So You Think You Know The Bible

bibleThis Newsweek article is well worth reading. It’s long, but it agrees with what many non-believers/atheists have said all along.

The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin

Tidbits from the article:

With politicians, social leaders and even some clergy invoking a book they seem to have never read and whose phrases they don’t understand, America is being besieged by Biblical illiteracy.

No television preacher has ever read the Bible. Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the pope. Neither have I. And neither have you. At best, we’ve all read a bad translation—a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.

… religious convictions determined translation choices.

… with a little translational trickery, a fundamental tenet of Christianity—that Jesus is God—was reinforced in the Bible, even in places where it directly contradicts the rest of the verse.

So where does the clear declaration of God and Jesus as part of a triumvirate appear in the Greek manuscripts? Nowhere.

Constantine was a brutal sociopath who murdered his eldest son, decapitated his brother-in-law and killed his wife by boiling her alive, and that was after he proclaimed that he had converted from worshipping the sun god to being a Christian. Yet he also changed the course of Christian history, ultimately influencing which books made it into the New Testament.

And while the Bible mentioned nothing about the day of Jesus’s birth, the birth of the sun god was celebrated on December 25 in Rome; Christian historians of the 12th century wrote that it was the pagan holiday that led to the designation of that date for Christmas.

The declaration in 1 Timothy … Those who “practice homosexuality” will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the translation there is odd, in part because the word homosexual didn’t even exist until more than 1,800 years after when 1 Timothy was supposed to have been written.

… there is one verse in Romans about homosexuality…and there are eight verses condemning those who criticize the government. In other words, all fundamentalist Christians who decry Obama have sinned as much as they believe gay people have.

…the history, complexities and actual words of the Bible can’t be ignored just to line it up with what people want to believe, based simply on what friends and family and ministers tell them.

I could go on … but I won’t. 😉 … except to agree with the author: “The Bible is a very human book. It was written, assembled, copied and translated by people.”

Let me know what you think. (Somehow I think I already know, but would be interested in your comments.)

38 thoughts on “So You Think You Know The Bible

  1. It’s good that such articles are getting mainstream airings. Belief persists for many simply because they’ve never had those beliefs challenged inside their cloistered community. Kudos to Newsweek.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know, Inspired … I’m without excuse. I’ll try to do a few Hail Marys … if I can ever find my beads. HA!

    I agree, John. Newsweek did a worthy thing. Only problem, the diehards will never believe it. Ah well. The truth cannot be hidden forever.


    • Thanks. Feel free to call the Nobel Prize Committee, however, and tell them to GIVE ME MY FUCKIN’ AWARD!!!!! I’ve been hounding them for years to do so, but all I get are restraining orders for my efforts. Perhaps if you bitched, too, to them about how upset I am about this, they’d give it to me, finally. Thanks in advance for your efforts. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • @makagutu

      This may help u mak.

      Giving simple thanks audibly and in public is no big deal. Recognizing a Creator for providence has been done for millenia. Political leaders during times of hardship have bowed the knee asking for help or guidance.

      The apostle Paul took bread and ‘gave thanks,’ among a company of unbelievers on a ship, after their lives were spared. He was not giving a sermon, he was not trying to convert anybody; it was a simple and natural response to One greater.

      Saying ‘thank you,’ is well, a decent thing to do. And this has nothing to do with ‘going into your closet and praying,’ that is prayer of a different nature and purpose. All it takes is some common sense to see the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mak, I wrote a post on this quite some time ago that revolves around the issue of public prayer.

      I find it interesting that CS skirts the issue with his “giving thanks” comment. I feel fairly certain that you and I agree this is not the type of prayer we’re referring to … so his remark about “common sense” is totally invalid. But then, that seems to be the case with many of his comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This article started out almost being good, then it turned into something horribly stupid. It’s like “Americans don’t read the bible” Yeah I agree, “Fundamentalists are stymieing progress” Ok, please be more specific and get over the gay agenda, and no, creationism is not hurting science and certainly not preventing any practical scientific progress which evolutionary biology provides zero, “Christians don’t understand where the bible came from, and Bart Erhman’s arguments, and other creation mythologies, and the history of Christian violence. . .” Ok, now this has turned into a one-sided atheist rant. Most people don’t care to hear one-sided ranting, but there are plenty of Christians who have heard all of this and even more than some biased journalist can conjure, and still have concluded that the bible is divine. So what? Eichenwald, why don’t you spend time decrying the real threat to Western freedom and security? You know what I’m talking about. I’ll tell you why. Because this double standard goes with the broader socially constructed agenda that he is forced to worship. With maybe the exception of one person, Sam Harris.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @Naive,

      Your comment about the article: “Ok, now this has turned into a one-sided atheist rant. ”

      Apparently, you missed these statements:

      Newsweek’s exploration here of the Bible’s history and meaning is not intended to advance a particular theology or debate the existence of God.

      … the topic has become too important for Americans to ignore, whether they are deeply devout or tepidly faithful, believers or atheists.

      I feel certain YOU feel it is a one-sided rant given your professed belief, but the above statements seem to contradict yours.

