The Bible is free of contradiction
Supposed contradictions can be textual inaccuracies, historical inaccuracies, and scientific inaccuracies.
As is the very nature of the debate, the BOP rests on my opponent to show contradictions.
I shall rebut each supposed contradiction using the view which would have been of the writer.
Con shall make their arguments in Round 1.
Thank you for the challenge!
Firstly, I would like to point out that because the Bible is an ancient work of literature, there will be mistakes (such as spelling or name mix-ups) due to interpretations and translations by various authors in different periods of time. So I will make an effort to not include those.
For the sake of clarity (taken from Oxford dictionary):
In my argument, I will be using my annotated Bible. There are countless example to expose, amassed during a summer of research. I will begin.
Concerning the order of the creation of Earth's inhabitants, Genesis contradicts itself.
In Genesis I, God made the beasts of the earth before he created the man.
[Gen 1:25] - "And God made the wildlife of the earth after his kind, and livestock after their kind, and creatures that crawl upon the ground after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
[Gen 1:26] - "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl upon the earth'."
In Genesis 2, however, God made man before the beasts.
[Gen 2:18] - "Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement'."
[Gen 2:19] - "So the LORD God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it."
The animals had already been made in Genesis 1. It does not make sense for God to create them again in order so that Adam could name them--which, by the way, must have taken an awful long time.
Concerning Jesus's last words, Matthew, Luke, and John all say different things, which wouldn't be contradictory had they, the eyewitnesses, not written such vastly different accounts.
[Matthew 27:46, 50] - "About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?' that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' ...Jesus shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit."
[Luke 23:46, 47] - "And Jesus called out with a loud voice, 'Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.' Saying this, He breathed His last."
[John 19:30, 31] - "When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit."
They were all present at the crucifixion, so why is there deviation?
Another contradiction is seen in the Proverbs.
[Proverbs 26:4] - "Don't answer a fool according to his foolisness or you'll be like him yourself."
The very next line: [Proverbs 26:5] - "Answer a fool according to his foolishness or he'll become wise in his own eyes."
What sense does that make? It's an obvious contradiction and a lose-lose. If you answer him, you're a fool. But if you don't, then the fool will think himself right, and that does no one good.
Here is a contradiction from several sources regarding whether God changes His mind.
[Genesis 6:6] - "the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grived in His heart."
[I Samuel 15:29] - "the Eternal One of Israel does not lie or change His mind, for He is not one who changes His mind."
[Malachi 3:6] - "Because I, Yahweh [LORD], have not changed..."
Here we have God changing His mind about humans and having Noah build his ark, but later we have God telling people that He's never changed. And there's Samuel, but he could be wrong. I digress.
According to John, Jesus says about bearing his own witness:
[John 5:31] - "If I testify about Myself, My testimony is not valid."
Yet in [John 8:14], "Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is valid, because I know where I came from and where I am going."
Oh, come on, Jesus. What was all that about taking the log out of your own eye before taking the speck out of your neighbor's?
When Saul was on the way to Damascus, he saw a light and heard a voice. Did his companions hear the voice?
According to [Acts 9:7] - "The men who were traveling with him [Saul] stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one."
But later, in [Acts 22:9] - "Now those who were with me saw the light, but they did not hear the voice of the One who was speaking to me."
Here's another instance of God supposedly changing His mind--or outright lying.
In Genesis, Adam was informed that if he ate the forbidden fruit he would die that very day. However, he lived to the ripe old age of 930.
[Genesis 2:17] - "but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die."
[Genesis 5:5] - "So Adam's life lasted 930 years; then he died."
Seriously? Not only that, but it is impossible to live for 930 years. Most people don't even make it to 100!
Regarding Saul's death.
[I Samuel 31:4, 6] - "Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, 'Draw your sword and run me through with it, or these uncircumcised men will come and run me through or torture me.' But his armor-bearer would not do it because he was terrified. Then Saul took his sword and fell on it."
[2 Samuel 1:8, 10] - "He [Saul] asked me, 'Who are you?' I told him: I'm an Amalekite. Then he begged me, 'Stand over me and kill me, for I'm mortally wounded, but my life still lingers.' So I stood over him and killed him because I knew that after he had fallen he couldn't survive."
