Why don’t you believe ?

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Italianish's picture
Why don’t you believe ?

This isn’t a cause for debate.
I want to understand if possible from everyone, valid points and reasoning, evidence inside and outside the Bible why people here don’t believe it to be true.
I will comment and before I do that sometimes contradictions can be explained using verses in other parts of the book and it would show to be an invalid contradiction.
I’m having trouble and I want to do the best I can to see if the Bible is real or not.. this is a struggle for me.
Please if any of you have time show me.

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watchman's picture
In your opening thread I gave

In your opening thread I gave you this ….Obsatcles in Christianity .... Part 1

Now lets try Obsatcles in Christianity .... Part 2

Lets us now consider the Gospels.

The chronology of their production is as follows:

Mark ,Matthew ,Luke and John. (of course there is a certain amount of “cross fertilization” between them).
But how then to account for the differences in the telling of the same story ?
They were of course each produced for a different and quite specific audience.

Mark .

The shortest of the Gospels it has no nativity ,the miracles and wonders are less “spectacular” than the later versions.
Some scholars postulate that it originally ended at chapter 15 with the women finding the empty tomb and with no reference to the resurrection
(chapter 16 being added subsequently).

It provides the basic narrative.
Introduces the “divine” theme.
Sometimes supposed to be the Gospel of Peter ,narrated to Mark.
Mark was written in Alexandria by an early Jewish “proto-Christian” trying to provide a messianic mythology for the recently vanquished Jewish nation.

In the story that emerged, the Gospel of Mark, essentially, the author composites more than fifty 'micro-stories' (mainly healings and miracles, of the type told of Apollonius), sandwiched between a put-down of John the Baptist (whose followers were serious rivals to the early proto-Christians) and a dying-saviour sequence (of the kind then being officially promoted for the dead Antinous.

Matthew .

Based on the basic story of "Mark"
Written for consuption by the fragmented , dispersed and demoralised , Greek speaking Jewish audience ..... from where the majority of early christians were recruited ....
Hence the over reliance on the use of supposed prophecies....


Written for the poorer classes of Gentiles across the Empire ,who were becoming the main focus of Evangelical recruitment under the "Pauline" re-direction of the early church. Lessens the "Jewish" nature of the tales.


Will deal with this Gospel separately later.

Firstly ,of prime concern is the CENSUS.....

Census ..... what census ?

2;1 And it came to pass in those days ,that there went out a decree Ceasar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

But NO such census was ever decreed by any Ceasar.

2:2 And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was govenor of Syria.

Census during Cyrenius' time as govenor ,known to be 6-7CE. Now although Judea was recently annexed to Syria it did not include Galilee,
which as a client kingdom was still held by the Tetrarch Herod Antipas and thus would not be covered by such a census. (Note , Cyrenius'
census was on property and NOT a "head count".

2:3 And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city.
A completely impracticable method of conducting a census ..... in fact there is only one example of such a census being attempted.
The Egyptian "Kata Oikian"census of 104CE. is the ONLY census anywhere near the appropriate dates to require temporary city dwellers to return to their regular domiciles.

However ,apart from the incorrect date ,this census did not extend beyond the borders of Egypt.

It should also be noted that "Matthew" puts the nativity in the time of Herod the Great.... while Luke's linking of the nativity to Cyrenius puts it 10 years further forward. (Herod the Great died in 4BCE )

Many consider the two ,obviously different ,versions of the Nativity to be no more that the same story viewed from two different perspectives.
BUT even the most cursory reading of the two Nativities cannot fail to reveal two entirely different narratives ,and both completely fabricated.


Matthew ....
Wise men and slaughtered innocents ,but no shepherds or angels.
The "Holy Family debunks in the middle of the night for Egypt.

Luke ....
Here we get Angels , shepherds AND a heavenly choir.
The Holy Family leaves for Jerusalem ,to present the child in the Temple , then returns to Nazareth.

Now which is it......? Egypt or Jerusalem .....? it surely cannot be both.

Herods Massacre.

"Herod ... sent out and had all the boys in Bethlehem and in all its districts done away with, from two years of age and under ... Then that was fulfilled which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 'A voice was being heard in Ramah, weeping and much wailing; it was Rachel weeping for her children and she was unwilling to take comfort, because they are no more.' "  (Matt 2.16-18)

No other source mentions this mass killing – despite some detailing  Herod's real crimes at great length.

