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Which Is Worse, Old Or New Testament?


cslewissucks
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I recently read the whole book of Revelation for the first time. I think the New Testament God is so much more wicked than the Old Testament God. What do you think? Feel free to explain why, and give examples.

 

Well, Revelations is but one book in the NT. Also, the imagery is so abstract, it cannot be effectively translated at all, at least to a consensus. In my mind, the NT fails for reasons of homophobia, treatment of women as subserviant objects, demoralizing through guilt, and threats of Hell. The threat of Hell is one area where the NT is indeed more wicked then the OT. Before this, God just liked to torment and brutalize His creation in this life. With the NT comes the ghastly concept of eternal torture. So in a way, i think which is worse depends upon individual tastes and sensitivities. Personally, i see the NT as being more politically imorral, or correct, and the OT as being the worser in the sense if attrocities and violence.

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Old Testament God did so many despicable and terrible things by the time you get to the Crucifixion, the letters Paul, ect. you are too numb to care. But the NT God has a different brand of sadism. So it depends what kind of torment you like best, I guess. :scratch:

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Jesus/NT God makes vague threats to destroy the world and kill everyone someday, but OT God actually went through with the wiping out of humanity. Therefore, I say NT God is a little poseur bitch and OT God is the real deal. :P

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Jesus/NT God makes vague threats to destroy the world and kill everyone someday, but OT God actually went through with the wiping out of humanity. Therefore, I say NT God is a little poseur bitch and OT God is the real deal. :P

I agree, god got sissyfied for the NT.

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It's almost a tie for me. In the Old Testament Yahweh, would smite you if you looked at him wrong, but the horrors depicted in Revelation almost make the Old Testament look like a kids show. Except for the flood, smitings and plagues in the OT were localized. In Revelation, Yahweh/Christ is beating the shit out of the entire planet, and is doling out more wrath in the last 3 1/2 years of the Great Tribulation than he did for the first four thousand years before Jesus. I'm still too spooked to read Revelations.

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Revelation is a bizarre science fiction tale that "happens" in the future.

 

Whereas for all I know, the ancient Israelites really were massacring the shit out of their neighbors. Certainly they were bigger tight-asses than the pagans, and stoned people for having sexual fun and all sorts of other non-crimes.

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I'd say the OT god is worse. Thanks to Leviticus which is probably one of the worst books in the bible, we have xtians killing gays and children they brand as witches in Africa. There are xtian cults which take the Psalms verse to beat your children with rods literally and there's all those other horrible actions God commits, such as genocide, infanticide, rape, slavery, and sacrificing virgins. With the NT, it's at least somewhat possibly to liberalize it by reimagining it through symbolic metaphors and such. But even most bible-believing xtians know the OT is out-dated and don't follow everything in it anymore, like stoning people for eating shrimp cocktail and only selectively cherry pick the OT. Whereas it seems like everyone else tries to explain the OT with some vague answer about metaphors and would rather pretend it doesn't exist.

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There is much to be loathed in both parts of the Bible. OT atrocities, Pauline Christianity, unabashed plagarisms from cultures like the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Babylonians, Stoics, etc. I like reading some of those OT stories, like the Exodus, and asking, "Just why would a people want to depict themselves and their god this way?"

 

But then, there are a few diamonds in the rough that are worth reviewing. Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, some Proverbs and Psalms, a few of the Parables of Jesus (I love the parable of the talents, esp. when one takes talents to me reason), 1 Corinthians 13.

 

When taken as a work of fiction some of it ain't bad reading. I think for most of us who have left fundamental beliefs that it is far too triggering to be worthwhile reading. Give me Frank Herbert for that brand of fiction.

 

As for the Revelation of John, it has been popularly accepted that it was written not about future times but as a polemic against Rome, perhaps Nero or Caligula. When the Bible was first compiled John's Revelation hotly contested and considered by many to be an embarrassment to the church because of the condemnation against Rome. HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC EMPIRE! Holy Crap!

 

Here's a good jumping off point if you are interested in more about contemporary interpretations of Revelation. BBC's Revelation

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It's not even a question. It's a landslide for the NT. Who follows the OT? Jews? What have the Jews done to fuck up the world? It's the NT that motivated the xians to baptize and then smash the skulls of Aztec babies. It was the NT that motivated the inquisitors of the inquisition. It was the NT that motivated the crusaders. It is the NT that fills up pews on Sunday morning and is the NT that the pastors use to brainwash the sheep into feelings of guilt and hatred toward anything secular including us. The OT is just a group of stories as innocuous as the Egyptian Book of the Dead or the Iliad.

