No reader can truthfully deny that multitudes of curious occurrences are readily observable in the Bible. To a Christian believer, these strange events are nothing more than the mysterious ways of God. To a freethinker, the alleged phenomena are an indicative subset of the widespread superstitious beliefs held by our ancestors. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ridiculous statements made by the authors of the Bible. Whether you enjoy reading about plumb lines or talking donkeys, the Christian religion carries more than its fair share of absurdities. In fact, some of the biblical reports are illogical enough to disqualify explanations through supernatural means! As was the case for contradictions in the previous chapter, I forced myself to limit this overview to a small fraction of those eligible for this frank discussion. It’s my hope that this chapter will provide additional fuel for thought in the fight against religious conditioning.
Before we leap into the solid cases for biblical absurdity, we’ll begin by discussing some quite comical passages that could possibly have some far removed explanation for their content. Let’s first consider the sex life of Abraham and Sarah. Because they’re upset over failing to give birth to any children, God has pity on them and tells Sarah that they will soon have their wish granted. God maintains his promise, and Sarah eventually has a child. Soon after, Abraham finds another wife and has six more children with her. Going solely on this information, these events don’t seem too unlikely if we ignore the divine intervention. However, there’s an extremely questionable part of the story that wasn’t mentioned. Sarah was close to one hundred years old when she gave birth, and Abraham was well over the century mark (Genesis 18:11-15, 21:1-2, 25:1-2). Even worse, Noah was five hundred years old when he had three sons (Genesis 5:32).
The Devil finds God one day, and they thoroughly analyze Job, a wealthy and righteous man who is essentially perfect in God’s eyes. God points out Job’s good behavior to Satan, but Satan disagrees with him and says that Job would curse the name of God if all his possessions were taken away. The bet is on, and God permits Satan to do anything to Job as long as he doesn’t permanently harm him. Satan, whose location was previously unknown to the all-knowing God, once again leaves the presence of the omnipresent Lord (Job 1:1-12). God evidently stands idle while the Devil torments Job by stealing his possessions, slaughtering his livestock, murdering his family, killing his workers, and afflicting him with diseases. Withstanding even the most tumultuous of misfortunes, Job remains loyal to God and doesn’t curse him. I’m honestly not sure what other details could be added to this story to increase its fairy-tale connotations. Why does God feel the need to punish a respectable person in order to prove a point to Satan, and why doesn’t Satan just accept the statements of an omniscient being? Since Job was written around the same time as the Pentateuch, you should now be able to understand where the absurdity in this myth might originate.
While Moses was perched atop Mt. Sinai waiting for God to deliver his commandments, he goes without food and water for forty days and forty nights (Exodus 34:28). I can’t think of a justification for including such a statement unless the author was unaware of anyone ever suffering from dehydration. The author, in this case, could have thought that Moses went through serious agony during those forty days but eventually surmised there was no permanent risk to his health. While going without food for forty days and surviving is feasible for those who condition themselves to do so, we know today that there’s no realistic chance of survival without water for this extended period. Most people cannot survive five days under such grueling circumstances, while fourteen days without water would certainly weed out even the most conditioned participants. We should obviously file a report of a man going forty days without food and water under “highly suspect.”
God laid down a strangely curious law when he declared that any man with damaged or missing genitals, as well as any man who doesn’t know the names of his ancestors to ten generations, cannot enter into religious congregations (Deuteronomy 23:1-2). First, I don’t see how anyone would know another person had a genital abnormality unless someone literally screened the visitors at the door. As for the burden of proving an ancestry, I doubt that any Hebrew was able to keep accurate and truthful records thousands of years ago. How could anyone indisputably prove that he knew his family line that far back? What was to prevent someone from just conjuring up some names so that he could attend worship? If no one knew this person’s ancestry, no one could disprove him. Wouldn’t the omniscient God realize this futile law wasn’t going to work? More importantly, why is God thoroughly preoccupied with the condition of a man’s genitals? I know I’ve mentioned it before, but the whole matter is patently asinine. This is one of the many absurd rules that Big Brother allegedly distributes to keep his society in order. Likewise, instead of including undeniable proof for the book’s authenticity, he tells us not to wear a piece of clothing made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19). These examples of God’s foolish rules will have to serve for now in order to keep the topic at a reasonable length.
