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  Pages :  [1] ~ 2 ~ 3   of Biblical-inerrancy

It is no accident that most of those who teach the doctrine of "Biblical Inerrancy" act as though they themselves cannot be wrong.  They want everybody to believe that they are in possession of a goose that "lays golden eggs", so to speak; or in this case, a "Holy Spirit" that provides the correct answer to every question.  But is the Holy Spirit of God intended to be such a "golden goose" for people who make themselves into "Bible experts"?
        The Bible itself warns against trusting the "Scribes", i.e.  those who transcribed the sacred texts by hand, thousands of years before the first printing press was invented :

"My people do not know the ordinance of the Lord.  How can you say, "We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us," when, in fact, the false pen of the scribes has made it into a lie?  The wise shall be put to shame, they shall be dismayed and taken; since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what wisdom is in them?  Therefore I will give their wives to others and their fields to conquerors, because from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest everyone deals falsely."

                        Jeremiah 6:13

This web page is a compilation of about 150 instances in which the accuracy and truthfulness of a supposedly inspired passage of the Bible is brought into question  – not by some outside non-religious source –  but by another supposedly inspired passage of the same bible.  When each and every one of several conflicting statements is supposedly inspired and guaranteed by God, only thoroughly biased individuals, determined at all costs to get to the conclusion that they want, can believe that all of these passages are true !   They come up with what they imagine to be "explanations", but only those who desperately want to be convinced in the first place find those explanations convincing.

        Here is a typical example :  ( quoted from another web site on inerrancy :)

" According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke,  Mary Magdalene was in the group of women who were told by angels at the empty tomb that Jesus had risen "even as he said,"  and Luke even said that when the women heard this, "they remembered his words" (24:9).  Such statements as these  (aside from the fact that Matthew even claimed that the women saw Jesus, held him, and worshipped him as they were running from the tomb to tell the disciples what they had seen, 28:9)  definitely indicate that the women left the tomb convinced e clarity of these statements,  John's account of the resurrection had Mary saying, after she had found the disciples, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we know not where they have laid him" (John 20:1).         This is the way Gleason Archer, a leading apostle of Bible inerrantists, imagines that he has explained what he would call the "alleged" discrepancy above:
        "She [Mary] apparently had not yet taken in the full import of what the angel meant when he told her that the Lord had risen again and that He was alive.  In her confusion and amazement, all she could think of was that the body was not there; and she did not know what had become of it.  Where could that body now be? It was for this reason that she wanted Peter and John to go back there and see what they could find out." .  (Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, pp. 348-349).
        This is what inerrantists consider "a successful explanation of an alleged inconsistency".  But such far-fetched, entirely speculative "explanations" do nothing to inform or convince intelligent, honest, and unbiased observers.  They only serve to confirm the ignorant in their ignorance.

The renowned theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, once observed wisely:
        "Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt.  It is when we are not sure that we are doubly sure."
        And the French philosopher, Voltaire, once observed, "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

I believed in the inerrancy of the Bible for years – not because of any evidence or proof – but because that was "the party line."  I hadn't even read the Bible in its entirety yet.  But it was clear to me that if I didn't adopt that belief, I wouldn't be able to get through my seminary training and become the promoter of Jesus Christ's teaching that I so wanted to be.
        Anybody who knows anything about the laws of reason, i.e. "logic", knows that there is nothing harder to prove than "a negative".  To rationally assert the negative "there are no errors in the bible", you would have to go through and examine absolutely every last statement in the bible and show why each one is absolutely true.  Inerrantists don't even attempt this impossible task because it is pure faith that makes them inerrantists, not reason.  The main reason that they believe the scriptures are "the Word of God" is that those scriptures make that claim about 2500 times.  Simple-mind people don't question that claim because on the one hand, they don't realize that the sacred books of ALL religions make the same claim, and on the other, it's impossible for contradictory statements to be made by the same intelligent person, especially if he is God!

        The bible presents some very special problems, among them the following:
  1. This is a rather large book (or set of books, to be more exact), with many different statements, involving different writers, from different areas, from different time periods.
  2. Nobody even knows what constitutes "the Bible". Jews, Catholics and Protestants have at least three rather different versions. 
    It may be hard to grasp, but there are that many Christian groups that have been created because they believed all of the others had "missed the boat"!
    Whatever New Testament scripture Christians quote to support the inerrancy of the Scriptures has to apply not to the Christian version – which didn't yet exist when that statement was made by Jesus or Paul – but to the Jewish version of the Bible.  And Jews argue that the New Testament cannot be inerrant, as the Old Testament is, because of the many incompatibilities they can point out between the two.
  3. No matter which version of the bible you believe in, how can you determine how close any particular edition and/or translation is to the original, when nobody knows how close to the original any particular ancient manuscript is?
  4. When bible worshippers are backed to the wall on problems with the bible, they try to escape by claiming that its the original bible texts that are inerrant.  But since nobody has the original bible texts, when are they going to face up to the fact that the Bible texts that they do have are not inerrant?
  5. The greatest problem with inerrancy lies in the great number of internal (not to mention external) biblical contradictions, which honest people have to face, not try to explain away!
        The later is the problem this particular web page deals with.


