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bible has no siginficant contradiction in it

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/4/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 968 times Debate No: 36349
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




the only one's i predict you might find, as trivial details, like how many people were at a place, or the color of something. or things that are too vague to mean anything, "our God is a venegful God" "our God is a merciful God". or are too literal, "all have sinned" "jesus hasn't sinned right?" etc etc
anything else i will argue, has reasonable explanations.

please provide no more than three. more than that and people are just copy and pasting everything conceivable throwing it to teh wall to see what sticks. three makes you pick your best and stake your credibility on it, and it makes it easier to deal with, all it takes is one blatant contradiction to show the bible has error.


First, I would like to state in general that ANY contradiction in the Bible is significant in that it demonstrates that the Bible is NOT the inspired, inerrant word of God. If there are two different testimonies given on the same matter (as in a court of law) one could be correct, perhaps neither is correct, but they cannot both be correct so we must recognize that at least one is false. There might be a temptation to combine the testimonies into one big mega account that neither witness actually described, but even that attempt to reconcile the events fails when the two accounts contain mutually exclusive information ( in other words one thing or the other could be true, but not both). It seems to be a common practice with Christian apologists to combine the testimonies in this way, but they are in fact creating a new account that no writer of the Bible actually says happened. I will not accept a combination version that is created using contradictory, irreconcilable parts as the right version of events.

I will bypass the numerous examples of copy mistakes, mistranslations , and known interpolations in order to go directly to the examples of contradiction that are significant in that they are problematic from a historical point of view and from a devotional point of view. There are many including the creation stories, the birth and early life narratives of Jesus, the genealogies, the betrayal , the resurrection stories, the appearances, and the farewell discourse at the last supper.

For round one of this debate consider the two contradictory accounts of the genealogy of Jesus. One given in Luke and the other in Matthew. People do not normally read the Bible in a horizontal manner where they take the two accounts and compare them side " by " side. If you do that you will find that they disagree completely, even as early as Joseph"s father and the discrepancies continue all the way back. When you do the comparison you will have to rearrange one account since they are in opposite order. I could do the comparison for you, but I assume you have a Bible and can see for yourself what it says.

Christian apologists are quick to claim that one of these genealogies is of Mary, but the Bible explicitly states in both cases that it is the genealogy of Joseph being written. The only proof you need is to read the text.

The genealogy issue is significant because of the reason that both writers give a genealogy of Jesus. It is to establish that Jesus is from the House of David. This purpose for the genealogy brings to light another problem. Although the writers wanted to establish that Jesus fulfilled the Biblical requirement of being of Davidic lineage, it is odd to me that they chose to trace his lineage through Joseph since Joseph was (according to the Bible story) NOT the biological father of Jesus. Supernatural claims such as this are also problematic from a historical reliability point of view.

As a bonus aside, I want to also mention that the genealogy given by Luke goes much further - all the way back to Adam and proclaims at the end that Adam is the son of God. He never says that Jesus is the Son of God.

To conclude my comments for the first round, the genealogy narrative is an example of an internal contradiction, which demonstrates errors in facts and in scientific understanding on the part of the writers. The writers were either ignorant of the science of genetics (which does not bode well for the claim that they were inspired by an omniscient god) AND they were so eager to establish a "devotional" truth that they rushed head on into creating a contradiction that apologists struggle to explain.

The only source I have used is the Bible.
Debate Round No. 1


id pick something more blantantly wrong. i'm sure folks have noticed the discrepancies between the two geneologies for as long as the bible as existed, something like that. it's known that some geneolgoies do not include all persons in the line. like how we see lines back to adam yet we can extrapolate that if adam was one of the first men, depending on how literal you are with that, that it'd be a lot longer than exists. that was common practice with geneologies. also, they say that the matthew geneology was for mary or david, and the other geneology was for the other.
or if the genelogy is backwards, that only means they are counting it differently.
not sure if i made too much sense, but here's mroe on the geneology issue.

When one places the two genealogical lists side by side, several factors become immediately apparent that combine to dispel the appearance of conflict.

