The Bible cannot be the “Word of God” if it contains obvious irrefutable evidence of error. In this section we give several instances (of hundreds) found in the New Testament that describe the same event in two or more contradictory versions.
Multiple Versions of the Truth?
Here are four events that have two or more versions of events presented in the New Testament.
1. Two Dates of Birth?
Matthew and Luke have two very different versions of the birth of Jesus.
Matthew: Jesus was born under the reign of Herod who died in 4 BC.
Luke: Jesus was born after Cyrenius instituted the tax (6 AD) that Caesar Augustus decreed.
2. Four Versions of the Resurrection
There are four different versions of the resurrection. Each writer of the Gospels has a different number of people present at the tombstone: Angels, guards, Mary, Mary Magdalena, all appear at different times depending on the author. Here is one conflicting verse from each Gospel.
For a complete analysis of these variations see the Bible is wrong about Jesus’ birth
3. Two Genealogies
There are 28 generations listed from David to Jesus in Matthew’s (Matt 1:1-16) genealogy, while Luke’s (3:23-31) has 43. Except for David at one end and Jesus at the other, only three names in the two lists that are the same.
|David to Jesus|
|Matthew 1:6-16||Luke 3:21-31|
However Luke does not stop at David. Luke goes on to give the genealogy from David all the way back to Adam! We really wonder, how it is possible that Luke and Matthew were able to find and record their genealogies of Jesus., given the difficulty that we have today with tracing our own genealogies. They did not even have access to the Mormon’s excellent computerized genealogy database as we do. The truth is they copied them from ancient sources that were themselves totally made up of whole cloth since both Adam and David are figments of the Jewish collective imagination.
Nonetheless the point is made, the Bible cannot be the word of God if it contains obvious irrefutable evidence of error. Which genealogy is correct? You shouldn’t have to ask if the Bible really was the word of god.
4. A donkey AND an ass?
In these passages we see that Matthew has Jesus arriving in Jerusalem on two animals at once. Matthew could not possibly have seen this. Neither Mark nor Luke nor John say that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on two animals. Matthew in his zeal to show that Jesus arrival fulfills Scriptures misunderstands the form of Hebrew poetry used in Zachariah 9:9.
5. Sermon On The Mount? No! On the Plains?
Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
Luke 6: 17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him
Who recorded these passages?
The passages referenced below are presented in the Bible as literal truth, yet there is no way according to the situation described in the Bible, that anyone could have heard or recorded these conversations even at the time the words were uttered.
Who Heard Jesus Prayer?
Here is another example of where Luke demonstrates that the whole story is fabricated. Here are the alleged words of Jesus just before going onto the cross:
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. Luke 22:41-42
A stones throw is pretty far. Why go a “stone’s cast away? To get privacy! Jesus advocated private and quiet prayer… as in a closet! (Matthew 6:5). Since no one was around to hear Jesus say those words, how does Luke know that those words were spoken? How did Luke know to write those words if he, nor anyone else, was not a witness to them? He made them up! If we have this obvious lie right here in the middle of the most important event in Christianity, how can we trust anything Luke says?
Who Heard Jesus Conversation With Fellow Criminal?
Luke 23:39-43 is a transcript of a conversation between a fellow criminal and Jesus:
But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Think about it. The three are high on the cross, the “multitudes are crying out for Jesus’ blood (Why? just a chapter ago, they were giving out with the Hosannas), Jesus and the other criminal are chatting it up while in agony. Who heard this conversation? How could it possibly have been heard above the noise of the multitudes? Who so precisely recorded the conversation? This tall tale was finally recorded some 50 years after it allegedly happened. If you want to claim that the Holy Spirit was in charge of getting this accurately recorded, then you have to explain why Matthew and Mark have different stories.
Conversation With The Devil
Both Matthew and Luke give snippets of conversation between Jesus and the devil. Who recorded these conversations? Jesus and the devil were the only two entities present according to both Matthew and Luke. How did Matthew and/or Luke know what conversation took place between Jesus and the devil?
Other Proofs of Human Authorship
Jesus Believes Old Testament Speaks Truth
We have seen that the Old Testament is filled with errors; i.e The Bible Is So Wrong About So Much, Why Do You Believe Any Of It“. However, Jesus quotes extensively from the Old Testament and believes it to be true. Since Jesus is God and God is omniscient how is it possible that Jesus quotes from the Old Testament, knowing that it is wrong? How can the omniscient God/Jesus/Holy Spirit use passages from the Old Testament when it knows that they are wrong?
- Historical Reliability
- Scientific Reliability
- Old Testament Canonicity1
- Jesus made reference to the Law and Prophets as a unit, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill,” (Matt. 5:17).
- Jesus explained the Scriptures, “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures,” ( Luke 24:27).
- Jesus referred to the entire Canon by mentioning all the prophets from Abel (from Genesis, the first book and first martyr) to Zechariah (Chronicles, the last book, and the last martyr) (Matt. 23:35).2
- Jesus even made reference to the wrong set of 10 Commandments. See The Bible is Wrong About the 10 Commandments.
