The Instigator
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The Contender
Pro (for)
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Christianity is inconsistent.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 582 times Debate No: 105699
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
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I will let my opponent begin. The burden of proof is on my opponent to prove that it is inconsistent.


Thank you for coming to tonight's debate. In tonight's debate, I will be defending the claim that Christianity contains an internal inconsistency. I will do so by making two arguments. The first argument takes the following form:

1. If Christianity is true, then Judaism prior to and up to the instigation of Christianity was true.
2. If Judaism prior to and up to the instigation of Christianity true, then Christianity is false.
3. Therefore, if Christianity is true, then Christianity is false.

Or, in other words, Christianity is a self-refuting religion.

The second argument is based on a contradiction in the Bible that concerns a fundamental teaching of Christianity. There are two passages in the Bible which exclude any future resurrection, but there are other passages in the Bible that promise a future resurrection. Resurrection is absolutely central to Christianity, so this contradiction cannot be ignored.

I am a Christian myself, but I will be playing devil's advocate in this debate. I decided to do this because I wanted to bring up an argument against Christianity and see how my opponent will respond to it.

Since I am going first in this debate, I'll post my conclusion in the second to last round. In the last round, I'll simply say, "This space intentionally left blank." That way we will have an equal number of posts.


Let's begin by defending the first premise.

The first premise, I suspect, will be non-controversial. Christianity presupposes the truth of Judaism. Jesus was Jewish. He quoted frequently from the Jewish Tanakh as if it were the word of God. He identified his God with the God of the Old Testament. He claimed his own Father was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He stood by the Mosaic Law and expressed confidence in the prophets. He observed Jewish pilgrimage festivals and various other Jewish laws and traditions.

Christianity is a religion about Jesus, especially the claim that Jesus is the messiah promised to David and all the prophets of the Jewish scriptures. Christians are followers of Jesus. To follow Jesus is to believe what he believed and taught. If Jesus endorsed Judaism prior to and up to his coming, then so should Christians.

Now let's defend the second premise.

According to Christianity, Jesus "does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself" (Hebrews 7:27). Jesus' death completely did away with any further need for sacrifices. He was the final sacrifice that accomplished what previous sacrifices could not.

However, according to Judaism, sacrifices will never end. Although Jews don't sacrifice today because there is no Temple in which to do so, the prophets say sacrifices will be restored. In Malachi 3, it says that when he comes, the "messenger of the covenant" will purify the Levites so that they can "bring offerings in righteousness" (Malachi 3:1-4). In Zechariah 14, it talks about how God is going to punish all the nations that fought against Jerusalem, and in verse 21, it says, "Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them." In Isaiah 56:7, it says that at the time when the house of the Lord is called a house of prayer for all nations that "their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my alter." There are also other passages in Ezekiel about sacrifices in the new age, but I think I've said enough to establish the point.

If sacrifices continue into the eschaton, as the prophets say, then it cannot be true that Jesus was the final sacrifice, so Christianity is not true.


Here are the passages that exclude a future resurrection.

Ecclesiastes 9:3-6 "This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men. Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil, and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead. For whoever is joined with the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. Indeed their love, their hate, and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun."

If there were a future resurrection, then there would be hope in what is done under the sun in the future. But Ecclesiastes says that once you're dead, there is no more hope and you will have no share in anything that is done under the sun. So this passages excludes resurrection.

This next verse is Job speaking.

Job 7:7-10 "Remember that my life is but breath, my eye will not again see good. The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more; Thine eyes will be on me, but I will not be. When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up. He will not return again to his house, nor will his place know him anymore."

Job says explicitly in this verse that those who go to Sheol (i.e. the grave) do not come back up. In other words, there is no resurrection.

These two verses contradict other verses, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament that affirm a resurrection of all the dead. Here are some examples.

This verse is an angel talking to Daniel.

Daniel 12:2 "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt."

This next verse is Jesus speaking.

John 5:28 "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgement."

This next verse is Paul writing to the Thessalonians.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 "But we do not want you to be uninformed, bretheren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first."

Notice what Paul says about hope. He claims that Christians have hope because they have the promise of a resurrection to eternal life. That directly contradicts Ecclesiastes 9:3-6 which says the dead have no hope.

And there are many more.


So that's it. I gave two arguments showing that Christianity is inconsistent. It's inconsistent because it's internally self-refuting, and it's inconsistent because it simultaneously denies and affirms a general resurrection of all the dead.
Debate Round No. 1


Take the following argument.

