Last revised: 11/10/98These are very concise notes which I made for my own use for discussions with believers and for distribution to friends. I am continually adding to them. These are not intended as a discussion of any problems, but simply a quick reference to where problems exist.
JEHOVAH: cruel, jealous, vindictive, capricious, unjust (see below, "About God," "Punishments," "Contradictions about God") NOAH: the one man whom God saved, but who then got drunk and cursed his son and all the descendants of that son, because the son saw Noah's drunken nakedness, and thus invented slavery; the first man in the Bible to curse, to make wine, to get drunk (Gen 9:20-27); he "was a just man and perfect in his generations and walked with God" (Gen 6:9, 7:1), an example of righteousness (Ezek 14:12-20, Heb 11:7, 2 Pet 2:5). ABRAHAM: married his sister (Gen 12:13), lied and denied her twice to save himself (Gen 12:11-19, 20:2-5), seduced her handmaid (Gen 16:1-4), drove one child and its mother into the desert to starve (Gen 21:14), drove out his other children and their mothers (Gen 25:6), was willing to but- cher his other child to please God (Gen 22). He was counted righteous because he believed (Gen 15:6). LOT: offered his virgin daughters to strangers to do to them whatever they wish in order to protect his male guests (Gen 19:8); got drunk and committed incest with his two daughters (Gen 19:30-38); but he was "just" and "righteous" (2 Pet 2:7-8) and saved by God from the temptations of Sodom (Gen 19). ISAAC: lied, denying his wife, just like his father (Gen 26:7). JACOB: won God's love by robbing his brother (Gen 25:29-34), deceiving his father (Gen 27), haggling with God (Gen 28:22), cheating his uncle (Gen 30:32-43); he married two sisters, his cousins, bigamously and had children by two of his servants; lied about his marital status to his father- in-law (Gen 31:50, 30:4); cowardly hid behind his family to protect himself (Gen 32:11-24). MOSES: boasted of his own humility (Num 12:3), murdered an Egyp- tian and hid his body (Ex 2:11-14), lied (Ex 3:18), defrauded the Egyptians (Ex 3:22), peevishly destroyed the only example of God's own handwriting (Ex 32:15-19), exter- minated whole nations to obtain their land (Num 21, Deut 2:30-36, 3:1-7, 20:10-17), butchered thousands of captive widows, slaughtered babies, enslaved 32,000 girls whom he had orphaned and gave 16,000 of them to his soldiers to do with as they wished (Num 31:1-18). RUTH: was willing to worship any god that Naomi worshipped (Ruth 1:16); seduced Boaz (Ruth 3); kept her actions secret (because they were not proper) (3:14); accepted payment for her sexual favors (3:15). SAMSON: although his conception and birth were miraculous (Judges 13), and he was dedicated to God (13:5) and moved by God's spirit (13:25), and "judged" for twenty years (15:20, 16:31), he married a foreign woman (14:1-7) and abandoned her (14:20), but then wreaked revenge, when she was given to another, by burning 300 foxes and the Philistines' fields (15:3-5); when the Philistines avenged that (by burning the wife and her father), he took further revenge by slaughter (15:7-8), his motto being "As they did unto me, so have I done unto them" (15:11); when he lost a bet he had offered because of his susceptibility to women's wiles, he killed and robbed 30 innocent people in Ashkalon (acting under the spirit of God) to pay the wager (14:12-19); with the help of God he slew 1000 with the jawbone of an ass (15:14-17); he endangered himself with a visit to a harlot (16:1); had a dalliance with Delilah (16:4); lied to her three times (16:6-14); his only prayers to God are whining about being thirsty (15:18) and for personal revenge (16:28). DAVID: cruel and bloody (1 Sam 18:27-30, 2 Sam 22:41-43, 1 Chron 20:3, 2 Sam 12:31); a braggart (2 Sam 22, Ps 18: esp 37-50); a liar (1 Sam 21:1-2, 20:5-6); a traitor, leading an enemy's troops against his own country (1 Sam 22, 29); a brigand who plundered the country (1 Sam 22); an extortionist (1 Sam 25:2-28, 33-34); a butcher who tortured and slaughtered thousands, including children (1 Sam 27:9-11) and who was praised for killing ten times as many people as Saul (1 Sam 18:7, 21:11, 29:5); a drunken debauchee who danced naked before others (2 Sam 6:20); a homosexual/bisexual (1 Sam 18:1-4, 20:3, 11, 23, 26, 30, 41-42, 2 Sam 1:26); an adulterer who impregnated a loyal servant's wife, tried to cover it up through subterfuge, and finally had him killed in order to obtain his wife (2 Sam 11); who purchased an- other wife with 200 foreskins with the help of God (1 Sam 18:27-28), who acquired another wife through extortion (1 Sam 25:40-42); who imprisoned ten women of his harem for life without cause (2 Sam 16:21-22, 20:3); a man who in his old age forced a young girl into his bed to try to revive his sexual potency (1 Kings 1:1-4); and who died demanding with his dying breath the death of two old men, one of whom had been a loyal supporter (Joab, 1 Kings 2:5-6), the other a man to whom he had promised protection (Shimei, 1 Kings 2:8-9, 36-46, 2 Sam 29:21-23); and yet in all these things (except the killing of Uriah to get Bathsheba) he "did right in the eyes of God" (1 Kings 15:5), he was "a man after [God's] own heart" (Acts 13:22), "evil hath not been found in thee [David] all thy days" (1 Sam 25:28), he was "an angel of God" (2 Sam 19:27), a heart "perfect with the Lord God" (1 Kings 15:3). SOLOMON: an oriental potentate who wallowed in luxury (1 Kings 10), an erotic glutton who maintained a harem of hundreds (1 Kings 11:1-3, Song 6:8; in violation of Deut 17:17); who murdered his brother for requesting the wrong wife, even though he had solemnly promised his mother he would grant any request (1 Kings 2:13-25); who caused a man to be killed in the sanctuary of the temple (1 Kings 2:28-34); a despot who made the people's yoke so heavy that they begged his successor for relief (2 Chron 10:9-14, 1 Kings 12:4-11). The only reason God was not pleased perfectly with him was that he worshipped other gods in addition to Yahweh (1 Kings 11:9-12), even though he was the wisest man that ever lived (1 Kings 3:12). ESTHER: joined the king's harem (Esther 2:2-9); gained his favor not by her character or morality, but by her sexual skills (2:8-17); lied about her origin (2:10); was relentless toward a fallen enemy (7:8-10); was not content to achieve the escape of the Jews, but arranged for them to be allowed to slaughter their enemies' wives and children and plunder their property (8:11, 9:2-10); asked that Haman's ten sons be hanged and that Jews be given an extra day in which to slaughter more (9:13-15); achieved her goals through no help from God, does not even mention God. JESUS: admitted that he was not perfect (Mark 10:18); lied about going to a feast (John 7:8-10); denied his mother in violation of the commandment to honor father and mother (Matt 12:48, Mark 3:33, John 2:4); also preached against that commandment (Matt 10:35, 15:4, Luke 12:51-53, 14:26); condoned violation of the Sabbath (Luke 6:1-4, Mark 2:23, 27, Matt 12:1); preached bravery (Luke 12:4) but acted cowardly (John 6:15, 7:1, 8:59, 10:39, 11:53-54, 12:36, Matt 10:23, 12:14-16, Mark 1:45); expressed unwillingness to perform his mission of being crucified (Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42); accused God of forsaking him (Matt 27:46, Mark 15:34); showed racial prejudice (Matt 15:22-26, to the Canaanite woman, Mark 7:25-27, to the Greek woman), because he said he was sent only to Jews; but then preached to the Samaritans (Luke 17:11, John 4); preached love of enemies, and non-resistance (Matt 5:44) but violently cleansed the temple, said he had come to bring not peace, but a sword (Matt 10:34); implies that his enemies would be slain (Luke 19:27); taught in parables so that people would not understand (Matt 11:25, Mark 4:11-12) PAUL: abandoned every tenet of his ancestral religion, com- plaining that the Law of Moses was bondage and a curse (Gal 3:10, 13; 4:3, 4, 9, 30) and a yoke too difficult to bear (Acts 15:10, contradicting Deut 30:11ff, which says the Law is easy; also Isa 45:19); disputed with Peter (Gal 2:7ff) and Barnabas (Acts 15:39); boasted of his importance (Rom 15:17, 1 Cor 4:15-16, 6:3, 12, 9:1, 15, 2 Cor 1:12, 2:14, 5:12, 10:8-16, 11:5, 10, 17, 28, Gal 1:11-12, 6:17, Heb 3:6, Eph 3:4, "my gospel" 2 Tim 2:8, Rom 2:16) and duplicity (1 Cor 9:20-23, 10:23, 2 Cor 12:16, denied at 1 Thess 2:3);
God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Gen 22). Israelites are commanded to give their firstborn sons to God, along with the firstborn of the cattle and sheep. Later the firstborn children are redeemed by a substitute sacrifice of an animal (Gen 22:13, Ex 13:13, 15, 22:28-29, 34:20, Num 18:15, Ezek 20:25-26). Anything devoted to God, of man or beast, shall be put to death (Lev 27:28-29). Captive peoples are God's "tribute" (Num 31:40). God's anger is sometimes turned away by killing people (Num 25:4, 8, 2 Sam 21). Jephthah sacrifices his daughter to fulfil his vow to God (Judges 11:29-39). Mesha, King of Moab, sacrifices his firstborn (2 Kings 3:27). Hiel rebuilds Jericho, laying the foundation with two of his sons (1 Kings 16:34, Joshua 6:26). Prisoners of war are sacrificed (Judg 8:18-21, 1 Sam 15:33, 2 Sam 21:1-9, Num 21:2). God causes infant sacrifice (Ezek 20:26). Jesus is crucified to pay the penalty for man's sin. (New Testament, passim) Do not offer your child to atone for your sins (Mic 6:7). Present your bodies a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1).
One of the core elements of worship as required in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, is the sacrifice of animals. It was so constant and pervasive that the temple at Jerusalem must have been awash with blood, the carcasses of dispatched victims, the bleating of waiting victims, and the stench of the altar fires. Much of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy is devoted to the details of the manner in which the animals are to be slaughtered, their parts distributed, burnt, smeared and eaten. 22,000 oxen, 120,000 sheep sacrificed at dedication of Solomon's temple (1 Kings 8:63, 2 Chron 6). Blood of the sacrificial animals is to be smeared over the priests and the people (Ex 29:20, 12, 21, Lev 4:6-7,17-18, 25, 30, 34, 5:9, Ezek 43-46). A heifer is to be killed if a man is found murdered by someone unknown (Deut 21:1-9).
(see also Genocide and Slaughter) Much of the Old Testament is a record of the wars of the Israelites, in which God is portrayed as Israel's protector and champion. However, see Ps 34:14 ("seek peace and pursue it") God is a "man of war" (Ex 15:3). God fights wars (Deut 3:22). "God teacheth my hands to war" (2 Sam 22:35, Ps 18:34, 144:1). God is "mighty in battle" (Ps 24:8). Psalmist prays for God to be on his side in war (Ps 35:1ff). There is "a time for war" (Eccl 3:8, RSV). God causes war ("every man's sword shall be against his brother") so that he will be glorified (Ezek 38:16, 23). David is praised for ten thousand slain (1 Sam 18:6-8). David wars on the Geshurites, Gezrites and Amalekites to steal their land (1 Sam 27:8). Jesus comes not to bring peace, but a sword (Matt 10:34, Luke 12:49-53).
Genocide was a tool used by God to further the interests of his chosen people. It is not usually clear what the exterminated peoples had done to deserve annihilation, other than being in the way of the Israelites or worshipping a different god. The Israelites slaughter Hamor and his city and plunder it (Gen 34). Moses is commanded by God to exterminate the Canaanites, the Amorites and the people of Bashan "and show no mercy" (Deut 7:1-2, 9:3, Num 21). Moses orders "every man" among the Israelites to slay his brother, companion and neighbor, as a punishment for the idolatry of all, and 3000 die (Ex 32:27-28). God commands Moses to slaughter 24,000 people and hang their heads in the sun (Num 25). God commands Moses to slay the Midianites because the Israelites are seduced by them. All males (including infants) and adult women are killed; virgins are enslaved (Num 25:17, 31:1-2, 7, 15-18). God's annihilation of Sihon's people and others (Deut 2:30-35, 36, 3:1-7). God commands Moses, in any city near the promised land which does not agree to become a vassal state of the Israelites, to kill all the males and take the women and children as slaves and the animals as booty, but in any city in the promised land the Israelites are to kill every living thing, sparing no one (Deut 20:10-17). Joshua, with the help of God, annihilates numerous tribes and cities, "left none breathing," "destroyed all that breathed, as God commanded" (Josh 6:21, 8:24-27, 10:, 11:11,14,21-22). Judah slays 10,000 Canaanites (Judg 1:4) and 10,000 Moabites (Judg 3:29) Danites destroy "peaceful" Laish and kill its people for no reason (Judg 18:27). Judah and Simeon utterly destroy Zephath (Judg 1:17). Samuel tells Saul that God wants to annihilate the Amalekites, including infants and women, which Saul then does, slaying all the inhabitants except Agag the king (1 Sam 15:1-9). David leaves no man or woman alive in the countries he invades: Geshurites, Gezrites and Amalekites (1 Sam 27:9,11). David takes Rabbah and puts its people "under saws...and harrows ... and axes of iron and made them pass through the brickkiln" and does the same to all the cities of Ammon (2 Sam 12:31, 1 Chr 20:3). David executes 2/3 of Moab by measuring a line (2 Sam 8:2). More slaughter by David (2 Sam 8:5, 13, 10:18). God helps Judah kill 50,000 Israelites (2 Chr 13:17). Esther gets permission for the Jews to slaughter all their enemies, including women and children, which they do, then celebrate it and institute the feast of Purim to remember it (Esther 8:11, 9:1-19). "Let none [of Babylon] escape" (Jer 50:29). "Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children," says God (Ezek 9:6).
(See also Genocide and Slaughter, Cannibalism, Abuse of Women) God requires all male infants to have their penises mutilated (Gen 17:10-27). Phineas slays Zimri and his Midianite woman captive with a javelin "through the belly" (Num 25:8). God orders horses to be hamstrung (Josh 11:6). Judah cuts off thumbs and toes of his captive Adonibezek, which is justified because he had done it to his captives (Judg 1:6-7). Jael's treacherous murder of Sisera, driving a nail into his temple (Judg 4:20-, 5:24-27). Friends of Samson's wife threaten to burn her and her father alive, and finally do (Judg 14:15, 15:6). Samuel "hewed [King] Agal in pieces before the Lord" (1 Sam 15:33). David boasts of his cruelty (2 Sam 22:41-43). David pays 200 foreskins as dowry (1 Sam 18:27). David "shed blood causeless" (1 Sam 18:31). Joab stabs Amasa "in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground" (2 Sam 20:10). David's treatment of captive people of Rabbah: he "cut them with saws, put them "under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln" (1 Chron 20:3, 2 Sam 12:31). Jehu has Jezebel killed and her body mutilated (2 Kings 9:3-37). Ahab's family are slaughtered (2 Kings 9, 10); this is praised by God (10:30). "Happy shall be he that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones [in revenge]" (Ps 137:9). Samaria's infants will be dashed in pieces, pregnant women ripped up (Hos 13:16). Other dashing of infants, ripping of pregnant women (2 Kings 8:12, 15:16, Isa 13:15-18). The righteous will laugh when their enemies fall (Ps 52:6). Cruelty, vengeance and hatred permeate the Psalms, e.g. 59:10-13, 68:21-23, 109:6-14, 136:17ff, 139:19-22, 140:10. Those without God's seal on their forehead will be tortured for five months (Rev 9:3-10). Hell, which God created for punishment of his creatures, is a place of everlasting torment and cruelty (Rev 14:11, 16:9), a continuation of God's torment of unbelievers in this life (Deut 28:15-68, Lev 26; see Punishments).
Jacob and his mother deceive dying Isaac so that Jacob receives the birthright blessing. This deception is how the Israelites (the descendents of Jacob) become God's chosen people, i.e., God honors the deceit (Gen 27). Laban deceives Jacob, giving him Leah instead of Rachel (Gen 29:15-26). Rachel steals from Laban and lies to conceal her theft (Gen 31:19, 34-35). Jacob covenants with Laban not to take any wives but Leah and Rachel, but he is already married to Bilhah (Gen 31:50, 30:4). Jacob's sons promise Shechem their sister Dinah, but slaughter him instead, and the whole city (Gen 34). God instructs Israelite women to borrow the Egyptian women's jewelry and not return it (Ex 3:22). Jael treacherously murders Sisera (Judg 4:17-21, 5:24-27). Rahab the harlot, who betrayed her city to Joshua, is rewarded for her treachery with her life and becomes an ancestress of Jesus (Josh 6:22-25, Matt 1:5, Heb 11:31). Saul sends David out to do battle, hoping he will be killed (1 Sam 18:17). Saul gives his daughter Merab, promised to David, to another, then gives him Michal "to be a snare to him" (1 Sam 18:19). Saul demands from David a hundred Philistine foreskins as a dowry, hoping thereby to cause his death (1 Sam 18:25). Joab pretends to greet Amasa with friendship, but instead stabs him (2 Sam 20:8-10). David on his deathbed breaks his promise to Shimei not to kill him and instead arranges to have him killed (1 Kings 2:8-9, 2 Sam 19:21-23). Elijah is to anoint Hazael king of Syria (1 Kings 19:15) but Hazael becomes king by treacherously lying to Benhadad and murdering him, following the instructions of Elisha (2 Kings 8:8-15). Jehu uses treachery to destroy the worshippers of Baal (2 Kings 10:18-28).
(See also Deceit, Treachery. For examples of God's lies, see About God.) All liars will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 21:8, 27). Abraham tells his wife (and half-sister) Sarai to say she is his sister, not his wife (Gen 12:11-13, 20:13). Abraham twice says she is his sister, implying that she is not his wife. Gen 12:18-19, 20:2, 5). Abraham lies to Isaac rather than telling him he is to be sacrificed (Gen 22:7-8). Isaac lies, saying that Rebekah is his sister, implying she is not his wife (Gen 26:7; this is a repeat of the two stories about Abraham, above). Moses lies to Pharaoh (Ex 3:18). Ninth Commandment (Ex 20:16) prohibits bearing false witness, but not lying; cf Ex 23:1, Prov 12:19, 12:22, 6:19, 19:5,9, 21:28, 24:28, 25:18, Deut 19:16-20, Lev 6:2-3, 19:11 Aaron lies to Moses about the golden calf (Ex 32:4, 24) Saul has David told that Saul is pleased with him (1 Sam 18:22). Boaz tells Ruth not to let anyone know she had spent the night with him (Ruth 3:14). Sarah denies she laughed (Gen 18:15). One prophet of God lies to another, causing him to disobey God and be punished by God with death (1 Kings 13). Jesus lied when he said he was not going to the feast, but then went (John 7:8-10).
Incest is prohibited (Gen 35:22, 49:3-4, Lev 18:8, Deut 27:20). Cain, Seth must have married their sisters, and their children must have married cousins (Gen 5) Abraham marries his half-sister (Gen 20:12). Lot's daughters have sex with him so that he will have descendants (Gen 19:30-38). Reuben commits incest with his father's concubine (Gen 35:22). Judah's daughter-in-law Tamar seduces him (Gen 38:14-18). Amram marries his aunt Jochebed; these are Moses' parents (Ex 6:20). Amnon rapes his sister Tamar 2 Sam 13:1ff, 1 Chr 3:9).
Lamech is the first polygamist (Gen 4:19). Polygamy is discouraged in the king (Deut 17:17). Abraham takes Hagar as wife while married to Sarah (Gen 16). Abraham has concubines (Gen 25:6). Isaac takes more wives. Gen 26:34-35 Jacob married Leah and Rachel (Gen 29, 31:50; this violates Lev 18:18). Rachel gives Jacob her maid, Leah also (Gen 30:1-4, 9-13; in this Jacob violates his covenant at Gen 31:50) Gideon has 70 sons "by many wives" (Judg 8:30). David had many wives, violating Deut 17:17 (1 Sam passim, e.g. 25:42-43, 2 Sam 3:2-5, 5:13-16), but God gave them to David (2 Sam 12:8). Solomon had 700 wives, 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3; Song 6:8 says 60 wives, 80 concubines, and "virgins without number"). Rehoboam had many wives (2 Chron 11:18-23). Law provides for protection for the son of a polygamous wife whose husband hates her, but no protection for the hated wife herself (Deut 21:15-16). Law about authorizing polygamy (Ex 21:10). God will use polygamy as a punishment (Isa 4:1).
Abraham prostitutes his wife to Pharaoh and to Abimelech so that he will be allowed to pass safely (Gen 12:11-20, 20:1- 16). Leah buys sex with Jacob by giving Rachel the mandrakes which Reuben had harvested (Gen 30:14-16). Tamar prostitutes herself to Judah (Gen 38:14-18). Boaz pays Ruth in barley for spending the night with him (Ruth 3:15).
