by Jim Purcell
Originally published in Yahoo Groups: Agnostic. Reprinted with permission.
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I think that most who believe the Bible do not accept the idea that scriptures contradict each other. And those who believe that they do probably would not change their unbelief, so proving one way or another would be inconsequential, a case of 'heads I win, tails you lose'.
My problems with scriptures didn't have much to do with whether they were contradictory. It's not difficult for me to see that apparent contradictions are mostly do to with quoting out of context, and ignoring whom the passage is directed (the object) or who is being addressed in the passage, if they are not the same.
Of course part of MY problem might be in part blamed on the same factors that result in apparent contradictions. My problem was that none of the commands that contained promises ever panned out. If the instructions for some product say that it will clean all spots from your clothing and you follow the instructions to the letter and the spots stay, that sounds like a valid complaint.
Likewise if one follows the 'instructions' in scriptures, and those who purport to believe the Bible acknowledge your interpretation, i.e. that if you pray for certain things that the prayers will be answered, for me it's not unlike the spot remover that does not removes spots.
I wouldn't spend much time on minor discrepancies in the instruction book IF the product worked. If it doesn't and those discrepancies cannot be blamed for the product failure, again, it doesn't matter. Fixing the manual discrepancies won't affect whether the product works or not.