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Choose Life That You Might Live

Part 5: Differences and Discrepancies in the Old Testament
It would greatly help if people brought a modicum of common sense to a reading of the Scriptures

Carol Brooks
Edited by Vicki Narlee

List of Chapters
For a slightly longer description of each chapter, please go to the Main Index

YOU ARE HERE 001orange Part 1: Spiritual not Religious. The question is how do you know that the spiritual path you are on will lead somewhere you want to be? What does it offer you in the long run... beyond this life?
Part 2: Religious Pluralism. It is tragically true that few of those who believe that all spiritual beliefs are valid paths to God seem to have made an in depth study of various religions to see if their claims are based on fact, or fairy dust.
Part 3: Faith and The Bible. Christianity is perhaps the only religion that does not demand 'blind faith' from its followers.
Part 4: God And His Bible. There is far more evidence in favor of the Bible being true, than there is for any of the other 'holy books which usually consist of endless streams of often mind numbing philosophy, with little or no framework or context. The evidence includes the Bibles humanly impossible authorship, its archaeological and scientific accuracy and  fulfilled prophecy.
Part 5: Alleged Old Testament Discrepancies. The charges are usually careless, overconfident and unsubstantiated.
Part 6: Why Jesus Is Without Equal.  Many so called holy men claim to to be divine or divinely inspired - to have had mystical visions or experiences. So what?
Part 7: The Reliability of The New Testament. If we applied whatever criteria liberal scholars use to dismiss the Gospels, to the evidence for other historical people and events, we would have to dismiss as myth everything we think we think we know about the ancient past.
Part 8: New Testament Differences and Discrepancies  Most alleged 'mistakes' arise from understanding too little about the Bible.
Part 8 b:The Resurrection Accounts The so-called contradictions are trotted out without a single reference to the possible solutions that can very plausibly and naturally explain them.
Part 9: The Bible, Then And Now. People commonly reject the Bible because they believe the original text has been changed significantly since it was first written, and therefore, it is a corrupted book. But is there any truth to the charge?
Part 10: Historical Corroboration. Were any of the Gospel accounts substantiated by non-Christian sources?
Part 11: Archaeology and The Bible. Does archaeology confirm, or undermine, the New Testament accounts?
Part 12: Is The Evidence Insufficient or Too Obscure? A far more sensible way to look at it is... the more severe the consequences, the fewer risks we should take.
Part 13: The Message of The Bible. The Heaven Jesus was sent to tell us about is no pie in the sky ethereal place 'somewhere out there. In fact, the Bible's description of the coming kingdom is far more practical than that of our theologians. '
Part 14: The Warning of The Bible. We are all under the death penalty. If dying once sounds terrible to you, how does doing it twice sound? -  which is exactly what the Bible says will happen if...
Part 15: Who Is and Isn't a Christian. Since the word originated with the Bible, only the Bible has the right to define what a "Christian" is.
Part 16: Myths and Misconceptions that stem from knowing too little about Biblical Christianity.

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Differences and Discrepancies in the Old Testament
The charges and criticisms levied at the Bible by modern-day skeptics are, more often than not, careless, condescending, overconfident and unsubstantiated. Here are some of the errors they make. They 1) Judge an ancient book by modern standards 2) Have, at best, an extremely superficial knowledge of the of the more complex aspects of the Bible 3) Know absolutely nothing of some of the terms used in the Scriptures, 4) Lack both cultural and geographical knowledge 5) Rarely, if ever, consider the context and finally 6) Never consider that in a book that has been copied over and over again for centuries, some scribal error can, and has crept in, especially where numbers are concerned. Nor do they ever remember that  none of the variations alter a single teaching or doctrine of the Bible.

ON THIS PAGE

Introduction

Scribal Error

Numerical and Other Equally Minor Discrepancies

Judging An Ancient Book By Modern Standards
Fowl do not 'creep' or go on all fours
Insects Do Not Have Four Legs.
Do Rabbits 'Chew The Cud'?

Lack of Cultural and Geographical Knowledge
Where Did Aaron Die?
Ishmaelites or Midianites
God is Not All Powerful

Alleged Scientific Discrepancies

 A Lack of Biblical Knowledge and/or Terms Used
God 'Rested'
Liars... Condemned or Condoned?
To Kill Or Not To Kill

Not Considering the Context
Did Joshua and the Israelites Capture Jerusalem?

 Superficial to Non-existent Knowledge of the More Complex Aspects of The Bible
Was David's Throne to Endure Forever or Was It Cast Down?
The Law Was, Or Was Not, Superseded By The Christian Dispensation
God's Anger Lasts/Does Not Last Forever

Three More Serious Allegations

A Charge That Strikes At The Very Heart of Christianity
Is Jesus Barred From Being The Heir to David's Throne?

Two Instances where Old Testament Events Appear to Contradict Statements Made by Jesus
1) Can God Be "Seen" or Not
2) Did Elijah and/or Enoch Ascend to Heaven?

 


Introduction
Critics often claim that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of errors and contradictions in the Bible. However, these skeptics usually fall into one of three groups...

    1) Those who have, somewhere along the line, heard that this is the case and assume it to be Gospel truth (no pun intended). However, they have no idea what these inconsistencies are and where they are to be found. Note: people who come across supposed errors from actually reading the Scriptures for themselves are few and far between.

    2) Those who have read some of these discrepancies on one or more of a handful of sources, usually on the internet. However, not knowing very much about the language, context, culture, geography, and oblivious to what constitutes a true contradiction honestly believe the Bible narrative is full of holes.

    3) The skeptics who do not seem interested in finding out the truth... they simply want to chalk up another victory (regardless of how frivolous) for their case that the Bible is a book that cannot be trusted. In many cases, they seem to make a virtual career of majoring on the minors.

However, the one common factor between most skeptics is that their knowledge of the Bible, as not only an ancient, but an exceedingly deep spiritual book, is virtually non-existent. Many of the 'mistakes' discovered in the Scriptures actually arise from understanding too little about the Bible. This does not mean that discrepancies and errors do not exist in the Scriptures, nor that every single difficulty in the Bible can be resolved, but enough of them have been (some extremely easily) to realize that there are probable answers to the remaining few. Many of these so called "errors" can either be logically explained using everyday, common sense, while others require a more in-depth knowledge of both Old and New Testaments and how they relate to one another. And, on occasion, it also helps to look up how the common usage of English words has changed over time.

Unfortunately, people tend not to bring the common sense to a reading of Scripture that they do to a reading of the Sunday newspaper.

Ignoring the fact that the very authorship of the Bible, the many fulfilled prophecies, the scientific details which were unknown to man at the time of writing etc. etc. etc. [See Previous Chapter God and His Bible for Details] all show that it could not possibly be a book dreamed up by man, we jump up and down when we discover a contradiction or alleged discrepancy in the text, loudly proclaiming to all and sundry that this book is 'full of mistakes' and, therefore cannot possibly be the word of God.Here are some of the categories in which the skeptics fall woefully short.

    A) Language and Culture
    Skeptics are often unfamiliar with the languages used in the Scriptures, particularly how certain Hebrew and Greek words and phrases were used, and few are familiar with the cultural influences of the time.

    B) Literary Genres
    One can never interpret the text properly unless one recognizes the variety of literary genres used in the Scriptures, such as law, poetry, parables, history, prophecy, wisdom literature (a collection of a short pithy instructive sayings), epistles or letters to specific individuals or groups, and apocalyptic literature which warns of cataclysmic events. We have to understand whether the text is literal or figurative and, if the latter, what it represents.

    Wisdom literature often contains metaphorical and poetic language, which cannot be understood as straightforward teachings.

    The Psalms are Hebrew poetry, and virtually all poetry is well known for its figurative language, which is not meant to be taken literally, but used to draw vivid mental images. For example, words are neither 'wind' as William Shakespeare said, nor 'bullets' as George Savile did. Both expressions simply paint a colorful image of the thought the author was attempting to convey. Besides which, the psalms are often expressions of emotions, and must be read as such. So let's not get carried away when the Psalmist said he was "brought forth in iniquity" and conceived in sin. See Original Sin.. Fact Or Fable? Also Filthy Rags and None That Seeketh?

    Apocalyptic literature, with its generous use of some often really bizarre symbolism, often presents the most challenges. See An Overview of Revelation

    Parables which are short, simple, colorful, and easily remembered stories, were used in the Bible to teach, or emphasize, spiritual lessons. However, they have to be rightly interpreted which has to be done in harmony with other teachings. (An outstanding example of a parable being completely misinterpreted is the one our Lord told about The Rich Man and Lazarus Since people do not go to heaven or hell based on their financial status, we know that it is not literal. Sadly, the traditional interpretation uses preconceived ideas to decide that certain parts of the story are literal).

