At Least Read What I Wrote Before Refuting Me

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.

What the…

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!

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30 Comments

  1. Since the last time you posted on your blog, a lot has changed regarding my views on faith and religion. I don’t know how I feel about Christianity as an organised religion, but I do believe in engaging one’s spiritual side in any way that makes them feel the most happy and loved. I love your post, and since changing my approach to Christianity, I have talked to people who don’t seem to give a hoots ass what points I am trying to make. They’re only concerned with telling me how my approach will give me a one way ticket to hell

    • I know many an atheist who considers themselves spiritual. I think it’s wonderful that you’re examining your own faith or religious/non-religious views. I always knew you were the kind of person that self-examines and I’ve always loved conversing with you CB. I’d love to read more about your changing views. Thanks so much for reading!

      I was going to write about something rather painful and embarrassing that happened to me today, but I’ve been struggling with whether to write about it or not. It’s very personal. But I decided to wet my feet once more with this post. LOL. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      • Thank you so much G.C. You have been a big inspiration on my road to self-discovery. I think I’ve felt this way for a long time, but I was too scared to admit to myself some harsh truths about the likely falsehood of the Christian faith. From someone who constantly puts their lives on blast, I think you should definitely write about what’s on your mind. It always makes me feel so much lighter

        • I probably will, and that makes me feel very good. I’m glad you found value in this blog. It makes the effort worth it. I also think Judy is right – I should write it and get those feelings out and then decide whether to publish or not. Knowing me, I’d end up following your advice and hit that publish button. After all, isn’t that what blogs are for?

      • sometimes what I do with a dubious post/event is to write it anyway, just the way I want it, and save it as a Word file. Read it over a few times. Give it a day or a week to gel, and go back, and see if you still feel the same way about posting it. I have a graveyard fulla abandoned posts like that, I dont regret not publishing any of them. But if you write it out, at least you’ve told yourself. =)

  2. hey brother GC, I missed you! BTW, I read that other guys title and only perused his post because I could just discern, HS or a bit of indigestion…? don’t know 🙂 , that he was bashing on you as if your original article was totally serious and not tongue in cheek. but you’re right, doesn’t seem like he really read thru yours very fully with a mind to hear and understand what you were saying. he just latched onto a few things you said and blew them into Strawmen that he could burn down easier. doesn’t take great intellect or insight to do that. would have been nice of him if he raised the questions first on your blog as comments to the post. (benefit of the doubt, anyone? guess not from Christian Apologists these days)
    Anyways, glad to see you back and would encourage more posting if you are able. I miss your wisdom and insight.
    -KIA

    • I enjoy when people rebut my posts, even if they’re pretty far off base, like I feel this fellow was. I really, really enjoy rebutting other people’s work as well, especially if I’m in a feisty mood that day.

      I will definitely try to post more often. I’ve been working really hard on my YouTube channel. Learning to edit, create films, make thumbnails etc has drained all of my time. But I’ll always return here. I love this community and writing is a love of mine and I need to scratch that itch every so often.

      Thanks so much for dropping in and leaving your thoughts. It’s much appreciated. 🙂

  3. I think the whole “it was indentured servitude” excuse is perhaps one of the greatest reasons why people can argue being a Christian doesn’t improve one’s ethical disposition. Furthermore, if you notice Mr. Bishop’s reply only featured the OT view on slavery; he ignored that Jesus never spoke out against slavery in the NT.

    That’s because New Testament slavery was Roman, as Roman law was controlling in Judea back then (and they can’t argue it wasn’t, or else they’d be arguing against the crucifixion of Christ). The problem with this is that Roman slavery existed for many years, and it was the loose basis for which modern European slavery was based upon.

    Maybe when I have the time to blog again on Amusing Nonsense, I’ll do a post which illustrates the legal codes going from Roman times to English colonial and American statutes. It truly is sickening to see Christians trying to gloss over their holy text’s promotion of owning people as property.

  4. missed you, too, GC.

    When I see his responses to your post, Im reminded of people who come to my blog, read a poem Ive written about, say, rain (as a metaphor for something else) and their only comment is apt to be, “I hope it stops raining soon for you”…

    I call these cherry pickers, but Strawmen works as well, too. They see familiar words, and phrases, and leap at them. Some people do not have the ability to see metaphors. What they see is an actual door, say, not what it stands for, metaphorically. Explain it to them and they look at you as if you’re crazed.

    Sometimes it’s just best to tiptoe away softly, and pull the metaphorical door shut, against the tongue in cheek dark on the other side.

    • I missed you too, Judy! I’ve been sinking all of my energy (not much to begin with LOL) into my YouTube channel. Been having a lot of fun with it, but my first love will always be this blog.

      I agree with you. I didn’t see much rebuttal going on in his post. Just special pleading and assertions without evidence. I try to always back assertions with something concrete (maybe I shouldn’t because it makes my posts longer) such as when I asserted above that you can find people who think the feeding of 5000 is an allegorical tale, I posted a link and quoted someone who thought exactly that.

  5. If you can ‘run away’ from the job that somebody else chose for you, and there is even a chance that the authorities will catch you and take you back to work where you may be restrained and/or punished, guess what?
    You are a slave.

  6. Hi GC, what makes me laugh is the serious attempt of people like this to answer what obviously is some good-humoured writing, but what is more bizarre is the blatant lies used by the people of high morals to justify slavery.

    I say this shows what truth means to these Christians but it is in keeping with the faith based lies they are preaching to children who are too young to make rational decisions.

  7. Pingback: A Response to ‘Godless Cranium’s Reply to my Article. | Historical Jesus studies.

  8. Pingback: Excusing Slavery, Part 1: Biblical Slavery | Amusing Nonsense

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