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Do You Believe All The Bible Is A Fraud?


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HI

I understand you are mostly ex Christians and I am sure you then and maybe now have had or have some of these same questions.

 

If you have read all or much of the bible and I know you don't believe in it, but have you ever wondered why the authors would write such books?

 

The one thing I wonder about is if the bible was made up for whatever reason such as just controlling society or whatever, have you ever wondered why "men" would write such doctrine that would in itself deny men certain freedoms?

 

(ie)

why a law against gluttony? men love to eat

why a law against adultery? especially written by men

why a law against pride? Men love to brag about themselves

 

These 3 examples and there are many more don't seem like they would come from men just making it up because these are all things men love to do

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There are many people on here who became ex-Christians by reading the Bible. We have ex-pastors, ex-Theology students, and even a Religious studies scholar.

 

We discuss the Bible a lot here. Maybe you should go back and read some of the posts.

 

We understand that the Bible was written in an ancient culture where these same things were part of that culture and were adopted and adapted. They were not "Big Bang" revelations. The concepts already existed and would exist handed down to us with or without Christianity.

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Buddhism is also about self-denial. Does that mean Buddhism is the only true religion, because it denies men certain freedoms rather than encouraging indulgence in them? Think about what you're proposing here.

 

In other words, men have made up various beliefs because they thought they were right. The Bible may have been used to manipulate people, but that does not necessarily mean that its origins were the same. It most likely came about because people thought they were writing down something truthful.

 

The Bible has been proven to be basically borrowed from other, older religions. That alone destroys its credibility as the "word of God". It also contains numerous other problems that other threads here and other websites, such as skepticsannotatedbible.com have addressed. Check them out - they have a lot to say.

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Hi Soor. First let me commend you. You ask some very good and thoughtful questions with a genuinely humble and respectful attitude. That impresses me and it is appreciated here since some come here to preach, ridicule, condemn, etc.

 

My attitude is not that the entire bible is a fraud, just that it is not the word of God. There are some commendable teachings and morality plays and proverbs and parables. It is truly a significant ancient book. However there are also things in it that I would find morally objectionable, internally inconsistent, historically inaccurate, and scientifically ignorant. It is a valuable ancient text for study, and there are even some pretty good and gripping stories.

 

Your point about why a man would write a book which would challenge men ethically is interesting, but consider that Plato and Aristotle and others, also wrote books on ethics and what they considered to be morally upright behavior, without any theistic religious agenda.

 

Dio

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HI

I understand you are mostly ex Christians and I am sure you then and maybe now have had or have some of these same questions.

 

If you have read all or much of the bible and I know you don't believe in it, but have you ever wondered why the authors would write such books?

 

The one thing I wonder about is if the bible was made up for whatever reason such as just controlling society or whatever, have you ever wondered why "men" would write such doctrine that would in itself deny men certain freedoms?

 

(ie)

why a law against gluttony? men love to eat

why a law against adultery? especially written by men

why a law against pride? Men love to brag about themselves

 

These 3 examples and there are many more don't seem like they would come from men just making it up because these are all things men love to do

 

Thanks for the outright generalization that men are all fat, womanizing boasters. Go fuck yourself.

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The one thing I wonder about is if the bible was made up for whatever reason such as just controlling society or whatever, have you ever wondered why "men" would write such doctrine that would in itself deny men certain freedoms?

 

(ie)

why a law against gluttony? men love to eat

why a law against adultery? especially written by men

why a law against pride? Men love to brag about themselves

Why would you limit this just to the Bible? The Quran denies men pleasure way more than the Bible.... so it must be from God since men wrote it? What about the Vedas? Or the Torah?

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HI

I understand you are mostly ex Christians and I am sure you then and maybe now have had or have some of these same questions.

 

If you have read all or much of the bible and I know you don't believe in it, but have you ever wondered why the authors would write such books?

 

The one thing I wonder about is if the bible was made up for whatever reason such as just controlling society or whatever, have you ever wondered why "men" would write such doctrine that would in itself deny men certain freedoms?

 

(ie)

why a law against gluttony? men love to eat

why a law against adultery? especially written by men

why a law against pride? Men love to brag about themselves

 

These 3 examples and there are many more don't seem like they would come from men just making it up because these are all things men love to do

 

Thanks for the outright generalization that men are all fat, womanizing boasters. Go fuck yourself.