It’s a safe wager that the majority of the free world has heard the tale of David slaying the towering Goliath. Most people commonly refer to Goliath as a giant, but a more specific height is given. The Bible lists him at six cubits and a span, which is approximately 9’ 9” in our modern measurement system. If we were to use known data to compare the rarity of Goliath’s height with other individuals, we would find that there may have never been, or ever will be, anyone within two or three inches of his extraordinary eminence. The verifiable record currently stands at 8’ 11”, though the record holder was anything but a robust warrior capable of supporting a 125-pound brass mail (1 Samuel 17:4-5). This monster would have been nothing less than a unique visual spectacle. If the tale of David slaying Goliath is a derivative of some true historical underdog overcoming great odds, wouldn’t you find it probable that the giant’s height was romanticized by fibbing humans until it reached tall-tale proportions?
Solomon was supposedly “wiser than all men” (1 Kings 4:31). In fact, his wisdom exceeded “the sand that is on the sea shore” (1 Kings 4:29). As wise as this man presumably was, “his wives turned away his heart after other gods” (1 Kings 11:4). I can certainly contemplate a few hypothetical factors that might lead an intelligent person to join a cult promising a better life on a far away planet; I cannot imagine any reason why the wisest man in the region could be led away from what is supposed to be the true god, especially since this being is in direct communication with him. It doesn’t make the least bit of sense unless we consider that his infinite wisdom may have told him something about the belief system in question.
As you well know, a rather cartoonish portrayal of God is offered throughout the Old Testament. However, we still haven’t fully covered the absurdity of God’s presence. Most poets, prophets, and historians certainly believed him to be a human-like personage. God shoots flames from his mouth and smoke from his nostrils like a mean ole dragon (Psalms 18:8). In fact, God has eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth, a finger, a hand, a back, loins, and feet just to name a few of his physical human attributes. God supposedly made man in his own image, but why would an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent spirit have human qualities that provide us with finite abilities? For instance, why does God need feet to walk if he’s eternally present? He roars and shouts (Jeremiah 25:30), loves the aroma of burning animals (Genesis 8:21), and wants the fat from animal sacrifices (Leviticus 3:16). God even seems a tad jealous when a woman leaves his word for other men (Hosea 2:7-13). Essentially, the Christian god is “perfect” with imperfect attributes. It’s a bit too coincidental for my liking that God made humans in his image when we can more rationally say the exact opposite. This deity isn’t benevolent; it’s absurd.
The book of Acts tells the reader a story in which a gathered crowd simultaneously understands all the speaking disciples in every language (Acts 2:1-6). While that sounds quite deranged, it’s not the point I intend to make because apologists often rely on the divine miracle fallback. When the men in the audience accused the speakers of drunkenness, Peter reminded the crowd of what Joel understood God to say. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God” (Acts 2:17). Peter’s speech goes on to explain how unusual events were to be expected when the world was about to end. Thus, he was obviously under the impression that they were living in the final days on earth. Even so, we’re still here. It’s hardly likely that “the last days” have been the past 2000 years when the earth was supposedly only 4000 years old at the time Peter made this prediction.
James argues that it didn’t rain anywhere on the entire planet for three and a half years because Elias (Elijah) prayed for a drought (James 5:17). There’s absolutely zero evidence that a prayer answerable only by supernatural means has ever been accommodated. It’s highly unlikely that it ceased to rain over the whole earth for that long, and it’s even more unlikely that this unusual weather phenomenon would come about because a mortal man prayed for it to take place. The lack of rain would have caused untold devastation by instigating mass dehydration in all living organisms. Of course, no such extreme drought was recorded consistently around the world at any point in history. There’s a good reason for this discrepancy: the unverifiable drought didn’t happen.
