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Contradictions in the bible


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#376    Frank Merton

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:05 PM

View PostJ. K., on 08 February 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

Do you find anything in this world to be perfect, either man-made or natural?
Of course not.  The word actually can be shown to lead to self-referential logical contradictions.  I was kinda playing around with these problems as applied to specific Bible and Koranic attitudes.

I have nothing against using the Bible as scripture, so long as it is read as no more than great wisdom from holy men.


#377    J. K.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:30 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 08 February 2013 - 05:05 PM, said:

Of course not.  The word actually can be shown to lead to self-referential logical contradictions.  I was kinda playing around with these problems as applied to specific Bible and Koranic attitudes.

I have nothing against using the Bible as scripture, so long as it is read as no more than great wisdom from holy men.

Thank you, you've given me some interesting ideas to ruminate on.

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#378    IamsSon

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:30 PM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 08 February 2013 - 03:15 AM, said:

As you should well know, there are in fact contradictions that do fall under that definition you posted.
I maintain that any contradictions are there in the reader's mind not actually in the text.  I've been exposed to countless "Biblical contradictions" here in UM, and there are many links to websites full of contradictions and what one finds is that people fail to consider the context.  Each book of the Bible had an original purpose and audience, and understanding the literary forms used in that region at that time, by that culture impact how an author expressed himself.

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If you don't believe me read the other pages in this very thread, or better yet look them up yourself. They are there whether we like them or not. Now I personally find many parts of the bible to be true, just one of the many reasons why it is still needed (and even commanded by Christ) to be there. As I've said, reading the bible is not in any way wrong. However, we cannot as Christians just pass off and/or ignore these harsh realities. It's not shameful in my opinion to accept this. After all, our connection with God is through Christ, not the bible. You can disagree with me all you want, but it won't stop atheists and/or other non-Christians from exploiting that fact and therefore attacking our weakness.
I would encourage you to look at the contradictions and consider the context before accepting the idea that there are valid contradictions.

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Also, There have been in fact numerous accounts from people who have had near death experiences, and many other accounts from people who have written books on how their journeys through life have come around to bringing them to know God. Essentially their lives become bible stories, and they then write down and spread their stories to the world. Tell me, how is that in any way different from many of the stories in bible? Sure, there are many times where people write down laws, rules, and functionalities to abide by as opposed to actual experiences, but there are also many that do. What I've found is that they are eerily similar to accounts told from today. That's why I think we should live our lives and make our own stories to be told to people as well. After all, people are far more likely to believe you and give you much more credibility if you give them first hand living accounts of God's work as opposed to "because that's what the bible says."
Given that the Scriptures are God-breathed, they hold a very different status than any other accounts, no matter how similar or dissimilar they are.  It seems maybe you've dismissed the Bible too soon.  I would encourage you to study it, don't just read it.  Spend time analyzing, finding out what words and phrases meant at the time they were written, why an author would have used particular literary forms, etc.

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When you say  "It is through studying and analyzing the Bible, seeking to truly understand the context while seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we truly learn what an awesome being God is." I have to say yes I agree, but that isn't all that it takes. I can tell you first hand all the ways I've learned how awesome God is simply be stating experiences in my own life, much less the many other experiences fellow Christians have had out there. People are much more willing to come to God and believe in his true power and glory when they're able to see his great power and his miracles first hand, as well as have first hand accounts of his great and wonderous miracles. These things happen every day, many of which are overlooked and taken for granted. What you said there makes sense, and I agree with it entirely. All I'm saying is that it doesn't stop there. We must have faith and be willing to take the next steps in order to commune with God and accomplish his great will.
I agree, a knowledge of God, his love, mercy, grace, and power requires more than just studying the Bible.  A deep, personal relationship with Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is fantastically important and fulfilling, but given that God encouraged the deep study of Scripture, given that Jesus Himself displayed an incredible knowledge of Scripture, given that so many of the false practices that "Christians" fall into are due to the fact that they have little to no understanding of what is actually written in the Bible, we should not diminish the importance of spending time in prayerful study of His Word.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#379    Menti2

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:34 PM

The bible was written by man. Other man changed and misused it to gain power over others (referring to the Church). Those who actually consider the Bible to be something worth taking a look at, are probably not scientist. They are either 'brainwashed' by their belief or just interrested in what is written in there.


#380    David Henson

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:56 PM

View PostMenti2, on 12 February 2013 - 11:34 PM, said:

The bible was written by man. Other man changed and misused it to gain power over others (referring to the Church). Those who actually consider the Bible to be something worth taking a look at, are probably not scientist. They are either 'brainwashed' by their belief or just interrested in what is written in there.