Genealogies Chart
Click for Larger Image (132 Kb)
First, Matthew reported the lineage of Christ only back to Abraham; Luke traced it all the way back to Adam. Second, Matthew used the expression "begat;" Luke used the expression "son of," which results in his list being a complete reversal of Matthew"s. Third, the two genealogical lines parallel each other from Abraham to David. Fourth, beginning with David, Matthew traced the paternal line of descent through Solomon; Luke traced the maternal line through Solomon"s brother, Nathan.

A fifth factor that must be recognized is that the two lines (paternal and maternal) link together in the intermarriage of Shealtiel and Zerubbabel. But the linkage separates again in the two sons of Zerubbabel"Rhesa and Abiud. Sixth, the two lines come together once again for a final time in the marriage of Joseph and Mary. Joseph was the end of the paternal line, while Mary was the last of the maternal line as the daughter of Heli.

The reason Joseph is said to be the "son" of Heli (Mary"s father) brings forth a seventh consideration: the Jewish use of "son." Hebrews used the word in at least five distinct senses: (1) in the sense used today of a one-generation offspring; (2) in the sense of a descendant, whether a grandson or a more remote descendant many generations previous, e.g., Matthew 1:1; 21:9; 22:42 ("begat" had this same flexibility in application); (3) as a son-in-law (the Jews had no word to express this concept and so just used "son""e.g., 1 Samuel 24:16; 26:17); (4) in accordance with the Levirate marriage law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10; cf. Matthew 22:24-26), a deceased man would have a son through a surrogate father who legally married the deceased man"s widow (e.g., Ruth 2:20; 3:9,12; 4:3-5); and (5) in the sense of a step-son who took on the legal status of his step-father"the relationship sustained by Jesus to Joseph (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Luke 3:23; 4:22; John 6:42).

Notice carefully that Joseph was a direct-line, blood descendant of David and, therefore, of David"s throne. Here is the precise purpose of Matthew"s genealogy: it demonstrated Jesus" legal right to inherit the throne of David"a necessary prerequisite to authenticating His Messianic claim. However, an equally critical credential was His blood/physical descent from David"a point that could not be established through Joseph since "after His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:18, emp. added). This feature of Christ"s Messiahship was established through His mother Mary, who was also a blood descendant of David (Luke 1:30-32). Both the blood of David and the throne of David were necessary variables to qualify and authenticate Jesus as the Messiah.

i would find another contradiction. i always kind of like the "no one has ascended to heaven" which was said after it's said that elijah was taken into heaven. a couple ways you could approach that, is to say it's too literal "no one", kind of like the "all have sinned" yet jesus didn't. another si to say the play on works between ascended and taken makes a difference.

it could be seen as a cop out, both the genology and this last example, but i'd feel better about something more obvious.

i can actually get behind the idea there's a lot of historical factual issues with trying to trace back to adam, as if there was only one man who existed, the first man. we'd have to i think assume he wasnt the first man, just teh first thatwas counted etc.
i'm not saying you're wrong necessarily, just that there's more to it than you are putting forth, and i'd like something more solid.


In your opening statement for this debate you said :"all it takes is one blatant contradiction to show the bible has error."
I have shown one blatant contradiction and now you say I should have picked something MORE blatant. I have already satisfied your challenge, but I can do that!
First I want to revisit a couple of my points from Round 1.
You ( I mean your copy paste job) said "A fifth factor that must be recognized is that the two lines (paternal and maternal) link together "..
This is incorrect information. There is no maternal lineage given for Jesus in the Bible. Both Matthew and Luke are giving the lineage of Joseph. That is a point I had made in round one and I specifically mentioned that apologists try to make that false argument.
I will show the relevant passages here since you seem to have missed them:
"Matthew 1.... 15 and Eli'ud the father of Elea'zar, and Elea'zar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. "

Matthew clearly states that Jacob is the father of Joseph.

"Luke 3: 23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, "."
Again the Bible in Luke expicitly states that this is the lineage of Joseph being given.

In your response you stated that Mary was the daughter of Heli. That is NOT what the Bible says. All of the convoluted arguments you put forth to try to justify the use of the word son in application to Joseph"s relationship to Heli are attempts to make the passage say something it does not say. Additionally, your statement: "(5) in the sense of a step-son who took on the legal status of his step-father"the relationship sustained by Jesus to Joseph " would apply to the relationship between Joseph and Jesus, not between Joseph and Heli. Heli was NOT Joseph"s stepfather or Mary"s father. The Bible in Luke says "Joseph, the son of Heli".

You stated "the precise purpose of Matthew"s genealogy: it demonstrated Jesus" legal right to inherit the throne of David" a necessary prerequisite to authenticating His Messianic claim. "

I agree that this is the precise purpose BUT "Matthew and Luke both FAIL because Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus. You copied and pasted that "Notice carefully that Joseph was a direct-line, blood descendant of David " "

But Jesus is not a direct blood " line descendant of Joseph or David. This is a BIG DEAL. It means that Jesus does not fulfill that prophecy. If a contradiction that invalidates "a necessary prerequisite to authenticating His Messianic claim" isn"t significant enough, I surely do not know what would be!

While I appreciate your coaching me on my second contradiction, I will pick my own. My only source again is the Bible. I realize that in the voting points are given for "most reliable source" " I hope I don't have to forfeit all of those points because I am arguing against the Bible being a reliable source, but I think it is the best evidence against itself. In this round I will show both irreconcilable internal conflicts and external conflicts.
Birth Narratives
Both Matthew and Luke knew that Jesus was from Nazareth, but they wanted him to have been born in Bethlehem. So both told stories to make this happen. There are many differences between the two stories . Some are just differences that we could say both happened and either Luke or Matthew just left those details out of their story, but there are some important areas of not just differences but actual discrepancies, which cannot be reconciled.
In Matthew, Joseph and Mary are residents of Bethlehem and relocate to Nazareth only after Jesus is a couple of years old after fleeing to Egypt to escape the "slaughter of innocents" allegedly ordered by Herod. There is no external evidence that this slaughter ever really took place and no other Biblical source either. If this slaughter had actually happened it would have been noted by historians of the time.
In Luke, they make a journey there when Mary is great with child. As this story goes, Joseph was required to register in Bethlehem because his ancestor, King David was from there. There are 1,000 years between David and Joseph. (Are we to believe that everyone in the Roman Empire had to return to a place where an ancestor lived 1,000 years prior? )
Matthew says Jesus was born when Herod was King. Luke says that Jesus was born at the time of the tax under Cyrenius. The historical problem is that Herod died in 4BC before the taxing under Cyrenius. So if Matthew is correct, then Luke is not. If Luke is right about the timing of the birth, then King Herrod was dead and the stories in Matthew about the killing of infants is not true.
"The Gospel of Luke links the birth of Jesus to a "world-wide" census ordered by Augustus carried out while Quirinius was governor of Syria. This is thought to be a reference to the census of Judea in 6/7 AD; however Matthew, dates the birth to the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BC, ten years before the census of 6 or 7 AD. According to Raymond E. Brown, most modern historians suggest that Luke's account is mistaken. Scholars trying to reconcile the Biblical accounts have speculated about alternative explanations, such as a different census before Quirinius was governor.[13] The majority view, however, among modern scholars is that there was only one census, in 6, and the author of the Gospel of Luke deviated from history in connecting it with the birth of Jesus. "
In Matthew wise men from the Orient follow a star to find Jesus. Evidently they inform Herod that the trip has taken about 2 years, since Herod orders the slaughter of all boys 2 years and under. When the wise men arrive they find Jesus and Mary in a house in Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary flee Bethlehem and go to Egypt unitl they hear that Herod has died. After that they go to Nazareth, not because it is home, but because Joseph decided that Bethlehem is still not safe for them.
In Luke Jesus is born, laid in a manger, visited by shepherds who were alerted by angels, and about 32 days later after all the religious ceremony is performed Mary and Joseph go back home to Nazareth.
These stories (both made up in my opinion) cannot both be accurate. Why does it matter? For me the significance is that we have clear evidence in these stories of falsehoods being told in the Bible about Jesus himself. If one or both of these writers was willing to make up lies about his birth, (and his genealogy) how can we trust their testimony about Jesus at all? Once a witness has demonstrated willingness to fabricate stories to promote their own goal ( in this case fulfilling prophecies) I am not willing to accept them as reliable sources. In court when a witness does this it is called perjury. Shouldn"t it be against god's law to lie when supposedly relating his word.
Finally regarding the supernatural claims woven throughout the narratives of Matthew and Luke about virgin conceptions, dreams and visits from angels explaining the role of God to Mary and Joseph. It was common at the time when these stories were being told that Roman and Greek gods were thought to mate with humans and their offspring were demigods themselves. So even though these claims seem unique to us, it was not the case then.
We have dismissed the myths of the Roman and Greek gods as nonsense. Why shouldn"t the supernatural claims made by the anonymous writers of the Bible fall to that same fate? The internal evidence demonstrates that the writers of the Bible were not inspired and that they did not produce an inerrant manuscript worthy of being called the word of god.
Debate Round No. 2


