Bible on God’s Revealed Nature & Character

Bible on God’s Revealed Nature & Character December 5, 2023

Chapter 6 of my book (available for free online), Inspired!: 191 Supposed Biblical Contradictions Resolved. See the Introduction and ch. 1: How Do Atheists Define a “Biblical Contradiction”? All Bible passages RSV unless otherwise noted.

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  1. How can God regret or change his mind about what he has done (Gen. 6:6-7; 1 Sam. 15:10-11, 35), if he is omniscient and knows all things?

What does it mean for God to say, “I regret”? Can God change his mind? Is God ignorant about the future? Is he just like us in that he makes honest mistakes and sometimes look back at his decisions and says, “I wish I could do that one over again”? It seems as if the Bible teaches that God makes mistakes. And yet, we know this is not the right way to understand God’s “regret” because of what we read from the prophet Samuel, in 1 Samuel 15:29: “the Glory of Israel will not lie or repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent” (cf. Num. 23:19). The Bible teaches that God cannot change (what is called in theology “immutability”): see Malachi 3:6 (“I the Lord do not change”); James 1:17 (“with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”); and Hebrews 13:8 (“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever”). How do we reconcile and harmonize all of this? The figurative scriptural expression of the “repentance” of God is an alternate, graphic way of expressing God’s mercy or judgment. Jeremiah 18:7-10 (God speaking to and through the prophet Jeremiah) is very instructive in understanding this Hebrew poetic expression in reference to the nature of God:

If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will repent of the evil that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will repent of the good which I had intended to do to it.

This is simply a poetic, partially non-literal way of expressing the same notion that occurs many times in the Old Testament: conditional blessings or curses / judgment, depending on whether a person or nation decides to obey God’s commands or not. Instead of saying, “if that nation turns from its evil, I will bless it” (literal), he expresses it in the converse or “negative” sense: “I will repent of the evil that I intended to do to it” (a non-literal, figurative statement in terms of the immutable God, but literal in its overall essence: the nation won’t be judged and will be blessed). Likewise, instead of saying, “if it does evil in my sight. I will judge and forsake it,” God says, “if it does evil in my sight . . . I will repent of the good which I had intended to do to it.” Elsewhere in Jeremiah, and many many times in the Old Testament (the “norm” so to speak), the same sentiment (“if . . . then” conditional prophecies or warnings) is expressed literally, which in turn provides the interpretation of the figurative passages expressing the same thing:

Jeremiah 7:5-7 For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers for ever. (expressed in the opposite fashion in 7:13-15)

Jeremiah 12:17 But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, says the Lord.

Jeremiah 15:19 . . . If you return, I will restore you, . . .

Jeremiah 17:27 But if you do not listen to me, to keep the sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter by the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and shall not be quenched. (cf. 22:5; 26:4-6; 27:8)

Our conclusion, then, based on all of this data understood as a whole, is that God is indeed immutable. When he is described as seemingly changing his mind, it’s merely a figurative way of expressing literal truths (what is known in theology by the 50-cent words, anthropomorphism or anthropopathism), as explained by example above. In so doing, God “condescends” to human beings so that they will be able to understand him in their own terms, according to the limits of human knowledge. We change our minds all the time, so God acts as if he does so, when in fact he does not, so that we can relate to him. We have a very difficult time comprehending an omniscient and immutable Being, which is why God employed these methods in Holy Scripture.

  1. Can God do anything (Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:27; Matt. 19:26; Luke 18:27; Rev. 19:6) or are there some things he can’t do, such as defeating iron chariots (Judg. 1:19)?

Judges 1:19 And the LORD was with Judah, and he took possession of the hill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain, because they had chariots of iron.

Granted, it’s a bit hard to tell at first, but the one who couldn’t drive out the inhabitants due to iron chariots was Judah, not God. How can we be sure? We can by consulting good old context, as so often. The expressions “took possession” and “drove out” are the keys. In other verses in the same chapter they are always used in relation to people, not God: “Judah also took Gaza with its territory, . . .” (1:18); “the men of Judah fought against Jerusalem, and took it” (1:8); “And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it [Kiriathsepher: v. 12]” (1:13); “ But the people of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites . . .” (1:21); “Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean . . .” (1:27); compare 1:29-33 (five times). It’s also clear from the progression, that Judah was being referred to:

Judges 1:18-19 Judah also took Gaza with its territory, [and two other cities] . . . And the Lord was with Judah, and he took possession of the hill country, . . .

