The Bible is internally inconsistent
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 8 votes and with 56 points ahead, the winner is...
- Publication date
- Last updated date
- Number of rounds
- Time for argument
- Two days
- Max argument characters
- Voting period
- Two weeks
- Point system
- Multiple criterions
- Voting system
R1: Acceptance (Also state which bible we will be using for the debate)
R2: Arguments (Make your initial arguments)
R3: Arguments + Rebuttals (Make additional arguments + Refute opponent's initial arguments)
R4: Rebuttals (Refute opponent's arguments)
R5: Conclusions (No additional points made here)
Follow the formatting listed above.
Define all terminology clearly so that there is no confusion. Also do not hesitate to ask for clarification if necessary.
Use agreed-upon Bible for all arguments.
Additional sources must be cited.
Do not go off-topic.
Burden of Proof is shared.
Any violations of above rules will constitute an automatic forfeit of the round.
"Bible": For this debate, I will allow Con to decide which bible to use in the debate for the sake of fairness.
"internally inconsistent": For this debate, "internally inconsistent" will mean that a piece of literature (in this case, the Bible chosen by Con) makes one or more statements which contradict an earlier statement made by the same piece of literature.
- I will drop the Burden of Proof requirement for Con. (see comments #17 and #24 for more details)
- “Book/piece of literature”: For this argument, the Bible will be considered one book/piece of literature. (see comments #18, #26, and #28 for more details)
- If there are any additional changes to the formatting, rules, and/or definitions Con would like to make, do not hesitate to ask them in the comments.
- Please save any initial arguments for Round 2.
- The separation of light and darkness
"And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years..." - Genesis 1:14
"God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness." - Genesis 1:4
"Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good" - Genesis 1:11-12
"And God said, 'Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.' So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, 'Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.'" - Genesis 1:20-22
"Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'So God created mankind in his own image..." - Genesis 1:26
"This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up,for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." - Genesis 2:4-7
"Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good." - Genesis 1:11-12
"Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up,for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground..." - Genesis 2:5
"To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”" - Genesis 3:17-19
"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27
"But for Adam, no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”" - Genesis 2:20-23
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." - Galatians 5:22-23
"Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you." - 2 Corinthians 13:11
"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." - 2 Corinthians 13:14
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:8
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them." - 1 John 4:16
"But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.”..." - Genesis 4:15
"The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding. For a fire will be kindled by my wrath, one that burns down to the realm of the dead below. It will devour the earth and its harvests and set afire the foundations of the mountains. “I will heap calamities on them and spend my arrows against them. I will send wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts, the venom of vipers that glide in the dust. In the street the sword will make them childless; in their homes terror will reign. The young men and young women will perish, the infants and those with gray hair. I said I would scatter them and erase their name from human memory, but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy, lest the adversary misunderstand and say, ‘Our hand has triumphed; the Lord has not done all this.’”" - Deuteronomy 32:19-27
"For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause." - Isaiah 34:8
"The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name." - Exodus 15:3
"The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies." - Isaiah 42:13
"for our “God is a consuming fire.”" - Hebrews 12:29
"You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." - Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 5:9
"Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." - Exodus 34:14
"For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." - Deuteronomy 4:24
"for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land." - Deuteronomy 6:15
"The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven." - Deuteronomy 29:20
"Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man." - Numbers 31:17-18
"However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you." - Deuteronomy 20:16-17
Yup, of course. I'll make it two weeks.
I'm game. If you make the debate though, the only thing I ask is that you make the argument time longer than just a few days....
If you wish, we could have a debate with a wider scope of topics, including the ones you stated. It would be a lot lengthier, though ;)
As I stated in my R1 argument, I will drop BoP requirements for Con.
I'm game. But is that really the debate you are wanting to have -- that the Bible is "inconsistent", or is it really that the Bible should be discarded because of it's inconsistency? I think the deeper questions are:
1. What is the inconsistency?
2. WHY is there an inconsistency?
- for the first passage, what was the intent/context of that passage?
- for the subsequent passages, what was (were) the intent/contexts of those passages?
3. What is the real teaching behind those passages?
4. Is the "inconsistency" have an implication for the overall teaching behind those passages?
Those are just my 2 cents...
Would love that. I sure can do a two week long debate with more than 10,000 characters.
I would be looking out for that, however I think the BOP would be on you to prove that the Bible has errors, I mean what would Con's argument be in R1, that oh they are no errors. Though, I would make a solid case(if I accept) that Biblical errors fall into 4 categories. But just a thought
I agree with you on this.
I certainly will pay attention if a competent debater accepts
I will create another identical debate as this one when I have the time, for those who are interested. I will make it 2 weeks/argument and however many characters we need for the argument (as my last argument showed, a lot more than 10,000).