According to [Genesis 11:1] - "At one time the whole earth had the same language and vocabulary." This is impossible because around 2400BCE (at the time this is implying) there were many languages, each unintelligible to the other.
If you do as God says, he won't send disease or disaster down upon you like he did to the Egyptians. [Exodus 15:26] - "He said, 'If you will carefully obey the LORD your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you that I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am Yahweh who heals you."
Really? All that happened during the Ten Plagues in Egypt can be scientifically explained...here: http://forum.bible-discussion.com...
According to [Matthew 2:16] - "Then Herod, when he saw that he had beeen out-witted by the wise men, flew into a rage. He gave orders to massacre all the male chidren in and around Bethehem who were two years old and under, in keeping with the time he had learned from the wise men."
Strange that Josephus, who documented Herod's life, never mentioned this. Surely if this mass slaughtering had occured, historians would note it? And really, wouldn't you think they'd retract his title of "Herod the Great" if he ordered the death of infants?
[Matthew 4:2] - "After He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry."
First of all: Duh, Jesus was hungry!
Secondly: The science of how long a human can survive with no food or water: http://www.lb7.uscourts.gov...
If you don't want to read it, you can go approximately three weeks with no food and three to seven days with no water.
I think I will, for now, leave it at this.
Again, thanks for the challenge. And good luck.
Thank you Con for accepting this debate. I would also like to thank you for using a capitol G and H to refer to God and His. I accept all definitions.
I shall respond to each supposed contradiction in the order as they have been presented.
They shall be numbered 1-12.
1. Order of Creation - Beasts before Man or Man before Beasts?
My opponent uses 2 verses, Genesis 1:25 and Genesis 2:19, to show a contradiction in the order in which animals and Man were created.
Con misinterprets the texts.
In Genesis 1:25, the Hebrew word for “made” is “way-ya-as” meaning to make or to do. This word is used to describe what one does as something is happening, as in the present tense. (See the source listed “1”)
However, in Genesis 2:19, the word is “way-yi-ser”, meaning “had formed”. This word is used to describe a reestablishment of the events that have already occurred.(See the source listed “2”)
This shows that the two verses do not contradict, because they are not telling two different creation accounts. The verse in Genesis 2 is simply retelling the events that have occurred in Genesis 1.
2. The Last Words of Jesus
This argument is much more common in the realm of supposed Biblical contradictions. Each of the three verses concern the words that Jesus spoke before he died, and each gives a separate account of the words which were said.
The answer is simple...He said all of them. Each Gospel has a different structure of Jesus, where some things Jesus says are mentioned in all four, others in only three, some in only two, and a few are even special just to one single Gospel.
Jesus received the wine, cried out to God "Why have you forsaken me?", shouted "I entrust my spirit", bowed His head, and died. No contradiction, one must simply put each Gospel on top of the other.
3. To Answer or Not to Answer?
This verse threw me for a loop for a minute, how could one verse say one thing and the next verse say a completely different thing? Surely the author must have known.
But that's where it got to me. The author must of known because he did know, he used these seemingly conflicting verses for a reason.
In verse 4, The Proverb warns us to not answer a fool or we will be like the fool.
In verse 5, The Proverb tells us to answer a fool or he will think of himself as wise.
Verse 4 pertains to a situation in which the fool does not want to learn, because attempting to teach a fool who does not want to be taught is foolish in itself.
Verse 5 pertains to a situation in which the fool will learn, and so that we should answer such a fool so that he does not consider himself to be wise.
The verses are complimentary. No contradiction.
4. Does God Change His Mind?
This question has been debated for quite awhile, actually. It has many theological implications.
However, the verse given by Con is Genesis 6:6, where God regrets and grieves for having made man.
This is something called anthropomorphic revelation, where in which God emphasizes his position through human characteristics. God does not change in this situation, but his "feelings" about man did change temporally.
This is not God changing his mind, for He allows man to exist through Noah. This does not show any sort of change in mind by God, and therefore is not a contradiction.
