Does the Bible have errors or contradictions?

Expert Answers
thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Bible is a spiritual text, intended to inspire faith in its readers, and was not intended as a scientific document or an accurate history by modern standards. In certain ways, asking if the Bible has errors is like asking if Shakespeare has errors -- the "truth" of the text is emotional, aesthetic, and spiritual rather than literal and empirical.

If you read the Bible literally -- which is probably not how it was intended to be read -- you will encounter both self-contradictions (such as John and the Synoptics differing on whether the Last Supper was or was not on the first day of Passover; whether the ministry of Jesus was one or three years long, etc.) Many of the descriptions of the natural world, such as the age of the earth and origin of species are inaccurate by scientific standards, but if you read them as allegories, they still contain valuable spiritual truths.