The Instigator
johnlubba
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
KeytarHero
Con (against)
Losing
8 Points

The Bible translations are an unreliable source and contain at least one text which is contradictive

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
johnlubba
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,505 times Debate No: 30301
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (7)

 

johnlubba

Pro

Please do not accept this debate unless you are willing to actually defend the Bible and give a good account for the argument I am about to present.

This debate is about two key words used in the Christian bible which is found in multiple translations and contradict each other.

There is no other conclusion other than to deem at least some translations of the Bible as un-reliable.

I thank my opponent for taking this debate and wish the very best of luck in advance.
KeytarHero

Con

I wish to accept this debate. Pro wasn't exactly clear on what he means by "unreliable source." I'm assuming he means unreliable historical documents. In order to show the Bible is "unreliable," he must first show that the two key words used in question are truly contradictory, and why their being contradictory proves the Bible as unreliable.

The definition of contradiction I will be using is "direct opposition between things compared; inconsistency." In order for something to be contradictory, both statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time. Things can appear contradictory on the surface, but after examination really are not.

I look forward to our debate.
Debate Round No. 1
johnlubba

Pro

I thank KeytarHero for accepting and am grateful to get a serious contender on the issue I am about to present.

I accept KeytarHero's definition of contradiction above, especially when he states,

"both statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time".

If I can show now, that indeed one statement does indeed contain two words that can not be true at the same time, Then to avoid any semantics, at least one translations or multiple translation are wrong. and indeed the bible should be deemed as an un-reliable source.

Ok, now I shall begin to present my case.

The key words I shall present here are the words *Murder* and *Kill*

Both these words clearly have different meanings.

The word Kill, applies to all living things.

The word murder, only applies to man.

Yet, what I am about to present is, A Biblical verse where the same two words appear to replace each other in the same texts.

The text in question is.... Matthew 19:18

Below I will offer multiple translations of the same text, with both words included in different translations.

Before I present them I would like to clarify to the audience again, how important it is to use the right word.

If Jesus orders people not to murder, then it only applies to killing man.

But

if Jesus order was thou shall not kill, then that applies to all living beings. Full stop. Thou shall not kill, is a clear instruction which applies to all living things, in the physical and not just the mental sense of the word.

So here is my proof of the Bibles contradiction.

New International Version ("1984)

"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
New Living Translation ("2007)
"Which ones?" the man asked. And Jesus replied: "'You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely.

English Standard Version ("2001)
He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,

New American Standard Bible ("1995)
Then he said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS;

Holman Christian Standard Bible ("2009)
Which ones?" he asked Him. Jesus answered: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness;

International Standard Version ("2012)
The young man asked him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You must not murder, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not give false testimony,

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English ("2010)
He said to him, "Which ones?" But Yeshua said to him, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not testify falsely."

GOD'S WORD" Translation ("1995)
"Which commandments?" the man asked. Jesus said, "Never murder. Never commit adultery. Never steal. Never give false testimony.

King James 2000 Bible ("2003)
He said unto him, Which? Jesus said, You shall do no murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,

American King James Version
He said to him, Which? Jesus said, You shall do no murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,

American Standard Version
He saith unto him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Douay-Rheims Bible
He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Darby Bible Translation
He says to him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

English Revised Version
He saith unto him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Webster's Bible Translation
He saith to him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Weymouth New Testament
"Which Commandments?" he asked. Jesus answered, "'Thou shalt not kill;' 'Thou shalt not commit adultery;' 'Thou shalt not steal;' 'Thou shalt not lie in giving evidence;'

World English Bible
He said to him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You shall not murder.' 'You shall not commit adultery.' 'You shall not steal.' 'You shall not offer false testimony.'

Young's Literal Translation
He saith to him, 'What kind?' And Jesus said, 'Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness,

http://bible.cc...

Now it is clear from the above that the same two words is used in different translations.

The point is, if the correct meaning or translation is,

Thou shall not kill.......Then that applies to all living beings......

Yet.....

If the correct translation is

Thou shall not murder...... then it only applies to humans.....

In any case their is a clear contradiction.

I really don't think this will even last four rounds. The evidence is clear, the bible is un-reliable and contradictive, both statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time.

I hand the debate back over to my opponent, and again offer my thanks.
KeytarHero

Con

I thank Pro for offering this challenge.

