Reconciling Contradictory Passages
Hebrews 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
Hebrews 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
When the Apostle Paul wrote of the inner chamber of the Tabernacle and listed those things contained therein, he included the golden censer. There is a revelation here and there is a clue here. The revelation is that the High Priest's censer was made of gold. The clue tells you that the Apostle Paul is zeroing in on a particular day when he describes for us what is in the Most Holy Place.
First, let's get one thing straight. There is no "Holy of Holies" in your King James Bible. "Holy of Holies" would be a literal translation of the Hebrew into English if "Holy" was a noun in English like it is in Hebrew. It is not. When you hear a preacher say Holy of Holies, his speech bewrayeth him. You know that he learned his doctrine from the particular point on which he is speaking from commentaries not from reading a King James Bible. Our bible correctly interprets the Hebrew phrase as "the Most Holy Place".
(There are older preachers much more spiritually sound than I will ever be who consistently use unbiblical terms such as Holy of Holies. Our awareness of the majesty of the King James Bible and the profusion of excellent resources to prove its inspiration and excellence were missing in their younger days. Leave them alone. If you want to provoke my ire, run up and rebuke one of these godly men in my presence. What we need to do is train today's younger preachers ( 60 and under) to speak biblically. If the older ones feel a need after years of pleasing God to sharpen their preaching so be it.)
Why did the Apostle Paul place the golden censer in the Most Holy Place when Moses only lists the Mercy Seat for furniture in there? In Hebrews 9:4, the NIV in its never ending bid to make scripture unintelligible clearly contradicts Moses by placing the Golden Altar of Incense in the Most Holy Place; which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. The ESV does the same thing.
Fortunately the King James translators were not that ignorant. The truth is that the golden censer was in the Most Holy Place one day every year. Moses describes the High Priest's duty on the Day of Atonement; And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail, Leviticus 16:12. The clue that we get when reading Hebrews 9:4, is that the Apostle Paul is describing the Most Holy Place as it was on the Day of Atonement while the High Priest was present.
The golden censer is in the Most Holy Place because the High Priest was commanded to take it in with him once a year. You can be sure he also brought it back out. The Apostle Paul has given a snapshot of that day.
If you read the rest of Hebrews Chapter 9, that becomes obvious. To whom is it not obvious? It is not obvious to those who have been taught that the bible is too hard to perfectly translate and that they must always seek outside sources to understand difficult passages. The truth is not obvious to those who search through all of the other versions to get a consensus for the truth.
For those of us who by the grace of our God know that he has fulfilled his promise of a perfect bible by giving us the King James Bible, we wait when we are confused by a seeming contradiction. We approach the contradiction with a humility that says that we are but flesh and our bible is eternally holy. We bow our heads and ask the God of all comfort to comfort us with the understanding that we so clearly lack. We then trust the written words of a King James Bible to show us and we trust the Holy Ghost to enlighten us by using those words.
The King James Bible is the words of the Holy Ghost. He will not speak outside of it. There are passages in my bible in which God has revealed their sense to me in in mere minutes and there are some in which he has taken 5, 10, 15, and even 40 years to ground me in the precepts that I need to understand that given passage. What I will never do is grope in the burning garbage heaps of the new translations or search the draught pits of the lexicons to gain insight. "Trusting your King James Bible" and "trusting God" are synonymous phrases.