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Are there contradictions in the Bible?

Two Creation Accounts

Some people like to use the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 to say that there are contradictions in the Bible. According to Genesis 1, God made the trees on day three, the birds from water on day five, and the animals on day six, all before man. But Genesis 2 records the creation of trees, animals, and birds from dirt on day six, all after man. This apparent contradiction disappears when one reads in Genesis 2 that this chapter describes the events regarding the creation of the items in the Garden of Eden only. God knew Satan could come and say he had created all things if Adam did not actually witness God’s creative power. God made Adam on the sixth day, put him in the garden, made some trees to grow before Adam, then made one more of each of the animals so that Adam could name them and see his need of a wife. The rest of the world was already full of plants and animals from earlier in the week.1

The Bronze Laver

Another apparent contradiction appears in I Kings 7:23 and II Chronicles 4, the description of the large bowl called the brazen laver. According to both passages, the laver measures 10 cubits (elbow to fingertip, about 18 inches) across and 30 cubits around, a ratio that does not equal pi (3.14159…) and appears to be not mathematically valid. However, the 10-cubit measurement spans the inside of the bowl; the hand-breadth thickness of the brass is included in the diameter which balances the ratio to equal pi very neatly. There are no contradictions in the Bible.

Solomon’s Horses

Some have supposed a contradiction over the number of horses Solomon had. “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (I Kings 4:26), vs. “And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (II Chronicles 9:25). This is not a problem. One passage tells of the number of horses while the other tells of the number of stalls for horses and chariots. They had ten horses and ten men per chariot. The same ratio is seen in II Samuel 10:18, “And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians.” I Chronicles 19:18 says, “But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots.” (See also: II Samuel 8:4; I Chronicles 18:4).

Another common contradiction pointed out by scoffers is, “And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand” (Numbers 25:9). vs. “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand”(I Corinthians 10:8). Obviously, one thousand died later from the plague.

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