Contribute: Let's explain seemingly biblical contradictions

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Aki, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. Aki

    Aki
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    i don't know if this has already been done, but i think this is going to be a good help for everyone, especially if many will be contributing what they know on explanation on scriptures that, at first glance, seem to contradict each other.

    let me start, but with a common one:

    Text: Eph. 2:8-9 vs. James 2:17
    Issue: Faith with or without works?

    Explanation: this do not actually contradict. true, it is faith without works which is required for salvation (Ephesians). however, such faith, if true, will produce works (James). it is not the case of faith plus works equals salvation. it is simply faith equals salvation, but such a faith, if true, will result to works.

    i think it will also help if anyone who sees a contradiction in the bible but cannot explain it ask here for help.
     
  2. npetreley

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    Eternal security vs. losing your salvation

    There are many passages for the former, but the one I've seen most often cited as the "contradiction" indicating we can lose our salvation is Hebrews 6, starting with verse 4:

    IMO, the problem is that people don't read on to the next verse...

    If the former verses 4-8 are talking about saved people who risk losing their salvation, then this contrast would make no sense. The author is basically saying, "BUT [indicating a contrast] we are confident of better things concerning you -- the things that accompany salvation" As opposed to what? "As opposed to the people/things I just mentioned, which are not indicative of salvation".
     
  3. Artimaeus

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    Is it six or seven? Are all seven abominations but God only hates six of them? I have never heard a good explanation of this verse.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    Is it six or seven? Are all seven abominations but God only hates six of them? I have never heard a good explanation of this verse. </font>[/QUOTE]There are 7 and God hates all 7. It's called "poetic language". [​IMG]

    The Bible is full of this sort of thing, but most people seem to miss it because of a faulty literalistic way of approaching the scripture as a book of systematic theology instead of the story of a loving God reaching to His people.
     
  5. Helen

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    Artimaeus, it's an idiomatic phrase used poetically. Consider all seven!

    I was asked to do some research a few years ago on some listed 'contradictions' in the Bible which are on the net and they may help in some areas. I was helped at the time by Barry, Dr. Bernard Northrup, and several other men who were able to feed me some very good information. There are here:

    http://www.ldolphin.org/flank.html

    another list (there may be some duplications) is here:

    ==========


    (a) the bat is a bird (Lev. 19:19, Deut. 14:11, 18)

    We have an unfortunate tendency to see things through our own eyes and figure that those who don't see things the way we do are wrong. The Linnean taxonomic system, and our more extended one, were not only not known to the ancient Hebrews, such distinctions would have served them no purpose and thus would probably not have interested them. If one notices in the verses cited, as well as many other places in the Bible, the animals are classified by locomotion. Flying animals were classed with birds, including bats. Swimming animals were classified with fish, including whales and dolphins. The only problem with verses such as these is our own myopic ethnocentricity.


    (b) Some fowls are four-footed (Lev. 11:20-21)

    This is present in the King James Version, otherwise known as the Authorized Version. Somewhere in the versions that had come down and from which the KJV was translated, there was an apparent change of words here. The word in this verse, which is translated by the KJV as "fowl" is owph, or op. While the normal translation for this is "bird" or "fowl," it can also be translated as "winged" or "winged creature." In the meantime, the modern translations have had the advantage of access to much older manuscripts than the KJV translators had. These older texts did not have the word owph in this passage, but instead, had the word seres, which is a rather generic word for "creatures," and is interpreted according to context. Thus, the most precise translation of that verse might be "All flying creatures that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you..." In this context, "insects" is the obvious translation, especially as the following verses, defining what is meant, are referring specifically to insects.


    (c) Some creeping insects have four legs. (Lev. 11:22-23)

    As in the first objection, regarding bats and birds, the response here is that the classification had to do with locomotion. Animals which did not walk or hop on two legs were "four-legged". This also differentiated the insects from the birds, as both the words owph and seres were general enough to be able to apply to both. That the number four was used idiomatically can also be seen in Proverbs, in verses such as 30:15: "There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, 'Enough!'" Thus, grasshoppers, spiders, and centipedes would all be classified as "four-legged." They were not two-legged. But, like birds, they flew.


