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17
8
Yes No
Debate Score:25
Arguments:23
Total Votes:25
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 Yes (11)
 
 No (6)

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Coldfire(1014) pic



The Bible is full of contradictions

The debate title is a statement of fact; however, this debate will focus on the following argument:

Due to the large quantity of contradictions within the Bible, there is a legitimate reason to bring the Bible’s credibility into question regarding both inerrancy and source of quality instruction.

http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html

Yes

Side Score: 17
VS.

No

Side Score: 8

Yes, the Bible is full of contradictions when taken as a single work.

That said...

Taking it as a single work is a massive error, as is treating it as fully infallible from cover to cover- the contradictions themselves are sufficient evidence that the Bible cannot, as a whole, be considered infallible; the faithful who suggest otherwise are completely misguided. By that same token, those that assert that the entire Bible should be tossed out in its entirety due to some inconsistencies and contradictions are equally misguided.

The Bible is not one work, but is rather more akin to an anthology of stories originally told by many different authors across a large span of time, further passed down via oral tradition, until finally being put to paper individually.

The modern Bible is the result of the canon; the early church leadership went through numerous writings, discarded most of them, and compiled the ones they approved of into a single volume.

I don't have a good source on the number, but wikipedia's entry (I know, I know, wikipedia...) has the number of denominations of Christianity estimated at around 41,000. The different denominations all have different interpretations of various parts of the bible (some subtly, some starkly). Even if it is assumed that nothing in the bible was specifically a mistake or error, would it really be that strange for the original authors to disagree on key points- even figures- when telling their stories? I mean, even just interpreting the 'finished' canon bible, there is huge disagreement.

Side: Yes
1 point

Taking it as a single work is a massive error

Except when you remember it was all written down because of God.

the faithful who suggest otherwise are completely misguided.

Agreed.

By that same token, those that assert that the entire Bible should be tossed out in its entirety due to some inconsistencies and contradictions are equally misguided.

Yeah, that's true. I think it is a reaction to the Christians who say the is one thing true in the Bible, therefor everything is true in the Bible.

Even if it is assumed that nothing in the bible was specifically a mistake or error, would it really be that strange for the original authors to disagree on key points- even figures- when telling their stories? I mean, even just interpreting the 'finished' canon bible, there is huge disagreement.

Is that "a legitimate reason to bring the Bible’s credibility into question regarding both inerrancy and source of quality instruction"?

Side: Yes
thousandin1(1931) Clarified
1 point

Except when you remember it was all written down because of God.

If God exists, sure. But even if that is the case, it was still recorded by man, and had a lot of oral history before ever being put to paper. God doesn't HAVE to be fallible, one just needs to accept that all men are fallible in some way. Heck, in the bible, even Jesus (the role model that all christians are supposed to emulate) cries out feeling he has been forsaken by god.

If I were to assume God existed, I'd be working under the assumption that the modern bible is a mixture of the word of god, the word of the devil/a false prophet, and the words of man intended to push an agenda- all with varying levels of corruption from the original.

Yeah, that's true. I think it is a reaction to the Christians who say the is one thing true in the Bible, therefor everything is true in the Bible.

It may well be, but it's still a non sequitur, and is inflammatory to boot; I think it should be avoided when dealing with Christians.

Is that "a legitimate reason to bring the Bible’s credibility into question regarding both inerrancy and source of quality instruction"?

Certainly it's a legitimate reason to call its credibility into question- but it shouldn't be assumed to be completely false in its entirety due to some inconsistencies and inaccuracies. It's rare to find even a modern scientific journal that doesn't have a single error anywhere. And it doesn't harm those passages that are to be taken in a metaphorical sense at all- depending on the interpretation, these make up anywhere from a significant though far from majority portion, to almost the whole thing.

Side: Yes
2 points

Quite simply, there are objectively preferable alternatives than the Bible. The contradictions it holds are simply one of many factors undermining its relative credibility and overall utility.

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes, the Bible is full of contradictions...but, that being said there was no decisive set of rules, words, etc. that the writers of the Bible used. Therefore, since the Bible is a group of works put into one text, there will no doubt be contradicting writings.

Side: Yes
2 points

The Bible is not full of contradictions. I have yet to find one in all the years people have tried showing them to me.

Side: No
Nox0(1393) Disputed
3 points

You are brain dead religious zealot... so no matter what people show you. You will ignore it. If you were Muslim you would already exploded in some nursery.

Side: Yes
lolzors93(3225) Disputed
1 point

No, truly, there are no contradictions. Most of the time it is just a failure to think critically from the supposed "critics" of the Bible. For example, Jesus being tempted and God not being capable of being tempted... thats one people bring up all the time. Critical thought makes this "contradiction" go down in flames.

Side: No
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
1 point

I'm creating another debate on this subject, look forward to your input.

Side: Yes
1 point

Well, you won't be able to convince everyone that your debate title is an actual fact. We have had that debate several times and gotten nowhere.

Just because there are contradictions doesn't mean the Bible can't be a good source of material for certain things. As long as you focus on the good parts of the Bible you can be a good person. Some people get stuck on the parts of the Bible that don't need to be a part of daily life.

Side: No
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
1 point

"doesn't mean the Bible can't be a good source of material for certain things."

That isn't what is being argued.

Mein Kampf can be a good source of material for certain things, but its credibility due to the nature of Nazism is in question.

"As long as you focus on the good parts of the Bible you can be a good person. Some people get stuck on the parts of the Bible that don't need to be a part of daily life."

Hence it's credibilty as a source for inerrancy and quality instruction are in question. correct?

Side: Yes
1 point

I recognize the importance of having people who follow the Bible on my side, but you are correct.

Side: Yes
trumpet_guy(502) Disputed
1 point

First of all, many claims of contradictions spawn from a lack of thought. For example, do people really think the author of Genesis would have two conflicting creation accounts in the same work? Especially because Genesis 1 and 2 are not divided into chapters in the Hebrew text, but is one lone string.

Moving on, most other contradictions are either perspective (Gospel account contradictions, etc.) or numerical (troop numbers). A majority of these contradictions are numerical, and result from the sometimes cryptic nature of Hebrew numerical system as it deals with higher numbers in the hundreds and thousands.

With this being said, are troop numbers really a cause for concern? Do I even need to mention the dead sea scrolls?

Side: No
1 point

The Bible isn't full of contradictions. People don't examine the Bible closely and they pick and choose what they think is a contradiction.

Side: No