Excerpts from The Perfect Mirror? The Question of Bible Perfection
by Darrel Henschell
This is a book written in response to the doctrine of biblical inerrancy which is still believed by approximately one third of American Christians. The book contains 130 contradictions and Bible problems in their full context placed side by side in a double-column format. The book is a useful and handy reference tool for those who may wish on occasion to take it upon themselves to challenge the claim of inerrancy put forward by biblical fundamentalists.
The Perfect Mirror? The Question of Bible Perfection can be purchased for $16, post paid, by contacting the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"We may admit a mirror to be a good one, although we observe some blemishes;
but we are entitled to point out its flaws when it is declared to be perfect." --G. W. Foote
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Bursting Bubbles of Reality
Chapter 2: The Old Testament (52 examples of contradiction)
Chapter 3: The New Testament (36 examples of contradiction)
Chapter 4: Prophecy (20 examples of contradictory prophecy)
Chapter 5: Doctrine (27 examples of contradictory doctrine)
Chapter 6: Apologetics Department
- Human Sacrifice
- Checking your brain at the door
- The Burden of Proof
- Apologetic Techniques:
- Contradictions? What Contradictions?
- Any Possible Loophole is a Good Loophole!
- The ALL or NONE Ruse
- Scripture Does Not Mean What it Says
- The Copyist Did It!
- Custom Translations for a Custom Doctrine
- Fundamentalist Mathematics
- Circular Reasoning 101
- Gleason Archer
- Norman Geisler
- Josh McDowell
- The Doctrine of Inerrancy
- Getting Into the Canon
- The Scriptural Claims of Inerrancy
- The Shackles of Literalism
- Let there be vegetarians
- Planet Juggling
- Snake Handlers
- Miracles Whence Did They Come?; where did they go?
Subject and Name Index
It is strange, when mistakes are so common, to find everyone positive and dogmatic? And that the zeal often rises in proportion to the error? -- Spartian
As a young child one of my favorite television
shows was Sesame Street. It was fairly new then,
having been around only a year or two. Even though
the show is now 25 years old I still enjoy watching
parts of it with my son. Interesting, how Big Bird and
the Cookie Monster haven't aged at all, while a whole
generation of children watching them have. Some
characters like Mr. Cooper the shopkeeper have left
while new ones like Elmo (my son's favorite) have
I am glad to see that a trait of one particular
character has changed. Back in the early days of
Sesame Street the large and very shy woolly mammoth
character known as 'Snuffleupagus' was Big Bird's
personal friend and, it seems, was only seen by him. A
typical scene had Big Bird by himself, and the
Snuffleupagus would magically appear in a puff of
smoke. They would chat for a little while after which
the camera would move to include only Big Bird, who
was usually talking. Then some other character would
enter the scene and ask Big Bird who he was talking
to. Big Bird would do a double take and look
frantically around but could never produce his friend
'Snuffy', with whom he had just been talking. He
would then very carefully and honestly explain that
just a moment ago his friend the Snuffleupagus was
standing there and that "he must be around here
somewhere" but...to no avail. At this point the other
character would suggest that Big Bird was probably
crazy, make a puzzled face and promptly leave. I
remember this scene being played out again and again
with many variations. That left just me and Big Bird
knowing the truth about the Snuffleupagus.
This sequence would drive me crazy! How could
they not see a woolly mammoth!? He was just there,
and he was huge! Of course I knew Big Bird was right,
there was a Snuffleupagus. He's not crazy! Oh, I
thought, if I could only make them see. This powerful,
dramatic irony of having all your friends at Sesame
Street thinking, quite incorrectly, that you and your
friend Big Bird were crazy, was, for a young child,
almost too hard to bear.
Apparently in 1985, sixteen years after the first
show, they finally corrected this by having an episode
where they brought out Snuffy for everyone to see.
Finally, the honesty of Big Bird had been exonerated!
