Thread: The Bible is a work of Fiction
03-01-2004, 10:45 AM #1
The Bible is a work of Fiction
Yah, we may as well continue this little line of conversation here
instead of hijacking the "Passion" thread.
Anyway, someone alleged that the Bible was a work of impeccable historical accuracy, and I, being the outspoken unbeleiver that I am, could not resist the urge to voice my dissent.
Yes, I admit, I am a heretic. It took me a while to get here, but everything that I've seen convinces me that
1) No one really knows who wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, yet we are expected to beleive the product of some anonymous writer.
2) The Exodus story as depicted in the Old Testament is a work of fiction. There is no corroborating evidence in any Middle Eastern archeological digs of
a) Egypt's sudden loss of over half it's population
b) The decimation of Egypt's army
c) Anything about the plagues, including the death of the Egyptian's first born children
. . . and this absence of mention is all the more curious, as there is plenty of other information to be had in Egyptian affairs in that time period. Since the only source of information for this story is comes from the Israelis, who were at the time a largely uneducated tribal people (and such folks are given to the creation of folk tales), it seems far more likely that the Exodus story is fiction than actual fact.
As was mentioned in the "Passion" thread, there are Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and in those four books there are no fewer than five accounts of the Resurrection.
With 5 different versions of the Resurrection to choose from, the Bible cannot be considered a "definitive source of historical fact."
DISCLAIMER: I realize there are folks who interpret the Bible literally, and there are others who take it more as a metaphor. My own religious training was in the literalist tradition, and I cannot fault the reasoning of those of the metaphorical camp. But for the folks who claim that the Bible is the Inerrant Word of the Creator of the Universe, you've got problems--because if just ONE part of the Bible can be conclusively thrown into doubt, then you're stuck with a book that's Not Inerrant, Not Perfect, and if you're going to follow this thread, be ready to either lose your faith, or join in with those who take the Bible as a metaphor, or to defend your current opinion with the abundant use of nonsequiteurs and unsupportable denials, or tossing in the classic "Pascal's Wager" or "Turn or Burn" (empty) threat.
So . . . What do y'all think?
Oh yah, one more thing . . . these heretical views are NOT the sole province of "godless liberals," but, from what I've seen from acquaintances, those of Bush-loving conservatives, Libertarians, and other freethinkers. So, please, no "branding" with the "L" word. It doesn't apply.
Let the posts begin . . .
03-01-2004, 10:49 AM #2Originally Posted by Tock
Regarding your beliefs, I totally respect them. I too question my own from time to time, particularly when dealing with "organized" religion. But, like I asked in the other thread...
What if you are wrong....
"Eternity" seems like a really long time to have to evaluate a wrong decision....
03-01-2004, 10:54 AM #3
hell will be hot
03-01-2004, 10:56 AM #4
what a lot of people don't know is that there were dozens of gospels written and those four were chosen because of the particular people they were addressed to, one thing that people seem to deny all the time is that Jesus wasn't born on Dec. 25, no one really knows when he was born, they think sometime in march around 3 A.D. amd Dec. 25 was chosen because of a then pagan belief
03-01-2004, 11:04 AM #5
yea, there were over 80 other gospels written by authors equally as reliable as the ones by matthew, mark, luke and john.... they all said that jesus was a normal (not divine) dude with some great ideas, and he was slamming mary magdeline...
also, the bible as we know it was engineered by constantine, a lifetime pagan who hired people to put the bible together in such a way that it fused early christian and pagan beliefs and rituals, to unite his empire...
proof of this is the Nicene Creed... In the early 5th century, the Council of Nicene met under the authority of the Holy Catholic church, bishops, theologians and pagan leaders met and VOTED on what was going to be in the bible and what wasnt.... those set of beliefs that catholics trumpet out at every mass as their Infalliable core set of beliefs were actually just ideas that got voted on by a bunch of bureaucrats.
