Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Apparent contradictions in the Bible


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
162 replies to this topic

#18 Erasmus00

Erasmus00

    Creating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1561 posts

Posted 01 July 2005 - 09:21 PM

My intent was to openly air issues that some believe are contradictions. You brought up several items that you regard as contradictions. You have actually brought up a couple of easy ones (like Genesis 1,2) , so I suspect that you are already aware of the common reading of those passages (Genesis 2 detailing Genesis 1) that are well within the bounds of normal useage of Hebrew poetry.


But it seems to me that this reading is kind of a stretch. I've heard it thrown around a lot, but the hebrew is so disjoint around genesis 2:3 that it seems like two stories have been woven together. Granted, it could be for effect (like in 1Samuel 24 when the chiastic speed is broken up by David cutting Saul's garment), but I've always been of the opinion it was two seperate stories woven together.
-Will

#19 adnaan

adnaan

    Thinking

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 40 posts

Posted 01 July 2005 - 10:39 PM

Thanks for trying to help answering my questions. I would like to say that Christianity isnt that bad of a religion, but as I said I am going to be open, and i hear that Islam seems to be the fastest growing religion, my curiousity is asking myself why. After studying Christianity a bit, I will be studying Islam. For I am on my quest.

Just a thought, Jesus sacrificing himself to give or even allow God to have the chance to forgive us. That part I do not understand, for God should know the past, present, and future, he would obviously know, and had set everything up. It pretty much wasnt giving him the chance, but he was simply waiting.

Obviously Jesus did a good job spreading faith around at that time, because it spread like wildfire.

From the information I have attained in my brain, its so hard to believe that Jesus and God are the same, because they seem to different. Jesus is filled with human characteristics, he always asked for help, he even cries in the Bible to God. Reading that event, wouldnt someone feel that they were not one, but different. I have a Muslim friend, he had said that Jesus was a prophet, and as I think it seems believable.

It also makes me think, why do Christians believe Jesus is God, is it because he had healing powers? well, wasn't Prophet David able to speak to animals? but no one called him God, Prophet David also preached the 'Truth' same as Jesus, but no one calls him God.

#20 Southtown

Southtown

    differentiating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1922 posts

Posted 01 July 2005 - 11:22 PM

Thanks for trying to help answering my questions. I would like to say that Christianity isnt that bad of a religion, but as I said I am going to be open,

Try to stay that way even if you find a faith.

and i hear that Islam seems to be the fastest growing religion, my curiousity is asking myself why. After studying Christianity a bit, I will be studying Islam. For I am on my quest.

That kinda sounds like following the crowd to me. "Fastest growing"? Anyhoo, good luck on your quest. If you get anymore contradictions, please post them and allow us to defend our faith.

Just a thought, Jesus sacrificing himself to give or even allow God to have the chance to forgive us. That part I do not understand, for God should know the past, present, and future, he would obviously know, and had set everything up. It pretty much wasnt giving him the chance, but he was simply waiting.

I don't know what you mean. Are you asking why God created a world that He knew would go bad? If so, I'd guess it's because He also knew He could save it, or at least the willing part of it.

P.S. If Jesus was just a prophet, how are Islamics justified before God? Remember the corrupt judge who pardons criminals. Does Allah just get to excercise His authority without explaining Himself?

#21 adnaan

adnaan

    Thinking

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 40 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 08:06 AM

My knowledge in Islam isnt good, I was just curious why alot of people are accepting it at a really fast rate. I was just curious, and I think instead of asking questions, just to read the translations and see what you think of the religion, or just plainly go to the library and borrow the book, like I have done, before i start to judge the religion.

http://web.umr.edu/~msaumr/Quran/

Here a friend gave me this website, and im passing it on.

From what i know, according to the teachings of Islam, Allah (God) is the one and only God, the absolute Creator of the universe, its components and its laws. Allah is the beginning and the end of all things, and this is the foundation for Islam’s teachings.

It also says in the Quran how he created the Universe from nothingness, and is steadily expanding it.

I am not that smart at this religion, maybe we both can study it at the same time and help each other in a better understanding on what Muslim people see in it.

