Rediscovering ‘The Human Bible’ (A Little Too Late)

Over at my day job, there’s a little gem you may have overlooked.

Since February of last year, Dr. Robert Price has been hosting his solo podcast The Human Bible for CFI. It’s a show in which Bob brings his encyclopedic knowledge and his trademark humor to demystifying the many layers of myth and conjecture about the Bible. The bad news is that it’s coming to an end (at least as a CFI podcast, though Bob does his own thing as well). Funding and listenership were, of course, among the big culprits.

And I admit, I had kind of lost track of it myself. You see I have to consume a great deal of skepto-atheist media in my work, usually very quickly, so even things that CFI produces, things I really love such as Point of Inquiry and the magazines Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer, can pile up.

Now CFI has a final set of 10 episodes of The Human Bible to release over the coming weeks, and it’s been our job to give them a listen and get them up on the website, into feeds, and the like. So I gave a listen to the first of the last, Episode 27.

And I’m telling you, it was great!

Bob got into stuff about the historical Jesus, about the implications of an intervening vs. non-intervening God, and, my favorite, stuff about how Ezekiel might have been describing an encounter with alien spaceships — and it sounded totally plausible! And of course, he was funny and self-effacing as always.

So just having rediscovered The Human Bible, I am sad it’s going away. Bob goes on, of course, as The Bible Geek, and that’s great, but it’s also our loss at CFI that The Human Bible won’t continue under the banner of the Big Blue Meatball. Lucky for us, no matter what happens, there will have been 36 episodes to dig into.

About Paul Fidalgo

Paul is communications director for the Center for Inquiry, as well as an actor and musician. His blog is iMortal, and he tweets as @paulfidalgo, and the blog tweets as @iMortal_blog.
The opinions expressed on this blog are personal to Paul and do not necessarily represent the views of the Center for Inquiry.

  • Sara Lin Wilde

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The Human Bible is the love of my life and the one thing that makes washing dishes endurable. I legitimately celebrate every time I open my computer and find it has downloaded a new episode. Thanks for ruining my day. And my life.

    • EvolutionKills

      Fortunately the internet is dominated by the geeks, so hopefully you’ll be able to find another chunk of intelligent audio goodness. Look on the bright side, at least you weren’t fixated about a podcast on something really esoteric, like underwater knitting or something else equally absurd. ^_^

  • gg

    I’ve been listening to this podcast from the beginning. He explains the bible masterfully and with a sense of humor. I was really surprised at how much I liked it because I really disliked him as a co-host on POI. It will be a great loss to the podcasting universe.

  • Don Gwinn

    That really sucks. If Dr. Price doesn’t want to do THB anymore for his own reasons, that would be his business, but if he wants to continue, I wish there were a way to fund it. I’ve sent him messages before suggesting that, if he wants THB to continue, I’d be happy to make micro-payments like the ones Brian Dunning uses to keep Skeptoid running (although, now, I don’t know how self-supporting Skeptoid really is or was, given Mr. Dunning’s willingness to steal to make money.) I know his employment situation and personal finances are tenuous at best, so if there’s a way to make THB and TBG into going concerns that could pay his bills, it would seem to be the ideal solution. But that’s how it appears to a total outsider who admittedly just enjoys the show and would like to continue to listen to it.

    I listen to The Bible Geek, but I learn a LOT more from The Human Bible. The Bible Geek is fairly high-level stuff for a guy like me, a layman who does no other biblical research. Of the two, I think THB has the potential to make a much wider impact.

  • JohnFFelix

    Dr. Price and I will keep the podcast going, in some way, shape or form.

  • Frank

    The bible: the best selling book of all time.

    Books that attempt to discredit the Word of God: bargain bins.

    Can’t stop the truth!

    • allein

      Yeah but how many people actually read it?

      • Spuddie

        Frank knows how to read?

    • usclat

      Discredit? LOL! Some of the very best arguments against the myths and shallow stories of the bible is the bible itself!

