BibViz - Biblical Contradictions


New to these forums. I’m a Catholic, currently going through Confirmation process. I’m in my mid 30s. If I had to describe myself, I’d say I’m the kind of believer who values proof, clarity and intellectual apologetics. I wasn’t attracted to Christ in the hope of salvation, I believe because I think something very special happened in Judea, circa AD 20-30. In short, I genuinely believe what we are told.

I’ve decided to sign up because although I enjoy watching videos detailing the differences within scholarly opinion, (theist and atheist), I don’t have enough time to sit for hours and hours working my way through a never ending source of material, in the hope of obtaining more clarity on certain issues.

I’m sure some of you are aware of a site that claims to document over 60,000 alleged Biblical contradictions. I’ll be honest, this does concern me - because I stated earlier - I prefer the firm hand of consistency and intellectuality, over the lonesome emotion of hope and ‘possibility’.

When navigating through the site, you can either click on the impressive, (though confusing looking) arc diagram for instances of ‘Biblical contradiction’, or scroll further down to simply click on each hyperlink headline. I’m not going to keep coming back with every single example of Biblical inconsistency lol, however is there a site that details and thoroughly answers these inconsistencies?

I’d also like to ask: how does the Bible deal with the ‘scientific’ concept of genetic traits?
For example: ‘You have your mothers sense of humour, and your dad’s bluntness’.

Thanks :slight_smile:

is there a site that details and thoroughly answers these inconsistencies?

The reality concerning the Sacred Scriptures is that Vatican Ecumenical Council II teaches what Scripture scholar Fr John Echert affirms.
Answer by Fr. John Echert on 20/12/2007 (EWTN):
“**The Church formally teaches that the Sacred Scriptures are absolutely without error. **This teaching is not arrived at inductively – namely, that a careful study of the entire Bible has revealed no discrepancies or difficulties – but follows from the fact that God is the ultimate Author of the Bible and falsehood is incompatible with Truth Itself. **As taught by the Second Vatican Council: The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach the truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.” **[My emphasis].

Re a literal interpretation see
[Fr Brian Harrison refers to *The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) of Vatican II, 1963-5].
‘The true sense of Dei Verbum, 11, then, is not that the guarantee of inerrancy covers those propositions which a biblical author affirms (or teaches) as opposed to those which he merely “states,” i.e., with less force or deliberation, but still as an expression of his own judgment. Rather, it covers those propositions he affirms (or teaches) as opposed to those which he merely “uses materially,” i.e., those in which what appears on paper, taken in isolation, or in its most superficially literal sense, does not express his own judgment in any way.

‘These “materially used” (but not formally affirmed) propositions in Scripture would appear to be of three main kinds. First (and most obviously), there are those which the human author does not himself utter but attributes to someone else, in which case divine inspiration guarantees only the truthful reporting of such propositions, not the truth of the propositions themselves. Secondly, this category would include individual propositions used by the author as part of a parable or other imaginative literary composition, in which the formally affirmed teachings it sets out to convey emerge only from the story as a whole. Finally, there are propositions in which not every word is meant to be understood in the most immediate literal sense, since the author may be “using” hyperbole, metaphor, or other literary devices, even within a passage or book which is substantially ‘straight’ history or didactic teaching rather than fiction of some sort.

‘In short, what is essentially guaranteed to be true by virtue of divine inspiration, according to the sentence of Dei Verbum, 11, we are considering, is not the isolated propositions taken in their ‘surface’ meaning and without regard to their historical and literary context, but rather (as the next article of Dei Verbum puts it) “that meaning which the sacred writers really intended, and which God, by their words, wanted to make known.” 55 The discernment of that divine and human meaning is what the Church understands by a proper ‘literal’ interpretation of the text - which is not to be confused with a ‘literalist’ interpretation.” ’

There are no “errors” or “contradictions” in the meaning which the sacred writers intended.

I’d also like to ask: how does the Bible deal with the ‘scientific’ concept of genetic traits?
For example: ‘You have your mothers sense of humour, and your dad’s bluntness’.

The Bible does not teach science.

There are some possible small textual/copyist errors in transmission, correct? Some numbers or ages being off, etc… I believe.

I wasn’t attracted to Christ in the hope of salvation, I believe because I think something very special happened in Judea, circa AD 20-30.

