There is no "hell" in the Bible, and if there was, shouldn’t Christians have the courage of their convictions, and never bring children into the world?
by Michael R. Burch
There is no reason for Christians to believe in "hell" because, according to the Bible itself, "hell" did not pre-exist and was never created. I will prove this in due course, but before I quote book, chapter and verse, please allow me to appeal to your reason . . .
If Christians believe there is any possibility that human beings might suffer for in "hell" for all eternity, how can they even consider having children? Shouldn’t Christian churches that profess to know the "truth" teach the necessity of sterilizing boys and girls before they reach puberty, if "hell" really exists? How can any compassionate mother, father or Divine Being allow innocent children to be born, then grow up and go to an "eternal hell"? Are they monsters? If there is a loving, wise, just God who knows that an eternal hell exists, wouldn’t he prevent human children from being born, or at least sternly warn human beings about the terrible consequences of having children who might end up in "hell"?
Since God has not prevented human children from being born, and hasn’t sternly warned all human parents about the terrible dangers of giving birth, how can anyone credit Christian churches that teach the dogma of an "eternal hell"?
The fact that Christian churches do not sternly warn Christians not to have children is proof positive that the men in the highest places are either (1) not compassionate or (2) do not really believe in "hell." The fact that God does not correct them is proof positive that either (1) "hell" does not exist, or (2) if "hell" exists, then God is not loving, wise and just, because he did not prevent human births or sternly warn against them.
So why should Christian mothers and fathers tell innocent children about a terrifying place called "hell," when "hell" is obviously a form of child abuse perpetuated by organized religion because it’s "good for business"—a moneymaking "cash cow"? Should Christian parents allow their children to be emotionally, psychologically and spiritually terrorized, because a few diabolical so-called "Christians" decided it would "help" the growth prospects of the church if hell was stitched into the Bible, a book that in its Hebrew incarnation had never mentioned "hell" in chronologies covering many thousands of years? Obviously "hell" was never mentioned to Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, Moses, King David, Solomon, et all — a very curious omission on the part of God and his prophets, if there really is a place called "hell." I grew up in an evangelical Christian family and was plagued by the fear of eternal suffering until I took the time to study the matter in the Bible itself, and found to my surprise that there was no reason for any Christian to believe in "hell."
It is a terrible thing for young, bright, sensitive, highly impressionable children to believe that any human being will suffer for all eternity, with no hope of "salvation." Ignorance is not always bliss. Sometimes ignorance results in the most exquisite torture, when children put their trust in adults who resort to blind faith.
Before I explain why that there is no reason to believe in "hell" based on the
evidence of the Bible itself, let me point out another reason not to
believe in hell, if there is a God who is loving, wise, just, and able to
save. It there is a heaven where there is no suffering or death, it seems
obvious that one of two things must be true, if God is the only savior, as the
Bible says: (1) either
God must change human nature so that human beings can no longer cause each other to
suffer, or (2) God must change the nature of the world to come, so that
suffering is not possible. Clearly, if one of these two things doesn’t happen,
heaven will not be heaven, because there will still be suffering in heaven.
But obviously, a God who is able change either human nature or the nature of the
world to come does not need "hell." Only a God who is unable to
change human nature and who is also unable to change the nature of the world to
come, might need a place like "hell." But the Hebrew prophets never said that
the power of God was in any way limited by human
faith or works. In fact, they claimed that God would save all creation
despite human faith and works.
And here is a third simple proof that orthodox Christianity makes no sense, if there is a God who is loving, wise and just. Orthodox Christianity claims that anyone who doesn't believe in Jesus will go to hell. But how could a just God send people to hell for not believing in Jesus, unless they had heard of him? But if only people who have heard of Jesus go to hell for not believing in him, then to merely mention the name "Jesus" to anyone must fling open the gates of hell. Would it be wise or just of God to create a religion that turns the name "Jesus" into the word that sends human beings to hell? Of course that makes no sense at all. So why do Christian churches send out missionaries to evangelize all the world? Isn't it obvious that a loving, wise, just God must not care if people believe in Jesus, or not?
Hebrew prophets like Ezekiel said that all Israel would be saved and that even Sodom would be restored in the end. Saint Paul, the great Christian evangelist, agreed that all Israel would be saved. But most Jews have never believed in Jesus. The Bible clearly says that God will be all in all, not all in some. How can the best verses in the Bible be true, if only people who believe in Jesus can be saved?
Now, I will proceed to discuss the evidence (or, rather, the lack of evidence) for a place called "hell" in the Bible . . .
