Biblical Websites Review
Note: This is from a different forum, but I will also post this here. For not just reference but also for debate.
In the Christianity thread, Tau-Killer posted these as if this were some sort of explanation towards finding sanctuary with the posts Veq had borrowed from me. In that thread, I promised never to go back, and leave that for the discussion of Christianity, and to leave it to the Christians.
However, I felt reason deserved a fair hearing, and thus I decided to take it upon my self to critically look over these sites and see if they really DID answer any of the problems I had listed elsewhere, and which Veq had used.
I have a few rules I request from anybody wishing to reply in this thread.
- NO - absolutely NO - replying to a post on here without a.) quoting what you are responding; b.) replying directly to that quote, i.e. no saying ?That?s stupid??. That?s not acceptable. However, saying ?That?s stupid?because?*point 1* etc?? is acceptable; and c.) when using scripture, please be sure to post chapter and verse. Quoting out the whole verse is probably the best way, and helps points get across easier. For a good search engine on the bible, www.biblegateway.com is a great starting point. They have every translation in multiple languages available.
- Try to keep flames to a minimum. This is a serious discussion where peoples entire belief structures are on the line. If your skin is not tough enough to handle a little heat, my suggestion is to stay out of it in this thread. Words will be written and things will get hot. Although we all try to do our best to hold back, sometimes people get irritated and junk happens. Keep in mind, like above, calling somebody stupid is considered a flame in my book. Calling a POINT stupid and then backing it up with evidence (i.e. giving reasons WHY you feel that POINT in particular is stupid) is not flaming, it?s debate.
- Try not to bring up dogma and Christian philosophy in this thread, unless it relates somehow. I don?t want proselytizing and preaching in this thread, this thread is about the Bible, and that?s about as far as I think it should go.
Keep in mind, I am a very free-thinker. My atheism is simply a part of that, just as any free-thinker could easily be a theist. I am searching to find out the truth here, not to criticise religion or belief in this thread. I will be analyzing these sites individually and determine if there is anything worth merit. And unlike with the tings I post, I will be reading the entire site, and not skip over most of it and pretend I think I know what is being said. As a reasonable human being, I don't think anything should be ignored, instead I think everything should be questioned. The only way to question ios to know what answers were first given and to do that one has to read and learn with an open mind.
I'm a blunt person and have no problems getting straight t the point. Keep in mind, this thread is NOT a thread for discussing Christian philosophy. If you have any intentions of starting such a discussion, bracnh it off and start a new thread. (It will also help with thread and post counts here on TO as well) These are the sites TK posted:
If you want explanations for Bible discrepancies - here's a whole range of websites to have a look at:
I decided to start with one and work from there.
At http://www.apologeticspress.org/allegeddiscrepancies/ we have 100 items for review. One hundred topics are far too many to cover in one sitting, so I will work with the first five of each site, and continue from there. Right now, I will start with the first topic listed, which had some relevance to the information used in the Christianity thread.
[quote=" Addition Does Not a Contradiction Make;
by Kyle Butt, M.A.; http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/507"]Suppose a man is telling a story about the time he and his wife went shopping at the mall. The man mentions all the great places in the mall to buy hunting supplies and cinnamon rolls. The wife tells about the same shopping trip, yet mentions only the places to buy clothes. Is there a contradiction between the stories just because the wife mentions clothing stores but the husband mentions only cinnamon rolls and hunting supplies? No. They are simple adding to (or supplementing) each other?s story to make it more complete.
That's a cute anaology, but most assuredly inaccurate when applied to the Bible. The contradictions in the Bible do not come from omitting information and then readmitting addition information later. Far from in. The contradictions in the Bible come from authors making the same but opposite claims. Such examples follow below in the discussion. Quite a few are already posted in the Christianity thread, and had any one bothered to read them, I would not be having to go through these sites to begin with.
The Bible is usually found within direct opposition to itself. And these are but merely a few of which I have hundreds listed, and I?m not the only one to see them. All one has to do is read to see just how contradictory the Bible can get. Thomas Paine, Dennis McKinsey, Robert Ingersoll, just a few of those before me who have gone out of their way to read the Bible in it?s whole countless times to analyze it and discover it?s true form.
