A Comprehensive List of Contradictions in the Bible, identified verse by verse and explained using the most up-to-date scholarly information about the Bible, its texts, and the men who wrote them.

Posts in category Old vs New Testament

#1a. Does God create the heavens and the earth, then plants, then animals, and then both male and female in his image OR does Yahweh form man from the ground first, then plants, then animals, and then woman last from man’s rib? (Gen 1:1-2:3 [P] vs Gen 2:4b-23 [J])
#1b. Does God create the earth and the heavens on the same day OR not? (Gen 2:4b [J] vs Gen 1:6-9 [P])
#1c. Is both man and women created in the image of God OR is man formed from the ground and is a “living being” like other animals, and women formed from man? (Gen 1:27 [P] vs Gen 2:7, 2:21-23 [J]; 1 Cor 11:9; 1 Tim 2:13)
#1d. When is all the vegetation created: after the animals, man, and woman are created OR before the animals and woman are created? (Gen 1:29 [P] vs Gen 2:9 [J])
#1e. Does God declare all the 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 [P] vs Gen 2:17 [J])

For a detailed and hopefully definitive textual analysis demonstrating these contradictions and the fact that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2-3 were penned by different authors, see my newly added series of posts under the category Genesis’ 2 Creation Accounts.

Ancient and modern readers alike have long recognized the stark differences between the seven-day creation account of Genesis 1:1-2:3 and the latter garden of Eden account of Genesis 2:4b-3:24. Even on stylistic grounds noticeable in an English translation, the first creation account, penned by the Priestly writer,  is lofty, formulaic, structured, heaven-centered, and awe-inspiring with its image of an utterly transcendent and impersonal creator deity who brings creation and order into existence by the mere force of his word. The second creation account, from the pen of the <a title="The

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Genesis 1:9-10 — God Creates Dry Land not the Planet Earth!

When we read Genesis 1:1, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” we picture the origin of the atmosphere, space, solar systems, and galaxies. We think of the creation of the planet in our solar system named “Earth,” whose shape is an oblate spheroid or a rotationally symmetric ellipsoid. This mental picture is natural, because the English term “Earth” is the name of the planet in this solar system on which humans reside. But in Genesis 1 “earth” does not mean the planet Earth. Genesis reports the origin of the “heavens and earth” as such terms meant in the author’s time and within his worldview, which did not include a twenty-first century acquaintance with astronomy. What does “earth” mean in Genesis 1? The answer is provided in the text itself.                                                                                                           

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Genesis 1:14-19 — Creation and Yahweh’s Festivals

And God said: “Let there be lights in the vault of the skies to divide between the day and the night and let them be for signs and for fixed times and for days and for years.”

The domed vault or raqî‘a that was made in verses 6-8 to separate and hold back the waters above is now populated with the luminaries: sun, moon, and the stars. Unlike modern man, ancient man constructed their calendars and measured the progression of time according to the celestial luminaries: predominantly the sun and the moon. The author of Genesis’ first creation account depicts this idea by having the creator deity specify that these luminaries were created for this specific purpose.

The most fascinating, and certainly the most revealing, element here in verse 14 is the claim that these luminaries function, in part, as celestial markers for mankind to identify specific “fixed times.” The Hebrew mo‘adîm is most often translated as “seasons.&#8221

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#6. Does man return to the dust upon his death OR is he resurrected? (Gen 3:19; Eccl 3:20; Job 14:10, 12, etc. vs Dan 12:2; 1 Thess 4:15-17; 1 Cor 15:22, 15:51-52; Acts 24:15; Mk 9:1; Jn 5:28-29, 6:40; Rev 2:7)

The axiom of Genesis 3:19, “for dust you are and to dust you shall return,” and similar statements in the Hebrew Bible

a human is in no way better off than an animal. Everything goes to the same place: everything comes from the dust, and everything returns to the dust (Eccl 3:20)

a human being, he dies and dead he remains (Job 14:10)

a human being, once laid to rest will never rise again (Job 14:12)

is predicated on the ontological and empirical evidence that all men die, that Death, if we wish to personify it, comes to all, and that there is no returning from the grave, or Sheol as it is commonly referred to in the Bible. Nothing in the Hebrew Bible, in other words, prepares us for the New Testament’s declarations that, according to Paul, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has defeated Death itself, that Death no longer exists or, in light of Paul’s historical context, is currently becoming extinct (Rom 6:21-22, 8:2; 1 Cor 15:26). Likewise, apart

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#13. Does Yahweh regret and change his mind OR does he not? (Gen 6:6-7; Ex 32:13-14; 1 Sam 2:30-31, 15:35; Amos 7:3; Jon 3:10 vs Num 23:19; 1 Sam 15:29; Mal 3:6)

“And Yahweh regretted that he had made mankind on the earth and he was grieved to his heart” (Gen 6:6).

