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Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament
on July 2, 2008
If you are looking for a reason not to believe in Jesus, then this is the book for you. It is basically an introduction to contradictions of the Bible, but focused on the New Testament and those Old Testament passages that relate to New Testament events. The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament is an advance over other Bible contradiction books in two ways. Instead of just giving a laundry list, it groups related contradictions and shows how they undercut specific Christian doctrines. And second, it gives many tips for rebutting the arguments that Christians use to try to refute the contradictions. Most of the existing Bible contradiction books are pretty old, and it's nice to see one come along that freshens up the topic a bit. Also, it's an easy read - the writing flows well and the tone is not as cranky as some antireligious works. A nice added feature is that it compares various translations of the Bible and shows how contradictions can be covered up by inaccurate translations. Also, there's a whole chapter debunking the Old Testament prophecies that supposedly predict the coming of Jesus. An example of how this book differs from say, Dennis McKinsey's "Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy," is the contradiction between Acts 9:7 and 22:9, where Paul's traveling companions heard the voice from the sky (9:7) and did not hear the voice (22:9). Both books mention this contradiction, but McKinsey is content to just cite it and move on, while Davis goes into the ways in which Christians try to refute it, and then shows why those refutations are not valid. So McKinsey's book is broader, but The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament is more focused and goes into more depth on the contradictions relating to Christianity. Given the price difference, I would suggest if you are looking for a basic introduction to contradictions of the Bible that you start with the Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament, and then when you are ready to broaden your scope, add McKinsey's Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy to your library.