Bible Answer

A possible contradiction in scripture?

I was reading the Bible the other day and noticed that in John 7:45-52, the Pharisees say that no prophet has arisen from the Galilee. But in 2 Kings 14:23-27 it says that Jonah was from Gath Hepher, which is in Galilee. How do you answer the person who would say that this is a contradiction in the scriptures? 

In the John passage you quoted, the Pharisees declared that no prophet had arisen from the Galilee, and as you say Jonah was from the Galilee. For that matter, Nahum was also from the Galilee, since he was from the tribe of Simeon, which settled in the Galilee, and some scholars believe Micah may have been a Galilean as well. So clearly, the Pharisees were wrong about prophets not originating in the Galilee. Prophets do, in fact, arise from the Galilee.

When the Pharisees mistakenly claimed (or more likely intentionally lied) by stating that no prophet arises from the Galilee, they were attempting to discredit Jesus. They were playing to a widely held bias against Galileans in their day. In fact, the common name for the Galilee region was the "Galilee of the Gentiles," since it was considered an area inhabited by people who were something "less than Jew."

The Pharisees were also wrong when they tried to associate Jesus with the Galilee in this way. Jesus was not from the Galilee. Jesus was from Bethlehem, the ancestral home of David and the tribe of Judah, therefore he was only a Galilean by association, not by birth. So, even if the Pharisees had been correct in saying that no prophet arises from the Galilee, Jesus could still defend Himself against their accusations since He was not born in that region.

If the Pharisees had bothered to do their homework (or if they had honest intentions), they would have known Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which is exactly the place where the Messiah was predicted to be born in Deuteronomy 18:15.

So, there is no contradiction in scripture. The Pharisees' statements were simply not true. They were included by John in his gospel to record how the Pharisees were making false statements against Jesus in an effort to discredit Him.