”Sure. The first two chapters of Genesis contradict one another in the sequence of creation. So what?”
The more significant fact is that neither are correct when compared against what science has, since that time, revealed about the order of important milestones in the formation of Earth and its many inhabitants. A divinely revealed text should not contain errors, much less errors of such an elementary nature.
This isn’t just an academic issue, but a moral one. If we are damned to hell for not believing in Christianity (as Jesus himself explicitly states in Mark 16:15–16) then it is Yahweh’s responsibility to ensure there is nothing in scripture which would lead a reasonable person to conclude it is fraudulent.
If Yahweh permits such errors in scripture, he cannot fairly punish logical people for concluding, based on those errors, that Christianity is not credible.
”The Bible isn’t a scientific treatise, it’s a book about the relationship between God and people, between God and the physical universe.”
This is a rationalization intended to distract from the problem of blatant, basic errors about nature in a supposedly divinely revealed text. There should not be errors, much less such elementary errors, in a divinely revealed text. As described above, Yahweh permitting such errors poses a moral problem.
”It was never meant to answer the questions “What, How, Where, When and How”. It was meant to answer the questions “Who and Why”.
It clearly was intended to answer such questions, given how specific and detailed the Genesis account of creation is. If what you were saying was true, there would not be six creation periods, with scripture detailing what exactly was created in each and their order of creation. If Genesis was never meant to answer these questions it would be much shorter than it is.
Is the Bible primarily an account of how nature came to be the way it is? No. But does it attempt to answer that question? Yes. It fails conspicuously in that attempt.
”Who created? Why did He/She create? Why did God take on human flesh? Who wrote the Bible? (People did). Why did they write it? (to reveal God’s compassion, grace and willingness to forgive, to restore and to redeem whoever comes to Him/Her. It’s a tragedy when people miss the message of the Bible and get hung up on stuff that is irrelevant.”
It’s irrelevant to Christians because it poses a challenge to the credibility of Christianity. Every problem with scriptural credibility is unimportant in the minds of Christians because they either assume it’s true regardless or wish for those issues to be ignored. Non faith promoting facts go down the “irrelevant information” memory hole.
There is a quote often attributed to Upton Sinclair: “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it”. Not a perfect fit here but close. Just change “salary” to “salvation”.
As an aside, I have a riddle for you. Suppose for a minute that there’s a group of people traveling about your area, led by a charismatic speaker who claims that the world is ending soon. He promises he alone can save you, but only if you sell your belongings, devote the rest of your life to him, and cut off family members who try to stop you.
He also wants to change your name, advises you to leave your home/job if necessary to follow him, and says that if you don’t love him more than your own family, you’re not worthy of him. His followers have written a book about him in which he performs many miraculous feats, but no outside source corroborates their claims. What sort of group is that?