Following on from Nox’s Wall of Text, Part 1, here is part 2 for your edification. Grab a cuppa and settle in to be educated:
According to Genesis 1:10-12, the first plants were growing on earth a day before the Sun existed (also as I mentioned, there was sunlight for 3 days before the Sun existed). This seems a little iffy to me.
Genesis 1 tells an account of the first six days of creation. Then as soon as it finishes, Genesis 2 gives us a completely different account. In Genesis 1 Adam and Eve are created at the same time after the animals. In Genesis 2, god creates Adam, gives him the rundown on the fruit policy (before Eve exists [slight oversight on god’s part]), then he creates all the animals, then has Adam name the animals, and after all this he creates Eve.
In Genesis 3:8-9 Adam and Eve hid behind a tree and god couldn’t find them.
Ok this one isn’t so much an accuracy issue as it is just something that has always struck me as really f*cked up (even when I believed the Earth was 6,000 years old). In Genesis 2:17 god tells Adam “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”. We see this repeated in Eve’s answer to the talking serpent (did I mention there’s a talking snake in this story?) “’You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die”. The talking snake tells Eve “You will not surely die, For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (v4-5). Obviously one of these characters is lying. We found out in verse 7 after they eat the fruit and “Then the eyes of both of them were opened” (also Adam lives another 930 years according to Genesis 5:5). The kicker to this is that after god banishes the humans he uses almost the exact same words as the serpent to describe the effects of the tree, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil”. So according to the bible, the talking snake (commonly thought to be the devil, though Genesis makes no mention of this) was telling the truth and god was lying.
In Genesis 4:14, when Cain tells god “every one that findeth me shall slay me”, aren’t there supposed to be only 3 humans on the planet at this point in the story? And then Cain finds a wife. And they build a city (Genesis 4:17).
In Genesis 6:13 god becomes distraught because there is too much violence going on down on Earth (this is the one stated reason that god gives Noah in the flood story “the earth is filled with violence through them”). So what is god’s solution to all this violence? You guessed it. He kills everyone (well not everyone, there was this one guy, and some animals).
So god decides to kill everyone with a global flood, but first he gets a 600 year old man, and tells him to gather 7 of every “clean” animal and 2 of every “unclean” animal (by the way, if Noah was before Moses, how did he know which animals were unclean) and put them on a 450’x75’x45’ boat (presumably including animals which have never been indigenous to northern Africa) (and since we know from Genesis 1 that animals don’t evolve, then Noah’s gonna need 7 of each subspecies. So that’s not 7 elephants on the ark. It’s 28 elephants) (and 7 each of the 30,000 or so species of spiders) (and 7 isn’t even really enough genetic diversity to propagate a species) (seriously the math on this only works if you assume a very small number of species [much smaller than the number that can be seen to exist today]).
As for the flood itself, it is said to have covered the mountains (Genesis 7:19). So that would have to be enough water to raise the sea level of the entire planet (meaning every ocean at the same time) thousands of feet. This brings up the question of where all that water went afterward. Then there is the question of why the geological record does not mesh with the flood story.
According to Genesis 8:20 the first thing Noah does after getting off the boat is start killing his specimens (the ones he was trying to keep alive on the ark) and sacrificing them to god. Wouldn’t it have been a more efficient use of ark space to take 6 of each clean animal and call the 7th a drowned offering than taking 7 and killing the 7th as soon as you land?
This is as good a time as any to mention the shape of the Earth. Now the bible never explicitly says ‘the earth is flat’. But there are numerous sentences (some from the mouth of god himself) that simply would not make any sense unless they were describing a certain specific form. Take a quick look at Genesis 1:14-17, Genesis 11:3-9, Psalm 93:1, Isaiah 40:21-22, Matthew 4:8, 1st Samuel 2:8, Job 38:13, Deuteronomy 13:7, Revelation 8:10, Daniel 4:10-11 or Joshua 10:12, and ask yourself what is being described in these passages.
Which brings us to the tower of Babel, In Genesis 11, the people of Earth being of one language decide to build a tower to heaven. When god finds out about it he is worried that it will work, so he steps in and interrupts this moment of universal human cooperation to confound their language and scatter them so that they can’t finish their tower to heaven. Yes, it literally says that, “let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven”. And we see in verse 6 that god was worried they would succeed if he didn’t intervene. Leaving to one side the issue that god supposedly wants people to get to heaven (enough to kill himself to get them in), and that these people who would have died a couple thousand years before Jesus was born and thus would have no possible opportunity of converting to christianity and getting into heaven through the front door, the real problem is that this passage portrays heaven as a physical location above Earth. We have sent manned missions to the moon, probes to the edges of the solar system, and photographed much of the galaxy outside our own solar system, without finding “heaven”. The al Burj tower in Dubai (not far from where Babel would be if it were a true story) stands 828 meters (2,717) feet and it does not reach heaven (there are also [as far as I know] no accounts anywhere of airplanes colliding with angels in midair). If god had not stepped in surely construction would have been halted by the thinning oxygen as the ancient builders began to get into the upper levels of the atmosphere. And there is really only so tall you can go with a tower made of brick and mortar. And how did these people even have a concept of heaven? There’s been no mention of heaven in front of any of the human characters anywhere in the ten chapters preceding this incident.
Since the real topic at hand is the new testament (specifically the gospels), and since the stories of Abraham and Moses are each as complex (and full of plot holes) as the story(s) of Jesus I’m gonna skip ahead a bit, but I would like to mention one other thing in relation to the old testament. And that is the inherent contradiction between “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt kill”. Some of the worst atrocities in literary history are commanded by the judeo-christian god and his prophets in the old testament. And the law of Moses (the same place you find “thou shalt not kill”) orders execution for hundreds of innocuous acts from working on the sabbath (Exodus 30:15), to a girl not being able to prove her virginity to her husband (Deuteronomy 22:13-25) to cursing your parents (Leviticus 20:9). After giving Moses this “moral” code, god commands Moses to tell the Israelites to commit genocide, offering them the promised land, but telling them that first they must murder every man woman and child currently occupying the land. The god who tells Moses “thou shalt not kill” tells Moses “But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them” (Deuteronomy 20:16-17). This is also the same god who is Jesus later in the book.
Which brings us to Jesus…
Thanks again Nox – and once again, to be continued!
Update from Dan: I put some paragraph breaks in here… I just couldn’t take it.
Update from Custador (AKA Mike): Censorship! Booo! :p