If you want to be sure that children you know and love are not being abused
and tormented unnecessarily, you can use an online search tool to study an
accurate modern version of the Bible, such as the Holman Christian Standard
Bible. (I will provide a hyperlink below.) According to the HCSB (sponsored by
the famously conservative and literal Southern Baptist Convention), neither God
nor the Hebrew prophets ever mentioned a place called "hell" in the entire Old
Testament. And there really isn’t any reason to believe in "hell" based on the
New Testament either, as I will explain, shortly.
Most Bible scholars agree today that the earliest-written Christian texts were the epistles (letters) of Paul. Paul probably died before the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in AD 70, because he never mentioned that event. Historical accounts and the Bible make it seem likely that Paul went to Rome and was held prisoner by the Roman emperor Nero while he awaited trial. If Nero had Paul executed, as history suggests, Paul probably died no later than AD 68, the year Nero died himself. But Paul may have died several years earlier, since Nero blamed the fire that destroyed much of Rome in AD 64 on Christians. Paul was the primary Christian evangelist to the Gentiles, so it would have made sense for Nero to call Paul the ringleader and make him one of the prime scapegoats. But in any case, when we read the epistles of Paul, we are reading letters that were written to the very early Christian churches, and Paul never mentioned a place called "hell" or "Hades," even though he claimed to have received his gospel directly from God. Furthermore the book of Acts (ostensibly the self-recorded history of the early Christian church) never mentions anyone being condemned to a place called "hell" or "Hades" — not even when Peter and Stephen were preaching sermons to the men who had murdered Jesus Christ a few weeks prior to Pentecost. If those sermons are recorded accurately, the early Christians were not condemning anyone to "hell." According to the Bible, Jesus and Stephen asked for their murderers to be forgiven, not to be condemned to "hell."
As we will see, there is compelling evidence that the dogma of "hell" did not enter Christianity until after the death of Paul. And this makes sense because Paul was a Jew and most Jews have never believed in "hell," to this day. Ironically, the Jews who did believe in "hell" were the Pharisees, according to the Jewish historian Josephus (a contemporary of Paul). Josephus was born in Jerusalem in AD 37 and studied the main sects of Judaism as a young man. If there was another sect within Judaism with a professed belief in hell, surely Josephus would have mentioned it when he mentioned the Pharisees’ belief in an "everlasting prison" beneath the earth. But Josephus didn’t say anything about any Jews other than the Pharisees believing in "hell."
If Paul knew nothing about a place called "hell," and the Hebrew prophets also knew nothing about "hell," then it seems one of two things would follow: (1) if an all-knowing God ever communicated with the men who wrote the Bible, there is no "hell" or (2) human beings made the whole thing up, from the very beginning. In either case, there is no reason to believe in "hell." So adults should be honest with children and not abuse them with horrific visions of eternal suffering.
If you doubt what I’ve said so far, please study the Bible yourself. This will only take a few seconds. You can click on this link www.biblegateway.com/keyword, then search for the word "hell." If you do this, you will find two very strange things (please keep in mind that the HCSB is a modern version of the Bible recently produced by conservative Bible scholars who were intent on providing readers with the most exact translation of the Bible possible):
(1) There is not a single occurrence of the word "hell" in the entire Old Testament, in chronologies covering thousands of years. And this makes perfect sense because anyone who has studied the Old Testament knows that its God never mentioned "hell" or even the remotest possibility of suffering after death to Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, King David, Solomon, or a long line of Hebrew prophets. So clearly, according to the Bible, "hell" did not pre-exist. Even the greatest of all the Hebrew prophets, Moses, knew absolutely nothing about "hell." When Moses discussed the various punishments for sins, they were always temporal (of this earth). "Hell" was never mentioned, even to the worst people at the worst of times. The possibility of "hell" was not mentioned to Cain, the first murderer, nor to Noah at the time of the wickedness that led to the Great Flood, nor to Abraham or Lot at the time of the destruction of Sodom, nor to the Pharaoh at the time of the plagues of Egypt. If there were eternal consequences for sin, it would have been silly for God and Moses to go on and on about the temporal consequences, wouldn’t it? That would be like me telling my son that I'll take away his cell phone if he gets bad grades, then going ballistic and torturing him for the rest of his life for failing to pass a class. How can God be considered just if he says the wages of sin are temporal (death), and never says anything different, but then inflicts eternal punishment on billions of people who never knew what was coming?
