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Reading the Bible

What would you do if someone you knew read the Bible? If you knew someone in school who said they were a Christian and that they actually read their Bible, what would you say to them?

I would have never known something was wrong with the bible if I had never read it. I still read and marvel at how I never saw just how horrid it was until I was in my forties! People are free to read what they choose to read. Book banning and burning is one of the specialties of the catholic church, along with killing those who disagree with dogma. Be careful or you can become as the churches are. Just because someone believes differently does not make them inferior or someone to shun. I am still trying to find my own way.

Give them a quiz. Ask them how many people God killed (vs. how many people God had a conversation with). Ask them what the punishment is for coveting your neighbor's slave. Ask them why so many people claim to follow Jesus and nobody gives all their possessions away.

It's not enough to read, as I'm sure you've figured out. One has to be able to understand it and relate it to the real world. Supposedly, that's what the book is about.

Don Baker,

Ask them how many people God killed versus how many He had a conversation with? At least compare something comparable, such as, how many He killed versus how many He saved.

And ask them what the punishment WAS for lusting after your neighbor's slave, not what it IS.

NOBODY gives all their possessions away? I have known some that did. Besides, you have not taken everything into account that the Bible says about the matter of giving up possessions.

Jesus told one person to sell all his possessions, and then give the money to the poor, and to then follow Him. The person did not. Jesus obviously did not require every follower to do this, as we know full well that His other disciples kept their possessions, for example Peter still had a home and a boat. If Jesus had required every person who followed Him to give all they had, then perhaps you would have a case.

The real point is that we must be ready and willing to give up any possessions that stand between us and Him. For that particular rich man, all his possessions stood between Him and Jesus, as the story demonstrates.

I realize you do not mean to twist the scriptures, but when they are used in such a way, one cannot help but use them incorrectly.

I'm sorry, but God doesn't get credit for "saving" people from himself or because of some rule he made up. That's what's known as extortion. Christianity is about breaking your leg and selling you an invisible crutch. No thanks to either one. I don't know of anyone who has been "saved". That's like buying a rainbow--a fools game. I do know plenty of fools who think they're saved. In fact, most Christians I know are convinced THEY are saved but are pretty sure most other people aren't. No objective reality there--just a lot of deluded people who can't get their story straight.

Additionally, I don't believe the Bible has God character saving anyone. Instead, there is this Jesus character who is attributed with doing the saving. But Jesus died on the cross. Millions of ACTUAL people have been killed by Christians in response. If you'd like to claim that Jesus is still alive, then you're admitting that Christianity is fundamentally a blood sport. Are you willing to take responsibility for your beliefs? If some Jew is "responsible" for killing Jesus even though the guy lived thousands of years after creation of the Jesus myth, aren't you just as "responsible" for that Jew's death? (Please don't blather about "forgiveness" in your answer. It's painfully clear that's just a mind game to evade responsibility.)

As for lusting, where in the Bible was that rule changed? If God changed the rule, then it was either imperfect before or after the change, therefore God is not perfect. God apparently makes this stuff up on a whim. You'd better listen to those voices in your head. They're God telling you to kill your child for a really wonderful perpetual orgasm in the afterlife. Andrea Yates is a Christian hero, having been touched by God, so why is she locked up?

As for possessions, nice rationalization. You'll enjoy the next Atheist Eve cartoon that comes out Sunday. It's titled "Apologetics Aerobics" and it's about you. By the "logic" you give, nothing that Jesus said is meant for anyone besides the audience who heard it at the time. I agree with you that Christianity is irrelevant outside the story book that contains it.

The disciples had no gainful employment. The whole concept of giving tangible things to gods is so that such parasites can have something to feed on. Speaking of parasites, did you know that the disciples and many devout Christians since that time cultivated a healthy colony of lice on their bodies as a way of showing their devotion to the "spiritual" life as opposed to the worldly. Any idea why that bad idea fell out of favor?

--Don

Dear Don Baker,

It did not take long for you to resort to name calling. perhaps in the future you will think better of calling people who have other opinions than yours fools.

I am afraid could not make heads or tales of your first two paragraphs.

To the actual subjects at hand - You asked when the lusting law had changed. The fact that lust is wrong is not what changed, the consequences of it changed under the New Covenant, since Christ paid the price for sin for us. The New Testament tells us this several times, I would have expected you to know this, since you seem to claim to know so much about what Christians believe, and this is a very fundamental aspect of Christianity.

