Folks tend to think of the Bible as the go-to source for family values. Seems the Bible is a bit confounding on this topic though.
The Bible says Lot was a righteous man.
II Peter 2:7, “he [God] rescued Lot, a righteous man,”
The Bible also says that Lot got drunk, had sex with his own daughters, and got them both pregnant.
Genesis 19:33-36, “That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I lay with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.”
Now some friends of mine from the South of the U.S. like to make jokes along these lines, but honestly, if any man did this with his daughters, would anyone call him a righteous man?
Enough incest. How about looking instead at attainder?
Exodus 20:5 says that God will punish a child for his father’s sin, “for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,”.
Ezekiel 18:20 says he won’t, “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son…”
There seems to be some confusion among the divinely inspired authors of the Bible. Maybe God can’t remember exactly who he met face to face, and who he didn’t, and who he killed. I know I have trouble keeping those things sorted out sometimes.
Has anyone seen God face to face?
Genesis 32:30 — “Jacob said, ‘I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.'”
Exodus 33:11 –“The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.”
Exodus 33:20 — “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
John 1:18 — “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”
I John 4:12 — “No man hath seen God at any time.”
Another element of divine confusion seems to be the classic “I love them all”, “I love them all not” dilemma. Perhaps one can imagine the deity plucking petals off one of heaven’s daisies.
I want them all saved
1 Timothy 2:3-4 — “God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved.”
2 Peter 3:9 — “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
I want them damned
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 — “God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned…
Mathematical contradictions. Gotta love ‘em. You’d think the almighty creator of all (including math presumably) could get his earthly scribes to do simple math correctly.
Not that such things as flat-out, numerical errors will ever stop a true believer from staying the course.
Gen 11:26 — Terah was 70 years old when his son Abram was born.
Gen 11:32 — Terah was 205 years old when he died (making Abram 135 at the time).
Gen 12:4 — Abram was 75 when he left Haran.
Acts 7:4 –This was after Terah died.
Thus, Terah could have been no more than 145 when he died.
2 Kings 24:8 — Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months.
2 Chronicles 36:9 — Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem.
I like this next one. Two, consecutive verses.
Gen 8:4 — And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
Gen 8:5 — And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
Actually these are all more time errors than math errors. Maybe BibleGod has trouble with that since he “lives outside of time”. (We’ll not bother with the silliness of that concept for now.)
Oh, but here’s a math error for y’all.
1 Kings 7:23 –Then [Solomon] made the molten sea; it was round, ten cubits from brim to brim. A [rope] of thirty cubits would encircle it completely.
Hmmm…. Pi = 3 …. That would have made a lot of calculations easier in school.
“There are no contradictions in the Bible.” How many times have we heard that? Or, for many of us, how many times have we said that? Of course it’s silly. The Bible is chock full of ludicrous and obvious contradictions. So herein commences a series to showcase many of them.
Y’all ready for all the christians to come screaming in here and give us the “right” interpretation that allows one to turn a blatant contradiction into wonderful, infallible Godspeak? It reminds me of the old saying, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
When did Jesus actually ascend into heaven?
Luke Chap. 24 — the day of resurrection
John Chap. 20 — about 8 days after resurrection
Acts Chap. 1 – at least 40 days after resurrection
And now for something completely different, but still a contradiction, here’s a little OT to go with the NT contradiction.
Do you need balls to go to church?
Deut 23:1 — A castrate may not enter the assembly of the Lord.
Isaiah 56:4-5 — Some castrates will receive special rewards.
Matt 19:12 — Men are encouraged to consider making themselves castrates for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
I’ve got so many of these that I think I could dole out 2-3 at a time and get a couple dozen articles still. And my collection is not even close to exhaustive.
Thanks to Russell’s Teapot for all the grins.
As a scientist, I liked this one a lot.
- Save any of his followers from sickness, disaster, disease, or loss of goods or liberty. And this is despite the screaming, fervent, desperate prayers and pleas of his “beloved children”. (What a great father!)
- Heal autoimmune disorders, cancers, genetic defects, paralyzed limbs, lost limbs, dementia, insanity, or even acne. (What a great physician!)
- Show up and convince, scare, bewilder, or just talk to any person, skeptic or seeker, in order to provide them with something to believe in other than wishful thinking. (What a great communicator!)
- Write a treatise that provides clear guidance as to what he is like and what he expects of humanity. (What a great author!)
- Provide his followers with some sensible, logical, convincing, sound, intelligent, ‘non-internally-contradictory information that they can pass on to other humans. (What a great inspirer!)
- Manage to inspire his followers with enough sense, love, information, grace, diplomacy, brotherly love, or humility to keep his church from fragmenting into thousands of squabbling sects. (What a great administrator!)
- Give his church enough unity, sense, inspiration, drive, integrity, or guts to ‘accomplish such good works as to shame people of their slander’, or to ‘withstand the gates of hell’, or to ‘overcome the world’, or to ‘keep the unity of faith’, or to do anything else that he said the church should do. (What a great founder and guide!)
- Do anything. (What a great, all-powerful deity!)
Jesus is almost always held up as the great, human example of love. He’s supposed to embody all that the Christian should aspire to (WWJD). When a Christian does something mean, unloving, etc, they often say they messed up and need to be more Christ-like. But since I now can look at the Bible objectively -i.e., without filtering it through a set of presuppositions that demand that it must all be (mis)interpreted so that it “looks good”- I see that being angry, hateful, vengeful, even going on the out and out attack, is really being very Christ-like. It’s just the sort of thing Jesus would do.
In fact, according to the gospels, he seems to have had some problems with anger management.
Let’s look at a few situations to see WWJD.
Fig tree withering:
Matt 21:18-19 “Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.”
Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. ….. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”…