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May 13, 2011

29 Did Jesus tell his disciples to carry a staff?

Mr. Mark vs Mr. Luke

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus commands the disciples:
To travel with a staff and sandals

Hold on there! 

In Luke, Jesus tells his disciples:
Don’t go with a staff and sandals

In Mark, Jesus sends out the Twelve with staff and sandals

Mark 6:8 These were his instructions: Take nothing for the journey except a staff-—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. 

But in Luke, Jesus sends them out with neither staff nor sandals

Luke 9:3 He told them: Take nothing for the journey--no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.

Luke 22:35 Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered. 

Recap: Mark says Jesus tells his disciples to go forth with a staff and sandals. But Luke says he orders his disciples to do the opposite. It seems one of the authors made a teensy-weensy mistake.

Related post:
31 Did Jesus tell his disciples to get a sword

May 9, 2011

28 Can only Jesus forgive sins

Acts vs Psalm

The New Testament Book of Acts tells us:
That Jesus alone forgives sin

Wait a minute!

The Old Testament Psalm 103 tells us:
That God can
forgive sin already

In the New Testament, only Jesus forgives sin. For example, in a letter by the apostle Paul, Paul says:

Colossians 1:14 The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

And the New Testament Book of Acts also tells everybody: 

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

But the Old Testament Yahweh already forgives sin 

Psalm 103:2 Praise the LORD [Yahweh], O my soul, and forget not all his benefits -- 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. ... 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel. ... 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us

Recap: The New Testament teaches the doctrine that only Jesus forgives sins. But the Old Testament includes a guide to remove (forgive) sin. It was in place already centuries before Jesus. Thus Acts vs Psalm.

May 8, 2011

27 Is God’s anger forever, sort of

Jeremiah vs Psalm

Jeremiah the prophet says:
That God’s anger burns forever

 Hold on!

Psalm 103 says:
That God’s anger is only temporary

In the Old Testament, Jeremiah gives a lecture, saying God’s anger goes on forever

Jeremiah 17:4 Through your own fault you [Judea] will lose the inheritance I gave you. I will enslave you to your enemies in a land you do not know, for you have kindled my anger, and it will burn forever.

However, the Old Testament Psalm 103 says God doesn’t harbor his anger forever

Psalm 103:7 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 8 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever.

Recap: God is angry forever, but it isn't really that way ... um. Thus Jeremiah vs Psalm.

May 7, 2011

26 Did God meet his match in iron chariots

Judges vs Jeremiah
The Old Testament Book of Judges says:
That although the soldiers had God on their side, the enemy defeated them with iron chariots

Hold it!

In the Old Testament, Jeremiah the prophet declares:
That the Lord can do anything

In Judges, iron chariots overcame the soldiers that had God on their side

Judges The Lord was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.

But elsewhere the scripture says that God can do anything

Jeremiah I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

Recap: God can do anything except stand against iron chariots. Thus Judges vs Jeremiah.

May 6, 2011

25 Did Satan carry Jesus to the Temple first

Mr. Matthew vs Mr. Luke

The Gospel of Matthew says:
That the Devil took Jesus to the Temple top first

But hold on!

The Gospel of Luke says:
That the Devil took him to a mountain top first

In Matthew, Jesus and the Devil head to a Temple top first and then to a mountain top.

The Devil sweeps Jesus away to Jerusalem’s Temple before transporting Jesus to a mountain

Matthew 4:5 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. ... 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ... 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.

But Luke has it the other way around. They head to a mountain top first and then to the Temple.
The Devil transports Jesus to a mountain or high place and then carries him to the Temple

Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. ... 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. ... 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.

Recap: Matthew tells it one way and Luke the other way. The supposedly inspired texts present different sequences and something tells me it's because they aren't inspired.

May 4, 2011

24 Wasn't God pleased he had created humans

  Genesis vs Genesis 

In the Old Testament Book of Genesis, God was satisfied that he created humankind 
  Hold on!

Later in Genesis:
God was sorry that he created them

In Genesis 1, God took satisfaction in having created mankind; it was a good idea 

Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day. 

But in Genesis 6, God was dissatisfied; he thought that mankind was a mistake 

Genesis 6:6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth.

Recap: Genesis says God made humans and was satisfied with his work. But later God was sorry he ever made them, so he planned to undo it with a flood.

It appears that God didn't expect humans to go bad. But I would expect an all-knowing deity expected it. God, armed with the knowledge of the future, wouldn't need to change his mind about them. 

May 2, 2011

23 Did David or some other guy slay Goliath

1 Samuel vs 2 Samuel

The Old Testament book 1 Samuel says:
David slew Goliath the giant

Uh, wait!

The book 2 Samuel says:
A different man slew Goliath the giant

In 1 Samuel, David killed the giant, Goliath

1 Samuel David triumphed over the Philistine [Goliath] with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

But in 2 Samuel, Elhanan killed him

2 Samuel In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod.

Recap: Biblicists say the other guy actually slew the brother of Goliath. And they claim that an ancient copyist could be blamed for the textual mistake. But I say that if a scribe erred, it's so glaring an error I can only wonder why another scribe never took the time to put it right.

May 1, 2011

22 Does God sort of lie sometimes

Titus vs  2 Thessalonians

The New Testament letter Titus states:
That the Biblical God doesn’t lie
But wait!

The New Testament letter 2 Thessalonians states:
That the Biblical God sends delusion

Titus declares that God doesn’t lie

Titus 1:2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.

But 2 Thessalonians declares that God sends powerful delusion

2 Thessalonians They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.

Recap: It seems to me that a delusion and a lie come to the same thing.  

21 Will the righteous always thrive

Psalm vs Isaiah

The Psalm promises:
The righteous will flourish

  But wait! 

                             Isaiah says:
                             The righteous are perishing

The Old Testament Psalm 92 says that the righteous will thrive into old age

Psalm 92:12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.

But in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, Isaiah the prophet says the contemporary righteous are perishing so as to spare them from evil

Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. 2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.

Recap: Well, okay, but the righteous couldn't continue to flourish if they perished. I say that Isaiah sounded as if he was rationalizing. 

20 Did the Holy Spirit contradict itself

This time Acts vs Acts

In the New Testament Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit urged the apostle Paul:
To go to Jerusalem

But wait a minute!
In Acts, the Holy Spirit urged the disciples:
To tell Paul not to go to that city

In Acts the Holy Spirit compelled Paul to go to Jerusalem. So Paul set out on his journey

Acts 20:22 And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.

But when Paul was en route, the Holy Spirit told the disciples to urge him not to go 

Acts 21:4 Through the Spirit they [disciples] urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.

Recap: Yes, Paul says the Spirit compelled him to go. But the identical Spirit had others advise him not to go. Thus Acts vs Acts.

Look it up:
Acts 20:22