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A video exploring Contradictions in the Bible (Not harmonization)


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This video looks at contradictions in the Bible from an approach that doesn't seek to harmonize disaparate accounts but regonises their differing perspectives. Focusing on the ancient reasoning behind the differences.
 

 

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Interesting, pretty basic stuff. It's easy enough to say "different sources, different perspectives," which rather begs the question of why we should think either source/perspective is actually talking about something vaguely historical. You can find numerous contradictions in the story of Noah's Ark, for instance (two pairs of animals in one instance, 7 clean and 1 unclean in another; the 40 days or 150, etc..). And no doubt you can explain why there are two versions of the story there. But it doesn't alter the fact that a worldwide extinction-level flood within the last few thousand years is a complete impossibility. 

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At 8.01 the speaker says "But these contradictions in no way discount the message that these authors were trying to communicate".

I don't know how everybody else understands integrity and truth-telling, but for me, if the author is making stuff up just so they can present their view, then I think it is very reasonable to discount their message, or at the very least, question it.  Perhaps instead of contradiction we are simply often dealing with storytelling that has no factual basis.

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On 4/2/2021 at 5:51 PM, PaulS said:

I don't know how everybody else understands integrity and truth-telling, but for me, if the author is making stuff up just so they can present their view, then I think it is very reasonable to discount their message, or at the very least, question it.  Perhaps instead of contradiction we are simply often dealing with storytelling that has no factual basis.

I think you know my position well Paul. Why would someone look to a two thousand year old world view to live life by? Surely, there are more current sources. The ancients do not have a monopoly on truth, never mind unchanging truth. I would argue our understanding of evolution and the resulting interconnectedness of life and the inanimate 'should' give us pause to give a momentary sense of awe.

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On 4/8/2021 at 1:00 AM, romansh said:

I think you know my position well Paul. Why would someone look to a two thousand year old world view to live life by? Surely, there are more current sources. The ancients do not have a monopoly on truth, never mind unchanging truth. I would argue our understanding of evolution and the resulting interconnectedness of life and the inanimate 'should' give us pause to give a momentary sense of awe.

Too true Rom.  I think even back in the days of ancient Rome, people were attracted to 'old' religions, philosophies, world views, etc.  I think linking Christianity to the older ancient Hebrew bible was the foot in the door for Christianity in Rome at that time.  But like you say, our modern knowledge of where our species came from and how it developed certainly warrants adoption of new perspectives.

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On 4/9/2021 at 5:39 PM, PaulS said:

Too true Rom.  I think even back in the days of ancient Rome, people were attracted to 'old' religions, philosophies, world views, etc.  I think linking Christianity to the older ancient Hebrew bible was the foot in the door for Christianity in Rome at that time.  But like you say, our modern knowledge of where our species came from and how it developed certainly warrants adoption of new perspectives.

So what is the attraction of looking at these ancient texts?

  • Physics describes the behaviour of the universe: thermodynamics, relativity, quantum phenomena gives us insights into how the universe ticks. Quantum phenomena link the infinitesimally small to the unimaginably large cosmos. It shows the universe is all interconnected. We certainly don't have all the answers or certainty for that matter, but that is OK.
  • Chemistry describes to us how the building blocks of life come together, how biochemistry shapes us. How chemical patterns over time have evolved to form life. It shows we are all connected biologically. Again we don't have all the answers but that is  OK.
  • We can examine the interconnections of our psyches with our biochemistry and environment. We won't get it perfect, but that is OK.

It is time, I think, to reconnect to the universe at least conceptually and in so doing, to one another. We might not get it all right, but that too is OK. Incidentally, reconnect is the literal etymological translation of the word religion.

Trying to "harmonize" contradictions in the Bible is definitely taking our eyes of the ball. Checking for contradictions in our understanding of our place in the universe might be of more benefit. Some 2000 year old text might get some things right, but I think we have more accurate sources these days.

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On 4/12/2021 at 3:36 AM, romansh said:

So what is the attraction of looking at these ancient texts?

I guess for many, it is the comfort that they get from reading and perhaps believing in such texts.  It's certainly a cultural phenomenon (i.e many are born into it) and others who might be attracted later in life either need something or perhaps are looking for something else.  I'm not saying that's the best way for things to proceed, but rather just offering my two cents about why some people find ancient texts like the Christian bible as attractive.

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