SAB Contradictions #2

As previously, I’m addressing a contradiction from the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, which comes up with supposed Biblical discontinuities. This week, I’m refuting this page, which argues about the creator of heaven and earth.

Essentially, the page argues that some passages claim the God did it, while others claim the Jesus did it, and yet more passages claim that both of them did it together.

So which one is right? How to resolve the contradiction?

Well, as Christians we know that Jesus is God. This is the doctrine of the Trinity, which states that God is three persons in one. Don’t try to understand this; you can’t. It’s an eternal concept which we will understand only when we are made like God (see 1 Corinthians 13:12).

The atheist, however, must necessarily have this proven beyond a doubt, and so we must prove Jesus’ deity.

Here are a few examples of proofs of Jesus’ deity: first, He proclaimed multiple times in various language that ‘I and the Father are one’ or that He had been alive before Abraham, both clear claims to deity (John 8:58, 10:30). Secondly, Revelation 19:10 is a direct command to John to worship only God. To take an example, John himself worships God in Matthew 14:33, but is not rebuked, which Jesus would do if He were not God. Finally, Jesus was capable of paying for our sins. An infinite debt can be resolved only by an infinite saviour, and a Jesus who is not God cannot be that.

So if Jesus is God (and He definitely is) then the contradiction is resolved, right?

Not quite yet. Isaiah 44:24 is brought up as stating that God created alonenot with another being. The triune God is the only explanation for this.

Next time, I’ll address the creation of the plants.

Lions in the Streets

The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!’

 

It’s easy to mock this sluggard (an old English word for a lazy, slothful person) without thinking about it. His excuse for staying indoors is pitiful. A quick glance outside will tell you that there’s no lion out there. It’s obvious that he’s just trying to get out of work.

So…why is this verse here?

Well, the Bible has a habit of exposing our flaws. I’m often in the middle of a Bible passage and scoffing at the Israelites’ folly or the disciples’ confusion when I realise that it’s there to apply to me.

So, in context of that, this passage implies that we have our own lions in the streets. That we make excuses to avoid going out and proclaiming the gospel.

What’s interesting is that, when they are mentioned in the Bible, lions aren’t typically a sign of evil. Rather, they are a symbol of God – in all His fearsome judgement. It is a symbol of God coming to redeem His people and humble the scoffers. In fact, this symbolism forms the basis of Aslan’s character in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. And with that knowledge, the meaning of this passage is very clear.

When we fear lions in the streets, what we are really afraid of is being found guilty before Jesus.

Selective Omniscience

This article was originally from my other blog, at aesthus.wordpress.com.


Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

These verses are I Corinthians 6:9-10, ESV (emphases mine), and they have recently become some of the most contentiously translated verses in the Bible.

The problem, of course, is the phrase, ‘men who practice homosexuality’, which in the original text is the Greek word arsenokoitai. Before we translate this, it helps to know that it also pops up in I Timothy 1:9-10, so let’s consult that as well.

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine…

Now, what does arsenokatoi mean?

Well, it turns out that it appears in a different form in Leviticus 20:13 as arsenos (man) and koiten (lay/mat/bed). Paul combined those two words into one which literally means ‘man lay’, or more accurately, ‘men who lay with men’.

And it is most certainly not a mistranslation. The other meaning of koiten – κοίτη – is litter. That doesn’t seem very ambiguous to me.


The other argument against this translation is the fact that homosexuality was rare to nonexistent within Christianity in the first century AD, and Paul wouldn’t have addressed it.

Oh, about that…God is omniscient.

He knows everything.

If He can inspire the Bible, send fire from heaven, and save the world through His Son’s death, are you telling me He can’t see into the future?

After all those prophecies?

That’s the trap of selective omniscience, and it can be hard to avoid. God is relatable, but He’s still ultimately powerful.


Note: I Corinthians 6:9 is not suggesting that those who have at one point in the past done these things cannot enter heaven; it states that they must repent first. There’s a silent unrepentant right before the list.


Thanks to Increasing Learning for this excellent article about arsenokoitai and its meaning.