Friday, February 05, 2010

Inconsistencies in the New Testament

No one believes that the New Testament was written by God (unlike the Torah, which is indeed said to be so written). However, Christians actually do believe that the New Testament books - at least the ones on the "approved" list - were "divinely inspired."

Unfortunately, such inspiration appears to have been rather inconsistent, which is not what anyone should expect from the eternal and unchanging alpha and omega of the universe.

On it's own, the fact that a super-powerful, super-intelligent being cannot make sure his message gets transmitted clearly and consistently is devastating.The contradictions and inconsistencies suggest the more plausible scenario: different writers and copyists recording what they know and feel. No divinity involved, just impassioned and fallible people.

Apologists, however, insist that the New Testament is perfectly (perfectly in a literal sense) harmonious and inerrant. Here's an example of their rebuttal to the question of contradictions and inconsistencies:
In dealing with so-called “contradictions” in the Bible, let these principles carefully be remembered.

No contradiction exists between verses that refer to different persons or things.

No contradiction exists between passages that involve different time elements.

No contradiction exists between verses that employ phraseology in different senses.

Supplementation is not the same as contradiction.

One need show only the possibility of harmonization between two passage (sic) that appear to conflict in order to negate the force of an alleged discrepancy.

Finally, this point needs to be made: the differences in various Bible accounts of the same events actually demonstrate the independence of the divine writers and prove that they were not in collusion!

God, although using human writers in the composition of the Bible, is nevertheless its ultimate Author. And since the perfect God cannot be the source of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33) or contradiction (Hebrews 6:18), it must be acknowledged that the Bible is perfectly harmonious. This does not mean that men will not struggle with difficult passages. If seeming discrepancies are discovered, let us apply ourselves to a diligent study in an effort to resolve them; but let us never foolishly charge God with allowing His sacred writers to contradict one another.
The first three assertions are just beside the point.

More troubling is the idea that one need "show only the possibility of harmonization" between two contradictory passages. This is the problem of interpretation that I have mentioned again and again. The apologist starts with the axiom that God is the ultimate author of the bible, and that God cannot be the source of confusion or contradiction.

However, the apologist does not ask whether people, not God, are the authors of the bible. The answer to "why does there seem to be a contradiction here?" is NEVER "because there is a contradiction there." The apologist rejects the idea of contradictions altogether. This is not just bad reasoning: it's anti-reasoning.

Finally, that strange point about the differences in bible accounts of the same events actually demonstrating "the independence of the divine writers" is simply bizarre. First they say there are no contradictions, but then they admit there are differences, and the discrepancies are a good thing because they "prove" there was no collusion.

While I tend to think of modern Christianity a form of scam, I hardly believe that early Christianity began as a prank. If the New Testament is inconsistent, contradictory, and flat-out wrong, this does not also mean that it was deliberately begun by people who knew then that it was all these things. The early believers very likely thought they were preaching true belief, if not 100% true stories.

No, for me the inconsistencies and contradictions don't indicate collusion. Rather, they indicate the humanity of the texts, the beliefs, and the believers.

And so.... Here are 194 inconsistencies and contradictions of the New Testament.

Jesus' lineage was traced through David's son Solomon. Mt.1:6.
Jesus' lineage was traced through David's son Nathan. Lk.3:31.

The announcement of the special birth came before conception. Lk.1:26-31.
The announcement of the special birth came after conception. Mt.1:18-21.

Jesus' parents were told of their son's future greatness. Mt.1:18-21; Lk.1:28-35.
Jesus' parents knew nothing of their son's potential. Lk.2:48-50.

The angel told Joseph. Mt.1:20.
The angel told Mary. Lk.1:28.

There were 28 generations from David to Jesus. Mt.1:17.
There were 43 generations from David to Jesus. Lk.3:23-31.

Jacob was Joseph's father. Mt.1:16.
Heli was Joseph's father. Lk.3:23.

He was to be called Emmanuel. Mt.1:23.
He was called Jesus. Mt.1:25.

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus flee to Egypt while Herod slaughters all males under 2 years old. Mt.2:13-16. (Note: Jesus' cousin, John, was also under 2 and survived without having to flee.)
Joseph, Mary, and Jesus did not flee to Egypt, but remained for temple rituals. No slaughter of infants is mentioned! Lk.2:21-39.

Jesus was tempted during the 40 days in the wilderness. Mk.1:13.
Jesus was tempted after the 40 days in the wilderness. Mt.4:2,3.

The devil first took Jesus to the pinnacle, then to the mountain top. Mt.4:5-8.
The devil first took Jesus to the mountain top, then to the pinnacle. Lk.4:5-9.

Satan tempted Jesus. Mt.4:1-10; Mk.1:13; Lk.4:1,2.
Satan had no interest in Jesus. Jn.14:30.