This is a bold and baseless assumption commonly made by uninformed critics of the Bible. I know of respected scientists who are Bible teachers in their spare time. From the Father of science, Sir Isaac Newton, to modern day geologist, Kenneth Lloyd Tanaka; molecular biologist, Paula Kincheloe; theoretical physicist, Enrique Hernandez-Lemus . . . Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig, who has worked with the genetic mutation in plants for 28 years, and Byron Leon Meadows, from the NASA field of laser physics. All (with the exception of Newton, of course) ministers in the Christian congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Edited by David Henson, 13 February 2013 - 06:03 PM.

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#381    IamsSon

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:02 PM

View PostMenti2, on 12 February 2013 - 11:34 PM, said:

The bible was written by man. Other man changed and misused it to gain power over others (referring to the Church). Those who actually consider the Bible to be something worth taking a look at, are probably not scientist. They are either 'brainwashed' by their belief or just interrested in what is written in there.
I'm sure it's easier to dismiss Christianity if you tell yourself those who believe are simply brainwashed, uneducated morons, but history does not support your view.  There are many scientists, philosophers, and inventors who were Christians and even today there are many great intellectuals who are Christians.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#382    Menti2

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:06 PM

View PostDavid Henson, on 13 February 2013 - 05:56 PM, said:

This is a bold and baseless assumption commonly made by uninformed critics of the Bible. I know of respected scientists who are Bible teachers in their spare time. From the Father of science, Sir Isaac Newton, to modern day geologist, Kenneth Lloyd Tanaka; molecular biologist, Paula Kincheloe; theoretical physicist, Enrique Hernandez-Lemus . . . Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig, who has worked with the genetic mutation in plants for 28 years, and Byron Leon Meadows, from the NASA field of laser physics. All (with the exception of Newton, of course) ministers in the Christian congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Well forgive my ignorance, but still, my point is that the Bible is not a book one would get information from if they would want to study our fysical world. The contradictions being a part of the reason for that. Also I'm not saying there's nothing usefull written in there, its just a (often missused) tool.


#383    Menti2

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:19 PM

View PostIamsSon, on 13 February 2013 - 06:02 PM, said:

I'm sure it's easier to dismiss Christianity if you tell yourself those who believe are simply brainwashed, uneducated morons, but history does not support your view.  There are many scientists, philosophers, and inventors who were Christians and even today there are many great intellectuals who are Christians.

I'm not saying Christians are uneducated morons. Besides 'a Christian' is just another person who has a different belief, they are equally capable of being a great intellectual. I'm just implying that those who take the Bible as their OLNY truth and ONLY way of living, are probably not those great intellectuals.


#384    IamsSon

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:19 PM

View PostMenti2, on 13 February 2013 - 07:06 PM, said:

Well forgive my ignorance, but still, my point is that the Bible is not a book one would get information from if they would want to study our fysical world. The contradictions being a part of the reason for that. Also I'm not saying there's nothing usefull written in there, its just a (often missused) tool.
Bravo!  I completely agree with your statement.  The Bible is not meant to be a scientific treatise on anything, and anyone attempting to use it as such is misusing a valuable document (tool), much as anyone attempting to use the scientific process to define what reality is are misusing that wonderful tool.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#385    Sherapy

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:30 PM

View PostMenti2, on 12 February 2013 - 11:34 PM, said:

The bible was written by man. Other man changed and misused it to gain power over others (referring to the Church). Those who actually consider the Bible to be something worth taking a look at, are probably not scientist. They are either 'brainwashed' by their belief or just interrested in what is written in there.

I think you bring in a viable point--that looking at the bible with a critical lens, with the inner freedom to question and allow for the insights and meanings/contradictions that may come as a result, are an aspect of bible interpretation. IMO-- How one applies the literal interpretation of the bible can help me guage the depth of understanding one has. I can tell where one is at or not and would avoid blanket statements that the bible is not a tool worth looking at.

For ex: A freind of mine initaitlly decided to be religious for his Dad's sake. I could tell this by the things he was saying (especially about the things in the bible in specific.) It was clear to me he was at an obedient/literalist mindset/place. His words told me where he was at in his understanding and I was able to connect with him at a place we could relate based on this. Time has passed and he is questioning and is allowing his own sense of inner freedom to guide him, I can tell this by the things he says now, the contradctions he is spotting--(spotting contradicitons is a sure sign of questioning)  a growth oriented mindset.  I can observe how he is applying his understanding to these ideas, by his bible interpretations now. I think ones depth, understanding, & awareness can be evident in the way they interpret things.  


