Some errors in the 'infallible' Bible
(Most references are from the Revised Version of the Bible, published in England in 1898,
one of the most accurate translations of all.)
It is high time the Christian fundamentalists and their sympathizers among Roman Catholics and other religions were challenged over their continual reference to THE BIBLE as if this book actually conveyed the utterances of GOD. 'The Bible says' they so often proclaim, as if to utter this magical mantra settles all arguments. It certainly does not. Let the Christians first tell us why we should take notice of their Bible. Why not, rather, the Hindu Vedas, or the Islamic Koran or the prognostications of Joseph Smith or the Reverend Sun Myung Moon to mention only a few?
The fundamentalists tell us the reason is that the Christian Bible is the Word of GOD (their particular GOD of course), at least it claims to be that. It has, we are told, stood the test of time. Are they serious? Most intelligent high school kids could point out errors in the amazing farrago of nonsense called the Bible. I have been having a little fun collecting some of the glaring errors perpetuated within its covers. And DO NOT FORGET - the Bible as we now have it was filtered through many a dedicated scribe's hands over a long period of time - about three centuries. Plenty of time to clean it up and make is presentable as the 'infallible' Word of GOD! But even then they still couldn't get it right.
Just a few interesting points . . .
WOMEN SAW THE RESURRECTED JESUS?
As we move into the dark, shadowy world of the garden in the early hours of that first day of the week (our Sunday) we move into the realms of pure fantasy. There are FIVE women (and maybe more, but at the very least, five) clearly present in the garden according to St Luke. He is very specific about this and isn't he the one the Church calls 'the historian'? Luke 24:10 reads: 'Now there were Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the other women [plural] with them.'
But Mark, too, is equally specific, and he knows of only THREE women, for in Mark 16:1 we read: 'Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome.' The numbers continue to diminish, for Matthew reports but TWO, 'Mary Magdalene and the other Mary' (Matthew 28:1). And finally, neatly rounding off this story of the ever-diminishing ladies, we come to John 20:1, which tells us that but ONE woman, Mary Magdalene, went to visit the tomb.
If we try now to find a crumb of truth in these four conflicting accounts, it seems to come down to the fact that Mary Magdalene, at least, did visit the garden on that amazing morning. She, in any event, must have been a significant figure in the whole account as she is mentioned by all four writers. And that fact itself raises another very interesting point. Where is Mary, the mother of Jesus, through all this? It would seem reasonable to me that she would have been the very first to have seen him. Passing curious, to say the least, when one contemplates her exalted status in the history of Jesus and his Church.
But the confusion of the inerrant Scriptures
doesn't end with the women, by no means. Luke's five (or
was it six or
seven?) women find the stone already rolled away and they
meet with TWO
angels. Mark doesn't bother with the problem of the stone;
ignores it. But his three women meet ONE angel. And
Mary Magdalene, in John's Gospel? She sees that the stone
moved but doesn't seem to meet an angel at all. Instead,
she races off
to tell the other disciples the startling news. And what
His two women meet only ONE angel. And we are to believe
that all this
is true history?
Yes, this is what it says. Don't
blame me, I'm merely quoting from the holy Book (Exodus
specified that the girl may become wife or concubine of
or be given to his son. If she doesn't please the owner or
the said son
she is to go free. But, and it is a big 'but', the
onus is on the
slave-holder as to when she is released, if ever!
After all, he
may have chosen to keep her on as a household drudge
plaything, long after she ceased pleasing him in other
This is part of (and only part;
there is more for those who go to the trouble of reading
what the Bible really
says) dark underside of that 'great moral code' of Moses;
these are the
parts of the story left out by the Christian moralizers
who would fain
tell us how we should live 'by God's laws.'
Which, then of these two accounts
the great act of Creation are we to accept? After
all, they do
differ dramatically one from the other. You can read the
for yourself in Genesis 1:1-2:3 and in Genesis 2:4-25 and
the one you like best. It matters little which, for both
The differences are dramatic. In the first account man appears on earth on the sixth day, after the creation of animals, plants and, presumably, the rain needed to sustain such life, yet in the rival tale we are informed that man was formed before all these creations. In the first story male and female were created as distinct beings 'in the image of Elohim' ('the gods' note carefully, a plural term).
