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Religion and Mythology Believe that you can believe in beliefs, but only those of your own sect.

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Old 04-09-2006, 07:19 PM
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There is no valid reason to take the claims made in the Bible seriously. There is no reason to believe that its authors were divinely inspired.

An Introduction to Biblical Nonsense: Science to the Rescue

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The presence of observable and falsifiable scientific evidence is perhaps the most compelling reason we can conclude that the Bible is not free from error. Because this evidence clearly yields certain conclusions that are contradicted by direct statements from biblical authors, we can safely say that the Bible is an imperfect book containing flaws of human origin. Due to the overwhelming amount of scientific errors the book possesses, you should have great comfort in deciding that there was no divine inspiration or intervention involved during its creation. Furthermore, the vast categories of errors contained in the Bible demonstrate that the mistakes are not confined to a single author or field of study, a realization that should question the foundation and intent of the book as a whole. We’ll focus considerably on the first chapter of Genesis, astronomy, and biology because each of these topics unmistakably contributes to the faux pas of apologetics.

“The Beginning”

Anyone with a decent background in natural science who undertakes an impartial but critical look at the first chapter of Genesis should have no trouble denouncing its claims as rubbish. At best, the author has offered a poorly constructed allegory for the creation of the universe; at worst, and far more plausible, Genesis 1 is a total fabrication. This section will of course demonstrate why the creation account in the opening chapter fails miserably to be scientifically accurate.

Early in the creation, God allegedly separated the waters into two distinct bodies so that land could appear between them. He called the water below seas and the water above sky, which he presumably held aloft by the use of a firmament (Verses 6-10). While the NIV translated this verse using expansion, the Hebrew word utilized by the author is raki’a, which the KJV more accurately translated as a solid body.

Why is the KJV translation more in line with the author’s intent? First, it’s the primary use of the word. Second, it reinforces the aforementioned idea of a sky ocean because a solid protective layer would be required to suspend the water if there truly were an ocean above us as the Bible suggests. Third, it complements the known widespread primitive beliefs. Take the mindset of an ancient Hebrew for a moment by ignoring any contemporary understanding you have of the world. You can glance at the sky above and observe that it’s the color of water, while, periodically, water falls from above. With no further evidence to consider and no further understanding of this phenomenon, the perfectly logical conclusion would be that there’s a mass of water in the sky. If this is true, it certainly follows that a solid body, a firmament, would be necessary to contain this oceanic reservoir. Perhaps windows even open in the firmament to allow rainfall (Genesis 8:2).

Although the pursuit of knowledge has proven these outdated beliefs untrue, we are far richer in scientific understanding than our Hebrew predecessors and should not scoff at the author for his proposal. We now know that the sky is blue due to the scattering of a particular wavelength of light passing through the atmosphere at a certain angle, not because there’s an ocean in the sky. While we cannot fault the author for believing this ancient hypothesis, we can conclude that his guess on the properties of the sky was incorrect. Already, a critical analysis has demonstrated the Bible to be scientifically inaccurate and undeniably imperfect.

God allegedly created the sun and moon on the fourth day of the creation (14-19), but this curious statement creates a plethora of troubles because God had already divided the day into lightness and darkness as his first creation (3-5). How can there be night and day without the sun, the only appreciable source of light for our planet? Again, we must take the probable mindset of the author to understand his position. Look into the sky away from the sun. It’s unreasonable to conclude that the earth is bright at its distal boundaries just because the sun is shining, unless you have solid evidence to the contrary, because the light originating from this enormous ball of fire appears to stop very near its edges. Besides, everyone knows that the horizon is luminous well before and well after the sun is in the visible regions of the sky. Thus, there’s no solid reason to conclude that the sun has anything to do with creating the illumination, only that it accompanies the somewhat concurrent periods of lightness. In fact, the Bible explicitly states that the sun and moon are merely symbols “to divide the day from the night” (14). In the biblical world, however, God controlled morning and evening by this mysterious force called light (3-5), an entirely different entity created much earlier than the sun. We now know that the sun is the determining factor between morning and evening, yet the Bible clearly proclaims morning and evening existed prior to the sun’s creation.

In addition to the sun gaffe, the scientifically ignorant author commits the mistake of listing the moon as a light (16). If we were to be rigidly technical about the Bible’s claim, this verse is another scientifically erroneous notion because the moon merely reflects illumination from the sun. Isaiah and Ezekiel also make this mistake in their prophecy accounts (30:26 and 32:7, respectively). Again, we often take our modern knowledge about the universe for granted, yet such a gift was completely unforeseeable to the ancient Hebrew.

Another problem arises from the sun not appearing until the fourth day when you consider that plants suddenly appeared on the third day (11-13). While it’s definitely possible, even very likely, for plants to survive without the sun for a single day, many apologists have attempted to rectify the obvious timeline problems in Genesis by altering the meaning of a day. Once they consummate this amendment, they’ve created a timeline in which the plants exist without sunlight for however long these “days” are to them. In most cases, a biblical day must necessarily be no less than a period of millions of years in order to be congruent with scientific data. While the general Hebrew term for day, yom, doesn’t necessarily mean a twenty-four hour day, we still understand it to be a short time period based on every contemporaneous instance of its use. Millennia simply do not qualify using this unbiased criterion. Furthermore, the author provides us with the precise definition of yom in every creation instance: morning and evening. Naturally, we’ll revisit these creationary intervals in the upcoming Thousands Or Billions. For now, let’s return to the problem of the plants thriving without the sun’s existence.

Most vegetation requires sunlight to undergo photosynthesis, the process of using light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into nutrients. I wouldn’t bet on plant survival much more than a month without the sun. While it’s true that the biblical creation has this mysterious light existing prior to the arrival of plants, the only thing we can conclude about its existence is the probable lack thereof. The sun, on the other hand, is fully compatible with plant life. Once again, this obtuse blunder can be justified by the limitations of the ancient Hebrew’s knowledge because he obviously wasn’t aware that plants were feeding off sunlight for their survival.

As one final minor point on plants for now, God says he has given us every plant for food (29). However, we’re now aware of plants with qualities poisonous enough that make us avoid physical contact with them. Such disturbingly reckless advice hardly seems to be the kind likely given out by an omniscient deity.

The “Heavens”

God allegedly created the stars on the fourth day (16), but what were they, and what was their purpose? Biblical authors believed that stars were small sources of light contained within the imaginary firmament covering the earth. In other words, they exhibited no divine inspiration, whatsoever, telling them that stars were actually unfathomably enormous gaseous spheres seemingly countless miles away. In short, the authors’ celestial hypothesis was incorrect on location, number, and size. Verification for the location part of this position is quite easy to demonstrate. After God made the sun, moon, and stars, he “set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth” (17). So along with the sun and moon, the stars are apparently housed in this imaginary physical boundary separating the sky ocean from the open air above earth’s inhabitants.

The Bible also remarkably claims the outdated belief that stars were extremely small in size. After the disclosure of their location in the firmament, and after God tells Abraham several times that his people would be as numerous as the stars (which is also impossible, yet it’s claimed to have been fulfilled in Hebrews 11:12), the next clear reference to size and position of these celestial bodies is found in the book of Isaiah. Here, the prophet speaks of exalting a throne “above the stars of God” (14:13). Likewise, Job says, “behold the height of the stars, how high they are” (22:12). Stars are not high; they are distant. One would expect these two divinely inspired individuals to make this distinction in their records; instead, they boldly demonstrate that they shared the popular yet erroneous belief that God fixed the stars at the sky’s apex.

The book of Psalms states that God tells the number of stars and calls them all by their names (147:4). That’s quite an impressive accomplishment considering scientists estimate that there could be as many as 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in the known universe. If God truly told anyone how many stars surrounded our planet, the ridiculous firmament belief should have ceased without delay.

Daniel speaks of a vision that he had concerning a giant goat’s horn knocking the stars down to the ground where the goat “stamped upon them” (Daniel 8:8-9). Passing comment on the vision, we can also be decidedly certain that Daniel believed stars were tiny lights hanging above the earth. Otherwise, how could his monstrous goat stamp upon them? More importantly, how could someone divinely inspired write something so blatantly preposterous? In the New Testament, Matthew and Mark both record Jesus foretelling of an era when the stars shall “fall from heaven” (24:29 and 13:25, respectively). Jesus, a supposedly perfect human being who was supposedly the only son of a supposedly perfect god, wasn’t immune to scientific ignorance either.

