The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

The Bible Is Not God's Word

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after 4 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/27/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,551 times Debate No: 18500
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)




Reformed asked me to challenge him to a similar debate I have done with lotus_flower with me as PRO.

Burden of proof is shared (though I will accept most of it), and first round is acceptance only.


I accept and look foward to seeing what Kohai puts forward. I would like to add the following requirements, if either pro or con does not supply an argument for a round it is to be considered an immediate loss. In addition, if any party is found to have post content that is not original without a citation (including a URL if appropriate) they will forfeit the debate. Finally, if any party argues their perspective in the comments they forfeit as well.
Debate Round No. 1


I accept my opponent's terms and thank him for accepting this debate. In this debate, I will argue that the Bible has contradictions and cannot be God's word. I will sum up my arguments as followed:
  1. The Bible is supposed to be God's word.
  2. The God of the bible cannot lie.
  3. If the Bible were to have any contradictions, it cannot be God's word.
    1. A contradiction is logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. [1]Becau
  4. Because the Bible is supposed to have been inspired by a God that cannot lie, it cannot have any contradictions.
  5. The Bible has contradictions.
  6. Therefore, it is NOT God's word.


The bible says that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God," in 2 Timothy 2:15.
Therefore, we can conclude that the Bible is supposed to be God's word.

The Bible states numerous times that God cannot lie. Take, for example, Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man that he should lie..."

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that everything in God's word is true and authoritative. Remember my definition of a contradiction, "A logical incompatibility between two or more propositions." Therefore, God would have had to lie in order for there to be Biblical contradictions. Since God cannot lie, we can assume that there is no contradictions. The problem, of course, lies in the fact that there ARE contradictions. Let's take a look. (I will limit myself to 5 arguments).

How did Judas die?

1. Matthew 27:23-5, "When Judas, his Betrayer, saw that he was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priest and the elders, saying, "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood." They said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself." And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and went and hanged himself.

2. Acts 1:18, "Now this man [Judas] bought a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong; he burst open in the middle and all his bowles gushed out.

3. 1 Corinthians 15:5, "...And that he [Jesus] was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve [disciples.]

(How can Judas have seen Jesus if he was already dead?)

Was Jesus born of a Virgin?

1. Romans 1:3, "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;"3

2. Matthew 1:23-24, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lrod by the prophet, saying, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel..." (See also, Luke)

References (These are where I found the definition for "Contradiction" and the contradictions themselves).
[2] Tobin, Paul. Rejection of Pascal's Wager
Scripture is from KJV and other versions. If my opponent wants to use a specific version, please state so!


I would like to thank Kohai for posting this argument. However, I am disappointed that Kohai is simply putting forward the same, overused "contradictions" that are commonly used, and commonly defeated. I was hoping for something novel and fresh, however I shall respond to these "contradictions" presently.

How did Judas die?

This is a common historical challenge to the veracity of the historical narratives found in Matthew and in Luke/Acts. However, there are several easy ways to harmonize these issues.

The Traditional Answer
The first is the traditional historical harmonization. That is that Judas went to a field, hung himself from a rope tied to a tree. Since he died the day prior to the sabbath (and to the passover) he likely hung from the tree for several days. The rope then broke, his body fell to the ground landing in a headlong position (horizontal) and burst open due to partial decomposition.

The Idiomatic Answer
The verb "apanchomai" is translated in Matthew as "hanged himself." However, in some Greek texts this word is used similar to our idiomatic "he got choked up" and refers to a physical expression of grief. It is possible that matthew is using this verb in this way and is not refering to the means of Judas' death, but rather is refering to the fact that he was so stricken with greif that he expressed it physically (Just like we might say "when he realized what he had done, he got all choked up with grief.")

The Textual Corruption Answer
The verb phrase in Acts that is translated as "became headlong" is prenes genomenos while the verb phrase for "became swollen" is presthes genomenos. As you can see, the words are very similar and it is entierly possible that a scribe somewhere accidentally wrote a Greek "nu" in place of a Greek "sigma-theta." This simply copyist error would account for the historical difference.

