The Instigator
brett.winstead
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
1Devilsadvocate
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

God broke his promise to Abraham and the Bible admits it

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
1Devilsadvocate
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/30/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,348 times Debate No: 35183
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

brett.winstead

Pro

As a Bible skeptic, I love debating Bible issues to show fallacies in the Bible so I would love to get into a debate about the reliability of of the Biblical God's promises. After all, if He cannot be relied on for one promise, how can he be trusted on any promise? This is for Bible believers only.

First round is for acceptance and I will go ahead and put a little info out there.

God promised this to Abraham:

The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you" (Genesis 13:14-17).

This promise was not unfulfilled yet. It was broken and the Bible admits it. Anyone?

1Devilsadvocate

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
brett.winstead

Pro

Unfortunately, I cannot cancel this debate (or I would) but I will not debate someone playing devil's advocate. Do you see the part that said "Bible believers only?"
1Devilsadvocate

Con

It seems that there was a misunderstanding, which has since been cleared up in the comments section. Pro writes that he will post his arguments in the next round. Until than there is obviously not much for me to say (unless I just create and destroy straw men), so I'll pass it over to Pro to make his opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
brett.winstead

Pro



I will post mine all in bold to distinguish from your side.






"The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, 'Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you'" (Genesis 13:14-17).




This is one of the biggest promises in the entire Bible. It is important to both Jews and Christians even today. This prophecy was not conditional on anything Abram had to do. As far as God was concerned, Abram’s previous faithfulness was enough for God to tell him that he and his descendants were going to be given the land of Canaan. God repeats the promise again in Genesis 15:18. This promise was never fulfilled to Abram, later named Abraham. The Bible admits this twice in the New Testament:



He gave him (Abraham) no inheritance here, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land (Acts 7:5).





All these people (Abraham and descendants) were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance (Hebrews 11:13).




“They did not see the things promised.” Today, Christianity and Judaism teach that the promise was not fulfilled "yet." They look at it as some kind of futuristic fulfillment that will happen someday. The problem with this is that as mentioned, the Bible writers in Acts and Hebrews disagree. They flat out stated that the promise did not come to pass. There is no indication that God's promise to Abraham would not happen immediately and even the writers of Acts and Hebrews failed to mention what Christianity teaches now - not "yet." If the OT were true, God broke his promise to Abram. He said "I am giving it you," not "Someday thousands of years from now, your descendants will get this land."








1Devilsadvocate

Con

Today, Christianity and Judaism teach that the promise was not fulfilled "yet." They look at it as some kind of futuristic fulfillment that will happen someday.”

Pro fails to provided a source for this. Undoubtedly there may be those who believe it to be true, but that does not make it the only/correct view.

The problem with this is that as mentioned, the Bible writers in Acts and Hebrews disagree. They flat out stated that the promise did not come to pass. There is no indication that God's promise to Abraham would not happen immediately, and even the writers of Acts and Hebrews failed to mention what Christianity teaches now - not "yet." If the OT were true, God broke his promise to Abram. He said "I am giving it you," not "Someday thousands of years from now, your descendants will get this land."[emphasis mine]

This is unacceptably wrong.
The problem with pro’s “argument” is that he unabashedly flat out lies, perverts, fabricates and misquotes the bible. The bible never indicates that God said “I am” as pro wrote in quotes, but rather I will, in the future tense.
This is made even clearer in the 2007 edition of the new living translation, which states “...that eventually the ...”

I will wait to see if Pro can produce a coherent argument based on what the verses actually say, as opposed what he falsely decides to claim they are saying. If he can do so, I'll gladly respond to that. Until then, no coherent argument has been made, and thus the resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
brett.winstead

Pro

brett.winstead forfeited this round.
1Devilsadvocate

Con

Apparently Pro missed the deadline, and posted his arguments in the comments section.

I’m not sure exactly how to deal with this, but I figured it can’t hurt to reply to what was written in the comment section.


I apologize for perhaps being a bit too strong in my language condemning pro’s misrepresentation of the bible verse, & perhaps implying that it was done intentionally.

When pro wrote “I am”, he did not specify which verse,so when I reread the translation that he provided and saw “I will”, it appeared to me a clear and utter distortion. Apparently pro meant to refer to a latter verse, which, according to the translation that he provided indeed does say “I am”. This in and of itself is a rather peculiar contradiction, according to the translation pro uses, verse 15 says “I will”, while verse 17 says “I am”. The fact of the matter is, as I shall prove at length beyond any reasonable doubt, is that verse 17 correctly translated also reads “I will”.