03-01-2004, 11:09 AM #6
anyone who is not afraid to get their catholic beliefs blown out of the water should read "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalists" by Dr. Spong, he is an anglican priest who details the writing and formation of the bible and the true meaning of the stories, and yes, most of the bible is closer to fables than to historic fact
03-01-2004, 11:16 AM #7
i have been waiting for archaeologists to unearth new literature or artifacts that validate the trickier parts of the bible before i take any stance.
raised catholic, it is comforting to know that there might be a higher power that exists, however there are so many holes in the bible that it leaks like a sieve when subjected to historical fact.
some may argue that history is, in fact, an account from those in power, but writings from different areas of the world can show us that there are discrepancies in time/place accounts from the time period that all this scripture was written.
until we can find the actual ark of the covenant, i am not going to be convinced that God Himself gave moses some stone tablets with commandments for His subjects.
God may exist, and He may not just as well, so I put the Bible on the same page as the Koran. I like empirical evidence to validate my thoughts and beliefs, however we probably will never really know until we die.
03-01-2004, 11:17 AM #8
imagine that you're one of 50,000 or so slaves. you get beaten, tortured, and worked to the bone everyday, busting your as s building giant headstones for some king that just persecutes you. there is no moral code, and no religion to speak of... besides the egyptian sun gods and such. the only authority you answer to is a whip. hell, if you scrrew up, they dont put you in jail... they take away your straw so it takes longer to make the bricks for the pyramids and makes them heavier.
its a rough life....
all of a sudden, for whatever reason.... you're released out into the desert.
no moral code to speak of.
those who murder, rape, pillage and steal the most and most efficiently are the ones getting ahead. there is no security... everything is in anarchy. moses looks around and sees this, and gets totally cheesed off that he cant take a nap without being afraid of getting his throat slit. so he climbs a mountain during a thunderstorm and chips out 10 rules that are perfect for society to function.
so he mosey's (no pun intended) down the mountain and gives them to the people. "here guys, i have this great set of morally responsible rules for you, listen to me" "F*CK YOU MOSES! We dont have to listen to you. What authority do you have?"
"Well, i dont have an army, or a police force, and i cant even claim that i will know if you violate these rules. But i have a god. and this god knows all, and if he sees you breaking these rules, he wont whip you. oh no. its much bigger than that. ever wondered what happens to you when you die? well, this god puts you in eternal paradise if you listen to my rules here. if you Fck up, well, you're going to be in alotttt of pain forever, you dumb mother Fockers. You don't believe me? did you see the lightning hit those trees up there? yea, that was him talking to me. thats how powerful he is. stupid yokels. I'm in charge now."
the logic here isnt too hard to follow... if the jews had continued to rape, pillage, murder and steal from each other, they simply would have consumed themselves and died out. these rules, along with a god to justify them, were essential to their survival.
we created god. and now he's outdated....
03-01-2004, 11:17 AM #9
remember puff the magic dragon? in that story it almost was the same thing as the bible....
hanalee was freaking heaven, and puff is your jesus.
im not saying something didnt start all of this, but to belive in organized religion you have to be blind to open minded thought.
take the bible for some good rules to live by but its definatly not all fact
03-01-2004, 11:23 AM #10
I dunno......to be the bible seems more like "chicken soup for the soul" from 800 years ago than an accurate historical work.
03-01-2004, 11:28 AM #11Originally Posted by tryingtogetbig
We can all agree to disagree, but we don't have to be disagreeable about it.
2) Ya, this is the classic "Pascal's Wager." Pascal was a pretty good scientist, but not a very good theologian.
He reasoned, "If I beleive and I'm wrong, then I've lost nothing. If you don't beleive and are wrong, then you've lost everything."
There's a few problems with this.
The first is, Which God should you beleive in? There are plenty to choose from, and suppose you pick God X and God Y is the true one, and has a worse afterlife than God X? In that case, you could hedge your bet and worship every god.
But, would the True God be so dumb as to not realize you were not sincere, but just beleiving as a matter of convenience?
