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Author Topic:   Squaring circles: direct biblical contradictions
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1629 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


(1)
Message 91 of 161 (532453)
10-23-2009 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Blzebub
10-23-2009 12:14 PM


Re: Incorrect Information
quote:
At least one of the two different threshing-floor prices must have been incorrect at the time of writing, and indeed at any other time. The price was already paid, and is an immutable fact (whatever the price actually was).
They could both be wrong. Who cares?

The point here is that you're getting stuck on a difference that is insignificant. It has no theological value. It has nothing to do with whether God is perfect or if the Bible is the word of God.

You're wasting time, trying to make issues out of nonissues.

All you're showing is that you haven't done your homework and are unable to objectively read the simple reading of the writings.

I'm probably the most neutral person here (IMO) when it comes to reading the Bible text. I'm not the most knowledgeable, but my belief system doesn't need protecting. Dogma is what I battle. Hell, I've argued that the fires of Hell have gone out and there is no eternal torment!

You have not made a case for your conclusion: If god is perfect, and the bible is god's word, then the bible must be inerrant (without error). If the bible is god's word, yet contains errors, then god is not perfect. Like I said, the Bible is not considered the word of God because it is inerrant. Before you can claim that an error in the Bible means God is not flawless, you need to connect God to the production of the Bible.

If what you want to show is that God is not flawless, then you picked the wrong way to go about it. You haven't or won't provide the evidence that makes the connection. Slamming God or Christianity is not support or evidence.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Blzebub, posted 10-23-2009 12:14 PM Blzebub has not yet responded

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 62 days)
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


(2)
Message 92 of 161 (532477)
10-23-2009 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Blzebub
10-23-2009 12:02 PM


Re: Errors
Hi Blzebub and if I haven't said so already, welcome to EvC.

First, let me make my own position clear; I don't like the Bible. I think it is a nasty little book. It's full of bad advice, bad morality and bad history. It's a bad book. I myself am an atheist.

Having said that, I think you're coming at this from the wrong angle.

For starters, some of the contradictions you've chosen are quite weak. Two different prices? Who gives a shit? It is certainly a contradiction, but it is an absurdly trivial point.

Secondly, you seem to be insistent on viewing the Bible through modern eyes, which is, in my view, a mistake. It is not a modern work, it is a product of its times. The example of Lot is a good one here. You say that it is a contradiction. I disagree. It only becomes a contradiction when viewed through the rose-coloured glasses of modern morality.

I agree that Lot's actions come across as abhorrent to a modern audience. But the story wasn't written for a modern audience, it was written for a society where misogyny was the norm. That's the reason why Lot shows so much greater concern for protecting his male guests than for his own daughter. But it is not a contradiction. If anything, it is very much in line with the treatment of women in the Old Testament, i.e. piss-poor.

When the Bible claims that God is good, it does so by the low standards of its own era and depicts him (and his chosen favourites) in this light. There is no contradiction in that, indeed, there would be more of a contradiction if Lot's actions were in line with modern morality.

Don't get me wrong; I think the story of Lot is a problem for Christians. I think it highlights the disconnect between our moral values and those of the Bible (this kind of thing is usually more obvious in the OT). The story is oft quoted by sceptics (Dawkins is fond of citing it) and I think that is a good thing. But it is only worth bringing up because it demonstrates poor moral values in the Bible, not because it contradicts some other part of the text. It is of much more use in countering the "morality comes from the Bible" argument.

The third reason why I think you are picking the wrong target is this;

Blzebub writes:

This is what the thread is supposed to be about. A clear "mission statement" which sets out the rationale for belief: the bible is the word of god, and cannot be questioned.

I have to say, that is a version of Christianity limited to a comparatively few believers. I don't think that the majority of Christians would share that assessment of their beliefs. I think that most Christians would take a slightly more enlightened view, namely that the errors and contradictions in the text are human errors and that the Bible is not perfect.

