It Turns Out Atheists Are Big Fans of a Popular Bible App

Over the summer, Paul Fidalgo posted about a popular Bible app called YouVersion — which, despite having the worst app name ever, was still incredibly useful to anyone who wanted a portable Bible.

It turns out a lot of those users are atheists and they’re not using the app in the way the creator intended:

But Lauren, a 22-year-old chemistry major from Colorado, is not interested in the app’s mission to deepen faith and biblical literacy. A newly minted atheist, she uses her YouVersion Bible app to try to persuade people away from the Christianity she grew up in.

“I know of a lot of atheists who have come to their nonbelief by actually reading the Bible rather than just the fluffy stories they choose to tell you about in church,” she said. “Reading the full story with all its contradictions and violence and sexism, it should make you think, ‘Is this really what I believe in?’ At least it did for me.”

I love that. Open access to the Bible is helping atheists strengthen their unfaith.

It’s always telling when Christians are unaware of what their holy book says, and atheists can now point that out to them with a never-before-seen ease:

“There was a girl in my math class who had a tattoo about Jesus and I asked if she knew Leviticus says you shouldn’t have tattoos,” [Adam Wright] said. “She said that wasn’t true and I opened my app and showed her the verse.”

I really like how atheists are embracing this app instead of denouncing it or trying to persuade people not to download it. In fact, we stand to gain more than Christians do by having the Bible so easily accessible. The more people who read it, the more times you’re going to see a horrified reaction followed by the words, “Wait, THIS is in the Bible?!”

As Kimberly Winston‘s article notes, atheists and agnostics already top the list when it comes to basic religious literacy:

I firmly believe the more exposure people have to ridiculous beliefs, the less likely they are to buy into any of them.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • John

    This is why the first couple of guys that translated the Bible into English were executed. Easy access to the Bible was the LAST thing the Church wanted!

    • 3lemenope

      Honestly I think the Church was more concerned at that time with stifling Protestants and other heretical upstarts than outright deconversion, since the colloquial language translations directly damaged the indispensability of an elite educated clergy which was how the Church maintained direct control over people’s access to what they considered divine.

    • sam

      “Executed” gives an impression of legitimacy; premeditated murder by the Church is closer to the truth.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      Well, at least they had the decency to strangle Tyndale before burning him at the stake. Very considerate of them.

  • Ophis

    I, perhaps oddly, find the Bible more interesting as an atheist than I did as a Christian. For a Christian, the Bible is an impenetrable book full of contradictions and barbarities that shouldn’t be there. Once I stopped believing it I could appreciate the fact that the things that Christians find problematic often reveal the most interesting things about the development of Jewish and Christian beliefs, the diversity of thought among Biblical writers, and the attitudes of both powerful and common people at different times and places in the Bible’s history.

    • 3lemenope

      This. So. Much.

      If you’re relieved of the burden of actually believing what’s being said, you’re free to actually appreciate the content on its own terms.

      • evodevo

        And appreciate the historic background and critical analysis. It’s been a hobby of mine for 40 years – still only scratching the surface. Quite fascinating.

        • Jeff See

          I’m glad you guys are enjoying reading it; however, I cannot stand such horrible prose. Ridiculous, disjointed story lines, horrible poetry (people love Psalms, I cannot imagine why), no real historical value, and nothing you can’t find in terms of content, that you can’t find in other texts, just as old, but better written.

          Out of all of the Bible, there are maybe a handful of verses that I would consider good, or well written. The rest is either defeated by execution, or intent. You can learn a lot about the cultures of the translations available, (and their intentions, such as the changes brought about by the councils of Nicea), but that’s about its only redeemable value, in my opinion.

          • 3lemenope

            I would suggest Robert Alter’s translation of Genesis.

            It’s stunning.

          • Gehennah

            Unfortunately my favorite book of the Bible was removed, Enoch.

            It’s a trip to read.

          • Len

            …(people love Psalms, I cannot imagine why)…

            You should read it in the original Klingon.

