Bible Contradictions #43: Does sacrificing an animal take away sins?

Bible contradictions 43

Animal sacrifices are widespread in the bible, dating all the way back to when god ordered Adam and Eve to kill an animal to make the first leopard print pimp suit and hooker pants. Sometimes it’s done out of sheer religious idiocy, as if god really gets pleasure from the flesh of dead animals. Sometimes animals are slaughtered merely to test god, in some macho my-god-is-bigger-than-your-god challenge. Other times bible figures sliced the necks of animals because they actually believed doing so would cleanse them of their sins. Even biblically this is stupid, because all cases of animal sacrifice for atonement take place in the Old Testament, before atonement actually meant anything. Death is death in the OT. It wasn’t until Jesus’ time that atonement made death something else. But when we look to the OT, what does it actually say about animal sacrifice?

Sometimes slaughtering an animal takes your sins away, as we can see in Leviticus 4:20, 26, 31, 35Leviticus 5:10, 16, 18Leviticus 17:11Numbers 15:27-28, and Numbers 29:5.

But then the New Testament comes along, and Paul (or some other unnamed author) called all the Hebrews idiots for doing what the bible tells them to do. In Hebrews 10:4, 11 Paul is quite reasonable when he says “it is impossible” for animal sacrifices to have any impact on your soul. This is one of the few times I agree with Paul.

About Rayan Zehn

I'm a political scientist.
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55 Responses to Bible Contradictions #43: Does sacrificing an animal take away sins?

  1. The scripture quotes here are only contradictions to people who don’t understand the Bible.

    The Bible is big story that gets completely by Christ.

    Without understanding the plot, the object of the game or the characters, the atheist picks up the Bible and is completely lost.

    • Roger Wilco | humanisthuman says:

      Hey som,

      Let’s have a look at a definition of bigot.

      a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

      Soooo… Well, you know.

    • carmelitaspats666 says:

      Thank you, Captain Obvious: Without understanding the plot, the object of the game, or the characters, the non-Mormon or the illiterate Mormon picks up the Book of Mormon and is completely lost. We can also insert the Popul-Vuh, Koran or any other text and uninformed reader….Fifty Shades of Grey? The Bible is a pathetic library, a compendium of nonsense, that needs to undergo what librarians call the MUSTY method when weeding a collection. They remove the Misleading, the Ugly (books that are moldy, damaged, sexist, racist, etc.), the Superseded, the Trivial (most of the Bible) and those that You can’t justify in the curriculum. The MUSTY method would give us a pamphlet of a Bible….kinda like Thomas Jefferson’s Bible. Glory!

      • Carmel,

        As usual you are employing the atheist favorite logical fallacy of comparing apples and oranges.

        There is no comparison between the Bible and the Book of Mormon or between God and Zeus or the Tooth Fairy.

        The Bible is part of a 2500 year old tradition called the Western Heritage. It is recognized as one of the Great Books of Western Civilization.

        Your comment disparaging the Bible is actually an expression of atheist barbarism, a return to pre-civilization, in fact a return to the trees.

      • Roger Wilco | humanisthuman says:


        You’re so predictable; so repetitious; so wrong.

        Western Heritage is a 1948 American Western directed by Wallace Grissell. The film is a Tim Holt B Western about land robbers and forgers in the southwest.

        Hmmm, a B movie. How suitable.

      • Roger,

        Reducing our 2500 years of Western Heritage to a Hollywood film is typically atheist.

        Here is a list of the Great Books of Western Civilization.

        You will notice a great many works from Aristotle and Plato among other ancient Greeks and you will notice Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas who base their works on the Bible.

        My comments are based on the primary source material from those giants.

        And all the atheist has for primary source material is a long forgotten nobody called Wallace Grissell.

      • Roger Wilco | humanisthuman says:

        A I said, predictable. Still, you’re making stuff up as you go.

      • Roger,

        Me citing the great philosophers of Western Civilization isn’t making things up as I go.

        It is the atheist who makes things up as he goes because he’s lost in time and space and has only his own biased mind as company.

      • Roger Wilco | humanisthuman says:

        Jesus christ, som, you can’t possibly be that dense, can you? You citing a list of philosophers does nothing, except create a list of names. It demonstrates nothing, except a list of names.

        Can you count higher than 21?

      • Roger,

        I am citing true authorities as the primary sources for my arguments.

        That’s the way educated people do it.

        The atheist must reject scholarly methods in order to believe the atheist horror show.