He (and the audience) had been right all along. Big
Bird's acquittal came a little late for me. Having just
graduated from high school, I managed to miss that
one. Who knows how many people, who didn't watch
the later episodes, are still at some unconscious level
wondering about their sanity? What could be the
benefit of this?
Maybe Sesame Street was doing me a favor.
Perhaps this children's show was just doing it's job in
preparing me for the irony of adult life, where
something as unmistakable as a woolly mammoth on
a street corner is not noticed by those who would
rather not see it. Could it be that some people, who
actually spend a great deal of time on these "street
corners", who are in a position to be very aware of
these "large hairy creatures", do not even believe they
exist?! For a young adult it was a troubling thought.
What I'm alluding to is "Bible contradiction." For
instance, try out the following quotations from some
well-known professional Bible readers. Each one of
these statements were made by groups, individuals or
authors with followers numbering into the millions:
- Jerry Falwell -
The Bible is the inerrant...word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc."
Finding Inner Peace and Strength, (pg. 26.)
- Billy Graham -
We should approach the Bible with the assurance that here we have God-breathed literature...
True Christianity finds all of its doctrines in the Bible; true Christianity does not deny any part of the Bible;...
The Bible is not only a book of graphic prose, inspirational poetry and dynamic preaching; it is the book of accurate, unerring prophecy. The Quotable Billy Graham, (pg.28, 156.)
- Rubel Shelly -
It gives believers considerable satisfaction to
point out that not a single case of dispute over its
credibility has ever been settled to the discredit of
Historical inaccuracies, internal contradiction
or factual error of any sort would leave us without
confidence in the book and the system of thought
and life it authors.
Prepare to Answer, (pg. 141)
- Hal Lindsey -
The prophetic Scriptures have been proven in
history with a 100 percent accuracy record.
When God chose to reflect Himself to man, He
didn't create an imperfect instrument to do so. The
Bible is God's perfect mirror.
...Gods complete Revelation to man was
The Terminal Generation,
- Norman Geisler & Thomas Howe -
The Logical Conclusion: The Bible Cannot Err
Yes God has spoken, and He has not stuttered. The God of truth has given us the Word of Truth,
and it does not contain any untruth in it. The
Bible is the unerring Word of God.
Inspiration includes not only all that the Bible
explicitly teaches, but also everything the Bible
touches. This is true whether the Bible is touching
upon history, science, or mathematics. Whatever
the Bible declares, is true whether it is a major
point or a minor point.
When Critics Ask, (p.12,
- Watchtower Bible and Tract Society -
The Bible's Perfection.
The Sacred Scriptures constitute a perfect
message from God, refined, pure, and true...
Insight On The Scriptures, (Vol. II, pg. 603)
While some may claim the Bible contradicts
itself, has anyone ever shown you an actual
example? We have never seen one that could
withstand scrutiny. True, there may appear to be
discrepancies in certain Bible accounts. But the
problem usually is lack of knowledge regarding
details and circumstances of the times.
Tract, Why You Can Trust the Bible
Ah, such bold testimony! Inerrant, they say,
absolutely infallible, without error in all matters,
100% accurate, perfect. How easily such praise
tumbles from their lips! They credit the Bible with
being unfailingly accurate in every detail of history it
records, with perfect prophesy and with possessing the
only consistent set of divine morals and doctrines
handed down from the creator of the universe. They
have left absolutely no doubt as to their position. The
belief that the Bible is entirely without error could not
be more unequivocal or plainly stated. These people
clearly do not believe the Bible has a single,
These statements are from individuals and
organizations that consider themselves as being very
familiar with the Bible. Some of them have even
produced their own translations of the Bible,
obviously pouring over every word. The Watchtower
Society alone has produced over ten thousand
different books, tracts and magazines over the years,
all described as Bible-based (printings of these now
amounting to almost one billion copies per year).
It may feel very glorious and faithful to say or to
hear that "the Bible is without error or contradiction"
but is such a statement true?1 Upon what reasoning
and evidence do these leaders base such bold
assertions? There certainly shouldn't be any problem
in doing a little research; if Bible contradictions do not
exist, anyone checking for them is certain to come up
empty handed. Surely this is not asking too much.
