Ask An Atheist
Realistic View of The Bible
We've come a long way. Rational conversations about the Bible are no longer whispered behind closed doors for fear of recriminations. The conversations are no longer the exclusive domain of Bible scholars. They are becoming part of our mainstream conversation. Newsweek recently released a very good article entitled The Bible: So Misunderstood It's a Sin. The article describes in detail what the Bible is and... what it is not.
The Evolution of Jesus
Who was Jesus? If virtually all we know about him comes from the Bible, then our certainty about who Jesus was and what he did depends solely on how reliable the biblical accounts about him in the Bible are. There are very compelling reasons to conclude that the biblical stories are not reliable at all. One of those reasons is the evolution of the story over several decades.
Paul was the first to write - and that wasn't until 20 years after Jesus died. Paul makes no mention of virgin births or empty tombs or the myriad of miracles that Jesus performed in other stories in the Bible. Not until the writing of the earliest Gospel, The Gospel According to Mark which was written some 40 years after Jesus died, do we see some of the familiar details of Jesus' life. Even then, the original ending of Mark (yes, the extended ending that is in the Bible was written and added years after the original Gospel was written) says nothing about Jesus appearing to anyone after his death. Matthew and Luke wrote years later and use Mark as their reference. They each add even more details than Mark had.
All of the 4 Gospels were written anonymously. They didn't get there names, like "The Gospel According to Mark" until about 100 years AFTER they were written. The Gospels are not eyewitness accounts written by the disciples.
Mr. Deity is one of the most creative religion-based satires I've seen. They made a splash on YouTube years ago and then disappeared. Later they came out with a whole new season on Crackle.com. Then they disappeared again.
Now Brian Dalton, the actor/comedian who plays Mr. Deity, gets down to business in this no-holds bared castigation of the fundamentalist homophobic bigots who feel they are unChristian unless they find a way to discriminate against someone.
If you haven't already seen season 1, they're included here too. It's best viewed in sequence so start at season 1, episode 1.
The Best Optical Illusion in the World!
Homosexuals and FundamentalistsChristian Fundamentalists take the Bible literally when it says that homosexuality is a sin and worthy of death - either physical death as described in the Old Testament, or eternal torture (damnation) as described in the New Testament (see supporting verses below). What's more, they view this extreme condemnation of homosexuality as God's 'perfect justice'. Yet these same Fundamentalists also believe that God created each of us, including homosexuals, just as we are...
See more Larry "Coop" D. Veal (a.k.a. Rev. Charles) on MySpace.
Strobel Says that Wallace Says that Ehrman Says...In "The Case for the Real Jesus," Lee Strobel attempts to discredit Bart Ehrman's book, "Misquoting Jesus," using his interview with Daniel Wallace as his "argument". Here is a video clip of Strobel summarizing his attack on Ehrman:
In this video, as in his book, Strobel objects to Ehrman's critical position, but doesn't address any of the important points. Strobel instead talks about those variants whose differences don't matter to his understanding of Jesus. He carefully avoids any mention of the differences that really do matter. Some of those important variants are listed in this review of Misquoting Jesus. See especially the section entitled, "Variants That Matter".
Some people have all the "luck". Thanks to a natural brain disorder, Temporal-Lobes Epilepsy, they are able to "see God". I can't help but wondering how big a role disorders like these played in the development the world's religions. Whatever the answer, I think temporal-lobes seizeres can help us learn a lot about our own beliefs, and experiences.