Category Archives: Contradictions

Did the Jews think God was their only father?

In John 8, Jesus talks to some Jews, who are on his side at the beginning of the conversation. But then he starts making outrageous unfounded accusations against them, and before long they think Jesus is demon-possessed and should be stoned to death.

During that conversation, Jesus mentions these Jews doing what their father has told them. They respond that Abraham is their father. When Jesus disagrees, the Jews now insist that God is the only father they have. (Which they think somehow shows that they’re not illegitimate children.) Jesus doesn’t agree with that either, and insists the devil is their father. But forget about what Jesus thinks… How can the Jews say God is their only father, when they just said Abraham is their father?

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Is prostitution acceptable?


The Bible doesn’t actually contain a law banning all prostitution, but it does tend to be disapproving of it.

When Judah found out that his daughter-in-law was “guilty of prostitution”, he thought she should be burned to death. And Paul thinks Christians should never be “united” with prostitutes.

What does God think of prostitution? He seems to disapprove of his people visiting the houses of prostitutes. He seems to think prostitution is a shameful practice, a horrible thing that defiles Israel. God said prostitution was leading his people astray and would cause them not to flourish. He said he was against someone because by being a prostitute, she had somehow enslaved nations and caused huge wars. The Bible implies that male shrine prostitution was one of the “detestable practices” that provoked God to try to wipe out the native inhabitants of Canaan.

Kings who expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land were doing what was right in God’s eyes. God punished Jehoram for leading the people to “prostitute themselves”, though it’s not clear whether that’s literal or a metaphor for idolatry.

God had his prophets tell several allegorical stories portraying his people as a prostitute. He describes her prostitution as a wicked act of rebellion. He doesn’t want his wife back after she becomes a prostitute. God punishes the land when she defiles it with her prostitution and wickedness, and he thinks she ought to be ashamed. He also disapproves of her killing his children, but just the prostitution would have been bad enough.

And then there’s Ezekiel 23, where Israel and Judah are both prostitutes, which God thinks is depraved, defiling, disgusting, and shameful. So he hands them over to be stripped, mutilated, and killed, in order to put a stop to their prostitution.

So it sure sounds like God hates prostitution, though it’s possible he just hates idolatry, which is what those parables are really about. That’s a problem with a lot of these passages. It’s hard to tell whether the Bible is really talking about prostitution or not, since it so often either uses it metaphorically, or conflates it with other behaviors like adultery.

Anyway, God also has a few laws on the subject of prostitution. He never completely outlaws it, but he does have some laws concerning more specific scenarios:


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Are all rulers wise?

The eighth chapter of Proverbs is all about wisdom and understanding. It portrays Wisdom as saying that all who rule on earth reign and govern by her, by Wisdom. So all rulers on earth must be wise.

But the Bible mentions some rulers who were not wise. Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t a wise man, or he wouldn’t have tried to get all the wise men in Babylon killed. Saul did such a foolish thing that God decided he couldn’t be king anymore. Even Solomon wasn’t wise when he first became king.

Speaking of Solomon, he certainly didn’t seem to think all rulers were wise when he wrote Ecclesiastes. And he ought to be an expert on these things. Solomon doesn’t say it’s impossible to be a foolish old king, only that it’s not the best thing you can be. He contrasts wise people with rulers, which would make no sense if rulers were always wise themselves.

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Will the sun and moon last forever?

They will last forever.

Solomon equates “forever” with “as long as the sun” continues. So does God, who also says something will be established forever like the moon. The Bible says God established the sun and moon for ever and ever, with a decree that will never pass away.

There’s also a verse in Isaiah that says Jerusalem’s sun will never set again, and its moon will wane no more.

Then they will be destroyed?

The verse just before that in Isaiah, though, makes it sound like it might actually be talking about God, not the actual sun and moon. And in any case, that verse says at that time the sun and moon will no longer shine on Jerusalem.

But won’t they still exist forever, even if Jerusalem is cut off from them somehow? No, Joel says by the time the day of the Lord arrives, the sun and moon will be darkened. The sun will turn to darkness and the moon will turn to blood. And Revelation says after the sun turns black and the moon turns red, an angel will darken a third of both of them.

Then they will still exist.

Apparently they won’t be completely destroyed at this point, because after that a woman will wear the sun and put her feet on the moon. And an angel will even make the sun more powerful.

And then they won’t be needed.

Then there’s the new Jerusalem, which won’t need the sun or moon either.

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Was the last supper before, during, or after the Passover?

According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the “last supper” happened on the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. These gospels all equate the Festival of Unleavened Bread with the Passover, and say the last supper was the Passover meal.

But the Passover meal is eaten at the beginning of Passover, and Leviticus says the Festival of Unleavened Bread starts the day after that. So the last supper would have to be the day after the Passover meal.

And then there’s the gospel of John, which says the last supper happened before the Passover festival. After Jesus was arrested, the Passover meal was still to come. And when Jesus was brought before Pilate, Passover still hadn’t happened. Passover certainly didn’t start the day before the last supper, according to John.

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Will it be dark on the day of the Lord?

The prophets keep talking about this terrible day in the future called “the day of the Lord“. They say it will be a dark day: Isaiah says the sun will be darkened and the moon and stars won’t show their light. Similarly, Joel says the sun and moon will be darkened and the stars won’t shine. And Amos says that day will be darkness and not light, pitch-dark without a ray of brightness.

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Did Joshua completely destroy Debir?

The book of Joshua says Joshua attacked the city of Debir, putting it and its villages to the sword. He and his people totally destroyed everyone there, leaving no survivors.

The chapter after that mentions that Joshua totally destroyed the Anakites from Debir and some other places, along with their towns. That’s either a contradiction of the statement that they were already destroyed, or just part of a recap. But there’s definitely a contradiction later.

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Was Paul proud to be weak?

Paul said if he was going to boast (and he did like to boast), then he would boast about his weakness. His weaknesses were the only things about himself that he was willing to boast about. It made him glad to be weaker than his followers.

Paul was delighted to be weak, because boasting about weakness gave him the power of Christ. So being weak actually made him strong. But why would he want that power and strength, if he really liked being weak so much?

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Can anyone predict the future?


Solomon (the wisest man ever, according to the Bible) says no one knows the future, so no one can tell you what’s to come. Because no one knows what’s coming. No one knows when their own death will come. In fact, no one can discover anything about their future, and no one can tell you what’s going to happen in the world after you die, either.

James agrees. He says you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so you shouldn’t act like you even have any idea what you’re going to do tomorrow.

That’s settled, then. No one can predict the future. The Bible says so. Who’s going to disagree with the Bible? Oh right, of course… The Bible is going to disagree with the Bible.

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