If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would strictly follow the teachings of the New, he would be insane.
-- Robert G. Ingersoll
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."
-- Age of Reason (18th century), by Thomas Paine
Nobody holds in greater contempt than I the writers, publishers, or dealers in obscene literature. One of my objections to the Bible is that it contains hundreds of grossly obscene passages not fit to be read by any decent man; thousands of passages, in my judgment, calculated to corrupt the minds of youth. I hope the time will come when the good sense of the American people will demand a bible with all obscene passages left out.
-- Robert G. Ingersoll, in a letter to a friend
August 2000, AFP [Associated Foreign Press] revealed two lawyers in Munich had written to German Family Minister Christine Bergmann asking her to officially class the Bible among books considered dangerous for children because of its violent content.Also available in an edited form here
Bavarian lawyers Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel said in their submission "on behalf of some parents of minors" that the Bible contained passages of "a gruesomeness difficult to exceed" which are glorified as the will of God."It preaches genocide, racism, enmity towards Jews, gruesome executions for adulterers and homosexuals, the murder of one's own children and many other perversities," the submission said.
The book should therefore be kept on the "not for children" list so long as the "bloodthirsty and human rights-violating passages" were not removed.
"I moreover believe that any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child cannot be a true system."
-- Age of Reason (18th century), by Thomas Paine
"It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."
-- Mark Twain
To this day I cherish an unappeasable bitterness against the unfaithful guardians of my young life, who not only permitted but compelled me to read an unexpurgated Bible through before I was 15 years old. None can do that and ever draw a clean sweet breath again this side of the grave...Wondering why?
-- Mark Twain
According to 2 Chron. 30:16 Moses was the Man of God; yet, he...David:
- murdered an Egyptian (Ex. 2:12),
- ordered the murder of prisoners (Num. 31:17),
- ordered the keeping of young female prisoners for several reasons (Num. 31:17),
- led mass killings of women and children (Deut. 2:34, 3:3, 6),
- ordered killings (Deut. 13:15, 20:13),
- had a son out of wedlock (Ex. 2:21-22),
Some more Biblical characters:
- He killed (1 Sam. 17:50-51 RSV, 18:7, 27, 19:8, 23:5, 30:17, 2 Sam. 8:1, 2, 5, 13),
- ordered murders (2 Sam. 1:15, 4:5-12),
- ordered prisoners to be killed (2 Sam. 12:2931, 1 Chron. 20:3, 2 Sam. 8:1-2),
- committed unprovoked aggression and mass killing (1 Sam. 27:8-11, 2 Sam. 5:20, 25),
- gave up seven of Saul's descendants to be killed (2 Sam. 21:1-6, 9),
- requested that Joab be killed (1 Kings 2:5-6),
- intentionally arranged for Uriah to be killed in order to seize his wife (2 Sam. 11:14-17),
From: Issue 13 of Biblical Errancy contains far more than the few excerpts above.
- ABIMELECH--killed a city's inhabitants (Jud. 9:45 RSV); and murdered wantonly (Jud. 9:5);
- ELIJAH--committed murder (1 Kings 18:40);
- ABRAHAM-- ... debauched Hagar, his maidservant (Gen. 16:4), sent his maidservant and her child into the wilderness (Gen. 21:14), ... and married his half-sister (Gen. 20:11-12);
See also: Biblical Matriarchs in Biblical Errancy Issue No. 23
What was the character of Christ's male ancestors?
Assuming Matthew's genealogy to be correct, nearly all of those whose histories are recorded in the Old Testament were guilty of infamous crimes or gross immoralities.
What female ancestors are named in his genealogy?
- Abraham married his sister and seduced her handmaid;
- Jacob, after committing bigamy, seduced two of his housemaids;
- Judah committed incest with his daughter-in-law;
- David was a polygamist, an adulterer, a robber and a murderer,
- Solomon had a thousand wives and concubines;
- Rehoboam Abijam, Joram, Ahaziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Manasseh, Amon and Jehoiachin, are all represented as monsters of iniquity, while others are declared to have been too vile to even name in his genealogy.
Matthew: Thamar, Rachab, Ruth and Bathsheba.
