The textual contradiction paradox

To my knowledge, only in Christianity does this happen. You point out direct contradictions in an account, and are immediately regaled with:

But that's evidence that it's true!

There is no other field, that I know of, where this could happen. In the context of a scientific theory, two conflicting sets of data are an indication that your hypothesis may not be correct. In jurisprudence, two conflicting testimonies mean that one or more of the parties are either lying or mistaken. In everyday experience, if one friend tells you they saw Britney Spears in the street and the other says "No that wasn't Britney, is was Christina!", you know at least one of them is wrong. If they say they saw Britney/Christina shopping at Coles when you know for a fact Britney is fiercely loyal to Woolworths, then it's likely they're both wrong. Or you are.

Why, then, do christians seem to think that direct contradictions in biblical accounts, such as the number of women present at the discovery of the empty tomb, whether the stone was rolled away, the final words on the cross, the culpability in handing over the messiah to the Romans, whatever. Why is it that christians feel they can throw away sense and claim that it's actually direct evidence for the truth of the accounts?


posted @ Tuesday, November 10, 2009 3:22 PM

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