The baptism of Jesus was with the "Holy Ghost". Mk.1:8; Jn.1:33.
Fire was also added to the baptism. Mt.3:11; Lu.3:16.

John knew of Jesus before he baptized him. Mt.3:11-13; Jn.1:28,29.
John knew nothing of Jesus at all. Mt.11:1-3.

Jesus begins his ministry after John's arrest. Mk.1:13,14.
Jesus begins his ministry before John's arrest. Jn.3:22-24.

It is recorded that Jesus saw the spirit descending. Mt.3:16; Mk.1:10.
It is recorded that John saw the spirit descending. Jn.1:32.

The heavenly voice addressed the gathering. Mt.3:17.
The heavenly voice addressed Jesus. Mk.1:11; Lk.3:22.

Immediately after the baptism, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness. Mt.4:1,2; Mk.1:12,13.
Three days after the baptism, Jesus was at the wedding in Cana. Jn.2:1.

Jesus went to Bethphage and the Mt. of Olives, then left for Bethany. Mt.21:1,17.
Jesus went to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mt. of Olives. Mk.11:1; Lk.19:29.
Jesus went to Bethany and then Jerusalem. Jn.12:1,12.

Jesus and his disciples taught in Capernaum. Mk.1:20,21.
Only Jesus taught in Capernaum. Lk.4:30,31.

Peter was chosen, with Andrew, by the Sea of Galilee. Mt.4:18-20; Mk.1:16-18.
Peter was chosen, with James and John, by the lake of Gennesaret. Lk.5:2-11.
Andrew chose Jesus and then got Peter to join. Jn.1:35-42.

Peter was to preach to the Jews. Mt.10:2,5,6; Gal.2:7.
Peter was to preach to the Gentiles. Acts 15:7.

Jesus cured Simon Peter's mother-in-law after he cleansed the leper. Mt.8:1-15.
Jesus cured Simon Peter's mother-in-law before he cleansed the leper. Mk.1:30-42; Lk.4:38 to 5:13.

Peter's mother-in-law was healed before Peter was called to be a disciple. Lu.4:38,39; 5:10.
Peter's mother-in-law was healed after Peter was called to be a disciple. Mt.4:18,19; 8:14,15; Mk.1:16,17,30,31.

James and John were with Jesus when he healed Simon Peter's mother-in-law. Mk.1:29-31.
James and John were not with Jesus when he healed Simon Peter's mother-in-law. Lu.4:38,39; 5:10,11.

Lebbaeus (Thaddaeus) was the name of an apostle - but no Judas, brother of James. Mt. 10:3.
Judas, the brother of James, was an apostle, but no Thaddaeus. Lk.6:16; Acts 1:13.

The centurion's servant was healed in between the cleansing of the leper and the healing of Peter's mother-in-law. Mt.8:2-15.
The centurion's servant was healed after the cleansing of the leper and the healing of Peter's mother-in-law. Lu.4:38,39; 5:12,13; 7:1-10.

The people were not impressed with the feeding of the multitude. Mk.6:52.
The people were very impressed with the feeding of the multitude. Jn.6:14.

After the feeding of the multitude, Jesus went to Gennesaret. Mk.6:53.
After the feeding of the multitude, Jesus went to Capernaum. Jn.6:14-17.

A demon cries out that Jesus is the Holy One of God. Mk.1:23,24.
Everyone who confesses that Jesus came in the flesh is of God. 1 Jn.4:2.

Jesus cursed the fig tree so that it would not bear fruit. Mt.21:19; Mk.11:14.
It wasn't time for the fig tree to bear fruit. Mk.11:13.

The fig tree withers immediately, and the disciples are amazed. Mt.21:19,20.
The disciples first notice the withered tree the next day. Mk.11:20,21.

Jesus is the mediator of the "Father". 1 Tim.2:5; 1 Jn.2:1.
Jesus sits on "his" right hand. Mk. 16:19.
Jesus and the "Father" are one in the same. Jn.10:30.

There is one "God". 1 Tim.2:5; Jms.2:19.
There are three. 1 Jn.5:7.

Jesus said to honor your father and mother. Mt.15:4; Mt.19:19; Mk.7:10; Mk.10:19; Lk.18:20.
Jesus said that he came to set people against their parents. Mt.10:35-37; Lk.12:51-53; Lk.14:26.
Jesus said to call no man father. Mt.23:9.

Jesus/God said, "You fool…". Lk.12:20; Mt.23:17.
Paul calls people fools. 1 Cor.15:36.
Call someone a fool and you go to hell. Mt.5:22.

Anger by itself is a sin. Mt.5:22.
But not necessarily. Eph.4:26.

Ask and it shall be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you. Mt.7:7,8; Lk.11:9,10.
Ask and you shall be refused. Seek and you won't find. Knock and you will be refused entrance. Lk.13:24-27.

Do not judge. Mt.7:1,2.
Unless it is necessary, of course. 1 Jn.4:1-3.

