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The Bible: An Inaccurate Text

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

How accurate is the Bible?

The Bible is inaccurate on several levels and thus cannot be considered a valid historical or factual document.
1
25%
The Bible is wholly accurate as God himself spoke the words that were written.
0
No votes
The Bible is written by man and is thus flawed, but we should love God all the same.
2
50%
The Bible is the "Braveheart" of religious texts.
0
No votes
Ponies are 100% accurate.
1
25%
Why do we permit this heretic to live? Bring forth the disemboweling cutlass.
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 4

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Nationalist State of Knox
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Ex-Nation

The Bible: An Inaccurate Text

Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:39 am

I am going to initially emphasise my viewpoint: the Bible is a text that I would consider inaccurate in many areas, and thus isn’t fit for use as any kind of factual or historical reference. This opinion, of course, stems from the actual information contained within the Bible, and in this argument, I shall not attempt to contradict what may or may not be true based on uncertainties; rather, I shall demonstrate the unquestionably false statements and “facts” contained within this so-called God-inspired book.

Another key piece of information that one must observe whilst reading the majority of this argument is that I shall not be tackling the existence of God as many scholars would; however, later in the argument, I shall explore the implications of such inaccuracies on the faith as a whole, as well as the Abrahamic deity, Yahweh.

It should also be noted that these inaccuracies stem mostly from the Old Testament, rather than from the New Testament, and thus this argument has heavy implications for Judaism as well as Christianity. I will also reiterate the point made in one of my previous threads; the Bible has been selected as the example purely because of its global popularity, as I have stated previously it is estimated that there are 2.18 billion Christians in the world today (and a significantly lower proportion of Jews), making the Bible the cornerstone for the largest faith to have ever existed.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let us begin.


Acts 5:34-39 wrote:But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honoured by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the speech of Pharisee Gamaliel. The speech itself would have taken place between A.D. 35-40, but it makes a couple of interesting mistakes. Notice how it refers to the revolt of Theudas as if it were a past event; interestingly enough, the same revolt occurred between A.D. 46-47, thus being completely incorrect. It then goes on to discuss the revolt of a man called “Judas the Galilean”, and how it followed the revolt of Theudas (which hadn’t actually happened yet), despite the fact that Judas’ revolt occurred in A.D. 6/7, forty years before Theudas’. My opinion? Either such a speech was fabricated and didn’t actually happen, or Luke really messed his chronology up.

2 Samuel 7:13-16 wrote: He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.”’

Huh? What’s that, the Davidic line will endure forever? Hang on, give me a sec…
Image

If you’d like to glance over to the column over to the left, with the “Kings of Judah” (ignore the right column, as Judah and Israel were split after Rehoboam displeased Yahweh), you’ll notice something quite interesting. Rehoboam was the son of Solomon, who was allowed to keep the tribes of Judah so Yahweh could keep his promise to David, his grandfather. However, you may notice that the line of the Kings of Judah ends after King Zedekiah. Indeed, Zedekiah was the last King of the Davidic line, ending in 586 B.C. However, Christians are likely to respond by saying that “Jesus was the fulfilment of that prophecy!” Not quite. Take a look at this:
Jeremiah 33:17 wrote: For this is what the Lord says: “David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel,

Whoops. How does the Bible account for the 500 year absence of a Davidic king between Zedekiah and Jesus? It doesn’t, in short. I guess God didn’t quite keep his promise, eh David?

Ezekiel 30: 10-12 wrote: ‘“This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
‘“I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt
by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
He and his army – the most ruthless of nations –
will be brought in to destroy the land.
They will draw their swords against Egypt
and fill the land with the slain.
I will dry up the waters of the Nile
and sell the land to an evil nation;
by the hand of foreigners
I will lay waste the land and everything in it.

There is some truth in these three verses, interestingly enough. Nebuchadnezzar did lead his army against the Egyptians; however, his 601 B.C. invasion was eventually repulsed and he failed to capture Egypt. However, most sources on the topic are fragmented, so we can’t actually be certain of exactly what happened. The true inaccuracy lies in the latter part of the passage, and even in these verses:

Ezekiel 29:12-13 wrote: I will make the land of Egypt desolate among devastated lands, and her cities will lie desolate for forty years among ruined cities. And I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries.
‘“Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says: at the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the nations where they were scattered.