5. Jesus and Testifying
Con is simply misreading the text.
In Deuteronomy 19:15, we read the following:
"One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses"
Jesus, in the verse prior, is showing how to properly judge Himself. He is referring to this law to show that He is unable to bear His own witness in context of The Law. This is why Jesus calls upon John to testify for Him in the next verses.
6. Did Saul's Companions Hear "The Voice"?
Yes, they did hear the voice, but they did not understand it.
For this, we must dive back into the original language...this time it's Greek.
The Greek word for "hearing" in Acts 9:7 is "akouontes", meaning actually to hear. However, in Matthew 13:13 the phrase is used to describe a distinction between hearing and understanding. (See sources "3"and "4" below)
In Acts 22:9. the word is "ekousan" meaning also to hear. However, this word is used in Matthew 13:15 to recite Isaiah's words about those who do not understand what is being spoken to them. (See sources "5" and "6" below)
The point being made here is that they did hear the voice of Jesus, but they did not understand what He was saying. Only Saul understood Him.
7. God Changing His Mind- Revisited
Con states that God changes His mind by changing the time of Adam's death...from the day that he sins to hundreds of years later.
This is simply a misunderstanding of the texts, once again.
The death of Adam did occur on the day that he sinned, because this is the day in which he was separated from God. Adam is now dead in his spirit. This is why when we receive Christ, we are born again.
However, Adam also lost his privilege to The Tree of Life that day, which means that he was cursed to die as a result of his sin.
8. How did Saul die?
Suicide. The Israelites had just been defeated by The Philistines, so when the Amalekite man found Saul's crown and armlet, he decided to get to Saul's right-hand man, David. When he got to David, he told him that he killed Saul out of mercy and brought the crown and armlet as evidence. The Amalekite man knew David had slaughtered his people, and he was hoping to be rewarded by David for bringing him the crown and putting Saul out of his misery.
The story was fabricated.
It makes no sense for an Amalekite man to kill an Israelite king during a huge battle between The Israelites and The Philistines.
Simply reading 1 Samuel 31 and 2 Samuel 1 should be enough reason to accept this, so I'll put links to both chapters in numbers "7" and "8".
9. Language in Ancient Times
This was intriguing. See, the Earth as depicted by the author was based off of all of which could have been seen. Since this was shortly after the flood, the peoples affected would have have had but one language.
10. The Ten Plagues
Seeing as though the person who started the thread in the link is "Missy", I will guess that Con is the one who gave both theories from that thread. I will need sources for both of them in order to continue.
11. Herod and His Commands
I actually had never seen this sort of contradiction before. However, it should be noted that this was no mass slaughtering.
Bethlehem was a scarcely populated city of only a few thousand at the time. The number of infants who could have been killed was not too many, therefore it would be odd if Josephus recorded such a "usual" act of such a mad King.
12. Fasting for 40 days?
Yes, Jesus was hungry. Very, very hungry. That is why he was tempted.
However, there are verified accounts of people starving for 40 days. (See link "9")
Once again, I thank Con for providing these challenges. They were very fun and intellectually stimulating to counter.
Feel free to rebut any or all of my answers, and also feel free to provide as many more supposed contradictions as you would like. However, I do ask you to keep it within practical limits. It takes more characters to respond to a claim than it does to make a claim. Good Luck.
Thank you for your response. I would also like to thank you for your concise format--It's very easy to read and follow.
I concede to the misinterpretation of [Genesis 1:25] and [Genesis 2:19].
I concede to your argument on the recordings of Jesus's last words, though I will say that the apostles are not the best biographers if they're going to be leaving all sorts of things out!
I concede to the Proverbs on answering the fool. (And I commend you for your witty title.)
As for God changing His mind: He did not decide to destroy His creation, it is true. But in [Genesis 1:31] - "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." So, in [Genesis 6:6], He regrets having made mankind, and thus changes His mind in that all, which includes man, was good. Even a temporary change is still a change.
The law for testification is written clearly, and Jesus does send for John's testimony shortly after [John 5:31]. But that does not change the fact that Jesus said that His testimony is not valid and then claims it is so in [John 8:14]. He exploited a loophole, but He still contradicted Himself.