However, I'm confused as to what his argument actually entails. If his argument is that the word "murder" or "kill" is used in different translations, that's undebatable. However, the proper translation of the word of "murder." God himself sanctioned certain times when somenoe should have been killed in the Old Testament, such as when he sent his people to war, when he sent Ehud to slay King Eglon who was ruling over God's people in tyranny, etc.

The proper translation from Exodus and Deuteronomy in the Ten Commandments, which Jesus is alluding to here, is "you shall not murder." That is, you shall not kill someone in cold blood.

Pointing to different translations of the same verse does not make Pro's case. Different translations translate the word differently. This is not a contradiction in the Scriptures, this is translator error.

That's really all I have to say about this. Back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 2
johnlubba

Pro

Firstly Con states he is confused as to what my argument entails, then immediately after that he actually grasps the argument. Because really it's not that hard to figure out.

Yes KeytarHero,

As I stated above, The argument is about two words, the two words are *Murder and *Kill, those are the two words in question, being used for the same verse in different translations of the Bible, as I have presented evidence for above.

By KaytarHero's own admission....... and his own definition of a contradiction, states.

"both statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time"..........

So If Jesus instructed.... Thou Shall Not Kill, Then it applies to all living things...
But If Jesus instructed.... Thou Shall Not Murder, Then it only applies to man....

Obviously both statements can not both be true at the same time.

Thou shall not kill is clear, it means thou shall not kill any living thing.
Thou shall not murder is also clear, It means do not murder man, but the killing of other beings, non human is permitted.....

My opponent accepts this error as a translator error, and goes on to say, the correct translation is murder, but surprisingly does not account the other Biblical translations in error.

If Con wants to state that the correct translation is Thou Shall Not Murder, then he has to accept the other versions of the Bible that translate the verse, Thou Shall Not Kill, are wrong and a direct contradiction.

I urge the audience to take note of Con's assertion of what a contradiction is.
Both sentences can not be both true at the same time.

Thou Shall Not Kill applies to all living things,

Thou Shall Not Murder only applies to man.

"both statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time

By Con's own admission, this is the definition of a contradiction. Thus I see no way out of this for Con but to accept the Bible translations are an un-reliable source and contain contradictions.

Thank you...
Back to Con.
KeytarHero

Con

When I said "I'm not sure what Pro's argument entails," it's not because I didn't understand it. It's because the argument is so bad that I didn't think Pro could possibly be making it. But apparently he is.

The Hebrew word used in Exodus 20:13 is ratsach, which can mean "kill," but in order to translate words from Hebrew and Greek into English, the context must be considered. The connotation in Exodus is that "you shall not murder." If all forms of killing were condemned, then God would not have sanctioned it, such as the aforementioned examples, as well God also permitting killing in self-defense (Exodus 22:2). [1]

In order to be a genuine contradiction, the contradiction must be contained in different places in the same transcript. Remember that the translations of Scripture are not inspired, only the original texts. Pro would have to show that there are contradictions in the same translation that can't be reasonably resolved in order to prove a contradiction. Trying to prove a contradiction by showing different translations translate the word differently is just silly.

Also, Pro's definitions of "kill" and "murder" are incorrect. "Kill" can certainly refer to any living thing, but also to humans. Killing a human is any form of killing, whereas "murder" refers to humans, but only when killing them in cold blood. So telling someone not to "murder" not only tells you what you can't kill, but under what circumstances you can't kill them.

Back to Pro.

[1] http://carm.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
johnlubba

Pro

Con has contested my definition of the words Murder And Kill.

I did not exclude humans from the definition of the translation, Thou Shall Not Kill,
I stated that kill applies to all living things,
Hence, that includes humans as humans are also living things.

Thou shall not murder only applies to man, so if the correct word is murder then killing of other beings is not included.
But if the correct translation is, Thou shall not kill, then that includes all living beings. Including humans.
So I see no problem with my definition here.......

All murder is killing but not all killing is murder.

Con also goes on to say which is the correct translation, He claims the correct translation is, Thou Shall Not Murder, and further defines it as killing another person in cold blood. Of course that fits very nicely.
But If we consider the text, Thou Shall Not Kill, it does not state in cold blood or only humans,, it simply says, thou shall not kill. and should apply to all living things.
I thought Con would favor the Thou shall not murder translation as it would better suit his own ideology.
as he has chosen to admit their is a correct translation of the choice of two, and he choose the translation of murder which only applies to man.....and makes no justification to the translation of thou shall not kill. and in choosing one as correct we must assume the other as wrong, as both statements can not be both true at in the same sense at the same time.

