- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Outskirts Press (June 11, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1432726919
- ISBN-13: 978-1432726911
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,793,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Atheist's Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity
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1. It's an "introduction." As such, it's basic in it's layout & language, and moderate in the amount of content.
2. For a relatively short book, it is packed with information and doesn't repeat itself much.
3. Information is presented in a logical manner.
4. Inconsistencies are laid out, when necessary, in easy to compare lists/tables (example: the 3, non-matching genealogies of Jesus)
5. The author points out where more information can be found. (example: a detailed article on the fallacious Jewish time/Roman time apologetic)
6. The author is logical and lacking in vitriol.
7. It's easy to find something you read earlier when you need it.
I plan to buy more by this author.
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."