I will create another identical debate as this one when I have the time, for those who are interested. I will make it 2 weeks/argument and however many characters we need for the argument (as my last argument showed, a lot more than 10,000).
I will do so once this one is over. (Who knows, maybe Andrew comes back and destroys me with FACTS and LOGIC XD)
You may wish to start another debate on this topic, as I don't think the contender is coming back...
Sure, would love too.
If it comes down to it, then I will create another debate on the same topic. Maybe you will be able to debate me then ;)
I would have loved debating you on this. I am a Christian and love defending God's Word. Maybe next time.
** 2. I would not consider that bookshelf to be one piece of literature, because that is simply the collection of books one person happens to own. Now, if someone were to publish a book consisting of those 5 works, then I would consider that to be one single piece of literature. To answer your third question as well (which you accidentally also called the second question), if someone were to publish a collection of books under a single title, then that book would be considered a single piece of literature, even though the other works are separate books in their own right. One more key distinguishing feature of a collective book (book with multiple books in it) is that it the different books in a collective are very often bound together by commonalities (subject matter, characters, author, etc.). In the case of the "master" comic that commonality is Superman, in the Iliad it is the Trojan War, and in the Bible, it is God. **
Your last point is a great point. A few more questions:
1. Who has the authority to say "why" the books were gathered (collected) the way they were? The person/people reading it or the person/people who actually put the collection together? Yes, we all have an opinion or say, but who would be correct?
2. DO you think it matters who put the collection together and why when you analyzing that collection (that piece of literature)?
** 3b. Each section of a piece of literature should be interpreted in its own way. However, if a statement made in one text directly contradicts another made in an earlier text, then it is considered internally inconsistent, regardless of whether that piece of text is literal or figurative.
3c. Whether or not a certain piece of text should be discredited entirely due to inconsistencies depends on the severity and frequency of the inconsistencies. This particular point is beyond the scope of this debate, but we can discuss this further in a separate debate and/or in the PMs if you wish. **
I think I tend to agree with you on this, at least on the surface. I guess then what it would boil down to is "what is the significance and/or impact of inconsistency?" In order to answer that question, I think it's only proper to consider who wrote it, when, the intent, context, etc.
Alright, I know your focused on the debate at hand, but I will offer some comments.
1. The Jury is still out on whether or not the Iliad was written by one person or multiple people over the course of time. But for the sake of argument, we can stick with the assumption it was written by multiple authors over time.
a. With the Iliad, it would be safe to assume that the authors KNEW they were writing and contributing to "the story of the Iliad." The story existed in some form-- they knew of it and were either changing it or adding to it. Kind of like the story of La Llorona. My great grandmother told this verbal story to my grandmother. My grandmother told it to my mother, albeit making some changes, adding some embellishments, maybe removing some details. My mother then communicated the story to me, making changes as well. By definition, they KNEW what the others wrote.
b. The Bible is different. When the individual books were being written, the "Bible" wasn't even in existence. The Authors at the time they wrote the individual texts, did not know of the other books. Granted, the folks who wrote the NT, and maybe some of the authors that wrote some of the OT texts, might have been aware of some of the OT writings, but they weren't "expanding" on those stories, per se.
3b. Each section of a piece of literature should be interpreted in its own way. However, if a statement made in one text directly contradicts another made in an earlier text, then it is considered internally inconsistent, regardless of whether that piece of text is literal or figurative.
3c. Whether or not a certain piece of text should be discredited entirely due to inconsistencies depends on the severity and frequency of the inconsistencies. This particular point is beyond the scope of this debate, but we can discuss this further in a separate debate and/or in the PMs if you wish.
This comment is for addressing GuitarSlinger's second (third?) batch of questions.
Jeez, it's almost like I'm having a mini-debate within this debate ;)
1. I have already defined "piece of literature" in my previous two/three comments. I define one piece of literature as all of the pages sandwiched in between two covers. This means the entire bible is considered "one piece of literature", for reasons I have explained in my previous comments.
2. I would not consider that bookshelf to be one piece of literature, because that is simply the collection of books one person happens to own. Now, if someone were to publish a book consisting of those 5 works, then I would consider that to be one single piece of literature. To answer your third question as well (which you accidentally also called the second question), if someone were to publish a collection of books under a single title, then that book would be considered a single piece of literature, even though the other works are separate books in their own right. One more key distinguishing feature of a collective book (book with multiple books in it) is that it the different books in a collective are very often bound together by commonalities (subject matter, characters, author, etc.). In the case of the "master" comic that commonality is Superman, in the Iliad it is the Trojan War, and in the Bible, it is God.
