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Contradictions in the bible

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Someone implied that the Bible was written by people who had vastly different thinking process from modern, contemporary humans. I agree with that.

Humans are not born with logic and consistency. They are learned behaviors. It took thousands years to reach the current level of logic and consistency, but being human and all many of us haven't attained the level of intellectual enlightenment.

That being said, I see the Bible as a product of purely human elements. The main virtue of the Bible is to show us how barbaric and archaic we once were. Nothing more.

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That being said, I see the Bible as a product of purely human elements. The main virtue of the Bible is to show us how barbaric and archaic we once were. Nothing more.

:D Maybe that's the main virtue of all literature, and not just how barbaric we once were but also now are.

I don't think anyone claims that the Bible, except for a few small parts, was written by God. The claim is that it was "inspired" by God, and Heaven help me but I've never been able to get a clear idea of what that word "inspired" means if it excludes His writing it. If humans wrote it, then humans with their faults are in it and therefore the book must be fallible, inspired or not. Besides, it uses language, and languages themselves are human and imperfect tools.

I think we can nevertheless think of certain writings as "scripture." Not just the Bible, of course. Treat them as writings by good and wise men that have passed the test of history by surviving and continually being appreciated. Therefore we can use them to inspire us, to teach us, to give us guidance -- but all the time we must remember that they are useful that way, but not final authority about anything.

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Which part of this is metaphorical, contradictory or needs interpretation?-

"Love God, love one another, feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the destitute, tend the sick, visit the prisoners, look after the poor"-Jesus of Nazareth (Mark 12:30, John 13:34, Matt 25: 37-40)

Thanks for those passages.

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Which part of this is metaphorical, contradictory or needs interpretation?-

"Love God, love one another, feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the destitute, tend the sick, visit the prisoners, look after the poor"-Jesus of Nazareth (Mark 12:30, John 13:34, Matt 25: 37-40)

Now they need practice it.

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The stereotype Prophet is the big, bold Charlton Heston type, but that's often far from the truth because many prophets were just ordinary men and women who never asked for the job, and were often scared stiff.

For example even Jesus wasn't much to look at -"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53:2)

And Paul was nothing to write home about -

"For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful, but his appearance is unimpressive, and he speaks poorly" (2 Cor 10:10)

And Moses admitted to being unable to think on his feet-

"O Lord, I have never been eloquent, i'm slow of speech and tongue." (Exodus 4:10)

And Jonah was so scared he refused pointblank to be a prophet and jumped on a ship to escape, bad call -

"Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish." (Jonah 1:3)

And young Jeremiah tried to talk his way out of the job - "Lord i'm no good at speaking, i'm too young and people won't take me seriously" (Jer 1:6)

And Jesus said "Oh God I don't want to die tomorrow, get me out of it if you can" (Matt 26:42)

The moral of all this? - many bible people were as ordinary as you and me..

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I would say that it's because the stories, practices and characters in the Bible are so utterly repulsive to modern people that Christianity simply must steer believers' attention from them to maintain any credibility with its followers. It's painful to read about the Jews committing and celebrating horrific genocides against "foreigners" in Canaan during Joshua's conquests when the Nazis committed the same atrocities against the Jews.

We dealt with Biblical issues like these directly in Hebrew School. Yes, I'm saying the Rabbi asked us directly "How is this any different from the Holocaust?" He didn't argue that these were "metaphorical" genocides as if that would make them acceptable somehow.

I've found that most Christians just ignore these issues and focus on the the parts of the Bible that they like. They've forgotten who Joshua was in the Bible because he wasn't a feel-good character.

I think the whole problem here is ignorance of History. I bet you have never read about human migrations at the cradle of civilization. I am talking about what you refer to as atrocities practiced by Joshua at the conquest of Canaan. That was a time of human migrations in search of a place to settle down. The Hebrews were not the only group involved in this kind of violence. It was the trend of the time. And every group would attribute their achievements to their gods or God. Whenever you get disgusted about what they did thousands of years ago, think of the Indian tribes destroyed by Washington, including women and children in order to remove a problem with the settlement of Europeans. He himself ordered the elimination of a tribe once to remove stiff necked Indians from the "Road of American progress." That's from the book "History According to the People." I bet America doesn't sound so disgusting to you does it? I didn't think so. You see, it is all based on preconceived notions.

Ben

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Which part of this is metaphorical, contradictory or needs interpretation?- "Love God, love one another, feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the destitute, tend the sick, visit the prisoners, look after the poor"-Jesus of Nazareth (Mark 12:30, John 13:34, Matt 25: 37-40)

"Love God" is metaphorical to "know God." Love is an emotion. Emotions cannot be commanded.