From the original Hebrew it is quite clear that the statement was not made in the present tense. Not only that, but from the original Hebrew, it’s actually clearly in the future tense.


The verse reads: " קום התהלך בארץ לארכה ולרחבה כי לך אתננה "


See here for a word by word direct translation directly from the Hebrew.(1-4)



The key word here is " אתננה ", which, as I will explain means "I will give". The key letter here is the "א"/Aleph, which is not part of the root word "נָתַן", but rather a prefix. When the "א"/Aleph is prefixed to a verb stem, it indicates first person, singular, future tense. I will. (5-8)


Other translations:


New American Standard (NASB/NAS) - NAS is “widely regarded as one of the most literally translated of 20th-century English Bible translations(9) ...The NASB remains, however, the most literal version of the English Bible commonly used in churches today. It is commonly used in many Christian colleges and seminaries for in-depth study, because of its strict adherence to the original languages”(10)

NAS translates the verse thusly:


"Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth ; for I will give it to you."


Holman Christian Standard - produced by “an international, interdenominational team of 100 scholars, editors, stylists, and proofreaders...” (11)(12):

Get up and walk from one end of the land to the other, for I will give it to you."


Douay-Rheims - “first officially authorized Catholic Bible translation in English”:

"Arise and walk through the land in the length, and the breadth thereof: for I will give it to thee."


In fact, I would say that most English Bibles translate the verse to read "I will" some other future tense form :


Geneva Study Bible:

Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.


American Standard Version (ASV):

"Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for unto thee will I give it."


International Standard Version (©2012):

"Get up! Walk throughout the length and breadth of the land, because I'm going to give it to you."


New Revised Standard:

"Rise up, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you."


The Darby Translation:

"Arise, walk through the land according to the length of it and according to the breadth of it; for I will give it to thee."


The Webster Bible:

"Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it to thee."



King James Version:

"Arise , walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee."


Lexham English Bible:

"Arise, go through the length of the land and through its breadth, for I will give it to you."



English Standard Version (ESV):

"Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you."


Complete Jewish Bible:

"Get up and walk through the length and breadth of the land, because I will give it to you."



The same Hebrew word is used in both verses:


In verse 15, even NIV (the translation that pro used) translates the verse using "I will", then inexplicably in verse 17 NIV switches to "I am". The problem is (aside from all of the problems), that the exact same word "אתננה" is used in both verses. (13-15) In fact, all 10 times that the word " אתננה " appears in the bible, it means "I will" or some other similar future tense variation.


Thus it is clear beyond any reasonable doubt that NIV is indeed in error, and the correct translation is "I will" or some other similar future tense variation. (16)


As far as pro's final point in the comment section (which I should point out is a new point in that it was not made previously in this debate) that "God promised it to Abe and did not deliver. Abe is dead now.", there are a number of answers:

The simplest answer is that according to the Judeo-Christian concept of bringing the dead back to life/reincarnation, the fact that Abraham physically died, does not negate the possibility of his return & receiving the land. Indeed at the end of days, God will bring the righteous back to life, this includes Abraham.

My next answer is based 0n Matthew Henry's six volume Complete Commentary which provides an exhaustive look at every verse in the Bible.
There it is written:
“The slow steps by which the promise made to Abraham advanced toward performance, plainly show that it had a spiritual meaning, and that the land intended was the heavenly.”According to this understanding as well, Abraham could/would receive that which was promised to him, after his death.

My next answer is based on an ethnic/linguistic/stylistic point/concept expressed by H. Wheeler Robinson:
Jews are familiar with identifying individuals with the group they belong to. H. Wheeler Robinson writes that "Corporate personality is the important Semitic complex of thought in which there is a constant oscillation between the individual and the group—family, tribe, or nation—to which he belongs, so that the king or some other representative figure may be said to embody the group, or the group may be said to sum up the host of individuals." (17)
Thus when God/the bible says that the land will be given to Abraham & his offspring, it means the Jewish people as a whole, not Abraham individually.
As the Geneva Study Bible puts it:
“The promise of the possession was certain, and belonged to Abraham, though it was his posterity that enjoyed it a great while after his death: and this is the figure of speech synecdoche.”