          • Ophis

            No real historical value? Maybe true of the New Testament, which doesn’t give much useful information to anyone uninterested in the origins of Christianity. I don’t think it’s true of the Old Testament however. One of the frustrating and surprising things I’ve found from my limited reading of ancient history is how fragmentary many of the sources are and how much has been lost or destroyed. In the Bible we have an unusually comprehensive collection of one culture’s mythology and history over an extended period of time.

            I consider Ecclesiastes and Job to be very well written, and they do a good job of discussing the difficulties of religion that modern Christians like to gloss over (it’s vaguely satisfying to see Job’s friends defending God’s righteousness much as modern apologists do, only to have God condemn them for being so ignorant).

            • Jeff See

              There isn’t any factual information to be gained in either section of the Bible. There were no ‘Hebrews’, there was no exodus,some of nations listed didn’t exist, there’s no evidence that there was ever a king David OR Solomon, (or any prominent figure named, really, outside of Pilate), outside of religious texts, so yeah, no real historical value. At least, outside of the nuances of the cultures that were responsible for whichever version of the Bible you’re reading at the time, that you can clean from their language, as you read it.

              It’s not that awesome of a text, in my opinion. I’ve read that book front to back, twice; and quite literally, religiously studied it before sleep, every night, for nearly 10 years. I could count the versus that are potent or are eloquently written on one hand, and, still have room, if they’re viewed with the criticism of critical thought.

              Thanks to everyone for their recommendations, regardless. Needless to say, I’ve had my fill of that story; reading another version of the same thing, isn’t something I’m interested in.

              • Ophis

                Gaining historical information from the Bible isn’t the same as taking its stories at face value. Biblical mythology allows us to infer, for example, the existence and nature of ancient Israelite polytheism, or the rivalry between Ephraim and Judah for regional dominance, or how the Jewish aristocracy viewed the events around the Babylonian exile. It’s useful in the same way as (other) propaganda is useful; it’s not a reliable objective chronicle, but it lets us discern some facts about the writers and their opponents.

                • Jeff See

                  Yes, nuances of cultures, or mindsets, but therein is the problem; so much of it was made-up, outside of gaining a general ‘people A hated people B’, it’s all but useless. You learned they knocked the dirt off their shoes when they left towns they hated. Great.

                  Reading the Bible for facts, (in terms of the geopolitical), is like reading political comics to find out who served in government that year, and which way they voted. You might be able to guess, maybe even make a good guess. Of course, if the argument is ‘that’s all we have for info’, then there you go: rarity of info, makes even bad info, at least somewhat valuable. I would argue that in the pursuit of historical facts, its best left to being nothing more than supplementary anecdotal; I can concede it having at least a default level of value, for that alone.

                • Ophis

                  That’s pretty much all I’m arguing for in terms of historical value of the Bible. It would be nice if we had a bunch of objective critical historians living in the ancient Middle East, but we don’t. All we have is one-sided propaganda and mythology, written by people with their own agendas. Reading it as if it were objective will be misleading.

                  Political comics are a pretty good analogy; they often don’t paint an accurate picture of events, but if you identify the biases of the artist, you can make good inferences about the events his cartoons are responding to. That’s why I object to calling the Bible historically useless; it’s useful, as long as it’s not mistaken for something more accurate or more objective.

        • miked

          I commend anyone who takes the time to not just read the bible, but to study it historically. That said, I’ve put my time in both with reading the bible and spending many hours slowly and painstakingly translating Latin. And I can say without reservation that though both were painful at times, I found more reward and enjoyment in trying to understand a single page of Cicero or Seneca than I did in any portion of reading the bible. For all it’s supposed wisdom, I find the bible disjointed, contradictory and linguistically inartful.

          • Greg G.

            Of course the Bible is disjointed and contradictory. It was written by different authors at different times and were never intended to correspond with other writings. There were layers added to works to accommodate changing beliefs.

