Like many people living today you probably grew up being taught that the god of the bible was a benevolent all loving god. You heard the same story almost everywhere around you; from your parents, your family, your friends, at school, in church, through various media — basically everywhere you went. And if you didn’t go anywhere, people would show up at your house just to make absolutely sure you heard about this loving god. As a child you were likely also taught not to question adults too much, or at all. Especially not if they were called “mother” or “father”. It was disrespectful. They were much older, assumed to be wiser with much more experience, and so anything they said to you was true. They knew better and knew what was best for you. So if they said that the god from the bible was all loving, then chances are that you simply accepted that as a fact and didn’t question it. And if you dared to question it, you knew that there would be (serious) consequences.
For thousands of years people have been religiously brainwashed in a similar way by the societies they were born into. For a child there was simply no escaping it, and this is still the case even today. By the time children have grown up to become adults with their minds contaminated by all the religious brainwashing, it becomes very difficult for them to question what they’ve been told to believe. And this is even worse when they’ve been brought up in an authoritarian society, with authoritarian institutions (like school and family) that punish them for (critically) thinking for themselves and questioning things too much. Having been conditioned as children to blindly accept and obey anything they get from authority and not to think for themselves, when people later become adults anything that goes against their programmed beliefs gets rejected immediately. Especially in this case where religion is concerned, where people have been warned growing up that it is a serious offence and sin to question god and anything from the bible.
On top of that most people haven’t even read the bible at all and what they know is what they’ve blindly accepted from their environment. Consider that as recent as the 1500s, it was even illegal for people to own and read the bible for themselves; anything you wanted to know about god and the bible had to come from licensed church leaders, making it all the more easy for the church and those in power to tell the people what suited their particular agenda at any given moment and force their “interpretations” on everyone. People had to accept the “interpretations” of the church, often by law and under threat of persecution, instead of using their own minds to understand what they were reading. 1 Even today, while everyone has easy access to the bible, especially via the Internet, people still lazily rely on (often corrupt and/or brainwashed) church leaders to tell them about god and what’s written in the bible, instead of taking the time to research things for themselves.
But while it may be the case that we have access to the bible today in various languages, it turns out that even those translations can’t be trusted. There are many cases where the information in the bible turns out to have been unintentionally, and often even intentionally, mistranslated from the original versions in the Hebrew language. An important example is the fact that the Hebrew word “elohim” in the old testament was intentionally mistranslated in many cases to a singular “god” instead of the plural “gods”. This gives us the incorrect notion that the old testament spoke of a single god who created man in his own image and was responsible for everything attributed to him, when in fact there were a group of gods! 2 The people who intentionally mistranslated this word did so because they wanted to create a monotheistic religion instead of a polytheistic one. And this is just one of many examples of how the texts in the bible have been changed, manipulated and “interpreted” over the years by people to forward their own (often political) agendas, making it very difficult to trust anything you read in there.
At this point in time, the evidence I’ve seen so far strongly suggests that the bible is really a compendium of a number writings by different authors, gathered together by a small group of religious leaders based on their own criteria a long time ago. It was then edited to make it fit together, but they did a very poor job with that, as there are many internal contradictions in the old and new testament, and especially between the old and new testament. 3 In fact the old testament may not even be about one single god, as many of the books in the old testament refer to different Hebrew names for god (yhwh, eloah, el) that were all translated to “god” or “lord” to make it seem like they’re all talking about the same god. 2 Not to mention that entire books — like the Book of Enoch from the Dead Sea Scrolls — were simply left out of the bible because they didn’t fit in the version of history that the few in control wanted to dictate to the masses. When you take a look at what the Book of Enoch is about, you’ll quickly understand why it was left out of the bible.
