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Why Would an Atheist Study the Bible?

Updated on September 7, 2014
Why study a book that I don't believe in?
Why study a book that I don't believe in?

Why Study?

Disclaimer: I am one individual, and I do not now (or at any point) attempt to speak for all atheists. Not all atheists agree. Atheism has no dogma, no tenents, no philosophies that are shared and agreed upon by all. In fact, atheism only addresses one thing - atheism by definition means "without belief". Christians in the Roman world were originally (and ironically) called atheists - because they were "without belief" in the Roman pantheon of gods. This ultimately led to persecution until they gained power under emperor Constantine. Atheism is simply put (at least for me, since I don't consider myself a "strong" atheist) a lack of a belief in a god.


I spend a lot of my time these days in the forums debating, discussing and learning. Recently, I was asked why a self-professed atheist would choose willingly to study the bible on a daily basis, like I do. The answer seems simple to me, but I recognize that it may not seem that way to others. This hub is my attempt to explain my own position - and to try to clear up some misconceptions about myself, my history and other atheists that think the same way I do.


The Skeptic Community

My atheism states that I do not believe in any of the god claims I have been presented with - due to a lack of sufficient evidence. Like many scientists, I consider myself to be open-minded in the realm of proof. I am willing to consider evidence and weigh it against knowledge that I already have, and will continue to actively seek - probably for the rest of my life. I have a hunger for knowledge that is nearly insatiable. I love to learn. I love to learn about religion, because it seems to dictate the course of human events and society. I love to study history and to study history honestly (at least the history of the western world that I reside in) you also have to factor religion into the equation. In order to study the history of the Middle Ages, you have to also study the beliefs of the people that lived through them - and in the western world, that means studying the various branches of Christianity. Therefore, to maintain my course of knowledge and continue to learn as much as possible, I have to study the foundations that it rests on.

Not all atheists are alike, as I've previously stated, and I've encountered a fair share of atheists who are just as closed-minded and ignorant as their theist counterparts. I do not advocate that kind of behavior. I believe that in order to remain intellectually honest, you have to be willing to consider evidence on its own merit - and not on the grounds of what it could potentially imply. If evidence were presented to me tomorrow that proved beyond doubt that a god existed (whether it was the god of the bible or not) I could no longer claim to not believe in that god. I would then be left with a choice - to worship that god, or to reject him/her/it. My assertion now, and for the foreseeable future is that if the god of the bible does exist, at least as he's presented in his book, then he's fully capable and willing to interact with human beings - he just chooses not to.

The Nature of Absolutes for Deities

Truth is not relative. Human perception of it, however, is. That means that ultimately, one of the two following possibilities is absolutely true - and the other one is false.

Either a god exists, or no god exists.
If a god exists but does not manifest within the material world (as believed by deists like Thomas Jefferson, etc.) then that god is indistinguishable from a god that does not exist at all, and there would be no means by which to prove his existence. I discount that god, because there is simply no way to move forward.


If a god exists that DOES choose to manifest in the material world, however, that god is willing and capable of interacting with human beings on a personal level. That god should leave behind ample evidence to prove that he exists - and an all-knowing deity should know that the brain that he supposedly created within his supposed creation would eventually require evidence.

Extraordinary Claims and Extraordinary evidence:

If I were to claim that I was the proud owner of a cat (I actually have two) it's likely that a majority of people would simply take my word for it. Having a cat is not atypical. It's rather normal - at least in certain areas of the world. I would not be asked to prove that I have a cat, or that cats exist. If, however, you came over to my house and there was no litter box, no food or water bowl, no cat toys and no cat to be seen - you may wonder if I have a cat at all.