1. If the assignment is due by 8:00, then before and up to 8:00, it is not late.
2. If the assignment is not late before and up to 8:00, then the due date is not 8:00.
3. Therefore, a contradiction.

The coming of Christ, a Jew, counterintuitively, made Judaism incomplete/inaccurate.

As for the second argument...
1) It is referring to non-Christians and Sheol is hell.


2) It is referring to a lack of resurrection to Earth rather than heaven.


In my opening, made two arguments showing that Christianity is inconsistent. The first argument was that the truth of Christianity entails the truth of Judaism prior to Christianity, and the truth of Judaism prior to Christianity entails the falsity of Christianity. So, Christianity is a self-refuting religion since it contains doctrines that, if true, would undermine itself.

In response to this argument, Con said that the advent of Christianity made Judaism false. Con's response is not specific enough, though. If he means to say that Christianity diverged from Judaism at that point, and that Christianity was the true religion and Judaism subsequent to that division is false, then his observation is irrelevant. Notice that my argument didn't say anything about whether or not Judaism remained true after Christianity. It is only concerned with the truth of Judaism prior to Christianity. However, if Con meant to say that Judaism prior to Christianity also became false as a result of the advent of Christianity, then he has done nothing but introduce yet another inconsistency in Christianity. As I showed in the last round, Christianity entails that Judaism prior to Christianity was true, but if Con wants to say that Judaism prior to Christianity was false, then that is inconsistent.

The second argument I gave was that the Christian Bible both affirms and denies a resurrection, which is inconsistent. Con's response appears to be that the no resurrection passages are meant to be taken as no resurrection on earth, whereas the pro resurrection passages are meant to be taken as pro resurrection in heaven. If that were the case, then it would resolve the apparent contradiction. But unfortunately for Con, he is mistaken to say that resurrection takes place in heaven. If you will look again at the passages I cited in the previous round, you will see that the resurrection takes place on earth. In Daniel 12:2, the subject of the resurrection is those who sleep in the dust of the ground. That is what awakes in the resurrection. So a resurrection entails a physical body coming back to life and leaving its earthly grave. Likewise, we see in John 5:28 that at the voice of Jesus, those who are dead in their tombs will come forth from their tombs, risen from the dead. We see also in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16 that Jesus descends from heaven, i.e. he returns to earth. Then it says the dead in Christ will rise first. So it only after Jesus returns to earth that the resurrection occurs. It follows that the resurrection occurs on earth.

Again, many sources could be cited showing that the resurrection is an earthly event that entails physically dead people coming back to life and leaving their graves empty. That is exactly what happened to Jesus. When he rose from the dead, his tomb was empty, and the reason is because his resurrection entailed his physical body coming to life and leaving the tomb. Jesus' resurrection is the model for our resurrections, so if his resurrection entailed his dead body coming back to life and leaving its earthly grave, then so does ours.

There you have it. I have successfully defended both of my arguments against Con's attempt at rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 2


First Argument: Judaism replaced Christianity at Jesus's death. According to Hebrews 7:27b, "He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself". Therefore, yes, Judaism prior to and up to the instigation of Christianity was ture if Christianity is true. I think your point is that despite Jesus being the final sacrifice, Judaism states that sacrifices will never end. Basically, sacrifices were made obsolete by Jesus's death, as the prophets predicted a sacrifice. Basically, Jesus's life was a transition period between Judaism and Christianity. Before Jesus, Judaism was true. After Jesus, Christianity is true. During Jesus's life, he followed the Jewish traditions (before his death), but also preached about his death that would make sacrifices obsolete.

As for Job 7:10, says that the section "He will not return again to his house" "is best taken literally" because most people do not resume their Earthly lives after death. There are a few notable exceptions, however, generally, people do not go back to their daily Earthly activities. explains Ecclesiastes 9:6 explains again that this passage concerns Earthly matters.

Therefore, most people do not resume their Earthly lives, but there is a resurrection to the afterlife.


The first line in Con's last post said, "Judaism replaced Christianity at Jesus's death." I'm almost positive Con meant to say, "Christianity replaced Judaism at Jesus' death." I'll just give him the benefit of the doubt on that.


Recall the initial syllogism I gave in my first argument. It goes like this:

1. If Christianity is true, then Judaism prior to and up to the instigation of Christianity was true.
2. If Judaism prior to and up to the instigation of Christianity true, then Christianity is false.
3. Therefore, if Christianity is true, then Christianity is false.

