Does God incite David to conduct the
census of his people (2 Samuel 4:1), or does Satan (1
Chronicles 21:1)? Easy.
Both God and Satan incited David to conduct the census of
2 Samuel 24:9 gives the total
population for Israel as 800,000, whereas 1 Chronicles 21:5
says it was 1,100,000.
report in 2 Samuel 24 uses the Hebrew word is hayil, which
means "mighty men," or those ready for battle. 1 Chronicles
21 does not use this word. The total population was
1,100,000 and of these people, 800,000 were ready for
2 Samuel 24:9 gives the round figure
Of 500,000 fighting men in Judah, which was 30,000 more than
the corresponding item in 1 Chronicles 21:5.
This isn't a contradiction at all, because 1
Chronicles 21:6 clearly states that Joab did not complete
the numbering. So the different numbers indicate the
exclusion of particular groups in the nation that never got
2 Samuel 24:13 mentions that there
will be seven years of famine whereas 1 Chronicles 21:12
mentions only three.
the result of a translation error. While the Septuagint uses
the word "seven" in 2 Samuel 24:13, ancient Hebrew
manuscripts use the word "three" in both passages. Because
the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, the
Hebrew manuscripts are more accurate. When the Hebrew
manuscripts were translated into Greek to make the
Septuagint, the translators mistranslated the "three" in 2
Samuel 24:13 as "seven." As a result, the English versions
of the Old Testament which were translated from the
Septuagint may use the word "seven," but this error has been
corrected in most modern English versions.
Was Ahaziah 22 (2 Kings 8:26) or 42
(2 Chronicles 22:2) when he began to rule over Jerusalem?
this is the result of a translation error. While the
Septuagint uses the word "fortytwo" in 2 Chronicles 22:2,
ancient Hebrew manuscripts use the word "twentytwo" in both
passages. Because the Old Testament was originally written
in Hebrew, the Hebrew manuscripts are more accurate. When
the Hebrew manuscripts were translated into Greek to make
the Septuagint, the translators mistranslated the "fortytwo"
in Chronicles 22:2 as "twentytwo." As a result, thenglish
versions of the Old Testament which were translated from the
Septuagint may use the word "twentytwo," but this error has
been corrected in mo st modern English versio ns.
Was Jehoiachin 18 years old (2 Kings
24:8) or 8 years old (2 Chronicles 36:9) when he became king
the result of an error in copying. All ancient manuscripts
use "eighteen" in 2 Kings 24:8. However, one Hebrew
manuscript and a few Septuagint manuscripts use "eight" in 2
Chronicles 36:9. As a result, theEnglish versions which were
translated from those manuscripts may also use "eight."
However, it is clear that the manuscripts that use
"eighteen" in 2 Chronicles 36:9 are the correct manuscripts,
not only because the majority of ancient manuscripts
(especially those in Hebrew) use "eighteen," but because all
manuscripts confirm that "eighteen" is the correct number in
2 Kings 24:8. This error has been corrected in most modern
Did king Jehoiachin rule over
Jerusalem for three months (2 Kings 24:8), or for three
months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)?
Three months and ten days. The writer of 2
Chronic les was precise when recording the length of
Jehoiachinís reign. The author of 2 Kings simply rounded off
to three months when recording the length of Jeho iachinís
reign, because the extra ten days was not significant enough
to record. If it was, it would have been recorded in both
passages. Rounding is actually quite co mmo n in Old
Testament records. When scribes recorded the lengths of the
reigns of kings, they would thet imes round it off. For this
reason, the lengt hs of reigns of kings recorded in the Old
Testament are not meant to be taken literally, but were
recorded as basic approximations.
Did the chief of the mighty men of
David lift up his spear and killed 800 men (2 Samuel 23:8)
or only 300 men (1 Chronicles 11:11)?
this is probably the result of a error in copying. Many
Hebrew and Septuagint manuscripts use "eight hundred" in 1
Chron. 11:11. 2 Samuel 23:8 confirms that "eight hundred" is
t he correct number. However, keep in mind that the ancient
manuscripts that use "three hundred" in 1 Chronicles 11:11
could st ill be correct if theyíre talking about a different
battle than the one in which eight hundred men were killed
in 2 Samuel23:8. It is always possible that each of these
records refers to a different battle, in which the mighty
men stuck down three hundred men, and another in which the
might men struck down eight hundred men.
Did David bring the Ark of the
Covenant to Jerusalem after defeating the Philistines (2
Samuel 5 and 6), or before (1 Chronicles chapters 13 and
The Ark was moved to Jerusalem before the Philistines were
defeated. Then it was moved thewhere else. Then it was moved
to Jerusalem again after the Philist ines were
Was Noah supposed to bring 2 pairs
of all living creatures (Genesis 6:1920), or was he to bring
7 pairs of 'clean' animals (Genesis 7:2; see also Genesis
was supposed to bring seven pairs of each clean anima l, and
two pairs of every animal.
