What Is The Atheist
View On The Bible?

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Charles Hitztaler"
Subject: Re: PA-via_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2001 4:04 PM

Atheism is a very minor aspect of anybody's comprehensive viewpoint. Since there is really no such thing as the atheist view on anything, I can give you only my own viewpoint. But, if no gods exist, then the Bible, like all written material, was written by humans. Thus, if it claims to have been written by a god, then it is just so much hucksterism.

I don't think the Bible makes for itself a very strong claim that it was written by gods. Certain portions, such as Ezekiel, make strong claims of that nature for themselves, but most of the Bible seems to be either mythology, which was common for the era, or simple historical accounts of a tribe (albeit exaggerated and highly moralized). Matthew and Luke are not ashamed to revise and correct Mark and to tailor his accounts to their own theology (for example: Matthew's Jesus would never take an entire day to wither a damned fig tree and thinks the donkey prophecy specifically calls for two donkeys). Even Paul interjects that he is speaking his own opinion and goes to great lengths to say hello to his friends.

Before the New Testament Gospels were written, the Christians had only the Hebrew Scripture to go on. So, they meticulously sought to fulfill their belief that all of that body of work spoke prophetically of Jesus. This explains many of the Jesus stories which seem so contrived in their attempts to conform to this or that Hebrew tale, and this also explains how almost everything the Gospel Jesus did has a "parallel" in Hebrew Scripture: the Gospel accounts are based more on this presupposition that the Hebrew Scriptures speak of Jesus than they are accurate accounts of a historical Jesus, and since Jesus was seen as the greatest of all prophets (and more), it behooved his biographers to be very careful that he was never upstaged by any miracle in Hebrew Scripture.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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