The Greatest Show On Earth
Among all of God’s strange and ridiculous regulations, a large portion involves animals. We can find two examples making little to no sense in Deuteronomy. First, God doesn’t want anyone to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk (14:21). If you’re going to boil a young goat in milk, is it that much more deviant to do it in its mother’s? Why is an eternal, omnipotent god concerned with such trivial and outdated matters? This god also doesn’t want you to plow a field with an ox and a donkey on the same yoke (22:10). God, of course, gives no reason for this useless regulation. Instead of making certain that his holy word included clear abolishments of slavery and rape so that millions of his creations wouldn’t needlessly suffer, God decides to set idiotic rules for plowing fields and boiling goats. This should provoke indignation from any moralistically reasonable person, regardless of religious conviction.
In the beginning, when God allegedly created the animals, they were designed to consume plants rather than meat (Genesis 1:30). Even so, there’s certainly no reason to believe that the ancestors of present-day predators survived off an herbivore diet. The food chain is in harmony because of the fluctuations occurring due to a rising and falling cycle of predator and prey populations. Withdrawing that relationship would throw the chain into unknown chaos. Furthermore, we have fossil records of these animals purported to be herbivores. Their equipped teeth were intended to initiate and facilitate the digestion of meat, not plants. Six thousand years ago, just like today, many species could not survive solely on plants. In addition, parasites require blood from living hosts. Blood is neither a plant nor a meat. Suggesting that parasites also made their daily meals from plants is increasingly absurd. Science demonstrates that it’s impossible for some species to survive on plants, yet the erroneous Bible claims this testable statement isn’t true. Do Christians expect everyone to believe that the Bible is correct regardless of what it says?
The prophet Isaiah informs us that a cockatrice, a mythical creature able to kill its victim with a casual glance, will arise from a serpent (Isaiah 14:29). What tangible evidence do we have to believe that a creature with this incredible ability has ever existed? Again, the Bible provides stories that sound like something straight out of a fairy tale. While some animals are certainly capable of killing their prey by biting or strangling them, a look has no anticipated scientific capacity to kill another creature. While there may be some type of alternative mechanism of action for the attack, such as venom sprayed through the eyes, it wouldn’t be due to the act of looking. The cockatrice, unicorn, and dragon are examples of mythical creatures in the Bible that fail to leave any reliable evidence for their existence.
In John’s Revelation dream, which is conveyed to be an imminent and realistic future event, he sees crown-wearing locusts with faces of men, hair of women, teeth of lions, tails of scorpions, and wings sounding like chariots. These locusts also adorn iron breastplates in preparation for battle (9:7-10). Draw your own conclusions.
Like mutated locusts, talking animals aren’t uncommon in the Bible. Everyone should remember the talking serpent tempting Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1), but there’s an even more hilarious example of an atypical animal. In this instance, a man named Balaam is riding along on his donkey. When the donkey sits down on him twice, Balaam gives it a beating for its rebellion. When the donkey notices a murderous angel in their path, it sits down for a third time. Of course, Balaam delivers an additional flogging upon the donkey’s body. The donkey then asks Balaam, “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” Yes, the donkey argues with its master! Then, Balaam, who does not appear to be the least bit surprised that his ride is questioning his motives, decides to engage in a debate with the donkey by claiming that it mocked him by sitting down. Furthermore, he informs his donkey that it would have already been dead if he had a sword nearby. The donkey then outsmarts him by pointing out that he has always let his master ride him but never asked to ride his master. Thoroughly outsmarted and outclassed, Balaam then concedes defeat in his debate with the donkey (Numbers 22:27-30). Seeing as how no concluding comment that I could make here would do this outdated and obtuse blunder justice, we’ll move on.
Health And Knowledge
Is the Bible a reliable guide for maintaining good health and expanding our knowledge? Within 2 Chronicles, we learn of Asa contracting an unspecified foot disease. “Yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians” (16:12). The passage clearly displays a negative attitude toward Asa for trusting doctors more than God. According to the author of this passage, we are to believe that God is a better source than a physician for curing our ailments.