Again, the rule was not changed, the consequences of the rule was ratified. God did not have to change any rule, He had promised all along a Savior would come. And next time you want to make the case that God is imperfect because of the way He had to deal with man before the Christ came, the Old Covenant was between God and Man. Man was, and is, imperfect, therefore the Old Covenant was imperfect. The Bible says this too, but you seem to have missed this very important piece of information as well. Perhaps you might study a bit more before making judgements.

And your assumption about my so called rationalization over possessions is flat wrong, though I was certain you would not pay enough attention and try to use it anyway.

MANY things Christ said was for everyone, and many were not. When He calls the Pharisees a "brood of vipers" was He speaking to everyone? Of course not, though by your logic, He would have been.

Had Christ meant those words for everyone then everyone He assosiated with would have followed suit. When they cross the Sea of Galilee in Peter's boat, Christ never says to him, "what are you still doing with a boat, go and give it away!" But this never happens of course.

The way you speak of the Bible, I had the mistaken idea that you actually knew what you were talking about. I see now you do not know enough to debate the subject with any amount of accuracy. This is not an insult, many people including Christians think they know all about the Bible, though they have barely read any of it. Instead, they have read books ABOUT it, and have come away with skewed ideas.

We can continue this conversation if you like, but your observations so far are woefully lacking in knowledge of that which you speak, and attack.

Also it just occurred to me that there were a couple of rich men, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, who were followers of Jesus but were NOT one of the disciples, that did not give away everything they had. Jesus came into contact with many people and said many things to them all. By your logic Jesus told us all to go wash in the pool of Sioam, that our leprousy is healed, to go show ourselves to the Priests, and so on. He did not tell everyone that wanted to follow Him to give away all their possessions. That is the practice of the silly, such as those who dance with snakes, claiming the Bible said to do it.

On the first two paragraphs:

The main point I was trying to make was this. Imagine you have some psychotic thug with a gun pointed to your head. He gives you a choice between sucking his dick and being killed. What do you do? If you're a Christian, apparently, you gush on about how good and just the thug is. You wax poetic about how he's given you free will and how merciful he is. He claims he has created you to be just like him, but he is perfect and you are a hopelessly flawed wretch--just like him. You think this is a compliment. You develop the best technique for sucking the guy's dick and you raise it to an art form. After all, the guy has saved you from death. He's a real hero! You even devote a significant portion of your time trying to find others to suck dick along side of you. They need to be saved, too! Also, if you're a Christian, you make up all sorts of different descriptions of the thug and each of you convinces yourself that the thug will save you and not the others. You might even start going out and persecuting other people because they are unsaved according to your fantasy.

If you're an atheist, you first ask whether the thug is real. If he isn't then you simply don't submit to the mind game. Someone would have to be an idiot to willfully submit to extortion--especially if there was no evidence the threat was real.

In case you need me to point it out to you, God an analogy to that thug. The only difference is that, as the fantasy goes, God won't kill you, he'll torture you for all eternity.

In my second paragraph, I was challenging you to show me a Bible verse where God saves someone. You claim to be an expert, so this should be an easy task.

I was also pointing out the stupidity of expecting someone who died to "save" you. If Jesus is still alive then Christianity is apparently about killing Jews as they have done so systematically and efficiently for many centuries. I'm willing to bet that you have learned nothing of Christianity's savage history in Church. The church values your gullibility, not your ability to think.

On name calling:

If you believe things without evidence you are a fool. If you buy into the mind game I outlined above, you're a fool. You'll have to decide for yourself whether you're a fool or not. I made no reference to you as a person in that respect, though I will do so in this reply.

On lusting:

When you demonstrate the existence of your god, I'll take your "just-so" stories more seriously. Covenants from invisible thugs carry no weight. Nor do the rationalizations supporting them. Any idiot can write a book and claim that the Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote it with his noodly appendage and therefore you should do this-and-such and give me money. No amount of study of the Bible will make it any more than a story book. By the way, the Jesus character claims that he was not there to change the old law. I'm sure you have some rationalization why I should think otherwise. Unfortunately, I don't care. The only reason the Bible is of any interest to me is that so many idiots use it for their marching orders. It's helpful to know which way the loose cannon points.

I see you avoided the slave issue. Do you support slavery?

On possessions:

You are correct that in the specific passage in Mark 10 about giving away all your possessions was addressed at a particular person. He then goes on to say much the same thing to all his disciples and makes a number of general points about possessions being at odds with getting to heaven. Note that he is making general statements to his entire following. Who, exactly, here is taking the conversation out of context? It seems to me that you're picking and choosing whatever you have the easiest time rationalizing, as do all Christians. If Christians can't agree on how to interpret the Bible, why can't I have my own interpretations, too? Why don't you become a member of my church and tithe to me?

