The Instigator
MilitantAtheist
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KeytarHero
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

There are contradictions in the Bible

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
KeytarHero
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,729 times Debate No: 16931
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

MilitantAtheist

Pro

Greetings. In this debate, I will argue that the Bible does have contradictions

Structure
Round 1: Acceptance only, no arguments.
Round 2: Opening arguments
Round 3: 1st rebuttal
Round 4: 2nd rebuttal
Round 5: 3rd rebuttal and closing arguments.

Rules
Definitions do not count as arguments.
My opponent must be a Christian.
Both must show good conduct.
A forfeited round will result in losing the entire debate!
If both forfeit, the winner will be decided on who forfeited the least.
We must wait till the final round to state why the voters should vote for you.
HOWEVER, at any time if the structure of the debate or rules are broken, then the opponent may call a win.
Voters must read the ENTIRE debate.
My opponent must accept these terms of agreement in the 1st round.
Coments=/=Arguments
Any questions must go in coments.
KeytarHero

Con

I have decided to take this argument. I will accept the rules. However, I must make a few things clear:

The Christian position is not that the Bibles as we have them now are inerrant, only the Scriptures in their original form (as written by the prophets and disciples, under inspiration of God as per 2 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, any "error" which can easily be answered as an error in translation will not be allowed. Only genuine errors, if there be any, will be acceptable for this debate.

Also, the Instigator is painting with a broad brush here. What kind of errors does he mean? I must ask that he only keep it to a few errors, otherwise I won't have enough characters to respond to everything.

I look forward to reading his opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1
MilitantAtheist

Pro

My opponent has asked me good questions. I will be asserting that the Bible has errors based on historical inaccuracies and scientific mistakes.

Opening Arguments

Contention 1: The Bible is unreliable because of the historical inaccuracies and contradictions.

Many Christians like to pretend that the Bible is the Word of God because of the reliable history. Well, my friend, I'm here to tell you that it is not a good historical book.

Evidence 1: Jesus' birth

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying…-Matthew 2:1 NASB

http://www.biblegateway.com......

The verse makes it very clear that Jesus was born in Bethlehem when Herod was king. We must understand when Herod was king.

King Herod was king from 30 BCE to 4 BCE. We know from Matthew it has to be at least two years prior to 4 BCE so we can put the date of birth around 6 BCE. (1)

However, we see in Luke that it was when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

This was the first census taken while [b]Quirinius was governor of Syria. Luke 2:2

http://www.biblegateway.com......

We know from this verse that Quirinius was governor and it was his first census.

Where is a problem? Quirinius became governor a decade after Herod's reign.(2) Therefore, Jesus could NOT have been born both in the days of King Herod and in the 1st census. Furthermore, I would like to see one secular source that shows the nation-wide census where everyone went back to his hometown.

Furthermore, if Jesus was born in Bethlehem, what was the purpose of the trip if not the taxes?

Contention 2: The Bible is not reliable because of the medical errors.

These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." Mark 16:17-18 NASB

According to this, a true believer is marked by those who cast out demons, speak in tongues and drink anything deadly, it won't hurt them. If they lay hands on sick, they will recover. I contend this is an error because many faith healings has failed. (3)

This is unacceptable as to why children are dying because they have not received proper medical treatment. The only excuse is because of their parent's religions. I'm sorry, I believe that the child's right to proper medicine trumps the right for religion.

In addition, I'm curious as to why I have seen Christians in hospitals and calling 9-1-1 instead of faith healings.

I have many more arguments that cannot be addressed due to the length. Sources below.

Source
1. ^ Peter Richardson, Herod: King of the Jews and friend of the Romans, (Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999) pp. xv–xx.
2. Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0860120066 page 731
3. http://deism.com......
KeytarHero

Con

I thank the Instigator for his opening debate. I would like to point out right away that the Instigator has already broken one of his rules, about showing good conduct. He started off with an unnecessary personal dig: "Many Christians like to pretend that the Bible is the Word of God because of the reliable history." My opponent has started off by insulting the rationality of Christians. Definitely not showing good conduct. I can declare a win based on that alone, but it seems awfully early. Hopefully the Instigator will pay closer attention to his own rules in the future.

That being said, on to my Opening Argument.

The Bible is one of the, if not the most, historically accurate books in existence today. That was because most of the Bible was written around the time history was occurring (with a few obvious exceptions, such as John perceiving the future in the book of Revelation, and Moses writing about the history of Creation in the book of Genesis). For example, we can trust the Bible's accuracy about the life of Jesus because the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, only about twenty years after Christ was crucified and resurrected. For the exceptions, we can trust its reliability because one, it was given under inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), and two because if it's accurate in what we can prove, we can trust it is accurate in what we can't.

For probably as long as they've been around, the Scriptures have been questioned. Its historical and archaeological accuracy has come into question many, many times. However, the Scriptures have also consistently proven that the argument from silence is a poor argument because once evidence for a particular historical point has been found, the Bible has been found accurate every time.

I will now respond to my opponent's arguments.

Evidence 1 -- King Herod vs. Quirinius of Syria

It is pretty clear from the passage of Matthew that Christ was born during the reign of King Herod (between 6 BC and 4 BC). So how does Quirinius, governor of Syria, fit into the picture? Well, consider this first:

Luke wrote the books of Luke and Acts. He is widely considered the most meticulous of the Biblical historians. In both books, he is writing to a "most excellent Theophilos" (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1), who is most likely the pseudonym of a high-ranking Roman official. In this case, he would certainly know if Luke got his Roman facts wrong.

A fraud or myth-maker would not give such intricate historical details of names, titles, dates, and places as Luke (in particular) does. It is unlikely that Luke would write such details about important people which his contemporaries would know are false, if they were false.

