The Instigator
ReformedArsenal
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points
The Contender
tvellalott
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The New Testament contains no genuine contradictions of consequence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
ReformedArsenal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/11/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,623 times Debate No: 16347
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (57)
Votes (9)

 

ReformedArsenal

Pro

Greetings.

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.

[Terms]
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 ESVonline.org) 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 esv.to/verse reference and you will get a link. For example. esv.to/john3:16 will link to John 3:16

[Limitation of Space]
Since it takes more space to answer an apparent contradiction than it does to claim one, My opponent will be limited to 5 active contradictions. If he wishes to add a new contradiction, he will be required to drop a prior contradiction. Dropping a contradiction equates to acknowledging that contradiction as invalid.

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.
tvellalott

Con

Thank you to my opponent for what I hope will be another highly intellectual discussion of theology here on DDO.

OPENING
I accept all my opponents terms and rules. Thank you for providing an exact version of scripture and an easy to use site (though your previous search disappearing when you clicked on it was annoying when trying to read previous verses).

I will only provide three contradictions for this first round, pending my opponent accepting a line of argument I would like to use in the comment section.

Moving on...

ARGUMENTS
Genuine Contradictions of Consequence:
There are all examples of genuine contradictions of consequence which I believe meet my opponent criteria...

a) How should mankind pray?
Matthew 6:7-13 strongly suggests that one only uses the Lord ’s Prayer rather than asking for specific things, as “…when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
However John 14:14 clearly states: “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” and John 16:23-24 further contradicts it.
This is a clear contradiction between John and Matthew.


b) How is mankind saved?
First let me establish what the Bible means by works, since I wasn’t sure. I assumed it meant actions and I was correct. ‘Works’ is doing good deeds for others.
Romans 3:28 clearly states that man are judged by their faith, not their ‘works’. Galatians 2:16 elaborates on this.
James 2:14-17 says that (paraphrasing) without ‘works’, faith means nothing. James 20 and 26 elaborate on this.
This is a clear contradiction between Romans and James.


c) Can all sins be forgiven?
This is a really obvious one:
Acts 10:43 (“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”) and more specifically 1 John 1:9 (“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”) strongly infer that all sins can be forgiven through Jesus yet…
Matthew 12:32 (“…whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”) and more specifically Mark 3:28-30 (“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit’.)”
This one is blatant; John completely contradicts Mark.


CONCLUSION

I am interested to see how my opponent responds to these contradictions. They seem fairly clear to me.
Debate Round No. 1
ReformedArsenal

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for his thoughtful debate argument. I have participated in this debate and rarely find someone who actually understands the nature of "Contradictions of Consequence" and seeks out "contradictions" that are less than superficial. I am glad I don't have to explain why Matthew reports to angels, while Mark reports one.

On to the explanation.

A) My opponent indicates that Matthew is "strongly suggesting that one only uses the Lord's Prayer rather than asking for specific things." However, this is not the case. Jesus is giving us an example of the proper way to pray and it is better to view it as a guideline for the TYPES of prayers that we need.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name - Begin your prayer with acknowledging who God is and by praising him
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven - Acknowledge that God's ways are bigger than your own and that you want him to accomplish his will if it is in opposition to your own
Give us this day our daily bread - Ask God to provide the things you need
And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us - Pray for forgiveness and confess your sins.
Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil - protect us from the things that tempt us to sin and from the devil who would seek to attack us
For thine is the kingdom and the glory and the power forever, amen - Close with acknowledging again who he is and submitting to him.

Other passages that indicate other ways to pray are either expansions of this teaching (If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it is an expansion on the types of things to ask in the "Daily Bread" portion of your prayer).

Since Christ does not forbid using any prayers other than the so-called Lord's Prayer, and in fact we have evidence that there were other liturgical prayers being used without any sort of admonishment against them, it is clear that Christ did not mean to exclude any other types of prayers. We even see Christ himself praying in other ways, so it would be illogical to think he was commanding that we only use the Lord's Prayer.