Conversely, if I claim to have a purple pet dragon, the large majority of people would probably doubt that claim. Why? Because it's an extraordinary claim. Not many people claim to have a purple pet dragon - or a pet dragon at all (well, maybe in the atheist community they do - this is a common correlation in debates on evidence, proof and belief)

The same concept relates to the concept of a divine being who supposedly created the world, and a lot of believers use circular logic to try to rationalize a lack of evidence that supports their beliefs. They claim that creation (and I'm not admitting it is creation, simply using their language to illustrate my point) is proof of a creator. It's not. In fact, there's no evidence whatsoever that earth, life, or mankind needed a creator in the first place. They claim that the bible is proof of the biblical god - it's not. It's another example of circular logic. The bible claims that the god it describes exists. The facts, history, archeology and science of the bible (and I use the term science loosely) are not backed up by actual evidence. Sure, some events of the bible are true. Just because a book has a few true statements within its pages does not, in turn, make the whole book true or reliable. The bible also contains some very untrue claims - like the fact that bats are birds, or that the sun moves around the earth, not the other way around.

Personal History

I've gone into my personal history in depth many times, so I will not delve into all the specifics in this hub. The cliff-notes version, however, is short and to the point. I was raised in a Baptist household in Southern California by a missionary and a Sunday-school (and grade school) teacher. I spent time abroad as a missionary kid in Africa. I traveled. I learned. I grew. i attended Christian school up through college, and spent the large part of my college education studying theology, apologetics, scripture (I read all of the original languages) and biblical literalism. I was always a questioner, although I considered myself to be a devout believer - up until the age of about 25. I wanted to go into the ministry full-time and spread the gospel with others. Although I always questioned bits and pieces of the faith I grew up believing, I never let it run away with me. When I reached young-adulthood, however, that gradually started to change. I started looking at the bible in a different way, and I was more vocal about the areas that I didn't think made sense. From there, I started studying the bible historically and piecing together how it was assembled. I read the gnostic gospels. i studied the early history of the church.

It wasn't until the last few years that all of my questions brought me to a startling realization. Not only did I no longer believe any of the bible to be true - I didn't believe that the bible was the inspired word of god. Additionally, if I were to accept the bible at face-value, I couldn't condone the worship of the being it described. I started studying the concept of agnosticism, and I became involved in a lot of groups like Recovering from Religion. As I became more honest with myself and others, I realized (quite by accident) that I was an atheist - and I finally came out of the atheist closet within the last two years. My journey has not been an easy one, and I've had to rely on a lot of people with far more knowledge than I have to get me here - but the journey was worth it. I'm free. Finally.


My full answer to the question posed to me is as follows. It's my own, personal manifesto. I'm still learning - and I look forward to doing so for the rest of my life, however long it may be.

My Atheist Manifesto

I do not believe that the bible is the unfailing, holy word of god, and I do not find it compelling evidence to prove that god's existence. I don't ultimately claim that Jesus didn't exist. I find it much more likely to think that the historical Jesus was not a single person, but a collection of people who all contributed to an idea that was passed on orally and ultimately compiled into what became the new testament. I cannot prove that no such person existed, so I do not claim that he didn't. However, i likewise find no compelling evidence to suggest that he did - and if he did, all of the miraculous events surrounding his life, death and subsequent resurrection have completely gone unnoticed by contemporary historians, which I find puzzling at best if this man did exist as he is portrayed. I doubt the divinity of the person of Jesus, if the person did exist historically - mostly due to the fact that early Christians did not consider him divine.

I don't necessarily think that I hold the god of the bible in contempt. I hold him in judgement, if he existed. The bible portrays an evil, egomaniac dictator who enjoys suffering, pain and torment on the creation he ultimately claims to be responsible for creating. I don't find the god of the bible to be particularly moral, and I am disturbed that the majority of Christians call the bible the good book - the book that has been responsible for more bloodshed than any other book in history. I find it disturbing that it is distributed by children - in its entirety, I might add, regardless of all the horrific stories contained within it. I don't hate the god of the bible. I don't believe in him. I strongly dislike the actions of a lot of his self-professed followers, though - throughout history, and on to the present day.