For this supposed prophecy Matthew has switched his source to 'Jeremiah', whose commentary is actually on the 6th century BC Babylonian captivity. At verse 31.15 the oracle says:
“This is what Jehovah has said, 'In Ramah a voice is being heard, lamentation and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping over her sons. She has refused to be comforted over her sons, because they are no more.' ”

Are Rachel's sons 'no more'?

 No, they are in Babylon and what's more God himself assures Rachel that they will be back in the very next verses:
"Hold back your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears ... they will certainly return from the land of the enemy. And there exists a hope for your future ... and the sons will certainly return to their own territory." (31.15,17)

Trip to Egypt.

Only Matthew tells the story of the holy family rushing off to Egypt to escape the murderous intent of Herod the Great. 
According to Luke the blessed trio returned immediately to Nazareth without any concern for the wrath of the Jewish king.

But the Egyptian connection is vital to Matthew's purposes –his intention is to draw a parallel between Jesus , Moses and the Israelites .

Herod plays the part of “Pharaoh”, infants are killed, and “Israel” (="Jesus") is rescued.

Here Matthew quotes from “Hosea”, though without giving his source:

"So he got up and took along the young child and its mother by night and withdrew into Egypt, and he stayed there until the decease of Herod, for that to be fulfilled which was spoken by Jehovah through his prophet, saying: 'Out of Egypt I called my son.' "                   (Matt 2.14,15)

Perhaps if Matthew had admitted that he was selectively quoting from Hosea 11.1 informed listeners would have known that the reference is not a prophecy at all. Hosea is lamenting the 'degenerate vine' of Israel of his own day, unlike the chosen people at an earlier time:
“When Israel was a boy, then I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”

“Israel” and “son” here mean the Jewish people. In other words, any connection of the Hebrew exodus with Jesus is completely spurious – but it makes a good story.

And Finally

So careless is “Matthew” with his 'mis-quotations' of the prophets that he  wrongly attributes one quote:
in referring to Judas's “thirty pieces of silver” (27.3,10) he maintains that the prophecy of 'Jeremiah' had been fulfilled – and yet it is 'Zechariah' (11.12-13) who used the phrase!

So in summary ....

Census trip to Bethlehem .........never happend
Slaughter of the innocents ....... never happend
Flight to Egypt.............. never happened

Finaly a clip from Wikipedeae ...

There are major difficulties in accepting Luke's account: the census in fact took place in AD 6, ten years after Herod's death in 4 BCE; there was no single census of the entire empire under Augustus; no Roman census required people to travel from their own homes to those of distant ancestors; and the census of Judea would not have affected Joseph and his family, living in Galilee; most scholars have therefore concluded that the author of Luke's gospel made an error.


Whitefire13's picture


I was completely convinced I had the “truth” when I was a JW. My life choices reflected that. I was a pioneer (90 hrs month door to door) and married to an elder (spiritual qualities).

That said, when “I started to leave and left” (a spiritual death previous by a thousand cuts) - I had to “deprogram”. First thing I started to do was visit apostate websites. A) they knew JW mind think B) they could offer a different/opposite POV

Then it was up to me to decide. What did I want to believe and why? Was I really interested in what is “true”?

Everyone has their own journey to “wherever” they want to “go”. Everyone has their reason.

You need to self-examine and take time to understand what you want and why.

Cognostic's picture






Watch some videos and read a book or two. How do you think the bible was created? How long has it taken? Who wrote it? All reasons to disbelieve.

THE BIBLE IS REAL. Stop being stupid. I have one right here on my desk. Ask a stupid question and you will only get stupid responses. How many books in the bible can be traced to authentic sources? How many books are forgeries?

No one is going to spoon feed you information. Go do your own research.

Tin-Man's picture
Hey there, Italianish. Good

Hey there, Italianish. Good to see you again. Hope you are well. Rushed for time at the moment, but just wanted to say hello real quick and let you know I will be back in a little later. Meanwhile, chew on this for a bit.....

Most any Christian generally believes Genesis is the foundation for the entire Christian faith. (Yes, there are exceptions out there, I know. Even that, however, is simply another reason to call the whole thing hogwash, in my opinion.) Anyway, just read the book of Genesis. The very foundation. Forget about the gospels. Forget about all the disputes between science and religion. Toss that shit out the window and simply read through Genesis. It is actually embarrassing that so many people around the world (many of them quite intelligent) actually BELIEVE that load of tripe is the product of some all-knowing/all-powerful entity. It is plain ludicrous. Personally, I have read fairytales that are more realistic and convincing. And remember, that is the FOUNDATION of the entire Christian dogma. Why would anybody want to build ANYTHING on such a fractured and unstable foundation?