            Read Ecclesiastes from the perspective that the author was an atheist. Read Galatians with an eye for sarcasm and realize that Paul was not really friends with James and Cephas (see Gal 5:12). The Epistle of James is a response to Galatians from the refutation of Gal 5:14, then countering each of Paul’s arguments from Gal 3, starting with the Abraham story.

            Mark is an artistic masterpiece. It seems to have a chaistic structure , the miracles are laid out in two groups of five, the first ten chapters follow the Odyssey with Jesus traveling around the Sea of Galilee while the last six chapters follow the death of Hector in the Iliad but more subtly than Virgil, and blends it all with passages from the Septuagint and early Christian writings.

          • The Other Weirdo

            Envy. I burn with it. I want to learn Latin.

      • Greg G.

        When I believed, I read the Bible with a reading plan to finish it in a year. I wasn’t reading it for comprehension, I was reading it so God could “speak to my heart” and to have something to meditate on during the day. That’s how I came to the Isaiah verse that said God created evil and nobody could give me a reasonable answer. It wasn’t my first doubt but it magnified others so that I was able to escape from faith.

        Now I enjoy studying the Bible to identify possible sources from the literature of the day for stories.

      • revyloution

        You cannot fully understand the depth and breadth of Western Literature without reading the King James Bible.
        -Christopher Hitchens (from my memory, so the quote is probably botched)

        Ive been on a quest to read all the classics I missed in my school years. I’m just finishing Moby Dick right now. The volume of biblical allusions is astonishing, with many of them just small references to little known characters or events. This is one book that clearly reflects Hitchens sentiment. Without knowing my KJV, this book would have been half as interesting. Melvilles sharp criticism of religion would almost be missed without this knowledge.

    • trj

      I have an occasional talk with a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses (they always come in couples, don’t they?). Next time I intend to tease out how much they know of the origin of the Bible. I’m guessing very little. They’ll probably maintain that the gospels were eyewitness accounts written by the disciples, Moses wrote the Pentateuch, etc. From what I’ve heard so far they have no interest in discovering anything outside their own not very historically correct doctrine.

      • http://blaqueplastique.blogospot.com/ beautifulblackatheist

        This app wouldn’t do much against, JWs. The app has many versions except New World Translation-the JWs bible. :(

    • Buckley

      I’m exceptionally interested in the Apocrypha and the Gnostic Christians. I’m especially fascinated at how their beliefs and their Gospels are contemporary to the ones in the Canonical Bible and YET the Church fathers sought to have that expunged. That, if anything, shows clearly how they were making the bible fit their interpretation.

    • Alierias

      As a storyteller, I have, since I was very young, understood that a good story only gets better with the retelling. How long were any of the “books of the bible” oral histories? None of them are what they are billed as, “eyewitness accounts”.
      As what is supposed to be the “word of god”, there’s an awful lot of contradictory translations, lost/banned gospels, and just bad storytelling. Not to mention that most of the stories of “miracles” were outright stolen from previous gods, ala Gilgamesh, Mithra…

  • Adam Wright

    Oh man, I was mentioned on The Friendly Atheist blog. I’ve finally made it!

    • Jeff

      Congratulations! Next step, debating the importance of fruit as a prop with Ray Comfort.

    • Miss_Beara

      Living the dream!

    • A3Kr0n

      I was just reading your quote thinking “damn, this guy is cool”, and here you are!

    • JohnnieCanuck

      Would that be Hemant’s math class, by any co-incidence?

      • Adam Wright

        Unfortunately, no!

  • Wrich

    Thor says we are all licked out of the bones of an Ice Giant by a Cosmic Cow. Why would I need their sky god, when my sky god has a hammer?

    • http://evolvingthoughts.net John S. Wilkins

      Sure, but where’s the App for that?

      • FTP_LTR

        I have a horrible feeling the App would be covered by rule 34.

      • Greg G.

        I tawt I taw a howler monkey!

    • Greg G.

      Jesus was nailed to a cross. Thor has a hammer. Case closed.

  • Miss_Beara

    Won’t stop them from proclaiming “you are taking it out if context!!!!!!” Or “it actually means the complete opposite you stupid atheists.”

