Sunday, November 26, 2006

Vintage My Case Against God: The BIG Bible Post

This article originally appeared on Good Friday, 2006. Alterations have been kept minimal.

Well, it is Good Friday. That means there is good news and bad news: The good news is I got out of work today at 1:00. The bad news is one may not eat any meat all day. That prohibition is rather curious though, considering there is absolutely no logical or rational reason why one should abstain. But, for Christians, logic and rationality are employed only selectively. For example, on Sunday, Christians across the globe will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Perhaps it never occurred to them that it is scientifically impossible for a corpse that has been dead for dozens of hours to come back to life. How could billions of people possibly believe something that is so egregiously ludicrous?

Answer: It is in the Bible. For Christians, the Bible offers absolute truth, and mustn’t ever be questioned. The Bible is the crutch upon which Christians lean when they declare their belief in Noah’s Ark, Adam and Eve, creationism, miracles and all other such nonsense. Indeed, for Christians, the Bible is so powerful that it invalidates scientific studies. In the past couple of weeks, two major breakthroughs have been achieved with respect to evolution. If you haven’t already, be sure to read this article and this one. [Note: This link subsequently has passed away.] Christians can rest easy, though; the Bible’s “Special Creation” story must be true by virtue of the fact the Bible is the infallible, inspired Word of God.

Or so Christians hope. In truth, if the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then God is very fallible indeed. When it comes to the details, passages are often directly contradictory. Sometimes there are contradictions even about major events and lineages. Moreover, there are myriad factual errors, especially in regard to science. My argument, thus, is quite simple: If the Bible can’t even get mundane things correct, why should I believe it with respect to things that are scientifically impossible? Perhaps I would give some credence to the Bible’s veracity if there were no contradictions or factual errors; however, as things are, that’s hardly the case.

To prove I’m not just blowing smoke, let me guide you through 10 clear Bible contradictions. Please note, the next section of this post is credited entirely to a great quiz found on this terrific website.

Mt.20:30 – “And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.”

Lk.18:35 – “And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging.”


Jer.52:12-13 – “Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month ... burned the house of the Lord.”

2 Kg.25:8-9 – “And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month ... burned the house of the Lord.”


Heb.6:18 – “It was impossible for God to lie.”

Mk.10:27 – “With God all things are possible.”


Jas.2:21-25 – “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

Gal.2:16 – “A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith”


2 Chr.22:2 – “Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign.”

2 Kg.8:26 – “Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign.”


Mt.7:21 – “Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Jl.2:32 – “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”


John 14:28 – “The Father is Greater than I”

John 10:30 – “I and the Father are one.”


Ezekiel 18:20 – “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son”

Exodus 20:5 – “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”


John 1:18 – “No man hath seen God at any time.”

Genesis 32:30 – “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”


Genesis 22:1 – “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham.”

James 1:13 – “God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.”

Reading David Mills' wonderful book "Atheist Universe" also brought a major contradiction to my attention: differing genealogies tracing the lineage between David and Jesus. The genealogy according to Matthew has 28 steps. The genealogy according to Luke has 43 steps. This represents a direct and irreconcilable contradiction, much like the ones you already have read.

Of course, there are many more such contradictions. I again would urge the Bible’s writers to get their stories straight before expecting us to believe that the impossible is somehow possible, and nature’s laws can somehow float in and out of existence at God’s whim.

Let me quickly also note some of the Bible’s factual inaccuracies. The source is here.

Leviticus 11:6 states that rabbits chew their cud.

Leviticus 11:20-23 speaks of four-legged insects, including grasshoppers.

1 Chronicles 16:30 and Psalm 93:1 state that the earth is immobile; yet it not only revolves and orbits the sun but is also influenced by the gravitational pull of other bodies.

Having expressed distrust in the Bible based upon contradictions and factual inaccuracies, I will close by presenting a smattering of morally objectionable passages. As such, the Bible will be proved factually shaky (to be generous toward it) and morally loathsome.

Now the LORD had said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold." (The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh's officials and by the people.)
So Moses said, "This is what the LORD says: 'About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt-worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.
Exodus 11:1-6

As for your male and female slaves whom you may have--you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.
Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession.
You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.
Lev 25:44-46

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
Eph 6:5

Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
Col 3:22

The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.
1Cor 14:34

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,
but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.
A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.
But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
1Tim 2:9-14

If there is a man who marries a woman and her mother, it is immorality; both he and they shall be burned with fire, so that there will be no immorality in your midst.
Lev 20:14

Also the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by harlotry, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire.
Lev 21:9

Speak to Aaron, saying, 'No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the food of his God.
For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb,
or a man who has a broken foot or broken hand,
or a hunchback or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles.
No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a defect is to come near to offer the LORD'S offerings by fire; since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God.
He may eat the food of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy,
only he shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, so that he will not profane My sanctuaries. For I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
Lev 21:17-23

Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother.
But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD; so He took his life also.
Gen 38:9-10

and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.
2Chr 15:13

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ
1Cor 11:3

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay [them] before me.


