The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
8 Points

The Bible does not contradict itself

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/12/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,554 times Debate No: 25570
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (35)
Votes (3)




Hello, I will be debating Pro for the resolution. The same guidelines for every debate apply.

And by "Bible" I mean the Scriptures that are recognized to be sacred by the Church:

Old Testament
  • Genesis
  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • 1 Samuel
  • 2 Samuel
  • 1 Kings
  • 2 Kings
  • 1 Chronicles
  • 2 Chronicles
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Esther
  • Job
  • Psalm
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon
  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Daniel
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
New Testament
  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John
  • Acts
  • Romans
  • 1 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon
  • Hebrews
  • James
  • 1 Peter
  • 2 Peter
  • 1 John
  • 2 John
  • 3 John
  • Jude
  • Revelation
Good luck!


I would like the thank Mrihearvoices for starting this debate. I would like to state that the Bible in question is the Protestant Bible, specifically the KJV. We will not be including the Apocryphal or Deutrocanonical books. Since I have BoP, I am assuming I introduce arguments here.

I. Date of Jesus's Birth

"According to Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1). According to Luke, Jesus was born during the first census in Israel, while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). This is impossible because Herod died in March of 4 BC and the census took place in 6 and 7 AD, about 10 years after Herod's death."[1]

This contradiction isn't the only one. According to Matthew, magis come to worship the newborn king which infuriated King Herod. Luke, on the other hand, describes Jesus being presented to the high priests in honor of the law and the "prophet" and "prophetess" pronounce him as the Messiah. [3] It seems unreasonable that this would not have escaped Herod's memory.

II. Evil or Peaceful?

II.i. PSA 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

JER 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.

II.ii. EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

II.iii. "I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy." (JER 13:14) "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling."

"The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy." (JAS 5:11)
"For his mercy endureth forever." (1CH 16:34)
"The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works." (PSA 145:9)
"God is love." (1JO 4:16)

[2] for all here.

III. What Did Jesus Say?

[Luke 23:46] And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, *Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit*: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

[John 19:30] When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

What did he say before he gave up the ghost?

IV. Scientific Errors

IV.i. Light

[Genesis 1:16] And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

This is a contradiction to science because the lesser light is referred to the moon, and the moon does give light, but it is not is own light, and a luminous body is one that gives its own light

IV.ii. Rabbits

[Leviticus 11:6] And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

This is a contradiction to science, because hares do not chew cud.

IV.iii. Flat Earth?

IV.iii.a. [Daniel 4:10-11] (10)Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. (11)The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth

This is an scientific contradiction because if we place a tree in the middle of the Earth, high enough to reach whatever point beneath the atmosphere, we would not be able to see the end of the Earth, because the Earth is round, not flat. This proves that the Earth is flat according to the Bible.

IV.iii.b. [Isaiah 11:12] "...from the four corners of the earth."
[Revelation 7:1] "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth..."
[Job 38:13] That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
[Psalm 96:10] Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.

The Earth has no corners because it is not flat, and it does move.

V. Conclusion

This is an argument: "PAUL SAID, "God is not the author of confusion," (I Corinthians 14:33), yet never has a book produced more confusion than the bible!"[4]


[3]: The Bible, KJV
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting.

First off:
Many have argued for hundreds of years that the correct translation of Luke 2:2 is:
"This was the census that took place before the first census of Quirinius."

Now, since the Bible's wording has not changed after the movement, I won't use this as a proper argument.

However, many historians believe that Quirinius was governor of Syria twice, as a found inscription in Antioch says just that. They also believe that Quirinius could have EASILY done a census at the time. This being at the same time of Herod the Great.

As for the second part, please refer to exact Bible passages. I cannot uphold the truth value of a vague claim. Thank you.


II.i. The belief is that Lord is good and wants people to be saved, but those who do not change will be punished. That's what it's saying.

II.ii. (Man of war should be warrior) What can a warrior be described as? Maybe not that God literally fights in wars, maybe that he leads the way and teaches virtues. What is a warrior?

warrior - a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness
God consists of these. An existential relationship with God is peaceful.

