Fellow blogger, James Bishop, has written a rebuttal to a mostly tongue in cheek post I made quite awhile ago, where I set out a few ways (10 to be exact) that the bible could be improved.
You can read the entire post he wrote by following the first link above. The second link is to my original post.
I’m not going to respond to it all, because after reading his rebuttal a few times, I find myself wondering whether he actually read my entire post before responding.
For example, he writes this in his response to my first point:
Further, GC’s comment that “this book is not to be taken literally” is further silly because the Bible is not one book as he seems to think it is. Instead it is 66 books written by 40 or more authors over a period of 1600 or so years. You would think that someone who is telling us how to improve the Bible would at least know this.
Okay, so keep in mind he doesn’t think I know that the bible was written by multiple people.
But in the last point he’s responding to, I literally wrote this:
GC: “Have one person writing the bible. You could solve so much with this one alone. Hell, better yet, why not do the writing yourself.”
Ummmm…clearly I understood the bible was written by many people…because that’s exactly what I said in point 5 of my original post.
So why, dear James Bishop, would you think I did not know that in the first point you responded to?
Anyhow, moving right along. I want to respond to this point he makes:
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved…” (10:9) – are we to really believe that Jesus was a literal wooden door with a door handle? Obviously not. On the other hand Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the 5000 thousand as attested in all our gospels almost certainly happened and reads as a straightforward historical narrative (this miracle passes the criterion of multiple attestation & undesigned coincidences thus i take it as historical).
Come on man. Do you take me for a fool? Of course most people don’t think Jesus was a literal wooden door. It’s freaking obvious.
However, you’re second assertion is false. You can easily find many people who argue that the whole feeding 5000 people thing was an allegory. For example, you have this one here:
The five loaves represents the five books of Moses, in which we find five refreshments for the soul. The first loaf is the rebuking of sin by contrition; the second is the laying bare of sin in confession; the third is the abasement and humiliation in satisfaction; the fourth Is zeal for souls in preaching; the fifth is the sweetness of our heavenly home in contemplation.
Another words…blah, blah, blah. You’d think this God would know that the written word is a poor way to pass on a lifesaving message. Did He not know this was going to happen? Did he intend on not being clear?
A quick Internet search is all that is needed to show that not everyone thinks the feeding of 5000 people is strictly fact and not allegorical in nature. Of course this is the case, because even some people of faith have a hard time convincing themselves of magic.
And you can take it as historical fact all you want. Please show evidence that anyone is capable of doing what Jesus supposedly did. Then I’ll believe you. Until then, I don’t believe in your magical story.
Then he goes on to defend slavery…errr…’indentured servitude’:
What we see is that God puts in place laws to protect servants (or as the atheist likes to call them “slaves” that resemble the 18th century slave trade) from experiencing abuse at the hands of their masters. Old Testament “slavery” was more analogous to “contractual employment” or “indentured servitude” – much like a sports player who is “owned” by a team or a person contracted to serve a set time in the military. However, instead of abolishing indentured servanthood outright God installs laws to protect the servant.
Are you insane? These people lived in horrid conditions. They were owned. They weren’t like the rock star athletes you so whimsically reference. They were used for labor and sexual gratification.
I feel a blood vessel throbbing in my temple so I’ll leave it with this – a quote from Greg Carey who is a Professor of the New Testament:
Don’t let anybody tell you that biblical slavery was somehow less brutal than slavery in the United States. Without exception, biblical societies were slaveholding societies. The Bible engages remarkably diverse cultures — Ethiopian, Egyptian, Canaanite, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman — but in every one of them some people owned the rights to others. Slaveowners possessed not only the slaves’ labor but also their sexual and reproductive capacities. When the Bible refers to female slaves who do not “please” their masters, we’re talking about the sexual use of slaves. Likewise when the Bible spells out the conditions for marrying a slave (see Exodus 21:7-11).
I could also reference dozens of biblical passages about slavery, but I’ll urge you to read the book for yourself, which might prevent further humiliation brought about by having to defend slavery.
I don’t know what else to say. The rest was merely mental gymnastics and I don’t feel it was worthy of a response.
I look forward to the second part of his rebuttal.
What do you think of his article and do you think he makes any valid points?
As always, thanks for reading!