Biblical Contradictions?

One of the favorite reasons that critics of the Bible site for their criticism is the contradictions that are “obvious” through out the text.  Their argument is that since the Bible is supposed to be the Word of God, therefore it shouldn’t have any contradictions and yet we find tons of them.  Do we really?  There are two things that must be mentioned first:

1.  The Definition of a Contradiction

We can take the American Heritage Dictionary definition, “To assert or express the opposite of a statement” or “To be contrary to; to be inconsistent with”.  Notice that the definition of contradiction isn’t something that “sounds weird” or you’ve decided that “God wouldn’t say it like that” or “I wouldn’t say it like that”.  It is a statement that must be directly contrary to another statement. 

In other words, the two (or more) statements must violate the Law of Logic known as “The Law of Non-Contradiction”, making it illogical for us to believe the Bible is inerrant. 

2.  If You’ve Already Decided, a priori, That the Bible Cannot Be God’s Word . . .

then just stop reading now.  Nothing I can say will dissuade you of your presupposition.  However, if you are open to an argument that might be contrary to what other people taught you than this might be for you. 

Recently, one of the commentors on this blog linked a website, that gives a list of many Biblical “contradictions”.  I thought that it might be fun to go through some of them just to see how contradictory they are.

The Shape of the Earth

One of the contradictions the site lists is that the Bible is inconsistent with what the shape of the earth is.

Isaiah 40:22: It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.

Matthew 4:8:  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.

The author of the article then says:

Astronomical bodies are spherical, and you cannot see the entire exterior surface from anyplace. The kingdoms of Egypt, China, Greece, Crete, sections of Asia Minor, India, Maya (in Mexico), Carthage (North Africa), Rome (Italy), Korea, and other settlements from these kingdoms of the world were widely distributed.

Those who are Biblical literalists and inerrantists like me, aren’t ignorant of figures of speech, metaphor, analogy, parable and poetry.  Nor is the Bible disqualified as being inerrant for using them.  Here, what these Biblical critics must do is ignore the literary license the writers of the Bible have to use figures of speech or ignore the possibility of supernatural phenomena.  Here are a few explanations as to why Matthew is not trying to describe a flat earth.

1.  If someone gives me a tour of their house and then a friend asks me, “Did he give you the full tour?”, and I answer with, “Yea, he showed me everything.”  Did the home owner really show me “everything” in the world?  “Everything” in the house?  Of course not, it’s a figure of speech used to describe the fact that he showed me the whole house on the tour. 

2.  Another way this could be the figure of speech is that Matthew, and Satan, were trying to get across an idea.  Satan is offering all of the kingdoms of the world to Jesus.  Whether he actually showed Jesus “all the kingdoms” or just showed Jesus the glory of a few, which represented the whole, the idea is that “all the kingdoms” were offered to Jesus.  If you show me Los Angeles and say, “I’ll give you all of the cities of America and their glory”, I get the idea of how glorious that could be. 

3.  Even in a hypothetical “the Bible is just a story” sense, both Jesus and Satan had power.  Jesus healed people and raised them from the dead and Satan is the highest of arch-angels.  It’s not possible that when taking Jesus on top of a high mountain, Satan showed Jesus, in an illusionary sense, the glory of “all the kingdoms” in the world on the earth beneath the mountain in one place?  Matthew could literally be describing the fact that Satan showed Jesus everything, but not that Jesus was able to see all the kingdoms of the world, as they were and where they were, on that mountain top.  There is a big difference.

Also, shouldn’t we be commending the Bible for describing  a spherical Earth over a thousand years before the Greeks figured it out?  Instead, Biblical critics decide to manufacture contradictions to justify their beliefs.  The above verses don’t violate the Law of Non-Contradiction, not even close. 

Snakes Do Not Eat Dirt

GEN 3:14:  And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.

The site claims that since snakes don’t eat dirt, therefore the Bible is in error. 

Actually, yes they do.  I thought atheists were supposed to know something about biology.  As the snake flicks it’s tongue out, it brings little pieces of dust into it’s mouth.  The bits of dirt go into an organ in the roof of the snake’s mouth called the “Jacobson’s organ”, which is home to a pair of sensory organs which helps the snake smell.  That’s how the snake smells, by pulling dirt or “dust” into it’s mouth.  Looks like the Bible had it right thousands of years before biology figured it out.

Jesus’ Last Words

Matthew 27:46: About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”  and v. 50 “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.”

Luke 23:46.  And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.”  Having said this, He breathed His last.

John 19:30.  Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

Remember, our criteria is that the statements must violate the Law of Non-Contradiction.  Let’s see if this is true. 

Firstly, let’s note that none of the reports of Jesus’ last words say what he did not say.  Matthew doesn’t say, “And Jesus did not say ‘It is finished’ “.  Matthew, Luke, and John is just reporting what Jesus said.  So right off the bat we don’t have to have any problem with Matthew recording one thing that Jesus said and Luke and John recording two other things that Jesus said.  This will become more likely as we go on here.

Secondly, Matthew actually expresses that Jesus said other things on the cross.  In the quote above, Matthew describes “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice” (italics my own).  Matthew describes Jesus as crying out “again” JUST LIKE the first time, where Matthew recorded His words.  The second time Jesus cries out, Matthew just doesn’t record His words.  So there is no problem with stating that Jesus said “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRITand It is finished” before breathing His last. 

Thirdly, each writer wrote their Gospel for a purpose and to a specific audience.  Matthew wrote his Gospel to a Jewish audience.  When Jesus said, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME,” He wasn’t actually saying that God had left him, He was quoting Psalm 22. 

The Pharisee’s who were present would have memorized the entire Old Testament, but how did they reference a particular passage since there were no numbered chapters?  In the case of the Psalms, they would reference the first sentence of the particular Psalm, and then everyone in the discussion would be able to recall the entire Psalm by memory.  Psalm 22 starts out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, and guess what follows in v.12-18, oh that’s right, a prophecy about the Messiah, a description of the events that had just taken place, down to the last detail.  Jesus was referencing an Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah and saying, “See, these things just took place down to the letter, they happened to me, I am the Messiah.”

The point is that Matthew recorded these particular words of Jesus because he was writing to a Jewish audience and only these words would have been significant to the Jew.

Fourthly, John was writing to the Gentile unbeliever.  “It is finished“, is a description that Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross, especially the bringing of all humanity to the Father, not just the Jews, was accomplished.  This is only significant to a Gentile.  Why did Luke write Jesus’ last words differently than Matthew?  I don’t know, perhaps he read Matthew’s Gospel and wanted to record the other words that Jesus “cried out with a loud voice”.

Either way the above statements do not qualify as a “contradiction”.  In fact, ironically,  if the each passage had Jesus saying the exact same thing, Biblical critics would say, “See, they just copied from eachother!  They weren’t really there or they made it up!”.  Isn’t it the hallmark of eyewitness testimony that people see the same event differently and yet still truthfully?

The Geneology of Jesus

In two places in the New Testament the genealogy of Jesus son of Mary is mentioned. MAT 1:6-16 and LUK 3:23-31. Each gives the ancestors of Joseph the CLAIMED husband of Mary and Step father of Jesus. The first one starts from Abraham(verse 2) all the way down to Jesus. The second one from Jesus all the way back to Adam. The only common name to these two lists between David and Jesus is JOSEPH, How can this be true? and also How can Jesus have a genealogy when all Muslims and most Christians believe that Jesus had/has no father.

 This one is easy.  The Matthew geneology traces Jesus ancestry on Joseph’s side and the Luke geneology traces it on Mary’s side. 

The reason for this is that Matthew was talking to Jews for only they care about geneologies on the father’s side.  Although Jesus’ true father is God, Jesus is still of royal blood on his legal father’s side.  This would be important to the Jew.

Luke, who read Matthew’s Gospel, wanted to tell Theophilus (whom he wrote the Gospel for) everything that took place “so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:4).  Wanting to be exact, and knowing the geneology of Jesus’ father’s side was already in print, gave the geneology of Mary. 

Any critic would only have to do some quick research to discover this.  The point is that they don’t want to, it suits their lifestyle and worldview to think of the Bible as having contradictions.

Judas Died How?

MAT 27:5: “And he cast down the pieces of silver into the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself.”

ACT 1:18: “And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out.”

 It can’t be both?  Luke didn’t say that Judas didn’t hang himself and Matthew didn’t say that Judas didn’t burst asunder.  How about this; Judas hung himself over the field that he purchased (we know that to be true) and the rope, or the branch or his head broke off and he fell into the field, his guts gushing out.  Both are correct, but Luke wanted to be more detailed than Matthew (since Luke, at the beginning of his Gospel, explains that there are other accounts out there regarding these events, which probably includes Matthew’s Gospel), which is consistent with how Luke treats most situations he writes about and his mission statement described at the beginning of his Gospel. 

Conclusion

I look forward to finding and debunking more of these claimed “contradictions” in the Bible and I find it amusing how easily researched some of them are.  It’s just that the critic doesn’t want the Bible to be inerrant, it would mess with his lifestyle and worldview.

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44 Comments on “Biblical Contradictions?”

  1. ummadam Says:

    Not only atheist recognize the discrepancies in the bible.

  2. thewordofme Says:

    Hi there,

    You write:
    “I look forward to finding and debunking more of these claimed “contradictions” in the Bible and I find it amusing how easily researched some of them are. It’s just that the atheist doesn’t want the Bible to be inerrant, it would mess with his lifestyle and worldview.”

    MAT 27:5: “And he cast down the pieces of silver into the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself.”

    ACT 1:18: “And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out.”

    I’m sorry, I don’t think you answered the question. Where does it say in the Bible that Judas hanged himself over a cliff and died from hanging and then the tree/limb broke and he fell and his guts busted open thereby killing him again.
    Christians get on my case about surmising something from the Bible, but they turn around and do the same thing.
    Are you getting your information from apocrypha or your sects exegesis of scripture?
    twom

  3. santitafarella Says:

    Eric,

    You say above that you should stop reading your blog if, a priori, you believe that the Bible CANNOT be the word of God.

    But don’t you do the exact thing in reverse?

    Aren’t you approaching the issue of biblical contradictions in an a priori fashion, assuming that the Bible can ONLY be the word of God?

    Why not simply suspend judgment on the issue of whether the Bible has contradictions, and look at the evidence with as little prejudice as possible?

    If, in fact, the Bible has contradictions, and you resist that knowledge by an a priori determination NOT to accept them as such, then aren’t you crippling your own ability to grow in your reflection upon the meaning of the Bible?

    I’ll give you a contradiction that I think is very hard to reconcile—and perhaps you can blog your response to it: All three synoptic gospels tell the story of Jesus healing a blind man as he was leaving Jericho. But wait. Were there two blind men? And was Jesus leaving Jericho, or was he entering Jericho? The synoptic gospels (mt,mk,luke) simply do not agree on the location and number of people healed.

    What’s your take on this?

  4. Eric Kemp Says:

    ummadam

    You’re right, I definetly have an atheistic focus to my apologetic. I should watch that. Notice that at the beginning of my post I was careful to say “critics of the Bible” but then fell into my atheistic focus at the end. I should actually change that. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

  5. Eric Kemp Says:

    thewordofme

    Hello

    “I’m sorry, I don’t think you answered the question. Where does it say in the Bible that Judas hanged himself over a cliff and died from hanging and then the tree/limb broke and he fell and his guts busted open thereby killing him again.”

    It’s a good thing I didn’t say the Bible said all of that. What we do know, from Acts 1:18-19 is that Judas purchased a field and fell into it. How else do you fall into a field if there isn’t something above it, like a cliff?

    From Matthew saying that Judas hung himself and Luke saying that Judas fell into his field and split open, could I conclude that the Bible is being inconsistent? Sure. However, could I also conclude that Luke is just giving us greater detail than Matthew? Again, sure. This becomes more likely if Matthew was written first, which is thought to be true by much of scholarship.

    More importantly, what I cannot say is that these two are in contradiction to each other. The statements just don’t fit the definition of a contradiction. Matthew doesn’t say that Judas only hung himself and Luke doesn’t that Judas only fell headlong. If an exclusive statement were made by either writer, then we could call out a contradiction. However, it is perfectly logical to conclude that they are both right and both things happened to Judas. He hung himself over his own field and when the rope or the branch broke, he fell.

    “Christians get on my case about surmising something from the Bible, but they turn around and do the same thing.”

    I’d never get on your case for surmising something about the Bible. I might point out how you are being inconsistent with the rest of Scripture, the context or the original language, or how your presuppositions are informing you about your surmising, but I wouldn’t get on you for the act of drawing a conclusion.

    “Are you getting your information from apocrypha or your sects exegesis of scripture?”

    I don’t, along with the rest of Christian orthodoxy, consider the apocrypha to be Scripture. I merely asked the question of wether or not these two seemingly inconsistent passages could be reconciled. And it turns out they can be quite easily.

  6. Eric Kemp Says:

    Santitafarella

    “When you say that you have an interest in science, does this mean that you accept the general conclusions that scientists have made about the origin of the earth, and life on earth?”

    Science is defined by which can be observed and tested. Under the definition of empirical science, any conclusion drawn about the origin of the earth and life on earth, is not science. The origin of the earth, and life on it, cannot be observed or tested since they happened “billions” of years ago (according to you). What you are talking about is inferential conclusions made by scientists based on empirical evidence. I challenge these inferential conclusions because they are not based on science, but are greatly, almost exclusively, influenced by the presuppositions of the individual scientist, and most of academia in general.

    “In other words, even though you are an evangelical, do you accept that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and that plants and animals have changed over time?”

    I don’t accept the inferential conclusion of an old earth because it is based on the presupposition of uniformitarianism. Please click here in order to read my full argument for why I’m not convinced by uniformitarianism (and neither should you be). Plants and animals change over time. This much is obvious. Natural Selection acts upon biology that equals to a change in allele frequencies over time. However, observational and testable science tells us that there barriers to this change and this is evidenced by the fact that no one has ever observed one kind of animal changing into another kind. Even bacteria who have gone through millions of generations in a lab are still bacteria. So, I accept evolution, I reject common ancestry and abiogenesis because the science just doens’t support it. It’s, again, a case of inferential conclusions being drawn by scientists who are influenced by the presuppositions of their worldview.

    “Or are you a young earth creationist who believes in the fixity of species?”

    No modern creationist believes in the fixity of species. In fact, this is a great lie that the evolutionists like to tell in order to make our position seem ridiculous. But yes, I’m a young earth creationist who recognizes observational and testable science when I see it, and naturalistic stories based on the worldview of a scientist when I see that too.

    “But don’t you do the exact thing in reverse?”

    Yes, I approach the problem of a supposed Biblical contradiction from the side of trying to reconcile the problem. However, that doesn’t mean that I can violate the Laws of Logic to do so. In fact, if you noticed, in my article I held up the Biblical statements to the light of the Law of Non-Contradiction. My point isn’t that others have presuppositions and I don’t, of course I do. The point is that it is the presuppositions of the critic that causes them to see contradictions in the Bible, not the existence of actual contradictions.

    Would I believe the Bible to be inerrant if there was an actual contradiction? No I would not.

    “Aren’t you approaching the issue of biblical contradictions in an a priori fashion, assuming that the Bible can ONLY be the word of God?”

    I’m approaching the issue with the presupposition that the Bible IS the Word of God, yes. The Bible’s status as the Word of God wasn’t “proved” to me by me scouring the entire Bible for contradictions and finding none. The Word of God was proved to me by prophecy, eyewitness testimony of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and by a personal experience with God regarding the truth of His Word. I could no easier prove to you how I know the Bible is the Word of God than I could prove to you that my wife loves me. I just know she does and I just know it is. However, if my wife cheated on me and murdered my parents, I would definetly begin to question her love. Likewise, if the Bible was found to be devoid of all truth, I would begin to question it.