Recall the prayer experiment proposed all the way back in The Psychology Hidden Behind Christianity. God does not have a higher success rate than physicians for curing diseases. Even so, the Bible wholeheartedly endorses prayer as the more powerful force. Unfortunately, many smaller denominations of Christianity secretly follow this “no physician” guideline. It doesn’t work, and that’s why it’s illegal to enforce it on minors in most of the civilized world. There has never been any scientific study indicating an act of God has facilitated a recovery from sickness. A person will surely die from a fatal ailment if they refuse medical treatment, regardless of whether or not this individual prays to any god. Even so, most Christians believe praying to their god will prompt a divine intervention that has some unknown and immeasurable positive effect on the outcome. While prayer and faith may comfort a patient enough to facilitate recovery, the acts of the divine are worth nothing if no one’s paying attention. Such a misguided belief is blindly illogical, patently absurd, and without a place in reality.
The author of the first letter to Timothy advises his reader to drink wine instead of water (5:23). While researchers in the medical profession currently believe that alcohol is beneficial in moderation, consuming enough wine to remain hydrated for the rest of Timothy’s life would certainly destroy his liver after a very brief period. Of course, the author was unaware of the biological effects of alcohol on the liver’s filtration system because he wasn’t divinely inspired with advanced physiological knowledge. Had he been cognizant of such information, this horrible recommendation would have never made it into the Bible.
Briefly returning our attention to John’s dream in Revelation, we learn of an angel who holds out a book for John to eat. He consumes it and describes the taste to be as “sweet as honey” even though it made his stomach bitter (Revelation 10:10). Like replacing water with alcohol, eating a book is not a healthy activity. Another book eater, Ezekiel, recorded so many fantastic experiences, I had to give him his own section. We’ll discuss his personal endeavors in a moment.
One of the Proverbs offers the universal answer for any nonsensical statements found within the Bible. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (3:5). The author really went the extra mile to cover all his bases, but the problem with this advice serving as a fallback answer for all discrepancies is that any religion can invoke such an alibi in order to divert attention away from its flaws. This method doesn’t automatically dissolve the problems of any text, including the Bible. Simply put, a book isn’t correct because the book says so. Accepting this fallacious reasoning, ignoring common knowledge, and refusing to examine what might very well be the truth creates the prototypical mindless sheep.
Paul uses himself as an example for the mindless sheep when he tells his readers that he doesn’t want to know anything except Jesus (1 Corinthians 2:2). “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). In other words, blindly follow whatever the Bible says even when overwhelming evidence arises to the contrary. I’m sorry, but blind faith should never trump the observable world. Even so, billions of people have lived in similar ignorance and subsequently died clinging to all sorts of myths.
Moses and Aaron are apparently well known throughout the region for the magic tricks that God teaches them. God demonstrates to Moses how to cast his rod to the ground in order to make it become a serpent. The transformation frightens him, but the serpent becomes a rod again when he grabs it by the tail. God also shows Moses how to make his hand become leprous. He can reverse the spell by touching the leprous hand to his body (Exodus 4:2-7).
When the hour arrives for Moses and Aaron to impress the Egyptian Pharaoh, they perform the rod trick. However, the Pharaoh’s magicians are able to follow suit by transforming their rods into serpents. Aaron’s serpent rod then eats all the other serpent rods (Exodus 7:10-12). In a second attempt to outperform the Pharaoh’s magicians, Moses and Aaron transform an entire river into blood by touching it with their rods. Again, the Pharaoh’s magicians are able to replicate the feat. Moses and Aaron, refusing to give up, induce an aggregation of frogs to emerge from the waters and occupy the land. Yet again, the Pharaoh’s magicians demonstrate the same gimmick. In a fourth attempt to demonstrate God’s overwhelming power over Egypt, Moses and Aaron are able to create lice out of dust. Since the creation of life ex nihilo proves too difficult for the magicians, they concede that Moses and Aaron have the true power of God. As an encore, the victorious couple produces plagues of flies, cattle death, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and the eventual killing of all the firstborn male children previously mentioned in The Darker Side Of God (Exodus 7-11).
