People love to say the Bible’s full of errors and contradictions but the truth is most of them can be pretty easily resolved with a little common sense, honest investigation of the scripture and the application of a simple method we’re about to talk about.
Spelling – Many of the so-called errors in the manuscript are simple variants and letters. Say you have one manuscript that was translated from Greek into old English and another into American english. The English translators might write down “theatre” with the “re” ending and the American team might write down “theater” with the “er” ending. That’s no error, they are variants in spelling.
Mistranslation – This is when the original word might not have been translated to the new language perfectly or something along those lines. Sometimes there’s not a perfect word equivalent at the time of translations or that the translator simply had a slip of the pen or use the word that perhaps could be translated in different ways. Context and comparison solves this lickety split. For instance Leviticus 11:13-19 says “And these you should regard as an abomination among birds – the eagle, the vulture, buzzard and bat. Folks go nuts on this one. Bats aren’t birds. The Bible is wrong and can’t be trusted. First of all, they didn’t have the same animal classifications back then and the original Hebrew word translated bird here is “owph” and although correctly translated “bird” in many places, it also has a broader meaning like “having wings” or “winged creature”, which would of course include bats. This is all settled pretty easily with a little looking and thinking.
Perspective – Sometimes the testimony of two people can seem contradictory but when you pay close attention, it might not be that way at all. Say there was a car parked in the middle of the street. There’s a person on the right of the car and a person on the left. The person on the right side says the car door is blue and there’s a baby in the back and the person on the other side says the car door is white and there are two babies. How can this be? These ferocious liars can’t be trusted. Wait a second. The car could be painted white on one side and blue on the other. And if there are two babies, then there is one. So both are actually illuminating the fullness of the scene. The guy on the right didn’t say there was only one baby, he just mentioned one. You got to pay attention to the language in perspective. Sometimes the whole truth is in the details.
Literal versus figurative – It’s pretty clear that the Bible contains different writing styles like poetry and narrative and uses different parts of speech like similes, metaphors and analogies ,pretty much like we still do today. If we really want to interpret correctly, it’s our job to realize and understand the difference. How? By looking at the immediate context using our brain and comparing it with the rest of Scripture. That way we understand when Jesus says in John 10:7 that he is the door, he doesn’t mean as a wooden rectangle that swings on hinges.
Context – Most alleged error issues arise when people don’t acknowledge the proper context of the verse. They quote only part of it or purposefully misuse it. They might say John 3:16 says “For God so loved…” but they say Deuteronomy 16:22 says “The Lord your God hates…” Does he love or does he hate? The context of John 3:16 is about God’s love for people and the Deuteronomy verse is talking about his hate for pillars. If you hack, twist and misquote everything, you can pretty much make it say whatever you want and that’s not really searching for truth. With a little effort, honest investigation and application at the simple method, the idea that the authority or inerrancy of the Bible is in any way diminished due to errors has been debunked.