I read this Saturday morning a Huffington Post opinion piece that intrigued me by its title. I was, however, greatly disappointed and unable to get past his first point without taking the necessary time to address his remarks. This first point he expressed is a pitiful effort at addressing something the Bible says on some topics. I wonder how the other points he sets forth will fare (which I will read in due time)!
The concept that the bible is the inerrant word of God. There are countless contradictions in the bible that are obvious (and many more that are not as evident). One just has to read the bible (not even study it in detail) to find these. I recall a pastor tell me that if the bible is not inerrant then we might as well just throw the whole thing out. The bible is an important book like others books. And inspired by God is a much more accurate manner to describe the bible. However it is far from inerrant. While there are many discrepancies in the bible, here are just a few examples of some; let’s start with Genesis chapters 6-9 about Noah and the flood, there are two stories combined. One account has two, a pair of every kind of animal. Another account says seven pairs of the clean animals and only two of the unclean animals. Another one from the Old Testament is Psalm 145:9 and Jeremiah 13:14 where in the prior God is good and merciful to all and in the latter God will destroy all that worship a different deity.
In the New Testament, Matthew 10:34-36 describes Jesus telling the disciples that He came not to bring peace to the world, but a sword. However, in Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus says to love your enemy. Paul of Tarsus in Galatians 3:28 wrote: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” However 1st Timothy 2:11-15: says “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent…”. Religious scholars unequivocally agree that Paul wrote Galatians but did not write 1st or 2nd Timothy. The historical Paul of Tarsus was well known for supporting women’s equal rights.
RT – This is a pitiful effort by the author at speaking of a contradiction, and at same time trying to muster respectful language of the Bible as “inspired of God.” How can something come from God, who is above the intelligence of humanity, and at the same time be full of contradictions that humanity easily sees, but evidently God did not see?!
He asserts some information and with a wave of the hand declares it to be a contradiction. He, in no way, made a case with regard to Noah, Psalms, Jeremiah, Jesus, or Paul.
How is there a contradiction in Genesis 6-9 with regard to the animals taken on board? He asserts, “…there are two stories combined,” which is totally without merit! Again, with regard to Psalms and Jeremiah he offers nothing but an assertion. How is “God is good and merciful to all” contradicting “God will destroy all that worship differently”? He offers nothing at all, but his own desire to make a declaration; he asserts it!
Then he comes to the New Testament, and the general approach of mishandling the Old, he does again with regard to the New. He completely fails to understand the point of the Jesus in both passages (Matthew 5:43-48 and 10:34-36). Does Jesus use the word “sword” literally? Reading this fellow’s remarks, one can’t tell. However, if one were to actually read the passage in the context in which Jesus spoke, then one can easily see how he uses the word in that context. This is indicative of a prejudiced mind (the author of the Huffington Post piece) who refuses to consider anything but one’s own desired interpretation. Apart from that, how in the world do the words in 5:43-48 contradict this?
His remark relative to Paul in Galatians and Timothy is, likewise, pitiful! Is it truly the case that to be “one in Christ” contradicts God-ordained roles? Then, to make the blatantly false statement that “Religious scholars are unequivocally” in agreement that Paul did not write the letter ascribed to him to Timothy illustrates his ignorance.
I was hoping for something more substantive, but what I got when I read these remarks is a charlatan. Harsh words from me, I know, but he deserves them completely!