Growing up a fundamentalist Protestant, I was shocked the day I was confronted with evidence that the Bible contains blatant errors. All my life I had been taught that “God will preserve his Word” and that “not one jot or tittle” of God’s Word would ever change.
That day the outer shell of my Christian worldview cracked. I didn’t deconvert immediately, but it definitely started the process.
But do contradictions in the Bible really make any difference? Isn’t it possible that when the Bible says that God will preserve his Word, it means that God’s core message to humankind will be preserved— unchanged—forever? Well, that is certainly what moderate and liberal Christians want us to believe it means.
During the early days of my four month process of losing my faith (known in ex-Christian circles as “the deconversion process”), I came to accept that minor errors in the Bible aren’t really a big deal. So what, if one Gospel author states that there was one angel at the empty tomb of Jesus and another claims that there were two! Does the number of angels make any difference to the central message of the text? No! The number of angels at the tomb does not change the historical fact that Jesus rose from the dead! And as law enforcement will tell you, eyewitness stories always have some minor incongruencies. What matters is that the central details of the Bible story is correct, right? I felt so much better. My faith had been restored!
But then I started doing some digging.
I studied the evidence for the Exodus: hundreds of thousands, maybe even a couple million, Hebrews departed ancient Egypt en masse. Problem is, modern archaeology can’t find any evidence of this massive migration. None.
I thought to myself: It may not matter how many angels were at Jesus’ tomb but doesn’t it matter if the entire Exodus Story is fictional?? Isn’t it a BIG problem that Jesus seemed to have believed in the historicity of Moses, the Passover, and the Exodus? If the Exodus Story is fictional, what does that tell us about the alleged omniscience of Jesus, the eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe??
And from there it all unraveled.
So you see, dear moderate and liberal Christians, the individual errors in the Bible probably don’t matter. But when you add them all up, you arrive at the conclusion that the Bible is not a reliable source of historical information. And if the Bible is not a reliable source of historical information, why believe its fantastical claims of talking donkeys, virginal conceptions, water-walking, and dead corpse reanimations?
The Bible’s contradictions do matter!
End of post.