Skip to comments.Bill O’Reilly: The Bible contradicts itself
Posted on 03/02/2013 10:15:26 PM PST by TBP
Fox News anchor Bill OReilly, who is writing an upcoming book titled Killing Jesus, proclaimed on his program Wednesday night that a lot of the Bible is allegorical, and the New Testament Gospels contradict themselves.
OReilly made the remarks during an interview with Touched by an Angel star Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, executive producers of The Bible TV miniseries which begins this Sunday night on the History Channel.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...
Some of the contradictions occur due to different writers telling different stories to different audiences; some are due to insertions or deletions by scribes. (We do not have the originals.)
One of Paul's letters says women should not be church leaders, yet in another he speaks favorably of some women who are leaders of one of the churches to which he was writing. The various Gospels tell different versions of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. In one, Jesus is silent all the way to Calvary and through his execution. In another, he cries out in despair. In another, he is forgiving everyone around him. There are contradictory accounts of who went to the grave, who found the body risen, and to whom Jesus went and what he said.
There are conflicting accounts of the Christmas story. In one version, the family goes to Egypt. In another, they go back home to Galilee.
The contradictions abound. Most people don't know about them because they are somewhat suppressed by preachers, but to deny them is folly.
It's OK that there are contradictions. Different people interpret the same event in different ways and different ideas resonate with different audiences. God appears to each of us in the way we're most likely to understand. No two people have the same experience of God, nor should they. That's fine. It doesn't make the Bible any less inspired. But to deny the contradictions is simply foolish. Trying to maintain that position will force you to twist yourself around like a pretzel.
“And let US create man in OUR image”
Back it up with book chapter and verse - and we will have a nice discussion
COntextual understanding is important as well.....Just throwing out simplistic examples without full contextual exposition really is pointless
Bart Erhman.....”He remained a liberal Christian for fifteen years but later became an agnostic after struggling with the philosophical problems of evil and suffering.” from his biographical information on wikipedia.
Bleeech not impressed
Here’s one I noticed by accident:
Matthew 27: Judas seems regretful of his betrayal of Jesus, returned his money to the priests, and hung himself in shame
Acts 1: Judas seemed satisfied with his money, bought a field, and tripped and died
That’s not what it says. Not a word about tripping or satisfaction, nor is the “reward of iniquity” specified (Judas was a thief and loaded himself up with lots more “rewards of iniquity” out of the disciples’ money bag).
There are no contradictions. Isaiah 28:10-13 shows that the Bible is not written in a chronological fashion (a reflection of God’s own mind, it seems; after all, God inhabits eternity as Isaiah 57:15 says, a concept that people who live in a space-time continuum can be told about but not readily comprehend), and has parts of the story in different books. And where there are seeming contradictions in places in English versions, those are awkward and sometimes outright bad translations.
“We do not have the originals” is a ploy that Muslims use to get people to believe what the Koran says about the Bible, to wit that it has has been corrupted and that Muhammad’s alleged revelation is the only reliable (and supposedly corrected) divine message. The Masoretic Text is most assuredly the original Old Testament, as the Textus Receptus is the original New Testament.
Very little sympathy will result in a simultaneous attack on the Bible and defense of O’Reilly’s liberalism, at least on this forum.
John 1 KJV
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Here is one good resource (check your apparent contradiction here and see if it is explained satisfactorily):
“Matt 27:5 states that Judas “threw the pieces of silver....and he went away and hanged himself.”
Acts 1:18 states, “and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.”
It’s rather easy to reconcile these:
1. First, Judas tried to kill himself by hanging himself. And this is not always a successful way. Maybe he tried, and failed (as have many others who have tried to commit suicide by hanging). Then after some time, he threw himself off a cliff and fell upon some jagged rocks. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon for people who commit suicide to have tried it before.
2. Judas could have tied a rope to a tree branch that extended over a cliff (after all, you have to get some space between your feet and the ground to hang yourself). In this situation, the rope/branch could have broke before or after death, and Judas plummeted to the ground and landed on some jagged rocks.
Certainly, these explanations are plausible, thus a contradiction has not been established. More from Frank Decenso below.
One of my favorites. My explanation for atheists and critics...
