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Contradictions in the bible

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If the bible was inspired by the holy spirit of God, why then does God allow those errors to occur? If it really is his chance to communicate with mankind then why would he allow things to be less than perfect?

And questioning a book that major religions are based on, and these religions then go on to kill and destroy people's lives based on this book, is not demeaning it - it's asking for some kind of validation. If you or anyone else is offended by an atheist bringing up this subject then don't get involved with it, believe what you want and let atheists express themselves as they wish. I am merely stating facts about the bible. I haven't placed the 'darkening cave with pits' in the world, God has done this to the world....so the bible says.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world, not the bible.

Christ was the one who was perfect, not the bible.

Christ is the one who died for us, not the bible.

We are to believe in him, not the bible.

We are to follow him, not the bible.

He's who died for our sins, not the bible.

He rose from the dead, not the bible.

He grants the holy spirit, not the bible.

We are to have a loving relationship with him, not the bible.

Salvation is found in him, not the bible.

He is our one and only connection to God, not the bible.

Fact is, the bible is extremely contradictory due to the fact that it was written by a multitude of imperfect men back in the day. It is not shameful aor 'blasphemous' for a follower of Christ to make such a statement, because after all, we Christians are meant to spread the truth. No matter what that may be.

Jesus Christ is alive, he isn't just some old dead guy in the past, he is the literal son of God, who is currently active this very moment. We are to commune with him, be given the holy spirit, and try our best to connect with God and follow Jesus Christ to the best of our ability.

Yes, the bible has caused war and anguish, but only due to our own imperfection, and in our own failing to follow Jesus Christ. Most Christians study the bible as if it were God's words and actions incarnate, when fact is they're not. JESUS CHRIST is God's words and actions incarnate, and we must do our best to follow him. The bible (primarily the four gospels) can be a good resource book as long as you simply take it for what it really is, a collection of books that are honestly not that different from most Christian literature by authors today. Even if the bible were the literal words of God, people can still twist them to sound like whatever. It was just the other day I watched a televangelist attempt to justify his own wealth through scripture, and he did. No prob. There's an argumentative case one could have, and they could just as easily use scripture to back their case up as well. Why do you think there are so many denominations in the world now? They use the exact same scriptures (save mormons and catholics maybe) yet have entirely different interpretations.

People need to stop worrying, and stop analyzing the bible to death. To do so would be no different than believing my own words on this post were God's literal words and then analyze and disect it attempting to find some sort of deeper meaning. They're just my own words expressing What I believe deep down to be right.

Therefore you should make your own words. Gather your own experiences. Commune with God through Jesus Christ in the best way that you can. Learn to interpret God's signs. Love God. Love others. And then go out there and try to do God's work to the best of your own ability...

That's what I believe to be what's best in the heart of a true believing Christian...

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Edited by David Henson

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Jesus Christ is the light of the world, not the bible.

Christ was the one who was perfect, not the bible.

Christ is the one who died for us, not the bible.

We are to believe in him, not the bible.

We are to follow him, not the bible.

He's who died for our sins, not the bible.

He rose from the dead, not the bible.

He grants the holy spirit, not the bible.

We are to have a loving relationship with him, not the bible.

Salvation is found in him, not the bible.

He is our one and only connection to God, not the bible.

Fact is, the bible is extremely contradictory due to the fact that it was written by a multitude of imperfect men back in the day. It is not shameful aor 'blasphemous' for a follower of Christ to make such a statement, because after all, we Christians are meant to spread the truth. No matter what that may be.

Jesus Christ is alive, he isn't just some old dead guy in the past, he is the literal son of God, who is currently active this very moment. We are to commune with him, be given the holy spirit, and try our best to connect with God and follow Jesus Christ to the best of our ability.

Yes, the bible has caused war and anguish, but only due to our own imperfection, and in our own failing to follow Jesus Christ. Most Christians study the bible as if it were God's words and actions incarnate, when fact is they're not. JESUS CHRIST is God's words and actions incarnate, and we must do our best to follow him. The bible (primarily the four gospels) can be a good resource book as long as you simply take it for what it really is, a collection of books that are honestly not that different from most Christian literature by authors today. Even if the bible were the literal words of God, people can still twist them to sound like whatever. It was just the other day I watched a televangelist attempt to justify his own wealth through scripture, and he did. No prob. There's an argumentative case one could have, and they could just as easily use scripture to back their case up as well. Why do you think there are so many denominations in the world now? They use the exact same scriptures (save mormons and catholics maybe) yet have entirely different interpretations.