We have already discussed the Yahwist’s anthropomorphic portrait of Yahweh [or if you’ve missed it see: Conflicting portraits of Israel’s deity], so there is nothing surprising in this characterization of the deity in this verse. The Hebrew word, nehem, in this passage describes a change of heart or mind, and is typical of J’s anthropomorphic conception of the deity. In the Yahwist text, Yahweh often repents, regrets, grieves, even deceives, and is moved by fierce bouts of anger. In other words, J’s very “human” presentation of Yahweh is not to be assimilated to later theological programs that assert omniscience and omnipotence to the deity. Nowhere in J are these later theological ideas even hinted at.

In Genesis 6:6-7, the Yahwist depicts Yahweh grieving and regretting that he had created a humankind that has since

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#31. Is the covenant of circumcision an eternal covenant OR not? (Gen 17:1-14 vs Gal 3-4; Rom 4:9-12)

At heart, this contradiction is between a text written by an elitist Aaronid priestly guild writing from their exilic condition in Babylon at the end of the 6th century BC, and which was a specific response to their historical crisis and to its historical audience AND a text written by fervent Jew “in Christ” writing in the 1st century AD to a Hellenistic audience on the fringes of the Roman empire. It too was shaped by its historical circumstances and sought to address the needs and concerns of its audience, as well as promulgate the beliefs of its author.

The former text was written to reaffirm and safeguard ethnic identity and Yahweh’s “eternal” covenant to a Jewish people currently sitting in exile in Babylon wondering if their god would keep his covenantal promise to return them to their land (see #28-30). The latter was written to deconstruct ethnic and religious boundaries and identities in a strife-ridden pluralistic

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#63. Can a mortal see God face-to-face and live OR not? (Gen 16:13, 32:30; Ex 24:9-11, 33:11; Num 14:14; Deut 5:21, 34:10 vs Ex 33:20; John 1:18, 5:37; 1 Tim 6:16)

This is an oldie but a goodie as they say, and can be found on numerous other sites and throughout the literature. I will keep to my procedure of stressing that such contradictions are the result of an editorial process that brought together different textual traditions written over a period of 1,000 years, each expressing divergent and contradictory beliefs, worldviews, and theologies.

In fact, contradictory traditions now preserved side-by-side in the Bible yield divergent responses to this question. In the Yahwist narratives of Genesis, Abraham, Sarah, and Jacob see Yahweh face-to-face, and Abraham even prepares a meal for Yahweh and two angelic guests, and eats with them (Gen 18:1 ff.).

In an Elohist text, Jacob encounters the god of Penuel, from whom he wrestles a blessing (#62)

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#76. Was it 66 OR 70 OR 75 males from Jacob’s loins who came to Egypt? (Gen 46:26 vs Gen 46:27, Ex 1:5, Deut 10:22 vs Acts 7:14)

The passage in question is Genesis 46:8-27 which breaks from the narrative to offer yet another genealogy: “And these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt…”

We have seen elsewhere that such interest in genealogies, dates, and ages were evidence of the Priestly writer’s hand. Yet this passage also evidences editorial reworking, possibly even done by a scribal hand during the recopying of the manuscript. In other words, within this single source there is a discrepancy pertaining to the number of male descendants from Jacob’s loins that went down to Egypt.

Verse 26 states that there were 66, while verse 27 states 70. One of these is an editorial correction most likely inserted during textual transmission. That seems to be the best hypothesis that fits the textual data.