Much like Isaac Newton, one of the most brilliant scientists in human history, believed, in the very beginning religion was all about science until “the nations corrupted it”. 4 The original writers back then, as far back as the Sumerian and Akkadian civilizations, were documenting (scientific) knowledge and historic events for their own and future generations. It wasn’t until later that this information was withheld from the general population and corrupted by the few for the purpose of power and control. The only way to be really sure of what was originally written down, is to go back and read the oldest versions of the Hebrew texts that you can find — and in many cases even further back to the original Sumerian texts, because many of the Hebrew texts are (often simplified and manipulated) retellings of older and more detailed Sumerian and Akkadian writings (there are much older versions of the Creation story, Tower of Babel story and the Flood story in Sumerian and Akkadian texts for example).
However, even with the manipulated translations of the bible that we have available today, if we look at the kind of god that the god of the old testament was — and for the purpose of this post we’ll assume all the references to god in the old testament are to the same god — it quickly becomes clear that he was far from the benevolent, all loving god that most people today believe he was. When confronted with some of his sadistic and barbaric behavior and commands, most people are so brainwashed that they cannot comprehend and accept the reality of what they’re reading, and simply dismiss it or try to “interpret” it away. And this is the case even if you show them examples of his barbaric behavior in (supposedly) his own word, the bible.
So let’s take a look at who this god of the old testament really was and what he stood for, shall we? Unless otherwise noted, all bible verses are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) translation (online reference).
Apparently Yahweh, the god who supposedly created the whole universe, including humankind, really disliked sick and disabled people. Wouldn’t an all loving god also love those people? Wouldn’t he especially want to take care of those people? Aren’t they also part of his so called “perfect” creation? Take a look at this:
Leviticus 21:16-24 The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron: None of your descendants throughout your generations who has a physical defects is to come near to present the food of his God. No man who has any defect is to come near: no man who is blind, lame, facially disfigured, or deformed; no man who has a broken foot or hand, or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has an eye defect, a festering rash, scabs, or a crushed testicle. No descendant of Aaron the priest who has a defect is to come near to present the fire offerings to the Lord. He has a defect and is not to come near to present the food of his God. He may eat the food of his God from what is especially holy as well as from what is holy. But because he has a defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar. He is not to desecrate My sanctuaries, for I am Yahweh who sets them apart.” Moses said this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.
What a wonderful god that is. Consider that this is also totally at odds with the actions of Jesus, his (supposed) son, who took care of disabled people such as the blind and even people suffering from leprosy. Not only did he take care of them, but if we can believe the texts in the bible, he also cured them! This is just one example that supports the case that Jesus could not have been the son of the god of the old testament, because he was nothing like this god. It also shows how the old and the new testament contradict each other. 3 Also notice how Yahweh specifically mentions crushed testicles; it seems they were quite common back then. Instead of telling a man with a crushed testicle to stay away, I’m pretty sure that Jesus would encourage him to come nearer so he could fix that testicle with his own bare hands.
The loving god of the old testament also practiced and supported slavery. Because it totally makes sense to have one group of your perfect human creation enslave another group, right? Apparently he seems to think so. Here’s an example:
Deuteronomy 20:10-12 “When you approach a city to fight against it, you must make an offer of peace. If it accepts your offer of peace and opens its gates to you, all the people found in it will become forced laborers for you and serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you but wages war against you, lay siege to it.
Here he gives the laws regarding slaves to Moses:
Exodus 21:1-6 “These are the ordinances that you must set before them: “When you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for six years; then in the seventh he is to leave as a free man without paying anything If he arrives alone, he is to leave alone; if he arrives with a wife, his wife is to leave with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children belong to her master, and the man must leave alone. “But if the slave declares: ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I do not want to leave as a free man,’ his master is to bring him to the judges and then bring him to the door or doorpost. His master must pierce his ear with an awl, and he will serve his master for life.
Here he gives instructions regarding slaves to the Israelites:
Leviticus 25:44-46 Your male and female slaves are to be from the nations around you; you may purchase male and female slaves. You may also purchase them from the foreigners staying with you, or from their families living among you—those born in your land. These may become your property. You may leave them to your sons after you to inherit as property; you can make them slaves for life. But concerning your brothers, the Israelites, you must not rule over one another harshly.
