Richard Packham's Bible Problems Refuted

This is a response, mainly in links, to >notes made by Richard Packham for "discussions with believers and for distribution to friends."

As he admits that his notes "are not intended as a discussion of any problems, but simply a quick reference to where problems exist," we assume it will be sufficient to reply in kind as we use his own copy as a template for a reply.

Explanations will be added if needed, but in most cases, links will suffice.



















The entire gist of this section is misguided. With the exception of God (YHWH) Himself, none of the persons listed are ever intended to be held up as moral models of seamless perfection. Nowhere in the Bible are they ever held up as such, though some are noted as models for specific actions, which is no more or less than can be done with any person, ancient or modern.

Are we to stop holding up Michael Jordan as an example because he has had marital difficulties? Is all the good done by Thomas Paine (according to Skeptics) to be rejected because he was a drunkard?

I don't see any Skeptics discarding their copies of Age of Reason over that, so until they do, we will skip this entire section and only address accusations against YHWH which are listed in later categories, without also agreeing that all charges against humans in the Bible, are accurate and correct. Some few of these we will address; others we have no comment on we agree are poor moral choices without question.

NOAH: the one man whom God saved, but who then got drunk and cursed his son and all the descendants of that son, because the son saw Noah's drunken nakedness, and thus invented slavery

actually, first predicted it, not invented it

; the first man in the Bible to curse

Curse? If he means "^&%&$*&" then he's wrong

, to make wine

That's immoral? Drunkenness, yes, but not wine itself

, to get drunk (Gen 9:20-27); he "was a just man and perfect in his generations and walked with God" (Gen 6:9, 7:1), an example of righteousness (Ezek 14:12-20, Heb 11:7, 2 Pet 2:5).

Well, for these few incidents, all clustered in one episode in a life of hundreds of years, that's hardly much to make an issue of.

ABRAHAM: married his sister (Gen 12:13), lied and denied her twice to save himself (Gen 12:11-19, 20:2-5),

But if 12:13 is a lie, then isn't this "double-dipping" on Abraham? Either way see here -- we are sure Packham does not condemn lying for the sake of preservation of life

seduced her handmaid (Gen 16:1-4),

survival issue -- one needed children to survive in the ancient world, and this was a legal and legitimate custom needed for the time

drove one child and its mother into the desert to starve (Gen 21:14), drove out his other children and their mothers (Gen 25:6), was willing to but- cher his other child to please God (Gen 22).

See here.

He was counted righteous because he believed (Gen 15:6).

LOT: offered his virgin daughters to strangers to do to them whatever they wish in order to protect his male guests (Gen 19:8); got drunk and committed incest with his two daughters (Gen 19:30-38); but he was "just" and "righteous" (2 Pet 2:7-8) and saved by God from the temptations of Sodom (Gen 19).

Again, note how this is clustered around one tempestuous episode.

ISAAC: lied, denying his wife, just like his father (Gen 26:7).

See link above.

JACOB: won God's love by robbing his brother (Gen 25:29-34)

Hardly -- Esau gave in voluntarily.

, deceiving his father (Gen 27), haggling with God (Gen 28:22)

It's wrong to haggle? Why? In the ANE it was typical behavior, and there is no moral universal against it.

, cheating his uncle (Gen 30:32-43)

How? His uncle agreed to the terms which were quite clear and not violated.

; he married two sisters, his cousins, bigamously and had children by two of his servants;

Again, part of a survival mechanism in this day.

lied about his marital status to his father- in-law (Gen 31:50, 30:4);

How? The handmaid was given by one of Jacob's own wives. Packham may be confused because the KJV says "to wife" of one of these, incorrectly implying a marriage ceremony.

cowardly hid behind his family to protect himself (Gen 32:11-24)

Not really. An honorable man would not strike down the family if Jacob were not there; Jacob counted on Esau being honorable, and knew him well enough to be a good judge of that.

MOSES: boasted of his own humility (Num 12:3)

Not at all. In this era, if he really was humble, he was permitted to say so. Open and frank assessment of one's own abilities was the norm.

, murdered an Egyp- tian and hid his body (Ex 2:11-14), lied (Ex 3:18)


, defrauded the Egyptians (Ex 3:22),

By seeking reparations for 400 years of slavery?

peevishly destroyed the only example of God's own handwriting (Ex 32:15-19),

No peevishness here. This was the proper thing to do. The tablets carried the covenant and breaking covenant tablets was the legal way to signify the covenant that the people had broken.

exter- minated whole nations to obtain their land (Num 21, Deut 2:30-36, 3:1-7, 20:10-17), butchered thousands of captive widows, slaughtered babies, enslaved 32,000 girls whom he had orphaned and gave 16,000 of them to his soldiers to do with as they wished (Num 31:1-18).

On these see here and here.

RUTH: was willing to worship any god that Naomi worshipped (Ruth 1:16)

No, she was reflecting the ancient practice that if you moved to another land, you owed service to the deity of that land

; seduced Boaz (Ruth 3)

How is "seduction" to be defined here? Is going pn dates immoral? Wearing nice clothes? Complimenting others?

; kept her actions secret (because they were not proper) (3:14)

More like, she was going into a "men only club"

; accepted payment for her sexual favors (3:15)

Packham is reading too much into the text here. There was no sex involved and the "payment" was a gift of barley for her hungry family.

SAMSON: although his conception and birth were miraculous (Judges 13), and he was dedicated to God (13:5) and moved by God's spirit (13:25), and "judged" for twenty years (15:20, 16:31), he married a foreign woman (14:1-7) and abandoned her (14:20), but then wreaked revenge, when she was given to another, by burning 300 foxes and the Philistines' fields (15:3-5); when the Philistines avenged that (by burning the wife and her father), he took further revenge by slaughter (15:7-8), his motto being "As they did unto me, so have I done unto them" (15:11); when he lost a bet he had offered because of his susceptibility to women's wiles, he killed and robbed 30 innocent people in Ashkalon (acting under the spirit of God)

No such thing as innocents here -- all men were considered soldiers and the Philistines were the enemy

to pay the wager (14:12-19); with the help of God he slew 1000 with the jawbone of an ass (15:14-17)

War is illegal and immoral, then, especially when you're going after people who brutally oppress you?

; he endangered himself with a visit to a harlot (16:1); had a dalliance with Delilah (16:4); lied to her three times (16:6-14); his only prayers to God are whining about being thirsty (15:18) and for personal revenge (16:28).

Overall, yes, a bad boy. But I know of no one who holds him up as a moral model for this stuff.

DAVID: cruel and bloody (1 Sam 18:27-30, 2 Sam 22:41-43, 1 Chron 20:3, 2 Sam 12:31)

Once again, it seems war is illegal.

; a braggart (2 Sam 22, Ps 18: esp 37-50)

Hard to see how. These are prayers of thanks for past victories in battle.

; a liar (1 Sam 21:1-2, 20:5-6)

See here

; a traitor, leading an enemy's troops against his own country (1 Sam 22, 29)

While Saul was in command? Would it have been wrong for a German to lead French troops against Hitler in 1935?

; a brigand who plundered the country (1 Sam 22)


; an extortionist (1 Sam 25:2-28, 33-34)

see here

; a butcher who tortured and slaughtered thousands, including children (1 Sam 27:9-11)

the passage says nothing about "thousands" or "children" but does describe the raiding activities of ancient warfare

and who was praised for killing ten times as many people as Saul (1 Sam 18:7, 21:11, 29:5)

the praise is hardly meant literally; even so this was the nature of all ancient warfare, as every man was a soldier and the survival of your own society depended upon crippling the aggressor

; a drunken debauchee who danced naked before others (2 Sam 6:20)

nothing here says David was drunk, and the reference is only to outer robes that were a sign of David's status and honor

; a homosexual/bisexual (1 Sam 18:1-4, 20:3, 11, 23, 26, 30, 41-42, 2 Sam 1:26)

See here

; an adulterer who impregnated a loyal servant's wife, tried to cover it up through subterfuge, and finally had him killed in order to obtain his wife (2 Sam 11); who purchased an- other wife with 200 foreskins with the help of God (1 Sam 18:27-28)

200 foreskins of enemy soldiers who would have as soon killed him

, who acquired another wife through extortion (1 Sam 25:40-42)

see above

; who imprisoned ten women of his harem for life without cause (2 Sam 16:21-22, 20:3)

actually, more like kept them protected from others -- these were concubines with whom rivals would try to sleep in order to stake a claim to the throne

; a man who in his old age forced a young girl into his bed to try to revive his sexual potency (1 Kings 1:1-4)

Packham again reads too much into the text -- nothing here says a word about sexual potency, and Abishag would have considered this duty an honor

; and who died demanding with his dying breath the death of two old men, one of whom had been a loyal supporter (Joab, 1 Kings 2:5-6)

No, Joab had killed his son Absalom, against orders, and done other things listed in the passage

, the other a man to whom he had promised protection (Shimei, 1 Kings 2:8-9, 36-46, 2 Sam 29:21-23)

only from himself, actually; otherwise Shimei was a political threat who would have been able to cause national chaos

; and yet in all these things (except the killing of Uriah to get Bathsheba) he "did right in the eyes of God" (1 Kings 15:5), he was "a man after [God's] own heart" (Acts 13:22), "evil hath not been found in thee [David] all thy days" (1 Sam 25:28), he was "an angel of God" (2 Sam 19:27), a heart "perfect with the Lord God" (1 Kings 15:3).

SOLOMON: an oriental potentate who wallowed in luxury (1 Kings 10), an erotic glutton who maintained a harem of hundreds (1 Kings 11:1-3, Song 6:8; in violation of Deut 17:17); who murdered his brother for requesting the wrong wife

No, for trying to take Abishag and thereby make a claim to the throne as one who had been with the king's concubine

, even though he had solemnly promised his mother he would grant any request (1 Kings 2:13-25)

Does Packham think Solomon would have honored a request to kill himself? "Any"? Only hyperliteralism considers this language exclusive.

; who caused a man to be killed in the sanctuary of the temple (1 Kings 2:28-34)

Joab, as noted above, a dangerous political adversary

; a despot who made the people's yoke so heavy that they begged his successor for relief (2 Chron 10:9-14, 1 Kings 12:4-11). The only reason God was not pleased perfectly with him was that he worshipped other gods in addition to Yahweh (1 Kings 11:9-12), even though he was the wisest man that ever lived (1 Kings 3:12).

Yes, Solomon had some problems. Just goes to show wisdom has to be used, not just had.

ESTHER: joined the king's harem (Esther 2:2-9)

not that she had a choice

; gained his favor not by her character or morality, but by her sexual skills (2:8-17)

Beg pardon, but the king of Persia wasn't exactly interested in that aspect of his harem?

; lied about her origin (2:10)

It's lying not to talk about yourself? There is no sign of lying here.

; was relentless toward a fallen enemy (7:8-10)

If you weren't in this time, that enemy would come back and kill you and yours later.

; was not content to achieve the escape of the Jews, but arranged for them to be allowed to slaughter their enemies' wives and children and plunder their property (8:11, 9:2-10)


; asked that Haman's ten sons be hanged and that Jews be given an extra day in which to slaughter more (9:13-15)

Ditto. Haman's sons were prime candidates to seek revenge.

; achieved her goals through no help from God, does not even mention God.

And this is immoral how?

JESUS: admitted that he was not perfect (Mark 10:18)

See here.

; lied about going to a feast (John 7:8-10)

See here

; denied his mother in violation of the commandment to honor father and mother (Matt 12:48, Mark 3:33, John 2:4)

See here for principles

; also preached against that commandment (Matt 10:35, 15:4, Luke 12:51-53, 14:26)

See here -- Matt. 10:35//Luke 12:51-3 is what fathers and mothers will do to believers, not vice versa; Matt. 15:4 says nothing of the sort, and makes no sense as a cite here

condoned violation of the Sabbath (Luke 6:1-4, Mark 2:23, 27, Matt 12:1)

No, condoned violation according to the niggling Pharasaic rules of the day

; preached bravery (Luke 12:4) but acted cowardly (John 6:15, 7:1, 8:59, 10:39, 11:53-54, 12:36, Matt 10:23, 12:14-16, Mark 1:45)

If it is "cowardly" to act to preserve yourself then we assume Packham will show his "bravery" by not using his seat belts and by walking through the worst part of town unarmed, with hundred dollar bills hanging out of his pockets. See more in-depth treatment here.

; expressed unwillingness to perform his mission of being crucified (Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42)

How is this a sign of bad character?

; accused God of forsaking him (Matt 27:46, Mark 15:34)

Not in the least -- see here.

; showed racial prejudice (Matt 15:22-26, to the Canaanite woman, Mark 7:25-27, to the Greek woman)

No. See here.

, because he said he was sent only to Jews; but then preached to the Samaritans (Luke 17:11, John 4)

See link previous for answer -- but also, "preaching" is not excluded at all in the previous episode.

; preached love of enemies, and non-resistance (Matt 5:44) but violently cleansed the temple

Not only hasn't got love defined right, but also out of social order

, said he had come to bring not peace, but a sword (Matt 10:34)

Note that the passage describes what non-believers will do to Jesus' own people.

; implies that his enemies would be slain (Luke 19:27)

Mere argument by outrage

; taught in parables so that people would not understand (Matt 11:25, Mark 4:11-12)

See here.

PAUL: abandoned every tenet of his ancestral religion, com- plaining that the Law of Moses was bondage and a curse (Gal 3:10, 13; 4:3, 4, 9, 30) and a yoke too difficult to bear (Acts 15:10, contradicting Deut 30:11ff, which says the Law is easy; also Isa 45:19)

Not contradiction, but paradox, as Paul explains but as Packham misses: The Law is certainly easier than the alternative (damnation) but still hard in that it is hard to keep -- as Deut. 27:27, quoted by Paul, implies. There is, as Paul puts it in Romans, no one who obeys the Law fully.

; disputed with Peter (Gal 2:7ff)

See here -- how is this a sin?

and Barnabas (Acts 15:39)

Again, what's wrong with this?

; boasted of his importance (Rom 15:17, 1 Cor 4:15-16, 6:3, 12, 9:1, 15, 2 Cor 1:12, 2:14, 5:12, 10:8-16, 11:5, 10, 17, 28, Gal 1:11-12, 6:17, Heb 3:6, Eph 3:4, "my gospel" 2 Tim 2:8, Rom 2:16)

How does he tell between boasting, honest report, and irony? How is "my gospel" a case of "boasting"?

and duplicity (1 Cor 9:20-23, 10:23, 2 Cor 12:16, denied at 1 Thess 2:3)

See link above for 2 Cor. and here for 1 Cor.


God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Gen 22)

See here


Israelites are commanded to give their firstborn sons to God, along with the firstborn of the cattle and sheep. Later the firstborn children are redeemed by a substitute sacrifice of an animal (Gen 22:13, Ex 13:13, 15, 22:28-29, 34:20, Num 18:15, Ezek 20:25-26)

In other words, no human sacrifice.

Anything devoted to God, of man or beast, shall be put to death (Lev 27:28-29).

I.e., those killed in holy war. Not human sacrifice.

Captive peoples are God's "tribute" (Num 31:40).

None of these are "sacrificed".

God's anger is sometimes turned away by killing people (Num 25:4, 8, 2 Sam 21).

I.e., by the delivery of justice for crimes -- no more "human sacrifice" than was Ted Bundy.

Jephthah sacrifices his daughter to fulfil his vow to God (Judges 11:29-39).

No. See here.

Mesha, King of Moab, sacrifices his firstborn (2 Kings 3:27).

He was a pagan king -- what's the issue? If Packham is objecting to the story being here at all, does he want to censor the evening news?

Hiel rebuilds Jericho, laying the foundation with two of his sons (1 Kings 16:34, Joshua 6:26).

Bad show on Hi-el, but doesn't say a word about human sacrifice -- if anything it implies that these sons were killed in construction accidents. There's no evidence that human sacrifice was ever connected with the mundane construction of cities.

Prisoners of war are sacrificed (Judg 8:18-21, 1 Sam 15:33, 2 Sam 21:1-9, Num 21:2).

Prisoners of war are executed. If this is "human sacrifice" then we owe Ted Bundy an apology.

God causes infant sacrifice (Ezek 20:26).

God predicted infant sacrifice as the rebellious result of his judgment.

Jesus is crucified to pay the penalty for man's sin. (New Testament, passim)

See here which also refutes a lot of Packham's objections here.

Do not offer your child to atone for your sins (Mic 6:7).

Hard to see where he gets this: "Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"

Present your bodies a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1).

And that's human sacrifice? How?


One of the core elements of worship as required in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, is the sacrifice of animals. It was so constant and pervasive that the temple at Jerusalem must have been awash with blood, the carcasses of dispatched victims, the bleating of waiting victims, and the stench of the altar fires.

As a whole, this is nothing but argument by outrage. Unless Packham is a vegetarian and a member of PETA, we could just as well return these same words back at him every time he bites into a hamburger or a roast beef sandwich: "One of the core elements of Packham's life is the eating of meat. It is so constant and pervasive that the slaughterhouse used to feed his family must have been awash with blood, the carcasses of dispatched victims, the bleating of waiting victims; and his house is filled with the stench of the charcoal grill fires." The sacrificial animals mostly went to feed the Levites and the people, so what exactly is the issue?

Much of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy is devoted to the details of the manner in which the animals are to be slaughtered, their parts distributed, burnt, smeared and eaten.

Okay then. Does Packham have any of those "disgusting" recipe books around the house that are "devoted to the details of the manner in which the animals' parts are to be burnt, smeared, and eaten"? Beyond that, if he doesn't like the details, no one is forcing him to read them. Such details were of extreme importance in an era when precise rituals set an example of order in a world where chaos and anarchy was constantly on the doorstep. In any event we will delete two of his objections about this, taking it to be refuted by the above; one does require a special note:

22,000 oxen, 120,000 sheep sacrificed at dedication of Solomon's temple (1 Kings 8:63, 2 Chron 6).

No, that's how many were pledged, for use in the Temple over time.

(see also Genocide and Slaughter)

Much of the Old Testament is a record of the wars of the Israelites, in which God is portrayed as Israel's protector and champion.

Much of human history is a record of wars of peoples of the world, too

However, see Ps 34:14 ("seek peace and pursue it")

"Peace" is often achieved at the cost of war -- and that the word for "peace" means the presence or order, not "no war". In any event Packham lists verses where God is involved in war, teaches war, etc. -- which argues nothing, so we pass by them other than where comments are needed.

God causes war ("every man's sword shall be against his brother") so that he will be glorified (Ezek 38:16, 23).

In other words, delivery of judgment out in the hands of men.

David is praised for ten thousand slain (1 Sam 18:6-8).

We presume he does not take the number literally. Even so today we praise our war heroes for their bravery while remaining silent about the number the must have killed to win. Who's more honest, in a sense?

David wars on the Geshurites, Gezrites and Amalekites to steal their land (1 Sam 27:8).

"Their" land? It was part of the land promised to Abraham. These people were squatters.

Jesus comes not to bring peace, but a sword (Matt 10:34, Luke 12:49-53).

See above -- it's others who will persecute Jesus' people.

Genocide was a tool used by God to further the interests of his chosen people.

None of what was done fits the definition of genocide -- see here.

It is not usually clear what the exterminated peoples had done to deserve annihilation, other than being in the way of the Israelites or worshipping a different god.

That "worshipping a different god" involved such pleasantries as child sacrifice, which he has already condemned. More in link above and those below.

The Israelites slaughter Hamor and his city and plunder it (Gen 34).

Actually this was just Jacob's two kids who did this, and Jacob clearly stated it was the wrong thing to do.

Moses is commanded by God to exterminate the Canaanites, the Amorites and the people of Bashan "and show no mercy" (Deut 7:1-2, 9:3, Num 21).

See here.

Moses orders "every man" among the Israelites to slay his brother, companion and neighbor, as a punishment for the idolatry of all, and 3000 die (Ex 32:27-28).

Begged question of the seriousness of idolatry in a world that always bordered in chaos and anarchy and the alternative "faiths" sometimes involved child sacrifice and in any event worship of the wrong deity risked eternal damnation.

God commands Moses to slaughter 24,000 people and hang their heads in the sun (Num 25).

See here.

God commands Moses to slay the Midianites because the Israelites are seduced by them. All males (including infants) and adult women are killed; virgins are enslaved (Num 25:17, 31:1-2, 7, 15-18).

Same link plus the first one in this section.

God's annihilation of Sihon's people and others (Deut 2:30-35, 36, 3:1-7).

See second link above.

God commands Moses, in any city near the promised land which does not agree to become a vassal state of the Israelites, to kill all the males and take the women and children as slaves and the animals as booty, but in any city in the promised land the Israelites are to kill every living thing, sparing no one (Deut 20:10-17).

The realities of ancient warfare, as done by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and others; the only other option was mass slavery and deportation -- again see links above. We will skip all remaining cites that are of this nature or are merely "argument by outrage".

Danites destroy "peaceful" Laish and kill its people for no reason (Judg 18:27).

Yes, a clearly bad example.

David takes Rabbah and puts its people "under saws...and harrows ... and axes of iron and made them pass through the brickkiln" and does the same to all the cities of Ammon (2 Sam 12:31, 1 Chr 20:3).

Dated translation. This refers to forced labor; for necessity of this in ancient war see above.

(See also Genocide and Slaughter, Cannibalism, Abuse of Women)

God requires all male infants to have their penises mutilated (Gen 17:10-27).

This is a biased assessment. Many cultures performed this practice and are none the worse for it. This "mutilation" is another culture's "sacred vow" and this jaded assessment is not an answer. Note that male circumcision, unlike female circumcision, leaves no permanent ill effects.

Phineas slays Zimri and his Midianite woman captive with a javelin "through the belly" (Num 25:8).

Mere argument by outrage.

God orders horses to be hamstrung (Josh 11:6).

Normal ancient war process to keep the enemy from using the horses against you later on.

Judah cuts off thumbs and toes of his captive Adonibezek, which is justified because he had done it to his captives (Judg 1:6-7).

Not only that, it keeps them from handling weapons.

Jael's treacherous murder of Sisera, driving a nail into his temple (Judg 4:20-, 5:24-27).

Would Packham disapprove of someone assassinating Saddam Hussein or Adolf Hitler?

Friends of Samson's wife threaten to burn her and her father alive, and finally do (Judg 14:15, 15:6).

Yes, the ancient world was a mean place.

Samuel "hewed [King] Agal in pieces before the Lord" (1 Sam 15:33).

Once the man was dead after the first blow, I doubt he cared. In any event we have horror movies that offer 1000 times worse than this.

David boasts of his cruelty (2 Sam 22:41-43).

No, he thanks YHWH for his success.

David pays 200 foreskins as dowry (1 Sam 18:27).

From enemy solders. Not a problem.

David "shed blood causeless" (1 Sam 18:31).

1 Samuel 18 ends at verse 30. I think he means 25:31, and it's actually advice by Abigail to let her handle matters so that David doesn't shed blood causelessly.

Joab stabs Amasa "in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground" (2 Sam 20:10).

Yes, war is tough, isn't it?

David's treatment of captive people of Rabbah: he "cut them with saws, put them "under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln" (1 Chron 20:3, 2 Sam 12:31).

As noted, erroneous translation. It means he put them to work with these things. Cutting them, etc would be a waste of valuable resources not even the worst tyrant in the ancient world could have performed.

Jehu has Jezebel killed and her body mutilated (2 Kings 9:3-37).

So would it have been bad to assassinate Hitler? And dogs did the mutilation, not Jehu.

Ahab's family are slaughtered (2 Kings 9, 10); this is praised by God (10:30).

"Hitler and his cronies are slaughtered; this is praised by God." Hitler just needed to have someone make "argument by outrage" for him.

"Happy shall be he that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones [in revenge]" (Ps 137:9).

See here.

Samaria's infants will be dashed in pieces, pregnant women ripped up (Hos 13:16).


Other dashing of infants, ripping of pregnant women (2 Kings 8:12, 15:16, Isa 13:15-18).


The righteous will laugh when their enemies fall (Ps 52:6).

So the Iraqis should have been ashamed of themselves celebrating Saddam's downfall?