Truth does not fear a question. In fact if such claims
are true they only stand to gain credibility from such
scrutiny. It is only if a statement is false that it needs
protection from inspection. Genuine truth can
Joseph Wheless made this point beautifully in his
book Is It God's Word?:
The Bible, as all must admit, is the only earthly
source of human knowledge which we have, or
possibly can have, of the great questions of miracle
and of "revealed religion" which come to us through
its pages. The authenticity and verity of its
remarkable contents, as the asserted word and will
of God, Yahveh, can only be tested and ascertained
by itself; by the "internal evidence" of its own
words and texts must its divine origin and inspired
truth be vindicated, or its possible mere human
origin and want of inspired truth be demonstrated.
On a matter of such prima facie high importance to
man and to the soul and its destiny, no candid and
honest mind can offer reasonable objection to a
candid and honest inquiry, made by a frank and
faithful examination of its own words and texts."
We will be embarking on a search for that "woolly
mammoth," which some say does not exist. If a single
one can be found, can the existence of internal Bible
contradiction and error be emphatically denied? No.
But if one...how about two?
There you are in the woods peering around a tree,
the clear form of a woolly mammoth before you, so
close you can smell him. At that point you may be
curious to ask, is this the only one...or does he have
1. For politicians, such a statement given to the right crowd
may also get some votes. For example, "The Bible is the
authoritative Word of God and contains all truth." U.S.
President Bill Clinton, at a prayer breakfast.
The Old Testament
Two of each of the fowls were to be taken.
Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind,
of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two
of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
Seven of each of the fowls were to be taken.|
Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the
female. Gen. 7:3
God was known to Abraham (Abram), Isaac, Jacob
and many before them by the name YHWH.
And to Seth [Adam's son], to him also there was
born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began
men to call upon the name of the LORD [YHWH].
And Abram said, LORD GOD, what wilt thou
give me, seeing I go childless... And he believed in the
LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
And he said unto him [Abram], I am the LORD that
bought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees... Gen. 15:2, 6-7
And Abraham called the name of that place
Jehovahjireh [YHWH will provide]: as it is said to
this day, "In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen."
...and he [Isaac] said, For now the LORD hath
made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the
land... And he builded an altar there, and called upon
the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there...
Gen. 26:22, 25.
And Jacob went out from Beersheba... And, behold,
the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD
GOD of Abraham thy father... And Jacob awaked out
of his sleep, and said, Surely the LORD is in this
place and I knew it not. Gen. 28:10, 13, 16.
Moses did not know that God's name was Yahweh.
God was not known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by
the name "Yahweh" [YHWH].|
And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto
the children of Israel and shall say to them, The God
of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall
say to me, what is his name? What shall I say unto
them? Exod 3:13-16.
And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am
the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac,
and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty [El
Shaddai], but by my name JEHOVAH [YHWH]
was I not known to them. Exod. 6:2, 3.
The word "LORD" in the Hebrew testament is
always a substitute for the consonants YHWH.
Although the vowels and thus the correct
pronunciation of the divine name remain unknown, the
Hebrew pronunciation is thought to perhaps be
Yahweh. This name appears 156 times in the book of
Genesis. Some translations take the liberty of
substituting the English word "Jehovah" for YHWH.
The word "Jehovah" did not exist until the 16th
century when it was artificially constructed. Steven
Friesen, in The Oxford Companion To The Bible,
states: "Renaissance Christian tradition erroneously
combined the consonants of Yahweh and the vowels
of adonay to produce "Jehovah,"..." (pg. 343)
Satan provoked David to take the census.
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked
David to number Israel. 1 Chron. 21:1
It was the LORD who moved David to take the
And again the anger of the LORD was kindled
against Israel, and he moved David against them to
say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2 Sam 24:1
Salah was the son of Arphaxad.
And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat
Salah. And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four
hundred and three years... Gen. 11:12, 13
Sala was the son of Cainan.
