A Question For Supernaturalists

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Jo's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic
@ Old Man Shouts
@ Others who have addressed my posts on this subject

I am pretty sure I am not understanding the question or the point of your posts. I think you are addressing my assertion that Christianity is not just for the Jews. Is that what you are saying, that the Bible has only ever been for one group, the Jews? That in order to be a Christian you also have to become a Jew and keep the law? I am trying to understand what specific issue I am being asked to address . Is it about ethnocentrism or bigotry in the Bible? That God only cares about Jews or believers? That only Christian who were practicing Jews were accepted into the kingdom. I am not trying to be dishonest, I really don't understand what charge I being asked to respond to.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo
You made this statement:

@ Diotrophes, If it ever was "ethnocentric" it stopped being that 2,000 years ago

I am pointing out that that was not the intention of your prophet figure.

It may be that subsequent political developments by other figures led to a more inclusive place, but that was not the original intent of your jesus figure.

How far do you go to deny his alleged words before you cease to be what you claim?

Once again you made a claim about your religion that is in error.

Cognostic's picture
@Jo: Is that what you are

@Jo: Is that what you are saying, that the Bible has only ever been for one group, the Jews?

I have never made such a claim. My posts make my positions quite clear. Extremely clear in fact. That is how you are able to address them equally clear with quotes and evidence. I generally do not say things without first looking them up. As far as I know, The old testament is the Jewish Text and the New Testament whose texts were written for sects of Jews who believed Jesus was the Messiah, were later collected and canonized for the new Christian faith. Asserting the Bible was written for the Jews appears a tenable position in my eyes; however; it is not one I would care to defend and I have never stated such a position. The New Testament was collected and put together for the new sect of Jews who broke from Jewish tradition and called themselves "The Christians."

What is confusing for you is the fact that you keep making one inane assertion after another. Every time you attempt to defend yourself, you make 3 more utterly vacuous comments. This is an extremely common way of avoiding real conversations among theists. Instead of focusing on one and only one idea at a time, you jump all over the place justifying one inane assertion with three more. It's really annoying to engage with theists who do this. AND IT IS THE REASON YOU ARE NOW LOST.

Cognostic's picture
@ Calilasseia: Sorry, I am

@ Calilasseia: Sorry, I am not as eloquently proficient in the use of literary devices or vocabulary selection but sometimes the posts are just so inane that I can not resist stepping in.

arakish's picture


I'll say only one thing. You definitely do not understand the Bible or any religious text.

Not one has any truth in it. NOT ONE. The Bible has been rewritten and retranslated so many times there is nothing left in it but a bunch of lies plagiarized from FAR older sources. The only thing the Bible can teach anyone is how to be as immoral a monster as the monster it portrays.


Jo's picture
@ arakish

@ arakish

I have a question about your previous statement.

Why didn't any of the editors and redactors correct some of the glaring mistakes and embarrassing stories during one of the many rewrites or re-translations? I am no great writer and certainly not an editor, but I could have corrected these presumed "lies" None of them noticed there was light before the sun? No one thought to delete or clean up God telling someone to kill their son, or when he killed a baby? What about all the embarrassing stories of people in Jesus family tree? Couldn't they have come up with something more believable than a talking snake?

Diotrephes's picture


Why didn't any of the editors and redactors correct some of the glaring mistakes and embarrassing stories during one of the many rewrites or re-translations?

Pope Sixtus V rewrote the Bible, but everyone regarded his version as garbage and tossed it into the trash can.



Cognostic's picture
@Jo. Why didn't any of the

@Jo. Why didn't any of the editors and redactors correct some of the glaring mistakes and embarrassing stories during one of the many rewrites or re-translations?

Wow! You really know nothing about the writing of the Bible do you. Everything in the bible is a correction of a mistake that came before it. Each generation of biblical writers attempted to correct the mistakes of previous versions. We have actual manuscripts uncovered in the middle of this process. We have passages added, words changed, notes in margins, omitted passages and more. There are over 500 thousand alterations in your modern bible when it is compared to ancient manuscripts.

Misquoting The Bible

How Jesus Became God

Jesus Interrupted

Richard Carrier Why the Gospels are myth

The Bible as we know it today is a book of "Fixing and Correcting Errors." Each generation of Christians has written its own bible. Can you explain the origin of the King James Version and why is does not match ancient manuscripts. Why do the Mormons have a separate book. Why is the Eastern Orthodox Bible different from yours? Which verses have the Jehovah's Witness removed from their version of the Bible. (EVERYTHING IS ABOUT REWRITES AND FIXING ERRORS TO MATCH THE FAITH AND BELIEF OF THE SPECIFIC SECT USING THAT SPECIFIC TEXT. EVERYTHING.)

