An atheist's critique of the Bible (Book and eBook now available)
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23-02-2012, 01:56 AM
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
I'm new here, but just hhad to register and post to say that this is the funniest, most interesting message board thread I have ever come across. Keep it up!
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28-02-2012, 10:55 AM
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
Concerning Genesis and the creation of light.In Genesis 3 where God says, Let there be light. Now notice something strange: on the first day, God said He created light. Yet, it was on the fourth day that God created the Sun…..or as the Bible puts it, “the larger light to rule the day”. What gives here? How is it that God lit up the Earth on the first day but didn’t create the Sun until the fourth day? Where did that light come from if there was no Sun? Have we found our first inconsistency?



This gets interesting: in verses 3 and 4, the Hebrew word for “light” is “owr”. This word does NOT mean an object that emits light…..like the sun or the moon or the stars, or a lamp. Rather it means illumination, enlightenment. When the Bible says God is light it says Elohim is “owr”. This word is closely associated with life and joy and good. In fact when we read about the 1st day notice something that the Hebrew sages have hung their hats on for millennia: it says God created the light, AND SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD (tov). Then this light was divided away from the darkness. Only the light is called “good”, the darkness is not.



Now lets move down to verse 14 when it starts to talk about there being lights in the sky to divide day and night, and in verse 16 when God says he created the larger light (the sun) to rule the day and the smaller light (the moon) to rule the night. We see an entirely different word is used for “light” here, than what is used in earlier verses. Here, the Hebrew word is “maorot”. Sound familiar? It’s the word from which we get the modern word Meteor. Maor means an object that emits light (maorot is plural, lights).If I may use a poetic word, the luminaries (objects that illuminate) like the sun, the moon, the stars, and lamps, and of course meteors are the meaning. I have pasted and copied from "torahclass.com. When studying the bible we need to understand that the words we read are either from the Hebrew language or the Greek. If we are not aware of this then we aren't able to find the true meaning of what is written. You don't have to believe what is written or agree but you cannot study the book for what it is without understanding how to read it.
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28-02-2012, 12:56 PM
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
1:16 "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also."

-The moon is not a light, it is a reflection of the sun's light. This is the first of many examples that suggest that God's omnipotence seems to be limited to the knowledge of the demographics and time period of when the Bible was written. Strange.

Now notice something strange: on the first day, God said He created light. Yet, it was on the fourth day that God created the Sun…..or as the Bible puts it, “the larger light to rule the day”. What gives here? How is it that God lit up the Earth on the first day but didn’t create the Sun until the fourth day? Where did that light come from if there was no Sun? Have we found our first inconsistency?



This gets interesting: in verses 3 and 4, the Hebrew word for “light” is “owr”. This word does NOT mean an object that emits light…..like the sun or the moon or the stars, or a lamp. Rather it means illumination, enlightenment. When the Bible says God is light it says Elohim is “owr”. This word is closely associated with life and joy and good. In fact when we read about the 1st day notice something that the Hebrew sages have hung their hats on for millennia: it says God created the light, AND SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD (tov). Then this light was divided away from the darkness. Only the light is called “good”, the darkness is not.



Now lets move down to verse 14 when it starts to talk about there being lights in the sky to divide day and night, and in verse 16 when God says he created the larger light (the sun) to rule the day and the smaller light (the moon) to rule the night. We see an entirely different word is used for “light” here, than what is used in earlier verses. Here, the Hebrew word is “maorot”. Sound familiar? It’s the word from which we get the modern word Meteor. Maor means an object that emits light (maorot is plural, lights).If I may use a poetic word, the luminaries (objects that illuminate) like the sun, the moon, the stars, and lamps, and of course meteors are the meaning.



