Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Bible Logo Bible
a different view...




I want to make it clear that my pages aren't here to mock, make fun of, or demean religion, spirituality, or people of faith. Although I am an atheist, I recognize that most religions and sects have organized themselves in an effort to better their lives (and future prsopects!) and our world in general. However, I take a very dim view (and work against) any religion that wants to entangle itself with government or anyone who wants to force their belief system on others. I also cast a wary eye towards proselytizing (including those who tout secular ideals as well!) but recognize shouting out our beliefs is a right, albeit an obnoxious one at times...

Anyway, I'll admit here that I have found comfort, at times, in spiritual practices and religious gatherings - in the same way I find time alone in Nature or a beautiful concert inspiring - a religious or spiritual gathering can be calming and comforting. My experiences in this regard have included numerous (clockwise) prayer walks around Stupas, intense study and lecture sessions with the Seventh Day Adventists, a full weekend of meditation at a Zen center, years of study as a young boy in the Catholic church, praying with Shinto nuns in Japan, and lighting candles and spinning prayer wheels in Tibet.

Again, the idea here being that it is important that we all remain respectful of other people's beliefs and recognize that there is good in everyone. Nevertheless, religions (and seculaists, too...) have done a lot of damage throughout history so it's equally important to remain vigilant and to speak out against the parts of other systems that are damaging, controlling of others, or destructive to our precious little planet and the other life that shares it with us. None of us are here very long so let's do what's right while we can...

- Roger J. Wendell, Golden, Colorado


"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."
- Albert Einstein
in a letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, January 1954


The king James version of the New testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the church of England. There were(and still are) no original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts we have were written hundreds of years after the last apostle died. There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts, with no two alike. The king James translators used none of these anyway. Instead, they edited previous translations to create a version their king and parliament would approve.

So, 21st century Christians believe the "word of god" is a book edited in the 17th century from 16th century translations of 8,000 contradictory copies of 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century.


My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible

by Steven James, CNN.com, February 25, 2012

The Bible is raw and brutal, with vivid descriptions of murder, witchcraft and erotic
sex. A Christian author argues that it was written that way on purpose, to connect with
real people, and that it's too often run through a modern-day politeness filter.

"The Bible is a gritty book. Very raw. Very real. It deals with people just like us, just as needy and screwed up as we are, encountering a God who would rather die than spend eternity without them."

"Yet despite that, it seems like Christians are uncomfortable with how earthy the Bible really is. They feel the need to tidy up God."

"For example, look in any modern translation of Isaiah 64:6, and you'll find that, to a holy God, even our most righteous acts are like "filthy rags." The original language doesn't say 'filthy rags'; it says 'menstrual rags.' But that sounds a little too crass, so let's just call them filthy instead."

"God's message was not meant to be run through some arbitrary, holier-than-thou politeness filter. He intended the Bible to speak to people where they're at, caught up in the stark reality of life on a fractured planet."

"We don't need to edit God. We need to let him be the author of our new lives."




Nun Anni "Religious moderates invariably claim to be more 'sophisticated' than religious fundamentalists (and atheists). But how does one become a sophisticated believer? By acknowledging just how dubious many of the claims of scripture are, and thereafter reading it selectively, bowdlerizing it if need be, and allowing its assertions about reality to be continually trumped by fresh insights - scientific ('You mean the world isn't 6,000 years old? Okay.'), medical ('I should take my daughter to a neurologist and not to an exorcist? Seems reasonable...'), and moral ('I can't beat my slaves? I can't even keep slaves? Hmm...'). There is a pattern here, and it is undeniable. Religious moderation is the direct result of taking scripture less and less seriously. So why not take it less seriously still? Why not admit that the Bible is merely a collection of imperfect books written by highly fallible human beings?"
- Sam Harris
Letter to a Christian Nation, pp. 105-106


Since the Bible is the most widely distributed book in the history of humankind I thought a small web page devoted to it would be the least I could do! My look at the Bible is not meant to offend anyone nor blasphemy the work itself. Nor does my natural skepticism make me believe I can change you or anyone else who happens by this page. Simply, this page was created so that I'd have a place to record anything I find interesting either in the Bible itself, things related to the Bible, or even contradictions and opposition to it. The Bible is huge (in many respects!) so this page will be a work-in-progress that may change from time-to-time as I move on through life.

