Excuses, excuses, excuses
When a contradiction or an error in the Bible is pointed out to a Christian, more often than not, the Christian will have some lame excuse to try and show that what you are reading is not really a contradiction or an error at all. These are some of the many arguments I have encountered for explaining the fallacies in the Bible.
Verse taken out of context
This is probably the more common excuse used to try and explain away an error or a contradiction. Christians claim that in order to get the full meaning of the verse, it must be left in context; that you have to read the whole chapter to understand what is being said. This comes from the same people that throw verse after verse at you to try and support their argument about why their religion is right. If they feel that a particular verse seems pretty straight forward, they have no problem with taking it out of context and throwing it in your face.
You have to know how to interpret the Bible
I get this a lot. "The reason you think there are problems with the Bible, is because you don't know how to interpret it". I was unaware that the Bible was written in some sort of code. If there is only one way to interpret the Bible, why do so many Christians interpret it differently? Some Christian sects have a literal interpretation of the whole Bible, while other sects interpret certain parts as literal and other parts metaphorically or figuratively.
That's not what's really being said
This argument falls into the same category as interpretation. I have shown people that Jesus didn't always teach love, by presenting Luke 14:26 in which Jesus says, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple". Of course I've gotten the, "You're taking it out of context" excuse, but most of the time I get this..."Jesus isn't saying that you have to hate your parents and family, he's just saying that you have to love him more than you love them". Clearly that is not what is being said in this verse. Having more love for 'A' than for 'B' does not mean that you have to HATE 'B'.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gives his disciples signs to look for, announcing the end of the world and his second coming. After giving these signs, Jesus says...
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
Notice here that Jesus says "this" generation; he is speaking in the present tense. Clearly he is talking about his generation. Since his generation passed almost 2,000 years ago, then all those signs in Matthew 24 should have already been fulfilled, and his second coming should have already taken place.
I have gotten four different explanations as to what Jesus is "really" saying here.
That can't be right. If that were the case, then Jesus would have said "that" generation shall not pass...future tense.
Although "generation" can mean a race of people; that is not what is being talked about here. Every time "this generation" is mentioned in the New Testament, it is always spoken by Jesus (Mat.11:16; 12:41-42, Mark 8:12, Luke 7:31; 11:30-32, 50, 51; 17:25). In each and every verse, it refers to the generation that was alive during Jesus' time. There are also instances in the gospels in which Jesus' claims that people living at that time would not die until they saw his second coming.
Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
Yep, this person told me that Jesus was saying that the whole human race would not pass until all those signs were fulfilled.
How could that be, since Christianity hadn't even been established yet?
That's a God day
According to the Bible, if you accept its literal interpretation, the earth is only about 7,000 years old. Because the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and conflicts with the Bible's account of creation only taking 6 days, some Christians claim that a day back then was much longer, something like a million years. This is considered a "God day". So in actuality, God created the universe in 6 million years. This sorry explanation creates many different problems. If a "God day" is a million years long, and God supposedly created man on the 6th day, that would mean that the 6th day hasn't ended yet. Counting back the generations to Adam and Eve, only 7,000 years have passed, meaning we still have over 990,000 years left before the 6th day ends. How could God have rested on the 7th day, since the 7th day hasn't even gotten here? Confused yet? What about the Christian's argument that time to God is not as long as it seems to us? They say that 2,000 years to God is merely a nanosecond. If you take the "God day" concept as equaling a million years, then 2,000 years to God would really be...let's see...2,000 years x 365 days = 730,000 days. 730,000 days x 1 million = 730 billion years. Well 730 billion years is much longer than a nanosecond.
So how long is a "God day", or a "God minute", or a "God second"? Well they are as long as Christians claim they are, in order for them to fit into their belief system. Sometimes a "God day" is a million years, sometimes it's a billion, and in some cases it's only a second long.
© 1998 Derrick Miller