IMPORTANT: Please keep in mind that by “inconsistencies” I do not necessarily mean “contradictions.” Even though accepted and common definitions of the two terms often make them synonymous, I make a subtle distinction which is reflected in at least some of the accepted definitions. What I have in mind is that an inconsistency involves a lack of harmonious uniformity, regularity, steady continuity, or agreement among the verses cited. Thus, whereas a contradiction is necessarily an inconsistency, an inconsistency is not necessarily a contradiction. But certainly some of the listed biblical inconsistencies could be taken as biblical contradictions.
GE 1:28 God encourages reproduction.
LE 12:1-8 God requires purification rites following childbirth which, in effect, makes childbirth a sin. (Note: The period for purification following the birth of a daughter is twice that for a son.)
GE 2:4, 4:26, 12:8, 22:14-16, 26:25 God was already known as “the Lord” (Jahveh or Jehovah) much earlier than the time of Moses.
EX 6:2-3 God was first known as “the Lord” (Jahveh or Jehovah) at the time of the Egyptian Bondage, during the life of Moses.
GE 4:15, DT 32:19-27, IS 34:8 God is a vengeful god.
EX 15:3, IS 42:13, HE 12:29 God is a warrior. God is a consuming fire.
EX 20:5, 34:14, DT 4:24, 5:9, 6:15, 29:20, 32:21 God is a jealous god.
LE 26:7-8, NU 31:17-18, DT 20:16-17, JS 10:40, JG 14:19, EZ 9:5-7 The Spirit of God is (sometimes) murder and killing.
NU 25:3-4, DT 6:15, 9:7-8, 29:20, 32:21, PS 7:11, 78:49, JE 4:8, 17:4, 32:30-31, ZP 2:2 God is angry. His anger is sometimes fierce.
2SA 22:7-8 (KJV) “I called to the Lord; … he heard my voice; … The earth trembled and quaked, … because he was angry. Smoke came from his nostrils. Consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.”
EZ 6:12, NA 1:2, 6 God is jealous and furious. He reserves wrath for, and takes revenge on, his enemies. “… who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and rocks are thrown down by him.”
2CO 13:11, 14, 1JN 4:8, 16 God is love.
GA 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit of God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
GE 7:1 Noah was righteous.
JB 1:1,8, JB 2:3 Job was righteous.
LK 1:6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous.
JA 5:16 Some men are righteous, (which makes their prayers effective).
1JN 3:6-9 Christians become righteous (or else they are not really Christians).
RO 3:10, 3:23, 1JN 1:8-10 No one was or is righteous.
GE 11:26 Terah was 70 years old when his son Abram was born.
GE 11:32 Terah was 205 years old when he died (making Abram 135 at the time).
GE 12:4, AC 7:4 Abram was 75 when he left Haran. This was after Terah died. Thus, Terah could have been no more than 145 when he died; or Abram was only 75 years old after he had lived 135 years.
GE 12:7, 17:1, 18:1, 26:2, 32:30, EX 3:16, 6:2-3, 24:9-11, 33:11, NU 12:7-8, 14:14, JB 42:5, AM 7:7-8, 9:1 God is seen.
EX 33:20, JN 1:18, 1JN 4:12 God is not seen. No one can see God’s face and live. No one has ever seen him.
GE 17:1, 35:11, 1CH 29:11-12, LK 1:37 God is omnipotent. Nothing is impossible with (or for) God.
JG 1:19 Although God was with Judah, together they could not defeat the plainsmen because the latter had iron chariots.
GE 22:1-12, DT 8:2 God tempts (tests) Abraham and Moses.
JG 2:22 God himself says that he does test (tempt).
1CO 10:13 Paul says that God controls the extent of our temptations.
JA 1:13 God tests (tempts) no one.
GE 27:28 “May God give you … an abundance of grain and new wine.”
DT 7:13 If they follow his commandments, God will bless the fruit of their wine.
PS 104:15 God gives us wine to gladden the heart.
JE 13:12 “… every bottle shall be filled with wine.”
JN 2:1-11 According to the author of John, Jesus’ first miracle was turning water to wine.
RO 14:21 It is good to refrain from drinking wine.
GE 49:2-28 The fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel are: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin.
RE 7:4-8 (Leaves out the tribe of Dan, but adds Manasseh.)
EX 9:3-6 God destroys all the cattle (including horses) belonging to the Egyptians.
EX 9:9-11 The people and the cattle are afflicted with boils.
EX 12:12, 29 All the first-born of the cattle of the Egyptians are destroyed.
EX 14:9 After having all their cattle destroyed, then afflicted with boils, and then their first-born cattle destroyed, the Egyptians pursue Moses on horseback.
EX 12:13 The Israelites have to mark their houses with blood in order for God to see which houses they occupy and “pass over” them.
PR 15:3, JE 16:17, 23:24-25, HE 4:13 God is everywhere. He sees everything. Nothing is hidden from God.
EX 12:37, NU 1:45-46 The number of men of military age who take part in the Exodus is given as more than 600,000. Allowing for women, children, and older men would probably mean that a total of about 2,000,000 Israelites left Egypt.
1KI 20:15 All the Israelites, including children, number only 7000 at a later time.
EX 20:8-11, 31:15-17, 35:1-3 No work is to be done on the Sabbath, not even lighting a fire. The commandment is permanent, and death is required for infractions.
MK 2:27-28 Jesus says that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (after his disciples were criticized for breaking the Sabbath).
RO 14:5, CN 2:14-16 Paul says the Sabbath commandment was temporary, and to decide for yourself regarding its observance.
EX 20:12, DT 5:16, MT 15:4, 19:19, MK 7:10, 10:19, LK 18:20 Honor your father and your mother is one of the ten commandments. It is reinforced by Jesus.
