Chapter 17 - Reviewing the evidence about the Bible

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In the last four chapters we have looked at dozens of Bible passages. We have found that God is a huge proponent of slavery, that God hates women, that God revels in the destruction of small children, and that God spells out detailed instructions for animal and human sacrifice. If you are a Christian, here is the important question that you should be asking yourself:

This question is incredibly important because of this fact: If you insist that God wrote the Bible so that you can believe in the Ten Commandments or eternal life, shouldn't you also be a proponent of slavery and a misogynist? It is the same book in both cases.

The point is simple. Can you imagine God sitting on his magnificent throne in heaven saying this?

Do you believe this? Of course not. Yet, clearly, if God does exist and God wrote the Bible, this is in fact what God said to himself. You have seen with your own eyes the numerous passages in the Bible where God displays these tendencies. Confirm them yourself by looking them up in God's word.

An all-knowing, all-loving God could not have written such appalling verses into the Bible. It should be obvious to you that primitive men wrote this book, not God.

What should the non-Christians make of this?

If you are a Christian, and if you insist that God wrote or "inspired" the Bible, then there is a second question that you may want to consider:

Think about the non-Christians who live next door to you. They can read the Bible. Wouldn't it seem logical for people outside Christianity -- for example, the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists and so on -- to look at you as a monster for worshipping such a being? By worshipping this God, giving him your money, etc., you show that you yourself must believe in slavery, misogyny, animal/human sacrifice and baby-killing. Do you not? All of these passages are right there in the Bible. Anyone can read them. By stating that you believe the Bible, are you not endorsing these passages? By worshipping this God, do you not show that you endorse his actions in the Bible? Why in the world would non-Christians want you openly spreading your messages from a slavery-condoning, woman-hating, sacrifice-loving, child-killing God?

A Christian would respond to this question with something like the following: "God is NOT a murderer! God does NOT kill babies! God does NOT hate women! God would NEVER do any of the things that you are talking about. God is LOVE. It says so in the Bible!" Such a person is ignoring the obvious. The slavery-condoning, woman-hating, sacrifice-loving, baby-killing verses are all there in the Bible plain as day. They would not be there unless God wanted them there. God is omnipotent. If God took the time to write the Bible, he would also take the time to protect its contents from corruption. If God wrote the Bible, then every word in it was placed there -- intentionally and purposefully -- by God himself.

It is not as though God has one slip of the tongue that might be misinterpreted as condoning slavery -- there are at least ten places in the Bible where God openly, unashamedly and absolutely endorses slavery. God does not "sort of hint" that he might dislike women -- God displays open animosity toward women in his words and deeds. God not only likes animal sacrifice -- he demands it, and gives explicit instructions for how it is to be done. God does not kill one or two children -- God openly massacres millions of children and admits it in writing.

This is the God of the Bible. This is the God that Christians worship.

Why is the Bible so irrelevant?

For many people, the last four chapters prove that God did not write the Bible. They prove it beyond the shadow of any doubt. It is painfully obvious: Primitive men wrote the Bible, not God.

But what if you need still more proof? If so, then here is a question: Why, when you read the Bible, are you not left in awe? Why doesn't a book written by God leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement? If you are reading a book written by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving creator of the universe, wouldn't you expect to be stunned by the brilliance, the clarity and the wisdom of the author? Would you not expect each new page to intoxicate you with its incredible prose and its spectacular insight?

Instead, opening the Bible inevitably creates a feeling of dumbfoundment. Have you ever noticed that? Instead of brilliance, much of the Bible contains nonsense. The topics of the previous several chapters, where we discussed the Bible's advocacy of slavery and animal sacrifice, the Bible's misogyny and so on, are excellent examples. But they are just the tip of the iceberg. You can open the Bible to almost any page and find nonsense instead of wisdom. Here are several examples:

Judges Chapter 4

Genesis Chapter 19 Genesis Chapter 38 Judges Chapter 3 Judges Chapter 19 Joshua Chapter 10 1 Samuel Chapter 31 Numbers Chapter 31 Deuteronomy Chapter 25 There are two things to notice in these quotes. First, they are all disgusting. Second, they all tell stories about men and women doing things that are utterly and completely irrelevant. Why do you care about a woman killing a man with a tent peg, or a man cutting up his concubine and mailing her body parts around? Do you care about Moses telling his soldiers, "kill everyone, but save the virgins for yourselves"? If God is going to take the time to write a book that will last for millennia, why fill it with such useless material?