The problem is, people are told from a young age that the Bible is seemless, perfect, and therefore they never question and never read it. As Farseer Restayvien put it, ?Also, I wouldn't post that much because I know most people wouldn't want to read it all.? Indeed?
How can one honestly say that they can believe in something without ever wanting to know the other side? What is so horrible about possibly asking questions about your faith, and examining it to be sure it?s what you want? I find this to be quite the opposite of free-thought. Sounds more like restricting thinking.
That happens quite often in the resurrection accounts in the Gospels.
For example, the Gospel of Matthew names ?Mary Magdalene and the other Mary? as women who visited the tomb early on the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1). Mark cites Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome as the callers (Mark 16:1). Luke mentions Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and ?the other women? (Luke 24:10). Yet John talks only about Mary Magdalene visiting the tomb early on Sunday (John 20:1). Do these different lists contradict one another? No, not in any way.
Wow, this is called grasping at straws. It seems Mr. Butt is having problems with the English language. Let?s look at the exact verses here, just the parts in question, and then after Mr. Butt explains his theory we?ll see the problems with it. And go over the full chapter, because we should always try to look at everything in context.
Matt. 28:1, ?In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.?
Mark 16:1, ?And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.?
Luke 24:10, ?It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.?
John 20:1, ?The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.?
Got them all? Good, let?s continue.
They are supplementary, adding names to make the list more complete. But they are not contradictory. If John had said ?only Mary Magdalene visited the tomb,? or if Matthew stated, ?Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were the only women to visit the tomb,? then there would be a contradiction. As it stands, no contradiction occurs.
First, after reading the passages, the text talks of ONLY the two women in Matthew, three women in Mark, countless women in Luke, and only Mary Magdalene in John. Mr. Butt is assuming additional women exist in the accounts, even though they are not referred to in any other way. Imagine that, Luke has no problem talking about others, yet the other three seem to completely omit them, as if they were never there.
Second, Butt is assuming the larger number is always correct and the lesser is not. He speaks of the authors 'adding names to make the list more complete', but really this is what mr. Butt is doing here. Not the authors.
Further, why couldn't the reverse be true? If four different witnesses to a hit-and-run accident say there were one, two, three, and four people in the car, respectively, are police to automatically assume four is the correct number? Are they to automatically accept the higher figure? Are they to ignore the possibility of shadows, faulty vision, distorted angles, distractions, human-like contents of the automobile, etc.? Or should they just immediately assume the greatest number is valid?
That's the procedure apologists, such as Mr. Butt here, want critics of the Bible to follow. Why couldn't the lower number be correct and the higher number be erroneous?
And third, if we are going to make assumptions here, why can't we assume 6, 8, 10 or even 50 people in the car were present and all four accounts are invalid? Why can't we let our imaginations run wild and concoct any figure that strikes our fancy? If proof is not required, we could say the hit-and-run car was crammed with people, although the highest number said was four that were seen.
After all, two can play that game. Apologists operate on the assumption that anything possible is actual, until disproven, which is only another ruse by which to shift the burden of proof and ignore our time-honored maxim that The Burden of Proof Lies on He Who Alleges.
However, since we are talking about the Bible here, perhaps we should show how the Bible can be used against such ruses as this. Let?s use the Bible here and show how wrong this theory of Mr. Butts' is.
In John, not only does this specifically state ONLY Mary Magdeline, but in fact, Mary had to run to tell OTHERS because she found the tomb empty! Had people been there, such as in Luke, they all would have gone, and would have discussed it with the disciples.
John 20:1-18, ?The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her."
In fact, she had to keep getting the others to see for themselves, because they didn?t believe her. If there had been more people present, not only would the Bible have stated such (as it has time and time again, and as they did in Luke, when more people are around or involved) but had they actually been there as Mr. Butt has suggested, why didn?t the disciples talk to them about their opinions? Why didn?t they ask for others who saw it?
I find it preposterous to believe Mr. Butt?s explanation when the chapter even goes as far as to state that Simon was faster at running then Peter (a very irrelevant point for the context, I might add) and somehow forgot about or neglected to mention the droves of supposed women who accompanied Mary to the tomb.
Incidentally, this chapter also states that there is a scripture reference in the Torah where the Messiah is to rise from the dead. There is no such prophecy in all the Old testament.
