Biblical Contradictions Answered (As best as possible) For Rook pt. 2
This next set of Biblical contradictions seems silly being that most of these contradictions fall under the category of how the Hebrews classified animals. They did not use the same classification system; they did not use the same numbering system. As a matter of fact most of the measuring systems that we use are not the same as the Hebrews, so simply picking out a bunch of classifications that are over 2000 years old is not accurately doing study or representing an argument in a scholarly manner. Here is the second list of contradictions.
As a side not CONTRADICTIONS are when one scripture would say that Item 1 is A and another scripture would say that same item is not A. The following are not really contradictions but simply unanswered questions which I believe an ANCIENT TEXT EXPERT would know the answers to.
- (a) the bat is a bird (Lev. 19:19, Deut. 14:11, 18);
First let me respond by saying, please stop just putting random scriptures in your argument just to fill up space. Lev. 19:19 has NOTHING TO DO WITH BATS, BIRDS OR ANYTHING with wings. The answer is simple. These unclean birds listed were mainly birds of prey and scavengers. They were associated with dead flesh and were likely carriers of disease. (eagles, vultures, buzzards, red kites, falcons, ravens, ostriches, owls, sea gulls, hawks, owl, great owls, white owls, pelican, carrion vulture, the cormorant, the stork, herons, hoopoe, and BATS.) The concept was not to make a scientific classification but it was to say DON’T EAT THESE UNCLEAN ANIMALS. Because it had wings, some people of that culture would have simply just grouped bats with birds. The Linnean taxonomic system, and our more extended one, was not only not known to the ancient Hebrews, such distinctions would have served them no purpose and thus would probably not have interested them. The point was more to focus on NOT EATING THE ANIMAL as it was unclean.
- (b) Some fowls are four-footed (Lev. 11:20-21);
What version of the Bible says other than the King James Version says Fowls? For the sake of not having to argue I will post all the available translation to see where you got this argument from.
20 Every winged crawling thing that goeth upon all four shall be an abomination unto you.
20 All winged creeping things that go upon all fours are an abomination unto you.
American Standard Version
20 “All winged insects that go on all fours are detestable to you.
English Standard Version
20 All winged insects are unclean, GNT
20 “All flying insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you.
The Message Bible
20 “The various winged insects that walk on all fours are loathsome for you. NABWRNT
20 ‘All the winged insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you.
New American Standard Bible
20 ‘Don’t eat insects that have wings & walk on all four feet; they also are to be hated.
New Century Version
20 ‘All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you.
New King James Version
20 “You must not eat winged insects that walk along the ground; they are detestable to you.
New Literal Translation
20 All winged insects that walk upon all fours are detestable to you.
New Revised Standard Version
20 “All winged insects that go upon all fours are an abomination to you.
Revised Standard Version
20 ‘Every teeming creature which is flying, which is going on four—an abomination it is to you.
Young’s Literal Translation
Simply put: get another translation. The King James Version is really leading you astray.
- (c) Some creeping insects have four legs. (Lev. 11:22-23);
Some creeping do have four legs. The adjective describes the noun. So what does creeping mean? Let’s look at that word. Oh wait, the Hebrew word for creeping which is H7431 is not found any where in Leviticus! The word actually is translated INSECT, which are creeping little things.
A supporting sentence also continues on the subject of the paragraph. If you look in the preceding verses as well as the following verses, you will see that the verses list these insects: crickets, locusts, and grasshoppers. The word creeping does not signify that these would be worm like creatures, but winged insects that either fly or jump on the earth as noted in verse 21.
- (d) Hares chew the cud (Lev. 11:6);
Some background information:
Cud chewers are generally classified as belonging to the order of ruminants- (a sub order of artiodactyls) - and are defined as an "even-toed animal that regurgitates and masticates its food after swallowing.” This means that a cow, for example, will eat vegetation and swallow it. The cow's stomach is divided into four chambers where some of more easily digestible nutrients are absorbed by the body while other more fibrous material is stored in the stomach and then regurgitated. The cow will re-chew this material and re-swallow it so that it can digest it as well.
Rabbits and hares, however, do not have a chambered stomach such as the cow. They also do not regurgitate their food. What they do perform is a function named cecotropy. I will quote the process as cited at following site http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/genbio/rjbiology/ELOs/ELO45.html
SYMBIOSIS WITHIN THE VERTEBRATE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Bacterial Digestion of Cellulose Within Animals - Vertebrates lack enzymes to digest plant material. Some bacteria can do so and are harbored by animals... Rats and rabbits redigest cellulose another way. [They] eat feces and literally redigest them a second time. Efficiency approaches that of ruminants.
In a more detailed version, Margert "Casey" Kilcullen-Steiner, (M.S., L.A.Tg) writes:
Rabbits are sometimes called "pseudo-ruminants"... The rhythmic cycle of coprophagy of pure cecal contents practiced by all rabbits allows utilization of microbial protein and fermentation products, as well as recycling of certain minerals. Whereas the feces commonly seen excreted by rabbits are fairly large, dry and ovoid, excreted singly, and consist of fibrous plant material, cecotrophs are about half that size, occur in moist bundles stuck together with mucus, and are very fine textured and odiferous. They are seldom seen, as the rabbit plucks them directly from the anus as they are passed and swallows them whole. Normal rabbits do not allow cecotrophs to drop to the floor or ground, and their presence there indicates a mechanical problem or illness in the rabbit.