Did David capture 1,700 of King
Zobah's horsemen (2 Samuel 8:4), or was it 7,000 (1
the result of an error in copying. All ancient manuscripts
use "seven thousand" in 2 1 Chronicles 18:4. However, a few
Septuagint and Hebrew manuscripts use "seventeen hundred" in
2 Samuel 8:4. As a result, the English versio ns which were
translated fro m those manuscripts ma y also use "seventeen
hundred" However, it is clear that the manuscripts that use
"seven thousand" in 2 Samuel 8:4 are the correct
manuscripts, not only because the majorit y of ancient
manuscripts use "seven thousand," but also because 1
Chronicles 18:4 confirms that "seven thousand" is the
correct number. This error has been corrected in mo st
modern English vers io ns.
Did Solomon have 40,000 stalls for
his horses (1 Kings 4:26), or 4,000 stalls (2 Chronicles
the result of a translat io n error. All Hebrew manuscripts
use "four thousand" in 2 Chronic les 9:25. However, a some
Septuagint manuscripts use "fort y thousand" in 1 Kings
4:26. As a result, the English versio ns which were
translated fro m t he Septuagint may also use "fort y
thousand." However, because the B ible was origina lly
written in Hebrew, and later translated into Greek to make
the Septuagint, the Hebrew manuscripts are more accurate, so
"four thousand" is the correct number. The number was
mistranslated as "forty thousand" when translated into Greek
to make the Septuagint. This error has been corrected in
most modern Eng lish versio ns.
According to the author, did Baasha,
the king of Israel die in the 26 t h year of king Asa's
reign (1 Kings 15:33), or was he still alive in the 36 t h
year ( 2 Chronicles 16:1)?
The 36 t
h year of Asa should be calculated from the withdrawal of
the ten tribes from Judah and Benjamin which divided the
country into Judah and Israel. That means that the 36 t h
year of division is the same as the16 t h year of Asa, when
Baasha was still alive. Ten years after the 16 t h year of
Asa, Baasha died.
Did Solomon appoint 3,600 overseers
(2 Chronicles 2:2) for the work of building the temple, or
was it only 3,300 (1 Kings 5:16)?
Simple. Solomon has appo nted 3,300 as
overseers, and an additional 300 to be reserves that would
take the place of any of the 3,300 that became sick. The
scribe who recorded the number of overseers in 1 Kings 5:16
recorded only the overseers on duty, not the extra 300 in
reserve. The scribe who recorded the number of overseers in
2 Chronicles 2:2 recorded all 3,600, including the 300
Did Solomon build a facility
containing 2,000 baths (1 Kings 7:26), or over 3,000 baths
(2 Chronicles 4:5)?
thousand baths is equal to about 44 kiloliters. Three
thousand is equal to about 66 kiloliters. To understand this
"contradiction" we must look at the original Hebrew words
translated as "held," in these two verses. 1 Kings 7:26 uses
a Hebrew word that indicates that the facility was usually
filled wit h 2,000 baths. 2 Chronicles 4:5 uses a Hebrew
word that indicates that the facilit would h ld 3,000 baths
when completely filled.
-21. These seven questions all deal with
the same census, so Iíll combine them into one question and
answer: Are the numbers of Israelites freed from Babylonian
captivity correct in Nehemiah, or in Ezra?
Both Nehemiah and Ezra contain
records of the thirtythree families of Israelites returning
from Babylon, list ing the number of members in each family.
Of these thirtythree families units listed in Nehemiah and
Ezra, nineteen of the families are identical, while the rest
have discrepancies. At first glance, it looks like thereís
fourteen contradictions right here. But there are really no
contradict ions. This is very easy to explain. Ezra 2:12
explains that the list of people in Ezra was recorded while
the people were st ill in Babylon. And Nehemiah 7:46 tells
us that the list of people in Nehemiah was recorded after
the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt. The amount of time
that elapsed between the recording of the list of families
in Ezra and the recording of the list of families in
Nehemiah is between five and ten years. During that time,
the number of people in fourteen of the families changed,
because during those five to ten years, people could have
died, or had children.
Both Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66
agree that the totals for the whole assembly was 42,360, yet
when the totals are added, Ezra lists 29,818 and Nehemiah
the result of an error in copying. The original texts must
have had the correct totals, but when copying the manuscipt,
a scribe made an error in one of the lists, and changed the
total in the other so that they would match. The scribe had
forgotten to add up the numbers for the families in each
list first. Itís possible that a later on, a scribe that was
copying these lists purposely put down the totals for the
whole assembly who were in Jerusalem at that time, which was
a larger total than the number recorded in the original
Did 200 singers (Ezra 2:65) or 245
singers (Nehemiah 7:67) accompany the assembly?