(2) And there is no mention of "hell" in the earliest-written Christian texts or the book of Acts. This means that if we read the histories of the Bible chronologically, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Acts, there is not a single mention of a place called "hell" in the entire Bible, except for a measly ten verses in two of the Gospels (why do the other two Gospels never once mention "hell" if it really exists?) and even these remaining ten verses are not really about "hell." With the exception of a single verse from 2nd Peter (discussed below) the only verses in the HCSB which contain the word "hell" all mistranslate "Gehenna," with some of those verses being duplications (the same verses appear in the parallel gospels of Matthew and Mark). Modern Bible scholarship generally agrees that the gospels were written after the epistles of Paul, and since Paul never mentioned a place called "hell" it seems obvious that "hell" was introduced at a very late date in the development of the Bible. But timelines aside, Gehenna is still not "hell," but a physical location in Israel. At the time of Jesus, Gehenna was a fiery landfill and a good metaphor for a place to be avoided. But today Gehenna is a lovely park. You can find pictures of it on the Internet. So there is no reason to believe in "hell" as a revelation of the Bible, or God. If an all-wise God had wanted human beings to believe in "hell," he could have mentioned its name, the date of its creation, its purpose, and how it could be avoided, the minute it was created. In fact, in order to be considered just, it would have been incumbent on God to do so, not only for Jews and Christians, but for the whole world. But there is no verse anywhere in the Bible, or anywhere on the planet, that announces the creation or purpose of "hell." How would it have been in any way just for Native Americans or Tahitians to die, then wake up in an "eternal hell" they knew nothing about? How could God be considered loving, wise or just, if this was the case?" We have to keep in mind that at the time Paul was preaching his gospel, much of the world would not be discovered for up to 1400+ years: North America, South America, Australia, etc.
Furthermore, how is it possible that "hell" did not exist in the Hebrew Bible at all, and then people just started talking about it, as if "hell" was a foregone conclusion? The answer is simple: there was a delay and a change of location between the time the epistles of Paul and the book of Acts were written, and the time the "hell" verses were finally added to the New Testament. By the time the very few verses that discuss "hell" had been added, people had already come to accept the idea of some sort of punishment after death, so there was no debate on the topic. (Or perhaps the hellish verses may have helped create the visions of "hell" to come. Much of what Christians believe about "hell" today does not come from the Bible at all, but from the over-fertile imaginations of poets like Dante and Milton, who were themselves greatly influenced by Greek poets like Homer.)
The fact that there is no debate about "hell" recorded in the Bible is extremely important. The Bible records several disagreements between Jesus and Jews who were not his disciples. Jesus debated the Pharisees and Sadducees on a variety of topics. But there is no recorded debate in which Jesus ever said people would go to hell, and they responded, "How can you condemn us to a ‘hell’ that was never mentioned in Hebrew scripture, by God or any prophet! Who are you to condemn us to this ‘hell’ that God and the prophets knew nothing about?" Ironically, Jesus did ridicule the Pharisees’ concept of hell (which they had clearly borrowed from the Greek poets and pagan Greek mythology), in his parable of Lazarus and the rich man. But Jesus was obviously mocking the idea that some people (Pharisees) would inherit heaven simply by being "sons of Abraham" while other people (Gentiles) ended up in a fiery pit. If Jesus and his apostles had been condemning people to hell, those people who were familiar with Hebrew scripture would have been livid with rage. I know, because I feel deep anger today, when I hear Christians condemning the people of other faiths to "hell." It also fills me with great anger to think of children being told they are in danger of "hell." Because such anger is not mentioned in the Bible, the most reasonable explanation is that Jesus, the apostles and Paul did not tell other Jews that they were in danger of "hell," and the "hell" verses came later.
Also, it is important to note that "infant baptism" and "the age of accountability" are both non-Biblical doctrines never mentioned by Jesus or Paul (or anyone else in the Bible). They were only needed after Christians began to condemn non-Christians to "hell" for not believing in Jesus, which left them with the problem that babies and children too young to believe in Jesus could not be saved. The idea that babies had to be baptized in order to avoid "hell" (later softened to "limbo") was the brainchild of guilt-plagued "theologians" like Saint Augustine. But the Catholic church wanted "salvation" to rest in the hands of priests, and of course not every baby could be splashed with magical water by magical priests, so over the centuries multitudes of Christian mothers were led to believe their unbaptized babies went to "hell" or "limbo" when they died. When Martin Luther came up with his reformations of Christianity, infant baptism went out the window, but Luther was yet another guilt-plagued theologian, so the mysterious "age of accountability" was ushered in to keep God from being forced to send babies to hell for not believing in Jesus. But of course no one knows what the "age of accountability" is, because the Bible never mentions it. Without "hell," there is no need for infant baptism or the "age of accountability." But once "hell" had been created by human beings, no Christian theologian knew when stealing a cookie might cause a child to go to "hell."