Jesus is thankful that some things are hidden. Mt.11:25; Mk.4:11,12.
Jesus said that all things should be made known. Mk.4:22.

Jesus said that no sign would be given. Mk.8:12.
Jesus said that no sign would be given except for that of Jonas. Mt.12:39; Lk.11:29.
Jesus showed many signs. Jn.20:30; Acts 2:22.

Jesus stated that the law was until heaven and earth ended. Mt. 5:17-19.
Jesus stated that the law was only until the time of John. Lk.16:16.

The "Sermon on the Mount" took place on the mountain. Mt.5:1.
The "Sermon on the Mount" took place on a plain. Lu.6:17.

The "Lord's Prayer" was taught to many during the "Sermon on the Mount". Mt.6:9.
The "Lord's Prayer" was taught only to the disciples at another time. Lu.11:1.

Jesus had his own house. Mk.2:15.
Jesus did not have his own house. Lu.9:58.

Good works should be seen. Mt.5:16.
Good works should not be seen. Mt.6:1-4.

Jesus said that Salvation was only for the Jews. Mt.15:24; Mt.10:5,6; Jn.4:22; Rom.11:26,27.
Paul said that salvation was also for the Gentiles. Acts 13:47,48.

Repentance is necessary. Acts 3:19; Lu.3:3.
Repentance is not necessary. Rom.11:29.

Non-believers obtain mercy. Rom.11:32.
Only believers obtain mercy. Jn.3:36; Rom.14:23.
Only baptized believers obtain mercy. Mk.16:16.
Mercy cannot be predetermined. Rom.9:18.

All who call on the "Lord" will be saved. Rom.10:13; Acts 2:21.
Only those predestined will be saved. Acts 13:48; Eph.1:4,5; 2 Thes.2:13; Acts 2:47.

Jesus said he would not cast aside any that come to him. Jn.6:37.
Jesus said that many that come to him will be cast aside. Mt.7:21-23.

Salvation comes by faith and not works. Eph.2:8,9; Rom.11:6; Gal.2:16; Rom.3:28.
Salvation comes by faith and works. Jms.2:14,17,20.

The righteous have eternal life. Mt.25:46.
The righteous are barely saved. 1 Pet.4:18.
There are no righteous. Rom.3:10.

Believe and be baptized to be saved. Mk.16:16.
Be baptized by water and the spirit to be saved. Jn.3:5.
Endure to the end to be saved. Mt.24:13.
Call on the name of the "Lord" to be saved. Acts 2:21; Rom.10:13.
Believe in Jesus to be saved. Acts 16:31.
Believe, then all your household will be saved. Acts 16:31.
Hope and you will be saved. Rom.8:24.
Believe in the resurrection to be saved. Rom.10:9.
By grace you are saved. Eph.2:5
By grace and faith you are saved. Eph.2:8.
Have the love of truth to be saved. 2 Thes.2:10.
Mercy saves. Titus 3:5.

Backsliders are condemned. 2 Pet.2:20.
Backsliders are saved regardless. Jn.10:27-29.

Forgive seventy times seven. Mt.18:22.
Forgiveness is not possible for renewed sin. Heb.6:4-6.

Divorce, except for unfaithfulness, is wrong. Mt.5:32.
Divorce for any reason is wrong. Mk.10:11,12.

Jesus approved of destroying enemies. Lk.19:27.
Jesus said to love your enemies. Mt.5:44.

God resides in heaven. Mt.5:45; Mt.6:9; Mt.7:21.
Angels reside in heaven. Mk.13:32.
Jesus is with God in heaven. Acts 7:55,56
Believers go to heaven. 1 Pet.1:3,4.
Heaven will pass away. Mt.24:35; Mk.13:31; Lk.21:33.

Pray that you don't enter temptation. Mt.26:41.
Temptation is a joy. Jms.1:2.

God leads you into temptation. Mt.6:13.
God tempts no one. Jms.1:13.

Take no thought for tomorrow. God will take care of you. Mt.6:25-34; Lk.12:22-31.
A man who does not provide for his family is worse than an infidel. 1 Tim.5:8.

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Acts 2:21; Rom.10:13.
Not everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Mt.7:21.
Only those whom the Lord chooses will be saved. Acts 2:39.

We are justified by works and not by faith. Mt.7:21; Rom.2:6,13; Jms.2:24.
We are justified by faith and not by works. Jn.3:16; Rom.3:27; Eph.2:8,9.; Gal.2:16.

Do not take sandals (shoes) or staves. Mt.10:10.
Take only sandals (shoes) and staves. Mk.6:8,9.

Jesus said that in him there was peace. Jn.16:33.
Jesus said that he did not come to bring peace. Mt.10:34; Lk.12:51.

Jesus said that John the Baptist was a prophet and Elijah. Mt.11:9; Mt.17:12,13.
John said that he was not a prophet nor was he Elijah. Jn.1:21.

