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Title: The Bible - I. Authenticity II. Credibility III. Morality
Author: Remsburg, John E.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bible - I. Authenticity II. Credibility III. Morality" ***

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                               THE BIBLE

                      I. AUTHENTICITY
                            II. CREDIBILITY
                                   III. MORALITY

                            JOHN E. REMSBURG

         "Somebody ought to tell the truth about the Bible."

                                New York
                        THE TRUTH SEEKER COMPANY
                            62 Vesey Street

                              In memory of
                            Sarah A. Bruner.


In January, 1901, the following announcement appeared in The Truth
Seeker, of New York:

    To the Readers of The Truth Seeker: Two years ago that able
    and sagacious Liberal leader, L. K. Washburn, wrote: "The next
    great moral revolution of the world will be a crusade against
    the Christian Bible." The church expects this and is preparing
    for it. In an address before the Methodist ministers of Chicago,
    the Rev. Dr. Curry, a distinguished Methodist divine, said: "We are
    standing on the eve of the most stupendous revolution in reference
    to the doctrines of the Bible that the church has ever known." In
    this long war with bibliolaters the younger readers of The Truth
    Seeker will take a prominent part. To call their attention to the
    impending struggle, and to aid in a small way in fitting them for
    it, the editor of The Truth Seeker has invited me to open a sort
    of Bible school in his paper. For nearly a quarter of a century I
    have been writing and lecturing and debating against the divinity
    of the Bible. My opposition from the trained defenders of the
    book has been at times both keen and bitter. I was compelled to
    become and remain a diligent student of the Bible and of Biblical
    criticism. As far as possible I collected all of the damaging facts
    obtainable. I digested and classified them and filed them away
    in the labeled pigeon-holes of my brain for use when needed. I am
    growing old. My hair which was black when I began my work will soon
    be white. I have at the most but a few more years to labor. This
    arsenal of facts which I have gathered and the arguments that
    I have formulated from them I wish to place within the reach of
    others. Whether the thought be a Spiritualistic assurance or an
    Irish bull, it will be a pleasure to me when I am dead to know
    that I am still of some service to the cause.

    In the next issue of The Truth Seeker I shall begin a series
    of some thirty lessons or chapters on "The Bible." The chief
    purpose of the work will be to combat the dogmas of the divine
    origin and infallibility of the Christian Bible. The points of
    attack will be three: 1. Its Authenticity; 2. Its Credibility;
    3. Its Morality. I shall endeavor to disprove in a large degree
    the authenticity of its books, the credibility of its statements,
    and the morality of its teachings.

        John E. Remsburg.

These chapters were published in weekly installments in The Truth
Seeker, their publication extending through a period of twenty
months. The matter was electrotyped as published and the work will now
be given to the public in book form. To those interested in Biblical
criticism, and especially to the Freethought propagandist and to the
Christian investigator, it is hoped that its contents may be useful.

The facts presented in this volume, while known to many Christian
scholars, are, as far as possible, kept from the lower orders of the
clergy and from the laity. Divines enjoying high honors and large
salaries may be cognizant of them without endangering their faith;
but the humbler ministers who receive small pay, and the laity who
support the church, are liable to have their faith impaired by a
knowledge of them.

In Part II., devoted to the Credibility of the Bible, less space is
given to the errors of the New Testament than to those of the Old
Testament. This is not because the New contains less errors than
the Old, but because the author has prepared another volume on this
subject. In "The Christ," a sequel to "The Bible," a more exhaustive
exposition of the errors of the New Testament, particularly of the
Four Gospels, is given.

While denying the infallibility of the writers of the Bible the author
is not unconscious of his own fallibility.




Chapter I.

Sacred Books of the World,     5

Chapter II.

The Christian Bible,     12

Chapter III.

Formation of the Canon,     21

Chapter IV.

Different Versions of the Bible,     39

Chapter V.

Authorship and Dates,     45

Chapter VI.

The Pentateuch,     50

Chapter VII.

The Prophets,     76

Chapter VIII.

The Hagiographa,     94

Chapter IX.

The Four Gospels,     108

Chapter X.

Acts, Catholic Epistles, and Revelation,     140

Chapter XI.

Pauline Epistles,     152



Chapter XII.

Textual Errors,     163

Chapter XIII.

Two Cosmogonies of Genesis,     181

Chapter XIV.

The Patriarchal Age,     188

Chapter XV.

The Jewish Kings,     198

Chapter XVI.

When Did Jehoshaphat Die?     210

Chapter XVII.

Inspired Numbers,     231

Chapter XVIII.

Harmony of the Gospels,     238

Chapter XIX.

Paul and the Apostles,           247

Chapter XX.

The Bible and History,           260

Chapter XXI.

The Bible and Science,           271

Chapter XXII.

Prophecies,                      293

Chapter XXIII.

Miracles,                         306

Chapter XXIV.

The Bible God,                    317



Chapter XXV.

The Bible Not a Moral Guide,       329

Chapter XXVI.

Lying--Cheating--Stealing,         339

Chapter XXVII.

Murder--War,                       351

Chapter XXVIII.

Human Sacrifices--Cannibalism--Witchcraft       361

Chapter XXIX.

Slavery--Polygamy,         374

Chapter XXX.

Adultery--Obscenity         388

Chapter XXXI.

Intemperance--Vagrancy--Ignorance,        394

Chapter XXXII.

Injustice to Women--Unkindness to Children--Cruelty to Animals,

Chapter XXXIII.

Tyranny--Intolerance,                   415

Chapter XXXIV.

Conclusion,                           423


Arguments Against the Divine Origin and in Support of the Human Origin
of the Bible,                      433

Index,               463





Asia has been the fruitful source of religions and Bibles. The seven
great religions of the world, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Confucianism,
Zoroastrianism, Mohammedanism, Judaism, and Christianity--all had
their birth in Asia; and the so-called sacred books which are used to
uphold and propagate these faiths were nearly all written by Asiatic
priests and prophets. A brief description of the most important of
these books will be presented in this chapter.

Sacred Books of India.

Vedas.--The Vedas are the oldest Bibles in the world. There are
four of them, the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, and the
Atharvaveda. Devout Hindoos believe that these books have always
existed--that they are co-eternal with God. Scholars agree that they
are very old, that the Rigveda, the oldest of the four, and one of
the oldest books extant, was composed between 3,000 and 4,000 years
ago. Each Veda is complete in itself, and consists of religious
teachings, prayers, and hymns.

Puranas.--The Vedas and Puranas are the most important of the
sacred books of the Hindoos. The Puranas, more than any other works,
have contributed to mould the doctrines of the popular Brahmanical
religion of India. They are eighteen in number, of which the Bhagavata,
containing a history of Chrisna, is the one best known.

Tripitaka.--This is the Buddhist Bible. It was compiled 300 years
before the Christian era. Self conquest and universal charity are
its fundamental teachings.

Upanishads.--These are sacred books which treat of the Creation, of
the Supreme Being or Spirit, Brahma, and of the nature of the human
soul and its relation to Brahma.

Tantras.--The Tantras are sacred books relating chiefly to the
God Siva.

Ramayana.--The Ramayana is one of the great epic poems of the world. It
gives the history of Rama, one of the incarnations of the God Vishnu.

Mahabharata.--This is another epic poem, a larger one, containing
more than 100,000 verses. Like the Ramayana, it is believed to be of
divine origin. It has been described as "the great manual of all that
is moral, useful, and agreeable."

Institutes of Menu.--Menu is regarded as the law-giver of the Hindoos,
as Moses is of the Jews. The Institutes of Menu are in many respects
similar to the so-called laws of Moses.

Sacred Books of China.

Yih King.--This book contains a cosmological treatise and a compendium
on morals. It was written 1143 B.C.

Shu King.--This contains the teachings and maxims of certain ancient
Chinese kings. There are documents in it over 4,000 years old.

Shi King.--This is the Chinese hymn book. It contains three hundred
sacred songs and poems, some of which are very old.

Le King.--The Le King is a text book on manners, customs, and
ceremonies. It has been one of the chief agents in moulding the social
and religious life of China.

Chun Tsien.--The Chun Tsien is a historical work compiled by
Confucius. It gives a record of his own times and those immediately
preceding him.

The above books, called the Five Kings, are the canonical books of
Confucianism, the religion of the educated classes of China. With
the exceptions noted, they were mostly written or compiled about
500 B.C. They are considered sacred by the Chinese, but not, like
other sacred books, a revelation from God. Confucius recognized no
God. His religion is preeminently the religion of this world, and
is thus summed up by him: "The observance of the three fundamental
laws of relation between sovereign and subject, father and child,
husband and wife, and the five capital virtues--universal charity,
impartial justice, conformity to ceremonies and established usages,
rectitude of heart and mind, and pure sincerity."

Sacred Books of Persia.

Zend Avesta.--This is one of the most important of all the Bibles of
the world, although the religion which it teaches numbers but a few
adherents. It was written by Zoroaster and his disciples about 3,000
years ago. It was an enormous work in size, covering, it is said,
12,000 parchments. The Zend Avesta proper consisted of twenty-one
books. All of these, save one and some fragments of the others,
have perished. They dealt chiefly with religion, but touched upon
almost every subject of interest to mankind. They were believed to
be a faithful record of the words spoken to the great prophet by God
himself. Both Jews and Christians borrowed much from the Zend Avesta.

Sadder.--The Sadder is the Bible of the modern Parsees, and contains,
in an abridged form, the religious teachings of Zoroaster.

Sacred Books of Islam.

Koran.--The Mohammedans believe that divine revelations were given
to Adam, Seth, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and Mohammed,
and that each successive revelation in a measure superseded the
preceding one. The books given to Adam, Seth, Enoch, and Abraham
have been lost. The Pentateuch, the Psalms, and the Four Gospels
are accepted by them, but the interpolations and corruptions of Jews
and Christians, they claim, have greatly impaired their value. The
Koran is with them the book of books--God's last and best revelation
to man. It was written in rays of light on a tablet before the throne
of God. A copy bound in white silk and bedecked with gems was carried
by Gabriel to the lowest heaven, where from time to time, during a
period of twenty years, portions of it were transmitted to Mohammed
until the whole was given to the world. The book is divided into
114 chapters. It is elegant in style, and, like most other Bibles,
contains, along with a great deal that is fabulous and puerile,
some admirable moral teachings.

Sunna.--The Sunna is a large work containing many thousand legends
of Mohammed. It is a sacred book, but of less authority than the Koran.

Sacred Books of the Jews.

Torah.--The Book of the Law, now commonly called the Pentateuch,
is the most sacred of all Jewish books. Jews as well as Christians
believe that it was written by Moses and dictated by God. It was not
divided into five books as we have it. In the oldest Hebrew manuscripts
the entire work forms but one book. It was subsequently divided into
parshiyoth, or chapters, and these into sedarim, or sections.

Nebiim.--The Law and the Prophets were the chief authorities of the
Jews. The books of the Prophets, called Nebiim, were believed by
the orthodox Jews to be divinely inspired, but were esteemed of less
importance than the Torah.

Cethubim.--This collection of writings comprised the hymns, poems,
and other books now known as the Hagiographa.

Talmud.--The Talmud, while not regarded as a divine revelation, like
the Law and the Prophets, is in some respects the most important of
Jewish works. It is almost a library in itself, and constitutes a vast
storehouse of information pertaining to Jewish history and theology.

Sacred Book of Christians.

Holy Bible.--The Christian Bible consists of two collections of small
books, one called the Old Testament, the other the New Testament. The
Old Testament comprises the Torah, Nebiim, and Cethubim of the Jews. It
is divided into 39 books (including the Apocryphal books accepted by
the Greek and Roman Catholic churches, about 50). The New Testament
is a collection of 27 early Christian writings, which originally
appeared in the various churches of Asia, Africa and Europe.

The Bible is but one of many books for which divinity is
claimed. Christians deny the divinity of the other books, however,
and affirm that they are of human origin--that their book is God's
only revelation to mankind. The orthodox claim respecting its divinity
is expressed in the following words:

"Behind the human authors stood the divine Spirit, controlling,
guiding, and suggesting every part of their different messages"



The title Bible, from Ta Biblia, meaning The Book, or more properly
The Books, was given to the sacred book of Christians, it is claimed,
by Chrysostom in the fifth century.

For a period of one hundred and fifty years the sacred books of the
Jews alone constituted the Christian Bible. They consisted of the
following three collections of books which form the

    Old Testament.

    The Law.


    The Prophets.

    1 Samuel,
    2 Samuel,
    1 Kings,
    2 Kings,


    Song of Solomon,
    1 Chronicles,
    2 Chronicles.

To the above thirty-nine books of the Old Testament were subsequently
added the following twenty-seven books of the

    New Testament.

    1 Corinthians,
    2 Corinthians,
    1 Thessalonians,
    2 Thessalonians,
    1 Timothy,
    2 Timothy,
    1 Peter,
    2 Peter,
    1 John,
    2 John,
    3 John,

The books of the Old Testament were called The Scripture, or
Scriptures, by early Christians. After the books of the New Testament
were recognized as canonical and inspired, the terms Old and New
Testaments were employed to distinguish the two divisions. Tertullian,
at the beginning of the third century, was the first to use the term
New Testament.

The proper arrangement of the books of the Old Testament is in
the order named in the foregoing list. Both Jews and Christians,
however, have varied the order. The books of the Hagiographa, with the
exceptions of Ruth which follows Judges, Lamentations which follows
Jeremiah, and Daniel which appears among the Prophets, have been placed
between the Earlier and Later Prophets. In later Jewish versions
the Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther,
called the five rolls, come immediately after the Pentateuch. In the
Christian Bibles of the Eastern churches, including the two most noted
ancient manuscripts, the Vatican and Alexandrian, the seven Catholic
Epistles, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude,
follow Acts and precede the Pauline Epistles.

In the accepted Hebrew the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament
formed but twenty-two, corresponding to the twenty-two letters of the
Hebrew alphabet. Judges and Ruth formed one book, First and Second
Samuel one, First and Second Kings one, First and Second Chronicles
one, Ezra and Nehemiah one, Jeremiah and Lamentations one, and the
twelve Minor Prophets one.

The books of the Pentateuch (Pente, five; teuchos, volume) now bear
the Greek names given them by the Septuagint translators, with the
exception of the fourth, Arithmoi, which is called by the English name,
Numbers. The Hebrew names for these, as well as many other books of the
Old Testament, are the initial words of the books. The name of Genesis,
as translated, is "In the Beginning;" Exodus, "These Are the Words;"
Leviticus, "And He Called;" Numbers, "And He Spake;" Deuteronomy,
"These Are the Words." Joshua originally belonged to this collection,
and to the six books modern scholars have given the name Hexateuch.

About one-half of the books of the Bible, Joshua, Isaiah, Matthew,
etc., are named after their alleged authors. A few, like Ruth and
Esther, take their names from the leading characters of the books. The
Pauline Epistles bear the names of the churches, people, or persons
to whom they are addressed. The titles of Judges, Kings, Chronicles,
Psalms, Proverbs, and a few others, indicate the subjects of the books.

The division of the books of the Bible into chapters was made in
the thirteenth century; the division into verses, in the sixteenth
century. These divisions are to a great extent mechanical rather
than logical. Paragraphs are frequently divided in the formation of
chapters, and sentences in the formation of verses.

Canonical and Apocryphal Books of the Old and New Testaments.

In addition to the canonical books of the Bible, there are many Jewish
and Christian books known as the Apocryphal books of the Old and New
Testaments. A critical review of the Bible demands a consideration of
the apocryphal as well as the canonical books, and the subject will
be made more intelligible to the reader by giving a list of both. In
making a classification of them they will be divided into ten groups,
as follows:


Books accepted as canonical and divine by all Jews and Christians.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.


Books accepted as canonical and divine by a part of the Jews and by
all Christians.

Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk,
Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.


Books accepted by a part of the Jews as canonical, but not divine;
by most Christians as canonical and divine.

Ruth, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms,
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Daniel.


Books accepted as canonical by some Jews, and for most part by the
Greek and Roman Catholic churches, but rejected by the Protestants.

Baruch, Tobit, Judith, Book of Wisdom, Song of the Three Children,
History of Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasseh,
Ecclesiasticus, 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3
Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, 5 Maccabees.


Lost books cited by writers of the Bible.

Book of the Wars of the Lord, Book of Jasher, Book of the Covenant,
Book of Nathan, Book of Gad, Book of Samuel, Prophecy of Ahijah,
Visions of Iddo, Acts of Uzziah, Acts of Solomon, Three Thousand
Proverbs of Solomon, A Thousand and Five Songs of Solomon, Chronicles
of the Kings of Judah, Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, Book of Jehu,
Book of Enoch.


Books which formed the original canon of the New Testament and which
have always been accepted by Christians.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians,
Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians,
2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 1 John.


Books which are now generally accepted by Christians, but which were
for a time rejected.

Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.


Books now excluded from the canon, but which are found in some of
the older manuscripts of the New Testament.

Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas, 1 Clement, 2 Clement, Paul's
Epistle to Laodiceans, Apostolic Constitutions.


Other Apocryphal books of the New Testament which are extant.

Gospel of the Infancy, Protevangelion of James, Acts of Pilate,
Nativity of Mary, Fifteen Epistles of Ignatius, Epistle of Polycarp,
Gospel of Marcion (in part), Clementine Recognitions, Clementine


Apocryphal books of the New Testament which are lost.

Oracles of Christ, Gospel According to the Hebrews, Gospel According
to the Egyptians, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Paul, Gospel of Philip,
Gospel of Matthias, Gospel of Andrew, Gospel of Perfection, Gospel of
Tatian, Gospel of Basilides, Gospel of Apelles, Gospel of Cerinthus,
Gospel of Bartholomew, Acts of Paul, Acts of Peter, Revelation of Paul,
Revelation of Peter, Preaching of Peter, Memoirs of the Apostles.

Here is a list of one hundred and fifty books. In the apocryphal
groups have been included only the most important of this class. To
these might be added at least one hundred other apocryphal books of
the Old and New Testaments. Of these two hundred and fifty Jewish and
Christian writings, sixty-six--about one-fourth--have been declared
canonical and divine by Protestants.

In the mind of the devout Protestant there is as great a difference
between the canonical and apocryphal books of the Old and New
Testaments as there is between light and darkness. The former he
regards as the work of a wise and good God, the latter, with a
few exceptions, as the work of ignorant and wicked men. And yet
there is no such difference. The two classes are of much the same
character. The worst canonical books are, perhaps, better than the
worst apocryphal books; while, on the other hand, the best apocryphal
books, if not equal to the best canonical books, are far superior to
a majority of them. Circumstances rather than merit determined the
fate of these books. Books of real merit and of high authority in some
of the early churches were cast aside because these churches either
ceased to exist or changed their creeds; while books of little merit
survived as authorities because their teachings supported the doctrines
which survived. The religion of the primitive churches underwent many
radical changes. The Christianity of the second century was not the
Christianity of the first. Books teaching the new theology superseded
those which taught the old; and thus the earlier writings became
obsolete. Of all the Christian books written prior to the middle of the
second century only a few epistles have been retained as authorities.



Second in interest and importance only to the origin of the individual
books composing the Bible are the facts relating to the manner in
which these books were collected into one great volume and declared
canonical or authoritative. The formation of the canon required
centuries of time to complete.

The Jewish Canon.

The Jewish canon, it is claimed, was chiefly the work of Ezra,
completed by Nehemiah. "All antiquity," says Dr. Adam Clarke, "is
nearly unanimous in giving Ezra the honor of collecting the different
writings of Moses and the prophets and reducing them into the form
in which they are now found in the Bible."

This opinion, shared alike by Jews and Christians, is simply a
tradition. There is no conclusive evidence that Ezra founded the canon
of the Old Testament. Nehemiah could not have completed it, because
a part of the books were written after his time. There is no proof
that all the books of the Old Testament existed in a collected form
before the beginning of the Christian era. There is no proof that even
the Law and the Prophets existed in such a form before the Maccabean
period. The Rev. Frederick Myers, an able authority on the Bible,
makes this candid admission: "By whom the books of the Old Testament
were collected into one volume, and by what authority made canonical,
we do not know" ("Catholic Thoughts on the Bible," p. 56).

Another prevalent belief is that all of the Jewish scriptures were
lost during the captivity, and that Ezra was divinely inspired to
rewrite them. Irenæus says: "God ... inspired Esdras, the priest of
the tribe of Levi, to compose anew all the discourses of the ancient
prophets, and to restore to the people the laws given them by Moses"
("Ecclesiastical History," Book V., chap. viii).

This is a myth. The books of the Old Testament which were written
before the captivity were not lost. Many books, it is true, were
written after the captivity, but these books were not reproductions
of lost writings. They were original compositions, or compilations
of documents which had not been lost.

If Ezra was inspired, as claimed, to rewrite the Hebrew scriptures,
he did not complete his task, for the books that were really lost have
never been restored, and the Old Testament is but a part of the Hebrew
scriptures that once existed. St. Chrysostom says: "The Jews having
been at some time careless, and at others profane, they suffered some
of the sacred books to be lost through their carelessness, and have
burnt and destroyed others." The list of books given in the preceding
chapter, under the head of "Lost Books cited by writers of the Bible,"
would nearly all be deemed canonical were they extant. Referring to
these books, the Rev. Dr. Campbell, in his "Introduction to Matthew,"
says: "The Book of the Wars of the Lord, the Book of Jasher, the
Book of Nathan the Prophet, the Book of Gad the Seer, and several
others, are referred to in the Old Testament, manifestly as of
equal authority with the book which refers to them, and as fuller in
point of information. Yet these are to all appearances irrecoverably
lost." God's revelation in its entirety, then, no longer exists.

The ten Hebrew tribes which formed the kingdom of Israel, and whose
remnants were afterwards called Samaritans, accepted only the first
six books of the Old Testament. The other Jews generally accepted the
Pentateuch and the Prophets, and, in a less degree, the Hagiographa
as canonical. Some of them also attached more or less importance to
the Apocryphal books.

The Christian Canon.

Respecting the formation of the New Testament canon, the
Rev. Dr. Roswell D. Hitchcock says:

"The new book of records was, like the old, set down by eye-witnesses
of and actors in its scenes, closely after their occurrence;
its successive portions were cautiously scrutinized and clearly
distinguished as entitled to reception; when the record, properly
so-called, was completed, the new canon was closed" ("Analysis of
the Bible," p. 1149).

"This process was rapid and decisive; it had in all probability
become substantially complete before the death of John, the last of
the apostles" (Ibid, p. 1158).

That these statements, popularly supposed to be true, are wholly untrue
will be demonstrated by the facts presented in this and succeeding
chapters. The Christian canon was not completed before the death of
the last apostle. The New Testament did not exist in the time of the
apostles. It did not exist in the time of the Apostolic Fathers. It
was not in existence in the middle of the second century.

There was no New Testament in the time of Papias. Dr. Samuel Davidson,
the highest Christian authority on the canon, says: "Papias (150
A.D.) knew nothing, so far as we can learn, of a New Testament canon"
("Canon of the Bible," p. 123).

Justin Martyr knew nothing of a New Testament canon. I quote again
from Dr. Davidson: "Justin Martyr's canon (150 A.D.), so far as
divine authority and inspiration are concerned, was the Old Testament"
(Ibid, p. 129).

For nearly two centuries after the beginning of the Christian era,
the Old Testament--the Old Testament alone--constituted the Christian
canon. No other books were called scripture; no other books were
considered inspired; no other books were deemed canonical.

Founding of the Canon.

To Irenæus, more than to any other man, belongs the credit of founding
the Roman Catholic church; and to him also belongs the credit of
founding the New Testament canon, which is a Roman Catholic work. No
collection of books corresponding to our New Testament existed before
the time of Irenæus. He was the first to make such a collection,
and he was the first to claim inspiration and divine authority for
its books. Dr. Davidson says:

"The conception of canonicity and inspiration attaching to New
Testament books did not exist till the time of Irenæus" ("Canon,"
p. 163).

At the close of the second century the Christian world was divided
into a hundred different sects. Irenæus and others conceived the plan
of uniting these sects, or the more orthodox of them, into one great
Catholic church, with Rome at the head; for Rome was at this time the
largest and most influential of all the Christian churches. "It is a
matter of necessity," says Irenæus, "that every church should agree
with this church on account of its preeminent authority" ("Heresies,"
Book 3).