Regardless of which of these answers is true, the fact is that there are explanations that resolve this conflict in such a way that both accounts can be accurate and true. This argument was largely based on work found at

In regard to point three, the phrase "the twelve" is used in Paul as a technical term to describe the original twelve disciples, regardless of how many were physically present. We see that this is the case as Thomas was aparently absent for some of these instances but the number is still called "the twelve."

Was Jesus Born of a Virgin?

To be brutally honest, this conflict is insulting to the intelligence of our readers. Anyone who wishes to debunk this conflict need only read a modern translation of the Bible.

The phrase "made of the seed of David according to the flesh" uses the word γενομένου or genomenou. The most common use of this verb, according to Thayer's Lexicon, is "to become.", idiomatically the phrase γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ (genomenou ek spermatos Dauid) means "descended from David" as we can see in a majority of modern translations (

Since Mary was descendant of David, Jesus did indeed come from the descendants (or seed) of David. This is no contradiction.

Thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you, ReformedArsenal for accepting this debate and for your "harmonization" attempts.

How did Judas die?

My opponent neglected to respond to the fact that Judas supposedly saw Jesus. Therefore, the contradiction remains. Anyhow, we will see how his attempts fail.

Traditional Answer

There are several things wrong with the traditional answer:

(1) It does not explain why Paul thought Jesus appeared to Judas.
(2) Judas never dropped from a high place, the passage does NOT record any mountain cliff.
(3) Matthew states that Judas returned the silver, and hanged himself. Acts says that he bought a field and "fell hedlong." This shows that he NEVER fell from a cliff. The implications if Acts is correct is that Judas was thrown ahead, and the impact was so hard that his bowles bursts open. Furthermore, there is no evidence Judas fell vertically, only horizontally, so your explanation does not work.
(4) Another problem, the 30 pieces of silver, Acts states that he used the silver to purchase a field, but Matthew states that he returned the silver to the priest, then hanged himself.
(5) If Judas fell from the ropes to the rocks below, then he could not have fell headlong. How can you fall headlong from hanging? Your answer is insulting our intellegence. (With all do respect). [1]

Idiomatic Answer

My opponent states that Matthew really means that he got choked up with grief. However, the idiomatic answer does not answer the question as why it is an agreed upon translation by Biblical and Greek scholars, one would think that they would understand an idiom when they see it. For example, if someone sees the phrase, "It is raining cats and dogs," we obviously understand that as idiom. Please provide me a few reputable scholars that believe it is idiom.

Textual Corruption

The textual corruption is also known as the "copyist error" defense. The issue is, of course, we do not have the copyist error. Therefore, this is based upon circular reasoning. This also does not explain why Judas saw Jesus. What my opponent also means is that the text as we have it to-day is errant; thus God did not protect his word as he promised he would.

Was Jesus Born of a Virgin?

The word "seed" in that passage, literally means "Sperm." Therefore, there is a contradiction. If Jesus was supposedly born of a virgin, then he could not have been made "of the seed (spem) of David."

Furthermore, the problem arises that Jesus was born of a virgin; therefore, according to Jewish law, he could not have been a legal descendend of David.

More Contradictions

I clicked "review" in the last argument and mistakingly clicked, "Submit" instead of, "Make change," so I wish to apologize to my opponent for bringing up a few new arguments in this round.

Does God Tempt People?

1. James 1:13, "Let no man say...I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man."

2. Genesis 22:1, "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham."
Does God tempt people? [2]

Did Paul's men hear a voice?

1. Acts 9:17, "And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man."

2. Acts 22:9, "And they that werew ith me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me." [2]

Paul can't even get his own story straight! For more, pease see source 3


[1];(Note: I am not a Muslim, but use Islamic sources for counter-apologetics).
[2] Barker, Dan. Losing Faith In Fith.


Thank you for your contribution.

How did Judas die?