Regarding these women the Rev. Dr. Alexander Walker (Woman, p. 330) says:"It is remarkable that in the genealogy of Christ, only four women have been named:Matthew Henry, a noted Christian commentator, says:
- Thamar who seduced the father of her late husband;
- Rachab, a common prostitute;
- Ruth, who, instead of marrying one of her cousins, went to bed with another of them; and
- Bathsheba, an adulteress, who espoused David, the murderer of her first husband""There are four women, and but four, named in this genealogy,...Rachab, a Canaanitess, and a harlot besides, and Ruth, the Moabitess.... The other two were adulteresses, Tamar and Bathsheba" (Commentary, Vol. V).-- The Christ, by John E. Remsberg
Kill Everyone in 7 Nations
When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, he will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are all more powerful than you. When the LORD your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaties with them and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them, and don't let your daughters and sons marry their sons and daughters. They will lead your young people away from me to worship other gods. Then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and he will destroy you.
(Deuteronomy 7:1-4 NLT)
120,000 Killed for God
That is why the LORD his God allowed the king of Aram to defeat Ahaz and to exile large numbers of his people to Damascus. The armies of Israel also defeated Ahaz and inflicted many casualties on his army. In a single day Pekah son of Remaliah, Israel's king, killed 120,000 of Judah's troops because they had abandoned the LORD, the God of their ancestors. Then Zicri, a warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, the king's son; Azrikam, the king's palace commander; and Elkanah, the king's second-in-command. The armies of Israel captured 200,000 women and children from Judah and took tremendous amounts of plunder, which they took back to Samaria.
(2 Chronicles 28:5-8 NLT)
185,000 Killed by God:From: Evil Bible Quotes (for August, October and November)
The angel of the Lord went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. Early the next morning they were there, all the corpses of the dead.
(Isaiah 37:36 NAB)
This site has more of God's statements as given in the Bible, as well as other Biblical quotes.
Our Bible reveals to us the character of our god with minute and remorseless exactness. ...It is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere. It makes Nero an angel of light and leading by contrast...
-- Mark Twain, Reflections on Religion
Like nearly all the doctrines ascribed to Christ, the atonement is in the highest degree unjust and absurd. Referring to this doctrine, Lord Byron says:"The basis of your religion is injustice. The Son of God the pure, the immaculate, the innocent, is sacrificed for the guilty. This proves his heroism, but no more does away with man's sin than a schoolboy's volunteering to be flogged for another would exculpate a dunce from negligence."-- The Christ, by John E. Remsberg
The Prince of Peace?
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man 'against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household'".
(Matthew 10:34-36 NAB)
Hate Your Family
If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he can not be my disciple.
(Luke 14:26 NAB)
Jesus Doesn’t Want to Save EveryoneFrom: Evil Bible Quotes (for February, March and June)
And when he [Jesus] was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, "The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that 'they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.'"
(Mark 4:10-12 NAB)
From The Christ by John E. Remsberg:
Whom did he pronounce blessed?
"Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matthew v, 3)."Is poverty of spirit a blessing? Surely not. Manliness of spirit, honesty of spirit, fulness of rightful purpose, these are virtues; but poverty of spirit is a crime."
What did Christ say respecting the intellectual character of his converts?
"I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes" (Matthew xi, 25; Luke x, 21).
Commenting on this expression of thanks, Celsus, who lived at the time the Four Gospels made their appearance, says:"This is one of their [the Christians'] rules. Let no man that is learned, wise, or prudent come among us: but if they be unlearned, or a child, or an idiot, let him freely come.
Did he [Jesus] oppose slavery?
All: He did not."Slavery was incorporated into the civil institutions of Moses; it was recognized accordingly by Christ and his apostles."
-- Rev. Dr. Nathan Lord, President of Dartmouth College"I have no doubt if Jesus Christ were now on earth that he would, under certain circumstances, become a slaveholder."
-- Rev. Dr. Taylor of Yale"Christ preaches only servitude and dependence.... True Christians are made to be slaves."
Paul's characterization of ChristiansImagine if these were the sought-for specifications in a job advert. Not many would apply.
"Not many wise ... not many noble are called" (1 Corinthians i, 26).
"Base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen" (28).
"We are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things" (iv, 13).
"We are fools for Christ's sake" (10).
- The Brick Testament, for a highly visual and amusing Lego version of Biblical tales.
