What is the aim of the Skeptics' Annotated Bible website? What is the Skeptics' Annotated Bible?
The Skeptics' Annotated Bible is a website (http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com) that focuses on alleged discrepancies, errors, conflicts, or contradictions found in the Bible. It divides these supposed errors into the categories of injustice, absurdity, cruelty and violence, intolerance, contradictions, family values, women, good stuff, science and history, prophecy, sex, language, interpretation, and homosexuality, with more than 6,000 issues noted so far. Much of the information on the website is now also available in printed form in a book by the same title.
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While it is impossible to address all of the accusations made by the Skeptics' Annotated Bible in this article, a few examples can help illustrate the approach of the website. In Joshua 1, God promised to give Joshua and his people all the land where he walked. The Skeptics' Annotated Bible notes, "God promises to give Joshua all of the land that his 'foot shall tread upon.' He says that none of the people he encounters will be able to resist him. But God didn't keep his promise; many tribes withstood Joshua's attempt to steal their land." However, this accusation is only half-right. Verse seven specifically noted that God would make their way prosperous if they obeyed Him. Of course, Israel often disobeyed which could easily explain why not every tribe or enemy was removed. The Book of Judges that follows Joshua highlights many such examples.
In Matthew 1, the Skeptics' Annotated Bible points out many discrepancies regarding the family history of Jesus between Matthew's and Luke's Gospels. However, it is clear each writer followed a different genealogy. Most interpreters point out that one Gospel may be referencing Joseph's family line (Matthew) while the other is likely following the family tree of Mary (Luke).
Other accusations are less technical or specific and tend to be used for attention. For example, the section on "sex" simply notes all of the verses in the Bible about the topic. Yes, the Bible does often mention sex. However, the Bible mentioning sex is not a conflict or error. Instead, the Bible addresses human sexuality as an important part of life and the union between man and woman as the foundational unit of society.
Rather than genuinely seeking answers to the alleged contradictions it mentions, the Skeptics' Annotated Bible seeks to highlight ways to make the Bible look wrong. While there are certainly difficult passages in the Bible, numerous resources, commentaries, and reference works exist to help provide answers to these issues. CompellingTruth.org, for example, exists to help answer such questions. If your answer cannot be found on this website, please contact us and we will be glad to respond.
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