I’ve talked about the Bible before. I think it’s great. There’s a lot of greatness that was even left out. However, there are also a few stories that have some serious holes in them that none of us have ever questioned, even though these are stories that have been told to little kids as an introduction to the Bible that end up shaping their entire worldview.
First, let’s lay some ground rules here. I think we can all agree that the Bible was written by a group of people who, at the time, were pretty uneducated, ignorant (when it comes to knowing what we know now), and were just simply trying to come up with explanations as to how things got to be the way they were at the time. This was a society that was male-dominant and with the maturity level of 8-year-olds. But, for the most part, the stories and accounts in the Bible are pretty fool-proof if you suspend disbelief enough to accept an extraordinarily high amount of circumstantial miracles (I feel like some of you are starting to turn on me here). But hear me out. I’ve taken four of the most famous stories out of the Bible and I simply have some questions.
4. Daniel and the Lion’s Den
The passage: Daniel 6:1-23
Daniel was a good guy, but he pissed off the king and got thrown into a den of lions in hopes that he’d get mauled to death because old civilizations were super inhumane like that.
The plot hole: Where did the lions come from?
This was the Persian Empire, which covered what is basically the entire Middle East. Lions aren’t found in the Middle East (or maybe they used to be, the Bible isn’t the go-to source for zoological information). I can understand maybe bringing back a lion or two from some weird random African conquest, but a “den of lions” conjures up images of at least 3 or more (probably more than 10 if it was a full pride). Unless the Persians were just sadistic, fearless, soulless people (maybe they were, I didn’t bother to research it), then they wouldn’t have brought back a gaggle of lions just to throw them in a cave to torture people with.
3. Abraham and Isaac
The passage: Genesis 22:2-14
Abraham goes with Isaac out in the middle of nowhere to sacrifice some stuff to God because that’s how you made Him happy back then. Usually it was a lamb or something cute you could bludgeon to death. When they got to the alter, Isaac asks where the sacrifice is. Then, probably like some weird horror movie, Abraham says the sacrifice will be here soon (probably as he was trembling and crying all creepy like). Next thing we know, Isaac is strapped to the alter like some weird BDSM dungeon and Abraham is about to kill him before an angel of the Lord stops him and provides a ram.
The plot hole: Why didn’t Isaac question any of this?
Isaac at this point is still a kid. Whether he’s a little kid who just asks questions about EVERYTHING because kids are curious, or if he’s a teenager who asks questions because they think adults are stupid, I find it strange that the only thing he asks about is where the offering is. Did he not put up a fight? At what point in the strapping down would he not go “Hey, whoa, how about not?” I feel like if my dad had strapped me to an alter, I’d be a little freaked out and definitely be asking a lot of questions.
2. Cain and Abel
The passage: Genesis 4:8-15
Cain killed his brother Abel because God liked Abel’s blood offering more than Cain’s vegetable one. Now, as some context, the only people on the planet at this point are Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel. Eventually they had sisters that they banged and had kids with (incest FTW). The point of interest though is that in verse 14, Cain begins to fear for his life because he was exiled by God to wander the wilderness for the rest of his life, and he thinks that whoever finds him will kill him.
The plot hole: Who was Cain afraid of?
If Cain and his family are the only people on the planet, who was going to find him? Did Adam and Eve have some other kids that got banished? Were there Neanderthals? Or were there already other people on the earth, but Moses (who wrote these stories) just crafted it to make it seem like Adam and Eve were the first/only people on earth?
1. Noah’s Ark
The passage: Genesis 5:32-10:1
Noah was a cool guy, and God liked him. However, God basically hated everyone else because they were just generally terrible people. So, God told Noah to build an ark, blah blah blah, you know the story. Trying to fathom how two animals of every species miraculously made it to the ark is a discussion for another time. The ending of the story is the bigger issue, though, because the story implies that Noah’s family was the only group of people who survived the flood, making them the only people left alive on the planet, meaning they had to do the whole Adam & Eve reproduction stuff again.
The plot hole: Noah’s boat surely wasn’t the only boat.
So we’re all just supposed to believe that Noah invented the boat? Or that the ark was the only boat in existence at the time? At the time of this story, the population had grown and spread out across the globe. So even if it was a global flood, you have to believe that, at the very least, you had communities situated along rivers and coastlines that had boats and other watercraft because their lives were pretty dependent on it. And it’s not like the world just immediately became flooded, it rained for a long time, so people had time to realize something was up and get in their boats.
Are you questioning everything you ever learned yet? Welcome to my brain.