Traditional Answer
1) I explained that Paul uses the term "the twelve" as a technical term to refer to the original apostles regardless of how many were physically present. It was a title for that group. We know that Thomas was not present during one of these appearings, yet the group is still refered to as "the twelve"
2) No where did I mention a high place or cliff. I'm not sure where Kohai got this from but I have no reason to respond to it since it was never a part of the original argument.
3) This is a simple resolution, the Pharasiees could not take the money back because it was blood money (Matthew records this) so they bought a field with his funds. Since this field was purchased with Judas' money (remember, it was not the Priest/Temple's money, because they could not take it) it was Judas' field. When he died in the field, he defiled the field so it made a perfect location to make a cemetary, which is exactly what Matthew says it became.
4) See Number 3)
5) I mentioned no rocks, cliffs, or any great height. Finally, the Greek says he "became headlong" which indicates the final state, not the process. If Judas fell and ended up horizontal on the ground, he would have "become headlong."

Frankly, unless my opponent can prove that my harmonization is impossible, then this point falls to the wayside.

Idiomatic Answer
My opponent is actually encouraging me to commit the logical fallacy of an Appeal to Authority. It honestly does not matter if there are Greek Scholars or Biblical Scholars who believe this answer, it is a plausible answer. You say that idioms are obvious, but they are only obvious in the language in which we were raised. If you were to go to someone who does not speak english as a primary language and tell them that it is raining cats and dogs, they would look at you as though you were crazy.

Textual Corruption
My opponent asserts that "God did not protect his word as he promised he would." However, this begs the question since neither my opponent nor myself have shown any evidence that says that he made that promise. Nor does he give any argument that this represents the type of error that would challenge the fact that it is indeed God's word. According to his opening syllogism, only if he can prove a contradiction is the Bible invalid, he has not done so.

Was Jesus Born of a Virgin?
My opponent has committed what is known as the "Fallacy of Reverse Etymology." This fallacy happens when we see a word, trace the word to our modern version, and read the understanding of our word into the ancient word. The well known New Testament Scholar DA Carson, in his book Exegetical Fallacies, he explains and uses the greek word "dunamis" from which we get our word "dynamite."[A] Rather than reading the meaning of the word "dunamis" into our word "dynamite" and recognizing that dunamis means power and that is why we use it to represent dynamite, we read dynamite and read "explosive power" into the word "dunamis." However, the greek word "dunamis" has nothing to do with explosive power. This functions the same way. We get the word "sperm" from the Greek word "spermatos" not the other way around. According to Thayar's lexicon (previously quoted) this word has a range of meaning, including semen, but is not limited to sperm or physical descendance.

Does God Tempt People?
Both the Hebrew [B] and Greek [C] words that are translated as "tempt" can also have the connotation of "trial" or "test." Simply put, James is refering to the more traditional understanding of "tempt" meaning "enticing to sin," while the author of Genesis is using the word (which is not the same word mind you) in the connotation of "test" and sought to verify and validate Abraham's obedience.

Did Paul's men hear a voice?
I'm a little disappointed in Kohai for this one. The doctrine of infallibility does not extend to the persons who wrote scripture, rather they extend only to the scriptures themslves.

Acts 9:17 is the narrative account of what happened. It records the actual events.

Acts 22:9 only records Paul's account, which in itself is not inspired. Simply put, Paul can be wrong. The Bible does not say that this is the way the event happened... only that this is how Paul recounted that it happened. The Bible is fully accurate in recording how Paul told the story, but is not necessarily endorsing that this was actually how it happened. If anything, this lends credibility to the historical reliability of the Bible. Why would one author record contradictory accounts? Do you really suppose that the Author of acts was so stupid that he really did not understand that he contradicted himself?

Thank you

Debate Round No. 3


Gracias, ReformedArsenal, for your rebuttals.

Was Jesus Born of a Virgin?

My opponent accused me of a "Fallacy of Reverse Etymology." In addition, my opponent neglected to respond to the fact that if Jesus is Messiah, he needs to have an earthly biological father. Rabbi Meir Schuster points out: "According to jewish law, tribal identification comes from the father's side, while the "Jewish soul" comes from the motehrs side. If, as Matthew 1 claims, Joseph was a descended of David but did not have a sexual relationship with Mary. Hence, Jesus was not related to Joseph and not a descended of David." [1]

Does God Tempt People?