In his response, he said, "Before Jesus, Judaism was true. After Jesus, Christianity is true." This is as much as an affirmation of my first premise. The only difference is the transition period Pro said existed during Jesus' pre-resurrection life, which is not really important to my argument.

If what Con says is true, then after Jesus, Christianity was true, and before Jesus, Judaism was true. So my first premise is true. That brings us to the second premise. How did Con respond to the second premise? Well, he appears to affirm the second premise as well. He admits that according to Judaism, sacrifices will never end. We are talking about Judaism prior to Jesus here because these passages about never-ending sacrifices come from the Old Testament which predates Christianity.

After admitting that sacrifices will never end according to Judaism, Con then goes on to say that Jesus made sacrifices obsolete. That is according to Christian theology. If sacrifices have become obsolete, then it could not have been true that sacrifices were going to go on forever. And if it's true that sacrifices should go on forever, then it can't be true that Jesus made sacrifices obsolete. So Con has not resolved the contradiction. Rather, Con has pretty much just admitted that the contradiction is there.

Can has proved my case. Christianity presupposes the truth of Judaism, Judaism says sacrifices will never end, and Christianity says sacrifices have become obsolete. Therein lies the inconsistency of Christianity.


In my original second argument, I quoted both Job 7:7-10 and Ecclesiastes 9:3-6 which both showed that there is no resurrection. In his recent response, Con focused on the part of the Job passage that said, "He will not return again to his house." But that is not the relevant part. The relevant part is the part that says, "he who goes down to Sheol does not come up." Con ignored that part, so he has not given an adequate refutation of my argument from Job.

Likewise, Con gives an inadequate response to my argument from Ecclesiastes. He's right to say Ecclesiastes 9:6 refers to earthly matters. In fact it explicitly says the dead will have no share in anything that happens UNDER THE SUN, which is a clear reference to earth.

But that is precisely why I spent time in the last round explaining that resurrection is something that happens on earth, i.e. under the sun. Con ignored the arguments I made in the last round showing that resurrection is an earthly event. So again, Con's response is inadequate.

Not only does the resurrection occur on earth, but those who are resurrected remain on earth. The New Testament speaks of a second coming of Christ, and I even quoted a passage in 1 Thessalonians showing that Jesus returns to earth. But there is no passage in the New Testament that says there will be a second ascension. Jesus does not leave earth a second time.

Moreover, in Revelation 21:2-3, it says, "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them." It's pretty clear. New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. It comes down to the earth. As a result, God dwells with men. That means God and men are on earth. Why would a city comes down to earth if nobody was ever going to live in it? But they do! In verse 27, it says those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life will live in the City.

There are many other passages showing that those who are resurrected will spend eternity on a new earth. Jesus said the gentle (or meek, depending on your translation) will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). Isaiah 60:21 says that God's people will possess the land forever. I could go on.


Con still hasn't refuted my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


To begin, yes I did mean to say that Christianity replaced Judaism at Jesus's death.

I am going to be clear and say that the moment Jesus died was when Judaism became false and Christianity became true. So, the first premise is false because at the instigation of Christianity, Judaism was false. So, yes, before Jesus's death, Jesus was a strong Jew, observant of the Jewish festivals. However, notice that Hebrews 7:27 says that "He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself" (Hebrews 7:27). This goes with what I said about the moment that Jesus died. Christianity says that Judaism was true before Jesus's death, which is why Jesus was a Jew before he died. However, as Hebrews 7:27 says, after Jesus's death, Christianity becomes true, because Jesus's death was the last sacrifice.

So, yes, the two passages (Job and Ecclesiastes) are clearly about a resurrection back to Earth. However, much of Revelation talks about the destruction of Earth.

Revelation 21:1 says, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."

"for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away"
There will be no resurrection back on Earth.

This passage comes right before the Revelation 21:2-3 passage, so this is after the destruction of the Earth has passed, and now, there is a new Earth.

The two passages (from Ecclesiastes and Job) say that a dead person will never resume his Earthly life, not that he will not be resurrected to a new Earth.

Note that right after the Job section that says that "he who goes down to Sheol does not come up", the next verse talks about the man returning to his house. Therefore, when taken as a complete thought, it says that a person who dies will never return to his house. In fact, the NIV says "one who goes down to the grave does not return. He will never come to his house again; his place will know him no more."