The Bible holds women in an inferior position, as property. See also Prostitution, Polygamy, Abandonment of Wife A mother is unclean for twice as long after the birth of a daughter as after a son (Lev 12). A woman is "unclean" during her menstrual period and for seven days afterward, i.e. for approximately half her adult life (Lev 15:19-28, Ezek 18:6). To purify herself each month she must make a "sin offering" (Lev 15:29-30). Only males can enter the covenant, since it requires the rite of circumcision. Adam blames Eve for his sin in the Garden (Gen 3:12). Eve's curse is that Adam shall rule over her (Gen 3:16). Lot offers his virgin daughters to strangers to do to them whatever they wish in order to protect his male guests (Gen 19:8). A wife is listed among her husbands property, after the house (Ex 20:17, Deut 5:21). God gives the Israelites rules and regulations for selling their daughters (but not their sons) into slavery (Ex 21:7-11). Miriam is made a leper temporarily for speaking against Moses (Num 12:1-10), but Aaron, who was equally guilty, is not punished. Moses enslaves 32,000 virgins (Num 31:18, 35). Israelites slaughter their fellow Israelites of Jabesh-Gilead to obtain wives (Judg 21:1-14). Males of Benjamin are advised to get wives by abducting women of Shiloh (Judg 21:16-23). A divorced woman is as unclean as a whore and unsuited as the wife of a priest (Lev 21:7, Ezek 44:22). A woman cannot remarry her first husband if she married another and was widowed or again divorced (Deut 24:1-4). Rules for taking a captive woman to wife and what to do if you decide you don't like her after all (Deut 21:10-14). A rape victim must marry her rapist. The rapist must pay a penalty to the victim's father, but not to her (Deut 22:28- 29). If a man has sex with another man's female slave, the slave is to be scourged, but the man will be forgiven if he offers a ram as sacrifice (Lev 19:20-22). A man may divorce his wife, but there is no provision for a wife to divorce her husband (Deut 24:1, Jer 3:8, Isa 50:1, Matt 19:9, 1 Cor 7:10, Rom 7:2-3). A man who is suspicious of his wife may require her to undergo the ordeal of drinking the "bitter water that causeth the curse," which causes the thigh to rot and the belly to swell (Num 5:11-31). The Levite and the Israelite offer to the mob a concubine and a virgin daughter for the mob to "humble" them and do "what seemeth good unto [them]." The men in the mob abuse the concubine all night. The Levite then kills her (or finds her dead?) and dismembers her body (Judges 19:22-29; this is a doublet of the story at Gen 19 about Lot). Saul uses his daughter Michal for his own ends, by giving her to David "to be a snare to him" (1 Sam 18:21). Absalom has sex with his father's (David's) concubines to insult him. David then punishes the concubines by imprisoning them for life (2 Sam 16:21-22, 20:3). David purchases Michal from Saul (2 Sam 3:13). Amnon loves Tamar until he rapes her, then he hates her and casts her out (2 Sam 13:1-17). God orders Hosea to purchase a harlot (Hos 1:2, 3:1-2). God will punish the men by causing their wives to be ravished (Isa 13:16, Zech 14:2). The woman is subordinate to the man (Gen 3:6, 1 Cor 11:3-11, Eph 5:22-33, 1 Pet 3:1-6). Women should cover the head when praying; men should not do so (1 Cor 11:5). Women should keep silent in church (1 Cor 14:34). Woman is "snares and nets, her hands are as bands" (Eccl 7:26- 29). No woman should have authority over a man (1 Tim 2:12)
Abraham casts Hagar and Ishmael out, leaving them destitute (Gen 16:6, 21:14). Hagar abandons Ishmael to die (Gen 21:15). Abraham sends away his concubines and children (Gen 25:6). A freed slave who will not abandon his slave wife and children shall have his ear pierced and remain a slave for life (Ex 21:4-6). To please God, the Jews abandon all their foreign wives and children (Ezra 10). Jesus rejects his mother (Matt 12:48, Mark 3:33, John 2:4). Jesus requires a disciple to hate his father and mother (Luke 14:26; Matt 10:37; contra: Matt 15:4). Jesus comes to turn children against parents, and vice versa (Matt 10:21, 35, Luke 12:51-53). Paul's anti-marriage sentiments (1 Cor 7, which contradicts Gen 2:18).
Judah condemns Tamar to be burned for harlotry, when he himself had been her patron (Gen 38:24). Saul consults the witch of Endor after having banned witches (1 Sam 28:7-10). Amnon loves Tamar until he rapes her, then he hates her and casts her out (2 Sam 13:1-17). David kills the Amalekite for killing Saul, his enemy (2 Sam 1:1- 15). Jesus forbids calling someone a fool (Matt 5:22), then he does it (Matt 23:17, 19, Lk 11:40). Jesus says to love your enemies, bless them that hate you (Matt 5:44), then he curses his enemies (Matt 12:34, 23:15, 17, 19, 27, 33, Luke 11:40, John 10:8).
Homosexuality is forbidden; its punishment is to be "cut off" or killed (Lev 18:22, 20:13, Deut 23:17, 1 Cor 6:9). Permitting homosexuality is a worse sin than permitting rape of a woman (Gen 19:1-8, Judg 19:22-29). "Effeminate" men cannot be saved (1 Cor 6:9). David loved Jonathan: "very pleasant hast thou been unto me; thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women" (2 Sam 1:26, 1 Sam 20:3, 11, 17, 23, 26, 30, 41-42). Jonathan gives David all his clothes (1 Sam 18:1-4).
Jacob refuses to feed his starving brother Esau unless Esau sells him his birthright (Gen 25:29-34). David shakes down Nabal. Abigail pays him (with her person? 1 Sam 25).
God will cause cannibalism as a punishment (Jer 19:9, Ezek 5:10, Lev 26:29, Deut 28:53-57, Isa 49:26, Lam 2:20; fulfilled: Lam 4:10, 2 Kings 6:26-29). Jesus commands his followers to eat his flesh and drink his blood (John 6:53-54). God will punish wicked by making them drink blood (Rev 16:6). Cannibalism is condemned (Micah 3:1-3).
Most Bible translations use the English word "servant" to translate the Hebrew or Greek words which really meant "slave." Noah institutes slavery (Gen 9:25-26). Abraham had slaves (Gen 17:12, 23). Isaac gives Jacob his brothers as slaves (Gen 27:37, 40). God frees the Israelites from slavery, but they themselves owned slaves (Ex 12:44). General rules for slavery, e.g. a Hebrew may be kept enslaved by another Hebrew for only six years: Lev 19:20, 25:44-54, Ex 21:2-11, Deut 15:12ff. Jeremiah condemns Israel for not releasing their Israelite slaves after six years (as commanded at Ex 21:2), but does not condemn slavery in general (Jer 34:13-18). There is no punishment for killing your own slave by beating if the slave does not die immediately (Ex 21:20-21). But if the beating causes loss of an eye or a tooth, the slave is freed (v 26-27). Thus, the equivalent value of freedom is one tooth. Damages to the owner for killing his slave is 30 shekels of silver (Ex 21:32). A freed slave who will not abandon his slave wife and children shall have his ear pierced and remain a slave for life (Ex 21:4-6, cf. Deut 15:16-17). God will use slavery as a punishment (Deut 28:32, 41, 68, Judg 2:14, Joel 3:8). God commands the people to enslave themselves to Nebuchadnezzar, his "servant" (Jer 27:2-13). God will enslave the children of the enemies of Judah (Joel 3:8, also Isa 14:2). Slavery is better than death (Jer 27:13). Slaves are to obey their masters, especially if the masters are Christians (1 Tim 6:1-2, Tit 2:9-10, Eph 6:5, Col 3:22). Slaves should accept their state (1 Cor 7:21-24, 1 Pet 2:18).
Noah becomes drunk, resulting in his embarrassment, for which he curses his son and all his son's descendants (Gen 9:20-26). Lot conceives his sons in drunkenness (Gen 19:30-38). Yet he was "righteous" (2 Pet 2:7-8). God orders drunkenness (Jer 25:27). God caused drunkenness as a punishment (Jer 13:12-13).
Kill a false prophet (Deut 13:1-5, 18:20). Kill anyone who teaches you another religion, even a member of your family (Deut 13:1-11, 18:20). Kill anyone who apostatizes from the true religion (Deut 17:2-5). Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess, i.e., there will be no toleration of other religious beliefs (Isa 45:23, Phil 2:10-11, Rom 14:11, Dan 7:27, Isa 2:2-4). Places of false worship should be destroyed (Deut 12:1-3). Elijah kills 450 priests of Baal with his own hand (1 Kings 18:40). "Compel them to come in." This passage, from Jesus' Parable of the Great Supper at Luke 14:23, has been used to justify forced conversion to Christianity. Do not discuss or question God or the gospel (Job 38, Matt 4:7, 7:15, 24:11, 24-26, 1 John 2:27, Rom 9:20ff, 2 Cor 10:5-6, Col 2:4, 1 Tim 6:3-4, 20-21, Tit 3:9-10, 2 Pet 2:1-3 [see McKinsey, Encyclopedia, p 466]). Avoid unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14-15; contra: "always give a reason when asked why you believe" 1 Pet 3:15, "prove all things" 1 Thess 5:21). Do not bid godspeed or be hospitable to a non-Christian, or you share his guilt (2 John 10; contra: Matt 5:44, 3 John 11).
Reuben lies with Bilhah, his father's concubine (Gen 35:22). Potiphar's wife tries to seduce Joseph (Gen 39). Onan spills his seed on the ground rather than impregnate his sister-in-law (Gen 38:8-10). Rules for the Israelites how they should bury their shit so that God doesn't have to see it (Deut 23:12-14) . Use of word "whore" (passim, e.g. Judges 19:2). ".. any that pisseth against the wall" (1 Sam 25:22, 34). David will be "base" and "vile" (2 Sam 6:22). Isaac has sex with his wife in public (Gen 26:8). David exposes himself in public (2 Sam 6:20-22). Absalom has sex with David's concubines so that all can see (2 Sam 16:20-22). God will punish David by giving his wives to another to enjoy in public view (2 Sam 12:11-12). Ruth seduces Boaz (Ruth 3). Samson accuses his companions of having "plowed with [his] heifer" when they learn his secret from his wife (Judg 14:18). Gory description of Ehud's stabbing of Eglon (Judg 3:21-22, 24). Erotic love with your wife: nourishing breasts, ravishing love (Prov 5:18-19). A dog turns to his own vomit (Prov 26:11, 2 Pet 2:22). Hanun's humiliation of David's servants, sending them home with bare buttocks (2 Sam 10:4). Rabshakeh's words to Hezekiah's representatives: "Hath [my master] not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?" (Isa 36:12). Wicked whoredoms of Aholah and Aholibah are described, with explicit references to breast massage, the large size of penises ("like donkeys") and the abundance of the male ejaculate ("like horses"). Ezek 23, esp v 3, 8, 17-21. God will "spread dung upon your faces" (Mal 2:3). God will punish Nineveh by casting "abominable filth on her" (Nahum 3:6). Rehoboam boasts that his little finger is thicker than his father's penis (2 Chron 10:10). God will punish Jerusalem by making them eat barley cakes made with human dung, except God gives Ezekiel cow dung for bread instead (Ezek 4:12-15). Song of Songs, an erotic love poem.
God created everything (Prov 26:10, Col 1:16, Eph 3:9, Rev 4:11, John 1:3) including evil (Isa 45:7, Amos 3:6, Lam 3:38). God is just (Deut 32:4) and righteous in all his works (Dan 9:14). God will do nothing which he has not revealed to his prophet (Amos 3:7). God should be feared because he can put you in hell (Matt 10:28, Luke 12:5, Heb 10:31). Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37, Mark 10:27). God is omnipotent (Gen 17:1, 18:14, Ex 6:3, Job 42:2, Rev 19:6). God is perfect (Matt 5:48). God does not change (Mal 3:6). God causes good to happen to the undeserving so that the heathen will honor his name (Ezek 36:20-23, Ps 106:7-8, Isa 45). God causes suffering so that his great works may be demonstrated (John 9:1-9, 11:4, Isa 30:20, Ezek 38:16, 23, Job passim; Contra: Job 37:23). God causes some people to be blind, deaf, dumb (Ex 4:11). God kills (Deut 32:39, 1 Sam 2:6; see also "Punishments"). God causes rain, snow, wind, thunder, tempest, hailstorms (Gen 7- 8, Deut 11:14-17, 2 Sam 22:14-16, Job 5:8, 10, 37:2-12, Isa 30:30, 42:15, Ps 18:13-15, 148:8, Nahum 1:3-9, Matt 5:45, James 5:17-18). God knows everything; he is "omniscient" (Ps 139:1-6, Prov 15:3, 5:21, Job 26:6, 34:21, Isa 44:7, Ezek 11:5, Matt 12:25, John 2:24, Rom 1:20). But: Samuel has to tell God what the people said (1 Sam 8:21). God doesn't know where Adam is (Gen 3:8-9). God doesn't know which houses in Egypt contain Israelites; he needs to see blood on the doorpost (Ex 12:13). God has to test Israel for 40 years to find out if they would keep his commandments (Deut 8:2). God is forgetful and must be reminded of his promises, e.g. of his promise to Noah (Gen 9:15-16). God is everywhere, he is "omnipresent" (Ps 139:7, Prov 15:3, Jer 23:23,24, 1 Kings 8:27, Job 23:9, 26, 28, Acts 17:27). But: he is only in one place at a time: he walked in the Garden (Gen 3:8); he came down to see the Tower (Gen 11:5); he "went his way" (Gen 18:33); Gen 46:4; Ex 3:4, "Here I am"; Exodus passim, travelling with Israelites; Num 23:15, Job 1:12, Jonah 1:3; he "walks about" in the Israelite camp, Deut 23:12-14; he dwells in the Temple, OT passim; he "dwells in Zion" (Joel 3:21); he will sit in the Valley of Jehoshaphat to judge the heathen (Joel 3:12); sometimes he goes from one place to another riding a cherub. Ps 18:10, 2 Sam 22:11. Sometimes God hides himself (Isa 45:15). God lies and deceives. He lied to Adam, telling him that he would die if he ate the fruit, but he lived another 930 years (Gen 2:17, 5:5). He sent a lying spirit to deceive Ahab (1 Kings 22:19-23, 2 Chr 18:22; see also 2 Thess 2:11). God deceived Israel (Jer 4:10) and Jeremiah (Jer 20:7). If a prophet is deceived it is because God has deceived him, and God will destroy the prophet. (Ezek 14:9, contra: Prov 12:22, Num 23:19, 1 Sam 15:29, Tit 1:2) God hates the violence of mankind, so he violently destroys all life (Gen 6:11-13, Ezek 8:17). God rejoices in the destruction of sinners (Deut 28:63, Pr 1:26). God sends an evil spirit to Saul (1 Sam 16:14, 23, 18:10, 19:9) and to the men of Shechem (Judg 9:23). God tempts Abraham (Gen 22:1) and can lead us into temptation (Matt 6:13; contra: James 1:13). God tries to kill Moses (Ex 4:24). God wrestles with Jacob (Gen 32:24-30). God assists manslaughter (Ex 21:13). God stirs up jealousy (Isa 42:13, Deut 32:21). God sends false prophets to test the people (Deut 13:1-3). God gives Israel false statutes and judgments and pollutes their gifts so that they might know that he is the Lord (Ezek 20:25-26; contra: Jer 7:30-31, Rom 7:12, 1 Tim 1:8) God will send delusion so that the people will believe a lie, so that they might be damned (2 Thess 2:11-12, Isa 6:9-12; see also Mk 4:12, saying that Jesus speaks in parables lest the people understand and repent, and Matt 11:25, where Jesus thanks God that the truth has been hidden from the wise). The purpose of the Law is to increase sin, which increases God's grace (Rom 5:20, Rom 7). God lists all the punishments that he will mete out to Israel if they do not obey him, including cannibalism (Lev 26, Deut 28). God will not forgive (Josh 24:19). God sends locusts and other pests to eat the crops; they are "my great army" (Joel 2:25). God tells Balaam to go with Balak's messengers, then becomes angry with him because he went (Num 22:20-22). God is "with" David in his slayings and evil deeds (1 Sam 18:14,28, 2 Sam 5:10). God is angry with Saul for not executing God's wrath on the Amalekites (1 Sam 28:18). God is angry with Saul because he did not kill enough (1 Sam 15:18-19). God ends a famine after seven innocent men (sons of Saul) are hanged (2 Sam 21: "And after that God was intreated for the land" v 14). God ends plague when sinners are slain (Num 25). God is jealous (Ex 20:5, Num 25:11, Deut 5:9, 32:21, Josh 24:19, Nah 1:2). God sometimes repents (Gen 6:6, Ex 32:14, 1 Sam 15:11, 35, 2 Sam 24:16, Jonah 3:10, 4:2, Jer 18:10, Joel 2:13; contra: Num 23:19, 1 Sam 15:29, Isa 15:29, James 1:17). God sometimes grieves (Gen 6:6). God sometimes wearies (Isa 1:14). God sometimes rests (Gen 2:2, Ex 31:17). God sometimes causes adultery (2 Sam 12:11-12). God sometimes orders harlotry (Hos 1:2, 3:1-2). God can do evil (Ex 32:14, Amos 3:6, Job 42:11). God can be persuaded to change his mind (Ex 32:11-14, Deut 9:19- 29, Josh 10:14; Abraham bargains with God over destruction of Sodom, Gen 18:23-33; God grants Israel a king, 1 Sam 8). God can be seen (Gen 32:30, Ex 24:10-11, 33:11), but not his face (Ex 33:20-23, Ps 13:1, 17:15). No man has seen God (John 1:18), but if you see God you will die (Gen 19:21, Ex 33:20). God wants blood as a sacrifice (Lev 3:2, 4:6-7, 8:23-24, passim), and enjoys the "sweet savour" of the burning meat sacrifice (Gen 8:21, Lev 1:9, Ezek 20:40-41; contra: Amos 5:21-26, Hos 8:13, Mic 6:8, Isa 1:11-13). God's sword is covered with blood and greasy with fat (Isa 34:6). God sometimes eats, drinks, rests (Gen 18). God smells odors (Gen 8:21). God does not like to see shit (Deut 23:12-14). God gives the formula for his favorite perfume and forbids anyone else to use it (Ex 30:34-35). God belches smoke and fire when he is angry (Ps 18:7-8, 15). God sometimes orders drunkenness (Jer 25:27). God sometimes rewards transgressors (Prov 26:10). God punishes Uzzah because he tried to steady the ark (1 Chron 13:10, 2 Sam 6:7). God allows David to choose which punishment will be inflicted on the people - for David's sin (2 Sam 24:11-13). God tricks David into a census so that he can vent his anger on the people and then kills 70,000 (2 Sam 24:1, 1 Chron 21:1,2,7,14). God hardens Pharaoh's heart so that he can punish him and his people. He commands Moses to threaten Pharaoh with murder (Ex 4:21-23, 7:3, 13, 10:1). The purpose is that God's name might be proclaimed (Rom 9:17). God hardens the hearts of Israel's enemies so that he can destroy them (Deut 2:30, Josh 11:20). God chooses to harden some people's hearts (Rom 9:18). God considers anyone with a physical impairment to be inferior and not worthy to be a priest (Lev 21:17-23). Not worthy to be in the congregation are illegitimate children and their descendants (Deut 23:2) or a man with injured or mutilated sex organs (Deut 23:1). God helps Samson only while his hair is long, and the help depends on the length of the hair (Judges 16:20).
For many offences the punishment is to be "cut off." This sometimes means death (e.g. Ex 31:14, Lev 20:2-3, Deut 18:10-12), but sometimes it is apparently only banishment from Israel. God uses his chosen people to punish other nations (Ps 149:5-9, see also "Genocide"). God will punish "seven times" (= sevenfold? Lev 26:28). God punishes many for the sins of one, the innocent are punished for the guilty, especially their guilty ancestors (which punishment is "forever," Deut 28:41; Gen 9:24-25, 20:7,18, Ex 12:29, 20:5, 34:7, Num 16, Deut 5:9, 23:2, 28:32, 41, Josh 7:8-26, 22:20, 2 Kings 5:27, Isa 14:21, Ezek 23:25, 46- 47, Mal 1:2-4, Jer 31:29-30, Hos 2:4-5, Rom 5:14, also Adam's Fall generally in NT). Other examples below (see also "Genocide"). (Contra: Num 16:20, Deut 24:16, Ezek 18:1-20). God will punish the men by causing their wives to be ravished and their children to be "dashed to pieces" (Isa 13:16, 18, Zech 14:2, Nah 3:10). God's punishment of entire nations or cities by destroying every living thing naturally includes the destruction of babies and unborn embryos (e.g. Isa 34, the Flood, the plagues on Egypt, Sodom; Jesus also: Matt 11:20-24). An eye for an eye, etc. (Ex 21:24, Lev 24:18-20, Deut 19:19, 21, Matt 7:2; contra: Matt 5:38ff, 7:12, Luke 6:31). God will punish any animal that kills a human (Gen 9:5), although God sometimes punishes humans by having animals kill them (e.g. 2 Kings 2:23-24, where 42 children are killed by bears; 1 Kings 20:35-36, where a man is killed by a lion for disobedience to a prophet). Slavery for stealing (Ex 22:3). Marriage is the punishment for seduction of a virgin (Ex 22:16). Whoever divorces his wife and marries another or who marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Matt 19:9, Luke 16:18). Death for adultery (Deut 22:22-24, Lev 20:10). But Jesus forgave one adultress (John 8:1-11). Death by stoning to a bride who is not a virgin (Deut 22:20-21). Death by fire to a harlot whose father is a priest (Lev 21:9). Death to a witch (Ex 22:18). "Cut off" for consulting a witch (Lev 20:6, Deut 18:11). Death for blasphemy (Lev 24:16). Death to a non-Levite for approaching the tabernacle (Num 1:51). Death by stoning to a child who curses a parent or is rebellious (Lev 20:9, Ex 21:17, Deut 21:18-21; affirmed by Jesus, Matt 15:3-9). Death by stoning for cursing (Lev 24:14, 23). Death to the owner of a goring ox (Ex 21:29). Death for disagreeing with a judge's sentence (Deut 17:12). Death for not "hearkening" to a priest (Deut 17:12). Death to a false prophet (Deut 13:5, 18:20). Death for teaching a different religion (Deut 18:20, 13:1-10; also Gal 1:8-9). Death by stoning for apostatizing from the true religion or practicing a different religion (Ex 22:20, Deut 17:2-5). Total destruction to any city if any of its citizens apostatize (Deut 13:12-17). Death to male homosexuals (Lev 20:13). Death for bestiality, both to the offender and the animal (Lev 20:15-16). A woman who assists her husband in a fight by seizing his opponent's sex organ shall have her hand cut off (Deut 25:11-12). Sex during a woman's period: both shall be "cut off from among [the] people" (Lev 20:18; but cf. 15:24). Death by stoning for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, or any work on the Sabbath (Ex 35:2, 31:14-15, Num 15:32-36). God will cause cannibalism as a punishment for sin (Jer 19:9, Lam 2:20, Ezek 5:10, Lev 26:29, Deut 28:53-57, Isa 49:26, Rev 16:6). God will cause adultery as punishment (Deut 28:30). God will cause drunkennes as punishment (Jer 13:12-13). God will "spread dung upon your faces" as punishment (Mal 2:3). Illegitimate children and their descendants are stig- matized, not allowed into the congregation (Deut 23:2). Abortion: punishable only if accidental, caused by a fight, and only by fine; i.e, it is not the same as killing a human being (Ex 21:22-25). Whipping, up to 40 stripes, for losing a lawsuit (Deut 25:1-3). "Cut off" for mixing perfume for yourself according to God's special formula (Ex 30:37-38). "Cut off" for eating fat or blood (Lev 3:17, 7:23-27, 17:10-12). "Cut off" for eating leaven, or even having it in the house, during Passover (Ex 12:15, 19). For a description of hell, see Rev 14:11, 16:9 For a long and descriptive list of God's punishments see Deut 28:15-68, Lev 26.
