Debunking So-called Biblical Contradictions.
To hear more on topics addressed in this weeks podcast consider listening to the following sermons exposited by Dr. Richard Caldwell from the Word of God:
Listen to the Audio Podcast
Debunking So-called Biblical Contradictions
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot discuss the topic of biblical contradictions. Contradictions are where parts of a text seem to say the opposite of what is said in another part. When reading the Bible people often come across certain verses or passages that seem to contradict each other. On the face of it, one set of verses says one thing and then another set appears to say something entirely opposite. How does one reconcile these difficult passages of Scripture? How do we answer supposed Bible contradictions?
Dr. Philpot tells us the specific question this week relates to 1 Timothy 6:13-16 and Exodus 24:9-11. The verses in Timothy tell us that no one has ever seen or can see God and those in Exodus say, Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, along with seventy elders of Israel saw the God of Israel. These texts seem contradictory, contradicting each other and even other texts which describe various people “seeing” God. Throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, we find several verses like these that seem to contradict each other. We know what the verses say is true, but there still appears to be a real contradiction. How do we understand these verses?
Dr. Caldwell explains that these people saw God to the extent that God wanted them to see Him, but they didn’t see Him in all His fullness. God manifested His presence in such a way that was real and tangible to them, but not in a way that revealed His full glory and holiness.
Man Is Tainted By Sin
In Exodus 33 Moses asks to see God’s glory, but God tells Moses, “you cannot see my face, for man cannot see me and live.” Man is tainted by sin, in our fallen condition we cannot see God in His perfect righteousness and go on living. Therefore He veils Himself and appears in ways that men can see Him and still go on existing without being consumed. So then it’s not inaccurate for the text to say they saw God.
Dr. Philpot tells us that when someone thinks they’ve found a contradiction in the Bible, often there is a misunderstanding of the context of a passage. He reminds us that in this particular passage of Scripture and in others, it’s not even the face of God that's described, it’s other things. In the passages that he mentions, it's the surrounding text that helps us to understand what these people have seen- it's only a limited manifestation of God. So relying on the surrounding context is important, yet we also see how other Scripture helps to interpret Scripture.
Dr. Caldwell tells us when you believe the Bible’s message about itself, you’ll find that every so-called contradiction has answers. He says that we must be willing to look at these issues closely and fair-mindedly. If the Bible seems to contradict itself, we want to find an explanation, we want to be able to reconcile the differences we see. Using Scripture as our guide to interpret itself helps us to gain clarity and understanding. This requires both careful reading and studying. He assures us there are solutions. There are reasonable ways to solve these difficulties that are not forced nor dishonest.
Jesus Is The Image Of The Invisible God
Dr. Philpot states that from Scripture, we know that God is Spirit and does not have a body like a man. But, we are also told in Scripture that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, and in Him, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. We are told that Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature. The Apostle John, speaking of Jesus in John 1:14 says, “and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” So then don’t we see God clearly in the face of Christ, people saw Jesus’ face and lived?
Dr. Caldwell reminds us that when Moses desired to see God's glory, it was God's goodness that passed before him as He proclaimed His name to him. Moses could not see God’s face and live, but God did reveal something of His glory to Moses. So when we think about God's glory, it’s who God is. It’s His character. So while it is true that God’s glory is revealed in Christ, but even there it was veiled in human flesh, think- mount of transfiguration. Namely, how we see God’s glory in the person of Christ is by His character and attributes being displayed through Jesus' life. But in the sense of seeing God fully, we have not.
Blessed Are The Pure In Heart
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8) but even after His resurrection and ascension, Paul tells us, ‘for now we see dimly, but then face to face’(1 Cor. 13:12a). Hence this promise still remains for the people of God. It is yet a future continuous reality that the last book and chapter of the Bible confirms: "They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever" (Rev.22:4-5). He will be our God and we will be His people; we will live forever in His presence worshipping and rejoicing in Him, face to face.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.
If you like our podcast we invite you to help us by spreading the word. Make sure you share this podcast with your friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, or other social media avenues. Don’t forget to subscribe to our feed through your favorite podcast player, and subscribe to our YouTube and Vimeo channel.