Do we hate the Bible? No. But at God Discussion, we don't think it was meant to be taken literally.
That said, welcome to the Bible Slam!
In the spirit of a "poetry slam" where poets read or recite their original work or other people's work and the audience judges the poem, we felt a Bible Slam would be interesting for our readers at God Discussion. Here, the original work is the Bible and you, dear reader, are the judge.
Featured Bible Reader: ChelevSaRa
Our "poet" is an entertaining young man who has been reading the Bible on a chapter-by-chapter basis and posting his readings on YouTube. Using the handle "ChelevSaRa," he reads from the New Living Translation of the Bible. Chelev started making his recordings on December 8, 2008, and has agreed to let us use his series on GodDiscussion.com.
DISCLAIMER AND WORD OF WARNING: For those who are easily offended, please note that Chelev uses swear words when Biblical passages amaze or disgust him. If you find this type of thing offensive, you might not want to listen to these videos. There are some other readers on YouTube that you may enjoy. We chose ChelevSaRa because he makes Bible reading interesting. Even if you think he's blasphemous, you'll have to admit that Chelev's laugh and smile will light up your computer screen.
As the readings progress, you'll see that Chelev gets better and better with his video productions.
Why a Bible Slam? | The Problem of Inerrancy vs. Selective Literacy
Many Christians believe that the Bible is the "inerrant" word of God. In fact, the organizers of the National Day of Prayer have volunteers sign a statement of belief that begins with "I believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of The Living God" (emphasis added).
"Inerrant," according to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, means "Free from error." Wikipedia goes on to describe Biblical inerrancy as "the doctrinal position that in its original form, the Bible is totally without error, and free from all contradiction; referring to the complete accuracy of Scripture, including the historical and scientific parts."
This means that for Christians who believe in Biblical inerrancy, no part can be removed or rejected. It cannot be called metaphor. It is absolute and free from error. For those "values based" voters and politicians who condemn gays, women and non-believers, this creates the problem of selective literacy. If the Bible is indeed infallible and inerrant, then it is illogical to quote Biblical scripture for the purposes of condemning or judging others while ignoring other verses that condemn activities that are accepted by society, such as the abolition of slavery.
Why a Bible Slam? | Christians Do Not Read the Bible
An estimated 35% of born-again Christians do not read the Bible at all, writes the Center for Bible Engagement, quoting Ron Rhodes, President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. Studies by The Barna Group and Gallup indicate that Americans are "illiterate" when it comes to the Bible and understanding the Christian faith.
We believe that this is a serious issue, particularly with right wing Christians attempting to blur the line between the separation of church and state. Issues such as teaching creationism in public schools, national days of prayer, gay marriage, women's reproductive rights and placing the Ten Commandments in the public square are often fueled by "Bible believing" Christians in an atmosphere where the majority of people have not read the Bible.
For those who have not read the Bible before, be prepared to be shocked. You'll find that it is not the loving wisdom so often portrayed by Christianity. You'll find unusual and bizarre Biblical laws that, if broken, are punishable by death, you'll discover that slavery and polygamy are perfectly acceptable in the Bible and, among many other shockers, you will find that God does not have a kind view toward women.
Join Our Bible Slam
We definitely want comments, whether from Christian apologists or from atheists and skeptics. For additional research, we highly recommend the Skeptics Annotated Bible (which is more comprehensive than a concordance when referring to discrepancies in the Bible). People with a scholarly bent who are interested in further study may wish to visit the Religion and Literature site, which is an online compendium of academic journals and other works.