MAT 27:5-8 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
First of all, notice that the text does not say that Judas died as a result of hanging. All it says is that he “went and hanged himself.” Luke however, in Acts, tells us that “and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.” This is a pretty clear indication (along with the other details given in Acts - Peter’s speech, the need to pick a new apostle, etc.) that at least after Judas’ fall, he was dead. So the whole concept that Matthew and Luke both recount Judas’ death is highly probable, but not clear cut. Therefore, if I were to take a radical exegetical approach here, I could invalidate your alleged contradiction that there are two different accounts of how Judas died.
Notice verse 5.”Then he...went and hanged himself.” Matthew does not say Judas died, does it? Should we assume he died as a result of the hanging?
What does Acts say? ACT 1:18 (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.
ACT 1:20 “For it is written in the book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, And let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let another take his office.’
Here we may have a graphic explanation of Judas’ death. Of course, maybe someone can find some medical source somewhere that discusses the possibility of one having their entrails gush out after being burst open in the middle, and still survive. :)
So, my line of reasoning to dispel the contradiction myth re: the “two” accounts of Judas’ death is this. Matthew doesn’t necessarily explain how Judas died; he does say Judas “hanged himself”, but he didn’t specifically say Judas died in the hanging incident. However, Acts seems to show us his graphic demise. Therefore, there is no contradiction between Matthew and Acts re: Judas’ death.
We do know from Matthew that he did hang himself and Acts probably records his death. It is possible and plausible that he fell from the hanging and hit some rocks, thereby bursting open. However, Matthew did not say Judas died as a result of the hanging, did he? Most scholars believe he probably did, but....
One atheist I debated along these lines said... the Greek word “apagchw” (ie: hang oneself) is translated as a successful hanging. I replied, No you can’t only conclude this, although...this was a highly probable outcome. But Matthew does not state death as being a result. The Greek word is APAGCHO. Matthew 27:5 is it’s only occurrence in the New Testament. In the LXX (the Greek translation of the OT used at the time of Jesus), it’s only used in 2 Samuel 17:23 : “Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father’s tomb.” Notice that not only is it stated that Ahithophel “hanged himself” [Gr. LXX, APAGCHO], but it explicitly adds, “and died”. Here we have no doubt of the result. In Matthew, we are not explicitly told Judas died. Also, there is nothing in the Greek to suggest success or failure. It simply means “hang oneself”. —Frank
It's called the "royal we." Monarchs use the plural because when they refer to themselves they are also referring to the state. Archaic today, but remember who commissioned the King James translation.
Also to be considered— which Bible translation are you looking at?
The King James or the NIV or some other?
The Bible is impervious to the modern western world’s demand for empirical truth. Faith is evidence of things not seen. Some may say that’s a convenient self-reinforcing system...but they don’t have to believe it.
Is not Jesus referred to as the “stumbling stone”, a rock that causes men to fall? They stumble because they disobey the message, and busy themselves suppressing the message, or just nitpicking it to death.
Thanks for the link!
A long time ago I found an atheist’s list of alleged Biblical contradictions, but after seeing the first five were so stupid I could resolve them without breaking open the Book, I stopped reading.
Your link looks more interesting.
I generally use the NIV. Lately I’ve been using the online version at
The plural in this case is literal. “Elohim” is the plural of “Eloah”. The first chapter of the gospel of John expands on its literality, as does Hebrews 7.
God said, "Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, crawling creatures and wild animals." And so it was.
This was the fifth day, and man was not yet created. He had already on the previous day created all the creatures of the sea as well as birds.
Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man is alone; I will make him a helper like himself." When the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and the birds of the air, he brought them to the man to see what he would call them . . . the man named all the cattle, all the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field
Here we see Man created and then all the animals, specifically and given by name including cattle and birds, both of which were specifically named in Genesis 1 as having been created before man. The same is true of plants and many other things as well, but this was the best example I think. It would be very hard to see this as anything other than a contradiction, unless one resorts to wildly strange ways of reading the text.
Matthew 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned , repented himself , and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4 Saying , I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said , What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed , and went and hanged himself . 6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said , It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
I can’t find anything that says Judas was satisfied with the reward for his treachery. These two examples indicate more of a condensation than a contradiction. Judas returned the money but the priests could not accept it and used it to purchase a field. In effect, the field comes from his perfidy, not because he personally handed the money over to the field’s owner.
In the 1599 Geneva version’s footnotes—”Acts 1:18 Luke considered not Judass purpose, but that that followed of it, and so we used to say, that a man hath procured himself harm, not that his will and purpose was so, but in respect of that which followed.”