245 singers. The scribe that recorded the
number of singers in Ezra rounded the number off to 200. The
scribe that recorded the number of singers in Nehemiah
recorded the number more precisely. Rounding is actually
quite common in Old Testament records. When scribes recorded
numbers of people, they would then round it off. For this
reason, the lengths of numbers of people recorded in the Old
Testament are not meant to be taken literally, but were
recorded as basic approximations.
Was King Abijah's mother's name
Michaiah, daughter of Uriel of Gibeah (2 Chronicles 13:2) or
Maachah, daughter of Absalom (2 Chronicles 11:20 & 2
and Michaiah are the same name , because Maachah in Hebrew
is short for Michaiah. Michaiah was the daughter of Uriel
and Gibeah and the granddaughter of Absalom. The Hebrew word
bat which was translated "daughter" in these verses can mean
"daughter" or "granddaughter." Absalom is short for
Joshua and the Israelites did
(Joshua 10:23,40) or did not (Joshua 15:63) capture
They didnít capture Jerusalem in either
chapter. Joshua 10:23 simply states that they captured the
kings. It never says that they captured Jerusalem. Joshua
10:40 states that Joshua killed all the kings, but it never
says that he captured Jerusalem. Joshua 10:20 states that
survivors fled to their fortified cities. This means that
Joshua had not captured the fortified cities, which would
include Jerusalem. Joshua 15:63 then states that Joshua did
not capture Jerusalem, which does not contradict but rather
confirms chapter ten.
.Was Jacob (Matthew 1:16) or Heli
(Luke 3:23) the father of Joseph and husband of Mary?
Matthew gives the
genealogy of Joseph and Luke gives that of Mary, making
Jacob the fat her of Joseph and Heli the father of Mary. In
Maryís genealogy, Mary is referred through her husband
Joseph, because it was Hebrew tradition to list only males
in genealogical records.
Did Jesus descend from Solomon
(Matthew 1:6) or from Nathan (Luke 3:31), both of whom are
sons of David?
was a descendant of both Solomon and Nathan, because Joseph
descended from David through Solomon, and Mary descended fro
m David through Nathan.
Was Jechoniah (Matthew 1:12) or Neri
(Luke 3:27) the father of Shealtiel?
Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph and Luke
gives that of Mary. In Maryís genealogy, Mary is referred
through her husband Joseph, because it was Hebrew tradition
to list only males in genealogical records. Both Mary and
Joseph had an ancestor named Shealtiel. However, these are
two different people named Shealtiel, a common Hebrew name.
Because these are two different people, they had different
fathers. One had a father named Neri. The other had a father
Which son of Zerubbabel was an
ancestor of Jesus Christ, Abiud (Matthew 1:13) or Rhesa
(Luke 3:27), and what about Zerubbabel in (1 Chronicles
gives the genealogy of Joseph and Luke gives that of Mary.
In Maryís genealogy, Mary is referred through her husband
Joseph, because it was Hebrew tradition to list only males
in genealogical records. Both Mary and Joseph had an
ancestor named Zerubbabel. These were two different people
named Zerubbabel, so they had different sons. The son of
Zerubbabel on Maryís side was a direct ancestor of Jesus.
The son of Zerubbabel was an ancestor of Jesus through
Maryís marriage to Joseph. As for 1 Chronicles 3:19-20, as
far as I can tell, the Zerubbabel listed there is just a
Was Joram (Matthew 1:8) or Amaziah
(2 Chronicles 26:1) the father of Uzziah?
The Hebrew word ben was translated to "son,"
but it can be any descendant. Therefore, Amaziah was
Uzziahís father, and Joram (short for Jehoram) was a more
distant ancestor of Uzziah.
Was Josiah (Matthew 1:11) or
Jehoiakim (1 Chronicles 3:16) the father of Jechoniah?
The Hebrew word ben was translated to "son,"
but it can also mean "grandson," or any descendant.
Therefore, Jehoiakim was Jeconiah's father and Josiah his
Were there fourteen (Matthew 1:17)
or thirteen (Matthew 1:12-16) generations from the
Babylonian exile until Christ?
1:17 clearly states that there were fourteen generations.
The thirteen generat ions in Matthew 1:1216 are simply
because in that list the first person in the genealogy was
not counted as a generation.
Who was the father of Shelah; Cainan
(Luke 3:35-36) or Arphaxad (Genesis 11:12)?
This is the result of a translation error. The
ancient Hebrew manuscripts list Arphaxad as the father of
Shelah in Genes is 11:12. However, when the Hebrew texts
were translated to Greek to make the Septuagint, Arphaxad
was mistranslated as Cainan. Luke copied this mistranslation
into the genealogy he recorded, since he was writ ing in
Greek and therefore would have studied the Septuagint. So
Arphaxad was the father of Shelah.
John the Baptist was (Matthew 11:14;
17:10-13) or was not Elijah to come (John 1:19-21)?
book of Matthew, Jesus says that John the Baptist was the
Elijah to come. In the book of John, John the Baptist, not
Jesus, says he was not. John the Bapt ist was the Elijah to
come, but he didnít know it at the time.