Calilasseia's picture
Item number one. Editors of

Item number one. Editors of the text of the Bible living in a pre-scientific age did not have the knowledge to recognise that various assertions were wrong. Though, in a moment of unusual prescience, Augustine of Hippo issued a famous proclamation on the subject of rejecting even the limited scientific knowledge of his age, in De Genesi et Litteram, viz (emphases mine):

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

The original text in Latin reads as follows, in the interests of rigour:

Plerumque enim accidit ut aliquid de terra, de coelo, de caeteris mundi huius elementis, de motu et conversione vel etiam magnitudine et intervallis siderum, de certis defectibus solis ac lunae, de circuitibus annorum et temporum, de naturis animalium, fruticum, lapidum, atque huiusmodi caeteris, etiam non christianus ita noverit, ut certissima ratione vel experientia teneat. Turpe est autem nimis et perniciosum ac maxime cavendum, ut christianum de his rebus quasi secundum christianas Litteras loquentem, ita delirare audiat, ut, quemadmodum dicitur, toto coelo errare conspiciens, risum tenere vix possit. Et non tam molestum est, quod errans homo deridetur, sed quod auctores nostri ab eis qui foris sunt, talia sensisse creduntur, et cum magno eorum exitio de quorum salute satagimus, tamquam indocti reprehenduntur atque respuuntur. Cum enim quemquam de numero Christianorum in ea re quam optime norunt, errare comprehenderint, et vanam sententiam suam de nostris Libris asserere; quo pacto illis Libris credituri sunt, de resurrectione mortuorum, et de spe vitae aeternae, regnoque coelorum, quando de his rebus quas iam experiri, vel indubitatis numeris percipere potuerunt, fallaciter putaverint esse conscriptos? Quid enim molestiae tristitiaeque ingerant prudentibus fratribus temerarii praesumptores, satis dici non potest, cum si quando de prava et falsa opinatione sua reprehendi, et convinci coeperint ab eis qui nostrorum Librorum auctoritate non tenentur, ad defendendum id quod levissima temeritate et apertissima falsitate dixerunt, eosdem Libros sanctos, unde id probent, proferre conantur, vel etiam memoriter, quae ad testimonium valere arbitrantur, multa inde verba pronuntiant, non intellegentes neque quae loquuntur, neque de quibus affirmant.

Unfortunately, a number of pedlars of apologetics in the present appear never to have read this.

Exactly how Augustine of Hippo would have resolved clashes between science and mythology is not made clear, but he was aware of the dangers inherent in making ridiculous assertions that brought his religion into disrepute. Assorted literalists and fundamentalists in the present appear to be completely oblivious to this.

Item number two. Any attempt to edit out the various ridiculous assertions in the light of modern science, leaves the entire mythological edifice in tatters. Creationist Kurt Wise actually undertook this exercise physically, as reported in Wikipedia:

Later, as a sophomore in high school, he took a newly purchased Bible and a pair of scissors and cut out every verse which could not be interpreted literally if scientific determinations on the age of the earth and evolution were true. He pursued this task with a flashlight under the covers of his bed for several months; at the end, he had removed so much material that "with the cover of the Bible taken off, I attempted to physically lift the Bible from the bed between two fingers. Yet, try as I might, and even with the benefit of intact margins throughout the pages of Scripture, I found it impossible to pick up the Bible without it being rent in two."

Richard Dawkins responded to Wise's statement that he preferred to treat mythology as true, regardless of how much scientific evidence destroys the assertions contained therein, as follows:

[Wise] volunteers that, even if all the evidence in the universe flatly contradicted Scripture, and even if he had reached the point of admitting this to himself, he would still take his stand on Scripture and deny the evidence. This leaves me, as a scientist, speechless ... We have it on the authority of a man who may well be creationism's most highly qualified and most intelligent scientist that no evidence, no matter how overwhelming, no matter how all-embracing, no matter how devastatingly convincing, can ever make any difference.

This is merely one of the instances of observational data I point to, when I describe the position of such individuals as "if reality and doctrine differ, reality is wrong and doctrine is right". Bear in mind that Wise enjoyed the tutelage, during his Ph.D in palaeontology, of none other than Stephen Jay Gould, who doubtless in life regarded Wise's subsequent adherence to creationism as a neuropathology.

In addition, any attempt to bring mythology into line with modern science, will almost certainly result in screams of "heresy" even from quarters that are not literalist or fundamentalist.

Item number three. The section of my earlier post in this thread covering Nietzsche's castigation of those who erect a metaphysic, in order to impose an ethic, applies here. Those who pursue this discoursive path are frequently not interested in the factual status of their metaphysic, so long as said metaphysic succeeds in imposing the desired ethic. This phenomenon is writ large in religious mythologies.

Get off my lawn's picture


plagiarized from FAR older sources.

Specifically, there are a lot of parallels to ancient Sumerian mythology in the Old testament, and it would sure seem like that bible book was heavily inspired by those myths. For a list of some well (and perhaps some not so well known, and even some dubious ones), see "The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character" by Samuel N. Kramer (https://www.amazon.com/Sumerians-History-Culture-Character-Phoenix-ebook...) (yes, it's an old book - the first edition was published in 1963, but it is still readable), we find the following (location 3176 in the Kindle edition):

here are a number of Biblical parallels from Sumerian literature which unquestionably points to traces of Sumerian influence:
(Since I cannot copy and paste from the Kindle app, I will have to copy by hand/keyboard, but since it is an awful lot of text, I'm just giving a summary)
1. Creation of the Universe (a primeval sea existed before land was created)
2. Creation of Man (man was fashioned of clay and imbued with the breath of life)
3. Creation Techniques (by divine command and by actual making or fashioning)
4. Paradise (no direct Sumerian parallel, but there are other paradise motifs)
5. The Flood (This one I'm quoting in full) As has long been recognized, the Biblical and Sumerian versions of the Flood story show numerous obious and close parallels. Noteworthy, too, is the fact that according to at least one Mesopotamian tradition there were ten antedeluvian rulers, each with a life span of extraordinary length, which is reminiscent of some of the Biblical antediluvian patriarchs.
6. The Cain-Abel Motif
7. The Tower of Babel and the Dispersion of Mankind (probably no direct Sumerian parallel, but a possible parallel may exist in a Sumerian epic)
8. The earth and its Organization (the Sumerian god Enki organized the earth and established law and order)
9. Personal God (the Sumerian concept of a personal god bears resemblance to that between Yahweh and the Hebrew patriachs)
10. Law (biblical law is similar to the Hammurabi law code, which in turn is based on Sumerian prototypes)
11. Ethics and Morals (the ethical concepts and moral ideas developed by the Sumerians were essentially identical with those of the Hebrews)
12. Divine Retribution and National Catastrophe (like Yahweh often strikes down on humankind in rage, Enlil, the leading Sumerian deity, destroys almost all of Sumer after having been deeply angered by the blasphemous act of a Sumerian ruler)
13. The Plague Motif (plague motif that to some extent parallels the Biblical plague motif in Exodus)
14. Suffering and Submission: The "Job" Motif (a Sumerian poetic essay has a central theme that is identical with the biblical book of Job)
15. Death and the Nether World (Sheol and Hades has its counterpart in the Sumerian Kur, a dark, dread abode of the dead, a land of no return)

The poems and epics containing this was written down centuries or millenia before Elohim/Yahweh/God was invented. In other words, the Bible does not really contain much original thought. Only variations and elaborations of old mythology, interspersed with some musings on relatively contemporary history from when the hebrews wrote it down.

(I lifted this, with modifications, from here: http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/atheist-hub/i-m-worried-about-hell... Nobody seemed to notice that post, so I'm reusing it here.)

Diotrephes's picture
Get off my lawn,

Get off my lawn,

Specifically, there are a lot of parallels to ancient Sumerian mythology in the Old testament, and it would sure seem like that bible book was heavily inspired by those myths.

The primary purpose of the biblical stories is to illustrate one or more of the Ten Commandments in action. Consequently, you must know what the real Ten Commandments are. If you don't know that, then the stories won't make any sense.

The real Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 34:11-28. The miracles are based on Exodus 34:10.

The biblical stories are just mnemonic devices intended to help the listener (or reader) associate an event with one or more of the Ten Commandments. That is why the stories don't have to make any logical sense. They are unimportant by themselves. It is irrelevant where they came from or if they are pure fiction. Don't you think it is ridiculous that the stories contain dialogue? There were no court reporters on the scene to record what Satan said to the Jesus character.

