The Instigator
Pro (for)
9 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

The New Testament contains no genuine contradictions of consequence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/26/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,725 times Debate No: 14939
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)





I would like to propose this debate to any takers. Prior to the debate I would like to define some terms and establish some rules for the debate.

The New Testament - The 27 books of the established cannon recognized by the Christian Church.
Contains - Contradictions that are WITHIN the text. It is not a viable argument to present the New Testament as contradicting with anything outside of the text, including Science, the Church, Other Religions, Other Documents from the 1st Century, etc.
Genuine Contradiction - An actual contradiction. An example of two texts that cannot both be true.
Consequence - A contradiction that poses actual threat to the meaning of Christian doctrine. The converse would be trivial contradictions, such as slight variations in dates or counting. Such trivial contradictions are typically easily explained, or pose no challenge to the truth being taught or the accuracy of the historical retelling.

[Rules and Debating Proceedure]
In the first round, Con must present any contradictions they believe are insurmountable. Please number them for clarity of response (Contradiction A, B, C, etc).

In the following round, I will respond to the contradictions and attempt to explain how they are either A) Not Genuine Contradictions, or B) Not Contradictions of Consequence. Con may respond in round 2 either with challenging my response, or presenting new contradiction (or both).

In Round 3 I will respond to his challenges or new contradictions. In round 3, Con may only respond to my answers.

In round 4 I will respond to his challenges. In the close of round 4 Con may not present new arguments or responses to my challenge (that gives us each 3 rounds since my first round is being used only to describe rules). In Round 4 Con will enter "Closing Round" or something similar. If Con presents new arguments or rebuttals in Round 4, they are in violation of the terms of this debate and forfeit all 7 points to Pro for the debate.

[A note about Burden of Proof]
This debate does not have burden of proof in the way normal debates do. My burden of proof will be to reasonably explain any apparent contradictions that Con identifies. Con's burden of proof is to provide adequate biblical citations so that I may find the passages he is referencing. In addition, please use the ESV as the translation (It can be found at as it is both accurate and readable, and using only one translation prevents us from slipping into confusion over variant readings in different translations. If space is a premium, ESVonline provides a link shortening service to link to verses. Simply type reference and you will get a link. For example. will link to John 3:16

If there are any questions, please pose them in comments prior to accepting the debate. By accepting you agree to all the stipulations and rules that have been given above.

I look forward to my challenger.


I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. If he doesn't mind, I'll use the decimal system to number my arguments, letters get confusing. I will use the ESV version for citations, however, in some cases I may refer to the original Hebrew or Greek for clarification (and, preempting a few of my opponent's rebuttals, I probably will).

There are, of course, hundreds of contradictions I could list, but to keep things simple I'm only going to list eight...

Matthew 5:18 "For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished."
Ephesians 2:15 " abolishing the law"
Explanation: Did Jesus abolish the law?

Matthew 23:17 (Jesus speaking) "You blind fools!"
Matthew 5:22 (Jesus speaking) "Whoever says, ‘You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire."
Luke 23:43 "today you will be with me in Paradise."
Explanation: Did Jesus go to hell or paradise?

Luke 11:10 "To the one who knocks it will be opened."
Luke 13:24 "For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able."
Explanation: if you seek the Kingdom of heaven, can you enter it?

Romans 11:32 "For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all."
Mark 16:16 "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
Explanation: Can non-believers be saved?

Matthew 6:13 (part of Lord's Prayer) "And lead us not into temptation"
James 1:13 "he [God] himself tempts no one"
Explanation: Does God tempt?

Romans 13:1 "those [governing authorities] that exist have been instituted by God."
Acts 5:29 (said in disobedience to ruling authorities) "We must obey God rather than men."
Explanation: Need ruling authorities be obeyed? Were they instituted by God?

John 10:30 "I and the Father are one"
Acts 2:22 "Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works ... that God did through him"
Explanation: Is Jesus God, or a man in whom God worked? See also Rom.1:3 vs Heb.7:24

Matthew 5:16 "let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works"
Matthew 6:1 "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them"
Explanation: Should we show our "light" or keep it hidden?

I look forward to hearing my opponent's rebuttal!
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for this debate. I appreciate the time it took to research these passages and compile them.

On to the explanations.

