The bible is the most important book ever compiled. However, it is also one of the most dangerous. It is used to edify and it is also used to deceive. Christians like to pretend that the bible was written by one person. But in reality, it was written by 40 different authors from three continents in three different languages.
Jesus says: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat.” (Matthew 13:24-25). This portrait of the kingdom is directly applicable to the bible. The bible is a book of wheat and weeds. In it, the truth of God is presented side-by-side with grievous misrepresentations of God.
Justification of Evil
The bible can be used (and has been used) to justify evil. It tolerates incest: “They got him drunk that night, and the older girl went in and had sexual intercourse with her father.” (Genesis 19:33). It supports the selling of daughters: “If a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not be freed at the end of six years.” (Exodus 21:7). It supports witch-hunting: “A witch must not be allowed to live.” (Exodus 22:18).
The bible supports pogroms: “The God of Israel says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbour.’” (Exodus 32:27). It supports discrimination against the handicapped: “No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed.” (Leviticus 21:18).
The bible supports slavery: “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.” (Leviticus 25:44). It supports discrimination against women: “Set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; and if it is a female, set her value at thirty shekels.” (Leviticus 27:3).
The bible supports human sacrifice: “Not even a human being who has been unconditionally dedicated may be bought back; he must be put to death.” (Leviticus 27:29). It supports capital punishment: “The assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Numbers 15:36). It supports drinking of blood: “They shall not lie down until they have eaten what they capture and have drunk the blood of the slain!” (Numbers 23:24).
The bible supports the rape of virgins: “Save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.” (Numbers 31:18). It supports infanticide: “We destroyed all the people in every town we conquered- men, women, and children alike.” (Deuteronomy 3:6). It supports religious intolerance: if an idol-worshiper is found, Moses says: “take that person outside the town and stone him to death.” (Deuteronomy 17:2-5).
The bible supports genocide: “When the LORD your God lets you capture the city, kill every man in it.” (Deuteronomy 20:16). It supports “suicide-bombing:” “Samson killed more people at his death than he had killed during his life.” (Judges 16:30). It supports the abduction of women: “While the girls were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife.” (Judges 21:23). It supports cannibalism: “We boiled my son, and ate him.” (2 Kings 6:29). It has anti-Semitic vitriol: “(Jews) are against both God and man.” (1 Thessalonians 2:15).
The bible is full of mistakes. We are told Abraham had several sons (Genesis 25:1-6); then only two (Galatians 4:22); and then only one. (Hebrews 11:17). Jacob was buried in a cave at Machpelah bought from Ephron the Hittite (Genesis 50:13); but then again he was buried in a sepulchre at Shechem bought from the sons of Hamor. (Acts 7:15-16). Moses had only one wife. Nevertheless he had four different fathers-in-law; Reuel (Exodus 2:18/21); Jethro (Exodus 4:18); Raguel (Numbers 10:29); and Hobab. (Judges 4:11).
Jesse had eight sons with David as the eighth. (1 Samuel 17:12-14). Then again he had seven sons with David as the seventh. (1 Chronicles 2:13-15). Saul’s daughter married to David is mistakenly said to be Merab instead of Michal. (1 Samuel 18:19). Jehoshaphat, king of Judah (2 Chronicles 20:35), is mistakenly said to be king of Israel. (2 Chronicles 21:2). Zechariah’s prophecy about the thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13) is mistakenly attributed to Jeremiah. (Matthew 27:9).
The bible is also full of contradictions. Moses says God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. (Exodus 20:11). But Isaiah says God is never tired and does not need to rest. (Isaiah 40:28). God created man last, after creating animals. (Genesis 1:25-26). But then again he created man before creating animals. (Genesis 2:18-19). The Nephilim giants were wiped out in the flood. (Genesis 6:4). Nevertheless, their descendants reappeared after the flood. (Numbers 13:33). The peoples of the earth had different languages. (Genesis 10:5; Genesis 10:20). But then again they had only one language. (Genesis 11:1).
Moses says God asked the Israelites to build him a sanctuary so he can dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8). But Stephen insists God does not dwell in temples built by men. (Acts 7:48). Moses says God changes his mind. (Exodus 32:14). But Balaam says he does not. (Numbers 23:19). God is said to have blessed Jehu for destroying the house of Ahab. (2 Kings 10:30). But Hosea says God condemned him for doing so. (Hosea 1:4).
This goes to show that Paul’s statement that all scriptures are written by the inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16) is, itself, not inspired. Indeed, more discrepancies come from Paul himself than from any other person in the bible.
Paul says God is not the author of confusion. (1 Corinthians 14:33). But Moses says God confused the tongues at Babel. (Genesis 11:9). Paul says God is “the God of peace.” (Romans 15:33). But Moses says he is “a man of war.” (Exodus 15:3). Paul says God dwells in unapproachable light. (1 Timothy 6:16). But David says he dwells in thick darkness. (Psalm 18:11). Paul says no one is righteous. (Romans 3:10). But Moses says God considered Noah to be righteous. (Genesis 7:1).
Paul says the law was given through angels. (Galatians 3:19). But Moses says God gave it to him directly. (Deuteronomy 10:1-5). Paul says all men are condemned to death because of Adam’s sin. (Romans 5:12/19). But Moses says children are not to suffer for their parent’s sins. (Deuteronomy 24:16). Paul says God justifies the ungodly. (Romans 4:5). But Moses and Solomon say he does not. (Exodus 23:7; Proverbs 17:15).
Thank God for Jesus
We Christians make fools of ourselves by insisting, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that everything in the bible is true. God raised one man to resolve this mess. He is the Amen; the one true and faithful witness. That man is Jesus.
Jesus is the final authority on things of God. Only Jesus’ words present the undiluted and unvarnished truth of God. (John 14:10; John 8:26). They should be put in our hearts, and not just left in a book. (Jeremiah 31:31-33).
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