Does Christians still have the original Bible in its original text? I hear that the Bible has been modernized countlessly, what if someone translated it wrongly? or made a grammatical error? no one would notice, if no one kept the original. It says in the Bible if someone messes with the Bible, they would feel the wrath. What about if someone messes with the translations?

#22 Erasmus00

Erasmus00

    Creating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1561 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 08:49 AM

P.S. If Jesus was just a prophet, how are Islamics justified before God? Remember the corrupt judge who pardons criminals. Does Allah just get to excercise His authority without explaining Himself?


Why does Allah,God, whatever have to explain himself to people? The thing I never understood about Christianity is why Christ had to die for sins to be forgiven. It seems to me like if God were all powerful, he could have done what he pleased. I have no argument with the religion, I think the ethics and morals it rests upon are a fine way to live ones life, I've just never quite understood that point of doctrine.
-Will

#23 Biochemist

Biochemist

    Eccentric Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2229 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 09:15 AM

... The thing I never understood about Christianity is why Christ had to die for sins to be forgiven. ......

Well, at the risk of dragging the thread even further off topic, this is a really primary question. If I could rephrase your question, you have essentially asked "The thing I never understood about Christianity is Christianity."

I am frankly a little surprised that more folks in contemporary society do not ask this question. It made a lot of sense to first century Jews, but it does not really make sense to a lot of 21st century peoples.

In the Old Testament, God established that people need to make atonement for sin. The establishment of the atonemment mechanism started early (with the first shreds in the Cain/Abel story in Genesis) and with full description in the Mosaic law (in Leviticus). The model was that people offered sacrifices of animals throughout the year, and a major sacrifice at a particularly holy sacrificial ceremony on the annual day of atonement (this is the present day Yom Kippur).

To us 21st century folks, this seems sort of barbarian, and I don't claim to understand why God established this particular mechanism. As you suggested, He could do whatever he wanted. Nevertheless, God established that the penalty for doing things wrong (sin) is death, and that the death of an animal offered in humility would temporarily atone for the wrongs committed by His people.

Christ came along to act as the final "sacrificial lamb" for all generations. That is, Christ's death was required, and Christ also had to be sinless. The critical element is that the "highest righteousness of man" is not good enough for God, so He established a mechanism to make us holy by His own power.

If you take Christ's death out of Christianity, there is no Christianity left.

If you want to talk more about this, you ought to start a new thread. This one was started to talk about apparent contradictions in the Bible.

#24 Southtown

Southtown

    differentiating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1922 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 09:17 AM

Why does Allah,God, whatever have to explain himself to people? The thing I never understood about Christianity is why Christ had to die for sins to be forgiven. It seems to me like if God were all powerful, he could have done what he pleased. I have no argument with the religion, I think the ethics and morals it rests upon are a fine way to live ones life, I've just never quite understood that point of doctrine.
-Will


Below is what I told adnaan. Summarized is God doesn't do "what He wants to," He does what is right. And I mean right as in absolutely right, as in all who fully understand His actions will agree that they are just. That's why punishment had to be dealt to someone for the sin in the world, so that God wouldn't just be a corrupt judge, showing favor to some and prejudice to others.

Sin is only sin because God said it was, so if He sporatically ignored His own standards, He would be inconsistent. God knows that humans, angels, and such have minds to think with, He gave them to us after all. And if we can think for ourselves we can disagree with God, unless He is absolutely correct all the time. If He is always absolutely correct, then He deserves our worship. God is trying to show by allowing this sinful world to continue to it's end that what He says is true and sin cannot be tolerated or it will destroy us all - knowledge that may prove useful in the next world. LOL

I dont understand why such an event would be taken place, when simply like many other christians have told me, if you ask for forgiveness you will be forgiven.

Christ's sacrifice gives God the power to forgive sins, while also remaining uncorrupt. Would we call a judge honest if he let criminals go free? Aren't cops that let criminals go breaking the same law they claim to uphold, making them hypocrits? God can't remain good if He simply sweeps wrong doing under the rug. To me at least, the sacrifice of Jesus testifies both to the unswerving justice of God, and His undying love for humanity, two qualities I would demand in a deity.