Cruelty, vengeance and hatred permeate the Psalms, e.g. 59:10-13, 68:21-23, 109:6-14, 136:17ff, 139:19-22, 140:10.

Anachronistic value statements permeate this comment. See link above.

Those without God's seal on their forehead will be tortured for five months (Rev 9:3-10).

Yes, by evil forces.

Hell, which God created for punishment of his creatures, is a place of everlasting torment and cruelty (Rev 14:11, 16:9), a continuation of God's torment of unbelievers in this life (Deut 28:15-68, Lev 26; see Punishments).

Not unearned and not quite that Dante-esque. See here, Part 2 and also here.

Jacob and his mother deceive dying Isaac so that Jacob receives the birthright blessing. This deception is how the Israelites (the descendents of Jacob) become God's chosen people, i.e., God honors the deceit (Gen 27).

True enough, because Esau gave away the store voluntarily.

Laban deceives Jacob, giving him Leah instead of Rachel (Gen 29:15-26).

Yes, he did wrong.

Rachel steals from Laban and lies to conceal her theft (Gen 31:19, 34-35).

Ditto. There's lot like these in this list which we'll skip from here on. Just saying "this person lied" without explaining why it is a problem merely that it is reported is no problem at all.

God instructs Israelite women to borrow the Egyptian women's jewelry and not return it (Ex 3:22).

Key word: "reparations".

Rahab the harlot, who betrayed her city to Joshua, is rewarded for her treachery with her life and becomes an ancestress of Jesus (Josh 6:22-25, Matt 1:5, Heb 11:31).

Then so much for espionage and the Cold War. A reader adds: "Rahab is an example of God redeeming sins no matter what you did in your past. See here."

(See also Deceit, Treachery. For examples of God's lies, see About God.)

All liars will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 21:8, 27).

Presumably Packham does not think this mean this or any other sin is not covered by forgiveness under Christ. He's also not up on the matter of "honorable lying" in Biblical times -- the equal to not telling Nazis about Jews in your cellar. As above we will leave out many of these that are repeats or that don't state the problem.

Abraham lies to Isaac rather than telling him he is to be sacrificed (Gen 22:7-8).

Rather, Abraham knows that God will intervene.

Ninth Commandment (Ex 20:16) prohibits bearing false witness, but not lying; cf Ex 23:1, Prov 12:19, 12:22, 6:19, 19:5,9, 21:28, 24:28, 25:18, Deut 19:16-20, Lev 6:2-3, 19:11

If it prohibited lying, you'd have to honestly tell those Nazis about the Jews in your cellar.

Jesus lied when he said he was not going to the feast, but then went (John 7:8-10).

See here.

Incest is prohibited (Gen 35:22, 49:3-4, Lev 18:8, Deut 27:20).

As above we cut examples where the act is merely reported, as with Lot.

Cain, Seth must have married their sisters, and their children must have married cousins (Gen 5)

Think hierarchy of morals here. Incest, or survival of humanity? If only a man and his sister are left after nuclear war, then what?

Abraham marries his half-sister (Gen 20:12).

How does he know it wasn't a lie like the other?


For this section we merely refer the reader here and note that while there is reported excess (Solomon) this is yet another one of those "honest reprtage" issues. One exception:

God will use polygamy as a punishment (Isa 4:1).

No: "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach..." Where's the "punishment in polygamy" there?

Abraham prostitutes his wife to Pharaoh and to Abimelech so that he will be allowed to pass safely (Gen 12:11-20, 20:1- 16).

See above link.

Leah buys sex with Jacob by giving Rachel the mandrakes which Reuben had harvested (Gen 30:14-16).

How can one be a prostitute with one's own husband?

Tamar prostitutes herself to Judah (Gen 38:14-18).

What would Packham would make of Kirsch's book The Harlot by the Side of the Road which somewhat correctly makes this a measure of survival by Tamar?

Boaz pays Ruth in barley for spending the night with him (Ruth 3:15).

Once again, Packham reads sexuality into the text.

The Bible holds women in an inferior position, as property.

False. See Miller's series here. Items covered by this article are maked with a *** below.

See also Prostitution, Polygamy, Abandonment of Wife

A mother is unclean for twice as long after the birth of a daughter as after a son (Lev 12).

It's bad that the infant daughter gets twice the time of mother's attention?

A woman is "unclean" during her menstrual period and for seven days afterward, i.e. for approximately half her adult life (Lev 15:19-28, Ezek 18:6). To purify herself each month she must make a "sin offering" (Lev 15:29-30).

Note that this is ritual impurity -- see here -- which is applied to any running sore, or break in the skin. It's not a "woman" thing.

Only males can enter the covenant, since it requires the rite of circumcision.

False. Only men need to do a rite, which is a break for women.

Adam blames Eve for his sin in the Garden (Gen 3:12).

Yes. And bad husbands do the same. Problem with the truth being told of faults again?

Eve's curse is that Adam shall rule over her (Gen 3:16).


Lot offers his virgin daughters to strangers to do to them whatever they wish in order to protect his male guests (Gen 19:8).

Yes, he did bad.

A wife is listed among her husbands property, after the house (Ex 20:17, Deut 5:21).

Presumptuous category error. That the wife is listed with other items that are property does not mean the wife IS property. The category is "that which can be coveted," not "property".

God gives the Israelites rules and regulations for selling their daughters (but not their sons) into slavery (Ex 21:7-11).

Of course not -- sons were kept at home to do hard labor to help the family survive. Selling a daughter into slavery gave HER a chance to survive with a family better off. See here.

Miriam is made a leper temporarily for speaking against Moses (Num 12:1-10), but Aaron, who was equally guilty, is not punished.


Moses enslaves 32,000 virgins (Num 31:18, 35).

A merciful act in context -- see links above.

Israelites slaughter their fellow Israelites of Jabesh-Gilead to obtain wives (Judg 21:1-14).

Yes. Censor the news?

Males of Benjamin are advised to get wives by abducting women of Shiloh (Judg 21:16-23).


A divorced woman is as unclean as a whore and unsuited as the wife of a priest (Lev 21:7, Ezek 44:22).

Ritually so, yes. This is not a problem.

A woman cannot remarry her first husband if she married another and was widowed or again divorced (Deut 24:1-4).

For good reason -- see here.

Rules for taking a captive woman to wife and what to do if you decide you don't like her after all (Deut 21:10-14).

Very merciful rules in the ANE setting, actually.

A rape victim must marry her rapist. The rapist must pay a penalty to the victim's father, but not to her (Deut 22:28- 29).

It's what the society, and the woman, would want. See here.

If a man has sex with another man's female slave, the slave is to be scourged, but the man will be forgiven if he offers a ram as sacrifice (Lev 19:20-22).

Considering the economic expense of a ram, and the long-term effect on the man's life, scourging sounds preferable. Note as well that the man answers to YHWH.

A man may divorce his wife, but there is no provision for a wife to divorce her husband (Deut 24:1, Jer 3:8, Isa 50:1, Matt 19:9, 1 Cor 7:10, Rom 7:2-3).

So if it only says "If a man steals an ox..." that means women could steal them free of charge? Not at all.

A man who is suspicious of his wife may require her to undergo the ordeal of drinking the "bitter water that causeth the curse," which causes the thigh to rot and the belly to swell (Num 5:11-31).


The Levite and the Israelite offer to the mob a concubine and a virgin daughter for the mob to "humble" them and do "what seemeth good unto [them]." The men in the mob abuse the concubine all night. The Levite then kills her (or finds her dead?) and dismembers her body (Judges 19:22-29; this is a doublet of the story at Gen 19 about Lot).


Saul uses his daughter Michal for his own ends, by giving her to David "to be a snare to him" (1 Sam 18:21).

True, bad example.

Absalom has sex with his father's (David's) concubines to insult him. David then punishes the concubines by imprisoning them for life (2 Sam 16:21-22, 20:3).

See above.

David purchases Michal from Saul (2 Sam 3:13).

"And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face." Where does it say "purchases"?

Amnon loves Tamar until he rapes her, then he hates her and casts her out (2 Sam 13:1-17).

Yes, bad example.

God orders Hosea to purchase a harlot (Hos 1:2, 3:1-2).

See here.

God will punish the men by causing their wives to be ravished (Isa 13:16, Zech 14:2).

I.e., God declares the inevitable result of foreign invasion.

The woman is subordinate to the man (Gen 3:6, 1 Cor 11:3-11, Eph 5:22-33, 1 Pet 3:1-6).


Women should cover the head when praying; men should not do so (1 Cor 11:5).

See here.

Women should keep silent in church (1 Cor 14:34).

No, Paul is quoting the Corinthian position here. Then he refutes it.

Woman is "snares and nets, her hands are as bands" (Eccl 7:26- 29).

It speaks specifically of "THE woman" whose hands are as bands. Not ALL women.

No woman should have authority over a man (1 Tim 2:12)

See here.


Abraham casts Hagar and Ishmael out, leaving them destitute (Gen 16:6, 21:14).

Yes, bad example, honestly reported.

Hagar abandons Ishmael to die (Gen 21:15).

Abraham sends away his concubines and children (Gen 25:6).


A freed slave who will not abandon his slave wife and children shall have his ear pierced and remain a slave for life (Ex 21:4-6).

See link on slavery above.

To please God, the Jews abandon all their foreign wives and children (Ezra 10).

See here.

Jesus rejects his mother (Matt 12:48, Mark 3:33, John 2:4).

For the first two, Jesus' family had already socially rejected him and was trying to save family honor. For the latter see here.

Jesus requires a disciple to hate his father and mother (Luke 14:26; Matt 10:37; contra: Matt 15:4).

See here.

Jesus comes to turn children against parents, and vice versa (Matt 10:21, 35, Luke 12:51-53).

Note that it is non-believers who do the "turning".

Paul's anti-marriage sentiments (1 Cor 7, which contradicts Gen 2:18).

Not quite. See here.


We'll blot out "honest reportage" items as in other areas.

David kills the Amalekite for killing Saul, his enemy (2 Sam 1:1- 15).

How is this hypocrisy? David had previously tried to keep from killing Saul himself.

Jesus forbids calling someone a fool (Matt 5:22), then he does it (Matt 23:17, 19, Lk 11:40).

See here.

Jesus says to love your enemies, bless them that hate you (Matt 5:44), then he curses his enemies (Matt 12:34, 23:15, 17, 19, 27, 33, Luke 11:40, John 10:8).

The persons cursed are not personal enemies but enemies of truth -- see here.


Homosexuality is forbidden; its punishment is to be "cut off" or killed (Lev 18:22, 20:13, Deut 23:17, 1 Cor 6:9).

Mere "argument by outrage."

Permitting homosexuality is a worse sin than permitting rape of a woman (Gen 19:1-8, Judg 19:22-29).

Permitting the RAPE of a man, actually, and in two situations of bad judgment under pressure.

"Effeminate" men cannot be saved (1 Cor 6:9).

Mere outrage.

David loved Jonathan: "very pleasant hast thou been unto me; thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women" (2 Sam 1:26, 1 Sam 20:3, 11, 17, 23, 26, 30, 41-42). Jonathan gives David all his clothes (1 Sam 18:1-4).

See here.


Jacob refuses to feed his starving brother Esau unless Esau sells him his birthright (Gen 25:29-34).

So Esau the big strong hunter could be "extorted" by Jacob the sous chef? I don't think so.

David shakes down Nabal. Abigail pays him (with her person? 1 Sam 25).

Must be read into the text. here.


God will cause cannibalism as a punishment (Jer 19:9, Ezek 5:10, Lev 26:29, Deut 28:53-57, Isa 49:26, Lam 2:20; fulfilled: Lam 4:10, 2 Kings 6:26-29).

I.e., it will be the natural result of war, as it often was in that time.

Jesus commands his followers to eat his flesh and drink his blood (John 6:53-54).

If he thinks this is literal, I don't know what can be said.

God will punish wicked by making them drink blood (Rev 16:6).


Cannibalism is condemned (Micah 3:1-3).

He cites this positively.

Most Bible translations use the English word "servant" to translate the Hebrew or Greek words which really meant "slave."

For all of these we merely refer the reader to the articles here.


Cites of Lot and Noah? Honest reportage. Otherwise:

God orders drunkenness (Jer 25:27). God caused drunkenness as a punishment (Jer 13:12-13).

Both cases are figures of speech for deserved wrath.


This entire section begs the question of who or what is in error and raises "tolerance" to the value of truth. It is not. One SHOULD be intolerant of error, and close one's mind to error. Therefore we skip this section with a few exception, noting though that apparently the C. Dennis McKinsey is used as a source instead of credentialed Bible scholars.

Avoid unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14-15; contra: "always give a reason when asked why you believe" 1 Pet 3:15, "prove all things" 1 Thess 5:21).

No, it says, do not be unequally yoked -- i.e., in a commitment situation with non-believers.

Do not bid godspeed or be hospitable to a non-Christian, or you share his guilt (2 John 10; contra: Matt 5:44, 3 John 11).

No, it says, do not do this to a false teacher.


In essence a list of objections about passages that "make the Bible unsuitable as 'uplifting' reading." No one argues that the Bible is some sort of health tonic; it is a mirror of our own faults as well. Many other issues are answered by this.

It is said, "If they appeared in any other book, the Christians would try to ban the book from schools and libraries." Perhaps so, but not from intelligent believers.

"Would any minister read these passages to his congregation from the pulpit?" Yes, they would, and have.

We skip this section as irrelevant, noting the irony that Packham's morals came from a Christian-like Mormon background. Exception:

Rehoboam boasts that his little finger is thicker than his father's penis (2 Chron 10:10).

Sorry, but that's a little too much imagination. The word means "loins" or waist. If it means "penis" then Packham has people girding sackcloth on their penises (cf. 1 Kings 20:32) and wearing swords on them (2 Kings 20:28).


See also Punishments, War, Contradictions about God

God created everything (Prov 26:10, Col 1:16, Eph 3:9, Rev 4:11, John 1:3) including evil (Isa 45:7, Amos 3:6, Lam 3:38).

See here.

God is just (Deut 32:4) and righteous in all his works (Dan 9:14).

No objection, so what's this for? Several such cites listing attributes are made; we will skip these.

God will do nothing which he has not revealed to his prophet (Amos 3:7).

And, what?

God should be feared because he can put you in hell (Matt 10:28, Luke 12:5, Heb 10:31).

And, again, what?

God causes good to happen to the undeserving so that the heathen will honor his name (Ezek 36:20-23, Ps 106:7-8, Isa 45).

And what's wrong with that, if God is the source of life and salvation? Is it wrong to promote vitamins for good health?

God causes suffering so that his great works may be demonstrated (John 9:1-9, 11:4, Isa 30:20, Ezek 38:16, 23, Job passim; Contra: Job 37:23).

And again, what of it if it leads people to eternal life?

God causes some people to be blind, deaf, dumb (Ex 4:11).

This passage does not imply direct responsibility for any particular incident; it only says God is the Sovbereign Creator.

God kills (Deut 32:39, 1 Sam 2:6; see also "Punishments").

But do those He kills deserve it, or not? It is merely assumed that they don't, with no examination.

God causes rain, snow, wind, thunder, tempest, hailstorms (Gen 7- 8, Deut 11:14-17, 2 Sam 22:14-16, Job 5:8, 10, 37:2-12, Isa 30:30, 42:15, Ps 18:13-15, 148:8, Nahum 1:3-9, Matt 5:45, James 5:17-18).

And, what of it?

God knows everything; he is "omniscient" (Ps 139:1-6, Prov 15:3, 5:21, Job 26:6, 34:21, Isa 44:7, Ezek 11:5, Matt 12:25, John 2:24, Rom 1:20). But: Samuel has to tell God what the people said (1 Sam 8:21).

"Has to"? There is no "has to" here. "Does," yes.

God doesn't know where Adam is (Gen 3:8-9).

Actually the rhetorical question of a sovereign; cf. 1 Kings 18:17, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" when Ahab knows it's Elijah.

God doesn't know which houses in Egypt contain Israelites; he needs to see blood on the doorpost (Ex 12:13).

"Doesn't know"? No, it's a chance for the people to show their solidarity and loyalty.

God has to test Israel for 40 years to find out if they would keep his commandments (Deut 8:2).

See here.

God is forgetful and must be reminded of his promises, e.g. of his promise to Noah (Gen 9:15-16).

The word actually means to mark or observe and does not imply a memory in need of help.

God is everywhere, he is "omnipresent" (Ps 139:7, Prov 15:3, Jer 23:23,24, 1 Kings 8:27, Job 23:9, 26, 28, Acts 17:27). But: he is only in one place at a time: he walked in the Garden (Gen 3:8); he came down to see the Tower (Gen 11:5); he "went his way" (Gen 18:33); Gen 46:4; Ex 3:4, "Here I am"; Exodus passim, travelling with Israelites; Num 23:15, Job 1:12, Jonah 1:3; he "walks about" in the Israelite camp, Deut 23:12-14; he dwells in the Temple, OT passim; he "dwells in Zion" (Joel 3:21); he will sit in the Valley of Jehoshaphat to judge the heathen (Joel 3:12); sometimes he goes from one place to another riding a cherub. Ps 18:10, 2 Sam 22:11. Sometimes God hides himself (Isa 45:15).

In every case a simple failure to recognize that a manifested presence hardly indicates a lack of presence elsewhere.

God lies and deceives. He lied to Adam, telling him that he would die if he ate the fruit, but he lived another 930 years (Gen 2:17, 5:5).

See here.

He sent a lying spirit to deceive Ahab (1 Kings 22:19-23, 2 Chr 18:22; see also 2 Thess 2:11).

See here.

God deceived Israel (Jer 4:10) and Jeremiah (Jer 20:7). If a prophet is deceived it is because God has deceived him, and God will destroy the prophet. (Ezek 14:9, contra: Prov 12:22, Num 23:19, 1 Sam 15:29, Tit 1:2)

See link above on both of these.

God hates the violence of mankind, so he violently destroys all life (Gen 6:11-13, Ezek 8:17).

Failure to distinguish between unwarranted violence and service of justice. In short, mere argument by outrage.

God rejoices in the destruction of sinners (Deut 28:63, Pr 1:26).


God sends an evil spirit to Saul (1 Sam 16:14, 23, 18:10, 19:9) and to the men of Shechem (Judg 9:23).

See link just above on lying spirits.

God tempts Abraham (Gen 22:1) and can lead us into temptation (Matt 6:13; contra: James 1:13).

See here.

God tries to kill Moses (Ex 4:24).

See here.

God wrestles with Jacob (Gen 32:24-30).

So what?

God assists manslaughter (Ex 21:13).

Huh? "And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee." How is that "assisting manslaughter"? If anything it is stopping a potential cycle of vengeance.

God stirs up jealousy (Isa 42:13, Deut 32:21).

See here.

God sends false prophets to test the people (Deut 13:1-3).

Yes -- and the problem is, what? We are not told.

God gives Israel false statutes and judgments and pollutes their gifts so that they might know that he is the Lord (Ezek 20:25-26; contra: Jer 7:30-31, Rom 7:12, 1 Tim 1:8)

See here.

God will send delusion so that the people will believe a lie, so that they might be damned (2 Thess 2:11-12, Isa 6:9-12; see also Mk 4:12, saying that Jesus speaks in parables lest the people understand and repent, and Matt 11:25, where Jesus thanks God that the truth has been hidden from the wise). The purpose of the Law is to increase sin, which increases God's grace (Rom 5:20, Rom 7).

See here and here on the first two. On the last, Packham reads this as saying that the law caused sin, when the reading is that it defined sin already in progress.

God lists all the punishments that he will mete out to Israel if they do not obey him, including cannibalism (Lev 26, Deut 28).

I.e., this will be the natural result of their trespasses.

God will not forgive (Josh 24:19).

This is a statement by Joshua used to shame the people and elicit a response (v. 21), not a statement of fact.

God sends locusts and other pests to eat the crops; they are "my great army" (Joel 2:25).

Mere argument by outrage.

God tells Balaam to go with Balak's messengers, then becomes angry with him because he went (Num 22:20-22).

See here.

God is "with" David in his slayings and evil deeds (1 Sam 18:14,28, 2 Sam 5:10).

Mere outrage and assumption that the deeds in question are evil rather than just.

God is angry with Saul for not executing God's wrath on the Amalekites (1 Sam 28:18).

Mere argument by outrage. See here.

God is angry with Saul because he did not kill enough (1 Sam 15:18-19).


God ends a famine after seven innocent men (sons of Saul) are hanged (2 Sam 21: "And after that God was intreated for the land" v 14).

Innocent? The sons of kings were responsible for implementing policy.

God ends plague when sinners are slain (Num 25).

Mere argument by outrage.

God is jealous (Ex 20:5, Num 25:11, Deut 5:9, 32:21, Josh 24:19, Nah 1:2).

See here.

God sometimes repents (Gen 6:6, Ex 32:14, 1 Sam 15:11, 35, 2 Sam 24:16, Jonah 3:10, 4:2, Jer 18:10, Joel 2:13; contra: Num 23:19, 1 Sam 15:29, Isa 15:29, James 1:17).

See here.

God sometimes grieves (Gen 6:6).

And this is a problem, how....?

God sometimes wearies (Isa 1:14).

God is being sarcastic.

God sometimes rests (Gen 2:2, Ex 31:17).

See here.

God sometimes causes adultery (2 Sam 12:11-12).

The reference is actually to concubines, hence no adultery.

God sometimes orders harlotry (Hos 1:2, 3:1-2).

See here.

God can do evil (Ex 32:14, Amos 3:6, Job 42:11).

See here.

God can be persuaded to change his mind (Ex 32:11-14, Deut 9:19- 29, Josh 10:14; Abraham bargains with God over destruction of Sodom, Gen 18:23-33; God grants Israel a king, 1 Sam 8).

See here.

God can be seen (Gen 32:30, Ex 24:10-11, 33:11), but not his face (Ex 33:20-23, Ps 13:1, 17:15). No man has seen God (John 1:18), but if you see God you will die (Gen 19:21, Ex 33:20).

See here.

God wants blood as a sacrifice (Lev 3:2, 4:6-7, 8:23-24, passim), and enjoys the "sweet savour" of the burning meat sacrifice (Gen 8:21, Lev 1:9, Ezek 20:40-41; contra: Amos 5:21-26, Hos 8:13, Mic 6:8, Isa 1:11-13).

Does Packham like the smell of BBQ? The latter passages refer to sacrifices done with insincerity.

God's sword is covered with blood and greasy with fat (Isa 34:6).

Mere outrage.

God sometimes eats, drinks, rests (Gen 18).

God smells odors (Gen 8:21).

And, what of it if He does? If God sees and hears, are the other senses not part of the package?

God does not like to see sh*t (Deut 23:12-14).

Who does? But see here.

God gives the formula for his favorite perfume and forbids anyone else to use it (Ex 30:34-35).

The "perfume" is sacred oil, and this is in a time when such symbolism was far from trivial.

God belches smoke and fire when he is angry (Ps 18:7-8, 15).

Packham reads poetry too literally.

God sometimes orders drunkenness (Jer 25:27).

The oracle here refers figuratively to the "wine" of God's anger.

God sometimes rewards transgressors (Prov 26:10).

Packham has never heard of the word "reward" use in a negative sense? The word here, sakar, simply means "payment of contract" or compensation.

God punishes Uzzah because he tried to steady the ark (1 Chron 13:10, 2 Sam 6:7).

See this series.

God allows David to choose which punishment will be inflicted on the people - for David's sin (2 Sam 24:11-13).

See here.

God tricks David into a census so that he can vent his anger on the people and then kills 70,000 (2 Sam 24:1, 1 Chron 21:1,2,7,14).


God hardens Pharaoh's heart so that he can punish him and his people. He commands Moses to threaten Pharaoh with murder (Ex 4:21-23, 7:3, 13, 10:1). The purpose is that God's name might be proclaimed (Rom 9:17).

That's correct, and if God is the source of life, why is that wrong?

God hardens the hearts of Israel's enemies so that he can destroy them (Deut 2:30, Josh 11:20).


God chooses to harden some people's hearts (Rom 9:18).