Luke 19:27


Blogger DoctorBoogaloo said...

The faithful never see such contradictions as a problem, if they see them at all.
Faith has nothing to do with rational thought. And that's why the faihful -- of whatever ilk -- are a danger to us all.

I do, however, enjoy the time off work.

9:39 PM EDT  
Blogger franky said...

Indeed Frances, the faithful already have a multitude of rationalizations for many of those passages. My favorite (for the slavery one) is the whole "Well, in the Greek language, blah-blah-blah really connotes 'indentured servitude' rather than slaves"

8:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Lord Omar said...

I blasted across town to my local sooth-sayer for his opinion and below is the response. It's all about the spin, baby!

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay [them] before me.


Luk 19:27

Ummm..what's the 'good' spin on this one, Roland?
omar | 04.17.06 - 3:53 pm | #



That wasn't Jesus giving a direct order. That was part of a parable about a king. The point of the parable is to take what has been given to you by God and tend to it in his absence. When God returns, you will be rewarded for your stewardship. However, if you attempt to rebuke God and oppose his kingship, you will be... taken down a notch...

10:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

Good post. Too bad Christians dont care :(

4:08 PM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

Christians definitely are equipped with a serious set of blinders. They work tirelessly to invent excuses for Biblical atrocities, absurdities, contradictions, inaccuracies and impossibilities. When they can't make up good excuses, they demand on what basis we can question God. Then sometimes, they go plain looney: For example, saying God fabricated the fossil evidence that scientists have uncovered, to create the illusion of an old earth. Of course, that makes no sense at all upon even cursory inspection, since God is alleged to be omnibenevolent, therefore wanting all people to go to Heaven. In that case, why would God fabricate evidence against The Bible's account of origins, thereby promoting disbelief?

But I have some hope of changing Christian minds. After all, I used to be one, albeit a pro-choice and pro-gay Christian who didn't attend church on a regular basis.

8:12 PM EDT  
Anonymous bernarda said...

Whenever christians don't understand something in the bible or when something is indefensible, they say it is a parable.

As Mark Twain said, it is not the parts of the bible that I don't understand that worry me, it is the parts that I understand.

10:07 AM EDT  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

Twain has lots of great atheist quotes.

If you haven't already, be sure to read Atheist Universe by David Mills. It starts off with atheistic quotes from myriad notable individuals. That section, alone, is a valuable reference for use in debate and discussion.

11:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Aaron said...

Religion is a construct of the human mind, used by those who believe in it as a way to cope with the inevitability of mortality. As a result it will never diminish or die, and the need for it will never be satiated. The inherent flaw in mankind is that we are not a logical race, and in turn our societies will never be logical.

10:37 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are not a follower of Christ and what the Bible says isn't true then what have you lost? but if you aren't a follower and what the Bible says is true then you have lost everything. On the other hand if you are a follower and what the Bible says is not true then what have you lost? but if you are a follower and what the Bible says IS true then you've gained eternal bliss!

8:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Pawprint said...

HAHAHA this amused me so much. =) I am a hardcore realist and therefore athiest. I saw a shirt on the internet the other day that said "I think, therefore I'm athiest". Loved it. I also have some points of my own:
- All the ideologies in the Bible are consistent with the ideologies which were around at the time (eg. abuse to slaves, women, children, animals). If it had been written nowadays, the Bible would be totally different.
- If God is all powerful and loving and such, then what's with disease? If God created everything, he also created viruses and bacteria.
- I read somewhere that God created governments to deliver justice to evildoers. If God wanted everyone to obey him, then wouldn't he just do it himself?
- People say Jesus must be the Son of God because he rose from the dead. Their evidence for this is "the bible says he appeared before 500 people". So, that's their only evidence for him appearing to 500? That the Bible "says so"?
- God gave humans meat and said that animals were stupid creatures created for the purpose of man. On the contrary, modern science has proven that meat is linked to many diseases, and that many animals are as intelligent as humans (chimpanzees have been proven to have better memories than humans, for one example).
- The Bible declares the earth is only a few thousand years old. Yet the aboriginal culture is over 50,000 yeard old.
- The Bible also declares that God scattered groups of humans and changed their features and skin colour. Obviously, God would realise this is stupid and would lead to racism, so why do it? What is the point? Races are consistent with the theory of evolution.
- Pro-Jesus people say that it is irrational to think that the universe just always "was", and that life can appear from non-life. Yet, I find that more rational than believing some all-seeing, all-knowing guy was floating in darkness forever.
- The publication of the Bible is an incredible financial statement. People have jobs in churches, and the material goods sold (such as crosses, bibles, etc) would make billions each year. Also, the people involved are incredibly famous. Why not fabricate an amazing story if it would create such an incredible following?