Sala, which was the son of Cainan, which was the
son of Arphaxad. Luke 3:35, 36.
David always did what was right except for the
matter concerning Uriah.
David did that which was right in the eyes of the
LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he
commanded him all the days of his life save only in
the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kings 15:5
David also sinned in numbering Israel.
And David's heart smote him that he had numbered
the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have
sinned greatly in that I have done. 2 Sam. 24:10
(This sin was so bad that God killed seventy thousand
men as punishment. 2 Sam. 24:15)
After leaving Kadesh they went to mount Hor.
Following Aaron's death on mount Hor they
continued on to Zalmonah and then Punon.
And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in
mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom. And
Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the
commandment of the LORD, and died there... And
they departed from mount Hor, and pitched in
Zalmonah. And they departed from Zalmonah, and
pitched in Punon. Num. 33:37-42. See also Num.
20:27-28; Deut. 32:50
After leaving Beeroth they went to Mosera.
Following Aaron's death in Mosera they continued
on to Gudgodah and then Jotbath.
And the children of Israel took their journey from
Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera: there
Aaron died, and there he was buried, and Eleazar his
son ministered in the priest's office in his stead. From
thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from
Gudgodah to Jotbath... Deut. 10:6,7
Jehu shot Ahaziah near Ibleam. Ahaziah then fled to
Meggido and died there.
But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he
fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu
followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the
chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which
is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.
2 Kings 9:27
Ahaziah was found hiding in Samaria, brought to
Jehu, and put to death.
And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing
judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the
princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of
Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them.
And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he
was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and
when they had slain him, they buried him: 2 Chron.
Shemaiah had six sons.
And the sons of Shechaniah; Shemaiah: and the
sons of Shemaiah; Hattush, and Igeal, and Bariah,
and Neariah, and Shaphat, six. 1 Chron. 3:22
A self contradicting scripture. The sons of
And the sons of Shechaniah; Shemaiah: and the
sons of Shemaiah; Hattush, and Igeal, and
Bariah, and Neariah, and Shaphat, six. 1
The New Testament
No man has gone up to heaven unless he came down
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he
that came down from heaven, even the Son of man
which is in heaven. John 3:13
Oxford Revised Standard Version
No one has ascended into heaven but he who
descended from heaven, the Son of man. John 3:13
Men have ascended up to heaven.
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for
God took him. Gen. 5:24
By faith Enoch was translated that be should not
see death; and was not found, because God had
translated him:... Heb. 11:5
...there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire,
and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by
a whirlwind into heaven. 2 Kings 2:11
Jesus sent his disciples to retrieve two animals for
the ride into Jerusalem.
And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem,... then
sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into
the village over against you, and straightway ye shall
find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and
bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto
you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them, and
straightway he well send them... And the disciples
went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought
the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes,
and they set him thereon. Matt 21:1-3, 5-7
Jesus sent his disciples to retrieve one animal for the
ride into Jerusalem.
And when they came nigh to Jerusalem,... he
sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto
them, Go your way into the village over against you:
and as soon as ye be entered unto it, ye shall find a
colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and
bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye
this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and
straightway he will send him hither. And they went
their way, and found the colt tied by the door... And
they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments
on him; and he sat upon him. Mark 11:1-4, 7. See
also Luke 19:28-40.
Jesus was crucified at the third hour.
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
Mark. 15:25 [ORSV notation: Third hour, about 9:00
At about the sixth hour Jesus was still before Pilate.
And it was the preparation of the passover, and
about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews,
Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him,
away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them,
Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered,
We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him
therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took
Jesus, and led him away. John 19:14-16. [ORSV notation: Sixth hour,
Jesus' last words were...
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said,
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: said
thus, he gave up the ghost. Luke 23:46
According to "John," Jesus' last words were...
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he
said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave
up the ghost. John 19:30
Jesus showed his hands and feet to the apostle
Thomas within a day of his rising. (The "Eleven"
stated here must include Thomas. Twelve apostles
minus one [Judas] equals eleven.)