People need to stop worrying, and stop analyzing the bible to death. To do so would be no different than believing my own words on this post were God's literal words and then analyze and disect it attempting to find some sort of deeper meaning. They're just my own words expressing What I believe deep down to be right.

Therefore you should make your own words. Gather your own experiences. Commune with God through Jesus Christ in the best way that you can. Learn to interpret God's signs. Love God. Love others. And then go out there and try to do God's work to the best of your own ability...

That's what I believe to be what's best in the heart of a true believing Christian...

Sure one can justify anything using the Bible, or heck, the Harry Potter books if one were so inclined. All you have to do is take the passage you need out of context, and "Presto!" you have justification or contradiction.

I have to disagree with your statement that the Bible is "extremely contradictory." I find that many things critics call contradictions do not even meet the common definition of the word (a proposition, statement, or phrase that asserts or implies both the truth and falsity of something Source) or only do so because the context (either literary or cultural) is ignored, or because tradition is taken as truth despite the fact that it contradicts what is in Scripture.

I also have to disagree with the idea that the books found within it are no better than the books written by Christians today. If all the Bible is, is a compilation of human writings then why put your faith in Jesus as savior? I think your advice to stop analyzing the Bible is more in keeping with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church than it is with anything Christ taught. 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.

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Sure one can justify anything using the Bible, or heck, the Harry Potter books if one were so inclined. All you have to do is take the passage you need out of context, and "Presto!" you have justification or contradiction.

I have to disagree with your statement that the Bible is "extremely contradictory." I find that many things critics call contradictions do not even meet the common definition of the word (a proposition, statement, or phrase that asserts or implies both the truth and falsity of something Source) or only do so because the context (either literary or cultural) is ignored, or because tradition is taken as truth despite the fact that it contradicts what is in Scripture.

I also have to disagree with the idea that the books found within it are no better than the books written by Christians today. If all the Bible is, is a compilation of human writings then why put your faith in Jesus as savior? I think your advice to stop analyzing the Bible is more in keeping with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church than it is with anything Christ taught. 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'm not trying to encourage people to stop reading the bible, I hope you know that. My point in making such statements are to redirect the overall emphasis of Christians from 'reading and anylyzing' into 'working and doing'. I find that to be a large stumbling block for most Christians. Reading and analyzing the bible does fall under the category of 'working and doing' but that isn't all that's required. They read and read and read and read, and talk and talk and talk and talk, but if they do that and don't put anything to practice then what good does it do? Not only that, my emphasis is that God is a living God, Jesus Christ alive, and the Holy Spirit is active to this day. The best way to connect with God in my opinion is to simply pray and act, because he will answer and he will act.

With that said, the bible (particularly the four gospels) are a great reference point and are very important in growing close to God as well. I encourage people to read and analyze, I really do. My point as I've stated above is simply that too much emphasis has been put on it, it has been mistaken as being perfect, and has therefore become the centerpoint of most Christian's faith.

People cling to the bible in my opinion simply due to human nature. Humans need rules, laws, documents, and contracts in order to keep things intact. Otherwise things turn into pure anarchy and chaos. That's the very reason in fact that the four gospels themselves were written in the first place, and one of the reasons why they were written a couple decades after Christ's death. Early Christians believed that Christ's second coming was within the next several years, but since that didn't happen, some books had to be written in order to maintain the peace and quiet some of the resulting chaos. It's human nature to require written rules, but that doesn't suddenly mean that that's God's nature, or that that is the nature that we should accept.

As you should well know, there are in fact contradictions that do fall under that definition you posted. 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.

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."

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.

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Sure one can justify anything using the Bible, or heck, the Harry Potter books if one were so inclined. All you have to do is take the passage you need out of context, and "Presto!" you have justification or contradiction.

Just to take this example to prove what you are saying, I once read an email sent to my father, from a pastor of a church he was briefly involved with. It was a fundamentalist group that shunned anything to do with magic. Anyway, when the first Harry Potter novel came out, shortly thereafter the pastor emailed his congregation. I'm paraphrasing here, but the general idea went something like this:

Greetings brethren,

Despite the rave reviews in the media, do not read Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. Do not let your kids read it. It is a work of evil, the devil trying to get a foothold in your life. Reading this book will corrupt you. I have read it, and by the Grace God has given me by granting me seven times the Holy Spirit of the rest of you (due to my study at Ambassador College) I have been able to resist the evil and temptation. However, for the rest of you not granted the gift of the Spirit, you will be corrupted. You must take my word on this. Just to give you a small sample of the evil, in a pivotal scene, one of the primary characters declares at one point "There is no good nor evil. There is only power, and those too weak to seek it". If you are tempted to read this or let your children read this, ask yourself if this truly is a value you want your kids to learn?