3a. Any inconsistencies in any pieces of literature are worthy of criticism. The reader will definitely note said inconsistencies in the text (whether or not they impact the reader’s experiences depend on the severity and frequency of inconsistencies). As for your Aesop’s Fables analogy, it does not make sense. Having talking animals in it does not, in any way, contradict any statement made in the Fables.
I will continue this in the next comment as I am running out of space for this one.
(continued from previous comment)
Allow me to provide another analogy to illustrate my point. The Iliad (not perfectly analogous to the Bible, but it will work for this case) was written by numerous authors over a timespan of many generations (it wasn't really authored, it was more passed down by oral traditions. There is also no conclusive evidence of a man named "Homer" having ever existed). Like the Bible, it is expected that the customs and traditions of the various authors of the Iliad would change over the course of history, from the first authors to the final ones. However, if the later authors write down a statement which contradicts something the earlier authors said, even if cultural differences can account for it, as long as it is within the same book (using the definition of book defined in comment #18), it will still count as internally inconsistent. For example, if the first part of the Iliad said that Achilles wore a bronze helmet to battle and the later parts state that Achilles wore an iron helmet to battle (without mentioning a wardrobe change), it would still be an internal inconsistency, even if they were written hundreds of years apart (the bronze and iron ages respectively).
3. The inconsistency noted in "Superman's birthplace" was chosen because it wouldn't change (maybe if the plot of a comic took place in an alternate universe, some super surprising plot twist happened, or some villain came and rewrote history, that would change, but other than that it wouldn't). As I mentioned in my previous comment, any statement or fact which contradicted a previously established one would make the book internally inconsistent in that particular aspect. In short, all contradictions are comparable to each other, just that some contradictions are more serious than others.
oh yea, lots of questions.
1. How would you define a "piece of literature"?
2. You walk into any library or home office and you might find a bookshelf. Let's just say on the bookshelf are 73 pieces of literature No wait, let's make it easy. Let's say there are only 5 pieces of literature:
MLK's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"
Huxley's "Brave New World"
Collection of Aesop's Fables
The Works of Poet Robert Frost
Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front"
Would you view these collectively as "a piece of literature?" If no, why not?
2. Does the fact a person (or group of people) decided to put these books together in a collection make them 1 piece of literature? And does that mean they need to be considered as one unit?
3. Do you think it's smart to do the following:
a. Criticize the collection because you might find inconsistencies among within them? I mean seriously, Aesop's Fables have talking animals for crying out loud.
b. Read each individual piece exactly the same manner (i.e. literally, figuratively, etc)?
c. Discard the ideas contained in any given book in the collection simply because it might conflict or be inconsistent with one of the other books?
This comment is meant to address the questions GuitarSlinger posted to me, but I will also tag zedvictor4 as the answers provided will also relate to the comment he/she made.
Firstly, I would like to state that IMO, I agree that Marvel is overall better than DC. I simply chose Superman because that was the first thing that came to mind. ;)
Secondly, allow me to address all of your questions. Don't hesitate to ask more questions if you require more clarification on any issue pertaining to this topic.
1. I acknowledge that the Old and New Testaments (along with their respective texts) were written centuries apart, by numerous different authors for different purposes, in completely different circumstances (the Old testament was written between 1200 BCE and 165 BCE [from roughly the time of the Ancient Judean Kingdoms to that of the Late Seleucids], while the New testament was written between 50 AD and the middle of the fourth century AD [at the time of the Roman Empire]), and that they consist of different types of literature. However, as I will explain in my next point, the same concepts to determine whether or not a piece of literature is internally inconsistent still apply to the Bible.
2. I agree that differences described above, to a degree, be taken into consideration when reading a piece of literature. However, the same rules for determining whether or not said piece of literature is or is not internally consistent apply, regardless of how many authors a piece of literature contains or over how long the piece has been written for. All facts, statements, and opinions/positions of the various characters stated within a piece of literature should remain consistent, meaning that they should not change abruptly without any other information inside the book to warrant such change.
I will continue the answers in the next comment as I am running out of space for this one.
It would be a bunch of insults, but very funny to read.
My point was that wherever possible, provide BoP. But if you truly can't, then for this debate, I will drop the BoP requirement for you and you can base your argument off of rebutting mine. So yeah, I guess I can drop BoP requirement for Con in this debate.
Oh, I see. (Btw, I wonder what would happen if they debated each other. It would be fun to watch, don't you agree?)
Thanks for your answer. I"m a comic book fan myself, but I happen to think Marvel is better than D.C. so I'm a little disappointed you chose "Superman" as your analogy, but that's a debate for another time ;-). But I digress. Can I ask a few more questions, and some of these questions might be related to your analogy because it will help me understand your position and thought process.