My opponent claims that James is referring to the understanding of being "enticed to sin," while the author of Genesis is using the connotation of "test." The problem is the fact that human sacrifice IS a sin! Deuteronomy 12:30-31 points out that God abhors it! In fact, Jeremiah 19:4-6 tells us thaat God hates it so much that the concept did not even cross his mind, "They have build also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind."

This obviously begs the question how God could test Abraham into doing something that did not come into G-d's mind. it also begs the question "Who died on the cross?" If it was Jesus the man, then God commited sin by human sacrifice; however, if it is the God, then it contradicts G-d's immutability.[2] Are we to believe that G-d changed his mind when it came to his son, or when it came to Abraham?

Did Paul's Men Hear a Voice?

Simply put, my opponent understands there is a contradiction. How, then can we trust the book of Acts? How, then can we say, "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God?" What then, is scripture?






Thanks again to Kohai for his contribution.

How Did Judas Die?
Kohai has not offered any further arguments, so at this time I consider the point dropped. If he brings it back up in the closing round, I will respond to it appropriately.

Was Jesus Born of a Virgin?
My opponent has not defended himself against the accusation of the "Falacy of Reverse Etymology." I therefore believe that he has conceeded the point of "spermatos" litterally meaning "sperm" as the concept of "sperm" was read into the Greek term by my opponent.

My opponent then points out that "if Jesus is Messiah, he needs to have an earthly biological father." However, this requirement is not located anywhere in scripture, and if it is he has not provided it. My opponent rather cites Rabbi Meir Schuster, who was born in 1943 [A], and treats this as though it represents a contradiction within the scriptures themselves. However, not even Rabbi Schuster indicates a scriptural support for the assertion that the Messiah would have to have a physical father. According to the opening syllogism, my opponent must find contradictions within the scripture in order to invalidate it as God's word.

Did God Test Abraham?
My opponent claims that my distinction between test and tempt is not legitimate, because Human Sacrifice is a sin, and therefore he was enticing Abraham to sin. However, it is clear from the narrative that God never intended to let Abraham complete the act by the fact that he stopped him.

Furthermore, my opponent claims that human sacrifice is something that God cannot even concieve of, but simply logic within teh verse of Jeremiah 19:4-6 proves that he is using the phrase "neither came it into my mind" hyperbolically. Simply put, he refers to it earlier in the passage, so the concept is obviously in his mind... how could he refer to it to say it never came into his mind, if it hadn't come into his mind in the first place. Rather, this is a way of God to, anthropomorphically, state that he disapproves of it and the concept is repugnant to him.

Next, my opponent claims that God exercised human sacrifice in teh act of the crucifixion. I don't disagree with this assertion... which is why I do not subscribe to Propitiatiory Sacrifice. Many Christians, particiuarly Reformed Christians, subscribe to Penal Substitution where Christ is not a propitatory sacrifice, but rather serves our punishment as a substitute. This does not require human sacrifice, rather it is a person serving my punishment.

Finally, He tries to build a contradiction between God apparently changing his mind and the Immutability of God. This shows that he does not understand teh term "immutability" as immutability, when used as an attribute of divinity, is refering to a change in the nature of something, not necessarily the behavior. Finally, if God never intended for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and intended for him to be stopped, there is no change in either nature or behavior.

Did Paul's Men Hear a Voice?
We can trust the Book of Acts in that it records Paul's account in Acts 22, not the actual event. It faithfully recounts Paul's incorrect retelling of the event, just as it faithfully recounts the accurate account in Acts 9.

Thank you again to Kohai for his arguments and candor.

Debate Round No. 4


Thank you for accepting this debate and for teaching me a few stuff. This round is soley for the purpose of closing statements.

Thank you, readers, for reading this debate. I ask that you do not vote based upon your bias, but on how well we debated. I do believe my opponent has won, though this is not a concession.

