Category Archives: Contradictions

Do people only get drunk at night?

Yes.

When the apostles demonstrated their new ability to speak to multiple people in multiple languages at once, some people dismissed them by saying they were drunk. Then, rather than pointing out that that made no sense as an explanation, Peter’s response was that they couldn’t possibly be drunk, because it was still morning.

Peter apparently had the same belief Paul had. Paul said those who get drunk do it at night. And he said the daytime is when people behave decently, and not in drunkenness. The Old Testament disagrees with them, though…

No.

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Did Paul require Gentiles to be circumcised?

Paul, writing to one of his Gentile churches, says nobody really needs to be circumcised; they just need to obey the law. But circumcision is part of the law he’s talking about, so that doesn’t make any sense. Anyone who actually obeys the Jewish law will be circumcised. So does Paul think Gentiles need to be circumcised or not?

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Are there new things?

No.

Solomon says there’s nothing new under the sun. Anything you might think is new already existed a long time ago. Everything that’s happening now and everything that ever will happen has already happened in the past.

And the book of Hebrews says that ever since God first created the world, his works have been finished. So not even God is ever going to make anything new.

Yes.

That creation, though, is a counterexample to the Bible’s denial of anything new ever happening. In the beginning, God was creating lots of new things. Those things hadn’t already existed before that, or else it wouldn’t have been the beginning.

And God didn’t stop doing new things when he was done with the initial creation. When the earth opened up and swallowed a bunch of people, Moses described that as something totally new. After Moses died, God kept choosing new leaders for his people. One of those new leaders, David, said God put a new song in his mouth.

The prophets talked about God doing new things quite a bit. Isaiah said God was going to announce new things before they came to be. He reported that God said he was doing a new thing, so you should forget about the former things. He said God was going to tell about new things that no one had ever heard of before, because they were only being created now, not long ago. He said God was going to give Jerusalem a new name. And he predicted that God was eventually going to create new heavens and a new earth, where everything would be quite different.

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Would God reject the temple?

No.

When Solomon made God a temple, God said he had put his name there forever. He said his eyes and heart would always be there. Even before the temple was built, God had already decided that he would live in Jerusalem forever, and wouldn’t need a mobile tabernacle anymore.

Yes.

But God also told Solomon he would reject that temple if any of Solomon’s descendants ever failed to obey God. So there was pretty much no chance that he was actually going to be loyal to his temple forever. The only way that could happen would be if every single person who was descended from Solomon always obeyed God perfectly, forever.

By the time of Josiah, God had indeed decided to reject the temple where he had promised to stay forever. And after that, God told Ezekiel that the things his people were doing were going to drive him far from his sanctuary.

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Does following Jesus enable you to drive out demons?

Yes.

Jesus gave his twelve disciples authority to drive out demons, and they went out and drove out many demons. After that, he sent out a larger group of his followers, who he didn’t specifically say he was giving authority over demons. And the demons submitted to them, too.

In fact, Jesus said everyone who believes in him will be able to drive out demons. People Jesus hasn’t personally chosen can drive out demons if they invoke his name. And people who consider themselves followers of Jesus, even if Jesus disagrees with them about that, can still drive out demons.

No.

There was at least one time when Jesus’s disciples failed to drive out a demon. Depending on which gospel you read, Jesus’s excuse for this failure was either that this particular demon was of a kind that required a different exorcism process, or that his disciples didn’t have enough faith to drive out demons at all. Either way, it wasn’t enough that these people were Jesus’s closest followers, and that he had personally given them authority over demons. They still couldn’t do it.

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Was Paul under the law?

Paul told his Corinthian followers that in order to persuade people who were under the law, he would sometimes act as if he was under the law. But he said he wasn’t actually under the law.

Then he said in order to persuade people who weren’t under the law, he would sometimes act as if he was not under the law. But he said he actually was under God’s law, and not free from it. Which is just the opposite of what he just said in the previous verse.

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Were the Jebusites driven out?

When the Israelites were about to enter the promised land, Joshua told them that God was certainly going to drive out the nations that were already living there, including the Jebusites.

But later in the book of Joshua, it says the tribe of Judah failed to make the Jebusites leave Jerusalem. Instead, they have had to live alongside them “to this day”. Later, the book of Judges says the Benjamites weren’t able to drive out the Jebusites either. And again, it says they still live there together “to this day”.

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Is anything hidden from God?

No.

God watches everything humans do, and there’s nowhere they can hide from him. Their sin and guilt aren’t hidden from him, either. Everything you do that you think is hidden, God will bring into judgment.

People are foolish to think they can hide what they’re doing from God, no matter how hard they try. You can’t get away from God. God is everywhere, so there’s no secret place you can go where he won’t see you. God has eyes everywhere, keeping watch on both the wicked and the good. No matter where you go, God will be there. If you think you’re hidden in the dark, God will still be able to see you like it’s light.

The elders of Israel thought God wouldn’t see what they were doing in the darkness, because God had abandoned the land. But God showed them to Ezekiel in a vision, so he clearly was aware of what they were doing. In fact, nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.

Cain said his banishment would cause him to be hidden from God, but God said it was not so. Though I can’t really tell if he meant that part was not so, or just what Cain said after that…

Yes.

Sometimes God intentionally lets things be hidden from him. God commanded his people to bury their poop, to make sure he would never have to see it. God also told his people to put their idols out of his sight, which would be an impossible demand if nothing could be hidden from God.

Habakkuk says God’s eyes are too pure to look at evil, so that means all evil things are hidden from God! Isaiah says God hides himself from sinful people and doesn’t hear them.1 God also told Isaiah that “the past troubles” would be hidden from his eyes.

When God decided to stop inspiring prophecies but the prophets didn’t get the memo and continued prophesying anyway, God said he would cast them out of his presence and forget about them. When Jonah was swallowed by a fish, he said he had been banished from God’s sight.

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