Alleged Contradictions in the Bible

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

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  1. DESERTJEDI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2001
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    I have always wondered why people are so dead set on the events in the bible as "actual", Wouldn't it make more sense to everyones beliefs that it is more or less a guide book, for instance the stories are not fabrications they could be underlying stories to prove a point.

    I mean 500 years ago people thought the world was flat and the planet wasn't the center of the universe, and when they all realized it was round did this disprove of a god? no it didn't. So to not believe their was a big flood or dinosaurs around 6000 or 7000 or whenever this took place. Doesn't disprove god either it just disproves the stories in the bible as "actual" fact.

    I have a question, Whats wrong with believing that god created the universe 15 billion years ago and created the earth 4.5 billion years ago created all creatures through evolution? It makes more sense to me that god sculpted his creations by evolution, because wouldn't 1 million years of evolution to god be an insignificant amount of time?

    Alot of scientists believe this to be true, and so do I. true in their own hearts.


    I don't see a problem of realizing the bible is a guide book from god written by people who had no other way of explaining situations divine or not.
  2. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    To be honest with you, DesertJedi, when I became a Christian about seven years back, I did regard the first few chapters of Genesis the way that you said - as a parable to prove a point. There was one evening about a month or so later that I started reading Genesis, and I was just overwhelmed - I knew it was all true! I can't explain it in any more rational terms than that, I'm afraid.

    The bible definately is God's guide book, as you say, but I believe with all my heart that the events that it talks about actually took place.

    Paul puts it best when talking about how the biblical events of the past can guide us:

    1 Corinthians 10:11 - These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.
  3. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "To be honest, I'd just encourage you to read them for yourself."

    Oh, I have. I wouldn't be here debating if I hadn't. ;)
  4. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "1] Not all the facts are included

    2] The things that are included are there for a particular purpose..."

    Granted.

    If Verse A says "God likes pepperoni," and Verse B says "God likes onions," then it's easy to accept that He likes them both (at least according to what's written).

    But when Verse A says "God likes pepperoni" and Verse B says "God hates pepperoni," what then?
  5. DESERTJEDI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2001
    star 4
    Mmmmmmmmmm..

    pepperoni.
  6. Palpazzar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
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    "I have a question, Whats wrong with believing that god created the universe 15 billion years ago and created the earth 4.5 billion years ago created all creatures through evolution?"

    There is a theological reason. If evolution occured, then death existed before sin. This is in contrast to what the Bible says. It also seemly negates the need for Christ to die since his death was about sin/death. Basically, death came because of sin thus no evolution (from less advanced to more advanced).

    However, I will say that it is an issue that could be reconciled if it had to be in light of future evidence. This would not be backtracking either. We do not know the mechanisms used by God to create the world. If evidence for evoultion was found, then we would be able to work from there. For now, we only have the metaphysical view.
  7. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    There is a theological reason. If evolution occured, then death existed before sin. This is in contrast to what the Bible says. It also seemly negates the need for Christ to die since his death was about sin/death. Basically, death came because of sin thus no evolution.

    This is a perfect example of what I have been saying for a long time... It's very important that one doesn't put their book above their god. God's abilities, if one believes in a god, cannot be expressed completely within the contents of one book.

    Furthermore, to say that "Because the Bible said so... God couldn't have done this..." is extremely backward reasoning. God came before the book did, and God would still be God had there been no book. If you believe otherwise, then all you're doing is underestimating the omnipotence of God, or whatever you choose to use as a word to define the powers that be.

    Creation, which has never been proven by any scientific means... does not preclude evolution. Why?

    1. Creation deals with the idea of the origin of the world. In addition, the idea of creation was formulated at a time when very little was known by its proponents about the universe.

    2. Evolution does not deal with the origins of the entire universe... or the process by which the universe came into being. It only deals with life as we know it. In addition, evolution is not linear... This is a common misconception put forth by creationists. For example, a creationist might ask why there are apes existing concomitantly with humans when evolutionists contend we descended from primates.

    Well, evolution isn't linear... that means that just because humans exist, doesn't mean that every ape magically evolved into humans, and it doesn't mean that those who didn't never reproduced and evolved along separate lines... it also doesn't mean that apes that exist today are identical to the predecessors who gave rise to Homo sapiens.

    The idea that evolution contradicts creation is utter crap, spawned at a time when even the structure of DNA was unknown. The primary difference is that creation theory requires no scientific proof, only faith... and therefore, comparing a matter of faith to something that has withstood one hundred years of scientific scrutiny is less like comparing apples and oranges, and more like comparing table lamps and oranges.

