The Fallacy of the Gradual Bible

In the beginning was The Word…  or not.

It would be logical, in a world that depended upon God’s Word to exist in order to follow it, to give mankind the holy scriptures as soon as possible.  A God capable of creating the universe is, I’m sure, equally capable of giving homo sapiens a fully furnished bible as soon as necessary. It would be logical, I assert, for 3 good reasons: in order for people living through the times of Genesis to be able to live a holy life, and for no argument about what makes up the canon, and of course so that the bible’s origin would be unquestionable.

For some reason, man was without even the first book of the bible for over 5,000 years*. When we see stories such as Cain and Abel, we can say without disagreement that Cain murdering Abel was evil… but how was Cain to know this? The commandment not to murder didn’t come about until the book of Exodus, quite a bit of time after Cain had passed on to his reward. Some might argue that any culture knows that murder is wrong, but if that’s the case why even include it in the bible if it’s obvious?** Less obvious is what caused God’s wrath to spill out on the planet when he flooded it, saving Noah and his family. We still don’t know what consisted of the “wickedness of man” in Genesis 6:5, nor can we even rationalize killing innocents who hadn’t been told what wickedness was. What made Noah so upright? Upright, good, and holy hadn’t been defined yet, either. Are these people in hell? Did they even stand a chance?

We also have teachings of prophets such as Enoch, a “perfect” man who “walked with God”, and yet even his scripture didn’t make the cut. Was it meant for the bible or not? How about the lost (until recently) gospels of Thomas and Judas Iscariot? The bible never tells us when it was intended to be finished, never including a phrase such as “The End”, as modern books are kind enough to provide. That is why we have Muslims claiming the Qur’an is an addition to the bible, and Mormons claiming the book of Mormon as divine script. Who’s to say with certainty that there are no more prophets? Who’s to say that just because the bible went to the printing press that it was completed? A bible given to man up front would’ve answered this question to anyone’s satisfaction.

Finally, we have archaeologists and historians who have studied the actual intact scriptures such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, and believe that much of it was added and edited later by people other than the original writers. This makes the whole origin of the bible rather shady, not so much God-inspired and man-created. “Amendments” to the Old Testament also show a lack of authenticity. Consider, for example, that we no longer put witches to death. No matter what reason you find in the New Testament for God changing his mind on this law, one must wonder why He wanted it done in the first place if He later considered it wrong. Let’s assume an African tribe got its hands on the Old Testament – and only that part of the bible. They might put to death their witch doctor, as well as killing all those who worked on the Sabbath or commit adultery – and they’d be doing it in the name of God! How would they know different? Why should they have to have a complete bible to know what God truly wanted? If that’s the case, perhaps man should’ve been given a complete bible instead of each chapter, one by one, piecemeal.

It’s obvious that I don’t believe the bible holds any truth. I do believe in Occam’s Razor, that the simplest explanation is best. It would seem that God left man to write the bible because there is no God and it was totally and utterly up to man to create from his imagination. Or maybe the bible still isn’t finished, and we’re waiting for a later prophet to explain why it was done so thoughtlessly.

-Supernova

*Of course, you may not believe in the literal truth of Genesis, and believe in evolution instead. This makes the whole point even further absurd, as we’re led to wonder why God waited 75,000 years rather than 5,000 to give man the first book of the bible. Also, why did He wait for homo sapiens? Did homo erectus go to heaven, hell, or oblivion? What is so special about our kind, besides our invention of the written language? If the bible was made by man, and man alone, of course it would all hinge on written language and nothing else.

**The bible does include an implied lesson, in that Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and shortly thereafter put on clothes to cover their shame. Are we to believe that nudity is naturally against divine will, known to us from birth? Why does National Geographic continue to find tribes that don’t believe in covering breasts as essential? Why do we have to teach our kids to keep their clothes on and keep their nudity private? I have a daughter, and like most kids she appears to have no shame or modesty about her naked body… it’s something she must be taught by those of us with “morals”. Even the apostle Paul admits he didn’t know coveting was a sin until he read about it. Wickedness, at least wickedness as defined by God, actually had to be spelled out in writing.

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About starcrashx

I love statistics. They drive my poker playing, my reasoning, and my research. As Penn Gillete said "Luck is probability taken personally". There's no such thing as luck... but I wish you positive chance. View all posts by starcrashx

6 responses to “The Fallacy of the Gradual Bible

  • Inga

    Nova, I always have known you are a good writer, but I’m not reading this one. Ask any Catholic and they’ll tell you, the bible is a collection of books: old testament is histories and new testament is histories and parables. They’ll also tell you it was written by men.

    I don’t know why you have it in for Christianity. It’s also not my business. I’m not going to try to push my own religious beliefs on you. But you don’t have to be sarcastic and derisive to make your point. If it’s all religion you have something against, that’s fine too. But you’ve had Christianity in your sights for a couple years now. Maybe move on to ripping apart and maligning another one.

    • starcrashx

      Inga, my readers are Christian. Of course I could rip on Muslims for writing a scripture just because they felt “left out” of the bible, but which of my readers will actually disagree with anything I have to say on the subject? Who among my readers doesn’t find Hindu polytheism silly? Do you think I’ll have something important to add to what you already think about worship of dead ancestors? I’m opening the floor to debate, and that only works if someone has an opposing argument.

