THE ANGRY OLD MAN
After one of our discussions on religion the person I was with gave me the pamphlet "WHAT ABOUT THE BIBLE", a religious tract that his wife gave him to give to me. After reading it I sat down and in response I wrote up the following answer to the material in the pamphlet. I asked him to take it home to his wife. Needless to say, he didn't. Neither one of them will accept, or even read anything that disagrees with their narrow view.
This is in response to the pamphlet "WHAT ABOUT THE BIBLE"
A fundamental and basic difference that separates me from the orthodox Christians and which more than likely precludes any serious discussion on the subject is that I do not blindly accept the bible as the infallible word of God. I agree with the statement in the pamphlet that the Bible is a collection of books...and the bible is the foundation and touchstone for everything that the church believes, teaches and practices. But to claim, with undying certainty, that every word was inspired by God is both illogical and irrational. Such an acceptance and belief is based on faith rather than any proof or solid evidence.
Such self-proclamations of correctness and righteousness that is used to validate the Bible do not mean that it's so. China's Mao Tse-tung in his little red book made such claims. As did Hitler in Mein Kampf. Whatever religious holy book or teachings you examine, this self-proclamation of correctness and righteousness is present.
The Bible is a collection of books, but a collection that was selected from a much larger collection of books from that period of history. The individuals that wrote, as well as the individuals that selected the 66 books of the Bible, all had an agenda and a philosophy which they were promoting. It would be nonsense to expect them to write or select writings that didn't agree with that philosophy.
You also have to take into account those individuals who, over the years, have attempted to translate and interpret the Bible. They also have an agenda and a philosophy to promote. A result of this built in bias can be seen in the variety of Bible versions and interpretations as well as the numerous denominations within the Christian camp alone.
One example of this agenda/persuasion driven effect is the current attempt to interpret the Dead Sea Scrolls. Teams of scholars have been working on this for years without any concrete results. Because of their various and often conflicting agendas and belief systems they spend months on deciding the meaning of a single word. Not that they don't know what that word means, but they can't agree, within their individual bias', on how to use it. Thus we have a collection of com- promises which don't solve or help solve the effort.
The bottom line, as they like to say today, is that belief in the Bible is based on one's faith and need. Despite all the claims to the contrary, no one KNOWS what transpired 2000 years ago. We think, we believe and we accept, but we do not know. We can speculate, postulate and make all sorts of claims, but in reality, no one knows the how, why or when of mans' origin. And for the vast majority, this is intolerable.
Thus man invented religions, a vast array of them. Religion is a creation of man for man (generic speaking) to help explain the unknown. But the unknown remains unknown.