Home > Live Blogging the Bible > If You Insist on Reading Along…

If You Insist on Reading Along…

by Noah Lugoens

As of this afternoon, I’m the proud owner of an autographed, first edition copy of The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible.  Huge thanks to author Steve Wells and the folks over at Atheists On Air for making it happen.  This is a beautifully bound book, but it’s also the most useful resource I could imagine while we’re constructing our tri-weekly Holy Babble segments.  The book presents the biblical text, but Steve Wells has painstakingly and exhaustively cataloged all the contradictions, sexism, violence and laugh out loud lunacy so even when you start reading in that begat-induced catatonic state, you won’t miss any of the horror or hypocrisy.

Of course, when I got it, I flipped straight to 1 Chronicles, as this is the book of the bible I’ve read most recently.  Sure enough, after only a glance, I was wishing I’d had this work available when we were doing our last “Holy Babble” segment.  At the very least I’d have liked to know that in Wells’ estimation it was the most boring book of the bible (and, in his words, “maybe the most boring book in all of literature”), so I’d know that it wasn’t going to bottom out any deeper.

We’ve said a number of times that on the Holy Babble , we’re reading the bible so you don’t have to.  Despite that intention and our constant caveats about how mind-numbingly boring it is, I know that many of our listeners are reading along.  I don’t necessarily endorse it, but I know that it’s happening.

So if you can’t resist the temptation of multiple chapters of genealogies and psychotic divine vengeance, I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of Wells’ book.  I provided an Amazon link once already, but here it is again in case you missed it.  It’s definitely going to be the easiest way to get all you want to get out of the experience, but let’s face it, if you’re spending money buying a bible there’s a good chance you’re paying to support something that you fundamentally oppose.  This gives you an opportunity to put that money in the hands of somebody who definitely won’t use it to accidentally fund child-rape-conspiracy settlements.

  1. Atheous
    February 3, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    I got a copy about a month ago, it is a beautiful volume, and indexed just like the website. Mine now sports a “Skeptoid” sticker with the “Fear the skeptical eye” picture. I also bought an Oxford reference bible, on your suggestion.

  2. February 4, 2014 at 5:00 AM

    Shit! Between £119 and £155 on Amazon.co.uk!!!

  3. Saila Namai
    February 4, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    @ tim: Just get it overseas then.

    While i do agree it can be very funny to dive into the contradictions of this particular doctrine, i tend to avoid arguing the bible. In my opinion it is somewhat of a red herring.
    Its a book about everything. Almost any point of view can be justified through it. Whenever i do need a bible quote is just go ahead and search bible+topic. I always find something. Therefore it is ultimately a book about nothing.
    By arguing the semantics of their doctrine, you level the playing field. Its like stating “For the sake of argument i will accept these premises”. Most of the time i argue on a meta level, where one could not tell which religion i’m talking about. They need to prove their claims, it is not we who need to refute them. Let them try and prove absolute truth and the like. Across the pond it works “miracles”. Maybe its worth a try in the beautiful country of Texas too?

    • February 4, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      That’s a good point, but there’s more to reading the bible than arming oneself for an argument. I’ve said a number of times on the show that I don’t think anyone needs to read the bible to refute the claim that it’s the inerrant word of god. That being said, there is wisdom in the adage “Know your enemy” and arming yourself with superior biblical knowledge can come in damn handy in the non-confrontational aspects of devangelism.

      And while I’d never open a topic of argument by pointing to the bible, if my opponent dives into it, it’s nice to be able to cut that tactic off quick.

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