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"And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant."

~ 2 Samuel 7: 28

 

"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth".

~ John 17: 17

 

14. Mustard seed - Mark 4: 31

 

     The mustard seed is not "the smallest of all seeds on earth".

 

15. Bats are not birds - Leviticus 11:13-19 and Deuteronomy 14:11- 18

 

     This problem is explained away by commentators stating that in ancient Hebrew the word for bird "may" have had a different meaning than what we use today. It may just mean "things that fly".  But if the God of the universe were giving His word to mankind why make this mistake?  What a wonderful opportunity to foreshadow what we would learn hundreds of years later.  If this is just cultural, then is not this an example of how the scriptures are culturally and human derived?

 

 

16. We don't know who wrote the gospels.

 

     They are all written in the third person narrative and no one would write themselves in that form. Their full title is "The Gospel According to ...". If Matthew for example wrote a Gospel, he wouldn't call it "The Gospel According to Matthew". The tradition that Matthew wrote Matthew and John wrote The Gospel of John for example comes from the second century when Christains attached those names since there was strong pressure to have these books written by apostles. Whoever wrote them were highly educated , literate, Greek speaking men. Jesus' followers were peasants from Galilee speaking Aramaic and illiterate. Even the bible states John was illiterate in Acts 4:13. No where in the Gospel of John does it say John wrote it and The Gospel of John was written in AD 90 - 95, a good 60 years after the death of Jesus. The writers of Matthew and Luke used Mark to write their gospels (Similarities between the Gospels), (Synoptic Gospels) (Markan primacy and "Q") (Meet Bart Ehrman)

 

17. Matthew 26:34, 74 - 75; Luke 22:34, 60 - 62; John 13: 38 vs. Mark 14:30

 

     Did the cock crow once or twice after Peter denied Jesus?

 

18. Matt. 9:18 -26 vs Mark 5: 21 - 43 and Luke 8: 40 - 56.

 

     Did Jairus's daughter die after Jairus was talking to Jesus or did she die and then Jairus approach Jesus? "I. Howard Marshall, a well respected evangelical in Europe, was unable to sign the Chicago statement on inerrency a few years ago because of this passage" Link

 

19. John 2:13 - 19 vs. Matthew 21:12 - 19, Mark 11: 12 - 24, Luke 19: 45 - 47

 

     In three of the Gospels Jesus cleanses the temple and this eventually leads to His death. But in John, this occurs in chapter 2, at the beginning of his ministry, three years before he dies. Which is it? Solution for some Christians - "evidently our Lord cleansed the temple more than once".   Is this a convincing answer?  This is obviously the same story told in all four gospels; thus, this is not an adequate reconcilliation.

 

20. Indicators of biblical errors:

 

     A] Part 1 ~ ReligiousTolerance.org  Link

 

          1. Cosmological evidence

          2. Archaelological evidence

          3. Christian Beliefs over time

          4. Uniformity of Christian beliefs at the present time

 

     B] Part 2 ~ ReligiousTolerance.org  Link

 

          5. The personality of God as described in the Bible

          6.  Jesus' status as described in the Bible

          7.  The nature of the afterlife as described in the Bible

          8.  Criteria for salvation

          9.  The causes of mental illness

         

 

21. The death of Judas: Matt. 27: 3 - 10 vs. Acts 1: 18 vs the Gospel of Judas

 

     How did Judas die?  According to Matthew he hanged himself and the priests and elders used the money to buy the Potter's Field. According to Acts, Judas bought the field and then fell down splitting his abdomen open and spilling all his bowels onto the ground. In the noncanonical Gospel of Judas, the other 11 disciples stone him to death. Which is it?

 

Commonly attempted Christian harmonization: Judas bought the field, hanged himself over a cliff, the body rotted and eventually fell over a cliff hitting the ground and spilling his guts out.  This is acceptable scholarly critical thinking?  There are cliffs where fields are plowed? It is translated he "fell headlong" by the ESV which is a good description of someone tripping, not that he dropped to the ground from a rope.  Which is it - did Judas purchase the land, or the priests after they took his money back?  If the Bible is inspired, why not get the story right the first time instead of forcing the mental gymnastics?  Is it not more likely that the reason the narratives do not agree is they are a product of two authors or more, and certainly not inspired?  Remember, possible does not equate to rational or probable.

 

22. The story of Jesus' birth

 

The story of Jesus' birth is contradictory in Matthew and Luke and attempts to harmonize the narratives fail. One, or both, of the authors is in error. The author(s) of Matthew write that Jesus was born during the time of Herod the Great whereas in Luke Jesus is born during a census, in the reign of Quirinius. The contradiction is strongly backed by multiple lines of evidence and all attempts to reasonably reconcile the accounts have failed.  See: Luke vs. Matthew on the Year of Christ's Birth by Carrier. (2006)

 

 

Conclusion

 

If the Bible was written over hundreds of years by multiple authors and a product of human culture rather than inspired by the supernatural we would expect to find variations and contradictions that cannot be adequately explained.  A close examination reveals numerous discrepencies and our hypothesis that scriptures are human derived is confirmed.  We have no original documents and as Ehrman has stated, "we don't even have copies of the copies of the orginals, or copies of the copies of the copies of the originals." The thousands of copies that we do have are mostly from the Middle Ages, and represent the ones with the most variations since they are far removed from anything close to an original.  Contradictions are too numerous to discuss fully in this brief section but there are numerous resources available in print or via the Internet.

 

 

References

 

Skeptics Annotated Bible.  Link

Who Wrote the Bible? 1997. R.E. Friedman

Misquoting Jesus. 2005. Bart Ehrman

Who Wrote the Bible?  Link

Who Wrote the Bible? (Documentary Hypothesis - OT: Pentateuch)   Link

The Bible and Biblical Problems  Link

1001 Bible Contradictions. Link

The Atheist's Bible Companion to the New Testament.  Link

The Skepitical Review. Link

 

 ~ Biomed