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Jun 16, 2011

39 Can God really see everywhere

Now Proverbs vs Genesis

The Old Testament books Proverbs and Jeremiah say:
That the Lord has eyes


But hold it! 

The Old Testament books Genesis and Job say something 
                     That God is not everywhere.

In Proverbs, God sees everything everywhere

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Jeremiah the prophet says God is everywhere and sees everything, too

Jeremiah 23:24 Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD.

But Genesis says Adam and Eve go out from the Lord's presence to hide from him!

Genesis 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

Genesis says Cain goes out from the Lord’s presence, too 

Genesis 4:16 So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Further, the Book of Job says God asks Satan where he's been as if he doesn’t know

Job 2:1 When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the LORD again, Satan was there among them. 2 The LORD asked him, "Where have you been?" Satan answered, "I have been walking here and there, roaming around the earth.”

Recap: The Bible teaches that the eyes of God see everywhere. But elsewhere it says that God needs to ask where somebody is. Thus Proverbs vs Genesis.

Related post:
40 Does God really know every thought and deed

Jun 15, 2011

38 Did helpful biblical books fall by the wayside

The Bible mentions several helpful books.

  But wait a sec!

It seems those books weren't really worth
                                        preserving, after all.

For example, the Old Testament book Numbers mentions a book. But even though it values the book, it's lost today

Numbers 21:14 The Book of the LORD's Battles speaks of ...

Thus a copy of The Book of the Lord’s Battles hasn't survived--as if it wasn't really worth preserving. 

The Old Testament book Joshua mentions the Book of Jashar 

Joshua 10:13 The sun stood still and the moon did not move until the nation had conquered its enemies. This is written in The Book of Jashar. The sun stood still in the middle of the sky and did not go down for a whole day.

Although the Bible lauds it, the book has gone extinct--as if it wasn't worth preserving for posterity.

The Old Testament book 1 Chronicles mentions a relatively important book, too, the records of the three prophets

1 Chronicles 29:29 The history of King David from beginning to end is recorded in the records of the three prophets, Samuel, Nathan, and Gad.

Evidently the records of the three prophets has disappeared. 1 Chronicles itself was preserved through thick and thin. But the record of the three prophets went by the wayside. It lost its value in spite of the fact that the Bible said it was helpful.

Lastly the Old Testament book 2 Chronicles mentions not one but three books of significance

2 Chronicles 9:29 The rest of the history of Solomon from beginning to end is recorded in The History of Nathan the Prophet, in The Prophecy of Ahijah of Shiloh, and in The Visions of Iddo the Prophet, which also deal with the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel.

But the three books have fallen off the grid. There aren't any copies of them today even in spite of the fact that the Bible merited them.

Recap: The Holy Scriptures deemed those several books worthy. But time has destroyed them. I wonder why the divine hand didn't preserve the books for everyone's benefit. 

Jun 13, 2011

37 So, is divorce okay

Mr. Deuteronomy vs Mr. Matthew vs Mr. Luke

The Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy says that you may divorce if your spouse dissatisfies you for any reason

Deuteronomy 24:1 Suppose a man marries a woman and later decides that he doesn't want her, because he finds something about her that he doesn't like. So he writes out divorce papers, gives them to her, and sends her away from his home. 2 Then suppose she marries another man, 3 and he also decides that he doesn't want her, so he also writes out divorce papers, gives them to her, and sends her away from his home. Or suppose her second husband dies. 4 In either case, her first husband is not to marry her again; he is to consider her defiled. If he married her again, it would be offensive to the LORD.

And what is more, Deuteronomy forbids any change to the Law 

12:1 Here are the laws that you are to obey as long as you live in the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Listen to them! ... 32 Do everything that I have commanded you; do not add anything to it or take anything from it.

But in the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew says that you may divorce only an unfaithful spouse

Matthew 5:31 It was also said, “Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.” 32 But now I tell you: if a man divorces his wife for any cause other than her unfaithfulness, then he is guilty of making her commit adultery if she marries again; and the man who marries her commits adultery also.

But then the Gospel of Luke says that you may not divorce and remarry, period!

Luke 16:18 Any man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery; and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  

Recap: Divine command was supposed to have made these three divorce laws. But there isn’t a rational way to harmonize them. 

Jun 9, 2011

36 Is the Devil chained up in hell right now

Mr. Peter vs Mr. Peter

The New Testament letter 2 Peter teaches:
That the Devil is locked up in hell

But uh ...!

The New Testament letter 1 Peter teaches:
That the Devil roams the earth and wants you

2 Peter claims that the devil is chained in hell

2 Peter 2:4 God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell, where they are kept chained in darkness, waiting for the Day of Judgment.

And Jude, another New Testament letter, teaches the same thing

Jude 1:6 Remember the angels who did not stay within the limits of their proper authority, but abandoned their own dwelling place: they are bound with eternal chains in the darkness below, where God is keeping them for that great Day on which they will be condemned.

