In recent years, America has become increasingly religiose.
Perhaps you've noticed.
More and more, we're being told to eat scripture and die (followed by a presumably kick-ass afterlife).
Millions from our Treasury now pour into faith-based initiatives. Mega-churches led by holy men like Ted Haggard are springing up all over. Anti-gay, anti-woman, and anti-science laws are being proposed, and sometimes passed, to energize and appease the sanctimonious base. And Jesus personally told our President to preemptively attack a country that lacked the means and, it appears, even a plan to do us harm — killing hundreds of thousands of people, including nearly as many Americans as True Believers from abroad killed here on 9/11.
The Bible must be a helluva great book to be worth so much suffering.
With that in mind, we'll look at it here chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and see what all the fuss is about.
We'll use that old standby, the King James Version, which is accessible here.
When we're done with the Judeo-Christian texts, will we do the same with the Qur'an? Probably not. As long as there are death-sentence fatwas for infidels, it might be best not to mess around with the religion of peace.
Who is BS4A for?
Bible Study for Atheists is primarily for... atheists! In particular, it's for skeptics who have never read the Bible in depth.
Expect irreverence here. If you can't handle it, please go elsewhere.
That said, all are welcome to contribute comments; just don't be an annoying troll. Feel free to use this forum to argue for or against the truth and relevance of the scripture.
Your humble host here is an atheist, or at very least an agnostic++.
Do I think there could there be a God? Sure. But nothing I've read or heard about God or religion has ever sounded the least bit credible to me.
There are certainly lots of nice religious people, and religious groups do many good works. There are also lots of nasty religious people and terrible things done in the name of God.
The bottom line is that, as best I can tell, religion is founded on lies, delusion, and self-delusion. I think we're better off not living our lives based on such things, but I'm willing to devote some time to reading the book that means so much to so many. Perhaps believers will return the favor and read Richard Dawkins's excellent The God Delusion, which documents why there almost certainly isn't a God.
I expect that we will encounter many interesting, confusing, inspiring, disturbing, and controversial passages as we read on.
Sound like fun? Well, let's get started.