Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Answering "Bible Contradictions" (Part 2)

                                                              By Russell


In one place, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one,” (John 10:30) speaking of His equality with the Father. But elsewhere, He said, “… for the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28). So what gives? Are They equal or not? Isn’t this a contradiction?

When Jesus said, “I and the Father are one,” He was indeed declaring Their equality because of Theiressence. They are of the “same stuff,” so to speak. But Jesus was temporarily limited by His human form. While on earth, He was restricted by human limitations. He experienced hunger, pain, fatigue, and even death. In human flesh, Jesus could only be in one place at a time. He had a physical human body which was not yet glorified. This is why He said that the Father was greater than He. The Father had no such limitations. But even while Jesus was wrapped in human flesh, He was still the second Member of the Trinity / Godhead (Colossians 2:9). No contradiction here.

See also this article:


In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you…” And in John 16:33, He said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace…” So apparently, Jesus came to bring peace for us. But we also read in Matthew 10:34, where Jesus says,“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword[referring to division or separation].”

This may also seem like a contradiction. But there is an answer.

The peace that Jesus brings is an inner peace, a spiritual peace, not necessarily an external lack of turmoil. There can be threats, killing and wars all around, but He is able to give you His perfect peace in your heart while the world seems to be falling apart all around you.

In the context of Him saying that He didn’t come to bring peace, He was speaking of the separation of families and friends when one of its members begins to serve Him. There will be division, as a sword divides its target. You will now be on one side, while your friends or family will be on the other. When a person chooses to follow Jesus, he has a new life and a new behavior, and he will many times lose friends or the close ties of his family. This is because the new Christian now sheds light on those things that do not please God. He now has new desires and a new life. It is this convicting new lifesytle that divides those that were once close in the world.

So, yes, Jesus gives us peace; but when friends or family truly get saved, this will bring division. Like oil and water, they cannot mix; some are in the dark, while others are children of the light. They can no longer see eye to eye. In this sense, Jesus brings both peace and division. So, there is no contradiction in Jesus’ words here, either.


Mark 15:25 claims that it was the “third hour” when Jesus was crucified. But in John 19:14-16 Jesus seems to be condemned at “the sixth hour.”

So was it the sixth hour or was it the third? The skeptic will say that surely this is a contradiction, and since this is such an important issue, the Bible cannot be trusted! But no, once again, this can certainly be explained.

We’re looking at two different time clocks here - that of the Romans and that of the Jews. The Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) tend to more often appeal to, and use, the Jewish system of time keeping, while John (dealing more often with non-Jewish audiences) tends to use the Roman system of time. Each one was using familiar terms for their audiences.

For the Jew, his 12-hour “night” period begins at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 6:00 a.m. His “day” period begins at sunrise (approximately 6:00 a.m.) and ends at sunset (approximately 6:00 p.m.) So the Jew’s “third hour” of the day would be three hours after 6:00 a.m., i.e., 9:00 a.m.

For the Roman, each new “day” begins at midnight (much like ours in America today), and his “sixth hour” would be 6:00 a.m. It is in John 19:14-16 when Jesus was condemned by Pilate which was then followed by the proceedings that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion.

Mark’s “third hour” (9:00 a.m.) describes when Jesus was actually being crucified. But John’s “sixth hour” (6:00 a.m.) is NOT describing the actual crucifixion, but the time that the process toward it began. Jesus was still being judged by Pilate at 6:00 a.m., and many things happened between then and the actual crucifixion; for example, Jesus being led away from Pilate, Pilate’s release of Barabbas, Jesus’ scourging, the soldiers leading Him away to the Praetorium, their dressing Jesus in purple and making a crown of thorns for Him, their continued mocking and beating of Jesus, their putting His clothes back on Him, and the slow, agonizing march toward Golgotha where Simon of Cyrene helped carry His cross. All these things happened after Pilate’s order, but before the crucifixion, so there is no reason to deny a 9:00 a.m. crucifixion in John 19 also.

Again, no Bible contradiction. The Bible can indeed be trusted.


Some question the event of the two thieves who were crucified next to Jesus. They’ll say that in Matthew 27:44 and Mark 15:31-32, both of the thieves reviled and mocked Jesus, but in Luke 23:39-40, we see one of them rebuking the other thief and asking Jesus to remember him when He would come into His Kingdom. The skeptic would say that the story doesn’t match.

But this is easily answered, since one of them realized his desperate need for God, and that mocking someone while on the brink of death is not a good idea. Fortunately, he realized that Jesus was no ordinary human being and he repented. What grace! Even on his “deathbed,” so late in his life, this thief, this undeserving man received mercy from Jesus! But then again, we are ALL in the “undeserving” category. But thank God for grace, and for His salvation through believing and trusting in the work of His Son on the cross.

Again, there is no contradiction, just a change of heart.

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