Revelation was the grandiose vision of John, yet another man who God allegedly inspired, but John also thought that stars were bright objects of insignificant size directly above the earth. In this record of his dream-like hallucination, he claims to see Jesus holding seven stars in his right hand (1:16). While John may have seen what looked like seven stars in Jesus’ hand, this is not what the text clearly states. The passage unambiguously says Jesus was holding seven stars in his hand. Thus, John’s statement is certainly in error. In addition, John mentions a dream in which “the stars of heaven fell unto the earth” and compares this event to a fig tree shaking off its leaves (6:13). Furthermore, he describes a great star falling into “the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of the waters” (8:10). If a star were to “fall” to our planet as John indicates, it would annihilate the earth upon impact because these bodies are generally hundreds of times larger than our world. Finally, John sees a dragon swing its tail around, consequently knocking a third of the stars in the sky down to the ground (12:4). There’s no need to discuss how enormous such a hypothetical tail would have to be in order to accomplish this impossibility. After all, Revelation was only a vision. On the other hand, we must expect Christians to accept that this man had a unique foreknowledge of humankind’s imminent future. In other words, these ridiculously fantastical events must remain futuristic certainties to biblical apologists. At this point, we can safely say that anyone attempting to harmonize the scientifically determined position, size, and number of our celestial neighbors with a literal interpretation of the Bible is veraciously wasting his time.

Zoological Pseudoscience

The ancient Hebrews apparently didn’t have abundant knowledge of the animal kingdom, and the supposedly omniscient deity neglected to grant them with such insight before they started working on his timeless declaration to the world. Following Noah’s flood, the Bible says that all terrestrial and marine life would have fear and dread toward humans (Genesis 9:2). That’s simply not the case because there are vast numbers of animals, ranging from pets to fearless predators, that have no fear whatsoever toward humans. This erroneous complication was simply a matter of the fallible author’s confined knowledge. While the animals inhabiting Mesopotamia may have very well been scared of humans, this prospect doesn’t alter the clear connotation of the biblical text.

Later in Genesis, Jacob successfully alters the color patterns on lambs and goats so that he could differentiate the stronger ones from the weaker ones. He purportedly accomplished this feat by placing peeled tree branches in front of the mating livestock (Genesis 30:37-39). Following his absurd achievement, an angel of God visits him in a dream and praises him for his work in genetics (Genesis 31:11-12). As someone with a thorough background in human physiology, I hold the opinion that this is easily the single most embarrassing error contained between the Bible’s covers. Peeled branches have absolutely no effect on an organism’s appearance; DNA does. As an extremely quick summary of the topic, the general rule is that half of an offspring’s DNA comes from each parent with the more dominant type being physically expressed. The specific genes in the DNA sequence are the determining factor for the animals’ colors. Of course, such advanced understanding was way beyond the scope of the ancient Hebrew. Divine inspiration obviously doesn’t resonate from this passage either.

The story of Moses relaying God’s commands to the people also drops the ball when you consider which animals the almighty deemed unclean. He says hares are not clean enough to eat because they chew their cud (Leviticus 11:6 and Deuteronomy 14:7). I’m not sure where he gets this impression because it’s the exact opposite of reality. The obvious solution to this problem is that no all-knowing deity told Moses anything of the sort.

The book of Job depicts ostriches as birds that bury their eggs in the earth so that they can depart and leave them unattended (Job 39:13-16). It’s sufficient to say they’re biblically painted as careless parents. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. Ostriches are extremely meticulous about how they take care of their offspring. Even the father helps out, which is the overwhelming exception in the animal kingdom. This is another example of a flat-out error that often goes shunned by biblical apologists due to the absence of a reasonable response.

A more popular story centered on zoological blunders is that of Jonah being swallowed by a fish and living inside its stomach for three days (Jonah 1:17). Even if we ignore how strange the story might seem, we can still conclude that the author lacked the knowledge of gastric juices and bile acids more than capable of digesting a human body.

The New Testament doesn’t offer any enlightenment on the animal kingdom either. James declares that every kind of animal has been tamed (James 3:7). Although James asserts nearly the exact opposite of the earlier Genesis authors, perhaps due to a widespread effort to tame all wildlife over the preceding few centuries, he runs straight into the same problem: limitations of an individual human perspective. Like the earlier writers, James probably never ventured too far outside of Mesopotamia. If he had taken the time to make this journey, he would have eventually realized that there were other animals yet to be discovered, let alone tamed. James’ premature proclamation hardly seems consistent with what I would consider a divinely inspired statement.

Anthropological Pseudoscience

Once again, we return to the Pentateuch (a.k.a. Books of Moses, Torah, or first five chapters of the Bible) to find additional scientific errors, this time committed with regard to human beings. Let’s begin with a consistent problem throughout the Old Testament: population growth. The first such example takes place during the post-flood era when the population inexplicably mushrooms from eight to a million plus, counting the women, in only a few hundred years (Exodus 1:5, 38:26). By the time the events of 2 Samuel are said to have been taking place, there were well over a million men in two armies alone (2 Samuel 24:9). Not only is this exceedingly accelerated for a believable population growth spurt, the living conditions were not exactly primed for such a magnificent, logarithmic eruption of life. Furthermore, there’s no reliable archaeological evidence that there was ever a number remotely close to that many people living simultaneously in the Middle East until just very recently. The numbers were certainly exaggerated, as are many details of centuries-old stories handed down via oral tradition. A common apologetic argument used in response to this problem will cite God’s supposed tendencies to allow miraculous growth rates (Genesis 15:5, Exodus 1:7), but what actual evidence do they provide to support this explanation? As it stands, simple ignorance or an oversight by the error-prone author created this obvious difficulty.

Genesis 5 and 11 contain chronologies for the first important people in the Bible, as well as the number of years each person lived. The average lifespan is about eight hundred years with Methuselah taking the cake at 969. People simply do not live that long, especially considering the treacherous conditions necessarily burdened thousands of years ago. To answer this dilemma, biblical defenders will simply quote where the spirit of God left man to end his longevity (Genesis 6:3). However, there’s a realistic approach to solving this curiosity. We know from other ancient religions that their own important figures also have extremely abnormal lifespans, sometimes reaching into thousands of years. Due to the accompanying stories behind this consistent practice, historians are easily able to conclude that the founders of these religions commonly stretched the lifespans of individuals whom they wished to exalt as having increased importance. In other words, the incredible ages of these biblical characters are nothing more than the product of folklore resulting from someone’s wishful thinking.

The Book of Esther accommodates the story of a man who thinks with his heart (6:6). While this appears to be a symbolic meaning, much like how we say people think either with their heads or with their hearts, it’s important to realize that people originally believed thought originated from within the heart. During Egyptian mummification, morticians often removed the brain from the corpse, leaving the heart with the deceased individual due to its perceived over-importance. Even the Egyptians certainly shared the same erroneous belief as the technologically inferior Hebrews. The Bible could have easily distinguished itself from other religious texts by establishing some reputable authenticity with such an advanced declaration, but it conveniently failed to do so.

Yet again, the Bible fails to improve upon a field of science when it moves into the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all believed that the inabilities to speak and hear were the result of possessions by evil spirits (9:32, 9:17, and 11:14, respectively). This is an interesting and quiet creative hypothesis, but one we currently know is not true. The inability to speak is usually due to a physical abnormality in the region of the brain known as Broca’s area, while the inability to hear is typically due to physical trauma of the inner ear. If these regions don’t operate properly, the affected individual lacks the auditory and phonetic capacities made possible by a normal physiology.

Matthew also believes that blindness is a result of the devil’s inhabitance (12:22). Again, you don’t need the unverifiable nature of this wild claim explained to you. Damage to the optic nerve or detachment of the retina usually causes blindness. No devils or demons have ever demonstrated their involvement in this impairment. Luke purports that a woman’s crippled nature is also due to possession by a devil (13:11). While there are multitudes of unfortunate factors that can cripple a person, spiritual possession has never proven to be one of them. Luke and Matthew commit an additional medical error when they claim that devils cause seizures (9:39 and 17:15, respectively). Suffice to say, devils, demons, evil spirits, or any other fiendish creatures have never been known to cause seizures. These violent neurological events are the result of some physiological abnormality, such as a brain tumor, or an imbalance in electrical activity. When radical epilepsy manifestations are observed, however, it’s certainly understandable how a person with limited knowledge of human physiology could leap to the erroneous and fantastic conclusion that a demon might have possessed the individual in question. The Hebrew god once again fails to distinguish himself from the countless other ancient gods because his writers weren’t the least bit scientifically believable.

In every instance of alleged demonic possession I mentioned, Jesus cured the people suffering from these ailments via exorcism, the act of casting demons out of the body. This heavily implies that Jesus also thought evil spirits were responsible for these conditions. Because Jesus himself even says it was through God that he casts out demons (Matthew 12:28 and Luke 11:20), one could even insinuate that he’s obviously relying on the ignorance of the crowd to further his stature. Otherwise, the stories of exorcisms could very well be nothing more than fabrications.

The take-home message about these purported exorcisms is that they could not have happened if we are to believe the means by which they occurred unfolded exactly as recorded in the Gospels. Even if the perceptions of the authors served as the basis for the exorcism claims, the text is still incorrect and, therefore, unreliable. Thus, the Bible has once again demonstrated its own hilariously fallacious nature.