1. The key to this is to understand what "all" is. For Jesus says that not a single portion of the law will pass away until "all" is accomplished. The standard reading of this is that "all" refers to the Law. Once the Law is fulfilled, it is no longer necessary and can be abolished. Christ was and is the fulfillment of the Law and therefore it is possible for the law to pass away, since all of it has been fulfilled in Christ. Now, to understand what Paul was saying to the church in Ephesus, we must read more than 3 words out of context. Paul was specifically speaking to the Church about the Law that divided Jews and Gentiles. The original OT Law was designed to distinguish Israel as the people of God so they could serve as a light to the nations (gentiles). Since Christ fulfilled this law and He is now the light to the nations, the regulations keeping the Jews separate from Gentiles were no longer necessary.

2. This is quite simple to explain, and has to do with translation. The Greek term used in Matthew 5 is "Racca" or "Raca" and is specifically a derogatory term. (See footnote 3 at However, in Matthew 23:17 he uses the term "Moros" which is defined as "impious, godless" and also "without learning or erudition. ( This makes sense considering the context of Matthew 23:17 in which Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees for their misunderstanding of the Law. He chastises them or not understanding the Law and for placing the value of the gold of the Temple more than the Holiness of the Temple, an impious act indeed.

3. The contexts of these two passages again is our guide. In Luke 11, Jesus is teaching about prayer, and the lesson is that if anyone asks God for something according to God's will, that prayer will be answered. However, in Luke 13 Jesus is telling a parable to explain an Eschatalogical (Last Things) truth. Luke 11 is in the context of a believer who prays while they are alive, Luke 13 is in the context of someone who has been given the chance to knock in this life, and now has passed into the next and is seeking to knock later. Other places are clear that we are given the opportunity to knock, as it were, before we die and then we face judgment. Once we die we are no longer permitted to knock.

4. Once again, my opponent is attempting to create contradictions by ignoring the context of the passage. In Romans, the passage saying that God wants to show mercy to all is in the context of Believing Israel. The mercy he is showing is to believers who were disobedient, and the point of the passage is to show that all are disobedient and that it isn't by obedience that we are saved. In Mark, the context is also clear… non-believers cannot be saved. However, there is no contradiction here because in Romans, Paul is referring to believers.

5. This is not a contradiction, and again simply falls to different ways to use language. The Greek word for "Temptation" has many meanings. Primarily, it means to test or prove something. However, there are various ways to do this. The first listed in Thayer's Lexicon is by trial. Paul uses this in Galatians when he states that his physical condition was a trial that proved the love of the Galatians toward Paul. We aren't given a lot of details about his condition, but it posed difficulty for the Galatians, and that proved they loved him. James uses the word in the way we more commonly think of it, as an enticement to sin. This is the second definition given by Thayer. ( It is clear that James is saying "God does not lead anyone into sin" and Jesus is saying "Do not lead us into difficult trials, rather deliver us from evil."

6. The passage in Romans is a difficult one, I'll admit. However, we must again look at the context. In Acts, Peter is responding to religious Jews who are telling him not to preach the Gospel. The authorities in question were telling them to do something directly contrary to what God was instructing them. In this case, they were violating a greater authority, and Peter was explaining that to them. In Romans 13 however, the passage ends by saying "Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed." The standard reading of this in the Church has been that when a government instructs you to do something, you obey. The only exception to this would be if they instruct you to do something contrary to God's law or instructions. In this way you give "honor to whom honor is owed."

7. This is a simple one, and since I am going to be running low on space I will make it simple. The doctrine of the Trinity exists specifically because of these kinds of verses. In John 10:30 Jesus is referring to his unity with the Father in nature. In Acts 2:22 they are referring to the distinction between the persons of the Trinity. (The classic formula for the Trinity is one God existing in three person with one divine nature) To answer your question, Yes Jesus is God and he is also a man in whom God worked.

8. Again, we must always be mindful of the context of a passage. Matthew 5:16 actually reads "In the same way, let your light shine...) so we must look at the passage before and say "in the same way as what." The passage states that no one lights a candle and then hides it. For that would be ridiculous, since the very purpose of a candle is to give light. In the same way, let your light shine, for that is what it was created to do. However, in Matthew 6:1 we see him guarding against something that was also happening (likely a further clarification because he previously told them to let their lights shine). In this passage we see that he is admonishing them to be careful about their motives in doing the good works (and doing them before people). The Pharisees were doing them so that THEY would be glorified (Matthew 6:2), so doing them before people for the purpose of self glorification was not acceptable. However, if you are doing it before people for the purpose of glorifying God (as seen in Matthew 5), then by all means... do it before men, since THAT is what the purpose of good works are.