On the other hand, if there are no gods, the beleiver has lost something. You've spent a lot of time going to church instead of sleeping late, paying tithes, praying, reading the Bible when you could have been working your abs, boring the h e l l out of people who didn't really want to hear about Jesus.
And the unbeliever would have had lived the only life he would ever get according to the best information and principles he knew, and would have Lived His Own Life His Own Way, instead of living his life the way other people told him to.
IMHO, It is better to live your life as if there are no gods, and do nice things for your friends and loved ones. If there are no gods, you would have lost nothing, and your bereaved relatives will remember you fondly. If there is a loving deity after all, you will be known to it as a good person who did lots of nice things, and not just whether or not you professed "belief" that he existed.
One other thing . . . Any deity that would choose to sentence an honest unbeleiver who nevertheless took care of sick neighbors, gave $$ to homeless people, paid his taxes, served in the local volunteer fire department and saved a few lives, loved generously and honestly,
to a thousand million endless eternities writhing in senseless pain and anguish, I would say that that deity was more loathesome than any pus-laden turd that ever drooled out the ass of the vilest sadistic (expletive deleted), and is not worthy of human reverence and worship.
Yah, to send a good person to the sort of punishment described in the Bible is unjustified. "An eye for and eye" is one thing . . . but Neverending Torment for harboring an honest doubt?
Nah, the whole "Pascal's Wager" thing is just a tactic to scare naive people who don't know any better into following the lead of some big organized religion, where they can be milked of their money and told how to behave.
I'm lucky I extricated myself from that BS . . . and I'm here to tell you that you can free yourself of all those superstitions, too. Won't be easy, but it can be done. All you have to do is decide to think and live for yourself.
03-01-2004, 11:30 AM #12Originally Posted by decadbal
So "they" say.
But how do "they " know? Anyone ever been there?
03-01-2004, 11:31 AM #13Originally Posted by jcstomper
recognizing that the world is a complex place and that people are only out to further their own cause or the cause of their brethren is the first step.
why would die-hard Christians not denounce other religions as pagans, or wrong? in order to get people to believe or convert they need to make people believe they know best.
if i did fully believe in the Bible, i would live my life in accordance with that belief. however since the stories were all meant to serve a particular purpose at their respective time they really don't have application in the real world, ie. war on other threatening peoples, calling down plagues, etc.
the messages and points of each story is what makes them transcend time whether they happened or not, and mcojones is dead on with his interpretation IMO.
the story was created to gain authority among a decentralized group of people that had broken free of bondage, and what better way to gain control than using a mandate from God.
ultimately, at the end of the day you either believe in the messages or points or you don't. it isn't hard to recognize that by helping others and sacrificing along the way you will change peoples lives or potentially make the world a friendlier place. religion isn't meant to control, but rather make us recognize that the we as individuals are limited in our knowledge and time on earth and to make the most of it with good deeds and charity.
03-01-2004, 11:34 AM #14Originally Posted by Tock
you only find out what happens after life two times, before you are born, and after you die. and i havent talked to any dead people or unborn fetus's yet.
03-01-2004, 11:38 AM #15
there are a lot of religions out there that don't say they are "the best" or the one true God, that is a western idea, and most religions are so hypocritical anyway, i can only speak of Catholicism but some of the stuff that comes out is ridiculous, "God loves everyone, unless you're gay, you masturbate, you are devoted to any other religion other than Roman Catholic, etc," the really disgusting thing is that they preach to not judge people, yet that is all that the catholic church does
03-01-2004, 11:39 AM #16Originally Posted by daem
i think religion is good for lots of people, some people wouldnt know what to do if they didnt have a book or person telling them what to do and how to live. for them thats cool, for me sorry im my own person and i can make my own way threw life.
03-01-2004, 11:50 AM #17Originally Posted by monstercojones
03-01-2004, 11:53 AM #18Originally Posted by Tock
I do tend to think "for myself." But, there are certain things that happen in life that make you realize that there is something in this world much more powerful than any human. If you haven't experienced any of these "revelations", then maybe you can't see the forest for the trees. I'm not questioning your intelligence and research, but sometimes intelligent people have a closed mind because they truly think they already know everything there is to know....Just my opinion, of course.