Your example about Pharisees is bogus because you have confused the subject of the sentence with the audience of the speaker of the sentence. Try again.

Your boat example would have been a great place for God to "provide" as he's supposed to do to those who have given away their possessions and followed Jesus. The actual lesson is that the teaching is clearly nonsense and you shouldn't trust this Jesus character. He certainly didn't make good on that coming back promise did he? On my Biblical knowledge:

I'm sure I have a lot to learn about the Bible, so why don't you show me your Biblical knowledge and answer the questions in my quiz and the other Biblical questions I posed? I know it'll be easy for someone of your exalted learnedness. Of course, I rank the value of Biblical trivia about 5 notches below memorizing baseball statistics.

Mr. Baker,

You are a most crude, crass, condescending, and cynical individual, I know your type, you are the opposite of someone like Tracie, who is fair and openminded, honest and kind. You have none of those qualities.

When in the Bible did God save someone?

He saved the Hebrews from the Egyptians. Depending on different estimates that could be anywhere from 200,000 people to 2 million people. And that is one instance. He saves the Hebrews many times through the Old Testament. Something else I would have thought you would have known.

On the violence of the Catholic Church to the Jews, and others: As I had stated earlier and it is tiresome to have to repeat myself, The Catholic Church did not follow Biblical New Testament policy at all, nor were they Christians. There is a world of difference between what the Bible teaches and what many religions teach, and practice. Especially in a day when the church itself outlawed the Bible.

Following the teachings of Christ and receiving Him as savior is an altogether different thing that establishing a religious institution. God belongs to no religion, and He did not desire for anyone to establish religious denominations or institutions in His name. Religion is destructive. Religion kills. Why do you think Christ Himself set Himself AGAINST the religious leaders of the day?

Religion kills. Relationship brings life.

And your idea of persecuting others because they are not saved is absolutely laughable. THAT will sure win people to Christ! LOL!

As I have stated in other threads, I have evidence of God in my life, miraculous things. I do not share them with you because they are subjective, like trying to prove to you I have a headache, it is only evident to the one that has experienced it.

The mindgame you refer to is about as understanding of the Word of God or God Himself as an amoeba can understand chess. Your crass and crude attitude belies the inability of someone like you to have enough of an open mind to understand anything in the world you do not already know or believe. When Matt speaks on the show about the people that give atheism a bad name, he is speaking of you. Because of your crassness I would kick you off these boards if I were the directors. I doubt they want anyone giving them such a bad name.

And at this point in the conversation you say exactly what i would expect of you. You ask for an explanation of certain points in the bible and when you get them and cannot give answer, you simply dismiss it as beneath you to comment on. How typical.

Yes, you can have your own interpretations of scripture. There are many interpretations. But only one is correct. And it is not yours. There are also many APPLICATIONS of scripture. And you are misapplying it as well.

Jesus does indeed go on to speak to His followers who were present. But He DOES NOT tell them all to give away all their possessions, but merely how difficult it is for a rich person to be saved, because of course, they allow their possessions to become their god. Peter even speaks up and says, "The who can be saved?" And Jesus replied, "With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible."

We know full well two of His followers were rich, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. Having possessions is not wrong. Possessions having you - THAT is wrong.

Personally since you have such a very low opinion of these things, as you have intimated, I do not see why you take the time. And then again, I DO know why.

On my mien:

I'm terribly sorry that you couldn't find a flaw with my analogy and had to resort to name calling. My (admittedly crass) analogy was meant for you to understand your religion from my perspective. The analogy is not too different than "Kissing Hank's Ass", which is a well known parody of religious belief.

On "saving":

I concede that the Bible has a story about God leading people in various directions. Do you concede that you cannot find an example of God saving someone in the sense of rescuing their eternal souls, which is what I thought we were talking about? Jesus doesn't count as you guys can't make up your mind whether he's God or not.

On the Catholic Church:

We have not discussed the Catholic Church in this thread. I have not read your other writings. I assume you are a Protestant. Are you aware that the Protestant variation Christianity grew out of a then-centuries-old Catholic religion? If the Catholic version is wrong, then so is the Protestant one. Are you aware that the founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, was a reprehensible human being and a vicious anti-Semite? Are you aware that his writings were used as the blueprint for Hitler's persecution of the Jews from Chrystal Night onward? Are you aware that up until the Holocaust, both Protestants and Catholics had an entrenched hatred of Jews for many hundreds of years? Are you aware that both Protestants and Catholics had Inquisitions and both tortured heretics, including those people of the other sect? Are you aware that the best theologians and most esteemed church leaders for centuries who supposedly talked to God promoted the persecution of heretics including "witches," infidels, Jews and anybody else that didn't tow the line? Are you aware that they all used the Bible (including the NT) as their inspired source of wisdom? What makes you think that you know better than those people? What credentials do you have that trumps theirs?

