An Incredible Interactive Chart of Biblical Contradictions

A few years ago, computer science whiz Chris Harrison created a beautiful visualization linking up every cross reference in the Bible. So, for example, if a verse in the New Testament referred back to a verse in the Old Testament, there was an arc drawn between the two chapters they were in (the vertical lines at the bottom represent the number of verses in that chapter):

Amazing! Turns out there are 63,779 cross references in the Bible (and that many arcs in the image)! If it’s any indication of how complex this image is, the high-resolution version is more than 100MB large.

In 2009, graphic designer Andy Marlow used Harrison’s work as his inspiration to created a similar visual for Sam Harris‘ Reason Project. This time, though, he only included arcs representing contradictions in the Bible:

Helpfully, this visual also included text explaining what the contradictions were and where they could be found:

Also amazing! But very bulky and not very user-friendly. I don’t know that you could really print out a poster that large and, even if you could, the arcs are still a blur.

Now, computer programmer Daniel G. Taylor has taken all that data and turned it into a visual masterpiece.

His website, BibViz (Bible Visualization), gives you the same linking arcs as before, but when you hover over one of them, it lights up and tells you in the upper right-hand corner of the screen which verses are being linked together. Click on an arc and it takes you directly to those verses as compiled in the Skeptics Annotated Bible:

That’s not all. The visual also shows you where in the Bible you’ll find the passages featuring Cruelty/Violence, Discrimination against Homosexuals, Scientific Absurdities/Historical Inaccuracies, or (below) Misogyny/Violence/Discrimination against Women:

See the long bar on the far left side? That means the Book of Genesis has more anti-women verses than any other book in the Bible. And all those bars are clickable and lead you to the specific passages in the Skeptics Annotated Bible.

When I asked Daniel what inspired him to create this, he said (via email):

Some of my family is extremely religious, and after quite a few discussions with them and some friends I was inspired to look up the Reason Project’s contradictions poster again as a reference, but thought it might be nice to have something like that without the duplicated entries, with the ability to click individual links, and something that could be regenerated easily should errors be found.

The whole site is seriously an incredible resource. Go there and just play around with it. Then show your fundamentalist religious friends and watch them squirm. There’s just no plausible way anyone can take the Bible literally after spending time on this site… unless they’re closing their eyes, sticking their fingers in their ears, and refusing to think about any of the errors in their worldview.

(Thanks to Ed for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Very cool project, and cool to see the ‘evolution’ of it via the various contributors.

    (Minor editing point: in the screenshot showing the list of questions above Questions 7 and 9 are the same [understandably tough to keep track of the contradictions since there are so many!] but online at their site this has already been corrected.)

  • Dave G.

    I’m often amazed at how the lion’s share of modern atheism attacks a uniquely Protestant Fundamentalist approach to the faith and thinks it’s scored points. To a Protestant fundamentalist approach to the Bible? Yes, that can be a hard hit. To the vast majority of historical Christianity? Not so much. For instance, the genealogies of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke don’t match. Do we think the early Church didn’t notice this? Do we imagine that people for the last 2000 years didn’t notice this? Or could it be that, shockingly, most of human history didn’t measure things the way we do today, nor did they put an emphasis on things the way we do today.

    It reminds me of the usually awesome Bart Ehrman being interviewed some years ago when he pointed out that the story of the woman at the well in John 8 isn’t even in the earliest copies of the NT! Which would be devastating if just about every Bible on every bookshelf hadn’t had for generations a little footnote saying ‘this story does not occur in the earliest manuscripts.’ Again, it’s projecting rather than scholarship. One of the glaring difficulties I have with so much of modern atheist polemics is the relative shallowness of the scholarship that fails to take into account the historical context of the very subject it focuses on.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Which would be devastating if just about every Bible on every
      bookshelf hadn’t had for generations a little footnote saying ‘this
      story does not occur in the earliest manuscripts.’

      You present a searing indictment of Christianity, in which the vast majority of Christians simply do not care that their religious beliefs are demonstrably wrong.
      I have no idea why you think you are finding fault with atheism rather than Christianity.

      • Dave G.

        No, I suggest that the Bible is used differently in most of Christianity than it is in fundamentalist circles. Fundamentalists, who attempt to make the Bible a literalistic book explaining everything based on a particular cultural and historical set of priorities, open the Bible up for just such a level of criticism, and fair criticism at that. Most of the Christian faith, however, did not and does not understand the Bible the way many atheists seem to think. And contrary to someone like Bill Maher, who frequently echoes a common retort (it’s because of science that they’re changing how they read it), the fact is this goes back to the earliest generations of the Church, from thinkers like Origen and Augustine, and onward.

        Do we think that in the centuries that the Church kicked around which books to include, that somewhere, somehow someone didn’t notice that, for instance, the various Passion accounts weren’t exactly the same? Or that the genealogies didn’t match? Could it be they understood things differently and approached such things differently than a 20th or 21st century citizen would? That there were other purposes that the books served than some imagine today?

        The problem is, we are saying that all cultures and all times must have the same approach we do, and see the world the way we see it to be valid. I don’t blame atheists entirely. In fairness, they are reacting to what Fundamentalists have tried to make the Bible into, and open their approach to the Bible up to just such criticism. But again, it is not the approach that either Catholic or Orthodox or any other non-Protestant tradition uses, and in fact, it is not how mainline Protestant or even mainline Evangelical Churches approach the Bible. It’s a devastating retort against a relatively small, historically unique branch of the overall historic Christian faith. And that’s about it.

        • GCT

          I fail to see how all these other Xians have a leg to stand on if they can simply disregard their own holy texts.

          Secondly, I highly doubt that most people are aware of these contradictions as you seem to imply. Recent studies have shown that Xians are shockingly ignorant of their own holy texts.

          Lastly, I fail to see why we shouldn’t point out these issues in what is supposed to be a text from an infallible source. If Xians want to ignore these issues, we can point out that they are being inconsistent.

          • Dave G.

            Once more, you are ignoring the facts as known. First, let me deal with the canard of ‘Christians don’t know their faith therefore…’ well, nothing. Fact is, I’ve met many atheists who couldn’t string together a coherent thought about their lack of belief. That means nothing about the truth claims presented in either case.

            Now, again, you’re basically resisting by clinging to this notion that there is only one approach to the Bible (a fundamentalist one), it is wrong, therefore the faith claim is wrong. Christians don’t disregard the Bible. Those throughout history who have studied it simply don’t understand it the way Fundamentalists, and hence atheists who zero in on fundamentalists, do. It’s not disregarding. It’s seeing things differently, and in a way that goes back 2000 years to the beginning. To the Catholic, Orthodox, historic Reformation Protestant or other non-Fundamentalist, the way fundamentalists read the Bible (and the way that is frequently the target of atheist polemics) is a foreign understanding of how to read and understand the purpose and the role of the Bible. That’s the point.

            • GubbaBumpkin

              The atheist criticism of the more theologically “liberal” Christians is very different fro criticism of the fundamentalist/literal interpretation. The charge against liberal Christians is cherry-picking. Apparently your knowledge of atheist criticism is as inaccurate as your knowledge of Christian belief.

              • Dave G.

                What I’m talking about has nothing to do with liberal Christianity today. That alone shows what I’m saying. Already I’ve seen the response: liberal Christianity this or that. That is entirely irrelevant, and goes far toward proving my point. I’m talking about the historical role of biblical theology within the context of historical (and present day Catholic and Orthodox) Christianity. There are fundamental differences with that and modern fundamentalist (or liberal/progressive) Christianity. And if people aren’t getting that, it’s they who haven’t done their homework. If as soon as someone appeals to Origen or Augustine, the response is ‘liberal Christianity!’, then someone has missed a huge portion of the subject at hand. I mean, it really is like folks don’t even know what I’m talking about, and yet it is only the official approach accepted by the overwhelming majority of the Christian world, both now and all the way back to the beginning.

                • GCT

                  Mostly what I’m hearing from you is, “You people just don’t understand.” Yet, I hear nothing from you elucidating what it is that you claim we don’t understand. This is a familiar refrain, so let me stop you, because we’ve heard it all before. When we make a criticism, it very often triggers a “You don’t understand” criticism of us – as if we would believe if only we understood it like our critics do. It’s bunkum, however. It’s not a case of not understanding, it’s a case of the critic simply declaring that we must not understand because their beliefs are inviolate and they cannot be wrong.

            • Oranje

              I can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s the fundamentalist understanding and their being in positions of power and authority that have me zero in on that approach.

              • Dave G.

                Then specify, and don’t try to make it seem as all Christianity is Protestant fundamentalism.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  You demand that we add qualifiers to every critique and comment we make about Christianity, while at the same time you can’t tell atheism, antitheism and skepticism apart, apply them all to people indiscriminately, and say that your not being able to tell them apart and refusal to try to do so is an “opinion.”

                • Todd Heath

                  You seem to not understand that the majority of Christians who do not subscribe to biblical literalism are still culpable for the ignorance our educators and policy makers embrace by not being outspoken critics of this form of biblical interpretation. Most of you stay silent or you even vote for these people without regard to the liberties they are trying to end in the name of “Christian” religious liberty.

            • GubbaBumpkin

              Once more, you are ignoring the facts as known

              You have not established that you know any facts, or that we have rejected any. All we have so far is your assertions, not backed by any data whatsoever.

              • Bitter Lizard

                I already asked him once to provide an argument for the truth of Christianity that atheists have ignored and he refused.

            • GCT

              Once more, you are ignoring the facts as known.

              Pot…kettle…

              First, let me deal with the canard of ‘Christians don’t know their faith therefore…’ well, nothing.

              Actually, something. If many Xians are unaware of these contradictions, then we should point them out so that those Xians can be made aware of what they are professing belief in.

              Fact is, I’ve met many atheists who couldn’t string together a coherent thought about their lack of belief.

              We don’t run in the same circles, evidently, but taking your anecdote as true, so what? It’s regrettable, but the onus is on the Xian, not the atheist.

              That means nothing about the truth claims presented in either case.

              True, to some degree. The veracity of the claims is not dependent upon how well the claims are understood, but that’s not what we are talking about, is it? Are those goal posts heavy?

              Now, again, you’re basically resisting by clinging to this notion that there is only one approach to the Bible (a fundamentalist one), it is wrong, therefore the faith claim is wrong.

              If I were actually making that claim, you might have a point.

              Christians don’t disregard the Bible.

              So, they stone their children for being disobedient? They sell their children into slavery to pay off debts and take slaves from the surrounding tribes? Of course they disregard the Bible, or at least the parts that they don’t like. I’ve yet to meet a Xian that isn’t a cafeteria Xian. And, the kicker is that they don’t usually take into account the problems that this causes for their stance on absolute morality.

              Those throughout history who have studied it simply don’t understand it the way Fundamentalists, and hence atheists who zero in on fundamentalists, do.

              Ah, yes, the so-called “sophisticated theologians”. This is a rare breed that I always hear about, but no one can ever point me to one that actually says anything that most Xians would agree with. You can point at, say, Karen Armstrong, but I doubt most Xians would agree with her that god is an abstract concept that only exists when an atheist asks about it.

            • phantomreader42

              Dave G babbled:

              Fact is, I’ve met many atheists who couldn’t string together a coherent thought about their lack of belief.

              This from the asshat who claimed, in this very thread, that there is no such thing as lack of belief? WHO is it who can’t string together a coherent thought? It’s YOU, Dave.
              I seem to recall a story about some guy who said to deal with the log in your own eye before whining about the speck in your neighbor’s. Do you have any idea who that guy might have been, Dave? Oh, never mind, he must’ve just been some damn godless hippie, because we all know no True Christian™ would ever dream of saying such a thing, much less living by it…

          • vad

            I think it’s perfectly fine to point out inconsistencies, since there are a lot of Christians who DON’T know about them and believe the ‘complete internal consistency’ of the Bible is ‘proof’ of its divine origin.

            However, for people who don’t believe that the Bible is “literal and infallible” (which are certainly conservative Protestant buzzwords), then living with the inconsistencies in the text ISN’T “disregarding” the text, and it’s false and misleading to accuse them of doing so. That’s just not their relationship to the text; they’re not using it as a literal, 100% accurate account of history, but as an “inspired” mix of history, poetry, allegory, etc, that IS being written by many people across many generations.

            Demanding that all Christians relate to the Bible the way Fundamentalist Protestants do is ridiculous from a historical perspective and pretty unfair besides, since you are basically demanding that they believe in the stupidest version of Christianity there is. When you do so, you’re really just setting up Fundamentalist Protestantism as a straw man for all of Christianity, which is logically fallacious and, I believe, demonstrates a lack of integrity and an inability to either understand the whole of Christianity or to argue against it on its own grounds.

            • Dave G.

              Well said, and better than I said it.

            • GCT

              However, for people who don’t believe that the Bible is “literal and infallible” (which are certainly conservative Protestant buzzwords), then living with the inconsistencies in the text ISN’T “disregarding” the text, and it’s false and misleading to accuse them of doing so.

              If I ignore all the inconsistencies in favor of my pre-conceived faith, then I am, in fact, disregarding the text.

              That’s just not their relationship to the text; they’re not using it as a literal, 100% accurate account of history, but as an “inspired” mix of history, poetry, allegory, etc, that IS being written by many people across many generations.

              And? No, really, I’m failing to see your point. Some Xians do this and they do a disservice to their own beliefs in the process, IMO. They are as much as admitting to being cafeteria Xians.

              Demanding that all Christians relate to the Bible the way Fundamentalist Protestants do is ridiculous from a historical perspective and pretty unfair besides, since you are basically demanding that they believe in the stupidest version of Christianity there is.

              Honestly, I find the approach of literalism to be the most intellectually honest one there is. Why? Because it fits with the idea that this is a book written by a god that is trying to portray ideas. If the book is meant to be interpreted, then it opens up all kinds of horrible possibilities (and it has). That a god is too stupid to see this possibility is not worth considering. This god would have to be malicious, which would not fit any Xian archetype.

              When you do so, you’re really just setting up Fundamentalist Protestantism as a straw man for all of Christianity, which is logically fallacious and, I believe, demonstrates a lack of integrity and an inability to either understand the whole of Christianity or to argue against it on its own grounds.

              Present some arguments and we can argue their merits. Until then, I’ll argue against the arguments that I have been presented with. It’s not fallacious, nor lacking of integrity to do so, nor to point out what I just pointed out above (i.e. the inherent problems with treating the Bible as non-accurate).

              I do so love, however, that it’s always a case of the apologist accusing atheists of being unable to understand Xianity. Really, it’s not that hard to figure out, and the survey results are in showing that atheists have a better understanding in general.

        • Xuuths

          Puhleeze, Dave G., even progressive denominations (like Presbyterians) say the apostle’s creed every Sunday, which contains a heaping helping of historical inaccuracy and theological crapola — and they believe it. Except when you ask their pastors (who are seminary trained), who say it is only because of ‘tradition’ and that ‘nobody really believes that’ — regardless of the fact that they repeat “I believe in…” every service. It is intellectually dishonest, and insulting to try and say that something you keep repeating over and over is not something you believe in at all.
          Here’s a test: if you ask ANY progressive christian about ‘casting the first stone’ story, and ask if it bothers them that it was completely made up, not appearing in the first manuscripts and therefore is pure fiction, it will be instructive how they respond. Extra points if you point out that their own bible shows it was not original, and they are completely surprised!

          • Dave G.

            Exactly what part of the Apostle’s creed contains historical inaccuracy?

            And again, we’re not talking progressive vs. conservative. We’re speaking of the actual use of the Bible throughout historical Christianity as opposed to fundamentalist approaches to Scripture. Why do people here automatically rush to the progressives? I mean, you know that’s the wrong answer, correct?

            • DavidMHart

              “Exactly what part of the Apostle’s creed contains historical inaccuracy?”

              The bit that says that Jesus came back from the dead (amongst other things). There’s not a shred of good historical evidence that that’s true, and given its sheer implausibility, the only reasonable conclusion is that it is almost certainly false. Therefore to claim that it is true is historically inaccurate by any reasonable undertanding of the word ‘inaccurate’.

            • GCT

              Historically, the masses had no access to the Bible. So, the historical use of it was that they were told by the priests what it said and meant.

              • GubbaBumpkin

                Oh, you mean before the printing press was invented; and you mean when the church actively and violently opposed translation of the Bible from Latin into local languages?

        • GubbaBumpkin

          No, I suggest that the Bible is used differently in most of Christianity
          than it is in fundamentalist circles. Fundamentalists, who attempt to
          make the Bible a literalistic book explaining everything based on a
          particular cultural and historical set of priorities, open the Bible up
          for just such a level of criticism, and fair criticism at that. Most of
          the Christian faith, however, did not and does not understand the Bible
          the way many atheists seem to think….

          I’d like to see your data on that. As the “mainline” churches have become more theologically liberal, they have lost adherents to the fundamentalista and the evangelicals. Surveys consistently say that 40+% of the US population believes in Young Earth Creationism, for example. You need to back up your claim that the more literal approach is “relatively small.” Get back to us when you have some actual data.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Was Augustine a young-earth creationist?

          Chris Hallquist: This is a question I’ve been mulling over for awhile, and it’s been surprisingly hard to get a definite answer to, but I’m increasingly thinking the answer is “yes.” …

          • GubbaBumpkin

            Chris Hallquist:
            The reality is that On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis makes clear that while Augustine thought the Bible was chock-full of figurative meanings, he also thought a lot of it was to be taken literally, and that includes the story of Adam and Eve–a story which is hard to reconcile with modern science.

            Which raises a related point: Even if old-timey Christians were not as bizarro and obstinate in their beliefs as modern Fundamentalists (so far supported not by any actual data, but only by harrumphs), they lived before the era of modern science. Christians living before 1859 had no modern theory of evolution through means of natural selection, and so could neither accept nor reject it. Christians living before our modern view of the solar system and its place in just one of many billions of galaxies could neither accept nor reject that scientific truth.
            So, while it may be true to say that they didn’t reject modern science, it’s also true that they also didn’t accept it. So what the bleep is Dave G. running on about?

    • Art_Vandelay

      It’s devastating only in the sense that if that book wasn’t divinely written, or divinely inspired or doesn’t have any sort of divine inspiration at all…then it’s just a fucking book. You wouldn’t expect a book authorized by an omnipotent deity to be full of contradictions. You’d expect a book written by a bunch of barbaric, stone age goat herders to be full of contradictions. A contradiction means that both things can’t be true. With so many lies in the bible, how can you trust any of it?

      • Dave G.

        Nobody seems to be able to move out of the fundamentalist hermeneutical circles. Why is that? Have you studied? I mean, has anyone here done the research? It appears not, since so many are missing what anyone schooled in historical theology or historical biblical hermeneutics would understand. You’re putting words in the mouth of all of Christianity based on one particular, historical and cultural phenomenon (Protestant fundamentalism). You are then saying that since this one version is wrong, therefore everyone is wrong about the faith claims. But what you said would not pass muster with the vast majority of historical Christianity. So it is irrelevant to the point.

        • Spuddie

          Because the fundamentalists are the most vocal and politically motivated Christians out there as of late. They are are the default Christians of discussion.

          We almost never see people of mainstream Christian sects calling Fundamentalists out for their infantile takes on Bible scholarship. Least of all in online discussion. The vast majority of historical Christianity does not seem to feel the need to speak up and distinguish their beliefs. So they get lumped together with their loudmouthed inbred ignorant fundamentalist compatriots.

          • Dave G.

            If you don’t see Christians calling out fundamentalists, you aren’t paying attention or doing any research at all. I mean, my goodness. There are entire websites devoted to refuting fundamentalist claims, and that’s within Protestant and Evangelical circles. That doesn’t even count Catholics and other non-Protestant traditions. Entire bookstores could be filled with what they’ve written contradicting fundamentalists. How could you not know that?

            • Spuddie

              Yet these people are virtually nowhere to be found in public discussion, the news or in the political sphere except as a footnote to group efforts to promote secularism. When push comes to shove mainstream Christians have no problem aligning themselves with Fundamentalists when politically convenient.

              For example, the Catholic Church rejected Creationism ages ago. Where is their great organization and resistance to efforts by Fundamentalists when they try to make it part of public science education?

              Its not there.

              • Dave G.

                If you don’t know the volumes of literature, sites, and ministries that refute Fundamentalist Creationism, then I can’t respond. You just aren’t looking. I mean, the Vatican Observatory spends half its time trying to spell out the differences. For crying out loud. As for why the press doesn’t talk to them, since they are there in droves, it might be worth asking yourself why the press never interviews or talks about them. That might be a better question.

                • Spuddie

                  Courtier’s Reply again?

                  If I don’t know about the various refutations of Creationism its because non-fundamentalist Christians aren’t doing much of a job of promoting themselves in public. Its their reputation, so its their duty to uphold it.

                  Claiming there is an outcry by a group is not the same as demonstrating it. Fact of the matter is you never see Catholic organizations take a principled stand in public when Fundies push their sectarian agendas. Even something like Creationism, which goes against modern Catholic dogma. Writing in obscure internal documents is not the same as making public statements or discussing things outside the inner circle.

                  Its not my job to seek out obscure texts from a religion. If mainline Christians wanted to distinguish themselves from fundies in public, it is their job to step forward and make their presence known. Its not my job to seek out their obscure apologia.

                • Dave G.

                  Sure they do. They’re out there. Again, ask why they aren’t the go to places for the press. But they’re there. And no, Creationism doesn’t go against Catholic Dogma. The Church makes not dogmatic claims about the topic, just what it teaches based upon what seems credible discoveries and theories. Again, that the press seeks out fundamentalists to represent the entire faith is a problem with the press and its credibility regarding religious reporting. But an informed person who wants to have an informed opinion or conclusion should do the footwork, which isn’t hard, since there are so many places to go.

                • Spuddie

                  The press seeks out fundamentalists? Bullshit. Fundamentalists seek out the press. They seek out the politicians to push their agenda. They get virtually no resistance from organized mainstream Christian sects.
                  Blaming the media is what liars do to cover up a lack of a publicly recognized position.

                  If there is no media presence of the largest demographic group in the nation/developed world it is not the fault of the media. They certainly have the numbers and influence. The media is not a monolithic entity. If such dissent is not being out there in an obvious and apparent way, then it isn’t happening.

                  If one is talking about the public image, all the references to obscure works are not going to help you here. One would see it in an open and obvious fashion. Obviously it is not. Pretending otherwise is just lying on your part.

                • Nox

                  “It is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred. For the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of these difficulties, do not hesitate to concede that divine inspiration regards the things of faith and morals, and nothing beyond, because (as they wrongly think) in a question of the truth or falsehood of a passage, we should consider not so much what God has said as the reason and purpose which He had in mind in saying it-this system cannot be tolerated. For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true. This is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and finally confirmed and more expressly formulated by the Council of the Vatican.”

                  -Some protestant fundamentalist?

                  -Or Pope Leo XIII?

              • Todd Heath

                Many of these Fundamentalist ideas are embraced and openly promoted by conservative Roman Catholics such as Rick Santorum. Fundamentalist doctrine can be found in almost every mainline denomination today including The Disciples of Christ, Episcopalians and the UCC. Dave G and his ilk need to quit making excuses and actually live up to what they claim to believe in and openly oppose what Fundies are doing.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              And yet you all go silent or close ranks in public discussion. Good job.

              Meanwhile your fellow Christians laugh contemptuously and publicly when atheists go after one another for misdeeds, as if the ethical stance of policing your own, even in front of adversaries, was somehow a sign of weakness.

              • Dave G.

                Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Naturally if an atheist says there is no God, a Catholic will tend to agree with a Fundamentalist on the basic point. As for the circular arguing about who has disagreements, both sides do. All atheists don’t agree any more than all believers, and disagreements mean nothing about truth claims. Which is why pointing to them is of limited value for either side of the debate.

                • GCT

                  Except when those sides all claim to have god’s true word.

        • Art_Vandelay

          Also, an omnipotent, omnibenvolent deity wouldn’t make his book so inaccessible to everyone that doesn’t have a doctorate in historical biblical hermeneutics. That you think a book full of contradictions is irrelevant tells me that you have absolutely no interest in the truth. You’re simply practicing the same boring apologetic nonsense that most biblical scholars practice when they’ve already decided upon their conclusion before doing their research.

          • Dave G.

            How do you know that. You have made a truth claim, now prove it. Prove that an omnipotent, omnibenevolent deity wouldn’t.

            • allein

              If he really, truly wants us to know him, and he has the power to do so, why would he make it so difficult and then punish us for eternity when we get it wrong? Doesn’t sound very benevolent.
              .
              It makes no sense and I see no reason to try to twist my brain in knots trying to make it work.

              • Dave G.

                Based on a very, very flawed understanding of the purpose of the Bible, which is my point, yeah it wouldn’t make much sense. And it would certainly open itself up for criticism. But once more, you’re putting words into most of the Christian tradition that it doesn’t believe, and then judging accordingly. Which is the entire point of my initial post.

                • allein

                  I’m referring to the claim that God is omnipotent and benevolent, which is what most liberal and mainstream Christians seem to believe. The “God is Love” types that often show up on religion threads. I agree that people who say that haven’t paid much attention to what the Bible really says.

            • GubbaBumpkin

              You have made a truth claim, now prove it.

              There’s a mote in your eye. You have made numerous assertions in this thread, but do not seem able to back any of them up.

              • Dave G.

                The assertion that Protestant Fundamentalism is simply one branch of biblical interpretation, and most of Christianity doesn’t approach Scriptural interpretation that way? Where do you want me to start? That would be like someone who mentions the Roman Empire being told to prove it. That’s not really open for debate. If you think it is, then that speaks more than needs said, and explains a lot.

            • Art_Vandelay

              It’s where the logic points. If this deity had any interest in us knowing him, and he is in fact omnipotent, why would he make it so difficult to understand so that it has to be interpreted to us through people that claim to be better at interpreting it than most people? Oddly enough, those same people are almost always using their interpretation to gain power and money in the secular world. If you were to script a social-engineering scheme, you could do way worse than this.

              • Dave G.

                Maybe he wanted people trained to interpret it for the same reason we don’t hand people the Constitution and ask everyone to interpret it themselves. Unless you think our Framers grossly unfair for not setting up a country where everyone can clearly read the Constitution themselves and all come up with the same conclusions on their own without courts.

                The rest of your statement is just justification for rejecting something by painting people in the worst light, as if I couldn’t find atheists just as bad. Pointless rhetorical trick. No sense responding.

                • Art_Vandelay

                  It’s not pointless at all. It’s either the divine word of the creator of a universe whereby we live on what equates to a relative speck of dust, or it’s a book put together for political purposes in order to control people in a remote corner of that speck of dust a long time ago and well before modern science was available to verify any of these claims. I can’t make the distinction for sure but Occam’s razor as usual cuts like a mother.

        • GCT

          Courtier’s Reply.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Well, really, about his fifteenth Courtier’s Reply.

        • tsig

          The RCC says that the bible is a product of the church not the church a product of the bible so they get to interpret. how they want, their authority for this right of interpretation is…the bible.

        • Nox

          For most of christian history the bible was treated as the infallible word of god.