03-01-2004, 11:54 AM #19Originally Posted by Wiggum
most of what is in there wasnt a reault of the da vinci code, i actually didnt read the book until i ranted about religion to my friend danielle and she gave it to me... its a good read, with many valuable historical references, i just think dan brown isnt that great of a writer, he's pretty cheesy.
03-01-2004, 11:56 AM #20
I do pose this thought to all:
How can believing in a "God" and participating in a religion (again, see my post above regarding organized religion) that makes you a better person and a better person towards mankind hurt you any?
03-01-2004, 11:56 AM #21
Tock has hit the nail right on the head, RIGHT on the head
I personally don't think there is any point in living if all you do is worship someone or something else.... make up your own mind and live life the way you want to, not the way that someone tells you to..
i think that die hard religious people are slaves to ideals and that, IMHO, is a worthless existence
03-01-2004, 12:01 PM #22Originally Posted by tryingtogetbig
03-01-2004, 12:02 PM #23Originally Posted by tryingtogetbig
this is not even limited to christianity... look at the way women are treated in the middle east, because of the perversion of religion... in africa infants are raped at an alarming rate because there is a religious myth that sex doesnt give you aids, god gives you aids, and the only cure is to have sex with a virgin...
thats how religion hurts you.
03-01-2004, 12:03 PM #24Originally Posted by scottninpo
03-01-2004, 12:06 PM #25Originally Posted by monstercojones
03-01-2004, 12:06 PM #26Originally Posted by tryingtogetbig
if what you were referring to in your earlier post was an ambiguous higher power, and no specific religion, then i agree that it is not harmful, in fact it is beneficial...
03-01-2004, 12:08 PM #27Originally Posted by monstercojones
hhmmmmm.....so it is more comfortable for you to say "I believe in a higher power" than it is to say "I believe in God"......please elaborate.
03-01-2004, 12:12 PM #28Originally Posted by chicamahomico
Years and years of schooling with the catholic brothers has made me into a hardcore atheist. I see the bible as a "nice story" with some nice feel good messages in it, but to me it's no more real than "Thomas the Tank engine" or "Alice in wonderland"
And even if I am 100% wrong, even if Moses, Noah or Jesus did exist, always remember that ALL BOOKS ARE WRITTEN BY PEOPLE and people are only human... they make mistakes, they get creative, they interpret events according to their level of knowledge... or their political agenda...
03-01-2004, 12:14 PM #29
1) No one really knows who wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, yet we are expected to beleive the product of some anonymous writer.
2) The Exodus story as depicted in the Old Testament is a work of fiction. There is no corroborating evidence in any Middle Eastern archeological digs
Tock, I'm sure I'm wrong (a thinking man I've never claimed to be) but I was under the impression that the first three books were written by Moses...again I'm sure I could be wrong. As for number two......wasn't there a write up in National Geographic a few years back were someone had found a lot of egyption artifacts at the bottom of the red sea? chariots and the like?
Speaking as a beliver, something I am but alas not a very good one, I can't say that everything in the Bible is 100%. I guess the one thing I can say I do have is Faith......blind faith that is......I, for sure, will not know if I was right or wrong until I'm no longer with the living. If I'm wrong then I guess I'll be a part of the great void.......but if I'm right, again I don't know that what I've done or believe will grant me access to heaven, I hope to be on the inside looking out. Personally I think Dogma plays a big part as well.
03-01-2004, 12:16 PM #30Respected Member
Originally Posted by tryingtogetbig
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
- Miller's Crossing
I'm a Diest of sorts, but have an individualistic theory on creation of man, death, etc.
