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The Bible is not inerrant

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posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 01:25 PM
Let it be said and heard!

Bible Errors and Contradictions - P. Wesley Edwards
(updated 1-Sept-2004)

Bible debates, perhaps more than any other debate topic, can become lost in endless details of interpretation and subtle questions of translation. It can easily seem that to get into the debate at all requires one to be a Biblical scholar. Fortunately, this is not the case, particularly when dealing with fundamentalists who claim that the Bible is free of error and contradiction.

The claim of Biblical inerrancy puts the Christian in the position of not just claiming that the original Bible was free of error (and, remember, none of the original autograph manuscripts exist) but that their modern version of the Bible is the end result of an error-free history of copying and translation beginning with the originals. Such a position is so specific that it allows one to falsify it simply by reference to the Bible itself. For example, Gen 32:30 states, "...for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." However, John 1:18 states, "No man hath seen God at any time..." Both statements cannot be true. Either there is an error of fact, or an error of translation. In either case, there is an error. And if there is an error, then infallibility of the Bible (in this case the King James Version) is falsified. A typical defense used here is to look up the meaning of the original Hebrew / Greek, read that one of the words can have multiple meanings, and then pick the meaning that seems to break the contradiction. For example, the Christian might argue that "seen" or "face" means one thing in the first scripture, and something completely different in the second. The logical flaw in this approach is that it amounts to saying that the translator should have chosen to use a different word in one of the two scriptures in order to avoid the resulting logical contradiction that now appears in English—that is, the translator made an error. If no translation error occurred, then an error of fact exists in at least one of the two scriptures. Appeals to "context" are irrelevant in cases like this where simple declarative statements are involved such as "no one has seen God" and "I have seen God." Simply put, no "context" makes a contradiction or a false statement, like 2 = 3, true.

If one is prepared to allow for the possibility of translator or transcriber errors, then the claim of Biblical inerrancy is completely undermined since no originals exist to serve as a benchmark against which to identify the errors. Left only with our error-prone copies of the originals, the claim of infallibility becomes completely vacuous. Pandora's Box would truly be open: You could have the Bible say whatever you want it to say by simply claiming that words to the contrary are the result of copying or translation/interpretation errors, and nothing could prove you wrong.

Let's look at several more of these context-independent contradictions and errors of fact.


2 Kings 8:26 says "Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign..."
2 Chronicles 22:2 says "Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign..."

2 Samuel 6:23 says "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death"
2 Samuel 21:8 says "But the king took...the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul"

2 Samuel 8:3-4 says "David smote also Hadadezer...and took from hundred horsemen..."
1 Chronicles 18:3-4 says "David smote Hadarezer...and took from thousand horsemen..."

1 Kings 4:26 says "And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots..."
2 Chronicles 9:25 says "And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots..."

2 Kings 25:8 says "And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month...Nebuzaradan...came...unto Jerusalem"
Jeremiah 52:12 says " the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month...came Nebuzaradan...into Jerusalem"

1 Samuel 31:4-6 says "...Saul took a sword and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead and...died with him. So Saul died..."
2 Samuel 21:12 says "...the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa."

Gen 2:17 says "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eastest thereof thou shalt surely die [note: it doesn't say 'spiritual' death]
Gen 5:5 says "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."

Matt 1:16 says, "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus..."
Luke 3:23 says "And Jesus...the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli"

James 1:13 says "..for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man."
Gen 22:1 says "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham..."

Gen 6:20 says "Of fowls after their kind and of cattle [etc.]...two of every sort shall come unto thee..."
Gen 7:2,3 says "Of every clean beast thou shall take to thee by sevens...Of fowls also of the air by sevens..."

Luke23:46: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."
John 19:30 "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

Gen 32:30 states "...for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
John 1:18 states, "No man hath seen God at any time..."

Factual Errors

1 Kings 7:23 "He made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."
Circumference = Pi() x Diameter, which means the line would have to have been over 31 cubits. In order for this to be rounding, it would have had to overstate the amount to ensure that the line did "compass it round about."

Lev 11:20-21: "All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you."
Fowl do not go upon all four.

Lev 11:6: "And the hare, because he cheweth the cud..."
Hare do not chew the cud.

Deut 14:7: " " the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof."
For the hare this is wrong on both counts: Hare don’t chew the cud and they do divide the "hoof."

Jonah 1:17 says, "...Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights" Matt 12:40 says "...Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly..."
whales and fish are not related

Matt 13:31-32: " "the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed which…is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown is the greatest among herbs and becometh a tree."
There are 2 significant errors here: first, there are many smaller seeds, like the orchid seed; and second, mustard plants don't grow into trees.

Matt 4:8: " Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them."
Unless the world is flat, altitude simply will not help you see all the kingdoms of the earth.

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 01:41 PM
LOL Ok, ALL of those have already been answered- I didn't see a single one that hasn't been presented a gazillion and a half times. All of these are even already answered in the link I provided you on two separate threads.