Who could have added "hell" to the Bible, so clumsily, and gotten away with it? As I mentioned previously, most Jews have never believed in hell. Jesus and his earliest apostles were all Jewish. Until AD 70, the seat of the Christian church was in Jerusalem. The book of Acts records the history of the Jerusalem church, and it never mentions anyone being condemned to a place called hell. But after Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, the seat of the church moved to Greece and Rome. And people in Greece and Rome already believed in hell (not the educated men, but the ignorant masses). The commoners would have accepted the dogma of "hell" without debate because they were unfamiliar with Hebrew scripture and they already believed in hell. But it is important to note that this "hell" was Tartarus, not Hades. According to Josephus, it was the Pharisees who had incorporated the dogma of eternal punishment into their version of Judaism. Where did hell originate? First with pagan Greek poets like Homer (whom Socrates and Plato accused of lying, and teaching other poets to lie), then with the sworn enemies of Jesus, the Pharisees!
Today even conservative Bible scholars admit that the Hebrew word "Sheol" means "the grave," not "hell." If Sheol means "hell," then Job asked to be hidden from suffering in hell, King David said God would be with him when he made his bed in hell, and the sons of Korah said God would redeem their souls from hell. These statements flatly contradict the orthodox Christian dogma of an eternal hell which is a place of eternal suffering, where God is absent, and from which no soul can be redeemed. So it is obvious that "Sheol" is not the Christian "hell." Since "Sheol" does not mean "hell," there is no mention of "hell" in the entire Old Testament. The Hebrew language doesn’t even have a word that means "hell." That’s a startling omission, if God transmitted the Hebrew Bible to Moses and other human beings, don’t you think?
The same is true for the Greek word "Hades," which also means "the grave," not "hell." To confirm this, just read the Wikipedia article on Hades. Hades was the grave, or the abode of all the dead, not just the "wicked." The Greek hell was a region within Hades, called "Tartarus." This is only word in the entire Bible which can be correctly translated as "hell." It appears in 2nd Peter 2:4. But this word, "Tartarus," is used in reference to fallen angels awaiting judgment, so it is not eternal, nor is it for human beings.
The HCSB no longer translates "Sheol" and "Hades" as "hell" which leaves a mere fourteen verses in the entire Bible that even mention a place called "hell." The verses in Mark are duplications of the "if your hand/foot/eye causes you to sin, cut if off" teaching in Matthew, so there are really only ten unique verses that mention Gehenna (ten is the number of man’s fingers, so there is an interesting connection between the "hell" verses and the "hand of man"), but the "Gehenna" of these ten verses is not "hell" but a lovely park in modern Israel, as I explained previously.
So only one verse in the entire Bible contains a word, "Tartarus," which designates a place that might properly be termed "hell." But the single Bible verse that mentions Tartarus says nothing about human beings going there.
So why should any Christian mother condemn her children, or any of the earth’s children, to "hell"?
There is no "hell" in the Old Testament. This can easily be confirmed because the possibility of "hell" was never mentioned, even at the worst of times, to Adam, Eve, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, Moses, David, Solomon or a long line of Hebrew prophets. Therefore, according to the Bible, "hell" clearly did not pre-exist. But neither is there a single verse in the entire Bible in which the creation or purpose of hell was ever announced. So according to the Bible, hell did not pre-exist and was never created." Like the Hebrew prophets, the early Christians seemed to know nothing about hell. This can easily be confirmed because the earliest and most prolific Christian writer, Paul, never mentioned a place called "hell" or "Hades." Nor does the book of Acts (the history of the early Christian church) ever mention "hell" or "Hades." Furthermore, the Bible records no debates about the existence of "hell." Jews who had read the Hebrew scriptures would have vigorously denied that a place called "hell" existed. And except for a single Bible verse, the words translated as "hell" in the King James Bible do not mean hell. "Sheol" and "Hades" clearly mean "the grave," not hell. "Gehenna" is a physical location in Israel; today it’s a park. The only word in the Bible that might actually be translated as "hell" is "Tartarus," but it appears in only a single verse (2 Peter 2:4) about fallen angels awaiting judgment, so if Tartarus is "hell," according to the Bible is not eternal and it is not for human beings.
Perhaps the most important discussion about "hell" in the Bible is Jesus’s parable of Lazarus and the rich man. I have taken the liberty of explaining the parable as Jesus might have explained it himself:
"Do people claim that I condemned anyone to ‘hell"? Please ask them to study my parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Was I describing an actual ‘hell’ or merely ridiculing the bizarre pagan Greek vision of the afterlife? Why are so many Christians unable to read their Bibles and understand what is so plainly obvious? Why have they allowed themselves to be brainwashed, and stopped using their hearts and minds?"
