I know you’ve seen it. It’s a post that looks something like this…
This particular chart was created to show all of the contradictions in the Bible, with the red lines pointing to two verses that are supposedly in dispute. This is a popular tactic used by atheists. I’ve had several show me this chart and say “See, look at all the contradictions in your stupid holy book”.
This tactic doesn’t really do much for me because it is dishonest. What the individual is doing when he uses a tactic such as this, is simply ignoring the data and facts and just trying to carpet bomb his opponent into submission.
What do I mean by that?
Carpet bombing is a method used by all sorts wherein the person submitting the argument brings up so many references that the person on the other side couldn’t possibly answer them all in a reasonable time. The good news is, there is a way to sidestep this tactic and deliver a pretty deadly blow.
I was actually at a wedding recently and did this and it worked like it always has, like a charm. The person was telling me about how he grew up Christian but couldn’t believe in the Bible because of all the evidence against it. “There are so many issues with the Bible that I just couldn’t believe in everything it said anymore”.
My response: “Care to give an example?”
With that one phrase this guy was stumblin’ and bumblin’. He went to Genesis and couldn’t remember anything in detail. When I asked for more specifics, he couldn’t give them, he seemed pretty frustrated. People who use the carpet bomb tactic generally get their information third-hand so they don’t know it very well. When you zoom in on their view, they often don’t know it well enough to defend and/or support their argument.
There is one last element of this: which is the person who actually does have an argument. However, I will say, the people who have brought up referenced, and still supposed, biblical contradictions don’t carpet bomb, so those who have legit questions usually don’t use dishonest tactics.
To the person who does ask an honest, legitimate question, your job is to answer their question. If you are unsure, then admit it, get some contact info, study-up, and follow up. If you do know the answer: gentleness and respect. Don’t be a jerk, that’s not what Jesus would want from us.
I’ve never seen a legitimate contradiction in the Bible and I’ve studied hundreds. Generally it is a contextual problem. Notice the above photo where the lines are far and spaced. That’s usually a sign that they don’t understand the covenants and they are mixing the Old and New Testament. They might say, “Well there was two commandments from Jesus in the Matthew but ten in the Exodus”, that’s where we remind them of the covenants and who they apply to (and why).
A lot of the contradictions are simple. Tomorrow, I will follow up with one that gets brought up a ton but has a really easy answer.
The contradiction? How did Judas Iscariot really die? Stop back tomorrow afternoon for the follow up. Until then, what are some contradictions you’ve had an atheist bring up? How did you answer?
For atheists, what ones do you have that you’ve questioned? Be specific.
Grace and Peace