Today, most Christian theologians will say that the Bible should not be interpreted literally as many fundamentalists do, but allegorically, with emphasis on morals and parables. That’s fine for the enlightened scholar, but this is certainly not how the Bible is taught. Throughout my first 8 years of Catholic school, the Bible was indeed taught very literally, and what I noticed very early on was the copious contractions to be found.
I can affirm that these many inconsistencies, coupled with the fact that they were ridiculous and taught as fact, led me headlong towards atheism and science, where I now firmly reside. Atheists such as myself may be quick to point out to the literal believer these inconsistencies, but because most of us don’t carry around Bibles or memorize enough of it as to make our points absolutely clear, I think it is more useful as a visual.
Even if you’re a believer, it is still valuable to understand your own holy book. And upon deep inspection, contradictions will prevent a modern, literal understanding, as it contradicts modern morals and concepts of deities.
Before continuing, I should make clear that most respected Christian theologians do not take the more serious contradictions literally.
The graphic below is a creation of Project Reason, a non-profit promoting science and secular values in society, created by author Sam Harris.
The graphic is absolutely huge, so feel free to download it to view all its contradictory goodness in great detail. You can download a poster-sized version here.