File Size: 1088 KB
Print Length: 394 pages
Publisher: Ulysses Press (May 1, 2009)
Publication Date: May 1, 2009
I agree with those who commented that Barker is just just as much the zealot in rebutting the Bible now as when he once thumped it. But Dan, you avoid have to show that every major figure in the Bible was a no-account scoundrel to make your case. And criticizing the Sermon on the Mount seems somewhat of overkill. Most people, religious or not, would agree that peacemakers ought to be blessed. We require them more than ever, especially in the Middle East!
Some reviewers here appear to think that everyone already knows about the barbarism taught in the Bible. I am certain that is not the case. Atheists like Barker have a duty to relate to the faithful all the impossibilities and particularly the gruesome stories that fill the Bible. I wonder if kids are taught in VBS about Jephthah (Judges 11: 30-40) who, with God's approval, practiced genocide and then killed his own daughter as a sacrifice to God. Because Barker reminds us, where is the morality in the Bible?
Barker's chapters on Jesus were well done, emphasizing that the Gospels were written many decades after Jesus existed, by anonymous authors in whose narratives contradict the other on many points. How many true believers actually know this? Or that the story of Jesus has many parallels with other myths of the times, including the Attis cult. For millennia, Semitic people freely borrowed the myths (e. h., the Flood, the Backyard of Eden) of other cultures, especially Mesopotamian and Sumerian, and put their own spin on them. Noticed in this light, one cannot help but agree with Barker that the portrayal of Jesus found of the Bible was likely a continuation of a time-honored tradition.
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