          If the bible claims certain things to have happened, how is it “focusing on protestant fundamentalism” to count those as things the bible says happened? The idea that the stories in the bible are not true (true as in accurately describing real events) is a much newer christian belief than the inerrancy of scripture.

      • Blacksheep

        “It’s devastating only in the sense that if that book wasn’t divinely written, or divinely inspired or doesn’t have any sort of divine inspiration at all…then it’s just a fucking book.”

        I agree with you 100% – if I believed that I would sleep in on Sunday.

    • C Peterson

      “Modern atheism” attacks nothing. Atheism attacks nothing. The suggestion reveals a very deep lack of understanding.

      • Dave G.

        A personal opinion. Most religious believers say they hate nothing. I notice many atheists don’t buy it. If you’re happy with that opinion, have at it. But understand it is merely an opinion based upon your own subjective set of beliefs.

        • C Peterson

          It is not an opinion. It is a matter of fact that atheism attacks nothing. Atheism is nothing but a lack of belief in one particular class of superstitions. Saying that atheism attacks something makes as much sense as saying that not believing in Santa Claus attacks the Easter Bunny.

          You are conflating atheism with antitheism, or skepticism, or any number of other active belief systems that challenge religious ideas.

          • Dave G.

            Yes it is. To declare myself an atheist is not therefore to declare every word that proceeds from my mouth an objective truth. It’s an opinion. And no, I’m not conflating anything. There are differences within the camps you point out, of course. But it’s always surprising how each in each camp considers itself the default approach, and the other camps the ones critics mean when they point things out. Just an entertaining little tidbit I’ve noticed.

            • C Peterson

              As I said, you demonstrate a deep lack of understanding about atheism.

              • Dave G.

                No. I once didn’t believe as well, so it’s not something I’m unfamiliar with. One thing that pushed me was noticing how so many who didn’t believe in a religious worldview wanted write the rules to their benefit, and reacted harshly to believers who tried to push things outside the box. But that’s another issue entirely. Right now, the point is atheists base their assessment of Christianity too much on Fundamentalism. And so many of the responses appear to show that is true (the opposite of fundamentalist is not liberal Christians, for instance. To think that is to demonstrate my point).

                • allein

                  wanted write the rules to their benefit, and reacted harshly to believers who tried to push things outside the box.

                  You mean the secular laws we want that allow everyone to practice their own beliefs and don’t force others to follow religious practices they don’t believe in? “Reacted harshly,” like telling Christians they don’t get to make laws for everyone to follow that are justified solely by their religion? When I’m expected to sit through prayers at government meetings and public school ceremonies and told I can just leave if I don’t like it, when I’m told I can’t make the best medical decisions for myself because God, you’re damn right I’m going to react “harshly.” A secular government benefits everyone, religious and non-religious alike.

                • Dave G.

                  No, not mentioning laws at all. I’ve noticed how many responses have assumed so many things that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. It’s as if half the responses are from people who get their information from the equivalent of atheist radio talk shows or something. I mean, you’ve just gone in directions that are hell and gone from anything being spoken about. You might as well go to a baseball blog and say the same thing, as relevant as your post is.

                • allein

                  Then what “rules” were you referring to?

                • GCT

                  First rule of holes applies here. Please stop shoving your religious privilege in our faces.

                • Dave G.

                  Irrelevant statement that was. Sort of shut up and agree, but with less finesse.

                • GCT

                  Nope, I was hoping you’d be able to figure it out. Alas, apparently not. You have quite a lot of religious privilege and unchecked biases. I’d suggest that you do some thinking about them, but I’m afraid that you are too smug to entertain the thought.

                • Nox

                  Yeah, the opposite of fundamentalist is liberal.

                  Fundamentalism is a reaction against modernity. It is a rejection of the “mainstream” churches ditching tenets of christianity that had been held for several hundred years.

                  A christian or a branch of christianity is not classified as “liberal” for having any particular political stances. It is classified as “liberal christianity” based on how flexible they are in interpreting the bible.

                  Those christians who felt that christianity could be changed to adapt to a different world than the one Jesus lived in, and proceeded to make changes to christian doctrine gave rise to the category of liberal christianity.

                  As more churches shifted to attract a shifting audience, some christians became extremely distraught by what they saw as falling away from the true message. Those christians formed their own churches based around rejecting recent changes to christian doctrine. These churches gave rise to the category of fundamentalist christianity.

                  The essential difference between the two camps is that one is primarily based around saying ‘the bible is open to interpretation’ and the other is primarily based around saying ‘the bible is not open to interpretation’.

                  Liberal is exactly the opposite of fundamentalist.

        • Edmond

          Atheists don’t buy the “believers say they hate nothing” line, because most believers would be very happy to tell you that they hate “sin”. This is a vague word which allows a personal interpretation of nearly any behavior. The very concept runs contrary to modern concepts of “crime”, and it allows the targetting of individuals based on perceived sins.

          Without reading through your entire conversation, I think what people are saying is NOT that all of Christianity is wrong simply because one denomination is wrong. But one wrong denomination (or 10, or 10,000) begins the questioning. If one is wrong, can more be wrong? Can ALL be wrong? Whatever details the different denominations focus on, they all still “accept the reality” of resurrection, virgin births, talking animals and other magic powers. Regardless of what “scholarship” is possible (which is equally possible in all world faiths), these are difficult obstacles to get past for some people. No amount of hermeneutics makes these things true.
          Atheists themselves may “attack” religions with snark, sarcasm, satire or outright vitriol. But atheISM doesn’t truly attack any religion. It only says that a person hasn’t been convinced by the supernatural claims of religion. It allows a person to start a conversation with “This isn’t realistic, and here’s why…”.
          It does little good to scold atheists on their lack of knowledge about any particular Christian sect, or about Christianity in general. Do we have to understand every aspect of this religion, every iteration that exists, before we can reject its claims as unbelievable? If so, then such a thorough understanding would also be required of Christians about all OTHER religions, before those could be rejected in favor of Christianity.
          The Protestant fundamentalist approach to the Bible isn’t some “red herring” which detracts from a grander understanding of Christianity. It’s a symptom of the whole problem, an example of the division and contradiction among those who claim absolute truth from their scripture. Here’s yet another team of Christians, playing from the very same playbook as all the others, yet like all the others, playing a different game. How convincing should the narrative of the Bible really be, when it doesn’t even convince all Christians of the same things?
          The personal interpretability of the Bible is not an asset. I would see this customizability as an embarrassment, debasing the Bible to the level of fortune cookie, horoscope. Why put ANY scholarship into something so unprovable, and which ultimately means whatever you want it to mean?

          • Dave G.

            Actually, if you read the discussion through, you’ll find out that much of what I said is true. Several seem unable to fathom that there is actually a much larger Christianity that doesn’t accept a fundamentalist approach to the Bible. Even your own approach must go back and somehow say that, despite most Christians refuting fundamentalist interpretations, they are somehow still bound by that approach. They aren’t. Truth be told, there are probably as many books by Christians refuting fundamentalism as there are books by atheists. That’s the point.

            As for most of your comment, it’s based on your own beliefs about the subject to begin with, and that’s not the point now. The point is atheists singling out fundamentalism and then judging all Christianity against that one approach, even if other Christians also refute it. That’s the point.

            • Edmond

              Then doesn’t the question become: How do we trust ANY Christians, if it’s this easy to find two groups (or even two individuals) who don’t agree on their “shared” scriptural origins? If your point is that some Christians can get it wrong, then how do we tell who is right?

              Sure, Christian groups A, B, C, D and E might all say that group F has it wrong (although this would hold true if you singled out any one of them and banded the rest together against them). And you can say that it’s not fair for us to judge A-E based on what F says. But then, what DO we base our judgments of these groups on? Regardless of how much you may think atheists focus on one denomination, the fact remains that they ALL believe in unprovable, supernatural things, and they ALL believe that many supernatural events were necessary for the world to be in its current state of existence. They ALL believe some form of this. It isn’t JUST Protestant fundamentalists.

              THIS is how we judge all Christians. Not on the mis-behavior of any one group, or one person. But on their collective, open rejection of realism. If a religion requires belief in concepts that are either unproven or unprovable, or which have been proven false, then we question the rationality of labeling these things “beliefs”. Some denominations might provide sillier, more amusing, or more egregious examples of these beliefs, but it’s an element of religion that ALL theists are guilty of.

              I can understand dissent and disagreement among large, diverse groups. Scientists do it, politicians do it, the population in general does it to the point of violence. But if ANY Christian is going to claim that they are holding a book authored by the creator of the entire universe, which contains his perfect and unchanging wisdom, then shouldn’t THAT group be able to rise above such disagreement? If someone is REALLY holding such assured access to truth and knowledge, then shouldn’t there be ZERO dissent among its adherents? If there IS dissent, then isn’t there room for doubt that this really is the truth? And aren’t ALL forms of Christianity (and any religions) subject to this doubt?
              Just because Protestant fundamentalists may hold beliefs that run counter to the claims of most other Christians, does this say anything as to whether mainstream Christian beliefs are actually TRUE?

            • MisterTwo

              As a former fundamentalist who realized (FINALLY!) that much of it has to be mythology, and much more simply legends, I considered liberal Christianity. The problem was that, without being able to trust the whole thing, without any way of knowing what was supposed simply be stories to teach me about God and what was supposed to be historical, I don’t really have any way to know that there IS a god behind it. Even the stories about what happened on resurrection morning are contradictory enough that they can’t be said to simply be different authors citing different details. They actually conflict: Therefore, they’re based on stories passed down differently. So it would seem that the whole assembly of writings is that of humans trying to philosophy about the nature of God, and there’s no way to say it’s any more valid than the Bhagavad Gita. Yes, it’s partly because of my upbringing, but I simply could not find a reason to embrace liberal Christianity. At least fundamentalism make (easily falsifiable) claims about authority.

            • Carmelita Spats

              Spong was the beginning of the end for me. It was wonderful to let go of excruciating fundamentalism and then to liberate myself from superstition. Adam and Eve were metaphors, Hell was a state of mind dealt with in therapy and through meds, God became a figure of speech and not even the best trope. Fundamentalism is pure poison and I’m not just talking about wide-eyed crazy-ass Bible-belted American fundamentalism…I grew up in the Mexican Opus Dei from the time I was knee-high to a disturbing dogma. It’s creepy and revolting Catholic insanity. It’s HELL, the very pit of EVIL, and many end up institutionalized in psych wards or committing suicide. But, you know, it is the WRONG type of Catholicism…LOL!!!!

    • Bitter Lizard

      If atheists criticize literalist, fundamentalist versions of Christianity they are chastised for shallowness for not addressing the more “sophisticated” versions of Christianity, and if they criticize the more liberal, educated believers they are called fundamentalists and militants for not focusing their attention on the “real” bad guys. It’s like playing whack-a-mole.

      • Dave G.

        I’m talking about historical hermeneutics and the varying roles in which the Bible is understood that trace back to the early schools of thought in Christian interpretation and find their way through almost 2000 years of scholarship, and include the Catholic, Orthodox, and most mainline, non-Fundamentalist traditions. I’m not talking about liberal believers, educated or not, versus others. You understand the difference, don’t you?

        • Bitter Lizard

          You bitched about atheists attacking one breed of Christians, and I simply pointed out the fact that we get bitched out by someone else if we attack another. I certainly think atheists would do well to look to biblical scholarship and history when it’s relevant to the specific arguments being addressed. It very rarely is, though. Religious apologists usually just say things that are idiotic on their face and require no further research, so there’s really no point in addressing something they aren’t actually saying. Do you have some great argument in favor of the truth of Christianity that atheists have ignored? If so, put up or shut up.

          • ashley

            Wow, that escalated quickly.

            • Bitter Lizard

              I’ve treated him with a great deal more respect than he has properly earned.

              • Dave G.

                By what? Pointing out flaws in arguments atheists sometimes use? Not much room for disagreement, wouldn’t you say?

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Just because someone calls you a moron doesn’t mean they’re intolerant of all disagreement, it just means they like adequately labeling things.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Cladistics is a bit of an art form as well as a science.

                • Dave G.

                  Usually it means they have nothing substantive to contribute to the discussion.

                • Guest

                  What do you think you contribute to the discussion, Frank? Please do tell, just for shits and giggles.

                • tsig

                  You haven’t pointed out any flaws all you’re done is poke people in the eye with a sharp stick.

                  If you had anything other than “We’re not all fundies” now would be a good time to bring it.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Bitter, where’d you get a hand grenade?

              • Bitter Lizard

                Yeah, well, maybe I shouldn’t just leave those lying around, but it’s not my fault the Christians keep chewing on them. Dave: “Shiiiny…gnawgnawgnaw…splat.”

          • Dave G.

            No, I said that atheists assume fundamentalist Christianity – a unique branch of the overall 2000 year historical Christian movement – is the only way to understand the Christian faith, including the Bible. The atheists then shoot holes in the Fundamentalist approach to the the faith and the Bible. Fair enough. Most Christians reject that approach. But then the atheist leaps forward and says ‘therefore the faith is wrong!’ And that’s too big of a leap. I apologize that my pointing this out seems to have angered some folks. That might speak volumes right there.

            • Bitter Lizard

              So you deny that you’re bitching about us attacking one version of Christianity, then bitch about the exact same thing in the exact same paragraph, then refuse to provide any actual argument in favor of the truth of Christianity after I asked you for one, and finally ridicule atheists for not adequately addressing the arguments in favor of Christianity that you aren’t making. Like I said, I concede that atheists certainly should look to Biblical scholarship and history when it is relevant to the arguments being made. It doesn’t take any research on anything to see that you’re just a disingenuous moron with nothing of value to contribute.

              • Dave G.

                Ah, now we get to the personal insults. Always proof of a solid argument. I’ve not bought into your desperate attempt to change the subject, that’s all.

            • GCT

              But then the atheist leaps forward and says ‘therefore the faith is wrong!’

              Faith is wrong. It’s an inherently bad method for determining what is true. I don’t have to point to contradictions in the Bible to know that.

              I apologize that my pointing this out seems to have angered some folks. That might speak volumes right there.

              It’s your religious privilege.

              • Dave G.

                Faith isn’t wrong. It’s a fact of the universe. We all live by faith in something.

                • GCT

                  Faith is inherently faulty. No matter how much faith you have that you can jump off a cliff and fly by flapping your arms unaided, it won’t make it true. The only tool we really have for discerning truth is the scientific method.

                  Secondly, I do not have religious faith. I don’t have faith that your god doesn’t exist. Claiming that is doing a violent disservice to the meaning of the word. I don’t actually need faith to live by anything. What, exactly, do you think I have faith in?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  But usually in something real. “Morning will dawn without a zombie outbreak.” “My son is not plotting to take over the world through cunning use of Star Trek space combat tactics.” “My neighbour hasn’t made it a habit to kidnap young girls and keep them prisoner in his basement for a decade.”

            • The Other Weirdo

              Are you sure it’s all that unique? 500 hundred years ago, Christians were killing Christians over doctrinal differences, entire subcults were forbidden, and quite fundamentalist interpretations of Exodus 22:18, Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live., were happily practiced by wide-ranging Christian societies. When people suggested the Earth might not be centre of the Universe, a quite fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis was used to persecute them. There was no need for fundamentalist subcults at the time, because all Christian cults were generally fundamentalist.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              I apologize that my pointing this out seems to have angered some folks. That might speak volumes right there.

              It speaks volumes about your willingness to insinuate Ad Hominems when rebutted on your Courtier’s Replies and implied No True Scotsmen and thus unable to proceed with the deference which you assume you will get regarding your religion, owing to your sense of privilege from cultural conditioning.

              • Dave G.

                FWIW, none of the fallacies you appeal to apply in this case. I said a problem with so much of atheism today was the tendency to apply criticisms of fundamentalist Christianity to all of Christianity, which is an error. Those who have responded have, for the most part, shown that criticism to be true by the nature of the responses. Others have tried to go in irrelevant directions, or have tried to take the debate where it doesn’t need to go. When I pointed this out BL came back with a rant that was irrelevant to the point at hand. I merely pointed out that such anger to reasoned and calm dialogue often displays more than one care’s to admit. BTW, it should be noted that access to Logical Fallacies.com does not make one a trained rhetorician.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Insinuating that people who disagree with you are angry and irrational in order to dismiss them: ad hominem.

                  Telling people that they haven’t studied enough to manage a scholarly, precise, historical critique of myth-claims: Courtier’s Reply, repeated by you a dozen or more times in various forms.

                  Implying that the people you falsely claim are always held up as the only examples of Christians: implied No True Scotsman aimed at your opponents. Also an implied Straw Man falsely aimed at your opponents, which demonstrates either the disingenuousness or lack of depth of your arguments. Given that you’ve attempted to evade obvious uses of these fallacies, the smart money is on disingenuousness at work.

                  You consider this a matter of rhetoric rather than reason and fact. That speaks volumes right there.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  (1) I requested you give us your case for the truth of your supposedly non-fundamentalist Christianity so we could address it.

                  (2) You refused.

                  (3) You went on bitching about atheists not addressing non-fundamentalist Christianity.

                  You must have something seriously wrong with you to not see the problem here.

            • tsig

              Oh noes it’s the “You got mad at my stupidity therefore I win the argument” idiocy again.

    • Carpinions

      I don’t know how atheists could even begin to meet whatever the demand is by our opponents that you are highlighting, which I’m still not quite sure what it is.

      There are around 30,000 different versions of Christianity however big or small. There is no logical, sound, or approachable way to deal with that level of noise in what is popularly passed off as a very common belief, at least in the US and parts of Western Europe. There are too many perspectives, and expecting every atheist to be able to address every single one with aplomb and proper context is basically just like asking someone to accurately count the number of blades of grass in a single path of sod. It’s not going to happen.

      Atheists, who are quite fond of Occam’s Razor, cut straight to the chase. Is the content of the book true or not? Why does it matter that Catholics don’t use the Bible as a sole source and fundamentalists do? At the end of the day they both use it in some capacity. Further, push any Christian in an argument and they will eventually distill at least some of what they believe down into a literal interpretation. The Decalogue is a perfect example of this. What Christian, fundamentalist or otherwise doesn’t whip out the 10C as an at least partial model for good, model-worthy morality? What liberal Christian hasn’t said things like “the Bible is an historical document” or “the stories are allegorical” in defense of it? I’ve heard liberal Christians say these things, and whether it’s the fundamentalist screaming at me or the liberal ones making excuses, the end result is the same: Neither of them can defend its contents.

      You are getting distracted by nuances and different perspectives about superstitions. This is akin to 10 people seeing the same movie, all of them disagreeing as to what the symbols and symbolism in the story meant, and you telling us “See? Different perspectives!” We know that already. Your argument is exactly why people like Matt Dillahunty as Christians what they believe and why/how they came to believe it before getting deeply into an argument.

      Perhaps that’s the answer or behavior you are seeking from us, but at the same time, calling us out for pointing out obvious flaws in the beliefs of others does reek a bit of shooting the messenger, which in the atheist case is the “you’re just militant” response. Seriously, watch The Atheist Experience for a few weeks and see if even when Dillahunty asks those introductory questions, the situation doesn’t devolve into what I’ve described above anyways. It rarely – very rarely – doesn’t, because the Bible cannot be materially defended by its adherents, however strict. That’s just reality.

      • Dave G.

        No demands at all. You’ve basically given a stellar defense for ignoring facts in an argument. You’ve said that the differences don’t matter, but why not? All you’ve said is atheists need not do their homework, it’s enough that atheists make a demand, the demand made by atheists is not met on their terms, and that proves the point. Hardly. When atheists are so unschooled in the subject that it’s clear they don’t know the difference between the Alexandrian school and a modern liberal church, then that calls into question the atheist’s ability to make an informed judgement. A person who starts by saying physics and biology are the same thing has probably lost some credibility in any discussion about the subject. Same here.

        • GCT

          More Courtier’s Reply. I don’t need to know those differences in order to point out that there are contradictions in the Bible, nor to know that the whole story is obscenely ridiculous. Do you know the difference between all the different sects from all the other religions and their scholarly schools of thought, or do you reserve this for only your religion and those who don’t believe in your religion?

        • Carpinions

          Horrid argument. Nowhere in anything I said advocated for atheists to be granted the right to ignore facts. You’ve completely missed the point.

          What I actually said is that there’s no way to account for every freaking little nuance that every Christian we encounter is going to have not only from a denominational level, but on a personal level. We could probe them on these questions, but what does it matter if **THE BOOK THEY BASE THEIR BELIEFS ON AND CREDIT FOR THEIR RELIGION** is the primary source of their claims? Your argument merely points out the folly that is interpretation of a millennia-old book that has been translated and retranslated and moved between numerous languages with different structure, etc. etc. etc. You are basically demanding that every atheist be a complete and utter expert on the Bible in order to criticize it or the beliefs of its adherents. How you don’t see that is beyond many of us.

          And you make this argument in a vacuum of believers being asked to reciprocate. The fact is that many of them don’t even want to try to know atheist positions on gods and religion because their doctrine expressly forbids it under pain of supernatural transgression and eternal torture. Even liberal Christians will tread very lightly toward anything they sense as potentially shattering of their “hope”. The few that do take on atheists directly tend to be forthright apologists that are looking to discredit atheism by simply countering our arguments with propaganda. Second, your claim, if reciprocated, would require Christians to be erudite scholars on all things secular vis a vis its intersections with religion. Again, not gonna happen, and I don’t personally expect every Christian I come across to have to do that either. It’s an unreasonable request. What I expect them to do is learn from debate and argumentation and to check out the facts we apply for themselves. I can’t make them do anything.

          Next, you make a serious false equivalence fallacy by treating physics and biology as two perspectives on the same thing. Except they’re not. They are both useful and integral into a larger whole that includes numerous other hard and soft sciences. Biology doesn’t work without physics, and so on. Conversely, there is no essential Christian perspective that all Christians adhere to in exactly the same way that is then complemented by an additional component. A Christian is either Orthodox, Catholic, any one of innumerable Protestant denominations, 7th Day Adventist, JW, Christian Scientist, Pentacostal, or so on. Never has any Christian been seen as two different types at the same time, and the closest you can get is a mixed religious household like a Catholic father and a Protestant mother. In fact, great historic wars have been fought and societies irreparably torn apart by people trying to intermix types. It happens today between Sunni and Shia in the ME. But even if there were such a structure for Christianity as I paint here, it’s still a bad analogy because science does things we can see, taste, smell, touch, measure, et al, and religion doesn’t. The religion in question has no central authority, no professional governing bodies, no standards of practice, no data streams, no falsification principle, no anything that even remotely compares with science, and science likewise doesn’t look like religion.

          You’ve gone very far afield. All any atheist needs to be concerned with is whether there is anything real and true – in the philosophical and scientific forms of naturalism – in the Bible. To that end we demonstrably find very little. This is not out problem. It is the problem of those who believe in it. End of story.

    • Scott_In_OH

      I’m way late to this thread, and there are already 400 replies, but I thought I’d throw this in:

      Fundamentalists aren’t the only ones surprised by contradictions/inaccuracies in the Bible.

      Most practicing Christians have parts of the Bible that they believe are historically accurate. If those parts turn out NOT to be historically accurate, it can cause a Christian to consider his or her beliefs more deeply, even if that Christian is perfectly comfortable saying that SOME parts of the Bible are inaccurate.

      Note that I’m talking about lay Christians, rather than church leaders. You are right that this kind of criticism is less likely to be useful for the magisterium.

  • mumd0g

    I learned of this chart a while back, but the site is incredible.

    It also appears in one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever read. A couple of years ago a programmer named Bill Zellers died from suicide. His note made the rounds, here it is at Gizmodo:

    http://gizmodo.com/5726667/the-agonizing-last-words-of-bill-zeller

    He has a section in there about his family and how he hates their fundamental Christian bullshit. The local paper covered it and went to interview his parents. Now, I’m not saying you walk in and accuse anyone of anything after this happens to their son, but given all the facts it was a pretty bad article. Take a look at the sixth photo in the slideshow:

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/01/in_suicide_of_bright_princeton.html

    The caption reads “Anna Zeller looks on as her husband George of Middletown, Conn. holds a piece of artwork given to George by his son for Fathers Day. It is an artistic representation of the bible.”

    No, it is the chart above. Again, you don’t need to slam these people, but why bother doing a story if you aren’t going to ask the questions ABOUT the story? It would be like interviewing someone who burned their house down and asking them about how much they enjoyed picking out the paint job.

    • Charles Chambers

      You make good points. However, the article is not about the creator. That’s just the same as doing an article about the iPod and slamming the writers for not talking about Steve Job’s cancer. However tragic, it is not the point of the article.

      • mumd0g

        I’ll chalk it up to timing, since they interviewed the parents very shortly after it happened. But faith is exactly the point of this article and to gloss over that gift as an ‘artistic representation’ glosses over the very rift the author is writing about. I’m not blaming anyone’s parents for a suicide but damn. It just seems so deferential to me, more or less saying ‘These were god fearing folks, why did their son have to die?’

        • Charles Chambers

          My bad. I thought you were referring to THIS article (the one written by Hemant.) Rereading your comment in context of the original article about the suicide makes a whole lot more sense.

          I thought you were ripping Hemant because he didn’t talk about the suicide.

          • mumd0g

            Oh, I understand. Sorry about that. Re-reading it, I get it now. I’m not half as clear (or handsome) as I believe I am.

            • Charles Chambers

              Haha. Gotta love some good ol’-self deprecating humor. I bet we would be good friends if we were linked by geography and not just technologically.

  • ursulamajor

    Every time I argue Biblical validity with my fundy relatives, they soon say that they can’t continue with the conversation anymore because they are getting into “sin territory”. This is always my clue that I am getting them to think and they won’t have it. They wouldn’t sit still for this website for 30 seconds.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Well, as Martin Luther wrote once, reason is the enemy of faith.

      • Rod Martin, Jr.

        But Martin Luther was wrong.

        Reason with ego is the enemy of faith.

        Reason with faith makes the most of both science and spirituality.

        Science studies the products of creation and the continuity that binds them. Spirituality (the basis of religion) studies the sources of creation. Science and religion can complement each other, except that ego (the heart of selfish, separation and ignorance) too frequently clogs up the works.

        As a scientist, I understand logic, reason, mathematics, physics and many other of the sciences. I love their simplicity.

        As an artist, I can think outside the box. This has allowed me to write and publish a novel, win awards for both non-fiction and fiction. It has allowed me to produce art for a motion picture, produced by a 2-time Academy Award winning designer.

        As an engineer, I can figure things out. I can discern patterns. This has allowed me to obtain a bachelors degree summa cum laude. It has allowed me to create 3D astronomy software.

        And as a spiritual person of faith, I have seen many a miracle and understand its mechanics.

        Understanding both sides of the realm of reality — both cause and effect — is a beautiful thing.

        Most Christians argue poorly about spirituality. They don’t understand it well enough. But some Christians really get it.

        It’s a big universe. Don’t ever pretend you know it all. I don’t. And that humility allows me to continue learning in both science and religion. Ego is the only real barrier. And humility is the antidote.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Holy thread resurrection, Batman.

          Can you explain to me the mechanics of a miracle?

    • JET

      Just clicking that link is a sin.

