The Instigator
Max9
Con (against)
The Contender
Rjupudi18
Pro (for)

Whether the Bible is infallible.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/20/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 518 times Debate No: 100070
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)

 

Max9

Con

This debate is will be deciding whether the Christian Bible is infallible.
I will be taking the CON side of this debate, i.e The Bible is NOT infallible (is fallible).
Definitions:

Infallible: incapable of error. [1]
Bible: the sacred scriptures of Christians comprising the Old Testament and the New Testament (66 books) [2]


Rules:
1. No ad Hominem attacks
2. A contradiction will be counted as a fallibility
3. No arguments in 1st round.
4. No new arguments in final round
5. Logic and mathematics are counted as infallible evidence, provided the math and logic are done right.


I look foward to a fun debate :)
Thanks,
Max





Sources:
[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com...;
[2] https://www.merriam-webster.com...;
Rjupudi18

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Max9

Con

I would like to thank Pro for agreeing to this debate topic. Religion is often a touchy issue, and I trust that both sides will remain civil. I am glad he/she has decided to engage in a civil discussion with me on the topic at hand.

I would also like to begin my opening statement with a question. Are we, as critical thinkers, expected to believe that a book written by fallible men, translated by fallible men, put together by fallible men, printed by fallible men, published by fallible men, and preached by fallible men is the infallible word of God? I simply don't see a reason to, and proving that the Bible is a fallible document will be my goal in this debate.

There are many observable contradictions in scripture. Some scriptures are in contradiction to one another, while others are in contradiction to reality and basic maths and sciences.
Let us observe for ourselves a few areas where the Bible contradicts itself.[1]

Argument 1: Biblical contradictions.

Contradiction 1. Who pays the penalty for sin?
Ezekiel 18:20: The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.
According to Ezekiel, the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.
Exodus 20:5: I the lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
Yet according to Moses, the son does bear the sins of the fathers, up to the third and fourth generation.
This is a clear contradiction.

Contradiction 2: Where Did the Devil Take Jesus? (Credit to TheThinkingAtheist for this one.)
Matthew 4:5-8: Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: ’He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." Jesus answered him, "It is also written: ’Do not put the Lord your God to the test." Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ’Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’
Here we can see that Satan took Jesus to the Temple first, then the mountain top.
Luke 4:5-9: The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here.
In an odd reversal of events, Jesus is taken to the mountain top first, then the temple. This is clearly contradictory. Both accounts couldn’t be true at the same time, so we must conclude one is errored.

Argument 2: Scientific Errors. There are also areas of the Bible where the Bible seems to contradict reality.

Contradiction 1: Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, ’You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?"

Now, obviously we know that snakes do not talk. We know that it is scientifically impossible for snakes to talk - because they do not have a larynx. [2] Thus, because snakes don’t have a larynx (voice box), they cannot talk[3], due to the fact that the larynx is responsible for speech as it contains the vocal cords.
Snakes dont talk. The Bible claims one did. Clear error.

Contradiction 2: The Sun revolving around the Earth.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 - “The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.”
This is obviously indicative of a geocentric view, in which the sun revolves around the Earth. Notice the phrase, “It hurries back to where it rises.” This is indicative of the Sun moving, which we now (through the gift of modern science) know to be untrue. The sun does not “hurry” anywhere. This belief would have been commonplace among the ancients (see Ptolemy), and it would have been understandable to see why these men who wrote the Bible would hold that view. However, we know this today to be false, proving once again that the Bible is fallible and should be treated as such.

Contradiction 3: The Value of Pi.
See 1 Kings 7:23, “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” “Pi = a circle's circumference divided by its diameter. (C = πd, π = C/d.)
Circumference (C) = 30 cubits ("a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about")Diameter (d) = 10 cubits ("ten cubits from the one brim to the other")Thus:Biblical Pi (π) = (C/d) = (30 cubits/10 cubits) = 3.0However, actual pi is not 3.[citation NOT needed] The actual value of π is 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288… “ - (Credit to rationalwiki for phrasing of the argument)[4]

Since we know pi to = 3.1415926535… the Biblical account of it being “3” cannot be true and is once again an error.

In conclusion: The Bible is errored and therefore fallible because of contradictions between its own pages, as well as contradictions with reality. Snakes don't talk, the Sun does not revolve around the Earth, and pi does not equal 3.


Thank you judges, ladies and gentlemen, I look forward to the remaining portion of our debate.