Jesus said that he was meek and lowly. Mt.11:29.
Jesus makes whips and drives the moneychangers out from the temple. Mt. 21:12; Mk.11:15,16; Jn.2:15.

Jesus said, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees". Lk.12:1.
Jesus said, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees". Mt.16:6,11.
Jesus said, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod". Mk.8:15.

Jesus founds his church on Peter. Mt.16:18.
Jesus calls Peter "Satan" and a hindrance. Mt.16:23.

The mother of James and John asks Jesus to favor her sons. Mt.20:20,21.
They ask for themselves. Mk.10:35-37.

Jesus responds that this favor is not his to give. Mt.20:23; Mk.10:40.
Jesus said that all authority is given to him. Mt.28:18; Jn.3:35.

Jesus heals two unnamed blind men. Mt.20:29,30.
Jesus heals one named blind man. Mk.10:46-52.

Jesus healed all that were sick. Mt.8:16; Lk.4:40.
Jesus healed many that were sick - but not all. Mk.1:34.

The council asks Jesus if he is the Son of God. Lk.22:70. The high priest asks Jesus if he is the Christ, the Son of God. Mt.26:63.
The high priest asks Jesus if he is the Christ the Son of the Blessed. Mk.14:61.
The high priest asks Jesus about his disciples and his doctrine. Jn.18:19.

Jesus answers to the effect of “You said it, not me”. Mt.26:64; Lk.22:70.
Jesus answers definitely, “I am”. Mk.14:62.

At the Mount of Olives, Jesus told Peter he would deny him three times. Mt.26:30-34.
At the Passover meal, Jesus told Peter he would deny him three times. Lu.22:13,14,34.

Peter was to deny Jesus before the cock crowed. Mt.26:34; Lk.22:34; Jn.13:38.
Peter was to deny Jesus before the cock crowed twice. Mk.14:30.

The cock crowed once. Mt.26:74.
The cock crowed twice. Mk.14:72.

Peter makes his first denial to a maid and some others. Mt.26:69,70.
It was only to the maid. Mk.14:66-68; Lk.22:56,57; Jn.18:17.

Peter’s second denial was to another maid. Mt.26:71,72.
It was to the same maid. Mk.14:69,70.
It was to a man and not a maid. Lk.22:58.
It was to more than one person. Jn.18:25.

Peter’s third denial was to several bystanders. Mt.26:73,74; Mk.14:69,70.
It was to one person. Lk.22:59,60.
It was to a servant. Jn.18:26,27.

The chief priests bought the field. Mt.27:6,7.
Judas bought the field. Acts 1:16-19.

Judas threw down the money and left. Mt.27:5.
Judas used the coins to buy the field. Acts 1:18.

Judas hanged himself. Mt.27:5.
Judas fell headlong and burst his head open. Acts 1:18.

Jesus did not answer any of the charges. Mt.27:12-14; Lk.23:9.
Jesus answered some of the charges. Mk.14:61,62.
Jesus answered all of the charges. Jn.18:33-37.

Jesus said that eternal life would be given to all that were given to him. Jn.11:27-29; Jn.17:12.
Jesus released Judas in order to keep this promise. Jn.18:5-9.

The chief priests and elders persuade the people. Mt.27:20.
Only the chief priests persuade the people. Mk.15:11.
The chief priests and the people persuade themselves. Lk.23:13-23.

Jesus is given a scarlet robe. Mt.27:28.
Jesus is given a purple robe. Mk.15:17; Jn.19:2.
Jesus is given a gorgeous robe. Lk.23:11.

The sign says, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews”. Mt.27:37.
The sign says, “The King of the Jews”. Mk.15:26.
In three languages, the sign says, “This is the King of the Jews”. Lk.23:38.
In the same three languages, the sign says, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”. Jn.19:19,20.

Jesus asks God, The Father, why he has forsaken him. Mt.27:46.
Jesus said that he and The Father were one in the same. Jn.10:30; Jn.17:11,21,22.

The centurion says, “Truly this was the son of God”. Mt.27:54.
The centurion says, “Truly this man was the son of God”. Mk.15:39.
The centurion says, “Certainly, this was a righteous man”. Lk.23:47.
There was no centurion. Jn.19:31-37.

Jesus was crucified at the third hour. Mk.15:25.
Jesus was still before Pilate at the sixth hour. Jn.19:13,14.

The women looked on from “afar”. Mt.27:55; Mk.15:40; Lk.23:49.
The women were very close. Jn.19:25.

The last recorded words of Jesus were:
Version 1: “Eli, Eli …My God, My God why have you forsaken me” Mt.27:46.
Version 2: “Eloi, Eloi…My God, My God why have you forsaken me” Mk.15:34.
Version 3: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”. Lk.23:46.
Version 4: “It is finished”. Jn.19:30.