I look forward to what my opponent has next.


I'd like to thank my opponent for his erudite response, and offer my apologies for my belated counter.

In this round, I only have rebuttal.

So far in this debate I've listed 8 apparent contradictions within the New Testament. My opponent has accepted that every one of these is "of consequence" but has not accepted that they are "genuine." This is what we will be arguing for the remainder of the debate. Note that I'm generally using Thayer for my Greek because that's what you seem to be using.

1. Did Jesus abolish the law?
My opponent rightly regards Jesus as the fulfillment of the law, but that is not to say that all is accomplished. We're not using interpretation. We're using the actual scripture and finding contradictions in it. The bible says that Jesus taught that in fulfilling the law, he did not destroy the law, diminish its value, or even change the law. Look at Matthew 5:17 - "I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." The meaning of the word "fulfill" (pleroo in Greek) is to "fill full" - that is, to complete. Jesus completed the law, but that does not mean he abolished the law. To say that completing the law invokes over-writing the law is contrary to both reason and scripture. I also claim that my opponent is the one taking the verse out of context. After all, the passage tells us when all is fulfilled. Unlike what my opponent assumes to be the truth (the resurrection of Jesus), he should look to the start of the passage (the passing of heaven and earth). According to me, heaven and earth are yet to pass, so the law is still valid according to Jesus.

2. Did Jesus go to hell?
Basically the question is whether foolish (moros) is equivalent in essence to vain (Raca). My overall contention is that Jesus meant for the teaching to apply to all insults, and it is beyond question that if I was to call someone foolish (or stupid is perhaps the common term) I would be insulting that person. The reason for this belief is as follows. In Acts 23:4, Paul insults a high priest. However, he knows the folly of his decision. He apologies profusely to the priest, confesses his mistake and cites Eccl. 10:20 (sorry, I can never spell that book)! Now, Paul used neither of these insults (he called the priest a wall), yet insulting itself was considered by Paul to be wrong. Paul knew both the Old and New Testaments supported that viewpoint. Raca was a rare word by the way (only used once in the whole Bible), so the use of it by Jesus probably indicates that he meant not to preclude all other insults just by mentioning the one.

3. If you seek the Kingdom of heaven, can you enter it?
I think my opponent is adopting too narrow a reading of Luke 13! There is no indication in the passage about how long those left out have been knocking at the door - perhaps they started knocking long before the last days, and I argue that this is the correct interpretation of the context. They will continue to seek even until the end, but they will never find. My reasons are these. In James 4:3, those with ulterior motives are barred from receiving even though they ask. There are several like passages which place restrictions on one's ability to receive. Do people stop asking if they don't receive something? Often, the answer is no. Because God is essentially spiritual in nature, people may even think they have received when they have not. Really they are still waiting and always will. However, Jesus makes an unqualified promise in Luke 11. Luke 13 merely proves that Jesus recognised some qualification on his promise. Many who attempt to take up the promise he said two chapters before will not enter the Kingdom. All who take up the promise will enter the Kingdom.

4. Can non-believers be saved?
The question here is whether Paul was speaking only of believers in Romans, or whether he is speaking of everyone. This is fundamentally what you dispute. Again, let us look at the passage. Paul uses the word "all". There is no language where all is synonymous with believers. There is nothing in the context to suggest this other than the fact that he was writing to believers. But Paul did not write "all of you," as would otherwise be required, but he wrote "all." Between these two passages there remains a genuine contradiction.

5. Does God tempt?
My opponent's claim is that God's pirasmos ("temptation") in the Lord's prayer is a trial, by an alternate Greek definition. Why, then, is the same word used in Ps. 19:13? Here is meaning is abundantly clear - please don't let Satan get to us, God! Any other definition would make no sense in context. So clearly God does lead people to temptation. Jesus knew the psalms and is clearly reinforcing their message. This reading is therefore far more valid and does not contradict the Greek. Therefore James is contradicted. Other New Testament verses support this reading. 1 Peter 1:6-7 makes it clear that God allows temptation as a means to test faith. Again, God leading people to temptation (why would Satan have an interest in testing faith when he could be building that big army foretold in the book of Revelation?) There are a few other verses too, but you get the picture.