If one counts up all the male descendants of Jacob listed in the passage, one arrives at the total of 70—thus verse 27: “All the persons

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#94. Does Yahweh make a person blind, deaf, or dumb OR does Beelzebub (Ex 4:11 vs Mk 1:34, 3:22, 5:9-13; Matt 9:33, 12:22, etc.)

“Who makes a person dumb or deaf, gives sight or makes blind? Is it not I, Yahweh!”

Exodus 4:11, like other Old Testament passages, expresses a theological tenet shared by many of the authors of the Hebrew Bible—namely that Yahweh is sovereign. Other examples of this theological perspective can be found elsewhere. Here are just a couple examples:

“Should evil befall a city and Yahweh has not done it?” (Amos 3:6)

“I am Yahweh and there is none other; I fashion light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil. I am Yahweh who does all these things!” (Isaiah 45:6-7)

What these proclamations express is that Yahweh is sovereign over all things, personal and national. This entails that Yahweh is in control of everything: life, death, fertility, from making a person blind or ill, to destroying whole peoples and their lands, to being the god of both creation and destruction. This is what is meant by the theological tenet, viewed as a

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#118. Must one be circumcised to celebrate and eat the Passover OR not? (Ex 12:43-49 vs Deut 16:1-8; Gal 3-4)

Continuing with our discussion of the differences between the Priestly writer’s Passover account in Exodus 12 and that of Deuteronomy 16 (#117), we note that while nothing is said in Deuteronomy about circumcision, in the Priestly literature it is forbidden for an uncircumcised male to eat and partake of the Passover.

And Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron: “This is the law of the Passover:

  • Any foreigner shall not eat it.
  • Every slave purchased with money, you shall circumcise him; then he shall eat it.
  • A visitor and an employee shall not eat it.
  • It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the meat outside.
  • You shall not break a bone from it.
  • All the congregation of Israel shall do the Passover.
  • If an alien resides among you and you will make a Passover to Yahweh, every male must be circumcised; then he may come forward to partake of it, and he will be like a citizen of the land.
  • But everyone who is uncircumcised shall not eat it!” (Ex 12:43-48)

Had the bullet-point format been invented then, I’m sure Moses would have used it! What Yahweh commands and prohibits is clearly laid out and visible for all to see.

If we had to summarize our author’s views, we’d be inclined to conclude that all the extended family and people of the land, Israelites and aliens, can partake of the Passover but must be circumcised in order to do so. Slaves are the family’s property, and the alien (gar) is a person who resides in the promised land, a sacred land for the Priestly writer, and

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#136. Are the sins of the parents reckoned on their children to the third and fourth generation OR are sins reckoned to each offender only? (Ex 20:5, 34:7; Deut 5:9 vs Deut 24:16; Jr 31:29-30; Ez 18:2-4)

The notion of hereditary guilt runs throughout the Bible and was a common characteristic of most ancient societies.

Exodus 20:5, for example, claims from the mouth of Yahweh himself that he is a jealous god, “reckoning fathers’ sins upon sons, on the third and on the fourth generation.”

This theology of inherited sin is duplicated in the Deuteronomic version of the Ten Commandments (Deut 5:9), and is prominent throughout the Deuteronomic History. It was also cited to provide the theological response as to why Jerusalem fell (Lam 5:7), and it permeates the book of Daniel, with its repetitive refrain, “the sins of our fathers.”

Yet other textual sources negate this theology of inherited sin, or at any rate draw it into question, such as we find in Jeremiah 31:29-30 and Ezekiel 18:2-4.

After explaining theologically the fall of Jerusalem on account of the sins of the fathers, Jer 31:29-30 imagines an ideal restitution wherein “all shall die for their

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#143. If someone strikes you do you seek retribution per the law OR offer the other cheek as well? (Ex 21:12-24 vs Matt 5:39)

One who strikes a man and he dies, he shall be put to death! (Ex 21:12)

And if there be any injury, then you shall give a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a hurt for a hurt! (Ex 21:24)

The lex talionis—the law of equal retaliation—was a common principle or policy of retribution shared by many cultures in antiquity. The Israelites were no exception to this and biblical scribes placed this “philosophy of justice” on the lips of Yahweh, as in the above example. Laws of equal retribution were used to curb escalating violence. It is a public decree that any villian will receive his just deserts: a life for a life, eye for an eye, etc.

