Instigator / Con

Does the Bible contain Contradictions?


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Two days
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*This debate is unrated because this is my first serious religious debate, this is for practice.*

*Omar2345 is not allowed to accept because I would be wasting my time debating him, as he says..*

*Imabench and Rationalmadman are not allowed to vote*

*contradiction-a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.*

*Only teachings of the Bible are allowed, no anti-christ shit in the Bible that contradict*

*The BOP is on Pro, I wave first round, Pro waives last*

Round 1
I would like to thank croweupc for accepting. I hope we can a respectful debate. I wave this round because the BOP is not on me. I dont have to prove the bible does not contradict, I have to defend my faith.
Does the Bible contain contradictions? This debate is about a question, not a statement of fact. This means neither of us have a burden of proof until we answer the question. If my opponent chooses to take no side he can maintain his status of no burden of proof. However, if my opponent wishes to assert that the Bible is in fact inerrant and contains no contradictions, he also should have a burden of proof. My answer to this question is yes. The Bible does in fact have contradictions. This by no means diminishes the claims made in the Bible. It is possible to have contradictions while still containing true claims. The opposite is likewise true, it is possible to have no contradictions and the claims be completely false. This debate is not about whether or not the claims made in the Bible are true or false, only if there are in fact contradictions made at any time throughout the Bible.

A contradiction defined by [1] says “a proposition, statement, or phrase that asserts or implies both the truth and falsity of something.” [2] says “Biblical contradictions occur when two or more verses, approached from a literalist perspective, state two or more things that cannot simultaneously be true.” My hermeneutical approach will be from a literalist perspective. If we do not have a consistent method, we can make the Bible say anything we want. Also, if this method is not used, how would you go about demonstrating any contradictions? It ends up being the same thing as an unfalsifiable claim. This will be my approach unless we can agree on some other definition.

Dr. Bart Ehrman says there are hundreds of thousands of variations. “Most of the hundreds of thousands of variations are completely insignificant in the big overall scheme of things (e.g., misspelled words and slips of the pen); others involve enormous differences that matter a lot (the story of the woman taken in adultery).” [3] Later in this post he goes on to share one such variation, “But there is a textual variant in one of our oldest manuscripts of Luke, called Codex Bezae (from around 400 CE). This variation changes the Greek words for “And when they were there.” In this manuscript it says, instead, “And while they were going…” That is to say, in this manuscript, Mary gave birth not in Bethlehem itself, but somewhere along the way.” Most of these variations have little to do with the meaning of the text, but as you can see, there are scores of contradictions with the manuscripts we have. Another example is the well known ending of Mark, the last twelve verses. [4] Most Biblical scholars agree this was added later.

Matthew, Luke, and John’s resurrection stories are irreconcilable. I omitted Mark due to the differences in surviving manuscripts. John’s narrative is completely different from that of the other two gospels. In Matthew’s account (Matt 28:1-10) Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb. A earthquake followed by an angelic visitation happened. The angel descends from heaven and speaks to the women. In John’s account (John 20:1-10) Mary Magdalene went to the tomb by herself. The stone had already been removed. She then goes to tell the disciples. There is no way to read this where these events all happened. Either one of these accounts are right, or they are both wrong. They can not be both right.

How did Judas die and why did the field become known as the field of blood. In Matthews account (Matt 27:1-10) Judas has remorse for betraying Jesus, returns the money to the chief priests, and hangs himself. The chief priests bought the potter’s field (27:6-7) and that is why it became known as the Field of Blood. (27:8) In Acts (1:16-19) Judas bought a field (1:18) and fell headfirst bursting open so his intestines gushed out. This is why it became known as the Field of Blood. (1:19) The reason for the name in the stories changes. The purchaser of the field changes. These two accounts cannot both be right. I will stop hear for now and let my opponent address my claims up to this point.

Round 2
This debate is about a question, not a statement of fact. This means neither of us have a burden of proof until we answer the question. 
No, I don't have to prove the Bible doesn't contain contradiction unless you give me one. What am I going to say in R1.When you accept the debate, you accept the structure

However, if my opponent wishes to assert that the Bible is in fact inerrant and contains no contradictions, he also should have a burden of proof
Nope, I never claimed the Bible is all fact, I just said it doesn't contain contradictions. Again, if you accept the debate, you accept the terms. I can't prove that the Bible doesn't have contradictions unless you give me one. 