      • Roger Wilco | humanisthuman says:

        Definition of bigot.

        a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

      • Roger,

        Discriminating against stupid doesn’t make me a bigot.

        It makes me human.

      • Roger Wilco | humanisthuman says:

        Definition of bigot.

        a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

      • Cerberus says:


        You always state that we compare apples and oranges, yet you’re left with no ability to compare either .

        “There is no comparison the bible, the Book of Mormon, god, zeus or the tooth fairy.”

        Your right! There all fairy tales.

      • Cerberus,

        My comments are not comparisons.

        Basically they are just statements of self-evident truths that are part of our Western Heritage.

        The truth is incomparable.

        The atheist obsession with comparing self-evident truths with nonsense is why atheists are atheists.

        If I had so much nonsense filling up my head, I’d be atheist too.

        Nevertheless, the ability to reason and understand self-evident truths cures the human being of atheism.

      • Cerberus says:

        I know they aren’t comparisons because they are one in the same…stories. And nothing more. So, if you will, show us all how your musings are so self-evident. I’m sure there’s no “evidence” that you’ll ever have. Well, perhaps if you’ve made it up, which is what you’re doing.

        And a person that denies complete truth for the protection of a book of men, has been shown as the liar he obviously is.

        You do have lots of nonsense raped within your warped head, silence. And it’s called, Christianity. Perhaps one day you’ll seek truth and cure yourself from it’s effects one day.

        Thanks for the reply, fellow Atheist. Hahahahaha!

    • Cerberus says:

      SOM, quote:
      The scripture quotes here are only contradictions to people who don’t understand the bible”

      Oh, so since you’re such a nice atheist now, then perhaps that’s why you’ll never understand it, and are completely lost. Right?

      • Cerberus,

        The Bible has a story to tell.

        It is the story of God’s plan of salvation for mankind.

        One of the keys to understanding the Bible is understanding the concept of “types.”

        Types are like echoes.

        The blood sacrifices of the Old Testament are types of the One True Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

        That is why Jesus is often referred to as the “Lamb of God.”

        The Passover in fact, is a type for the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ.

        Moses is a type for Jesus.

        Understanding the concept of biblical “types” unlocks the riches of the story that is told by the Bible.

      • Cerberus says:


        I know the stories contained within it, but where you fail to recognize is the fact that a lot of atheist were once Christians too. I already know Catholicism because my family are all catholic. So spare me you gibberish.

      • Cerb,

        If you really knew Catholicism you wouldn’t be an atheist.

        I was raised Catholic and left the Church for almost 30 years.

        So growing up in a Catholic household imparts zero authority or special access to Catholic doctrine or special understanding to Catholicism itself.

      • Cerberus says:

        I doubt that you were ever an atheist, silence. It take some years people for to deprogram themselves. And in your case, you’ve never even tried.

        So yes, silence, being exposed as in infancy and progressing through your teens will lock that bullshit into your numbed head.

        You don’t have any children, do you? I know you don’t, cause if you’d had any you’d already would’ve known this. And there wouldn’t be having this debate.

        You know nothing.

      • Cerberus says:

        Pardon for that post

      • Cerberus says:

        I apologize for the earlier post as I have a very busy schedule to keep, so I’ll redo my reply to silence.

        Cerberus quote:
        I doubt if you were ever an atheist, silence. T takes some years for people to deprogram themselves, and in your case, you’ve never even tried.

        So yes, silence. Being exposed in infancy and progressing through your teens will lock that bullshit into your numbed.

        You don’t have any children, do you? I know you don’t, because if you’d really had any you already would’ve known this. And we wouldn’t be having this debate.

        You know nothing.
        End quote.

      • Cerb,

        Sorry, but you don’t get to tell me what I experienced.

        By the time I was 18 I had totally rejected Christianity.

        In fact, I spent 10 years as a devout Hindu and of those 10 years I spent 4 as a monk in an ashram having taken vows to poverty, chastity and obedience.

        Talk about brainwashing…

        And still it can be overcome because the human spirit is indomitable.

      • Cerberus says:

        Boy I am tired. I screwed that one up too. Oh well. I’m going to bed. Later

      • Cerberus says:

        No. I will not tell you what you’ve experienced because I already know that most of what you say is absolute bullshit anyway. So, what you say won’t mean shit.

        That aside, if you were a Hindu, and a practicing monk, then you were adhering to a brainwashed cult. Atheism has no doctrine, no dogma, nor even creed to speak of. You are without gods. So I do not except, but reject, all impossible gods… Without exception.