Even after the unprecedented accomplishments in Egypt, Moses still has a few tricks remaining up his sleeve. He’s able to satisfy the water requirements of millions by tapping a rock with his rod (Exodus 17:6). Moses also accomplished the construction of a serpent statue capable of preventing people from dying of snakebite, provided the victims were looking at it while bitten (Numbers 21:6-7). He even supports Joshua’s army in its war against Amalek by simply keeping his hand aloft. Whenever Moses raises his arm, Joshua gets the better of Amalek in the battle; whenever his hand falls from fatigue, the fates reverse. Eventually, Moses begins to rest his arm by propping it on a rock. This ingenious tactic enables Joshua to defeat Amalek (Exodus 17:11-13). I’m not sure what possible impact that Moses raising his hand could have on a truly historical battle.
Elijah obtained his meals from ravens that “brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening” (1 Kings 17:6). Why would ravens do this for him, and how does one go about training these birds to perform such a feat? While there’s never been any indication a flock of ravens would bring food to a human on a regular twelve-hour basis, this is the man who caused a three-year drought by simply praying to God.
Elijah’s successor, Elisha, is yet another biblical wizard ordained with magnificent powers. He’s able to separate the Jordan River by hitting it with his cloak and correspondingly able to rejoin it by adding a pinch of salt (2 Kings 2:14-22). In addition, Elisha can make an iron axe head float in the water (2 Kings 6:6). Assuming this axe head wasn’t in a shape enabling it to float, he’s able to alter the density of iron with no assured scientific knowledge of what enables certain substances to remain above others.
Later, Elisha asks the King to take some arrows and strike the ground with them. The King does so three times, but Elisha becomes irate and says that he would have been victorious over his enemies if the ground had been struck a couple more times (2 Kings 18:19). Again, more biblical daffiness. Even after death, Elisha still isn’t finished working his magic. When a corpse is thrown into Elisha’s grave, the body jumps back to life after coming into contact with Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 18:20-21). Remember, those verse references that you see after each statement mean you can find all this nonsense in the Bible.
Ezekiel, perhaps the most eccentric man in the entire Bible, claims to see four creatures in a windstorm from what some believe to be a flying saucer. Each of the four creatures had four faces (a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle) and four conjoined wings. They had human hands under the wings, one on each squared side of their bodies. The feet, which looked like those of calves, shone like brass and were attached to peglegs (Ezekiel 1:4-10). I’m not entirely sure I shouldn’t have classified this passage within the animal absurdities, but I decided to keep it here out of obvious confusion. Needless to say, evidence for such avant-garde creatures does not exist. Besides, this make-believe story fits in perfectly among the multitude of other ancient superstitions involving holy animals taking on several forms.
Ezekiel also claims to have caught a side glimpse of God. Evidently, and I use the term loosely, God is an amber metallic color above his waist, on fire down below, and completely encompassed by a rainbow (1:27-28). Ezekiel would later see God again, this time standing next to bodies, backs, hands, wings, and wheels all packed full of eyes (10:12). With all he witnessed, it’s far more likely that Ezekiel was on a hallucinogenic trip than a divine inspiration.
As I promised earlier, God gives Ezekiel a scroll to eat. He eats it and, like John, says that it tastes as sweet as honey (3:1-3). Why does God desire to inform us of his atypical obsession with asking people to eat paper? God then turns sadistic and decides to torment Ezekiel by tying him up in his house and sticking his tongue to the roof of his mouth (3:24-26). Prolonging the torture, God forces Ezekiel to lie on his left side for 390 days and his right side for 40 days in order to symbolize the number of years certain regions lived in sin (4:4-6). What enjoyment could this possibly bring to an omnipotent being? Not thoroughly satisfied with his brutal deeds thus far, God commands him to bake his bread using human dung. After Ezekiel pleads with him to reconsider, God, an omniscient being who should have already known that he was going to go with Ezekiel’s alternative plan, changes his mind and lets him use cow dung instead (4:9-15). Did God just get a sick satisfaction out of making this poor man think that he was going to have to eat something baked from his own waste?
