Bible Contradictions #49: How high were Solomon’s capitals?

Bible contradictions 49

During the siege of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar II’s army destroyed Solomon’s temple. For whatever reason the bible waited until this late in the game to take stock of the temple’s inventory. While Neby’s soldiers were carrying off their plunder, both 2 Kings and Jeremiah describe what was lost. Two of these items were pillars adorned with capitals (also known as chapiters in the KJV and others) (I generally use the Catholic bible for my contradictions). Both books describe the height of the capitals, but there is a fundamental problem: Neither book can agree on how high the capitals were.

First in 2 Kings 25:17 we learn the capitals are three cubits high (4.5 feet, ~1.4 meters).

But then in Jeremiah 52:22 the capitals swell to five cubits (7.5 feet, ~2.3 meters).

What I find most interesting about this contradiction is Jeremiah was written first, around 600 BC. 1 and 2 Kings were originally a single book, written around 550 BC. In this case the capitals didn’t actually swell in Jeremiah; they shrunk in 2 Kings!!

The generally accepted apologist explanation for this contradiction is that the numbers were accidentally changed by copyist error. I’ve mentioned this before: Many Christians put a lot — A LOT — of stock into a book they know is the product of thousands upon thousands of copyist mistakes. Even if I were to wake up one day believing in god,* it could never be the god of Abraham. His works are too plagued by human error.

*ME?!! Believing in god?! Don’t count on it.

About Rayan Zehn

I'm a political scientist.
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42 Responses to Bible Contradictions #49: How high were Solomon’s capitals?

  1. The problem with the atheist analysis of the past is that it is done through the lens of modern times.

    That an ancient text would have the measurements of a great temple off by two cubits is to be expected.

    The atheists need to imagine a world where engineering blue prints and precision measuring equipment were either nonexistent or closely guarded secrets of the ruling elite.

    It wasn’t until the development of Christian Western Civilization that precision measurement were made available to the common man.

    • Rayan Zehn says:

      What I read: “One of these is right and conforms to modern measurements. The other is wrong and doesn’t. Both were written thousands of years ago.”

      Do you really not see the contradiction?

      Also read my post. I mention the apologetic responses.

      • Rayan,

        There is a segment of modern engineering and manufacturing called “quality control.”

        That ancients didn’t have quality control anywhere near the level we have now.

        You are applying modern quality control standards to a world, long, long ago and far, far away.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Um… You’re saying a book written in a world long, long ago and far, far away is still relevant.

        It’s… it’s really not. Hence Rayan Zehn’s Bible Contradictions!

      • Rayan,

        The Bible isn’t a tome on quality control.

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

        Therefore, your efforts here are yet another attempt by the atheist at redefining something that is already defined.

      • albinogoth says:

        If it were actually the story of God’s plan for salvation, then it wouldn’t bother with random measurements. It also wouldn’t bother itself with excruciating detail on the proper tassels or methods to kill animals. It also wouldn’t support slavery, genocide, and brain washing.

        Gee, it’s almost as if it were written by bigoted Bronze Age nationalistic homophobes than inspired by a god who loves everyone!

      • Goth,

        The atheist doesn’t get to tell God how he is to convey his own story.

        The Bible is what it is and it defines itself.

      • albinogoth says:

        Right. So your god decides to make his story if love look like a book of borrowed myths and genocidal wars?

      • Goth,

        I just told you that the atheist doesn’t get to define God’s story and you went ahead and defined it as myths and genocidal wars.

        Hallucinating an alternative reality is the way you could come up with such an errant description.

      • albinogoth says:

        Actually I can say what if looks like. If your god has a problem, he can tell me directly.

        The ‘theist’ doesn’t get to dictate what the bible is. If you want to show how it’s not myth, you might want to show evidence instead of hiding from the facts of the bible.

      • Goth,

        What you say is absolutely worthless if it contradicts reality.

        Atheists don’t understand that.

        You people think you can redefine reality anytime it demonstrates that atheism just doesn’t work.

      • albinogoth says:

        “What you say is absolutely worthless if it contradicts reality.”

        That goes for you too. We see, in reality, women who are leaders and women who are spiritual leaders. It’s possible, so it’s not against the laws of nature. You are claiming it’s wrong. That’s proscriptive. You need to give a reason, and you can’t just say ‘it’s obvious’. It’s obvious the sun rises, but we know it doesn’t. The earth revolves. ‘Obvious’ is worthless.

        Reality on the other hand is descriptive. Men don’t have the ability to give birth. Impossible. That’s descriptive. No one goes around saying men shouldn’t give birth.

        That is to say, you have no idea what the difference between ‘is’ and ‘ought’, between descriptive and proscriptive laws. The two have nothing to do with each other.