It would be ridiculous to think that cultures living millennia later, in different geopolitical and religious worlds, would still employ this system of equal retaliation. Add to this the eschatological worldview

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#146. Does Yahweh vindicate the guilty OR not? (Rom 3-4; Gal 3-5 vs Ex 23:7)

“For I shall not vindicate a guilty one!” (Ex 23:7)

One of the many gaping theological contradictions between the Old and the New Testaments—between a culture and worldview which existed in the 1st half of the 1st millennium BC and one which existed in the 1st century AD—has to do with who Yahweh vindicates or accords righteousness to.

As posted in an earlier entry (#6), Old Testament theology was constructed on the empirical. If an individual or a nation was suffering distress or illness then obviously that individual or nation has transgressed Yahweh’s words and are enduring the appropriate punishment. Conversely, if one follows Yahweh’s commandments and laws then that individual or nation will reap its just rewards, living on the land (see #29). In other words, Yahweh vindicates those who do the works of the law and punishes those who do not.

There is no middle ground. The guilty, those who have transgressed Yahweh’s

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#151. Does Yahweh dwell among the people, in the Temple OR not? (Ex 25:8, 29:45 vs Deut 12:11, 12:21; Acts 7:48)

“And they shall make me a holy place and I shall dwell among them.” (Ex 25:8; cf. Ex 29:45)

One or the central and most important theological tenets of the Priestly theocracy was that Yahweh dwelt among the people, tented in the Tabernacle which was at the center of their camp.

This theological conviction alone necessitated a strict ethical and ritual code that quickly expunged and expiated any impurities that came into the camp—thus the Priestly legislation’s strict adherence to purity and cleanliness, both ethically and ritually.

“You will be holy, for I, Yahweh your god, am holy!” (Lev 19.2)

At the center of this “holy” encampment was the Tabernacle where Yahweh dwelt. Only the Aaronid priests were allowed entrance into it. Next, were the anointed Aaronids themselves, and after them were the Levites who ministered to the Aaronid priesthood (Num 4). Extending further from the center were the people, and finally

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#174. Sin can only be atoned through sacrifice OR not? (Lev 4-5; Num 15 vs Deut 4, 17, 23-24, 28; Gal 2-4; Rom 4-7)

There are significant differences, indeed contradictions, between the views and precepts of the Aaronid-led priestly guild who wrote the book of Leviticus and the Levite-led scribes who wrote the book of Deuteronomy. These are large sweeping theological differences that existed between ancient Israel’s rival priestly schools (see also #30, #151, #152, #153-154).

The Priestly literature is centered around its most important cultic and theological institution: the Tabernacle. The sacrificial cult was the center of priestly ideology and the Aaronid priests functioned as sole mediators, via the sacrificial cult, between the people and Yahweh. Accordingly, any transgression, the inadvertent contact with the impure/unclean, had to be atoned/expiated via sacrifice—as outlined in Leviticus 4-5. That is to say, sacrifice was the only means to atone for sin. There was no room for contrition or forgiveness in the priestly theology. This is not only contradicted

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#183. Are certain foods impure/unclean and forbidden to eat OR not? (Lev 11; Deut 14 vs Mk 7:18-19; Rom 14:14; Acts 10:10-15)

I apologize for my rather long absence. It’s been a difficult time. But let us see if we can get back on track and finish up with the contradictions in Leviticus, and move into Numbers and Deuteronomy.

In earlier posts, I discussed the sacrificial cult of the Aaronid priesthood as detailed throughout the book of Leviticus (#137-138, <a title="#148. Are sacrifices permitted before the Tabernacle, Altar, and Aaronid priesthood are established and consecrated OR are they not? (Ex 24:4-6 vs Ex 40; Lev 1-10)#149. Is Moses allowed to perform sacrifices OR are only Aaron and his

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#184. Who can declare an individual “pure/clean”: the Aaronid priest OR Jesus? (Lev 12-15, 18-20 vs Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37; Mark 1:40-45; Matthew 8:1-4; Luke 5:12-16, etc.)

“And the priest shall identify him/her as pure.”

As previously noted (#183), the whole belief system, social organization, and worldview created by the Aaronid priests who wrote the scrolls that eventually became the book of Leviticus were intricately constructed upon categories of pure and impure, and these categories were woven into, according to this priestly guild and its god, the very fabric of the cosmos itself, of its metaphysics, at its creation (see #1).

