Mike Licona, a Christian apologist, and editor of the book, "Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science," recently contributed to a video in an attempt to defend the Christian claim that there are no contradictions in the Bible. The video is below:
With a retro/techno look (after much experience, Christians have become adept at the Bernays/"Mad Men" techniques of "public relations"), the "New Apologists" are "coming out" in their quest to appeal to the young and malleable masses. It may be a new look, but it is still the same old "song and dance."
In his first attempt at defending the gospels, he claims that the so-called "contradictions" are mere "differences." To illustrate that he is mistaken, first we need the definitions of the words, which are below. Then, we will illustrate the "logically incongruous-ness" of the gospels via example.
1. difference: the state or relation of being different; dissimilarity: There is a great difference between the two.
2. an instance or point of unlikeness or dissimilarity: What accounts for the differences in their behavior?
3. a significant change in or effect on a situation: His tact makes a difference in the way people accept his suggestions.
3. a statement or proposition that contradicts or denies another or itself and is logically incongruous.
- "It was impossible for God to lie." Hebrews 6:18
- "For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37
Let's assume what the bible says is true, and that everything is possible for god. If everything is possible for god, then it is possible for god to lie, but the bible tells us it is impossible for God to lie. If it is impossible for god to lie, then it is not possible for God to tell a lie. So, according to the bible, it is possible for God to lie, and it is not possible for God to lie--which is a contradiction.
Another interesting contradiction is that according to Matthew 3-4, there can be no doubt that immediately after his baptism by John, Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for 40 days and 40 nights, whereas in John 2 he was present at the marriage in Cana 3 days after his baptism--which would put Jesus in two places at the same time, and would be another contradiction.
Now, Licona attempts to defend the above "contradiction" (and it is a contradiction) by claiming that we need to understand the "Greco-Roman biography", and just like much in today's "literature," there were certain "literary liberties" that were allowed, such as their use of "time compression." By his statement then, we can conclude that the writers were at "liberty" to make up things, just as the Greco-Roman writers did when they wrote about Apollo, or Hera, or Zeus, as in Homer's Iliad. So, by his statements then, is the Christian claim that jesus is god, just another "liberty" they are taking with the text? If the bible cannot be consistent with minor points, then why should any of the major points be considered valid? There is no reason.
It is well known by most learned bible scholars that the Jews were well known for embellishing their texts, and Greeks are also well known for imaginative story telling--which is a better explanation for discrepancies in a so -called "inerrant book" that is obviously packed with errors. Furthermore, if, as Licona also states there is a "lack of precision" in the writings of the bible, then we have no way of knowing what is "precise" and what is not--thereby making all of it unreliable. Like I said--it is still the same old "song and dance."
Remember, even Licona stated there is a "lack of precision" in the writings of the bible. I have to say I am happy to finally hear some "truth" on the subject uttered by one of the "New Apologists." The "lack of precision" means literally, that they make it mean whatever they want it to mean--which has proven to be dangerous, over and over again.