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these bible verses are contradictory

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 462 times Debate No: 82289
Debate Rounds (3)
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Genesis 32:30:--'And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face-to-face, and my life is preserved.'

John 1:18:--'No man hath seen God at any time.'


To anyone who isn't given the entierety of a verse that is being quoted, it is easy to assume that two verses are contradictory. But in order to fully know what a passage is saying we must read it in context.

For example, someone says "I love beating my wife in chess" and I come along and quote him as saying "I love beating my wife" to give people the impression that he likes to beat his wife.

To anyone who knows the whole story, they would accuse me of misquoting him, for I didn't quote everything he said, but only a snippet of it to give people the impression that he beats his wife, when in reality, the context indicates he likes beating his wife in chess, not that he likes to beat is wife physically by hitting her. So context is very important.

With that said, it's time to examine the verses in question.

Genesis 32:30 is the conclusion of Jacob after his meeting with a mysterious visitor whom he wrestled with all night in Genesis 32. A man, whom the text doesn't name wrestled with Jacob all night, here is the proof:

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. (Genesis 32:24-29)

The passage is clear that Jacob wrestled with a mysterious man. After the match was over the man merely touched Jacob's hip socket and his hip was put out of joint, which showed Jacob that this was no ordinary man. Jacob finally realized who he was wrestling with, for he asks the man to bless him. And then, the man changes Jacob's name from Jacob to Israel because "he has striven with God and with man, and prevailed".

It would be odd to Jacob that a created being had the authority to just claim to be able to change his name like that and to claim that striving with him was striving with God, so Jacob came to the conclusion that he saw God face to face in Genesis 32:30. Notice, Jacob didn't see God in all his glory, but experienced what is known as a theophany, that is, God taking on a temporary physical form to interact with his creation; this will become important later.

Now moving onto John 1:18

John 1:18 was quoted as saying "No man has seen God at any time", but wait, didn't Jacob see God face to face? So isn't there a contradiction or does it require us to dig a little deeper?

Remember what I said earlier, when you quote a text, quote it in context; even if you disagree with it you must handle it with respect.

Here is John 1:18 in its entirety:

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

Once you quote John 1:18 in its entirety, all of the sudden the supposed contradiction is answered in the very text you are quoting. When John 1:18 says "no one has seen God" what that means is no one has seen the Father. When people are reported to have seen God, they have seen Jesus Christ the Son, not the Father.

The contradiction is resolved like this:

Jacob saw God, but he didn't see the Father, he saw the Son. John 1:18 says the Son, who is God has been seen, Jacob didn't see the Father, so the contradiction is therefore resolved; and all it took was quoting the rest of John 1:18.

And if you want proof that Jacob was wrestling with Jesus and not the Father, ask me to provide the evidence.
Debate Round No. 1


And if you want proof that Jacob was wrestling with Jesus and not the Father, ask me to provide the evidence."

ok please provide it


In Hosea 12:2-5, the prophet Hosea recounts Jacob's encounter with the man whom he wrestled with:

2 The Lord has a charge to bring against Judah; he will punish Jacob according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds. 3 In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel; as a man he struggled with God. 4 He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel and talked with him there— 5 the Lord God Almighty, the Lord is his name!

Hosea takes it a step further and identifies the man as non other than the LORD God Almighty himself. Very clear that this man was God in human form.

Another thing to take note of is the fact that Hosea also refers to the LORD as an Angel that Jacob met a Bethel and talked with him there. This is significant because Jacob in Genesis 31, talks with the Angel of God at Bethel, who is in view here:

11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.’” (Genesis 31:11-13)

Notice, the Angel of God calls himself "the God of Bethel", showing you that he is claming Diety for himself, which is blasphemy if he were a mere creature. He is not a mere creature, but rather, God himself. The same Angel whom Jacob wrestled with, and the same Angel whom Hosea applied the name YHWH God to, even though he can't be the Father. Therefore, this Angel of God who wrestled with Jacob is non-other then the pre-incarnate Son, Jesus. This can't be the Father because the figure is called "the Angel of God". Meaning he is sent from God, therefore, he must be distinct from God the Father who sent him.

And by the way, the hebrew word "Malakh" which is translated as "Angel" simply means "messenger" and tells us nothing about the nature (created or uncreated) of the messenger. It's simply a title denoting "a sent one"; it tells us absolutely nothing in terms of whether or not the sent one is a created being or God himself.

John 1:18 again sums up everything I just said above: no one has seen God the Father, but people have seen the Son who is God in a visible form. Therefore, according to the clear testimony of the Bible, the man Jacob wrestled with is Jesus making a pre-incarnate appearance.

Debate Round No. 2


ok i concede



Praise be to our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.