    • evodevo

      Heard that before ! However, can’t compare with the deer-in-the-headlights look I get from my fundie co-workers when I use one of the “uncomfortable” quotes or observations. They have no idea how or what to answer, if their preacher isn’t right there to supply it.

    • Ophis

      You forgot the classic “but that’s the Old Testament”. They like the 10 Commandments but when genocide starts making an appearance they suddenly get all Marcionite on you.

      • Timmah

        As I always respond to that, OK so if you chuck out the Old Testament that means no Adam and Eve, which means no original sin which means WHAT exactly was Jesus saving us from?

        :cricket cricket:

        • Art_Vandelay

          Yeah, but you can pull that simply when they say they believe in evolution. No Adam and Eve…no Fall…no need for sacrifice. Wait for it…it was ALLEGORICAL fall!!!

      • http://blaqueplastique.blogospot.com/ beautifulblackatheist

        And when they say, it’s OT, I pose the question: Do you tithe? The answer is always yes. I then tell them their argument is invalid. Tithing is OT also.

        • josh

          Matthew 23:23:
          “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” (ESV)
          Tithing is in both the OT and NT.

          • http://blaqueplastique.blogospot.com/ beautifulblackatheist

            I didn’t say it wasn’t in NT. Regular church attendees oft quote Malachi (OT) in regards to tithing after being hammered over their heads on a weekly basis:

            Malachi 3:8 8″Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9″You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you!…

            *tithing mint and dill…doesn’t really gel with cold hard cash

            • Ella Warnock

              Eh, herbs are fine with me. I can make a hell of a roasted chicken with mint, dill, and cumin. I can provide tasty food for the wedding feast, but Jesus is on his own for the plonk.

    • islandbrewer

      Oooh, Keyra has apparently missed (or avoided) your post.

  • funkotron

    I asked for permission to publish my own Bible reading plan, but I was turned down. Maybe someone else can figure out how to sell them on “The most challenging parts of the Bible” or something similar. This is what they said “Our current emphasis is on increasing the number of plans we provide in additional languages outside of English – as well as filling in the gaps we see in our devotional and topical offerings. ” So probably if you want any chance at being accepted, have a reasonable plan for providing your plan in many languages.

    Here is the link to submit a reading plan if anyone else wants to try: http://blog.youversion.com/plan-submission/

  • Dan Weeks

    That’s true for me, I’ve had it on my phone since I’ve had data. It’s very handy for on the spot checks, as well as a neat bookmark feature that you can title yourself.

    People learn real quick that if they’re going to throw bible verses at me, they better be sure they have the right one. And when people say things like, “There are no contradictions,” or “They’re misinterpreting or misusing the bible,” or “Don’t you wish it were all true?” I can refute them with their own book in seconds. Love it.

  • http://ma-sblog.blogspot.com/ Alice

    Defending my skepticism from the Bible is a lot easier than when I tried to defend my faith from it.

  • Rain

    I love that. Open access to the Bible is helping atheists strengthen their unfaith.

    Of course. There’s a reason why the Catholic church persecuted anyone that translated the Bible into any language other than Jesus’s native language of Latin Vulgate. They didn’t do it for their looks, you know.

    • Ryan Brady

      This is sarcasm, right? The Vulgate was centuries after Jesus. Jesus would have spoke Aramaic and Hebrew, and most of the NT was originally written in Greek.

      Latin? No.

      • TCC

        Yes, it’s sarcasm.

        • Buckley

          I swear there needs to be a sarcasm punctuation mark so we all get it (although that was sort of obvious, but one can never tell)…

          • Gehennah

            Use :), it’s my unofficial sarcasm punctuation.

            • Itarion

              Wait, is that ” :) ” or ” :), “?

              • Gehennah

                it is :), I noticed that I placed the comma after it too.

                And just to be clear, even though I just put a comma after :) again, that comma is not part of the punctuation.