    C) Not History as We Understand It
    The historical portions of the Bible were never meant to be precise chronological records. The narrative, including parts of the Old Testament and the Gospels, often just touches on the 'high points' as it were. As a non technical book, the Bible often rounds off numbers. Additionally, many do not realize that, as a history book, the Bible often records people's words and actions without necessarily approving of what they said or did.

    D) No Grasp Of The Big Picture
    But, perhaps most of all, the skeptics seem to have an abysmal lack of knowledge about Christianity itself which, by the way, is not a "handbook for life". And, although the Word Faith movement seems to think otherwise, is certainly not based on unconnected verses scattered through the pages of the Bible. Much to the contrary, no teaching or story in the Scriptures is isolated, but exists in perfect harmony with all the others. Only when we weave the many strands together (a task not quite as difficult as it sounds), do we become aware of the rich and complex tapestry that tells the story of God's dealing with man... from creation to the end of this world as we know it. And when one can step back and see the big picture, the question of whether Solomon had 500 or 5000 stalls for his horses fades into oblivion. 

However, what I find extremely hypocritical is how people unquestioningly accept discrepancies in other ancient books ...

Accepted Discrepancies In Other Ancient Books
It is amazing how many people have little problem accepting other old documents as true and authentic history, despite the fact that many of them contain many discrepancies and contradictions and are nowhere near as old as the Bible is. I'd like to point out one outstanding example...

Dutch historian and the author of books on antiquity, Jona Lendering's site, Livius.org has numerous articles on ancient history. One describes the Carthagian military leader Hannibal (247-182 BCE) as one of the greatest military leaders in history, and goes on to say that his "most famous campaign took place during the Second Punic War (218-202), when he caught the Romans off guard by crossing the Alps". The page then shows the two main texts about Hannibal crossing of the Alps side by side and says (Emphasis Added)..."There are so many similarities that we can be sure that both authors shared the same source. On the other hand, there are striking differences" [01]

One example given of the differences is ...

    Polybius of Megalopolis states that on the eleventh day, Hannibal's soldiers could see Italy from the top of the pass, and started at their descent after a dramatic speech by their commander, while Titus Livy writes that they saw Italy (and listened to the speech) on the twelfth day, while they were already descending. [02]

Yet, in spite of the discrepancies in the two accounts, I do not know of any one who doubts that Hannibal did, in fact, cross the Alps and engage in battle with the Romans. What day Italy came into sight, or when exactly Hannibal made his speech is held to be of no consequence.

Why then are different standards applied to the Bible?


Examples of Some of the Differences and Discrepancies in The Old Testament
Please note that this is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every discrepancy in the Old Testament, which have been tackled in detail by many other Christian authors, but a few examples of some of the problems - none of which make a whit of difference to the Bible's authenticity or its message. However, I would like to add that, on occasion, the 'explanations' given by Christian apologists seem like a stretch... even to me. I therefore think, in some cases, it is far wiser to confess that either copyist errors must be involved, or there are details that we are unaware of. Either way, what is important to remember is that none of the variations alter a single teaching or doctrine of the Bible, most being very minor.


Scribal Error
Why do we forget that, although the books of the Bible are some of the best attested ancient documents we have in our possession (especially true when it comes to the New Testament [DETAILS], they are also some of the oldest. Without benefit of printing presses, copying machines, or even paper, the Old Testament was hand copied countless times over many centuries... this momentous task undertaken by devout Jews who believed they were copying the very word of God, and were therefore extremely meticulous.

However, regardless of the devotion of the scribes, one cannot expect human error to never have crept in. When copying page after page, it is impossible to avoid every slip of the pen. Factors like tired eyes and, especially in the case of numerals, a misreading of the text can, and did, happen.

Most discrepancies in the Old Testament had to do with numbers and the spelling of proper names, many of which occur between the historical accounts in the books of Kings, Chronicles and Samuel. Numerals presented problems of their own. Some of the earlier writing styles used a combination of strokes to indicate units, tens and hundreds which could easily be misread, perhaps sometimes due to faded 'ink', flaking parchment etc. An outstanding example of the similarity of some Hebrew letters (which had a numerical value) is whether God offered David seven or three years of famine

    So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, "Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me." (2 Samuel 24:13 NASB)

    either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.' Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me." (1 Chronicles 21:12 NASB)

Gimel is the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and resembles an upside down "y". Zayin, or Zain, is the seventh letter which resembles the English "7" with a crooked shaft. In other words, one tiny stroke distinguishes one number from the other. Added to this was the problem that the only material available at the time of the writing of the Old Testament (approximately between the 17th and the 5th century BC) was Papyrus, made from the pith of an aquatic reed which, obviously, decayed very quickly.

However, it should be noted that, when it came to the names of kings of other nations, the Old Testament was often far more accurate than many other ancient documents. See The Names of The Kings HERE


Numerical Discrepancies
These include...

How Many Temple Construction Supervisors Were There?
Kings and Chronicles disagree on the number of supervisors Solomon appointed to oversee the work of building the Temple

    So Solomon assigned 70,000 men to carry loads and 80,000 men to quarry stone in the mountains and 3,600 to supervise them.  (2 Chronicles 2:2 NASB)

    Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains, besides Solomon's 3,300 chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work. (1 Kings 5:15-16 NASB)

Did Solomon's "Sea" hold 2,000 or 3,000 baths of water?
Although it seems extremely large for the stated purpose, the author of Chronicles tell us that the bronze "sea" Solomon built in the temple premises was for the priests to wash in, which means it probably corresponded with the Laver built by Moses that stood in front of the altar ( Exodus 30:18-21). However, there is a discrepancy in how much water this "sea" could hold.

    It was a hand breadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, as a lily blossom; it could hold two thousand baths.  (1 Kings 7:26 NASB)

    It was a hand breadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom; it could hold 3,000 baths. (2 Chronicles 4:5 NASB)

Did David capture 7,000 or 1,700 horsemen?
David captured from him 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers; and David hamstrung the chariot horses, but reserved enough of them for 100 chariots.  (2 Samuel 8:4 NASB)

David took from him 1,000 chariots and 7,000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers, and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but reserved enough of them for 100 chariots. (1 Chronicles 18:4 NASB)

Were There 500,000 or 470,000 fighting men in Judah?
And Joab gave the number of the registration of the people to the king; and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. (2 Samuel 24:9 NASB)

Joab gave the number of the census of all the people to David. And all Israel were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword; and Judah was 470,000 men who drew the sword. (1 Chronicles 21:5 NASB)

A possible reason for the discrepancy is that Joab did not complete the census... leaving out the tribes of Levi and Benjamin. Again, we do not know whether this was a scribal error or whether Joab's reports were skewed.

    But he did not number Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king's command was abhorrent to Joab.  (1 Chronicles 21:6 NASB)

    Joab the son of Zeruiah had begun to count them, but did not finish; and because of this, wrath came upon Israel, and the number was not included in the account of the chronicles of King David. (1 Chronicles 27:24 NASB)

Was Ahaziah 22 or 42 when he began to rule over Judah?
For those that read the King James version....

    Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel. (2 Kings 8:26 KJV)

    Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. (2 Chronicles 22:2 KJV)

This one is relatively easy to explain, since a few verses earlier in Kings we are told that Ahaziah's father, Joram ben Ahab, was 32 when he became King, and he ruled for 8 years which would have made him 40 when he died. If, as is very likely, Ahaziah immediately took over the throne, he could not have possibly been 42 years old. Obviously, a scribal error in 2 Chronicles 22:2 puts Ahaziah's age at 42 when he ascended to the throne, which has been corrected in some more recent versions like the NASB.


Examples of Other Equally Minor Discrepancies

Was Michal, Saul's daughter Barren, Or Did She Have 5 Sons?
There are two seemingly contradictory verses regarding Michal's offspring or lack thereof...

    Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.  (2 Samuel 6:23 KJV)

    But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up (Heb. ylad) for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: (2 Samuel 21:8 KJV)

I do not believe that, as some suggest and as the King James version has translated it, 2 Samuel 21:8 could be taken to mean that Michal 'brought up' the five sons of her sister Merab. Ylad, the Hebrew word used occurs just over 400 times in the Old Testament and not once, that I could find, does it mean anything else that giving birth to.

