A Truthful Bible Would Be Better

It appears the Jews did not wipe out the Canaanites are reported in the Bible. They have been living on quite successfully, thank you, for at least 4,000 years. But it has been in Lebanon, not Canaan.

Digging up the past and having its story told is causing trouble for the Jewish and Christian religions. Those who made up Bible stories did not know DNA and the ability to date discovered objects were in the future. What is being found in DNA and archaeological digs turns out to be quite different than the “history” told in the Bible.

Christianity and Judaism would be much better off if they had burned in ancient times all written works that dealt with history. That is because most of it has turned out not to be true. Those running things could have only allowed the “quotes from Jesus” to be preserved because there is no DNA or archaeological to disprove it.

The problem for believers is that once we have learned the historical claims are false, thinking people will start doubting the quotes from Jesus as well. We have, for example, the claim Jesus made a deal or covenant with followers, you believe in me and I will forgive your sins. If the history is not true why believe any statements attributed to Jesus are true?

Some make the case that the New Testament is more reliable historically. New Testament Matthew 27:52-54 says long dead saints walked out of their graves and were seen by many.

That’s history for comedians.

33 Responses

  1. Matt Noah

    Is this the Bible you don’t believe is God’s word or the one that is God’s word? King James or New American? Perhaps you should publish the Book of Jon, the book with all revealed truth. I’m sure it will be free from error. You can promise people anything you want if they believe you.

    1. Matt 10:05 Is this the Bible you don’t believe is God’s word or the one that is God’s word? King James or New American?

      I’d heard all my life the Bible is God’s word. I had never heard there are versions that are not. Please tell us which one or one’s is God’s word and which not and why you know this to be the case.

        1. entech

          Given your constant and consistent attempts to belittle Jon because he does not believe your Bible is true in any way let all error free I thought, when I read it and the following words, that your question was purely rhetorical. Now that you are stuck for an answer you revert to the sort of prevarication of which you always accuse Jon.

        2. Matt 11:36 Is this the Bible you don’t believe is God’s word or the one that is God’s word? King James or New American?
          Answer my question first.

          I did answer what I thought was your question. I’m simply not smart enough to play a “Guess what I’m thinking?” game. I assume from your question you think King James 1611 is “God’s word” New American is not. Anyone can have an opinion on which version or version of the Bible they like and give that version the title, “God’s word.”

          I recall reading a few years back that the scholars who worked on James 1611 kept a lot of notes on their efforts and even their disagreements as to what various passages and words in other languages meant. The notes reveal that sometimes they even concluded they did not know what some words they came across meant so they just guessed. For some reason God has never been clear about things.

      1. entech

        You have to consider it to be the “King James” version, it has the most beautiful language and poetry of them all, poetry conveys things that are not present in mere words. Not only that the archaic language lends a credibility that is lacking if you wrote it in in abbreviations as in texting. Even when it was written the language was out of date but was retained for these same reasons. The English language owes so much to Tyndale, Shakespeare and the KJV.

        As an aside and off topic your current President seems to be doing his best to destroy the English Language (amongst other things)

      2. Jon,

        You state “I’d heard all my life the Bible is God’s word. I had never heard there are versions that are not.”

        So your whole life you have been told who gods of religion are !!!

        Have you read the words of GOD and tried to understand HIM for yourself without these religions ??

        I suggest starting with Deuteronomy 30.11-14.

        kev

        1. kev 9:36 Have you read the words of GOD and tried to understand HIM for yourself without these religions ?? I suggest starting with Deuteronomy 30.11-14.

          As the video by Christopher Hitchens explains, much of the faith is about a cult of death. We know Deuteronomy was written by the wealthy 1% of that time for their own purposes. They created the impression only the wealthy 1% heard from God. I am skeptical about that passage.

        2. entech

          Kev, as this thread spends some time talking about which versions of the Bible are true and correct I must ask you for some elucidation, which is the true and correct version?
          The gist seems to be that you know the commands of God and just have to obey them, how do you know them?