MT 10:35-37, LK 12:51-53, 14:26 Jesus says that he has come to divide families; that a man’s foes will be those of his own household; that you must hate your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and even your own life to be a disciple.
MT 23:9 Jesus says to call no man on earth your father.
EX 20:13, DT 5:17, MK 10:19, LK 18:20, RO 13:9, JA 2:11 God prohibits killing.
GE 34:1-35:5 God condones trickery and killing.
EX 32:27, DT 7:2, 13:15, 20:1-18 God orders killing.
2KI 19:35 An angel of the Lord slaughters 185,000 men.
(Note: See Atrocities section for many more examples.)
EX 23:7 God prohibits the killing of the innocent.
NU 31:17-18, DT 7:2, JS 6:21-27, 7:19-26, 8:22-25, 10:20, 40, 11:8-15, 20, JG 11:30-39, 21:10-12, 1SA 15:3 God orders or approves the complete extermination of groups of people which include innocent women and/or children.
(Note: See Atrocities section for many other examples of the killing of innocents.)
EX 34:6, DT 7:9-10, TS 1:2 God is faithful and truthful. He does not lie.
2TH 2:11-12 God deludes people, making them believe what is false, so as to be able to condemn them. (Note: some versions use the word persuade here. The context makes clear, however, that deception is involved.)
1SA 9:15-17 The Lord tells Samuel that Saul has been chosen to lead the Israelites and will save them from the Philistines.
1SA 15:35 The Lord is sorry that he has chosen Saul.
1SA 31:4-7 Saul commits suicide and the Israelites are overrun by the Philistines.
1SA 17:50 David killed Goliath.
2SA 21:19 Elhanan killed Goliath. (Note: Some translations insert the words “the brother of” before Elhanan. These are an addition to the earliest manuscripts in an apparent attempt to rectify this inconsistency.)
1SA 31:4-6 Saul killed himself by falling on his sword.
2SA 1:2-10 Saul, at his own request, was slain by an Amalekite.
2SA 21:12 Saul was killed by the Philistines on Gilboa.
1CH 10:13-14 Saul was slain by God.
1KI 3:12 God made Solomon the wisest man that ever lived, yet ….
1KI 11:1-13 Solomon loved many foreign women (against God’s explicit prohibition) who turned him to other gods (for which he deserved death).
1KI 3:12, 4:29, 10:23-24, 2CH 9:22-23 God made Solomon the wisest king and the wisest man that ever lived. There never has been nor will be another like him.
MT 12:42, LK 11:31 Jesus says: “… now one greater than Solomon is here.”
1KI 16:23 Omri became king in the thirty-first year of Asa’s reign and he reigned for a total of twelve years.
1KI 16:28-29 Omri died, and his son Ahab became king in the thirty- eighth year of Asa’s reign. (Note: Thirty-one through thirty-eight equals a reign of seven or eight years.)
2KI 2:11 Elijah went up to heaven.
JN 3:13 Only the Son of Man (Jesus) has ever ascended to heaven.
2CO 12:2-4 An unnamed man, known to Paul, went up to heaven and came back.
HE 11:5 Enoch was translated to heaven.
2KI 8:25-26 Ahaziah was 22 years old when he began his reign.
2CH 22:2 He was 42 when he began his reign.
[Note: Some translations use “twenty-two” here in an attempt to rectify this discrepancy. The Hebrew is clear, however, that 2CH 22:2 is 42. The Hebrew words involved are Strong’s H705 and H8147, “forty” and “two,” respectively.]
ER 2:3-64 (Gives the whole congregation as 42,360 while the actual sum of the numbers is about 30,000.)
JB 2:3-6, 21:7-13, 2TI 3:12 The godly are persecuted and chastised but the wicked grow old, wealthy, and powerful, unchastised by God.
PS 55:23, 92:12-14, PR 10:2-3, 27-31, 12:2, 21 The lives of the wicked are cut short. The righteous flourish and obtain favor from the Lord.
PR 14:15-18 The simple believe everything and acquire folly; the prudent look where they are going and are crowned with knowledge.
MT 18:3, LK 18:17 You must believe as little children do.
1CO 1:20, 27 God has made the wisdom of the world foolish so as to shame the wise.
PR 16:4 God made the wicked for the “day of evil.”
MT 11:25, MK 4:11-12 God and Jesus hide some things from some people.
JN 6:65 No one can come to Jesus unless it is granted by God.
RO 8:28-30 Some are predestined to be called to God, believe in Jesus, and be justified.
RO 9:15-18 God has mercy on, and hardens the hearts of, whom he pleases.
2TH 2:11-12 God deceives the wicked so as to be able to condemn them.
1TI 2:3-4, 2PE 3:9 [Yet] God wants all to be saved.
PR 30:5 Every word of God proves true.
JE 8:8 The scribes falsify the word of God.
JE 20:7, EZ 14:9, 2TH 2:11-12 God himself deceives people.
(Note: Some versions translate deceive as “persuade.” The context makes clear, however, that deception is involved.)
EZ 26:15-21 God says that Tyre will be destroyed and will never be found again.
(Nebudchanezzar failed to capture or destroy Tyre. It is still inhabited.)
DN 5:1 (Gives the title of “king” to Belshazzar although Belshazzar was actually the “viceroy.”)
DN 5:2 (Says that Nebuchadnezzar was the father of Belshazzar, but actually, Nebonidus was the father of Belshazzar.) (Note: Some versions attempt to correct this error by making the verse say that Nebuchadnezzar was the grandfather of Belshazzar.)
ZE 11:12-13 Mentions “thirty pieces” and could possibly be thought to be connected with the Potter’s Field prophesy referred to in Matthew.