In connection with this work Irenæus made a collection of books for
use in the church. His collection comprised the following: Matthew,
Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, First Corinthians, Second Corinthians,
Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First Thessalonians,
Second Thessalonians, First Timothy, Second Timothy, Titus, Philemon,
First John, and Revelation--twenty books in all.

In the work of establishing the Roman Catholic church and the New
Testament canon Irenæus was succeeded, early in the third century, by
Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria. They adopted the list of books
made by him. The books adopted by these Fathers were selected from a
large number of Christian writings then extant--forty or more gospels,
nearly as many Acts of Apostles, a score of Revelations, and a hundred
epistles. Each church had one or more books which were used in that
church. No divine authority, however, was ascribed to any of them.

Why did the Fathers choose these particular books? Above all,
why did they choose four gospels instead of one? We never see four
biographies of Washington, of Cromwell, or of Napoleon, bound in
one volume; yet here we have four different biographies of Jesus in
one book. Irenæus says it is because "there are four quarters of
the earth in which we live, and four universal winds." Instead of
this artificial reason he could have given a natural, a rational,
and a truthful reason. While primitive Christians, as we have seen,
were divided into many sects, the principal sects may be grouped into
three divisions: 1. The Petrine churches, comprising the church of
Rome and other churches which recognized Peter as the chief of the
apostles and the visible head of the church on earth; 2. The Pauline
sects, which accepted Paul as the true exponent of Christianity;
3. The Johannine or Eastern churches, which regarded John as their
founder. A collection of books to be acceptable to all of these
churches must contain the favorite books of each. The First Gospel,
written about the time this church union movement was inaugurated,
was adopted by the Petrine churches. The Second Gospel was also
highly valued by the church of Rome. The Third Gospel, a revised and
enlarged edition of the Pauline Gospel of Marcion, had become the
standard authority of Pauline Christians. The Fourth Gospel, which
had superseded other and older gospels, was generally read in the
Johannine churches. The Acts of the Apostles, written for the purpose
of healing the dissensions that had arisen between the followers of
Peter and Paul, was acceptable to both Petrines and Paulines. The
Epistles of Paul were of course received by the Pauline churches,
while the First Epistle of John was generally received by the Eastern
churches. The collection would not be complete without a Revelation,
and the Revelation of John was selected.

The work instituted by Irenæus was successful. The three divisions of
Christendom were united, and the Catholic church was established. But
this cementing, although it held for centuries, did not last, as was
hoped, for all time. The seams gave way, the divisions separated,
and to-day stand out as distinctly as they did in the second century;
the Roman Catholic church representing the Petrine, the Greek church
the Johannine, and the Protestant churches to a great extent the
Pauline Christians of that early age. But while the church separated,
each retained all of the sixty-six canonical books, save Revelation,
which for a time was rejected by the Greek church.

The New Testament originally contained but twenty books. To First
Peter, Second John, and the Shepherd of Hermas Irenæus attached some
importance, but did not place them in his canon. Hebrews, James,
Second Peter, Third John, and Jude he ignored. Tertullian placed in an
appendix Hebrews, First Peter, Second John, Jude, and the Shepherd of
Hermas. Clement of Alexandria classed as having inferior authority,
Hebrews, Second John, Jude, First and Second Epistles of Clement
(of Rome), Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, and Revelation
of Peter.

Regarding the competency of the founders of the New Testament canon,
Davidson says:

"Of the three fathers who contributed most to its early growth, Irenæus
was credulous and blundering, Tertullian passionate and one-sided,
and Clement of Alexandria, imbued with the treasures of Greek wisdom,
was mainly occupied with ecclesiastical ethics" (Canon, p. 155).

"The three Fathers of whom we are speaking had neither the ability nor
the inclination to examine the genesis of documents surrounded with
an apostolic halo. No analysis of their authenticity was seriously
contemplated" (Ibid, p. 156).

Completion of the Canon.

The Christian canon, including the New Testament canon, assumed
something like its present form under the labors of Augustine and
Jerome toward the close of the fourth century. St. Augustine's canon
contained all of the books now contained in the Old and New Testaments,
excepting Lamentations, which was excluded. It contained, in addition
to these, the apocryphal pieces belonging to Daniel, and the books of
Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and First and Second Maccabees.

St. Jerome's canon contained Lamentations, which Augustine's canon
excluded, and omitted Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and First
and Second Maccabees, which Augustine's included. Roman Catholics
accept the canon of Augustine, including Lamentations; Protestants,
generally, accept the canon of Jerome.

While Jerome included in his canon all the books of the New Testament,
he admitted that Philemon, Hebrews, Second Peter, Second and Third
John, Jude, and Revelation were of doubtful authority.

Referring to the work of Augustine and Jerome, Davidson, says:
"Both were unfitted for the critical examination of such a topic"
(Canon, p. 200).

Christian Councils.

Many believe that the Council of Nice, held in 325 A.D., determined
what books should constitute the Bible. This council did not determine
the canon. So far as is known, the first church council which acted
upon this question was the Synod of Laodicea which met in 365. This
council rejected the Apocryphal books contained in Augustine's
list, but admitted Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah. It excluded

Various councils, following this, adopted canonical lists. One council
would admit certain books and the next council would reject them. The
third council of Carthage in 397 adopted the list of Augustine which
admitted the Apocryphal books and Revelation and rejected Lamentations.

The actions of none of these councils were unanimous or decisive. The
list of books adopted was adopted simply by a majority vote. A
large minority of every council refused to accept the list of the
majority. Some advocated the admission of books that were rejected;
others opposed the admission of books that were accepted. As late as
the seventh century (629), at the sixth Council of Constantinople,
many different canonical lists were presented for ratification.

The damaging facts that I have adduced concerning the formation of
the Christian canon are admitted in a large degree by one of the
most orthodox of authorities, McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopedia of
Biblical and Ecclesiastical Literature." Dr. McClintock says:

"The New Testament canon presents a remarkable analogy to the canon of
the Old Testament. The beginnings of both are obscure.... The history
of the canon may be divided into three periods. The first, extending
to 170, includes the era of circulation and gradual collection of
the apostolic writings. The second is closed in 303, separating the
sacred from other ecclesiastical writings. The third may be defined
by the third Council of Carthage, 397 A.D., in which a catalogue
of the books of the Scriptures was formally ratified by conciliar
authority. The first is characteristically a period of tradition, the
second of speculation, and the third of authority, and we may trace the
features of the successive ages in the course of the history of the
canon. But however all this may have been, the complete canon of the
New Testament, as we now have it, was ratified by the third Council
of Carthage, 397 A.D., from which time it was generally accepted by
the Latin church, some of the books remaining in doubt and disputed."

Concerning the work of these councils, William Penn writes as follows:

"I say how do they know that these men discerned true from
spurious? Now, sure it is, that some of the Scriptures taken in by
one council were rejected by another for apocryphal, and that which
was left out by the former for apocryphal was taken in by the latter
for canonical" (Penn's Works, Vol. I., p. 302).

In regard to the character of these councils, Dean Milman writes:

"It might have been supposed that nowhere would Christianity appear
in such commanding majesty as in a council.... History shows the
melancholy reverse. Nowhere is Christianity less attractive, and
if we look to the ordinary tone and character of the proceedings,
less authoritative, than in the councils of the church. It is in
general a fierce collision of two rival factions, neither of which
will yield, each of which is solemnly pledged against conviction"
(History of Latin Christianity, Vol. I., p. 226).

The Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, and Protestant canons, no two of
which are alike, were fixed by modern councils. The Council of Trent
(1545-1563) determined the Roman Catholic canon. While a majority
were in favor of the canon of Augustine they were not agreed in
regard to the character and classification of the books. There were
four parties. The first advocated two divisions of the books, one to
comprise the acknowledged books, the other the disputed books. The
second party proposed three divisions--the acknowledged books, the
disputed books of the New Testament, and the Apocryphal books of the
Old Testament. The third party desired the list of books to be named
without determining their authority. The fourth party demanded that
all the books, acknowledged, disputed, and apocryphal, be declared
canonical. This party triumphed.

At a council of the Greek church held in Jerusalem in 1672, this
church, which had always refused to accept Revelation, finally placed
it in the canon. The Greek canon contains several apocryphal books
not contained in the Roman Catholic canon.

Both divisions of the Protestant church, German and English, declared
against the authority of the Apocryphal books. The Westminster Assembly
(1647) formally adopted the list of books contained in our Authorized
Version of the Bible.

Ancient Christian Scholars.

Most Christians believe that all of the books of the Bible, and
only the books of the Bible, have been accepted as canonical by all
Christians. And yet, how far from this is the truth! In every age of
the church there have been Christians, eminent for their piety and
learning, who either rejected some of these books, or who accepted
as canonical books not contained in the Bible.

Not one of the five men who contributed most to form the canon,
Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement, Jerome, and Augustine, accepted all of
these books.

Late in the second century Melito, Bishop of Sardis, a contemporary
of Irenæus, was deputed to make a list of the books belonging to the
Old Testament. His list omitted Esther and Lamentations.

The Muratori canon, which is supposed to belong to the third century,
omitted Hebrews, James, First and Second Peter, and Third John. The
Apostolic canon omitted Revelation, and included First and Second
Clement and the Apostolic Constitutions.

Of Origen, the great Christian Father of the third century, "Chambers'
Encyclopedia" says: "Origen doubted the authority of the Epistle
to the Hebrews, of the Epistle of James, of Jude, of the Second of
Peter, and the Second and Third of John; while, at the same time, he
was disposed to recognize as canonical certain apocryphal scriptures,
such as those of Hermas and Barnabas." In addition to the apocryphal
books named, Origen also accepted as authoritative the Gospel of the
Hebrews, Gospel of the Egyptians, Acts of Paul, and Preaching of Peter.

The Rev. Jeremiah Jones, a leading authority on the canon, says:
"Justin Martyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian, and the rest of
the primitive writers were wont to approve and cite books which now
all men know to be apocryphal" (Canon, p. 4).

Theodoret says that as late as the fifth century many churches used the
Gospel of Tatian instead of the canonical Gospels. Gregory the Great,
at the beginning of the seventh, and Alfric, at the close of the
tenth century, accepted as canonical Paul's Epistle to the Laodiceans.

Early in the fourth century the celebrated church historian,
Eusebius, gave a list of the acknowledged and disputed books of the
New Testament. The disputed books--books which some accepted and
others rejected--were Hebrews, James, Second and Third John, Jude,
Revelation, Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas, Acts of Paul,
and Revelation of Peter.

Athanasius rejected Esther, and Epiphanius accepted the Epistle
of Jeremiah. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, and Gregory, Bishop of
Constantinople, both rejected Revelation.

Chrysostom, one of the greatest of church divines, and, who gave to
the sacred book of Christians its name, omitted ten books from his
canon--First and Second Chronicles, Esther, Job, and Lamentations,
five books in the Old Testament; and Second Peter, Second and Third
John, Jude, and Revelation, five books in the New Testament.

Protestant Scholars.

Many Protestant scholars have questioned or denied the correctness
of the Protestant canon. Calvin doubted Second and Third John
and Revelation. Erasmus doubted Hebrews, Second and Third John,
and Revelation. Zwingle and Beza rejected Revelation. Dr. Lardner
questioned the authority of Hebrews, James, Second Peter, Second
and Third John, Jude and Revelation. Evanson rejected Matthew, Mark,
Luke, and nearly half of the Epistles. Schleiermacher rejected First
Timothy. Scaliger rejected Second Peter. Davidson thinks that Esther
should be excluded from the canon. Eichorn rejected Daniel and Jonah
in the Old Testament, and Second Timothy and Titus in the New.

Dr. Whiston excluded the Song of Solomon, and accepted as canonical
more than twenty books not found in the Bible. He says: "Can anyone be
so weak as to imagine Mark, and Luke, and James, and Jude, who were
none of them more than companions of the Apostles, to be our sacred
and unerring guides, while Barnabas, Thaddeus, Clement, Timothy,
Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp, who were equally companions of the
same Apostles, to be of no authority at all?" (Exact Time, p. 28).

The Rev. James Martineau, of England, says: "If we could recover
the Gospel of the Hebrews, and that of the Egyptians, it would be
difficult to give a reason why they should not form a part of the
New Testament; and an epistle by Clement, the fellow laborer of Paul,
which has as good a claim to stand there as the Epistle to the Hebrews,
or the Gospel of Luke" (Rationale of Religious Enquiry).

Archbishop Wake pronounces the writings of the Apostolic Fathers
"inspired," and says that they contain "an authoritative declaration
of the Gospel of Christ" (Apostolic Fathers).

The church of Latter Day Saints, numbering one half million adherents,
and including some able Bible scholars, believe that the modern Book
of Mormon is a part of God's Word, equal in authority and importance
to the Pentateuch or the Four Gospels.

Martin Luther.

The greatest name in the records of the Protestant church is Martin
Luther. He is generally recognized as its founder; he is considered
one of the highest authorities on the Bible; he devoted a large
portion of his life to its study; he made a translation of it for
his people, a work which is accepted as one of the classics of German
literature. With Luther the Bible superseded the church as a divine
authority. And yet this greatest of Protestants rejected no less than
six of the sixty-six books composing the Protestant Bible.

Luther rejected the book of Esther. He says: "I am such an enemy to
the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist." In his "Bondage of
the Will," he severely criticises the book.

He rejected the book of Jonah. He says: "The history of Jonah is
so monstrous as to be absolutely incredible" (Colloquia, Chap. LX.,
Sec. 10).

He rejected Hebrews: "The Epistle to the Hebrews is not by St. Paul;
nor, indeed, by any apostle" (Standing Preface to Luther's New

He rejected the Epistle of James: "St. James' Epistle is truly an
epistle of straw" (Preface to Edition of 1524).

He rejected Jude. "The Epistle of Jude," he says, "allegeth stories
and sayings which have no place in Scripture" (Standing Preface).

He rejected Revelation. He says: "I can discover no trace that it is
established by the Holy Spirit" (Preface to Edition of 1522).



The following is a brief description of the principal versions,
translations, and manuscripts of the Bible:

Versions of the Jewish Scriptures.

Hebrew.--The greater portion of the Jewish Scriptures was written in
the ancient Hebrew language, while a smaller portion was written in
the Aramaic or Chaldaic dialect of this language. The written language
of the Hebrew contained no vowels. The meaning of many words was mere
conjecture. About one thousand years ago Jewish scholars developed a
system of vowel points and made a revision of the Hebrew Scriptures
in what is known as the Masoretic text. The early Christian versions
of the Old Testament, including that of the Roman Catholic church,
are based upon the earlier or consonantal text; the Protestant
versions are based upon the later or Masoretic text. The accepted
Hebrew versions generally omitted the Apocryphal books.

Samaritan.--The Samaritan Bible, the canonical Scriptures of the
Samaritan Israelites, contained but six books--the Pentateuch and what
is styled a corrupt version of Joshua. Some scholars believe that the
Samaritan Pentateuch is the most correct version we have of this work.

Septuagint.--The Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Jewish
Scriptures, including the Apocryphal books. We are told that about
285 b. c. seventy scholars, each in a separate cell, translated all
of these books. The translations, it is stated, were exactly alike,
a proof of divine supervision. This story is a fiction. Instead of
seventy translations of fifty books, there was one translation of five
books. The Pentateuch alone was translated at this time. The Prophets,
the Hagiographa, and the Apocrypha were translated at various times
during the succeeding three hundred years. The Septuagint was the
version used by the Hellenistic Jews and by the primitive Christians.

Ancient Christian Versions.

Peshito.--The Peshito is probably the oldest version of the Christian
Bible. It is in Aramaic, and is the Bible of Syrian Christians. It
omits Second Peter, Second and Third John, Jude, and Revelation.

Egyptian.--There were two versions of the Egyptian Bible, the Thebaic,
written in the language of Upper Egypt, and the Memphitic or Coptic,
written in the language of Lower Egypt. These versions included the
Apocrypha and excluded Revelation.

Ethiopic.--This was the Bible of Ethiopian Christians. The Old
Testament contained four divisions: 1. The Law; 2. Kings; 3. Solomon;
4. The Prophets. It also contained the Book of Enoch, a book found in
no other version. The New Testament omitted Revelation and included
the Apostolic Constitutions.

Gothic.--This version was made by a Gothic bishop in the fourth
century. It omitted four of the principal books of the Old Testament,
First and Second Samuel, and First and Second Kings.

Italic.--The Italic version was one of the earliest Latin versions
of the Bible. The New Testament contained but twenty-four books. It
omitted Hebrews, James, and Second Peter.

Vulgate.--The Vulgate, one of the most important versions of the Bible,
is the Latin version made by Jerome about the beginning of the fifth
century. It is the standard version of the Roman Catholic church. It
has undergone many revisions and consequently many changes. It now
includes the Apocryphal books which Jerome did not accept as canonical.

Ancient Manuscripts.

The three most important Greek manuscripts, those which are recognized
as the highest authorities in determining the text of the Bible,
are the Sinaitic, the Vatican, and the Alexandrian.

Sinaitic.--The Sinaitic Manuscript, now preserved in St. Petersburg,
was discovered by Dr. Tischendorf at a convent near Mount Sinai. It
is believed by many to be the oldest manuscript of the New Testament
extant, dating back, it is supposed by some, to the fourth century. It
contains twenty-nine books--the twenty-seven canonical books, the
Epistle of Barnabas, and the Shepherd of Hermas.

Vatican.--This manuscript, now in the Vatican library at Rome, belongs,
it is claimed, to the fourth century. The Old Testament contains the
Apocrypha. The New Testament is a mutilated copy, containing only
the Four Gospels, Acts, and a part of the Epistles.

Alexandrian.--The Alexandrian Manuscript, now in the British Museum,
belongs, it is said, to the fifth or sixth century. The Old Testament
includes the Apocryphal books. The New Testament includes the canonical
books, and in addition to these the First and Second Epistles of

Modern Versions.

Luther's.--The principal German version of the Bible was made by
the leader of the Protestant Reformation. On account of its superior
literary merits and its large circulation it is, next to our Authorized
Version, the most important of the Protestant versions. Luther placed
the Apocryphal books in an appendix at the end of the Old Testament,
and the books of the New Testament which he rejected in an appendix
at the end of the New.

Wicliffe's.--The translation of Wicliffe, which appeared in the latter
part of the fourteenth century, was the first English translation of
the Bible.

Tyndale's.--Tyndale commenced his English translation of the Bible
about the same time that Luther commenced his German translation. He
did not live to complete it, and a portion of the Old Testament was
translated by others.

King James.--The Authorized English Version, commonly called the
King James Bible, was published in 1611. It was made by forty-seven
English scholars, working in six companies--two at Oxford, two at
Cambridge, and two at Westminster. The basis of this version is
Tyndale's translation. The Apocryphal books, which were not accepted
as canonical by the English church, were placed in an appendix. They
are now generally omitted. The King James Bible is admittedly one
of the most incorrect versions; but dressed in the strong, quaint
English of Shakespeare's time it possesses considerable literary
merit. It has been translated into nearly every tongue, and has had
a larger circulation than all others combined.

New Version.--The new or Revised Version of the Bible is a revision
of the King James version. The revision was made by a Committee of
twenty-seven English scholars, whose work was revised by an American
committee. It was begun in 1870 and finished in 1882. In this version
the matter is divided into paragraphs instead of chapters and verses.

Douay.--The Douay Bible is an English translation of the Vulgate. It
is the standard English version of the Roman Catholic church.

The foregoing are but a few of the numerous versions of the Bible,
ancient and modern, that have appeared. Nearly every nation of Europe
has from one to a score. Luther's version is nearly 400 years old,
and yet Germany had seventeen translations, and consequently seventeen
versions, before Luther's was published. England had many versions
besides those named.



Upon the authenticity of the books of the Bible depends in a large
measure their value as authorities. These books are filled with
strange and marvelous stories. Are these stories true or false? If
true, we should accept them; if false, reject them. From whence do
these writings come?

If you hear a startling statement on the street your disposition to
accept or reject it will depend largely upon the character of its
author. If he is a reputable person you will be disposed to accept
it; if it does not come from a reputable person, or if you are unable
to discover its author, you will be disposed to reject it. Christian
priests demand the acceptance of these books as infallible truth. What
evidence do they adduce to justify this demand? Where did they obtain
these books? When were they written? Who wrote them? What is the
reputation of their authors for intelligence and veracity? Were they
learned and astute men, or were they weak and credulous men? Were
they good men, or were they bad men? If able men wrote them, may they
not have been impostors? If good men wrote them, may they not have
been mistaken?

These priests claim to have a knowledge of the authorship of all,
or nearly all, the books of the Bible. With one or two exceptions,
they have assigned authors to all the books of the Old Testament, and
to these exceptions they have even assigned "probable" authors. They
also claim a great antiquity for them--claim that they were written
from four hundred to fifteen hundred years before the Christian
era. The books of the New Testament, they affirm, were all written
in the first century, and by those whose names they bear.

The following table gives the authorship and date of composition,
according to orthodox authorities, of the books composing the
Protestant canon. It is not claimed that every book was written in
the year assigned for its composition, but that it was written in or
prior to the year assigned.

                           Old Testament.

                BOOK            AUTHOR         DATE

                Genesis         Moses          B.C. 1451
                Exodus            ,,            ,,   ,,
                Leviticus         ,,            ,,   ,,
                Numbers           ,,            ,,   ,,
                Deuteronomy       ,,            ,,   ,,
                Joshua          Joshua          ,,  1426
                Judges          Samuel          ,,  1049
                Ruth              ,, (?)        ,,   ,,
                1 Samuel          ,,            ,,   ,,
                2 Samuel        Gad & Nathan   B.C. 1016
                1 Kings         Jeremiah       ,,    600
                2 Kings            ,,          ,,    ,,
                1 Chronicles    Ezra           ,,    456
                2 Chronicles     ,,            ,,    ,,
                Ezra             ,,            ,,    ,,
                Nehemiah        Nehemiah       ,,    433
                Esther          Mordecai (?)   ,,    440
                Job             Job            ,,   1520
                Psalms          David          ,,   1020
                Proverbs        Solomon        ,,    980
                Ecclesiastes      ,,           ,,    ,,
                S. of Solomon     ,,           ,,   1016
                Isaiah          Isaiah         ,,    700
                Jeremiah        Jeremiah       ,,    585
                Lamentations      ,,           ,,    ,,
                Ezekiel         Ezekiel        ,,    575
                Daniel          Daniel         ,,    534
                Hosea           Hosea          ,,    780
                Joel            Joel           ,,    800
                Amos            Amos           ,,    785
                Obadiah         Obadiah        ,,    588
                Jonah           Jonah          ,,    856
                Micah           Micah          ,,    700
                Nahum           Nahum          ,,    698
                Habakkuk        Habakkuk       ,,    600
                Zephaniah       Zephaniah      ,,    609
                Haggai          Haggai         ,,    583
                Zechariah       Zechariah      ,,    520
                Malachi         Malachi        ,,    420

                        New Testament.

                BOOK             AUTHOR       DATE

                Matthew          Matthew      A.D. 40
                Mark             Mark          ,,  63
                Luke             Luke          ,,  ,,
                John             John         A.D. 97
                Acts             Luke          ,,  63
                Romans           Paul          ,,  57
                1 Corinthians     ,,           ,,  ,,
                2 Corinthians     ,,           ,,  ,,
                Galatians         ,,           ,,  55
                Ephesians         ,,           ,,  62
                Philippians       ,,           ,,  ,,
                Colossians        ,,           ,,  61
                1 Thessalonians   ,,           ,,  52
                2 Thessalonians   ,,           ,,  ,,
                1 Timothy         ,,           ,,  64
                2 Timothy         ,,           ,,  65
                Titus             ,,           ,,  ,,
                Philemon          ,,           ,,  61
                Hebrews           ,,           ,,  62
                James            James         ,,  ,,
                1 Peter          Peter         ,,  64
                2 Peter           ,,           ,,  ,,
                1 John           John          ,,  68
                2 John            ,,           ,,  ,,
                3 John            ,,           ,,  69
                Jude             Jude          ,,  64
                Revelation       John          ,,  96

The names and dates given in the foregoing table are, with a few
exceptions, paraded as established facts. And yet the greater portion
of them are mere assumptions, without even the shadow of proof
upon which to base them. Many of them are self-evidently false--are
contradicted by the contents of the books themselves. The authorship
of at least fifty books of the Bible--thirty in the Old Testament
and twenty in the New--is unknown.

