The True Essence of the Bible

                                                       Backward Thinking and Divisiveness

life-of-brian“But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

(Reg, leader of the People’s Front of Judea, from the film “Life of Brian”)

jewish priests 3

Six hundred years before Jesus Jewish priests badgered their fellows into a fanatical reverence for scripture. As a consequence, most Jews looked backward by trying to rigidly conform to the last jot and tittle of the Torah, instead of being open-minded and flexible. They were obsessed with ingratiating themselves with their imaginary God, which usually excluded them from having cordial relations with gentiles.

Most people from conquered nations came to realize that while they may have had no great love of Rome, it was in their interests to be part of the Empire, because it usually bought them peace, law, order, and trade. The Palestinian Jews were different. They refused to learn from foreigners because their imaginary God had already told them how to live. They failed to adapt to what was then a more modern world, and they suffered recurrent military defeats at the hands of gentiles as a result.

Their obsessive reliance on scripture meant they were subject to primitive law and ethics. They frequently fought and argued amongst themselves, partly because God’s rules were so open to interpretation. Their religious leaders, not democratically elected, who claimed to know how to interpret scripture, assumed they had an elevated status, and taxed the people’s incomes.

At the beginning of the Christian era, an eclectic mix of Jews and gentiles wrote more stories about God with the explicit, but not admitted, aim of asserting authority over everyone in the empire. Some of these writings eventually became the New Testament. They instilled similar convictions in their converts, such as an injunction to obey “God,” ie priests, a reluctance to embrace new ideas, and an intolerance of all non-believers.

Ever since the dawn of Christianity, Christians have been squabbling with each other and outsiders, just as the ancient Jews always did, and the baloney in the Bible is largely to blame.

 

Council of Nicea

Council of Nicea

 

Jews, chr, mus
Islamists too took a leaf out of the Jewish practice, to write their own version of scripture, the Koran, about 600 years after the Christians. It is still being used to control people, and has caused just as many social problems.

The human family is still suffering from belief in holy books, because Jews, Christians and Muslims are still fighting their fellows and each other.

 

                                                                An Immoral Book

“The truth, however unwelcome, is not injurious; it is error which raises false hopes, which destroys, degrades and pollutes, and which, sooner or later, must be abandoned.” 

(Mangasar Magurditch Mangasarian, http://www.atheists.org/Mangasar_Magurditch_Mangasarian_)

truth-vs-lies1Churches propagate the idea that the Bible preaches sound morality, yet that is a false and, in fact, dangerous assumption.

Morality is based on values, and the best values are always determined by considering the truth. “Truth” is the accurate depiction of reality; it is the correct depiction of what has happened in the past and is happening in the present. Truth is never the depiction of something that is not or never was real.

A lie is an untruth expressed as truth. I will be frank; the biblical authors knew they were lying. As the Bible is based on deliberate lies, it has false values and is therefore immoral. There should be no religion higher than truth.

The occasional valuable ethic one finds in the Bible cannot compensate for the untruths and immorality upon which the Bible is based.

reading the bible                                                   

                                                   The Bible Doesn’t Have All the Answers

Christian fiction“But if external evidence (in support of the Bible) be wanting, and internal evidence be fatal to the truthfulness of the writings, then it will become our duty to remove them from the temple of history, and to place them in the fairy gardens of fancy and of myth, where they may amuse and instruct the student, without misleading him as to questions of fact.”

(Annie Besant, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Besant)

We won’t find all the answers in any book. Even our modern secular laws have deficiencies. We need to rely on our common sense and the impartial opinions of others to decide what is right or best. Some books may help by pointing us in the right direction, and some books are better at that than others. The Bible, a book riddled with inconsistencies, falsehoods and immoral ethics, is the last place we should look for moral guidance.

 

                                                           Intellectual Dishonesty

The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible

(Mark Twain, http://www.cmgww.com/historic/twain/about/bio.htm).

There’s no excuse today to not read widely about a topic as important as the Bible. There have been literally thousands of objective and scholarly books written about it over the last 250 years. We only need an Internet connection and an open mind to have access to much of this information.

The most vocal and the highest-ranking church people usually haven’t bothered, despite what they claim. They don’t have an objective historical understanding of the Bible, so it’s obvious they haven’t investigated this literature, or they don’t admit they have. They haven’t put in the effort to learn. It’s empty vessels that make the most noise.

I’m sure that deep down, many better-read Christian leaders are sceptical. It must be true that behind closed doors, or in the secret depths of their own minds, educated and intelligent clergy have serious doubts. Yet that doesn’t stop most of them earning a living and telling themselves and others they’re doing good.

read itIt’s quite astonishing that churches get away with promoting the Bible as “God’s word.” The Catholic Church didn’t let the average layperson read a translation of the Bible in his native language for about 1200 years, probably because they were embarrassed by the content.