MT 27:9 Jeremiah is given as the source of the prophesy regarding the purchase of the Potter’s Field. (Note: There is no such prophesy in Jeremiah.)
MT 1:6-7 The lineage of Jesus is traced through David’s son, Solomon.
LK 3:23-31 It is traced through David’s son, Nathan.
(Note: Some apologists assert that Luke traces the lineage through Mary. That this is untrue is obvious from the context since Luke and Matthew both clearly state that Joseph was Jesus’ father.)
MT 1:20-23, LK 1:26-33 An angel announces to Joseph and/or Mary that the child (Jesus) will be “great,” the “son of the Most High,” etc., and ….
MT 3:13-17, MK 1:9-11 The baptism of Jesus is accompanied by the most extraordinary happenings, yet ….
MK 3:21 Jesus’ own relatives (or friends) attempt to constrain him, thinking that he might be out of his mind, and ….
MK 6:4-6 Jesus says that a prophet is without honor in his own house (which certainly should not have been the case considering the Annunciation and the Baptism).
MT 2:13-16 Following the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary flee to Egypt, (where they stay until after Herod’s death) in order to avoid the murder of their firstborn by Herod. Herod slaughters all male infants two years old and under. (Note: John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, though under two is somehow spared without fleeing to Egypt.)
LK 2:22-40 Following the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary remain in the area of Jerusalem for the Presentation (about forty days) and then return to Nazareth without ever going to Egypt. There is no slaughter of the infants.
MT 2:23 “And he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: He will be called a Nazarene.'” (This prophecy is not found in the OT and while Jesus is often referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth”, he is seldom referred to as “Jesus the Nazarene.”)
MT 3:11-14, JN 1:31-34 John realized the true identity of Jesus (as the Messiah) either prior to the actual Baptism, or from the Baptism onward. The very purpose of John’s baptism was to reveal Jesus to Israel.
MT 11:2-3 After the Baptism, John sends his disciples to ask if Jesus is the Messiah.
MT 4:1-11, MK 1:12-13 Immediately following his Baptism, Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness resisting temptation by the Devil.
JN 2:1-11 Three days after the Baptism, Jesus was at the wedding in Cana.
MT 5:1 – 7:29 Jesus delivers his most noteworthy sermon while on the mount.
LK 6:17-49 Jesus delivers his most noteworthy sermon while on the plain. (Note: No such sermons are mentioned in either MK or JN and Paul seems totally unfamiliar with either the sermon on the mount or the sermon on the plain.)
MT 5:17-19, LK 16:17 Jesus underscores the permanence of the law.
LE 10:8 – 11:47, DT 14:3-21 The law distinguishes between clean and unclean foods.
MK 7:14-15, MK 7:18-19 Jesus says that there is no such distinction.
1TI 4:1-4 All foods are clean according to Paul.
MT 5:22 Anyone who calls another a fool is liable to Hell.
MT 7:26 Jesus says that anyone who hears his words and does not do them is a fool. (Note: The translation now prevalent, “like a foolish man,” in MT 7:26 is a dishonest attempt to alleviate the obvious inconsistency here in that the oldest Greek manuscripts use the same Greek word translated “fool” inMT 5:22 and “like a foolish man” in MT 7:26.)
MT 23:17-19 Jesus twice calls the Pharisees blind fools.
MT 25:2, 3, 8 Jesus likens the maidens who took no oil to fools. (Note: This is the same Greek word translated “fool” in MT 5:22 and MT 23:17-19.)
1CO 1:23, 3:18, 4:10 Paul uses “fool” with regard to Christians becoming fools for Christ. (Note: Again, this is the same Greek word translated “fool” in MT 5:22 and MT 23:17-19.)
MT 5:22 Anger by itself is a sin.
MT 11:22-24, LK 10:13-15 Jesus curses the inhabitants of several cities who are not sufficiently impressed with his mighty works.
MT 21:19, MK 11:12-14 Jesus curses a fig tree when it fails to bear fruit out of season.
MK 3:5 Jesus looks around “angrily.”
MT 5:39, MT 5:44 Jesus says: “Do not resist evil. Love your enemies.”
MT 6:15, 12:34, 16:3, 22:18, 23:13-15, 17, 19, 27, 29, 33, MK 7:6, LK 11:40, 44, 12:56 Jesus repeatedly hurls epithets at his opponents.
MT 5:39, MT 5:44 Do not resist evil. Love your enemies.
2JN 1:9-11 Shun anyone who does not hold the proper doctrine.
MT 5:43-44, MT 22:39 Love your enemies. Love your neighbor as yourself.
MT 10:5 Go nowhere among the Gentiles nor enter a Samaritan town.
JN 8:58-59 Jesus hid himself, apparently to avoid being stoned.
MT 5:45, 7:21 God resides in heaven.
MK 13:32 The angels reside in heaven
AC 7:55, HE 12:2 Jesus is at the right hand of God, in heaven.
1PE 1:3-4 Believers will inherit eternal life in heaven.
MT 24:35, MK 13:31, LK 21:33 Heaven will pass away.
MT 6:25-34, LK 12:22-31 Take no thought for tomorrow. God will take care of you.
1TI 5:8 A man who does not provide for his family is worse than an infidel. (Note: Providing for a family certainly involves taking “thought for tomorrow.”)
MT 10:2, MK 3:16-19 The twelve apostles (disciples) were: Simon (Peter), Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, John his brother, Philip, Bartholemew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus (Labbaeus), Simon, and Judas Iscariot.
LK 6:13-16 The above except that Thaddaeus (Labbaeus) is excluded, and Judas the son of James is added (and Judas Iscariot remains).
AC 1:13, 26 Same as MT and MK except that, like LK Thaddaeus (Labbaeus) is excluded, Judas the son of James is included, and Mathias is chosen by the others to replace Judas Iscariot.
