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175 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament
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...
Published on July 2, 2008 by makrothen

versus
22 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As shallow as Fundamentalists are of Atheists
As to the ad hominem consideration, I buy a copy of Skeptic magazine every time it comes out. I'm verbally abusive with fundamentalist Christians; and I'll take 'em for a ride like a damn Velociraptor with a saddle (eat it Creationists), but I was very disappointed with The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament.

I don't have a degree in religion but I...
Published on November 2, 2010 by Rob


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175 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament, July 2, 2008
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makrothen (Midwest, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
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.
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By the Grace of Reason Go I, November 16, 2008
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This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
This is a splendid and well-argued book that dealt with contradictions and absurdities in key Christian concepts. It covered the alleged corroborative evidence of Paul, the birth of Christ, his "resurrection", the sins of Christ (he was baptised by John the Baptist, who baptised only to cleanse sin; Jesus taught the "Lord's Prayer" which included the plea "Forgive us our trespasses". That should include his own trespasses.) Davies dealt a heavy blow against the core of Christianity - The Trinity. Since Jesus prayed to God, and told his followers that no one (including himself) EXCEPT God knows when Judgment Day will be, then Jesus is not God. QED. There is much to learn and think about if one reads this book with an open mind, that is to say, without resisting the ideas at first reading, but to understand them and then continue to probe. To begin by not resisting is the same method Christians or new Christians are told to practise. "Do not question. Just accept. Do not resist the idea of God." The atheist's methodology differs crucially. He does not proceed without resisting, and when he has understood what he has read or been told, he would question further and analyse the evidence logically and dispassionately. For example, Christians believe that Jesus was God born of a virgin birth through Mary. They also believed that he was the "Messiah" saviour predicted in the Old Testament. However, the Old Testament prediction was that the Messiah will come from the line of David. Neither Joseph nor Mary as traced in the Bible's long and meticulous accounts show either of them to be descended from David. One of the two beliefs can't be true. If one has read the contradictions in the Bible that Davies points out in this book, and still deny that they are contradictions, that's his prerogative.This book was written in a dispassionate tone, with no hint of being derogatory in any way. It was well argued and and analytical, and full of fascinating insight gleaned from the words of the bible.
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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books of Bible contradictions, May 5, 2009
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This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
Forget all those interminable lists of minor Bible contradictions that you have seen in print and on the Internet (some of which are taken out of context). Mike Davis presents contradictions that cut to the core of key Christian doctrines: the virgin birth, sin and salvation, the divinity of Jesus, OT prophecies about Jesus, and prophecies of the second coming. He presents contradictions that are repeated in multiple verses, contradictions that are so dramatic that they can only be refuted by the most tortured logic...all in an unusually clear and readable style. One of the great things about the book is that Davis supports every argument by quoting multiple verses, often including the context of the verses in question. Davis also includes a helpful chapter on the illogical strategies apologists use to refute contradictions.

Here are Davis's concluding remarks:
"What have we learned from our examination of the New Testament? We have seen that the plain meaning of the words written by the New Testament authors leads to contradictions in details and doctrines, and that the only way to avoid these contradictions is to resort to highly implausible symbolic interpretations, invented facts, and specious historical arguments. What the apologists are really telling us is that the Bible does not mean what it says. They are telling us instead that the Bible means what they think it means, filtered through their own theological bias. This means that ordinary people cannot read the Bible and understand what it means, without being privy to these interpretive theories and imaginary facts which exist nowhere except in the fantasies of the apologists and theologians. If the Bible needs this much help from ordinary mortals in order to make sense, what is the likelihood that it is really the unerring inspired word of God?"

Now I will admit that Davis's style is perhaps a little too much "in your face" to appeal to Christians. In fact, his stated purpose is to provide debating points for atheists to use against Christians. He makes no pretense of trying to convince anyone to doubt their faith. Nevertheless, I challenge Christians to read this book with an open mind. If you do, I don't see how you can come away without some doubts.

