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Is the Bible the Word of God?

My Colorful Bible
by Michael R. Burch

Is the Bible the Word of God? I read the Bible from cover to cover as a boy, and it quickly became apparent to me that the biblical God was far from good, because he repeatedly did things that no decent human being would ever do. My mother’s morality was vastly superior to Jehovah’s. Thus, it was obvious to me that either the Bible is not the word of God, or God is not good. I once highlighted every passage ascribed to God that I would not do or recommend myself, and my Bible quickly became a very colorful book! Later in life, I came up with an epigram to explain my conclusion:  

If God
is good,
half the Bible
is libel.
—Michael R. Burch

Why did my Bible become so colorful, so quickly? Here are a few quick examples of satanic Bible verses that could not have originated from a loving, wise, just, enlightened being ...

• Moses, the first and greatest prophet of the Hebrew Bible, and the lawgiver who claimed to have received his instructions directly from God, commanded his warriors to slaughter captured mothers and their male "little ones" (i.e., babies and toddlers) while keeping only the virgin girls alive, obviously as sex slaves. [Numbers 31:9-18]

• Moses said that fathers could sell their own daughters as sex slaves, with the option to buy them back if they failed to "please" their new masters! [Exodus 21:7-8]

• Moses commanded that girls who had been raped should either be stoned to death (a grotesquely brutal method of execution) or sold to their rapists, meaning that they would become sex slaves who could then be raped "legally" for the rest of their lives! According to the highly dubious "wisdom" of Jehovah and Moses, only girls who were raped in fields, where no one could hear their cries for help, were to be spared. Any girl raped in a populated area was to be considered guilty without a trial and either murdered or enslaved, with the payoff going to the "real victim"―the raped girl's father! [Deuteronomy 22:23-29]

• Is the New Testament really "better" when Revelation says that Jesus Christ himself would murder children: "I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins [kidneys] and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works." [Revelation 2:20-23 clearly rejects the idea that Christians are saved by grace, and says that Jesus will judge and destroy the children of Christian families for their mothers' sins!]

• Revelation also says that human beings will be tortured with fire and brimstone "in the presence of the Lamb and Holy Angels." So much for hell being "separation from God." According to John of Patmos, the fire-breathing author of Revelation, there will apparently be a torture chamber in heaven, at the foot of the throne of God. The only thing worse than torture here on earth would be eternal torture in the afterlife, which would make God seem like the Devil if it were true, especially if he had the ability to save but chose not to do so. Would any of us choose to torture even our worst enemies for all eternity? Will Jesus reject his own parable of the Good Samaritan and cause or allow the saints of other religions to be tortured incessantly? Is that the "good news" of the gospel? If these thoughts trouble you, please take the time to read There is no "hell" in the Bible! [Revelation 14:10]

I agree with Mark Twain, perhaps the most prominent American critic of the Bible, when he said that it wasn't the verses he didn't understand that bothered him ... it was the horrific and grotesque verses that he understood all too well!

And that's just the tip of the satanic iceberg. There are many more satanic verses in the Bible. Here are 17 incredibly evil verses, taken from a single chapter:

Deuteronomy 22

13-21: If a man takes a wife but begins to "hate" her, he can claim that she was not a virgin on her wedding night. If she cannot prove her virginity by producing blood-stained "tokens" of her virginity, her husband can have her stoned to death, a truly horrible method of execution! Of course not all women bleed the first time they have sex, so this is not only evil, but wildly unjust and sheer barbaric folly.

22: Kill people for having sex.

23-24: If a girl or woman is raped anywhere except in a field, assume that she could have cried out for help but didn't, then stone her to death on this bizarre and wildly unjust assumption.

25-27: If a girl or woman is raped in a field, assume that no one could have heard her, so let her live. In other words, rape victims are guilty if they can possibly be heard, taking no thought for the fact that the rapists might have gagged them, or knocked them unconscious, or held knives to their throats, or terrified them into silence.

28-29: If a girl or woman is not betrothed to anyone and is raped, her rapist can buy her as a sex slave by making a cash payment to her father. If he does this, he is responsible for "taking care of her" from that point on.

No one with human compassion or a sense of justice can read this chapter without blanching. How did such a grotesquely evil book come to be in the Bible? The Bible itself explains, in the account of the boy-king Josiah and the Levite priests who claimed to have "discovered" a "lost book of Moses." The book "discovered" book was almost certainly Deuteronomy. The Levites used the "book of Moses" to go on a murderous spree, killing anyone who disagreed with their bloody cult.