    Let me put it this way. If someone was to come to me and say, “There are difficult passages in the Bible that I don’t understand”, I would respond, “Yes, and you’ll probably never understand them”. Are they difficult? Yes. Are the contradictory? No. The next thing I would point out to the person who asked that question would be all the other things about the Bible, and the Christian worldview, that prove it’s validity absent of us being able to understand everything in the Bible. If I was able to completely wrap my head around every concept in God’s Word, then it wouldn’t really be worthy of being called God’s Word would it?

    “Why not simply suspend judgment on the issue of whether the Bible has contradictions, and look at the evidence with as little prejudice as possible?”

    The myth of neutrality is a lie the secular world has told itself for some time now. There is no such thing as a neutral starting ground. You are either being taught Scripture with the basis of it being the Word of God or you want it to be the Word or with the basis of looking for contradictions because you believe it not to be the Word, or you don’t want it to be the Word. There is no middle ground.

    “What’s your take on this?”

    Could you please give me chapter and verse on those instances in each Gospel so that I may give your question the research it deserves?

    Thanks for your intellectual questions.

  7. krissmith777 Says:

    Eric says:

    “No modern creationist believes in the fixity of species. In fact, this is a great lie that the evolutionists like to tell in order to make our position seem ridiculous. But yes, I’m a young earth creationist who recognizes observational and testable science when I see it, and naturalistic stories based on the worldview of a scientist when I see that too.”

    I agree. I was taught in my Physical Antropology class that Creationists believe in “Fixity of Speicies.”

    Being a Creationist, I kept containing myself from shouting out in class “THAT’S NOT TRUE!!!!!!!”

    No well-informed creationists denies that speciation occures. It is obvious whan one looks at cats, dogs, bears and other species.

    But even though speciation occured those animals, dogs still are dogs, cats still are cats, bears still are bears.

    Even Darwin’s finches were still finches.

    Who says we don’t even believe in evolution? — Evolution simply means “Change with time.” And I as a Creationist believe in “Change with time.”

    I just do not believe in the Darwinian change with a common ancestor.

  8. thewordofme Says:

    Hi Eric Kemp, Thanks for your reply.

    You write:
    “Again, sure. This becomes more likely if Matthew was written first, which is thought to be true by much of scholarship.”

    Most, if not all, of the research I have read thinks that Mark was the first written/recorded scripture, not Matthew

    You write:
    “Matthew doesn’t say that Judas only hung himself and Luke doesn’t that Judas only fell headlong. If an exclusive statement were made by either writer, then we could call out a contradiction.”

    I would really be suspicious if either one of them said “only” in their writing about Judas. If an official report on someone’s death is made, one does not say they were killed by ‘only hanging.’
    One reports the only actual cause of death.

    You write:
    “However, it is perfectly logical to conclude that they are both right and both things happened to Judas. He hung himself over his own field and when the rope or the branch broke, he fell.”

    Well, the logic of that escapes me. The Bible and scripture are supposed to be the “inerrant word of God.” What is actually recorded in the book does not jibe. One man says he hung himself, another man says he burst open. Either one could be the actual primary cause of death. If both men are recording the same scene of this drama…who is right? Both being right about COD makes no logical sense. If an actual account of both things happening was made by one man, then that would make sense>

    You write:
    “More importantly, what I cannot say is that these two are in contradiction to each other. The statements just don’t fit the definition of a contradiction.”

    Official record…all printed up and officially canonized…

    MAT 27:5: “And he cast down the pieces of silver into the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself.”
    ACT 1:18: “And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out.”

    Now we all know that the death of humans is not very important to God, but you would think he could get it right in “His” very own book.

    I am reminded of a discussion I had about religion, and I was told that no matter how much you tell and prove that something is wrong about the Bible, a true believer just ignores it. I have now experienced this many times.

    You write:
    “I’d never get on your case for surmising something about the Bible.”

    Sorry, didn’t mean to be snippy there, but I have had many a Christian tell me; “Do not presume to interpret something that is not actually there.”

    Of course this is only one of the many-many discrepancies from the four Gospels

    Great to have this discussion with you.
    twom

  9. Eric Kemp Says:

    thewordofme

    “Most, if not all, of the research I have read thinks that Mark was the first written/recorded scripture, not Matthew.”

    Yea, that’s kind of the new way that it’s looking. However, early church tradition and early scholarship puts Matthew first, and alot of scholars still feel this way. I personally know two Biblical scholars and they split on the issue. Also, the earliest known fragment we have is of Matthew, which could be evidence of the Gospel being in circulation the longest. It could also mean nothing, but it sure doesn’t hurt the idea. I’m not sold either way because I admittedly haven’t done enough research on the issue.

    “I would really be suspicious if either one of them said “only” in their writing about Judas. If an official report on someone’s death is made, one does not say they were killed by ‘only hanging.’ One reports the only actual cause of death.”

    I understand what you’re saying, however I think trying to use modern English and 21st century legal writing techniques to say what a 1st Greek fisherman and physician would have written is a bit irrational. My point wasn’t how they would have written it, the point was to say that statements of exclusivity were not made, therefore the statements just don’t fit the definition of a contradiction, they just don’t. If you want to say that “by saying how Judas died, the writers were saying that he only died that way”, that’s fine, but here is no support for that in the text, that’s an assertion of your own construction and you basically choose to see the text that way.

    “The Bible and scripture are supposed to be the “inerrant word of God.” What is actually recorded in the book does not jibe. One man says he hung himself, another man says he burst open. Either one could be the actual primary cause of death. If both men are recording the same scene of this drama…who is right? Both being right about COD makes no logical sense. If an actual account of both things happening was made by one man, then that would make sense.”

    You are, again, applying 21st century, English standards of recording the death of an individual to a 1st Greek speaking fisherman and physician. In fact, neither writer says “this is how Judas died”, Matthew says he hung himself, Luke says he guts gushed out. Perhaps Luke wasn’t even trying to describe the cause of death, only something that happened to Judas. For all we know, Judas hung there for a week before the branch or rope snapped. Not only this, but your argument basically boils down to, “I would not have written it like that” or put another way, “God should not have allowed them to write it like that”. This is not an argument based in logic.

    Here’s the bottom line. Do I know what happened? Of course not. But do the two statements violate the Law of Non-Contradiction? No they do not. If you want to manufacture some COD statement, or some exclusivity statement, go right ahead, but the text just doesn’t say it.

    “Now we all know that the death of humans is not very important to God, but you would think he could get it right in “His” very own book.”

    Right, God directs the writing of an entire book, and of human history, dedicated to Him attempting to reconcile humanity to Himself and He doesn’t care about human life, gimme a break. You’re the only one saying that Luke and/or Matthew got it wrong. In fact, you can’t even say that either one of them is making COD statements! Looking at those two statements, could I conclude an inconsistency has taken place? Sure. Could I also conclude that both Matthew and Luke recorded events that happened to Judas? Sure. You prefer to see the statements as inconsistent because it suits your worldview.

    “I am reminded of a discussion I had about religion, and I was told that no matter how much you tell and prove that something is wrong about the Bible, a true believer just ignores it.”

    You can’t even say with a straight face that a contradiction or a “wrong” statement was proved. The statements just don’t fit the definition of a contradiction, if you don’t believe me, look up the definition yourself. Could I be defending Christianity because I’m so emotionally dependent upon it in order to function as a human being? It’s certainly a possibility, although I find it a bit irrational to offer such an argument without knowing me personally. Could it be that I won’t find a contradiction in the Bible because I don’t want to and I’ll ignore all rational argument in order to hold on to my belief? Sure, it’s possible. However, instead of just stating that such an absolute bias exists, it would be better to show exactly what law of logic I’m violating, or how irrational I’m being, in order to hold onto that bias. Could it also be that I’m not finding any contradictions in the Bible because there just aren’t any? That’s possible too.

    “Sorry, didn’t mean to be snippy there, but I have had many a Christian tell me; “Do not presume to interpret something that is not actually there.”

    No “snippyness” taken. I am sure you’ve probably argued with many Christians who have become irrational when challenged. However, interpreting something that isn’t there out of any text is generally bad practice.