I already provided a definition, but ok, expand if you like

Yes there are a lot of variations, but I need proof

Finally a contradiction!, In 1.04, the different times of day explains this>Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb as it began to dawn, John wrote that “Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark”.Clearly these are different times were talking about here.{1)

1.05>Acts just expands upon the original account,as Answers In Genesis explains

Matthew tells us that Judas died by hanging (death is inferred from the passage). Luke, being a doctor, gives us a graphic description of what occurred following the hanging. The reason for ordering the events as such is twofold. First, if someone has fallen and their internal organs spilled out, they would die and so could not subsequently die from hanging. Second, even when people suffer bad falls, they do not usually burst open and have their internal organs spill out. Skin is very tough, and even when it is cut in the abdominal area, internals do not usually spill out. Thus, it is unlikely that Judas could die in this manner merely from falling.Gruesome as it is, Judas’ dead body hung in the hot sun of Jerusalem, and the bacteria inside his body would have been actively breaking down tissues and cells. A byproduct of bacterial metabolism is often gas. The pressure created by the gas forces fluid out of the cells and tissues and into the body cavities. The body becomes bloated as a result. In addition, tissue decomposition occurs compromising the integrity of the skin. Judas’ body was similar to an overinflated balloon: as he hit the ground (due to the branch he hung on or the rope itself breaking), the skin easily broke, and he burst open with his internal organs spilling out.{2}

In 1.01 I explained that the burden of proof should be on all those who make a claim. If someone remains agnostic about the topic they can maintain no burden of proof because they are not making a claim for or against a proposition or a statement. I accepted this debate knowing that the deck was stacked against me. If I were to make a claim that there is no God, I would be told that I have a burden of proof, and rightfully so. But when I point out that my opponent has the burden of proof, he denies it. This is unfair to say the least.
In 1.02 I chose to define what I mean in clear and concise terms by contradictions, otherwise we could be talking past each other. I will concede the point made about inerrancy as it does not have any bearing on this topic. I mention it because the doctrine of inerrancy often does not allow for contradictions which means if one accepts inerrancy they must also reject contradictions. These two are not entirely mutually exclusive.
In 1.04 I chose to compare Matthew and John. There are some irreconcilable differences I pointed out. In Matthew (28:1-10) two go to the tomb where an earthquake happens, then an angel descends from heaven, and sits on the stone. Guards were there in Matthew’s account. The angel talks to the women and the angel tells them to go tell the disciples. In John (20:1-9) only Mary Magdalene goes, and the stone was already rolled away. The stone being rolled away is why she (by herself) ran and told the disciples, not because an angel told them. It is not just about the time of day, it is the events themselves and the sequences of events which cannot be reconciled that makes this a contradiction. Please explain how this is not a contradiction and how to reconcile the differences without changing what the text actually says.
In 1.05 I compared the differences between Matthew (27:3-10) and Acts (1:16-19). In Matthew it says Judas hangs himself, meanwhile in Acts we are told he fell headfirst and split open. I would very much like to know how he hangs himself and then falls headfirst. How long would someone have to hang for their intestines to spill out? This of course is not the only issue here. The issue that Answers in Genesis did not address in this quote at least is who bought the field and why it was named The Field of Blood. In Matthew the chief priests purchased the field with the money Judas took to point out Jesus (who was supposedly famous) to the guards. This money was considered blood money and that is why the field was called The Field of Blood. In Acts Judas purchases the field and his blood was spilled on it, and it was this reason that the field was known as The Field of Blood. There are a number of differences between these accounts that cannot be explained away.
There are other issues in the New Testament such as the genealogy of Joseph that contradict. Why does the Bible constantly change names and events and amounts, and yet there are people who defend it as if it say the exact same thing. How do we baptize? In Matthew (28:19) it says in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. In Acts (2:38) it says in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness (remission) of sins. Do we submerge or sprinkle? Is it necessary or just an outward confession of an inward commitment? Why is it there are so many differences between denominations? I believe it is because the Bible is contradictory on a number of subjects.
(ESV) Isaiah (40:8) “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” John (10:30) “The Father and I are one.” Deuteronomy (19:21) “Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Matthew (5:38-39) “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the evildoer. But whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well.” 2 Timothy (3:16-17) “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.” If you follow the progression of verses it says this: God never changes, Jesus is God, Jesus changes the law of God, and all scripture is inspired. This was not the only time Jesus changes Old Testament law. He also allowed certain work on the Sabbath. If Jesus is God incarnate, why the differences?
If these are not contradictions, please explain in detail why and give an example of something that would qualify as a contradiction. There are plenty more, but I would rather spend a lot of time on a few than a little time on many. There are contradictions between manuscripts, and there are contradictions in our current copies of the Bible. It would be surprising to me if it were any other way. The amount of times these have been copied by hand, and translated, it would be nothing short of a miracle if there were absolutely zero contradictions. We literally have copies of copies of copies of translations of copies and so on. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1440’s and was commercially available by 1450. [1] Prior to this there was only hand written copies of the Bible.