I get that the bible says "only a fool would say there is no god". what else would you expect it to say? In fact, almost all holy books of major religions say something to this effect. It is a way of discrediting anyone who disagrees with it - and giving its followers and excuse to write people off at will and claim superiority. Almost all religious beliefs are mutually exclusive. They all claim ultimate truth, while maintaining that all their competition is heresy or corrupt. The bible is not unique in this aspect, and it's a common mindset throughout antiquity that lasts up until this present day. The bible is the apparent only connection between the god found within it's pages and his creation. If it's not supposed to be read by non-believers, why does it exist? Is it not therefore just "preaching to the choir" and making Christians feel better about themselves? Yet no two denominations can agree on even the most fundamental doctrines found within it. the bible can justify or condemn just about anything - depending on what spin you choose to put on it. It can condemn and condone slavery. It can demean and uplift women. It can condemn homosexuals to death - and (to some) excuse their natural inclinations. The bible can say whatever you want it to say. therefore I find it to be unreliable.

Why do I continue to read it even though I don't believe in it? Because i have a desire to learn. It's not the only thing I study or learn about - far from it. I am fascinated by history, and like it or not, a lot of the history throughout my favorite period (the middle ages) is based in large part on religious beliefs of the people within it.

I debate on a semi-professional level, and unlike a lot of my apologist opponents, I like being well-informed. You would be surprised (or perhaps not) how many debates I've gone into with people who deny evolution because I cannot produce a "crock-o-duck" - Kirk Cameron style. their research on evolution is limited to Television evangelists, and they fail to dig any deeper. I like the fact that I know the bible so well - not to be conceited (and I'm not trying to brag) but I know the bible a lot better than some of the pastors that I regularly communicate with. It's shocking that these people are still in the ministry, but they have no idea what their holy book contains. History fascinates me. Religious history fascinates (and horrifies) me. In order to understand the psychology of some of these horrific actions, you have to understand what these people believed in - and that means going back to the beginning.

Not all of the bible is bad. It has some good advice. Ultimately, I use it as a tool to enhance my own knowledge and learning. I don't see anything wrong with that. I grew up with this kind of blind-faith, and I spent a lot of time alone. I read, because I didn't have anything else to do, and usually the only book I had to read was the bible. when I started to question what I found there, I was told to shut up and ask god. I did. That's why I'm an atheist today.

Unlike a lot of Christians I've encountered that claim persecution whenever someone even questions their beliefs, i have faced persecution from Christians. I've been beat up, mocked, ridiculed and more by people who are now pastors. Yet I was the one who was punished, because I was gay, and therefore immoral. I don't hate Christians. I hate a lot of their attitudes. In order to try to reach them, however, I have to speak on their level and in their language - and in order to do that, I have to continue my own study. I'm not an atheist because of what some believers have done to me - or to others. I'm an atheist because there is nothing to support a belief in the christian god.

© 2012 Julie McFarland

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    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Thanks, Catherine.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I admire how you shared your personal story. i was lucky because I was not brought up in a religious tradition (now was I brought up to be an atheist.) Religion seemed mostly peripheral to me. I say lucky because I did not have to break away from religion as an adult which can be wrenching. As a child I thought everyone was faking a belief in god. I never asked why; I guess I thought it was one of those things I would understand when I got older.

      I liked your point about the early Christians being described as atheists by the Romans. I like to define atheist as not having a belief in the Judeo-Christian God because that is the god of my culture. If someone asks me if I believe in god, they are not asking if I believe in Odin or Ishtar.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 2 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi :)

      I just posted something but it disappeared. If it reappears, then there may be some repetition. Sorry :)

      I agree with much of what you say. Many Christians I know are intrigued by my passion for Biblical / religious study considering I don't believe in it. It's purely a hobby, though I have taught some RE in schools. My degree was in history - but, as you say, you cannot study medieval history without studying medieval religion.

      I consider myself agnostic because I don't know - can't know - whether or not a God of some kind exists. I do not believe in the god of the Bible. That 'God', I think, evolved for a couple of reasons - he was one ancient tribe's attempt to explain the inexplicable and he helped the powerful to control the masses. I also think that, as described in the Old Testament, he is not exactly praiseworthy.

      Thankfully England is a fairly secular country, in spite of the fact that, officially, we do not have separation of church and state. Nowadays, we rarely have daily Christian worship in state schools, nor is Christianity taught as truth quite as much as it used to be, but that certainy used to be the case.

