Examples of what I mean by objective mathematical/numerical contradictions between two or more passages are:

  • Passage 1 says "two years passed between events A and B" and Passage 2 says "ten years passed between events A and B". That would be an objective mathematical contradiction because 2 ≠ 10.
  • Passage 1 says "the statue was 10 feet tall" and Passage 2 says (about the same statue) "the statue was 20 feet tall". Again, an objective contradiction because 10 ≠ 20.
  • Passage 1 says "six people attended meeting X" and Passage 2 says "eight people attended meeting X", which is a contradiction as 6 ≠ 8.

A more sophisticated contradiction involving 3 passages could be something like this:

  • Passage 1 says "there were 100 people at place A", Passage 2 says "there were 100 people at place B" and Passage 3 says "there were 1000 people in total at places A and B", which is a contradiction because 100 + 100 = 200, not 1000.

Are there any objective mathematical contradictions like that in the Bible? If so, are there any explanations for the existence of such contradictions?

(*) Note: If someone knows how to type mathematical formulas, please let me know. I tried $2 \neq 3$ (as you would do it in LaTeX), but it didn't work.

  • this seems off topic, IMO this falls into the what the Bible says about a subject. Can you reframe the question to be more Christianity? I also don't think most Christians believe it contains contradictions
    – depperm
    Jan 18, 2022 at 17:07
  • no, many of those are specifically scoped. Also I said falls into, but there is also the fact that the bible is canon to Christians, asking for contradictions seems off topic. Asking about a contradiction you find is on topic, but asking for contradictions seems like asking what is wrong with denomination X belief, except you broadened it to be all of Christendom
    – depperm
    Jan 18, 2022 at 17:34
  • @depperm - 1) what do you mean by specifically scoped? Is this question specifically scoped: christianity.stackexchange.com/q/6615/50422 ??? 2) I'm asking for objective mathematical contradictions, where there is no room for interpretation (6 is not equal to 10 however you spin it).
    – user50422
    Jan 18, 2022 at 17:38
  • 5
    In Biblical Hermeneutics, so-called 'contradictions' are handled one at a time and examined in detail. I know of no 'contradiction' in scripture that is not easily resolved by proper translation and correct understanding of the narratives. This question, in my own view, lacks focus.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 19, 2022 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


For example, Luke 18:35-43 speaks about a blind man, but Matthew 20:29-34 speaks about two blind men. One may perceive this to be a mathematical contradiction. One explanation is that it is possible that Luke was speaking about one blind man amongst the two that existed there. Another explanation is that Luke and Matthew were speaking about two similar but different incidents that happened in which one incident had two blind men and the other had one blind man.

But if the sceptic wants to find contradictions like this, it might be not very difficult to find many such things in Bible. But so can be with Science-books. For example, if one Science-book says uses π=3.14 whilst another Science-book uses π=3.1416, one can perceive it to be a mathematical contradiction because 3.1416 ≠ 3.1400. But Science-believers may argue that those are written with a convention that since the farther the numbers after decimal points the less the value of the number would be, and so π=3.14 is to be interpreted to be an approximate value of π truncated to some reasonable decimal places rather than to be the exact value of π. I believe that the New Testament is also written that way in their culture. More valuable things are written more accurately and less valuable things are written less accurately, i guess. In the New Testament, more important thing is morality. The number of blind people (whether there had been two blind men or a single blind man) isn't much valuable to the context of the author because the author is putting the focus on a more important thing (i.e., the miracle that Jesus did), just like when the author of a Science-book uses π=3.14 the author is putting the focus on more important things than arguing that the 4th decimal value of π is zero.

If one group of eye-witnesses said that Titanic sank down as it was, whilst another group said that Titanic broke into to before sinking down, it is easy for a sceptic to argue that since the eye-witnesses contradict the sinking of Titanic must be a hoax. But those who have ears may interpret the less valuable part (the breaking of Titanic) to be an approximate explanation relative to a more important/valuable part which is the sinking of Titanic that is agreed by all the eye-witnesses. Even if we assume that the New Testament writers happened to disagree on the number of blind men, they all agree on morality and the resurrection.