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Blind Faith and Biblical Contradictions

Updated on September 1, 2014

Videos on Youtube can spread like wildfire, especially controversial videos, and comedic videos. Religion is one of the most controversial topics today; there are so many differing opinions on religion, God and different scriptures. So many opinions in fact that no matter what you say about religion you are bound to push a few buttons.

I recently watched a hilarious video about religion, Christianity to be specific. This video attempted to point out contradictions within the Bible. Browsing through the comments I noticed that people were ingesting this information without a second thought. Of course the Bible has contradictions, and is obsolete because of them. Who would consider the millions of people who read the Bible and consider it authentic? This Youtube poster is obviously trustworthy, I mean he says he did his research and even quotes Biblical verses.

I was simultaneously amused and saddened by the video responses. People obviously did not care about facts or truth, they cared about sensational information. Yet I couldn’t help but see the irony in some of the atheistic comments. There were comments that congratulated the video maker on his skills and said that his points were gold for when they talk to those darn theists taking everything on faith. I felt the urge to ask them where their faith in this video creator came from. They had faith that everything he was saying was accurate and entirely true. I can only hope they use some of his golden points while talking to a well versed theist. Maybe it will help them question their misplaced faith in one man, because when I looked at the thirty contradictions listed, well, only two were true. Those two were only true in one translation, and furthermore they did nothing to hurt the authenticity of the Bible, they were mere copyist errors. I decided to give the video viewers something to think about, and posted my responses to all thirty contradictions. I was of course bombarded by insults for doing so, but I definitely got a few people thinking. Many of my comments were deleted and I am not sure why, but I thought I would post my responses in a more secure place.

I am going to post the contradictions over a series of hubs, to avoid the risk of rambling. Here are the first six contradictions and their simple responses.

Was Jesus' tomb open or closed when discovered?

Matt 28:2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.

Luke 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

The tomb was obviously open in order for the women to enter. Matthew does not write that the women were present when the stone was rolled back. He mentions that there were guards present which were scared away by the event. The women came right after at the point where one of the angels present called them to come into the tomb. This means the tomb was already open, and the angels were already inside.

Judas Iscariot died by hanging or spilling his guts?

Acts 1:18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong[a] he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.

Matt 27:5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.

Judas died by hanging. Not before he tossed his silver into the temple however, so he did not buy a field with the reward of his wickedness. He threw it away. The ones who did buy a field were the priests, Matthew writes about priests planning to purchase a field with the silver and use it as a burial ground for strangers. Remember the priests were also quite wicked, as these were some of the men who demanded the crucifixion of Jesus. Luke does not give us any details outside of Peter’s speech as to who spilled their guts in the field, but we do know it was not Judas Iscariot. He was dead before that money was spent to purchase the field. One of the men who did purchase the field must have died this way in the field, and Peter does not say who in the speech. Considering the manner in which the man died he probably did not have to. Everybody listening to the speech would have been aware of the recent event of somebody gutting themselves, especially if it was one of the priests.

Who put the purple robes on Jesus Herod or Pilate?

Luke 23:11And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.

Matt 27:27-28 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters,[a] and they gathered the whole battalion[b] before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,

John 19:1-2 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe.

Both. Herod originally put the robes on Jesus. He then sent Jesus back to Pilate, where Jesus was stripped, scourged, and redressed in the purple robes. Jesus would not wear the robes during his scourging.

Who was present at Jesus' tomb when the women arrived? Two angels, one angel, or two men?

Matt 28:2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.

Mark 16:5And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.

Luke 24:4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.

John 20:12And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.