      Being atheist or agnostic when you have always been taught that the Bible is true and that lack of belief leads to eternal damnation can be pretty scary.

    • Joseph O Polanco profile image

      Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

      Interestingly enough, almost all atheists admit that there is evidence for God. Daniel Dennet, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris for instance don't deny it. They just claim that, in their opinion, the evidence is not convincing enough :)

    • littlecat2013 profile image

      littlecat2013 2 years ago

      I think you did a great job of explaining your perspective very well. As an atheist I have also studied the Bible. I didn't just decide to be an atheist. I studied everything about different religions that I could before determining atheism was the path for me. I find religion amazing and fascinating as a study topic. It is such a powerful force in society and religions like Christianity are always impacting me in my life. Laws, wars, politics, symbols, rituals, and more based on religion, specifically Christianity, are everywhere and influence my life in some way even though I am not Christian. For me, I like to know where all this stuff is coming from so I can understand why people do what they do. I find that I can find middle ground and an understanding of religious followers better because of being educated. People get upset when finding out I'm an atheist but because I am educated in religious beliefs I can find a way to talk to devoted religious followers so that they can understand how my perspectives differ and aren't ignorant or evil like they may originally think.

    • Joseph O Polanco profile image

      Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

      The impression I get is that the level of evidence Atheists find acceptable is proportional to how skeptical they are. The greater the severity of skepticism the higher they set the bar for evidence being beyond reasonable doubt and vice versa. So for those on the radical end of the skepticism spectrum it would be impossible to convince them of anything no matter how good the evidence was.

    • Joseph O Polanco profile image

      Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

      @Robert

      How, then, do you explain the millions upon millions the world over who base their faith on solid evidence? What are they seeing that you aren't?

    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 2 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Thanks, Robert. It's sometimes difficult to step back and spell out how it all began for us or where the final straw occurred, but many people are more content to question our journey rather than the dismal evidence supporting their own supernatural claims.

    • Joseph O Polanco profile image

      Joseph O Polanco 3 years ago

      @Joseph

      Spiritual Atheist? I thought Atheism precluded any and all appeals to the supernatural. Am I mistaken?

    • Joseph041167 profile image

      Joseph Mitchell 3 years ago from Nashville TN 37206.

      I am a hard agnostic atheist leaning person. I am an ex-christian hard evangelical. Several years ago when I got evicted I threw all of my bibles in the trash and sold the rest of them. I wish that I had a copy of the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition with Apocrypha to use as a referance book. I do not get on hubpages very much any more. The author of this blog here and I used to talk a little and I like some of her material. I do not miss Christianity so much. I think my real spirituality was broader. I long for there to be something out there. I do not know what "something out there" means. I miss an ecumenical counselor in the sky, prayer, eternal life, and contentment. I do not suppose that I believe in any of these things any more. My recent iron in the fire is to study this new movement called "spiritual atheism" for those who do not believe in a literal mythic traditional deity. For example, physical energy, can be a first cause and a sustaining cause, there can also be random forces. Spiritual atheism has less consensus and there are ten ways to skin a cat, kind of like running Windows. Peace Out, Holla!

    • Keisha Hunter profile image

      Keisha Hunter 3 years ago from Paradise and then some

      Some interesting points of debate here. I'm no way near where I want to be so I wouldn't even contribute to this conversation. I'm still studying but I do believe in God.

    • profile image

      Pastor Wolfe 3 years ago

      When in debate I find myself becoming more aware to the facts than to a fantasy based reality as such. Although I started out Christian only later falling far from it after discovering the darkness that lies within Christianity, not only from text but also from public display! I am not an Atheist but I am open minded to what actually is more believable! There is one comment on here that states the God's blueprint of the Universe is embedded into our DNA, that in which I do agree with but it is that I am learning that it is not a god that is of text but rather the genetics of our DNA. So I lean more towards the Evolutionary God rather than the text God making me able to successful grasp onto my calling and help hundreds of people! Being Optimistic is actually a great way to come to acceptance with the world around me! Kudos on this Hub!!