    (d) Hares chew the cud (Lev. 11:6)

    The clue here is in the meaning of 'cud.' Rabbits and hares pass two kinds of stools. One is feces. The other is a mucous-covered green pellet which the rabbit will re-ingest, licking it off its anus. These are generally passed in the early morning hours. If cud is defined as being only what a ruminant, or animal with a special stomach division which brings up food for chewing, can have, then rabbits and hares do not chew the cud. However if cud is defined as undigested matter which is re-ingested, then rabbits and hares certainly do chew the cud. Here again we have a grouping which includes a unique group with a general group, in much the same way bats were included with the birds. It makes perfectly good sense seen from their point of view.


    (e) Conies chew the cud (Lev. 11:5)

    The word for coney here is shaphan, or sapan. The Strongs' Concordance lists it as a kind of rock rabbit and thus probably the coney, or hyrax. In other words, the precise meaning of this word is not known.


    (f) Camels don't divide the hoof (Lev. 11:4)

    Please find the following explanation here:
    http://re-xs.ucsm.ac.uk/cupboard/exam/examsupp/dloads/jud/jew21.htm

    There are two things that tell if an animal is kosher. Firstly its hooves are completely parted at the bottom to form two horny pads, and secondly if it chews the cud. Cows, sheep, goats and deer are the common animals that have both these features and so these are kosher. Pigs, whilst they do have split hooves do not chew the cud are so are not kosher, likewise camels while they chew the cud only have partially split hooves and so are also not kosher.

    Cow/Sheep Camel Horse

    (Split hoof) (Partially split hoof) (Non split hoof)


    (g) The earth was formed out of and by means of water (2 Peter 3:5 RSV)

    Yes, it was.


    (h) The earth rest on pillars (1 Sam. 2:8)

    This word in 1 Samuel 2:8 is translated "pillars" in the KJV and "foundations" in the NIV and others. The word in the Hebrew is masuq. It is used only twice in the Bible. Let's look at the way it is translated in each of these Bibles the only other time it is used, in 1 Samuel 14:5:

    KJV: "The forefront of the one was situated northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah."

    NIV: "One cliff stood to the north toward Micmash, the other to the south, toward Geba."

    The word masuq means "something narrow," which the KJV translators decided would be like a column, or pillar. However the Bible was ahead of the scientific knowledge of that time, for the rocky crust of the earth is indeed narrow. It is also our foundation and we are situated upon it.


    (i) The earth won't be moved (1Chron. 16:30)

    It is still exactly where it should be in space -- in the only possible orbit which will sustain life as we have it. It has not been moved out of where it should be. It should be noted that this verse does not say that the earth itself will not move. It will not "be moved" which means forced out of where it should be.


    (j) A hare does not divide the hoof (Deut. 14:7)

    By taking this one out of context the implication is that the verse says a hare has a hoof. The Bible does not say that. The verse should be read in context. The point is being made that clean animals -- those which can be eaten -- have BOTH a split hoof and chew the cud. The hare, although it does one, does not have the other. Text without context is pretext.


    (k) The rainbow is not as old as rain and sunshine (Gen. 9:13)

    That verse does not say that, or imply it. If there were any rain before the Flood of Noah, it would have been over the seas and at night. No rainbow would have been seen. Genesis 9:13 refers to God setting the rainbow in the clouds, to be seen in the daytime. This is what was new. Rain over land in the daytime was not something that happened before the Flood. The implication here is of the drastic changes the earth had undergone atmospherically from antediluvian times.


    (l) A mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds and grows into the
    greatest of all shrubs (Matt. 13:31-32 RSV)

    The mustard seed was the smallest seed used by the farmers in Israel at that time. Under favorable conditions it could grow more than ten feet in height. [NIV text notes]


    (m) Turtles have voices (Song of Sol. 2:12)

    This is made quite clear in all Concordances -- the reference is to the turtle dove. The word "dove" is used in the modern translations. The word is the exact same word used for turtle doves in all other passages. Who knows why the KJV translators chose only the "turtle" part?


    (n) The earth has ends or edges (Job 37:3)

    This is an idiom we still use today, and it is used the same way in Job. "The ends of the earth" has a meaning that has come down through the languages and cultures and should not cause any thinking person a problem.


