth does protect me from the lies of this world, but I fear I have been misguided in my attempts to “declare” His truth.

    I also am beginning to see that if this comes out of a place of fear, that I have much work to do with my Father in heaven.

    I am going to pray that God show me how I can walk this out. I do not enjoy, or desire, living out of this mindset that I must prove something to someone ecspecially in discussing God’s beautiful gift to us-His word.

    Saled- I love your words


    Steve- I drink very deeply of alot that you share. And in this thread I loved so much of what you said about this topic of contradictions.

    One thing I agree immensely with is these contradictions are a ” mystery leading to an answer that leads to another mystery”. I hate, and LOVE this truth! :)

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