Apparent Chronological Conflicts


How the Anti-missionaries use Unequal Weights and Measures
Part 3: Apparent Chronological Conflicts
James Scott Trimm

As we stated in Parts 1 and 2, the Torah teaches us a principle of using equal weights of measures:

35 You shall do no unrighteousness: in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.
36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall you have: I am YHWH your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
(Lev. 19:35-36 HRV)

13 You shall not have in your bag diverse weights–a great and a small.
14 You shall not have in your house diverse measures–a great and a small.
15 A perfect and just weight shall you have; a perfect and just measure shall you have, that your days may be long upon the land which YHWH your Elohim gives you.
16 For all that do such things, even all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto YHWH your Elohim.
(Deut. 25:13-16 HRV)

This is a principle that tells us that we must use the same standard of measurement in judging others as we use when judging ourselves.  In the same way we must judge the beliefs of others by the same standards that we judge our own beliefs.  Likewise we must not judge the contents of the so-called “New Testament” by a different standard that we judge the Tanak.

Anti-missionaries like Tovia Singer violate this principle because they regularly judge the contents of the so-called “New Testament” by a stricter standard than they judge the Tanak.

An argument that proves too much, proves nothing at all.  In this case an argument which would also disprove the contents of the Tanak is not a valid Jewish argument against the contents of the so-called “New Testament.”

Apparent Chronological Conflicts

Anti-missionaries will argue that the books of the so-called “New Testament” are filled with chronological conflicts.  For example, they will point out an apparent chronological conflict between Matthew and Mark on the one hand and Luke on the other.

Now while anti-missionaries make much of such apparent chronological conflicts in the so called “New Testament” they do not measure the NT by the same standard as they measure the Tanak because the Tanak also has apparent chronological conflicts.

In fact we need go no further that the opening portion of the opening book of the Torah itself to find an apparent chronological conflict:

11 And Elohim said: Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth. And it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind. And Elohim saw that it was good.

20 And Elohim said: Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And Elohim created the great sea creatures, and every living creature that creeps with which the waters swarmed after its kind, and every winged fowl after its kind. And Elohim saw that it was good.
22 And Elohim blessed them, saying: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
24 And Elohim said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind: cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth, after its kind. And it was so.
25 And Elohim made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after its kind. And Elohim saw that it was good.
26 And Elohim said: Let us make man in our image; after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
27 And Elohim created man in His own image: in the image of Elohim created He him; male and female created He them.
(Gen. 1:11-27 HRV)

Now compare this with Genesis chapter 2:

4 These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that YHWH Elohim made earth and heaven.
5 No shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up, for YHWH Elohim had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the earth.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the earth.
7 Then YHWH Elohim formed man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
8 And YHWH Elohim, planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
9 And out of the earth, made YHWH Elohim to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food: the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

19 And out of the earth YHWH Elohim formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them. And whatsoever the man would call every living creature, that was to be the name thereof.
20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam, there was not found a help meet for him.
(Gen. 2:4-20 HRV )

While Genesis 1 appears to have plants and animals created before man, Genesis 2 appears to have them created after man.

However like a man who lives in a glass house throwing stones, the Anti-missionaries do not use equal weights and measures in this regard.  While the Tanak itself also contains apparent chronological conflicts the anti-missionaries attack the so-called New Testament for containing apparent chronological conflicts.


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