      BTW, your comment seemed to be directed more to the article writer … maybe you should add it to the others on the Newsweek page. Speaking of which, I especially like this from one contributor:

      I came to realize 2 decades ago that it takes too much suspension of rational thought and empirical knowledge to be a Christian. My brain does not do cognitive dissonance easily.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Nan, don’t worry I read that part of the article. 🙂 I found his disclaimer. . . conspicuously disingenuous. Oh and I don’t care to post on their website. This article will serve to preach to the choir and draw out a few enthused apologists and ultimately end up being a troll fest. I would rather interact with people I am committed to a long term conversation with.


    • “MISSED THE WHOLE POINT” DOESN’T EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE IT. Serious case of cognitive dissonance is more like it. Christians/Believers can not look at evidence and have an open-minded, reasonable response to it. The facts are truly there; everything the article says is true. Christians and other believers are simply incapable of reason or rationale; only bending, shaping, and twisting logic to conform to their childish beliefs. Try asking a believer to explain the Trinity, or some of the irreconcilable contradictions of the various Gospels, the differences between what Jesus actually taught and what Paul came along and completely distorted, and many, many more disparities in “scripture.” They can not but that doesn’t stop them from continuing to believe it. We can this irrational thinking, I call it “stupid.” IT’S MYTHOLOGY STUPID, MYTHOLOGY. GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON.


  4. @naïve also. Your comments are extremely interesting. As a biologist and medical professional, I’m amazed by your comment about how:
    “Fundamentalists are stymieing progress” Ok, please be more specific and get over the gay agenda, and no, creationism is not hurting science and certainly not preventing any practical scientific progress which evolutionary biology provides zero, ”
    Creationism hurts science because Fundamentalist Christians keep trying to push their myths into the science classroom crippling the quality of science education in America. Worse, in my opinion, is the attitude of same that science is just an opinion, and anyone’s opinion is just as good as anyone else’s. This basically says that the ignorant, even willfully ignorant, can express an opinion and it’s just as valid as an expert’s, and it should be given the same respect. Try that line in court sometime.
    And evolution has not caused any practical scientific progress? Huh? Please go to Matt Brisotti’s amazing story of his daughter Paisley’s terrifying bout of meningitis. 2014/06/08/paisley/ is the URL. An amazing story and a great justification of evolutionary biology’s use in not only saving one small girl, but in its place in the progress of science.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s still very long for a comment, but I deleted large portions of what I wound up writing. Not a book maybe, but a chapter or so?
    I found out some years back that many Christians who belonged to and actively participated in Bible churches had never actually sat down and read the book as a book. They read select verses or chapters usually under the direction of their pastors, but never the “rest of the story”. Also, they bounced around the book wildly never keeping anything in perspective. It was an amazing breakthrough to understanding the strange beliefs of the fundamentalist types. Scary too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s basically a Ponzi Scheme but on a scale never before conceived. “Scripture” is spoon-fed to the sheeples and then they’re TOLD what it means, frequently either underhandedly or shrouded in more religious nonsense. Nary a word about the inconsistencies, discrepancies, and contradictions right next to the nonsense they just “unveiled,” all for your salvation and, of course, a hand full of dollars mostly from people that can’t afford it. 2,000 years of rolling in the dough and still going strong. Like Richard Dawkins I, too, believe we need to stop letting these ignorami have an equal say in public affairs; they are superstitious, fable-believers and not worthy of a place at the table of national discourse.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Too true, too true. I was one of those “fundamentalists” and you are totally correct. Most of what I knew about the bible came from what I heard from the pulpit or Sunday School teacher. The few times I took it upon myself to actually read what was in “the book,” there were so many things that seemed far-fetched and unbelievable … yet I just knew there had to be an explanation. I mean, after all, this was GOD’S WORD!??!

    You may have seen on several of my other postings that I wrote a book about this very thing. 😉


  7. @Mariah Windrider
    Thank you. As a practicing physician and funded scientist, I’m NOT at all amazed at my comment. 🙂

    You basically did not address my comment except to reference Matt’s blog post which I did read. This phenomenon is not best referred to as “evolution” that is more appropriately called adaptation and some mechanisms of antibiotic resistance include microevolution and genetic drift. These would be discovered with or without Darwinian dogma. It has no consequence on speciation and macroevolution unless one creates a theory which has plausibility. With the molecular “revolution” we now know that adaptationism is not very plausible (see my upcoming blog post).

    I think Raymond Vahan Damadian is proof positive that belief about origins does not stymie scientific progress. It does, however, disqualify one from rightfully winning the Nobel Prize. The elite are willing to do what it takes to remain in control of our mind.


  8. @ Naieve.
    Ah, Brandon. I take an xmas break only to come back and find you are as big a wanker as you were in 2014.
    Tell, us, have you ever actually studied the bible?
    If so, which bible?
    And tell us also how the version you ”know so well” and love and cherish as the inspired word of your god is the one and only correct version?
    Don’t be shy, we’re all ears. Honest.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Awesome exchange Nana, thank you. We need to keep our voices alive and LOUD in order to move the scales in the battle of what we believe and how we use it to move our society in a positive direction. We must overcome the nonsense of religion and mythology.

    Keep ‘em coming!

    Liked by 1 person

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