Another problem with the Bible is that it frequently contradicts the Standard Model of God. Here is an example from Leviticus 21:17:

Doesn't it seem odd for an all-loving God to discriminate against people with handicaps and genetic problems?

Here is another example. In the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 21:18, the Bible says:

Doesn't that seem to contradict the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill"? And doesn't it seem just a tad harsh? If we applied this sort of philosophy today (as Christians should, since they proclaim the Bible and the Ten Commandments to be God's infallible word), millions of our teenagers would need to be stoned to death.

Here is another example. On the day Moses comes down from Mount Sinai with the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, he discovers that the Israelites have created a golden calf. To punish the people, Moses gathers a group of men and takes the following action in the book of Exodus, Chapter 32:

So... one minute we have God carving into stone, "Thou shalt not kill." Then the next minute we have God telling each man to strap a sword to his side and lay waste to thousands. Wouldn't you expect the almighty ruler of the universe to be slightly more consistent than this? 3,000 dead people is a lot of commandment breaking.

Some Christians try to find an out for all of this irrelevance and contradiction by saying, "Well, I don't believe the Old Testament. God sent Jesus to cancel it out." But that really is not the case. If God wrote the Bible, then God fully intended for the Bible -- the entire Bible -- to be a timeless book. In Isaiah 40:8 God says, "The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever." In Matthew 5:18 Jesus says, "For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished." When Jesus says "the law" what he is talking about is all of the laws that God lays down in the Old Testament. Those laws include everything that God says about slavery, misogyny, animal sacrifice, stoning teenagers, cutting off hands and all the rest.

An experiment

Here is an experiment for you to try. Pick up any handy Bible. Open the book to a random page. Read it. You tell me -- is this a book that amazes you? I am trying this experiment this morning as I write this book. Here are the five random quotes that I came upon:

Leviticus 15:

Can you imagine every doctor and nurse following God's law?

1 Kings 8:

Yes, so? How is this at all relevant? Why would God write this?

Psalms 89:

Again, how is this relevant?

Acts 10:

Revelations 12: Are you amazed by these passages? Are you inspired by their brilliance and insight? Do they leave you with a sense of wonderment? Do they have any bearing at all on you, or your life? After reading them, do you find the Bible to be a book that you would want to continue reading? Most importantly: Do these passages leave you with the impression that they were written by an all-powerful, all-knowing God? Or was this book written by primitive men? Try the experiment yourself and see what you find. Think about what you are reading in the context of an all-knowing God.

Be honest with yourself. Does the Bible strike you as a book filled with brilliance, or with nonsense?

Think about what you are reading

What do I mean when I say, "think about what you are reading?" Let's use Leviticus 15, from the previous section, as an example. The passage is discussing "discharge." Why doesn't God in Leviticus 15 say:

God should know all of this stuff -- according to Christians he is all-knowing. When reading Leviticus 15, any normal human being asks questions like these: Extending on these ideas, why doesn't God use the Bible to explain metallurgy, chemistry, biology, physics, manufacturing, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. to these primitive people so they can dramatically accelerate their development?

Why, in other words, is the Bible so useless? Why does the author of the Bible, who is supposed to be God, who is supposed to be all-knowing, know so little? Why is the knowledge of the author limited to the knowledge of the primitive men who wrote the book? If you think about what you are reading in the Bible in the context of an all-knowing God who supposedly wrote it, none of it makes any sense. But if you think about the Bible as being a book written by primitive men like you would find in the remote regions of Afghanistan today, it makes complete sense.

