One of the biggest reasons skeptics say they don’t believe in the Bible is that it’s “full of errors.” After all, they reason, what about scientific facts like evolution? Or historical inconsistencies with biblical accounts? What about recent discoveries that contradict orthodox Christian beliefs?
For instance, several years ago, news headlines announced the discovery of an ancient “lost Gospel.” That ancient book supposedly indicated that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had several children. This, of course, flies in the face of what we find in the original four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. So how should we, as believers, react to such a claim?
As Christians, it’s crucial we respond to supposed Bible contradictions in a way that honors God. And Roger Patterson, host of the well-loved Answers TV series Unlocking Science, offers three easy steps to do just that.
All you have to do… is A.S.K.
The A.S.K. Method of Dealing with Bible Contradictions
Roger—or Mr. P as he’s lovingly known—says he teaches his children the acronym A.S.K. to help them remember to ask good questions when they come across claims about the Bible.
A—Authority: What is this person’s authority to make such a claim?
S—Starting Points: From what starting point is this person looking at the world?
K—Knowledge: How do they know what they claim is true?
Authority: Assess the Person’s Credibility
Has the person making this claim studied the issue thoroughly? Can they speak with credibility? Do they have respected credentials or degrees in this area?
“You can become an expert on many topics through reading, practical application, or experience,” says Mr. P. “Electronic access to information has made it much easier to learn about many topics but also much easier to come across people presenting false ideas that can deceive us if we’re not already experts.”
Starting Points: Discern if the Foundation Is Biblical
A person’s worldview can drastically impact how they view and interpret evidence. We see this in how evolutionists and creationists can analyze the same data regarding the past and come to wildly different conclusions about the age of the earth.
Ultimately, it’s crucial we interpret evidence from a biblical worldview. When someone makes a claim that contradicts God’s Word, we need to ask what worldview is driving their interpretations.
“While it may be difficult to examine someone’s worldview based on a few sentences, look for clues,” Mr. P says. “Appeals to authorities such as ‘science says’ or mentions of dates from ‘millions of years ago’ likely indicate a nonbiblical worldview.”
Knowledge: Can They Confirm the Claim?
Again, don’t confuse data with interpretation. Often, people use those terms interchangeably, but they’re not synonyms. Rather, data are the facts, the evidence we have available to us. Interpretation is how we decipher the facts and form conclusions.
That’s why it’s important to ask ourselves if the claim in question can be confirmed.
“If someone appeals to science, is it confirmable observational science or speculative science about the unseen past?” asks Mr. P.
For example, if a scientist examines a fossil and claims that it’s a tusk from a mastodon, that is very different type of claim than if she said the animal died in a hurricane around 10,000 years ago. The first is a claim based on plenty of other evidence scientists can readily observe from other mastodon fossils. The second is a claim based on assumptions, some of which may be wrong.
“If a claim contradicts what the Bible clearly teaches, we can be certain it is a false claim,” Mr. P. says. “The world around us will continue to present false claims to draw us away from Christ. But it is in Jesus that we find all of ‘the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Colossians 2:3).”
Can You Trust the Bible?
Yes, you can! At Answers TV, we have many different videos to help you understand why you can fully trust the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Here are a couple of videos to help you get started!
The Christian faith rests firmly on the teachings of Scripture. So if the Bible isn’t true, our hope in Christ is fatally flawed. Thankfully, you can know for sure that the Bible is trustworthy. And in this video, you’ll learn why.
Join Ken Ham as he tackles the biggest questions about creation and evolution. These 12 hot topics don’t have to destroy your faith. Instead, learn how science actually upholds God’s Word—because the Bible is always true!