And Janet Tast, D.V.M. notes:
Cecotrophy by Janet Tast, D.V.M. "Cecotropy is the process by which rabbits will reingest part of their feces directly from the rectum. This should not be confused with the term coprophagy (eating fecal material) since rabbits only ingest the soft "night" feces or cecotrophs."
Caryl Hilscher-Conklin (M.S. in Biology, University of Notre Dame) also makes this claim:
"One may not give much thought to the lazy chewing of the cud that we observe cows doing all the time, but this behavior is analogous to coprophagy. The only difference between cud chewing and coprophagy is the point in the digestive tract at which nutrients are expelled and then placed back into the mouth."
Now, we must also remember that artiodactyls were first defined as a separate order in 1847 by Richard Owen and the behavior of cecotropy was first recognized in 1882. Deuteronomy, however, was written approximately 1500 BC in an ancient Hebrew. It would be intellectually dishonest for someone to claim that a 3500 year old writing is contradictory because it doesn't match with a scientific classification invented only about a hundred years ago. Further, if the ancient Hebrews defined 'cud-chewing" as that process where half digested vegetation was re-chewed by an animal for easier re-digestion ( and that is a very specific and scientific definition), I would say the hare fits here fine.
Whenever someone translates an ancient language or writing, some word for word parallels are not going to be available. Most scholars understand this and accept the cultural backgrounds and meanings for what they are. This is why hermeneutics is a serious field of study in higher theological education.
- (e) Conies chew the cud (Lev. 11:5);
I answered this question above.
- (f) Camels don't divide the hoof (Lev. 11:4);
The camel was eaten by some of Israel’s neighbors, who considered it a delicacy. But the camel would not have been an important source of meat for Israel even if it had been permitted, for it never was as numerous in Israel or as important to Israel’s economy as it was to their neighbors. The camel does have a split hoof, but its sole or pad is so thick that its imprint is like a single pad.
- (g) The earth was formed out of and by means of water (2 Peter 3:5 RSV);
You just won’t read the passage will you? The passage speaks or makes a reference to the Flood of Noah. If you examine the ENTIRE passage you will notice that the first part of the passage speaks clearly to the fact the God did create the world from his Word. Then upon following the rest of the story the earth was DESTROYED by the flood except for those on the ark. So henceforth, the statement, “the earth was formed out of and by means of water” would make a reference to the earth being repopulated after the flood.
- (h) The earth rest on pillars (1 Sam. 2:8);
The pillars of the earth are poetic imagery. Since the very “pillars” that uphold the earth belong to God, all creation is stable and secure under His care. You are challenging that the Bible is a book filled with inaccuracies as well as contradictions. What you don’t realize, is that this Book contains poetry, history, alliteration, allegorical content, metaphors, similes, and many other types of language components. You seem to want to so discredit it works that you sometimes go beyond the constraints of components of ANCIENT WRITING PRACTICES. Your status of Ancient text expert is diminishing by each contradiction examined.
- (i) The earth won't be moved (1Chron. 16:30);
This is a Psalm of Thanksgiving. It sings of the praises to the God. This is one passage you should have gotten this right. It the scope of the Psalm, the Chronicler states that the World won’t be moved and guess what, it wont. It is still exactly where it should be in space -- in the only possible orbit which will sustain life as we have it. It has not been moved out of where it should be. It should be noted that this verse does not say that the earth itself will not move. It will not "be moved" which means forced out of where it should be.
- (j) A hare does not divide the hoof (Deut. 14:7);
This is ridiculous. Hare don’t have hoofs. They have feet. So it seems that the scripture is right; the hare doesn’t divide the hoof. By taking this one out of context the implication is that the verse says a hare has a hoof. The Bible does not say that. The verse should be read in context. The point is being made that clean animals -- those which can be eaten -- have BOTH a split hoof and chew the cud. The hare, although it does one, does not have the other. Text without context is pretext
- (k) The rainbow is not as old as rain and sunshine (Gen. 9:13);
You’ll get two answers for this. One will be on a scientific level and one on a Biblical level; both of which are going to eliminate this from YOUR CONTRADICTION LIST. Scientific Answer first. What are rainbows? Rainbows are optical and meteorological phenomena that cause a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the Sun shines onto droplets of moisture in the Earth's atmosphere. They take the form of a multicoloured arc, with red on the outer part of the arch and violet on the inner section of the arch. More rarely, a double rainbow is seen, which includes a second, fainter arc with colours in the opposite order, that is, with violet on the outside and red on the inside. So in summary first the rain comes, then the sunshine and then the rainbow. This would indicate even on a simple level that the rainbow would be the last event in the order of events, thus time wise, making it the youngest. Now the Biblical answer.