These books are not as old as claimed. The books of the Old Testament,
instead of having been written from 1520 to 420 B.C., were probably
written from 1000 to 100 B.C. The books of the New Testament, instead
of having all been written in the first century, were, many of them,
not written until the second century.

In regard to this subject, Prof. George T. Ladd of Yale College writes:
"The authorship and date of most of the Old Testament writings, and
of some of the New Testament, will never be known with certainty"
(What Is the Bible? p. 294).

The following six chapters will be devoted to an examination of the
question of the authenticity of the books of the Bible. I shall attempt
to show that the greater portion of these books, including the most
important ones, are not authentic--were not written by the authors
claimed, nor at the time claimed; that they are anonymous documents,
written or compiled for the most part at a later age than that in
which their reputed authors are supposed to have lived.



The first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers, and Deuteronomy--collectively called the Pentateuch--are the
most important books of the Old Testament. The three great Semitic
religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism, are all, to a
great extent, based upon them.

These books, orthodox Christians affirm, were written by Moses at least
1,450 years before the Christian era. "This sacred code," says Dr. Adam
Clarke, "Moses delivered complete to the Hebrews sometime before his
death." In modern versions of the Bible, Genesis is styled the First
Book of Moses; Exodus, the Second Book of Moses; Leviticus, the Third
Book of Moses; Numbers, the Fourth Book of Moses, and Deuteronomy,
the Fifth Book of Moses. Their very high authority rests upon the
supposed fact of their Mosaic authorship and great antiquity. To
disprove these--to show that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses,
nor at this early age, but centuries later by unknown writers--is to
largely impair, if not entirely destroy, its authority as a religious
oracle. And this is what modern criticism has done.

Arguments for Mosaic Authorship.

The following passage is the chief argument relied upon to prove the
Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch:

"And it came to pass, that when Moses had made an end of writing the
words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses
commanded the Levites, which bore the ark of the covenant of the
Lord, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of
the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there
for a witness against thee" (Deut. xxxi, 24-26).

This was written for a purpose. Its sequel appears in 2 Kings. During
the reign of Josiah, Hilkiah the high priest discovered a "book of
the law" in the temple. "And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan
the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord"
(2 Kings xxii, 8).

This book was the book of Deuteronomy, written, not in the time
of Moses, but in the time of Josiah, more than eight centuries
later. Hilkiah needed the book and he "found" it. It was written by
him or for him. Holland's great critic, Dr. Kuenen, says: "There is
no room to doubt that the book was written with a view to the use
that Hilkiah made of it" (Kuenen's Hexateuch, p. 215).

Dr. Oort, another able Dutch scholar, professor of Oriental languages
at Amsterdam, says: "The book was certainly written about the time
of its discovery. It is true that it introduces Moses as uttering
the precepts and exhortations of which it consists, just before the
people enter Canaan. But this is no more than a literary fiction. The
position of affairs assumed throughout the book is that of Judah in
the time of Josiah" (Bible for Learners, vol. ii, p. 331).

In support of this unanimous conclusion of the critics, Dr. Briggs
presents the following long array of irrefutable arguments:

"The reasons for the composition of Deuteronomy in the time of Josiah
according to the later hypothesis are: (1) Expressions which indicate
a period subsequent to the Conquest (ii, 12; xix, 14); (2) the law
of the king, which implies the reign of Solomon (xvii, 14-20); (3)
the one supreme judicatory of the time of Jehoshaphat (xvii, 8); (4)
the one central altar of the times of Hezekiah (xii, 5 seq.); (5) the
return to Egypt in ships not conceivable before the time of Manasseh
(xxviii, 68); (6) the forms of idolatry of the middle period of the
monarchy (iv, 19; xvii, 3); (7) no trace of Deuteronomy in writings
prior to Jeremiah; (8) the point of view indicates an advanced style
of theological reflection; (9) the prohibition of Mazzebah (xvi,
22) regarded as lawful in Isaiah (xix, 19); (10) the style implies
a long development of the art of Hebrew oratory, and the language
is free from archaism, and suits the times preceding Jeremiah; (11)
the doctrine of the love of God and his faithfulness with the term
'Yahweh thy God' presuppose the experience of the prophet Hosea;
(12) the humanitarianism of Deuteronomy shows an ethical advance
beyond Amos and Isaiah and prepares the way for Jeremiah and Ezekiel;
(13) ancient laws embedded in the code account for the penalties
for their infraction in 2 Kings xxii; (14) ancient laws of war are
associated with laws which imply the wars of the monarchy, and have
been influenced by Amos" (The Hexateuch, p. 261).

No book had been deposited in the ark as the writer stated. At the
dedication of Solomon's temple the ark was opened, but it contained
no book. "There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone,
which Moses put there at Horeb" (1 Kings viii, 5-9).

In the Pentateuch it is also stated that Moses, at the command of God,
wrote certain covenants (Ex. xxxiv, 27), recorded the curse of Amalek
(Ex. xvii, 14), and made a list of the stations between the Red Sea and
the Jordan (Num. xxxiii); likewise that he wrote a song (Deut. xxxi,
22). The absurdity of adducing these to prove that Moses wrote the
Pentateuch is thus exposed by Briggs:

"When the author of the Pentateuch says that Moses wrote one
or more codes of law, that he wrote a song, that he recorded a
certain memorandum, it would appear that having specified such of
his materials as were written by Moses, he would have us infer that
the other materials came from other sources of information. But it
has been urged the other way; namely, that, because it is said that
Moses wrote the codes of the covenant and the Deuteronomic code,
he also wrote all the laws of the Pentateuch; that because he wrote
the song Deut. xxxii, he wrote all the other pieces of poetry in the
Pentateuch, that because he recorded the list of stations and the
memorial against Amalek, he recorded all the other historical events
of the Pentateuch. It is probable that no one would so argue did he
not suppose it was necessary to maintain the Mosaic authorship of
the Pentateuch at every cost" (Hexateuch, pp. 10, 11).

Again, it has been argued that Christ and some of the writers of the
New Testament recognize Moses as the author of the Pentateuch. Such
expressions as "the law of Moses," "the book of Moses," "Moses said,"
etc., occur a few times. These expressions are explained and this
argument answered by the following: 1. It is not denied by critics
that Moses was the legislator of the Jews and promulgated certain
laws. 2. An anonymous book is usually called after the leading
character of the book. 3. At this time the traditional theory of the
Mosaic authorship was generally accepted. Of Christ's mention of Moses,
Dr. Davidson says: "The venerable authority of Christ himself has no
proper bearing on the question."

Arguments Against Mosaic Authorship.

That the Pentateuch was not written by Moses, that it is an anonymous
work belonging to a later age, is clearly proven by the following:

1. There is no proof that Moses ever claimed to be the author of the
Pentateuch. There is nothing in the work, neither is there anything
outside of it, to indicate that he was its author.

2. The ancient Hebrews did not believe that he wrote it. Renan says:
"The opinion which attributes the composition of the Pentateuch to
Moses seems quite modern; it is very certain that the ancient Hebrews
never dreamed of regarding their legislator as their historian. The
ancient documents appeared to them absolutely impersonal, and they
attached to them no author's name" (History of Semitic Languages,
Book II., chapter i).

3. The Pentateuch was written in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew of
the Bible did not exist in the time of Moses. Language is a growth. It
takes centuries to develop it. It took a thousand years to develop the
English language. The Hebrew of the Bible was not brought from Egypt,
but grew in Palestine. Referring to this language, De Wette says:
"Without doubt it originated in the land [Canaan] or was still further
developed therein after the Hebrew and other Canaanitish people had
migrated thither from the Northern country" (Old Testament, Part
II.). Gesenius says that the Hebrew language scarcely antedates the
time of David.

4. Not only is it true that the Hebrew language did not exist, but
it is urged by critics that no written language, as we understand it,
existed in Western Asia in the time of Moses. Prof. Andrew Norton says:
"For a long time after the supposed date of the Pentateuch we find
no proof of the existence of a book or even an inscription in proper
alphabetical characters among the nations by whom the Hebrews were
surrounded" (The Pentateuch, p. 44). Hieroglyphics were then in use,
and it is not to be supposed that a work as large as the Pentateuch
was written or engraved in hieroglyphics and carried about by this
wandering tribe of ignorant Israelites.

5. Much of the Pentateuch is devoted to the history of Moses; but
excepting a few brief compositions attributed to him and quoted by the
author he is always referred to in the third person. The Pentateuch
contains a biography, not an autobiography of Moses.

6. It contains an account of the death and burial of Moses which he
could not have written:

"So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of
Moab.... And he buried him in a valley of the land of Moab"
(Deut. xxxiv, 5, 6).

"And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab
thirty days" (8).

Orthodox commentators attempt to remove this difficulty by supposing
that the last chapter of Deuteronomy belongs to the book of Joshua,
and that Joshua recorded the death of Moses. The same writer,
referring to the appointment of Joshua as the successor of Moses,
says: "And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom"
(Deut. xxxiv, 9). If Joshua wrote this, however full of the spirit
of wisdom he may have been, he certainly was not full of the spirit
of modesty. Joshua did not write this chapter.

7. "No man knoweth of his [Moses'] sepulchre unto this day"
(Deut. xxxiv, 6).

That the authorship of this chapter should ever have been attributed
to either Moses or Joshua is incomprehensible. The language plainly
shows that not merely one but many generations had elapsed between
the time of Moses and the time that it was written.

8. While the advocates of the Mosaic authorship have, without proof,
asserted that Joshua wrote the book of Joshua and the conclusion
of Deuteronomy, the Higher Critics have demonstrated the common
authorship of Deuteronomy and a large portion of Joshua. As all the
events recorded in Joshua occurred after the death of Moses, he could
not have been the author of Deuteronomy.

9. "They [the Israelites] did eat manna until they came unto the
borders of Canaan" (Ex. xvi, 35).

This passage was written after the Israelites settled in Canaan and
ceased to subsist on manna. And this was not until after the death
of Moses.

10. "The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau
succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and
dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession,
which the Lord gave unto them" (Deut. ii, 12).

This refers to the conquest of Canaan and was written after that event.

11. "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness they
found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day" (Num. xv, 32).

When this was written the children of Israel were no longer in the
wilderness. Their sojourn there is referred to as a past event. As
Moses died while they were still in the wilderness--that is, before
they had entered the promised land--it could not have been written
by him.

12. "Thou shalt eat it within thy gates" (Deut. xv, 22).

The phrase, "within thy gates," occurs in the Pentateuch about
twenty-five times. It refers to the gates of the cities of the
Israelites, which they did not inhabit until after the death of Moses.

13. "Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, ... that
the land spew not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spewed out
the nations that were before you" (Lev. xviii, 26, 28).

When Moses died the nations alluded to still occupied the land and
had not been expelled.

14. "And Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah-jireh: as
it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen"
(Gen. xxii, 14).

This is one of the passages adduced by the critics of the seventeenth
century against the Mosaic authorship of these books. It implies the
conquest and a long occupancy of the land by the Israelites.

15. "And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of
Canaan" (Gen. xxiii, 2). "And Jacob came ... unto the city of Arbah,
which is Hebron" (xxxv, 27).

Moses' uncle was named Hebron, and from him the Hebronites were
descended. After the Conquest this family settled in Kirjath-arba
and changed the name of the city to Hebron.

16. "And Rachel died and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is
Bethlehem" (Gen. xxxv, 19).

The Hebrew name of Bethlehem was not given to this city until after
the Israelites had conquered and occupied it.

17. "For only Og, king of Bashan, remained of the remnant of giants;
behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of
the children of Ammon?" (Deut. iii, 11.)

This is another passage relied upon by the early critics to disprove
the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. The writer's reference to
the bedstead of Og, which was still preserved as a relic at Rabbath,
indicates a time long subsequent to the conquest of Bashan.

18. "Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor's landmark, which they of
old time have set in thine inheritance" (Deut. xix, 14).

This refers to the ancient landmarks set by the Israelites when
they obtained possession of Canaan, and was written centuries after
that time.

19. "And Jair the son of Manasseh went and took the small towns
thereof, and called them Havoth-jair" (Num. xxxii, 41).

The above is evidently a misstatement of an event recorded in Judges:

"And after him [Tola] arose Jair, a Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty
and two years. And he had thirty sons, ... and they had thirty cities,
which are called Havoth-jair unto this day" (Jud. x, 3, 4).

Jair was judge of Israel from 1210 to 1188 b.c., or from 241 to 263
years after the date assigned for the writing of the Pentateuch.

20. "And Nobah went and took Kenath, and the villages thereof, and
called it Nobah, after his own name" (Num. xxxii, 42).

Referring to this and the preceding passage, Dr. Oort says: "It is
certain that Jair, the Gileadite, the conqueror of Bashan, after
whom thirty places were called Jair's villages, lived in the time of
the Judges, and that a part of Bashan was conquered at a still later
period by a certain Nobah" (Bible for Learners, vol. i, p. 329).

21. "Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the
coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name,
Bashan-havoth-jair, unto this day" (Deut. iii, 14).

Even if Jair had lived in the time of Moses, the phrase "unto this day"
shows that it was written long after the event described.

22. "And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he
armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and
eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan" (Gen. xiv, 14).

This passage could not have been written before Dan existed. In Judges
(xviii, 26-29) the following account of the origin of this place is
given: "And the children of Dan went their way; ... and came unto
Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure; and they smote
them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.... And
they built a city, and dwelt therein. And they called the name of the
city Dan." This is placed after the death of Samson, and Samson died,
according to Bible chronology, 1120 B.C.--331 years after Moses died.

23. "And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before
there reigned any king over the children of Israel" (Gen. xxxvi, 31).

This could not have been written before the kingdom of Israel was
established; for the writer is familiar with the fact that kings have
reigned in Israel. Saul, the first king of Israel, began to reign
356 years after Moses.

24. "And his [Israel's] king shall be higher than Agag" (Num. xxiv, 7).

This refers to Saul's defeat of Agag. "And he [Saul] took Agag the
king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people
with the edge of the sword" (1 Sam. xv, 8). The defeat of Agag is
placed in 1067 B.C., 384 years after Moses.

25. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, ... until Shiloh come"
(Gen. xlix, 10).

These words are ascribed to Jacob; but they could not have been written
before Judah received the sceptre, which was not until David ascended
the throne, 396 years after the death of Moses.

26. "And the Canaanite was then in the land" (Gen. xii, 6).

When this was written the Canaanite had ceased to be an inhabitant of
Palestine. As a remnant of the Canaanites inhabited this country up
to the time of David, it could not have been written prior to his time.

27. "The Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the land"
(Gen. xiii, 7).

This, like the preceding passage, could not have been written before
the time of David. The Perizzites, also, inhabited Palestine for
a long period after the conquest. In the time of the Judges "the
children of Israel dwelt among the ... Perizzites" (Jud. iii, 5).

28. "The first of the first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into
the house of the Lord thy God" (Ex. xxiii, 19).

This was not written before the time of Solomon; for God had no
house prior to the erection of the temple, 1004 B.C., 447 years
after Moses. When David proposed to build him a house, he forbade it
and said:

"I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the
children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked
in a tent and in a tabernacle" (2 Sam. vii, 6).

The tabernacle itself was a tent (Tent of Meeting). During all this
time no house was ever used as a sanctuary.

29. "One from among the brethren shalt thou set king over thee.... But
he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return
to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses.... Neither shall
he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither
shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold" (Deut. xvii,

"And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses" (1 Kings iv,
26). "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt" (x, 28). "And he
had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines:
and his wives turned away his heart" (xi, 3). "The weight of gold
that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred three score and six
talents of gold" (x, 14). "And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem
as stones" (27).

Nothing can be plainer than that this statute in Deuteronomy was
written after Solomon's reign. The extravagance and debaucheries
of this monarch had greatly impoverished and corrupted the kingdom,
and to prevent a recurrence of such excesses this law was enacted.

30. "If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, ... thou
shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall
be in those days, and enquire; and they shall show thee the sentence
of judgment" (Deut. xvii, 8, 9).

This court was established by Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. xix,
8-11). Jehoshaphat commenced his reign 914 B.C., 537 years after Moses.

31. "But in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of thy tribes,
there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there shalt thou do
all that I command thee" (Deut. xii, 14).

"Is it not he [the Lord] whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah
hath taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship
before this altar?" (Is. xxxvi, 7).

Up to the time of Hezekiah the Hebrews worshiped at many
altars. Hezekiah removed these altars and established the one central
altar at Jerusalem. This was in 726 B.C.--725 years after Moses.

32. "And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships"
(Deut. xxviii, 68).

This, critics affirm, was written when Psameticus was king of Egypt. He
reigned from 663 to 609 B.C.

33. "Neither shalt thou set thee up any image [pillar]" (Deut. xvi,

This proves the late origin of the Pentateuch, or at least of
Deuteronomy. Isaiah (xix, 19) instructs them to do the very thing
which they are here forbidden to do, and as he would not have advised
a violation of the law it is evident that this statute could not have
existed in his time. Isaiah died about 750 years after Moses died.

34. The worship of the sun, moon, and stars by the Jews, is mentioned
and condemned (Deut. iv, 19; xvii, 3). This nature worship was adopted
by them in the reign of Manasseh, 800 years after Moses.

35. "Wherefore it is said in the book of the Wars of the Lord, what
he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon" (Num. xxi, 14).

The author of the Pentateuch here cites a book older than the
Pentateuch, which gives an account of the journeyings of the Israelites
from Egypt to Moab--from the Exodus to the end of Moses' career.

36. "And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law
very plainly" (Deut. xxvii, 8).

"And he [Joshua] wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of
Moses" (Josh. viii, 32).

Christians affirm that the Law of Moses and the Pentateuch are
one. That this Law of Moses was not the one hundred and fifty thousand
words of the Pentateuch is shown by the fact that after the death of
Moses it was all engraved upon a stone altar.

37. "Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were
upon the face of the earth" (Num. xii, 3).

No writer would bestow such fulsome praise upon himself. This was
written by a devout admirer of Moses, but it was not written by Moses.

38. "And this is the blessing wherewith Moses the man of God blessed
the children of Israel before his death" (Deut. xxxiii, 1).

There are three reasons for rejecting the Mosaic authorship of this:
Moses is spoken of in laudatory terms; he is spoken of in the third
person; his death is referred to as an event that is already past.

39. "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses"
(Deut. xxxiv, 10).

Not only is the highest praise bestowed upon Moses, a thing which
he would not have done, but the language clearly shows that it was
written centuries after the time he lived.

40. The religious history of the Hebrews embraces three periods of
time, each covering centuries. During the first period the worship of
Jehovah was confined to no particular place; during the second it was
confined to the holy city, Jerusalem; during the third it was confined,
not merely to Jerusalem, but to the temple itself. There are writings
in the Pentateuch belonging to each of these periods. The Encyclopedia
Britannica declares that this fact alone affords overwhelming disproof
of Mosaic authorship.

41. The religion of the Pentateuch was not a revelation, but an
evolution. The priestly offices, the feasts, the sacrifices, and
other religious observances underwent many changes, these changes
representing different stages of development in Israel's religion
and requiring centuries of time to effect.

42. The legislation of the Pentateuch was also the growth
of centuries. Some of the minor codes are much older than the
documents containing them. There is legislation older than David,
1055 B.C.--probably as old as Moses, 1451 B.C. There is legislation
belonging to the time of Josiah, 626 B.C., of Ezekiel, 575 B.C.,
of Ezra, 456 B.C. Would it not be absurd to claim that all the
laws of England from Alfred to Victoria were the work of one mind,
Alfred? And is it less absurd to claim that all the laws of the Jews
from Moses to Ezra were instituted by Moses?

43. The Pentateuch abounds with repetitions and contradictions. The
first two chapters of Genesis contain two accounts of the Creation
differing in every important particular. In the sixth, seventh, and
eighth chapters of Genesis two different and contradictory accounts
of the Deluge are intermingled. Exodus and Deuteronomy each contain a
copy of the Decalogue, the two differing as to the reason assigned for
the institution of the Sabbath. There are several different versions
of the call of Abraham; different and conflicting stories of the
Egyptian plagues; contradictory accounts of the conquest of Canaan.

The Work of Various Authors and Compilers.

44. The four preceding arguments suggest the concluding and most
important one. The character of the writings of the Pentateuch preclude
the possibility of unity of authorship, and consequently the Mosaic
authorship of the work as a whole. The books of the Pentateuch were
not all composed by one author. The book of Genesis is not the work
of one author. The first two chapters of Genesis were not written by
the same writer. The Pentateuch was written by various writers and
at various times.

The Pentateuch comprises four large documents known as the Elohistic
and Jehovistic documents, and the Deuteronomic and Priestly Codes. They
are distinguished by the initial letters E, J, D, and P. E and J
include the greater portion of Genesis and extend through the other
books of the Pentateuch, as well as through Joshua, Judges, Samuel,
and Kings. D includes the greater portion of Deuteronomy, fragments
of the preceding books, and a large portion of Joshua. P includes
the greater portion of the middle books of the Pentateuch and smaller
portions of the other books.

The author of each of these documents incorporated into his work one
or more older documents. These four works were afterwards united by
successive editors or redactors. E and J were first fused into one. A
subsequent redactor united D with this, and still later another united
this compilation with P.

In addition to these principal documents there are several minor
codes, chief of which is the Holiness Code comprising ten chapters of
Leviticus, xvii-xxvi. There are also several poems written by various
authors. Thus the Pentateuch instead of being the product of one mind
is the work of many writers and compilers, probably twenty or more.

These documents, especially the principal ones, notwithstanding
the intermingling of their contents, are easily distinguished and
separated from each other by Bible critics. The thoughts of the human
mind, like the features of the human face, controlled by the law of
variation, assume different forms. We who are familiar with faces
have no difficulty in distinguishing one face from another. No two
faces are alike. Critics who have devoted their lives to literature
can distinguish the writings of individuals almost as readily as
we distinguish the faces of individuals. There are certain idioms of
language, certain peculiarities of style, belonging to each writer. The
language and style of these documents are quite dissimilar. To quote
Dr. Briggs: "There is as great a difference in style between the
documents of the Hexateuch as there is between the Four Gospels." The
principal documents are thus described by this critic:

"E is brief, terse, and archaic; graphic, plastic, and realistic;
written in the theocratic interest of the kingdom of God. J is poetical
and descriptive, the best narrative in the Bible, giving us the history
of the kingdom of redemption. D is rhetorical and hortatory, practical
and earnest, written in the more theological interest of the training
of the nation in the fatherly instruction of God. P is annalistic
and diffuse, fond of names and dates, written in the interest of the
priestly order, and emphasizing the sovereignty of the Holy God and
the sanctity of the divine institutions" (Hexateuch, p. 265).

Each document abounds with characteristic words and phrases peculiar
to that document. Holzinger notes 108 belonging to E and 125 belonging
to J. Canon Driver gives 41 belonging to D and 50 belonging to P. One
of the chief distinguishing marks is the term used to designate the
Deity. In E it is Elohim, translated God; in J, Jehovah (Yahveh)
Elohim, translated Lord God. In D the writer continually uses the
phrase "The Lord thy God," this phrase occurring more than 200
times. "I am Jehovah" is a phrase used by P, including the Holiness
Code, 70 times. It is never used by E or D. "God of the Fathers"
is frequently used by E and D; never by P.

Bishop Colenso's analysis of Genesis is as follows: Elohist, 336
verses; Jehovist, 1,052 verses; Deuteronomist, 39 verses; Priestly
writer, 106 verses.

The Pentateuch was chiefly written and compiled from seven to ten
centuries after the time claimed. The Elohistic and Jehovistic
documents, the oldest of the four, were written at least 300 years
after the time of David and 700 years after the time of Moses. They
were probably written at about the same time. E belongs to the Northern
Kingdom of Israel, J to the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The unanimous
verdict of critics is that Deuteronomy was written during the reign
of Josiah, about 626 B.C., 825 years after Moses died. The Holiness
Code belongs to the age of Ezekiel, about fifty years later. The
Priestly Code was written after the Exile, in the time of Ezra,
1,000 years after Moses. Important changes and additions were made
as late as the third century B.C., so that, excepting the variations
and interpolations of later times, the Pentateuch in something like
its present form appeared about 1,200 years after the time of Moses.

