I have several questions I hope you may help with:

-Does Jesus not fall under the Curse of Jeconiah in Jer. 22:30, 36:30 in which none of Jeconiah’s descendants (Matt.1:11 states Jesus is a descendant) shall sit on the throne of David nor rule in Judah?

-Did Paul violate Deuteronomy 23:16 and Jer. 34:13-17 when he returned the slave to their master in Philemon 10-16?

-Did Paul contradict Deuteronomy 7:11-13, 11:26-28, and 30:19-20 in Galatians 3:13?

-Did the author of Hebrews 9:22 contradict 1 Kings 8:46-50 in which it is stated that prayer and supplication can atone for sins, and contradict Daniel 4:24 which teaches that tzedaka acts of charity and generosity (alms) atone for sins without blood atonement?

-Did Paul inaccurately paraphrase Isaiah 59:20 in Romans 11:26?

-If 2 Pet. 3:14-16 was written prior to Gal. 2:11-21 and Acts 15, are we to accept Paul’s apostleship based solely upon his own assertion that he was an apostle confirmed by performance of miracles, and without any extrabiblical evidence that he was in fact a known miracle-worker?


I would bet my last dollar that you or someone else found these supposed contradictions at an anti-Christian web site because these have the appearance of coming from someone looking for contradictions rather than trying to understand the Scripture.  Well, perhaps I am wrong, but here are my responses:

The curse on Jeconiah (more commonly known as Jehoiachin) in Jeremiah 22:30 says that, due to his unfaithfulness, none of his children would prosper or sit on the throne of David.  Jeremiah 36:30 is even more specific in saying the curse fell “on him and his children and his attendants.  In fact, this is what happened.  When Jehoiachin was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, his uncle Zedekiah was made king.  When Zedekiah rebelled, he was killed by the Babylonians.  Zedekiah was the last of the royal line to rule in Jerusalem.  So, the prophecy was fulfilled.  None of Jehoiachin’s children became king of Judah,and neither did his attendants.  The prophecy says nothing of his great grandchildren of those who came later.

Even if we were to take the prophecy to apply to later generations, which is not the most reasonable interpretation, Jesus never took a throne or ruled in Judah.  His kingdom is not of this world.  However, there is no indication that the prophecy was about the distant future in any case.

Given that we in the New Testament are not required to follow the Mosaic Law, it is not possible for us to violate a law we are not under. Besides, Deuteronomy 23:16 applies to slaves of non-Israelites who are found among Israelites. This would be irrelevant to a Gentile slave of a Gentile.  It is a REAL stretch for someone to try to imply that Paul is disobeying a law for the Israelites when he gives advice to a Christian who is not even Jewish.

As for Deuteronomy 7:11-13, 11:26-28, and 30:19-20, these passages are God telling his people to obey the Law of Moses.  The whole point of Galatians is that Paul is telling Christians that they are no longer under the Law of Moses, so trying to find violations of that Law in Galatians is to completely misunderstand the intent of the book.  Even having said this, I cannot imagine how anyone could see a contradiction here.  The point of Paul is that those who hang on a tree are cursed.  Jesus was cursed as he hung on a tree.  He took all of our sins on himself when he was crucified.  How could this even be proposed as a contradiction unless the person doing so was not even trying to understand the point of Paul?

1 Kings 8:46-50 definitely does not teach that prayer atones for sin.  Really????  It is a promise that if the people have rebelled against God that if they repent of their sins and turn completely back to God with all their heart and soul and if they pray, then God would act in mercy toward the people, forgive them, and restore them to his blessings.  The passage is talking about communal repentance and worship and communal blessings.  Individual salvation is not even under consideration in this passage.  Even if it were (it is not), it would be a gross distortion of this passage to say that it teaches that prayer atones for sin.  There is nothing about atonement here, and besides, by far the stress is on repentance and return of the heart.  The prayer is relatively incidental to the group forgiveness and blessing.  As for Daniel 4:24, I have to asume that you are giving an incorrect reference because there it does not appear to be even related to the idea of atonement for sins.  It is about Nebuchadnezzar and God promising prosperity to him if he would repent.

It is impossible to “inaccurately paraphrase” because, by definition, to paraphrase is to put what someone else said in your own words.  Paraphrasing is, by defintion, “not accurate.”  I suppose one could paraphrase in a way which is in obvious contradiction to the intent of the original author, so let me examine this possible charge.  In Isaiah 59:20 God says, “The Redeemer will come in Zion, to those in Judah who repent of their sins.”   in Romans 11:26 Paul says, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.”  I will let you judge how close this paraphrase is, but, to me, it appears to agree with the idea being taught in Isaiah 59:20.  We should bear in mind that Paul is probably paraphrasing, not the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew, but more likely he is paraphrasing the Greek Septuagint translation of the passage.  In fact, I did some checking and Paul’s version of Isaiah 59:20 is almost exactly the same as the Septuagint.

About your last question:  If 2 Pet. 3:14-16 was written prior to Gal. 2:11-21 and Acts 15, are we to accept Paul’s apostleship based solely upon his own assertion that he was an apostle confirmed by performance of miracles, and without any extrabiblical evidence that he was in fact a known miracle-worker?  First of all, as far as I know, all scholars agree that 2 Peter 3:14-16 was written after Galatians and Acts, but this really does not affect the question of Paul’s apostleship.  Obviously, the writer of 2 Peter (probably Peter!) considered Paul an apostle. All the Church Fathers acknowledged Paul as an apostle and as the one who spread Christianity to the Greek world.  Even the wildest skeptics of Christianity will agree that Paul was accepted as an apostle by all or virtually all of the Church in the first century.  His apostleship was based on his having had a personal vision of Christ and on the fact (and it is a fact) that the early church accepted his testimony.  In the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, Paul’s apostleship is assumed.  Apostleship never was based on miracle-working as far as I know, but unless Luke is lying and the entire early church was similary deceived, the Church believed Paul to be a miracle-worker.  It is true that there is no non-Christian from the first century who names Paul as an apostle or as a miracle worker.  This lack of evidence does nothing to cancel out the evidence from the Bible and from the writings of the primitive Christians.  It is reasonable to question that Paul did in fact work miracles, but it is not reasonable to question that his apostleship was accepted by the early church, given the evidence.

John Oakes

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