Alleged Discrepancies in the Bible


Q.  Why does Ex. 2:16, 21 tell us that Moses’ wife was a Midianite woman and Num. 12:1 tell us that she was an Cushite, which means that she was an Ethiopian?  Is this a contradiction?

Ex. 2:16

16* ¶ Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came to draw water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.

21* Moses was willing to dwell with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses.

Num. 12:1

1* ¶ Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman);

The answer is found in Hab. 3:7

Habakkuk. 3:7

7* I saw the tents of Cushan under distress, The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.

“Cushite” and “Midianite” were used interchangeably in Old Testament times.

Q.  There appear to be several contradictions surrounding the life of Christ.  Luke 24:50 says that Christ ascended at Bethany, but Acts 1:9 tells us it was at Olivet.  Matthew 28:16 tells us that Christ’s first appearance after his resurrection  was in Galilee, but Luke 24:33, 26 and John 20:19 tell us that it was at Jerusalem.  Matt. 5:1,2 say that Christ’s first sermon was on a mountain but Luke 6:17 says it was on the plain.


Luke 24:50

50* ¶ And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

51* While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.

52* And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy,

53* and were continually in the temple praising God.

Acts. 1:9, 12

9* And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

 12* ¶ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

Bethany was on the eastern slope of the Mount Olivet.   Anyone returning from Bethany to Jerusalem would pass over the top of Olivet, and therefore might be saied to be “returning from Mt. Olivet.”


Matthew 28:16

16* ¶ But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.

17* When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.

18* And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Luke 24:33

33* And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them,

34* saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.”

35* They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

36* ¶ While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst.

37* But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit.

38* And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?

John 20:19

19* ¶ So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be with you.”

20* And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

21* So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

This is a case of reading into one account something you think you see in another.  Matthew does not talk about “other” appearances of the Lord after his resurrection, he simply passes over them and relates the circumstances of the event in Galilee, which, for the purposes of the context of Matthew, help to make the point that Jesus spoke with authority from God.

Matt. 5:1

1* ¶ When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

2* He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

Luke 6:17

17* Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon,

18* who had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured.

19* And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.

I believe that it is likely that these are two different occasions.  The circumstances seem to be different.

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