The higher Criticism--Its Triumph and Its Consequences.

The certainty and the consequences of the Higher Criticism of the
Pentateuch are thus expressed by Hupfeld:

"The discovery that the Pentateuch is put together out of various
sources, or original documents, is beyond all doubt not only one
of the most important and most pregnant with consequences for the
interpretation of the historical books of the Old Testament, or
rather for the whole of theology and history, but it is also one of
the most certain discoveries which have been made in the domain of
criticism and the history of literature. Whatever the anti-critical
party may bring forward to the contrary, it will maintain itself,
and not retrograde again through anything, so long as there exists
such a thing as criticism, and it will not be easy for a reader upon
the stage of culture on which we stand in the present day, if he
goes to the examination unprejudiced, and with an uncorrupted power
of appreciating the truth, to be able to ward off its influence."

The critical labors of Hobbes, Spinoza, Peyrerius, Simon, Astruc,
Eichorn, Paine, Bauer, (G. L.) De Wette, Ewald, Geddes, Vater, Reuss,
Graf, Davidson, Colenso, Hupfeld, Wellhausen, Kuenen, Briggs, and
others, have overthrown the old notions concerning the authenticity
of the Pentateuch. There is not one eminent Bible scholar in Europe,
and scarcely one in America, who any longer contends that Moses wrote
this work.

The pioneers in the field of the Higher Criticism were the Rationalists
Hobbes and Spinoza and the Catholics Peyrerius, Simon, and Astruc. More
than two hundred years ago Benedict Spinoza, the greatest of modern
Jews, with his own race and the entire Christian church against him,
made this declaration, which the scholarship of the whole world
now accepts:

"It is as clear as the noonday light that the Pentateuch was not
written by Moses" (Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, Chap, viii,
Sec. 20).

A century passed, and Thomas Paine in France, in the most potent
volume of Higher Criticism ever penned, exposed in all their nakedness
the wretched claims of the traditionalists. He read the Pentateuch
and wrote:

"Those books are spurious." "Moses is not the author of them." "The
style and manner in which those books are written give no room to
believe, or even to suppose, they were written by Moses." "They were
not written in the time of Moses, nor till several hundred years
afterwards" (Age of Reason).

About the same time German scholars, ever foremost in the domain of
critical analysis, took up the work. The writings of Eichorn, Bauer,
Vater, and De Wette, "swept the field in Germany." De Wette, one of her
greatest theologians, thus presents the conclusion of German critics:

"The opinion that Moses composed these books is not only opposed by all
the signs of a later date which occur in the work itself, but also by
the entire analogy of the history of Hebrew literature and language"
(Books of Moses, Sec. 163).

Fifty years or more elapsed and Davidson and Colenso studied and wrote,
and British scholarship was soon arrayed against the old in favor of
the new. Dr. Davidson, in the following words, voices the opinion of
England's learned:

"There is little external evidence for the Mosaic authorship, and what
little there is does not stand the test of criticism. The succeeding
writers of the Old Testament do not confirm it.... The objections
derived from internal structure are conclusive against the Mosaic
authorship" (Introduction to the Old Testament).

At last, in our own land and in our own time, Dr. Briggs and others
attack the Mosaic theories, and, in spite of the efforts of Princeton's
fossils, the intelligence of America acknowledges the force of their
reasoning and accepts their conclusions. The Higher Criticism has
triumphed. Spinoza's judgment is confirmed, and the American critic
pronounces the verdict of the intellectual world:

"In the field of scholarship the question is settled. It only remains
for the ministry and people to accept it and adapt themselves to it"
(Hexateuch, p. 144).

But this is not the end. A victory has been achieved, but its full
results remain to be realized. The clergy, against their will,
and the laity, who are subservient to the clergy's will, are yet to
be enlightened and convinced. Even then, when the facts disclosed
by the Higher Criticism have gained popular acceptance, another
task remains--the task of showing men the real significance of these
facts. The critics themselves, many of them, do not seem to realize the
consequences of their work. The Rationalistic critics, like Hobbes,
Spinoza, Paine, Reuss, Wellhausen, Kuenen and others, have measured
the consequences of their criticisms and accepted them. The orthodox
critics have not. Some of them, like Dr. Briggs, while denying
the Mosaic authorship and great antiquity of the Pentateuch, while
maintaining its anonymous and fragmentary character, and conceding its
contradictions and errors, are yet loath to reject its divinity and
authority. But these also must be given up. This work as a divine
revelation and authentic record must go. Its chief theological
doctrine, the Fall of Man, is a myth. With this doctrine falls the
Atonement, and with the Atonement orthodox Christianity. This is the
logical sequence of the Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch. To these
critics, and to all who are intelligent enough to discern the truth
and courageous enough to meet it, I would repeat and press home the
admonition of our critic, "to accept it and adapt themselves to it."



Next to the Pentateuch, the most important books of the Old Testament
are the Prophets. They are divided into two divisions, Earlier and
Later. The Earlier prophets comprise Joshua, Judges, First Samuel,
Second Samuel, First Kings, and Second Kings. The Later Prophets are
divided into Greater and Minor. The Greater Prophets are Isaiah,
Jeremiah, and Ezekiel; the Minor Prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos,
Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah,
and Malachi.


The book of Joshua, it is claimed, was written by Joshua just before
his death, which occurred, according to the accepted chronology, in
1426 B.C. This book for a time formed a part of the Pentateuch (or
Hexateuch). In later times, to increase its authority, the Pentateuch
was ascribed to Moses. A recognition of the fact that Moses could not
have written a history of the events that happened after his death
caused that portion now known as Joshua to be detached and credited
to Joshua.

Many of the arguments adduced against the Mosaic authorship of the
preceding books apply with equal force against the claim that Joshua
wrote the book which bears his name. The book contains no internal
evidence of his authorship; he does not claim to be its author; the
other writers of the Old Testament do not ascribe its authorship to
him; he is spoken of in the third person; it is clearly the work of
more than one writer; the language in which it was written was not in
existence when he lived; much of it relates to events that occurred
after his death.

"And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua, the son
of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being a hundred and ten
years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in
Timnath-serah.... And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua,
and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua" (Josh. xxiv,

As the Pentateuch gives an account of the death and burial of Moses, so
the book of Joshua gives an account of the death and burial of Joshua.

"And Eleazer the son of Aaron died" (xxiv, 33).

The death of Eleazer occurred six years after the death of Joshua.

"But the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto
this day" (xv, 63).

The children of Judah did not dwell in Jerusalem until nearly 400
years after Joshua. The phrase "unto this day" is frequently used in
the book, and this shows that it was written long after the events
it describes.

In his account of the miracle of Joshua causing the sun to stand still,
the writer appeals to the book of Jasher in support of his statement:

"Is not this written in the book of Jasher?" (x, 13.)

This could not have been written until after the book of Jasher
was written or compiled. When was Jasher written? We do not know,
but in his history of David the author of Samuel thus refers to it:
"He [David] bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow;
behold, it is written in the book of Jasher" (2 Sam. i, 18). This
proves that the book of Jasher was not written before the time of
David. If the book of Joshua was not written until after the book
of Jasher was written, then it could not have been written until the
time of David or later.

The book of Joshua consists of two parts. The first, which originally
formed a part of, or sequel to, Deuteronomy, was probably written
before the Captivity; the latter part was written after the
captivity--900 years after the time of Joshua.


The authorship of this book has been ascribed to Samuel. In disproof
of this I quote the following:

"Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem and taken it"
(i, 8).

Jerusalem was taken by Judah 1048 B.C.; Samuel died 1060 B.C., twelve
years before it was taken.

"In those days there was no king in Israel" (xviii, 1; xix, 1;
xxi, 25).

This passage, which is repeated several times, was written after
Israel had become a kingdom, and evidently long subsequent to the
time of Saul and Samuel.

"And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth" (ii, 13).

This was probably written as late as the reign of Hoshea, 730 B.C.

The chapters relating to Samson indicate a date as late as Manasseh,
698 to 643 B.C. During the reign of this king the Hebrews became
sun-worshipers. Samson was a sun-god--the name signifies "sun-god." All
the stories related of him in Judges are solar myths.

"He and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of
the captivity of the land" (xviii, 30).

The above passage denotes a date as late as the Captivity.

Smith's "Bible Dictionary" says: "It is probable that the books
of Judges, Ruth, Samuel, and Kings originally formed one work"
(art. Ruth). If these books originally formed one work, Samuel was
not the author of any of them, for Kings, it is admitted, was written
as late as the time of Jeremiah, and possibly as late as the time of
Ezra, from 450 to 600 years after Samuel.

Judges, like the Pentateuch and Joshua, is the work of several
writers. It can scarcely be called even a compilation. It is a mere
collection of historical and mythological fragments, thrown together
without any regard to logical arrangement or chronological order.

First and Second Samuel.

It is popularly supposed, and many Christian teachers affirm, that
Samuel wrote the books which bear his name. And yet the writer says,
"Samuel died," and seven chapters of the first book follow this
announcement. The second book in no way pertains to him; his name
is not once mentioned; the events narrated occurred from four to
forty-four years after his death.

Others claim that the books were written by Samuel, Nathan, and Gad,
basing their claim on a passage in Chronicles, which says that the
acts of David "are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in
the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer"
(1 Chron. xxix, 29).

As Samuel died while David was yet a young man--four years before
he became king--he did not record the acts of David. Nathan and
Gad are referred to in the books, but in a manner that forbids the
supposition of their authorship. These books were not written by
Samuel; neither were they written by Samuel, Nathan, and Gad. Their
authorship is unknown.

Concerning the books of Samuel, Dr. Oort writes: "There is no book in
the Bible which shows so clearly that its contents are not all derived
from the same source.... Two conflicting traditions relating to the
same subject are constantly placed side by side in perfect simplicity,
and apparently with no idea that the one contradicts the other"
(Bible for Learners, vol. i, pp. 433, 434).

First and Second Kings.

In the Catholic version, and in the subtitles of our versions of
the Bible, First and Second Samuel and First and Second Kings are
called the First, Second, Third, and Fourth books of Kings. They are
properly one book. The division of the work into four books is not only
artificial, but illogical. Regarding the authorship of the last two,
Smith's "Bible Dictionary" says: "As regards the authorship of the
books, but little difficulty presents itself. The Jewish tradition,
which ascribes them to Jeremiah, is borne out by the strongest internal
evidence" (Kings).

Is this true? The date assigned for Jeremiah's composition of the books
is 600 B.C. And yet a considerable portion of the work is devoted to
a presentation of the forty years of Jewish history subsequent to this
date. It records the death of Jehoiakim, the first siege and taking of
Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the elevation of Zedekiah to the throne,
his eleven years' reign, the second siege and capture of Jerusalem,
and a long list of events that followed. It records the reign of
the Babylonian king, Evil-Merodach. This, according to the popular
chronology, and according to the "Bible Dictionary," was from 561
to 559 B.C.--forty years after the date assigned, and long after the
time of Jeremiah.

These books are a mixture of history and fiction. They profess to be a
history of the Hebrew kings; and yet a dozen chapters are devoted to
a fabulous account of the sayings and doings of two Hebrew prophets,
Elijah and Elisha. First and Second Chronicles, which give a history
of the same kings, refer to Elijah but once, and make no mention
of Elisha.

The confused character of their contents, especially their chronology,
has often been referred to. They are simply a compilation of ancient
documents, written at various times, and by various authors.

The Encyclopedia Britannica expresses the almost unanimous verdict of
critics respecting the authorship of the four principal historical
books of the Old Testament: "We cannot speak of the author of Kings
or Samuel, but only of an editor or successive editors whose main
work was to arrange in a continuous form extracts or abstracts from
earlier books."


Isaiah, the chief of the prophetic books, and, next to the Pentateuch
and the Four Gospels, the most important book of the Bible, purports to
be a series of prophecies uttered during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham,
Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Uzziah's reign began B.C. 810, and ended B.C. 758;
Hezekiah's reign began B.C. 726 and ended B.C. 698. Isaiah's ministry
is supposed to have extended from about 760 to 700 B.C., and toward
the close of this period, the book of Isaiah, as it now appears,
is said to have been written.

In support of Isaiah's authorship of the entire work the following
arguments have been advanced:

    1. Its various prophecies exhibit a unity of design.
    2. The style is the same throughout the work.
    3. Messianic prophecies abound in both its parts.
    4. No other writer claimed its authorship.
    5. The ancient Jews all ascribe it to him.

The above arguments for the authenticity of the work are partly
true and partly untrue. So far as they conflict with the following
arguments against its authenticity as a whole they are untrue:

    1. The work is fragmentary in character.
    2. The style of its several parts is quite unlike.
    3. Many of its events occurred after Isaiah's death.
    4. Much of it relates to the Babylonian captivity.
    5. It records both the name and the deeds of Cyrus.

Isaiah might very properly be divided into two books, the first
comprising the first thirty-nine chapters; the second, the concluding
twenty-seven chapters. Impartial critics agree that while Isaiah may
have written a portion of the first part he could not have written
all of it nor any of the second. This is the conclusion of Cheyne,
Davidson, De Wette, Eichorn, Ewald, Gesenius, and others.

That he wrote neither the first nor the second part of the book,
as it now exists, is proven by the following passages taken from both:

"Babylon is fallen, is fallen" (xxi, 9).

"Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defensed cities
of Judah, and took them" (xxxvi, 1).

"So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned and
dwelt in Nineveh.

"And it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nishrock
his god, that Addrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the
sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia; and Esarhaddon his
son reigned in his stead" (xxxvii, 37, 38).

Sennacherib ascended the throne 702 B.C. and died 680 B.C. Isaiah
lived in the preceding century.

"That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my
pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built, and to the
temple, Thy foundation shall be laid" (xliv, 28).

"Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus" (xlv, 1). "He shall
build my city, and he shall let go my captives" (xlv, 13).

Cyrus conquered Babylon B.C. 538, and released the Jews from captivity
and permitted them to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple
B.C. 536, nearly two centuries after the time of Isaiah.

Regarding these passages, Dr. Lyman Abbott, in a sermon on "The
Scientific Conception of Revelation," says: "If you take up a history
and it refers to Abraham Lincoln, you are perfectly sure that it
was not written in the time of George Washington. Now, if you take
up the book of Isaiah and read in it about Cyrus the Great, you are
satisfied that the book was not written by Isaiah one hundred years
before Cyrus was born."

Prof. T. K. Cheyne of Oxford University, the leading modern authority
on Isaiah, says: "That portion of the Old Testament which is known as
the book of Isaiah was, in fact, written by at least three writers--and
possibly many more--who lived at different times and in different
places." Nearly all of the ninth chapter, which, on account of its
supposed Messianic prophecies, is, with Christians, one of the most
valued chapters of the Bible, Professor Cheyne declares to be an

That four of the middle chapters, the thirty-sixth, thirty-seventh,
thirty-eighth, and thirty-ninth, originally formed a separate document
is evident. Concerning these four chapters, Paine truthfully observes:
"This fragment of history begins and ends abruptly; it has not the
least connection with the chapter that precedes it, nor with that which
follows it, nor with any other in the book" (Age of Reason, p. 129).

If Isaiah wrote this book, and Jeremiah wrote the books of Kings,
as claimed; then either Isaiah or Jeremiah was a plagiarist; for the
language of the four chapters just mentioned is, with a few slight
alterations, identical with that of a portion of the second book
of Kings.

The integrity of this book cannot be maintained. It is not the product
of one writer, but of many. How many, critics may never be able to
determine; certainly not less than five, probably more than ten.


The prophecies of Jeremiah, it is affirmed, were delivered at various
times between 625 and 585 B.C., and a final redaction of them was made
by him about the latter date. The book, as it now appears, is in such
a disordered condition that Christian scholars have to separate it
into numerous parts and rearrange them in order to make a consecutive
and intelligible narrative. Dr. Hitchcock, in his "Analysis of the
Bible" (p 1,144), says: "So many changes have taken place, or else
so many irregularities were originally admitted in the arrangement
of the book, that Dr. Blayney, whose exposition we chiefly follow,
was obliged to make fourteen different portions of the whole before
he could throw it into consecutive order."

The following is Dr. Blayney's arrangement of the book: Chapters i-xii;
xiii-xx; xxii, xxiii; xxv, xxvi; xxxv, xxxvi; xlv-xlviii; xlix (1-33);
xxi; xxiv; xxvii-xxxiv; xxxvii-xxxix; xlix (34-39); l, li; xl-xliv.

This disordered condition of Jeremiah indicates one of two things:
a plurality of authors, or a negligence, if nothing worse, on the part
of the Bible's custodians that Christians will be loath to acknowledge.

The book, as a whole, was not written by Jeremiah. He did not write
the following:

"And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity
of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and
twentieth day of the month, that Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in
the first year of his reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king
of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison" (lii, 31).

The release of Jehoiachin by Evil-Merodach occurred 562 or 561
B.C. Jeremiah had then been dead twenty years.

This book is not the work of one author. The thirty-seventh and
thirty-eighth chapters were not written by the same person. Much of
the thirty-eighth is a mere repetition of the thirty-seventh; and
yet the two are so filled with discrepancies that it is impossible
to accept both as the writings of the same author.

Jeremiah, it is declared, wrote both Kings and Jeremiah. He could
not have written the concluding portion of either. The last chapter
of 2 Kings and the last chapter of Jeremiah are the same, and were
written after the time of Jeremiah.


The period assigned for Ezekiel's prophecies is that beginning
B.C. 595 and ending B.C. 573. Christians assert that the first
twenty-four chapters of the work were written before the destruction
of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The whole work was undoubtedly written
after this event.

The Talmud credits its authorship to the Great Synagogue. If this be
correct, Ezekiel had nothing to do with its composition; for he was
not a member of the Great Synagogue. Ewald, while claiming for him
the utterance of its several prophecies, believes that the book in
its present form is not his work, but that of a later author.

Referring to Ezekiel, Dr. Oort says: "In his case, far more than in
Jeremiah's even, we must be on our guard against accepting the written
account of his prophecies as a simple record of what he actually said"
(Bible for Learners, vol. ii, p. 407).

Zunz, a German critic, not only contends that the book is not
authentic, but declares that no such prophet as Ezekiel ever existed.

While it must be admitted that the internal evidence against the
integrity and authenticity of Ezekiel is weaker than that of the
other books thus far examined, it can be confidently asserted that
Bible apologists have been unable to establish either. One damaging
fact they concede: no other writer of the Bible ever mentions the
book or its alleged author.

Minor Prophets.

The twelve Minor Prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah,
Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi,
require but a passing notice. Compared with the other Prophets, or
even with the principal books of the Hagiographa, they are of little
importance. A part of them may be genuine--the writings of those to
whom their authorship has been ascribed--but there is no external
evidence, either in the Bible or elsewhere, to support the claim,
while the internal evidence of the books themselves is not convincing.

The date assigned for the composition of Jonah, the oldest of the
Later Prophets, is 856--according to some, 862 B.C. He is said to
have prophesied during the reign of one Pul, "king of Assyria." But
unfortunately Pul's reign is placed in 770 B.C., ninety years after
the date assigned for the book. Jonah is named in the Four Gospels,
named by Christ himself. This is adduced as proof of its authenticity
and in support of a literal instead of an allegorical interpretation of
its language. But Christ's language, even if his divinity be admitted,
proves neither the authenticity nor the historical character of the
book. He taught in parables, and certainly would have no hesitancy
in using an allegorical figure as a symbol. No scholar now contends
for its authenticity, and no sane person believes its stories to be
historical. Luther rejected the book.

Four other books, Hosea, Micah, Zechariah, and Malachi, are quoted or
supposed to be quoted, by the Evangelists, and two, Joel and Amos,
are mentioned in Acts. This proves no more than that these books
were in existence when the New Testament was written--a fact which
none disputes.

Matthew (ii, 6) cites Micah (v, ii) as a Messianic prophecy. Micah
lived during the reign of Hezekiah and wrote, not of an event 700
years in the future, but of one near at hand, the expected invasions
of the Assyrians. The passage quoted by Matthew (ii, 15) from Hosea
(xi, 1) refers to the exodus of the Israelites which took place 700
years before the time of Hosea.

Zechariah is the work of at least three writers. Davidson says: "To
Zechariah's authentic oracles were attached chapters ix-xiv, themselves
made up of two parts (ix-xi, xii-xiv) belonging to different times
and authors" (Canon, p. 33). The passage quoted by Matthew (xxi, 5)
is not from the authentic portion of Zechariah, but from one of the
spurious chapters, ix, 9.

Mark (1, 2, 3) quotes a prophecy which he applies to John the
Baptist. The passage quoted contains two sentences, one of which
is found in Malachi (iii, 1), the other in Isaiah (xl, 3). Whiston
declares that both sentences originally belonged to Isaiah. If Whiston
is correct the Evangelist has not quoted Malachi. This, the last book
of the Old Testament, is an anonymous work, Malachi being the name
of the book and not of the author.

The period assigned for the prophecies of Amos is from 808 to 785
B.C. The book contains the following: "In that day will I raise up the
tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof;
and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of
old" (ix, 11).

"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and
they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them" (14).

Amos was not written until after the captivity. This commenced 588
B.C. and continued fifty years.

Joel, it is asserted, was written 800 B.C. That this writer also
lived after the captivity is shown by the following:

"I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem" (iii, 1).

This passage, it is claimed, was a prediction made centuries before
the event occurred. Joel's ability to predict future events, however,
is negatived by his next effort: "But Judah shall dwell forever,
and Jerusalem from generation to generation" (20).

"Nineveh is laid waste: who shall bemoan her?" (Nahum iii, 7).

The composition of Nahum is placed between 720 and 698 B.C. Nineveh
was destroyed 606 B.C., a century later.

The first verse of Zephaniah declares that the book was written
"in the days of Josiah," in the seventh century B.C.; the last verse
shows that it was written in the days of Cyrus, in the sixth century
B.C. Every chapter of Habakkuk and Obadiah's single chapter show that
these books were written after the dates assigned.

The book of Haggai is ascribed to Haggai, the last person in the world
to whom it can reasonably be ascribed. It is not a book of Haggai,
but about Haggai. Excepting a few brief exhortations, of which it
gives an account, it does not purport to contain a word from his
tongue or pen. This argument applies with still greater force to Jonah.

The greater portion of the Minor Prophets are probably forgeries. The
names of their alleged authors are attached to them, but in most
cases in the form of a superscription only. Each book opens with a
brief introduction announcing the author. These introductions were not
written by the authors themselves, but by others. The only authority
for pronouncing the books authentic, then, is the assurance of some
unknown Jewish scribe or editor.

A damaging argument against the authority, if not against the
authenticity, of the Prophets is the fact that while the historical
records of the Old Testament cover the time during which all of them
are said to have flourished, only a few of them are deemed worthy
of mention.



The Hagiographa comprises the remaining thirteen books of the
Old Testament. It was divided into three divisions: 1. Psalms,
Proverbs, Job. 2. Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes,
Esther. 3. Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah, First and Second Chronicles. The
Jews considered these books of less value than those of the Law and
the Prophets. The books belonging to the third division possess little
merit; but the first two divisions, omitting Esther, together with
a few poems in the Pentateuch and the Prophets, contain the cream of
Hebrew literature.


The collection of hymns and prayers used in public worship by Jews
and Christians, and called the Psalms, stands first in importance as a
religious book in the Hagiographa. Christians accept it not only as a
book of praise, but as a prophetic revelation and doctrinal authority.

It is popularly supposed that David wrote all, or nearly all, of
the Psalms. Many commentators attribute to him the authorship of one
hundred or more. He wrote, at the most, but a few of them.

The Jews divided them into five books: 1. Chapters i-xli; 2. xlii-lxii;
3. lxiii-lxxxix; 4. xc-cvi; 5. cvii-cl. Smith's "Bible Dictionary,"
a standard orthodox authority, claims for David the authorship of the
first book only. The second book, while including a few of his psalms,
was not compiled, it says, until the time of Hezekiah, three hundred
years after his reign. The psalms of the third book, it states, were
composed during Hezekiah's reign; those of the fourth book following
these, and prior to the Captivity; and those of the fifth book after
the return from Babylon, four hundred years after David's time.

