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Featured Is the Bible internally consistent?

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by robocop (actually), Jul 1, 2021.

  1. robocop (actually)

    robocop (actually) Well-Known Member
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    Never mind whether science and the Bible coincide to you.

    Is the Bible internally consistent in your view and please explain your view.

    This thread might be featured!
     
  2. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

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    No! The Bible was written and rewritten by imperfect humans. There is a tendency to make a fetish out of any "scripture".
     
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  3. Wildswanderer

    Wildswanderer Well-Known Member

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    Of course. Like every book you have to understand whether you're currently reading history or poetry or theology... It's many books in one.. which is why pulling out a quote and using it to bolster your position really doesn't do a lot of good unless you give the entire context
     
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  4. AlexanderG

    AlexanderG Active Member

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    I mean, let me whip up a Top Ten list for you?

    1. In one part of the Bible, it says god hates jealously. In another part, it says god is a jealous god.

    2. In one part of the Bible, it says god does not lie. In other parts, it says he put false words into the mouths of prophets and that he sent powerful delusions to deceive people.

    3. God is said to be perfectly just and perfectly merciful, but mercy is the suspension of justice. This is a logical contradiction.

    4. God is said to be all-powerful, but he could not help his people defeat an army because they had "chariots of iron."

    5. God is said to be all-knowing, but there are multiple places in the Bible where god regrets how events played out, or where he changes his mind.

    6a. The logical sequence of a god sacrificing himself to himself, to create a loophole in rules that he presides over, is incoherent.

    6b. From an outsider perspective, the Bible reads like an evolving theology with layers of ad hoc additions over time, in many cases trying to fuse together different interpretations that were popular in the early years. For example, in all of the earliest writings of the New Testament, there is no claim that Jesus is god or the son of god, or that he was bodily resurrected (many stories and religions in that region at the time had non-bodily resurrections of central figures.) The god-is-Jesus claim only comes in the last gospel which was written two to three generations later. The bodily resurrection sections also came later. To me, it seems like an apocalyptic preacher gathered a charismatic following, then unexpectedly was executed, leaving his followers to struggle to frame his death in a way that made sense. "He was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins" then "Oh, and he was the son of god, which made him a really good sacrifice" which conflicted with "No, he was actually god in the flesh" and was harmonized as "He was the son of god AND god at the same time, somehow, so we don't have to have interdenominational fighting about this anymore, ok?" There was an entire early branch of Christianity that thought Yaweh and Jesus were separate gods, but they were wiped out by the other Christians and their writings destroyed.

    7. The notion of hell is very vague in the New Testament, if not inconsistent. Where Jesus supposedly refers to hell in the NT, he is referencing OT scriptures that were not talking about an afterlife. Universalists can point to just as many passages to support the notion that everyone is eventually saved.

    8. There is no coherent description of a Satan figure in the Bible. The poems attributed to him are actually polemical criticisms of real historical kings in the Middle East during the OT. Satan only means "adversary" and there are human beings who are referred to as Satan in the Bible merely because they are opposing another protagonist.

    9. The Bible says "God is not the author of confusion" but there are tens of thousands of Christian denominations, all claiming mutually contradictory paths to salvation, descriptions of god's attributes, claims about what god wants, whether to be baptized and how to be baptized, etc etc.

    10. The OT regularly depicts god as one of many other gods, but stronger than these other gods (Henotheism). His priests get in miracle battles with priests of other gods, who can also do miracles but not as well. He commands "you shall have no other gods before me." Words used to describe him can be traced back to a god who was part of pantheons worshipped in earlier times in that region. By contrast, the NT and Christianity recast Yaweh into the triune god of a monothestic faith where there are in fact no other gods.
     
    #4 AlexanderG, Jul 1, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
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  5. robocop (actually)

    robocop (actually) Well-Known Member
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    I'm sure some theologians have answers to these.
     
  6. AlexanderG

    AlexanderG Active Member

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    I know they do. I've read and listened to them, and found them unconvincing. I've even seem them argue that certain passages mean the exact opposite of what the plain language states, because it is necessary for the coherence of their particular theology. Many people have progressed along the path to atheism by reading the Bible.