Con further goes on to state, that only the original text is the inspired word of God.
He said....

Remember that the translations of Scripture are not inspired, only the original texts.

So I take this that Con concedes here to defend the translations of the Bible, in that they should be correct like the inspired word of God in the original texts......
But I would like to remind the audience here, that I am not bringing the original text into question, I am questioning the reliability of the Bible translations into question.

Con fails to recognise the confusion amongst scholars regarding this verse and the two words, some translate the word as murder and some translate the word as kill.
In any case, both can not be correct, Kill applies to all living things, and murder only applies to man.

Here is some proof of the confusion amongst biblical scholars, it's not as straight forward as Con would like you to think, indeed there is major dispute about the true meaning of the word, and the decision of the true meaning still remains in the balance, and is disputed to this day.....

~ Thou Shalt Not Kill ~
Exodus 20:13 - Deuteronomy 5:17

The exact Hebrew wording of this biblical phrase is lo tirtzack. One of the greatest scholars of Hebrew/English linguistics (in the Twentieth Century) -Dr. Reuben Alcalay - has written in his mammoth book the Complete Hebrew /English Dictionary that "tirtzach" refers to "any kind of killing whatsoever." The word "lo," as you might suspect, means "thou shalt not."

Various "Translations" of the 6th Commandment

'Thou shalt not kill any living thing,' for life is given to all by God, and that which God has given, let not man taketh it away. ~Jesus, Gospel of the Holy Twelve, (earliest known recorded words of Jesus)

"Thou shalt not kill." ~Exodus 20:13 Authorized version of King James

"You shall not murder." ~New International Version

http://www.thenazareneway.com...

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and hope he can see the distinction between the two words, and both sentences can not be both true in the same sense at the same time and thus proving a vital contradiction in the translations, not the original texts which is not the resolution.

I also thanks the audience.
KeytarHero

Con

I'll make this brief, as Pro has not made his case.

The definitions of "kill" and "murder" are as I have given them. Murder doesn't just mean killing humans, but to kill humans in cold blood. Not all killing of humans is condemned in the Scriptures, such as killing in self-defense.

I have already mentioned that there are scholars who have translated the words differently, but this doesn't prove that they are unreliable, as long as you are aware of what the manuscripts say (and scholars are). Sometimes they let their biases into their translations (the KJV is not a very reliable translation, since the scholars who translated it changed some of the verses to fit their own theology). However, the manuscript evidence we have shows that we know what the original texts say within 99.95% accuracy. We can trust many of our modern translations becuase we have manuscripts that attest to their reliability.

Simply pointing to a difference in opinion as to how a word should be translated does not prove they are unreliable, and it certainly doesn't prove there is a discrepancy. This is, quite frankly, one of the worst arguments for the unreliability of the Biblical translations I've ever heard.

Thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by johnlubba 4 years ago
johnlubba
I'm sorry about that, but I am being very sincere.

I can also appreciate my spelling and style of grammar are very bad. But I think I make a fair point.

For instance. what excactly is the correct translation, is it murder or kill, a matter of opinion which is yet unsetteled.
Posted by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
I'm complaining because I was taken in by a stupid resolution. I accept the fact that I misconstrued it, so deserve the loss. But that doesn't negate the fact that this is a really bad argument. That makes it all the more disappointing that I lost.
Posted by johnlubba 4 years ago
johnlubba
Hence my argument stands.
Posted by johnlubba 4 years ago
johnlubba
Key tar hero, stop moaning and moaning..........like a baby.......

All you keep repeating is that my argument is really bad, and I am being docked conduct points for it..When in fact you read into it wrong, and keep moaning, you didn't take into account I was debating the translations instead of the original scripture.

And what is bad about the argument? the fact that the translations are In-reliable. ?
If it is such an obvious topic, then 1 you should not have taken the debate. Like, Like pace said, you still have that choice by reading the opening round. and 2 if the other translations are so obviously contradictory and hence un-reliable, then why do they still publish them and circulate the various translations.

I'll tell you why, because the opposition is so convinced that they have the correct translation, that they still publish them, just like you are convinced that the correct translation is thou shall not murder, I provided a source of a well respected biblical scholar who translates it as thou shall not kill. hence the confusion.......

