The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
8 Points

There are contradictions in the Holy Bible.

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,073 times Debate No: 16208
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)




Good luck con.

Pro's goal: Pro's goal is to prove that there are indeed contradictions in the Holy Bible

Con's goal: Con's goal is to prove that there are no contradictions in the Bible. Obviously, we will attempt to rebute each other's claims.

Good luck to my opponent, arguments will begin in round 2 and this round is just for accepting.



I would like to thank Kohai for issuing this challenge and accept gratefully.

A few clarifying statements.

For the sake of this debate, the Bible shall be defined as the 39 book of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and the 27 books of the New Testament. Out of bounds are the Apocrypha, Psuedopigrapha, and any "Christian" works outside the aforementioned (JW or Mormon Litterature).

Also, it is important to understand the nature of a contradiction. A contradiction is a situation where both parts of a proposition cannot be true. For the sake of this debate, Pro will have the burden of proof to show examples of contradictions that cannot be resolved through standard interpretive and exegetical methods. Con's burden is to show through standard interpretive or exegetical methods that the examples given are not contradictions.

In the name of fairness, Pro should recognize that it takes more space to refute a contradiction than it does to list them. As such, I request that Pro limit his assertions to 8 or fewer. If he wishes to add a new "contradiction" beyond 8 he will have to abandon a prior "contradiction" as not contradictory. If Pro wishes to assert more than 8, then he will need to allow me to link to outside document to craft my argument.

Other than that, thank you again for this debate, I look forward to your opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1


The first part, I was actually going to touch on in this argument. I shall honour my opponents request my listing no more than 8. However, I might list a few more as time goes on.

Good luck to my opponent.

Contradiction number 1: How old was Jehoachin when he began to reign?

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 2 Kings 24:8 KJV

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days
in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 36:9

Okay, so we have already established the definition of a contradiction. Here, there are 2 propositions that just do not agree. Based on how we (and be we I mean the con) defined contradiction, these two passages contradict each other.

Contradiction 2: Has God ever tempted anyone?

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. James 1:14-15

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. Genesis 22:2

In order to understand these passages, let us look at what the word "tempt" actually means to try, test, or to prove. Using the passage from James, we can rephrase that passage as this, "...God cannot be tested with evil, neither testeth he any man (with evil)."

I have heard people such as the people from Looking Unto Jesus that it means that God cannot tempt or test people to sin or do evil. However, sacrificing your son is clearly evil? Isn't it? There is, clearly, a contradiction.
My opponent requested me to keep my argument lower with contradictions. I will honour this request and won't post any more this round.

To my opponent, if you need more space, you may use a blog or whatever you need to do in order to make your argument. I have actually been thinking about recording my arguments and posting them to sound cloud.

Back to you, con.



Well, my opponent has closed his account, so once I successfully refute his 2 assertions the debate is mine.

Contradiction 1) This is easily explained. There are often several ways to describe the rule of a leader. One is to describe when they are NAMED as the future leader, and one is to describe the actual years of their official reign. For example, when asked when Barak Obama became the President, one may answer "In November, when he was elected." Or one may answer "In January when he was innagurated." Is this contradictory? Of course not. We see a similar dynamic in the case of Jehoachin. It was a common practice for a King to declare a Co-Reagent (typically a son) in order to dictate who the next successor would be, in such a case, we may describe the reign of the future king by indicating how old they were when they were declared Co-Reagent (In Jehoiachin's case, 8 years old), or we may describe it when they officially become the king (10 years later, when Jehoiachin was 18). We see this action in King David when he has Nathan annoint Solomon prior to his (David's) death in order to name his as the next king rather than his other son Absolom. This has been reflected by most major modern translations (ESV, NIV, Etc), but has historic attestation as well. The Geneva Bible notes "36:9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.That is, he began his reign at eight years old, and reigned ten years when his father was alive, and after his father's death, which was in his eighteenth year, he reigned alone three months and ten days." (Geneva Bible published in 1560)

Contradiction 2)