A guard was placed at the tomb the day after the burial. Mt.27:65,66.
No guard is mentioned. Mk.15:44-47; Lk.23:52-56; Jn.19:38-42.

Only those keeping the words of Jesus will never see death. Jn.8:51.
Jesus’ disciples will be killed. Mt.24:3-9.
All men die once. Heb.9:27.

Upon their arrival, the stone was still in place. Mt.28:1 2.
Upon their arrival, the stone had been removed. Mk.16:4; Lk.24:2; Jn.20:1.

There was an earthquake. Mt.28:2.
There was no earthquake. Mk.16:5; Lk.24:2-4; Jn.20:12.

The visitors ran to tell the disciples. Mt.28:8.
The visitors told the eleven and all the rest. Lk.24:9.
The visitors said nothing to anyone. Mk.16:8.

Jesus first resurrection appearance was right at the tomb. Jn.20:12-14.
Jesus first resurrection appearance was fairly near the tomb. Mt.28:8,9.
Jesus first resurrection appearance was on the road to Emmaus. Lk.24:13-16.

One doubted. Jn.20:24.
Some doubted. Mt.28:17.
All doubted. Mk.16:11; Lk.24:11,14.

Jesus said that his blood was shed for many. Mk.14:24.
Jesus said his blood was shed for his disciples. Lu.22:20.

Simon of Cyrene was forced to bear the cross of Jesus. Mt.27:32; Mk.15:21; Lu.23:26.
Jesus bore his own cross. Jn.19:16,17.

Jesus was offered vinegar and gall to drink. Mt.27:34.
Jesus was offered vinegar to drink. Jn.19:29,30.
Jesus was offered wine and myrrh to drink. Mk.15:23.

Jesus refused the drink offered him. Mk.15:23.
Jesus tasted the drink offered and then refused. Mt.27:34.
Jesus accepted the drink offered him. Jn.19:30.

Both “thieves” mocked Jesus on the cross. Mt. 27:44; Mk.15:32.
One “thief” sided with Jesus on the cross. Lu.23:39-41.

Joseph of Arimathaea boldly asked for the body of Jesus. Mk.15:43.
Joseph of Arimathaea secretly asked for the body of Jesus. Jn.19:38.

Jesus was laid in a nearby tomb. Mk.15:46; Lu.23:53; Jn.19:41.
Jesus was laid in Joseph’s new tomb. Mt.27:59,60.

A great stone was rolled in front of the tomb. Mt.27:60; Mk.15:46.
There was nothing in front of the tomb. Lu.23:55; Jn.19:41.

Nicodemus prepared the body with spices. Jn.19:39,40.
Failing to notice this, the women bought spices to prepare the body later. Mk. 16:1; Lu.23:55,56.

The body was anointed. Jn.19:39,40.
The body was not anointed. Mk.15:46 to 16:1; Lk.23:55 to 24:1.

The women bought materials before the sabbath. Lu.23:56.
The women bought materials after the sabbath. Mk.16:1.

Jesus was first seen by Cephas, then the twelve. 1 Cor.15:5.
Jesus was first seen by the two Marys. Mt.28:1,8,9.
Jesus was first seen by Mary Magdalene. Mk.16:9; Jn.20:1,14,15.
Jesus was first seen by Cleopas and others. Lu.24:17,18.
Jesus was first seen by the disciples. Acts 10:40,41.

The two Marys went to the tomb. Mt.28:1.
The two Marys and Salome went to the tomb. Mk.16:1.
Several women went to the tomb. Lu.24:10.
Only Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. Jn.20:1.

It was dawn when Mary went to the tomb. Mt.28:1; Mk.16:2.
It was dark when Mary went to the tomb. Jn.20:1.

An angel sat on the stone at the door of the tomb. Mt.28:2.
A man was sitting inside the tomb. Mk.16:5.

Two men were standing inside the tomb. Lk.24:3,4.
Two angels were sitting inside the tomb. Jn.20:12.

Peter did not go into the tomb but stooped and looked inside. Lk.24:12.
Peter did go into the tomb, and another disciple stooped and looked inside. Jn.20:3-6.

After the resurrection, the disciples held Jesus by the feet. Mt.28:9.
After the resurrection, Jesus told Thomas to touch his side. John 20:27.
After the resurrection, Jesus said that he was not to be touched. Jn.20:17.

Mary first saw Jesus at the tomb. Jn.20:11-15.
Mary first saw Jesus on her way home. Mt.28:8-10.

The women entered the tomb. Mk.16:5; Lk.24:3.
The women stayed outside the tomb. Jn.20:11.

The disciples were frightened when they saw Jesus. Lk.24:36,37.
The disciples were glad when they first saw Jesus. Jn.20:20.

Twelve disciples saw Jesus. 1 Cor.15:5.
Eleven disciples saw Jesus. Thomas was not there. Mt.28:16,17; Jn.20:19-25.

