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← Simply ... should I read the bible?

hitchens_jnr's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by hitchens_jnr

Comment 14 by logicophilosophicus :

This topic is currently under discussion ad nauseam at Whyevolutionistrue.

Typical atheist posters there and, it seems, here, insist that Christians believe every word is the verbatim composition of God; that the KJV is poor literature (and also morally repulsive); and, therefore, that God as depicted is not omnipotent, since his writing would be more entertaining if he were (and is, in any case, evil and sadistic). Ergo, "atheism is confirmed", God does not exist.

If, on the other hand, Christians believe that the Bible was an honest attempt by dozens of Hebrew authors to

a) speculate about the nature of the universe (without the advantage of standing on the shoulders of giants like Plato and Aristotle, Galileo and Newton, Linnaeus and Darwin, Maxwell and Einstein...)

b) record their history

c) pass on "wisdom" and advice

then the phoney argument above breaks down.

Should you read it? Only if you're interested in ancient history, I would say. If you want to read it as literature, then skip most of it. Shakespeare did - most of his biblical allusions are drawn from Genesis and Matthew, the first books of the Old and New Testaments: evidence of an interrupted education he saw no special reason to complete. (He quotes the Bishop's Bible - the precursor to the KJV.)

The problem with this post is that you have identified a straw man where no straw man exists. You can bleat on about being a "sophisticated" theologian who doesn't take the Bible verbatim literally, but the fact remains that there are literally millions of people on this planet who do, and as long as that remains the case your supposed "straw man" argument is not a straw man at all. Your perspective is enormously provincial - you have identified one type of Christianity which only really has any sort of foothold in wealthy nations, and are pretending it is the global norm.

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 15:18:44 UTC | #950957