The final answer that I will present here now is as follows:
There is no contradiction, because while Abraham inherited none of God's promises personally, he inherited all of God's promises through his descendants. He became a great nation through his descendants in Egypt (Dt. 26:5). He inherited the land through his descendants (Gen. 15:7-21). All the families of the earth are blessed through his greatest descendant, Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:8-9, 13-14, 26-29). God's promises to Abraham were fulfilled through Abraham's descendants, and that is all that God ever intended (18)



(1) http://biblelexicon.org...

(2) http://interlinearbible.org...

(3) http://biblehub.com...

(4) http://bibleapps.com...

(5) http://en.wikipedia.org...

(6) http://hebrew4christians.com...

(7) http://www.biblewheel.com...

(8) http://books.google.com...

(9) http://www.christianity.com...

(10) http://www.biblestudytools.com...

(11) http://www.bible-researcher.com...

(12) http://www.biblestudytools.com...

(13) http://www.bibleasia.com...

Rest of sources in comments.


Debate Round No. 4
brett.winstead

Pro

Again, all of the mentions of the "I will" versus "I am" are relatively the same regardless of the translation. If I say that because you are one cool dude, I will buy you a new car, would you assume that I meant later on today or tomorrow or sometime thousands of years into the future? What kind of promise is it if it is not going to come true when you actually need it - now? A promise that had no unspecified time of delivery is nothing more than just a promise. I promise to give you a million dollars...someday. You can never say that was a false promise because "someday" has not and never will arrive will it? Do you see what I mean?



The simplest answer is that according to the Judeo-Christian concept of bringing the dead back to life/reincarnation, the fact that Abraham physically died, does not negate the possibility of his return & receiving the land.



It is interesting that you mention the Judeo-Christian concept because the keyword is Christian. While some Jews do believe in life after death, it is mainly because of wishful thinking and tradition than it is the OT. Yes, there are some very vague mentions of life after death from poetic writings of the OT books but mostly, you will see affirmations of death being the end. From:

http://www.jewfaq.org... we have this quote:



"Traditional Judaism firmly believes that death is not the end of human existence. However, because Judaism is primarily focused on life here and now rather than on the afterlife, Judaism does not have much dogma about the afterlife, and leaves a great deal of room for personal opinion. It is possible for an Orthodox Jew to believe that the souls of the righteous dead go to a place similar to the Christian heaven, or that they are reincarnated through many lifetimes, or that they simply wait until the coming of the messiah, when they will be resurrected. Likewise, Orthodox Jews can believe that the souls of the wicked are tormented by demons of their own creation, or that wicked souls are simply destroyed at death, ceasing to exist. "



The reason why there is such varying opinion on the subject is because the OT makes no clear dogma on the subject. The NT is a different story but the OT makes no reference to eternal life.



Thus when God/the bible says that the land will be given to Abraham & his offspring, it means the Jewish people as a whole, not Abraham individually.



The promise was to start with Abraham and his family and it did not get fulfilled.






The final answer that I will present here now is as follows:
There is no contradiction, because while Abraham inherited none of God's promises personally, he inherited all of God's promises through his descendants. He became a great nation through his descendants in Egypt (Dt. 26:5). He inherited the land through his descendants (Gen. 15:7-21).



That was not the original promise. The promise was to Abraham first and then the descendants. Your interpretation completely leaves out Abraham receiving anything. You cannot say that "Abe inherited through his descendants" and not have a big problem because Abe was the one promised directly. God said HE would receive this land AND his descendants - not just descendants. The other big problem with your interpretation is that the NT disagrees and the NT is where we get all of the concrete dogma about life after death. If the future inheritance idea is the correct one, you have consistently failed to answer how the NT twice (see first round) mentions that Abe did not receive the things promised! It says nothing about Abe receiving it "through his descendants" nor does it say he has not received them "yet" and will eventually receive it in some futuristic afterlife. If your interpretation is correct, then why did God not see the need to inspire one NT or OT writer to explain that the promise will come true to Abe in the future. Instead, the NT writers say what I have been saying - that Abe did not receive what was promised and note most importantly that the word "yet" does not appear except in the teachings of Christianity. The only reason that Christianity has to include the idea of Abe receiving the promise in the future is because Christianity cannot and will not fathom the idea that God made a false promise to Abe or the more correct idea that the Bible is not the word of any God.