4:54 AM EST  
Blogger Pawprint said...

Okay, I've thought of some more points:
- Obviously, God created stars. Back then, people didn't know what stars were, so it was reasonable to think God put them there. But now we know that stars are other suns, in other solar systems, in other galaxies. Earth is so small and insignificant in the entire cosmos that you could say it's like a grain of sand out of all the beaches on the planet. So why the heck would God bother to create billions of other stars in googolplex miles of cosmos when he only wanted to look after one?
- Apparently, all people sin. And sin causes death. So why do babies die? I'm pretty sure the babies from miscarriages and stillbirths didn't sin.
- Also, if sin causes death, then how'd Jesus die? I thought he was supposed to be sinless, yet he "died" on the cross for us?
- What the heck happened to Jesus? Wasn't he supposed to have risen from the dead? So where is he now?
- If God is so loving and wants us all to go to heaven, why did he make it law in the first place that we can't unless we do all this stuff that any rational person would reject? If he wants us to believe, how about getting off his cloud and saying, "Hey everyone, here I am! Told you I was real!"
- God ordered "witches" to be killed. This is stupid. Even diehard Christians agree that there is no such thing as a witch. Every woman who was burned alive was NOT a witch, yet God said they were, so innocent people were killed.
- I read on a Christian site that so-called proof of evolution in living species is stupid. They justified this claim by using snakes as an example, and saying their "old leg" bones were really ways of reproducing. If this is the case, why do cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) have "leg bones" as well? They don't use them to reproduce.
- The Bible says that dinosaurs were around in the biblical times, but admit they don't know why thousands of fossils are found and how they became extinct. "Isn't it more realistic to say that all these fossils came about when animals died in the flood then over millions of years?" Fair enough, but why are these fossils of animals that are extinct? Weren't 2 of EVERY animal supposed to be on the arc?
- Another thing with the arc, they say it is possible because only 2 of every "kind" of animal was on it. For example, instead of having 2 of every species of dove, they only had "2 doves", regardless of species. These doves then managed to reproduce and develop into dozens of species of doves in a matter of centuries. This is obviously not possible, and in fact supports the theory of evolution (that they developed into new species) which Christians insist is impossible.
- The basic idea of the bible is that everyone has to obey, without question or reason, a select few people, otherwise "God" will allow said few to kill anyone who declines. This sounds to me like a power thing.
- God 'appears as an angel' to some people and creates humans from his image, therefore God sins (commandment 2). God creates all life and creates life every single day, therefore God sins (commandment 4). God has no parents, and so cannot honour his mother and father, therefore God sins (commandment 5). God kills people, therefore God sins (commandment 6). God 'rapes' Mary to produce Jesus, therefore God sins (commandment 7). God stole land, therefore God sins (commandment 8). God is jealous, therefore God sins (commandment 10). Therefore God is not holy, and a hypocrite. Bottom line: God sins against himself.
- Allegedly Jesus will enter the body of new Christians and change their mindset to help them overcome struggles in life, such as cancer and addictions. So why do they still die of cancer and addictions? Also, why doesn't Jesus just change the mindset of everyone to believe in God?

8:40 AM EST  
Blogger Pawprint said...

- Ancient Egyptians have one of the oldest religions. If it's so old (and came around the time of when God created the earth), then why is it of the "wrong" religion?
- If God create humans as they are now, why do we have fossils of primitive humans, with different bone structures, etc?
- The Bible is the 'word of God' and written by God. What'd he do? Reach out a giant hand, grab a pencil and delicately write on a peace of paper before passing it onto someone and saying "here, publish this for me." Christians say the Bible is too complex to be invented by a human mind, yet everything I've ever read could EASILY have been written by any sociopath with a pencil. And besides, the books are written by their authors (eg. John wrote the book of John)! Duh!
- The vast majority of main characters (I can only think of two who aren't - Mary and Eve) in the Bible are male. Once again, consistent with the ideology of that time that women are insignificant.
- By the logic of "Believing in Jesus will send you to heaven", sadomasochistic serial torturers and rapists can go to heaven, whereas charitable, generous and kind people go to hell. What a great logic.
- If God is all-knowing he would have known everyone would sin against him. So why create a law that sinners go to hell?
- Didn't the whole "sin" thing come when Adam ate an apple (haha Adam's apple, how ironic :P)? How is that a sin? Since when was there a commandment saying "Thou shall not eat apples"? Therefore Adam never sinned, and so the entire foundation of the Bible is void.
- It's not enough to just believe in Jesus, apparently. You have to put your unconditional faith and all your life and power into his hands, as well. I've seen many diagrams which show a chair. If you sit on the chair and control your life, you're going to hell. To go to heaven, you have to put Jesus in the chair and grovel at his feet, and allow him to control your entire life. In short, you are not allowed to do what you want in life and instead must become an annoying preacher and tell everyone how "wonderful" Jesus is. In fact, he's so wonderful, that he's denying you your dreams and aspirations for the future.
- Many Christians deny medical treatment for illnesses because they believe God will cure them. Then they die. Thanks, God.
- One of the arguments is that Jesus has to be the son of God because he knew it from birth and otherwise he wouldn't have been able to do all the things he did. But apparently God told Mary that she was going to give birth to Jesus, and everyone worshipped him from birth, assuming him to be the sacred messiah. Obviously he's going to have a complex with such high expectations. Who wouldn't?