II.iii. Again, this is much of what the Bible is about. The New Testament as a followup to the Old Testament. Keep in mind that before Jesus, it was necessary to sacrifice lambs to be forgiven. God sent His Only Begotten Son in the next so that he could take away the sins of the world.

So, answering your concern, God is merciful and loving, but to those who reject his love, they shall receive His judgment. That's all it's saying.

Interesting point you have made. John was close to the cross at the time of Jesus's death. Luke was much further in the back. Do they disagree on this? No. John hears the words that Jesus had said softly, when he is referring to the ones close to him. Luke refers to the words Jesus had "cried with a loud voice" to the crowd. They hear different last words because they are in different positions. Here are all 3 account put together, something I found:

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?' that is to say, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'....Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice said , 'Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:' (notice the cry with a loud voice is separated from Jesus commending His spirit, probably quieter), then he said softly, 'It is finished:' and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

Originally, I was going to debunk every one of these "errors" you have brought up. However, this is different from the topic, which was "The Bible does not contradict ITSELF." This has nothing to do with it contradicting outside sources. If you believe differently, please indicate so in the next round. I am not dropping the argument, just saying it is irrelevant.

I see what you are saying: however, the Bible was written over 2000 years ago in Greek and Hebrew. It was written in completely different area, in an ancient text. So it is confusing to us today, of course because we aren't 1st Century Jews or Greeks.

"Yet never has a book produced more confusion than the Bible!"
This is an atheist's opinion also, and can't be regarded as fact.

I look forward to my opponent's response.


I would like to thank Mrihearvoices for presenting his rebuttals.


"This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria."[Luke 2:2]

"Herod the Great died in 4 BCE.""Quirinius became governer of Syria in 6 CE, nine years after king Herod's death."[1]

"Some Christians try to manipulate the text to mean this was the first census while Quirinius was governor and that the first census of Israel recorded by historians took place later. However, the literal meaning is "this was the first census taken, while Quirinius was governor ..." In any event, Quirinius did not become governor of Syria until well after Herod's death."[2]

So, the two accounts are nine years apart. This is a contradiction.

As for the second part, the verse is: Luke 2:22-38. You have not refuted this.



"They point out that PSA 145:20 states that The Lord keeps all who love Him, but that He will destroy the wicked. In other words, some see no contradiction between "The Lord is good to all" and JER 13:14. Others contend, however, that even if the Lord destroys the wicked he could do so with compassion, pity, and mercy. Further, there are biblical examples that indicate that the Lord is not necessarily "good" or merciful--even to those who are not wicked. One such example is Job. As one reader points out, "If Psalm 145:9 was not a contradiction of Psalm 145:20 or Jeremiah 13:14, it would read something like this: "The LORD is good to all, except the wicked: and his tender mercies are over all his works, except when He is punishing the wicked." In any case, the idea that the Lord is good and merciful is contradicted by countless examples in the Bible where God orders the destruction of infants, personally kills David's infant child, etc."[3]


"The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name."[Exodus 15:3] The verse does not say that God is a "warrior". Then, the Bible says, "Now the God of peace be with you all."[Romans 15:33] God cannot be a man of war and of peace.


My opponent hasn't even touched my arguments here. His statements are irrelevant. He says, "...this is much of what the Bible is about." Contradictions?

Let's take a look at barebones contradictions:

"I will not pity..."[Jeremiah 13:14]; "The Lord is very pitiful..."[James 5:11]
"...nor have mercy..."[Same Jeremiah]; "For his mercy endureth forever."[1 Chronicles 16:34]
"The Lord is good to all..."[Psalms 145:9]; Clearly this is not true.

My opponent has not effectively refuted this. His last claim is not right.


But each claim that he gave up the ghost at different statements. Only John agrees with your claim. Matthew and Luke both have Jesus giving up the ghost before he said, "It is finished." My opponent is basically trying to salvage the point here.


Because, according to theists, "It is impossible for God to do anything wrong... Teach your children that God is Right, 100% of the time."[4] If God is always right, God cannot make errors of any kind. And, "The Bible Is The Word Of God."[5] So, if the Bible contains errors, that is a contradiction that either God made the Bible or that God is always right.

My opponent has not refuted this point.