Jesus would (Luke 1:32) or would not
(Matthew 1:11; 1 Chronicles 3:16 & Jeremiah 36:30)
inherit David's throne?
gives the genealogy of Joseph and Luke gives that of Mary.
In Maryís genealogy, Mary is referred through her husband
Joseph, because it was Hebrew tradition to list only males
in genealogical records. Jeremiah 36:30 makes it clear that
none of Joseph's physical descendants would sit on David's
throne, since Joseph was a descendant of Jeco niah. However,
Jesus was not a physical descendant of Joseph. Joseph was
just Jesusís motherís boyfriend. Joseph was not the father
of Jesus. Jesusís real father was God. So Jesus is the heir
to Davidís throne.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on one
colt (Mark 11:7; Luke 19:35; John 12:14,15), or a colt and
an ass (Matthew 21:7)?
Mark, Luke, and John all agree that Jesus rode
on one colt. And it should be obvious that Jesus rode on one
colt, since Jesus could not have ridden on two animals at
once. However, Matthew 21:7 states that, "The y brought the
ass and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat
on them. " There are several possibilities here, all of
which can easily disprove this apparent contradiction:
∑Jesus could have ridden the ass part of the time, and
the colt the other part of the time.
∑ The "them" in
this Matthew 21:7 could be referring to the cloaks, not the
ass and the colt. In other words, instead of the verse
meaning "They brought the ass and the colt, placed their
cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on the ass and the colt," the
verse would mean, "They brought the ass and the colt, placed
their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on the cloaks," which
would mean that Jesus could have been sitt ing on eit her
the ass or the colt, for they had put cloaks on both the ass
and the colt. Of course, we know from Mark, Luke, and John,
that Jesus was riding on the colt.
∑ If we look at the
context of this passage, we see that just a few verses
earlier in Matthew 21:5, Matthew quotes Zechariah 9:9, an
Old Testament prophecy which states, "See, your king comes
to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal
of a donkey." Then in Matthew 21:7, Matthew could have
written "donkey and the colt," to quote part of the prophecy
again, which would emphasize the fulfillment of that
Simon Peter finds out that Jesus was
the Christ by a revelation from heaven (Matthew 16:17), or
by his brother Andrew (John 1:41)?
The revelation was fro m heaven, through his
Jesus first met Simon Peter and
Andrew by the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:18-22), or on the
banks of the river Jordan (John 1:42,43)?
Both, actually. John 1:42,43 happened first,
where Jesus met Peter and Andrew by the Jordan river. Then
in John 2:12 it says, "Aft er this he went down to Capernaum
wit h his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they
stayed for a few days. " So after meeting Jesus at the
Jordan River, they went down to Capernaum. At this point in
his ministry, Jesus had not yet begun to do a lot of public
teaching and healing. Since they were fisherman, Andrew and
Peter went fishing, by the Sea of Galilee. Then Matthew
picks up the story, explaining how Jesus met up with Peter
and Andrew again at the Sea of Galilee, and told them to
When Jesus met Jairus, his daughter
'had just died' (Matthew 9:18), or was 'at the point of
death' (Mark 5:23)?
no contradiction here because "at the point of death," means
the same thing as "had just died." When the one reaches the
point of death, they die. So when Jairusís daughter reached
the point of death as it says in Mark 5:23, she had died,
just as it says in Matthew 9:18.
Jesus allowed (Mark 6:8), or did not
allow (Matthew 10:10; Luke 9:3) his disciples to keep a
staff on their journey?
allowed his disciples to take their staffs wit h them, but
they were not allowed to buy new staffs on the journey. Mark
6:8 states, "These were his instructions: "Take nothing for
the journey except a staff-no bread, no bag, no money in
your belt s." The Greek word translated as "take" here
literally means "to take." Jesus is telling them that they
can take their staffs, but they canít take bread, bags, or
money. Matthew 10:10 states, "take no bag for the journey,
or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is
worth his keep." However, the Greek word translated as
"take" here is not the same word translated as "take" in
Mark 6:8. Here in Matthew 10:10, and in Luke 9:3, the Greek
word translated as "take" is the word which means "to buy or
acquire." So what Jesus is telling them in Matthew 10:10 is
that they should not buy or acquire any bags, tunics,
sandals, money or staffs for the journey, but as Mark 6:8
says, they could still bring the staffs which they had with
them. Jesus just didnít want them to go out and get a new
Herod did (Matthew 14:2; Mark 6:16)
or did not (Luke 9:9) think that Jesus was John the Baptist?
not a contradiction, since Herod never says in Luke 9:9 that
he did not think that Jesus was John the Bapt ist. Rather,
in Luke 9:9, Herod asks, "I beheaded John. Who, then, is
this I hear such things about?" Matthew and Mark recorded
the answer, which stated that Herod did think that Jesus was
John the Baptist.
