It almost seems like atheists don't want to believe in God. Do you just simply not want to believe in God because you don't want to give up your own free will?
ADMIN EDIT: Mercedes has left ThinkAtheist.com on her own accord. This discussion will remain, however do not expect a response from the author.
"Insanity is believing your hallucinations are real. Religion is believing that other peoples' hallucinations are real."
-- Dan Barker --
Genesis doesn't even mention Jesus - it only talks about other alleged gods.
And so why is it any better than the scriptures of all the other religions which point to the holiness of other gods?
The Bible points to Jesus. None of the others do.
Mercedes, are you aware that no one really knows who wrote the Gospels of "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke," and "John"? They were written anonymously, the first wasn't written until 40 years after Yeshua (if he ever existed) allegedly died, and the others, even later.
A group of Bishops decided they must have been written by those four, and so named the Gospels after them. Of those four, only Matthew (the Greek translation of the Jewish name, "Levi," the tax collector) and John, brother of James, both sons of an illiterate fisherman, Zebedee, could have actually been apostles of Yeshua - Luke was a physician and a companion of Paul, who would never have met Yesshua, and there are differing opinions as to who "Mark" was, but they all agree that he was not an apostle and would never have met Yeshua.
So you have four men who write about the birth, life, and death of Yeshua, who are entirely anonymous, and even if we accept that they are actually those, whose names they were given, we know that two of the four who write about him, never met him, and, much like you, know only what they've been told.
So let's look at the only two who COULD have been apostles, Matthew (Levi) and John, son of Zebedee.
First of all, read the Gospel of Mark, then immediately read the Gospel of Matthew, while Mark is fresh on your mind. You will find that in most places, Mark's and Matthew's stories are identical - in fact, Matthew often copies Mark, word for word. Why? We know Mark wasn't even there, and if Matthew IS Levi, he would have been, so why does he need to copy Mark? Why doesn't he have his own story to tell, from his own point of view? You've never really given that any thought, have you?
Again looking at Matthew, both he and Mark tell this now-famous story of how Yeshua was walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and spotting Peter and his brother, Andrew, as well as brothers John and James, sons of Zebedee, tells them to follow him, and he will make them, "fishers of men" - remember that?
Well, strangely enough, in the Gospel of John, John, brother of James and son of Zebedee, who would have been one of those four "fishers of men," says it didn't happen that way at all. Read it for yourself, Mercedes, and realize that at least one of the stories can't possibly be true. Then maybe, like me, you'll come to smile sadly every time you hear someone swear that something is the "Gospel truth!" --
There is quite a lot of documentary evidence that Jesus was an allegorical figure written into stories centuries before the new testament was written.
When the new testament was formed, by consensus group led by Emperor Constantine of Rome, they decided what the content should be.
The bible that you know has been translated and edited many, many times since it was first written in Hebrew. It has been translated into ancient Latin several times and then into English several times, every time it is translated it has to be interpreted for nuance and meaning as the languages are all very different.
Consider the sentences:
'It's time we ate, Grandma' and 'It's time we ate Grandma'. Just one punctuation mark changes the whole meaning of the sentence, and those are words we understand perfectly in a simple sentence structure. Do some research online about the translation of the bible and come back and tell me that you believe every word is clear and unambiguous.
Where I grew up there is an ancient book called 'Y Mabinigion', it is a celtish book of legends written down so as not to lose the verbal stories that were told in villages throughout the land. It is a book of legends, exactly the same as the bible. It has magic and parables in it just the same as the bible, but it is not thought anything more than what it is, a book of stories.
Theologians agree that the holy days (holidays) that you celebrate are not the actual dates that christ was supposed to have been born, died, risen, etc. They are dates that have been blended with pagan rituals of winter and spring so as to appease the pagans that Constantine wanted to convert to christianity.
There are so many holes in the bible stories, so many contradictions, so many ambiguities that have been caused by translation and interpretation that the bible cannot really be said to be anything but a representation of the christian faith. Do not forget that everyone involved with the translation process has had an agenda, most have been powerful men wanting to be able to control the masses.
I had a discussion with someone on twitter that said, in effect, that the bible is the word of god and infallible. I asked how that could be as the old testament said the earth was flat, the sun orbited the earth and that adulterers should be stoned to death. He laughed and said that I had bought the lie and that it is only the new testament that is accurate. I was totally bemused!
Do the research, it's all out there.
You've made a good point, Alan, regarding punctuation, but it's even far more convoluted than that. Ancient Hebrew, the language of much of the Old Testament written before the Babylonian conquest of Palestine and the conversion of most Hebrews to the language of Aramaic, had no vowels. Later translators had to assume what vowel sounds were supposed to go where - for example, the name of their god, Yahweh, was originally written, "YHWH" - now where would you automatically assume a vowell should go, and which vowel should it be? This is why Yahweh was once mistakenly mistranslated, "Jehova," and the name, though erroneous, stuck.
Then the whole thing, over time, was translated from the original Hebrew and later, Aramaic, into Greek, which was then used to translate it into Latin, and later, into English. Gosh, I can't imagine how ANYthing could go wrong there --
And BTW, trust me, no one in my family would ever say, 'It's time we ate Grandma' - that was one tough old bird!
"it's no ordinary book. It's many books written over centuries all pointing to Jesus as Lord."
I've burned several of them...they are indeed ordinary.
The men who authored it would have gaped in astonishment at the sight of a wheelbarrow.
This sentence is pure awesomeness
We're supposed to revere him because he made us. We do the same thing with the things we create. We make a car and we drive it, we breed dogs and we train them, why wouldn't the God of the universe ask for reverence?
eternity is a small part of God's promises to us.
The difference being if i buy a dog and it decides it likes my sister more than me i dont end up sending it away to be tortured for eternity, and if i did it wouldmake me a psychopath