Alleged Discrepancies Of The Bible -- By: W. E. C. Wright

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 064:256 (Oct 1907)
Article: Alleged Discrepancies Of The Bible
Author: W. E. C. Wright


Alleged Discrepancies Of The Bible

W. E. C. Wright

Olivet, Mich.

In Proverbs 26:4 is the injunction not to answer a fool according to his folly, lest we be like unto him. In the next verse we are enjoined to answer a fool according to his folly,

and an excellent reason is added for sometimes taking this course. The two verses illustrate the wise popular proverb “Circumstances alter cases.” Whether the person who calls them irreconcilable contradictions should be answered or not answered, let each one judge from the circumstances of the particular case in hand.

So when Paul, in the seventh chapter of First Corinthians, advises the unmarried to remain so on account of the imminent distress, and on the other hand, in 1 Timothy 4:14, strongly recommends them to marry and rear children, it simply shows that Paul knew as well as any modern poet that “new occasions bring new duties.”

Matthew and Luke tell us that when Jesus sent out the twelve on an urgent mission of evangelization and healing, he bade them, among other things, to go without a staff. Mark tells us he said go with a staff only. Both reports may be correct. There were twelve of them, and they were to go without delay. Their haste was to be so great that they were not to linger on their mission for polite greetings to acquaintances in the way. They were not to tarry till they could find a wallet or a second coat. If one had a staff, that was enough. If another had no staff, he was not to wait to find one, but must go at once as he was. Thus different specific directions to different individuals yielded the same universal impression of urgent haste.

It is not the purpose of this note to propose a revised edition of the valuable book on this topic compiled by Haley more than thirty years ago. Rather it is a protest against lightly belittling the Bible by declaring that diverse accounts in the Bible are absolutely irreconcilable. An. experience had not long ago with a class in History will show that it is very unsafe to declare that two or more accounts of an event, taken from condensed narratives like those of the Bible, are irreconcilable, even though they seem on their face directly contradictory.

The class in History was studying the French Revolution, using a condensed text-book and having the run of a good

library. When the time of Louis XVL’s execution was reached, the pupils were told to look up the matter in the history alcove, and report next day by what vote the king w...

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