The texts of Leviticus are in fact instructions (torahs) presented as from Yahweh to the Aaronid priesthood which exclusively assign the Aaronid priesthood with the function of: 1) identifying individuals, individual actions, foods, clothing, houses, etc. as either pure or impure, 2) prescribing the necessary procedures to regain one’s state of purity, and 3) performing sacrifices at Yahweh’s altar which atone such individuals of their sin/impurity.

This whole priestly and sacred view of the

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#186. Is Yom Kipper (the Day of Atonement/Purification) an eternal law OR not? (Lev 16, 23:26-32 vs Deut 16:16; Rom 3; Gal 3; Heb 5-9)

The Priestly literature is the only corpus of texts in the Bible that prescribes as an eternal law, directly from Yahweh’s mouth, the festival of Yom Kipper—but see Ezekiel too, a text not incoincidentally also written by an Aaronid priest in exile. In fact, the priestly literature is the only corpus of texts in the Bible that commands certain sacrifices (#155), festivals (#109-110, #118), holy days (#171), covenants (#31), and other cultic practices associated with the Aaronid priestly guild as “eternal laws.”

Thus, for example, the priestly writer places these as eternal laws on the lips of his god, Yahweh: Passover (Ex 12:14, 17), the observance of Unleavened Bread, Booths, and the Day of Atonement (Lev 23:14, 41; 16:29, 31); the Aaronid priesthood itself (Ex 29:9; 40:15; Lev 6:15); the daily lamp that must be kept lit by the Aaronid priests (Ex 27:21; Lev 24:4); the Aaronid priesthood’s portion of

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#192. A wife who is guilty of aldutery must be put to death OR suffer the curse of bareness? (Lev 20:10; Deut 22:22; Gal 5:19-21; Rev 21:8 vs Num 5:11-31)

One of the Ten Commandments, preserved both in Exodus 20:14 (E) and Deuteronomy 5:17, is the prohibition against adultery: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

But we actually have to wait until later textual traditions clarify what the punishment of this crime is. Here is what Deuteronomy and Leviticus have to say about the matter.

If a man be found lying with a woman who is a husband’s wife, then the two of them shall die: the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. (Deut 22:22)

A man who will commit adultery with a man’s wife, who will commit adultery with his neighbor’s wife, shall be put to death: the adulterer and the adulteress. (Lev 20:10)

Although these texts present the man as the initiator in the act, it nevertheless clearly stipulates that both the man (adulterer) and the woman, the wife of another (adulteress), are to be put to death. Period, no exception.

Yet Numbers 5:11-31, which is officially entitled “the instruction

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#222. Must one be pure for Passover OR not? (Num 9:9-11 vs Deut 16:1-8)
#223. Is the observance of Passover an eternal law OR not? (Ex 12:14-17; Lev 23:4-5 vs Gal 3-4)

As we have repeatedly seen already (#175, #178, #183, #184, #185, etc.) that concern for ritual and ethical purity was top priority for the Aaronid priesthood that penned the book of Leviticus and 75% of what is now the book of Numbers.

Throughout Leviticus, and especially in those chapters devoted to its laws and commandments (Lev 11-22), the role of the Aaronid priests is repeatedly defined through the phrase “to distinguish between the holy and the profane, between the pure and the impure.”In fact, this priestly law code is presented as the very instruction (torah) for doing this. Its torahs are: “to distinguish between the holy and the profane, the pure and the impure” in matters of: diet (Lev 11); women, i.e., menstruation and childbirth (Lev 12); skin diseases and afflictions (Lev 13-14); bodily emissions (Lev 15); sex and nudity (Lev 18, 20); miscellaneous matters (Lev 19); and issues concerning the Aaronid priesthood (Lev 21-22).

Thus, according

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#244. Can any and all sins be atoned/expiated OR only those sins which were committed inadvertently? (Matt 6:14; Jn 3:16, 5:24; Acts 10:43; Rom 3:22, 4:25; Gal 3:13, etc. vs Deut 21:1-9, Lev 4-5; Num 15:30-31; cf. 1 Cor 5; Matt 6:15, 12:31, 18:35, etc.)

This entry expands upon an earlier entry, contradiction #174: Can sin only be atoned through sacrifice or not?—a post that needs much amending itself.

Here I will try to limit my remarks [Interjection: I failed at this task, my apologies. The post goes on and on and on. Hopefully there’s a little something for everyone here.] to, first, the different stance taken between unintentional and intentional sins as viewed by the Priestly writer—that is, the difference between inadvertently committing a sin and conversely willfully and intentionally committing a sin—and second how this dichotomy was discarded, forgotten, or willfully neglected by later biblical communities, worldviews, and/or beliefs…. or was it?

Indeed, the dichotomy itself is at core unique to the beliefs and worldview of the priests who wrote these texts—beliefs, views, and morals which, as we have seen throughout this survey of the literature, were sanctified

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#245. Is the Sabbath an eternal covenant decreed by Yahweh that must be kept under penalty of death OR not? (Ex 31:12-17, 35:2; Num 15:32-36; Matt 5:18-20 vs Acts 15:29; Rom 14:5-6; Gal 3:23-25, 4:9-10; Col 2:16)

All of the Torah’s Sabbath laws, including the account of its consecration as a holy day by God himself at creation (Gen 2:3), were penned by the same author or priestly guild!—what scholars have come to label as the Priestly source. Indeed the Sabbath itself has a much earlier origin than the writings of this 6th century BCE elite priestly guild. Thus the Sabbath is found in the earlier Yahwist and Elohist traditions and even listed as a central part of the Ten Commandments (see also #134):

Remember the Sabbath day: to make it holy! Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the 7th day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your god. You shall not do any work! (Ex 20:8-10)

But it was the Aaronid priests themselves who converted this 7th-day observance into an “eternal covenant” punishable by death! The Sabbath only appears as one of Yahweh’s eternal covenants in this Priestly literature (see <a title="#169. Yahweh makes a

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#254. Who can burn incense in front of Yahweh: only Aaronids OR not? (Ex 30:7; Num 17:5; 1 Chr 23:13; 2 Chr 26:16-19; Lk 1:8-11 vs Deut 33:10; 1 Sam 2:28; 1 Kgs 9:25)

The message endorsed through the tale of Korah’s rebellion in Numbers 16-17—that only the Aaronid priests can offer incense to Yahweh and only at Yahweh’s altar—is yet but another story in a long list meant to legitimate the Aaronid’s sole right to minister to Yahweh. We have now seen in this Aaronid written text, the Priestly source, “Yahweh” endorse:

  • the sole selection of the Aaronids as his priests, while at the same time demoting the rest of the Levites to servants of the Aaronids—contradictory to the claims of the “Yahweh” of Deuteronomy (#152)
  • the sole right of the Aaronids to officiate sacrifices, which logically follows from the above (#149)
  • and therefore the sole right of the Aaronids alone to expiate/atone for sin and only through sacrifices (#174, #244)
  • the sole right of the Aaronids to enter the Tabernacle (#166, #231)
  • the sole right of the Aaronids alone to touch Yahweh’s holy sacra (#220)
  • the sole selection of Aaronid priests as judges (#153-154)
  • the sole right of the Aaronids to be able to eat Yahweh’s sacrifices (#177)
  • the sole right of the Aaronids as the beneficiaries of Yahweh’s tithes (#214)
  • and now the sole right to burn incense!

This pro-Aaronid legislation is just some of the data scholars use in determining, quite convincingly now, that this literature was written by an elite priestly guild that legitimated its sovereign right to rule by tracing its lineage back to Aaron and, not surprisingly, by writing a text set in the archaic past where the Yahweh in this text authenticated their sole right to be priests and to rule by proclaiming it so!

Again for readers unfamiliar with ancient Near Eastern literature—and that is most “readers” of the Bible—this is precisely what

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#255. Where is Aaron’s budding rod placed: in front of the Ark of Testimony OR in it? (Num 17:25 vs Heb 9:4)

There appears to be conflating traditions concerning where Aaron’s budding rod was relegated.

In the Priestly narrative of Numbers 17, Aaron’s budding rod is set in front of the Ark of Testimony before Yahweh’s throne seat (#159; #226) to serve as “a sign to rebels.”

But when the author of Hebrews six centuries later duplicates this tradition while speaking of the first Temple, he places Aaron’s budding rod in the Ark!

He also—and I missed this in our Exodus contradictions—places the the omer of manna collected in the manna story in the Ark too, rather than in front of the Ark as stated in Exodus 16:34.

Lastly, the Hebrews’ account then states that the Tablets of the Covenant were also in the Ark. This too conflates with the Priestly traditions since in P what are placed in the Ark of Testimony are the Tablets with the instructions of building the Tabernacle! See #156.

Finally, both 1 Kings 8:9 and 2 Chr 5:10

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#291. Does Balaam wish to curse Israel and is prevented by Yahweh OR does he not wish to curse Israel? (Deut 23:5-6; Josh 24:9-10; Neh 13:2; 2 Pet 2:15; Jude 1:11; Rev 2:14 vs Num 22:22-35)

The narrative of Numbers 22-24 never presents nor implies that Balaam wishes to harm or curse Israel. To the contrary, Balaam is presented as a loyal vassal of Yahweh, and when on three separate occasions Balak asks Balaam to pronounce curses upon Israel, Balaam refuses saying that he can only utter that which his god—Yahweh—has placed in his own mouth. Indeed, Balaam even refers to Yahweh as “my god,” which might of itself indicate that Yahweh was seen during this text’s composition as the god of the land of Transjordan, thus in effect explaining how a non-Israelite could call Yahweh his god. He was the god of this land.

In either case, other places in the Bible seem to preserve a different view of Balaam, one most likely stemming from a different tradition. In these passages (Deut 23:5-6; Josh 24:9-10; Neh 13:2), Balaam is presented as wishing harm on Israel, desiring to curse Israel and stopped only by Yahweh himself. There

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#259. Are the dead impure OR not? (Lev 21:11; Num 19:11-16 vs Mk 5:36-41, 15:46; Matt 9:23-27; Lk 8:41-49; Acts 9:37, etc.)

I’ve long wished to examine the competing if not radically contradictory views on the dead (i.e., a dead body, corpse) between the Priestly writer and later New Testament writers. The problem is finding specific verses in the New Testament that do contradict P’s rather clear and inflexible stance on the dead, specifically as it comes through in Numbers 19.

Nonetheless, even if my choice of NT verses in this contradiction are less than convincing, one can’t deny the utterly contradictory worldviews between the priestly guild that wrote Numbers 19 and NT authors living hundreds of centuries later who did not share in P’s worldview, values, nor beliefs (ditto for many of the contradictions already examined: #183, #222-223, #244).

Let me proceed by first laying out P’s view on death, on a dead body that is, and from there draw out some of the features behind P’s worldview that caused him to view death in the terms depicted in Numbers 19.

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#299. Does Yahweh make an eternal covenant with the Aaronid priesthood via Phinehas OR with the Levitical priesthood in general OR with only the Zadokite line OR with the Davidic line OR with Jesus Christ via Melchizedek? (Num 25:6-13 vs Deut 18:1-5, 33:8-10; 1 Sam 2:28; Jer 33:18-22; Mal 2:4 vs 1 Sam 2:35; Ezek 40:46, 43:19, 44:15-16 vs Ps 110:4 vs Heb 7:11-25)

As a collection of diverse writings spanning roughly a thousand years, the Bible itself bears witness to the internecine priestly rivalries that plagued ancient Israel, and in one case even extended into the Christian era. And as is apparent from this entry’s title, each of these competing priestly guilds wrote a text whose purpose was to legitimate their guild’s right to be Yahweh’s sole anointed priests forever. In this rather lengthy post, we will survey how these competing texts interact with one another both historically and narratively, and the techniques these scribes used to legitimate their guild’s or sect’s perceived privilege to minister forever as Yahweh’s priest(s).

Reading the Pentateuch Narratively at Face-Value: Observing Contradictions and Discrepancies

Numbers 25:6-13 presents Yahweh declaring “a covenant of eternal priesthood” to Phinehas and his seed as a direct result of Phinehas’ zeal in safeguarding

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Bible contradictions in your mailbox!

Genesis 1 and the Creationism Debate

The earth and skies according to Genesis 1

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