Most Christians do not properly read, much less understand or abide by the scripture they read in their Boobles. The problem is not just textual but conceptual. Some of the conceits of the O.T., beginning with a Talking Snake (so reviled by HBO comic Bill Maher, he of the movie “Religulous”). If these folks even subscribe to HBO it would amaze me. They are too busy watching that cornball guy from Houston with his whiney, emasculated “Prosperity Gospel” or the Texas Oracle who said Hurricane Katrina was “the Lord’s” punishment of New Orleans for hosting a gay pride event. How would they know? They do not have a deity they can prove exists, and if, like George W. Bush, they actually talk to this Easter Bunny code named “Harvey,” they are seriously delusional. But, I digress.

The Booble lends support for any proposition one cares to park in it: I once heard a “corner preacher” on Venice Beace in California (where I was living at the time, going to UCLA film school) point to a Booble passage that he read with obvious reference to the Weed Dangerous, a passage that said, in effect, that “the Lord” gave man dominion over all the beasts…and the herbs….” (At the time, LBJ was showing off his beagle pups by lifting them aloft – by their ears. The corner preacher flipped to another part of the “Good Book” that stated, precisely: “He that meddleth with strife not his own [Vietnam] is like one who taketh a dog by the ears.” I kid you not: it is in the Booble.)

The only half assed book in the N.T. is Luke. Luke at least had the grace of brevity and some use of vernacular Aramaic and/or Greek idioms and direct language. I like Luke (as much as an avowed atheist can be said to love any canonical). Luke is the book Linda Hunt quotes as Billie, the diminutive news photographer quotes in the movie, "The Year of Living Dangerously." She is fond of the remark of Luke asking Jesus, "But...Master, what shall we do now?" That is an existential question in the best senses of the word.

But if you actually believe Jebus existed and that he rose from the dead and all of that, I have a nice island between Long Island and New Jersey I will sell you for one dollar more than they paid the Native American sellers. If anyone “like” Jebus existed it was most certainly a Reb Yeshua, one of the hundreds if not thousands of people roaming the Levant and calling themselves “the Messiah” at the turn of the millennium or thereabouts.

Some say he was based upon Apollonius of Tyana. Some say he was Horus. Some say Attis. Some say any one of a few dozen “pagan Christs” that come to the mind of any mythologer and Theosophist immediately. Gerald Massey had it pegged right when he pointed out that the myth of Jesus Christ had no historical basis soever but only a legendary or strictly mythical one at best. He was an accretion of so many prophets of the period and earlier, all the way back to the Persian Magi and to the cults of the Lower Nile. Massey traced his roots and showed convincingly that there is about as much difference between, say, Tammuz and Reb Yeshua as between Osiris and Jebus Chrust.

The Christer inability to use logic is part of their mass psychosis. Yes, I am perfectly aware that church is a social occasion but, really, discussing mutual business propositions on the outside steps is not much different than having money changers in the Synagogue. Inside, believers mouth meaningless slogans from scripture that they do not honor in their lives. They obey Maslow’s Law of doing as they do not what Jebus said. Or Jehovah for that matter: why is it that evangelicals are so quick to chastise same sex people when they point to Leviticus as support and go without beards and failing to keep the Sabbath (including Friday) holy? (My hero, George Carlin asked out loud why it was God wants women to cover their heads in a cathedral but wants them with nothing on top in a synagogue?) Is the old fuck a bit arbitrary and capricious?

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Nice bit of writing. Most of the faithfull are totaly ignorant of what thier holy book says. And when you point out to them what it does say they "Interpit" the passages. When I ask the believers Where does it say in the booble that you may interpit(sp??) these verses I always get the same reply namely that "eveyone knows that you have to interpit the booble"!! I don't know that I have ever changed any ones mind when arguing about the scriptures but I do know that if the discussion goes on long enough one of us will be left feeling very uncomfortable and it isn't me. One of the more amusing conversations I have ever had was with an automotive engineer. He knew that the bs he was spouting made no sense at all yet he couldn't seem to help himself. The part of his brain that does engineering was going TILT!TILT! the whole time. In the end his feelings were hurt because I asked to many reasonable, well
thought out questions for wich he had no reasonable well thought out answers.
Well, it has been shown that atheists know the Booble better than evangelicals do. And it's been said that familiarity breeds contempt.
Indeed it does!!

The Hebrew Bible contains twenty-four books.

These were written over a period of more than a thousand years. And it contains under its covers many different views and perspectives, and includes very different telling of the same events.

Over this time, the circumstances of its authors, and the circumstances of the ancient Israelites and their neighbors, changed greatly. So did many of their views. Even within single books (Like Isaiah) scholars observed different voices and outlooks.

These written texts were edited together by others, and later still, canonized by others, and each of these people brought their own prejudices and politics into the text.

Already in 1678, a French priest named Richard Simon (1638 – 1712) had concluded from the double and repeating narratives in Genesis that Moses had transcribed part of the Pentateuch, and that anonymous authors had written the rest.

Seventy five years later, in 1753, another Frenchman, a physician named Jean Astruc, hypothesized that the two different names used for God in Genesis (Elohim and Yahweh) were used by different authors writing different stories that were later merged.

By the middle of the nineteenth century, scholars had identified four separates documents bound up in the Five Books of Moses – a “Priestly” one, an “Elohim” one, a “Jehovist” one and a “Deuteronomist” one – and had found signs of a group of overall editors, or redactors. They were identified by their initials, P, E, J, D and R.

What can we learn from the Bible about ancient Israel itself? The answer maybe very little. Some scholars insist that we know close to nothing, and that much of what earlier researchers have concluded, based on their exacting study of the Bible is simply wrong.

To hope to learn from these books just what the people they describe thought about nature or anything else is to hope for the impossible.




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