Kolbe Report 9/16/23

A famous apparent contradiction in the Old Testament?

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Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Faith in the truth of the sacred history of Genesis has declined in proportion to the loss of faith in Scriptural inerrancy.  This is not surprising.  The popular view that Scripture is only inerrant in matters of faith and morals allows Catholic intellectuals to maintain intellectual respectability in the eyes of the world by asserting that Scriptural statements about creation are subject to interpretation and correction by natural scientists.

As our leadership team has faced challenges to Scriptural inerrancy from theistic and atheistic evolutionists, we have learned to appreciate the wisdom of the Fathers who taught that God allows apparent contradictions in the Bible to shake us out of our complacency and to move us to pray and pour all our energies into the pursuit of the truth.  Recently, one of our readers asked if we could comment on a famous apparent contradiction in the Old Testament regarding the age of King Ahaziah when he began to reign.

2 Chronicles 22:2 reads:

Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.

2 Kings 8:26 reads:

Ochozias [Ahaziah] was two and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem: the name of his mother was Athalia the daughter of Amri king of Israel.

Faced with this apparent contradiction in Sacred Scripture, many apologists for Scriptural inerrancy trace the contradiction to a copyist’s error.  They point out that, as one commentator on 2 Chronicle 22:2 writes:

some Greek copies have here twenty-two years old, and it is so in the Syriac and Arabic translations, and particularly in that most ancient copy of the Syriac, which was used by the church at Antioch in the primitive times, and to this day is kept in the church of Antioch, from which Archbishop Usher did, at his own great charge, get an exact copy transcribed.

However, while this explanation may be valid in this case and in a few other instances, where the copyist’s error does not affect the doctrinal content of the text to the slightest degree, it highlights the fact that not one original manuscript of any book of the Bible has been preserved, making it impossible to be certain of the entire text in its original form.

No Original Manuscripts of any Books of the Bible Have Been Preserved

At first, this may come as a shock to a pious Catholic.  How could the Incarnate Word allow His inspired written Word to disappear?  And why did He not use His almighty power to protect and preserve the original manuscripts of the Bible?

It is only after prayerfully reflecting on this fact that one begins to appreciate the wisdom of God’s Providential design.  Had He preserved the original manuscripts of the Bible, we would be tempted to make idols of them—whereas through this frustrating circumstance God wanted to remind us that it is the Holy Catholic Church that gave us the Bible, defined the canon of Scripture, and gives us authoritative interpretations of the Word of God.  The fact that no original manuscript of the Bible exists forces us to acknowledge our dependence on the Church in all matters of Scriptural interpretation.

The decree of the Council of Trent declaring St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate free from any error in faith or morals gives Catholics an excellent reference point from which to judge the accuracy of other translations of the Bible.  For English speakers, the Douai-Rheims Bible holds pride of place, as a faithful word for word translation of the Latin Vulgate.  Since there have been several authoritative decrees upholding the unlimited inerrancy of the Bible, the faithful Catholic knows that he is bound to make a supreme effort to resolve any apparent contradictions in the text of the Vulgate without calling into question the inerrancy of Scripture.  Before his death, Pope St. Pius X asked the Benedictines to undertake a revision of the Vulgate to correct any minor errors in the text, but the project was never completed.  Perhaps that is part of that “unfinished symphony” of theological works that will be completed during the Era of Peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima.

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, may the Holy Ghost guide us all into all the Truth!

In Domino,

Hugh Owen

P.S. During the next two weeks Pamela Acker, Brother Columba Maria and I will be giving quite a few presentations and seminars, together or separately, in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.  Please check the Kolbe Events page for further details as they become available.  The following is a list of some of the venues.  There are a few others which are about to be confirmed and which we will try to post on the Events page as soon as we have confirmation.  Please spread the word.

Sunday, September 17, 12:30 to 2:30 after the High Mass
Hugh Owen
“The Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation: The Foundation of Our Faith"
Christ the King Parish Center
1900 Meadowood St.
Sarasota, FL 34231.

Sunday, September 17, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Hugh Owen
“The Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation: The Only Firm Foundation for a Culture of Life”
Ave Maria Parish
5088 Annunciation Cir.
Ave Maria, FL 34142

Monday, September 18
Hugh Owen
“The Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation: The Foundation of Our Faith"
Live Oak, Fl – Details TBA

Tuesday, September 19
Hugh Owen: “G.K. Chesterton and the Science of Creation”
After the 6 p.m. Traditional Latin Mass
St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church
900 W. Garden St.
Pensacola, FL 32502

Thursday, September 21, 2023, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Presenter: Hugh Owen: "The Catholic Doctrine of Creation: A Key to Safeguarding your Children’s Faith and Ending the Mass Exodus of Youth from the Church"
Where: Holy Family Academy
227 N. Jefferson Ave.
Covington, LA 70433

Friday, September 22, 2023, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Presenter: Hugh Owen “The Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation: The Only Firm Foundation for a Culture of Life”
Where: Blackridge Lake Clubhouse
2532 Blackridge Drive
Hoover, AL 35244
Email: for gate code and RSVP

Saturday, September 23, 2023, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.,
Presenters: Pamela Acker and Hugh Owen:
“The Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation: The Only Firm Foundation for a Culture of Life”
St. Rafka Maronite Catholic Church
1215 S Highway 14
Greer, SC 29650-2412

Tuesday, September 26
Pamela Acker and Hugh Owen
“The Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation: The Only Firm Foundation for a Culture of Life”
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
St. Elizabeth Catholic Church
259 Pilgrims Way
Boone, NC


Pamela Acker and Hugh Owen
Aquinas Hall
1400 Suther Road, Charlotte, NC

Friday, September 29
7:00 - 8:30 Hugh Owen - "The Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation: The Foundation of our Holy Catholic Faith"
8:30 -9:00 - Q and A

Saturday September 30: 9am – 4:00pm (10am Mass - Ordinary Form/English)
9:00 - 9:50 - Pamela Acker - The Icons of Evolution
10:00 – 10:45 – Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
11:00 - 11:50 - Hugh Owen - Evidence for a Global Flood and Its Importance for Our Times
12:00 – 12:30 - Lunch
12:30 - 1:20 - Pamela Acker - Genetic Entropy: The End of Biological Evolution
1:30 - 2:20 - Hugh Owen - “Russia Will Spread Its Errors": Evolution and the Anti-Culture of Death
2:30 - 3:20 - Pamela Acker - Biological Evidence for the Biblical Chronology of Earth's History
3:30 - 4:00 - Hugh Owen - The Difference It Makes: The Restoration of the Doctrine of Creation, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Flowering of a Culture of Life
4:00 – 4:30 - Q and A


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