Nowhere in recorded history is it ever mentioned that Egypt was a desolate wasteland for 40 years, its cities destroyed or its people scattered. If the passage is indeed referring to Nebuchadnezzar’s reattempt to invade Egypt in 568 B.C., (assuming it actually did succeed and he actually did destroy Egypt), Babylon fell in 539 B.C., which doesn’t quite add up to Nebuchadnezzar’s “40 year desolation”.

Daniel 1:1 wrote: In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.

The third year of Jehoiakim’s reign… that would be 606 B.C. But wait, Nebuchadnezzar didn’t become King of Babylon until 605 B.C., and even then his first attack on Jerusalem didn't occur until 597 B.C., after Jehoiakim had died and had been replaced by his son, Jehoiachin.

Daniel 5:1-22 wrote: King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them.

Oh dear Daniel, you really aren’t very good with your kings, are you? First of all, let’s get something straight; Belshazzar was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar, nor did he ever become king. Belshazzar was actually the son of Nabonidus, the last King of Babylon, who made Belshazzar regent over Babylon while he went off to a place called Tayma. In 540 B.C. Nabonidus returned to help fight off the advancing Persian army led by Cyrus the Great. Belshazzar remained in the capital to hold it, but after Nabonidus fled, the city was overthrown two days later. The actual son of Nebuchadnezzar was Amel-Marduk.

Daniel 5:30-31 wrote: That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.

And the Bible draws ever closer to fiction. There is no historical record to even suggest the existence of this “Darius the Mede” outside of the Bible, and in actuality it was Cyrus the Great who overthrew Babylon. Yet again, we have a reference to Belshazzar as “King of the Babylonians”, whereas he was merely regent in Nabonidus’ absence. My best explanation for this is that the author of the Book of Daniel was confused with Darius I, who was born 17 years after Babylon fell.

Ezekiel 26:7-14 wrote: ‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: from the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you. He will direct the blows of his battering-rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons. His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the war horses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. The hooves of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishing nets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.

A relatively long-winded passage, but the general gist is that Nebuchadnezzar was going to attack and destroy the city of Tyre, and that it never will be rebuilt. Okay, I’ve got to give the Bible that one; it never was rebuilt, although this could be because it was never destroyed; despite the prophecy, Tyre held off Nebuchadnezzar’s attack for thirteen years from 586 B.C., and consequently was never captured or destroyed by him.
Now if you don’t mind, I need to plan next year’s holiday to Tyre.

Matthew 2:16 wrote: When Herod realised that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

And finally, a New Testament passage to finish up. Nowhere in recorded history is there any mention of this infanticide, not even in the works of Flavius Josephus who catalogued the life of Herod thoroughly. If it did indeed happen, why did no historians ever take note of it? How odd.


Now, I could go on, but I shan’t for the reason that I have (hopefully) gotten my point across. From my perspective, these inaccuracies have (at least) two severe consequences for the concept of God and Christianity, depending on the viewpoint of the individual Christian. They are as follows:

1. For fundamentalist Christians, who believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, this almost certainly points to a degree of imperfection within Yahweh; at least, it shows how he cannot possibly be omniscient if he makes such errors. This would, therefore, undermine Yahweh as a being worthy of worship, or at least point to the likelihood that the Bible was produced by imperfect man, rather than Yahweh himself.
2. For Christians who read the Bible in any way, this at least suggests that the Bible cannot be trusted as a document in teaching faith, as it shows how erroneous parts of the Bible can be. As a consequence, the Bible should be viewed with a certain degree of scrutiny in future, and possibly even disregarded entirely.



As an antitheist the answer is clear to me; the Bible is merely a flawed work of man. However, to Christians; when you read the Bible in future, don’t believe everything you read, and to fundamentalists who believe that the Bible is the infallible word of Yahweh; you should begin to question just how knowledgeable your God truly is.
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
Call me Knox.
Biblical Authorship
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Bible Inaccuracies
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Farnhamia
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Postby Farnhamia » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:42 am

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Nationalist State of Knox
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Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:43 am

Farnhamia wrote:Seriously?

This is partially a response to the threads around the same topic area, and this covers different ground to that thread.
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
Call me Knox.
Biblical Authorship
God is Malevolent.
Bible Inaccuracies
Ifreann wrote:Knox: /ˈɡɪl.ɡə.mɛʃ/
Impeach Enlil, legalise dreaming, mortality is theft. GILGAMESH 2474 BC

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Farnhamia
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Postby Farnhamia » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:45 am

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Farnhamia wrote:Seriously?