    • Spuddie

      Of course the real problem being when dealing with someone who isn’t a fundy.

      Someone who looks at the contradictions and mistakes and says, “yeah I know, but its a good story and makes me feel good”.

      • OverlappingMagisteria

        I think if they are truly at the point where religion is just a good story, then its not really much of a problem anymore. This type of “religion” is not much different than being a Trekkie.

        • Spuddie

          It means they are also more likely to adopt a “live and let live” attitude towards those who do not share their beliefs. Not the people most likely to stir up trouble for everyone else.

      • Doug Hagler

        It’s also a real problem, dealing with people who characterize all non-literalist readings of the Bible as “yeah I know, but its a good story and makes me feel good.”

        • Spuddie

          Why would you have a problem with that reading? It is about as succinct and accurate as you can get for that type of interpretation.

          A non-literalist by definition is not looking for a literal meaning but a literary one. The story’s acceptance not because its factually true but it speaks to the reader on personal level.

          • Art_Vandelay

            The bible at it’s most basic level is a story of substitutional atonement via the blood sacrifice of a child. It is a wicked and immoral proposition and if anyone has thought that through and decided that it connects with them on a personal level, I think it’s fair to be suspect of that person, regardless of whether they think it’s literally true or not.

            • Spuddie

              Well its certainly the Christian take on it. There is a marked difference in how it is considered in Judaism. Human sacrifice being not a good thing at all, because its what pagans do.

              Christians taking the wrong lessons away from the Abraham/Isaac story as a sign of being so devoted to God that he would be willing to sacrifice his son. Except it ignores the story was written at a time when child sacrifice was pretty damn common among other religions. The story can be seen as God saying, “I was only kidding, human sacrifice is not how you are supposed to worship me. I am different”

              God is an asshole in the OT.

              Yeah, you are right. It has some horrible lessons. Never mind. =)

              • Art_Vandelay

                I was referring to Al Jeezis…not Isaac.

                • Spuddie

                  I know. But the whole blood sacrifice thing being more specific to Christians as opposed to 2 other faiths who use the same texts.

                  Since Christians usually only look at the OT for validation of the NT, they usually completely mess up the subtext of the OT story.

            • Blacksheep

              “…via the blood sacrifice of a child.”

              Doesn’t everyone start out as a child? Jesus was around 33 when he was crucified – why do you characterize it that way?

              What makes the idea of substitutional atonement (whether the story is fiction or reality) not wicked and immoral is that it’s God (part of the trinity) who is paying the price, not a victim created by God.

              The idea of sacrifice connects with many. I get choked up watching films about soldiers dying for our country, for example. I’ve heard stories of parents sacrificing their lives for their children. Nothing barbaric, at heart, about sacrifice.

              • The Other Weirdo

                The idea of sacrifice connects with many. I get choked up watching films about soldiers dying for our country, for example. I’ve heard stories of parents sacrificing their lives for their children. Nothing barbaric, at heart, about sacrifice.

                But those are true sacrifices. When Jesus died on the cross, he knew that he would come back, and besides, he wasn’t even human. Is it really all that much of a sacrifice for an omnipotent, eternal god to sacrifice itself to itself to avoid a point of doctrine that it itself has created?

                • simeonberesford

                  Well no Jesus was human and believed himself mistaken forsaken when he died on the cross hence the “Oh Lord why have you forsaken me?”. It is the risen again part that is dificult to believe,

                • Michael W Busch

                  It’s also difficult to believe all of the other outrageous parts of the crucifixion / resurrection story – there was no big earthquake, no 3-hour-long solar eclipse, etc. Almost all of the story was made up.

                  We have no idea of exactly what the historical Jesus, if there was one who was crucified by the Roman government, said. All we have is things people said were said.

                • JudgeRight

                  Once upon a time people were trustworthy witnesses. One’s word was based on their good name and honor. Since these are non-categories today in the consumerist capitalist marxist society, only CC camera recordings work. But for men (and let’s not forget the women) without consciences and concerns for their moral standing even video recordings mean nothing. They will still deny.

                  Thus let’s be reasonable and accept the testimony of trustworthy witnesses and not make a fuss about it.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Once upon a time people were trustworthy witnesses

                  No, there was not a time when people were generally any more “trustworthy witnesses” than they are now – as any thorough study of history will tell you. It is true that someone’s appearing to be trustworthy has generally been valued in most human cultures at most times. But that also means that there are people who are not trustworthy who learn how to appear so.

                  Also, it is not necessary for someone to be untrustworthy for them to be wrong. People paraphrase. People misunderstand others. People confabulate, unconsciously inventing material to fill in gaps in their memories or in a narrative they are telling. Stories tend to grow in the telling.

                  Thus let’s be reasonable and accept the testimony of trustworthy witnesses

                  It is not reasonable to say that the writers of the bible texts were “trustworthy witnesses”.

                  For the gospels and Acts, none of the authors claimed to be witnesses at all – and they certainly aren’t trustworthy, since so much of their stories were made up (again, either deliberately or by a succession of distortions and additions). Many of the epistles are provably deliberate forgeries and so their writers were obviously not trustworthy. And the rest of the epistles say little to nothing about any historical Jesus – which is why the mythicists argue that there may have been no historical Jesus at all and the historicists say that whatever historical Jesus there may have been bore very little resemblance to the self-contradicting character in the bible texts.

                  Your definition of “reasonable” appears to include “accept the biblical texts entirely uncritically”. That is not “being reasonable”. It is far closer to “being gullible”.

                  And I am done.

                • DoYourHW

                  There’s an excellent book that will even further solidify your faith: On Guard by William Lane Craig. You can even Youtube him. Richard Dawkins was too chicken to debate him :)

                • fllwyrrlgin

                  Once upon a time… yes that is what all fairy tales open with. If you think for one second that people only told the truth because of honor you are either pathologically naive or are in complete denial. It is hardly reasonable to accept the testimony of their witnesses. People had as much reason to lie, cheat and steal back then as they do now. Do you seriously believe that no one engaged in these acts when these “witnesses” were alive?

                • JudgeRight

                  If witnesses were such pathological liars, as you have a good reason to project, and could not be trusted, what makes any other evidence more trustworthy? Since even the “more reliable” evidence will be interpreted by people who are … pathological liars?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  The common belief is that Jesus was a god. I was speaking to the fantasy, not the reality, which is that he probably didn’t even exist.

                • DoYourHW

                  To even say that he probably didn’t exist is absolutely ludicrous. Why then is it that atheists have their panties in a knot over someone who doesn’t exist? If he truly didn’t exist, everything about him would die. We wouldn’t hear about him in the news, and certainly not in forums such as this that spend so much time obsessing over him. It would be better to truly look over independent historical sources outside the Bible before you make a conclusion on whether Christ existed or not. I suggest Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and Lucian, otherwise your opinion is just a misinformed one that ignores secular historians.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Holy thread resurrection, Batman!

                  None of the historians you mention wrote anything as first person witnesses. Josephus, born 4 years after Jesus, wrote something to the effect that over there are some people who believe in Jesus, and even that quote is subject to debate. Hardly a ringing endorsement. Tacitus wasn’t born until 56. PtY born in 61. Lucian wasn’t born until almost a century later, in 125.

                  You misunderstand. Atheists aren’t concerned with Jesus, they are concerned with Christians. We know they exist. We know they try to pass off their rules as law of the land. And we certainly never ever hear about Jesus on the news unless it happens to be about somebody’s pool cleaner. What we hear on the news is about Christians who talk a great deal about Jesus as though they have a personal relationship with him.

                • fllwyrrlgin

                  “Why then is it that atheists have their panties in a knot over someone who doesn’t exist?”
                  Probably because Christians who do believe this fairy tale are always trying to get laws changed, oppress human rights, live their lives telling other people how to behave.
                  To be honest if Jesus was real I have no problem with him. He actually seemed to be a modern (for his time) compassionate, loving, forgiving guy. It’s all his latter day followers that claim to be his followers but do not ever act in anyway shape or form as the savior does.

                  Oh and of course all the killing in his name and stuff.

                • JudgeRight

                  The difficulty of belief is called unbelief. If you measure God by your human lowly standards you will never leave the realm of base, lowly instincts that will guide you logic, which eventually ends in the atheist deception. God’s ways are not man’s ways, and His thoughts are not man’s thought, said once the prophet Isaiah.

                • Michael W Busch

                  No. So said one a bunch of Jewish writers in the 6th century BCE, writing during and after the Babylonian exile. The text of the book of Isaiah is a compilation of writings from that bunch of authors, falsely attributed to a person of the 8th century BCE who may or may not have existed. Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Isaiah and its sources.

                  And your “God operates by special rules” is a transparent fallacy. If any god exists that affects the universe in any detectable way, it is subject to the same techniques of investigation and measurement that we apply to everything else in the universe. And when we apply those techniques to the god of the Bible, we find that it does not exist. That’s independent of whatever rules that said god might operate by if it did exist.

                  You cite the Bible as though it had some special authority. It doesn’t. It is simply one of a very large number of collections of historical texts, and is to be considered the same way as any other.

                • JudgeRight

                  Bulls eye. This is where we should have our starting point — you do not believe the Bible has authority, but I do. The Bible is THE written revelation from God to man for life and salvation. If we cannot agree on this fundamental premise, then we are already worlds apart in our consecutive statements. Therefore you cannot convince me, and I cannot convince you (at least on intellectual level – not the same as reason though). Therefore we must aim at conversion. Either you will repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and then we will be talking, or I will turn my back on God (which I don’t plan to do). The issue is that I have been where you are — a godless confused and aimless human being, afraid of death and controlled by passions, but you haven’t been on my side, where I am now.

                • fllwyrrlgin

                  Christianity is a lifestyle choice; it does not exist in nature. To be perpetuated,Christians must indoctrinate individuals or groups into its lifestyle; normally children are targeted, as well as the emotionally vulnerable and weak. No-one
                  is born Christian. You have made your choice which is fine, just don’t get up on your high horse about it. As for you once being a a godless confused and aimless human being, afraid of death and controlled by passions so what. That was you. Many people are none of those things and still don’t believe in God.

                • Soren64able

                  No, the difficulty of belief is reason, my friend.

                • JudgeRight

                  He took a fully human form, yet without sin. How hard is this to get? So he can pave the way for sinners, to become clean before God and be saved, meaning – escape His righteous wrath.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Just one thing to say to you, JudgeRight: Matthew 7:1. “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

                • JudgeRight

                  Why are you judging me that I am judging then?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Not being in any way, shape or form Christian, I am not obligated to follow the dictates of your faith. That doesn’t prevent me from point out pieces of it to those who do.

                • JudgeRight

                  Isn’t it ironic that you, a nonbeliever, who obviously rejects the authority of Scripture, is teaching me – a Christian – how to understand and interpret the Bible and how to practice my faith? And then we are judgmental!?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Why is it ironic? If you tell me, an atheist, that my position X is inconsistent with my position Y, I would not reject your assertion out of hand merely because you are not an atheist. I would consider it; I may reject it at the end, but I wouldn’t do so out of hand. In this way, I also don’t expect only Jews to comment on Jewish faith, or only Muslims to comment on Islam.

                • fllwyrrlgin

                  I hardly see how you being a Christian gives you any more working knowledge of the bible then someone who isn’t Christian. I know many “Christians” who could care less about Jesus and focus only on one or two lines in the book of leviticus and then claim to be Christian while never acting very Christ like. I am not accusing you of being one of these people at all. I will finish with this though, if you (I speak in the general term) are a fundamentalist who preaches on about how people should live within the confines of the bible then you are totally open to people telling you how to practice your faith. You can’t tell other people to live a biblical life, one that you believe in and they don’t, unless yours is one that is extremely adhering to the bible.

              • GCT

                What makes the idea of substitutional atonement (whether the story is fiction or reality) not wicked and immoral is that it’s God (part of the trinity) who is paying the price, not a victim created by God.

                It’s still wicked and immoral.

                The idea of sacrifice connects with many. I get choked up watching films about soldiers dying for our country, for example. I’ve heard stories of parents sacrificing their lives for their children. Nothing barbaric, at heart, about sacrifice.

                Of that sort, no. Substitutional sacrifice, human sacrifice for atonement, etc, as depicted in the Bible is not even close to the same thing.

                • Blacksheep

                  Saying “It’s still wicked and immoral” is not a response or a counterpoint to my statement.

                  It is the same thing: Our hearts understand and are deeply moved by sacrifice.

                • GCT

                  How does god supposedly paying the price (he didn’t pay any price actually) somehow absolve the immorality of the situation? We are still being asked to accept that sacrificing (torturing and killing) someone else to atone for our supposed sins is moral? It is not. If the being that is to be sacrificed is actually sinless, then it’s even more abhorrent. Is killing babies that haven’t had a chance to sin someone more worthy than killing children that have told white lies?

                  And, no it’s not the same thing. If someone gives you cancer and then kills a family member in order to harvest their organs and use that money to get some treatment for you, is that a noble sacrifice? I think most of us would call it deranged. If a judge sentenced you to life in prison but then decided to kill someone else as atonement for you, you would not call that sacrifice noble. I’m sure you don’t consider the sacrifices of other religions to appease their gods to be noble either.

                • Blacksheep

                  How are you measuring what is moral or not? You mean what feels moral to you? I’m not sure what your basis is.

                  Again, you’re reverting back to the human examples. the Bible does not tell the story of a human being sacrificed, but rather of God himself in the flesh being sacrificed. As you pointed out, that’s a very different thing.

                  When other religions make sacrifices to appease their Gods, it all stems from that same root understanding of paying a price for sin. So while I wouldn’t call it noble, I would look at it as evidence of a deep seated human need.

                • GCT

                  How are you measuring what is moral or not? You mean what feels moral to you? I’m not sure what your basis is.

                  No, we are not going into your presuppositional bullshit argument that morality must come from god, therefore atheists aren’t allowed to talk about it.

                  Again, you’re reverting back to the human examples. the Bible does not tell the story of a human being sacrificed, but rather of God himself in the flesh being sacrificed. As you pointed out, that’s a very different thing.

                  I fail to see the relevance.

                  When other religions make sacrifices to appease their Gods, it all stems from that same root understanding of paying a price for sin. So while I wouldn’t call it noble, I would look at it as evidence of a deep seated human need.

                  Humans want to get out of having to actually atone for things? This helps your argument how?

                • Blacksheep

                  I never said you weren’t allowed to talk about it – I believe that I actually asked you to talk about it – which you still have not done. You are making specific claims about what is and what is not moral, I want to know what you are basing it on – and I even offered up a possibel answer – is it based on what feels good / moral?

                  If you don’t see the relevence of pointing out the difference between a human being sacrificed and God sacrificing himself then we are truly speaking different languages.

                  The very fact that humans feel the need to atone at all helps my argument because it points to a core need in humans to be right with God.

                • GCT

                  I never said you weren’t allowed to talk about it – I believe that I actually asked you to talk about it – which you still have not done.

                  Yes, and it’s the trite canard apologetic about atheists not being able to talk about morality without referencing god. It’s old hat and completely inane. I’m not educating you on that subject today.

                  You are making specific claims about what is and what is not moral…

                  I doubt that even you would see sacrificing an innocent person to pay your parking fines as being moral.

                  If you don’t see the relevence of pointing out the difference between a human being sacrificed and God sacrificing himself then we are truly speaking different languages.

                  I only see the relevance if you are going to claim that the old practice of sacrificing a goat was somehow meaningful in this context, except in the sense that sacrificing a god or a man is simply a step up the scale of immorality.

                  The very fact that humans feel the need to atone at all helps my argument because it points to a core need in humans to be right with God.

                  That would be begging the question. What it points to is that humans have some sort of moral concept and a social construct. You can’t claim it points to an entity that is ill-defined and has no supporting evidence. I could also claim that it points to a “core need in humans to be” in alignment with the concept of grizfulfluffgurdum and it would make just as much sense as what you wrote.

                • James

                  I am going to jump in here, and I hope I am not too late to the party. I have read this string of posts between you and Blacksheep, and I am curious as to why you have still not answered the basic question about where morality comes from. You seem to have a lot of ideas as to what constitutes morality according to GCT, but where did you get those ideas? Is sacrificial killing wrong because you said so? Suppose I believe differently. Would that make it okay for me? What about killing my neighbor? Suppose I think that is fine, so long as said neighbor has sufficiently ticked me off. Are you going to tell me it would be immoral to kill him? Based on what? You have refused to answer the question, but I am starting to wonder if that is because you cannot.

                  And, by the way, which Christian ever told you that you were not allowed to talk about morality because you are an atheist? I am a Christian and I, for one, would love to hear n atheists view of where morality originates.

                • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

                  paying “the price” to whom, exactly? why does it have “a price?” how and why is that price set? that’s a very specific word. where in the universe does it say that sin must always be paid for, and who gets to determine what it is?

                  i don’t need to pay for sin. really, i don’t. i need to understand the scientific reasons why cooperation and kindness are beneficial to myself, and to those i love and care for. i think this is the fundamental difference between the religious and the nonreligious. yall are so very hung up on ordering the entire universe around the wrongs you invent and conceive and project upon others. and those you do. we like to think about how great life is, right now, cause it’s the only one we have.

                • Michael W Busch

                  By people choosing to sacrifice themselves for others when there is no alternative. Sacrificing anyone when there is no reason for the sacrificing is a very bad thing; sacrificing others for no reason is evil – and that’s what the character of God in the various versions of the bible does.

                • Blacksheep

                  “sacrificing others for no reason is evil”

                  I’m not sure what you are referring to – what does “for ne reason” mean?

                • Michael W Busch

                  The character of god in the Bible didn’t need to sacrifice himself / his son / some guy named Yeshua. God makes the rules. God could have made salvation possible without any blood atonement. Hence, no reason for the sacrifice.

                  And, of course, the whole story is fictional anyway.

                • Blacksheep

                  I get what you are saying, and I don’t have the answer.
                  I don’t know why it plays out in the Bible that way. One explanation is that it keeps things pure – in other words, there’s no way to erase sin – which is why it’s such an issue in The Bible. A price needs to be paid somehow, some way. Taking the sin on Himself was the way. Could God have set it up differently? I would think so – but I also know that there are things about the nature of God – and the universe – that I cannot even fathom.

                • GCT

                  No, he couldn’t have set it up differently, if you believe god is perfect. There is no other way it could have been done since this was the maximally perfect way for god to do everything – if you believe god is perfect. That you can see holes in his plans indicates that you don’t actually believe this was the absolute best course of action.

                • Blacksheep

                  You are being a bit un-inspired. Answering that God “could have” set it up differently is being open to things that I don’t know, nothing more.
                  This does not imply that I see “holes in his plan”, since I can’t imagine what those might be. You’re jumping on things and jumping to conclusions.

                • GCT

                  You are being a bit un-inspired. Answering that God “could have” set it up differently is being open to things that I don’t know, nothing more.

                  Not if you hold to a perfect god concept. That’s what perfection means. god literally could not have done it differently, since god must be maximally best in everything at all times in order to be perfect. If you aren’t claiming that god could have done things differently, then you are claiming that everything that happens is maximally good. Therefore, everyone that burns in hell for eternity is a good thing. Every child that’s abused by the RCC is a good thing. That’s rather sick.

                  This does not imply that I see “holes in his plan”, since I can’t imagine what those might be. You’re jumping on things and jumping to conclusions.

                  If you can’t think of a way that his plan could be better, then I have to say that you are the “un-inspired” one here. If just one less child were abused, then the world would be better. If AIDS didn’t exist, the world would be better. If people didn’t go hungry, the world would be better. Any omni-max god that has to inflict suffering instead of finding a solution that doesn’t involve suffering is not omni-max, by definition.

                • JudgeRight

                  See my response above, to Art_Vandelay re. you first paragraph.

                  Regarding the statement that the Biblical narrative about Jesus Christ is fictional: I assure you, you are more fictional than Jesus has ever been even before his birth in man’s form.

                  No one will remember you. No one will ask: “Where is Michael W Busch” the great Disqus commentator against the Bible?” Life will go on and the only evidence of your great thoughts will be several scattered blasphemous lines, holding on to the digital world at the mercy of the server owners.

                • Michael W Busch

                  I assure you, you are more fictional than Jesus has ever been even before his birth in man’s form.

                  Your assurances are false as long as you do not have evidence of Jesus’ existence as anything other than a normal human who lived and died about 2000 years ago. And, so far, no-one has found any such evidence. Again, the Bible does not count as evidence of that.

                  Also, since I exist, I am by definition not at all fictional. It is therefore impossible for me to be “more fictional” than anything else.

                  No one will remember you. No one will ask: “Where is Michael W Busch” the great Disqus commentator against the Bible?

                  Probably not. My comments on Disqus are only a small part of my life. Instead, there will be people will remember me as family and friend – at least for a few decades. Depending on the state of the rest of my body when my brain dies, there may be someone who remembers me as “guy whose kidney I’m using”. For a while longer, there will ideally be a few people who will remember me as an astronomer who did something somewhat useful. Unless someone blasts it to bits, for ten thousand years, some of what I have done will be incorporated into the operations of the Clock of the Long Now. And perhaps in fifty thousand years an alien astronomer will see one of the radar beams I’ve shined into space and ask “what was that?”.

                  But none of that has anything to do with the historicity of Jesus. Regardless of what you say or of what I do, the evidence remains clear: whatever historical Jesus may have existed was just a normal person, who has been dead for nearly twenty centuries.

                • JudgeRight

                  You said: “whatever historical Jesus may have existed was just a normal person, who has been dead for nearly twenty centuries.”

                  Nope. Jesus is alive and well, in heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father.

                • Blair

                  When Christians do arrive in heaven they still do have remnants of themselves. However members of heaven cannot retain any remains of human feelings. So heaven is equipped with a Room 101. This room will finally wash them clean and capture inner minds and make members perfect.

                • JudgeRight

                  Aha…Whatever.

                • Johanna

                  Just a question, if Jesus is dead. why then did know one at the time of His death come forward with His body? it would have totally disproved everything in the Bible, and believe me, the people who had Him crucified would have like nothing better! But know one could disprove it! He rose again just like the Bible says!

                • Michael W Busch

                  You are basing your statement on an entirely false narrative. At the time that whatever person you could justify calling “the historical Jesus” died, Christianity and the Bible did not exist. They were invented between several decades and two hundred years later. If there was indeed a historical Jesus who was a schismatic Jewish preacher in 1st century who was killed by the Romans, then he was only one of many such people that the Romans killed and there was no group at the time that claimed that he hadn’t actually died. That only happened many decades later.

                  And you continue to deflect the burden of proof. Somebody dying is the expected outcome, and so the null hypothesis. If you want to say that someone didn’t die, then you have to provide adequate evidence for your claim. You don’t get out of that with lying about history and claiming to be able to read the minds of other dead people.

                • Johanna

                  Oh I believe Jesus did die, I had no intentions of coming across as if I thought He never died! but I know He rose again! and Jesus was a very stand out guy, He wouldn’t just get lost in the crowed! He clamed to be the Son of God, that’s why He was killed! He wouldn’t just go unnoticed with all the other “preachers”. The Bible in part did exist when Jesus died, the old Testament, in which many things were prophesied would happen that did happen in the new testament! Also Christianity started very soon after the death of Jesus! the Bible has also been proven over and over again by science and is very Historically accurate! Look I don’t want to argue about this, because I no that’s not going to do anybody any good! What I know is I was a sinner saved by the grace of God, I was headed for death, hell and an eternal separation from God. but Jesus took my place, He paid my pardon, and I believe this with all my heart! What if the Bible is true, what if everything that God says will happen does? I don’t know if you have ever read the Bible? But why don’t you truly study it and see!

                • JudgeRight

                  What is “wicked” and “immoral” if you reject the source of authority which defines “wicked” and “immoral” – God?! You guys stop listening to your demons, use some common sense.

                • JudgeRight

                  Moral is that which God says is moral, since He is the author of morality, in the first place. What you call “immoral” here has nothing to do with true morality or wickedness; it is an accusation of yours against God that He has not let you define your own standards and that He seeks to save you, or judge you, according to His.

                  Well, tough luck. He is God and you are NOT.

              • Art_Vandelay

                I still consider myself my parents’ child and I’m 40. You’re referring to people sacrificing themselves out of necessity. If God did in fact sacrifice himself through the human manifestation of himself, it is not necessary for forgiveness. He could have just forgiven humans if he really thought they rebelled.

                To clarify though…I don’t really think it’s immoral on God’s part…more absurd than immoral. It’s immoral to accept a proposition whereby you’re relieved of moral accountability for your own wrongdoings via the blood sacrifice of another person. If you really feel that you require forgiveness for any particular transgressions against a person, you would never expect the person to kill themself or their son because that’s vile. That should only make you feel worse but yet you accept it as a gift.

                • JudgeRight

                  The reason Jesus died instead of us was because none of us men were found worthy of anything else but death and punishment for our rebellion against God. We cannot be righteous on our own because we are enslaved by sin. The principle of sin (rebellion, evil, wickedness) works in us and we cannot do anything about it. However, as sin entered the world through one man – Adam, so was sin “cured” by one man – Jesus Christ, also called the new Adam. Since we are not toys and carry the image of God in us, and that image has been corrupted by sin, your suggestion that God just pretends that nothing happens is not “forgiveness” in its proper sense. If you violate a toy – no big consequences; If you violate a person, as you, know things are much more serious.

                  Thus the drastic corruption requires drastic measures.

                  The only way to satisfy God’s righteous wrath against men was for men to be just and claim their righteousness before God as a merit. But they are not nor can be.

                  Then the justice of God, which requires punishment, had to be satisfied (for one of the attributes of God is perfect justice). And only Jesus the Lamb, through His Self-sacrifice was able to present a love for mankind big enough to justify forgiveness on God’s part. May sound absurd but the human mind is so twisted by sin and culture that cannot really grasp the plan of God. But a plan there is — life, not death, for all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

                • DoYourHW

                  Keep fighting the good fight. You are solid in your doctrine! :)

                • JudgeRight

                  Thank you. Now them atheists, who have read the above post of mine, have no excuse on the day of judgment, because we are two witnesses, you and I, who agree about the plan of salvation, and it has been presented clear in front of them. :)

              • Spuddie

                The problem is there are fundamentally different takes on sacrifice in the Bible depending on one’s religion. People are using a primarily Christian interpretation because it is the most common. But it is far from the only available one.

                As I mentioned earlier, there is at least one interpretation of the archetypal story of blood sacrifice, Abraham and Isaac which is against such things. That human sacrifice is too high a price to pay for fealty to God and a loathsome pagan practice to boot. Christians read the diametric opposite meaning of the story.

                • Blacksheep

                  It’s hard to misinterpret the crucifixion story as anything other than sacrifice for atonement, unless one disregards what the NT says leading up to, during, and after the event.

                  Sorry, I’m not sure if that was your question / comment…

                • Spuddie

                  True but it tends to color how the entire Bible is viewed retroactively. Christianity applies the interpretation to older stories even where it doesn’t really fit.

                • Blacksheep

                  That’s true – they definitely do. (not all, in fact my pastor explicity refuses to do that, although I disagree with him).
                  Christians almost always hold to the view that Christ was always a part of the plan, therefore we can find application in OT stories.