John the Baptist did (Matthew
3:1314) or did not (John 1:32,33) recognize Jesus before his
no contradiction here either, because in John 1:32,33, it
never says that John didnít recognize Jesus. Rather, it says
that the Holy Spirit revealed to John that it was Jesus.
Therefore, John did recognize Jesus, as is co nfirmed in
Matthew 3:1314, because the Holy Spirit had revealed it to
John the Baptist did (John 1:3233)
or did not (Matthew 11:2) recognize Jesus after his
Chapter 1 and Matthew Chapter 3 make it clear that John the
Bapt ist did recognize Jesus before, and after the bapt ism.
Matthew 11:2 takes place long after the baptism, when John
is in prison, and he sends his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are
you the one who was to come, or should we expect the someone
else?" In Matthew 11:2, John still recognized Jesus, but he
was now doubt ing whether or not Jesus was the messiah, or
"the one who was to come."
When Jesus bears witness to himself,
is his testimony not true (John 5:31) or is his testimony
true (John 8:14)?
5:31, Jesus says: "If I testify about myself, my testimony
is not valid." In John 8:14, Jesus says: "Even if I testify
on my own behalf, my testimony is valid" At first glance,
this appears to be a contradiction, but not when the
historical context is taken into consideration. In John
Chapter 5 Jesus is speaking about how he cannot claim hims
elf to be the messiah unless he is fulfilling the Old
Testament prophecies. That is, without fulfilling the
prophecies spoken in the Old Testament. But as Jesus did
fulfill the Old Testament prophecies, and he was called the
messiah by John the Baptist. Because he was fulfilling the
prophecies, and others besides himself were claming that he
was the messiah, then Jesus was indeed the messiah. When
talking about the Old Testament, Jesus even said, "These are
the Scriptures that testify about me". In John Chapter 8,
Jesus cla ms to be the messiah by quoting Old Testament
prophecies he had fulfilled. John 8:13 says: "Then
the Pharisees challenged him, 'Here you are, appearing as
your own witness; your testimony is not valid. í" Jesus had
said earlier in John Chapter 5 that if he testified about
himself, his test imony wouldnít be valid unless he was
fulfilling the prophecies and being proclaimed as the
messiah by others. Butt in John 8:13, the Pharisees arenít
talking about this. Theyíre actually talking about
Deuteronomy 19:15 which says "One witness is not enough to
convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have
committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of
two or three witnesses. If a malic ious witness takes the
stand," However, itís important to remember that Deuteronomy
is not talking about people making a claim about themselves,
but rather, those accused of a crime. The Pharisees were
taking a law that applied only to those accused of a crime,
and they were trying to apply that law to the claims Jesus
made about himself. So when Jesus sa ys in reply to them
"Even if I testify on my own behalf, my test imony is valid"
he is correct, because Deuteronomy 19:15 didn't apply to him
making claims about himself, it applied to those accused of
a crime. Jesus also says that he knew exactly who he was,
but they did not. He wasnít lying, because really was the
sinless messiah. Jesus goes on to say, "I am one who
testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father who
sent me" which agrees completely with John 5, where Jesus
said that testimonies he makes about himself arenít valid
unless heís fulfilling the prophecies and has others that
are witnesses, test ifying that Jesus is the messiah. When
Jesus says in John 5:32 that there is another that testifies
in his favor, he is not only talking about John the Baptist,
but the Father who sent him. That makes at least two
witnesses, which is why Jesus was right to say that his test
imony was valid when the Pharisees tried using Deuteronomy
19:15, which states that, "A matter must be established by
the test imony of two or three witnesses."
When Jesus entered Jerusalem he
cleansed (Matthew 21:12) or did not cleanse (Mark 11:117)
the temple that same day, but the next day?
When reading the book of Matthew, itís
important to remember that Matthew liked to arrange things
in topica l order, rather than Chrono logical order. Matthew
related the cleansing of the temple wit h the triumphal
entry, even though the cleansing occurred the next day. Keep
in mind that verse 12 never actually says that when Jesus
entered the temple it was immediately after his entry into
Jerusale m. In fact, we know fro m verse 17 that he didnít
go to the temple immediately after entering Jerusale m, but
he went to Bethany, where he spent the night. This agrees co
mpletely wit h the record in Mark 11
Matthew 21:19 says that the tree
which Jesus cursed withered at once, whereas Mark 11:20
maintains that it withered overnight.
reading the book of Matthew, itís important to remember that
Matthew liked to arrange things in topical order, rather
than Chronological order. So if you want to know what order
certain events happened in, read Mark instead of Matthew.
Mark Chapter 11 says that Jesus did not cleanse the temple
until after he had visited Bethany and cursed the fig tree.
