Reading the Bible is one of the surest ways to make a Christian an atheist. If the reader is able to dismiss the supernatural claims, she will find the Bible to be loaded with atrocities, contradictions, and just idiocy; unfortunately, so many Christians are unwilling to lock out the supernatural and accept the Bible as True to various degrees. I find it curious that a Christian can dismiss the Genesis creation or Noah’s flood as allegorical or symbolic, but they absolutely positively believe the Easter story. The ability of moderate and liberal Christians to cherry pick the Bible is blatantly evident during Easter even though they should realize that the Easter story is just stupid.
I started doubting the Bible at an early age. Even as a youngster with an under-developed ability to reason I could see things in the Bible that didn’t make sense or were contradictory. The story of Jesus’s capture, crucifixion, and resurrection offered some of the more obvious contradictions and absurdities.
The first thing that bugged me as a kid was Jesus’s suffering. What happened to him? How much and how long did he suffer? According the Bible he was flogged and given a crown of thorns. There is no mention of how many lashes he received, nor how fierce those lashes were. History tells us how brutal Roman floggings were, and they truly were. There is no diminishing the pain and damage the flogging caused. But…so what?
Then there is the “crown of thorns” – needle like thorns thrust on the head of Jesus, probably cutting his face and scalp. There would be lots of blood (there is a lot of blood in the head). But again…so what?
The nails through the wrists, or palms of the hand and through the feet – serious “ouch” factor. So what?
This “passion” lasted less than 2 days before he died. Two days. That’s it. All of the “sin of the world” of all mankind from a flogging, cutting, and a death in two days – on a person who sacrificed himself to himself to save us from himself. By all accounts burns are the most painful injury a human being can receive. The burns aren’t even as bad as the healing, and there are people who suffer second and third degree burns over most of their bodies who then have to go weeks, months, even years of excruciating pain trying to heal. Many of them don’t heal. They die. And they die painfully.
Human beings have developed masterful ways of torturing other humans. The Catholic church did it during the Inquisition, prolonging the suffering of the infidels before finally releasing them to death after a forced confession of faith. These tortures lasted much more than two days.
For as violent as Jesus’s passion was, it was a mere trifle compared to what thousands of sick and injured people go through every day.
Some Christians say that Jesus descended to Hell to continue to take on the suffering of us sinners. How long was he there? Less than three days! Whoop dee freakin’ doo! An immortal god went to Hell for a few days, while the same immortal god condemns others to be there forever. In the time span that is Eternity, three days is nothing. Of course, the “three days” doesn’t add up, and now let’s move on to the textual contradictions.
According the creed most Christians recite, the Nicene Creed, Jesus suffered, died, and was buried, and on the third day he rose again, in accordance with the scriptures. Let’s count:
- Crucified and died on Friday – by Jewish tradition, should have been in the tomb by sundown. Maybe a half a day at most
- Chillin’ on Saturday – one day
- Folks start coming to the tomb on Sunday – Easter Sunday – “He is risen” – not a day at all
That’s a day and a half – two if I want to be generous. At a hotel that’s two days. Visiting my in-laws that’s just one day.
Again – I saw this problem as a kid! Pastors, priests, and Sunday school teachers all tried to count Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as three days, but that doesn’t work even now. The twists and turns some Christians will make to turn this Friday – Sunday into three days is remarkable.
Speaking of folks coming to the tomb on the “third day” – how many were there, who were they, and what did they see? This is an easy one to get right, yet none of the Gospels tell the same story. Again, however, Christians worldwide ignore this glaring discrepancy.
How did Judas die? Did he hang himself as it says in Matthew, or did he fall and his guts spill out as it says in Acts? And no, you can’t have it both ways because it isn’t written as both! There is no Biblical account of Judas hanging himself, then the rope broke, and he splattered on the ground. That’s a fiction created to explain another plot problem.
In the Biblical account of the crucifixion, the earth opened up and the dead rose, there was a massive earthquake, and three hours of darkness in the middle of the day, but there is not one single historical report of any of that happening. I am quite confident that if the formerly dead started walking the streets of Jerusalem the Romans would have had a LOT to say about it. In the desperate search for the historical truth of Jesus, people point to two questionable writings of an historian that wasn’t even alive during the time Jesus would have been alive, but ignore the fact that there isn’t a shred of historical evidence to support the claims of zombies, earthquakes, and 3 hours of darkness.
The more I read the Bible, especially the Easter story, the more I realized that I couldn’t square what I was reading with reasonable thinking. And if the reasons given to me by faith leaders were so lame – and they were – then why even believe this story? It is said that without the resurrection, Christianity would be meaningless.
If it walks like a duck….1