Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Bible is made up

So I was debating a guy on another thread about the Bible. It was getting pretty long and was off topic in that thread, so I thought I'd give it its own post. I left off claiming that maybe instead of looking for long explanations about why things are the way they are in the Bible, that it would be easier to operate on the assumption that it's all made up.

The following comment in blue was his/her reply (not sure if the writer is male or female):

And when would you proposition that it was made up? And what parts? The Jewish history? The prophets? Jesus? The whole thing...?

When many people often say that the Bible is just made up (they often include the fact that it's just made up to keep people in line, and giving money to the church). If I ask these people when they think it was written, they have no idea when it was written or by whom. They think maybe some bored 'white' (usually) guy wrote the whole thing; maybe during the dark ages, or something ignorant like that.

I'm assuming you're aware that the earliest book (Job) is speculated to have been written 2000+ BCE (Carbon dating puts earliest found copies of mosaic law at 2500-1500BCE and Job was written before that). The youngest book of the New Testament is thought to be the book of Revelation, which is believed to be written either just before the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70AD or just after.

So we have a book that spans (possibly, given the exact date of Job would be impossible to establish, as it is the oldest written text) about 2500 years (that is, the time period it was written in, not the events it covers which is longer); and is written by about 44 different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings.

Even though it spans such a ridiculous length of time and was written by over 40 people; it is an extremely cohesive and unified book. For example the fulfilled prophecies and foreshadowing that occurs throughout the old testament, especially in the prophetic books; both short term (things that happened in the writer's generations) and long term (things that were happened hundred of years later) prophecies. In my personal opinion, if one person could write a piece of text that has such continuity of theme, plot-line, foreshadowing (talked about in previous post with the sacrifices compared to Jesus' sacrifice), motifs, and everything else that you look at when doing a literature study; then that author would, without a doubt, be a genius.

But the fact that it was written by about 44 people and spanning more than 2000 years (not to mention being written in three different languages; Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic) makes it remarkable. The prophecies about Jesus in the old testament are also remarkable. Many prophecies showed this. It prophesied his birth (Isaiah 7:14), miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6), betrayal and death (Zechariah 11:12; Psalm 22), resurrection and ascension (Psalm 2:7; 68:18; 110:1), etc.

These a just a few I found.

Another thing people do, is say they don't believe that biblical characters like Moses even existed. This to also shows a real lack of knowledge, and ignorance if the face of known historical facts. These same people probably wouldn't doubt the existence of Ramesses the second, the Pharaoh of Egypt at the time. These same people will say, there was no such person as Daniel that slept in a lion's den; then go to the movies and watch 300, and although not historically accurate, will say "yup, Prince Darius and his son Xerxes were real people." (even if they didn't previously believe they existed because they were mentioned in the book of Daniel, among others).

According to research the new testament is far more accurate than ANY other ancient writing and there is apparently more evidence for the integrity of the new testament than there is for the works of Shakespeare.

It also isn't like something a human would make up (this is just my own personal opinion). For example, the old testament prophets: The Jewish nation were saying to the religious leaders at the time, "peace! peace! tell we are in a time of peace!" And the "prophets" of the time told them they had peace. When Jeremiah told the people "that there is a fishing little town in Chaldea next to the Euphrates river called Babylon, it's little' but's gonna get real big soon, and they are going to invade Jerusalem and wipe you out."
No they won't the people say. What happens? The Babylonians come in, it's a 20 year military siege, and they take the Jews in deportations and put them in concentration camps. They slaughter Jews, level the temple and burn the city to the group. Jews are in hostage for 70 years.

Now why would the religious leaders of the time put these writings of Jeremiah in their "made up" religion. They didn't as a nation listen to the prophets. Why would they include those books?

Therefore, whenever someone falls back on, "Well maybe it's just made up," I'm skeptical about their knowledge of the bible, and of history.

My response:

To start, if you see my post about What do I believe, you'll see that I believe Jesus was likely a real historical person, and I have no particular reason to suspect that Moses or Abraham were invented either. Well, no more reason than I have to believe that the rest of the Bible was made up.

You cited carbon dating, so I'll guess that you're not a Young-Earth Creationist (YEC). As you are not a YEC, you probably don't take the Bible literally, or you'd have a hard time justifying anything with carbon dating, as you did to give the date of the Book of Job.