Even among Christians, the Bible is a source of much confusion. This is obvious. Look at the fact that there are over 1000 different versions of the Bible. Catholics have their version, Greek Orthodox have theirs, Russian Orthodox have theirs, and most denominations of Protestantism have each of their own versions.

But, since it contains contradictions, it clearly causes confusion among everybody.


For all Bible verses except the very first, here is the source:, KJV version
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you Ron-Paul for the response.


Allow me to point out that your source is skeptical Atheist blogs for everything mentioned there. It seems as though your quote that "the literal meaning is 'this was the first census taken, while Quirinius was governor...'" is in fact the one misinterpreting this, rearranging the words, and adding punctuation.

As I previously said (and sourced), many scholars say that Quirinius was probably governor on two separate occasions. And since my side of the argument is written in ancient text and widely accepted, and you have accepted BOP, unless you can prove that it's IMPOSSIBLE that Quirinius was governor twice, once during Herod's death, and from a reliable, unbiased source (not an atheistic website), then my argument holds.

As for the second part, I have not refuted it because you just used one short passage when you're saying the two contradict. You have to include both passages and quote which part contradicts, otherwise, I don't see the contradiction.



To respond to your quote:

"Critics often ask how God can be both a God of mercy and judgment. Though God is absolutely merciful when we are willing to accept His mercy, He is also a just God who promises consequences for sin. Throughout the Bible we see the wicked being warned before judgment occurs. Only after they refused to come to repentance did God send judgment.

Modern Analogy: Imagine one of your loved ones being brutally murdered. The perpetrator is arrested and found guilty by a jury. Now
imagine the criminal in a hands of a judge who releases him without issuing any sentence. Would this be considered just? Would this even be considered mercy? Not in the opinion of the victim's family or anyone with half a brain! In short, mercy and judgment are not necessarily mutually exclusive." [1]


My opponent is trying to make it seem that I am manipulating the next or substituting words. However, on the issue of "warrior" vs. "man of war":

First of all, many translations say "warrior" [2] so we are both right in that sense. But for the sake of this argument let's use my opponent's translation. "Man of War" is defined as "a warrior" [3]. So my argument still stands.


I did touch your arguments. Instead of copy and pasting the same exact thing I said in II.i., I've summed up this and many other "contradictions" that you could claim in one place. So, the same argument I HAVE made still stands. I've JUST gone over the same verse in II.i., so judges, please refer to that.


contradict - to imply the opposite or a denial of [4]

Just because Matthew and Luke include Jesus giving up the ghost, yet John does not, doesn't mean it is a contradiction. The gospels did not include the same thing, otherwise, there'd be no purpose in having the 4 books.
So judges, decide on this issue; is John's absence of that part implying the opposite or a denial of Matthew and Luke's part?


". . . Because, according to theists . . ." That's not the point of this debate. That's not the Bible contradicting itself. You cannot claim the Bible contradicts an outside source under the resolution statement.


I will repeat myself once more. When the Bible was written in a different language thousands of years ago, I'm sure it was very straightforward. Now, through changing times and translations, it is interpreted in every which way.

Besides, this point doesn't argue the resolution directly. There are not multiple verses that oppose each other here. Judges, this cannot be regarded as a contention.

I thank my opponent and look forward to his response. Judges, I thank you for your unbiased view.


I would like to thank Mrihearvoices for presenting again his rebuttals.


Allow me to point out that your sources are all Christian sites...

But there was no "second governorship of Quirinius". From 7/6-4 BC, Varus was governor (Matthew's claim). Quirinius reigned from 6-12 AD (Luke's claim). [1] So Quirinius could not have conducted a census that he couldn't.

Also, " historical sources mention a worldwide or even a Roman-controlled world census which would cover the population as a whole; those of Augustus covered Roman citizens only..."[2]

And, "it was not the practice in Roman censuses to require people to return to their ancestral homes."[3], unlike what Luke claims.

Also, my opponent has not refuted my latter point,

According to Matthew, magis come to worship the newborn king which infuriated King Herod. Luke, on the other hand, describes Jesus being presented to the high priests in honor of the law and the "prophet" and "prophetess" pronounce him as the Messiah. It seems unreasonable that this would not have escaped Herod's memory. [Luke 2:22-38]

You still refuse to refute this; therefore, this is a dropped argument.