Hopefully you have moved past this. The primary benefit of the Incarnation was not that we have something fun to talk about on the internet, but that we have a Savior. :thumbsup:

Anyway, to your two questions:

  1. I looked for a few minutes for this site. Couldn’t find it. Found this thread on the first page on a Google search. But, it’s an old game… If you are looking for contradictions in as complex and as large a text as the Bible, you’ll find plenty, inasmuch as in doing so you are not trying to see a coherent narrative or idea but are looking for something to point your finger at and go “a ha!” The Bible is a large collection of enormously complicated pieces of writing. And my guess is your site has found these “contradictions” in English, rather than Greek and Hebrew, which also makes a difference. Maybe you could link to the site.

  2. I’m not aware of a particular verse or passage at this moment, but my guess is there is something in the Wisdom Literature about this.

Thank you for the replies.

What I mean by ‘hope of salvation’ is that I ‘believe’ because I firstly consider the events of our Lord’s time as entirely plausible. I shall not shy away from the specific claims made in the Bible, and my belief is made up of more than just ‘comfort’ and ‘faith’.

Sometimes I requires a an intellectual sibling to accompany one’s journey into the realm of our Lord and our dear Apostles.

I should have explained my second query more clearly. What I mean to ask is - how can the idea of free will and self determination exist, if we are, at least in part, dictated by our genetic traits? Reason I ask is because I was watching a program by David Eagleman on BBC 4. It was about the brain, the complexities of our brains, and why our brain operates the way it does. He touched on genetics, and how we can inherit patterns, ideas, and emotions from our parents. Doesn’t this contradict the idea of all individuals - born into the world as pure, undistorted individuals?

This is the site I was referring to :slight_smile:

Let me know what you think.

Thank you.

Silly me, it’s IN THE THREAD TITLE.

It’s very nicely done. Would that Catholic parish websites were half as well designed!

Beyond that, it’s pretty lame. It’s just the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible (and a few even lamer ones) with cool looking graphics to show where the references are. I picked one that looked particularly puzzling, and, lo and behold, the solution to the “contradiction” lies in THE VERSE BEFORE one of the verses referenced. (Zedekiah and his eyes, if you’re interested.) Again, if you are looking to make things contradict, they will contradict for you.

One has to realize that these texts were everything to the Jews. They internalized them to such a degree that the average 1st century Galilean goat herder could probably recite to you by heart most if not all of the Torah, and the more learned could do most if not all of the Tanakh. That sounds nuts to us, but that was their culture. So any time there is a “contradiction,” one has to think the author is wise to it.

The free will discussion is very large. There is a lot to read unfortunately! To your specific point, sure, many of our dispositions and subconscious tendencies are a direct result of natural compulsion, but we have the power to act against those “instincts.” We are clean slates (tabula rasa) in terms of our actual knowledge. (Though innate ideas a large debate with many subtleties, like, “Do we know how to do math in principle,” or, “If one is born blind and gains sight after having touched something, will he know what it is when he sees it based on feeling it?” Fun things like that. It was a big deal especially for the Modern era.)

My recommendation is to spend more time wondering about how to make the most out of your prayer and fasting than how to answer 60,000 “contradictions.” The spiritual edifice is more important than the intellectual edifice. If you master Thomas A Kempis, you don’t need to master Thomas Aquinas. Check out St. Francis Xavier’s letter in the Office of Readings lamenting the “learning” being done in Paris. It certainly strikes a nerve of mine!

See refutation of over 100 supposed contradictions at philvaz’s site here.

See over 700 refuted at Tekton apologetics.

You might try purchasing or checking out The Big Book of Bible Difficulties by Norman Geisler, which goes through these allegations and refutes them. It’s rather annoying that we have to deal with this, but understandable – the Bible is very old and our lack of understanding of the original language and the scholarship of that time can lead to errors. Some New Atheists are also exceptionally prone to purposefully misreading texts, sadly. :rolleyes:

:Reads one “contradiction” on site:

Good gracious these people are apparently computer geniuses (based on the well-designed nature of this page) – yet are completely incapable of reading a book. How is this possible? :confused:

On another note, you can find a lot of credible, rational responses in the comments! So hooray! A site used for attacks is turned into an apologetics opportunity, and by the looks of things, we are easily winning.

Thank you folks :slight_smile:
Will seek out all forwarded recommendations!

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