A month or so ago I wrote a Herald letter saying that the Bible needed no interpretation simply because if it were the word of God, it would be clearly written and understandable. A couple people responded mainly by referring to biblical scholars and such. But there is no need to mention biblical scholarship: It takes no scholarship to realize the Bible is not the word of an intelligent, caring God. All it takes is logic, some common sense and objective thinking.
For example, the Bible says that God allowed/ordered Joshua to kill “every living thing in it – men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys” in Jericho. Today anyone who did that would be considered a war criminal. Should God be held to a lower standard?
Jesus walked through the “Holy Lands” curing the sick. Wouldn’t we expect the Son of God with such power to simply cure all people everywhere? Wouldn’t we expect any person today with those powers to do it?
He told the Canaanite woman that he was only “sent” to the Jews. She says that all people were made by God. He essentially replies that she has a point, and goes to see her sick daughter. What? He only reluctantly says he would help a non-Jew? That is downright insulting to God or his purported son.
Jesus miraculously turned the water into wine and five loaves of bread into enough to feed the 5,000 who came to hear his Sermon on the Mount. Why didn’t he, the son of the all-powerful, all-loving God, feed the starving everywhere on Earth if he had that power?
Anyone should have picked up the fact Jesus never realized that God didn’t ‘send’ him here just for Jews. No, Paul had to figure that out.
And the very notion that God would choose one small group of people in one small area of the world to be His favored people out of all the other people on Earth is in itself unworthy of Him.
Not to mention preposterous things like men living 970 years (Noah didn’t do bad at 950 either), talking snakes, ravenous lions suddenly gentled, or that it rained 6″ a minute everywhere on Earth for 40 days? Those watching Noah would have drowned in 12 minutes unless they had water wings or knew how to swim, an unlikely thing for that area. And the absolutely bizarre Book of Revelations isn’t even worth discussing.
In short, the Bible makes no sense seen from the outside so it obviously can’t be the word of an all-knowing God, omnipotent, loving creator of the universe.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t realize that religion and the Bible gives comfort and solace to millions. After all, I was reading Psalms to my mother in her bed when I heard her “death rattle,” a sound I will never forget. So taken on that level, the Bible makes sense.
Where I don’t want the Bible, or any references or use of it, is in the classroom, at school board meetings, in libraries in Trenton or the Capital Building in DC or in the voting booth. Nope, the Bible is for your heart; don’t confuse your heart with your mind. The Bible isn’t for thinkers, and please don’t use it as a source of authority in a discussion on social or moral policy because an authority it ain’t.