ABC:Matthew 19

From BibleStrength

Verse 16: Saved by Works? (FFRF)

Dan Barker of FFRF claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):[1]

This is one of the most well-known claims of a contradiction in the Bible, and has been excellently debunked by the Scofield Study Bible III.

As mentioned by the Scofield Study Bible III, Ephesians 2:8-10 is the passage which brings both views together:

In other words, we are saved by faith, not works, it's God's gift not man's doing, lest anyone should boast. However, we are created by Jesus to do good works and it is God's will that we do them. The works themselves do not save, but are the outward evidence to others, and to ourselves, that we have indeed undergone an inward redemptive process of salvation.

True saving faith will ultimately produce good works as the result of a changed heart and a new spirit. Thus if a person shows no interest in doing good works once becoming a Christian, and for years lives without any change, then as James points out, that faith without works is a dead faith and no faith indeed.

Verse 24 claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments: [3]

Ultimately the critic makes a very simple mistake in failing to distinguish between this life and the next. Psalms 112 in context is speaking of future rewards, eternal rewards, as evidenced by the phrase "righteousness endureth for ever" (which the 'ThinkingAtheist' dishonestly did not quote). Another verse in the chapter shows that this is referring to eternal riches, not in this life:

The Bible does say that riches in this life are deceitful and can deter people from the kingdom of God in which lies the true riches.

A general principle of the Bible seems to be that those who have good things in this life will be appointed evil things in the next, and vice versa, though there are presumably exceptions (such as David). As a general rule it seems to be the evil who advance in wealth in this world, however.

It is ultimately not riches themselves that are evil, however, but the love of them, trusting in them, rather than in God and the eternal riches which He gives to the righteous.

Ultimately, neither great wealth or great poverty are to be desired in this life, Biblically.

Riches, like wisdom, are a snare that leads to self-reliance rather than reliance upon God.

Verse 26

The EvilBible and American Atheists claim a contradiction exists here, and makes the following comments (italicized). [4] [5]

The context of the chapter shows that the subject was Judah, not God; and thus it was Judah's weakness that was being discussed, not God's. The verse in context is saying that Judah was allowed by God to drive out the mountain inhabitants but not those in the valley.

So, why would God allow Judah to drive out one but not the other? God did not want to let Israel conquer too quickly so the lands being conquered wouldn't fall into disrepair and chaos. As such it was deliberate on God's part to let Judah win one major battle but not conquer everything in sight. The Israelites wanted God to drive out their enemies quickly, but this would not have been in keeping with what God said He would do. God had earlier told them He would deliberately not drive out their enemies in one year, lest the land become desolate without enough people to tend it so that wild animals like bears and lions became hazardous.

As a result, God allowed Judah to drive out the inhabitants of the mountains, but not to overtake the entire land. God could have given them victory over those with chariots of iron, but allowed them to be stopped by a formidable military presence, as He had earlier said He would, for their own good. It may be that God warned them not to face the armies of the valley and the Israelites attempted to win on their own anyway, as the Bible records elsewhere. (cp. Num. 14:41-45; 1 Ki. 22:28-29)


  1. Barker, D. (2019). "Bible Contradictions." FFRF.
  2. Scofield, Cyrus I. (2003). The Scofield Study Bible III. pg. 1625. Oxford University Press.
  3. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from
  4. Thiefe, Chris. Biblical Contradictions.
  5. N.a. (2019). "Biblical Contradictions? American Atheists.