Anyway, gotra go for now. I'll be back more later if you have any questions.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Itialianish

@ Itialianish

I will comment and before I do that sometimes contradictions can be explained using verses in other parts of the book and it would show to be an invalid contradiction.

That is called "biblical hermeneutics" and is a huge load of mental gymnastics, or, succinctly..bollocks. Either the text says what it means or it doesn't. Searching through later, or earlier, unrelated texts that were written at different times (sometimes by centuries) for different audiences in (often) a different language, describing unrelated events is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order.

That's like comparing two bottles of fruit preserve one labelled "apple" and the other"orange" and declaring the orange one really means apple because in very small print the manufacturer wrote "may contain traces of nuts" on each of them.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Well I'm glad you explained

Well I'm glad you explained it Old man shouts; because I had no idea what an invalid contradiction is.

Whitefire13's picture


As a JW I would have simply thought or responded ... so what?

God allowed centuries to gather his word. And he revealed truth through those centuries. This process was so we would have the complete word of God today.

My hands are at the side of my head, thumbs in ears and fingers waving as I give you a “strawberry”... big “know it all”

David Killens's picture
Hello Italianish, I hope you

Hello Italianish, I hope you and your loved ones are doing well in this time of crisis.

Sir Isaac Newton made many great discoveries, but for many, it is that he connected the heavens and the earth. He reasoned that the forces that made an apple drop from a tree were exactly the same forces that kept the moon in it's orbit around this Earth. Namely, that the laws of physics applied everywhere, there were no separate laws for this earth, and separate laws for the heavens.

That has been proven as a lynchpin in physics, from the largest objects in space, to the tiniest objects. Everything is subject to the same laws of physics.

Retain this basic concept when you examine the bible. And examine EVERYTHING with a critical eye.

David Killens's picture
Italianish, I designed my

Italianish, I designed my response to be in two parts.

Here we go part two.

When theists are faced with difficult questions, for example, they claim that everything requires a creator, and the next question is "then what created god?", they claim he is above such rules.

That is called "special pleading", a fallacy.

Being versed in fallacies is ammunition in one being able to separate the bullshit from the truth. The more one becomes aware of the many various fallacies, the better one is able to separate biblical bullshit from the rest.

This is part of my education in this forum, I have learned a lot bout fallacies, and this knowledge has reinforced my position.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Perhaps this might hep you:
boomer47's picture


How are you? Staying safe I hope.

My 2 cents; Because I think your request is genuine. I will not argue or discuss the views expressed.

. My journey began at 16, when I started to question some of the more fatuous bits of Catholic dogma. Got sick of being told, "it's a mystery of faith, we just believe" I left the Church at 20, when was conscripted into the army for two years,

After my discharge, I began looking. Went through an occult and eastern phase for about ten years. Even learned astrology and how to cast charts. I kept records written copies of everything I wrote, result; NO HITS. NONE . I eventually realised that anyone in the occult or fortunetelling game is vague and obtuse in the the way they phrase whatever they say. YOU WILL NEVER hear such a person say anything like "on November 23 2021 you are going to come intro a lot of money/ meet the love of your life/die."

Also read at least a dozen: "God was/is an alien" books.Everything I researched suffered from the same basic problem. Some amazing claims, but no proof that I could see. . None.--and I really wanted to believe.

I'm not sure exactly when I simply stopped believing in god(s) . It was in my early 40's that I realised one day that I simply no longer believed. BUT could not claim to know . I eventually discovered that meant that I was/am an agnostic atheist.

The base line; I did not/do not believe in gods, the soul, an afterlife, heaven, hell, angels, demons, the paranormal. mediums, fortune tellers of all kinds, dragons, or fairies at the bottom of my garden. Each for the same reason; a lack of proof.

In the 1980's I did some university study in the same broad area . EG examining myths, legends and deconstructing mythology

I finally concluded that theTorah is the mythology of Judaism and partly borrowed by the Christians. That the New Testament is the mythology of Christianity and the Quran is the mythology of Islam. Hinduism has revered books, but many Hindus have the honesty to admit they are revered myths, which contain wisdom and lessons for living.

Having formed that opinion, I let it lay for a long time, as informed, but lacking in proof. That didn't bother me because I was not /am not trying to convert others to my way of thinking.

