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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ray, you're leaving out a LOT of stuff...

Over at the Swamp, our good friend Ray has posted his latest missive, entitled "Genesis 'Contradictions'". In it, he poses this question from (ostensibly) an atheist:

"Did it take God one day or six days to create?"

(I'm sorry I can't be more helpful regarding the author of that quote, but you know how Ray is with attribution...)

Anyway, Ray then launches into some ridiculous twadle about how the word "day" means "exactly 24 hours", or, "a period of time", or "a thousand years", depending upon the context the word was used in.

Ray could teach Bill Clinton a thing or two. I'm beginning to understand that to a Fundie, the phrase "pay attention to the context" is code for "ignore what it actually says". This makes it all the more amusing when they bleat "Evolution is just a theory!", blithely ignoring the meaning of the word "theory" within the very real context of scientific thought.

But what first struck me about this post was not the ridiculous "context" defense (I'm pretty much inured to that by this point), but the fact that Ray provided only one example of a contradiction within the Book of Genesis. As we all know, there's more than just one. Thanks to www.infidels.org for providing me with the content to formulate a slightly more comprehensive list of Genesis contradictions:

GE 1:3-5 On the first day, God created light, then separated light and darkness.
GE 1:14-19 The sun (which separates night and day) wasn't created until the fourth day.

GE 1:11-12, 26-27 Trees were created before man was created.
GE 2:4-9 Man was created before trees were created.

GE 1:20-21, 26-27 Birds were created before man was created.
GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before birds were created.

GE 1:24-27 Animals were created before man was created.
GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before animals were created.

GE 1:26-27 Man and woman were created at the same time.
GE 2:7, 21-22 Man was created first, woman sometime later.

GE 1:31 God was pleased with his creation.
GE 6:5-6 God was not pleased with his creation.
(Note: That God should be displeased is inconsistent with the concept of omniscience.)

GE 2:17 Adam was to die the very day that he ate the forbidden fruit.
GE 5:5 Adam lived 930 years.

GE 6:19-22, 7:8-9, 7:14-16 Two of each kind are to be taken, and are taken, aboard Noah's Ark.
GE 7:2-5 Seven pairs of some kinds are to be taken (and are taken) aboard the Ark.

GE 7:7 Noah and his clan enter the Ark.
GE 7:13 They enter the Ark (again?).

GE 11:26 Terah was 70 years old when his son Abram was born.
GE 11:32 Terah was 205 years old when he died (making Abram 135 at the time).
GE 12:4, AC 7:4 Abram was 75 when he left Haran. This was after Terah died. Thus, Terah could have been no more than 145 when he died; or Abram was only 75 years old after he had lived 135 years.

GE 10:5, 20, 31 There were many languages before the Tower of Babel.
GE 11:1 There was only one language before the Tower of Babel.

GE 17:8 God promises Abraham the land of Canaan as an "everlasting possession."
GE 25:8, AC 7:2-5, HE 11:13 Abraham died with the promise unfulfilled.

GE 35:10 God says Jacob is to be called Jacob no longer; henceforth his name is Israel.
GE 46:2 At a later time, God himself uses the name Jacob.

GE 36:11 The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.
GE 36:15-16 Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz.

As you can see, there's quite a few, and these are just the ones that deal
exclusively with the Book of Genesis. I wonder if Ray is going to make "Genesis 'Contradictions'" a regular feature at the Swamp...there's certainly enough material for it...


  1. "I'm beginning to understand that to a Fundie, the phrase "pay attention to the context" is code for "ignore what it actually says"."

    Nice. :>

  2. I had a long discussion with my father about those mistakes in the bible. He's a Christian and even has a degree in theology (worth six years, I don't know what that would be in the US)
    He pointed out that there are two completely independent stories about creation. One is some 500 years older than the other. And both were probably considered as poetric stories instead of facts even in ancient times.
    My father said that they probably told this story about the sun being created four days after the light to mock the egyptians and their sun god. That's much more likely than believing the jews were too stupid to understand that the light comes from the sun.

    We see the world completely differently today, than people did 3000 years ago. We look for facts, while they believed in poetry. The Greeks and the Romans somehow believed in Homer and Vergil even though they knew that their stories where made up.