- The Dark Bible: it contains pages on atrocities in the Bible including slavery, mistreatment of women, God, (im)morality, obscenities
- Evil Bible: includes Horrible verses, Slavery in the Bible, Biblical Rape, Murder in the Bible, Ritual Human Sacrifice in the Bible, Biblical Contradictions - and more
- USBible.Com: sections on the Gospels, Jesus, the Ten Commandments and more;
and sections on Biblical human sacrifice and more
- Internet Infidels page on atrocities in the Bible
- The Bloody Bible by Louis W. Cable
- Biblical Errancy: documents errata and other impossibilites
- The Bible and Jesus Myth and Biblical Contradictions
- The Skeptics Annotated Bible: identifies absurdities, inconsistencies and horrors
- Are the Gospels True? A look at the nativity/infancy teachings compares the irreconcilable Gospel accounts of the Nativity (as given in Matthew and Luke).
- Contradictions in the geneology of Jesus as given by the Gospels of Luke and Matthew
- The Easter Challenge by former preacher Dan Barker lists some of the irreconcilable discrepancies among the resurrection accounts. He also documents a few other Bible Contradictions
- Christian Salvation? - This article presents a survey of 16 major denominations showing that Christians don't agree on how salvation is achieved.
- Polytheism in Genesis: Baal and Ashtoreth vs. Yahweh
- Conflicting Creation accounts in Genesis discussed in Biblical Errancy issues No. 21 and No. 22
- A List of Biblical Contradictions at Internet Infidels
- Biblical Contradictions and Biblical Errancy at Internet Infidels
- Michael Kalopoulos' site Greatlie.com
- Some Mistakes of Moses, by Robert G. Ingersoll, who identified errors and contradictions
- About the Holy Bible, by Robert G. Ingersoll
- Celsus, on the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians by Celsus, R. Joseph Hoffmann
- Porphyry's Against the Christians: The Literary Remains by Porphyry, R. Joseph Hoffmann
- The Christians as the Romans Saw Them by Robert Louis Wilken
Those that are horrified by the contents of the Bible need not worry about the present state of the holy book:
Vatican scholars prepare to rewrite the Bible - news from The Guardian, September 11, 2001
It's not a break with precedent, as it is what the early Churches had done throughout the early Church Councils and until centuries later. God's infallibility and His Inerrant Word are apparently far from perfect and require constant tinkering.
See: The Ever-Changing Word of God
The Vatican spent decades trying to prevent scientists and scholars from getting access to the Dead Sea Scrolls, because it would show how much of Jesus was a fiction. Therefore, the Vatican now plans to use the literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls to rewrite the Bible, probably in an attempt to change the character of Jesus to fit in with the community who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Gnostic literature found at Nag Hammadi (Gnosticism is older than Christianity) also poses a problem, because those works call into question the authenticity of today's Bible, revealing that it is no more authentic than many other earlier scriptural works.
The Vatican: rewriting and re-assembling the supposed "Word of God". Again.
You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:14)From: Hellfire Jesus
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:17-18)
The fact that all those who existed before the purported time of Jesus are unsaved, means there are billions of pre-Christ people languishing in Biblical Hell already. Through no fault of theirs. Then there are all the billions of people who have existed since Jesus' unnoticed birth who never heard of him. They'll be burning in Hell too. To this day, there are some people in unreached and nearly unknown parts of South America, Africa and Asia, who might never have done anything wrong - other than that they did not know of Christ. Finally, there's a large chunk of people who don't practise Christianity (or Islam) and who'll end up in Christian (or Islamic) Hell, merely because they don't accept the religion. And it's hard to blame them: Jesus died for our sins which are due to the Original Sin of an alleged Adam and Eve eating a forbidden apple? (The words "Original Sin" don't appear in the Bible.) It's most cruel that anyone should be punished for others' mistakes, especially since God left the apple dangling there. And being omniscient, he knew that Adam and Eve would eat it and that the Original Sin would happen, he knew it would still take a while before Jesus would come to redeem humans and that many humans would never hear of Jesus even then. Essentially, being omniscient God knew that billions upon billions of people throughout the ages would end up in the everlasting torment of Hell. And being omnipotent, he could have prevented this, but as a matter of fact, he's the one causing it because he invented Hell to punish them. He's the one who sent the saving Jesus (who is God himself, who then crucified himself to pardon humanity in his own eyes) to some obscure place and did not leave any factual traces of his historicity behind.
Luther makes it clear that humans don't really have free will, which makes omnipotent God ultimately culpable for man's actions and sins:
Free will after the Fall is nothing but a word. Even doing what in him lies, man sins mortally.Other theologically-proficient people like Tertullian, St. Thomas Aquinas and Calvin gave the following explanations for God's creation of Hell:
-- Martin Luther, Reformer, Protestant
God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation.That according to Calvin eternal punishment was inflicted randomly by the all-benevolent God is at least consistent with Biblical logic.
