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The Bible consists of materials (diaries, letters, narratives, written and oral histories) that survived Catholic editors who were motivated by politics and not, as is obvious to anyone free of theological bias, logic. In other cases, things that seem illogical in the Bible were left exactly as the translators found them, out of reverence for the text. They didn't understand, so they transcribed as exactly as they could. Parts that had more mystical or almost Buddhist overtones were left out altogether. Many writings were systematically destroyed to favor the mystically vacant and emotionally mean orthodoxy.

 (The purpose of this page is to show the futility of dogma; it is not to denigrate the Bible, an amazing compendium of literature, and one of only a few surviving books of the ancient world. The Bible is a monument of human thought - but alas, its defenders systematically eradicated the competition, to create an illusion that the Bible was the only great text.)
The purpose of pointing out contradictions is not to 'disprove the Bible,' it is to defuse the small minded literalists who make Christianity look stupid.

The author of this page also freely acknowledges that many derive true healing and spiritual fulfillment from Christianity; it's all in the intention. This page targets those who use any religion as a weapon.

The 'Bible' is not always considered to include the New Testament, either. It is important to note that the 'Bible,' to the Jews, does not include the New Testament, which is seen to some as an opportunistic add-on. The Christian experience of religion is radically different than the Jewish, so inconsistencies seem inevitable when the two are bound together in one book.

The Jewish Bible was passed on and carefully preserved for more than a millennium when it was finally canonized by the scribe Ezra, in 444 B.C.E. This was the first 'religion of the book,' written and kept by people who had been in and out of exile, and with whom 'God had formed a special bond.' The early Jewish editors were rigorously conservative, and kept the book to the basics. It was written mostly in Hebrew, with some Aramaic and Chaldean.

Before the Bible was canonized (from the Hebrew kaneh, meaning 'cane,' or'upright'), there were prophets everywhere. Jews were literate early on, and many considered themselves authors, commentators, or prophets. Prophecy dwindled after canonization, as the older (and official) texts gained authority.

There were also the numerous claimants to being "Messiah" that annoyed Jewish authorities off and on through the centuries.

Some of the Jewish innovations were the concept of 'ethical monotheism,' and a system of covenants with an immediate, personal deity. The one-on-one relationship with the creator was democratizing; for a homeless, captive people, it provided a way around 'the system.' The Jewish idea of being 'The Chosen People' has been causing friction for 5,760 years.

Rabbi Jesus adhered to the ancient Jewish system of laws, and was a devout Jew, but rejected legalistic corruption in the Jewish establishment. For this, conservative Jewish authorities rejected Jesus, and made it easy for the Romans to crucify him.

Scholars agree that the Gospels were written long after the events they describe, and NOT by people who actually walked with Jesus.

Paul of Tarsus Hellenized the story of Jesus, removed its Jewishness, grafted on Pagan Greek ideas, and opened the gates to hordes of converts. The multitude of Christian cults canonized their literature, and added it onto the Torah, calling the combined material the "Old" and "New" Testaments.

The Bible is fractal- filled with thickets and labyrinths, and that is why people love it. It has as many contradictions as any other thought system; and is seen by some as a form of poetry.

Here are a few of the contradictions:

Should we kill?
Ex. 20:13 Thou shalt not commit murder.
Ex. 32:27 Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, put every man his sword by his side...and slay every man his brother...companion..neighbor.(See also 1 Sam. 6:19; 15:2,3; Num. 15:36)

Ex 20:5 "...for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God..." (see also Ex 34:14, Deut 4:24, Josh 24:19, and Nah 1:2)
Gal 5:19-20 "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are...jealousy..." (See also 2 Cor 12:20)

Should we tell lies?
Ex. 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness.(Prov. 12:22; Rev. 21:8)
1 Kings 22:23 The Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. (II Thess. 2:11; Josh. 2:4-6 with James 2:25)

Should we steal?
Ex. 20:15 Thou shalt not steal. (Lev. 19:13)
Ex. 3:22. And ye shall spoil the Egyptians. (Ex. 12:35-36; Luke 19:29-33)

Shall we keep the Sabbath?
Ex. 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (Ex. 31:15; Num. 15:32,36)
Is. 1:13 The new moons and the Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity. (John 5:16; Matt. 12:1-5)

Shall we make Graven images?
Ex. 20:4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in (Lev. 26:1)
EX. 25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them.

