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Is the Bible True?

by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S

"Somebody ought to tell the truth about the Bible. The preachers dare not, because they would be driven from their pulpits. Professors in colleges dare not, because they would lose their salaries. Politicians dare not. They would be defeated. Editors dare not. They would lose subscribers. Merchants dare not, because they might lose customers. Men of fashion dare not, fearing that they would lose caste. Even clerks dare not, because they might be discharged. And so I thought I would do it myself."

Col. Robert G. Ingersoll, The Works of Robert Ingersoll (453)

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."

Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

"The Bible is not the 'word of God,' but stolen from pagan sources. Its Eden, Adam and Eve were taken from the Babylonian accounts; its Flood and Deluge is but an epitome of some four hundred flood accounts; its Ark and Ararat have their equivalents in a score of Deluge myths; even the names of Noah's sons are copies, so also Isaac's sacrifice, Solomon's judgment, and Samson's pillar acts; its Moses is fashioned after the Syrian Mises; its laws after Hammurabi's code. Its Messiah is derived from the Egyptian Mahdi, Savior, certain verses are verbatim copies of Egyptian scriptures. Between Jesus and the Egyptian Horus, Gerald Massy found 137 similarities, and those between Christ and Krishna run into the hundreds. How then can the Bible be a revelation to the Jews?"

Lloyd Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible

"I was thrown out of my Bible class for questioning the 'holy' book in front of my teacher and other young 'followers' when I was only 9 year of age. My Bible teacher cried when she talked to my mom about how I am possessed with evil, and that she will always be praying for me, as they do.

"I am a shy person, and I never actually spoke my mind, so all those feelings were bottled up within me. After I read your page, all those emotions were set free. It was such a relief. Thank you!"

KB, New Zealand

The Bible is Fact
  (www.christiananswers.net)

There have been hundreds of books written on the subject of the evidences of the divine inspiration of the Bible, and these evidences are many and varied. Most people today, unfortunately, have not read any of these books. In fact, few have even read the Bible itself! Thus, many people tend to go along with the popular delusion that the Bible is full of mistakes and is no longer relevant to our modern world.

The Bible is Fiction
by Acharya S

Without a doubt, the human race has been bludgeoned with books about this one tome, the Bible. The Bible is full of violence and ugly stories, with a few "feel-good" platitudes and parables interspersed. It's hardly worth reading. Other than a handful of spiritual gems that can be found in virtually any religion, the Bible is irrelevant. A person with an innate sense of right and wrong needs none of its teachings, sparse as they are. Reading the Bible, in fact, can make one highly depraved. Many a serial rapist and killer has also been a Bible fanatic. They have taken seriously the punishments exacted throughout the Old Testament ("OT"), such as stoning for "adulterous" women, "the Lord" punishing "his chosen" by making them eat each other, etc., ad nauseam.

Nevertheless the Bible writers claimed repeatedly that they were transmitting the very Word of God, infallible and authoritative in the highest degree. This is an amazing thing for any writer to say, and if the forty or so men who wrote the Scriptures were wrong in these claims, then they must have been lying, or insane, or both. But, on the other hand, if the greatest and most influential book of the ages, containing the most beautiful literature and the most perfect moral code ever devised, was written by deceiving fanatics, then it is hopeless to look elsewhere for meaning and purpose in this world!

This claim is absurd. I could also claim to be channeling or, as they say, assiduously avoiding the controversial C-word, "transmitting" the "Word of God" right now -does that mean it's true? There are loads of criminals on death row who claim repeatedly that they are innocent - are they, merely because they claim to be so? Yes, these "forty or so men" (it's probably closer to 40,000) were lying or insane or both. The Bible does not "contain the most beautiful literature" by any stretch of the imagination. The "Song of Solomon" and some "Psalms" could be accepted as "beautiful literature," but much of the Bible is obscene and vile. The Bible is certainly not "the most perfect moral code ever devised." The Dhammapada or the Tao Te Ching, to name but a couple, are far more beautifully and comprehensibly written and conveyed, a sign of perfection. Much of the Bible's "moral code" is based on the far older Code of Hammurabi and the Hindu Vedas. A cheap knockoff - hardly "perfect." In addition, what is considered "moral" in the "Good Book" is frequently found reprehensible by other cultures and even by Christians. Throughout the OT, the "moral" characters are depicted as practicing adultery, lying, killing, and so on. As but one example of the "great morality" of a biblical character, I offer the following (see also Is Cannibalism a Religious Experience?):

At Numbers 31:14-18, Moses becomes enraged that his minions hadn't finished off the people of Midian after the Hebrews had destroyed and pillaged the Midianites' cities and enslaved the survivors. Moses immediately orders his thugs to kill all the male children and married women but to reserve the virgin girls for themselves - to rape, of course.  

