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AcrobaticDetective

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I have completed reading "The God Delusion" and "God is Not Great." While I enjoyed them both, they don't do a very good job representing Catholicism or the Bible. For example Hitchens mentions all four gospels being based off of Q. Only 2 (Matthew and Luke) likely were. Do the details matter? I think they do if these details are being used to support your argument.

 

What should I read next? Are any of the modern atheist writers more scholarly?  Again, I like Hitchens and Dawkins for what they do, but I'm looking for something that I don't have to mentally correct as I'm reading it.

 

Cheers

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"Matthew came first, Luke borrowed from Matthew and Mark is the readers digest version pulling from Matthew and Luke. Two-Source Theory Mark and Q are the main sources and Luke and Matthew pull from both of those sources."

 

This has been my understanding.

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1 minute ago, florduh said:

"Matthew came first, Luke borrowed from Matthew and Mark is the readers digest version pulling from Matthew and Luke. Two-Source Theory Mark and Q are the main sources and Luke and Matthew pull from both of those sources."

 

This has been my understanding.

 

Yes mine as well.

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Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Friedman for OT stuff

 

Anything from Bart Ehrman for NT stuff.

 

Mark, Matthew, and Luke are known as the synoptic Gospels and appear to have the same source "Q" as mentioned. Some think John had these sources wrote a fan fic version.

 

Not sure on books specifically regarding Catholicism. Never really delved into it. 

 

Also try "The Christian Delusion." It's more scholarly than Dawkins or Hitchens and written by multiple people, some with PhD's in the relevant fields.

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I definitely recommend the books of Bart Ehrman.  If I had to pick only two of his, I’d suggest “Forged” and “How Jesus Became God”.  You’ll never look at the Bible the same way again.

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This might be slightly off topic, but a resource I found very helpful when first discovering my own Atheism and one that I still like today is the atheist youtuber community.  In particular, I like Steve Shive's old "An Atheist Reads" series where he reads Christian apologetics books and gives full blown lectures (with an admittedly snarky and humorous edge). His series on The Screwtape Letters was particularly good (and frankly even as an agnostic I rather like that book because Lewis can be a wonderful writer when he wants to be). 

 

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That's interesting, I'd always heard Mark was first since it was the least embellished and had no resurrection story at first. But I haven't read anything on it since the 90s. Matthew always seemed to be the most embellished, working in "prophecies" and extra miracles.

 

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Bart Ehrman is great at providing objective, non-inflammatory explanations. Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted are my favorites written for popular audiences. John Loftus provides an excellent perspective from a former evangelical. Why I Became an Atheist is amazing. Richard Elliott Friedman is an OT authority. I've enjoyed reading Elaine Pagels on early Christianity and gnosticism. Many enjoy Karen Armstrong, "A former Roman Catholic religious sister, she went from a conservative to a more liberal and mystical Christian faith."

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I have a problem with the existence of a written Q.  Not only do we not have any manuscripts, but no one in the early church ever referred to it.  It makes more sense to me that there was a circulating oral history of “Jesus stories” that the gospel writers drew from.  Which explains why they are much the same, but a little different, and the content is not always in the same order.  Parallel verses like Matthew 11:12 and Luke 16:16, where a memorable word (biazo, force) are used, but in a different place in the sentence, support the idea that the gospels were written from a pool of memory.

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10 hours ago, TEG said:

I have a problem with the existence of a written Q.  Not only do we not have any manuscripts, but no one in the early church ever referred to it.  It makes more sense to me that there was a circulating oral history of “Jesus stories” that the gospel writers drew from.  Which explains why they are much the same, but a little different, and the content is not always in the same order.  Parallel verses like Matthew 11:12 and Luke 16:16, where a memorable word (biazo, force) are used, but in a different place in the sentence, support the idea that the gospels were written from a pool of memory.

 

Great point. That's a very good possibility. I would even say that's likely to be the reality. 

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10 hours ago, TrueFreedom said:

Bart Ehrman

 

His name as well as The Christian Delusion on another forum have both come up a lot.

 

Thank you all for your suggestions.

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Although not exactly about religion I would recommend 1984, As i'm sure you will be able to draw the parralells between God and Big Brother, As well as the party and the church. 

 

The control of information, The manipulation of facts, The indoctrination and brainwashing, And the complete destruction of individuality and independent thought.

 

The resemblance is uncanny.

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18 hours ago, AyahuascaPhoenix said:

Although not exactly about religion I would recommend 1984, As i'm sure you will be able to draw the parralells between God and Big Brother, As well as the party and the church. 

 

The control of information, The manipulation of facts, The indoctrination and brainwashing, And the complete destruction of individuality and independent thought.

 

The resemblance is uncanny.

Hilariously I just read that book for the first time this month. It was my personal Book of the Month for February.  In particular the concept of doublespeak and doublethink remind me greatly of the idea that it's okay to not use logic when discussing God. 

 

In particular the idea that "the Party can make 2+2=5" is very "God says so, therefore it must be." 

 

And then theres the whole Goldstein book being comparable to the Bible but yeah I 100% second this assertion.  It is also an amazing book because Orwell is a brilliant writer too. 

 

 

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