Was Samuel’s firstborn son Joel (1 Samuel 8:1-2) or Vashni (1 Chronicles 6:28)? Is there a contradiction?
The reading of this text depends on which manuscripts were used in the translating process. The KJV, Darby and YLT of 1 Chronicles 6:28 all read “Vashni,” while the NKJV, ASV, and RSV all read “Joel” (which agrees with 1 Samuel 8:1-2).
Adam Clarke states:
The word יואל Joel is lost out of the text in this place, and ושני vesheni, which signifies the second, and which refers to Abiah, is made here into a proper name. The Septuagint, Vulgate, and Chaldee, copy this blunder; but the Syriac and Arabic read as in 1 Samuel 8:2. (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
It is worth noting that in 1 Chronicles 6, just a few verses later, we read:
And these are the ones who ministered with their sons: of the sons of the Kohathites were Heman the singer, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, the son of Elkanah… (1 Chronicles 6:33)
As we have noted before, we will occasionally find a copyist error in the text. The Scriptures were without error in their original transmission. The copying process has the potential for mistakes to be made. Yet, through the bulk of evidence available, we are able to determine when and what has happened. The bulk of evidence available in manuscripts can give us confidence in the Bible, even when we come across copyist errors, which are exceptionally rare.
A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.