Another ex: I have a dear friend who is not practicing relgion at all  yet is passionate about studying the bible from many perspectives and by her interpretations of the bible it is clear to me she has a level of unconditonal, inclusive, and tolerance that is inspiring.

Edited by Sherapy, 13 February 2013 - 07:41 PM.




#386    IamsSon

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:50 PM

View PostMenti2, on 13 February 2013 - 07:19 PM, said:

I'm not saying Christians are uneducated morons. Besides 'a Christian' is just another person who has a different belief, they are equally capable of being a great intellectual. I'm just implying that those who take the Bible as their OLNY truth and ONLY way of living, are probably not those great intellectuals.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "ONLY truth and ONLY way of living."  are you saying unless Christians also insert say Buddhist or Muslim, or Zen beliefs into their worldview they are not intellectual?

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#387    IamsSon

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:55 PM

View PostSherapy, on 13 February 2013 - 07:30 PM, said:

I think you bring in a viable point--that looking at the bible with a critical lens, with the inner freedom to question and allow for the insights and meanings/contradictions that may come as a result, are an aspect of bible interpretation. IMO-- How one applies the literal interpretation of the bible can help me guage the depth of understanding one has. I can tell where one is at or not and would avoid blanket statements that the bible is not a tool worth looking at.

For ex: A freind of mine initaitlly decided to be religious for his Dad's sake. I could tell this by the things he was saying (especially about the things in the bible in specific.) It was clear to me he was at an obedient/literalist mindset/place. His words told me where he was at in his understanding and I was able to connect with him at a place we could relate based on this. Time has passed and he is questioning and is allowing his own sense of inner freedom to guide him, I can tell this by the things he says now, the contradctions he is spotting--(spotting contradicitons is a sure sign of questioning)  a growth oriented mindset.  I can observe how he is applying his understanding to these ideas, by his bible interpretations now. I think ones depth, understanding, & awareness can be evident in the way they interpret things.  


Another ex: I have a dear friend who is not practicing relgion at all  yet is passionate about studying the bible from many perspectives and by her interpretations of the bible it is clear to me she has a level of unconditonal, inclusive, and tolerance that is inspiring.
Spotting contradictions may simply be a sign of bad reading comprehension or inability to understand context.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#388    joc

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:00 PM

View PostIamsSon, on 13 February 2013 - 07:55 PM, said:

Spotting contradictions may simply be a sign of bad reading comprehension or inability to understand context.
Like on one hand where God tells Moses...tell the people Thou Shalt Not Kill...and on the other hand where God tells the Israelites to Kill...even the women and children...you mean those kind of bad reading comprehension skills or just my inability to understand context...

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#389    David Henson

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:01 PM

View PostMenti2, on 13 February 2013 - 07:06 PM, said:

Well forgive my ignorance, but still, my point is that the Bible is not a book one would get information from if they would want to study our fysical world. The contradictions being a part of the reason for that. Also I'm not saying there's nothing usefull written in there, its just a (often missused) tool.

I agree with you that it is often misused, abused, misapplied, etc. but look at it from a more practical than emotional perspective and what you discover is that most unbelievers don't know much more than believers when it comes to the Bible. Rather, though, than educate themselves, both make assumptions that are not necessarily true.

Here are some facts for you to go over. In the Bible it is written that the division between night and day is a product of the luminaries, and thousands of years later science first came up with the idea that this division was caused by vapors from the earth at night and the sky during the day. The Bible said the earth was round and hanging upon nothing 700 years before any one else. It described the hydrological cycle long before science. Up to about 150 years ago a medical professional would think nothing of going from the autopsy table to the birthing room without washing their hands. Had they paid any attention to the Mosaic Law they would never have done such a thing.

People who criticize the Bible, more often than not, don't know the Bible. In order for the misuse of it to diminish there needs to be an effort to educate, without religiosity.

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#390    David Henson

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:06 PM

View PostMenti2, on 13 February 2013 - 07:19 PM, said:

I'm not saying Christians are uneducated morons. Besides 'a Christian' is just another person who has a different belief, they are equally capable of being a great intellectual. I'm just implying that those who take the Bible as their OLNY truth and ONLY way of living, are probably not those great intellectuals.

I don't know. If I were honest I would have to admit that I think most Christians I have met are morons. The same would be applied to atheists, agnostics . . . people . . . including myself. But at the same time, I can tell you I have never seen any other thing, effort, work, that compares to the accuracy and harmony of the Bible. Every singe contradiction I have ever been presented with, and there have been thousands, have been a product of, to a greater extent, misinterpretation and to a lesser extent, to mistranslation.

Now, there are contradictions and spurious scriptures and I know where those are, but I've never been presented any authentic contradictions by skeptics.

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