But, the verse clearly says, "The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."[Psalm 145:9] He cannot be good to all yet bad to some.

You're basically saying that God cannot hurt anyone, but then are saying that he can under certain circumstances. This is clearly a contradiction.


"The Lord is a man of war." A soldier. A man who likes war.

Man of war: "In sense "soldier".[4] Clearly a man who likes, or at the very least engages in war.

"The Lord of peace himself give you peace always."[2 Thessalonians 3:16] He always gives peace?

"He teacheth my hands to war."[Psalm 18:34] God teaches war. "God is not the author of confusion but of peace."[1 Corinthans 14:33][5]

These are clear contradictions.


Does, "I will not pity..."[Jeremiah 13:14]; "The Lord is very pitiful..."[James 5:11]" not sound like a contradiction to you?

"Exodus 15:3: The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is His name.
Exodus 17:16: for he said, "Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."
Numbers 25:4: Then the Lord said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of the people and hang the offenders before the Lord, out in the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel."
Numbers 32:14: And look! You have risen in your fathers" place, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of the Lord against Israel.
Isaiah 42:13: The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.

Romans 15:33: Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:11: Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Multiple Verses: God is omnibenevolent.

Exodus, Numbers, and Isaiah say that God is warlike, but Romans and Second Corinthians say that God is peaceful, and multiple verses say that God is omnibenevolent.

1. God is warlike != God is peaceful.
2. God is warlike != God is omnibenevolent."[6]


In a word, yes. Luke is denying the existance of John's claim of Jesus's last words, and Matthew is denying the existance of John's AND Luke's claim of Jesus's last words. John has Jesus giving up the ghost after Matthew and Luke do.

All three accounts have Jesus giving different last words.


The Bible is the word of God and God is omnipotent [7]. Therefore, the Bible can never be wrong because it is the literal word of God, who is never wrong. But, the Bible contains these scientific errors. How can the Bible be incorrect? The Bible claims truth but delivers falsities. This is a contradiction.

This again remains refuted.


If the Bible has to be "interpreted", then clearly it is the product of some confusion due to the different translations. But, as 1 Corinthians said, God is not the author of confusion. This is a contradiction."

Yet another point that remains refuted."


[1]:"Sch"rer Emil, Vermes Geza, Millar Fergus, The history of the Jewish people in the age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.-A.D. 135), Volume I, Edinburgh 1973, p. 243-266 (Survey of the Roman Province of Syria from 63 B.C. to A.D. 70).
[2]: Emil Sch"rer (revised by Geza Vermes, Fergus Millar and Matthew Black), The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, Continuum International, 1973, Volume I page 401
[3]:"James Douglas Grant Dunn, Jesus Remembered, p. 344; E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, Penguin, 1993, p86
Debate Round No. 3



"Allow me to point out that your sources are all Christian sites..."
Unless you consider Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the Bible, and to be "Christian sites", then his claim is an overstatement.

Now judges, compare his response to my claim:

"Allow me to point out that your source is skeptical Atheist blogs for everything mentioned there."
What I said was true; for that specific area in the debate, his sources were "Skeptics Annotated Bible" (atheistic response to Biblical passages) and "" an atheistic website. So my statement upholds its truth value, while my opponent exaggerates vastly to support his claim.

Moving on to Quirinius again, I agree that he was probably governor from 6-12 AD. I just think that he was governor at an earlier time as well. I cannot find your unsourced statement that "Matthew claimed that Varus was governor from 7/6 - 4 BC" so if you could be so kind to include a reliable source that I could read next round, that'd be superb.

I never claimed that Augustus would conduct the census for Syria, so we're in agreement on that.
Your point that "'it was the practice in Roman censuses to require people to return to their ancestral homes'" did not seem to be a contradiction, be it true or not. Remember judges, in order for my opponent's point to stand, it must "imply the opposite or a denial of" another passage in the Bible.

Although I stand by my claim that Quirinius was governor twice until you can prove otherwise, here's another solution: Luke uses the word "hegemon" meaning ruling officer instead of "legatus" which is the official title of Governor. So, it is also very possible that had he not been official Governor of Syria at the time, he could've been the ruling officer of the census. Why does the Bible say "governor" then? Because translations of ancient texts can be flawed.