It was the Lord being “with Judah” that enabled him to do these things. The progression of (paraphrasing) “Judah did x, and the Lord was with him, helping him to do x [the same thing]” is decisive in determining who was unable to win a military victory against iron chariots. As the Bible repeatedly teaches (even the atheist knows it), God is omnipotent (i.e., all-powerful or able to do anything that is possible to do).

  1. Did God harden Pharaoh’s heart (Exod. 4:21; 7:3; 10:1, 20, 27, etc.) or did Pharaoh harden his own heart (8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34-35)?

To express the notion that “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart” is a typically pungent Hebraism for God allowing something to happen in his Providence. It really all hinges on human free will. Human beings are given a choice by God: “If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good” (Josh. 24:20; cf. 1 Chron. 28:9; 2 Chron. 7:17-20; 15:2). In a sense, to say that “God did so-and-so” when he simply allowed it to take place, is an assertion of God’s overall Providence. God is asserting that he is in control. There is also a strong sarcastic element in this sort of biblical concept (that we see in Job and often in the prophets), as if God were saying, “okay; you don’t want to follow me and do what is best for you? You know better than do about that? Very well, then, I’ll let you become blind and deluded. See how well off you’ll be then.”

  1. How is it not unjust for God to “visit” the “iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation” (Exod. 20:5; cf. 34:7; Num. 14:18)?

This passage and its erroneous interpretation are old chestnuts of anti-Christian and anti-biblical polemics. But at least the confusion is understandable, because this is a somewhat complex concept to fully understand. Bible passages of this sort exaggerate God’s traits in a non-literal way in order to make him more understandable to us. We must recognize that the Bible also contains many passages (to be taken literally) referring to human beings being judged for their own sins, not that of another. 2 Kings 14:6 states that “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, or the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin” (cf. Jer. 31:30). Ezekiel 18:20 concurs: “The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, . . .  the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” And 1 Peter 1:17 proclaims that God “judges each one impartially according to his deeds.”

The context of two passages cited in the title suggests that punishment “to the third and fourth generations” applies only to children who deliberately choose to follow the sinful ways of their parents, and not in any absolute sense that would preclude individual pardon, as indicated by the phrases close by: “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” (Exod. 34:6-7) and “‘Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray thee, according to the greatness of thy steadfast love, and according as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.’ Then the Lord said, ‘I have pardoned . . .’”  (Num. 14:19-20). Jeremiah shows in one passage that the two concepts are not mutually exclusive:

Jeremiah 32:17-19 Ah Lord God! . . .  who showest steadfast love to thousands, but dost requite the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty God whose name is the Lord of hosts, great in counsel and mighty indeed; whose eyes are open to all the ways of men, rewarding every man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings;

Lastly, if we are to make much of God talking about punishment over three or four generations (setting aside how to interpret that, for a moment), then we ought to also notice two passages that strikingly highlight God’s extraordinary mercy down through generations:

Deuteronomy 7:9 . . . the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

1 Chronicles 16:15 He is mindful of his covenant for ever, of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

Thus the “good stuff” and the mercy are described as lasting for “a thousand generations,” and the “bad stuff” for only four (and even that is adequately explained as limited and non-problematic by the above considerations, in my opinion). That’s 250 times longer for the good things, compared to the bad. But in the final analysis, these are to be understood in their essence as Hebraic exaggerations and hyperbole. The literal biblical teaching in this regard is that, ultimately, every person is responsible and will be judged for his or her own sin, not someone else’s. If they don’t repent, they’ll be judged, and it won’t be God’s fault at all (or their ancestors’ fault), but rather, totally their own.

  1. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5). This makes God seem like an insecure monarch; top-heavy with ego. How is it not colossal cosmic narcissism? What sense does it make for God to demand and command and get off on human adoration?

Nice melodramatic histrionics there (all of my examples come from actual atheists or other biblical skeptics). The Bible teaches that God is in need of nothing (Acts 17:25). That’s not the purpose of his commanding us to worship him. He’s all-sufficient and self-sufficient (what is called aseity in theology). I searched “demand worship” and “God demand(s)” in my online RSV Bible and they never appear. God does say in the Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me. . . . you shall not bow down to them or serve them” (Exod. 20:3, 5). It is the purpose and nature of such worship that atheists are not grasping. It’s for our good, not God’s. Why does God give his commands, which include monotheism and worship of him alone? That’s explained many times. We are to keep his commandments, including worship of him alone, so that “it may go well with” us (Deut. 4:40; 5:33; 6:18; 12:28 all repeat that phrase). God wants to bless his people:

Deuteronomy 28:1 And if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.