Are we "saved" through works?
Eph. 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith...not of works. (Rom. 3:20, 28; Gal. 2:16)
James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.(Matt. 19:16-21)

Should good works be seen?
Matt. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works. (I Peter 2:12)
Matt. 6:1-4 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them...that thine alms may be in secret. (Matt. 23:5)

Should we own slaves?
Lev. 25:45-46 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy...and they shall be your posession...they shall be your bondmen forever. (Gen. 9:25; Ex. 21:2,7; Joel 3:8; Luke 12:47; Col. 3:22)
Is. 58:6 Undo the heavy burdens...break every yoke. (Matt. 23:10)

Does God change his mind?
Mal. 3:6. For I am the Lord; I change not. Num. 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent. (Ezek. 24:14; James 1:17)
Ex. 32:14. And the Lord repented of the evil which he had thought to do unto his people. (Gen. 6:6; Jonah 3:10; Sam. 2:30-31; II Kings 20:1-6; Num. 16:20-35)

Are we punished for our parent's sins?
Ex. 20:5 For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations. (Ex. 34:7)
Ezek. 18:20 The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.

Is God good or evil?
Psa. 145:9. The Lord is good to all. (Deut. 32:4; James 1:13)
Is. 45:7 I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things. (Lam 3:38; Jer. 18:11; Ezek. 20:25)

Is God Peaceable?
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. (Luke 2:14; Acts 10:36)
Matt. 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matt. 10:35-37; Luke 22:36)

Was Jesus trustworthy?
John 8:14 Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true.
John 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

Shall we call people names?
Matt. 5:22 Whosoever shall say Thou fool, shall be in danger of hellfire.
Matt. 23:17 (Jesus said) Ye fools and blind.

Has anyone seen God?
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at anytime. (Ex 33:20; Tim. 6:16; John 6:46; I John 4:12)
Gen. 32:30 For I have seen god face to face. (Ex. 33:11, 23; Is. 6:1; Job 42:5)

How many gods are there?
Deut. 6:4 The Lord or God is one Lord.
Gen. 1:26 And God said, let us make man in our image.(Gen. 3:22; I John 5:7)

Are we all sinners?
Rom. 3:23 For all have sinned. (Rom. 3:10; Psa.14;3)
Job 1:1 There was a man... whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright. (Gen. 7:1; Luke 1:5-6)

When was Jesus crucified?
Mark 15:22 and it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
John 19:14-15 And about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out...crucify him!"

Shall we obey the law?
I Peter 2:13 Submit yourself to every ordinance of man.
Acts 5:29 We ought to obey God rather than men.

Just because these can be "explained" doesn't mean that they don't exist. Healthy religion contains the spirit of debate, like Jacob wrestling with the angel. The fundamentalist attitude that "everything is carved in stone, finished" is unsustainable.

Just as you can make any sentence you like from the dictionary by choosing certain words, you can prove any point you want by juggling the millions of concepts in the Bible. This is something that ardent Christians are adept at.

There are strains of the Christian church who refer to the Bible as a 'Sword'. The metaphor becomes real when they attack the freedoms of others. These contradictions are pointed out for their sake. Many good people believe the Bible is literally God's Word ('sWord?!?), and reverence it and its teachings appropriately. But Jesus said:"Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."(Matt.26:52.)

The Buddhist concept of Sword is called 'Prajna'- 'cutting-through' wisdom. This can be related to a line from a letter of Paul's to the Hebrews where he says: "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews:4.12.)

The Bible is perhaps a potent device for meditation or prayer, or a comfort in times of loneliness, grief or adversity, but when used as a weapon, it loses its validity. The Bible's commandments are comparable to Hindu, Buddhist, or many other rule-systems, and serve societies well. Any way that people can feel peace, or improve their lives, shouldn't be disrespected. Unfortunately for peaceful believers, the fanatics twist something sacred into an ugly parody of itself.

Here's part of another email received in 2000:

...Jesus didn't fulfill any of the Messianic prophecies. Elijah didn't foretell him and he isn't a son of David. The Christian Scriptures are not historically accurate in their presentation of Pilate, and the entire writing is suspect. The resurrection narrative stands as a terribly garbled account. The theme of a dying Messiah who atones for sin is not to be found in Jewish sources, but is found in abundance in pagan mythology. How can any thinking person be a Christian?


Bible defenders present mountains of verbiage trying to rationalize Biblical contradictions-further proving that any point can be backed up by something in the Bible. The Bible is so fraught with ambiguity that it makes perfect fodder for endless debate. Like newspaper astrologers or the Oracle at Delphi, its pronouncements are always open to interpretation- rendering them useful only to those willing to suspend rational judgment.




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  Copyright 2001 Glorious Islam
Last modified: April 02, 2001