Bible “contradictions”

A Wise Man and A Raging Fool

Friday, October 7, 2016

“A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident” (Proverbs 14:16 KJV).

Let us depart from evil—both in deed, and in word!

Scanning online comments about the Bible, I came across one person railing against the Scriptures. He complained, “Not surprising, 99% of people who believe the Bible is ‘the literal word of god [sic]’ have NEVER read it.” His argument was that Scripture “was filled with the most vile, disgusting, pure evil ever written.” I found it amusing that, rather than tell people to read the Bible, he suggested that if they doubted him, they should read a book that criticized the Bible in the manner he had just done. So, while chastising those who were ignorant of the Bible, he was proclaiming himself to be just as ignorant! (I wonder what percentage of the Bible he actually read before he began critiquing it? He probably read more of the book that condemned the Bible than of the Bible itself!)

In all fairness, he does make a point. Sadly, I believe the Bible skeptics oftentimes take more time to research the Bible than professing Christians. The majority of Christians seems content in knowing just the basics. Skeptics are willing to go deeper in the Bible because they are trying to “catch [God] in His words” (Mark 12:13), “that they might accuse Him” (Matthew 12:10). Yet, compared to people who find the deep truths of the Bible, these raging and “confident” skeptics are also skimming to ascertain the basics. They are not qualified to talk about Scripture either!

Friends, permit me to be foolish, that I may make a point. If God made every last change to the Bible that man wanted—and I do literally mean every last change!—man would still bicker, whine, and sulk. Why? The problem is never the Bible text. The King James Bible text is fine. The problem is the heart of the man looking at the text! He does not want the Bible to be right, lest it prove him wrong! That is just all there is to it, my friends. “…Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Was Jesus ‘heartless’ in Matthew 8:22?

Reading Calvary’s Superscription in 4D

Sunday, November 2, 2014

And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS (Mark 15:26 KJV).

Today’s Scripture proves how one of the Four Gospels can be used to better understand the other three.

Have you ever wondered why there are four Gospel records of the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry? Why do we need the Bible books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Why did the Holy Spirit choose four books instead of having one single account of Jesus Christ’s earthly life and ministry?

The four Gospel records provide unique aspects of Jesus Christ’s earthly life and ministry. Matthew presents Him as King, Mark presents Him as Servant, Luke presents Him as Man, and John presents Him as God. Hence, overall, their records independently verify and complement one another. It is one life and ministry viewed from four perspectives—that is why they do not read 100 percent alike, even when discussing the same events or parables. Throughout history, theologians have gotten themselves into trouble by trying to conflate all four books into one—they have omitted phrases or verses that are unique to one or two of the four books. Today’s Scripture is an example of how all four Gospel records can be used to explain and better understand one another, despite their differences.

Mark said the superscription above Christ’s head on the cross was, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Matthew 27:37 states, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Luke 23:38 says, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” John 19:19 declares, “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” While Bible detractors often contend Bible writers “conspired” to make their books agree, these four varying superscriptions strengthen the case for the independent testimony of the Bible authors. In addition, only Matthew 27:38 and John 19:20 report that the aforementioned superscription was written in Greek, in Latin, and in Hebrew.

So, in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew (the chief languages of Jerusalem at the time), the superscription above Christ’s head read in full, “THIS IS JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Attention: The 2014 Slidell Grace Bible Conference will be held Friday, November 21, to Sunday, November 23. Slidell is 40 minutes’ drive northeast of New Orleans. Speakers are Brothers Richard Jordan, Frank Redman, and Edward Yarber, and myself, Shawn Brasseaux. For more information, see the following flyers.

Swords, Plowshares, and Right Division

Sunday, August 31, 2014

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4 KJV).

Before there is world peace, there must first be world war.

Today’s Scripture is often quoted by Christians and non-Christians to advocate world peace, but they obviously overlook Joel 3:10: “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” Then, to make matters worse, we find today’s Scripture quoted in Micah 4:3: “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

It is Scriptural to “beat … swords into plowshares, and … spears into pruninghooks (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3). It is also Scriptural to “Beat … plowshares into swords, and … pruninghooks into spears(Joel 3:10). Why does God’s Word teach two completely different ideas here? Dispensational Bible study is just as important to Israel as it is to us in the Dispensation of Grace! “Rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) is necessary—to not separate (divide) these passages is to confuse them. Again, Israel must also use the Bible dispensationally.