Round 3
2.01-No it's not unfair, As the Instigator, I can do what I want, and you have to accept it, stop kritiking. The fact is I can't post an argument unless you have provided contradictions


2.03-The time of the day matters because we an hypnotically make a timeline of the event

1.Two women go and an Earthquake happens
2.An Angel descends,tells them to tell the disciples
3.When it was dark in John, Mary Magdalene only went,stone went away, and told the disciples that event

How does that contradict, it doesn't and even talks about different times of day.


 I would very much like to know how he hangs himself and then falls headfirst.
The Bible doesn't say which method of hanging, of course he could have been HUNG upside down on something, maybe even a cross for being a betrayer. It also never said headfirst, it said headlong,which means the head was of importance, so hitting on the head is important not headfirst, two solutions

How long would someone have to hang for their intestines to spill out?
Why is that relevant to the contradiction?

The Field Of Blood>Thingspaulandluke explains this

 in the matter of the purchase of the field, neither is there a contradiction here. The Bible is a great literary book, having many authors, and it uses many literary modes of expression such as parable, metaphor and simile to reveal to us what God wants us to know. One such figure of speech is metonymy, which has to do with something used to stand for the thing itself, such as “brass” for “military” or “Washington” for the American government or the President. In the matter in Acts the person of Judas is used for the activity of the priests. Peter uses this same figure of speech in Acts 2:23 where he says the people with whom he spoke actually crucified Jesus when it was actually the chief priests who did it.
Another literary devise used is the idiom: “This man purchased a field…” Actually, it was the priests who did the act of purchasing, but Judas was the cause of the act. The idiom is also used in 1Kings 14:16 “…he made Israel sin.” That is, the activity of Jeroboam, the king of Israel, was the vehicle through which Israel was brought into sin. Likewise, the regret of Judas, and his subsequent return of the 30 pieces of silver brought about the purchase of the field, because the chief priests could not put “blood money” back into the Temple treasury.{1}

2.05>This is not a contradiction,but the same thing-The name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is Jesus. They are the same thing{2}

Is it necessary or just an outward confession of an inward commitment? 
Acts talks about repenting as well not just Baptism, it is necessary

Why is it there are so many differences between denominations?
What's the matter with that or how does that fit your argument?

I believe it is because the Bible is contradictory on a number of subjects.
No evidence for this claim

2.06>The first passage talks about how God's word will always last in History. Not that it never changes. John is talking about how Jesus is the son in the trinity.The next two verses are the Bible changing. However, this is over a LONG period in a time where Scholars have changed. IT WASN'T ISREAL in the desert. The last verse is irrelevant, as peteens explains:

The writers of the Bible spanned centuries, lived in different times and places, faced different circumstances (personal and political), and responded to those circumstances from the point of view of their settings in life. A book that brings all of this under one cover is, of course, going to exhibit a lot of diversity.{3}

2.07>I already explained what a contradiction is, Translations often result in just mistakes not big contradictions.