-- John Calvin (Reformer, Protestant) in his "Institutes of the Christian Faith"
Calvin is merely echoing Christian teachings that had existed since well before his time. It's obvious that Christians from early times had also grappled with the irrationality of God punishing people who could not possibly have known of Jesus. The way they answered this clearly says much about how compassionate they were:
You are fond of spectacles, expect the greatest of all spectacles, the last and eternal judgement of the universe. How shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs, and fancied god, groaning in the lower abyss of darkness; so many magistrates, who persecuted the name of the Lord, liquefying in fiercer fires than they ever kindled against the Christians; so many sage philosophers blushing in red-hot flames with the deluded scholars; so many celebrated poets trembling before the tribunal ... of Christ; so many tragedians, more tuneful in the expression of their own sufferings; so many dangers...Aquinas, whom the Catholic Church gave the title "Angelic Doctor", imagined that one of the rewards of heavenly bliss is to be able to witness the suffering of the damned in hell:
-- Church father Tertullian in Apologeticum (2nd century)
That the saints may enjoy their beatitude more fully, a perfect sight is granted them of the punishment of the damned.
-- St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, 13th century
Eventually people departed from what had been some of the cherished and central beliefs of Christianity for ages: those concerning the doctrines of Hell. Not more than a couple of centuries ago, more soft-hearted Christians decided that uninformed people in places where missionaries hadn't yet reached ought not to be punished for things they didn't know. Thus, these Christians decided that such people will be judged by God based on how good they are. There is no Biblical support for this view, of course, but it gives them more peace of mind. However, those who have heard of the Gospel but refuse to accept it, will nevertheless be damned for ever. That means it's more likely for unsaved populations to go to heaven if they never hear the Gospel: they merely need to be good. If they ever hear the Gospel, they need to both accept it and be good to escape Hell.
This newly developed theory on salvation made little difference to the presumed fates of many, considering how various tribes around the world tend to respect their ancestors (which is rather reasonable) and continue to believe in their own religion and wish to go to their own afterlife to join said ancestors. Tough luck for them, Christianity promises them eternal suffering for their stubborness in accepting Jesus' Love. God gives two options: either accept his Love or receive his eternal damnation. In court, this would be considered blackmail, but God is above the law and as Christian apologists like to claim, he's above ethics too. And his logic is apparently above human comprehension.
By the way, who asked the missionaries to introduce the Gospel among these people, thereby making them refuse Jesus and consequently sending them to eternal Hell? If the missionaries hadn't done this, their unwilling flock might have had more chance of entering heaven - based on their "goodness" (according to the missionaries' own rules on salvation).
A few Christian apologists in very recent times, who know very little Christian theology and tend to pick and choose what they believe, go even further in trying to ease their conscience. They have come up with another solution, though it's just as unsupported by the Bible:
"Hell is the absence of God" they declare. Sometimes they further explain this by stating that those who know of God but reject his salvation, will be free of the pain of being with him (since they didn't accept him and his love anyway) and so are eternally separated from him.
Although this is a very recent invention, this is actually the best news of all for unreached people (and the irreligious): missionaries should adopt this explanation of Hell when they preach the Gospel. That way, the unsaved masses will find it all the more easy to refuse this God who they don't know and don't care about anyway. Eternal separation from such a meaningless deity is a good thing.
As Hell is now the absence of the Biblical God, it means these people can continue thinking that they will spend their afterlife with their ancestors and their own deity/deities. Effectively, this new interpretation of Biblical Hell is pretty much the Heavens of the unsaved masses.
Unfortunately, missionaries won't be teaching this new interpretation of Hell very soon - it will drastically reduce the number of converts, since the carrot of Biblical Heaven is nothing without the stick of Biblical Hell-fire. If there's no punishment or undesirable afterlife for the unsaved, then what's the point of being saved, after all? Besides, Hell as the absence of Biblical God is merely the Christian explanation reserved for atheists in the US who object to Hell on moral grounds. Many Christians still privately believe in a literal Hell or at least great misery for non-Christians, even though they use "absence of God" when debating with rational irreligious people. That's because nonsensical threats of eternal suffering in Hell don't work on sensible people: an eternity of hell for only a lifetime of error equates to infinite punishment for finite sins.