But 1 Peter claims that the Devil is free to roam at will

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

Recap: So how the devil did the Devil make good his escape from hell, I wonder.

Jun 7, 2011

35 Could Jesus ever lose the power to do miracles

It's Mr. John vs Mr. Mark 

The Gospel of John says:
Jesus has God’s power to do miracles

But wait a minute!

The Gospel of Mark says:
In his hometown, Jesus could only work a few

  In the Gospel of John, Jesus has power from the Father to do miracles 

John 14:11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

John 10:37 Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.

 But in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus could do only a few miracles in his hometown! 

Mark 6:5 He was not able to perform any miracles there [in his hometown], except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 He was greatly surprised, because the people did not have faith. Then Jesus went to the villages around there, teaching the people.

Recap: Jesus has power from God to perform wondrous works. Yet Jesus "was greatly surprised" when Jesus isn't able to perform miracles in his hometown. Uh, okaaay.

Related post:
43 Does God sometimes cause infirmities

Jun 4, 2011

34 So, can you be saved just by faith

Mr. Paul vs Mr. James

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul declares:
You are saved by faith alone, period 

Hold the phone! 

In the New Testament letter James, James declares:
You're saved by works, too

A letter by Paul declares you're saved by faith, not by works

Ephesians 2:8 It is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

But a letter by James insists you're saved by works, too

James 2:20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? ... 24 A person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. ... 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Recap: Paul insists that salvation is possible by only your faith. However, James states that salvation is through works, too. Thus Paul vs James.

Jun 1, 2011

33 Did the risen Jesus say to go to Galilee (1)

Mr. Matthew vs Mr. Luke

The Gospel of Matthew says:
The just risen Jesus instructs his disciples to go to Galilee.

But hold on!

The Gospel of Luke says:
The risen Jesus tells them to stay in Jerusalem.

In Matthew the just risen Jesus says to his disciples, Go to Galilee

Matthew 28:8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." 11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. ... 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

But in Luke he says to his disciples, Stay in Jerusalem

Luke 24:33 They two [followers of Jesus] got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way [on the road, Jesus had appeared to them], and how Jesus was recognized by them. 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." ... 49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." 50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany [quite near Jerusalem], he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Recap: In Matthew the risen Jesus wants the disciples to go to Galilee. However, in Luke he wants them to remain in Jerusalem. It's about sixty miles worth of distance from Jerusalem to Galilee. Surely Jesus doesn't ask his disciples to be in two places at the same time. Thus it appears that a Gospel writer goofed. 

Related post:
76 Did the risen Jesus say Go to Galilee (2)

32 Is forced labor an injustice, period

It's Exodus vs 1 Kings

The Old Testament Book of Exodus tells us:
That Egypt oppressed the Hebrews with forced labor 

But wait!

The Old Testament book 1 Kings says:
That Israel oppressed local residents with forced labor

In Exodus, the Egyptian king’s injustice made slaves of Hebrews

Exodus 1:8 Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. 9 "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. 11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.

1 Kings says that centuries later Jerusalem’s king made slaves of non-Israelites living in their land 

1 Kings 9:15 Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the LORD's temple, his own palace, the supporting terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and [cities] Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. ... 20 All the people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites), 21 that is, their descendants remaining in the land, whom the Israelites could not exterminate--these Solomon conscripted for his slave labor force, as it is to this day. 22 But Solomon did not make slaves of any of the Israelites; they were his fighting men, his government officials, his officers, his captains, and the commanders of his chariots and charioteers.

Recap: I say there's a double standard going on there. Thus Exodus vs 1 Kings.

31 Did Jesus tell his disciples to get a sword?

Mr. Luke vs Mr. Matthew

In the Gospel of Luke:
Jesus supports the need for swords

Uh, wait!
In the Gospel of Matthew:
Jesus scorns the need for swords 

In Luke, Jesus tells them they need a sword

Luke "If you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’" 38 The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." “That is enough,” he replied.

But the thing of it is, in Matthew, Jesus deplores any combat with swords

Matthew 26:52 "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."

Recap: So they ought to get a sword, but they shouldn't draw the sword. Thus Luke vs Matthew.

Related post:
30 Did Jesus say, Make your good deeds seen?

30 Did Jesus say, Make your good deeds seen?

Mr. Matthew vs Mr. Matthew!

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus' sermon on the mount teaches the listening crowd:
To make their good deeds seen by other people

Just a minute!

The same sermon teaches the crowd:
To make their good deeds unseen by other people

Jesus encourages you to make your good deeds seen before men

Matthew Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

But then he warns you not to make your good deed seen before men

Matthew 6:1 Be careful not to do your “acts of righteousness” before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. 3 But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Thus Matthew vs Matthew.

Related post:
29 Did Jesus tell his disciples to carry a staff