In the second history we are
presented with that laughable story of woman being formed
out of a rib
taken from Adam's body. Need I say that medical science
knows of no
such missing rib in the male? Does not this second
from a different source to the first, indicate the concept
supremacy so strongly held within the patriarchal society
of the Jewish
people? A dominant motif, I might add, in later religion,
Jewish, but Christian and Muslim as well.
Not only is the Creation story a
denial of all that we know for certain from modern science
story itself is recorded in two conflicting versions! So
divine truth! Rather than being a true account of
universe came into existence the inerrant Scriptures
are the product of the primitive and superstitious
gropings of the mind
of early man.
We can forgive them their
of course; how fortunate are we to know so much more. Yet
forgive those who try to brain-wash innocent children
today with this
The compilers of the Pentateuch
obviously pretty hopeless at the job of editing. They let
all this slip
through and then, when they realized the confusion this
would cause in
the minds of the believers, instead of going back over the
cleaning it up, they simply added an explanatory statement
6:2-3). Quite amazing it is, too; really lets the
cat out of the
bag! They surely didn't fully realize the import of what
saying. Here it is: 'And God spake unto Moses, and said
unto him, I am
Yahweh and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto
Jacob, as God
Almighty [El Shaddai],
my name Yahweh I
known to them....'
And as if this isn't enough to shake the ramparts of Israelite monotheism, let us look back to what is perhaps an even more amazing passage (Exodus 3:13-15). Here is mumbo-jumbo such as to tie all translators up in knots. Moses has asked the deity what name he should use to explain to the Hebrews who it was that sent him to them. 'I am that I am,' is the answer. Or, perhaps, 'I am, because I am,' or 'I am who am,' or 'I will be that I will be,' run the marginal notes for the Revised Version. The Hebrew word used is Ehyeh, and it comes from the same root as the word now rendered Yahweh. Seems as if the Bible itself isn't all that clear on just who GOD is!
When, after Jesus was put to death, Mary Magdalene and 'the other Mary' went to the tomb, 'behold,' writes Matthew, 'there was a great earthquake; for an angel of Yahweh [trans.'the Lord' ] descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow: for fear of him the watchers did quake and become as dead men....' (Matthew 28:2-4).
But, of course, there are four
Gospels, four separate accounts of the
life and death of Jesus of Nazareth in the inerrant
So it would be interesting
to study the other three Gospels and see what they have to
this truly amazing intervention of heaven into the affairs
men. If only we could find what they have to say! For they
have NOTHING WHATEVER to say.
One would have thought the Ghost
might inspire the writer to use the
original prophecy in its correct form when dealing with
important 'proof text', that is, the prophecy as it
appears in the
Hebrew Old Testament. But the anonymous compilers of the inerrant
gave their game
away, here as elsewhere. They had set out to prove that
Christ was born of the 'virgin' Mary, but they apparently
only had on
hand the Septuagint,
the Greek version of Isaiah, and they
quoted merrily from this. But the Greek version is itself
error (as it is in other places), incorrectly translating
the Hebrew as virgin
is not what the
original says. The
original uses the word for young woman
And, in passing, it should be noted that virgin births were a common feature of ancient religions. The notion is not distinctive to Christianity.
It is hard to deny the thrust of
these words. And John not only
recorded them but failed to add any comment. It
would have been
easy for him to affirm that Jesus did indeed come from
he did not do so. We must therefore conclude that
believed Jesus was a Nazarene.
Much research has been conducted
in recent decades on
homosexuality. But even without such research it is
obvious that a tendency affecting perhaps ten percent of
population cannot be dismissed as a mere
more, our knowledge of genetics and sexuality in general
now makes it
abundantly clear that every human being has within himself
certain feminine traits and certain masculine
varying proportion. Truly we are ALL (yes, even Christian
bisexual in varying degrees.
Conversely, all attempts to pin
social factors, such as parental
behaviour, especially the behaviour of homosexual parents,
have at best
resulted in uncertainty. There has not emerged any clear
evidence of such links. As one example, those cultures
homosexuality is tolerated do not appear to raise any
greater number of
gay men or women than cultures where intolerance is the
norm. Clearly the Bible has again been shown to reflect
nothing other than the primitive fears and unscientific
uncivilized peoples. Such beliefs may be primitive but
continue to inform in a negative way the teachings of many
Christian church who are singularly unable to cope with
The Book of Daniel in the Old
Testament, one of the prophetic books of
the Bible with its famous Writing on the Wall, was put
scribes about two
centuries after the events it claims to prophesy,
i.e. such events as the fall of Babylon, and suchlike.
although the Christian Church has taken Daniel into its
bosom the Jews
do not include it among their prophetic works.
