Suggestions for the Conservative Bible Project

Although I haven't commented on this previously, I'm sure you've heard of the Conservative Bible Project, a brilliant initiative proposed by the savvy folks at Conservapedia. The plan is that they'll retranslate the Bible to eliminate "liberal bias" in existing verses - but not by going back to the oldest manuscripts or the original languages or anything like that. No, the Conservapedia community simply plans to take an existing, modern English translation of the Bible, and when they come across … [Read more...]

A God of Obsessions

In the books of the Torah, Yahweh devotes entire chapters to explaining in exacting detail what kind of animal sacrifices he expects from his people. The one common thread, repeatedly emphasized, is that the animals to be slaughtered must be "without blemish":"And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest's office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish." —Exodus 29:1"And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs … [Read more...]

New on Ebon Musings: Some Mistakes of Scripture

I realize I haven't updated Ebon Musings much this year. Between writing for Daylight Atheism, work-related responsibilities, and other projects, I just haven't had as much time to write longer essays as I'd like to. But I don't intend to let Ebon Musings go dormant. I've still got plenty of things to say, and as proof, I've uploaded a new essay: Some Mistakes of Scripture.This deals with a topic I find very interesting: biblical misquotes. As opposed to biblical contradictions, where two … [Read more...]

Book Review: UFOs, Ghosts, and a Rising God

(Editor's Note: This review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)If you've been around the atheist blogosphere, you probably know the name Christopher Hallquist, author of the blog The Uncredible Hallq (I've always wondered, does he get more skeptical when he gets angry?).Well, it seems he's come into his own, because last month in the mail I got a copy of his new book, UFOs, Ghosts, and a Rising God: Debunking the Resurrection of Jesus, which … [Read more...]

Defending Genocide

Image via.Of all the evil verses in the Bible, some of the worst must be the ones in which God orders his chosen people to slaughter and utterly exterminate the Canaanites who were living in the promised land, commanding them to kill men, women and children and to show no mercy to anyone under any circumstances. Passages like these are why Thomas Paine said of the Old Testament, "...it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God".Any person of … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses: Predestination

One of the most common Christian beliefs, and the one most often appealed to in order to explain why evil exists, is that human beings have free will to make choices that are not in God's control. God doesn't want robots, the argument goes, nor mindless puppets programmed to sing his praises. He desires genuine fellowship with real, independent beings, and giving us free will is the only way to achieve that, though some people may misuse the gift and cause evil and sin that harm others.But if … [Read more...]

The Three Kinds of Theism

If you're an atheist who's setting out to debate religious believers, there are three main categories of theism you can expect to meet. Although religious belief is one of the most diverse of human phenomena, with a limitless variety of gradations and exceptions, I think these three suffice to classify nearly all of the theists that a nonbeliever is likely to encounter. If you want to debate, it's important to keep this in mind, because your strategy for dealing with each group needs to be … [Read more...]

The Anti-Semitism of the New Testament

The history of anti-Semitism in the Christian church is a long, sad story. Ironically, this faith which began as a sect within Judaism has been responsible for many more atrocities against the Jewish people than any of their other enemies.For centuries, Christian Europe reviled Jewish believers as Christ-killers, and Jews were accused of ludicrous crimes like "host nailing" (stealing consecrated communion wafers and driving nails through them, to crucify Jesus anew) or draining the blood of … [Read more...]

Book Review: Misquoting Jesus

Summary: An eye-opening look at just how much the text of the Bible has changed over the centuries. Not to be missed.I've read two other books by Bart Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted and God's Problem, and while they were both competent, readable works explaining the principles of biblical textual criticism, neither one really floored me. But I circled back around to read some of his earlier books, and I'm glad I did. His 2005 book, Misquoting Jesus, is by far the best of Ehrman's works that I've … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses XIII: Fetuses Don't Count

It's consistently been part of the anti-choice strategy to treat unborn fetuses as separate, autonomous people, even well before the point of viability. For instance, the anti-abortion website Abort73.com says:It is illegal to execute a pregnant woman on death row because the fetus living inside her is a distinct human being who cannot be executed for the crimes of the mother. (source)In fact, such niceties did not occur to the authors of the Bible. They did not value the unborn nearly so … [Read more...]


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