I keep a rule around here that when a skeptic claims there are contradictions in the Bible, I allow 5 chances to prove it. I figure that if s/he can't get it done with his/her favorite 5, there's no reason to look any further with that person - s/he has nothing to offer.
So, with that in mind, I asked one @BeMoreCynical for evidence of his assertion that the Bible has flaws. You'll note that I tried to cut him off at the pass by asking for actual flaws. "The Bible commands something that I find morally reprehensible" is not a flaw unless you can prove that your moral standard is correct, something which no atheist can possibly do. Much less is "The Bible records an event I find morally reprehensible" a flaw, though many, many careless skeptics make exactly that contention, and all the time.
Anyway, then @piisalie responded: 1Chron 1.36 The Chronicler mistakes Timna for a son instead of a concubine. (Gen 36:12)?
The conversation has now lasted quite some time, mostly because piisalie and BeMoreCynical have demonstrated their inability to understand what a contradiction is.
Genesis 36: 9These then are the records of the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir. 10These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz the son of Esau’s wife Adah, Reuel the son of Esau’s wife Basemath. 11The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho and Gatam and Kenaz. 12Timna was a concubine of Esau’s son Eliphaz and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. These are the sons of Esau’s wife Adah. 13These are the sons of Reuel: Nahath and Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were the sons of Esau’s wife Basemath.
1 Chronicles 1:34Abraham became the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel. 35The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam and Korah. 36The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna and Amalek.
I responded to piisalie and BMC, and a selection from our conversation follows here:
Me: There were 2 ppl named Timna.
piisalie: But you made it up. (Edit: BMC actually said that.)
Me: U have no idea whether I made it up. Did you have anything better, or was that your best shot?
piisalie: so you assert he had both a concubine and a son named Timna?
Me: You assert that Timna was 1 person, no proof. I assert they were 2 w/ same name. Neither have proof. No contradiction.
Me: Yes, kinda like how a guy could have a wife and a male friend named Pat, or Tracy.
piisalie: both verses cite the line of Eliphaz, one has Timna as a son, one has Timna as a concubine, neither has both...
Me: I sometimes refer to my wife and in other contexts to my friend, sometimes not both.
piisalie: you know, that argument could make sense, if we weren't talking about sacred recorded geneologies...
Me: I don't take those genealogies as necessarily exhaustive.
piisalie: so a perfect God, wrote a perfect book, with incomplete blood lines, containing names/persons to be easily confused?
Me: Sry, didn't realise " @piisalie is confused" = "untrue or contradictory". Where is that definition written?
Me: I blv the guy who was there, not the guy 6K yrs later claiming better knowledge
piisalie: Which guy was there? The author of Genesis, or Chronicles?
Me: Both are closer to it by far than u r. Do u *know* the auth of Chron didn't have other supplement info? No, u don't.
It's mind-boggling to me that this has taken so much interest in these two tweeters' minds. By necessity, for communication to be possible with anyone, we must begin with the presumption of harmonisation for texts and speech. Otherwise, we end up deconstructing everything, and in total absurdity, for any communication or text that advocates for rampant deconstruction assumes that it itself is exempt from the deconstruction it advocates, and we know nothing, ever.
How much more must this be the case for ancient documents, when we, the modern readers/critics, are so far removed from the events that took place! We have virtually no information about the minutiæ, the specific contexts, surrounding events, and surrounding people of these textual references. If you don't want to take the authors' word for it outside of some high standard of corroboration, then to be consistent, you must deny that you know much of anything about history, even modern history.
Besides all that, for the Christian who recognises that God is really, really smart, and @piisalie and @BeMoreCynical are of evidently average intelligence, we have to weigh the priorities. Whom to believe? The God Who cannot lie and Who has proven His reliability over and over again and indeed predicted Jesus' resurrection from the dead and then carried it out? Or some guys on Twitter who don't realise that sometimes people have the same name?
To prove a contradiction, there must be no possible harmonisation for the texts cited. I obviously don't know with certainty whether there were two people named Timna, since I wasn't there, but it is a perfectly reasonable solution to the proposed problem. Where a perfectly reasonable option exists, no contradiction does, and that's just the way it is. I'm sure this disappoints my skeptical friends, but my suggestion is to find a better example of "contradiction".
Finally, @piisalie said something I find to be contemptible and worthy of a serious amount of discredit:
he'll just misquote me, and mock me on his blog like the last time :P
Anyone is welcome to look over the last time @piisalie and I had a blog discussion, and I challenge anyone to find where I misquoted him. Whether I've engaged in mockery of him personally is open to discussion, but misquotation is a serious charge. But the thing is, when @piisalie is happy to falsely accuse me of misquotation, some third-rate blogger, what level of credibility should we lend to his accusations of contradiction?