#2. Does God create the skies and the earth, then plants, then animals, and then both male and female in his image OR does Yahweh first form man from the ground, then plants, then animals, and then lastly woman from man’s rib? (Gen 1:1-27 [P] vs Gen 2:4b-23 [J])
#3. Does God create the earth, the skies, and man on the same day OR not? (Gen 2:4b-7 [J] vs Gen 1:1-27 [P])
#4. Is earth initially created as fecund and fertile OR dry and barren? (Gen 1:9-10 [P] vs Gen 2:5 [J])
#5. Are both man and women created in the image of God OR is man formed from the ground, and women formed from man? (Gen 1:26-27 [P] vs Gen 2:7, 2:21-23 [J]; 1 Cor 11:9; 1 Tim 2:13)
#6. When is all the vegetation created: before the creation of the animals, and man and woman OR after the creation of man and before the creation of the animals and woman? (Gen 1:11-13, 1:29-30 [P] vs Gen 2:9-10 [J])
#7. Does God declare all vegetation and trees as food for the primordial pair OR does Yahweh command that one of the trees not be eaten from? (Gen 1:29-30 [P] vs Gen 2:17 [J])

The following entry is excerpted from Chapter 1, “Genesis’ Two Creation Accounts,” of  my Genesis 1 and the Creationism Debate: Being Honest to the Text, Its Author, and His Beliefs,  pp. 1-63. Ancient and modern readers alike have long recognized the differences between the seven-day creation account of Genesis 1:1-2:3 and the garden of Eden account of Genesis 2:4b-3:24. Even on stylistic grounds noticeable in an English translation, the first creationRead More

#1. Was earth created from preexistent matter OR nothing? (Gen 1:1-10; Is 45:18 vs Heb 11:3)?

Hebrews 11:3 is often invoked as a proof text for the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. While some may wish to debate this reading, since the verse can be read as an abstract statement about faith, literally, “not from that which is visible did the things that are seen come into being,” I shall nevertheless treat it as if it did proclaim this doctrine. For this allows us the occasion toRead More

#370. Does Deuteronomy recognize the tradition of exterminating the exodus generation OR not? (Deut 2:14-16 vs Deut 2:7, 8:2, 8:4, 9:7, 29:4)

And the days that we went from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed the wadi Zered were 38 years, until the end of the generation (the men of war) from the camp as Yahweh swore to them. (Deut 2:14) We have already thoroughly looked at the contradictory traditions preserved in the Torah concerning Kadesh Contradiction #260. Where was Kadesh: in the Wilderness of Paran OR Zin? Contradiction #261. When did the Israelites arriveRead More

#364. Does Yahweh command the Israelites to pass through Edom OR does Moses send messengers to request passage? (Deut 2:2-4 [D] vs Num 20:14-17 [J])
#365. When this occurs, are the Israelites wandering about the hill country of Seir OR are they at Kadesh? (Deut 2:1-2 [D] vs Num 20:14 [J])
#366. The Edomites are afraid of Israel and thus do not provoke a battle OR they seek them out to fight and it is the Israelites who are afraid? (Deut 2:4-5 [D] vs Num 20:18-21 [J]; Judg 11:16-18)
#367. Do the Israelites acquire food and drink from the Edomites OR is this refused? (Deut 2:6-7, 2:28-29 [D] vs Num 20:19-20 [J])
#368. Do the Israelites pass through Edom OR are they refused passage and flee? (Deut 2:7-8, 2:28-29 [D]; Num 21:10, 33:41-44 [P] vs Num 20:21 [J])
#369. After the Israelites’ encounter with Edom, do they march on toward the wilderness of Moab OR around Moab OR into the Negeb against Hormah? (Deut 2:8 [D]; Num 33:43-44 [P] vs Num 21:12-20 [J] vs Num 21:1-3 [J])

Everyone knows that when the Israelites asked for food and water from the Edomites, the Israelites’ brothers from the line of Esau, and permission to pass through their country they were denied these things and forced to pass around Edom. This story we know from Numbers 20:14-21, which scholars have identified as part of the older southern Yahwist tradition [J]. Yet when Moses renarrates this story some 40 years later, narrativelyRead More

#357. Do the people initiate the plan to send spies to scout out the land OR does Moses command the people to do this? (Deut 1:22 [D] vs Num 13:17 [J])
#358. Is the plan to send spies presented as an alternative plan OR Yahweh’s original commandment? (Deut 1:21-22 [D] vs Num 13:1 [P])
#359. Are the Amorites in the land OR is it the Canaanites and the Amalekites? (Deut 1:20, 1:27, 1:44 [D] vs Num 13:29, 14:25, 14:43-45 [J])
#360. In the face of there being giants in the land, who encourages the people to have faith in Yahweh: Moses OR Caleb OR Caleb and Joshua? (Deut 1:29 [D] vs Num 13:30 [J] vs Num 14:6-9 [P])
#361. Does Moses intercede on the people’s behalf exhorting Yahweh not to wipe them out OR does he not? (Num 14:11-23 [J] vs Deut 1:29-40 [D])
#362. Is Yahweh also incensed with Moses OR is he not? (Deut 1:37, 3:26 [D] vs Num 14:11-35 [J/P])
#363. After the men are defeated at Hormah, do they turn back into the wilderness OR do they return to Kadesh? (Deut 1:40, 2:1 [D]; Num 14:25 [J] vs Deut 1:46 [D]; Num 20:14 [P])

The story of the spying of the promised land is initially recounted in Numbers 13-14, which as we have already seen is a composite text of the Yahwist and later Priestly traditions (see Contradictions #233, #234, #235-236, #237, and #238-240). When we say “composite text,” we mean that the text/story in the form that it has come to us modern readers is composite in nature; it is composed of two onceRead More

#352. Who initiates the proposal to appoint judges over the Israelites: Moses OR Jethro? (Deut 1:9-13 vs Ex 18:17-23)
#353. When is this judiciary appointment made: before OR after Sinai? (Ex 18:13 vs Deut 1:19)
#354. Where is the judiciary formed: at Rephidim OR Horeb? (Ex 19:2 vs Deut 1:19)
#355. What are the criteria of selecting these judges: “men of truth, who fear god and hate gain” OR “men with wisdom, discernment, and knowledge”? (Ex 18:21 vs Deut 1:13)
#356. Did “Moses do everything that Jethro had instructed him to do” OR not? (Ex 18:24-25 vs Deut 1:9-18)

In my previous post, Moses Retells His Story (Part 1) we saw how a reader might react to the realization that Moses’ renarration of the appointment of the judiciary in Deuteronomy 1:9-18 differed significantly from its “original” narration in Exodus 18:13-26. In that post, I neither attempted to explain why, nor how, these differences existed. I simply presented our 1st person reader grappling with these textual inconsistencies and contradictions which heRead More

#351. After their stay at Horeb, did Yahweh command the Israelites to “Go! Possess the land” OR not? (Deut 1:6-8 vs Num 10:28-36)

Contradictions in the Bible is really a website devoted to textual criticism of the Bible, in particular to what scholars label as source-criticism, that is identifying the Bible’s different and often competing textual sources and assessing when they were written, by whom, to address what historical concerns, in relation to what other literary works, etc. Nearly all of the Bible’s contradictions, from minute narrative inconsistencies to larger theological and ideological agendasRead More