    2. entech

      revealed truth ???
      It may just be part of my ignosticism but I never did quite understand the meaning of “revealed” in the theological sense. We really need to define our terms before we can get anywhere; with the help of Meriam-Webster:

      Definition of reveal transitive verb
      1 : to make known through divine inspiration
      2 : to make (something secret or hidden) publicly or generally known reveal a secret
      3 : to open up to view : display the uncurtained window revealed a cluttered room

      For this discussion I will take 1. To be the definition to use; this requires two further definitions:

      Definition of divine
      1 religion
      a : of, relating to, or proceeding directly from God (see 1god 1) or a god (see 1god 2) divine inspiration divine love praying for divine intervention
      b : being a deity the divine Savior a divine ruler
      c : directed to a deity divine worship

      2
      a : supremely good : superb The meal was just divine.
      b : heavenly, godlike

      Definition of inspiration
      1
      a : a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation
      b : the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions
      c : the act of influencing or suggesting opinions

      Again taking 1. From the definition of divine and 1. a. for the definition of inspiration.

      As for truth in the modern world, “post truth” seems to be the in thing where appeal to emotion is more important than appeal to fact, where lies are alternative facts” and so on.

      With this in mind revealed truth and the question it implies; who is revealing what to whom, who is doing the revealing – God (or a god) and to whom, usually a member of the hierarchy of some organised religion. Post truth is seen to be relevant here when thinking of who is receiving the revelation and their interpretation of it. It is so often the case that the idea of saving souls is more important than absolute truth and the protection of the institution is more important than anything.

      We would next need to define what we mean by God (a god) as the source.
      You make light of it all by suggesting “The Book of Jon”, Jon the Godless, as the purveyor of all divine revelation, and free from error. This, of course, is correct the revelation being made to Jon by an entity which may or may not exist is just as possibly factually correct as any other revealed “Book of …”.

      Your last sentence explains it all, from the dawn of religion to the modern day:
      You can promise people anything you want if they believe you.

    3. Mike

      I think a little clarification might be necessary for me as well, Matt. I have heard of the original King James, the new KIng James, the NIV, and many others, but I don’t think I have heard of the New American version of the Bible.

      I was originally going to send out this post as a way to compliment you on your tact with Jon, but it was based on your excellents comments on a post you contributed to back in December 2015, that I had been reading today. It’s one of the posts that Jon still has listed on this web site. You correctly pointed out an obvious contradiction with atheists and one of their primary recurring themes: Why do atheists, like Jon et al, keep referring to the Bible?

      I was under the impression that atheists think the Bible is a fairy tale and has no value. Then, why bother? Just to bring down and annoy other Christians believers? If so, why? If there is no God, why spend so much time attempting to put down other people’s beliefs? It seems to me that this shows an outright acceptance that there IS a God, but as you mentioned in other posts, Matt, Jon is acting as unruly child, who doesn’t understand why God doesn’t act the way they think he should act, so he has chosen to say there is no God.

      Those comments might be a generalization, as Jon is so fond of saying to those who disagree with him, but I think some of your comments here in and other posts has capsilized one thing correctly: if you don’t have a common frame of reference, such as the belief that the Bible actually means something, then our comments on this blog are pointless. We are just talked over each other and it has no value, other than just for some form of entertainment value. We are “in a different world” and not much can be accomplished with these discussions.

      There’s always hope, of course, for people like Jon, Entech, Jinx, et al. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S.Lewis are world famous authors, who were atheists in their early years and came to the Christian faith. Even Martin Luther, the leader of the Reformation movement, did not have the correct understanding of God at one point in his life: this despite being trained as a priest and theologian. He used to whip himself daily because he thought God was a cruel, domineering, unforgiving creature, whose only interest in us is to demand we make retribution for all our sins. Then he read a passage in Romans and came to the realization that he was missing the big picture. The ‘scales came off” and he saw who God is, his true nature.

      He is a loving, forgiving God, not simply an authoritarian who wants to make our life miserable
      by pointing out all our faults and reminding us constantly that we can’t measure up to His level of perfection. He sent his Son, Jesus, to accomplish what we never could. Justification is a word used in Christian theology to express this belief. By placing our faith in Christ, through His suffering, death, and resurrection, we are all redeemed of our sins. We are viewed as holy in God’s eyes, “just as if” = justification, we never sinned at all.