All the blessings God will give to his followers are then listed in 28:2-14. It’s always the same, and this is the constant story of the Old Testament and the ancient Jews. God urges – virtually pleads with — them to follow his laws and commands, so that everything will be completely wonderful for them. Then they decide not to and to rebel against God and it goes terribly, just as God said it would. Then these same men (and atheists today who think like them) blame God rather than their own stupidity and stubbornness. But if we sum up what God wants, as expressed in the Bible, he “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Atheists are simply projecting excessive, sinful sorts of human emotions onto God, as if he is some sort of high maintenance drama queen who needs constant attention. Atheists love this theme because they can caricature God and make him look like a mad maniac. But it’s certainly not what the Bible or Christianity teach. It’s a myth from the atheist fictional imagination. God knows that we are most happy and fulfilled living as he intended it to be: in as close of a union with him as possible. Likewise, parents know that their children will be happier if they accept both their love and correction. If they reject both, they will likely have problems in their lives. God also praises human beings (Rom. 2:29; 1 Cor. 4:5) and shares his glory with us (Isa. 60:1-2, 4; John 17:22; Rom. 2:10; 5:2; 9:23; 2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Thess. 2:14; 1 Pet. 4:14; 5:1, 4; 2 Pet. 1:3-4). The Christian outlook is: “We love, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Because we are “grateful” for all God has done, and is, we “offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28).

We’re saying that God is inherently infinitely greater than we are. He created the universe. He gave us life. He loves us and blesses us in so many ways. So we praise him and worship him for who he is. Another analogy would be how we act towards those we are in love with. If we look at any love poems we find rapturous praise, lavish, over-the-top compliments, placing this loved one at the very center of our existence and the meaningfulness of our life and indeed our happiness and fulfillment. So we praise and compliment in the most extravagant ways. Yet when it comes to God, atheists can’t comprehend that we praise and worship him because of what we believe his loving, all-benevolent nature is; because he created us and fulfills us when we serve him, and due to all the wonderful things he has done or made possible for us to do, and because he “is love.” But if atheists redefine what God is like (the arbitrary, capricious, vicious tyrant of the atheist imagination), then yes, I can see why they couldn’t comprehend worship of a Being like that. The question then becomes: “what is God really like?” Since the answers are polar opposites, we act differently towards this God. We Christians love and worship him for all he is and has done, and they mock him and pretend that he doesn’t exist (all the while being irrationally furious about all the supposed negative characteristics of what they think is an imaginary myth). Go figure . . .

  1. Who Caused Job to Suffer — God (Job 42:11) or Satan (2:7)?

This is a very clear and straightforward example of God permitting a thing (God’s permissive will, as opposed to his perfect will), while the Bible says that he did it; see also Job 2:3: “. . . you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause.”  It’s the Hebraic expression of God’s Providence. If we want to discover the literal truth of what was going on at a far deeper spiritual level, the beginning of the book explains it, in its narrative. God permitted Satan to afflict Job:

Job 1:12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand.”

Job 2:6 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

Again: sometimes the Bible states that “God did x,” but what it really means at a deeper level is that “God did not will x, but rather, permitted it in his omniscient providence, for a deeper purpose.” An analogous example is God being described as killing King Saul (1 Chron. 10:13-14), when in fact Saul committed suicide (1 Sam. 31:4). In neither case is a contradiction present, once these factors about Hebrew idiom are understood.

  1. How could Jesus say that he was meek and lowly (Matt. 11:29), but then make whips and drive the moneychangers out of the temple (Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15-16; John 2:15)?

Jesus was meek and lowly and humble. It doesn’t follow, however, that he could never express righteous indignation. The most “meek and mild” father will become a roaring lion if someone tries to kidnap his son or daughter. And this is entirely proper. Likewise, if a judge gives a life sentence to a proven-guilty murderer, we don’t say that the judge failed to be personally “meek and mild.” He was doing his duty and protecting society. Likewise, Jesus (who was God) was disgusted that money-grubbing merchants had turned the temple into “a den of robbers” (Matt. 21:13). It was a time for righteous indignation and God’s wrath, and Jesus acted accordingly. I’ve done further study on exactly what scholars think these moneychangers were doing. It would scandalize anyone who has a caring, compassionate concern for the poor being treated fairly and not being taken advantage of for monetary gain: and in a holy place at that.