"Love one another" is metaphorical to "respect one another." No one can love another by being commanded to. It must be felt spontaneously. And for the next instructions suppositely given by Jesus, they are metaphorical to the exercise of charity whenever nees be. To think of all the above in a literal manner would constitute contradiction to natural human values.

Ben

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Someone implied that the Bible was written by people who had vastly different thinking process from modern, contemporary humans. I agree with that.

Humans are not born with logic and consistency. They are learned behaviors. It took thousands years to reach the current level of logic and consistency, but being human and all many of us haven't attained the level of intellectual enlightenment.

That being said, I see the Bible as a product of purely human elements. The main virtue of the Bible is to show us how barbaric and archaic we once were. Nothing more.

No doubt about that the Bible is the product of human understanding of the need to live in society. But not the result of individual

whims. They all follow a pattern according to the collective ideology, but parochially within the sphere of a particular people. In the case of the Hebrew Bible, the Jewish People. The case is "Preconceived Notions" but of the people whom the Bible comes from.

Ben

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The stereotype Prophet is the big, bold Charlton Heston type, but that's often far from the truth because many prophets were just ordinary men and women who never asked for the job, and were often scared stiff. For example even Jesus wasn't much to look at -"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53:2)

And Paul was nothing to write home about - "For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful, but his appearance is unimpressive, and he speaks poorly" (2 Cor 10:10)

And Moses admitted to being unable to think on his feet- "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, i'm slow of speech and tongue." (Exodus 4:10)

And Jonah was so scared he refused pointblank to be a prophet and jumped on a ship to escape, bad call - "Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish." (Jonah 1:3)

And young Jeremiah tried to talk his way out of the job - "Lord i'm no good at speaking, i'm too young and people won't take me seriously" (Jer 1:6)

And Jesus said "Oh God I don't want to die tomorrow, get me out of it if you can" (Matt 26:42)

The moral of all this? - many bible people were as ordinary as you and me..

Hey Crikey, that was mighty interesting. I would like just to say a few words about two or three of the lines above:

Isaiah 53:2 has nothing to do with Jesus. That's about the Suffering Servant Israel coming out of the desert and to get settled in the Promised Land.

The one about Jonas, nothing was literal. It all happened in a dream of his. That's how the Lord would make His will known to His prophets. (Num. 12:6)

About Jesus in the Gethsemani, it only proves that it was not his will to die on the cross. So, he had to go to the cross against his will. So much for the message that there was willingness in him to die for no one.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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The moral of all this? - many bible people were as ordinary as you and me..

I'd like to point out something about two of them. First was a minor issue, Jonah ran away not because he was scared but because he hated the people of Ninevah and didn't want to bring a message to them that may save them. Still a bad idea, but his motives were not as simple as being scared.

The other issue is Jesus' comment - yes, he did not want to die, no one in their right mind wants to die. However, in the same breath as he says "get me out if you can" (paraphrased, not the exact words) his very next statement is "not my will, but yours". In other words, I don't want to die, but if it is what you want then so shall it be.

Edited by Paranoid Android
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Hey Crikey, that was mighty interesting. I would like just to say a few words about two or three of the lines above:

Isaiah 53:2 has nothing to do with Jesus. That's about the Suffering Servant Israel coming out of the desert and to get settled in the Promised Land.

The one about Jonas, nothing was literal. It all happened in a dream of his. That's how the Lord would make His will known to His prophets. (Num. 12:6)

About Jesus in the Gethsemani, it only proves that it was not his will to die on the cross. So, he had to go to the cross against his will. So much for the message that there was willingness in him to die for no one.

Ben

Dreams are not always mere dreams...

What do you mean, or are you able to explain what you mean in the cross thing that you're trying to suggest about Christ ? Like, where do you get that notion about his will to do so? I recall him saying that The Father and him are one.

I don't just look at Christ as though he had no feelings, that's sort of the feel i get from your decription of his experience.As if he should of just wanted to have gone as though looking so forward to it and receive that brutal punishment and all , and just die a horrific and terrorizing death....No , I know he knew what was to be.

I think it was painful though for him to even face the thought of leaving his Mother and everyone else . I think it was more painful in one sense for him to face leaving this world because he loved everyone more so than giving up his self. Isn't the most powerful thing one can ever do in life is to give of ourselves completley so that somehow a deeper understanding gets through to the masses? maybe i'm not explaining it exactly but I get it where it matters most .

Edited by Reann
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"Love God" is metaphorical to "know God." Love is an emotion. Emotions cannot be commanded.

You've never heard of "anger management"? No, it's not a metaphor.