That verse does not say that, or imply it. We don’t have any Biblical record of rain before the flood. If there were any rain before the Flood of Noah, it would have been over the seas and at night. No rainbow would have been seen. Genesis 9:13 refers to God setting the rainbow in the clouds, to be seen in the daytime as a symbol of promise. This is was new. Rain over land in the daytime was not something that happened before the Flood that we know of. The implication here is of the drastic changes the earth had undergone atmospherically from antediluvian times
- (l) A mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds and grows into the greatest of all shrubs (Matt. 13:31-32 RSV);
A few definitions should clear up this misconception.
Mustard - Much controversy surrounds the identification of the plant (Gk. sinapi) whose seed was used by Christ as an illustration of something which develops rapidly from small beginnings, such as the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 13:31; Mk. 4:31; Lk. 13:19), or the faith of an individual (Mt. 17:20; Lk. 17:6). Some scholars consider that the black mustard (Brassica nigra) is indicated, since in NT times its seeds were cultivated for their oil as well as for culinary purposes. It can grow to a height of 5 meters (over 16ft), although it is usually much smaller. One interpretation sees the ‘mustard’ as a monstrous plant foretelling the worldly expression of Christendom, with evil, as exemplified by the birds, in its branches. New Bible Dictionary
Mustard. A plant that grew wild along roadsides and in fields, reaching a height of about 4.6 meters (15 feet). The black mustard of Palestine seems to be the species to which Jesus referred (Matt. 13:31–32; Mark 4:31–32; Luke 13:19). It was cultivated for its seeds, which were used as a condiment and for oil.
The mustard seed was the smallest seed known in Jesus’ day (Matt. 13:32). Nevertheless, Jesus said that if one has faith like a mustard seed, he can move mountains (Matt. 17:20) or transplant a mulberry tree in the sea (Luke 17:6). Nelson's illustrated Bible Dictionary.
If this mustard seed is classified as a shrub, then 15 feet is pretty big. If the mustard seed is classified as a tree it still would be a large plant.
- (m) Turtles have voices (Song of Sol. 2:12);
I don’t even think that you deserve the respect of responding to this contradiction being that the entire book is Poetry. For the sake of holding true to my mission, which is to attempt to give accurate information on this site I will respectfully answer this contradiction as well. First please get an ENGLISH TRANSLATION VERSION. This would keep you from making simple minded assumptions. The KJV says turtles; all other translation uses TURTLE DOVE and they do have voices.
Five GOLDEN RINGS............., Four calling birds, three french hens, two TURTLE DOVES and a Patridge in a pear TREEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- (n) The earth has ends or edges (Job 37:3);
This passage is a passage filled with heavy metaphors as well as alliteration. If we were going to be literal in the interpretation, the earth does have ends as any scientist will be able to give you a definite size of the earth. The statement that God has sent lighting to the ends or edges of the earth to my knowledge would signify that there is no place to where lightning does not occur. As clouds can cover the whole earth, lighting and or rain can be traced to all locations on the earth. This is an idiom we still use today, and it is used the same way in Job. "The ends of the earth" has a meaning that has come down through the languages and cultures and should not cause any thinking person a problem.
- (o) The earth has four corners (Isa. 11:12, Rev. 7:1);
The four corners of the earth is simply a figurative expression that is similar to the words of Acts 1:8: “to the end of the earth.” The Messiah will gather disciples from all over the world. Even our weathermen today agree with this! They are either north, east, south, and west, or, alternatively, north-east, north-west, south-west, and south-east. Again, the Bible uses the same idioms we do today and, again, no thinking person will find this difficult to understand.
- (p) Some 4-legged animals fly (Lev. 11:21);
The word animals should be insects therefore some 4 legged animals DO FLY. This was answered earlier.
- (q) The world's language didn't evolve but appeared suddenly (Gen. 11:6-9)
The time frame for the changing of the languages is not given in Genesis or anywhere else in the Bible. The fact was that the languages were confused, branching off from the one original language. This might have happened miraculously in the space of moments or it might have taken some time after the Babel catastrophe drove people from the area. Again, the timing is not indicated here.
- (r) A fetus can understand speech (Luke 1:44)
That is not what this verse says. This sort of comment is, however, typical of those who try to "prove" the Bible wrong. The passage states that when the baby inside Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary's voice, he jumped or leaped "for joy." The first thing that should be noted here is that there is no doubt about babies in utero being able to hear outside sounds. The second thing that should be noted is that this takes place during the miraculous happening of Mary's pregnancy with Jesus. That a baby in utero should react to the presence of the Lord is no more strange than any other person reacting to Him. Even those who deny Him are reacting quite strongly to Him.
Still waiting for Rook to respond to the first part and here is the second part. I welcome all of your comments. Try to bring information not opinions. I haven't gotten any informational answers to my last post that would suggest that my studies are leading you (the readers) astray.
Shout outs to simple theist and Master Dan.
In His Service...(read my signature)
I'll Defend God. Don't Test Me. You'll Lose