Non sequiturs in the Bible

The Bible is a very badly written book. Among many other flaws, it’s full of unintentional non sequiturs. It says things that have no logical connection to what came before, or that don’t make sense given what was just said.

Old Testament stories

After God promises not to kill everyone and everything again, his next statement starts out sounding like he’s going to be expanding on that. Or maybe making another promise, or at least saying something important. He ends up just saying that seasonal cycles and stuff aren’t going to stop as long as the world exists. Who said they would? That wasn’t ever in question, was it? Why bring it up?

Job is trying to convince his friends of how severe his hardship is. Then he decides to start talking about food he doesn’t like, that he refuses to eat. That doesn’t seem relevant, and it doesn’t help his case. Later, after he’s been trying to convince his friends that God is unjust, Job randomly starts arguing against his own position.

After that, Elihu insists that God is perfectly good and just… and then for some reason he brings up the possibility that God could easily kill everyone. Then God sarcastically asks Job if he knows where light and darkness live. He implies that to know that, Job would have to have been “already born“. He doesn’t explain when he thinks Job would have to have been born. Or what Job’s age has to do with whether he can know about something that’s happening right now.

When Jacob is in the middle of giving blessings (and curses) to his sons, he randomly tells God he’s looking for his deliverance.

1 Chronicles begins with some genealogies. It seems like these are supposed to consist of lists of the sons of someone who it already mentioned in a previous list of sons. But a lot of times, it will list the sons of people who it never mentioned before. It never explains who these people are, or how they fit into the genealogy.

It does this with Seir, Jahdai, Etam, Kenaz, Caleb son of Jephunneh, Jehallelel, Ezrah, Hodiah’s wife, Shimon, Shelah son of Judah,1 Abihail son of Huri son of Jaroah son of Gilead son of Michael son of Jeshishai son of Jahdo son of Buz,2 Shemida, Helem,3 Jether, Ulla, Shimei, and Jeroham. It does the same thing again later in the book, too. It says Beno and others are the sons of Jaaziah, whoever that is.

God appears in a burning bush and tells Moses that he has “indeed” seen the misery of his people in Egypt… even though no one had brought that up before he said that.

God says he normally speaks to prophets in dreams. Then he says that’s not how it is with Moses, and as part of the same sentence, he mentions how faithful Moses is. As if that was part of the contrast with all God’s other prophets.

When Joshua is in the middle of announcing a miraculous sign that’s about to happen, just before he gets to the part about the actual miracle, he tells the people to choose twelve men. As far as I can tell, that doesn’t have anything to do with the miracle.

Later, the two tribes descended from Joseph point out that Joshua has only given them enough land for one tribe. Joshua tells them what they can do if the hill country isn’t enough for them. The descendants of Joseph then ignore what Joshua just said, and inform him that the hill country isn’t enough for them.

When Abishai offers to kill Saul for David, instead of telling him why Abishai shouldn’t do it, David gives reasons why David shouldn’t do it himself, when nobody had said he should.

There’s a Bible verse that tells the backstory of Mephibosheth son of Jonathan son of Saul… inserted in the middle of a story about a different son of Saul, that has nothing to do with any of those people.

Solomon reports that God has said he would live in a dark cloud. Then as part of the same sentence, and without a “but”, Solomon says he has provided a new place for God to live. He says this as if he was affirming what God had just said he would do, rather than disregarding and contradicting it.

After Elisha tells his servant to go to the Shunammite’s home, the Shunammite says she refuses to go. But she’s not the one he told to leave. Then it says Elisha gets up and follows the Shunammite. How can he follow her if she’s not going anywhere?

The queen of Sheba story is interrupted for two verses to inform you that somebody had brought Solomon some stones and wood at some point.

Jeremiah 52 tells the story of the fall of Jerusalem, but interrupts it to tell us the details of what was in the temple (which we already heard about a long time ago).

The book of Daniel says the four smart Jews who were taken to serve the king of Babylon were given new names, “but” Daniel didn’t want the royal food. It had mentioned the food before, but that was way back four sentences before the “but”.

New Testament stories

Part of Mary’s response to the announcement that God is going to impregnate her is to declare something irrelevant about secretly proud people getting scattered.

Just a few verses after John baptizes Jesus, it mentions that John is in prison, with no explanation.

The gospel of Matthew says Jesus told his disciples not to tell anyone who he really was. And it says the reason for that was to fulfill a prophecy from Isaiah… which says nothing about keeping secrets.

Jesus is constantly making non sequiturs. He expresses his amazement at how much faith someone has. Then suddenly he’s talking about many people getting into (and other people getting thrown out of) the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus describes the things he’s doing for various people. He says he’s taking away the problem each particular disadvantaged category of person has… until he gets to the poor. Instead of actually doing anything about their situation, all he does is “proclaim good news” to them. And then right after listing the good things he’s doing for people, he says something different that suggests that something bad could happen to people because of him.

Jesus starts to answer a question about when everything will end. But he ends up just stating whether certain things will end. When people ask Jesus where his father is, instead of answering, he just tells them that they don’t know his father.

When Peter asks him who he’s talking to, it says “Jesus answered” …but he doesn’t actually answer the question. Jesus instead asks something about the story he was telling. That’s not an answer. And when Peter asks him where he’s going, he doesn’t answer that either. He just says his disciples can’t follow him there. This guy is not good at answering questions.

When asked for a sign, Jesus gets annoyed and declares that he’s not going to give anyone a sign… right after doing a miracle in front of thousands of people.

Do you see this woman? Jesus came into Simon’s house.

Jesus warns his disciples in a confusing way about the Pharisees. Then instead of explaining himself, the next thing he says is a repeat of what he said four chapters ago, that in the future there will be no secrets. And it was a non sequitur that time, too.

Jesus acts like he’s just done a miracle and healed a man, and he claims that people are angry at him because of that. Even though he hasn’t done any healing miracles since two chapters ago. And that wasn’t in the presence of the people he’s talking to now. And these people aren’t angry with him about anything yet.

Jesus gets a “dead” girl to stand up and walk around and she’s twelve years old. Yes, it says that last part as part of the same sentence in the Bible. If they needed to mention her age, they should have done that at the beginning of the story, not at the end.

Jesus’s response to a man begging him to restore his son’s sanity is to get angry at his whole generation. He wishes he didn’t have to live among them anymore, that he didn’t have to put up with them wanting help with their health problems. Oh, and he thinks this has something to do with all those people being “unbelieving”? Then that man declares that he believes… so he asks Jesus to help him overcome the unbelief that he doesn’t have.

When Jesus tells his disciples that the least of them is the greatest, they have no response to that (which is understandable I suppose). Instead, the next thing they say is that they tried to stop someone from driving out demons.

Jesus explains that by driving a demon out of a man, he has actually made that man much worse off… and someone thinks that’s a good reason to bless his mother for giving birth to him.

Jesus knows that he was sent by God, and that everything is under his power. So he gets up from the table and takes his clothes off.

Caiaphas acts like he’s disagreeing with the other chief priests, when he’s actually agreeing with what they just said (that Jesus must be stopped in order to save the Jewish nation). When Pilate asks the Jewish leaders what their charge against Jesus is, they just say they wouldn’t have handed him over if he wasn’t a criminal. Nobody had said he wasn’t a criminal.

The high priest asks Stephen if the charges against him are true. They’re not, but instead of answering, Stephen decides to recite the history of Israel. As if the priests didn’t already know about that. After Stephen gets himself killed with all his stupid answers, the remaining disciples are persecuted and expelled from the region… and then they’re filled with joy, for some reason?


God starts to tell Noah that he doesn’t want people eating any animal blood. Then he suddenly shifts to talking about killing people. But he makes it sound like he’s still talking about the same thing. But he’s not.

The Bible says Joseph made all the Egyptians who weren’t priests give all their land to Pharaoh in exchange for food. Later, it says Joseph made a law that a fifth of the produce grown in Egypt would belong to Pharaoh. And right after that, it says only the priests got to keep their land, as if that had anything to do with what it just said, and wasn’t about something else that had happened earlier.

The book of Exodus has God giving his people a bunch of laws, awkwardly interspersed with action scenes.

God says the grain offering must not be baked with yeast, and then as part of the same sentence, he says who he’s letting eat it. What do those two statements have to do with each other? Was that supposed to be an explanation of why they shouldn’t use yeast? Because it isn’t one.

God randomly inserts 13 verses about moldy cloths in the middle of telling people how he thinks they should deal with skin diseases.


A psalm of David says God examines the righteous, “but” hates the wicked. What kind of contrast is that? Is David saying that God has to examine people to know how good they are, but he chooses to hate some people without even checking to see if they’re worth hating?

Psalm 59 is supposed to be something that David wrote when Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him. But it sounds like it’s actually about all the foreign nations that David hates. Apparently David’s response to being in immediate danger in his own home was to waste time writing a song about all his other enemies that he didn’t have yet.

The Bible says David later sang a song praising God for rescuing him from Saul and his other enemies. That seems rather out of place when Saul has been dead for years. And when David was unhappy about the death of one of his most recent enemies.

David says God treats various kinds of people in exactly the same way those people behave… until he gets to devious people. Then instead of admitting that God behaves deviously, he breaks the pattern and just says God is “shrewd” with those people.4

The sons of Korah wrote a psalm saying to look at all the desolation God has brought on the earth. Then they say God creates world peace, as if that was an example of the desolation they were talking about.

One psalmist expresses his desire for all the peoples and nations around the world to praise God, to be glad and sing for joy because of God and his blessings, and to… fear him? Where did fear come from? Doesn’t this guy know that fear is incompatible with love?

A psalm of Asaph states that this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of God. Huh? I thought this was a song.

Another psalm by Asaph seems to be saying that foreign gods are nothing but inanimate idols that can’t think. But then the next thing he says is that those gods can walk. And that they’re actually so powerful that just by walking, they shake the foundations of the earth.

Ethan the Ezrahite wrote a psalm where he describes a bunch of bad things that are happening, and says it’s all God’s fault. He ends it by saying “Praise be to the Lord forever!

There’s a psalm that starts by saying God reigns and the nations should tremble. And that he sits between cherubs and the earth should shake. Not sure what the connection between these things is supposed to be.

The longest chapter in the Bible keeps saying something about God’s laws, and also saying something unrelated as if it’s part of the same sentence.

Another psalm is all about how God-fearing men will be blessed. Except the last sentence ends with “peace be on Israel”, which is not the same thing. Not all God-fearing men are in Israel, and not everyone in Israel is a God-fearing man. So they’re ending this chapter by saying something completely different from what the rest of it was about.


The book of Proverbs is full of unrelated statements put together as if they were about the same thing. And statements that are put together to try to form a contrast, even though they really don’t.

Solomon makes statements about the consequences of malicious acts, and of talking too much, as if those were the same kind of thing. He tries to compare how much rushing puts you off track with how much it’s not good to want things without knowing enough.

Solomon tells what the wicked want, and what happens to the righteous, as one sentence. He says people want unfailing love, and that being poor is better than being a liar, in the same sentence.

Solomon says wisdom tells you to fear God and that you have to be humble before you’ll be honored. He says quarreling is a sin and also if you make your gate tall you’re inviting people to attack you.

Solomon says even if people steal because they’re starving, they must be fined severely, “but” adultery is a senseless and self-harmful thing to do. He says the wise spread knowledge, “but” fools aren’t good people.

Solomon says it’s nice to get what you want, “but” fools don’t like to stop doing evil. How is that a but? Is “not doing evil” what fools want?

He says “rebellious” countries have multiple rulers, “but” wise rulers maintain order. I don’t think there’s any real contrast here. It’s perfectly possible for both of those to describe the same country. Like one where, say, multiple wise rulers are leading a revolt against another country in an organized manner.

He tries to contrast what a tyrannical ruler does with what happens to a good ruler, which doesn’t actually form a contrast at all. If he wants to show how different these rulers are, he should say one thing about each of them that can’t both be true of the same person. That is not the case with practicing extortion and enjoying a long reign. He does the same thing a bit later, trying to compare the actions of greedy people with the outcomes for people who trust in God.

Solomon tries to contrast what happens to a faithful person vs. someone who wants to get rich. Like we’re supposed to assume for some reason that those are mutually exclusive groups of people.

He tries to make a contrast between self-trusting people being fools and wise people being kept safe. Where’s the contrast? The two attributes of people here aren’t opposites or anything. Who better to trust themselves than people who are wise enough to be trustworthy? And the outcomes aren’t contrary to each other, either. Fools can be kept safe.

Solomon starts a proverb by saying a wise man brings his father joy. But then he takes up the whole second statement just to explain why he thinks the second kind of man isn’t wise, and he ends up failing to actually state a contrasting outcome that parallels the first.

He claims that when God fails to provide people with prophecy, this makes them run rampant, “but” people who follow the instructions of wisdom are blessed. He’s yet again trying to compare what people do, and what happens to them.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon continues making non sequiturs. He jumps from talking about how he’s sure nothing ever changes to talking about how things that were supposed to be full of justice are full of wickedness.

Solomon throws in some more proverbs formed by the forced merging of unrelated statements. He tells what he thinks causes dreams and how you can spot a fool, in the same sentence. He tries to pass off two statements as a single sentence, even though they have nothing to do with each other besides both being weird comparisons. And a few verses later, there’s another sentence made from two unrelated comparisons.

He encourages people to use their own wisdom to figure out what to do… in the same sentence where he had just promoted a different way to determine what to do. Then he mentions for no apparent reason that some people are miserable. Then suddenly he’s talking about how no one knows the future. Followed by a claim that it’s impossible to get out of doing evil.

He makes a statement about the prevalence of righteousness, worded as if it was a confirmation of the preceding statement about the consequences of wisdom. As one sentence, he says fools get tired when they work, and also that they don’t know the way to town. This too is meaningless.

Major prophets

God tells the leaders of his people that they’ve ruined his vineyard. And in the same sentence, he says the plunder from the poor is in their houses, as if that was evidence for his first claim or something.

God tells the prophet Isaiah to write something down. Isaiah responds by having sex in front of a priest.

Isaiah 24 is about God’s plans to destroy the world. In the middle of this chapter are a few verses where people are apparently shouting for joy and praising God all over the world. Then it gets right back to the misery and death and destruction of the earth.

Isaiah randomly says something about morning dew in the middle of a sentence about the dead coming to life.

Isaiah starts a chapter by talking about how God is going to kill a sea monster one day. Then it sounds like he’s about to tell more about what will happen that day. But instead, the next thing he says is to quote God telling people to sing about a vineyard, and wishing there were thorns coming to fight him.

Later, Isaiah quotes God acting like he’s talking about a prediction he made or something. But the last statement he had made wasn’t a prediction. It was just that idolators are ignorant.

In one chapter, Isaiah is talking about how God provided for his people in the deserts. Then he suddenly ends the chapter by quoting God saying there’s no peace for the wicked.

Jeremiah quotes God saying his people should fear him, but instead they’re stubborn and rebellious. But in the middle of that, he inserts something about the way he supposedly designed the sea.

Jeremiah starts a chapter by quoting God talking about his plans to have a lot of human bones dug up. Then suddenly he’s talking about banishing and tormenting his people.

Jeremiah 9 has God talk about how he’s planning to desolate the towns of Judah, wiping out its people with poison and the sword. Then near the end of the chapter, God boasts about how kind he is.

Jeremiah suddenly switches from prophesying against an individual to prophesying against a whole nation.

The Jews in Babylon mention something that’s in Babylon. God responds by telling what he’s going to do to the people who never went to Babylon.

Jeremiah says God says you should sing with joy for the remnant of Israel because… some of them are blind and lame and weeping?

At one point, God is talking to Jeremiah, and then it says Jeremiah wakes up. Then God just keeps talking to him like nothing happened.

In Jeremiah 32, the king asks Jeremiah why he’s predicting the fall of Jerusalem. Instead of answering, Jeremiah starts talking about God having him buy a field as if they weren’t about to be conquered. God seems to be getting ahead of himself, and promising that they’ll be able to buy property in their land again… when the problem that would prevent them from doing that hasn’t even occurred yet. And when he has yet to convince people that there’s even going to be such a problem.

God even seems to object to Jeremiah trying to convince people that they’re going to be forced out of their land, because God’s already busy planning how he’s going to bring them back to their land. He continues along these lines in chapter 33.

God asks who he has chosen to do his will. Then he starts asking who can challenge him, as if that was the same thing. Then he does the same thing again in the next chapter.

In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah describes how absurdly cruel God is being to him and everyone around him. Then he suddenly starts talking about how God’s compassion never fails. He says God has saved his life and rescued them all in his great love. He points out to God the wrong that has been done to him, and asks God to defend him. Did he forget that God was the one causing him all that trouble?

Ezekiel quotes God saying he’s going to judge some sheep for mistreating some other sheep, for shoving them and butting them. But why does he mention the flock being plundered in the middle of that? Were the sheep plundering each other?

Twice in the book of Daniel, an angel is asked how long it will be before something happens. But both times, the angel seems to answer a different question from what he was asked. Instead of telling when the event will happen, he tells how long the event will last. (Either that or the angel is making obviously false predictions of the world ending back in Daniel’s time.)

Then the angel predicts that there will be 1,290 days between two specific events. But then he says something about “the 1,335 days“, which are not mentioned anywhere else.

Minor prophets

Hosea’s message from God includes a sentence that says three bad things about Ephraim. Except these statements aren’t saying the same kind of thing at all. There are two statements about bad things happening to Ephraim, followed by a criticism of their behavior. Hosea’s God also seems to think that if people are thriving, that’s a reason to have compassion on them.

Amos describes the bad things that certain women are doing: They oppress the poor and crush the needy… and they also tell their husbands to bring them drinks. As if that was an equally serious issue.

Amos 5 keeps saying “There are those who” [do evil], interspersed with other things where it doesn’t really fit.

Obadiah says “This is what the Sovereign Lord says about Edom”… followed by three lines of something the Lord didn’t say, before he actually gets to the part the Lord said. Obadiah just can’t wait till a sentence is over before he has to say another sentence he thought of.

Micah says “All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God” …right after predicting that the nations would convert to Judaism.

He says God is calling to a city, but before he gets to the part where he reports what God is saying, he interrupts his sentence to say something unrelated to God. But he words it as if he was adding to what he had just said.

Then Micah talks about some enemy woman getting trampled, and then about some unspecified place being built up and expanded and traveled to, and then he throws in a random sentence about the earth being destroyed, and then he tells some unspecified person to shepherd people with a staff in a forest. I have no idea what he’s trying to say.

Habakkuk has a very poorly placed statement about a righteous person, inserted in the middle of something he’s saying about the enemy. Now it almost sounds like all the bad things he’s saying are about the righteous person!

Habakkuk condemns people who build cities through wrongdoing. But then the next thing he says is that when people do work, they’re wearing themselves out for nothing. He makes it sound like that’s why he disapproves of those city builders. Then he follows that with another unrelated statement, about how everyone is going to have knowledge of God. And he words it as if that was the reason he thinks labor is pointless.

The book of Zechariah starts with God apparently talking about Zechariah’s ancestors. But he randomly intersperses that with telling him to tell other people something, in a confusing way that makes it sound like he’s talking about those people’s ancestors. It would make more sense if he was talking about their ancestors, but that really doesn’t appear to be what’s happening, if you look closely. The parts about “your ancestors” are always outside of the quotes that indicate when something is part of a message to the people.

Also in that passage: After making an already absurdly unconvincing argument that disobedience is the reason people from the past are dead now, God completely undermines his point by mentioning that his prophets died too.

In the same chapter, an angel asks how much longer God is going to withhold mercy and remain angry. This happens just after a report that the whole world is at peace. Later, Zechariah asks the angel to explain what it is he’s seeing. But the angel’s response is nowhere near being an answer to Zechariah’s question.

Zechariah talks about God providing rain, and then suddenly he’s talking about false prophets and lying idols.

In the book of Malachi, God tells his people to return. He anticipates them asking how they can return… but then instead of answering, he asks his own unrelated question.

Teachings of Jesus

Jesus talks about the appropriate time for mourning. Then suddenly he’s making two analogies or something about old and new things, which don’t seem to represent anything in particular.

He tells people to be afraid of God, immediately followed by telling them why they shouldn’t be afraid, because of God.

There are times when Jesus changes the topic with every verse, or even more often than that. In one passage in Matthew, he tells how to rob a strong man, and then who he imagines is against him, and then which sin God won’t forgive even though he could if he wanted to.

In Luke, after he finishes a story about evangelism and agriculture, he says you should let everyone see how good you are because people don’t put lamps under their beds, and in the future there will be no secrets, and you should be careful how you listen, whatever that means, and also God is going to reinforce inequality and make it worse.

Also in Luke, he says God disagrees with people about how good they are because God has alien values, and everyone is forcing their way into the kingdom of God, and God’s laws aren’t going anywhere, and divorce is adultery, and there was a rich man who wore purple.

Jesus explains why he thinks he doesn’t need to wash his hands before he eats. Then he tells a couple of brief parables, or mixed metaphors, or something. These metaphors are to explain why it doesn’t matter that he offended the Pharisees with his opinions. But then when Peter asks him to “explain the parable”, Jesus instead goes back to trying to justify his opinions on hand washing. His response to Peter says nothing about the topics of those parables, or about parables at all. But he still acts like he thinks he’s “explaining the parable”.

Jesus says four consecutive sentences that don’t really seem to be related. They have some words in common. That’s about it.

He tells a story where people kill people and then someone else kills the people who killed people. Then he quotes a passage from Psalms about a rejected stone, acting like that’s a justification for killing those people. Or like that’s a reason people should have expected the guy to kill those people, or something.

When asked what’s the most important commandment, Jesus starts by quoting something that isn’t even a commandment, just because it comes before a commandment in the Old Testament.

Jesus tells why you have to watch out for the teachers of the law. He lists some things they do, but only one of those things is actually a serious offense at all. The rest are harmless.

He says people can only be his followers if they give up everything they have, and then he asks a stupid question about salt. He says people shouldn’t be surprised by him claiming that they need to be born again. But instead of explaining himself, he says something dumb about the wind.

The unpleasant and unjust character representing Jesus in one of his parables gives a non-explanation of his latest act of injustice. Then the next thing you know, he’s ordering the slaughter of an entire country. The end.

When someone says he knows Jesus has been sent by God, Jesus ignores what he said, and says something about who doesn’t get to see the kingdom of God.

Paul’s letters

In Paul’s letters, he’ll suddenly start trying to justify boasting, when he hadn’t been discussing boasting, or any specific moral issues at all. And when he’s never explained why he thinks boasting needs to be justified in the first place.

Paul says the gift isn’t like the trespass… before showing how they’re alike. Then he says the gift of God can’t be compared with the result of one man’s sin… and he goes on to compare them.

Romans 9 suddenly goes from trying and failing to show that God is just, to quoting a bunch of scriptures that Paul apparently thinks justify his idea that God is more interested in saving Gentiles than Jews.

Paul says something about someone’s spirit being able to find out anything. The version of the Bible I’m using capitalizes “Spirit” to imply that it means God’s holy spirit. But that’s probably not what it meant, since Paul seems to think it’s remarkable that this spirit can know God’s secrets. On the other hand, the next thing it says is that like anyone, only God’s own spirit knows his thoughts. So that sounds like it had been talking about God’s spirit. It also says no one else knows God’s mind, but then it says some people do have Jesus’s mind. That doesn’t support what he had just said, unless he’s saying Jesus isn’t God.

Paul quotes a saying about food. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean, but Paul tries to rebut it by making up his own version about God and sex. That one definitely doesn’t make any sense, either as a rebuttal or even just on its own. The Lord is meant for the body? Really, is that what God is for? God was invented for the benefit of my body? What?

Paul twice starts to try to tell his opinion “about food sacrificed to idols”, stating that all people have some knowledge. But that doesn’t seem to be relevant to the conclusion he eventually reaches, which is based on some people lacking some knowledge.

1 Corinthians 9 starts out with a bunch of not-very-related rhetorical questions that I can’t make much sense of.

Paul mentions that some people in the Old Testament were idolators, but the verse he cites says nothing about idols.

Paul appeals to his readers’ intuitions about whether it’s more appropriate for men or women to have long hair. He acts like this is going to help convince them of what he had just been saying. But he had not just been saying anything about long hair. He had been saying something about hair, but not immediately before this, and it wasn’t anything about length. If anything, what he’s saying now (describing a woman’s hair as a “covering”) contradicts what he had been saying before, about her head needing an additional covering.

Then Paul suddenly goes from complaining about the existence of disagreement among his followers to complaining about their eating arrangements.

When Paul is in the middle of cordially closing his first letter to the Corinthians, he suddenly starts yelling curses at people.

In just two verses, Paul shifts between saying three unrelated things. He says people should share everything with religious teachers like him, and then he claims that no one can mock God, and that people always get what they deserve based on what they do.

Paul tries to make a point about Jesus and the church, by falsely claiming that no one has ever hated their own body. Then suddenly he’s saying something about a man and a woman “becoming one flesh”, whatever that means. Paul doesn’t understand it himself. Then he remembers that he was supposed to be talking about Jesus and the church.

Paul tells his followers “our struggle is not against flesh and blood”. And he lists the entities that they are struggling against: The rulers, the authorities, the powers of this world, and evil spirits. So… mostly flesh and blood, then?

At one point, Paul is changing topics (and maybe even changing his opinions?) with every sentence. He writes to tell Timothy to stop being so eager to heal people, and to stay pure, and to start drinking wine, and that God takes a while to notice and judge some people’s sins, for some reason.

Other letters

The book of Hebrews declares that believers have “entered that rest”. It tries to support that claim by citing a verse about people not entering God’s rest. And then it says something about God not having done anything since he finished creating the world. It says it like we’re supposed to be surprised that that unrelated fact is also true at the same time.

There’s another non-contrast later in the same book. It says our fathers discipline us as they think best, “but” God disciplines us for our good.

Also in Hebrews, it says to imitate your religious leaders’ lifestyle and that Jesus is the same every day.

James has a passage in his letter where each verse has little or nothing to do with what the previous one said. He says Jesus was wrong when he claimed that everyone who asks receives, and God hates people who are friends of the world, and God put a spirit in us but now he wants it back, and also God prefers humble people.

A little later, James says it’s a sin to fail to do all the good things you know you should do. He acts like that follows from what he was saying just before that. But what he had been saying was something completely different: that you shouldn’t act like you have any idea what’s going to happen in the immediate future.

And then Peter, in the opening to his first letter, wishes grace and peace to the people he’s writing to. How can he talk about peace, when they’re being SPRINKLED WITH BLOOD?

There’s a worse kind of non sequitur in the Bible as well. Besides all these sudden little shifts in topic, the Bible also makes a lot of failed attempts at reasoning. It arrives at conclusions that are not justified by the reasons given.

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