The Priestly writer’s reworking of the Yahwist material of Genesis 1-11

For nearly three centuries now, scholars and critical readers of the book of Genesis have acknowledged that Genesis is a composite text (See How the Torah was Discovered to be a Collection of Competing Traditions). That is in its present form the Hebrew text, both on linguistic and thematic grounds reveals that it was composed of different, and often competing, textual traditions. And for the most part these once separate textualRead More

Studying the Bible scientifically and objectively

What does it mean to study the Bible scientifically or objectively? How is this different from studying the Bible subjectively, that is with respect to its subject, its readers? What might be the advantages of studying the Bible objectively? What would be its purpose? Or the real question might be: can the Bible be studied objectively given that it is dear, on a subjective level, to the hearts of millions? If, forRead More

Conflicting portraits of Israel’s deity

The use or non-use of the name of Israel’s god, Yahweh, is not the only distinguishing feature between the Yahwist and Elohist traditions when it comes to how they portray and conceptualize the deity. Right from the Yahwist’s opening creation account in Genesis 2:4b-3:24 (#1), Yahweh is depicted in stark anthropomorphic terms. Yahweh forms man from the dust of the earth, presumably with his hands,1 breaths into the man’s nostrils, plantsRead More

How the Bible was discovered to be a collection of contradictory texts

Did Moses write the Torah? The traditional view held in both Jewish and Christian circles was that the Pentateuch, the Torah, was penned by Moses under divine inspiration. This traditional claim, however, should be tempered by a couple of initial observations. First, the Torah makes no such claim. Nowhere does the Pentateuch claim to have been written by Moses, or anyone else for that matter. In fact, the sparse references toRead More

About Contradictions in the Bible

Contradictions in the Bible is first and foremost a website dedicated to the Bible. That is to say that it is a website about the very nature of the biblical text itself—a nature, moreover, which is readily perceivable from a cursory glance at the Bible’s table of contents: the Bible is composed of a variety of books. In other words, it is composite in nature. The Bible or “the Book”—from a laterRead More

A BIBLE CONTRADICTION A DAY !

starting 1/1/13 I will post 1 biblical contradiction a day and explain why it’s in the bible, who wrote the texts that now contradict each other, and what this tells us about how the bible was assembled.

Welcome to Contradictions in the Bible

Unlike many sites that have attempted to enumerate the Bible’s many contradictions, and in somewhat simplistic or even antagonistic terms, this site is devoted to explaining why there are contradictions in the Bible using modern biblical source criticism. As the term implies, this methodological approach to the Bible looks at the Bible’s sources, that is its once separate and individual texts—all of which were penned by more than 70 different authors, overRead More