There are psalms in the third, fourth, and fifth books ascribed
to David, but they are clearly of much later origin. The "Bible
Dictionary" admits that they were not composed by him, and attempts
to account for the Davidic superscription by assuming that they were
written by Hezekiah, Josiah, and others who were lineal descendants
and belonged to the house of David. But there is nothing to warrant
the assumption that they were written by these Jewish kings. They
were anonymous pieces to which the name of David was affixed to add
to their authority.

The second book concludes with these words: "The prayers of David,
the son of Jesse, are ended." This is accepted to mean that none of
the psalms following this book belong to David. The Korahite psalms,
assigned to David's reign, belong to a later age. Twelve psalms are
ascribed to Asaph, who lived in David's reign. This passage from one
of them was written at least 430 years after David's death:

"O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple
have they defiled: they have laid Jerusalem on heaps" (lxxix, 1).

In the second and third books the word God occurs 206 times, while
Jehovah, translated "Lord God," occurs but 44 times; in the remaining
three books, God occurs but 23 times, while Jehovah occurs 640 times.

Psalms xlii and xliii are merely parts of the same psalm. Psalm xix
consists of two distinct psalms, the first eleven verses constituting
one, the last three another. Psalms xiv and liii are the same; lx and
cviii, omitting the first four or five verses, are also the same. The
Septuagint version and the Alexandrian manuscript contain 151 psalms,
the last one being omitted from other versions.

Some of the more conservative German critics credit David with
as many as thirty psalms. Dr. Lyman Abbott contends that he did
not write more than fifteen. The Dutch scholars, Kuenen and Oort,
believe that he wrote none. And this is probably the truth. While
collections of these psalms doubtless existed at an earlier period,
the book, in its present form, was compiled during the Maccabean age,
about one hundred and fifty years before the Christian era.

Many of these psalms are fine poetical compositions; but the greater
portion of them are crude in construction, and some of them fiendish
in sentiment.


The authorship of Proverbs has been ascribed to Solomon. He could have
written but few of these proverbs, and probably wrote none. It is a
compilation of maxims made many centuries after his time. Tradition
represented Solomon as the wisest of men, and every wise saying whose
origin was unknown was credited to him.

Dr. Oort says: "The history of Solomon's wisdom resembles that
of David's music. In either case the imagination of posterity has
given a thoroughly religious character to what was in reality purely
secular; and just as David was made the author of a number of psalms,
so various works of the so-called sages, or proverb-makers, were
ascribed to Solomon" (Bible for Learners, vol. ii, p. 75).

The book consists of seven different collections of proverbs, as
follows: 1. i, 7-ix; 2. x-xxii, 16; 3. xxii, 17-xxiv; 4. xxv-xxix;
5. xxx; 6. xxxi, 1-9; 7. xxxi, 10-31. The first six verses are
a preface.

The first collection, it is admitted, was not the work of
Solomon. These proverbs were composed as late as 600 B.C. The second
collection is presented as "The Proverbs of Solomon." If any of
Solomon's proverbs exist they are contained in this collection. The
third collection is anonymous. The fourth begins as follows: "These
are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah,
copied out" (700 B.C.). The fifth contains "The words of Agur the son
of Jakeh." The sixth, comprising the first nine verses of the last
chapter, are "The words of King Lemuel." The seventh, comprising the
remainder of the chapter, is a poem, written after the Captivity.


It is remarkable that the book which, from a literary point of view,
occupies the first place among the books of the Bible, should be the
only one in the collection that was not written by a believer in the
religion of the Bible. It is almost universally conceded that the
book of Job was not written by a Jew, but by a Gentile.

Most Christians ascribe its authorship to Job himself; but there
is no more authority for ascribing it to Job than there is for
ascribing the Pentateuch to Moses. Job is the name of the leading
character of the book, not the name of its author. Its authorship is
unknown. The Talmud asserts, and probably correctly, that Job was
not a real personage--that the book is an allegory. Luther says,
"It is merely the argument of a fable."

Regarding its antiquity, Dr. Hitchcock says: "The first written of
all the books in the Bible, and the oldest literary production in the
world, is the book of Job." The date assigned for its composition is
1520 B.C.

Had Job been written a thousand years before the time claimed, it
would not be the oldest literary production in the world. But it was
probably written a thousand years after the time claimed. Luther places
its composition 500 years after this time; Renan says that it was
written 800 years later, Ewald and Davidson 900 years later. Grotius
and De Wette believe that it was written 1000 years after the date
assigned, while Hartmann and others contend that it was written still
later. While its exact date cannot be determined, there is internal
evidence pointing to a much later age than that named.

"Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the
south" (ix, 9).

The use of these Greek astronomical names proves a later origin. So,
too, does the following passage:

"The Chaldeans made out three bands" (i, 17).

Of this people Chambers' Encyclopedia says: "The Chaldeans are first
heard of in the ninth century before Christ as a small Accadian tribe
on the Persian Gulf." This was seven centuries after the date assigned
for Job, while the same authority states that Chaldea did not exist
until a still later period.

The poem of Job, as originally composed, comprised the following:
Chapters i-xxvii, 10; xxviii-xxxi; xxviii-xli, 12; xlii, 1-6. All
the rest of the book, about eight chapters--nearly one fifth of
it--consists of clumsy forgeries. The poet is a radical thinker
who boldly questions the wisdom and justice of God. To counteract
the influence of his work these interpolations which controvert its
teachings were inserted.

Nor is this all. Our translators have still further mutilated the
work. Its most damaging lines they have mistranslated or glossed
over. Thus Job (xiii, 15) says: "He [God] will slay me; I have no
hope." Yet they make him say the very reverse of this: "Though he
slay me, yet will I trust in him."

The Five Rolls.

The second division of the Hagiographa, known as the Five Rolls,
or Megilloth, contains five small books--The Song of Solomon,
Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Ruth, and Esther.

The Song of Solomon, Song of Songs, or Canticles, as it is variously
called, and Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher, are said to be the works
of Solomon--the former a product of his youth, the latter of his old
age. It is quite certain that the same author did not write both,
and equally certain that Solomon wrote neither.

The Song of Solomon, Ewald affirms, is an anonymous poem, written
about the middle of the tenth century B.C..--after Solomon's time. It
is doubtless of much later origin. It belongs to Northern, and
not to Southern Palestine. This alone proves that Solomon did not
write it. The Talmud says, "Hezekiah and his company wrote Isaiah,
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs." Hengstenberg, one of the
most orthodox of commentators, says that Ecclesiastes was written
centuries after the time of Solomon. Davidson believes that it was
written as late as 350 B.C.; while Hartmann and Hitzig, German critics,
contend that it was written still later.

Solomon's Song is an amorous poem, beautiful in its way. But when
we turn to it in the Christian Bible and find the running titles
of every page and the table of contents of every chapter filled
with sanctimonious drivel about Christ and his bride, the Church,
we are reminded of a lecherous parson masquerading under the cloak of
piety among his female parishioners. The Preacher of Ecclesiastes is
something of a Freethought preacher. He is a skeptic and a philosopher.

Lamentations, it is claimed, was composed by Jeremiah. There is little
evidence either for or against this claim. Oort affirms that its
ascription to Jeremiah is a "mistaken tradition," that its five poems
were written by five different authors and at different times. The
habit of ascribing anonymous writings to eminent men was prevalent
among the Jews. Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Daniel, and
probably Jeremiah, have been declared the authors of books of which
they never heard.

Ruth is the only book of the Bible whose authorship is generally
conceded by Christians to be unknown. Dr. Hitchcock says: "There is
nothing whatever by which the authorship of it can be determined."

Many orthodox scholars admit that Esther's authorship, like that
of Ruth, is unknown. Some credit it to Mordecai. It was written
as late as 300 B.C., 150 years after Mordecai's time. The Vulgate
and modern Catholic versions include six chapters not found in our
authorized version. There are many books in the Bible devoid of truth,
but probably none so self-evidently false as Esther. It has been
described as "a tissue of glaring impossibilities from beginning to
end." Luther pronounces it a "heathenish extravagance."


Christians class Daniel with the Greater Prophets, and assign its
authorship to the sixth century B.C. It belongs to the Hagiographa
and was one of the last books of the Old Testament to be written.

A considerable portion of the book relates to Belshazzar. Twenty
times in one chapter is he referred to as the king of Babylon, and
five times is he called the son of Nebuchadnezzar. Yet Belshazzar was
not the son of Nebuchadnezzar, neither was he king of Babylon. Again
the author devotes several chapters to Darius "the Median," who,
he says, defeated the Chaldeans and conquered Babylon. Now, nearly
everybody, excepting this writer, supposed that it was Cyrus the
Persian who conquered Babylon. Darius "the Median" was never king of
Babylon. This book was written by one ignorant of Babylonian history,
and not by Daniel, who lived in Babylon, and who is said to have been
next to the king in authority.

Prof. A. H. Sayce, Professor of Assyriology in Oxford University,
considered by many the greatest of archæologists, a believer in
the divinity of the Bible and an opponent of Higher Criticism, is
compelled to reject Daniel. In a recent article, he says: "The old
view of the old Book is correct excepting the book of Daniel, which
is composed of legends.... The historical facts as we know them from
the contemporaneous records are irreconcilable with the statements
found in the historical portions of Daniel."

This statement, aside from its rejection of Daniel, is
significant. Here is a man whose life-long study and researches make
him preeminently qualified to judge of one book's authenticity and
credibility. This book he rejects. The books he accepts are those
concerning which he is not specially qualified to judge.

Dr. Arnold says: "I have long thought that the greater part of the
book of Daniel is most certainly a very late work, of the time of
the Maccabees" (Life and Correspondence, Vol. II., p. 188). This
conclusion of Dr. Arnold's, made seventy years ago, is confirmed by
the later critics who place its composition in the reign of Antiochus
Epiphanes, about 165 B.C.

A part, if not all of the book, was written in Aramaic. In the Greek
version the three small Apocryphal books, History of Susannah, Song
of the Three Holy Children, and Bel and the Dragon, are included in
it. The fact that the Jews placed Daniel in the Hagiographa, instead of
the Prophets, is fatal to the claims regarding its authorship and date.

Ezra and Nehemiah.

Ezra and Nehemiah for a time constituted one book, Ezra. This was
afterwards divided into two books and called The First and Second
books of Ezra. Both were ascribed to Ezra. Subsequently the names
were changed to those by which they are now known, and the authorship
assigned respectively to Ezra and Nehemiah. That both were not composed
by the same author is shown by the fact that each contains a copy of
the register of the Jews that returned from Babylon.

Critics agree that Ezra did not write all of the book which now bears
his name--that it is the work of various authors and was written,
for the most part, long after Ezra's time. A portion of it was written
in Hebrew and the remainder in Aramaic.

Nehemiah wrote, at the most, but a part of the book ascribed to
him. He did not write the following:

"The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua,
were recorded chief of the fathers; also the priests to the reign of
Darius the Persian" (xii, 22).

Darius the Persian began to reign 336 B.C.; Nehemiah wrote 433 B.C.

"There were in the days of ... Nehemiah the governor" (xii, 26). "In
the days of Nehemiah" (47).

These passages show that the book, as a whole, was not only not written
by Nehemiah, but not until long after the time of Nehemiah. Spinoza
says that both Ezra and Nehemiah were written two or three hundred
years after the time claimed. The later critics are generally agreed
that neither Ezra nor Nehemiah had anything to do with the composition
of these books.

First and Second Chronicles.

The concluding books of the Hagiographa, and of the Old
Testament, if arranged in their proper order, are First and Second
Chronicles. Theologians tell us that they were written or compiled
by Ezra 456 B.C.

By carefully comparing the genealogy given in the third chapter of 1
Chronicles with that given in the first chapter of Matthew, it will
be seen that the records of Chronicles are brought down to within a
few generations of Jesus. These books are a compilation of documents
made centuries after the time that Ezra and Nehemiah are supposed to
have completed the canon of the Old Testament, and a hundred years
after the date assigned for the Septuagint translation.

The fragmentary character of many of the books of the Bible, and
particularly of Chronicles, is shown in the conclusion of the second
book. It closes with an unfinished sentence, as follows: "The Lord
his God is with him and let him go up--." The concluding words may
be found in another book of the Bible--Ezra (i, 3): "To Jerusalem,
which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel,"
etc. The first verses of Ezra are identical with the last verses of
Chronicles. The compiler of Chronicles had seemingly begun to copy
the document which now forms a part of the book of Ezra, and in the
middle of a sentence was suddenly called away from his work, never
to resume and complete it.

We have now reviewed the books of the Old Testament. We have seen
that the claims made in support of their authenticity are, for the
most part, either untrue or incapable of proof. When and by whom
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges,
Ruth, First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, First and
Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs,
Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Daniel, Jonah, Haggai,
and Malachi were written is unknown. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and
Zechariah wrote, at the most, but portions of the books ascribed to
them. The few remaining books may have been written by those whose
names they bear, though even these are veiled in doubt. There is not
one book in the Old Testament whose authenticity, like that of many
ancient Greek and Roman books, is fully established.



The lesser in size but the greater in importance of the two divisions
of the Bible is the New Testament. The principal books of the New
Testament, and the most highly valued by Christians of all the books
of the Bible, are the Four Gospels. These books, it is affirmed,
were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in the first century;
Matthew between 37 and 50, Mark and Luke between 56 and 63, and John
between 78 and 97 A.D.

The orthodox claims regarding the origin of these books are thus
expressed by Dr. Hitchcock:

"The Four Gospels are the best authenticated ancient writings in the
world; so clear, weighty, and extensive is the mass of testimony in
favor of them" (Analysis of the Bible, p. 1149).

"These four books, together constituting the best attested piece of
history in the world, were written by four eye-witnesses of the facts
narrated" (Ibid, p. 1151).

"Matthew and John were Apostles and Mark and Luke were companions
and disciples of Apostles" (Ibid).

If these books are authentic and divinely inspired, as claimed,
Christianity is built upon a rock, and the floods and winds of
adverse criticism will beat against it in vain; but if they are not
authentic--if they were not written by the Evangelists named--if they
are merely anonymous books, written one hundred and fifty years after
the events they purport to record, as many contend, then it is built
upon the sand and must fall.

The Apostles.

Christians claim to have an "unbroken chain of testimony" to the
genuineness and credibility of the Four Gospels from the alleged
dates of their composition down to the present time. I shall endeavor
to show that they have no such chain of testimony--that the most
important part of it is wanting.

Twenty books--all of the remaining books of the New Testament but
three--are ascribed to the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John. All of
these books, it is affirmed, were written after Matthew was written,
and about one-half of them after Mark and Luke were written. If this
be true, some proofs of the existence of the Synoptic Gospels ought
to be found in these books.

Of the fourteen Epistles credited to Paul all have been assigned
later dates than Matthew, and a portion of them later dates than Mark
and Luke. But there is not a word to indicate that any one of these
Gospels was in existence when Paul wrote.

The two Epistles of Peter, it is claimed, were written after Matthew,
Mark, and Luke were written. But these Epistles contain no mention
of them.

The four remaining books, First, Second, and Third John and Revelation,
are said to have been written after these Gospels were composed. Their
reputed author, however, knows nothing of these gospels.

The three great Apostles are silent--three links at the very beginning
of this chain are missing.

The Apostolic Fathers.

After the Apostles, and contemporary with the oldest of them, come the
Apostolic Fathers, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, and Polycarp. Clement
wrote about the close of the first century. There are two Epistles
credited to him, but in these Epistles are to be found no evidences
of the existence of the Four Gospels.

Ignatius is said to have suffered martyrdom in the year 116. There
are fifteen Epistles which bear his name. A few of these are believed
to be genuine, while the remainder are conceded to be forgeries. But
in none of them, neither in the genuine nor in the spurious, is there
any evidence that the Gospels had appeared when they were written.

Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who is said to have been the companion of
John, died at a very advanced age, about the year 167. His Epistle to
the Philippians is extant, but it contains no reference to the Gospels.

Hermas and Barnabas are usually classed with the Apostolic Fathers. The
Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas make no mention of
the Evangelists.

That the writings of the Apostolic Fathers contain no proofs of
the existence of the Four Gospels is admitted even by Christian
writers. Dr. Westcott admits it:

"Reference in the sub-apostolic age to the discourses or actions of our
Lord, as we find them recorded in the Gospels, show, as far as they go,
that what the Gospels relate was then held to be true; but it does
not necessarily follow that they were already in use, and were the
actual source of the passages in question. On the contrary, the mode
in which Clement refers to our Lord's teaching--'the Lord said,' not
'saith'--seems to imply that he was indebted to tradition, and not to
any written accounts, for words most closely resembling those which
are still found in our Gospels. The main testimony of the Apostolic
Fathers is, therefore, to the substance, and not to the authenticity
of the Gospels" (On the Canon of the New Testament, p. 52).

Bishop Marsh makes the following admission: "From the Epistle of
Barnabas, no inference can be deduced that he had read any part
of the New Testament. From the genuine Epistle, as it is called,
of Clement of Rome, it may be inferred that Clement had read the
First Epistle to the Corinthians. From the Shepherd of Hermas no
inference whatsoever can be drawn. From the Epistles of Ignatius it
may be concluded that he had read St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians,
and that there existed in his time evangelical writings, though it
cannot be shown that he has quoted them. From Polycarp's Epistle to the
Philippians it appears that he had heard of St. Paul's Epistle to that
community, and he quotes a passage which is in the First Epistle to
the Corinthians and another which is in the Epistle to the Ephesians;
but no positive conclusion can be drawn with respect to any other
epistle, or any of the Four Gospels" (Michaelis, Vol. I., p. 354).

Dr. Dodwell says: "We have at this day certain most authentic
ecclesiastical writers of the times, as Clemens Romanus, Barnabas,
Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp, who wrote in the order wherein I
have named them, and after all the writers of the New Testament. But
in Hermas you will not find one passage or any mention of the New
Testament, nor in all the rest is any one of the Evangelists named"
(Dissertations upon Irenæus).

Professor Norton says: "When we endeavor to strengthen this evidence by
appealing to the writings ascribed to Apostolic Fathers we, in fact,
weaken its force. At the very extremity of the chain of evidence,
where it ought to be strongest, we are attaching defective links which
will bear no weight" (Genuineness of the Gospels, Vol I., p. 357).

Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp, all refer to the Epistles of Paul,
showing that they were in existence when they wrote and that they were
acquainted with them. But they never mention the Four Gospels, and this
silence affords conclusive evidence that these books as authoritative
documents did not exist in their time; for it is unreasonable to
suppose that they would use the least important and make no use of
the most important books of the New Testament. Three additional and
three of the principal links in this "unbroken chain of testimony"
are wanting, and must be supplied before the authenticity of the Four
Gospels can be established.

The Christian Fathers.

The early Christian Fathers had no knowledge of the existence of the
Four Gospels. One of the earliest and one of the most eminent of the
Christian Fathers was Justin Martyr. He lived and wrote about the
middle of the second century. His writings are rather voluminous,
and are devoted to the task of proving to both Jews and Gentiles
the divinity of Christ and the divine origin of Christianity. If
a Christian writer were to attempt to demonstrate this now, where
would he go for his authority? To the Four Gospels. These would
constitute his chief--almost his entire authority. Now, had these
books been extant when Justin wrote, and valued as they are by
Christians to-day, he would have used them, he would have quoted
from them, he would have named them. But he makes no use of them,
he never mentions them. He makes more than three hundred quotations
from the Old Testament--Messianic prophecies, etc.--and in nearly two
hundred instances he names the books from which he quotes. He makes
nearly one hundred quotations from Christian writings that are now
considered apocryphal, but he makes none from the Four Gospels.

This silence of Justin is the most damaging argument that has been
adduced against the authenticity of the Gospels. This demonstrates
one of two things: that these books were not in existence when Justin
Martyr wrote, were not in existence at the middle of the second
century, or if they were, the foremost Christian scholar of his age
rejected them.

Recognizing the significance of this damaging fact, Christian
apologists have attempted to show that Justin was acquainted with
our Gospels by citing extracts from his writings similar to passages
found in them. Westcott adduces seven passages, but admits that two
only are wholly identical. He says:

"Of the seven, five agree verbally with the text of St. Matthew
or St. Luke, exhibiting, indeed, three slight various readings not
elsewhere found, but such as are easily explicable. The sixth is a
condensed summary of words related by St. Matthew; the seventh alone
presents an important variation in the text of a verse, which is,
however, otherwise very uncertain" (Canon of the New Testament,
p. 131).

Think of this renowned defender of Christianity, Justin Martyr,
attempting to establish the divinity of Christ by citing four hundred
texts from the Old Testament and apocryphal books and two only from
the Evangelists!

There is really but one passage in the Gospels to be found in
Justin. But if it could be shown that they contain many passages
similar to, or even identical with, passages found in his writings,
this would not prove that he has quoted from them. It is not claimed
that these Gospels are mere fabrications of their authors, or that
they are composed entirely of original matter. They consist largely
of traditions, and these traditions, many of them, were embodied in
other and older books which were used by the early Fathers. While the
Four Gospels were not extant in Justin's time, some of the documents
of which they are composed, particularly those containing the reputed
sayings of Jesus, had already appeared and were frequently cited by
the Fathers. These citations, Paley, Lardner, Westcott, and others,
in their evidences of Christianity, have adduced as proofs of the
early origin of the Four Gospels.

Justin's quotations are chiefly from what he calls the "Memoirs of
the Apostles." These, it is claimed, were the Four Gospels. If so,
then the gospels we have are not genuine, for the quotations from the
"Memoirs" are not to be found in our Gospels. Justin says that Mary
(not Joseph) was descended from David; that Jesus was born in a cave;
that the Magi came from Arabia; that Jesus made ploughs and yokes;
that a fire was kindled in the Jordan at his baptism; that he was
called a magician. The "Memoirs," or Gospels, from which Justin quotes
are not our Gospels.

The Rev. Dr. Giles repudiates the claim that Justin Martyr recognized
the Gospels. He says:

"The very names of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
are never mentioned by him--do not occur once in all his works. It
is, therefore, childish to say that he has quoted from our existing
Gospels" (Christian Records, p. 71).

Papias, a Christian bishop and a contemporary of Justin Martyr,
is cited as a witness for the Gospels. He is quoted by Eusebius as
referring to writings of Matthew and Mark. But the books he mentions
are plainly not the gospels of Matthew and Mark.

Of Matthew he says: "Matthew composed the oracles in the Hebrew
dialect, and every one interpreted them as he was able" (Eusebius'
Ecclesiastical History, book iii, p. 39).

This was not the biographical narrative known as "Matthew," but
probably an apocryphal book called the "Oracles of Christ," which
some ascribed to Matthew.

Mark is referred to as follows: "Mark having become the interpreter
of Peter, wrote accurately whatever he remembered, though he did
not arrange in order the things which were either said or done
by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord, nor followed him; but
afterwards, as I said, accompanied Peter, who adapted his teaching
to the occasion, and not as making a consecutive record of the Lord's
discourses" (Ecclesiastical History, book iii, p. 39).

This does not describe our Gospel of Mark, which, although
a compilation, is a consecutive narrative of events, and not a
collection of isolated fragments.

But even if Papias was acquainted with the Gospels, he is a poor
witness to their credibility, for he accepted the teachings of
tradition in preference to the books which he knew: "I held that what
was to be derived from books did not profit me as that from the living
and abiding voice [tradition]" (Ecclesiastical History, iii, 39).

Dr. Davidson admits that the books mentioned by Papias were not our
Gospels. He says:

"Papias speaks of Matthew and Mark, but it is most probable that he had
documents which either formed the basis of our present Matthew and Mark
or were taken into them and written over" (Canon of the Bible, p. 124).

"He neither felt the want nor knew the existence of inspired Gospels"
(Ibid, p. 123).

The writings of thirty Christian authors who wrote prior to 170 are
still extant. In all these writings there is to be found no mention
of the Four Gospels.

In the writings of Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, occurs the
following: "John says: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was God.'" This was written in 180, after the middle of the latter
half of the second century, and is the earliest proof of the existence
of any one of the Four Gospels.

