Resolving Biblical Contradictions: Demons in the Gospels and Peter’s Epistle



The Bible, revered as the infallible Word of God, occasionally presents narratives and statements that, at first glance, may seem contradictory. A notable example is the discrepancy between the Gospels’ depiction of demonic entities and the description found in 2 Peter. This article endeavors to reconcile these apparent contradictions, employing sound hermeneutical principles and a thorough examination of the biblical texts, aiming to fortify faith in the consistency and authority of Scripture.

Examining the Texts: A Closer Look

To address the apparent contradiction, a meticulous analysis of the relevant texts is imperative.

  • Gospels’ Account: The demons in the Gerasene demoniac story plead with Jesus not to be sent to the Abyss, displaying awareness and dread of this place of torment.
  • 2 Peter 2:4: The epistle refers to God casting angels who sinned into hell, committing them to chains of gloomy darkness.

By juxtaposing these texts, the question arises: How can demons be active in the world while also being bound in the Abyss?

Hermeneutical Principles: Navigating Apparent Contradictions

Resolving apparent contradictions in Scripture requires a solid grasp of hermeneutical principles.

  • Contextual Analysis: Understanding the historical and literary context of the passages in question is crucial for accurate interpretation.
  • Genre Consideration: Recognizing the genre of the biblical text (apocalyptic, poetic, narrative, etc.) aids in determining the intended message.

Synthesizing the Evidence: A Harmonized Understanding

By synthesizing the biblical evidence, a coherent understanding emerges.

  • Different Entities or States: The contradiction may be resolved by considering that the texts refer to different entities or states of being. Some demons may be bound while others are still active.
  • Temporary Permission: It is also plausible that certain demonic entities are temporarily permitted to roam for purposes within God’s sovereign plan, awaiting their ultimate confinement in the Abyss.


The biblical portrayal of demonic entities, though complex, is undergirded by the unwavering consistency and authority of Scripture. By employing sound hermeneutical principles and engaging with the text in a scholarly manner, believers can navigate these intricate themes with confidence and clarity. The apparent contradictions dissolve, revealing a narrative that is both coherent and theologically rich, ultimately pointing to the sovereign control of God and the assured victory of Christ over all powers of darkness.