12.    Assume harmony in parallel passages unless you have good reason to do otherwise.

Both Matthew and Luke record the account of two thieves being hanged on crosses to the right and left of Jesus.  Matthew tells us that both criminals were casting insults at Jesus (27:44), while Luke records only one hurling abuse at Him (23:39).  Which was it?  Common sense says that both criminals had joined in the verbal abuse, but that one had a change of heart and repented, and then began defending Jesus before the other.  W.A. Criswell once said, “God gave us five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing; but we need two more: common and horse.”

13.    Distinguish between “difficulties” and “errors.”

There is a vast difference between admitting that there are some “difficulties” in understanding all that the Bible says and conceding that the Bible contains error.  I join with the Apostle Peter in admitting that sometimes Scripture is difficult to understand (2 Peter 3:16), but I do not concede that there are errors within its pages.  “Difficulties” leave room for further discussion, information, and study.  More light on the given “difficulty” will later become available and it would be premature to assume error.  The jury is still out on any given alleged discrepancy.