http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

A hyperlinked King James Version of the Bible, annotated and cross-referenced line by line with contradictions and notes of false prophesies, cruelty and violence, homophobia, sexism, and bad science. As you might expect, they'll sometimes respond to a line out of context, but they do so with the excuse that certain fundamentalists often do the same thing to argue their own positions. A good site to bookmark on the computer at the Christian Youth Center.

The SAB has a severe problem. It presents an argument against Biblical literalism, but represents that as an argument against some or all of God, Jesus, Christianity or any other Abrahamic religion, or the Bible as a phenomenon. Let me reiterate: Not all Christians are fundamentalists. We know the Bible isn't perfect, or an oracle, or the verbatim word of God. Stop trying to tear it up. Those atheists who are forever citing the Bible are but half an inch from the fundamentalists they profess to loathe. I am sick and tired of hearing 'It says somewhere in the Bible, I forget where, that eating babies is OK'. Firstly, it rests with the claimant to prove this. Secondly, even if it did say so, I would not be obliged to do so, nor to reject my faith.

Shokwave: Lot is hardly a good guy. As for the other, I fail to see what this has to do with the idea of a loving God that Jesus preached. The rhetoric in Hosea is the rhetoric of ancient war. If I really thought that God had said that, I'd go and kill myself right now. Believing in, rather than studying, the Bible, leads to trouble.

Lagrange: You nicely highlight the challenge of modern theology. Yes, there is a dichotomy between the Old and New Testaments. It's not complete: the God of the Old Testament has some of the qualities of that of the New, plus some positive ones, like a feminine side, that that NT doesn't provide. (See God is a She.) But to a student of ancient religions, it's clear that in both testaments, the views of other peoples on religion are intermingled with what we now consider the key theological ideas. God is historically something akin to the Babylonian El, but in places, the rhetoric is more that of Baal. And the devil has got his own PR - see Paradise Lost, not to mention a variety of early texts. Besides which, Satan's role appears different in different places: see Job.

I haven't seen the SAB, but I can say that actually reading the Bible can be a surprising and unsettling experience. A few years ago, I set out to just read the thing, from beginning to end, along with a good companion (Asimov's Guide to the Bible).

I was shocked in Genesis 19 when Lot offered up his virgin daughters to a crowd to "do to them whatever you like" if only they would leave his guests alone. This sort of thing isn't supposed to be in the Bible.

Towards the end of Hosea, I was flabbergasted see to God's prophet say:

Samaria Will be held guilty,
For she has rebelled against her God.
The will fall by the sword,
Their little ones will be dashed in pieces,
And their pregnant women will be ripped open.

God? On the side that rips open pregnant women? Abortion and murder?

Then, there's the famous passage (which I had never heard before reading the Bible for myself) in 2 Kings where Elisha, that holy prophet, curses a group of kids who have been making fun of his bald head. God sends in some bears who "tear up" forty-two (yes, forty-two) of them (2 Kings 2:23).

It certainly wasn't the Bible I had heard read in church. All I could say after reading the Old Testament for myself was, whew!

I'm well aware that the unnecessary amount of Biblical literalism doesn't imply that the basic tenets of Christianity are false. What bothers me is that that one book is all Christians have to go on... well, that and two thousand years of tedious theological debate going over the same points (which I'm fairly sure we're guilty of right now, but never mind).

Take the whole Armageddon thing, for instance. Apparently there's going to be this huge war between demons and angels and then the angels will win. Why will they? What source states that God will come out on top in the eternal struggle... oh, wait... it's God's own book. It's propaganda, that's all. The only reason that God is good and Satan is bad is that God has better P.R. The Devil never wrote his own book.

The whole dichotomy between the Old Testament and the New Testament - the being who states "I am a jealous God" suddenly starts preaching Peace and Love Thy Neighbour - does bother me somewhat. I think that that's part of the point: everyone expected the prophesied Messiah to come as a great warrior, flaming swords and everything, to destroy the Jews' enemies, but he turned out to be a guy who talked and healed people. I don't let it bother me too much, though. It's only one of many things in the Bible that bother me.

Growing up in a highly religious household and attending religious schools (I have long since started to think for myself) I was intrigued by the existance of this site. What I thought I would find would be an intellectual response to simple apologetics. What I found was a lot of simple attack on Biblical literalism and simple ignorance of the contents of the Bible.

I am in no way a holy roller or a Bible thumper but this was just a terrible attempt to dispute the biblical record. Granted the site took a lot of effort to build but the majority of content is as much fluff as most Sunday hat wearing tract pushing Jesus freak will feed you.

The outright shock and horror that the Bible contains violence, sex, and intolerance shows a lack of understanding of the Bible. The misconception that God is sunshine and lollypops was brought about by the reactions of people to the fire and brimstone preachers of yesteryear and the need to maintain attendance at church(you draw more flies with shit than vinegar). According to the 'facts' as mentioned in the Bible: He is a holy and just God. Piss Him off and you will get pissed on. He doesn't report to a higher power, HE is the higher power. His Word is law even higher than the laws of thermodynamics.

This site will give me a lot of amusement to show to some old aquaintences but as for a real resource it has a LOT of work to go. If you hit a real theologian or bible scholar you'd better have a bit more than this site.

While many may disparage the SAB for its attacks on Biblical literalism, some things cannot be disputed about it, that clearly show the human nature of the book. Some things throw the whole idea of a unified work into disorder. A classic example from the SAB is the comparison of 1 Kings 4:26 and 2 Chronicles 9:25

"And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots." - 1 Kings 4:26

"And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots." - 2 Chronicles 9:25

Based on their similarity, it would seem reasonable to assume that both 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles share at least one common source. The obvious typo, however, between four thousand and forty thousand, seems very much like a human error.

Other human errors between 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles:

  • 1 King 5:16 and 2 Chronicles 2:18 (number of overseers)
  • 1 King 7:15 and 2 Chron 3:15 (height of pillars)
  • 1 King 7:25 and 2 Chron 4:5 (number of baths)
  • 1 King 9:23 and 2 Chron 8:10 (number of officers)
  • 1 King 9:27-8 and 2 Chron 8:18 (amount of gold from Hiram)
  • 1 King 15:2 and 2 Chron 13:1-2 (maternal grandfather of Abijam)
  • 1 King 16:6-8 and 2 Chron 16:1 (when Baasha died)

Between just these two books, there are these several glaring contradictions that deal with numbers alone. While both these books seem to be based on a similar story, the number of mathematical errors show the all too human source of these tales. It is as though the story was passed down for a number of generations, then recorded by two separate people. The SAB makes finding differences like this relatively simple, despite its seeming flaws.

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