Christians: The Bible contradicts itself, so it can’t be taken literally?

I have read a verse that directly contradicts Christian teachings. Don’t tell me I am mistaken, I have seen on many Christian websites and heard this with my own ears in church.. I can even give you some links to Christian sites that take the Bible literally that they say this…

Adam and Eve had direct…

That isn’t really a contradiction, although I will readily admit others, because there are many places in the Bible where God only reveals part of Himself to humans, but it states that if man sees God that man can not live.

Exodus 33:20-23

20 God continued, “But you may not see my face. No one can see me and live.”

21-23 God said, “Look, here is a place right beside me. Put yourself on this rock. When my Glory passes by, I’ll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by. Then I’ll take my hand away and you’ll see my back. But you won’t see my face.”

God can send out or retract his “Glory” which is his presence,

Interesting approach – you ask a question, and then set it up so that only answers that you want are acceptable. What if the correct answer is not what you want?

E.g., the Bible literalist approach. As a theologian (degree and everything), I know that Bible literalists get their ideas from a misunderstanding of the Greek word “logos.” From this, they think of the Bible as the words of God, rather than the Word of God – which are two entirely different things.

Many things in the Bible were never intended to be literally true. Parable are a perfect example of this – teachers in Jesus’ day would tell these sorts of teaching stories, using people in them. E.g., there was no actual Good Samaritan, but it is an excellent teaching story. It is hugely important, and the fact that the person did not actually exist makes no difference to the story at all.

As for Adam and Eve – which is a myth, a theological term meaning a story that tells truth without the details always being true in and of themselves – well, they may have had “contact” with God, but may have never seen him. They heard His voice, certainly, but nowhere does it say they saw Him.

There are no contradictions in the far majority of the manuscripts [MSS], from which Bibles are copied, sadly though, there are contradictions and errors in some translations of the Bible [Compare 1 John 5:7, Revelation 1:11, and 1 Timothy 3:16 in the KJV vs. NLT, for example.
Note though, that all contradictions are from man, and the Bible itself predicted this, as at
1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 4:1- 4, 2 Peter 2:1- 3, 2 Thesalonians 2:9- 12. The Bible also predicted that near the end of times, TRUTH would re-emerge as at Daniel 12:4, 9, 10.

When you grow up, one of the things that happens is that you realize that, of course the Bible can’t be taken literally, and there is no such thing as an actual, strict literalist. (Perhaps the closest to that concept are the “snake handlers” of Appalachia.Those who still claim to be literalists, however, are, without exception, lying hypocrites or abysmally self-deluded.) The fact is that the Bible was never *intended* to be read literally. An entire generation of archaeologists and biblicists chased their tails for a century, because what they found in the field did not fit their *literal* expectations and interpretations. If you rejected Chrisitanity because of such a supposed reason, you were a tad bit premature in your rejection. It’s rather like rejecting the Declaration of Independence because it’s not written in Arial 12 point font. If you are going to reject Christianity because it can’t be taken literally, you are in lots of company, but you really ought to find a legitimate reason for your rejection. It’s rather like rejecting the blue car because you thought it would be red.

The Bible does not say that Adam and Eve saw God. It reads:

Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

They heard His voice, they did not physically see Him. It is helpful and informative to study the Bible and research words. I use a Hebrew/Greek Bible and a Strong’s Concordance. The phrase in the cool of the day in Hebrew reads leruha hayyom, “in the wind of the day.” God was in the Garden in the form of His Spirit and Wind.

Please do not turn away from your creator because you do not understand. Study His Word as He has promised you will find Him.

Even if the entire Bible was internally consistent (which everyone and their grandmother knows that it isn’t even close), it’s still obvious that the whole thing is no more legitimate a guide to objective reality (as best humans can ascertain it) than the sagas of Norse mythology or the Popul Vuh of the Maya.

There’s even more blantant contradictions than that. Because Christians could spin this and say that God never appeared visually, but just spoke to Adam and Eve or something like that.

The Bible does not contradict itself.

That is not to say that some people deliberately try to make out that it does.

Which verse says that Adam and Eve saw God?

Incidentally, I don’t think there is such a thing a Biblical literalist. I certainly believe that God created the universe in 6 real days, but that is because I take the Bible in context – taking the intended meaning of the author. Genesis was written in a style of historical narrative.
Other parts of the bible are poetry, prophecy, and so on, and of course it contains metaphors, parables, etc.

To accuse people of being literalists is usually a sign of lack of thought.

Some claim that Genesis is myth of parable or some such. But these people do nto do justice to the Hebrew. (Sadly many theologians have been misled by pseudo-scientific ideas about the earth being old, and thereby undermine the foundational book of their faith.)

Here is what Oxford Hebrew scholar, Professor James Barr wrote:

‘… probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that:

a.creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience

b.the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story

c.Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.’…

So in case you think it is ‘proven fact’ that the earth is old:
It is curious that most people accept assurances that the earth is old, despite the fact that most dating methods suggest the earth is young.

These methods range across many different scientific disciplines.…

The existence of short lived comets (they would not exist if the galaxy was old. The Oort cloud was invented to explain them, but has no observational support whatsoever.)

The recession of the moon. The moon is receding from the earth at about an inch each year. This puts an upper limit on the earth/moon system far less than 4.5 billion years.

The earth’s magnetic field is decreasing, and has been measured for a hundred years of so. Extrapolating backwards puts a low upper limit on the age of life on earth. Life cannot survive in very high magnetic field.

Not enough salt in the sea. We can measure the inflow and outflow of salt. If the oceans had started with no salt they would have reached their current salinity in a short time.
The same method applies to dozens of other minerals too, not just salt.

Too much helium in rocks. Helium, being very light, escapes from rocks, yet is found in rocks alleged to be very ancient.

Too little helium in the upper atmosphere. This was pointed out in Nature as long ago as 1957.

Coal and diamonds contain carbon 14. Carbon 14 decays to immeasurable amounts in about 50000 years. Yet all coal and some diamonds (all alleged to be ancient) have been found to contain carbon 14.

And there are many others: Saturn’s rings defy old age explanations; There are different types of stars, and according to evolutionary theory there are the wrong number of the different types; Mercury is the densest planet and according to evolutionary theory should not be where it is; Mercury has a magnetic field, contrary to evolutionary predictions; the sun has far too little angular momentum for old-age evolutionary theories.

Dinosaur bones, alleged to be millions of years old, have been found containing red blood cells – hardly 65 million years old! (this has been documented by secular scientists – see National Geographic for example).

Much evidence for age is clearly faulty, and often involves radiometric dating. Rock from Mt St Helens volcano was dated as millions of years old when it is known to be just decades.…

Of course all dating methods rely on observations in the present and assumptions about the past. If there was one method indicating youth for every method indicating great age, then it would be reasonable to doubt the young earth methods. But there are 10 (or more) methods indicating youth for every method suggesting great age. One wonders why scientists not only ignore the majority of evidence, but actively suppress it.

Jesus was saying that no one had seen the “Father” not God as a whole. God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Who they saw was Jesus before his physical life on earth.

Direct contact does not mean sight.
You can hear without seeing.

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