Additionally, I believe the most important thing is that you make up your own mind - regardless of what indoctrinations you've received throughout your own life. However, I acknowledge that making your way through the Bible can be somewhat difficult because its style and message are so different from what we're accustomed to in our present age. Plus, despite your pastor's claims to the contrary, most people find the Bible to be poorly written and extremely boring - a tough read for almost everybody...

Nevertheless, one should be familiar with the Bible so as to know why this particular book has had so much impact on Western society. Finally, and to my disappointment, the Bible has existed in many different versions with different Christian sects picking, choosing, and emphasizing different parts - there have been huge arguments over its contents and as to what portions should be included or left out. So, you'll want to be cautious about certain editions that may be floating around out there - there are so many different versions it can be difficult to decide which is most like the original. And, unfortunately, different political factions (from the very beginning) have worked hard to keep certain texts, verses and chapters out of the versions we're comfortable with today. So, it's hard to which version is most true to the original so do your research!

- Roger J. Wendell
Golden, Colorado 2005


"A knowledge of the true age of the earth and of the fossil record makes it impossible for any balanced intellect to believe in the literal truth of every part of the Bible in the way that fundamentalists do. And if some of the Bible is manifestly wrong, why should any of the rest of it be accepted automatically?"
- Francis Crick
(co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule)


"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay and that eating shellfish is an abomination. Or we could go with Deuteronomy which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount."
- Barack Obama
in a June '06 speech to a Christian group


"The Bible was written, and then rewritten, and then edited, and then re-edited, and then translated from dead languages, then re-re-translated, then re-edited, then re-re-re-edited, and then re-translated, then given to kings for them to take their favorite parts out, then re-edited, then re-translated, and then re-edited, then given to the pope for him to approve, then re-re-translated, then then re-re-written, then re-written, re-edited, re-translated, re-edited again, all based on stories that were told orally thirty to ninety years after they happened to people who didn't know how to write. So I guess what I'm saying is the bible is literally the world's oldest game of telephone."
- David Cross




Bill Maher Bible Outtakes

It took me a long time to transcribe this outtake from Bill Maher's 2008 documentary, Religulous, but I'm glad I did. It's a good summary of what many believe the Bible is all about. I hope you'll take time to read Maher's words (although it's much more interesting to hear and watch him in the movie!) about the real history of the Bible...

Dead Sea Scrolls "In the late 1940s, right around the time the state of Israel was being born, Jews here in the Judaean Desert made a startling discovery. The Arabs were really mad at them. But there was something else. Here, in the Qumran Caves, they found what the world has come to know as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

"Written by an ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, the Dead Sea Scrolls contain fragments from almost every book in the Old Testament plus prophesies by Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel that are not in the Bible. And psalms attributed to King David and Joshua that are not in the Bible.

"We keep finding Bible outtakes the way we find new records by Elvis, and John Lennon, and Tupac. And I know my Christian and Jewish religious friends get their hair shirt in a bunch whenever you call the Bible a fairytale. And they have a point because it's actually an anthology of fairytales, a kind of Reader's Digest collection of books written in many languages over thousands of years and then assembled and translated into American - just as God planned.

"The question is, who decided what got into the Bible and what go edited out and only made it into the outtakes, and the director's cut, and the DVD extras? I'll tell ya who, man. And when I say man I mean specifically people with penises because there's no religion I ever heard of that would let a woman make an important decision like that.

"The Dead Sea Scrolls are a very alive reminder that religious books are very often as holy and sacred as Harry Potter. And by the way, if you buried Harry Potter here and dug it up a thousand years later, who knows?

"The Bible was written by men and edited by men and based on some of the nonsense in it, edited pretty badly. It's no wonder that the Dead Sea Scrolls, even though they were found over 50 years ago, most of them still haven't been published. Which is a real drag because Yahweh has already burned through his advance..."




The Bible's Buried Secrets
PBS Premier - November 18, 2008 (Sorry, I don't have Television
reception so I haven't yet seen this program myself - Roger)

Archaeologist William Dever, who worked on the show, called it, "the first honest film that's been made" about the first books of the Bible. The two-hour show stirred up a backlash among some believers, due to archaeologists' assertions that:

Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 6:44 PM by Alan Boyle


Bible Reader Did you know?

The Bible is the most often shoplifted book worldwide. This, according to "1001 Surprising things you should know about the Bible" as reported in O The Oprah Magazine "O-Zone" section, p. 37 - July, 2006 [Note: The 8th Old Testament Commandment states; "Thou Shalt Not Steal"]


Ethics and the Bible

Michelle Martin:

"How would public discourse happen, I mean would you suggest people lie about the source of their beliefs and values? How would we proceed if people were to take you seriously and to follow your advice, other than to eliminate religion from their lives, or is that really the end goal?"

