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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

(1) Contradictions, Pure and Simple

(1) Contradictions, Pure and Simple.

The first instance which I will notice is the contradiction between the two versions of the Ten Commandments as given in Deuteronomy v. and Exodus xx.

The Fourth Commandment, as given in Deuter. v. 12, 13, 14, runs thus:—

"Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all they work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou was a servant in the l and of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty h and and by a stretched-out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day" (please to notice the reason here given for the observance of the Sabbath day).

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Now at the end of the ten commandments here given in Deuteronomy v. (see verse 22) we read:—"These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me."

Compare this with Exodus xx. In the 1st verse we read:—"God spake all these words, saying." Then follow the Ten Commandments as we read them in Church, and the Fourth Commandment (ver. 8—11) runs thus: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Here we find two glaring contradictions—first, a different reason for the ordinance of the Sabbath is given in Exodus to that given in Deuternomy, and and if "Godadded no more" than those words given in Deuteronomy, he could not have added the reason assigned for the Sabbath as given in Exodus.

Another instance of contradiction is where one and the same act is ascribed in one place to God, in another place to the Devil. In 2 Samuel xxiv. 1, we read, "and again' the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go number Israel and Judah." Ver. 10, "and David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done."

In Chronicles xxi, 1—7, the same event is thus described, "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel . . . . And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel."

In Genesis xxii. 1, it is written, "God did tempt Abraham." In James i. 13, it is written, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man."

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This is a case in which shuffling is resorted to. Opponents will say the word "tempt" does not mean to tempt, but to "try one's faith;" to which I reply for the present by asking on what authority do you give a totally different sense to the same word in a book written by one and the same Divine being? If this is God's word, what right have you to say that He does not exactly mean what he has written? We shall come to the temptation of Abraham presently.

1 Samuel, xv. 10, 11. "The Word of the Lord came unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king." Verse 29 says, "and also the Strength of Israel (God?) will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent."

Exodus xx. 5 (2nd Commandment). "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children." Compare this with Jer. xxxi 29, 30, "In those days they shall say no more. The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth are set on edge." and this from Ezekiel xviii. 20, "The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son."

Deuteronomy xxiv. 16. "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."

This was quoted and acted upon. 2 Kings xiv. 6, "The children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which was written in the book of the law of Moses."

It is the boast of the Bible worshippers that we should have no ground for belief in immortality, were it not for the Bible. I beg to remind them of the following passages, which distinctly teach that there is no life after death:—

Psalm vi. 5 "For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" This occurs in a prayer offered up in sickness that the speaker's life might be spared.

Isaiah xxxviii. 18. "The grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for the truth."

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Job xiv. 10, 12 and 14. "Man dieth and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. If a man die, shall he live again V'

Eccles. iv. 5, 6. "The dead know not anything, neither have they any more reward. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun."

Verse 10. "Whatsoever thy h and findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

Eccles. iii. 19. "That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath: so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast.

The inspired Solomon certainly had no faith in immortality. And his words are contradicted both in the Old and New Testaments repeatedly.

The contradictions in the New Testament, where they are not merely verbal, can only be proved by quoting very long passages. But they include the following:—

Luke accounts for the whole time of Jesus' infancy in this way. After his birth in Bethlehem (Luke ii. 22) his parents took him to Jerusalem to perform some religious ceremony in the temple, when he was 40 days old, and then at once departed (Luke ii-39) into Galilee to their own city, Nazareth, and from there they went every year up to Jerusalem at the feast of the passover. (41)

The youth of Jesus was thus accounted for till he was 12 years old.

Now Matthew ii. says that immediately after the birth of Jesus his parents carried him down into Egypt. Moreover, in the three first Gospels it is affirmed that Jesus did not openly and publicly claim to be the Messiah, and that when Peter acknowledged him to be the Messiah (Matt. xvi. 16—20) Jesus "charged his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ." Whereas the fourth Gospel (John i. 41. John iv. 25, 26) page 9 describes Jesus as openly claiming the title of Christ, or Messiah, from the very beginning of his ministry, not only among the Jews, but also among the Samaritans.

It is impossible to get over a contradiction like this. Take again the intentional omission by Matthew, from the genealogy of David's descendants, of no less than four persons, only to make his assertion appear to be true that there were three periods of fourteen generations each.

Moreover, both the genealogies in Matthew and Luke say they trace to Joseph—not to Mary—and yet both the books say that Joseph was not the real father of Jesus; how then could Jesus be descended from David through a man who was not his progenitor at all? The names purposely omitted by Matthew are Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah in one place, and Pedaiah in another place. See 1 Chron. iii. 11, 12, and 18.

In the first three Gospels Jesus is represented as going to the wilderness immediately after his baptism, and being there 40 days. In the fourth Gospel he is said to be on the third day at a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and not a word is said about the wilderness or the temptation. If he was not in two places at once, one of the varying accounts must be false.

Again the first three Gospels fix the day of the last supper on the night of the Passover; the fourth Gospel makes it the night before that. To prevent mistake, in John xiii. 29 we find that after the supper Jesus says something to Judas understood to be an order to buy what was necessary for the morrow's celebration. According to this Jesus was crucified on a Thursday, not on a Friday.

The inscription on the cross, though copied down toy the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, is different in the different inspired books.

Matthew xxvii. 37. "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."

Mark xv. 26. "The King of the Jews."

Luke xxiii. 38. "This is the King of the Jews."

John ix. 19. "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."

1 Cor. xv. 5. Paul says Christ was seen of the 12 apostles after his resurrection, whereas there were page 10 only 11, if Judas had hanged himself; and the 12th apostle, Matthias, was not elected until after the ascension.

Human beings might easily fall into such discrepancies in their reports; but God certainly could not have done so.

Then there are all the endless contradictions between Kings and Chronicles, and between the first three and fourth Gospels; between the several narratives of the Resurrection; between the Acts of the Apostles and Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. It is impossible to enumerate them. In place of this, I beg to refer you to the following admirable books, which deal with these subjects at length.

"The Hebrew Monarchy," by Professor Francis W. Newman.

"The Creed of Christendom," by W. R. Greg; and a new and very complete work entitled

"The Bible, it the word of God?" by T. Lumis-den Strange.

"The finding of the Book," by John Robertson, of Coupar Angus.

"John or the Apocalypse," by Rev. Philip Des-Prez, Vicar of Alvediston.

"The English Life of Jesus," published by Thomas Scott, Esq., of Ramsgate.

"The Fourth Gospel," by the Rev. J. J. Taylor.