1. Do you acknowledge or agree that the individual books of the Bible, both the OT and NT, were written by different people, in different styles, in different cultures, at different times in human history, for different audiences, and they consist of different types of literature? I think most scholars and theologians would agree to this, so I'm curious what your take is on this.
2. Because #1 above, would agree that it's important to those things into consideration when reading the books, i.e. what type of literature is it (historical book, a letter, a poem, etc), what was culture it was written in (norms, etc)? If no, I"d like to understand why you would say no.
3. The inconsistency you gave in your analogy ("Superman's birthplace") is a good one. Superman is a recurring character-- Book A is related to him, Book B, all the way through Book Z. So it is reasonable to expect that something related to this character from Book A be consistent with the same Character in Book Z. I'd be curious to see your take on which inconsistencies are comparable to this "Superman's birth".
These are all the questions I have for now. But more will come. Keep in mind, I'm not disputing that there are "inconsistencies" or (apparent) "contradictions"-- the question really becomes, ok...what does this mean?
Well, my point is, like, I can't point to a specific part of the Bible and say it's consistent, do the whole thing is consistent, without examining literally the whole thing, which I obviously can't do, that's why I need you to take the burden of proof so that I'm just rebutting your points
Backwarsden is an atheist with poor conduct, BrotherDThomas is basically a Christian with poor conduct. He accuses like everyone of being ungodly and satanic.
It could be argued that the bible is consistently inconsistent. Which when you consider the haphazard nature of it's evolution is probably only to be expected.
Very good question. For this debate (you might not agree with this definition), I will be defining "the same piece of literature" as everything between the two covers of the Bible. This is because someone reading the bible would reasonably go from start to finish and consider certain verses in respect to the entire Bible, not just the particular text in isolation.
Think of it like this (I know this is not a perfect analogy, but still). Imagine every single issue of Superman comics to have ever been published was compiled into a single "master" comic. If, for example, issue #1 claimed that Superman was born on planet Krypton but issue #80 claimed that Superman was born on Earth (without providing any outside context); even if both issues were thoroughly consistent in their plotlines about where Superman was born, the "master" comic would still have a statement contradicting one made at an earlier point, and would therefore still be considered internally inconsistent for the topic of where Superman was born.
In short, if a specific text contradicts itself in one or more points, then it is obviously internally inconsistent. If a specific text makes points which contradicts points made in one or more other texts within the same book (book in this case means all of the pages bound between the two covers), then the texts themselves are not internally inconsistent, but the book as a whole is.
I hope this answered your question ;)
I'll be going first, so I will have to provide burden of proof first anyways. If you really cannot provide the BoP for your opening statement, then I guess it's ok to base your arguments off of my BoP. Try not to, but it will still be acceptable if you can't provide BoP.
Before you (Alec) mentioned it to me, I didn't know who Brother D was. I'll have to look deeper into his profile, but upon initial observation, he kinda seems like the same type of person as backwardseden and WisdomofAges (another person who attacks their opponents in every argument). I might be horribly wrong about this, but it's what I saw going off of Dr.Franklin's link.
When you say "the same piece of literature", do you mean "within the same book within the Bible?"Are you going to be arguing that a specific/particular text in the Bible is internally consistent, or are you going to be arguing that something in text A within the Bible is inconsistent with something in text B within the Bible?
The Bible is really just a collection of texts (books, letters, texts of poetry, etc) written by different authors. Think of the Bible like a bookshelf in your room, filled with many different types of books, texts, poems, etc. Are you looking at the bookshelf and saying "There are inconsistencies within this collection", or are you going to be pulling out a specific book/text/poem and saying "Within this particular text there are inconsistencies?"
This will be fun to watch. Scholars have debated for centuries on the "inconsistencies" of the Bible.
I want to accept, but I don’t want to make my own opening, given that it’s hard to prove a negative. Can you take the burden of proof instead?
BroD is this guy, he is actually an atheist but look at his forum posts-https://www.debate.org/21stCenturyIconoclast/
Have you heard of Brother D Thomas?
I'd accept but I'd have to read the Bible first.
I have already defined internally inconsistent in the description.
What does internally inconsistent mean?
The pages are not consistent with the cover maybe.
Thank you for your respect. I personally am agnostic, but I do respect the religious decisions of others. I usually debate theists, but when people blatantly attack other people for their religious beliefs (like, for example, backwardseden), I have no problems debating against them as well. My personal view is that we will never be able to truly know whether or not there is a deity responsible for the creation of our universe unless we manage to observe beyond the observable universe. Once again, thank you.
Welcome to the site, and good luck on this debate.
I've glimpsed your DDO page... you're unique in that you seem to be flip-flopping between the theistic and atheistic positions in your debates. I respect that deeply.