#25 Southtown

Southtown

    differentiating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1922 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 09:28 AM

If you want to talk more about this, you ought to start a new thread. This one was started to talk about apparent contradictions in the Bible.

Sorry, I'll drop it now. I just couldn't resist the opportunity seeing as how this is why most of the world doesn't credit Christianity as reasonable.

To us 21st century folks, this seems sort of barbarian, and I don't claim to understand why God established this particular mechanism. As you suggested, He could do whatever he wanted. Nevertheless, God established that the penalty for doing things wrong (sin) is death, and that the death of an animal offered in humility would temporarily atone for the wrongs committed by His people.

In my opinion, some kind of action was required both for Hebrews to remember their God and to show allegience. I don't think the sacrifices provided atonement at all, but their willingness to listen to and believe God ultimately purified their souls. "and he [Abraham] believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness." - Genesis 15:6 (nkjv) The same requirement of faith was also neatly transferred to Christianity.

#26 Biochemist

Biochemist

    Eccentric Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2229 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 09:28 AM

...Does Christians still have the original Bible in its original text? I hear that the Bible has been modernized countlessly, what if someone translated it wrongly? or made a grammatical error? ...

No. We do not have the original manuscripts. The oldest texts we have for the Old Testament are from about 300BC (the dead sea scrolls). I believe the oldest complete texts for the Old Testament are from about 900 AD (the Masoretic texts).

The New Testament comprises the four gospels and a set of epistles (letters) that were authored by different authors at different times. Most were originally authored between about 50AD and 120 AD. We have none of the original texts, as they were all probably written on papyrus (the common paper of the day), and hence were not anticipated to be used for extended periods. I believe the oldest document we have in support of the New Testament is a gospel of John from about 120 AD.

But there are many relevant documents to both the old and new testaments (thousands, actually) that exist in several languages. The OT was written in Hebrew, and translated into other languages (greek, latin, etc). The NT was written in Greek (with some parts in Aramaic, the contemporary Hebrew dialect to Jesus) and translated into other languages as well.

The study of source texts and reconciliation of meaning between various early translations is called textual criticism. Textual criticism is central to any informed discussion of Biblical accuracy.

#27 Biochemist

Biochemist

    Eccentric Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2229 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 09:53 AM

...In my opinion, some kind of action was required both for Hebrews to remember their God and to show allegience. I don't think the sacrifices provided atonement at all, but their willingness to listen to and believe God ultimately purified their souls. "and he [Abraham] believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness." - Genesis 15:6 (nkjv) The same requirement of faith was also neatly transferred to Christianity.

I suspect you are correct on this. It is telling that this very same example is used as the primary framework for faith in the New Testament in Romans 4. I think the nature of the requirement of faith has never changed.

#28 adnaan

adnaan

    Thinking

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 40 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 10:02 AM

Sorry, but I still don't understand, but...

"Christ's sacrifice gives God the power to forgive sins," so we were created unholy, and the only way to become holy was for God to cause this whole event. Its like a game, he plays with our brains. I dont believe he would do that.

"God can't remain good if He simply sweeps wrong doing under the rug." He obviously doesn't sweep wrong doing away simply, he forgives those who ask for forgiveness for what I know of. I dont think God would want to sacrifice himself, that should be generally impossible, he is a God, he does not bleed.

I really find no reason why Christ had to be sacrificed, and Southtown your answers, well are not really answering me in a way I will be satisfied with. You say that Christ had to be sacrificed, I say he didnt, You say that without his sacrifice we would be unholy, I say no. I think God should be reasoning to all people from the start of time. Why this whole event of Jesus sacrifice 2000 years ago?

Obviously you can see no one convinced me Jesus was God, because I have not been given any evidence of that.

You guys dont have the original text, then how would people say "The Bible is fully the word of God," when somewhere in the Bible, there could possibly be some kind of mistake caused by humans, and obviously through Christianity views, we are unholy, we commit so many sins, we are never perfect, and i believe that we are not perfect, thats why im concidering the fact the Bible has been corrupted partially over time.