The disciples doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead. Mt.28:17.
The Pharisees and chief priests believed it possible. Mt.27:62-66.

Jesus ascended on the third day after the resurrection. Lk.24:21,50,51.
Jesus ascended the same day as the crucifixion. Lk.23:42 43.
Jesus ascended forty days after the resurrection. Acts 1:3,9.

At the time of the ascension, there were about 120 brethren. Acts 1:15.
At the time of the ascension, there were about 500 brethren. 1 Cor.15:6.

The moneychangers incident occurred at the end of Jesus’ career. Mt.21:11,12.
The moneychangers incident occurred at the beginning of Jesus’ career. Jn.2:11-15.

Zacharias was the son of Jehoida, the priest. 2 Chr.24:20.
Jesus said that Zacharias was the son of Barachias. Mt.23:35. (Note: The name Barachias or Barachiah does not appear in the OT.)

The coming of the kingdom will be accompanied by signs and miracles. Mt.24:29-33; Mk.13:24-29.
It will not be accompanied by signs and miracles since it occurs from within. Lk.17:20,21.

The kingdom was prepared from the beginning. Mt.25:34.
Jesus said that he was going to go and prepare the kingdom. Jn.14:2,3.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin. Mk.3:29.
All sins are forgivable. Acts 13:39; Col.2:13; 1 Jn.1:9.

The ascension took place while the disciples were seated together at a table. Mk.16:14-19.
The ascension took place outdoors at Bethany. Lk.24:50,51.
The ascension took place outdoors at Mt. Olivet. Acts 1:9-12.

The holy spirit was with John from before he was born. Lk.1:15,41.
The holy spirit was with Elizabeth before John’s birth. Lk.1:41.
The holy spirit was with Zechariah. Lk.1:67.
The holy spirit was with Simeon. Lk.2:25.
The holy spirit is obtained by asking. Lk.11:13.
The holy spirit did not come into the world until after Jesus had departed. Jn.7:39; Jn.16:7; Acts 1:3-8.

Sometimes God is responsible for unbelief. 2 Thes.2:11,12.
Sometimes Jesus is responsible for unbelief. Mk.4:11,12.
The devil causes unbelief. Lk.8:12.

Whoever hates his brother is a murderer. 1 Jn.3:15.
If anyone claims to love God but hates his brother, he is a liar. 1 Jn.4:20.
No one can be a disciple of Jesus unless he hates his brother. Lk.14:26.

Believers do not come into judgment. Jn.5:24.
All people come into judgment. Mt.12:36; 2 Cor.5:10; Heb.9:27; 1 Pet.1:17; Jude 14,15; Rev.20:12,13.

Jesus says that, if he bears witness to himself, his testimony is true. Jn.8:14.
Jesus says that, if he bears witness to himself, his testimony is not true. Jn.5:31.

Men can choose whether or not to believe. Jn.5:38-47.
Only God chooses who will believe. Jn.6:44.

None of Jesus’ followers would be lost. Jn.10:27-29.
Some of Jesus’ followers would be lost. 1 Tim.4:1.

Jesus is the ruling prince of this world. Rev.1:5.
The prince of this world will be cast out. Jn.12:31.

Jesus says all men will be saved. Jn.3:17.
Only 144,000 virgin men will be saved. Rev. 14:1-4.

God wants all men to be saved. 1 Tim.2:3,4; 2 Pet.3:9.
God does not want all men to be saved. Jn.12:40.

Peter asks Jesus where he is going. Jn.13:36.
Thomas asks Jesus where he is going. Jn.14:5.
Jesus said that no one asked where he was going. Jn.16:5.

Jesus lost only one disciple. Jn.17:12.
Jesus lost no disciples. Jn.18:9.

Jesus came into the world to bear witness to the truth. Jn.18:37.
The truth has always been evident. Rom.1:18-20.

During his first resurrection appearance, Jesus gave his disciples the holy spirit. Jn.20:22.
The holy spirit was given to the disciples after his ascension. Acts 1:3-8.

The world could not contain all that could be written of Jesus. Jn.21:25.
All was written. Acts.1:1.

Obey the laws of men for it is the will of God. 1 Pet.2:13-15.
The disciples disobey the council. Acts 5:40-42.

Obey God, not men. Acts 5:29.
Obey men. It is God’s will. Rom.13:1-4; 1 Pet.2:13-15.

God hated Esau and loved Jacob even before they were born. Rom.9:10-13.
God shows no partiality and treats all alike. Acts 10:34; Rom.2:11.

151. All who have sinned without the law will perish without the law. Rom.2:12.
Where there is no law there is no sin or transgression. Rom.4:15.

Doers of the law will be justified. Rom.2:13.
Doers of the law will not be justified. Rom.3:20; Gal.3:11.

The law has dominion. Rom.7:1.
The law does not have dominion. Rom.6:14.

