Bible Contradictions

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Logical_One

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I was wondering how you guys manage to maintain your faith in the bible, despite it being filled with contradictions.How do these contradictions not bother you at least a little bit?
 

Lunar

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Logical_One:I certainly don't speak for the whole forum when I say this - in fact I think it's something many here would disagree with strongly - but it's my own personal opinion, at least.I don't think faith in the exact word of the Bible is the most important thing in Christianity. I don't believe that it's an inerrant text and perfectly reflects the word of God; I think that it's a text written by people in the Jewish and Christian traditions and, because it is written by people, is subject to inconsistencies, mistakes, and sometimes even depicts two people presenting radically different views. One could even make the case that some of the texts in the Bible are pseudepigraphic (written in a name other than the author's own; one instance would be authors who tried to invoke the authority of Paul of Tarsus by writing in his name).On the other hand, I think there are some common themes that we can find from the Bible (and other apocryphal texts from that time period) that point to the truth about Jesus' life and his message. Reading the Bible ought to be an act of close scrutiny and analysis, because you're quite correct that it's often difficult to take it at face value. When you have a vast compilation of works by so many different authors from different time periods, some of whom don't even identify themselves, you're bound to encounter clashing views. And I would find it somewhat arbitrary to, say, cite Paul's Pastoral Epistles to justify a view on women in the church, as opposed to the earlier undisputed works of Paul, or apocryphal texts like Acts of (Paul and) Thecla.So, if you try to examine the many works of the Bible on a particular subject, you're going to get many different opinions. But, as I said, there are a few common themes which all of the New Testament writers seem to agree upon (I'm sure you could make a historical case against even these, but it wouldn't be quite as strong): That Jesus Christ lived among us in antiquity, preached the word of God (a few of the most important and consistent parts of which seems to be loving and behaving kindly to one's neighbors, and the coming of the kingdom of heaven), that he died for our sins, and rose from the dead, and will come again at some point in the future as a part of a heavenly kingdom on earth.Ultimately, it wasn't the Bible that convinced me to adopt the view that faith in Christ is the means by which we are saved. I think that's a view which can only come through a personal experience, and which cannot be logically justified until one experiences it for themselves. And I definitely think that the Bible is secondary to that. So, to summarize: I'm inclined to view the Bible primarily as a compilation of historical texts which, when analyzed closely, will shed some truth about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, rather than an inerrant text depicting the literal word of God.
 

Logical_One

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good explanation, but that doesnt explain why it contradicts itself within the same book, for example:GAL 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.GAL 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.orPRO 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.PRO 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.this can't be attributed to differing views of the authors, because these ones were by the same authors!
 

Jordan

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(Logical_One;25443)
good explanation, but that doesnt explain why it contradicts itself within the same book, for example:GAL 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.GAL 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.orPRO 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.PRO 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.this can't be attributed to differing views of the authors, because these ones were by the same authors!
The bible does not contradict themselves. It appears to be that way in our FLESH eyes. But once a person studies the bible so much more...It's quite clear that God's Words does not contradict themselves.The only Bibles (actually many of these bibles) that contradict themselves are the ones Satan made. (Modern versions)Jag
 

Terral

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Hi Logical:
Logical >> I was wondering how you guys manage to maintain your faith in the bible, despite it being filled with contradictions. How do these contradictions not bother you at least a little bit?
There are no contradictions in God’s Living Word, but men create many out of their own ignorance.
Logical >> Good explanation, but that doesnt explain why it contradicts itself within the same book, for example: GAL 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. GAL 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden. Or PRO 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. PRO 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. This can't be attributed to differing views of the authors, because these ones were by the same authors!
And there is no contradiction. :0) Every word from God must be ‘interpreted’ using true and accurate “context” determined from Scripture itself. Paul is addressing the members of Christ’s body, as believers in our gospel part of the same “Dispensation of God’s Grace” (Ephesians 3:2) making us members of one another (Romans 12:4-5). Bearing a brother’s burden is a far cry from the OT Jew putting up with the folly of a fool. Proverbs is saying to answer the fool as his folly ‘deserves,’ so he is not wise in his own eyes; but NOT according to “his folly, or you will also be like him.” That means when you insult me as a believer in God and His Living Word, that I answer you as your folly deserves and not according to your ways of disbelief and mocking God at the very same time. God bless you,In Christ Jesus,Terral
 

