ABC:Mark 2

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Verses 25-26[edit]

The ReasonProject lists the following as a Bible contradiction with the headline "Was David alone when asking for the holy bread at Nob?"[1] Critic's words are italicized.

He was alone.

1 Samuel 21:1 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?

He was with others.

Matthew 12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

Mark 2:25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

Luke 6:3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;
4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?

Eric Lyons points out the truth of this case in his article for Apologetics Press, "Was Jesus Mistaken?"[2] As seen from the context of 1 Samuel 21 which the critic sneakily omits (considering they quoted multiple verses in the other passages), David was visiting on behalf of his soldiers.

1 Samuel 21:1 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?
2 And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.
3 Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.
4 And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.
5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

David mentions that his warriors are waiting for him elsewhere (v. 2), and have not been engaging in sexual promiscuity. (vv. 4-5) As pointed out by Lyons, "Consider the situation where a colonel in the army might visit a general’s quarters 'alone' to discuss provisions for his men, while instructing his men to wait for him at a nearby designated location. In one sense, the colonel was alone with the general, yet in another sense, the colonel and his men had traveled to the general’s location in order to request essential provisions that would have been used for both the colonel and those who were with him."[2]

Jesus is correct. There were people with David and David took the shewbread to give to them. The critic wants to incorrectly argue that Jesus was saying David's men were with him when he received the shewbread, but that is not what Jesus said. David was acting in concert with his servants who were waiting elsewhere for him, they were hungry like he was, and the priest recognized the bread was intended for all of them, not just David, which is why he asked if David's men had been sexually promiscuously. David replied that women had been kept from "us." (v. 5)

Sources[edit]

  1. Marlow, Andy (2009). Contradictions in the Bible. Project Reason.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lyons, Eric (2006). Was Jesus Mistaken? Apologetics Press.