        Unless you will prove it…. Otherwise, the book you’ve been reading is your god…

        …And an empty one.

        I knew you were always a theist. 🙂

      • Cerb,

        What I say about religion comes not from me but from the Catholic Church. You may disagree with the Church, but it is an expert on its own religion.

        And most of what I say about philosophy and politics doesn’t come from me either. It comes from such greats as Aristotle, Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Founding Fathers.

        Calling such teachings and teachers “bullshit” is characteristic of the malignant ignorance that infects the atheist mind.

      • Cerberus says:

        Lying for your gospel once more, are we?

        I believe if you would care to look it up you’d find that the Catholic Church’ position is one that it excepts science, and not the bullshit you’re peddling.

        Wow! Talk about malignant ignorance! Hahahaha!

        Yup, it sure has infected your atheist mind! Hahahahaha!

      • Cerb,

        My comments concerning Christianity are expressions of the teachings of the Catholic Church.

        So your last comment is an example of you, in your own words, arguing with yourself and losing.

        Atheists do that a lot it seems.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Because the Catholic church has a monopoly on knowledge and authority.

      • Zehn,

        Yes, absolutely.

        The Catholic Church has the authority to define itself and its teachings.

        You atheists are just going to have to learn how to deal with that.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        That’s funny because Islam says the exact same thing. Why should I listen to one over the other?

      • Zehn,

        Yes, absolutely.

        The Muslims have the authority to define themselves and their teachings.

        Since each person has authority over themselves, each person has the authority to define themselves and what they believe.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        I think I might’ve come into the butt end of a conversation, and I might’ve missed some stuff. Gmail upgraded my account, and now I only see the most recent comment in my messages unless I log into the blog directly. So my comments are misplaced. I thought you were still talking to me from earlier. I see now you were talking to Cerberus. My mistake. Ignore my last two comments.

  2. andy rhea says:

    You’re quoting commandments from the old covenant of the sacrificial system and then contrasting it with the teachings of Paul post resurrection? For anyone who has actually read the Bible to comprehend it, how could this be viewed as a contradiction?

    Since the death and resurrection of Jesus fulfilled the demands of the sacrificial system, animal sacrifices were no longer necessary for people in Paul’s day. Zero contradiction there.

    • Rayan Zehn says:

      I can’t tell if you read my post or not, or just the image. In any case, I implicitly stated that the contradiction was between the Jews’ practice from the OT and the book of Hebrews. Actually, it might be closer to an explicit statement, but you catch my drift.

      • andy rhea says:

        I did read you post and I don’t even see an implied contradiction. The letter to the Hebrews was written precisely because there is no contradiction here. Jesus fulfilled the sacrificial system once and for all with his death — meaning that the sacrificial system is done.

        So before Jesus, animal sacrifice was required as atonement for one’s sins, and after Jesus, no further sacrifice is needed because he was the ultimate sacrifice. You’d have to stretch way past logical limitations to call this a contradiction.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Then why leave it in the bible? If we are to disregard the teachings that are no longer applicable, why leave them in? Leaving them in fulfills the precise definition of ‘contradiction.’

      • andy rhea says:

        I’m not sure what definition of “contradiction” you’re working with, but Merriam Webster defines it this way: “the act of saying something that is opposite or very different in meaning to something else.”

        If an event occurs that fulfills an old requirement, how could you even claim that it’s a contradiction? I don’t even see how you could imply such a thing. Yes, the 2 systems are different, but they certainly aren’t opposed to one another.

        For someone who has 43 Bible “contradictions” and counting, I think you should probably have a stronger grip on what a contradiction even is.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Do I really have to repeat myself? Sigh. The contradiction rests on the assumption that one of these positions is the correct one. There are two propositions — the Jewish one and the Christian one. Both yield different conclusions about the same idea, which are “opposite or very different.” That is a contradiction. You (I’m assuming you’re Christian, but I might be wrong) don’t hold a monopoly on reality. Jewish people exist too, and their book, absorbed by Christianity, has a very different idea than you have. Two positions. Two opposite conclusions. Contradiction. Get it?

      • andy rhea says:

        The Christian proposition isn’t separate from — or opposite of — the Jewish proposition. The Jewish system is part of the Christian system. That’s exactly why there is no contradiction. One doesn’t oppose the other. The Christian view is the completion of the Jewish one.

