Bible credibility

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NDR-113
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Bible credibility

Postby NDR-113 » 2011-01-27 03:37pm

Sorry, but I need more help again. I'm still arguing with this crazy Christian guy, who's still claiming that "all things have causes, therefore the universe must have a Cause," which I think I can debate effectively, but now we're moving into Bible credibility and I have to admit I don't know much about it. Are there any good books or websites out there that knowledgeably talk about the history of the Bible and how it shouldn't be believed? Do you guys have any facts or ideas about it? Personally, I think it's just a bunch of myths that have been messed around with a lot (Constantine's time, for instance), but I don't have much evidence.

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Serafina
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Re: Bible credibility

Postby Serafina » 2011-01-27 04:45pm

Go look at the ProfMTH-channel. It contains a lot of videos about internal contradictions within the bible. It also debunks various prophecies in the new and old testament. Last but not least, it has a bit of explanation about how the bible came to be, especially the King James version.

Your basic lines of argument should be:
- The bible contradicts itself, which already makes it unreliable.
- Biblical prophecies are not accurate. If they are "fulfilled", they were vague enough that it means nothing - if they are precise, they are not fulfilled,
- The Bible was written by normal men, it has a lot of translation problems and was often edited for political reasons.

That should pretty much be it. Keep in mind that you can not necessarily convince him, it's very hard to convince a religious person with logic.
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Sinewmire
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Re: Bible credibility

Postby Sinewmire » 2011-01-27 04:48pm

"all things have causes, therefore the universe must have a Cause,"

-Does God, therefore, have a cause?
-Why would the universe's cause be God, specifically, as opposed to Shiva or the Great Green Arkleseizure?
-What is the cause of gravity, exactly?
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NDR-113
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Re: Bible credibility

Postby NDR-113 » 2011-01-27 05:28pm

Your basic lines of argument should be:
- The bible contradicts itself, which already makes it unreliable.

Oh, I should have mentioned, I'm asking for things about the Bible's credibility BESIDES the book's obvious flaws and inconsistencies--religious people are too good at figuring out ways to try to make them not seem like contradictions. I was more asking about the history.
Thanks for the link!

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Serafina
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Re: Bible credibility

Postby Serafina » 2011-01-27 05:36pm

There is some information about the bibles history on that channel as well.
However, i would NOT abandon the self-contradiction approach. Some of these things just can NOT be explained away in any remotely rational way. How can one gospel say that Jesus was crucified on passover, and the other says that he was not even arrested yet on passover? How can the Israelites murder an entire other tribe (including men, women, children, lifestock) - and fight them again in a subsequent book? And so much more. Those all back up your argument - don't throw them away just because the other side is idiotic.
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"Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent." - Sir Nitram
"The world owes you nothing but painful lessons" - CaptainChewbacca
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel
"In 1969 it was easier to send a man to the Moon than to have the public accept a homosexual" - Broomstick

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PainRack
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Re: Bible credibility

Postby PainRack » 2011-02-05 12:37am

Re biblical credibility, the best approach should be the Judah vs Israel attack.

Its possible to approach the Bible and show how the Judah/Israel split is echoed in the Bible internal contradictions regarding idol worship(Cherubs on Ark vs God command), the Golden Calf, the Levites massacre of those in the Golden Calf and the existence of two "priestly" tribes so as to speak.

They reflect the existing split between Judah and Israel, and the later religious practices of both. Both sides sought to imply that the other was practising the religion wrongly and hence the different emphasis placed on which tribe was paramount was there.
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Darth Hoth
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Re: Bible credibility

Postby Darth Hoth » 2011-02-05 06:32pm

Serafina wrote:However, i would NOT abandon the self-contradiction approach. Some of these things just can NOT be explained away in any remotely rational way. How can one gospel say that Jesus was crucified on passover, and the other says that he was not even arrested yet on passover? How can the Israelites murder an entire other tribe (including men, women, children, lifestock) - and fight them again in a subsequent book? And so much more. Those all back up your argument - don't throw them away just because the other side is idiotic.


You probably would not believe the lengths to which fundamentalist Christians will go in order to "explain" any apparent contradictions in the Gospels. There is a whole apologetics literature of its own out there on the subject. Compared to that, harmonising relatively uneven Old Testament passages is a piece of cake. Even relatively intelligent fundamentalists, who agree with science and scientific methods in secular life, are like this.

As NDR said, fundamentalists simply will not accept the possibility of Biblical contradictions. And well they should; their whole system of belief is based entirely upon the notion of those scriptures being infallible. If they drop that, the whole circus comes crumbling down and they become no different from the liberal Christian apostates and heretics who are every bit as destined to Hell as the atheists and pagans.

As for the history of the Bible: For the Old Testament, it is basically not known, but only guessed at with various degrees of accuracy. Any form of "higher criticism" is inimical to fundamentalist belief and will be ignored, so you might as well skip that. The same is not true to the same degree for the New, but the end result is essentially the same. So I would argue that history is as much of a dead end, if not more so.

But, if we are to recommend some literature anyway, the most persuasive anti-Christian tract I have myself read would probably be Edmund Cohen's The Mind of the Bible-Believer, which analyses Christian theology psychologically. For online sources, I like this one for its combination of clarity and comprehensiveness, although it has a number of problems with some of its individual entries that any halfway-intelligent fundamentalist will quickly poke holes in.
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