The Instigator
Diagoras
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
ReformedArsenal
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

The bible contains historic inaccuracies

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/14/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,489 times Debate No: 18795
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

Diagoras

Pro

Reformed Arsenal has requested to be challenged. So here it is.

The bible contains historic inaccuracies. Historic inaccuracies are things which did not happen in history. Reformed may pick whatever demonination of bible that he wishes, but he must stick with the same one, not dart back between 30 different versions to find which one he can twist to fit his desires.
ReformedArsenal

Con

I thank my opponent for issuing this debate.

I will use the English Standard Version of the Bible, but may refer to the original Hebrew or Greek as needed. When using Hebrew or Greek I will use blueletterbible.org with the ESV selected as the translation.

I look forward to my opponent's opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1
Diagoras

Pro

In Genesis chapter 11, http://www.biblegateway.com..., the bible goes into the tower of Babel. At this time, the bible says, "Now the whole earth had one language and the same words." In this chapter, it makes clear reference that this is not metaphorical same language, but that there was only one language on earth. Going through the time line of births in the same chapter, and the rest of the book, the bible says that this took place in approximately 2,400 BC. However, we have found mass amounts of evidence that there were multiple languages before this time, when there should have only been one according to the bible. http://www.historyworld.net...

This is one clear historic inaccuracy.

Creation of the earth in a single day, and everything else in just a few days. Many christians claim that this is not "days" like we view "days" but just periods of time. But in exodus chapter 20, the bible is clear in saying that they are literal days. http://www.biblegateway.com... Does my opponent need me to provide logically evidence that the Earth was not created in a single literal day?

This is another historic inaccuracy.

In 2 chronicles, the bible refers to mass death of 500,000 people, http://www.biblegateway.com... and 1,000,000 people, http://www.biblegateway.com... and these are just in the initial battles, the death that occurs on "god's" side is not mentioned, and the deaths that occur when they pillage all the cities in the area is not mentioned. So over a few short years, millions of people die, 1.5 million confirmed by the bible, and many more not mentioned. However, the population in that area was only 10 million tops, http://worldhistorysite.com... if 50% of that is men, and only half of those men are of adult age, then god just killed 60% of all men capable of reproducing in that area. Such massive death would cause long last drops in the population for centuries to come.

I'll stop with these obvious three.
ReformedArsenal

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for his contribution to this debate. Despite his poor conduct and disregard for respect, I hope this shapes up to be an enjoyable and informative debate.

Contention 1: A single language

My opponent's contention is that the chronology of Genesis 11 places the Tower of Babel, and therefore a single language, to approximately 2,400 BC. This would be a clear historical inaccuracy if the argument held water. However, it does not. Allow me to demonstrate.

Problem A: Begging the question
My opponent claims that it is impossible this is not a metaphorical language. He does not, however, provide any support whatsoever for this assertion. In fact, many Christian scholars consider everything from Genesis 1-11 to be a mythological account of origin for the Hebrew people, and not a historical account at all. I do not ascribe to this school of thought, but it is a legitimate interpretation of the text. Regardless, it is possible that this is a metaphorical single language, and until my opponent proves otherwise we can dismiss this aspect of his argument.

Problem B: Using Genealogies to Determine Chronology
There are several ways that the ancient Hebrews used genealogies. One is the standard "family tree" type of genealogies which speaks of direct descendants. If this were the type of genealogy that Genesis was employing, my opponent would be correct in dating the Tower of Babel to approximately 2,400 BC. However, there are other ways that genealogies were used. One was a genealogy of dynasties. So rather than say that X begat Y and refer to specific persons, the Scriptures are referring to X as the head of a dynasty and Y being the next generation of dynasty. This could mean that there are hundreds of years represented in each entry in the genealogy. I do not find this to be the most likely answer, but it is indeed possible. More likely however, is the fact that ancient Hebrew genealogies often skipped generations and only included significant figures. We see this compounded by the fact that the Hebrew words for Father and Son (Av and Ben) can mean descent or ascent of more than a single generation. We see this in Genesis 29 where the text indicates that Laban was the son of Nahor, when in fact he was his grandson. We also see this in the genealogical account of Jesus in Matthew, where the Author skips insignificant generations to group the generations in clumps of 14. In Genesis we have no way of knowing how many generations are actually present, as we have no way of knowing what generations were skipped. [A]

Because of these two facts, we cannot exclude the Biblical account because of the Chronological dating of the divergence of language. It is entirely possible, in fact likely, that there was indeed an original language that was then disbursed and confused. The Biblical timeline is not established prior to the call of Abraham in approximately 2000 BC (Genesis 12) and we therefore cannot positively say that it contradicts our knowledge of history.

Contention 2: Single Day Creation
My opponent claims that it is impossible for Genesis 1 to be correct since it states that the world was created in a single day. This has several problems, I shall elucidate two.

Problem 1) Begging the Question
My opponent assumes naturalism and a God-less system. However, if in fact there is a divine God as described in the Bible then creating the world in a single day is no challenge. My opponent bears the burden of proof to show that the system he is proposing is correct and has not done so. He is simply assuming naturalistic explanations.