For the latter half, the passage you referenced just says that Jesus was presented to the Lord through customary ways and Simeon praised the child. I don't see a contradiction there with King Herod being mad. Judges, please read the passage Luke 2:22-38 that my opponent referenced.



It doesn't say "God cannot hurt anyone." it says "His tender mercies are over all his works." "his works" is defined as the ones who have accepted him and whom he will not unleash his wrath against, like the Bible says.


Once again, you have to look at the bigger picture. Judges, please refer to my definition of warrior.

soldier - a person who contends or serves in any cause[1]
(and this is the religious definition at
It has a deeper meaning. End of story.


Once more, it does not, because you're taking snapshots out of context. You could do that with anything. I feel like I've touched this subject enough to the point where we'd be going around in circles.


The accounts don't say "and this was his last word", they just say different things that He said, which I've already covered an explanation why. They don't contradict each other.


You still have the same problem: you're sourcing a random website that happens to be Christian, and claiming that it contradicts the Bible, so therefore the Bible contradicts itself. Judges, please take note.


This doesn't imply the opposite of another passage.

Thank you.


I would like to thank Mrihearvoices for again presenting his rebuttals.


What is the devinee evidence? What about please convince me?

As for my sources, specifically for this point, in R3 I used three peer-reviewed sources that counter your claim. Also, my atheistic sources simply point out the contradictory Bible verses.

First, source number 1 in R3, and second, "Josephus says that Varus was governor of Syria at Herod's death and Varus is indeed indicated as such in 4 B.C. by coins.[14] The problem, pointed out by Martin, is that the coins also show Varus was governor in 6 and 5 B.C., whereas Josephus indicates that Saturninus was governor for the two years preceding Herod's death.[15] Martin's solution is that an inscription found near Varus' villa, which describes a man who was twice governor of Syria, probably refers to Varus. If so, his second term could well have been about 1 B.C., when there is no record of anyone else as governor.[16]"[1]

"Two historical events, the census of Quirinius and the death of Herod, separated from each other by a decade, were presented in the gospels as contemporaneous."[2]

As for the place, "According to Luke, Jesus was born during the first census in Israel, while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2).""Both Matthew and Luke say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Matthew quotes Micah 5:2 to show that this was in fulfillment of prophecy. Actually, Matthew misquotes Micah (compare Micah 5:2 to Matthew 2:6). Although this misquote is rather insignificant, Matthew's poor understanding of Hebrew will have great significance later in his gospel.

Luke has Mary and Joseph travelling from their home in Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea for the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:4). Matthew, in contradiction to Luke, says that it was only after the birth of Jesus that Mary and Joseph resided in Nazareth, and then only because they were afraid to return to Judea (Matthew 2:21-23).

In order to have Jesus born in Bethlehem, Luke says that everyone had to go to the city of their birth to register for the census. This is absurd, and would have caused a bureaucratic nightmare. The purpose of the Roman census was for taxation, and the Romans were interested in where the people lived and worked, not where they were born (which they could have found out by simply asking rather than causing thousands of people to travel)."[3]

Now, why does Luke say that Quirinius was a "hegemon" and "governor if you claim they are two different things. You are trying to close one contradiction by exposing another.

Also, "hegemon" means, "A person, nation, etc.. that has or exercises hegemony [which means] leadership, predominance"[4]

Does it sound like Quirinius is a subordinate in the ruling of Syria?

As for the final verse, my opponent does not refute anything. He hasn't refuted that Matthew claims that Jesus was greeted with anger, while Luke claims he was greeted with honor.



"His tender mercies are over ALL his works." This means all works. God cannot be selective.


First, if god is a man of war, he clearly means war. Yet he constitently says that he is always peaceful. This is a contradiction.

Second, if the lord always gives peace (2 Thess 3:16), explain this, "2 Chronicles 15:13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman."[5] Clearly this is live (not supernatural).

And finally, how can God teach war yet teach peace?


My opponent pretty much drops this. I have refuted his claims above. Readers, please look at my argument here in R3.


Yes they do. They say he "gave up the ghost", meaning he died right after what the three gospels say in each of those three passages.