Now all this sounds very
impressive; it certainly impressed me in the
days of my Christian obsession. In fact, I once thought it
the most impressive passages in the whole of the inerrant
appears to be from firsthand sources, presumably the
writer of Acts
(said to be St Luke), who gained the information from Saul
himself. Pity isn't it that this same supposed author of
of Acts seems to be ignorant of the Epistles of Paul and
contradicts them! So much for another of the certainties
Amazing isn't it? Come on, you
clever Christian apologists. Wriggle out of this one! Was
as faulty as
this? How could such a drastic mistake be made by St Luke
Anonymous, whoever it was who wrote the book? What
to this inerrant Bible that two completely
conflicting accounts of this
amazing encounter with Jesus' spirit are peddled as truth?
But what actually happened?
What was the true picture? The
Persian armies entered the city in the year 539 BCE
without striking so
much as a blow! In fact, they had orders from King
they were to respect the city property and do nothing to
populace! Amazing! What happened to the
If the nations were 'astonished'
at all it was not because of the
terrible destruction wrought by the invading army but
Babylon, which had first-rate defences and probably the
walls in the world, fell 'without a shot being fired' as
say. Two weeks after his army entered the city Cyrus
arrived and thereupon set to work to improve and restore
walls, temples and other buildings.
Cyrus even told the Jews they
could go free and rebuild their
homeland. Few took up his offer! Life in Babylon was
Numbers chapter 5 has an 'adultery
test': 'And when he hath made her to
drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that if she
and have done trespass against her husband, that the water
the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her
swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the women shall be a
her people.' Medically speaking this test is arrant
nonsense! Try it out some time! Incidentally, no
such test was
ordered for a male suspected of transgressing! But
then Yahweh is
presumably a male! More from the inerrant
The Gospel of Matthew says that
the two Marys are specifically sent to
advise the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead
and that 'he
goeth before you into Galilee....there shall ye see
28:7). The clear implication of this is that the disciples
won't see him until they journey to Galilee, yet on 'that
very day' two
of them have an encounter with the Master not in Galilee
but on the
Emmaus Road (Luke 24: 13-32).
Confusion abounds in this part of
the Bible story. There is
little hope for ordinary folk like you and me to
goings-on when the Jesus-spirit himself proves to be so
confused as to
where he is actually heading that he turns up on that same
in Galilee at all, as he promised, but in Jerusalem!
Arriving, apparently, in Jerusalem, he now countermands his previous orders and directs the disciples to stay in the city (Luke 24:49). John also confirms this appearance in Jerusalem. Not so Matthew who forthwith assures us Jesus did indeed go to Galilee and even to a specific mountain, where he meets with the disciples. But they were in Jerusalem; or were they? Who can possibly know?
It is in the context of this
manifestly absurd, not to say wholly
untrustworthy, account that we must examine one of the
statements of the New Testament, one of the great 'proof
Church authority. For it is in Galilee, according to
Matthew, that Jesus pronounces the authoritative
declaration that has
been appropriated by the Christian priesthood to justify
over the hearts and minds of people through the
authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.
therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing
the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost....'
Clearly we have here not an
authentic utterance from the mouth of Jesus
but a carefully worded justification for priestly
with a suitable Trinitarian ascription, written into the
text, like so
much else, at a later date. For even if we grant that
might have uttered such words (which I do not), why the
utter silence of Luke and John on this supremely important
But we still have Mark to account for. Was he in Jerusalem or was he in Galilee? We cannot say, but there is a passage that comes right at the end of his Gospel - chapter 16, from verse 9 to the end - that repeats some of Matthew's story BUT almost all scholars, including conservatives, reject this section as spurious. It does not appear in the two most ancient Greek manuscripts.
Mark's additional verses (tacked onto Matthew's version) are very interesting. There are 'signs' to follow the Gospel preachers - casting out devils, speaking in tongues, taking up serpents, surviving deadly poisons and healing the sick (presumably miraculously). This forms part of the spurious text. Mind you, when we talk about spurious, there are what we might term 'degrees of spuriousness'! After all, very little of anything we have in the Bible could be fairly described as being 'original', probably nothing at all!