God forces Ezekiel to shave his head and gather the hair into thirds. He burns one pile, strikes one with a knife, and scatters the last into the wind (5:1-2). What purpose could these uncanny orders serve? Ezekiel also claims that God informed him of his anger at a wall destined to be destroyed (13:15). Why is God angry at a wall? Nearer the end of his time together with God, the almighty takes Ezekiel to a location filled with bones. Here, God tells him to give an order for their assembly. Once Ezekiel follows this strange demand, the skeletons grow flesh and inhale a breath of life. Now, the skeletons are an army (37:1-14). Why do so many Christians claim to know so much about the omnibenevolent creator? God isn’t concerned with giving heartfelt rules for ethical conduct; he wants to waste time watching people play with their hair.
While I consider exorcism more of a scientific error than an absurdity, there are definitely some aspects of Jesus’ demon-removals that fit better in this section. According to Matthew, Jesus once encountered a couple of men possessed by devils. As they ask Jesus for a cure, he approves their request by driving the devil spirits into a drove of pigs. Possessed by demons, the pigs leap off a cliff and plunge to their deaths. The witnesses in the town then turn against Jesus as a result of his decision to drive the swine insane (Matthew 8:28-34). Why would a man this powerful not just cast the spirits deep into space or somewhere else out of harm’s way? Why intentionally kill innocent animals to make people turn against you? Nevertheless, Jesus also donned his disciples with the mystic power to perform exorcisms (Mark 3:15). Even so, there has yet to be a reliable documented case containing evidence that spirits had possessed a human being. On the other hand, the science of so-called “possessions” closely resembles the effects of neurochemical imbalances.
Now let’s see what Jesus says about faith. First, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can literally cause a mountain to jump into the sea by telling it to do so (Matthew 17:20 and 21:21). Christians living today have endless faith that Jesus spoke only the truth, but no one has ever been able to move a mountain even one inch by using this incredible method. It’s absurd to think that anyone could accomplish such a remarkable feat, and it’s absurd that the son of God would assert such a false and preposterous claim. Has Jesus just demonstrated himself to be a liar? The only other possibility is that Jesus spoke of some physical component to faith that’s required to grow to the size of a mustard seed, but this proposal is as equally ridiculous as the previous claim. This interesting character also announces that every person who came before him was a thief and a robber (John 10:8). I find it very difficult to imagine a world without a single person who didn’t steal something prior to Jesus’ arrival.
Jesus also purports some questionable aspects about gaining admittance into Heaven. Most of us are aware of the more common requirements, but there are quite a few of which many Christians are obviously unaware. Jesus says, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). Are we really to believe that it’s easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to meet the commonly accepted requirements? If not, Jesus offers no clear standard by which a person can enter into Heaven. If Jesus truly means what he says, it’s yet another outright contradiction. Rich people are more than capable of satisfying the requirements set by many other New Testament authors.
Staying with this notion of having to earn Heaven for a moment, Jesus also claims that anyone who says “thou fool” is in danger of Hellfire (Matthew 5:22). Yet, in Luke 11:40, he calls a group of people “fools.” While the authors of the two passages record different Greek words, the meaning remains the same. How absurd is it when a perfect person who lays down standards of how to avoid Hell remains flawless even though he breaks the same standards strong enough to put a regular person in Hell? Additionally, what kind of example does he set for his followers? It seems as though the hypocritical Jesus is above his own laws. Once again, different authors predictably yield different interpretations.
