Saturday, 11 August 2012

Things Christians Say, part 28: No contradictions in the bible

A weekly series of responses to the things Christians say to atheists, based on the video reproduced here on 30th January 2012.  The aim is to tackle one every weekend, to give both a moderate, polite response to each question ('Piano'), followed by a more forceful rebuttal of the same question ('Forte'). 

There are no contradictions in the bible.


It is often said that there are no contradictions in the bible.  Even to the casual observer, this seems not to be true and it is surprising to observe the verbal gymnastics that people employ in order to prove their claims.

In fact, the more you look at the details the less true the claim appears to be.  I happened across this excellent diagram recently.  The image at the top identifies in the white histogram columns the number of apparent contradictions in each book of the bible, Old Testament and New.  The red lines show the connections between the claimed contradictions.  The text below the diagram gives the questions and the references of the verses involved.  I think you might find it worthy of a little study. 

Contradictions in the bible - reduced scale.
Find the original diagram at this link.
You won't be able to read the text on that reduced version but you can find the full resolution diagram at this link.(8 Mbytes)



Looking at the diagram above, notice also that the New Testament is a hotbed of 'self-inconsistency'.  You can see that from the high concentration of red links to the right hand end of the picture. 

This is in spite of its 'questionable' provenance.  By that I mean, of course, the way that the contents of the cannon of the bible were cherry-picked from the available works to make what was intended to be a consistent story.  Wouldn't you think that the experts who agreed the contents of the bible might have been a little more careful?

Ultimately the resolutions of these contradictions are not important to those of us who are no longer Christians.  They appear to me to be a very considerable headache to those who wish us to believe in the inerrant truth of their bible.

Last week:  Atheists just don't want to be held accountable for their own actions
Next week:  Why do you hate god?


Grundy said...

That's the best infographic ever.

YouKnowI'mRight said...

Seriously?? I've always considered myself to be a part of the Christian faith and I could talk your head off for hours on the contradictions that are in the Bible. King James may have his name on it but it was many, many men that comprised THAT version of it. Just like in today's churches (and life in general), there are holy hypocrites EVERYWHERE and I've never been foolish enough to think they were ALL "inspired by God" as they translated, added to it, etc.. King James obviously had quite a few women haters/bashers as well..I know God has some specific punishments for each gender but I don't think even God hated females as bad as they get done in the old AND new testaments. I know, the NEW Testements too! When Jesus was teaching and showing love, those like Paul kept emphasizing on women keeping their mouths shut! They couldn't even testify or speak in churchs in the New Testament and the Old Testament itself has many female heroines that were prohets! Read all of the Bible, all that you can and I can't help but gaurantee you'll feel in your heart the parts that are devined and then the "space fillers". That's not saying to pick and choose either, I can't stand it when people do that as well..

Anonymous said...

The Word of God will always seem to have contradictions to those who do not have the Spirit of God within them and have not properly interpret the Word of God the way God intended to it to be interpreted. After all, he wrote it through men by His Holy Spirit.