Atheists Know the Bible.

Check it, yo:

You know the Bible 77%!

 

Wow! You are truly a student of the Bible! Some of the questions were difficult, but they didn’t slow you down! You know the books, the characters, the events . . . Very impressive!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
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I didn’t even cheat. See what happens when you beat the daylights out of a little kid with a ruler every time her eyes stray from the holy book to look outside?

Someone on a rather frothing message board* earlier asserted with rather smug satisfaction that, as an atheist, I can’t possibly know the bible. I’m frankly a bit bored with the assertion, coming as it does every time I say something about this book in which people put so much stock. I know the bible. Well. 77% of it, anyway, and frankly, I don’t need “Jesus’ love” to interpret the passages, any more than I need the Green Man’s love to figure out Beowulf (was going to go with Odin, but I’m trying to stay regional).

Is it really considered a valid argument that one cannot understand  a text if one does not believe that text? Somehow I don’t think so. Is it valid to automatically assume one cannot read the Bible without accepting it in full? No. Atheists read and study and question the bible. It’s how most atheists become  atheists. It seems self defeating to enter into an argument with someone who has not only read something, but read it critically and then accuse them of not knowing what they’re talking about. Of course, that’s just my opinion….I could be wrong. But I don’t think so.

*I don’t want to name them, but they have this pizza on their site and use the words “left behind” a lot.

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11 responses to “Atheists Know the Bible.

  1. .. I too am more impressed by even the pastors as to what good they really do, as to how many people they pray for and how much of the Bible they practice over what they claim they know or what earthly big wig had approved them..

    http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/trinity/

  2. justanotherjen

    I got 79%. It’s been awhile since I even picked up a Bible but I retained 79% of what I learned in 13 years of Catholic school.

    I’ve met other atheists online that could run circles around Christians when it comes to the Bible. A lot of the Christians I’ve met only memorize certain versus, the ones that come up the most and can quote them without thought.

    I’ve actually met atheists that have studied the Bible in depth, either on their own or for a degree in college, and know it forwards and backwards. I just don’t have enough interest in it to reread it.

  3. leftcoastlibrul

    Honestly, Jen, I don’t think we’re missing anything. Pretty sure it’s the same as it was way back when those nuns were putting scars on our knuckles.

  4. You say you know the Bible, bravo! The real question remains: do you know God?

  5. I’ve actually met atheists that have studied the Bible in depth, either on their own or for a degree in college, and know it forwards and backwards. I just don’t have enough interest in it to reread it.

    proves my point it is not how much of the Bible you know but how much you practise that counts too

    http://pbulow.tripod.com/wait.html

    http://pbulow.tripod.com/voice.html

  6. >>Amen, Thenonconformer. I think the problem lies in people looking for a specific verse that tells them an exact answer. These are the ones who demand we stay ONLY in context. Doing this is right in many cases, but it is often like looking at one square inch on a vast painting, and thinking they see the whole picture. We see the Trinity by seeing MANY parts of the picture God painted in the Bible.

    True.

    PEOPLE ARE LAZY AND WANT AN OVER SIMPLIFIED RELIGION, GOSPEL, BIBLE.. AND 95 PERCENT OF THE CHRISTIANS EVEN NOW DO NOT READ THE BIBLE FOR THEMSELVES FOR MORE THAN 5 MINUTES A DAY, SO THEY BELIEVE MOSTLY WHAT OTHERS HAD SAID ABOUT THE BIBLE.

    sad but true.. too many false pastors, false teachers, false cults, false denominations with hidden agenda take advantage of this void and lead the professing Christian sheep astray next, helped by the devil in all of this too undeniably.

  7. leftcoastlibrul

    therev1, thanks for the comment.

    Two rather interesting contradictory statements exist.

    1. By knowing the bible, we come to know god.

    2. It is impossible to know the mind of god.

    Either way, as I do not believe god exists, I can quite honestly say that knowing god matters not to me, but that by knowing the bible and the torah, I’ve come to know the people who follow them. And to me, knowing those people is far more important than knowing something I don’t believe exists.

    Hey, nonconformer, good to see you back!

    I, too, become frustrated with people who claim to follow something they haven’t even read. I think there are a lot of important lessons in the bible, but that they should at least be put in perspective. There are a LOT of “guides for living one’s life” out there; many of them philosophy (I don’t read self-help, I consider most of them vapid). If we look at the bible as philosophy and put it in that context, I think we’d be better off than if we pour all this belief into it.

  8. If we look at the bible as philosophy and put it in that context, I think we’d be better off than if we pour all this belief into it.

    Interestingly, even Biblical philosophy is pretty poor. The Bible only gains its stature by people ignoring what it says and substituting what they already believe to be right. The famous “do to others what you would have them do to you” is a terrible ethical system. Confucius was much wiser when he said (several centuries earlier), “what I do not want myself, I do not do to others.” When Christians read Jesus here, they almost always interpret it as Confucius said because Confucius makes sense here and Jesus doesn’t.