"As Josephus explained in his histories, the Pharisees were the ones who incorporated ‘hell’ into their version of Judaism. Why have Christians adopted the religion of the Pharisees, claiming to be the ‘chosen few’ who will somehow magically inherit the kingdom of heaven, while everyone else goes to ‘hell’? The ‘hell’ of the Pharisees clearly didn’t come from God or the prophets: it came from pagan Greek poets like Homer, then was later greatly embellished by Christian poets like Dante."
"If Christians were to study the Greek myth of Hades (there’s a Wikipedia article on the subject), they could easily see that Hades was not ‘hell’ but ‘the grave’ or the ‘abode of the dead.’ As with Sheol in the Old Testament, everyone went to Hades, not just the wicked. In the Old Testament, Job, David and Israel himself (the renamed Jacob) discussed going to Sheol, just as men and women discuss dying today. To condemn a person or a nation to Sheol or Hades was simply to say they would be destroyed in this earthly life."
"In the Greek vision of Hades, there was a fiery pit (Tartarus), an abode of the blessed (the Elysian Fields) and an immense abyss between the two regions. The dead could chat across the abyss, and the ‘blessed’ could see the sufferings of the ‘damned,’ but no one could cross from one region into the other. In this strange vision of the afterlife, heaven and hell were co-existent. But there had never been any such place described in Hebrew scripture."
"The Pharisees claimed they would inherit heaven, at the expense of their fellow men, particularly the Gentiles, simply because they were the ‘chosen few,’ the children of Abraham. So in my parable I upset their applecart, so to speak, by placing the rich Pharisee in the fiery pit of Tartarus, and the unclean Gentile beggar Lazarus in the Elysian Fields, which I changed into the ‘bosom of Abraham.’ This was for purposes of irony and satire. An analogy would be telling someone who believes the earth is flat, ‘Be sure not to fall over the edge!’ I purposely left God out of the picture, because the place being described was a pagan vision of the afterlife. No one who had actually read Hebrew scripture and believed that the prophets received their revelations from God could believe in such a ludicrous place. Hence, God was conspicuously absent from my parable. This was for purposes of irony and satire."
"Now Christian ‘Bible experts’ use my parable to ‘prove’ that I believed in ‘hell.’ But who can believe that loving, compassionate beings will be happy in a ‘heaven’ where they can hear the moans and screams of the ‘damned’? Today thanks to modern medical technology, you have many witnesses who have had near death experiences, in which they’ve seen glimpses of heaven. But how many of them have seen a ‘heaven’ that is juxtaposed with ‘hell’? Can Christians really believe that God and the Angels will hear the agonies of the ‘damned’ and do nothing to aid them? Wouldn’t it be better for us all to cease to exist?"
"If Christians were to study these matters—Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna—they would find no reason to believe in an ‘eternal hell’ as the revelation of God or the prophets. Yes, there are a few sporadic verses in the New Testament that seem to describe a place of suffering after death. But how could God and the prophets have entirely forgotten to mention the existence of ‘hell’ for thousands of years? There are two almost inescapable conclusions that can be drawn. It is up to Christians to decide which to believe: either God spoke to the Hebrew prophets and there is no ‘eternal hell,’ or God never spoke to them, and the Bible is entirely the creation of man’s imagination."
"But in either case, there is no reason to believe in ‘hell’ or to terrorize innocent children with such vile filth and despicable evil."
These are other contentions I have with the Bible:
Christianity says babies are "born evil" because of "original sin" and have to be magically "saved" by a "God" who sends nonbelievers to an "eternal hell" for not believing in him, even though he refuses to give human beings the time of day. This religion is obviously unjust and irrational. Adults should not be terrorizing innocent children into believing there is a God so petty, evil, unjust and monstrous that he would send people to hell for not "believing" in him. If there is a God, it is more than obvious that he doesn’t care anything about religious dogma.
If you attend a Baptist church, just pick up a hymnal and flip to the last hymn. At my church the last hymn number is 666.
According to orthodox Christianity, there is no way for men to be "saved." The reason is simple, if we understand what happens to boys at puberty. The Bible clearly says that thinking about having sex ("lust") is the same as committing adultery, and that all adulterers go to the "lake of fire." Well, no boy can "repent" of thinking about sex constantly when he reaches puberty, so there is no way for him to be "saved." When I reached puberty, I knew I was going to hell, and I knew why, according to the family religion. Boys have very logical minds (that’s why we’re good at math and abstract thinking), so when our mothers tell us that sex outside marriage is "evil" and that "evil" men go to hell, we can easily put two plus two together.