Since other verses make it very clear that Michal was married to David, not Adriel, and that she had no offspring, the Jewish copyist apparently put down the name of the wrong sister in 2 Samuel 21:8. It was Merab, not Michal, who was married to Adriel with whom she had five sons. Note that some translations, including the NASB, the NIV (New International Version), and the ESV (English Standard Version) use Merab in 2 Samuel 21:8.


Was Maacah the daughter of Absalom, or Uriel of Gibeah?
Two verses say Maacah was the daughter of Absalom, while a third says she was the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah

    In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. (2 Chronicles 13:1-2 NASB)

    After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. (2 Chronicles 11:20 NASB)

    Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. (1 Kings 15:1-2 NASB)

According to 2 Samuel 14:27 Absalom had three sons, but only one daughter, Tamar, who married Uriel of Gibeah. So Maachah must have been Absalom's grand-daughter, not his daughter. However, stating that Maachah was Absalom's daughter, as it does in the last two examples above, it is not necessarily an error.

    In the Bible, "sons" and "daughters" can indicate a close association with. For example, heavenly beings were called "sons of God" in Job 1:6.

    The words are also used to show a person's tribe, people, city, and country of birth etc. Judges 11:40 speaks of the "daughters of Israel".

    Additionally the words can also mean "sameness", as when a person displays certain characteristics or qualities of something, or someone, else. For example, Jesus referred to James and John as "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17), Judas was called the "son of perdition", while other wicked men were called the "sons of Belial".

    In many cases the Hebrew terms 'son of' or 'daughter of' simply means descended from.

It is possible that the author of Kings and Chronicles bypasses Uriel of Gibeah as being Maachah's father, because he was relatively obscure. On the other hand, Maachah's grandfather Absalom was not only the third son of King David, but well known for eventually rebelling against his father.


Judging An Ancient Book By Modern Standards
Fowl do not 'creep' or go on all fours
The King James version of Leviticus 11:20-21, a chapter which includes animals that the Jews were forbidden to eat, says

    All fowls (Heb. ph) that creep (Heb. sherets), going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;

The Hebrew word translated 'fowl' is ph (Strong's 5775), which is derived from ph, which means "to fly".

The problem here is we assume that God follows our methods of classifying animals. He doesn't.

Take a look at Leviticus 11:13-19 which is a list of the "birds" that the Jews were no to eat. Included in this list are the eagle, vulture, ostrich, owl, seagull etc. However, the last named "bird" is a bat, which we classify as mammals because they nurse their young. However, since Moses hadn't heard of the Linnaean Classification System, he listed bats right along with birds. As said by Apologetics Press

    God did not classify animals 3,500 years ago according to our modern classification system. As far back as Creation, God has divided animals into very basic, natural groups. He made aquatic and aerial creatures on day five and terrestrial animals on day six (Genesis 1:20-23,24-25). Similarly, in the first 23 verses of Leviticus 11, God divided the creatures into land animals (11:2-8), animals "that are in the water" (11:9-12), "birds" (11:13-19), and flying insects (11:20-23). He did not divide animals into mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. In fact, the group of "creeping things" mentioned later in Leviticus 11 (vs. 29-30; cf. Genesis 1:24-25) includes both mammals (e.g., mice) and reptiles (e.g., lizards). Clearly then, God divided animals according to their locomotion and environment rather than whether or not they have hair, lay eggs, and nurse their young.

Also, as Apologetics Press also notes, "bats are placed at the end of the list of birds and just before the list of flying insects. This placement is entirely proper for the only living "flying creature" that is neither a true bird nor an insect". [03]

What the Old Testament called "fowl" are creatures that have wings and can fly (regardless of number of legs). It is interesting to note that, in the first five books of the Old Testament, the word "fowl is used 21 times, However, since only six of these occurrences specifically mention "fowl of the air", it seems very likely that the OT was distinguishing between two types of fowl.

In other words when, in Leviticus 11:20, Moses spoke about "fowls (Heb. ph) that creep (Heb. sherets), going upon all four", it would have made far more sense for the King James translators to use the words 'flying insects'. However, if one examines the etymology of the word 'fowl', one can understand why they did so.

The English word "fowl" came from flug-la-, literally "flyer," from the same root as Old English fleogan, modern fly. The narrower sense of "domestic hen or rooster", or even (in the US) ducks and geese was first recorded in the 1570s.  [04] In other words, the word "fowl" is now restricted to larger, edible birds, but was used to refer to all flying creatures.

Which brings us to yet another supposed problem with Leviticus 11:20...

Insects Do Not Have Four Legs.
It is a reasonable assertion that the ancient Israelites were no less capable of counting legs, than we are, so why would Moses use the expression "on all fours" in relation to insects?

Perhaps for the same reason we use the word "centipede", which is derived from the Latin prefix centi (hundred), and pes (foot), and "millipede" formed from the Latin mille (thousand) and pes (foot). Despite the name, centipedes can have from under 20 to over 300 legs, and no known millipede has 1,000 legs.

Or perhaps for the same reason we refer to toddlers crawling on all fours, although they do not have four legs.

It's an expression people.... Moses was not writing a scientific paper on the anatomy of insects.


Do Rabbits 'Chew The Cud'?
Much has been made of the fact that the Bible appears to say that rabbits "chew the cud", which is a perfect example of how a supposed error is more easily raised than answered. (Please note neither I, nor anyone else I know of, has any idea what a "Shaphan" is).

    the rabbit also, for though it chews (Heb. lh) cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; (Leviticus 11:6 NASB)

    Nevertheless, you are not to eat of these among those which chew (Heb. lh) the cud, or among those that divide the hoof in two: the camel and the rabbit and the shaphan, for though they chew the cud, they do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you. (Deuteronomy 14:7 NASB)

Chew?
While most translations use the word "chew", literal versions render the Hebrew lh as "bringing up".

    the hare, (for it is bringing up (Heb. lh) the cud (Heb. grh) yet does not bisect the hoof; it is unclean for you, (Leviticus 11:6 CLV)

    and the hare, though it is bringing up (Heb. lh) the cud (Heb. grh), yet the hoof hath not divided-- unclean it is to you; (Leviticus 11:6 YLT)

With good reason... lh was used close to 900 times in the Old Testament, in a variety of senses but, more often than not, for something that rose or came up. For example, in the first verse quoted, morning dawns when the sun rises or comes up.

    When morning dawned (Heb. lh), the angels urged Lot, saying, "Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city."  (Genesis 19:15 NASB)

    and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended (Heb. lh) like the smoke of a furnace. (Genesis 19:28 NASB)

    Harness the horses, And mount (Heb. lh) the steeds, And take your stand with helmets on! Polish the spears, Put on the scale-armor!  (Jeremiah 46:4 NASB)

    The horseman lifteth up (Heb. lh) both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses: (Nahum 3:3 KJV)

In rabbits (and other animals) food passes through the esophagus, stomach, small intestine (where some absorption of the nutrients takes place), and then into the colon. However, rabbits have a large and well-developed pouch, called the cecum, at the beginning of the large intestine, which is where cecotropes, the nutrient-packed, partially digested, soft dark brown glossy pellets are made. These are passed out through the anus, then re-ingested.

    "the material resulting from the fermentation of food in a part of the digestive system called the 'cecum.' Cecotropes are nutrient-rich and are passed out of the body, like feces, but are reingested by the animal so the nutrients can be absorbed. Cecotropes have twice the protein, and half of the fiber of the typical hard fecal pellet. They also contain high levels of vitamin K and the B vitamins"... Without this process, many of the nutrients in the food would be lost and passed through the colon, and out as typical feces. If rabbits, guinea pigs, and rodents are not allowed to eat the cecotropes, they will suffer from malnutrition". [05]

However, in all this fascinating information about the digestive process of rabbits, there is one particular point to be especially noted. Cecotrophy, as the site goes on to say (Emphasis Added)

    "is similar to the process of ruminant animals chewing their cud. Cows, goats, and other ruminants chew their food once, swallow it, and then the digestive process continues in the rumen where the fiber starts to be broken down by bacteria. When these animals chew their cud, the material from the rumen is brought up through the esophagus to the mouth, where it is re-chewed and swallowed. By repeating this portion of the digestive process, ruminants, too, receive more nutrition from their food". [05]


Cud?
Because the Hebrew word grh, translated "cud", is only used in the Old Testament in connection with the laws about animals, there is no other context with which to compare it.

However, when animals like cows and other ruminants regurgitate partially digested food from their first stomach for a second chewing, we call it "chewing the cud"-- the "cud" being partially digested food. The element in common between cattle and rabbits is that, in one form or another, both 'bring up' partially digested food. Cattle do so by regurgitating the food from their first stomach, Rabbits by moving the food back into the cecum, which is in the opposite direction to the usual path. 

