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Difference between revisions of "Problems with biblical inerrancy"

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(Anyone who puts this back in without first justifying himself will be reverted.)
(Undo revision - Hmm, biblical inerrantist affirms inerrantism is not ever contradictory proves the point? I think not. PJR is not a "reliable source", he's a nut job yeccer)
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== Contradictory quotes (NASB) ==
 
== Contradictory quotes (NASB) ==
 
Some people are confused when juxtaposing old Testament passages with new Testament passages .  For example:
 
Some people are confused when juxtaposing old Testament passages with new Testament passages .  For example:
 +
*"But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise." -- Exodus 21:23-25
 +
*"But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." -- Matthew 5:39
  
 +
----
 
*"When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, So he who goes down to Sheol does not come up." -- Job 7:9
 
*"When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, So he who goes down to Sheol does not come up." -- Job 7:9
  

Revision as of 06:44, 19 December 2009

Biblical literalism or "inerrancy" is a Fundamentalist Christian belief based upon the principle that the Bible is the word of God, and that every word of the Bible is true and without error.[1] Beliefs such as Young Earth Creationism are based on this principle. However, the Bible is a large and complex work, written over thousands of years, and full of contradictory statements. It is not clear how Literalists reconcile the contradictions of their beliefs. If every word is inerrant, yet Biblical statements clearly contradict each other, how can the Bible be literally true? What follows are a collection of examples of quotes from the Bible that appear to contradict each other if taken literally.

Contradictory quotes (NASB)

Some people are confused when juxtaposing old Testament passages with new Testament passages . For example:

  • "But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise." -- Exodus 21:23-25
  • "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." -- Matthew 5:39

  • "When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, So he who goes down to Sheol does not come up." -- Job 7:9
  • "'Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." -- John 5:28-29

Misc

  • "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone." -- James 1:13
  • "Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, 'Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.'" -- Genesis 22:1
  • (Isaiah 45:7, KJV) - "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."
  • (Amos 3:6) - "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"
  • 2 Kings 6:33 Behold, this evil is of the Lord.
  • (Job)1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

  • Exodus 33:20-23 Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put theein a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
  • Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.
  • Deuteronomy 34:10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.

  • "...The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity..." -- Ezekiel 18:20
  • "...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me," -- Exodus 20:5

Mental Gymnastics

Typically fundamentalist Christians will excrete a number of well-worn "arguments" to explain away the apparent contradiction.

  • Context
Ol' Faithful, this argument is generally followed by hand-waving and cross referencing to try to cloud the issue to create the idea that perhaps the two verses have nothing to do with each other. For instance, one might note the cognitive dissonance caused by contrasting the Bible's demand for "an eye for an eye"[2] with Jesus' call for us to "turn the other cheek"[3]. This is particularly found amongst the "tough on crime" conservatives who struggle with the surprisingly liberal views that Jesus might have held. It is verses like these that one might suspect Schlafly will quickly excise in his Conservative Bible Project. Regardless, an argument one might use in this case is that God was talking about two different things (punishment for crimes vs. everyday annoyances), or that you're not reading with enough faith, or that you're simply not open minded enough.
  • Old v. New Testament
Used when two apparently-conflicting verses are from different Testaments in the Bible. Similar to the 9/11 Changed Everything argument, a user of this argument will often claim that certain cherry-picked rules, while viciously clear (i.e. can't be explained away with the Context argument), don't apply anymore. For instance, one might note that most Christians generally have no objections to a fine shrimp dinner when the Bible clearly states that the eating of shrimp is an abomination[4]. In this conundrum, a Fundie would use the "Old v. New Testament" argument to try to claim that he is under "Grace" now, that the "Law" no longer applies (except to Homosexuals!).
  • Lifelines
These are generally used when the Christian is asked a tricky question such as why the person so vehemently opposes Homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22) but has no apparent reservations about enjoying a fine shrimp dinner. Clearly the Bible deems the eating of shrimp (Leviticus 11:9-12) as being as vile as homosexuality and labels both "abominations". A fundie will typically cite Romans 14:14 in such a case, which states that "no food is unclean in itself". This argument is often used in conjunction with "Old v. New Testament" to say that "we're not under the Law anymore, we're under Grace". Or something.

See also

Sources

Footnotes

  1. Some wacko's webpage
  2. Leviticus 24:19-21
  3. Matthew 5:39
  4. Leviticus 11:9-12