    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      I've enjoyed reading all of your comments. I always find it interesting when individuals try ans somehow prove the existence or non-existence of a God. I've learned to respect everyone's point of view and do not make any attempts to change anyone's mind. I believe that God lives within me and you....in all things, living and non-living. When I look at myself, I see God. When I look at you, I see God. God is everywhere and in everything. Everywhere I look, I see God. God is in everything and is everywhere. God is a figurative name, sometimes I refer to God as "the universe," "the higher power" .....some refer to him/her as Buddha, Mohammed, Hari Krisna, Yahweh, et al. U.S. Andersen's book, "The Three Magic Words" and Wallace Wattles, "The Science of Growing Rich" were eye openers for me. You can find a free down load of The Science Of Growing Rich" on the internet. Andersen's book can be found online for under $10.00.

      His book will answer all of your questions and if you're ready, totally change your life! Wishing you all of the best!

    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Thanks for the comment! I appreciate different points of view, and you bring up some very valid points. Regardless of a potential afterlife, the here and now is what's important, and it's important to live your life for all that it's worth while you have the opportunity.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 4 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      hmm...well you're journey is a rough one, although I do believe in God, I also am a learner like you, hungry for facts, and search religions, and want to know just about everything there is to learn. I'm not exactly like other Christians, and have been up against some evangelists. I am more of the believe God is a loving God, forgiving, merciful, and my question always was? If God created a diversified world with so many religions, beliefs, cultures, and people how can we mold him into one path? He would have to be a diversified God or can we ignore all the colors, shapes, humans in existence all over the world and deny them just for one book or religion? I am not one to preach by any means. I have been in the forums, but understand no matter who we are or what beliefs we have we are entitled to them, and most will never back down. You can argue for years and go back and forth, but some questions will never truly be answered until we die. We choose to be what ever label we put on ourselves, and what we faith, or no faith we walk. People will always have their opinions, beliefs, and some will discriminate, persecute, and judge. It's all the world has taught them to do, and perhaps the human condition. We can not change the world, or save it, or even fix it. We can only really change our own lives, and try to live them happily and peacefully if we choose, or the opposite. Who ever is right or wrong can always proved to be the opposite in time. For whether there is a God we will never know until we have faced death. There can always be a pastor one day that dies and finds out there is no God, while an atheist can die and find out there is a God. Who are we to say until that day arrives? We are all on our own journey's and paths, and perhaps our own journey is more important about what we learn and how we grow. Christian's are rough in persecuting others for not following their ways. I have been on for a long time, but I saw how they harm people and hurt them more then heal them.

    • profile image

      atheistseminary 4 years ago

      I just found your page and I am so glad you exist! While I come from a pretty non-religious background, I decided to study religion more in depth as an atheist and specifically ancient Greek to be able to read the Bible. The inconsistancies are amazing, and the evidence that the Bible is a man-made rather than divine-inspired document seem to be amazing.

      So while I'm no longer looking for proof that New Testament is a word of god, understanding who might have written this stuff is still fascinating. Bart Erhman is my favorite author and it's so nice to know that there are atheists who are basing their non-belief on actual inconsistancies in the bible rather then a simple dismissive "it's stupid".

      I have come across theists, when they realize I actually read the bible, the whole "god will reveal himself to you" thing. I guess that's the last ditch effort for conversion or something. But that's equivalent to me saying that my fairy spirit will reveal itself to you if you read this special book. And if it doesn't, you are clearly not the chosen one.

      Planks and nails-

      And how do you know that the CORRECT god revealed himself to you? What if the revelation you had is not god at all? What if it's a false god and you are being misled? But for that, I guess there is always "well you just know". How... non-specific. "Universal Information" is proof? Prove it.

    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      stupid phone and autocorrect. Sorry for the grammatical errors

    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Its not fanciful at all, and more and more biblical scholars and historians are moving towards that direction. Look up "nailed" by David Fitzgerald. Whether Jesus existed our not is irrelevant to atheism. I wouldn't believe in god if Jesus could be definitively proven. Calling it "new atheism

      Is just silly. You doing know much about atheism.

