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no significant contradictions exist in the bible

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/19/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 869 times Debate No: 34908
Debate Rounds (3)
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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".
anything else as far as i know, has reasonable explanations.


Contrary to the motion at hand, the Bible is riddled with contradictions and inconsistencies which are deeply troublesome in the text. I will begin by listing two of these and addressing some of the common explanations that are used to rationalize them.

First, the Bible seems unable to make up its mind as to whether or not there are any sins which are unforgivable. Acts 13:39 states "...and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses." Similarly, 1 John 1:9 states very clearly that, "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." However, Mark 3:29 flatly contradicts this: "...but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject eternal condemnation." Matthew 12:31 combines both sides of this, contradicting itself within a single sentence: "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men." The book says in no uncertain terms that all sins are forgivable, and then it goes on to say that apostasy cannot be forgiven. This is an extremely significant problem, as it speaks to the eternal fate of blasphemers, determining whether they will be tortured forever or can be given entrance into paradise. This is not an issue to leave so cloudy.

When faced with this argument, it is not uncommon for defenders of the faith to define "blasphemy against the spirit" as merely the act of failing to receive Christ. This separates it from other sins because in blaspheming the Spirit one is rejecting the very path to forgiveness. However, this is an asinine argument. This is because this definition of blasphemy requires one to die failing to receive Christ, which means on some level that one has died without repenting. That dying without repenting has consequences in the afterlife is true of all sins. If you die in sin without repentance, you are not forgiven. The above definition does not adequately separate blasphemy of the Spirit from other sins for this reason, and the contradiction remains.

Another interesting contradiction in the Bible involves the question of whether people other than Jesus have ascended directly into heaven. 2 Kings 2:11 says very directly that "...and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." However, John 3:16 dismisses this claim, stating: "No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven,...the Son of Man." Clearly, the Bible is self contradictory on a very important event; that is, the ultimate fate of Elijah.

Stalwart apologists, of course, have cobbled together an answer for this objection as well. They say that it is possible that Elijah didn't go to "the" heaven, but merely was swept up into "the heavens," meaning into the sky. I will leave the reader to make up his or her own mind on the validity of this argument. If this explanation is not merely an extraordinary and obvious act of semantic squirming away from the truth, I can't think of what would be.
Debate Round No. 1


dairygirl4u2c forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited Round 2. I shall let my previous argument stand, and I look forward to reading her rebuttal in round 3.
Debate Round No. 2


it's possible that it means "all sins are forgiveable, except for unrepentant sins". there's no reason this is contradictory just because it's self evident. sometimes things need to be said.
most people just say we don't now what the unforgiveable sin is. that doesn't mean it's a contradiction because sins are usually considered forgiveable.
it would be ridiculous to read the verse so literal "all verses are forgiveable except blasphemy against the holy spirit", trying to argue that it says "all" sins instead of "most" sins, or something. not that you are making this precise argument, but it's very similar to what you're saying if you take things too literally. human language isn't always so precise.

id probably say that for the Elijah verse too. "no man" is too literal, like saying "all have sinned" must mean Jesus sinned or that the Virgin Mary had to have sinned. just examples.
some people do wonder if Elijah was in fact a preversion of Jesus, Jesus a reincarnation. I wouldnt go this far, but it's a thought. a


As I argued in the first round, it is ludicrous to state that blasphemy against the Spirit refers to an unrepentant sin. Blasphemy is to speak against a holy being. I can say, "the Holy Spirit is stupid," and I can mean it. I can then later change my mind and repent. Therefore, blasphemy against the spirit cannot be taken to refer exclusively to sins that are unrepentant, and the issue of the contradiction stands.

To say that the Elijah verse is taken too literally is problematic. It states very clearly that no man has been swept directly into Heaven. To say that "no man" means "almost no men" is downright silly. If it was inaccurate to say that no man has gone directly to Heaven, Christ shouldn't have said this.

In conclusion, the Bible is laden with contradictions, and thus far attempts to show them to be reasonably explained requires the taking of undue liberties with one's interpretation of the scripture.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by ModusTollens 5 years ago
I have noticed a mistake in my citation. In my second to last paragraph, the quote is John 3:13, not John 3:16. My apologies!
Posted by gordonjames 5 years ago
Good questions.
I was expecting another boring round of people assuming that stories having any similarity from one gospel are telling the exact same event as stories from a different gospel, like MT 21:12-14 vs John 2:2:13-16 which are clearly different events in the timeline.

Another frequent mistake is to assume that Jesus only taught each lesson once. Then people consider differences in wording a contradiction rather than Mark writing one example from Jesus' teaching and Luke writing from another example.

Regarding blasphemy against the Spirit, I think your problem is the same as the Sadducees in Mark 12:24. They were looking for backing for their position(no resurrection), and it made them unable to accept the clear teaching of scripture an many areas.
- Blasphemy is . . . speaking evil of or "speaks a word against" (Mt 12:32.)
It appears 59 times in the NT, and every book but Hebrews includes the word.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is speaking against the Holy Spirit, and in the specific case mentioned (Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-30, Luke 12:10) the context is the Pharisees saying that a miracle done by the Holy Spirit is really a work of Satan.

there are two things to consider:
1. Is it possible that this sin will be brought forward at the judgment (for shame) even if your name is in Jesus' book of life? That would mean that you still get eternal life, but are outside the Holy City. (See Rev 20 & 21)

2. Is it possible that Jesus "knows those who are his", and knows that people who have hardened their heart's to this place will never repent?

Remember that any explanation (weather we like it or not) makes it not a contradiction.
Posted by drafterman 5 years ago
Define "significant."
Posted by YellowPandaBear 5 years ago
Quick question, which bible are we using and are we to understand everything in it literally as in exactly the way it is written, or is it open to interpretation by either party?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by drafterman 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF