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I just received your answer. However, it has only spawned more questions.
You say that the Bible says the earth is round, and the Bible has written of this. But what about all the verses of the Bible that suggest that the earth is flat? “Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea” (Job 11:9)… just to name one (other than all the verses that talk about the ends of the earth). And how Matthew talks about how the devil took Jesus to the top of a mountain to view all the kingdoms of the earth? You can't do this within a sphere.
About the contradictions, I know of one that I've personally noticed while reading the Bible during my confirmation. (Exodus 33:11) “And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend.” Compare that to Exodus 33:20: “Thou canst not see My face, for there shall no man see Me and live”. This is only nine verses later!
About the Bible being widely distributed, that's not a big deal to some. The Iliad was written more than 500 years prior to the Bible, and it's unchanged.
I was raised in a religious family, and I have a lot of problems with Christianity. I have never been able to get straight answers on most topics. I even read Lee Strobel’s book... I thought it was garbage and biased. I don't know if I'll ever believe again but would really like answers because if I'm wrong, well, I need to know if I am. Sincerely,
Dear Thoughtful Again,
We’ll handle your questions one at a time.
- None of the verses you mentioned state that the earth is flat. Job 11:9 simply compares the expanse and width of the earth to the depths of God’s wisdom (Job 11:7)… a figurative comparison, not a literal one. Furthermore, all the verses that discuss “the ends of the earth” are exactly the same as when we use that terminology today. People will often say things like, “I would go to the ends of the earth to find my true love”… that doesn’t imply the earth is flat – it is simply a common turn of phrase that is used in multiple languages. Lastly, when the devil showed Jesus the kingdoms of the earth from the top of a mountain, you failed to read the rest of the passage. Lk 4:5 says that the devil showed him all the kingdoms of earth in a moment of time – this was obviously a miraculous occurrence, not a topographical issue.
- Ex. 33:11 is another case of taking a phrase out of context. Moses spoke to God “face to face” only in the sense that he talked to God “as a man talks to his friend”. You have to remember to take context into account with everything that you read. It is a very common problem for people to “cherry pick” verses out of their context and miss what a verse is really saying.
- The Iliad is not nearly as widely distributed as the Bible. The less than seven hundred ancient manuscripts that exist of The Iliad are only in agreement 67% of the time. On the other hand, there are over 17,000 ancient manuscripts of the Bible… they are in 99% agreement. A pretty huge difference in quality.
- As far as your belief that Strobel’s book is biased… how do you account for the fact that he was an atheist before he began writing it? Also, he isn’t the only author to write on this subject. We would be happy to recommend dozens of books on this topic if you are interested.
We are so thankful that you are willing to honestly examine the evidence. You may have never received straight answers in the past, but as you can see… we are happy to offer them here. This is the most important subject you will ever look into. SB