Irenæus, bishop of Lyons, who wrote about 190, is the earliest
writer who mentions all of the Four Gospels. He names them; he
declares them to be inspired; he makes four hundred quotations from
them. The Four Gospels were in existence when Irenæus wrote, and they
were undoubtedly composed between the time of Justin Martyr and the
time of Irenæus--that is, some time during the latter half of the
second century.

Writers on the evidences of Christianity endeavor to establish the
genuineness of the Four Gospels by showing that the Fathers who lived
and wrote during the two centuries following the ministry and death
of Jesus accepted and quoted them as authorities. They credit these
Fathers with more than four thousand evangelical quotations. But where
are these quotations to be found? Nearly all of them in Irenæus,
Clemens of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen, while in Clement
of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Justin Martyr few or none are
claimed. The fact that the writings of the Fathers which appeared
immediately after 180 contain thousands of evangelical references,
while in all the writings which appeared before 170 the evangelists
are not even named, affords conclusive evidence that the Four Gospels
were composed during or near the decade that elapsed between 170 and
180 A.D.

Internal Evidence.

The Four Gospels do not claim to have been composed by Matthew,
Mark, Luke, and John. The titles are not "The Gospel of Matthew,"
"The Gospel of Mark," "The Gospel of Luke," and "The Gospel of John,"
but "The Gospel According to Matthew," "The Gospel According to Mark,"
"The Gospel According to Luke," and "The Gospel According to John." The
titles simply imply that they are according to the real or traditional
teachings of these Evangelists. So far as the textual authorship is
concerned, they are, and do not purport to be other than, anonymous
books. Omit these titles, and not one word remains to indicate their
authorship. Now, it is admitted that these books did not originally
bear these titles. St. Chrysostom, who believes that they are genuine,
says (Homilies i) that the authors did not place their names at
the head of their Gospels, but that this was afterward done by the
church. There is nothing in them to support the claim that they were
written by those whose names have been prefixed. On the contrary,
their contents furnish conclusive proofs that they were not written
by these supposed authors, nor in the apostolic age.


Christians believe that Matthew's Gospel was written in Hebrew. Our
Matthew was written in Greek. An attempt has been made to explain
the discrepancy by assuming that Matthew wrote his book in Hebrew,
and subsequently rewrote it in Greek, or translated it into this
language. But another difficulty remains. The quotations from the
Old Testament in Matthew, and there are many, are taken, not from the
Hebrew, but from the Septuagint (Greek) version. This proves that it
was originally written in Greek and not in Hebrew.

The Gospel According to the Hebrews, it is affirmed, was the Hebrew
form of Matthew. If this be true, then our Greek Matthew cannot be a
correct translation, for the passages from the Gospel of the Hebrews
which have been preserved are not to be found in Matthew. The following
quotations are from the Gospel of the Hebrews, this supposed original
Gospel of Matthew:

"He who wonders shall reign, and he who reigns shall rest."

"Then the rich man began to smite his head, and it pleased him not."

"The Holy Ghost, my mother, lately took me by one of my hairs, and
bore me to the great mountain Tabor."

"I am a mason, who get my livelihood by my hands; I beseech thee,
Jesus, that thou wouldst restore to me my strength, that I may no
longer thus scandalously beg my bread."

If these passages are from the original Gospel of Matthew, then the
accepted Gospel of Matthew is spurious.

This Hebrew Gospel was the Gospel of the Ebionites and
Nazarenes. Eusebius says: "They [the Ebionites] made use only of that
which is called the Gospel According to the Hebrews." Epiphanius says:
"They [the Nazarenes] have the Gospel of Matthew most entire in the
Hebrew language." St. Jerome refers to it as "the Gospel which the
Nazarenes and Ebionites use."

Referring to these sects, Dr. Hug, the eminent Catholic critic, says:
"The Ebionites denied the miraculous conception of Christ, and,
with the Nazarenes, looked upon him only as an ordinary man." The
Gospel which these sects accepted as their authority could not have
been our Gospel of Matthew, because the most important part of this
Gospel is the story of the miraculous conception.

While the claim that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew is vigorously
maintained, the claim that he afterwards translated it into Greek
himself is so manifestly untenable that many have conceded its
improbability. Jerome says: "Who afterwards translated it [Matthew]
into Greek is not sufficiently certain."

The consequences of this admission are thus reluctantly expressed
by Michaelis: "If the original text of Matthew is lost, and we have
nothing but a Greek translation: then, frankly, we cannot ascribe
any divine inspiration to the words."

Two texts may be cited from Matthew which prove a later date for the
Gospel than that claimed. Jesus, in upbraiding the Jews, is reported
to have used the following language:

"Upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth,
from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of
Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar" (xxiii, 35).

Zacharias, the son of Baruch (Barouchos), who is undoubtedly meant,
was slain in the temple about 69 A.D. Thus Matthew makes Jesus refer
to an event that occurred forty years after his death and twenty or
thirty years after the Gospel of Matthew is said to have been written.

Dr. Hug admits that this is the Zacharias referred to. He says:
"There cannot be a doubt, if we attend to the name, the fact and its
circumstances, and the object of Jesus in citing it, that it was the
same Zacharias Barouchos, who, according to Josephus, a short time
before the destruction of Jerusalem, was unjustly slain in the temple."

Regarding this passage in Matthew, Professor Newman, of University
College, London, says: "There is no other man known in history to
whom this verse can allude. If so, it shows how late, how ignorant,
how rash, is the composer of a text passed off on us as sacred truth"
(Religion Not History, p. 46).

"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee
the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on
earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on
earth shall be loosed in heaven" (xvi, 18, 19).

This passage was written at the beginning of the establishment of the
Roman Catholic hierarchy, for the purpose of securing the recognition
of the Church of Rome (the founding of which tradition assigned to
Peter) as the church of Christ.

Bishop Marsh, in his Michaelis, says: "If the arguments in favor of
a late date for the composition of St. Matthew's Gospel be compared
with those in favor of an early date, it will be found that the former
greatly outweigh the latter."

Dr. Davidson admits that Matthew is an anonymous work. He says:
"The author, indeed, must ever remain unknown" (Introduction to the
New Testament, p. 72).


As to where the Gospel of Mark was written, whether in Asia, in Africa,
or in Europe, is unknown. Some believe that it was written at Antioch;
Chrysostom states that it was written at Alexandria; Irenæus says
that it was written at Rome. If it was written at Rome it was probably
written in Latin instead of Greek. Smith's "Bible Dictionary" concedes
that "it abounds in Latin words." The following is an example:

"And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name
is Legion: for we are many" (v. 9).

Commenting on this passage, the Rev. Dr. Giles says: "The Four Gospels
are written in Greek, and the word 'legion' is Latin; but in Galilee
and Perea the people spoke neither Latin nor Greek, but Hebrew, or
a dialect of it. The word 'legion' would be perfectly unintelligible
to the disciples of Christ, and to almost everybody in the country"
(Christian Records, p. 197).

If it was written in Latin, then our Greek Mark, like Matthew, instead
of being an original Gospel, is simply an unauthenticated translation.

Mark has generally been considered a Petrine Gospel; orthodox
Christians claiming that Peter dictated the Gospel to Mark. Discussing
this claim, the author of "Supernatural Religion" says: "Throughout
the Gospel there is the total absence of anything which is specially
characteristic of Petrine influence and teaching" (Vol. I.,
p. 362). Volkmar and others declare it to be Pauline. One thing can
be affirmed with certainty; it was not written by John Mark, neither
was it dictated by Peter.

The last twelve verses of Mark, it is claimed, are an interpolation,
because they are not to be found in the older manuscripts of the
book. The Revision Committee which prepared the New Version of the
New Testament pronounced them spurious. If these verses are not
genuine, then it must be admitted that the second Gospel is either
an unfinished or a mutilated work; for with these verses omitted,
it ends abruptly with the visit of the women to the tomb, leaving the
most important events at the close of Christ's career, his appearance
and ascension--the proofs of his resurrection--unrecorded.

The greater portion of Mark is to be found in Matthew and Luke, and
much of it in the same or similar language. Judge Waite, in his review
of the Gospel, says: "Mark has almost a complete parallel in Luke and
Matthew taken together. There are but 24 verses which have no parallel
in either of the other synoptics" (History of Christianity, p. 350).

Regarding the origin of Mark, Strauss says: "Our second Gospel
cannot have originated from recollections of Peter's instructions,
i. e., from a source peculiar to itself, since it is evidently a
compilation, whether made from memory or otherwise, from the first
and third Gospels" (Life of Jesus, Vol. I., p. 51).

That neither Peter nor Mark had anything to do with the composition
of this book is admitted by Davidson. Referring to it he says: "It
has therefore no relation to the Apostle, and derives no sanction
from his name. The author is unknown" (Introduction to New Testament,
Vol. II, p. 84).


In denying the authenticity of Mark and Luke, what I deny is that these
books were written by the traditional Mark and Luke, the companions
of Peter and Paul. I deny that they were written in the apostolic age
and by apostolic authority. As stated by "Chambers's Encyclopedia,"
"the question as to their genuineness is in the main question as
to the fact of their existence at this early period; the special
authorship of each Gospel is a comparatively less important question."

The book of Luke is anonymous; it does not claim to be written by
Luke. And yet the Fathers may have been correct in ascribing its
authorship to him. If so, who was this Luke? Where did he live? When
did he write his book? "Chambers's" says he "was born, according to
the accounts of the Church Fathers, at Antioch, in Syria." Smith's
"Bible Dictionary" says, "He was born at Antioch." The Gospel is
addressed to Theophilus. Who was Theophilus? The "Bible Dictionary"
says: "From the honorable epithet applied to him in Luke i, 3, it
has been argued with much probability that he was a person in high
official position." There is but one Theophilus known to history to
whom the writer can possibly refer, and this is Theophilus, Bishop
of Antioch, who lived in the latter part of the second century. Luke
and Theophilus, then, both belonged to Antioch, and it is undoubtedly
to this Theophilus that Luke's Gospel is addressed. This proves that
it was written more than one hundred years after the date assigned
for its composition. When Luke assumed the task of writing a Gospel,
Matthew, it has been claimed, was the only Gospel extant. And yet
Luke in his introduction declares that many had been written; all of
which he admits were genuine. Jerome says that one of the Gospels
which Luke refers to was the Gospel of Appelles: "The Evangelist,
Luke, declares that there were many who wrote Gospels.... They were
such as that according to the Egyptians, and Thomas, and Matthias,
and Bartholomew, that of the Twelve Apostles, and Basilides, and
Appelles, and others." The Gospel of Appelles was written about
60 A.D. If Luke's Gospel was written after the Gospel of Appelles,
it was written after the middle of the second century.

Dr. Schleiermacher, one of the greatest of modern theologians,
maintains that Luke is a compilation of thirty-three different
manuscripts; as follows: Chapter i, 1-4; i, 5-80; ii, 1-20; ii, 21;
ii, 22-40; ii, 41-52; iii, iv, 1-15; iv, 16-30; iv, 31-44; v, 1-11;
v, 12-16; v, 17-26; v, 27-39, vi, 1-11; vi, 12-49; vii, 1-10; vii,
11-50; viii, 1-21; viii, 22-56; ix, 1-45; ix, 46-50; ix, 51-62; x,
1-24; x, 25-37; x, 38-42; xi, 1-13; xi, 14-54; xii, xiii, 1-9; xiii,
10-22; xiii, 23-35; xiv, 1-24; xiv, 25-35; xv, xvi, xvii, 1-19; xvii,
20-37; xviii, xix, xx; xxi; xxii, xxiii, 1-49; xxiii, 50-56; xxiv.

Bishop Thirlwall's Schleiermacher contains the following in regard to
the composition of Luke: "The main position is firmly established that
Luke is neither an independent writer, nor has made a compilation from
works which extended over the whole course of the life of Jesus. He
is from beginning to end no more than the compiler and arranger of
documents which he found in existence, and which he allows to pass
unaltered through his hands" (p. 313).

The immediate source of Luke's Gospel was undoubtedly the Gospel
of Marcion, itself a compilation of older documents. Referring to
this Gospel, the Rev. S. Baring-Gould says: "The arrangement is so
similar that we are forced to the conclusion that it was either used
by St. Luke or that it was his original composition. If he used it,
then his right to the title of author of the Third Gospel falls to
the ground, as what he added was of small amount" (Lost and Hostile

The Synoptics.

The Synoptics Matthew, Mark, and Luke, it is claimed, are original
and independent compositions, and the oldest of all the Gospels,
both canonical and apocryphal. This claim is disproved by the
form and character of their contents. One of two things is certain:
either these writers copied from each other, or all copied from older
documents. The following, which are but a few of the many passages
that might be adduced, afford unmistakable evidence of this:

Matthew--"They were astonished at his doctrine" (xxii, 33).

Mark--"They were astonished at his doctrine" (i, 22).

Luke--"They were astonished at his doctrine" (iv, 32).

Matthew--"For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the
scribes" (vii, 29).

Mark--"For he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the
scribes" (i, 22).

Matthew--"While he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came,
and with him a great multitude, with swords and staves, from the
chief priests," etc. (xxvi, 47).

Mark--"While he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with
him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests,"
etc. (xiv, 43).

Matthew--"And without a parable spake he not unto them" (xiii, 34).

Mark--"But without a parable spake he not unto them" (iv, 34).

Matthew--"Sought opportunity to betray him" (xxvi, 16).

Luke--"Sought opportunity to betray him" (xxii, 6).

Mark--"But they understood not that saying" (ix, 32).

Luke--"But they understood not this saying" (ix, 45).

The theory that the Synoptics borrowed from each other will account
for the agreements in their books; but it will not account for the
disagreements, and these are quite as numerous as the agreements. The
following hypothesis, however, will account for both. When the
Synoptics were composed probably fifty gospels, some of recent and
others of early origin, were already in existence. In addition to
these were a hundred other documents pertaining to Christ and his
teachings. From this mass of Gospel literature the Synoptics were
compiled. Those portions that agree were taken from a common source;
those that do not agree were taken from different documents.

Dean Alford believes that in the early ages of the church there
existed what he terms a "common substratum of apostolic teachings,"
"oral or partially documentary." This, he says, "I believe to have been
the original source of the common part of our three Gospels." Canon
Westcott admits that "their substance is evidently much older than
their form."

Professor Ladd, of Yale College, says: "In some respects each of the
first three Gospels must be regarded as a compilation; it consists
of material which the others have in common with it, and which was
of a traditional kind more or less prepared before the author of
the particular Gospel took it in hand to modify and rearrange it"
(What Is the Bible? p. 295).

Bishop Marsh, in his Michaelis, says: "The notion of an absolute
independence, in respect to the composition of our three first Gospels,
is no longer tenable" (Vol. III, part 2, p. 170).

Prof. Robertson Smith, of Scotland, pronounces them "unapostolic
digests of the second century." Evanson goes further and declares
them to be "spurious fictions of the second century."

The Encyclopedia Britannica concedes the fact that Protestant
scholarship in Europe has virtually abandoned the popular orthodox
position regarding the origin of these books. It says:

"It is certain that the Synoptic Gospels took their present form only
by degrees, and that while they have their root in the apostolic age,
they are fashioned by later influences and adapted to special wants
in the early church. They are the deposits, in short, of Christian
traditions handed down first of all in an oral form, before being
committed to writing in such a form as we have them; and this is now
an accepted conclusion of every historical school of theologians in
England no less than in Germany, conservative no less than radical."


In addition to what has already been adduced against the Johannine
authorship of the Fourth Gospel, I submit the following:

1. John, the disciple of Jesus, was an unlettered fisherman. The
author of the Fourth Gospel was an accomplished scholar and a polished
writer. His book is one of the classics of Christian literature.

2. The Apostle John was born at Bethsaida. The author of John says
that Bethsaida was in Galilee (xii, 21). Bethsaida was not in Galilee,
but in Perea, and to assert that John wrote this Gospel is to assert
that he was ignorant of the location of his own town.

3. "In Bethany beyond Jordan" (New Ver. i, 28). "In Enon near to Salim"
(iii, 23). "A city of Samaria, called Sychar" (iv, 5). These passages
were written by one little acquainted with the geography of Palestine
and unfamiliar with the scenes he attempts to describe.

4. John, the son of Zebedee, was a Jew. The manner in which the author
of the Fourth Gospel always refers to the Jews is conclusive evidence
that he was not a Jew.

5. The Synoptics state that Jesus celebrated the Passover with his
disciples, and was crucified on the following day. The author of
John states that he was crucified on the previous day, and therefore
did not partake of the Paschal supper. In the second century a great
controversy arose in the church regarding this. Those who accepted
the account given in the Synoptics observed the feast, while those
who accepted the account given in the Fourth Gospel rejected it. Now,
we have the testimony of Irenæus that John himself observed this
feast. "For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe it,
because he had ever observed it with John, the disciple of our Lord"
(Against Heresies, iii, 3). As John accepted the account which appears
in the Synoptics and rejected that which appears in the Gospel of John,
he could not have written the Fourth Gospel.

6. The disciple John is represented as standing at the cross and
witnessing the crucifixion. The author of John does not claim to
have been present, but appeals to the testimony of an eye-witness in
support of his statements: "And he that saw it bare record, and his
record is true" (xix, 35).

7. "Now, there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples whom
he loved" (xiii, 23). "The disciple standing by, whom he loved" (xix,
26). "To Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved"
(xx, 2). This beloved disciple is said to be John. The Synoptics,
however, do not represent John as the favorite disciple. If there was
one disciple whom Jesus loved more than the others, it was Peter. To
ascribe to John the authorship of the Fourth Gospel is to ascribe to
him a spirit of self-glorification that is simply disgusting.

8. "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his
disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written,
that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God:
and that believing ye might have life through his name" (xx, 30,
31). Thus concludes the original Gospel According to St. John. This
book was not written by John, but it was written by a disciple of
John for Johannine Christians. When the Roman Catholic hierarchy
was formed and the Gospel of John was admitted to the New Testament
canon, there was appended another chapter--a forgery. The hero of
this chapter is Peter. A dozen times Jesus calls him by name. To him
Jesus gives the oft repeated injunction, "Feed my lambs;" "feed my
sheep." This chapter was added to counteract the Johannine influence
and exalt the Petrine teachings so dear to Rome. To give an appearance
of genuineness to this forgery, "the disciple whom Jesus loved" is
again introduced and declared the author of the Gospel, thus making
John himself a supporter of Petrine supremacy.

9. Some of the most important events in the life of Jesus, the
Synoptics state, were witnessed by John. The author of the Fourth
Gospel knows nothing about them. "All the events said to have been
witnessed by John alone are omitted by John alone. This fact seems
fatal either to the reality of the events in question or to the
genuineness of the Fourth Gospel" (Greg).

10. Even Christians have tacitly admitted the hopelessness of
maintaining the authenticity of both the Fourth Gospel and the
Synoptics. If the Synoptics are authentic, the Fourth Gospel cannot
be. Smith's "Bible Dictionary" says: "In the Fourth Gospel the
narrative coincides with that of the other three in a few passages
only. Putting aside the account of the Passion, there are only
three facts which John relates in common with the other Evangelists"
(Art. Gospels).

11. The author of John declares Jesus to be God. The complete
deification of Jesus was the growth of generations. The early
Christians, including the Apostles, believed him to be a man. Later, he
became a demi-god, and the writings and traditions which represented
him as such formed the materials from which the Synoptics were
compiled. Not until the latter part of the second century was Jesus
placed among the gods, and not until this time was the Fourth Gospel

Alluding to the Fourth Gospel, Canon Westcott says: "The earliest
account of the origin of the Gospel is already legendary."

Professor Davidson says: "The Johannine authorship has receded before
the tide of modern criticism, and though this tide is arbitrary at
times it is here irresistible" (Canon of the Bible, p. 127).

From a work entitled "The New Bible and Its Uses" Prof. Andrew
D. White, our present minister to Germany, in his "Warfare of Science"
(vol. ii, p. 306), quotes the following in relation to John, which
shows how rapidly the supposed authenticity of Bible books is
disappearing before the investigations of the Higher Critics:

"In the period of thirty years ending in 1860, of the fifty great
authorities in this line, four to one were in favor of the Johannine
authorship.... Of those who have contributed important articles
to the discussion from 1880 to 1890, about two to one reject the
Johannine authorship of the Gospel in its present shape--that is to
say, while forty years ago great scholars were four to one in favor
of, they are now two to one against, the claim that the Apostle John
wrote the Gospel as we have it."

The Four Gospels.

The principal reason for rejecting both the reputed authorship and the
credibility of the Four Gospels is the contradictory character of their
contents. If Jesus Christ was a historical personage, as Christians
believe, these alleged biographies were not written by his Apostles and
their companions; neither were they compiled from authentic records.

The Greek text of the Gospels disproves their authenticity. Their
assigned authors, or two of them at least, were unlearned Jews. Their
work was confined chiefly to the lower classes of their countrymen,
in a land where Greek was almost unknown. The absurdity of this is
shown by Mrs. Besant: "The only parallel for so curious a phenomenon
as these Greek Gospels, written by ignorant Jews, would be if a Cornish
fisherman and a low London attorney, both perfectly ignorant of German,
wrote in German the sayings and doings of a Middlesex carpenter, and as
their work was entirely confined to the lower classes of the people,
who knew nothing of German, and they desired to place within their
reach full knowledge of the carpenter's life, they circulated it among
them in German only, and never wrote anything about him in English."

The doctrines of the immaculate conception and of a material
resurrection, so prominent in the Four Gospels, are proofs of their
late origin. These doctrines are not taught in the older books of the
New Testament, and were unknown to the Christians of the first century.

The scholarly author of "Supernatural Religion," after a patient and
exhaustive examination of every accessible document relating to the
subject, writes as follows:

"After having exhausted the literature and the testimony bearing on
the point, we have not found a single distinct trace of any of those
Gospels during the first century and a half after the death of Jesus"
(Vol. II., p. 248).

Bishop Faustus, a heretical theologian of the fifth century, referring
to this so so-called Gospel history, says:

"It is allowed not to have been written by the Son himself nor by his
Apostles, but long after by some unknown men who, lest they should
be suspected of writing things they knew nothing of, gave to their
books the names of the Apostles."

Regarding these four books and their sequel, Acts, Rev. Dr. Hooykaas,
the noted theologian and critic of Holland, voices the opinion of
himself and his renowned associates, Dr. Kuenen and Dr. Oort, in the
following words:

"Our interest is more especially excited by the five historical
books of the New Testament. If we might really suppose them to have
been written by the men whose names they bear, we could never be
thankful enough for such precious authorities.... But, alas! not
one of these five books was really written by the person whose name
it bears--though for the sake of brevity we shall still call the
writers Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John--and they are all of more
recent date than their headings would lead us to suppose.... We
cannot say that the Gospels and the book of Acts are unauthentic,
for not one of them professes to give the name of its author. They
appeared anonymously. The titles placed above them in our Bibles owe
their origin to a later ecclesiastical tradition which deserves no
confidence whatever" (Bible for Learners, Vol. III., p. 24).

The Pentateuch was not written by Moses, nor the Four Gospels by
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The authenticity of the chief books of
the New Testament, like that of the chief books of the Old, must be
given up. The results of our review of them may be summed up in the
words of the great German, Ferdinand Christian Baur: "These Gospels
are spurious, and were written in the second century."



In this chapter will be reviewed the so-called historical book of
Acts, the Catholic Epistles, and Revelation. In some versions of the
New Testament the Catholic Epistles come immediately after Acts.

Acts of the Apostles.

The Acts of the Apostles is one of many books bearing this name which
appeared during the early centuries of the church. Concerning the
origin of our canonical Acts, Dr. Hitchcock says: "It was written
by Luke, in considerable part from his own observations of the facts
narrated, and about A.D. 63, and at Rome, during Paul's stay there."

The Gospel of Luke is addressed to Theophilus; the book of Acts is
addressed to the same person, and as the author states that he has
addressed a former work to him, it is inferred that both works were
written by the same person. It has been shown that Theophilus lived
in the latter part of the second century, and that the Gospel of Luke
was written at this time. If Luke and Acts, then, were written by
the same person, and Acts was written after Luke, it also must have
been written late in the second century, and consequently could not
have been written by Luke, the companion of Paul.