The key to understanding these “Bible contradictions” is to realize that “beating plowshares into swords and pruninghooks into spears” belongs in one dispensation, and “beating swords into plowshares and spears into pruninghooks” belongs in another dispensation. In Israel’s program, there is a time when war and weapons are necessary, and there is a time when war has ended, peace reigns, and agricultural production increases dramatically.

When we study the contexts of these passages, we learn that Joel 3:10 applies to the wars of the seven-year Tribulation period (especially the Battle of Armageddon), and Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 describe the subsequent Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, when Satan is removed from Earth, and world peace from God will be in effect. What clarity!

Joshua and Jesus

Thursday, May 29, 2014

“For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day” (Hebrews 4:8 KJV).

Why did our scholarly King James translators render this verse in such an oft-derided manner?

Emulating countless others, an arrogant seminary professor once wrote a scathing article about so-called “King James Bible errors.” The wayward professor included today’s Scripture in his list of flaws: he criticized our 1611 translators by arguing that the Greek word they rendered “Jesus” should actually be “Joshua” to fit the context (the modern Bible publishers were thrilled to receive publicity and backing!).

Before we grow angry with God’s Word for being right 100 percent of the time, and before we attack the 400-year-old King James Bible, we would do well to let God teach us instead of us “correcting” Him. A quick lesson in anthroponomastics will cause us to appreciate why our King James Bible says “Jesus” not “Joshua” in Hebrews 4:8 (and Acts 7:45); the related anti-KJB remark will also be manifested as pointless.

“Joshua” is the contracted version of the Hebrew “Jehoshua” (which is pronounced “yahowshuwa”)—Hebrew is the language of most of the Old Testament Scriptures. In Greek, the language of the New Testament, “Joshua” is “Iesous” (ee-ay-sooce), and in English, “Jesus” (meaning “saviour, deliverer;” see Matthew 1:21). Interestingly,  “Jehoshua”/“Joshua”/“Iesous”/“Jesus” means “Jehovah-Saviour” (in English, we pronounce “JEHOVAH,” the name of Israel’s God, as “jahovah,” but in Hebrew, it is pronounced “yahovah”).

Today’s Scripture refers to Israel entering the Promised Land under Joshua, Moses’ successor (recorded in the Old Testament book of Joshua). According to Numbers 27:15-23, which see, Moses said Joshua was to be Israel’s “shepherd,” the man to lead Israel into God’s Holy Land to possess it (God would have then established His earthly kingdom). Historically, Israel rebelled against God by following pagan idols, thereby delaying God’s earthly kingdom. Jesus Christ—Israel’s true Shepherd (John 10:1-30) whom Joshua pictured/typified (see Acts 7:45)—will lead God’s people Israel into her Promised Land to establish His earthly kingdom (see Isaiah 35:1-10; Ezekiel 37:1-28; Hebrews 4:1-11).

Basically, our King James translators alerted us in Hebrews 4:8 that Joshua’s leadership represented Jesus Christ’s future headship of Israel. Our Authorized Version translators are hereby vindicated, and their critics still puzzled! 🙂

Bible Study 102 #5

Monday, March 10, 2014

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to understand the Bible!

God’s will is not simply that we “read and study Scripture” (Satan does that too, Matthew 4:5,6!), but that we “rightly divide” it. God’s will is not simply that we “believe the Gospel” (most Gospels in Scripture are not given to us), but that we believe the Gospel of Grace revealed to us through Paul’s ministry. God’s will is not simply that we “believe Bible doctrine” (there are many truths in Scripture not true about us), but that we believe Bible doctrine that He revealed to us through Paul. God’s will is not simply that we “follow Jesus,” but that we follow the Apostle Paul as he followed Christ.

Religious tradition—that is, a non-dispensational approach to Scripture—makes the Christian life confusing, frustrating, and futile. For years, yea decades, many souls who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as their personal Saviour never have peace about why the Bible instructs something in one passage and says something completely opposite in another. (Where are the pastors and teachers to guide them into God’s truth [Ephesians 4:11,12]? As Colossians 2:8 says, religious tradition has robbed nearly all of them, too!)

