Time Travel and Biblical Contradictions

Time Travel and Biblical Contradictions June 13, 2018

Pete Enns recently mentioned time travel in connection with a tension between stories about how David and Saul first met:

It’s possible that Saul is simply a moron, like the boss who can’t seem to remember the name of the mailroom guy—but that explanation just doesn’t feel right. In chapter 17, David came out of nowhere, slayed the giant, and neither Commander Abner nor King Saul knew him, and so David introduced himself to the king.

David doesn’t answer, “Uh . . . dear king . . . I’m the one who follows you around all day with a lyre to calm your nerves. I’m also your armor bearer. I’m sort of a big deal in your life.”

There is some other interesting stuff happening in this story, which we’ll get to soon enough. But what about this double introduction of David? How do we account for it? Time travel? Probably not…

As you may recall, I blogged some years ago about the potential for time travel to provide solutions to biblical contradictions. This is what I proposed as a way for Doctor Who to be utilized to reconcile the accounts of Judas’ death in Matthew and Acts:

Judas sold the information about where Jesus would be on Passover night to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver. He then went without remorse and bought a field. While inspecting it, he tripped and fatally injured himself. While he was lying there in pain, he hears a wooshing noise, and a blue box appears in the field. A man in strange clothing comes out and introduces himself as the Doctor. He administers first aid, and when Judas gets a good look at him, he realizes that he is the man from whom he bought the field!

The Doctor explains to Judas that his actions will make history, but also cause much suffering. He gives Judas back the money he paid for the field, takes him in the TARDIS, and shows him the crucifixion. Judas is disturbed, and when the Doctor returns him to his own time, Judas runs off, heading straight for the temple. Judas throws the money into it and runs off to hang himself in the field that he had earlier purchased. Later, the priests will decide to buy a field with the money Judas threw into the temple, and will purchase a field whose previous owner just committed suicide and who had no heirs to inherit it.

The Doctor, meanwhile, tells half the details of what happened to a man named Matthew, and the other half to a man named Luke.

Please share your suggestions of other examples of how time travel could be used to creatively harmonize biblical contradictions!

Also at the intersection of the Bible and time travel, see Lewis Glinert on the question of whether Moses, if he were brought through time to present-day Tel Aviv, would be able to understand the language

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