Kurt Eichenwald on the Bible

This 2014 long article from Newsweek was being linked by some of my Fb friends; I don’t recall having seen it before.

The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin

It covers first the familiar points that believers, even evangelicals, are hardly more familiar with the Bible that skeptics or atheists. Because if they were, they’d have no grounds for their various claims and accusations of sin and supposed Biblical pronouncements intended to justify passages of laws against people they don’t like.

Beyond that, many examples of the inconsistencies of parts of the Bible, based on the increased scholarship over the past century that shows how it was cobbled together from multiple earlier documents — passed down orally, or copied only by amateurs who didn’t always know the language they were copying, over that time. The two creations; the repeated passages in the Noah story, and so on; in the NT, how phrases attributed to Jesus weren’t in the original gospels but were added by clerics later. How critical points of Christian dogma were established by Constantine’s Nicaea council.

With references to Richard Elliott Friedman and Bart Ehrman.

It ends:

The Bible is a very human book. It was written, assembled, copied and translated by people. That explains the flaws, the contradictions, and the theological disagreements in its pages. Once that is understood, it is possible to find out which parts of the Bible were not in the earliest Greek manuscripts, which are the bad translations, and what one book says in comparison to another, and then try to discern the message for yourself.

And embrace what modern Bible experts know to be the true sections of the New Testament. Jesus said, Don’t judge. He condemned those who pointed out the faults of others while ignoring their own. And he proclaimed, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

That’s a good place to start.

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