    It's better to believe in fairy tales if it's the only way to keep your society working.

    But do we still need to believe in them?

  3. Tilia,

    I have also heard the Genesis creation story/ies were a slight at the Babylonian creation stories. In some respects they are very similar, but the Babylonians celebrated the creation every year. The idea of it being a slight is the fact they didn't celebrate it saying that YHWH only had to do it once so there is no need to keep going over it again and again.

    I don't really have anything to back that up but I heard the discussion about it on NPR once.

  4. Tilia,
    "But do we still need to believe in them?"


    But, it sounds like your father is more of a "practical" type of person like my own father.

    He understood the
    times in which the ancient myths were written and why they were wqritten, but, he remained a loyal Catholic to the day he died, taking "last rites," etc.

  5. GE 2:17 Adam was to die the very day that he ate the forbidden fruit.
    GE 5:5 Adam lived 930 years.

    Whenever I bring this particular contradiction up I will invariably get at least one fundie who says that after eating the apple Adam died a "spiritual" death.

    You have to admit those fundies are some master spin doctors.

  6. froggie,
    here in Germany most Protestants are quite "practical" about the bible. It's only a book after all, written by humans between 1000 BC and 200 AD (and an oral tradition that traces even longer back). They don't believe that we can take the bible literally.
    They do believe that the bible tells them a lot about god. But they usually don't attack you if you don't.
    Christians can be quite sensible. That's just so easy to forget if you look at Ray and those others at AC...

  7. Ray Comfort wrote:

    "In science we use it to describe a "solar day"--a division of time equal to the time elapsed between two consecutive returns of the same terrestrial meridian to the sun."

    That's my favourite bit. Either he somehow thinks that he's part of the scientific community now or he has just ripped this straight off some 5th grade science textbook. No prizes for guessing which.

  8. Yeah, Ray using the phrase "in science" cracked me up. Ask Ray about the two different creation stories. In The Evidence Bible he uses something from Dr. Dino Kent Hovind; something about how the second story is really just going into more detail. It's funny shit.

    Any chance the French will keep Ray?

  9. And if you really want to have some fun with "yom", hook up with Vera. She'll turn you onto Old Earth Creationist Hugh Ross, who tries to make Genesis fit science by saying that something of the "days" in Genesis were actual days, but others were "ages". They meant days. And I still wonder why "God" would need to rest.

  10. Heh, I just googled that sentence Ray used to describe a solar day. It's copied verbatim from dictionary.com. I think this demonstrates what Ray deems to be "research".

    Actually, more often than not, if there's even a minutely technical phrase in Ray's writing it's very likely cut and pasted from somewhere else.

    This also happens to be the case when you search some passages from the books he has allegedly "written"...

  11. @ Tilia

    You wrote "That's much more likely than believing the jews were too stupid to understand that the light comes from the sun."

    Actually the idea that our light doesn't come from the sun was quite concievable in the ancient world. I believe Pythagoras had a concept called the 'central fire' - a sort of light emitter which was positioned behind the sun.


    So it's not a case of being too stupid to understand that light comes from the sun.

  12. You can take any verse and twist it to mean something else. It all depends on context:
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    "loved" context? The love of a man for a woman or the love of a man for a fine cigar?
    "the world" doesn't mean the people of the world, in this context it means the planet Earth.
    "believe" trust believe? or exist believe?
    "perish" maybe it's in the food sense as in "spoil" or "go off"

    God so like-liked the planet... blah blah blah... whoever believes he exists shall never spoil like food.

  13. Sorry that was a pretty confused comment.

  14. Tilia,

    "Christians can be quite sensible. That's just so easy to forget if you look at Ray and those others at AC..."

    Amen to that!

  15. Guys,

    Obviously the Bible is the inerrant word of god, no other book is self consistent, corresponds with reality, and explains the existence of absolute immaterial abstract universal entities such as logic! Your list of "contradictions" is just an attempt to deny the truth in unrighteousness. ;-)


  16. "Ray could teach Bill Clinton a thing or two"

    This comment caught my eye.

    Is the love-affair with the Clintons finally over?


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