            • Buckley

              I could, but sometimes I use it when I telling someone to fuck off in a passive aggressive way…

      • Rain

        Totally not serious dude. :D Never wrote a serious comment in my life lol.

      • MineApostasy

        I was under the impression that NT was written in Aramaic and then translated into Koine Greek from there.

        • Greg G.

          Eusebius tells us that Papias said that Matthew wrote in Aramaic (I think) and they translated it as best as they could.The early church thought Mark was a condensed Matthew so they may have thought that our Matthew was Papias’ Matthew. But it’s clear that they were wrong about that as Matthew and Luke copied Mark verbatim and Mark was written in Greek. Mark even used the Septuagint.

          John is clearly Greek as John 3 is based on a Greek homonym.

          All of the epistles and Acts are also Greek.

          Some Christians would prefer that to not be true.

    • Stev84

      I thought Jesus spoke King James English.

      • Greg G.

        He did but his disciples didn’t. That caused much first century confusion.

  • Lognbowgun

    All the different versions:
    21st Century King James Version
    American Standard Version
    Amplified Bible
    Common English Bible
    Complete Jewish Bible
    Contemporary English Version
    Darby Translation
    Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition
    Easy-to-Read Version
    English Standard Version
    English Standard Version Anglicised
    Expanded Bible
    1599 Geneva Bible
    GOD’S WORD Translation
    Good News Translation
    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    J.B. Phillips New Testament
    King James Version
    Knox Bible
    Lexham English Bible
    The Message
    Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament
    Names of God Bible
    New American Standard Bible
    New Century Version
    New English Translation (NET Bible)
    New International Reader’s Version
    New International Version
    New International Version – UK
    New King James Version
    New Life Version
    New Living Translation
    New Revised Standard Version
    New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised
    New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition
    New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
    Orthodox Jewish Bible
    Revised Standard Version
    Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
    The Voice
    World English Bible
    Worldwide English (New Testament)
    Wycliffe Bible
    You Best Be Trollin’ Old Revised Non-Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition – UK :)
    Young’s Literal Translation

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      But I’m sure (closes eyes and throws dart at list) is the TRUE understanding of the word of God almighty, who can only communicate with us through ancient literature.

    • Itarion

      No, you’ve got to read it in the original… Hebrew? Greek? Was there any in Latin? I thought there was…

      In order to properly interpret the Bible, you must be a multilingual savant!

      • MineApostasy

        Aramaic, which was then translated to vulgate Koine Greek before its eventual translation to Latin, and from there German which was translated into Old English and then revised as the language evolved.

        • Itarion

          Thank you.

          • Greg G.

            Except for the Aramaic part. Mark has a few Aramaic words but they seemed to be part of the story. For example, we are told that Bartimaeus is the son of Timaeus to tell us that “bar” means “son of”. Later, Jesus prays “Abba, father”, so we understand “Abba”, which Mark probably learned from Galatians. Then we’re introduced to Barrabbas. Guess who else is called “son of the father”, which makes it a scapegoat scenario. The earlier storylines wouldn’t be necessary if Mark was first written in Aramaic.

            • MineApostasy

              Hmm, fair. I was under the impression that the early documents that would eventually become the New Testament were mainly originally Aramaic. Thanks!

        • C.J. O’Brien

          Sheesh. “Vulgate” is a term for a specific Latin translation of the 4th century by Jerome. “Vulgate Koine Greek” is not a thing. The NT in its entirety was written originally in Koine (“common”) Greek, and the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the OT was written in an Alexandrian dialect of the Koine that is pretty distinct from the language of the NT (though many NT texts, notably Luke/Acts, intentionally mimic it). Finally, translations were not arrived at by the process you describe. As far back as we have translations, they were done from the original languages. All modern translations of the OT are directly from the Hebrew (mostly the Masoretic text) –not Aramaic– directly into the target language. There are a few instances where parts of originals appear to derive from Aramaic, and there were Aramaic translations in antiquity, but there are not any whole books of the Hebrew scriptures that were composed originally in Aramaic. Translators may refer to the Septuagint and the Vulgate because doing so can reveal subtleties of how certain words and phrases were understood at a time closer to the originals, but there is no game of “translation telephone” going on where a given translation has gone through multiple languages to English.