    "... the large fiber particles pass quickly through the colon and are excreted as typical feces. Through special muscle contractions (reverse peristalsis) in the colon, the nutrient-rich portion of the food is moved back into the cecum, a sac-like structure between the small intestine and colon. [05]

The principle is the same.

And once again, it is shown that, long before man discovered details of the rabbit's digestive system, the Bible knew exactly what it was talking about when it said rabbits "brought up" partially digested food. But then it is the word of God and, as much as skeptics may endeavor to prove otherwise, it is never wrong.


Lack of Cultural and Geographical Knowledge
Ishmaelites or Midianites
An outstanding example of this category is when critics pick up on two separate verses in Genesis, one of which says Joseph was sold to Potiphar by the Midianites, and the bother says it was the Ishmaelites who did so. (Note: Joseph was Abraham's great grandson [Abraham > Isaac > Jacob> Joseph]. Isaac's parents were Abraham and Sarah, while both Midian and Ishmael were sons of Abraham by different wives (Genesis 16:15; 25:2). Jacob had 12 sons who formed the twelve tribes of Israel).

    Meanwhile, the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh's officer, the captain of the bodyguard.  (Genesis 37:36 NASB)

    Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there.  (Genesis 39:1 NASB)

If you examine various other Biblical verses, it becomes quite obvious that the terms "Ishmaelites" and "Midianites" were used interchangeably.

    Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, "Rule over us, both you and your son, also your son's son, for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian." But Gideon said to them, "I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you." Yet Gideon said to them, "I would request of you, that each of you give me an earring from his spoil." (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) They said, "We will surely give them." So they spread out a garment, and every one of them threw an earring there from his spoil. The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments and the pendants and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the neck bands that were on their camels' necks. (Judges 8:22-26 NASB)

Why?

We do not know. Perhaps, some Ishmaelites lived in Midian. Perhaps, just two or three generations after Ishmael and Midian were born, the two tribes were still very small and not much, if any, distinction was made between them.

However, the accusation hinges on three premises... 1) that groups of people can be called by one name, and one name only and 2) that the author of Genesis was such a moron that he, in the space of just a few words, forgot who he said sold Joseph, and the author of Judges made the same mistake even more quickly. 3) Finally the Jews were so stupid that this "error' went unchallenged for centuries.

Or is there a fourth option... WE don't know very much about these tribes and how they interacted.


Where Did Aaron Die?
In this case, the books of Deuteronomy and Numbers seem to disagree as to where Aaron, the high priest, died. Deuteronomy 10:6 says he died in Moserah, while Numbers 20:27-28 and 33:38 say he died on the top of Mount Hor.

The problem being that no one can call this a discrepancy until they know exactly where Moserah was, and I am afraid no one has yet figured this out. For all we know it could have been a place at the foot of Mount Hor, where the sons of Israel camped. In which case, saying that was where Aaron died would not be wrong.

The bottom line being that we simply do not know.

In any case, since the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch) were written by Moses, then this would have an extremely silly mistake to make considering that Aaron was his own brother. In fact, even if the first five books of the Bible were authored by someone else, they would not have mistaken where Aaron died, considering he was the high priest and a very important man in Israel. Only a moron would tell us that Abraham Lincoln was killed somewhere other than Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C.

But was Moses really the author of the Pentateuch?

There are numerous indications in the Old Testament that he was. See, for example, Exodus 24:4, 34:27. Numbers 33:2, Deuteronomy 31:9 and Joshua 8:32. In the New Testament, it is obvious that the Sadducees considered Moses the author when they asked Jesus a question which began with "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother dies..." (Mark 12:19), while Philip told his brother Nathanael that they found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote (John 1:45). In Romans 10:5, Paul paraphrases Moses' writing in Leviticus 18:5 beginning with the words "For Moses writes". Jesus Himself referred to the book of Exodus as "the book of Moses" ( Mark 7:10) but, most significantly, He also said...

    "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:46-47 NASB)


God is Not All Powerful
Based on the following verse, many skeptics claim is that an all powerful God would not be defeated by iron chariots. (Note: Judah was Jacob's fourth son by his wife Leah)

    Now the Lord was with Judah, and they took possession of the hill country; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had iron chariots.  (Judges 1:19 NASB)

There are two possible refutations to this accusation. 1) The original Bible did not have chapter and verse numbers, both of which were added much later in order to make it easier to find specific verses, or remember where they are. However, there are numerous instances where the break has been put in most inappropriate places, separating material that should have been grouped together. In all too many cases, the artificial breaks interrupt what was otherwise a single subject or chain of thought.  It is therefore entirely possible that the first lines of verse 19 should not have been in a separate verse, but should have stayed at the end of verse 18.... As so

    (18) And Judah took Gaza with its territory and Ashkelon with its territory and Ekron with its territory. Now the Lord was with Judah. (19) And they took possession of the hill country; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had iron chariots. Judges 1:18-19 NASB

In other words, the Lord was with Judah when he took Gaza and Ashkelon, but not with him when he came against the inhabitants of the valley. There may be some support for this in Joshua 17:18, in which he tells three of the tribes that the "hill country" would be theirs.

    but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it, and to its farthest borders it shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have chariots of iron and though they are strong."  (Joshua 17:18 NASB)

While we cannot be dogmatic about this being the right explanation, it is just plain silly to believe that a book which, from cover to cover, loudly and repeatedly proclaims an all powerful God but, in one isolated verse, admits He could be defeated by iron chariots.


Alleged Scientific Discrepancies
As Dave Greear says in his article Evidences of the Christian Faith

    An example of an alleged scientific inaccuracy is the case of the molten sea in II Chronicles 4:2. The sea is described as round with a diameter of 10 cubits (approximately 180 inches) and a circumference of 30 cubits (approximately 540 inches). Geometry tells us that the circumference of a circle is pi (3.14) x diameter. In this case the circumference should equal 31.4 cubits (approximately 565.2 inches) rather than 30 cubits.

    Some Bible scholars simply explain away the discrepancies in the numbers by claiming that accurate measurements were not possible in that day. However, we should likely assume that if the people of that day had the capability to make a perfectly round structure of this size, then surely they had the capability to measure it with reasonable accuracy.

    A much better solution has been proposed by Dr. Harold Lindsell in his book The Battle for the Bible. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976, pp. 165-166.) He notes that the molten sea was about a handbreadth (approximately 4 inches) in thickness. So there was both an outside perimeter from which the diameter was likely measured and an inside perimeter from which the circumference was likely measured. If we subtract 8 inches from the outside diameter of 180 inches we obtain an inside diameter of 172 inches. When this number is multiplied by pi we obtain a circumference of 540.08 inches which is very compatible with the measured value to 540 inches. So we can conclude that the error here was in many scholars' understanding of the calculations, not in the Biblical data! [06]


A Lack of Biblical Knowledge and/or Terms Used
Many accusations of mistakes and discrepancies arise when the critic does not understand some of the terms involved.

God 'Rested'
Perhaps the simplest example of this category is when critics pick up on the word 'rested' in Genesis and ask why a Supreme Being needed 'rest'.

    By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested (Heb. shbath) on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. (Genesis 2:2 NASB)

I do so wish people would do a little more homework before making ridiculous allegations. Like the rest of the Bible, Genesis was not written in English which is why we should not rely solely on the translations, but examine the original language used which, in this case, was Hebrew. The word translated 'rest' is the Hebrew shbath (Sabbath) which, more often than not, is translated "cease" in the Old Testament, because that is exactly what the word means. Note the use of the word in the book of Nehemiah

    So I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop (Heb.shbath) while I leave it and come down to you?"  (Nehemiah 6:3 NASB)

Although, in modern usage, the English word 'rest' tends to conjure up visions of fatigue or tiredness (I rested after taking a long walk), that does not mean translating shbath into the English 'rest' is incorrect. 'Rest' can also mean to cease from work or activity which, in modern times we also call 'taking a break', which is exactly what God did on the seventh day of creation. (On the Sabbath, Jews are not required to 'rest' (ie. loll in armchairs all day) but to cease from working. It was about setting aside time for communion with God.)


Liars... Condemned or Condoned?
Many believe that the book of Revelation clearly says that liars will be cast into the lake of fire along with other types of sinners, such as murderers, sorcerers and idolaters.

    "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars (Gr. pseudes), their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."  (Revelation 21:8 NASB)

However, the Old Testament has at least two accounts of people who lied, but whose actions were apparently approved of.

1) When the spies were sent to spy on Jericho they sheltered in the house of a woman called Rahab. However, when the king told her to bring out the men, she told his messengers that they had left at dark and she didn't know which way they had gone. Since she lived on the city wall, she let the spies down by a rope through the window, after the king's men had left. See (Joshua 2).

    James, the brother of Christ, had this to say about the incident... "In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? (James 2:25 NASB)

2) When the king of Egypt ordered the Hebrew midwives to put all male babies to death they, fearing God, did not obey, but told him that the Hebrew women being "vigorous" delivered before the midwives got there (Exodus 1:15-19).

    Verse 20 says "So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty".

So, is lying condemned or not?

The clue lies is in the Greek word pseudes translated "liars" in Revelation 21:8. The word, which means erroneous, deceitful, wicked or false, has been used only two other times in the New Testament. However, both examples indicate that there is a little more to pseudes than simply telling an untruth.

    a) They put forward false (Gr. pseudes) witnesses who said, "This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law;  (Acts 6:13 NASB)

    b) I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false (Gr. pseudes); (Revelation 2:2 NASB)

In the first case, the false witness appeared before the council and testified falsely to something they claimed to have heard. In the second case, the "evil" people involved were deceptively pretending to be apostles ('he that is sent') which, in Biblical usage, is an 'ambassador of the Gospel'. Then, as now, false apostles or preachers do an untold amount of harm since they usually have a personal agenda.

In both cases pseudes involves someone falsely testifying for or against, someone or something. On the other hand, a 'lie' does not necessarily have anything to do with being a witness, but is simply a statement that the person uttering it knows to be untrue. In short "lies" and "false witness" are two very different things... The Ten Commandments condemn the latter when it says

    "You shall not bear false (Heb. sheqer) witness (Heb. d) against your neighbor". (Exodus 20:16 NASB)

It is hardly a coincidence that this commandment comes smack bang in between the one not to steal and that which says we should not covet any of our neighbor's possessions. All three deal with harming your neighbor in one way or another.

For all those who loudly proclaim that all "lying" is wrong, I have to ask what you would do if you found yourself in Nazi Germany and the Gestapo asked if you had seen any Jews. In order to avoid 'lying', would you tell them that a Jew was hiding in your attic.

No?

Well Rahab wasn't going to allow the spies to be killed, and the Hebrew midwives weren't going to allow new born babies to be taken away and slaughtered either.

Similarly...


To Kill Or Not To Kill

One verse in Exodus has the Lord giving instructions to kill the idol worshipers, whereas just a few chapters earlier, one of the Ten Commandments seems to specifically condemn killing

    He said to them, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill (Heb. hrag) every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.'" (Exodus 32:27 NASB)

    Thou shalt not kill (Heb. rtsach). (Exodus 20:13 KJV)

The Hebrew rtsach in the second example is used almost 50 times in the Old Testament and is usually translated 'manslayer'. If one were to read how rtsach is used, it becomes very clear that it means murder, defined as the unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice. rtsach occurs particularly often in Numbers 35 which deals with intentional and unintentional murder. The chapter names several "cities of refuge," to the offender could flee to escape vengeance, until he could be judged. Note someone who killed their neighbor in ignorance was not to be put to death (Deuteronomy 19: 4-6)

It is little wonder then that more recent translations render Exodus 20:13 as "You shall not murder".

However, the underlying question here is whether God violates His own commandment when He destroyed almost every living thing on the face of the earth in the flood, when He ordered the killing of the inhabitants of Canaan and, obviously, when His wrath is unleashed on this world in the days to come. For more about this see THIS page


Not Considering the Context
It is often the case that what many critics see as a 'mistake' arises from either not paying attention to the context which, by the way, is the number one mistake that people (including Christians) make when interpreting the Scriptures. See  Context is Crucial

Did Joshua and the Israelites Capture Jerusalem?

Yes:

    They did so, and brought these five kings out to him from the cave: the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.  (Joshua 10:23 NASB)

    Thus Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. (Joshua 10:40 NASB)

No:

    Now as for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah could not drive them out; so the Jebusites live with the sons of Judah at Jerusalem until this day. (Joshua 15:63 NASB)

When the inhabitants of Gibeon made peace with Israel, five kings (including the then king of Jerusalem) got together to attack Gibeon (Vs. 1-5). The men of Gibeon asked Joshua for help (Vs. 6). With the Lord on their side,  Joshua and his army routed the attackers (Vs. 7-15), and found and killed the five kings who had fled and hid themselves in a cave (Vs. 16-27).  

The next few verses tell the story of the campaign and the cities which were destroyed... Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Gezer, Eglon, Hebron, Debir, all of which are south-west of Jerusalem.

    The king of Gezer and his army were defeated in the field whilst helping Lachish (v.33) and in verse 30 comparison is made to the earlier capture of Jericho, but neither of these last two cities were captured at this time. Verses 40 & 41 delineate the limits of this campaign, all of which took place to the south and west of Jerusalem. Importantly, Gibeon, the eastern limit of this campaign, is still approximately 10 miles to the north-west of Jerusalem. [07]

In summary, the account says although the king of Jerusalem was one of the five kings killed, Jerusalem was not among the cities captured by Joshua and his army. This is in complete agreement with Joshua 15:63, which says the sons of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem.


God's Anger Lasts/Does Not Last Forever
Much is made of verses which seem to say that the Lord's anger lasts forever, while others indicate that it does not. The verses most commonly quoted  to support this alleged discrepancy both come from the book of Jeremiah.

    'For I am gracious,' declares the Lord; 'I will not be angry forever'. (Jeremiah 3:12 NASB)

    And you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance That I gave you; And I will make you serve your enemies In the land which you do not know; For you have kindled a fire in My anger which will burn forever. (Jeremiah 17:4 NASB)

This is dishonest at best, since only half of Jeremiah 3:12 has been quoted. Anyone who bothers to read the verse in it's entirety would realize that the Lord said He would not look upon the nation in anger provided they returned to Him.

    Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, 'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the Lord; 'I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,' declares the Lord; 'I will not be angry forever. (Jeremiah 3:12 NASB)

Psalm 103:9 says "He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever" This is not a blanket statement, but written from David's viewpoint. In any case the verse is clarified a few verses down, where it says, (Emphasis Added)

    But the loving kindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, To those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them. (Psalms 103:17-18 NASB)

And when the prophet Malachi wrote

    Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the Lord of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant forever." (Malachi 1:4 NASB)

He was referring to Edom, a nation founded by Jacob's brother Esau that never got over its hatred of Israel to the extent that they not only cheered the Babylonians  on when they invaded Jerusalem, but helped plunder the city

    Remember, O Lord , against the sons of Edom The day of Jerusalem, Who said, "Raze it, raze it To its very foundation." (Psalms 137:7 NASB)

    Because of violence to your brother Jacob, You will be covered with shame, And you will be cut off forever. On the day that you stood aloof, On the day that strangers carried off his wealth, And foreigners entered his gate And cast lots for Jerusalem-- You too were as one of them. (Obadiah 1:10-11 NASB)

In summary, the supposed contradiction arises from a very shallow understanding of the Scriptures, the overall message of which is that God's does not hold any anger towards those that repent.


Zero Knowledge of The More Complex Aspects of The Bible

The Law Was, Or Was Not, Superseded By The Christian Dispensation
Unfortunately this is an issue that has long been a bone of contention in the church. 

Many Christians struggle with the tension between the Old Testament emphasis on regulations, and the New Testament emphasis on grace. Few have any idea what our relationship to the Old Testament should be, especially when it comes to the Old Testament Laws (particularly the Ten Commandments), and the keeping of the Sabbath and/or other Feasts of the Old Covenant.

This complex subject has been dealt with in great detail on the page Jesus and The Law


Was David's Throne to Endure Forever or Was It Cast Down?
Two verses in Psalm 89 read

    Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful." (Psalms 89:35-37 NASB)

    You have made his splendor to cease and cast his throne to the ground. (Psalms 89:44 NASB)

The Psalmist begins by speaking of the covenant that God had with king David.. that his throne would endure forever. However, he then laments the fact that the promise seems to have failed... the crown has been profaned in the dust, the walls are broken down, the land has been possessed by strangers and the nation is in oppressive captivity. He apparently believes that God has abandoned His people.

However, this is far from the case. God saying that David's throne would be established forever did not literally mean that the human kings of Judah would forever reign. Much to the contrary, Jesus, who was of the line of David, has always been destined to inherit the throne for all eternity. Here are some other verses that have to be taken into consideration in order to gain an overall picture.