i don't know what to make of the geneology points. it looks like a very complicated issue, and i don't want to take the time to sort it all out. i will concede the point for the sake of argument, for that reason. both the writer of my paste job, and you, are both very educated, intelligent, articulate people. and there's something to be said about what you are both saying and the few points i mentioned, is all i know. i would recommend trying to be less wordy though, too much to digest, just get to the points. not that im immune from criticism.

a lot of your other points are interesting, and i would suppose probably true, in that the bible is not historically accurate. again i dont want to delve into needing to learn more about more history, though. i'd rather judge the bible based on its own consistency, in this debate. one example, though, is perhaps Jesus wasn't born 0AD as is commonly said, perhaps a little earlier, as is also commonly speculated, as that would explain a few of your points about the authorties who existed at the times.
also, even you say 'most historians' etc etc, not as if it's all factually recorded by historians. that point, and most of your points are addressed here... (another punt on addressing specifics, yes

i am not familiar with your time frames for when mary and joseph were in bethlaham and nazarath. is this extrabiblical information? if it's in the bible i suppose i am just ignorant. i dont see it. i dont see it in a basic google search, so i am not sure where you are getting this information.

it adds credibil.ity to the claim bible claims are false, given gods mated with humans, and something akin to that hapepned in the bible. but this isn't an inherent contradiction of the bible or anything.

i see that you take any error as a sign to not take any of the bible as being true. this doesn't really have to do with addressing contradictions per se, but i would note as a side note, argue what you said in the comments, that some christians argue, that we dont have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. christianity can still be true even if the bible is not always accurate.

it is too bad we never really got into a lot of meat on specific contradictions of the bible. either cause i didnt want to engage it, or what you presented wasn't in the category that was to be debated.


You said: "i don't know what to make of the geneology points. it looks like a very complicated issue, and i don't want to take the time to sort it all out. i will concede the point for the sake of argument,"

Great ! We are finished here then.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by DMiller584 5 years ago
Don't get too excited about the critical historical approach to the Bible discovering errors. The same kinds of analysis has been done on the Quran. This is not my area of interest since I do not believe in any revealed religion. If you have an interest in examining the contradictions within the Quran this might be a site to help with it. It is not my intent to encourage or discourage you or anyone else in either keeping or changing their religion. I do encourage critical thinking and seeking the truth. If that effort leads to a better understanding of your religion while still keeping the faith in it - fine. If that effort leads to giving up the faith that is up to each individual. There are many Christians who know all of what I have posted and will post, yet they still believe in the religion. Most of the preachers in Christian churches are taught all of what I posted in mainstream seminaries - not so much in evangelical seminaries. Those who continue to believe despite knowing these things, do so because they take a devotional approach to the literature in the Bible - not a historical critical approach. I personally cannot overcome the contradictions both internal and external, nor can I accept the supernatural claims.
Posted by spectacularo 5 years ago
accurate argument . because bible have lot of mistakes on it .i suggest to read QURAN and if you find one mistake . i will change my religion / isnta good challenge
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Orangatang 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded. Con's arguments showed blatant contradictions which Pro could not reconcile for. Furthermore, It's quite inconceivable to interpret all contradictions as not blatant, as their are just so many it is impossible to persuasively argue against them all.