25 September 2012

What if we could edit the Bible? (Opening Karl Giberson's can of worms)

Is there a Bible-believer who hasn't asked that question?

Yes, I'm sure there are many, perhaps even most. Because most people who believe in the Bible have never read it (all of it, that is, not just carefully selected bits and pieces).

But what about believers who have read it? Have they asked themselves that question?

I suspect that most have, since they believe that Bible is the pure word of God, and yet when they read it (the whole damned thing), they find that it's about as pure and inspired as the rantings of their drunk uncle at last year's Christmas party.

Take Karl Giberson, for example. He is a Sophisticated Theologian (a term "Coyned" by Jerry Coyne) who is ashamed and disgusted by the Bible, while he pretends to believe it is the inspired word of God.

Here are a few quotes from his recent HuffPo article, "If only we could edit the Bible."
I have often wondered--quietly and usually to myself--what would happen if we could edit the Bible.  Wouldn't it be good if some ecumenical committee could go through the Old Testament and take out all the language about stoning people to death for breaking various rules? Or maybe soften that passage where the Psalmist talks about bashing the heads of the babies of his enemies against the rocks? We could also fix some of those New Testament misquotes of the Old Testament.
Suggesting this is heretical, of course, but it seems to me that it would be better, in some ways at least, to edit the Bible than to ignore it....
He doesn't, of course, follow through with his suggestion. He leaves all the nasty stuff in the Bible alone and continues to ignore it (while pretending to believe it). That's sophisticated theology for you.

So I thought I'd give it a go and help believers relieve themselves of the embarrassing parts of the Bible.

Here is a short list of verses from the Old and New Testaments that every believer would like to get rid of, but can't. (These verses are listed on the endpapers of the SAB book, which will be available in November.)

Old Testament verses that Karl Giberson should edit
Genesis 19.8  “Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, an do ye to them as is good in your eyes.” 
Genesis 22.2  “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and ... offer him there for a burnt offering.” 
 Exodus 21.20-21  “If a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and ... if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
 Exodus 22.18  “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
 Leviticus 20.13  “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
 Leviticus 20.14  “If a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they.”
 Leviticus 24.16  “He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put  to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.” 
 Numbers 11.1  “And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD  heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among  them, and consumed them.”
Numbers 21.6  “And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.”
Numbers 31.15-18  “And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”
Deuteronomy 25.11-12  “When two men strive together on with another, and the wife of the one ... putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.”
Deuteronomy 32.39-42  “I kill ... I wound ... I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh.”

1 Samuel 15.2-3  “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, ... Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
1 Samuel 18.27  “David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins … And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.”
2 Samuel 12.14-18  “Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the  enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall  surely die. And the LORD struck the child  ... on the seventh day, that the child died. “
2 Kings 2.23-24  “As he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”
2 Kings 9.6-8  “Thus saith the LORD God … I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall.”
2 Kings 18.27  “Hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?”
2 Chronicles 21.14-15  “Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods. And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out.”
Psalm 58.10  “The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.”
Isaiah 45.7  “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil:  I the LORD do all these things.”
Isaiah 49.26  “I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine.”
Jeremiah 19.9  “I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh  of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend.”
 Jeremiah 48.10  “Cursed  be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.”
Ezekiel 23.20  "For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses."
Malachi 2.3  “Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces.” 
New Testament verses that (as Romney would say) could be stated more elegantly
Matthew 5.29-30  “If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out .... And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off … for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” 
Matthew 10.35-36  “I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the  daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in  law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.”
Matthew 10.37  “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:  and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
Matthew 13.12  “Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.”
Matthew13.13-15  “Therefore speak I to them in parables ... lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
Matthew 16.28  “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not  taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
Mark 16.16  “He that believeth not shall be damned.”
Mark16.17-18  “These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it  shall not hurt them.”
Luke 14.26  “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and  wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he  cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 19.27  “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”
John 3.18  “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
John 3.36  “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
John 12.40  “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
1 Corinthians 7.1  “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”
1 Corinthians 7.29  “The time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none.”
1 Corinthians 14.34-35  “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak .... If they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home.”
Ephesians 5.22  “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
Ephesian 6.5  “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 1.7-9  “The Lord Jesus ... In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God ... Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction.”
2 Thessalonians 2.11-12  “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned.”
1 Timothy 2.11-12   “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence … Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing.”

Revelation 14.3-4  “The hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth … these are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins”
Revelation 14.11  “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.“
Revelation 14.19-20  “The great winepress of the wrath of God ... was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles.” 
Revelation 19.13  “He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”
Revelation 21.8  “The fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and  brimstone.”
Revelation 22.20  “Surely I come quickly.” 
This is just a start, of course. I have thousands more to suggest.

If you're a Bible-believer, let me know what you think? Are there any verses on my list that you are proud of? If so let me know.

2 comments:

Sarah Johnson said...

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” My family definately agree with this.

Stephen said...

Sarah, I think your family may be seriously messed up.
;-)
Steve Weeks