MT 10:22, 24:13, MK 13:13 He that endures to the end will be saved.
MK 16:16 He that believes and is baptized will be saved.
JN 3:5 Only he that is born of water and Spirit will be saved.
AC 16:31 He that believes on the Lord Jesus will be saved.
AC 2:21 He that calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
RO 10:9 He who confesses with his mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believes in his heart that God raised him from the dead will be saved.
1JN 4:7 He who loves is born of God (and presumably will be saved.)
MT 11:25, MK 4:11-12 Jesus thanks God for hiding some things from the wise while revealing them to “babes.” He says that he uses parables so that the meaning of some of his teachings will remain hidden to at least some persons, and specifically so that they will not turn and be forgiven.
MK 4:22 Jesus says that all things should be made known.
MT 11:29 Jesus says that he is gentle (meek) and humble (lowly).
JN 2:15 Jesus makes a whip of cords, drives the money changers from the Temple, overturns their tables, and pours out their coins. (Note: The presence of the money changers in the outer court of the Temple had been authorized by the Temple authorities and was, in fact, a necessity since the Jews would not accept Roman coin for the purchase of sacrifices.)
MT 12:5 Jesus says that the law (OT) states that the priests profane the Sabbath but are blameless. (No such statement is found in the OT.
MT 12:30 Jesus says that those who are not with him are against him.
MK 9:40 Jesus says that those who are not against him are for him.
(Note: This puts those who are indifferent or undecided in the “for him” category in the first instance and in the “against him” category in the second instance.)
MT 13:34, MK 4:34 Jesus addresses the crowds only in parables, so that they would not fully understand. He explains the meaning only to his disciples.
JN 1:1 – 21:25 (Throughout the book of John, unlike the other Gospels, Jesus addresses the crowds in a very straightforward manner. He does not employ parables.)
MT 13:58, MK 6:5 In spite of his faith, Jesus is not able to perform mighty miracles.
MT 17:20, 19:26, MK 9:23, 10:27, LK 17:6, 18:27 Jesus says that anything is possible to him who believes if he has the faith of a grain of mustard seed. All things are possible with God. A mountain can be commanded to move and it will move.
MT 5:37, 15:19, MK 7:22, JN 8:14, 44, 14:6, 18:37 Jesus says that you should answer a plain “yes” or “no,” that his purpose is to bear witness to the truth, and that his testimony is true. He equates lying with evil.
JN 7:2-10 Jesus tells his brothers that he is not going to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles, then later goes secretly by himself. (Note: The words “not yet” were added to some versions at JN 7:8 in order to alleviate this problem. The context at JN 7:10 makes the deception clear, however.)
MT 16:18 Jesus founds his church on Peter and will give him the keys of the kingdom.
MT 16:23 Jesus calls Peter [a] “Satan” and “a hindrance,” and accuses him of being on the side of men rather than that of God.
MT 16:18 Jesus founds his church on Peter and will give him the keys of the kingdom.
AC 15:1-21 James presides over the first Council of Jerusalem and formulates the decree regarding the accepting of Gentiles which is sent to the other churches. (Note: Tradition has it that James was appointed as the first Bishop or Pope, not Peter.)
MT 21:1-17 The sequence was: triumphal entry, cleansing of the temple, Bethany.
MK 11:1-19 Triumphal entry, cleansing of the temple.
LK 19:28-48 Triumphal entry, cleansing of the temple, daily teaching in the temple.
JN 12:1-18 Cleansing of the temple (early in his career), Supper with Lazarus, triumphal entry, no cleansing of the temple following the triumphal entry.
MT 21:19-20 The fig tree withers immediately after being cursed by Jesus. The disciples notice and are amazed.
MK 11:13-14, 20-21 The disciples first notice that the tree has withered the day following.
MT 23:35 Jesus says that Zacharias (Zechariah) was the son of Barachias (Barachiah).
2CH 24:20 Zacharias was actually the son of Jehoida, the priest.
(Note: The name Barachias, or Barachiah, does not appear in the O.T.)
MT 28:6-8 The women ran from the tomb “with great joy.”
JN 20:1-2 Mary told Peter and the other disciple that the body had been stolen. (Would she feel “great joy” if she thought the body had been stolen?)
MT 26:34, LK 22:34, JN 13:38 Peter was to deny Jesus before the cock crowed.
MK 14:30 Before the cock crowed twice.
MK 14:66-72 The cock crows after both the first and second denials.
(Note: These discrepancies have been “translated out” in some Bible versions.)
MT 26:49-50, MK 14:44-46 Jesus is betrayed by Judas with a kiss, then seized.
LK 22:47-48 Jesus anticipates Judas’ kiss. No actual kiss is mentioned.
JN 18:2-9 Jesus voluntarily steps forward to identify himself making it completely unnecessary for Judas to point him out. No kiss is mentioned.
MT 26:18-20, 57-68, 27:1-2, MK 14:16-18, 53-72, 15:1 Jesus’ initial hearing was at night on Passover. In the morning he was taken to Pilate.
LK 22:13-15, 54-66 The initial hearing took place in the morning on Passover.
JN 18:28, 19:14 It took place the day before Passover, on the Day of Preparation.
MT 26:59-66, MK 14:55-64 Jesus was tried by the entire Sanhedrin (the chief priests and the whole council).
LK 22:66-71 There was no trial but merely an inquiry held by the Sanhedrin.
JN 18:13-24 There was no appearance before the Sanhedrin, only the private hearings before Annas and then Caiphas.
MT 27:20 The chief priests and elders are responsible for persuading the people to ask for the release of Barabbas.
MK 15:11 Only the chief priests are responsible.
