Depending in which camp you reside, the Bible is the inspired word of God, or the allegorical stories of Bronze Age nomadic goat-herders. Whatever your position, I want you to really look at the following Bible passages objectively. Can you find inspiration here, or is it more likely reflections from the hearts of man..?
Christians still cling to the opinion that their Bible is infallible. They delight in telling us that the Bible is the inspired word of God, even though it’s well documented that the Bible contains more than 400 contradictions, not to mention that it reflects the Bronze-age morality of the time.
I recently found on Tumblr a more-or-less comprehensive list of things banned in the Leviticus book of the bible, entitled “76 Things Banned in Leviticus”. I’ve seen this sort of list before, as has another Tumblr user, nonplussedbyreligion, who breaks it down like this:
It constantly amazes me how little Christians know about their holy book. Whether it’s faithful ignorance, wilful ignorance, or they simply choose to put on a brave face in the midst of adversity, you will never hear a fundamentalist Christian say that the Bible is anything less than the word of God.
Any honest, thinking person reading through the bible cannot ignore the blatant misogyny and barbarity towards women, but most Christians are bible illiterates – they only hear the palatable verses from the pulpit and blindly accept that the bible emanates goodness.
The simple fact is, it doesn’t. Certainly, when you go to church, all you will hear is the message of love. And sure, those verses are in the Bible, but so are a litany of examples of intolerance – sexism, racism, homophobia and cruelty – that reflect the Hebrew society of that time.
Which begs the question, why take your moral code from only parts of the Bible? If you don’t agree that wives should submit to their husbands, women should be silent and dress modestly, or that the pain of childbirth is punishment for Eve’s original sin, (let alone, all of the sexual abuse) why hold the Bible in such high esteem. Surely, there are more modern works that better reflect your own moral code? Or perhaps, just perhaps, you already know what’s right and wrong, and don’t need a book to tell you that at all…
Put your pre-conceived notions aside for a moment, and read through the following list. Whether there is a god or not, is the Bible really a book you want to take literally?
2:22 Eve created from Adam’s rib.
3:16 Eve cursed with painful childbirth and domination by husband.
4:19 Man marries two wives.
12:13-19 Abraham prostitutes wife.
19:1-8 Rape virgin daughters instead of male angels.
19:26 Lot’s wife turned into pillar of salt for disobeying god.
19:30-38 Lot impregnates his two daughters while drunk.
20:2-12 Abraham prostitutes wife – again.
25:1-6 Keeping many concubines is OK.
20:17 Wife as property.
21:4 Wife and children belong to master.
21:7-11 OK to sell daughters. Female slaves can be used for sex. Polygamy permitted. Unwanted female slaves can be set “free” without payment of money.
22:18 Kill witches.
12:1-8 Childbirth unclean, Women need to make atonement after childbirth.
15:19-32 Menstruating women are unclean.
20:10-16 Death penalty for homosexuality and various sexual transgressions.
21:7 Priests must not marry prostitutes or divorcees.
21:9 Burn daughters.
21:13-14 Priest must marry virgin, not “used” woman.
1:2 Census lists only men – women do not count.
5:11-31 Fidelity test for women only.
30:1-16 Woman’s vow invalid unless approved by her father or husband.
31:17-18 Kill all except virgins. Keep virgins for yourselves.
12 Miriam punished for rebuking Moses.
20:14 Take women, livestock as plunder.
22:13-21 Stone non-virgin bride.
22:23-24 Stone rapist and rape victim.
22:28 Rape victim must marry rapist; rape victim’s father compensated for depreciation of his property.
25:11-12 Cut woman’s hand for touching foe’s penis.
24:1-5 Man can “send” wife from HIS house. Man must not marry “used” woman.
28:18 The FRUIT of your womb will be cursed – eclectic “pro-life” verse!
5:30 Women are spoils of war.
14:20 Samson gives wife to another man.
