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Old 02-16-2001, 06:53 AM   #1
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Post Contradiction help

The following attempt has been made by several Christians to reconcile what I believe is a contradiction. It seems clear to me that it is a contradiction and that their argument is silly. (maybe I'm missing something? ) I would like input from both sides in this forum. If you are supporting the argument that is being put forth, please show your proof, not your speculation. Thanks, Big d

What is the King of Gath’s Name? Abimelech or Achish?

In I Samuel 21:10 when David was fleeing from Saul, he went to Achish, king of Gath. But at the beginning of Psalm 34, and referring to the same event in I Samuel, the king’s name is Abimelech.

The Christian I am debating this says:

There is no contradiction. In I Samuel 21, Achish is the king’s personal name. In Psalm 34, Abimelech is his title of royalty, just like the Pharoah of Egypt. Pharoah was the title of the ruler of Egypt, but not his personal name. "Achish" is king’s name. And "Abimelech" is general name for Philistine's king. Like "Pharaoh" is general name for Egyptian kings.

My response to him (and his advisor)is :
your explanation is incorrect, which is proved by the following verses in your Bible. You see, the name Abimelech is just that, a name. It is not a title! If it were, you would be saying “King, the King of Gerar” or Pharoh the Pharoh of Egypt”, but that is not the case! His name is Abimelech and he was the king, attested to by your Bible itself.

Gen 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She [is] my sister: and Abimelech, king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.

Gen 26:1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.


Gen 26:8 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac [was] sporting with Rebekah his wife.


Jdg 9:6 And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that [was] in Shechem.

Jdg 9:16 Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands;

Jdg 9:18 And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he [is] your brother
Jdg 9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

 
Old 02-16-2001, 07:43 AM   #2
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Why are you even bothering with a contradiction like the King of Gath?
That's a minor one! Go for the biggies, like God's promise not to kill kids for father's sins (Ez 18:20) and his penchant for collective punishment, or killing David's baby to punish David, or killing the first-born of Egypt.

Michael
 
Old 02-16-2001, 07:55 AM   #3
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First, it seems clear and simple, and second, the killing and brutality seems to not affect them at all! The absurdities don't seemt to bother them either: such as putting sacrificial animal blood on the ears and big toes of priests, and cutting off a woman's hand because she grabbed her husband's attacker by the testicles as she was helping her husband fend him off (and you are not even allowed to feel sorry for her!)
 
Old 02-16-2001, 09:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by big d:
First, it seems clear and simple, and second, the killing and brutality seems to not affect them at all! The absurdities don't seemt to bother them either: such as putting sacrificial animal blood on the ears and big toes of priests, and cutting off a woman's hand because she grabbed her husband's attacker by the testicles as she was helping her husband fend him off (and you are not even allowed to feel sorry for her!)</font>
In my many debates with christians that deal with contradictions, you will find, as I have that they will use the "Any-story-to-explain-away-the-contradiction" argument. Meaning if they can make it up and it sounds reasonable, the contradiction vanishes.

I remember the argument we had about How Judas died, by his falling and his bowls gushing or hanging himself. I just had to scratch my head at the stuff they made up. "He hanged himself near the edge of a cliff, and when the rope broke he landed on some rocks..."

It is really frustrating at times...

 
Old 02-16-2001, 10:56 AM   #5
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Remember, that to a fundie, the JC Bible is factually true. There are no real contradictions, only apparent contradictions.

Contradictions are not really the issue. Empirical experiments often appear to contradict each other, and scientists have to revise their ontology (or discard it completely) to accomodate the experiments. Existence of apparent contradiction is not a particularly good criterion for judging an epistemological system.

Biblical interpretation is considered a valid epistemological method to gain knowledge, which leads to two important crises of biblical epistemology: Lack of consistency and lack of predictive value.

From the evidence of a gazilion christian sects, there are a wide variety of mutually contradictory ontological interpretations of the JC Bible. Even after more than two millenia, and a millenium of total political and scholastic domination of human thought, biblical christianity has not converged on a single ontological interpretation. Contrast this behavior with that of science, which usually shows ontological convergence on a timescale of merely years or decades.

It has been shown time and again that one cannot interpret the bible to make empirically verifiable predictions about the future. Every supposed "agreement" between the bible and science has been interpreted into the bible after the discovery of the scientific principle. Every time the predictive interpretion of the JC Bible has disagreed with scientific predictions, the scientific prediction has proven accurate.
 
Old 02-16-2001, 11:19 AM   #6
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This particular contradiction is fairly easy to work around. It was somewhat common for people to adopt the name of previous leaders; IE, there were four Herods, two of whom were referenced in the bible. The three Herods after the first took the name Herod in a titular fashion: Herod Agrippa, Herod Antipodes, and I don't remember the other. So, it's quite in the realm of possiblity for the ruler to have been named Abimelech Achish, with either name referring to the same person.

I certainly can't verify the truth of this, but it's simple, and probably unverifiable, which counts as fact to most Christians.
 
Old 02-16-2001, 11:49 AM   #7
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[quote]
There is no contradiction. In I Samuel 21, Achish is the king’s personal name. In Psalm 34, Abimelech is his title of royalty, just like the Pharoah of Egypt. Pharoah was the title of the ruler of Egypt, but not his personal name. "Achish" is king’s name. And "Abimelech" is general name for Philistine's king. Like "Pharaoh" is general name for Egyptian kings.
[quote]


First of all, if he is the one asserting that "Abimelech" is the royal title, then that's something he needs to prove. The christian is the one making the assertion here; make HIM do the work to substantiate it.

The straightforward context of the verse indicates that it is a personal name. If he wants to postulate something different, then he needs to provide evidence that his new, alnterative explanation is plausible. Ask him to provide a list of other kings of Gath who used this same "Abimelech" as their title. He won't be able to.

Secondly, you can look this name up in any bible dictionary. It's a composite of "Abu", father and "Molech", a Canaanite deity. That construction indicates a personal name, not a royal title.

 
Old 02-16-2001, 11:54 AM   #8
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Additionally, this query at the Bible Gateway shows that the name "Abimelech" was quite common in that area. Multiple different individuals had that name as their first name.

http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?sea...nguage=english
 
Old 02-16-2001, 01:00 PM   #9
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I'm not very familiar with this "contradiction" and will look into it further.

However, right off the bat I know that "Abimelech" means "My father is a king".

"Ab" or "Av" in Hebrew means "father". The "i" would be the suffix meaning "my". "melech" or "melek" means "king". The present tense of "to be" is understood in Hebrew.

Was it a common title for kings similar to the way "Herod" and "Caesar" were used? I'm not sure yet, but it seems very plausible to me.

Also, names really meant something back then. That's why you have name changes happening so often. Abram - Abraham, Jacob - Israel, Simon - Peter/Cephas...

The proposal seems highly likely.

Ish
 
Old 02-16-2001, 01:17 PM   #10
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Daemon, their argument is not that different people took the same name (as in the Herod's) but that Abimelech was not a name but a title(I disagree) and they have not responded to my request to provide any proof, even Dr Younce. See http://www.dryounce.com
 
 

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