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

The Bible is reliable

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/19/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 559 times Debate No: 99116
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
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The Bible is reliable in that it accurately recorded events as it happened. To show that the Bible is unreliable it will be up to Con to show that the Bible contradicts itself. Please use only one or two examples at most per round.

Examples must preferably prove that God made an error or contradicted Himself. Humans are able to err. History books contain lots of examples where people lied or made a mistake but that do not make the history unreliable.

If more than two arguments are mentioned I will choose which ones I want to answer without any obligation to address the rest.

I hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible in the same way we interpret things literally during normal communication today. In other words, parables, figure of speech, examples, sarcasm etc. has an essential literal interpretation. For this debate, please use the King James Version Bible as reference as support for your arguments.


I assume any contradiction is allowed, regardless of if it is something not so major or if it is major?

Anyways, I will begin. As agreed upon, I will only post 2 contradictions per round. One will be from the old testament, the other from the New Testament.

1) Two conflicting creation accounts
In Genesis 1:25-27 it reads:
"And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
In this account, animals came before humans.

However, in Genesis 2:18-19 it reads:
"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them.... And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
In this account, humans came before animals. "

Only one of these accounts can be right, which makes the other false.

2) Is Jesus' witness of himself true?
In John 5:31 it reads:
"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. " This is Jesus speaking, of course.

In John 8: 14,18 it reads:
"Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true... I am one that bear witness of myself" This is also Jesus speaking.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the Debate!

1. Creation Accounts

The two Creation accounts are not contradictory because Genesis 2 records the creation of Adam and Genesis 1 the creation of other people (not Adam and Eve).

The People in Genesis 1 were created male and female. Adam was created and only after some time was Eve created. Adam and Eve were not created at the same time as Genesis 1 would suggest. The people in Genesis 1 were told to go and populate the earth. Adam was told to look after the Garden of Eden. Adam left the Garden long after the 6th day. When Adam was driven from the garden he had two sons. When Cain killed Abel he went to the land of Nod and married a woman. This was before Seth and other children were born to Adam and Eve. Clearly there were other people around. Genesis 2 states Adam was created before the birds. Therefore Adam was not created on the 6th day and the people spoken of in Genesis 1 were not Adam and Eve.

2. Bearing Witness

Bearing witness of oneself is done when it is only you doing it alone, by yourself. Of course when you say something it is you who are doing the talking and the perception will be it is only you doing it. The context here is bearing witness of oneself but not ALONE.

Verse 31 should be explained in the context of verse 32: If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Notice the "IF" - He is making a conditional statement. The context is bearing witness ALONE of Himself, which He states is not the case.

Jesus is saying that he is not bearing witness alone but that there is another who bears witness with Him and therefore His witness is true. One of the main problems the rulers of Israel had was that Jesus did miracles where ever He went. This was done by the Holy Spirit. It was difficult therefore for the Rabbi"s to persuade the people that He was not of God. So Jesus was saying I am not bearing witness of myself alone but my witness is supported by another. If you ignore the miracles and all the other supernatural acts that Jesus did through the Holy Spirit then you might entertain the idea that He was witnessing of himself (ALONE) like the Pharisees did.

In John 8 the Pharisees voice the same argument that you have raised here :13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. In spite of the miracles and the witness of the Holy Spirit they are still ignoring the testimony of the Spirit and insisting He bears witness of Himself. Addressing their complaint Jesus says :14 .. Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Notice He says THOUGH or "even if". He is not agreeing or admitting that He is testifying of Himself ALONE. In fact in verse 18 He repeats the same argument that He is not bearing witness of himself ALONE :18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. He is one, and the Father makes two.

Keeping the context in mind there is only a contradiction if Jesus said that he is in fact bearing witness of Himself ALONE.


1) Creation accounts
Now, this is an interpretation of the Bible I had not heard of before, and I'm sure most people haven't either, but I believe most Christian religions do not believe that other humans were created before Adam and Eve. It's generally accepted by almost every Christian, Jew, and Muslim that Adam and Eve were the first humans[1]. It's a very unpopular belief to believe Adam and Eve were not the first humans. It doesn't seem to fit in with this belief that Genesis 1 is talking about other humans.

