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The Bible Against Itself (Skeptic Exclusive) | Randel Helms

The Bible Against Itself (Skeptic Exclusive) | Randel Helms

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If you open up the Bible and read it straight through, you will notice two things that should not be true if it had been written as a coherent whole and with a single purpose:

  1. the Bible is quite repetitious
  2. the Bible frequently seems to contradict itself

Readers have often ignored these contradictions, and apologists have long tried to reconcile them. Randel Helms chooses a third course — to understand the contradictions by looking at the cultural and historical factors that produced them.

As Helms explains, “The Bible is a war-zone, and its authors are the combatants. Paul said of Peter, ‘I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong (Gal. 2:11).’” Luke obviously felt that Mark’s gospel was filled with errors and edited it freely. Not even Mark’s account of the words of the dying Christ was left unaltered...

The Bible Against Itself, published by Skeptics Society, reveals:

  • how the author of Chronicles I & II white-washed earlier historical accounts of Saul, David, and Solomon
  • how the Book of Ruth was written to challenge the growing racism of religious reformers of its time
  • how every apocalyptic book in the Bible struggled to reinterpret some earlier failed Bible prophecy
  • the war of “Wisdom” between religious teachings, pagan proverbs, and practical advice
  • how first and second-century Christians interpreted the Hebrew Bible in a new way, to change it into a book that had “really” been written about Jesus
  • Jesus of Nazareth’s philosophical conflicts with Jesus the son of Sirach
  • the battle between James and Paul — and their followers — for control of first- century Christianity.

Dr. Randel Helms is a Bible scholar and professor of English at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. He is the author of Gospel Fictions and Who Wrote the Gospels?

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