    (o) The earth has four corners (Isa. 11:12, Rev. 7:1)

    Even our weathermen today agree with this! They are either north, east, south, and west, or, alternatively, north-east, north-west, south-west, and south-east. Again, the Bible uses the same idioms we do today and, again, no thinking person will find this difficult to understand.


    (p) Some 4-legged animals fly (Lev. 11:21)

    This was discussed in (b).


    (q) The world's languages didn't evolve but appeared suddenly (Gen.11:6-9)

    The time frame for the changing of the languages is not given in Genesis or anywhere else in the Bible. The fact was that the languages were confused, branching off from the one original language. This might have happened miraculously in the space of moments or it might have taken some time after the Babel catastrophe drove people from the area. Again, the timing is not indicated here.


    (r) A fetus can understand speech (Luke 1:44)

    That is not what this verse says. This sort of comment is, however, typical of those who try to "prove" the Bible wrong. The passage states that when the baby inside Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary's voice, he jumped or leaped "for joy." The first thing that should be noted here is that there is no doubt about babies in utero being able to hear outside sounds. The second thing that should be noted is that this takes place during the miraculous happening of Mary's pregnancy with Jesus. That a baby in utero should react to the presence of the Lord is no more strange than any other person reacting to Him. Even those who deny Him are reacting quite strongly to Him.

    Second List

    (a) David took seven hundred (2 Sam. 8:4), seven thousand (1 Chron. 18:4) horsemen from Hadadezer

    Modern translations, which have access to the older manuscripts, agree on seven thousand for both verses. This was probably a copyist error during the Middle Ages.


    (b) Ahaziah was 22 (2 Kings 8:26), 42 (2 Chron. 22:2) years old when he began to reign

    The correct age is 22, as listed in the Septuagint and the older manuscripts. Again, this was probably a copyist error in 2 Chronicles.


    (c) Jehoiachin was 18 (2 Kings 24:8), 8 (2 Chron. 36:9) years old when he began to reign and he reigned 3 months (2 Kings 24:8), 3 months and10 days (2 Chron. 36:9)

    Most of the Hebrew manuscripts, taken from the Masoretic, show this discrepancy in the age of Jehoiachin when he became king. However the Septuagint, translated from paleo Hebrew to classical Greek several hundred years earlier by Hebrew scholars themselves, does not have this discrepancy and both verses list his age as 18 when he started to reign. The second part of this "problem" is simply silly. Three months and ten days would be referred to by most people as three months. Chronicles is simply a little more detailed here.


    (d) There were in Israel 800,000 (2 Sam. 24:9); 1,100,000 (1 Chron. 21:5) men that drew the sword and there were 500,000 (2 Sam. 24:9), 470,000 (1 Chron. 21:5) men that drew the sword in Judah

    The reason for this discrepancy is unknown. It may be related to a difference in the records each author had access to or it may be copyist error.


    (e) There were 550 (1 Kings 9:23), 250 (2 Chron. 8:10) chiefs of the officers that bare the rule over the people

    In 1 Kings 5:16 we are given 3300 foremen. Adding the number of chief officers in 1 Kings 9:23, we have a total of 3,850 men. In 2 Chronicles 2:2, reference is made to 3600 foremen, which, when added to the chief officers in verse 8:10 yields, again 3,850 men. This implies simply a difference in categorizing various ranks.


    (f) Saul's daughter, Michal, had no sons (2 Sam. 6:23), had 5 sons (2 Sam. 21:6) during her lifetime

    It's too bad this person was in such a hurry to mock the Bible that he or she could not get the second reference right. The second verse is 2 Samuel 21:8. There are two different translations of this verse in the old manuscripts, however NEITHER of them say that Michal had the five sons. The verse can read either

    "...and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite."

    Or

    "... together with the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab, whom she had born to Adriel....etc."

    Now, if the woman was Michal, they were adopted sons, and possibly her nephews, as indicated in the first quote, which is from the King James. If the woman was Merab there is again no problem. Michal herself was childless.


