Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation prob

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Zzyzx
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Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation prob

Post by Zzyzx »

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Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation problems?

From another thread
Yes, no point to show “contradictions�, which are not in the Bible, but in your personal opinions and interpretations of the Bible.
When the bible says "yes" in one place and "no" in another or similar directly conflicting statements (of which there are MANY) is that just a matter of opinion or interpretation?

For instance:
God be seen?
God CAN be seen:
"And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
"And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)

God CANNOT be seen:
"No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
"Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)
Is that, or is that not a contradiction?

Evidently some bible writers (whoever they were) said that God could be seen and others said God could not be seen. Was one idea right and the other wrong? Which one? Or, were the writers just making things up as they went along – or stating opinions that had no basis in fact?

An internet search for "bible contradictions" produces many results. Perhaps some can be explained away with various excuses, but can all contradictions be explained away?

If the bible contains contradictions it is not fully trustworthy since directly contradictory statements cannot both be true. Which parts of the bible, if any, can be trusted to be truthful and accurate?
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ANY of the thousands of ‘gods’ proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist – awaiting verifiable evidence

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Re: Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation

Post by Clownboat »

Zzyzx wrote: .
Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation problems?

From another thread
Yes, no point to show “contradictions�, which are not in the Bible, but in your personal opinions and interpretations of the Bible.
When the bible says "yes" in one place and "no" in another or similar directly conflicting statements (of which there are MANY) is that just a matter of opinion or interpretation?

For instance:
God be seen?
God CAN be seen:
"And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
"And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)

God CANNOT be seen:
"No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
"Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)
Is that, or is that not a contradiction?

Evidently some bible writers (whoever they were) said that God could be seen and others said God could not be seen. Was one idea right and the other wrong? Which one? Or, were the writers just making things up as they went along – or stating opinions that had no basis in fact?

An internet search for "bible contradictions" produces many results. Perhaps some can be explained away with various excuses, but can all contradictions be explained away?

If the bible contains contradictions it is not fully trustworthy since directly contradictory statements cannot both be true. Which parts of the bible, if any, can be trusted to be truthful and accurate?
There is no way to know which parts can be trusted and which parts cannot. What we can know, is that the book seems far from being inspired by a god due to this.

Some people are able to look past this and still claim that it was inspired by a god. Others obviously are not able to do so. So they deserve to burn. :tongue:
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I blame man for codifying those rules into a book which allowed superstitious people to perpetuate a barbaric practice. Rules that must be followed or face an invisible being’s wrath. - KenRU

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Re: Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation

Post by bluethread »

Zzyzx wrote: .
Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation problems?
It depends on what one considers a contradictions.
For instance:
God be seen?
God CAN be seen:
"And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
"And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)

God CANNOT be seen:
"No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
"Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)
Is that, or is that not a contradiction?
Your conclusion, that the Scriptures say that Adonai can be physically seen and can not be physically seen, is a contradictory conclusion. However, that conclusion comes from applying literal empiricism to literature. As the reference indicates, Ex. 33:20 proceeds Ex. 33:23 in a quote from Adonai. In these two the terms "face", "hand" and "backparts" are anthropomorphisms. Consistent with literary criticism, when a concept is beyond the scope of the context, it is acceptable to use symbolism to communicate that concept. As in modern English, the term "face to face" in GEN 32:30 and EX. 33:11 is an idiom for direct communication, not literally touching noses.

Gen. 32:30 is Yocav's equating of his encounter with the man at Peniel with an encounter with Adonai. The accuracy of Yacov's conclusion is greatly debated, but suffice it to say that at most Yacov may have wrestled with a physical manifestation of Adonai and not His entirety. Yacov is clearly overwhelmed by the experience and considers himself to have seen more of Adonai than one would be expected to endure. The latter is the Torah concept derived from these and other passages that JOH 1:18 and 1TIM 6:16 is restating, in a didactic context.

In evaluating any literature, it is important not to equate different contexts and speakers. Not everything stated in the Scriptures is empirically literal or even true. Some of it is the communication of what is true in a manner that makes it easier for the initial reader to understand and some is a representation of the opinions and perceptions of the characters involved. The requirement that everything be empirically accurate regardless of who is speaking, who is being spoken to and in what context it is being spoken is not reasonable, and is not properly applied to any form of communication, except possibly in an exclusively empirical study.

