Alleged Contradictions in the Bible

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Grand_Moff_Monkey, Jan 22, 2002.

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  1. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Recently a lot of people have been saying to me "How can you believe a Bible that's full of contradictions?" This has baffled me. I believe the Bible with all my heart and I've read it many times and have not found anything in it that is contradictory.

    Even in this forum many people have said that the Bible is full of contradictions as if it's just an accepted fact.

    Use this thread to post verses or passages that you believe contradict each other and I'll do my best to answer it.

    Just three things please...

    1] Please don't just put on a link to another site with loads of "contradictions" listed. Give me at least a fighting chance to answer.

    2] In a similar vein, please don't list loads of things at once. I wanna do my best to answer and if each person posts about 50 things each, it's not gonna happen.

    3] Also bear in mind that I'm in London, so there might be a delay with some of you guys. Also I have no access to the computer on the weekends.

    I'll do my best to answer it all, but please stay on the subject...
  2. StarFire Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    I've never read the Bible in it's entirety, and I don't claim to be an expert by any means. I'm not even arguing anything here, I'd just like to see some points cleared up from the, I assume, Christian point of view.

    1. In the fourth chapter of Genesis, after Cain kills Abel, he goes and marries someone and makes babies. Unless I'm wrong, there was no one else to marry, so what gives?

    2. In the grand scheme of things, who is Jesus supposed to be? God? The Son of God? None of the above?


    I've got a couple more, but I gotta go . . . I know these aren't exactly contradictions, but I'd appreciate it if you would answer anyway. You're my only hope ;)
  3. Darth_Asabrush Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    I'm not a religious person but this does interest me as the Bible has had an immense affect on our societies for hundreds, even thousands of years!

    I suppose I have just assumed that the bible has contradictions in it but must confess to not reading it in it's entirity and only knowing "the basics".

    My scepticism stems from the many edits The Bible has had in it's history by less than honorable men to further their quest for power, wealth, influence and the destruction of those who have differing views. However, here are some questions that I hope G_M_M will be able to answer!

    GE 4:4-5 God prefers Abel's offering and has no regard for Cain's.
    2CH 19:7, AC 10:34, RO 2:11 God shows no partiality. He treats all alike.

    GE 4:9 God asks Cain where his brother Able is.
    PR 15:3, JE 16:17, 23:24-25, HE 4:13 God is everywhere. He sees everything. Nothing is hidden from his view.

    EZ 6:12, NA 1:2, 6 God is jealous and furious. He reserves wrath for, and takes revenge on, his enemies. "... who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and rocks are thrown down by him."
    GA 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit of God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    EX 3:20-22, DT 20:13-17 God instructs the Israelites to despoil the Egyptians, to plunder their enemies.
    EX 20:15, 17, LE 19:13 God prohibits stealing, defrauding, or robbing a neighbour

    Sorry for the list but I do find it interesting.
  4. Gandalf the Grey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2000
    star 6
    Is it "an eye for an eye" or "turn the other cheek?"
  5. tenorjedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2000
    star 5
    I know a few things about the bible and I'll answer a few of those. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a practicing Christian and not the most knowledeable but some of these I know.

    1. In the fourth chapter of Genesis, after Cain kills Abel, he goes and marries someone and makes babies. Unless I'm wrong, there was no one else to marry, so what gives
    -as I understand it over thousands and thousands of years things maybe lost (see my thread on the bible being infallible) but the leading theory would be that God might have created more people besides Adam and Eve that aren't mentioned. Another is that there were more children besides Cain and Abel that weren't specifically mentioned because they were the younger children. When the bible was written it was written in a patriatical society where the eldest brothers get everything and all the mention and the younger children (especially women) get nothing. Unless someone has something I haven't heard those are the two leading theories.

    2. In the grand scheme of things, who is Jesus supposed to be? God? The Son of God? None of the above?
    The son of God. Some religions consider them to be the same as well as the Holy Ghost (or spirit) while others see them as different, and others see them as being connected as part of the trinity. The classic definition is that he is the son of God that came to earth to die for mans sins.

    GE 4:4-5 God prefers Abel's offering and has no regard for Cain's.
    2CH 19:7, AC 10:34, RO 2:11 God shows no partiality. He treats all alike.

    Yes God is said to be no respecter of persons. However their sacrifice is what made the two situations different. Abel's sacrifice was a blood sacrifice and was a greater personal loss than Cain's sacrifice. That's a pretty simple one.

