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Answering The Atheist
February 9, 2003 / Volume 3, Issue 6

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Who was Laban's father, Bethuel (Genesis 28:5) or Nahor (Genesis 29:5)? Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Laban's father is Bethuel, as recorded in Genesis 28:5, and confirmed in Genesis 24:15, 24, 47. In Genesis 29, when Jacob came to the region of Haran, he asked a group of shepherds, "Know ye Laban the son of Nahor?" Nahor was Laban's grandfather, Bethuel's father.

The Hebrew word used for "son" is ben, which can be used of

Why skip past Bethuel to Nahor when talking with these folks? It may be something so simple as the age of the men with whom Jacob was conversing. Perhaps they were of the generation of Nahor, rather than Bethuel.

land of the East, coming upon some Why then does the Genesis writ, The Bible teaches that we do not suffer the guilt and penalty of our ancestors' sin, but that sometimes future generations will suffer the consequences of other's sin. This is the manner in which the sin of the fathers was visited upon the descendants as mentioned in each of the Old Testament passages listed.

Regarding Romans 5:12, 19, I encourage the questioner to see exactly what the passages is saying. Indeed, the writer tells us, "...by one man's disobedience many were made sinners..." The question is, how? Notice, "...as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned..." Men are not sinners because they inherit Adam's sin; men are sinners because of their own sin. When Paul mentions to the Corinthians that "...in Adam all die...", it is in this same fashion, that death came through sin, and sin entered the world through Adam; but death spreads to all on account of their own sin.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible