What are some Bible contradictions that JWs can't reconcile?

by marked 27 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • marked

    There are some good points here that I've never heard before! I think the whole "what day did Jesus die" one always bugged me, since the Publications(tm) seemed to be silent on it.

    But there are some here that my old JW training CAN refute, based on the notion that if two accounts seem contradictory, they BOTH must be true since the bible is inerrant. Not that it matters really, since I've lost faith in the bible anyway:

    What color was Jesus' cloak? Scarlet or purple?

    Easy. It was reddish-purple.

    Genesis chapter 1:11-26 says that green vegetation was created BEFORE humans. Then at Genesis 2:4, an entirely different account starts over: Genesis chapter 2:5-7 says that humans were created BEFORE vegetation!

    This one's along the lines of God only beginning to create flora before humans, and that there's nothing saying he stopped creating new kinds after humans came on the scene.

    (also before the Sun and Moon and stars)

    They only became visible after the other things were created. They were always there! Neat, huh?

    The easiest contradiction is no particular verse, but the over all theme of free will. The puts a wrench in everything, did Pharaoh, Judas, or Cyrus (if the prophecy really was told before it happened), did any of them have a choice or free will?

    I read something about God using certain individuals for certain purposes for only a certain time. After they were "used" he let them go about their business again, including allowing them the choice to continue to serve him or not. Doesn't really answer the free will question, but that's what I learned.

    My favourite stretch was "How did Judas die?" Did he hang himself or get dashed on rocks? Answer: BOTH! He hung himself over a cliff THEN THE ROPE/BRANCH SNAPPED AND HE FELL ON ROCKS! Quite a macabre imagination required for that one.


  • gaiagirl

    The account in Gen 2:5-7 reads as follows: "Now there was as yet no bush of the field found in the earth, and no vegetation of the field was as yet sprouting because Jehovah God had not made it rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist would go up from the earth and it watered the entire surface of the ground. And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground, and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul. This states quite clearly, and in contradiction to the account in Genesis 1, that before the creation of humans there were no plants.

  • eljefe

    The Watchtower doesn't even attempt to go into many of the contradictions in Gospels about Jesus' resurrection (e.g. how many saw Jesus behind locked door).

  • Oroborus21

    Just wanted to chime in on just one of the "contradictions" asserted here: the Methusaleh/Flood thing.

    The contradiction is quite resolved if one is willing to drop the idea that the Flood was a global cataclysm and go with the belief that it was a local-area phenomenon. Let God be Found True.....


  • skyman

    How about Abraham and GOD's one on one conversation does not the bible said GOD (does not say his Angle) came down to earth and talked person to person with Abraham. Yett the bible say's no one has seen GOD and lived.

    How about Jehovah had to ask his Angles to go down and find out how bad Sodom and Gamora was, could not the all knowing GOD allready known? How bout Moses wife hiding her son from God in a cave? How could GOD not have know where he was?

  • Oroborus21


    Ok so I couldn't help myself. This is like the slogan for Lays Potato Chips, I couldn't just eat one.:

    (By the way, how do you quote/cut&paste what others have said keeping it intact. I still haven't learned how to do that and here I am a "master member" on this forum.)

    Note: I will say that some of my explanation below is not Official JW current theology so it doesn't quite answer your question/challenge, but I believe that some of what I say below WILL SOMEDAY be official belief.


    Doogie/others: I address the Methuseleh problem above in my previous post. The problem isn't in the bible record it is in the exegesis (explanation of the meaning of the scriptures) that JWs believe; namely that the "Flood" was a global cataclysm. (I believe) that the Flood, if it was a real occurrence at all, was a localized phenomenon. This belief/explanation matches better with the real-world observable facts of the appearance/findings of other cultures during this time period and shortly after the supposed Flood Date througout the Earth, the greater variety of species of Animal Kingdom that cannot be accounted for with the traditional Ark view (even if you argue for "kinds"), plus all the "physical" explanations and lack of physical evidence of a Global Flood and so forth. Of course, Methuseleh and many others were not killed by the Flood which is why he lived as long as he did.

    Inquirer/ Elsewhere : Scarlet or Purple. The answer is quite simple. The color evidently was NOT either clearly Scarlet or Purple or as Elsewhere points out it would have been fairly easy to distinguish with the two. The color of the cloak was evidently IN-BETWEEN these distinct colors. One writer called it Scarlet and one writer called it Purple it is just a difference of opinion. It is possible that their intent as writers played a part in their "judgement call" in that Matthew who focused on the Jewishness of Jesus didn't have any reason to see the color as anything more than what it was and it was irrelevant to him. John, wrote his Gospel with a very different and deliberate approach and focused on the Divinity, indeed the Heavenly Kingliness of Jesus, so he may have been inclined to describe the robe as being Purple knowing that such has a connotation of royalty.

    If we consider the origin of the outer garment it might shed some light on the matter. Some traditions say that Pilate supplied the garment to the soldiers. If so it is possible that the garment was truly purple since only one as rich as he could afford to just give away such a valuable thing. On the other hand, under Roman Law only the Emperor wore Purple so it is highly unlikely that Pilate would violate that law and give Jesus a purple garment. Likewise it is unlikely that the Roman Soldiers would have parted with a valuable purple garment of their own but they would have had very easily some reddish ones as Red was the colors of the Roman soldier. In support of this view is the fact that when Jesus died the Soldiers alloted his outer garments among them with no argument but over the "valuable" inner seemless garment they drew lots to see who would win this prize. If the outer garment had been purple it is likely they would have afforded it the same treatment. So the conclusion again is that the garment was most definitely not clearly purple, but evidently was it not clearly scarlet but rather jus a reddish-purple color that each bible writer made a judgement-call in describing.

    Inquirer/others: With regards to the hours and day of Jesus death, that is a subject of long debate and a lot of it is over my head because it gets into calendars and chronology and things with which I haven't yet made a lot of study. My gut tells me that either all of the supposed "contradictions" can be rectified or that they can't and if they can't it is simply because of the facts having to do with how the Bible was formed and came to be in the first place -- which is a very messy situation and not at all the homely clean picture presented by the Society and others.

    Terry, terry, terry: I will try to address some of your points but I am afraid that what you raise are larger and bigger issues that can't possibly be covered in a reply like this after all great tomes have been written on God's Justice alone.

    Uzzah vs. Phillistines: Uzzah knew and was acquainted with God's law and the prohibition against touching the Ark. Thus when he did so, even with good intentions, God rightfully struck him down. The Phillistines were ignorant of God's law and so it would have been unjust to strike them down. Instead they were plagued with piles (hemmorhoids) and got the message to send their trophy back to the Israelites. (By the way, David who was "in" with the Philistines at that time, hiding out in their territory and serving as sort of a local mercenary for them, probably had a hand in the return of the Ark since he had it sent up to his home territory.) Anyway, there is no discrepancy and in fact the different treatment in these situations is Proof of God's wisdom, mercy and justice.

    Flood problems that you pointed out are resolved with the belief and understanding that it was a local event not a global deluge.

    Nephilim: If one excepts the Bible's account of Jesus' birth then it clearly is an indication that no male human dna was required but that whatever was provided or done was done via supernatural processes, i.e. a miracle. With regard to the Nephilim the bible indicates that the ANGELS took material form so evidently this included all normal human features including DNA. I believe tradition says that the Nephilim were sterile themselves which reminds me of what occurs when you breed two distinct but close species like horse and donkey or is it horse and mule? Anyway one of these things produced sterile offspring. Maybe that was why the Nephilim were so angry because they couldn't have children. Evidently many of these Nephilim were destroyed and their angelic fathers returned to Heaven at the time of the Flood; but not all Nephilim were destroyed as the Bible records some living a long time afterwards.

    Lineage: Matthew records Jesus fatherly lineage because his approach to his gospel was to focus on the Jewishness of Jesus. IN Jewish tradition, an "adopted" or non-biological son could still have all of the birthrights of a natural son so Joseph's adoption of Jesus even though not the natural father made him fully his father in the legal and traditional sense which was important to Matthew.

    ADam and Eve:

    You stated: "A person can only be guilty morally if they have a clear choice between right and wrong. Adam and Eve were NOT "knowing good and bad", yet, they are punished anyway."

    Your postulate/assumption is wrong. If an authority says don't do X and one does X anyway, AFTER BEING TOLD NOT TO DO IT, then one CAN be punished by that authority for doing X. Morality or "knowledge of good and bad" is irrelevant. We apply this simple principle to our children who haven't developed a sense of good and bad yet either and God did too.

    Days: Very simply there are different meanings for what "day" means. There is no contradiction if in one place Day (as translated into english) has the meaning of 24 hours and in another point the same word has a meaning of an epoch. We use the word "Day} in english in the same way without any contradiction. (Even the little JW knows this answer.)

    With further regard to your point, the Serpent also said that they would become "fully like God, knowing Good and Bad" but did they REALLY? No, no one could ever be fully like God in knowing Good and Bad. That part of his claim was certainly a lie. God told Adam and Eve that FROM THE DAY OF YOUR EATING THE FRUIT you will die. That clearly conveys that a going-forward consequence of death would RESULT. Read the passages more carefully and you will see that neither God, Eve nor the Serpent said that they would die on that day. What the serpent said was that on the day that they eat of the fruit their eyes would be opened. His lie was simply saying: "you positively will not die" which proved to be untrue.

    Others: Regarding the vegetation/creation of mankind. These are not contradictions they are explainable by the fact that the Genesis account is a synthesis of at least two traditions who wrote different parts of the book.

    I would have more to say but I got to finish supper.


  • jeanniebeanz
    How about Jehovah had to ask his Angles to go down and find out how bad Sodom and Gamora was, could not the all knowing GOD allready known? How bout Moses wife hiding her son from God in a cave? How could GOD not have know where he was?

    Yes, this type of thing makes the god of the bible look to be a weakling, indeed. Certainly not worthy of being afraid of. If one does not fear such an incompetent god, then worrying about the opinions of his followers becomes ludicrous.


  • greven
    oroborous: One writer called it Scarlet and one writer called it Purple it is just a difference of opinion

    This can be true only if one assumes the bible to be UNinspired which the WT does not. If the bible is inspired by God or his insubstantial friend, the Holy Spirit, there cannot be a difference of opinion because the author would then be in disagreement with itself. Hardly a fitting position for an omnipotent God.


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