In attacking this minority hard-line opinion, you are, at best, arguing with a minor rump of fundamentalist believers. At worst, when you paint this as being the opinion of all Christians, you are attacking a strawman. I guess what I’m saying is that in trying to force your opponents into a hard-line position, you are guaranteed to waste your time; the real hardliners won’t listen and the moderates never believed it in the first place.

Whilst I admire your zeal, my advice is that you save your ammo for more deserving targets. If nothing else, contradictions rarely impress the kind of Christian you have been describing. They always have a glib answer for anything you bring up. I think there are stronger arguments to be made against religion.

Oh and by the way, when purpledawn says this;

purpledawn writes:

I'm probably the most neutral person here (IMO) when it comes to reading the Bible text. I'm not the most knowledgeable, but my belief system doesn't need protecting. Dogma is what I battle.

she ain’t lyin’. PD is one of the most honest and thoughtful members on here and one of the people whose posts I always make time to read. She is no rabid fundamentalist, defending the Bible against all accusations regardless of their truth. I think you should readdress what she’s been saying, because you seem to be talking past her.

Mutate and Survive


"A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it." - Jacques Monod
This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Blzebub, posted 10-23-2009 12:02 PM Blzebub has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by purpledawn, posted 10-23-2009 3:39 PM Granny Magda has not yet responded
 Message 98 by purpledawn, posted 10-24-2009 8:20 AM Granny Magda has acknowledged this reply

    
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 93 of 161 (532479)
10-23-2009 3:16 PM


Oh and by the way, when purpledawn says this;

purpledawn writes:

I'm probably the most neutral person here (IMO) when it comes to reading the Bible text. I'm not the most knowledgeable, but my belief system doesn't need protecting. Dogma is what I battle.

she ain’t lyin’. PD is one of the most honest and thoughtful members on here and one of the people whose posts I always make time to read.

Seconded!

The only reason I read this thread is because I love Purpledawn's stuff.

I always read and appreciate her take on the Bible and I feel like I have learned a lot from her.

Thank you Purpledawn!


  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1629 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 94 of 161 (532486)
10-23-2009 3:39 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by Granny Magda
10-23-2009 3:05 PM


Short Off Topic for Thanks
Thank you GM and CS. It is nice to know that my thoughts (unorthodox as they are sometimes) are appreciated.

Now if I can blow out all my birthday candles tomorrow without melting my eyebrows, it will be a great ending to the week.

Thanks
PurpleDawn Purple


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Granny Magda, posted 10-23-2009 3:05 PM Granny Magda has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by Perdition, posted 10-23-2009 3:58 PM purpledawn has responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 1409 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 95 of 161 (532491)
10-23-2009 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by purpledawn
10-23-2009 3:39 PM


Short Off Topic for Happy Birthday
Now if I can blow out all my birthday candles tomorrow without melting my eyebrows, it will be a great ending to the week.

Well, have a great birthday. Many well wishes and hopes for you. I also enjoy your posts quite a bit. I had been thinking about posting much as Granny did, but I didn't feel up to the task.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by purpledawn, posted 10-23-2009 3:39 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1629 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 96 of 161 (532499)
10-23-2009 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Perdition
10-23-2009 3:58 PM


Re: Short Off Topic for Happy Birthday
Thank you and I am glad you enjoy my posts. Granny did write an excellent post.

My sister surprised me with an early cake and had 6 little 50 candles. So apparently I'm going to be 300 years old!

Now back to the topic before I have to chastise myself.

Are there any real contradictions within the Bible that make any theological difference?

I'll have to look at one of those contradiction websites and see if they have any.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Perdition, posted 10-23-2009 3:58 PM Perdition has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 10-24-2009 8:17 AM purpledawn has responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1273 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


(1)
Message 97 of 161 (532574)
10-24-2009 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by purpledawn
10-23-2009 5:07 PM


Re: Short Off Topic for Happy Birthday
My biggest issues as far as Biblical contradictions have to do with moral contradictions/inconsistencies with the nature of God i.e. how can the good, loving God of the NT advocate slavery, buchering innocent children etc in the OT. That would be worth discussing as well.

