At AllFaith.com I share numerous studies into the world's religions based on my personal quest for Truth. Over the years this research has led me to embrace Judaism. That is now the main focus of the domain.
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~ John of AllFaith
Monday, October 05, 2009
Errors and Contradictions in the Bible? An Answer to Muslim Missionaries
"The Earth Belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."
Scientific Errors and Contradictions in the Bible? An Answer to Muslim Missionaries
By Ben Ruach HaKodesh (John of AllFaith) � 10.05.09
If you haven't received those Muslim Missionary e-mails claiming that "I have came across many scientific errors and contradictions in the Bible" its probably just a matter of time until you do!
Since this list of supposed errors seems to be proliferating I thought it might worth addressing its points. There are a few versions of this one around. Rather than post one of them, I'll just address the accusations:
Charge: Proverbs 6:6-8 says ants have no commander, no ruler and no overseer! This is absurdly false, because ants live in colonies and ranks of rulership and authority. And they have a queen.
Proverbs 6:6-8 is not a scientific treatise on ants (gazelles etc). It is an illustration of a point. Such metaphors are never intended to be dissected. One might say for instance, "Its as hot as Death valley today!" or "Its as cold as the North Pole!" That means its very hot or very cold, not that its 125 degrees plus or minus or whatever the present temperature of those places might be.
Read the context of these verses and it will be clear what is being said:
Proverbs 6:1 My son, if you have become collateral for your neighbor, if you have struck your hands in pledge for a stranger; 6:2 You are trapped by the words of your mouth. You are ensnared with the words of your mouth.... 6:6 Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways, and be wise; 6:7 which having no chief, overseer, or ruler, 6:8 provides her bread in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. 6:9 How long will you sleep, sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep?
In other words, don't be like the ant that mindlessly acts (of course they do not 'mindless act' as such, they have a hierarchy etc. HOWEVER each ant in the hierarchy from the highest to the lowest acts according to instinct, so there is no "chief, Overseer, or ruler" over them. They all act according to instinct rather than rational thought. So even then, the metaphor is correct.
Charge: Leviticus 11:20-23 - "All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you." No insect with four legs exists. Insects have six legs and six feet.
Again, a figure of speech. Kosher laws forbid eating those ground based insects It doesn't mean they have four feet, only that they walk on the ground (as do four-footed mammals).
Charge: Matthew 13:31-32 "He (Jesus) told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds," The mustard seed is not the smallest of all seeds. Others, such as the orchid seed, are smaller.
Again, the Master was not giving a botany lesson. His point was that even a little faith is a powerful thing. He was not teaching a science class. We also are not given a description of what was going on during this discussion. He may well have been holding a seed in his hand and saying, "Even this tiny amount of faith..." Such points are just nit-picky and silly.
Charge: Leviticus 12:2-5, a female causes double the pollution when she's born than that of a boy. The mother remains unclean for 66 days after birth of a female instead of 33 days if she gives birth to a male.
This verse is part of the Law of Moses intended to guide the Hebrews.
First, there is nothing here about females causing double the pollution. This is taquiya (intentional deceit and misdirection). It says:
12:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 12:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'If a woman conceives, and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her monthly period she shall be unclean. 12:3 In the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 12:4 She shall continue in the blood of purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any holy thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed. 12:5 But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her period; and she shall continue in the blood of purification sixty-six days.
So then... If she has a boy:
SHE is ritually unclean for 7 days, on the 8th day he is to be circumcised. SHE continues with her ritual of purification for another 33 days.
IF she has a girl:
SHE is ritually unclean for 14 days -- note that there is no "female circumcision" (a most barbaric mutilation practiced by Muslims still today) -- and she continues her ritual of purification for another 66 days.
So, the charge is incorrect on its face: The new mother does not cause "double the pollution" (there is no pollution even mentioned) she merely has a longer period of self-purification and recovery than if she had given birth to a boy.
This reflects common views at the time. Right or wrong most ancient cultures gave preference to males. Partly because they were seen as more useful as field hands, warriors, heads of families, etc. Partly because it was believed that sons carried on their father's name in ways daughters (who joined with the houses of their husbands) did not. One can not fairly judge ancient cultures by modern standards.
These reasons, as well as the circumcision of the boy as an offering to God, were probably considerations for these ancient people, but more importantly this was a direct command of HaShem, not a human calculation. If God wishes to set such conditions on His creation that is His right as Creator and Lord. Like most ancient texts, the Bible does makes distinctions based on gender that modern people in the West find difficult to accept based on current views.
Compared to Islam however, where a woman can be legally (under Sharia) raped or murdered for simply going outside alone, for looking at a man not her relative, for allowing her arms to be seen (let alone her more "private parts" ... like knees), or being seen without her hijab... women had far more freedom, protection and respect 4000 years ago under the Laws of Moses than they do today under Sharia! And this is system the Ummah of Islam is attempting to establish globally today. This is the goal of such groundless attacks on the Bible.
