|An Atheist Reading the New Testament Part One
||[Jan. 6th, 2013|10:10 am]
I came across a copy and thought to myself that I’d try to read it, because people use it to excuse so many awful things. I’d tried to read the old testament a few times, but didn’t get far. It’s not the most riveting of prose.
The book gives you a schedule for daily reading, and it’s supposed to take two years. So no, not doing that. I read as much as I feel like, picking out the bits that strike at me and writing down my initial reaction. I'm not "studying" it, nor am I consulting resources to learn whatever alternate meanings the clauses might have. I plan to write a post a week, a book a post, but I might not finish, because this isn’t riveting either.
This post will have two books, Matthew and Mark, because Mark is really short, repeating a lot from Matthew right down to the exact same language, and didn’t spark much worth commenting on.
If you’re going to be offended by unrelenting criticism of the Bible, I advise you not read any of the posts.
Summary: Jesus was a jerk. I will be focusing on the negative because as far as I’m concerned, good deeds don’t make up for bad ones.
5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing any more, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” What the hell does that mean?
5:22 Jesus said …. “… and whoever shall say ‘You fool’ shall be guilty enough to go into the ‘hell of fire.’” Nice. Not a fan of free speech, I guess.
5:47 Jesus said “And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” This reminds me of a moment in high school when an acquaintance of mine who was a born again Christian spoke of a horrific murder and then added “Even Moira would be against that.” Because I, as an atheist, have no moral code, and good for me for having this little scrap of decency.
6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them: otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” Seems to be a lot of Christians who missed that part of the Bible. He goes on to say that Christians should pray in private. How does forcing students to pray in school fit into that?
Demoniacs – heh. I have to use that word in a book.
8:21,22 A guy asked Jesus to let him go bury his father before following him, and Jesus said no and to let the dead bury their dead. WTF?
Hey, Jesus was handing out free health care.
10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” WOW
10:35 “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; ….”
10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” VAIN.
They sure do hate tax collectors.
Jesus says he is gentle and humble in heart. People who call themselves humble, aren’t. Humble people don’t throw around orders like he does.
I guess when he mentioned bringing a sword, he was going to use it gently.
12:30 “He who is not with me is against me….” Is that where Bush got that arrogant piece of idiocy?
Booooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg. Maybe this is why you’re supposed to read only about ten sentences a day.
18:3 “and said ‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Adults must demean themselves in order to be accepted.
Yeah, Jesus was a bigot re: Gentiles.
21:2 Jesus tells his disciples to steal a donkey and a colt. What was that bit about “Thou shall not steal” ?
21:12 “And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling the temple, and overturned the tables of moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves.” Did he talk to them first or did he go straight to the violence. Also, it’s funny that they specified the people selling doves. Why is that bad?
21:19 He kills a fig tree because it doesn’t have any figs on it. (He’s hungry so I guess he’s ticked?)
22:24-26. If a man dies and has no children, his wife is left (like a piece of land) to the next brother. So, there was a family of seven brothers, and this poor woman was passed down to all of them. Unlucky woman, and an unlucky family.
He hates scribes, too. So, someone who writes is inherently evil. (I know, I know, they were sorta lawyers, but that wasn't all they did.)
24:24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Just like Jesus did?
25 Heaven is something like a guy being able to sleep with virgins, but only the prudent virgins out of ten. Sounds something like another major religion I’ve heard of.
I know the book is a gajillion years old but all the casual references to slaves make me twitch.
A story about a master giving different slaves money and the slaves doing different things with the money and I have no idea who’s supposed to be the bad guy.
26: Jesus is eating dinner, aware he’s going to be crucified soon. A woman pours a bottle of expensive perfume on his head. The disciples are angry about this, because the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. What does Jesus say? He criticises them: “For the poor you have with you always; but you do not always have me.”
Was he the guy calling himself humble, earlier?
27:11-14 At Jesus’ trial, he doesn’t respond to any of the charges laid against him. Nowadays, if you don’t deny something in court, it’s considered true. He did say he was the King of the Jews, though. Really wasn’t helping his case, there. I get that his death was foretold, but was it a self-fulfilling prophecy?
27:52,53 Hey, Jesus’ death raised a whole bunch of zombies!
28:19,20 I guess they’re not supposed to pray in private anymore.
A lot of exact repetition of Matthew to the point of using the same words.
5:19 (It took this long to get a different story.) I’m not going to go back to check, but I think in Matthew Jesus was all about keeping his good works a secret, but in this part he told his patient to go tell everyone about the mercy the Lord has shown him.
7:10-12 Honour your mother and your father unless they don’t follow God, in which case, don’t.
9:19 “And he answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? ….” Can’t you feel the love?
11:13 The reason the fig tree had no figs was because it wasn’t the season for it.
13:38 “And in his teaching he was saying: ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places….’” How dare scribes want to be treated with respect?