By the way, I don't think the reviewer who gave this book one star actually read it. His review just gives a generic defense of the Bible and does not address any specific points in Davis's book other than one contradiction he pulled from another review.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Atheist's Guide to the New Testament, October 12, 2009
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This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
Since June of this year, I have read nine books explaining the origins of religions and Christianity in particular. I have read a score or more books explaining and attacking religion over the past several years. All of them impressed me with their scholarship and knowledge, even if tedious in some places. Quite simply, this is the BEST of all I have read. It is loaded with clear thinking and logic and plenty of examples of the folly and fallacy that the New Testament presents. As soon as I finished it, I felt a desire to read it again, to imprint its knowledge and wisdom even more firmly in my memory. I have never had that reaction before to any book I have read. I plan to read it again over time off at the end of the year. If you plan to read only one book taking religion, specifically Christianity, to task, this is it. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, July 20, 2008
This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
I really learned a lot from this book. I didn't grow up in a religious household, and never took Christianity or any other religion very seriously, but I often thought I should really get around to reading the Bible to find out for sure whether there was anything to it. Thanks to The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament - I don't need to. It really gives you all the info you need to dismiss the Christian myths and then move on to whatever else you have to do in your life. No need to waste time worrying about whether you're going to hell for speaking against the holy ghost or some other nonsense. If you like debating against the Christian fundamentalists, this book will give you plenty of ammo to use against them, but if you're just a non-religious person who's trying to find out whether Christianity is worth a second look, you can save yourself a lot of time by just reading The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testa ment, and leave the Bible on the shelf.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational & easy to read - Used for a college course, October 18, 2008
This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
I read this book for a college course & thoroughly enjoyed it. It was easy to read & I learned a lot. I'll definitely be keeping it even after the semester is over.

I would recommed Atheist's Introduction to anyone interested in learning more about the inconsistencies in the bible or who is questioning the teachings of the bible.

The author has a website too that I found useful - [...]

Thanks!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best, February 28, 2010
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This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
I have read and reviewed many books about the Bible. For debunking the validity of the New Testament, this one is simply the best. It's no surprise that its organization is superb because the author has been studying NT contradictions all his life and runs a website specifically to debunk Christianity.

Chapter I features several verses from different gospels where Jesus tells his listeners the second coming will occur within their lifetimes. It's been almost 2,000 years now and we're still waiting.

Chapter II covers many general issues of interest, including the theological leanings of the differing translations - specifically how some of them try to cover up problems with translational sleight-of-hand.

Chapter III covers the general arguments Christians might use to explain away the mountains of discrepancies. They fall into neat little packages of techniques that makes your job of rebuttal (if that's your bag) much more manageable.

Chapters IV - X cover specific problem areas that are loaded with contradictions: The stories of Jesus's birth; crucifiction and resurrection stories; sin, forgiveness, and salvation; the divinity versus humanity of Jesus; the second coming that didn't come; conflicting theological messages from Paul; and the theft of verses from the OT, out of context, masquerading as prophecies about Jesus.

All these topics are documented by multiple verses from the Bible. Davis features the most damaging discrepancies and the usual Christian maneuvers used to explain them away. Then he provides a selection of rebuttals from the quiver of arrows he provided in chapter three and closes with a summary of that issue.

In the last two chapters he discusses debating techniques again and summarizes his case: "The only way to avoid these contradictions is to resort to highly implausible symbolic interpretations, invented facts, and specious historical arguments....that the Bible does not mean what it says...that it means what they think it means, filtered through their own theological bias...If the Bible needs this much help from ordinary mortals in order to make sense, what is the likelihood that it is really the inspired word of God."

Very impressive.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review, December 28, 2009
This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
This is an easy read yet very informative and of course it offers the information in a realistic point of view. Due to the nature of the book I was quite surprised that it remains unbiased. The author uses textual information retrieved from the Bible to disprove or show inconsistencies in the teachings of the Bible. The basis of this book is a logical analysis of the Bible itself along with the impact it has on the religion which deems it credible.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth about the N. T., October 30, 2008
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This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
Not to sound arrogant, but I think I already knew most of what is in this book, but I discovered this information in diverse areas. It was all brought together in this little book. I thought it was great. The greater the scholarship, the more the New Testament appears to be a human product.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written., December 23, 2009
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This review is from: The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity (Paperback)
I have read this book twice now, and will most likely read it again and again. It is an amazing source of information for a book of it's size. At this point I no longer need convincing of my reason for being atheistic about the invisible friends of the religious, but this book has certainly made me feel more confident in my ability to express my reasoning on the subject. I highly recommend it.
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