 

Seriously. When any of you guys were xian, did the OT make you prostrate yourself before an imaginary being begging for forgiveness for being such a worm? It was Paul and the Jesus character that fucked up my youth, not David and Samuel.

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If you read the OT the way Christians read it, I'd have to say the Old. Jews do not take all of the OT seriously. While Jews do find the Torah (the first five books of the OT) meaningful, Jews are far more interested in the Talmud than they are in the remainder of the OT. In fact, I suspect the Talmud is more central than even the Torah, but I don't know enough about Judaism to say for sure.

 

So it's only Christians that take the OT seriously. And because Christians don't really get it, they abuse it. According to the Jews, you can't really understand the Torah without the Talmud. Medievals Christian scholars used to have formal debates with local rabbis on the OT. These debates were called disputations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disputation

 

My understanding is that Jews mostly won the debates, but again I'm not learned in this area.

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Which is worse: getting hit by a bus or getting hit by a semi?

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Here's a good jumping off point if you are interested in more about contemporary interpretations of Revelation. BBC's Revelation

Fascinating stuff, Z. Thanks for the link. :)

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As nasty as the OT god is, hell is infinitely worse than anything that happens in the OT.

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One interesting thing to note from this discussion is the mechanism by which gods tend to evolve. Even 2000 years ago it is plain to see that the inventors of the God of the NT had outgrown the monster god of the OT, softened him up considerably. Still quite barbaric, but not nearly as hideous as Yawheh of past.

You see this today in most churches. The God that they preach and worship hardly even resembles the Bible God anymore to them, because he EVOLVED through them and the times. In fact, a considerable portion of the congregation probably has no idea who they are really worshipping week after week.

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It has been over 30 years since I cracked up open that awful book, but from what I recall the OT God was so tyrannical and mind blowingly vicious that it read more like a comic book and I just ignored it. It was the NT God that fleshed out the idea of Hell and eternal torment and played mind games with me. It also had that horrid creature Paul in it. I voted for the NT God.

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After reviewing the opinions, I will have to say that the NT is worse than the OT. Yes, Yahweh of the OT was far more sadistic in his character but at least you died and that was it, unlike in the NT when you are killed and forced to spend an eternity in a hell that you may not have deserved.

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After reviewing the opinions, I will have to say that the NT is worse than the OT. Yes, Yahweh of the OT was far more sadistic in his character but at least you died and that was it, unlike in the NT when you are killed and forced to spend an eternity in a hell that you may not have deserved.

 

Yeah, when you think about it, about a handfull of people i can think of thoughout history deserve to spend an eternity in hell, and even then i am not sure. But for the sin of being BORN? Because i was BORN i need to be tortured eternally in flames? My brother just had twines and while i was in the hospital i was looking at the babies wondering where their guilt was as they lied in their cribs...

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One interesting thing to note from this discussion is the mechanism by which gods tend to evolve. Even 2000 years ago it is plain to see that the inventors of the God of the NT had outgrown the monster god of the OT, softened him up considerably. Still quite barbaric, but not nearly as hideous as Yawheh of past.

You see this today in most churches. The God that they preach and worship hardly even resembles the Bible God anymore to them, because he EVOLVED through them and the times. In fact, a considerable portion of the congregation probably has no idea who they are really worshipping week after week.

 

I agree there was evolution happening with people and their god. Still, 2000 years ago the people and their god was primitive. Where are the bible verses about equality, human rights? There could have been at least one chapter dealing with child abuse. Wife beating has always been a social problem all throughout the world, yet the bible is silent on the subject. I'm sure most of us see this religion as quite primitive, not worthy of the scientific age we live in.

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Had to add this quote by Mark Twain from his story "Letters from the Earth".

 

The two Testaments are interesting, each in its own way. The Old one gives us a picture of these people's Deity as he was before he got religion, the other one gives us a picture of him as he appeared afterward.