Imagine this hypothetical suicide. Two reputable news agencies report that a man has just committed suicide. One of them says the man died of a fatal stab wound on his left wrist cutting a major artery. The other news agency says he died of a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Both agencies are reputable. Must of us would automatically conclude that one of these news sources must be mistaken. But imagine if we started with the conclusion that they are both right simply because they are reputable. Is it possible to make these stories agree? If we use the method my opponent and apologists use, then yes we can. We could say the man cut his wrist, and then he shot himself in the head. But is this the most sensible answer? Neither mentions the other injury, so we are left with only the information they presented independently. If we only had one source what would we conclude? This is the best method of interpretation. Had one of the sources mentioned both injuries, we could then conclude the other just simply left out details, but not when they present two different methods of suicide. This is the issue with Matthew’s account vs Acts.
This was in the comments in the quote from [1] by Dean Fraiser. (Author of comment, not article)
“What exact evidence do you have that, in this specific instance, the subject “Judas” is actually referring to the chief priests? Have you not examined the context in which his death in Acts is being discussed?
The context is Peter talking with the other disciples about the need for a replacement for Judas. In that context, it seems as though Peter is mentioning Judas directly. Is there any specific evidence in Greek that proves that metonymy-style speech is being used here?...”
The author does respond to this post if anyone is interested in reading his entire post, there are only a few comments.
“...As I see it, we have only one of two alternatives to take in order to understand the above phrase. Either we understand Judas literally purchased the field (which you seem to want to do), or we compare it with Matthew’s account and wonder how the two fit together. After all, if I don’t do this, surely you will compare Matthew’s account and declare a contradiction...”
When discussing context, I do not think Luke had the Gospel of Matthew in mind. I do not believe we can understand the context of one author by the content of another author, and that is exactly what is happening here. As Dean points out, the context seems clearly to be talking about Judas and not the chief priests, especially since Luke mentions the chief priests directly several times throughout his book.
Answers in Genesis has many articles about different contradictions throughout the Bible, and they give their answers. They will explain how to resolve the problems, but cannot explain why the problems are there in the first place.
Again I point out 1.03 as a reason for these discrepancies, and should be taken seriously. If the manuscripts from which the Bible is translated disagree, how can we possibly accept everything in the Bible to agree?
What about the resurrection accounts from Matthew and John? Let’s start with Mary Magdalene going to the tomb very early in the morning. She sees an empty tomb so she runs to tell the disciples. But wait, did not Mary Magdalene and the other Mary experience an earthquake, and see the stone being rolled away, and see an angel descend from heaven and sit on the stone? If not, how did Matthew know this actually happened? The angel tells them to go tell the disciples. How can we make these two accounts say the same thing without changing one of the accounts? Apologists often change one of the accounts to match the other without even a consideration that maybe they are saying something different.
:2.05>This is not a contradiction,but the same thing-The name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is Jesus. They are the same thing{2} (I am not including the reference)
I would not have disagreed as a Christian, but if this is true it would be yet another contradiction. YHWH is the name of God. [2] The name Jesus is probably better translated as Joshua, and means YHWH saves. [3] This to me is no different than Abram becoming Abraham, taking on part of God’s name. [4] Jesus (Joshua) was a popular name in the early first century. If you are saying that the meaning of the name Jesus, being YHWH saves, is what’s important, I will concede this point. My main point was about diversity in Christian doctrine due to differences in the two accounts. I have heard some say, “I will take the words of Jesus over the words of the apostles.” It is hard to talk too deeply about theology when I am not entirely sure where you stand.
I stand by my opening statement in 1.03, 1.04, and 1.05. This is my final closing statement per the debate descriptions. If we were to read these accounts independently, take notes about what they describe, we would have to conclude they are contradictions. We should take the author at his/her word unless they hint otherwise. There is no hint in any of the examples that they meant anything other than what they said. 

Round 4
3.01> If you take a look at the two passages they are told in accordance with each other. Judas hung himself and then fell on his head. That doesn't contradict. Your story is irrelevant

3.02>All of that does not matter because they both can!, it was Judas's money. The priests bought the field on behalf of Judas. 

3.03>Now,sure translations can get messed up, but in modern times with computers and technology, the mistakes can be corrected and quite easily.

3.04>Do I have to repeat what I just said.The events happen at the same time, why are you repeating yourself,next point


3.06>No they don't stand

Good debate
Waving this round per the debate description.