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Re: Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation

Post by Zzyzx »

.
bluethread wrote: In evaluating any literature, it is important not to equate different contexts and speakers.
Agreed
bluethread wrote: Not everything stated in the Scriptures is empirically literal or even true.
Agreed

I repeatedly ask for a means by which anyone interested can distinguish between literal / truthful vs. non-literal / non-truthful. No rational answer has been supplied. Opinion rules.
bluethread wrote: Some of it is the communication of what is true in a manner that makes it easier for the initial reader to understand
Thus, proper interpretation entails knowing the ability of the intended initial reader to understand. How can this be learned (beyond guessing)? How is it possible when the identity of the intended initial reader and often the writer are unknown?
bluethread wrote: and some is a representation of the opinions and perceptions of the characters involved.
Agreed. How can we distinguish between opinions and factual information (beyond guessing)?
bluethread wrote: The requirement that everything be empirically accurate regardless of who is speaking, who is being spoken to and in what context it is being spoken is not reasonable, and is not properly applied to any form of communication, except possibly in an exclusively empirical study.
Agreed. Careful analysis is often required in attempting to determine what happened or was said. In many cases the best we can do is make a "best guess."

It would not be appropriate to claim that our best guess is error free. Right?
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Non-Theist

If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of ‘gods’ proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist – awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

"Demand money with the threat of violence and you’ll get arrested. Do it with the threat of eternal damnation and it’s tax deductible"

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Re: Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation

Post by bluethread »

Zzyzx wrote:
I repeatedly ask for a means by which anyone interested can distinguish between literal / truthful vs. non-literal / non-truthful. No rational answer has been supplied. Opinion rules.
I do not think that is the case, but let's examine that.
bluethread wrote: Some of it is the communication of what is true in a manner that makes it easier for the initial reader to understand
Thus, proper interpretation entails knowing the ability of the intended initial reader to understand. How can this be learned (beyond guessing)? How is it possible when the identity of the intended initial reader and often the writer are unknown?
That is the profession of cultural anthropologists and literary critics. Do you believe those are irrational professions?
bluethread wrote: and some is a representation of the opinions and perceptions of the characters involved.
Agreed. How can we distinguish between opinions and factual information (beyond guessing)?
Well, there are those little things called quotation marks and related attributions.
bluethread wrote: The requirement that everything be empirically accurate regardless of who is speaking, who is being spoken to and in what context it is being spoken is not reasonable, and is not properly applied to any form of communication, except possibly in an exclusively empirical study.
Agreed. Careful analysis is often required in attempting to determine what happened or was said. In many cases the best we can do is make a "best guess."

It would not be appropriate to claim that our best guess is error free. Right?
Unless the parameters of the topic under discussion are all included. Then, it is not our best guess and the error can be identified. For example, if one says, Gen. 32:30 tells us that Yacov literally saw Adonai face to face. That is demonstrably false. Gen. 32:30 tells us that Yacov said, "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." Yacov literally seeing Adonai face to face is conjecture on the part of the person making that assertion.

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Re: Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation

Post by KenRU »

bluethread wrote:
bluethread wrote: The requirement that everything be empirically accurate regardless of who is speaking, who is being spoken to and in what context it is being spoken is not reasonable, and is not properly applied to any form of communication, except possibly in an exclusively empirical study.
Agreed. Careful analysis is often required in attempting to determine what happened or was said. In many cases the best we can do is make a "best guess."

It would not be appropriate to claim that our best guess is error free. Right?
Unless the parameters of the topic under discussion are all included. Then, it is not our best guess and the error can be identified. For example, if one says, Gen. 32:30 tells us that Yacov literally saw Adonai face to face. That is demonstrably false. Gen. 32:30 tells us that Yacov said, "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." Yacov literally seeing Adonai face to face is conjecture on the part of the person making that assertion.
Fair enough, but if you admit that this assertion is just conjecture, what is the criteria then, to determine "conjecture" from Truth?

For example, from Exodus 20 New International Version (NIV)

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.


Wouldn't the above also be considered conjecture on the part of the author of Exodus?
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Re: Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation

Post by 1213 »

Zzyzx wrote: ...For instance:
God be seen?
God CAN be seen:
"And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
"And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)

God CANNOT be seen:
"No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
"Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)
Is that, or is that not a contradiction?
That depends on how we understand those scriptures.

For example Exo 33:11 speaks about Lord, which is in Hebrew text Yahweh.