There are many other satanic passages in the Bible, such as commanding the stoning of children for misdemeanors (multiple verses) and the sexual enslavement of virgin girls captured in wars while their baby brothers and mothers were slaughtered (Numbers 31). How anyone can read such palpably evil verses and claim the Bible is "the word of God" is beyond me. Perhaps parts of the Bible are inspired: that is a matter of faith. But Jesus said that a good tree cannot produce bad fruit. If he spoke for God, then God cannot produce evil commandments. The Bible's evil passages can only be explained as the product of evil, twisted minds. Good people and enlightened beings do not command such horrors. As the old saw goes, "The proof is in the pudding." Chapter 22 of Deuteronomy and other similar passages of the Bible prove that the pudding is often rancid.

The Bible repeatedly commands or condones racism, sexism, religious intolerance, homophobia, slavery, sex slavery, matricide, infanticide, ethnic cleansing and genocide. While Christians often try to gloss over horrendous Old Testament verses by claiming that the New Testament is "better," in reality the New Testament is worse, because it says that human beings will be eternally tortured in "hell" for having sex. If you had to choose, would you prefer eternal torture to being stoned to death? And yet no civilized court or judge would consider either death or torture for any sort of consensual sex, and even rapists are not tortured for their crimes in civilized nations. So if the Bible is the "word of God," it seems God has a lot to learn about justice, or else he has no ability to keep human beings from pretending to speak for him.

But if the Bible is "inerrant" or "infallible," things get much worse because Jesus said that thinking about sex (i.e., "lust") is the same as committing adultery. Since another verse in the New Testament says that all adulterers will go to the Lake of Fire (i.e., "hell"), it seems that every human being is condemned to hell, since everyone thinks about sex once they reach puberty. What a horrible religion to teach to young, highly impressionable children! What happens when they reach puberty and start thinking about sex? If they believe the Bible is the "word of God," they may feel all the weight of God and hell resting on their slender shoulders. I know I did as a young boy.

Teaching children about "hell" is child abuse, pure and simple. We don't allow priests and pastors to abuse children physically, so why do we allow them to abuse children emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, with the grotesque dogma of "hell"?

It seems completely obvious to me that these Satanic verses of the Bible could not have originated with a God who is loving, wise, compassionate and just. Thus the claims of Christian theologians, popes, priests and pastors that the Bible is the "inerrant" and/or "infallible" word of God are patently ludicrous. No one can "prove" that any verse in the Bible came from God, but we can easily prove that many Bible verses could not have come from a God who is loving, wise, compassionate and just. After all, no one would call a man loving, wise, compassionate or just if he murdered or tortured girls for being raped, or having consensual sex. But how many girls were murdered or enslaved, thanks to the commandments of Moses? And how many children (and adults) have been terrified because they thought about sex, and believed their thoughts condemned them to "hell"? One shudders to wonder.

And "Bible believing" Christians are obviously lying to themselves, and the world, when they claim to "know" that homosexuality and sex before marriage are "sins," based on the evidence of the Bible. According to the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, slavery is "the will of God," as Jefferson Davis pointed out to Congress before the Civil War. Four of the seceding Southern states used the Bible to "prove" the "godliness" of slavery, in their formal declarations of their reasons for leaving the Union. We also know from Mark Twain and other anti-slavery writers that the Bible was used to justify slavery in churches and schools throughout the antebellum South. But if not a single one of the writers of the Bible knew that slavery was an abomination, how can we possibly credit what they said about homosexuality and extramarital sex?

So why not be honest, and admit that the writers of the Bible who called extramarital sex "evil" and sex slavery "the will of God" were primitive barbarians with no sense of justice? Even Jesus and Paul deserve criticism, because according to the Bible they spent a great deal of time debating matters of diet and Sabbath observance, while never saying a clear word against the practice of slavery, even though they ministered to slaves and their masters. Hell, Paul even returned an escaped Christian slave, Onesimus, to his Christian master, Philemon! The book of Philemon would later be used by American slavemasters to "prove" they had the right to demand that other Christians return escaped slaves to them. Was it "wise" for Jesus and Paul to make it seem slavery was kosher with God, by failing to denounce it?

The Bible contains many satanic verses. Revelation is an especially grotesque book which prophesied that Jesus Christ himself would murder the children of a woman who was having extramarital sex: "I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins [kidneys] and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works." [Revelation 2:20-23]

Are these the words of a loving, wise, just, enlightened being? What happened to love, compassion, forgiveness, and the message of Saint Paul that salvation is by grace? What sort of ogre kills children for their mother’s actions? Where is there any justice in killing people (much less their children) for having sex? And what on earth do the kidneys have to do with morality?