    “Of course this is only one of the many-many discrepancies from the four Gospels.”

    Two questions: What is your working definition of “discrepancy” and could you give me another example that you find convincing?

    I agree, this discussion is fun!

  10. thewordofme Says:

    Hi again Eric Kemp,

    Sorry if this is out of order from your reply, I am writing this in between another writing assignment.

    Guess we’ll have to wait a bit longer to know who wrote first. Some Biblical scholars think that Mark was written first and that Mathew and Luke copied many parts of his (Mark) writings. My knowledge of ‘source criticism’ is faint, but there seems to be lots of criticism out there about these three books.

    Contradiction: direct opposition between things compared. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=discrepancy

    In classical logic, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. It occurs when the propositions, taken together, yield two conclusions, which form the logical inversions of each other. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contradiction

    Discrepancy:
    1. The state or quality of being discrepant; difference; inconsistency
    2. An instance of difference or inconsistency: There are certain discrepancies between the two versions of the story. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=discrepancy

    There are two different version of the story of Judas’ demise…that is an inconsistency as well as a discrepancy.

    You write:
    ”But do the two statements violate the Law of Non-Contradiction? No they do not.”

    In logic, the Principle of contradiction (principium contradictionis in Latin) is the second of the so-called three classic laws of thought. The oldest statement of the law is that contradictory statements cannot both at the same time be true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_noncontradiction

    Maybe I am missing something here. I have looked up the verses in two different editions of the Bible. I cannot see where it says that Judas hung himself and then fell and burst open. One could surmise or interpret this by looking at the two verses together. But it isn’t written…or is it, and I haven’t seen it?

    You write:
    ”Right, God directs the writing of an entire book, and of human history, dedicated to Him attempting to reconcile humanity to Himself and He doesn’t care about human life, gimme a break.”

    I would direct you to the many-many tales of God directing the killing of hundreds of thousands of Men, women, and children…and even animals. Bashing them into walls, running swords through pregnant women, burning alive, torture, etc. Then of course there was the ‘Flood’ where God directly kills millions of humans and then regrets his ‘Godly’ decision…is that even possible for a God?

    Polygamy, slavery, rights of kings, second class feminine, right of ‘The Church’ to torture and kill in the name of God, etc. Human slavery is the worst thing a God could have ever sanctioned. There can be no excuse for that little mistake…

    You write:
    ” “I would not have written it like that” or put another way, “God should not have allowed them to write it like that”. This is not an argument based in logic.”

    The logic behind this is that anyone can look at the two scriptures in question and see a problem…God could not see this?

    You write”
    ” You can’t even say with a straight face that a contradiction or a “wrong” statement was proved.”

    : -]

    You write”
    ” Could it also be that I’m not finding any contradictions in the Bible because there just aren’t any? That’s possible too.”
    ”…and could you give me another example that you find convincing?”

    Mathew 27:45,46
    “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

    Mark 9:1
    ”And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

    Luke 23:44-46
    It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

    John 19:28-30
    “Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

    There is no secular record of three hours of darkness, in any civilization, recorded and no eclipse anywhere near this time. No record of a second coming of Jesus or the ‘Kingdom of God” which was a ‘Hebrew thing.’

    1 Corinthians 7:21
    Slaves should not desire their freedom.

    I think I could find a few million (billions if you count count the dead slaves passed on) humans that would disagree with this.

    Mark 16:17-18
    The true followers of Christ can do the following: 1) cast out devils, 2) speak in tongues, 3) take up serpents, 4) drink poisons without harm, and 5) cure the sick by touching them.

    Would this be the snake handling ‘holy rollers” ???

    Matthew 17:20
    He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

    I believe that the above scripture has been proven wrong many billions of times.

    This is just a few…there are many more.

    The Old Testament is REALLY full of discrepancies.
    twom

  11. krissmith777 Says:

    “Matthew 17:20
    He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

    “I believe that the above scripture has been proven wrong many billions of times.”

    Nice try, but that’s not what it means. It is just an illustration to say that even a little faith goes a long way.

  12. krissmith777 Says:

    thewordofme

    Here’s my answer to the apparent wrong statements in the Bible:

    You list Mathew 27:45,46, Luke 23:44-46, John 19:28-30.

    Is this an attempt to say that the Gospels contradict eachother because Jesus is said to have said different things before he died?

    If so then you obviusly haven’t read Erics post very well because he already answered that objection. Also it should be mentioned that none of the gospels say that he said only ONE certain thing before he died.

    You then say,

    “1 Corinthians 7:21”
    “Slaves should not desire their freedom.”

    You just distorted the what the Bible says. This vers actually says, “Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so.”

    It allows for them to obtain freedom if possible, the exact opposite of what you claim.

    “I think I could find a few million (billions if you count count the dead slaves passed on) humans that would disagree with this.”

    You are showing your ignorance even more. Slavery in the Biblical sence in not even close to the Modern sence.

    Slavery, in the five books of Moses, was usually to pay off a debt. One would sell himself into slavery and serve for a certain amount of time. Then later he was given the option of going free or staying with his master.

    And in case you didn’t know, 1 Timothy 1:10 actually lists “slave trading” as a sin.

    So, sorry to break it to you, but the Triangle Trade when many Africans were taken from their homes has no Biblical support and a condemnation of the act is in the Bible itself.

    You say:

    “Mark 16:17-18”
    “The true followers of Christ can do the following: 1) cast out devils, 2) speak in tongues, 3) take up serpents, 4) drink poisons without harm, and 5) cure the sick by touching them.”

    “Would this be the snake handling ‘holy rollers” ??? ”

    Again you are misrepresenting the passage. HE NEVER SAYS ONLY HIS TRUE FOLLOWERS COULD PERFORM THOSE MIRACLES. Also, if you read the Book of Acts, it will become obvious that this promise was fulfilled with the first century Christians. (I.E., Peter and John spoke in tongues. Paul was bitten by a viper and easily survived. PAul alsio cast out demons.)

    So, thank you for showing your blatant ignorance and lack of understanding of the Bible. And for misrepresenting the Bible (perhaps deliberately) I accept your humble apology.

  13. thewordofme Says:

    Hi krissmith777,

    OK How about this:

    Mark 11:24
    “Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it.”

    Favorite verse of those who want to win the lottery 🙂

  14. krissmith777 Says:

    thewordofme Says:

    “OK How about this:

    “Mark 11:24”
    “Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it.”’

    “Favorite verse of those who want to win the lottery”

    Again, you are twisting Christian beliefs. You actually have to interprate this from the Christian point of view.

    Asking God for something and then getting it is not based on vain prayer. — And asking to win the lotto it — should I say — a vain prayer.

  15. Eric Kemp Says:

    wordofme

    We are on the same page with the definition of “contradiction” and “discrepancy”.

    “There are two different version of the story of Judas’ demise…that is an inconsistency as well as a discrepancy.”

    You are assuming that both Matthew and Luke had the same goals, or had goals you are ascribing to them, in recording the events that happened to Judas. For instance, are either of the claiming that their account is the entirety of the events conderning Judas’ death? That is, does Matthew say something like, “Judas hung himself, and that is all that happened to him regarding his death.” Neither writers say anything of the sort. So the goal of recording events in their entirety is a a goal that you are ascribing to them, not a goal the authors themselves attempted to meet. So yes, if to describe events in their entirety was the goal of Matthew or Luke, then there would be an inconsistency. But since they didn’t . . .

    Along those same lines, neither writer suggests that their record is Judas’ cause of death. They only claim that this is what happened to Judas. I’m confused to how there is a discrepancy between two writers saying that two different events happened to the same person, even if the events happened seconds from each other.

    “Maybe I am missing something here. I have looked up the verses in two different editions of the Bible. I cannot see where it says that Judas hung himself and then fell and burst open. One could surmise or interpret this by looking at the two verses together. But it isn’t written…or is it, and I haven’t seen it?”

    It is written that Judas hung himself, and it is written that Judas burst asunder. I could add an “and”, a “then” or a “did not” in between each of those statements. It just comes down to wether you want Scripture to harmonize or not. The text, and logic, allows you to do both.

