My name is Garry Stopa. I am a Christian Author. I declared Jesus to be my Lord on August 21, 1989. At the time, I was told that the Bible did not contradict itself. It was written by about forty authors over somewhere between 1500 and 2000 years. I found this to be fascinating.
I find it interesting that someone who believes, believes and does not need any proof. I am a believer. I realized from the very beginning that there seemed to be minor discrepancies in Scripture. I summed it up as translation issues. Now that I write books, I often have to dig through these apparent disagreements and give evidence to support my reasoning.
First we need to understand the Bible has been translated from two languages---Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament. Hebrew is a simple language with only a handful of words compared English (1). Greek on the other hand has hundreds of thousands more words than the English language (2). This poses a huge problem in translating. We often take a Hebrew word and have to add words to it to explain its meaning, and on the flip-side, we have to use several words to describe a Greek word.
A good example is found in the Gospel of John. The Bible says in John 18:28 (NKJV), "Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover." This is when Jesus was in confinement before going to the cross. The Pharisees did not want to enter the Praetorium (courtyard) where Jesus was beaten because they did not want to be defiled. The verse says, "that they might eat the Passover".
At first, this verse seems to make sense. They did not want to enter because they did not want to be defiled. The trouble is this; the Passover made them right with God after they ate---not before. There was no need to be concerned about defilement before eating the meal. The problem lies in three words, they might eat. These three words come from a single word pronounced phago in Greek (3). This word means to eat. There is no past tense or future tense. The translator added the word might at their own discretion. It obviously would have been more appropriate to say they had eaten.
Does the Bible contradict itself? No. In its original language, there are no contradictions.
This is a new website, I plan to build it up over time. If you have questions about an apparent discrepancy in Scripture, send me a comment, I will see what I discover.
(1) Modern Hebrew has between 60,000 and 150,000 words. As with any language, there is no clear-cut count. - According to http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_words_in_Hebrew_language(2) The Greek language is the richest in the world with 5 million words and 70 million word types, according to the 1990 Guinness Book of Records, while the English language has only 490.000 words. It also underlined the meaning of the alphabet in a language as the letters symbolize specific qualities. - According to http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_richest_language_in_the_world
(3) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by JAMES STRONG, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, G5315 phago.