Therefore, people will never be resurrected from the dead and resume their lives on Earth, except for a few notable exceptions, however, people will be resurrected from the dead for the final judgement to enter a new land because the old Earth got destroyed.


This will be my conclusion. In the next round, I will say, "This space intentionally left blank." That way Con and I will have an equal number of posts to make our arguments.


Con appears to think that the precise timing of when Judaism became false is somehow relevant to the soundness of my argument. But that is to merely pick at the precise wording of my premises and miss the substance of what I am argument. Regardless of when precisely Judaism became false, we can both agree that according to Christianity, the statements about perpetual sacrifices in the Old Testament were true. Well, if it was ever true that sacrifices will never end, then sacrifices will never end. But if it's false that sacrifices will go on forever, then those statements were never true to begin with. They couldn't have been true if it's also true that Jesus made sacrifices obsolete. So Con has never reconciled this contradiction in this debate.


In my second argument, I showed from Job and Ecclesiastes that there is no resurrection even though there are other passages that clearly affirm resurrection. Here, Con attempts to reconcile the contradiction in two ways. First, by saying the Job and Ecclesiastes passages do not preclude a resurrection altogether, but rather, they preclude a resurrection to their previous lives. Second, he tries to reconcile the resurrection by pointing out that the present earth will be destroyed and the resurrected will spend eternity on a new earth.

It could be that Con has a misunderstanding about the new earth. The new earth is not a different planet. It's the same planet. This planet will be made new. You can see this clearly in 2 Peter 3:5-7. There, Peter says that just as the earth was once destroyed by water in a flood, so also the present earth will be destroyed by fire. Well, the planet was not destroyed in the flood. It was just a destruction, of sorts, of the surface of the earth. Life resumed on this same planet after the flood. In the same way, life will resume on this planet after the destruction with fire.

Otherwise, the promises in the Old Testament would make no sense. I cited Isaiah 60:21 in the last round, showing that God's people will possess the land forever. What land is he talking about? Well, he's talking about the land God promised to Abraham and all his descendants forever--the land of Israel. That's here on this earth.

Con think that Job is only precluding a return to one's previous life, but not a resurrection, since it says the person will not return to their own home. But returning from the grave and returning to ones home are two distinct events, one followed by another. Job doesn't leave any room for a resurrection. It doesn't just say that a person who goes down to Sheol will never return to their home. It says once they go down to Sheol, they will never come back up, i.e. they will never leave their grave. They will not be resurrected. It is BECAUSE they will not be resurrected that they won't return to their home.

Likewise, Ecclesiastes 9 leaves no room for hope for the dead. Solomon makes a contrast between the living, who have hope, and the dead who have no hope. If there was going to be a resurrection, then the dead would have some hope. But they don't. That's how they are different. And Solomon doesn't just say they won't return to their old house. He says they will no longer have any share any anything that happens under the sun ever again. That completely precludes any resurrection, whether a resurrection to their old house, a new house, or to an old earth or a new earth. Once you're dead, you're dead for good. That's what Ecclesiastes 9 is saying.


Since I was playing devil's advocate in this debate, I hoped that my opponent would do a better job of refuting my arguments. But as it is, Con didn't do much at all to refute my arguments. Maybe I will give my own thoughts in the comment section on how these contradictions can be reconciled once the debate is over.

Thank you for coming to tonight's debate. Be sure to vote.
Debate Round No. 4


"we can both agree that according to Christianity, the statements about perpetual sacrifices in the Old Testament were true"
According to Christianity, the statements about perpetual sacrifices in the OT are false because Christ was the final sacrifice. This is where wording becomes important. Before Christianity, it was necessary to perform constant sacrifices. Jesus supported Judaism before his death because constant sacrifices were indeed necessary.

This says that the Ecclesiastes passage is focused on worldly possessions.
"This is best taken literally. Men do not, after death, return to their houses and resume their old occupations. From the life in this world they disappear for ever. Neither shall his place know him any mere (comp. Psalm 103:16)."

Psalm 103:16 - "the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more."

"neither shall his place know him no more" is parallel to Psalm 103:16, so they should be compared.
"the place where the flower grew shall know it no more; or it shall be seen no more in it: so man, when he dies, though he is not annihilated, he is somewhere; he is in another world, either of happiness or woe; yet he is not in this world, in the house and family, in the station and business he was; he is no longer known nor seen among men on earth"

So, both the Ecclesiastes and Job passages are about resuming their lives on the old Earth before it gets transformed into the new Earth.