    It is worth noting that Jewish writers had come to exactly the same formulation as Confucius, also a few centuries before Jesus. Tobit 4:15 says “what you hate, do not do to any one.” I point out Confucius only to note to the lack of exclusivity that the Bible has in even what is considered its greatest philosophical or ethical contributions. It’s such a mixed bag of reasonable (if common) and horrible ethics and morals that it certainly isn’t the book I would point anyone to in order to find a good philosophy of life. I think it a book only safely read once one already *has* a good philosophy of life.

  9. leftcoastlibrul

    I would point out that actually developing a good philosophy of life involves critically reading, thinking about, and discussing philosophy. Developing one’s own philosophy based on nothing more than one’s own personal thoughts and feelings leaves very little room for growth.

    IME, there is much we can learn from the bible as a philosophy, if one reads critically. Ecclesiastes is my favorite book, personally, but I learned far more from Paul and Matthew. I may be wrong in this estimation, but I feel we learn more from those with whom we disagree than from those with whom we agree. That by being forced to analyze and build our arguments, we find the holes and fallacies in them, and rebuild them on stronger, more reasonable and logical lines.

  10. Afghani journalism student Parwiz Kambakhsh has been sentenced to death for blaspheming because he not only downloaded articles regarding woman’s right’s under Islam, but also exposing the brutality against women and children by the local warlords in his community. He is being sentenced to death for “disseminating defamatory comments about Islam.”Say it isn’t soooo? Sounds like another mo-ham-med teddy bear moment to me! A three judge panel decided that his articles were blasphemous and sentenced him to die. That’s Shari’ah Law for you. The issue for this writer is the Islamic concept of blasphemy

    http://gto7.wordpress.com/2008/02/03/islam-is-truly-satans-religion/

    For any religion to survive in the modern world, it needs to adapt to its reality, especially when it comes to equality between men and women concerning religious practices. As men and women should worship God in the same way, women should also have the same rights as women in assuming religious responsibilities.
    Some persons try to say that Islam has freed them, but did your brothers, father, government free you yet too? or are they still killing, murdering you ?

    Physical abuse, Human rights abuses, Verbal abuse, silent treatment or being a control freak is also not acceptable even on the net..

    While there are some common, rare similarity amongst some of the major religions in this world, The aspect of polygamy, the rigths of divorce is clearly one that contrasts them all.. for a True Christian divorce is not permitted at all.. even if many Christians falsely practice it.

    Too Many persons do practice their own version of Christianity, and Islam it seems thus, based on what others have said it says too..

    It is true that there are many Muslims, men as well as women, who fully do not live up to the teachings of Islam,and the other religions now just as there are too many Christian men and women who do not live up to the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles, the Bible undeniably.

    Muslims women themselves now often complain to news editors how they are abused by Muslim men. Muslim Relgion and do not have equal rights to the men, for example the right to go to school in many Muslim countries now too.. Muslims have equal rights to the other citizens in the English speaking countries.. In fact non Muslims do not have the same rights as Muslims in many Muslim countries now too and all of these facts are undeniable, and undisputable.

    You must always still judge any person now by what they say, but by what they do. Bad people do bad things, no matter what their religion is now too.
    It is interesting that a lot of the comparative religion’s values stated on the internet was, are still based on how the followers of that religion, do respect the human rights of others too, and how they now do practically treat other, and each others too, especially how they do treat the women today, equally or unfairly now too. And while that alone is a valid point, especially since women make up over half of the population of the world, and all of this is valid especially , since God himself clearly and for certainty does not allow the abuse of any persons, verbally or physically, or allow now any human rights abuses now as well, and for any reasons as well, and that now also still even includes any man, woman, child, and any seniors now as well, any abuses of self or others are sinful…While there are some common, rare similarity amongst some of the major religions in this world, The aspect of divorce is clearly one that contrasts them all.. It is true that there are many Muslims, men as well as women, who fully do not live up to the teachings of Islam, just as there are many Christian men and women who do not live up to the teachings of Jesus. You must always still judge any person now by what they say, but by what they do. Bad people do bad things, no matter what their religion is now too. Also real Reform from within Muslim societies is still even needed, first by education, knowing that over half of Muslims today, are illiterate, only 15 percent know Arabic, which is the language of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam. Too Many persons do practice their own version of Christianity, and Islam it seems thus, what others have said it says too..