Sam Harris:

"Well, what I think we have to recognize is that this world already exists to a significant degree in Western Europe and in countries like Canada, and Australia, and Japan where you can not be a public figure professing absolute certainty about the divine origin of the Bible and be taken seriously. These are embarrassing convictions in much of the world, and, in fact, we are virtually alone, in the developed world, as a society that still conducts it's national discourse under the shadow of religious literalism."

"Morality is deeper than religious dogmatism. If you don't already know that cruelty is wrong, before you read the Bible, you're not going to discover it by reading the Bible. And, when you read the Bible and you encounter something like the Golden Rule and you recognize it to be a brilliant distillation of your ethical intuitions. You are recognizing it on the authority of your intellectual intuitions, your ethical insights, and a larger discourse about ethics.

"And when you read in the Bible that you're supposed to kill a girl for adultery, you reject that on the basis of a modern conversation about ethics and so this idea that we get our morality out of religious dogma, or religious faith, I think is an illusion, and is readily seen as an illusion if you just ask what would have to be true of the world if it were so. If faith was important for morality atheists should be terribly ill-behaved. "

- Sam Harris interviewed by Michelle Martin on NPR's Talk of the Nation
about his new book, Letter to a Christian and keeping religion out of public policy.
Broadcast on Monday, October 02, 2006 and transcribed by Roger J. Wendell


The Wisdom of the Bible

"It is true, of course, that Jesus said some profound things about love and charity and forgiveness. The Golden Rule really is a wonderful moral precept. But numerous teachers offered the same instruction centuries before Jesus (Zoroaster, Buddha, Confucius, Epictetus...), and countless scriptures discuss the importance of self-transcending love more articulately than the Bible does, while being unblemished by the obscene celebrations of violence that we find throughout the Old and New Testaments. If you think that Christianity is the most direct and undefiled expression of love and compassion the world has ever seen, you do not know much about the world's other religions."

"Take the religion of Jainism as on example. The Jains preach a doctrine of utter nonviolence. While the Jains believe many improbable things about the universe, they do not believe the sorts of things that lit the fires of the Inquisition. You probably think the Inquisition was a perversion of the 'true' spirit of Christianity. Perhaps it was. The problem, however, is that the teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries. It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas). Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews, and witches. You are, of course, free to interpret the Bible differently - though isn't it amazing that you have succeeded in discerning the true teachings of Christianity, while the most influential thinkers in the history of your faith failed?"

- Sam Harris,
Letter to a Christian Nation, pp. 10-12


The Power of Prophecy
- Sam Harris,
Letter to a Christian Nation

"It is often said that it is reasonable to believe that the Bible is the word of God because many of the events recounted in the New Testament confirm Old Testament profphecy. But ask yourself, how difficult would it have been for the Gospel writers to tell the story of Jesus' life so as to make it conform to Old Testament prophecy? Wouldn't it have been within the power of any mortal to write a book that confirms the predicitons of a previous book? In fact, we know on the basis of textual evidence that this is what the Gospel writers did."
p. 57

"But just imagine how breathtakingly specific a work of prophecy would be, if it were actually the product of omniscience. IF the Bible were such a gook, it ould make perfectly accurate predicitons about human events. You would expect it to contain a passage such as 'In the latter half of the twentieth century, humankind will develop a globally linked system of computers - the principles of which I set forth in Leviticus - and this system shall be called the Internet.' The Bible contains nothing like this. In fact, it does not contain a single sentence that could not have been written by a man or woman living in the first century. This should trouble you."

p. 60

"A book written by an omniscient being could contain a chapter on mathematics that, after two thousand years of continuous use, would still be the richest source of mathematical insight humanity has ever known. Instead, the Bible contains no formal discussion of mathematics and some obvious mathematical errors."

"Why doesn't the Bible say anything about electricity, or about DNA, or about the actual age and size of the universe? What about a cure for cancer? When we fully understand the biology of cancer, this undertanding will be easily summarized in a few pages of text. Why aren't these pages, or anything remotely like them, found in the Bible? Good, pious people are dying horribly from cancer at this very moment, and many of them are children. The Bible is a very big book. God had room to instruct us in great detail about how to keep slaves and sacrifice a wide varietyof animals. To one who stands outside the Christian faith, it is utterly astonishing how ordinary a book can be and still be thought the product of omniscience."

pp. 60-61




Revising the Bible
The following is from the Harper Collins Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version,
copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National council of the Churches
of Christ in the United States of America:

"The NRSV text may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor account for 50 percent of the written text of the total work in which they are quoted. (p. iv)

"To summarize in a single sentence; the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is an authorized revision of the Revised Standard Version, published in 1952, which was a revision of the American Standard Version, published in 1901, which, in turn, embodied earlier revisions of the King James Version, published in 1611.