But you immediately close yourself off from the answers that resolve your issues. Like translation, context, or scribal. Sorry but that is EXACTLY how it is resolved in many cases. You're basically saying that the correct explanations are not permissible and you cannot use the correct explanations to deny these errors.

It would be like me asking you for an answer to 2 + 2. However, then I say the typical solution is '4' so your answer must be something else. But four is the correct answer. If you do not give me the answer of '4' then you are wrong. But you will be wrong with whatever else you say because the correct answer truly is 4.

You are posing an impossible test.

[edit on 9/25/2008 by AshleyD]

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 01:44 PM
I do believe in God or a higher power but the bible was written by man, i.e. a creature that is capable of great stupidity.
BTW, I also believe in evolution.

Someone send this to Pat Robertson!

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 01:51 PM
reply to post by AshleyD

Sure. 2 + 2 = 4 ie. stupid authors.

This is called 'dodging the question' by the way.

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 01:56 PM
reply to post by Good Wolf

No, it's called 'exposing a set up.'

I have already responded to your 'Bible Contradiction Concern' in two separate threads to you specifically. Pretty dishonest of you to use the term 'dodge.' Sorry.

What you're basically saying is, 'Please don't answer these correctly. Just lie to me. Or don't answer them at all because I actually don't want to see your answers.'

This thread is very transparent. lol

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 01:57 PM
reply to post by Good Wolf

Originally posted by Good Wolf

This is called 'dodging the question' by the way.

What's funny, I can't find a question mark on this thread before this one?

So congrats if you want to make up your mind that bible is fantasy and contradicting. Hooray! You won!


posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 02:03 PM
reply to post by Good Wolf

The Bible is not inerrant Let it be said and heard!

Welcome to the party! (said with affection...)

Bible = poo poo

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 02:05 PM
reply to post by AshleyD

Hold on a sec. You addressed

God CAN be seen:
"And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
"And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)

[This one]^

"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)

God CANNOT be seen:
"No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)

[times this one]^

"And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
"Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)

How do you rectify the rest?

[edit on 9/25/2008 by Good Wolf]

[edit on 9/25/2008 by Good Wolf]

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 02:32 PM
2+2 = 4 mathematically speaking is correct. But "script"urally the following are also correct answers to 2+2: 4, four, IV, 100.

The last example is perhaps more pertinent. "whats 2+2?" "4" is correct of we are both using the decimal system, "whats 2+2?" "100" is correct if the answerer is using binary. It's all about context, sometimes 010001110110111101100100 speaks binary!

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 02:32 PM
i dunno about others, but i take it so that 'face of god' is something else than seeing whole god, that is impossible as god is everything without dying. i can't see around the globe can i? but when i see face of god, i see something good, in fact anything. the face of god is this flickering screen i'm typing on.

good luck finding your own truth tho, i hope you'll find it uncontradicting

[edit on 25-9-2008 by Geemor]

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 03:11 PM
reply to post by Good Wolf

I JUST answered this, with specifics, then with a comparison and example in the other thread a little over an hour ago (HERE)- in a comment to you specifically. Then you send me a link to this thread and ask me the same question.

On top of that, you have been given a link twice now to where I have already explained ALL of the alleged contradictions in your O.P. plus many more. Sorry. I'm not playing this never ending game. lol It looks like your mind has been completely made up on this matter. I don't know how many times I should be required to answer the same question before I'm allowed to be excused without the 'dodge' accusation.

reply to post by Supercertari

LOL That's funny. I was probably on ATS for a month when another member presented a supposed paradox of God's existence. They said something along the lines of God can do anything since He is omnipotent but He cannot give any other answer to 2 + 2 except for 4 without being incorrect. Therefore God cannot exist. So I just said, sure He can, 'IV.' It was something like that, at least. Or maybe that He couldn't make the answer be 5. Anyways, either way, your comment reminded me of that. lol

But yes- my comment above was an analogy. In other words, the correct answer is not desired, it seems, in this thread and is implied that it is not permissible.

ANYWAYS... as to your reply to me... those would still equate to the value of 4, though.
That would be like me typing my reply to you in Japanese. I'm still saying the EXACT same answer... just using different symbols. Same value, same answer, different language.

There you go.

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 03:30 PM
Ah I see some of these have logical fixes but I must argue this one.

(NIV) Contradiction 1: The Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Exodus 33:11
(NIV) Contradiction 2: No one has ever seen God... John 1:18

In the first verse, the Hebrew idiom for face to face translates into English as without a mediator. This verse does not imply Moses physically seeing the face of God but that he was able to communicate with God as a man
speaks to his friend (as a true friend would not require a go-between for communication). This explanation is given once we read the context:

Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." And the Lord said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you... "But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Then the Lord said, "There is
a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back.
But my face must not be seen." Exodus 33:18-23

God can appear to us as a physical manifestation but He does not appear to us in full glory. The original Hebrew texts mostly differentiate between the type of presence God takes with either the use of the word Elohim (God's
glory) or Jehovah (God's literal name). Elohim is usually used in spiritual encounters while Jehovah is usually used in physical encounters, thus eliminating any contradiction.