God considers anyone with a physical impairment to be inferior and not worthy to be a priest (Lev 21:17-23). Not worthy to be in the congregation are illegitimate children and their descendants (Deut 23:2) or a man with injured or mutilated sex organs (Deut 23:1).

See relevant material here and here.

God helps Samson only while his hair is long, and the help depends on the length of the hair (Judges 16:20).

What of it? Keeping the hair long was part of a sacred vow.


For many offences the punishment is to be "cut off." This sometimes means death (e.g. Ex 31:14, Lev 20:2-3, Deut 18:10-12), but sometimes it is apparently only banishment from Israel.

Not quite. See here.

God uses his chosen people to punish other nations (Ps 149:5-9, see also "Genocide").

Mere argument by outrage.

God will punish "seven times" (= sevenfold? Lev 26:28).

"Seven times" is metaphorical for "completely" or "a lot".

God punishes many for the sins of one, the innocent are punished for the guilty, especially their guilty ancestors (which punishment is "forever," Deut 28:41; Gen 9:24-25, 20:7,18, Ex 12:29, 20:5, 34:7, Num 16, Deut 5:9, 23:2, 28:32, 41, Josh 7:8-26, 22:20, 2 Kings 5:27, Isa 14:21, Ezek 23:25, 46- 47, Mal 1:2-4, Jer 31:29-30, Hos 2:4-5, Rom 5:14, also Adam's Fall generally in NT). Other examples below (see also "Genocide"). (Contra: Num 16:20, Deut 24:16, Ezek 18:1-20).

See here and here. The remainder are no more than the logical result of any long-term action and no more unfair than that "it rains on the just and the unjust".

God will punish the men by causing their wives to be ravished and their children to be "dashed to pieces" (Isa 13:16, 18, Zech 14:2, Nah 3:10).

I.e., the natural results of warfare.

God's punishment of entire nations or cities by destroying every living thing naturally includes the destruction of babies and unborn embryos (e.g. Isa 34, the Flood, the plagues on Egypt, Sodom; Jesus also: Matt 11:20-24).

Mere argument by outrage; see exemplary reply here.

An eye for an eye, etc. (Ex 21:24, Lev 24:18-20, Deut 19:19, 21, Matt 7:2; contra: Matt 5:38ff, 7:12, Luke 6:31).

And the problem is, what? "Eye for an eye" was a stopper on the then-current premise that you took MORE than an eye for an eye.

God will punish any animal that kills a human (Gen 9:5), although God sometimes punishes humans by having animals kill them (e.g. 2 Kings 2:23-24, where 42 children are killed by bears; 1 Kings 20:35-36, where a man is killed by a lion for disobedience to a prophet).

Does Packham not support destroying pit bulls that kill children? On the bears see here.

Slavery for stealing (Ex 22:3).

And the problem is, what? There were no restitution programs back then. See here.

Marriage is the punishment for seduction of a virgin (Ex 22:16).

Whoever divorces his wife and marries another or who marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Matt 19:9, Luke 16:18).

Yes. The problem...?

Death for adultery (Deut 22:22-24, Lev 20:10). But Jesus forgave one adultress (John 8:1-11).

See here.

Death by stoning to a bride who is not a virgin (Deut 22:20-21).

See here.

Death by fire to a harlot whose father is a priest (Lev 21:9).

Mere outrage. Offenses like these required serious reactions in a society always on the brink of chaos and collapse.

Death to a witch (Ex 22:18).


"Cut off" for consulting a witch (Lev 20:6, Deut 18:11).

See above.

Death for blasphemy (Lev 24:16).

Ditto, re the social conditions.

Death to a non-Levite for approaching the tabernacle (Num 1:51).


Death by stoning to a child who curses a parent or is rebellious (Lev 20:9, Ex 21:17, Deut 21:18-21; affirmed by Jesus, Matt 15:3-9).

See here.

Death by stoning for cursing (Lev 24:14, 23).

Ditto on social conditions.

Death to the owner of a goring ox (Ex 21:29).

Problem? It's negligent homicide with a live weapon.

Death for disagreeing with a judge's sentence (Deut 17:12).


Death for not "hearkening" to a priest (Deut 17:12).

It's the same cite.

Death to a false prophet (Deut 13:5, 18:20).

Yes, who could stomach executing someone who took people away from eternal life?

Death for teaching a different religion (Deut 18:20, 13:1-10; also Gal 1:8-9).


Death by stoning for apostatizing from the true religion or practicing a different religion (Ex 22:20, Deut 17:2-5).


Total destruction to any city if any of its citizens apostatize (Deut 13:12-17).

Ditto on social conditions.

Death to male homosexuals (Lev 20:13).


Death for bestiality, both to the offender and the animal (Lev 20:15-16).


A woman who assists her husband in a fight by seizing his opponent's sex organ shall have her hand cut off (Deut 25:11-12).

See here.

Sex during a woman's period: both shall be "cut off from among [the] people" (Lev 20:18; but cf. 15:24).

See above on "cut off".

Death by stoning for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, or any work on the Sabbath (Ex 35:2, 31:14-15, Num 15:32-36).

Ditto on social conditions.

God will cause cannibalism as a punishment for sin (Jer 19:9, Lam 2:20, Ezek 5:10, Lev 26:29, Deut 28:53-57, Isa 49:26, Rev 16:6).

I.e., the natural results of war.

God will cause adultery as punishment (Deut 28:30).


God will cause drunkennes as punishment (Jer 13:12-13).

The wine is again a metaphor for God's wrath.

God will "spread dung upon your faces" as punishment (Mal 2:3).

See here.

Illegitimate children and their descendants are stig- matized, not allowed into the congregation (Deut 23:2).

See here.

Abortion: punishable only if accidental, caused by a fight, and only by fine; i.e, it is not the same as killing a human being (Ex 21:22-25).

See here.

Whipping, up to 40 stripes, for losing a lawsuit (Deut 25:1-3).

It clearly indicates that this is only if the loser does something worthy of the punishment.

"Cut off" for mixing perfume for yourself according to God's special formula (Ex 30:37-38).

See above.

"Cut off" for eating fat or blood (Lev 3:17, 7:23-27, 17:10-12).

See above.

"Cut off" for eating leaven, or even having it in the house, during Passover (Ex 12:15, 19).

See above.

For a description of hell, see Rev 14:11, 16:9 For a long and descriptive list of God's punishments see Deut 28:15-68, Lev 26.

For mere argument by outrage, see all above.


Note that we are to be as merciful as God (Luke 6:36).

See here to get that definition.

God punishes one third of the human race (the descendents of Ham) because one man's nakedness was seen by his son (Gen 9:24- 25).

No, Noah merely predicts results, and it is Canaan's descendants, not Ham's.

God punishes Pharaoh and Abimelech because of Abraham's lie about Sarah. Abraham is not punished for lying (Gen 12:14- 20, 20:18).

He isn't? Getting kicked out of a city during a famine and being forced to fend for yourself is not a punishment?

God turns Lot's wife into salt for looking back (Gen 19:26).

Mere outrage.

God kills for Onan for "spilling his seed on the ground" (Gen 38:10).

More than that. See here.

Judah condemns Tamar to death by burning for harlotry (Gen 38:24).

And then repents of his decision.

God kills all of Egypt's firstborn, including animals, to punish Pharaoh (Ex 12:29).

Mere outrage, and see here.

God will punish an animal with death if it grazes on the mountain while he is there (Ex 19:12-13).

Mere outrage. Also, does Packham eat meat?

Miriam is made a leper temporarily for speaking against Moses (Num 12:1-10), but Aaron, who was equally guilty, is not punished.

He can't be given the same punishment because the leprosy would make him unable to function as a priest.

God punishes the Israelites for complaining about their food, first by sending fire to kill them (Num 11:1), then by sending poisonous snakes to kill many (Num 21:4-6).

Mere outrage.

God punishes the Israelites with plague for eating the quails he sent (Num 11:33).


God kills Korah and 250 others, with their families, because they questioned Moses' authority (Num 16:1-40).

Ditto. Was this a democratic process rather than a rebellion in an age when society was on the brink of chaos?

God kills another 14,700 by plague, for murmuring against the punishment of Korah (Num 16:41-50).


Nadab and Abihu are burnt to death for offering "strange fire" (Lev 10:1-5).

I.e., for treating the sacred like refuse.

Achan and his children and animals are burned to death for Achan's crime of keeping booty (Josh 7:8-26).

See here.

God smites a whole city with hemorrhoids as punishment for taking the ark (1 Sam 5:6-9).

Mere outrage.

God kills 50,000 men of Beth-shemesh because they looked into the Ark (1 Sam 6:19).

Actually 70, according to textual criticism, but whatever the number, it's only outrage, not rational argument.

God kills Uzzah for steadying the ark, i.e., violating Num 4:15 (2 Sam 6:7, 1 Chron 13:10).

See link above.

God kills Nabal for refusing to be extorted by David and gives David Nabal's wife (1 Sam 25:38).

See link above.

God kills David's child in order to punish David (2 Sam 12:15- 18).

See here.

God will punish David by giving his wives to another to enjoy in public view (2 Sam 12:11-12).

See above.

God does not punish Solomon for Solomon's sin, but punishes Solomon's son (1 Kings 11:9-12).

Who had plenty of sins of his own.

God kills a prophet for believing a lie told by another prophet of God (1 Kings 13).

More like, for disobeying his orders (13:9).

God causes a lion to kill a man because he refused to strike a prophet when commanded (1 Kings 20:35-36).

Yes, there are results for disobedience.

God kills 70,000 men because of David's sin of taking a census (2 Sam 24:15, 1 Chron 21:14).

See above.

God causes 42 children to be killed by bears because they tease Elisha about his baldness (2 Kings 2:23-24).

It's way more than that. See above.

God caused cannibalism as a punishment (Lam 4:9-11, 2 Kings 6:26- 29).

Repeat of above.

God will punish Samaria by allowing their infants to be dashed to pieces and their pregnant women to be ripped up (Hos 13:16).

Repeat of above.

The fig tree is withered for not bearing fruit out of season (Matt 21:19-21, Mark 11:13-21).

See here.

Swine are destroyed (Matt 8:28, Mark 5:1, Luke 8:26).

Does Packham eat porkchops? Then "swine are destroyed" for his pleasure.

God strikes a sorcerer with blindness for trying to dissuade a potential convert (Acts 13:6-12).

Don't punish anyone who tries to keep people from eternal life?


(see also Historical Inaccuracy)

Remember that there is "no variableness" in God (James 1:17).

See Biblical Errancy, issue #23

Better yet, see below.

The flood lasted 150 days in Gen 7:24, 40 days in Gen 7:17, ten months in Gen 8:5.

Not quite. 40 days is how long rain came down. 150 days is how long water stuck around on the ground.

Terah: how old was he when he died? He was 70 when his son Abraham was born (Gen 11:16) and he died at age 205, 135 years later (Gen 11:32). But Abraham was only 75 when he left Haran, and Terah was already dead (Gen 12:4, Acts 7:4).

See here.

How many of Jacob's family went to Egypt? Gen 46:27, Ex 1:5 and Deut 10:22 all say 70. Acts 7:14 (and the Septuagint) says 75.

See here.

How long was the sojourn in Egypt? 400 years (Gen 15:13, Acts 7:6). 430 years (Ex 12:40). Four generations of Levi (Ex 6:16-20; Levi > Kohath > Amram > Moses; actually three: Levi > Jochebed > Moses; Num 26:59, Ex 6:20). Kohath was born before going to Egypt (Gen 46:8-11) and died at age 133 (Ex 6:18). Amram died at age 137 (Ex 6:20). Moses was 80 at start of the exodus (Ex 7:7). Even if Kohath were born in the first year of the sojourn and each father sired the next generation in the year of his death, the sojourn could not have been over 350 years: Kohath 133 + Amram 137 + Moses 80. And Jochebed must have been much older than her husband; to the extent she was not, the sojourn must have been even shorter.

See here -- 400 years is the amount of time of affliction, not of the sojourn. In short, 430 years of sojourn, 30 with no affliction.

How many tribes were there in Israel? Usually twelve tribes are mentioned, but the identification of the tribes varies: in one Dinah is listed in place of Benjamin (Gen 29-30)

Benjamin had not been born yet.

, and in Chronicles both halves of the tribe of Manasseh are counted (1 Chron 2-3; 6:54-80).

It's still one tribe.

Some lists mention only ten tribes (Deut 33:6 ff; 2 Sam 19:43); one gives eleven tribes (1 Kings 11:31); and in Gen 46:48 ff there are thirteen.

The former are likely scribal errors. Gen. 46 ends long before 48 verses.

How many Israelites? Over 600,000, counting just men of fighting age, in Moses' day (Ex 12:37, Num 1:45-46). 22,273 firstborn males (Num 3:43), making average family to include 27 fighting-age males. By Ahab's day, only 7000 total (1 Kings 20:15).

This only says how many Ahab had present for battle. Where's the problem? And how is that calculation of "27 per family" arrived at?

Joshua 15:21-32 contradicts itself: it says there are 29 cities on the list, which actually contains 36.

Regarded as copyist error.

Jesse's sons: how many? 1 Sam 16:10-11, 17:12, says eight. 1 Chron 2:13-15 says seven.

See here.

Price of David's threshing-floor? 50 shekels of silver, says 2 Sam 24:24. 600 shekels of gold, says 1 Chron 21:22-25.

See entry for 2 Sam. 24:24 on this page.

Result of numbering by David: 1,300,000 (2 Sam 24:9)? Or 1,570,000 (1 Chron 21:5-6)?

See here.

Number of Solomon's stalls: 40,000 (1 Kings 4:26)? Or 4000 (2 Chron 9:25)?

See link above on copying errors.

Number of Solomon's supervisors: 3300 (1 Kings 5:16)? Or 3600 (2 Chron 2:2)?


Number of Solomon's officers: 1 Kings 9:23 says 550; 2 Chron 8:10 says 250.


Number of charioteers slain by David among the Ammonites and Syrians: 700 (2 Sam 10:18)? Or 7000 (1 Chron 19:18)? 40,000 horsemen (Sam) or 40,000 footmen (Chron)?


Height of pillars in temple: 18 cubits (1 Kings 7:15, 2 Kings 25:17, Jer 52:23)? Or 35 cubits (2 Chron 3:15)?

See here.

Size of the molten sea in the Temple: 1 Kings 7:26 says 2000 baths. 2 Chron 4:5 says 3000.

See copyist error link above.

Gold brought back from Ophir? 420 talents (1 Kings 9:28)? Or 450 talents (2 Chron 6:18)?


Ahaziah was 42 when he succeeded his father Jehoram (2 Chr 22:2), who died when he was 40 (2 Chr 21:20). (But see also 2 Kings 8:26, which says he was 22).

Ditto. See entry also on this page.

Baasha died in the 26th year of Asa's reign (1 Kings 16:6-8). He built a city ten years later (2 Chron 16:1).


How long was Omri's reign? 1 Kings 16:23 says twelve years, beginning in the 31st year of Asa's reign. 1 Kings 16:28-29 says Omri died in the 38th year of Asa's reign.


Jehoiakim: how old was he when he began to reign? 2 Kings 24:8 says eighteen. 2 Chron 36:9 says eight.

Ditto. See entry also on this page.

Nebuzaradan's arrival in Jerusalem: 2 Kings 25:8 says on the seventh day, Jer 52:12 says on the tenth day.

Ditto. See entry also on this page.

How large was Judah's army? 2 Sam 24:9 says 500,000. 1 Chr 21:5 says 470,000.

See link above in military numberes.

Lists in Ezra 2 and Neh 7 are different (even though purportedly of the same thing) and the totals in both are incorrect.

See here.


List of descendants of Cain is almost identical to the descendants of Seth.

This is not a "contradiction". It is perhaps peculiar, but not so much in a time when ancestors were honored by naming children after them.

Esau's wives: Gen 26:35 says his wife Bashemath was the daughter of Elon the Hittite. But Gen 36:2-3 says she was the daughter of Ishmael, sister of Nabajoth, and that his wife Adah was daughter of Elon the Hittite. Gen 28:9 says that it was his wife Mahalath who was the daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nabajoth. Did he marry a lot of sisters and women with identical names?

Marrying sisters is a likelihood; just check Jacob. How Packham imagines these names to be "identical" is a hard to say.

Eliphaz' sons: Gen 36:11 and Gen 36:15-16 list four, but with differing names. 1 Chron 1:35-36 lists seven.

The names are the same that overlap. This is likely do to scribal error.

Who was Moses' father-in-law? Ex 3:1, 4:18 say Jethro. Ex 2:18 says Reuel. Num 10:29 says Raguel. Judg 4:11 says Hobab.

See here.

The Twelve Fathers of the Twelve Tribes: Gen 49:2-28 includes Dan, but not Manasseh. Rev 7:4-8 lists Manasseh, but not Dan.

Ephraim and Manasseh are covered in Gen. 48. Dan is considered purposely excluded from Rev. 7.

Who was Shealtiel's father? Matt 1:12, 1 Chron 3:17 say Jeconi- ah. Luke 3:27 says Neri.

They are not the same Shealtiel; see here.

Who was Zerubabbel's father? Shealtiel (Haggai 1:1, 12, 14, 2:2, 23, Ezra 3:2, 8, 5:2 and Nehemiah 2:1)? Or Pedaiah (1 Chr 3:19)?


Matthew says it was 14 generations from the Captivity to Jesus, but he only gives 13 (Matt 1:12-17). Matt 1:17 says it was 28 generations from David to Jesus, but Luke 3:23-31 gives 43.

See here on the latter and here. For the former, Matthew takes the liberty of counting an end generation twice for a pedagogical purpose.

Jotham is the grandson of Joram, say Matt 1:8, 2 Kings 8:25, 15:32. But 2 Chron 3:11-13 inserts three more generations between Jotham and Joram.

See above.

Luke has Jesus' genealogy Arphaxad > Cainan > Sala. Luke 3:35-36. But Gen 10:24, Gen 11:11-12, 1 Chron 1:18, 24 all omit Cainan.

See A HREF="">here.

Jesus is the son of Joseph, not of God (John 1:45, Luke 2:48: testimony of Mary). Genealogies give Joseph as his father (Matt 1:16, Luke 3:23). Peter, at Acts 2:29-30, says God made an oath to David that Christ would be the "fruit of [David's] loins." Gabriel referred to Jesus as a son of David (Luke 1:32; also Rev 22:16). This could not have been through Mary, who was probably of Levi through Aaron (Luke 1:5, 36).

See link above.

Jesus is descended from David through David's son Solomon, says Matt 1:6-7. But Luke 3:23-31 says it is through David's son Nathan.


Who was the father of Joseph? Luke 3:23 says Heli, Matt 1:16 says Jacob.

See again here.

Jesus as quoted by Matthew says that Zacharias (Zechariah) was the son of Barachias. This Zechariah was the supposed author of the Book of Zechariah, and Jesus here identifies him with the Zechariah who was slain in the Temple (Matt 23:35). But 2 Chron 24:20 says that the Zechariah slain in the Temple was the son of Jehoiada. (Luke 11:51 does not say that Jesus identified which Zechariah he meant.)

See here.


Elohim created the heaven and earth (Gen 1:1). But Gen 2:4 says it was Jehovah.

The OT clearly identifies the two as names for the same being.

Man was created (male and female) at the same time (Gen 1:27). But the male was created first, and the female only later (Gen 2:7, 20-23).

See here.

Plant and animal life was created first, then man (Gen 1:20-27). Man first, then plants and animals (Gen 2:7-20).


Birds were created from the water (Gen 1:21). From the ground (Gen 2:19).

The same.

Creation took six days, says Gen 1:31. Only one, says Gen 2:4.

The same article.

God created the "lights in the firmament of heaven" to divide the day from the night (Gen 1:14). But he had already made this division in Gen 1:4.

The word used means to divide or distinguish. 1:14's events simply add another distinguishing factor.

How many of each species on the Ark? Gen 6:19, 7:8-9, 7:14-16 say two of every kind; Gen 7:2-5 says seven of clean ani- mals.

See here.

God created the differences in the world's languages at Babel (Gen 11). But each nation already had its own language (Gen 10:5, 20, 31).

The passages in 10 are retrospective. Ch. 11 is a different pericope.

Hagar cast Ishmael under a bush (Gen 21:14-16), but he was already 14 years old (Gen 17:23-26, 21:5).

You can't put a 14 year old under a bush when that is all the cover that is available in the desert?

Who sold Joseph into slavery? The Midianites (of northern Arabia), says Gen 37:36. The Ishmaelites (of the Syrian desert), says Gen 37:28, 39:1. His brothers, say Gen 45:4, Acts 7:9.

See here and note that the brothers did it first, while the others were middlemen.

When and where did God change Jacob's name to Israel? At Peniel, crossing the Jabbok? (Gen 32:28-30). Or at Padanaram? (Gen 35:9-10).

See entry for 35:10 here.

Jacob's burial: Gen 50:13 says he was buried in a cave at Machpelah bought from Ephron the Hittite. But Acts 7:15-16 says he was buried at Sychem (Shechem), in a tomb bought from the sons of Emmor (Hamor).

See here.

Was it God or an angel in the burning bush (Ex 3:2, 4)?

It was, as 3:2 says, the angel of the Lord, which is the same as God -- see here.

All livestock in Egypt were killed by plague (Ex 9:3-6). But some survived to be saved from the plague of hail (Ex 9:19- 21). Later, all firstborn of the cattle are destroyed again (Ex 12:12, 29). But Pharaoh pursued Israel with 600 chariots drawn by horses (Ex 14:7-9).

See here.

Hail destroyed all herbs and trees (Ex 9:25). But not all (10:15).

Perhaps the herbs GREW BACK in the intervening months? And 10:15 refers to the fruit on the damaged trees.

Israel was "more and mightier" than the Egyptians (Ex 1:9), but "fewest of all people" (Deut 7:7).

Should Pharaoh's propaganda ought to be taken seriously?

It was Moses' idea to appoint judges (Deut 1:9-17). It was Jethro's idea (Ex 18:1-27).

See here.

God went before the Israelites (Ex 13:21, 14:24, 16:10-11). It was just an angel (Ex 23:20-23, 14:19).

See above -- same thing.

None of the original Israelites (except a very few) survived to enter Canaan (Deut 1:34, 39, 2:14, Num 26:64-65). It was the same Israelites that left Egypt (Deut 5:2=3, 8:2, 4, 11:2-10).

The latter passages refer to corporate Israel.

Where did Joshua's twelve stones end up? In the middle of the Jordan (Josh 4:9)? Or in Gilgal (Josh 4:20)?

4:20 specifically says they were taken OUT of the Jordan.

Who captured Debir? Joshua (Josh 10:38-40)? Or Othniel (Judg 1:11-14)?

Both. ANE cities often changed hands as war was rather less efficient.

Joshua conquered "all" of the promised land, and "left none breathing" (Josh 10:40-43, 11:6-17, 23, 12:1-24, 21:43-45). But not all of the nations he was supposed to conquer were conquered (Josh 13:1-6, 15:63, 16:10, 17:12-13, Judg 1:1-36, 2:3, 21-23, 3:1-6). They even defeat Israel (Num 14:45, Judg 4:1-3)

See here.

Sisera was sleeping when he was killed, says Judg 4:21. He was standing, says Judg 5:25-27.

Latter is presumed on basis of Sisera "falling" or "laying down" with no supposition of the language being used as metaphors of submission.

The Amalekites are utterly destroyed by Saul, every Amalekite except the king (1 Sam 15:1-8, 20). Then they are utterly destroyed again, by David (1 Sam 27:8-9). David utterly destroyed them again, only 400 escaping (1 Sam 30:1, 17-18).

See here.

David killed Goliath, says 1 Sam 17:50. Elhanan killed him, says 2 Sam 21:19 (KJV has inserted "the brother of").

Justly; see here.

Saul's anointing: The anointing of Saul is reported three times: once as a private ceremony (1 Sam 9:27-10:1) and twice as a public ritual (1 Sam 10:17-24 and 11:15).

So -- what's the problem? The multiple public rituals are before scattered and disunified tribes.

Saul inquired of God, but got no answer (1 Sam 28:6). Saul did not inquire, and so God punished him with death (1 Chron 10:13-14).

