The atheist response to the text of the Bible is based primarily upon the young earth creationist interpretation, which is flawed. If I put myself objectively in the position of the atheist attempting to debunk the Bible I would start with Genesis Chapter 1. The Chapter passed the inspection of this former atheist.

The Hebrew verb consists of two different states. The perfect state indicates an action which is complete, whereas the imperfect state indicates a continuous or incomplete action.

At Genesis 1:1 the word bara, translated as created, is in the perfect state, which means that at this point the creation of the heavens and the Earth were completed. Later, as in verse 16 the Hebrew word asah, translated as made, is used, which is in the imperfect state, indicating continuous action. The heavens and Earth were created in verse 1 and an indeterminate time later they were being prepared for habitation, much the same as a bed is manufactured (complete) and made (continuous) afterwards.

What this means is that the creation was complete even before the six "days" of creation even began, in fact, later verses in the chapter reveal it was more than likely a long time in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.

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The Hebrew word lilith is sometimes rendered as "little owl." The Athene noctua (From Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, by L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Leiden, 1958, p. 428) The word is used at Isaiah 34:14, one of the creatures haunting Edom's ruins. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, edited by G.A. Buttrick, 1962, Vol. 2. p. 252 compares the Hebrew lilith to the Strix, or tawny owl.

Various translations render it to the "Screech owl" (KJ) "night-monster" (AS) "nightjar" (NE) and "night hag." (RS)

The Book of Zohar, or Sefer ha-zohar (Hebrew: Book of Splendor, which the blog you linked to refers is a 13th century text of Jewish mysticism.

I'm picturing a giant owl-lady, like a harpy. Which I'm actually kind of okay with.

Lewal,

Harpy is probably not far from the truth. Lilith seems to me to be an invention of misogynistic intent. 

Lilith seems to me to be an invention of misogynistic intent.

As opposed to the curse of pain during childbirth, the "uncleanness of women on their period, forbidding women to speak in church or teach men, forcing them to marry their rapist, killing them if they don't scream loud enough if they are raped, etc. Those are just peachy.

Milos,

The uncleanliness of the period was due to the blood. The blood, according to the Bible, is the life, and sacred to God. But the menstrual cycle also had the effect of making the man respect his wife and the pleasure she gave him. It sort of had the effect of him not taking it for granted.

Women were not forbidden to speak in church or to teach men, they were simply instructed to wear a head covering if men were present out of respect for God's headship arrangement.

I once had a Bible study where a woman's husband who was supposed to conduct the study had to take his place due to him being held up at work. She explained it to me and put a hat on. It was, at first, very uncomfortable for me. I guess I had the same disgust you have. But into the study I began to realize what a tremendously wonderful thing it was. I had such a new found respect for her it literally brought me to tears.

Jesus, the greatest man who ever lived, and the head of the congregation just as Jehovah is the head of Jesus, said: Why do you call me good? No one is good except God.

Ah yes, Jesus, the greatest man who never lived - I remember him from the Greatest Story Ever Sold!

No one is good except God.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

— Epicurus, philosopher (c. 341-270 BCE)

Zohar? Isn't there an Adam Sandler movie about the Zohar, who is not to be messed with?

Unseen: Zohar? Isn't there an Adam Sandler movie about the Zohar, who is not to be messed with?

Don't mess with the Zohar!

No, no, no . . . that's Lohan or Zohan. Don't mess with the Zohan.

Amanda,

I would rather you not take my word for it, I have been wrong before, and besides, for me at least, the fun part is discovering whether these things are true or not. That personal search. Listen to others but ultimately what you decide is up to you. 

You referred to Genesis 1:25: There are two creation accounts. The first is a chronological account (Genesis 1:1-2:4) and the second is given according to topical relevance. (Genesis 2:5-4:26) They differ in order and are often wrongly thought to contradict one another.

I hear from skeptics that these accounts are contradictory because they are in a different order, but if I said to you that I went to post at the TA and responded to Robert and then told Marc that I responded to Robert when I went to the TA those are not contradictory accounts. At least I don't see them that way.

Amanda,

Have you read the Bible? And the other "holy" books? The Kojiki and The Nihongi are Shinto texts produced by Japanese royalty long after Shintoism existed in one form or another. Shintoism I find sort of interesting in that if there ever was a religion that remained true to itself it would be the one. Simply because of its beginnings from the rice fields in which the importance was to gather communities together in the planting and harvesting seasons. The familial gods were of little import. They were easily and comfortably replaced from the beginning. The Royal family devised the two aforementioned texts of history and legend in order to sort of become the Gods themselves. Until World War II when the emperor was demonstrated as obviously human. 

I have read but not really retained much of many holy books, tho all were translations or 'versions' of course ... Really, they can be considered literature or fables of course. Preaching to the choir here. Noting that anything 'remains true' while in essense saying it was a political agenda of a ruling monarchy to establish their power base (claiming to be gods) basically reenforces the view of holy books as being propoganda or fables. It undoes your arguement about the Bible does it not? And yet you seem to use the reference as bolstering some claim of validity about the Bible .. or am i misunderstanding your point?

 

To me the Japanese example is a prime one of folks calling themselves Gods and manufacturing history and "proofs" of divinity, and then when they are forced to for expediency or in fear of their lives, they recant and change the ground rules. The Emperor faced a day when boys with bigger guns told him he wasn't a God, gave him the parameters of his continued existance and he negotiated a settlement then made up the new rules of his religion and told millions how to behave.

How does any of this bolster any claim of Genesis being anything but a made up fable, mistranslated for eons (and continued to be mistranslated now by folks reading it with 21st century eyes and agendas)?

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