6. Need ruling authorities be obeyed?

We're not discussing contradictions in Church doctrine, we're arguing contradictions in the New Testament. God is not a schizophrenic, and he does not institute laws contrary to his own. This is made very clear in the Bible. By giving ruling authorities delegated authority, God therefore justifies their every decision. Giving "honor" to God thus becomes giving "honor" to the state according to the Romans passage. In Romans their decisions are not decisions of men, but of God. Why does Paul, then, have a license to preach the opposite?

7. Is Jesus God, or a man in whom God worked?

My opponent's analysis basically amounted to an explanation of the trinity. What my opponent overlooks is that John uses the word "my." John hereby expresses the idea that Jesus must have been unified with God in nature, not in person. This is further reinforced by the use of the neuter form of "one," as opposed to the masculine which would otherwise have been required. If Jesus was of equal nature to God, he must have been equal also in power, as John Gill argues in his book, "Exposition of the Entire Bible." Thus you ignore the fact that Jesus was not actually unified with God when he claimed to be one with him. Note also that hEN ("one") is translated as "To be united most closely (in will, spirit)," not "To be united." Jesus specifically denies being one with God in Mark 10:18, where he denies being "good" because that would make him "God" when he is not.

8.Should we show our "light" or keep it hidden?
My opponent claims a possible interpretation of these passages is to do good works but guard against showing off. The brilliant thing about Jesus' metaphor is that fires go out without oxygen, so a candle under a bowl stops shining. If you do not "uncover" your good works, you stop doing them. I think this is a more complete understanding of the metaphor than simply to take the obvious approach of focusing on the light, especially since the focus of the metaphor is on not the light but the candle. Jesus makes it clear in 5:16 that if your good works are not seen, you will not do good works. Except that you should beware of being seen doing good works, so one would be advised not to do good works. My opponent claims that this only applies only to, well, self-glorification - first, this was never biblically justified by him. Second, even if true (which I do not admit), then shouldn't that same definition rightly apply to the word "seen" in the other passage as well?

I eagerly await my opponent's reply.
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank my opponent for his patience in awaiting my response. My schedule is quite busy and I want to apologize for the delay.

On with the debate.

1. The OT Law is essentially a contract. In fact, the word "Testament" is roughly equivalent to "Covenant" or "Contract." When one is said to have "fulfilled" the contract, that contract is often nullified or no longer binding. For example: A warranty that provides for 3 repairs. When the 3 repairs have been completed, the warranty is said to be "fulfilled" and is no longer applicable. Furthermore, if my opponent wishes to argue that we are not discussing interpretation... the word that Jesus used is "kataluo" which means "destroy" while the word that Paul uses is "katargeo" which means to "nulify." There is no contradiction, Paul did not say that Jesus "kataluo"d the Law, rather that he "katargeo"d the Law.

2. My opponent established in point 1 that we are not discussing interpretation. Since his entire rebuttal is based on his interpretation that Jesus meant "Raca" to mean all insults... it is nul since we are not using interpretation. Jesus said do not say "Raca" and then said "Moros." There is no contradiction, two different words. However, even if we were discussing interpretation, there is still no contradiction. The term Raca, according to Thayer's Lexicon (which my opponent recognizes as an authority), indicates that the term is a term of contempt. The term Moros however is a neutral word. The equivalent in our language would more accurately be "Idiot" verses "Ignorant." In their definitions, idiot has a negative connotation built into it, while ignorant simply means one who lacks knowledge.