Problem 2) Literal Day
My opponent refers to Exodus Chapter 20 (The 10 Commandments) which compares the Sabbath to the 7th day of creation. He assumes that this demonstrates a literal understanding of the 6 days of creation. This is a fundamentally flawed comparison. Primarily, my opponent should note that the 7th day in Genesis never ends. It does not follow the same cycle of "Evening and Morning, the X day." This is picked up upon by both Rabbinical and Christian sources (including the author of Hebrews). While it is possible that the assertion my opponent is making is true, it is hardly univocal and therefore must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore, many Christians see a distinction between the creation of "the heavens and the earth" and the first day, seeing the creation of heavens and earth as a act that happened prior to day 1 with day one starting with "Let there be light." My opponent needs to demonstrate that the earth being created in a single day is the ONLY viable interpretation in order for this to be considered a historical inaccuracy (Beyond proving that Genesis 1-11 is a historical account in the first place).

Contention 3) Mass Deaths
My opponent asserts that it would be impossible for the numbers represented in 2 Chronicles (A total of 1,500,000 Men) could not occur. There are again several problems with this contention.

Problem 1) Begging the Question
My opponent assumes that there are many more deaths that occur beyond the numbers listed. Both on Israel/Judah's side, as well as further deaths during the pillaging. However, the Bible does not record that these deaths take place, so we cannot consider these deaths in the total. He also assumes that 50% of the area are men (5,000,000) and 50% of those are adults (2,500,000). However, he has done nothing to show that those statistics are viable. We don't know if there were 70% men, or if 80% of the men were adults. My opponent is building castles in the sky. He then asserts that killing 60% of the men would leave lasting population declines for centuries, but does not prove that A) This is true or B) There was not a population decline.

Problem 2) Numbers and their use in the Ancient World
Most ancient cultures didn't use precise numbers. They used estimates and often times rounded up. It is extremely unlikely that there were exactly 500,000 and 1,000,000 men killed. Even in today's culture we do not consider estimates to be inaccurate. This leaves us with a large variance of possible ACTUAL numbers that lead to this estimate. Reasonably, we could say that the first number could be anywhere from 400,000 to 600,000 and the second number could be from 750,000 to 1,250,000.

Problem 3) The reliability of historical inquiry
My opponent is presenting a historical theory regarding the population of the world. I am presenting a competing theory. The Bible recounts that there were 600,000 adult men that were part of Israel during the exodus (Exodus 12:37). The reigns of David and Solomon were prosperous and fruitful (and relatively peaceful). If population increased even 5% (Conservative guess) between the exodus and the rule of Ahijah we would now have 900,000 adult men in just Israel. Does my opponent expect you to believe that Israel made up nearly 1/10th of the total population of the Mid-East during this era, when empires like Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, and Phoenicia were all a part of this area? The Bible clearly presents an alternate theory of world population to my opponent's source (which looks like it was made by a Highschooler in Computer Class), however he has given no reason to believe that a source which was written DURING the era in question would be less accurate than a projection created 4000-5000 years later.

In conclusion
My opponent has presented what he believes to be three historical inaccuracies. However, his arguments are all examples of begging the question, with little evidence to support his assertions. He has not demonstrated that any of the passages in question MUST be interpreted in the fashion he has demonstrated, and therefore has not demonstrated that they constitute a necessary historical inaccuracy.

Thank you for reading this debate. I look forward my opponent's closing argument.



[A] http://jewishroots.net...
Debate Round No. 2
Diagoras

Pro

Diagoras forfeited this round.
ReformedArsenal

Con

My opponent has forfeited the round despite being online several times during the 72 hour debating period and commenting and debating other topics.

As none of my attacks have been addressed they all stand and at this point my opponent has not proven that the Bible Contains Historic Inaccuracies.

Thank you
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
That's fine with me. Repost it at your leisure.
Posted by Diagoras 5 years ago
Diagoras
How about this. We re-do this debate, I'll copy and past my round 2, and you do the same, and we can pick up on the final round.
Posted by Diagoras 5 years ago
Diagoras
The update was my opponent forfeiting, not anything I did. Everyone knows that the system rounds down. It says "1 day" when it is over 1 day, but not yet 2. So "3 days" means anywhere from 3 to 3.99999 days. Or, any time from FRIDAY at 4:35 pm until Saturday 4:35 pm. I'll be willing to bet that within the next 6 hours, it will change to "4 days" proving that the comment occured on Friday, rather than Saturday.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
http://www.debate.org...

As of right now, it says it was updated 1 day ago and a comment was made on it 3 days ago... 3 days ago was Saturday at 4:30pm.
Posted by Diagoras 5 years ago
Diagoras
Keep looking, you're not finding any, are ya?
Posted by Diagoras 5 years ago
Diagoras
Or a single debate argument I posted over the weekend.
Posted by Diagoras 5 years ago
Diagoras
That is a flat out lie. Show me one post that I made over the weekend.
Posted by Diagoras 5 years ago
Diagoras
That is a flat out lie. Show me one post that I made over the weekend.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
You were online various times throughout the weekend posting arguments and comments... you could have posted an article sometime in that 72 hours.
Posted by Diagoras 5 years ago
Diagoras
I missed this due to a confrenece.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by gordi9 5 years ago
gordi9
DiagorasReformedArsenalTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: I am sorry for what I did last time Pro so here you go
Vote Placed by popculturepooka 5 years ago
popculturepooka
DiagorasReformedArsenalTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit and con had unrefuted replies to pros argument.