See here.

Who ordered the numbering of Israel? God, says 2 Sam 24:1; Sa- tan, says 1 Chron 21:1; God, says Num 26:1-2.

See here.

Dedication of Solomon's temple: cf. 1 Kings 8:50 ff. with 2 Chron 6:40 ff.

I did. What's the problem?

Words of God to Solomon: 2 Chron 6:5-6, 1 Kings 8:16 are slightly different.

Things like grammar and intelligibility change over time. Show that the words are different in the message, and then we have an issue.

Fire from heaven at dedication of temple: 2 Chron 7:1; not mentioned at 1 Kings 8:54-55.

Which is not a contradiction. Silence never is.

How did Saul die? 1 Sam 31:4 says suicide. 2 Sam 1:10 says killed by an Amalekite. 2 Sam 21:12 says killed by a Philistine.

See here.

Saul appoints David his armorbearer (1 Sam 16:19-23). But neither Saul nor Abner know him afterwards (17:55-58).

See here.

Who killed Jabin? Josh 11:2 says Joshua. Judg 4:2- says Barak (these may be different Jabins).

There are. That's what's called a dynastic name.

Who was priest when David ate the shewbread? Ahimelech (1 Sam 21:1-6)? Or Abiathar (Mark 2:26)?

See here.

Did Michal have sons? 2 Sam 6:23 says no; 21:8 says yes (five).

See here.

Asa removed the high places, says 1 Kings 15:14. He did not, says 2 Chron 14:2-3.

See here.

Jehoshaphat removed the high places, says 2 Chron 17:5-6. He did not, says 1 Kings 22:42-43.

See here.

Ahaz was conquered by Syria and Israel, says 2 Chron 28:5-6. He was not conquered, says 2 Kings 16:5.

See here.

Josiah died at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29-30); at Jerusalem (2 Chron 35:24).

See here.

Jehoiakim was succeeded by his uncle Mataniah, renamed Zedekiah, says 2 Kings 24:15-17. Zedekiah was his brother, says 2 Chron 36:10.

"Brother" means any male relative.

Writing on the wall is MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, but Daniel gives the interpretation for MENE, TEKEL PERES (Dan 5:25-28).

They are the same word in a different form.

Esther conceals her Jewish origin (Esther 2:10, 7:3ff), but Mordecai, who is known to be Jewish and is known to be Esther's cousin, inquires about her every day (2:11).

Would the king of Persia with his huge harem kept tabs? The point is that Esther was not to draw attention to it.


Annunciation was before Mary conceived, says Luke 1:26-31. She was already pregnant, says Matt 1:18-21.

Not the same annunciation -- one is to Joseph.

Annunciation was made to Mary, says Luke 1:28. It was made to Joseph, says Matt. 1:20.

Where's the contradiction? This is complementary.

Flight into Egypt: Matt 2:13-23 says Joseph and Mary took the infant Jesus to Egypt. Luke 2:21-39 says they went immediately to Jerusalem.

See here.

Nazareth: Luke 2:39 says Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth. Matt 2:23 implies they were not.

See link again.

Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness immediately after his baptism (Matt 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13). But John 2:1-11 says he was at the wedding in Cana three days after his baptism.

See here.

Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus as the Messiah? Matt 3:14- 17, John 1:29-34, Mark 1:10-11 say yes; Luke 7:18-20, Matt 11:2-3 say no (he apparently had forgotten the dove and the voice).

See here.

Jesus begins his ministry before John's arrest, says John 3:22- 24. Afterwards, says Mark 1:14

No, Mark only says Jesus went into Galilee on a mission, not that his ministry started.

Herod believed John had risen from the dead (Mark 6:16). Herod did not believe this (Luke 9:7).

It does not say in Luke that he did not come to believe this. Luke reports an earlier stage of Herod's understanding.

Calling of Peter: Matt 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20 tell one story, Luke 5:1-11 tells a different one, and John 1:35-42 tells still a third.

The first three are not an initial "calling" but a later call to go on a mission. The third is an expansion on Mark and Matthew.

Time of Jesus naming Simon "Peter": Matt 16:16-18, John 1:29, 41, are different.

No, Matthew's event is a re-affirmation in light of Peter's confession.

Peter was not to be an apostle to Gentiles, says Matt 10:2-6. He was, says Acts 15:7.

Packham confuses instructions for a specific mission in Matthew with a later effort.

The lists of the Twelve Apostles do not coincide: Luke 6:13-16 and Acts 1:13 list Judas the brother of James as the 12th; Matt 10:3 and Mark 3:14 list instead Thaddeus as the 12th.

Judas is an obvious dual name for Thaddeus.

Jesus' greatest sermon was delivered on a mount (Matt 5:1ff). It was on a plain (Luke 6:17ff).

See here.

Mark, John and Paul are unfamiliar with any such sermon.

In other words, they don't mention it, have no reason to, which is no reason to say they are "unfamiliar" with it.

Did Jesus' disciples fast? Yes (Matt 6:16). No (Mark 2:18).

The verse is Matthew is a future conditional. Mark reports present circumstances and even has Jesus noting future fasting (2:20).

Jesus healed all the sick (Matt 8:16, Luke 4:40). He healed many, but not all (Mark 1:32-34).

Mark's "many" indicates a set number, not less than "all" who came.

Feeding of the Multitude made no impression on the people (Mark 6:52). They were so impressed they wanted to make Jesus their king (John 6:14-15).

6:52 refers to the apostles, not the people.

Gadarene swine healing was of one man possessed, say Mark 5:2-16 and Luke 8:26-36. There were two, says Matt 8:28-33.

See here.

The centurion went personally to summon Jesus, says Matt 8:5-13. Luke 7:2-10 says he sent messengers.

See here.

Jairus told Jesus his daughter was dead, says Matt 9:18-25. Luke 8:42 says she was still alive.

See here.

Two blind men were healed by Jesus, says Matt 20:29. Mark 10:46 and Luke 18:35 both say it was only one.

See link on demoniacs for principles.

Jesus gives the disciples the power to heal (Matt 10:1-8). But they cannot heal (Matt 17:14-16).

As is explained in v. 20, because of their lack of loyalty.

James and John ask Jesus for a favor (Mark 10:35-37). Their mother asked (Matt 20:20-21).

See here for relevant principles.

Were disciples allowed by Jesus to take a staff? Matt 10:10 says no. Mark 6:8 says yes.

See here.

The donkey ride into Jerusalem: Matt 21:7 says Jesus rode both a donkey and a colt. Mark 11:7, Luke 19:35, and John 12:14 say only the colt. John says Jesus "found" the animal him- self; the others say the disciples found it according to Jesus' instructions.

See here. John simply telescopes the process.

Withering of fig tree: Matt 21:19-21 says the disciples saw it wither immediately. Mark 11:13-21 says it only withered the next day.

See here.

Cleansing of the temple: Matt 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-19, and Luke 19:45-48 say it occurred after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. John 2:13-16 says it was early in Jesus' ministry.

It is not hard to suppose that Jesus might perform the same act of prophetic demonstration more than once.

Jesus' Anointing: Matt 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3, say it was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper. John 12:3 says it was in Bethany at Martha's house. Luke 7:36-38 says it was in Galilee at the house of a Pharisee. Matt and Mark say his head was anointed; Luke and John say his feet. John says Mary anointed him; the others don't say who the woman was.

See here.

Peter and Thomas each ask where Jesus is going (John 13:36, 14:5). Jesus says later that no one has asked him that (John 16:5).

Packham misses the "NOW" in 16:5.

Last Supper: Jesus tells of his betrayal before the bread and wine, say Matt 26:20-29 and Mark 14:17-28. Afterwards, says Luke 22:14-23.

See here.

Bread and wine: Bread before wine, say Matt 26:26-29 and Mark 14:22-25. Wine before bread, says Luke 22:17-20. John doesn't mention either.

See here again.

Jesus washes the disciples' feet, says John 13:4-10. The other gospels don't mention this.


Disciples fall asleep once, says Luke 22:45. Three times, say Matt 26:40-45 and Mark 14:37-41. Not at all, says John.

John does not say "not at all" but simply does not mention it, as Luke does not mention more than one. They both needed room for other material.

Jesus' betrayal: Matt 26:49-50, Mark 14:44-46 say by Judas' kiss. Luke 22:47-48 says Judas did not actually kiss him. John 18:2-9 says Jesus identified himself; Judas did nothing to identify him.

See principles here. This article, and sub-articles linked within, provide the answer in principle to many of the next several items in which events in the Gospels are compared. That being the case we will delete many of these that require no other answer.

Jesus is taken first to Caiaphas, say Matt 26:57, Mark 14:53, and Luke 22:54. He is taken first to Annas, then Caiaphas, says John 18:13-24.

The Synoptics do not say anything about "first". They telescope the proceedings.

Jesus' trial is before the Sanhedrin, say Matt 26:59-66, Mark 14:55-64, and Luke 22:66-71. John 18:13-24 has no trial, only interrogation by Annas and later Caiaphas.

See here -- the accounts complement each other.

Pilate's examination: Jesus remained silent, say Matt 27:11 and Mark 15:2-5 (Luke 23:1-4 similar). Jesus answered every question, says John 18:33-37.

The former say he was silent when the priests accused him, which is not at the same time as what John reports.

Time of crucifixion: Mark 15:25 says 3rd hour; John 19:14-15 says the sixth.

See here.

Jesus is offered vinegar to drink, say Matt 27:48, Luke 23:36, and John 19:29. It was wine and myrrh, says Mark 15:23.

See here.

Jesus' last words: Matt 27:50, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46, John 19:30 are all different.

See here.

What happened to Judas Iscariot? Matt 27:5 says he hanged himself. Acts 1:18 says he died in a fall.

See here.

What happened to the 30 pieces of silver? Acts 1:18 says Judas bought a field. Matt 27:3-7 says he returned the money, and the chief priests bought the field.


Touching the resurrected Jesus: The two Marys touch him at his first appearance to them, says Matt 28:9. Thomas touches him a week later, says John 20:27. No one can touch him until he has ascended to heaven, says John 10:17.

He means 20:17. See entry on this page.

The Ascension: when and where? From outdoors at Bethany, immediately after the appearance to two near Emmaus (just after the resurrection) and the meal with the disciples, says Luke 24:36-51. Mark 16:14-19 says the same, but from Jerusalem while disciples were eating (indoors?). Acts 1:3- 12 says from Mt. Olivet, 40 days later. Matthew and John do not mention the ascension.

Mark 16:14-19 is to be excluded. Bethany is located at Mt. Olivet. Luke's rez narrative telescopes the 40 days. On lack of mention see here.

Jesus founds his church on Peter and gives him the keys of the kingdom (Matt 16:18). But James seems to be in charge (Acts 15:1-21). Mark, Luke and John seem to know nothing of Peter's special position, even though tradition says that Mark was secretary to Peter.

This assumes the Catholic understanding of Matt. 16:18, which we do not share.

Conversion of Paul: Did his companions see the light but not hear the voice, or hear the voice but not see the light? Did they stand or fall? And what did the voice say? (Acts 9:3-7, 22:6-10; see also 26:12-18).

See here.

Paul's trip to Jerusalem: Soon after his conversion and recovery in Damascus; he spent some time with the Apostles (Acts 9:19-28). Not until three years later, and he only saw Peter and James (Gal 1:15-20).

See here.


Good and evil: should we want to know the difference? No, that was the sin of Adam (Gen 2:15-17, 3:4-6). Yes, that is the only way to become perfect (Heb 5:14). Deut 1:39 says little children do not have this knowledge.

The former cites refer to knowledge by experience. The verse in Hebrews refers to judicial estimation.

For or against Jesus: Matt 12:30 says if you are not for him, you are against him. Mark 9:40 says if you are not against him, you are for him. (These are contradictory as to the indifferent or undecided.)

See here.

Suffering: It is caused by sin (Deut 28:15-68, Eccl 2:26, Amos 9: esp v 10, Ezek 18:13, 20, Jer 31:30, Job 4:7-8, 7:20-21, 8:4, 6, 20, 11:6). A good man finds favor with God and thus does not suffer. (Job 4:7, Prov 12:2, Ps 34:9-10, 145:20, Rom 8:28).

Note that all but the last of these is from non-absolute proverbial literature. As for Rom. 8:28, it speaks of a long view that does not forbid suffering caused by sin in the short term.

Suffering is not caused by sin (John 9:1-3).

No, all that can derived from this is that this particular man's suffering was not caused by sin.

The godly will be persecuted (1 Tim 3:12). God afflicts the righteous with the wicked (Ezek 21:3-4, Job 9:22, 16:11-17, Ps 42; contra: Ps 32:10). God causes afflictions (Ps 119:75, Lam 2:17-23, 3:32-33, Nah 1:12). God feeds the people bread of tears and gives them tears to drink (Ps 80:5). God afflicts to teach us and to punish us (Deut 8:16, 8:5, Job 5:17-18, Ezra 9:13, Jer 29:17-19, 31:18, Isa 30:20-21, Ps 89:30-32, 106:40-43, Pr 3:12, Hos 5:12-15, Heb 12:5-11, Rev 3:19); or to test us (Deut 8:16, Ps 66:10-12); or simply to demonstrate his power (Ex 7:5, 9:14-16, 10:1-2, 8:10, Ezek 6:9-14, 20:37, 21:5, Jer 24:7, John 9:1-3, 11:3- 4). God can choose to end our afflictions at any time (Nah 1:12, 1 Pet 5:10, Ps 34:19, Job 34:29).

All of the above are far from mutually exclusive. None says that ONLY these things cause suffering.

Burdens and troubles: God will relieve our burdens (Matt 11:28, 30). God will give us troubles and tribulations (Heb 12:6, John 16:33). God does both (Deut 32:39, 1 Sam 2:6-7).

And this is not mutually exclusive.

Sickness: It is inflicted by God (Num 11:33). By Satan (Job 2:7).

Neither is said to do this exclusively. Where's the contradiction?

Are we punished only for our own sins? Yes (Num 16:22,

This is not a "yes" but a question the people ask.

Deut 24:16,

See here

2 Kings 14:6,

Ditto -- it is a quote of Dt. 24:16!

2 Chron 25:4,

And this is also

Ezek 18:20, Jer 31:30)

See same link.

. But God punishes many for the sins of one, or for the sins of one's ancestors (Ex 13:15, 20:5, 34:7, Lev 26:22, Num 14:18, Deut 5:9, 28:32, 41, 46, Josh 22:20, 2 Kings 5:27, Ps 109:9-10, 137:8-9, Isa 14:21-22, Jer 6:11, 18:21, Hosea 2:4- 5, 12:2-3, where God will punish the entire tribe of Judah for Jacob taking Esau's heel when they were born, Mal 2:3).

See link above plus here.

"Original sin" generally, which means that all humanity is punished for Adam's sin (e.g Rom 5:12, 19, 1 Cor 15:22; see also "Punishments").

See here.

When will we be punished for sin? OT says in this life, by death, destruction or suffering (Deut 6:24, 16:20, 28:15-68, 30:16-20, Josh 23:16, Ps 55:23, 92:12-14, Prov 2:22, 10:2-3, 27-31, 12:2, 21, Job 36:6, which says God does not preserve the life of the wicked, Amos 9: esp v 10, Isa 34, Jer 31:30, Ezek 8-9, 18:13, 20, 31. Deut 28:20 says punishment is quick death; but v 15-68 imply long agony.) But the godly suffer and the wicked prosper (Job 2:3-6, 21:7-13, 2 Tim 3:12). So the NT invents Hell as place of punishment for sin after Last Judgment.

Punishment and reward here and hereafter are far from mutually exclusive. "Hell" was not invented in the NT but was part of Jewish belief for some time prior to that.

Does God want blood sacrifices? Yes (Gen 15:9, Ex 20:24, 29:10- 42, Lev 1:1-7, 3:2, 4:6-7, 8:23-24, with detailed instructions in Ex, Lev, Num, Deut). He enjoys the "sweet savour" (Gen 8:21, Lev 1:9, Ezek 20:40-41). Sacrifices atone for sin (Num 15:24-28). The keystone of his plan of salvation, according to NT, is the blood sacrifice of his son, the Lamb of God, as the only acceptable atonement for Adam's sin. But God did not tell Moses to sacrifice (Jer 7:21-22; also Amos 5:21-26, Hos 8:13, Mic 6:6-8, Isa 1:11-13).

See here.

Sacrifices do not atone for sin (Heb 10:11).

The attempt it to set this against Numbers, but that passages only refers to transgressions committed in ignorance.

Priest's Portion? Shoulder, cheeks, maw (Deut 18:3). Breast, right shoulder (Lev 7:30-34).

The latter refers specifically to the peace offering. The former is a different sacrifice of firstfruits.

Jesus said to honor father and mother (Matt 15:4; see also Ex 20:12, Deut 5:16, Matt 19:19, Mark 7:10, 10:19, Luke 18:20), but he required his disciples to hate father and mother (Luke 14:26),

See here

and said that he came to turn the children against their parents (Matt 10:35, Luke 12:51-53).

These passages predict that the parents will be the ones doing the turning, however.

"Call no man your father" (Matt 23:9).

That is a rabbinic title, not your biological father.

But you should provide for your family (1 Tim 5:8).

"Bear one another's burdens" (Gal 6:2), but "Every man shall bear his own burden" (Gal 6:5).

See here.

Divorce: Divorce is permitted in Deut 24:1, Jer 3:8, Isa 50:1, Luke 16:18, Mark 10:11-12 (but no remarriage), Matt 5:32, 19:9 (only for wife's fornication); but condemned in Mal 2:10-16, Matt 19:6, Mark 10:9, 1 Cor 7:10, 27, Rom 7:2-3.

See here and consider the phrase, "hoerarchy of morals".

Married to an unbeliever: do not divorce (1 Cor 7:13-16); but be not yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14).

How about if one partner converts after they were married?

Life: where is it in the body? In the breath (Gen 2:7). In the blood (Deut 12:23).

Two different Hebrew words are used for "life".

Wine: A blessing from God (Gen 27:28, Deut 7:13, Ps 104:5, Jer 13:12, Micah 6:15). It "cheers God and man" (Judg 9:13). Jesus' first miracle was making wine (John 2:9-10). Wine was at the last supper and became a sacrament (Matt 26:27- 29, Mark 14:23-25). Paul recommends a little (1 Tim 5:23). But wine is a mocker (Pr 20:1, also Hosea 4:11). Many pas- sages against wine forbid it only under certain circumstanc- es, to people under special laws (priests, Nazarites), or only in excess (Lev 10:9, Num 6:3, Judg 13:4, Prov 21:17, 23:29-32, 31:4-5, Isa 5:11, 22, 24:9, 28:1, 3, 7, Jer 23:9, Ezek 44:21, Luke 1:15, Rom 14:21, Eph 5:18, Tit 2:3).

See here.

What does wisdom bring? Prov 3:13 says happiness. Eccl 1:18 says grief. Salvation, says 2 Tim 3:15.

See comments here.

Is temptation a good thing? No, say Matt 6:13, Luke 11:4. Yes, says James 1:2

See here.

Fear vs. love: Fear of God keeps us from doing evil (Ex 20:20, Prov 16:6, Ps 145:19, Jer 32:39-40). But fear and love cannot coexist (1 John 4:18). Love of God leads us to keep his commandments (1 John 5:2, 2 John 1:6). We should fear God because he can put us in hell (Matt 10:28, Luke 12:5, Heb 10:31).

See here.

Hate vs. love: If you hate your brother you are a murderer and cannot love God (John 3:15, 4:20). You must be willing to hate your brother (and your family) to be a follower of Jesus (Luke 14:26).

See here.

Should one enjoy the pleasures of this life, the wealth that one has accumulated? Yes say Deut 7:12ff, 8:7-18 (wealth comes from God), Eccl 3:13, 22, 5:18-20, 8:15, 9:7-9, 10:19, Prov 3:9-10, 16-17, 10:15. No, say Eccl 4:6, 8, 5:12-17, Matt 6:19-21, 13:12, 19:16-24, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 6:20, 24, 16:19-31 (parable of Rich Man and Lazarus), 21:1-4.

Note how many of these come from non-absolute proverbial literature. Other than that, those in the "no" category warn not against enjoyment per se but abuse and overconfidence.

Sex/Marriage: God's first words to Adam are the command to multiply (Gen 1:28). It is not good for the man to be alone (Gen 2:18). But any sexual activity causes uncleanness, as does childbirth (Ex 19:15, Lev 12, 15:16-18).

See here. Is sex the only point to marriage?

The conception of a child is sin (Ps 51:5).

How Packham gets this idea from this I do not see.

Better alone than with a cantankerous woman (Prov 19:9, 25:24).

Note that these comes from non-absolute proverbial literature.

Paul says to avoid marriage and sex (1 Cor 7:1, 8, 37). But it is better to marry than to burn (v. 9).

See here.

Eunuchs: They are unworthy to enter the congregation (Deut 23:1). But they are worthy to enter heaven (Matt 19:12) and they will have a special place there (Isaiah 56:3-5).

See here. Note that the ones in Deut. are people who castrated themselves out of devotion to a pagan deity, which is not what the last two categories are.

Is all scripture inspired of God? 2 Tim 3:16 says yes, but Paul says some of his words in the Bible are not (2 Cor 11:17, 1 Cor 7:6, 12, 25).

See here.

The scriptures do not bring salvation (John 5:39).

No, they don't. Believing what they say does.

Are there any who are righteous? No (1 Kings 8:46, Mark 10:18, Rom 3:10, 23, Ps 14:3, 1 John 1:8-10). Paul says he is the chief sinner (1 Tim 1:15). But James 5:16 says yes (also Gen 7:1, Job 1:1, 8, 2:3, Luke 1:5-6, 15:7). Ezek 18 lists what one must do to be "just" (=righteous?). God only pro- tects the righteous (1 Pet 3:12), although Jesus died both for the just and the unjust (3:18). True Christians do not sin (1 John 3:6-9). A man of God is perfect (2 Tim 3:17). Noah was perfect (Gen 6:9).

See here and here. 2 Tim 3:17 is exhortational language.

Where is Satan? Chained in hell (2 Pet 2:4, Jude 6).

These speak of angels, not Satan particularly.

Walking about in the earth (1 Pet 5:8 and Job 1:6-7; Job also says he occasionally visits heaven). He is the god or prince of this world (John 12:31, 2 Cor 4:4, Eph 6:12). He was "cast out" at the time of Jesus (John 12:31).

None of which is contradictory.

What is Hell? It is darkness (Lam 3:6, Ps 143:3, Job 10:22, Matt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). It is the grave, Hebrew Sheol or Gehenna, Greek Hades (Ps 16:10, Acts 2:27, 31, 32), inside the earth (Pr 15:24, Ps 86:13, Isa 44:23, Eph 4:9), a "pit" (Ps 28:1, 30:3, Ezek 32:18), a place of inactivity (Ps 6:5, Eccl 9:10, Isa 14:10, 38:18) and silence (Ps 88:10, 94:17, 115:17). Everyone goes there (Pr 27:20, Ezek 32:21), both soul and body (Job 14:22). It is the "land of forgetfulness" (Ps 88:12) where there is no pain, excitement, comfort or joy (Job 3:13-19, 17:16, 10:22). Only the wicked go there (Matt 5:29ff, 10:28, Mark 9:43, Luke 16:22-25). It destroys both soul and body (Matt 10:28). It is a place of torment, of "wailing and gnashing of teeth," a "furnace" or "lake" of "fire" (Matt 3:12, 5:22, 13:42, 22:13, 24:51, 25:41, Luke 16:23, 2 Thess 1:8, Jude 1:7, Rev 16:10; and "brimstone" Rev 14:10, 20:14, 21:8) which is "unquenchable" (Mark 9:43, 45, Isa 66:24). The fire and its punishment are "everlasting" (Matt 25:41, 46, 2 Thess 1:9), whose purpose is to punish unbelievers while Jesus and the angels watch (2 Thess 1:8, Jude 1:7, Rev 14:10).

This pastiche is unaddressable as written since it doesn't explain what the alleged problems are. Most of these options are not mutually exclusive, and Sheol and Hell/Hades are not regarded as the same place.

Earth: It is everlasting (Gen 49:26, Deut 33:15, Ps 78:69, 104:5, Eccl 1:4, 3:14). It will be destroyed (Ps 102:25-26, Isa 24:19, 65:17, Matt 5:18, 24:3, 6ff, 35, also Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33, 2 Cor 5:17, 2 Pet 3:10-12, Rev 21:1, Heb 1:10- 11).

Another unaddressable pastiche. Ps. 102, Mark 13:31, and similar phrases are statements like "when pigs fly" -- they speak impossibilities in order to make a comparisons. Is. 24:19 is "trash talk" language of war. Is. 65:17 speaks of refashioning, not destruction. Eschatological passages in the NT speak of the end of the age (time period), not world; see here.

Whose is the Earth? Satan's (John 12:31, 14:30, 2 Cor 4:4, Eph 6:12). Jesus' (1 Cor 10:26, Rev 1:5). God's (Ex 9:29, 19:5, Deut 10:14, Ps 24:1, 50:12, 89:11). Mankind's (Ps 115:16).

The references to Satan do not speak of him owning the earth but the world system and orientation. In the NT God passes stewardship of the Earth to Jesus -- not that the "God" cites are from the OT. The Psalm cite does not connote ownership but "given for use and habitation".

Was Jesus the first to rise from the dead? Acts 26:23 says yes. Contra: 1 Kings 17:17-22 (Elijah raises a dead child), 2 Kings 4:32-35 (Elisha raises the son of a Shunammite woman), 2 Kings 13:21 (Elisha's bones revive a dead man), 1 Sam 28:7-15 (Saul calls up Samuel), Luke 9:28-30 (Moses and Elijah come back at the Transfiguration), Matt 9:18-25 (Jesus raises Jairus' daughter), Luke 7:11-15 (Jesus raises widow's son), John 11:43-44 (Jesus raises Lazarus). Jesus tells the parable of Lazarus, who is taken to heaven ("Abraham's bosom") at Luke 16:19ff (this indicates that Abraham is already in heaven).

Not one of the other cites involves a resurrection, which is a specific process of reconstitution of the body into immortality. See article here.

Should we "run"? 1 Cor 9:24 says yes. Rom 3:10 says no.

See here.

Should we boast? No (Luke 18:9-14, Rom 11:20, 1 Pet 5:5). But Paul boasts of his faith and says one should be proud of it (Rom 15:17, 2 Cor 1:12, 2:14, 5:12, 11:17, Heb 3:6).

Luke speaks of one boasting who has no grounds to do so; there is no condemnation of boasting of one's faith per se. Rom. 11:20 speaks of unbelief and says nothing of boasting. 1 Peter 5:5 speaks against pride and is the only verse that might qualify on this count. However, the word in Rom. 15:17 and 2 Cor. 1:12, 5:12 and Heb. 3:6 means "rejoice". 2:14 says nothing at all about boasting. On 11:17 see here.

Should we show our good works? Yes, say Matt 5:16, 1 Pet 2:12. No, says Matt 6:1-4, 23:5

See here.

Should we abstain from eating flesh? Yes, if it offends, says Paul (Rom 14:21). But let no one pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink (Col 2:16, 1 Tim 4:3-4, see also Gen 9:3).

See here.

Should we worry about the future? No, say Matt 6:25-34, Luke 12:22-31. Yes, says Prov 14:8, 1 Tim 5:8.

Note that Prov. 14:8 is from non-absolute proverbial literature. Otherwise see here.

Should we curse our enemies? Yes (Ps 35:1-9, 69:23-28, esp Ps 109, Esther, passim, Lam 3:65-66). The righteous rejoices at vengeance (Ps 58:10-11). God destroys his enemies (Deut 7:9-10, Luke 19:27). Jesus curses his enemies (Matt 6:15, 12:34, 16:3, 22:18, 23:13-15, 17, 19, 27, 29, 33, Mark 7:6, Luke 11:40, 44, 12:56). Paul curses his enemies (2 Tim 4:14). But Jesus says love your enemies (Matt 5:39, 44). Do not rejoice when your enemy falls (Prov 24:16-18). But shun Gentiles, Samaritans, non-believers (John 1:9-11, Matt 10:5).

Another unaddressable pastiche. See here on loving. Prov. 24 is a proverbial non-absolute. Shunning is not "cursing".

Should we please? Paul does (1 Cor 10:33) and Paul doesn't (Gal 1:10).

See here.

Should we swear oaths? It appears acceptable in Num 30:2, Gen 21:23, 24, 31, 31:53, Matt 23:20-22, Heb 6:13. But Matt 5:34-35 forbids it.

See here.

Should we call anybody a "fool"? Jesus says no, we would be in danger of hell-fire (Matt 5:22). But he does so (Matt 7:26, 23:17, 19, 25:2, 38, Luke 11:40), and so does Paul (1 Cor 1:23, 3:18, 4:10, 15:36, Gal 3:1).

See here.

Stealing: Is it always a sin? Yes (Ex 20:15, Lev 19:13). But God told the Israelites it was all right to steal from Egyptians (Ex 3:22, 12:35-36).

No, he told them to ask them for reparations.

Killing: Is it always a sin? Yes, says Ex 20:13, Gen 9:5-6 (whoever sheds human blood will have his blood shed) etc. But not if you kill your own slave (Ex 21:20-21). Or if God commands the killing (as at Ex 82:27, 1 Sam 6:19, 15:2-3, Num 15:36). There is "a time to kill" (Eccl 3:3).

See here.

Sabbath: Must we keep it? Yes, under penalty of death (Ex 20:8, 31:15-17, 35:1-3, Jer 17:21-27, and many other passages). No (Isa 1:13, Hos 2:11). Jesus did not keep it (Mark 2:27- 28, John 5:16, Math 12:1-8). Paul says commandment was not permanent; decide for yourself (Rom 14:5, Col 2:16).

See here.

Slavery: Is it all right to own slaves? Yes (Lev 25:45-46, Gen 9:25, Ex 21:2,7, Joel 3:8, Luke 12:47, Col 3:22; see "Slavery"). No, says Isa 58:6, Matt 23:10.

Is. 58:6 refers to the sabbatical release of slaves. On the latter see here.

Prayer: Is it always effective? Yes, if you ask in faith (Matt 21:22 and Mark 11:24). Or if you ask in Jesus' name (John 14:4 and 16:23). Ask, and it will be given (Matt 7:7-8, Luke 11:9-10). Yes, if you are a righteous man or keeping the commandments (Prov 15:29, James 5:16, 1 John 3:22, 5:14). But none are righteous (Rom 3:10)). Yes, if two believers ask together (Matt 18:19. Not always (Jer 7:16, Lam 3:44, Ps 10:1, 22:1-2, Isa 1:15, Mic 3:4, John 7:34). Prayer must not be long (Matt 23:14). Only if it you request something that God wants anyway (1 John 5:14-15, which implies that your prayer has no effect on the outcome). Many who ask to enter the kingdom will be refused (Luke 13:24).

Another confused pastiche. See here in the main. Some of these are irrelevant (length of prayer, entering kingdom, which is not a "prayer").

"Seek, and ye shall find" (Matt 7:7), especially if you seek the Lord (2 Chron 15:2, Ps 9:10, Isa 55:6, Jer 29:13). But Jesus' followers will not find him if they seek him (John 7:34, 8:21; also Amos 8:12).

John speaks of looking for Jesus as a person after the ascension; Matt. 7:7 obviously does not imply one can "find" i.e., objects not present. Amos is similar, speaking of finding food in a famine.

Are all apostles commanded to baptize? Jesus says yes at Matt 28:19. Paul says no at 1 Cor 1:14-17.

See here.

Should Christians "contend"? Jude 3 says yes. Paul contended (Acts 17:2-4, 17ff). Answer a fool (Prov 26:5). Answer an unbeliever (1 Pet 3:15). Exhort "with all longsuffering" (2 Tim 4:2). Do not contend (Prov 18:6, 1 Tim 6:20, 2 Tim 2:14-16, 24, 3:1-7). Do not argue with an unbeliever or answer a fool (Prov. 26:4). Anyone who speaks to an unbeliever shares his evil (Matt 10:5, John 1:9-11, 2 John 1:10-11).

More cluster prooftexting, unaddressable as formatted. Proverbs, again, are non-absolute. On much of this see here. Matt. 10:5 speaks of a mission to the Jews and says nothing about what is claimed; nor does John 1, which is the Prologue about the Logos. 2 John speaks of false teachers specifically.

What do we reap? Some sow but reap nothing (Micah 6:15). Some sow wheat but reap thorns (Jer 12:13). Some reap without sowing (Matt 25:26, Luke 19:22). You reap what you sow (2 Cor 9:6, Gal 6:7).

This is rather too much to make of a proverbial saying, which is what the latter is.

Was Jesus perfect? Jesus said he was not (Mark 10:18). The apostles said he was sinless (2 Cor 5:21, 1 Pet 1:19, 2:22, 1 John 3:3, 5).

See here.

Will fulfilment of prophecy be delayed? There will be no more delay (Ezek 12:21-28). Woe to those who want quick fulfilment (Isa 5:19, Jer 17:15).

Ezekiel speaks to a specific situation and time.

Kings: it is evil to ask for a king (1 Sam 12:17, 19, Hos 13:11). But you should obey the king (Eccl 8:2, 10:20, Rom 13:1-4, 1 Pet 2:13-17) and pray for him (1 Tim 2:1-2). God will choose the king (Deut 17:14-20). But you do not have to obey the secular law (Acts 5:19, 29, 40-42, 12:6-11). Jesus will be our king (NT passim).

The options about kings are far from mutually exclusive. On laws see here.

Genealogies: All Israel was reckoned by their genealogies (Num 1:18, 1 Chr 9:1, 22; see also Job 8:8). Paul says to avoid them (Tit 3:9, 1 Tim 1:4).

See here.

Jesus said his message was only for Israel (Matt 15:24, 10:5-6). But then he tells his disciples to preach to all nations (Matt 28:19). This is also implied by "other sheep I have, which are not of this fold" (John 10:16). Once you become a Christian you are "Abraham's seed" (Gal 3:29).

The Matthew passages speak of Jesus particularly serving or being sent to Israel in his time and say nothing about the message being forever for Israel only.

Hidden teachings: Nothing is hidden (Mark 4:22, John 18:20). God's word is in books that are sealed (Dan 12:9, Rev 5:1).

Note that Daniel is obviously public and that the book in Rev. is then UNSEALED.

God conceals (Prov 25:2, Deut 29:29).

Conceals what? The former is proverbial and not specific; the latter is not specific either, but does not obviously refer to teachings.

The truth has always been completely evident (Job 27:11-12, Rom 1:18:20). Salvation through Jesus can be learned from the scriptures, i.e., the OT (Luke 16:29-31, 2 Tim 3:15). But the Gospel had been kept hidden until Jesus (Rom 16:25-26, Col 1:26).

Obviously, since it could only be revealed as part of a historical process. This is not the same as keeping secrets.

Jesus uses parables so that the meaning will be hidden (Matt 11:25, 13:10-15, Mark 4:11-12, Luke 8:10; cf Isa 6:9-10). But he came to bring the truth (John 18:37).

See here.

Wisdom: Should we be wise? No, say Gen 2:17 (Tree of Knowledge is forbidden),

Knowledge of good and evil, as in familiarity, not "knowledge" generally.

Gen 3:6 (a sin to be "wise"),


Eccl 1:18, 6:8, 7:16, 8:16-17, 12:12,

See here 1 Cor 1:19-27, 1 Cor 3:18-20, 8:1, 14:38, Col 2:8, Tit 3:9, 2 Tim 2:23-24.

See here. On Col. 2:8 see here.

Yes, say Job 13:1, 6, 22, Prov 3:13, 4:7, 8, 9, 12:1, Ps 19:2, 8, Eccl 7:12, 19, 23, 25, 9:18, 10:12, Hos 4:6, Luke 2:40, 52, James 1:5, 2 Pet 1:5).

Do miracles (signs) prove God's power or the authority of his prophet?

Another unaddressable pastiche ahead.

Yes (Ex 4:8-9, 10:2, Num 14:11, Judg 6:17-23, 36- 40, 2 Kings 20:8-9, Isa 7:11, 55:13, Ezek 12:6, Joel 2:30- 31, Mark 16:20, John 2:23, 3:2, 10:25, 20:30, 5:36, Acts 2:22, 5:12, 8:13, Heb 2:4). But even false prophets can produce miracles (Ex 7:11-12, 8:7, Deut 13:1-3, Matt 24:24, Mark 13:21-22, 2 Thess 2:9, 11, 2 Cor 11:14-15, 1 John 4:1, Rev 13:11-14, 16:14, 19:20).

Which is far from mutually exclusive to the above.

It is wicked to expect a mira- cle as proof (John 4:48, Matt 12:38-39, 16:1-4, 1 Cor 1:22).

I.e., demand one, which does not mean they are not proofs. And:

Jesus will give no such sign (Matt 12:39, Mark 8:12, Luke 11:29, also Luke 16:27-31).

See here.

One should have faith without seeing signs (2 Cor 5:7, Heb 11:1).

See here, this says nothing of the sort.

Speaking in tongues is a sign for non-believers (1 Cor 14:22). It is not a sign for non-believers (1 Cor 14:23).

See here.

Raising someone from the dead will not convince people (Luke 16:30-31).

No, it will not convince the rich man's brothers in particular.

But it does (John 11:45). It is the basis of the Gospel (1 Cor 15:16- 17, Rom 1:4).

Must Christians obey the Mosaic Law?

Most of the vague pastiche can be refuted by this. Some exceptions we leave undeleted:

Paul circumcised Timothy at Acts 13:1-3

See here.

; [Jesus] modified the provisions of the law (e.g., eye for an eye, Matt 5:38)...

See here

Jesus violates Deut 4:2, 12:32, the prohibition against adding to or diminishing the law, when he embellished the law on divorce and was lax in obeying others.

See here and here.

Paul is also a gross violator of Deut 4:2, 12:32 and Matt 5:19.

On the latter see here. The other two are not explained and so will not be addressed.

Food offered to idols: May Christians eat it? Yes (1 Cor 8:1- 13, 1);19-23). No (Acts 15:22-29, Rev 2:18-23).

See here.

Salvation: how is it gained? Not many are saved (Luke 13:23-24). Moses and the prophets are sufficient for salvation (Luke 16:29-31). It is only through Jesus, and not through the Law of Mose (Acts 4:12, 13:39, which means that all those who died before his time, or who do not hear his gospel, are excluded).

Wrong, see here.

Salvation is:

By Faith (belief) only


No, faith is loyalty. For a full understanding see here, which addresses this area allowing us to delete the cites offered on faith vs. works.

By Grace only

, i.e., it is a "gift" (John 6:44, 65, Isa 43:25, Jer 30:21, Acts 15:11, 22:14, Rom 3:24, 5:15-21 (a "free gift"), 6:23, 9:16, 11:5-6, Eph 2:5-9, 1 Pet 1:10, 2 Tim 1:9, Tit 2:11, 3:5-7).

See here. By "gift" it means God is not obliged to give it to us, which is not mutually exclusive of faith.

By confession of sin

(Ps 32:1-5).

I.e., an act of faith (loyalty). The same may be said of the rest of the cites below this one, so we will delete them, with these exceptions.

By Poverty

(Matt 19:21-24, Mark 10:21-24, Luke 18:24- 25, Luke 19:8-9).

No, this was addressed to one young man for whom wealth stood in the way of loyalty.

By losing our life for Jesus

(Matt 16:25).

This is not said to be required of all persons for salvation, but indicates that refusal to do so when it is required indicates a lack of loyalty (faith).

Are we really free to determine our own fate, or is it pre- determined from the beginning?

See here for this entire section.

Do we have to "accept" Jesus' sacrifice, or is its effect automatic?

Same misunderstanding as on faith vs. works above, so we delete it.

Will any, once saved, be lost? None will be lost (John 10:27- 29). Some will backslide and be lost (1 Cor 9:27, 1 Tim 4:1, Heb 6:4-6, 2 Pet 2:20-22). The former righteousness of a sinner will be forgotten (Ezek 3:20, 18:24, 26, 33:12, 18).

See here.

Can death be avoided? If you keep Jesus' words, you will never see death (John 8:51). Enoch did not die (Gen 5:24, Heb 11:5). Elijah did not die (2 Kings 2:11). But all men die (Heb 9:27), even followers of Jesus (Matt 24:9).

Does not discern between physical death and "death" as a metaphor for eternal damnation.

Is there life after death? Generally NT says yes: All will come forth out of the grave (John 5:28-29). Also Isa 26:19, Hosea 13:14, Job 19:25-27 (but this verse may be spurious: it is not in LXX). But that is contradicted by Gen 3:19, 2 Sam 14:14, Ps 6:5, 30:3, 30:9, 33:19, 78:39, 88:10, 115:17, Job 7:9 (who goes down to the grave will come up no more), 14:1-22, 16:22, Eccl 3:19-21, 6:6, 9:5, 9:10. 1 Tim 6:15-16 implies only Jesus is immortal.

Ditto, plus see here.

Jesus is always with his disciples (Matt 28:20). He is not always with them (Matt 16:11, Mark 2:20, 14:7, John 12:8).

See here.

The Holy Spirit: Jesus gave it to the disciples in his first appearance to them after the resurrection (John 20:22). It did not come to them until after Jesus left (John 7:39, 16:7, Acts 1:3-5, 2:1-4).

John 20:22 is regarded not as an actual giving of the Spirit but as Jesus symbolically acting out that giving.

But some had it before: Gideon (Judg 6:34), Samson (Judg 13:25), Isaiah (Isa 61:1), John the Baptist (Luke 1:15), Elizabeth (Luke 1:41), Zechariah (Luke 1:67), Simeon (Luke 2:25). It is had for the asking at any time (Luke 11:13). All flesh has it (Prov 1:23, Joel 2:28).

And none of these people were the Apostles or the people in Acts. Next question?

Unbelief: It is caused by the devil (Luke 8:12). But sometimes by God (2 Thess 2:11-12) or by Jesus (Mark 4:11-12).

Hardly mutually exclusive options.

Was there sin before the Law? Paul says yes (Rom 5:13) and no (Rom 4:15).

No, 5:13 says that sin is not imputed, not that there was no sin.

Forgiveness: Will all sins be forgiven to the believer? Yes (Acts 13:39, Col 2:13, 1 John 1:9). Not all (Matt 12:31-32, Mark 3:29).

See here.

If sin is forgiven, Got forgets it (Isa 43:25, Jer 31:34, Heb 8:12). God still remembers it (Ex 34:7).

Ex. 34:7 relates to principles here, referring to sin ongoing and where no repentance has occurred.

Coming of the Kingdom: You will see great signs and miracles (Joel 2:30-31, Matt 24:29-33, Mark 13:24-29). You will see nothing: it is within (Luke 17:20-21).

See here.

Who will be judged? Believers will not be judged (John 5:24). Everybody will be judged (Matt 12:36, 2 Cor 5:10, Heb 9:27, 1 Pet 1:17, Jude 1:14-15, Rev 20:12-13).

No, John 5:24 says the believer will not be condemned, not judged.

Who judges? God judges (Ps 62:12, 82:1, 98:9, Jer 17:10, Joel 3:12, Rom 2:2-5, 3:19, 14:12, 2 Thess 1:5, 1 Pet 1:17). God does not judge; Jesus judges (John 5:22, 27-30, 9:39, Acts 10:42, 2 Cor 5:10). God judges through Jesus (Acts 17:31). Jesus does not judge (John 3:17, 8:15, 12:47). Jesus says he cannot judge (Matt 20:23, Luke 12:14). The disciples will judge (Matt 19:28, Luke 22:30). The saints will judge (1 Cor 6:2). Ten thousand of the saints will help the Lord judge (Jude 14).

See here in part; note otherwise that "judging" also means "ruling" (as Judges in the OT).

When is judgement? In Jesus' time (John 12:31). After Jesus' death (Acts 17:31). After each person's death (Heb 9:27). After the earth is destroyed (2 Pet 3:7-12).

John 12:31, 2 Peter 3:7-12 and Heb. 9:27 refer to condemnation and accuation. Acts 17:31 refers to punishment and is thus the only verse that sets a time for actual judgment.

Should we judge? No (Luke 6:37, Matt 7:1). Yes (John 7:24).

See here.

Heaven has always been prepared (Matt 25:34). Jesus is going to prepare it (John 14:2-3).

No, John refers to preparing a place in heaven, not heaven itself.


There is only one God (NT passim; also Jer 10:6, many other passages). There are other gods (Ps 82:1, 95:3, Jer 10:11, Ex 20:3).

See here. Note that Jer. 10:6 says there are none LIKE Yahweh, not that there are no other elohim.

No man can see God and live (i.e., you might be able to see God, but it would kill you: Ex 33:20). But God is invisible (Job 23:8, John 1:18, 4:24, 5:37, 6:46 [ambiguous], 1 Tim 1:17, 6:16, Col 1:15, 1 John 4:12). But Moses and others saw God (Gen 12:7, 17:1, Ex 3:6, 3:16, 12:8, 24:10-11, "face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend" 33:11, 23, Isa 6:1, 5, Job 42:5, Acts 8:55-56). Jacob wrestled with God and "saw him face to face" (Gen 32:30). God appeared to Abraham, ate, washed (Gen 18). God appeared to Isaac (Gen 26:2) and to Solomon (1 Kings 3:5). "Seek God's face, he will not hide it" (Ps 27:8-9, 24:6). God must have an "im- age," because man was created in it (Gen 1:27, 9:6). Jesus is the image of God (2 Cor 4:4).

See here and here.

God created everything by himself (Gen 2:2, Ps 89:11, Isa 40:28, 44:24, Acts 14:15, Heb 1:10, 3:4, many others). Jesus helped (John 1:1-3, Eph 3:9, Col 1:16, Heb 1:2). Somebody helped him with the creation of mankind ("Let us make man" Gen 1:26).

See here to get the picture.

Nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37, Mark 10:27). But it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18, Tit 1:2).

Only pedantic literalism would allow us to assume that Luke 1:37 and Mark 10:27 were meant to include logical impossibilities, such as God compromising his nature by lying.

God does not lie (Ex 34:6, Num 23:19, Prov 12:22, 1 Sam 15:29, Tit 1:2). Lying is an abomination (Prov 12:22). But he lied to Adam, telling him that he would die if he ate the fruit (Gen 3:4-5);

Again fails to distinguish the word "death" as a metaphor for spiritual ruin

he sent a lying spirit to deceive Ahab (1 Kings 22:19-23, 2 Chron 18:22). If a prophet is deceived it is because God has deceived him, and God will destroy the prophet (Jer 4:10, 20:7, Ezek 14:9). God deludes people into believing falsehoods, so that he can condemn them (2 Thess 2:11-12).

See here.

Who is God's "firstborn"? Israel (Ex 4:22). David (Ps 89:27). Jesus (Heb 1:4, 3:3, Col 1:18).

Ps. 89 does not refer to David but to some future person. Beyond that Packham doesn't see that Israel and Jesus are aet apart chronologically -- Jesus became the firstborn (in the sense of rank).

God does not repent (Num 23:19, 1 Sam 15:29, Num 23:19, Mal 3:6, Ezek 24:14, James 1:17). But the Lord repented several times (Gen 6:6, Ex 32:14, Judg 2:18, 1 Sam 2:30-31, 15:11, 35, 2 Kings 20:1-6, Ps 106:45, Jonah 3:10, 4:2).

See here.

God hates discord or confusion (Prov 6:16-19, 1 Cor 4:33. But God sometimes sows discord and confusion (Gen 11:7-9).

See principles here.

God keeps his covenants (Deut 7:9-12). But he broke his promise to Israel (Num 14:30).

How so? Num. 14:30 is spoken only to persons who broke the covenant, and that is clearly said to require punishment.

God reveals his works to his prophets (Amos 3:7). But not always (2 Kings 4:27).

Gehazi is lying.