This is partially a response to the threads around the same topic area, and this covers different ground to that thread.

We don't need two. Your post could easily have been made in the first one.
Freedom ... or cake. ~ Ashmoria (RIP)
Make Earth Great Again: Stop Continental Drift!
And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water ...
"Make yourself at home, Frank. Hit somebody." RIP Don Rickles
My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. ~ Carl Schurz
<Sigh> NSG...where even the atheists are Augustinians. ~ The Archregimancy
Now the foot is on the other hand ~ Kannap
RIP Dyakovo| In support of Arch

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Nationalist State of Knox
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Ex-Nation

Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:49 am

Farnhamia wrote:
Nationalist State of Knox wrote:This is partially a response to the threads around the same topic area, and this covers different ground to that thread.

We don't need two. Your post could easily have been made in the first one.

I do digress. If you read the OP (specifically the end), I'm trying to make points that differ from the topic in the thread you posted. This is discussion the implications of such inaccuracies, whereas that thread is discussing the existence of such inaccuracies.
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
Call me Knox.
Biblical Authorship
God is Malevolent.
Bible Inaccuracies
Ifreann wrote:Knox: /ˈɡɪl.ɡə.mɛʃ/
Impeach Enlil, legalise dreaming, mortality is theft. GILGAMESH 2474 BC

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Risottia
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Postby Risottia » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:50 am

Don't copycat.

Copy ponies.
Last edited by Risottia on Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AiliailiA
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Ex-Nation

Postby AiliailiA » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:53 am

"Valid historical documents" often contain mistakes, and also can retain historical value despite subsequent tampering.
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Arkinesia
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Ex-Nation

Postby Arkinesia » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:53 am

I don't really hold to the belief that the Bible is a perfect historical record for a handful of reasons.

That said, I don't follow the morality of the book because it's an accurate historical record. The present state of the Bible is still very incomplete in terms of getting the most accurate transcripts and it won't ever be perfected barring a set of very, very real miracles.
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AiliailiA
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Postby AiliailiA » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:54 am

Risottia wrote:Don't copycat.

Copy ponies.


Good luck getting a pony to sit on a photocopier.
My name is voiced AIL-EE-AIL-EE-AH. My time zone: UTC.

Cannot think of a name wrote:"Where's my immortality?" will be the new "Where's my jetpack?"
Maineiacs wrote:"We're going to build a canal, and we're going to make Columbia pay for it!" -- Teddy Roosevelt
Ifreann wrote:That's not a Freudian slip. A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother.
Ethel mermania wrote:
Ifreann wrote:
DnalweN acilbupeR wrote:
: eugenics :
What are the colons meant to convey here?
In my experience Colons usually convey shit

NSG junkie. Getting good shit for free, why would I give it up?

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EnragedMaldivians
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Ex-Nation

Postby EnragedMaldivians » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:54 am

Risottia wrote:Don't copycat.

Copy ponies.


I like you Risso but...

This is bad and you should feel bad.
Taking a break.

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Thafoo
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Ex-Nation

Postby Thafoo » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:55 am

that is because of LogiChristians isn't it?

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Nationalist State of Knox
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Ex-Nation

Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:57 am

Ailiailia wrote:"Valid historical documents" often contain mistakes, and also can retain historical value despite subsequent tampering.

Indeed, but when one considers the supposed divine inspiration for the text, you'd imagine it wouldn't make so many mistakes.

Arkinesia wrote:I don't really hold to the belief that the Bible is a perfect historical record for a handful of reasons.

That said, I don't follow the morality of the book because it's an accurate historical record. The present state of the Bible is still very incomplete in terms of getting the most accurate transcripts and it won't ever be perfected barring a set of very, very real miracles.

A valid point.

Thafoo wrote:that is because of LogiChristians isn't it?

No, this is a different topic for debate.
Last edited by Nationalist State of Knox on Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
Call me Knox.
Biblical Authorship
God is Malevolent.
Bible Inaccuracies
Ifreann wrote:Knox: /ˈɡɪl.ɡə.mɛʃ/
Impeach Enlil, legalise dreaming, mortality is theft. GILGAMESH 2474 BC

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The Archregimancy
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Democratic Socialists

Postby The Archregimancy » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:02 am

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Thafoo wrote:that is because of LogiChristians isn't it?

No, this is a different topic for debate.


But similar enough in substance that we don't need two active threads on Biblical accuracy.

They may not be homoousios, but they certainly are homoiousios.
Last edited by The Archregimancy on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.


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