The Bible itself proves the foolishness of


Click on the underlined references to have the verses displayed on a separate tab.
        {They will be displayed in the New International Version, but you can then select one of several other versions, if you prefer.}
        When there are more than two conflicting options, they are listed over one another instead of side by side.

If the passage in this column is
RIGHT,  then the passage in
the other column has to be WRONG.
If the passage in this column is
RIGHT,  then the passage in
the other column has to be WRONG.
Adam was to die the very day

that he ate the forbidden fruit.

  {some translations fudge "the actual day" }

Gen. 2:17

Adams Laundry

Adam lived

930 years after

he ate the

forbidden fruit.

Gen. 5:5

At Babel, the Lord confused the language of the whole world. Genesis 11:9 Paul says that God is not the author of confusion.
1 Cor. 14:33

Gen. 6:13-16 :13 And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits (450 feet), its width fifty cubits (75 feet), and its height thirty cubits (45 feet). 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and put the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks."

Did God tell Noah "of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark"
Genesis 6:19?
or did God tell Noah to collect "seven pairs of each clean animal (i.e. animals used for temple offerings and food)"and one pair of each unclean animal" Gen. 7:2-3?

Gen. 7:21-24 :  "The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. Every living thing that moved on the earth perished birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days."

What was the point of killing all of the animals on land and in the air as a result of the sins of man, but not the animals in the sea ?
       How was each pair of tiny animals that are barely visible to the naked eye selected?  Were all the species of dinosaurs housed above or below deck? And what did all the flesh-eating animals eat while confined to the ark? How was all their excrement handled?

Noah's Ark

What about Noah's Ark ?

a small scale recreation :

        In all of history there have been only two wooden ships ever built that were even close to that size. The 377 long by 73 ft wide "Rochambeau" was an iron-clad wooden ship built in 1865 in New York. About 50 feet of her length was a ram. She was not particularly stable or seaworthy and only made one voyage in the open ocean to reach her new owners in France. The 450 ft by 51 ft "Wyoming", built in 1909 in America had a tendency to flex in heavy seas, causing the long planks to twist and buckle, allowing water into the ship, and eventually to sink the ship.

        How could primitive people like Noah and his three sons make such a gigantic wooden ship without the tools, shipyard and know-how only available to mankind in recent years?   Now that wouldn't be such a problem if the bible said that God had built the ark, but what the bible says is that Noah built the ark, with the help only of his three sons, not God, and in seven days!

        The flow of this study of inerrancy is generally from the first book of the bible to the last. But because I have found that most people don't seem to get past this first page, I want to draw the attention of Christian readers in particular to the following crucial contradiction from the New Testament:
According to John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
According to Acts 10:34-35
Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."
God DOES change his mind.
Genesis 6:6Exodus 32:14, Numbers 14:20, I Samuel 15:35, II Samuel 24:16
God DOES NOT change his mind.
Numbers 23:19-20, Isaiah 15:29, James 1:17
Arpachshad [Arphaxad] was the father of Shelah.  
Genesis 11:12-14,   Genesis 10:24 & Genesis 10:24
Arpachshad was the grandfather of Shelah (by way of his son Cainan).   Luke 3:35-36
Abraham had TWO sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
Genesis 16:15, Genesis 21:1-3, Gal. 4:22
Abraham showed he was willing to "sacrifice his one and only son". Heb. 11:17
God IS seen.
Genesis 12:7, Genesis 17:1, Genesis 18:1, Genesis 26:2, Genesis 32:30, Exodus 3:16, Exodus 6:2-3, Exodus 24:9-11, Exodus 33:11, Numbers 12:7-8, Numbers 14:14, Job 42:5, Amos 7:7-8, Amos 9:1
God is NOT seen.  No one can see God's face and live.  No one has ever seen him.
Exodus 33:20, John 1:18, 1John 4:12
The covenant was to be everlasting
& circumcision a universal requirement for males.
Genesis 17:1-14, Genesis 10-11
Circumcision is inconsequential.
Gal. 6:15
The fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel are: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, DAN, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin.
Genesis 49:2-28
(Leaves out the tribe of Dan, but adds Manasseh.)
Rev. 7:4-8
Jacob was buried in a cave at Machpelah bought from Ephron the Hittite.
Genesis 50:13
Jacob was buried in the sepulchre at Shechem, bought from the sons of Hamor.
Acts 7:15-16
Vers. 1: Exodus 9:3-6
  God destroys ALL the cattle (including horses) belonging to the Egyptians.
Vers. 2: Exodus 11:5Exodus 12:12 Exodus 12:29

  All the first-born of the cattle of the Egyptians are destroyed (again?).

