Fw: Re: Christmas 2001 by Arthur Miller

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Thu Dec 27 06:54:02 MST 2001

On Thu, 27 Dec 2001 13:08:45 -0000 "Paul Flewers"
<hatchet.job at virgin.net> writes:
> Anyone interested in Biblical contradictions, absurdities and
> atrocities
> should try and get hold of The Bible Handbook by GW Foote and WP
> Ball,
> published in London by the Secular Society. I've got the tenth
> edition,
> published in 1953, so it will need a request at a good library to
> borrow a
> copy. It lists every stupidity, contradiction and atrocity in the
> Bible, and
> there's plenty of them. For instance, the Amalekites were
> slaughtered to the
> last person three times over. Were the editors of the Bible so
> arrogant that
> they didn't think that bright sceptical people might actually read
> the whole
> thing and make comparisons between one bit and another?

I suspect that was never meant to be taken very literally.  Spinoza,
long ago, pointed out the poetic nature of biblical writing, and
he suggested that a lot of it was never meant to be taken literally,
and was not taken that way by the ancient Hebrews.  I suspect
that the statements about the Amalekites being slaughtered to
the last person, were understood as simply saying that the
Hebews did as through job of killing them as was humanly
possible.  This sort of rhetoric is not all that different from
that used by Saddam Hussain, a decade ago when
spoke about fighting the "mother of all battles" and
the like.  As Spinoza, I think coreectly pointed out, this
sort of rhetoric is not uncommon in Middle Eastern
cultures.  That is not to deny that the Bible is full of

> My favourite
> absurdity/atrocity is the condemning to death of anyone who eats
> black
> pudding, a popular English dish made of pig's blood (Leviticus
> vii/26-27). I
> like asking Bible-bashers whether this still stands as Biblical law.

Is it inhumane to want to spare people from English cuisine?
> Perhaps this book should go up on the net to help secular people
> deal with
> Bible-bashers.
> Paul F

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