I concede to the misinterpretation of Saul's companions "hearing" the voice.
I concede to the spiritual death of Adam.
I concede to the fabrication of Saul's death by the Amalekite. Very sensible, actually.
As for the language, the author did not mention survivors other than the eight who were on Noah's ark. However, after they landed, did Noah go and search the cities for survivors across the Near East? That would have been impossible in itself, let alone the whole of Mesopotamia, and with only eight survivors in the world you'd think there would be far less human phenotypical variation. But I will concede to this on the grounds that the author was being dramatic.
Ah, the Ten Plagues.
The first scientific source was from the History channel documentary "The Exodus Decoded" (2005). http://www.hulu.com... Er, it can be watched on Hulu, so there's commercials, but you can pick your ads. It's pretty good.
The second was an article I'd found at the local library by Marr and Malloy. It's called An Epidemiologic Analysis of the Ten Plagues of Egypt. I can't seem to find an online source from which to read, but I'm sure your library should have it as well.
Sorry about that.
I quasi-concede regarding Herod's Slaughtering of the Innocents. There is no way to be sure exactly how many infants had been killed (perhaps maybe five to twenty), but even if there were only a few, it would have been a terribe, noteworthy act regardless of whether King Herod was mad or not. Josephus's recordings of Herod's ruthlessness was done carefully and in great detail, and it seems strange that he would leave out such a thing.
Thank you for the source regarding starvation. As the source states, bodily factors such as genetics, health considerations, body weight, and hydration play important factors in starvation. I concede on this point.
Seeing how we have a couple more rounds and you're very good at this (and I'm having fun), I will provide a few more contradictions. I begin.
Ezekial speaks of many instances in which he received the word of God. In [Ezekiel 18:20] - "The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won't suffer punishment for the father's iniquty, and a father won't suffer punishment for the son's iniquity..." This is the word of God.
Also, the word of God is seen in [Exodus 20:5] - "...for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the father's sin, to the third and fourth generations."
Oh, so sin is hereditary. Who knew?
But wait! What was all that You told Ezekial? Did You change Your mind, God?
In [Genesis 35:10] - "God said to him [Jacob]: Your name is Jacob; you will no longer be named Jacob, but your name will be Israel. So He named him Israel."
This is all well and good, only later, in the same book: [Genesis 46:2] - "That night God spoke to Israel in a vision: 'Jacob! Jacob!' He said. And Jacob replied, 'Here I am."
Between and thereafter that point, the author continuously switches between 'Israel' and 'Jacob.' But what gets me is that God Himself, who changed Jacob's name, calls him by the name he should no longer be named.
[Exodus 3:20, 22] - "I [God] will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles that I will perform in it...when you [Israelites] go, you will not go empty-handed...So you will plunder the Egyptians."
Basically God telling his Israelite chidren to despoil and plunder the Egyptians before they head out to the Promised Land.
But later God prohibits stealing, defrauding, and robbing a neighbor: [Exodus 20:15, 17].
My last exerpt for this Round will be concerning God's word to Zedekiah, king of Judah.
[Jeremiah 34:4, 5] - "Yet hear the LORD's word, Zedekiah, king of Judah. This is what the LORD says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; you will die peacefully."
Despite this apparent promise, [Jeremiah 52:10, 11] - "At Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered Zedekiah's sons before his eyes and also slaughtered the Judean commanders. Then he blinded Zedekiah and bound him with bronze chains...he kept him in custody until his dying day."
So he wasn't killed violently, but his death would have been anything but peaceful. Can you imagine the torment he would face for the rest of his imprisoned life having watched his children and loyal men killed? The nightmares!
Again, thank you, and I look forward to the next round. Good luck.
My opponent concedes to the inaccuracy of her First, Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh, and Twelfth claims.
Supposed Contradiction #4, which is the first instance of God changing His mind, shall now be Supposed Contradiction #1.