The term "god" and "higher power" could easily be interchangable given my own belief. I think most who use the latter of those exclusivley somehow equate "god" with religion(not refering to MCJ specifically)
03-01-2004, 12:17 PM #31Originally Posted by tryingtogetbig
because i dont believe in god in the sense that any organized religion does. i dont feel that jesus was divine, i think he was a prophet. i dont think muhammed talked to god.
i think god could be anything, he could be an alien in the next universe up with a kick ass comuter playing a really complex version of the Sims...
i wish i knew...
i do know that when i take a hike through the mountains, or see a waterfall, or kiss the girl that i love, or fky a kite at the beach... i feel god. i feel that there is something greater than us that binds us all together and keeps the universe in existence.
my philosophical/intellectual pursuits have left me unable to embrace any "god" that imposes morality on human beings, so im still searching for an answer, one i will probably never find.... but thats as far as socrates was able to get... no universal truth... "i know that i do not know."
im still workin on it man...
03-01-2004, 12:19 PM #32Banned
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
I cannot believe how much time is spent arguing about religion.
But then again-I can't make a post about something like peanut butter without being personally insulted by 20 people. but ohwell.lol
Last edited by Valmont; 03-01-2004 at 12:22 PM.
03-01-2004, 12:20 PM #33
Those of you that "don't believe"....what will you teach your children. The existence of a "higher power" is something that needs to be introduced to children at an early age, IF you are going to expose them to believing in God, of course.
Saying you will let them do their own research and find their own conclusions will certainly cause some scrutiny....what about those tragic things in life that happen and result in children/teens dieing at an early age, to begin with. Just a thought...more than one human has changed their mind and/or beliefs later in life after "seeing" more of what life has to give.
03-01-2004, 12:22 PM #34
one such convert.... st augustine "the key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering."
thats what i'll teach my children.
03-01-2004, 12:22 PM #35Originally Posted by monstercojones
That's why I am not a believer in organized religion...but I do belive in God. Nobody has proved to me that he doesn't exist.
Once I seperated "organized religion" and "god"...it started making more sense to me.
03-01-2004, 12:24 PM #36
In was not going to repy because my beliefs are much stronger than most.
You folks are saying that the bible was writen by people and people make mistakes and imbelish. I believ this is true. I also believe that the history we learn in school and college is flawed. It was writen by the people who ruled at that time.
Needless to say, If you know anythign about Jesus's trials they were elegal and not up for discussion. Saying that they were not put down on paper by the rulers.
Most of you know I believe in Jesus and always will.I have many expierences in my life that can only be explained by " someone elses hand interviening".
I do not agree with many of your oppinions as you know but you have the right to those beliefs. I don't hate you or wish any ill will.
03-01-2004, 12:37 PM #37Originally Posted by Tock
I believe the first books were written by Moses. You state that because we aren't able to prove every single thing, then it must all be false. I have a question for you, if I can prove one thing that was recently discovered, does that make everything true to you? Realize that the happenings are many centuries ago and there are things still being discovered today. I just saw a television program on an explanation of the parting of the Red Sea. They are beginning to find evidence of certain towns that were mentioned in the old testament that they did not have proof of long ago. The believe they know where Noah's Ark is now as well. So does there have to be proof of every single thing in the Bible in order to make you believe it?
Ok, here's a question for you. I will take a story from the New Testament as an example. Judas betrayed Jesus and he committed suicide. Now I walk along just as he did it and I found him hanging from a tree by a noose that he built. I told the story that he hung himself and committed suicide. 5 hours later the tree collapses and he hits some rocks below. His guts gush out and he is obviously dead. You come along, see where he hit the rocks and describe him as having commited suicide and fallen off the cliff. So who was right? Was it I right or were you right? We both described what we saw. Neither of us lied. But if two people heard our story, we sound like we are conflicting with each other. So you see, the gospels don't conflict with one another, they merely piece together the entire story.
03-01-2004, 12:38 PM #38
what about the gospels that say jesus had a romantic relationship with mary magdeline?
03-01-2004, 12:41 PM #39Originally Posted by tryingtogetbig
03-01-2004, 12:43 PM #40
Lets not forget the prophet
"The Great Pumpkin"
forgot about him huh ?
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