Lately there has been some buzz about a graphic that appears to magnify contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible. Most people who have a proclivity to disregard the Bible will glance at it and wag their heads in approval. The challenge to be thoughtful and not drink the kool-aid comes in the actual looking at the facts that feed the inconsistency graphic.

Hermeneutics is the discipline of reading well. The person who put these verses together did not read well. He is missing the forest for the trees. When I was an atheist, I suffered from epistemological laziness. So does this fellow.

I would direct you to Matt Perman’s post on this issue that will help you in defending the veracity of the Bible. {With a helpful follow-up post on The Opposable Mind}

Also, here is a contrast of the two graphics. The first is the graphic that touts the inconsistencies in the Bible. The second is an answer to the Bible’s consistency.

I would go so far to say that the difference in the attitude of the artists can be contrasted by looking at the graphics. The one on the top is stark and monolithic. This corresponds to a flat reading of Scripture. The one on the bottom is colorful and full of wonder–recognizing the diference in genre and vivid imagery the Bible conveys. This is the way one ought to read the Bible.

First, realize that apparent contradictions are apparent. Augustine challenged his students to bend their minds before they break the Scriptures. When there is something difficult to understand, don’t be quick to assert your finite mind over the Scripture.

Second, recognize the multitude of authors that write. Moses doesn’t write like Paul–however, they complement each other. The gravity of the Law is contrasted with the freedom of the Gospel–complementary. The one Spirit that inspired does not contradict. He paints the same work with many colors on one canvas.

Third, don’t make a prophecy a poem. That is, appreciate the beauty of the Psalms and the poignancy of the Proverbs. Don’t make Revelation chronological like Exodus.