Further Scientific Nonsense

Another embarrassing tale of biblical nonsense is the construction of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. According to the bogus legend, everyone on earth spoke the same language when the erection of the tower began. Because the people of earth had a great desire to catch a glimpse of God, they built this supposed tower intending to breach the sky. As God didn’t like the possibility of people spotting him, he confused their languages to prevent the architects from understanding one another. Unable to continue construction, everyone with different languages went separate ways.

This story is unfeasible for many reasons. The first problem with the incredulous account is the incongruency of the common language theme. We know that many different languages existed centuries before the story’s setting around 2500-2000 BCE. Not only that, but another Pentateuch author had said Noah’s sons separated according to their own tongues in the previous chapter (Genesis 10). At the very least, we have a major timeline discrepancy in need of an acceptable resolution. Furthermore, the notion that nineteenth century man had the architectural knowledge to build a tower even a mile high is ridiculous. To fathom that a group of ignorant ancient Hebrews could make an equivalent accomplishment is ludicrous.

Interestingly, no divine inspiration is available as a possible excuse for the illogical story because God wasn’t siding with his people on this occasion! If he didn’t wish for the people to see him, he wouldn’t have provided the means for them to do so. Of course, the most obvious blunder is God’s supposed fear of us actually reaching him in the sky. To suggest that an omniscient god would destroy a building because he felt he was in danger of humans catching a glimpse of him is an equally ludicrous proposal. The aspects of this story once again go back to the ancient Hebrew belief that God eternally resided on top of a dome covering the earth. Since an omniscient deity would know that the people could not possibly reach him, he would not have stopped the tower’s construction for the specific reason provided by the Bible. The story cries of a myth.

We also have fanciful tales about giants roaming the earth during the Pentateuch era. There’s a lot of room for interpretation here because the exact nature of these mysterious giants is unknown. However, we understand that the Bible has them living both before and after the flood (Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33). Some Christians have argued these giants are the dinosaurs, but this proposed explanation fails to be consistent with the “flood caused the dinosaur extinction” hypothesis offered by others in the same crowd. While the text is most likely referring to a race of people, archaeologists have found no reliable evidence that these creatures existed. Given the track record of the Bible thus far, it’s reasonable to conclude that the Genesis giants are, at best, an exaggeration of an otherwise normal species of life.

Jesus also commits another scientific blunder when he declares the mustard seed to be the smallest seed of the earth (Mark 4:31). There are, in fact, many seeds smaller than the mustard, such as the South American orchid, but the Hebrews were obviously ignorant of most everything outside of their homeland. Had God presented this bit of information to the author of Mark, it seems unfeasible that the writer would portray Jesus as a man so careless with his diction. This example is clearly another biblical error on the growing accumulation that arises from the same limitation of divinely uninspired perspective.

The Tentative Verdict For Science Versus The Bible

The suggestion that the Bible is lacking a scientific foundation is nothing less than a colossal understatement. The Bible has failed fair, impartial, and universally applicable tests in multiple fields of science. If God truly is the inspiration behind this purportedly divine declaration to the world, he shows absolutely no interest in its understandability or accuracy in astronomy, cosmology, zoology, botany, anthropology, geology, ecology, geography, physiology, and several other disciplines not covered in this chapter. In fact, the Bible handicaps those who use their “God-given” talents of reason and logic to settle blatant biblical problems. Nothing can be more detrimental to the authenticity of a statement than contradictory phenomena that we readily observe and experience. With no other evidence to consider, these natural manifestations should always override what we might hope and think to be correct explanations for unignorable discrepancies. Such is the power of science and reason. They are the impartial pursuit of an answer to a question, not the search for supplements to a predetermined answer.
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Deconstructionist
There is no valid reason to take the claims made in the Bible seriously. There is no reason to believe that its authors were divinely inspired.

An Introduction to Biblical Nonsense: Science to the Rescue
Cutting and pasting internet garbage again?

Just look at this textbook example of philistine approach:

"Likewise, Job says, “behold the height of the stars, how high they are” (22:12). Stars are not high; they are distant."

I wonder if this amateur would be capable of citing that in original Hebrew, and not just from the English Bible he grabbed from the shelf?

Each of these nitpickings are dealt in here:

http://www.tektonics.org/


Petr
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:53 PM
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If we are to take the Bible seriously, then we are forced to conclude that its authors were vastly ignorant about the natural world.
If you would really take this approach (taking Bible seriously), then you'd have to admit that the Bible contains supernatural inspiration about things like the countless number of stars, not even mentioning all the successful predictive prophecies.

Here, for example, prophet Balaam predicts in 1400 BC how the Greeks and Romans ("ships of Chittim") will conquer the Middle East:

Numbers 24:24:

And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.



Petr
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:54 PM
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Ah. Petr is enjoying this. I will post more.

An Introduction to Biblical Nonsense: Absurdity At Its Finest

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No reader can truthfully deny that multitudes of curious occurrences are readily observable in the Bible. To a Christian believer, these strange events are nothing more than the mysterious ways of God. To a freethinker, the alleged phenomena are an indicative subset of the widespread superstitious beliefs held by our ancestors. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ridiculous statements made by the authors of the Bible. Whether you enjoy reading about plumb lines or talking donkeys, the Christian religion carries more than its fair share of absurdities. In fact, some of the biblical reports are illogical enough to disqualify explanations through supernatural means! As was the case for contradictions in the previous chapter, I forced myself to limit this overview to a small fraction of those eligible for this frank discussion. It’s my hope that this chapter will provide additional fuel for thought in the fight against religious conditioning.



Highly Suspect

Before we leap into the solid cases for biblical absurdity, we’ll begin by discussing some quite comical passages that could possibly have some far removed explanation for their content. Let’s first consider the sex life of Abraham and Sarah. Because they’re upset over failing to give birth to any children, God has pity on them and tells Sarah that they will soon have their wish granted. God maintains his promise, and Sarah eventually has a child. Soon after, Abraham finds another wife and has six more children with her. Going solely on this information, these events don’t seem too unlikely if we ignore the divine intervention. However, there’s an extremely questionable part of the story that wasn’t mentioned. Sarah was close to one hundred years old when she gave birth, and Abraham was well over the century mark (Genesis 18:11-15, 21:1-2, 25:1-2). Even worse, Noah was five hundred years old when he had three sons (Genesis 5:32).

The Devil finds God one day, and they thoroughly analyze Job, a wealthy and righteous man who is essentially perfect in God’s eyes. God points out Job’s good behavior to Satan, but Satan disagrees with him and says that Job would curse the name of God if all his possessions were taken away. The bet is on, and God permits Satan to do anything to Job as long as he doesn’t permanently harm him. Satan, whose location was previously unknown to the all-knowing God, once again leaves the presence of the omnipresent Lord (Job 1:1-12). God evidently stands idle while the Devil torments Job by stealing his possessions, slaughtering his livestock, murdering his family, killing his workers, and afflicting him with diseases. Withstanding even the most tumultuous of misfortunes, Job remains loyal to God and doesn’t curse him. I’m honestly not sure what other details could be added to this story to increase its fairy-tale connotations. Why does God feel the need to punish a respectable person in order to prove a point to Satan, and why doesn’t Satan just accept the statements of an omniscient being? Since Job was written around the same time as the Pentateuch, you should now be able to understand where the absurdity in this myth might originate.

While Moses was perched atop Mt. Sinai waiting for God to deliver his commandments, he goes without food and water for forty days and forty nights (Exodus 34:28). I can’t think of a justification for including such a statement unless the author was unaware of anyone ever suffering from dehydration. The author, in this case, could have thought that Moses went through serious agony during those forty days but eventually surmised there was no permanent risk to his health. While going without food for forty days and surviving is feasible for those who condition themselves to do so, we know today that there’s no realistic chance of survival without water for this extended period. Most people cannot survive five days under such grueling circumstances, while fourteen days without water would certainly weed out even the most conditioned participants. We should obviously file a report of a man going forty days without food and water under “highly suspect.”

God laid down a strangely curious law when he declared that any man with damaged or missing genitals, as well as any man who doesn’t know the names of his ancestors to ten generations, cannot enter into religious congregations (Deuteronomy 23:1-2). First, I don’t see how anyone would know another person had a genital abnormality unless someone literally screened the visitors at the door. As for the burden of proving an ancestry, I doubt that any Hebrew was able to keep accurate and truthful records thousands of years ago. How could anyone indisputably prove that he knew his family line that far back? What was to prevent someone from just conjuring up some names so that he could attend worship? If no one knew this person’s ancestry, no one could disprove him. Wouldn’t the omniscient God realize this futile law wasn’t going to work? More importantly, why is God thoroughly preoccupied with the condition of a man’s genitals? I know I’ve mentioned it before, but the whole matter is patently asinine. This is one of the many absurd rules that Big Brother allegedly distributes to keep his society in order. Likewise, instead of including undeniable proof for the book’s authenticity, he tells us not to wear a piece of clothing made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19). These examples of God’s foolish rules will have to serve for now in order to keep the topic at a reasonable length.