      What is your evidence for Jesus Christ? Let's talk about it.. Hannibal is most likely a combination of myth and truth. The difference is that Hannibal does not have a cult following. Belief in him is not dictating laws or dictating behavior. He does not claim to be the soon of god, and no one is persecuting people in the name of Hannibal. Whether he existed or not is inconsequential in my day to life.

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      JMcFarland,

      ( If "peasant teachers from Galilee" would hardly be noticed, why are so many others noticed by the Roman and Jewish authority?")

      ("Maybe they were all sleeping -")

      Maybe they were sleeping too during the time of Hannibal of Carthage.

      Contemporary history may be "silent" concerning Jesus Christ, but it is still fanciful too say He never existed. There is as much, if not slightly more, evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ as there is for other comparable Jewish preachers, prophets and Messianic claimants without even looking at the Gospel material.

      The positions you hold is not accepted by the majority of even non-Christian and Jewish scholars, but is a fringeful "New Atheism" ideology.

      With that said, it is good to have someone who is intelligent and clever challenging others on what they believe.

    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I suggest that you do some research. I'm hardly a "typical atheist". I have a degree in theology. I've studied the Bible in the original languages for over 15 years. I'm not uneducated. Your argument fails on so many levels its absurd. Have you ever studied this stuff? If "peasant teachers from Galilee" would hardly be noticed, why are so many others noticed by the Roman and Jewish authority? First century Judea is one of the most documented periods in the regions history. There are numerous historians living in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus illegal trial, public exhalation and execution. The Bible says that when he died there was unnatural darkness, earthquakes, Jewish zombies and more - but none of the historians notice. Maybe they were all sleeping -

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      JMcFarland,

      ("The fact of the matter is that there is no contemporary historical evidence to support the idea that "jesus christ" ever existed, was born, was crucified or rose from the dead. Should there be? Absolutely.")

      This is the typical atheist argument, but it is a weak one. The modern mindset assumes that people leave lots of evidence of their existence because most people today have many documents, such as educational records, passports, financial records, Facebook, etc.. Modern peoples lives are essentially on display for all the world to see. If somebody like Jesus Christ does not have these types of evidence to prove that he existed, then it seems suspicious.

      The fact is that the sources for the evidence for anyone living in the ancient world are scarce, and rarely are they contemporary. Most evidence was written decades and beyond the fact. The more humble the origins of an individual, the less likely that there would be any contemporary records at all.

      For example, Hannibal of Carthage was a general who was considered one of the greatest generals of all time. He was famed throughout the ancient world for coming close to crushing the Roman Republic. His name and fame rung for centuries after.

      Is there any contemporary evidence of him? No, there isn't any.

      If there is someone as famous and revered as Hannibal, and there are no contemporary sources to reference him, does it really make sense to base your argument on the "non-existence" of a peasant who preached in Galilee ?

    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      There would be no huge problem in accounting for the numerous "christians". The religion would still exist, regardless of the fact that it's supposed "founder" has no evidence to support his existence. The fact of the matter is that there is no contemporary historical evidence to support the idea that "jesus christ" ever existed, was born, was crucified or rose from the dead. Should there be? Absolutely. First-Century Palestine is one of the most well-documented times in History. Yet there is no record of this messiah - but there is plenty of records of other messiah figures. Strangely, all historians managed to miss the real one despite the miracles, the zombies, the earthquakes, the darkness, the triumphant entry into jerusalem, etc. Not one mention Jesus for at least 100 years - a fact that early church leaders were not unfamiliar with. They railed against contemporary historians for not mentioning their god. They scoured records looking for any hint, any clue - and when none showed up, they invented them.

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      JMcFarland,

      ("Evidence for god may not be possible - at least not in the sense that a skeptic would consider to be evidence.")

      That doesn't matter. The skeptic requires proof, which only comes from God.

      ("- what is your reasonable evidence for god?")

