Moses hitting the rock for water - 2 accounts
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07-06-2015, 11:44 AM
RE: Moses hitting the rock for water - 2 accounts
If you read Bart Ehrman's Jesus Interrupted, you'll see how he takes the gospels and reads them horizontally, meaning side by side rather than from front to back in order, and this process reveals a ton of contradictions that can easily be referred to in a debate.

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08-06-2015, 08:37 AM (This post was last modified: 08-06-2015 10:59 AM by docskeptic.)
RE: Moses hitting the rock for water - 2 accounts
(07-06-2015 10:55 AM)Learner Wrote:  Completely agree with you, BuckyBall, and thanks for the resource. But I'm just trying to find clear contradictions that are quick and easy to point to when I talk to Christians. Like maybe starting with showing the problem in one specific passage, to then move on to broader issues...showing the infallible source is not infallible, then provide other resources.

Learner,
Many moons ago, I used to run a "Sunday School" here that has some of those contradictions you are looking for. Hope you find it useful. Just search for it.

Doc
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08-06-2015, 08:51 AM
RE: Moses hitting the rock for water - 2 accounts
(07-06-2015 11:44 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  If you read Bart Ehrman's Jesus Interrupted, you'll see how he takes the gospels and reads them horizontally, meaning side by side rather than from front to back in order, and this process reveals a ton of contradictions that can easily be referred to in a debate.

WillHopp, that's a great book, and I definitely agree with you. Learning this from Ehrman has really been a useful tool in understanding the Bible better (individual accounts rather than one made-up, make-the-stories-all-mesh account) and in seeing many more contradictions. Makes me laugh at all the fundamentalists who over and over say, "No, it's not a contradiction - those stories just both happened, and each author didn't feel the need to say everything." Like it seems the identity of Barabbas may be a contradiction. John 18:40 calls him a robber. Mark 15:7 makes it sound like he was imprisoned for committing murder in insurrection (against the Romans). Fundamentalists will say he was both a robber and a murderous insurrectionist. But why didn't "John" say he was a murder or "Mark" say he was a robber? Seems like another contradiction. I mean, I know bad people are bad people...but I don't know if insurrectionists are always robbers. And what's worse, murder or robbery...to just refer to someone as a robber?? (And I'm not surprised John and Mark would differ, since "John" most likely wasn't using "Mark" as a source for his gospel)
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08-06-2015, 09:09 AM
RE: Moses hitting the rock for water - 2 accounts
(08-06-2015 08:51 AM)Learner Wrote:  
(07-06-2015 11:44 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  If you read Bart Ehrman's Jesus Interrupted, you'll see how he takes the gospels and reads them horizontally, meaning side by side rather than from front to back in order, and this process reveals a ton of contradictions that can easily be referred to in a debate.

WillHopp, that's a great book, and I definitely agree with you. Learning this from Ehrman has really been a useful tool in understanding the Bible better (individual accounts rather than one made-up, make-the-stories-all-mesh account) and in seeing many more contradictions. Makes me laugh at all the fundamentalists who over and over say, "No, it's not a contradiction - those stories just both happened, and each author didn't feel the need to say everything." Like it seems the identity of Barabbas may be a contradiction. John 18:40 calls him a robber. Mark 15:7 makes it sound like he was imprisoned for committing murder in insurrection (against the Romans). Fundamentalists will say he was both a robber and a murderous insurrectionist. But why didn't "John" say he was a murder or "Mark" say he was a robber? Seems like another contradiction. I mean, I know bad people are bad people...but I don't know if insurrectionists are always robbers. And what's worse, murder or robbery...to just refer to someone as a robber?? (And I'm not surprised John and Mark would differ, since "John" most likely wasn't using "Mark" as a source for his gospel)

Mark was written first, then Matthew and Luke used Mark, John was on his own trip.

Writings of the Gospels: Mark (60 to 75 CE), Matthew (80 to 90 CE), Luke (80 to 90 CE based on the Gospels of Mark), and John (80 to 110 CE) (Albl 283). I have shown before in various venues the issues with the Gospels, the fact that we don’t know who wrote the gospels, the community effort that put them together, and the fact that they don’t agree with one another, all of which make them a suspect source of empirical evidence. When one posits a super natural, extraordinary story, one requires extraordinary evidence....sadly it doesn't exist, except philosophically.

The Gospel of Matthew is generally believed to have been composed between 70 and 110, with most scholars preferring the period 80–90; a pre-70 date remains a minority view. The anonymous author was probably a highly educated Jew, intimately familiar with the technical aspects of Jewish law, and the disciple Matthew was probably honored within his circle. The author drew on three main sources to compose his gospel: the Gospel of Mark; the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source; and material unique to his own community, called "Special Matthew", or the M source. Note the part where I said...disciple matthew honored...and anonymous writer.

I find it interesting that the writer of matthew refers to "matthew" in the third person. Matthew claims jesus was born in "the days of herod the king." Yet Herod died in 4 BCE. Luke reports that jesus was born "when Cyrenius (Quirinius) was governor of Syria." Cyrenius became governor of Syria in 6 CE...that is a discrepancy of 9 years. Luke says Jesus was born during a roman census, and it is true there was a census in 6 CE. This would have been when jesus was 9 years old according to matthew. There is no evidence of an earlier census during the reign of Augustine. Which is true?