Let?s more on to the other chapters for more, and see what else we can find.
Matt. 28:1-9, ?In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.?
Now again, how anybody can add in more then the two women here is beyond me. I can just picture Mr. Butt trying to explain how a grove of women - as he suggests the chapter implies - were all at once holding Jesus? two legs. Unless Mr Butt wants us to believe he grew an abundance of legs as well, but again, I would have to require a verse for such a claim.
Also, on another note here, the earthquake mentioned seems to have gone completely unnoticed by ALL those who were alive during this time period. Seneca and Pliny the Elder, who recorded all the great earthquakes, meteors, comets, and eclipses they could find and who lived during the period of Jesus, failed to mention the event.
Justus of Tiberius was a native of Christ's own country, Galilee. He wrote a history covering the time of Christ's reputed existence. This work perished, but Photius, a Christian scholar and critic of the 9th century, was acquainted with it and said, "He (Justus) makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, of what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did" (Photius, Bibliotheca, Code 33).
Philo was born before the beginning of the Christian era and lived until long after the reputed death of Christ. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ's miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. He was there when Christ made his triumphal entry in Jerusalem. He was there when the Crucifixion with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead took place--when Christ himself rose from the dead. Yet, these events were not mentioned by him. Curious.
On to the other.
Mark 16:1-14, ?And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.?
Again I have to ask, where are these other women? Mr. Butt has tried to infer that these women were here the entire time, but I find it hard to believe that if such a crowd has gathered the authors would have neglected to state such a fact. Elsewhere in the Gospels they go to some extent to be sure to include large crowds in their story-telling.
Large crowds had gathered at the Sermon on the Mount. Large crowds had gathered at the synagogues. There are been lots of people at the wedding where Jesus turned water into wine. It seems that the gospel writers are obsessed with using people as eye-witnesses, as if stating that there are lots of people wit say these things would somehow validate them.
Yet here we have a case where we don?t see that. We only hear of three women. Just three. No more or less are mentioned. And they are given to us with names. It leads to a point, in which Mr. Butt does not seem to want to accept. That the authors did not mean to suggest any more people were there except those who were mentioned. Which means this contradiction still remains.
And this critique wouldn?t be complete without showing the large amount of inconsistencies and contradictions just within this event alone.
In Matthew, the sequence of events is as follows: Sunday at dawn, Mary and Mary came to the tomb. There was an earthquake and one angel appeared. The Angel is the one who opened the tomb but none enter. The angel tells them to tell the disciples, but before they could get to the disciples they ran into Jesus. Mary recognized Jesus. They both touch Jesus.
In Mark, Mary, Mary and Salome came to the tomb with spices. The tomb was already opened. They all went into the tomb and found one man in white. They all fled. But later when Jesus had risen he appeared only to Mary, who recognized him. Then Mary went to tell the disciples who didn?t believe her. Then Jesus appears to them later.
In John, Mary alone went to the temple when it was still dark outside. The tomb was already open, and then she ran away to tell the disciples. The disciples all came to look inside the temple to make sure she was telling the truth. Then they left her alone. Two angels appear. They ask her a question and then she turns around. She sees Jesus inside the tomb, but thinks he?s the gardener as she didn?t recognize him. Jesus tells her not to touch him. He commands she goes and tells the disciples what has happened.
And in Luke, a group of women come to the tomb early in the morning with spices. They find the tomb open. They enter and don?t see Jesus. Two men appear in white garments. They commanded the women to tell the disciples. It says, ?It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.? (Again, this is the sort of exact phrasing this author uses, where the others do not seem to know of these other women at all) The apostles don?t believe them. Peter himself goes to the tomb and finds it empty. Then at the same day, two disciples go to Emmaus (Funny, since I live in a town with the same name?heh) and Jesus appeared to these two first. They did not recognize them. (Stating, ironically, ?Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; ). Then the two men invited Jesus along with them to dine with the rest of the disciples.
These are the contradictions I speak of. The direct contradictions which stare the reader in the face. One cannot seem to reconcile these, as they are so out of place and so inconsistent that in order to make them appear as one, you really need to take liberties and remove key verses, or add in additional ones.