 

I'm sorry if you took it the wrong way as just implying "men" as I also would classify "woMEN" in the same respect as these questions are not gender issuess

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Soor,

 

What are your beliefs regarding the bible? Do you think it is the inerrant word of god, or do you have some other belief about it?

 

Do you think the authors of most of the books are known? Do you think the copies that exist today are completely accurate copies of the original or have they been changed over time on purpose and/or by error?

 

Understanding what you think of the bible will help us know how to frame our answers to you.

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Soor,

 

 

 

Do you think the authors of most of the books are known? Do you think the copies that exist today are completely accurate copies of the original or have they been changed over time on purpose and/or by error?

 

 

 

 

This is a great question and one I am currently studying.

 

I believe man is fallible. We don't have original copies anymore.

 

The very fact that some of what I read in the bibe especially the old testament seems unbelieveable actually is one reason why I do believe if that makes any sense to you. Why would men/women write things against their very nature unless it didn't come from them.

 

example: if I wanted to start some kind of new religion or build on an old one and started writing and proclaiming words from a higher power, then I would want what I write or what I am trying to indoctronate to suit me and bennefit me some how. Yet when I read much of the old and new testament I don't see in many cases where it would bennefit the writer, in fact the exact opposite.

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Soor,

 

What are your beliefs regarding the bible? Do you think it is the inerrant word of god, or do you have some other belief about it?

 

Do you think the authors of most of the books are known? Do you think the copies that exist today are completely accurate copies of the original or have they been changed over time on purpose and/or by error?

 

Understanding what you think of the bible will help us know how to frame our answers to you.

 

Good point! Most Christians don't know the history of the book they believe to be the word of their god. They believe what they hear in church and a large percentage of pastors simply don't have Theological training.

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Do you think the authors of most of the books are known? Do you think the copies that exist today are completely accurate copies of the original or have they been changed over time on purpose and/or by error?

 

This is a great question and one I am currently studying.

 

I believe man is fallible. We don't have original copies anymore.

Hi soor and welcome to the club

 

As far as alteration of text goes check this.

 

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_...r=16&version=31

 

8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

 

( ((The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.))

 

9When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

 

If that is altered, then I wonder what else is altered. Here are some website which talk about the textual reliability

 

http://www.geocities.com/questioningpage/Bible1.html

 

http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/manufall.html

 

here is a question for you?

 

a)Why does the word of god needs the democratic approval of a council of male clerics?

b)And which is absolute correct canon in the world from the following

 

1)catholic Bible

2)Coptic Bible

3)Eastern Orthodox Bible

4)Mormon Bible

5)Jehovah's Witness Bible

6)Protestant Bible

7)Jewish Bible

8)Samaritan canon

9)Anglican Bible

10)Armenian Bible

11)Ethiopic Bible

12)Syriac Bible

 

The very fact that some of what I read in the bibe especially the old testament seems unbelieveable actually is one reason why I do believe if that makes any sense to you. Why would men/women write things against their very nature unless it didn't come from them.

 

 

You mean it is in our nature to work on a sabbath, and it is in our nature to eat shellfish and pork?

 

and why is brutal method of stoning employed for the lamest of crime(like working on a Sabbath or people having sex)?

 

How does paying 50 shekels to raped women father and marrying compensate for the crime commited?

 

example: if I wanted to start some kind of new religion or build on an old one and started writing and proclaiming words from a higher power, then I would want what I write or what I am trying to indoctronate to suit me and bennefit me some how. Yet when I read much of the old and new testament I don't see in many cases where it would bennefit the writer, in fact the exact opposite.

 

You mean like slavery did not benefit it's followers?

 

Or are did you forget that the laws in the OT are biased against women?

 

I'm sorry if you took it the wrong way as just implying "men" as I also would classify "woMEN" in the same respect as these questions are not gender issues

 

You must be aware of the law given in Num 5:11-31.

 

Men have access to a very barbaric ritual where they can test the fidelity of their wives.

 

Where is the law in the OT where WOMEN can test the fidelity of MEN?

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This is a great question and one I am currently studying.

 

I believe man is fallible. We don't have original copies anymore.

 

Good for you! Whatever your beliefs in god are, I would much rather you be a well-informed believer than one who can only parrot what he is told. I recommend researching the earliest extant copies of the new testament & try to balance at least a little bit of secular history along with christian apologetic history. You will often her different stories. I suggest using Occams razor.

 

The very fact that some of what I read in the bibe especially the old testament seems unbelieveable actually is one reason why I do believe if that makes any sense to you. Why would men/women write things against their very nature unless it didn't come from them.