So let's start and say that the Great Flood was made up, as it just seems to contradict so much science that is based on carbon dating and other techniques. Parting the Red Sea was made up. Talking burning bushes were made up. In fact, these were made up like you would claim the books of ANY OTHER religion are. I can use exactly the same arguments to justify Islam. I can use the Hindu holy scriptures to justify that, or ancient Greek writings, many of which are most certainly lost, to justify their myths. I can use statues of Egyptian gods, made by many people over many centuries, to justify that they existed. Which of these many alleged books of truths you believe in is entirely an accident of where you were born. If you were born in Saudi, then there would be an almost 100% chance that you'd be lecturing me about how tightly written and how verifiable the Koran is.

You've got a book of myths, for which no historical proof actually exists! If you had any proof, you wouldn't need faith, and preachers wouldn't have to try to convince people that faith (ie. the bypassing of one's brain) is a virtue, and call it what it really is, downright stupidity. The Bible is full of BS stories, like making man from the dirt or clay or whatever, 'miracles', virgin births and all kinds of other things, which seemed to cease occurring at exactly the same time that humanity began to learn methods for investigating and debunking such claims (ie. the scientific method).

Just because some of these towns exist, or some of the wars existed, does not give any support at all to the supernatural events which are said to have occurred in them.

How to explain the foreshadowing? Gee, let me think. That's a tough one. The authors of the later books forced the text to match the predictions in the previous books. Edward Current made a YouTube video in which he mocked this kind of reasoning. How could an author possibly make the end of a book match predictions in the beginning?

The Christian myth is a rip-off of other contemporary beliefs, and was written in such a way to convince people at the time that it must have been true, based on their existing beliefs. We see evidence for this tactic in the traditions that go with Christmas, such as tree decorations and their choice of date. The rest of it was just made up. It was made up by a bunch of Stone-Age men, many of them extremely violent and brutal, with no understanding of the world around them. It has absolutely no more weight than any other ancient book of fairy tales.

The fact that some people are willing to take the word of ancient (what did you say they were?) farmers, fishermen, tent-makers, kings and priests (yep, kings and holy men never lie for personal gain) and base their entire lives around that, is pretty sad. You're skeptical of my knowledge of your book of fairy tales? I'm skeptical of your ability to separate fantasy from reality. If you want to separate your Bible from all of the other BS religious texts out there, you're gonna have to produce something a lot more convincing than you have.

At this point, many believers fall back on faith, which is the ridiculous bypassing of the intellect. Gotta keep that brain bypassed to believe stuff like the Bible.


Anonymous said...

You have no idea how narrow-minded you are. Isn't it obvious that the various events are written like fiction so that it would coincide with "prophesies" and so forth. Also, the so-called prophesies about Babylon could easily have been written after the Babylons invaded. After all, the date of authorship for are not specifically determined. Various archaeological evidences and analysis of the Old Testament (especially the Torah) shows that people were worshipping Yahweh alongside other groups, when a cult appeared to exclude the other gods and chose to worship Yahweh alone.

Above all, history can't include stuff that's impossible and doesn't make the slightest sense except to the religious. In other words, history can't sound like fairy tale!

Admin said...

I'm sorry, what? Who's narrow-minded? Me?

Anonymous said...

The bible was made up by the government back then to get some kind of control so there wouldn't be chaos. Think about it. There is no way for someone to write all that down and go around and collect all these books it is all bull!!!! I ask god for a lot of thing but still I got nothing my father was a drug attic died when I was 7 I lost the only person I had when I has 11 aka my mom no body wanted me I leaved on the streets until I was 18. I asked god for so much I use to go to church I use to do a lot and wat did he do he condemned me I will not forgive he answered nothing for me just took it away like I was a puppet of his I do believe in a high power but its not god or the bible the bible was made be the govenment period

Jim said...

That was the most ridiculous thing ever. Now I think we've sound someone more wacky than religious nuts. Government conspiracy theorists.

Admin said...

I don't think so, Jim. Remember that in the past, the church WAS the government. Even long before the Christian church, the priests of tribal religions held power. Religion was plausibly invented by those in power, whether you refer to them as 'governments' or not, as a means of controlling the population. The Egyptians did it, too, for example. The kings were gods.

Jim said...

I agree. But I don't think Mr. Anonymous has enough brain cells to comprehend that. He spent the majority of his life asking a make-believe being for things, never received anything, and kept on asking. I think we all know the definition of insanity:

"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Anonymous said...

What constitutes the Bible could be your first question. It's true that the Bible is a compilation of many authors over vast distances of time. If you're going to be critical, then at least take it in context of which the given book you are critiquing was originally written. If you haven't done the historical research of that time,and for that specific book/author, then you haven't done your research. If you find a contradiction in one book, and then apply it to all, then you're making a blanket judgement. There is no major conspiracy to find here by government, or by society. There are significant and consistent themes about ultimate reality in this book, and what it means to be human. It is rich with ethical teachings and just because the media and atheists love to highlight negative individuals, doesn't mean Christianity as a whole is not a major, or perhaps the major force for societal good. In fact, some may argue (vishal mangalwadi) our entire global modern judicial system are based on the values espoused in this book. There is a reason why many of us in the world do not have to live as animals.