I look to the Bible much as Thomas Jefferson did. That is as a human-created religious book of antichoty which does have some (though not all) rather good moral advice to follow (i.e. Proverbs is one of my favorite books as well as many of Jesus sayings in the Gospel). Even though I disagree with using it as a religious primer I think that like any other book, we can take the good out and leave the bad. I know this is blasphamy to religious believers but realize that I am not a religious person.

However, I do agree that many of the nitpicking little contradictions that have been given previously are to me not really contradictions but inherent to all literature especially books of antichoty and as GM pointed out must be viewed in the light of the worldview of that day and age. This of course does not make the attrocities in the Bible (especially the OT) any better than those conducted by any other civilization of that day and age.


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous.” - Carl Sagan, The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World


This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by purpledawn, posted 10-23-2009 5:07 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by purpledawn, posted 10-24-2009 12:27 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1629 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 98 of 161 (532575)
10-24-2009 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by Granny Magda
10-23-2009 3:05 PM


Lot and Levite
quote:
I agree that Lot's actions come across as abhorrent to a modern audience. But the story wasn't written for a modern audience, it was written for a society where misogyny was the norm. That's the reason why Lot shows so much greater concern for protecting his male guests than for his own daughter. But it is not a contradiction. If anything, it is very much in line with the treatment of women in the Old Testament, i.e. piss-poor.
The story of Lot is probably just that, a story. (His wife turns to salt, the offspring of the daughters just happen to become the enemy tribes of Israel, etc.) What is interesting though is that that same scenario takes place in Judges 19 in an Israelite city.

In the Judges story, which is also just a story, the concubine was thrown to the wolves and didn't survive.
The Levite’s Concubine: The Story That Never Was

The article says the tale is used to show how corrupt Israel had become.

From a literary standpoint this scenario may just be a way of showing a place is corrupt, not that it really happened, since it was also used to show Sodom was corrupt.

I've read old folk tales, and they tend to be rather harsh. It makes one wonder if they are a totally true reflection of the times or an exaggerated reflection of the times. Writers tend to want the shock factor. Of course the early history of Israel may be more fiction than fact.

I do think it's dangerous when people take the stories as actual events and feel it is something to emulate. We don't follow outdated laws and ways today, so why would we want to follow laws and ways that are over 2000 years old? (rhetorical) Looking at the history of the Jews, their way and laws changed over time. The NT showed even further progress.

Religion changes over time, for better or worse, as the Bible shows. Originally the church of my childhood had two doors to enter through. The women through one door and the men through the other. They didn't sit together. That was changed before I was born, thankfully. Times change.

From our viewpoint today, these tales are an odd way to show corruption; but it may have been a significant marker for their time. We just have to remember that it wasn't written for us.

I haven't found a real theological contradiction yet, as opposed to a theological progression, from a contradiction list.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Granny Magda, posted 10-23-2009 3:05 PM Granny Magda has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by Blzebub, posted 10-24-2009 9:31 AM purpledawn has responded

  
Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3412 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


Message 99 of 161 (532578)
10-24-2009 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by purpledawn
10-24-2009 8:20 AM


Re: Lot and Levite
I haven't found a real theological contradiction yet, as opposed to a theological progression, from a contradiction list.

My point wasn't necessarily to show so-called "theological" anomalies.

But the kill/no-kill one still stands, IMO. If you accept the absurd defence that god was using men as a weapon against one another, then this clashes with statements that "god is a god of love".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by purpledawn, posted 10-24-2009 8:20 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by purpledawn, posted 10-24-2009 11:57 AM Blzebub has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1629 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 100 of 161 (532584)
10-24-2009 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by Blzebub
10-24-2009 9:31 AM


Kill or No Kill
quote:
My point wasn't necessarily to show so-called "theological" anomalies.
I'm not sure you really know what your point is.

quote:
But the kill/no-kill one still stands, IMO. If you accept the absurd defence that god was using men as a weapon against one another, then this clashes with statements that "god is a god of love".
Then let's actually discuss it.

