Prove that the Bible is full of contradictions-- I double dare you!

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Marsh, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Karehndiujo Mohmid

    Karehndiujo Mohmid Just Passing Through

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    This is what I mean when I say "It is not, so much, a case of the Bible contradicting itself but, rather, the Self contradicting the Bible." Thank you.

    And, yes...pretty funny.

    God knows I could use a good laugh.

    :)
     
  2. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Silly me, I thought it was made of cream cheese. Does that make me a heretic? :D
     
  3. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    As you have been found a heretic, by way of lactose intolerance, the whey shall be separated from your soft curd, you shall be moulded and bandaged and left to mature until Ted sees fit to judge you.
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Hi SamsSauce, and welcome to CR. :)

    And somehow the culinary flavour of this thread increases. :)
     
  5. Quath

    Quath New Member

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    A very good website for Biblical contradictions is at http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/biblecontra.html. He only covers the hardest to defend types of contradictions. A couple of examples:

    -------------
    Did Abraham know God's name was Jehovah?
    Yes: Genesis 22:14
    "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen."
    No: Exodus 6:3
    "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them."
    Commentary: After the incident in which God ordered Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah as a test of faith, then stayed his hand at the last possible moment, Abraham in gratitude renamed the mountain Jehovahjireh - loosely translated, "the Lord will provide". However, when later speaking to Moses, God flatly contradicts this story by stating that he never even told Abraham his name was Jehovah. Plainly both these verses cannot be true, unless we are to believe that Abraham simply made a very lucky guess.

    Does God repent?
    No: Numbers 23:19
    "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent."
    No: 1 Samuel 15:29
    "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent."
    Yes: Genesis 6:6
    "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
    Yes: 1 Samuel 15:35
    "...the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel."
    Commentary: The naive reader would no doubt assume that an all-knowing and all-powerful god, who never fails to accomplish what he wills and knows in advance the exact consequences of his every action, would have no reason to repent or regret anything he had done, and the former two verses support this. However, the latter two, along with many others (Exodus 32:14, 2 Samuel 14:16, Jeremiah 18:8, and Jonah 3:10, to give just a few more examples) contain examples of God repenting his actions.
    Attempted Defense: http://debate.org.uk/topics/apolog/contrads.htm#092 argues that God indeed cannot repent or change his mind, since he knows the future, and that the Hebrew word nacham translated as "repent" in the KJV should actually be understood to mean "regret" or "grieve". Perhaps, but both Numbers 23:19 and 1 Samuel 15:29 use the exact same word; both say that nacham is what God will not do. Therefore, the contradiction stands. In any case, this answer doesn't seem to clear up much anyway. Why would an all-powerful god do something he knew he would regret later? Why wouldn't he just pick a better course of action from the start?
    Furthermore, there are several Bible verses which clearly show God "repenting" in exactly the sense it is used in English - verses in which God does something or plans to do something, then changes his mind (Exodus 32:9-14, for example). Leaving aside the absurdity of this, it is plain that the biblical god can and does repent.
    -------------

    What I notice is that defenders of the Bible use first order corrections which fail at the second order. For example, the Bible says that Satan incites David to count his fighting men. It also says that God does. So the first order solution is that God makes Satan do it. But on the second-order analysis, you should then assume anything Satan does is due to something God wants done. (Which is the case in the Old Testament, but not the New Testament.)

    Quath
     
  6. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    well, guess what, this was spotted by rashi!

    rashi on exodus 6:3:

    in short, the use of that particular name requires a promise to be kept, which hadn't occurred at the time. again, this is 'just' the tradition's answer, so i dare say it'll be ignored.

    as for the second one:

    that's not how biblical hebrew works. obviously, the senses of the two are not the same. it also depends on the construction used and the vowels. and in this case, G!D may not do nun-het-mem in the sense of "repenting", but G!D may do nun-het-mem in the sense of "grieving". rashi brings up this exact point (obviously, we moderns know so much compared to those primitive rabbis) and resolves it this way in his commentary on genesis 6:6:

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  7. FriendRob

    FriendRob New Member

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    Hmm, lots more cheese than good arguments in this thread.

    I propose that any contradiction can be "resolved" using the methods that Bible scholars use to resolve the (non)contradictions in the Bible.

    Example: "Black is white."

    Resolution: "Black is the absence of color, hence black is pure. Clearly, in this passage from the Gospel of Rob, 'white' is being used in the sense of 'purity', not in the sense of normal colors."

    So go on, give me a sentence or combination of sentences that are truly contradictory, with no possible "resolution". I double dare ya.
     
  8. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    i agree. of course, this assumes a variety of axiomatic basis. from a traditional jewish PoV, contradictions in the Text are there in order to further learning outcomes and the derivation of commandments by which we may do the will of G!D. therefore, the reconciliation of these contradictions is a sacred task and one which is aimed at the rectification of human understanding, rather than remedying deficiencies in the Divine Will - whereas, the axiomatic basis is entirely different for those people who are looking to use the existence of contradictions to debunk the Text and the religious systems that depend upon it.

    the trouble with this is that it rests on your definition of "truly" - by my standards, it is axiomatic that there is no such thing as "true" contradiction within G!D's Will - only the contradiction apparent to human perception. therefore a contradiction may be "obvious" to some people and nonsensical to others. to me it is equally obviously more important to understand the Text than to seek to condemn it.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  9. FriendRob

    FriendRob New Member

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    I guess I wasn't clear enough in my previous post. I meant that any contradictory statements at all (not just in the Bible) can be resolved by those same methods. I was asking for non-Scriptural "contradictions" that are truly contradictory. I'm betting there aren't any.
     
