The Instigator
theunionforever61
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
gordonjames
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

There is at least one contradiction in the Bible and this proves it cannot be the word of God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
gordonjames
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/13/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,065 times Debate No: 35566
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

theunionforever61

Pro

I would like for this to be a serious debate, so please no trolling. Thank you.

In this debate I will be clear about the Burden of Proof:

1. 1st round is acceptance only
2. I will prove that having even one contradiction means that the Bible cannot be the true word of God
3. I will then list the Contradictions (in that same round)
4. You will then respond
gordonjames

Con

I accept.

I await your posts.
Debate Round No. 1
theunionforever61

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate.
First I will prove that having even a single contradiction would mean the Bible cannot be the true word of God, because God is perfect.
According to the Bible, God and his word (the Bible) are perfect:
"As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him." (Psalms 18:30) (http://biblehub.com...)
So, if there is even one contradiction in the Bible, that would mean it could not be the word of God, because according to the Bible itself, God is perfect, as is the Bible. A contradiction would mean God made a mistake, which is not possible because the Bible says he is perfect. Finding even one contradiction in the Bible would mean it could not be the word of God.
So, having established that having even one contradiction would mean the Bible cannot be the word of God, here are the contradictions:
1.The chief of the mighty men of David lifted up his spear and killed how many men at one time?
These are the names of David's mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three--the three mightiest warriors among David's men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle. (2 Samuel 23:8)

Here is the record of David's mightiest warriors: The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three--the mightiest warriors among David's men. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. ( 1 Chronicles 11:11)

2.When David defeated the King of Zobah, how many horsemen did he capture?
And David took from him 1,700 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. And David hamstrung all the chariot horses but left enough for 100 chariots. (2 Samuel 8:4)
And David took from him 1,000 chariots, 7,000 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. And David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but left enough for 100 chariots. (1 Chronicles 18:4)

3.How many stalls for horses did Solomon have?
Solomon also had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. (1 Kings 4:26)
And Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 9:25)

4.How many singers accompanied the assembly?
besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 200 male and female singers. (Ezra 2:65)
besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 245 male and female singers. (Nehemiah 7:67)

5.Did Jesus allow his disciples to keep a staff on their journey?
These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff--no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. (Mark 6:8)
He told them: "Take nothing for the journey--no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. (Luke 9:3)

Here is the full list of 101 Bible Contradictions if you want to look at them:

http://www.answering-christianity.com...
gordonjames

Con

To recap - PRO claims
the phrase “God’s word” refers to the Bible.
the phrase “The LORD's word is flawless” refers to the Bible.
that “even one contradiction in the Bible, that would mean it could not be the word of God”
alink to a list is his debate


1. According to the Bible, God and his word (the Bible) are perfect:
There is no place where scripture leads us to call the Bible by the phrase “word of God”

In the 47 times the phrase “word of god” appears in the Bible[1], not one of them refers to the Bible or a written document. Jesus is referred to as the “Word of God” [2]. “Word of God” is God speaks to his servants. They often disobeyed like Jonah[3]

I reject PRO's position the phrase “word of God” = Bible. It is much more.


2. He quotes Psalms 18:30 - How can a writing from 1000 BC refer to a collection of documents about events that mostly happened well after that time. Psalm 18:30 can not be referring to the Bible.

3. Which version or edition of the Bible does Psalm 18:30 claim to be flawless? The NIV 2011 version uses the word flawless, but other versions read a little different.


4. He makes a wild jump to the conclusion that every difference between two accounts of similar stories in scripture is a contradiction.

I reject his claim that any difference in the Biblical accounts is a contradiction.
Many of the supposed contradictions of scripture are petty matters that are easily set right.
I don’t really need to do this for the debate, as items one through 3 above show his faulty logic.
Definition - CONTRADICTION [4]

These definitions give the sense of OPPOSING ideas.
Slight differences in eye witness accounts are expected.
In fact, some critics of the Bible claim all the stories come from one written source [5] because they are so similar. It seems to me that some want to reject the Bible on claims of contradictions, and other on claims of not enough contradictions.


