There are two main types of Bible difficulties:
- Comprehension difficulties
- Conflict difficulties
A comprehension difficulty occurs when a passage is difficult to understand, and Scripture certainly contains things that are hard to understand. The Bible even admits this:
Count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures (2 Pet. 3:15-16).
A conflict difficulty occurs when a passage says something that seems to conflict with something else we know. The Bible also acknowledges that this type of difficulty occurs. Examples include:
Jesus answered [Nicodemus], “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (John 3:3-4).
[Jesus said to the crowds], “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:51-52).
Conflict difficulties can be further broken down based on what type of things a Bible passages seems to conflict with. Examples include:
- Common sense
- Theology or doctrine
- Moral values
- Another biblical text
Principles to Remember:
- A comprehension difficulty occurs when a Bible passage is hard to understand, taken by itself.
- A conflict difficulty occurs when a Bible passage seems to conflict with something else.
We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the School of Apologetics Course, Bible Difficulties 1