[this space intentionally left blank]
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by philochristos 2 years ago
Oh no! I neglected to give my own thoughts about how to respond to my arguments, but I'll do that now. I'm not going to go into as much detail now since I'm lazy, but I'll give the skinny on it.

First, concerning sacrifices. It's true that the Old Testament says there will be sacrifices in the new world. It's also true that in the New Testament, Jesus is the final sacrifice to end all sacrifices. The resolution comes in observing the fact that not all sacrifices are for sins. Jesus' death was the final sacrifice to atone for sins, but other sacrifices remain as free will offerings, thanksgiving, etc.

Second, concerning resurrection. Both the Old and New Testament explicitly affirm a future resurrection in multiple passages, so what about Ecclesiastes and Job? The Job passage suggests, but does not prove, that the dead will not rise. The reason is because the passage in question is quoting Job. Even if the Bible is inerrant, it doesn't mean that everybody the Bible quotes is also inerrant. So the Bible may be entirely correct in how it quotes Job, but that doesn't mean Job himself is infallible. Job may have just be wrong to say the dead will never rise. That wouldn't invalidate the inerrancy of the Bible.

The Ecclesiastes passages is harder to reconcile with resurrection. There, I suspect the resolution can be found in recognizing the use of hyperbole throughout the book of Ecclesiastes. My opponent was probably right that the author was referring to this mortal life. There is no return to this mortal life in this world, but that doesn't preclude a resurrection at the eschaton when everything is made new. Even among those of us who affirm a future resurrection, there's still finality, in a sense, in death. That's why we mourn when our loved ones die. We don't expect them to return in our lifetimes.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: SeekinTruth// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Not a bad debate, I've definitely seen worse, probing around. Con is thinking about it all wrong, barking up the wrong tree with Judaism becoming false or what-not, the contradiction is only apparent. Ecclesiastes has two speakers, The Father and The Preacher, the preacher's words are all to demonstrate the vanity of life without resurrection. And Job's words, however they are meant to be understood, are not necessarily true anyhow. This is a common mistake that people make, they assume that any speaker in the bible must speak the truth. As for the prophets, I don't think it's clear to what timeframe they are referring. I give the win to Pro, just because Con was really just missing the mark. I trust Pro understands the failings in his arguments, however.

[*Reason for removal*] The voter is required to specifically assess arguments presented by both sides. That requires assessment of Pro"s argument, and not just Con"s. The voter also may not present arguments, yet this appears to solely include the voter"s own views of the faults in Con"s arguments rather than covering anything presented by Pro as a reason for dismissing arguments.
Posted by Edril 2 years ago
I'd just like to point out that Jesus never said he was a sacrifice to end all sacrifices, and he never said his death cleanses our sins.
He DID say, however, that he did NOT come to change or end the Law (old testament). He said it will last until the end of all things.

So if you define Christianity only as the teachings of Christ, then it is consistent, but if you define it as Paul's teachings or as what modern Christians believe, then no it is not consistent because "Christians" do not obey the teachings of Christ.
Posted by canis 2 years ago
Any good movie or book should be consistent... But it only makes it a good movie or book...
Posted by philochristos 2 years ago
Soulman, you appear to be talking to me since I'm the one who brought up Ecclesiastes. But I am not the instigator of this debate.
Posted by Soulman4764 2 years ago
To the Instigator. What you say is true about what is said in Ecclesiastes, but you have to take into consideration that we all fall short of the Glory of GOD (Elohim). And what is being told is those who face thehris Second Death. The Evidence that goes against that, is the ones who will ascend to heaven (Many are Chosen, but few shall walk the straight and narrow path to Everlasting Life), also Those who believe In Christ Jesus (Yeshua Ha Mashiach), will not perish and so forth. Plus it also says that the meek and lowly shall Inherit the Earth (as described in the age of the Gentiles who will keep the MOST HIGHS Law of Covenant (The Aleph Tav) Roughly Translated as Strength of Covenant. In what you say is some truth, but that also has its contradictions which also cannot be ignored. A lot of what was known from when Christianity was born to now is lost due to man embellishing the truth, we also have to take into consideration what we know now compared to then, you would need all people in existence to fathom the full truth now to even comprehend what is truly happening now.
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