The creation story
GENESIS 1: The Seven Days Creation Story
Day 1 - Light and darkness: day and night
Day 2 - A "vault" separating the 'waters' that make up the oceans and the (blue) sky
Day 3 - Earth, followed by plants
Day 4 - The Sun, Moon and stars (as calendrical and navigational aids)
Day 5 - Animals
Day 6 - Humans (both sexes at the same time - many of them, apparently)
Day 7 - A day of rest
Note that there are "days", "evenings", and "mornings" before the Sun was created.
GENESIS 2: The Story of Adam in Eden
First, God made earth and heaven.
Then he placed Adam on an otherwise lifeless Earth.
Next he made plants grow in Eden, including the trees of life and of knowledge of good and evil.
Then he placed Adam in this garden.
Only then did he create animals.
Finally, he made Eve from Adam's rib. (The rest is history - or so literalists would say.)
The current scholarly hypothesis as to the Pentateuch's origins is that the divergent stories of different Hebrew tribes were put together at a comparatively late stage. GENESIS 1 is thought to embody the 'Priestly' tradition, GENESIS 2 the 'Yahwistic' (so-called because God is called 'Yahweh', rather than being referred to as 'Elohim', which is a plural literally translated as "the Gods").
Should we own slaves?
* LEVITICUS 25:45-46 "Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, . . . and they shall be your possession . . . they shall be your bondmen forever."
* GENESIS 9:25 "And he [Noah] said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren."
* EXODUS 21:2,7 "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. . . . And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the manservants do."
* JOEL 3:8 "And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it."
* LUKE 12:47,48 [Jesus speaking] "And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes."
* COLOSSIANS 3:22 "Servants, obey in all things your masters."
* ISAIAH 58:6 "Undo the heavy burdens . . . let the oppressed go free, . . . break every yoke."
* MATTHEW 23:10 "Neither be ye called Masters: for one is your Master, even Christ."
In the American civil war, churches cited the numerous pro-slavery verses in the Bible as justification. And indeed, according to the Bible, slavery is clearly justified as there are only a very few, highly ambiguous, anti-slavery quotes and many emphatic statements in favour of slavery. The word servant comes from the original Greek word for slave - this is just some creative translation.
Should we steal?
* EXODUS 20:15 "Thou shalt not steal."
* LEVITICUS 19:13 "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him."
* EXODUS 3:22 "And ye shall spoil the Egyptians."
* EXODUS 12:35-36 "And they spoiled [plundered, NRSV] the Egyptians."
* LUKE 19:29-34 "[Jesus] sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village . . . ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. . . . And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him."
God good to all, or just a few?
PSALMS 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
JEREMIAH 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the Lord: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
How long was Jesus in the tomb?
MATTHEW 12:40 has Jesus prophesying that he will spend "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth", and MARK 10:34 has "after three days (meta treis emeras) he will rise again". As far as I can see from a quick look, the prophecies have "after three days", but the post-resurrection narratives have "on the third day".
What was Jesus given to drink?
MATTHEW 27:34 says vinegar. MARK 15:23 says it was wine with myrhh.
War or Peace?
EXODUS 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
ROMANS 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Is strong drink OK?
See PROVERBS 31:6,7 But... see JOHN 2:11-11
For or against me?
MATTHEW 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
MARK 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
LUKE 9:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
Which first--beasts or man?
GENESIS 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
GENESIS 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
GENESIS 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
GENESIS 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Is it folly to be wise or not?
PROVERBS 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
ECCLESIASTES 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that in- creaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
1 CORINTHIANS1:19: "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and wil bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
Should good deeds be publicised or not?
MATTHEW 5:16 says "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (NIV)
MATTHEW 6:3-4, though, says "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secert. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (NIV)
Did those with Saul/Paul at his conversion hear a voice?
ACTS 9:7 "And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man."
ACTS 22:9 "And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me."
Who killed Saul?
SAMUEL 1 31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
SAMUEL 1 31:5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.
SAMUEL 1 31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.
SAMUEL 2 1:15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.
When second coming?
MATTHEW 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
MARK 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
LUKE 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
See also 1 THESSALONIANS 4:15-18
More a contradiction with facts, this - as far as I can tell, we're still waiting.
Ascend to heaven
"And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." (2 KINGS 2:11)
"No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, ... the Son of Man." (JOHN 3:13)
Is (human or other) sacrifice the way to go?
* Deuteronomy 12:31 "Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods."
* GENESIS 22:2 "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
* EXODUS 22:29 "For thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors; the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me."
* JUDGES 11:30-39 "And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hand, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon . . . and the Lord delivered them into his hands. . . . And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: . . . And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed."
* 2 SAMUEL 21:8-14 "But the king [David] took the two sons of Rizpah . . . and the five sons of Michal . . . and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest . . . And after that God was intreated for the land."
* HEBREWS 10:10-12 " . . . we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ . . . But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God."
* 1 CORINTHIANS 5:7 " . . . For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
Is God omnipotent?
* JEREMIAH 32:27 "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?
* MATTHEW 19:26 "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
* JUDGES 1:19 "And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron."
Did Michal have children?
* II SAMUEL 6:23 "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death."
* II SAMUEL 21:8 "But the king took the two sons of Rizpah . . . and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul."
When was Jesus born?
According to Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1). Herod died in March of 4 B.C., so Jesus had to have been born BEFORE that time. According to Luke, Jesus was born during the first census in Israel, while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). This census took place in 6 AD and 7 AD, about 10 years after Herod's death.
How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign?
22 in 2 KINGS 8:26
42 in 2 CHRONICLES 22:2
How old was Jehoiachin when he became King?
8 in CHRONICLES 36:9
18 in 2 KINGS 24:8
The number of animals in the ark
GENESIS 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
GENESIS 7:8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, GEN 7:9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
LEVITICUS 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
This may not contradict anything the Bible says, but it does clash with reality - hares don't chew cud.
The shape of the earth
ISAIAH 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
MATTHEW 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
As everyone now knows, the earth is spehrical (actually, ovaloid), so you cannot see its entire surface from any one place. Greece, Crete, Egypt and Middle Eastern kingdoms could not have been seen from even "an exceeding high mountain."
Should we swear an oath?
HEBREWS 6:13-17 says "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself . . . for men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath." But JAMES 5:12 clearly says ". . . swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."
The sins of the father
ISAIAH 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
DEUTERONOMY 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the chil- dren, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Was Jesus a peaceful man?
* JOHN 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you."
* ACTS 10:36 "The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ."
* LUKE 2:14 " . . . on earth peace, good will toward men."
* MATTHEW 10:34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."
* LUKE 22:36 "Then said he unto them, . . . he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
Does God change his mind?
* MALACHI 3:6 "For I am the Lord; I change not."
Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent."
* EZEKIEL 24:14 "I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent."
* JAMES 1:17 " . . . the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
* EXODUS 32:14 "And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people."
* GENESIS 6:6,7 "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth . . . And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth . . . for it repenteth me that I have made him."
* JONAH 3:10 ". . . and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not."
How are we saved?
"For by grace are we saved through faith...not of works" EPHESIANS 2:8-9.
"...and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works" REVELATION 20:13.
"Ye see then that by works a man is justified, not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" JAMES 2:26
What happened to Judas?
MATTHEW 27:5 states that he threw down his silver, ran from the temple, and hanged himself. ACTS 1:16-19 states, however, that he bought some land with his money, and that he had a fall, causing him "to burst open in the middle" so that his "bowels gushed out. And it became known to all of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Akaldama, that is, Field of Blood."
Jesus' last words on the cross
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" [PSALMS 22:1] ...Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost." (MATTHEW 27:46-50)
But . . .
"And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:" and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." (LUKE 23:46)
But . . .
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished:" and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (JOHN 19:30)
This is clearly a folk legend - the operative word being legend - in the making.
Is God cruel, destructive and unmerciful or good, kind and merciful?
"I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy." (JEREMIAH 13:14) "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling."
"The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy." (JAMES 5:11)
"For his mercy endureth forever." (1 CHRONICLES 16:34)
"The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works." (PSALMS 145:9)
"God is love." (1 JOHN 4:16)
"And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the Lord hath spoken it." (JOEL 3:8)