Key Point

If you think about what you are reading in the Bible in the context of an all-knowing God who supposedly wrote it, none of it makes any sense. But if you think about the Bible as being a book written by primitive men like you would find in the remote regions of Afghanistan today, it makes complete sense. This tells you everything you need to know. The Bible was written by primitive men, not by God.
After reading the Bible passages in this section, what is your common sense telling you about the Bible? Do these passages from the Bible match up with your view of what an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful being would write down in his book? Does it make sense to you that a book created by an all-knowing God would contain so much nonsense? Are you left agape as you read the Bible, or are you dumbfounded by its utter stupidity?

Weigh the evidence. Does it seem more likely that the Bible was written by God, or by a bunch of primitive men?

Proving it to yourself

It is easy to prove to yourself that God did not write the Bible. We can do it in the following way.

I challenge you to go on national TV with me. We are going to go on a major, nationally broadcast show with a major host like Oprah, Larry King, Bill O'Reilly, etc.

Here's all that you have to do. You are going to read for 30 minutes from the New International Version or the New American Standard Version (your choice) of the Bible. This should be a dream come true for you -- here you will have the chance to spread the power of God's word directly to the nation.

There is only one thing that I ask. I want you to let me choose the verses that you will read.

Would you take the challenge? Of course not. If I pick the passages, I can make you look like a total idiot on national television. I can have you read verses about slavery, misogyny, animal sacrifice, child massacre, sliced up concubines, tent pegs and all the rest. No one in their right mind would take this challenge.

This is how we know, without a doubt, that God did not write the Bible. If an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing creator of the universe actually wrote this book, it would not be filled with so much idiocy. Slavery, misogyny and child-massacre are abominations and we all know it. The reason why the Bible contains this material is because primitive men wrote the Bible, not God.

What it all means

If the Bible really were the error-free word of an all-powerful God, it would be profound, meaningful, timeless, fascinating, and enlightening both at the spiritual level and at the technological level. It would tell us things that we did not already know. It would stun us with the brilliance of the author. We would look at the words in the Bible in awe.

Instead it is clear that God had nothing to do with the Bible. Simply open the book up and read it. The Bible is the work of primitive men who lived 2,000 or 3,000 years ago, without a hint of guidance from the "all-knowing creator of the universe." The previous chapters clearly demonstrate that beyond the shadow of any doubt.

If you are a Christian, this leaves you with two choices:

Once you accept that the Bible is a book written by primitive men rather than God, it is a very powerful realization. It has many implications: The Bible clearly is not the word of God. The slavery passages in Chapter 13 provide more than enough evidence to prove that. When you think about it and truly let that fact sink in, the full implications are enormous. Once you eliminate the Bible, it is amazing what you eliminate with it.

As intelligent people, what do we do with the Christians -- millions of them -- who insist that the Bible is the word of God? Let me answer that question with another question: What do we do with people who believe in astrology? You know the people I am talking about -- they believe in horoscopes, and they believe that the alignment of the planets affects our lives on earth today. What do we do with them? We ignore them. We do not take them seriously. We exclude them from reasonable public discourse and debate.

If a presidential candidate were to stand up and say, "the alignment of the planets indicates that in foreign policy, we should follow a path thatů," or if he/she were to end a speech with "Jupiter bless America," we would not vote for this candidate.

People who believe in the Bible are in the same boat. Why would we listen to anyone who believes in slavery, hates women and supports a God who is a flagrant baby-killer? Do we want people like that holding public office, sitting on our courts, running our corporations or teaching our children?

The Bible is clearly the work of primitive men, many of whom were insane. Anyone with common sense can see that. Exodus 21:20-21 alone is enough to prove it. When people insist that the Bible is the word of God, we should ignore them and exclude them from public discourse. It's a free country, and people have a right to their superstitions in the privacy of their own homes. But no one is required to take them seriously in a public forum.

Simply look back through Chapters 13, 14, 15 and 16. The Bible is so wrong in so many places. What are we thinking when we quote from this book? Why do intelligent people allow this book to be referenced in public discourse? It is amazing when you consider how much evil this book harbors. See Chapter 28 for additional details.

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