Since we didn't discuss on what interpretations of the Bible are to be used, I assumed we would be talking about the general consensus by the Christian community. It makes sense to go off of that interpretation. With that interpretation, the contradiction still stands.

2) Bearing Witness
The John 5:31 verse doesn't specify that it has to only be Jesus testifying. It just states if he testifies of himself, it is not true. Jesus later changes this to mean it is okay when someone else bears testimony of him.

Also, going back to widely held Chrisitan Belief, The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all one god, and in John 8, he cites the Father as his other witness, when that in reality, would be himself according to widely held Christian belief. So, this contradiction still stands when you apply widely-accepted Christian belief/interpretation. One has to use a different belief/interpretation in order to make this no longer a contradiction.

As I said, it wasn't made clear by which interpretation we would go by, so I assumed the interpretation as held by majority of the Christian community would stand in this debate. If we were to allow any interpretation to be used in order to prove that these verses do not conflict, then of course there is no way I can win this debate because the debate would be stacked against me, since you could apply any interpretation you want in order to get around the idea that two verses conflict.

If my opponent decides to make it that any interpretation applies, I won't continue to participate in this debate, because there is no way to argue against cherry-picked interpretations. Or maybe I will since voters may very well agree with me that it's a stacked debate if the defender of the Bible can go by any interpretation of the Bible, no matter how unaccepted it is.

New contradictions:
To make things clear, I'll continue numbering these after the order of the previous two, starting off with "3".

3) Does God desire animal sacrifices in the old testament?
I will limit this just to the old testament, since it is generally accepted by the Christian community that Jesus' sacrifice replaced all need for animal sacrifices, which is why God doesn't condone animal sacrifices in the New Testament. Thus, it's only a contradiction if desire for animal sacrifice appears in the old Testament, and if it is then claimed he didn't desire them in the old testament.

In Exodus 20:24, it reads "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee."
God, clearly, desired animal sacrifices here, and there are a numerous other verses which point to God desiring animal sacrifices, but as agreed upon, I will only present two examples of contradictions at most.

In Psalm 51:16, it reads "For thou desirest not sacrifice ... thou delightest not in burnt offerings."
Here, it is stated that God clearly did not desire animal sacrifice. Again, there are numerous other verses in the Old Testament which say God did not desire animal sacrifices.

4) Do Just people exist, or not?
In Ecclesiastes 7:20, it reads "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not."
That's pretty clear that just men do not exist.
Then in Luke 14;14, it reads "But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. "
And yet, there are apparently people who are just because they will be resurrected.

Debate Round No. 2


Re: Rebuttal

1) Creation accounts

Adam and Eve were the first humans and nothing I said contradicted that. Genesis 1 and 2 are not necessarily in chronological order in all aspects. Genesis 2 states that Adam was created and God saw he was ALONE and then created the birds of the air and brought the animals to Adam to see how he will name them. The birds were created on the 5th day (Genesis 1:20-23). Adam was there before the flying creatures which means he was created before the 5th day or perhaps early the 5th day. The other people were created on the 6th day. Eve was created on the 5th day after the animals because the text says that God created the animals but did not see them suitable as a helper for Adam and therefore created Eve. So Adam and Eve were created before the other people mentioned that was created on the 6th day and therefore were the first humans. Keep in mind that each day started out with "God said". As for your reference: Jim Persinger should go read Genesis 2 again and do the math.

2) Bearing Witness

The context determines the interpretation. Picking a verse here and there can be used to say anything you want. The Watchtower is famous for this practice. The verse you quote "I am ONE who" makes it sounds like a definite contradiction but adding "and the father" gives it a different interpretation. The Trinity is three persons in one. Therefore distinction is made and that is the widely held Christian interpretation through the ages. The creeds formulated through the centuries stipulate this. Logic tells us that you cannot be your own son; you can only be someone else"s son or father.