Your ignorance of these things doesn't excuse you from your endorsement of this horrible religion. Is your perpetual orgasm in heaven worth this price? I guess it is if you, like other Christians, can't accept any amount of responsibility for the systematic problems with your belief system. All of the Abrahamic religions are about selling out your fellow man to curry favor with your god. They are all inherently immoral.

I'm glad you admit that religion kills. That's a good step forward. I still don't understand why you're supporting Christianity, but I'm sure you have some rationalization for it. How about admitting that believing things without evidence is also inherently immoral? Maybe you expect some sort of payout for your beliefs. Is that the criteria you use for what you believe? I think fundamentally, Christians are motivated by hedonism—they expect some wonderful reward in heaven. Have you ever read C. S. Lewis's essay on trans-sex in heaven? It's great theology and well worth reading.

About persecuting others that are not saved:

See above. You don't know very much about the history of the religion you're promoting do you?

On possessions:

I concede that since the Bible claims that all things are possible (with God), that you can justify any claim you like using the Bible, including rich people going to Heaven. (All the rich con artist televangelists are all going to Heaven. Tim LaHaye, too. God loves 'em.) If God can do anything, why do you care about the details? Why not just use that as your catch-all Bible justification?

On the mindgame you've bought into:

Whether I'm nice or rude doesn't change the fact that YOU cannot defend the points I'm raising and the questions I've asked. Whining like a child is just a diversion. You're blowing smoke. Address the substance of why my analogy is wrong, if you are able to do so, otherwise have the integrity to admit that that you're incapable of doing so. Your threats are an admission that you have nothing of substance to back up what you say. I'm surprised you haven't threatened me with hell yet. That's usually where the conversation goes when Christians get cornered.

I've mentioned before that the Bible is irrelevant. The fact is that Christians can't agree on what version to use, how to interpret it, or what it means. This is why there are thousands of versions of Christianity. They can't get their story straight. The reason is simple: it's not based on any objective reality. It's a Rorschach test for the morally challenged. Everybody thinks they know what the Bible means but NONE of them (including you) has any real basis for that belief. I'm not impressed. Why don't you read Thomas Payne's "The Age of Reason" for a 200 year old argument that a god would never use a holy book to convey a message? That argument is just as sound today. You think you know the correct interpretation of the Bible. So does every other religious nut. I'm not impressed. The Bible has been the source of enormous suffering in the world and there is no reason to believe any of it. So you want to debate its contents. Hurray for you. Slavery is great! The mustard seed is the smallest seed! Pi is 3! God elects all leaders, including the Antichrist in the end times! God can do anything except write a good holy book. It's all true—Christians have a rationalization for everything.

You are here arguing somehow that the concept of God is valid, but you've offered no evidence whatsoever. (It's good that you understand that miraculous things that happened in your mind do not constitute acceptable evidence.) How hard could it be to find SOMETHING that supports the idea of an infinitely powerful being that answers prayers and cares deeply about your sex organs? There's even a cash prize if you can. That should appeal to your hedonistic instincts and it won't prevent you from going to heaven.

The religion you defend has systematically lied, murdered, robbed, created ignorance, suppressed science, molested children, persecuted non-believers, and on and on and on and on. Yet you think this is just wonderful and you're here trying to defend these things. My reason for debating you is for you to see that your beliefs (and those of most religions) are inherently harmful to the world.

I'll take full responsibility for my beliefs and actions if you do the same? Deal?

--Don

I wanted to add another thing. You have called me rude. Perhaps I have been. I find it an effective mechanism to encourage thought. Have I made you think? If so, it might have been worth it.

Have you considered, however, that you believe (without evidence) in a God that tortures people for all eternity for the "crime" of not believing in unsupported claims? That's right, I don't believe in God, but you and all other Christians think it's great ("God IS good") that I should be tortured for this fact. I don't think that you should be tortured under any circumstances. So, yy little transgression doesn't hold a candle to yours.

I would apologize for my rudeness with an exchange of apology from you, but I don't know of any Christians who could offer a sincere apology for their beliefs as they hold them without reservation. They have happily sold out their fellow man (me) to curry favor from their god (perpetual orgasm). So, please keep this difference between us in mind when you rant about my demeanor.

--Don

Mr Baker,

One moment you are accusing me of endorsing a religion, and the next you are complimenting me for disliking religion.

I endorse the thoughts and beliefs of no one. My Christianity is my own. My seperation of the Bible from all institutions erected to it is honest.

To expect me to take responsibility for the atrocities of anyone who has ever decided to do them in the name of Christianity is ridiculous. No I am not a Protestant, nor am I Catholic.

We might as well say you are responsible for everything any atheist has ever done. Which would be equally as absurd.

One thing is for certain though, if I have bought into a bunch of myths, I can tell by what you read that you have too.

I do not see where else this discussion can go. We have devolved from debating the Bible to what certain people claiming to be Christians have done through history, which is not my study, nor concern, any more than you would study the bad things some atheists have done through history.

Yes you have made me think. But everything makes me think. Try it some time.

As to whether you support religion:

You are both promoting the Bible as a basis for religious belief (by the very fact you're making posts) and condemning seemingly all religions based on the Bible. The conflict seems to be in your head. Again, what makes you think you have the correct interpretation when all Christians (and anyone who has ever read the Bible) do is argue about its meaning?

On taking responsibility for one's beliefs:

Atheism is the lack of a belief in gods. Nobody has ever claimed that atheism is a moral system or that it has magical insights gleaned from an omniscient and omni-benevolent god. Christians make both of these claims, so it clearly should be held to a much higher standard. Christianity has historically and systematically failed on moral terms and cannot get its story straight. It is a lie that religious belief is the basis for a moral society. See http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html. In reality, these claims are false marketing gimmicks. They are lies perpetrated by Christian leader because if they told the truth, nobody would join their little club and pay their tithes. The lies are an admission that they're selling damaged goods.

You instinctively know that the religion is a lie, so you have taken the stance of not accepting responsibility for it. All Christians do this. The Pope, for example, has claimed "diplomatic immunity" from his part in actively impeding justice in the pedophile scandal. Others, like Bush, claim that God told him to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Still others claim the devil makes them do things. You are in good company in not taking responsibility for your religion.

The net result is that Christians take no responsibility for the things that Christianity does in the world. It is a liars club where, if you join it, you get to screw over others with impunity. Your own behavior confirms this hypothesis.

It seems that with your Biblical knowledge and your claims of understanding God, that you should start a church and wow the gullible with your knowledge of the Bible. Maybe you can be the next Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh, or Ted Haggard. No other Christian will stand in your way, and whatever money you make in duping the faithful will not impede your trip to heaven. I really don't see any down-side to it.

Do write back and let us know the name of the church you found.

"If God exists"... If he is the creator of all... If he is truly just, why are you to question his authority and reason for certain individuals and their futures? Are you or I to make almighty choices for our own like? Doctrine out of experience? This is called relativism.

"If God exists"... is, as far as I know, a false assumption. Your post is a classic example of how you can reach terrible conclusions from false premises.

It's amazing that there are billions of people who claim belief in gods, but none of them has any serious evidence that one exists.

You seem to think that experience is irrelevant to morality.

Is there any other 'record' of the Exodus other than the Hebrew scripture? I would like to know of it.

I'm not sure I understand the question.

What would I do if someone I knew read the Bible? Nothing.

If someone said they were a Xian and read their Bible, what would I say? Nothing. I might actually admire them for reading their holy book--as many Xians either haven't ever read it, or have only read the feel-good parts. As far as I'm concerned, nobody should call themselves a Xian unless they're read the book they're endorsing. It's only sensible.

Would you respect your acquaintance more if they called themselves a Xian and then said that they'd never read the Bible?

I don't understand...?

I think that trying to study history, and or civilization requires that the "Bible" be read and understood. Trying to understand people with out it?,I don't think possible. Simply reading some thing, causes little change in a persons mind. So I think your 'Use' of the word read may have more to it than a surface meaning, we also read Chaucer, Beowulf, and had to commit much of it to memory,I suffer little from learning olde English. You might use this persons readings to better understand what they think and how they got there. What do we know?and How do we know it? If 'Knowledge 'starts and ends with one "Record" ,then how do we prove it's veracity?. Darylynn

I don't think it would be necessary to say anything in paticular to them. What would you say?

People think that the King James Version of the Bible is the authentic Authorized Version. They think it presents the original words of the authors as translated into English from the original Greek text. However, the original Greek text was not written until around the mid-fourth century and was a revised edition of writings compiled decades earlier in Aramaic and Hebrew. Those earlier documents no longer exist, and the Bibles we have today are five linguistic removed from the first Bibles written. What was written originally is absolutely unknown. It is important to remember that the words authorized and original, as applied to the Bible, do not mean true.