16:1 Samson visits prostitute.
CH 19 Concubine pack-raped and butchered.
21:10-12 Slaughtered all inc. women and children. Saved virgins for wives.
21:21 Abducted girls for wives.
15:2-3 Attack Amalekites, kill men, women, children and livestock.
22:19 Kill all inc. infants and livestock.
21:4-5 Men avoid defilement with women.
5:13 David took many wives and concubines.
CH 13 Ammon rapes his own sister.
16:21-22 Absalom sleeps with his father’s concubines.
6:20-23 Mischal punished with bareness.
11:3 Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
9:30-37 Brutal murder of Jezebel.
15:13 Put to death unbelievers.
11:21 Hoards of wives and concubines.
CH 1-2 Queen Vashti dethroned for disobedience; setting “bad” example to all other women.
51:5 Sinful since conception.
127:3 Sons are heritage from god.
137:9 Seizes infants and dashes them against rocks.
CH 5 Beware of wicked women!
CH 7 More of the above.
6:24 As above.
31:3 Do not waste strength on women.
3:16-26 Lord punishes haughty women.
4:4 Filthy women.
13:16 Ravish wives, dash infants.
19:16 Will be like women! (insult to Egyptians)
9:6-7 Slaughter all including children.
CH 16 Prostitutes, stoning, promiscuity…
CH 23 Tale of two adulterous sisters – reads like the script of a pornographic film. I bet you weren’t told this story at Sunday school!
13:16 Rip pregnant women, dash little ones. (Another “pro-life” verse!)
3:4… wanton lust of a harlot… prostitution… witchcraft.
3:5 I will lift your skirts over your face!
3:13… Your troops are all women. (insult to Nineveh)
5:32 Husband can divorce wife for adultery. Can wife divorce husband for the same?
CH 25 Sexist tale of ten virgins.
2:22 Mary must be purified after birth of Jesus.
2:49 Jesus rebukes his mother.
11:2-10… Woman created for man.
14:34 Women must be silent in churches.
5:22-24 Wives must submit to husbands in everything.
3:18 Wives submit to husbands.
3:22 Slaves must obey masters in everything.
2:11-15 Woman must not have authority – she must be silent. Women can be saved with childbearing.
5:9-10 Widows should be faithful to husband and must wash saints’ feet.
2:18 Slaves submit to masters, even masters who are harsh.
3:1 Wives submit.
3:5-6 Sarah calls husband master.
CH 17 Destroy great prostitute.
14:4…they did not DEFILE themselves with women but kept themselves pure.
I’ve found myself reading up on research into the origins of the bible, and I’ve made some pretty startling discoveries; discoveries that modern day churches either don’t want to tell their congregation, or they simply don’t know (or don’t want to know).
Genesis 1:26 is usually translated as ‘In the beginning God made heaven and earth’, but in fact any biblical scholar will admit, even if only when pressed on the subject, that the word ‘Elohim’ here translated as ‘God’ is plural. The passage properly reads:
‘In the beginning the gods made heaven and earth’.
It is not until later in Genesis that ‘Jehovah’ is used, meaning the singular ‘God’.
This is a rather puzzling anomaly that clergymen faithfully turn a blind eye to. However, it is well-known that the creation story is based on even earlier, pagan religions.
What is actually being referred to here are astronomical deities.
Much of the old testament is actually based on stories about astronomical deities: the Sun (God), Saturn (Satan), Venus (Lucifer) – that’s right, in the original bible, Satan and Lucifer are actually two different entities as well!
Today’s church preaches an extreme and radical monotheism. This is perhaps partly because of the dominance of science. In science-friendly Christianity, God has been reduced to an undifferentiated and undetectable immanence in the universe, and spirituality is nothing more than a vague and fuzzy feeling of “at-one-ness” with this immanence.
If you are a believer, don’t bury your head in the sand – you should know the origins of your faith.
Here is a good place to start: