Bible contradictions...


#1

I stumbled upon this site, which lists many Bible contradictions. Of all of them, this one gets me the most…

Good deeds

Matt 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (NIV)
Matt 6:3-4 “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secert. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (NIV)

Here’s the whole site: infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html


#2

If you do a good deed…people more than likely will find out…and praise God for it…
If you do a good deed…don’t boast about it …people more than likely will find out about your boast…and God will not reward you


#3

Oh dear, I’ve had a lot of experience with that (and a couple other) atheist websites lately. Not good, not good at all. But it is important to read the best arguments from the “other side” in order to ground your faith firmly in reason.

When you read about Biblical contradictions, ask yourself, “What, precisely, is the contradiction here?” Atheists absolutely love juxtaposing little snippets of various Bible passages and pointing to alleged contradictions. Let’s look at the passages in a bit of context, using the NAB translation:

Matthew 5: 13-16 (Note that this is during the Sermon on the Mount):
"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Matthew 6: 1-4, 16-18:
(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you…]When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.

I hardly think this necessitates a comment. The one says to be a light to the world; in essence, to be a reflection of the Father’s glory. The other says not to boast and brag and do good deeds for your own glory, like the hypocrites do.

I’m really getting fed up with these atheist websites. I’ve literally seen them quote Bible passages out of context and say that they mean the precise opposite of what they actually mean http://forum.catholic.com/images/smilies/mad.gif


#4

The three rules to understanding & interpreting the Bible are
[list=1]
*]Context
*]Context
*]And, of, course, Context
[/list]When you read in context, these seeming problems go away. The atheist sites don’t quote in context, because it would spoil their “fun”.


#5

Great analysis Zooey. Context is important. Whenever you run across indivudal verses, your first question sould be: where does this come from??? This will save one a lot of stress and heartache. And for a guidance on reading Scripture, I suggest the following section of the Catechism:

The senses of Scripture

115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two *senses *of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.

116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."83

117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

  1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.84

  2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction”.85

  3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.86

118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:
The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;
The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.87

Hope this helps. Thanks and God Bless.


#6

Matt 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (NIV)
Matt 6:3-4 “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (NIV)

Loose Paraphrasing:
Matt 5:16: Lead by example. Live a pious life as public witness to the gospel and the eternal rewards for doing so. Be self-effacing and praise God for everything.
Matt 6:3-4: [Must be read in context with verse 2] The hypocrites demand human rewards and recognition for every charitable act. They demand glory for themselves instead of God. Therefore, avoid both the sin of arrogance and even the appearance of sin.


#7

[quote=Nan S]Loose Paraphrasing:
Matt 5:16: Lead by example. Live a pious life as public witness to the gospel and the eternal rewards for doing so. Be self-effacing and praise God for everything.
Matt 6:3-4: [Must be read in context with verse 2] The hypocrites demand human rewards and recognition for every charitable act. They demand glory for themselves instead of God. Therefore, avoid both the sin of arrogance and even the appearance of sin.
[/quote]

That is a great answer! It sums it up, I remember during Ash Wednesday hearing the homily by our priest talking about praying in our room by ourselves.


The vital difference between those 2 scriptures is that if we are living by Christ’s teachings then go out “Tell it on the Mountain”, however if we are living like hypocrites, then we need to work out our own problems with God. Because if we preach it, then go about not living by example we are probably living in sin.


#8

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