Admin said...

"(The Bible) is rich with ethical teachings..."

The Bible is rich with a lot of teachings, and not all of them good. Rape as punishment, murder, slavery, etc. are all present in the Bible. We as rational humans decided which of those teachings were good and which were bad, using our own judgment and our own morality which nature has given to us.

"...doesn't mean Christianity as a whole is not a major, or perhaps the major force for societal good. In fact, some may argue (vishal mangalwadi) our entire global modern judicial system are based on the values espoused in this book."

Christianity is not the major force. Our human intellect and compassion is. Christianity has had to be FORCED to change its teachings about lots of things. And now they're being forced to accept the reality about the Universe. Perhaps people who were Christians instituted change, but you cannot credit Christianity for that.

Admin said...

And NONE of that does anything to suggest that any mystical story in the Bible has a shred of truth to it. All it means is that we're capable of writing stories which can relate lessons in morality. The Boy Who Cried Wolf is also such a story. Doesn't mean it isn't made up. And that's why the contradictions exist in the Bible.

Jim said...

Let's not gloss over the fact that Christianity is not the basis of any judicial system. Sure, you can point to the Ten Commandments, but let's be serious. What society was really allowing theft and murder before then? It's not as if the commandments came down and everyone was in shock: "Oh shit! You mean we're NOT supposed to murder our neighbors and steal everything? It makes so much sense now!"

And I'm not even going to highlight the fact that non-christian nations have a judicial system that outlaws the exact same things as a country that claims to have a christian-based one.

Aesop's fables also interweave morality tales with whimsical story telling. Perhaps we should follow those teachings as literal fact as well? It seems to be your entire argument for following the Bible. I mean, you have yet to come close to even hinting at any proof of a god or 'creator', so you base your arguments solely on the basis that this book lends morality lessons. By that argument, a book of fairy tales written for children, or perhaps a book of fables, would be just as suitable for your supposed judicial system.

And I don't think we need to point this out again, but just because your false book preaches kindness (when it wants to) and love (sometimes) does not mean it is true. It simply means that it was written to convert the masses with a bunch of shit that sounded appealing to everyone. That's step one in creating a new religion. Appeal to he masses.

Admin said...

I'm surprised that more people don't point out that the MAJORITY (as in, more than 5) of the 10 commandments are NOT laws in the USA or any other Western country that I can think of.

Jim said...

Hell, only two of them are really laws. (Murder and stealing) I don't know of any 'christian' nation where adultery is illegal. So I would say the VAST majority of their beloved commandments are useless to any legal system.

The rest are just guidelines.

Admin said...

Lying is illegal in official contexts, such as legal documents, insurance applications, etc.

I'm sure adultery is illegal in some heavily-Christian African nations, but they're not exactly a model for justice.

Jim said...

Yes, lying is illegal in an official capacity. But I don't think anyone who reads the Ten Commandments for the first time thinks, "Well, I'm sure that only applies to official things". I think every kid interprets, and is taught, that it means lying in general is wrong. No Sunday school teacher is telling their students about perjury.

Besides, no where in the Bible does it state that the Ten Commandments should be used as a basis for a legal system. It clearly states that they are to be used as a reference guide to get into heaven. To interpret it otherwise is to read more into it than you should.

Like 99.9% of the Bible.

Unknown said...

The reason you guys can't feel anything is because your to wrapped up in arguing about it instead of embracing guys are not connected spiritually..not trying to offend just saying what I feel.

Admin said...

"...your to wrapped up in arguing about it instead of embracing guys are not connected spiritually..."

Nice excuse, Kevin. We don't embrace things that can't be shown to be real. Some of us think there's more to determining truth than just how we "feel". You clearly are not willing to admit to yourself that not everybody "feels" the same thing that you do, which is why there are thousands of different religions on the planet. We're also not going to believe a person who has such bad grammar. Shouldn't the gods send a grammatically correct message to us on the topic?

Unknown said...

I would just like to say , I too agree... Earth is the "only plant that has life " that's bs ! I think that god back in those times could not make the plants and the universe its even to compacted for our minds let alone "god" and anyways man are vary cold hearted why would he worry about little ol humans we just a small dust in the universe I think everything on earth made us humans we evolved like the dinosaurs . iam a mother and I am going to teach my son the morels and values in life what's wrong and what's right but not brainwash him , us humans are vary emotional things we get lonly so we made up the bible for comfort that's my opinion.