I shall now answer my opponent's Supposed Contradictions numerically, numbering 1-8
1. Does God Change His Mind?
I don't exactly understand my opponent's problem with this. God did not change His mind about the goodness of man, for He made man and man sinned against Him. Does God regret in this situation where before He did not? Of course...but if we are to think that this qualifies as change then any sort of difference in attitude is a change as well. When God is disappointed with us, does He change simply because He was not disappointed before? Does God change when He pours out wrath because he did not pour it out before?
It seems to me that if we are to accept this kind of action as a changing of one's mind, then the verses provided by Con to say that God does not change are being misused. Obviously the writers were not talking about how God does not change in his emotion, rather that what He says does not change. His actions do not, his words do not, etc.
2. Jesus and Testifying.
This was, again, quite satisfying. I read through the passage of John 8, and I found why Jesus is saying that His testimony is true.
Here is the passage:
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid.18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.”
Jesus is saying that He is not testifying alone, for The Father is also testifying on his behalf. This is why he says such about His own testimony.
Now, what about when Jesus speaks about his testimony being invalid? Well, when we read the full text, we see the full picture.
I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me 31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. 33 You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf.
See? There is no testimony where Jesus speaks for Himself, He is showing us that even if He testifies by Himself, The Father also testifies with Him. Therefore one is two.
I and The Father are one. -John 10:30
There is no contradiction.
3. Language in Ancient Times
I personally believe that Noah could have found other human beings, but we are simply ignorant of the events that transpired afterwards. I obviously do not believe in a global flood interpretation, so there could have been other civilizations. We simply do not know what happened, Moses does not write of it. So no, there is no reason to concede on the basis of dramazitation.
4. The Ten Plagues
The Exodus Decoded has been criticized heavily by scholars, and I had remembered that I had actually watched it sometime in the past. Due to the overwhelming criticisms of the film in general, I do request a more established work with better footing in the scholarly world. (See source "1" for the various critiques of the film)
5. Sins of The Father
I really do not see the contradiction here. Ezekiel is saying that one who sins shall die, and Moses is saying that if a son follows in the footsteps of his wicked father that he too will suffer consequence.
The entire text of Exodus 20:5 is as follows:
"visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me."
The text is showing that the sins of the father are being passed down to those who hate God as their fathers did.
Now look at the verse before Ezekiel 18:20:
19 Yet you say, “Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?” When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live.
The text is showing that the sins of the father shall not be suffered by the son if the son is righteous.
6. Jacob or Israel?
First off, it should be noted that much like the Proverbs contradiction, if my opponent is right then Genesis 46:1 contradicts Genesis 46:2.
When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
The answer to this is that the name Israel is used in a spiritual sense, this was the name given to God as a spiritual "title". He was still called Jacob as a person, but Israel was used to signify the spirituality or importance of Jacob.
So, for instance, in Genesis 48:16 we read the following:
the Angel who has delivered me from all harm --may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.
Lest we take this too literally, we can see that Jacob is giving his title of "Israel" unto the sons of Joseph.
This was not his new name in the sense of Saul to Paul, but rather a title given to him.
7. Eighth Commandment
I was a bit skeptical of the verses that Con provided, they seemed to leave out quite a bit. My doubts were confirmed. Here is the full text of Exodus 3:20-22
1 "I will bring this people into such favor with the Egyptians that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed; 22 each woman shall ask her neighbor and any woman living in the neighbor’s house for jewellery of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters; and so you shall plunder the Egyptians.”
Unless my opponent would wish to defend the position that asking a neighbor for something is theft, then I don't see this as any sort of contradiction.
8. Dead Zed
I really don't understand why this is contradictory. He did not die by the sword, and he died in custody. His own sons were slaughtered, and he was not. I'd say that dying of natural causes is very peaceful.
These were, once again, great attempts at finding a contradiction. The same guidelines apply to round 3. Rebut any contradiction you would like, and give as many more as you would like, but please keep it within reason.
Thank you for the response. Again, you make good points.
I will try to be more precise in my meaning pertaining to God's change of mind. For clarity:
God saw that mankind was good, but in [Gensis 6] God saw that evil had spread wide across the earth, and He regretted having created man. His opinion changed in that He believed man to be good until Adam and Eve's fall, and thereafter He saw that they were wicked (with the apparent exception of Noah and his family).
I hope that cleared things up.
I am so glad that you took the time to include that passage from [John 8], for you have prompted me to check that, and that has shown me that there are not one, not two, but three lines missing from my Bible! This is outrageous! And how did I miss this? Now I must wonder how many other missing verses there may be here...I'll be getting in contact with Holman Book Publishers, mark my words. Now I'm angry.
But enough about that. The debate must go on.
Obviously I concede to this, thank you.
Again, the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
This article uses some Marr and Malloy as one source, so that's a bonus. There are some interesting points that I hadn't read about before now, too.
I concede on the sins of the father.
I concede on Jacob's spiritualistic name of Israel.
I had left out [Exodus 3:22] because I had not deemed it of import. It seems I was wrong.
If you please, the women did ask the Egyptian women to give them valuables. It was a common practice to give gifts to those who were leaving forever. But you must keep in mind that this is just after the occurence of the Ten Plagues. By the end of it, the Egyptians, who had just lost so many of their loved ones, would believe that the horrors of the epidemic had been sent by the divine--whether from their own gods or from the Hebrew God. They would have done anything for the Israelites, anything they'd asked, because the Egyptians were terrified and grief-stricken and weary. Even if the Israelites had not said it aloud, the obvious implication is, "Give me your valuables or another plague will come."
So, God told the Israelites to take advantage of the distraught Egyptians. It's stealing, which He later forbids.
"Dead Zed." You're so clever--I love it.
Also I concede. I had confused myself somehow, which I realized right after I posted my argument. I was thinking more along the lines that the rest of Zedekiah's life was torment. Eh.
Ah, let's see. I have 7500 characters remaining at this point, and there's another round after this one. I'll see what I can dig up.
In [2 Samuel 24:1], "The LORD's anger burned against Israel again, and He stirred up David against them to say: 'Go, count the people of Israel and Judah."
So God tells David to go and count his army. After the deed is done, David thinks that he has sinned despite following God's order. (It's a sin in that if David knows how many men there are, the enemy very well now knows it, too.)
But why on earth does God punish David? [2 Samuel 24:15] - "So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the appointed time [3 days], and from Dan to Beer-sheba 70,000 men died."
Concerning the death of Judas:
[Matthew 27:5] - "So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."
[Acts 1:18] - "Now this man acquired a field with his unrighteous wages. He fell headfirst and burst open in the middle, and all his insides spilled out."
I have seen several reconciliations of this passage, but none of them seem to be up to par. One was that Judas tried to hang himself, but failed and instead jumped to his death from a cliff on his property. But [Acts] states that he had fallen in a field, and Matthew does not say that Judas tried, and mentions nothing of this 'bursting open.'
I'll leave it at that.
Again, thank you, and I look forward to the next round.
In my final round, I would like to take a brief overview of the debate, and give the best case for the remaining supposed contradictions.
My opponent has once again conceded her Second, Third*, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth claims. My opponent has conceded to 13 of her 16 claims (setting aside the supposed contradictions for this round).
I shall answer my opponents rebuttals and new contradictions in numerical order.
1. Does God Change?
Firstly, I would like to apologize. I was not understanding my opponents' thoughts on the changing of one's mind.
With the definition given, it seems to me that the texts that my opponent uses to support her contradiction do not line up with the definition that she gives.
The verse that my opponent gives is Genesis 6:6, which says that God regretted having made Man. However, when we read further on, we see that this may be anthropomorphism
The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled
It talks about God's heart, but the authors knew their God was immaterial. I say that it is reasonable to assume that the regret of God is simply a way to express God's disappointment with humanity in a context where humans can understand.
If my opponent would wish to say that since God was proud of Man in one time and offended in another, that this signifies a change of opinion....keep in mind that God later sends the flood, which preserves Man to righteousness. God's feelings on Man had not changed, for God saved man.
This text makes better sense as one where it attempts to give God the human quality of regret. Thus God is not actually changing his mind about the goodness of man.
2. The Ten Plagues of Egypt
The source given was very informative, and after surfing around I found that it was from the author's actual book, which can be found in link "1".