We can understand and enjoy the Bible if we simply remember today’s Scripture when studying any Bible passage. God has made distinctions in His Word. We should not blend all Bible passages together—there are programs to be “rightly divided,” apostleships to be “rightly divided,” operating systems to be “rightly divided,” time periods to be “rightly divided,” gospels to be “rightly divided,” and they make perfect sense when we keep them separate as God instructs. What is spoken to Israel is spoken to Israel, not to us. What is spoken to us through Paul is spoken to us, not to Israel.

Dispensational Bible study is the only method of Bible study that will ever lead you to sound conclusions about Scripture. It allows us to find out what God is doing today, and by faith, we can join Him in doing the same….

Bible Study 101 #15

Sunday, January 19, 2014

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

The only verse that tells you to study the Bible also tells you how to study the Bible!

Taking even a brief survey at the overwhelming doctrinal confusion in Christendom, one can be quite startled. What is more unfathomable is that all of it could have been avoided by applying a single verse (today’s Scripture). Alas, sin greatly complicates God’s creation. The human mind that thought it acceptable to disobey God that first time and usher in this current period of suffering, despair, and confusion, is the same mind that approached God’s Word without regarding His instructions on how to use it, and brought in yet another wave of suffering, despair, and confusion!

As it is said, the Bible is truly the world’s most marvelous Book. After all, God has “magnified [it] above all [his] name” (Psalm 138:2). God’s name is above all, and He set His Word even above that! As it is said, “A man is only as good as his word.” Unless we approach the Bible dispensationally, bearing in mind the distinctions God has made in it, we magnify it not, we stumble over the “contradictions,” and then we become vulnerable to such apostasy and heresy because we begin to wonder if God ever told the truth in it!

For the troubled Christian soul who struggles with discerning God’s will, and for the lost soul who struggles with what Gospel in the Bible to believe, turn not to religious tradition! Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, have the answers you seek. Start reading your Bible in Romans to learn God’s will for your eternal salvation and daily sanctification.

May we trust Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, that His death, burial, and resurrection are sufficient payment for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3,4; cf. Romans 4:24,25). May we find a King James Bible and trust it alone. May we study that Holy Bible rightly divided, as God instructs us. Finally, may we believe it, and thereby have joy and peace (Romans 15:13)! 🙂

Note: At least four more 15-day devotionals arcs—“Bible Study 102,” “Bible Study 103,” and “Bible Study 104”—are in development, and will be posted in the near future. Stay tuned for these increasingly advanced studies.

Words Spoken at Baptism?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19 KJV).

How do we resolve these instructions with what the Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:38?

Water baptism, the most divisive issue within Christendom, is rightly called “religious TNT.” There is tremendous confusion about water baptism. Who should administer it (priest, pastor, deacon)? What is the proper mode (sprinkling, pouring, immersion)? What words should be said? Who should be water baptized (adults only, or adults and babies)? How many times forward and backward? Where should it occur? For salvation, for a testimony, or not at all?

Confusion especially arises regarding today’s Scripture and Acts 2:38. Post-resurrection, Jesus commissioned His apostles: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (today’s Scripture). Yet, read Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Which is it? Water baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” as Jesus Christ declared (Matthew 28:19)? Or, be baptized “in the name of Jesus Christ,” as the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter taught (Acts 2:38)? Even today, some denominations follow Matthew 28:19 while others obey Acts 2:38, fervently accusing each other of not having the valid baptism!

Resolving the apparent contradiction between Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:38 is as simple as reading and believing the verses and their context. To whom does Matthew 28:19 refer? “All nations”Gentiles—just as the verse says. Whom does Acts 2:38 involve? “All the house of Israel(verse 36).

Matthew 28:19 refers to believing Gentiles in Christ’s millennial kingdom (verse 20) being cleansed from their pagan idolatry and embracing the triune Godhead, the only true God. Acts 2:38 is God’s plan of salvation for Israel: Peter is instructing Jews to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Person they rejected and crucified on Calvary’s cross.