It’s a safe wager that the majority of the free world has heard the tale of David slaying the towering Goliath. Most people commonly refer to Goliath as a giant, but a more specific height is given. The Bible lists him at six cubits and a span, which is approximately 9’ 9” in our modern measurement system. If we were to use known data to compare the rarity of Goliath’s height with other individuals, we would find that there may have never been, or ever will be, anyone within two or three inches of his extraordinary eminence. The verifiable record currently stands at 8’ 11”, though the record holder was anything but a robust warrior capable of supporting a 125-pound brass mail (1 Samuel 17:4-5). This monster would have been nothing less than a unique visual spectacle. If the tale of David slaying Goliath is a derivative of some true historical underdog overcoming great odds, wouldn’t you find it probable that the giant’s height was romanticized by fibbing humans until it reached tall-tale proportions?

Solomon was supposedly “wiser than all men” (1 Kings 4:31). In fact, his wisdom exceeded “the sand that is on the sea shore” (1 Kings 4:29). As wise as this man presumably was, “his wives turned away his heart after other gods” (1 Kings 11:4). I can certainly contemplate a few hypothetical factors that might lead an intelligent person to join a cult promising a better life on a far away planet; I cannot imagine any reason why the wisest man in the region could be led away from what is supposed to be the true god, especially since this being is in direct communication with him. It doesn’t make the least bit of sense unless we consider that his infinite wisdom may have told him something about the belief system in question.

As you well know, a rather cartoonish portrayal of God is offered throughout the Old Testament. However, we still haven’t fully covered the absurdity of God’s presence. Most poets, prophets, and historians certainly believed him to be a human-like personage. God shoots flames from his mouth and smoke from his nostrils like a mean ole dragon (Psalms 18:8). In fact, God has eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth, a finger, a hand, a back, loins, and feet just to name a few of his physical human attributes. God supposedly made man in his own image, but why would an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent spirit have human qualities that provide us with finite abilities? For instance, why does God need feet to walk if he’s eternally present? He roars and shouts (Jeremiah 25:30), loves the aroma of burning animals (Genesis 8:21), and wants the fat from animal sacrifices (Leviticus 3:16). God even seems a tad jealous when a woman leaves his word for other men (Hosea 2:7-13). Essentially, the Christian god is “perfect” with imperfect attributes. It’s a bit too coincidental for my liking that God made humans in his image when we can more rationally say the exact opposite. This deity isn’t benevolent; it’s absurd.

The book of Acts tells the reader a story in which a gathered crowd simultaneously understands all the speaking disciples in every language (Acts 2:1-6). While that sounds quite deranged, it’s not the point I intend to make because apologists often rely on the divine miracle fallback. When the men in the audience accused the speakers of drunkenness, Peter reminded the crowd of what Joel understood God to say. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God” (Acts 2:17). Peter’s speech goes on to explain how unusual events were to be expected when the world was about to end. Thus, he was obviously under the impression that they were living in the final days on earth. Even so, we’re still here. It’s hardly likely that “the last days” have been the past 2000 years when the earth was supposedly only 4000 years old at the time Peter made this prediction.

James argues that it didn’t rain anywhere on the entire planet for three and a half years because Elias (Elijah) prayed for a drought (James 5:17). There’s absolutely zero evidence that a prayer answerable only by supernatural means has ever been accommodated. It’s highly unlikely that it ceased to rain over the whole earth for that long, and it’s even more unlikely that this unusual weather phenomenon would come about because a mortal man prayed for it to take place. The lack of rain would have caused untold devastation by instigating mass dehydration in all living organisms. Of course, no such extreme drought was recorded consistently around the world at any point in history. There’s a good reason for this discrepancy: the unverifiable drought didn’t happen.



The Greatest Show On Earth

Among all of God’s strange and ridiculous regulations, a large portion involves animals. We can find two examples making little to no sense in Deuteronomy. First, God doesn’t want anyone to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk (14:21). If you’re going to boil a young goat in milk, is it that much more deviant to do it in its mother’s? Why is an eternal, omnipotent god concerned with such trivial and outdated matters? This god also doesn’t want you to plow a field with an ox and a donkey on the same yoke (22:10). God, of course, gives no reason for this useless regulation. Instead of making certain that his holy word included clear abolishments of slavery and rape so that millions of his creations wouldn’t needlessly suffer, God decides to set idiotic rules for plowing fields and boiling goats. This should provoke indignation from any moralistically reasonable person, regardless of religious conviction.

In the beginning, when God allegedly created the animals, they were designed to consume plants rather than meat (Genesis 1:30). Even so, there’s certainly no reason to believe that the ancestors of present-day predators survived off an herbivore diet. The food chain is in harmony because of the fluctuations occurring due to a rising and falling cycle of predator and prey populations. Withdrawing that relationship would throw the chain into unknown chaos. Furthermore, we have fossil records of these animals purported to be herbivores. Their equipped teeth were intended to initiate and facilitate the digestion of meat, not plants. Six thousand years ago, just like today, many species could not survive solely on plants. In addition, parasites require blood from living hosts. Blood is neither a plant nor a meat. Suggesting that parasites also made their daily meals from plants is increasingly absurd. Science demonstrates that it’s impossible for some species to survive on plants, yet the erroneous Bible claims this testable statement isn’t true. Do Christians expect everyone to believe that the Bible is correct regardless of what it says?

The prophet Isaiah informs us that a cockatrice, a mythical creature able to kill its victim with a casual glance, will arise from a serpent (Isaiah 14:29). What tangible evidence do we have to believe that a creature with this incredible ability has ever existed? Again, the Bible provides stories that sound like something straight out of a fairy tale. While some animals are certainly capable of killing their prey by biting or strangling them, a look has no anticipated scientific capacity to kill another creature. While there may be some type of alternative mechanism of action for the attack, such as venom sprayed through the eyes, it wouldn’t be due to the act of looking. The cockatrice, unicorn, and dragon are examples of mythical creatures in the Bible that fail to leave any reliable evidence for their existence.

In John’s Revelation dream, which is conveyed to be an imminent and realistic future event, he sees crown-wearing locusts with faces of men, hair of women, teeth of lions, tails of scorpions, and wings sounding like chariots. These locusts also adorn iron breastplates in preparation for battle (9:7-10). Draw your own conclusions.

Like mutated locusts, talking animals aren’t uncommon in the Bible. Everyone should remember the talking serpent tempting Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1), but there’s an even more hilarious example of an atypical animal. In this instance, a man named Balaam is riding along on his donkey. When the donkey sits down on him twice, Balaam gives it a beating for its rebellion. When the donkey notices a murderous angel in their path, it sits down for a third time. Of course, Balaam delivers an additional flogging upon the donkey’s body. The donkey then asks Balaam, “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” Yes, the donkey argues with its master! Then, Balaam, who does not appear to be the least bit surprised that his ride is questioning his motives, decides to engage in a debate with the donkey by claiming that it mocked him by sitting down. Furthermore, he informs his donkey that it would have already been dead if he had a sword nearby. The donkey then outsmarts him by pointing out that he has always let his master ride him but never asked to ride his master. Thoroughly outsmarted and outclassed, Balaam then concedes defeat in his debate with the donkey (Numbers 22:27-30). Seeing as how no concluding comment that I could make here would do this outdated and obtuse blunder justice, we’ll move on.



Health And Knowledge

Is the Bible a reliable guide for maintaining good health and expanding our knowledge? Within 2 Chronicles, we learn of Asa contracting an unspecified foot disease. “Yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians” (16:12). The passage clearly displays a negative attitude toward Asa for trusting doctors more than God. According to the author of this passage, we are to believe that God is a better source than a physician for curing our ailments.

Recall the prayer experiment proposed all the way back in The Psychology Hidden Behind Christianity. God does not have a higher success rate than physicians for curing diseases. Even so, the Bible wholeheartedly endorses prayer as the more powerful force. Unfortunately, many smaller denominations of Christianity secretly follow this “no physician” guideline. It doesn’t work, and that’s why it’s illegal to enforce it on minors in most of the civilized world. There has never been any scientific study indicating an act of God has facilitated a recovery from sickness. A person will surely die from a fatal ailment if they refuse medical treatment, regardless of whether or not this individual prays to any god. Even so, most Christians believe praying to their god will prompt a divine intervention that has some unknown and immeasurable positive effect on the outcome. While prayer and faith may comfort a patient enough to facilitate recovery, the acts of the divine are worth nothing if no one’s paying attention. Such a misguided belief is blindly illogical, patently absurd, and without a place in reality.

The author of the first letter to Timothy advises his reader to drink wine instead of water (5:23). While researchers in the medical profession currently believe that alcohol is beneficial in moderation, consuming enough wine to remain hydrated for the rest of Timothy’s life would certainly destroy his liver after a very brief period. Of course, the author was unaware of the biological effects of alcohol on the liver’s filtration system because he wasn’t divinely inspired with advanced physiological knowledge. Had he been cognizant of such information, this horrible recommendation would have never made it into the Bible.