And here he also gives some instructions regarding slavery, while at the same time revealing how he saw the Israelites — as his slaves:
Leviticus 25:39-42 “If your brother among you becomes destitute and sells himself to you, you must not force him to do slave labor. Let him stay with you as a hired hand or temporary resident; he may work for you until the Year of Jubilee. Then he and his children are to be released from you, and he may return to his clan and his ancestral property. They are not to be sold as slaves [ʿebed], because they are My slaves [ʿebed] that I brought out of the land of Egypt.
Yes, that’s how this all loving god saw his people — as slaves. It seems to me like he freed them from Egypt simply because he was in need of slaves himself. The poor Israelites thought they were god’s chosen people when in fact they were really his chosen slaves. And in case you think that it’s just the Israelites who were god’s slaves, then I’ve got news for you: The whole human race was specifically created to work as slaves to the gods. For all the details read Michael Tellinger’s book Slave Species of the Gods.
Apparently Yahweh also thought that it was acceptable for a man to sell his daughter as a slave. Not only was it acceptable to him, he even laid out the rules for it:
Exodus 21:7-9 “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she is not to leave as the male slaves do. If she is displeasing to her master, who chose her for himself, then he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners because he has acted treacherously toward her. Or if he chooses her for his son, he must deal with her according to the customary treatment of daughters.
He also thought that it was perfectly OK to severely beat slaves with a rod as long as they didn’t die:
Exodus 21:20-21 “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod, and the slave dies under his abuse, the owner must be punished. However, if the slave can stand up after a day or two, the owner should not be punished because he is his owner’s property.
Can you feel the love?
Imagine being so powerful, all knowing and all loving, and creating the whole universe, only to get jealous of your own creation later on. Sounds quite stupid right? Well, that’s the god of the old testament for you:
Exodus 20: 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Exodus 34:14 You are never to bow down to another god because Yahweh, being jealous by nature, is a jealous God.
Notice how Yahweh is so mean and vengeful that he will even punish innocent children for their father’s sin, up to the third and fourth generation!
These verses also reveal that Yahweh was just one of many gods, and that he wanted his slaves to be very afraid of being unfaithful to him. Why else threaten them with punishment if they worship other gods, if there are no other gods? Why mention other gods in the first place, if you’re the only one?
And like I mentioned in another post on the subject of jealousy, when we let our children grow up while we teach them to worship jealous and vengeful gods, and poison their innocent minds with such nonsense, should we then be surprised when they later start behaving like those gods themselves and become jealous of others?
Yahweh was also a very manipulative and evil god, often inciting people against others, or provoking them on purpose so that he could have his way with them. And he even proudly admits to it in the bible:
Exodus 4:21-23 The Lord instructed Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, make sure you do all the wonders before Pharaoh that I have put within your power. But I will harden his heart so that he won’t let the people go. Then you will say to Pharaoh: This is what Yahweh says: Israel is My firstborn son. I told you: Let My son go so that he may worship Me, but you refused to let him go. Now I will kill your firstborn son!”
Exodus 9:12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had told Moses.
So here we have Yahweh admitting that he will harden Pharaoh’s heart on purpose so that he won’t cooperate. If he didn’t harden Pharaoh’s heart, then Pharaoh might have agreed to let his slaves go. But Yahweh actually wanted Pharaoh not to agree, because his goal was to show everyone how powerful he was:
Exodus 10:1-2 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may do these miraculous signs of Mine among them, and so that you may tell your son and grandsons how severely I dealt with the Egyptians and performed miraculous signs among them, and you will know that I am Yahweh.”
Meanwhile many people suffered and died only so that this maniac could show off. And this was not the only time he used such manipulative tactics. Here’s another example where he manipulated one nation (Medes) to attack another (Babylon):
Isaiah 13:17 Look! I am stirring up the Medes against them, who cannot be bought off with silver and who have no desire for gold.
And here’s one more showing how he admits that he will gather nations against Jerusalem for battle:
Zechariah 14:1 A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided in your presence. I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle. The city will be captured, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be removed from the city.