This means that he died right after saying it, which the three gospels confuse. That is pretty much the same as saying those were his last words.


If God is omnipotent (which the Bible says) how can he be wrong?

So, his word cannot be wrong, but it is."

This yet again remains unrefuted."


God is not the author of confusion," (I Corinthians 14:33). But the book he authored his created confusion. This is a contradiction.

This also yet again (I'm getting tired of the dropped arguments) remains unrefuted."


Debate Round No. 4


Thanks to my opponent for a great debate.

Now, for my summary in the last round, I'll start with the key issue in this debate.

Does the Bible contradict itself? I believe my opponent has not fully dismantled the resolution I've upheld, and here's why:

My opponent said a variety of attacks. Does the Bible contradict science? Irrelevant. ITSELF being the key word.
Contradict - To imply the opposite or denial of.
On each of my opponent's attacks, does the text say the opposite?
Some, as I've said, can go hand in hand. Others have a deeper meaning.

Is God a literal warrior, fighting a literal war with literal swords, etc.? Of course not! It's relating Him to something fierce, brave, and strong.

Also, outside sources don't count as contradictions.

Now, look at my responses to the arguments and evaluate if it's possible. If it's possible at all that it's historically accurate, then the resolution upholds. Unless my opponent has fully proved 100% from a non-biased, non-atheistic agenda website that it's historically impossible, and that it implies the opposite of the previous text, then I win.

Thanks again to my opponent and to my judges for keeping those points in mind and having an open mind.

I know my opponent will have the last say. But no matter what stretch he tries to make, I have answered all the points he's clarified. And won them. I chose to summarize instead of repeating myself once more because it's more effective.

Thank you.


I would like to thank Mrihearvoices for this great debate.

Since I have the BoP and I presented arguments in R1, I will simply conclude and will not present any arguments.

I have dismantled the resolution on several occasions, especially on point 1. My opponent has dropped several arguments throughout this debate and has never even responded to the last two contradictions; one, if God is infallible (which is mentioned in the Bible), than God's word (which the Bible is) cannot contain factual errors (which the Bible does), and two, if God is not the author of confusion (which the Bible mentions), than there cannot be more than one version of the Bible because multiple versions (and thousands at that) signal confusion as to the contents of the real Bible.

As for the second point, the Bible clearly makes several contradictions regarding God as peaceful or a man of war, and when taken in context, they mean that literally.

I mean this is just a contradiction plain and simple: "I will not pity..."[Jeremiah 13:14]; "The Lord is very pitiful..."[James 5:11]. There can't be any doubt.

In addition to this, my opponent skews the definition of contradiction; it doesn't just mean the opposite of two statements; it can mean that two statements differ in evidence (i.e. if Jesus was born in 4 BC or AD 6). The example is a contradiction.

I can use outside sources to prove my point, just as you have.

I have provided unbiased evidence, including the Bible, that the Bible contains contradictions; I have provided peer-reviewed studies for the first one and even used Christian sites to prove my latter two. Also, just because a site leans one way does not necessarily mean that it is wrong; in that case, nothing could be proven right.

Thanks to my opponent again for this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mstrainjr 5 years ago
I would like to point out that the Greek behind Luke 2:2 is ambiguous. The Greek reads: AUTE [This] APOGRAFE [registration/writing off] PROTE [first/before] EGENETO [came to be] HEGEMOVEUONTOS [ruling; vrb.] TES [of the] SURIAS [Syria] KURENIOU [Qurenius].

PROTE could be translated as "before", as it is in other places in the Bible where "first" would make little sense (such as in John 1:30). There is no word here meaning "during". When translating from Greek to English, while word order is important, there would be no outrage to say "came to be before" instead of "first came to be". Such reworkings are continuously used throughout every translation of the Bible.
Posted by Ron-Paul 5 years ago
I don't mean to sound like a snob, but I enjoyed the debate too. Thank you for your participation.
Posted by Mrihearvoices 5 years ago
Alright, great job, Ron-Paul. I knew as soon as I picked this resolution that I wouldn't win, partially because of the difficulty, and partially because of the large number of atheists on DDO. Kudos to Smithereens. I personally don't take the Bible literally, so whether or not the text contradicts itself or not is irrelevant. I just wanted a challenge.

