Points of Contention
The Bible is essentially a compilation party album of anonymously-written holy texts based off of rumors and urban legends. These texts were then translated, and these translations were translated many times. No one has seen the original texts, and history has forgotten the names of anyone who might have. Throughout history, these translators inserted their own embellishments and original material into the text. The divinity of these texts was arbitrarily declared by a committee. Not all sects agreed with their results, so they formed their own committees, which added or removed books as they saw fit.
As a result, the Bible contradicts itself at virtually every opportunity. How can one find guidance from the Bible, when the Bible is unsure of what it believes? However, this nebulousness is what makes the Bible so powerful -- by being intentionally confusing and contradictory, rebellion becomes impossible, since there is no way of knowing what to rebel against. Juche, the North Korean state ideology, exploits this same principle.
|But no public man...ever believes that the Bible means what it says: he is always convinced that it says what he means.|
—George Bernard Shaw
Since any Biblical teaching can be contradicted by some other biblical teaching, the clergy can “prove” that scripture mandates their personal agendas. Through exegesis, a priest can strategically interpret scripture to make anything you say wrong, and anything they say right. Thus, they maintain hegemony with regards to discourse.
However, turnabout is fair play. With foreknowledge, any of their arguments can be turned against them, by invoking its theological counterargument. At the risk of looking foolish, this will lead the priest into an emotionally-heated argument which bores spectators. By sending the priest into pointless tangents, you will eat at their time, and slowly creep them closer to burnout.
Lists of these counterarguments are presented below. You should familiarize yourself with them, but there is no need to memorize them; you can always sneak a peek at your mobile device to view this site, or excuse yourself to the restroom to do so. The important thing to remember is what to look for, and how these form of these arguments works:
- Many of these are based on conflicts between the Old and New Testaments. In general:
- When you need to take a soft approach, cite the New Testament, and mention how all of the laws of the Old Testament -- including the Ten Commandments -- were “abolished” (EPH 2:15) during the crucifixion. This results in a clean slate between God and man, where all debts were canceled, and all charges were dropped (COL 2:13-14).
- When you need to take a hard approach, cite the Old Testament, and mention how Jesus’ teachings merely amend the old laws without replacing them (1PET 1:25), because Jesus explicitly taught that every single character of the Old Testament laws were valid (MAT 5:17-19; JOH 7:19; LUK 16:17). Any attempt to dance around this problem defies Christ’s direct teachings.
- Question Christ's resurrection. This is the highest-value target; if the resurrection is untrue, then the entire Christian religion is invalidated (1COR 15:17).
- Do not argue. The goal is to waste the priest’s time, and to get them to invoke some thought-terminating cliché like “You need to find the answers for yourself,” or some other polite paraphrase of “I can’t be bothered with dealing with you.” Getting the clergy member to publicly announce that they have no answers does more for our cause than simply proving them wrong.
These points of contention have been binned into the following categories, which deal with:
- The Nature of God
- The Book of Genesis
- The Life of Moses
- The Life of Christ
- The Nature of Christ
- The Biblical Narrative
- The Christian Lifestyle
- Minor Points of Contention
These listings are sufficient, but not complete. We admit that these listings are poorly-organized, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. All love should be given to the authors of 1001 Bible Contradictions and the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible; these listings -- and this site -- would not be possible without their Herculean efforts.
- G. P. Harrison, 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian (Prometheus Books, 2013).