          • MineApostasy

            I said “vulgate”, which means common, not “Vulgate”, which is the specific Latin translation of the bible. It was a play on words.

      • Longbowgun

        …and understand which parts are metaphor and which actually happened….

  • http://blaqueplastique.blogospot.com/ beautifulblackatheist

    I’ve had this app on my phone for approximately two years. It was the best bible app out of the several i had downloaded. It’s easy to use and you can search keywords, has a ton of bible versions and it has audio. Please let the app read aloud to you, Leviticus! Not only did I cringe (it also makes believers cringe)-but I also shared the verses about tattoos, mixed fibers etc-you know scriptures that are glossed over or ignored in the church. Also, I like to share with them Proverbs 6:16-19…the OTHER abomination scripture!

  • Keyra

    “Open access to the Bible is helping atheists strengthen their unfaith”, actually, interpreting it poorly as the fundies, and reading it alone “strengthens” their unfaith. Atheists may score higher, but memorization isn’t understanding it. Especially if they’re under the delusion that Christians are supposed to follow the OT. Plus, I don’t see the point in trying to pull people away from their faith anyway (those who live for Jesus, anyway; and not just the bigoted hypocrites). What’s there to gain aside from self-assurance? However, this Lauren girl is a closeted atheist (if she’s so sure, then she should just come out, dishonestly isn’t very moral), and wants to pull people away from the faith, confusing her experience with others.

    It’s naive to think any part of the Bible has been overlooked in the last couple centuries, let alone the last two millennium. Resources are out there, especially books on apologetics, because many of the challenges you’ll face are actually quite old. First place to start, the ESV Study Bible, with the list of foot notes on each page plus verse cross references. Anyone can quote scripture, even Satan debates Jesus in this way. A counter argument can always be found. It’s up to you to decide, once informed, whose is more compelling (no need for New Atheists to show-off the superiority complex they’ve deluded themselves with). The Bible is, without question, the most misunderstood text the world has ever known. The Bible is a mixture of history, parables, poetry, theology, wisdom, etc., not all literal as much as fundies and New Atheists (both, to support their excuses and bigotry towards those who don’t share the beliefs & nonbeliefs they do, indescriminately).

    • Gehennah

      One major issue with the Bible is that it can be interpreted in so many ways, in fact in so many ways that no one can be sure which is the “correct” way. This is one of the reasons that there are so many sects within Christianity.

      Whether you want to take the entire Bible literally or not, it doesn’t change the fact that it has some absolutely horrendous teachings in it, and these teachings are not only in the OT. One of the ones that I have the biggest problem with is your god having no issues at all with slavery, in fact many passages even openly support slavery. This is problematic for any being that is supposed to be all good.

    • John

      Question: if you aren’t supposed to follow the Old Testament, then why is it still there?

      Alternately, if only parts of it are still valid, how do you know which ones are which?

      • David Kopp

        Because reasons.

        WHY DON’T YOU JUST BELIEVE?!?

        (which is an actual line my youth pastor used way back when)

      • Matt D

        She is a zealot (i.e. bully), so don’t expect her to respond to anything but personal attacks.

      • Keyra

        Because it’s the origins of the Gospel and what life was like before (and still would be like without) salvation. The Ten Commandments is the foundation for God’s law. The laws that were given to the Israelites in the Torah were specifically for them (to test their obedience, mainly). We read the OT, to learn from it, not follow it. Fixating on the negativity in the Bible is no way to understand it; it’s all of it, or none of it. Actually trying to figure it all out, studying it, discussing it is a much more rational approach than demonizing it with contempt, rather than just reading a few verses & interpreting it black & white

    • Artor

      Xians are constantly quoting the OT in defense of their reactionary, barbaric principles, so maybe you should tell them not to pay attention to the OT instead of atheists.