    GE 4:9 God asks Cain where his brother Able is.
    PR 15:3, JE 16:17, 23:24-25, HE 4:13 God is everywhere. He sees everything. Nothing is hidden from his view.


    God knew what happend to Abel, but was asking Cain like a father interogates a child when he knows he's been bad.

    EZ 6:12, NA 1:2, 6 God is jealous and furious. He reserves wrath for, and takes revenge on, his enemies. "... who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and rocks are thrown down by him."
    GA 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit of God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.


    As we all know God in the old testament does have a wrath. He wiped out the earth in a flood save for a small handful of people according to the Bible and the Koran. It's a righteous fervor and anger. It's said in the bible that we were created in his image, who's to say that some of our traits are not unlike his. Maybe God has good days and bad like we do. If someone has a better explination I'll defer to a practicing Christian.

    EX 3:20-22, DT 20:13-17 God instructs the Israelites to despoil the Egyptians, to plunder their enemies.
    EX 20:15, 17, LE 19:13 God prohibits stealing, defrauding, or robbing a neighbour

    Stealing from a neighbor, as in an individual was what the ten commandments was about, but as for enemies of Israel, they were (according to the Bible) seen as right to smite. There were things that God had choosen for his people to have and those that were in possession of it did not have a real claim to it. (IE the battle of Jerico)

    Edit: Eye for an eye was the law under moses (AKA the Mosaic law, the ten commandments) for a time when the people were still young and unable to live under a more complex law. It along with blood sacrifices were done away with when Christ died on the Cross. The new law was put in place.
  6. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Ok, firstly StarFire's points:

    1. In the fourth chapter of Genesis, after Cain kills Abel, he goes and marries someone and makes babies. Unless I'm wrong, there was no one else to marry, so what gives?

    Good question. These chapters in Genesis don't say that Adam and Eve had no other children but that Cain and Abel were the first. Genesis 5 actually says that they had other sons and daughters. Given the long life-spans that people had back then, it's not out of the question that by the time this all happened, there was a lot of other people around (Cain actually refers to loads of other people in a nearby city). But let's leave the moral implication of all this "incest" for another thread. (TenorJedi's response to this is not theologically sound, nor is it in the Bible. God didn't create other people along with Adam and Eve that we're decended from. The Book of Romans makes it clear that we are all children of Adam and therefore inherit his sin.)


    2. In the grand scheme of things, who is Jesus supposed to be? God? The Son of God? None of the above?

    Actually both of the above. It's not a contradiction as such but it definately is a paradox. I don't wanna lose the focus and start talking doctrine.
    But John 1:1 says:
    "In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God."
    It's clear from verse 14 that the Word is Jesus: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us"

    So Jesus is both with God and is God.
    I'll probably come back to this when I can give a fuller answer, but it's not a contradiction. Paradox yes, contradiction no.


    Now onto Darth_Asabrush

    My scepticism stems from the many edits The Bible has had

    The Bible has certainly been misused - even the KKK quote it. But edited - no way. The thousands of ancient manuscripts bear witness to how reliable our Bible is. There's no single doctrine that we have now that's not in the earliest manuscripts - but that's another thread.


    Gen 4:4-5 God prefers Abel's offering and has no regard for Cain's.
    2CH 19:7, AC 10:34, RO 2:11 God shows no partiality. He treats all alike.


    Hebrews 11:4 - By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings.

    1 John 3:12 - Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.

    I think that Cain's heart and attitide weren't right when he offered his sacrifice so God rejected it. His bad attitude is then demonstrated by the fact he then killed his brother.


    GE 4:9 God asks Cain where his brother Able is.
    PR 15:3, JE 16:17, 23:24-25, HE 4:13 God is everywhere. He sees everything. Nothing is hidden from his view.


    There's many times my parents have asked me something knowing what the answer is in order for me to confess. Parents are sneaky.


    EZ 6:12, NA 1:2, 6 God is jealous and furious. He reserves wrath for, and takes revenge on, his enemies. "... who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and rocks are thrown down by him."
    GA 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit of God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.


    Paradox yes, contradiction no. All through the Bible we have these two sides of God. The
    Bible says "God is love" but it also says "our God is a consuming fire". The book of Romans puts it the best:

    "Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off." - Romans 11:22

    And no, tenorjedi, "Maybe God has good days and bad like we do." - that's not the case at all.