Hardly something we should be teaching our children. On an imperfect world, one would expect not only naive bending of "transmissions," a la the children's game "Telephone," but outright deceit. And on a globe dominated by tyrants and callous people who would practically kill the world out of lust and greed, it would not be unreasonable to think that the "best-selling" (many copies have been forced upon, rather than sold) book in the world would be a product of such influences, i.e., lust for power and greed. The Bible is the ultimate controlling device. As proof of this fascism, here's a taste of propaganda from Romans 13:1-7:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God [BORG], and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore, one must be subject, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Now, does this authoritarianism sound like something "Jesus," the mythical rabble-rouser and anti-authoritarian would say? No. To state that "rulers are not a terror to good conduct" is ludicrous. What has been considered "good conduct" has varied widely throughout the ages and has frequently impinged upon human rights. This statement from Romans is in itself proof that the Bible is not the "inspired Word of God" but is propaganda written by humans. The fact is that the world has been ruled by an appalling amount of deceiving thugs, whether political or "religious," and many of these authorities have pushed the Bible, for obvious gain.

If one will seriously investigate these Biblical evidences, he will find that their claims of divine inspiration (stated over 3,000 times, in various ways) were amply justified. The remarkable evidence of fulfilled prophecy is just one case in point. Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, specifically and meticulously, often long after the prophetic writer had passed away.

It is not true that "hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, specifically and meticulously." What is true is that innumerable "prophecies" have been interpreted afterwards to fit the data. What is also true is that myriad rulers have followed the blueprint of the Bible. (See "Prophecy or Blueprint?" and "Did Jesus Fulfill Prophecy?")

For example, Daniel the prophet predicted in about 538 BC (Daniel 9:24-27) that Christ would come as Israel's promised Savior and Prince 483 years after the Persian emperor would give the Jews authority to rebuild Jerusalem, which was then in ruins. This was clearly and definitely fulfilled, hundreds of years later.

This statement will no doubt be repeated by hundreds of gullible followers who don't even bother to check the passage at Daniel, which reads:

Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for inequity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. (RSV)  

How this gobbledygook was turned into the statement by the Christian apologist is beyond the rational mind. This is not a case of "interpretation"; it is out-and-out fabrication. If someone writes, "The dog is black," another cannot state that what that really means is "The house is on fire." If we could just utterly twist statements and information to fit our view of reality, there would be no structure to the universe; we would be in complete chaos. These guys have taken two words, "anointed" and "prince," to prove true this "prophecy," which bears no resemblance to "Jesus's" life at all.

Moreover, the best evidence is that the Book of Daniel was not even composed until the second century BCE, around 167.

There are extensive prophecies dealing with individual nations and cities and with the course of history in general, all of which have been literally fulfilled. More than 300 prophecies were fulfilled by Christ Himself at His first coming. Other prophecies deal with the spread of Christianity, as well as various false religions, and many other subjects.

The first sentence is false. This claim will, no doubt, lead the reader - ignorant of the Bible - to believe that the exact names of post-Biblical cities and nations appear in the Bible, such as "London" and "Russia." They obviously do not. A large percentage of "prophecies" in the Bible have been extremely vague and open to wide interpretation. In many cases, such as in Revelation, they are not prophecies at all but astrotheological statements. As we have seen, all sorts of people have twisted the OT comments to appear to be predicting Christ. It was a standard claim of the time that this redeemer or that was coming, just as it is today. Hardly a "prophecy." As to the "various false religions," there were already "false religions" all over the place - not a big insight that this epidemic would continue.

There is no other book, ancient or modern, like this. The vague, and usually erroneous, prophecies of people like Jeanne Dixon, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and others like them are not in the same category at all, and neither are other religious books such as the Koran, the Confucian Analects, and similar religious writings. Only the Bible manifests this remarkable prophetic evidence, and it does so on such a tremendous scale as to render completely absurd any explanation other than divine revelation.

There are plenty of books far better than this one. Like those predictions of the seers this author disparages, biblical "prophecies" are also extremely vague and often erroneous. The Bible is no more "holy" or divinely inspired than Shakespeare. In fact, it is inferior. This statement - "no other book, ancient or modern, like this" - is utterly false, because the Bible is not an original. As Lloyd Graham says:

The Bible is not the "word of God," but stolen from pagan sources. Its Eden, Adam and Eve were taken from the Babylonian accounts; its Flood and Deluge is but an epitome of some four hundred flood accounts; its Ark and Ararat have their equivalents in a score of Deluge myths; even the names of Noah's sons are copies, so also Isaac's sacrifice, Solomon's judgment, and Samson's pillar acts; its Moses is fashioned after the Syrian Mises; its laws after Hammurabi's code. Its Messiah is derived from the Egyptian Mahdi, Savior, certain verses are verbatim copies of Egyptian scriptures. Between Jesus and the Egyptian Horus, Gerald Massy found 137 similarities, and those between Christ and Krishna run into the hundreds. How then can the Bible be a revelation to the Jews?