1Devilsadvocate

Con

"Again, all of the mentions of the "I will" versus "I am" are relatively the same regardless of the translation. If I say that because you are one cool dude, I will buy you a new car, would you assume that I meant later on today or tomorrow or sometime thousands of years into the future? What kind of promise is it if it is not going to come true when you actually need it - now?"

Pro seems to concede that the verse was said in the future tense, however, he maintains that even so it means in the near future. He compares it to a case where one person promises something to another using the English term “I will” in which case it means in the near future. omnis traductor traditor, we cannot take a translation, and make inferences (I.E. deduce things not explicitly mentioned) based on how the translation term is used today in the 21st century. God did not say “I will”, he said " אתננה " all we know based on that is that God promised to give the land in the future we have no right to presume an immediate future implication based on the way “I will” is used today. (This is a sort of reverse Genetic fallacy.)

Furthermore, if one looks at the context, it is clear that God is making a promise pertaining to the distant future. In this same promise, God promises Abraham that his posterity will be exceedingly numerous obviously, clearly, that was not meant to be understood as pertaining to the immediate future.


Furthermore, based on what I brought from Matthew Henry's six volume Complete Commentary, it is clear that God did not mean in the immediate future. As Matthew Henry writes: “The slow steps by which the promise made to Abraham advanced toward performance, plainly show that it had a spiritual meaning, and that the land intended was the heavenly.”


Finally, based on what I answered from Henry Wheeler Robinson & the Geneva Study Bible using the concept of synecdoche to explain that the promise was never that Abraham himself would receive it, but rather that his progeny would be the ones to receive it.


"A promise that had no unspecified time of delivery is nothing more than just a promise. I promise to give you a million dollars...someday. You can never say that was a false promise because "someday" has not and never will arrive will it? Do you see what I mean?"

I don’t think so, perhaps you mistyped, but this statement of yours actually seems to support my position. This is why (unless there is a pre-determined standard/norm,) serious transactions/agreements (such as a loan) should be made with clearly defined dates by when x happens. For precisely this reason, if there is no date, there is no deadline. (This is another reason why pros car analogy is invalid, it's unrealistic.)






"It is interesting that you mention the Judeo-Christian concept because the keyword is Christian. While some Jews do believe in life after death, it is mainly because of wishful thinking and tradition than it is the OT. Yes, there are some very vague mentions of life after death from poetic writings of the OT books but mostly, you will see affirmations of death being the end. From:http://www.jewfaq.org...... we have this quote:"Traditional Judaism firmly believes that death is not the end of human existence. However, because Judaism is primarily focused on life here and now rather than on the afterlife, Judaism does not have much dogma about the afterlife, and leaves a great deal of room for personal opinion. It is possible for an Orthodox Jew to believe that the souls of the righteous dead go to a place similar to the Christian heaven, or that they are reincarnated through many lifetimes, or that they simply wait until the coming of the messiah, when they will be resurrected. Likewise, Orthodox Jews can believe that the souls of the wicked are tormented by demons of their own creation, or that wicked souls are simply destroyed at death, ceasing to exist. "The reason why there is such varying opinion on the subject is because the OT makes no clear dogma on the subject. The NT is a different story but the OT makes no reference to eternal life."

Pro completely dropped my argument based on the idea that the dead will be brought back to life. The only point of somewhat significance made was:
“the OT makes no clear dogma on the subject. The NT is a different story but the OT makes no reference to eternal life.”
There are many points & counter arguments that I could make here, but pro is really just using Red herring. His whole contradiction argument was based on the new testament, so his entire point here is irrelevant.


synecdoche:

"The promise was to start with Abraham and his family and it did not get fulfilled."

Pro just completely ignores the point I’m making based on the concept of synecdoche, and more specifically, the statement made by Henry Wheeler Robinson which I quoted, and simply asserts his own interpretation of the verse. BOP is on Pro, he cannot simply ignore my arguments, make assertions without backing them up, and expect to get away with that.