Instead of going in chronological order, Matthew used his
usual topical approach and included the Monday afternoon
action with the Sunday afternoon initial observation. On the
other hand, Mark recorded everything in Chronological order.
These differences are not contradictory, they just show how
Matthew and Mark arranged the records in a different order.
.In Matthew 26:48-50 Judas came
up and kissed Jesus, whereas in John 18:3-12 Judas could not
get close enough to Jesus to kiss him. This isnít a
contradiction, simply because nowhere in John 18:312 does it
ever say that Judas could not get close enough to kiss
Did Peter deny
Christ three times before the cock crowed (John 13:38), or
three times before the cock crowed twice (Mark 14:30,72)?
This is the result of an
error in copying. Some ancient manuscripts sa y that the
cock crowed twice. However, the earliest manuscripts do not
say this. Therefore, at the point in history "twice" was
added in accidentally by a scribe making copies of the
manuscripts. So Peter denied Christ three times before the
cock crowed once, not twice.
Jesus did (John
19:17) or did not (Matthew 27:31,32) bear his own cross?
Both, actually. Jesus began
carrying his cross fro m the palace. The destination was
Golgotha. Mark 15:21 tells us that the man forced to carry
Jesusís cross was "passing by on his way in from the
country." In other words, he was outside. So Jesus carried
his own cross from the palace unti they met Simon (the guy
who carried Jesusís cross) at some point along the journey.
Simon then carried Jesus cross for another porti n of the
journey to Golgotha.
Did Jesus die before (Matthew
27:50-51; Mark 15:37-38), or after (Luke 23:45-46) the
curtain of the temple was torn?
take a look at these verses: "Wit h a loud cry, Jesus
breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two
from top to bottom." Mark 15:3738 "for the sun stopped
shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Jesus called out with a loud vo ice, "Father, into your
hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he
breathed his last." Luke 23:45,46 Note that neither Mark nor
Luke say when the temple was torn in two. As I stated in
numbers 45 and 46, the gospels were not always written in
chronological order. We canít just assume that because it
says the curtain was torn in two before it says that Jesus
died, that it means that Jesus died after the temple curtain
was torn in two. Both Mark and Luke are simply saying that
the temple curtain was torn in two. Neither Mark nor Luke
ever say "After Jesus died the temple curtain was torn in
two," or "before Jesus died the temple curtain was torn in
two." So from Mark and Luke, we donít know when the temple
curtain was torn in two. All we know was that it was torn in
two. But Mathew comes to the rescue with the exact time that
the temple curtain was torn in two: "And when Jesus had
cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At
that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from
top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split." Matthew
27:50,51 Note how it says "At that moment the curtain of the
temple was torn in two." The temple curtain was torn in
twofrom top to bottom at the exact moment that Jesus died.
Did Jesus say everything openly
(John 18:20) or did he speak secretly to his disciples (Mark
4:34, Matthew 13:1011)?
seem like thereís a contradiction here, because in John
18:20 Jesus says, "I said nothing in secret," while in Mark
4:34 and Matthew 13:1011, Jesus shares the meaning of
parables with his disciples in secret. However, when we look
at the context of John18:20, we see that there is really no
contradiction at all. A verse earlier in John 18:19, the
high priest asks Jesus about his teachings. Jesus is right
to say, "I said nothing in secret," because he had done his
teachings in public, often in temples. The parables Jesus
shares with his disciples are not teachings, but rather
illustrat ions of teachings.
Was Jesus on the cross (Mark 15:23)
or in Pilate's court (John 19:14) at the sixth hour on the
day of the crucifixion?
times seem to contradict each other, but it is simply
because Mark used a different time system than John. Mark
used traditional Hebrew time, in which the hours began at
sunrise and ended at sunset. At the t ime of the year that
the crucifixion took place, the sun would have risen around
6:00 AM and set around 9:00 PM, making 6:00 the first hour
of the Hebrew time system, and 12:00 noon the sixth hour.
But John didnít use the Hebrew time system. Instead, he used
Roman time, which is more like our modern time system, in
which hours begin and end at midnight. On this system, the
sixth hour would be 6:00 AM, the first hour of the Hebrew
time system. At 6:00 AM, Jesus was in Pilateís court. He was
then beaten cont inually until 12:00 noon, when he was on
the cross. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all used the Hebrew time
system. So why did John use the Roman time system? Matthew,
Mark, and Luke were all written before John, and although
Israel was occupied by the Romans at the time, the Hebrew
time system was still the standard time system there. But
the book of John was written much later, around 90 A.D., and
John was living in Ephesus at the time. In 90 A.D., Ephesus
was the capital of the Roman province of Asia, where the
Roman time system was the standard time system.