Thank you.


I would like to thank my opponent for his contribution to this debate. Even though my opponent did not indicate that round 5 was not for further argumentation, I will refrain from any further rebuttals. I would, however, like to give a brief overview of the debate.

My opponent began his argument with a type syllogism. In this syllogism he indicated that because the Bible is supposed to be God's Word, that any contradiction within the biblical text caused God to be a liar. Since the God of the Bible cannot lie, any contradiction present in the Bible invalidated that the Bible was indeed God's word.

He then proceeded to discuss several apparent contradictions within the text.

The first presented contradiction was that of the discrepancies between the two accounts. In round 2 and 3 I refuted Kohai and in round 4 the contention was dropped.

Next, Kohai presented an apparent contradiction between Paul calling jesus a descendent of David according to the flesh, and focused in on the word "seed" (Gk: Spermatos). I refuted this by pointing out that the word spermatos could refer to his descent from Mary. In round 3 Kohai committed the fallacy of reverse etymology, to which Kohai responded that Rabbi Meir Schuster points out that tribal lineage happens on the father's side. I showed that this is not a contradiction within the text, and therefore had no bearing on the debate.

In round 3, Kohai introduced a contradiction between the Biblical maixim that God does not tempt people, while in Genesis it states that he tempted Abraham. I resolved this by explaining the linguistic nuances inherant in the Greek and Hebrew words for "tempt" which include test and try. He responded by stating that God committed sin in the human sacrifice of Jesus, which I explained need not be thought of as a propitiatory sacrifice.

Finally, in round 3 he introduced the discrepancy between what happened in Acts 9 and what Paul recounts in Acts 22. I explained that while Acts 9 records what actually happened, Acts 22 only records what Paul said happened. I also noted that the fact that the two are not the same actually lends credibility to the historicity of Acts.

I would like to close this argument and summary by quoting my opponent's round 5 argument. Kohai writes "I ask that you do not vote based upon your bias, but on how well we debated. I do believe that [Con] has won, though this is not a concession."

Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
Macro... I think you're in the wrong thread.
Posted by Macroscope 6 years ago
Somewhere in the region of 3rd-5th source.
Posted by kohai 6 years ago
Bozo, must you vote bomb all of ra's debates?
Posted by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
I'm not going to respond to Izbo's comment. He doesn't vote based on logic or reasoning, he votes out of his own bias. Even Kohai said he thinks I won the debate... Izbo just doesn't care to think beyond the boarders of his tiny worldview.
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
"easy win kohai, reformed after his teachings just makes up random stuff."
Reformed, this is Izbo10's RFD. How do you respond?
Posted by Patzer24 6 years ago
mandmandmbaby, I do not believe that the debate is what they are referring to. It would be good semantics from PRO's side, but that is just a cheep shot. Anyways, I love how CON is dismantling PRO.

As far as the assertion that Jeremiah is being hyperbolic, that is not true.
Posted by mandmandmbaby 6 years ago
The bible is not God's word because he did not write the bible himself, therefore the bible is absolutely made up.
Posted by Davididit 6 years ago
Excellent 3rd round, Reformed. Glad to know we have a biblical scholar here to set the record straight. :)
Posted by Davididit 6 years ago
This is wayyyy too easy.
Posted by S98-SAMMAN 6 years ago
Great debate so far!!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Crede 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Honestly I think that most of what Pro stated was well refuted by Con in showing the original meaning behind the original language, or by putting Pro's scripture quotes in context with the surrounding scripture. I had never heard of some of these "contradictions" until this debate, so good job Con in refuting them with clarity!
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I am nullifying Izbo10's vote. His past history with Reformed shows his willingness to vote bomb against Reformed as he considers his teachings fraudelent and somehow "intellectually dishonest". Such voters like him do not deserve the power of deciding the victor of a debate.
Vote Placed by izbo10 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: easy win kohai, reformed after his teachings just makes up random stuff.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: CC. Con was winning anyways. Pro's arguments were not as strong as they could have been.