    What others say

    “Islam as a religion aiming to oppress women is a direct result of the abuse of Islam by some Muslim states, depending on the absolute respect given to religion by Muslim societies. In fact, Islamic law, if interpreted outside of its proper context, could be abused to justify and codify the violations of women’s rights in Muslim societies and states in the name of religion, in order to achieve certain social and political goals. The central question that poses itself, is whether there already exists a space for women to enjoy their human rights under the umbrella of Islam, or whether in general, men “have a degree” over women in Islam (Abdul-Ati). If some people are arguing that Islam ensures equity between men and women in both rights and duties, then what does it mean when the Qur’an, which is the standard revelatory source of Islamic Law, says: “And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage in some cases of inheritance) over them,” (Qur’an 2:228). How would those people explain the meaning of that “degree” that men have over women? Is it because of that revelatory verse that some Muslim societies until now treat women as second-degree creatures in the name of Islam? The existence of some specific women’s rights in Islam is now obvious, and provided with a good argument, but how about polygamy in Islam? Is it true that a Muslim man has the right to marry up to four wives? Where is equity, then? What does it mean when the Qur’an states that a Muslim man, if he has the potential, can choose to marry one or two or three, or even four women (Badawi)? Does it mean that women are that marginalized and humiliated by the name of the religion?”
    http://takingitglobal.org/express/panorama/article.html?ContentID=2393

    It is a sad note as well that both religious persons of all the minor, major religions too, and non religious persons, at least 90 percent of them, have been, or are still unacceptably guilty of false the discriminations of others, even too often the accusers of the others.

    There is still a serious, real need in changing the Muslim countries’ laws, agendas, in order to fill the gap between the supposed women’s rights afforded by Islam, and women’s rights afforded in reality by many of the Muslim societies, and most Muslim males have to accept some serious religious even re-education.. Also real Reform from within Muslim societies is still even needed, first by even education, knowing that over half of Muslims today, are illiterate, only 15 percent do even know Arabic, which is the language of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam.

    “I don’t understand how Islam supposedly can give all these rights to women and then place the man as the head of the household in a position to abuse the woman’s rights. For instance, how can she hold on to her personal wealth if he tells her to hand it over? I do not know one Muslim family where the man is not abusing his position in some way.” Surah 4 – verse 34: *{… as to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill conduct, admonish them [first], [next] refuse to share their beds, [and last] beat them [lightly]; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means [of annoyance]: for God is Most High, Great [above you all].}* Can a wife beat her unfaithful husband according to Islam now too? Another central issue should be re-examined–the common practise of Islam where a Muslim man’s testimony in a court is counted as equal to the testimony of two Muslim women. That itself is degrading. “and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as you choose for witnesses so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. ” (Qur’an 2:282). ” Much too many Muslim men consider this verse religious evidence that women are mentally deficient.” ” Many persons consider the standing of Muslim women behind men in prayers a practical evidence that women under Islam, are excluded and humiliated, even in matters regarding their spiritual rights and there is no justification for the standing of women behind men.”
    “My beloved wife oftentimes reminds my family to regard her with respect to her mind, but my mama and papa laugh at her. What can I say to my wife to stop her from slapping them down in anger? “. If husband can divorce his wife by saying 3 talak at a time & marriage is over, then how does Islam protect women’s right? Many husbands do abuse their divorce power. All the Muslim men who claim to be Muslims and abuse the women supposedly do not even know well their own religion or do not practice it? and for too many Muslim men it seems also it does not matter what Islam says because he is only following what pleases him, his interests, his interpreations of the laws.. sad.. Also since Islam came supposedly with higher moral laws to correct those of the Jahiliyyah, why didn’t Islam abolish enslaving women and children at times of war? Any abuse of anyone by anyone still is unacceptable. ” Everytime I ask my dad to open a bank account for me, he says I am a girl and therefore I should not get a bank account, while my younger brother has a bank account…” all about the true side of Islam.

    “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. Surah 4 Verse 19″
    …They (Your wives) are your garments and ye are their garments. …. Surah 2 Verse 187

    “Among the Muslims, the most perfect as regards his faith is the one whose character is most excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their wives well.”

    Physical abuse, Human rights abuses, Verbal abuse, silent treatment or being a control freak is also not acceptable even on the net..

    Muslims women themselves now often complain to news editors how they are abused by Muslim men. Muslim Religion and do not have equal rights to the men, for example the right to go to school in many Muslim countries now too.. Muslims have equal rights to the other citizens in the English speaking countries.. In fact non Muslims do not have the same rights as Muslims in many Muslim countries now too and all of these facts are undeniable, and undisputable.
    .. I am also sure if you ask enough people, continue to look for it that you can find just about any answer you want to justify your continuing to sin as well.. but you are fooling only yourself still and not God.

    Note: Sikhism now also like Mormons, Hindus, Jehovah Witnesses, Islam , Buddhism, and many others too are a cult, sect that bears no genuine relationship to Christianity too. It does not follow the Christian Bible too.

    One cannot help but notice how so many of these religions differ but now they still do claim to be originated with God. A true God is certainly not so confused that he has started all these various, different and false religions.

    While there are some common, rare similarity amongst some of the major religions in this world, The aspect of divorce is clearly one that contrasts them all.. for a True Christian divorce is not permitted at all.. even if many Christians falsely practice it.

    but one should also clearly note that the religion own method of the absolute treatment of the forgiveness of personal sins is also more important to note, recognize now as well. Only the Christian religion undeniable provides assurance of one’s personal salvation, entrance to Heaven and clearly now promises immediate complete forgiveness too, through the past shed blood of God, Jesus Christ Himself !

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