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Just as various eyewitness to a crime or traffic accident often contradict each other on minor points, the Bible is naturally no different, being written by a vast number of assorted eyewitness to human interaction with offworld beings over thousands of years.

In fact if there were NO contradictions in it, it'd be too squeaky-clean and good to be true!

So, because it contains contradictions it means we can trust it all the more, warts and all.. :)

I like that , where you said if there were no contradictions in it ,it would be too unbelievable.( not in those exact words)

I don't really care to ever nit pick over the bible but...sometimes there are indoviduals who just want to try and create some form of doubt by suggesting that it's all nonesense and made up to control us all, which i don't believe.

If rulers wanted to take control and rule didn't they just do so ? Wouldn't the teachings of Christ ( and others) in the bible contradict the wrongful way Rome and other colonist have taken over land ? I realize that in the old testament there's some chapters that reveal take overs too by some of the tribes of Israel. In doing so they claim that they had no other choice to do so. Honestly though , I find it all strange and I have many questions in my heart especially when I examine the world through the eyes of my heart and soul...there's so much wrong doings (sin) that seem to make it's way into society as if society needs to be accepting of it ..

Edited by Reann
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You've never heard of "anger management"? No, it's not a metaphor.

whatever it is, it's real. To love God is to know God. What are you suggesting about anger managment classes ??? maybe or most likely if someone truly loved and lived in love* which is the source of God .... they wouldn't need anger management class, right? Right.....

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..sometimes there are indoviduals who just want to try and create some form of doubt by suggesting that it's all nonesense and made up to control us all, which i don't believe...

Yes, it's easy to beat the doubters in debates!

For example on the one hand they say the Bible has been edited and censored over the centuries to make it look good, then in their next breath they say it's full of contradictions! Wish they'd make up their minds.. ;)

And this verse squashes their argument that the Bible is all about 'control'-

"Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:2-3)

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Isaiah 53:2 has nothing to do with Jesus. That's about the Suffering Servant Israel coming out of the desert and to get settled in the Promised Land.

I assume you're Jewish mate which is why you prefer to think that doesn't refer to Jesus?

If you care to glance at more of Isaiah ch 53 you'll see that the prophecy continues at considerable length, and leaves no doubt whatsoever that Isaiah was talking about Jesus-

"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,

nothing in his appearance that we should desire him,

He was despised and rejected by mankind,

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,

But he was pierced for our transgressions,

and by his wounds we are healed.

the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;

for the transgression of my people he was punished.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,

though he had done no violence,nor was any deceit in his mouth.

For he bore the sin of many..."

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The one about Jonas, nothing was literal. It all happened in a dream of his. That's how the Lord would make His will known to His prophets. (Num. 12:6)

About Jesus in the Gethsemani, it only proves that it was not his will to die on the cross. So, he had to go to the cross against his will. So much for the message that there was willingness in him to die for no one.

Firstly, Jonah received word from God that he wanted him to be a prophet. that word may have come in a dream, but then he woke up and ran away in terror-

"The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish"...

Secondly, Jesus knew all along that he was going to die, for example when he and his disciples approached Jerusalem he said "they're going to kill me in there" but he still went in.(Matt 20:18)

In the dead of night in Gethsemane when his disciples fell asleep he was racked with loneliness, so no wonder he asked God to remove the bitter cup from him.

But as Paranoid Android pointed out, he didn't want to die but still said to God -but if it is what you want then so shall it be.

PS- And to those who say the Bible has been edited, censored and prettied up over the centuries to make it look good, why didn't the translators say "Quick, cut out that bit where Jesus asks God to remove the bitter cup, it makes him look too weak and human!"

The fact that nobody cut it out just proves once again that the Bible can be trusted to give us the true story without any editing.. :)

Edited by Crikey
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Crikey said- Which part of this is metaphorical, contradictory or needs interpretation?- "Love God, love one another, feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the destitute, tend the sick, visit the prisoners, look after the poor"-Jesus of Nazareth (Mark 12:30, John 13:34, Matt 25: 37-40)

"Love God" is metaphorical to "know God." Love is an emotion. Emotions cannot be commanded.

"Love one another" is metaphorical to "respect one another." No one can love another by being commanded to. It must be felt spontaneously. And for the next instructions suppositely given by Jesus, they are metaphorical to the exercise of charity whenever nees be. To think of all the above in a literal manner would constitute contradiction to natural human values.

Ha ha, so you're telling us Jesus didn't really mean it when he said "Love God, love one another, feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the destitute, tend the sick, visit the prisoners, look after the poor" ?.. :)

You say doing stuff like that is against "natural human values".