3. While my opponent has decided that we are not using interpretation, the original bounds of the debate did not include that restriction. It simply said that a genuine contradiction was a contradiction that was insurmountable and that two texts could not be true. There were no stipulations regarding if interpretation could be used to harmonize or reconcile texts. In Luke 11, the chapter starts with Jesus' disciples asking Jesus to "teach us to pray." (11:1) The context was not regarding how to become saved. The parable Jesus teaches is a friend who is refusing to honor a request, and the response is to keep asking. Jesus is clearly teaching that if God does not answer a prayer the first time, that you should continue to pray for your request. Ask, Seek, and Knock are all metaphorical synonyms for requesting things. However, in Luke 13 we see a different teaching. The passage begins with someone asking about Salvation (13:22). Jesus responds by answering the question. Verse 25 says "When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door." In this parable the "master" is obviously referring to the Father. One must ask what "has risen and shut the door" means. I believe that the logical answer would be to refer to the Eschaton, the end of all things. Since these people only knock on the door after it has been shut (After the eschaton has taken place) they are bared from entrance. The logical implication of this would be that those who knock on the door before it has been shut would be allowed to enter. My opponent's reference to James 4:3 is a non-sequitur. Although it is possible to interpret this passage regarding prayer, James is not explicit about what kind of asking is taking place, nor whom is being asked.

4. I would ask my opponent to explain to me exactly where "showing mercy" and "being saved" are defined as identical. Many school's of theological thought (Calvinism in particular) would argue that even the fact that all humans are sinful and deserve immediate death and punishment. The fact that we are not receiving immediate punishment is an act of mercy. Again, linguistics aid us. Romans 11:32 uses the Greek Verb "eleeo" while Mark 16:16 uses the Greek Verb "sozo." They have different meanings. Sozo is to "to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction" with a more specific usage in scripture as "to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment." While eleeo is much more general and means "to help one afflicted or seeking aid." God can "help one afflicted" without "delivering them from the penalties of the Messianic judgement."

5. I would like to thank my opponent for making my argument for me. If Jesus means "please don't let Satan get to us (and tempt us to sin)" and James means "God himself does not tempt us to sin" then there is no contradiction. Satan is the one doing the temptation, not God. 1 Peter 1:6-7 further bolsters this in that God allows temptation, but does not tempt us Himself.

6. Again, my opponent argues that we are not arguing interpretation, fine. Acts is a historical account, not a book teaching doctrine. When Peter disobey's human authority it is not meant as a didactic (teaching) passage, it is simply a description of what happened. No where does Acts say "Go and do likewise." There is no contradiction. Romans teaches us to obey authorities, Acts shows us an example of a fallen human sinning in disobeying an authority.

7. The doctrine of the Trinity is an established Christian Doctrine. My opponent argues that the usage of the word "my" expresses the idea that Jesus must have been unified with God in nature, not in person. However, he cites no sources to prove this. He does so again when stating that the neuter form of "one" somehow argues further. He claims that Jesus must have been of equal power to God if he was of equal nature. This is an unproven assertion. However, he also does not prove that Jesus was not equal in power. Jesus did many miracles, including raising people from the dead, converting water into wine, and other miracles that point toward his divinity. His example from Mark 10:18 is simple to explain as well. Some questions are genuine questions, some questions are rhetorical and are meant to elicit a specific response. This is one such case. The young man calls Jesus good, Jesus responds with a rhetorical question "Why do you call me good?" The rhetorical answer is that "God alone is good." While my opponent argues that Jesus denies being God, historical interpretation has argued that he is actually asserting his divinity. In the resurrection accounts, Jesus' disciple Thomas calls him God. Jesus does not correct him, rather he accepts his worship AS God. If he corrected the young man who called him good, why didn't he correct Thomas? The answer is that he was not correcting the young man, he was further clarifying why the young man recognized him as good.

8. My opponent is right, I did not provide justification for my assertion that the self-glorification is the issue in Matthew 6. I will do so now. Matthew 6:2 states ""Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others." The word "that" is the translation of the Greek "hopos" which Thayer states "denotes the purpose." So Jesus is saying do not let good works be seen that are done for the purpose of being praised by others. Matthew 5:16 uses the same "hopos" when it says "that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." The good works Jesus is talking about in 5:16 are good works with the purpose of being seen to glorify the Father. The good works Jesus is condemning and saying to hide have the purpose of bringing praise to the person doing the good works rather than to the Father.

I thank my opponent and look forward to his response.

A friendly reminder, Round 3 is the last round for Con to present rebuttals or new arguments (per the agreed upon rules described in round 1).


I'd like to thank my opponent for that rebuttal. This round will be a few short rebuttals, essentially serving more as a summary of my argument.