- Letters from the Earth

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One interesting thing to note from this discussion is the mechanism by which gods tend to evolve. Even 2000 years ago it is plain to see that the inventors of the God of the NT had outgrown the monster god of the OT, softened him up considerably. Still quite barbaric, but not nearly as hideous as Yawheh of past.

You see this today in most churches. The God that they preach and worship hardly even resembles the Bible God anymore to them, because he EVOLVED through them and the times. In fact, a considerable portion of the congregation probably has no idea who they are really worshipping week after week.

 

I agree there was evolution happening with people and their god. Still, 2000 years ago the people and their god was primitive. Where are the bible verses about equality, human rights? There could have been at least one chapter dealing with child abuse. Wife beating has always been a social problem all throughout the world, yet the bible is silent on the subject. I'm sure most of us see this religion as quite primitive, not worthy of the scientific age we live in.

 

No argument there. Not a word about the treatment of children, animals, abortion, contraception etc. etc. I am just stating that at least the writers of the NT were starting to get the hint that the God of the OT was even more insane then theirs.

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I recently read the whole book of Revelation for the first time. I think the New Testament God is so much more wicked than the Old Testament God. What do you think? Feel free to explain why, and give examples.

I think they're different gods entirely. I am of the conclusions that the Hebrews were polytheistic when they emerged as a tribe out of the Canaanites. (Israel Finklestein's "The Bible Unearthed" touches on this from the archaeological evidence.) YHWH was the fertility god of the Canaanites and, tada! Guess who his goddess was?? That's right, none other than Aherah of those accursed poles the Jews were always seeking to destroy.

 

Whereas I am of the opinion that the Gospels are truly Jewish midrash and do not expressly touch upon the nature of YWHW, the epistles, for the most part, describe a wrathful, angry god alah Jonathan Edwards (not to be confused with the nutcase who sees dead people). I think I would agree with the more wicked side of God being exposed in the NT on the basis that in the OT God seemed to childishly react to the things that pissed him off. Like the flood. He got so pissed he just decided to drown all the babies, kittens and puppy dogs without warning. And the way He flew off on Moses for striking that damned rock.

 

But, in the New Testament, He's more of a General Patton in plotting out the future misery of His subjects and their environment. Dr. Evil, 100% pure evil plotting and scheming how best to torture in His own name. Even using his little boy in the plan.

 

Yeah, the scale tips for me to a more wicked god in the NT.

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I think they're different gods entirely. I am of the conclusions that the Hebrews were polytheistic when they emerged as a tribe out of the Canaanites. (Israel Finklestein's "The Bible Unearthed" touches on this from the archaeological evidence.) YHWH was the fertility god of the Canaanites and, tada! Guess who his goddess was?? That's right, none other than Aherah of those accursed poles the Jews were always seeking to destroy.
Didn't one of the early Christians, Marcion, believe that the god of the NT was a different god from the OT and Jesus was trying to rescue the Isrealites from the evil false god?
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I think they're different gods entirely. I am of the conclusions that the Hebrews were polytheistic when they emerged as a tribe out of the Canaanites. (Israel Finklestein's "The Bible Unearthed" touches on this from the archaeological evidence.) YHWH was the fertility god of the Canaanites and, tada! Guess who his goddess was?? That's right, none other than Aherah of those accursed poles the Jews were always seeking to destroy.
Didn't one of the early Christians, Marcion, believe that the god of the NT was a different god from the OT and Jesus was trying to rescue the Isrealites from the evil false god?

Excellent question, Neon, and a very worthy subject that merits further study. A "Marcion" is given credit as the author of Mark by several sources, and is arguably considered to be the primary gospel writer.

 

Here's a link to an article concerning Marcion's history. After reading the entry I do recall reading about the impish god of the Hebrews described by Marcion. From the article, "According to Marcion, the god of the Hebrew Bible was jealous, wrathful, and legalistic. The material world he created was defective, a place of suffering; the god who made such a world was the bungling or malicious demiurge." I cannot argue that succint definition of the compendium of Hebrew gods, succinctly YHWH. Unfortunately, that description of the Hebrew god applies itself quite adequately to my 13 year old son.

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I was going to bring up Marcion, but Neon beat me to it. IIRC, Marcion was considered a heritic because he rejected the OT, just couldn't see the vengeful god of the OT as the same as the peaceful Jesus. I wonder how he felt about the book of Revelations. Several church fathers didn't want it in the canon because of its violence.

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