The title of Graham's book is Deceptions and Myths of the Bible. Obviously, the Bible is not true.

In addition, linguistic evidence points to Western culture coming out of India. As George Johnson reports in the New York Times (6/27/95):  

If Dr. Manaster Ramer is right, his discovery will provide ammunition for a small group of linguists who make the controversial claim that Indo-European, Uralic, Altaic and other language families like Afro-Asiatic, which includes Arabic and Hebrew, the Kartvelian languages of the South Caucasus and the Dravidian languages concentrated in southern India, all are descendants of Nostratic, which was spoken more than 12,000 years ago.  

Along with the spreading of language comes that of religion. There is nothing new or revelatory about the Bible. Indeed, it is a rehash.  

It needs but attentive perusal to demonstrate, as we have so often repeated, that the Bible is not an original book. None of the customs which it enjoins are its own. They are all found in the more ancient civilization of Egypt and the East. - Louis Jacolliot, The Bible In India

The historical accuracy of the Scriptures is likewise in a class by itself, far superior to the written records of Egypt, Assyria, and other early nations. Archeological confirmations of the Biblical record have been almost innumerable in the last century. Dr. Nelson Glueck, probably the greatest modern authority on Israeli archeology, has said: "No archeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries."

This first sentence is false. Archaeology has frequently proved the Bible to be false as a historical record. Finds are often interpreted to fit biblical commentary. The "mighty city" of Jerusalem was a mudhut village until the time of the Greeks and Romans, yet it is portrayed in the Bible as a glorious Hebraic creation. There are numerous examples of such "literary license," a notable one being that Nazareth, for example, didn't even exist at the time of Jesus's purported advent. One cannot claim a book that is written exclusively from the perspective of one people to be credible history. If the Bible is history, then only Jews are "chosen people" and all those peoples that they committed genocide against were in fact diabolical.

Another striking evidence of divine inspiration is found in the fact that many of the principles of modern science were recorded as facts of nature in the Bible long before scientist confirmed them experimentally. A sampling of these would include the roundness of the earth (Isaiah 40:22), the almost infinite extent of the sidereal universe (Isaiah 55:9), the law of conservation of mass and energy (II Peter 3:7), the hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7), the vast number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22), the law of increasing entropy (Psalm 102:25-27), the paramount importance of blood in life processes (Leviticus 17:11), the atmospheric circulation (Ecclesiastes 1:6), the gravitational field (Job 26:7), and many others. These are not stated in the technical jargon of modern science, of course, but in terms of the basic world of man's everyday experience; nevertheless, they are completely in accord with the most modern scientific facts.

One would certainly hope that writers of this time would know many of the "facts of nature" found in the Bible! If not, they would have to be considered uneducated and dull-minded, which, in actuality, seems to be the norm for biblical characters. By the time the OT was written, a number of cultures, including the Indian, Sumerian and Egyptian, had already developed sciences that were surprisingly advanced - more so than those that followed. Anyone ignorant of such sciences should not be writing "holy" books in the first place. To the gullible reader who does not know ancient history, these "pro" statements would sound miraculous, which is why biblical literalists like to portray the pre-biblical world as a time of utter barbarity, with cavemen in skins wielding clubs. This is a false depiction. Other cultures were far ahead of the Hebrews. And Christianity has a long history of being outrageously anti-science. "Science" means "to know," and, with its constant emphasis on belief, Christianity has been against knowing.

It is significant also that no real mistake has ever been demonstrated in the Bible, in science, in history, or in any other subject. Many have been claimed, of course, but conservative Bible scholars have always been able to work out reasonable solutions to all such problems.

No real mistake? This assertion is poppycock. The Bible is full of improbabilities that bend natural law. It is viewed by materialistic scientists as superstitious nonsense. A talking snake. A giant boat with two of all the world's "clean" animals. A man inside a whale, and one who raises himself from the dead and ascends to heaven.

"More than 150,000 different readings have been found in the older witnesses to the text of the New Testament- which in itself is a proof that Scriptures are not the only, nor the principal, means of revelation." (Catholic Encyclopedia, "New Testament")

The "reasonable solutions" that "Bible scholars" have been able to work out include, "God works in mysterious ways," and "We are not meant to know."

The remarkable structure of the Bible should also be stressed. Although it is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 or more different men over a period of 2,000 years, it is clearly one Book, with perfect unity and consistency throughout. The individual writers, at the time of writing, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into such a Book, but each nevertheless fits perfectly into place and serves its own unique purpose as a component of the whole. Anyone who diligently studies the Bible will continually find remarkable structural and mathematical patterns woven throughout its fabric, with an intricacy and symmetry incapable of explanation by chance or collusion. The one consistent theme of the Bible, developing in grandeur from Genesis to Revelation, is God's great work in the creation and redemption of all things, through His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

These remarks seem to be very childish. "Perfect unity and consistency throughout?" The book begins with two accounts of Genesis that conflict with each other, and it ends with four accounts of Jesus that conflict with each other. This book has been compiled and changed by numerous hands. The Bible is utterly inconsistent and nonsensical in innumerable places. The author must have a truly warped view of reality to see that as "fitting perfectly into place." And, if God's work in creation is so great, why does it need redemption? Why does God make such an imperfect creation that needs saving, and how can this be called "great?" The whole plot - God makes a rotten creation that needs saving, so he sends his only-begotten and much-beloved son to be viciously crucified - is grotesque. What kind of Almighty Creator chooses this as his creation?

The Bible is unique also in terms of its effect on individual men and on the history of nations. It is the all-time best seller, appealing both to hearts and minds, beloved by at least some in every race or nation or tribe to which it has gone, rich or poor, scholar or simple, king or commoner, men of literally every background and walk of life. No other book has ever held such universal appeal nor produced such lasting effects.

Yes, indeed, people have been following the Bible like a blueprint. This statement is testimony to the fact that it is NOT fulfillment of prophecy. Again, the book has been forced upon billions worldwide both through violence and brainwashing. Naturally it would have an impact.

The Bible is a blueprint of in-group morality, complete with instructions for genocide, enslavement of out-groups, and world domination.  - John Hartung

One final evidence that the Bible is true is found in the testimony of those who have believed it. Multitudes of people, past and present, have found from personal experience that its promises are true, its counsel is sound, its commands and restrictions are wise, and its wonderful message of salvation meets every need for both time and eternity.

"Multitudes of people...have found...that its promises are true?" A heck of a lot more have found tremendous disappointment when prayers haven't been answered and Jesus hasn't arrived riding on a white horse. "Jesus" said, "Soon I will return." After 2,000 years, believers still wait and pray and are disappointed. Fortunately, there is a general moral thread that runs throughout the mess that has passed for humanity. No book about life could avoid including it. And its "wonderful message of salvation" is only wonderful if one is lost in the first place. Without the original sin and fall of mankind, there would be no need for saving. Again, why did the "perfect" God make such an imperfect creature in the first place that he would need to save it? Is this some sadistic cat-and-mouse game? The people who are finding solace in the pages of the Bible have been crippled by it in the first place. They are not told they are divine incarnations but horrible sinners, pathetic wretches in the eyes of a glorious God. The Judeo-Christian ideology creates the schism between human beings and God in the first place by utterly separating God out of creation. It then promises that it holds the keys to reuniting man with God. It's an extortion racket.

Originally composed c. 1996.

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• Historical Truths of the Bible
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• In Memoriam
• Is the Bible True?
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• Geert Wilders's 'Fitna: The Movie' Review
• The Mormon Church
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"Murdock's scholarship is relentless! ...the research conducted by D.M. Murdock concerning the myth of Jesus Christ is certainly both valuable and worthy of consideration." —Dr. Kenneth L. Feder, Professor of Archaeology, Central Connecticut State University, Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience In Archaeology

"I find myself in full agreement with Acharya S/D.M. Murdock... I find it undeniable that...many, many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets and constellations..." —Dr. Robert M. Price, The Pre-Nicene New Testament

"I can recommend your work whole-heartedly!" —Dr. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus and The New Testament Code, RobertEisenman.com

"...I have found Murdock's scholarship, research, knowledge of the original languages, and creative linkages to be breathtaking and highly stimulating." —Rev. Dr. Jon Burnham, Pastor, Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX

"Acharya S deserves to be recognized as a leading researcher and an expert in the field of comparative mythology, on a par with James Frazer or Robert Graves—indeed, superior to those forerunners in the frankness of her conclusions and the volume of her evidence." —Barbara Walker, The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets and Man Made God

"I've known people with triple Ph.D's who haven't come close to the scholarship in Who Was Jesus?" —Pastor David Bruce, M.Div, North Park Seminary, Chicago, HollywoodJesus.com

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"Ms. Murdock is one of only a tiny number of scholars with the richly diverse academic background (and the necessary courage) to adequately address the question of whether Jesus Christ truly existed as a walking-talking figure in first-century Palestine." —David Mills, Atheist Universe

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