LK 23:18-23 The people ask, apparently having decided for themselves.
MT 27:37 The inscription on the cross read: “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.”
MK 15:26 “The King of the Jews.”
LK 23:38 “This is the King of the Jews.”
JN 19:19 “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
MT 27:46-50, MK 15:34-37 Jesus’ last recorded words are: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
LK 23:46 “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
JN 19:30 “It is finished.” (Note: Even though both MT and MK represent direct quotes and are translated similarly, the actual Greek words used for God are different. MT uses “Eli” and MK uses “Eloi.”)
MT 27:62-66 A guard was placed at the tomb (the day following the burial).
MK 15:42– 16:8, LK 23:50-56, JN 19:38-42 (No guard is mentioned. This is important since rumor had it that Jesus’ body was stolen and the Resurrection feigned.)
MK 16:1-3, LK 24:1 (There could not have been a guard, as far as the women were concerned, since they were planning to enter the tomb with spices. Though the women were aware of the stone, they were obviously unaware of a guard.)
MT 28:1 The first visitors to the tomb were Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (two).
MK 16:1 Both of the above plus Salome (three).
LK 23:55 – 24:1, 24:10 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and “other women” (at least five).
JN 20:1 Mary Magdalene only (one).
MT 28:2 An angel arrived during an earthquake, rolled back the stone, then sat on it (outside the tomb).
MK 16:5 No earthquake, only one young man sitting inside the tomb.
LK 24:2-4 No earthquake. Two men suddenly appear standing inside the tomb.
JN 20:12 No earthquake. Two angels are sitting inside the tomb.
MT 28:8 The visitors ran to tell the disciples.
MK 16:8 They said nothing to anyone.
LK 24:9 They told the eleven and all the rest.
JN 20:10-11 The disciples returned home. Mary remained outside, weeping.
MT 28:9 On his first appearance to them, Jesus lets Mary Magdalene and the other Mary hold him by his feet.
JN 20:17 On his first appearance to Mary, Jesus forbids her to touch him since he has not yet ascended to the Father.
JN 20:27 A week later, although he has not yet ascended to the Father, Jesus tells Thomas to touch him.
MT 28:7-10, MT 28:16 Although some doubted, the initial reaction of those that heard the story was one of belief since they followed the revealed instructions.
MK 16:11, LK 24:11 The initial reaction was one of disbelief. All doubted.
MT 28:1-18 The order of Resurrection appearances was: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, then the eleven.
MK 16:9-14 It was Mary Magdalene, then two others, then the eleven.
LK 24:15-36 It was two, then Simon (Peter?), then the eleven.
JN 20:14 – 21:1 It was Mary Magdalene, then the disciples without Thomas, then the disciples with Thomas, then the eleven disciples again.
1CO 15:5-8 It was Cephas (Peter?), then the “twelve” (which twelve, Judas was dead?), then 500+ brethren (although AC 1:15 says there were only about 120), then James, then all the Apostles, then Paul.
MK 1:2 Jesus quotes a statement that allegedly appears in Isaiah. No such statement appears in Isaiah. (Note: IS 40.3 is seen by some as equivalent to MK 1.2; MA 3.1 is a much better fit, however, given that Jesus is allegedly quoting word for word in MK 1:2.)
MK 4:11-12, 11:25 Jesus says that he uses parables so that the meaning of some of his teachings will remain secret to at least some persons. He explains the meanings of the parables only to his disciples. He thanks God for hiding some things from the wise while revealing them to “babes.”
JN 18:20 Jesus says that he always taught openly, never secretly.
MK 6:52 The people were so unimpressed with “the Feeding of the Multitude” that they did not even understand the event.
JN 6:14-15 They were so impressed that they tried to force Jesus to be their king.
MK 16:14-19 The Ascension took place (presumably from a room) while the disciples were together seated at a table, probably in or near Jerusalem.
LK 24:50-51 It took place outdoors, after supper, at Bethany (near Jerusalem).
AC 1:9-12 It took place outdoors, after 40+ days, at Mt. Olivet.
MT 28:16-20 No mention is made of an ascension, but if it took place at all, it must have been from a mountain in Galilee since MT ends there.)
LK 1:15 John the Baptist had the Holy Spirit from before his birth or the birth of Jesus.
LK 1:41 Elizabeth had it long before Jesus went away.
LK 1:67 So did Zechariah.
LK 2:25 So did Simeon.
LK 11:13 It is obtained by prayer (presumably at any time).
JN 7:39, JN 16:7, AC 1:3-5 The Holy Spirit cannot come into the world until after Jesus has departed.
LK 14:26 No one can be a disciple of Jesus unless he hates his parents, wife, children, brothers and sisters.
1JN 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer.
1JN 4:20 If anyone claims to love God but hates his brother, he is a liar.
LK 23:43 Jesus promises one of those crucified with him that they will be together, that very day, in Paradise.
JN 20:17, AC 1:3 Jesus was not raised until the third day and did not ascend until at least forty days later.
LK 23:55-56 The women followed Joseph to the tomb, saw how the body had been laid, then went to prepare spices with which to anoint the body.
JN 19:39-40 Joseph brought spices with him (75 or a 100 lbs.) and annointed the body (as the women should have noticed).
JN 7:38 Jesus quotes a statement that he says appears in scripture (i.e., the OT).
(No such statement is found in the OT.)
JN 12:32 Jesus implies that all persons will be saved.
1TI 2:3-4, 2PE 3:9 God wants all to be saved.
JN 12:40, AC 2:21, 2:39, RO 9:27, 10:13 Some will not be saved.
RE 14:1-4 Heaven will be inhabited by 144,000 virgin men (only?).
JN 17:12 Mentions a “son of perdition” as appearing in scripture (meaning the OT).