      • Goth,

        In reality, women cannot be men and men cannot be women.

      • albinogoth says:

        No one is suggesting that. As I pointed out, being in the priesthood is not analogous to giving birth. If you want to show how it can only be men, you have to give some evidence. You haven’t, but I have.

        Tradition and proscriptions are not evidence of what a man or woman is.

      • Goth,

        But you are suggesting that men can be women and women can be men by insisting on a female priesthood.

        The Catholic Church views all created things as having a particular, definable nature which was given to them by God.

        Postmodern man views the nature of all created things as simply a matter of opinion.

        So in your opinion, women can be Catholic priests when by nature they cannot, just as by nature, a man cannot have babies.

      • albinogoth says:

        No, I’m not claiming that. I’m pointing out there is nothing inherently male about the priesthood outside of tradition and bigotry.

        If you can show why it is necessarily male, then you will have a point. Merely saying it has to be male is not showing evidence. You know this.

      • Goth,

        By claiming that “there is nothing inherently male about the priesthood outside of tradition and bigotry,” you are defining human nature according to your own personal opinion exactly how I said you would.

        Goth doesn’t get to define human nature since human nature is already defined.

        That you don’t believe like the Catholic Church believes does not make them bigots.

      • albinogoth says:

        Actually belief that someone can’t do something only based on gender, not physical ability of their sex or the individual IS bigotry, wether or not it is a belief.

        Your church has decided to exclude women due to tradition. Not by nature, not by actual ability, but just because you think god doesn’t want women to lead.

        If it’s your tradition and dogma, just own up to it. But don’t say it’s the nature of things. Other religions and Christians have shown that women can be spiritual leaders. You have not shown how they can’t. Only that it’s not part of your tradition.

        And that’s the point. I don’t care if your church let’s women ordain or no. But it’s not because they can’t by nature. It’s because they can’t by tradition and only tradition.

      • Goth,

        Is it bigotry to claim that men cannot have babies?

        Of course not.

        Likewise it is not bigotry to claim that the male was designed by God to celebrate the Mass and administer the sacraments.

        It’s what men do. It’s what men have always done because by nature.

      • albinogoth says:

        One is a physical limitation. The other is an arbitrary designation. If someone’s god said races can’t intermarry, they’ll make the same asinine argument you are making. Oh wait, they already have and a small group of them still do.

        And yet nothing about race prevents inter-racial marriage and nothing about not having a dick prevents someone from celebrating mass or doing other church work.

      • Goth,

        A natural attribute is not an arbitrary designation.

      • albinogoth says:

        You cannot show natural attribution.

        For men not being pregnant, we can show why. Men do not have a womb.

        What do men have or women lack that allows or prevents them from being a religious head?

        Remember, it has to be a natural attribution for it to work! Remember, if it’s obvious, you could point it out easily! Just like we can point to the lack of a womb for men as the reason they cannot give birth. Since it seems obvious to you, this should be easy.

      • Goth,

        An you cannot show that it is not natural attribution.

        That means you are holding others to a standard that you, yourself, cannot meet.

      • albinogoth says:

        Answer the question. What natural attribution prevents a women from being a religious leader?

        Let’s make this grade school level for you:

        Men don’t have a womb thus they can’t be pregnant.
        Women don’t have X thus they can’t perform mass.

        What is X?

      • Goth,

        There is much more to gender than one sexual organ.

        There is an entire biochemistry, determined by genetic information, that determines gender.

        Gender, male and female is basic to the formation of the human person.

        So reducing the female to her uterus as you have done is extremely demeaning.

        But demeaning the human person is characteristic of all atheists beliefs concerning the human being.

        From abortion, to gender identity, to global warming to ObamaCare, atheism is a hoax based on hoax upon other hoaxes.

      • albinogoth says:

        And yet, through all this you cannot tell what natural attributes prevent a woman from performing mass.

        Instead you lash out on random unrelated topics because you know you have no position.

        You still have no clue why… You just assert it must be. Because… Biochemistry? What about that prevents performing religious functions? Stop flailing and give specifics.

      • Goth,

        The Mass is a supernatural event, not a natural event.

        Consequently, Catholicism is a matter of divine revelation and that makes it unapproachable and thus, unknowable to atheists who deny spirituality.

        It was Saint Thomas Aquinas during the Middle Ages who melded natural law with divine revelation.

        Essential to the human being is both his spiritual and physical natures which are in harmony with each other.

      • albinogoth says:

        So you’re saying that the is no natural attribution that prevents women from performing mass. Basically you have just conceded the point I made, what since I made no claim about the supernatural, only the natural.

