How many times have you heard that the Bible is the divine handiwork of God, without any trace of error? Way too many times, no doubt! What can we say about such people?
1) The person is insane.
2) The person knows nothing about the Bible beyond a few cherry-picked verses. Hence, they see no errors. Usually, they don't read newspapers either.
3) The person doesn't understand what an error actually is. (The authors of hefty tomes defending the Bible fall into this class. They know where the problems are, but errors effectively get defined out of existence via a sophisticated smoke-and-mirrors game. )
4) The person is in deep denial, was raised that way, is embedded in a society of fellow deniers, and consequently is totally blind to error. If a loophole isn't handy, they dig a little deeper into the less probable stuff, and a little deeper, deeper still!, until something turns up. God is inscrutable! Maybe Jesus will pass out the answers in heaven!
5) Some combination of the above.
It occurred to me that mere humans should have given God lessons in writing his Holy Book! Let's rewind the clock. As God sits down to write his Holy Book, a very human adviser from the future is there to help! This Holy Book will be part of a new future in a parallel universe!
1. God, you might start by informally introducing yourself in a friendly way, then take the reader through your Genesis 1 creation account. Begin with the Big Bang, then the galaxies, stars, planets, sun and moon, and Earth. Stay away from that Babylonian flat-earth, 3-layered cake stuff! In your Genesis 2 creation account say that you created men and women from your animal world, thus avoiding the later embarrassment of appearing clueless about biological evolution.
A little mystery is not a bad thing, God. Who said the ancient reader has to understand everything in your book? No need to be coldly scientific either. Forget the equations! Do allow your metaphors to give an uncanny, knowing impression. Think of the billions of recruits you will gather in a later, enlightened age! Surely they are at least as important as the handful of recruits to be collected in this age.
2. Don't forget to number the verses for ease of reference, and do include a table of contents. You could even publish it in book form and get around the clumsiness of scrolls. That would certainly set you apart from the competition! God, these suggestions are so handy that if you don't act on them mere humans will do it for you. It will look better if you get the credit.
3. God, you need to do something about the fact that your instructions for salvation are scattered over the eight corners of the Bible, often being vague and incomplete. Uh, it's not even clear whether some of them are really instructions! Your first draft needs major reworking. You need to set aside a book that is wholly and completely dedicated to the requirements for salvation and nothing else. That's the most important change you can make.
Prominently list the requirements exactly once and in chronological order, taking care to be complete and unambiguous. And, add a brief commentary after each one to squeeze out any wiggle room still left. You know what to expect from future Christians! They will misinterpret anything if given half a chance! Perhaps this book should be up front, right after your Genesis creation account.
4. Absolutely include an inspired book on the need for tolerance. Make it perfectly clear, God, that no one is to be killed or harmed because they favor another religion or none at all. Let the personal examples of your flock, and reason, be the sole persuaders.
5. For heaven's sake, God, we need a book on personal hygiene! Why leave your children defenseless when simple instructions could save thousands? Come to think of it, why did you create so many filthy germs in the first place, and parasites that inject germs that would otherwise be harmless? While we are on the subject, God, do scrap all that garbage in Leviticus, the ritualistic, cleanliness stuff. It's going to look really silly as the years go by.
6. God, you need better balance in your Holy Book. I noticed that in your first draft huge spaces are devoted to killing and slaughter. That doesn't look good when so many worthy things are left out! Treat space in your book as though every line were purchased with gold coins. Eliminate silly duplications in the Old Testament. In particular, Chronicles and Kings often cover the same ground, sometimes verbatim. One, good account should do.
Why do we need 4 Gospels in the New Testament? Tell it once and tell it right! When you get into multiple versions, God, you have a tendency to contradict yourself. Surely, all the saved space could be replaced with something really useful. You should know omniscient One!
Well, we're off to a good start folks. Anyone care to give God some additional pointers on the writing of his Good Book? Maybe the Christians in this alternate dimension will get off to a good start!
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