People can read any book including the Bible without believing what it says is true. I have studied history and religion as a pastime. I have found that many people have lied about both, because I know way too much to be fooled. We don't celebrate Easter because it was the time that Jesus rose from the dead. We celebrate Easter because it is a carryover from paganism. Read Ezekiel the eighth chapter, verse fourteen, and you'll see that Ezekiel referred to the women who were standing before the gate of the house of Jehovah, weeping over Tammuz. Tammuz was born of a virgin, Sumerian-Babylonian, savior-god, who died and was resurrected, and each spring, in this ceremony, the women wept and wailed over his death, and then a few days later, they celebrated his resurrection. It's a pagan custom. Nevertheless, the deception continues. Who does believe there is a god who sends people to hell for pursuing facts! No reputable biblical theologian today, Catholic or Protestant, treats the virgin birth stories in Matthew and Luke as history. The problem is that this information hasn't reached the people. The birth of Jesus, as important as it is to the Christian belief system, is described in only two places in the entire Bible, the first chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew and the second chapter of the Gospel according to Luke. The writers of the Gospels of Mark and John neither apparently deem the miraculous virgin birth and the circumstances surrounding it worthy of mention, nor did Paul who said simply that, "Jesus was born of a woman, born under the law" (Galatians 4:4). Maybe they never heard of it?

Outside of the two birth narratives, Jesus' parents are practically ignored. Joseph is mentioned only three times, once in Luke 3:23 and twice in the Gospel of John, 1:45 and 6:42. In these passages Joseph is referred to as "the father" of Jesus. Mary, his mother, is also mentioned only three times outside the birth narratives, Mark 6:3, Matthew 13:55 (obviously copied from Mark) and Acts 1:14. In none of them is she referred to as a "virgin."

The Pauline Epistles, the verse that mentions a virgin is found in the KJV. It is incorrectly translated. Other Bibles such as the NEB, RSV and the Jerusalem Bible (Catholic Version) do not give credence to the belief in a virgin birth. It has been long-established false by the fact that existing early Christian writings neither mention it nor show any awareness of it prior to the writing of the Gospel of Matthew sometime after 80 C. E. It appears nowhere in the authentic epistles of Paul. The writers of Matthew and Luke, although they drew heavily from Mark, wisely omitted this enlightening little detail. (See Matthew 12:46-50 and Luke 8:19-20.) The author of John, who gives the description of the Christ figure, overlooks the birth narrative that he must certainly have known of since he wrote so late. But on two occasions, 1:45 and 6:42, Jesus is referred to simply as "The son of Joseph". In Romans 1:3 Paul tells us without proof that Jesus was in fact a direct descendant of King David. The subject surfaces again in Galatians 4:4 where he says in reference to Jesus that, "When the fullness of time had come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law." These are extremely helpful statements, because Paul's writings predate the gospels of Matthew and Luke by some twenty five to thirty years. He was a contemporary of Jesus yet he obviously never heard of the virgin birth touted as one of Christianity's most important miracles. The only conclusion we are left with is that the virgin birth of Jesus was a fantasy concoction of the writers of Matthew and Luke inserted in their gospels probably for the purpose of converting Pagans.

Jesus is reported to have put a question to the twelve apostles in the original simple narrative told in the earlier writer Mark, and copied almost verbatim into Luke. Jesus saying to them, "Whom do men say that I am?" The answer showed a very superstitious belief in reincarnations or "second comings" of dead persons to earth; for "they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets, or Jeremiah. Jesus himself shared this reincarnation superstition, for he had positively asserted that John the Baptist was Elijah: "This is Elias, which was for to come," (Matthew 11:13-14); though John, being questioned about it, "Art thou Elias?" contradicted the Christ, "and he saith, I am not." (John 1:19-21) The later Church Father who wrote the original of the "gospel according to Matthew," copied Mark's story verbatim, Mark's verses 27-33, being nearly word for word reproduced in Matthew's 13-16, 20-24 of chapter 16; the only material verbal difference being in Peter's answer, in verse 16, where Peter's words are expanded: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God," obviously throw in by the interpreter of verses 17-19. Over time the fervor of the Cleric to exalt Peter increased; there are many admitted forgeries of documents having that purpose in view. So it was, obviously, a forging Cleric who took a manuscript of "Matthew," and turning to the above verses copied from "Mark," added in, or made a new manuscript copy containing, the notable forgery of verses 17-19. There, onto the commonplace and unnoticed reply of Peter, "Thou art the Christ," tacked on.