Yes but Jesus wants us to overcome our base ungodly human values, we're not- "brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed" (2 Peter 2:12)

Edited by Crikey
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And this verse squashes their argument that the Bible is all about 'control'-

"Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:2-3)

Unfortunately saying and doing are two different things. You can read and write as many scriptures as you want, it doesn't mean people will actually follow them.

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Yes but Jesus wants us to overcome our base ungodly human values, we're not- "brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed" (2 Peter 2:12)

I highly agree with this statement. The whole "It's against human nature" argument means nothing to me. If God is a spiritual being, and we are to be like the Angels in heaven as Christ said, that means we are to in some sense "evolve" into a higher and better type of being. The whole point of Christ's message is for us to adhere to the spiritual as opposed to the physical. Essentially, if we act like humans and think like human, then we are doomed to fail like a human.

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Crikey said- And this verse squashes their argument that the Bible is all about 'control'-

"Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:2-3)

Unfortunately saying and doing are two different things. You can read and write as many scriptures as you want, it doesn't mean people will actually follow them.

Yes, we know there are some lousy so-called christians, ministers, pastors and churches around because Jesus said so himself.

They can't get under his radar so don't let them get under yours..;)

Jesus said- "Not all who call me "Lord,Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven. Then I'll tell them plainly, I never knew you, get away from me" (Matt 7:21-23)

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.You will know them by their fruits... every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit...Therefore by their fruits you'll know them" (Matt 7:15-20)

"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Cor 11:13/14)

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Crikey said- Jesus wants us to overcome our base ungodly human values, we're not- "brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed" (2 Peter 2:12)

I highly agree with this statement. The whole "It's against human nature" argument means nothing to me. If God is a spiritual being, and we are to be like the Angels in heaven as Christ said, that means we are to in some sense "evolve" into a higher and better type of being. The whole point of Christ's message is for us to adhere to the spiritual as opposed to the physical. Essentially, if we act like humans and think like human, then we are doomed to fail like a human.

Yes, locking onto Jesus is the FINAL EVOLUTIONARY STAGE required of humans, and achieving that lock is the ONLY reason for our existence on earth-

Jesus said - "The work God requires is to believe in the one he has sent" (John 6:28 )

"On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you" (John 14:20)

But if somebody isn't locked onto him when their body dies, their soul flies off into a black void. The military parlance for a missile that has no lock is to say that it's "gone stupid"-

"Ungodly men,wandering stars for whom the blackness of darkness is reserved forever" (Jude 1:4-19)

How do we achieve that lock? Easy, simply by wanting to be his friend!

Jesus said - "You're my friends if you follow me. I don't call you servants, but I call you friends"- (John 15:15)

He was a thoroughly nice man, so who on earth wouldn't want to be his friend anyway?

jesus-friends.gif

Edited by Crikey
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Dreams are not always mere dreams...What do you mean, or are you able to explain what you mean in the cross thing that you're trying to suggest about Christ ? Like, where do you get that notion about his will to do so? I recall him saying that The Father and him are one. I don't just look at Christ as though he had no feelings, that's sort of the feel i get from your decription of his experience.As if he should of just wanted to have gone as though looking so forward to it and receive that brutal punishment and all , and just die a horrific and terrorizing death....No , I know he knew what was to be. I think it was painful though for him to even face the thought of leaving his Mother and everyone else . I think it was more painful in one sense for him to face leaving this world because he loved everyone more so than giving up his self. Isn't the most powerful thing one can ever do in life is to give of ourselves completley so that somehow a deeper understanding gets through to the masses? maybe i'm not explaining it exactly but I get it where it matters most .

The notion I am trying to convey about Jesus, I get from his experience in the Gethsemani just prior to being arrested. He prayed three times asking the Lord to take away the cup of the cross from him without his having to drink from it. He meant to say that it was not his will. "Thy will be done but not mine." So, what was Jesus' will? He simply could not walk the "Via Dolorosa;" that's all.

It means he went to the cross against his will. Therefore, why preach around that willingly he put down his life for all of us? All am saying is down in Mat. 26:38,39; Mark 14:36; and Luke 22:42.

Last but not least, I wonder why exaggerate what Jesus went through when millions of Jews during the Holocaust suffered worse and longer than just a few hours. Besides, according to Josephus, the Romans crucified thousands of Jews only in the First Century. I hope you don't think that Jesus was the only Jew crucified by the Romans.

Ben

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You've never heard of "anger management"? No, it's not a metaphor.

I don't know what you are talking about but, whatever it be, anger is also an emotion. In God yes, it is indeed metaphorical. God is not like a man to get angry at another. (Num. 23:19)

Ben

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