It is asserted that Luke was the associate of Paul, and that he was
in Rome with Paul when his book was written. This implies Paul's
sanction of the book. But if the Epistles of Paul are genuine, and
it is generally agreed that those bearing upon this question are,
this can not be true; for the Paul of these epistles and the Paul of
Acts are two entirely different characters.

The book is entitled the Acts of the Apostles; and yet the acts of
Peter and Paul are almost the only apostolic acts recorded. Besides
the narrative of the author, the book consists largely of discourses
attributed to Peter and Paul. But the style of the "unlearned and
ignorant" (iv, 13) Peter is so similar to that of Paul with his "much
learning" (xxvi, 24), and both so closely resemble the style of the
author, that one not strongly imbued with faith must conclude that
the whole is the product of one mind.

The author cites a speech made by Gamaliel before the Jewish council,
in which he uses the following language: "For before these days rose
up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men,
almost four hundred, joined themselves, who were slain," etc. (v, 36).

Josephus, who gives an account of this event (Antiq. Bk. xx,
ch. v, sec. 1), says that it happened "while Fadus was Procurator
of Judea." This was 45 or 46 A.D. Gamaliel's speech was delivered,
according to the accepted chronology, 29 A.D. Thus the author of Acts
makes Gamaliel refer to an event as long past which in reality did
not happen until sixteen years after that time.

Continuing his speech, Gamaliel refers to another event, as follows:
"After this man [Theudas] rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the
taxing, and drew away much people after him; he also perished" (37).

Here the author makes Gamaliel state that the sedition of Judas of
Galilee occurred after that of Theudas, when in fact it occurred in
6 A.D.--forty years before. Such grave discrepancies could have been
made only by one writing long after the date claimed.

Holtzmann, a German critic, has shown that the author of Acts
borrowed from the Antiquities of Josephus. The Antiquities appeared
93 A.D.--just thirty years after the date assigned to Acts.

This book will not be given up by orthodox Christians without a
struggle. The authenticity of primitive Christianity depends largely
upon the authenticity of this book. Renan who was a Rationalist, and,
at the same time something of an apologist for Christianity, affirms
that the last pages of Acts, which are devoted almost entirely to
Paul's missionary labors constitute the only historical record of
the early church. At the same time, he admits that it is the most
faulty book in the New Testament. The Rev. Dr. Hooykaas concedes the
same. He says:

"Of the earliest fortunes of the community of Jesus, the primitive
history of the Christian church and the whole of the apostolic age,
we should know as good as nothing if we had not the book of Acts. If
only we could trust the writer fully! But we soon see that the utmost
caution is necessary. For we have another account of some of the
things about which this writer tells us--an account written by the
very man to whom they refer, the best possible authority, therefore,
as to what really took place. This man is Paul himself. In the first
two chapters of the epistle to the Galatians he gives us several
details of his own past life; and no sooner do we place his story
side by side with that of the Acts than we clearly perceive that this
book contains an incorrect account, and that its inaccuracy is not
the result of accident or ignorance, but of a deliberate design, an
attempt--conceived no doubt with the best intentions--to hide in some
degree the actual course of events" (Bible for Learners, Vol. III.,
p. 25).

The dissensions which arose in the first century between the Jewish
Christians and the Gentile Christians had only increased with time,
and these were among the chief obstacles in the way of uniting
Christians and establishing the Catholic church. The composition
of Acts was one of the many attempts made toward the close of the
second century to heal these dissensions. The author was a man who
cared little for either Petrine or Pauline Christianity--little for
the so-called truths of Christianity in any form--but a man who cared
much for church unity and church power.

The book of Acts was little known at first. St. Chrysostom, writing
in the fifth century, says: "This book is not so much as known to
many. They know neither the book nor by whom it was written."

James and Jude.

The seven Catholic Epistles, James, First and Second Peter, First,
Second, and Third John, and Jude, have been declared spurious or
doubtful by eminent Christian scholars in every age of the church. The
Fathers were loath to admit them into the Bible, and their right to
a place there has always been disputed.

James and Jude, the first and the last of these epistles, orthodox
Christians believe, were written by James and Jude, the brothers of
Jesus, in 62 and 64 A.D.

Three leading orthodox authorities, representing the three great
divisions of the Christian church, Cajetan of the Roman Catholic
church; Lucar of the Greek Catholic church, and Erasmus of the
Protestant church, have denied the authenticity of James. Luther
himself refused to accept it. He says: "The Epistle of James I account
the writing of no apostle."

The composition of Jude and Second Peter are both placed
in A.D. 64. There is no proof that either was in existence in
A.D. 164. It is only necessary to read Jude and the second chapter
of Second Peter to see that one borrowed from the other. While most
believe that the author of Second Peter used Jude in the construction
of his epistle, Luther contends that Jude is the plagiarist. He says:
"The epistle of Jude is an abstract or copy of St. Peter's Second"
(Preface to Luther's Version).

Jude cites as authentic the apocryphal book of Enoch, and the
apocryphal story of Michael the archangel contending with Satan
for the body of Moses. Origen, Jerome, and others in ancient,
and Calvin, Grotius and others in modern times, have doubted its
authenticity. Mayerhoff says it was written in the second century to
combat the heresies of the Carpocratians.

Epistles of Peter.

Most Christians contend that the First Epistle of Peter is
genuine. Some of the early Christian Fathers, however, rejected
it. Irenæus did not place it in his canon. Not until the third century
was it accepted as the writing of Peter.

The celebrated Tubingen school of critics rejects the authenticity
of the book. Baur and Zeller believe it to be a Pauline
document. Schwegler believes that it was written to reconcile the
Pauline and Petrine doctrines. The Dutch critics say that it was
borrowed largely from Paul and James, and that it was probably written
early in the second century. Regarding its authorship, Jules Soury,
of the University of France, says:

"Nobody, however, knows better than he [Renan] that the so-called
First Epistle of Peter, full of allusions to Paul's writings, as well
as the epistle to the Hebrews and the epistle of James, dates in all
probability from the year 130 A.D., at the earliest, thus placing
two generations between the time of its composition and the latter
years of the reign of Nero, when Peter is fabled to have been in Rome"
(Jesus and the Gospels, p. 32).

All critics pronounce Second Peter a forgery. Chambers's Encyclopedia
says: "So far as external authority is concerned, it has hardly
any. The most critical and competent of the Fathers were suspicious of
its authenticity; it was rarely if ever quoted, and was not formally
admitted into the canon till the Council of Hippo, 393 A.D. The
internal evidence is just as unsatisfactory."

Smith's "Bible Dictionary" contains the following relative to its
authenticity: "We have few references to it in the writings of the
early Fathers; the style differs materially from that of the First
Epistle, and the resemblance amounting to a studied imitation between
this epistle and that of Jude, seems scarcely reconcilable with the
position of Peter.... Many reject the epistle altogether as spurious."

It is believed by some that the original title of Second Peter was
the Epistle of Simeon. Grotius argues that it is a compilation from
two older epistles. The third chapter begins as follows: "This second
epistle, beloved, I now write unto you." These words clearly denote the
beginning of a document. Those who affirm its genuineness consider the
second chapter an interpolation. Westcott says there is no evidence of
the existence of this epistle prior to 170 A.D. Scaliger declares it to
be a "fiction of some ancient Christian misemploying his leisure time."

Epistles of John.

The so-called Epistles of John, so far as the books themselves are
concerned, are anonymous. They do not purport to have been written
by the Apostle John, nor by anyone bearing the name of John.

Of First John, "Chambers's Encyclopedia" says: "Of the epistles
it is almost certain that the First proceeded from the same writer
who composed the [Fourth] Gospel. In style, language, and doctrine,
it is identical with it." If John did not write the Fourth Gospel,
and it is conceded by most writers that he did not, then he did not
write this epistle.

Referring to the Gospel of John, whose authenticity he denies and
whose composition he assigns to the second century, Dr. Hooykaas
says: "The First Epistle of John soon issued from the same school in
imitation of the Gospel" (Bible for Learners, Vol. III, p. 692).

Of two passages in the First Epistle, ii, 23, and v, 7, which teach
the doctrine of the Trinity, the "Bible Dictionary" says: "It would
appear without doubt that they are not genuine." The Revisers of the
King James version pronounced them spurious.

The second and third epistles were not written by the writer of
the first. The early Fathers rejected them. Eusebius in the fourth
century classed them with the doubtful books. It has been claimed that
the second epistle was written for the purpose of counteracting the
heretical teachings of Basilides and his followers. Basilides was a
famous writer of the second century.

These epistles have the following superscriptions: "The elder
[presbyter] unto the elect lady" to the first, and "The elder unto
the well-beloved Gaius" to the second. The declaration that they are
from an elder or presbyter proves that they are not from an apostle,
and consequently not from the Apostle John. If they were written by a
writer named John, it was probably John the Presbyter, who lived in
the second century. Jerome states that they were generally credited
to him. In his account of John the Presbyter, Judge Waite says:
"He is also, not without reason, believed to have been the author of
the Epistles of John" (History of the Christian Religion, p. 228).


Revelation is the last book of the Bible, and the one least
understood. Christians themselves are not agreed as to its
meaning. Some believe it to be a series of prophecies which have had
their fulfilment in the struggles between Christianity and Paganism;
others believe that its prophecies are yet to be fulfilled; still
others pronounce it a symbolical poem, representing the conflict
between truth and error, while not a few consider it the recorded
fancies of a diseased imagination.

The book purports to be from "John to the seven churches of Asia" (i,
4). This John is declared to be the Apostle John and its authority is
based upon this claim. Smith's "Bible Dictionary" says: "The question
as to the canonical authority of the Revelation resolves itself into
a question of authorship. Was St. John the Apostle and Evangelist
the writer of the Revelation?" If John the Apostle and the author
of the Fourth Gospel were one, as assumed by the "Bible Dictionary,"
then the question of its authenticity and canonical authority must be
abandoned, for the author of the Fourth Gospel did not write it. There
is nothing in common between them. The German theologian, Lucke, says:
"If all critical experience and rules in such literary questions
do not deceive, it is certain that the Evangelist and Apocalyptist
are two different persons." De Wette says: "The Apostle John, if he
be the author of the Fourth Gospel and of the Johannine epistles,
did not write the Apocalypse." Regarding this conclusion, Ewald says:
"All men capable of forming a judgment are of the same opinion." Among
the eminent critics and commentators who take this position are Luther,
Erasmus, Michaelis, Schleiermacher, Credner, Zeller, Evanson, Baur,
Renan, and Davidson.

The Apostle John wrote neither the Fourth Gospel, the so-called
Epistles of John, nor Revelation. That he did not write Revelation
is shown by the following:

1. The author does not claim to be an apostle.

2. He refers to the Twelve Apostles (xxi, 14) in a way that forbids
the supposition that he was one of them.

3. The Apostle John is declared to have been illiterate and incapable
of writing a book.

4. It is addressed to the seven churches of Asia, and yet the seven
churches of Asia, to which it is addressed, rejected it.

The Alogi maintained that it was a forgery which came from
Corinth. Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, writing in the third century,
says: "Divers of our predecessors have wholly refused and rejected
this book, and by discussing the several parts thereof have found it
obscure and void of reason and the title forged."

Concerning its rejection by modern churchmen, the Edinburgh Review
(No. 131) says: "The most learned and intelligent of Protestant
divines here almost all doubted or denied the canonicity of the book
of Revelation. Calvin and Beza pronounced the book unintelligible,
and prohibited the pastors of Geneva from all attempts at
interpretation." Dr. South described it as "a book that either found
a man mad or left him so."

Luther, in the Preface to his New Testament (Ed. of 1522) writes:
"In the Revelation of John much is wanting to let me deem it either
prophetic or apostolical."



Fourteen books--Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians,
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First and Second Thessalonians,
First and Second Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews--are ascribed,
some correctly, some doubtfully, and others falsely, to Paul. They
were all written, it is claimed, between 52 and 65 A.D.

Genuine Epistles.

The genuine Epistles of Paul, those whose authenticity is conceded
by nearly all critics, are Romans, First and Second Corinthians, and
Galatians. The term "genuine" is applied to the books as originally
written, and not to the text as it now exists. It is probable that they
have undergone various changes since they left Paul's hand. The last
two chapters of Romans are believed to be interpolations. The fifteenth
consists chiefly of irrelevant matter which detracts from the symmetry
of the work. The sixteenth is mostly filled with salutations. In these
several women are given a prominence in church affairs that is wholly
at variance with Paul's attitude toward woman. The subscription to
the First Epistle to the Corinthians states that it "was written from
Philippi." The 19th verse of the last chapter shows that Paul was in
Asia instead of Europe, while the 8th verse expressly declares that
he was at Ephesus. The Second Epistle to Corinthians, it is declared,
"was written from Philippi" also. That this is doubtful is admitted
even by the most orthodox authorities. The subscription to Galatians
reads as follows: "Unto the Galatians, written from Rome." This book
was written between 52 and 55 A.D.; Paul did not go to Rome until 61
A.D. This epistle was written from Ephesus.

While critics are nearly unanimous in acknowledging the genuineness
of these books, a few, including Professor Thudichum of Germany,
Prof. Edwin Johnson of England, and W. H. Burr of this country,
pronounce them forgeries, and contend that the Paul of the New
Testament is a myth.

Doubtful Epistles.

The doubtful Epistles, those whose authenticity is accepted by some
critics and rejected by others, are Philippians, First Thessalonians,
and Philemon. Sixty years ago to this list of doubtful books critics
would have added three others--Ephesians, Colossians, and Second
Thessalonians; but the critical labors of the Tubingen school and
others have relegated these to the already burdened shelf of spurious
Bible books.

In regard to Philippians, Ferdinand Baur, for thirty years head of
the Tubingen school and unquestionably the greatest of Bible critics,
says: "The Epistles to the Colossians and to the Philippians ... are
spurious, and were written by the Catholic school near the end of
the second century, to heal the strife between the Jew and Gentile
factions" (Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ).

Baur also rejects First Thessalonians. He contends that this, as well
as the Second Epistle, contains teachings quite at variance with the
teachings of Paul. The German critic Schrader is confident that Paul
did not write First Thessalonians.

Respecting Philemon, Dr. Hitchcock says: "This brief Epistle was
written at the same time with those to the Colossians and Ephesians,
and was sent along with them by Tychicus and Onesimus." As Colossians
and Ephesians have both been declared spurious by the ablest Christian
scholars, Philemon, to say the least, is placed in bad company. This
Epistle was written in behalf of one Onesimus, a zealous Christian,
who is also mentioned in Colossians. There was an Onesimus, a zealous
church worker, living in 175 A.D.

Holland's critics, Dr. Kuenen, Dr. Oort, and Dr. Hooykaas, are disposed
to accept Philippians, First Thessalonians, and Philemon, but admit
that there are grave doubts concerning the authenticity of each.

Spurious Epistles.

The spurious Epistles, those whose authenticity is generally denied
by the critics, are Ephesians, Colossians, Second Thessalonians,
First and Second Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews.

Ewald and De Wette both admit that Ephesians was not written by
St. Paul. De Wette thinks it was compiled from Colossians. Davidson and
Mayerhoff believe that neither Ephesians nor Colossians is genuine. I
have quoted Baur's rejection of Colossians. The Encyclopedia Britannica
says: "It is undeniable that the Epistle to the Colossians and the
so-called Epistle to the Ephesians differ considerably in language
and thought from other Pauline Epistles and that their relation to
one another demands explanation."

First and Second Thessalonians are pronounced the oldest of Paul's
writings, both belonging, it is claimed, to 52 A.D. The author of the
Second Epistle is very desirous of having his writing accepted as
a genuine Epistle of Paul. Several times he declares himself to be
Paul. He warns them not to be deceived "by letter as from us" (ii,
2), and concludes with "the salutation of Paul with mine own hand,
which is the token in every Epistle." This Epistle affirms the first
to be a forgery. The first was probably written at an early date, and,
whether genuine or spurious, was accepted as a Pauline Epistle. In it
the early advent of Christ--during Paul's lifetime--is predicted. "We,
which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not
prevent them which are asleep" (iv, 15). "Then we which are alive
and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds"
(17). Generations passed, Christ did not come, and the church
was losing faith in Paul and Christianity. To restore confidence,
another letter from Paul to the Thessalonians was "found," and this
repudiates the first. He exhorts them not to be troubled, "neither
by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of
Christ is at hand" (ii, 2). It teaches the second coming of Christ,
but carefully leaves the time indefinite. Whatever may be said of
the First Epistle, the Second is clearly a forgery.

With respect to these Epistles, the Britannica says: "The predominant
opinion of modern criticism at present is that the genuineness of the
First Epistle is certain, while that of the Second must be given up."

First and Second Timothy and Titus, known as the Pastoral Epistles, and
Hebrews were not written by Paul. The Pastoral Epistles are forgeries,
while Hebrews is an anonymous work. The contents of these books betray
a later date. Their teachings are not the teachings of Paul. Their
language is utterly unlike that of the genuine Epistles. They contain
two hundred words never used by Paul. Marcion, the most noted Pauline
Christian of the second century, who made a collection of Paul's
Epistles, excluded them. Tatian and Basilides also rejected them.

Against the authenticity of the Pastoral Epistles may be cited
nearly every modern critic, including the four great names of Baur,
Eichorn, De Wette, and Davidson. Baur says they were written in the
second century.

While thirteen of the so-called Pauline Epistles claim to have
been written by Paul, Hebrews alone is silent regarding its
authorship. Tertullian classed it with the apocryphal books, but
thought it might have been written by Barnabas. In the Clermont codex
it is called the Epistle of Barnabas. According to Origen, some ascribe
it to Luke, others to Clement of Rome. Origen himself says: "Who it was
that really wrote the Epistle, God only knows." Dr. Westcott admits
that there is no evidence that Paul wrote it. Grotius attributes it
to Luke, Luther to Apollos. Luther says: "That the Epistle to the
Hebrews is not by St. Paul, nor, indeed, by any apostle, is shown by
chapter ii, 3" (Preface to Luther's N. T.).

Concerning the seven books that we have been considering, Dr. Hooykaas

"Fourteen Epistles are said to be Paul's; but we must at once strike
off one, namely, that to the Hebrews, which does not bear his name
at all.... The two letters to Timothy and the letter to Titus were
certainly composed long after the death of Paul.... It is more than
probable that the letters to the Ephesians and Colossians are also
unauthentic, and the same suspicion rests, perhaps, on the first,
but certainly on the second of the Epistles to the Thessalonians"
(Bible for Learners, Vol. III., p. 23).

The Rev. John W. Chadwick, in his "Bible of To-day," says that the
first four Epistles "are his [Paul's] with absolute certainty." Four
others, Philippians, Colossians, First Thessalonians, and Philemon,
he is disposed to accept, but admits that their authenticity is
doubtful. The remaining books he pronounces spurious.

Persons in this age have little conception of the prevalence
of literary forgeries in the early centuries of the church. Now,
when books are printed in editions of 1,000 or more, such forgeries
are nearly impossible and consequently rare. When books existed in
manuscript only, they were neither difficult nor uncommon. Books
and letters purporting to have been written by Paul, Peter, John,
and other Apostles were readily "discovered" when wanted. Of these
Apostolic forgeries Prof. John Tyndall says: "When arguments or proofs
were needed, whether on the side of the Jewish Christians or of the
Gentile Christians, a document was discovered which met the case, and
on which the name of an Apostle or of some authoritative contemporary
of the Apostles was boldly inscribed. The end being held to justify
the means, there was no lack of manufactured testimony."


Of these fourteen Epistles ascribed to Paul, four, then, Romans,
First and Second Corinthians, and Galatians, are pronounced genuine;
three, Philippians, First Thessalonians, and Philemon, are of doubtful
authenticity; while seven, Ephesians, Colossians, Second Thessalonians,
First and Second Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews, are spurious.

The genuine writings of Paul are probably the oldest Christian writings
extant. Admitting the authenticity of these four books, of course,
is not admitting the authenticity of Christianity. Paul was not a
witness of the alleged events upon which historical Christianity
rests. He was not a convert to Christianity until many years after
Christ's death. He did not see Christ (save in a vision); he did not
listen to his teachings; he did not learn from his disciples. "The
gospel which was preached of me is not after man, for I neither
received it of man, neither was I taught it" (Gal. i, 11, 12). Paul
accepted only to a small extent the religion of Christ's disciples. He
professed to derive his knowledge from supernatural sources--from
trances and visions. Regarding the value of such testimony, the
author of "Supernatural Religion" says: "No one can deny, and medical
and psychological annals prove, that many men have been subject to
visions and hallucinations which have never been seriously attributed
to supernatural causes. There is not one single valid reason removing
the ecstatic visions and trances of the Apostle Paul from this class."

We have now reviewed the books of the Bible and presented some of the
historical and internal evidences bearing upon the question of their
authenticity. The authenticity of the books of the New Testament,
we have seen, is but little better attested than that of the Old. The
authors of twenty books--Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Ephesians,
Colossians, Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, Titus,
Hebrews, James, First and Second Peter, First, Second, and Third John,
Jude, and Revelation--are unknown. Three books--Philippians, First
Thessalonians, and Philemon--are of questionable authenticity. Four
books only--Romans, First and Second Corinthians, and Galatians--are
generally admitted to be authentic.

Of the sixty-six books of the Bible at least fifty are anonymous
works or forgeries. To teach that these books are divine, and to
accept them as such, denotes a degree of depravity on the one hand,
and an amount of credulity on the other, that are not creditable to
a moral and enlightened people.





"The Bible does not contain the shadow of a shade of error from
Genesis to Revelation"--Cheever.

"Every book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every word
of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High."--Bunyan.

Such are the dogmatic assertions of Bibliolaters. So much confidence
do they pretend to repose in the doctrine of the Bible's inerrancy
that they propose the most crucial tests for its submission.

The Rev. Jeremiah Jones, one of the highest orthodox authorities on
the canon, lays down this rule in determining the right of a book to
a place in the canon:

"That book is apocryphal which contains contradictions; or which
contains histories, or proposes doctrines contrary to those which are
known to be true; or which contains ludicrous trifling, fabulous,
or silly relations; or which contains anachronisms; or wherein the
style is clearly different from the known style of the author whose
name it bears" (New Methods, Vol. I., p. 70).

The Rev. T. Hartwell Horne, a standard authority in the orthodox
church, submits this test in determining the divinity of the Bible
as a whole:

"If real contradictions exist in the Bible, it is sufficient proof
that it is not divinely inspired, whatever pretenses it may make to
such inspiration" (Introduction to the Scriptures, Vol. I., p. 581).

I challenge the verity of Cheever's and Bunyan's claims and proceed
to apply to this book the tests of Jones and Horne. Instead of not
containing the shadow of a shade of error, I shall show that it is
so filled with the darkness of error that the truths existing in it
are scarcely discernible. Instead of being the direct utterance of
the Most High, I shall show that every book of it, every chapter of
it, every verse of it, every word of it, is the direct utterance of
man. I shall impeach the authority of the Christian canon and show
that all of its books are apocryphal; that they contain histories
and propose doctrines that are contrary to what is known to be true;
that they contain ludicrous, trifling, fabulous, and silly relations;
that they abound with anachronisms. If I have not already shown that
the style of these books is clearly different from the known style of
the authors whose names they bear, it is because the "known style" of
these authors is a myth. I shall adduce enough real contradictions from
the Bible to not only refute the claim that it is divinely inspired,
but to destroy its credibility even as a human authority.

Errors of Transcribers.

If the Bible were a divine revelation, as claimed, it would have
been divinely preserved. Not only the original writers, but the
transcribers, translators, and printers, also, would have been divinely
inspired. It is admitted that divine inspiration was confined to the
original writers. Consequently the Bible, as we have it, cannot be
an infallible revelation. If it be not an infallible revelation it
cannot be a divine revelation.