5. Contradiction 1 - 800 or 300
There are two possible ways to reconcile these two accounts.
1) Scribal error anywhere in the process
2) These could be two different note worthy accounts. Killing 300 men in hand to hand combat with a spear may rival killing 800 with bow while on chariot or from the relative safety of ambush or city walls

Since there are easy ways to resolve this supposed contradiction we have another reason to dismiss PRO’s position.
Pro mentions the scriptures where Jesus sent the 12 disciples out to preach (Mt 9:35-11:1, Mk 6:7-13, Lk 9:1-6). Again there are several ways to look at this that resolve the claim of contradiction.
In the Mark 6 account we read that Jesus BEGAN to send them out . . .
- this could be early instructions trying to get them to go now
In Matthew 10 Jesus tells them not to acquire money or any goods
- this could be instuction for while they are on the journey - don't get more stuff

Here is better wording than I could give this apparent contradiction from “Answers in Genesis” [8]

I want to close with two problems with PRO’s position
1. He equates some version of the written Bible as the entire “Word of God”
This is inadequate and false. [9]

Pro the makes the mistake of linking to a list of proposed contradictions as though they could not be resolved.

PRO implies that if there were one contradiction in the Bible it would mean that it God can not speak through it. Every time God speaks through a person; written, spoken in song or in works he is speaking through a medium full of error and contradictions. We humans can never express the fullness or the goodness of God in anything we do.
Debate Round No. 2
theunionforever61

Pro

Thank you for responding.
Con says that Psalm 18:30 ("As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him") was written before the time of the Bible, and could not be referring to the Bible. I accept this, and apologize for my ignorance on the matter. However, I reject his argument that "The Lord"s word" refers to Jesus or a servant of God. Since, according to Con, Psalms was written about 1000 BC, it could not be referring, to Jesus, as he did not yet exist. Also, looking at the full context, it is clear that it is not referring to a person:
25 "To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop[a];
with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord"s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights."
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way. (Psalms 18: 25 -36)

As can be seen from the full context, someone (I tried finding out who, but I couldn"t) is speaking directly about God. Nowhere did I find any verse before 18:25 or after 18:36 that even suggested that "The Lord"s word" is a person. Now, when it says in Psalms that "The Lord"s word" and his way are perfect, it just does not make sense that the Bible would then not be perfect. God does not stop being perfect.

But if you still reject this, then here is another verse, from the Old Testament:
"As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him." (2 Samuel 22:31) It uses the same exact language as Psalms 18: 25-36.
Again, it does not make sense that, God would stop being perfect when the New Testament was being written.

Pro the makes the mistake of linking to a list of proposed contradictions as though they could not be resolved.
I never said that none of those Contradictions could be resolved, I just thought you would want to see my source.

I conclude by rebutting Con"s last statement. Would God, whose way is perfect, and whose word is flawless, and to who anything is possible (Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26) really speak "through a medium full of error and contradictions" and allow the Bible, the guide for all of mankind, to be changed and corrupted by "scribal error"? Your last point just does not make sense to me.
gordonjames

Con

RECAP
* PRO’s original argument (round 2)
the phrase “God’s word” refers to the Bible.
the phrase “The LORD's word is flawless” refers to the Bible.
that “even one contradiction in the Bible, that would mean it could not be the word of God”
he implies that one contradiction in the Bible it would mean that it God can not speak through it.

* My rebuttal (round 2)
There is no place where scripture leads us to call the Bible by the phrase “word of God”
“Word of God” is so much more than the Bible
I reject his claim that any difference in the Biblical accounts is a contradiction.
I address a few supposed contradictions
I conclude “Every time God speaks through a person; written, spoken in song or in works he is speaking through a medium full of error and contradictions.”

* PRO’s response (round 3)
PRO accepts that Psalm 18 in not referring to the Bible.
Pro argues that God is perfect (agreed)
Pro states that my conclusion (God speaks through imperfect media) is unclear.

My (CON) round 3 argument.

PRO did not question my refutation of his examples, or suggest others.
Here is one more example.

Who Bought the Potter’s Field?

Judas received 30 silver coins for betraying Jesus.
After the betrayal he threw them back at the priests before hanging himself.

- With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field... Acts 1:18
- The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money." So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. Matthew 27:6-7

This is interesting because the money belonged to Judas so he “purchased it” like a person giving money to a church for a new stained glass window. BUT Judas was dead, so the priests did the deal so they “purchased it”, no contradiction, just differing perspectives.

God almost always speaks through imperfect media.
If the Bible contained occasional errors it would in no way affect God’s ability to speak through it.