Anonymous said...

the bible jesus & etc.. its all made up like santa clause, easter bunny & the tooth fairy, my thoughts on it all are, some guy had a bunch of kids who were naughty so he made up a story in the hope they would behave better, be good or go to hell bla bla.. his neighbour proberly asked him to tell the same thing to his kids but instead he wrote it down and over the years they added more chapters to it on topics they thought would help their kids behave & ta da the bible is made, cause it worked so well other parents decided to share it through out the community & ta da a religion was created.. this is my theory of it anyway.., think about we tell kids these days to be good cause santa is watching & he wont bring you any presents if your naughty.. does the bible not do the same thing.. be good or else? think about it.. lol

Jim said...

That's a lovely theory, but it is much too innocent to contend with the truth.

Anthropologically speaking (I have a minor), religions were created as a means to control growing populations. This is the reason you only see established religions in larger settlements throughout history. Wandering tribes had no need for gods and the supernatural. But when people started to settle down and build villages, the people began to ask questions. Not the, "Where did we come from? What does it all mean?" type questions we hear today. These questions were more simple, like, "When will it rain next? Where can we find food?" Medicine also played a large part in the formation of early religions, as people in sedentary lifestyles now had a reason to heal the sick. People were needed to contribute to the community, whereas before, a person wounded in a wandering tribe was too much to care for as the group followed game, so they left the wounded to die. They were a burden, and therefore useless.

So Shamans and primitive priests came about to act as "spiritual leaders" in settlements. They would often preside of a simple ceremony to increase crop yields or offer simple medicines to the sick. Nothing of the caliber of today's priests. Over time, however, when simple settlements grew into larger, mostly agricultural settlements, the priests became a bigger part of society. Temples were starting to be built for the gods. Sacrifices were given up as tribute. Etc. (We know about all the gore.)

Eventual, when proper civilization came about, religion took a new meaning to rulers. Religion became a way to control the masses. "You listen to your King, or God will kill you!"

Every religion that is based on a deity offering judgement and reward follows this path. Every single one.

(What about Buddhism? Well, Buddhists don't believe a god judges them, so move along. But what about Native American religions, or religions of small tribes in Africa or South America? Note, I said the a people had to reach civilization status for religion to be used for true power.)

Christianity follows this path. Don't believe me? What is the richest country in the world, per capita? The Vatican. What single religious figure (alive) holds the most sway over the most people in the world? The Pope.

Religion is used to supress the people. It has been used countless times to start wars, justify murder, steal from people, kill opposition to a government, etc.

That's how religion started. It wasn't a bedtime story. No. It was much more sinister than that.

Anonymous said...

Wow. i read your article and you commit so many fallacies. You need to research your stuff more. You call the bible bs? hmmm.. Thats very ignorant. You seem like the kinda person who needs scientific evidence to prove whats real to you. To me your arguments are inaccurate. You are very narrow minded. Take it as a criticism. I can see what your argument is and i can see some points that could be valid but you seem uneducated. Good luck in your research.

Admin said...

"Wow. i read your article and you commit so many fallacies."

As usual from the religious responses to my posts, not a single example offered.

"You need to research your stuff more. You call the bible bs?"

Yes. Yes, I do.

"hmmm.. Thats very ignorant."


"You seem like the kinda person who needs scientific evidence to prove whats real to you."

Yes. Otherwise I could be duped, like you, into believing almost anything.

"To me your arguments are inaccurate. You are very narrow minded."

Again, not a single example. Just screaming, "You're wrong! You're wrong!"

"Take it as a criticism. I can see what your argument is and i can see some points that could be valid but you seem uneducated. Good luck in your research."

Get bent.

Yung Kash SK said...

I bet Anonymous is a lot smarter than you Jim. After all you are working for the government, who just wants to control the whole world, together we can stop this bullshit, but we will all need to work on a global scale! That's why they have us all pieced out on the map, so once they join together we will not know everybody but their governments know each other very very well. So we will be lost when they choose to make their move, and most of us wont even know whats going on when it takes place until it finally hits us.

Just go watch the news channel Jim, learn some REAL fake news.

Jim said...

"I bet Anonymous is a lot smarter than you Jim."

Not to brag, but as a statement of fact, I have an IQ of 142. So, yeah, I doubt it.

"After all you are working for the government, who just wants to control the whole world..."

Uh, no. I am a student now. I have no job.

"...together we can stop this bullshit, but we will all need to work on a global scale!"

First step, post messages on blogs about working together! Second step...

"That's why they have us all pieced out on the map..."

Cartographers? Are they the ones in charge?