- Exodus 20:13/Deut 5:17 – You shall not commit murder (referenced twice)
- Exodus 20:14/Deut 5:18 – You shall not commit adultery (referenced twice)
- Exodus 20:12/Deut 5:16 – Honor your father and mother (referenced twice)
- Exodus 20:15/Deut 5:19 – You shall not steal (referenced once)
- Exodus 20:16/Deut 5:20 – You shall not give false testimony (referenced once)
- Source of Authority
- “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished,” (Matt. 5:18).
- “The Scripture cannot be broken,” (NASB, Jn. 10:35).
- Source of Doctrinal Authority
- Jesus appealed to Scripture when correcting false doctrine stating, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God,” (Matt. 22:29).
Jesus Increases in Wisdom
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52.
Since Jesus is God, how is it possible for him to increase in wisdom? How is it possible for him to increase in favor with himself?
No Record of Answered Prayers
The bible contains at least 14 passages where Jesus promises, unequivocally, that prayers will be answered. Here is one example that will be used to demonstrate the point.
And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name … they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover. Mark 16:17-18:
If Jesus had really said those words, people would have tried healing every sick person around them with prayer. There would have been thousands of people praising and proving that Jesus was right. Yet there is not a single recorded instance of true miracles that came about due to prayer around the times of Jesus. True miracles, not anecdotal, unproven incidents of Aunt Tillie recovering her hearing. A true miracle is a cleft palate being instantly cured; something on that order.
In addition, Jesus could not possibly have said that to a crowd. They could have called him out in an instant as their sick children died in spite of their prayer. They would have seen that they could not really lay on hands to heal the sick. But note, that passage was written AT LEAST 40 years after Jesus allegedly said it. There was no one at that time that could challenge Marks Jesus “quote” so it was safe to attribute it to Jesus.
Fig Tree Fiction
The fig tree fable is a minor story but it illustrates the point that God did not dictate/direct/determine/inspire/etc anything written in the Bible. Mark, then Matthew relate the Fig Tree fable. Mark points out that it was not the season for figs; making Jesus look like an idiot. Matthew conveniently omits that dirty little fact. This makes Jesus’ reaction after not finding fruit on the tree more credible.
Note also how Matthew had sensationalized the miracle. He made the fig tree wither immediately which was instantly noted by the disciples. In Mark’s account, the tree was found to be withered by the disciples only on the next morning. Again, we ask the question: how can we trust the gospel accounts of miracles when we see the authors enhancing and altering their stories to suit their own theologies and preconceptions?
If the Bible is the word of God, there should be no erroneous prophecy in it. But, in fact, the Bible abounds in failed prophecy. Here is just a partial listing.
- 1 Unfulfilled prophecies of denial
- 1.1 Destruction of Tyre
- 1.2 Destruction of Egypt
- 1.3 Nile will dry up
- 1.4 Triumph of Judah
- 1.5 Isaiah predicts the Nile drying up, Sea draining
- 1.6 Egyptians will speak the dead language of Canaan
- 1.7 Failure to smite Jebus
- 1.8 Israelites will be unbeatable
- 1.9 Land promises
- 1.10 Israel will live in peace with its neighbors
- 1.11 Davidic line will endure forever
- 2 Unfulfilled prophecies of retrodiction
- 3 Fulfilled “prophecies” that were never prophesized
- 4 Unfulfilled prophecies of vagueness
5 In addition, all of Jesus’ promises about the power of prayer can be seen as prophecy; i.e. Jesus is prophesying/promising what will happen if you just believe in the father and pray. Again, nothing comes of those promises.
Paul and John VS Matthew, Mark, Luke
Although Paul never quotes Jesus, his writings are relevant to this topic because it appears that John got much of his “teaching” from Paul; especially the salvation through faith concept. This in itself is additional proof of the central theme of this website; i.e. The Bible is So Wrong About So Much. Either the picture painted by Matthew, Mark and Luke is correct , or Paul and John are correct. Most likely they are all wrong. The entirety of the New Testament is a set of selected writings (by the council of Nicea) that best market Jesus to the illiterate superstitious unwashed masses.
Why should it be so difficult to understand the word of God?
If the number one predictor of which God someone believes in is what culture and time period they happened to have been born in, what does that say about the actual existence of a deity?
Shouldn’t a universal, ubiquitous, loving, caring god have revealed herself in a consistent manner throughout the ages? To all the people of the world in all times?
Not just to a few chosen tribesman 3500 years ago in a very small part of the world.
These chosen tribesman were left with the task of using word-of-mouth to prevent the rest of the world’s people from suffering eternal damnation. But they didn’t care about us. All they cared about was killing the people occupying the lands that gawd had promised them.
Why are there a thousand religions that think they have the “correct” doctrine? Why are there so many different sects of Christianity? If God/Jesus truly loved you, he would not give you mixed messages. Why doesn’t he let you know about your misunderstandings? He could stop the in-fighting over interpretation instantly, but He doesn’t. The “word” of God should be clear for all mankind for all eternity.
The overwhelming number of contradictions, anachronisms, inconsistencies, scientific impossibilities, logical impossibilities, incorrect historical references and false authorship’s proves the Bible cannot possibly be the inerrant word of an omniscient God.