Note that we are to be as merciful as God (Luke 6:36). Since God uses genocide and slaughter to punish, see also Genocide and Slaughter. God punishes one third of the human race (the descendents of Ham) because one man's nakedness was seen by his son (Gen 9:24- 25). God punishes Pharaoh and Abimelech because of Abraham's lie about Sarah. Abraham is not punished for lying (Gen 12:14- 20, 20:18). God turns Lot's wife into salt for looking back (Gen 19:26). God kills for Onan for "spilling his seed on the ground" (Gen 38:10). Judah condemns Tamar to death by burning for harlotry (Gen 38:24). God kills all of Egypt's firstborn, including animals, to punish Pharaoh (Ex 12:29). God will punish an animal with death if it grazes on the mountain while he is there (Ex 19:12-13). Miriam is made a leper temporarily for speaking against Moses (Num 12:1-10), but Aaron, who was equally guilty, is not punished. God punishes the Israelites for complaining about their food, first by sending fire to kill them (Num 11:1), then by sending poisonous snakes to kill many (Num 21:4-6). God punishes the Israelites with plague for eating the quails he sent (Num 11:33). God kills Korah and 250 others, with their families, because they questioned Moses' authority (Num 16:1-40). God kills another 14,700 by plague, for murmuring against the punishment of Korah (Num 16:41-50). Nadab and Abihu are burnt to death for offering "strange fire" (Lev 10:1-5). Achan and his children and animals are burned to death for Achan's crime of keeping booty (Josh 7:8-26). God smites a whole city with hemorrhoids as punishment for taking the ark (1 Sam 5:6-9). God kills 50,000 men of Beth-shemesh because they looked into the Ark (1 Sam 6:19). God kills Uzzah for steadying the ark, i.e., violating Num 4:15 (2 Sam 6:7, 1 Chron 13:10). God kills Nabal for refusing to be extorted by David and gives David Nabal's wife (1 Sam 25:38). God kills David's child in order to punish David (2 Sam 12:15- 18). God will punish David by giving his wives to another to enjoy in public view (2 Sam 12:11-12). God does not punish Solomon for Solomon's sin, but punishes Solomon's son (1 Kings 11:9-12). God kills a prophet for believing a lie told by another prophet of God (1 Kings 13). God causes a lion to kill a man because he refused to strike a prophet when commanded (1 Kings 20:35-36). God kills 70,000 men because of David's sin of taking a census (2 Sam 24:15, 1 Chron 21:14). God causes 42 children to be killed by bears because they tease Elisha about his baldness (2 Kings 2:23-24). God caused cannibalism as a punishment (Lam 4:9-11, 2 Kings 6:26- 29). God will punish Samaria by allowing their infants to be dashed to pieces and their pregnant women to be ripped up (Hos 13:16). The fig tree is withered for not bearing fruit out of season (Matt 21:19-21, Mark 11:13-21). Swine are destroyed (Matt 8:28, Mark 5:1, Luke 8:26). God strikes a sorcerer with blindness for trying to dissuade a potential convert (Acts 13:6-12).
Remember that there is "no variableness" in God (James 1:17).
Biblical Errancy, issue #23
The flood lasted 150 days in Gen 7:24, 40 days in Gen 7:17, ten months in Gen 8:5. Terah: how old was he when he died? He was 70 when his son Abraham was born (Gen 11:16) and he died at age 205, 135 years later (Gen 11:32). But Abraham was only 75 when he left Haran, and Terah was already dead (Gen 12:4, Acts 7:4). How many of Jacob's family went to Egypt? Gen 46:27, Ex 1:5 and Deut 10:22 all say 70. Acts 7:14 (and the Septuagint) says 75. How long was the sojourn in Egypt? 400 years (Gen 15:13, Acts 7:6). 430 years (Ex 12:40). Four generations of Levi (Ex 6:16-20; Levi > Kohath > Amram > Moses; actually three: Levi > Jochebed > Moses; Num 26:59, Ex 6:20). Kohath was born before going to Egypt (Gen 46:8-11) and died at age 133 (Ex 6:18). Amram died at age 137 (Ex 6:20). Moses was 80 at start of the exodus (Ex 7:7). Even if Kohath were born in the first year of the sojourn and each father sired the next generation in the year of his death, the sojourn could not have been over 350 years: Kohath 133 + Amram 137 + Moses 80. And Jochebed must have been much older than her husband; to the extent she was not, the sojourn must have been even shorter. How many tribes were there in Israel? Usually twelve tribes are mentioned, but the identification of the tribes varies: in one Dinah is listed in place of Benjamin (Gen 29-30), and in Chronicles both halves of the tribe of Manasseh are counted (1 Chron 2-3; 6:54-80). Some lists mention only ten tribes (Deut 33:6 ff; 2 Sam 19:43); one gives eleven tribes (1 Kings 11:31); and in Gen 46:48 ff there are thirteen. How many Israelites? Over 600,000, counting just men of fighting age, in Moses' day (Ex 12:37, Num 1:45-46). 22,273 firstborn males (Num 3:43), making average family to include 27 fighting-age males. By Ahab's day, only 7000 total (1 Kings 20:15). Joshua 15:21-32 contradicts itself: it says there are 29 cities on the list, which actually contains 36. Jesse's sons: how many? 1 Sam 16:10-11, 17:12, says eight. 1 Chron 2:13-15 says seven. Price of David's threshing-floor? 50 shekels of silver, says 2 Sam 24:24. 600 shekels of gold, says 1 Chron 21:22-25. Result of numbering by David: 1,300,000 (2 Sam 24:9)? Or 1,570,000 (1 Chron 21:5-6)? Number of Solomon's stalls: 40,000 (1 Kings 4:26)? Or 4000 (2 Chron 9:25)? Number of Solomon's supervisors: 3300 (1 Kings 5:16)? Or 3600 (2 Chron 2:2)? Number of Solomon's officers: 1 Kings 9:23 says 550; 2 Chron 8:10 says 250. Number of charioteers slain by David among the Ammonites and Syrians: 700 (2 Sam 10:18)? Or 7000 (1 Chron 19:18)? 40,000 horsemen (Sam) or 40,000 footmen (Chron)? Height of pillars in temple: 18 cubits (1 Kings 7:15, 2 Kings 25:17, Jer 52:23)? Or 35 cubits (2 Chron 3:15)? Size of the molten sea in the Temple: 1 Kings 7:26 says 2000 baths. 2 Chron 4:5 says 3000. Gold brought back from Ophir? 420 talents (1 Kings 9:28)? Or 450 talents (2 Chron 6:18)? Ahaziah was 42 when he succeeded his father Jehoram (2 Chr 22:2), who died when he was 40 (2 Chr 21:20). (But see also 2 Kings 8:26, which says he was 22). Baasha died in the 26th year of Asa's reign (1 Kings 16:6-8). He built a city ten years later (2 Chron 16:1). How long was Omri's reign? 1 Kings 16:23 says twelve years, beginning in the 31st year of Asa's reign. 1 Kings 16:28-29 says Omri died in the 38th year of Asa's reign. Jehoiakim: how old was he when he began to reign? 2 Kings 24:8 says eighteen. 2 Chron 36:9 says eight. Nebuzaradan's arrival in Jerusalem: 2 Kings 25:8 says on the seventh day, Jer 52:12 says on the tenth day. How large was Judah's army? 2 Sam 24:9 says 500,000. 1 Chr 21:5 says 470,000. Lists in Ezra 2 and Neh 7 are different (even though purportedly of the same thing) and the totals in both are incorrect.
List of descendants of Cain is almost identical to the descendants of Seth. Cain > Enoch > Irad > Mehujael > Methusael > Lamech (Gen 4:17-18) Seth > Enos > Cainan > Mahalaleel > Jared > Enoch > Methuselah > Lamech (Gen 5:6-29) Esau's wives: Gen 26:35 says his wife Bashemath was the daughter of Elon the Hittite. But Gen 36:2-3 says she was the daughter of Ishmael, sister of Nabajoth, and that his wife Adah was daughter of Elon the Hittite. Gen 28:9 says that it was his wife Mahalath who was the daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nabajoth. Did he marry a lot of sisters and women with identical names? Eliphaz' sons: Gen 36:11 and Gen 36:15-16 list four, but with differing names. 1 Chron 1:35-36 lists seven. Who was Moses' father-in-law? Ex 3:1, 4:18 say Jethro. Ex 2:18 says Reuel. Num 10:29 says Raguel. Judg 4:11 says Hobab. The Twelve Fathers of the Twelve Tribes: Gen 49:2-28 includes Dan, but not Manasseh. Rev 7:4-8 lists Manasseh, but not Dan. Who was Shealtiel's father? Matt 1:12, 1 Chron 3:17 say Jeconi- ah. Luke 3:27 says Neri. Who was Zerubabbel's father? Shealtiel (Haggai 1:1, 12, 14, 2:2, 23, Ezra 3:2, 8, 5:2 and Nehemiah 2:1)? Or Pedaiah (1 Chr 3:19)? Matthew says it was 14 generations from the Captivity to Jesus, but he only gives 13 (Matt 1:12-17). Matt 1:17 says it was 28 generations from David to Jesus, but Luke 3:23-31 gives 43. Jotham is the grandson of Joram, say Matt 1:8, 2 Kings 8:25, 15:32. But 2 Chron 3:11-13 inserts three more generations between Jotham and Joram. Luke has Jesus' genealogy Arphaxad > Cainan > Sala. Luke 3:35-36. But Gen 10:24, Gen 11:11-12, 1 Chron 1:18, 24 all omit Cainan. Jesus is the son of Joseph, not of God (John 1:45, Luke 2:48: testimony of Mary). Genealogies give Joseph as his father (Matt 1:16, Luke 3:23). Peter, at Acts 2:29-30, says God made an oath to David that Christ would be the "fruit of [David's] loins." Gabriel referred to Jesus as a son of David (Luke 1:32; also Rev 22:16). This could not have been through Mary, who was probably of Levi through Aaron (Luke 1:5, 36). Jesus is descended from David through David's son Solomon, says Matt 1:6-7. But Luke 3:23-31 says it is through David's son Nathan. Who was the father of Joseph? Luke 3:23 says Heli, Matt 1:16 says Jacob. Jesus as quoted by Matthew says that Zacharias (Zechariah) was the son of Barachias. This Zechariah was the supposed author of the Book of Zechariah, and Jesus here identifies him with the Zechariah who was slain in the Temple (Matt 23:35). But 2 Chron 24:20 says that the Zechariah slain in the Temple was the son of Jehoiada. (Luke 11:51 does not say that Jesus identified which Zechariah he meant.)
Elohim created the heaven and earth (Gen 1:1). But Gen 2:4 says it was Jehovah. Man was created (male and female) at the same time (Gen 1:27). But the male was created first, and the female only later (Gen 2:7, 20-23). Plant and animal life was created first, then man (Gen 1:20-27). Man first, then plants and animals (Gen 2:7-20). Birds were created from the water (Gen 1:21). From the ground (Gen 2:19). Creation took six days, says Gen 1:31. Only one, says Gen 2:4. God created the "lights in the firmament of heaven" to divide the day from the night (Gen 1:14). But he had already made this division in Gen 1:4. How many of each species on the Ark? Gen 6:19, 7:8-9, 7:14-16 say two of every kind; Gen 7:2-5 says seven of clean ani- mals. God created the differences in the world's languages at Babel (Gen 11). But each nation already had its own language (Gen 10:5, 20, 31). Hagar cast Ishmael under a bush (Gen 21:14-16), but he was already 14 years old (Gen 17:23-26, 21:5). Who sold Joseph into slavery? The Midianites (of northern Arabia), says Gen 37:36. The Ishmaelites (of the Syrian desert), says Gen 37:28, 39:1. His brothers, say Gen 45:4, Acts 7:9. When and where did God change Jacob's name to Israel? At Peniel, crossing the Jabbok? (Gen 32:28-30). Or at Padanaram? (Gen 35:9-10). Jacob's burial: Gen 50:13 says he was buried in a cave at Machpelah bought from Ephron the Hittite. But Acts 7:15-16 says he was buried at Sychem (Shechem), in a tomb bought from the sons of Emmor (Hamor). Was it God or an angel in the burning bush (Ex 3:2, 4)? All livestock in Egypt were killed by plague (Ex 9:3-6). But some survived to be saved from the plague of hail (Ex 9:19- 21). Later, all firstborn of the cattle are destroyed again (Ex 12:12, 29). But Pharaoh pursued Israel with 600 chariots drawn by horses (Ex 14:7-9). Hail destroyed all herbs and trees (Ex 9:25). But not all (10:15). Israel was "more and mightier" than the Egyptians (Ex 1:9), but "fewest of all people" (Deut 7:7). It was Moses' idea to appoint judges (Deut 1:9-17). It was Jethro's idea (Ex 18:1-27). God went before the Israelites (Ex 13:21, 14:24, 16:10-11). It was just an angel (Ex 23:20-23, 14:19). None of the original Israelites (except a very few) survived to enter Canaan (Deut 1:34, 39, 2:14, Num 26:64-65). It was the same Israelites that left Egypt (Deut 5:2=3, 8:2, 4, 11:2-10). Where did Joshua's twelve stones end up? In the middle of the Jordan (Josh 4:9)? Or in Gilgal (Josh 4:20)? Who captured Debir? Joshua (Josh 10:38-40)? Or Othniel (Judg 1:11-14)? Joshua conquered "all" of the promised land, and "left none breathing" (Josh 10:40-43, 11:6-17, 23, 12:1-24, 21:43-45). But not all of the nations he was supposed to conquer were conquered (Josh 13:1-6, 15:63, 16:10, 17:12-13, Judg 1:1-36, 2:3, 21-23, 3:1-6). They even defeat Israel (Num 14:45, Judg 4:1-3) Sisera was sleeping when he was killed, says Judg 4:21. He was standing, says Judg 5:25-27. The Amalekites are utterly destroyed by Saul, every Amalekite except the king (1 Sam 15:1-8, 20). Then they are utterly destroyed again, by David (1 Sam 27:8-9). David utterly destroyed them again, only 400 escaping (1 Sam 30:1, 17-18). David killed Goliath, says 1 Sam 17:50. Elhanan killed him, says 2 Sam 21:19 (KJV has inserted "the brother of"). Saul's anointing: The anointing of Saul is reported three times: once as a private ceremony (1 Sam 9:27-10:1) and twice as a public ritual (1 Sam 10:17-24 and 11:15). Saul inquired of God, but got no answer (1 Sam 28:6). Saul did not inquire, and so God punished him with death (1 Chron 10:13-14). Who ordered the numbering of Israel? God, says 2 Sam 24:1; Sa- tan, says 1 Chron 21:1; God, says Num 26:1-2. Dedication of Solomon's temple: cf. 1 Kings 8:50 ff. with 2 Chron 6:40 ff. Words of God to Solomon: 2 Chron 6:5-6, 1 Kings 8:16 are slightly different. Fire from heaven at dedication of temple: 2 Chron 7:1; not mentioned at 1 Kings 8:54-55. How did Saul die? 1 Sam 31:4 says suicide. 2 Sam 1:10 says killed by an Amalekite. 2 Sam 21:12 says killed by a Philistine. Saul appoints David his armorbearer (1 Sam 16:19-23). But neither Saul nor Abner know him afterwards (17:55-58). Who killed Jabin? Josh 11:2 says Joshua. Judg 4:2- says Barak (these may be different Jabins). Who was priest when David ate the shewbread? Ahimelech (1 Sam 21:1-6)? Or Abiathar (Mark 2:26)? Did Michal have sons? 2 Sam 6:23 says no; 21:8 says yes (five). Asa removed the high places, says 1 Kings 15:14. He did not, says 2 Chron 14:2-3. Jehoshaphat removed the high places, says 2 Chron 17:5-6. He did not, says 1 Kings 22:42-43. Ahaz was conquered by Syria and Israel, says 2 Chron 28:5-6. He was not conquered, says 2 Kings 16:5. Josiah died at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29-30); at Jerusalem (2 Chron 35:24). Jehoiakim was succeeded by his uncle Mataniah, renamed Zedekiah, says 2 Kings 24:15-17. Zedekiah was his brother, says 2 Chron 36:10. Writing on the wall is MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, but Daniel gives the interpretation for MENE, TEKEL PERES (Dan 5:25-28). Esther conceals her Jewish origin (Esther 2:10, 7:3ff), but Mordecai, who is known to be Jewish and is known to be Esther's cousin, inquires about her every day (2:11).