The two thieves crucified with Jesus
either did (Mark 15:32) or did not (Luke 23:43) mock Jesus?
tells us that both thieves mocked Jesus. Luke tells us that
one thief mocked Jesus, and the other defended Jesus. Mark
and Luke donít contradict each other, but rather, we can
combine these accounts to get a clearer picture of exactly
what happened. Thatís the whole reason that we have four
gospel records. Both thieves mocked Jesus at first, however,
after Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they know not
what they do," one of the thieves had a change of heart and
defended Jesus. Mark did not record that one thief defended
Jesus, but he never said it didnít happen, and we know from
Luke that it did.
Did Jesus ascend to Paradise the
same day of the crucifixion (Luke 23:43), or two days later
two days later. Letís take a look at Luke 23:43: Jesus
answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with
me in paradise." This verse was actually translated
incorrectly. Ancient Greek manuscripts have the comma after
"today," not after "truth." This changes the meaning of the
verse ent irely: Jesus answered him, "I tell you the
truth today, you will be with me in paradise." Jesus was
not saying that he would be in paradise on that day. Rather,
Jesus was saying on that day that he would be in paradise at
a later date. This agrees completely with John 20:17, where
two days later Jesus said he had not yet ascended to the
When Paul was on the road to
Damascus he saw a light and heard a voice. Did those who
were with him hear the voice (Acts 9:7), or did they not
word akouo is used in both verses. However, akouo
two meanings. It can mean "to hear," and it can mean, "to
understand." Clearly, those with Paul did hear the voice,
but they did not understand it.
When Paul saw the light and fell to
the ground, did his traveling companions fall (Acts 26:14)
or did they not fall (Acts 9:7) to the
The Greek word translated as "stood" in Acts
9:7 can althean "to be still." When Paul saw the light and
fell to the ground, his traveling companions fell (Acts
26:14), and remained still (Acts 9:7)
Did the voice tell Paul what he was
to do on the spot (Acts 26:1618), or was he commanded to go
to Damascus to be told what to do (Acts 9:7; 22:10)?
Acts Chapter 9 and Chapter 22 make it clear
that Paul was told what to do in Damascus. However, in Acts
Chapter 26 Luke (the author of Acts) doesn't worry about
writing in Chronological order, because at this point in the
book the reader has already read Acts 9 and Acts 22, so they
already know the story and its chronology
Did 24,000 Israelites die in the
plague in 'Shittim' (Numbers 25:1, 9), or was it only 23,000
Israelites who died (1 Corinthians 10:8)?
died in the plague in Shittim, just as Numbers Chapter 25
says. If we look at the context of 1 Corinthians 10:8, we
see that itís not talking about the plague of Shittim, but
rather itís talking about Exodus 32:28, where 3,000 men
died. But wait a minute. How come 1 Corinthians 10:8 says
that 23,000 died, when Exodus 32:28 says that only three
thousand died? Here is another apparent contradiction, but
just like the last fifty seven of them that I just listed,
this one can be explained very easily. Exodus 32:28 tells us
that three thousand men were killed in a huge swordfight.
But if you keep reading, a few verses later in Exodus 32:35
it says that after the swordfight, more people died of a
plague. The exact number of people that died in that plague
is not listed in Exodus 32:35, but the writer of 1 Corint
hians 10:8 knew from divine revelation that the number was
twenty thousand. When you add the three thousand that died
in the giant swordfight with the twenty thousand that died
of the plague, a total of twenty three thousand died on that
day, just as it sa ys in 1 Corint hians 10:8: Neither let us commit fornication,
as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and t
Did 70 members of the house of Jacob
come to Egypt (Genesis 46:27), or was it 75 members (Acts
the result of a translation error. Most ancient manuscripts,
both the Hebrew and the Septuagint, use "seventy five" in
Genesis 46:27. Because the Old Testament was originally
written in Hebrew, these Hebrew manuscripts are more
accurate. When the ancient manuscripts were translated into
English the "seventy five" was mistranslated as "seventy" in
Did Judas buy a field (Acts 1:18)
with his bloodmoney for betraying Jesus, or did he throw it
into the temple (Matthew 27:5)?
actually. He threw some of the money into the temple, and
used the rest to buy a field.
Did Judas die by hanging himself
(Matthew 27:5) or by falling headlong and bursting open with
all his bowels gushing out (Acts 1:18)?
Both, actually. Acts 1:19 tells us that the
place where Judas died was called, Ake ldama, or the "Field
of Blood." According to tradition, this field is located
near a cliff by the Valley of Hinnom. Judas hung himself by
the cliff. Then the rope snapped and he fell headlong,
bursting open with all his bowels gushing out.
Is the field called the 'field of
blood' because the priest bought it with blood money
(Matthew 27:8), or because of Judas's bloody death (Acts
contradiction here, because both passages agree that the
field was called the "Field of Blood" because Judas bought
it with blood money. Matthew 27:8 clearly states that it is
called the "Field of Blood" because it was purchased with
blood money. Then Luke affirms this in Acts 1:18,19: With
the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field;
there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his
intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about
this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama,
that is, Field of Blood. When it says "Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so
they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is,
Field of Blood" it means that everyone in Jerusalem heard
about Judas buying the field with the reward he got for his
wickedness, just as it says he did in the previous verse,
and Matthew 27:8
How can the ransom which Christ
gives for all, which is good (Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:56),
be the same as the ransom of the wicked (Proverbs 21:18)?
