Inerrancy Or Discrepancy Between Parallel Accounts In Judges 4:17-22 And 5:24-27? -- By: René A. López

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 12:35 (Mar 2008)
Article: Inerrancy Or Discrepancy Between Parallel Accounts In Judges 4:17-22 And 5:24-27?
Author: René A. López


Inerrancy Or Discrepancy Between Parallel Accounts In Judges 4:17-22 And 5:24-27?

René A. López

Ph.D. Cand., Dallas Theological Seminary
Pastor, Iglesia Bíblica Nuestra Fe (Dallas, TX)

A careful study of the prose account of Judges 4:17–22 compared to the poetic account of 5:24–27 reveals apparent discrepancies. At a glimpse, one can see that the poetic description of Sisera’s death by Jael lacks some elements mentioned in the prose. On the other hand, the poetic account in 5:24–27 adds various things not found in the prose account of 4:17–22. Some have suggested discrepancies exist between these accounts.1 Is that correct, or is it a matter of understanding how prose and poetic accounts function? Discrepancies in the passages, of course, undermine the inerrancy of Scripture, besides causing believers to question the accuracy of other areas of the Bible.

The objective of this article is to answer the question: “Why are there distinctions between the accounts of Judges 4:17–22 and 5:24–27?” Hence one may ask, “Are there discrepancies in the text or can distinctions in both parallel accounts be justified while maintaining the inerrancy of the Scriptures?”

First, it will be best to contrast both accounts in order to show omissions, additions and differences in style. Then a comparison of the contents and defining features between prose and poetry will be considered. Finally a proposal will be suggested in keeping with the rules of poetry while honoring the integrity of Scripture.

Contrasts Between Judges 4:17-22 And 5:24-27

v 17 However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

v 24 “Most blessed among woman is The wife of Heber the Kenite; Blessed is she among women in tents.

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