Discrepancies which don’t exist fall into a number of categories, but all appear because the seeker is convinced they are there before he reads. In most cases, the one who presents the pseudo-mistakes has not found them personally but has read them from others lists. Here is a paragraph taken from an online book which gives proof of this type thing:
Some years ago, I was participating in an Internet forum discussion on this topic. Another participant kept insisting that the Bible couldn’t be true because it contradicts itself. Eventually, I challenged him to post two or three contradictions, and I would answer them for him. He posted over 40 alleged contradictions. I spent four hours researching each one of those points and then posted a reply to every single one. Within 30 seconds, he had replied that my answers were nonsense. Obviously, he had not read my answers. He was not interested in the answers. He already had an a priori commitment to believing the Bible was false and full of contradictions. It is instructive to note that after a quick Google search, I discovered that his list of supposed Bible contradictions had been copied and pasted directly from a website. (The new Answers book 2-Chapter 27 Isn’t the Bible filled with contradictions? – Paul F. Taylor)
When one approaches the bible with such a predetermined mind-set, they will surely find plenty. They fall into a number of categories. (1) Misunderstanding what is meant by the “Bible being inerrant”. (2) Presumptuous discrepancies, as mentioned above, one’s mind is already made up that they are there. (3) Statements taken out of context and assumed to mean one thing when it actually means another. (4) Differences in languages and translations. (5) Customs and traditions of Hebrews and Greeks.
(1) When Christians contend that the Bible is infallible and inerrant, this has reference to the original manuscripts plus it has reference to only the 66 books in the protestant bible which claim inspiration. And, then the skeptics are quick to tell you that none of the original manuscripts are in existence. Everyone knows that. But, there are numerous copies of the originals, enough that any errors by the scribes who copied them can be found. If one has perhaps 250 copies of an epistle and all are identical except for one or two which has a misspelled word or even an omitted a word, etc. You can feel safely that the original was, as the 248 identical ones.
Most scholars who have no pre-set ideas, acknowledge that the “Authorized” King James Version and the American Standard Version of the bible contain fewer and less meaningful translation errors of all the English versions. But even they have a number of minor translation discrepancies. But these are recognized and accepted as non-damaging to the biblical message.
Then there is (2), the presumptions of the skeptics. They already have heard their heroes say there are discrepancies in the bible, so they presume the presence of hundreds of mistakes. It is not as if these assumptions are new. This author is now eighty years old and has known of these accusations for about seventy of those years. They prove nothing other than the blind acceptance of them by those who wish to discredit the bible, God, and Jesus Christ.
(3) Phrases taken out of context. For instance the bible says, “There is no God”. In fact, it says it twice. These have to be taken completely out of context to accuse it of telling people there is no God. Because in each case, the phrase is preceded by ”The fool hath said in his heart…” (Psalm 14:1, 53:1) The psalmist began these two chapters almost identically.
(4) Some words in the Arabic, Hebrew and Greek languages, have words which have no exact equivalent in the English language. Some places the word with the nearest meaning was used and in others, the original word was “transliterated” into a new English word. A good example of this is the word “baptize” which was transliterated from the Greek “baptizo” (bap tid’ zo). It had no meaning such as sprinkling or pouring but meant to dip, plunge, immerse, etc., and is compared to a “burial” in water in the bible.
(5) Customs and traditions of those living at the time of these writings. A good example is the incident of Jesus burial and resurrection. It is referred to in several instances as to His being in the tomb for three days, and in some instances expressed as three days and three nights. But, in reality, He remained in the tomb for approximately 39 hours. Which hours only encompassed what we call 2 nights and 1 day! But, there is no discrepancy here. The Jews, always counted their days from 6:00 P.M. until the next day at 6:00 P.M. They also, without variance, counted any portion of any day as a full day and they counted that day as being a day and night.
Jesus was placed in the tomb sometime after 3:00 P.M. on the Friday before the Sabbath observance began at 6:00 P.M. He then arose some 12 hours after the first day of the week had begun at 6:00 P.M. of the Sabbath.
When all these factors are taken into consideration, the skeptics come up with a blank card. There is not one provable error in the whole of God’s word. And when one considers that is the accumulated work of 40+ writers, from different countries and centuries apart, all at least 1900 years ago, has not been shown to be incorrect in any of it’s historic, scientific, geographic or prophetic claims, it is indeed the marvel which we claim it is. One cannot get four witnesses to some accident to give the same description without a mistake. Compare!