    EX 3:20-22, DT 20:13-17 God instructs the Israelites to despoil the Egyptians, to plunder their enemies.
    EX 20:15, 17, LE 19:13 God prohibits stealing, defrauding, or robbing a neighbour


    Good que
  7. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Gandolf's point also falls into the national/personal laws thing:

    Is it "an eye for an eye" or "turn the other cheek?"

    It's an eye for an eye in a court of law, but you are to turn the other cheek in your day-to-day business.
  8. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Here's one:

    Matthew 19:26

    With God all things are possible.

    Judges 1:19

    And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

    This is a God who can level the world and move the sun, but he can't defeat a horse and buggy? I think the most likely explanation is that the tribe of Judah lost the battle, then chalked up their loss to God's inability and wrote it down accordingly.
  9. Estelita Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 2
    I have heard of this contradiction:

    "...God commanded...'let the air be filled with birds'... 'and now we will make human beings.' So he created them, male and female." (Gen. 1:20 and 26)

    "It is not suitable for the man to live alone... so he took some soil from the ground and made all the animals and birds." (Gen. 2:18-19)

    The point here is that one part says that first birds were created, then humans. Another part says that first one man was created, and then birds.

    Of course, it could be explained that he created some birds before he made a man, and then later on he created some more birds. However, the second passage implies that he didn't create the birds until after the man... any explanations?
  10. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    The reigning theory on that one is that Genesis was compiled from the works of at least two writers, who were unaware or unmindful of one another.
  11. keiran_helcyan Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 1999
    star 4
    "The reigning theory on that one is that Genesis was compiled from the works of at least two writers, who were unaware or unmindful of one another."

    I've actually heard of this theory before and it makes a strange amount of sence. The basic idea was there were two authors of the book (one in Judah and one in Israel) who both wrote there own ideas on what were popular culture stories. This accounts for why when reading the book of Genesis one will sometimes notice certain aspects of stories being repeated (especially the early stories like Adam and Noah). Then the book I read went on to assume that a prophet (possibly Jeremiah, or a group of levites) combined these two books and published them: the biblical support of this theory being the discovery of "the books of the law" during the reign of Josiah the good king of Judah.

    Not necessarily 100% fact, but a very interesting point of view. I believe the book was called "Who wrote the Bible" or something like that.
  12. Nrf-Hrdr Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2000
    star 4
    Here's a to-the-point list of contradictions you guys might want to use for reference.
  13. DESERTJEDI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2001
    star 4
    I'm not sure if this is in there or not, but why do most christians believe the earth is only a few thousand years old?

    Where were all the pre-historic animals in all of this creation?

    The neanderthals, cro-magnon?
  14. womberty Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    Here's mine:

    God is supposed to be omnipotent. He created everything, even the angels.

    That must include the angel Lucifer.

    Lucifer developed a desire to be greater than God. He envied God.

    How could one of God's creations conceive of such a thing? How could a creation, who knew the power and omnipotence of his Creator, ever think that it was possible to be greater than the almighty God?

    How could he have become evil and rebelled against God? Lucifer/Satan is attributed with introducing evil to mankind, but who introduced evil to Lucifer?

    If God was omnipotent, and everything that ever happened went according to his will, how could one of his creatures rebel against him? Did he not have control over his own creation?

    Also, I believe somewhere in the New Testament it says that angels don't have free will. If that's so, then how could Lucifer have decided to beome more powerful to God?
  15. womberty Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    I'm not sure if this is in there or not, but why do most christians believe the earth is only a few thousand years old?

    Someone/some people went through the geneaology (sp?) of Christ and used that to estimate the age of the earth. You know, Adam lived 930 years and begat Seth, etc., etc. I think there were a few somewhere in the middle without any ages given, but they allowed ~40-80 years for those guys or something.

    And, to back it up, they'll tell you something like: It takes a thousand years for an inch of dust to accumulate on the moon. You know how deep the dust is on the moon? 6 inches.


    Where were all the pre-historic animals in all of this creation?

    All animals that ever lived, were created during the first six days. Dinosaurs must have been killed off by the great Flood, or stopped living as long (just like men stopped living 900+ years) and so they just didn't get as big.

    Don't believe it? Ask someone for the photograph of the fossil with a human footprint on the imprint of a trilobite (sp? again).

    The neanderthals, cro-magnon?

    My mother told me those were the retarded and otherwise disabled people who were killed first (at lower levels) in the Flood. The were too stupid or physically unable to run for higher ground.