8:43 AM EST  
Blogger Pawprint said...

- I read somewhere that Satan was to be released onto earth (the rapture) after a thousand years. It's now 2009 AD. Satan is late.
- I also read somewhere about natives living in distant tribes who never heard of God, so obviously won't be Christian. They said that God can see into their hearts and will know that if a missionary came and they changed their beliefs, they would go to heaven even if that missionary never came. Now, let's be realistic. How many natives are going to drop everything they've ever known and begin believing in some invisible magical guy they've neve heard of before because someone appeared in their tribe one day speaking of Jesus?
- There could be fifty novels written about the bad things God did, so I'm not going into that. The punchline is that he did terribly bad things, and so cannot be "good".
- God allegedly does not judge children and allows all children to enter heaven, should they die. Yet he orders people to stone to death children who curse their parents.
- Defenders of the bible deny the existance of global warming. Any rational person can see global warming is real.
- God is against intra-species killing, yet in non-human animals (which he created) he created cannibalism, infanticide and fighting to the death for mating rights.
- People are killed for sinning against the ten commandments before the ten commandments were announced.
- Torturing an animal to death pleases God.
- All women automatically sin because they have periods. God made periods. What a douchebag.
- God has terrible grammar. I feel like I'm reading Shakespeare.
- Half the stuff said in the Bible ( is just plain ridiculous.

8:45 AM EST  
Blogger Pawprint said...

- In the flood Noah only took on animals. As we know, there is more to life than animals, and so all the species of plant, fungi, protist and bacteria would have died. Once the animals were reintroduced onto land, they would have died ASAP without plants and protists to eat, fungi to break down decaying matter, and bacteria to aid digestion and keep populations under control. Plus, if everything died, why are they still here today?

8:38 PM EST  
Blogger JohnM said...

Superb and well written article.

My problems with the Bible, and in turn Christians boil down to some rather simple facts.

The first being people never question the word of the Bible. And yet look at the MANY translations out there. Each one contains different words, and yet - according to a Christian friend of mine - none can lie because they're the work of God (sigh!).

Another thing to consider is that the Bible was never written in English!!! Even today, different translators give different interpretations to words or phrases that have no direct equivalent when working on translating novels, film subtitles etc etc. It happens all the time! Many times it's a 'best fit' or 'best guess' scenario. And we're talking about something which was translated by people we don't know! What was their bias?

Who originally translated the texts? Did they do a good job, or did they have a hidden agenda? Did they 'spice up' some stories? did they triple check the facts they were translating? HOW people can trust a text that was written THOUSANDS of years back, when even a thunderstorm was seen as an act of God, and expect it to still be 100% accurate today is beyond me. These people live in make belief land! These people are in many ways very dangerous indeed.

Lastly, I just amazes me that people can follow something without questioning it. These people must either 1) be so lemming-like they would rather have someone else think for them, or 2) they are scared to death of their God and live in fear that if they do question anything they'll burn for it. 3) they are in it for money, prestige or due to being born into a hardcore religious family.

I don't think humanity will EVER be free until we stop relying on outdated concepts of some God over-seeing everything, and start to rely on & improve ourselves more instead. I personally believe that 'nature' is God. Creation. Life. And we humans screw with it daily.

In 2010 we really should have moved beyond all this nonsense by now.

- John

10:00 AM EST  
Blogger JohnM said...

P.S. The 'BIGGIE' for me is.... what about the times BEFORE the Bible was written??!? Did everyone goto Hell before the Bible was written, or did they get a free pass to Heaven??!?

There are also MANY millions of people alive today that have NO IDEA the Bible exists. Again... do they goto hell because of that, through no fault of their own?

The whole thing is just ludicrous and insane the more I think about it. I would imagine if the Christian concept of God existed He's be pretty ashamed of Christians and things done in His name over the centuries...

10:05 AM EST  

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