Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible is a great resource for Bible contradictions, but as I've mentioned, it's a bit shallow, and it lumps all the problems together without letting any stand out. is a resource that addresses both those issues.

Two characteristics set this site apart. First, it categorizes Bible problems as either Weak, Minor or Serious. This allows readers to focus on those cases that have no plausible inerrantist explanation. You may not always agree with the author's assessment—I think he sometimes errs too much on the side of caution, and some problems are bigger than he thinks they are—but perusing the problems labelled "Serious" should make all but the most obstinate fundies think twice about their position. For instance, I have yet to see a single decent explanation for the failed prophecy that Tyre would be permanently destroyed.

Pictured: Biblical errancy in a nutshell.
The second great thing about the site is that it actually addresses the apologists' explanations for these conflicting passages head on. And that doesn't mean the author refutes them every time: sometimes he points out the obvious gaps in their reasoning, while in other cases he acknowledges that they could be right. It's a refreshingly honest approach—one that apologists themselves would never dream of taking—and in the end, it only makes the serious cases that much more serious.

True, the site does have drawbacks of its own: it only deals with a few dozen contradictions instead of the thousands supplied by the SAB, and the author is a layman rather than an expert in biblical studies. But all it takes is one irrefutable conflict to bring down inerrancy, and plenty of these issues come down to common sense and solid reasoning instead of a deep knowledge of ancient Greek. isn't perfect, but like the SAB, it's a great starting part for learning about contradictions in the Bible. Their two strategies are completely different, but ultimately both lead to the same conclusion: the Bible is demonstrably not a book that's divinely free from error.

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