By the way...does anybody know where I can get an original copy of the original texts....no, thought not. and I am not going to learn to read Hebrew in my life, so all I have is biblical translations and by my reasoning they are un-reliable. that's why I am dubious about how Christianity is conducted and think it's a total sham.
Posted by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
I understand that, but the title is not too short for the resolution. Most resolutions are short. "Is faith in God reasonable?" is a resolution that William Lane Craig recently debated Alex Rosenberg on.

That being said, I did misunderstand what he wanted to debate. His argument is really bad (which is why I was incredulous that he would have been making it). I read a better argument into his resolution, thinking he was going to argue that there are contradictions (that is, an inconsistency) in the Bible which would show that it is unreliable. Simply because two different translations translate a word different does not make either one unreliable, and it's silly that he would think that it would.
Posted by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
The title is too short for the resolution and/or terms of many debates, so the contender is generally held to whatever the Instigator states in round one. Those terms are made fully available to the Contender before they choose to accept the debate.

"This debate is about two key words used in the Christian bible which is found in multiple translations and contradict each other. There is no other conclusion other than to deem at least some translations of the Bible as un-reliable."

I think Pro showed that some translations contradict each other, and that it followed that at least some translations are unreliable. I gave you conduct.. that's as much as I could do in good conscience.
Posted by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
It doesn't matter what Pro states in the opening round, what matters is the resolution as stated at the top.
Posted by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
I double-checked, and in round one, Pro used the word "some" while stating his resolution. "At least some translations of the Bible as un-reliable."
Posted by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
Indeed I did. Pro and I should tie for sources, because we both used relevant sources.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Con used a source.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 4 years ago
Magic8000
johnlubbaKeytarHeroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Resolution was that bible translations have errors. Con said " This is not a contradiction in the Scriptures, this is translator error." He conceded.
Vote Placed by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
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Reasons for voting decision: I must change my vote. I just noticed that Pro specified in his opening that "at least some translations" are erroneous. In admitting the KJV and some others are erroneous Con conceded a debate so narrowly defined as to be rather silly. I'm not sure what the fact that people sometimes make flawed translations proves, but it has been established. As such, arguments must go to Pro. I still give con sp/gr. because Pro's presentation was a bit difficult to follow. He gave many sentences their own paragraphs with no apparent justification, and it made for awkward reading requiring more effort than usual in finding the arguments among the mountains of redundant examples, for instance. By the last round this was much better, but the point stands.
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro demonstrated at least some bible translations contradict each other in meaningful ways and thus are unreliable sources. He did not claim anything about the "original scripture". I award him arguments for proving an obvious matter of fact, and dock him conduct for debating a matter of fact that was obviously true.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Reasons for voting decision: Stupid, unwinnable resolution, so conduct to Con. Arguments to Pro because the Bible translations clearly do contain at least one text which is contradictory. Con should have trolled. You want to counter my conduct, lit.wakefield? I'll counter your counter.
Vote Placed by lit.wakefield 4 years ago
lit.wakefield
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro should have been more specific in the title (Does he mean that they contradict other translations or themselves? does he mean all translations? Thankfully, he elaborated in his opening statement). Pro's arguments were weak, however Con seemed to not understand the topic of the debate, which was unrelated to original biblical texts. Con says "the KJV is not a very reliable translation." Due his failure to address Pro's arguments and this statement which I take to essentially affirm Pro's first statement from his title, I give arguments to Pro. Pro was the only one that used sources. The only reason that I'm giving conduct to Pro is to counter the votes where conduct was given to Con. I feel that they are both unjustified. I would ask everyone to note the word "translation." It is clear that Pro is arguing with regards to translations.
Vote Placed by Jarhyn 4 years ago
Jarhyn
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Reasons for voting decision: Regardless of how weak PRO's arguments were, the weakness of those arguments does not negate the fact that they are still arguments which affirm the resolution, particularly in the absence of CON's ability to prove otherwise. The intended substance of the resolution was proven; as such convincing goes to pro. However, conduct to CON as the EFFECT of the resolution, the unstated "therefore the bible itself is unreliable", is, while true, unsupported by PRO's specific argument.
Vote Placed by Milliarde 4 years ago
Milliarde
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were simply weak. Con pointed this out and Pro continued along the same line of thought, which is that since murder =/= kill this is the contradiction. Con clearly pointed out that translator error is not Scriptural error.