    God told Ezekiel that no one would wear the crown until "He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.' (Ezekiel 21:27)

    In Ezekiel 37:24 God said His servant David would be the King of a united kingdom, which is an obvious reference to the Messiah since the 'united kingdom' hasn't existed since shortly after David's time.

    The prophet Jeremiah, was born some 400 years after David, lived in the final days of a crumbling nation and witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem. Yet he prophesied that "at that time" a "righteous Branch of David" would spring forth (Jeremiah 33:15). Isaiah echoed these word saying "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. (Isaiah 11:1 NASB). If you read Isaiah 11 in its entirety, it becomes very obvious that the prophet was not referring to a human ruler, which could never accomplish what this one will.

    The angel Gabriel told Mary that Jesus would be the Son of the Most High and the Lord God would give Him the throne of His father David, and He would reign over the house of Jacob forever  (Luke 1:32 NASB)

The throne is, and always has been, intended for Jesus. And for those who look around them and, understandably, ask what kind of reign this is, we have to remember that He will only finally rule at the end of this age, when He defeats His enemies and returns to earth to take His rightful place... events which will be heralded by the 7th Trumpet.

For more understanding of the three stage emergence of the Kingdom, See The Kingdom When?


Three More Serious Allegations
I almost hate to say it, but I find most accusations of "discrepancies" are extremely tedious to deal with, simply because they would never have been brought up should a a modicum of common sense been applied in the first place. In most cases, alleged contradictions are far more easily raised, than answered. Regardless of how frivolous, it can take a great deal of research to answer an objection.

However, once in a while, the charge is aimed at something more serious than whether or not the Israelites ever counted the legs on a grasshopper. These issues are not only extremely interesting, but very important for the Christian to understand, since they have a bearing on Christian theology and beliefs. The first is not only extremely interesting but stupendously important, questioning, as it does, Jesus' eligibility to sit forever on David's throne.

     The first has to do with the fact that God put a curse on king Jeconiah, which barred any of Jeconiah's descendants from assuming David's throne. This has the potential to be a huge problem, since it would exclude Jesus who was son of Joseph, a direct descendant of Jeconiah, from ever inheriting the throne of David. Obviously, this allegation strikes at the very heart of Christianity.

In the next two, statements made by the Son of Man appear to be contradicted by Old Testament events.

     Jesus' statement that "No one has seen God at any time... " appears to be contradicted by the Old Testament that has numerous examples of people who claim to have seen God.

     Jesus said no man but Him has ever ascended into Heaven, yet the Old Testament appears to show that both Elijah and Enoch went up to Heaven. Or does it?


Is Jesus Barred From Being The Heir to David's Throne?
The covenant God made with David promised that one of his descendants (the Messiah, as Isaiah made very clear) would sit on the throne forever.

    (10) even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I tell you that the Lord will build a house for you.  (11) "When your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. (12) "He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. (13) "I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My loving kindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. (14) "But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever." (1 Chronicles 17:10-14 NASB)

Not only was Jesus commonly called "Son of David", but Luke made it abundantly clear that He was the one who would inherit David's throne (Also See Acts 2:30)

    He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; (Luke 1:32 NASB)

And, referring to David, Paul told the synagogue officials in Pisidian Antioch

    From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, (Acts 13:23 NASB)

The problem being that, according to the genealogy in Matthew 1:6-16, Jesus, through Joseph, was a direct descendant of king Jeconiah.

The Curse Of Jeconiah
In Psalm 89:32-37, the Lord swore that David's descendants would endure forever and his throne would be forever established. However, if David's sons violated the Lord's laws, they would be punished.

Although several of the Judean kings did not keep His commandments, the one we are concerned with here is king Jehoiachin (also called Jeconiah or Coniah) who was only eighteen years old when he ascended to the throne. Since Jeconiah's reign only lasted some three months before he surrendered to the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, and was deported as part of the Babylonian captivity (See Esther 2:6), it apparently did not take him very long to "do evil in the sight of the Lord" (2 Kings 24:8-9).

The prophet Jeremiah foretold Jeconiah's capture by Nebuchadnezzar and his subsequent imprisonment in Babylon. Note that the Bible's account has been confirmed by archaeology. A clay tablet found in the ruins of ancient Babylon near the Ishtar Gate in Iraq mentions Jeconiah, king of Judah, and his sons as recipients of food rations including oil, in Babylon. (James B. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969) Pg. 308).

In Jeremiah 22:24-30 the Lord pronounced a curse on Jeconiah and his descendants, declaring them ineligible to sit upon the throne of David as the king of Israel: The first verse says even if he were a signet ring on the Lord's hand, the Lord would pull it off.

    (24) "As I live," declares the Lord, "even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off;  (25)  and I will give you over into the hand of those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those whom you dread, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans.  (26)  "I will hurl you and your mother who bore you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die.  (27)  "But as for the land to which they desire to return, they will not return to it.  (28)  "Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known?  (29)  "O land, land, land, Hear the word of the Lord! (30) "Thus says the Lord, 'Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants (Heb. zera) will prosper sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.'" (Jeremiah 22:24-30 NASB)

Verse 28 acknowledges the fact that Jeconiah would have descendants (seven sons according to 1 Chronicles 3:17-18, who were born after the deportation to Babylon according to Matthew 1:11) but he was to be entered into the genealogical records as childless (Vs. 30) since since none of his posterity ever sat on the throne of David.

If the curse bars any of Jeconiah's descendants from assuming David's throne, Joseph, directly descended from the ill fated king, had to be excluded from being the father of the future king of Israel, which begs the question ... has God somehow 'forgotten' or 'overlooked' the curse on Jeconiah's descendants, or is there some other explanation?

Two possible options have been put forth

1) The Curse was limited to Jeconiah's lifetime:
It is possible, as one train of thought goes, that the words "A man who will not prosper in his days" in Jeremiah 22, limits the curse to Jeconiah's lifetime and his immediate children. Zera, The Hebrew word that Jeremiah used means "seed". It can refer to generations of descendants as when the Lord told Abraham "to your descendants (Heb. zera) I will give this land" (Genesis 12:7). However, the word can also mean a child, as in when Eve, referring to Seth, said "God has appointed me another offspring (Heb. zera) in place of Abel, for Cain killed him" (Genesis 4:25)

    Note: it is true that 2 Kings 25:27-30 and Jeremiah 52:31-34 say that Evil-merodach, Nebuchadnezzar's successor, released Jeconiah from prison where he had languished for 37 years, after which Jeconiah changed his prison garb and ate with the king. However, one can hardly construe this as the king "prospering"...

2) God reversed the curse on Jeconiah's descendants.
Some believe that it is unlikely to be coincidental that the prophet Haggai told Zerubbabel, Jeconiah's grandson (1 Chronicles 3:17-19), that God had chosen him and would make him "like a signet ring". (Haggai 2:23)

    Note, it was Zerubbabel who led the first group of captives from Babylon back to Jerusalem and began rebuilding the Temple (Ezra 3:2,8 etc), However, although he was not a king, assuming, as many believe, Sheshbazzar is the Babylonian version of Zerubbabel's name, he was the only person ever referred to as "the prince of Judah" (Ezra 1:8).

However, if one were to look at the preceding verses in Haggai, it becomes evident that Haggai 2:23 is Messianic (possibly with Zerubbabel being a 'type' of Christ).

    (20) Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, (21) "Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, 'I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.  (22)  'I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.'  (23)  'On that day,' declares the Lord of hosts, 'I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,' declares the Lord, 'and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,'" declares the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:20-23 NASB)

"That day" refers to the period yet in the future (the very near future) when when the Lord shakes the heavens and the earth (Vs.21) and overthrows all earthly kingdoms (Vs. 22) However, it is the Messiah who will overthrow the nations, not Zerubbabel...

    Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. (Zechariah 14:3 NASB)

In other words, it is the Messiah who will bear the seal, or signet, of the Lord.

Jesus was not a biological descendant of Jeconiah
However, I cannot see how either of the two preceding options matter, simply because Jesus was not of the 'seed' of Jeconiah... Although Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. Joseph who planned to secretly send her away was stopped from doing so by an angel who told him not to be afraid to marry Mary because the Child who was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit. As the angel said...

    "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us." (Matthew 1:21-23 NASB)

In other words although Joseph was Jesus' legal father, he was not Jesus' physical father, therefore the curse was not inherited by Jesus. This certainly fits in with the fact that the Lord told the serpent that it would be through the seed of the woman that the serpent's seed would be defeated.