There are Christians who do believe such promises, though. Some of these well-meaning folk take up deadly serpents. Now and then one of their number dies. No doubt faith was weak in such cases. Quite a number don't actually die but do suffer fearful bites for their trouble and often bear scars to prove it. At least that is something they have managed to prove! Not too many believers try drinking deadly poison. But the followers of one prophet, Jim Jones, did; they died, nearly every last one of them.
But finally, even if, and it is a
very big if, we
account to be correct, why then did none of the other
three make not
the faintest mention of such promises? Any sane and
reasonable person must reject out of hand the notion that
Gospel records we have the outpourings of inspired
have not, however, quite finished with our game of musical
chairs. The book of Acts has something to say about the
period immediately following Jesus' death. It records that
showed himself alive to the disciples for forty days (Acts
that while with them he 'charged them not to depart from
(Acts 1:4). They were to wait there for the
the Ghost. So the disciples were, after all, in Jerusalem
all the time. Poor Matthew! Found out
again. He was so very definite, too, that they were in
Galilee, where they received that vital message. So much
for the 'certainties' of the story of the Jesus in the inerrant
The fifth Commandment says (Exodus
20: 12): 'Honour thy father and thy
mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the
thy god giveth thee.' Every father and every
Parents who try to lead children into crime, or into
drug-taking, or to
have sex with them? Parents who beat their children
Parents who subject their children to emotional abuse?
There is surely
something wrong with these particular inerrant
Now the opposite is the case. Addressing a conference in Australia in 1988, Dr Robert Butler, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, said that human life expectancy had increased by about 25 years in the past century. This equalled the whole increase in the preceding 5,000 years! In the USA alone since 1776 average life expectancy had gone from 35 to today's 75 or more years.
Recent news tells us that genetic
engineering research may result one day in human beings
living to be
perhaps 140 years of age. There have been many such
it remains to be seen what actually happens (and I won't
be around to
check it out!). However, it it evident that the
achievements of medical science have resulted in the human
Western nations being extended considerably. It is
well past the Biblical 'three score years and ten'. The inerrant
strike out yet again!
The whole concept of 'unclean'
menstruating women in the inerrant Scriptures
is a nonsense. There is no medical reason to consider the
flow either dirty
or harmful and it does not hinder intercourse, although,
of course, it
may be used as
an excuse by some reluctant women! There may, however, be
woman to avoid intercourse at this time as she may not
and mentally at her best during menstruation.
ARE THE DISCIPLES TO DRESS?
but my favourite)
In the very last book of the Old
Testament, Malachi, we come across
some magnificent language, words filled with poetic power.
they spell out Israel's hope: 'Behold, I send my
messenger, and he
shall prepare the way before me: and Yahweh, whom ye seek,
suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the
covenant, whom ye
delight in, behold he cometh, said Yahweh
Sabaoth ['Lord of
Hosts']. But who may abide the day of his coming?
shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's
fire....But to you that fear my name shall the sun of
arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and
calves in the stall. And ye shall tread down the
(Malachi 3:1-2 and 4:2-3). Even my beloved Shakespeare
bettered these words. No wonder Mr Handel made such good
them in his oratorio and no wonder they are a treasured
part of the inerrant Scriptures.
And then someone did come. John
the Baptizer came. And
Jesus of Nazareth came. And some of the people said, here
Elijah and here is Messiah. But, alas, they were
mistaken. John was not Elijah and Jesus was not Messiah. A
few renegade Jews may have thought they were but most were
Thereafter the Church seized the
initiative and wrested the Jews' own
prophets away from them, attaching its own interpretations
prophetic utterances. The new religion, a strange amalgam
Hellenism, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism and plain old
awkwardly on its Jewish host, sought to prove itself,
out of context and claiming things of the Old Testament
few Jews in their right minds would ever have claimed.
The Jews, at least those of their
number who still have hope (and they are not all that
many), look for
his coming. They have a long wait ahead of them. They will
continue to wait, for Messiah will never come. All
whether found in the Bible or in other holy books, is
unfulfilled according to how well the prophets guess
from present trends.
© Mark Owen, 1993 & 2011 - http://www.piperpost.net