 

...only problem is that you can apply that same reasoning to most Sci-fi writers, Stephen King ...I could go on and on. I can argue for things I don't believe in at all, and write about things that go against my nature. Why should others be exempt. Part of building a myth was an exercise in trying to make a point, not make a literal sounding story.

 

example: if I wanted to start some kind of new religion or build on an old one and started writing and proclaiming words from a higher power, then I would want what I write or what I am trying to indoctronate to suit me and bennefit me some how.

 

But you seem to be insinuating that the reason for doing this was only for the benefit of the person starting the religion. Some people REALLY believe the crap they shovel; they truly BELIEVE they are getting messages from invisible men upstairs. I doubt Jim Jones had everyone drink that kool-aid because he thought it was all a big joke. History is written by the guys who win.

 

Yet when I read much of the old and new testament I don't see in many cases where it would bennefit the writer, in fact the exact opposite.

 

I'd say you need to spend some time with the Vedas, Koran, and other holy texts. The new Testament is not unique. Buhhda was a prince who renounced his royal heritage & went out to live with the masses. That hardly would benefit him by your definition either. Buhhda never claimed to be a diety or offerred an afterlife exclusive only to his followers either; strictly speaking, Christ has a larger personal stake in his story than Buhhda, so by your logic it would seem Buhhda should be more credible since he has the least to lose by rejection of his teaching.

 

realisticly speaking, how likely do you think it would be that someone who said to give away all your possesions would ask you to give 10% of all you earn to the church?! I'd say the early church had an awful lot to gain monetarily by parts of the new testament. Of course, this came from the epistles, not the gospels & that should be kept in mind (I guess) if you take the next logical step to questioning credibility, and then start watching the timeline between the earliest extant copies versus the rise of the church.

 

Do I believe the bible is a complete fraud?! ...of course not. But do I believe god was the AUTHOR is a whole different story.

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why a law against gluttony? men love to eat
Even Richard Simons has ancient ancestors. It was probably one of them who wrote that one.
why a law against adultery? especially written by men
Pfft! :Wendywhatever: This one was written by some dude who had a woman that cheated on him. He was pissed, so he made a law against it.
why a law against pride? Men love to brag about themselves
Pride has the tendency to turn followers against their leaders. Especially when the follower realizes that the leader is full of shit. And we can't have that, can we?
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"why a law against gluttony? men love to eat

why a law against adultery? especially written by men

why a law against pride? Men love to brag about themselves"

 

 

 

Over eating is bad for you, most ancient cultures knew this.

 

You may like to sleep around, but do you want a man sleeping with your wife?

 

You may like to brag, but do you like to hear others do it?

 

In books written by men you will often find truthful even uplifting things. No big whoop.

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Hi Soor -

 

I look at the Bible as being about as accurate as the Iliad. That is, it's legendary history. Some of it is supported by archaeology. It probably has some truths in it. But it also has enough exaggeration and rewriting that I'd never take it as the infallible, inspired word of any deity. I don't think it's a fraud, per se, just not reliable enough to place my utter faith in it as the ultimate truth.

 

I take the Bible as being a reflection of the people who wrote it - their life and times, and what they valued in their culture. Nothing more.

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Hi Soor -

 

I look at the Bible as being about as accurate as the Iliad. That is, it's legendary history. Some of it is supported by archaeology. It probably has some truths in it. But it also has enough exaggeration and rewriting that I'd never take it as the infallible, inspired word of any deity. I don't think it's a fraud, per se, just not reliable enough to place my utter faith in it as the ultimate truth.

 

I take the Bible as being a reflection of the people who wrote it - their life and times, and what they valued in their culture. Nothing more.

 

Right on, gwen-baby! We shouldn't consider the bible to be anything more than that.

 

Really, it's an important ancient text and certainly provides food for thought. So it's not a complete piece of crap - unless you believe it's true. If everyone thought the Iliad was true, then the Iliad would be full of crap instead.

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This reminds me of the argument from one of Gregory Koukl's articles in the `Stand to Reason' website:-

 

"...frankly, I've been a Christian for 22 years and there are a lot of times I don't particularly like Jesus. He is not my favorite guy sometimes. He is not the kind of guy you like...If I were inclined to invent a religion and a god, the God of the Bible is the very last God I would ever invent. I rather like the pantheistic god myself, the monistic god of eastern religions. Eastern religions are high on individual freedom and low on personal responsibility."