The Christian faith based on things that are clearly wrong. Christians are taught to believe that men like Abraham, Moses and King David were "men of God." But the Bible itself says otherwise. All we have to do is read it. For instance, King David was clearly not the "man after God’s own heart." David was the Jewish Hitler. He killed every woman when he "smote the land." He ordered the slaughter of the lame and blind when Jerusalem was taken from the Jebusites because he "hated" them. He tortured people in brick kilns (ovens), shades of the Nazis. And he never repented because with his dying breath he commanded the assassination of Joab, ostensibly for having shed innocent blood. But it was David who had offered Joab the captaincy of his armies for murdering the handicapped. David was the Jewish Hitler, and the antithesis of Jesus.
And much of the terrible misogyny of the past (and the present) springs from the "examples" of men who treated their wives and daughters like possessions. In some Bible verses, women are listed along with a man’s asses and other possessions, as if they were of no more consequence than donkeys. There is no reason to believe this had anything to do with God, since these "men of God" also said God "told them" to take slaves, kill babies, stone boys for being "stubborn" or "rebellious," murder girls for the "crime" of being raped, etc. When I was a boy, the Bible verse that convinced me not to be a Christian was the one about Lot offering his daughters to rapists. I didn’t understand the verse at the time, but now I do. This was simply the horrific mindset of men at that time. Men thought they were more important than women. Sons were more important than daughters. Firstborn sons were more important than other children. The son of a king was more important than the son of a serf. This was how the men of the Bible thought, but no one in his or her right mind can believe these ideas came from a just, wise, loving God. The great "men of God" of the Bible — men like Moses, David and Abraham — were barbarians when it came to the rights and feelings of women and children.
Abraham — according to the Bible — took his son Isaac without his wife’s knowledge and was ready to slit his throat "in the name of God," after having sent his other son Ishmael into the desert to die of thirst. This is the "spiritual ancestor" of three religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Is this what we should be teaching children: that we should show infinitely more love for an invisible "God" than our own children? That’s great for religions intent on siphoning off ten percent of everything people make, but not at all wonderful for children. And this just one of many instances in the Bible where "men of God" treated women and children as if they were insignificant chaff. Much of the Bible was obviously deliberately designed to keep women and girls under men’s thumbs. And not just in subtle ways. For instance the Bible clearly says that women can be taken as sex slaves, and that such slaves’ heads should be shaven (shaving a woman’s head was a way of demeaning, demoralizing and subjugating her). If you want to explore why the Bible was written to treat women so terribly, one of the best books I’ve read on the subject is The Alphabet Versus the Goddess. You can read excerpts online by doing a Google search for the title.
The book discusses how men came to be dominated by "left brain" thinking, which caused logic and cold-blooded calculations to dominate compassion and holistic thinking. The perverse determination of the ancient Hebrews to eradicate images (not just "idols" but all visual art, particularly anything to do with women) becomes "plain as day" the minute we stop assuming that every word in the Bible "came from God."
The Bible contains many palpably evil verses:
Men of God like Moses can kill women and male babies, keeping only virgin girls alive as sex slaves (Numbers 31).
Men of God (Moses again) should murder girls if they were raped, or sell them to their rapists so they could be raped legally the rest of their lives (Deuteronomy 22). This actually made "perfect sense" to the men of that time. Boys could work and help produce food. Girls were a burden unless they could be sold to other families, for dowries. But if a girl was not a virgin, she lost her value, because the "wise men" who wrote the Bible "knew" that God wanted all girls to be virgins, or tossed aside like so much worthless meat. So if a girl was raped, even though the fault was not hers, she should be stoned to death (a horrible way to die), or sold to her rapist with the cash going to her father, to reimburse him for his "loss."
There are multitudes of such vile commandments in the Bible. The worst ones are the commandments of the great prophet and lawgiver Moses and his prodigy Joshua (said by many Christians to be a "type" of Jesus), who practiced genocide — the slaying of everything that breathes — killing women, children and innocent animals to take the land God presumably "gave" them. Of course they just said that God wanted them to do whatever they chose to do. Anyone can say "God told me to kill innocent people." The Son of Sam heard voices telling him to kill innocent people, but we don’t look at what he did and claim the voice he heard was God’s. We judge him by what he did. If we judge the men of the Bible by what they did, rather than by what they said, men like Abraham, Moses, Joshua and David suddenly become evil, fanatical maniacs.
One of the most laughable things about the Bible is the curious idea that King David was "the man after God’s own heart." David was the Jewish Hitler.
Like Moses and Joshua, David killed women. David slew every woman when he "smote the land" (1 Samuel 27:9).