    The more serious Biblical scholars may feel free to correct any of this.


    And now, for an amusing diversion: guess which fundamentalist religion I was raised with? Be specific!
  16. womberty Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    The Bible has certainly been misused - even the KKK quote it. But edited - no way.

    Are you sure?

    What do you call different revisions, such as NKJV, NIV, etc.? Care to hear the list of "missing" verses?

    Or, for fun - compare the Catholic Bible's list of Ten Commandments to the ones in the KJV.

    Bonus points to the first person to find the missing Commandment!
  17. Ender Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 1998
    star 6
    All animals that ever lived, were created during the first six days. Dinosaurs must have been killed off by the great Flood, or stopped living as long (just like men stopped living 900+ years) and so they just didn't get as big.

    Don't believe it? Ask someone for the photograph of the fossil with a human footprint on the imprint of a trilobite (sp? again).


    It's supposedly a dino footprint with a human one imprinted in it. It's bogus as it looks like a tree trunk outline not a dino footprint. It's been dismissed by palaeontologists.
  18. womberty Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    I think that Cain's heart and attitide weren't right when he offered his sacrifice so God rejected it. His bad attitude is then demonstrated by the fact he then killed his brother.

    Cain offered vegetables he had grown - his own work. It was a show of pride, not a sacrifice.
    Abel offered a lamb, a blood sacrifice as commanded by God to symbolize God's offering of Jesus to occur some 4,000 years later. He acted in obedience to God, whereas Cain acted in defiance.

    (or something like that.)
  19. womberty Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    It's supposedly a dino footprint with a human one imprinted in it. It's bogus as it looks like a tree trunk outline not a dino footprint. It's been dismissed by palaeontologists.

    actually, come to think of it, maybe it was a dino footprint, human footprint, and trilobite footprint all together. There was a black-and-white photo in one of the books I read (sort of).
  20. cydonia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    womberty, the answer you are always going to get is free will. God didn't want lucifer to love him because he was forced, he wanted lucifer to love him because he wanted to. That's why God created evil, so he could be loved more genuinely.(yes, even if he saw the whole thing coming from a mile away.) This is the answer i always get, and it just doesn't satisfy.
  21. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    "God is supposed to be omnipotent. He created everything, even the angels.

    That must include the angel Lucifer.

    Lucifer developed a desire to be greater than God. He envied God.

    How could one of God's creations conceive of such a thing? How could a creation, who knew the power and omnipotence of his Creator, ever think that it was possible to be greater than the almighty God?

    How could he have become evil and rebelled against God? Lucifer/Satan is attributed with introducing evil to mankind, but who introduced evil to Lucifer?

    If God was omnipotent, and everything that ever happened went according to his will, how could one of his creatures rebel against him? Did he not have control over his own creation?"



    First of all, the passage that mentions Lucifer is speaking of a Babylonion king, I believe. Some people have simply used this passage to describe the origins of Satan, and who knows. The passage may be referring to Satan's origins. I highly doubt though that this Lucifer is the fallen angel, now named Satan. Let's just say the traditional view is correct though. How could one of God's creations, who knew God's power and authority, rebel against Him, you ask? Well, how could man, who knew God and His power, seeing as how God walked with him, have rebelled against Him? God gave Adam to choose, and I don't see how it would be any different for Lucifer. But that's just asuming the angels had free will. You seem to think there's a verse that says they don't. For the discussion's sake, do you think you could post the verse, womberty?


    "And now, for an amusing diversion: guess which fundamentalist religion I was raised with? Be specific!"


    By specific, I'm assuming you mean that the fundamentalist religion you were raised with has many different factions, or denominations. I'm going to assume that you are, or were, a Methodist? Just a wild guess. ;)




  22. IellaWessiriNRI Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2001
    star 4
    This is a God who can level the world and move the sun, but he can't defeat a horse and buggy? I think the most likely explanation is that the tribe of Judah lost the battle, then chalked up their loss to God's inability and wrote it down accordingly.

    God is omnipotent. It says "And the Lord was with Judah..." and then it says "but they could not drive out..." Basically, God was with them for the battle, but He didn't choose to give them this particular victory, and they lost because their enemy happened to have chariots of iron.



    However, the second passage implies that he didn't create the birds until after the man... any explanations?

    What version are you quoting from?

    Genesis 2: 19 (NIV)
    "Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground..."

    It's in past tense.