The law was the result of sin. Gal.3:19.
Sin is the result of breaking the law. 1 Jn.3:4.

Those of “God” cannot sin. 1 Jn.3:9.
Those of “God” can sin. 1 Jn.1:7 8.

The anointing of Jesus teaches right from wrong. 1 Jn.2:27.
The law written on the heart and conscience teaches right from wrong. Rom.2:15.

Abraham was justified by faith. Heb.11:8.
Abraham was justified by works. Jms.2:21.
Abraham was not justified by works. Rom.4:2.

It is not good to eat or drink anything that might cause your brother to stumble or be offended. Rom.14:21.
Let no one pass judgment on you in matters of food or drink. Col.2:16.

It is better that widows should not remarry. 1 Cor.7:8.
It is better that young widows should remarry. 1 Tim.5:11-14.

The god of this world blinds people to the gospel. 2 Cor.4:4.
There is only one god. 1 Cor.8:4.

The powers of this world are wicked, so fight against them. Eph.6:11-13.
All powers are ordained of God and, if you resist, you are damned. Rom.13:1,2.

Bear one another’s burdens. Gal.6:2.
Bear your own burdens. Gal.6:5.

Anyone who even greets a non-believer shares his wicked work. 2 Jn.10,11.
Always be ready to answer any man concerning your faith. 1 Pet.3:15.

All of the grass on the earth is burned up. Rev.8:7.
The army of locusts are instructed not to harm the grass. Rev.9:4.
Only “The Father” knows. Mk.13:32.
“Jesus” and “The Father” are one. Jn.10:30; 17:11,21,22.

Jesus said that he would judge. Jn.5:22,27-30; Jn.9:39.
Jesus said that he would not judge. Jn.8:15; Jn.12:47.
Jesus said that The Father judges. Jn.12:48,49.
Jesus said that The Father does not judge. Jn.5:22.
Jesus said that his disciples would judge. Lk.22:30.

He that does not believe is damned. Mk.16:16.
Thomas did not believe and was not damned. Jn.20:27-29.

“When his branch is yet tender”. Mt.24:32.
“When her branch is yet tender”. Mk.13:28.

Jesus is God. Jn.10:30.
Jesus is the “image” of God. 2 Cor.4:4.
Jesus was a man approved by God. Acts 2:22.

Jesus and God are one in the same. Jn.1:1.
Jesus is beside himself. Mk.16:19; Acts 2:32,33; 7:55; Rom.8:34; etc.

Jesus is the Son of God. Jn.6:69; Jn.20:31.
Jesus is the Son of Man. Mt.18:11; Lk.21:27.

Paul states that he does not lie. Rom.9:1; 2 Cor.11:31; Gal.1:20; 1 Tim.2:7.
Paul states that he does lie. Rom.3:7.

Paul said that he does not use trickery. 1 Thes.2:3.
Paul admits to using trickery. 2 Cor.12:16.

Paul says that circumcision is nothing. 1 Cor.7:19.
Paul says that circumcision is profitable. Rom.2:25; Rom.3:1,2.

Do not covet. Rom.7:7; Rom.13:9.
Paul says covet. 1 Cor.12:31; 1 Cor.14:39.

Paul teaches not to steal. Eph.4:28.
Paul admits to stealing. 2 Cor.11:8.

Paul was assured that he would not be hurt. Acts 18:9,10.
Paul was often physically abused. 2 Cor.11:23-27.

Paul states that the law is necessary. Rom.3:31.
Paul states that the law is not necessary. Rom.6:14.

Jesus said to go and baptize. Mt.28:19.
Paul said he was not sent to baptize. 1 Cor.1:17.

Paul said he was not sent to baptize but to preach. 1 Cor.1:17.
Paul baptized. 1 Cor.1:16.

Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law. Mt.5:17-19.
Paul said otherwise. Eph.2:15.

Jesus said that God did not condemn the world. Jn. 3:17.
Paul said that God did condemn the world. Rom.5:18.

Those present at Paul’s conversion stood. Acts 9:7.
They fell to the ground. Acts 26:14.

Those present at Paul’s conversion heard a voice but saw nothing. Acts 9:7.
Those present at Paul’s conversion saw a light but heard nothing. Acts 22:9.

Shortly after his conversion, Paul went to Damascus where he spent some time with the apostles. Acts 9:19.
Paul went to Damascus three years later and saw only Peter and James. Gal.1:18,19.

Shortly after his conversion, Paul went to Damascus and then to Jerusalem. Acts 9:18-26.
Shortly after his conversion, Paul went to Arabia, then to Damascus, and then, 3 years later, to Jerusalem. Gal.1:17,18.

In Damascus, the governor attempts to seize Paul. 2 Cor.11:32.
In Damascus, the Jews attempt to seize Paul. Acts 9:22,23.