B) This is a much more difficult case and I'm glad my opponent raised this question. To understand this teaching we must understand a little about how Greek functions as a language. In Greek (and in all languages) we have what is called a "semantic field." This is the range of concepts that a given word can describe. For example, in the English language we have the word "Love" which has a semantic field that covers "Strong affection, sexual attraction, familial relations, and friendship bonds." This is often delineated by numbering various meanings of a given word in a dictionary. We see a similar phenomenon with the noun πίστις (pistis) or the verbal form πιστε�ω (pisteu�). According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, the semantic field of this word includes

1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith [A]

We look earlier in the passage (James 2:19) and see that "Even the demons believe." We are forced to ask, "What way is James using the word pisteu�?" In this context we can use process of elimination to discredit 1 and 2. It is clear that demons do not have conviction and trust which impell them to follow Jesus (1). It is also clear that the demons do not trust in Jesus for salvation (2). That leaves us with only option 3. The demons acknowledge intellectually the fact that Jesus is Lord. THIS kind of pistis is not salvific.

However, when we look Romans 3:28 (as well as Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-10, and others) we see that Paul is using the word in the sense of number 2. He is saying that a faith that trusts Jesus for salvation is salvific. In addition, we see that the Author uses it in the sense of number 1 in that the faith is imparted for the purpose of saving them, and then to do good works.

If anything, James is adding clarification to the discussion in order to clarify what kind of pistis is salvific. He says that faith without works is dead. What he means is that "intellectual acknowledgement" that does not motivate one to do good works is not the kind of faith that saves. So rather than works being salvific, works serve to demonstrate the kind of faith that a person has. There is no contradiction here, in fact if you look further in the passage (2:24) that James indicates that Abraham was justified by works, however the "work" that he did was belief, which was credited to him as righteousness. The act of leaving Ur (Good Work) was not what saved him, rather it was the faith that moved him to leave Ur.

C) Ah, the enigmatic blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This is a question Christians have been asking for generations. I see how this appears to be a contradiction on the surface, but we must understand WHAT blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to understand this passage.

In this passage, Jesus is identifying something the Pharisees are doing as this sin. That is identifying the work of God as the work of Satan. Thus, Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the attribution of the work of God as the work of Satan. When we consider this it is clear why this is sometimes called the "unforgivable sin." However, it is more accurate to call it the "unforgiven sin." The reason that Jesus says these person "never have forgiveness" is that they are never able to do the confession indicated in1 John 1:9. If the very forgiveness of sins is the work of God, and one identifies that forgiveness is being called the work of Satan, how can one put trust in God. It is not a matter of God refusing to forgive this sin, it is a matter of the person never being able to confess.

John writes "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Quite simply put, someone who attributes the work of God to Satan will never confess and therefore cannot participate in the "then" portion of this "If/Then" statement. The ESV Study Bible note on Luke 12:10 (Luke's account of this interaction) states it this way "But blasphemy against the Holy Spirit—that is, the persistent and unrepentant resistance against the work of the Holy Spirit and his message concerning Jesus (cf. Acts 7:51)—this, Jesus says, will not be forgiven. The person who persists in hardening his heart against God, against the work of the Holy Spirit, and against the provision of Christ as Savior, is outside the reach of God's provision for forgiveness and salvation." [B] The provision the ESV Study Bible is identifying is the confession noted in 1 John 1:9, and since a person committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit are incapable of confessing, they cannot be forgiven. Not because God refuses, but because they will never seek the forgiveness.

Conclusion
My opponent has not provided any insurmountable "contradictions" that cannot be explained logically when observing the context of the passage. I look forward to his rebuttals and new arguments.

[A] http://www.blueletterbible.org...
[B] ESV Study Bible, Note on Luke 12:10
tvellalott

Con

REBUTTALS
a) That was a solid response; I’ll drop the contradiction.

b) I’m afraid I don’t find your response very satisfying.

I can’t be sure, since you have used foreign characters, what you are talking about. I know you are talking about the different meanings of words and obviously you’re defining how ‘believe’ has multiple meanings. In the time and the context, the meaning was correct. However, as you stated, this is a difficult one. The problem as I see it is that the translation is flawed. You provided me with a particular translation and I used it. There is a clear contradiction here.

Furthermore, the word ‘believe’ doesn’t appear in either of the main verses I cited.

c) My opponent refers to ‘a passage’, but doesn’t identify which one. This is very confusing since I cited four passages to show the contradiction.

However, on further reading I find his explanation very valid. So I’ll drop this contradiction too.


ARGUMENTS
d) Jesus’s resurrection and ascension

Before I begin, let me explain why this is a contradiction of consequence, though it may seem trivial. The resurrection and ascension of Jesus is one of the core foundations of Christianity. So a consistence account of the even it important to ensure it is the truth.

