List of Some Old Testament Errors and Contradictions

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  1. Gen 32:30 (ESV) states: “… for I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” Is 6:1 (ESV) – “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne … “ However, John 1:18 (ESV) states, “No one has ever seen God; …”
    1. Was God seen or not seen? Verses support both. [DTA]
    2. Following are examples of an explanation (from random Internet sites):
      1. “Actually, the contradiction exists in our understanding, not in the Bible--which is always the case with alleged biblical contradictions.”
      2. “The solution is simple. All you need to do is accept what the Bible says. If the people of the OT were seeing God, the Almighty God, and Jesus said that no one has ever seen the Father (John 6:46), then they were seeing God Almighty, but not the Father. It was someone else in the Godhead. I suggest that they were seeing the Word before He became incarnate. In other words, they were seeing Jesus.”
    3. This is a good example of how twisted the solutions have to be to overcome the many contradictions. [DTA]
  2. Genesis 2:17 (ESV) - “… for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 5:5 (ESV) - “Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.”
  3. Genesis 4:8 – “And Cain said to his brother … and it came to pass while they were in the field, …” – There appears to be missing text as what they spoke about is missing. What is the point of “And Cain spoke to his brother”
  4. Matt 19:26 - “… with God all things are possible.” Judges 1:19: “And the Lord was with Judah, … but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain because they had chariots of iron.”
  5. James 1:13 (ESV) – “… God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” Gen 22:1 (ESV) – “After these things God tested Abraham …” (KJV) – “God did tempt Abraham … “
  6. Genesis 6:20 (KJV) – “Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee … “ Genesis 7:2-3 (KJV) – “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and female: and the beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens …”
  7. Same verses in Genesis 36:31-39 and 1 Chr 1:43-50.
  8. The last two verses in 2 Chr 36 are repeated as first three verses in Ezra 1.
  9. Example of missing text:
    1. 2 Chr 36:23 (KJV) “Who is there among you of all his people? The Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.” Go up to where?
    2. Ez 1:3 (KJV) “Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem”
  10. Lev 11:20 (KJV) – All fowls that creep, going on all four …” Note: ESV replaces fowl with insects. Fowls do not creep on all fours.
  11. Lev 11:6 (ESV) – “and the hare, because it chews the cud …” Note: the hare does not chew the cud (ruminate).
  12. Did Saul first meet young David as a musician (1 Sam. 16: 18-21), or as the killer of Goliath (1 Sam. 17)?
  13. 1 Sam 13:1 (KJV) “Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel …” What is the purpose of the text, “Saul reigned one year”?
  14. 1 Samuel 31:4-6 (ESV) - “Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it.” 2 Samuel 21:12 (ESV) – “… on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa.”
  15. 2 Samuel 6:23 (ESV) – “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.” 2 Samuel 21:8 (KJV) – “… and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, …” Note that ESV says “… the five sons of Merab …”
  16. 2 Samuel 8:3-4 (ESV) – “David also defeated Hadadezer … and took from him 1,700 horsemen …” (KJV – 700 horsemen) 1 Chronicles 21:8 (ESV) “… 7000 horsemen …” (KJV – 7000 horsemen). Note 3 different numbers here.
  17. 1 Kings 4:26 (KJV)– “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, …” 2 Chronicles 9:25 (KJV) – “And Solomon had four thousand stalls …” ESV has same contradiction.
  18. 2 Kings 8:26 (ESV) – “Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, …” 2 Chronicles 22:2(KJV) – “forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, …” Note that ESV says twenty two years and KJV says forty two years.
  19. 2 Kings 24:8 (ESV)– “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.” 2 Chronicles 36:9 (KJV)– “Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days.” – Note that ESV says eighteen years and KJV says eight years.
  20. 2 Kings 25:8 (ESV) “In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month …” Jeremiah 52:12(ESV) – “In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month …”
  21. The last chapter of 2 Kings 27-30 is repeated in the last chapter of Jeremiah, v31-34.
  22. 1 Chronicles 20:3 KJV “And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes.” ESV “ … set them to labor with saws and iron picks and axes.”
  23. Ezra 2 (KJV) “The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore (42,360) …” When the number in the previous verses are added up, the result is 29,818.
  24. Note on the two lists of numbers in Ezra and Nehemiah: Both of these accounts describe the return from Babylon and the numbers are irreconcilable. The ways bible scholars explain these errors are many, convoluted and based on Hebrew traditions (i.e. only count the men).
  25. Jeremiah: The story in chapter 21 ends at verse 10 and picks back up on chapter 38 verse 1. The book appears to be out of order.
  26. Jeremiah has two accounts of how Jeremiah ends up in prison. (Similar to how there are two stories of how Saul meets David)
    1. Jer 37 11-15
    2. Jer 38 1-6
  27. Jer 39:1 begins with (KJV) “In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it.” As if the previous chapters, which detail this siege, had not been presented to the reader. Again, seems out of order.
  28. Jer 52:1-4 (KJV) and again, in the last chapter, in these verses, the beginning of the story is repeated again.
  29. Job – there is evidence the book of Job is non-Hebrew, that it was translated from another language and was written by a Gentile.
  30. Love thy enemies? Israel, at God’s command slaughtered entire cities over and over again. [DTA]
  31. The marginal notes in Hebrew Codices show different readings (Spinoza).