What is the Skeptic's Annotated Bible?Question: "What is the Skeptic's Annotated Bible?"
Answer: The Skeptic's Annotated Bible - http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/ - is a website dedicated to pointing out all of the supposed errors, contradictions, and discrepancies in the Bible. The Skeptic's Annotated Bible divides the supposed errors into the following categories: injustice, absurdity, cruelty and violence, intolerance, contradictions, family values, women, good stuff, science and history, prophecy, sex, language, interpretation, and homosexuality. It is not the purpose of this article to refute every issue the Skeptic's Annotated Bible raises (there are over 6,000).
It is the purpose of this article to point out the fallacies behind the Skeptic's Annotated Bible. First, we commend the Skeptic's Annotated Bible for giving the "Good Stuff" section - http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/good/long.html. It is rare for an atheist / anti-Christian website to say anything positive about the Bible and/or Christianity. At the same time, the "Good Stuff" section is the only place the Bible is treated with any respect or logic. In regard to the "contradictions" and "absurdities" sections, please read our article on Bible errors, contradictions, and discrepancies. The sections on homosexuality and tolerance can be answered simply and concisely. Speaking the truth and not tolerating sin is the most loving thing we can do. Ignoring evil and promoting ungodliness may be seen as tolerant, but it does not result in anything truly positive.
The sections on "injustice," "family values," "cruelty and violence," and "women" fail to account for an important concept—the Bible was written to reform our souls, not our societies. While the teachings of the Bible were revolutionary in the protection they gave to slaves, women, etc., some of the commands and statements seem brutal and unjust to our modern minds. God "breathed out" the Bible in an ancient culture. God approached the sins of man from the "inside out." If a man comes into a relationship with God, God will reform his heart, teach him to love, to respect, to forgive. Yes, some of the laws in the Bible seem brutal and primitive, but if a person had a genuine relationship with God, the laws would not even be necessary.
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible's section on "sex" does nothing but point out all the various verses in the Bible that mention sex. Why is this section even necessary? Yes, the Bible talks about sex. Sex is, obviously, an important aspect of life in this world. It is normal, therefore, for the Bible to address human sexuality. The "interpretations" section is filled with difficult verses and passages. However, these difficulties are answered in detail in nearly every major Bible commentary. The existence of a difficult passage is meaningless in verifying or rejecting the inspiration of the Bible.
Again, if you have questions about the Skeptic's Annotated Bible or have found something in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible that you cannot explain, please feel free to ask us, and we will be happy to provide a personalized answer.
Recommended Resource: The Big Book of Bible Difficulties by Geisler & Howe
Free Bible Study Book Each Month – From Faithlife and Logos Bible Software.
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Questions about the Bible
What is the Skeptic's Annotated Bible?