      1. Matt Noah

        The New American Bible is a revision of the Catholic Bible. An older revision is the Douay Rheims.

        1. entech

          The Douay–Rheims Bible is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the Catholic seminary English College, Douai, France. It is the foundation on which nearly all English Catholic versions are still based.

          It was translated principally by Gregory Martin, an Oxford-trained scholar, working in the circle of English Catholic exiles on the Continent, under the sponsorship of William (later Cardinal) Allen. The New Testament appeared at Rheims in 1582; the Old Testament at Douai in 1609.

          Here we have a fine example of the ever true and infallible doctrines of the Church of Rome. It must come as a surprise to Matt that:
          … William Tyndale in 1536 C.E.: William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English. According to Tyndale, the Church forbid owning or reading the Bible to control and restrict the teachings and to enhance their own power and importance.
          Such a change in less than 50 years, it really makes one wonder if they could be wrong about this what else could they be/are wrong about ???
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-starr/why-christians-were-denied-access-to-their-bible-for-1000-years_b_3303545.html

          1. Jinx II

            The list of English Language Bibles in the last 500 years. Note several Catholic versions. Hard core traditional catholics like to refer to the Dhouay-Rheims as the true and only catholic bible…..first approved in 1582.

            The following are English versions of the Bible that correspond to this description:
            Abbreviation Name Date
            DRB Douay-Rheims Bible 1582, 1609, 16101
            DRC Douay-Rheims Bible Challoner Revision 1749-1752
            WVSS Westminster Version of the Sacred Scripture[7] 1913–19352
            SPC Spencer New Testament[8] 1941
            CCD Confraternity Bible 19413
            Knox Knox Bible 1950
            KLNT Kleist–Lilly New Testament 19564
            RSV–CE Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 1965–66
            JB Jerusalem Bible 1966
            NAB New American Bible 1970
            TLB–CE The Living Bible – Catholic Edition 1971
            NJB New Jerusalem Bible 1985
            CCB Christian Community Bible 1988
            NRSV–CE New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 1989
            GNT–CE Good News Bible Catholic Edition5 2001
            RSV–2CE Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition 2006
            CTS–NCB CTS New Catholic Bible 20076
            NABRE New American Bible Revised Edition 2011/1986 (OT/NT)
            NLT-CE New Living Translation Catholic Edition[9] 2017

    4. Grandma

      Jon: ,,,,,,If the history is not true why believe any statements attributed to Jesus are true?

      Matt, that was the point of the essay. The collection of manuscripts called the “Bible” has many errors. If you are going to respond, please do so to the blog instead of attacking.

  2. Jinx II

    Always Interesting to read these new discoveries, we may have more false gods, saints, angels and devils than we ever dreamed of!!

  3. Luke N

    What drives you to oppose God? If no God exists as you say, what would motivate you to invest so much time and effort proving this to others? Why not just indulge yourself in everything your flesh desires and let everyone else trudge through life in willful ignorance? With no belief in life existing beyond the physical or a creative intelligence responsible for the physical I would think you would focus on maximizing every remaining day gratifying yourself. What if any possible motive is there to do otherwise? Righteousness?

    1. Luke 11:45 Welcome to the discussion. You asked too many questions for one post so I’ll just offer up an answer to one.

      If no God exists as you say, what would motivate you to invest so much time and effort proving this to others?

      I have on my shelves rows of books that search for evidence there is a god. No evidence has been found except one. That one is people’s testimony that they experience a god. Such people experience different gods, various versions of a Christian god, Hindu gods, pagan gods and others.

      Thus, there does not seem to be a god other than the ones people carry about in their minds. Now, someday evidence might come along. But at this time I cannot conclude gods exist outside the mind. So I continue to live my “life in willful ignorance” as you say.