Vers. 3: Exodus 14:9
  After having all their cattle destroyed, then having them afflicted with boils and destroyed (again ?),
the first-born horses at least are destroyed a third time when the Egyptians pursue the Israelites on horseback into the seabed of the Red Sea.
Vers. 1: 1 – I Samuel 15:7-8 , 20 :   The Amalekites are utterly destroyed.
Vers. 2: 2 – I Samuel 27:8-9 :   The Amalekites are utterly destroyed (again?).
Vers. 3: I Samuel 30:1, I Samuel 17-18
  The Amalekites raid Ziklag and David smites them (again?).
The number of men of military age who take part in the Exodus is given as more than 600,000.  Allowing for women, children, and older men would probably mean that a total of about 2,000,000 Israelites left Egypt.
Exodus 12:37, Numbers 1:45-46
All the Israelites, including children, number only 7000 at a later time.
1 Kings 20:15
Children are not to suffer for their parent's sins.
Deut. 24:16, Ezech. 18:19-20
Children are. to suffer for their parent's sins :
Exodus 20:5, Exodus 34:7, Numbers 14:18, Deut. 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6, 2 Chron. 25:4, Ezekiel 18:20 Deut. 5:9, Isaiah 14:21-22
Death is passed to all his descendents by the sin of Adam.
Romans 5:12, Romans 5:19, 1 Cor. 15:22
God shows love to thousands, but brings punishment for the sins of their fathers to many children.
Jer. 32:18
No work is to be done on the sabbath, not even lighting a fire.  The God given commandment is permanent, and death is required for infractions.
Exodus 20:8-11, Exodus 31:15-17, Exodus 35:1-3
Jesus says that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (after his disciples were criticized for breaking the Sabbath).  Mark 2:27-28
Paul says the Sabbath commandment was temporary, and to decide for yourself regarding its observance. Romans 14:5, Col. 2:14-16

God prohibits killing.
Exodus 20:13, Deut. 5:17,
Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20,
Romans 13:9, James 2:11
God condones trickery and killing.
Genesis 34:1-35:5
God orders killing.
Exodus 32:27, Deut. 7:2, Deut. 13:15, Deut. 20:1-18
An angel of the Lord
slaughters 185,000 men.
2 Kings 19:35
God himself prohibits forever
the eating of blood and fat.
Lev. 3:17
Jesus and Paul say that such rules don't matter – they are only human injunctions.
Matt. 15:11, Col. 2:20-22
Sisera was sleeping when Jael killed him.
Judges 4:21
Sisera was standing when Jael killed him.
Judges 5:25-27
The Lord tells Samuel that Saul has been chosen to lead the Israelites and will save them from the Philistines.
I Samuel 9:15-17
The Lord is sorry that he has chosen Saul, and eventually . . .
I Samuel 15:35
Saul commits suicide, and the Israelites are overrun by the Philistines.   I Samuel 31:4-7
Saul inquired of the Lord, but received no answer.
I Samuel 28:6
Saul died for not inquiring of the Lord.
1 Chron. 10:13-14
Jesse had seven sons plus David, for a total of eight (not all named here).
I Samuel 16:10-11, 17:12
Jesse had a total of seven (all named here, including David).
1 Chron. 2:13-15
Saul knew David well before the latter's encounter with Goliath.
I Samuel 16:19-23
Saul did not know David at the time of his encounter with Goliath and had to ask about David's identity.
I Samuel 17:55-58
Michal was childless.
II Samuel 6:23
(KJV) Michal had five sons.
II Samuel 21:8
The Lord inspired David to take the census.
II Samuel 24:1
Satan inspired the census.
1 Chron. 21:1
The census count of "fighting men" was: Israel 800,000 and Judah 500,000.
II Samuel 24:9
The census count of "fighting men" was: Israel 1,100,000 and Judah 470,000.
1 Chron. 21:5
Ahaziah was 22 years old when he began his reign.
2 Kings 8:25-26
Ahaziah was 42 when he began his reign.
2 Chron. 22:1
The King of Syria and the son of the King of Israel did not conquer Ahaz.
2 Kings 16:5
The King of Syria did conquer Ahaz.
2 Chron. 28:5-6
Solomon had 40,000 horses (or stalls for horses).
1 Kings 4:26
He had 4,000 horses (or stalls for horses).
2 Chron. 9:25
Asa did not remove the high places.
1 Kings 15:14
Asa did remove the high places.
2 Chron. 14:2-3
Baasha died in the 26th year of King Asa's reign.
1 Kings 16:6-8
Baasha built a city in the 36th year of King Asa's reign.
2 Chron. 16:1


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