    (g) Lot was Abraham's nephew (Gen. 14:12), brother (Gen. 14:14)

    The term "brother" used in Genesis 14:14 is the same term used for "relative" which is how the verse is translated in other versions. The King James, from which is the reference here, does not use the term "relative" once in the Bible. The word, however, in the Hebrew is 'ach, which is a primary root meaning close relative or even someone that bears a close resemblance. It generally indicates kindred, however. It is used 632 times in the Bible and is translated in a variety of ways depending on context.

    Which gives me an opening to wonder how those who try to make these lists, mocking the Bible, can claim any kind of equality among men when they are willing to consider the Jewish people too stupid not to notice this "discrepancy" within two verses of each other. It rather seems to me that it is the person trying to tear down the Bible who is showing his or her own stupidity in not taking the few moments with a Concordance that is needed to check these things and not make a fool of oneself.


    (h) Joseph was sold into Egypt by Midianites (Gen. 37:36), by Ishmaelites (Gen. 39:1)

    The Ishmaelites WERE the Midianites. See Judges 8:22,24,26)


    (i) Saul was killed by his own hands (1 Sam. 31:4), by a young Amalekite (2 Sam. 1:10), by the Philistines (2 Sam. 21:12)

    Saul committed suicide. The young Amalekite of 2 Samuel, chapter 1, was trying to impress David and fabricated the story of killing Saul. His miscalculations cost him his life. The reference to the Philistines striking Saul down is a reference to the entire battle. Again, I am amazed at the implied insult "questioners" like this make to the Hebrews. They knew these stories by heart. This was their history. If there were really conflicts such as this implies, one would think that someone in all those generations would have noticed! Either that or, of course, these are really not conflicting accounts...


    (j) Solomon made of a molten sea which contained 2,000 (1 Kings 7:26), 3,000 (2 Chron. 4:5) baths

    The Septuagint does not have what we know as verse 26 of 1 Kings 7. Being the more ancient of the translations (comparing the Septuagint and the Masoretic), it is possible that the verse was added between the two translations, possibly as a note of explanation. The difference in the volumes would either be memory error from the person adding the verse or copyist error later.


    (k) The workers on the Temple had 3,300 (1 Kings 5:16), 3,600 (2 Chron. 2:18) overseers

    see (e) above. This has got to be embarrassing for the person who made this list...


    (l) The earth does (Eccle. 1:4), does not (2 Peter 3:10) abideth forever

    Ecclesiastes is poetry, first of all. Secondly, the comparison is being made there between the short lives of men and the continuity of the earth. Thirdly, the entire book is written from the point of view of worldly wisdom and its futility. The person who wrote this list would do well to pay attention to that. In contrast, 2 Peter is describing the end of the entire creation. This is not poetry but prophecy. There is no conflict between the two verses.


    (m) If Jesus bears witness of himself his witness is true (John 8:14), is not true (John 5:31)

    Jesus Himself qualifies His words in John 8:14, saying, "IF I testify about myself, my testimony is valid..." John 5:31 is dealing with the legal requirement of two witnesses. John 8:14 is dealing with the intrinsic truthfulness of what Jesus says.


    (n) Josiah died at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29-30), at Jerusalem (2 Chron. 35:24)

    The correct answer is probably in 2 Kings. It is the more detailed account. In addition, Hebrew has no past perfect tense, so the 2 Chronicles account could just as easily be interpreted "and he had died..." Some of the modern translations insert the word "where" regarding Jerusalem, but this word is not found in the Septuagint or in the King James Version, which is the one this list-maker seems to be referring to.


    (o) Jesus led Peter, James, and John up a high mountain after six (Matt. 17:1, Mark 9:2), eight (Luke 9:28) days

    Luke says "about eight days." Luke derived his material from interviews; he was not an eyewitness. The term "eight days" was idiomatic for a week, which was determined from Sabbath to Sabbath. Therefore something taking place on a Friday, followed by something else taking place eight days later on the following Sabbath , eight days later, would be considered a week. If Luke was told "about a week later," that would have naturally translated into "about eight days later," as a matter of idiom rather than counting.

    Note from a respondent: If you look at Luke 9:37, it implies that it took them a day to come down the mountain, which was probably Mt. Hermon (tradition often says the Transfiguration took place on Mt. Tabor. However, there were buildings on top of Mt. Tabor at the time of Jesus, and so it is most probably not this mountain they climbed for this event.). It would therefore take a day, at least, to get up the mountain. Therefore on the sixth day they arrived at the base of the mountain, took a day to climb, and the Transfiguration would have been the next day.