This is a case of mistaken translation. My opponent writes "we can rephrase that passage as this, '...God cannot be tested with evil, neither testeth he any man (with evil).'" However, that is not the way that translation works. The Greek Word πειράζει (peirazei) has a semantic field that includes words like "Tempt, Test, Try" however, it does not mean that those words are interchangeable. When the author wrote it, he had a specific usage of the word in mind and we cannot simply rephrase it. To understand this, consider the word "Scan" in English. It has many meanings... I could scan a book quickly (read it quickly) or I could scan my hard drive for viruses (perform an in-depth analysis of the hard drive for viruses). Just because the word CAN mean "read quickly" doesn't mean you can substitute "read quickly" when I meant "perform an in-depth analysis." You must look at the context to determine what I mean. In James' case, we see that does not peirazei anyone with evil, nor can he be peirazei. However, in the context, we see that he does not mean it as "test." Previously in the passage he uses a word that has a more narrow semantic range, but a range that overlaps with the word in question. That word (δοκίμιον dokimion) means to "assess for validity" and was used to describe the process which was used to verify the authenticity of money. James treats this kind of testing as a positive thing. However, when he refers to peirazei, it is a markedly negative thing (associated with evil). So we must look to another portion of the semantic range to understand the meaning. James is referring to the traditional way we use the word "tempt," which is "to incite to sin." God cannot be incited to sin, neither does he incite anyone to sin.

In reference to Abraham, God was not inciting Abraham (then Abram) to do evil. God had no intention of allowing Abraham to sacrifice his son, the plan all along was to stop him. Rather, he was testing his obedience to see if he would comply with the commands of the Lord. In this sense, he was assessing Abraham for validity, discerning if Abraham was genuine. In this sense, God was dokimion Abraham, not peirazei him. There is no contradiction in these passages.

I would like to thank my opponent for posting this, it is a shame that he is unable to continue the debate. I would like to thank all the readers for their time and votes, and apologize for the false start.
Debate Round No. 2


kohai forfeited this round.


I have successfully refuted pro's only examples of contradictions and he has forfeited the debate. Please vote Con when the time comes.
Debate Round No. 3


kohai forfeited this round.



My responses go unrefuted. When the time comes, please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4


I have decided to re-open my account. I wish we could have a longer debate.

"In reference to Abraham, God was not inciting Abraham (then Abram) to do evil."

Epic fail! Sacrificing your son isn't evil? Today, if he would have done that, he would have been in a boat load of trouble!

" God had no intention of allowing Abraham to sacrifice his son, the plan all along was to stop him. Rather, he was testing his obedience to see if he would comply with the commands of the Lord. In this sense, he was assessing Abraham for validity, discerning if Abraham was genuine."

I thought god knew everything! Why would he need to put a test to see if Abram is being sincer?

More contradictions:

Who approached Jesus? (Matthew 8:5-7) The Centurion approached Jesus, beseeching help for a sick servant. (Luke 7:3 & 7:6-7) The Centurion did not approach Jesus. He sent friends and elders of the Jews.

What animals were brought to Jesus? (Matthew 21:2-7) two of the disciples brought Jesus a donkey and a colt from the village of Bethphage. (Mark 11:2-7) They brought him only a colt.


Judges 21:10-24 NLT

So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. "This is what you are to do," they said. "Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin." Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.

The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives. But there were not enough women for all of them. The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel. So the Israelite leaders asked, "How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead? There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever. But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God's curse."

Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem. They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, "Go and hide in the vineyards. When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife! And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, 'Please be understanding. Let them have your daughters, for we didn't find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'" So the men of Benjamin did as they were told. They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance. Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them. So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes.

Obviously these women were repeatedly raped. These sick bastards killed and raped an entire town and then wanted more virgins, so they hid beside the road to kidnap and rape some more. How can anyone see this as anything but evil?

Deuteronomy 22:28-29

If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

What kind of lunatic would make a rape victim marry her attacker? Answer: God.



I am glad that my opponent was able to return, and regret that we have so little space to complete this debate.

Let me apprach this argument by summarizing it.

My opponent argues that since James says that God tempts no man to evil, and then proceeds to argue that God tempts people to evil then there is a contradiction.

He identifies three places in which he percieves the LORD tempting people with evil.

The first is in the case of Abram when God commanded him to bring Isaac to be sacrificed. As I haev pointed out above, God never intended Abram to sacrifice his son. We have ever indication that God intended to stop him before he committed the sin, just as he did. My oppoent argues that God knows all things, so there is no necessity to test Abram... however, he does not provide a verse that says this... so at this point we have no biblical data in the argument to show this. Simply put, God was testing Abram for validity by seeing if he would be obediente no matter what. There is no contradiction here since God did not intend to allow Abram to sin.

The second case is that of Judes 21:10-24. In this passage the Israelites send 12,000 men out to conqure a neighboring area. All the men, women who were not virigins, and children were killed. The passage then goes on to describe how the tribe of Benjamin had been decimated of their women, and would go extinct if it were not for some outside infusion of marritable women. The other tribes then proceed to divise a plan to allow them to replenish their stock of women from other tribes. What my opponent has failed to mention (or perhaps failed to recognize) is that God does not act in this story. No where do we see any of these things as commands from the LORD. He is entierly absent. How can we say that God temped to people to sin when it appears that he is absent from this story entierly? There is no contradiction since God did not command or intice these people to sin.

The third is an argument in which God makes provisions to protect a woman who was raped. We must understand the social context of this command. Women in the Old Testament litteraly could not survive without men. They were not allowed to hold property, they were not able to do jobs that earned income. So when a woman was raped, and no man would marry her due to this, she was in a destitute position. In order to protect the woman, God commands the attacker to marry her and revokes his right to divorce her. This is not an act of evil, rather an act of compassion for the woman. Would it be traumatic to live with your attacker? Yes... however the alternative (Typically either a slow death due to starvation or being forced into slavery and prostitution) is more severe. There is no contradiction here because God is not enticing someone into sin, he is doing damage control once sin has aready occured. Beyond that, in Jewish culture... the Father of this victim would have had the perogative to deny this marriage and provid for his daughter in another way.

The other "contradictions" my opponent identifies are relatively simple to explain.

The matter of the centurion: Is it not possible that this is a story of two separate centurions? There are other significant distinctions between the two stories that make it likely that this is the account of two different accounts. In Luke, this takes place after Jesus delivers what is called the "Sermon on the Plain." It is called this because it is a sermon given... on a plain. In the Matthew account however, it is given after the "Sermon on the Mount" which is a sermon he gave... on a mount. Now, if one takes place after a sermon on the plain, and one takes place after a sermon on the mountain... then doesn't it seem to make more sense for Jesus to have preached on the plain on one day, then run into the Jews who were sent by the Centurion on his way back to town... and on a different day, preached on the mount and run into a Centurion directly on his way back to town? No contradiction, two separate stories two separate centurions.

The matter of the Colt: This is simple... Matthew is emphasising a prophecy in which both a donkey and a colt were mentioned, so he saw it fit to mention that the disciples brought both a donkey and a colt. Mark does not reference that prophecy, and only mentioned that they brought the colt. If the disciples brought both the donkey and the colt, then it is not a contradiction to say that they brought the colt. Does Mark say that they brought ONLY the colt? If I hand you my hat and jacket, and you say "he handed me his jacket." are you being contradictory to reality? No... you are simply leaving out part of the story you feel is irrelevant. This is the case in this apparent discrepancy.

As I have shown, all of the "Contradictions" my opponent has laid down are not actual contradictions. My opponent has failed to provide any contradictions that I did not reasonably explain as non-contradictory. Therefore I have fulfilled my burden of proof pro has not. Thank you for your votes.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
Sorry, Reformed, I tried to vote for you but I still haven't completed three debates yet. So I can't vote at the moment. :(
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
Really, no vote?
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
Vote vote vote
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
Due to copyright violations and the lack of moderation to this site. I am closing my account perminatly. I appologize to my opponent.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
Good luck to you.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
Thanks for editing your opening post. I accept the challenge.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
What are you saying? I am trying to prove there are contradictions in the bible, my opponent will say there are none and try to prove that.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
Your resolution does not match what you claim your opponent's task is. I will accept the debate if all I have to do is prove that here are no contradictions.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit or not to forfeit? I will call that a forfeit.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit