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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 1 (Part Three)

Should You Answer a Fool? 
Those who cite this as a contradiction choose to look at the first lines of each verse 'Do not answer a fool' and 'Answer a fool' yet ignore the context. Proverbs 26:4,5 (HCSB) states: "Don't answer a fool according to his foolishness or you'll be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his foolishness or he'll become wise in his own eyes." Verse 4 does not forbid you to answer a fool, but to answer him in a way that puts you on his level. If someone reviles you, do not revile him in return (1 Peter 3:9). However if you answer him mildly he will not think that he is wise (1 Peter 3:15). There is no contradiction. 

How Old Was Abraham When Terah Died? 
Terah is the father of Abraham, Nahor and Haran. Skeptic allege that Terah was 70 when he fathered Abram and died when he was 205 years old, the time when Abraham left the city of Haran (Genesis 11:26,32; 12:4). So they say that Abraham was about 135 years old at that time which contradicts Genesis 12:4. There it says that Abraham was only 75 when he went out of Haran.  
Their calculations are based upon the assumption that Abraham is Terah’s firstborn. But such an assumption is unsupported. For although his name does come first at Genesis 11:26, it doesn't mean he was the firstborn. Genesis 10:22 lists five sons of Shem in this order: Elam, Ashur, Arpachshad, Lud and Aram without mentioning birth order. According to their theory we would have said that Elam was firstborn, but is not in the text. Instead Genesis 11:10,11 adds more detail; Arpachshad was the firstborn. This disproves the assumption that name order indicates birth order. 
Why then was Abraham's name written first? Perhaps his name came first because he was more prominent than his brother, or for no reason. In any event the scriptures show that Terah began having children when he was 70 and that Abraham was born about 60 years later and Terah died when Abraham was 75. There is no contradiction. 

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