 

So the fact that the Chrisitian god does and says nasty voilent things in the bible is `evidence' he is real!

 

 

Actually, there are some pretty nasty gods in some African, Asian and South American cultures to - so they must all be genuine!

 

But non-Christian religions can't win. One one hand they are critisized for having gods that are not as moral as Jesus - then for not being as nasty as biblegod! :Doh:

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Soor,

 

I did not become an atheist until I decided to read the whole bible with the intent of strengthening my faith.

 

The writings of the bible consist of multiple writs from various religions and governments from various times, mixed with poetry and folklore. Those who originally wrote the separate accounts did not collaborate or collude with the others.

 

It was those of the founding catholic church that did not write anything in the bible, but instead collaborated and colluded to incorporate everything that they think would aid catholicism in their goal of controlling the minds of many.

 

It was mankind who created your god; your god did not create you, and it was mankind who created the bible void of any involvment by any so-called god.

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Thanks for the outright generalization that men are all fat, womanizing boasters.

 

Good point Asimov. I'm not really all that fat.

You know Dio, I loved your first post you made to the OP. It was respectful and yet told the truth. This post, however, won my heart. :wub:

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Yes, there are some good thoughts in the Bible along with the bad ones...

 

But, Soor, your thinking is still based on the (biblical) assumption that humans are just worthless choatic sludge and we have no hope at all of having any noble notions unless a God crams them down our throats.

 

Consider, for just a moment, the idea that the entire Bible was written by humans with no help from outside sources. That means that all those good thoughts in there, all the real wisdom and uplifting ideals, are our ideas. These are the thoughts and ideals of humans just like us. And because they are our ideals and not those of some unattainable deity, they are, I think, far more worth living up to.

 

After the wisdom and the ideals, however, comes the simple fact that the great majority of humanity has no interest in thinking, let alone pursuing challenging ideals. They want answers! They want to know that they are right and those other bastards are wrong. They want a nice, warm, thick piece of wool to pull over their own eyes. And that's what the Bible, religion, and preachers are for.

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As a historical document, the Bible wins sometimes. For example, most college-educated archaeologist would tell you that the Israelites existed and most likely did have an "exile" and probably a time of wandering in the desert. It's debated, however, if they were ever purposefully enslaved by another nation, or simply poor nomads surrounded by rich cultures who may have viewed them as barbarians, due to their status as impoverished wanderers.

 

Jesus probably existed. Simply because there were plenty of holy men in those days claiming to be the Messiah, and with so many to choose from, one wouldn't need to make one up. Although he almost certainly didn't do everything the Bible says he did - some parts of his story are probably combinations of reported deeds of various Messiah-men - there was a guy named Jesus whom a lot of people crowded around to listen to, ended up pissing off the Romans, and was crucified. But his story was in no way unique. Anybody with a charismatic message would have had plenty of followers, and the people of the era probably crowded en masse to listen to any one of them when they came into town, in the same way people will venerate both the Pope and Billy Graham. As for crucifixtion, it was a common Roman practice, and plenty of Jews were unfortunate enough to suffer it.

 

We know Herod and Pontius Pilate existed because they exist in Roman documents as rulers and governors of Judaea. They may very well have been the administrators who sentenced Jesus to death - just as they sentenced many others. However, interestingly, Pontius Pilate was more ruthless then he is presented to be in the Bible. In the Biblical narration, Pilate is reluctant to sentence Jesus; in the real thing, he probably wouldn't give a damn one way or the other, since most Romans viewed non-Romans as barbarians anyway. The reason that Pontius is portrayed as more compassionate to Jesus in the Bible is probably due to Christian writers wanting the Jews - who, in the Bible, insisted on Jesus' death - to appear responsible. Anti-Semitism got off to an early start.

 

However, for such instances as the making of the Ten Commandments as God's own hand writes them on stone, Adam and Eve, the ripping of the cloth between Holy Place and Holy of Holies - it's all hogwash to me. Any archaeologist or scientist would tell you that.

 

Also interestingly, one can note that the "flood myth" is a common motif among many ancient cultures, from Greece all the way to Indus. Looking into it, archaeologists discovered that there very likely was a very large flood that devastated a great deal of the Meditterranean world in very, very early human times. This was passed down from generation to generation until it eventually became the Noah's Ark tale we all know and love - and, since every story gets exaggerated, the flood that once covered the Fertile Crescent was now made to cover the whole of the world.

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