"In the course of time, the King James Version came to be regarded as 'the Authorized Version.' With good reason it has been termed 'the noblest monument of English prose,' and it has entered, as not other book has, into the making of the personal character and the public institutions of the English-speaking peoples. We owe to it an incalculable debt.

"Yet the King James Version has serious defects. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the development of biblical studies and the discovery of many biblical manuscripts more ancient than those on which the King James Version was based made it apparent that these defects were so many as to call for revision. The task was begun, by authority of the Church of England, in 1870. The (British) Revised Version of the Bible was published in 1881-1885; and the American Standard Version, its variant embodying the preferences of the American scholars associated with the work, was published, as was mentioned above, in 1901. In 1928 the copyright of the latter was acquired by the International Council of Religious Education and thus passed into the ownership of the churches of the United States and Canada that were associated in this Council through their board of education and publication." (p. xxv)

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for info on proselytizing...

"In 1804, Thomas Jefferson used a razor to remove all passages of the King James version of the New Testament that had supernatural content such as the virgin birth, resurrection, or turning water into wine. About one-tenth of the Bible remained, which he pasted together and published as The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth. Apparently, Jefferson admired Jesus as a teacher and profit but was not always interested in the cloak of divinity. Thomas Jefferson wrote, 'Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.'[The Jefferson Bible] is a paradigm of the doctrines of Jesus, made by cutting the texts out of the book and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen.'"
- Clifford A. Pickover in his book, Sex, Drugs, Einstein, & Elves, pp. 130-131


"...the 'Bible Belt,' that gospel-haunted strip of American territory in which a man must,
if only for business reasons, take his religion with the straightest of faces..."
- Truman Capote in his book, In Cold Blood, p. 34.


Scholars chase Bible's changes, one verse at a time
by Bruce Nolan, Religion News Service - May 19, 2011 [ed. note: underlinging is my emphasis...]

"Working in a cluster of offices above a LifeWay Christian Bookstore, Bible scholars are buried in a 20-year project to codify the thousands of changes, verse by verse, word by word—even letter by letter-that crept into the early New Testament during hundreds of years of laborious hand-copying. "

"Their goal: to log them into the world's first searchable online database for serious Bible students and professional scholars who want to see how the document changed over time."

"Their research is of particular interest to evangelical Christians who, because they regard the Bible as the sole authority on matters of faith, want to distinguish the earliest possible texts and carefully evaluate subsequent changes."

"The first phase of the researchers' work is done. They have documented thousands of creeping changes, down to an extraneous Greek letter, across hundreds of early manuscripts from the second through 15th centuries, said Bill Warren, the New Testament scholar who leads the project at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary."


Bible Detectives: Jerusalem Scholars Trace Bible's Evolution
FOxNews.com (Associated Press) - August 12, 2011 [ed. note: underlinging is my emphasis...]

"For many Jews and Christians, religious beliefs dictate that the words of the Bible are divine, unaltered and unalterable. But the ongoing work of the academic detectives of the Bible Project, as their undertaking is known, shows that this foundation text of Western civilization has always been more fluid than these beliefs would suggest, and that its transmission through the ages was messier and more human than most of us imagine."

"A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: the sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today."

"An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened."

"Scholars in this out-of-the-way corner of the Hebrew University campus have been quietly at work for 53 years on one of the most ambitious projects attempted in biblical studies -- publishing the authoritative edition of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, and tracking every single evolution of the text over centuries and millennia."




Bible Woman
Women and the Bible

Genesis 3:16
"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception;
in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband,
and he shall rule over thee."

Sister, when did you last read that book?
You might want to take another look
There's something you should see
In book one chapter three
The verse Genesis three sixteen

Is this when god spoke against the female?
Or just a religious fairy tale?
Whatever conclusions you might draw
Just remember, it's been written into law
The verse Genesis three sixteen

Words laid down by some old men
Passed down by word of mouth back then
Perpetuating power was forseen
You must feel guilty, you must pay
It is your sentence to obey

Yes, it's true, with pain you must bear the child
But you did not sin, you were beguiled
Not once but constantly
And it's time you were set free
From the verse of Genesis three sixteen

- Robert Hoyt, from his song Genesis Three Sixteen
    (off his Dumpster Diving Across America CD)




Churchgoers in six states have held prayer sessions along the side of Interstate 35
CNN.com - December 19, 2007

" -- If you turn to the Bible -- Isaiah Chapter 35, Verse 8 -- you will see a passage that in part says, 'A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.'"