It has no reviews and the book itself is two decades old.
However, as I read the portions where Marr and Mallory are mentioned, I see their work to be extremely unlikely.
Their entire premise is that a type of algae killed fish, which turned the water a color of blood red. The algae growth also helps in changing the color of the water.
My answer to the death of fish contributing in any way to the color of the longest river in the world can be summed up in link "2".
But I won't hold that against them. Let us specifically concern ourselves with the algae, as it most likely contributes the most to the color.
Now, the specific dinoflagellate which is referred in the link my opponent gives is Pfiesteria.
Oddly enough, only one species of this genus produces toxins that are harmful to fish. That species is Pfiesteria piscicida.
(See link "3")
So now the river turning red is due to a specific species of a specific dinoflagellate.
Even further still, the toxic effects of this species only works for two to five days (See link "4")
So now the river turning red is due to a specific species of a specific dinoflagellate of which the toxic effects last for a maximum of five days, thus invalidating Exodus 7:25:
Seven days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile.
Even if there was some sort of super-strand of this dinoflagellate which could survive a week, my opponent has not given enough good evidence to suppose that this is what happened.
Even if Exodus 7:25 didn't exist, my opponent has not given enough good evidence to suppose that this is what happened.
3. The Eighth Commandment.
My opponent claims that the Israelites asking for jewels after the ninth plague is akin to someone asking for something under threat.
This is simply false, as the verse clearly reads that God puts His people in favor with the Egyptians. Exodus 3:21 reads:
And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed.
There is no threat here, God wills the hearts of the Egyptians to be kind towards the Israelites, paying them recompense for their many years of slave labor.
4. David's Sin
This one stumped me the longest. However, I found a verse that explains it. 1 Chronicles 21:1 reads:
Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count the people of Israel.
As you can see, Satan was the one whom compelled David to do this evil.
Now, with that, the question becomes "So was it God or Satan?"
Well, just like in many other places in The Bible, God allows Satan to act in order for God to achieve a greater purpose.
God allows Satan to entice David, so that when David sins his faith in God will increase and he will be a better king for it.
Wow, this takes me back. I think this might have been the first contradiction I ever answered.
Judas hung himself, and his corpse fell a few days later. Due to the climate of that area, the body had decomposed to a point where when it hit the ground, it split open around the stomach, spilling his guts.
Also, Judas did not die in the field. He threw the money into the Temple, which was then used on his behalf to buy a field.
I would once again like to thank my opponent for a respectful, intelligent, and elegant debate.
I will ask that my opponent to refrain from giving any new contradictions, as I will be unable to respond to them.
I also hope that anyone reading this dialogue came out of it with a better understanding of The Bible.
Thank You, and God Bless.
*Con had already conceded to the Third claim, on the basis of a dramatized writing.
Thank you for your response.
I can see that my [Genesis 6:6] example could be construed as personification, and so I concede.
You misunderstood the key sentence in source #4. It states that "The toxins are highly labile in purified form, maintaining activity for only 2−5 days before all activity is lost."
According to the Oxford dictionary, labile means "apt or likely to change;" or "unstable; rapidly cleaved (and possibly reformed)."
"Possibly reformed" implies that the algae could have replicated (reproduced?) and undergone the same toxicating process. So it could have lasted a week. The study in source #4 was one in which the algae was isolated in order to be studied. Therefore, the environment was controlled to an extent, whereas it could not have been during the time the plagues occured.
[Exodus 3:22] - "So you will plunder the Egyptians."
Also, one of the several definitions of the word "favor" (according to the Oxford dictionary): "Mildness or mitigation of punishment; lenity." Meaning that the Egyptains were not showing kindness, they were trying to escape futher punishment.
I concede on David's sin.
As for Judas's death, that's a very interesting explanation. I like it. And I concede.
That leaves two on which I did not concede, and as Pro is unable to rebut them, it is up to the audience to review and decide for themselves.
The debate is now concluded, hurrah!
I thank you for your timely and well-written responses. I have enjoyed this debate and learned much about the Bible in the process. It has been my most enlightening debate thus far.
Again, thank you.