Briefly returning our attention to John’s dream in Revelation, we learn of an angel who holds out a book for John to eat. He consumes it and describes the taste to be as “sweet as honey” even though it made his stomach bitter (Revelation 10:10). Like replacing water with alcohol, eating a book is not a healthy activity. Another book eater, Ezekiel, recorded so many fantastic experiences, I had to give him his own section. We’ll discuss his personal endeavors in a moment.

One of the Proverbs offers the universal answer for any nonsensical statements found within the Bible. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (3:5). The author really went the extra mile to cover all his bases, but the problem with this advice serving as a fallback answer for all discrepancies is that any religion can invoke such an alibi in order to divert attention away from its flaws. This method doesn’t automatically dissolve the problems of any text, including the Bible. Simply put, a book isn’t correct because the book says so. Accepting this fallacious reasoning, ignoring common knowledge, and refusing to examine what might very well be the truth creates the prototypical mindless sheep.

Paul uses himself as an example for the mindless sheep when he tells his readers that he doesn’t want to know anything except Jesus (1 Corinthians 2:2). “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). In other words, blindly follow whatever the Bible says even when overwhelming evidence arises to the contrary. I’m sorry, but blind faith should never trump the observable world. Even so, billions of people have lived in similar ignorance and subsequently died clinging to all sorts of myths.



God’s Necromancers

Moses and Aaron are apparently well known throughout the region for the magic tricks that God teaches them. God demonstrates to Moses how to cast his rod to the ground in order to make it become a serpent. The transformation frightens him, but the serpent becomes a rod again when he grabs it by the tail. God also shows Moses how to make his hand become leprous. He can reverse the spell by touching the leprous hand to his body (Exodus 4:2-7).

When the hour arrives for Moses and Aaron to impress the Egyptian Pharaoh, they perform the rod trick. However, the Pharaoh’s magicians are able to follow suit by transforming their rods into serpents. Aaron’s serpent rod then eats all the other serpent rods (Exodus 7:10-12). In a second attempt to outperform the Pharaoh’s magicians, Moses and Aaron transform an entire river into blood by touching it with their rods. Again, the Pharaoh’s magicians are able to replicate the feat. Moses and Aaron, refusing to give up, induce an aggregation of frogs to emerge from the waters and occupy the land. Yet again, the Pharaoh’s magicians demonstrate the same gimmick. In a fourth attempt to demonstrate God’s overwhelming power over Egypt, Moses and Aaron are able to create lice out of dust. Since the creation of life ex nihilo proves too difficult for the magicians, they concede that Moses and Aaron have the true power of God. As an encore, the victorious couple produces plagues of flies, cattle death, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and the eventual killing of all the firstborn male children previously mentioned in The Darker Side Of God (Exodus 7-11).

Even after the unprecedented accomplishments in Egypt, Moses still has a few tricks remaining up his sleeve. He’s able to satisfy the water requirements of millions by tapping a rock with his rod (Exodus 17:6). Moses also accomplished the construction of a serpent statue capable of preventing people from dying of snakebite, provided the victims were looking at it while bitten (Numbers 21:6-7). He even supports Joshua’s army in its war against Amalek by simply keeping his hand aloft. Whenever Moses raises his arm, Joshua gets the better of Amalek in the battle; whenever his hand falls from fatigue, the fates reverse. Eventually, Moses begins to rest his arm by propping it on a rock. This ingenious tactic enables Joshua to defeat Amalek (Exodus 17:11-13). I’m not sure what possible impact that Moses raising his hand could have on a truly historical battle.

Elijah obtained his meals from ravens that “brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening” (1 Kings 17:6). Why would ravens do this for him, and how does one go about training these birds to perform such a feat? While there’s never been any indication a flock of ravens would bring food to a human on a regular twelve-hour basis, this is the man who caused a three-year drought by simply praying to God.

Elijah’s successor, Elisha, is yet another biblical wizard ordained with magnificent powers. He’s able to separate the Jordan River by hitting it with his cloak and correspondingly able to rejoin it by adding a pinch of salt (2 Kings 2:14-22). In addition, Elisha can make an iron axe head float in the water (2 Kings 6:6). Assuming this axe head wasn’t in a shape enabling it to float, he’s able to alter the density of iron with no assured scientific knowledge of what enables certain substances to remain above others.

Later, Elisha asks the King to take some arrows and strike the ground with them. The King does so three times, but Elisha becomes irate and says that he would have been victorious over his enemies if the ground had been struck a couple more times (2 Kings 18:19). Again, more biblical daffiness. Even after death, Elisha still isn’t finished working his magic. When a corpse is thrown into Elisha’s grave, the body jumps back to life after coming into contact with Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 18:20-21). Remember, those verse references that you see after each statement mean you can find all this nonsense in the Bible.



Ezekiel

Ezekiel, perhaps the most eccentric man in the entire Bible, claims to see four creatures in a windstorm from what some believe to be a flying saucer. Each of the four creatures had four faces (a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle) and four conjoined wings. They had human hands under the wings, one on each squared side of their bodies. The feet, which looked like those of calves, shone like brass and were attached to peglegs (Ezekiel 1:4-10). I’m not entirely sure I shouldn’t have classified this passage within the animal absurdities, but I decided to keep it here out of obvious confusion. Needless to say, evidence for such avant-garde creatures does not exist. Besides, this make-believe story fits in perfectly among the multitude of other ancient superstitions involving holy animals taking on several forms.

Ezekiel also claims to have caught a side glimpse of God. Evidently, and I use the term loosely, God is an amber metallic color above his waist, on fire down below, and completely encompassed by a rainbow (1:27-28). Ezekiel would later see God again, this time standing next to bodies, backs, hands, wings, and wheels all packed full of eyes (10:12). With all he witnessed, it’s far more likely that Ezekiel was on a hallucinogenic trip than a divine inspiration.

As I promised earlier, God gives Ezekiel a scroll to eat. He eats it and, like John, says that it tastes as sweet as honey (3:1-3). Why does God desire to inform us of his atypical obsession with asking people to eat paper? God then turns sadistic and decides to torment Ezekiel by tying him up in his house and sticking his tongue to the roof of his mouth (3:24-26). Prolonging the torture, God forces Ezekiel to lie on his left side for 390 days and his right side for 40 days in order to symbolize the number of years certain regions lived in sin (4:4-6). What enjoyment could this possibly bring to an omnipotent being? Not thoroughly satisfied with his brutal deeds thus far, God commands him to bake his bread using human dung. After Ezekiel pleads with him to reconsider, God, an omniscient being who should have already known that he was going to go with Ezekiel’s alternative plan, changes his mind and lets him use cow dung instead (4:9-15). Did God just get a sick satisfaction out of making this poor man think that he was going to have to eat something baked from his own waste?

God forces Ezekiel to shave his head and gather the hair into thirds. He burns one pile, strikes one with a knife, and scatters the last into the wind (5:1-2). What purpose could these uncanny orders serve? Ezekiel also claims that God informed him of his anger at a wall destined to be destroyed (13:15). Why is God angry at a wall? Nearer the end of his time together with God, the almighty takes Ezekiel to a location filled with bones. Here, God tells him to give an order for their assembly. Once Ezekiel follows this strange demand, the skeletons grow flesh and inhale a breath of life. Now, the skeletons are an army (37:1-14). Why do so many Christians claim to know so much about the omnibenevolent creator? God isn’t concerned with giving heartfelt rules for ethical conduct; he wants to waste time watching people play with their hair.



Jesus

While I consider exorcism more of a scientific error than an absurdity, there are definitely some aspects of Jesus’ demon-removals that fit better in this section. According to Matthew, Jesus once encountered a couple of men possessed by devils. As they ask Jesus for a cure, he approves their request by driving the devil spirits into a drove of pigs. Possessed by demons, the pigs leap off a cliff and plunge to their deaths. The witnesses in the town then turn against Jesus as a result of his decision to drive the swine insane (Matthew 8:28-34). Why would a man this powerful not just cast the spirits deep into space or somewhere else out of harm’s way? Why intentionally kill innocent animals to make people turn against you? Nevertheless, Jesus also donned his disciples with the mystic power to perform exorcisms (Mark 3:15). Even so, there has yet to be a reliable documented case containing evidence that spirits had possessed a human being. On the other hand, the science of so-called “possessions” closely resembles the effects of neurochemical imbalances.

Now let’s see what Jesus says about faith. First, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can literally cause a mountain to jump into the sea by telling it to do so (Matthew 17:20 and 21:21). Christians living today have endless faith that Jesus spoke only the truth, but no one has ever been able to move a mountain even one inch by using this incredible method. It’s absurd to think that anyone could accomplish such a remarkable feat, and it’s absurd that the son of God would assert such a false and preposterous claim. Has Jesus just demonstrated himself to be a liar? The only other possibility is that Jesus spoke of some physical component to faith that’s required to grow to the size of a mustard seed, but this proposal is as equally ridiculous as the previous claim. This interesting character also announces that every person who came before him was a thief and a robber (John 10:8). I find it very difficult to imagine a world without a single person who didn’t steal something prior to Jesus’ arrival.