In other ways too, Hell makes little sense. Once the fires burn off your nerves the first time, you won't feel the pain anymore. Unless God is cruel enough to keep regrowing your skin and nerves so you can continue feeling the pain... Not a definition of love by any stretch of the imagination: God 'loves' us so much that he sent Jesus to be crucified for our sins, and if we don't accept him, we'll suffer by burning forever.
Missionaries ought not to forget to teach their charges the following:
Unborn babes to burn forever
The damnable doctrine of Infant Damnation was one of the most terrifying and effective impostures of the Church to drive helpless victims into the fold of Christ. Infamous enough was the earlier doctrine of exclusive salvation, that the unbaptized adult, the individual outside Church was the heir to eternal damnation. But soon the terror was extended to the just-born infant, to even the fetus in its womb. St. Augustine affirmed this atrocity with all his vehemence; all the Fathers without exception dinned it eternally, -- as yet today. A treatise of the greatest authority, De Fide, long attributed to Augustine, but now known to be the work of Bishop St. Fulgentius (CE. vi, 317) thus states the horrid doctrine:"Be assured, and doubt not, that not only men who have attained the use of their reason, but also little children who have begun to live in their mothers' womb and have there died, or who, having been just born, have passed away from the world without the sacrament of holy baptism, administered in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, must be punished by the eternal torture of undying fire; for although they have committed no sin by their own will, they have nevertheless drawn with them the condemnation of original sin, by their carnal conception and nativity." (sec. 70.)Lecky, who quotes the passage, thus comment the effects as witnessed in practice throughout the Middle Ages:
-- Doctrine of Infant Damnation, De Fide, by Bishop St. Fulgentius, 4th century"Nothing indeed can be more curious, nothing more deeply pathetic, than the record of the many ways by which the terror-stricken mothers attempted to evade the awful sentence of their Church. Sometimes the baptismal water was sprinkled upon the womb; sometimes the still-born child was baptized, in hopes that the Almighty would antedate the ceremony; sometimes the mother invoked the Holy Spirit to purify by His immediate power the infant that was to be born; sometimes she received the Host or obtained absolution, and applied them to the benefit of her child. For the doctrine of the Church had wrung the mother's heart with an agony that was too poignant for even that submissive age to bear." Rationalism in Europe, i, 362-364.And all this on account of an apple eaten four thousand years before they were born; willed by the Deity who had foreordained their birth and premature death, before His Holy Church could come at the Baptismal fees!
-- Forgery in Christianity, by Joseph Wheless
- Counter-Apologetics page - TalkReason.org
- Talk Origins debunking Creationism/Intelligent Design, also gives a few evidences of macro-evolution.
- Christian Apologetics and Apologists at Internet Infidels
- Countering "The Trilemma - Lord, Liar Or Lunatic" fallacy and refuting Pascal's Wager, two pseudo-arguments Christians like to present.
- Excerpts online of the book Challenging the Verdict: A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ" by Earl Doherty, which assesses the supposed "evidence" that Strobel presented in his much relied-upon apologetics book.
- The Jury Is In, criticisms of Josh McDowell's apologetic book Evidence That Demands a Verdict
- Mere Assertions, Dan Barker's criticism of C.S. Lewis' apologetics book Mere Christianity.
(C.S. Lewis was the author of the Narnia series of Christian children's books, which many Christians decry as demonic. And well they should, it's full of pre-Christian Greco-Roman religious beliefs - which make up all the entertaining and colourful parts.)
- Desperate excuses given for Christianity's similarities to pre-Christian religions
- Debunking fundamentalist arguments – point-by-point
- Christian apologetics - Fundamentally flawed
- Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith by Charles Templeton, critiques traditional Christianity. The author used to be among the foremost of the US evangelical preachers and was a colleague and close friend of preacher Billy Graham.
- Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist by Dan Barker who was a preacher for 19 years. Part of the book is online here.
Creationism and other un-scientific nonsense
- Creation Revisited by P. W. Atkins, disposes of the nonsensical arguments for Intelligent Design (i.e. Creationism).
- The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design by Oxford biology professor Richard Dawkins who critiques the Intelligent Design argument.
- The Age of the Earth by G. Brent Dalrymple, explores the evidence for the ancientry of our earth and universe. They're not 6000 years old like the Bible authors caused followers to believe, even today.
- The Vanquished Gods: Science, Religion, and the Nature of Belief by Richard Schlagel
A discussion of biblical criticism, religious history, scientific progress and ideas, and particularly modern biology and its implications for society.