Faulty Assumptions in Biblical Interpretation
by Kyle Hendricks
I’ve noticed that, when non-Christians point out certain apparent contradictions or alleged historical errors in the Bible, those contradictions or errors only appear that way because of some unwarranted assumptions they are making. Here are a few.
And these you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten; they are detestable: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon of any kind, every raven of any kind, the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind, the little owl, the cormorant, the short-eared owl, the barn owl, the tawny owl, the carrion vulture, the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:13-19)
God says that a bat is a bird! Apparently he’s too stupid to know the difference between a bird and a mammal.
The assumption a person is making when he points this out is that the ancient Hebrews had the same species categories that we do today. There is no reason to think this.
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Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. (John 20:1)
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. (Matthew 28:1)
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. (Mark 16:1)
This seems to be a plain contradiction. They clearly disagree with each other on how many women went to the tomb. This is another reason to distrust the Biblical accounts.
The assumption a person is making when stating this challenge is that the Gospel writers were trying to give a complete account of every single detail of the event. There is no reason to think this…
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