In God's love, I bid you farewell,

Signed, random fundie pastor

Now, ignoring the theological inconsistency of a pastor having more of the Holy Spirit than a lay person, the quote from Harry Potter was said by Lord Voldemort, and was contrasted in the text by Dumbledore to say that such a view was defeated by the thing Voldemort could not defeat - Love. But out of context, and with express instructions not to read it to find out for yourself, this preacher made it sound like Harry Potter taught evil values.

Just thought I'd share,

~ PA

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I find that many things critics call contradictions do not even meet the common definition of the word (a proposition, statement, or phrase that asserts or implies both the truth and falsity of something Source)

No, as even a casual reading reveals, that is a formal definition of a term of art in logic.

The common meaning lies close to etymology, "speaking opposite," that is, for two things to be reported as true, both of which cannot be true. When the same source makes both statements, then we say the source contradicts itself or contains contradictions.

The formal and the common meaning can be reconciled by conjoining the two reports (that is, join them by placing "and" between them). Since the new statement is false, it implies every other proposition whatsoever, and so implies both the truth and falsehood of "something."

Literary contradictions are not necessarily errors. Poems and other figurative expressions frequently use contradiction instrumentally, as famously did Charles Dickens,

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ...

Whether a contradiction exists is a question of fact. Obviously, what I just quoted is, as a matter of fact, a contradiction. Whether there's anything wrong with that is a matter of judgment and opinion. Many people admire Dickens' literary skill in crafting that opening line; I understand some French readers do not. Then again, maybe they're touchy about the book's subject matter.

What a contradiction is fatal to is any kind of hard inference between drawn from a text which contains a contradiction. So, that explains the abiding interest in pointing out contradictions in the Bible. There are readers who deny that there are any, because they think the Bible is some kind of instruction manual on how to survive death, speaking of the deliberate use of contradictions. A field day ensues.

The majority of Christians belong to churches that teach critical reading of the Bible, and it is much less fun to argue contradictions with them. I've seen atheists try to "push the envelope" and say that "the word of God" shouldn't contain any contradictions. This, of course, founders on the twin reefs that the Bible oughtn't to be confused with the Koran, except when arguing with a Fundie, and that it may be God's prerogative to inspire his writers to be at least as skilled as Charles Dickens was. Unless God is French, of course, but that's another thread.

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Premise: God is perfect therefore anything he inspires must be perfect.

Premise: Any ambiguity or contradiction or illogicality or scientific or geographical error or even grammatical error is an imperfection.

Conclusion: The finding of any of the above disqualifies a writing as being divinely inspired.

Further Premise: Human languages are inherently ambiguous and therefore imperfect.

Further Conclusion: Nothing written in a human language can be divinely inspired.

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As I said in my post, it is unhelpful to confuse the Bible with the Koran.

The Koran is dictation from God, allegedly transmitted verbatim. The Bible isn't. It's supposed to have been written by people.

It looks it, too.

What's the problem?

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Weather it was "Written by God" or "Inspired by God," the same issues arise.

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Premise: God is perfect therefore anything he inspires must be perfect.

Premise: Any ambiguity or contradiction or illogicality or scientific or geographical error or even grammatical error is an imperfection.

Conclusion: The finding of any of the above disqualifies a writing as being divinely inspired.

Further Premise: Human languages are inherently ambiguous and therefore imperfect.

Further Conclusion: Nothing written in a human language can be divinely inspired.

I'm not sure I follow. I get the premise of what you are saying, but I don't know if I can agree. I get that the English language is not perfect, but that does not therefore mean that something written in that language is also not perfect or divinely inspired. The logic does not follow
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I'm sorry but the logic does follow. Please be specific where you think otherwise.

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I'm sorry but the logic does follow. Please be specific where you think otherwise.

Multiple interpretations of the English language do not therefore mean that what is written in that language is up for debate. The English language is not perfect, but there is no reason to think that what is written in that language (or in any language) is therefore equally up for debate.

I can't be more specific in my response because I don't know what you are trying to get at. Maybe you can enlighten us.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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The problem is really with any text said to come from God in any way. Whether He directly dictated it, or inspired it, or whatever, just doesn't matter. God is perfect and therefore cannot do or even be involved in any imperfection.