God knows everything, i.e., he is "omniscient" (Ps 139:1-6, Prov 15:3, 5:21, Job 26:6, 34:21, Isa 44:7, Jer 16:17, 23:24, Ezek 11:5, Matt 12:25, John 2:24, Rom 1:20, Heb 4:13). But God didn't know where Adam is (Gen 3:8-9), or Abel (Gen 4:9).

Both the rhetorical questions of an ANE sovereign.

God didn't know whether Abraham would obey his command to kill Isaac (Gen 22:12).

See here.

God didn't know which houses in Egypt contain Israelites; he needed to see blood on the doorpost (Ex 12:13).

Repeat of above.

God had to test Israel for 40 years to find out if they would keep his commandments; apparently he didn't know (Deut 8:2).

See last link.

God is forgetful and must be reminded of his promises, e.g. of his promise to Noah (Gen 9:15-16).

A memorial does not imply forgetfulness.

Samuel had to tell God what the people said (1 Sam 8:21).

Repeat of above.

God is omnipotent (Gen 17:1, 35:11, Luke 1:37). Anything is possible with God (Matt 17:20, 19:26, Mark 9:23, 10:27, Luke 17:6, 18:27). But he could not help Judah defeat an enemy that had iron chariots (Judg 1:19).

See entry here.

Jesus could not do mighty works because of others' unbelief (Matt 13:58, Mark 6:5).

See here.

Does God tempt? James 1:13 says no. But Gen 22:1, Matt 6:13, Deut 4:34, 8:2, Judg 2:22 (and others) say yes. Temptation is joy (James 1:2). God controls the extent of our tempta- tions (1 Cor 10:13, 2 Pet 2:9, Rev 3:10).

See here.

Is evil from God? No (Deut 32:4, Ps 19:7-8, 145:9, Mic 7:2, James 1:13). Yes (Isa 45:7, Jer 18:11, Lam 3:38, Ezek 20:25, Amos 3:6).

See here.

God is love and wants everyone to be saved (2 Cor 13:11, 14, 1 John 4:8, 16, 2 Pet 3:9, 1 Tim 2:3-4 and many others). He takes no pleasure in the punishment of the wicked (Ezek 18:23, 32). But he rejoices in the destruction of sinners (Deut 28:63, Prov 1:26).

A more correct defintion of love addresses this.

He creates some people dumb, deaf, blind (Ex 4:11).

The word "make" here carries the meaning of appoint, preserve, or even reward and has nothing to do with creation. At any rate, was Moses' inability to speak a disability? The description is figurative, not literal (as in making people blind to the truth, not literally blind).

He creates others wicked (Prov 16:4).

That's the inevitability of primary causality in a free world -- see here.

He hides the truth (Isa 6:9-10, Matt 11:25, Mark 4:11-12, 2 Thess 2:11-12).

See here.

He punishes people for others' sins (see "Punishment").

See above.

He saves whom he pleases (Rom 8:28-30, 15:18).

See here again.

Anyone who has never heard of Jesus will go to hell (John 3:18).

See again here.

God's anger: It does not last forever (Ps 30:5, 103:9, Jer 3:12, Micah 7:18). But God's punishment is eternal (Jer 17:4, Matt 25:46).

Anger and punishment are not the same thing.

Where is God?

Another unaddressable pastiche ahead. Some of these options are not mutually exclusive over time.

He dwells in the temple at Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:12-13, Acts 7:47). He does not dwell in temples (Acts 17:24).

The word denotes permanent residence; the other one does not.

He dwells between the cherubim on the Ark (Ps 80:1, Ex 25:22, Num 7:89, 1 Sam 4:4, 2 Sam 6:2, 2 Kings 19:15, Isa 37:16). He dwells in heaven (Ps 14:2, 33:13-14, Eccl 5:2, 2 Chron 6:21, 30). He dwells high above the earth (Ps 97:9). He dwells in thick darkness (1 Kings 8:12, 2 Chron 6:1, Ps 18:11, 97:2). He dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim 6:16, 1 John 1:5, 7). He is far off (Ps 10:1). He is not far off (Ps 145:18, Jer 23:23, Acts 17:27). He dwells in Zion (Ps 9:11). He sits on a throne (Isa 6:1). But nothing can contain him (1 Kings 8:27, 2 Chr 6:18).

Precisely. All the prior options are not mutually exclusive.

He is ev- erywhere (Deut 4:39, Jer 16:17, 23:24, 1 Kings 8:27, Ps 139:7-11, Prov 15:3, Heb 4:13). But he is only in one place at a time (Gen 3:8, he walked in the Garden; Gen 4:16, Cain left his presence; Gen 11:5, he came down to see the Tower; Gen 18:20-21, 33, he "went his way;" Gen 46:4, Ex 3:4, "Here I am;" Ex 12:5, 17:6, 10:21, 24:1-2, 25:22, 29:42, 45, 46, 33:3, 14-15, 34:34, Ps 14:2, Num 23:15, Job 1:12, Jonah 1:3). Sometimes he goes from one place to another riding a cherub (Ps 18:10, 2 Sam 22:11).

The obvious answer is to conceive of a manifestation of presence at a point in the space-time continuum.

Name of God ("YHWH") was known to Seth and Abraham (Gen 4:26, 12:8, 15:2, 18, 22:14, 24:3, 26:25, 28:13, 16, 20-21). But God tells Moses that Abraham didn't know the name (Ex 3:14- 15, 6:3).

See here.

Is God a respecter of persons? Yes, God has favorites (Gen 4:4- 5, Lev 22:17-23, 26:9, "I [God] will have respect unto you [Israel]", Deut 4:37, 7:6, 1 Sam 12:22, Ps 18:37-41, 33:12, Isa 51:16, 52:6, 63:8, 65:9, Amos 3:2, Matt 15:24, Rom 1:16, 9:13-18). But God is not a "respecter of persons" (Deut 10:17, 2 Sam 14:14, Acts 10:34, Eph 6:9, Pr 24:23, Matt 5:45, Acts 10:34, Rom 2:11, 10:12, 2 Chr 19:7, Ezek 18:29, Rev 15:3). Jesus loved one disciple more than the others (John 13:23).

See here.

Peace or War? God is for peace (Isa 2:4, Rom 15:33, 2 Cor 13:11, 14, 1 John 4:8, 16). God is for war (Ex 15:3, 17:16, Num 25:4, 32:14, Isa 42:13, Joel 3:9-10; see "War").

See here.

Is Jesus the same as God the Father?

Answers to Packham's pastiche of citations here. We delete this section which otherwise only has repeats.


God gives man as food "every moving thing" (Gen 9:3). He later reneges by making many animals unclean (Lev 11, passim).

And what of that? The Israelites were being set aside and a distinctive was needed; see here.

God gives Adam and Eve the fruit of every tree (Gen 1:29). Only later forbids eating fruit of tree of knowledge (2:17).

And how is this a contradiction as opposed to a clarifying specification?

Eve tells the serpent that it was forbidden even to touch the fruit (Gen 3:3), but this prohibition is not mentioned elsewhere.

I.e., Eve added it on incorrectly. That's not a contradiction of the Bible but of a character in it.

God blesses all the sons of Noah (Gen 9:1), but Noah's curse of Ham supersedes God's blessing (Gen 9:24-27).

The curse was on Canaan, not Ham.

God is opposed to incest (Lev 20:17, Deut 27:20-23). But Cain and Seth had only their sisters to marry (Gen 5). God blesses Abraham and his half-sister/wife Sarai (Gen 17:15- 16, 20:11-12, 22:17). See "Incest."

See here.

God is opposed to stealing or defrauding (Ex 20:15, 17, 22:3, Lev 19:13). But he tells the Israelites to defraud the Egyptians (Ex 3:20-22).

Repeat of above. These were reparations that were asked for.

God forbids making of "graven images" (Ex 20:4, Lev 26:1, Deut 5:8), then orders gold cherubim to be carved for the Ark (Ex 25:18-20). God orders Moses to make a brass serpent for the people to look upon (Num 21:8-9).

See here.

God forbids setting up pillars (Deut 16:21-22). Moses sets up twelve pillars (Ex 24:4-5). Solomon sets up two in his temple (1 Kings 7:15-22).

Note that Deut. says not to set up a pillar God hates, which means one intended for worship -- not that God hates certain architectural designs.

Israelites will never return to Egypt (Deut 17:16). God will take them to Egypt as punishment (Deut 28:68).

The latter is a figure of speech for exile.

High places are acceptable for worship of God (Abraham: Gen 12:8, 22:2, 14; Jacob: Gen 31:54; Samuel: 1 Sam 7:16, 9:12-14; Solomon: 1 Kings 3:4, 2 Chron 1:3-6; Elijah: 1 Kings 18:19- 39; Zadok: 1 Chron 16:39-40; also 1 Kings 19:10, 14, 2 Chron 33:17). But God has them destroyed by Hezekiah (2 Kings 13:4-6), and again by Josiah (2 Kings 23:2, 8).

Note that some of these are prior to the Temple being built. The others need to be shown either to have been approved, or else are not memorial sacrifices that just happen to be on a high place.

God tells Balaam to go with Balak's messengers, then becomes angry with him because he went (Num 22:20-22).

See here.

The Levites are to receive territory (Num 35:6-7), but they do not get any (Deut 18:1).

Numbers promises the Levites cities, not "territory".

Joshua offers sacrifice (Josh 8:30-31) in violation of Num 18:7- 8.

No, Joshua's sacrifice is allowed as one made where God causes His name to be remembered.

Never had God listened to a man before he made the sun stand still for Joshua (Josh 10:14). But see Gen 18:23-33, Ex 32:11-14, Deut 9:19-29.

The comparison is one of scale, not the mere act of God hearkening.

God says he will not forgive Israel if they do not obey (Josh 24:19). But he does (Judg 2:16, 3:9, 15, 31).

This is Joshua's own statement, not God's.

David's only sin was in the matter of Uriah (1 Kings 15:5). But his taking the census was a sin (2 Sam 24:10- 17).

See here.

Dedication of Solomon's temple: the number of sheep and oxen sacrificed were so many they could not be counted (1 Kings 8:5). Then v. 63 tells exactly how many there were.

Obvious poetic hyperbole.

God says "new things do I declare" (Isa 42:9). But there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9).

See here and here.

Swords will be beaten into plowshares in the last days (Isa 2:4, Mic 4:3). Plowshares will be beaten into swords in the last days (Joel 3:10).

Joel does not describe the "last days" but a time of peace in his own era.

If God deceives a prophet, he will destroy that prophet (Ezek 14:9). But Jeremiah was deceived (Jer 20:7) and was not destroyed.

Jeremiah speaks ironically and was not actually deceived.

Elisha says he will follow Elijah after he bids farewell to his parents (1 Kings 19-21). But Jesus says this makes Elisha not fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:61-62).

But note that Elisha did not do it after all.

Can Jesus witness himself? John 5:31 is a direct contradiction of 8:14.

See here.

Should a man of God accept money for his services as prophet or priest? Yes (1 Sam 9:6-9, 1 Cor 9:1-15, 1 Tim 5:17-18). No (Mic 3:11).

The NT is not speaking of OT figures; Micah does not say "no man of God" but specifies certain offices. Samuel does not accept any money in 1 Sam.

John the Baptist says he's not Elijah (John 1:21). Jesus says he is (Matt 11:14, 17:11-13).

See here.

Jesus says that no one yet born (including himself?) is greater than John the Baptist (Matt 11:11). Yet the same verse says he is the least in the kingdom of heaven.

Keener [339] notes that the "greater than" is standard Jewish rhetoric, not a blanket judgment. The rest is far from mutually exclusive.

Jesus implies that he is greater than Solomon (Matt 12:42, Luke 11:31). But there could never be one greater than Solomon (1 Kings 3:12, 4:29, 10:23-24, 2 Chron 9:22-23).

Also standard Jewish rhetoric, not a blanket statement.

Jesus is the only one ever to ascend to heaven (John 3:13). But Elijah (2 Kings 2:11), Enoch (Gen 5:24, Heb 11:5), and an unnamed man known to Paul (Heb 11:5) all ascended to heaven. Jesus also tells a parable in which Lazarus was in heaven (Luke 16:22).

See here. Paul's cite was of himself and took place after Jesus chronologically. Lazarus was in Paradise because he died, not because he ascended.

Jesus said cock would not crow till Peter had denied him three times (John 13:38), but Mark 14:66-68 says cock crowed after the first.

See here.

Jesus died by being hanged on a tree. But "he that is [executed by being] hanged is accursed of God" (Deut 21:23).

That is correct. Jesus took the curse for us.

Jesus condemns swords (Matt 26:52). But Jesus says he has come to bring the sword (Matt 10:34), and he tells all his disciples to buy one (Luke 22:36).

See here.

Jesus brings peace (Luke 2:14, John 14:27, 16:33, Acts 10:36). He does not bring peace (Matt 10:34-37, Luke 12:49-53).

Note that the lack of peace is (again) caused by the reactions of non-believers.

Jesus says he will build his church on Peter (Matt 16:18-19; this is not mentioned in the other gospels). But then calls him "Satan" (v 23).

It is not agreed that the church is built on Peter, and such extremes were quite normal anyway, as for example the Qumranites could refer to their own brethren as sons of Belial.

Jesus has all power and authority (Matt 28:18, John 3:35). But Jesus denies this (Matt 20:23). Jesus could not perform mighty works (Matt 13:58, Mark 6:5).

See here and here.

Jesus says he has power to raise himself from the dead (John 10:18). But he did not - God (the Father?) raised him (Acts 3:15, 13:30, 5:30).

John 10:18 only says that he has the power, not that he did it.

Jesus says, resist not evil (Matt 5:39). But he cleaned out the temple (Matt 21:12-13).

Confusion of personal offense with acts of justice.

Jesus says that he gives a new commandment, "love one another" (John 13:34). If it is new, he violates Deut 4:2 and 12:32. But it is not new; it is the Mosaic commandment "Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Lev 19:18).

See entry here under 13:34. As the Wisdom of God Jesus has the authority to add the commandment.

Jesus implies that "defraud not" is one of the ten commandments. It is in the Law (Lev 19:13), but not one of the Ten Commandments.

See here.

Jesus says to forgive and bless your enemies (Matt 5:44). But he will deny his enemies to God (Matt 10:32-33). God does not forgive his enemies, but condemns them.

Matt. 5 once again applies only to interpersonal relations, not matters of morality and justice.

Jesus says that some of his followers will be put to death (Luke 21:16). But not a hair of their head will perish (v. 18).

The word used in v. 18 is that used to refer to those who are in Hades.

Devils cannot tell a truth (John 8:44). Devils say that Jesus is the Messiah (Luke 4:41).

John 8:44 is hyperbolic rhetoric, not a blanket statement.

Jesus' deeds: The world could not contain the books if all his deeds were written of (John 21:25). They have all been written of (Acts 1:1).

An overread of the word "all" in Luke 1:1. Read as Packham insists, Luke is saying he recorded all of what happened and Jesus just sat around doing and saying nothing otherwise.

Paul says no one has seen Christ, he is invisible (1 Tim 1:17, 6:16). But this contradicts the gospels.

Paul speaks of God the Father, not Christ.

Paul says that at Corinth he baptized "none ... but Crispus and Gaius (1 Cor 1:14). Then he says he baptized Stephanas' family (v. 16). Then he says he doesn't know whether he baptized any one else (v. 16).

See here.

Paul says he does not use trickery (1 Thess 2:3). Then he says he does (2 Cor 12:16).

See here.

Paul says that women should keep silent in church (1 Cor 14:34). But some women were prophets: Miriam (Ex 15:20), Deborah (Judg 4:4), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Neh 6:14), Anna (who did not keep silent in the Temple, Luke 2:36-38).

1 Cor. 14:34 is recognized as a Corinthian position Paul is quoting back, and then answering.

Paul says Satan was able to hinder him in his work (1 Thess 2:17- 18).

Yes, and what is the problem?

All the grass on earth will be burned up (Rev 8:7), and then an army of locusts will be turned loose with instructions not to harm the grass (9:4).

Grass grows back. I mow my lawn every two weeks in the summer.


We will skip and delete any of these beyond our purview.

If God created heaven and earth (Gen 1:1), where was he when he did it, and where did he dwell before?

Eternity. Think in terms of another dimension of reality beyond time and space.

To whom did God promise eternal life "before the world began" (Tit 1:2)?.

To those who would live in the future.

If God made everything "after [its] kind," what did God use as models (Gen 1:20, 21, 24)?

This word only means God created them as they were and models were not required.

Why would God create a world in which living things must kill and devour other living things in order to survive?

See here.

Who was God speaking to in Gen 1:26, Gen 3:22, Gen 11:7 ("Let us make man...")?

The other Trinity members will work.

Why would it take an omnipotent God seven days to create the world (Gen 1, 2)? How could it make him tired so that he had to rest?

See here. Why not as many days as were desired?

What did God do (or have to do) on the eighth day?

Manage things.

Why does God imply that his reason for creating man is so there will be someone to "till the ground," and then put him in the garden to "dress and keep it" (Gen 2:5, 15)? Tilling the ground was the punishment for his transgression (Gen 3:17-18). If everything was perfect before the fall, why did the garden need tending?

Perfection means food just grows all by itself? The idea was to put man into a productive, interactive life.

Why should the Hebrew god name the location of his paradise "Eden," which is not a Hebrew name, but Sumerian (meaning "fertile plain;" Gen 2:8)? Is Sumerian the "Adamic language"?

It could be that Sumerian got the word from the original language. A reader adds: Actually, the "Hebrew god" didn't name the location Eden, as far as can be told from Genesis 2. The name is introduced in verse 8, "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden," and nowhere in the recorded conversations between God, Adam, Eve and the serpent does God ever use the name Himself. The account is Moses' description (based possibly on earlier accounts), and he (Moses) is simply describing for his audience where God's Garden was located in terms that they could recognise. Since the location was (apparently) in or near Sumer, of course it's perfectly logical that it has a Sumerian name. But all the references to "Eden" by name are by the narrator (Moses, presumably), never by God (or Adam or Eve, for that matter; I doubt that they ever thought of it as anything other than simply "The Garden"). (Likewise, the names of the four rivers flowing out of Eden are human names, including Euphrates. Packham, to be consistent, should also complain that God "named" the first four rivers with Sumerian names [at least in part--I don't know what language Pison and Gihon are, and I disremember what language Hiddekel is].)

What happened to the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were driven out? Where is the Tree of Life now? If God has removed the Garden, why didn't he do it immediately, rather than having to guard it with cherubim and a flaming sword (Gen 3:24)?

Why does he need to? The Flood destroyed it, most likely.

Why did God command Adam not to eat of the Tree, since that was the sole purpose for which it was created, and the primary purpose of placing man on earth, namely to know the difference between good and evil?

It was? Where does that come from?

How could God expect Adam and Eve to resist temptation, since they did not know the difference between good and evil until after they had eaten the fruit?

Think "know" in terms of familiarity by experience -- not epistemic knowledge.

Why should Adam and Eve be ashamed of their nakedness, since that is the way God made them (Gen 3:7, 10-11)?

"Nakedness" is a metaphor for vulnerability and shame.

Why did God make the clothes for Adam and Eve? They had to do everything else themselves (Gen 3:21).

To demonstrate that others had to help them cover their shame.

Where did God get the skins to make Adam clothes? Did he have to kill an animal? If so, that is the first death in the world, and it was caused by God (Gen 3:21).

And, what of it? With sin, entered death.

Why, if the serpent is cursed as evil (Gen 3:14), is it a sacred symbol, interpreted by Christians as a symbol of Christ (Num 21:9, John 3:14)?

I'll put it this way: Why are tigers used to represent everything from cereal to gasoline?

Why didn't God accept Cain's offering? We are not told (Gen 4:5).

Do we need to be told? Likely it was because it was not a blood sacrifice.

Who could Cain possibly have been afraid of? There were only three people on the whole earth (Gen 4:14-15).

There wouldn't be more people in Cain's hundreds of years of life?

What kind of mark could God have put on Cain that would prevent someone from killing him? (Gen 4:15).

How about a sacred symbol?

Why wasn't Cain's punishment for murder his own death? Why was God so lenient (Gen 4:15)?

See here.

Where did Cain's wife come from (Gen 4:17)?

Other children of Adam and Eve. See here.

Who were the "giants"? and the "sons of God"? (Gen 6:2, 4).

Jews of the later era held them to be mutant strains of angel and human.

Apparently they survived the Flood (Num 13:33).

Or, new ones appeared? Or, more likely, the name was used figuratively of large or fearful humans?

Why should God want to destroy the animals as well as man in the Flood? How could they be "corrupt," since they were exactly as God had created them? Were they any different after the Flood (Gen 6:5-7, 11-12)?

So shall God insert pockets of air in the Flood for animals to live in?

What is "gopher wood" (Gen 6:14)?

It has been variously identified as one of several woods. Why?

Methuselah (Noah's grandfather) died the same year as the Flood (Gen 5:25-29, 7:11). Did he die in the Flood?

Probably not. He died just before it.

How could there be enough people on the earth ("nations") in three generations (144 years) for Noah's great-grandson Nimrod to build the Tower of Babel (Gen 6:18, 7:13, 8:16, 9:1, 10:1-32, 11:3-5)? At a population growth rate of 2%, which is unusually high, there would have been a total world population of 104 people, starting with just the three sons of Noah and their wives (1 Pet 3:20).

See principles here.

Exactly what was the result of God's confounding of the language? Did each person speak a different language?

Very likely there were groups with common languages.

Why should some move away but others stay?

Why do any people migrate at all, we may as well ask.

(The Tower was eventually com- pleted anyway.) Did God really think that humans could accomplish anything if they spoke only one language?

Only hyperbolically, rhetorically speaking.

Did God really think that people could not learn foreign languages (Gen 11:1-9)?

Nope, but that takes time and effort.

If the multiplicity of tongues was a curse at Babel, why was it a blessing at Pentecost (Acts 2:4-11)?

The latter was but temporary.

Why is there no mention, in the entire OT after Gen 11, of any event in Gen 1-11, ie, Creation, Garden, Fall, Serpent, Flood, Babel, etc?

That's highly disputable, but even if not, why should there be?

Why didn't God tell Abraham's father that his seed would be numberless?

Because Abraham's father didn't do anything to deserve it.

How did Abraham know that it was God and not Satan who was telling him to kill Isaac (Gen 22:1-3)? How do we know?

How do we know the earth was not created 3 seconds ago and all our memories are an illusion? Just as well to ask that.

Why would angels, who are spiritual, be able to eat bread (Gen 19:3)?

That's what "incarnation" is all about.

Why should God turn Lot's wife into a pillar of salt? Why not just strike her dead (Gen 19:26)?

Just as well to ask: Why not make her a pillar of salt? Why strike her dead?

Why should God wrestle with Jacob (Gen 32:24-30)?

Why shouldn't he? A little sporting fellowship is a good thing.

Why can all the prophets hear God, but none of them can see him?

Why is it even an issue?

Why should God punish Egypt with destruction, when it was part of his plan for Israel (Gen 13:13-16)?

Because Egypt chose to be part of the process.

If circumcision was so important, why didn't God require it of Adam and Noah? Or women?

We do not know it was not required of Adam and Noah. Women have nothing to circumcise (that doesn't do harm). Is Packham objecting because women got a break?

Why didn't Isaac simply revoke his blessing of Jacob, instead of blessing him again (Gen 28:1)?

Because the people of that day believed blessings were irrevocable.

Why should Jacob love Joseph the best? He was not the youngest son - Benjamin was younger (Gen 37:3).

Maybe Packham can explain all of this and why it is a problem?

What does the phrase mean "until Shiloh come" (nobody can say for sure; Gen 49:10)?

Commentators can -- it means peace.

If a childless widow has a right to demand that her husband's brother impregnate her to provide a posterity for the husband, why is the surrogate father listed in genealogies as the father, and not the deceased husband (Gen 38:8-9, Deut 25:5-6, Ruth 4:10, 21, Luke 3:32, Matt 1:5)?

Why shouldn't it be?

Why doesn't Moses use the Pharaoh's name? He seems to think "Pharaoh" is a name, not a title.

Why do reports call George W. Bush "Mr. President" instead of "George"? Do they think his last name is "President"?

Why didn't Moses believe (Num 20:12)?

He was human.

Why doesn't God advise Moses directly, instead of through a pagan priest (Ex 13:1-27)?

Jethro was no pagan but a priest of Yahweh.

Why, if God knows he is the only god, does he acknowledge the existence of other gods (Ex 20:3)? "Worship him [Jehovah], all ye gods" (Ps 97:7).

See here and here, on monotheism.

How did Moses carry the stone tablets of the law down from Sinai, if they really contained all of the law, i.e. Ex, Lev, Deut, Num?

Only a small amount of material in Exod. was the "law" at that time, and it is also specified that only the 10 Commandments were on the tablets.

How can we know which day is the Sabbath day? The days all look alike.

If you can count to seven, you can know.

How could Israel observe the Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Ingathering, i.e. harvest) in the wilderness, where there was no harvest and no trees (Ex 34:22, 23:16, Deut 16:13-15, Lev 23:33-43, Num 29:12-38)?

They didn't. It was set before them to observe when they did call crops in.

There is no mention of its actual observance from Joshua to Nehemiah (Neh 8:17).

Why should there be? At worst it shows they failed to observe it (as later OT passages note that they failed to keep Sabbaths and other observances).

Where did the 50,000 men killed by God at Bethshemesh come from? That is several times as many as the entire population of Jerusalem at the time (1 Sam 6:19).

It is a copyisy error; the actual number was 70.

If God wanted to destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam 15), why didn't he kill them off with plague or other direct means (as he had used at Ex 12:29, 1 Sam 6:19, 2 Sam 24:15, 1 Chron 21:14) rather than making the Israelites indulge in the cruel and bloody slaughter of them one by one?

See here. Packham's values about war are not shared by everyone.

Why did God allow the Book of the Law to become lost for so long (2 Kings 22)? How could it be lost if it was read aloud every seven years (Deut 31:10) and every king had a copy (Deut 17:18, 31:24-26)? Solomon didn't have it (1 Kings 8:9, 21, 2 Chr 5:10, 6:11). Why didn't any prophet know that it was hidden in the temple?

Three words: Free will. Disobedience.

Why should Josiah destroy the altar which Jacob had built (2 Kings 23:15)?

Because people were misusing it to sacrifice to pagan deities.

Why wasn't Passover observed (or even mentioned) for hundreds of years (2 Kings 23:22)?

Because the people forgot about it while they were busy worshipping idols?

Why didn't God preserve other holy books which are quoted in the Bible? Book of Jasher (Josh 10:13, 2 Sam 1:18), Book of Wars of Jehovah (Num 21:14), Laws of Samuel (1 Sam 10:25), Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11:41), Chronicles of Kings of Judah (1 Kings 15:7, 23, others), Chronicles of Kings of Israel (2 Kings, 14:15, 28), Annals of King David (1 Chr 27:24), histories of Samuel the Seer, Nathan the Prophet, Gad the Seer (all 1 Chr 29:29), Prophecy of Ahijah, Visions of Iddo the Seer (2 Chr 9:29), History of Shemaiah the Prophet, Iddo the Seer (2 Chr 12:15, 13:22), Book of Jehu (2 Chr 20:34), Sayings of the Seers (2 Chr 33:19), Book of Enoch (Jude 14). They are cited as sources by the inspired authors; are these sources inspired?

Probably not and they do not need to be to be cited. See here.

Why are the words of these prophets not preserved, if they spoke God's word? Gad (2 Sam 24:11), Heman (1 Chr 25:15), Micaiah (1 Kings 22:6), Miriam (Ex 15:20), Deborah (Judges 4:4), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Neh 6:14), Anna (Luke 2:36), Enoch (Jude 14).

A rather empty objection, since we do not have the words to judge whether they should have been preserved to this day. And otherwise we hear objections about how passages in i.e., Leviticus, Isaiah, etc. are "irrelevant" to modern concerns, but these were not written for Packham.

Long identical or almost identical passages: Where they are identical, why are both included? Where they are not identical, which one is correct?

This list will be deleted, as no effort is made to show that the differences are significant. As for why both are included, see comments here.

How can God (or anyone) expect to be loved because it is commanded? Or out of fear (1 John 4:18)?

See here.

Why should there be no Commandment against rape?

Because it was not as common a problem as the other crimes, being that women were closely protected.

It is a crime, with death penalty, but only if the victim was betrothed, and the rape was committed outside the city (Deut 22:25-27). If the victim was not betrothed, his punishment is the payment of money to her father, and he must marry her (Deut 22:28-29).

That's right -- see here for a discussion on this.

Why should God be so concerned with ritualistic details (Ex, Deut, Lev, Josh 6:26, Ezek, etc.), none of which are observed by modern believers?

See here and here. We are not the only people who have ever lived.

Why should a prophet of God be consulted to find lost livestock (1 Sam 9:1-10:2)? And why should an entire chapter of the Bible be devoted to it?

Why should he not be? Why should it not be? What values are assumed, not proven, here?

Why should Jericho in particular be cursed (Josh 6:26)?

It was a symbolically significant conquest.

God destroyed the peoples of Palestine to make way for Israel and justified their destruction because they were wicked (Deut 9:4). But did God ever teach them his law so that they could be righteous? Israel was not righteous, either (Deut 9:4ff).

Two words: Romans One. Yes, Israel only got a chance because of Abraham, a chance no one really deserved.

Why wasn't David banned from the congregation of Israel? He was the great grandson of Ruth, a Moabitess, and Moabite blood is banned "to their tenth generation... for ever" (Deut 23:3, Ruth 1:4, 4:21-22).

See here.

Why would Nebuchadnezzar, an idolater and aggressor against the Chosen People, be called God's "servant" and be aided by God (Jer 27:6)?

Because he served God's purposes.

Why is John the only gospel writer to call Jesus "the only Begotten"? Didn't the others know? Or didn't they think it important?

They did, because they recognize Jesus as God's Wisdom.

Why is the virgin birth ignored by Mark and John? Why does Jesus never refer to it? Nor does Paul.

Why do they need to mention it?

Only Mary could have known the real truth, but nobody claims to have the facts from her.

Ancient writers felt no obligation to name their sources.

If the earth is "full of the goodness of God," then how can there be any room for evil (Ps 33:5)?

Try to read the Psalms as poetry, not narrative.

If the earth as God created it was "good" except for the evil creatures (Gen 1:31), why would he want to destroy the landscape by levelling the mountains and filling the valleys (Isa 40:4, Luke 3:5)?

These passages are metaphors for significant change, not topographical redesign.

Why does God want to torment some of his creatures for eternity because they displeased him, perhaps out of ignorance or poor judgment? Why not just annihilate them? Wouldn't that be what a really merciful creator would do?

See here, part 2.

Why should God allow Job to be a helpless victim, a pawn in a bet with Satan?

Because his story would inspire and assist millions in the future.

Why didn't Mary assume, when she was told she would bear a child, that it would be Joseph's, conceived after their marriage (Luke 1:27-34)?

Why should she? If that were so, why would an angel need to announce it to her?

How could a star hover over a building with sufficient precision to indicate that building and no other (Matt 2:9)?

Two words: Relative perspective.

Who were the prophets "when the world began" (Luke 1:70)?

The word is "age" or aion and refers to the age of the law.

If God was able to save Israel at the Red Sea, why couldn't he have saved the infant Jesus from Herod, without causing the slaughter of the innocents (Matt 2:16-18)? Did he allow it just to fulfill a prophecy?

See here.

Why didn't the apostles know the scripture that Jesus was sup- posed to be resurrected (John 20:9)? And what scripture is that?

Hosea 6:2 is likely. Why not? One word: "Dense."

Jesus quotes a scripture that the priests profane the Sabbath (Matt 12:5). There is no such statement in the OT.

See here Chapter 21.

Why don't John and Matthew mention the Ascension?

Why should they? Those who read the Gospels were already Christians and knew the whole doctrinal story. Luke has to mention it because he is continuing the story.

Why does Matt 21:7 have Jesus ride a donkey and a colt? Does he misunderstand the passage of which he thinks this incident is a prophecy fulfillment (Zech 9:9)?

See here.

Why doesn't Paul ever refer to any facts about Jesus' life as reported in the gospels?

Because he is in a high-context society. See here.

If God is the only god there is, why does he have a name?

Why is this a puzzle at all? Does uniqueness reduce the need to have a handle whereby people may address you?

Why should God have a "chosen people" (Deut 7:6, Isa 65:9)?

To do the job that needed to be done.

He is not a respecter of persons (Deut 10:17, 2 Sam 14:14, Acts 10:34, Eph 6:9, Pr 24:23, Matt 5:45, Rom 10:12, 2 Chr 19:7, Ezek 18:29, Rev 15:3).

See above.

Why should the laws given in Ex, Lev and Deut be so similar, yet different?

They were given to different parties: nomadic people; priests; people about to settle in a land.

Why should the Ten Commandments have to be given three times (Ex 20:1-17, Deut 5:6-21 and Ex 34:11-26, plus a paraphrase at Lev 19)?


But they are not the same: compare Ex 20:9 with Deut 5:12, Ex v 10 and Deut v 14, Ex v 11 and Deut v 15 (the two versions most alike).

See here. We delete the remaining commentary on this.

Why should certain numbers seem to be sacred (3, 7, 40, 12)?

They aren't. Packham is merely seeing patterns where none exist.

Who were the three men who appeared to Abraham in Gen 18? One was Jehovah?

Yes. They were likely other spiritual beings.

What were the statutes and laws that God gave to Abraham (Gen 26:5)? How did they get lost?

Is it hard to suggest they were similar to the Law and that there was nothing that was "losable"?

Why is the story of Isaac lying about his wife being his sister a repeat of Abraham's story (Gen 26:7-11, 12:13, 20:2-5)?

Because ancient people wrote using literary patterns to aid in memory of the stories. Because people make the same mistakes repeatedly, too.

Why should God make Moses be his own witness to Israel? Why doesn't God tell the elders himself (Ex 3:13-18)?

Because ancient people preferred an authority structure.

If God is so sure (and he should be, if he's omniscient) that the Israelites will believe Moses' first two signs (the serpent- rod and leprous hand), as he tells him they will, why does he give him a third sign (water to blood) (Ex 4:8-9)?

See here.

How can Zipporah accuse Moses of requiring circumcision, when he had not required his own son to be circumcised, and she then did it herself (Ex 4:25-26)?

Because she was a hypocrite? But where does Zipporah make this accusation?

Why should God try to kill Moses? The implication is because he had not circumcised his son. Why didn't God just order him to do it? If God really tried to kill him, how could he have failed (Ex 4:24)?

See here.

Was Moses uncircumcised (Ex 6:30)?

No, his lips were, metaphorically.

God tells Moses that his ability to turn his rod into a serpent will be proof that Moses is God's servant (Ex 4:1-5). But Pharaoh's magicians are able to duplicate the sign and do the same thing (Ex 7:10-12).

Which proves that they are servants of another power.

After Aaron turned all the water in Egypt to blood, Pharaoh's magicians did the same thing (Ex 7:22). What did they do? All the water was already blood.

The river was still moving. More water on the way.

Why did God save the Israelites from Pharaoh, but not from Hitler?

See here.

Why didn't the Israelites circumcise in the desert (Josh 5:2-9)?

One word: disobedience.

What was the purpose of the angel's appearance to Joshua (Josh 5:13-15)?

To serve as a focal point for leadership.

Why didn't God instruct Adam (or Noah, or Abraham) to write down the Law, instead of waiting until Moses' day?

See here for relevant points.

Which Zedekiah became king? Cf. 2 Kings 24:17, 1 Chron 3:15,16.

See entry here.

Why would God use a miracle to retrieve an axe dropped in the river (2 Kings 6:5-7)?

Why shouldn't He?

Why should the "word of God" include Paul's concern about where his cloak is (2 Tim 4:13)? Or Paul's personal opinions (1 Cor 7:6, 12, 25)?

Why shouldn't it? And see here.

Why are the main characters in the Book of Esther named after Babylonian or Persian (Elamite) gods? Esther = Ishtar, Babylonian fertility goddess and queen of heaven; Hadassah = Babylonian "hadashatu," a title of goddesses; Mordecai = Marduk, head Babylonian god, cousin of Ishtar (as Mordecai was cousin of Esther); Haman = Hamman (or Humman), chief god of Elam; Vashti = Vashti, a god(dess?) of Elam; Zeresh, wife of Haman = Kirisha, Elamite goddess and wife of Hamman.

Maybe because they were born in cultures where those gods were honored and as subject peoples didn't have a whole lot of choice?

Why is the name of a Jewish holy festival, Purim, not a Hebrew word (its origin is unknown)?

If the origins are unknown, how do we know it is NOT a Hebrew word?

Why is this festival not mentioned in the Bible earlier than 2 Mac 15:36 (2d century BC) if it was instituted in 5th century BC?

Why should it be?

Why is there no mention of God in the Book of Esther? Why does it show the deliverance of the Jews to be by human stratagem, not obedience to God?

Why should it do otherwise?

How can there be a "war" in heaven, a perfect place, governed by God (Rev 12:7)?

Who said it was perfect in that respect?

Paul quotes Jesus as saying "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). Where did Jesus say this? None of the gospels have this saying.

See here.

The unclean spirit acknowledged Jesus as God (Mark 1:23-24). But anyone who does so is of God (1 John 4:2). Does this mean that the unclean spirit was of God?

See here.

How (and why) did Melchisedec have no parents, no beginning, and no end (Heb 7:1-3)? Is he still alive?

Some pre-NT Jewish and Christian interpreters regard him as some sort of angel or preincarnate Christ.

Why didn't God use the same method to produce a Savior, if he didn't want him to have an earthly father, as he used to produced Melchisedec: no father or mother (Heb 7:1- 3)? He seems to be even more special than Jesus. Or the way he created Adam (who was also called the "son of God," Luke 3:38)?

So that he could be one who understood our lives by experience (cf. Hebrews 4:15).

Why is Matthew the only one who knows about the adoration of the Magi (Matt 2:1-13)?

See here.

Why do heavenly messengers in Matthew always appear in dreams (2:12, 13, 19, 22) and are nameless, but in Luke they appear in the flesh and are identified by name (1:11-22, 26ff, 2:9)?

Given that Luke has only one, that's not much to make a comparison on. You'll find the same variability in the OT.

What was Elias (Elijah) supposed to restore ("all things": Mark 9:11-13)? Where is it recorded that he did it? (He only appeared at the Transfiguration.) Mal 4:5 says only that Elijah will come back to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and vice-versa. Jesus says that he has come to do exactly the opposite (Matt 10:21, 35, Luke 12:51-53).

Once again, it is non-believers who do this. As for restoring, John the Baptist, the new Elijah: The Greek word here has the connotation of reconstitution; in that sense, John did indeed "restore" something, inasmuch as he paved the way for the new covenant offered by Jesus. See also here.

Moses as lawgiver: Almost all scholars now agree Moses did not write the Pentateuch, and that the "Mosaic Law" dates only from the Exile. Jesus ascribes the Law to Moses. If he didn't know the facts, he is not omniscient; if he did, why didn't he say so?

Because the scholars (and not all agree) are wrong. See here, JEDP entry.

Why should Matthew's version of the parable of the feast (22:2ff) want to make God look so much more hateful and cruel than Luke's (14:16)?

How does it do that?

What meaning could it have had to his listeners when Jesus told his followers to "take up the cross," when he had not been crucified yet (e.g. Mark 8:34, 10:21)?

Who can say, with only hundreds of crucifixions done by the Romans annually?

Why should Jesus urge us to cut off a limb or put out an eye if it offends by sinning? The sin is in the thought, not the body part, and that remains (Matt 5:29ff).

Two word: Rhetorical hyperbole. Pagan philosophers gave the same type of advice and didn't mean it literally.

Why does Jesus prefer sheep over goats as the symbol of his followers (Matt 25:33, John 10:11, 14, 27)? Goats are smarter animals than sheep. The only purpose for keeping sheep is to take their fleece and to eat them.

Tell the Greeks and Egyptians, too. See here.

What was Jesus doing for the forty days after his resurrection (according to Acts only)? Why are not a great many more appearances recorded for this period?

Five words: Not enough paper. Oral transmission. See here.

We will be damned if we doubt Jesus' resurrection. Will Thomas be damned for doubting (John 20:24-29)?

No, because he dropped the doubt and believed.

Why is there no further mention in any Christian scripture of Matthias the Apostle or Joseph Barsabbas, who was considered for appointment as an apostle (Acts 1)? Why are so few of the apostles mentioned at all?

Why should they be?

If Matthias had to be appointed as an apostle, what is Paul's authority? Is anybody having a vision of Jesus automatically an apostle (1 Gal 1:12)?

That is the likely meaning of the word.

How can Matthew and Luke claim to know what was said by Jesus and Satan during the Temptation (Matt 4, Luke 4)?

Jesus told his disciples.

Mark doesn't know.

No, he just doesn't say.

And John doesn't mention the temptation.

That proves nothing -- why is he required to mention it?

How can anyone claim to know what Jesus said in his prayer in Gethsemane (Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42-43)?

See here.

How can Luke know that an angel appeared to Jesus in Gethsemane (Luke 22:43)?

Jesus told his disciples, or they saw it from afar. Hello?

How can anyone know what was said at Jesus' trial, since none of Jesus' followers were present?

See here, beginning section.

Why should Jesus preach to the spirits in prison (the dead) if there is no repentance after death (1 Pet 3)?

These were not the dead; this interpretation is left over from Packham's Mormon background.

Why didn't Jesus command that his message be written down, or why didn't he write it? He only commanded that his disciples preach, but not write. Nobody appears to have written anything until many years afterwards.

See here.

Why do the oldest manuscripts of Mark end at 16:8?

It was lost, same as many, many other ancient documents.

Why is Matthew the only writer to know that the church was to be built on Peter, especially if Mark, according to tradition, was Peter's close companion?

We do not agree that it says that in Matthew.

Jesus promised his disciples that the twelve of them will rule Israel, seated on twelve thrones (Matt 19:28, Luke 22:30). Obviously Judas disqualified himself. But who will be the twelfth? Matthew? Or Paul?

Maybe Paul, maybe Matthias. Why does it matter?



God said that Adam would die the very day he ate the forbidden fruit (Gen 2:17). But Adam lived another 930 years before dying (Gen 5:5). (For meaning of "die" see 2 Sam 12:14-18.)

Better yet see here.

The human lifespan will be 120 years (Gen 6:3).

It is a general prediction of human lifespan; but it's obviously not meant to be a guarantee of that exact amount.

Cain will become a fugitive (Gen 4:12, 14). But he built a city and presumably lived in it (Gen 4:16-17).

See here.

Israel will be captive 400 years in Egypt (Gen 15:13, Acts 7:6). It was 430 (Ex 12:40)

IOW, 30 years not as slaves, 400 as slaves.

Abraham will possess the promised land (Gen 17:8). But he died without possessing it (Gen 25:8, Acts 7:2-5, Heb 11:13). Same promise to Jacob (Gen 28:13).

He did "possess" it. It belonged to him.

Jacob, renamed "Israel" by God, will never be called "Jacob" again (Gen 32:28, 35:9-10). He was continually called "Jacob" afterwards (ca. 40 times in Genesis, e.g. 49:33, 11 times in Ex).

It does not say no one will call him that again. The words express priority of the name; this is a negation idiom (see here.

There shall be no miscarriage or barrenness among the Israelites (Ex 23:26).

Obviously a contigent promise, upon obedience. The record shows there wasn't obedience.

Palestine would belong to Israel, from Egypt to Euphrates (Gen 15:18, 17:3-8, Ex 23:31, Deut 1:7-8, Josh 1:4).

See here.

Ephraim and Manasseh will drive out the Canaanites (Josh 17:17- 18, also Ex 33:2, 34:11; God had earlier promised to "destroy" the Canaanites at Ex 23:23-24, Deut 31:3-5). Hornets will drive them out (Ex 23:18). But they did not (Judg 1:27-29, 3:1-3, 4:2-3, Num 14:45).

See same link.

Zebulon will dwell at the seaside (Gen 49:13). But its territory was entirely inland (Josh 19:10-16; look at any map of the tribes' territories).

This was true as to the initial distribution of the land, but the borders were shifted from time to time. In regards to shore dwelling, Josephus (Ant. V 1:22) says that Zebulun’s lot included "that which belonged to Carmel and the sea."

The Israelites will be saved from the Philistines because God has chosen Saul to lead them (1 Sam 9:15-17). They were overrun by the Philistines (1 Sam 31:4-7).

And nothing happened in between to disrupt that contingent promise? That's 22 chapters.

Israel will dwell safely and with confidence in the Promised Land forever, impliedly from the time of the making of the prophecy (Ezek 28:25-26, 37:25-26; also 2 Sam 7:10).

"Impliedly" is read into the text and like any promise remains contingent.

Israel will never be ruled by another nation (Deut 15:6). But Mesopotamia ruled it for eight years (Judg 3:8), Moab for 18 (3:14), and many other nations have ruled it since, although God said "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee" (Josh 1:5).

Once again, "contingent". See again link above.

Jerusalem will never more be entered by the uncircumcised or the unclean. Jerusalem will be forever delivered from foreign domination (Isa 52, Joel 3:17). Jerusalem will never be de- stroyed again forever (Jer 31:40). Jerusalem was almost continually under foreign domination and has been destroyed several times, e.g. by the Romans in 70 AD.

One word again: Contingent.

Judah will be captive for 70 years in Babylon (Jer 25:11-13). The captivity lasted from 586 (or 597) to 538 BC, only 48 (or 59) years.

The seventy years begins at 609 BC, the start of the Babylonian Empire, or at 605 BC, the year Babylon defeated Assyria and became the ruling power in the area; and ends in 535, the year that the foundations of the new Temple were laid down, symbolizing the return of the Jewish people from the Babylonian captivity. This "48 years," while a sufficient account of the number of years from the fall of Jerusalem (587) to the fall of Babylon (540), fails to take into account that in 29:10, Jeremiah is communicating with Jews who were taken captive in an earlier incursion by the Babylonians. The Exile started much earlier than 587 for some of them: The OT records at least three separate deportations to Babylon. Also, the number of years is that of a human lifespan and may be programmatic; on the Black Stone of Esarhaddon, 70 years is give as the "period of time during which Marduk shows displeasure toward Babylon." -- Holladay, Jeremiah commentary, 669.

If Israel is not obedient, it will suffer all the curses listed in Deut 28:15-68, including being returned to slavery in Egypt (Deut 28:15, 68). The Israelites were not obedient, but they never again became Egyptian slaves.

Again, Egypt is a figure of speech for the future nations that will enslave Israel.

When God has destroyed an affliction or ended an enemy it does not come back (Nah 1:9).

Yes, and what?

God will not forsake his people (Josh 1:5, 1 Sam 12:22, Isa 45:17).

And what? He hasn't.

If Isa 7:14 is a prophecy of Jesus as Messiah, it failed, because he was never called Immanuel.

See here.

Jews who move to Egypt will die out with no remnant (Jer 42:17). But Jews established a large settlement at Alexandria and other places in Egypt and thrived there for many centuries.

This passage is referring to the specific situation when Babylon was threatening Israel. (v.11) There is no basis for suggesting that this refers to all Israelites at all times.

Damascus will become a ruinous heap, no longer a city (Isa 17:1). But Damascus has had an uninterrupted existence as an important city for 3500 years.

See here.

The Temple as described (and ordered by God?) by Ezekiel was never built.

Two words: human failure. But the Herodian Temple would count as a fulfillment.

Nathan promises that David's house will rule "forever" (2 Sam 7:16, also Jer 33:17, 1 Kings 9:39, 11:9-13, 37-38, 15:4, 2 Kings 8:19, 19:34, 20:6). David's house has not ruled for almost 2000 years.

One word again: contingent.

God promises David that his seed and throne will endure forever, as the "sun and moon," as a witness (Ps 89:34-37). The seed may still exist, but the throne does not.


David was promised "length of days" "forever and ever" (Ps 21:4). David is dead.

Two words: Poetic hyperbole.

God preserves all them that love him (Ps 35:10, 10:15, 145:20, 146:79, 147).

Yes, and? This does not include in the afterlife?

The scepter shall not depart from Judah "until Shiloh come" (Gen 49:10). The scepter is long gone from Judah, and Shiloh (?) has not come.

Repeat of above Peace (that is, order and rule, not lack of war) came when Christ appeared..

God will destroy the seed of David's enemies (Ps 21:10). The descendants of David's enemies are now very populous.

Who? I haven't seen any Moabites or Philistines lately.

No king will ever have as much wealth as Solomon (2 Chron 1:12).

Two words: Prophetic hyperbole.

Those who trust God will lack for nothing (Ps 34:9-10).

They don't, because they frame life in terms of realizing that most human demands are petty.

God satisfies the desires of every living thing (Ps 145:16).

Two words again: Poetic hyperbole.

God will grant anything requested in prayer by a righteous person who believes and who asks in Jesus' name and/or with faith

See here.

God will rescue his faithful from the lions (Ps 35:17). Many martyrs were killed by lions.

Poetic hyperbole. Note how often Packham takes poems literally.

Amaziah's sons will all die by the sword (Amos 7:17). But his son Uzziah died of leprosy (2 Chron 26:1, 21).

Two different Amaziahs. One is a priest, the other a king.

Isaiah 7, 8 prophesies to Ahaz, king of Judah, that Syria and Israel will not prevail against him. They did (2 Chron 28; 2 Kings 16:5 gives a different result).

See entry here.

Isaiah 8:4-8 promised that Assyria would assist Judah. It did not (2 Chron 28:16-20; 2 Kings 16 gives a different result).

Is. 8:4-8 says no such thing but portrays Assyria as an invader.

Tyre will be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and never be rebuilt (Ezek 26:3-14,21, 27:36, 28:19). Tyre was besieged but not destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek 29:18). Alexander the Great destroyed it three centuries later, but it was immediately rebuilt, was prominent in Jesus' time, and still exists today (Matt 15:21, Acts 21:3, and other passages). Isaiah 23 says Tyre will be rebuilt after 70 years.

See here.

Nebuchadnezzar will not be able to conquer Tyre, and so God will allow him to conquer Egypt instead (Ezek 29:18-20, 30:4-19). Nebuchadnezzar never conquered Egypt.

See here.

Judah will be a terror to Egypt, which will then worship God (Isa 19). Nothing like this has ever occurred.

It hasn't? The era of Ptolemy? Coptic Christians?

The Canaanite language will be spoken in five Egyptian cities (Isa 19:18). This never occurred, and that language is now extinct.

Incorrect. Semitic languages are still spoken all over the place in this area -- and native Egyptian isn't. This prophecy was fulfilled by the time of Jeremiah.

Israel will have the labor and produce of Egypt and Ethiopia, who will be Israel's slaves (Isa 45:14). This never occurred.

Not Israel, but Persia. The prophecy is to Cyrus (45:1).

Israel will be called "Hephzibah" and the land will be called "Beulah" (Isa 62:4). This never occurred.

It didn't have to. See principle about "Immanuel" here.

Israel will never again (after Isaiah's time) be ravished by plunder (Isa 62:8-9). It has been destroyed and ravished numerous times since then.

Contingent, as are all patronal pledges.

Egypt will be made desolate and waste and be uninhabited for 40 years, no one will pass through it, and the Egyptians will be scattered (Ezek 29:9-16, Joel 3:19 - Joel says this event is "near" at 2:1, 3:14). This never occurred.

See link above.

The Nile River will dry up (Isa 19:5, Ezek 30:12, Zech 10:11). This has never occurred.

Ancient war trash-talk. See here.

Edom (Idumaea) will be waste, no human will pass through it (Isa 34:9-10). This area (between Sinai and the Dead Sea) has always been populated.


Zedekiah will die in peace (Jer 34:3-5). He was blinded and died a captive in Babylon (Jer 52:9-11, 2 Kings 25:7).

See here.

Babylon will be destroyed by the Medes in a time "near to come" and it shall never again be inhabited, and the Arab will not pitch his tent there (Isa 13, 8th century BC). Sennacherib, an Assyrian, destroyed it in 689 BC, but Esarhaddon rebuilt it.

And Babylon destroyed it later. The rest is "trash talk" of ancient war; see here.

Jeremiah again (Jer 25:12-13, 50:9-40, 51:26- 43)) prophesied its total destruction and lack of habitation (v 13). It was conquered by the Persians Cyrus and Xerxes, and again by Alexander the Macedonian in 323, who died there. It was inhabited up to 275 BC, when its inhabitants moved to a new village nearby. Its temples were still in use a century later. It is now an archeological site, attracting tourists, i.e., there are people there.

It is trash talk. Not literal prediction.

Josiah will die in peace (2 Kings 22:18-20). He died from wounds inflicted in battle (2 Chron 35:20-24).

Let’s go a bit further in this passage: Your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring on this place. In context, what Huldah is saying is that he will be buried in a time of peace without any comment as to the manner of death. Josiah will not see the disaster that prophecied in the previous verses. There is nothing here about the nature of his death at all.

Deaf will hear and blind will see "in a very little while" (Isa 29:17-18).

This is likely to be metaphorical.

Descendants of evildoers will never be famous (Isa 14:20).

And this is simply proverbial.

Jehoiakim's body would be desecrated by his people and dragged outside the gates of Jerusalem (Jer 22:18-19, 36:30-31). He was carried captive to Babylon and died there (2 Chron 36:5- 6; see also 2 Kings 24:6, which implies he had a peaceful death).

See here.

Jehoiakim will have no successor on the throne of David; his seed is cursed (Jer 36:30-31). But his son reigned, although briefly (2 Chron 36:8-9, 2 Kings 24:6-8). And Jesus is his descendant (1 Chron 3:16-17, Matt 1:12).

See here.

Ammonites will be "no more remembered [after 6th century BC]" (Ezek 21:28-32). Ammonites continued to exist into 2nd century AD (and are remembered by this mention in the Bible).

Packham does not see that taking this too literally is all that produces a contradiction, as if the word "Ammonite" would disappear from writings as part of the prophecy. Where does it say "6th century BC" in Ezekiel?

The words of Daniel will remain shut up and sealed until the end of time (Dan 12:4, 9).

The end of what? "Time" is not specified.

Antiochus IV (the "king of the north") will conquer Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia, and die in an encampment between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea (Dan 11:43-45). He never made those conquests (although he briefly occupied part of Egypt), and he died in Persia.

See here.

Jerusalem will be destroyed by a flood (Dan 9:26). Christians interpret Daniel's prophecy to refer to the destruction of 70 AD, but there was no flood then, or at any other time.

How about "flood" as a metaphor for being overwhelmed?

Gabriel says that Jesus will have the "throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever" (Luke 1:32-33).

And he does, as head of the Kingdom of God.

John the Baptist (quoting Isaiah) says that "all flesh" will see God's salvation (Luke 3:6, Isa 52:10, also Luke 2:10). But many humans have never heard of it, and never will.

See here Chapter 6.

Jesus promises that whoever gives up worldly possessions to follow him will receive a hundredfold "in this time" (Mark 10:30, Luke 18:29-30; Matt 19:29 says they will receive them, but he doesn't say when).

They have received it in the communal property of all believers (as practiced in Acts).

Jesus will draw all men to him (John 23:32).

See here.

Jesus promises the faithful that they can literally move mountains on command (Matt 17:20, 21:21, Mark 11:23).

No he does not promise literally. See here.

Jesus' followers will do greater works than he (John 14:12).

See here.

Jesus promises Peter that he will catch a fish with a coin in its mouth (Matt 17:27). It isn't stated that this promise was fulfilled.

Why does it have to be stated explicitly?

God (or his angels) will protect the faithful from flood and fire (Isa 43:2); from evil (2 Th 3:3); from harm (1 Pet 3:13); God is a shield and promises protection and safety if you just believe (Deut 33:27, 2 Chr 16:9, Ps 3:3, 4:8, 78:53, 91:2-16, 119:117, 121:1-8, 145:20, Prov 29:25, 30:5, Zeph 3:17, Dan 6:22). Many passages, too numerous to list, promise protection from enemies. God's protection will not be delayed (Isa 48:13).

The principles here remain relevant.

Believers in Christ will be able to drink poison, survive bite of poisonous snakes (Mark 16:17-18, Luke 10:19).

Mark here is not to be included. Luke refers to treading on, not being bitten, and is likely a metaphor for demons.

Sick will be healed by faithful prayer (James 5:13-15).

See here.

Jesus says that whoever believes in him will never die, but if they do die, they will live (John 8:51, 11:25-26).

Once again a failure to grasp "death" as a metaphor for eternal separation from God.

Jesus said cock would not crow till Peter had denied him three times (John 13:38), but Mark 14:66-68 says cock crowed after the first.

See here.

Jesus promised the thief on the cross that they would be together that same day in paradise (Luke 23:43). But that same day Jesus' body was in the tomb and he was preaching to the spirits in "prison" (1 Pet 3:19) and Jesus did not ascend to heaven until after the resurrection.

No, 1 Peter. 3:19 does not say "the same day" and the body would not be in the Jewish aboide of the righteous dead, and the spirit would be there after death.

Jesus said he would be in the tomb three days and three nights (Matt 12:40). But he was buried on Friday and had been resurrected by early Sunday, only two nights.

See here.

Paul was promised that "no man shall set on thee to hurt thee" (Acts 18:10). But he was often hurt (Acts 21:32, 2 Cor 11:23-25).

V. 10 includes the words, "because I have many people in THIS CITY." And v. 11 goes on to say "So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God." God is only guaranteeing protection for this particular instance, not for all time.

The Second Coming (and the End of the World) was promised by Jesus to be within the generation contemporary with him

See here -- end of the age, not world -- and series here.

The following passages claim to be fulfillment of prophecies, but no such prophecies are recorded:

John 7:38. "Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

See here under John 7:38.

Luke 24:46, 1 Cor 15:34. Messiah would die, be buried, rise on third day.

Try Hosea 6:2.

Matt 27:9-10 cites a non-existent passage in Jeremiah, "fulfilled" when Judas takes the 30 pieces of silver and buys a potter's field. (Zech 11:12-13 mentions 30 pieces of silver and a potter, but it is not a prophecy)

See here.

Matt 2:23. Messiah would be called a Nazarene.

See here.


This entire section can be disposed of with reference to this item.


Some of this section can be disposed of with reference to this item. Others, besides those with anti-miracle bias:

King comes riding on an ass, the foal of an ass, made at Zech 9:9, fulfilled at Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-40, Matt 21:1-7. Only Matt considered the incident to fulfill this prophecy.

No, only Matthew makes mention of it as fulfilling it, if true, but it is not. Packham also forgets John 12:14-15.

Elijah is to come before the great and terrible day of the Lord, to turn the children to fathers and vice versa (Mal 4:5-6). Elijah did not come - John the Baptist denied that he was Elijah (John 1:21), and Elijah's appearance at Jesus' transfiguration did nothing to turn children to fathers. Jesus' mission was the opposite. He came to turn children against their parents (Matt 10:35, Luke 12:51-53).

See yet again here and note again that the latter refers to what non-believers do, nbot believers.

Isaiah 9:6-7. "Unto us a child is born..." who will be called "The mighty God," the "Prince of Peace," whose government will last "from henceforth" forever. But Jesus did not try to establish a government, said he came not to bring peace (Matt 10:34), thus denying that he fulfilled this prophecy.

Wrong. Jesus did establish the ideological kingdom of God and reigns today.

Jesus is said by Mark (13:2, copied by Luke 19:41-44) to have prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 AD. But both gospels are admitted by scholars to have been written later than 70 AD.

See here.

Matthew and John do not mention this prophecy.

Matthew certainly does. John does not need to as he is supplementing Mark.


Put not trust in princes, nor in the son of man in whom there is no help (Ps 146:3).

See here.

Cursed is he who is hung on a tree (Deut 21:23, Gal 3:13).

We agree Christ was cursed. He was also vindicated.

The Son of Man is a worm (Job 25:6, Ps 22:6).

See link above.

Deceitful men shall not live out half their days (Ps 55:23). Jesus died at about 33.

This does not say that non-deceitful men will not also at times not live long.


Much of this is refuted by the principles here. Others are obvious cases of disobedience by believers. Exceptions:

In evaluating the importance of the following, remember that

Divorce is forbidden (Mal 2:14-16, Matt 19:6, Mark 10:2-9, 11-12, 1 Cor 7:10, Rom 7:2-3).

See here.

Priests (and prophets) should not receive money for their services (Mic 3:11).

Repeat of above.

Women must cover the head when praying (1 Cor 11:5-6, 10).

See here.


Probably true in many cases, but this hardly indicates error in the Bible. Comments otherwise:

If your eye offends you, pluck it out; your hand, cut it off (Matt 5:29-30, 18:8-9, Mark 9:43-47).

Such comments were recognized as metaphors for taking care in what you do.

If someone asks for your coat, give him your cloak also (Matt 5:40).

See here.

Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor (Matt 19:16-21, Mark 10:21, Luke 18:22; giving half may be enough, says Luke 19:2, 8, 9)

These instructions were only given to specific individuals.

You must renounce everything you have (Luke 14:33).

See here Ch. 21.

You must hate your parents and family and your own life (Luke 14:26, Matt 10:37).

See here; Matt. 10 is patents and family hating YOU.

Soldiers should "do violence to no man" (Luke 3:14). You should be content with your wages (Luke 3:14). (This may only apply to soldiers, since Jesus was answering a question from soldiers.)

It was John, not Jesus.

Be as perfect as God (Matt 5:48, James 1:4, Gen 17:1, Lev 11:44, 19:2).

This is rhetorical exhortation.

Christians do not sin; a Christian who sins does not know Jesus (1 John 3:6-9).

See here.


Some of these are answered by this item. Remainders:

River Gihon could not possibly flow from Mesopotamia and encompass Ethiopia (Gen 2:13).

This is pre-Flood geography which would be different.

The name "Babel" does not come from the Hebrew word balbal, "confuse," but from Babylonian bab- ili, "gate of God," which is a translation of the original Sumerian name Ka-dimirra (Gen 11:9).

Correct. The etymology is a purposeful JOKE.

The Egyptian princess names the baby she finds "Moses" because she "drew him out" of the water (Heb meshethi). Why would she make a pun in Hebrew (Ex 2:10)?

See here.

The birth story of Moses (Exod. 2:1-10), probably recorded during the tenth century B.C., is very similar to the birth account of King Sargon of Agade who lived near the end of the third millennium B.C.

See same link.

No Egyptian record exists mentioning Moses or his devastation of Egypt.

Not so fast. See here.

Moses refers to "Palestine" (Ex 15:14). No such name was in use then.

See here.

Law of Moses is the "statutes of God and his laws" (Ex 18:26), but it is clearly copied from Code of Hammurabi, which is ca 1800 BC, hundreds of years before Moses.

It is not "clearly copied" but reflects the common morals of cultures around the world.

Priests are mentioned at Ex 19:22-24, but they are not provided for until Ex 28:1.

Priests were not existing in other religions of the time to serve as models?

Jericho and Ai (Josh 8) were both ancient ruins at the time of the conquest of Canaan, according to archaeologists. Jericho's walls were destroyed centuries before Joshua.

See here.

Kings are referred to at Deut 17:17-19, before Israel had kings.

But not before other nations had them abd the office was possible.

Judges 17:6 says that every man did what he thought right (implying there was no law). But the law had been given at Sinai, according to Ex.

Implies what? Not that there was no law, but that no one obeyed what law there was.

The Wilderness is viewed as history at Num 15:32, showing that Numbers was written later.

No, the word used means any desert or pasture and just indicates that they were not in the camp.

The Sabbath law was unknown when the man gathered sticks at Num 15:32-34.

See here Chapter 18.

Book of Joshua refers to Book of Jasher in the past, mentioned at 2 Sam 1:18, therefore Joshua must be post-David.

See here.

Captivity is mentioned at Judg 18:30, making it post-Exile.

Captivity is warned of in Deuteronomy, making it a viable threat as early as Judges' time.

David took Goliath's head to Jerusalem (1 Sam 17:54). But Jerusalem was not captured until 7 years after David became king (2 Sam 5).

See entry here.

David paid 600 shekels of gold for the threshing floor (1 Chron 21:22-25). But shekels of gold were not yet used in business transactions (this is the only use of the term in the OT).

See here again.

God says he had never chosen any ruler for Israel but David (2 Chron 6:5). But he had chosen Saul.

It is a negation idiom, as here.

David eats of shewbread (1 Sam 21:1-6) even though that is forbidden in Lev 24:9.

So he violated the law. Why assume this means the law did not exist?

Psalm 18:6 mentions the temple, thus cannot be by David.

The word means "palace" or temple and refers to God's heavenly abode.

Defeat of Sennacherib did not happen at Jerusalem, but at Pelusium, near Egypt, and Jews were not involved, contrary to 2 Kings 19.

2 Kings 19 does not say that Jews were involved or that it was at Jerusalem.

Ninevah was so large it took three days to cross, i.e. about 60 miles (Jonah 3:3-4). Yet it had only 120,000 inhabitants, making a population density of of about 42 people per square mile for a city.

See here.

Daniel's account of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar is historically inaccurate; Nebuchadnezzar was never mad. Belshazzar, whom he says was king, was never king, but only regent. Belshazzar was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but of Nabo- nidus. Babylon was not conquered by Darius the Mede, but by Cyrus the Great, in 539 BC (Dan 5:31). Darius the Mede is unknown to history.

See here for all points.

Chronology of the empires of the Medes and Persians is historically incorrect in Isa 13:17, 21:2, Jer 51:11, 28 (Pfeiffer, Intro to OT, p. 757).

It is not explaind how this is so.

Esther (and all the characters in the Book of Esther except Ahasuerus [= Xerxes]) is unknown to history, even though it claims that its events are "written in the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia" (Est 10:2).

Chronicles which are not extant. And we do have Mordechai's name mentioned in records from there.

The Book of Esther is not quoted by any pre-Christian writer, nor mentioned in NT, nor quoted by early Christian fathers.

Why should it be?

Mordecai became prime minister to Xerxes (Ahasuerus), who reigned 485-465 BC. But Mordecai had come to Babylon in 596 BC with Jehoiachin (Esther 2:5-6).

See here.

The office of "High priest" of Mark 2:26 did not exist in David's day.

See here.

None of the Gospels are mentioned by early Christians, e.g. Paul, Pope Clement I (97 AD), Justin Martyr (140 AD). The first mention of any Gospel is by Irenaeus (185 AD).

Paul and Clement do allude to Gospel sayings. Justin mentions "memoirs" which are the Gospels. Beyond that, what about Papias, and why should they mention these things anyway?

There is no mountain from which one can see all the kingdoms of the world (Matt 4:8, Luke 4:5).

See here.

Jesus as a historical figure is not mentioned by any contemporary non-Christian writers.

Depending of what Packham means by "contemporary" there are none other than maybe Philo, or no reason to mention. But see here and here.

Matt 2:1 says Jesus was born in the reign of Herod, who died 4 BC. Luke 2:2 says he was born during Quirinus' governorship of Syria, which began 6 AD.

See here.

Thieves were never punished by crucifixion (Matt 27:38, 44).

Revolutionary bandits were, and that is what the word means.

No crucifixion would have been performed on the eve of Passover.

See points here.

There is no contemporary historical confirmation of darkness covering the earth at the crucifixion (Matt 27:35, Luke 23:44).

See here.

There is no contemporary historical confirmation of the slaughter of the innocents by Herod (Matt 2:16-18). Josephus, whose history contains much criticism of Herod, does not mention it.

See here.

There is no contemporary historical confirmation of the graves opening and the dead appearing to many at the crucifixion (Matt 27:52-53).

Who else should have mentioned it and why? See here.


we skip material outside our purview and anything that simply assumes the miraculous is not possible. All matters pertaining to the shape of the earth are dealt with here. Remnants:

Heaven is above, earth below (Jer 10:11, 31:37, 1 Thess 4:16-17).

And it is. So?

Leprosy can be cured by following the instructions in Lev 13, 14.

No, not cured; a man can be declared clean.

Seed must "die" before it grows (John 12:24, 1 Cor 15:36).

See here.

Snakes eat dust (Gen 3:14, Isa 65:25).

See here.

Every beast shall fear man (Gen 9:2).

The ostrich abandons her eggs (Job 39:13-16).

See here.

Thunder is God's voice (Ps 77:18).

Psalms are poetry.

Earthquakes are caused by God's anger (Job 9:5, Ps 18:7, 77:18, 97:4, Isa 2:19, 24:20, 29:6, Jer 10:10, Ezek 38:20, Nah 1:5). Or by his voice (Heb 12:26). Or by Lucifer (Isa 14:16).

Figures of speech -- note how these are mostly in poetry and poetic oracles.

Earthquakes can occur in heaven (Heb 12:26).

Literalism applied to a metaphor.

Rainwater does not return to the sky (Isa 55:10).

It sure doesn't, before it waters the ground, which is the order given in this verse.

Blood is "life" (Deut 12:23). Breath is "life" (Gen 2:7).

It is life. Why not? You need both to live.

Value of pi = 3 (1 Kings 7:23, 2 Chron 4:2).

See here.

Moon will turn to blood (Acts 2:20).

Apocalyptic language; see here.

The moon has a light of its own (Isa 13:10, Matt 24:29).

So Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" is in error?

The stars can be made to fall (Matt 24:29, Mark 13:25).

Ditto, second above.

The bat is a bird (Lev 11:13,19, Deut 14:11, 18).

See here.

The whale is a fish (Jonah 1:17, Matt 12:40).

See here.

The hare chews the cud (Lev 11:5-6).

See here.

Some fowl and insects have four legs (Lev 11:20-23).

See here.

Levi existed as a person in the loins of his great-grandfather (Heb 7:9-10).

Where does this say "as a person"?

Cattle will produce striped offspring if they see striped poles when breeding (Gen 30:37-41).

See here.

Bees will build a hive in a dead carcass (Judg 14:8).

If its just bones, why won't they?

Eagles will be attracted by a dead carcass (Matt 24:28). Eagles do not eat carrion.

The word refers to any large bird, including vultures.

Salt can lose its saltiness (Matt 5:13, Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34).

See here.

Jesus expects the fig tree to bear fruit at Passover (March/April), when it cannot do so in Palestine until May (Matt 21:19-21, Mark 11:13-21).

See here.

A good tree always produces good fruit, a corrupt tree cannot (Matt 7:17-20).

A proverbial saying. See here.

There is nothing new under the sun. Eccl 1:9

See here.


We exclude again miracles. The remainder:

Population of Israel at the time of the Conquest must have been two to three million (Ex 12:37, Num 1:45-46). They had all descended in about four generations from 70 (or 75) individuals (Ex 6:16-20). But the seven nations in Pales- tine at the time of the conquest were each greater, giving Palestine a population of over 14 million, which is improba- ble (Deut 7:1).

"Greater" hardly need imply greater population but greater technology and power, which the Canaanites did have. As for population see here. The next two cites are also population issues and are deleted; though note that it is not just three generations during the captivity (see here.

The quail as described in Num 11:31-32 would have covered 780 square miles, three feet deep.

See link above with section on quail.

The size camp of the Israelites has been estimated as 12 miles across. Each person was required to carry his waste outside the camp, meaning a daily walk of 12 miles for anyone near the center.

Likely certain people were assigned the duty of collection of the chamber pots. Also these are army regulations only.

Moses gathered all the congregation of Israel to the door of the tabernacle (Lev 8:3-4), numbering 600,000 men (Ex 12:37, Num 1:45-46). The courtyard of the tabernacle measured 100 by 50 cubits (about 150 by 75 feet; Ex 27:11-12).

"All the congregation" means representatives of each clan came forward, which would be less than a hundred.

Moses spread the word to 2 million people in a single day (Ex 12; compare Josh 8:33-35).

See link above.

Benjamin's 700 warriors could hit a hair with a slingshot (Judg 20:16).

It is a metaphor for accuracy. Overliteralism does not appreciate ancient prose.

Paul says that the Gospel (of Jesus) was preached "to every creature which is under heaven" (Col 1:23).

Hyperbole of praise. Taken to the literalism claimed, Paul literally preached to lizards.

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