William Tyndale was burned at the stake in 1536 because he translated it into English. (http://www.tyndale.org/DeCoursey/life.html). In the last 450 odd years the public has been allowed to read it in their own language, but in my opinion most people haven’t yet put it in perspective. I hope my writing helps change that.

Churches can’t ignore the Bible. No matter how progressive and modern they try to be, they have a millstone around their neck; an obsolete book. If they were to discard the Bible Christianity would become something else, something not Christian, and that would be too big a hurdle for even the most progressive amongst  them.                                                                                                       

                                                       The Bible’s Real Purpose…Power 

Authorities in churches usually claim the Bible exists for people’s benefit, yet I think it’s propaganda promoted by power hungry priests.

if you want toGod didn’t write it, nor did bona-fide historians, or people discussing what they thought was the truth, or people who genuinely cared about their readers. It was scrawled by spin-doctors asserting their own authority.

They had a similar agenda to people who currently work in advertising agencies, and their writings share many of the features of an advertising campaign. The Bible was written to profit certain groups; it contained little of true value, and its authors tried to appeal to the emotions and dreams of the masses to push a product. It was thought up to promote priests’ power over people, and was very good at it, which is the main reason it’s survived the passage of time.

The authors knew their market at the time was credulous and superstitious, easily impressed by mythical stories and frightened by threats. The bible is targeted at the timid hoi polloi, the gullible gatherings, the naive little people, the consumers. It’s crowd control through creative writing. It’s a product of the petty politics of power-hungry people.

the holy bible

proof that god existsIt required no real resources to get results. Talk of gods, miracles, prophets, promises of heaven and threats of hell requires nothing more than confidence and an active imagination to advertise.

Anyone who agrees with me will have a satisfying, empowering realization. The very heart of Christianity, the Bible, has no legitimate authority. It’s nothing more than a mountain of superstitious nonsense.

George Carlin – Religion is bullshit.

religion is not personal

we find the bible

a good world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the bible may,

Everyone should

 

Religion gives con

This entry was posted in The Bible. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The True Essence of the Bible

  1. mark spark says:

    Awesome. Yet another website devoted to circle-jerking atheists, hell bent on bolstering what they have already made up their minds they believe. Yawn.

  2. Jason D'Haviland Firestone, (Bucky Ball) says:

    Hi Mark, my friend. !!
    I agree with Mark, in a sense, and not in another. The only reason why laws, and codes, and injunctions are in the texts of the Bible in the first place , is that they were appropriated from the general culture, (“uploaded”, if you will), from the already extant legal/cultural system. NOT the other way around. I cn provide some scholarly support for that if you want, It’s the common view, in mainline scholarship. They were not, EVER, in any way, “downloaded” from god(s), or “received” “from on high”. Deuteronomy was cooked up by Josiah, as an attempt to create cohesion between the waring (Yahwist/”Abrahamist” land owners/holders), in the post Exilic period. There is also a well known theory in scholarship, called the “Persian Imperative”, which has some features of truth, but has been discounted in many ways also.

    Also it’s important to note that while there were some “texts” around, the Bible was NEVER EVER EVER, (repeat that 10 times !!!), the central organizing force in the Hebrew culture and life. Their communal life, their relationships with their neighboring cities, and their worship sites, (eventually late, centralized in Jerusalem) were the central organizing forces. NOT THE BIBLE. That is a very important insight. We don’t get that, as it IS for Theism in our day. It was not then.

    I started a new thread on TTA looking at OT texts. It will be a long project, but fun, and a good review for me.

    • Mark Fulton says:

      Hi Bucky. I hear you about how the Bible was appropriated from the general culture. Did I imply it was vice versa? (I have rewritten the blog since your comment and now can’t go back to the original). I accept you are right. The point I have tried to make is that the Bible was used to control people…it is little more than an arm of the “police”. It may contain the odd anecdotal truth or wisdom, but we shouldn’t give that too much credence given that we know what the underlying agenda of the tome is.

      As to the role of the Bible in the Hebrew culture, it is my impression that in Yeshua’s day it played a central role in the Jew’s life. Think of the messiah concept, dietary rules, the sabbath rules, marriage rules, circumcision, the importance of the temple in jerusalem, passover celebrations. Do you agree? Are you referring to Yeshua’s time or earlier? Regards, Mark

  3. Chris says:

    “Most of “Jesus’ ” teachings are immoral”…explain this statement, and don’t tell me to buy your book. That’s a sales pitch. If you are “just a sharer of knowledge”, please share with me in what way “most” of “Jesus'” (not sure why Jesus is in quotes) are immoral. If you’re gonna say that the “Jesus” of the church is immoral, skip it, I’m not concerned with him. If you’re saying the Jesus of the New Testament is immoral you need to explain to me where the Beatitudes came from, keeping in mind that, as far as I know, most if not all New Testament scholars (including the agnostic/atheist ones) generally do not doubt that those are the words of the historical Jesus you seem to know so much about.

