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Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning whether there are one or three Gods. Here are the relevant passages:
- Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
b - ...Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.
- ... besides me there is no god
- ... Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.
- Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..."
- Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil..."
- Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.
1 Corinthians 8:5
- For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"...
1 John 5:8
- the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
When the Bible speaks of other "gods," it is speaking of false gods that do not exist, as demonstrated by the following passages:
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. (Galatians 4:8
...and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. (Isaiah 37:19
Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? (Jeremiah 2:11
In Genesis, when it refers to God using the words, "us" and "our," there are two reasonable possibilities that do not contradict the doctrine that there is only one God.
1 John 5:8
God is one in the sense that He is one in substance. God is three in the sense that He exists in three "persons": 1) the Father, 2) the Son, and 3) the Holy Spirit.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct in that each one is the "terminating front-person" for the various acts of God. In other words, while the entire Godhead performs all the actions of God (since God is one), the different things that God does is generally "attributed" to one of the persons of God. This is what we mean when we say that a particular person of God is the "terminating front-person" for a particular action of God.
Some people have trouble accepting possible explanations to alleged contradictions in the Bible, especially ones that they consider a stretch. For example, Dan Barker, president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says this:
I have received numerous replies from Christians who think that these contradictions are either trivial or easily explained. Yet not a single "explanation" has been convincing.
The fact is that there are plausible explanations for every alleged contradiction in the Bible. That there is a plausible explanation for an alleged contradiction does not mean that it is definitely the correct explanation for the alleged contradiction.
However, as long as a possible explanation has been suggested, then it has been objectively demonstrated that there is no necessary contradiction regarding the Bible verses and passages brought up.
When people like Dan Barker say that they don't find a particular explanation for a contradiction "convincing," then that is merely their opinion. A plausible explanation has been suggested that eliminates the necessary alleged contradiction. They simply don't like it, which is not at all a relevant argument against the explanation.
To read more about solutions to Bible contradictions and difficulties, check out Norman Geisler's The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation. While we do not agree with some of Geisler's theology, particularly concerning his view of predestination, this book is still an excellent resource. It is thorough and filled with research.
Another book to check out is Tim Chaffey's Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions: Exploring Forty Alleged Contraditions, which also answers many alleged contradictions in the Bible.