After the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, and the discovery on the third day of his empty grave by the Magdalene, which she immediately reported to Peter and John, they ran doubting to the grave, looked in, and "saw, and believed"; and John positively swears: "For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead." (John Chapter 20) But this inspired assertion contains a thought-provoking historical missing entry: for "as yet" there was, of course, no "scripture" about the death and resurrection at all, nor for well over a century afterwards.

Apostle Paul mentioned in First Corinthians the fifteenth chapter he had seen Jesus in a vision after he had died. People with visions, and a hidden agenda, are very unreliable evidence. Furthermore, eyewitnesses did not write the gospel accounts. On top of that there are no writings of the so-called eyewitnesses. Bible scholars know this and the evidence indicates it is a certainty. If you think that an apostle Matthew wrote Matthew, or the apostle John wrote the Gospel of John, you are not fascinated with specifics. Luke even in the beginning of his gospel said that he was not an eyewitness to these things but that he had made inquiries into the subject.

John did not write the gospel that bears that name. Bible scholars know that. The evidence is overwhelming. Go to your library, get the information, and study it for yourself, and you'll see that John who wrote the book of John was certainly not an eyewitness to the resurrection. As for the Apostle Paul, he had a vision, and visions don't count. It's that simple. Jesus Christ never establishes any new religion, or even a newfound Jewish religion! Jesus never made the forged statement in Matthew: "Go ye into all the world, and teach all nations." The avowed mission of Jesus, was exclusively to his fellow Jews: "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel"; and he expressly commanded his disciples not to preach to the Gentiles, nor even to the near-Jewish Samaritans. It is impossible, therefore, that Jesus could have so flagrantly contradicted the basic principles of his exclusive mission, and could have commanded the institution of a permanent and perpetual religious organization or "Church," to preach his exclusively Jewish Messianic doctrines to all nations of the earth, which was to perish within that generation. This is conclusive proof of the later forgery of this passage. It is recognized by reputable scholars that what the so-called historians were doing was recounting what Christians already believed. Josephus did not write about Jesus, very reliable theologians admit it's a forgery. As for as eyewitnesses, what did they ever write? You don't know if they really said that they saw the resurrection, or whether they said they saw the empty tomb, or Jesus after he was resurrected. You have the word of someone who wrote a gospel account who said that they said. You have the account of the Apostle Paul's vision, and said that Jesus appeared to five hundred witnesses. There is not one word written about this happening that is not a forgery. It is nothing but hearsay evidence. People don't believe that Jesus rose from the dead any more than they believe that Osiris rose from the dead.

I have read the Bible too. I was so humiliated over religion when I was growing up that even seeing a Bible turns my stomach. I know that fundies can make your life an emotional hell.

I have been reading what Linda wrote about this and find it really interesting and helpful. She has obviously not only read the Bible but she has clearly investigated it thoroughly. I know that took a lot of work. You deserve credit for that work. You have brought up things that I had never noticed.

Very commanding words.. (They all agree, none believe, no evidence, all leading scholars know, etc.). Nice touch to your own interpretation. Much more to discuss and many others say just the opposite. Many leading theologians agree, most believe, archeological and current historical digs/evidence points in the direction, Ezekiel (Old Test.) prophesying of the messiah..... It's a non-believing twist on the subject. "I think" your doing a major disservice with you're written linguistic pressure. A lot of people reading this stuff have no clue @ the depth of the matter. Ask them about TAG, evolution, Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Int. Design. I would be willing to bet many first timers haven't a clue. I any are reading, continue your search with a wide open mind. Look elsewhere. There are more answers. Just as much, if not more reliable answers than what you are reading here.

I had no trouble at all with it and I am 18 years old.

People incapable of understanding that wouldn't really last too long in an atheist group anyway. I think that they should seek their own level. Like any apologetics message board.

Mark,

Those are facts that Biblical Scholars know are facts. Some Biblical Scholars have told the truth about the bible, but most of them found another profession. Some of them have made a profession out of telling the truth about the Bible. Nothing that Linda wrote is not true and it is really on the half of it.

