This is the sixth in a series attempting to nuance the statement, “The Bible says…” I encourage you to read the story so far:
Textual Criticism
The Septuagint (LXX)
Hebrew vowel pointing
The canon
Translation
There’s also been a related post, “the pope says…

Continuity problems

If a person says, “The Bible says David killed Goliath”, they are talking about 1 Samuel 17. If a person says, “The Bible says Elhanan killed Goliath”, they are talking about 2 Samuel 21:19. If a person says, “the Bible says Elhanan killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath”, they are talking about 1 Chronicles 20:5

If a person says, “The Bible says Jesus told the twelve to carry a staff on their mission”, they are talking about Mark 6:8. If a person says, “The Bible says Jesus told the twelve not to carry a staff on their mission”, they are talking about Matthew 10:10 or Luke 9:3.

If a person says, “The Bible says the animals went onto the ark seven pairs of each kind”, they are talking about Genesis 7:2. If a person says, “The Bible says the animals went onto the ark two by two” they are talking about Genesis 7:8

If a person says, “The Bible says Judas hung himself”, they are talking about Matthew 27:5. If a person says, “The Bible says Judas bought a field, fell headlong, burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out” they are talking about Acts 1:18.

If a person says the Bible says it is OK to eat shrimp or lobster, the Bible says marriage is between one man and one woman, the Bible says it is all right for men to shave, …

Postscript

For those who cannot cope with accepting there are continuity problems in the Bible, here are some ways to get around the Elhanan/David continuity problem:

1. The Goliath in 2 Sam 21:19 was not be the same one that David killed (there was more than one Goliath.)
2. Elhanan killed Goliath in the sense that by killing Goliath’s brother, Elhanan was killing the last remaining relative of the famous villain, thus ending Goliath’s lineage.
3. Goliath’s brother was as big and as fearsome as Goliath, thus he was considered to be “the next Goliath”.
4. Elhanan was another name that David was known by (and Jaare-Oregim was another name for his father, Jesse).
5. Elhanan struck Goliath at the exact same moment that David used his sling-shot, so they both get credit for killing Goliath.
6. After being killed by David, Goliath was raised from the dead and later killed again by Elhanan.

You can work on the others yourself…

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