Here we have four very different accounts of exactly when Jesus ascended to heaven(surely one of the core moments of the story):
In Mark 16:14-19, Jesus ascends while he and his disciples are seated at a table in or near Jerusalem.
In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus’ ascension isn’t mentioned at all, but Matthew ends at a mountain in Galilee.
In Luke 24:50-51, Jesus ascends outside, after dinner, and at Bethany and on the same day as the In resurrection.
In John, Nothing about Jesus’ ascension is mentioned.
In Acts 1:9-12, Jesus ascends at least 40 days after his resurrection, at Mt. Olivet.

e) Is Jesus equal to God?
Though I don’t this is a question of any REAL significance, it is interesting because it happens during the same Gospel.
John 10:30: "I and the Father are one."
John 14:28: "The Father is greater than I."


CONCLUSION
I am very excited to be debating someone who clearly knows his stuff. I’m excited to see how our last two rounds go.
Debate Round No. 2
ReformedArsenal

Pro

My apology for the foreign Characters, I was cutting and pasting Greek text into the debate and it didn't quite make the transfer.

B) I was not defining that the word "believe" has multiple meanings. I was defning that the Greek word (Pistis or Pisteuo) used in the passages you're refereing to has multiple meanings. The word "believe" DOES in fact appear in those main verses, because the Greek word Translates as "Faith" (Verbal - Have Faith) is the same word that means "Belief" (Verbal - Believe).

Allow me to summarize my argument. When James uses the word "Pisits" in this context, he is refering to what you might call "Intelletual Belief" or "Factual Acknowledgement." We see in James 2:19 that the demons have this kind of "Pistis" in Jesus. However, it is not a "Pistis" that saves them. It is simply them acknowledging that Jesus is who he says he is, but that in itself is not enough. This is the sense that James is ALSO using the same word in James 2:24. So pehaps a better translation would be "Factual Aknowledgement without Works is dead," since this is the way that he is using the word.

However, in Romans (and all of Paul's work) he uses the word "Pistis" in a different way. Paul is refering to a "Pistis" which is better defined as Trust (Verbal - To place one's trust). In essence, this is a matter of linguistic difference. If different words existed in the Greek vocabulary (as they do in English) they would have used different words, however they did not have different words to use.

A similar phenomena can be observed in English with the words "Read (Past Tense)" and "Read (Present Tense)". If I say "I read only magazines" and then "I read books" it appears to be a contradiction. However, if in the surrounding context of the first sentence it is clear that I am talking about a past event, and the context of the second one makes it clear that I am talking about a progressive event (Yesterday I read only magazines. From this point forward I read books.) then there is no contradiction. This is similar to the linguistic phenomena that caused this apparent contradiction.

C) The passage I was refering to was the passage you cited. I apologize for not making it clearer. Also, when you are working with the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) and parallel passages, it is common to refer to them as a single passage.

D) This is a complex issue that has many moving parts. I will explain each book's account below.

Mark 16:14-19: Nearly al modern translations contain a footnote that states that Mark 16:8ff is incredibly suspect. The manuscript evidence shows greater variation between manuscripts than any other portion of the New Testament. In addition, the earliest manuscripts do not have this section. As such, most modern scholars do not believe this was originally in the text. This alone is enough to dismiss the contradiction, but I shall also give an explanation. In Greek, there are very few words that show temoral sequencing. As such, it is often difficult to get a sense of the passage of time between verses. In some instances we see events that appear to be immediately sequential, but in reality were likely hours and days later. One of the ways that Greek distinquishes this is with the word "Euthus" which means "immediately." When a Greek author wants to highlight that an event happened immediately, he uses this word to introduce the next clause. Since this word is not used, all we know about the sequence of events is that Jesus said something, then sometime after that he was taken up into heaven. When just reading Mark, we do not know if this was later that day, later that week, or years later.

Matthew 28:16-20: Matthew ends the story after Jesus appears to the disciples on "the mountain which Jesus had directed them." Again, we do not see any sort of temporal indicator, so we only have a sequence, not a sense of time. This mountain is most likely Mt Olivet as that is where they gathered immediately before their entry into Jersalem (Matthew 24) and Christ delivered an apocalyptic message to them about the end of the age. Their instinct at seeing Christ resurrected would be to assume that the general resurrection of the dead had begun, so they naturally would have gone to the place Jesus taught them about the end times. However, since this sequence is absent of temporal indicators, we only know that this meeting on Mt. Olivet was sometime after he appeared to them in the upper room.

