Biblical Concept: Biblical Paradoxes


Prologue: The multidimensional (at least 14 dimensions) God of the Bible is both omniscient and linear.  If One is omniscient, why do anything since you already know how it will all eventuate?  Answer: God is also linear and enjoys the progression of the moment.  This understanding will assist in paradox resolution.  See the Biblical Concept: The linear aspect of God. 


Prologue:  If a 14 Dimensional God of the Bible can do the greater (creation of: angelic and human sentience, an immense and beautiful four dimensional universe, an amazingly beautiful and bountiful earth, etc.) the lesser apparent Biblical paradoxes might be a problem of human volitional / intellectual limitations?  Because God can do the greater, do not assume a lesser Biblical Paradox is a problem with the character of God.  This perspective will assist in paradox resolution. 


Prologue: Biblical Paradoxes can lead to a greater spiritual understanding by the Christian.  The solution to some Biblical Paradoxes is not easy.  Immediate context, near context, and far context must be understood and brought to bear on the paradox.  Biblical / Spiritual Paradoxes can reveal an objective attitude toward God versus a subjective attitude toward God.  The objective will seek a logical contextual theological solution.  The subjective will use paradoxes to criticize God, Christian, and Bible. 


Prologue: This will certainly not be an exhaustive listing of Biblical Paradoxes.  Future additions of interesting Biblical paradox will be added.  I have picked some interesting / difficult examples to consider / resolve.  Those on Biblical Concepts A-Z can send me other examples to consider / resolve.


Secular Paradox definitions:


Cambridge Online Dictionary: a situation or statement which seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics.


Encarta Dictionary:  a statement, proposition, or situation that seems to be absurd or contradictory, but in fact is or may be true. 1 a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that may in fact be true. 2 a person or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.” . . . “ORIGIN originally in the sense “statement contrary to accepted opinion”: from Greek paradoxon ‘contrary opinion’.


Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:  1 : a tenet contrary to received opinion 2 a : a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true b : a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true c : an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises 3 : one that possesses seemingly contradictory qualities or phases.


Related terms:


·Misnomer - an unsuitable name

·Dichotomy - separation of different or contradictory things

·Irony - humor based on opposites, a type of humor based on using words to suggest the opposite of their literal meaning

·Juxtaposition - to place two or more things together, especially in order to suggest a link between them or emphasize the contrast between them

·Incongruous - unsuitable, strange, or out of place in a particular setting or context

●Contradiction - a proposition, statement, or phrase that asserts or implies both the truth and falsity of something



♦ An omniscient but sorry paradox.


Genesis 6:5-7  5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  7 And the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."  (My underlines.)


Observations: Instead of a flaw in God’s omniscience / plan / thinking, the linear reality aspect of God is on display. Even though God’s omniscience understood the rebellious possibilities of free will, He did not allow this to rob Him of the pleasure of sharing sentience with free will volitional creatures.  God continued to enjoy shared sentience with Noah and family.  God even decided He would suffer on the behalf of human volitional sinfulness in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.  Linear interaction with free will volitional creatures is something God really enjoys.  God had a strong desire to be a Creator.  God continues to enjoy making individual humans, in His image; from Adam and Eve though the Millennial Age.


♦ An omniscient but not knowing paradox.


NAS Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.


Observations:  During His earthly incarnation, the God-Man Jesus Christ veiled His Deity and functioned with the power of the Holy Spirit. Philippians 2:5-11  5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,  6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,  7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,  10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,  11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Acts 10:38  38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him.


The Matthew 24:36 verse and context, is earthly.  This is to say: during the God-Man Jesus Christ’s time on earth before His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.  Now that Jesus Christ has ascended to His rightful place, at the right hand of the Father, waiting until his enemies be made a foot stool for His feet; the probability is that He knows when He is going to make His Second Advent.  Probably the Father has told Him, or His now unveiled omniscient Deity has become aware of the time.  Or, if in the interplay of the Triune Members, the Son and the Holy Spirit are awaiting the spontaneity of the Father Planner so be it!  We might be pondering things beyond a mundane Omniscience (irony intended).  


Omniscient but not knowing?  Christians know very little about the intellectual interplay of the Members of the Triune God of the Bible.  Who is to say that They Each could not have their Own Private thoughts?  The omniscient Triune God is also linear.  To assume no possibility of Individual linear spontaneous thinking, is a limited assumption.  We humans are about ten dimensions short in our capabilities / thinking.  Omniscient, as humans understand it, just might not apply under the same definition among the Triunity?  Human imagination is about as close as we can come to the other ten dimensions. Not very close.


¨A suffering and comfort paradox.


2 Corinthians 1:5-10   5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.  6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer;  7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.  8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;  9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;  10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,


Observations:  2 Corinthians 1:5 = Continual abundant suffering and comfort in Christ. Both are true in Christ because of the mission of Christ.  Christ came to save sinful humanity and also defeat 1/3 angels.  Comfort and suffering for those in Christ is part of the mission statement for Believers.  Comfort and suffering is more of a juxtaposition in this context.


¨A time paradox: “at hand” versus 1,980 years and counting. 


1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 


2 Peter 3:4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." (God’s critics say: “1,980 years have passed since promises of Christ’s coming.”)


2 Peter 3:7 But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.


Observation: God’s salvation patience trumps the immanent / at hand prophetic timeline.  God wishes none would perish, but He honors free will.


¨A love versus hate paradox:




Psalm 119:104 From Thy precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.


Observation: Love your neighbor but hate his false ways.  How to live this is difficult.  Pray for wisdom.


¨A humility versus aggression paradox. 


Hebrews 2:14  14 Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;


Hebrews 10:12-13   12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,  13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.


Colossians 2:15   15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.


1 John 3:8   8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.


1 Peter 3:22   22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.


Observation: God utilized the paradox of humility and aggression to document the error of those who maligned Him--and justly condemned them.