Jesus also purports some questionable aspects about gaining admittance into Heaven. Most of us are aware of the more common requirements, but there are quite a few of which many Christians are obviously unaware. Jesus says, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). Are we really to believe that it’s easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to meet the commonly accepted requirements? If not, Jesus offers no clear standard by which a person can enter into Heaven. If Jesus truly means what he says, it’s yet another outright contradiction. Rich people are more than capable of satisfying the requirements set by many other New Testament authors.

Staying with this notion of having to earn Heaven for a moment, Jesus also claims that anyone who says “thou fool” is in danger of Hellfire (Matthew 5:22). Yet, in Luke 11:40, he calls a group of people “fools.” While the authors of the two passages record different Greek words, the meaning remains the same. How absurd is it when a perfect person who lays down standards of how to avoid Hell remains flawless even though he breaks the same standards strong enough to put a regular person in Hell? Additionally, what kind of example does he set for his followers? It seems as though the hypocritical Jesus is above his own laws. Once again, different authors predictably yield different interpretations.

Jesus provides his followers with instructions for helping out their fellow man. First, he advises you to turn the other cheek if someone hits you. Such a recommendation would eventually end in death if one continued to follow Jesus’ advice when faced with a vicious adversary. Second, if someone steals from you, offer him more. Following this godly advice would eventually cause you to leave yourself with nothing. Third, give whatever someone asks from you. This advice could be deadly as well, depending on what the person asked for. Fourth, never ask for anything you gave away (Luke 6:29-30). All of these are good in principle, but there’s no limit to them because people will definitely take advantage of someone following this advice to the letter. Thus, I feel the need to take it upon myself to encourage the few of you who want to obey Jesus to place reasonable limits on his philosophies. The majority of followers already know better than to obey Jesus in this instance. Yes, almost all Christians blatantly and hypocritically disregard many of the teachings provided by their Lord and savior simply because they’re lethal, hazardous, or inconvenient.

Matthew 21:22 is Jesus’ most damaging statement against the legitimacy of Christian faith. He says, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” In other words, you will receive anything you pray for as long as you believe that you’ll receive it. That statement is undeniably false, and we can easily demonstrate it as such. Apologists have tried to justify this statement over the years by postulating that Jesus’ statement is true only if the request is in God’s will. However, there is no biblical text supporting the inclusion of God’s will into the words from Jesus’ mouth. He says if you believe, you will receive. End of story.

If a request were already in God’s will, however, what impact would the prayer truthfully have? If the request isn’t in God’s will, he won’t answer it no matter how much one prays. Thus, God’s will, not prayer, is the sole determining factor for future events. Once again, since it’s impossible to shift from the future that God envisioned at the beginning of time, prayer can have no effect on the outcome. Even so, Jesus repeats this promise no less than three additional times in John’s Gospel (14:12-14, 15:7, 16:23-24). The red text is there for everyone to see these claims. I really can’t emphasize enough how damaging these statements are toward the assertion that Christianity is a legitimate faith.



Iron: God’s Kryptonite

The Bible contains farces that even an act of God cannot explain. After the creation, God asks Adam to look over the animals and find one “suitable” for him (Genesis 2:18-20). The all-knowing god is absolutely clueless as to what kind of partner Adam might desire. Did he not already realize that he was going to make a woman for him? Isn’t it also disgusting for God to propose that Adam should find an animal to be his sexual companion?

Two additional stories in Genesis seem relevant to about every topic we cover: Noah and Babel. During Noah’s flood, God kills almost the entire world population of humans and animals because the people are evil. Why would an omniscient god lack the common sense to get his creation right the first time so that he isn’t required to redo everything? Afterwards, he promises to never do it again because humans are evil (Genesis 8:21). As stated before, God admits that the flood solved nothing. Several years later, groups of people assemble to build a tower so that they can see God in Heaven. Since God doesn’t like this seemingly impossible idea of people spotting him, he confuses their language to cease construction on the tower (Genesis 11:1-8). The people may not have realized that God didn’t actually live on top of a dome over the earth, but God should have been aware of this information for obvious reasons. We’ve looked deep into space with telescopes, but God didn’t stop us on those endeavors. Why would he think that these primitive people could see him? Is this when he moved from the earth’s dome to the outer boundaries of the universe? What about all the other authors who claim to have caught a glimpse of God? The Tower of Babel myth is definitely one of the most absurd stories ever told. Even so, a good portion of the world still ignorantly accepts it as truth. That’s a shame, too.

Later in Genesis, God asks himself if he should hide his plans for destroying Sodom from Abraham (Genesis 18:17). Why would God not know what he’s going to do, and how could Abraham’s knowledge of the matter have any possible outcome on God’s ultimate decision to exercise his infinite power? On the other hand, perhaps God has good reason to worry since we’ve already established that he isn’t all-knowing or all-powerful as the Bible claims.

When God is preparing to go on another murdering spree, he tells the people of Israel to smear blood on their doors so that he’ll know which homes are occupied by his chosen people (Exodus 12:13). With this directive completed, he’s free to kill all the Egyptian firstborn male children without accidentally harming an Israelite, but why does he need blood on the doors to serve as a reminder if he knows everything? Jonah, like Cain before him, was able to leave the presence of God (Jonah 1:3). According to Zephaniah, God will search through Jerusalem with candles and find people who scoff at him (1:12). Why would God need candles to see in the dark? Judges 1:19 says that God was with the men of Judah in a battle, yet they couldn’t drive out the enemies because the other side was riding upon chariots of iron. If God is with someone, shouldn’t this person be able to do the miracles that every other God-accompanied individual performs? Honestly, did authors bother to proofread their work centuries ago?



Whatever’s Left

Since I couldn’t think of a way to categorize many of the remaining biblical absurdities that I wanted to include, we’ll just take a blitzkrieg approach at covering them. Abraham has a picnic with God (Genesis 18:1-8). Lot’s wife is turned into salt for looking at the destruction of a city (Genesis 19:26). Jacob wrestles with God and defeats him (Genesis 32:24-30). God becomes a burning bush while talking with Moses (Exodus 3:3-4) and has intentions to murder Moses’ son because he wasn’t circumcised (Exodus 4:24-26). God will kill Aaron if he goes to minister without wearing a golden bell and blue pomegranates (Exodus 28:31-35). God says that we can cure leprosy by killing a bird, putting the bird’s blood on another bird, killing a lamb, wiping the lamb blood on the leper, and killing two doves (Leviticus 14). A storm is stopped because Jonah is tossed into the sea (Jonah 1:15). God says that he will eat some people like a lion (Hosea 13:8). God stands on a wall and hangs a plumb line in front of Amos (Amos 7:7-8). This people-eating god decides to reveal himself to Amos via a plumb line demonstration but not to all the people currently killing each other over who is holding his true book!

God says that Joshua’s army can destroy the city walls of Jericho by marching around them and blowing horns (Joshua 6). Wine makes God happy, or at least that’s what the vine says (Judges 9:13). Samson claims his strength originates from his long hair (Judges 16:17). David buys Saul’s daughter with two hundred foreskins (1 Samuel 18:27). People who don’t believe in a god fail to do anything good (Psalms 14:1, 53:1). People are cured from their illnesses by touching Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons (Acts 19:12). A person who eats only vegetables is weak (Romans 14:2). It’s wrong to take a dispute into court (1 Corinthians 6:6-7). Nature teaches us that it’s shameful for a man to have long hair (1 Corinthians 6:11-14). Anyone who doesn’t confess Christ is an antichrist who deceives others (2 John 1:7). If you don’t repent your sins, Jesus will attack you with the sword in his mouth (Revelation 2:16). As a way of discerning people, the righteous eat all they want while the wicked don’t have anything to eat (Proverbs 13:25). What correlation does eating have with faith? Are Ethiopians wicked? Is that why God allows thousands of them to die every day?



All Of This Is In The Bible?

I hope this chapter has brought some of the absurdities contained within the Bible to your attention. As I stated earlier, this is a mere fraction of those actually told by the Christian text. I encourage you to do an impartial reading of the Bible and consider the others you will no doubt encounter.

Many of the referenced passages in this paper were guided by superstition and deceitfulness on the part of the authors, particularly those of the Pentateuch. Even Jesus made absurd statements because he was ignorant of many aspects of human behavior. When absurdities like these appear in other religions, no Christian would think twice about the validity of the events because no Christian is conditioned to accept those sources as absolute and unquestionable truth. As a result, they immediately dismiss the fictitious accounts. Because, and only because, the aforementioned absurdities are in the Bible, Christians fully accept the comical blunders out of fear and ignorance.