#5 from the OP:

Blzebub writes:

5. God prohibits killing:

Exodus 20:13 (King James Version)

Thou shalt not kill.

God orders killing:

Exodus 32:27 (King James Version)

And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.

Deuteronomy 7:2 (King James Version)

And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

My response from Message 8:

PurpleDawn writes:

Exodus 20:13 is a priestly writing and later than the Exodus 32:27 story.

Deuteronomy 7:2 refers to conquering/war. The law of not killing refers to people with the nation of Israel killing each other.

Iano's response from Message 23

iano writes:

Bzlbub writes:

5. God prohibits killing:

God prohibits man killing. Thou = man

God orders killing

God doesn't prohibit God killing. Thou not= God.

In this case God is the killer and man the weapon of Gods choice. Man isn't subject to the law which prohibits him deciding to kill off his own bat in this case (think of our own laws prohibiting killing yet that same authority can instruct us to kill (executioner/soldier))

Kbertsche's response from Message 34:

kbertsche writes:

quote:
5. God prohibits killing:

Exodus 20:13 (King James Version)
Thou shalt not kill.


"Kill" is a poor translation of ratsach; it should read "murder" as it does in most modern translations.

Unfortunately your initial responses in Message 26, Message 31, and Message 38 were less than stellar and didn't address what was presented by the responders.

Participants have shown you several times that you are viewing the text with modern eyes.

Iano actually explained the difference very well. You're looking at a difference between laws for individuals, laws that deal with punishment and laws that deal with war. Do you understand the difference? If yes, why do you feel the Nation of Israel didn't function the same?

Now when you say this clashes with statements like "God is a god of love" then you are looking at current theology, beliefs, views, etc. We aren't going to get anywhere if you can't admit what you're actually trying to debate.

As far as these verses go, you need to provide evidence that the God of the OT was only presented as a God of Love or that God can't love his chosen people and still help them fight their enemies. The Nation of Israel was a Theocracy, meaning God ruled.

Bottom line is, show evidence that our statements are wrong.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Blzebub, posted 10-24-2009 9:31 AM Blzebub has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by Blzebub, posted 10-24-2009 1:18 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1629 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 101 of 161 (532586)
10-24-2009 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by DevilsAdvocate
10-24-2009 8:17 AM


NT vs OT
quote:
My biggest issues as far as Biblical contradictions have to do with moral contradictions/inconsistencies with the nature of God i.e. how can the good, loving God of the NT advocate slavery, buchering innocent children etc in the OT. That would be worth discussing as well.
How can the United States claim to be a free country when it advocated slavery, slaughtering natives, etc. in their history.

If you read the history of the Jews, you see a nation battling the same battles as every other nation to survive. They struggled with changes in the world around them. They were influenced by those who conquered them. They had to make changes to stay in the game so to speak. Religion also has to change, laws updated, etc. the same thing other nations do. Was Israel any worse than the other nations of the time? Didn't several groups consider themselves to be special or the chosen people of their god? I think some Native American tribes did. We don't even know if these events happened as depicted. They may have been grossly exaggerated to make Israel look fierce.

The idea that God cannot or will not allow change is something that hurts Christians and I think it hurts the religion-free who try to understand this vocal religion. IMO, it is a misconception. The Bible shows change, why do we insist it can't? If the supposed goal is for man to behave better, they have to change and the religion with them.

Gods have changed from being personifications of nature to untouchable concepts that change to stay ahead of man's knowledge.

Why is the Christian God not allowed to change by those who are religion free? I know some Christians present God as unchanging; but, IMO, that more from their own insecurity.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 10-24-2009 8:17 AM DevilsAdvocate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 10-24-2009 3:16 PM purpledawn has responded

  
Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3412 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


Message 102 of 161 (532591)
10-24-2009 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by purpledawn
10-24-2009 11:57 AM


Re: Kill or No Kill
Now when you say this clashes with statements like "God is a god of love" then you are looking at current theology, beliefs, views, etc. We aren't going to get anywhere if you can't admit what you're actually trying to debate.