    I'm not sure if this is in there or not, but why do most christians believe the earth is only a few thousand years old?

    Bishop Usser. He's the guy that basically tried to figure out how old the earth is from, as mentioned before, the genealogies of Christ. What he failed to take into account is
    1. The fact that some names might have been ommitted, and
    2. Different lifespans.


    If God was omnipotent, and everything that ever happened went according to his will, how could one of his creatures rebel against him? Did he not have control over his own creation?

    He is omnipotent. He certainly could have stopped Satan from rebellion, but He inserted into His creation this concept of free will. Lucifer was given a choice, and he chose to rebel against God. Where in the NT does it say that angels aren't given free will?
  23. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    In my experience, the Methodist church isn't all that fundamentalist--in fact, the pastor whose church I once attended was the guy who convinced me that Christianity wasn't all hellfire and damnation.

    EDIT: "It says "And the Lord was with Judah..." and then it says "but they could not drive out..."

    That's one translation, but the verse I cited refers, gramatically, to the Lord.
  24. Obi Wan Bergkamp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 1998
    star 3
    From the 10 Commandments "Thou shalt not kill"

    From somewhere else (sorry, I can't quote chapter & verse) "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"

    Even allowing for Grand Moff Monkey's assertion that killing is allowed on a national level this is a contradiction on a personal level. You mustn't kill, but you must kill witches.
  25. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Ok - hold the phone! Monkey's back!!

    Firstly, Estelita:

    Matthew 19:26
    With God all things are possible.
    Judges 1:19
    And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.


    This is a translation issue. No translation, no matter how close, will ever be perfect. In the Hebrew grammer the pronoun "he" refers to the nearest antecedent "Judah", which didn't come across in the King James version that you quoted from. The New King James version and other modern translations do pick up on it and translate it in a clearer way.

    The New King James translates Judges 1:19 as follows: "So the LORD was with Judah. And they drove out the mountaineers, but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland, because they had chariots of iron."

    You said, "I think the most likely explanation is that the tribe of Judah lost the battle, then chalked up their loss to God's inability and wrote it down accordingly.. But I believe that the words of the Bible were inspired by God, so man's opinions do not enter into the narrative.


    Next we have Darth Geist whose Phantom Menace rewrite remains definitive:

    "...God commanded...'let the air be filled with birds'... 'and now we will make human beings.' So he created them, male and female." (Gen. 1:20 and 26)

    "It is not suitable for the man to live alone... so he took some soil from the ground and made all the animals and birds." (Gen. 2:18-19)


    You've actually misqoted the second verse. No translation renders it that way. God does bring the animals to Adam in Chapter 2 for him to name, but doesn't suggest that it was then that they were created.


    Now, over to Womberty...

    I'm not sure if this is in there or not, but why do most christians believe the earth is only a few thousand years old? Where were all the pre-historic animals in all of this creation?

    This really belongs in another thread. If one place in the Bible said that the earth is millions of years old and another place said that it's a few thousand years old, then it would be a contradiction, but this is really another argument altogether. Sorry. :(

    Also your questions about Satan's origin isn't a contradiction, and the Bible nowhere says that angels don't have free will.


    Onto Ender:

    What do you call different revisions, such as NKJV, NIV, etc.? Care to hear the list of "missing" verses?

    Again, this isn't a contradiction, but many people do wonder about this so I'll try my best to explain. When the King James Bible was translated in 1611, they used the earliest Greek and Hebrew manuscipts available to translate from. Since then we have found literally thousands more manuscipts. So if you want to do another translation, it makes sense to go back to the earliest manuscripts.

    There are some verses that were in the later manuscripts that the King James is translated from that are not in the earlier manuscipts. People from this conclude that the later manuscripts must have added stuff that wasn't supposed to be there. I don't think that's true. We have to bear in mind that these manuscripts are hundreds if not thousands of years old. Add to this the fact that Christianity was outlawed in its early days and much of their literature and scriptures were burnt.

    The last section of Mark's gospel and a portion of John Chapter 8 are two of the main bits that are missing in the earlier versions, and the odd verse here or there in other places of the New Testament.

    So two possibilities arise:

    1] The bits that weren't there in the earlier manuscipts were added later. If you go for this, bear in mind that not one single doctrine hangs on any of these verses.

    2] The earliest manuscripts are incomplete or damaged in some way or were not copied fully from their original source, but the later manuscripts were. This is the one I go for personally.

    It is important to note that the "missing" verses
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