Like many Jews and Christians, David Plotz, editor of Slate Magazine, long assumed he knew what was in the Bible. He read parts of it as a child in Hebrew school, then at-tended a Christian high school where he studied the Old and New Testaments.
Many of the highlights stuck with him--Adam and Eve, Cain versus Abel, Jacob versus Esau, Jonah versus whale, forty days and nights, ten plagues and commandments, twelve tribes and apostles, Red Sea walked under, Galilee walked on, bush into fire, rock into water, water into wine. And, of course, he absorbed from all around him other bits of the Bible--from stories he heard in churches and synagogues, in movies and on television, from his parents and teachers.
But it wasn't until he picked up a Bible at a cousin's bat mitzvah--and became engrossed and horrified by a lesser-known story in Genesis--that he couldn't put it down.
David Plotz is Slate's editor. He is the author of Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible.
In 1992, Plotz graduated from Harvard. Prior to his work at Slate, he worked as a paralegal for the Department of Justice, which he disliked, switching to journalism. Thereafter, he served as a writer and editor for the Washington City Paper. He joined Slate when it launched in 1996.
Sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. The Jewish scriptures consist of the Torah (or Pentateuch), the Neviim (Prophets), and the Ketuvim (Writings), which together constitute what Christians call the Old Testament. The Pentateuch and Joshua relate how Israel became a nation and came to possess the Promised Land. The Prophets describe the establishment and development of the monarchy and relate the prophets' messages. The Writings include poetry, speculation on good and evil, and history. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bible includes additional Jewish writings called the Apocrypha. The New Testament consists of early Christian literature. The Gospels tell of the life, person, and teachings of Jesus. The Acts of the Apostles relates the earliest history of Christianity. The Epistles (Letters) are correspondence of early church leaders (chiefly St. Paul) and address the needs of early congregations. Revelation is the only canonical representative of a large genre of early Christian apocalyptic literature. See alsobiblical source, biblical translation.
A sense of right and wrong can stem from empathy for others, it doesn't require a God. But if your claim is that God is required for humans to be moral then shouldn't your God be moral as well?
How can an immoral God be the foundation of morality? And how can a moral person not anylize (and Judge) immorality where ever it is found?
Genocide (as one example of many biblical evils) is an immoral act. If God perpetrates, demands, or condones genocide, He is immoral. If He is immoral, he cannot be the source of morality.
Its always the way of the pious to claim authoritative truth. They claim the Bible is unerring knowledge of God's will until they come to problematic scripture; which we are NEVER to question because "we can't know Gods will".
Either you know God and his designs or you don't, and, of course, you don't.
How does the speaker measure right and wrong? How can he do this without a bias as to what "he" thinks is right or wrong. He is basing his judements on whatever modern ifluneces have shaped his perspective of morality.
If the God of the Bible exists - and if he is all knowing all powerful and the creator of all, how can a mere mortal created being stand in right judement of God?
This man went looking for soemthing, some idea of what he expected to find "who 'God' is". He is jumping to conclusions about God without examining his own system by which he measures God.
I would say that the old testament writings were compiled and perpetuated by an extreme authoritarian patriarchal elite of hebrew society. This served to consolidate power and frighten a weak and lazy population into some sort of social cohesion. The success of their society we see today, for those of us who are the result of it. An illiterate inbred tribe whp rose to greatness and influenced the world, it is a pretty unusual story in the history of anthropology.
"The Bible" continues to be a glimpse into the relationship of a weak childish majority led by a strong mature minority. Rebelling against that authority has been a Jewish pastime for millenia, resulting in a constant supply of genetic and philosophical apostasy. We, the Jews, are the "Sons of Seth", and The Bible has been the ox-goad that inspires us to be the contrarians we are.