    “I would direct you to the many-many tales of God directing the killing of hundreds of thousands of Men, women, and children…and even animals. Bashing them into walls, running swords through pregnant women, burning alive, torture, etc.”

    Although I’m unfamiliar with the specific incidents of such graphic violence you described (I have a feeling they were used for their emotional impact more than being accurate to Biblical events), I think that your objection to such Biblical events of genocide, women and children included, has to do with a certain idea of God or what God should be. Your assumption is that in order for God to be all-powerful, all-knowing, Holy, and Righteous that must mean He must also be all-nice. What I mean is that your definition of God must fit your definition of good. It seems that your definition of “all-nice” means that God should not cause any (what you consider) “bad” to happen. When, in fact, God defines what is “good”. “Bad” is defined, by God, as acting against God’s will. This is different than your definition of “good”. So it’s no wonder you’re going to object to God’s actions in defending that will, or causing that will to be fulfilled. The Bible never claims that God is “all-nice” nor does God have to fit your definition of “good” in order to be Holy.

    “Then of course there was the ‘Flood’ where God directly kills millions of humans and then regrets his ‘Godly’ decision…is that even possible for a God?”

    As Kris has pointed out, it seems you are bent on misrepresenting the Bible. God was regretting that the Flood was necessary. And you are again assuming that God must be “all-nice” in order to be Holy, when in fact the opposite is true.

    You’re other “contradictions” have been debunked by Kris, so I don’t want to repeat what has told to you. However, I would like to point out that your basic argument regarding those passages was nothing more than, “Well, that sounds weird to me” and “Why did God say it like that?!”. Those don’t meet the requirments for either contradiction OR discrepancy.

  16. Eric Kemp Says:

    wordofme

    Yea, the Biblical teaching isn’t that anything we ask will be given to us, it’s that anything according to God’s will that we ask for, it will be given to us. There are two ways to think about this, 1: if we ask for it and it’s God’s will, then it will be granted, and 2: If we are walking in God’s will, and seeking after what He desires for us, then we WILL be asking for things that are his will, not selfish and vain things like money or power. Notice that God doesn’t grant anything we ask for any reason, it’s if we don’t doubt and have faith, then He’ll give it to us. That is, if we have faith in Him, then we’ll be asking for things that He would want for us, which might include money, and it might not.

  17. thewordofme Says:

    Hi krissmith777, thanks for your reply.

    No need to get your shorts in a tangle here. Just good discussion, no attempt to shoot anyone in the foot.

    Below are a few more verses about prayer and results.

    Matthew 7:7-8
    7″Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

    John 13:13-14
    13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

    John 16:23-24
    23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

    I believe that a few double blind studies have been done on prayer and they all conclusively ruled out any effect at all from prayer. Taking these results and comparing them to the Bible verses and you have discrepancies. To my knowledge there is no evidence, at all, that prayer works under any circumstances.

    You write:
    “Also it should be mentioned that none of the gospels say that he said only ONE certain thing before he died.”

    Sure they do. Each one of the 3 gospels has him saying one thing, albeit a different thing. This is an inconsistency and a discrepancy.

    You write:
    “You are showing your ignorance even more. Slavery in the Biblical sence in not even close to the Modern sence.
    Slavery, in the five books of Moses, was usually to pay off a debt. One would sell himself into slavery and serve for a certain amount of time. Then later he was given the option of going free or staying with his master.”

    I’m sorry if I’m showing too much ignorance. Perhaps if you could lead me to the Politically Correct explanation about the people who were captured in the hundreds of wars that were always going on in the Middle Eastern world at the time…they were almost all turned into slaves according to what I have read. Yes people have sold themselves into financial slavery of sorts, they still do today. However, if one could talk to some of the captives in the biblical times…I wonder what they would say.

    You write:
    “And in case you didn’t know, 1 Timothy 1:10 actually lists “slave trading” as a sin.”

    Good; I wonder why no one paid attention to this before? I am also puzzled as to why God didn’t make abolition of slavery one of his laws given in the book of Deuteronomy. Instead of nailing their earlobes to the doorpost just say “no more slavery allowed.” Curiously, by setting up laws about how to handle slavery, He is condoning the practice. This is also an inconsistency and discrepancy.

    You write:
    “So, sorry to break it to you, but the Triangle Trade when many Africans were taken from their homes has no Biblical support and a condemnation of the act is in the Bible itself.”

    I wonder why Jesus was condoning slavery by not condemning it? The churches in America, in the early days of our country, swore up and down that the Bible condoned slavery. Politicians, taking their cue from the ministers made laws to protect the slavers and keep the slaves inline. Took a long time for religion to catch on.

    Regarding this:
    “Mark 16:17-18″
    “The true followers of Christ can do the following: 1) cast out devils, 2) speak in tongues, 3) take up serpents, 4) drink poisons without harm, and 5) cure the sick by touching them.”

    From the NIV Bible
    15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. *17And these signs will accompany those who believe:* In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

    From the KJV Bible
    “15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    You write:
    “Again you are misrepresenting the passage. HE NEVER SAYS ONLY HIS TRUE FOLLOWERS COULD PERFORM THOSE MIRACLES. Also, if you read the Book of Acts, it will become obvious that this promise was fulfilled with the first century Christians. (I.E., Peter and John spoke in tongues. Paul was bitten by a viper and easily survived. PAul alsio cast out demons.)
    So, thank you for showing your blatant ignorance and lack of understanding of the Bible. And for misrepresenting the Bible (perhaps deliberately) I accept your humble apology.”

    I’m sorry, you lost me there…I try to understand, but there are so many things that don’t make sense.
    twom

  18. thewordofme Says:

    Hi Eric Kemp, thank you for your reply.

    You write:
    “You are assuming that both Matthew and Luke had the same goals, or had goals you are ascribing to them, in recording the events that happened to Judas.”
    I am assuming nothing…I look at the words…I understand what the words mean. They say two different things about the same scene. They contradict each other…this is also a inconsistency.

    If any two people witness a hanging and one of them reports that the person fell down and burst open and nothing else, while the other person reports a hanging and nothing else…I’m suspicious about both stories. Don’t you think this is reasonable?

    MAT 27:5: “And he cast down the pieces of silver into the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself.”
    ACT 1:18: “And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out.”

    You write:
    “I’m confused to how there is a discrepancy between two writers saying that two different events happened to the same person, even if the events happened seconds from each other.”
    You also write:
    “It is written that Judas hung himself, and it is written that Judas burst asunder. I could add an “and”, a “then” or a “did not” in between each of those statements. It just comes down to wether you want Scripture to harmonize or not. The text, and logic, allows you to do both.”

    Logic does not allow this, and the words you mention are not there.

    You write:
    “Along those same lines, neither writer suggests that their record is Judas’ cause of death. They only claim that this is what happened to Judas. I’m confused to how there is a discrepancy”

    Either of the two things is ipso facto a COD, therefore each writer is reporting a different COD.

    I give up. If you can’t see this for what it is, there’s no hope.
    Any logic professors out there? Help!

    You write:
    “Although I’m unfamiliar with the specific incidents of such graphic violence you described (I have a feeling they were used for their emotional impact more than being accurate to Biblical events), I think that your objection to such Biblical events of genocide, women and children included, has to do with a certain idea of God or what God should be”

    Perhaps you can go Here for a long list of Bible violence.

    The Old Testament is full of the wrath of God…He is definitely not a “God of Love”
    God, noun: The supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions.

    Men and women have a perfect right to define what is good and what is bad, after all the products or consequences of good and bad affect us all. Throughout the Bible the writers are telling us the properties of God. My (rightful) opinion of the God I see in the written word of the Bible is one of magnificent evil. God after all created both good and evil and allowed them both to thrive.

    You write:
    “As Kris has pointed out, it seems you are bent on misrepresenting the Bible. God was regretting that the Flood was necessary. And you are again assuming that God must be “all-nice” in order to be Holy, when in fact the opposite is true.”