Does this sound like a good and loving god to you? To me it sounds like a war-loving maniac, which I’ll also discuss later. And this maniac was in command of evil spirits which he sent to people to torment them:
Judges 9:22-24 When Abimelech had ruled over Israel three years, God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the lords of Shechem. They treated Abimelech deceitfully, so that the crime against the 70 sons of Jerubbaal might come to justice and their blood would be avenged on their brother Abimelech, who killed them, and on the lords of Shechem, who had helped him kill his brothers.
1 Samuel 16:14-15 Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and an evil spirit sent from the Lord began to torment him, so Saul’s servants said to him, “You see that an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
1 Samuel 18:10-11 The next day an evil spirit sent from God took control of Saul, and he began to rave inside the palace. David was playing the lyre as usual, but Saul was holding a spear, and he threw it, thinking, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David got away from him twice.
What kind of a good and loving god would be in command of evil spirits and would send them to torment people? Who needs the devil when you have a god like this?
This all loving god apparently also loved war. In the bible he’s often referred to as a “man of war”, “soldier” or “warrior” depending on which translation you read. The Hebrew word for all of these translations is “ʾîsh”. Sometimes this same word is translated as both soldier and warrior in the same bible translation.
Exodus 15:3 The Lord [yhwh] is a warrior [ʾîsh]; Yahweh [yhwh] is His name.
Isaiah 42:13 The Lord [yhwh] advances like a warrior; He stirs up His zeal like a soldier. He shouts, He roars aloud, He prevails over His enemies.
Psalm 68:21 Surely God [elohim] crushes the heads of His enemies, the hairy head of one who goes on in his guilty acts.
So here we have an all loving god that appears to be a warrior who likes to crush the heads of his enemies. This is another example of how this kind of behavior is at odds with the actions of Jesus, his (supposed) son, who instead taught people to love and forgive their enemies. Again we see that Jesus could not have been the son of the god of the old testament, because he was nothing like this god. It also shows how the old and the new testament contradict each other. 3
Yahweh is also called the lord of armies/hosts over 200 times in the bible. The Hebrew word “ṣābāʾ” (“sabaōth” in Greek) means armies, but sometimes it’s translated as “hosts” in the context of the lord, which makes it sound more peaceful to people who don’t actually do some research to find out what hosts really means.
1 Samuel 1:3 This man would go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord [yhwh] of Hosts [ṣābāʾ] at Shiloh, where Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were the Lord ’s priests.
1 Samuel 17:45 David said to the Philistine: “You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of Yahweh [yhwh] of Hosts [ṣābāʾ], the God of Israel’s armies—you have defied Him.
Even in the new testament he’s referred to as the lord of armies:
Romans 9:29 If the Lord [kyrios] of Hosts [Sabaoth; this word is a transliteration of the Hb word for Hosts, or Armies] had not left us offspring, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah.
Check out The Bible’s Yahweh, a War-God? for more. Now, I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sound like a peaceful all loving god to me.
Yahweh wasn’t just any war-god; he was quite a cruel, sadistic and barbaric war-god. Just take a look at the following verses:
1 Samuel 15:2-3 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: ‘I witnessed what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they opposed them along the way as they were coming out of Egypt. Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.’
Hosea 13:16 Samaria will bear her guilt because she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.
Deuteronomy 2:33-34 The Lord our God handed him over to us, and we defeated him, his sons, and his whole army. At that time we captured all his cities and completely destroyed the people of every city, including the women and children. We left no survivors.
Joshua 6:21 They completely destroyed everything in the city with the sword—every man and woman, both young and old, and every ox, sheep, and donkey.
Isaiah 13:15-16 Whoever is found will be stabbed, and whoever is caught will die by the sword. Their children will be smashed to death before their eyes; their houses will be looted, and their wives raped.
Zechariah 14:1-2 A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided in your presence. I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle. The city will be captured, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be removed from the city.
Ezekiel 9:5-6 He spoke as I listened to the others, “Pass through the city after him and start killing; do not show pity or spare them! Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, as well as the older women and little children, but do not come near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple.