Lunar

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good explanation, but that doesnt explain why it contradicts itself within the same book, for example:GAL 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.GAL 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.orPRO 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.PRO 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.this can't be attributed to differing views of the authors, because these ones were by the same authors!
Logical_One:I would say that, with most of the quotes you find for that, there probably is some way to reconcile them to make them at least internally consistent. However, even then, I'll admit that a few authors - Paul especially - seem to be very enigmatic on a few subjects (in particular the value of the Jewish) law. But I think that the fact that the Bible is the work of humans is perfectly consistent with that. People can make errors in their own writings, or sometimes be unclear of what their own views are. I'm sure you've had the experience of writing a paper, or forming an argument, and then realizing it wasn't consistent. And of course, I'm sure you've had the experience of reading man-made arguments that weren't consistent either. So, I think what's going on with, say, Paul's arguments concerning faith and works, is not all that strange. People are not perfect writers, and so sometimes they either write unclearly, or write in a way that isn't internally consistent.
 

Logical_One

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Superjag: so basically "I'm not going to try to explain it, and I'll just assume that god is always right because thats what I've been indoctrinated into"Terral: so basically "you have to interpret the bible, otherwise youd go on believing all sorts of crazy things! thats why we think some things the bible says are sins are sins, and some things it says are sins aren't really!"Lunar: you make the most sense with your human error thingy, but you'd think they'd proofread it or something before sending it off to tell billions people how to live their lives over the years
 

Jordan

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Superjag: so basically "I'm not going to try to explain it, and I'll just assume that god is always right because thats what I've been indoctrinated into"
Dear Logical_OneIn order to understand the Bible, one must not interpret it in literal understanding. (Human wisdom) There is so much symbolic in there that it is impossible to take every word of it literally. You must know when to take it spiritually (God's Wisdom) or literally to get the essence (the reality/common sense) of that history.Literal thinking, Spiritual thinking, and the essence these three are one.Jag
 

ps77

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(thesuperjag;25446)
The bible does not contradict themselves. It appears to be that way in our FLESH eyes. But once a person studies the bible so much more...It's quite clear that God's Words does not contradict themselves.The only Bibles (actually many of these bibles) that contradict themselves are the ones Satan made. (Modern versions)Jag
Oh come on now, you can't be serious.Going on with the whole "Satan made the new modern translations of the Bible" bit. The new translations are translated by scholars. Extremely educated and informed, they explore the ancient writings and clear up what it's saying in modern day English.
 

ps77

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Lunar: you make the most sense with your human error thingy, but you'd think they'd proofread it or something before sending it off to tell billions people how to live their lives over the years
Well, since it was written over a period of 1600 years, and they were all separate books, written by many different authors, I'm not sure there was much of a chance for a proof-reading session.
 

Logical_One

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as I said ps77, a lot of t he contradictions (such as the ones I listed) occur in the same book, so they were written by the same person.and superjag, what you said had nothing to do with anything, its not just unimportant details that contradict, but huge teachings that are supposed to affect our lives in major ways. meaning the message of the bible contradicts itself in very clear ways, meaning that its not up to interpretation. at all.
 

ps77

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And of course, that is why I do not believe the Bible is inerrant, or supposed to be taken literally in whole.
 

Logical_One

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...what?you said of course they couldnt proofread because it was written over 1600 yearsI said that there were things that shouldve been proofread out in the space of 1 or 2 years.you then say thats why you don't take it literally?if any other book were written that badly, you'd throw it out the window and ask for those 15 seconds of your life back!
 

Christina

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There are no contradictions in Gods word only misinterpitations by menthis is the best proof you could come with
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GAL 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.GAL 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.Oh gee lets use common sense do you not share your friends and famlies pain and burdens?Does that mean you dont have your own to bear ? orPRO 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.dont answer a fool according to his foolishness or you will be a fool also PRO 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.If you do answere his foolishness you will make him think hes rightthese are not contradictins any fool could understand that:)
 