I have read only non fiction for the last 20 years. It was only 5 years ago that I became interested in biblical history. It was then I learned about modern archaeological and biblical historians Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels (recently)

Some final words about two public faces of atheism, Chris Hitchens and Richard Dawkins

I read Hitchens'; 'God Is Not Great" . After reading it, I formed the opinion the book is an ill informed, racist polemic against Islam . Certainly not a serious philosophical treatise. Not sure this view is anything like the consensus

Richard Dawkins, is a competent evolutionary biologist, as far as I can see, although not a leader in his field as has been claimed. As far as I can see, he is also a weak philosopher. This view seems to be more widely shared.

Grinseed's picture
Italianish, and anyone else

Italianish, and anyone else interested in biblical history,

I think I already suggested this book to you "Who Wrote the Bible" by Richard Friedman. This link takes you to a free pdf version of the full texts and notes. Download it, read it, and you will have a clear understanding about how the Old Testament physically came to be.


Its a clear concise easy to read history of how and why the old testament was put together in the format we know today. Friedman is a respected bible academic who has produced a thoroughly historical account without any religious pap or prosletysing. I know from other sources he is a theist, but you would not know that from this book.

Amongst other things it explains why there are two versions of nearly every story in the Pentateuch; how there are at least five different individuals or groups who have contributed to the writings; why there are contradictions and the reason they have been left in the bible; and how the writing and editing were driven by politics and personal and professional religious interpretations and jealousies.

Friedman's book does not prove or disprove the Jewish faith or the existence of the Abrahamic god but it reveals the very human history of how it was written.


Cognostic's picture
@OH FUCK!!! The bible has

@OH FUCK!!! The bible has contradictions, the bible does not have contradictions..... IT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER.

The bible is a collection of 27 books from hundreds. It was thrown together by the 5th Century when Churches finally agreed on a cannon and then it was all changed in the 16th Century and they are still changing it today.

THERE IS NO BIBLE BOOK: The Bible is an anthology that has been written and rewritten over a period of 2000 years. The King James bible is an absolute JOKE. (You will have to read how and why it was created on your own.) There are so many contradictions between it and old texts that we have as to render it completely ridiculous. Bart Eherman has suggested there are more errors in it than there are words. Over 2/3s of the Bible is made up of known forgeries. WHO IN THE FUCK CARES ABOUT A FRIGGING CONTRADICTION. THE BIBLE IS A FUCKING JOKE~~~

Whitefire13's picture


This is where I use to get “stuck” as a JW...running into someone who thought the bible was a joke.

It’s hard to convince them otherwise when you have to rely on: global flood story, man in whale’s belly for 3 days, angel/human breeding, talking animals, stoned prophets...

Grinseed's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

Spare me your harsh negative troglodyte bible criticisms.

I feel I can speak with some authority here.

I've been working conscientiously all during my c19 isolation on my "Very Big (A3) Illustrated King James Version Bible Colouring-In Book". I'm already halfway through Song of Solomon and I find it immensely inspiring work that deserves concentration and a steady hand... I'm just waiting for a new supply of flesh tone and purple colouring pencils; all those graphic "thy breasts are like bunches of grapes" really take a toll if you spend a lot of time working on the detail...

Anyway, I haven't come across a single illustrated contradiction at all. Not one. Your simian ignorance simply discounts the need for filling in your allegories, overlaying your metaphors, and rendering your analogies without any sloppy heretical colouring over the lines.

I think your problem Cog is that you spend too much time gnawing the end of your pencils and not enough time sharpening them.

Now if you will excuse me I have some very dainty nipples to work on...uuh...

Featherless heretic!

Cognostic's picture
@Grinseed: "Gnawing on

@Grinseed: "Gnawing on pencils???" What's a pencil?

Whitefire13's picture
@smilingbirdfood..” thy

@smilingbirdfood..” thy breasts are like bunches of grapes"

OR “thy breasts are like bunches of raisins"

Tin-Man's picture
What's wrong with, "They

What's wrong with, "Thy breasts are like bunches of cantaloupe"?

Cognostic's picture
@Breasts...... He he he he

@Breasts...... He he he he he he ..... someone said "breasts."

Grinseed's picture
To be honest my fig has

To be honest my fig has definitely withered.

Do cantaloupes grow in bunches?

Randomhero1982's picture
Why do I not believe, well it

Why do I not believe, well it's quite simple... it's bollocks!

And not just bollocks, but utter bollocks.

The notion of a god is exactly the same as that of santa claus and little green aliens running around area 51.

There may be parts of the story that resonate a modicum of truth (Roswell is a real place... there may have been a 'st nicholas') but the fact is there is sod all evidence to support the notion.

Further evidence by the fact that the worlds leading theologians can only argue for a creator by logical arguement (no deductive arguements though) and by making a piss poor job of misrepresenting scientific theories and hypotheses.