        But now I’m curious if you can defend your own faith on the spiritual point.

        In what way does being physically a man or woman change the person’s spiritual ability? To me it sounds like an arbitrary decision to say a person’s spiritual ability is decided first by their natural ability. Care to actually show how it’s connected?

      • Goth,

        Judeo-Christianity is the only religion that claims to be revealed by God.

        Catholicism follows the teachings and traditions set forth by Jesus, Son of God and his Apostles.

        The Catholic worldview holds that there can be no contradiction between natural law and divine law because they both have the same author, who is God.

        Consequently, the spiritual teaching that only men can be priests is in harmony with man’s gender, gender roles and gender identity.

        Your atheist belief concerning gender, gender roles and gender identity is based on nothing but pure faith which finds its source, not in divined revelation put in mere personal opinion.

        Consequently, your atheist dogma concerning gender has no merit over any other belief.

        But the Catholic Church allows the atheist to have their own beliefs whereas the atheist is hell on eliminating religious freedom.

      • albinogoth says:

        You haven’t said what makes a woman spiritually unable to perform mass. Please say why.

        PS – ‘Judeo-Christianity’ is not the only religion claiming to be revealed by god. But if you bothered learning rather than spouting nonsense, you’d know that.

      • Goth,

        I said that Judeo-Christianity is the only religion that CLAIMS to be revealed by God.

        Islam was revealed by the Prophet. Buddha revealed Buddhism. And Hinduism is continually set forth by gurus.

        The Prophet, Buddha and East Indian gurus are all men.

        Can you name a religion other than Judeo-Christianity that claims to be revealed by the one true God?

      • albinogoth says:

        Not going to let you change the subject. You have to explain how women are different spiritually and why this is somehow shackled to being a woman.

      • Goth,

        I haven’t changed the subject since my comments are in response to yours.

        Gender identity is can only be seen as “shackles” by someone who is possessed by self-loathing.

      • albinogoth says:

        You ignored the main question to answer an aside thought based on your half-assed claims. Here’s the fact: it’s irrelevant even if Christianity is the only religion that claims to be revealed by god. Uniqueness does not support your claims.

        Now get back on topic you viper. You have yet to show how women are spiritually different from men that it prevents them from performing mass.

      • Goth,

        I have indeed addressed your questions. The answers to your questions couldn’t be more clear.

        But you need to explain why your personal opinion concerning gender is anything more than pure nonsense born of hatred toward religion.

      • albinogoth says:

        No you haven’t. What about a woman’s spiritual attributes prevents her from being a priest? All I hear is an assertion that it does, but then you claimed it was a natural biochemical thing and then spiritual… you are all over the place and all the while you don’t show how.

        Regarding natural attributes, men don’t have a womb, thus they can’t give birth.
        Regarding either the natural OR spiritual, women don’t have WHAT, thus they can’t be priests.
        What is it? Do you even know?!?

      • Goth,

        You’ll have to ask God about that one, since it is a revealed truth.

      • albinogoth says:

        “You’ll have to ask God about that one, since it is a revealed truth.”

        Translation: I don’t know

        If this was a revealed truth, you’d be able to answer. Be direct!

        What about being a woman prevents her from being a priest? This should be simple for you!

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        I once heard a Muslim friend of mine say women were incomplete humans. I pressed him to answer how. I got the same circular spiel as you’re getting from SOM. It’s not real, and that’s why the walls of sexism are continuing to crumble. But SOM may very well cling to these deep seated views for the rest of his or her natural life. Religion’s power is fading among society, even though it’s hold is still strong over the individual.

      • Zehn,

        Is the male incomplete because he can’t bear children?

        Likewise, the female is not incomplete because the duty of priest goes to the male.

        And you bringing up Islam is simple, brazen propaganda.

        Here, from the book of Genesis:

        27 “So God made man in his own image, made him in the image of God. Man and woman both, he created them.”

        Christian doctrine is that God’s image is found in both the man and the woman together.

        And therein lies the sanctity of marriage, the union of the man and the woman, where the image of God, male and female, becomes one flesh.

        Since all civilizations grew up around religion, the ascent of atheism can only mean that civilization would degenerate, which is exactly what is happening today, in real time, right before our very eyes.

  2. Pingback: Bible Contradictions #49: How high were Solomon's capitals? | Christians Anonymous

  3. dlfcorpfs says:

    Dear brother, Bible never contradicts.

    details mentioned about 3 cubits and 5 cubits are correct during the 600 BC and 550 BC. ITS COMPLETELY THE SECRETS OF SOLOMON TEMPLE.

    We should trust our Lord, Jesus Christ with whole heatedly. Kindly go through this link to have complete idea about this.

    God bless you

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