10:45 and 1 Timothy 2:56 make it clear that Jesus that is a
ransom for all. Proverbs 21:18 says, "The wicked become a
ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the
upright." So was Jesus wicked? Not at all, because Proverbs
is talking about a completely different type of ransom.
Proverbs 21:18 is talking about the wicked being a ransom
for the righteous. Christ, who was righteous, was not this t
ype of ransom at all, but rather he was the righteous being
a ransom for all, including the wicked. Proverbs 21:18 does
not contradict Mark 10:45 or Timothy 2:56 because they are
completely different types of ransoms.
Is all scripture profitable (2
Timothy 3:16) or not profitable (Hebrews
2 Timothy tells us
that all scripture is profitable. But Hebrews lists a verse
from the Old Testament and tells us that it is "weak and
useless." This is not a contradiction, but rather it
fulfills what God promised to do in the Old Testament
prophecies! I could probably write a whole book on this, but
Iíll try to keep this answer as concise as possible,
although I encourage you to dofurther study for a more
indepth look at the two covanents which God established
throughout history. Just as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16,
scripture is God inspired, and is indeed useful for
teaching, rebuking, correcting and training. That is a very
general statement talking about all holy scripture which
comes from God. Hebrews Chapter 7 is talking about a
specific commandment given to a certain group of people at a
specific time. God established in the covenant he made with
Moses, a system where the children of Israel would offer
animal sacrifices in order for the people to make atonement
for their sins. This was the Old Covenant. But that covenant
no longer applies. Letís take a look at Jeremiah 31:3033:
"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will
make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the
house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with
their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them
out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a
husband to them," declares the LORD. "This is the covenant I
will make with the house of Israel after that time,"
declares the LORD. "I will put my la w in their minds and
write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will
be my people. In this O d
Testament prophecy, God told the people that a new covenant
was coming. Unlike the Old Covenant, where the people had to
make routine animal sacrifices to make atonement for their
sins, it is prophesied here that the New Covenant will not
be like the Old Covenant, but will be a final atonement for
all the sins of mankind, once and for all, and God will
finally forgive all of mankind, as it says in Jeremiah
31:34. The Old Testament prophecies also talk about a
messiah, or savior, who would start the New Covenant, a
perfect man fro m the tribe of Judah who would be a priest
unto God, and a sacrifice that would pay for all sin. And
when this messiah pays the price for all of our sins, God
will be satisfied to forgive us of our sins instead of
punishing us for our sins. The coming of this messiah is
prophesied throughout the Old Testament, especially in
Isaiah Chapter 53. Well, guess what? The messiah has already
come, and his name is Jesus! And now that he has come, we
are no longer to follow the Old Testament laws and animal
sacrifices, for Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice,
establishing the New Covenant, and setting us free from the
laws of the Old Testament. Paul made this clear in the
letters he wrote that are included in the New Testament,
especially in the beg inning of Romans Chapter 8. No longer
do we have to follow the Old Testament laws. But the Old
Testament, and all holy scripture, is still profitable. The
"former regulation" quoted from the Old Testament in Hebrews
7:17 was rendered useless by Jesus, meaning it no longer
applies, for we are no longer under Old Testament law. But
by no means does this mean that the Old Testament is not
profitable. The Old Testament is the very key to
understanding the New Testament. Again, this is a very
indepth topic, and what Iíve written here only scratches the
surface. There are a variet y of books on how Jesus brought
about the New Covenant, and I encourage you to continue your
own study in this topic.
Was the exact wording on the cross,
as (Matthew 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, and John 19:19)
all seem to have different wordings?
John 19:20 says, "Many of the Jews read this
sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the
city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek."
The different wordings are because Matthew, Mark, Luke, and
John translated the text from different languages. For
instance, Matthew might have translated it from the Aramaic,
and John from the Latin, and it could have been worded
differently in each language. But wait a minute. Thereís
three languages, and four writers. That means two of them
must have translated the wording on the cross from the same
language, and therefore the wording would be the same in two
of these accounts. Well, the wording actually is the same in
two of these accounts. Letís take a look at these verses:
Above his head they placed the written charge against
him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Matthew 27:37
The written notice of the charge against him read: THE
KING OF THE JEWS. Mark 15:26 There was a written
notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Luke 23:38 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened
to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE
JEWS. John 19:19 Notice how
Mark uses the same wording as each of the other three. He
just does not include the entire sentence, but only the most
important phrase, which is: "THE KING OF THE JEWS."
Did Herod want
to kill John the Baptist (Matthew 14:5), or was it his wife
Herodias (Mark 6:20)?