Now, there were actually two censuses that took place. Christian historian Paul Barnett explains:

"First, the Romans employed the census formerly under the Republic, among other reasons, to assess property for taxation. Augustus revived the practice in Rome, where it had fallen into disuse .Augustus revived the practice in Rome, where it had fallen into disuse. He was also the first to introduce the census to the provinces, which he did progressively and piecemeal, as he did with a census in Egypt in 10/9 B.C., which was to be repeated at fourteen-year intervals. Thus the census in Judea as described in Luke 2:1-3 fits with Augustus's known practice, even though there is no evidence of a precise decree (dogma) issued by the emperor calling for a universal registration. Second, Luke also refers (in Acts 5:37) to Quirinius's registration in A.D. 6: "Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census." By these words Luke recognizes the significance of the notorious census undertaken by Quirinius that provoked Judas' uprising. Yet Luke 2:2 introduces the word prote, "first," which suggests that Quirinius's registration was not the only census in Judea. Luke wants us to understand that there was another census or censuses, whether before or after Quirinius's census. It should be noted that, although the word prote means "first," in certain contexts it carries the comparative nuance "former." Luke himself provides an example of this in the opening words of his second volume, the book of Acts: "in the first [protos = "former"] book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach (Acts 1:1)." [1]

So as you can see, there were actually two censuses taking place. Christ was born in the time of Herod when a census was taking place. So the word here, "protos," in this context means "former." Quirinius indeed had a census, but this wasn't it. Quirinius instituted a census which had formerly taken place, a census which occurred near Herod's death.

Contention 2: Medical errors

My opponent's argument here is actually irrelevant. He is not questioning the Bible's medical accuracy, he is in fact questioning the Bible's accuracy on miracles. The examples he cited, the "signs that will follow those who believe" are miracles, not intended for common medical practice. In fact, Jesus Himself even said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick" (Matthew 9:12). Jesus never intended for Christians to have superpowers to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, etc. We have doctors for a reason. The reason that "faith healings" fail is because they are not intended in the spirit many believe they are. If a Christian lets their child die because they tried to heal them rather than seeing a doctor, they are in error. God never condemns the use of doctors, in fact He asserts that the sick need doctors in the passage I quoted.

So again, the Instigator's evidence here is irrelevant. They are not medical errors. They are miracles, which is a topic for another debate.

As you see, I have shown how these two instances are not errors at all. I look forward to the next round.

[1] (Barnett, P.W., "Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1999, p.98)
Debate Round No. 2
MilitantAtheist

Pro

I thank the Instigator for his opening debate. I would like to point out right away that the Instigator has already broken one of his rules, about showing good conduct. He started off with an unnecessary personal dig: "Many Christians like to pretend that the Bible is the Word of God because of the reliable history." My opponent has started off by insulting the rationality of Christians. Definitely not showing good conduct. I can declare a win based on that alone, but it seems awfully early. Hopefully the Instigator will pay closer attention to his own rules in the future.

Appologiese to my opponent if you were offended. I, in all honesty, copied and paced this from a website that I am currently writting. This is an article that I wrote for a website.

As much as I would love to continue to debate, I must follow my own TOS and resign because of that.

I ask that my opponent would forgive me and hopefully we can debate again.

I have rebuttals to this argument, but it would be a violation of my own agreements to post.

KeytarHero

Con

Well, I am a little disappointed the Instigator has given up the ghost in this debate. I clearly would have liked to continue the debate, as was evidence by the fact that I gave a completely rebuttal to his arguments. I wasn't actually declaring a victory, just said that I could because he violated his own rules. It was merely a point of contention I brought up.
Debate Round No. 3
MilitantAtheist

Pro

I'll just fill the rest of the debates with complements of how awesome of a debater you are and how much I wish we could continue in another debate?
KeytarHero

Con

Thanks. I guess you could say I'm a quick study. I hadn't really done any official debating until I joined this group. I had many informal debates on other forums, but this site has taught me the nuances associated with debating.

If you would like to institute another debate, I will take you up on it.
Debate Round No. 4
MilitantAtheist

Pro

I'll gladly do so.
KeytarHero

Con

I'll look forward to it.

This should go without saying, but as the Instigator violated one of his own rules, and has essentially forfeited the rest of this debate, please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
KeytarHero
Thank you both.
Posted by MilitantAtheist 5 years ago
MilitantAtheist
Agreed
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Nice opening rebuttal Keytar.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
KeytarHero
Nah, it's okay. You can respond as quickly as you'd like. As long as I have time, I'll debate as quickly as I can. I should have my rebuttal up tonight.
Posted by MilitantAtheist 5 years ago
MilitantAtheist
I understand and respect that. If you need more time, just say so in the debate and I'll wait till the last minute to post my argument so you will recieve maximum time to argue.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
KeytarHero
Militant, I'm leaving out of town in a few minutes, but I'll be back tonight. I should be able to respond then.
Posted by MilitantAtheist 5 years ago
MilitantAtheist
Your move, KeytarHero!
Posted by MilitantAtheist 5 years ago
MilitantAtheist
I live in a society where the majority of Theist are Christians. I am working on arguments against Islam though.
Posted by Aaronroy 5 years ago
Aaronroy
Why do your debates strongly target the Bible alone and not books of other religions?
Just curious
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 5 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
I can't do this right now, I already have like three debates at once
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
MilitantAtheistKeytarHeroTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Default
Vote Placed by Grape 5 years ago
Grape
MilitantAtheistKeytarHeroTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I do not believe that Pro's comment was a legitimate violation of conduct, but he conceded the debate and thus loses the arguments vote. Everything else tied.