Jesus provides his followers with instructions for helping out their fellow man. First, he advises you to turn the other cheek if someone hits you. Such a recommendation would eventually end in death if one continued to follow Jesus’ advice when faced with a vicious adversary. Second, if someone steals from you, offer him more. Following this godly advice would eventually cause you to leave yourself with nothing. Third, give whatever someone asks from you. This advice could be deadly as well, depending on what the person asked for. Fourth, never ask for anything you gave away (Luke 6:29-30). All of these are good in principle, but there’s no limit to them because people will definitely take advantage of someone following this advice to the letter. Thus, I feel the need to take it upon myself to encourage the few of you who want to obey Jesus to place reasonable limits on his philosophies. The majority of followers already know better than to obey Jesus in this instance. Yes, almost all Christians blatantly and hypocritically disregard many of the teachings provided by their Lord and savior simply because they’re lethal, hazardous, or inconvenient.
Matthew 21:22 is Jesus’ most damaging statement against the legitimacy of Christian faith. He says, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” In other words, you will receive anything you pray for as long as you believe that you’ll receive it. That statement is undeniably false, and we can easily demonstrate it as such. Apologists have tried to justify this statement over the years by postulating that Jesus’ statement is true only if the request is in God’s will. However, there is no biblical text supporting the inclusion of God’s will into the words from Jesus’ mouth. He says if you believe, you will receive. End of story.
If a request were already in God’s will, however, what impact would the prayer truthfully have? If the request isn’t in God’s will, he won’t answer it no matter how much one prays. Thus, God’s will, not prayer, is the sole determining factor for future events. Once again, since it’s impossible to shift from the future that God envisioned at the beginning of time, prayer can have no effect on the outcome. Even so, Jesus repeats this promise no less than three additional times in John’s Gospel (14:12-14, 15:7, 16:23-24). The red text is there for everyone to see these claims. I really can’t emphasize enough how damaging these statements are toward the assertion that Christianity is a legitimate faith.
Iron: God’s Kryptonite
The Bible contains farces that even an act of God cannot explain. After the creation, God asks Adam to look over the animals and find one “suitable” for him (Genesis 2:18-20). The all-knowing god is absolutely clueless as to what kind of partner Adam might desire. Did he not already realize that he was going to make a woman for him? Isn’t it also disgusting for God to propose that Adam should find an animal to be his sexual companion?
Two additional stories in Genesis seem relevant to about every topic we cover: Noah and Babel. During Noah’s flood, God kills almost the entire world population of humans and animals because the people are evil. Why would an omniscient god lack the common sense to get his creation right the first time so that he isn’t required to redo everything? Afterwards, he promises to never do it again because humans are evil (Genesis 8:21). As stated before, God admits that the flood solved nothing. Several years later, groups of people assemble to build a tower so that they can see God in Heaven. Since God doesn’t like this seemingly impossible idea of people spotting him, he confuses their language to cease construction on the tower (Genesis 11:1-8). The people may not have realized that God didn’t actually live on top of a dome over the earth, but God should have been aware of this information for obvious reasons. We’ve looked deep into space with telescopes, but God didn’t stop us on those endeavors. Why would he think that these primitive people could see him? Is this when he moved from the earth’s dome to the outer boundaries of the universe? What about all the other authors who claim to have caught a glimpse of God? The Tower of Babel myth is definitely one of the most absurd stories ever told. Even so, a good portion of the world still ignorantly accepts it as truth. That’s a shame, too.
Later in Genesis, God asks himself if he should hide his plans for destroying Sodom from Abraham (Genesis 18:17). Why would God not know what he’s going to do, and how could Abraham’s knowledge of the matter have any possible outcome on God’s ultimate decision to exercise his infinite power? On the other hand, perhaps God has good reason to worry since we’ve already established that he isn’t all-knowing or all-powerful as the Bible claims.