Pay attention to how the lord especially likes to mention the killing of innocent women and children — even infants and pregnant women who should have their bellies ripped open. The lord also loves it when women are raped, and is so sadistic and brutal that even livestock can’t be spared. Doesn’t this make you all warm inside and fill your hearth with joy? Don’t get too excited just yet; there’s more where that came from:
Deuteronomy 20:13-17 When the Lord your God hands it over to you, you must strike down all its males with the sword. But you may take the women, children, animals, and whatever else is in the city —all its spoil—as plunder. You may enjoy the spoil of your enemies that the Lord your God has given you. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are far away from you and are not among the cities of these nations. However, you must not let any living thing survive among the cities of these people the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. You must completely destroy them—the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite —as the Lord your God has commanded you,
As you can see, the lord often liked to send out his slaves to destroy entire races of people. Genocide is business as usual for the lord, considering the fact that he practically drowned most of the human race during the flood, along with most living creatures on Earth, who, sadly, also had to pay for the sins of humankind.
Numbers 31:1-18 The Lord spoke to Moses, “Execute vengeance for the Israelites against the Midianites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.” So Moses spoke to the people, “Equip some of your men for war. They will go against Midian to inflict the Lord ’s vengeance on them. Send 1, 000 men to war from each Israelite tribe.” So 1, 000 were recruited from each Israelite tribe out of the thousands in Israel—12, 000 equipped for war. Moses sent 1, 000 from each tribe to war. They went with Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest, in whose care were the holy objects and signal trumpets. They waged war against Midian, as the Lord had commanded Moses, and killed every male. Along with the others slain by them, they killed the Midianite kings —Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. The Israelites took the Midianite women and their children captive, and they plundered all their cattle, flocks, and property. Then they burned all the cities where the Midianites lived, as well as all their encampments, and took away all the spoils of war and the captives, both man and beast. They brought the prisoners, animals, and spoils of war to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the Israelite community at the camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho. Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses became furious with the officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, who were returning from the military campaign. “Have you let every female live?” he asked them. “Yet they are the ones who, at Balaam’s advice, incited the Israelites to unfaithfulness against the Lord in the Peor incident, so that the plague came against the Lord ’s community. So now, kill all the male children and kill every woman who has had sexual relations with a man, but keep alive for yourselves all the young females who have not had sexual relations.
Maybe we should look at the positive things in the above situation for a change; at least this time female virgins were allowed to live instead of being mowed down by the lord’s army. I guess sometimes the lord does care, even if just a little. Like in the example below, where he at least gives his victim some options for punishment:
1 Chronicles 21:11-14 So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes with the sword of your enemy overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord —a plague on the land, the angel of the Lord bringing destruction to the whole territory of Israel.’ Now decide what answer I should take back to the One who sent me.” David answered Gad, “I’m in anguish. Please, let me fall into the Lord ’s hands because His mercies are very great, but don’t let me fall into human hands.” So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and 70,000 Israelite men died.
Yup, that’s a great display of mercy right there. The lord’s mercies are indeed very great.
And just so you know, here’s how the lord wants you to treat your family should they want to worship other gods:
Deuteronomy 13:6-11 “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods ’—which neither you nor your fathers have known, any of the gods of the peoples around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other— you must not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity, and do not spare him or shield him. Instead, you must kill him. Your hand is to be the first against him to put him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death for trying to turn you away from the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. All Israel will hear and be afraid, and they will no longer do anything evil like this among you.
Is this the loving god that people look up to for moral guidance?
During my bible studies in my early teens, I always wondered why we had to fear god, when he is said to be a loving god. It just didn’t make sense to me. Why would one need to be a god fearing person, when god is a loving god? Well, now I understand.
Like “Jesus” supposedly said in Matthew 7:16 — “You’ll recognize them by their fruit.” And if we look at Yahweh’s “fruits” above, I think there can be absolutely no doubt about what kind of god Yahweh really was. Richard Dawkins summarized it quite well:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
I couldn’t agree more. I think King Joffrey from the Game of Thrones series is probably the only fictional character that comes close to Yahweh. No one else stands a chance. The sad thing for us is that Yahweh probably existed 5 and seriously fucked up the human race.
