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The Born Again Skeptic's Guide To The Bible 4th Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1877733017
ISBN-10: 1877733016
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Freedom from Religion Fndtn; 4th edition (February 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1877733016
  • ISBN-13: 978-1877733017
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Yes, Ruth Green is sarcastic and funny about the way she describes many portions of the Book, and that's exactly what I love about the way "The Born Again Skeptic's Guide To The Bible" is written. She does not touch upon the subject with kid-gloves; the Bible is blatantly rife with error and contradiction and Ms. Green meticulously sorts through the problems within it, citing passage and verse as she goes. Keeping a Bible nearby to check her references, one finds she is accurate.
I do not find her to be angry in the least, but rather sardonic and probably only because -like most of us - she was brought up to believe something to be true (Christianity in particular, but any religion fits here), something that upon further investigation appears to be highly suspect, if not downright unreliable. When so many passages contradict each other, get basic physics and biology wrong, and encourage such things as human and animal sacrifice, slavery, and genocide - it's astonishing more people don't discount The "Good" Book.
More people own the Bible than any other book, but very few people have actually READ it... Fewer still have read it with an unbiased eye. Admittedly, that is because most people have such a strong emotional attachment to their belief that they fear examining it too closely lest they lose their faith.
I highly suggest this book as a fantastic guide to the Book we're all told to believe but most haven't actually read. And if reading this book feels like betraying your faith, then I highly suggest reading the actual Bible, whichever version you choose (as there are many), and reading it all the way through. But, trust yourself to think FOR yourself when you do. And if you can set aside all that you've been TOLD, so that you can find out for YOURSELF, so much the better.
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This book should be required reading for churchgoers and Sunday school students. It shows how, subjected to even a moderate amount of scrutiny, Christian literalism collapses like the house of cards that it is. It also reveals the numerous sordid aspects of the "Good Book" that fundamentalists generally prefer not to discuss. The author undertook the mind-numbing task of reading the King James Bible from cover to cover, and she was rightly appalled by what she found. She does a fantastic job of showing the absurd and comical aspects of a literal interpretation of such horrific material.

Fundamentalists would have us believe us that the biblical God is an all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving deity. The author puts the lie to that in a big hurry. Time after time, in hundreds of passages, the god of the Hebrews is shown to be a murderous, misogynist, xenophobic sadist. The Old Testament has God on numerous occasions ordering the murder of babies, the raping of women, and the annihilation of entire cities. Typical examples include 1 Samuel 15:2,3 ("Thus saith the LORD of hosts...Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling..."), Isaiah 13:15,16 ("Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished."), or Hosea 13:16 ("Samaria shall become desolate...they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.").
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Ruth Green has done a masterful job of dissecting piece by piece every story and line of the Bible. Unlike the reviewer who choose not to read this book before reviewing, Ruth clearly demonstrates having read every last syllable of the Bible.
Many theists are taught only selected portions of the Bible. They conveniently gloss over the more horrific aspects. Ruth takes all passages into account, those where God is shown to be grand and those where he's spiteful, cruel and morally repugnant.
What makes the Born Again Skeptics Guide entertaining is Ruth's healthy dose of humor on almost every page. These comments are intended to show the absurdity of the Bible while maintaining the reader's interest. A couple examples I took from a random page include how Ruth describes a scene where Jesus feeds the multitudes when scant bread and fish (a very common story). To this she says "the Hebrew grocers hoped no one would catch on." Or when Jesus walked on water, Ruth points out, "anyone can walk on water, it all depends on the temperature." These examples come from a huge list of proposterous claims in one chapter. Other chapters dissect whole stories and one even is devoted to sex! And to think, the only book allowed sex offenders in solitary confinement is a Bible!
I give this book 5 big stars; it's both informative and entertaining. A challenge to theists and a resevoir of ammunition to atheists.
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Other reviewers have done an excellent job of describing Ruth Green's book. I just want to highlight what I find superb about the book. The book is not about the merits of what Christians might or might not believe. The book is about what the Bible actually says. It is fine to believe that God is love and that He has an eternal commitment to your well being. The problem is that while this all may be true, there is absolutely no support for it in the Bible. Ruth Green convinced me that there may be many devout and committed Christians in the world, but they not get that way as a result of actually reading the Bible. I can't imagine a truly committed Christian reading this book because it is just too painful. My advice for Christians who want to read the Bible is to skip the Old Testament completely and only read the New Testament under the guidance of a pastor who can tell you the large portions to avoid. The Catholic Church shielded the laity from the Bible for almost 2000 years. Read Ruth Green and you will have no doubt of the wisdom behind the Latin mass (when none of the congregation understood Latin.) A superb book that I have been looking for for many years. Read it at your peril!
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