  4. entech

    It would be interesting to see a comparison of the Israelis ,, if one could find a sufficient number that could trace their ancestry back that far and the Lebanese Canaanites. It is a fairly wide thought that the Israelite conquest was not so much a conquest but a change in the dominate social hierarchy due to wide spread social disruption. The heroic stories being written to give legitimacy to their position as the new rulers.

    1. entech

      That just about covers it in five minutes, a spontaneous reply from someone that knew his subject. His way with words puts most of us to shame.

      There is only one thing I would disagree with, the verse from the Exclusive sect of the Plymouth Brethren starts wit we are the “Elect” and chosen few, not the “Pure”and chosen few. Purity has nothing to do with it if “God” has chosen you then you are one of those elected to heaven while the rest go to hell. One must of course question why so many were created when so many of those so created were created to be condemned.

    2. Matthew 6:28 I’ll make my short and refer to Mr. Hitchens who always seemed to be able to put the answers to these kind of questions so perfectly. Why spend the time debating the existence:

      Thank you for the link. I don’t remember having seen that before. It’s the answer to that question I receive here all the time. I hope our new poster, Luke, watches it. I don’t see how it can be denied that most religions look forward to death so much they become a cult of death. Over 30 times here I have been told I will suffer in death and the writer will triumph. As Hitchens said, to prefer death over life is a harmful mindset. So, this blog continues.

    3. Jinx II

      Big Thanks for the video clip, I have long thought the same thing but in any ore words! I am going to send it on to a few people who will appreciate it!

  5. entech

    Couple of interesting posts Mike and Luke.

    A common frame of reference, in this sense the truth or falsity of the Bible as an item of belief by Jon (me and others) and an alternative belief by you (and others) is not actually important to the discussion. What is important is that this is the sole basis for any discussion about the nature of God (existence or not is a separate but related discussion).

    Everything you tell us about the attributes of God is based on this collection of books, we are not “in a different world” we are in the same world and the Bible is the source of every aspect of discussion. So Jon may question the concept of a benevolent God by talking about the Flood, the innocents killed and so on as, perhaps, a little contradictory.
    An intriguing little aside; I recently read an apologist saying that killing everyone except a few was an example of God’s benevolence ??? Apparently you can read Genesis and the reasoning given and come to the conclusion that God was doing this out of kindness because evil was becoming so rife that he had to stop them before they condemned themselves further. As I like to say, explaining away everything eventually leads to so much contradiction that nothing is explained.
    The question of evil and omnipotence is another:
    Epicurus’s old questions are yet unanswered. Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?

    You mention Jon “who doesn’t understand why God doesn’t act the way they think he should act, so he has chosen to say there is no God.” Not really the case but rather it is you that needs to justify God appearing to act in an unreasonable way. Rather than telling Jon that he is wrong to expect your God to act in a certain way, trying to impose his ideas on your God, but you should explain, patiently as to an unruly child, why God acts this way. If all questions were answered belief might follow but if questioning promotes abuse then non-belief is enhanced.

    As you say not much can be achieved, that is true while you insist on belief in God and the Bible as his word for the beginning point. You begin to sound like Sye Ten Bruggengate

    Fascinating the way people like Tolkien and Lewis et.al. are tossed into the mix, used as examp[les of how people can and do change their views, if we counter with someone like Bart Erhman we get monumental diatribes about how and why he is wrong. Conversion in either direction is just as valid for the convertees (the same would apply if it were to or from Islam, a lot of videos on YouTube).

    What drives you to oppose God? The simple fact that he probably does not exist and therefore there is nothing to oppose (this could be wrong but there is no proof for or against).
    This question of why you are not some kind of evil person indulging every whim regardless of others is sometimes raised and is actually counterproductive. Most atheists try to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing; the implication of the accusation is that the Christian is only restrained by his fear of god.

    1. entech 8:36 Apparently you can read Genesis and the reasoning given and come to the conclusion that God was doing this out of kindness because evil was becoming so rife that he had to stop them before they condemned themselves further.

      The Bible seems like a book of fiction, its ideas put forth to serve the interests of those who wrote it. That the Old Testament character, God, was a kind being is absurd. Yet millions believe it was a kind being. Amazing.