He needed a chair, stool, or some kind of object to get higher to reach the branch on the tree to put the rope on a low hanging branch on a tree and stood on the chair and tripped it with his foot and as the weight of his body broke the rope he fell head first onto the rock, or sharp piece of wood below him cutting him wide open..... now that sounds more like it and the bible does not contradict it’s self.
Humility being one of the biggest missed lessons.
If the holy spirit doesn't talk to Bill, then Bill is wandering in the dark. Pity him, and pray for God to reveal himself to him.
On one hand, nonbelievers, and Obama guard dog O’Reilly is possibly one of them imo, have been pointing out seeming contradictions in the Bible for the last 1900+ years.
In fact, 1 Corinthians 1:18 indicates that the message of the gospels is perceived as nonsense to those who are perishing.
On the other hand, when you consider that certain passages in the many English Bible translations disagree with each other, the possibility that translators who were unfamiliar with Hebrew and Greek figures of speech simply missed the side of the barn with respect to their armchair guesses as to what a given passage means must be taken into consideration.
Interestingly, a Hebrew as first language member of another message board had commented that the KJV translation is the worst English translation of Bible that he’s ever read. And if I understand correctly, not only is modern Hebrew different from ancient Hebrew, but various books of the Old Testament are known to be written in different Hebrew dialects; just more hurdles for translators to jump.)
Finally, note that regardless that Jesus’ apostles essentially studied the Scriptures from the same scrolls that Jesus did, Luke 24:44-45 indicates the folloiwng. The apostles had failed to connect events in Jesus’ life that they had been eyewitnesses to with prophecies concerning the Messiah until Jesus opened their minds as to how things that He had done related to prophecy.
Many early Jewish and Hebrew word concepts are lost in our translations.
of course surface paradoxes, false gospels, and outright errors about what the Bible says abound, we all hear them, usually from fools like oreilly. people who want to find contradictions will of course find them. our Lord apparently doesn’t want just anyone to understand His Word. however, i find that if i think long enough, listen to the wise and humble myself enough before my Lord, i’ve found that my misunderstandings are gradually harmonized with what is demonstrated about Creation and the Word. the *apparent* contradictions have so far been both temporary and all of my own making.
“EVERY ONE” does not agree that there are contradictions. Since God is perfect, it is impossible for Him to contradict Himself.
“US” is the trilogy. God the Father, Jesus the Son and The Holy Spirit. Gos manifests himself in 3 ways.
Eyewitness accounts so seldom match down to every last detail that it’s actually supicious when they do. The fundamental facts are corroborated, though. Every observer does not see or take note of every thing identically. They’re not observing from the same vantage point or even the same location. There will be variations in truthful accounts from credible, reliable witnesses. They saw the same event from differing vantage points, locations, times and individual perspectives, therefore there was variation in their accounts.
I would suppose that this person would have a very hard time reconciling the fact that the King James Authorized Version of the Bible and the 1917 English Tanakh of the Jewish Publication Society are extremely similar, then.
Interestingly, a Hebrew as first language member of another message board had commented that the KJV translation is the worst English translation of Bible that hes ever read
... and I suppose this person believed an English translation of the Latin Vulgate to be somehow more true to Hebrew, lol?
Incorrect. That is from Genesis, 1:26 and 1:27, and has to do with what the great scholar Rashi called the Lord's "humility"...
26. And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness
Rashi: From here we learn the humility of the Holy One, blessed be He. Since man was created in the likeness of the angels, and they would envy him, He consulted them. And when He judges kings, He consults with His Heavenly household.
The very next section shows that this is not referring to a trilogy...
27. And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
re: “The plural in this case is literal. Elohim is the plural of Eloah.”
You are correct that “Elohim” is plural, and what’s interesting the article preceding Elohim is for singular, not a plural. This is why some New Testament scholars believe that the “we” passages with the singular article reflect the idea of “many” in one (the Trinity?).
Also, for those who say the “we” is due to the “royal we” that was used in King James time must remember that that is not the reason the “we” is used - it is used because it is in the Hebrew text itself, but there was no royal “we” usage in Old Testament times. That was a later european practice.
It’s not a contradiction, it’s a translation issue. See here for the explanation:
Actually I have come to a place in my life where I don’t care what man thinks, or what people have to say any more, the only thing that matters is what God says.
Amen. the direct route is always best.
i’ll just add that i can often hear and learn more from God through His God fearing elect. my best friend comes to mind. after all it is a walk and some are further along than i. for instance, i’m hearing God through you, today.
thanks and may God bless.