Contradictions in Bible

Divine Insight wrote: Well, because you concede that the Bible may contain contradictions.

To clarify, I was careful to use quotes in contradictions. And I also explained how some contradictions can be resolved.

What’s more important for me is truth claims that are logically contradictory with each other. For example, if the Bible had said that the entire world was not created and was eternal, that would be logically contradictory with the scientific claim that the world had a beginning. Or if archaeology disproved the existence of Jesus, then it would contradict the Biblical claim that Jesus existed.

It may contain condemnations by men.

Condemnations, by itself, do not show a contradiction.

It is potentially flawed and imperfect.

Like I said, I actually agree with this. The Bibles we hold in our hands can be flawed. It requires a bit of a more careful reading to discern what is trustworthy. For example, it is widely accepted that Mark 16:9-20 was not written by Mark, but added later. It should then be read with this in mind.

It is easy to see where many people could easily misunderstand what it might be trying to even say.

It’s easy to misconstrue the Bible. Things can be misinterpreted, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Therefore the very idea that to doubt any parts of it, or to not understand any parts of it, could be grounds for commendation by a God is unrealistic.

Again, I fail to see what condemnation has to do with it. You might not personally like to be condemned, but that doesn’t show the Bible is contradictory.

For example, science shows us clearly that there is overwhelming evidence to believe that plants and animals had always died and that disease and natural disasters had always occurred.

Not all Christians believe that the fall caused diseases and natural disasters. Singling out one group’s interpretation of the Bible and attacking that does not disprove the entire Bible. If anything, at most it would only disprove that group’s interpretation.

Yet Christianity holds that if we fail to believe in the Bible and accept Jesus as the demigod son of God born of a virgin mortal woman we will be condemned.

Well, generally, yes, that’s true.

And it doesn’t even matter if we reject evil and embrace high moral ideals.

It’s good that people in general reject civl and embrace high ideals. But, the problem is that God requires absolute sinlessness. Even if one person was good their entire lifetime, but just sinned once, it would fall short of God’s standard.

If we haven’t confessed the Jesus is the only demigod son of God and accept him as our savior we will be damned.

How would this be a contradiction?

Christianity cannot be defended whilst simultaneously confessing that the Bible is fallible, corrupt, contradictory, and easily misunderstood.

It’s actually not that difficult to understand the Bible. The basic message in it is very simple to grasp, even a child can understand it. But, if someone has the mental capacity to get into the details of the Bible to grasp the contradictions, I believe he/she would also have the ability to dig deeper to go beyond the contradictions.

All of those things are more than sufficient justification for innocent people to reject it. And thus to damn those people for not believing it would be totally unjust.

I find it’s often times not the simple and innocent that reject the Bible because of the difficulties in the Bible, but the intellectuals who can perceive the difficulties.

This is why Christian Fundamentalists demand that the Bible is indeed infallible and there can be no excuse for not believing it.

One should not single out a particular form of Christianity and apply it to the whole. It would be better to attack a claim that is widely held by all Christians, not just fundamentalists, Catholics, liberals, Baptists, etc.

If a person can disbelieve in Jesus and still be saved, then the whole point of Christianity is lost.

This is true.

Divine Insight wrote: My point is that once this is acknowledge that we are free to dismiss anything in the Bible that we feel is less than intelligent.

If “less than intelligent” means having an objective method to decide it, I’d go along with it. But, if it’s just a personal opinion that it’s less than intelligent, then I would not.

After all, why should we bother attributing something we deem to be unintelligent to a supreme creator when we have already accepted that the Bible may indeed contain flaws and falsehoods?

I do not hold the view that it is either entirely flawless or that it is entirely flawed. Many things have flaws and falsehoods in them, but that does not mean we should reject them outright. This includes the Bible.

How is it morally justified to condemn someone for not believing in things that are neither dependable, nor clear? :-k

Like I said, the basic message of the Bible is clear. If the Bible was incomprehensible, then sure, I’d agree that it would be wrong to hold people accountable to something that nobody could comprehend.