Written words are unavoidably imperfect. Thus it follows that any written text cannot be divine in any way shape or form.

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I can't agree. Oh, I certainly agree that our understanding of them will never be perfect, but the actual writing of them???? No, sorry, I disagree completely.

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Fine; nothing more to be said then.

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The problem is really with any text said to come from God in any way. Whether He directly dictated it, or inspired it, or whatever, just doesn't matter. God is perfect and therefore cannot do or even be involved in any imperfection.

Written words are unavoidably imperfect. Thus it follows that any written text cannot be divine in any way shape or form.

Speaking of the statement which I emphasized with bold lettering: from a Christian viewpoint, God can be involved with imperfection because He is involved with us. Humans are imperfect, yet He is active in our daily lives. Imperfection is not God's kryptonite, it is a human limitation.

Regarding divinely inspired literature, the key is inspiration. Humans are inspired to create all manner of artistic endeavors. The Bible was written by different authors, but they all received inspiration from the same source.

You either trust it or you don't. And it says, "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue." (2 Peter 1:3). It's stated plainly. God has given to Christians exactly the tools we need to live a life of godliness. It's up to us to choose to use them.

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Well, when you really get down to it, what you are saying is that God could not have created us. I'll buy that.

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Weather it was "Written by God" or "Inspired by God," the same issues arise.

Obviously, I disagree. For starters there is only one possible relationship between an author and that author's words: authorship.

That's not so of inspiration. Inspiration, in the Biblical context, involves a number of distinct modalities of revelation, such as promotion of intuition, participation in visionary experiences, witness to historical events where God is thought to have intervened, and walking around with Jesus on errands or running on ahead to rent him a donkey. That doesn't exhaust the modalities, but should give some sense of their variety.

Ought God to look the same to different observers, viewing him in different circumstances? That's not obvious to me. Like most people, I'm still working on whether the color "red" looks the same to different observers. I'm pretty sure sometimes it doesn't. Some people can distinguish more shades of red than others... not the whole answer, but for a hard question, a welcome fact.

The question of God is plausibly harder than the question of red. I'm not optimistic about solving either one in the time available.

Clearly, I haven't found any revelation of God persuasive. It is unhelpful, however, to pretend that all revelations are the same, when some of them can be distinguished from others by the straightforward criterion of verbatim dictation.

Nope, I don't think God dictated a war lord's share of the loot, and tossed him, by name, a few more wives than everybody else. But some other petty bandit crowns himself king of a ragtag desert tribe and thinks God promised him a dynasty forever?

I may not believe what either one is telling me, but the former doesn't sound like a God to me, while the latter sure sounds like a politician. A hard problem becomes hopeless when I put aisde some of the information available to me; just as the problem of red is harder if I can't use the thing about the differences among people in simultaneous color discrimination.

And proposing that a play on words is "logic" is, I hope, a joke and not intended to be taken seriously.

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Obviously authorship and inspiration are different.

That doesn't change the basic premise that if God is perfect he can't have anything to do with imperfection. (You know, the Greeks in their neo-Platonism understood this, and then the Christians messed it all up).

I am not sure what "inspired" really means. We know the Bible had human authors, so we presume it has human infallibilities. If I say I was inspired by Mozart, it has a certain almost meaninglessness to it that people can follow, if they buy hype, but saying God inspired something imperfect verges on blasphemy, if I thought there were such a thing.

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Well, when you really get down to it, what you are saying is that God could not have created us. I'll buy that.

We were perfect when God created us. It's our fault that we sinned and became imperfect, not His.

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That's the story. Something that is perfect doesn't have any way to become imperfect.

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That's the story. Something that is perfect doesn't have any way to become imperfect.

Within the story, "perfect becoming imperfect" is the main conflict of the story.

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Yes, we all know the story, but it is illogical. Something that is perfect is by definition without flaw, so it would be impossible for such a thing to somehow become imperfect. I'm merely pointing out that the story doesn't hold water.

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Do you find anything in this world to be perfect, either man-made or natural?

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The problem is really with any text said to come from God in any way. Whether He directly dictated it, or inspired it, or whatever, just doesn't matter. God is perfect and therefore cannot do or even be involved in any imperfection.

Yet the Old Testament shows God constantly misjudging, overreacting, debating with mortals, and dealing with situations that He didn't predict would happen.

A perfect god makes for a boring story!

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