    (p) Nebuzaradan came unto Jerusalem on the seventh (2 Kings 25:8), tenth (Jer. 52:12) day of the fifth month.

    Note from a respondent: There is no error here if one looks at the prepositions involved. 2 Kings says he came "unto" Jerusalem and Jeremiah states he came "into" Jerusalem. His arrival at and entry into Jerusalem were therefore different days. This is indicating the army was encamped about Jerusalem for three days before they entered and destroyed it.

    =============

    Hope that helps a little.
     
  6. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    Here’s one:

    Jesus told the disciples not to acquire these supplies for their mission, but the possibility seems to be that they could take modest supplies for their journeys.

    Jesus told the disciples to take nothing except a single staff for their journey.

    Jesus says that the disciples should not take anything at all, not even a staff.


    How do you those of you who are inerrantists reconcile these three passages? Do you believe these are somehow three different groups of disciples?
     
  7. Artimaeus

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    Thanks, Baptist Believer, I don't have any problem with poetic language and I don't consider this a contradiction, it is just that I never did "get" the poetry.

    Helen, thank you also for your post. Believe it or not I read every word. VERY interesting and worth the time. Although, I think I could have enjoyed the rest of my life quite nicely thank you without knowing about the rabbit cud. :eek: :D
     
  8. npetreley

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    It does seem weird at first, doesn't it? I'm used to it now, but it seemed very odd to me at first. But the same poetic style is used over and over again. There are several examples where it says "There are X things, yes X+1 that blah blah blah..."
     
  9. Aki

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    hey, i also appreciate the peotic thing. Thanks [​IMG]

    To Helen,

    thanks for clarifying things out. indeed, there are many contradictions in details in the books of Samuel and The Kings as against Chronicles.

    however, are we to believe that the original manuscripts do not contain those contradictions? also, how are we to answer when people attack the bible's inspiration given such inaccuracies.

    here's one seemingly contradiction:

    how come Jesus Christ would seek the lost when in fact it is the Father who will draw people to him anyway? well, i do not have an explanation for this.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    how come Jesus Christ would seek the lost when in fact it is the Father who will draw people to him anyway? well, i do not have an explanation for this. </font>[/QUOTE]Simple. The Son has come to seek. The Father is drawing people to the Son. God is active in both "directions" or sides of the relationship.
     
  11. Larry in Tennessee

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    Has man ever seen God or not?

    John 1:18 vs Exodus 24:9-11

    No one has seen God at any time. The only begotton Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (John 1:18)

    Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank. (Exodus 24:9-11)

    Answer: This question, imo, is answered in John 1:18. No man has seen God the Father at any time. It is God the Son who has decalred Him, in the NT in the person of Jesus, and also in the OT whenever someone either saw or communicated with God.
     
  12. Helen

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    Note: I started this several hours ago! Got interrupted, so there may be some new posts in between the ones I am responding to and this one. [​IMG]

    ==========

    Artimaeus – sorry bout the cud :D . But it’s one of the silly things the Bible detractors bring up, so at least now you know. If you need backup on the net, go to Google search and type in something like ‘rabbit cud’ or ‘rabbit “digestive system”’ or something like that. It’s there.

    Aki – obviously the original manuscripts did not include the copyist errors! The identification of animals is according to their own method, so that is not a contradiction; that is just a matter of the lack of our understanding. Some of the seeming ‘contradictions’ are idiomatic usages, and that does take some study of the Hebrew language and culture – with a good example being ‘six things that God hates…seven…’ and that kind of thing.

    Remember also that the history books were written by either eyewitnesses or court historians. As such, some official records varied from each other. These sorts of things, though, have nothing to do with the material regarding God’s relationship to man, which is what the Bible is about. They simply show man’s fallibility. The idea of inerrancy should not mean that we get cookie-cutter historical renditions. Look at all the accounts we have of different battles from different points of view in WWII. Or just ask my kids about any of their own life experiences and there is a very good chance that Mommy (me) will have some different memories of the exact same events. This does not nullify the events, nor does it show that anyone is lying! It’s the way humans are.