Now on the first day of the week very early in the
morning, they came... And, behold, two of them went
that same day to a village called Emaus, which was
from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs [about 7
miles]... And they drew nigh unto the village, whither
they went: and he made as though he would have gone
further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with
us: for it is toward evening... And they rose up
the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and
found the eleven gathered, and them that were with
them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath
appeared to Simon... And as they thus spake, Jesus
himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto
them, Peace be unto you,... And he said unto them,
Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in
your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it
is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not
flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had
thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his
feet. Luke 24:1, 13, 28-29, 33-34, 36, 38-40.
Jesus did not show his hands and feet to the
skeptical apostle Thomas until eight days after his
The first day of the week cometh Mary... Then
the same day at evening, being the first day of the
week, when the doors were shut where the disciples
were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and
stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto
you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them
his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad,
when they saw the Lord... But Thomas, one of the
twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when
Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto
him, We have seen the Lord. But he [Thomas] said
unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of
the nails, and put my finger unto the print of the nails,
and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
And after eight days again his disciples were within,
and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors
being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be
unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy
finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy
hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless,
but believing. And Thomas answered... My Lord and
my God. John 20:1, 19-20, 24-28.
Saul's companions heard the voice but saw no one.
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and
suddenly there shined round about him a light from
heaven: And he fell to earth, and heard a voice saying
unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?... And
the men which journeyed with him stood
speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And
Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were
opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand,
and brought him into Damascus, And he was three
days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
Acts 9:3, 4, 7-9
Saul's companions saw the light but did not hear the
And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and
was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly
there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying
unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?... And
they that were with me saw indeed the light, and
were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him
that spake to me. Acts 22:6-7, 9.
Nebuchadrezzar was to capture Tyre, completely
destroy it, and it was to be covered with water, never
to be inhabited or rebuilt again and not even to be
(3) Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am
against thee, O tyrus, and will cause many nations to
come up against thee... (7) Behold, I will bring upon
Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of
kings,... (9) And he shall set engines of war against
thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy
towers... (10) he shall enter into thy gates, as men
enter into a city wherein is made a breach. (11) With
the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy
streets... and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the
ground. (14) ...thou shalt be a place to spread nets
upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD
have spoken it,... (19) For thus saith the Lord God;
When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities
that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the
deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee;
(20) ...that thou be not inhabited; (21) I will make
thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though
thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found
again, saith the Lord God. Ezek. 26:3, 7, 9-11, 14,
...thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any
more. Ezek. 27:36
Nebuchadnezzar not only failed to destroy Tyre but
was not even able to capture it.
The New Encyclopedia Britannica says:
...and in 585-573 (B.C.) it successfully withstood a
prolonged siege by the Babylonian King
Nebuchadrezzar II (Micropedia, vol. 10, p.223)
The Encyclopedia Americana says:
The neo-Babylonian conqueror, Nebuchadnezzar II,
subjected the island to a 13-year siege (585-572)
without success (1984, Vol. 27, p. 331)
Ezekiel admits this in chapter 29:18,
Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused
his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every
head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled:
yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for
the service that he had served against it:
240 years later the city of Tyre was still very much
in existence since in 332 B.C. it fell (as so many
ancient cities did) to Alexander the Great. Following
this it was rebuilt and did become a prominent port
once again in the Mediterranean. Even Jesus is
reported to have gone there:
Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts
of Tyre and Sidon. Matt. 15:21.
Tyre is currently populated by some 23,000 people.
Nebuchadnezzar was to gain hold of the riches of
For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring
upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king
of kings... And they shall make a spoil of thy riches,
and make a prey of thy merchandise... Ezek. 26:7,
Nebuchadnezzar did not get hold of the riches of
Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon
caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus:
every head was made bald, and every shoulder was
peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for
Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it:
Jesus opens his disciples minds to the prophecies
written that predicted that Christ would die and rise
on the third day.
Then opened he their understanding, that they might
understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus
it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer,
and to rise from the dead the third day:... Luke
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also
received, how that Christ died for our sins according
to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that
he rose again the third day according to the
scriptures:... 1 Cor. 15:3, 4.
There is no prophecy written in the scriptures that
says Jesus was to rise on the third day.
The END was nigh.
Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here,
which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of
man coming in his kingdom. Matt. 16:28
But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing
here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the
kingdom of God. Luke 9:27
See Acts 2:15-17 in which Peter invokes a prophecy
by Joel to explain why a gathering of diverse peoples
understood each other's language. This outpouring of
God's Spirit was a sign that the end was near.
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it
remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though
they had none; 1 Cor. 7:29
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The
Lord is at hand. Phil. 4:5
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,
that we which are alive and remain unto the
coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are
asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from
heaven... Then we which are alive and remain shall
be caught up together with them in the clouds...
1 Thess. 4:15-16
God...Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his
Son... Heb. 1:1-2
For then must he often have suffered since the
foundation of the world: but now once in the end of
the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the
sacrifice of himself. Heb. 9:26
For yet a little while, and he that shall come will
come, and will not tarry. Heb. 10:37
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of
the Lord... stablish your hearts: for the coming of the
Lord draweth nigh...behold, the judge standeth
before the door. James 5:7-9
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye
therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 1 Peter 4:7
Christ...was manifest in these last times for you,...
1 Peter 1:19-20
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have
heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there
many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last
time. 1 John 2:18
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave
unto him, to shew unto his servants things which
must shortly come to pass;... Rev. 1:1
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the
words of this prophecy, and keep those things which
are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Behold, I come quickly. Rev. 3:11
And he said unto me, Seal not the sayings of the
prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand... He
which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come
quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Rev. 22:10, 20.
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye
into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not
have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of
man be come. Matt 10:23
In reality of course, the END (and/or the return of
Jesus) has not been forth coming. This partial list of
scriptures are then consistent with all other
prophecies which have falsely predicted a rapidly
The Bible's test for true prophecy:
When a prophet speaketh... if the thing follow not, nor
come to pass.... the prophet hath spoken it
presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. Deut.
And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet
prophesy, then his father and is mother that begat him
shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou
speakest lies in the name of the LORD and his father
and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through
when he prophesieth. Zech. 13:3
God does not punish children for the sins of their
The fathers shall not be put to death for the children,
neither shall the children be put to death for the
fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own
sin. Deut. 24:16
Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity
of the father? When the son hath done that which is
lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and
hath done them, he shall surely live. The soul that
sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the
iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the
iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous
shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked
shall be upon him. Ezek. 18:19, 20.
God punishes children for the sins of their fathers.
... I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting
the iniquity of the fathers upon the children...
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity
and transgression and sin, and that will by no means
clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children, and upon the children's
children, unto the third and to the fourth
generation. Exod. 34:7 also Num. 14:18, Deut. 5:9
Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given
great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to
blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee
shall surely die. 2 Sam. 12:14
And the word of the LORD came to Elijah... Seest
thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because
he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the
evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the
evil upon his house. 1 Kings 21:28, 29
Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity
of their fathers... Isaiah. 14:21
Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and
recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the
bosom of their children after them... Jer. 32:18
No man can see God and live. No man has seen God
at any time. (backparts not included)
An the LORD said unto Moses... Thou canst not
see my face: for there shall no man see me, and
live. And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth
by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will
cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will
take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back
parts: but my face shall not be seen. Exod. 33:17, 20,
No man hath seen God at any time; the only
begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the father, he
hath declared him. John 1:18
Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor
seen his shape. John 5:37
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one
another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected
in us. 1 John 4:12
...the King of kings, and Lord of lords... whom no
man hath seen, nor can see... 1 Tim. 6:15-16
Many have seen God, and lived.
Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said,
I will appease him with the present that goeth before
me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure
he will accept me... And Jacob called the name of the
place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and
my life is preserved. Gen. 32:20, 30
Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu,
and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the
God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were
a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the
body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the
nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand:
also they saw God, and did eat and drink. Exod.
And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as
a man speaketh unto his friend. Exod. 33:11
Then Job answered the LORD, and said... I have
heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine
eye seeth thee. Job 42:1, 5
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the
Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up...
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone... for mine
eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 6:1, 5
God forbids killing.
Thou shalt not kill. Exod. 20:13
And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to
death. Lev. 24:17
It is all right to kill a human slave if it takes a day or
two for that slave to die.
And if a man smite his servant,or his maid, with
a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely
punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or
two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
God does not, cannot, lie.
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the
son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and
shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not
make it good? Num 23:19
...and the acknowledging of the truth which is after
godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that
cannot lie, promised before the world began;
God has lied.
And if the prophet be deceived when he hath
spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that
prophet... Ezekiel 14:9
Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a
lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and
the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee. 1 Kings
22:23 also 2 Chron. 18:22
...Ah, Lord God! surely thou hast greatly
deceived this people and Jerusalem... Jer. 4:10
O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was
deceived... Jer 20:7
...God shall send them strong delusion, that they
should believe a lie... 2 Thess. 2:11
God knows the hearts of all men.
...for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me...
thou understand my thought afar off... and art
acquainted with all my ways. Psalm 139:1-3
And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which
knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these
two thou hast chosen, Acts 1:24
God does not know (without testing) the hearts of
...for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou
hast not witheld thy son, thine only son from me.
...the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the
wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to
know what was in thine heart... Deut. 8:2
8.) Circular Reasoning 101, or... "Here We Go Loop De Loop."
This is it. This is the one. As a good friend from the
South says when he is about to make an important
point, "This... is where the bear did it in the
The fact is that the single most important and
common apologetic device used in support of the
inerrancy doctrine is based upon circular reasoning. It
is incredible that this is so easily missed, and by so
many people. It is actually the key to the whole thing.
It is the main support beam. It is the main engine in
the vehicle of biblical inerrancy.
There are different ways of looking at it, and we
have already seen its main face in our discussions of
the inadequacy of possible solutions, the any-
loophole-will-do principle. How does that involve
circular reasoning? There is only one logical reason
for accepting any old loophole as an adequate defense
of biblical error, and that is the assumption that the
Bible is inerrant! (Loopholes can always be found in
such arguments.) Thus, biblical inerrancy proves
biblical inerrancy, which begs the question. It is a
form of circular reasoning. But there is another way
of looking at this master trick used by biblicists.
It never ceases to amaze me that the greatest and
most used piece of evidence put forward in support of
the doctrine of biblical inerrancy is the simple
assertion that the Bible claims to be inerrant. The
following demonstrations of faulty logic represent the
cornerstone upon which the defense of the doctrine of
Biblical inerrancy is based.
Round & Round With:
a.) Gleason Archer
It seems that in almost every apologetics book that
Bible inerrantists write, one will find in the
introduction instructions guiding you in how to think.
This is certainly true of Mr. Gleason Archer's
Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Under the
appropriate heading "Recommended Procedures in
Dealing With Bible Difficulties" he gives some
familiar fundamentalist guidelines for the correct
mindset with which to approach these alleged Bible
He first introduces these guidelines by telling you
in advance who will most easily have success in
determining the solutions to these problems:
"In dealing with Bible problems of any kind, whether
in factual or in doctrinal matters, it is well to follow
appropriate guidelines in determining the solution.
This is most easily done by those who have carefully
and prayerfully studied the Bible over a number of
years and have consistently and faithfully
memorized Scriptures." (Gleason Archer)
Thus prepared, the reader's chances of success (and
of following his guidelines) is much greater. You will
see why when you read the first and most important
guideline (of a total of eight). This is the most
important one, because if you can obey it all the other
instructions are academic.
