The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Contradictions: NT V NT

This section is for any contradictions between the NT. The last of my three part series :wink: Add any that stick out.

@steve7150 In your post in OT V NT, I was looking at some NT texts and thought this was a bit weird.

In Matthew 22:36-40 It says, “36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””

But in Galatians 5:14 it says, “14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.””

Is this a contradiction?

Only if you desperately want it to be. Not if you read it in light of the entire message of Galatians about the dangers of legalism.

Let me prepare a sign - for this forum thread! :crazy_face:

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You know, I was just stating that I had some thoughts about this and would like to DISCUSS this in the forum. I think that’s what the forum is here for. Wouldn’t you say @Invernessian?

There is no need to accuse me of being desperate.

I make another forum page regarding the OT V OT and no one starts hating me for testing scripture. Once I make a NT V NT page, everyone thinks Im trying to tear down Jesus and the NT. Everyone gets all defensive now that we’re talking about the NT - why not get defensive about the OT as well?

If you are not going to add some actual reasoning to your own responses then please don’t respond. Thank you.

I’m a big fan of world literature. And I like the Russian atheist writer, Ayn Rand - who became a US citizen. And her works The Fountainhead and Atlas Struggled, are literary masterpieces - in my humble opinion. And if I search hard enough, I can find contradictions Perhaps sentences taken out of context. But when I put it into context, with the paragraph and/or chapter - it’s not earth shattering…or even a show stopper.

Sure, I can find contradictions in the Bible. Heck, i don’t have to do the work. ALL I need to do, is visit some atheist sites - on the subject.

And I can then take ALL their contradictions. And I can search theologians - of various church backgrounds - putting the contradictions into context.

But what have I accomplished? Perhaps the same thing, as medieval philosophers and theologians - debating this historical puzzle!

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@Holy-Fool-P-Zombie So you don’t find that there is ANY point in debating contradictions in the NT?

I have in fact found contradictions such as the concept of hell that is so founded in Christian doctrine. Yet when I searched the Bible, my eyes did deceive me when I found a quite conflicting view of no eternal conscious torment. I think there is great importance in testing the bible, so we rid it of concepts and beliefs that are not from God.

Well, that presents a BIG problem. Hypothetically, suppose three “well-known” scholars - did this. And they were in some ivory league tower, that paid them - to do so. Maybe like you find, in this book:

And let’s take this example.

  • Scholar One says A is a contradiction - here’s why.

  • Scholar Two says A is not a contradiction - here’s why

  • Scholar Three says they don’t know about A - here’s why.

And I, as a layperson - read these. How do I KNOW who - if any of the three - is right? It’s the same problem, where three persons present Bible interpretations - on a particular passage…all based upon “insight”, by the Holy Spirit…And they are ALL different. How do I, as a lay outsider - know who, if anyone - is right?

Whether they be actually present or not so-called contradictions are often in the eye of the beholder.

Ignore or be ignorant of literary genre, audience relevance or basic historical context all in favour of a puerile literalism then you’ll have no shortage of ear-twitch; consider the following accordingly…

God is love1Jn 4:8

Esau I have hatedRom 9:13

God shows no partialityActs 10:34

My apologies, mik. I honestly did not realise how sensitive you are to perceived criticism, intended or not.
Btw, I provided reasons in my response but did not feel it necessary to elaborate.

@Invernessian There is no need to make snide comments to degrade someone - can’t believe I have to say that as I believe you are a grown man. You have stated perviously how you don’t care about contradictions so why are you responding to my posts?

@Holy-Fool-P-Zombie I have never come across the “Glass Bead Game,” but I don’t think that peoples opinions are infallible. I do however think that Gods word in infallible. No Christian is going to say that the OT is not Gods word, so that is our measure by which we can test things to.

You study the text, correct yourself, learn more, take in new evidence and actually discuss.

Actually that is a very good statement. I like it. I might not consider myself as a Christian at this point but what the hey…

I’m thinking mik hasn’t been around here long to see just how many EU’s arbitrarily dismiss great swathes of the OT as… NOT God’s word.

While I somewhat agree overall with that statement, I’d like to clarify what it means to me.
I don’t think the word ‘arbitrarily’ is accurate, nor the idea that critical reading of much of the OT is the same as saying it is not “God’s word”.
First, people have to take the step of determining how to confront the Bible; it is not a given that those 66 books are in fact verbally inspired by God - by ‘verbally’ I mean the idea that God put words and ideas directly into the minds of particular men, who then basically channeled the words onto a page. We know that cannot be a correct concept, because most of the data in the OT came down orally; so that even if a man was given a story directly from God, for much of OT history he had no way of writing it down. It was passed down in an oral fashion, then later written out from the memory of a memory of someone who heard it from someone. It has been shown that this was in fact an accurate way of transmitting knowledge back then, but it is a long way from a typewriter-like stenography of words from God.
So that leaves us in a position of clarifying what we mean by ‘God’s word’, and it is a leap of faith to say: that word is our Bible, and not just the book, each verse and story in it. A claim like that is something that has to be shown, not just stated.
It is not clear how much of the OT is valid history, or basically a mythlike fiction, written by honest men to serve the needs of a small Israelite nation in humbled and dangerous circumstances. Archeological finds have backed up some of the OT history, but other large areas such as the Canaan conquest have very little evidence objectively. Does that mean it is not God’s word? -not necessarily.
So caricaturizing some thoughtful considerations as ‘arbitrary’ may not be accurate - a lot of study (this coming from an armchair expert :0( - can lead one to notice differences in genre, inconsistencies in reportage, emotional outbursts, structured poetry, and myth among other things; to give it all equal weight as word of God just feels like quite a stretch to me.
I DO tend however to call the whole enchilada (66 books) the ‘word of God’ but I’m calling it that from a more general perspective - not down in the weeds of things like mating goats in front of a striped rod, or which hand David’s archers used to scoop up drinking water, but from a more detached perspective - a mile up looking down - that from that perspective recognizes the arc of the story, the fitting together of 66 books by various authors separated by time and place, and all working together to form a pattern that can only be seen from a larger perspective. It’s that that convinces me we do have a collection of 66 books that are inspired as to God’s plan overall.
But within that collection I think we can be judicious and respectiful while still keeping our eyes open to the big picture, and taking some matters a with a grain of salt.
I certainly agree with you that human nature being what it is, the process leaves plenty of room for distortion and cherry-picking.

Cool, I’ll take that.

ARBITRARILY is absolutely accurate as to how I used it, as per this definition…

Based on or subject to individual judgment or preference… not decided by rules or laws but by a person’s own opinion.

As for… “NOT God’s word” — that is pretty much the essence of what has been stated numerous times on the forum to where the text is lambasted as inauthentic — regardless of particular genre etc.

Ok, I was thinking of ‘arbitrary’ as meaning just a whim, or an unstudied and unconsidered conjecture, or mere flipping of a coin, etc. It is not arbitrary to take an honest look, consider other opinions and options, seek the input of wiser souls, and make a choice. What rules or laws tell us how to read the bible, and who made those ‘laws’ and how did they arbitrarily arrive at them? We have to have reasons and make a choice; I don’t think of that as being arbitrary. Am I wrong?

Well take your pick, but protecting one’s theology seems to be a prevalent one.

You’re probably quite right on that.

Look I don’t think Im adding much on the forum right now. I really need to take some time off and immerse myself into Judaism for a while to see if its true. The dialogue that Im trying to partake in here is not productive for what Im trying to test, so Im going to take a break for a while.

I appreciate the people who have taken the time to talk through topics with me.

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Of course. But does anyone here think that they are immune from that?

No of course not… that’s why we haggle over these things.