  6. Patricia Twist

    All of the above comments just get farther and farther from the question. The Bible in the Hebrew and Greek is the only reliable source, so learn Hebrew and Greek and read it, not all the ‘versions.’ The question was, do the Cannanites live in Lebanon or were they wiped out by the Jews. I would like the evidence on that!

    1. entech

      About 600 BCE when Nebuchadnezzar deported many Judeans to Babylon, and at the same time many fled to the west and settled in Egypt, two “versions” of the Hebrew Bible came into being the original Hebrew continuing and developing in Babylon and the Septuagint translation into Greek in Egypt.
      This is a time when some historical validity exists, a time when precise dates were given; as in a second deportation took place in 586 B.C.E., when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed as we go back further in time historical accuracy and validity start to fade until before about 1000 BCE there is very little that is verifiable. The story of the conquest of Canaan is more a glorification for the Judeans that remained and the exiles that returned than a history. So:
      The question was, do the Cannanites live in Lebanon or were they wiped out by the Jews. I would like the evidence on that! the answer to that question is that there is no real evidence either way.

    2. Patricia 10:24 Entech provided a good answer to your question. In true theatrical fashion,(or more likely the style of ancient story telling) the destruction of every Canaanite story was set by the exodus story. There is no evidence anywhere of the exodus or living in the desert for 40 years. One city mentioned in the journey was did not exist, according to dates of excavated materials, until long after the supposed time of the exodus. The exodus story was written much later as a rallying story for the Jews. The best evidence suggests the most of the Jews were in Canaan that entire period. Some appeared to travel in and out of Egypt. The exodus is a political story to rally and unite the Jews, something like the phrase we use today, “American values.” The lack of evidence of the exodus does not prove it never happened, just puts it in doubt. Since the exodus story is in doubt, so is the destruction of the Canaanites.

  7. Mike

    That was an interesting download you posted of the Christopher Hitchens You Tube video. His answer to the “big question”….was that he is upset that so many religions seem to enjoy talking about death, and especially since 9/11, he has felt it was his mission to talk about it. To that one point, I agree.

    However, I didn’t hear Hitchens provide any specific solution to these appaling acts of violence that take place in the name of religion… when you get right down to it, he basically side-stepped the guy’s question. Or maybe I just missed it. Was he talking about belief in Humanism as an alternative to belief in God or organized religion? Was he saying that people need to stop obsessing over death and choose life? Be positive, not negative. Forget God, choose Humanism. Is that right?

    If so, then the obvious reply from a Christian point of view would be to say: you have replaced one God with another – yourself. As an aside, I have always enjoyed the Star Trek shows, not for the the philosophy of Humanism, espoused by Gene Rodenberry, but for the science fiction part of the shows.

    Humanism can be debunked for a whole host of reasons, not just from the theological point of view. Their primary philosophy as I understand it seems to be that all people, once properly educated, will learn to do what’s right. So, to take that to its logical conclusion, people will eventually one day learn to stop hating and start doing what’s right. We will all put away our guns, knives, rifles, nuclear bombs, etc, and enjoy peace on earth. The flip side is that we need to forget about God, because belief in him has created all this strife in the world. We should follow the humanistic philosophy. Then like the Star Trek shows, we will have utopia on earth. Did I characterize that properly?

    My initial, knee jerk first reaction would be: When is this supposed to start happening? I see no evidence that people are going to start putting away their nukes and start living in peace with each other. No, I can just as easily make a case FOR GOD. It is by God’s divine hand that our world doesn’t destroy itself, given all the chaos that occurs in this world. What is confusing to many non-believers is that God allows certain things to occur. That is the difference between his active and passive will.

    But, if we at least give Humanism a chance, what is the next thing to consider? Doing what is right. What IS right? What they see around them, I suppose, is the answer: learned behavior. Of course, these rules of doing right had to come from somewhere. Ahhh, yes. That gets at the crux of things, doesn’t it? How did mankind on this earth learn to differentiate between right and wrong?