First, I will admit, I used interpretation to understand the texts. All reading is interpretation of words, after all. What makes an interpretation valid is the use of scripture to back it up. All of my interpretations had scriptural references. The same cannot be said for all of my opponent's interpretations.

Second, it would be helpful if my opponent wouldn't change his arguments all the time. I will respond to them anyway.

1.Did Jesus abolish the law?

Take it from a law student. Just because an event happens to fulfil a particular clause does not necessarily void a contract as a whole. For your contract argument to work, you need to prove the old testament contains an escape clause for when the savior comes. Having read the old testament, I have never come across such a clause. Even if you do find something, I expect it will be too little, too late. The point falls to me.

2.Did Jesus go to hell?

See my point about interpretation above. As to the idea of negative connotations of words, that is based entirely on the context or contingency. Calling a scholar ignorant as a matter of rebuke certainly has negative connotations, something which you do not deny. Try saying that to a university professor and see if they're indifferent. I'll bet they won't be. For this argument to work, you must prove moros never has a negative connotation. This is impossible, so the point falls to me.

3.If you seek the Kingdom of heaven, can you enter it?

See my point about interpretation above. My opponent's case is: Jesus (Luke 11) teaches us to pray not for salvation, for Luke 13 is about the end times. That is what he said ... go back and read it again if you don't believe me! He himself provides no evidence to back up this view, except to justify his "end times" statement. He doesn't even provide the causal link! How can I possibly respond to such an irrational argument, other than to point out that its not even an argument? Then he calls James 4:3 a non-sequiter. Obviously he hasn't read James 4:2, where it is stated the passage is specifically about asking God stuff (commonly called "prayer"). The point falls to me!

4.Can non-believers be saved?

OK, so here my opponent simply argues salvation is not an act of mercy. Read Titus 3:5 - "he saved us ... according to his own mercy". That one passage renders all 8 lines of your analysis void! Point falls to me.

5.Does God tempt?

My argument here is that by allowing temptation, as you admit God does, and leading people to it, as the Lord's Prayer says, God is in fact the cause of temptation. It is like when a dam fails after heavy flooding - it is the dam, the stopgate, that fails. The river doesn't fail, for it behaves like rivers do. In the same way, when Satan tempts and God gives you the cold shoulder, it is God permitting temptation, God bringing temptation, and in the context of the James passage (not to blame God for temptation) God who is ultimately to blame for the temptation. Thus God tempts. Point falls to me.

6.Need ruling authorities be obeyed?

If it's in the Bible, it's contradictable. Those are the conditions. Just because there is no imperative does not void a particular book from being contradictable. The point falls to me (again!)

7.Is Jesus God, or a man in whom God worked?

I will not need to cite sources! My case is just that awesome! If I say - that is "my" cup, I am referencing an external object. Same with "my" TV. Or even "my" mind - it isn't everything that makes up me. The neuter form of one backs this up further because if self-referential, he should have used the masculine form of "one" which would be appropriate for either "his" self or God (a masculine word). All you demonstrate is a lack of understanding of Greek and an over-reliance on your textbook. Equal power meaning equal nature is not an unproven assertion, and I even gave a source for this, from one of the most comprehensive and respected bible commentaries in history! Next my opponent discredits my Markian analysis because it is irreconcilable with historical views. Not good enough. Use only bibles as evidence! Finally, the Thomas thing is a red herring - lack of denial never means acceptance of guilt. Never - there are many things I have not denied in this debate, for example, but that does not mean I accept them. Yet again the point falls to me.

8.Should we show our "light" or keep it hidden?

OK, so here we have a my-interpretation-versus-yours type showdown. My opponent tells us Jesus says not to do good works to get seen by others, but by God alone. The problem is that this interpretation completely ignores Matthew 5:16, especially where it says "let your light shine before others," not with the intention of God-glorification, but spreading good works. So really my opponent has Biblically explained one verse and ignored the contradiction entirely. So guess what ... this point falls to me too!

I his last round, my opponent will bring up all manner of assertions and try to confuse you with his theological training and knowlege of Greek. Don't be afraid. If you actually examine the evidence, I think you'll find there is a very clear conclusion to this debate. Even if there is only one contradiction in the New Testament, you should give this debate to me. That's all I need to prove. I have proven it beyond all doubt in eight ways.