  1. Matthew, Mark and Luke all contain passages in which Jesus argues that the Messiah need not to be a son of David (Matt. 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44; all quoting Psalm 110:1). This contradicts many Old Testament passages indicating that the Messiah will be a descendant of David, as well as Peter, who asserts the same (Acts 2:30-36).

The Messiah (Jesus) was indeed the Son of David, which is why he accepted this title for himself, and never rebuked or denied it (Matt. 9:27; 15:22; 20:30-31; 21:9; Mark 10:47-48; Luke 18:38-39), and why Peter repeated this truth. The falsehood involved here is thinking that the three passages first listed contradict this understanding. They do not, because they record a certain kind of socratic rhetoric that Jesus frequently used; not intended as a denial at all. Rather, Jesus is pressing the Pharisees to recognize the teaching in Psalm 110:1 that the Messiah is Lord and the Son of God (in His Divine Nature) as well as David’s (in his human nature). He said to them: “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet’? If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?” (Matt. 22:43-45). English Baptist pastor John Gill wrote on this passage in his Exposition on the Entire Bible in 1763:

Had they understood and owned the proper divinity of the Messiah, they might have answered, that as he was God, he was David’s Lord, his maker, and his king; and, as man, was David’s son, and so both his root and offspring [cf. Rev. 22:16]; and this our Lord meant to bring them to a confession of, or put them to confusion and silence, which was the consequence.

Again, Jesus was not denying that the Messiah (himself) was a son of David; he was asserting that he was also (and most importantly) the Son of God. Hence, when the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” . . . Jesus said, “I am; . . .” (Mark 14:61-62). Once all of this scriptural data is taken together and understood, the challenge demolishes, since it is based on a demonstrably and dramatically false premise.

  1. Why does the Bible teach that Jesus (Mark 4:11-12) and God the Father (2 Thess. 2:11-12) are sometimes responsible for unbelief (Mark 4:11-12), but also claim that the devil causes it (Luke 8:12)?

God never causes unbelief. Note (regarding one of these passages in context) that it was human rebellion that brought it about: “those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10). Mark 4:11-12 is an instance of sarcasm: very common in the Bible. Jesus was telling parables at first, because he knew they would be understood by those who want to understand (“for those outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.”) and not understood by those who don’t (hence the sarcasm). It was a matter of the will and being open (Matt. 7:7-8). Jesus always wants any and all of us to believe (Matt. 23:37) and to be saved (Luke 19:10; John 12:47). So does God the Father (1 Tim. 2:3-4; 2 Pet. 3:9). Yes, the devil – not God! — will cause unbelief and try to tempt us and get us to fall, but only if we let him. The late great comic Flip Wilson had an ongoing joke based on that: “the devil made me do it.” People laughed at that. Why? Well, it’s because we instinctively know that that mentality is a cop-out: that the devil can only “make” us do what we choose to do by our free will. Ultimately, we are responsible for our actions. We stand before God in the end to give account for ourselves, and “the devil made me do it” won’t cut it when the game is up at that time.

  1. How can Christians believe that Jesus was sinless, in light of Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19?

Mark 10:18 reads: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.’” (Lk 18:19 is almost identical). This was merely a rhetorical retort by Jesus: employing socratic method, as he often did. It has no implication that he himself was sinful. Besides, here he’s saying that God is uniquely good (knowing that this person didn’t think or believe that he was God), while massively asserting many other times that he himself is God: and this includes many instances in the Synoptic Gospels, too. Jesus states in John 8:46: “Which of you convicts me of sin?” In Hebrews 4:15 he is described as “without sin.” Being called the “Lamb of God” (Jn 1:29, 36; cf. 1 Cor. 5:7; “the Lamb” many times in Revelation) is also an assertion that he is without blemish (sin: 1 Pet. 1:19).

  1. What would Paul have said about whether the Holy Spirit was part of the Godhead? Did it even cross his mind [Acts 28:25-27]?