Ill be posting more arguments in the coming rounds. Thank you sir, and good luck!





[1]http://www.thethinkingatheist.com...
[2]http://www.infoplease.com...
[3]http://www.innerbody.com...
[4]http://rationalwiki.org...
Rjupudi18

Pro

I thank Con for instigating this debate. I'm hoping to have fun in this debate while at the same time educating the viewers on our distinct viewpoints. By the end of this debate, I'm hoping to present my case on why I believe the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God.

I will begin by answering Con's question. It is true. The Bible was written, translated, put together, printed and published by fallible men. No man nor woman is without fault so it is safe to say the writers of the Bible were fallible men just like us. However, the Author of the Bible is not a fallible man but an infallible God who makes no mistake. The written ink on paper we call the Bible may have been created but the Word of God has existed throughout eternity (John 1:1). I hope that answers the question. Con has presented some points which he considers contradictions. I will attempt to prove that they're not contradictions and present my understanding on these "first-glance contradictions".

Argument 1: Biblical contradictions.
Contradiction 1: Who pays the penalty for sin?
When we take these two verses out of context, it may seem as though they're contradicting. However, let's examine Exodus 18:20 and Exodus 20:5.
Ezekiel 18:20: Con didn't quote the whole verse. If he had, we would have understood the context of this verse.
"The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them" (Ezekiel 18:20) (NIV)
If you look at the first part of the verse, it's talking about the punishment for sin which is death (the Biblical word for hell). A son will not go to hell for the sin of his father and a daughter will not go to hell for the sin of her mother. Keep that in mind. Now let's examine Exodus 20:5.
Exodus 20:5: "You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me" (NIV)
Firstly, God is talking to the Israelites so let's keep that in mind. Secondly, this verse is set in a totally different context than Ezekiel 18:20. This verse is talking about idolatry while Ezekiel was talking about sin in general and it's consequence. The punishment in Exodus 20:5 is not eternal punishment but temporal punishment on earth. So both of these verses are true. God will punish children for sins of their parents in this world but will not condemn them to hell for it.

Contradiction 2: Where Did the Devil Take Jesus?
There seems to be no contradiction that I can see. We have to remember the Bible is not a chronology or a timeline of events. In Matthew, we read the Devil took Jesus to the temple to throw Himself down while in Luke, he takes Him to the temple to tempt Him with the kingdoms of the earth. This is not a contradiction because from a Biblical perspective, both of these events did happen as recorded by both Matthew and Luke. The writers of these books decided to order them differently while affirming they occurred. Let me give you a practical example: Let's say I said, "Jack went to the store and bought apples. He also bought oranges". Or I can say "Jack went to the store and bought oranges. He bought apples as well". While in both sentences, the events may be ordered differently, the bottom line is Jack bought apples and oranges. In the same way, both of the temptations occurred and are acknowledged by both books.

Argument 2: Scientific errors
Contradiction 1: Talking Snake
Con suggest the Bible is false because snakes can't talk and a snake did talk in Genesis therefore the Bible must be fallible. This is a false approach. We must understand the account of the talking snake in Genesis before we jump into conclusions. For the average person, the story of the talking snake is just that, a talking a snake. However, when we read Genesis, we come to know it was not a snake who talked but Satan who TOOK the form of a snake in order to deceive Eve. How do we know the serpent is Satan? Well, it say clearly in Revelation 12:9 that Satan or the Devil is the dragon and great serpent. The point is not that a snake flake but Satan through the snake talked with Eve. Satan could've done this with any other animal and the result would be the same.

Contradiction 2: Geocentric View?
The Bible is a book of literature and great figurative language. We can't take everything the English language literally as some phrases are there to show emphasis. When Ecclesiastes 1:5 claims the sun rises and falls, it's not talking about the sun literally rising or falling. This is a figure of speech. Even today we say "sunrise" and "sunset". Of course the sun doesn't rise or set. We also read. "and hurries back to where it rises". This can also be classified as figurative speech because it's in the same sentence. It would be illogical to think the writers would go from figurative to literal in the same verse. Again, it's simply the type of speech used by the people at that time.

