ABC:Ecclesiastes 1

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Verse 7

Infidels.org asserts the Bible contradicts reality in referring to 'treasures of the snow' and 'treasures of the hail', and claims "storehouses are not part of the [hydrological] cycle."[1]

Ecclesiastes 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

Job 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,

Perhaps Meritt was unaware of how snow and hail are formed within extratropical cyclones. However, the snow/hail formation within such extratropical cyclones could well be the "treasures of snow/hail" referred to by the Bible, and there is no reason to assume a contradiction when there is a ready explanation. Ecclesiastes 1:7 by the way is a very good summary of the hydrological cycle.

Verse 19

Infidels.org claims a contradiction with other verses on wisdom with the heading, "Is it folly to be wise or not?"[2]

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Ecclesiastes 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

1 Corinthians 1:19-21: For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

The first two passages in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes do not contradict at all. One can be urged to get wisdom and understanding, yet the road to doing so will include sorrow and grief. Concerning 1 Corinthians, the passage does not refer to godly wisdom, but the wisdom of this world, as revealed by other Scriptures. That 1 Corinthians 1 is referring to the wisdom of the world specifically is clear from verses 20-21, which Infidels failed to quote, and by doing so did not provide the correct context. Verse 21 clearly shows this "wisdom of the world" is being contrasted with "the wisdom of God". Verse 24 likewise continues, "Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."

Other verses show a distinction between godly wisdom, which brings eternal life, and the wisdom of this world, which results in destruction. If Infidels.org were honest, they would quote the next chapter as well, which shows wisdom of this world is being contrasted with the wisdom of God, but they do not do so because it would not serve their dishonest aim to disprove the Bible.

1 Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

The Apostle James likewise contrasts the wisdom of this world with the wisdom of God:

James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Therefore, it is apparent two kinds of wisdom are being addressed by both Paul and James, a wisdom of this world, and a wisdom of God. Had Infidels.org examined the passages honestly, they would have easily observed this.

Sources

  1. Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html.
  2. Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html.