Yes, There Are Discrepancies/Contradictions in the Bible

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    Oct 25, 2014 12:42 AM GMT
    Bart Ehrman: It’s a fantastic exercise (all semester we do exercises like this), because it does not involve me telling them that there are differences, even discrepancies, even flat out contradictions in the texts. They see them for themselves, and have to figure out what do to about them.

    Steefen: Recently, someone pointed out contradictions in how Mary Magdalene is depicted at the tomb of Jesus:

    Within the 4 versions of the story, she arrives at the tomb at three or four different times
    1) John 20, it was still dark,
    2) Matthew 28, it was dawn
    3) Mark 16, it was after dawn / after sunrise

    - and with different people,
    - to have touched and not touched Jesus,
    - and to have told and not told the disciples that the tomb was empty.

    A single Mary Magdalene cannot do everything in each of the 4 gospels. She cannot, in John (20:17), not be permitted to touch Jesus but in Matthew (28: 9) she clings to Jesus' feet.

    And, Jn 20:17 - touch me not (I haven't ascended to my father) but 10 verses later Jn 20-27 Thomas is touching Jesus before he has ascended to the Father.

    # # #

    Maybe we should stop using The Bible as an oath object.
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    Oct 25, 2014 2:02 PM GMT
    someone I know responded

    What is your intent here?

    Do you attend a gathering where you attempt to try and discredit the bible or are you looking for a logical solution for these such as the Jewish way of telling time was at sunset the next day officially began. That is why you can say Jesus rose on the 3rd day even though it was two by the way we tell time. So a Jewish writer could say dark, since it can be dark right at dawn or encompass the time before total sunlight and a gentile writer like Matthew could call it dawn.


    My Response

    A Gentile writer like Matthew?

    Although Matthew was a publican, he was not a Gentile. He sat at the "receipt of custom" in Capernaum who was called into the ministry of the twelve by Jesus. Dion, you’re the first person to say one of the 12 of Jesus was a Gentile. In last week’s sermon at Highland Park UMC – Kerygma, Rev. Marcum noted which of the 12 had Greek names. Matthew is not a Greek name, so while the Greek named 12 could be Gentile but not Matthew.

    He is also named among the twelve, but without identification of his background, in Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13. He is also called Levi, son of Alpheus, in Mk 2:14 and Lk 5:27. He may have collected taxes from the Hebrew people for Herod Antipas.

    Matthew was a 1st-century Galilean (presumably born in Galilee, which was not part of Judea or the Roman Iudaea province), the son of Alpheus. As a tax collector he would have been literate in Aramaic and Greek.

    Intent?
    To study well.
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    Oct 25, 2014 2:23 PM GMT
    Bart Ehrman

    In my class, students are NOT required to accept the views that I lecture on based on standard, critical scholarship. If they want to hold on to their views of inerrancy, then I urge them to try to figure out how they can reconcile what appear to be contradictions. If they can’t reconcile them, then I suggest that whatever it is they believe, it should be consistent with the facts that they themselves agree to.

    Stephen

    Not sure why you don't take a jury approach to the answer.

    Beginning of trial: I believe this that or the other thing
    After all evidence and arguments: I know this that or the other thing

    We're hoping that scholarly pursuits do not have inadmissible evidence rules or such things that keep facts out of presentations.

    So, when we read a scholar's book, we are building/manufacturing intellectual structures and creating culture. If our infrastructure fails, the scholar and professor is partly to blame.

    Our culture has locked juries and we're not moving forward on some points in New Testament Studies. Our Christian creeds would be different. But creeds are repeated weekly, oaths on Bibles occur daily.

    You say there are discrepancies and contradictions but it is okay that people build on top of these. Jesus taught to build on rock not discrepancies and contradictions.

    Book Recommendation: The Culture We Deserve : A Critique of Disenlightenment

    And, if there's some societal disaster because we were lapse in our intellectual infrastructure, those who voted against a stronger intellectual infrastructure are to blame.
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    Oct 25, 2014 2:34 PM GMT
    Okay, my friend wrote me back.

    I meant Luke was Gentile, not Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector and no doubt was under Greek roman influence.
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    Oct 26, 2014 1:47 AM GMT

    There are several passages in the bible about people having seen the face of god. Jacob even went so far as to wrestle God.

    Then along came John 1:18.
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    Oct 26, 2014 5:36 PM GMT
    Above is a post by a Hidden Member.
    Is he hiding from me?
    Have I hidden him from me?

    If someone provides his screen name, I'll see if I can find him on my "ignoring all his posts" list.

    Anyway, taking a break working on some things, very important, I happened to see his addition to the thread by jumping from Netscape to Google Chrome. Here on Netscape, I can only see that a hidden member added a comment to the thread, not the comment itself. Had to go to Chrome to see what it was.

    My response:


    The New Testament's Gospel According to John is very explicit on this question:

    No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only who is at the Father's side has made him known. ( John 1: 18 )
    No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. (John 6:46)

    Yet, we know from the Old Testament that people did see God. For instance, Exodus 24:9-11:

    Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel.

    Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.

    The Hebrew word hazah translated as "see" in 24:11 means "to see or behold with the eyes", according to Brown, Driver, and Briggs in their Hebrew and English Lexicon, where they make specific mention of this very verse.

    Notice also Genesis 18, where Abraham has three visitors, one of whom turns out to be the Lord: Yahweh.

    See also Isaiah 6:1-3 where Isaiah saw God "high and lifted up" in the same way he saw the Seraphim;

    Numbers 12:6-8 tells us that Moses spoke to God face to face, rather than through visions or dreams, and that he sees "the form of God";

    Judges 13:20-23 explains that the father of Samson is afraid he might die because he has seen God. He is reassured by his wife when she points out that God would not have accepted their offering if he intended to kill them.

    Job 42:5 says that Job saw God.
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    Oct 26, 2014 9:04 PM GMT
    Because the Bible was written by men? Right?
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    Oct 27, 2014 2:25 AM GMT
    Contradictions in the Bible exist due to an absence of a good editorial board. Even when someone composes words or music inspired by God, editorial craftsmanship is needed.

    There is no way I'm going to say the devout lives that are represented in the New Testament were not in touch with some valid notion of God. Our sincerity and purity is received.
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    Oct 27, 2014 3:07 AM GMT
    Oh, Lord, evangelicals institutionalizing limits on education.

    Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy ( 1978 )

    Articles of Affirmation and Denial

    Article I.

    WE AFFIRM that the Holy Scriptures are to be received as the authoritative Word of God.

    WE DENY that the Scriptures receive their authority from the Church, tradition, or any other human source.

    Article II.

    WE AFFIRM that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture.

    WE DENY that Church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.

    Article III.

    WE AFFIRM that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God.

    WE DENY that the Bible is merely a witness to revelation, or only becomes revelation in encounter, or depends on the responses of men for its validity.

    Article IV.

    WE AFFIRM that God who made mankind in His image has used language as a means of revelation.

    WE DENY that human language is so limited by our creatureliness that it is rendered inadequate as a vehicle for divine revelation. We further deny that the corruption of human culture and language through sin has thwarted God's work of inspiration.

    Article V.

    WE AFFIRM that God's revelation within the Holy Scriptures was progressive.

    WE DENY that later revelation, which may fulfill earlier revelation, ever corrects or contradicts it. We further deny that any normative revelation has been given since the completion of the New Testament writings.

    For more, see: http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html
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    Nov 11, 2014 4:09 AM GMT
    Bart Ehrman:

    Can Exodus 6:3 be right when it says, quite explicitly, that Yahweh was not known by his name Yahweh to the Patriarchs starting with Abraham in the book of Genesis, when Gen. 4;26 indicates that people were calling upon the “name of Yahweh” long before the Patriarchs, and Gen. 15:6- explicitly says that Abraham believed Yahweh, and that Yahweh says to him “I am Yahweh” and Abraham then addresses him as “Yahweh”?


    Or (one of my favorites) in the account of the ten plagues that Moses performed against the Egyptians to convince the Pharaoh to “let my people go,” if Exod. 9:6 is right that during the fifth plague “all of the livestock” of the Egyptians were killed, then how can 9:19-20, 25 also be right that shortly afterward, during the seventh plague, the hailstorm killed all of the “livestock” of the Egyptians in the fields? What livestock?
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    Nov 15, 2014 4:15 PM GMT
    John 4:23
    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
    John 4:24
    God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    Cross Reference
    Psalm 145:18
    The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

    ~ ~ ~

    To say the Holy Bible does not have contradictions is not to worship in truth
    [is not to be truthful].
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    Nov 15, 2014 7:31 PM GMT
    To say the Holy Bible HAS contradictions is to say that there is no god.

    After all, if a supernatural being has the ability to create such a vast universe with intelligent life, it's rather stupid to believe he'd let his own word be incorrect.
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    Nov 15, 2014 11:24 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidTo say the Holy Bible HAS contradictions is to say that there is no god.

    After all, if a supernatural being has the ability to create such a vast universe with intelligent life, it's rather stupid to believe he'd let his own word be incorrect.



    They aren't his own words, Paul. I'll try to explain it like this.

    What do you think the writers of the bible would have written about tvs and laptops if god had shown them one, lol!
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    Nov 16, 2014 9:26 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    paulflexes saidTo say the Holy Bible HAS contradictions is to say that there is no god.

    After all, if a supernatural being has the ability to create such a vast universe with intelligent life, it's rather stupid to believe he'd let his own word be incorrect.



    They aren't his own words, Paul. I'll try to explain it like this.

    What do you think the writers of the bible would have written about tvs and laptops if god had shown them one, lol!
    That's exactly why I have such a hard time grasping the idea of a god. In my logic, if eternal life after death were a reality and as serious as the scriptures make it out to be, it only makes sense that the head honcho of the rules would make sure there's nothing left to interpretation...much less totally incorrect.

    That's why I simply don't believe any religion.