    • Spuddie

      Can’t stop?

      According to Miley Cyrus, We Can’t Stop
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrUvu1mlWco

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        You are a foul, foul Godzilla. May your redemption come no later than Frank’s.

        • Spuddie

          It was regrettable that we had to destroy the discussion in order to save it. Hey it worked, right? Frank hasn’t said a peep in over 8 hours

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            I’m guessing the fire in the cave went out and he’s scared to move until he can figure out where the shadows are all hiding.

            • Spuddie

              Or I distracted him and he is currently preoccupied with trying to find variations of Miley’s VMA performance to watch one-handed.

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                God damn you for writing down that imagery where people can see it. Fucking immoral atheists, I swear.

    • Michael W Busch

      Argument ad populum. Logical fallacy. Inadmissible.

    • Edmond

      I’m not sure you can really call the Bible the “best selling book of all time”. For thing, there isn’t just “one” Bible, there are many different versions, each recognized as legitimate scripture by highly disparate denominations. Why do all those versions get to be swept together under one sales report? For another thing, many of the “sales” of Bibles has been in bulk by religious organizations who don’t intend to read the thing themselves, but only to distribute it FREELY (which, again, should not count toward sales). Think of how many Bibles sit, unused, undiscovered, and unread, in hotel dresser drawers! When I think of a book that “sells”, I think it needs to be a book that is purchased by the people who intend to read it, with exactly that purpose in mind. Not by groups who scoop up giantic numbers of the book (falsely boosting its sales numbers) to be handed out for free. That has nothing to do with how well the book sells. George Lucas could single-handedly purchase enough copies of any Star Wars novelization to rival the Bible’s “sales”, but that wouldnt’ really tell us how well such a novel is selling among the general public.
      The Bible has been around a long time, and it wasn’t even really a “book” for some of that time. I think the claims that the Bible is the best-seller of all time are spurious, relying on distortions of how the book industry actually records and reports sales, and working with too many different versions under the title “The Bible”.
      If this is to be “God’s Word”, then it seems that he should’ve tried harder to make sure ALL people receive the SAME word, so there is not so much disagreement over what that word is. How can all these different denominations hold up so many different books and call them all “The Bible” as if there WERE no differences? How can outsiders take these claims seriously? How can this be “The Truth” when Christians the world over profess DIFFERENT truths?
      Kind of hard to “discredit” something that makes no effort at internal, or external, consistency, nor offers any method of confirmation.

      • Miss_Beara

        Stop making sense to Frank. He does not understand the words you speak. He clutches his cherry picked bible so closely that logical words don’t work into his brain.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Frank, why do you hate Jesus so much as to have recently lied about the contents of the Bible, then tried to cover for yourself by lying about the lie itself, rather than repent of it?

      Why do you have such hate in your heart? Many people find solace in the Word. If you can’t respect it, can’t you at least respect them?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      That’s also a very odd thing to say, given that the titles most clogging the Goodwill and Salvation Army bookshelves are The Purpose-Driven Life, the Left Behind Series, and the Bible.

      Frank, why don’t you know that? Don’t you believe in charity enough to even shop at the Salvation Army?

      • Miss_Beara

        This is so true! I have been finding the bastardized versions of Berenstain Bears a lot lately. I tend to see Left Behind and several copies of the bible or other religious themed books.

    • Jim Jones

      The bible: Millions buy it. Dozens read it.

  • allein

    I finally cleared out my backlog of podcast episodes this weekend and now I have to listen to another one?! Just downloaded the first ep and will check it out.

  • Beth

    I figured that the podcast was done since he had not posted one since April. I’m glad we get 10 more.

  • Pseudonym

    For the benefit of those who haven’t heard it… how much of it is Price’s dying-rising-god-myth-pseudohistory, and how much of it is based on credible historical research?

    It’s the sort of podcast I might like to listen to if it’s not based on pseudoscholarly nonsense.

  • Charles Minus

    Please all, go back and read the first reply, by John Felix. THB lives!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X