So, religions these days pick and choose amongst conflicting biblical verses, in order to suit their current agendas. Agendas which are actually set by the secular moral zeitgeist! It's totally lame behaviour.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by purpledawn, posted 10-24-2009 11:57 AM purpledawn has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3883
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 103 of 161 (532602)
10-24-2009 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by Blzebub
10-24-2009 1:18 PM


Please, a little more friendly and a little more...
...evidence and support for the position you are taking.

What you have been doing is a variation of what is often called the "Gish gallop", named after creationist Duane Gish. Firing off an rather diverse array of questions without any real discussion of what was replied to you.

Purpledawn is a very reasonable person. We ask that you respond in kind. Don't be a jerk.

No replies to this moderation message. Doing such will get you a 24 hour suspension.

Adminnemooseus


This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by Blzebub, posted 10-24-2009 1:18 PM Blzebub has not yet responded

    
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1273 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


(1)
Message 104 of 161 (532603)
10-24-2009 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by purpledawn
10-24-2009 12:27 PM


Re: NT vs OT
Purpledawn writes:

How can the United States claim to be a free country when it advocated slavery, slaughtering natives, etc. in their history.

If you read the history of the Jews, you see a nation battling the same battles as every other nation to survive. They struggled with changes in the world around them. They were influenced by those who conquered them. They had to make changes to stay in the game so to speak. Religion also has to change, laws updated, etc. the same thing other nations do. Was Israel any worse than the other nations of the time? Didn't several groups consider themselves to be special or the chosen people of their god? I think some Native American tribes did. We don't even know if these events happened as depicted. They may have been grossly exaggerated to make Israel look fierce.

If you are advocating the Bible as a historical account of the origin of the Israelite people than I have no beef with this and therefore no beef with your interpretation of the Bible.

However this is not the perspective many fundamentalist Christians have. How do I know? I used to be one.

PD writes:

The idea that God cannot or will not allow change is something that hurts Christians and I think it hurts the religion-free who try to understand this vocal religion. IMO, it is a misconception. The Bible shows change, why do we insist it can't? If the supposed goal is for man to behave better, they have to change and the religion with them.

Ok, I have no beef with this religious belief either.

PD writes:

Why is the Christian God not allowed to change by those who are religion free? I know some Christians present God as unchanging; but, IMO, that more from their own insecurity.

I am just curious how does this jive with verses such as:

I Samuel 15:29 "He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind."

Malachi 3:6 "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed."

Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

And not only does the Bible say God never changes, it also says his word never changes:

Psalms 119:89 "Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens."

Psalms 119:144 "Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live."

Psalms 111:7-8 "The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are steadfast for ever and ever,
done in faithfulness and uprightness"

Matthew 5:18 "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

I Peter 1:25-25 "For, 'All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.' And this is the word that was preached to you"

Of course this is all accepting what these people are saying is true of there interpretation of the character of God.

In addition, every type of Christian church I have been to (Independent Baptist, Southern Baptist, Independent Christian Church, Church of Christ, Methodist, etc) has stated that the character nature of God does not change and his word does not change. No this is not the entirety of Christiandom but it is a large segment of it.

To me, I just think you have a less literal interpretation of the Bible than many other Christians do. Frankly, I don't care, since I think it is all human derived anyways but I am just curious how you rationalize this.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by purpledawn, posted 10-24-2009 12:27 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Blzebub, posted 10-24-2009 4:08 PM DevilsAdvocate has not yet responded
 Message 107 by purpledawn, posted 10-24-2009 9:29 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

  
Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3412 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


Message 105 of 161 (532605)
10-24-2009 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by DevilsAdvocate
10-24-2009 3:16 PM


Re: NT vs OT
Bravo!

I was brought up as a catholic, and was instructed that god doesn't change. Catholicism represents an enormous slice of "christendom".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 10-24-2009 3:16 PM DevilsAdvocate has not yet responded

  
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