                • Blacksheep

                  I just re read your post, I see what you are saying – to a Jew, the story of isaac can be read to mean that sacrifice of a person is bad all around, and gad reinforces that by stepping in and stopping it. Interesting…
                  I’m not sure that the story erases the need for sacrifice, (They find a goat caught in some branches to take Isaac’s place), and it’s definitely a story of obedience to God, but is the message that sacrifice is wrong? I need to think about it.

                • Spuddie

                  Clarification, I was meaning to say Human sacrifice as being wrong.

                  Abraham going to human sacrifice because it was a default position typically for people of his day. Being the first monotheist, there being a need to make clear distinctions between practices demanded by “the one true God” as opposed to those many who require idolatry and whatnot. .

                • Blacksheep

                  yes, human sacrifice.

            • Ron Van Wegen

              “The bible at it’s most basic level is a story of substitutional
              atonement via the blood sacrifice of a child.”

              … “I have spoken!” says the Bible expert – but gets it wrong.

              “It is a wicked and immoral proposition…”

              From where did you get these ideas, “wicked” and “immoral”? If there ain’t no God, no ultimate truth, no final accountability then there ain’t no “wicked” and “immoral”. There’s just what you think and do and what I think and do and who cares? ‘Wicked” is just a feeling you have. So what?

              “… and if anyone has thought that through and decided that it connects with them on a personal level, I think it’s fair to be suspect of that person, regardless of whether they think it’s literally true or not.”

              That’s right, no-one has ever thought it through. Only you, the greatest mind ever, has been able to do this and you have decreed from on high that, “THIS IS THE WAY THINGS ARE!”

              But as I am wont to write, “You’re only saying all of that so you can get laid and have more babies cause you evolved and that’s what it’s all about.”

              You might care to look up the words, “arogant” and “logic” cause you have one but not the other.

              But, as I am wont to write, “I’m only saying all of that so I can get laid and have more babies cause I evolved and that’s what it’s all about.”

              Sheesh.

              Hey, I’m sure you are a nice person but gee whiz, I’m glad you’re not running the world. I’m pretty sure you would kill just about everybody! I know I would. LOL!

              • Alvin

                your statement, “Hey, I’m sure you are a nice person but gee whiz, I’m glad you’re not
                running the world. I’m pretty sure you would kill just about everybody! I
                know I would. LOL!” insinuates that you have no innate morals. if god were to one day tell you, that it is fine to kill, you would. that, i think, is the fundamental difference between most people and you. you….. have issues.

            • JudgeRight

              Get your facts straight. Jesus was not a child, when he was crucified. Enough of John 3:16. Time for John 3:18 for people like you.

              The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin – stupid idea for the Greeks, offensive to the Jews. But thus God chose to save us and you can’t do anything about to change it. Take it and live, or reject it and die and go to hell (this is not a curse phrase here). Question is: how do you know what is “wicked” unless you stand on some moral system? And where did you get your moral system from, unless it is universal, given by God, or made up by you? If morality is given by God and not by you, who are you to make conclusive judgments of what is wicked and what is not?

              For you unbelievers, calling yourselves proudly “a-theists”, even if the dead came back to life to tell you about what awaits men after death, you still would not believe it. Because atheism is not an intellectual ascent above “religious prejudice” as you perceive it. Just the opposite, unbelief is a lower state of the mind where deception and proper judgment about life and the world are blurred by pride, self-exaltation and other types of good old plain sin.

    • Cybershaman

      I recently forced myself to watch a religion slanted documentary and a college age student asked a very good question to the teacher (this was in a “Bible college”, btw) and the teacher responded with a preface of something like “While your question is probably heresy, we won’t get into that right now, but…bla bla bla”. They are taught from an early age that, hey, sure it’s OK to ask questions, just not “certain” questions. I often get the feeling that Capt. Kirk must have felt on the several occasions he had to verbally fence with a computer mind. You know, when he makes the machine lock up or even explode. Sorry…big nerd here… ;)

      • Rod Martin, Jr.

        I know exactly what you mean. But the problem with the Bible college you mentioned also occurs in the hallowed halls of science, too.

        The real problem isn’t religion, but ego.

        Step back for a moment and look at every such problem you can remember. Look at it from the standpoint that “ego” is the culprit.

        What is “ego?” Well, it’s not the thing described by Western psychology. I mean, that’s not the definition I’m using. I’m using the idea of ego as the source of all selfishness, separateness and ignorance. Ego wants to be right all the time and feels hurt when made to be wrong. Ego is vulnerable and is easily bruised.

        Both religious people and scientists lash out when their egos are threatened. If you know much about the history of science, you may remember the “Clovis First” doctrine. Perhaps “dogma” may be a more accurate term. If a scientist ever dug below the Clovis horizon, they were ridiculed. That’s ego; not science. You may also know that “Clovis First” is now dead. There were enough persistent mavericks in science to buck the dogma and lay it where it really needed to be — with all such dogmas.

        And I, too, loved the Star Trek when Spock and McCoy dance crazily in order to blow the computer’s brain — giving it a logical paradox to grind on. As a computer scientist, I can really appreciate their solution and the problem it created.

    • Rain

      That’s why they should have called this chart “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Biblical Contradictions (But Were Afraid to Ask, If You Believe In Hoo-Haw)”.

    • JudgeRight

      There we go. I stayed more than 30 seconds.

  • http://lotharson.wordpress.com/ Lothars Sohn

    Thanks Hermant for this chart!

    You forget something: there are many Christians out there like myself who welcome Biblical contradictions :=)

    Lovely greetings from Germany
    Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

    • Anon

      Honest question: Why are you still Christian even though you know the very basis of Christianity is flawed and completely contradictory?

      Do you mean you’re Christian in the sense that you believe in God, but you don’t actually believe in the religion?

      • Spuddie

        In all fairness the question assumes one believes like a fundamentalist. That the Bible is without error or contradiction. To admit otherwise would mean an attack on the basis of belief. I would venture to guess many Christians do not have such a strict and frankly infantile view of the Bible.

        That they are willing to chalk things up to “a good story” and acknowledge the contradictions, mistakes and goofiness caused by centuries of accrued writing. Being factually correct taking a backseat to how one’s religious belief makes one feel about the world and one’s sense of identity.

        • Anon

          But that’s exactly what I don’t understand. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that there aren’t more fundamentalists around. But to take a book, tell me that following its example is the only way to eternal salvation, and then turn around and admit that maybe parts (many parts) of it actually aren’t… Huh? Why follow this book at all? What is everything else you claim to believe in based off of then? They may as well just subscribe to using plain logic to guide their actions and their ‘sense of identity’. They’re already using it to pick and choose which parts make any sense for them to follow, and consequently, they’re using it to choose for themselves the kind of person they want to be.

          So why the bible at all? Why the title of ‘Christian’ when they’re so easily dismissing the book Christianity is based off of as just “a good story” with a lot of “mistakes and goofiness”? Believing in a God and feeling good about it does not necessitate believing in, or at least suggesting that you believe in, a book you know is flawed.

          • Spuddie

            ” Why follow this book at all?”

            You are assuming religious belief is always a conscious decision to adhere to its tenets on their merits. Something done rationally and with logic and purpose. That is generally never the case.

            Any honest believer will tell you the Bible is deeply flawed when taken in its entirety. Nobody does. Even those who say they do. There always is a strong desire to gloss over or ignore parts which are inconvenient for modern living or one’s comfort zone as being the “unimportant bits”. Even fundamentalists are notorious for being selective about what they consider to be the important parts.

            In most cases the reasons for religious belief have little to do with actual belief. It is not an intellectual process at all. Its an emotional one. Social cohesion comes to mind. Emotional comfort. Faith as part of assuming a group identity. Fear of taking a socially awkward position in public. Not actual scholarship.

      • Blacksheep

        “The very basis of Christianity” is the Good News of The Gospel – which is not flawed or contradictory.

        The thief crucified next to Christ was not a scholar, and all he said was “Remember me…”. Christ’s response was, “…today you shall be with me in paradise.”

        We could ask him: “Why are you a Christian?”

        • GCT

          “The very basis of Christianity” is the Good News of The Gospel – which is not flawed or contradictory.

          I would call it seriously flawed and very contradictory. The so-called “good news” is that we all were created to be burned in hell unless we subjugate ourselves to the thing that made us for hell and hope that it will forgive us for being created through some inane process of torturing itself in order to allow itself to forgive us for it making us as we are. Oh, and this creator is supposedly all-loving and perfect.

          It’s not actually very good news at all.

          • Blacksheep

            You are looking at it from a particular perspective. There’s “the world as it is” from a Christian perspective: A flawed, broken place with a lot of suffering, and we’re living in it, not always behaving as we should, not always helping others, not always loving others, destroying the world passively, through mass consumption, etc. Along comes Jesus who says that we are loved and forgiven and that all will be well if we look to him, believe in him, and put our faith in him to save us. That’s the Good News that still causes millions to follow him.

            • GCT

              And, that perspective is ignoring a whole lot of the story. It’s like if someone had a way of injecting cancer into you and did so, then claimed that the good news is they also have a cure that may or may not work.

    • SabsDkPrncs

      I don’t understand either. Is it good for your belief system to know how many contradictions there are, thus increasing your need to just have faith?

      • Blacksheep

        If the Bible were fabricated by someone with the intent to fool millions of people, my opinion is that the apparent contadictions would not be there. Someone smart enough to “make it all up” would have created a tighter package. (Unless of course they thought of that too – which to me is unlikely).

        Without getting into a days – long study, many of the contradictions on the chart are not contradictions at all, but often erroneous assumptions. In archeology, when a relic is found in the wrong strata, the question is why / how this happened, not that “something is wrong with the excavation site, because there’s something out of place.”

        Here’s just one example:

        1. God is satisfied with his works
        “God saw all that he made, and it was very good.” [Gen 1:31]

        God is dissatisfied with his works.
        “The Lord was grieved that he had made man on earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” [Gen 6:6]

        This is an obvious case of both/and, for something occurred after Gen 1:31 and before Gen 6:6, namely, the Fall. Evil entered creation as a result of man’s volition. One can argue the theological implications elsewhere, as the only relevant point is that this is not an obvious contradiction. When God created, all was good. After man rebelled, God grieved.

        • Art_Vandelay

          Who do you think wrote Genesis and how do you think they know precisely what God’s emotions were at various points in history?

          • Dave G.

            That would be a faith claim based upon layers of beliefs you already accept or reject. You might as well take a five year old on the first day of piano lessons, plop down Chopin’s Minute Waltz, and say have at it. That’s no way to unpack the faith or non-faith of anything. You have to master the basics before you unpack the details.

          • Blacksheep

            Christianity can only be true if God is real, and if God is real than he guided and inspired the writing of the Bible. Left to chance, the ages, and human error, I would have no reason to trust it if I didn’t believe that.

            Specifically who wrote it? Some feel that there were multiple authors, I believe that the NT point to Moses as the author – or as a compiler of texts handed down through the ages.

            • phantomreader42

              If your god “guided and inspired the writing of the Bible”, then why does the bible have so much stupid, false, and evil shit in it? Stuff like showing animals striped sticks while they fuck changing the color of their offspring, or four-legged grasshoppers, or forcing rape victims to marry their rapist after he pays a fine, or how four out of ten commandments are all about stroking god’s ego but none of them forbid slavery, rape, or child abuse?

              • Blacksheep

                The striped sticks and “4 legged grasshoppers”, those are more about miracles; I have no idea why those elements are used.

                I don’t think you are looking closely enough at the verses about someone being forced to marry their rapist. here they are:

                Deuteronomy 22:28-29“If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.”

                Exodus 22:16-17“If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride price for her and make her his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride price for virgins.”

                First of all, it never says “rape.” Second of all, it never says that this has ever happened, it’s a warning to men not to try to have sex with virgins without going through the proper cultural process of marriage. Having a law that says that a man must “never divorce her all his days…” was probably a good deterrent.

                The Bible also states, in Deut. 22, that the punishment for raping a married woman is death to the rapist.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Your analysis fails in that you completely miss the point of those verse. They are not saying “don’t rape a woman because it’s a violation of her person and is wrong.” It’s saying, “don’t rape a woman because it’s a violation of the man who currently owns her, but if she is a virgin and her father sorta maybe kinda likes you, just give him an extra sandwich and so you can wife her cheaper than you would by going through normal channels, and lo! you get sex and three square meals a day forever and ever amen!”

                • Blacksheep

                  I’m not missing anything, we are looking at it from two different perspectives. Written when it was, in that time and place, I believe that it could have helped to protect women, not the opposite. There may have been absolutely no law protecting women when this was written. And by the time Christ spoke about sex, we’re taught that even lusting after a women who is not one’s wife is wrong, let alone touching her. Your last line is funny – “Great sex and three square meals a day forever and ever.” Really? From a woman who might hate you? Sounds like a nightmare to me!

                  You are also deviating from the bigger point, which was specifically that inconsistencies in scripture would casue someone not to follow Christ. Somehow the topic has turned into bringing up un-related topics. Believe me, I know that’s a common track that arguments take. “I’m right, because 3 years ago you did something wrong…”

                • MisterTwo

                  “First of all, it never says ‘rape.’”
                  Yes it does, right here:
                  “seizes her and lies with her”

            • Art_Vandelay

              So God dictated the Eden story to Moses whereupon Moses recorded it? I’m not trying to be obtuse here; I’ve just never understood in what way the book was divinely inspired.

            • Michael W Busch

              No, Genesis was not written by Moses – because Moses never existed. Genesis was compiled during and after the Babylonian exile (which is attested in independent sources), and this influence is clearly seen in the inclusion of older Babylonian / Mesopotamian material in it. For example: the flood myth in the Bible was lifted from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which got it from the legend of Atra-Hasis, which was probably being told since well before the time when the equally-fictional Biblical flood myth was set.

              And, again, you could have learned this with a few minutes on Google. Please go and actually learn something about the relevant history, so that you may no longer post such nonsense.

              • Blacksheep

                You may not have read my response, above:

                “I believe that the NT point to Moses as the author – or as a compiler of texts handed down through the ages.”

                Your comment “Moses never existed” is written as fact, when in fact it’s opinion on your part.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Your saying that the New Testament claims that Moses was the author of Genesis and the rest of the Torah is misleading. The Torah itself does not make such a claim, although the Talmud and the oral tradition it was compiled from does – and such traditional attribution is where the writers of the New Testament got the idea. But what those writers claim is also pretty much irrelevant to the actual historical facts.

                  We know that Genesis had several authors, who were drawing from pre-existing material, both oral and written. This includes earlier Canaanite mythology, as well as the Babylonian / Mesopotamian material that I mentioned before. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Genesis#Composition and cross-linked articles, and their sources.

                  And, no, that Moses never existed is not an opinion. It is a conclusion derived from historical evidence. There was never any period of Jewish enslavement in Egypt; there was never any Exodus; there was never any massive group of formerly-enslaved Israelites spending a generation constantly wandering the wilderness; and there was never the extensive and rapid campaign of conquering and genocide that the Torah ascribes to Moses’ supposed leadership of the Israelites. There may have been some theocratic leader among the groups that later became the Israel that was conquered by the Babylonians who was the initial source of the legend, but that’s not the same as the character portrayed in the texts of the Torah. Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses#Historicity and its sources.

                  Once again, go and actually learn something about the history. I refer you once more to Wikipedia and its sources. And since I am repeating myself, I am done.

                • Blacksheep

                  Wait – wikipedia is “THE History?”

                  We’re both repeating ourselves… “Done”is good.

            • Without Malice

              “Christianity can only be true if God is real, and if God is real than (then) he guided and inspired the writing of the bible.” This is nothing but nonsensical jumping to conclusions. God could be real and still have nothing to do with writing the bible. And to say that Hashem had anything to do with writing the NT, which is, like Christianity itself, nothing but a bastardization of Judaism and its teachings is a claim that can in no way be substantiated.

        • C Peterson

          If the Bible were fabricated by someone with the intent to fool millions of people, my opinion is that the apparent contadictions would not be there.

          Agreed.

          The Bible wasn’t fabricated by anybody. The individual stories were made up by hundreds of different people, and compiled into written form by dozens or more. Many of the original stories were certainly constructed to fool people, but the Bible as a whole is simply an inelegant paste-up of old stories. Not much intent at all, and quite obviously, most of those involved in the compilation were extremely ignorant.

          • GubbaBumpkin

            The Bible wasn’t fabricated by anybody. The individual stories were made
            up by hundreds of different people, and compiled into written form by
            dozens or more…

            Do you have any idea what the word “fabricated” means?

            • C Peterson

              I probably wasn’t clear. When I said “fabricated by someone” I was referring to the hypothetical person referenced by Blacksheep (either a single person out to fool us, or a god). My point was that it wasn’t the product of a single someone, but rather of a whole boatload of someones, most of whom had no connection with each other.

              I didn’t mean to suggest the Bible wasn’t fabricated!

        • GCT

          IOW, you reject the idea of an omni-max god and that the Bible is that god’s words. Of course, you’re ignoring the elephant in the room. If the Bible is not the word of god and is made up from the words of men (no matter how fervently they believed it was true) why follow it and believe it has any relevance?

          • Blacksheep

            “IOW, you reject the idea of an omni-max god and that the Bible is that god’s words.”

            Where the heck do I say that? I’m saying the opposite.

            • GCT

              You didn’t explicitly say that, it’s inferred. Supposedly this god was grieved after the fall…that he didn’t see coming? If he’s omniscient, then he should know what is going to happen and he shouldn’t think it’s all good when he sets up a situation that he knows he won’t be happy with (nevermind the fact that a perfect god can’t, by definition, be unhappy or set up a situation in order to intentionally fail). This story fails at the first hurdle.

        • averydashwood

          So the contradictions prove the Bible is correct because if it was a fraud, then the pranksters who created it would have been too smart to have included the errors?

          By that measure, if a different holy book had more errors in it, then that book would have an even stronger claim to divinity.

        • b s

          “This is an obvious case of both/and, for something occurred after Gen 1:31 and before Gen 6:6, namely, the Fall. Evil entered creation as a result of man’s volition.”

          So why would god be satisfied with his work in the beginning, knowing perfectly well (since he is omniscient) that the fall would occur? And why would he be dissatisfied with his work after the fall since he knew what was going to happen? Or if god exists outside of time (as some have claimed) how can there even be a before/after?

          • Blacksheep

            I could easily be satisfied at having created something beautiful, and then dissatisfied with it later if the beauty did not last – even knowing id advance that my creation would age. From a purely semantic angle, we have all been satisfied with a paint job in a room – knowing full well that a time would come when we would be dissatisfied with it.

            • b s

              “I could easily be satisfied at having created something beautiful, and then dissatisfied with it later if the beauty did not last”

              But an omnipotent entity couldn’t create something that would last forever? For god to create something that he knows he is going to be dissatisfied with when he has the power to do otherwise suggests he either did it that way on purpose or is not omnipotent.

              • Blacksheep

                You are making an assumption about what “satisfied” means. What if God was satisfied that He had created a world with people who had free will?

                That’s why I used the painting example. I can be 100% satisfied with the job, and say as much. Nobody would say, “What? how can you be satisfied! Don’t you know you will have to repaint in 5 years?”

                (Or the Mitch Hedberg one: “Don’t you know that you’ll be hung over from drinking that wine?” “Yeah, but not until later.”)

                • GCT

                  You are making an assumption about what “satisfied” means. What if God was satisfied that He had created a world with people who had free will?

                  A perfect, omni-max being wouldn’t have to do anything in order to be satisfied. So, if he created a world with beings who have free will (also impossible with an omni-max being) then something is amiss with the scenario.

                • Blacksheep

                  Again – your definition, including the term omni-max. The Bible describes God in a certain way, and if you were to create a portrait of him from what the Bible says, you would arrive at a being who can be satisfied – and dissatisfied.

                  I’m not sure what we are gaining by testing the nature of God against terms (omni-max) that don’t appear in the Bible.

                • DavidMHart

                  Does mainstream Christianity, or does it not, claim that God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-benevolent (which is what people mean when they say “omni-max”)? A religion is not merely the contents of its holy book(s) – it is the sum of what its adherents actually believe. The word ‘trinity’ does not appear in the Bible either, and yet the vast majority of Christians believe in a triune deity.

                • GCT

                  Then, if you don’t think god is perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-benevolent, you’re not worshiping the god that most Xians claim to believe in.

        • Michael W Busch

          If the Bible were fabricated by someone with the intent to fool millions of people, my opinion is that the apparent contradictions would not be there.

          Again, there are contradictions in the text. Stop denying facts.

          And the various bibles were formed by selecting, largely without editing, from a wide range of texts written by many different authors with many different goals over about 600 years, in several different languages, from many different cultures, and drawing from variously-contradicting pre-existing material. That’s why there are contradictions.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      You forget something: there are many Christians out there like myself who welcome Biblical contradictions :=)

      Translation: “I like being wrong.”

  • http://programmer-art.org/ Daniel G. Taylor

    Thanks for the post!

  • A William Michael

    Dave G. wrote: “Fact is, I’ve met many atheists who couldn’t string together a coherent thought about their lack of belief. That means nothing about the truth claims presented in either case.” See, I just don’t get this line of reasoning. Either it is, to be kind, disingenuous, and another false equivalency or people who say this sort of thing are really pretty vapid. Frankly, there is absolutely NO parallel between belief and lack of belief. I don’t have to defend the fact that I don’t believe in your fairy tales. You tell me a fable and expect me to believe it, with not one shred of empirical evidence, and then you call me disrespectful or ignorant because I have failed to take into account the historical context of your beliefs and perhaps cannot explain why I don’t believe your stories to your satisfaction? Atheism is not another type of religion, sir. It is simply a rejection of that which cannot be scientifically proved. You named Thomas of Aquinas and other thinkers throughout the ages. They showed a lot more doubt and humility than the average American Christian does these days about the absolute veracity and trustworthiness of their religion and its tenets.

    • Dave G.

      That assumes there is such a thing as belief and lack of belief. Many conclude that atheism is simply the belief that there is no God. BTW, I didn’t mention Aquinas at all. Augustine I believe. And sure, they have a lot to commend them, as do many today. Likewise I’m sure there were some genuine rascals then. Same with atheism. Some are great people. Others scoundrels. It means little to truth claims at hand.

      • allein

        Most atheists are not making a truth claim. They are simply saying they don’t believe the truth claims others are making.

        • Dave G.

          Of course, many atheists see it that way. Most non-atheists (and a few atheists) don’t see it that way, but believe they are making a truth claim. But that’s for another discussion.

          • allein

            If they can’t understand what words mean, that’s their problem.

      • C Peterson

        I’ve never met an atheist who when questioned closely, refuses to accept the possibility a god could exist.

        There clearly is a difference between believing in something, and not believing in something. A fundamental difference. The only people who conclude that atheists believe there is no god are non-atheists.

        • Daniel Sargent

          interesting description. I think a person who is steeped in secular ideas about human identity will say, “I don’t necessarily believe what I argue, but it is simply the way my mind works around the issue.” An explanation for this is that when one ceases to place religious importance on belief and non-belief, the concepts themselves break down as yet further fables of a primitive system of thought.

      • phantomreader42

        Dave, why do you think you can redefine atheism whenever it’s convenient for you, without consulting (or even admitting the existence of) any actual atheists? I’m afraid you can’t do that, Dave. Declaring yourself High Priest of Humpty Dumpty only makes it obvious to everyone that you’re an idiot and anything you say is worthless drivel.

        • Bitter Lizard

          The remarkable thing is that this is coming from a guy whose central gripe is that we’re inferring beliefs on Christians that they don’t have. The hypocrisy borders on self-parody.

      • GCT

        That assumes there is such a thing as belief and lack of belief. Many conclude that atheism is simply the belief that there is no God.

        WTF? Seriously?

        Theists believe in god(s). Atheists lack that belief. Theists try to claim that atheists positively disbelieve in god because they are making straw man and using stereotypes to define their opponents. You seem no better than they.

  • ashley

    Thank you so much for these links. I am in the midst of my own deconversion… A few of these I have found on my own, but a tool like this makes the research and the evaluation and the introspection much more accessible.

    • Blacksheep

      It might be good to also visit sites that explain the apparent contradictions as part of your research.
      During these types of discussions I also reflect on the stories about Christ first encountering and attracting his close followers and disciples. They followed because of His person, His words, and His spirit. There was no NT written when the disciples chose to follow Christ and spread The Gospel – The “good News” stood on its own. It would not have mattered if a verse in Micah opposed a verse in Isaiah – in fact that would have been literally irrelevent. Many many Christians have a faith journey that mirrors that experience, albeit emotional and intelectual as opposed to physical.

      • The Other Weirdo

        Wait, are you comparing a modern-day faith journey based on ancient, potentially fraudulent writings to be even remotely similar to a first-hand experience of people who were actually there?

        And by the way, just because they were there, doesn’t mean that they were right, just that they believed.

        Also, do you mean to say, that if somebody had caught Jesus speaking incorrectly about a point of Jewish doctrine to make a point, it wouldn’t have mattered to his followers if any of them had caught the errors?

        • Blacksheep

          Absolutely. The emotional and life-changing experience that many people have upon encountering Christ is often independent of a deep knowledge of scripture, especially apparent OT inconsistencies. The original disciples were fishermen, not scholars. They followed Christ and then wrote about it because they were moved to do so. There is a metaphysical side to faith – without that, it wouldn’t be faith at all.

          To your second point – I can’t disagree. I’m careful to never say that I can prove that Christianity is true. Here I’m relating a point of view, which is simply that in the Christian tradition, faith can be born out of an encounter with Christ alone, and needn’t be the result of study and Biblical analysis. That often happens after one believes.

          • GCT

            We have no first-hand accounts. We have no accounts from people who actually followed a historical Jesus (and no accounts that can prove a historical Jesus that people could have followed).

            • Blacksheeo

              You are of course stating your opinion (as fact).
              There is a robust scholarly debate to this day about which Gosples were first hand accounts, and many Christian scholars believe that most if not all were accounts from people who followed a historical Jesus.

              Not sure what you mean by “prove”, I’m not trying to prove anything. I’m the first to admit that belief in Christianity is largely an act of faith.

              • GCT

                You are of course stating your opinion (as fact).

                Um, it’s pretty well established that none of the accounts are from eye-witnesses. The earliest writings are from Paul, who never claims to have met Jesus. There are no contemporaneous accounts.

                • Spuddie

                  Frank, we are not sure you exist. There are some peole claiming you are just a fundie trolling algorithm.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Is this reply posted in the wrong box, or is DISQUS getting freaky with its business?

                • Spuddie

                  Close enough for me. =)

                • Without Malice

                  And Paul himself is a rather shadowy figure. HIs so-called conversion is nothing but a rewrite of the conversion of Heliodorus in the book of Maccabees (not to mention the fact that Paul’s version of his conversion and the story of it in the book of acts do not match) and the first person to collect any of his writings was Marcion, the great heretic. The whole idea that Jesus would have to appoint Paul as apostle to the gentiles makes no sense when one considers that Jesus had already told the twelve and others to go into all the world and preach. Neither does all the supposed contention over whether gentile converts needed to be circumcised and made to keep the law make any sense in light of the fact that the question had already been settled within Judaism, with gentile believers in the one God of the Jews not being required to be circumcised and having only to keep the seven Noahide commandments in order to find favor with God. Why then would the new Christians rehash an old argument? Not only had Paul never met Jesus, but he ignored the teaching authority of the twelve apostles and put his own “visions” above anything that those who had traveled with Jesus and knew his teachings intimately might have to say. In is own letters it is clear that Paul did not live up to his agreement with James (the leader of the church at the time) and even went so far as to tell Jewish converts that they no longer had to keep the law and that the law that God had given to the Jews for all time was a curse instead of a blessing.

              • Michael W Busch

                There is a robust scholarly debate to this day about which Gospels were first hand accounts

                No. There isn’t. The historical consensus for the last several decades has been quite consistent on this point, with a large backing of supporting evidence.

                The earliest New Testament texts are the actual Pauline ones (not the later forgeries that were attributed to Paul), which date from 50 CE and make no claims of having met Jesus. Of the canonical Gospels, that attributed to Mark was written first, around 70 CE – and those attributed to Luke and Matthew are by definition not eyewitness accounts, since those authors were lifting from Mark and writing at least a decade later. John was written a bit later than Mark and, while it was more independently invented, it isn’t an eyewitness account either. And, of course, the gospels weren’t written by the people later tradition would attribute them too.

                There are no contemporary eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ existence – which is why the historicist v. mythicist debate continues (i.e. was Jesus some real-but-relatively-obscure normal person to whom various mythological traits were attributed, or was he an entirely fictional character).

                And you could have learned all of this from a few minutes on Google. e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_the_Bible#The_New_Testament

                • Blacksheep

                  “No. There isn’t.”

                  Actually: yes, there is.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Your continued assertion of a falsehood does not make it true.

                  I refer you again to Wikipedia, its sources, and actual historians of the times and places where those texts were composed (that’s not the same set of people as the set of biblical scholars, although there is a large overlap).

      • Michael W Busch

        explain the apparent contradictions

        There are contradictions all over the place in the various texts that were incorporated in the bible. They are not “apparent contradictions” that are explained away. That there are contradictions in the texts is what is being explained – and it is explained by the texts having been written by a large number of different human authors with wildly divergent beliefs and goals and without anyone doing a thorough editing.

        • Blacksheep

          In part yes – but what I mean is that there are explanations, from a Christian perspective, of most apparent contradictions.

          • Michael W Busch

            No. Again, there are contradictions. They are not “apparent”. There are explanations for why those contradictions are there.

            And stop with with the “from a Christian perspective” line. In this type of situation, that’s just a way of saying “I’m going to assume the conclusion that Christianity is true” – which is a logical fallacy.

            • Blacksheep

              Saying “from a Christian perspective” does not at all imply that I’m assuming it’s true. I mean it to read as it’s written, that it’s what Christians believe, and that’s all. I’m being respectful of the fact that not everyone would agree. It gives a basis for understanding.

              A true contradiction is one that proves to be a contradiction. An apparent contradiction is one that while on the surface might appear to be a contradiction turns out not to be upon deeper examination. many of the contaradictions in the chart are of the apparent variety.

              But when I re read your post it seams that you want to engage in more of a debate on semantics – and less about the heart of the issue.

          • Without Malice

            Yes, Blacksheep, there are explanations, but there are no “good” explanations. There are not even any good explanations for the need for Christianity, since Hashem had always been ready and willing to forgive anyone of their sins if they would repent and turn from doing evil to doing good. And not just Jews, but gentiles as well, even going so far as to send a prophet (Jonah) to preach to the gentiles in Nineveh so that they might repent and avoid punishment for their evil doings. The idea of “original sin” being passed on to the descendants of Adam and Eve is nowhere found in Judaism and the idea of human sacrifice is abhorrent to God of the Jews. Even less of an explanation is forthcoming for the idea that Hashem, who had been telling the Jews for a couple of thousand years that he, and only he was the one and only God (“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One) and that there was none beside himself would one day stick his head out from behind a cloud and say, “Hey, guess what, I’ve got a son just like all the pagan gods; and he was born of a virgin too”. Not only that, but that the spirit of God was also a separate person. The idea is too totally ridiculous for any Jew to entertain. Neither did the Jews believe in an eternal hell from which one would have to be redeemed, since the idea sets forth the proposition that Hashem is unjust and punishes people far in excess of anything they may have done and that his creation would for all eternity be plagued with the presence of evil and suffering.

        • MisterTwo

          There are contradictions all over the place. Unfortunately, they get lost in the Skeptics Annotated Bible. That website looks as if some teenager threw everything they could think of into it, without bothering to really examine any of it. It is somewhat useful, but you really have to dig. It seems like there’s more noise than actual contradictions. Does anyone know of a more scholarly version?

          • Blacksheep

            “It seems like there’s more noise than actual contradictions.”

            Exactly!

    • Bitter Lizard

      Your post here is proof that these contradictions are relevant to some people’s specific interpretations of Christianity, and hence there is absolutely nothing wrong with making people aware of it. The main purpose of the contradictions should not be to “disprove” Christianity–the burden of proof is on the ones making the assertions in the first place–but they are relevant when it comes to pointing out the fallacy of treating anything from this man-made text as undeniably true. Which is something many Christians do.

  • Guest

    Is it just me, or are “C Peterson” and “Dave G” the same person? I’m noticing that people replying to them are getting responses from the other. And both seem to write in a similar style. Maybe it’s just me. Or is this something that’s already known by people more familiar with this site’s comments section?

    • allein

      Disqus does that sometimes when the comments auto-update. If you reload the page it should reset the comments to their respective writers. (Aside from finding someone who appears to be talking to themselves, another clue is seeing the same name in both blue and gray.)

      • ArmadilloBoy

        A-ha! That makes a lot more sense. Thanks!

        • allein

          It also seems to be eating some of my posts in this thread. I’ve seen that before, too, and I trust they will show up later. For some reason I am not having issues with other threads, though. Or at least I don’t seem to be.

    • ArmadilloBoy

      I got the explanation – just needed to refresh to fix who actually wrote replies. Hit the wrong button and it deleted the replies, who originally posted this, but not the entire thread. Clearly I’m a noob.

    • Dave G.

      No, we’re different. At least i am. I can’t speak for C. Peterson. :)

  • Proxer

    Just for comparison, does anyone have a
    similar map for works of similar size? Contradictions in Harry Potter, or Contradictions in Game of Thrones?

    • GubbaBumpkin

      I’m going to jump right on that, just as soon as someone insists that the Harry Potter novels are “true” in any meaningful sens of the word, and that government policy should be based on Harry Potter.

      • allein

        Heh, I had a very similar response ready and you beat me to it.

      • Spuddie

        If I was still a college student I could spin some kind of crazy take of Harry Potter being an endorsement of absolute monarchy or oligarchy.

        Power conveyed by a small group as a function of breeding which is rigidly controlled and segregated from those of lesser background unaware and uninvolved in their machinations…..

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Wow, someone here is REALLY attached to Harry Potter.

          My money’s on Frank.

  • Really?

    A couple of people have already mentioned that this will not be useful in all discussions of Abrahamic religeons.
    My parents, for example, are quite liberal believers. They don’t believe in biblical innerrancy, and they also believe that the bible, although inspired is a completely human work and so will include contradictions of the sort that humans are like to make. Their Church even teaches that it is likely that the TWO gospel stories of mass feedings are likely duplications of a single event.
    A few people below have stated that a believer who is not worried about contradictions in the bible “likes to be wrong” or is in some other way deluded. On the contrary I think you will find that who don’t sweat these contradicitons often are not worried about them because they already knew about them and their faith didn’t require the bible to be a perfect work of good, but it could be a collection of stories from bronze age peoples and still have value.
    While its true that many people who believe in the bible have no clue about its contents or authorship, there are many more who are aware that the bible is human produced work and they really worship the message as opposed to the content.

    • Bitter Lizard

      Because even if the content is incoherent, the message can still be crystal clear. Which is why Christians always agree on what it is.

  • SJH

    This is propaganda at its best. What Bible scholarship did they reference to determine if they are actually contradictions? With regard to the graphic depicting evil done to women, who is defining whether or not each instance is actually an evil? Certainly there was evil perpetuated towards women but were they honest in their selection? Do they count all evil actions against women even if the Bible isn’t necessarily condoning them but simply stating that they occurred? What about correcting for historical context?
    Certainly you are correct, the bible should not be taken literally. That is a discussion that we should have. But what is the intention here? is it to have that discussion so that Christians can better understand God and be better Christians? Or is it to sway people who are on the fence to bend in your direction by providing them inaccurate/incomplete information (propaganda).

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      This word, “propaganda”, I do not think it means what you think it means.

      It’s funny how you’re trying to find excuses for, as an example, a story about mass-murdering children for making fun of baldness.

      • SJH

        Propaganda – “information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.

        Not excuses just pointing out that there is misinformation here. If accusations about a text are going to be made don’t you think that the people making such accusations should consult the people who study the text and then express all that they have learned so that people can make an educated decision. Propaganda is a dishonest tool used to sway people away from a direction by not communicating all of the facts.

        I’m not making any excuses about the text itself. You don’t know what my beliefs are regarding the Bible other than that I believe that it should not be taken literally.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          You forgot the part where “propaganda” in its current usage always implies falsehoods, and you can’t show any.

          Weird how dictionary defenses never seem to work, isn’t it?

          You’re criticizing a a document that highlights Biblical atrocities. One of those atrocities is forty-two children being murdered by God because some of them joked about an old man. Your personal beliefs about the text are irrelevant; you’re making insupportable aspersions in order to defend that story as being virtuous. If you defended Manson’s followers as having been victims of his cult teachings despite not being a member of his cult yourself, you would still be defending murderers.

          Please stop pretending that your Courtiers’ Reply is fooling anyone, or else go and read about the concept, whichever the issue is.

    • GCT

      This is propaganda at its best.

      How so? If you don’t like the fact that your book is full of holes, that’s not our fault.

      Certainly you are correct, the bible should not be taken literally. That is a discussion that we should have.

      How do you tell which parts to take literally and which not to? How do you choose between competing interpretations?

      Or is it to sway people who are on the fence to bend in your direction by providing them inaccurate/incomplete information (propaganda).

      You insinuate that there’s something wrong with trying to bend people in our direction. Further, just because you don’t like the results does not mean that the information is inaccurate or incomplete.

      • SJH

        “How so? If you don’t like the fact that your book is full of holes, that’s not our fault.”

        Are you a Bible scholar or have you consulted a scholar that would know if the holes you claim are actually holes?

        “How do you tell which parts to take literally and which not to? How do you choose between competing interpretations?”

        That is what the Bible scholars are for. What part of any text should be taken in any particular way is something for the people who study the text to determine.

        “You insinuate that there’s something wrong with trying to bend people in our direction.”

        There is something wrong with it when you don’t communicate the opposing side accurately. That is just dishonesty.

        “Further, just because you don’t like the results does
        not mean that the information is inaccurate or incomplete.”

        It is not about whether or not I like the results. Have you studied this map and then consulted scholars to determine if it is true? Shouldn’t we have a sense of skepticism rather than just following along with it because we like what it says?

        Also, how do you get those fancy bars on the left side of your quotes?

        • allein

          What qualifies one to be a “Bible scholar”?

          • islandbrewer

            1) Uh Bibul.
            2) Pontification with confidence.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              You forgot “3. Unfamiliarity with language.”

        • GCT

          Are you a Bible scholar or have you consulted a scholar that would know if the holes you claim are actually holes?

          When the text tells me A and B and they are mutually exclusive, I do not need a scholar to point out the obvious. Let’s not forget, also, that there’s a cottage industry built up around apologetics.

          That is what the Bible scholars are for. What part of any text should be taken in any particular way is something for the people who study the text to determine.

          Find 2 that agree on the interpretation of the Bible. I’ll wait….

          There is something wrong with it when you don’t communicate the opposing side accurately. That is just dishonesty.

          Well, until you can point out something that is actually wrong instead of just throwing out accusations…

          Shouldn’t we have a sense of skepticism rather than just following along with it because we like what it says?

          LOL. A bible believer trying to chastise atheists for not being skeptical? Please. ‘Nope, no contradictions here (because I say so) move along!’

  • dcl3500

    So what was the contradictions count? Looks like an impressive number, but that is not included in the blog.

  • Cybershaman

    My dear friend(ly atheist)… That…has got to be…one of the coolest things…I’ve ever seen. You know…(if I might pontificate for un momento)…I recently watched a documentary (“Flock of Dodos” on Netflix, for the curious) which determined that the reason scientists, and by extension all of science, fail to convince people of the many facts at their disposal is because religious groups use actual PR firms that distill their message down to snappy “talking points” or slogans. On the other hand most scientists have a hard time generalizing things and will also flat out, and proudly, tell you that they don’t know everything. These firms also actually have millions of dollars at their disposal for use to specifically address conflicting opinions compared to literally only a few hundred thousand on the science side. They capitalize on the fact that most people want things distilled down to a single sentence or even just a yes or no answer. Not to mention that they consider a standoff in the minds of their target audience a win. It goes to show you how easily misled a group of people are who have been taught from birth to accept without question things that are plainly stated to them. They have been programmed to distrust anything that takes a while to explain, as in the old adage “If you can’t dazzle them with details, baffle them with bullshit”. So something like this picture really is “worth a thousand words”. But there is still a way to go in coming up with ways to explain things simply, concisely and, yes, in a friendly way to those on the religious side. And also in such a way that they don’t feel like they are being talked down to. But this is awesome. Here is something that is pictured and indexed so if they DO want to take the time to go deeper they can. Thank you, sir, for a very informative post. :)

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Heh, yeah, it’s an unfortunately accurate stereotype that scientists are bad at PR, which is a fatal flaw when trying to explain complicated ideas. That’s probably part of why people like Comfort and Ham get so flustered when confronted with a Tyson or Nye, and can only manage rebuttals that amount to “Nuh uh, YOU are the dumbers!” They simply lack experience in dealing with qualified speakers as adversaries.

      Also: paragraph breaks! Agh!

  • Frank

    Amazing how much time people waste trying to discredit Christianity and the Word of God. You cant stop the truth. Christianity is at 2+ billion followers and growing.

    • Bitter Lizard

      Do have any evidence for the validity of Christianity as the Word of God, or is this just coming from the voices in your head?

      • Frank

        You can’t stop it. Ever.

        • Bitter Lizard

          So it’s the latter, huh? Poor baby. Take medicine.

          • Frank

            Trust me, voices in my head would not produce billions of followers.

            You can’t stop it. Ever.

            • RobMcCune

              Trust me, voices in my head would not produce billions of followers.

              So then you’re a Muslim too? Can’t stop the truth of The Prophet, fank.

            • Bitter Lizard

              So glad you can take some comfort that others share your affliction, what with your religion being doomed and all.

              • Frank

                2 billion followers and growing.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  It’s bedtime for Jesus. Night, night Jesus. Nobody cares about you anymore.

                • Frank

                  You can’t stop Gods truth. Ever.

                • Spuddie
                • Sugah Wahls

                  What wonderful logic! I guess McDonald’s really does have the best hamburgers in the world.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Why would we trust someone who has explicitly said that he – that is, you – doesn’t believe or trust the Word of God, Frank? That he doesn’t love his brother enough to not drive him away from Christ? That he would be better off with a millstone around his neck?

              It’s not too late, Frank. You can still be born again in Christ. 70×7!

              • Frank

                You can’t stop Gods truth. Not today, not tomorrow. Never.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  I’ve never tried. You, on the other hand, have lied about what Jesus said, and thus served Satan. I don’t think you WANT to lead others away from Christ, Frank, but if you keep lying about Him so you can masturbate at your computer without guilt, you’re betraying your brother. Please, believe in Him.

            • Spuddie

              You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaehBH7DtR4‎

            • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

              long ago, people believed in an unstoppable goddess who “killed” mountains and giant bulls. it was the dominant religion for a huge part of what constituted civilization and the population of that part of the world. her temples where everywhere, she was on money and legal documents, her stories were sung on the streets and to babies… you probably can’t even spell three of the variants of her name. few can, today.

              someday it will be like that for jesus/yeshua/christos.

        • Spuddie
      • Carpinions

        Frank is a drive-by chauvinistic Jesus troll. Ignore him.

        • Bitter Lizard

          Oh, I know and you’re probably right. I just like reverse-trolling the trolls because sometimes I can get them all riled up and it’s fun for me that way.

    • RobMcCune

      Exactly, your book is full of holes and obvious lies. You can’t stop the truth frank.

      • Frank

        Have fun trying.

        Christianity 2+BILLION AND GROWING,

        • RobMcCune

          For all your supposed popularity, you can’t stop truth But go ahead keep taking comfort in the thought that if you just make enough people believe your lie, it will become true.

          • Frank

            You can’t stop the truth no matter how hard you try.

            • RobMcCune

              Then why are you trying so hard?

              • Frank

                I am not trying anything. The truth stands on its own and does not me for affirmation. God existed long before me. His truth will always stand no matter what you do. But hey enjoy your pointless and futile mission.

                • RobMcCune

                  Quit trying to silence the truth, you will lose.

                • Frank

                  Speak your opinion as loud and as often as you can. It won’t change a thing. Gods truth is eternal and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.

                • RobMcCune

                  Speak your opinion as loud and as often as you can.

                  Franks strategy for stopping the truth.

                • Spuddie

                  Speak your opinion as loud and as often as you can

                  Because I am going to cover my ears and go “lalalala can’t hear you”

                • Frank

                  I don’t need to cover my ears. Your words nor your denial have any power.

                • Spuddie

                  But you need to STOP, in the name of love.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPBkiBbO4_4

                • David Kopp

                  If the truth stood on it’s own, why are you arguing for it, and why are there so many people killing over it?

              • Bitter Lizard

                He’s been strangely quiet on that thread about the CNN piece detailing that newer generations are leaving Christianity. You hear that, Frank? As the old folks pass away, your beloved Christianity is increasingly going with them. Bye, bye Christianity. Wish I could say it was nice while it lasted.

                • Frank

                  Two billion followers and growing.

                  Can’t stop it. Ever.

                • RobMcCune

                  That’s because you count infants, when they grow up prepare to start counting down.

                • Frank

                  Can’t stop it.

                • RobMcCune

                  Exactly you can’t stop the decline of christianity frank.

                • Spuddie
                • skeptical_inquirer

                  I find it bizarre that you need billions and billions of followers to
                  validate your stand and it’s still not enough. Creepy is what it is.

                • RobMcCune

                  Frank’s just counting population growth, of course given his christianity it’s no surprise he can’t tell the difference between infants and believers.

            • Spuddie
    • Spuddie

      All one has to do is repost your responses if they want to discredit Christianity. You do more in service of atheism than any atheist can.

      I can think of nobody who better exemplifies the dishonesty, arrogance, crudity, anger and bile of Fundamentalist Christian belief than yourself.

      • Frank

        Can’t stop Gods truth. Ever.

        • Spuddie

          No matter how hard you try Frank. You are doing so much to make Christianity seem as disreputable as possible.

          That kind of counter-productive effort takes talent. One could even theorize that you are really just an atheist “trojan horse” trolling around to make Christians sound like idiots.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            I was going to continue the past weeks’ mocking of Frank by making a joke about talking/trojan horses and putting peanut butter on the wheels on one side to make it move in circles, but just couldn’t nail the punchline. I have a sad. :(

          • Frank

            You can’t stop the truth of God. Ever.

        • bjorklovik

          Can’t start it, either.

          • Bitter Lizard

            Now you’re talking to yourself. No voices in your head, huh? So do you think God/Jesus raped his future mother Mary, or was it more of a consensual incest sort of thing?

            EDIT: My bad, Rob is right–Disqus bug made Bjork show up as Frank. Sorry, Bjork.

            • RobMcCune

              I’m guessing disqus bug, unregistered commenters all show up the same.

              • baal

                They all show up as Frank?

                • Bitter Lizard

                  A lot of non-Frank comments are showing up as Frank. I guess the tip-off should be that if doesn’t say the exact same thing Frank spams us with over and over again, it probably is not Frank.

                • RobMcCune

                  To Bitter Lizard they probably did, to me they all showed up as GTC. It’s only for real-time updates, a page refresh clears it up.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Strangely, the refresh isn’t always fixing it for me. Even switching browsers doesn’t always clear it up. Thanks for pointing this out, though.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Yeah, the Romans, the English Colonialists and the Nazis said the same thing. Wouldn’t expect a talking horse like you to know history, though, Ed. You show as much contempt for anything intellectual as you do for the Word of God.

      • Frank

        Romans? No more. Colonialists? No more. Nazis? No more.

        The truth of God? Forever.

        • baal

          And that the same truth is was in the 1400s? and the 1800s? My history of religion suggests that the godly truth is 1) hard to pin down, hence all the different gods and different christian sects 2) changes over time based on context (including country and language).

          • Frank

            God is, always was and always will be. Nothing anyone can do to change that. Ever.

            • baal

              And don’t forget, CHRISTIANS HAVE REACHED OVER 2+ BILLION and are GROWING (some to more than 10 feet tall!).

              • Frank

                I am glad you accept the truth,

                • baal

                  Don’t be. It’s mostly me buttering you up to ask you out later.

                • Frank

                  Funny. :)

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Just stay away from Frank. He’s mine.

                • Frank

                  There is plenty enough to go around. No need to fight.

                • RobMcCune

                  With the amount of idiocy Frank shows, it’s best handled by multiple people.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  I’m guessing that “plenty enough to go around” comment wasn’t actually written by Frank either, huh?

                • RobMcCune

                  Looks like it was.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Well hot diggity-dog!

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                Baal, those are plants and candy bars. The Census Bureau doesn’t count those.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          People who tried to live as Jesus bade them? No more.

          If only you were a decent enough person to sell your computer and car and follow Him, giving the money to those who need it more.

    • Timmah

      * Growing in places that still fully belive in witchcraft and have no internet access

  • RobMcCune

    Exactly you can’t stop the truth that Mohammed is God’s Prophet. Keep spinning those wheels frank.

    • Spuddie
      • baal

        The various stop songs is hilarious and grows with each iteration (unlike Frank who seems a little listless in his repetition today).

        • Spuddie

          I just kind of ran with it after the Can’t Stop the Music link. I figured it was cute to respond to his blathering with a reference to a musical featuring the Village People.

    • Frank

      It is so very telling that you employ the same elementary school strategy every time.

      Poor guy.

      • RobMcCune

        It’s the only thing you understand.

  • Bdole

    My favorite Bible story has always been Elhanan versus Goliath. Oh, wait…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elhanan_son_of_Jair

  • someone

    Please make this for other holy books too. You will find plenty of people willing to help!

    • Michael W Busch

      The Skeptic’s Annotated project has the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon already indexed, just not with such a shiny user interface.

  • Nate Winchester

    This just… pretty much proves that atheists do not get poetry (and feeds the stereotype that they’re bad at art).

    • GCT

      What? Contradictions are somehow our fault now?

      • Nate Winchester

        If you have a teen daughter who says one day “I love you” and the next day “I hate you”, and you then conclude that the contradiction must mean she doesn’t exist, is that her fault or yours?

        Hyper-literalists of all stripes (even modern day music critics) bug me.

        • GCT

          I don’t claim that my daughter is the supreme being of the universe, is omni-max, and that we all must follow her dictates. It’s apples and oranges.

          • b s

            “I don’t claim that my daughter is the supreme being of the universe, is omni-max, and that we all must follow her dictates. ”

            but she might

            • baal

              I best worship her just in case (now if I only knew how).

              • Nate Winchester

                Shoes. Bring an offering of lots and lots of shoes.

                And lip gloss.

          • Nate Winchester

            See what I mean? Bad with poetry, metaphors…

            Let me guess, you struggle in social situations too. Trying to grasp all the turns of phrase, exaggerations, colloquialisms, culture references, etc etc is just so hard after all.

            • GCT

              I guess, when in doubt resort to ad hominem, eh? If you can’t argue on the merits, attacking the person doesn’t make you look any better.

              • Nate Winchester

                What merits? You failed to grasp a thought exercise and then went off on an entirely irrelevant tangent.

                “You had a very predictable non sequitor.” There, that good enough on your merits?

                • GCT

                  You made a really bad analogy that fails. When called out on it, you attacked me instead of my argument. My original objection has gone unanswered. You’re still trying to use ad hominem attacks instead of addressing my argument.

                • Nate Winchester

                  The analogy was the answer to your original objection and if you can’t grasp the answer, then none can ever be explained to you (just as a child still learning their sums will not be able to grasp advance algebra).

                  Years on the internet have taught me not to bother with intellectually dishonest people. Now which are you?

                • GCT

                  And, I explained to you why the analogy fails, to which you decided to level ad hominem attacks. It’s actually rather pathetic, especially with all the smug condescension you’ve got going on. You have no room to be either smug or condescending.

            • Bitter Lizard

              Nate, it is now an established fact that you are too brain-damaged to read even simple, straightforward statements for comprehension. Thus, you lecturing anybody for not understanding the more complex nuances of language is a fucking joke.

              • Nate Winchester

                No, I just don’t accept statements using “weasel words” by lazy thinkers and bigots. Even if they’re lizards instead of humans.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  You write with about the same coherency with which you read, Derpy.

                • Nate Winchester

                  Keep enforcing the stereotype, Liz.

                • GCT

                  Oh, now I’m a lazy thinker and a bigot because you can’t back up your arguments without resorting to ad hominem attacks and bigoted attacks on atheists?

        • b s

          Wow, how this daughter even remotely related to the topic at hand?

          Nobody is denying the existence of the bible (or “daughter” in your example). There is no contradiction in saying I feel one way now, but differently yesterday. Now if this daughter were to say she went to school yesterday and she did not go to school yesterday, that would be a contradiction.

          • Nate Winchester

            See what I mean? Can’t even grasp the principle of thought exercise demonstrating how yes, sometimes contradictions can be “your fault”. Or another way:

            You: Did you go to school? (meaning: did you go to [building] @ [location] and stay there during the entire designated time?)
            Daughter: Yeah I went to school! (meaning: I went to [building] @ [location] just long enough to meet my friends so we could drive off to the mall for the rest of the day)

            Both can be technically true, and contradictory. Really, why does this have to be spelled out for you people?

            • GCT

              Because bigots like you make it a point not to understand the rebuttals.

              When you figure out what “omni-max” means, come back and try to weasel your way out of it.

              • Nate Winchester

                I make it a point to understand COMPETENT rebuttals. Yes, of course a metaphor is comparing apples to oranges, that’s why they call it a metaphor.

                BTW: Omnimax is a theater (several of them all over the country actually).

                • GCT

                  How can you claim my response isn’t competent when you don’t even understand the terms being used and are too lazy to look them up? Your ignorance does not make my response incompetent.

            • b s

              But did she tell you that she both did and did not go to school? No she only told you that she did. If she had said both, one of them would have been a lie.

              Are you suggesting the contradictions in the bible come from lies?

