First off, the obligatory “I really, really, reallllllyyyyyyyyy hate homework” rant. Also, I spent Thanksgiving hanging out with my brother, and honestly, I don’t get to see him that much, since I go to college. So there’s that.
Cue: FREE THINKING IS A CRIME! KNOWLEDGE IS SIN! IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH! And the rest of the whole shebang.
Now, there’s a few things I despise in the world: bigotry, ignorance, and the willful spread of ignorance. So, I’m going to do what I do best: MOCK!
It seems like atheists will go to pretty extreme lengths to combat the words of a God they don’t even believe exists.
Well, yeah, this is kind of understandable, given the fact that the best way to combat ignorance is to learn about the subject you’re talking about and educating others about said subject. Otherwise you sound like a dumbass.
And given that a good number of Christians have NEVER read the Bible (see: using Leviticus 18:22 as DA REASON why homosexuality is DA IMMORALZ when Paul states that Gentiles are free from following Jewish law; it’s in numerous passages in the Bible, e.g. Acts 15:7-11), it makes sense to read it, especially if your goal is to educate people on its contradictions and maybe get said people to rethink their blind faith.
So seriously. If your goal is to dissuade people from Christianity, it makes sense to KNOW what the Bible says. That’s how debate works.
A recent article from the Religion News Service reports, “Atheists use a popular Bible app to evangelize about unbelief.” The article contains interviews with a number of young atheists who have chosen to use YouVersion, one of the most popular apps around, as a way of trying to shake the faith of Christians.
And this is a bad thing, how? Are Bibles just for Christians now?
I have to admit, I have several copies of the Bible (an ebook, that YouVersion app, and a physical copy for class). And I’ve read the Bible—the Gospel in its entirety, plus 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, and over half of the Old Testament. (I need to find time to finish reading it.) I read it not because I wanted to disprove Christians, but because it helps me to understand classical literature, given that much of it has allusions to Biblical texts.
But apparently, since I’m an atheist, it’s totally a bad thing to read it, because apparently the only reason atheists read the Bible is because they want to prove TRU BELIEVERS wrong.
That and what’s wrong with educating people?
And, unsurprisingly, these atheists are focusing on supposed contradictions in the Bible to make their points. Lauren, the atheist quoted above, states, “Reading the full story with all its contradictions and violence and sexism, it should make you think, ‘Is this really what I believe in?’”
Have you even read the Bible, Mr. Ham? There’s a LOAD of contradictions in there, beginning with Genesis 1:1-3 and Genesis 1:14-19. This is not to mention the fact that Genesis 1 states that plants came before man, and then Genesis 2 states that man came before plants.
If the beginning of what you consider to be your Holy Text written by your Infallible God is full of contradictions, what does that say about God?
Sadly, atheists like Lauren haven’t approached Scripture with the desire to have these problems resolved by believers who are equipped to answer such claims. No, instead they have come with a bias against God and His Word, and they desire to damage the faith that others have in God. These skeptics are intentionally searching for supposed problems in Scripture—so they can spread more disbelief.
For example, Lauren explains that marriage is a “pet issue,” so she intentionally targets people who post on social media sites that marriage is between one man and one woman. Lauren attempts to use instances of polygamy in the Bible to somehow prove that the Bible is contradictory on the issue of marriage. But she can only do this by taking Scripture out of context.
Out of context? Of what? What kind of context do you need to see that the Old Testament was okay with polygamy (see: Abraham and Sarah, Leah and Rachel and Jacob) whereas Jesus wasn’t?
And what kind of context do you need to see that the meaning of “traditional marriage” has changed over time? Just the fact that the Old Testament had no qualms with polygamy whereas the New Testament does is a pretty damn big hint that the meaning of “traditional marriage” changes over time.
Other atheists try to use the many translations on YouVersion to show that there are supposedly many variations of the biblical text: “The biggest thing for me is seeing how much the version will change the meaning of passage [sic]. It can make a pretty big difference in how you interpret it.” While it’s true that there are many different translations of the Bible, there’s a big difference between a literal translation and a paraphrase of Scripture. A literal translation provides the same meaning today that people would have understood when the Bible was written, whereas a paraphrase is someone else’s rewording of Scripture into everyday English. Bible scholars typically look for literal translations, not paraphrases.
Let me check my notes from my humanities class.
(On the earliest text of the Book of John): “200000 different copies available, many of them are fragments.”
(On mistakes in the New Testament, why?): “The handwriting […] No standard abbreviations […] Eyes often play tricks on you […] you can skip entire swaths of text in copying books […] we don’t know what the original said.”
(On the Corinthians text): “Corinthians was possibly a composite of several letters written by Paul.”
(On the altering of text—oh yes, this happened. A lot.): “Someone hunted for early manuscripts – 3rd or 4th century, full manuscripts and not fragments – to make a critical edition. He produced the first critical edition, and found out that the idea of the Holy Trinity (father, ghost, and son) was added, since older text didn’t have it.”
(On the additional, non canonical Biblical texts—oh yes, they exist.): “We found many other documents which could have been part of the New Testament […] The Gospel of Mary, The Secret Gospel of Mark, The Gospel of Judas, etc. […] accepted in some communities but not others.”
(You can Google this stuff if you don’t believe me.)
Yeahhhhhhhh, I’m going to say that Ham has NO idea what the freak he’s talking about. Like, at all.
One well-known atheist was quoted as saying that one of the “beautiful side effects” of free Bible apps is that “nothing makes you an atheist faster than reading the Bible.” But really, Romans chapter 1 teaches that they know there is a God, and that their disbelief is a willful suppression of the truth.
Because obviously you can totally Biblesplain what an atheist really thinks.
Also, Romans 1 presumes that there is a God, which something that there’s ABSOLUTELY no (scientifically verifiable) evidence for. Because we’re supposed to take it at face value that there is a God, this is a logical fallacy. Begging the question much, Mr. Ham?
I urge you to pray for these atheists that they would read and believe the gospel of Christ today, and pray for those Christians that these atheists interact with, that they would be strengthened in their faith and would be emboldened to share the gospel.
Thanks for praying for me, but praying doesn’t erase contradictions in the Bible, nor does it actually show evidence that there is a supreme deity (and that yours is the right one, of course).