If you have not read Stories Versus Truth, you may want to read that before reading this.
Don't forget where you are going. You get past the questions/attacks so you can proclaim the Gospel. It is the proclamation of the Gospel, not argumentation, that transforms minds. See Give Them the Gospel.
You may hear a question about the Synoptic Gospels like the following: "Sometime there is clear difference in the story that shows similar events why?"
How to Handle This Question
(The parts in quotes are just examples of what you might say or ask.)
Don't let Satan turn the discussion into a contest. Contests have winners and losers and no one likes to be a loser. Discuss without turning the other person into a loser or turning yourself into the winner. It is best to ask them a few questions first and to listen to their answers. Be careful of your tone that you are not shutting down the conversation. "If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame." Proverbs 18:13
- "Have you heard about a specific contradiction?"
- "Tell me about the contradictions that you know about?"
- "What is your understanding of what a contradiction is?"
- (if you can get to a specific supposed contradiction, you might be able to answer in a more specific way than the answer given here. You may have to do some research and you may have to pray before you fully understand. Most supposed contradictions are quite easily explained, since they are obviously not contradictions. And most of these supposed contradictions have been answered at some time by someone. Many books and web pages are available to give these answers.)
Let them know you understand. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1
- "I can understand how you might ask this."
- "I actually can relate to how you feel."
- "I'm hearing what you are saying, and I think I understand."
Relate to them. "A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle." Proverbs 18:19 "A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue." Proverbs 11:12
- "When I first heard this question, it seemed to challenge what I know to be true.
- "I used to feel the same way."
- "At first glance, this gives the appearance of being a problem."
- "This is a valid question, and one that I have gone to God about."
- "Would you like to hear why I believe that the perceived contradictions in the Bible are not really contradicitons but rather paradoxes?"
Tell them what God has shown to you
- "As I was seeking the will of God on this matter, He showed me that there is a huge difference between a contradiction and a paradox. I have seen that many of those who are antagonistic toward the good news about Jesus are able to accept contradictions and find rescuing mechanisms for such things as Evolutionism and yet they take a paradox, something that is simply not yet understood about the Bible, and frame it in their mind as if it were a contradiction. If someone has tried to challenge your faith with these, then they are misusing the logical law of non-contradiction. In fact, they are saying that differences are contradictions. Differences are not contradictions. A contradiction exists only when two statements are mutually exclusive. For instance, though you cannot wear only red and wear only green at the same time, you can wear red and green at the same time. Though you cannot stand up and sit down at the same time, you can stand up and sit down at the same event but at different times. For a contradiction to occur, no explanation of the text could be possible that would not result in contradiction. You could listen to an unbeliever's speech and make some suppositions and claim that the unbeliever was lying. That is what is called, "being judgmental." Have you ever been accused of lying because someone misinterpreted what you said? The claims of contradictions in Scripture are of this nature. Sometimes, when we, as Christians first hear the claim, it seems valid. However, with a little bit of thought, we realize that the claim is false. "
- "The reason that we believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that it is without error or contradiction is based in personal revelation. God shows us. Everyone recognizes the limits of raw human reasoning (the reasoning of the human mind without the Intelligence of the Creator flowing through the human mind) and observation, yet we place way too much emphasis on these weaknesses. For every person, God is speaking to us perpetually. 1 Peter 1:23 tells us that we have been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the utterance of God, which lives and abides to the eon. It is this utterance on which faith is based. Our faith is NOT based on nothing at all. Taking Roman 10:17 as it is written in the original language, it says: So then supernatural belief comes by hearing, and hearing by the utterance of God. Jesus told Satan that man shall not live by bread alone but by every utterance that proceeds from the mouth of the Father. How silly if we rationalize a solution that goes contrary to what God Himself is telling us. And if we want to do God's will, we will be able to know the difference between that which comes from God and that which comes from Satan. There are, in the final analysis, only two ultimate sources of ideas, thoughts, and actions."
It is then good to ask an open followup question (not a "yes" or "no" question) to allow them to process what you have said.
- "How do you see this as applying to your life?"
- "What are your thoughts?"
- "Where do you see this as different from your point/question?"
Last updated: Aug, 2013
Answers for Witness
Stories Versus Revelation
Attacks on the Bible
Differences in Gospel Stories
Toons & Vids
Feedback Question About Supposed Contradictions in the Bible
Concerning the Synoptic Gospels, sometime there is clear difference in the story that shows similar events why?
Why is there a difference between Luke's story in the Book of Acts and Paul's own testimony in Galatians concerning Paul's trip to Jerusalem?
A Supposed Conflict in Paul's Acts 9 Trip
Are There Three Incompatible Principles In The Bible That Show Inconsistency? NO.
How Long Will There Be Apostles?
Doesn't the Bible say that some of those alive at Jesus' time would not see death until they saw His Kingdom and His coming in glory?
Answer to Critic
Appeal to Possibility
Argument to the Future
Love Between a Man and Woman
Righteousness & Holiness
Proof by Atheism
Scriptures About Marriage
The Reason for Rejecting Truth
Witness on the Internet
Flaky Human Reasoning
How Do You Know?
The Real Purpose of the Church
The Real Purpose of Life
From Glory to Glory
REAL Faith--What it IS & IS NOT
REAL Love--What it IS & IS NOT
How to be Led by God
How to Witness
Wisdom: Righteousness & Reality
Holiness & Mind/Soul
Redemption: Free From Sin
Stories Versus Revelation
Circular Reasoning-Who is Guilty?
How Can We Know Anything?
Mind Designed to Relate to God
Answers for the Confused
Fossil Record Says: "Creation"
Avoid These Pitfalls
Public School's Religion
Public School Failures
How can we know anything about anything?
That's the real question