When millions of people around the world still worship this maniac today, should it surprise us that the world is the terrible mess it currently is? Should it surprise us when the millions of people who worship this maniac behave a lot like him? When people worship and look up to a jealous god, should it surprise us when jealousy and envy become part of their personality? When people worship a vengeful god that can’t forgive, but punishes and kills instead, should we then be surprised when they display similar behavior? When people worship a god who manipulates, incites, provokes, and uses divide and conquer strategies to forward his agenda, should we then be surprised when they take an example from their god? Or should it be easy for us to understand certain world events, such as why Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people? It seems to me that they’re in fact just behaving like the barbarian they worship.
The next time you think about sending your child to bible study, or allowing your child to read the bible, I suggest you think very long and careful about what you’re going to expose your child to. The verses I quoted above from the bible are but a small sampling of the many verses filled with graphic violence and advice that encourages the kind of thinking and behavior that I doubt you’d want your child to develop. Just take a look at this:
Psalm 137:9 Happy is he who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rocks.
Deuteronomy 19:21 You must not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot.
Keep in mind that this won’t be like your child reading about various tyrants in history books; it’s understood that what they did was terrible and barbaric. In the case of the bible however, the god behind all the atrocities they’ll read about is promoted as a loving and righteous god, and his sadistic and barbaric behavior will be perceived in that context. In fact we have a very frightening situation on Earth right now where millions of people look up to a barbaric god and his supposed word for moral guidance; a situation where children grow up while their innocent, defenseless minds are taught to associate a loving and righteous god with all the atrocities mentioned above and in the bible, with potentially negative consequences for how they develop their sense of morality as they grow up.
Finally, just to be clear to those who think I’m just bashing Judaism and Christianity here, I think that all religions are bad and should vanish from the face of this planet. Religion has only served to brainwash humankind with a false sense of reality, dividing and weakening us in the process so that we could be easily controlled, manipulated and enslaved. We have to start to see the “holy” books for what they most likely really are, namely historical records and literary works — nothing more. At least as far as the original un-manipulated writings are concerned. With religion out of the way, humankind can finally start to unite and together we can start to work towards a better future for all of us on this planet.
COUNCIL OF TOULOUSE – 1229 A.D. – Canon 14. We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; unless anyone from motive of devotion should wish to have the Psalter or the Breviary for divine offices or the hours of the blessed Virgin; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books.
The Council of Tarragona of 1234, in its second canon, ruled that: “No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned lest, be he a cleric or a layman, he be suspected until he is cleared of all suspicion.”
John Wycliffe was the very first to translate the entire Bible into English, which he completed in 1382. […] At the ecumenical Council of Constance, in 1415, Wycliffe was posthumously condemned by Arundel, the archbishop of Canterbury, as “that pestilent wretch of damnable heresy who invented a new translation of the scriptures in his mother tongue.” By the decree of the Council, more that 40 years after his death, Wycliffe’s bones were exhumed and publicly burned and the ashes were thrown into the Swift river.
William Tyndale completed a translation of the New Testament from the Greek in 1525, which church authorities in England tried their best to confiscate and burn. After issuing a revised edition in 1535, he was arrested, spent over a year in jail, and was then strangled and burned at the stake near Brussels in October 6th, 1536. […] The English parliament in 1543 passed a law forbidding the use of any English translations other than the “Great Bible”. Tyndale’s New Testament was specifically prohibited, and later Wycliffe’s and Coverdale’s Bibles were also banned. It was decreed a crime for any unlicensed person to read or explain the Scriptures in public.
And as Scheifler concludes:
This is by no means a complete list, but it is what I have for the moment. Far from championing the spread of the Bible, and the translation into the vernacular, the Catholic Church has a history of repression and censorship in this regard. It was really the combination of the reformation and the advent of the printing press that “let the cat out of the bag.” It seems that Bibles could be printed faster than they (and their authors or owners) could be burned. Since Catholicism could no longer contain the Bible and keep it out of the hands of the laity, the issue has become one of authority to interpret.
I maintain that the objections of the Catholic church to the various attempts to produce a Bible in the vernacular, were not that of faulty translations (although that claim was made), but rather that of “unauthorized heretical” interpretations that resulted from widespread publication and the laity finally being able to read the entire Bible for themselves in their own tongue, as noted in the various items above. The laity was then able to discern the truth for themselves, and the biblical truth was often at odds with Catholic teaching. Dissent flourished with the availability of the Bible, and so persecution of these heretics increased as well, in an attempt by the church to maintain control and assert her presumed authority. It is a sad chapter in history that is quite well documented.
The Catholic church was responsible for the persecution (imprisonment, torture, death by burning, beheading, mass murder etc.) of the so called “heretics” during the inquisition. Many books that exposed their lies and taught the people the truth were destroyed, and a lot of knowledge was lost. You have to ask yourself, if their god was so all loving, and if they really followed the teachings of Jesus, how can we then explain their violent and utterly barbaric behavior towards their fellow human beings?
Then God [elohim] said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26)
That there were a group of beings again becomes clear in Genesis 11:6-7:
The LORD [yhwh] said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
A good example of how the English translations mislead can be found in Genesis 3:5. In the King James, the Serpent tells Eve she will be like the gods, knowing good from evil.
For God [elohim] doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods [elohim], knowing good and evil. (Gen. 3:5 KJV)
Modern translations convert to the singular God to hide a critical embarrassment.
For God [elohim] knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God [elohim], knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5)
And here is a verse, one among many, that shows that the lord (yhwh) was just one of many gods (elohim), Exodus 18:11:
Now I know that the LORD [yhwh] is greater than all other gods [elohim].
It seems that there was a race of beings called the elohim, and that one of them, the most powerful one or leader if we can believe the bible, was called yhwh. So you see how the translations are being done on the basis of what suits the specific agenda of those doing the translations — in this case maintaining Judaism and Christianity as monotheistic religions. In fact, the original Hebrew writings contain references to multiple gods — elohim, eloah, yhwh (yahweh or jehovah) and el — that were all translated as “Gods”, “God” or “LORD”, to give the impression that there was a single god. Like Szasz writes:
Early religions were polytheistic. In the Bible, God started out as a Jewish tribal god. By the early first century BCE, the definition changed to a Jewish God of the universe. In the early centuries CE there were many schools of thought at odds with each other. Modern Christianity arose through the efforts to unify God under one secular authority. There is more politics to religion than meets the eye.
One could argue that the modern definition reflected a growing awareness among religious authorities that God was more encompassing than earlier thought. The counter to that argument is that by making the definition of God universal, it expanded Church authority. It is because the Church set itself as the medium for knowing about God, that it is, in effect, marketing itself. Without God’s minions campaigning on his behalf, he would have become a forgotten relic. God needs your support because the organizations behind him need your patronage. In effect, faith in God translates to faith in Church authority.
Modern revisions such as the Revised Standard Version, which I normally cite, substitute Lord for Jehovah. […] In the Hebrew versions, the word Jehovah appears 6,528 times. In the King James Version, it can be found four times […] Throughout all English translations, the name for the Canaanite God pantheon, Elohim, appears 2366 times as God and 216 times as gods. The name for the Canaanite supreme God, El, appears 224 times in Hebrew, but nowhere in the English translations.
In conclusion, if the English translators stuck to the original god names, they would not be able to deceive their readers into believing that Judaism was always a monotheistic religion.
All of this makes more sense once you understand that much of Genesis is a simplified version of much older writings by the Sumerians, which were done at least a thousand years before the bible was written. In their writings the Sumerians mention an advanced race of beings which they called the Anunnaki, meaning “Those who from the heavens to earth came”, that looked a lot like humans (we were created in their image), who came to Earth and created humankind (via genetic engineering according to Sitchin) to work for them as their helpers or slaves. Author Zecharia Sitchin has written about this in-dept in his Earth Chronicles series; I recommend reading his book The Twelfth Planet for all the details.