The intent is to read a story and to explain which Commandment it is about. Some stories show the positive effects of obeying while others show the negative aspects of disobedience.

Get off my lawn's picture
The primary purpose of the

The primary purpose of the biblical stories is to illustrate one or more of the Ten Commandments in action.

Tell that to the biblical literalists, who take the Old testament as an infallible documentary history book. Or even the regular, moderate christians of the naive kind, who believe these are actual stories that happened, and thus treat the bible as a book of actual history.

However, my point was to illustrate some of these myths that are lots of other places than just in the Bible (but which lots of followers of the abrahamitic religions believe are unique to the Torah/Bible/Quran), and from independent sources far, far older than even the concept or idea of a monotheistic religion, or even Elohim/Yahweh/God/Allah him-/her-/itself, essentially proving that these books are based on old myths.

Don't you think it is ridiculous that the stories contain dialogue?

Yes, I do. Especially since it can be more or less proven that oldest parts of the New testament were scribbled down on parchment at least decades after the death of this Jesus figure, whether he was an actual person or not.

Diotrephes's picture
Get off my lawn,

Get off my lawn,

Tell that to the biblical literalists, who take the Old testament as an infallible documentary history book. Or even the regular, moderate christians of the naive kind, who believe these are actual stories that happened, and thus treat the bible as a book of actual history.

The fools don't know what the real Ten Commandments are so it is useless trying to discuss the fairy tale with them. Ask a preacher what the Ten Commandments are. He will regurgitate the laws found in Exodus chapter 20 or Deuteronomy chapter 5. Those are not the Ten Commandments.

chimp3's picture
Calilasseia: Normally I avoid

Calilasseia: Normally I avoid long original posts because they are usually drivel. Your OP stays succinct in a way that I am not capable. Great argument!

Tin-Man's picture
@Chimp Re: Calilasseia

@Chimp Re: Calilasseia

Yeah, Cali came on board during your hiatus. One thing you will soon learn about good ol' Cali is that he has some kick-ass language skills. I always enjoy reading his posts.

Cognostic's picture
I am pretty sure I am not

@Jo: "I am pretty sure I am not understanding the question or the point of your posts."


1. Your assertion to the OP, Calilasseia. (He does not understand the meaning of the book of Genisis. It explains god's purpose and meaning. YOU GET OWNED BY ME after attempting a cherry picking venture into Revelation and an assertion of an overall theme; BOTH DEBUNKED. You never admit your error but move on to engage Old Man Shouts

2. EARLY CHRISTIANS WERE JEWS: You admit this but make the assertion Jesus preached to gentiles. This assertion is completely debunked. First by OMS. Then by DIO... Finally by Me.....

3. Now you assert you do not understand. Cognitive Dissonance is a bitch. Again instead of admitting you were wrong in your assertions you attempt to move on to yet another topic. (WHY DON'T YOU JUST START YOUR OWN THREAD?)

4. Now you are on about "Why didn't the editors fix biblical mistakes?" FUCK! DID YOU GET OWNED AGAIN ON THAT ONE!
YOU GOT COMPLETELY TRASHED!! This question literally demonstrates your complete lack of knowledge concerning the creation of biblical texts. It is yet another of the most ignorant statements I have ever heard from a theist.
I have cited 4 videos, that if watched and understood, may change your life forever and actually drag you out of your ignorance.

YOU ARE LOST BECAUSE YOU KEEP MAKING INANE ASSERTIONS AND PEOPLE ARE RESPONDING TO THOSE ASSERTIONS. GO START YOUR OWN THREAD. Calilasseia's OP was quite clear, well thought out, and well argued. All you have done is hit a brick wall and instead of admitting it you are bouncing around looking for some wriggle room where there is none. Your problem is COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. All you hold to be true has sufficiently been challenged and your mind is unable to deal with it.

Jo's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

You are right, I did not stay on topic and I should have. I should have continued to respond to OP, Calilasseia. Thank you, and I apologize. I will go back to where I should have stayed.

Cognostic's picture
@Jo: This is how theists

@Jo: This is how theists have learned to discuss things. They support one assertion with another assertion and the second assertion with a third and down the rabbit hole they go without ever landing on an actual fact or real evidence.


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