Annunciation was before Mary conceived, says Luke 1:26-31. She was already pregnant, says Matt 1:18-21. Annunciation was made to Mary, says Luke 1:28. It was made to Joseph, says Matt. 1:20. Flight into Egypt: Matt 2:13-23 says Joseph and Mary took the infant Jesus to Egypt. Luke 2:21-39 says they went immediately to Jerusalem. Nazareth: Luke 2:39 says Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth. Matt 2:23 implies they were not. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness immediately after his baptism (Matt 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13). But John 2:1-11 says he was at the wedding in Cana three days after his baptism. Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus as the Messiah? Matt 3:14- 17, John 1:29-34, Mark 1:10-11 say yes; Luke 7:18-20, Matt 11:2-3 say no (he apparently had forgotten the dove and the voice). Jesus begins his ministry before John's arrest, says John 3:22- 24. Afterwards, says Mark 1:14 Herod believed John had risen from the dead (Mark 6:16). Herod did not believe this (Luke 9:7). Calling of Peter: Matt 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20 tell one story, Luke 5:1-11 tells a different one, and John 1:35-42 tells still a third. Time of Jesus naming Simon "Peter": Matt 16:16-18, John 1:29, 41, are different. Peter was not to be an apostle to Gentiles, says Matt 10:2-6. He was, says Acts 15:7. The lists of the Twelve Apostles do not coincide: Luke 6:13-16 and Acts 1:13 list Judas the brother of James as the 12th; Matt 10:3 and Mark 3:14 list instead Thaddeus as the 12th. Jesus' greatest sermon was delivered on a mount (Matt 5:1ff). It was on a plain (Luke 6:17ff). Mark, John and Paul are unfamiliar with any such sermon. Did Jesus' disciples fast? Yes (Matt 6:16). No (Mark 2:18). Jesus healed all the sick (Matt 8:16, Luke 4:40). He healed many, but not all (Mark 1:32-34). Feeding of the Multitude made no impression on the people (Mark 6:52). They were so impressed they wanted to make Jesus their king (John 6:14-15). Gadarene swine healing was of one man possessed, say Mark 5:2-16 and Luke 8:26-36. There were two, says Matt 8:28-33. The centurion went personally to summon Jesus, says Matt 8:5-13. Luke 7:2-10 says he sent messengers. Jairus told Jesus his daughter was dead, says Matt 9:18-25. Luke 8:42 says she was still alive. Two blind men were healed by Jesus, says Matt 20:29. Mark 10:46 and Luke 18:35 both say it was only one. Jesus gives the disciples the power to heal (Matt 10:1-8). But they cannot heal (Matt 17:14-16). James and John ask Jesus for a favor (Mark 10:35-37). Their mother asked (Matt 20:20-21). Were disciples allowed by Jesus to take a staff? Matt 10:10 says no. Mark 6:8 says yes. The donkey ride into Jerusalem: Matt 21:7 says Jesus rode both a donkey and a colt. Mark 11:7, Luke 19:35, and John 12:14 say only the colt. John says Jesus "found" the animal him- self; the others say the disciples found it according to Jesus' instructions. Withering of fig tree: Matt 21:19-21 says the disciples saw it wither immediately. Mark 11:13-21 says it only withered the next day. Cleansing of the temple: Matt 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-19, and Luke 19:45-48 say it occurred after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. John 2:13-16 says it was early in Jesus' ministry. Jesus' Anointing: Matt 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3, say it was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper. John 12:3 says it was in Bethany at Martha's house. Luke 7:36-38 says it was in Galilee at the house of a Pharisee. Matt and Mark say his head was anointed; Luke and John say his feet. John says Mary anointed him; the others don't say who the woman was. Peter and Thomas each ask where Jesus is going (John 13:36, 14:5). Jesus says later that no one has asked him that (John 16:5). Last Supper: Jesus tells of his betrayal before the bread and wine, say Matt 26:20-29 and Mark 14:17-28. Afterwards, says Luke 22:14-23. Bread and wine: Bread before wine, say Matt 26:26-29 and Mark 14:22-25. Wine before bread, says Luke 22:17-20. John doesn't mention either. Jesus washes the disciples' feet, says John 13:4-10. The other gospels don't mention this. Disciples fall asleep once, says Luke 22:45. Three times, say Matt 26:40-45 and Mark 14:37-41. Not at all, says John. Jesus' betrayal: Matt 26:49-50, Mark 14:44-46 say by Judas' kiss. Luke 22:47-48 says Judas did not actually kiss him. John 18:2-9 says Jesus identified himself; Judas did nothing to identify him. Judas' bargain to betray Jesus: made before the last supper, say Matt 26:14-25, Mark 14:10-11, and Luke 22:2-23. After the supper, says John 13:21-30. Severed ear: Matt 26:51, Mark 14:47, Luke 22:50-51, and John 18:10 all describe the severing of the ear of the high priest's servant. Only Luke says that Jesus healed it. Only John knows the names of the victim (Malchus) and of the perpetrator (Peter). Jesus is taken first to Caiaphas, say Matt 26:57, Mark 14:53, and Luke 22:54. He is taken first to Annas, then Caiaphas, says John 18:13-24. Jesus' first interrogation is at night on Passover, say Matt 26:13-20-57-68, 27:1-2, Mark 14:16-18, 53-72, 15:1. It was in the morning on Passover, says Luke 22:13-15, 54-66. It was on the day before Passover, says John 18:28, 19:14. Jesus' trial is before the Sanhedrin, say Matt 26:59-66, Mark 14:55-64, and Luke 22:66-71. John 18:13-24 has no trial, only interrogation by Annas and later Caiaphas. Pilate's examination: Jesus remained silent, say Matt 27:11 and Mark 15:2-5 (Luke 23:1-4 similar). Jesus answered every question, says John 18:33-37. Herod's examination of Jesus: Luke 23:7-15 describes this. The other gospels don't mention it. Simon carries Jesus' cross, say Matt 27:32, Mark 15:21, and Luke 23:26. John 19:17 says he carried it himself. Time of crucifixion: Mark 15:25 says 3rd hour; John 19:14-15 says the sixth. The two thieves reproach Jesus, say Matt 27:44 and Mark 15:32. Only one reproaches him, says Luke 23:39-43, and the other is promised to be with Jesus in paradise. Matt and Mark don't mention the promise to the thief. Jesus is offered vinegar to drink, say Matt 27:48, Luke 23:36, and John 19:29. It was wine and myrrh, says Mark 15:23. Those present at crucifixion: Matt 27:55, Mark 15:40-41, Luke 23:49, John 19:25-26 all differ. Jesus' last words: Matt 27:50, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46, John 19:30 are all different. Earthquakes at Jesus' death. Matt mentions two: one when Jesus dies (27:51) and one which rolls the stone from the tomb (28:2). No other gospels or records mention these earthquakes. The centurion recognizes Jesus as the son of God, say Matt 27:54, Mark 15:39. Luke 23:47 has him say only that Jesus was innocent ("righteous"). Was there a guard posted at the tomb? Matt 27:62-66, 28:4, 11-15 says yes. The other gospels do not mention a guard. Who discovered the empty tomb? Matt 28:1 says Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. Mark 16:1 says Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. Luke 24:1,10 says Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and "other women." John 20:1 says only Mary Magdalene. The stone: Matt 28:2 says an angel rolled it away during an earthquake while the two Marys were there, and then sat on it. Mark 16:4, Luke 24:2, and John 20:1 say it was already rolled away, and no angel was sitting on it. When was the empty tomb first discovered? Dawn, says Matt 28:1. After sunrise, says Mark 16:2. Early dawn, says Luke 24:1. Still dark, says John 20:1. Who looked into the tomb first? Nobody did, says Matt 28:6,8. The women, say Mark 16:5, Luke 24:3 (but different women than in Mark). Peter, then the "other" disciple, then Mary Magdalene, says John 20:1-11. The discoverer(s) of the empty tomb entered it, say Mark 16:5, Luke 24:3. No, say Matt 28:1-8, John 20:1-2. Personages at the tomb: Matt 28:2 says one angel, who descended from heaven in an earthquake, rolled away the stone, then sat on it, outside the tomb. Mark 16:5 says one young man, already sitting inside the tomb. Luke 24:2-4 says two men appeared suddenly standing inside the tomb. John 20:12 says two angels appeared suddenly sitting in the tomb. What the personage(s) said: Matt 28:5-7, Mark 16:6-7 say, He is risen, tell the disciples to go to Galilee to see him. Luke 24:5-7 quotes Jesus' prophecy about his crucifixion. John 20:13: "why do you weep?" The women were fearful and joyous about the empty tomb, says Matt 28:6-8. They were frightened by the young man in the tomb (no joy), says Mark 16:8. Mary thought the body had been stolen (no joy), says John 20:2. The discoverer(s) of the empty tomb ran and told the disciples, say Matt 28:8, Luke 24:9. Only Peter and one other, says John 20:2. They told nobody until after Jesus appeared to Mary, says Mark 16:8-10. Disciples who went to the empty tomb: Peter and the "other" disciple, says John 20:3-10. Only Peter, says Luke 24:12. No disciples went, say Matthew and Mark. What happened to Judas Iscariot? Matt 27:5 says he hanged himself. Acts 1:18 says he died in a fall. What happened to the 30 pieces of silver? Acts 1:18 says Judas bought a field. Matt 27:3-7 says he returned the money, and the chief priests bought the field. Where was Jesus' first appearance after resurrection? On the way from the tomb to the disciples, says Matt 28:3-9. At the tomb, says John 10:13-14. Near Emmaus, says Luke 24:13-15. To whom did Jesus first appear after resurrection? To Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, says Matt 28:9. To Mary Magdalene only, say Mark 16:9 and John 20:14-15. To Cleopas and another man, says Luke 24:13-31, but he had already appeared to Simon, says Luke 24:34. (Mark 16:12 says this appearance was after the appearance to Mary.) To Peter, says 1 Cor 15:4-5. Touching the resurrected Jesus: The two Marys touch him at his first appearance to them, says Matt 28:9. Thomas touches him a week later, says John 20:27. No one can touch him until he has ascended to heaven, says John 10:17. The disciples believed immediately in the resurrection, says Matt 28:7-10, 16. They all doubted at first, say Mark 16:11, Luke 24:11. The disciples were frightened, says Luke 24:37. They were glad, says John 20:20. Sequence of the appearances of Jesus after resurrection: Matt 28:1-18 says, To the two Marys, then the eleven disciples. Mark 16:9-14 says, To Mary Magdalene, then two others, then the rest. Luke 24:15-36 says, To Cleopas and another man, then to the disciples. John 20, 21 says, To Mary Magdalene, then to ten disciples (without Thomas), then to all the disciples, then to some disciples again at the Sea of Galilee. Acts 1:3 says, To all the disciples and women frequently for 40 days. Paul at 1 Cor 15:5-8 says, To Cephas (Peter), then the twelve (!), then 500 brethren, then James, then all the apostles. Mary Magdalene: Matt and Mark say Mary recognized Jesus immediately. John says she did not, until he spoke to her. Luke and Paul (1 Cor 15:3-8) do not mention any appearance to Mary at all. The Ascension: when and where? From outdoors at Bethany, immediately after the appearance to two near Emmaus (just after the resurrection) and the meal with the disciples, says Luke 24:36-51. Mark 16:14-19 says the same, but from Jerusalem while disciples were eating (indoors?). Acts 1:3- 12 says from Mt. Olivet, 40 days later. Matthew and John do not mention the ascension. Jesus founds his church on Peter and gives him the keys of the kingdom (Matt 16:18). But James seems to be in charge (Acts 15:1-21). Mark, Luke and John seem to know nothing of Peter's special position, even though tradition says that Mark was secretary to Peter. Conversion of Paul: Did his companions see the light but not hear the voice, or hear the voice but not see the light? Did they stand or fall? And what did the voice say? (Acts 9:3-7, 22:6-10; see also 26:12-18). Paul's trip to Jerusalem: Soon after his conversion and recovery in Damascus; he spent some time with the Apostles (Acts 9:19-28). Not until three years later, and he only saw Peter and James (Gal 1:15-20).
Good and evil: should we want to know the difference? No, that was the sin of Adam (Gen 2:15-17, 3:4-6). Yes, that is the only way to become perfect (Heb 5:14). Deut 1:39 says little children do not have this knowledge. For or against Jesus: Matt 12:30 says if you are not for him, you are against him. Mark 9:40 says if you are not against him, you are for him. (These are contradictory as to the indifferent or undecided.) Suffering: It is caused by sin (Deut 28:15-68, Eccl 2:26, Amos 9: esp v 10, Ezek 18:13, 20, Jer 31:30, Job 4:7-8, 7:20-21, 8:4, 6, 20, 11:6). A good man finds favor with God and thus does not suffer. (Job 4:7, Prov 12:2, Ps 34:9-10, 145:20, Rom 8:28). Suffering is not caused by sin (John 9:1-3). The godly will be persecuted (1 Tim 3:12). God afflicts the righteous with the wicked (Ezek 21:3-4, Job 9:22, 16:11-17, Ps 42; contra: Ps 32:10). God causes afflictions (Ps 119:75, Lam 2:17-23, 3:32-33, Nah 1:12). God feeds the people bread of tears and gives them tears to drink (Ps 80:5). God afflicts to teach us and to punish us (Deut 8:16, 8:5, Job 5:17-18, Ezra 9:13, Jer 29:17-19, 31:18, Isa 30:20-21, Ps 89:30-32, 106:40-43, Pr 3:12, Hos 5:12-15, Heb 12:5-11, Rev 3:19); or to test us (Deut 8:16, Ps 66:10-12); or simply to demonstrate his power (Ex 7:5, 9:14-16, 10:1-2, 8:10, Ezek 6:9-14, 20:37, 21:5, Jer 24:7, John 9:1-3, 11:3- 4). God can choose to end our afflictions at any time (Nah 1:12, 1 Pet 5:10, Ps 34:19, Job 34:29). Burdens and troubles: God will relieve our burdens (Matt 11:28, 30). God will give us troubles and tribulations (Heb 12:6, John 16:33). God does both (Deut 32:39, 1 Sam 2:6-7). Sickness: It is inflicted by God (Num 11:33). By Satan (Job 2:7). Are we punished only for our own sins? Yes (Num 16:22, Deut 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6, 2 Chron 25:4, Ezek 18:20, Jer 31:30). But God punishes many for the sins of one, or for the sins of one's ancestors (Ex 13:15, 20:5, 34:7, Lev 26:22, Num 14:18, Deut 5:9, 28:32, 41, 46, Josh 22:20, 2 Kings 5:27, Ps 109:9-10, 137:8-9, Isa 14:21-22, Jer 6:11, 18:21, Hosea 2:4- 5, 12:2-3, where God will punish the entire tribe of Judah for Jacob taking Esau's heel when they were born, Mal 2:3). "Original sin" generally, which means that all humanity is punished for Adam's sin (e.g Rom 5:12, 19, 1 Cor 15:22; see also "Punishments"). When will we be punished for sin? OT says in this life, by death, destruction or suffering (Deut 6:24, 16:20, 28:15-68, 30:16-20, Josh 23:16, Ps 55:23, 92:12-14, Prov 2:22, 10:2-3, 27-31, 12:2, 21, Job 36:6, which says God does not preserve the life of the wicked, Amos 9: esp v 10, Isa 34, Jer 31:30, Ezek 8-9, 18:13, 20, 31. Deut 28:20 says punishment is quick death; but v 15-68 imply long agony.) But the godly suffer and the wicked prosper (Job 2:3-6, 21:7-13, 2 Tim 3:12). So the NT invents Hell as place of punishment for sin after Last Judgment. Does God want blood sacrifices? Yes (Gen 15:9, Ex 20:24, 29:10- 42, Lev 1:1-7, 3:2, 4:6-7, 8:23-24, with detailed instructions in Ex, Lev, Num, Deut). He enjoys the "sweet savour" (Gen 8:21, Lev 1:9, Ezek 20:40-41). Sacrifices atone for sin (Num 15:24-28). The keystone of his plan of salvation, according to NT, is the blood sacrifice of his son, the Lamb of God, as the only acceptable atonement for Adam's sin. But God did not tell Moses to sacrifice (Jer 7:21-22; also Amos 5:21-26, Hos 8:13, Mic 6:6-8, Isa 1:11-13). Sacrifices do not atone for sin (Heb 10:11). Priest's Portion? Shoulder, cheeks, maw (Deut 18:3). Breast, right shoulder (Lev 7:30-34). Jesus said to honor father and mother (Matt 15:4; see also Ex 20:12, Deut 5:16, Matt 19:19, Mark 7:10, 10:19, Luke 18:20), but he required his disciples to hate father and mother (Luke 14:26), and said that he came to turn the children against their parents (Matt 10:35, Luke 12:51-53). "Call no man your father" (Matt 23:9). But you should provide for your family (1 Tim 5:8). "Bear one another's burdens" (Gal 6:2), but "Every man shall bear his own burden" (Gal 6:5). Divorce: Divorce is permitted in Deut 24:1, Jer 3:8, Isa 50:1, Luke 16:18, Mark 10:11-12 (but no remarriage), Matt 5:32, 19:9 (only for wife's fornication); but condemned in Mal 2:10-16, Matt 19:6, Mark 10:9, 1 Cor 7:10, 27, Rom 7:2-3. Married to an unbeliever: do not divorce (1 Cor 7:13-16); but be not yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14). Life: where is it in the body? In the breath (Gen 2:7). In the blood (Deut 12:23). Wine: A blessing from God (Gen 27:28, Deut 7:13, Ps 104:5, Jer 13:12, Micah 6:15). It "cheers God and man" (Judg 9:13). Jesus' first miracle was making wine (John 2:9-10). Wine was at the last supper and became a sacrament (Matt 26:27- 29, Mark 14:23-25). Paul recommends a little (1 Tim 5:23). But wine is a mocker (Pr 20:1, also Hosea 4:11). Many pas- sages against wine forbid it only under certain circumstanc- es, to people under special laws (priests, Nazarites), or only in excess (Lev 10:9, Num 6:3, Judg 13:4, Prov 21:17, 23:29-32, 31:4-5, Isa 5:11, 22, 24:9, 28:1, 3, 7, Jer 23:9, Ezek 44:21, Luke 1:15, Rom 14:21, Eph 5:18, Tit 2:3). What does wisdom bring? Prov 3:13 says happiness. Eccl 1:18 says grief. Salvation, says 2 Tim 3:15. Is temptation a good thing? No, say Matt 6:13, Luke 11:4. Yes, says James 1:2 Fear vs. love: Fear of God keeps us from doing evil (Ex 20:20, Prov 16:6, Ps 145:19, Jer 32:39-40). But fear and love cannot coexist (1 John 4:18). Love of God leads us to keep his commandments (1 John 5:2, 2 John 1:6). We should fear God because he can put us in hell (Matt 10:28, Luke 12:5, Heb 10:31). Hate vs. love: If you hate your brother you are a murderer and cannot love God (John 3:15, 4:20). You must be willing to hate your brother (and your family) to be a follower of Jesus (Luke 14:26). Should one enjoy the pleasures of this life, the wealth that one has accumulated? Yes say Deut 7:12ff, 8:7-18 (wealth comes from God), Eccl 3:13, 22, 5:18-20, 8:15, 9:7-9, 10:19, Prov 3:9-10, 16-17, 10:15. No, say Eccl 4:6, 8, 5:12-17, Matt 6:19-21, 13:12, 19:16-24, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 6:20, 24, 16:19-31 (parable of Rich Man and Lazarus), 21:1-4. Sex/Marriage: God's first words to Adam are the command to multiply (Gen 1:28). It is not good for the man to be alone (Gen 2:18). But any sexual activity causes uncleanness, as does childbirth (Ex 19:15, Lev 12, 15:16-18). The conception of a child is sin (Ps 51:5). Better alone than with a cantankerous woman (Prov 19:9, 25:24). Paul says to avoid marriage and sex (1 Cor 7:1, 8, 37). But it is better to marry than to burn (v. 9). Eunuchs: They are unworthy to enter the congregation (Deut 23:1). But they are worthy to enter heaven (Matt 19:12) and they will have a special place there (Isaiah 56:3-5). Is all scripture inspired of God? 2 Tim 3:16 says yes, but Paul says some of his words in the Bible are not (2 Cor 11:17, 1 Cor 7:6, 12, 25). The scriptures do not bring salvation (John 5:39). Are there any who are righteous? No (1 Kings 8:46, Mark 10:18, Rom 3:10, 23, Ps 14:3, 1 John 1:8-10). Paul says he is the chief sinner (1 Tim 1:15). But James 5:16 says yes (also Gen 7:1, Job 1:1, 8, 2:3, Luke 1:5-6, 15:7). Ezek 18 lists what one must do to be "just" (=righteous?). God only pro- tects the righteous (1 Pet 3:12), although Jesus died both for the just and the unjust (3:18). True Christians do not sin (1 John 3:6-9). A man of God is perfect (2 Tim 3:17). Noah was perfect (Gen 6:9). Where is Satan? Chained in hell (2 Pet 2:4, Jude 6). Walking about in the earth (1 Pet 5:8 and Job 1:6-7; Job also says he occasionally visits heaven). He is the god or prince of this world (John 12:31, 2 Cor 4:4, Eph 6:12). He was "cast out" at the time of Jesus (John 12:31). What is Hell? It is darkness (Lam 3:6, Ps 143:3, Job 10:22, Matt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). It is the grave, Hebrew Sheol or Gehenna, Greek Hades (Ps 16:10, Acts 2:27, 31, 32), inside the earth (Pr 15:24, Ps 86:13, Isa 44:23, Eph 4:9), a "pit" (Ps 28:1, 30:3, Ezek 32:18), a place of inactivity (Ps 6:5, Eccl 9:10, Isa 14:10, 38:18) and silence (Ps 88:10, 94:17, 115:17). Everyone goes there (Pr 27:20, Ezek 32:21), both soul and body (Job 14:22). It is the "land of forgetfulness" (Ps 88:12) where there is no pain, excitement, comfort or joy (Job 3:13-19, 17:16, 10:22). Only the wicked go there (Matt 5:29ff, 10:28, Mark 9:43, Luke 16:22-25). It destroys both soul and body (Matt 10:28). It is a place of torment, of "wailing and gnashing of teeth," a "furnace" or "lake" of "fire" (Matt 3:12, 5:22, 13:42, 22:13, 24:51, 25:41, Luke 16:23, 2 Thess 1:8, Jude 1:7, Rev 16:10; and "brimstone" Rev 14:10, 20:14, 21:8) which is "unquenchable" (Mark 9:43, 45, Isa 66:24). The fire and its punishment are "everlasting" (Matt 25:41, 46, 2 Thess 1:9), whose purpose is to punish unbelievers while Jesus and the angels watch (2 Thess 1:8, Jude 1:7, Rev 14:10). Earth: It is everlasting (Gen 49:26, Deut 33:15, Ps 78:69, 104:5, Eccl 1:4, 3:14). It will be destroyed (Ps 102:25-26, Isa 24:19, 65:17, Matt 5:18, 24:3, 6ff, 35, also Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33, 2 Cor 5:17, 2 Pet 3:10-12, Rev 21:1, Heb 1:10- 11). Whose is the Earth? Satan's (John 12:31, 14:30, 2 Cor 4:4, Eph 6:12). Jesus' (1 Cor 10:26, Rev 1:5). God's (Ex 9:29, 19:5, Deut 10:14, Ps 24:1, 50:12, 89:11). Mankind's (Ps 115:16). Was Jesus the first to rise from the dead? Acts 26:23 says yes. Contra: 1 Kings 17:17-22 (Elijah raises a dead child), 2 Kings 4:32-35 (Elisha raises the son of a Shunammite woman), 2 Kings 13:21 (Elisha's bones revive a dead man), 1 Sam 28:7-15 (Saul calls up Samuel), Luke 9:28-30 (Moses and Elijah come back at the Transfiguration), Matt 9:18-25 (Jesus raises Jairus' daughter), Luke 7:11-15 (Jesus raises widow's son), John 11:43-44 (Jesus raises Lazarus). Jesus tells the parable of Lazarus, who is taken to heaven ("Abraham's bosom") at Luke 16:19ff (this indicates that Abraham is already in heaven). Should we "run"? 1 Cor 9:24 says yes. Rom 3:10 says no. Should we boast? No (Luke 18:9-14, Rom 11:20, 1 Pet 5:5). But Paul boasts of his faith and says one should be proud of it (Rom 15:17, 2 Cor 1:12, 2:14, 5:12, 11:17, Heb 3:6). Should we show our good works? Yes, say Matt 5:16, 1 Pet 2:12. No, says Matt 6:1-4, 23:5 Should we abstain from eating flesh? Yes, if it offends, says Paul (Rom 14:21). But let no one pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink (Col 2:16, 1 Tim 4:3-4, see also Gen 9:3). Should we worry about the future? No, say Matt 6:25-34, Luke 12:22-31. Yes, says Prov 14:8, 1 Tim 5:8. Should we curse our enemies? Yes (Ps 35:1-9, 69:23-28, esp Ps 109, Esther, passim, Lam 3:65-66). The righteous rejoices at vengeance (Ps 58:10-11). God destroys his enemies (Deut 7:9-10, Luke 19:27). Jesus curses his enemies (Matt 6:15, 12:34, 16:3, 22:18, 23:13-15, 17, 19, 27, 29, 33, Mark 7:6, Luke 11:40, 44, 12:56). Paul curses his enemies (2 Tim 4:14). But Jesus says love your enemies (Matt 5:39, 44). Do not rejoice when your enemy falls (Prov 24:16-18). But shun Gentiles, Samaritans, non-believers (John 1:9-11, Matt 10:5). Should we please? Paul does (1 Cor 10:33) and Paul doesn't (Gal 1:10). Should we swear oaths? It appears acceptable in Num 30:2, Gen 21:23, 24, 31, 31:53, Matt 23:20-22, Heb 6:13. But Matt 5:34-35 forbids it. Should we call anybody a "fool"? Jesus says no, we would be in danger of hell-fire (Matt 5:22). But he does so (Matt 7:26, 23:17, 19, 25:2, 38, Luke 11:40), and so does Paul (1 Cor 1:23, 3:18, 4:10, 15:36, Gal 3:1). Stealing: Is it always a sin? Yes (Ex 20:15, Lev 19:13). But God told the Israelites it was all right to steal from Egyptians (Ex 3:22, 12:35-36). Killing: Is it always a sin? Yes, says Ex 20:13, Gen 9:5-6 (whoever sheds human blood will have his blood shed) etc. But not if you kill your own slave (Ex 21:20-21). Or if God commands the killing (as at Ex 82:27, 1 Sam 6:19, 15:2-3, Num 15:36). There is "a time to kill" (Eccl 3:3). (See also "Genocide", "Punishments") Sabbath: Must we keep it? Yes, under penalty of death (Ex 20:8, 31:15-17, 35:1-3, Jer 17:21-27, and many other passages). No (Isa 1:13, Hos 2:11). Jesus did not keep it (Mark 2:27- 28, John 5:16, Math 12:1-8). Paul says commandment was not permanent; decide for yourself (Rom 14:5, Col 2:16). Slavery: Is it all right to own slaves? Yes (Lev 25:45-46, Gen 9:25, Ex 21:2,7, Joel 3:8, Luke 12:47, Col 3:22; see "Slavery"). No, says Isa 58:6, Matt 23:10. Prayer: Is it always effective? Yes, if you ask in faith (Matt 21:22 and Mark 11:24). Or if you ask in Jesus' name (John 14:4 and 16:23). Ask, and it will be given (Matt 7:7-8, Luke 11:9-10). Yes, if you are a righteous man or keeping the commandments (Prov 15:29, James 5:16, 1 John 3:22, 5:14). But none are righteous (Rom 3:10)). Yes, if two believers ask together (Matt 18:19. Not always (Jer 7:16, Lam 3:44, Ps 10:1, 22:1-2, Isa 1:15, Mic 3:4, John 7:34). Prayer must not be long (Matt 23:14). Only if it you request something that God wants anyway (1 John 5:14-15, which implies that your prayer has no effect on the outcome). Many who ask to enter the kingdom will be refused (Luke 13:24). "Seek, and ye shall find" (Matt 7:7), especially if you seek the Lord (2 Chron 15:2, Ps 9:10, Isa 55:6, Jer 29:13). But Jesus' followers will not find him if they seek him (John 7:34, 8:21; also Amos 8:12). Are all apostles commanded to baptize? Jesus says yes at Matt 28:19. Paul says no at 1 Cor 1:14-17. Should Christians "contend"? Jude 3 says yes. Paul contended (Acts 17:2-4, 17ff). Answer a fool (Prov 26:5). Answer an unbeliever (1 Pet 3:15). Exhort "with all longsuffering" (2 Tim 4:2). Do not contend (Prov 18:6, 1 Tim 6:20, 2 Tim 2:14-16, 24, 3:1-7). Do not argue with an unbeliever or answer a fool (Prov. 26:4). Anyone who speaks to an unbeliever shares his evil (Matt 10:5, John 1:9-11, 2 John 1:10-11). What do we reap? Some sow but reap nothing (Micah 6:15). Some sow wheat but reap thorns (Jer 12:13). Some reap without sowing (Matt 25:26, Luke 19:22). You reap what you sow (2 Cor 9:6, Gal 6:7). Was Jesus perfect? Jesus said he was not (Mark 10:18). The apostles said he was sinless (2 Cor 5:21, 1 Pet 1:19, 2:22, 1 John 3:3, 5). Will fulfilment of prophecy be delayed? There will be no more delay (Ezek 12:21-28). Woe to those who want quick fulfilment (Isa 5:19, Jer 17:15). Kings: it is evil to ask for a king (1 Sam 12:17, 19, Hos 13:11). But you should obey the king (Eccl 8:2, 10:20, Rom 13:1-4, 1 Pet 2:13-17) and pray for him (1 Tim 2:1-2). God will choose the king (Deut 17:14-20). But you do not have to obey the secular law (Acts 5:19, 29, 40-42, 12:6-11). Jesus will be our king (NT passim). Genealogies: All Israel was reckoned by their genealogies (Num 1:18, 1 Chr 9:1, 22; see also Job 8:8). Paul says to avoid them (Tit 3:9, 1 Tim 1:4). Jesus said his message was only for Israel (Matt 15:24, 10:5-6). But then he tells his disciples to preach to all nations (Matt 28:19). This is also implied by "other sheep I have, which are not of this fold" (John 10:16). Once you become a Christian you are "Abraham's seed" (Gal 3:29). Hidden teachings: Nothing is hidden (Mark 4:22, John 18:20). God's word is in books that are sealed (Dan 12:9, Rev 5:1). God conceals (Prov 25:2, Deut 29:29). The truth has always been completely evident (Job 27:11-12, Rom 1:18:20). Salvation through Jesus can be learned from the scriptures, i.e., the OT (Luke 16:29-31, 2 Tim 3:15). But the Gospel had been kept hidden until Jesus (Rom 16:25-26, Col 1:26). Jesus uses parables so that the meaning will be hidden (Matt 11:25, 13:10-15, Mark 4:11-12, Luke 8:10; cf Isa 6:9-10). But he came to bring the truth (John 18:37). Wisdom: Should we be wise? No, say Gen 2:17 (Tree of Knowledge is forbidden), Gen 3:6 (a sin to be "wise"), Eccl 1:18, 6:8, 7:16, 8:16-17, 12:12, 1 Cor 1:19-27, 1 Cor 3:18-20, 8:1, 14:38, Col 2:8, Tit 3:9, 2 Tim 2:23-24. Yes, say Job 13:1, 6, 22, Prov 3:13, 4:7, 8, 9, 12:1, Ps 19:2, 8, Eccl 7:12, 19, 23, 25, 9:18, 10:12, Hos 4:6, Luke 2:40, 52, James 1:5, 2 Pet 1:5). Do miracles (signs) prove God's power or the authority of his prophet? Yes (Ex 4:8-9, 10:2, Num 14:11, Judg 6:17-23, 36- 40, 2 Kings 20:8-9, Isa 7:11, 55:13, Ezek 12:6, Joel 2:30- 31, Mark 16:20, John 2:23, 3:2, 10:25, 20:30, 5:36, Acts 2:22, 5:12, 8:13, Heb 2:4). But even false prophets can produce miracles (Ex 7:11-12, 8:7, Deut 13:1-3, Matt 24:24, Mark 13:21-22, 2 Thess 2:9, 11, 2 Cor 11:14-15, 1 John 4:1, Rev 13:11-14, 16:14, 19:20). It is wicked to expect a mira- cle as proof (John 4:48, Matt 12:38-39, 16:1-4, 1 Cor 1:22). Jesus will give no such sign (Matt 12:39, Mark 8:12, Luke 11:29, also Luke 16:27-31). One should have faith without seeing signs (2 Cor 5:7, Heb 11:1). Speaking in tongues is a sign for non-believers (1 Cor 14:22). It is not a sign for non-believers (1 Cor 14:23). Raising someone from the dead will not convince people (Luke 16:30-31). But it does (John 11:45). It is the basis of the Gospel (1 Cor 15:16- 17, Rom 1:4). Must Christians obey the Mosaic Law? Yes, says God, at Deut 4:2- 6, 12:32, 27:26, 30:19 ("thou and thy seed" must obey it), Lev 16:34, 24:8-9, Num 25:13, 2 Chron 12:1, Jer 6:19, 9:13, Ps 78:10, 105:8-10, 119:1, Isa 5:24, 24:5, 30:9, 40:8, Hos 4:6, Amos 2:4; Jesus says yes, at Matt 5:17-19 ("not one jot or tittle shall pass away" [but see Luke 24:44 on meaning of "fulfilled"], "whosoever ... shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so ... ), Luke 16:17, Mark 7:8-13, Matt 23:2-3; Paul says yes, at Rom 2:12-13, 1 Cor 7:19, Gal 3:7-9, 29 (Christians are "children of Abraham"), 3:10, citing Deut 27:26; Paul circumcised Timothy at Acts 13:1-3; James 2:8-12 says yes ("whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all"); also 1 Pet 1:25, James 4:11, Rev 12:17, 22:14, 1 John 3:4, 22-24. Covenant of circumcision is everlasting (Gen 17:7- 11). God's statutes last forever (Ps 119:138, 142, 144, 152). All scripture is from God and profitable for doctrine (2 Tim 3:16). No, says Paul, at Gal 3, (the Law is a curse), 2:16, 5:1-14, 6:15 (circumcision is unimportant), Rom 3:20, 28, 4:-, 6:14, 7:4-6, Acts 13:39 (the Law "cannot justify"); the apostles say no at Acts 15; Heb 9, 10 says no; Jesus says temple worship will be abolished (John 4:21-24) and he modified the provisions of the law (e.g., eye for an eye, Matt 5:38). Jesus abolished the Law (Eph 2:13-15, Rom 7:4- 6, Heb 7:18-19). All foods are now clean, no ban on fat or blood (Matt 15:11, Mark 7:14-19, Col 2:20-22, which says that the Mosaic Law is of men, not of God, 1 Tim 4:4; this contradicts Lev 3:17, 10:8-11:47, Deut 14:3-21). Jesus violates Deut 4:2, 12:32, the prohibition against adding to or diminishing the law, when he embellished the law on divorce and was lax in obeying others. Paul is also a gross violator of Deut 4:2, 12:32 and Matt 5:19. Food offered to idols: May Christians eat it? Yes (1 Cor 8:1- 13, 1);19-23). No (Acts 15:22-29, Rev 2:18-23). Salvation: how is it gained? Not many are saved (Luke 13:23-24). Moses and the prophets are sufficient for salvation (Luke 16:29-31). It is only through Jesus, and not through the Law of Mose (Acts 4:12, 13:39, which means that all those who died before his time, or who do not hear his gospel, are excluded). Salvation is: By Faith (belief) only (Luke 7:50, John 3:14-16, 18, 36, 5:24, 6:29, 35, 40, 47, 70, 10:25-28, Acts 13:39, 16:31, Rom 1:16, 3:20-26, Rom 4, 9:32, Gal 2:16, 3:11, 14, Eph 1:13, 2:8-9, 1 Tim 1:16, 2 Tim 3:14-15, 1 Pet 1:9, Heb 10:38-39, and 11:17, where Paul gives as an example Abraham offering Isaac). But mercy can substi- tute for unbelief (1 Tim 1:3). By Works only (including obedience to commandments) ("do the will" of God, Matt 7:21, "keep the command- ments," 19:16-20, Luke 10:36-37, 12:47-48, 19:8-9, John 14:15; also Lev 18:5, Ps 65:12, 103:17-20). Paul also says works ("law") (Rom 2:5-6, 13, 2 Cor 5:10), and says we must "work out" our own salvation (Php 2:12). James also says works, giving the example of Abraham offering Isaac (James 2:20-24). James also says "faith without works is dead" (James 2:14-26), and "be doers of the word," which you must also know (so that knowl- edge is also required; James 1:22-27). Also Ezek 18:1- 22, 30, Rev 20:12-15 ("judged according to their works"), 22:12-14, 2 Pet 1:10, 1 John 2:3-5, Ps 62:12, Jer 17:10, 2 Tim 3:17, Heb 5:9 (obedience). Paul says charity is more important than faith (1 Cor 13:2, 13). Those who do not help the needy are condemned (Matt 25:34-46). By Grace only, i.e., it is a "gift" (John 6:44, 65, Isa 43:25, Jer 30:21, Acts 15:11, 22:14, Rom 3:24, 5:15-21 (a "free gift"), 6:23, 9:16, 11:5-6, Eph 2:5-9, 1 Pet 1:10, 2 Tim 1:9, Tit 2:11, 3:5-7). By confession of sin (Ps 32:1-5). By Repentance (Isa 55:6-7, Matt 3:1-6, 4:17, 9:10-13, Luke 13:1-5, Acts 17:30, Rom 6:23, James 4:7-10, 2 Pet 3:9, Rev 3:19-21). By repentance plus baptism (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3, Acts 2:37-38, 22:16). By Baptism (Matt 3:1-17, 28:19-20, Luke 7:28-30, John 3:5, Acts 10:47-48, 16:25-33, 22:10-16, Gal 3:27, Heb 6:1-2, 1 Pet 3:21). By Belief and baptism (Mark 16:16). By repentance, faith, baptism, and laying on of hands (Heb 6:1-2). By Calling on the Lord's (or Jesus') name (Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, Rom 10:13; but Matt 7:21 says "not everyone that saith Lord, Lord shall enter;" also Luke 13:25). By stating aloud a belief in Jesus and his resurrec- tion (Rom 10:9). By Enduring to the end (Matt 10:22, 24:13, Mark 13:13). By Poverty (Matt 19:21-24, Mark 10:21-24, Luke 18:24- 25, Luke 19:8-9). By losing our life for Jesus (Matt 16:25). By eating Jesus' flesh (John 6:48-58) and/or by being "born again" (John 3:3). By justice, mercy, humility only (Micah 6:8). But God decides, regardless of what we do (Matt 20:23, John 6:44, 65, 17:2, 6, 9, Acts 2:39, 47, 4:28, 13:48, Eph 1:4-5, 11, 2:10, Ps 133:3, 139:16, 1 Thess 5:9, 2 Thess 2:11-14, Pr 16:4, 9, Job 23:14, Joel 2:32, Rom 2:4, 8:29-30, 9:11-18, Cor 12:18, Php 2:13, 2 Tim 1:9, 1 Pet 2:8, 5:10, Rev 17:8). Are we really free to determine our own fate, or is it pre- determined from the beginning? We have free will (Josh 14:15 "choose you this day whom ye will serve;" Josh 24:22 "ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him;" Deut 11:26-28, 30:19, choose life rather than death; Ps 16:9 "a man's heart deviseth his way;" Rev 22:17 "whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely"; "law of liberty allows us to do good work," James 1:25; "He that hath power over his own will..," 1 Cor 7:37, John 5:38-47, 8:32, 36, Gal 5:1). Our fate is predetermined (Eph 1:4-5, 11, "he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world...having predestinated us... according to his good pleasure;" Rom 8:29-30 "whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate;" also Acts 2:39, 47, 4:28, 13:48, Eph 1:11, 2:10, Ps 139:16, 1 Thess 5:9, 2 Thess 2:13-14, Pr 16:4, 9, Job 23:14, Matt 20:23, John 6:44, Rom 9:11-18, Rev 17:8, 2 Tim 1:9, 1 Pet 1:2, 2:8, 5:10, Jude 4; also verses with the theme that "man proposes, God disposes": Pr 19:21, 16:33, Ps 37:23, Job 14:5, Acts 17:26). Do we have to "accept" Jesus' sacrifice, or is its effect automatic? Automatic (John 1:29, 1 Cor 15:3, 22: "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," Heb 2:9, 17, comparing it to the Jewish high priest making atonement for all the people, Rom 4:15, 5:12-19, no sin where there is no law given [contra: Rom 2:12], 1 John 1:7, 2:2, 1 Tim 4:10, Jesus is savior of all, especially those who believe, Rom 5:18); he died for all, the just and the unjust (1 Pet 3:18). Atonement sacrifices in OT were not conditional on repentance or acceptance (e.g. Lev 16:16-18, 21, 24, 30, 34). You must do something (see above: have faith, do good works, keep commandments, be baptized, or call on Jesus' name, or some combination) Will any, once saved, be lost? None will be lost (John 10:27- 29). Some will backslide and be lost (1 Cor 9:27, 1 Tim 4:1, Heb 6:4-6, 2 Pet 2:20-22). The former righteousness of a sinner will be forgotten (Ezek 3:20, 18:24, 26, 33:12, 18). Was there the possibility of death before the Fall? Adam would not live forever unless he ate from the Tree of Life (Gen 3:22). If he didn't, he and all other life (the command to multiply had already been given) would presumably die even- tually, even though he had not sinned; otherwise the world would soon have been full of immortal creatures. But Paul says death came only because of the Fall (Rom 5:12, 6:23). Sin causes death (James 1:15). Can death be avoided? If you keep Jesus' words, you will never see death (John 8:51). Enoch did not die (Gen 5:24, Heb 11:5). Elijah did not die (2 Kings 2:11). But all men die (Heb 9:27), even followers of Jesus (Matt 24:9). Is there life after death? Generally NT says yes: All will come forth out of the grave (John 5:28-29). Also Isa 26:19, Hosea 13:14, Job 19:25-27 (but this verse may be spurious: it is not in LXX). But that is contradicted by Gen 3:19, 2 Sam 14:14, Ps 6:5, 30:3, 30:9, 33:19, 78:39, 88:10, 115:17, Job 7:9 (who goes down to the grave will come up no more), 14:1-22, 16:22, Eccl 3:19-21, 6:6, 9:5, 9:10. 1 Tim 6:15-16 implies only Jesus is immortal. Jesus is always with his disciples (Matt 28:20). He is not always with them (Matt 16:11, Mark 2:20, 14:7, John 12:8). The Holy Spirit: Jesus gave it to the disciples in his first appearance to them after the resurrection (John 20:22). It did not come to them until after Jesus left (John 7:39, 16:7, Acts 1:3-5, 2:1-4). But some had it before: Gideon (Judg 6:34), Samson (Judg 13:25), Isaiah (Isa 61:1), John the Baptist (Luke 1:15), Elizabeth (Luke 1:41), Zechariah (Luke 1:67), Simeon (Luke 2:25). It is had for the asking at any time (Luke 11:13). All flesh has it (Prov 1:23, Joel 2:28). Unbelief: It is caused by the devil (Luke 8:12). But sometimes by God (2 Thess 2:11-12) or by Jesus (Mark 4:11-12). Was there sin before the Law? Paul says yes (Rom 5:13) and no (Rom 4:15). Forgiveness: Will all sins be forgiven to the believer? Yes (Acts 13:39, Col 2:13, 1 John 1:9). Not all (Matt 12:31-32, Mark 3:29). If sin is forgiven, Got forgets it (Isa 43:25, Jer 31:34, Heb 8:12). God still remembers it (Ex 34:7). Coming of the Kingdom: You will see great signs and miracles (Joel 2:30-31, Matt 24:29-33, Mark 13:24-29). You will see nothing: it is within (Luke 17:20-21). Who will be judged? Believers will not be judged (John 5:24). Everybody will be judged (Matt 12:36, 2 Cor 5:10, Heb 9:27, 1 Pet 1:17, Jude 1:14-15, Rev 20:12-13). Who judges? God judges (Ps 62:12, 82:1, 98:9, Jer 17:10, Joel 3:12, Rom 2:2-5, 3:19, 14:12, 2 Thess 1:5, 1 Pet 1:17). God does not judge; Jesus judges (John 5:22, 27-30, 9:39, Acts 10:42, 2 Cor 5:10). God judges through Jesus (Acts 17:31). Jesus does not judge (John 3:17, 8:15, 12:47). Jesus says he cannot judge (Matt 20:23, Luke 12:14). The disciples will judge (Matt 19:28, Luke 22:30). The saints will judge (1 Cor 6:2). Ten thousand of the saints will help the Lord judge (Jude 14). When is judgement? In Jesus' time (John 12:31). After Jesus' death (Acts 17:31). After each person's death (Heb 9:27). After the earth is destroyed (2 Pet 3:7-12). Should we judge? No (Luke 6:37, Matt 7:1). Yes (John 7:24). Heaven has always been prepared (Matt 25:34). Jesus is going to prepare it (John 14:2-3).
There is only one God (NT passim; also Jer 10:6, many other passages). There are other gods (Ps 82:1, 95:3, Jer 10:11, Ex 20:3). No man can see God and live (i.e., you might be able to see God, but it would kill you: Ex 33:20). But God is invisible (Job 23:8, John 1:18, 4:24, 5:37, 6:46 [ambiguous], 1 Tim 1:17, 6:16, Col 1:15, 1 John 4:12). But Moses and others saw God (Gen 12:7, 17:1, Ex 3:6, 3:16, 12:8, 24:10-11, "face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend" 33:11, 23, Isa 6:1, 5, Job 42:5, Acts 8:55-56). Jacob wrestled with God and "saw him face to face" (Gen 32:30). God appeared to Abraham, ate, washed (Gen 18). God appeared to Isaac (Gen 26:2) and to Solomon (1 Kings 3:5). "Seek God's face, he will not hide it" (Ps 27:8-9, 24:6). God must have an "im- age," because man was created in it (Gen 1:27, 9:6). Jesus is the image of God (2 Cor 4:4). God created everything by himself (Gen 2:2, Ps 89:11, Isa 40:28, 44:24, Acts 14:15, Heb 1:10, 3:4, many others). Jesus helped (John 1:1-3, Eph 3:9, Col 1:16, Heb 1:2). Somebody helped him with the creation of mankind ("Let us make man" Gen 1:26). Nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37, Mark 10:27). But it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18, Tit 1:2). God does not lie (Ex 34:6, Num 23:19, Prov 12:22, 1 Sam 15:29, Tit 1:2). Lying is an abomination (Prov 12:22). But he lied to Adam, telling him that he would die if he ate the fruit (Gen 3:4-5); he sent a lying spirit to deceive Ahab (1 Kings 22:19-23, 2 Chron 18:22). If a prophet is deceived it is because God has deceived him, and God will destroy the prophet (Jer 4:10, 20:7, Ezek 14:9). God deludes people into believing falsehoods, so that he can condemn them (2 Thess 2:11-12). Who is God's "firstborn"? Israel (Ex 4:22). David (Ps 89:27). Jesus (Heb 1:4, 3:3, Col 1:18). God does not repent (Num 23:19, 1 Sam 15:29, Num 23:19, Mal 3:6, Ezek 24:14, James 1:17). But the Lord repented several times (Gen 6:6, Ex 32:14, Judg 2:18, 1 Sam 2:30-31, 15:11, 35, 2 Kings 20:1-6, Ps 106:45, Jonah 3:10, 4:2). God hates discord or confusion (Prov 6:16-19, 1 Cor 4:33. But God sometimes sows discord and confusion (Gen 11:7-9). God keeps his covenants (Deut 7:9-12). But he broke his promise to Israel (Num 14:30). God reveals his works to his prophets (Amos 3:7). But not always (2 Kings 4:27). God knows everything, i.e., he is "omniscient" (Ps 139:1-6, Prov 15:3, 5:21, Job 26:6, 34:21, Isa 44:7, Jer 16:17, 23:24, Ezek 11:5, Matt 12:25, John 2:24, Rom 1:20, Heb 4:13). But God didn't know where Adam is (Gen 3:8-9), or Abel (Gen 4:9). God didn't know whether Abraham would obey his command to kill Isaac (Gen 22:12). God didn't know which houses in Egypt contain Israelites; he needed to see blood on the doorpost (Ex 12:13). God had to test Israel for 40 years to find out if they would keep his commandments; apparently he didn't know (Deut 8:2). God is forgetful and must be reminded of his promises, e.g. of his promise to Noah (Gen 9:15-16). Samuel had to tell God what the people said (1 Sam 8:21). God is omnipotent (Gen 17:1, 35:11, Luke 1:37). Anything is possible with God (Matt 17:20, 19:26, Mark 9:23, 10:27, Luke 17:6, 18:27). But he could not help Judah defeat an enemy that had iron chariots (Judg 1:19). Jesus could not do mighty works because of others' unbelief (Matt 13:58, Mark 6:5). Does God tempt? James 1:13 says no. But Gen 22:1, Matt 6:13, Deut 4:34, 8:2, Judg 2:22 (and others) say yes. Temptation is joy (James 1:2). God controls the extent of our tempta- tions (1 Cor 10:13, 2 Pet 2:9, Rev 3:10). Is evil from God? No (Deut 32:4, Ps 19:7-8, 145:9, Mic 7:2, James 1:13). Yes (Isa 45:7, Jer 18:11, Lam 3:38, Ezek 20:25, Amos 3:6). God is love and wants everyone to be saved (2 Cor 13:11, 14, 1 John 4:8, 16, 2 Pet 3:9, 1 Tim 2:3-4 and many others). He takes no pleasure in the punishment of the wicked (Ezek 18:23, 32). But he rejoices in the destruction of sinners (Deut 28:63, Prov 1:26). He creates some people dumb, deaf, blind (Ex 4:11). He creates others wicked (Prov 16:4). He hides the truth (Isa 6:9-10, Matt 11:25, Mark 4:11-12, 2 Thess 2:11-12). He punishes people for others' sins (see "Punishment"). He saves whom he pleases (Rom 8:28-30, 15:18). Anyone who has never heard of Jesus will go to hell (John 3:18). God's anger: It does not last forever (Ps 30:5, 103:9, Jer 3:12, Micah 7:18). But God's punishment is eternal (Jer 17:4, Matt 25:46). Where is God? He dwells in the temple at Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:12-13, Acts 7:47). He does not dwell in temples (Acts 17:24). He dwells between the cherubim on the Ark (Ps 80:1, Ex 25:22, Num 7:89, 1 Sam 4:4, 2 Sam 6:2, 2 Kings 19:15, Isa 37:16). He dwells in heaven (Ps 14:2, 33:13-14, Eccl 5:2, 2 Chron 6:21, 30). He dwells high above the earth (Ps 97:9). He dwells in thick darkness (1 Kings 8:12, 2 Chron 6:1, Ps 18:11, 97:2). He dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim 6:16, 1 John 1:5, 7). He is far off (Ps 10:1). He is not far off (Ps 145:18, Jer 23:23, Acts 17:27). He dwells in Zion (Ps 9:11). He sits on a throne (Isa 6:1). But nothing can contain him (1 Kings 8:27, 2 Chr 6:18). He is ev- erywhere (Deut 4:39, Jer 16:17, 23:24, 1 Kings 8:27, Ps 139:7-11, Prov 15:3, Heb 4:13). But he is only in one place at a time (Gen 3:8, he walked in the Garden; Gen 4:16, Cain left his presence; Gen 11:5, he came down to see the Tower; Gen 18:20-21, 33, he "went his way;" Gen 46:4, Ex 3:4, "Here I am;" Ex 12:5, 17:6, 10:21, 24:1-2, 25:22, 29:42, 45, 46, 33:3, 14-15, 34:34, Ps 14:2, Num 23:15, Job 1:12, Jonah 1:3). Sometimes he goes from one place to another riding a cherub (Ps 18:10, 2 Sam 22:11). Name of God ("YHWH") was known to Seth and Abraham (Gen 4:26, 12:8, 15:2, 18, 22:14, 24:3, 26:25, 28:13, 16, 20-21). But God tells Moses that Abraham didn't know the name (Ex 3:14- 15, 6:3). Is God a respecter of persons? Yes, God has favorites (Gen 4:4- 5, Lev 22:17-23, 26:9, "I [God] will have respect unto you [Israel]", Deut 4:37, 7:6, 1 Sam 12:22, Ps 18:37-41, 33:12, Isa 51:16, 52:6, 63:8, 65:9, Amos 3:2, Matt 15:24, Rom 1:16, 9:13-18). But God is not a "respecter of persons" (Deut 10:17, 2 Sam 14:14, Acts 10:34, Eph 6:9, Pr 24:23, Matt 5:45, Acts 10:34, Rom 2:11, 10:12, 2 Chr 19:7, Ezek 18:29, Rev 15:3). Jesus loved one disciple more than the others (John 13:23). Peace or War? God is for peace (Isa 2:4, Rom 15:33, 2 Cor 13:11, 14, 1 John 4:8, 16). God is for war (Ex 15:3, 17:16, Num 25:4, 32:14, Isa 42:13, Joel 3:9-10; see "War"). Is Jesus the same as God the Father? Yes: (John 1:1 "the Word was God;" 5:18-30; 10:30 Jesus and Father are "one" [but see John 17:11, Rev 3:21]; 10:38 "Father is in me, I in Father;" 14:9 "if you have seen me you have seen Father;" and perhaps Tit 2:13, Col 2:9 "in Jesus is fulness of Godhead"). No (Matt 10:32-33, John 3:17, 5:18-23). God said "I am the Lord; my glory will I not give to another" (Isa 42:8). Jesus was a man (Acts 2:22, 1 Tim 2:5). Jesus says the Father is greater than he, and Jesus does not have as much power as the Father (John 14:28, Matt 19:16-17, 20:23). Jesus says only God is good, not he (Mark 10:18). Jesus was created first, of all creatures (1 Col 1:15, Rev 4:14). God gave life to the Son (John 5:26). God has exalted Jesus (Philip 2:9). Jesus does not preach his own doctrine, but the Father's (John 7:16). Knowing just Jesus or just the Father is not enough; you must know both (John 17:3). Jesus has a will different from God "not my will, but thy will..." (Matt 26:39, 27:46, Mark 14:35, Luke 22:42). Jesus is not omniscient, like the Father: he "in- creased in wisdom" (Luke 2:52), he does not know who touched him (Luke 8:43-45), does not know the time of the end (Mark 13:32). The Father is Jesus' God (John 20:17). Jesus was sent by the Father (John 5:23-24, 17:3, Col 1:19). Jesus died, but God cannot die (1 Tim 1:17, 6:16, Rom 1:23). Jesus ascends to the Father (John 20:17). Stephen saw him "on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55-56, also Mark 16:19, Heb 1:3, 10:12, 12:2). Jesus was resurrected by the Father (Acts 3:15, 13:3 0, 5:30, Col 2:12). Jesus inter- ceded with the Father for Peter (Luke 22:31-33), mediates between mankind and the Father (Matt 10:32, 1 Tim 2:5, Heb 7:25), prayed to the Father in Gethsemane and from the cross (Matt 26:39, 27:46, Mark 14:35, Luke 22:42), and felt forsaken by the Father (Matt 27:46). He prayed that his disciples "may be one as we [the Father and Jesus] are" (John 17:11, Rev 3:21). Jesus' teaching was given to him by the Father, as he gave it to his disciples (John 17:6-8). We are all gods (John 10:34, citing Ps 82:6).
God gives man as food "every moving thing" (Gen 9:3). He later reneges by making many animals unclean (Lev 11, passim). God gives Adam and Eve the fruit of every tree (Gen 1:29). Only later forbids eating fruit of tree of knowledge (2:17). Eve tells the serpent that it was forbidden even to touch the fruit (Gen 3:3), but this prohibition is not mentioned elsewhere. God blesses all the sons of Noah (Gen 9:1), but Noah's curse of Ham supersedes God's blessing (Gen 9:24-27). God is opposed to incest (Lev 20:17, Deut 27:20-23). But Cain and Seth had only their sisters to marry (Gen 5). God blesses Abraham and his half-sister/wife Sarai (Gen 17:15- 16, 20:11-12, 22:17). See "Incest." God is opposed to stealing or defrauding (Ex 20:15, 17, 22:3, Lev 19:13). But he tells the Israelites to defraud the Egyptians (Ex 3:20-22). God forbids making of "graven images" (Ex 20:4, Lev 26:1, Deut 5:8), then orders gold cherubim to be carved for the Ark (Ex 25:18-20). God orders Moses to make a brass serpent for the people to look upon (Num 21:8-9). God forbids setting up pillars (Deut 16:21-22). Moses sets up twelve pillars (Ex 24:4-5). Solomon sets up two in his temple (1 Kings 7:15-22). Israelites will never return to Egypt (Deut 17:16). God will take them to Egypt as punishment (Deut 28:68). High places are acceptable for worship of God (Abraham: Gen 12:8, 22:2, 14; Jacob: Gen 31:54; Samuel: 1 Sam 7:16, 9:12-14; Solomon: 1 Kings 3:4, 2 Chron 1:3-6; Elijah: 1 Kings 18:19- 39; Zadok: 1 Chron 16:39-40; also 1 Kings 19:10, 14, 2 Chron 33:17). But God has them destroyed by Hezekiah (2 Kings 13:4-6), and again by Josiah (2 Kings 23:2, 8). God tells Balaam to go with Balak's messengers, then becomes angry with him because he went (Num 22:20-22). The Levites are to receive territory (Num 35:6-7), but they do not get any (Deut 18:1). Joshua offers sacrifice (Josh 8:30-31) in violation of Num 18:7- 8. Never had God listened to a man before he made the sun stand still for Joshua (Josh 10:14). But see Gen 18:23-33, Ex 32:11-14, Deut 9:19-29. God says he will not forgive Israel if they do not obey (Josh 24:19). But he does (Judg 2:16, 3:9, 15, 31). David's only sin was in the matter of Uriah (1 Kings 15:5). But his taking the census was a sin (2 Sam 24:10- 17). Dedication of Solomon's temple: the number of sheep and oxen sacrificed were so many they could not be counted (1 Kings 8:5). Then v. 63 tells exactly how many there were. God says "new things do I declare" (Isa 42:9). But there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9). Swords will be beaten into plowshares in the last days (Isa 2:4, Mic 4:3). Plowshares will be beaten into swords in the last days (Joel 3:10). If God deceives a prophet, he will destroy that prophet (Ezek 14:9). But Jeremiah was deceived (Jer 20:7) and was not destroyed. Elisha says he will follow Elijah after he bids farewell to his parents (1 Kings 19-21). But Jesus says this makes Elisha not fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:61-62). Can Jesus witness himself? John 5:31 is a direct contradiction of 8:14. Should a man of God accept money for his services as prophet or priest? Yes (1 Sam 9:6-9, 1 Cor 9:1-15, 1 Tim 5:17-18). No (Mic 3:11). John the Baptist says he's not Elijah (John 1:21). Jesus says he is (Matt 11:14, 17:11-13). Jesus says that no one yet born (including himself?) is greater than John the Baptist (Matt 11:11). Yet the same verse says he is the least in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus implies that he is greater than Solomon (Matt 12:42, Luke 11:31). But there could never be one greater than Solomon (1 Kings 3:12, 4:29, 10:23-24, 2 Chron 9:22-23). Jesus is the only one ever to ascend to heaven (John 3:13). But Elijah (2 Kings 2:11), Enoch (Gen 5:24, Heb 11:5), and an unnamed man known to Paul (Heb 11:5) all ascended to heaven. Jesus also tells a parable in which Lazarus was in heaven (Luke 16:22). Jesus said cock would not crow till Peter had denied him three times (John 13:38), but Mark 14:66-68 says cock crowed after the first. Jesus died by being hanged on a tree. But "he that is [executed by being] hanged is accursed of God" (Deut 21:23). Jesus condemns swords (Matt 26:52). But Jesus says he has come to bring the sword (Matt 10:34), and he tells all his disciples to buy one (Luke 22:36). Jesus brings peace (Luke 2:14, John 14:27, 16:33, Acts 10:36). He does not bring peace (Matt 10:34-37, Luke 12:49-53). Jesus says he will build his church on Peter (Matt 16:18-19; this is not mentioned in the other gospels). But then calls him "Satan" (v 23). Jesus has all power and authority (Matt 28:18, John 3:35). But Jesus denies this (Matt 20:23). Jesus could not perform mighty works (Matt 13:58, Mark 6:5). Jesus says he has power to raise himself from the dead (John 10:18). But he did not - God (the Father?) raised him (Acts 3:15, 13:30, 5:30). Jesus says, resist not evil (Matt 5:39). But he cleaned out the temple (Matt 21:12-13). Jesus says that he gives a new commandment, "love one another" (John 13:34). If it is new, he violates Deut 4:2 and 12:32. But it is not new; it is the Mosaic commandment "Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Lev 19:18). Jesus implies that "defraud not" is one of the ten commandments. It is in the Law (Lev 19:13), but not one of the Ten Commandments. Jesus says to forgive and bless your enemies (Matt 5:44). But he will deny his enemies to God (Matt 10:32-33). God does not forgive his enemies, but condemns them. Jesus says that some of his followers will be put to death (Luke 21:16). But not a hair of their head will perish (v. 18). Devils cannot tell a truth (John 8:44). Devils say that Jesus is the Messiah (Luke 4:41). Jesus' deeds: The world could not contain the books if all his deeds were written of (John 21:25). They have all been written of (Acts 1:1). Paul says no one has seen Christ, he is invisible (1 Tim 1:17, 6:16). But this contradicts the gospels. Paul says that at Corinth he baptized "none ... but Crispus and Gaius (1 Cor 1:14). Then he says he baptized Stephanas' family (v. 16). Then he says he doesn't know whether he baptized any one else (v. 16). Paul says he does not use trickery (1 Thess 2:3). Then he says he does (2 Cor 12:16). Paul says that women should keep silent in church (1 Cor 14:34). But some women were prophets: Miriam (Ex 15:20), Deborah (Judg 4:4), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Neh 6:14), Anna (who did not keep silent in the Temple, Luke 2:36-38). Paul says Satan was able to hinder him in his work (1 Thess 2:17- 18). All the grass on earth will be burned up (Rev 8:7), and then an army of locusts will be turned loose with instructions not to harm the grass (9:4).
If God created heaven and earth (Gen 1:1), where was he when he did it, and where did he dwell before? To whom did God promise eternal life "before the world began" (Tit 1:2)?. If God made everything "after [its] kind," what did God use as models (Gen 1:20, 21, 24)? When did God create the carnivores? The animals were only given "green herb" to eat (Gen 1:30). Why would God create a world in which living things must kill and devour other living things in order to survive? Who was God speaking to in Gen 1:26, Gen 3:22, Gen 11:7 ("Let us make man...")? Why would it take an omnipotent God seven days to create the world (Gen 1, 2)? How could it make him tired so that he had to rest? What did God do (or have to do) on the eighth day? Why does God imply that his reason for creating man is so there will be someone to "till the ground," and then put him in the garden to "dress and keep it" (Gen 2:5, 15)? Tilling the ground was the punishment for his transgression (Gen 3:17-18). If everything was perfect before the fall, why did the garden need tending? Why should the Hebrew god name the location of his paradise "Eden," which is not a Hebrew name, but Sumerian (meaning "fertile plain;" Gen 2:8)? Is Sumerian the "Adamic language"? What happened to the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were driven out? Where is the Tree of Life now? If God has removed the Garden, why didn't he do it immediately, rather than having to guard it with cherubim and a flaming sword (Gen 3:24)? Why did God command Adam not to eat of the Tree, since that was the sole purpose for which it was created, and the primary purpose of placing man on earth, namely to know the difference between good and evil? How could God expect Adam and Eve to resist temptation, since they did not know the difference between good and evil until after they had eaten the fruit? Why should Adam and Eve be ashamed of their nakedness, since that is the way God made them (Gen 3:7, 10-11)? Why did God make the clothes for Adam and Eve? They had to do everything else themselves (Gen 3:21). Where did God get the skins to make Adam clothes? Did he have to kill an animal? If so, that is the first death in the world, and it was caused by God (Gen 3:21). Why, if the serpent is cursed as evil (Gen 3:14), is it a sacred symbol, interpreted by Christians as a symbol of Christ (Num 21:9, John 3:14)? Why didn't God accept Cain's offering? We are not told (Gen 4:5). Who could Cain possibly have been afraid of? There were only three people on the whole earth (Gen 4:14-15). What kind of mark could God have put on Cain that would prevent someone from killing him? (Gen 4:15). Why wasn't Cain's punishment for murder his own death? Why was God so lenient (Gen 4:15)? Where did Cain's wife come from (Gen 4:17)? Who were the "giants"? and the "sons of God"? (Gen 6:2, 4). Apparently they survived the Flood (Num 13:33). Why should God want to destroy the animals as well as man in the Flood? How could they be "corrupt," since they were exactly as God had created them? Were they any different after the Flood (Gen 6:5-7, 11-12)? What is "gopher wood" (Gen 6:14)? How did God hope to destroy the creatures of the ocean by the Flood? He wants to destroy "all flesh" (Gen 6:12). Were the fish not also as violent as the land animals? Yet they were not destroyed (Gen 7:21-23). Couldn't God destroy the fish as well? God destroyed everything "in whose nostrils was the breath of life" (v 22). Did this include the whales, which breathe? Or did Noah take two of every kind of whale on board the Ark? How was Noah able to capture all species of animal, especially those that were not indigenous (and probably could not have survived) in the Near East, such as the penguin, polar bear, kangaroo, koala? The Ark was 300 by 50 by 30 cubits, i.e. 450 by 75 by 45 feet, having three stories (Gen 6:14-16) making a floor area of about 101,250 square feet, or about 2« acres. How did Noah get all the animals, two (or seven) of every species of animal in the world in this small space, together with enough food for them and the people? And there was only one window for ventilation (Gen 6:16)! Methuselah (Noah's grandfather) died the same year as the Flood (Gen 5:25-29, 7:11). Did he die in the Flood? If the Flood waters were deep enough to cover all the mountains by 15 cubits (22 feet), where did all that water go when it receded (Gen 7:19-20)? God placed the rainbow as a sign of the covenant made with humanity never to destroy it again by flood (Gen 9:11-17). We know that the rainbow is caused by the operation of the laws of optics on moisture. Was there no rainbow before the days of Noah? How could there be enough people on the earth ("nations") in three generations (144 years) for Noah's great-grandson Nimrod to build the Tower of Babel (Gen 6:18, 7:13, 8:16, 9:1, 10:1-32, 11:3-5)? At a population growth rate of 2%, which is unusually high, there would have been a total world population of 104 people, starting with just the three sons of Noah and their wives (1 Pet 3:20). Exactly what was the result of God's confounding of the language? Did each person speak a different language? Why should some move away but others stay? (The Tower was eventually com- pleted anyway.) Did God really think that humans could accomplish anything if they spoke only one language? Did God really think that people could not learn foreign languages (Gen 11:1-9)? If the multiplicity of tongues was a curse at Babel, why was it a blessing at Pentecost (Acts 2:4-11)? Why is there no mention, in the entire OT after Gen 11, of any event in Gen 1-11, ie, Creation, Garden, Fall, Serpent, Flood, Babel, etc? Why didn't God tell Abraham's father that his seed would be numberless? How did Abraham know that it was God and not Satan who was telling him to kill Isaac (Gen 22:1-3)? How do we know? Why would angels, who are spiritual, be able to eat bread (Gen 19:3)? Why should God turn Lot's wife into a pillar of salt? Why not just strike her dead (Gen 19:26)? Why should God wrestle with Jacob (Gen 32:24-30)? Why can all the prophets hear God, but none of them can see him? Why should God punish Egypt with destruction, when it was part of his plan for Israel (Gen 13:13-16)? If circumcision was so important, why didn't God require it of Adam and Noah? Or women? Why didn't Isaac simply revoke his blessing of Jacob, instead of blessing him again (Gen 28:1)? Why should Jacob love Joseph the best? He was not the youngest son - Benjamin was younger (Gen 37:3). What does the phrase mean "until Shiloh come" (nobody can say for sure; Gen 49:10)? If a childless widow has a right to demand that her husband's brother impregnate her to provide a posterity for the husband, why is the surrogate father listed in genealogies as the father, and not the deceased husband (Gen 38:8-9, Deut 25:5-6, Ruth 4:10, 21, Luke 3:32, Matt 1:5)? Why doesn't Moses use the Pharaoh's name? He seems to think "Pharaoh" is a name, not a title. Why didn't Moses believe (Num 20:12)? Why doesn't God advise Moses directly, instead of through a pagan priest (Ex 13:1-27)? Why, if God knows he is the only god, does he acknowledge the existence of other gods (Ex 20:3)? "Worship him [Jehovah], all ye gods" (Ps 97:7). How did Moses carry the stone tablets of the law down from Sinai, if they really contained all of the law, i.e. Ex, Lev, Deut, Num? How can we know which day is the Sabbath day? The days all look alike. How could Israel observe the Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Ingathering, i.e. harvest) in the wilderness, where there was no harvest and no trees (Ex 34:22, 23:16, Deut 16:13-15, Lev 23:33-43, Num 29:12-38)? There is no mention of its actual observance from Joshua to Nehemiah (Neh 8:17). Where did the 50,000 men killed by God at Bethshemesh come from? That is several times as many as the entire population of Jerusalem at the time (1 Sam 6:19). If God wanted to destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam 15), why didn't he kill them off with plague or other direct means (as he had used at Ex 12:29, 1 Sam 6:19, 2 Sam 24:15, 1 Chron 21:14) rather than making the Israelites indulge in the cruel and bloody slaughter of them one by one? Why did God allow the Book of the Law to become lost for so long (2 Kings 22)? How could it be lost if it was read aloud every seven years (Deut 31:10) and every king had a copy (Deut 17:18, 31:24-26)? Solomon didn't have it (1 Kings 8:9, 21, 2 Chr 5:10, 6:11). Why didn't any prophet know that it was hidden in the temple? Why should Josiah destroy the altar which Jacob had built (2 Kings 23:15)? Why wasn't Passover observed (or even mentioned) for hundreds of years (2 Kings 23:22)? Why didn't God preserve other holy books which are quoted in the Bible? Book of Jasher (Josh 10:13, 2 Sam 1:18), Book of Wars of Jehovah (Num 21:14), Laws of Samuel (1 Sam 10:25), Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11:41), Chronicles of Kings of Judah (1 Kings 15:7, 23, others), Chronicles of Kings of Israel (2 Kings, 14:15, 28), Annals of King David (1 Chr 27:24), histories of Samuel the Seer, Nathan the Prophet, Gad the Seer (all 1 Chr 29:29), Prophecy of Ahijah, Visions of Iddo the Seer (2 Chr 9:29), History of Shemaiah the Prophet, Iddo the Seer (2 Chr 12:15, 13:22), Book of Jehu (2 Chr 20:34), Sayings of the Seers (2 Chr 33:19), Book of Enoch (Jude 14). They are cited as sources by the inspired authors; are these sources inspired? Why are the words of these prophets not preserved, if they spoke God's word? Gad (2 Sam 24:11), Heman (1 Chr 25:15), Micaiah (1 Kings 22:6), Miriam (Ex 15:20), Deborah (Judges 4:4), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Neh 6:14), Anna (Luke 2:36), Enoch (Jude 14). Long identical or almost identical passages: Where they are identical, why are both included? Where they are not identical, which one is correct? 