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Did a God Write the Bible?


In this essay I tackle the question, did a god write the Christian bible? I set aside for the nonce the question of whether any gods at all exist, in particular one named Jehovah as described in the bible. For purposes of argument, let us presume Jehovah exists and did create the universe. Now is it possible he could have composed the bible in his spare time?

The Argument

Atheists and Christian have arguments like this:

atheist: The story of Joshua blowing trumpets and crumbling walls is nonsense. That could not happen. There is no evidence to support that story.

Christian: What do you mean no evidence? It is absolutely certain. It says so in Joshua 6:20

atheist: I am not claiming there is no such a story is the bible. I am just saying there is no evidence it actually happened.

Christian: Don’t be silly. The King James bible, the one Jesus carried with him personally, was written by God. It therefore has to be perfect and inerrant.

atheist: It was written by people, and fallible, ordinary, people at that — people we know very little about. God didn’t etch the bible on titanium plates with lightning or some such.

Christian: Well technically yes, but God inspired them. They were just taking dictation. God would not let them make any errors.

atheist: But there is no evidence for that either. The authors themselves don’t even make that claim.

Christian: But I know with absolute conviction in my heart they did not make any errors. Are you calling me a liar? You can absolutely bank on God’s word. Are you saying God lies?

atheist: But you have no way of knowing that. You never even met the authors. Just because you feel convinced does not necessarily make it so. When I was little, I was convinced the earth was flat. The notion of a spherical earth seemed absurd. How could Australians hang on? My conviction did not make it so. But we are going around in circles. You are just assuming without evidence that the bible is Jehovah’s word, then use that assumption in order to prove it truly is. That is the faulty reasoning of a three year old. You have no reason to believe bible is Jehovah’s word just because it claims to be. Lots of kooks write books that claim to be Jehovah’s word. The Qur’an also claims to be Jehovah’s word and it has an even better case going for it than the bible. Why don’t you believe that claim too? How about the Book of Mormon? It is as whacky as the bible. Why do you reject the Book of Mormon as the word of a god?

Christian: Don’t be absurd. Of course it is nonsense. It does not have the anointing of fire.

atheist: So apparently we agree that the Book of Mormon is too nuts to believe and without evidence to support it. We differ in that I feel the same way about the bible. Only because of your early brainwashing, you are willing to take it on face value despite its similar flaws and similar lack of supporting evidence. A book making a claim does not make it necessarily so. You are doing that idiotic it is written thing again, presuming anything written down must be true. It no more has to be true that it does it you read it somewhere on the Internet.

Christian: You seem to think you can force God into a box with your reason. God has taken time out of his busy schedule to personally put into my heart the unshakable knowledge that the bible is inerrant, no matter how it looks to God-hating skeptics like you. You think you know everything. You think you can comprehend God with your pathetic little reason. You need deep faith, like I have. The great Martin Luther warned us against closed minded Satan-worshipers like you.

Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense and understanding.
~ Martin Luther (born:1483-11-10 died:1546-02-18 at age:62)
Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has.
~ Martin Luther (born:1483-11-10 died:1546-02-18 at age:62)
Reason is the enemy of faith.
~ Martin Luther (born:1483-11-10 died:1546-02-18 at age:62)
Stab, smite, throttle, slay these rabid mad dogs without mercy, with a good conscience to the last ounce of strength, for nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful or devilish than a rebel. He that shall be slain on the side of law and order is a true martyr before God, earning eternal bliss; he that perishes on the side of rebellion is doomed eternally to hell. Such times are these that a prince shall win heaven by bloodshed sooner than others by prayer…
~ Martin Luther (born:1483-11-10 died:1546-02-18 at age:62)
What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church… a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.
~ Martin Luther (born:1483-11-10 died:1546-02-18 at age:62)

atheist: I am not claiming I understand god. In fact I am quite sure there is nothing to understand since there is no such thing other than in the imagination of man. I am merely asserting that you have not provided any reasons to presume the bible was written by a supernatural being. You have not explained why you consider the bible different from than any of the other holy books you whose claim to divine authorship you reject. I can’t see any difference, other than you are familiar with the bible but have refused to look at any of the other holy books.

Christian: I’m not a heretic. What do you take me for? Why should I dabble in false religions?

The Essence Of the Dispute

The essential problem is the Christian takes it on faith, without any evidence, that the bible was written by god, that his religion is true and all others are false, even without a cursory glance at anything else. The atheist says stuff and nonsense. I refuse to believe something that outlandish without evidence.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.
~ Carl Sagan (born:1934-11-09 died:1996-12-20 at age:62)

The real reason he believes this is that his mother assured him it was true when he was very young and without defences against being fed nonsense. Things you are taught that young are hard wired. The Christian feels it is the atheist’s problem to prove the bible was not written by god, since to him it feels obvious that in was. Of course, to the atheist, there is no reason at all to believe such an absurd thing. It is up to the Christian to prove the bible is the word of god. They are at an impasse.