    In the theological areas, however, seeming contradictions MUST be resolved, for this is the core of the Bible..

    So the one you bring up is important. You referred to a seeming contradiction between these two verses:

    Mt 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

    John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.


    Now, the MOST important thing to remember is context. Pulling a verse out by itself is an invitation to misunderstanding.

    First, Matthew 18:11 is not in all manuscripts. That does not nullify it; it is just an interesting point. However, it is also important to remember that this verse in Matthew precedes immediately the story of the lost sheep. The lost sheep belongs to the flock already, and Jesus says the owner will leave the 99 and go out looking for the one who wandered off (for which many of us are extremely grateful!). So if verse 11, when included, is taken in context, it would be almost as an introduction to the parable of the lost sheep.

    Now let’s look at John 6:44 in context:
    I want to go a little slowly, because this is very important when discussing these things either in terms of predestination or with Catholics. Starting at verse 35

    35: Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
    Note here that the argument against transubstantiation starts here. Coming to Jesus is to receive the bread of life and believing in Him is to receive the water. These are explained here.

    36: ”But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.”
    Jesus is facing them with an accusation – here He is, right before their eyes, the Messiah long awaited, but they refuse to believe.

    37: ”All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”
    This does appear to be predestination, but it must be checked to see if there is something determining who the Father is going to give to Christ.

    38: ”For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”
    Now this is an interesting thing for Christ to say, for we know He is one with the Father, so where does this other will come from? It must be part of His human nature. In other words, Christ knows (as evidenced in Gethsemane as well) the struggle of having two wills inside of Him – the human and the divine wills.

    39: ”And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.”
    This, then, is God’s will for the Son.

    40: ”For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
    And this is the Father’s will for men – to look to the Son and believe on Him. This is key, and often overlooked by some who concentrate on the verses that seem to indicate predestination.

    So far, here is the pattern of these verses:
    35. Jesus identifies Himself theologically
    36. The reaction of some is noted.
    37. The actions of the Father
    38. The purpose of the Son
    39. The will of the Father for the Son
    40. The will of the Father for men (mankind as individuals).

    41: At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
    The first reaction is not questioning, which would be done if a respected leader said something which was not initially understood. This is important to note for the rest of the discussion between them which follows. As a point of contrast, please remember Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus in chapter 3. The discussion is respectful and Nicodemus asks instead of ‘grumbles’ when he does not understand something.

    42: They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
    Refusing Jesus on a spiritual and theological level – a sign of utmost disrespect, by the way – they concentrate on the physical.

    43: ”Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered.
    Jesus knows very well what is going on.

    44: ”No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
    There’s the verse. It is basically a repeat. But what does it really mean? Jesus Himself explains in the very next verse. And this is also what we have to be careful to always look for – Bible explains Bible, and very often Jesus Himself explains His own meaning clearly. Look at the next verse.

    45: ”It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.”
    Thus there is the responsibility on man to pay attention to God Himself. This is exactly in line with the famous passage by Paul in Romans 1 in which he says, ”The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who SUPPRESS THE TRUTH by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” And then, again, in verse 28 of that same chapter: Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to RETAIN the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

    So now, back to the question about John 6:44. If we put it together with the other parts of the Bible, including Jesus’ own immediately following explanation, then God will draw to Jesus all those who look to Jesus and believe on Him, not rejecting the truth of God which has been revealed to them – and to us all.

    So not only is verse 44 not saying what it seems to be saying when taken out of context, but it has no relationship at all to the verse about Jesus looking for the lost – for the contextual meaning there is looking for a wandering sheep who is already His but who has followed his own silly nose away from the Shepherd.
     
  13. tnelson

    tnelson
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    In the book of Malachi, God said of Himself, "I, the Lord, do not change"(3:16). With Him "there is no variation or shifting shadow" (Jas.1:17).

    Biblical passages that imply God can change confuse some people. For example, Genesis 6:6-7: "The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart, and the Lord said, I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."

    Think about this: Whose character changed? Not God's. He created people to do good, but instead, they changed and chose to do evil.

    In the book of Jonah we see another often misunderstood passage. When God saw the inhabitants of Nineveh turn from their sin, He "relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it"(3:10).