(Note: There is no “son of perdition” mentioned in the OT.)
JN 20:9 Jesus quotes a statement that he says appears in scripture (meaning the OT). (No such statement is found in the OT.)
AC 5:19, 12:6-11 The disciples take part in a jailbreak made possible by an angel.
AC 5:40-42 The disciples disobey the Council and continue to teach and preach Jesus.
RO 13:1-4, 1PE 2:13-15 Obey the laws of men (i.e., government). It is the will of God.
AC 9:19-28 Shortly after his conversion, Paul went to Damascus, then Jerusalem where he was introduced to the Apostles by Barnabas, and there spent some time with them (going in and out among them).
GA 1:15-20 He made the trip three years later, then saw only Peter and James.
AC 20:35 Quotes Jesus as having said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (No such statement of Jesus is found elsewhere in the Bible.)
RO 10:11 (An alleged OT quote; no such statement in the OT.)
RO 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything that might cause your brother to stumble or be offended.
CN 2:16 Let no one pass judgement on you in matters of food and drink.
1TI 6:20, 2TI 2:14-16, 3:1-7 Do not argue with an unbeliever.
2JN 1:10-11 Anyone who even greets an unbeliever shares his wicked work.
CN 4:5-6 Be wise in your behavior with outsiders. Let your talk be with grace, mixed with salt, so that you may be able to give an answer to everyone.
1PE 3:15 Always be ready to answer any man concerning your faith.
JA 4:5 (Quotes an alleged OT scripture verse not found in the OT.)
Tomorrow Part 6 Bible Precepts: Questionable Guidelines
NOTE: These lists are meant to identify possible problems in the Bible, especially problems which are inherent in a literalist or fundamentalist interpretation. Some of the selections may be resolvable on certain interpretations–after all, almost any problem can be eliminated with suitable rationalizations–but it is the reader’s obligation to test this possibility and to decide whether it really makes appropriate sense to do this. To help readers in this task, these lists are aimed at presenting examples where problems may exist given certain allowable (but not always obligatory) assumptions. It should be kept in mind that a perfect and omnipotent God could, should, and likely would see to it that such problems did not exist in a book which s/he had inspired. It should also be kept in mind that what is and is not a Biblical flaw is to some extent a matter of opinion. You are entitled to disagree with the author that these are, in fact, Biblical flaws–let alone fatal flaws.
DT 6:5, MT 22:37, MK 12:30, LK 10:27 Love God.
DT 6:13, PS 33:8, 34:9, 111:10, 115:13, 128:1, 147:11, PR 8:13, 16:6, 19:23, 22:4, IS 8:13, LK 12:5, 1PE 2:17 Fear God.
1JN 4:18 There is no fear in love.
PR 30:5 Every word of God proves true.
1KI 22:23, 2CH 18:22, JE 4:10, EZ 14:9 God deceives some of the prophets.
JE 8:8 The scribes (copyists, editors, teachers) falsify the word.
2TH 2:11-12 God deceives the wicked (to be able to condemn them).
(Note: Not every word of God can prove true if God deceives anyone at all; teaching from the Bible cannot be trusted if the scribes falsify the word. In other words, the first reference is mutually exclusive with the other three. Thus, the Bible cannot be the perfect work of a perfect, all-powerful and loving God since one or more of the above references is obviously untrue. Note also: Some versions use the word “persuade” rather than “deceives.” The context makes clear, however, that deception is involved.)
EZ 20:25 God says that he intentionally gave out bad laws. (This means that God-given laws or commandments are sometimes suspect.)
LK 1:26-38 The angel who appears to Mary to foretell the birth of Jesus says that Jesus will be given the throne of David, that he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and that his kingdom will never end. (None of this took place nor can it now be fulfilled.)
MT 16:28, MK 9:1, LK 9:27 Jesus says that some of his listeners will not taste death before he comes again in his kingdom. This was said almost 2000 years ago.
(Note: This passage and many others indicate that Jesus was to come again in a relatively short period of time and not just “quickly” as present day Biblicists assert. All of his listeners are now dead, yet Jesus has not come again in his kingdom. All of the alleged words of Jesus put forth in the Bible are therefore suspect.)
MK 16:17-18 A believer can handle snakes or drink poison and not experience any harm.
(Note: Many unfortunate believers have died as a result of handling snakes and drinking poison. This kind of assertion negates the Bible as a useful guidebook for life.)
Part 3 tomorrow Bible Absurdities
via Fatal Bible Flaws?.
via Fatal Bible Flaws?.
The Bible consists of a collection of sixty-six separate books. These books were chosen, after a bit of haggling, by the Catholic Council of Carthage in 397 A.D.—more than three hundred years after the time of Jesus. This collection is broken into two major sections: The Old Testament, which consists of thirty-nine books, and The New Testament, which consists of twenty-seven books. (Catholic Bibles include additional books known as the Apocrypha.)
The Old Testament is concerned with the Hebrew God, Yahweh, and purports to be a history of the early Israelites. The New Testament is the work of early Christians and reflects their beliefs about Jesus; it purports to be a history of what Jesus taught and did.
The composition of the various books is thought to have begun around 1000 B.C., and to have continued for about 1,100 years. Much oral material was included. This was repeated from father to son, revised over and over again, and then put into written form by various editors. These editors often worked in different locales and in different time periods, and were often unaware of each other. Their work was primarily intended for local use and it is unlikely that any author foresaw that his work would be included in a “Bible.”
No original manuscripts exist. There is probably not one book which survives in anything like its original form. There are hundreds of differences between the oldest manuscripts of any one book. These differences indicate that numerous additions and alterations, some accidental and some purposeful, were made to the originals by various authors, editors, and copyists.
