I was “talking” with a man/woman the other day on the Internet about the validity of the Bible. This person was arguing that there are errors in the Bible whereas my disposition was that there aren’t any errors. The argument was going nowhere until this person said he/she had four specific verses that prove the Bible is fallacious. I knew what was coming next. Talking snakes this, worldwide flood that. It was all so predictable. But the four verses mentioned were not what I was expecting. Matter of fact, they were so off the wall that I started to look around the room for Ashton Kutcher because I thought I was being Punk’d.
Wait, wasn’t this show called Candid Camera when people cared about it?
I would like to share them with you and show you how I responded (and how I wanted to respond). I’d also like to get your opinion on them as well. How would you have explained these verses to someone whose obvious presupposition was that the Bible is inaccurate?
Verse #1: Leviticus 11:20-23
“All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you. There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.”
The Problem: God says that insects have four legs. Insects do not have four legs, they have six. Is God not telling the truth?
What I wanted to say: You moron. God wasn’t giving a biology lecture. He was informing the Israelites on what they could and couldn’t eat.
What I actually said: Yes, you’re correct, all insects have six legs. But I think the answer you’re looking for is in the same set of verses you got your question from. Why did God differentiate between insects. Why was it okay to eat the hopping ones instead of ones that couldn’t? Like throughout most of the first five books of the Bible, God was more concerned with function than anatomy. Insects have six legs but two of those legs are for specific functions. Some are for digging, some for climbing and some for hopping. The other four are strictly for walking. It was very nice of God to allow the Israelites to eat hopping insects like grasshoppers instead of climbing insects like cockroaches.
Verse #2: 2 Chronicles 4:2
” He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.”
The Problem: He (Hiram) is building a pool that is ten cubits in diameter and thirty cubits in circumference. In order to find π, you divide the circumference by diameter. In the case of this pool, the value of π is 3. Now all you mathematicians reading this know that π is not 3 but rather 3.14 and so on. For the pool to be an actual circle, the circumference would have to be at least 31.4 cubits. If the Bible is not accurate on this, what else is it not being accurate on?
What I wanted to say: It wasn’t a perfect circle, you mouthbreather.
What I actually said: It wasn’t a perfect circle. Or maybe he rounded the numbers off because even back then fractions were still stupid.
Verse #3: Matthew 1:1-16, Luke 3:23-38
The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew and Luke.
The Problem: The two genealogies of Jesus in the gospels differ. Are either of them correct?
What I wanted to say: I wish I could stick my hand through this screen and slap you upside your head.
What I actually said: This one is kind of perplexing because you think that all those guys who transcribed all those copies would have noticed this and tried to go back to the originals to at least check their work. Them being different really validates that the monks who did the transcribing tried to copy them word for word because it would have been real easy to just make them the same.
Both gospels are identical from Abraham to David. After that, they are completely different. A big key in Matthew is that after David it lists Solomon and then goes through a monarchial genealogy. Matthew tries to show Jesus’ lineage through the Jewish line because he was highlighting Jesus’ role as their Messiah. Luke’s genealogy goes all the way back to Adam so he is focusing on Jesus as Savior of the entire world. After David, Luke lists Nathan instead of Solomon so it’s very likely, given the time, that both genealogies could be correct because families were very big and included half brothers and sisters.
The kicker is that Matthew lists Joseph’s father as Jacob and Luke lists it as Heli. It’s not very likely that they are the same person. It is a little more likely that Heli is Joseph’s father-in-law. The most likely scenario is that, according to tradition, if a man dies without bearing sons, his brother could marry his widow and the sons could carry on the dead man’s name. So Joseph’s legal father could be Heli and his biological father could be Jacob. This theory also takes into account that both of Joseph’s grandfathers were brothers and they were married to the same woman, one after the other. But hey, who am I to judge.
Verse #4: Matthew 13:31-32
” He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
The Problem: Jesus said that a mustard seed is the smallest of all the seeds. He also says a mustard seed becomes a tree. Neither of these are true. If Jesus lied about this what else did he lie about?
What I wanted to say: Look you simpleton, Jesus wasn’t comparing the mustard seed to every seed on earth. He was comparing it to seeds a Middle Eastern farmer would know. Also wrap your tiny brain around this, a mustard bush would grow up to 12 feet in Israel and if that ain’t a tree, I don’t know what one is.
What I actually said: Look you simpleton, Jesus wasn’t comparing the mustard seed to every seed on earth. He was comparing it to seeds a Middle Eastern farmer would know. Also wrap your tiny brain around this, a mustard bush would grow up to 12 feet in Israel and if that ain’t a tree, I don’t know what one is.
As you can tell I was having anger management problems that day but I felt like I got my point across. Had to ask for forgiveness though. Not from that pea-brain but from God. Oops, did it again.