And Yahweh is called in OT god as many other are also called gods. However Bible tells that the creator was Elohim.

In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

Later in Genesis 2 it is told that Yahweh god formed many things.

Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Yahweh God planted a garden eastward, in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Genesis 2:7-8

I hope you can understand this. In OT there are many that are called god.

God presides in the great assembly. He judges among the gods.
Psalms 82:1

I said, "You are gods, All of you are sons of the Most High. Nevertheless you shall die like men, And fall like one of the rulers."
Psalms 82:6-7

Now it happened on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, that Satan also came among them.
Job 1:6

It may be possible that people have seen god face to face, but not God face to face. Jacob asked the name of the “god� in GEN 32:39. He didn’t get the answer. We don’t know who the god was.

I don’t need to claim that this is the truth. The point is to show, if something can be seen without contradiction, then it is possible that it is not actually contradiction in the book. And then the contradiction is in how we understand the text. It is possible to give meanings that are contradictory. But if it is possible to give meaning that are not contradictory, then the contradictory is not necessary in the book.

I think bluethread said also well about this. For example saying “spoke face to face� can be understood to mean “spoke directly�. Or what do you think means speaking face to face that our faces are put together when we speak?

sf

Re: Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation

Post by sf »

Zzyzx wrote:When the bible says "yes" in one place and "no" in another or similar directly conflicting statements (of which there are MANY) is that just a matter of opinion or interpretation?

For instance:
God be seen?
God CAN be seen:
"And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
"And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)

God CANNOT be seen:
"No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
"Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)
Is that, or is that not a contradiction?
Let's look at these in context:
"And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen." (Exodus 33:9-23)

"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank." (Genesis 32:24-32)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (John 1:1-18)

"But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:11-16)
The first passage encompasses two verses from the "God can be seen" list (vv. 11 and 23) list and one from the "God cannot be seen" list (v. 20), so we know that there is more than meets the eye here. In numerical order: verse 11 speaks of Moses talking face-to-face with God in the form of a pillar of cloud. Verse 20 says that no man can see God's face and live, so in verse 23, Moses is allowed to see God's back parts (so he took a human form in this case).

The second passage speaks of God, in the form of a man, wrestling with Jacob.

The last two passages say that no man has or can see seen God.
Zzyzx wrote:Perhaps some can be explained away with various excuses, but can all contradictions be explained away?
Presupposing that the explanations given will be excuses prejudices one's reasoning.

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Re: Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation

Post by bluethread »

KenRU wrote:
bluethread wrote:
bluethread wrote: The requirement that everything be empirically accurate regardless of who is speaking, who is being spoken to and in what context it is being spoken is not reasonable, and is not properly applied to any form of communication, except possibly in an exclusively empirical study.
Agreed. Careful analysis is often required in attempting to determine what happened or was said. In many cases the best we can do is make a "best guess."

It would not be appropriate to claim that our best guess is error free. Right?
Unless the parameters of the topic under discussion are all included. Then, it is not our best guess and the error can be identified. For example, if one says, Gen. 32:30 tells us that Yacov literally saw Adonai face to face. That is demonstrably false. Gen. 32:30 tells us that Yacov said, "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." Yacov literally seeing Adonai face to face is conjecture on the part of the person making that assertion.
Fair enough, but if you admit that this assertion is just conjecture, what is the criteria then, to determine "conjecture" from Truth?

For example, from Exodus 20 New International Version (NIV)

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.


Wouldn't the above also be considered conjecture on the part of the author of Exodus?
Here again, we are requiring the same standard for two different questions. The truth of what can be empirically verified, ie writing on a page, can be established as empirically true or false. The truth regarding what can not be empirically verified, ie what that writing says about what may have happened in the past, would have to be verified by other means, ie historically true, logically true, or philosophically true. Not all truth is empirically verifiable.

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Post by JoeyKnothead »

From the OP:
Are bible contradictions just opinion or interpretation problems?
Where contradiction relies on interpretation, opinion'll rule the day.

But let's all be thankful them who know the mind of god are ready to legislate your rights away.

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Some say it came from Memphis down in Tennessee
Or it drifted in from Georgia about 1953
Just as long as it's greasy, as long as it's fast
As long as it's pumpin' honey, it's gonna last

It's the hillbilly rock, beat it with a drum
Playin' them guitars like shootin' from a gun
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