Paul cites an Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 6:8-10) in Acts 28:25-27, but with one important language difference. The Old Testament passage says that “I heard the voice of the Lord saying . . .” (Isa. 6:8). But when Paul cites it, he introduces it as follows: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet” (Acts 28:25). This is a direct (logical) unarguable equation of the Holy Spirit with God. He makes the same equation in the following passages:

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?  If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. (cf. 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16)

1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 11 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;  and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. . . . All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

  1. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 states that “God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false.” Does this mean that we have no free will and are subject to the arbitrary whims of God?

The statement has to be understood and interpreted in context. This action of God comes only after human beings have decided in their free will to reject God. Hence, the verse before refers to “those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” And the verse after reiterates: “so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” God merely pronounces judgment upon people who made up their own mind which way to go: with God and his moral laws, or against both. In Romans 1, the same dynamic is present: “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity” (Rom. 1:24), and he “gave them up” to “dishonorable passions” (1:26) and “a base mind and to improper conduct” (1:28). But did God predetermine or predestine all that? No. Human beings chose to reject his truth, as the chapter (context, again!) repeatedly affirms, by referring to “men who by their wickedness suppress the truth” (1:18),  and those who “became futile in their thinking,” whose “senseless minds were darkened” (1:21), who “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (1:25), and who “did not see fit to acknowledge God” (1:28). Their rebellion is aptly summed up in Romans 1:32: “Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.” To blame God for pronouncing judgment on such rebels and ingrates, who had every chance to repent and receive god’s free offer of grace and salvation, is like blaming a human judge for sentencing a serial killer to life in prison. Whose fault brought about that result? 

  1. Is there is one God (1 Tim. 2:5; James 2:19) or three (1 John 5:7)?

Indeed, there is one God. The “traditional” 1 John 5:7 is a verse that isn’t in the earliest manuscripts, so those who place a high priority on accurate manuscripts say that it’s simply not part of the biblical canon (therefore, not inspired). But let’s accept the view that it is in the Bible for the sake of argument. The King James version of the disputed verse reads: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” This doesn’t state that there are three gods. The chapter refers to the one “God” over and over; not to “gods.” 5:7 affirms that there are three [implied, Persons] and that “these three are one” [implied, God]. The Holy Trinity is the belief that the one God subsists in three Divine Persons (trinitarian monotheism), not that there are three gods (tri-theism).

  1. Is God “love” (1 John 4:8, 16) and “forbearing . . . not wishing that any should perish” (2 Pet. 3:9) or does he “respect no one” (Deut. 10:17; 2 Chron. 19:7; Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 2:6; Eph. 6:9; Col. 3:25; 1 Pet. 1:17)?

The long list supposed utter lack of respect for persons came (as with all my examples of objections to the Bible) from an atheist source. Most of them are based on a rather elementary and inexcusable idiom with a completely different meaning: the notion of “not being a respecter of persons.” This doesn’t mean, “don’t respect anyone”; rather, it means, as most English dictionaries will confirm, “treat all people in the same way.” This particular atheist “laundry list” of  falsely alleged “contradictions” utilizes the KJV, from 1611. The English language has evolved a great deal in 400 years. KJV states (Deut. 10:17) that God “regardeth not persons.” The atheist skeptic takes this, literally, to mean that he has no regard for anyone, but of course, it’s idiomatic expression, meaning “not being a respecter of persons.” But even granting that archaic language can understandably be misunderstood, there is still no excuse for ignoring context. The context of this passage in the KJV proves that, far from regarding no one, God loves: “the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them” (10:15); “He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment” (10:18). RSV at Deuteronomy 10:17 provides a literal rendering: God “is not partial.” “No respect of persons” in the meaning clarified above (idiomatic for “impartial”) is the correct interpretation for all the other verses listed, too, save for the different expression in Galatians 2:6, which in KJV partially reads: “God accepteth no man’s person.” Again, RSV changes the outdated idiom to “God shows no partiality” (cf. ESV), in line with many other modern translations: “God does not show favoritism” (NIV); “God shows no favoritism” (NASB); “God shows personal favoritism to no man” (NKJV), etc. Context (the same chapter) again proves that it’s outrageously unjust and unfair to characterize God as God as having no respect for anyone (in the bad sense), since it refers to (still in KJV): “the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (2:20). The love of God for us is beautifully expressed in chapter 4:

Galatians 4:3-7 (KJV) Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

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Summary: Ch. 6 of Dave Armstrong’s book, “Inspired!”: in which he examines 191 examples of alleged biblical contradictions & disproves all of these patently false claims.

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