An Introduction To Biblical Nonsense
by Dr. Jason Long
The following, republished with the permission of the author, is the introduction to Dr. Jason Long's book, Biblical Nonsense : A Review of the Bible for Doubting Christians; published by iUniverse, January 2005. This book utilizes scientific scrutiny, sound logic, and enlightened rationalism to present a remarkably compelling case against the legitimacy of the Bible. The full book is available in paperback, hardcover and as a download from Biblical Nonsense, where it can also be read online.
This book is not about enforcing human limitations on the Christian perspective of God. Instead, it’s about rendering a verdict on the possibility of the Bible being a divinely inspired representation of such an incredible being. If the Bible is, in fact, the word of the universe’s omnipotent creator, the abilities of this being to alter science and logic would seemingly supersede the legitimate questions posed upon these pages. Thus, in order to derive an unbiased conclusion on such an important matter, we must read the Bible from an impartial perspective and carefully decide if we can truly attribute the book to such a magnificent entity.
If one can successfully demonstrate the accuracy of the Bible, the opinions expressed within this book disintegrate into mere rubbish. If, on the other hand, we can deduce that the possibility of the Bible having a link to this god is exceedingly remote, the book must be able to stand on its own merit to maintain its freely given credibility. If the Bible cannot be self-sufficient in this manner, it’s not entitled to the aforementioned leniencies of breaking multiple rules set by science and reason. With this balanced paradigm in mind, you should discover one recurring theme while reviewing the upcoming chapters: the link between divinity and the Bible is simply nonexistent. This idea is anything but novel since thousands before me have demonstrated the abundant biblical complications that establish the logical impossibility of a supernatural force ever dictating or influencing it.
People often ask me why I spend a great deal of time denouncing and disproving the Bible. Although I can’t offer an exact reason, my passion is probably driven by the salient danger created by Christianity and its subsequent influence on nearly two billion people every day. While the evil forces of certain deceitful religions have somewhat subsided in more recent times, the hatred inadvertently generated by these belief systems remains the greatest threat to humankind’s continued existence. In the past 2000 years, Christianity has been guilty of initiating several wars and crusades resulting in thousands of needless deaths, blatantly oppressing women to the point of worthlessness, abhorrently justifying the enslavement of Africans and perpetuating cruelties upon them we would rather just forget, shamelessly driving its followers to hang or burn alleged witches, nearly exterminating the entire Native American population, and inconspicuously robbing billions of people of countless man-hours that could have been much better spent on improving our planet. Someone certainly needs to address these issues, and the book most of the Western world swears by demands a thorough critical analysis.
I was born agnostic, as are all children, but both of my parents were Christian. Naturally, my mom enrolled me in church at a young age because she wanted to do what she felt was best for me. Having also been enrolled in church at a young age, however, she’s never had the opportunity to see the religion from an honest and impartial perspective.
By the age of seven, I acquired the typical boyhood interest in dinosaurs. As a result, I wondered how the divine creation of man could have preceded the existence of these creatures. I learned in school and from my outside reading that dinosaurs had been around for millions of years; Adam and Eve, on the other hand, were divinely created during the earth’s first week only about six thousand years ago. No matter how many scenarios I considered, I couldn’t think of a way to resolve this important incongruency. I asked my mom for an answer, but she didn’t have one either. Instead, she advised me to ask my Sunday School teacher. The shameless answer I received the following Sunday was, “We don’t know there were dinosaurs.” It was then that I realized the religion had fundamental flaws if it resorted to such claims in order to explain scientific discrepancies. As time went on, however, cognitive dissonance drove me to justify further scientific contradictions as “explainable in some way” while holding onto the word of “absolute truth.” Please don’t read this book and prejudicially justify the Bible’s problems in the same incredulous manner.
A great inspiration struck me while sitting in church one Sunday that made me realize billions of people who didn’t accept Jesus as their savior were imminently bound for Hell. Even so, they were over on the other side of the globe thinking the exact same thing but with the roles reversed. However, what if they were right and we were wrong? Exactly who decided that Christianity was true while Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism were demonstrably false; and how did this individual make these determinations? I remember justifying this interesting perplexity by burying my head in the sand and declaring Christianity to be a morally superior religion. I’m patently ashamed of ever forming such a notion.
By the age of seventeen, I began composing a list of all the absurd Old Testament rules and regulations that God and Moses suppressed upon us. Soon after, I gained the courage to disregard the Old Testament as fiction due to the cruelty and scientific errors that it relentlessly presents. The Bible was no longer a perfect book, but Jesus and the New Testament were still solid proof of a god to me.
By the age of twenty, I finally undertook an unprejudiced analysis on the prerequisites of entering Heaven. They simply weren’t fair. If the New Testament is true, so was my original realization that members of other religions are going to Hell because their teachers mentally conditioned them to believe their respective religious systems. These individuals were simply doomed from the beginning; they had no chance. After I factored in the lack of evidence for any of the events surrounding Jesus, the exception being a handful of contradicting accounts written decades after the alleged events, it was just a little too convenient that God decided the fate of the world in a highly superstitious age void of testable records. Because of this painfully poor choice, no one could know for sure what really happened in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. All the while, he supposedly watches us in total silence as we continue to kill each other over who has the correct religion.
When I was twenty-two, I browsed the increasingly popular Internet out of interest in seeing if there were others who had made similar discoveries. I was amazed to find that there were millions of these freethinking individuals in America alone. Using enlightened rationale in conjunction with the enormous amount of counterevidence, hundreds dedicated their time to freeing others from lives of conditioned thought. In fact, a select few had an understanding of the Bible far beyond what I ever realistically hoped to ascertain. As for the Christian defense of these findings, I could see a lot of straw grasping. Their best representatives, having obtained bogus doctorates from self-accredited paper mills, stretched and twisted biblical text in order to make it fit with their predetermined agendas. Besides, how objective can one honestly remain while analyzing evidence that’s contrary to the belief system in which an enormous emotional investment has already been made? After a long childhood journey, the ultimate answer had finally become obvious to me. If you undertake an honest, dispassionate, and emotionless analysis of the Bible, you can easily conclude that it’s not the word of a supreme being. Contrary to what many Christians would like the world to believe, certain facts can’t just be absolute truth.
Once I completed my minor in psychology, I had a better grasp on how religious systems tend to work. As a general rule, individuals exhibit their desire to be in groups by surrounding themselves with those who hold similar interests in order to reinforce the perceived appropriateness of their beliefs and opinions. I recognized that I, too, underwent a near-universal conditioning process and tried to recruit/assimilate others into my group because that’s what I was told God wanted me to do. I also realized that many Christians don’t even know what they believe because they never take the time to read the whole Bible. Because of this shockingly lazy choice exercised by the vast majority of Christians, they’re mentally unequipped to answer challenges to their belief system. As a result, the common response to presented complications is usually this: “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.”
When it comes to religion, the mainstream believers exhibit no more in-depth thinking than the cult members everyone watched burn in Waco, Texas not too long ago. Christians are normal people in the outside world, but their brains seem to switch over to standby mode on Sunday. Cult members usually exercise the ability to live normal lives, too. Regardless of the actions such religious people take, I could never deem them as evil because I understand that they’re victims of an unfortunate destiny misleading them down a path of ignorance and unwitting gullibility.
Agnostic once again, I began to realize the full impact of Christianity on our society just a few months before the completion of this book. I was particularly interested in the wealth of scientific evidence against the occurrence of a global flood. Using common sense and knowledge from my scientific background, I decided to compile my own list of reasons why Noah’s flood couldn’t have feasibly taken place as told by the Bible. A Christian friend of mine who always asked to hear about biblical problems was fascinated by my research. I later decided to convert my list into a publishable essay in hopes of being acknowledged as a beneficial freethinker. In the process, a few additional topics worthy of discussion came to mind. While scholars, historians, and philosophers have thoroughly covered these issues, they scribed most of their material on an extremely sophisticated level. Even with a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in the sciences, much of it went over my head. For this reason, I decided to write on a level that everyone could enjoy and comprehend. After the first few essays were completed, I knew I had more than enough ideas to write a book.
You’re not holding an exhaustive scholarly study into the issues covered, but rather a brief introduction to the facts we have and analyses we can make concerning pertinent biblical issues. By no means did I intend for this manuscript to be an exclusively novel, methodically referenced, meticulously comprehensive volume of perplexities plaguing the Bible. I designed this book to be my own careful summation of these discoveries, occasionally accommodating some innovative philosophical questions that the findings should naturally provoke. Since the presented conclusions of a single individual shouldn’t be the only component incorporated with your personal judgment, you owe it to yourself to investigate the points raised in this book by reviewing some of the recommended reading material and subsequently considering the arguments offered by both sides. After doing so, I hope you’ll realize how disappointing it is that this book, in a scientific age of progressive thought, still needs to be written.
Seemingly countless volumes of work have been written on each subject I cover, but an extensive review of a lone topic is rarely the best place to direct someone’s curiosity. Alternatively, I hope this introductory condensation of biblical perplexities will be of some foundational use to doubting Christians and beginning freethinkers. If you already consider yourself a biblical scholar, you probably won’t find any groundbreaking or earth-shattering ideas in this book. However, I think it’s a wonderful overview of one of the world’s greatest problems: Christianity.