Sometimes I worry when I mention a nutty quote from the Bible that we atheists tend to enjoy, and a Christian will dismiss it with some sort of excuse, as if we're taking it out of context........is that a possibility?? I tend to trust that the quotes we often chuckle over have already been deemed contradictory. Yet I don't want to be guilty of "quote-mining" either, missing some other part of it that would explain/excuse it.
For example, a Catholic co-worker (who's actually very cool about atheism and is a good sport when I pester him about religion) gave up meat for Lent, but said he'd still eat shellfish. I said, "What about Leviticus 11: 9-12?" He looked it up and was like, "Oh sh!t!"
I told my christian cube-neighbor about this conversation, and she immediately said something about how Jesus blessed all that so it's okay. I mumbled something about how Jesus upheld everything in the Old Testament, so I don't know how that's possible. But I never get into it with her, b/c she's one of the few religious people I know who's quiet about it, doesn't go around judging or preaching, and she really does seem to know her stuff. She sees religion as a personal thing, and she seems to derive peace from it, so I don't pester her.
Still, I wondered, is there something in the bible that somehow makes the shellfish-eating okay?? It wouldn't surprise me, since it's a book full of contradictions and stupidity that manages to weasel its way out of everything it says, but I do wonder sometimes if we're shooting ourselves in the foot with some of the quotes.
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible documents hundreds of contradictions ... and if there were any resolution to them, I suspect it would have those as well. It does similar analysis to the quran and book of mor(m)on. Oh, and any time ANYONE wants to talk about how the new testament voids the old, I just point them to Matthew 5:17-20.
Have a look and enjoy!
Thanks Loren for the link. Hadn't bothered to check it out previously but it can keep you busy for a long time and I will be referring to it more often. My previous boss, a chemical engineer, is a serious bible pusher and the other day he suggested that I shouldn't have a cynical view of it. I didn't have the heart to point out that if the book can't stand up to cynicism then it is a rather flimsy document. I certainly know that when project analysis is done, he follows a very rigorous process, yet this doesn't apply to the rest of his life. If he points out my cynicism again I will direct him to the link. Should keep him busy for a while!
It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
Yes, I was thinking of Matthew 5:17-20, but if I'd pushed the issue some more, I'd have cornered her. With anybody else I would've done that, but she's a nice person and we get along well, and I don't want to argue with her.
It will come up again, without a doubt. I have to practice asking about it with sincerity. "But what about Matthew 5:17-20?? I thought Jesus is all about the Old Testament."
I was trained for the ministry and am a former lay preacher who once believed every word of the bible. The problem here is that the christian has rose colored glasses. They will not see (and do not see) what we point out here as contradictions. If they do, they will explain them away with apologetics that carries everything way out on a limb. By the time they are done with it you would think it to be a whole new subject. This is much like the president being on TV saying "there will be no new taxes." Next we have someone talking for an hour telling us what the president really said. Such is religion, and this is exactly why I do not believe it or follow it today. It's pure rubbish! Platitudes and fables.
Loren Miller's references here are very good. You can learn a lot on that website and you will see hundreds of contradictions. Now I understand that someone has "apologeticly" written about all this again trying to keep the faithful in the fold. Oh, please. Spare me this OK. I've been there before.
Yes, the religious do not understand the atheist. They think we are angry with a god that we do not believe in. They do not understand our need of evidence for something. They have the proof by telling you what the bible says. That's "no proof" to me.
Jesus does say in Matthew that "not one iota" of the law will change until heaven and earth have passed away, but only a moment later, when the Pharisees criticize him for failing to wash his hands before eating, he calls them hypocrites, saying they care more about the traditions of the elders (source of the hand washing rule) than they do for the law. Jesus says further that what goes into a man, i.e., food, is not what defiles him, but what comes out, i.e., words and deeds. The gospel writer then says of Jesus, "Thus he made all foods clean."
The contradiction to me seems not in the Son of God changing the dietary laws, but in his changing them moments after stating that they will never be changed. Christians, though, often think of the law as the familiar Ten Commandments as found in Exodus 20 and disregard other Old Testament laws.
Paul and the gospel writers have an obvious agenda: winning converts. You win more converts with good food than you do with flint knife circumcision.