              • Nate Winchester

                Most of the “contradictions” come from little more than misunderstandings about the culture, sources, etc the book was written in. And really if you can’t figure out some of the very, basic literature motifs and devices used in the book from context and other, then either you’re being deliberately obtuse, or you must just find it nigh impossible to make it through the day as many of them are common in human interaction.

                • GCT

                  That’s a normal apologetic, but it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. You can’t seriously be claiming that it was common culture to intentionally change a story from one telling to another and expect everyone to understand which one was correct.

    • Bitter Lizard

      If all Christians read the Bible strictly as poetry, you would have a very good point. Since many of them do read the Bible as literally true, you are basically equivocating Biblical literalism with the acknowledgment that Biblical literalists exist, which is silly bullshit.

      • Nate Winchester

        Biblical literalists who read everything (even the obviously poetical sections) are a minority and are joked about by even evangelicals.

        Hmm… what’s the term for labeling an entire group based upon the negative stereotypes expressed by a few members of said group?

        • Bitter Lizard

          Did I say all Christians were Biblical literalists, or did I explicitly say “many”? You clearly aren’t in a position to criticize anyone’s reading comprehension.

          • Nate Winchester

            Replace “christians” with any other group and “literalists” with any other stereotype and how well would your excuse play?

            Examples:

            Did I say all blacks were thieves, or did I explicitly say “many”?

            Did I say all gays were riddled with AIDS or did I explicitly say “many”?

            Look I can do it too: Many atheists are socially autistic assholes who blame everyone else for their problems.

            Now I said “many” so obviously you can critique or take any issue with my claim, per your own standards and rules.

            • Bitter Lizard

              If somebody made an argument that was predicated on the notion that no gay person was ever infected with AIDS in the history of the world, it might be relevant to point out the factual inaccuracy in said argument. It is never relevant because nobody is stupid enough to make that argument. Likewise, I wouldn’t have to point out the fact that some Christians are literalists if there wasn’t someone stupid enough to say things that would only make any sense at all if Biblical literalists didn’t exist. But here we are.

              • Nate Winchester

                Then take my posts in the same light. Not “all” atheists are bad at poetry/art/metaphor/etc etc, just “many” of them, like the linked source of the post. Not “all” atheists are social retards unable to grasp simplistic concepts most people grasp by adulthood, just “many” of them.

                There, feel better? We done?

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Your initial comment was not that “some” atheists “don’t get poetry”, it actually was a general statement about “atheists”, and I only pointed it out to observe what a hypocrite you were for bitching about a factual statement about some Christians when you had just made a negative statement about atheists in general. Really massive, obvious hypocrisy to anyone with two neurons to rub together. No, “we’re” not done. You’re done, you illiterate, dishonest, hypocritical pile of garbage.

                • Nate Winchester

                  If you want to play that game… my comment was technically “this just proves…” meaning the linked website proves X instead of Y.

                  Which would be a “factual” statement, the website would act as proof of atheists inability at reading comprehension.

                  Of course, I find it funny being called a hypocrite when I play by your rules. Maybe you guys ought to better examine your game if you don’t like it when other people play.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  If you say that something “proves” something, you are inferring that you think it’s true, so your excuse here is nonsensical. And no, it’s not a factual statement because it isn’t based on facts so much as your personal derangement. You haven’t actually been able to adequately defend a single sentence you’ve written here.

                  I’m not playing a game–it’s really pretty straightforward: You’re full of shit and you keep getting called on it because it’s obvious. Stop being so full of shit and you will stop getting called on it so much. It isn’t three-dimensional chess we’re playing here.

                • Nate Winchester

                  Why? Being full of shit appears to be a requirement to post on the board.

                  And hey, at least my “proof” was based on some kind of evidence. So far you’ve just spouted off on things without providing one iota of substantiation. Proving once again how fundamental atheism is just like fundamental christianity. Ya’ll are wearing the same dress, just swapping the labels.

                  All so very drool and predictable. Really at this point I wonder if ya’ll are even actual people or just a bunch of scripted bots.

                  Oooohhh I know! I’ll come back under another identity and definitely play up being one of you. Bet you won’t even know the difference or spot me. Shall we play? XD

                • Bitter Lizard

                  You can’t point to a single unsubstantiated thing I’ve said in our exchanges, namely because mostly I’ve just been pointing out how insane your garbage is and all I needed to substantiate that was you. You probably could pretend to be an unusually stupid atheist, but you certainly couldn’t pull off pretending to be a mentally functional adult.

                  You seem to realize that you’ve made such a fool of yourself that you’re playing at it being intentional. Sure, Nate, you aren’t really mentally handicapped, you’ve just been acting that way for fun. In any case, you clearly do know on some level that you’re a joke, and I’ll chalk that up as “good enough for now”.

            • GCT

              Except we aren’t dealing in stereotypes. Literalism is a position that many Xians DO take. If you are not a literalist, then say so and don’t think that you are lumped in with the group “literalist”. FFS, it’s not that hard.

              • Nate Winchester

                And how well would that excuse fly with any other group? “Oh well obviously I wasn’t talking about you as a black person…” etc

                I didn’t know this was a palate swap of Stormfront.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Your inability to differentiate between beliefs and genetics, and willingness to exaggerate to the point of moral vileness on your part, are noted.

                • Nate Winchester

                  What makes you so sure that belief isn’t a result of genetics? After all, haven’t there been a lot of studies of “believers brains wired differently”?

                  Everyone else wants to play the determinist card… mark my word, you’ll eventually see believers playing it too.

                • GCT

                  Um, because we aren’t using stereotypes. Are you really unable to tell the difference between a statement of fact and a statement made up in order to denigrate a class of people?

        • GCT

          Biblical literalists who read everything (even the obviously poetical sections) are a minority and are joked about by even evangelicals.

          That’s why they are growing in numbers while more liberal sects are shrinking?

          Hmm… what’s the term for labeling an entire group based upon the negative stereotypes expressed by a few members of said group?

          Where did that occur? If you think that has occurred, then you are only showing your religious privilege. Pointing out contradictions is not engaging in bigotry. Pointing out that many Xians do read the Bible as literal (or at least not as poetry) is not bigotry. Claiming that those propositions are the same as bigotry is your religious privilege shining through.

          • Bitter Lizard

            Pointing out that many Christians read the Bible as literal is an uncontroversial fact. Nate seems to think that saying some Christians are literalists is somehow the same as saying all Christians are literalists, even though that’s clearly something that he pulled out of his ass and not my post. And on top of that, he’s bitching about making stereotypes about an entire group when he started this whole thing with the line “atheists do not get poetry”. He is, in short, a complete imbecile.

            • Nate Winchester

              The stupidity is that you’re defining it in a very binary fashion when it’s more accurately described as a spectrum.

              It’s like the riddle of “how do you define a bald man”. So in this case, if someone believes EVERY single thing in the bible, except for chapter X, verse Y, that one right there, they believe is a metaphor. Is that person a literalist? What about two verses? Three?

              Or what’s a non-literalist? Someone that thinks most of the Bible is poetry/metaphor/etc but… this one miracle here, that definitely happened. That a literalist?

              Because here is how ya’ll will work. (Seen the same all over, the internet involving just about any group you can think of.) You’ll find an example and claim “this proves __” until called on it, then you’ll narrow the definition, and keep narrowing and narrowing it until… well your left with having proven that a dozen random humans are idiots.

              My point is that all you’re doing is enforcing the worst stereotypes about atheists. That they are as nebulous and ill-defined about things as any believer, constantly shifting goalposts and more.

              • Bitter Lizard

                If anyone is moving goalposts, it’s you. You can’t even keep what you’re bitching about straight anymore. Earlier, you wrote:

                “Biblical literalists who read everything (even the obviously poetical sections) are a minority and are joked about by even evangelicals.”

                Now you are bitching about the use of the term “literalist”. You seem to have settled on the fact that you’re going to be stupid and annoying, but little else.

                • Nate Winchester

                  Annoying? Oh yes, I was bored today.

                  Actually you’ll notice, in the part you quoted, I clearly defined what “literalist” meant as I just applied it. See how that works? See how I said “read everything [literally]“? (I should have put the term in there, sorry for the typo)

                  So where on the spectrum you falling & meaning? The totality of the bible or is a literalist someone who reads even just a single verse literally? You never did extend the same courtesy I did.

              • GCT

                My point is that all you’re doing is enforcing the worst stereotypes about atheists. That they are as nebulous and ill-defined about things as any believer, constantly shifting goalposts and more.

                To someone bound and determined to make sure that their biases are confirmed, there’s little we can say or do that won’t confirm the stereotypes for you. That’s how bigots work “(seen the same all over, the internet involving just about any group [of bigots] you can think of.)”

          • Dave G.

            I notice that in this debate, there seems to be a disconnect in the knowledge that many atheists have about Christianity. Saying ‘literalist’ is not saying ‘non-liberal’. Liberal Christianity assumes the latest to be true, and changes the core teachings accordingly. It always has. There are reasons why most liberal denominations dwindle. That’s a different topic.

            But most Christian traditions reject that distinctly Protestant fundamentalist approach that so much of modern atheism seems to zero in on. Many traditional, historical mainline denominations, as well as Orthodoxy, Catholicism and most other non-Protestant traditions, reject such a literalist approach. It does not mean liberal this or conservative that. So many are making that mistake, I can only conclude that there are some atheists who need to do more homework, because that is missing a key distinction.

            • GCT

              Except atheists on average know more…the studies have shown it…but whatever.

              When we say “liberal” it’s a term of art in this debate. I think we all know what is meant by it. That you are trying to make mountains out of molehills in order to win debate points and obfuscate is well noted.

              • Bitter Lizard

                Right, the term “liberal Christian” does not necessarily mean politically liberal, although there is certainly some correlation due to the association of fundamentalism with right-wing politics. Dave is being deliberately obtuse in that he seems to avoid being explicit about his own beliefs just so he can bitch about us not addressing them (see my earlier exchanges with him on this page and you’ll see what I mean). Of course, apparently acknowledging the fact that some Christians believe certain things is bigotry (according to Nate).

                It says something when Frank the Spammer is somehow the least moronic Christian apologist in the conversation. It’s like they’re all competing for the title of Crown Prince of D’uh.

          • Nate Winchester

            Again, take your words, swap around, would it be acceptable? example: “Pointing out that many Blacks do commit crime is not racist!”

            Hey, then take my posts in the same manner. “Pointing out that many atheists are socially inept is not bigotry.” :P

            • GCT

              Again, you are dealing in stereotypes. I am not. If you noted that many baseball fans like the Yankees or something, that would be closer to the mark. Or, if you noted that many people who follow philosophy X tend to interpret it in fashion Y instead of Z, that would be closer. That you are trying so hard to turn this into some sort of argument about stereotypes is beyond intellectually dishonest.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Hmm… what’s the term for labeling an entire group based upon the
          negative stereotypes expressed by a few members of said group?

          It’s “stereotyping”, Redundant Lad.

          The word you WANT it to be is “bigotry”, which is what you expressed in the first post while trying, badly, to defend horrible errors as “poetry”.

          • Nate Winchester

            Very good boy, here’s your doggy treat, I’ll mark you down for a gold star.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Your comment and followups pretty much prove that at least one Christian posting under your name is exhibiting bigotry and then projecting that trait onto others.

      They also prove that you don’t know what poetry is. Hint: it doesn’t involve not being able to keep facts straight. How many correct marks did you get in school by writing down the wrong answer and then telling the teacher that you were being “poetic”?

      The first account of Creation is poetry. The second account of Creation is poetry. The fact that they do not align in a major detail is not poetry. It is the first of many, many signs that the document is flawed and shouldn’t be taken as the Word of God.

      Please go learn that words don’t mean what you want them to mean in order to feed your persecution complex.

      • Nate Winchester

        What persecution complex? You guys are the ones always crying about an impending theocracy.

        Now, according to you, the following two statements are contradictory:
        1) “The ford factory made two cars, a blue car and a red car.”
        2) “The ford factory made the red car first, then it made the blue car.”

        Now, according to your grasp of Genesis 1 & 2, those two statements above must just talk about two totally different things!

        Geez, it’s like you people are TRYING to be punchlines.

        • baal

          The murderer killed the family dog before moving upstairs and killing the family in the order of the bedrooms closeness to the stairs. vs The murderer killed the parents (furthest from the stairs), then the kids, and then the parakeets in the basement before circling to the back yard and killing the dog.

          Extreme violence of my example aside, the two recount different orders of events and if the prosecution was running both arguments, I could see the murderer getting off for want of a reasonable time time.

  • MisterTwo

    It’s awfully dense. I would be more useful if you could zoom in.

    • MisterTwo

      *it would be more useful. I might be more useful, too.

  • Free

    So sad to think that a computer can read and understand sacred texts. The program only looks for differences in wording with absolutely no contextual, historical or cultural analysis. The Sinai-Horeb example if ridiculous.

    There were not just two names for the mountain on which God gave the 10 commandments but at least 5! They are all historically the same mountain. (“Har ha-Elohim”, “Har Bashan,” and “Har Gabnunim”).

    Jesus himself, seemed contradictory to the law when he said that to “look at a woman lustfully means to commit adultery in the heart” This is not contradiction to God’s revelation. Apparent but hardly so. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and He strengthens the believer not to walk by feelings but by faith.

    Many have tried to discredit the authority of the bible or its impact on the history of man kind etc… Pinpointing apparent contradictions with a computer program is a helpful tool to identify those apparent discrepancies but nothing of the impact and authority of Gods Word.

    • GCT

      IOW, don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind’s made up. Got it.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      So sad that you aren’t bright enough to read for comprehension, while ironically trying to pin that flaw on others.

  • Anna

    I almost think it’s pointless to try to discuss the Bible with religious believers. The literalists take everything (or so they say) literally, and the non-literalists just explain away the things they don’t like as “poetry” or “metaphor.” Neither group seems capable of entertaining the idea that it is just an ordinary book written by ordinary human beings, and thus irrelevant to the question of the supernatural.

    • Nate Winchester

      Wouldn’t any person belonging to the group of “ordinary book” also then belong to the group of “non-literalist”?

      • Anna

        Non-literalist Christians (like Catholics and mainline Protestants) do not believe that the Bible is an ordinary book. They believe that at least some of the supernatural things it talks about are real and that the writers may have had divine connections. They do not seem to accept the idea that there is nothing supernatural about it at all.

        • Nate Winchester

          Or for pete’s sake… it gets so frustrating having to spell this &%#@ out.

          Ok, know how there’s a saying: “Every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.” Right? A demonstration about how sub groups are a part of yet separate from larger groups?

          Now, think about it a moment. If you think the bible is just ordinary, would you take the book “literally” or “non-literally”?

          • Anna

            I was speaking about religious believers. Obviously, atheists believe it is an ordinary book. What on earth is your point? Are you a Christian who believes the book is completely ordinary, that the writers had no knowledge of the supernatural and that the supernatural events the book describes did not take place?

            • Nate Winchester

              My point was exactly what I said. Of the group who take the bible as “non-literal”, there would be subdivisions of believers and non wouldn’t there?

              Therefore, it would probably be easier for the believer subgroup to entertaining the notion held by the “non” subgroup. Duh.

              • Anna

                So you think these non-literalist Christians are open to entertaining the notion that the Bible is an ordinary, non-supernatural book? Well, if that’s the case, then I’d be curious to hear from some of them. My conversations with them thus far would seem to suggest just the opposite.

              • TheLump

                The thing is, you already KNEW what she meant in her opening statement. You didn’t like what she had to say so you chose an angle of attack to try to drive a wedge in her statement thus, proving her “wrong” and you can smugly sit back at a job well done.
                Everyone who has responded here to any of your comments already knows this about you.

            • Bitter Lizard

              See below. Nate calls it bigotry to even acknowledge the fact of the existence of literalist Christians, even while making ridiculous generalizations about atheists. He’s not a functioning, thinking human being by any measure.

              • Anna

                I’ll check it out. I haven’t tried to read the rest of the comment section yet.

          • GCT

            Or for pete’s sake… it gets so frustrating having to spell this &%#@ out.

            When you intentionally misinterpret what people mean, the fault lies with you.

  • Jean

    I commend unto all of you the webcomic “The Blasphemer’s Bible”…which dissects the Bible with logic and skepticism. It’s only up through the book Leviticus, and is currently on hiatus for another month before delving into Numbers, but I have found to be a MTWThF webcomic worth following.

  • americanvirtues

    Atheists do the work of Satan, beware, do not be mislead.

    • GCT

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      • americanvirtues

        Hermeneutics is not taken into account in this study, I suggest anyone reading this, read the works of Chris White and Keith Thompson, there are many others but that is a good starting point. How many Atheists go after Luciferianism? How can people spend so much time assaulting the relevance of bible teachings and not spend any time assaulting the MASS of occult worship in the media today? It is more popular than Christianity is today. The simple fact is because Atheists are being mislead by the occult lead pop culture, have been hoodwinked into being ANGRY at god and church, if you don’t believe in it or something you would not be spending so much time proving to others that you don’t believe. I hope everyone that reads this will consider

        • Sven2547

          How can people spend so much time assaulting the relevance of bible teachings and not spend any time assaulting the MASS of occult worship in the media today? It is more popular than Christianity is today.

          (Citation needed). Christianity is the largest religion on Earth. Roughly 75% of American are Christians. Or are you one of those people who thinks ‘listening to rock and roll’ counts as “occult worship”?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Check out his post history. He was a devoted Wizard 101 player. I suspect he’s chowing down on some fairly original sour grapes after getting butthurt over not being able to keep up with the 8yo’s in PVP.

          • americanvirtues
            • Spuddie

              Unless its a music video or of an adorable furry animal video, youtube is of no value in an online discussion.

            • Sven2547

              Instead of linking me a poorly-narrated video 14 minutes in length, would you be respectful enough to explain, in your own words, just what the heck you meant?

              • JudgeRight

                He means that atheists are deceived and in service of the devil. Their eternal destiny is death and hell unless they turn from their rebellion against God. Turning happens through repentance of your sins and belief that Jesus Christ is Lord and can forgive you. Then you will live a life free from sin and fear and will go to web sites like this one to refute their haughty, conceited, and illogical atheist arguments. Hope this is plain enough. Source: the Bible.

                • Sven2547

                  This doesn’t actually address his “occult worship” claim at all :(

                • JudgeRight

                  Things are, bottom line, not that difficult. There are two types of worship – the worship of the true and only God, and false worship of idols which includes “occult worship.” There is only one mediator between men and God, the man Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2). All other worship is occult and false.

        • GCT

          Obvious troll is an atheophobic bigot too. Go figure.

      • RobMcCune

        No, I’m fairly sure this guy is as deluded and paranoid as he appears.

    • baal

      I also do the work of Thor, Shiva, Cthulhu, Amaterasu and one of those human sacrifice South American gods. Better safe than sorry!

      • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

        And I’m a freelance goddess, although I do hang out with the Æsir and Vanir from time to time.

        • JudgeRight

          And I am Napoleon.

          • baal

            hmm. If you’re really a zombie frenchman, could we meet in person for verification? It’d be the first solid evidence (at least a proof of concept) that jesus could have risen from the dead.

      • JudgeRight

        Exactly. Worshiping false gods is the work of satan. Thou shalt have no other gods, but Me, remember?

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Actually, it’s technically “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me”. If baal were to worship and do the work of Thor, Shiva, Cthulhu, Amaterasu, and Tlaloc, but swear up and down that Yahweh was first in his heart, he’d be fine.

          • baal

            D’oh, I hit reply before hitting “show all comments” so I didn’t see your comment before my off color reply.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Yours is good too :) Same point, different ways of saying it.

        • baal

          He Said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” He’s willing for You to have sloppy seconds with as many gods after Him as you can string together. Also, you missed the point.

  • americanvirtues

    Hermeneutics is not taken into account in this study, I suggest to anyone reading this, read the works of Chris White and Keith Thompson, there are many others but that is a good starting point. How many Atheists go after Luciferianism? How can people spend so much time assaulting the relevance of bible teachings and not spend any time assaulting the MASS of occult worship in the media today? It is more popular than Christianity. Ke$sha, Jay-z, most of the runway models, actors, all carry Anton LaVey’s text. The theosophical society is involved in our government and most geopolitics. The Luciferianist movement is overwhelming and you Atheists do not touch it!

    A simple deduction is because Atheists are being mislead by the Luciferian lead pop culture, having been hoodwinked into anger toward god and churches by them, you are one step away from believing in god, you have to scream at the top of your lungs so you don’t see what you are really doing. If you didn’t believe, why would you be spending so much time proving to others that you don’t believe. I hope everyone that reads this will consider this deeply.

    • GCT

      If you didn’t believe, why would you be spending so much time proving to others that you don’t believe.

      Um, because bigoted asshats like you say stupid shit like this:

      A simple deduction is because Atheists are being mislead by the Luciferian lead pop culture, having been hoodwinked into anger toward god and churches by them, you are one step away from believing in god, you have to scream at the top of your lungs so you don’t see what you are really doing.

      • americanvirtues

        I am completely tolerant of other peoples opinions, nor did i resort to name calling, how was anything I said “stupid” it was thought about in a cool hate free manner. I provided material too support my opinion and asked a legitimate questions, then offered my theory on my thesis.

        • Spuddie

          Atheists do the work of Satan, beware, do not be mislead.

          Yeah here is your complete tolerance, asshole!

          • americanvirtues

            If they did the work of god they wouldn’t work so hard to dismantle the book of his teachings, how else is a christian suppose to look at it? I did not say they were not good people, like “ATHEISTS KILL KITTENS” , I said you are being mislead to do Lucifer’s work.

            The name calling isn’t getting you anywhere.

            • GCT

              Neither are your bigoted rants.

              • americanvirtues

                well

                • GCT

                  At least that’s not bigoted. Look, I pointed out the bigoted atheophobic stereotypes that you are using and you simply ignored the list I put together. It’s typical bigotry. If it makes me a “fucking douche” and a “jackass” to point that out, then so be it. But, don’t pretend that you aren’t engaging in stereotypical attacks and acting like a bigot.

              • Guest

                You are an atheist bigot. You rant atheist bigotry.

            • Spuddie

              Name calling is the only appropriate way to respond to you.

            • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

              AV, why would someone do the work of an entity he doesn’t believe in?

              It also remains to be seen whether the Bible is an accurate reflection of the teachings of an actual god. If there are contradictions, why not embrace them? You could view it as an opportunity to cut away everything that doesn’t look like a god, clean house, and perhaps arrive at a simpler and more coherent message.

              • JudgeRight

                Quote: “AV, why would someone do the work of an entity he doesn’t believe in?”

                Eh,… because they are deceived by the non-existing entity?!

          • JudgeRight

            There we go, show your true arguments, devil boy. You are so full of tolerance…

            • Spuddie

              Repeating someone’s stupid remark to show how full of crap someone is. Yes, that is my true argument.

              Btw responding to a remark over 2 weeks old on a discussion which has long gone stale is pretty silly and tasteless.

              You missed your chance for a timely rhetort. Tough luck.

        • GCT

          Sorry, but when you spout out a bunch of stereotypes, it’s hatred.

          • americanvirtues

            Tell me what you really believe in GCT in numerically listed format.

            • GCT

              1. Atheists are secret Satan worshipers.
              2. Atheists are angry at god
              3. Atheists are angry at churches (religion)
              4. Atheists are being too loud
              5. Atheists spend too much time protesting too much (because we secretly believe)

              Should I go on?

              • americanvirtues

                Hmm I win this discussion so no need to go on.

                • GCT

                  LOL.

    • JudgeRight

      Atheists do not go after luciferianism, because thy ARE luciferians. Jesus said it clearly – the devil is their daddy. Their main effort is to blaspheme, not to be objective; they love to assert that there is no God. They never argue that there is no devil.

      • 3lemenope

        A:”There is no devil.”

        Predictable Response:”You deny the activity of spiritual forces for evil in the world! BLASPHEMER!!!”

        A:”[sigh]“

      • americanvirtues

        I hope you share this website with more of your Christian friends so they can join in on the disqus.

        • JudgeRight

          I think one needs a special calling and anointing from God to have the patience to deal with the specifics of the atheist deception. Not very many would be excited to debate the people here.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com/ Ani J. Sharmin

    This looks really cool. Thanks for posting about it.

  • Sk3ptec

    Actually, this tool could possibly be taken seriously if it had been created by someone who had an ounce of dedication to facts and/or accuracy. Instead it’s largely based on highly opinionated, tabloid, propaganda.

    Example: “Four-legged fowls are abominations” is listed as a “Scientific Absurdity”. But this is pure one-sided opinion, (or ignorance) nothing more. Or how about this: “It took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan, yet such a journey, even at that time, would have taken no more than a few weeks.” – Um, have you ever even OPENED a Bible? Them taking 40 years is one of the primary themes of the Old Testament. These types of obvious errors completely destroy the site’s credibility.

    My point is… the huge effort it takes, trying to sift through all the opinion entries and false claims to find the actual facts, makes this tool largely unusable, not to mention unreliable. I guess though, to the ignorant bystander who just wants fuel for their ridicule… sure, it works.

    • http://programmer-art.org/ Daniel G. Taylor

      Four-legged fowl (they mean bats) are not inherently disgusting or worthy of hatred. Such a concept is absurd, and projecting it onto bats is what is one-sided opinion.

      I have opened a Bible, and the 40 year trip is ridiculous on many levels. The group almost makes the trip only to be punished by God for a lack of faith and made to wander the desert for 40 years until almost everyone had died. 40 years is a very long time to wander in a desert, and only a small group of survivors would not last long.

      Since you decided to attack me personally, I’ll just leave this here, which you posted on another story nine days ago:

      “general anonymity and “distance” of online discussion allows people to act and speak in ways they wouldn’t in face-to-face conversation.” I do completely agree with this. It is one unfortunate side-effect of our online society.”

      • Sk3ptec

        Daniel, Thanks for your response. My purpose was NOT to attack you personally. Aside from questioning your dedication to accuracy, I don’t see anything else that was directed at you personally. However, If I’m wrong, I apologize for any personal condescension. It is true – your last paragraph.

        But, back to the point. The examples I site (and you responded to) are matters of pure opinion, yet they are listed in the “science” category of your web tool. That’s not exactly accurate or scientific. And when thumbing through the other various categories and examples, at least half of the entries were simply opinions, based on nothing more than the difference between ours and the ‘social norms’ of a given time and culture.

        The tool (programming and interface) itself is actually pretty cool really. Looks good and functions well. The source data though is heavily biased, unscientific, and largely unreliable in any real-world sense. You couldn’t use 95% these examples in an actual debate. They would be easily discredited.

        • http://programmer-art.org/ Daniel G. Taylor

          I definitely see where you are coming from Sk3ptec. I’m not sure that I fully agree with the cultural relativism and I stand by my previous statement that these topics are absurd for anyone who values empirical evidence before calling something an ‘abomination’ or saying a small group could survive and wander for 40 years without finding their destination.

          I think it’s valuable to point out that one of the big goals of the website is to educate people about the problems with a strictly literal interpretation of biblical stories. As you say there are definitely cultural differences, and I’d add that there are mistranslations, changes by humans over time, and a lot of other issues that could be taken into account when discussing these contradictions, but then the entire ordeal becomes much more a matter of interpretation than anything else. This is honestly okay for many moderate Christians.

