Sunday, February 16, 2014

Scriptural "Contradictions"

We can not take a verse by itself and state absolute truth.  We do not always know:
  • The context.
  • If something has been left out of the record.
  • If some other knowledge of the word of God is assumed.
  • If some other knowledge of the time period in which the author spake or wrote is assumed.
Because of these things we must reconcile single verses or groups of verses against all things that the Lord has given to us.

Below are some ideas that can erroneously be adopted as doctrine if they are not reconciled with other scripture.

No Man Hath Seen God

John 1:18
 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

1 John 4:12

 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Exodus 33:20

 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

The above would seem to say that either we aren't allowed to see God or it is impossible to see him.  The following scriptures offer clarification.

Exodus 33:11 - The same chapter as above that stated that no man can see him.

 11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Why in one verse does he say that someone spake face to face with him and a few verses later say that no one can see him?  There must be a piece we are missing, perhaps a condition that must be met to see God.

God is Invisible

Colossians 1:14-15

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature

Some might use this to make assumptions about God's attributes.  Some might assume God is a vapor or something mystical and unknowable.

Some clues are in these verses themselves.  Christ is in the image of God, so what people saw in Christ should give us a hint to the physical characteristics of God, who most people do not see.

Genesis also speaks of man being made in God's image, not in the image of something unseeable and unknowable.

The Spirit Leads Into Temptation

Matthew 4:1
 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Jesus went into the wilderness to be with God and to be instructed.  It was a taxing experience and at the time of His exhaustion Satan tries to temp Him.

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