Saturday, 13 July 2013

Confirmed Bible Contradiction: How many Horsemen did David Capture, 1700 or 7000?

One of the problems with the modern day Bible is that it was left prone to scribal errors and deliberate changes. The contradictory issue of how many horsemen David captured according to two Biblical verses is explained by Christian apologists as being due to a scribal (copyist) error. The following is the explanation given by the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM):

How many Horsemen did David Capture, 1700 or 7000?

  1. 1,700 Horsemen (2 Samuel 8:4) - "And David captured from him 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers; and David hamstrung the chariot horses, but reserved enough of them for 100 chariots
  2. 7,000 Horsemen (1 Chronicles 18:4) - "And David took from him 1,000 chariots and 7,000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers, and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but reserved enough of them for 100 chariots."
This is most probably a copyist error or a copy of a manuscript where the number was altered through decay. 1 Chron. 18:4 is probably the correct number since it is a better preserved manuscript.

"Probably on earlier copyist inadvertently omitted the word "chariot" that we find supplied in some translations. This in turn created a problem for a later copyist who would have recognized that it was not proper Hebrew structure to write "one thousand seven thousand" horsemen," so he would have reduced the second "thousand" to "hundred" resulting in the reading we now have in 2 Samuel 8:4." [Geisler and Howe, When Critics Ask, p. 171-172]


The explanation offered by Geisler and Howe does make sense. However, notice that it's simply a tacit admission that there is a contradiction in the Bible. Explaining how a contradiction got into the Bible is not akin to explaining the contradiction away but rather it is simply confirmation of the contradiction.

The 'how it got there' is acknowledgement that the contradiction is there and thus the question that is begged here is thus: If you admit to a contradiction being in your Bible then how can you claim the whole Bible in your hand is inspired by God?

For us, as Muslims, this is simply another evidence of the Muslim belief that the Bible has been corrupted.

Bible manuscripts: How tall was Goliath:

Bible manuscripts found:

Learn about Islam:



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Anonymous said...

Are there any scribal errors among the Qur'anic manuscripts?

Yahya Snow said...


As the Quran is something that is preserved in written form and oral form there is no way a scribal error in copying a mushaf would be believed as it would be spotted as our modes of preservation are indeed the human heart (memory) and the written form (masahif).

The problem with the Bible, as illustrated in the Christian explanation regarding the number of horsemen, is that Christians don't know how to spot their mistakes and nor do they remove their scribal errors. The fact remains, Christians are stuck with this error in their books.

If they had a proper oral tradition with regards to 2 Chronicles and 2 Samuel they there would have been memorizers who would have spotted the error.

Now the Christians are stuck with it to the extent that in the next Bible you produce it will be there and the next one after that it will be there.


Anonymous said...

Hello Yahya,

Thank you for your response. You said that variants wouldn't be believed. But I'm just asking if there are any variants at all in the manuscript tradition.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

From Minoria:

Away for a while and as for me,as I stated before,the exact number is one of the 2 options,it is not that the information is gone forever.Is there a contradiction?There is since somebody copied wrong what the original author wrote,but no contradiction in the first version.


1.There are 50 verses or 1% of the NT for which we don't know what the original words were.

2.We have 2 or 3 or even 4 options.

3.All we know is the original is one of them,so we have the original version,except we don't know which one.

4.But as DANIEL WALLACE,one of the greatest experts on the NT manuscripts,has said,none of the variants that can be traced back EARLY say anything against Christian doctrine,like "Jesus was not the Messiah" or "Jesus did not resurrect".


Off-topic but very important,I had said that scientists say life should NEVER have appeared at all.

In 2010 Craig Venter was said to have created artifical life.

If by artificial you mean he created a living being out of INANIMATE material then no.

What he did was created a synthetic DNA( a set of instructions,software)that he added to a LIVING cell and the cell accepted it and when it reproduced it did so with a new DNA.
It would be like injecting new DNA into a white person and that changes his DNA and he even changes to another race(since DNA determines race).So scientists still haven't really created life out of non-life.