Revelation 14:10, one of the most horrendous verses in the Bible, or any book, says that human beings will be tortured with fire and brimstone "in the presence of the Lamb and Holy Angels." So much for hell being "separation from God." According to John of Patmos, the fire-breathing author of Revelation, there will be a torture chamber in heaven, at the foot of the throne of God, and the "saints" will scream for vengeance and blood, rather than ask for love, forgiveness, compassion and mercy.

The Jesus of Revelation is an inhuman monster slated to become the greatest mass murderer in the history of the Earth, if the prophecies of John come to pass. After all earth’s innocent creatures have sung the praises of God, according to Revelation, Jesus and the Angels will proceed to torture and destroy them. But how can loving, compassionate, wise, just, enlightened beings do such terrible things to innocent creatures?

The Hebrew Bible is full of atrocities committed in the name of God. But with the introduction of "hell" in the New Testament, God and Jesus became infinitely more savage than even the mass-murdering, women- and child-killing "heroes" of the Old Testament, such as Moses, Joshua, Caleb and King David.

Was David "the man after God’s own heart," really? According to the Bible, David killed every woman when he "smote the land" and he ordered the slaughter of the lame and blind when Jerusalem was taken from the Jebusites. David 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 awarded Joab the command of his armies for slaughtering the lame and the blind!

Isn’t it time to be honest about the Bible and its Satanic verses, and stop giving such a dreadful book to young, innocent, highly impressionable children, telling them that it’s "the word of God"? How can Christians say it’s a "sin" to lie when they’re dishonest about the Bible and its human origins? (Assuming that God isn’t really the Devil, and didn’t actually command the slaughter of rape victims, mothers, babies and the handicapped.)

Is the Bible "infallible"? The idea is patently ridiculous. I read the Bible from cover to cover as a young boy and was horrified time and time again by what it said about  "men of God" like Moses, Joshua, Caleb and David. I agree with Mark Twain: it wasn’t the verses that I failed to understand that bothered me ... it was the verses that I understood all too well.

A God who is good cannot command sex slavery and the murder of rape victims. A God who is good cannot command the stoning to death of boys for being "stubborn." And yet the Bible repeatedly commands such terrible things. So the obvious problem for Christians is that the Bible contains what Salman Rushdie called "Satanic verses" when he wrote about highly dubious verses in the Koran.

Orthodox Christianity seems to have no sense of justice. A good human doctor who is able to save a patient doesn’t allow the patient to die because he's an atheist, an agnostic, a Muslim, or a homosexual. But according to orthodox Christianity, even though Jesus Christ was able to save the thief on the cross with a nod of his head, he won’t bother to nod his head at billions of other people, simply because they didn’t "believe" in him. But of course Jesus never bothered to introduce himself to them personally. And if Jesus is such a cruel, unjust, petty being, why should anyone believe in him?

Shouldn’t believing in Jesus involve believing something good about him? If Jesus is good, wouldn’t it be blasphemy to say that he would send people to hell for not believing in him, when he was either unable or unwilling to speak to them personally?

If I had a son and refused to ever speak to him, what right would I have to demand that he "believe" in me? Christians insist that I need to "believe" in Jesus, but that insistence is wildly unjust. If Jesus wants me to believe in him, he should use his superpowerswhich presumably include the ability to speakto communicate with me. If he is unable or unwilling to communicate with me, he has no right to punish me for concluding that he either doesn’t exist or lacks the ability to communicate with me directly. And it makes absolutely no sense for him to expect me to believe things about him based on what the Bible says, because certain verses in the Bible turn him into a monster. The only way I can believe anything good about Jesus is to not believe the main tenet of orthodox Christianity: that he will only save the "chosen few." What a ghastly thing to believe about anyone! What sort of monster would I be if I sent Einstein and Gandhi to hell for not "believing" in me, when I had deliberately chosen never to speak to them, or lacked the ability to speak to them?

If you were able to save other people from a terrible fate with a nod of your head, would you save them, or turn your back on them in a fit of pique? Many Christians try to evade what their "faith" has done to Jesus by asking what a human judge would do with a rapist or murderer: "Should people who are guilty go unpunished?" But the purpose of a prison sentence is to protect the innocent and rehabilitate the criminal, not to cause mindless, unremitting pain because the judge's ego wasn't gratified. And human judges are not able to "save" in the way that Jesus has been said to be able to save people who are seemingly beyond hope, such as the thief on the cross and murderers on their deathbeds. If Jesus is able to save by grace, as the Bible claims, then he is obviously not in the same predicament as human judges who sometimes have no choice but to lock people up for extended periods of time.

If Jesus is able to save Christians at the last minute despite the fact that they’re far from perfect, why would he fail to save everyone? If he plans to save Christians who acted as if he was a petty egomaniac, would it make any sense whatsoever for him to send Einstein and Gandhi to hell, when they never blasphemed his good name? (And isn’t it ironic that non-Christians like Einstein and Gandhi have more faith in Jesus than most Christians?)

Does Jesus continue to exist? I have no way of knowing, but what I do know is that I prayed to Jesus as a small boy, in tears of despair, and he never answered me. When he failed to answer me, while Bible-befuddled adults turned my life into hell on earth, in his name, by convincing me that I was in danger of hell every time I sneezed, he forfeited any possible right to my belief. Why didn’t he appear and tell me not to believe that he was the petty, unjust monster everyone painted him to be? There seem to be three possibilities: (1) Jesus was unable to speak to me, or (2) Jesus declined to speak to me even though he could have, or (3) Jesus no longer exists. If the first case is true, then Jesus is not the all-powerful being Christians claim him to be. If the second case is true, then Jesus obviously doesn’t care what I believe about him. If the third case is true, Christianity is a false religion. But in any case, why are Christian adults making their children’s lives hell, here on earth?

If God ever spoke to human beings, it seems he’s given up the enterprise as a lost cause. Why didn’t God speak to me when I was a boy, and spare me the untender ministrations of his religion-addled disciples? Why does he allow his name to be continually blasphemed from morning to night by people who claim to "love" him while insisting he's the most petty being imaginable? Why have Jews and Christians killed women and children in the name of God, and taken slaves in the name of God, and burned "witches" and "heretics" in the name of God, and practiced bigotry and intolerance in the name of God, for thousands of years? Why didn’t God ever bother to tell his disciples clearly that there were no witches, and that they were the heretics and blasphemers?

From cover to cover, the Bible is wrong about slavery. From cover to cover, the Bible is wrong about sex (what are the odds that two people will be happier together if they enter marriage as virgins, rather than testing the waters first to see whether they’re sexually compatible and can live together?). So who’s to say that from cover to cover the Bible isn’t also wrong about homosexuality and other subjects as well?

Unless God is the Devil, the Bible's satanic verses cannot be the word of God. Since the Bible is far from "inerrant" or "infallible," it is past time for Christians to stop telling highly impressionable children that the Bible is "the word of God." And perhaps most importantly, Christian churches need to end the abuse they inflict on children when they say, "Only Jesus can save BUT." That's a huge, terrifying "but." Children aren't stupid, and they'll quickly figure out that this means "only people who believe what we believe have any chance of heaven, and everyone else is eternally out of luck." That's a terrible form of brainwashing which denies children the ability to think independently. I know, because I suffered the abuse of the Christian dogma of hell, and it took me more than forty years to finally escape it. I hope, pray and believe that one day such child abusers will have their children taken from them, just as children are taken from adults who physically abuse them.

Why did God and Jesus never act to defend millions (probably billions) of innocent children who grew up under the dark cloud of "hell", as I did? That is a matter of personal faith, and doubt. But I, for one, certainly see no reason to believe in "gods" and "saviors" who either don't exist, or who don't care about the suffering of children, or who are so lacking in ability that after thousands of years they still can't communicate simple ideas to their disciples clearly. Nowhere in the Bible can we find such simple, sensible ideas as "it is best to see if you are sexually and otherwise compatible with a potential mate before you marry" and "slavery is an abomination that ruins the lives of both slave and master." And rather than spending so much time debating matters of diet, dress, Sabbath observance, etc., why didn't God and Jesus say something really useful that would have saved untold suffering and hundreds of millions of lives, such as "You can prevent the Black Plague with rat control and better hygiene" and "there are naturally occurring wonder drugs in tree bark and green mold"? Why were God, Jesus, the apostles and Hebrew prophets incapable of such small gems of wisdom?

It seems obvious to me that the God of the Bible, if he exists, never knew anything more about science or nature than the men who gave us the Bible ... and his "ethics" still leave a lot to be desired.

Here are examples of 20 satanic passages in the Bible:

1. God drowns the whole earth. In Genesis 7:21-23 , God drowns the entire population of the earth: men, women, children, fetuses ... and perhaps unicorns. Only a single family survives. In Matthew 24:37-42, Jesus approves of this genocide and plans to repeat it when he returns!

2. God kills half a million people. In 2 Chronicles 13:15-18, God helps the men of Judah kill 500,000 of their fellow Israelites.

3. God slaughters all Egyptian firstborn. In Exodus 12:29, God the baby-killer slaughters all Egyptian firstborn children and cattle after hardening the Pharaoh's heart to make him want to keep the Hebrews as slaves, so that he can slaughter innocents in a grotesque pissing contest for alpha male supremacy.

4. In Numbers 16:41-49, the Israelites complain that God is killing too many of them. In response, God sends a plague that kills 14,000 more of them!

5. Genocide after genocide after genocide. In Joshua 6:20-21, God helps the Israelites destroy Jericho, killing “men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.” In Deuteronomy 2:32-35, God has the Israelites kill everyone in Heshbon, including children. In Deuteronomy 3:3-7, God has the Israelites do the same to the people of Bashan. In Numbers 31:7-18, the Israelites kill all the Midianites except the virgin girls, whom they take as spoils of war and sex slaves. In 1 Samuel 15:1-9, God tells the Israelites to kill all the Amalekites – men, women, children, infants, and their cattle – for something the Amalekites’ ancestors had done 400 years earlier! What about God not letting the sun go down on his wrath, as he advised human beings to do? Jesus Christ sternly rebuked hypocrisy, but the greatest hypocrite of all was Jehovah.

6. God kills more than 50,000 people for exhibiting the curiosity he gave them. In 1 Samuel 6:19, God kills 50,000 men for peeking into the ark of the covenant. (Newer cosmetic translations count only 70 deaths, but their text notes admit that the best and earliest manuscripts put the number at 50,070.)

7. In Exodus 32, God commands Moses: “Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.” Around 3,000 people died.

8. In Joshua 10:10-11, God helps the Israelites slaughter the Amorites by sword, then finishes them off with rocks from the sky.

9. In Genesis 19:24, God kills everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah with fire from the sky. Then God kills Lot's wife for looking back at her burning home. But Lot is called "righteous" even though he offered his daughters to a mob of racists, then committed incest with them himself, after getting drunk. Talk about male chauvinism!

10. In 2 Kings 2:23-24, some kids tease the prophet Elisha, and God sends bears to dismember 42 of them. (Newer cosmetic translations say the bears “maul” the children, but the original Hebrew baqa means “to tear apart.”)

11. In Judges 21:1-23, a tribe of Israelites misses roll call, so the other Israelites kill them all except for the virgins, whom they take for themselves. Still not happy, they hide in vineyards and pounce on dancing women from Shiloh.

12. In Judges 16:27-30, God gives Samson strength to bring down a building to crush 3,000 members of a rival tribe in an act of suicidal terrorism. Shades of ISIS!

13. In Judges 19:22-29, a mob demands to rape a "godly" master’s guest. The master offers his daughter and a concubine to them instead. They take the concubine and gang-rape her all night. The master finds her on his doorstep in the morning, cuts her into 12 pieces, and ships the pieces around the country.

14. Child sacrifice. In Judges 11:30-39, Jephthah burns his daughter alive as a sacrificial offering in return for God’s favor in killing the Ammonites. But later God would sacrifice his own son in another bloody offering, so it all works out in the end!

15. God helps Samson kill 30 men because he lost a bet. In Judges 14:11-19, Samson loses a bet for 30 sets of clothes. The spirit of God comes upon him and he kills 30 men to steal their clothes and pay off the debt. Samson has sex with prostitutes, but God favors him as long as he never cuts his hair. But another Bible verse says that it's a shame for a man to have long hair! God is apparently very "conflicted" about hair length!

16. God is murderously intolerant. In Deuteronomy 13:6-10, God commands that you must kill your wife, children, brother, and friend if they worship other gods. But he won't speak to them to keep you from having to murder them! This makes him "perfect" in every way!

17. In 2 Kings 1:9-10, Elijah gets God to burn 51 men to death with fire from heaven to prove that he is God.

18. In Genesis 38:9-10, God kills a man for refusing to impregnate his brother’s widow.

19. God commands cannibalism. In Leviticus 26:27-29  and Jeremiah 19:9, God threatens to punish the Israelites by making them eat their own children.

20. The coming slaughter. According to Revelation 9:7-19, God’s got lots more evil coming. God will unleash horse-like locusts with human heads and scorpion tails, who will torture people for five months. Then angels will kill a third of the earth’s population. Today, that would be billions of people. But of course he is "perfect" in love, compassion, etc. But he will never speak to human beings personally so that they know which earthly religion to believe.

Related Pages: No Hell in the Bible, Was Hell in the Original Hebrew Bible?, What did Jesus teach about Hell?, Is the Bible the Word of God?, Is the Bible Infallible?

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