    But again, who changed? Not God. He showed mercy to Nineveh not because He Himself repented, but because the people did.

    There is change round about Him[God], change in the relations of men to Him, but ther is no change in His Being, His attributes, His purpose, His motives of action, or His promises.
    Louis Berkhof

    mike
     
  14. Lorelei

    Lorelei
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    Jesus told the disciples not to acquire these supplies for their mission, but the possibility seems to be that they could take modest supplies for their journeys.

    Jesus told the disciples to take nothing except a single staff for their journey.

    Jesus says that the disciples should not take anything at all, not even a staff.


    How do you those of you who are inerrantists reconcile these three passages? Do you believe these are somehow three different groups of disciples?
    </font>[/QUOTE]In Luke and Matthew the word staff is plural, therefore they were not to bring an extra staff, just like they weren't to bring extra sandals etc.

    ~Lorelei
     
  15. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    Certainly God’s character and nature did not change, but He did change His attitude toward His creation at that time.

    Again, God’s character and nature did not change, but He did change His plans according to the actions of the people… That’s very clear if you believe what the scripture clearly teaches here.

    Please show me scripture that indicates that the living God is static in action and attitudes.
     
  16. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    Jesus told the disciples not to acquire these supplies for their mission, but the possibility seems to be that they could take modest supplies for their journeys.

    Jesus told the disciples to take nothing except a single staff for their journey.

    Jesus says that the disciples should not take anything at all, not even a staff.


    How do you those of you who are inerrantists reconcile these three passages? Do you believe these are somehow three different groups of disciples?
    </font>[/QUOTE]In Luke and Matthew the word staff is plural, therefore they were not to bring an extra staff, just like they weren't to bring extra sandals etc.
    </font>[/QUOTE]But Luke quotes Jesus as instructing the disciples NOT to take a staff and says nothing about sandals. Mark says to take nothing EXCEPT a staff and sandals. Matthew quotes Jesus as instructing the disciples not to gather ADDITIONAL items for the journey (as in extra supplies) for the journey.

    The problem remains.
     
  17. tnelson

    tnelson
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    If Scripture speaks of His repenting, changing His intention, and altering His relation to sinners when they repent, we should remember that this is only an anthropopathic way of speaking. In reality the change is not in God, but in man and in man's relations to God. (Systematic Theology Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1941,p.59).

    The way a person stands before God dictates what happens to him or her. You can't blame the sun for melting wax and hardening clay. The difference is in the substance of those objects, not in the sun. God never changes. He will continue to reward good and to punish evil. Moses wrote of God's unchanging character this way:

    Num.23:19
    God is not a man, that He should lie,
    Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
    Has He said, and will He not do it?
    Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

    mike
     
  18. Lorelei

    Lorelei
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    It is my understanding that the word used in the original languages meant a plural form of the word staff. The same word was used in all three verses.

    Word for staff - rhabdos
    Word that was used in all of these verses - rabdon (staffs)

    Since I am not versed myself in the original languages, I could be wrong, but this is based upon reading some people who are.

    ~Lorelei
     
  19. RaptureReady

    RaptureReady
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    Jesus told the disciples not to acquire these supplies for their mission, but the possibility seems to be that they could take modest supplies for their journeys.

    Jesus told the disciples to take nothing except a single staff for their journey.

    Jesus says that the disciples should not take anything at all, not even a staff.


    How do you those of you who are inerrantists reconcile these three passages? Do you believe these are somehow three different groups of disciples?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Different times.?

    P.S. There are no contradictions in the Bible.
     
  20. NarrowWay

    NarrowWay
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    IMO, the problem is that people don't read on to the next verse...

    If the former verses 4-8 are talking about saved people who risk losing their salvation, then this contrast would make no sense. The author is basically saying, "BUT [indicating a contrast] we are confident of better things concerning you -- the things that accompany salvation" As opposed to what? "As opposed to the people/things I just mentioned, which are not indicative of salvation".
    </font>[/QUOTE]It's clear to me that this means exactly the opposite. The author is saying in the first part that losing one's salvation IS something to be very concerned about. He then goes on to say that he expects that those to whom he's speaking will not turn from the narrow path but rather will persevere until then end and be saved.
     

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