    For most people, the answer is obvious: we humans have what’s called a conscience. History tells us that many so-called “heathen” societies, who lived long before the Ten Commandments were written down, felt compelled to perform sacrifices to appease their gods. Why? The answer is, again, obvious. They knew the difference between right and wrong because their conscience told them so, and they knew that they would be held accountable one day by God for their sins.

    Of course, sin is not something acknowledged by people who don’t believe in God. So, that leads us to a third point. The humanistic belief seems to say we are all “good people”….forget that “silly” talk about sin, it doesn’t exist, etc….which it logically follows, means there are no bad people, but only those misguided at certain times. They are able to do good once they are educated, in other words.

    That belief is shot down quickly if we open our eyes and honestly observe life and our society as a whole. We need laws, and the corresponding punishment, to deter the natural tendencies of people to do BAD things and thus have an orderly society to live in. The conscience plays a part in how people function in this society and why we come to have the laws we do today. If people were naturally good, no laws would be necessary.

    Naysayers would once again repeat that all this “bad behavior” is a learned response. I would reply with another “real life” example that most everyone can relate to and should illustrate why many of us Christians state we humans are born sinful, which means we need a Savior. Have you ever tried putting one toy on the floor in the middle to two small children? What do you think happens? A fight, of course. If people were born “good”, they would share the toy and play together.

    So, in the final analysis, the Christopher Hitchens video illustrated that atheists really have no answers when confronted with the question: why do you bother? Or in the case of Jon’s original topic specifically, why bother talking about the Bible? For our Mr. Hitchens, he states there are a lot of mis-guided individuals that discuss and use death and violence in this world. To that point, I agree. However, in Mr. Hitchens case, he blames God for all this, but after that, what does he offer? Sadly, not much.

    As a Christian, I acknowledge that many violent acts are done “in the name of religion”, but that is due to the fact that mankind is sinful and in need of a Savior. I would direct these and all other individuals who are seeking the answers to what is true to that little book we called the Bible.

    1. Mike 10:10 For our Mr. Hitchens, he states there are a lot of mis-guided individuals that discuss and use death and violence in this world. To that point, I agree. However, in Mr. Hitchens case, he blames God for all this, but after that, what does he offer? Sadly, not much.
      That is incorrect. He did not believe there is a god so he could not have said a god is at fault. He talked about the harmful propaganda surrounding beliefs in gods.

      As to your argument Hitchens and atheists have no answers, they have the same answers, mostly, as Christians. Christians are a minority of the world’s population. Thus, to imply the world’s humans are somehow saved from doing bad things because of Christianity it absurd. The majority has not heard the word “sin” so they have no idea what you are referring to. Among Christians, the definition of “sin” is unresolved, there are many. Then, “sin” changes steadily over time. That is why it is obvious Christians come up, in the long run, with solutions that are identical to nonbelievers. The difference is nonbelievers realize these solutions came from their minds while Christians, and other religions, make believe they came from somewhere else when they did not.

      If it helps you in some way to believe there is an autonomous god and the Bible provided something besides the musings of ancient wealthy goat herders you are welcome to believe whatever you wish. My only beef is with the people who want to put these goat herders musings into our laws.

      1. entech

        Jon the beginning of Mikes second paragraph begins However, I didn’t hear Hitchens … that certainly appears to be true because his long winded (putting even me to shame) had very little to do with what Hitchens actually said and everything to do with what Mike thought he heard or perhaps wanted to hear.

        1. entech 9:31 had very little to do with what Hitchens actually said and everything to do with what Mike thought he heard or perhaps wanted to hear.

          Mike and other believers need not be so defensive about what they believe. What they happen to believe is of no interest or consequence to others. What is of interest to me and others is the constant efforts to put the musings of those ancient wealthy goat herders into our laws. Even worse, believers make up and attribute to the goat herders things they did not even write. They did not condemn abortion, gay marriage or drug use. On the other hand the goat herders were really mad at working on Sunday, clothing with mixed yarns and charging interest. Today’s believers brush these off because, well, the faith is important except when it interferes with what I like to do.

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