Luke 24:50-51 - Bethany is a village "about 1.5 miles to the east of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives" (Mt Olivet). [A]

John - Not mentioning an event does not mean that the author is saying it did not happen. In fact, John makes a specific note that there are things that happened that he did not include. "Now there are lso many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself cound not contain thebooks that would be written." (John 21:25)

Acts 1:9-12 - This does not contradict any of these prior accounts, and I'll demonstrate why presently.

The principle we must remember is that ambiguity does not equal contradiction. What we have in several of these texts is ambiguity. Matthew and Mark have ambiguitity in temporal sequencing because of the lack of temporal words in the Greek Language. John has ambiguity in the fact that he does not recount the ascension at all. However, when we have multiple historical accounts that are ambiguous, we should look to the other accounts to fill in missing gaps. By doing so we can create a rather whole timeline of the events.

Jesus appears to the 11 while they are eating and rebukes them (Mark 16:14)
Jesus appears to many people beyond the 11 Apostles for the next 40 days (We see him appearing to people beyond the Apostles in the Gospel of Luke)
After 40 days, Jesus meets with the 11 Apostles and leads them out of Jerusalem and to Mount Olivet (Matthew 28 and Acts) on which the Village of Bethany sits (Luke 24)
He shared one last message with them (Matthew and Acts both record a final message on Mt Olivet and likely reflect different parts of a whole sermon)
He was then taken up from their into heaven (Mark 6:19 and Luke 24:50-51)

The story is coherant, despite the various perspectives and ways of retelling it.

E) This is what is known as a difference between Functional (Economic) Statements, and Ontological (Existential) Statements.

The first one is an Ontological statment. It explains how things actually exist.
The second is a Functional statement. It expains how things are functioning.

Observe the following parallel.
I am human and therefore my boss and I are equal (are one).
I am an employee, therefore my boss is greater than I am.

In John 10:30 Jesus is saing that as far as essence and nature, that he is equal to the Father and in fact is unified with the Fatherin that equality.
In John 14:28 Jesus is saying that he serves as a functional subordinate to God, and therefore the Father is greater than he is.

No contradiction.

I would like to thank my opponent. I have posted this debate several times and consistenly get minor contradictions that bear no real weight even if they turned out to be contradictions. I appreciate that my opponent has taken the time to research and present "contradictions" that would bear actual consequences if they were true. However, I have shown my opponent's contradictions to be based on mistranslations or poor interpretation. This is not a knock on my opponent... he has done a wonderful job, if anything it is a commentary on the shortcomings of Christian education... but that is a debate for another day.

This is also a gentle reminder to my opponent that this is his last round to introduce contradicions or offer rebuttal to my arguments.

Thank you, I look forward to the next round.



[A] http://en.wikipedia.org...(biblical_village) - Wiki cites http://www.bible-history.com...


tvellalott

Con

OPENING
I am beginning to see a pattern with the rebuttals here, so I’d like to remind my opponent of a few rules he set down in R1…
“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 as it is both accurate and readable, and using only one translation prevents us from slipping into confusion over variant readings in different translations.


Now with that, let us get to the counter-rebuttals.

COUNTER-REBUTTALS
B)
I believe that my opponent has broken his own rule.
If I had known this debate was going to fall into arguing about the meaning of words from the original Greek version of the Bible, I never would have accepted because I don’t speak ancient Greek and am not in a position to debate about such meaning.

My opponent rebuttal of this contradiction deals with the meaning of the word “Pistis”. This word didn’t appear in the translation my opponent gave me to use and clearly makes us “slip into confusion over variant readings in different translations”.

I have no doubt that my opponent is correct, however according to the rules he set himself, he cannot rebutt this contradiction using other translations. Given I cannot make any more rebuttals, this alone negates the resolution.

D)
My opponent explains that Mark 16:14-19 isn’t supposed to be in the text, so there is really no contradiction here. The translation he gave me indeed has this footnote. However, let us remember this definition of “Contains” in round one:
“Contradictions that are WITHIN the text.”
Regardless of the footnote, this verse is certainly still within the text and fulfils my opponent's definition.
He goes on to speak about the Greek translation, but I’ve already addressed this sort of argument above.

I accept my opponent’s explanation of Matthew 28:16-20 and Luke 24:50-51.

While I accept your explanation, it seems highly unusual that John wouldn’t include such a pivotal moment as Jesus’s ascension to Heaven.

In his explanation of the apparent Acts 1:9-12 contradiction, my opponent says:
“The principle we must remember is that ambiguity does not equal contradiction.”
This is a fallacious approach. Yes, ambiguity doesn’t automatically equal contradiction but this doesn’t mean that no contradiction exists. Regardless, my opponent again refers to the Greek text in an attempt to explain away what seems to be a myriad of different accounts of the same event.

E)
My opponent’s explanation is more than sufficient. I’ll drop point E.

CONCLUSION
As I have shown, my opponent has had to forsake the rules he himself laid down to explain contradictions B & D. This negates the resolution and is a clear victory for Con. I have been more than accepting of my opponent’s soft burden of proof, where he was able to fulfil it (which in most cases he was) but alas, he failed in his duty.

VOTE CON.
Debate Round No. 3
ReformedArsenal

Pro

I would like to take a brief moment again to thank my opponent for his well thought out argument and responses. They have given me lots to think about, and he has kept me on my toes.

Before my final argument I would like to summarize. My opponent has identified five contradictions that he attacked. He labeled them A-E

A) Conceded in Round 2
B) Continued below
C) Conceded in Round 2
D) Continued below
E) Conceded in Round 3

Continued Arguments
B) My opponent has identified something that I did not anticipate. I will have to more clearly articulate what I mean in future debates, regardless I don't believe that his attack, although innovative, holds water. My rules do not say that we cannot refer to the original language, it only states that when referencing translations that we only use the ESV. The original Greek is not a translation. The resolution is not "The New Testament in the ESV contains no genuine contradictions of consequence" it is "The New Testament contains no genuine contradictions of consequence." My opponent is not able to defeat the force of my argument, so he is resulting to attempting to undermine my argument by placing it outside of the rules. As I said before, this is innovative and not out of line, he has not shown that my argument exists outside of the boundaries of this debate.

D) My opponent claims that since Mark 16:14-19 is in the text that we have, that I must address it. I did address it, I gave a full explanantion of the fact that the text contains no temporal indicators that show timespan between events. Although I referenced the Greek text to explain this, I will now point out that the English text also does not contain any temporal indicators. It simply gives us a sequence of events. Jesus said something, time passed,Jesus was taken up into Heaven. There is nothing inherant in the text that gives us an idea of how much time passed... when reading the text it could be minutes and it could be weeks. We see from Acts 1:9-12 that it was at least 40 days. The timeline I proposed in my Round 3 argument shows that the various accounts are perfectly harmonious UNLESS we read into the text something that it does not itself supply... namely the word "Immediately" which is not present in either the Greek or English Text. For reference, I am copying the sequence into this argument for the ease of the reader.

-Jesus appears to the 11 while they are eating and rebukes them (Mark 16:14)
-Jesus appears to many people beyond the 11 Apostles for the next 40 days (We see him appearing to people beyond the Apostles in the Gospel of Luke)
-After 40 days, Jesus meets with the 11 Apostles and leads them out of Jerusalem and to Mount Olivet (Matthew 28 and Acts) on which the Village of Bethany sits (Luke 24)
-He shared one last message with them (Matthew and Acts both record a final message on Mt Olivet and likely reflect different parts of a whole sermon)
-He was then taken up from their into heaven (Mark 6:19 and Luke 24:50-51)

To conclude:

My opponent has sought to undermine my arguments by attempting to place them outside of the boundaries set in round one. He quotes "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 as it is both accurate and readable, and using only one translation prevents us from slipping into confusion over variant readings in different translations. and then clamis that I have used another translation to make my argument. However, I have not. The Greek text is not a translation. Furthermore, we are not debating (nor were we ever) the consistency of the ESV. If this was actually a concern that my opponent had, he should have brought it up in round 2 when I referenced the Greek. Rather, this is a response to the recognition that my argument has defeated his.

In the end, Con presented five contradictions. He himself has acknowledged that I have overcome 3 of them, and the remaining contradictions are only defensible if ignoring the language the Bible was written in. It is clear that I have fulfilled my burden of proof to "reasonably explain any apparent contradictions that Con identifies" and therefore deserve your vote.

Thank you to my opponent for this lively debate, and thank you to the readers for taking time to read through our debate and vote.
tvellalott

Con

"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."

As per the rules of this debate, I cannot make any new arguments or rebuttals in this round, which is disappointing but fair.