Many biblical authors are unknown. When an author has been named that name has sometimes been selected by pious believers rather than given by the author himself. The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are examples of books which did not carry the names of their actual authors; the present names were assigned long after these four books were written. And—in spite of what the Gospel authors say—biblical scholars are now almost unanimously agreed that none of the Gospel authors was either an actual disciple of Jesus or even an eyewitness to his ministry.
Although some books of the Bible are traditionally attributed to a single author, many are actually the work of multiple authors. Genesis and John are two examples of books which reflect multiple authorship.
Many biblical books have the earmarks of fiction. For example, private conversations are often related when no reporter was present. Conversations between God and various individuals are recorded. Prehistoric events are given in great detail. When a story is told by more than one author, there are usually significant differences. Many stories—stories which in their original context are considered even by Christians to be fictional—were borrowed by the biblical authors, adapted for their own purposes, given a historical setting, and then declared to be fact.
The Flood story is an example of this kind of adaptation. Its migration from the earliest known occurrence in Sumeria, around 1600 B.C., from place to place and eventually to the Bible, can be traced historically. Each time the story was used again, it was altered to speak of local gods and heroes.
But is the Bible, nevertheless, the work of God? Is it a valid guidebook? How can we know?
If the Bible were really the work of a perfect, all-powerful, and loving God, one would reasonably expect it to be obviously superlative in every respect—accurate, clear, concise, and consistent throughout—as compared to anything that could possibly be conceived by human intellect alone.
Fundamentalists, in fact, hold this to be true. Using a circular argument, they say that because the Bible is without error or inconsistency, it must be the work of God, and because it is the work of God, it must be without error or inconsistency. It seems not to matter which proposition comes first, the other is thought to follow.
Notwithstanding the fundamentalist viewpoint, however, the Bible does contain a number of real problems. And some of these problems are absolutely fatal to its credibility.
Many passages relate God-ordained atrocities; such passages are unworthy of the Christian God. Some biblical precepts are both unreasonable and unlikely since they are in obvious disagreement with common sense as well as the qualities of character which are attributed to God. Some biblical statements are absurd in that they represent very primitive beliefs. The believability of many biblical stories—stories that are crucial to Christianity—are discredited by numerous inconsistencies. The picture is further complicated by the many different and conflicting interpretations that are often given to a specific passage by sincere, well-intentioned believers.
While Biblicists are capable of offering some sort of explanation for nearly any biblical problem that can be uncovered, such explanations should be unnecessary. The point is not whether some explanation can be conceived, but rather that a perfect, all-powerful, and loving God certainly could, should, and would do a much better job of it were he to have anything to do with the writing of a book.
The evidence which follows, taken from the Bible itself, is but a small portion of that which exists. This evidence demonstrates that the Bible cannot be the literal, complete, inerrant and perfect work of a perfect, all-powerful, and loving God. It also demonstrates that the Bible is not especially useful even as a guidebook. In addition, because the Bible reflects every important belief of traditional Christianity—the foundation of Christianity itself rests on shaky ground.
Note to reader: this Introduction is but one of eight chapters which originally made up a single, unified document. For purposes of increased compatibility with the Internet, the document was broken into eight separate files.
Part 2 tomorrow Fatal Bible Flaws
In the entire Old Testament, there are no verses more significant than the ones in which Yahweh establishes his covenant with the Jewish people. He pledges to make the Israelites his chosen, to show special favor to them above all other nations and races, and to grant them a peaceful and prosperous home in the promised land. Even today, after several millennia, these passages still play a pivotal role in shaping Jewish identity, consciousness, and culture, as well as exerting a major influence on politics and world affairs.
These verses are also, indisputably, false. The Bible’s covenant was broken. The promise was not kept. The pledge is void.
This isn’t even a close call, scripturally speaking. No subtle exegesis or nuanced interpretation is required to see that it’s true. All that it takes is to read the plain and simple language of the text establishing the covenant, observe that it makes a clear and unmistakable promise, and then look at the world and see for yourself that this promise failed to hold true.
According to Yahweh, the instrument by which he would keep his covenant was the dynasty descended from King David. These kings would rule over the Jewish people, protect them from invaders, and ensure that the law was kept. If the king or the people strayed into sin, God threatened to punish them, but he never threatened to put an end to the kingdom or the monarchy. To the contrary, he explicitly promised that both would be established in perpetuity. Consider this critical verse laying out the terms of the covenant:
“And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”
—2 Samuel 7:12-16
This passage is presented as “the word of the Lord” which came to the prophet Nathan and which he was instructed to deliver to King David. Note what it explicitly says: the house, the kingdom and the throne of David “shall be established for ever”. If the king does wrong, God promises to punish him, but he explicitly says he will not take the kingdom away from him, as he did to David’s predecessor Saul. The pledge is unconditional and unambiguous.
So that’s the promise; now look at the world. Were the terms of the covenant kept? The answer, of course, is no. There is no kingdom, no throne, and no Davidic dynasty; the line of descent was broken, the “house of David” no longer exists. The ancient kingdom of the Israelites was conquered and utterly destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BCE, and it’s never been reestablished. There is a modern state of Israel, it’s true, but that state is a secular democracy, not a divine-right monarchy ruled by a king descended from David. It fails to meet the terms of the covenant. (Many modern-day Orthodox Jews refuse to give their allegiance to Israel for precisely that reason.) According to the Bible, this was God’s single greatest promise to the Jewish people, and it has completely failed.
What really happened, of course, is that no god ever spoke to the Israelites in the first place. Verses like the one quoted above were written not by a deity, but by a human being, some ancient scribe or historian in a fit of nationalistic fervor. Whoever the author was, he was convinced that his kingdom was divinely favored, so much so that he believed God would cause it to endure forever on the Earth.