David ordered the slaughter of the lame and the blind when Jerusalem was taken from the Jebusites because he "hated" the handicapped (2 Samuel 5:8).
How can a man who kills women and the handicapped be a man "after God’s own heart"?
According to the Bible, God hardened David’s heart to take the census, then killed thousands of Israelites in a fit of pique because the census was taken (2 Samuel 24:1).
But another Bible writer said it was Satan who hardened David’s heart (1 Chronicles 21:1).
Interestingly, the name "Satan" had never been mentioned in the chronologies of the Bible before 1 Chronicles 21:1.
Why? The reason is clear. The Bible says David only disobeyed God in the matter of Uriah and Bathsheba. If David did not disobey God in the matter of the census, then it was clearly unjust for God to kill thousands of Israelites for something God himself forced to happen. So the writer of Chronicles changed the account to say Satan, not God, was responsible. But that still makes no sense, because according to the Bible, King David killed women and the handicapped, and had a man-sized idol (a Teraphim) in his own house. So the writer who called David "a man after God’s own heart" was full of shit. The writers of the Bible praised David because he was the most successful of the kings of Israel, along with his son Solomon (who was obviously a nonbeliever if he wrote Lamentations and Ecclesiastes). David and Solomon did not worship a god who forbade idols; it is obvious that priests who came later revised the Bible, after the fact, to say that God forbade idols. Anyone who studies the Bible and is honest about it can see that in the early days the Israelites had multiple deities (the Elohim, plural, as in "let us make man in our own image"), female deities (such as Asherah), human sacrifices (which are mentioned in several verses) and idols (Teraphim). Later, a cult of priests who abhorred images (not just idols) came to power. They fiercely despised women and because the most common images were those of goddesses (common through Israel and the Middle East), they edited the texts, transforming figures of the past like David to conform to their male chauvinistic religion. But they either made mistakes or didn’t understand the meaning of exotic terms like Teraphim, so they left obvious clues that men like Jacob and David had idols in their homes.
The Bible also says:
Beat and kill children
Beat children with rods; this will "save" them. (Proverbs 23).
If a son is stubborn or rebellious, murder him, regardless of his age (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
Parents should murder children for cursing (Leviticus 20).
Children are cursed for the sins of their fathers, for multiple generations (Genesis 9).
God discriminates against illegitimate children to the tenth generation (Deuteronomy 20:16).
Parents should kill their own children for prophesying (Zechariah 13:3).
Jesus himself will murder children because their mother committed adultery (Revelation)
Sacrifice human beings to God
The "Spirit of the Lord" entered Jephthath, and he sacrificed his own
daughter (Judges 11)."
First-born sheep should be sacrificed to God; so should first-born sons (Exodus 22:29).
Children and animals consecrated to God must be put to death (Leviticus 27:28-29).
Such children and animals cannot be redeemed, having been "doomed" for God.
Like other barbarians, the ancient Hebrews sacrificed their own children to "God."
This is the basis of the horrific, bloody "atonement."
Abraham was willing to slit his son’s throat "for God." (Genesis 22).
Human beings should be burned alive (Joshua 7:15).
Sacrifice human beings and their bones on altars (1 Kings 13:1-2).
Entire towns should be burnt offerings to God, including the people. (Deuteronomy 13).
Rape, enslave and kill women and children
God helped destroy women and children (Deuteronomy 7).
God commanded genocide, the slaying of "everything that breathes" (Deuteronomy 20).
Girls who have been raped should be murdered or sold to their rapists (Deuteronomy 22).
It is okay to compel a woman to have sex, after killing her mother and father (Deuteronomy 21).
Soldiers should be given virgins, as spoils of war (Judges 5:30).
Men of God should kill "witches" (Exodus 22:18).
This verse led to the burning of innocent women.
A wise God would have known there are no such thing as "witches."
Woman, babies and children captured in war should be murdered (Numbers 31).
But captured virgin girls can be kept alive, as sex slaves (Numbers 31).
Of 16,000 such virgins, 32 were sacrificed to God as "tribute" (Numbers 31).
The enslavement of women and children is also commanded in Deuteronomy 20.
God helped Moses kill all the women and children of sixty cities (Deuteronomy 3).
Men of God can buy slaves (Exodus 21:2).
Men of God can sell their own daughters as slaves (Exodus 21:7-8).
Men of God can buy children as slaves (Leviticus 25:44-46).
Men can "try out" female sex slaves for six years, then sell the "unpleasing" ones (Exodus 21).
God commands slaves to have sex with their masters (Genesis 16:7-9).
Slaveowners can strike slaves with rods as long as they don’t kill them (Exodus 21).
The New Testament also condones slavery (Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2).