Contradiction 3: Value of Pi
Con suggests the value of Pi is stated as 3 in the Bible. I'm not a mathematician so I can't check this out myself so I'll take my opponent's word for it. This is not at all wrong. You see Pi is a non-terminating, irrational number (meaning it will never end). Therefore, it would be impossible to write down the value of Pi in any book as it would need an infinite amount of space. The fact that the Bible defines 3 as Pi is not wrong. If 3 is not Pi, 3.14 is not I as well. And 3.1415926535 is also not Pi. Pi is an infinite number so it's not logical to call the Bible wrong on this matter as Pi cannot possibly be written down in its accurate form. The fact that the Bible identifies Pi as 3 is truly miraculous. If the Bible was just an ordinary book, how could it be so close to the actual number? Pi was accurately measured by Archimedes in the 3rd century BC [1]. 1 Kings was written around 550 BC [2] so the Bible should be given credit for being so close even before Pi was accurately measured.

I hope I have presented my case fairly and convinced Con and the viewers that there are no contradictions in the Bible. Looking forward to hearing my opponent's response. Good luck to you as well!

Sources:
[1]http://www.pcworld.com...
[2]https://www.britannica.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Max9

Con

I would like to again thank Pro for agreeing to this debate. He or she has been a fine opponent and skilled debater.

I would like to begin this round by referring again to my original question. You replied that the Bible was “authored” by an infallible God. How do we know this? You dont have to answer this question if you dont want to, it is becoming a tangent and henceforth I will try to keep on topic with the debate.

Rebuttals: Of my first and second scriptural “contradictions”, Pro did a masterful job in showing me that they were not contradictions. I concede that these were not contradictions, and I ask Pro to forgive me for not reviewing these fully. I only want to present true information, and that fact that I failed to do that in this instance appalled me. I am grateful to be proven wrong on these points, and walk away with a better understanding. But you will find there is one contradiction in the scriptures I can be sure of. I will present that later in the round.

However, over the scientific contradictions I must still persist. Let us observe parts of your response to my first argument, concerning talking snakes: “...we know it was not a snake who talked but Satan who TOOK the form of the snake..” I would like to raise several questions. First, how do we know it was Satan or that he took the form of the snake? There is no context clues whatsoever to suggest it was Satan merely “taking a form.” Regardless of this fact, he, even taking the form of a snake, still wouldn't be able to talk. Why? Because snakes dont have larynxes or vocal cords, as I pointed out earlier. It would be impossible for a snake to talk. You also stated, “it says clearly in Revelation 12:9 that Satan...is the dragon and the great serpent.” I would respond that this verse is vague and lacks clarity. How does the “great serpent” indicate that Satan was the snake in the garden? Is every serpent mentioned in the Bible Satan?
Because of the problems with your rebuttal, I will maintain my position that the Bible mentioning talking snakes is an error.

Now, let us review what you said to my allegation that the Bible supports a Heliocentric view.
“When Ecclesiastes claims that the sun rises and falls, its not talking about the sun literally rising and falling.” Why not? It’s not unreasonable to think that the author of this book was talking literally. A geocentric view was very common at the time.
“‘And hurries back to where it rises’ this can also be classified as figurative speech because its in the same sentence.” I can say with relative certainty that this verse was not meant to be figurative speech. Just ask the The Catholic Church, the main denomination and most influential Christian force in Europe. While today they may have conformed to the secular view that the Earth revolves around the sun, for many centuries it was quite the other way around. Three popes have declared the Bible to support a geocentric view, and there are many, many Bible verses to support this. [9] See the link I have provided for more information. Up until heliocentrism was proven by science, Christians believed exactly what the Bible teaches, that the Sun revolves around the Earth. This is an error. It seems more and more that every time science disproves something, it becomes figurative speech according to most Christians. But regardless of this, the fact is that this scripture in the Bible was intended to be taken literally. That’s what most people believed before it was disproven. And that’s why this verse was taken literally, up until the entrance of scientists who disproved the geocentric theory. Thats how it was intended. The Bible is in error here. This was not intended to be figurative speech.

