Biblical Body Count
Excellent site. I just discovered it and have already forwarded it to others. I read the Bible for my first time this year, from January to March. I especially enjoyed the National Bible Week poster. (I had stumbled upon Ezekiel 23:20 on my own, which was a real hoot.) But you have provided an excellent resource. Kudos to you.
I am buried in a long letter that I have been writing to an old friend and I would love to include a total body count within the Bible (not a body count resulting from its tenets)....I'm sure it is in the low millions but I can't find a specific tally. Do you know if anyone has tried to work it out and if they have a url of their research? It would be fun trivia to have.
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "[name withheld]"
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: Saturday, June 03, 2000 12:44 PM
I have seen several attempts to provide a biblical body count, but things like the flood throw it off. If you're interested in biblical stuff, you may want to invest $50 in a copy of The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy by McKinsey (Prometheus). It's bound as a library reference book (no dust jacket) and parts of it need to be taken with salt. That is, there are some very weak arguments based on an ultra-literal (and arguably flawed) interpretation of the King James version.
While comparing versions, I noticed that the New International Version seems to go out of its way to cover up bona fide errors in the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. See the letter Atheism: A Position of Convenience? to read some of my findings in this respect.
As always, though, PAM recommends that we study these things for our own edification. We seldom benefit from aggressively confronting believers or by debating them (many are more skilled at debate than theology). I do it here because I have an audience who can learn from my debates (and from my mistakes). Also, I am more skilled at responding to theists' claims than many, and readers can thereby become more prepared for when they make their smooth, enticing presentations. But we think more can be done if we try to open the doors to communication rather than put on the appearance of bigotry or spitefulness or closed-mindedness.
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