There are parts of the Bible that can be argued to be corrupted by man. But, on the whole, it does not affect much the main message of the Bible. I already mentioned the largest section of the Bible that is suspect, the ending of Mark. Even if one throws this section out, it does not really affect any doctrine (unless one is a snake handler).

I’m saying that to condemn people for not believing in something that is neither dependable, nor clear, would be immoral.

I would disagree that it’s not dependable, nor clear.

And let’s not forget the the Muslims are making this very same claim about their Qur’an.

I’ll let the Muslim participants defend their own book.

If you believe in Jesus and the Christian Bible then Allah will condemn you for not believing in his last Prophet Muhammad. Is that going to “justice”. Will you morally deserve to be damned because you failed to believe in Islam and the Qur’an?

Actually, it doesn’t really matter to me — I don’t subscribe to Islam beliefs. So, I don’t need to be concerned about what they think.

Could Islam be true and Christianity false? Could what I follow be all in vain and I’ll be thrown into hell when I die by Allah? It’s a possibility, but since I believe Christianity is more tenable than Islam, I really don’t even worry about it.

otseng wrote:

For example, science shows us clearly that there is overwhelming evidence to believe that plants and animals had always died and that disease and natural disasters had always occurred.

Not all Christians believe that the fall caused diseases and natural disasters. Singling out one group’s interpretation of the Bible and attacking that does not disprove the entire Bible. If anything, at most it would only disprove that group’s interpretation.

Forget about groups of people. That’s irrelevant.

If a person rejects the Bible because it appears to them to be inconsistent with known reality, is it then morally justified for this God to condemn them for not believing in the Bible? :-k

I’m not sure it’s irrelevant. The example you brought up is only believed by some, particularly fundamentalist Young-Earth Christians. It is not representative of all of Christianity.

But we have already established that there are many of perfectly rational reasons that people could have for not believing in this mythology.

I fail to see those perfectly rational reasons. You’ve mentioned problems with the beliefs of certain Christians, but it does not mean all of Christianity is problematic.

But what are God’s standards? No one knows. All we have is a bible that you have already agreed may contain contaminations, falsehoods, and be easily misunderstood.

Throughout the Bible, God is described as a God that demands holiness and perfection. This message is clear in the Bible.

Moreover, I claim that for a God to hold such an extremely unrealistic standard is already sufficient reason to reject this religion as being absurd.

It would be absurd if it stopped there and all people had no chance at all to be with God. But, it’s not absurd because he did provide a way for us to be perfect.

Why should I believe in a God who is so anxious to condemn people?

How do you know God is anxious to condemn people?

Because there is no good reason to believe that Jesus was the demigod son of God.

I think there are good reasons, but it’s beyond the scope of this thread.

But I have no problem “understanding” the story of the Bible. Understanding the story is not the problem. Believing that the story is true is the problem.


Why should I believe that there is some God sitting on a throne in heaven chomping at the bit to cast me into a hellfire of damnation in the first place?

Where does it say this in the Bible?

The bible is making claims about me that I simply know are false.

Really, the main claim is that we’re all sinful. Do you believe this is false?

I have no bone to pick with any all-righteous God. On the contrary if a truly all-righteous God exists then I have absolutely nothing at all to worry about, precisely the opposite of what Christianity demands.

If God is all-righteous, and we are unrighteous, then I think there is something to worry about.

Christianity has nothing at all to do with morality or moral values. It is entirely based upon proclaiming Jesus to be the Lord of Lords.

One’s salvation has nothing to do with how good one is. But, the Bible does exhort believers to be good and moral.

It is based entirely on nothing more than a demand that people recognize that Jesus is the Christ. Anything short of that and a person is declared to be a heathen who deserves to be damned. But that is an untenable position in terms of moral justice.

What/whose moral justice are you referring to?