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Contradictions in the bible

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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.

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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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.

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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

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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

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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?

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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.

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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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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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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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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?

Of course I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I have found that when critics of the Bible make statements like this it easily translates into "As long as you don't take the Bible seriously." There are many ways of saying this, but often that is what is clearly implied.

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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...

Good example. How does the language and context distinguish between the two? Why the concept of a soul (life) for a soul (life)? What opportunity was given by the people of Moses time to escape harm during war, to whom was this privileged denied, why and upon whose authority? What if that authority was broken, what was the result?

You can't take one small piece of literature out of context without any contextual, linguistic or cultural understanding and come to any accurate knowledge, no matter your emotional response uninformed.

For example: It is illegal to kill and for doing so you may receive the death penalty, yet thousands kill in war.

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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...

Actually, that is a perfect example of the importance of context.
"Thou shalt not kill" is from the old King James Bible. Modern translations (ESV, NASB, NCV, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV) have it as "You shall not murder." The word in the Hebrew for "kill" here in Exodus 20:13 is תִּרְצָח (ratsach). It is translated into the English many different ways, depending on the context: "slayer 16, murderer 14, kill 5, murder 3, slain 3, manslayer 2, killing 1, slayer + 310 1, slayeth 1, death 1." 1

Murder is the unlawful taking of life. Killing is the lawful taking of life. God has said, "You shall not murder," not "You shall not kill." After all, God says killing in self defense is justifiable. Exodus 22:2, "If the thief is caught while breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account." If mere killing of any kind was the issue, then why would God saying killing in self defense is permissible? He wouldn't. This is another reason that modern translations say, "You shall not murder."

Also, consider that the New Testament quotes Exodus 20:13 in Rom. 13:9 as "You shall not murder." The word in Greek for murder here is φονεύω, (phoneuo). Matt. 10:28 says, "“And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." The word of kill here is apoktinumi. Let's compare.

As you can see, different words are used for "murder" and "kill." The Greek is more specific, and since the Greek New Testament quotes the Hebrew Old Testament we can see that Exodus 20:13 is best translated as "You shall not murder."

Source

Context includes understanding the definition of words in the original language.

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Good example. How does the language and context distinguish between the two? Why the concept of a soul (life) for a soul (life)? What opportunity was given by the people of Moses time to escape harm during war, to whom was this privileged denied, why and upon whose authority? What if that authority was broken, what was the result?

You can't take one small piece of literature out of context without any contextual, linguistic or cultural understanding and come to any accurate knowledge, no matter your emotional response uninformed.

For example: It is illegal to kill and for doing so you may receive the death penalty, yet thousands kill in war.

@ Iamson

Your post is a great example of exactly what contradiction drives one to do in Literary Analysys-- that is to question-- as in look deeper into the text. The way you do this-- how you do this tells me about what you understand. Which is that-- Murder is the unlawful taking of life. Killing is the lawful taking of life. This contradiction would not lead me to accept this as you do- it would drive me to question a lot more.Does this make me right and you wrong? The answer to that is NO, the way we interpret simply illustrates where we are in our understanding.

The point in error is that there is no such thing as contradiciton in bible interpretation.

There certrainly is contradiction, it serves a purpose, it is to a literary device that has been used by writers for century's.

Edited by Sherapy

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Good example. How does the language and context distinguish between the two?

It's completely unclear. There's your problem. I know I'm not supposed to kill sometimes but it seems I can kill other times.

What opportunity was given by the people of Moses time to escape harm during war, to whom was this privileged denied, why and upon whose authority? What if that authority was broken, what was the result?

The Israelites started a war of conquest, exterminating all human life in cities they desired. They slaughtered helpless women and children because of where they were, who they were, and what they owned. Are scolding the people they killed for not running away fast enough?

You can't take one small piece of literature out of context without any contextual, linguistic or cultural understanding and come to any accurate knowledge, no matter your emotional response uninformed.

Yes, but you haven't shown that it was taken out of context.

For example: It is illegal to kill and for doing so you may receive the death penalty, yet thousands kill in war.

However it is legal to kill under very specific circumstances. Since the "thou shalt not kill" commandment is so vague, it has no meaning in modern times.

The modern rules of combat define the rules of killing in a war. Combatants are only allowed to intentionally kill combatants. Unlike what the Israelites did, it is illegal to attack cities or countries and exterminate all human life in them in order to take their property.

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Now, you have that the form of a man or of a woman is the form of a human being. According to Deuteronomy 4:15,16 God has never literally be considered in the form of a man or woman. Why? Because He does not have that form. Man can imagine seing God in that form but only in dreams or visions. God has no form at all. Jesus himself said that God is Spirit. (John 4:24) Spirits are incorporeal. There is no form in incorporeality.

What you ask about "The Word became flesh and lived among us" is found in John 1:14. The reference to Jesus as an individual is based on Christian preconceived notions; but the real reference is to the People whom Jesus belonged to.

1 - "The Word became flesh". This was fulfilled on the fact that the Word of God was entrusted to Israel only and to no other people on earth, according to Psalm 147:19,20. So, the Word became flesh in the People of Israel.

2 - "And made his dwelling among us". It means that when Israel originated from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it became known as he who made his dwelling among us as a reference to Judah as Immanuel which means God in the world. (Isa. 8:8)

3 - "And we have seen his glory..." this is a reference to Israel as the one set asside to manifest the glory of God in the sight of the nations. (Eze. 20:41)

4 - "The glory of an only son coming from the Father." This finds fulfillment in Exodus 4:22,23 which presents Israel as God's son. "Israel is My son, says the Lord. So, let My son go that he may serve Me."

5 - "Filled with enduring love." That's the love of God as He provided Israel as His Word whom salvation comes from. (John 4:22)

Ben

Well , the word became flesh and lived also reminds me of frequency . It's what we are tuned into that we allow ourselves to understand our position in life , in nature.

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Well, the word became flesh and lived also reminds me of frequency. It's what we are tuned into that we allow ourselves to understand our position in life, in nature.

IMHO, this metaphor of yours rather disrails the theme of the thread. I like metaphors but I can't place this one into the context.

Ben

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Actually, that is a perfect example of the importance of context.

Source

Context includes understanding the definition of words in the original language.

Then one would have to conclude that in order for one to 'understand' the word of god one would have to be a scholar of the word of god. A pretty confusing word if you ask me.

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Then one would have to conclude that in order for one to 'understand' the word of god one would have to be a scholar of the word of god. A pretty confusing word if you ask me.

Depends on what you mean by "scholar". I am certainly not a scholar. And dare I say it, neither is IamsSon. The thing that I've noticed about the Bible in the thirteen years since I've been a Christian is that it is able to speak to you at whatever level you are at. It can be as simple as Aesop's Fable's (not meaning to say that Aesop's ideas were simple), but it also can be as difficult as a University level text book. And every person regardless of where they are "at" in their walk with God is able to approach God with that view in mind. For the newest of newest Christian converts the basic beliefs of Christianity are laid out. But for the long-time convert who has studied in depth they also have their own difficulties, the text raises answers that demands more questions.

If I were God, and if I were to create a text for all people for all time, I wouldn't create a book of Fable's that any teenager could understand. But neither would I create a text that only could be understood by the biblical elite. I personally believe the Bible provides a medium between the two - a text that on the surface can provide the basic provisions, but the deeper you study the more you realise you still have not yet learnt.

Just my opinion :tu:

~ PA

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I think a God wanting to communicate with us would not present us with a collection of myths and so on. Instead, his message would be a transcendental number.

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