        A contradiction would involve to opposing conclusions within the same worldview. The Jewish worldview has one conclusion and the Christian worldview has another. Since these worldviews are not the same, there is no contradiction.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Classic. I’m screen capping this one for future use. The students will get a kick out of it. Thanks! 🙂

      • andy rhea says:

        If they were informal logic students then they really would get a kick out of just how far your conclusion falls short of your premises. It seems that you still haven’t understood that there’s not even an implicit contradiction between the old covenant and the new one.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Ok. Whatever you say. I’ve tried to explain to you how this is a contradiction, but you insist on using bigoted remarks against Jews as not being “complete” in order to make your case. I think the students will get a kick out of that. Jews certainly don’t think they’re incomplete.

      • andy rhea says:

        I think that my worldview is the correct one (don’t we all?). If we’re all bigots in that respect, then I suppose we’re all bigots. However, that’s beside the point; either your alleged contradiction has conflicting premises in it within a certain worldview (which would validate your assertion) or they don’t. I’m not going to beat this dead horse much longer, but I have to tell you — they don’t.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree. My position: the bible says one thing and then Jesus contradicts it. Your position: Jesus’ death fulfilled by proxy the Jewish practice, thus negating it. I think we can both agree on one thing though. Animal sacrifice is idiotic. It’s a shame that Paul practiced it even after condemning it (strangely, in the following verses he condemns it and then slaughters an animal anyway):

      • andy rhea says:

        First off, a “completion” and a “negation” are very different from each other — so you did not represent my position accurately.

        Secondly, I would recommend Romans 14 for a more proper understanding of what you’re reading in Acts 21. At the time of Acts 21, Paul was being accused with the same misunderstanding that you’re assigning to the Bible — that the new covenant was in contradiction with — or opposition to — the old. A report had been circulated widely that Paul was teaching that Jews, especially those who lived in Gentile lands, should “forsake,” (apostasia – cf. “apostasy”) Moses and the entire Old Testament economy. They apparently had concluded that Paul opposed any sort of connection with the Hebrew system, which was not true. As a matter of fact, Paul circumcised Timothy in order to prevent offense to the Jews (Acts 16:3). Paul had not opposed observing certain elements of the law — provided the intent was not to seek justification on that basis.

        But here’s the main point: in the passage you mentioned (Acts 21), the animal sacrifice was for a vow (probably a Nazarite vow) that some Hebrew men were making before God. This was NOT an atoning sacrifice. In Hebrews, Paul says “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins,” which in no way contradicts what he does in Acts 21. A ceremonial vow sacrifice and an atoning sacrifice have very different meanings behind them. You can check out Leviticus for more on all the different sacrifices that the Jewish people participated in and their meanings.

        Lastly, our difference in biblical perspective is not a matter or arbitrary opinion. I think that you are wrong because you are misunderstanding the context of these passages. For Paul to oppose atoning sacrifices yet show support behind a traditional covenant or vow before God are two entirely different things. Your assertion that this is a contradiction is wrong.

      • andy rhea says:

        In addition, the Bible is a history of how the Jewish faith was fulfilled through Jesus. So the previously applicable, now fulfilled sacrificial system is very important to understanding atonement in general. That’s why it’s in the Bible.

    • Roger Wilco | humanisthuman says:

      Sanctum mauris!

      It never ocurred to me to just ignore all the evil of god.

      Numbers 31:15-18

      {31:15} And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
      {31:16} Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
      {31:17} Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
      {31:18} But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

      1 Samuel 18:25

      {18:25} And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

      Deuteronomy 25:11-12

      {25:11} When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: {25:12} Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity [her.]

  3. Pingback: Bible Contradictions #43: Does sacrificing an animal take away sins? | Christians Anonymous

  4. Cerberus says:


    My comments concerning Christianity are expressions of the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

    So then, Si. Are you then saying that they’ve somehow lied? Really?

    That is there position if you’d even care to look it up. I even know some priests that would call you a liar.

    So it seems that it is you that has been in denial, and you who’s been in an argument with himself. You provide no proof for your own position, no logic for the existence of your imaginary god that others in the past invented. So show us the evidence… Or can you?

  5. Nvd says:

    The blood of Bulls and goats COULD never set a person FREE from sin. the person would sin those sins over and over. (Unintentionally)
    Yahweh’s sacrifice TAKES away the sins of the world. John 1:29 – This scripture is literal. A soul THEN can be CLEANSED from addictions, sins, etc. MADE FREE from sin.

    May Yahweh grant you your hearts desires. Bless you.

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