Since we are in the thread for contradictions, I will give one. In the Bible, Jesus was baptized. I ask why? isnt he sinless? why baptize a sinless man? doesnt that contradict what Christians say that he is sinless. Then why did he get baptized by John.

#29 Southtown

Southtown

    differentiating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1922 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 10:39 AM

...so we were created unholy...

Adam and Eve were created, and they sinned. The rest of us are just offspring.

And I'm not trying to convince you of or prove anything. I'm just trying to answer your questions from a believer's perspective. Please take my ideas with a grain of salt. I'm just disagreeing with a few of your assertions for contradiction.

Since we are in the thread for contradictions, I will give one. In the Bible, Jesus was baptized. I ask why? isnt he sinless? why baptize a sinless man? doesnt that contradict what Christians say that he is sinless. Then why did he get baptized by John.

Now that is a good one. I have no idea, really. But I think this is another ideological complexity rather than a factual contradiction.

#30 Biochemist

Biochemist

    Eccentric Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2229 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 11:36 AM

...You guys dont have the original text, then how would people say "The Bible is fully the word of God," when somewhere in the Bible, there could possibly be some kind of mistake caused by humans,...thats why im concidering the fact the Bible has been corrupted partially over time.

Actually, most conservatives believe that the Bible has been partially corrupted over time. The standard position among conservative theologians ("conservative" in this context means that the individual belives the Bible is "true") is that the Bible is inerrant in its original manuscripts. The current versions of the Bible are close facsimiles, but not exact representations. The evidence is pretty strong that the current version are truly close facsimiles, but the difficulty in translation from original meaning remains high in some passages.

Since we are in the thread for contradictions, I will give one. In the Bible, Jesus was baptized. I ask why?

This is not a contradiction per se. The Bible does not say two different things about this issue. It can certainly be confusing, but not contradictory.

Most conservatives regard baptism as an outward testimony of committment. In this context, Jesus' baptism by John was the seminal event that launched His puiblic ministry. It had nothing to do with cleansing from sin in Jesus' case. Most folks believe it has nothing to do with cleansing from sin in our case either. Some differ on that point.

#31 Southtown

Southtown

    differentiating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1922 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 11:44 AM

You guys dont have the original text, then how would people say "The Bible is fully the word of God," when somewhere in the Bible, there could possibly be some kind of mistake caused by humans, and obviously through Christianity views, we are unholy, we commit so many sins, we are never perfect, and i believe that we are not perfect, thats why im concidering the fact the Bible has been corrupted partially over time.

I, and I assume most Christians, believe that the original scripture is the word of God. But copies are not originals, so they must be scrutinized as you say, of course. The scriptures change mostly because of new evidence or better understanding of ancient cultures, etc. Not because someone has a whim to change it into whatever they want. If so, they couldn't change mine, or anyone else's. It would be published like any other book, and it would just sit on a shelf waiting to be sold. Somebody coming along will most likely compare it to other versions.

Some will accept the new version as truth, others knowledgable in textual criticism or other translations may see the new different/added/omitted verses and wonder why they are there. All it takes is one person to research the validity of changes and spread the word through the community or industry. Anyone who buys bibles should research them well, that goes for anything we buy actually, especially things that determine our religious beliefs. I cannot pretend to excuse people who just blindly believe any books. Some people will, of course, just believe things blindly. Those kind of people will be errant in any arena, be it Christianity, Islam, TV, politicians, and even science.

#32 adnaan

adnaan

    Thinking

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 40 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 12:19 PM

For what I have heard, Muslims have memorized the Quran to ensure from the beginning, when they received it, that it will never become corrupt. Which wasnt that bad of an idea, I thought maybe it was actually smart, for that time.

This time I think is contradictory. A friend showed me this one.

Who found the empty tomb?
According to Matthew 28:1, only "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary."

According to Mark 16:1, "Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome."

According to Luke 23:55, 24:1 and 24:10, "the women who had come with him out of Galilee." Among these women were "Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James." Luke indicates in verse 24:10 that there were at least two others.