Jesus and Paul never said a word against slavery, so Christians owned slaves for centuries.
What sort of "God" and "Messiah" forget to mention that slavery is an abomination?
Men of God like the prophet Micah can kill the people of peaceful towns (Judges 18:27-29).
Men of God like Jeremiah command the destruction of entire nations (Jeremiah 50).
God intentionally deludes human beings, and forces them to commit evil
God intentionally deludes human beings, then condemns them (2 Thessalonians
Jesus came to make one family member go to war with another (Matthew 10:34-35).
God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart over and over again, then killed multitudes of animals and children in fits of pique (Exodus 12).
God murdered Onan for refusing to have sex with his sister-in-law (Genesis
Seeing a man naked is such a "sin" that entire generations must be enslaved (Genesis 9).
God saved Noah and wiped out the rest of humanity, even though Noah was a wino (Genesis 9).
People should be killed for making love (Leviticus 20).
God is a jealous God, filled with anger and wrath, even though he tells human beings not to let the sun go down on their wrath (Nahum 1).
God always cures the sick; but of course he doesn’t (James 5:14-15).
God kills innocent animals when he’s angry with men. Why? (Zephaniah 1:2-6).
All the earth will be destroyed by the fire of God’s jealousy (Zephaniah 3:6-10).
The earth is flat and immovable, with fixed pillars set by the hand of God
But we know that the earth is a globe moving through space at tremendous speeds.
According to the Bible, plants grew before the sun was formed (Genesis 1).
God give men a rainbow, promising not to destroy the earth by flood, but reserving the right to destroy it by fire, asteroid, plague, etc.
So why bother with the stupid rainbow?
But of course there never was a worldwide flood, for simple reasons:
Bees are insects, not clean animals.
Therefore, only two bees would have entered the ark.
But queens and drones cannot feed themselves, or baby bees.
This is why bees swarm when new queens are ready to leave their hives.
So if only two bees entered the ark, there would be no bees alive today.
Also, in the early stages of the flood, all the freshwater fish would have died.
This is because there is vastly more saltwater in the seas, than fresh water.
So when the seas merged with rivers and lakes, all the freshwater fish would have died.
But when it rained until the mountains were covered, the seawater would have become dilute.
Thus, all the saltwater would have died also.
Salting land poisons it, so as the water evaporated, all the land would have been poisoned.
Therefore, a worldwide flood would have resulted in no fish and no vegetation.
The Bible contradicts itself over and over again
God is satisfied with his works and dissatisfied with them (Genesis 1:31,
God dwells in temples, but does not dwell in temples (2 Chron. 7, Acts 7:48).
God cannot be seen by men, but has been seen by men (multiple verses).
God is the author of evil, but is not the author of evil (multiple verses).
God is for war, but God is against war (multiple verses).
God’s anger is long-lasting, but it only endures for a minute (multiple verses).
God both demands and condemns human sacrifice (multiple verses).
"God tempts men, but does not tempt them (multiple verses).
Long hair on men is a "shame," but men consecrated to God like Samson never cut their hair.
Women should cover their hair when they prophesy, but they should never speak aloud in church.
Jesus was God, but did not know what God knew (multiple verses).
Jesus was perfect, but he lied to his disciples about not attending a feast that he did attend.
Man is justified by faith alone, but cannot be justified without works.
Men can be saved by simply believing in the name of Jesus.
Their wives and children can be saved by the man’s faith.
Women can be saved by childbearing, if they persist in the faith.
(Salvation is different for men than for women and children.)
Jesus is the savior of all men, "especially" believers, but only the chosen few will be saved.
All men died in Adam, so all men have life in Christ, but effeminate men cannot be saved.
No man knows the mind of God, but it is possible to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. How?
It is both possible and impossible to fall from grace.
"Once saved, always saved" ... but ... homosexuals cannot be saved. Why?
No saved Christian is perfect, but only heterosexuals can be saved. Why?
The Christian yoke is "easy" but it is also not easy.
The fruit of God’s spirit is love and tenderness, but it is also vengeance and fury.
A good name is a blessing, but a good name is a curse.
Wisdom is source of joy, but wisdom is a source of vexation.
Temptation is to be desired, but it is also not to be desired.
I could go on and on and on.
The Bible is full of lies and exaggerations
"Ask and ye shall receive." This is a lie.
"Seek and ye shall find." This is a lie.
"If two of you agree about anything, it shall be done for them." This is a lie.
"All that ye ask in prayer, believing, shall be done." This is a lie.
"Whatsoever you ask in my name, I will do." This is a lie.
Should Christian parents terrorize and brainwash innocent children "in the name of God"?