God’s Steadfast and Ever-Changing Word: A Look at Biblical Contradictions

Before I say anything else, let’s start off with a short game about Biblical contradictions.

That short game says what I never could put into words.

Even if you don’t view the Bible as an instrument of God’s breath and soul, you can still view it as a historical document. It does, after all, have a lot to say about the people of the time. About how scared, easily influenced, brutal, vengeful and ignorant they were. Though I think a healthy dose of science would have prevented much of the Bible from ever being written, the fact that it remains today gives us something to look, and sometimes laugh at.

The Bible was not written by God. This is obvious. Even though God has a hand, he apparently does not have a pen. Therefore, he had to settle for the next best thing; channeling the message through his flawed creation. So man sat down to put to paper all of the things that God Almighty was “saying” to them.

I constantly hear people say that it is impossible to understand God’s plan. I suppose that did not apply to the lucky few whose names are in the table o’ contents of Ye Goode Booke. They were all able to flawlessly comprehend and scribe The Truth©. Of course, even if they were able to interpret the Lord 100% accurately, there are still numerous factors to consider: the omission of certain gospels by ecumenical councils, the various and subsequent translations from Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin into the languages of today not to mention the unknown mental stability of the authors themselves.

Having been to the land of Israel and having seen many of the sites where Biblical events took place, I have no doubt that there is historical accuracy in parts of the Bible. But when you play 70 years of the “telephone game”, publish works without appropriate fact checking or source citations, and leave it all open to interpretation by easily manipulated people 2000 years later, you end up with a shit storm of Biblical proportions.

Thou Shalt Not Kill… Unless

Merriam-Webster provides the following two definitions for “evangelism”:
1. The winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ
2. Militant or crusading zeal
While I’ve got my nose in the dictionary, “zeal” is defined as “eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something.”

Keep those definitions in mind as you ponder the following nugget. Left Behind Games, yes, brought to you by the same folks responsible for the Left Behind book series, created a game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, in which characters battle infidels in their pursuit of the Antichrist.

George Carlin once commented on the sixth commandment stating that Christians have never really had a problem killing. It just depends on who’s doing the killing and who’s getting killed. This game proves that point irrevocably.

Eternal Forces sets evangelical warriors against the forces of the Antichrist. Think of it as Gideon Theft Auto. As a member of the Tribulation Force Jesus faction, you patrol the streets and kill baddies. Here’s what baked my ziti: if you “excessively kill”, you can redeem yourself through prayer. Ain’t that nifty?

I’m no censor. I love the Grand Theft Auto series, and I believe the key to enjoying these video games is to have a firm grip on what is real and what is fiction. For younger gamers, I believe it is the job of a good parent to instill within their children the differences between the two. I personally don’t see that to be a monumental task. “Junior, the things this video game shows are just for play. Don’t do them at the Y or baseball practice.”

The danger with this game, is that it takes an already hostile view of non-Christians that exists in many Christian households and amplifies non-religious sympathies through the righteous killing of those that stand in the way of God’s message of love.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: You are a mafia go-to boy that seeks to protect himself after a botched drug deal. Daily activities include coercing jury members, selling drugs, eliminating adversaries, and visiting the occasional prostitute. I like the game because of the non-linear gameplay, exciting missions, and catchy 80’s music. For me, all genius aside, it is easy to differentiate this game from my daily goings-on because it is completely unlike my life. I don’t deal drugs, I don’t kill mob bosses, and I don’t utilize prostitutes.

Left Behind: Eternal Forces: You are a modern day crusader who was not raptured. You rally with fellow Christians to battle the evil followers of the Antichrist. Kill too much? Drop a prayer and all is forgiven. Though this game presents its own unrealistic setting, it embodies an ideal that many around the globe hold very dear: Jesus is my homeboy and if you’re not with him, you’re against him. Still a video game, but could you see how the scenarios in this game might be a little more easily internalized?

Edit: Thanks to @RevJayDub for the corrected video link!

Lineage Inconsistencies

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

God brought all of the animals to Adam and he named them and such. I suppose God sorted all of the animals out so as to differentiate between the similar species such as Lampropeltis getula getula and Lampropeltis getula goini.

Genesis 2:21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was asleep, he took part of the man’s side and closed up the place with flesh. 2:22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

That’s who we know as Eve.

Adam and Eve had two sons:Cain, and Abel.

Cain killed Abel. God then spoke to Cain and made him feel bad for what he had done. Cain then said something that would make people question the bible years later. God punished him by giving him a lifelong timeout.

Genesis 4:14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 4:15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

Who are these people that would be killing Cain? Who is God protecting Cain from? Who would God wreak vengeance upon sevenfold? There are only two other human beings on the earth at this time, his mother and father. True Adam and Eve had another son to replace the one Cain whacked.

Genesis 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

Were there other people on the earth? If so, where the hell did they come from? Why are they not mentioned. Seeing as the first “few days” are chronicled pretty well, I’d think these important others would be mentioned, if not by name, at least in recognition of their existence.

So, I think most logical people can agree that Genesis is a fairy tale full of holes. To believe in it requires a LOT of faith. Putting that much stock in the unprovable and unverifiable, to me, is akin to claiming steadfastly that there is a leprechaun that puts gold nuggets on your kitchen table while you sleep, but removes them right before you wake.

One could point to the fact that God created the two great lights, the sun and moon, and the stars, when in fact, the sun is a star, and the moon simply reflects the light of the sun. They didn’t have science when they wrote the bible, so I wouldn’t expect there to be much truth.

Do I know where the universe came from? More to the point, does knowing that help me lead my life so that I can achieve my goals? No. However, as science and technology continue to make the impossible possible, religion will be filled with the holes that science was once filled with. The mysteries of lightning, the changing of the seasons, eclipses, volcanic eruptions, electricity, and DNA will one day be the mysteries of a boat that held all the animals of the world, a man receiving rules on a mountain (all by himself), and a “virgin birth”.