A contradiction occurs when two or more (truth claims) conflict with one another so that they cannot simultaneously be truth in the same sense and at the same time (I’ll give an example following the complete definition). To put it another way, a Bible contradiction would exist if there were claims within truth that are mutually exclusive in the same sense and at the same time.*} the above is not exactly a quote but it is inspired by Slim Jim on his: The Domain for Truth.
The same principles of course would be true of a contradiction within a church doctrine.
(So for the example). Let’s pick a time, say it is the Day of the Lord. There are two claims within this church doctrine which do conflict concerning a truth happening at this time (the day of The Lord). This day is spoken of within the prophetic word. One claim used by most all, is that Elijah will come before this day. The other claim is that Elijah will come during this day. The first is supported with this scripture:
Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. (NASB)
Then Jesus stated this concerning Elijah:
Matthew 11:14 “And if you are willing to accept [it,] John himself is Elijah who was to come. (NASB)
And then we have this statement from Him later:
Matthew 17:11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; (NASB)
These are three scriptures concerning Elijah’s coming, there are more, but from these you can see that there could be a conflict. In fact there would be a conflict if all are speaking of the same event in time. So, is there a conflict causing a contradiction?
Malachi says Elijah is coming before the day of the Lord. Jesus after He comes as savior says that Elijah has already come as John the Baptist. This coming is obviously before the day of The Lord, which both sides involved in what is an ongoing confusion agree; but how long before? What has happened with resulting church doctrine is that an assumption has been made that The Day of the Lord has already come, because Elijah has come. But is this assumption proper? This one entire system of theology (Reformed) is aided in it’s construction by this assumption. They have concluded that we are living now in the day of the Lord. Elijah has come so he is the proof that this is that day. Jesus is now ruling through His church they say.
But, Jesus has thrown us a curve some would say. Because this later statement in chapter 17, says that Elijah is still coming (future). So has the day of the Lord come? Are these statements contradictions or do they refer to two different comings in two different times? Another entire system of Theology is also corrupted based on this verse in Matthew 17. Here the day of the Lord is thought to be yet future, based upon this verse in chapter 17, assuming that it has not yet come (Dispensational Theology). But Dispensational Theology then tries to make Christ come to resurrect His saints before Elijah comes, and they say that this imminent coming begins the day of the Lord. But they are confounded by these verses because it says that Elijah must come before this day can come. And when He comes that he will restore all things. If this restoration has not taken place yet, then the day of the Lord can not have come.
So what we see is confusion, but is the confusion caused by man attempting to interpret these scriptures or by what they actually say in relation to Gods time? Unless we rightly divide the word of God into the proper understanding of the prophesied time involved confusion remains.
The time spoken of concerns The day of the Lord. This day then itself is the key to understanding this time, and when it is understood it will end the confusion. What is it’s time stamp?
The explanation is rather too long to repeat as a part of this blog, and I have already written it some time ago. Read the following post and you will see,:
But before you read it I want you to know that at the end of these couple of posts, I will post an article on the application of this problem to the racial issue going on today in America. I hope that you are waiting in anticipation to read it.