    • Mark Fulton says:

      Hi Chris, you sound a little “worked up.” That’s ok. Thanks for your comments. Here are some of the biblical Jesus’ immoral teachings. I’ll be very interested to hear whether you agree with me, so please respond.

      Intolerance
      Most people today are very aware that Christian intolerance has been, and still is, a serious cause of disharmony around the world. One of the reasons so many Christians have been so bigoted is they had Jesus as a mentor.

      Jesus was totally intolerant of anyone who didn’t buy his message:
      “Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him” (John 3:33, NJB).
      “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16, NJB).

      Jesus even threatened to burn, kill or condemn others to hell for not believing:
      “Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away—he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and they are burnt” (John 15:6, NJB). (A similar quote is repeated in Mark 6:11.)
      “Then he began to approach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you were done in Tyre or Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes, and still I tell you that it will not go as hard on Judgment day on Tyre or Sidon as with you. And as for you Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down in hell for if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet. And still, I tell you that I will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgment day as with you” (Matt. 11:20–24, NJB).
      “But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence” (Luke 19:27, NJB).
      There is no explanation that can justify these atrocious tirades. They reveal a man who had a fanatical belief in himself, who denounced and threatened anyone who didn’t agree with or worship him, a man who threatened violence, was power-hungry and arrogant. He quite clearly had a personal ambition to be in charge. These are not the words of someone spreading universal peace and goodwill.

      Throughout history, many Christians, when in positions of power, have been moved by Jesus’ words to convert, persecute, or kill the outsider. Millions of people, such as Jews, Muslims, and American and African natives, have been brutalized as a result of Christian prejudice. Christian parochialism was one of the reasons George W. Bush invaded Iraq. Imagine a world today if Jesus had consistently preached universal liberalism and love; it would be a far less violent and happier one!

      Violence in the name of Jesus has diminished over the last two centuries as humanitarian ethics have countered the aggression of churches and other prejudiced groups of Christians. Some Christians, however, are still unashamedly in the habit of condemning non-believers.

      In Praise of Poverty
      Jesus said, “How happy are you who are poor; yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20, NJB), and, “But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now” (Luke 6:24, NJB).

      In Mark, Jesus’ advice to a wealthy man is the following: “Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21, NJB).

      Jesus was obviously giving support to his poor fellow peasants, yet he worded this admirable conviction poorly. He claimed the real riches were in heaven and you wouldn’t get them if you had wealth on earth. He said poverty itself was a virtue and being poor would make you happy. He commanded followers to give up material possessions to follow an ideology. This advice was contrary to both human nature and common sense.

      To give away all one’s possessions compromises one’s security, occupation, health, and self-esteem. It compromises the family unit too. People know that money adds quality to life. Nearly all of us like money, and Christians are no different, so they always ignore this maxim.

      Most poor people are just unfortunate, but some of them have squandered opportunities or don’t have the life skills to help themselves. To give all one’s money to them may not be in their best interest.

      If too many people gave all their money to the poor, society would end up in some kind of cyclical communism. The poor would cease to be poor and therefore give to the formerly rich, and then the cycle would repeat.

      If everyone stopped working to follow an ideology, money would be valueless as there would be no commodities or services to buy. The very structure of society would crumble.

      The dream of a rich afterlife seduces people into contentment with their lot in the present life. Many Christians have meekly accepted poverty and oppression, imagining they will one day be rewarded for their inactivity with paradise in heaven.

      In the first and second centuries it would have suited the Roman government and the upper classes to not have people complaining about poverty.
      Churches have always encouraged people to be poor because poor people are easier to control. Also, the poorer someone is, the easier it is for churches to take what money they do have from them.

      Jesus Invoked Misery
      Jesus said he wanted people to be spiritually poor as well:
      “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:3–5 NKJV), and
      “Happy you who weep now; you shall laugh” (Luke 6:21, NJB), and
      “Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life” (John 12:25, NJB). He may have been trying to cheer people up, but this was not the way to do it. This is perverse! There is nothing good to be said about being poor in spirit, weeping and hating one’s life, the modern term for which is depression. No one today has not in some way been adversely touched by depression, whether they know it or not. It is a miserable condition; the antithesis of happiness. Victims suffer terribly, as can their families and friends. Any miserable person who wastes his life away dreaming about the afterlife is doing himself and society a serious disservice.

      Some well-meaning interpreters claim that Jesus may have been trying to counsel against egoism or arrogance, but that is not what he said.

      The truth is just the opposite. Strength of spirit and a happy life are the virtues we should aspire to. One of the keys to well-being is learning to live in the present and enjoy the moment rather than hoping for something that may happen in the future. Jesus totally undermined this idea.

      I could go on, and I will, if you are genuinely interested. I am interested in what you think of the beatitudes, and in exactly why some scholars believe Yeshua the Galilean peasant’s words are faithfully recorded in them.

      Regards, and thanks for visiting my website, Mark.

  4. Mark Fulton says:

    Hi Brian, thanks for your comments. I don’t doubt your enthusiasm, your sincerity or your good nature. We do, however, fundamentally disagree on many things. You have made so many points I can only be brief.

    “I am not a church goer.” Glad to hear that!
    “I am a Christian.” Mmmmmmmmmm. Christianity, as we know it, was invented by the Catholic church! To imagine it was Jesus or his original disciples who “invented” Christianity (they were fundamentalist Jews) is no longer accepted by the vast majority of serious scholars.
    “According to the quote at the top of your page, Jesus was a fictitious “personification” of some sort of, well, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, honestly” All will be very clear in my book. In the meantime, you’ll need to be more specific about what and why you don’t understand.
    “I’ve read the Bible. I’ve read most of the Torah and have read the Koran… All of the books aknowledge the existance of Jesus…” Agreed. Are you, however, somehow suggesting these books are truthful historical documents? If so, you are WRONG.
    “Anyone who has read the Bible, anyone of a decent amount of intelligence that is, could tell you that the problems humanity faces do not lie with Faith in Jesus as a Messiah and God as a form of Creator .. it lies IN THE CHURCH, EVIL, AND PEOPLE” WRONG AGAIN. REREAD YOUR BIBLE. Most of “Jesus’ ” teachings are immoral. I do, however, agree with you that churches are largely evil.
    “You should dedicate your blog to exposing the church (namely Catholicism) deceiving people, not God deceiving people.” My whole website and the whole book have one central theme…the deception of people by churches. Do you really think “God” is that benevolent? I don’t think so. Reread your bible. “God” is the church’s cudgel.
    “I find your writing mostly ironic, you are trying to lead people away from the most fundamental set of moral codes they could ever hope to understand… I’m not saying people need church; but people do need Christianity to be saved…” Oh dear….you have been thoroughly brainwashed…..by saint Paul and by CHURCHES!
    “Jesus is the ultimate showcase of temperance, forgiveness and humanity. ” NO HE”S NOT! Reread your bible. Please explain:
    “Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him” (John 3:33, NJB).
    “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16, NJB).
    Jesus even threatened to burn, kill or condemn others to hell for not believing:
    “Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away—he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and they are burnt” (John 15:6, NJB).
    (A similar quote is repeated in Mark 6:11.)
    “Then he began to approach the towns in which most of his miracles had been worked, because they refused to repent. Alas for you Chorazin! Alas for you Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you were done in Tyre or Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes, and still I tell you that it will not go as hard on Judgment day on Tyre or Sidon as with you. And as for you Capernaum, did you want to be exalted as high as heaven? You shall be thrown down in hell for if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing yet. And still, I tell you that I will not go as hard with the land of Sodom on Judgment day as with you” (Matt. 11:20–24, NJB).
    “But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence” (Luke 19:27, NJB).
    I have yet to find an explanation from a Christian that can justify these atrocious words.
    “I am assuming you are halfway reasonable person in that you probably believe we are not alone in this Universe.” I don’t have an opinion about aliens because we simply don’t have evidence for their existence. I fail to see what is unreasonable about that.
    ” I used to be like you, things didn’t make sense… then I read those books..” I have read many apocryphal books . I’m not confused, my mind is very clear. I have spent 6 years studying the life and times of Jesus and the bible. I have the bible in correct perspective, and will share my knowledge with anyone interested.
    “I just wanted you to know that you need to investigate more.” My mind is always open. Tell me something I haven’t heard before, be specific, back it up with references or logical reasoned thought and I’m all ears. Please, however, don’t just quote me the bible and expect me to accept it as truth.
    “I really wanted to just help you understand that you shouldn’t be steering people away from God.” Well we will have to disagree about this. Perhaps you might read my blogs about the psychological damage, the damage to societies, the misogyny, the homophobia and the retardation of science that belief in God engenders. “God” is a right old bastard, by far the most evil tyrant the world has ever encountered. He makes Hitler and Stalin look like pussycats. BTW, I’m not trying to steer anyone anywhere. I’m just a sharer of knowledge.

  5. michael says:

    The Christian Bible was not written by God, or by genuine historians, or by people discussing the truth, or by people who genuinely cared about their readers. It was written by spin-doctors. It is a product of the petty, miserable politics of superstitious people!

    I’ve always thought that if Paul was alive today, he’d be a televangelist.

    For an ordinary person (like myself) leading a moral life is as easy as pie – just obey the laws of the land – no god required.

    • Mark Fulton says:

      Absolutely! In fact, if we followed “God’s laws,” as written in the bible, we would end up in prison!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>