    I am not ‘bent’ on misrepresenting the Bible. I am looking at it with a critical eye. There are more interpretations than whatever you believe. I am not even close to being alone at looking at this book and finding terrible things wrong with it.
    Well this part of the argument I regret mentioning because I don’t believe a ‘Flood’ happened. The DNA evidence says there was no genetic bottleneck of 6 people at anytime within the last 100,000 or so years. The story is just Hebrew myth. But if it were true, God would have been responsible for genocide.

    You write:
    You’re other “contradictions” have been debunked by Kris, so I don’t want to repeat what has told to you. However, I would like to point out that your basic argument regarding those passages was nothing more than, “Well, that sounds weird to me” and “Why did God say it like that?!”. Those don’t meet the requirments for either contradiction OR discrepancy.

    I don’t see any effective debunking going on here. I see some unwillingness to see and reason out what is actually being said in the Bible. In the same book, two (or more) stories of the same event, by two (or more) authors who give two (or more) different descriptions…That is a classic description of discrepancy and inconsistency.

    Great ‘talking’ with you. twom

  19. Gstudent Says:

    You can’t debate it with him. No logic or examples of contradiction will ever change his mind.

    His own words prove it, “Fifthly, I only have two main presuppositions. That God exists and that the Bible is the Word of God.”

  20. krissmith777 Says:

    thewordofme :

    You list Matthew 7:7-8, and John 16:23-24 and John 13:13-14.

    I already explained that in the Christian point of view this does npot include vain requests. So I’m not going to repeat myself.

    “Sure they do. Each one of the 3 gospels has him saying one thing, albeit a different thing. This is an inconsistency and a discrepancy.”

    Really? where in the Gosepls does it say that Jesus said only one thing on the cross and nothing else. TELL ME WHICH VERSE IT IS.

    “Good; I wonder why no one paid attention to this before? I am also puzzled as to why God didn’t make abolition of slavery one of his laws given in the book of Deuteronomy. Instead of nailing their earlobes to the doorpost just say “no more slavery allowed.” Curiously, by setting up laws about how to handle slavery, He is condoning the practice. This is also an inconsistency and discrepancy.”

    You do not have to wonder about that, Certain forms of slavery were acceptable WHEN DEUTERONOMY WAS WRITTEN.

    Wait! That was 3,500 years ago. YOUR PROBLEM IS THAT YOU INSIST ON READING A 3,500 YEAR OLD BOOK IN TODAYS CONEXT WITH NO APPRECIATION FOR THE TIME IT WAS WRITTEN IN. — Sorry, but you can’t do that.

    God didn’t abolish slavery then because back then fpr many people it was the only way to pay a debt. Times were different back then, so this is not an inconsistency at all.

    God never condones the practice of Slavery. He never says “Slavery is good.” JUST BECAUSE GOD PERMITS IT DOES NOT MEAN HE LIKES IT. — He allowed polygamy, and yet obviously permitted that.

    “I wonder why Jesus was condoning slavery by not condemning it? The churches in America, in the early days of our country, swore up and down that the Bible condoned slavery. Politicians, taking their cue from the ministers made laws to protect the slavers and keep the slaves inline. Took a long time for religion to catch on.”

    Stupid comment.

    Jesus never spoke about slavery at all. But that was a non-issue to him because in his mind all are equal.

    “There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3: 28)

    What Churches did 1,700 years after Jesus to condone slavery is irrelevant. It has no bearing on whether or not the Bible actuall condones slavery. — Why would you appeal tp such a weak argument. Many of those people had an unfortunate habbit of misrepresenting the Bible to make it say what they wanted, like you.

    “I’m sorry, you lost me there…I try to understand, but there are so many things that don’t make sense.”

    It doesn’t make sense to you only because you have already decided beforehand that the Bible is full of contradictions.

    Before you say another word either for or against Christianity, I suggest you do some research.

    And By research I do not mean the secular web like Infidels.org. Acharya S, or any of that trash. I suggest you go to Semenary because every time tou answer you give such rotton answers that show you don’t know what you are talking about.

    You are an ignoramous who continually misrepresents the Bible to suit his own ends. It’s disgusting, so stop.

  21. krissmith777 Says:

    thewordofme says :

    “I am not ‘bent’ on misrepresenting the Bible. I am looking at it with a critical eye. There are more interpretations than whatever you believe. I am not even close to being alone at looking at this book and finding terrible things wrong with it.
    Well this part of the argument I regret mentioning because I don’t believe a ‘Flood’ happened.”

    Yes you are. Are close reading and simple Christian interpretation of the verses you pull out show that you largely take the Bible out of context.

    “The DNA evidence says there was no genetic bottleneck of 6 people at anytime within the last 100,000 or so years. The story is just Hebrew myth. But if it were true, God would have been responsible for genocide.”

    This statement shows that you have obviously never taken a Physical Anthropology Class, or if you did you failed. DNA is not the be-all story. A lot of it is mear interpratations. And interpratations are subject to change.

  22. krissmith777 Says:

    To Eric Kemp.

    Eric, lets do ourselves a favor and ingnore ” thewordofme.”

    He is just an ignoramous that enjoys taking the Bible out of context and misinterprating it.

    I think we should just stop dignifying him. — I guess I’m more guilty of that than you–

  23. krissmith777 Says:

    But as a final thought on whether or not God condones slavery, here are a couple of good links:

    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qnoslave.html

    and

    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qnoslavent.html

  24. Eric Kemp Says:

    Kris

    I agree Kris, I’ve enjoyed my discussion with him, but there is only so many times I can repeat myself, especially since he isn’t forming arguments, he’s just saying, “Well I don’t see or understand that”. It’s not very convincing. I’m writing a post about Biblical inerrancy that he can argue against if he wants. Instead of forming arguments, he’s just bringing up all the age old objections that have been answered and when you again answer them for him, he only says, “I don’t understand that” or tries to distracts with still more outdated objections.

    I understand your frustration.

  25. Eric Kemp Says:

    wordofme

    You know, your last comment about DNA not showing a bottleneck 100,000 years ago just shows that you are looking at the Bible with a critical eye (which is fine) but not doing so about the things that enhance your worldview. DNA can’t tell you ANYTHING that happened 100,000 years ago, since you’re looking at present DNA. The statement you made is something that you heard one time from an evolutionary internet site and you agreed with it without quite understanding how they were able to decide such a thing because you wanted it to be true.

    If you want to engage in rational discussion, you should respond directly to the explanations Kris has given you by telling Kris “why” those explanations don’t work, instead of just stating “I don’t buy it”. The former makes you rational while the latter just makes you dogmatic.

  26. Eric Kemp Says:

    Gstudent

    Well done sir. You have just performed the typical atheistic “disappear then attack” modus operandi. When challenged with rational discussion, you disappear until you think the coast is clear (I’ve forgotten) and then you come back to spew some more hypocritical insults. Don’t engage in rational discussion but call the other guy “illogical”. Very nice. Keep it up and you’ll never have to form an argument in defense of your worldview but you’ll still be able to believe it. It’s flawless.

  27. Gstudent Says:

    “When challenged with rational discussion,”

    Please excuse me for not wanting to tread on the same ground where so many others, more polite and patient than I have failed with you.

    “spew some more hypocritical insults.”

    Show me where I insulted you. Are you that eager to feel persecuted that you want to twist someones words into an attack?

    It’s illogical to argue with someone about biblical contradictions who has already stated, “[…] I only have two main presuppositions. That God exists and that the Bible is the Word of God.”

    It’s stupid to argue with someones presuppositions.

  28. Eric Kemp Says:

    Gstudent

    “Please excuse me for not wanting to tread on the same ground where so many others, more polite and patient than I have failed with you.”

    You may think that this is rational, but every one will see it for what it is, a cop out and an excuse. You’re still doing a swell job of evading any rational discussion, keep it up.

    “Show me where I insulted you. Are you that eager to feel persecuted that you want to twist someones words into an attack?”