    And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel." (Genesis 3:15 NASB)

However, remember that God promised David that one of his descendants would sit on the throne forever. In other words, the Messiah had to would be of the house of David and from the tribe of Judah.


The Tribe of Judah
Jesus is mentioned as the Lion of Judah in Revelation

    and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals."  (Revelation 5:5 NASB)

This title stems from the distant past when, in Genesis 49, Jacob was dying, and summoned his sons to his bedside and told each of them was would befall them in the days to come. The prophecy made to Judah involved a special blessing for his tribe. Calling him a " lion's whelp" (Vs. 9), Jacob told Judah (What is particularly interesting is that Judah was not Jacob's first born, but his fourth son).

    "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.  (Genesis 49:10 NASB)

The scepter is a staff held by a ruling monarch as an emblem of authority and power. Ancient Jewish commentators associated "Shiloh" with the Messiah. In other words, Jacob prophesied that the tribe of Judah would always carry the scepter.

Until David, the greatest leaders in Israel were from other tribes. For example, Moses and Samuel were Levites, Joshua an Ephraimite, Gideon from the tribe of Manasseh, and Saul, the first king of Israel was from the tribe of Benjamin. However, David, born into the tribe of Judah some 800 years after Jacob's prophecy, was chosen by God to be king of Israel over all twelve tribes.

Fast forward to about 6 or 7 A.D. when the Romans who ruled Israel had enough of the, to put it kindly, inept rule of Archelaus, replacing him with Caponius whom they  named Procurator of Judea. However, this is where the story gets interesting. According to the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, Caponius was sent ...to have supreme power over the Jews. (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 17; chapter 13 verse 2 and Book 18; chapter 1 verse 1).

    Josephus' choice of words is telling. To say that the governor was given the "supreme power over the Jews" was to acknowledge a dramatic shift. The Jewish people and its Sanhedrin leadership had lost the ability to adjudicate capital cases. When this event took place in 6 or 7 AD, the Jews were horrified! Rabbinical teaching saw this as the scepter having departed. This quote from the Talmud bears out the significance of this change in Jewish thought:

    "Woe unto us for the scepter has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come!" (Babylonian Talmud, chapter 4, folio 37).

    They thought God had failed to keep His promise. What they didn't know was that a young carpenter's boy was alive and well in Galilee. Indeed, "Shiloh" had come! [09]


The House of David
However, not only did the Messiah have to belong to the tribe of Judah, in order to inherit the throne of David, He had to specifically be a descendant of the monarch... a requirement that was easily fulfilled. Although Jesus was legally, but not biologically, Joseph's son, He still belonged to the house of David through Mary, who was a descendant of Nathan, one of David's other sons (Luke 3:31). (Joseph was a descendant of Solomon).

Which brings up the common objection that tribal affiliation is conferred through the birth father only. Two of the commonly quoted verses quoted are

    and they assembled all the congregation together on the first of the second month. Then they registered by ancestry in their families, by their fathers' households, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, head by head,  (Numbers 1:18 NASB)

    For the tribe of the sons of Reuben have received theirs according to their fathers' households, and the tribe of the sons of Gad according to their fathers' households, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received their possession. (Numbers 34:14 NASB)

The first example only relates how people were counted for a census, which was used for military purposes. As Numbers 1:2-3 specifically says...  they needed an accurate count of able men, twenty years old and up, in each tribe who were "able to go out to war in Israel"

The second example says that sons received their inheritance from their fathers. However, when a man died without a male heir, the inheritance passed to the daughter, or daughters, as in the case of the five daughters of Zelophehad, who was of the tribe of Manasseh (see Numbers 27). In other words, the women born into a particular tribe are affiliated with that tribe and all their physical possessions belong to that tribe. While "inheritance" usually means physical possessions...the most important being land in the Old Testament, I think it is important to note what the sisters said to Moses.... "Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father's brothers." (Vs. 4 NASB).

    (Note: Had any of the sisters married someone from one of the other tribes of Israel, all their inheritance would pass to that tribe (Numbers 36:3), which is why the sisters were instructed to only marry someone from their own tribe, which they did). 

Tradition has long held that, although Mary may have had a sister, she did not have any brothers. Therefore, it was her right, through birth, to inherit affiliation to the tribe of Judah, which was her father's tribe. This did not change after she married Joseph, since he was also of the tribe of Judah.

Please note that the lineage of Jesus' legal father Joseph and His human mother Mary were recorded in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38, which were written while the genealogical records in the Temple were still intact. Considering how important genealogy was to the Jews, and how violently most of them disagreed with Jesus' claims, you can bet your life that those temple records were checked very carefully by those who would have given anything to discredit Jesus. Yet, not one single person ever questioned the validity of what Matthew and Luke wrote. So much so that as the author of Hebrews later wrote

    For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.  (Hebrews 7:14 NASB)

In summary, Jesus not only fulfilled the prophecy to be born of a virgin, but was physically descended from David through Mary, and was the legal son of David through Joseph...without being the 'seed' of Jeconiah.


Two Instances where Old Testament Events Appear to Contradict Statements Made by Jesus

1) Can God Be "Seen" or Not
Many seem to believe that, when it comes to God's invisibility, the Bible contradicts itself... some verses seeming to indicate that He cannot be seen, while others seem to unambiguously state that, on occasion (especially in the Old Testament), people saw Him. Because of space constraints, I have put this into a separate article Has Anyone Ever Seen God? READ


2) Did Elijah and/or Enoch Ascend to Heaven?
The Gospel of John has Jesus unambiguously stating that NO man, but Jesus Himself has ever ascended into Heaven. However, the second book of Kings equally clearly says Elijah went up into heaven via a whirlwind.

    No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. (John 3:13 NASB)

    As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. (2 Kings 2:11 NASB)

In our English Old Testaments, there is a distinction made between "sky" and "heaven" (or heavens). However, it was the translators who decided which English word to use, since no such distinction exists in the original Hebrew. In all cases the Hebrew word used is shmayim, which was used in three different ways... -

    1) The visible sky, where birds fly, and clouds float.
    God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." [Genesis 1:28 NASB]

    2) Outer space... home to planets, stars and millions of galaxies.
    And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." [Genesis 15:5 NASB]

    3) The third, far less tangible place, is where God Himself dwells. In the Old Testament, this heaven was often described by using shmayim twice, which was then translated into "the heaven of the heavens" or "the highest heaven". The word "and" in two of the verses below certainly indicate that two different heavens are being referred to...

       Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. (Deuteronomy 10:14 NASB)

       But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!  (1 Kings 8:27 NASB)

       You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them... (Nehemiah 9:6 NASB)

See What And Where is "Heaven"?... Part I

There is a very interesting conversation in 1 Kings 18 that takes place between Obadiah and Elijah, when Obadiah was sent out during a famine by king Ahab, to scour the land for enough grass and keep the horses and mules alive (Vs. 5). Obadiah happened to meet Elijah who told him to go to king Ahab and tell him that he (Elijah) was there (Vs. 8). Obadiah protested, telling Elijah that as soon as his back was turned "the Spirit of the Lord" would carry him away and Ahab would surely put Obadiah to death (presumably for lying to him). Apparently, Obadiah was well aware that Elijah could just "disappear".

Additionally both Elisha and the "sons of the prophets" from Bethel and Jericho knew ahead of time that the Lord was going to take Elijah away (2 Kings 2:1-5). Verses 11 and 12 tell us that "a chariot of fire and horses of fire" separated Elisha from Elijah. Then "Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven" and Elisha "saw Elijah no more". However, by parting the waters of the Jordan, Elisha showed that the spirit of Elijah now rested on him (as he had requested in verse 9) which the sons of the prophets immediately recognized.

What is particularly interesting is that these prophets, and I emphasize the word prophets (See Footnote I), who had prior knowledge that the Lord was about to take Elijah away, seemed not to be at all aware that he had been transported to the highest heaven, or God's throne. In fact, they offered to go search for him.

    They said to him, "Behold now, there are with your servants fifty strong men, please let them go and search for your master; perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has taken him up and cast him on some mountain or into some valley." And he said, "You shall not send." But when they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, "Send." They sent therefore fifty men; and they searched three days but did not find him. They returned to him while he was staying at Jericho; and he said to them, "Did I not say to you, 'Do not go'?" (2 Kings 2:16-18 NASB)

Most theologians believe that the prophets did not find Elijah because he was now 'in heaven', and Elisha urged them not to undertake the search because he knew this.

But is this true?