Under the guidelines of the New Testament we are told that in God's eyes there is neither male nor female (Gal 3:28) for those who love God.
Then there are the alleged:
Textual and Historical Contradictions
Charge: 2 Samuel 10:18 - David slew 700 and 40,000 horsemen and Shobach the commander.
1 Chronicles 19:18 - David slew 7000 chariots and 40,000 footmen.
These are just two different forms of reckonings:
II Sam. 10:18 And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there.
I Chron. 19:18 But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host.
II Sam. says he slew the "men of 700 chariots..." I Chron. says "7000 men who fought in the chariots"
This is not a contradiction. If there were 7000 men assigned to the chariots there would be around 700 leaders or officers of the chariots (around 10%). Likewise such soldiers would be referred to as horsemen or footmen interchangeably when referring to the force as a whole.
Charge: 2 Chronicles 9:25 - Solomon had 4000 stalls for horses and chariots. 1 Kings 4:26 - Solomon had 40,000 stalls for horses.
These are two different time periods. At one time I owned two cars and a motor cycle, today I only own a pick up truck.
Not a contradiction.
Charge: Ezra 2:5 - Arah had 775 sons. Nehemiah 7:10 - Arah had 652 sons.
Ezra 2:1 Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity...
Nehemiah 7:5 ....And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein...
The registry or ledger Nehemiah was working off of was inaccurate while Ezra gives us the correct listing. Why would this be? There are lots of possible reasons. Names were spelled differently, people had dual alliances, people had been added or lost between the writing of the registry and the giving of the numbers to Ezra... etc.
The registry Nehemiah was working from was of human calculations, while Ezra received his knowledge from God.
And both lists agree that the total number was 42,360.
Again, not a contradiction.
Charge: 2 Samuel 24:13 - SEVEN YEARS OF FAMINE. 1 Chronicles 21:11-12 - THREE YEARS OF FAMINE.
In context these are referring to two different things.
The seven years came and were followed by an additional three years:
II Samuel 21:1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
Again, not a contradiction.
Charge: How did Judas die? Matthew 27:5 - Hanged himself. Acts 1:18 - And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out.
There is no contradiction here either.
He hung himself, his body went limp, he slipped out of the noose (or perhaps was cut down by a Roman guard) and fell to the ground below.
Charge: 2 Samuel 6:23 - MICHAL never had a child until she died. 2 Samuel 21:8 - MICHAL had 5 sons.
Once again, there is no contradiction if one merely reads the texts:
II Sam 6:23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
21: 8 ... and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite...:
"... whom she brought up for Adriel..."
She raised them as her own but she herself had no kids. I have two sons but only one is my biological son.
Charge: 2 Kings 24:8 - Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he began to reign. 2 Chronicles 36:9 - Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign.
Jehoiachin reigned with his father Jehoiakim for ten years.
Jehoiakim began his reign when he was 25 years old and reigned for 11 years. He was 17 when his son Jehoiachin was born.
Beginning in the second year of Jehoiakim's reign he had his son Jehoiachin ruling with him (hence at age 8).
Jehoiachin reigned with his father for 10 years and then, beginning at age 18, he ruled alone. Father and son co-reigns are not without biblical precedent, for instance David and Solomon.
Again, no contradiction.
Charge: 1 Kings 16:6-8 - 26th year of the reign of Asa, Baasha reigned over Israel. 2 Chronicles 16:1 - 36th year of the reign of Asa, Baasha reigned over Israel.
Neither says what charge alleges:
...In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel
The son of Baasha reigned.
In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah...
Doesn't say he began his reign then.
Charge: Who was Josiah's successor? Jehoahaz - 2 Chronicle 36:1 Shallum - Jeremiah 22:11
They were the same person:
I Chron. 3:15 The sons of Josiah: the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.
Many people in the Bible have more than one name. Abram: Abraham, Jacob: Israel, Daniel: Belteshazzar and so on.
These e-mails usually end with a few verses such as:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God. (2 Timothy 3:16)
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.... (2 Samuel 22:31)
And the words of the LORD are flawless.... (Psalm 12:6)
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.... (Psalm 18:30)
Every word of God is flawless.... (Proverbs 30:5)
And then add a little barb like this:
These True Statements undoubtedly prove that the Bible is corrupt!
What is ur view... ready to embrace Islam the Only True Religion?
"My view" is that you have not presented a single contradiction here. You have merely indicated a lack of knowledge of God's inspired Word.
Islam is a false religion without ANY historic ties to the origins it claims. Al Qu'ran is plagiarized from the Bible and the Indian Vedas.
Christianity and Judaism have clear ties to Abraham and the books of the Tanach and New Testament have demonstratively verifiable ancient roots leading back to the histories and periods they discuss. Al Qu'ran has NO such evidential support. The opposite is the case.
As Jesus said: John 4:22 You worship that which you don't know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews.
If you sincerely wish to worship the true God of Father Abraham reject Islam.