          The people that believe in young Earth creationism, deny climate change, and try to force their views into public schools are taking these passages literally, so it stands to reason that it’s fair to take all of the passages literally when exploring contradictions, violence, and other horrible things. As you can see by the Gallup polls, 46% of Americans fall into that category, so I think it’s perfectly reasonable to provide a resource to explore literal contradictions and issues.

          I also realize the site may not apply to many people because of this, which I’m okay with. If you have suggestions on how to broaden the audience that would find this site useful, I’m all ears. :-)

  • JohnGeek2000
  • Charlie Sutton

    Christians are neither naive nor illogical (even though some individual are, through a lack of education). We have known about alleged contradictions, etc since the earliest days of the Christian faith. ALL of these alleged contradictions are non-existent. Knowledge of such things as the naming practices of ancient peoples, the laws of logic, context of the relevant passages, and so on, easily show that things that a cursory reading pick up as a “contradiction” do not meet the formal definition of a contradiction.
    Read R C Sproul, who has graduate training in both philosophy and theology, to see how these alleged contradictions are not, in fact, contradictions. He is just one of many; he is still living and working, but he has been preceded by thousands of other scholars, including the great Reformers, in dealing with such claims as the unreliability of the Bible.

    • Nox

      So that whole bit about christians already knowing there are contradictions in the bible was just to lead in to saying you don’t know there are contradictions in the bible?

      We already know there have been christians who have claimed to explain away these contradictions. But those explanations can only be reached by mangling the text (or ignoring large parts of it). And taken as a whole, they are even more inconsistent than the text of the bible itself. In order to explain away one contradiction you must contradict the explaining away of another contradiction.

      That the bible was written by god is a huge leap of faith. That everything in the bible is simultaneously true is an actual logical impossibility.

      • Charlie Sutton

        Christians are aware that people claim that there are contradictions. They are also aware, as they read, that there are things that appear to be contradictions, if one does not examine context, the actual claims being made in their particularity, the customs of the people involved, and other matters that bear on the question.
        The “contradictions” are not “explained away.” They are shown not to be contradictions.
        A contradiction is the statement that a thing is both A and not-A at the same time, place, and manner of being. That the mountain on which Moses received the Ten Commandments has two names is not a contradiction, but the reality that it has two names. You probably have two names, at least, depending on who is talking to you and under what circumstances. That is not a contradiction, it is merely a difference.

        • Nox

          The bible doesn’t just give multiple names for things. It doesn’t just use obscure cultural references. It clearly states that things are both A and Not-A at the same time.

          What were Jesus’ last words on the cross?

          • Charlie Sutton

            The “Seven Last Words of Christ” are compiled from the four Gospels. None of the Gospels has them all recorded – and none of the Gospels claims to be a complete record of all that Jesus said and did. Each Gospel had its own particular focus on who Jesus was and what he did. They are united on essential elements of who Christ was and did, but there is variation on secondary matters.
            We in the 20th and 21st centuries might want a comprehensive biography with every detail noted. The authors of the Gospel were not modern biographers, and it is foolish to take them to task because their intent was not the one we would prefer.
            Give me an example of a claim that something is both A and Not-A in the same way, place, and time.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              The women at the tomb- were there a few or lots? Were there guards close by or not? Who told people the tomb was empty? Did they proclaim it or try to keep it a secret?

              Was there a zombie apocalypse in Jerusalem when Jesus supposedly rose from the dead? By which I mean, some accounts have people rising from the dead, and others don’t. Which means they claim both A happened (lots of dead people rising from the grave) and not-A (totally never happened).

              • Charlie Sutton

                “Contradiction” is a term from logic. Not recording an event is not the same thing as saying it did not happen. Think about it.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  If you were seeing dead people rising from the grave, don’t you think you’d mention it? Not talking about it is, in the case of extraordinary events, the exact same thing as saying it didn’t happen.

                  You also forgot the questions in the top half of the post.

                • Charlie Sutton

                  If you demand of the authors that they meet your standards of reporting, then you will never be satisfied. They did what they intended to do, and their intentions did not include noting every detail, even if some of those details were extraordinary. Again, the text of the other Gospels does not record the raising of others, but neither does it deny that such an event occurred, and so there is no formal contradiction. You are drawing your conclusion from an inference and not from what the text contains.

                  If you demand that the text say everything you want it to, and claim “contradiction” if it does not, it is easy to find “contradictions” – even though the purposes of the human authors were not what you say they should have been. You could read the accounts of some event in a newspaper and find differences in reporting – and you know that such differences do not necessarily mean that the reporters contradict each other.

                  As for your first paragraph, there were a small group of women who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body. John names Mary Magdalene, Luke says “they,” naming no one, Mark had three names, and Matthew two. In the Emmaus road story, one of the two travelers who meet Jesus speak of “some of the women of our company.” If you insist that the authors must give a full account of each and every person, there is a problem – but if it were not the purpose of the author to tell a strict, exact, and specific of each and every detail, such as one might find in a police report, then you cannot fault them. They knew what they wanted to do, and they fulfilled their own purpose. John chose to focus on Mary Magdalene, as she was a major figure in the accounts. Matthew notes the guards, while the others do not, because they were focused on the central fact, that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Some authors of the Gospels note two angels at the tomb, but others mention only one. Contradiction? No, for all have only one angel speaking, and those that mention only one simply note the speaker; they do not say, “one, and only one, angel was present.” The angel who spoke proclaimed to the visitors that Jesus was not there, and invited them to look; later Peter and John saw for themselves that the tomb was empty, having been told by Mary Magdalen (the spokeswoman of the visitors) of her seeing Jesus.

                  The followers of Jesus told one another about the resurrection. They did not speak to those outside the circle of disciples (120 people) until the first Christian Pentecost.

                  There have been numerous instances of people doubting the Christian faith, or even seeking to deny it, who examined the Gospels closely

                • Charlie Sutton

                  (Hit “Post” too soon) and who came to the conclusion that the Christian faith was true. They began with the assumption that the Gopsels were a reasonably accurate account of Jesus, as any other writing for the time might be, and the more they looked, the more they were convinced that the claim that Jesus was not only a wonderful man but the incarnate son of God was indeed true. The most recent and well-known of these examiners was Lee Strobel, author of many books on the reasonableness of believing in Jesus Christ.

                  Of course, I am hardly surprised there are atheists. The “default setting” of fallen humanity (which is all of us) is to distrust that God is good, fair, and trustworthy – which some of us do by denying his existence and others by inventing a god of their liking. Romans 1-3 tells us of that, and experience shows its truth.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  *clap clap clap* A more intellectually dishonest attempt to square the circle I have not yet seen.

                  And where, pray tell, are the Roman records of any of this? You know, the ones that were written at the actual supposed time of death, not 50-100 years later and not, at least in one case, by a guy who claimed he saw Jesus in a vision and never actually met him? And, again, zombie apocalypse: either it happened or it didn’t. Which is it? If you saw two angels, that’s kinda unusual, don’t you think? You’d mention both, not say “the angel spoke” which totally says explicitly that there was only one.

                  Unless you’re totally fine with the idea that Muhammed ascended to Heaven in a chariot pulled by winged horses because that’s in a Holy Book (TM), you’re going to have to have outside evidence. The contradictions within even derived works (and yes, two of the gospels are based on an older one. Mark is the oldest one, with Luke and Matthew quoting passages from it) are stunning, considering they used the same source material!

                  So what you actually have is Mark writing a book ~30-60 years after the events; he probably didn’t actually know Jesus but just set down oral history, given average lifespans of the day and the fact that many of the disciples were illiterate. Then Luke and Matthew found that and wrote their own, derived works. John had a vision and made some shit up, based on this new Christianity cult he found. A bunch of other people wrote gospels too (Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Mary, etc) but those were burned by the Council of Nicaea when it decided which ones were going to be canon and which ones heretical.

                  You’ll excuse me for finding this not a valid source, I hope.

                • Charlie Sutton

                  I scarcely know where to begin. The Gospels were all written by the end of the first century. There is evidence that Mark’s work was done by AD 60, within 30 years of Jesus’ death. Mark was a companion to Peter, who of course knew Jesus personally.

                  Why would any Roman write about Jesus until he became an actual problem to them? To Pilate, he was just another Jewish troublemaker; he already had his hands full of problems with the Jewish leaders.

                  I am not defending Muhammad; the Koran is indeed filled with actual, logical contradictions.

                  And again – if a writer chooses to record some things and not others why do you complain? He is the author; it is his privilege to choose. Those who speak of one angel have no intent to deceive, simply to focus on the speaker and most importantly, the message.

                  I have to admit, I find the arguments for atheism intellectually bankrupt, so I guess we could keep on talking forever if we had the time and patience.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  What arguments for atheism? I can only argue for humanism and against specific nonsensical supernatural claims; arguments for atheism come down to saying there’s no evidence for faeries, no, Zeus, dammit that’s wrong too, Tlaloc? Nope. Unicorns? Santa? Dammit. Oh, right, your specific supernatural thingy is Jesus. Yeah, don’t find compelling evidence for that one either.

                  I’ve read books about Harry Potter too. There’s fan fiction that contradicts some of the stuff in the book. These contradictions clearly mean Harry Potter and wizards are real. True story.

                • Charlie Sutton

                  Harry Potter is such a successful “secondary creation” (to use a term of JRR Tolkien’s) that there are people to whom it is indeed real. But I have only read the Potter books, not the fan stuff, so I have not encountered such things as you mention. (Which seems to be noting an argument that “X contradicts Y, therefore Y is true” – which is not a valid argument by any stretch of the imagination.

                  Since this blog is “The Friendly Atheist,” I was making the assumption that you are an atheist. Of course, my comments, while in response to you, were also for other readers of the article, and the vast majority of those are atheist I would expect.

                  If you cannot tell the difference between fairy stories, pagan mythology, and monotheistic faith, you are in a bad way.

                  Are you an atheist? An agnostic? Or just someone who desperately does not want Christianity to be true?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Your argument above was indeed the argument that “X contradicts Y in the details talking about Z, therefore Z is true”. I was just pointing out how absolutely ridiculous that argument is. You’re applying different standards to the Bible than you do to any other form of literature- we call that special pleading. It’s so common it’s got its own label, and it’s really bad form. Stop doing it.

                  Does it matter my personal beliefs? No matter why I think Christianity is bunk, it doesn’t change the validity of my arguments one bit.

                • Charlie Sutton

                  Since we are operating from quite different perspectives, we are having a hard time understanding each other. I had no idea why you brought up Harry Potter, except to say that there are people who think that Hogwarts really exists and that somehow they use the existence of fan fiction (is that writings by others based on the imaginary world of HP?) that contradicts the original seven books as proof that the imaginary world of HP exists. That is ridiculous, and I said so.

                  But it turns out that you think I am saying the same thing, and I am scratching my head trying to figure out how you could draw that conclusion. There are plenty of writings that contradict the Bible, but I never said that they therefore prove that the Bible is true. I would never dream of making such a silly statement.

                  More than that, I have been saying that you read the Bible EXACTLY AS YOU WOULD ANY OTHER PIECE OF LITERATURE. What is its genre? When was it written? What purpose does it appear to have been written for? What was the cultural setting? What does the text actually say? You ask the journalist’s questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how? When the Bible is read in that fashion (and when you do not compare a statement made in one place and an inference from a statement made in another), there are no formal logical contradictions in the Bible.

                  You yourself do not read a haiku and the instruction manual for a new appliance in the same way. That is why genre is important – and there are different genres in Scripture. I did not examine the chart closely enough to see if some of the alleged contradictions compare very statements in different genres and claim a contradiction, but I have met some people who do so, and that is an invalid comparison. Mountains skipping like rams in the psalms is a poetic metaphor, not a scientific statement. The Gospels are not biographies, and it is improper to complain because they are not written as such – that would be like saying poetry should tell us scientific truth. (The difference between a biography and the Gospels is not so great, of course, as the difference between a poem and a textbook explanation of the periodic table of the elements.)

                  You seem to think that because the Bible does not tell you some things you think it should and that it is not written in the way you would write it if you had been around at the time of its events, that there are therefore contradictions in what it says. At least, I think that is what your arguments are saying.

                  If you care to reply, I will read your reply, but I have other things I need to do, so I will not comment any further on this blog post. I am not “surrendering,” but I simply have a long enough “to do” list that I must attend to.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  If you know for a fact that the gospels are inaccurate and contradictory, why believe them at all? How do you find the little notations that say “this part is true” and “this part is not true”? I’m not talking about the Bible as a whole, here: clearly a lot of it is metaphor, poetry, etc. I’m talking about the gospels, which have two entirely different and contradictory birth stories (and two books without special book stories at all) that are also historically impossible, different stories about what Jesus said when wandering about, different stories about what Jesus said and did on the cross, and different stories about what happened when his tomb was opened. I’m not asking for modern journalistic accuracy, just any sort of coherence!

                  I’m saying that if the Bible is a work about the One True Universal God, it should be pretty clear that it is, and not be clearly the work of people making stuff up and fitting it to the legends and myths of surrounding cultures. I do read the Bible as I do any other piece of literature, and it’s a fascinating historical document (in the sense that it’s really old, parts much older than others, and gives a fascinating peephole into the politics and mindsets of the day). It’s just not a coherent, moral, or useful book other than having some nice poetry, though.

                  It has been nice talking to you. Good luck on the stuff you have to do.

                • Charlie Sutton

                  I really should not respond, but I am all but speechless with amazement that you would think that I believe that “the gospels are inaccurate and contradictory…” My conviction is that they are not contradictory and that they are accurate. I do not see any contradiction between Luke and Matthew on the birth of Christ; they each focus on an aspect that is important to their purposes. I suppose you might counter with, “Matthew does not describe the angel’s visit, and Luke does not tell of the Magi, therefore they are inaccurate,” but that is merely complaining that the authors did not write the way you would prefer them to write. If I wrote a poem on the joys of making breakfast at home, and you countered with “Hey, that doesn’t help me to know how to use my new toaster,” I would say, “That was not my intent.”

                  If you want to demand that the Bible be written in a certain format, and not the way it is, then there is nothing more I can say.

                  I listen to R C Sproul’s podcast, “Renewing your Mind,” and if you would care to hear a professional philosopher and teacher speak about the reliability of the Bible, you can get it on iTunes. I don’t expect you will, but he has several lectures on the topic.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  You do realize that the two birth stories are mutually incompatible, right? Not that they focus on different things, but that they literally could not both happen? And yeah, if the magi and the angel were so important (and both so very unbelievable), I would damned well hope they would both be mentioned! If a hailstorm and a tornado both happened, and one news story mentioned only one and the other news story mentioned only the other, I wouldn’t trust either story! And that’s for a meteorological phenomenon that can and does happen on a regular basis, not the birth of a deity!

                  Not to mention that there is no Roman record of any census at that time (the governor mentioned was not around at the times of the censuses closest to 1 CE), there was definitely no massacre of Jewish babies (Romans recorded that sort of thing), and the Romans didn’t require people to go to their birthplace for censuses because that would be stupid. The point of a census is to figure out where people are, not where they were.

                • Charlie Sutton

                  I have been pondering your comment for some time now, and your objections still do not make a great deal of sense. How are Luke and Matthew mutually incompatible in their narratives concerning the birth of Jesus? Matthew does not deny the Annunciation recorded in Luke. Luke does not deny the visitation of the Magi recorded in Matthew (which visitation occurred some time after Jesus had been born, up to two years later from what the Magi tell Herod). The slaughter of the innocent children would not have been that large; Bethlehem was a village, not a city, and the population of male children under two would not have been that great. Since it was Herod’s troops who did the vile work and not Roman soldiers, and since the number of victims was not that great (probably a dozen or so; not the hundreds that legends speak of), the Romans would have no need to record it.

                  As for the census, two things: the purpose was not to determine how many people lived in a given area, but to register families for taxation. The Romans allowed the Jews to follow their customs (Romans exempted Jews from a number of requirements made on other conquered peoples, such as offering a pinch of incense to Caesar annually and worshiping him as a god) and one of the Jewish customs was that people were to be recorded according to their ancestral towns. As descendants of David, both Mary and Joseph would be enrolled in Bethlehem, David’s family’s origin. I will grant you that there is no outside record of a census/registration in 4-6 BC, the time period in which Jesus was born, although there is one of a census/registration in 6 AD. However, that does not mean that another record will not be found; archaeologists do find new materials fairly often. Luke also has been shown to be an accurate recorder of events in quite a few other matters. Here is one brief article on the matter: http://christiananswers.net/q-aiia/census-luke2.html

                  As for the visit of the Magi being recorded in Matthew and not in Luke, and the Annunciation and birth being recorded in Luke but not in Matthew, I have two things to say. While I quite understand that this difference in reporting gives you pause in accepting Scripture as having integrity of content, it is not (as I noted above) a contradiction. You seem to be holding the Gospels to the standard of what you think the authors should have said had they been star reporters for a major news journal. But they were not journalist – they were “gospellers,” announcers of Good News.

                  In John 20:30-31, John says, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Note that John tells us that he had a purpose in writing (to show that Jesus was the Messiah – the Hebrew word translated by the Greek word “Christ” – so that his readers would place their faith in him and have life.) John also tells us that he edited the stories and events he knew and did not try to include every one of them. In Luke 1, Luke tells Theophilus that his aim was to write an orderly account” of the story of Jesus so that he would be confirmed in the things which he had already been taught. Each of the four authors had a purpose in writing, and each edited his material to make that point be the emphasis. Matthew focused on the Jewishness of Jesus and how Jesus fulfilled ancient prophecies (one reason the story of the Magi is included is that the OT foretold that Gentiles would come to acknowledge the Messiah). Mark was written by John Mark, Peter’s cousin and companion while Peter preached the Gospel in Rome. The Romans did not care nearly as much for the pedigree of a person as for the effectiveness of his deeds – and for that reason Mark is an action-centered and action-packed Gospel, and why there is no birth narrative; the Romans would not worry about that. Luke reveals most clearly the humanity of Jesus and his compassion for those on the outskirts of society. John, the last written of the Gospels, focuses on the spiritual significance of Jesus. John 1 is a birth narrative, focusing not on the earthly events but showing that in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God was entering human life as a human being in order to bring life to a spiritually dead humanity.

                  As you may have surmised, I am a pastor, and when I write or preach, I never say everything I could say about a particular passage; I hone in on the major points and applications of those points for the particular audience I will be addressing. I have no intent to deceive; I simply cannot say everything that might be said, so, while I do not contradict the message of the passage, I do take only a part. The authors of the Gospel wrote similarly; they had a distinct message to bring to their particular audience and they chose what would make their point the plainest. A great deal of the four Gospels is material they have in common, so it is easy to know that they are all talking about the same person – but each one also has his particular emphasis, and he makes that point in his Gospel. The New York Times it ain’t – but the Gospels were not setting out to be the Times.

                  So – questions, yes; puzzlements, yes, but contradictions, NO!

                  There are many well-educated, thoughtful, logical people who have examined the evidence for the reliability and authority of Scripture down through the centuries and have been persuaded that the Bible is what it claims to be, reliable and authoritative. Some people have come to another conclusion, but not nearly so many.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  1) You won’t deny things that you don’t know someone else is writing about. If I were to write “and there’s no angels here with me”, you’d be like “of course not, why would you feel the need to say that, that’s the normal state”. People write about extraordinary events, not ordinary ones, and presumably the birth of a god is a fairly extraordinary event? Given that they have completely different casts of characters, it’s far more reasonable to say that the whole thing is made up than to say that they each just happened to write about completely different halves of the creatures there. You’re not employing proper literary technique nor basic skepticism to the book- you’ve been primed to believe it’s true, so you jump through crazy hoops to make it fit in your mind. It’s not funny anymore. Stop it. I’m not asking for a journalist, I’m asking for a reliable eyewitness. Neither one even qualifies for that status; the police would dismiss them both as unreliable after hearing both tales, they match up so poorly.

                  2) Herod’s soldiers were Roman soldiers. That’s how the Roman Empire worked. If not Roman citizens, then at least drawn from not the local area, because having soldiers in the region of their homeland was considered bad policy and a security risk. And other massacres of smaller scale or equally bad orders across the Imperium were tallied and recorded. Such an event would not have gone unnoticed at the time.

                  3) How do you account for the fact that Luke and Matthew clearly plagiarized things from Mark and that Luke and Matthew were written at least 60 years after Jesus’s death at a time when the average lifespan was ~55 years? Mark’s the only one that could have even theoretically been written by someone who’d met Jesus. As for John, it’s clearly a different tradition altogether, and doesn’t match the other three at all! That’s because unlike Luke and Matthew, he was at least writing original content. Instead of doing the funky mind tricks to suppress cognitive dissonance, let it to the fore for once. Read it with unbiased eyes, if you can, and tell me if it’s at all convincing. Would you convict a person of murder (beyond a reasonable doubt) on the basis of such contradictory, after-the-fact eyewitness testimony? Especially if it was buttressed only by a psychic who claimed to have a vision, but never met the murder victim nor the alleged criminal?

                  The reason people don’t reject the Bible outright more is that for a very long time, it was socially unacceptable to do so and also, “give me a boy until he is seven, and I will own the man”. You never had a chance not to learn this stuff. It was drilled into your mind from before you can remember. You never had a chance to examine it rationally, because you got told it was True before you were old enough to analyze it. What’s amazing isn’t that you still believe: what’s amazing is that anyone gains enough rationality and education to realize that these beliefs and myths are not true.

                • Charlie Sutton

                  Your dating of the Gospels is not realistic. And the “average age” of the period has to factor in the many deaths before age 5, which skews the average down. John was written in the early 90′s; Mark in 55 or so, Luke and Matthew by 70 AD. Jesus died in 30 AD, so the gaps are relatively brief.

                  You are acting precisely as Romans 1 predicts; I am not surprised.

                  And now a FINAL goodbye. It is clear that we disagree and will not be moved. One of us may be right; both of us could be wrong. We will have to wait and see.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Romans 1 predicted skeptics on a fairy tale? No freaking way!

                  And with that last bit of snark, I bid you adieu.

                • Sunny Day

                  Shorter Charlie Sutton:
                  Other religions mythological stories are filled with ACTUAL logical contradictions.
                  Christianity’s mythological stories, totally legit.
                  Oh and the Bible doesn’t mean what it says.

                • Charlie Sutton

                  Do you know what the definition of a logical contradiction is?

                  Actually, I think that the Judeo-Christian scriptures are the only sacred writings that claim to be internally consistent. The HIndu scriptures certainly do not; indeed, Hinduism scoffs at consistency. In the Koran, you can find verses that say totally opposite things; the earlier parts of the Koran say that Muslims must be peaceable in their dealings with those of other faiths; the later parts enjoin death or second-class status for those of other faiths.

                  Most of what people are saying to justify the claim that the Bible is filled with contradictions amounts to complaints that the Bible was not written according to 20th century standards of journalism.

                  The Bible does mean what it says. The question is: what does it actually say? In order to answer that question one must recognize that the Bible is an ancient book, written over some 1500 years, by dozens of different authors in three different languages and employing a wide variety of genres. It deals with topics that are far larger than we limited human beings are. Figuring out what it actually says requires some thought and attention to detail. It also requires a recognition that the author of a particular passage may not have been writing to answer a particular question we have, but had his own purpose and aim. If we insist he deal with our question, and in the way we want it to be dealt with, we are likely to be disappointed.

                  If you cannot tell the difference between (say) Greek mythology and the Bible, your education is sorely lacking.

              • JudgeRight

                Some news outlets report on the news others do not. Or different newspapers report different angles of the same news. Do they contradict each other? Not necessarily. Actually they may be providing a richer picture of the same event by giving various reports on the same facts. Now apply this to the biblical “contradictions”…the facts are the same: Jesus rose from the dead. Deal with it.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Ah, not so much, no. See, if a giant tornado hits a town, newspapers are going to report on it. They may report on different aspects of it, but they’ll all mention the tornado.

                  A bunch of dead people getting up and walking around a major metropolis? That’s a giant freaking tornado right there. All the newspapers are going to talk about it.

                  And this whole Jesus thing? No one saw it. They saw an empty tomb three days after he died. What with common Roman practice of hiding the bodies of prophets and cult leaders, what’s more likely: Jesus ascended to God, or the Romans hid his body like was custom? I’m afraid a story that echoes older stories and has neither eyewitness accounts nor strong circumstantial evidence is just not going to get a lot of credence with me.

                • JudgeRight

                  We are not getting anywhere here. There were over 500 witnesses of Jesus walking around after the third day only by scriptural records. Besides direct historical evidence another’s indirect proof is the spread of the faith historically and geographically. Thirdly Christians are generally converted from unbelief, meaning that all experience a dramatic change of heart and world view. Such personal accounts of encounter with the Person of God in history and nowadays are another evidence that Jesus is alive and well, at the right hand of the Father, still ready to forgive, yet coming soon to judge the living and the dead. The problem of atheists is that they are so engrossed in their limited logic and mind functions marred by sin and unbelief that they do not have the mental grasp of the reality and fact of God. So as I said – Jesus is alive, deal with it.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  1) Oh? Where are the Roman records of this, then? They wrote down a lot of stuff- I’m sure they’d mention dead people rising. It wasn’t exactly a common occurrence.

                  2) You mean religions spread? Even when they’re untrue? No way! I’m sure you think Muhammed was a false prophet, but there’s still ~1 billion Muslims in the world. Clearly, accuracy and truth are not required for a religion to gain and retain followers.

                  3) Actually, Christians are usually either born into their belief or convert when they come in contact with missionaries who put religion as a precondition to charity. Christianity is growing fastest in the most poor, uneducated, unstable parts of the world, and shrinking in wealthy, educated countries. I think there might be a reason for that …

                  4) Sin is a made up problem and religion sells you the cure. Logic, far from being limited, is in fact universal. How is saying no to wishful thinking, no to evidence-free claims, and no to grovelling at the feet of an imaginary deific tyrant at all denying reality? It’s the best way to engage with reality; see it for what it is, not what you want it to be. Jesus, who may well never have existed, is most definitely dead if he was ever real. Deal with it.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  There were over 500 witnesses of Jesus walking around after the third day only by scriptural records

                  .According to Plato, many thousands of people lived in Atlantis and witnessed its marvels. Therefore, by your own logic, you are required to believe in Atlantis as described.

                  Besides direct historical evidence another’s indirect proof is the spread of the faith historically and geographically.

                  Therefore by your own logic, you ascribe supernatural legitimacy to Communism and Islam.

                  Thirdly Christians are generally converted from unbelief, meaning that
                  all experience a dramatic change of heart and world view.

                  False. The vast majority of people believe in the religion in which they were raised. Are you lying for Jesus, or just not competent enough to be debating?

                  The problem of atheists is that they are so engrossed in their limited
                  logic and mind functions marred by sin and unbelief that they do not
                  have the mental grasp of the reality and fact of God.

                  Why are you a projecting bigot and liar on behalf of Jesus? Do you not love Him enough to tell the truth and not hate people?

                  So as I said – Jesus is alive, deal with it.