Of course, this is nothing unique: most ancient empires believed themselves to be the beneficiaries of the gods’ special favor, and without exception, all of those empires were toppled and now exist only in ruins and memory. The only thing that makes this case special is that we still have the written records of one particular people in which they told themselves these patriotic myths.
Adam and Noah were ancestors of mine. I never thought much of them. Adam lacked character. He couldn’t be trusted with apples. Noah had an absurd idea that he could navigate without any knowledge of navigation, and he ran into the only shoal place on earth.
– speech, November 9, 1901. Reported in The New York Times, November 10, 1901 – Mark Twain
In the biblical stories, God is often referred to as YHWH, sometime spoken Yahweh, by the ancient Hebrews. Much later, Yahweh would be given the name Jehovah which is a name that is still in use today. Among other things, Yahweh was said to have created Adam and Eve and later would enter into a covenant with Abraham which would eventually lead to the creation of the nation of Israel. Such was the basis for Judaism and their worship of one god, and the beginning of monotheism as a form of worship.
Yes, others might argue that monotheism actually began with the Egyptians and their Pharaoh Akhenaten or even with Zoroastrianism, but Judaism is where monotheism took root and eventually spread to other religions. Christianity, a later monotheistic religion, would adopt the Jewish Bible (essentially the Old Testament) as part of their own Bible. In so doing, they also took on the mantle of Yahweh/Jehovah, the supposedly one and only god. Little did they know, however, exactly what that entailed and even today most Christians don’t realize who Jehovah was, or wasn’t.
Let’s rewind, back to the beginning. If we assume for the purpose of this discussion that the chronology in the Bible is accurate, then the following can be gleaned about the god(s) that the Hebrews/Israelites worshipped. According to the Jewish Calendar, Adam and Eve were created circa 3700 BC. So let’s count it down. Based on the biblical genealogies, Abraham lived around 2000 BC, or 1,700 years after Adam and Eve. During that period, the Hebrews worshipped many gods (the Old Testament is replete with references to multiple gods, especially in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy). This is why Yahweh admonished the Hebrews, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
It’s also why a covenant might have been required between Yahweh and the Hebrews, since they actually had a choice of who to follow. Obviously, if Yahweh was the prime creator (the first cause) or the one and only god, there would be no choice and no covenant would have been required. There would have been no reason for Yahweh to have said, “And I will take you to me for a people and I will be to you a God” (Exodus 6:7). It would not have been necessary for the prime creator to enter into such a covenant to be their god (because it would have been true ipso facto), and neither would he have referred to himself as “a God” (one of many); rather, he would have referred to himself simply as “God”.
Yet for the 1,700 years up to the time of Abraham, the Hebrews worshipped many gods instead of Yahweh; according to the Bible, even Abraham’s father did (Joshua 24:2). But if they truly believed that Yahweh was the creator and helped Noah save mankind, how could they possibly have worshiped other gods?
Now, Moses was said to have lived around 1500 BC. So roughly 500 years after Abraham, the Israelites still weren’t worshipping Yahweh as the one true god. This was one of the reasons supposedly for the Ten Commandments. Yet despite Moses and notwithstanding the Ten Commandments, it would still be another 1,000 years or so before the Torah would be written and accepted as the religious belief system of the Jewish people (for example, see 2 Kings 22:8-13). In the end, it took 3,000 years before the Israelites would officially pay homage to Yahweh.
How is it then that Yahweh was not worshipped by the Israelites over that incredible period of time even though the Jewish people feared him and recognized his status and his power? How come, indeed. The Dead Sea Scrolls, the original Septuagint and another recently discovered ancient manuscript shed new light on an important biblical passage, Deuteronomy 32:8-9. The acceptable translation of this passage should be either “sons of God” or “the number of the gods”. These sons of god were also made reference to in other biblical passages, for example Genesis 6:2, Job 1:6, and Job 38:7. These passages relate to the fact that the early Canaanite religions believed in a pantheon of gods called the Elohim, or children of El (the sons of God). The Elohim is the Hebrew term which is generally used for, and translated into, the word “God” in the Bible. As for Yahweh, he would have been simply one of the Elohim, one of the creative spirits who fashioned the universe (Note: none of which were actually God, the prime creator). Each member (Elohim) of the divine assembly were given a nation to rule over (see the Table of Nations in Genesis 10-11); and Yahweh, he was given Israel.
It was therefore difficult for the writers of the Torah to have taken the old stories, which related to a worship of many deities, and woven them together into a coherent story about the one and only god. For example, in Psalm 82:1, “God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the gods”. It’s tough to go from that to the concept of only one god. So what exactly then is one to make of the Old Testament? In truth, it’s simply a history of Jewish religious thought and how it evolved over thousands of years, from the creation to the actual writing of the Torah; how it changed from the worship of many deities to the worship of the one and only Yahweh.
So why is any of this important? Well, down through the ages man has made a habit of using the name “God” to describe the deity of their own personal belief system. All one can say, at best, is that such a deity is in reality only “a god”, or the God Below God as I like to refer to him. I have endeavored to write about the biblical god story, not because I necessarily believe it, but because I feel that the story in the Bible, as written, is deserving of further explanation. So tell me, in your opinion, whose god is it anyway?
Posted by chicagoja
Filed in Religion ·Tags: Christianity, Dead Sea Scrolls, faith, God, jehovah, Jesus, Judaism, moses, Religion, ten commandments, the Bible, torah, yahweh
via The Ethical Warrior.
via The Ethical Warrior.
Top management in both AIB and Bank of Ireland are reading the Old Testament to get them out of the current economic crisis.
Apparently, they have heard it’s where prophets are to be found
If you are looking for a loan please do not walk into the bank with a copy of the New Testament as it is viewed with suspicion