Just In
for My Religious Treatise

9/8/2008 c1 5PretzelSalt
For a few of your contradictions, I have to point out that God and Jesus are not the same person. For example, Jesus probably repented, because he was human, and felt human emotions, unlike God. However, I do recognize that there are these contradictions, but without the context, some of them are a little shaky because you can't tell the exact meaning.

That being said, the Bible wasn't written by God. I don't believe everything in it is 100% accurate as it was written.
1/5/2007 c1 11Areneth
The argument that the Bible contradicting itself makes it untrue is somewhat weak. It seems that you are looking for flaws, and once you find the slightest thing, you fail to consider any other alternatives for the meaning other than the straightforward or modern meaning.

Though, I did think that this composition was interesting. Perhaps the 'flaws' in the Bible are irrelevant. There are many instances where the Bible writes something to the extent of God writing his law on the hearts of men. Never does it say in the Old Testament that God will tell people to write this book of Christian laws for them to follow. Perhaps the Bible is like a side note for Christians, and truth can just as easily be found in your heart or in His creation. So even if the Bible is inaccurate, with the flaws that you found - do those incongruities matter anyway?

Also, all of the contradictions mentioned are from the Old Testament, are there any in the New? Why not just say that the Old testament is 'flawed'?
12/11/2006 c1 15No Trust
Before you go talking about contradictions in the Bible, you really should consult the works of scholars. Properly interpreting Biblical text is far from a straightforward task.

As to the Biblical God’s unjust actions, I think much of the reason modern Westerners might see this as a contradiction with God’s proclaimed goodness is that we don’t think like the Hebrews did. The Hebrews simply did not value life (other than one’s own), and they really didn’t think in moral terms generally, so it made perfect sense for them to consider a capricious and cruel God to be holy and glorious. Look at the way other ancient middle-eastern cultures viewed their kings and you get a good idea of how the Israelites saw YHVH. Conceiving of God as a perfectly moral and just being started in late antiquity, with gentile Christianity; to even think about God in moral terms you have to think of morality as something apart from God, which the Hebrews did not (of course the alternative basically amounts to amoralism; morality becomes whatever God feels like at the moment).

When we get to the part where a skeptic rant starts going on about faith/blind faith/etc., it’s almost always the case that ‘faith’ is mistakenly used as a synonym for ‘foundationless belief’. Of course this is how religious people generally use the word, so it’s not necessarily the skeptics’ fault. However, in the New Testament, what is translated into the word ‘faith’ means loyalty and obedience. This is actually how we use the word ‘faith’ in everyday language anyway; when we say a husband is being unfaithful to his wife, we certainly don’t mean that he has stopped believing that his wife exists. So when the New Testament is telling people to ‘have faith’ or ‘keep the faith’, it is telling people who for whatever reasons honestly believe that God exists, incarnated as Jesus, died on a cross to redeem them from hell, and rose again to ascend to the Father, to continue in loyalty to God. It is not telling them to shut out reason or anything like that.

“People, and more specifically, you, believe what you believe because you see the greatest self-interest in that belief, because you hold out hope that those things will all end out all right.”

It’s really not fair or accurate to characterize religious belief as wishful thinking. A lot of it probably is, but there are people who actually believe in whatever religion because they honestly think it is true.

“Accept that if we have a “knowledge of good and evil” then it is possible for us to tell whether ‘God’ is good or evil.”

True as far as it goes. But whether God is good or evil is a separate question from whether or not God exists.

On a technical note, I realize that this essay is supposed to be conversational and informal, but there are several grammatical errors that should be edited away. Your paragraphs also need to be formatted better.
12/11/2006 c1 8KeytoExistence
Eh, your arguements are a little weak. No fundamental Christian belief depends entirely on these contradictions, thus it is folly to simple dismiss Christianity.

Also, you seem to be misrepresenting some of these contractions. For example, the first one:

You say:

Proverbs 26:5

Answer a fool according to his folly.

Proverbs 26:4

Answer not a fool according to his folly.

In reality the verse is this:"Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes." Proverbs 26:4-5.

The Anah thing is not contradictory because there are several Anahs with the same name. The Bible even makes clear to identify which Anah it is talking about. "This was the Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father." What do you think that verse was put in there for?

And the third part is a matter of defining the word "repented." The verses that you show saying that God repents only show that he is grieving, not admitting that he has done any sin. God committed no sin in making man or installing Saul as king.

"If God is all knowing and always good, why would he ever change his ways? Wasn't he right in the first place?"

God has to allow us to live our lives. If he doesn't, then we're basically puppets on a string, and there would be no genuine love.

God is not just "up there" watching everything; he is also interacting with us on a daily basis.

The Egypt thing has to do with God influencing history (though suppositely directly controlling it apparently). Yes, God hurts people in the Old Testament because Jesus had not come to die for everyone's sins yet, and to be appalled that God would kill someone seems arrogant to me. God created us, didn't he? Why shouldn't he have the right to kill us?

"Do you now believe that the bible is not “completely” true?"

No, frankly. People don't care about your supposed "contradictions." Jesus died and rose from the dead; that is all Christianity is based on. In the early days people tried their hardest to disprove this, but they couldn't. As C.S. Lewis said, "Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Son of God."

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