2 Kings 19, 20 = Isaiah 37, 38 Ezra 1:1-3a = 2 Chron 36:22-end 1 Sam 31 = 1 Chr 10 2 Sam 22 = Ps 18 1 Kings 5-7 = 2 Chron 2-4 2 Sam 5:1-10 = 1 Chron 11:1-9 1 Chron 16:8-36 = Ps 105 2 Kings 22-23 = 2 Chron 34-35 Isa 2:2-4 = Micah 4:1-3 Ps 14:1-5a, 7 = Ps 53:1-5a, 7 Ps 40:13-17 = Ps 70 (also, the "synoptic" Gospels) How can God (or anyone) expect to be loved because it is commanded? Or out of fear (1 John 4:18)? Why should there be no Commandment against rape? It is a crime, with death penalty, but only if the victim was betrothed, and the rape was committed outside the city (Deut 22:25-27). If the victim was not betrothed, his punishment is the payment of money to her father, and he must marry her (Deut 22:28-29). Why should God be so concerned with ritualistic details (Ex, Deut, Lev, Josh 6:26, Ezek, etc.), none of which are observed by modern believers? Why should a prophet of God be consulted to find lost livestock (1 Sam 9:1-10:2)? And why should an entire chapter of the Bible be devoted to it? Why should Jericho in particular be cursed (Josh 6:26)? God destroyed the peoples of Palestine to make way for Israel and justified their destruction because they were wicked (Deut 9:4). But did God ever teach them his law so that they could be righteous? Israel was not righteous, either (Deut 9:4ff). Why wasn't David banned from the congregation of Israel? He was the great grandson of Ruth, a Moabitess, and Moabite blood is banned "to their tenth generation... for ever" (Deut 23:3, Ruth 1:4, 4:21-22). Why would Nebuchadnezzar, an idolater and aggressor against the Chosen People, be called God's "servant" and be aided by God (Jer 27:6)? Why is John the only gospel writer to call Jesus "the only Begotten"? Didn't the others know? Or didn't they think it important? Why is the virgin birth ignored by Mark and John? Why does Jesus never refer to it? Nor does Paul. Only Mary could have known the real truth, but nobody claims to have the facts from her. If the earth is "full of the goodness of God," then how can there be any room for evil (Ps 33:5)? If the earth as God created it was "good" except for the evil creatures (Gen 1:31), why would he want to destroy the landscape by levelling the mountains and filling the valleys (Isa 40:4, Luke 3:5)? Why does God want to torment some of his creatures for eternity because they displeased him, perhaps out of ignorance or poor judgment? Why not just annihilate them? Wouldn't that be what a really merciful creator would do? Why should God allow Job to be a helpless victim, a pawn in a bet with Satan? Why didn't Mary assume, when she was told she would bear a child, that it would be Joseph's, conceived after their marriage (Luke 1:27-34)? How could a star hover over a building with sufficient precision to indicate that building and no other (Matt 2:9)? Who were the prophets "when the world began" (Luke 1:70)? If God was able to save Israel at the Red Sea, why couldn't he have saved the infant Jesus from Herod, without causing the slaughter of the innocents (Matt 2:16-18)? Did he allow it just to fulfill a prophecy? Why didn't the apostles know the scripture that Jesus was sup- posed to be resurrected (John 20:9)? And what scripture is that? Jesus quotes a scripture that the priests profane the Sabbath (Matt 12:5). There is no such statement in the OT. Why don't John and Matthew mention the Ascension? Why does Matt 21:7 have Jesus ride a donkey and a colt? Does he misunderstand the passage of which he thinks this incident is a prophecy fulfillment (Zech 9:9)? Why doesn't Paul ever refer to any facts about Jesus' life as reported in the gospels? If God is the only god there is, why does he have a name? Why should God have a "chosen people" (Deut 7:6, Isa 65:9)? He is not a respecter of persons (Deut 10:17, 2 Sam 14:14, Acts 10:34, Eph 6:9, Pr 24:23, Matt 5:45, Rom 10:12, 2 Chr 19:7, Ezek 18:29, Rev 15:3). Why should the laws given in Ex, Lev and Deut be so similar, yet different? Why should the Ten Commandments have to be given three times (Ex 20:1-17, Deut 5:6-21 and Ex 34:11-26, plus a paraphrase at Lev 19)? But they are not the same: compare Ex 20:9 with Deut 5:12, Ex v 10 and Deut v 14, Ex v 11 and Deut v 15 (the two versions most alike). The version in Ex 34:11-28 (identified specifically as "the ten commandments," at v. 28) is very different: 1. Worship no other God 2. Make no molten gods 3. Keep feast of unleavened bread 4. Male firstlings are God's 5. Rest on the seventh day 6. Keep feasts of weeks, wheat and ingathering 7. Men must come to the temple three times a year 8. No leaven in sacrifices; no Passover leftovers 9. Bring firstfruits to the temple 10. Do not seethe a kid in its mother's milk Why should certain numbers seem to be sacred (3, 7, 40, 12)? Who were the three men who appeared to Abraham in Gen 18? One was Jehovah? What were the statutes and laws that God gave to Abraham (Gen 26:5)? How did they get lost? Why is the story of Isaac lying about his wife being his sister a repeat of Abraham's story (Gen 26:7-11, 12:13, 20:2-5)? Why should God make Moses be his own witness to Israel? Why doesn't God tell the elders himself (Ex 3:13-18)? If God is so sure (and he should be, if he's omniscient) that the Israelites will believe Moses' first two signs (the serpent- rod and leprous hand), as he tells him they will, why does he give him a third sign (water to blood) (Ex 4:8-9)? How can Zipporah accuse Moses of requiring circumcision, when he had not required his own son to be circumcised, and she then did it herself (Ex 4:25-26)? Why should God try to kill Moses? The implication is because he had not circumcised his son. Why didn't God just order him to do it? If God really tried to kill him, how could he have failed (Ex 4:24)? Was Moses uncircumcised (Ex 6:30)? God tells Moses that his ability to turn his rod into a serpent will be proof that Moses is God's servant (Ex 4:1-5). But Pharaoh's magicians are able to duplicate the sign and do the same thing (Ex 7:10-12). After Aaron turned all the water in Egypt to blood, Pharaoh's magicians did the same thing (Ex 7:22). What did they do? All the water was already blood. Why did God save the Israelites from Pharaoh, but not from Hitler? Why didn't the Israelites circumcise in the desert (Josh 5:2-9)? What was the purpose of the angel's appearance to Joshua (Josh 5:13-15)? Why didn't God instruct Adam (or Noah, or Abraham) to write down the Law, instead of waiting until Moses' day? Which Zedekiah became king? Cf. 2 Kings 24:17, 1 Chron 3:15,16. Why would God use a miracle to retrieve an axe dropped in the river (2 Kings 6:5-7)? Why should the "word of God" include Paul's concern about where his cloak is (2 Tim 4:13)? Or Paul's personal opinions (1 Cor 7:6, 12, 25)? Why are the main characters in the Book of Esther named after Babylonian or Persian (Elamite) gods? Esther = Ishtar, Babylonian fertility goddess and queen of heaven; Hadassah = Babylonian "hadashatu," a title of goddesses; Mordecai = Marduk, head Babylonian god, cousin of Ishtar (as Mordecai was cousin of Esther); Haman = Hamman (or Humman), chief god of Elam; Vashti = Vashti, a god(dess?) of Elam; Zeresh, wife of Haman = Kirisha, Elamite goddess and wife of Hamman. Why is the name of a Jewish holy festival, Purim, not a Hebrew word (its origin is unknown)? Why is this festival not mentioned in the Bible earlier than 2 Mac 15:36 (2d century BC) if it was instituted in 5th century BC? Why is there no mention of God in the Book of Esther? Why does it show the deliverance of the Jews to be by human stratagem, not obedience to God? How can there be a "war" in heaven, a perfect place, governed by God (Rev 12:7)? Paul quotes Jesus as saying "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). Where did Jesus say this? None of the gospels have this saying. The unclean spirit acknowledged Jesus as God (Mark 1:23-24). But anyone who does so is of God (1 John 4:2). Does this mean that the unclean spirit was of God? How (and why) did Melchisedec have no parents, no beginning, and no end (Heb 7:1-3)? Is he still alive? Why didn't God use the same method to produce a Savior, if he didn't want him to have an earthly father, as he used to produced Melchisedec: no father or mother (Heb 7:1- 3)? He seems to be even more special than Jesus. Or the way he created Adam (who was also called the "son of God," Luke 3:38)? Why is Matthew the only one who knows about the adoration of the Magi (Matt 2:1-13)? Why do heavenly messengers in Matthew always appear in dreams (2:12, 13, 19, 22) and are nameless, but in Luke they appear in the flesh and are identified by name (1:11-22, 26ff, 2:9)? What was Elias (Elijah) supposed to restore ("all things": Mark 9:11-13)? Where is it recorded that he did it? (He only appeared at the Transfiguration.) Mal 4:5 says only that Elijah will come back to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and vice-versa. Jesus says that he has come to do exactly the opposite (Matt 10:21, 35, Luke 12:51-53). Moses as lawgiver: Almost all scholars now agree Moses did not write the Pentateuch, and that the "Mosaic Law" dates only from the Exile. Jesus ascribes the Law to Moses. If he didn't know the facts, he is not omniscient; if he did, why didn't he say so? Why should Matthew's version of the parable of the feast (22:2ff) want to make God look so much more hateful and cruel than Luke's (14:16)? What meaning could it have had to his listeners when Jesus told his followers to "take up the cross," when he had not been crucified yet (e.g. Mark 8:34, 10:21)? Why should Jesus urge us to cut off a limb or put out an eye if it offends by sinning? The sin is in the thought, not the body part, and that remains (Matt 5:29ff). Why does Jesus prefer sheep over goats as the symbol of his followers (Matt 25:33, John 10:11, 14, 27)? Goats are smarter animals than sheep. The only purpose for keeping sheep is to take their fleece and to eat them. What was Jesus doing for the forty days after his resurrection (according to Acts only)? Why are not a great many more appearances recorded for this period? We will be damned if we doubt Jesus' resurrection. Will Thomas be damned for doubting (John 20:24-29)? Why is there no further mention in any Christian scripture of Matthias the Apostle or Joseph Barsabbas, who was considered for appointment as an apostle (Acts 1)? Why are so few of the apostles mentioned at all? If Matthias had to be appointed as an apostle, what is Paul's authority? Is anybody having a vision of Jesus automatically an apostle (1 Gal 1:12)? How can Matthew and Luke claim to know what was said by Jesus and Satan during the Temptation (Matt 4, Luke 4)? Mark doesn't know. And John doesn't mention the temptation. How can anyone claim to know what Jesus said in his prayer in Gethsemane (Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42-43)? How can Luke know that an angel appeared to Jesus in Gethsemane (Luke 22:43)? How can anyone know what was said at Jesus' trial, since none of Jesus' followers were present? Why should Jesus preach to the spirits in prison (the dead) if there is no repentance after death (1 Pet 3)? Why didn't Jesus command that his message be written down, or why didn't he write it? He only commanded that his disciples preach, but not write. Nobody appears to have written anything until many years afterwards. Why do the oldest manuscripts of Mark end at 16:8? Why is Matthew the only writer to know that the church was to be built on Peter, especially if Mark, according to tradition, was Peter's close companion? Jesus promised his disciples that the twelve of them will rule Israel, seated on twelve thrones (Matt 19:28, Luke 22:30). Obviously Judas disqualified himself. But who will be the twelfth? Matthew? Or Paul?
Remember that the Bible says that all God's prophecies and promises will be fulfilled: "Hath [God] said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" (Num 23:19, Isa 46:11). The test of a prophet is whether what he prophesies comes to pass (Deut 18:21-22, Jer 28:9, Matt 7:15-20). Fulfillment of prophecies will not be delayed (Ezek 12:21-28). God said that Adam would die the very day he ate the forbidden fruit (Gen 2:17). But Adam lived another 930 years before dying (Gen 5:5). (For meaning of "die" see 2 Sam 12:14-18.) The human lifespan will be 120 years (Gen 6:3). Cain will become a fugitive (Gen 4:12, 14). But he built a city and presumably lived in it (Gen 4:16-17). Israel will be captive 400 years in Egypt (Gen 15:13, Acts 7:6). It was 430 (Ex 12:40) Abraham will possess the promised land (Gen 17:8). But he died without possessing it (Gen 25:8, Acts 7:2-5, Heb 11:13). Same promise to Jacob (Gen 28:13). Jacob, renamed "Israel" by God, will never be called "Jacob" again (Gen 32:28, 35:9-10). He was continually called "Jacob" afterwards (ca. 40 times in Genesis, e.g. 49:33, 11 times in Ex). There shall be no miscarriage or barrenness among the Israelites (Ex 23:26). Palestine would belong to Israel, from Egypt to Euphrates (Gen 15:18, 17:3-8, Ex 23:31, Deut 1:7-8, Josh 1:4). The promise was first made about 1900 B.C. and often repeated (Gen 13:14-17, Deut 7:1-2, 17-24, 4:33-39, 31:1-8, 9:3-6, Ex 23:20-33, Josh 1:1-6 [no enemy could resist them, v 5], 3:9- 11, 21:43-44). It was not conditioned on Israel's obedience or righteousness (Deut 9:3-6, Ex 33:1-6, Lev 26:42-45). But Israel never occupied all the promised territory, not even during the conquest (Judg 1:19-34, 2:3, 21-23, 3:1-5, Josh 13:13, 15:63, 16:10, 17:12-13),and has only occupied a small part of it for a few hundred years (under David and Solomon, 1 Kings 4:21, 24) out of the almost 4000 years since the promise (Heb 11:13 admits this). Ephraim and Manasseh will drive out the Canaanites (Josh 17:17- 18, also Ex 33:2, 34:11; God had earlier promised to "destroy" the Canaanites at Ex 23:23-24, Deut 31:3-5). Hornets will drive them out (Ex 23:18). But they did not (Judg 1:27-29, 3:1-3, 4:2-3, Num 14:45). Zebulon will dwell at the seaside (Gen 49:13). But its territory was entirely inland (Josh 19:10-16; look at any map of the tribes' territories). The Israelites will be saved from the Philistines because God has chosen Saul to lead them (1 Sam 9:15-17). They were overrun by the Philistines (1 Sam 31:4-7). Israel will dwell safely and with confidence in the Promised Land forever, impliedly from the time of the making of the prophecy (Ezek 28:25-26, 37:25-26; also 2 Sam 7:10). Israel will never be ruled by another nation (Deut 15:6). But Mesopotamia ruled it for eight years (Judg 3:8), Moab for 18 (3:14), and many other nations have ruled it since, although God said "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee" (Josh 1:5). Jerusalem will never more be entered by the uncircumcised or the unclean. Jerusalem will be forever delivered from foreign domination (Isa 52, Joel 3:17). Jerusalem will never be de- stroyed again forever (Jer 31:40). Jerusalem was almost continually under foreign domination and has been destroyed several times, e.g. by the Romans in 70 AD. Judah will be captive for 70 years in Babylon (Jer 25:11-13). The captivity lasted from 586 (or 597) to 538 BC, only 48 (or 59) years. See a lengthy debate on this prophecy in The Skeptical Review, beginning with the July 1997 issue. If Israel is not obedient, it will suffer all the curses listed in Deut 28:15-68, including being returned to slavery in Egypt (Deut 28:15, 68). The Israelites were not obedient, but they never again became Egyptian slaves. When God has destroyed an affliction or ended an enemy it does not come back (Nah 1:9). God will not forsake his people (Josh 1:5, 1 Sam 12:22, Isa 45:17). If Isa 7:14 is a prophecy of Jesus as Messiah, it failed, because he was never called Immanuel. Jews who move to Egypt will die out with no remnant (Jer 42:17). But Jews established a large settlement at Alexandria and other places in Egypt and thrived there for many centuries. Damascus will become a ruinous heap, no longer a city (Isa 17:1). But Damascus has had an uninterrupted existence as an important city for 3500 years. The Temple as described (and ordered by God?) by Ezekiel was never built. Nathan promises that David's house will rule "forever" (2 Sam 7:16, also Jer 33:17, 1 Kings 9:39, 11:9-13, 37-38, 15:4, 2 Kings 8:19, 19:34, 20:6). David's house has not ruled for almost 2000 years. God promises David that his seed and throne will endure forever, as the "sun and moon," as a witness (Ps 89:34-37). The seed may still exist, but the throne does not. David was promised "length of days" "forever and ever" (Ps 21:4). David is dead. God preserves all them that love him (Ps 35:10, 10:15, 145:20, 146:79, 147; see Biblical Errancy, issue #29). The scepter shall not depart from Judah "until Shiloh come" (Gen 49:10). The scepter is long gone from Judah, and Shiloh (?) has not come. God will destroy the seed of David's enemies (Ps 21:10). The descendants of David's enemies are now very populous. No king will ever have as much wealth as Solomon (2 Chron 1:12). Those who trust God will lack for nothing (Ps 34:9-10). God satisfies the desires of every living thing (Ps 145:16). God will grant anything requested in prayer by a righteous person who believes and who asks in Jesus' name and/or with faith (Matt 21:22, Mark 11:24, John 14:13-14, 15:7, 16:23). John 9:31 and 1 John 3:22 require that you must also be keeping the commandments (also Prov 15:29, James 5:16). Sometimes it takes two believers (Matt 21:22, Mark 11:24). 1 John 5:14-15 conditions the promise by saying the thing must be "according to his will," which means that God is going to do what he wants anyway. The faithful can move mountains, etc. (Matt 17:20, 19:26, Mark 9:23, 10:27, Luke 17:6, 18:27). But even Jesus was unable always to do what he wanted (Matt 13:58, Mark 6:5). This promise has probably been broken more often than any other. (See also under Contradictory Doctrine) God will rescue his faithful from the lions (Ps 35:17). Many martyrs were killed by lions. Amaziah's sons will all die by the sword (Amos 7:17). But his son Uzziah died of leprosy (2 Chron 26:1, 21). Isaiah 7, 8 prophesies to Ahaz, king of Judah, that Syria and Israel will not prevail against him. They did (2 Chron 28; 2 Kings 16:5 gives a different result). Isaiah 8:4-8 promised that Assyria would assist Judah. It did not (2 Chron 28:16-20; 2 Kings 16 gives a different result). Tyre will be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and never be rebuilt (Ezek 26:3-14,21, 27:36, 28:19). Tyre was besieged but not destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek 29:18). Alexander the Great destroyed it three centuries later, but it was immediately rebuilt, was prominent in Jesus' time, and still exists today (Matt 15:21, Acts 21:3, and other passages). Isaiah 23 says Tyre will be rebuilt after 70 years. Nebuchadnezzar will not be able to conquer Tyre, and so God will allow him to conquer Egypt instead (Ezek 29:18-20, 30:4-19). Nebuchadnezzar never conquered Egypt. Judah will be a terror to Egypt, which will then worship God (Isa 19). Nothing like this has ever occurred. The Canaanite language will be spoken in five Egyptian cities (Isa 19:18). This never occurred, and that language is now extinct. Israel will have the labor and produce of Egypt and Ethiopia, who will be Israel's slaves (Isa 45:14). This never occurred. Israel will be called "Hephzibah" and the land will be called "Beulah" (Isa 62:4). This never occurred. Israel will never again (after Isaiah's time) be ravished by plunder (Isa 62:8-9). It has been destroyed and ravished numerous times since then. Egypt will be made desolate and waste and be uninhabited for 40 years, no one will pass through it, and the Egyptians will be scattered (Ezek 29:9-16, Joel 3:19 - Joel says this event is "near" at 2:1, 3:14). This never occurred. The Nile River will dry up (Isa 19:5, Ezek 30:12, Zech 10:11). This has never occurred. Edom (Idumaea) will be waste, no human will pass through it (Isa 34:9-10). This area (between Sinai and the Dead Sea) has always been populated. Zedekiah will die in peace (Jer 34:3-5). He was blinded and died a captive in Babylon (Jer 52:9-11, 2 Kings 25:7). Babylon will be destroyed by the Medes in a time "near to come" and it shall never again be inhabited, and the Arab will not pitch his tent there (Isa 13, 8th century BC). Sennacherib, an Assyrian, destroyed it in 689 BC, but Esarhaddon rebuilt it. Jeremiah again (Jer 25:12-13, 50:9-40, 51:26- 43)) prophesied its total destruction and lack of habitation (v 13). It was conquered by the Persians Cyrus and Xerxes, and again by Alexander the Macedonian in 323, who died there. It was inhabited up to 275 BC, when its inhabitants moved to a new village nearby. Its temples were still in use a century later. It is now an archeological site, attracting tourists, i.e., there are people there. Josiah will die in peace (2 Kings 22:18-20). He died from wounds inflicted in battle (2 Chron 35:20-24). Deaf will hear and blind will see "in a very little while" (Isa 29:17-18). Descendants of evildoers will never be famous (Isa 14:20). Jehoiakim's body would be desecrated by his people and dragged outside the gates of Jerusalem (Jer 22:18-19, 36:30-31). He was carried captive to Babylon and died there (2 Chron 36:5- 6; see also 2 Kings 24:6, which implies he had a peaceful death). Jehoiakim will have no successor on the throne of David; his seed is cursed (Jer 36:30-31). But his son reigned, although briefly (2 Chron 36:8-9, 2 Kings 24:6-8). And Jesus is his descendant (1 Chron 3:16-17, Matt 1:12). Ammonites will be "no more remembered [after 6th century BC]" (Ezek 21:28-32). Ammonites continued to exist into 2nd century AD (and are remembered by this mention in the Bible). The words of Daniel will remain shut up and sealed until the end of time (Dan 12:4, 9). Antiochus IV (the "king of the north") will conquer Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia, and die in an encampment between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea (Dan 11:43-45). He never made those conquests (although he briefly occupied part of Egypt), and he died in Persia. Jerusalem will be destroyed by a flood (Dan 9:26). Christians interpret Daniel's prophecy to refer to the destruction of 70 AD, but there was no flood then, or at any other time. Gabriel says that Jesus will have the "throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever" (Luke 1:32-33). John the Baptist (quoting Isaiah) says that "all flesh" will see God's salvation (Luke 3:6, Isa 52:10, also Luke 2:10). But many humans have never heard of it, and never will. Jesus promises that whoever gives up worldly possessions to follow him will receive a hundredfold "in this time" (Mark 10:30, Luke 18:29-30; Matt 19:29 says they will receive them, but he doesn't say when). Jesus will draw all men to him (John 23:32). Jesus promises the faithful that they can literally move mountains on command (Matt 17:20, 21:21, Mark 11:23). Jesus' followers will do greater works than he (John 14:12). Jesus promises Peter that he will catch a fish with a coin in its mouth (Matt 17:27). It isn't stated that this promise was fulfilled. God (or his angels) will protect the faithful from flood and fire (Isa 43:2); from evil (2 Th 3:3); from harm (1 Pet 3:13); God is a shield and promises protection and safety if you just believe (Deut 33:27, 2 Chr 16:9, Ps 3:3, 4:8, 78:53, 91:2-16, 119:117, 121:1-8, 145:20, Prov 29:25, 30:5, Zeph 3:17, Dan 6:22). Many passages, too numerous to list, promise protection from enemies. God's protection will not be delayed (Isa 48:13). Believers in Christ will be able to drink poison, survive bite of poisonous snakes (Mark 16:17-18, Luke 10:19). Sick will be healed by faithful prayer (James 5:13-15). Jesus says that whoever believes in him will never die, but if they do die, they will live (John 8:51, 11:25-26). Jesus said cock would not crow till Peter had denied him three times (John 13:38), but Mark 14:66-68 says cock crowed after the first. Jesus promised the thief on the cross that they would be together that same day in paradise (Luke 23:43). But that same day Jesus' body was in the tomb and he was preaching to the spirits in "prison" (1 Pet 3:19) and Jesus did not ascend to heaven until after the resurrection. Jesus said he would be in the tomb three days and three nights (Matt 12:40). But he was buried on Friday and had been resurrected by early Sunday, only two nights. Paul was promised that "no man shall set on thee to hurt thee" (Acts 18:10). But he was often hurt (Acts 21:32, 2 Cor 11:23-25). The Second Coming (and the End of the World) was promised by Jesus to be within the generation contemporary with him (Matt 10:7, 23, 16:28, 24:32-34, Mark 9:1, 13:24-30, Luke 9:27, 21:25-32). Paul also said this (1 Thess 4:15, 17, Heb 1:2, 10:37, 9:26 ["now in the end of the world he hath ap- peared"], 1 Cor 7:29; also 1 John 2:18, James 5:8, 1 Pet 4:7 ["end of all things is at hand"]). Jesus says that some of his listeners will "not taste death" until he returns in glory (Matt 16:28, Mark 9:1, 13:30, Luke 9:27). See also Matt 4:17, John 5:25, 12:31, Rev 1:1, 3, 3:11, 22:6-12, on the imminence of the last days ("soon", "shortly"). Luke is the only one to hedge, saying "the end is not by and by" (Luke 21:9, 19:11). Joel said (4th cent. B.C.) that Judgment Day was "near" even then (Joel 3:14, 2:1). Paul and John say that their own time is the end of the world because the signs have already appeared (Heb 9:26, 1 John 2:18). Daniel said the End was when the Book of Daniel was "unsealed" (Dan 12:4).