"Be fully persuaded in your own mind that an
adequate explanation exists, even though you have
not yet found it. The aerodynamic engineer may not
understand how a bumble bee can fly; yet he trusts
that there must be an adequate explanation for its
fine performance since, as a matter of fact, it does
fly! Even so we may have complete confidence that
the divine Author preserved the human author of
each book of the Bible from error or mistake as he
wrote down the original manuscript of the sacred
text." [underline mine] (Archer, p. 15)
I usually suspect that someone is about to ask me to
make a leap of faith when they start a sentence with
"Be fully persuaded."
It is Archer's hope that if you are able to follow --by
an act of faith-- the directions given in his first
sentence, all Bible difficulties will melt before your
eyes. If you can get into this frame of mind, being
"fully persuaded that an adequate explanation exists,"
all difficulties necessarily transform themselves into
non-difficulties as some vaporous, ethereal, yet
somehow "adequate," explanation is presumed to
"exist." Why? Because the bumblebee can fly?
There is a substantial problem in this insect
analogy. It is by observation, not faith, that one
believes that a bumblebee can fly. Thus, it is not the
proper model for the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.
Now, an ostrich or a penguin is a more apt model.
They are birds, with wings, and are similar to the
doctrine of inerrancy in that making them fly requires
lots of faith. (A rope and hoist wouldn't hurt either.)
What Archer is attempting to do here is to sell us a
miracle based on the assumption of Bible inerrancy.
Thus, we are to "expect a miracle." The bumblebee
can fly. We don't know how. It's a miracle! Similarly,
the Bible was recorded inerrantly. We don't know
how. It's a miracle! Is this evidence for Bible
No, it is not, and to be fair he is not suggesting here
that it is evidence. That is to follow. Here he is just
trying to show that miracles do happen, so that later
when you are confronted with the miracle of Bible
inerrancy you will be more likely to "be fully
persuaded" and "have complete confidence" based in
part upon your knowledge of the miracle of the flying
bumblebee. The problem is that the two are simply not
comparable. The fact that the bumblebee does fly is an
established fact and requires no leap of faith20. (Real
faith, however, is needed to believe that penguins and
ostriches can fly!)
His actual evidence for Biblical inerrancy comes
five pages later:
"...whatever Jesus Christ believed about the
trustworthiness of Scripture must be accepted as
true and binding on the conscience of every true
believer. If Christ believed in the complete
accuracy of the Hebrew Bible in all matters of
scientific or historical fact, we must acknowledge
His view in these matters to be correct and
trustworthy in every respect. Moreover, in view of
the impossibility of God's being guilty of error, we
must recognize that even matters of history and
science, though not per se theological, assume the
importance of basic doctrine. Why is this so?
Because Christ is God, and God cannot be
mistaken." [underline mine] (Archer, p. 20)
He then goes on to show that Jesus mentioned
Jonah and the fish, Noah and the flood, the Exodus,
and Adam and Eve. This is his evidence for these
miraculous stories. It is also his evidence for
It is important to remember that the only way we
can know that Jesus accepted these miraculous legends
is by reading from the same book that chronicles
these miraculous legends. This line of reasoning
simply says, "the Bible says Jesus believed the Bible,
so you should too."
"whatever Jesus Christ believed about the
trustworthiness of Scripture must be accepted
"we must acknowledge His view in these
matters to be correct and trustworthy in every
"Christ is God, and God cannot be mistaken." (Gleason Archer)
Of course the only book that is thought to record a
single word uttered by Jesus (that fundamentalist
Christians will accept) is the Bible. Barring any
personal visions, Mr. Archer's knowledge of
"whatever Jesus Christ believed," "His [Jesus'] view
in these matters" and "Christ is God, and God cannot
be mistaken" come exclusively from the Bible.
It is as simple as saying, "the Bible says believe the
Bible." This is a case of circular reasoning. If he consistently
followed this same line of faulty reasoning when
examining the Koran, the Book of Mormon or many
other religious works he would need to believe those
books too. It is safe to say that he does not.