    I don’t have to manufacture persecution, you said, “No logic or examples of contradiction will ever change his mind.” This is calling me irrational, illogical and stupid. If you want to hide behind semantics, go ahead, but I see what you’re doing for what it is.

    “It’s stupid to argue with someones presuppositions.”

    Actually, a discussion about presuppositions is exactly the conversation you’re dodging. I pointed out to you that you have presuppositions too, but you ignored that, and skipped straight to my fifth point. I’m honest about my presuppositions, why can’t you be?

    Also, I’m not arguing that there aren’t Biblical difficulties, and that everything in the Bible is easy to understand, or that I understand everything in the Bible. My point is that nothing in the Bible violates the Law of Non-contradiction or, put another way, no two statements in the Bible fit the definition of a contradiction. I made the argument clearly, if you have a counter-argument, please present it. A good place to start would be to show me exactly how two statements in the Bible, you could pick from any of the ones already in discussion, violate the Law of Non-Contradiction. So far, instead, you have merely claimed that “nothing” will convince me. Repeating this assertion does not make an argument. So, do you have an argument?

  29. thewordofme Says:

    Hi Kris and Eric

    You write
    “If you want to engage in rational discussion, you should respond directly to the explanations Kris has given you by telling Kris “why” those explanations don’t work, instead of just stating “I don’t buy it”. The former makes you rational while the latter just makes you dogmatic.”

    Sorry boys your idea of logic is seriously distorted. Kris you seem to have a temper problem.

    One more discrepancy for you both.
    “Consider, for example, whether Jesus ever lived in Bethlehem. Luke’s account seems to preclude that possibility. According to Luke’s account, Joseph and Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem as a result of Augustus’ decree that a census be taken (2:1-4). While they were visiting Bethlehem, Jesus was born (2:5-30). Eight days later, as required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary circumcised Jesus (2:21). Then, “When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed” (2:22, NIV), i.e., after 40 days (Lev. 12:2-8), they took Jesus to the temple to make the appropriate sacrifice (2:22-24). Then, “When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord [cf. 2:22-24,27], they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong” (2:39,40a, NIV). So Joseph, Mary, and Jesus spent little more than a month in Bethlehem before returning to Nazareth.

    Matthew’s account, on the other hand, is quite different. By the time the Magi from the east arrived to worship the infant Jesus, two years had elapsed since his birth (2:7,16). The Magi found the young Jesus and his mother Mary in their house (2:11). “When they had gone” (v. 13, NIV), Joseph was warned by an angel in a dream that Herod would try to have Jesus killed, so he took the family to Egypt (2:13-18) prior to moving to Nazareth (2:19-23).

    Question: Where did Jesus spend the first years of his life? In Nazareth (Luke) or in Bethlehem and Egypt (Matthew)? According to Luke, Jesus’ parents took him back to Nazareth when he was just over a month old, whereas according to Matthew the family lived in Bethlehem for two years before moving to Egypt and then to Nazareth.”

    This discrepancy simply cannot be reconciled. From PBS Frontline as below.

    Mark’s is the first of the written gospels. It’s really the one that establishes… the life of Jesus as a story form. It develops a narrative from his early career, through …the main points of his life and culminates in his death. And, as such, it sets the pattern for all the later gospel traditions. We know that both Matthew and Luke used Mark, as a source in their composition and it’s also probable that even John knew something of Mark in tradition. So, Mark is really the one that sets the stage for all the later Christian gospel writings. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/mark.html

    Mark did write first and Matthew and Luke copied much of it.

    You guys need to learn your theology better.

    Good luck to both of you.

  30. Eric Kemp Says:

    thewordofme

    You see, you just did exactly what I warned against. Ignoring all arguments refuting you, saying “I don’t think so” and then producing another “contradiction”. Besides giving me article fuel, you’re not bringing anything to the discussion. If you really wanted to argue, you’d show us exactly how our idea of logic is “seriously distorted” instead of just claiming it. So far, though, it seems that you have no argument.

    It’s no wonder you’re so convinced that there are Biblical contradictions. Every time someone answers one for you, you ignore them and throw another one at them. It’s actually a perfect tactic. Then, when the Christian becomes bored with repeating his or herself, and stops answering you, you can say to yourself, “Well done self! They had no answer! Chalk another one down for atheism!” I must admit, you’ve got another Christian victim who no longer sees the need in answering you because you’d just repeat yourself as well, congradulations. Unless you want to go back and show me and Kris how our logic is faulty, I’m done.

  31. krissmith777 Says:

    thewordofme says:

    “Question: Where did Jesus spend the first years of his life? In Nazareth (Luke) or in Bethlehem and Egypt (Matthew)? According to Luke, Jesus’ parents took him back to Nazareth when he was just over a month old, whereas according to Matthew the family lived in Bethlehem for two years before moving to Egypt and then to Nazareth.””

    “This discrepancy simply cannot be reconciled. From PBS Frontline as below.”

    I know that I said I shouldn’t answer you, but this so-called “contradiction” is one I was waiting for because it is one of the most easiest to answer. 🙂

    Actually this can be reconciled.

    Luke says that after Jesus’ circumcision and Mary’s purification the three of them (Joseph, Mary, and Jesus) went home to Nazareth.

    According to Jewish law, Jesus would have been circumcised when he was 8 days old and another 33 days after that Mary would have prified herself. (Leviticus 12: 2, 4) — So Jesus would have spent the first 41 days of his life in Bethlehem and Jerusalem and THEN they went back to Nazareth.

    As for Matthew saying that Jesus spent his first two years in Bethlehem and thus contradicts Luke — this is incorrect.

    Matthew never says that they spent two years in Bethlehem. All it indicates is that they were in Bethlehem two years after Jesus’ birth. IN OTHER WORDS, THIS CAN BE EASILY RECONCILED BY JOSEPH, MARY, AND JESUS RETURNING TO BETHLEHEM AFTER 2 YEARS FOR SOME REASON OR ANOTHER.

    There is no reaon to assume that they couldn’t have returned to Bethlehem 2 years AFTER Jesus’ birth after living in Nazareth. — Considering that Bethlehem was Joseph’s hometown, their return could possibly have been visiting family who Joseph grew up with.

    Also, it could have been due to a Jewish festival. — Many of them back then were ONLY celebrated in Jerusalem so many pilgrims would have been in Jerusalem or in nearby towns which include Bethlehem.

    The fact is there are many possible senerios. This may seem like a contradiction, but us is far from irreconcilable.

  32. krissmith777 Says:

    Eric Kemp says:

    “You see, you just did exactly what I warned against. Ignoring all arguments refuting you, saying “I don’t think so” and then producing another “contradiction”. Besides giving me article fuel, you’re not bringing anything to the discussion.”

    All too true.

    Some of the alleged “Contradictions” he brings up are ones you answered in you post. Since he brings them up that leads me to believe that he didn’t read it in the first place.

    “It’s no wonder you’re so convinced that there are Biblical contradictions. Every time someone answers one for you, you ignore them and throw another one at them. It’s actually a perfect tactic. Then, when the Christian becomes bored with repeating his or herself, and stops answering you, you can say to yourself, “Well done self! They had no answer!”

    Amen to that. And it very exhausting, especially since most of his arguments which he still puls out have already been answered.

    As a matter of fact, many of the arguments he mentions ARE ACTUALLY CONSIDERED OUT OF DATE BY THE MORE INFORMED SKEPTICS OF CHRISTIANITY AND THEY DON’T EVEN TOUCH THEM BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE FALLACY OF USING THEM.

  33. Eric Kemp Says:

    Kris

    Well done sir!

    “Some of the alleged “Contradictions” he brings up are ones you answered in you post. Since he brings them up that leads me to believe that he didn’t read it in the first place.”

    They’re just from some atheistic Biblical critic website, listed for easy access. He hasn’t actually looked into any of these “contradictions”, he wants to believe them because they suit his worldview.

    “As a matter of fact, many of the arguments he mentions ARE ACTUALLY CONSIDERED OUT OF DATE BY THE MORE INFORMED SKEPTICS OF CHRISTIANITY AND THEY DON’T EVEN TOUCH THEM BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE FALLACY OF USING THEM.”