Or how about that at the height of religious power, God and religion explained everything.
But since the enlightenment and the advance of science, god explains precisely fuck all.

And to even make any sense, you must require the suspension of the laws of nature and physics (hint, it never happens).

I would even argue the theism has not even reached the lowest levels of any burden of proof, it is the pathetic.

It's insulting that theists should be almost a protected class, shielded from the ridicule and examination their dog shit claims and bullshit beliefs, truly deserve.

Time to grow up.

boomer47's picture



Are you saying that because you don't care, no other atheist should either? If so it's a pretty presumptuous-argument-from-ignorance-kind-of-a thing-to-say. IMO

To answer your question :

I care, academically at least. I've been studying other cultures, mythology and religions for over 30 years. First at university, and privately since then . My interest in the history of Judaism, Christianity and the bible have been renewed in the last 8-9 years. First from Finkelstein' and Siberman's "The Bible Unearthed" and Dever's "Did God Have a wife?" (yes) .

Latterly, I discovered Bart Ehrman and think his books are pretty good (except one: DiD Jesus Exist?, which I think is scholastically weak)

OF COURSE you are entitled absolutely to your opinion. However perhaps try to refrain from presuming others will/should share your opinions.

boomer47's picture
@Random hero

@Random hero

"Why do I not believe, well it's quite simple... it's bollocks!

And not just bollocks, but utter bollocks."

Interesting claim, albeit just a smidge simplistic

"It's insulting that theists should be almost a protected class, shielded from the ridicule and examination their dog shit claims and bullshit beliefs, truly deserve."

Sorry to piss in your porridge but; '"You're insulted? So fucking what?" (Stephen Fry ) Also a classic argument from ignorance.

I'd really like to hear about your opinion. Perhaps gave a go at toning down the emotionalism a smidge and crank up the logic and reasoned discussion a notch.

Randomhero1982's picture
Interesting claim, albeit

Interesting claim, albeit just a smidge simplistic

Well, when the claim from theists is as utterly baseless as it is, a simplistic retort is perfectly valid.

They state there is a god and have almost zero evidence to support the notion, they deserve the same amount of effort in response.

Sorry to piss in your porridge but; '"You're insulted? So fucking what?" (Stephen Fry ) Also a classic argument from ignorance.

By all means, piss away.

I'll be brief as we all on this forum have gone over this, time and time again...

• Theism has no epiricle evidence to support the claim
• Has never formed a deductive logical arguement to support the claim
• Misrepresent the scientific community where possible
• Make claims requiring the suspension of the laws of nature, that never happens and cannot prove it has
• Make claim requiring the suspension of the laws of physic, which to what we know hasn't been known to ever happen and again, they cannot prove it has
• Life from as we know it, to distant primate relatives, to the formation of earth, to the accretion disc and all the way to the hig bang... all follow natural unbroken causal links.
No need for super natural shenanigans and no evidence of it either.
•Theism once claimed God as the answer to most if not all phenomena, now since the enlightenment and the prominence of science, God answers nothing, ergo it is not required.
• It is no better then other fairy tales like Santa and the easter bunny and should be discarded like other gods such as Zeus, Apollo and The Great Juju.
• All arguement for theism now stand on foundations of "but meh holy book!", logical arguments (non of which are deductive) and massively misrepresenting science.
As shania Twain said, "that dont impress me much!"

There is absolutely nothing concrete to the arguemnt that there is a god and I give it as much credence as ghosts and childrens imaginary friends.

I could go on and on but honestly its dull and I just want to hear something even remotely resembling evidence from a theist without committing a god of the gaps fallacy, appealing to authority or arguments from incredulity and arguments from ignorance.

CyberLN's picture
Italianish, you asked, “Why

Italianish, you asked, “Why don’t you believe ?”

It’s quite simple. I’ve never been presented any sensible reason to do so.

Davi C's picture
Hello Italianish,

[post deleted by moderator]

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Davi

@ Davi

Sounds like you are a christian Davi.....

David Killens's picture
Davi C, are you a theist?

Davi C, are you a theist?

What the fuck are you doing in here?

David Killens's picture
@ Italianish

@ Italianish

This babble by this obvious theist is a wonderful example on how to look at things. We are each layig out methods, valid points, and rational methods in examining the claims. And in comes a bible thumper, and the final message is.. you just have to accept, you just have to believe.

Nyarlathotep's picture
@Davi C

@Davi C

...the Atheist Hub is open to atheists only.

If you want to argue for Christianity or whatever; do so in the debate forum.


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