This post presents a list of common Christian disagreements with the Bible. You may say that you never disagree with the Bible. That’s fine. What is not so useful is if you find that there is something on the following list where you do agree with the Bible, and then you energetically focus on that – (conveniently) ignoring that there are other parts on the list where you are quite comfortable to disagree with the Bible.
Similarly, remembering we began this series with principles of exegesis (biblical interpretation), it is not so useful if you focus on something on the following list where you disagree with the interpretation given here. Because, if there is any part of the Bible where your beliefs differ from your honest reading of the Bible then you concur with this series and disagree with the Bible.
So here goes:
Slavery. I am not going to enumerate the Biblical teachings assuming slavery and its instructions on how to deal with slaves. I will simply note that it took many Christians 19 centuries to change their mind, highlighting that slavery is a biblical teaching.
Usury. Again, Christians took nearly two millennia to abandon the biblical teaching against usury.
Wives being subject to husbands. There are still plenty of Christians who hold and strongly teach that the Bible is absolutely clear that a wife should be subject to her husband. If you do not think that is how it should be, if you are comfortable with “obey” being absent from the wife’s marriage vows, you are disagreeing with the Bible.
Marriage after divorce. Many (most?) Christians still hold to the Biblical position that marriage is for life. Full stop. Others disagree with the Bible and allow for marriage after divorce.
It appears pretty clear that Jesus and St Paul thought Adam and Eve are historical people. Some of Paul’s soteriology (how we are redeemed) unravels if they are not. If you question the historicity of Adam and Eve, you are joining those who disagree with the Bible.
Women speaking in church.
Teachings around women and menstruation. This came up in discussions around the movie, Disobedience. The Hebrew Bible’s commandments around not having sex for about half the month form part of the laws of niddah. They are adjacent to the laws that some know by heart against homosexual acts. Fascinatingly, many people have never read beyond that verse they quote so well. They have not read the context to find that it condemns what they themselves regularly do. Bringing up the details of that context usually leads to disgust, and protests about the privacy and irrelevancy of what they do in their own bedrooms!
Stoning to death for a number of offences. Requiring a woman to marry her rapist.
That’s enough for a start.