Thank you.
Posted by Clash 5 years ago
Con gave several examples of contradictions existing in the Bible. For example, the date of Jesus's birth is a clear contradiction. God changing from evil (OT) to peaceful (NT) was also a clear contradiction. In Corinthans 14:33, it says "God is not the author of confusion but of peace." However, in the old testament, it explicitly says that "The LORD is a man of war; Yahweh is his name!" (Exodus 15:3) As Con rightly states, "These are clear contradictions." Pro did a good job trying to reconcile these contradictions, but although he may have successfully reconciled some of the contradictions given by Con, he failed to successfully reconcile all of them; especially those two mentioned above. Indeed, Con only needed to successfully give one contradiction in order to win this debate, and there is no doubt that he did this. Thus, the argument point goes to Con.

Sources, spelling and grammar, and conduct is tied.
Posted by Mrihearvoices 5 years ago
You can tell me your version of "the truth" all you want after voting, I just don't want this to affect the voter's decisions, given that there's already a vast number of atheists on this website. You do make a good point, however, so I'll let it slide. In my defense, I did read the Greek in Round 4, and not "some crappy English translation." I agree that it's very hard to get exact wording because as scholars study this more, minds change. It WAS written in different languages over 2000 years ago.
Posted by mstrainjr 5 years ago
Mrihearvoices, you should be more interested in the truth than having folks tell you that you're right on a debate website. If you're wrong, you're wrong, regardless of how many people might think you did a good job debating a Biblical topic. I wasn't supporting your opponent; I was simply pointing out the facts. I'm interested in showing people what the Greek of the New Testament actually says, as opposed to reading out of some crappy English translation.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
Excellent debate, guys. Good job, both. I learned from you both, and was surprised several times.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago

I. Date of Jesus's birth.

This part is particularly unclear: "This contradiction isn't the only one. According to Matthew, magis come to worship the newborn king which infuriated King Herod. Luke, on the other hand, describes Jesus being presented to the high priests in honor of the law and the "prophet" and "prophetess" pronounce him as the Messiah. [3] It seems unreasonable that this would not have escaped Herod's memory."

I don't know what Con's point is. I suspect that he didn't intend the double negative of the last sentence, but, even if I correct for that, I don't understand his point. Where's the contradiction?

II. God is all tender and all merciful.

Here, the bible clearly contradicts itself. Con sets out the contradictions clearly.

Pro's attempt to deny the contradiction involves techniques which would prove that the bible also doesn't contradict, say, the Book of Mormon.

There is no actual ambiguity. The bible contradicts itself on this point.

Victory: Con.

III. Jesus's last words.

Both sides have a reasonable case. This point is not decisive. I definitely read the verses as conflicting as to what Jesus said last. But Pro's argument is not clearly wrong.

IV. Scientific errors in the Bible.

Pro is correct that the resolution does not include this subject matter.

V. God is not the author of confusion.

I thought Con made a good point here, but I have trouble fitting it within the scope of the resolution being debated.


Con 100% proved that the bible contradicts itself on the matter of whether god is always merciful.

Victory: Con.
Posted by Mrihearvoices 5 years ago
mstrainjr, if you're going to add more arguments to support my opponent, please wait until after the voting period. thank you.
Posted by Thomas.Paine 5 years ago
The Bible says 4 corners of the earth and that it is fixed upon pillars.
Alluding to the authors thinking the world was flat. Shouldn't the word
of God know better? This is more proof of the author's ignorance. It is
all made up fairy tales and folklore. Go ahead and rebut Ron-Paul's
argument and Gandalf's link while you are at it. Even if all the Gospels
agreed with each other (which they don't) it doesn't make the story
true. But since the Gospels contradict one another this proves the story
to be false.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Clash 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Smithereens 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: hmm, tough choice, but I was slightly more convinced by the rebuttals provided by Pro. Those dropped arguments were not biblical contradictions with itself, Con presented them as contradictions with science. i don't think Pro deserves 3 points for more convincing arguments, because I found that Con presented his arguments better than pro, even if his source has been debunked already. But Pros material while not as well presented, was only slightly stronger, so I give 3 points and 2 points. GG.