      For me personally, it is through the Theory of Universal Information that is foundation for all life. It is the third fundamental quantity besides mass and energy. Additionally, through understanding of the function of DNA and the sound logical deductions through scientific law, these complex systems reveals that God is responsible for embedding universal information into mankind. Universal information is a precise term which is a scientific "proof" to the extent science is able to prove anything. The evidence reveals that that life is purposeful and meaningful.

      ("- where is historical, contemporary evidence for the person of Jesus Christ?")

      Historical evidences are attached to Christian faith. Scripture as well as other historical documents contain the doctrine of faith, and the containers of faith who are the believers in Jesus Christ. The historical reliability rests on the historical works of these narratives. Jesus Christ was a historic person from the writings of those during the reign of Tiberius, from pagans, Jews, and Christians of that time. Apart from Christian literature there was Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, the Babylonian Talmud, Lucian of Somasata.

      Historic accounts are statements and narrative that have had an impactual effect on someone. The facts in themselves do not have any meaning until someone applies relevance, or meaning to them. If they didn't have any significance, it would have no effect today.

      If there was no such person as Jesus Christ, then there would be a huge problem in accounting for the vast numbers of Christians in the world.

      In the scientific world, many are dependent on the reports of others on evidence that is inaccessible to them. There are theoretical explanations on observable entities, which are not directly observable. There are things that are real, but are not accessible by direct observation. Likewise, Christianity in history has testament and witnesses to the knowledge of God with objective and subjective revelation. We cannot directly access history, but what we do know is that the Christian faith has been well established through it.

    • JMcFarland profile image
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      Julie McFarland 4 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Danny - I apologize for not responding sooner, I didn't see your comment until now. Being beat up by a pastoral studies major because I was gay was a horrific event - but I don't think he was doing it for "god". I think he was doing it to make himself feel better. God didn't save me from it, though - although I believed it him at the time. I guess the beater's free will trumped mine.

      Planks - I respect your opinion. Evidence for god may not be possible - at least not in the sense that a skeptic would consider to be evidence. Couple questions though:

      - what is your reasonable evidence for god?

      - where is historical, contemporary evidence for the person of Jesus Christ?

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Hello JMcFarland,

      A lot of Christians try to prove God, but that is not their job to do so. The Bible doesn't prove God, but is evidence of God.

      The Bible contributes to knowledge of what has happened (evidence).

      When God reveals Himself to someone, He provides the certainty and revelation for an individual's faith (proof).

      Now faith is being *sure* of what we hope for and *certain* of what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1

      The Bible does not prove God nor will it makes anyone into a believer. It is solely by a miracle of God, not of man's doing.

      The only way to prove there is a God is to be God; God must prove Himself to you.

      Once God draws the individual, it is up to he/she to decide to have faith in Him once He has proven Himself.

      No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. - John 6:44

      There are three types:

      1. A follower of Jesus Christ (Christian).

      2. God has revealed Himself to an individual, but the person decides that his own ways (morality) are better than God's, and denies Him for his own.

      3. God has not drawn Himself that individual; therefore, the knowledge of the one true God is not reality.

      A true believer is not created from coercion, or blind faith, but is an informed decision that leaves no doubt.

      Many professing Christians do not know their Bibles and fail miserably at giving a reasonable answer to skeptics of the Christian faith. Nobody can provide proof of God, but I believe it is important to try to facilitate some reasonable evidence to make your case. Many people provide emotional rants to make their case, which is self destructing.

      God did manifest in human form as Jesus Christ and interacted with people on a personal level. There is evidence of Him that is confirmed indirectly in historical text, but proof , no. No one can prove that Jesus Christ is real from someone’s personal testimony, or from history, but what can be argued is the evidence of the testimonies and accounts of many people throughout history.

      ("My atheism states that I do not believe in any of the god claims I have been presented with - due to a lack of sufficient evidence.")

      I would not try to coerce you into a blind faith. There is no point in having faith in the Word of God until God proves Himself. It would be putting the cart before the horse to give credence to Scripture until there is a belief that God exists first.