The holy spirit forbids preaching in Asia. Acts 16:6.
Paul preaches in Asia anyway. Acts 19:8-10.

Paul said he would not be a servant of Christ if he tried to please men. Gal.1:10.
Paul said that he tried to please men. 1 Cor.10:33.

Paul says that he was the chief of all sinners. 1 Tim.1:15.
He who commits sin is of the devil. Children of God cannot sin. 1 Jn.3:8-10.

Paul said that Jesus is the judge. 2 Tim.4:1.
Paul said that God is the judge. Heb.12:23.
Paul said that the saints would judge. 1 Cor.6:2.

Paul said that Jesus was the Son of God. Rom.1:3,4.
Paul said that Jesus was just a man. Heb.7:24.

Do not boast. Lk.18:14.
Do not be proud. Rom.11:20; 1 Pet. 5:5.
Paul proudly boasts. 2 Cor.11:16-18; Gal.2:9-11.

Jesus commends the church at Ephesus for discerning the lying apostles. Rev. 2:1,2.
Paul was the apostle to Ephesus. Eph.1:1.


  1. Johan5:07 PM

    You miss my favorite contradiction. John has Jesus crucified on the same day the Paschal lamb is slaughtered. In fact he dies at the same time.

    The synoptic gospels however have him dying some day later since Jesus' last meal is the passover meal.

  2. Did you work these out yourself or did you find them somewhere? WOuld be interesting to know. Can we have a similar list for Tanach? :)

  3. Johan2:49 PM

    Do a search for biblical contradiction and you get similar lists of contradictions in the Christian Bible.

    If you want to read about contradictions in Tanach I would borrow a book on source criticism of the Hebrew Bible, though that won't be a comprehensive list.

  4. Shalmo11:03 PM

    I cannot believe I am gonna say this, considering few hate Christianity as much as I do, but your copy and paste of contradictions will not convince the christian who has above average knowledge on his tradition.

    To the intellectual christian there never was anything such as the "word of God". All there are are opinions. Divinely inspired opinions.

    So it does not matter how many contradictions the NT contains. Opinions are expected to differ. Because overall through the Gospels one can gain a good picture of what Jesus did. And through the epistles of Paul one can gain all they need to know on christology. Both of which are really all they need to get their religion!

  5. Shalmo,

    Christian tradition is largely the tradition of trying to resolve these inconsistencies. The believer who follows her/his church accepts the resolutions offered in the sermons, the books, and so on.

    I'd be interested to see some evidence for your assertion that "To the intellectual christian there never was anything such as the 'word of God.' All there are are opinions. Divinely inspired opinions."

    I think the intellectual Christians most certainly rely on the concept of the word of God. William Lane Craig comes to mind as someone who clearly champions such an idea.

    My point, as I have said, is to promote the fact that the supposed divine inspiration that resulted in the supposedly inerrant New Testament is inconsistent, which is to say flawed and fallible.

    The NT is not a perfect document in either its conception, execution or transmission. These are the hallmarks of the intellectual products belonging not to a supreme being but to people.

    And what we see with the NT is also what we see with the Torah, the 'Nakh, the Koran and so on. There's no reason to think that any of these works - or anything within them - is the product of a super-human, super-intelligent being. There's no reason to think that there's any truth to what these works say about the existence of any gods, to say nothing about the interactions between gods and people.

    I'm not out to persuade Christians. I'm out to document the facts.

  6. Shalmo12:18 PM

    To answer your question read any basic treatise on the view of the reformers on scripture. The christians who claim "inerrancy"in the bible are a minority. That applies to Protestants.

    For catholics flaws in scripture are irrelevant as the church is the final authority.

    And again what do these contradictions prove? That the authors of the NT were regular men? well duh. Again for the modern intellectual christian differences in opinion do not matter if the basic christology is not effected.

    For example we know there are numerous contradictions on the cruxification and resurrections events. The intellectual christian will simply say "so what?". That they all agree a cruxification and resurrection happened is enough
    in itself.

    Finally, for Christianity to be true (particularly protestant christianity) all that matters are areas of christology. In which case you don't even need the gospels, as christology all comes from Paul. So everything a christian needs to know from the total depravity of man to Jesus' vicarious sacrifice can be satisfied by Paul's epistles.

    I am not defending christianity, I am simply saying you have not made a convincing argument against it by listing contradictions christians have already considered!

  7. You're missing the big picture.

    The christology is man-made, too. As we dismantle the ideas that prop up a religion one-by-one, we find that there is very little "there" there. They all have great and grand claims about themselves and about what their books say, but when we start reading and start finding out - they all appear as they really are: human invention.

    When I get around to it, we should look at islam. It's serious stuff, that we should criticize religion and help people realize that it's not actually true. Check out, for example, this video of a muslim child preacher on martyrdom. It's just plain sickening.


Feel free to comment if you have something substantial and substantiated to say.