As it stands, people were a lot less knowledgeable hundreds of years ago. They had no reason to disbelieve the accounts of God and were very much afraid to make statements as bold as the ones in this book. Conversely, Christians continue the tradition of blindly accepting whatever the Bible says even though we know the problems are there. Like the careless and negligent ostriches of the biblical universe, everyone has seemingly buried their heads deep in the desert sand.
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Old 04-09-2006, 08:35 PM
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Fade the Butcher Fade the Butcher is offline
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Petr,

Jesus says, and I quote:

"Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive them out?"

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Matthew 17: 19-20

So, is it true that men can move mountains or is this impossible?
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Old 04-09-2006, 08:47 PM
Petr Petr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deconstructionist
So, is it true that men can move mountains or is this impossible?
Of course, this example if any screams out for metaphor (Middle Easterners especially have a very developed sense of even outrageous metaphors like "a plank in the eye"), but here goes...


John 14:12-14; Matthew 17:20 "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."; "He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."" These verses are condemned as offering "reward as motivation for faith." Once again Smith needs to consider the social context. No Jew would recognize such statements as giving believers carte blanche to ask to have mountains turned over (see more here). This is simply a way of emphasizing God's commitment to bless the believer -- who would be expected not to ask for silly or selfish things in the first place. As far as the passage from John goes, Smith seems to assume here that "greater works" here means miracles or displays of power, but the Greek word here (in spite of some English translations) does not refer to such things."

http://www.tektonics.org/qt/smithg01.html#rom37



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Old 04-09-2006, 10:38 PM
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Personally I like to move a mountain or two before breakfast, it gives my biceps a great workout.
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
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Personally I like to move a mountain or two before breakfast, it gives my biceps a great workout.

That was painfully unfunny.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:14 PM
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There's a whole lot more on infidels.org showing the Bible to be what it is: mythology of Near Eastern Semitic sheep and goat herders.

http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...an/absurd.html

Biblical Absurdities

Compiled by Donald Morgan

NOTE: These lists are meant to identify possible problems in the Bible, especially problems which are inherent in a literalist or fundamentalist interpretation. Some of the selections may be resolvable on certain interpretations--after all, almost any problem can be eliminated with suitable rationalizations--but it is the reader's obligation to test this possibility and to decide whether it really makes appropriate sense to do this. To help readers in this task, these lists are aimed at presenting examples where problems may exist given certain allowable (but not always obligatory) assumptions. It should be kept in mind that a perfect and omnipotent God could, should, and likely would see to it that such problems did not exist in a book which s/he had inspired. It should also be kept in mind that what is and is not an absurdity is to some extent a matter of opinion. You are entitled to disagree with the author that these are, in fact, absurdities.

GE 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven(s) and the earth." (One might ask what "existed," and where God dwelt, before he created heaven and earth. Of course, if God were pure spirit, the question could be considered moot, but inasmuch as the God of the Bible allegedly participated in a wrestling match, ate solid food, was seen face to face, spoke with Moses, etc., it would seem that he possesses physical attributes, including form.)

(Note: Some biblicists contend that biblical chronology fixes the date of creation at 4004 B.C. thereby making the earth about six thousand years old. Some present-day creationists stubbornly adhere to a young earth timetable in spite of overwhelming evidence that the earth is actually billions of years old.)

GE 1:3-5, 14-19 There was light ("night and day") before there was a sun. (Note: If there were no sun, there would be no night or day. Also, light from the newly created heavenly bodies seems to have reached the earth instantaneously though it now takes thousands or millions of years.)

GE 1:12, 16 Plants began to grow before there was sunlight.

GE 1:29 Every plant and tree which yield seed are given to us by God as good to eat. (Note: This would include poisonous plants such as hemlock, buckeye pod, nightshade, oleander.)

GE 2:15-23, 3:1-5, 1TI 2:14 Eve was created after Adam had already been given the prohibition about eating the forbidden fruit. Eve believed the serpent (the craftiest of all of God's wild creatures) when he assured her that she would become wise and would not die if she ate the fruit. Eve has been blamed for causing Adam to fall, and ultimately for the fall of mankind. (Note: Prior to eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve would have had no knowledge of right and wrong; they would not have known that it was a sin to disobey God or to obey the serpent. After they ate the forbidden fruit, God placed a guard around the "Tree of Eternal Life" to keep them from eating its fruit. He could have done the same for the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" before Adam and Eve disobeyed. In addition, even though the prohibition regarding the forbidden fruit was made to Adam before Eve came on the scene, Eve has been blamed for the Fall; 1TI 2:14 says: "... Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.")

GE 3:1-5 The serpent speaks human language (presumably Hebrew).

GE 3:14-16 God curses the serpent, Eve, and Adam for what they have done. (Note: This is inconsistent with God's omniscience; God should have known full well, ahead of time, what the outcome would be. Since God created the three as well as the Tree of Knowledge, he is ultimately responsible for the Fall.)

GE 3:14 The serpent eats dust for the rest of his life (by command of God).

GE 4:15 A mark is placed on Cain as a distinctive identifying symbol when there were only three (known) persons on earth.

GE 4:17 Cain builds and populates a whole city in only two generations.

GE 6:4 There were giants on the earth at one time. (Note: No evidence exists to supports this assertion.)

GE 6:5 God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to flood the earth to eliminate mankind. All living things including plants, animals, women and innocent children are also exterminated. (Note: This is like burning down a house to rid it of mice.)

GE 6:15 The size of Noah's Ark was such that there would be about one and a half cubic feet for each pair of the 2,000,000 to 5,000,000 species to be taken aboard.

GE 7:17-19 The flood covered the entire earth at the same time. (Note: There is no evidence of a worldwide flood, but rather of many, widespread, but local floods.)

GE 7:19-20 The flood covered the earth with water fifteen cubits (twenty plus feet) above the highest mountains.(Note: This would require steady, worldwide rainfall at the rate of about 6 inches per minute, 360 inches per hour, 8640 inches per day--for 40 days and nights--so as to cover the entire earth with an endless ocean 5 miles deep, thus burying 29,000 ft. Mt. Everest under 22 ft. of water. How did the author know the depth of the water? Did Noah take soundings? And where has all this water gone?)

GE 8:20 Noah's first recorded action following the flood is to sacrifice one of every clean animal and bird. (Since so few animals were saved, this could be considered rather wasteful and defeating--especially given that the stated purpose of taking the animals aboard the Ark was to keep them alive [GE 6:20]. To see a discussion of the various ways this verse can be interpreted, and in turn the different ways to approach the Bible generally, see addendum.)

GE 8:21 The odor of Noah's sacrifices was pleasing to the Lord.

GE 9:12-16 God first creates the rainbow. (Note: Apparently the laws having to do with refraction of light were null and void prior to this time.)

GE 18:1, 7-8 God eats solid food with Abraham.

GE 30:37-43 Jacob alters the genetic characteristics of cattle by letting them view a striped rod. (Note: His purpose in doing so was to fleece Laban of his cattle.)

GE 32:24-30 God takes part in a wrestling match. He wins by injuring Jacob's hip.

GE 38:27-29 Twins are being delivered. One puts out his hand and the midwife binds it with a scarlet ribbon to identify him as the firstborn. But he draws back his hand, and his brother is born first (thereby obtaining the rights of the firstborn son).

EX 4:24 The Lord sought to kill Moses (one of his own prophets.)

EX 12:30 The Lord kills all the first-born of Egypt and there is not a house where there is not at least one dead. (This means that there was not a house in Egypt that did not include at least one first-born---a most unusual situation.)

EX 12:37, NU 1:45-46 The number of men of military age who take part in the Exodus is given as about 600,000. Allowing for women, children, and older men would probably mean that a total of more than 2,000,000 Israelites left Egypt at a time when the whole population of Egypt was less than 2,000,000.

EX 17:14 God says that he will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek.
DT 25:19 "... you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget."
(That remembrance is now permanently preserved in the Bible.)

EX 28:34-35 Entering the holy place without wearing bells can result in death.

LE 11:20-21 There are winged creatures (birds or insects) that go around on all fours. (Note: There are no birds that go around on four legs, and all insects have six or eight legs.)

LE 11:6 (States, incorrectly, that the rabbit, or hare, chews its cud.)

LE 14:33-57 God himself believes that a house or clothes can have leprosy and he details the remedy.

LE 14:49-53 The cure for leprosy involves incantations and the blood of a bird.

NU 11:31-33 A "wind from the Lord" brings such an abundance of quail that "he who gathered the least gathered ten homers," or about 62 bushels. Altogether, this would have been enough to fill several thousand boxcars. Unfortunately, it was immediately followed by a great plague (food poisoning?) from the Lord.

NU 22:21-30 A donkey sees an angel, recognizes it as such, and then speaks in human language (presumably Hebrew) to his master.

DT 1:1 Moses speaks to "all" of Israel, perhaps 2,000,000 people (see EX 12:37 above).

DT 2:14 All of the "men of war"--some 600,000--who left Egypt in the Exodus were dead just thirty-eight years later. (See EX 12:37 above.)

DT 7:15 Moses promises his people that the Lord will take away all sickness.