Look at some examples of imperfect people.
Peter - Jesus says he will build His church on Peter [1]who is full of sin and error[2]
Paul - Greatly used by God yet he calls himself the worst of all sinners[3]
Every believer in history - “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” [4]
Adam & Eve and everyone who follows

Look at the example of “God’s chosen people”
Genesis (the first book) tells of the fall into sin
Exodus (#2) tells of Moses, their life in Egypt and how God sets them free from slavery.
Soon the Israelites need laws to curb their bad behavior.
Then they need more laws for their terrible behavior.
The book of Judges tells story after story of failure to obey.
It goes down hill from here

In each case God speaks to and through his people.

Look at the Bible for opportunities for mistakes.

3 Ancient languages
Thousands of years of cultural and language differences.
First - oral history, then written originals, then many copies.
The amazing thing is how well God has protected the stories of his actions and words and people.
Could there be errors of numbers, or spellings or places? It would not surprise me.
With this said, the Bible has the most compelling evidence that it has been faithfully transmitted of any set of ancient documents.[5]


I want to assert 3 problems with PRO’s position.

“Word of God” in scripture does not refer to the 66 books of the Bible.
God can work powerfully even through imperfect people and books.
God has protected the Bible from errors in the message. The lack of real contradictions in the Bible is incredible evidence for this.
Pro was mistaken.
He showed no Biblical contradictions that cannot be clearly explained.
He mistakenly thought "Word of God" referred only to the Bible.
He implied that God can not work through imperfect media.
VOTE CON

[1] Matthew 16:18
[2] Matthew 16:23
[3] 1 Timothy 1:15
[4] Romans 5:8
[5] http://carm.org...
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by rhondadpattison 3 years ago
rhondadpattison
Congrats gordonjames! If I were an atheist listening to that debate you would have convinced me! (y)
Posted by kjw47 3 years ago
kjw47
It is a fact that trinity translations were altered many centuries ago--and before that--wicked men removed Gods personal name from the ot in nearly 6800 places and put GOD-LORD(all capitols) in its place. The trinity translations are erred, yet they could not hide the real truth.
Posted by theunionforever61 3 years ago
theunionforever61
You don't say?
Posted by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
I look forward to our debate.
A quick look at your profile shows we agree on over 85% of "the big issues"
Posted by theunionforever61 3 years ago
theunionforever61
I understand and I thank you for taking the time to tell me why you declined. Good Luck in your other debates :)
Posted by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Thank you for the challenge, however I am knowledgeable only about the philosophy and teachings of the Bible, not of the Bible itself.

There are many people on DDO who would love to debate this though, you will have no trouble finding someone for this topic.

Thank you for the challenge, but I decline.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
theunionforever61gordonjamesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The topic of this debate is faulty for the start that it makes it difficult to judge. Con was aware of this and due to that fact he had better arguments. When you say the "Bible", the version of the bible was never established. This allows con to assert his will throughout the debate. For example if you would have said "The king james version of the bible contains errors" , or "The King James version of the bible is wrong", it would have been an easier task for you. You then could have brought up the issues with translation . However since you chose to state the bible contradicts itself, it allowed con to capitalize on this vital error. He has shown that the examples you have given are not contradictions, but differences due to personal accounts of what happened. Con then offers a stronger definition supported by more viable sources as to the definition of the word of God. This also was a game changer. Arguments and sources go to Con. The rest tied
Vote Placed by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
theunionforever61gordonjamesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I must say, Con presented some good sources. The thing I had with Pro's argument was that he dropped his examples from Round 2... The Con was able to refute the Pro's arguments from Round 2. If Pro hadn't dropped those, I would have Tied who had the Convincing Argument. I can't say I agree with the con because his stance was different from where I stand. While I find the Bible to be perfect, he claims it doesn't necessarily have to be.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
theunionforever61gordonjamesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued for contradictions in the Bible contending that Gods ways are perfect so the word of God, ie the bible should also be, Cons rebuttal was that nowhere is scripture does the word of God mean the Biblical litteral narrative, althogh Pro contending all Gods ways are perfect, Con contended that God worked through imperfect media to portray a perfect message, and even strengthened Pros argument that contradictions do exist... Which was rather confusing.. I can't decide who to vote for right now, I might vote later. I think more to side with Pro. Not sure though, Con argued well in the final round.