I first give the specific sections of the May 1986 edition of “Biblical Errancy” that I cite in my first letter).
Jesus Vs. Paul…(18) Jesus — “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24) and “…Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:5-6) and “Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine…” (Matt. 7:6) and (Matt. 15:26, Mark 8:27, John 4:22) versus Paul — “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (Rom. 10:12) and For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Rom. 1:16) and “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and [upon] all them that believe: for there is no difference” (Rom. 3:22) and (1 Tim. 2:6, Rom. 4:16, 2:26-29, 4:9-13, 23-24, 11:19-25). Jesus told his followers to go only to the Jews, while Paul said there was no difference between Jews and Greeks.
(21) Paul — “Who (Jesus — Ed.) only hath immortality…” (1 Tim. 6:16) versus Jesus — “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Paul had said only Jesus had immortality, while Jesus said others have everlasting life, too. If Paul had said only Jesus can provide immortality to others, there would have been no problem. But he said only Jesus has immortality. Incidentally, how can Paul say only Jesus is immortal when everyone is immortal according to Christian beliefs whether desired or not. It’s not a question of whether we are immortal but one of where we will spend eternity.
(29) Jesus — “Thou shall do no murder (Matt. 19:18) versus Paul — “Thou shalt not kill” (Rom. 13:9). Jesus and Paul can’t seem to agree on the wording of the 6th Commandment regarding killing. Every moral and legal system recognizes a difference between murder and killing. Paul outlaws killing while Jesus prefers a less comprehensive restriction. If Paul’s rule prevails, soldiers, police, and those killing in self-defense are in trouble.
(31) Paul — “..for he — one’s ruler — beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God (Rom. 13:4) versus Jesus — “Put up again thy sword into its place for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword’ (Matt. 26:52).
(33) Paul — “…remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'” (Acts 20:35). Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus make such a statement. Matt. 10:8 (“…freely ye have received, freely give”) does not apply.
(34) Jesus — “I and my Father are one (John 10:30) versus Paul — “It is Christ…who is even at the right hand of God…” (Rom. 8:34) and “…the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3) and (Col. 3:1, Heb 9:24, 10:12, 1 Thess. 2:5). If Jesus is one with God as he claims, then how could he be sitting beside, or subservient to, God?
May 29, 1986 Dear Mr. McKinsey: I was recently sent a copy of your periodical entitled “Biblical Errancy.” (May 1986). I found it quite interesting, and representative of a view-point I have encountered on numerous occasions. Though a full refutation of the information in the newsletter would be impractical, a few points should be brought up. First, your commentary entitled “Jesus vs. Paul” amazed me. Do you, sir, understand the implications of the word “context? Does background, chronology and language enter into this discussion? For example, your first mentioned ‘contradiction’ (number 18) completely ignores the chronological progression of events. It tears the texts from their context and creates nothing but confusion. Your final statement read, ‘Jesus told his followers to go only to the Jews, while Paul said there was no difference between Jews and Greeks.’ This ignores the fact that Jesus’ statements were made before his death, burial, and resurrection. After that event Jesus himself said, ‘Go ye therefore and teach all nations…’ (Matthew 28:19). To postulate a contradiction between Paul and Jesus on the basis of the passages you cited is simply illogical. Only preconceived prejudice against the Bible could allow such a contention. Is it possible, sir, that you are just as guilty of such a preconception as many Christians are in their remarks?
Section 21, contrasting 1 Timothy 6:16 with John 3:16 provides another example. Later in the periodical you mention people jumping from version to version in an attempt to defend the Bible. I am surprised that this would even be a problem. You, as the person initiating the discussion, should realize that you are attacking (if you don’t mind that term) the veracity of an ancient document that was written in two languages – Hebrew and Greek (with some Aramaic). Hence, I would assume that you would be fluent in both languages, or, at the very least, in Greek, as Hebrew is fairly basic, especially in comparison with koine Greek. At any rate, a basic knowledge of Greek would have cleared up your confusion concerning this example. The word found at 1 Timothy 6:16 is athanasian, whereas at John 3:16 it is a phrase that is translated “eternal life,” that phrase being zoen aionion. As you can see, you are comparing apples to oranges. Also, you mention that only Jesus “has” immortality, supposing this to be a contradiction of Christian teaching concerning immortality of all people. Again, a simple examination of the text is in order. The word translating “hath” in the KJV is a participle in the original, echon. The continuous action, without relationship to time expressed by this participle is significant to the meaning of the passage. I submit that it is your misunderstanding of the passage in its original tongue that causes your “contradiction.” Your assault on the Bible without reference to its original tongue is comparable to my attacking Goethe’s Faust without a knowledge of German – few would seriously consider my remarks valid. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the comment found under number 29. You imagine a difference between Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:18 (Greek: on phoneuseis) and Paul’s in Romans 13:9 (Greek: on phoneuseis). As you can see, there is absolutely no difference whatsoever in the two occurrences – both are quoting directly from the Septuagint (LXX) version at Exodus 20:13 (20:15 in the LXX). Your comments demonstrate an extremely shallow depth of research on your part. I would hope that you could remove this example in a coming edition of “Biblical Errancy.”
The examples such as the above abound. Number 31 would be humorous if it were not found in context of your periodical, as is #33 (see John 21:25). Number 34 deals with in-depth theology, a subject that I really don’t believe you are prepared to handle, given the above examples of your work. What gender is the word “one” in, and what significance does that have?
At any rate, I do look forward to receiving your work. I do not believe that you demonstrated so much as one contradiction in your paper, and looking over the vain attempts of atheists and others to confound the Word of God only strengthens my faith in that book. I do not blindly accept anything. I have examined your “facts” and found them wanting. Please reply to the information I have provided you.