I have clearly won this debate, even if it is only by invoking the rules.
VOTE CON
Debate Round No. 4
57 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
PRO, I commend you for defending your faith and work so elegantly. I am very impressed on your argument (especially in our own debate). Your learning and reasoning is something that strikes me with awe...
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Fair enough, you're entitled to your belief and I respect that you hold it with such conviction.
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
I cannot use Quran to debate Bible interpretation with you. However as far as I am personally concerned, if a interpretation of Bible contradicts Quran, it is wrong. After all, we believe in Jesus (Peace on Him) based on testimony of Quran. We will still have to search in the bible as to the reason why interpretation is wrong.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Baggins,

While I understand your commitment to the Quaran as authoritative, in a debate you would need to do some substantial groundwork to use that as evidence.
Posted by Meatros 5 years ago
Meatros
Hmmm... I did seem to miss the rule out of the Old Testament... That would rule out a potential invalidation of Jesus' messiah status, which is why the lineage is important. I'd have to scan the NT to see if there are references to it. If Reformed still wants to debate it (deeming it an important "apparent" contradiction he'd need to explain) I'm game.

As to his explanation, I suspect one of two ways - one has already been mentioned.
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
'@Meatros; I don't think that's a contradiction of consequence.'

Correct. Since OT is ruled out in the OP - it does not have any consequence.
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
"As far as the lineages go... if one is Mary's (Biological) and one is Joseph's (Legal) then you wouldn't expect them to be the same. I'd be happy to challenge you to this same debate if you're so confident."

A quick reading of both the passages confirms both the genealogies are through Joseph. Unless you have some way to explain it.

Incidentally, I will reject any argument which says one of the genealogy is of Mother Mary (Peace on Her) since Quran confirms that her father's name was Imran.
Posted by Meatros 5 years ago
Meatros
I wouldn't say I'm 'confident'. I don't know much church history or anything of that sort and it's no skin off my nose either way (whether it's a contradiction or not). I don't think the time load would be too great for me - if we just handle this contradiction - and I'm eager to get my feet wet at this site so I'd be game for a debate (win or lose). It would require a bit of a tweak to your debate perimeters. I think it would make sense to limit the rounds to two (three?, your intro/rules, my 'contradiction', your rebuttal, my rebuttal, your final rebuttal, and my last non rebuttal close), since we'd just be dealing with this contradiction. Should I put why it's important?

Is it bad form to discuss these details in someone else's comments? If so, my apologies.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Meatros,

It's not assumed, it has been Church tradition since people who knew the Apostles directly were alive. So it is a direct witness, it is ad-hoc to argue against it (you have no historical evidence to contradict the tradition). As far as the term "reasonably explain," it is up to the voters to determine if I reasonably explained the contradictions.

As far as the lineages go... if one is Mary's (Biological) and one is Joseph's (Legal) then you wouldn't expect them to be the same. I'd be happy to challenge you to this same debate if you're so confident.
Posted by tvellalott 5 years ago
tvellalott
@Meatros; I don't think that's a contradiction of consequence.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by Dimmitri.C 5 years ago
Dimmitri.C
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued more elegantly and justifiable.
Vote Placed by detachment345 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: con dropped way too many "contradictions".
Vote Placed by XimenBao 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: That was one of the better accountings for the resurrection/ascension that I've come across. I might have voted Con if the Greek argument was used as soon as Pro started referencing the Greek, as I thought it was a clever tactic.
Vote Placed by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
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Reasons for voting decision: Excellent debate. All the contradictions were tackled satisfactorily. Conduct point to Con because I agree that explanation of point B is unfair to him. I do not agree it is against rule set out in OP. I just find it amusing why Con did not focus on content of Mark 16:18. That would have guaranteed him an easy win.
Vote Placed by medic0506 5 years ago
medic0506
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Reasons for voting decision: Very good debate on both sides. Pro was able to give very good answers to the contradictions.
Vote Placed by Raisor 5 years ago
Raisor
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Reasons for voting decision: Decision wouldnt be hard if I didnt think Con had a decent argument that Pro is outside the rules on point B). I wish he would have made the argument in R2 to allow for more development. I agree w/ Pro that the original text is allowable under the R1 rules. Maybe I would have thought otherwise if Con had had a chance to rebut, but he brought up the issue too late.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
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Reasons for voting decision: ReforedArsenal is correct in that the original greek is not a translation as it is the source. Hower tvellalott is correct than the majority of people are likely to take =please use the ESV as the translation = to infer that text is the content, not the greek source. But, and final point, tvellalott did not press this point hard enough and ReformedAresenal did give a solid rebuttal and came off as gracious and honest. 3:2 ReformedArsenal.
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
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Reasons for voting decision: Con dropped contradictions when he realized they weren't.
Vote Placed by SkepticsAskHere 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro was able to explain the contradictions Con presented easily and the Con proceeded to drop contradiction after contradiction after he realized it wasn't a contradiction.