      This isn’t the first time somebody, unable to argue the actual points I’m making, has tried to argue that I shouldn’t be making any point at all. I’ll make it clear – again – that preachers do exactly that: preach. They do it on a weekly basis. Whoever said preachers shouldn’t be allowed to make a point? I can and do preach, and so can you. If you have anything intelligent to say, write a blog, or at least make a good argument on someone else’s.

      You didn’t read my blog, so obviously you failed to note that I didn’t say the bible isn’t about history of parables. The important thing is what it says about morals, and that has a logical need to be rushed into print. Maybe if you’d read it, you’d come up with a good retort. Maybe your faith isn’t strong enough to withstand reading something that debunks it?

  • Micah

    THE FALLACY OF BLOGS

    I read your blogs [edited]

    “In the beginning was The Word”: John 1 is proof the Jesus (The Word) was there at creation and that he is

    both God and man. It would be a “fallacy” to take that out of context [edited].
    Your “logical” assertions: First, it is irrelevent whether we have the Bible or not to live a holy life. Job was

    righteous man without the benefit of any scriptures. And there are many people now who are evil with the

    entire Bible at their disposal. Second, you have no idea how the scholars agreed upon what should be

    included in the canon or not so I suggest you refrain from using it in argument [edited]l.

    Lastly, the Bible’s origin is proved by its prophecy (2Peter 1:21). Just because God hands Adam a book

    doesn’t mean many generations down the road are going to believe in its origin without prophecy to back it

    up. It would be really strange for God to give us this Bible from the beginning considering it has a lot of

    stories about people who were not even born yet.
    [edited] God takes his Word seriously. [edited]

  • Supernova

    It seems silly that you have to keep insulting me to make your point. People can and do believe different things, and even if you think it’s foolish, you don’t have to call your opponents fools. I don’t.

    God only takes his word seriously if he exists. You do take it seriously, as seriously as Muslims take the Q’uran and Mormons take the book of Mormon. You’re not compelled to believe their point of view just because they do, even if they claim their God holds the same point of view.

    A final point – this bible is supposed to be the work of omniscience. It could and should include stories of things that haven’t happened yet. After all, wouldn’t it be greater evidence of God’s omniscience? Yet there isn’t a single sentence in it that couldn’t have been written by man at the time of its composition. You believe prophesy is fulfilled, but it is purposely vague and written in code (particularly the symbolism of The Revelation) much like Nostradamus’ work, which I assume you don’t have any faith in. It’s utterly fascinating how average a book can be and still be thought the product of omniscience.

    I welcome your further replies to my blog – I enjoy a good debate. But keep the insults to yourself, said out loud to yourself if you simply must say them. Putting down an opponent is mud-slinging, and I’m sure you don’t normally support that in other people’s discourse.

  • Micah

    [edited]

    — Micah

    I haven’t called you a fool, but the Bible makes it clear what the definition is:
    (Psa 14:1)

  • starcrashx

    I think you’re taking my comments only at their most literal.

    “You love to take a victim’s role” “you are being hypocritical” “You’re always implying” “you’ll deny anything about it” [these have been edited out]

    These are examples of personal attack (what I categorized as “mud-slinging”). All I ask is that you argue your point of view without the need to make it personal. You wrote a single paragraph and I found 4 examples of it. I have no problem with you disagreeing with my point of view, or even with your personally insulting thoughts of me. I’d just rather that you stick to the argument at hand, and not take up argument against how I present them. It doesn’t change what the facts are.

    I do need proof of prophecy. I know that the New Testament seems to fulfill Old Testament prophecy, but isn’t it within the power of any man to write about Christ’s life in order to make it appear that he fulfilled all of it? And now we know, from textual evidence, that this is exactly what happened. I’m sure you’ve heard of the word “almah” found in Isaiah to have been translated into greek as “virgin” while it literally means “young woman” without implication of virginity. But even if the gospels didn’t contradict any of the Old Testament in any way, it still wouldn’t prove that Jesus’ life wasn’t simply written in a way that fulfilled what was already previously written and available to the disciples. We could look at other writings about Jesus’ life to back up what the disciples said, but we don’t have other writings. There are only 2 sources of ancient text that mention Jesus of Nazareth at all, both written by guys named Joseph, and neither of them give any details about his life.

    When you look at the prophesies found outside of Jesus’ life, we’re talking about symbolism. Things like Daniel’s dream, the visions of Jeremiah, and The Revelation are all written in symbols. They are as vague as Horoscopes and Tarot readings, and easily misread.

    Finally, we have prophesy that is not written in symbols. What about Mark 13:2, which talks about “not one stone shall be left upon another” when looking at Herod’s Temple, which factually was torn apart in such a way? Dating of this scripture actually finds that it was added after the fact. This destruction occurred in 70 AD, and the canon was not put together until roughly 200 AD. Also, we have Jesus’ talk about “wars and rumors of wars” as well as a greater occurrence of natural disasters, with no measure of how much greater or over how much time… this is the kind of vague measure we expect from omniscience? Can you really point to this and say that it is accurate in any sort of decisive way? Why isn’t the bible more specific?

    Sam Harris put this best:

    “But just imagine how breathtakingly specific a work of prophecy could be if it were actually the product of omniscience. If the Bible were such a book, it would make specific, falsifiable predictions about human events. You would expect it to contain a passage like, “In the latter half of the twentieth century, humankind will develop a globally linked system of computers-the principles of which I set forth in Leviticus-and this system shall be called the Internet.” The Bible contains nothing remotely like this”

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