#0: Ground Rules: Part 2
Just in case read part 1.
The next few sentences of Merritt’s introduction are an avalanche of misleading statements that I presume were the chief reasons he decided to reject the Bible.
For instance, Genesis 1 and 2 disagree about the order in which things are created, and how satisfied God is about the results of his labors. The flood story is really two interwoven stories that contradict each other on how many of each kind of animal are to be brought into the Ark — is it one pair each or seven pairs each of the “clean” ones? The Gospel of John disagrees with the other three Gospels on the activities of Jesus Christ (how long had he stayed in Jerusalem — a couple of days or a whole year?) and all four Gospels contradict each other on the details of Jesus Christ’s last moments and resurrection. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke contradict each other on the genealogy of Jesus Christ’ father; though both agree that Joseph was not his real father.
Some of these have been answered already and the rest will be soon, although they’ve been answered by others already. You can do a quick search if you don’t want to wait for me.
Repetitions and contradictions are understandable for a hodgepodge collection of documents, but not for some carefully constructed treatise, reflecting a well-thought-out plan.
If the Bible were a short and concise history covering a couple days, or a couple years, I could understand this point, but in the end this statement is merely Merritt’s opinion. Where’s his objective evidence that a document with the scope of the Bible must follow his version of a “carefully constructed treatise?”
I think you could make the case that the repetitions do provide for a carefully constructed treatise because they help us build on and compile information rather than making us go back and cross reference.
One of the things that skeptics often do, that they are not aware of, is make a philosophical case instead of a logical one. In other words, they don’t like the way God does this, or that, and so conclude that God doesn’t exist. In this case, they don’t like the way the Bible is put together and conclude that it must be wrong.
It would be tantamount to saying that since the iPhone layout is not intuitive to a Windows 7 user, Steve Jobs must never have existed. It’s an emotional response instead of a well-reasoned argument.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Ground Rules Part 3!