"Now, is it possible that this 'highway' mentioned in Chapter 35 is actually Interstate 35 that runs through six U.S. states, from southern Texas to northern Minnesota? Some Christians have faith that is indeed the case."

"Some of the faithful believe that in order to fulfill the prophecy of I-35 being the 'holy' highway, it needs some intensive prayer first. So we watched as about 25 fervent and enthusiastic Christians prayed on the the interstate's shoulder in Dallas."

"They chanted loudly and vibrantly, making many people in the neighborhood wonder what was going on. They prayed that adult businesses along the corridor would 'see the light' and perhaps close down."

"They prayed for safety and freedom from crime for people who lived along the interstate. They prayed that all Americans would accept Jesus into their lives."

"The woman who came up with the concept of 'Light the Highway' is a Texas minister named Cindy Jacobs."

"She says she can't be sure Interstate 35 really is what is mentioned in the Bible but says she received a revelation to start this campaign after 'once again reading Isaiah, Chapter 35.'"




From the back cover of the DVD jacket fot the 2005 documentry, The God Who Wasn't There:

The God Who Wasn't There
  • Jesus Christ is likely a fictional character, a legend never based on a real human
  • The Jesus passed down to us in the gospels bears a striking resemblance to other ancient heroes and the figureheads of pagan savior cults
  • Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion
  • Christianity is as obsessed with blood and violence now as it was in the 1st century [the video, itself, illustrates this by quoting the $300,000,000 in box-office sales generated by Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, ed.]
  • Fundamentalism is as strong today as it ever has been, with an alarming 44% of Americans believing Jesus will return to Earth within the next 50 years


Jesus of Nazareth
by Charles Templeton in his book, Farewell to God
(My reasons for rejectng the Christian faith), pp. 85-86

Jesus "... we know remarkably little about Jesus of Nazareth. He died a young man in his early thirties, and the only records of his life that have survived are in the pages of the New Testament. But even these are second- or third-hand, and were written long after his death by men who never saw or heard him."
"We don't know the date of his birth - it was certainly not December 25 in the Year One. Nor do we know for certain where he was born, although it was in all likelihood in the city of his childhood, Nazareth - certainly not in a Bethlehem stable. Nor do we know the exact date of his death, although it would seem to have been around the year 30 A.D. The great secular historians of that time (Tacitus, Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Suertonius, and others) mention Jesus only briefly, making passing reference to the fact that he preached in occupied Palestine and was crucified by the Roman government."

"The earliest Christian records extant are the Pauline epistles, and they were written around 50 A.D. It was another ten years or so before the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were completed. But the names attached to the gospels are pseudonyms - none of the authors were among Jesus' apostles and it is likely that none of them so much as saw or heard him."

"LET ME TEMPER THESE negative assertions by making it clear that, while virtually none of the available information about Jesus is certifiable as historic fact, there can be no doubt that he did live, did enlist a group of disciples, preached through much of Palestine, said most the things attributed to him, stirred widespread interest among the Jews of the area, kindled animosity - especially among the religious hierarchy - was arrested by Roman soldiers and was, after a brief and farcical trial, cruelly put to death by crucifixion on a Roman cross."

"...it is not possible to believe that Jesus was resurrected. Apart from Gospels there is no evidence that he was. And a careful examination of the Gospel accounts makes it evident that they are mutually contradictory, lack authenticity, and are in large part of the nature of legends."




Suggested Reading:





  1. Alan Watts
  2. Bible
  3. Buddhist chants and songs
  4. Boulder Shambhala Meditation Center
  5. Cancer
  6. Church of the Flying Spagehtti Monster
  7. Circle Sanctuary
  8. Creation Theories
  9. Death
  10. Deep Ecology
  11. Fundamental Buddhism
  12. KTTG Stupa
  1. Life
  2. Memorials
  3. Prayer
  4. Proselytizing
  5. Religion
  6. Roger's Rules of Order
  7. Spirituality
  8. Sanctuary House Crestone, Colorado
  9. Sarlo's Guru Rating Service
  10. There is No God
  11. Why Won't God Heal Amputees?
  12. Writing by me...




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