      The Bible is, without question, the most misunderstood text the world has ever known.

      That’s pretty funny, considering it’s supposed to be like Gawd’s user manual. If an all-powerful being wanted to give us something as a guide, don’t you think it would be clear and unequivocal, and maybe actually useful?

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      It’s the truth about the lord god, but it’s easily misunderstood. You ignore the first half of it entirely, except for the part that tells us how we were created, that we’re sinful and need saving and homosexuality is wrong, and the rest is easily misunderstood by both fundamentalists and atheists alike. Apparently you alone posses the knowledge as to which parts to obey and how to interpret the ones you do obey, because the word of god can’t speak for itself. Does that about sum up your argument?

      If someone served me a salad that’s 85% shit and 15% tomatoes and lettuce, I don’t call it a salad and eat around the shit, call it a big bowl of shit, or a shit salad at best, and throw it away!

      • FTP_LTR

        Open yourself up to the spirit of the Chef; let the Chef speak through you and to you, and He will Show you which is shit and which is salad. It’s not all supposed to be literally taken as salad; some of it is metaphorical salad, put there by the Chef to teach.

        Some of the shit is being taken out of context. In the right context, it illuminates and explains the salad.

        • Itarion

          Well said sir.

      • guest

        I love the analogy. The visual/olfactory image I now have in my head? Not so much.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Sorry, Keyra. You’re projecting again. You’re well documented in your bigotry and spite. And since you didn’t post under an account, you can’t even try and fail to hide it. Enjoy your legacy; your bigoted comments are going to be following you all of your only life.

    • Carmelita Spats

      Jumping-Jesus-On-A-Jumper-Cable…Tryin’ to make sense out of your posts is like shoving butter up a
      wildcat’s ass…Keyra, in my spare time I am Satan and yes, I debate
      Jesus. I’m way funnier, though, except for the times when Jesus tries to
      pick up pennies with his holey hands and then blabs to everyone about drinking his blood which tastes a helluva lot like wine so he must’ve been wasted 24/7…The boy ain’t right…He’d make a preacher swear…Oh, and for the record, I NEVER wrote a book talking smack about God which makes me the bigger person. Here’s your delightfully satanic pleonasm of the day: evil bible.

    • cary_w

      LET US ALL BOW DOWN TO LORD KEYRA, FOR SHE ALONE KNOWS THE TRUE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE AND ALL WHO DISAGREE WITH HER ARE WRONG!!!

      It takes an incredible amount of arrogance to believe that you, Keyra, have the true interpretation of the Bible and all the thousands of other branches of Christianity, not to mention other religions, are wrong. How do you know you are the one who is right, when so many other Christians claim they are right and you are wrong? Look at the Bible for what it is; a collection of myths and stories that have been mistranslated, misinterpreter, and copied down wrong for thousands of years. The fact that anyone, in our modern society, can still believe that it is the word of God is just proof that, in spite of pretending to be an intelligent and enlightened species, we are really still just savage animals, bowing down to the fire spirits and dancing for the rain Gods.

    • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

      Keyra, feel free to explain away slavery and genocide in the Bible. Anything short of “owning another person (slavery) and killing a whole bunch of people (genocide) is immoral” isn’t any sort of “apologetic explanation” a moral person would accept. Draw a red line through those passages in the Bible and never, ever use them again.

      But, Keyra, if you choose to white-wash slavery and genocide in the Bible by claiming “it was a different slavery” or “they were bad people so they deserved to all be killed”, then you are a thoroughly immoral person. And why should we believe that your non-evidenced immoral god exists?

    • Vanadise

      Just for reference, I do not believe that you are expected to follow the OT. I will, however, hold it up as evidence that if your God is real and the OT is true, he is a horrible, petty, vindictive creature who is not worthy of being worshiped.

    • Matt D

      The definition of insane is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.

      An apt term for your visits here, Keyra…incidentally, I don’t find genocidal, conniving, petty, vindictive deities worthy of worship. And threats do not scare me, so don’t bother.

