Instigator / Con

The Bible is Internally Consistent


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After 9 votes and with 9 points ahead, the winner is...

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Two weeks
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Two weeks
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Contender / Pro

"Internally consistent" - In this context, meaning the Bible does not contradict itself.

My opponent will choose their preferred translation of the Bible. This chosen translation will be the sole source for the debate. I ask that after my opponent has accepted the debate, they promptly comment their chosen translation.

Round 1
Thanks to my opponent for accepting. I look forward to an interesting debate.

I will begin by pointing out our respective burdens. In order to prevail, I need only show a single instance of biblical internal contradiction. To prevail, my opponent must prevent me from doing this. I should also note that my opponent, per the instructions in the debate description, has chosen the Young's Literal Translation of the Bible as our sole source for this debate.

Given this, my opening is quite simple in terms of structure. I will provide several cases where the Bible contradicts itself.

Has anyone seen god?
Yes  - Genesis 32:30 - "And Jacob calleth the name of the place Peniel: for `I have seen God face unto face, and my life is delivered"

No - John 1:18 - "God no one hath ever seen; the only begotten Son, who is on the bosom of the Father -- he did declare."

Which is it? Did Jacob see god face to face, or has no one ever seen god? See also Exodus 33:11, in which God apparently speaks to Moses face to face, as one would with a friend.

Must we keep holy the Sabbath?
Yes - Exodus 20:8-11 - "Remember the Sabbath-day to sanctify it; six days thou dost labour, and hast done all thy work, and the seventh day [is] a Sabbath to Jehovah thy God; thou dost not do any work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy man-servant, and thy handmaid, and thy cattle, and thy sojourner who is within thy gates, for six days hath Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that [is] in them, and resteth in the seventh day; therefore hath Jehovah blessed the Sabbath-day, and doth sanctify it.

No - Romans 14:5-6 - "One doth judge one day above another, and another doth judge every day [alike]; let each in his own mind be fully assured. He who is regarding the day, to the Lord he doth regard [it], and he who is not regarding the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it]. He who is eating, to the Lord he doth eat, for he doth give thanks to God; and he who is not eating, to the Lord he doth not eat, and doth give thanks to God.

In one case we have a command provided in the context of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and in the other we essentially have Romans 14 saying "to each their own." The two are not compatible.

Is incest chill?
No - Deuteronomy 27:22 - "Cursed [is] he who is lying with his sister, daughter of his father, or daughter of his mother, -- and all the people have said, Amen."

Yes, at least sometimes - Genesis 17:15-16 - "And God saith unto Abraham, `Sarai thy wife -- thou dost not call her name Sarai, for Sarah [is] her name; and I have blessed her, and have also given to thee a son from her; and I have blessed her, and she hath become nations -- kings of peoples are from her.'"

In the first passage, it is said those who lay with their relatives are cursed, and no qualifications or exceptions are mentioned. It is a blanket condemnation. In the second passage, god says he blesses Sarah, who is the blood sister of Abraham. It seems god's blessing contradicts Deuteronomy's blanket condemnation.

Do all men sin?
Yes - Romans 3:22-23 - "and the righteousness of God [is] through the faith of Jesus Christ to all, and upon all those believing, -- for there is no difference, for all did sin, and are come short of the glory of God"

Yes - Ecclesiastes 7:20 - "Because there is not a righteous man on earth that doth good and sinneth not."

No - Job 1:1 - "A man there hath been in the land of Uz -- Job his name -- and that man hath been perfect and upright -- both fearing God, and turning aside from evil."

No - Genesis 6:9 - "Noah [is] a righteous man; perfect he hath been among his generations; with God hath Noah walked habitually."

So which is it? Do all men fall short of the glory of god, or have there been perfectly upright men?

How many stalls did Solomon have for his horses?
40,000 (Kings 4:26)

Readers may find this last point a bit petty, and ask why it matters if the numbers are off by a factor of 10. Others might say the difference of a zero implies a translation error. Both points are irrelevant within the context of this debate. My responsibility is to prove the Bible contradicts itself at least once. The how or why of the contradiction does not matter.

Numerous examples clearly demonstrate the internal inconsistency of the Bible. I have put forth many such examples, and I may put forth more as the debate progresses. My opponent's challenge will be to resolve the apparent contradictions in each and every case.
Round 2
Round 3
While I cannot control my opponent's actions, I politely request that sylweb not post an argument in his final round. I think it would be unfair of them to drop a rebuttal at the last moment, leaving me unable to respond.