" once they join together we will not know everybody but their governments know each other very very well."

I have no idea what this means. It sounds scary. But not as in, the entity of which you speak is scary, but the thought that you might think this makes sense is scary.

"So we will be lost when they choose to make their move, and most of us wont even know whats going on when it takes place until it finally hits us."

Just... What the fuck? I can't even...

"Just go watch the news channel Jim, learn some REAL fake news."

So, you want me to learn fake news? I don't know what that means. And which one is "the news channel?" Is there a secret one I should be watching? Or just the news in general?

Anonymous said...

Yes. The Bible is fake! Some of the people I believe Did exist, but stories were just made up around them. For instance, I do believe David and goliath was real....however, was Goliath an actual one eyed monster? no! I believe that Goliath was a man who was blind in one eye and he had some problems with a guy named David and they had a fight. Caanan and Haam Noah's son and grandson...notice there were groups of people called the canaanites and hamites who existed at this time...why would the name of Noah's relatives be names caanan and Haam? Coincidence? I think not! at the time the story was claimed to be written, these two groups were fighting! It's not a coincidence but a political story!

David Parker said...

There is a huge misconception about the relationship of religion and Christianity. I am going to clarify the two.

Religion is the search for an idea a belief system.

Christianity is a lifestyle of the teachings of Christ, hence the term CHRISTIAN. Those teachings are:

Love your neighbor
Care for the poor and needy
Love your wife as yourself
Respect your parents
Don't kill, steal and destroy
Stay faithful to your spouse and yourself.
Tell the truth

Yea this sounds like common sense, you can call it whatever. But these are the teachings of Christ, these are the parts of the Bible I follow and what non-believers call a fairy tell.

Admin said...

"But these are the teachings of Christ, these are the parts of the Bible I follow and what non-believers call a fairy tell."

This seems like a strange comment to make. I certainly do not call these things a fairy tale. There's nothing at all difficult-to-believe in what you just wrote. It's entirely possible that a person with a name somewhat resembling Jesus lived a long time ago and promoted this philosophy of living. People do it now, why wouldn't they be doing it then?

What's a fairy tale to non-believers is the magic that the book also contains. In addition to this life philosophy, they've also added a whole lot of supernatural beings, magic, etc. This is a fairy tale.

But I noticed that you also made no claim at all to believe in any of that. You wrote that the parts of the Bible that you follow are the teachings of Jesus. Does that mean that you are a non-traditional Christian in that you follow this life philosophy but do not believe in the divinity of it? I do have a friend who seems to do that. He calls himself a Catholic, but I think he's afraid to admit to himself that while he admires the teachings, he really doesn't believe the rest of it.

Unknown said...

OMg...I just about died reading this. I've been up for two days (long story), I've been incredibly stressed out. I have no idea how I wound up here, but I'm so happy I did. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Jim, you are a riot.

Unknown said...

I am so sorry for your pain. I lost my son two years ago in a car accident. I was angry for a while too. But eventually I knew my healing could only come through a relationship with Jesus. I knew if I gave my pain to Him, He would heal me and make me whole again. To feel joy again instead of bitterness. To allow Him to use this tragedy for good instead of letting it eat me up inside. I would love to talk to you sometime. Please respond on here if you would be interested in messaging so we can talk more about this. Bless you.

Unknown said...

Great response Miriam.

Admin said...

Why do Christians assume that if I'm an atheist that I'm somehow in pain? What pain are you sorry for? You were angry, "too"? So I'm angry at your god, right? You even have somebody complimenting your response, when it doesn't make sense.

Can you demonstrate that your "relationship" with Jesus is anything more than your imagination? I have no interest in discussing your preaching, so if you can't bring the evidence, don't bother. I've heard lots of preaching, and if there was a real god, it would send somebody competent, or better yet, make an appearance itself.

Jim said...

Yup. Great idea.

"I'm in pain because my deity of choice created everything including the pain he gave me. Better give it back."

That's some spot-on logic right there.

It's like if I bought rancid meat and returned it, and then fell in love with the shop owner because he took back something he shouldn't have given me in the first place.

It's amazing how if you substitute any other real, living person in for "Jesus" or "god" that you would genuinely be a psychotic person for falling in love with the person who caused you pain. In fact, you would probably have Stockholm Syndrome. But, because the world is full of crazy people that believe in imaginary friends, you are just "religious."

Unknown said...

Miriam... Oh please I just pucked in my mouth.

Unknown said...

Miriam god did not heal you. You healed yourself by accepting what happened and opening your mind. In return you transfered your pain.

Harvey Harveyson said...
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Harvey Harveyson said...
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