Matthew also reports that Herod slaughtered all first born in the land in order to execute jesus. No historian, contemporary or later, ever mentions this alleged genocide, an event that should have caught someones attention....like the many miraculous stories of jesus, no one at the time thought they were cool enough to record...odd don't you think?

The gospel of Mark; Most modern scholars reject the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative. Mark is the oldest of the synoptic gospels, of which the authors of matthew, and luke based their stories. All scholars agree that the last 12 verses of Mark, are highly dubious and are considered interpolations. The earliest ancient documents of mark end right after the women find the empty tomb. This means that in the first biography, on which the others based their reports, there is no post-resurrection appearance or ascension of jesus.

Luke: Tradition holds that the text was written by Luke the companion of Paul (named in Colossians 4:14). Many modern scholars reject this view, although the list of scholars maintaining authorship by Luke the physician is lengthy, and represents scholars from a wide range of theological opinion. According to Raymond E. Brown, opinion concerning Lukan authorship was ‘about evenly divided’ as of 1997.

John: The gospel identifies its author as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Although the text does not name this disciple, by the beginning of the 2nd century, a tradition had begun to form which identified him with John the Apostle, one of the Twelve (Jesus' innermost circle). Although some notable New Testament scholars affirm traditional Johannine scholarship, the majority do not believe that John or one of the Apostles wrote it, and trace it instead to a "Johannine community" which traced its traditions to John.

paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. Not a single instance in any of Paul's writings claims that he ever meets or sees an earthly Jesus, nor does Paul give any reference to Jesus' life on earth (except for a few well known interpolations - Bible interpolation, or Bible redaction, is the art of adding stuff to the Bible). Therefore, all accounts about a Jesus could only have come from other believers or his imagination. Hearsay.

There’s no indication from Scripture that Paul and Jesus ever met before the Damascus Road incident. And Acts 9:4-7 doesn’t specify whether the Lord’s encounter with Paul was physical or not. It only says Paul saw a bright light and heard a voice. (hallucination/lie)The men with him heard a loud sound but didn’t see anything. In subsequent re-tellings of the encounter Paul never indicated that He had actually seen Jesus at that time.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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09-06-2015, 06:21 AM
RE: Moses hitting the rock for water - 2 accounts
(07-06-2015 11:17 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Absolutely. Find your angle and get the conversation flowing...plant seeds they must go research to validate, thus they start down the epistemological path to truth via knowledge.

I like the jesus/synoptic gospels approach personally, they are quick to say "that isnt true".....and then I systematically prove it...using their christian scholar textbooks from a christian university written by christians that clearly state...yeah...they were written on these time frames, by anonymous authors....then they quote "christian tradition states that" blah blah blah, which means, our story is Matthew wrote matthew, even though the known facts clearly reflect otherwise. This approach works very well for me because the majority have never researched their own religion, and have no idea that the vast majority of biblical scholars clearly acknowledge these facts....finding this out begins to pick away at the blind faith they cling to.

I'd give you another rep, if I could.
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09-06-2015, 08:36 AM
RE: Moses hitting the rock for water - 2 accounts
GWG I would donate a large sum of money to a church in a challenge to them to let you speak to the congregation in a single service sitting. Take it even farther and allow their preacher to offer rebuttal.
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09-06-2015, 01:00 PM
RE: Moses hitting the rock for water - 2 accounts
(07-06-2015 10:37 AM)Learner Wrote:  Exodus 17 tells the story of God telling Moses to hit the rock in the desert for water to come out. Numbers 20 tells the story of God telling Moses NOT to hit the rock for water to come out...but Moses hits it, and then God gets mad. I believe these are two contradictory accounts. However, apologists point out these supposedly happened in two different places (two separate events) since it mentions it happening in two separate places. However, both stories are very similar and both refer to the waters of that place as being called "Meribah," so I believe clearly the same event seems to be in view...and the location got mixed up between two accounts.

Does anyone have any deeper insight into the passage to debunk the apologist and show these passages clearly in contradiction? Either way, even if we give apologists the case these are two separate events, I don't see how any Christian should feel upset at Moses hitting the rock when God told him not to...since the previous almost identical time God said TO hit it.

I'm recalling from memory, but I believe it was the book "Who wrote the Bible?" by Richard Friedman, I read that this is an example of a doublet.

Two separate authors were combined to create the story of Moses, so you'll see stuff like this in the bible where it repeats a story and the second retelling differs in many details. (Genesis chapter 1&2 are a good example)

In this particular story, there were probably priests from Judah and Israel that had two different stories, each one represented a different priestly sect, so they would try to show the other sect in an unfavorable light in their stories. In the story of Moses, there were the Aaronic priests that claimed to have descended from Aaron and the other priests that claimed a descent from Moses.

In this particular instance, the Aaronic priests were trying to make the Mosaic priests look bad, so they showed a disobedient Moses that angered Yhwh.

They liked getting their little jabs in like this, this is what the entire story of Moses was about, two priestly sects trying to assert their dominance through myth telling.

So yes, this passage is about one author telling a story that favors their side, then the other author getting their jabs in. When these two myths were brought together by a redactor at a later date, he would simply stitch them together and and attempt to resolve some of the contradictions and inconsistencies.

In this particular instance, and many other places, the redactor simply failed or didn't care about the inconsistencies. He knew the primitive savages would believe it and not question it, sometimes they would even kill those peasants that asked too many questions.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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