  10. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    oh right. i guess i didn't understand you. the thing is, i don't understand the point of reconciling non-scriptural contradictions using scriptural methods. the method by which Torah is interpreted is, of course, closely tied to the way biblical hebrew works, so, for example, the gezeirah shavah method, whereby a phrase that occurs in two seemingly unrelated verses in different bits of the Text is used to derive a law which combines aspects of both. and you're not just allowed to do g-s willy-nilly, it has to be limited by tradition.

    i would have said that mathematical paradoxes (e.g. 1 = 0 ) can't be reconciled by any means other than theological ones, but i don't know that much about maths annyway.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  11. FriendRob

    FriendRob New Member

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    That's very interesting. I'm familiar with the evangelical-Protestant version of this debate, for which "willy-nilly" is a very apt description.

    Of course, your people have been at it for much longer....
    ;)

    As far as mathematical contradictions, it's not too hard to find cases where "1=0", when interpreted appropriately, is a true statement. (After all, "1" , "0", and "=" are just symbols, and we can put any interpretation we want on 'em, can't we?)
     
  12. Quath

    Quath New Member

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    That is funny. There is a proof that 1 = 0 (even thought it is wrong). Copying from http://www.math.hmc.edu/funfacts/ffiles/10001.1-8.shtml:

    Consider two non-zero numbers x and y such that x = y. ​
    Then x2 = xy. ​
    Subtract the same thing from both sides: ​
    x2 - y2 = xy - y2. ​
    Dividing by (x-y), obtain ​
    x + y = y. ​
    Since x = y, we see that ​
    2 y = y. ​
    Thus 2 = 1, since we started with y nonzero. ​
    Subtracting 1 from both sides, ​
    1 = 0​
    Or we can say that 1 = 0 for very small values of 1.​
    Quath​
     
  13. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    hur hur hur. that's for demsure, innit.

    ooOOooo. i guess that's what i mean. if we can demonstrate and accept paradox in maths, i just don't see why we have to eliminate it from theology, let alone mysticism!

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  14. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    I have studied the bible for my own edification for a long time. I was raised in learning the bible and I do not find any contradictions at all. I just don't. The things people argue about are because they are seeing things from different ideas to begin with.

    The verses that appear to be contradicting like God is Love, then you see God Hated Esau- I dont see things like that as contradiciting. What it is saying is he loved Esau less. I see the bible as full of mysteries, not contradictons.

    I used to think I saw contradictions, but then over time it came clear to me why certain things were said like they were said.

    1)I went to the store to buy some food today.
    2)I was at the store around 5 PM and picked up some cereal.
    3)I was at Kmart at 5:30, here I have the reciept.
    4)They have cereal on sale at Kmart, so I picked some up today.
    5)I bought some Cheerios and Milk today. I used my visa.
    6)I forget what store that was at, but there was a good sale on cereal and breakfast bars last week.
    7)I was leaving the parking lot last thursdy about 6PM and someone smashed into my car.
    8) I have to get to the store and pick up some of that stuff on sale.
    9) Another car hit and run me last night, sometime while I was getting food.
    10) Tomorrow around 4PM will be a good day for US to get the things WE need, while they are still on sale.

    So I dont see where the bible contradicts itself, because if it really did, I would have picked up on it. You just have to take the time and put it together.

    It is impossible to do the entire book in one lifetime. It is truly the greatest book ever written and I thank God for it.:)
     
  15. jwcouch

    jwcouch New Member

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    According to the Gospel of Luke in chapter 10, Jesus is challenged to state which he believes are the most important commandments of God. The King James Version translates the reply as thus: "And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy god with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself."
     
  16. revmark

    revmark New Member

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  17. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    hey revmark and welcome to the boards at CR:)

    i have seen that book but i would not pay a nickel for it and i would not even debate there claims if i was paid a million dollars, well maybe for 2 million $:D . it does not follow the story and order of events at all. They pick and choose what contradicts without filling in the blanks with other scripture. SAB has also not done there homework in the original greek and hebrew.

    May Adam eat from any tree?Adam may eat from every tree. There is one tree from which Adam may not eat.

    I hardly consider things like this a contradiction. If someone else wants to then more power to them.
    One nice thing about it, it keeps the believers on there toes:)
     
  18. revmark

    revmark New Member

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    I would agree with you they very much pick and choose the topics they wish to prove wrong. I just wanted to give the link and see what others thought. I didn't even know there was a book I have just qucikly looked at the link.
     
  19. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    Yah its not really for sale that I know of. I just said a nickel as a figure of speech. I have not even figured out who the author is yet which is really odd to me and I am not joining it to find out. But i take into consideration what it is promoting and the links and it is one of those God Hater Bible Haters sites. I do not see any love in things like that. They call it an online library and have done the same thing with the Quran and book of mormon.

    Your website is pretty nice revmark. It gives nice a nice overview of things. I will have a longer look in the future. :)
     
  20. didymus

    didymus New Member

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    I don't think that the Bible is full of contradictions but rather full of inconsistancies. There are many truths also to be found with those things that are inconsistant. I think the Bible needs to be read in light of linguistic and cultural tones of the time. We are reading a version that has gone through dozens of editions and translations. So my opinion is that the Bible is good but not altogether accurate.
     

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