    • The Other Weirdo

      So, the short form of this is, “Just interpret the Bible the way I interpret it and you’ll be fine.”

      • Keyra

        More like, “try not to judge by your own merits”.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Why? Because it makes you uncomfortable that you can only kowtow to some dried-up old weirdo in a funny dress and hat, beg him for a dispensation of thought, eliminate your need to consider and learn while beating your own breast with shrieks of your own unworthiness? That’s on you. Whoever is feeding you your beliefs has no power over me and, in reality, he has no more power over you than you give him.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    Knowledge will set you free!

    • Keyra

      But with wisdom as well as knowledge (without overconfidence), would one truly be free

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        I have no clue what that means. You must be Christian.

        • FTP_LTR

          Deepity. Very deepity.

      • Itarion

        Umm… Let’s see here….

        No True Scotsman fallacy. (true free v. ordinary free, implying that there are multiple levels of free, and the lesser isn’t really free)

        Equivocation: At what point does confidence become overconfidence?

        Proof by verbosity: your argument is unnecessarily complex.

      • Obazervazi

        Please Elaborate

        (this should be fun)

      • Matt D

        One day I hope you realize how ridiculous you sound.

  • Highlander

    Now we need an app like this with the Skeptics Annotated Bible.

  • Glenn

    “There was a girl in my math class who had a tattoo about Jesus and I
    asked if she knew Leviticus says you shouldn’t have tattoos,” [Adam
    Wright] said. “She said that wasn’t true and I opened my app and showed
    her the verse.”

    See, this sort of thing
    makes the “skeptical” crowd seem more insular than the religious crowd.
    Why didn’t anyone comment on this and say – Well, actually she’s not
    tattooing herself for the dead – the pagan ritual that was actually
    mentioned and condemned in Leviticus. My guess? It’s because they just
    didn’t know, and have an even worse time handling the Bible than the
    fundies they want to win over.

    • Frank

      Jesus is dead so the banning on tattoos applies

    • Ron

      Well, according to Hasidic Jews (whom one would expect to be well-versed in OT law) the proper interpretation of this rule is as follows:

      Not to make even the smallest tattoo, for any reason, on one’s skin. This practice dates back to ancient times as part of pagan culture, and survived in Egypt through the Middle Ages. Its modern resurgence is closely tied with drug use, Wicca and other occult practices, and immorality in general. Irrespective of one’s reason, it is strictly prohibited.

  • Tez

    Hemant, I love how you use “…in the way the creator intended” in the description of this post.
    That’s gold. Gold!

  • Mike

    In the early 1990s, I was a “born again” convert at a fundie church and eager to get to know the Bible. I also wanted a Bible on my computer that I could search to aid my study, but the only ones I could find were KJV and my church used the NIV. So to scratch both itches, I came up with the idea to type my entire copy of the NIV into my computer.

    At the same time I was building my searchable Bible, I was also reading every word of it. Incredibly I didn’t give up in disgust, and made it all the way through after throwing away months of afterschool and weekend hours. By the end I no longer considered myself a Christian, so in that regard the time wasn’t a waste. I wasn’t quite an atheist, but the skepticism that my Bible reading instilled in me led to that later.

    Thinking having a searchable NIV Bible might help other folks, I uploaded what I’d typed to a few local BBSes, foolishly attaching my name and address to it so that people could contact me regarding typos and such. Not long after though, it somehow caught the attention of Zondervan, who threatened me with legal action over copyright infringement if I didn’t have every copy taken down. They couldn’t have me giving away the word of God for free I guess. I never heard from the big Z again after I had it removed from everywhere I’d uploaded, so I suppose it never spread to other BBSes.

    I still dip into the Bible periodically, finding it useful in correcting or educating Christians who really ought to know it better than they do, and to aid my own understanding of where some of their ideas come from. I can’t really blame any of them for being reluctant to read the whole thing. I think many know deep down that it would raise some uncomfortable questions that might lead to some uncomfortable answers.


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