Supposed Contradictions in the Bible
One of the most common supposed contradictions in the Bible has to do with the question "Where did Cain get his wife?" Supposedly (quite actually) Cain was one of only four people that existed on earth at one time. First there was Adam, created from the elements of the earth. Then there was Eve, taken from the flesh and bone of Adam. They then consumated and first Cain was born, and then later Able. Cain is said to have killed his brother and then went out and found a wife. If no other people existed where did Cain get his wife?
Where Cain got his wife is quite understandable for the person that doesn't stop reading the Bible after the fourth chapter, but goes on to read the fifth chapter, for it is in the fifth chapter that we learn that Adam and Eve had many more children after Cain and Able. We also learn that they lived for hundreds of year. The Bible doesn't say that Cain went out and found his wife the very next day, or even the next year, or even the next decade. Cain, in time, would marry either a younger sister or neice. Neither physically or morally was this something that was wrong in that particular time period. This is not the place to address this particular issue, nor the issue of how people could live for hundreds of years, but is simply for addressing the supposed contradiction of Cain (one of only four people) being able to find a wife outside of these people.
Two verses that used to sound at first like a contradiction to me were Pro 26:4,5 "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit." Both of these verses are in two parts. If all we had were the first part of each verse, it would seem even more like a contradiction, but it is the second part of each verse that clarifies that this is not a contraction. Reading the second parts of the verses we can say "At times we should not answer a fool, and at different times we should answer a fool.
Jn 1:11,12 "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him,..." Verse 11 speaks of how that he came unto part of his own material creation, the leadership of his own country in which he was born, Israel, and was not received, taken as their Messiah, Lord, and Savior. First 12 speaks of those individuals outside of the first group, that did receive him.
Jn 5:37 and 14:7 "...ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." and "...and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." Both of these are speaking of the same subject, God the Father, but they are not addressed to the same persons. The first is addressed to the Jewish leadership that was against Jesus; and the second is addressed to the eleven remaining disciples after Judas departed, that had been with Jesus throughout His ministry.
Jn 3:32,33 "...and no man receiveth his testimony. 33 He that hath received his testimony...
The obvious question is "If no man hath received his testimony, how can it then say 'He that hath received his testimony'?" I learned the following from the NKJV Study Bible: No man can receive the truth that Jesus is God in the flesh, the only Savior God provides for man APART from God's work in him or her (6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:...") Certain Calvinists will interpret this to mean God mysteriously elects certain people to be saved, and others not to be saved. I don't believe this, but see in v.45 that "ALL shall be taught of God." In Jn 12:32 Jesus says "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men unto me." Jn 3:16 of course says "For God so loved the world (not just a certain elect)..that "WHOSOEVER" believeth in him shall not perish..." How do Calvinists get around this? They say "world" doesn't mean every individual, but elect individuals from all over the world. They must also believe that "whosoever" doesn't mean "anyone of everybody" "but anyone of just certain elect individuals. Only one way can be right, but unfortunately those that are wrong believe their impaired vision on the subject. Just as people are fooled by "optical illusions" people are also fooled by misinterpretations of scripture.