According to John 20:1-4, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb alone, saw the stone removed, ran to find Peter, and returned to the tomb with Peter and another disciple.

Who did they find at the tomb?
According to Matthew 28:2-4, an angel of the Lord with an appearance like lightning was sitting on the stone that had been rolled away. Also present were the guards that Pilate had contributed. On the way back from the tomb the women meet Jesus (Matthew 28:9).

According to Mark 16:5, a young man in a white robe was sitting inside the tomb.

According to Luke 24:4, two men in dazzling apparel. It is not clear if the men were inside the tomb or outside of it.

According to John 20:4-14, Mary and Peter and the other disciple initially find just an empty tomb. Peter and the other disciple enter the tomb and find only the wrappings. Then Peter and the other disciple leave and Mary looks in the tomb to find two angels in white. After a short conversation with the angels, Mary turns around to find Jesus.

Who did the women tell about the empty tomb?
According to Mark 16:8, "they said nothing to anyone."

According to Matthew 28:8, they "ran to report it to His disciples."

According to Luke 24:9, "they reported these things to the eleven and to all the rest."

According to John 20:18, Mary Magdalene announces to the disciples that she has seen the Lord.

#33 Biochemist

Biochemist

    Eccentric Heretic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2229 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 01:51 PM

...
Who found the empty tomb?
Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Luke 23:55, 24:1 and 24:10,John 20:1-4

Who did they find at the tomb?
Matthew 28:2-4, Matthew 28:9, Mark 16:5, Luke 24:4, John 20:4-14,

Who did the women tell about the empty tomb?
Mark 16:8, Matthew 28:8, Luke 24:9, John 20:18,


Interesting examples. You will note that the examples you gave in your first and second questions are all easily reconcilable in normal English usage, without even wading into any depth of Greek meaning. The number of folks at the tomb and the total number of trips to the tomb is unknown. The sequence of trips is also not very well laid out in any individual gospel.

Most scholars believe that all of the named individuals were present, at one trip or at several trips. The more intriguing question is why specific authors chose to mention specific elements and not others. It would indeed be shocking if all of the account offered identical details. If that were true, textual critics would assume that the authors collaborated. The variances in detail accounting suggest that the story is indeed true because the details are 1) different and 2) easily reconcilable.

The last question (who did they tell) probably requires some investigation into Greek usage. The "they told no one" phrase probably suggests that they told no one until they saw the disciples. Indeed, none of the stories suggest that the tomb visitors broadcast what they has seen to anyone other than the disciples, which seem a little odd given the gravity of the circumstances. That is, they walked an extended distance to go find the discuples in the "upper room" and told no one until they found the disciples. This is a little bit odd, but actually lends creedence to the story, rather than detracts from it. If the story were fabricated, the author would have likely suggested that the tomb visitors immediately told all they came in contact with about the news.

The Gospels have been reconciled in detail a number of times. An example is:

http://www.tektonics...reenharmony.htm

I like this one just because it is particularly old, and fundamentally reasonable. There are other newer harmonizations of the gospels that include more recent archaeological evidence.

The same tektonics site has some other examples of detailed reconcilitations of other passages as well.

#34 Southtown

Southtown

    differentiating

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1922 posts

Posted 02 July 2005 - 02:03 PM

For what I have heard, Muslims have memorized the Quran to ensure from the beginning, when they received it, that it will never become corrupt. Which wasnt that bad of an idea, I thought maybe it was actually smart, for that time.

Hahaha! Are you saying the human memory is infallible? Mine isn't. Mine is actually defective now that I think about it.

Regarding the Qur'an: if subsequent translations of Judeo-Christian scripture should be considered unreliable, how can you hold the Qur'an (which professes the same deity: the God of Abraham) reliable, even if it remains unchanged, since it wasn't even written until after Muhammed in the sixth century A.D.? The continuity flows throught the many books that make up the bible, but then this Qur'an comes along much later and basically turns the biblical canon on its head, in the name of the God in the bible?! This logic to me is awry, and the intentions of the Qur'an's writers I find suspect.