    I see that you're a Mormon. I hope you've read the CES Letter? I've always been amused by the term "anti-Mormon literature." If a claim is actually true, then it doesn't need to be protected from questioning, right? Only false claims need to be propped up by restricting, hiding, and suppressing any opposing explanations. Right? I also recommend you read up on the BITE Model.
     
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  7. robocop (actually)

    robocop (actually) Well-Known Member
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    Some things are engineered to alter people's beliefs which is why I stay away from them and I'm familiar with Steve Hasson's BITE model.
     
  8. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
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    Certain books within all of the various books in it seem to have different opinions from one another. I'd dismiss many of the claims 1-10 Alex has put up though. For example #1 badly paraphrases two unreferenced scripture verses to make them appear contradictory when in actuality they are unrelated, not counterposed. The LORD doesn't allow a man to be jealous of his neighbor's wife or his neighbor's property, but the LORD allows a man to be jealous of his own wife. This has got nothing to do with the LORD being jealous for Israel, so the claim that there is a contradiction is groundless. This is an example of very bad arguing which actually hurts the proposition instead of supporting it. I've seen large web sites with similar terrible arguments claiming hundreds or thousands of bible contradictions, and to find one actual contradiction requires wading through tons of useless ones. There are a some, but there are not hundreds and thousands.
     
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  9. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Student People Stabber

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    Nope.
    I can go on all day about inconsistencies and contradictions it contains.
     
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  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Different contexts / different authors / different agendas
     
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  11. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    I believe it is but without supernatural guidance the scriptures are not understood fully.
     
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  12. AlexanderG

    AlexanderG Active Member

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    Actually, I was referring to:

    "Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19.
    "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic." James 3:14.
    (God sends jealous people to hell. Incidentally, he also boasts and occasionally lies)

    ~ versus ~

    "For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God" Exodus 34:14, and
    "For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." Deuteronomy 4:24.
    (God is a jealous person)

    Seems pretty clear to me. But then, the opposite conclusion seems clear to you. Which interpretation lets you get saved, and which lets you get to heaven? Author of confusion, just a little? Or does god get to do things himself, but can condemn humans who do the same? So morality is relative and depends on who is doing it? It's really a mess, any way you slice it. o_O
     
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  13. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Out of a hat and into the blue.
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    How am I supposed to know if you are getting that kind of guidance? How are you supposed to know if I am getting it? A person can claim anything.
     
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  14. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
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    I hear you, but its apples and oranges. A internal contradiction is more like what Jayhawker is pointing to such as different agendas and contexts. Different agendas may not be consistent with one another: If Jesus were to suggest breaking a law then he could be inconsistent with an author who said never to break a law. That would be an internal inconsistency, not just a variation of what people were saying in church or a figure of speech versus a literal statement.

    People aren't allowed to be jealous of one another's things, but its got nothing to do with the Lord being jealous over Israel. 'Jealous God' is a figure of speech. Lord does not have human hands, a heart to get jealous.

    Points 3 through 10 aren't about contradictions in the verses but are about contradictions in things people say. For example you say "It is said." What people say doesn't affect the internal consistency of canon. It isn't always consistent but for other reasons.
     
  15. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

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    Here are some Bible contradictions:
     
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  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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  17. AlexanderG

    AlexanderG Active Member

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    Right, thoroughly persuasive evidence can alter people's beliefs. The fact that you feel you must "stay away from" sources like the CES Letter (which is a resoundingly clear, concise, and damning exposition) puts you squarely in the category of Information Control under the BITE Model. Read that category and tell me it's not an almost perfect fit for Mormon policies, along with all the other categories for that matter.

    I just find this sad. Whatever, I'm not going to bother you any more. If my beliefs are wrong then I want them to be altered. You seem to care more that your beliefs are comforting and inspiring, than you care that they are true. I think you're harming yourself, but as long as you don't harm others then you're obviously free to make your own decisions, like tithing.
     
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  18. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    By knowing God yourself then you won't need to take anyone's word for it but God's own.
     
  19. Dan From Smithville

    Dan From Smithville Out of a hat and into the blue.
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    So you know that God reveals everything to each individual He guides. How can I be sure about that?
     
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  20. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Only God can convince you of it.
     
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