If so, it was quite remarkable that, just a few years later, a letter came from Elijah to king Jehoram, warning him that because he had not walked in the ways of his father but had killed his own family and caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot, the Lord was going to strike his people, his sons and his wives with a great calamity (2 Chronicles 21:11-15). Note that Jehoram ruled Judah for eight years, from 848-841 BC (See Chart http://www.ldolphin.org/kings.html). Elijah's ministry was roughly from 870-850 BC... that is he "left" some two years before Jehoram even ascended to the throne.

The verses quoted begin with the words

    "Then a letter (Heb. miktb) came to him from Elijah the prophet saying.... "

The Hebrew miktb means something written... a letter or document. The same Hebrew word is twice used in Exodus 32:16... "The tablets were God's work, and the writing (Heb. miktb) was God's writing (Heb. miktb) engraved on the tablets". And correct me if you have read differently, but I know of no instance when anyone from 'the highest heaven' that wrote letters to people on earth. Dreams.. yes, visions.. yes, personal visits... yes. Letters... no.

Josephus certainly got it right. As he said in the Antiquities Of The Jews

    "Now at this time it was that Elijah disappeared from among men, and no one knows of his death to this very day; but he left behind him his disciple Elisha, as we have formerly declared. And indeed, as to Elijah, and as to Enoch, who was before the Deluge, it is written in the sacred books that they disappeared; but so nobody knew that they died." [08]

Enoch
The book of Genesis says...

    So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not (Heb. ayin), for God took him. (Genesis 5:23-24 NASB)

There are several points to be noted about these two verses....

1) The expression "all his days" is used eight times in this chapter however, it was always followed by "and he died". For example "So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died (Vs 5). The only exception to this is Enoch, which should make it perfectly obvious that he didn't die at the end of 365 years which, by the way, was exceptionally young for men of those days... (Seth lived nine hundred and twelve years, Kenan lived nine hundred and ten years, Jared nine hundred and sixty two etc)

2) Verse 24 does not say where God took Enoch. There is absolutely no evidence that, as so many assume, God 'taking" Enoch means that He took him to heaven.

According to the King James version, Hebrews 11:5 says...

    By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated (Gk. metatithemi) him: for before his translation (Gk. metathesis) he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  (Hebrews 11:5 KJV)

The CLV (Concordant Literal Version) and Young's Literal Translation support the King James version' rendering of this verse, respectively using "transferred" and "translated". Sadly, in accordance with pre-conceived ideas, the translators of the NASB put it this way...

    By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. (Hebrews 11:5 NASB)

The Greek word, metatithemi, occurs only four other times in the NT.

    And Jacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died. "From there they were removed (Gk. metatithemi) to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. (Acts 7:15-16 NASB)

    I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting (Gk. metatithemi) Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; (Galatians 1:6 NASB)

    For when the priesthood is changed (Gk. metatithemi), of necessity there takes place a change of law also. (Hebrews 7:12 NASB)

    For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn (Gk. metatithemi) the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  (Jude 1:4 NASB)

The first two examples indicate something being moved, and the second two indicate change. Since it is unlikely that God changed Enoch, one has to assume that He moved the prophet from one location to the other, which is not exactly unknown in the Bible.

Ezekiel was moved once by the Spirit of God to Tel-abib on the river Chebar where many of the Jewish exiles lived (Ezekiel 3: 14-15). The second time the prophet was lifted "between earth and heaven" and taken to one of the gates of the Temple (Ezekiel 8:3). This also occurred in the New Testament. After baptizing the eunuch Acts 8:39-40 says Philip was caught, or snatched, away to Azotus, and the eunuch saw him no more.

One can only assume that Enoch continued to live in an unknown location until he eventually died... And yes, he did die. The book of Hebrews makes this very clear.


Did Enoch Die?
In chapter 10 of the New Testament book of Hebrews, the author who is urging his readers not to throw away their confidence, which has great reward. He also tells them that they have "need of endurance" so that, when they have done the will of God, they may receive what was promised" (Hebrews 10:35-36). Chapter 11 opens with a definition of faith, then lists a number of heroes of the Old Testament who lived by faith, many of whom accomplished great things. His point being that they did not receive, in their lifetimes, what was promised.. the Messiah. However, they did gain approval through their faith (Vs.39)

Among the people listed are Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites in the wilderness and at the fall of Jericho, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel and the prophets. However, what we need to take note of is that halfway through the list, verse 13 says

    All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13 NASB)

Which leaves us with one problem.. Hebrews 11:5 also says that Enoch was 'transferred' (CLV) so that he would not see death. When Jesus clearly taught that "the Son of Man who had descended from heaven was the only one who would ascend into heaven (John:3:13), it is impossible that Enoch was transferred to heaven without tasting death.

There is obviously something here that we don't quite understand, but two possibilities come to mind.

One being that God moved Enoch so that he would not die then and there. Perhaps his life was in danger and he yet had a mission to accomplish somewhere else. This could possibly be related to the fact that, as Jude wrote, Enoch preached that the Lord was coming "with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." (Jude 1:14-15 NASB)

The second possibility, which I find far less persuasive, is that the author of Hebrews was speaking of the 'second death' which every non-believer will go through. Jesus said... "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death."  (John 8:51 NASB)

It is obvious that vast numbers of Jesus' followers have died since He spoke these words. However, according to the teaching of Scriptures, Jesus' disciples will not die permanently. In fact it is only the body that dies, and even that will be raised up to eternal life in the last day (John 6:54) 

Boiled down to its essentials, the Bible's offer is simple... choose life or choose death. God has offered us eternal life and has warned that declining his offer means dying... permanently. By the way, if dying once seems bad enough... try doing it twice. Because should we choose not to accept His offer, the Bible teaches that this is exactly what will happen. [ See chapters The Message of The Bible and The Warning of the Bible.


Footnote I
As said by Tim Bulkeley

"In the Bible not all prophets are solitary individuals. A number of times groups of prophets who "prophesy" together are mentioned.... The group in 1 Sam 19:20 has "Samuel at their head" and Elijah and Elisha were also associated with groups (2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7, 15; 4:1, 38; 5:22 and especially 6:1ff.). The members of these groups were known as "sons of prophets" and they sometimes acted singly (1 Kings 20:35ff.).

The reference in 2 Kings 6:1 to a building where the sons of prophets sat or lived "before" Elisha may suggest that these groups received some form of training, or at least spiritual leadership from such figures. The stories in 1 Kings 20 & 22 suggest that these guilds of prophets were consulted for (or offered) God's opinion on public events". [10] [PLACE IN TEXT]



Continue On To Part 6: Why Jesus is Without Equal
The claim to authority made by the founders of most religions, is generally based on visions they claim to have had, and/or their own experiences or wisdom. However, anyone can claim to be divine, be divinely inspired, or have mystical visions or experiences. Additionally, a charismatic or powerful personality, wisdom, humility, compassion, written or spoken eloquence, or even righteousness, is no proof of Divine inspiration. It seems within the bounds of common sense that if God were to send a messenger/savior to mankind, He would have at least given us some way to distinguish the true messenger from the false (and potentially dangerous) one. And, it certainly seems to me that the simplest way to do this would be to tell us about him before hand. And so He did. Although many details of the Messiahs birth, life and death were given us by other prophets, Daniel  specified EXACTLY when the Messiah would appear. .  CLICK HEREl


Endnotes (Chapter 5)
[01] Jona Lendering. Hannibal in the Alps. http://www.livius.org/source-content/hannibal-in-the-alps/

[02] ibid.

[03] Eric Lyons, M.Min. Did the Bible Writers Commit Biological Blunders?
http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=2731

[04] http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=fowl&searchmode=none. Emphasis Added

[05] Drs. Foster & Smith. petducation.com. Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Cecotropes and Coprophagy.
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=18+1799&aid=2932

[06] Dave Greear. Evidences of the Christian Faith. Chapter 4... The Reliability of the Bible.
www.campuslight.org/wvu/EvidencesCFaith/Chapter4.html

[07] "101 'Cleared-Up' Contradictions In The Bible" By: Jay Smith, Alex Chowdhry, Toby Jepson, James Schaeffer and edited by Craig Winn. http://web.comhem.se/~u18208324/min/contrad.htm

[08] Josephus Antiquities Of The Jews- Book IX. http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-9.htm

[09] Rob Sullivan. The Roman Governor Who Fulfilled Prophecy (NOT Pontius Pilate). Associates for Biblical Research. http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2015/02/26/The-Roman-Governor-Who-Fulfilled-Prophecy-(NOT-Pontius-Pilate).aspx

[10] Dr Tim Bulkeley. Bible Study notes and Biblical commentaries. http://www.bible.gen.nz/amos/prophets.htm

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