Just to remind the voters, the BOP is on pro to show that "God broke his promise to Abraham and the Bible admits it". I believe that I have shown this to be false, or at the very least not necessarily true (which is really all that I have to do).
The resolution is negated, vote Con!
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
This is really amazing that one voter has already voted and stated con had more convincing arguments when con during the entire debate ignored the fact that the NT (supposedly the word of God) admits that God's promises to Abe did not come true! This is crucial to the entire debate and it seems that con does not believe in the NT so he chose not to debate it even though he says he is Devil's Advocate (his user name). This is why I did not want to debate someone who does not believe in the Bible completely. I think I am done with this site. This entire debate was based on the premise that the NT admits it did not come true - not that it is some future promise in a Heavenly kingdom. That is not OT theology at all and nothing in the promise implied or ever outright said anything about a Heavenly kingdom. That is all NT but the point is that even the NT writer in Acts and Hebrews lets the cat out of the bag on the promise to Abe.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
Pro uses the word fallacy in his first round, but I'm not sure he knows what a fallacy actually is.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
I did not mean to forfeit the last round. Time just got away from me. Anyway, I will do it here.
You said:

"The problem with pro"s "argument" is that he unabashedly flat out lies, perverts, fabricates and misquotes the bible"

A "lie" is a statement with an intent to deceive so I am thinking that you do not understand that. I did not fabricate anything. I simply quoted the Bible without any alteration. You said:

"The bible never indicates that God said "I am" as pro wrote in quotes, but rather I will, in the future tense."

Yes, it does. You are not reading the verse. Let me quote it again and we will see if I lied or not.

Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you'" (Genesis 13:14-17).

Does it say "I am" or "I will?" This is the NIV version which is more accurate than the KJV if you do the research. So, where is the lie - you know the statement with the intent to deceive? Regardless of which Bible translation you use, it still does not change anything. God promised it to Abe and did not deliver. Abe is dead now. God did not promise it in some afterlife. The NT admits that God failed his promise to Abe. You did not even address that.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
It is actually your turn but there is not a lot you can say until I post mine so...
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
Ok, so you believe the Bible is the word of God. I guess for that reason alone, we can continue with the debate so I apologize for not continuing earlier. I saw "agnostic" and figured it was pointless to argue with a fellow agnostic.

I did not mean you were not a good debater based on what I sai:"you cannot put forth a good debate without believing the position for which you are arguing." I meant that is the casae in general terms when it comes to debating someone on religious issues. Sure, you can play devil's advocate across many categories but when it comes to religion and spirituality, it would be pretty strange to debate me unless you were sold on Christianity, hook, line and sinker. It would not make sense but I will play along.

Lastly, I hope you don't take that ELO stuff too seriously. I have lost 2 debates. One had one voter and the other had 2 (except for one who's votes cancelled themselves out). Frankly, I am very disappointed in the traffic to this site because there are not nearly enough voters for me to feel like I won or lost. It is hardly worth my time. It is also quite hilarious that voters vote a certain way for the reasons they give. I have been penalized for the dumbest reasons I won't bother to get into. I just don't take the voting seriously at all.

I will post my debate shortly.
Posted by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
1) If you read the rest of the profile, you'll see that I'm an agnostic theist, which means that I believe in God, but am unsure which religion is the true religion. I believe that the old testament is the word of God, or at least divinely inspired.
2) Look, my ELO is way higher than yours, the worst that could happen for you is that you'll win, & get a higher win ratio and ELO (which is currently below what a new member starts off with). I don't stand much to gain here by winning, you on the other hand do.
3) I know the bible just as well if not better than you. & I certainly know the old testament, which is the subject matter of the debate, much better than you or anyone else on this site.
4) I challenge you to a debate with the following resolution "you cannot put forth a good debate without believing the position for which you are arguing).
5)If you don't want to debate me fine,(as I've said, I don't stand much to gain by debating you, in fact I could get a reputation for noob swiping by debating people like you, I took it mostly because no one else seemed interested,) but don't hide behind stupid ridiculous excuses.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
1. You don't believe in the Bible because you are agnostic
2. It matters to me because you cannot put forth a good debate without believing and know the Bible quite well. You should have read the requirements of the debate.
Posted by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
1) I do believe in the bible
2) Why does it matter, if you have a good argument, you shouldn't care who you're debating unless...
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
I did not meant to make it confusing so my mistake. I meant that some Christians say that God's promise to Abe has not been fulfilled yet and that is incorrect. His promise was broken.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Skynet 3 years ago
Skynet
brett.winstead1DevilsadvocateTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro does not understand context of the documents he read, and FF'ed one round.
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 3 years ago
KeytarHero
brett.winstead1DevilsadvocateTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro for jumping to conclusions and essentially forfeiting his second round, then for actually forfeiting the fourth round. In fact, because of this I'll award Con the win, since Pro can't just argue in the comments if he misses his deadline. There's a deadline for a reason.