                  Unable to debate rationally, you instead get pissy, project, lie, and debase your own religion. He must be proud of you.

            • Nox

              “We in the 20th and 21st centuries might want a comprehensive biography with every detail noted. The authors of the Gospel were not modern biographers.”

              Again, missing information isn’t the problem. The many important details the gospels don’t mention are a problem. But that isn’t what we’re talking about here. This is about multiple conflicting things the gospels do say.

              “The “Seven Last Words of Christ” are compiled from the four Gospels.”

              Compiled by cherry picking details from conflicting statements and smashing them into one incoherent statement.

              Luke 23:46 specifies that “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” were Jesus’ last words on the cross. John 19:30 specifies that “It is finished” were Jesus’ last words on the cross. He could have said both, but both couldn’t be the last thing he said right before he died (and since this is the most important moment in christian theology the disagreement here is particularly troubling).

              “Give me an example of a claim that something is both A and Not-A in the same way, place, and time.”

              The blog post you are commenting on contains a chart listing hundreds. I gave you at least fifty examples in my previous link (you’re not the first person to make this assertion and this isn’t the first time I’ve had to address it). If you had read just the first two chapters of your own holy book you would see the conflicting creation stories yourself and wouldn’t need anyone else to show you these.

              But since you asked, and the rest of this post is already written in response to previous missionaries who’ve employed the same sh*tty argument. Here’s a few more (and to keep the list short I’ll be focusing on the crucifixion and resurrection, the two areas where it would be most important for the gospel writers to get the details right).

              Did the sign posted on the cross include Jesus’ name?

              Matthew (27:37): “This is Jesus the king of the jews”

              Mark (15:26): “The king of the jews”

              Luke (23:38): “This is the king of the jews”

              John (19:19): “Jesus of Nazareth the king of the jews”

              While these are all reasonably close, no two gospels quite agree on what the accusation on the cross said. But that isn’t the only part of this scene that they disagree on. Almost every detail that is related by the gospel authors appears in at least two contradictory forms.

              Did both the thieves crucified with Jesus revile him, or did one repent on the cross and receive a promise of redemption from Jesus?

              Matthew (27:44): “The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.”

              Mark (15:32): “They that were crucified with him reviled him.”

              Luke (23:39-43): “One of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

              John does not say anything about these 2 men except that they were crucified along with Jesus.

              John (19:18): “Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”

              What was Jesus given to drink, while on the cross?

              Matthew (27:34): “They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.”

              Mark (15:23): “And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.”

              Luke (23:36): “And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar.”

              John (19:29): “there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.”

              What time of day did the crucifixion occur?

              Matthew (27:45-46): “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say my god my god why hast thou forsaken me.”

              Mark (15:33): “When the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”

              Luke (23:44): “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.”

              Matthew, Mark, and Luke all have Jesus on the cross at the sixth hour (noon). John has the sundial strike 12 while Jesus is in the judgment hall with Pilate.

              John (19:14): “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!”

              What were Jesus’ last words on the cross?

              Matthew (27:46): “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

              Mark (15:34): “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

              Luke (23:46): “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.”

              Was Jesus killed by the romans or the jews? Was Jesus crucified on a cross, or hung from a tree?

              All 4 of the gospel accounts describe Jesus being crucified, yet in the book of Acts, both Peter and Paul state that his method of execution was hanging. And Peter is quoted as using the odd phrase “whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” while talking to the Pharisees.

              Acts 5:30
              The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

              Acts 10:39
              And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

              Acts 13:29
              And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.

              While crosses were traditionally made from wood, it should be self evident that a cross and a tree are not the same thing.

              What did the centurion in charge of the crucifixion say after Jesus died?

              Matthew (27:54): “Now then the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

              Mark (15:39): “And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.”

              Luke (23:47): “Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.”

              Was there an earthquake coinciding with the death of Jesus? Was Jerusalem overrun with zombies?

              Matthew (27:51-53): “The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

              Matthew tells us these ghouls “appeared unto many”. They did not appear unto Mark, Luke, or John. Mark and Luke mention the veil being rent, but no earthquake or zombies. John makes no mention of any of this.

              What did the roman soldiers do with Jesus’ clothes?

              Matthew (27:35): “And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” (on a side note this is one of those misquotes I was hinting at earlier)

              John (19:23-24): “The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.”

              These may all seem like minor details. And to be fair, each of them individually, are relatively minor. But taken together these discrepancies give the impression that these four witnesses are describing four entirely separate executions.
              All of the new testament authors agree that this was one of the most important moments in all of human history. They just don’t seem to agree on what actually happened.

              Moving on to the resurrection…

              Who discovered that Jesus’ body was not in the tomb?

              Matthew (28:1): “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.”

              Mark (16:1): “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.”

              Luke (24:10): “It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.”

              John (20:1): “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.”

              Was the stone still there when they got to the tomb?

              Matthew (28:2): “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.”

              Mark (16:4): “And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.”

              Luke (24:2): “And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.”

              John (20:1): “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.”

              Were there angels at Jesus’ tomb? Where they actually angels or just men? Was there one or two of them? Were they inside or outside the tomb? Were they there before Mary (and pals?) arrived or did they appear after?

              Matthew (28:2): “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.”

              Mark (16:5): “And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.”

              Luke (24:3-4): “And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.”

              John (20:11-12): “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.”

              What (if anything) did the man/men/angel/angels say?

              Matthew (28:5-7): “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”

              Mark (15:6-7): “Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”

              Luke (24:5-7): “And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

              John (20:13): “And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.”

              What did Mary do after she talked to the men/angels?

              Matthew (28:8): “And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.”

              Mark (16:8): “And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.”

              Luke (24:8-9): “And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.”

              John (20:14-15): “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”

              A and not-A. As you requested.

              • Charlie Sutton

                I do not have the time to answer each of your points in any detail, so I will not. You may think me a coward for not doing so, but I will simply say that I have been reading the Bible on an almost daily basis for some 45 years, and while I have had puzzlements, I have never found a contradiction. Even the “two creation stories” business is not a contradiction: Genesis 1:1-2:4 is an overview; the rest of Gen 2 is a detailed account of the creation of humanity, not a separate account.

                As for the last words question: Luke and John say that Jesus said something, and then “breathed his last/gave up the ghost.” Neither, however, says “this was the very last thing he said. Jesus said both things in close proximity to each other and to his death; one author chose one saying as most suited to his purposes and the other the other saying. Again, neither Gospel says, “This was the very last thing he said.”

                The time question is indeed an interesting one. We must remember that the society of Palestine was a mixture of cultures – Jews, with their own calendar and system of time-keeping, and Romans, again with their own calendar and time-keeping. John seems to have consistently used the Roman time system, which began the hours at midnight (as we do now), while the Jews reckoned their time from sunrise. If we insist that the authors of the Gospels should have all used the same time-keeping system, and fault them because they did not, we are not dealing with them fairly.

                Both thieves reviled Christ at first, and then one repented after a few hours, having seen how Jesus met his fate with faith and patience. It’s hardly unheard of for someone to change his mind.

                The clothing was divided between the members of the guard first on a share basis and then, when the question of Jesus’ very valuable tunic came up, by casting lots. I don’t know why that gives you a problem; all the texts say that the soldiers cast lots, while some add the detail that some pieces were given on a share basis. Since there was more than one article of clothing involved, it does not have to be all one or all the other.

                I have looked at that vast list of “contradictions” and saw nothing that does not have an answer, if carefully read and compared, taking into account the realities of differing cultures, the contexts of the statements made regarding their audience, the purposes of the human authors and so on.

                If your questions are honest ones, there are answers. If you are determined not to believe, then nothing will satisfy you.

          • JudgeRight

            Repent and believe because the kingdom is near.

            • Nox

              Are you telling me to repent and believe because the kingdom is near (people have been saying that for two thousand years with the kingdom no nearer now)? Or are you saying that these were Jesus’ last words on the cross (these don’t match any of the multiple conflicting versions in the gospels)?

              • JudgeRight

                What I am telling you is: 1. Repent and believe so the fog in your mind is cleared up; 2. After you fulfill condition 1 you will be able to perceive the answer to your question about Jesus’ last words.

  • Heidi

    The majority of these “contradictions” are easily explainable through context and the understanding of the how the different authors’ linguistic writing style varied. Using the above reference of “Mount Sinai” vs. “Mount Horeb”: both are generally considered to by scholars to be referencing the same geological place. A modern-day example would be how Beijing is sometimes referred to as “Peking” (look it up :). Same city – more than one way to reference it; same with the mountain.

  • TruthSeeker

    I am not sure what I believe here. I am searching for answers because this issue of “salvation” or “God” appears to have an impact beyond the life we now live. I personally consider my life or “afterlife” so important that I am not going to depend on someone else’s research to dictate how I believe when the impact carries such weight. I want to know the facts myself, research them myself, check the sources myself, because most informative research given by researchers is usually one sided, not clearly researched and works hard to prove their point even if they have to lie to prove it. I personally have been checking out some of the “contradictions” in the Bible and have found conflicts only when they are taken out of time, culture, and context. I have more, much more to look at before I can decide for myself as to what I believe is truly “out there”, but I will be very careful to research and learn for myself, not complacently believe someone else’s point of view as truth. Eternity, if there is one, is not something to be disregarded when there is so much doubt.

    • baal

      I have the same doubt about invisible pink unicorns in Bolivia that I have about the afterlife / eternity. Lacking evidence, I don’t believe the religious non-sense that is out there. It all looks entirely made up like a fiction book.

      • Tigueron

        You may also believe that there is intelligent life with our capacity or greater somewhere else in this universe, yet there is no real evidence that is true. Yet you still believe it possible, do you not?

        • baal

          I dispute that there is no real evidence. Mostly on what counts as ‘real’. Do we have direct evidence of TV shows from aliens? no and nothing like that.

          We can expect that such life must exist based on extrapolating life on this planet and from understanding biology, life should happen anywhere the environmental preconditions are met.

          What we don’t see is miracle producing messiahs or ghosts or other magic that has ever proven any supernatural noise including your god. Priests don’t shoot lightning bolts (and if they did, I’d look for a Tesla coil) and bushes aren’t talking when afire. If we had visible unicorns and invisible animals, then it’s possible to consider the case for invisible unicorns. We don’t have that case for the supernatural. In other words, you don’t even have a basis for extrapolation.

          • Tigueron

            Life can exist if the conditions are met, some life is bound by our knowledge of scientific possibilities, yes. But I wasn’t referring to simple living organisms who are predictable parts of the universe, part of the natural creation. I stated life forms of comparable or greater intellect. Which there is no real evidence for, I do not believe science can explain the unseen processes of what makes us unique, nor can it simulate it at the level that we are capable of. You can not fully measure thoughts, nor ideas, nor a person’s creativity (all things unseen). Yes you can find what part of the brain is stimulated when such things are in action but you cannot extract that information to prove what is actually happening. You personally have not been witness to any sort of miracle or supernatural phenomenon, but that doesn’t make anyone else’s experience non existent, especially since you are probably in the minority on the aspect. You cannot possibly know the experiences of 7+ billion people on the earth. Science has a limited scope it can not explain everything and all things. You want to be able to measure something that is beyond the scope of current scientific tools. You can make up eloquent theories that would not work in any scenario except one where faith is necessary, then continue in hypocritical stances that your godless “faith” is better explained than someone else’s theistic stance. Every person was born with an internal ability to discover God’s existence, there must be a reason why 90+ percent of the earth’s population is theistic. We are advanced creators, builders, and designers made in the image of a highly advanced (perfect) creator, builder, and designer among other things. Science does not and can not prove God’s non existence, its purpose is to allow us to discover this beautiful sandbox He has created. Observing creation we can see that “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands”. Science and all its methods are God designed, we have not created any sciences, we simply discover what was already in place. This sandbox as brilliant as it is, is but a shadow of the wonder of the place that is heaven.

            • baal

              What? You have sand in your pants? I’m very sorry to hear that. Does it Chafe?

              Let’s get back to the pink invisible unicorns. Turns out I can live a full and meaningful life (just this one short one we have) to have fun and maybe make everyone else’s life better (maximize weal) with out consideration of those unicorns. Why? ’cause noone has evidence that I should pretend that they exist or sufficient proof that I should treat them as real.

              The rest of your Wall-Of-Text™ is one fallacy after another – esp. argument ad populum. Also, please google, “valid evidence of absence” If something should exist but you look really hard and it’s not there, then that is evidence of it’s non-existance.

              • Tigueron

                Really, and what was your form of looking really hard and not finding it? Is your method better than someone else’s, whom looked harder and did find it? What if you aren’t willing to look as hard, then would your conclusion of not finding it be valid? If I said that I found a living dinosaur in the sea but in order for you to witness it, you had to dive really deep in the sea to see it. However, you refused to go past where the light of the sun did not reach, did you go deep enough to see what you didn’t believe was there? If you don’ t go past the surface, can you really experience what’s beneath it? You may continue to live your “meaningful” and “good” life. For even criminals “believe” they are doing the same. No, I am not equating you to a criminal, before you so “brilliantly” imply that I am, but virtually everyone’s perspective is always favorable when relating to themselves.

                • baal

                  I’m not sure how you go past the ‘surface’ of reality. There is only 1. If you’re talking altered mental states, yes, I’ve been there too. Turns out that altered mental states are studiable and there are a number of brain scan studies on them.

                  Also, you come across somewhat as sneering that I’ve not looked in all the places. In my experience, I’ve been mentally more places than the majority of christians I’ve met. Where I don’t go is delusion. I’m even working hard to keep irrationality out of my thinking.

                • Tigueron

                  I don’t think it is possible to go somewhere you’ve already arrived at ;).

                • baal

                  The person telling me that leprachauns stole me breakfast and other worlds are available to visit (but don’t eat the food there) if i just dance naked into a mushroom ring on the nights of full moons that I’m the delusional one? errr, oops, you’re in the waterwalking food summoner haploid zombie dude camp. It gets hard to keep you supernaturalists straight.

                • Tigueron

                  LOL, #YOLO right? Why live with such a boring outlook on life. #DOLO for me ;)

                • baal

                  what? dolo as you’re using it doesn’t make sense.

                  If you can live a better life now, why wait until you’re dead (and no longer existing)?

                • Tigueron

                  DOLO is appropriate as it pertains to phase 2 regardless of phase one.

                  Your mentality is erroneous when you believe or think that living faithfully in Christ is somehow not fun, or restrictive etc. See, living in Christ is not burdensome, it is quite the opposite. If living hedonistically was really great, so many of the rich and famous whom follow that lifestyle would not be so obviously miserable. There are 2 things that following Christ is not, burdensome and unfulfilling. I’m reminded of what a wise Apostle once said, I’ll paraphrase it, “All things to me are permissible, but not all things I do are beneficial”. You can convince yourself that everything you do is good, but that doesn’t prevent the consequences you reap of those things that are absolutely defined as not good, whether you believe it or not.

                • baal

                  I’m entirely and willfully a hedonist but I’m also a humanist so I care about reducing harm and helping out. I don’t see where those are contradictory or take one wiff of christianity. Also, I don’t think you get to use burn out path celebrities to write off all of hedonism the same way we shouldn’t write off all christians based on the various personal and institutional bad acts of priests, pastors and the RCC.

                  FWIW, living faithfully in christ is to live a life in delusion. I didn’t say it was unfun or overly restrictive (though I may hold those views, I didn’t say them).

              • Logics

                Yes. Like, “There is no such thing as a black swan. All swans are white.” This was long believed to be true in Europe. The first European to have claimed to have seen a black swan was mocked as a liar and a drunkard because to everyone else, there was no proof of a black swan.

                Truth is, to this day –and I am 46 years old– the only swan I have actually seen is a black swan. I first remember seeing one when I was about four or five. I saw another one (or possibly the same one?!? How long do they live?!?) when I was about 25. Out side of Jamaicans who have visited the Hope Zoo, I have not yet met anyone who has ever seen one.

                Lack of proof or evidence of existence is NOT evidence or proof of lack of existence.

                Up until recently, one “proof” that the NT was fabricated was the lack of historical evidence of a man called Pilate, Roman Governor of Judea. That lack of evidence has now disappeared. He is now known to have existed.

                There was once “proof” that the OT was fabricated because there was no evidence of Nineveh. Furthermore, a Biblical “contradiction” said it will be destroyed by fire and wiped out by water. Well Nineveh was found and there was proof of a great fire (which destroyed it) and an obvious flood (which buried it).

                Lack of proof is never evidence of non-existence. There have been scientists whose theories dictated the existence of certain sub-atomic particles which they never found proof of in their lifetimes, no matter how hard they searched. Scientists after them have found the evidence of these particles by building better equipment with more complete knowledge.

                Furthermore, if I say, “I have looked and found God,” you can conclude that I must be delusional because you looked and did not find any evidence of him. Maybe we are looking with different knowledge and equipment. Maybe if you knew what I know you might find him. Maybe if I knew what you know I might see that I am delusional after all.

                Don’t Only Look Outside.

  • JudgeRight

    The real contradiction in the Bible is that the Bible contradicts the lunatic desire of the atheists to live a godless life. Because the Bible drives them mad the atheist are driven to find some form of poor excuse why the Bible is not saying what it is saying. Once the atheist is bent on this track of prejudice and bigotry, then no discussion is ever possible – even if someone from the dead comes back they will still deny the fact, just to keep contradicting. It is by no mistake that the Bible calls those who say “there is no God” fools. Check Ps. 14:1 and 53:1. May God have mercy on you and deliver you from your foolishness.

    • baal

      That fools verse is about apostates and not really about atheists. Go re-read. Also, evidence for zombies is lacking. It’s not bigotry to point that out.

      • Tigueron

        Most atheists were former apostates as a good majority were believers at some point whom changed their beliefs gradually until there was no belief at all. As to the verse, the only ones who claim exactly that “There is no God” are atheists, that’s the definition of atheism, “the claim that there is no God”.

  • truthbetold

    Funny that most of the soo called contradictions arent contradictions at all. Just the poor reading and understanding of the interpreter.

  • Rod Martin, Jr.

    And “…watch them squirm?” Somehow that makes a mockery out of the idea of “friendly” anything. It certainly is not in keeping with “friendly atheist.”

    If your intent is to be friendly, then cordial debate would be in order. The objective to make fundamentalists squirm shows an altogether different intent than “friendliness.”

    Perhaps the real intent is one of showing them to be “wrong.” Rubbing their noses in it and making them bleed for their lunacy. That, of course, wouldn’t be very friendly, but it would be in line with the stated intent to “make them squirm.”

    Hypocritical? Perhaps.

    Fundamentalists have their own problems, though. They take things too literally. But it seems, from this article (and many others I’ve seen), that atheists also take things too literally. I don’t pretend to understand every so-called contradiction, but many of them really are no contradiction at all. They’re merely a misunderstanding from taking things too literally.

    Both Fundamentalists and atheists share in a laziness not to dig any deeper into the spirit of the word of God. Could it be that they are afraid to do so? I doubt it. They already know better. In fact, it may be that they think they “know-it-all” with regard to scripture. But isn’t this the attitude of the anti-scientist — to pretend to know it all, instead of showing the restraint that skepticism seems to demand?

    Laziness and arrogance are not the exclusive domain of atheists with regard to scripture. Plenty of Christians do this, too.

    2 Corinthians 3:6 makes it clear that the letter (literal) leads to death (spiritual oblivion). Only the spirit of scripture (the deeper meaning) leads to everlasting life. But even many Christians don’t realize that they are primarily spirit, and not the body. So, they get a very confused idea about what this “everlasting life” is all about. From personal experience, I know that I am not this temporary Homo sapiens body. I’ve experienced dozens of miracles. And, as a scientist, that’s saying a lot.

    Two versions of creation? Hardly. There is creation of the universe in Genesis 1 and in the Day of Rest that makes it perfect (and if there were any physicists here, they might suddenly realize what this means, if they were humble enough to look). But humility and restraint are the better paradigms for science. Skepticism contains the potent bias of “doubt.” Tsk, tsk. It didn’t take intelligence to discover this flaw; it took humility.

    The so-called “second creation” was long after the universe had been bumping along — long after the Big Bang.

    When I studied electronic engineering back in the 70s, I came across something called a “tank circuit.” Quite simply, it was a radio tuning circuit. I had already long been familiar with physics, including absorption and emission spectra used by scientists to determine the flavors of stars. One moment after reading of this wonderful “tank circuit,” with its parallel coil and capacitor, I suddenly realized that I was surrounded by trillions of tank circuits. Every atom is a tank circuit. It consists of a coil (electron orbiting the nucleus) and a capacitor (negative electron separated from a positive nucleus by a space — the most natural dielectric).

    Why relate this story? Because it shows that thinking outside the box can reveal things you may never have considered. Having the humility to stand back and look for patterns may reveal wonderful new things that even your teachers haven’t seen. Humility means not pre-judging. And I bet nearly every scientific discovery came with a good dollop of humility. When you pre-judge the Bible, you insult your own potential for discovery.

    As both an artist and a scientist, I have long worked from both sides of the brain, but also from the spirit. Now, that is a powerful combination.

    Peace.

  • Durham Cool

    I apologize in as much as I am able to for the lack of intellectual engagement and cultural relevance of the North American church over the past 100 years. As those following the One who said “those who follow Me shall not walk in darkness”, “love with all your mind,” and claimed to be the Truth, we have made a poor showing. I think many of us Western Christians have settled with a faith which mostly works and avoid asking certain questions for fear we may not like what we learn – we don’t turn over certain rocks for fear of what may crawl out. I heard Larry Crabb quote someone as saying, “Simplicity on the near side of confusion is worthless…but simplicity on the far side is priceless.” This lack of courage (not wading into the confusion) does not reflect well on us whose God is, I am guessing, big enough to “handle the truth” and make good on His claims. All I can say is, “we’re working on it” and what I do know compels me to ask, seek, and knock, with reasonable anticipation.

  • SimpleOne

    Mt. Horeb and Mt. Sinai are the same mountain, it has two names. When you fail to do your research before you post it only serves to make you look ignorant. Whether you believe in God or not, I promise that research will reveal the vast majority of your so called contradictions are not contradictions at all, you simply lack an understanding of the of the original text. You cannot take biblical text literally, especially the old testament, the true meaning must be researched in it’s original language, customs, and traditions in order to be clearly understood. Trust me, I’ve spent 24 years of my life trying to prove these contradictions, ended up looking pretty stupid most of the time simply by doing what you just did. You’ve lost credibility with that one single post, I’d remove it if I were you. Good luck with your work.

  • NOAMI IFOUNDIT

    As someone else comments about EGO, without a doubt: IT IS MR. EGO the problem, it is always contradicting, trying to convince others with logical and science thinking something that it is beyond their scope. A factor is missing in the equation and still incomplete in those minds. Reality: man’s mind is finite and the Bible is beyond it. A closer look to Nature will revealed the truth: check out Psalm 19:1-6. I am a Science person from University, and also a computer programmer and we, those who create the code for those programs that you are using to create this ‘Bible contradiction drawing’, know that computers are stupid not perfect. The languages that are used to get result go as ‘if’ [conditional to], or ‘if and only if [another conditional]‘. Therefore the result will be something that falls into those conditionals as: FALSE OR TRUE.
    The same ‘if’ that goes into the bank notes, an invested vehicle, that the banks sell to clients, THAT NO ONE READS JUST OVERLOOK IT, promising a 10% gain to the investor and the ‘if’ [the conditional] the bank notes have gains in the Investment; in other words if they lost the investor gets nothing on the 10% and along the investment goes as a LOST down the drain. I am a professional Investment advisor too so I know what I am talking about. My point is: there is a lot to uncover and to understand on the Bible before you get into conclusive thinking. Dice are thrown and chances to win are just ‘one’. Check 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must ALL appear before the judgement seat … that everyone may receive the things done in his [her] body …” So, we have ONE CHANCE to win or LOOSE in this mortal body; for whatever decision we made will affect our life forever. Chances to lose are many.

  • gb church

    In line play- speaks- what makes you a preacher?- my bible studies,year on year.- you study the bible?- to be closer to it.- or father from it.- how,what?- had you read right the first time there would be no need for a second proof of it,till now,you read your own words.- i translate.- you assume.- the wording is difficult.- you study the bible to understand,but a lack of understanding yourself is the problem,and not the bibles refusal to be deciphered.- i am a knowledgeable man,a university lecturer.- yet you are trying to understand that love is all,with the heart of a stone thrower.- i have never thrown a stone.- a mind,unknowing,lifts a million arms to pitch,and rests easy in ignorant conscience.- did you read the bible,just once?- yes.- and i can never read it again?- no.- then,what am i to do?- ask God.- and,not myself.- now your learning.- are you Jesus?- try harder.- but, you are so close.- only as close as you.- but, i don’t see.- knowing existance is the basis of sight.- so,i will see?- let there be light.

  • Cameron

    Hey Mr. Mehta, I was doing some research and reading what other atheist were saying when I found your blog, I was refreshed by your well spoken, respectful manor of writing. Your arches are really neat. I honestly will probably not find your blog again because my research is done, but I just wanted to say that on the contradictions I did read I could recall the answer for them. I know countless Christians do not know enough about their faith to even explain it, which is a shame, but there are no true contradictions in the Bible. If one simply reads the Bible, it will seem like it does, this is where we must remember it was written in Hebrew and Greek and when translation takes place . If you use the KJV and reference back to the original text and the context it’s written in you will find how it all fits together. I know this may not be something you are interested in, but I just thought I would mention it. Thank you for your time and friendliness, have a good night.

  • Claudom

    Was just on this topic with some Christian on youtube and she claimed that the Bible was consistent and had many fulfilled prophecies… She then further pointed out the example of Daniel predicting the fall of Alexander the Great etc. That passage merely talked about some Ram with horns and running and dying… These religious people are so sad and unreasonable

  • God

    All the “ho-Ly” text hold SOME truth and are also filled with lies.
    They arent “HOLY” at all unless they inspire a person only to luv
    and live in luv with all their earthLEY famLEY. God Lives is Luv
    his Names are not as important as his intellectual truths and
    his sentimental picture of perfections on earth. Many places of which are self
    evident they are heavan unmolested or improved. gOD DoeS sPeak
    and he can write his own words. He doesnt need a profit to talk for him and
    if a man chooses to speak for God then his mouth will only speak the
    words of Luv and comUnity. The whole world has been deceived by
    this book “Bible” either that its the word of God or that God doesnt exist.
    The same as theories we as humans thought were once true but have been shown to be false.. the earth is flat.. theory of relativity… not possible to run a 4 minute mile and ect. The best place god write is in your heart and in a email and his message is one of intellegents and luv. He incourages you to think for yourselves
    and to luv each other. He wants you to be free people, to live free, to not pay for living and to cooperate. He wants you to see that you are his children and that as his children you are also Gods. God can destroy the earth.. bombs.. they can make the earth more beautiful, they can let people live or starve. God is a man.. and he would point out that his kids are both men and women. God luvs romance and his wives and one of the ideas he really luves is equality of all people.
    God luvs YOU even if your a jerk, he just hopes you will be happier someday and not be such a ass. He leaves you with this to ponder GOD US A FamLEY


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