Hello everyone. I’m an atheist interested in counter-apologetics. Are there any Jews or Christians (or ex-Jews or ex-Christians) visiting here who have come across any Biblical contradictions or inconsistencies for which you have not found a satisfying answer to? If so, could you please post them here for discussion?
One that theologians and Bible experts have had considerable trouble with over the years are the two different genealogies of Jesus, given in Matthew and Luke. They conflict with each other and with the portions that refer to genealogies in First Chronicles. You will find a thorough discussion here:
It has a nice chart that shows all the discrepancies:
And how do those genealogies even matter, if Joseph wasn't Jesus's "real" father?
The genealogies are supposed to establish that Jesus is descended from Adam through the line of King David, but of course they cannot do that if the theology is correct and that itself is another contradiction.
One explanation offered for the discrepancies (and in support of the theology) is that one genealogy is that of Mary, even though it does not explicitly say so. There is a problem with this explanation also: genealogies did not show descent through the female line because there was no understanding of the female contribution to the biology. The understanding of the biology at the time was flawed: it was thought that male planted his seed in the female, who served only as the soil in which it grew.
However there is no way to reconcile these lineages with the one from the Old Testament.
Dr. Clark has it exactly right here, and to this day the christians will tell you that one of these genealogies is that of Mary. How can they do their apologetics and research and even keep a straight face while saying this?
Maybe it is all like the Assumption of Mary. At the end of Mary's life it became a popular belief that she was drawn bodily into heaven while still alive. This belief was pretty solid by 600 AD. In modern times one of the Popes declared that it was true. God had revealed it to him.
Most of the christian world is made up of fables like this, but the Assumption would explain away siteings of Mary through the centuries. I'm still wondering how they knew what she looked like?
I really enjoy the look on my ex pastors face when confronted with this, " So, your saying God told Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son. And then God said "PSYCH! I was just kidding! here's a goat".
Re: Abraham, I'm tempted to ask my brother-in-law, in front of his son, "If YOU heard a voice telling you to kill your son, would you do it?"
If he says of course, if it's what God wants, I would say, "You wouldn't first go to a doctor and get checked for schizophrenia??" Then I'd remind them about the woman who killed her four kids by drowining them in the tub, b/c she was instructed by God to do so. I'm sure that's just one of many examples.
Abraham's story is also a great example of how the bible is hardly a family-friendly book.
I also bring up the story of Noah when Christians say God is infallible ( I think that is how it is spelled). I say God makes mistakes, look at the Noah story. Ooops, I goofed up, better start all over and wipe the slate clean. Is that not what that is, a mistake on His part? Also the Bible says that we need God, He does not need us. If that is true (if it is not true then why is it in the Bible? right?) then I always approach this with an example. When man needs something he makes it. Need shelter? make a house. Need transportation? we make cars trains and airplanes. We make things we need. If God does not need us then why bother making us? Psychotic? Crazy? Idiotic? I find the things He says and does in the old testament detestable and cruel and downright evil. I would not be so against Christians if they were nice and considerate to those around them. I would not dislike them so much if they would just try to understand people rather than judge and hate.
ALL biblical contradictions are answerable. I've posted again about "rapture and the second coming" but no one cared enough to contribute. It's like giving a party and no one comes. Bluh!
Christians all know that Jesus died on Good Friday and rose on Sunday, but in Matthew He says that He will be in the grave for three days and three nights. So let's see . . . Friday night, that's one. Saturday night, that's two. And Sunday night . . . never mind. So was Jesus God? Was He wrong? Was he lying?
Of course the Bible can be read in a variety of ways, but the literalists are dangerous. They will probably never change their minds, but the next contradiction might be the one that does it. I usually turn to the really weird stuff, like the trial by ordeal imposed on the wives of jealous husbands in Numbers 5. It's a hoot.
He was not in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights! There is no way around this one, but you can never convince a christian of this.
Christians claim that Jesus was God, and that he was meek and lowly. The New Testament says that He is the same today, yesterday and forever. So there is no way to reconcile Him with the Old Testament God who was a God of jealousy and wrath.
Zapping that olive tree doesn't sound meek to me.