I never referred to any interpretation as a requirement for the debate or made it a condition for the debate. I asked for Scriptures showing a contradiction and requested to use the KJV. You gave the Scriptures. I answered your claim using other Scriptures. I did not appeal to any "widely held" interpretation to prove anything. Keeping this in mind, your allusion to cherry picking and a stacked debate is not valid. I did not initiate this debate to get ranking points as a great debater. If you can convince me there really is a problem for which there is no logical probable explanation then I will probably stop believing. If your arguments fail, will you start believing or are you biased rather than really searching for truth? The end vote does not make your arguments necessarily true or valid and mine wrong. If your arguments are not convincing then quite simply it is not convincing. I have noticed here, and other"s have pointed it out here as well, that often times people vote because they do not want to see their "view point" lose the debate instead of being critical and judging fairly according to the set criteria. Do not confuse what you stated as an interpretation issue. You claimed contradictory creation accounts when the Bible did not even mention Adam in Genesis 1 but clearly do so in Genesis 2.

New contradictions Rebuttal:

3) Does God desire animal sacrifices in the old testament?

The Bible gives a history of two Testaments and how the one fulfilled the other. When the fulfillment came a change occurred. At first God required sacrifice but Israel messed this up because it became a precept upon a precept, in other words a ritual that was done simply for the sake of doing it. God was not satisfied with this and that is why it was said, speaking of the work Christ came to be done on earth, thou delight not in burnt offering. Sacrifice was part of a covenant between God and Israel that they did not keep (as it was intended to be kept) because faith was required in worshiping God and Israel continuously turned to others rather to God (clearly showing their lack of faith in God). Since the Israelite's did not keep their end of the agreement it is justified should God wish to change some of the conditions. In the same way even today, when you enter a contract with someone and that person break the contract by not fulfilling all the conditions, then you are not under any obligation to uphold your end of the contract. People may say you are contradicting your contract obligations but in fact you do not have those obligations anymore if the other party breaks the contract (and therefore there is no contradiction to begin with). If all requirements were fulfilled by both parties and you then change the regulations, it will be a contradiction because you are under obligation. Instead of Christ coming to earth and offering burnt offerings, He became the burnt offering Himself as required by God. Christ came to fulfill the law and therefore a change came about. A contradiction here would be if God said that the law did not have a fulfillment in the Messiah or that animal sacrifice will be the standard for EVER. The so called "contradiction" you refer to was a change foretold in the OT because Israel did not fulfill their contractual (keeping the covenant) obligations. This is only a seemingly contradiction if you do not know Biblical theology and ignore contract law that is even practiced today.

4) Do Just people exist, or not?

Ecclesiastes is not saying there IS NO "just" man. It is saying that all "just" men that do good are also sinning. In order for you to be able to do good and be able to sin, like the verse points out, you must obviously exist. A hypothetical interpretation to show the problem with your argument can be that at that time when it was written there was no just man. I am only mentioning this to point out that it does not say that a just man NEVER existed at any point of time on the earth like you claim. Comparing two verses hundreds of years apart and then trying to make them sound as if they refer to the exact same time period is taking things way out of context. The contradiction exists because you ignore Biblical theology that foretold that the justification of man will come hundreds of years later by the work of Christ by comparing circumstances that are hundreds of years apart. That"s like comparing a 1930"s Ford with a 2017 Ford model and claiming they are exactly the same. Who can prove that when Ecclesiastes was written the author intended only to claim that there were no just men AT THAT TIME or up until that time and not that one NEVER EXISTED like you claim? The text does not say a just man NEVER EXISTED. The author only refers to his time period and not beyond. It is quite possible that hundreds of years later there could be just men after he had written it because the verse does not state there will NEVER be any just men after that time.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by kwagga_la 1 year ago
I think they meant: Please check back in a few years for more options
Posted by kwagga_la 1 year ago
No problem! All to best to with your studies!
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Sorry that I forfeited, I had a test in my class and massive homework that I procrastinated on.
Posted by kwagga_la 1 year ago
@canis you claim to be reliable but there is no way I can verify that, I do not even know your real name. Are you suggesting I accept your statement based on FAITH?
Posted by Sonofcharl 1 year ago
The bible is just an inanimate book. It is people who are unreliable.
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 1 year ago
You should attend this debate:
Atheism- A lost reality! A hopeless, helpless cause!
Posted by canis 1 year ago
I am reliable..But do not trust me if I teel you I am god.
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