When God is preparing to go on another murdering spree, he tells the people of Israel to smear blood on their doors so that he’ll know which homes are occupied by his chosen people (Exodus 12:13). With this directive completed, he’s free to kill all the Egyptian firstborn male children without accidentally harming an Israelite, but why does he need blood on the doors to serve as a reminder if he knows everything? Jonah, like Cain before him, was able to leave the presence of God (Jonah 1:3). According to Zephaniah, God will search through Jerusalem with candles and find people who scoff at him (1:12). Why would God need candles to see in the dark? Judges 1:19 says that God was with the men of Judah in a battle, yet they couldn’t drive out the enemies because the other side was riding upon chariots of iron. If God is with someone, shouldn’t this person be able to do the miracles that every other God-accompanied individual performs? Honestly, did authors bother to proofread their work centuries ago?
Since I couldn’t think of a way to categorize many of the remaining biblical absurdities that I wanted to include, we’ll just take a blitzkrieg approach at covering them. Abraham has a picnic with God (Genesis 18:1-8). Lot’s wife is turned into salt for looking at the destruction of a city (Genesis 19:26). Jacob wrestles with God and defeats him (Genesis 32:24-30). God becomes a burning bush while talking with Moses (Exodus 3:3-4) and has intentions to murder Moses’ son because he wasn’t circumcised (Exodus 4:24-26). God will kill Aaron if he goes to minister without wearing a golden bell and blue pomegranates (Exodus 28:31-35). God says that we can cure leprosy by killing a bird, putting the bird’s blood on another bird, killing a lamb, wiping the lamb blood on the leper, and killing two doves (Leviticus 14). A storm is stopped because Jonah is tossed into the sea (Jonah 1:15). God says that he will eat some people like a lion (Hosea 13:8). God stands on a wall and hangs a plumb line in front of Amos (Amos 7:7-8). This people-eating god decides to reveal himself to Amos via a plumb line demonstration but not to all the people currently killing each other over who is holding his true book!
God says that Joshua’s army can destroy the city walls of Jericho by marching around them and blowing horns (Joshua 6). Wine makes God happy, or at least that’s what the vine says (Judges 9:13). Samson claims his strength originates from his long hair (Judges 16:17). David buys Saul’s daughter with two hundred foreskins (1 Samuel 18:27). People who don’t believe in a god fail to do anything good (Psalms 14:1, 53:1). People are cured from their illnesses by touching Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons (Acts 19:12). A person who eats only vegetables is weak (Romans 14:2). It’s wrong to take a dispute into court (1 Corinthians 6:6-7). Nature teaches us that it’s shameful for a man to have long hair (1 Corinthians 6:11-14). Anyone who doesn’t confess Christ is an antichrist who deceives others (2 John 1:7). If you don’t repent your sins, Jesus will attack you with the sword in his mouth (Revelation 2:16). As a way of discerning people, the righteous eat all they want while the wicked don’t have anything to eat (Proverbs 13:25). What correlation does eating have with faith? Are Ethiopians wicked? Is that why God allows thousands of them to die every day?
All Of This Is In The Bible?
I hope this chapter has brought some of the absurdities contained within the Bible to your attention. As I stated earlier, this is a mere fraction of those actually told by the Christian text. I encourage you to do an impartial reading of the Bible and consider the others you will no doubt encounter.
Many of the referenced passages in this paper were guided by superstition and deceitfulness on the part of the authors, particularly those of the Pentateuch. Even Jesus made absurd statements because he was ignorant of many aspects of human behavior. When absurdities like these appear in other religions, no Christian would think twice about the validity of the events because no Christian is conditioned to accept those sources as absolute and unquestionable truth. As a result, they immediately dismiss the fictitious accounts. Because, and only because, the aforementioned absurdities are in the Bible, Christians fully accept the comical blunders out of fear and ignorance.
As it stands, people were a lot less knowledgeable hundreds of years ago. They had no reason to disbelieve the accounts of God and were very much afraid to make statements as bold as the ones in this book. Conversely, Christians continue the tradition of blindly accepting whatever the Bible says even though we know the problems are there. Like the careless and negligent ostriches of the biblical universe, everyone has seemingly buried their heads deep in the desert sand.