THE ORIGIN OF THE BIBLE: Moses was a man who had been raised in the family of Pharaoh and had been taught the law and mythology of Egypt. For the purpose of controlling his followers he pretended that he was instructed and assisted by God. Moses claimed to have gotten the 10 commandments from God on Mt. Sinai. We know that they came from the Egyptian Book of The Dead. Long before Moses. After Moses was dead, and all his followers were dead, the Pentateuch was written. The work of many writers, and to give it authority it was claimed that Moses was the author. We now know that Moses did not write the Pentateuch. Towns are mentioned that were not in existence when Moses lived. Money, not coined until centuries after his death, is mentioned. Intelligent and honest theologians admit that Moses was not the author of the Pentateuch. We know that the books were not written in the same generation; that they were not all written by one person, and that they are filled with mistakes and contradictions. Joshua did not write the book that with that name, because it refers to events that did not happen until long after his death. No one knows the author of Judges; all we know is that it was written centuries after all the judges had ceased to exist. No one knows the author of Ruth, or of First and Second Samuel, all we know is that Samuel did not write the books with his name. In the 25th chapter of First Samuel is an account of the raising of Samuel by the Witch of Endor. No one knows the author of First and Second Kings or First and Second Chronicles, all we know is that these books are of no significance.

In the Psalms the Captivity is spoken of, and that did not happen until about five hundred years after David slept with his fathers, so, Psalms were not written by David. God is not mentioned in the Song of Solomon, and an unbeliever wrote Ecclesiastes. The Bible and the ancient Hebrews believed that this earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun, moon and stars were specks in the sky. They thought the earth was flat, with Four Corners; that the sky, the firmament, was solid. They thought the sun revolved about the earth. They believed that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman; that they had been created a few years before, and the Hebrews were their direct descendants. The writers of the Bible were mistaken about creation, astronomy, and geology. It is wrong about the causes of phenomena, and the cause of death. The Bible is full of mistakes, false theories, myths and blunders and could not have been inspired by a supernatural superior god.

Biblical Scholars admit that the Bible is wrong about astronomy, geology, or any science. They now admit that the inspired men who wrote the Old Testament knew nothing about any science, and that they wrote about the earth and stars, the sun and moon, in accordance with the general ignorance of the time.

Biblical Scholars admit that they do not know who wrote the New Testament. They admit that nobody know who wrote the four gospels with the titles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. A Hebrew manuscript of these gospels has never been found. All are in Greek. So, educated theologians admit that the Epistles, James and Jude, were written by persons who had never seen one of the four gospels. In these Epistles (James and Jude) no reference is made to any of the gospels, nor to any miracle recorded in them.

I could go on because there is a great deal more than this but it would take too long. Suffice to say that no scholar or half way decently educated person does not know that most of what Linda has already written is correct, and what I have written is pretty common knowledge among educated people.

I think you might want to put an initial with that name because there is another Mark, and I doubt that he wouldn't want to distinguish himself from you.

I often repeat a joke to my close friends and family, "I used to believe in God, but then I learned to read."

I didn't learn to read until late in life. I was a religious fundamentalist when I first discovered ways to circumvent my dyslexia, so one of the first books I read was the Christian version of the Holy Babble. I attended church, religiously, so I was quite anxious to experience it first hand. I had previously been under the impression that while I my worldly ignorance was vast, my wisdom of the divine could be 'humbly' more advanced than my intellectual betters.

I've ended up reading the Christian Babble three times. The first time, my fundamentalist faith was destroyed. The second time was during my first years of University, as much of what I was learning (historically, religious multiplicity, socially, logic, philosophy, biology, mathematics, etcetera) conflicted with my modern/moderate Christian/Deist faith. The third time was merely to find ammunition to use against Faith-Heads, for the purpose of crippling their faith and/or de-converting these cult victims.

In retrospect, I regret the amount of time I devoted to reading such shallow (un Historical) religious tripe, when I consider how far behind I am on books that I believe will enhance my enlightenment and/or pleasure.

The only benefit is that reading it started/encouraged my journey towards Atheism.

So to answer your question, I always encourage people to read their holey babble. I even tell them about the 1 Year Plans (pacing ones' reading so this task can be completed in one year). For the most part, the more people know about their religion, the less religious they become; as a rule, not a law.

Sinisterly, Greenmagi

I would tell them how wise they are for embracing the word of God. Even if we're wrong at least God can see his/her good intentions of seeking Him, respecting Him and honoring Him. A smart and educated Christian not only firmly believes in the scientific method, but also embraces God as the master scientist and architect of the universe. Funny how we label things "laws, rules, code" but then reject the idea of design being the reason for its existence.

I'd bet you're either a Xian that doesn't know much about science, or a Xian that doesn't know much about the holey babble...umm...I mean, holy bible. The bible does not mesh well with the scientific method.

Hey Mr. T, you should say, "I PITY the FOOL that denies God in his heart." (insert rimshot here)

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