Please, please, please ...
Vote CON!
Debate Round No. 3


I thank my opponent for his arguments. However, I think it a little arrogant to end every point with "the point falls to me." I'll leave that to the readers to decide.

1) My opponent is trying to impress you with his credentials as a law student. In debate, we call this an "appeal to false authority." He has never proven he is a law student, nor has he proven that knowledge of how modern laws work gives any expertise in how ancient laws work. Even so, there are many contracts that we have in which the contract is no longer binding if one party fulfills their obligations. Loans are an example. If you pay of your loan, you have fulfilled your contract and are no longer bound by it. My opponent claims that I need to find an "escape clause" and tries to bully you into believing that it doesn't exist. However, it was not difficult to find. Jeremiah 31:31-33 ""Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah [...] But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people." The author of Hebrews explains further when he says "In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." (8:13) And Jesus clearly claims to be the bringer of this New Covenant in his words during the last supper. "This cup is the New Covenant in my blood" (Matthew 26:28, cf 1 Corinthians 11:25)

2) The fact is that the two terms are different terms and have different meanings. Thayer says specifically that the term "raca" is a term of rebuke used in anger, which is the context that Jesus was condemning. You have the burden of proof to show conclusively that Jesus meant all terms that have negative connotation. You have not fulfilled this burden. The term moros may be used in moments of anger, but by definition it simply means that a person is ignorant or impious. The point most certainly does not fall to you as both linguistically this is not a contradiction (different words) and I have provided a reasonable interpretation that harmonizes the two concepts (a word of anger vs a word of fact.)

3) I will not retreat my argument, as it is coherent as it is. Luke 11 is teaching us about prayer in this existence. That is clear. The context of Luke 13, interpreting the phrase "has shut the door" as a close of time is a legitimate conclusion. Furthermore, the opening of Luke 13 is about those who perished in the collapse of the Tower of Siloam, and he is urging his hearers to realize that at any time something could take their life, or "shut the door" on them, as it were. The point again, does not fall to you. You have miss characterized my sentence and attempted to throw a straw man out to be knocked down. My opponent claims I do not provide causal links, however he begs the question with James 4:2 which reads "You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask." My opponent is claiming that this passage states that it is specifically about "asking God stuff", however I do not see that explicitly stated in the passage. Is that a possible interpretation, sure. Is it the only, or even most logical, most certainly not. If verse 4:2 is not necessarily about prayer, vs 4:3 is also not necessarily about prayer.

4) My opponent's rebuttal only holds water if showing mercy and salvation are synonymous. However, the two are not. Is salvation an act of mercy? Yes. Is it the only act of mercy? Absolutely not. This is known as a fallacy of false association where all As are Bs (All times a person is saved is an act of mercy). This fallacy assumes that the converse is true, when it is not. (All As are Bs, but not all Bs are Cs. All Fords are Cars, but not all Cars are Fords. All acts of salvation are acts of mercy, but not all acts of mercy are acts of salvation). He saved us according to his mercy. He also provides water and food according to his mercy. However, providing water and food is not a soteriological salvation.

5) This is an issue of theological interpretation, not of the text itself. One might ask, if God allows the temptation... is he not responsible for it? While the answer of this question may be yes, it is still not God doing the tempting. In my opponent's example of the dam that breaks, consider this. If the dam breaks, does the dam flood the town? Does the dam drown people or wash away homes? No. The dam doesn't do these things, the river does. The dams job is to stop the river from doing those things, but if the dam fails, it is still the river that does these things. Now, if one argues that it is God's job to stop the devil from tempting us (I'm not arguing that it is, but for the sake of the example we will say that it is) if he fails (as the dam fails) it is still the devil tempting us (as it is still the river flooding the city). Jesus asking for God not to lead us into temptation is like asking the dam not to break. James saying that God does not tempt us, is like saying the dam doesn't flood the town.

6) My opponent does not understand the nature of contradiction. If one book teaches not to disobey authorities, and another teaches to disobey authorities... that is a contradiction. If one book teaches to disobey authorities, and another simply shows an example of someone doing so... it is not teaching something contradictory, it is simply showing a historical event.