The following passages claim to be fulfillment of prophecies, but no such prophecies are recorded: John 7:38. "Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." Luke 24:46, 1 Cor 15:34. Messiah would die, be buried, rise on third day. Matt 27:9-10 cites a non-existent passage in Jeremiah, "fulfilled" when Judas takes the 30 pieces of silver and buys a potter's field. (Zech 11:12-13 mentions 30 pieces of silver and a potter, but it is not a prophecy) Matt 2:23. Messiah would be called a Nazarene.
Ps 16:8-10 "fulfilled" at Acts 2:27-28, 13:35-36. You will not leave my soul in Hell. Ps 41:9 "fulfilled" at Acts 1:16. My friend, whom I trusted has lifted up his heel against me. Ps 78:2 "fulfilled" at Matt 13:35. I will open my mouth in parables. Hosea 11:1 "fulfilled" at Matt 2:15. The flight into Egypt. Ps 69:21 at John 19:28. Vinegar to drink. Ps 69:9 at John 2:13-17, Rom 15:3. "The zeal of thine house has eaten me up" = Jesus' cleansing of the temple. Ps 69:25 at Acts 1:18-20. My enemies' habitation be made desolate = Judas' fate. Isaiah 9:1-2 at Matt 5:14-16. Land of Zabulon and Naphthali, which were in darkness, saw light. John 5:46, Luke 24:27. Jesus says (and Phillip at John 1:45) that Moses prophesied of Jesus: Gen 3:5, 15. Eve's seed will bruise serpent's head Gen 12:3, 18:18, 22:18. In seed of Abraham all nations will be blessed Gen 49:10. Judah will reign "until Shiloh come" (?) Deut 18:15. A prophet will come. Num 21:9. Moses raises up the brass serpent = Christ is crucified (John 3:14)
Dogs will lick Ahab's blood. Made 1 Kings 21:19, fulfilled at 22:38 Josiah prophecy made 1 Kings 13:2-, fulfilled 2 Kings 23:16- (Note that most scholars date Kings as contemporary with Josiah.) King comes riding on an ass, the foal of an ass, made at Zech 9:9, fulfilled at Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-40, Matt 21:1-7. Only Matt considered the incident to fulfill this prophecy. If Ps 22:1, 8, 16, 18, are prophecies about the crucifixion of Jesus (his cry from the cross, piercing of hands and feet, casting lots for his garment, etc.), why is the Psalmist speaking to God, if he is God, and saying "I am a worm" (v 6)? And what happened to the bullfight in v 12-? Sennacherib's death by assassination was prophesied at 2 Kings 19:6-7, fulfilled at Isa 37:37-38, 2 Kings 19:37. (But note that 2 Kings was not completed until 200 years after S's death) Jeremiah foretells the death of the false prophet Hananiah (Jer 28). Elijah is to come before the great and terrible day of the Lord, to turn the children to fathers and vice versa (Mal 4:5-6). Elijah did not come - John the Baptist denied that he was Elijah (John 1:21), and Elijah's appearance at Jesus' transfiguration did nothing to turn children to fathers. Jesus' mission was the opposite. He came to turn children against their parents (Matt 10:35, Luke 12:51-53). Micah 5:2 prophesies that a ruler will come out of Bethlehem- Ephratah. Christians say Jesus fulfilled this prophecy by being born in the town Bethlehem (Matt 2:5-6). But v 5 says this ruler will conquer Assyria. Jesus never conquered Assyria and never ruled Israel. And Bethlehem-Ephratah is a man (or a clan), and not an ancestor of Jesus (1 Chron 2:50, 4:4) Isaiah 7:14 at Matt 1:23. A young woman is pregnant and will bear a son named Immanuel (as a sign to King Ahaz re the outcome of his political situation) = birth of Jesus (this prophecy is fulfilled by Isaiah himself, in Isa 8) Isaiah 9:6-7. "Unto us a child is born..." who will be called "The mighty God," the "Prince of Peace," whose government will last "from henceforth" forever. But Jesus did not try to establish a government, said he came not to bring peace (Matt 10:34), thus denying that he fulfilled this prophecy. Isaiah 11:1ff. "a rod out of the stem of Jesse," is claimed to refer to Jesus. But it says "in that day" the animal kingdom will dwell in peace with each other, the wolf with the lamb, etc. Isaiah 53:1ff (the "Suffering Servant" prophecy) is claimed by Christians to prophesy Jesus. However, the Servant is suffering from disease, "stricken" by God (which implies leprosy: Lev 13:3, 9, 20, 2 Kings 15:3), which would not qualify him as an unblemished sacrifice. 53:7 says the Servant was silent before accusers, but Jesus was not silent (John 18:33-37). 53:8 says the Servant was in prison, but Jesus was never in prison. 53:9 says he will be buried with others, but Jesus was buried alone. Many scholars consider the passage to refer to Israel as a nation under king Uzziah, who was leprous. The passage seems to be describing current events, not events to occur centuries later. Jesus is said by Mark (13:2, copied by Luke 19:41-44) to have prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 AD. But both gospels are admitted by scholars to have been written later than 70 AD. Matthew and John do not mention this prophecy. Pentecost (Acts 2:16-21) is claimed to be fulfillment of Joel 2:23ff. But Joel's prophecy is about the return of Judah from the Exile.
Put not trust in princes, nor in the son of man in whom there is no help (Ps 146:3). Cursed is he who is hung on a tree (Deut 21:23, Gal 3:13). The Son of Man is a worm (Job 25:6, Ps 22:6). Deceitful men shall not live out half their days (Ps 55:23). Jesus died at about 33.
In evaluating the importance of the following, remember that God said "Whatever I command, do it; do not add to it or diminish from it" (Deut 12:32). Employees must be paid the same day (Lev 19:13). Love thy neighbor as thyself (Lev 19:18). This is the test of a true Christian (John 13:35). Do not trim the beard (Lev 19:27). Eat no animal fat or blood (Lev 7:23-27). You must wear a blue fringe on your clothing "throughout [your] generations" as a reminder to obey God's commandments (Num 15:38-39). You must write the law on your hands, houseposts and gates (Deut 6:8-9, 11:18, 20). Passover is to be celebrated according to the law "for ever throughout your generations" (Lev 23:14). Also the annual Day of Atonement ritual (Lev 16:29, 34). When God ordered keeping the Sabbath day holy, that day was our Saturday. Most Christians (except for Seventh-Day Adventists) do not keep that day holy. Do not put steps in front of an altar (Ex 20:26). Leave fields and vineyards fallow every seventh year (Ex 23:10- 11). Do not even mention the names of other gods (Ex 23:13). No fire on the Sabbath (Ex 35:3). No sex during menstruation (Lev 15:24, 20:18, Ezek 18:6). Do not charge interest on money lent to fellow believers (Ex 22:25, Ps 15:5). Forgive your debtors every seven years, if they are fellow- believers (Deut 15:1-3). Divorce is forbidden (Mal 2:14-16, Matt 19:6, Mark 10:2-9, 11-12, 1 Cor 7:10, Rom 7:2-3). Wearing clothing of the opposite sex is forbidden (Deut 22:5). Ear-piercing is forbidden (Deut 14:1). Be not righteous over much (Eccl 7:16). Do not talk too much: a fool's voice is known by multitude of words (Eccl 5:3). Priests (and prophets) should not receive money for their services (Mic 3:11). Women must cover the head when praying (1 Cor 11:5-6, 10). Christians should not sue other Christians at law (1 Cor 6:6-7).
Note that Jesus says that even though you may have prophesied and done miracles in his name, if you have not done his "sayings" he will not know you (Matt 7:21-27; cf. Deut 4:2). If your eye offends you, pluck it out; your hand, cut it off (Matt 5:29-30, 18:8-9, Mark 9:43-47). Resist not evil (Matt 5:39). Turn the other cheek if someone strikes you (Matt 5:39). Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you (Matt 5:44). Love one another (1 John 3:10). If someone asks for your coat, give him your cloak also (Matt 5:40). Give whatever someone asks of you, and if something is taken, don't ask for it to be returned (Luke 6:30). Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor (Matt 19:16-21, Mark 10:21, Luke 18:22; giving half may be enough, says Luke 19:2, 8, 9) You must renounce everything you have (Luke 14:33). You must hate your parents and family and your own life (Luke 14:26, Matt 10:37). Do not pray in public, but in private (Matt 6:5-8). Do not lay up earthly treasures (Matt 6:19). Take no thought for food or clothing, or for the morrow; God will provide (Matt 6:25-34). Judge not (Matt 7:1). Cast out the beam from your own eye first (7:5). Soldiers should "do violence to no man" (Luke 3:14). You should be content with your wages (Luke 3:14). (This may only apply to soldiers, since Jesus was answering a question from soldiers.) Forgive 70 times 7 (Matt 18:22). Wash each others' feet (John 3:4-15). Be as perfect as God (Matt 5:48, James 1:4, Gen 17:1, Lev 11:44, 19:2). Christians do not sin; a Christian who sins does not know Jesus (1 John 3:6-9).
River Gihon could not possibly flow from Mesopotamia and encompass Ethiopia (Gen 2:13). The name "Babel" does not come from the Hebrew word balbal, "confuse," but from Babylonian bab- ili, "gate of God," which is a translation of the original Sumerian name Ka-dimirra (Gen 11:9). Ur was not a Chaldean city until 1000 years after Abraham (Gen 11:28, 15:7). Abraham pursued enemies to "Dan" (Gen 14:14). That name was not used geographically until after the conquest (Judg 18:29). Gen 36:31, telling of Jacob and Esau, lists kings of Edom "before there reigned any king over the children of Israel." This must have been written hundreds of years later, after Israel had kings. Joseph tells Pharaoh he comes from the "land of the Hebrews" (Gen 40:15). There was no such land until after the conquest under Joshua. The Egyptian princess names the baby she finds "Moses" because she "drew him out" of the water (Heb meshethi). Why would she make a pun in Hebrew (Ex 2:10)? The birth story of Moses (Exod. 2:1-10), probably recorded during the tenth century B.C., is very similar to the birth account of King Sargon of Agade who lived near the end of the third millennium B.C. No Egyptian record exists mentioning Moses or his devastation of Egypt. Moses refers to "Palestine" (Ex 15:14). No such name was in use then. Law of Moses is the "statutes of God and his laws" (Ex 18:26), but it is clearly copied from Code of Hammurabi, which is ca 1800 BC, hundreds of years before Moses. Priests are mentioned at Ex 19:22-24, but they are not provided for until Ex 28:1. Moses mentions Rabbath, where Og's bedstead is located (Deut 3:11). Moses could not have any knowledge of Rabbath, which was not captured by the Hebrews until David's time, 500 years later (2 Sam 12:26). Jericho and Ai (Josh 8) were both ancient ruins at the time of the conquest of Canaan, according to archaeologists. Jericho's walls were destroyed centuries before Joshua. Kings are referred to at Deut 17:17-19, before Israel had kings. Judges 17:6 says that every man did what he thought right (implying there was no law). But the law had been given at Sinai, according to Ex. The Wilderness is viewed as history at Num 15:32, showing that Numbers was written later. The Sabbath law was unknown when the man gathered sticks at Num 15:32-34. Book of Joshua refers to Book of Jasher in the past, mentioned at 2 Sam 1:18, therefore Joshua must be post-David. Captivity is mentioned at Judg 18:30, making it post-Exile. David took Goliath's head to Jerusalem (1 Sam 17:54). But Jerusalem was not captured until 7 years after David became king (2 Sam 5). David paid 600 shekels of gold for the threshing floor (1 Chron 21:22-25). But shekels of gold were not yet used in business transactions (this is the only use of the term in the OT). God says he had never chosen any ruler for Israel but David (2 Chron 6:5). But he had chosen Saul. David eats of shewbread (1 Sam 21:1-6) even though that is forbidden in Lev 24:9. Psalm 18:6 mentions the temple, thus cannot be by David. Defeat of Sennacherib did not happen at Jerusalem, but at Pelusium, near Egypt, and Jews were not involved, contrary to 2 Kings 19. Ninevah was so large it took three days to cross, i.e. about 60 miles (Jonah 3:3-4). Yet it had only 120,000 inhabitants, making a population density of of about 42 people per square mile for a city. Daniel's account of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar is historically inaccurate; Nebuchadnezzar was never mad. Belshazzar, whom he says was king, was never king, but only regent. Belshazzar was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but of Nabo- nidus. Babylon was not conquered by Darius the Mede, but by Cyrus the Great, in 539 BC (Dan 5:31). Darius the Mede is unknown to history. Chronology of the empires of the Medes and Persians is historically incorrect in Isa 13:17, 21:2, Jer 51:11, 28 (Pfeiffer, Intro to OT, p. 757). Esther (and all the characters in the Book of Esther except Ahasuerus [= Xerxes]) is unknown to history, even though it claims that its events are "written in the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia" (Est 10:2). The Book of Esther is not quoted by any pre-Christian writer, nor mentioned in NT, nor quoted by early Christian fathers. Mordecai became prime minister to Xerxes (Ahasuerus), who reigned 485-465 BC. But Mordecai had come to Babylon in 596 BC with Jehoiachin (Esther 2:5-6). The office of "High priest" of Mark 2:26 did not exist in David's day. None of the Gospels are mentioned by early Christians, e.g. Paul, Pope Clement I (97 AD), Justin Martyr (140 AD). The first mention of any Gospel is by Irenaeus (185 AD). There is no mountain from which one can see all the kingdoms of the world (Matt 4:8, Luke 4:5). Jesus as a historical figure is not mentioned by any contemporary non-Christian writers. Matt 2:1 says Jesus was born in the reign of Herod, who died 4 BC. Luke 2:2 says he was born during Quirinus' governorship of Syria, which began 6 AD. Thieves were never punished by crucifixion (Matt 27:38, 44). No crucifixion would have been performed on the eve of Passover. There is no contemporary historical confirmation of darkness covering the earth at the crucifixion (Matt 27:35, Luke 23:44). There is no contemporary historical confirmation of the slaughter of the innocents by Herod (Matt 2:16-18). Josephus, whose history contains much criticism of Herod, does not mention it. There is no contemporary historical confirmation of the graves opening and the dead appearing to many at the crucifixion (Matt 27:52-53).
All of the following assertions made in the Bible are scientifically false or impossible: The earth is the center of the solar system. This teaching of the Bible was the basis for the persecution of Galileo by the church. Earth is about 6000 years old, as calculated from the genealogies in Gen and Luke 3. Earth was created in seven days (Gen 1). Sun and stars were created after the earth was created (Gen 1:16). There was "night" and "day" and "light" on the earth before sun was created (Gen 1:3-5, 14-18). Plant life existed before sunlight existed (Gen 1:11-18). Birds were created before land animals (Gen 1:20, 24). Heaven is above, earth below (Jer 10:11, 31:37, 1 Thess 4:16-17). The sky is solid, a "firmament" (Gen 1:6, Job 22:14, Isa 40:22). It has windows through which the rain falls (Gen 7:11). Earth has four corners, and floats on water (Isa 11:12, Ps 24:2, 136:6, Rev 7:1). Earth is a circular disk (Isa 40:22). Earth is flat (these verses were used for centuries by the church to prove this: 1 Chron 16:30, Ps 93:1, Jer 10:13, Dan 4:10- 11, Zech 9:10, Matt 4:8, Rev 1:7). Earth does not move (Ps 93:1, 96:10, 104:5, 1 Chr 16:30). Death or illness is caused by sin (Gen 2:17, Lev 26:16, 21, 25, Deut 7:15, 28:21, 27, James 1:15). Disease and mental illness are caused by an "evil spirit" or "possession" (Mark 1:21-34, 2:6-9, 1 Sam 16:23, 18:10, 19:9). Leprosy can be cured by following the instructions in Lev 13, 14. Seed must "die" before it grows (John 12:24, 1 Cor 15:36). Snakes eat dust (Gen 3:14, Isa 65:25). Every beast shall fear man (Gen 9:2). The ostrich abandons her eggs (Job 39:13-16). A river divides into four rivers and they flow in different directions (Gen 2:10). There was no rainbow before Noah's time (Gen 9:11-17). Thunder is God's voice (Ps 77:18). Earthquakes are caused by God's anger (Job 9:5, Ps 18:7, 77:18, 97:4, Isa 2:19, 24:20, 29:6, Jer 10:10, Ezek 38:20, Nah 1:5). Or by his voice (Heb 12:26). Or by Lucifer (Isa 14:16). Earthquakes can occur in heaven (Heb 12:26). Rainwater does not return to the sky (Isa 55:10). Blood is "life" (Deut 12:23). Breath is "life" (Gen 2:7). Value of pi = 3 (1 Kings 7:23, 2 Chron 4:2). Moon will turn to blood (Acts 2:20). The moon has a light of its own (Isa 13:10, Matt 24:29). The stars can be made to fall (Matt 24:29, Mark 13:25). The bat is a bird (Lev 11:13,19, Deut 14:11, 18). The whale is a fish (Jonah 1:17, Matt 12:40). Whales were created before insects (Gen 1:21-24). Jonah is able to survive three days and nights in the belly of the fish without oxygen and without being digested (Jonah 1:17, 2:10). The hare chews the cud (Lev 11:5-6). Some fowl and insects have four legs (Lev 11:20-23). Levi existed as a person in the loins of his great-grandfather (Heb 7:9-10). Animals can speak: serpent in Garden of Eden (Gen 3), Balaam's ass (Num 22:28). Cattle will produce striped offspring if they see striped poles when breeding (Gen 30:37-41). Sun and moon "stand still" (Josh 10:12-14). Sun's shadow goes back 10 degrees as a sign to Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:8-11). Bees will build a hive in a dead carcass (Judg 14:8). An iron axe floats on water (2 Kings 6:5-7). Eagles will be attracted by a dead carcass (Matt 24:28). Eagles do not eat carrion. Salt can lose its saltiness (Matt 5:13, Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34). Jesus expects the fig tree to bear fruit at Passover (March/April), when it cannot do so in Palestine until May (Matt 21:19-21, Mark 11:13-21). A good tree always produces good fruit, a corrupt tree cannot (Matt 7:17-20). There is nothing new under the sun. Eccl 1:9
The Bible is so full of "tall tales" and exaggeration that any listing will be incomplete. Hundreds of examples have already been given in other sections. These are only those items which did not fit into a previous category. Men at one time lived to be 800 years old (Gen, passim). Population of Israel at the time of the Conquest must have been two to three million (Ex 12:37, Num 1:45-46). They had all descended in about four generations from 70 (or 75) individuals (Ex 6:16-20). But the seven nations in Pales- tine at the time of the conquest were each greater, giving Palestine a population of over 14 million, which is improba- ble (Deut 7:1). Dan had one son (Gen 46:23), but three generations later there are 62,700 Danites of military age (Num 1:39; Num 26:43 gives the number as 64,400). Levi's descendants: three sons, first generation (Gen 46:11, Ex 6:16); eight grandsons, second generation (Ex 6:17-19); eight (or a few more) great-grandsons, third generation. The fourth generation numbers 8580 males (Num 4:34-48). The quail as described in Num 11:31-32 would have covered 780 square miles, three feet deep. The size camp of the Israelites has been estimated as 12 miles across. Each person was required to carry his waste outside the camp, meaning a daily walk of 12 miles for anyone near the center. Moses gathered all the congregation of Israel to the door of the tabernacle (Lev 8:3-4), numbering 600,000 men (Ex 12:37, Num 1:45-46). The courtyard of the tabernacle measured 100 by 50 cubits (about 150 by 75 feet; Ex 27:11-12). Moses spread the word to 2 million people in a single day (Ex 12; compare Josh 8:33-35). Benjamin's 700 warriors could hit a hair with a slingshot (Judg 20:16). Paul says that the Gospel (of Jesus) was preached "to every creature which is under heaven" (Col 1:23). Lot's wife becomes a pillar of salt (Gen 19:26).