Is baptism necessary for salvation? In his article, "The Bible's Teaching on Baptism: Contradictory or Complimentary?" Eric Lyons states the following: "According to numerous skeptics, the Bible contradicts itself regarding whether or not water baptism is essential for salvation (e.g., Drange, 1996; Morgan, 2003; cf. Wells, 2001). According to these men, Jesus and Paul were confused regarding the purpose of baptism--was it necessary, or not?" Lyons cites my Biblical Inconsistencies as the source of the claims that he alleges that I make regarding baptism. To put it plainly and succinctly, he is simply and completely wrong. I make none of the claims that he alleges that I make.
Published on the Secular Web
On June 24, 1999, a patron of the Secular Web challenged one of Donald Morgan's "Bible Absurdities" with this simple paragraph: "Remove genesis 8:20 from the absurdities list. They sacrificed one of each clean animal--they brought 7 pairs [GE 7:2] of each clean animal onto the arc." What ensued was a dialogue between then Editor in Chief of the Secular Web, Richard Carrier, and Donald Morgan regarding the alleged absurdity of sacrificing animals that were taken aboard the Ark for the purpose of preservation.
Is the Bible the work of God? Is it a valid guidebook? How can we know? This introduction serves as a very basic preface to the makeup of the Bible and to how the Bible came about, as well as to some basic kinds of possible biblical problems—especially the kinds of problems inherent in a fundamentalist/literalist approach to the Bible that views the Bible as the inerrant, infallible, inspired, and plenary "Word" of a perfect, omnipotent, and loving God.
The author uses a two-letter system of abbreviations for the various books which make up the Bible. Although not unique, it is somewhat unusual. This is the key to those abbreviations.
In the author's opinion, these particular verses are so inconsistent with each other and/or with reality as to be fatal to the claim that the Bible was inspired by a perfect and omnipotent "God."
In the author's opinion, these verses represent absurdities which would not be characteristic of inspiration by a perfect and omnipotent "God."
In the author's opinion, these verses represent atrocities which would not be characteristic of inspiration by a perfect, omnipotent, just, and loving "God."
In the author's opinion, these verses represent inconsistencies which would not be characteristic of inspiration by a perfect "God." Note: The author makes a subtle distinction between the terms "inconsistency" and "contradiction"; please see his explanation in the disclaimer at the top of this article, and keep in mind that at least some of the listed inconsistencies could certainly be considered biblical contradictions.
In the author's opinion, these verses represent precepts and/or guidelines which would not be characteristic of inspiration by a perfect "God," precepts and/or guidelines which are even sometimes downright ridiculous.
In the author's opinion, these verses could be taken as being sufficiently vulgar as to be unworthy of having been inspired by a perfect "God," verses which--were they not in the Bible--would likely be considered even by many Jews and Christians to be "vulgar."
Think you know the details regarding the New Testament Empty Tomb and Resurrection stories? Check your knowledge with this short, twenty-two question quiz. The answers may surprise you! You will likely find that the details are so inconsistent from one biblical source to the next that the picture that we are typically given of the events surrounding the alleged Resurrection is necessarily a composite of carefully selected verses which exclude other verses where the details differ.