Finally, you disputed my allegation that the God does His math wrong. You stated, “Pi is an irrational number...and cannot be written down in its accurate form.” I agree with this, however, I must disagree with your conclusions. The fact is, the Bible describes a bowl “10 meters in diameter” and “30 meters in circumference” which, as we have agreed upon, would result in pi equaling exactly 3. I agree that pi cannot be written down. But the assertion the Bible makes, that is, pi being 3, while being close to the actual number, is just plain wrong. Pi is not 3.This is not the only problem. It is impossible for a circular object to have the dimensions that the Bible describes. A circular object could not have a circumference of 30 meters and a diameter of only ten. That would make pi equal to exactly 3, which we know it is not. Thus, the object the Bible was describing is either a) an error, or b) does not exist (also an error). If the Bible had said something equivalent too, “the circumference was roughly 30 meters” or something of that sort, I could accept that this is not a contradiction, and the author of the Bible was somewhat knowledgeable about mathematics and maybe even possibly divine. However, every indication in the verse implies that pi is exactly 3 and would lead us to that conclusion. We know this to be a falsehood. The facts that the Bible asserts, that a circular object could have these dimensions, and that pi is 3, are both false and just plain wrong. The Bible is a fallible document.

New Argument:

Contradiction: According to the Christian Bible, God is sinless. He cannot sin, or have any part in sin.[1] However, over the course of scripture, one can observe multiple times where God allegedly sins. Take for example Galatians 5:19-20, which epitomizes “jealousy” as wrong and sinful, along with other sins such as “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft” etc.[2] The word for jealousy used here is zelos[3], a Greek word translating either in some contexts “an envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy”, and in others “zeal in behalf of, for a person or thing or the fierceness of indignation, punitive zeal”[4]. Why is this important? Well, if we turn our pages back to the book of Exodus, we will espy that God describes Himself as a “jealous” God. We particularly notice this in Exodus 34:14 “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:”[5] The Hebrew word employed here is “qan·nā”[6], which translated in English as “jealous”. However, this is not a complete definition, as there are different types of jealousy. In order that we might better understand the word, a typical approach would be to look at the root word from which it stems. Its root word is “qinah”, which can be translated as “anger (1), envy (1), jealousy (24), passion (1), rivalry (1), and zeal (14).”[7] Another source gives a more specific definition, and says that qan·nā means, “to be jealous of, to be envious of, to be zealous for, to excite to jealous anger…”[8]

Hebrew: qan·nā - used to describe God
“Envy”
“jealousy”
“Jealous anger”
“To be zealous for”

Greek: zelos - used to describe sin
"envious"
"jealousy"
"fierce indignation"
"punitive zeal"

It is reasonable then to assert that “zelos” and “qanna” mean essentially the same thing, or at least share the same essence of meaning in different languages, since they do translate very similarly. What does this mean for God? Since God apparently is guilty of jealousy, he is guilty of sin, even by his own standard.

This question can be summed up in a logical thesis:
“It is sinful to be jealous” (Galatians 5:19-20)
“God is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14)
Therefore, God is a sinner (guilty of sin).

This is clearly contradictory to the Christian claim that God is sinless. Either we must admit that God sins, or we must accept that the Bible, or at least Galatians or Exodus, are contradictory and severely errored. Must we not?

I will be presenting another new argument in the next round. It will be my final new argument.

Thanks Pro, and good luck! - Con






[1]Psalm 18:30 - “God! His way is perfect;...”
Deuteronomy 32:4 - “The rock: his acts are perfection!”
Since sin is literally “a mistake”, God logically cannot sin.
[2] https://www.biblegateway.com...;
[3] http://biblehub.com...
[4] http://www.biblestudytools.com...
[5]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[6]http://biblehub.com...
[7]http://biblehub.com... , http://biblehub.com...
[8]https://www.blueletterbible.org...
[9]http://www.scripturecatholic.com...
Rjupudi18

Pro

Sorry I'm a little busy right now. I'll post next round.
Debate Round No. 3
Max9

Con

I completely understand, and I ask the judges not to count that as a forfeit. I will extend my arguments so that you may respond to them this round.
Cheers!
Max
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Max9 1 year ago
Max9
Your fine. Ill try to respond soon :)
Posted by Rjupudi18 1 year ago
Rjupudi18
Sorry for the long post.
Posted by Rjupudi18 1 year ago
Rjupudi18
Likewise sir :D
Posted by Max9 1 year ago
Max9
I look forward to your argument as well as the rest of our fun debate ;)
Posted by Rjupudi18 1 year ago
Rjupudi18
Anytime!
Posted by Max9 1 year ago
Max9
Just posted. Thank you for your patience and civility sir.
Posted by Rjupudi18 1 year ago
Rjupudi18
No problem!
Posted by Max9 1 year ago
Max9
Thanks :)
Posted by Max9 1 year ago
Max9
You have to post an acceptance for the rounds to begin...
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