Thursday, July 20, 2006

Self-Contradictions of the Bible

Given my last entry's notation of William Henry Burr's book, I feel a bit inspired to share some of the contradictions mentioned in the book. Initially I was skeptical, although I attribute that to a childlike response in wanting my former beliefs to be true, but after reading only a few pages, I realized how blatent the contradictions are. This post will deal with the Theological Doctrines of the Bible, and the self-contradictions that arise from their study. Other chapters will come, but I've yet to compile a complete and coherent summary of them.

This first section contains 23 alleged contradictions, this post will cover the first 15. What I've found in dealing with the biblical text is that many things either deal with a metaphysical principle, which will be labeled P below, or an example of divine metaphysical action relating to a principle, which will be labeled E. I'll also will include the most pertinent passage of the many that are usually cited.

[Emotional God]
1-> God is Satisfied with his works; "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good." Genesis 1:31 (E)
1-> God is Dissatisfied with his works; "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." Genesis 6:6 (E)

When taking the Bible at face value, God comes off as tempermental and vague. In this instance, he is additionally inconsistent. I doubt that the creator of the universe could or would be so captivated by human affairs that he, a being assumed to be intensely rational, would abandon consistency and rationality to punish those of his creations that don't adhere to unnecessary provisions of his metaphysical maxims. I doubt that our God, if he exists, is one who reacts violently to human affairs.

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
2->God Dwells in chosen temples; "...For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever; and mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually." 2 Chron. 7:16 (E)
2->God does not dwell in temples; "Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands." Acts 7:48 (P)

The same argument exists for all of these contradictions. If the bible is inspired and written by the creator of the universe, it must be infallible. If it is infallible, it would not contain ANY contradictions, it would be perfect. Conversely, if a contradiction does exist, it would disprove the theory that God wrote the bible. Also, going on the assumption that the bible is infallible, that also means the bible is consistent. Any principle must be able to be rationally layed over the rest of the text, and match up with examples given in the bible of the enaction of those metaphysical principles. This is categorically not the case, nor should it be expected. The fact that so many contradictions exist is overwhelming evidence against Biblical theism, and positive and additional proof of the Bible as nothing more than 1st century allegorical literature.

[Principle Contradiction]
3->God Dwells in Light; "Dwelling in light which no man can approach unto." 1 Timothy 6:16 (P)
3->God Dwells in Darkness; "The Lord said he would dwell in thick darkness." 1 Kings 8:12 (P)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
4-> God is seen and heard; "And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." Exodus 33:11 (E)
4-> God is invisible and cannot be heard; "No man hath seen God at any time./Ye hath neither heard his voice, at any time, nor seen his shape." John 1:18/John 5:37 (P) - Biblical 'fact'

The two passages in John produce a doubly infallible rule that no man has ever seen nor could ever see God, yet in the Old Testament we see exactly this. The only way for the bible to remain infallible reasonably is to disregard the New Testament, if indeed we are going off of a reasonable assumption of the definition of 'infallible,' being without flaw, i.e. without contradiction. I say this because the contradicting passage, in this case, comes from a seperate document of religious faith, and because the Jewish and the Christian God obviously differ. But no matter the circumstance, in this instance, with God being infallible and also the author of a holy book, such a holy book MUST be infallible as well; it could not be otherwise. In this instance we see a common occurrence, where the Old Testaments premises are not met perfectly by the New Testament allegories written to fulfill them. Apologists come up with various reasons for these inconsistencies, but most of these are drawn from nothing more than thin air. Thankfully for them, they rarely have to address these issues with their clergy.

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
5-> God is tired and rests; "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." Exodus 31:17 (E)
5-> God is never tired and never rests; "Hast though not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?" Isaiah 40:28 (P)

The story being told in Isaiah 41:1-20 is that of God interceding in human events, metaphysically asserting that God intercedes in all or some human events.

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
6->God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things; "The eyes of the Lord are in every place." Proverbs 15:3, "Which shall I flee from thy presence?..." Psalms 139: 7-10 (P)
6->God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all things; "And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord, amongst the trees of the garden." Genesis 3:8 (E)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
7->God knows the Hearts of Men; "Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men." Acts 1:24 (P)
7->God tries men to Find Out what is in their hearts; "For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me." Genesis 22:12 (E)

The Genesis passage implies the necessity for God to test the hearts of men.

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
8->God is all-powerful; "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for me?" Jer. 32:27 (P)
8->God is not all-powerful; "And the Lord was with Judah, and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." Judges 1:19 (E)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
9->God is unchangeable; "With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17, "For I am the Lord; I change not." Mal. 3:6 (P)
9->God is changeable; "And it came to pass afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came unto him, saying Turn again and tell Hezekiah, the captain of my people, thus saith the Lord,.... I have heard thy prayer,... and I will add unto thy days, fifteen years." 2 Kings 20: 1,4,5,6 (E)

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
10->God is just and impartial; "The Lord is upright,... and there is no unrighteousness in him." Psalms 92:15, "A God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he." Deut. 32:4 (P)
10->God is unjust and partial; "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." Genesis 9:25, "For I , The Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation." Exodus 20:5, "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not from him shall be taken away even that he hath." Mat 13:12 (P)

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
11->God is the author of evil; "Thus saith the Lord, Behold I frame evil against you and devise a device against you." Jer. 18:11, "I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things." Isaiah 45:7 (P)
11->God is not the author of evil; "For God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." James 1:13 (P)

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
12->God gives freely to those who ask; "For every one that asketh receiveth and he that seeketh findeth." Luke 11:10 (P)
12->God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving them; "O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways and hardened our heart?" Isaiah 63:17 (P)

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
13->God is to be found by those who seek him; "Those that seek me early shall find me." Proverbs 8:17
13->God is not to be found by those who seek him; "Then shall they call upon me but I will not answer; they shall seek me early but shall not find me." Proverbs 1:28

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
14->God is warlike; "The Lord is a man of war." Exodus 15:3 (P)
14->God is peaceful; "The God of Peace." Romans 15:33, "God is not the author of confusion but of peace." 1 Cor. 14:33 (P)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
15->God is cruel, unmerciful, destructive, and ferocious; "I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy." Jer. 13:14 (E)
15->God is kind, merciful, and good; "For his mercy endureth forever." 1 Chron. 16:34 (P)

The remaining 8 will be listed next time, in the meantime, I'd love to hear and address any thoughts or criticisms.


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