DT 25:5-9 A man has an obligation to produce a child with his brother's widow. If he refuses, his sister-in-law is to spit in his face in front of the elders.

JS 10:12-14 God obliges Joshua by making the sun and moon stand still (so that he can finish his battle by daylight).

JG 3:21-22 (KJV) "Ehud ... took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out."

JG 7:12 The camels were without number as the sand of the sea.

JG 16:17-22 Samson loses his strength as a result of having his head shaved. (Note: This is not psychosomatic since he began to lose his strength while he was still asleep.)

JG 20:16 There were seven hundred men who were left handed and could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.

1SA 5:8-9 God causes "emerods" (hemorrhoids or tumors) amongst the Philistines (who have captured the Ark of the Covenant, where God was thought to reside).

1SA 13:5 The Philistines had "... troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude."

1SA 16:14-23 Evil spirits can come from God (and be exorcised with God's help).

1KI 3:12, 16-28 Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, can think of no better way to determine the natural mother of a child in dispute than to threaten to divide the child in half. (Note: This does not take into account the possibility of mental derangement on the part of the natural mother.)

1KI 4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom as measureless as the sand on the seashore.

1KI 6:2, 2CH 3:3 Solomon's temple was only about ninety feet long by thirty feet wide, yet:
1KI 5:15-16 153,300 persons were employed to build it.
1KI 6:38 It took seven years to build.
1CH 22:14 ~7,500,000 lbs. of gold and ~75,000,000 lbs. of silver were used.
1CH 23:4 24,000 supervisors and 6,000 officials and judges were employed to manage it. (Note: Inasmuch as there seems to be uncertainty as to the exact weight of the biblical talent, some estimates place the weight of gold at more than 13,000,000 lbs. and the weight of silver at more than 116,000,000 lbs.)

1KI 10:24 The whole world sought an audience with Solomon to hear his wisdom.

1KI 17:2-6 The Lord commands ravens to bring bread and meat to Elijah.

1KI 18:33-38 Fire consumes wet wood, stones, and dust, and "licks up" water.

2KI 6:5-7 An iron axe head "swims" (or floats).

2CH 9:23 All the kings on earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom.

2KI 13:21 A man who is being buried comes alive after touching the bones of Elisha.

2KI 16:2, 20, 18:1-2 Ahaz was thirty-six years old when he died. His twenty-five year old son Hezekiah succeeded him. Thus Ahaz was a ten or eleven year old father.

2KI 19:35 (KJV) "...the angel of the Lord...smote...an hundred four score and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning ... they were all dead...."

2KI 20:11 The shadow on a sun dial moves backwards.

2CH 7:5, 8-9 Solomon sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep in one week. This is 845+ animals per hour, 14+ animals per minute, for seven days straight.

2CH 21:20, 22:1-2 Ahaziah was forty-two when he became king; he succeeded his father, who died at the age of forty. Thus, Ahaziah was two years older than his father. 2CH 21:20, 22:1-2 Ahaziah was forty-two when he became king; he succeeded his father, who died at the age of forty. Thus, Ahaziah was two years older than his father. [Note: Some translations use "twenty-two" here in an attempt to rectify this discrepancy. The Hebrew is clear, however, that 2CH 22:2 is 42. The Hebrew words involved are Strong's H705 and H8147, "forty" and "two," respectively.]

2CH 13:3 Abijah sent 400,000 men into battle against Jeroboam's 800,000 men. This is a total of 1,200,000 men, all of them Jews. (Note: Assuming one additional woman per man of fighting age, plus two persons per man [either older persons or children] would put the Jewish population of the surrounding area at a minimum of 4,800,000 persons; hardly feasible.)

2CH 13:17 500,000 Israelites are slain in a single battle. (Note: This is more than were lost in any single battle of World War II, and even exceeds the number of deaths that resulted from the dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. At Gettysburg, the greatest battle of the Civil War, the defeated army lost 5,000 men.)

ES 6:6, JB 19:27, PS 7:9, 16:7, 73:21, PR 23:7, 16, IS 10:7, JE 11:20, 17:10, 20:12, MT 9:4, LK 2:19, 9:47, AC 8:22, RO 10:9-10, HE 4:12, RE 2:23 (See KJV especially.) Thought occurs in the heart. The kidneys ("reins") are the seat of conscience.(Note: This is not merely a poetic use of these terms, as is now claimed. In early times, it was actually believed that various body organs other than the brain were responsible for our thoughts, feelings, actions and the like. The heart was believed to be the seat of thought processes and beliefs, while the kidneys were thought to be the seat of conscience.)

JB 9:6 (KJV) God shakes the earth out of its place and makes its pillars tremble.

JB 9:7 God can make the sun not rise and seal up the stars.

JB 28:28, PS 111:10, PR 1:7, 9:10, 15:33, IS 33:6 Fear of the Lord is equated with obtaining wisdom.

PS 58:8 Slugs and/or snails melt as they move.

PS 121:6 It is apparently possible to suffer moonstroke as well as sunstroke.

PR 19:23, 22:4 Fear of the Lord brings freedom from trouble(s). Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth, honor, and life.

PR 20:30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil.

IS 30:26 The moon will someday be as bright as the sun now is. (Note: Until relatively recent times, the moon and the planets were thought to give off their own light.)

IS 38:8 The shadow of the Sun is made to move backwards.

IS 40:22 The earth is a circle. (Note: The earth is really a sphere, not a circle, and this verse does not imply a sphere as some believers like to infer.)

JE 20:7, EZ 14:9 Jeremiah says that the Lord deceived his own prophet. God himself says that he deceives his own prophets in order to get rid of them.

EZ 37:1-10 Dry bones come alive.

AM 8:9 The Sun will be made to set at noon in "clear day."

MT 4:8 There is a high mountain from which all the kingdoms of the world can be seen. (Note: This implies a flat earth.)

MT 4:23-24, 9:32-33, 12:22, 17:14-18, MK 1:23-26, 32-34, 5:2-16, 9:17-29, 16:9, LK 11:14, 4:33-35, 8:2, 27-36, 9:38-42, AC 8:7, 16:16-18 Both physical and mental Illness are caused by demon possession and can be cured by exorcism.

MT 7:7-8, LK 11:9-10 Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find. Everyone who asks, receives.

MT 13:41 Jesus will send his angels to purge his kingdom of evildoers and sin. (Note: How did evildoers get into his kingdom in the first place?)

MT 17:20, 21:21, MK 9:23, 10:27, 11:23, LK 17:6 Faith can move mountains. Nothing is impossible if you have faith [as small as] a grain of mustard seed.

MT 18:19 If two [believers] agree about anything they ask, God will do it for them.

MT 21:22, MK 11:24 Whatever you ask in prayer, if you have faith, you will receive it.

MT 24:29-30 Although the sun and the moon have been darkened and the stars have fallen from heaven, there is still enough light to see.

MT 26:52 All who take the sword will perish by it.

MT 27:52-53 The bodies of dead saints arise and go in force in the city.

MK 11:12-14, 20-21 Jesus curses a fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season. (Note: Rather than cause the fig tree to wither and to bear fruit never again, he could have performed a miracle and made it bear fruit even out of season.)

MK 16:17-18 Those who believe are able to handle snakes and drink any deadly poison without suffering harm.

LK 1:39-42 The fetus in Elizabeth's womb jumps for joy when Elizabeth hears Mary (who is pregnant with Jesus).

LK 22:28-30 Jesus assigns each of his twelve disciples (including Judas, his betrayer) a place (or throne) in his kingdom.

JN 6:24-30 A large crowd of persons (probably several thousand) asks Jesus for a sign so that they might see and believe. This occurs immediately following the Feeding of the Multitude which should have been one of the greatest miracles and most convincing signs of all time.

JN 8:51 Jesus says: "... if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."

JN 12:34 A crowd of persons (speaking in unison?) asks Jesus a thirty word question.

JN 16:23 Jesus says: "Whatever you ask in my name, my Father will give you."

RO 10:17-18, CN 1:23 The gospel had already been preached to every living creature even in Paul's time.

2CO 12:2 There are at least three heavens.

2CO 12:4 There are things which cannot be told--things which man cannot utter.

GA 1:8-9 An angel (from God?) who preaches a gospel contrary to that of Paul will incur Paul's wrath.

1TI 5:11 Younger widows want to marry because their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ.

1TI 6:10 The love of money is the root of all evil(s). (Note: Some translations emend the text to read, "The love of money is the root of all kinds of evils," or something similar, in an attempt to ameliorate an obvious problem. Those additional words are not there in the Greek of the oldest and most reliable manuscripts.)

TS 1:12 "One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars ...." (Figure the logic of this verse.)

HE 7:1-3 Melchizedek had no mother or father, no beginning or end.

RE 14:1-4 Heaven is to be inhabited in part by 144,000 virgin men who have not been "defiled" by women.

RE 21:16 The city of New Jerusalem (where the residents of heaven reside) is only about 1500 miles square.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:15 PM
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Run a search for Bible here:

http://www.infidels.org/
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