Lunar

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There are no contradictions in Gods word only misinterpitations by menthis is the best proof you could come with
smile.gif

kriss:There are definitely contradictions in the Bible. In the absence of finding a contradiction about a large, overarching message (which I think you can do, too, but they're in general easier to explain away), it's very easy to find contradictions of details that suggest a conflation of sources. Let's take the anointing scene at Bethany for example:John 12:1-2: "Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair."Mark 14:1-3 "It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him, for they said 'Not during the festival or there may be a riot among the people.' While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broken open the jar and poured the ointment on his head."This two passages are clearly referring to the same story - both of them are an anointing sequence at Bethany shortly before Jesus' arrest, both end in someone criticizing the female figure for not selling the ointment and giving the money to the poor, and both have Jesus responding to the criticizer by implying his imminent death, saying that they will always have the poor, but they will not always have him. And yet, in one, it occurs two days before Passover; in another it occurs six days prior. In one story it takes place in the house of Lazarus; in Mark, which does not feature the Lazarus story, it takes place in the house of Simon the leper. In one, it is Jesus' head that is anointed. In another, it is his feet.Why would there be such discrepancies between the two texts? How can these be explained as consistent?
 

Christina

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I do not see where you get these are the same Jesus came to Bethany so he could not have more than one meal ???Passover and unleavened bread are not the same feast. Secondly as you can see below the KJV does not read the same in John 1 -2 as the one you postedYou cant call a poor translation of men a bible descepencyJohn 12:1 "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom He raised from the dead."Being six days before Passover, would make this on the ninth day of Nisan on the Jewish calendar, or during the time from Thursday at sunset, to sunset on Friday.John 12:2 "There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him."This is to call our attention to the fact that Lazarus is not some spirit brought back to life, but a whole man in his flesh body. He is sitting at the table and eating with Jesus and the rest of them. He partook of food in a natural way.Mark 14:1 "After two days was the feast of the Passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by craft, and put Him to death."This would have been two days prior to the Passover, for the Passover would fall at sundown on Wednesday of the year that Jesus was crucified. The Jewish day starts at sundown on the prior day. Mark 14:3 "And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His head."This passage runs parallel with Matthew 26:6-13, and as Jesus sat eating at the table of Simon the leper, a woman came in with a box of Spikenard ointment. "Spikenard" means that it was "pure nard", meaning a very expensive ointment. She opened the container and poured the expensive ointment on the head of Jesus. The value of this ointment was worth about what a working man would make for a years salary.Mark 14:4 "And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, "Why was this waste of the ointment made."Judas was not the only one that would grumble over this act of pouring the "Spikenard ointment" of Jesus head, but the other disciples as well. When the ointment hit the floor and on Jesus head, the value of the ointment became worthless for sale.he prior day.
 

Lunar

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kriss:please read the whole stories in their entirety. It's possible that, on two separate occasions while in Bethany within the span of four days, Jesus was anointed by two different women, and two different critics spoke up and presented the exact same objections, and were rebuked by Jesus in the exact same ways, and that John chose to include the first instance and excluded the second, while Mark conveniently included the second instance and excluded the first. This, however, is extremely unlikely, especially considering that in both texts, immediately afterward, Judas leaves to betray Jesus to the priests. You honestly believe that Mark and John are referring to two separate anointing scenes? That on two separate occasions, a woman was criticized for anointing Jesus with ointment that could have been sold for precisely 300 denari, and that on two separate occasions Jesus responded by saying that she anointed his body for his burial, and that they would always have the poor but they would not always have Him, but that no source in the Bible happens to tell the story of both of them?That sounds unfathomably improbable.
 

Christina

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Ill give you that this is improbable though not impossable on the other hand it proves nothing I dont accept that this is a contradiction there are some minor descrepencies that can easily be understood by two differnt people discribing the same event but to call this a contrdiction is a strech
 

Lunar

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Ill give you that this is improbable though not impossable on the other hand it proves nothing I dont accept that this is a contradiction there are some minor descrepencies that can easily be understood by two differnt people discribing the same event but to call this a contrdiction is a strech
Well, it certainly sounds like a contradiction by any normal definition of the word. One states the location as Lazarus' house, the other states it as Simon the leper's house, and clearly it couldn't have been both. However, if you're willing to concede that the Bible may have some minor contradictions but doesn't contradict itself on anything major/essential to salvation, then I'll direct you to the point I brought up with thesuperjag in another thread.
Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
vs.
James 1:22-25: " 22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
and
James 2:14-25: " 14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."
There appears to be some disagreement between authors on one of the most essential points of Christianity - how it is that we achieve salvation.
 

Jordan

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Romans 11:6 - And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.Jag