7) My opponent also demonstrates a lack of knowledge of ancient languages. Often times languages do not follow clear rules with regards to gender. We don't always know why an author choses to go outside of the standard conventions, however we know that they do. In fact, later in the book of John, the author does something very similar in referring to a collective group which includes males and females as neuter. (11:52) When a group is composed of both genders, or when the gender is unknown, the author of John seems to find it acceptable to use a neuter gender. This is obviously the case with the Trinity which has no gender, and with God who (although masculine grammatically has no gender physically).

8) My opponent argues that I ignore Matthew 5:16 which says "let your light shine before others" and claims that it is not for the purpose of God-glorification. However, he does not tell you the second half of the verse... which says " so that they may see your good works and ogive glory to your Father who is in heaven." I don't know how much more clear that can get. My opponent intentionally left out a portion of the verse that specifically says the opposite of what he is telling you. I'd like to give my opponent the benefit of the doubt... but I don't know which benefit of the doubt to give him. Either he didn't read the second half of the passage which says flatly that these good works should be seen to give glory to God, irresponsible. Possibly he read it and witheld it from the readers, it is quite damaging to his point... deceitful. Or perhaps he didn't understand the explicit words on the page... subpar intellect. I guess you can decide which one it is. The passage SPECIFICALLY and EXPLICITLY says "Let your works be seen for the purpose of drawing people to glorify God." Later it says not to do good works "For the purpose of glorifying yourself" like the hypocrites do. The teaching is about the purpose of letting your works be seen, not the specifics of actually letting them be seen.

My opponent claims I will try to confuse you... I have spoken plainly and logically. I look forward to your votes.

A reminder to Con, no new arguments in Round 4. Thank you for your participation, it has been lively and cordial and I applaud you for your conduct and effort.


Closing round, I may not post new arguments (although I'd very much like to).
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Gileandos 5 years ago
I was excited to start out reading this debate. I felt let down as Con pointed to non-contradictions as his contradictions. I would like to inform Con that there are indeed many stronger linked contradictions in the bible but not one of those were a contradiction.

All contradictions are secondary or stand resolved in history through interpretation or exegisis, I believe a stronger case could have been made by Con.

Though Con did do a good job arguing his points but a stronger knowledge of exegesis would have shown those to be false and he would have abandoned the line of reasoning.

Thank you both for the good debate!
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago

I appreciate how you genuinely respect and analyze the arguments you vote on. Thanks for your votes.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
The spammer has been reported... please report him so we can get it cleared off quickly.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
Thank you for respecting the rules and not posting new arguments.

I didn't say that I won any points in the last round. Not a single time did I tell the voters that my argument was better. I posted my arguments, and I'll let the readers decide.
Posted by larztheloser 5 years ago
For goodness sake ... you call me arrogant for claiming I win every point, and then you claim that you win every point! How arrogant is that!
Posted by reddj2 5 years ago
"Ooga booga! Great Space God! Magic lizard come down from Jupiter!"-Mormon Reverend
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
My opponent argues a solid case. I appreciate his vigor. Argument will be forthcoming when I can devote appropriate time to it. Hang tight sports fans.
Posted by nonentity 5 years ago
I can think of one contradiction, but I've only read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in totality.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
I don't believe that there are any instances that are "so drastically off" as you suggest. If you believe that I am wrong, feel free to take the debate.
Posted by CosmicAlfonzo 5 years ago
I'd take this debate, but I can't think of any scriptures off hand that pose a threat to Christian doctrine if mental gymnastics are used, or there is a proper understanding.

That said, I can think of a few instances where the same event is described, and the details are so drastically off from each other that they couldn't possibly be accurate portrayals of the event.

That said, these texts were never meant to be understood on their own. To take the New Testament on its own and interpret the meaning of Jesus strictly from the New Testament itself is tantamount to idolatry, and counterproductive to gaining any real insight into the message Jesus was trying to deliver.

You need life experience, and you need to put the teachings of Jesus into practice.. Otherwise, they aren't going to make sense.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used won hands down all but number 6 with solid wins. The better arguments go to Pro. Spelling and Grammar go to Pro due to a better understanding and use of the original languages being discussed. Pro used sources and gets the point again.
Vote Placed by reddj2 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con- made a better argument Sources tied-both used the bible
Vote Placed by InsertNameHere 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro used sources.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Well argued by both, but Pro did successful counter the arguments by Con, which towards the end simply tapered to assertions (1 out of 3) on argument.