However, we seem to find ourselves in a bit of a predicament with the verse in Genesis 32:30: So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'It is because I saw God [Elohim] face to face, and yet my life was spared.' Again we see the Hebrew idiom face to face referring to without a mediator. I also see the words "yet my life was spared" as a possible reference to his struggle with God in Genesis 32:22-30 (and not necessarily a reference to him seeing "God's glory"). Lastly, the context shows Jacob struggling with a anifestation of God and not God's glory (Then Jacob was left alone, and a man (iysh) wrestled with him until daybreak).

This is fairly week apologetics in my book. Can "God" be seen. Well what do you think it means by "God" and how is God's ass not part of him? If i've seen the back of Rob, I've still seen rob.

It's also playing the label game by giving him different states, and assuming that either can be accessible to man.

Along the lines of rabits chewing cud and bats are birds etc., serpents and donkeys can't talk.

[edit on 9/25/2008 by Good Wolf]

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 05:53 PM
reply to post by Good Wolf

Back /=/ Face. Very clear. Like let's say you see a woman in a burqa. You saw her but you didn't see her. Get it? Our problem is also easily answered because in the very same passage God says to Moses you cannot see My Face (because it would kill you) but I will cover your eyes as I pass over you. And even THEN we are told Moses came down off the mountain and was 'radiant' which scared the people.

Crazy story but no contradiction. Like with the talking donkey and snake below.

Bats not birds: The Hebrew word means 'winged creature.' Is a bat a winged creature? Yes. It's just a really bad translation goof in English due to idioms.

Rabbit's and Cud: Nope but they do chew their pellets after passing in order to chew their 'gerah' (undigested material).

Have fun and I encourage you to look into everything whenever / if ever the mood strikes you.

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 06:14 PM
reply to post by AshleyD

Your shifting the goal posts. The context was can man see 'God', not can man see god's face, or gods glory, but just God. Like I said, I see Robs back, I may not have 'seen his face' but I saw him none the less.

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 06:23 PM
reply to post by Good Wolf

You would have point except for the fact God Himself refers to His face.

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 06:39 PM

Originally posted by AshleyD
reply to post by Good Wolf

You would have point except for the fact God Himself refers to His face.

Well then he has forced me to say that he is wrong. I mean, God being an amaterial being, he's not going to have a face or 'back parts' (or is this a sign that he is in fact a spaghetti monster!) so what's he talking about.

It just look like it's a man made story, that's where the element of silliness will come from.

Here's a question, how to do reconcile the two different Gods of the bible? You know, nice God, angry disposition God?

As Lewis Black saz, "The God of the old testament is a prick."

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 07:02 PM
reply to post by Good Wolf

I believe God is immaterial BUT I do believe He has physical attributes. This is pretty clear in the Bible.

The newest question you present will be the last contradiction I am going to answer because this question is also I've answered so many times on here as well as sometime during the past week.

There are not two separate Gods or 'God personalities' in the OT and NT. So I can excuse myself out of this, let me simply link you to my answers of this I just gave within the last week:

Then for more general contradictions check out the link I posted before that answers all sorts of types. Then if you want to investigate more, Google something like 'Answers to alleged Bible contradictions' or whatever. I promise you, you will find what you're looking for. People who come up with these contradictions (or websites like are filled with poor scholarship and errors and display a frightening lack of knowledge.

I'm not trying to be evasive- this is just a discussion I've had so many times and have written an article series about. When I was a new Christian, the list of Bible contradictions that you always see making their way around the net and the copycat Messiah hypotheses were two of the main issues holding me back from going 'all the way' with God. So, I investigated it all myself to get to the answers. I promise you they are there. I didn't want to ignore your link to this thread after you posted it for me in the other thread but on the other hand I don't want to answer five supposed contradictions only to be met with five more... three more.... five more.... ten more.... etc. lol

So I hope this helps steer you on the right path.

posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 07:20 PM
I doubt it will steer me anywhere. All these answers leave me wanting. I've it before, God would not need apologetics, he wouldn't use it. One can argue one's way out of anything by appealing to alternate translations and alter meanings and transcribe errors and try to answer the problematic parts of the christian God perception but it just fails to fix the underlying problem.

The whole thing is like an unstable structure and people just keep slapping on patches at every new fault and weakness that appears and they never stop appearing. They never stop appearing because the core has completely rusted away and is ready to come down.

God would not need us to continually patch him up and answer for him. He wouldn't even need a book. People would not need to be "convinced" of his perception by devout and overly bombastic car salesmen turned preachers. God would do that for himself.

posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 10:30 AM

posted on Nov, 8 2008 @ 10:14 PM
reply to post by Good Wolf

You're on to it, I find if you read the Old Testament with an open mind not brainwashed by religions, it makes very very interesting reading from a technical point of view and as you say some glaring errors..I do like the quote below..... thanks for the post

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