    The backwards logic of saying that evolution can't exist because that would make the Bible a paradox ignores the fact that many of the dogmatic assumptions of the past have been proven to be paradox, or misinterpretations of the Bible's, and Jesus' teachings. Therefore, I submit that this notion, and this line of reasoning... is utter crap, and wouldn't be given two minutes in a serious scientific debate... especially considering its proponents generally have little or no understanding of the skepticism under which evolution has survived. By contrast, creationism, and other theories put forth by church dogma (such as the flatness of the earth, bloodletting as ethical medicine, etc) have continuously been challenged and failed the requisite of empirical proof that is required to put forth any kind of scientific theory.

    I seriously question the scientific prowess of any theologian or scholar who even attempts to submit the backwards argument of "A Theory in the Bible is more correct than a theory that has withstood 100 years of investigation, scrutiny and repeated observation, just because the Bible says it is."

    For now, my recommendation to the evolutionists is to ignore the circular logic of creation theory... only to regard it as a completely valid matter of opinion and faith, to which anyone is certainly entitled... nothing less, nothing more.

    I would recommend to the creationists that, before setting forth on a journey to prove creation... recognize that it would never be taken seriously in any court of scientific opinion if a theory cannot be proven on its own merits, but merely pointing at alleged holes in the other views. It only makes one look less credible, and less intellig
  8. IellaWessiriNRI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2001
    star 4
    Let's not turn this into a creation-evolution debate.



    up
  9. TragicLad Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    A story does not have to be literal in order to convey truth. A story can be just that, a story, and yet convey a great theological or philosophical truth.

    Those who choose to read the bible as if it were writ by a NYTimes fact checker, miss much of the beauty and meaning that lies behind the text.

    just my humble opinion.
  10. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    What possible beauty can there be though unless it actually happened?

    What's the beauty of God himself becoming a human being out love for us if it never literally happened? What's the beauty of God providing for his people in a desert if he's never done it? See what I mean?

    By the Bible's own confession, Christianity stands or falls on the actual, literal resurrection of Jesus:

    1 Corinthians 15:14-15: "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised."




  11. DESERTJEDI Jedi Master

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    May 18, 2001
    star 4
  12. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    "What's the beauty of God himself becoming a human being out love for us if it never literally happened? What's the beauty of God providing for his people in a desert if he's never done it? See what I mean?"

    What's the beauty of an evil dude turning good and throwing an eviler guy down a shaft to save his son? I'm pretty sure that didn't happen, but it still makes a nice story. See what I mean?
  13. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    That's a good point, Saint.


    But I'm pretty sure that Anakin hasn't done much for me. Jesus has though.
  14. DESERTJEDI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2001
    star 4
    LINK



    Then what does this mean?

  15. TragicLad Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    >>What possible beauty can there be though unless it actually happened?<<

    When Christ told of the good samaritan, do you think it really mattered if such a person as the samaritan actually existed or not for Christ's words to have meaning and beauty?

    Skip back a little in Corinthians and you will see that it writ that it is the spirit of the word, not the letter that is of import.

    All stories are true, though not all stories happened.
  16. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    I believe that many of the stories of the Bible are parables, stories to prove a point... just wanted to add that.


    There's too many contradictions and variations for me to believe otherwise.
  17. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    There's too many contradictions and variations for me to believe otherwise.

    This is exactly the reason I started this thread. People just assume that the Bible contains contradictions, but 115 posts later there's not been a single one that can't be explained.

    Too many contradictions? All I wanted was for someone to name one. Just one.
  18. TragicLad Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    I present to you, Dan Baker's Easter Challenge:
    "In each of the four Gospels, begin at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul's tiny version of the story in I Corinthians 15:3-8. These 165 verses can be read in a few moments. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension: what happened first, second, and so on; who said what, when; and where these things happened.

    Since the gospels do not always give precise times of day, it is permissible to make educated guesses. The narrative does not have to pretend to present a perfect picture--it only needs to give at least one plausible account of all of the facts. Additional explanation of the narrative may be set apart in parentheses. The important condition to the challenge, however, is that not one single biblical detail be omitted."


    Specificly
    What time did the women visit the tomb?
    Who were the women?
    What was their purpose?
    Was the tomb open when they arrived?
    Who was at the tomb when they arrived?
    Where were these messengers situated?
    What did the messenger(s) say?
    Did the women tell what happened?
    When Mary returned from the tomb, did she know Jesus had been resurrected?
    When did Mary first see Jesus?
    Could Jesus be touched after the resurrection?
    After the women, to whom did Jesus first appear?
    Where did Jesus first appear to the disciples?
    Did the disciples believe the two men?
    What happened at the appearance?
    Did Jesus stay on earth for a while?
    Where did the ascension take place?
  19. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Cool, sounds like fun.

    I'm on it. I should reply in the next couple of days.


  20. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Ok, I?ve had a go at TragicLad?s Easter Challenge, to reconcile the Resurrection accounts from the New Testament without leaving anything out.

    Even when it all fits together like this, it's still quite time consuming.

    Firstly, let?s bear a few things in mind:

    1] None of the gospels give what is meant to be a complete picture of all the events. In Luke 24:34, Cleopas refers to Jesus having appeared to Peter earlier that day, but it?s something we never see or know the circumstances surrounding it. (Paul also refers to it in 1 Corinthians 15:5 giving no detail surrounding it.)

    2] The different accounts actually complete each other rather than contradict. Mark 16:12-13 refers to Jesus appearing to two disciples who are walking in the country, but only in Luke 24 do we find the complete details of this encounter. Although different parts of the story are mentioned by the different writers (you can see below how long the story is, so it needed editting), there's not one single detail in any of the accounts that contradict another.

    3] In John?s account (John 20), it?s Mary Magdalene who comes to Peter and John, but she says, ?we don?t know where they have put him!? So from John?s gospel alone, it?s clear that Mary with a group went to the tomb, although only she is mentioned by name.


    So, below we have as far to complete as we can get of the events:

    (Summaries are in bold, scripture references in italics ? all are accounted for, and my additional comments in parentheses.)


    Jesus is resurrected. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15: 3-4)

    The women journey to the tomb. After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James), Salome, Joanna and others who are unnamed went to look at the tomb, and brought spices so that they might anoint Jesus? body. (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:1) (The women possibly met each other along the way)

    The Earthquake. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. (Matt 28:2-4) (This was before the women actually get there; it may even have happened before they actually set out.)

    The women arrive at the tomb. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus (Mark 16:2-4; Luke 24:1-3; John 20:1)

    The women see an angel. As they entered the tomb, they saw an angel (who appeared to be) a young man (the Bible uses the terms man and angels interchangeably) dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples and Peter: `He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." (Matt 28:5-7; Mark 16:5-7)

    Mary Magdalene leaves. (As the other women ponder this, Mary runs off on her own) She comes running to Peter and John and says, ?They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don?t know where they have put him!? (John 20:2)

    Two more angels appear before the women. (The other women are still either in the tomb or around that area.) While they were wondering about this, suddenly two me
  21. TragicLad Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    Kudos for a very good attempt at harmonizing the events, however there are a couple of issues...

    Why would the women be bringing spices to annoint the body when that had already been done? (John 19:39-40)

    My reading of Matthew suggests that the women were present at the time of the Earthquake. The angel addresses the women, telling them not to fear. This occurs after the guards shaking with fear and apparently fainting dead away. If the women were not there - who then would have witnessed this event? Wouldn't you find it odd for the gospel of Matthew to include events that no one witnessed (an earthquake, the guard's fear), yet excludes all the multiple appearances of Jesus to the deciples prior to their witnessing him in Galilee.

    On the one hand, you're saying that Mary Magdeline returned alone running into Peter who returns with her to the tomb, and that the women said nothing out of fear - yet Luke 24:10 tells us that Mary along with the other women, talks to all of the disciples, at which point Peter runs to the tomb to see for himself. Do you honestly see Peter running to the tomb twice in that day?

    Should I go on?
  22. Palpazzar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    It seems to me that the women left early in the morning. As they were on their way, the earthquake happened, guards were taken care of, and the stone rolled away. When the women got to the tomb, Mary Magdalene ran immediately to find Peter while the other women went in. They saw the angels but did not immediately go to tell anyone. Later, they did go to tell. Mary Magdalene had already told about it, and with the additional testimony of the women, Peter and John went to see.
  23. TragicLad Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    But why would one gospel report that the women said nothing while the other three report that they told the disciples?

    Would that not be a contradiction?
  24. Palpazzar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    That is simple. Mark only says that they told no one, but it doesn't say it stayed that way. The language is such that they leave the tomb and tell no one immediately. Matthew says they were afraid yet filled with joy. Becuase of their fear, there first reaction was to say nothing. Afterall, who would believe them anyway? But their joy overcame that and they finally went to tell. Mark just cuts the narrative off a little earlier.
  25. IellaWessiriNRI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2001
    star 4
    Bravo, G_M_M and Palpazzar.

    Before I return to Biology and AP US history (bleh), let me point this out: in a way, these minor "discrepancies" between the different books of the Bible can be seen as only furthering its validity. If all accounts of Jesus' resurrection were exactly in harmony, wouldn't you wonder hmm... maybe they were all fabricated by the same person? Instead, because there are differences in POV, it is more likely that the resurrection actually happened, and that each author is telling the story as he experienced it, or from his understanding of it.
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