    Ironic isn’t it? At least I have lots of fodder for a “Contradictions” article series.

  34. Gstudent Says:

    “You may think that this is rational, but every one will see it for what it is, a cop out and an excuse. You’re still doing a swell job of evading any rational discussion, keep it up.

    I don’t have to manufacture persecution, you said, “No logic or examples of contradiction will ever change his mind.” This is calling me irrational, illogical and stupid. If you want to hide behind semantics, go ahead, but I see what you’re doing for what it is.”

    Thank you for illustrating my point.

  35. thewordofme Says:

    One for the road guys.

    “Consider the difference between Acts and Matthew on when the field of Akeldama was purchased. According to Acts 1:18,19, Judas Iscariot bought the field with the thirty pieces of silver which he received for betraying Christ. Shortly thereafter he died in the field, “so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood”

    On the other hand, according to Matthew 27:3-10, the remorseful Judas threw the thirty pieces of silver into the temple and then hanged himself. The chief priests could not put the silver into the treasury, since it was “blood money” (Matt. 27:6). “So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day”

    The chronological question is apparent: Did Judas buy the field before he died, or did the chief priests buy the field after he died?

    twom

  36. Eric Kemp Says:

    thewordofme

    Sorry, brother, no one here is taking you seriously anymore. You don’t form arguments, or support the statements you’ve made after being challenged, you just regurgitate what you’ve been taught. But, don’t worry, the second you come back with a rational argument, I’ll be right there with you.

  37. Eric Kemp Says:

    Gstudent

    If you had ever made a point through all your shuck and jive, I’d be following you right now.

  38. Gstudent Says:

    Hey, it’s your blog! Feel free to keep up the attacks on whoever you want.

  39. Price Says:

    I think you missed some of the most fundamental contradictions, particularly those concerning the nature and characteristics of God.

    Namely, as a literalist, you must subscribe to the belief that information can be withheld from God, or that God must inquire about certain things. But, you must also believe he is all-knowing.

    Others, the story of Michal, daughter of Saul in Samuels. It is said that she never had a child; and that she had five children. That is a logical contradiction.

    Also in Samuel, Samuel’s first born son is Joel. But in Chronicles, his first born son is apparently Vashni.

    In Chronicles, Saul and his whole family die together. But in Samuel, only Saul died and his son was the made King.

    In Timothy, it is said that scripture is the word of God; but in Corinthians, it is said that it is not.

    In Luke, blasphemy is an unforgivable sin; but in Acts, it is said there are no unforgivable sins.

    In Acts, Judas took the silver given to him and bought a field. In Matthew, Judas threw the silver to the ground and immediately went to hang himself.

  40. Eric Kemp Says:

    Price

    Real quick.

    “Namely, as a literalist, you must subscribe to the belief that information can be withheld from God, or that God must inquire about certain things. But, you must also believe he is all-knowing.”

    Can you explain why this must be true?

    And can you give chapter and verse for all those “contradictions” so that I may respond?

  41. Eric Kemp Says:

    Gstudent

    You quoted two things that I said and claimed “Thank you for illustrating my point”. This statement is ironic because at no point did you make a point, nor explain how those quotes “illustrate” your point. That’s all I was saying. I’m honestly just not following you. But I have a feeling that’s part of the plan.

  42. krissmith777 Says:

    Price Says:

    “Others, the story of Michal, daughter of Saul in Samuels. It is said that she never had a child; and that she had five children. That is a logical contradiction.”

    IT is true that David said Michal wouldn’t have any children. (2 Samuel 6: 23) — But so where is the reference that she had 5 children. I cannot find it.

    “Also in Samuel, Samuel’s first born son is Joel. But in Chronicles, his first born son is apparently Vashni. ”

    This one is easy. Joel and Vasni are the same person. Different Bible translations of the same Bible verse you seem to refer to (1 Chronicles 6: 28 ) show this to be true.

    Here’s a list of the differing Translations of the same verse: http://bible.cc/1_chronicles/6-28.htm

    “In Chronicles, Saul and his whole family die together. But in Samuel, only Saul died and his son was the made King.”

    This is not true. It never says that the WHOLE family died together. It just says that Saul killed himself and that three of his sons were killed by the Philistines. (1 Samuel 31: 2, 6 )

    His son, named Ish-Bosheth, that became king is obviously a fourth son that didn’t go to war with his his father and his three bothers (who were named Jonothan, Abinadab, and Malki-Shua [1 Samuel 31: 2 ])

    “In Timothy, it is said that scripture is the word of God; but in Corinthians, it is said that it is not.”

    Wow! Talk about a whomping misrepreserntation. Paul wrote the letters to Timothy as well as the two letters to the Corinthians. — But there is no indication that Paul considered his OWN writtings scripture, though certainly Peter did.

    “In Luke, blasphemy is an unforgivable sin; but in Acts, it is said there are no unforgivable sins.”

    You have to define “Blasphemy.” — Luke quotes Jesus as saying only blaspheemy against the holy spirit is not forgiven, while blasphemy blasphemy against Jesus himself is forgivable (Luke 12: 10 )

    Considering the fact that the Book of Acts was written by the same person that wrote the Book of Luke, a contradiction between the two books is not likely. — So you would have to produce the verse in Acts that shows the contradiction you speak of.

    “In Acts, Judas took the silver given to him and bought a field. In Matthew, Judas threw the silver to the ground and immediately went to hang himself.”

    Both are true. Let me explain.

    It is true that Judas threw the thirty silver pieces back at the priests. The preists were the ones that personally bought the field.

    Judas, even though he was dead by the time the field was purchased, STILL gets the credit for buying the field BECAUSE THE MONEY WAS BLOOD-MONEY IT WAS ILLEGAL FOR THE PRIESTS TO CLAIM IT BACK AFTER JUDAS GAVE IT BACK (MATTHEW 27: 6 ) — So even though Judas gave the money back, it was still in Judas’ name. So therefore when the priests purchased the field with the money Judas got the credit.

  43. krissmith777 Says:

    Price,

    Bact to Saul and the death of his family.

    1 Chronicles 10:6 does say that. BUT, it doesn’t say when the rest would have died out. TO anyone who has read the Bible, THE BIBLE IS NOT STRICTLY CHRONOLOGICAL.

    The Books of Samuel actually agree with the Chronicler. But it shows the growing weakness of and eventual extinction of “the House of Saul” in a more slower pace. For example, 2 Samuel 3:1 says “There was a long war between the HOUSE OF SAUL and the house of David; David grew stronger and stronger, while the HOUSE OF SAUL became weaker and weaker.”

    In other wordsm, it still existed when David became King, but it was declining fast. AND SHORTLY AFTER THIS, Saul’s last son Ish-Bosheth was murdered completerly destroying Saul’s Dynasty. (2 Samuel 4: 1, 12)

    Als, closer to the end of his reign, David eradicated most of what what left of Saul’s house. (2: Samuel 21: 1, 14 ). David’s son Solomon finished the job when he killed Shimei who was seemingly the last decsendent of Saul (1Kings 2: 41, 46 )

    So, this isn’t a contradiction. One account is just more chronological than the other. But both accounts do agree that it did happen.

  44. krissmith777 Says:

    I thought I would mention another fact, the term “House” in the Bible has a braod meaning.

    It includes sons, daughters, wives, concubines, man servants, maid servants, the queen’s lady-in-waiting, and even the house boy, and even the stable boy.

    Unless I am to believe that 1 Chronicles 10:6 means that Saul brought all of these people on the battle field (which is a ridiculous assumption because most of these people would have been unfit to fight) then the Chronicler by by no means is trying to say that Saul’s whole houshold died in a single say. He is just simply throwing out the statement that “Saul’s house” was just destroyed.

    Anothjer fact is it doesn’t even have to indicate that everyone in the family was killed at all. The term can also mean that “Saul’s house” was overthrown in the “DYNASTIC” sense, meaning that this was simply the end of his dynasty.

    Here’s a good discussion: http://www.tektonics.org/qt/sauldead.html


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