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The Skeptic's Annotated Bible Hardcover – February 15, 2013

307 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A stunning achievement ... I have an entire bookshelf of bibles and biblical commentaries, concordances, appendices, and the like, but the SAB is by far the best tool for biblical research I have ever come across." --- Dr. Michael Shermer, Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine and Executive Director of the Skeptics Society

"I've been waiting for this book for my entire life! Finally, the Bible with organized notes and critique--pointing out the profane, the craziness, the tribalism, the murder, the incestuous episodes, and the beautiful and the sublime. All in one book!" --Julia Sweeney, Writer and performer of "Letting Go of God" and "God Said Ha!" and the book, "If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother"

"The Skeptic's Annotated Bible offers an invaluable presentation of the bible that doesn't hide the cruelties, contradictions, absurdities, misogyny, and everything else that makes the 'Good Book' bad. It is an indispensible resource and the only book I keep on my desk." --Dr. Peter Boghossian, Dept. of Philosophy, Portland State University. Author of: "A Manual for Creating Atheists"


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1648 pages
  • Publisher: SAB Books, LLC; 1st Edition edition (February 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988245108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988245105
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Wells is the author of the Skeptic's Annotated Bible and Drunk with Blood: God's killings in the Bible. He also created and maintains the website www.skepticsannotatedbible.com and www.dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com. When he's not critiquing the "holy books", he can usually be found with a field guide identifying insects/plants/birds, sailing, or auditing classes at the local university.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

286 of 296 people found the following review helpful By D. Westfall on February 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I had been contemplating purchasing a Thompson Chain-Reference to replace the "Bible-shaped hole" on my bookshelf after leaving the Christian faith over ten years ago, when I found this online. Leafing through the sample (Genesis) on the author's website, I was thrilled and immediately ordered a copy. After receiving it in the mail, I don't think I could possibly be any happier with my decision. When I was a Christian, I was the manager of the book and Bible department for a large religious chain-store, so I've had hands-on experience with hundreds of Bibles and I have to say that the author of the SAB put a lot of time and consideration, both inside and out, to the quality of this item. The leather-like hardcover is beautiful and comfortable to hold, the binding is Smyth-sewn, and the Biblical text and notes are both in attractive, readable fonts which are very easy on the eyes.

But what sets this Bible apart is that it's a complete all-in-one Bible/Bible reference designed specifically for skeptics and freethinkers. Make no mistake; from cover to cover (literally!), the Skeptic's Annotated Bible dispenses with the claims of the Bible as inspired, inerrant, non-contradictory, or even a good moral guide. Contradictions (472 of them), absurdities (2178), injustices (1541), cruelties (1316), conflicts with science (428), "family values" (413), insults to women (384), false prophecies (231), shocking language (186), sexual references (253) and homosexuality (only 25) are all referenced in side-notes next to the Biblical text with accompanying icons for easy identification. To be fair, the SAB also points out the "Good Stuff" - passages in the Bible that convey a positive message (it counts 507, and indicates them with a "thumbs-up" icon).
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293 of 319 people found the following review helpful By Vyckie D. Garrison on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
When I received my copy of The Skeptic's Annotated Bible my first thought was, Holy heck, it looks just like a bible! I love that the SAB is King James Version: the only bible recognized by True Christians(tm)

The annotation uses category icons to indicate bible verses which are contradictory, unjust, cruel, misogynistic, violent, contradictory, and just plain absurd.

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible cites 384 verses which are misogynistic and insulting to women. When should you cut off a woman's hand, without pity? What should you do with a wife that no longer pleases you? What to do with a menstruating woman? How are women saved? Ever wonder how to find out if your wife has been unfaithful? The bible has the answer! Look it up - the Skeptic's Annotated Bible makes it easy.

My favorite category in the annotation is "Absurdity" which includes 2178 verses. Skimming for verses categorized as "absurd" in the SAB sheds a very different light on The Word of God. The bible is cuckoo crazy ... especially in the KJV.

"It ain't the parts of the bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand." Mark Twain

As a former Christian apologist, reading the Skeptic's Annotated Bible makes me SMH in dismay that I ever believed the bible is credible or defensible. I fancied myself a "student of the Word" - a "workman who needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth" - but in retrospect, it is clear to me now that I only read the bible through the charlatan-colored lens of Christian fundaMENTALism ... with emphasis on the "mental."

Thank you, Steve Wells for compiling this awesome resource. The Skeptic's Annotated Bible strikes a calamitous blow to biblical inerrancy ... may that "firm foundation" crumble leaving True Believers(tm) solidly standing on a huge pile of Doubt.
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82 of 90 people found the following review helpful By The Thoughtful Sehlat on June 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible started as a web site. It is full of cross-references and HTML links, especially when it comes to the author's efforts to point out contradictions. For example, the question "Should we fear God?" brings up a whole page of answers to that important question, with the verses linked to their chapter pages so that they can be seen in context. The web site is very well-built in that way. I ordered the hard copy because I thought it would be easier to browse and flip through than the web site, but I found myself sort of annoyed to see the text "Should we fear God?" just sitting there, un-clickable. In the end, I think the digital version is better. If you want to support the author, order the CD-ROM he offers.

As for the content itself -- it's pretty thoughtful. I was a Christian until recently and wanted to have a good, hard look at some of the Bible on my way out. There is not much in the commentary that would have affected or surprised me as a believer (I've been there and dealt with those objections much of the time). I found myself wanting to supplement the author's commentary with my own in the margins, which there was plenty of room to do.

However, there is a Christopher Hitchens-like appeal to decency screaming from every marginal note. You're supposed to do what to a woman who defends her husband by grabbing her attacker's genitals? Cut her hand off? What? When you read the Bible as a believer, you train yourself to ignore your own observations of how weird stuff like that is, and you ignore the question of why there are such huge portions of the Bible that are not read from the pulpit on Sunday.
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