I want to start by saying that omitting a detail is not a contradiction. If there are two angels, there would obviously be at least one angel. Just because only one angel is mentioned by Matthew and Mark, it does not mean that there were not other angels present. It would make sense to include detail about the angel that gave the women the message. Mentioning the other angel present was not entirely necessary. In Luke the angels are described as men in dazzling apparel. These were angels, in numerous locations throughout the Bible angels are described as men. They appear to people as men. Luke makes this clear as he calls them men, but also provides the detail that they were wearing shining or dazzling apparel and that the women were afraid. They were afraid because they recognized the men as angels. Furthermore not all of the accounts include all of the details. When you read all four accounts and put the story together this is what you get. One angel rolled back the stone and sat on it scaring the guards as reported by Matthew. Matthew also writes that the angel said to the women to come into the tomb to see where Jesus’ body was laid. This implies that the angel was inside the tomb when he spoke to the women. Matthew does not say that the women saw the angel on the stone; he says that the guards saw the angel on the stone. The women spoke to the angel inside the tomb. Reading the accounts of Mark this is confirmed as the women enter the tomb and receive the very message Matthew spoke of from an angel sitting inside. Again the focus is on the angel who spoke to the women, but this does not mean he was the only angel present. Luke describes both angels as standing in the tomb. To understand this apparent contradiction we need to understand the context of standing. The Greek word for standing or stood by can mean to appear, often to appear suddenly. This now gives us reason for the women’s fear. The angels suddenly appeared seated inside the tomb, encouraging the women to come closer to examine the place where Jesus was laid. These three accounts are complimentary and not contradictory. Reading the three of them together gives us a clear picture of the guard’s, and later the women’s encounter with the two angels.

This leaves us with John’s account. John is describing a different event. The other three authors describe the women encountering the angels. John wrote only on Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the angels, and later Jesus. John says that Mary arrived early on the first day of the week, and she immediately went to find the disciples to tell them of the moved stone. She did not see the angels at this point, only the open tomb. This means that Mary left to tell the others before the remaining women saw the angels. Mary Magdalene returned later after Peter and the other disciple examined the tomb. Mary at this point stood outside crying thinking that somebody had taken Jesus’ body. If Mary had seen the angels then she would not be under this impression. The angels appear to Mary at this point and ask why she is crying and she tells them that somebody had taken away her Lord. This confirms that Mary did not get the message the other women received earlier, she was under the impression that somebody had taken Jesus’ body. Jesus then appeared to Mary and she confirmed this once more. Mary then went and told the disciples of this event. If this was the same event as the one where the women encountered the angels earlier in the day then the women would have encountered Jesus as well. They didn’t because they saw the angels earlier in the day. Mary left before the angels’ first appearance, and saw them later along with Jesus in a separate event.

If anything the appearance of the angels’ to the women and of Jesus to Mary Magdalene strengthens the argument for the authenticity of the Bible. The testimonies of women during this time were not valued. They could not be considered witnesses, a thousand women witnessing an event was less significant than one man witnessing an event. If the authors were fabricating a story they would not have the women find the empty tomb. Nobody would believe it, the only reason they would have the women discover the empty tomb instead of more “reliable” men was because they were reporting fact. They were not writing what they wish could have happened, they were writing exactly what happened.

How much did David pay for the threshing floor? 600 shekels or gold, or 50 shekels of silver?

1 chron 21:25So David paid Ornan 600 shekels[a] of gold by weight for the site.

2 sam 24:24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels[a] of silver.

This is a contradiction solved by reading the surrounding passages. In 2 Sam 24:24 the author mentions how much David paid specifically for the oxen and the threshing floor. In 1 Chron 21:25 the author is mentioning how much David paid for the entire site, a large property on which the temple was built(the property by the way was a mountain top). The cost the property would be significantly higher than just the cost of the oxen and the threshing floor which is what is mentioned in the other document. This is not a contradiction, if anything the passages agree with each other, supplying more information about the purchase of the threshing floor and the property for the future temple.

How many men did Joab count? 8, 000, 000 or 1, 100, 000?

2 Sam 24:9 And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000.

1 chron 21:5And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to David. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword, and in Judah 470,000 who drew the sword.

There is one word that should be noted in this “contradiction” In 2 Sam 24:9 Joab lists 8,000,000 VALIANT men who fought for Israel. In 1 Chron 21:5 it says that he gave the numbering of the people of Israel. It also says that IN ALL OF Israel there were 1,100,000 men that fought. However immediately afterwards in 1 Chron 21:6 it says that Joab did not count two of the tribes because he thought the task was abhorrent. Joab’s sum could not have been the 1, 100, 000 mentioned because he did not know the total number of men fighting for Israel. Joab gave the number of men he counted, the men that Joab thought were valiant and actually counted numbered 8,000,000. However there were in total 1,100,000 men fighting.

Context important or not?

Is context important when reading a quote?

See results

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