The Postulate

Mathematical reasoning mostly is about postulates and what you can deduce from them. Christians postulate that the Bible is the precisely accurate word of god.

If that were true, much of what Christians say would make sense. Many of the Christian conclusions would follow in hypothetical mathematical universe where that postulate were true. (Mathematicians reason all the time about hypothetical universes where different rules apply.)

But the postulate is demonstrably not true in the real universe where you and I live. The Christians rather insanely deny all evidence that this postulate is simply not true. What is the problem with the postulate?

The Case Against The Christian Postulate

Here are reasons why could not possibly be true that a god wrote the bible, much less Jehovah, even if such a god existed!
  1. There is no evidence that a god had anything to do with writing the bible. The bible is just a book. It does not even glow. It has no magic properties of any kind. You can’t get way with presuming something so outlandish without any evidence at all. It is like insisting Martians live at the North Pole without any evidence to back up the claim, other than a book your Grandpa wrote claiming they do, again without evidence.
  2. Christians admit ordinary, fallible, largely anonymous, humans wrote the bible, mostly who did not even claim to be eye-witnesses.
  3. The facts dead are wrong. It contradicts itself over and over. Archaeological and historical evidence you would expect to corroborate its stories is entirely absent. There is no sign of major players like Moses or David. (Granted there was some evidence of a minor chief named David, but he bore no resemblance to the magnificent king of the bible.) Moses in the #2 figure in the bible and he is apocryphal. To me, this alone completely discredits the bible. The bible is not only the work of ordinary men, it is a work of fiction dishonestly masquerading as divine truth. Jesus gradually appears in history like the development of the Superman myth. The bible makes all manner of utterly impossible assertions. I have documented hundreds of these on my website. Surely a god would do better than an incompetent human writer.
  4. The quality of writing is atrocious. The language is incompetent, boring, meandering and irrelevant.
  5. The God of the bible appears to be utterly ignorant of the basic facts that everyone today knows about how the universe works. He did not even know the moon shines by reflected light or that the earth is spherical. How could the true creator of the universe be so clueless?
  6. The god of the bible is preposterously partisan. This is like the creator of the universe smiting all football teams but Manchester United. This is human pettiness projected on a deity.
  7. What’s included in the bible was decided by a committe at the Council of Nicea. You are telling me that committe was inerrant too even though you have no evidence to support such an absurd assertion.
  8. There is no evidence any god exists, therefore one could not have written the bible.

The Short Argument

What matters far more than does god exist is did he write the bible. If he existed, but did not write the bible, Christians are all chumps, taken in by a forgery.

Christians bet the farm that the creator of the universe wrote the bible. If that is not so, then Christianity is blithering nonsense. It is rather distressing for Christians, but you can easily show the creator of the universe could not possibly have been the author of the bible. If they wish to remain Christians, their only strategy is refusal to look.

Overtrusting The Bible

I often run across Christians who claim the bible is the inerrant word of god. They claim if there were any contradiction between what science said, or what their own eyes saw, or what their mind said was possible, they would trust the bible. [If they did not trust their own eyes, how could they trust their reading of the bible?] These people cannot possibly have read the entire bible. It says too many crazy things that they could not possibly actually believe, like the flat earth. Why do they hold the bible in such high esteem? Because they have been told over and over and over that it is the inerrant word of god. That fact becomes one of the features of the universe they never question. It is just something everybody knows. If they think about it, there no evidence of any kind god had anything to do with writing the bible, and dozens of reasons why that is highly unlikely. Granted, the Bible claims divine authorship, but so does every other holy book. It is a human forgery. The quality is no where near good enough.

Conclusion

Almost certainly no god or supernatural process was involved in writing the bible. The only way I can even conceive a god could be involved would be if a god like Puck wrote it as a prank and worked very hard to simulate the work of incompetent human writers. After all creationists already accept the notion that a puckish Jehovah counterfeited all the sediment beds in the world and laid all the fossils to carefully give the illusion the world is much much older than the bible claims. We are dealing here with Christians who have no attachment to common sense or reason. The prime directive is to believe the bible no matter where that leads. They are like mariners who believe ancient maps even when their depth sounders and their lying eyes differ. They are like quivering underlings in Stalin’s court, who pretend to agree with anything he says, no matter how preposterous. They believe if they are the first to stop clapping, they will be tortured to death. But gods are like the Great Oz. Humans make the smoke and bellowing to terrify. There is nothing behind it to back up the threats that cause people to behave like drooling idiots.

Is there a God?
Combatting Christianity
Nature of the Real God

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