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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Sum

Has someone ever said to you, "The Bible is full of contradictions!"  Or have you ever known anyone who struggled making sense out of passage that seemed to say something different than another for instance James and Romans.
What do you do with contradictions in the Bible?  Thoughts at DTTB.
It happened the other morning in Bible study.  In Romans 14:3ff we are told not to judge others.  In 1 Corinthians 5:9ff we are told not to associate with immoral people and we are told by Paul that we are to judge those in the Church.  Clear contradiction, right?  Nope.

Not So Much
Read the context of the passages.  In Romans Paul is talking about how believers choose to worship,  In Romans he is referring to a "believer" who is in an incestuous relationship.  We are to judge sin we are not to judge worship style.

The Sum is Truth
The Bible is consistent.  It presents itself as consistent.  In Psalm 119:160, David says that the sum of the Word is truth.  When we look at the whole what appears to be a conflict resolves.  If you find yourself struggling with a passage that seems to be in conflict with another, pull up.  Gain altitude.  That is read the context of the passages.  Get a bigger picture of the pieces that seem to conflict.

They will resolve.

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing what attention to context can help clarify! There are times that doesn't totally clear the issue, however. For example, David's numbering the people is credited to the Lord inciting David against Israel and 1 Chronicles 21:1 attributes it to Satan directly. It could be argued, perhaps, the context still gives the reconciliation - if the context is big enough. Similar apparent "conflicts" also appear in the various accounts (Gospels) in the life of Jesus

    It often comes down to, were is my authority from? If it's my own mind seeking to work out a rational explanation, it will be difficult to come to any other conclusion than there actually is a contradiction, however I expound it.

    On the other hand, if my authority is what God says in His divinely inspired and preserved Scriptures, as Mike points out, this give me the freedom to pursue a whole other line of options. I personally choose the latter. Knowing the Author makes a lot of difference.