Bible Contradictions

There is a lot of work which goes into making a two-hour movie. I remember watching a deleted scene for Iron Man after having watched the movie with my father. The deleted scenes were from an earlier stage of film development, prior to all of the finesse and post-production which goes into making films shine, and all of the scene IDs, date stamps, and other technical information were visible at the edges of the scene.

The date stamps revealed that the few minute long scene which we were enjoying was comprised of footage filmed months apart. The finished product, however, was seamless, despite all the camera cuts, despite the varied shoots and reshoots. That continuity errors don’t crop up in every other scene in television and movies is impressive enough; that they don’t absolutely plague an entire show, movie, or series is all the more incredible.

Keeping track of all of that falls to a script supervisor, and when they and everyone else involved in a production miss something — a prop with contradictory positions when the only thing that changes is supposed to be the camera angle, an anachronistic piece of technology in a period piece, a character’s birthday being said to be two different dates at different points in a series — those issues become the realm of entertainment geeks everywhere.

We expect contradictions to crop up in any work of sufficient length — whether on film or in print — and for the most part, they aren’t all too problematic. Contradictions between scene angles, between scenes, with reality (as found in documentaries and other non-fiction works), with other works in a canon.

Given all of the above, it isn’t unreasonable at all to assume that the Bible, a long book, or more accurately, the Bible is a lengthy anthology of many books, written by dozens of diverse authors across several centuries, would have numerous “plot holes” or contradictions. Also, given that it was written and compiled with the benefit of a script supervisor, the Bible is likely to have more contradictions than a work of similar length that had the advantage of being written by a single person or by multiple people working together and with editors to ensure coherency.

Herein will be compiled a non-exhaustive list of biblical contradictions (with itself, with reality, and in some cases, with Christian orthodoxy), with as honest and thorough an examination as I can provide. I may disappoint fellow unbelievers by pointing out that some supposed contradictions aren’t really problems at all, and I accept that I’ll disappoint plenty of believers by stating steadfastly that certain contradictions are indeed true contradictions.

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