Since the state of the Universe before day 1 was darkness (or at least it was darkness from the vantage point of someone living on planet Earth) it must have been that darkness was an unsatisfactory state otherwise God wouldn’t have created light. At the least darkness was apparently not capable of supporting life; and as we’ll find as we get into the later parts of Exodus and then Leviticus, things that go against, or inhibit, or terminate life are considered as against God. So when God created “light”, “owr” (singular), He created illumination and enlightenment, a basic requirement for life. When God created “the lights”, “maorot” (plural) He created objects that emit light waves. Light waves of a certain type that allow humans and animals to use their light sensors. (their eyes) and for plants to engage in their method of sustaining life,
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28-02-2012, 01:23 PM
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
(28-02-2012 10:55 AM)freedom Wrote:  This gets interesting: in verses 3 and 4, the Hebrew word for “light” is “owr”. This word does NOT mean an object that emits light…..like the sun or the moon or the stars, or a lamp. Rather it means illumination, enlightenment. When the Bible says God is light it says Elohim is “owr”. This word is closely associated with life and joy and good. In fact when we read about the 1st day notice something that the Hebrew sages have hung their hats on for millennia: it says God created the light, AND SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD (tov). Then this light was divided away from the darkness. Only the light is called “good”, the darkness is not.

Sorry, man you're wrong.

Verse 3
Verse 4

The word in v3 is indeed owr, but that is an incorrect definition. Click the link to see.

In v4 the article "the" (ha) is placed in front of owr which negates it being any type of proper noun. It is very simply saying exactly what it means "the light".

Even the root word makes no reference to anything but light or illumination.

Owr doesn't mean joy, life, or good. It means "light". It's specifically used in Genesis as the noun "light". There are Hebrew words for joy, life, and good... heck, even for God's glory which shone like light. If the author wanted to say anything besides light, he would have said it.

You are just flat out wrong.



Quote:Now lets move down to verse 14 when it starts to talk about there being lights in the sky to divide day and night, and in verse 16 when God says he created the larger light (the sun) to rule the day and the smaller light (the moon) to rule the night. We see an entirely different word is used for “light” here, than what is used in earlier verses. Here, the Hebrew word is “maorot”. Sound familiar? It’s the word from which we get the modern word Meteor. Maor means an object that emits light (maorot is plural, lights).If I may use a poetic word, the luminaries (objects that illuminate) like the sun, the moon, the stars, and lamps, and of course meteors are the meaning. I have pasted and copied from "torahclass.com. When studying the bible we need to understand that the words we read are either from the Hebrew language or the Greek. If we are not aware of this then we aren't able to find the true meaning of what is written. You don't have to believe what is written or agree but you cannot study the book for what it is without understanding how to read it.

Maor does mean a luminary, but it also means light or shining. It comes from owr, and as we learned earlier means light or to illuminate.

Quote:Since the state of the Universe before day 1 was darkness (or at least it was darkness from the vantage point of someone living on planet Earth) it must have been that darkness was an unsatisfactory state otherwise God wouldn’t have created light. At the least darkness was apparently not capable of supporting life; and as we’ll find as we get into the later parts of Exodus and then Leviticus, things that go against, or inhibit, or terminate life are considered as against God. So when God created “light”, “owr” (singular), He created illumination and enlightenment, a basic requirement for life. When God created “the lights”, “maorot” (plural) He created objects that emit light waves. Light waves of a certain type that allow humans and animals to use their light sensors. (their eyes) and for plants to engage in their method of sustaining life,

This is just dishonest apologetics. You are jumping through so many mental hoops to make this fit. It's not even a sound argument based on the Hebrew.

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28-02-2012, 03:19 PM
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
I'd spent quite a bit of time studying the Bible and referencing my concordance and looking up the Greek and Hebrew, reading the commentaries, etc. In fact, my username comes from a Greek word I looked up in my concordance years ago.

Plenty of us atheists have the tools and the knowledge of how to interpret the Bible using those tools. But what it really comes down to is that this "timeless" book has aged- now it's aged well-enough for us to keep a rough idea of what each verse means. In fact it's aged very well in that we can even look back at the original languages and see differences in authors of the same book. But it's still aged, and now study of the Bible requires a great many set of tools and knowledge before you even start... that is, unless you interpret the Bible in a positive light. Then you can get away with it. Why, you don't even need an education then. The Word of God is all you need.

The second someone critiques the Bible, or interprets something out of the mainstream, then the Zondervan-equipped Sunday scholars come out of the woodwork with their concordances and their commentaries and their alternate versions and a great big debate ensues about which person has correctly interpreted this "timeless" Word of God.

I would have said this, regardless of whether KC had stepped in because this is not the first, nor the last time a critique is going to come down to the original word used in Hebrew, or Greek... But it does highlight how just having access to an internet full of free concordances doesn't make you a Biblical scholar or a historian. And it also highlights how having access to a Bible does not then make you an expert on the Bible. Days, weeks, years of study of the Bible itself doesn't either.

I did spend time studying the concordance for positive enlightenment... but frequently it does not provide enlightenment studying verses and picking out key words to look up in your Bible study tools- or even trying to go word-by-word studying by a concordance. You end up really need to understand Hebrew or Greek because there is plenty of subtext, linguistic context, historical/societal context, and differing versions of stories passed down from word of mouth over many years before they were written down. Or you need commentary by those who have done all this... and you better hope they did it right! This starts to look suspiciously like just an old book and not a divine book, doesn't it?

Don't you start to wonder why atheists don't take the Bible as actual Word of God when this type of rigorous study is required to understand it? Your casual layman is likely to get it all wrong! So much for reading your Bible and coming to God. Are you sure you have the right God? Are you sure you understand if you've interpreted that scripture right? Do you have the right historical context? The layman doesn't stand a chance at getting it right especially if they pick up one of the casual versions.

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28-02-2012, 03:34 PM
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
Kineo is right.

Moreover, there are legitimate times when the original translation can change the meaning of the verse(s). This just isn't one of them.

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03-03-2012, 07:36 PM
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
I'm new here, so apologies if someone has brought this up before, but one of the phoniest aspects of Christian Bibles since Jerome's time is their use of the Hebrew texts of the Tanakh, instead of the text the "church fathers" actually used, the Greek Septuagint. The apologists get away with this trick by claiming that the Hebrew is "more accurate," which it is of course, but if you want to know which texts the church fathers were actually reading/misinterpreting -- that is, the texts that the Christian church was founded on -- you must use the Septuagint.

It's funny how this very important point is never brought up by the literalist/inerrantist crowd, but of course it would be potentially quite embarrassing to them if this was known by their brainwashed pew potatoes. They want to create the illusion of a swift transition from the Hebrew "Old Testament" to the New, and not have anyone pause to ask why none of the early church fathers -- supposedly experts on the "Old Testament" and Jewish "Law" -- couldn't read or understand Hebrew.
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10-03-2012, 11:39 PM
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
I assume many of the bible quotes would make more sense in context. To get a better view it's probably better to read the actual bible. I read a bunch of the OT but it was all about slaughter and murder. Dodgy

What are peoples thoughts about Christianity being a combination of Mithraism and Judaism? I still have problems with the NT introducing a LOT of stuff not even mentioned in OT (hell/trinity/satan and a bunch of stuff).
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11-03-2012, 12:11 AM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2012 12:15 AM by Erxomai.)
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
(10-03-2012 11:39 PM)Dust Wrote:  I assume many of the bible quotes would make more sense in context. To get a better view it's probably better to read the actual bible. I read a bunch of the OT but it was all about slaughter and murder. Dodgy

What are peoples thoughts about Christianity being a combination of Mithraism and Judaism? I still have problems with the NT introducing a LOT of stuff not even mentioned in OT (hell/trinity/satan and a bunch of stuff).

I think you'll find Zoroastrianism closer to Judaism and Mithraism influencing maybe Judaism too, but certainly Christianity.

The Jews picked up the idea of 1 Creator God who battles evil while they were in their Babylonian and Persian captivities. The priests who were writing the OT at that time because they were so bored for staying in exile for 70 years, used the idea of 1 god to be portrayed by a former garden variety small-time god named YHWH.

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12-03-2012, 05:52 AM
RE: An atheist's critique of the Bible
(11-03-2012 12:11 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  I think you'll find Zoroastrianism closer to Judaism and Mithraism influencing maybe Judaism too, but certainly Christianity.

The Jews picked up the idea of 1 Creator God who battles evil while they were in their Babylonian and Persian captivities. The priests who were writing the OT at that time because they were so bored for staying in exile for 70 years, used the idea of 1 god to be portrayed by a former garden variety small-time god named YHWH.

Interesting. I should probably make some more research about Zoroastrianism.
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