It is popularly supposed that the books of the Bible, as originally
written, have been preserved free from corruptions. That they are full
of textual errors--that the books as they were originally written
no longer exist and cannot be restored--is conceded even by the
most orthodox of the Lower Critics. The principal causes of these
corruptions are the following:

1. Clerical errors. The invention of printing made it possible
to preserve the original text of a writer comparatively free from
errors. With the works of ancient writers this was impossible. For a
period of from 1,200 to 2,200 years preceding the invention of printing
the only means of preserving the books of the Bible was the pen of the
scribe. However careful the copyist might be, errors would creep into
the text. But instead of being careful these copyists, many of them,
were notoriously careless. This is especially evident in the case of
numbers. Hundreds of errors were made in the transcription of these
alone. Probably one-half of the numbers given in the Old Testament,
and many in the New, are not those given in the original text, but
are errors due to the carelessness of transcribers and a want of
divine supervision.

2. Interpolations. There are thousands of interpolations in the
Bible. A considerable portion of the words printed in Italics in our
version are acknowledged interpolations. Many of them appeared first in
the shape of marginal notes intended to explain or correct a statement
in the text. Later scribes incorporated these into the text. And thus,
while God was engaged in watching sparrows and numbering the hairs
in his children's heads, additions in this and various other ways
were made to his word. In many instances whole chapters were added
to the original documents.

3. Omissions. Much matter was carelessly omitted. To quote the Bible
for Learners, "not only letters and words, but whole verses have fallen
out." Objectionable matter was intentionally omitted. Chrysostom
tells us that entire books were destroyed by the Jews. They were on
such familiar terms with the Deity that they could obtain other and
more desirable ones for the asking.

4. Textual changes. In innumerable places the text has been wilfully
changed to suit the religious and other notions of the priests. Let
me cite an example. In early copies, and probably in the original
text, Genesis xviii, 22, reads as follows: "The Lord yet stood before
Abraham." They thought it detracted from God's dignity to stand before
one of his creatures, and so they changed it to its present form,
"Abraham stood yet before the Lord."

Concerning the corruptions of the scribes, Dr. Davidson says: "They
did not refrain from changing what had been written, or inserting
fresh matter" (Canon, p. 34).

The facts that I have mentioned apply not merely to the Old Testament,
but to the New Testament as well. Westcott, a very high authority
on the canon, says: "It does not appear that any special care was
taken in the first age to preserve the books of the New Testament
from the various injuries of time or to insure perfect accuracy of
transcription.... The original copies seem to have soon perished."

Errors of Translators.

These errors of the transcribers have been immeasurably increased
by the translators. A perfect translation is impossible, and for
these reasons: 1. No language has words to express perfectly all
the words of another language. 2. Languages change with time and
the words of one age have a different meaning in the next. 3. Many
writers do not express themselves clearly, and it is often impossible
to fully comprehend their meaning. This is especially true of Bible
writers. 4. No two translators will grasp the meaning of a writer in
exactly the same manner, or convey it in the same words.

In regard to the Old Testament the Hebrew language, as anciently
written, was the most difficult of all languages to translate. It
was written from right to left; the words contained no vowels; there
were no intervening spaces between the words, and no punctuation
marks. Even with the introduction of vowel points many words in Hebrew,
as in English, have more than one meaning. Without these points,
as originally written, the number is increased a hundred fold. The
five English words, bag, beg, big, bog, and bug, are quite unlike
and easily distinguished. Omit the vowels, as the ancient Jews did,
and we have five words exactly alike, or rather, one word with five
different meanings. The Hebrew language was thus largely composed of
words with several meanings. As there were no spaces between words it
was sometimes hard to tell where a word began or where it ended; and
as there were no punctuation marks, and no spaces between sentences,
paragraphs, or even sections, it was often difficult to determine
the meaning of a writer after the words had been deciphered.

Here is the best known passage in the Bible printed in English as
the Jews would have written it in Hebrew:


In the printed text there is little danger of mistaking one letter for
another; in the written text there is, especially if they resemble
each other. The Hebrew letters corresponding to our D and R were
nearly alike and easily confounded. Consequently in Numbers i, 14,
we have "Eliasaph the son of Deuel," and in Numbers ii, 14, "Eliasaph
the son of Reuel." Only God knows which is correct, and he does not
care to enlighten us. Therefore we must believe that both are correct
or be damned.

St. Jerome says: "When we translate the Hebrew into Latin we are
sometimes guided by conjecture." Le Clerc says: "The learned merely
guess at the sense of the Old Testament in an infinity of places"
(Sentim, p. 156). The Old Testament as we have it, then, consists
largely of guesses and conjectures.

The title page of our Authorized Version of the Bible contains these
words: "Translated out of the original tongues." The Old Testament
is declared to be a correct translation of the accepted Hebrew. In
its preparation, however, the Greek more than the Hebrew version
was followed. Referring to the King James translators, the historian
John Clark Ridpath says: "Following the Septuagint rather than the
Hebrew original, they fell into many errors which a riper scholarship
would have avoided" (Cyclopedia of Universal History. Vol. II.,
p. 763). Instead of being a collection of original guesses and
conjectures our Old Testament is, to a great extent, merely a bad
English translation of a corrupted copy of a spurious Greek translation
of the original (?) Hebrew.

On the title page of the Authorized Version of the New Testament
appears another falsehood: "Translated out of the original Greek." The
original Greek of the New Testament, it is claimed, belongs to the
first century. The "original Greek" out of which our version was
translated is less than 500 years old. The Greek version from which it
was translated was made by Erasmus in 1516. Referring to the materials
employed by Erasmus in the preparation of his work, the Rev. Alexander
Roberts, D. D., in his "Companion to the Revised Version of the English
New Testament," a work which the Committee on Revision delegated him
to write and which was approved, makes the following admissions:

"In the Gospels he principally used a cursive MS. of the fifteenth
or sixteenth century."

"In the Acts and Epistles he chiefly followed a cursive MS. of the
thirteenth or fourteenth century."

"For the Apocalypse he had only one mutilated manuscript."

"There are words in the professed original for which no divine
authority can be pleaded, but which are entirely due to the learning
and imagination of Erasmus."

Little do Christians realize how much of the Bible is due to the
imagination of theologians.

In view of the difficulties that I have mentioned, if the translators
had earnestly tried to give us a faithful translation of the Bible
their work would have teemed with imperfections. But they did not even
attempt to give us a faithful translation. We know that in numerous
instances they purposely mistranslated its words. A hundred examples
might be cited. One will suffice--sheol.

The translators themselves ought to be the best judges of each
other's work. Of Beza's New Testament, Castalio says: "It would
require a large volume to mark down the multitude of errors which
swarm in Beza's translation." Of Castalio's translation, Beza says:
"It is sacrilegious, wicked, and downright pagan." Reviewing Luther's
Bible, Zwingle writes: "Thou corruptest, O Luther, the Word of
God. Thou art known to be an open and notorious perverter of the Holy
Scriptures." Luther, in turn, calls the translators of Zwingle's Bible
"a set of fools, anti-Christs, and impostors."

Our Authorized Version is certainly as faulty as any of the above,
and its translators have been the recipients of as severe criticisms
as those quoted. The Committee on Revision, while compelled to treat
it respectfully, declared against its infallibility in the following
words: "The studied variety adopted by the translators of 1611 has
produced a degree of inconsistency that cannot be reconciled with
the principles of faithfulness" (Preface to N. V.).

Different Versions Contain Different Books.

That the charges that I have made concerning the corruptions of
the text of the Bible are true, one fact alone amply proves--its
many discordant versions and translations. Hundreds have perished,
all of them differing from the original and differing from each
other. A hundred still exist; no two of them alike. Excepting the
English versions, which are mostly revisions of the same version,
scarcely two of the principal versions contain the same books.

The received Hebrew contains 39 books (22 as divided), the Samaritan
6 (some copies but 5); the Septuagint about 50. Of the Christian
versions of the Old Testament, some contain the Apocryphal books,
others do not. The Gothic and Ethiopic versions exclude a part of
the canonical books.

The Syriac New Testament contains but 22 books; the Italic 24 (some
copies 25); the Egyptian 26; the Vulgate 27. The Ethiopic omits a
canonical book and includes an apocryphal book. The Sinaitic and
Alexandrian manuscripts each contain 29 books. Each contains two
apocryphal books, but the books are not the same.

The Roman Catholic and the Greek Catholic Bibles do not contain the
same number of books. The Roman Catholic and the Protestant Bibles
do not contain the same number; the Roman Catholic contains 75,
the Protestant 66.

Different Versions of the Same Book Differ.

No two versions of the same book are alike. The Samaritan Pentateuch
does not agree with the Hebrew Pentateuch; the Septuagint Pentateuch
agrees with neither.

The Hebrew and the Septuagint have both been accepted by Christians
as authoritative. In a single chapter may be found a dozen important

Hebrew.--"And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years and begat Salah"
(Gen. xi, 12).

Septuagint.--"And Arphaxad lived a hundred and thirty-five years and
begat Cainan."

Hebrew.--"And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and
three years" (13).

Septuagint.--"And Cainan lived a hundred and thirty years and he
begat Salah, and he lived after the birth of Salah three hundred and
thirty years."

Hebrew.--"And Salah lived thirty years and begat Eber" (14).

Septuagint.--"And Salah lived a hundred and thirty years and begat

Hebrew.--"And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three
years" (15).

Septuagint.--"And Salah lived after he begat Eber three hundred and
thirty years."

Hebrew.--"And Eber lived four and thirty years and begat Peleg" (16).

Septuagint.--"And Eber lived a hundred and thirty-four years and
begat Peleg."

Hebrew.--"And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty
years" (17).

Septuagint.--"And Eber lived after he begat Peleg two hundred and
seventy years."

Hebrew.--"And Peleg lived thirty years and begat Reu" (18).

Septuagint.--"And Peleg lived a hundred and thirty years and begat

Hebrew.--"And Reu lived two and thirty years and begat Serug" (20).

Septuagint.--"And Ragad lived a hundred and thirty-two years and
begat Serug."

Hebrew.--"And Serug lived thirty years and begat Nahor" (22).

Septuagint.--"And Serug lived a hundred and thirty years and begat

Hebrew.--"And Nahor lived nine and twenty years and begot Terah" (24).

Septuagint.--"And Nahor lived a hundred and seventy-nine years and
begat Terah."

Hebrew.--"And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen
years" (25).

Septuagint.--"And Nahor lived after he begat Terah a hundred and
twenty-five years."

Hebrew.--"And Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his
son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife" (31).

Septuagint.--"And Terah took Abram and Nahor his sons, and Lot the son
of Haran his son's son, and Sarai and Melcha, his daughters-in-law,
the wives of his sons Abram and Nahor."

The early Christian versions and manuscripts contain an immense number
of different readings, at least 150,000. Dr. Mill discovered 80,000
different readings in the New Testament alone.

Origen, writing in the third century, says: "There is a vast difference
betwixt the several editions of the scripture, happening either through
the carelessness of the transcribers, or else the forwardness of some
who pretend to correct and adulterate the scripture" (Commentary on
St. Matthew).

Modern versions do not agree. The readings of the Catholic and
Protestant versions are quite unlike: The Protestant versions
themselves contain a great variety of readings. The New Version
is supposed to be simply a revision of the Authorized Version. The
committee that prepared it was governed by this rule: "To introduce
as few alterations as possible into the text of the Authorized Version
consistent with faithfulness."

How many alterations were made? More than one hundred thousand!

The following are some of the changes made in the New Testament:

Old Version.--"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine," etc. (2 Tim. iii, 16).

New Version.--"Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable
for teaching," etc.

Old.--"And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were
spoken of him" (Luke ii, 33).

New.--"And his father and his mother were marveling at the things
which were spoken concerning him."

Old.--"These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan" (John i, 28).

New.--"These things were done in Bethany beyond Jordan."

Old.--"God was manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim. iii, 16).

New.--"He [Christ] who was manifested in the flesh."

Old.--"No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret
place" (Luke xi, 33).

New.--"No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth it in a cellar."

Old.--"Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth
unto life" (Matt, vii, 14).

New.--"For narrow is the gate and straitened the way that leadeth
unto life."

Old.--"Our Father, which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy
kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us
this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our
debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen"
(Matt, vi, 9-13).

New.--"Our father, which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy
kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us
this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have
forgiven our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver
us from the evil one."

One would suppose that if Christians preserved any part of the Bible
free from corruption it would be the prayer of their Lord, a little
prayer containing but a few lines. And yet they have not. The so-called
Lord's Prayer that our mother's taught us is not the Lord's Prayer. The
prayer we learned contains sixty-six words. The Lord's Prayer contains
but fifty-five. The revisers have expunged fifteen words, added some,
and altered others.

The last twelve verses of Mark, the first eleven verses of John viii,
and 1 John v, 8, three important passages, are all admitted to be

Different Copies of the Same Version Differ.

Different copies of the same version contain different
readings. St. Jerome's version was declared a forgery, because
it differed so much from the Italic version then in use. Jerome
anticipated the charge and met the objection in his preface addressed
to Pope Damasus:

"Two things are my comfort under such a reproach: First, that 'tis you,
the Supreme Pontiff, that have put me upon the task; and secondly,
that by the confession even of the most envious, there needs be some
falsity where there is so much variety. If they say that the Latin
copies are to be credited, let them tell me which. For there are
almost as many different copies as there are manuscripts."

Prof. Wilbur F. Steele, a noted Christian scholar, relates the
following relative to our own version: "In 1848 there was such
confusion in the office of the American Bible Society, and such
impossibility of telling what should be the reading in many places,
that a man was set to work to bring order out of chaos. He took four
Bibles from as many leading Bible houses of England, a copy of the
American Bible Society, and a copy of the original edition of 1611,
all claiming to be the same. These were carefully compared throughout;
every variation, no matter how minute, was noted. The number of these
variations was about 24,000" (Central Christian Advocate). Twenty-four
thousand variations found in six copies of the same version!

Thus we see that different versions of the Bible do not contain
the same books; different versions of the same book do not contain
the same readings, while even different copies of the same versions
disagree. Which is the word of God?

If the Bible had originally consisted of authentic and credible
documents its credibility would have been greatly impaired by these
wholesale corruptions of the transcribers and translators. But if
we had the originals, it is doubtful whether their credibility would
be much greater than these distorted copies. Enough remains to show
the general character of them, and this is bad. They consist mostly
of historical and biographical narratives, interwoven with legends,
myths, and fables; crude poetical compositions; the ravings of diseased
religious minds, called prophecies and revelations; and theological
dissertations, no two of which agree in their doctrines. A few of the
books possess genuine merit and deserve a place among the literary
treasures of the world, but all of them are fallible.

Remarkable, as coming from a theological professor, but fraught with
truth and confirmatory of the statements made in this chapter, are
these words of Professor Steele:

"Evidently every letter of the English Bible has not been miraculously
watched over. He who has neither eyes nor conscience may affirm it,
but persons provided with these can not. If the affirmer hedges by
saying he did not refer to translations but to the 'original,' we
note that (1) translations are the only thing most people have to
go to heaven on; and (2) that scholars of truth and conscience find
equally as much fault with the 'original.'"

"There are hundreds, if not thousands, of places in which the scholar
finds conflicting testimony."

In discussing the credibility of the Bible the question of authenticity
will, for the most part, be waived. With Christians all of its books
are genuine--the writings of those to whom they are ascribed--and for
the sake of argument, as well as convenience, these ascribed authors
will be recognized.



A stereotyped claim of Bible believers is this: "The account of
creation given in Genesis is in harmony with the accepted teachings
of science." But which account? In the opening chapters of Genesis
are presented two ancient poems, written by different authors. The
first comprises the first chapter and the first three verses of the
second chapter; the second comprises the remainder of the second
chapter. Each poem contains a cosmogony. But neither of them agrees
with the demonstrated truths of science. Above all, they do not agree
with each other. The points of disagreement are many, chief of which
are the following:


In the first cosmogony the appellation of Deity is uniformly "Elohim"
(the gods), translated "God." This term occurs thirty-five times.

In the second, the appellation of Deity is uniformly "Jehovah (Yahweh)
Elohim," translated "Lord God." This term occurs eleven times.

The first belongs to the Priestly code, the second to the Jehovistic
document. They represent different schools of Jewish thought and
different periods of Jewish history.


In the first, earth is a chaos covered with water. The waters must
be assuaged before vegetation can appear.

In the second, earth is at first a dry plain. Vegetation cannot exist
because there is no moisture. "For the Lord God had not caused it to
rain upon the earth" (ii, 5).


In the first, plants are created from the earth--are a product of
the earth. "And the earth brought forth grass and herb" (i, 12).

In the second, they are created independent of the earth--are created
by God and then transferred to earth. "The Lord God made the earth and
the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth,
and every herb of the field before it grew" (ii, 4, 5).


In the first, fowls, fish, and aquatic animals form one act of
creation--land animals and reptiles another; the former being created
on the fifth day, the latter on the sixth (i, 21-25).

In the second, fowls and land animals are created at the same
time--form one creation act (ii, 19).


In the first, fowls are created out of the water. "And God said, Let
the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life,
and fowl that may fly above the earth" (i, 20).

In the second, fowls are created out of the ground. "Out of the ground
the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air"
(ii, 19).


In the first, trees are created before man. Trees appear on the third
day, while man does not appear until the sixth day.

In the second, trees are created after man. "And the Lord God formed
man; ... planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man
whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow
every tree," etc. (ii, 7, 8.)


In the first, fowls are created before man--are created on the fifth
day, while the creation of man does not occur until the sixth day.

In the second, fowls are created after man. "The Lord God formed every
beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto
Adam to see what he would call them" (ii, 19).


In the first, man is created after the beasts. God's first work on the
sixth day was the creation of beasts, his last work was the creation
of man (i, 24-31).

In the second, man is created before the beasts. God makes man before
he plants the garden of Eden, while beasts are not made until after
the garden is planted (ii, 7-19).


In the first, man and woman are created at the same time. "So God
created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;
male and female created he them" (i, 27).

In the second, woman is created after man. The writer supposes a
considerable period of time to have elapsed between the creation
of man and the creation of woman. God creates man; then he plants a
garden and places the man there to tend it; next he makes the animals
and birds and brings them to Adam to name; finally he concludes that
Adam needs a helpmate, and taking a rib from his body, creates woman.


The first cosmogony comprises eight distinct creations:
1. Light. 2. The firmament. 3. Dry land. 4. Vegetation. 5. Sun, moon,
and stars. 6. Fish and fowls. 7. Land animals. 8. Man.

The second comprises four creations: 1. Man
(Adam). 2. Trees. 3. Animals. 4. Woman (Eve).


In the first, the heavens and the earth are created in six literal

In the second, no mention is made of this six days' creation. On the
contrary, the writer simply refers to "the day that the Lord God made
the earth and the heavens" (ii, 4).


In the first, God, from his throne in heaven, speaks earth's creation
into being. "God said, Let the earth bring forth, ... and it was so."

In the second, God comes down on earth, plants a garden, molds man
out of clay, breathes in his nostrils, makes woman out of a rib,
makes birds and animals as a child makes mud pies, and brings them
to Adam to see what he will call them.


In the first, man at the creation is given both fruit and herbs
to subsist upon. "Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed,
... and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;
to you it shall be for meat" (i, 29).

In the second, he is given fruit alone for food. Not until after he
sins and the curse is pronounced does God say, "Thou shalt eat the
herb of the field" (iii, 18). According to this writer the use of
herbs and grain for food was a consequence of man's fall.


In the first, man may partake of the fruit of all the trees. "Every
tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it
shall be for meat" (i, 29).

In the second, he is not permitted to partake of the fruit of all the
trees. "Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden" (iii, 1). "Of
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it"
(ii, 17).


In the first, "God made the firmament, and divided the waters
which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the
firmament" (i, 7). When moisture was needed "the windows of heaven
were opened" and water discharged from the reservoir above. When
enough was discharged "the windows of heaven were stopped, and the
rain from heaven was restrained" (viii, 2).

In the second, when moisture was needed, "There went up a mist from
the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground" (ii, 6).


In the first, man is given dominion over all the earth. "Let them
have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,
and over the cattle, and over all the earth" (i, 26).

In the second, his dominion is confined to a garden. "And the Lord
God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it
and keep it" (ii, 15).


Both cosmogonies are theological rather than scientific. The real
purpose of the first, in its present form at least, is not so much to
explain the creation of the universe as to inculcate a belief in the
divine institution of the Sabbath. It belongs to the Priestly code,
and one of the chief pillars of priestcraft is the Sabbath.

The second contains no recognition of the Sabbath. The chief purpose
of this account of the creation, if we include the third chapter,
which is really a continuation of it, is to establish the doctrine
of the Fall of Man.


According to the first the Creator is an optimist. He views all his
works and declares them "good."

According to the second the Creator is a pessimist. He sees in his
works both "good and evil;" the good continuing to diminish, and the
evil continuing to increase.

To establish the credibility and divine origin of Genesis it is
necessary not merely to harmonize its theories with science, but to
reconcile its statements with each other. The latter is as impossible
as the former. Dean Stanley, in his Memorial Sermon on Sir Charles
Lyell at Westminster Abbey, made this frank admission:

"It is now clear to diligent students of the Bible that the first and
second chapters of Genesis contain two narratives of the creation,
side by side, differing from each other in most every particular of
time, place, and order."



In disproof of the credibility of the so-called patriarchal history
of the Pentateuch, a few of its many incredible and contradictory
statements will be presented here.


The following are the recorded ages of the patriarchs: Adam, 930
years (Gen. v, 5); Seth, 912 (8); Enos, 905 (11). Cainan, 910 (14);
Mahalaleel, 895 (17); Jared, 962 (20); Enoch, 365 (23) Methuselah,
969 (27); Lamech, 777 (31); Noah, 950 (ix, 29); Shem, 600 (xi, 10,
11); Arphaxad, 438 (12, 13); Cainan, 460 (omitted in Hebrew Version,
but given in Septuagint); Salah, 433 (14, 15); Eber, 464 (16, 17),
Peleg, 239 (18, 19); Reu, 239 (20, 21); Serug, 230, (22, 23); Nahor,
148 (24, 25); Terah, 205 (32); Abraham, 175, (xxv, 7); Isaac, 180
(xxxv, 28); Jacob, 147 (xlvii, 28); Joseph, 110 (l, 26).

Eleven generations of these patriarchs (twelve if Cainan be included),
Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, (Cainan), Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor,
Terah, and Abraham, were all living at the same time.

Noah died in the year 2006 A.M. When Adam died Noah's father was 56
years old.

Abraham was the twentieth generation from Adam. When Abraham was
56 years old, Noah, whose father was 56 years old when Adam died,
was still living.

When Noah died, his
great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson,
Abraham, was an old man.

Isaac was the eleventh generation from Shem. When Shem died Isaac
was 110 years old.

Jacob was the thirteenth generation from Noah. When Noah's eldest
son died Jacob was 50 years old.

The combined ages of seven patriarchs equal a sum five hundred years
greater than the time that has elapsed from the creation of the world
to the present time.


"Every one that findeth me shall slay me" (Gen. iv, 14).

"And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill
him" (15).

"And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the
land of Nod" (16).

"And Cain knew his wife: and she conceived, and bare Enoch; and he
[Cain] builded a city" (17).

Cain, believing that he had a plurality of lives, and fearing that
every one who found him would take one, appealed to God, who set a mark
on him so that his father and mother, the only persons in existence
besides himself, would know him. Then going out from the presence of
Omnipresence, he went to a country where nobody lived, married a wife,
and built a city with a population of three inhabitants.


"And Methuselah lived a hundred eighty and seven years, and begat
Lamech: and Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred
eighty and two years.... And all the days of Methuselah were nine
hundred sixty and nine years" (Gen. v, 25-27).

"And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
and he called his name Noah" (28, 29).

"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the
seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains
of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened"
(vii, 11).

"And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first
month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off
the earth" (viii, 13).

"And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And
all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years" (ix, 28, 29).

When the Flood began Noah was 599 years (one month and seventeen days)
old; when it ended he was exactly 600 years old.

It is commonly supposed that Methuselah died before the Flood. If
the foregoing passages be correct, he did not, as will be shown by
the following:

1. From the birth of Lamech to the beginning of the Flood was 182
years + 599 = 781 years; and from the birth of Lamech to the end of
the Flood was 182 years + 600 years = 782 years. If Methuselah lived
after he begat Lamech 782 years, he lived until the end of the Flood.

2. From the birth of Methuselah to the beginning of the Flood was
187 years + 182 years + 599 years = 968 years. From the birth of
Methuselah to the end of the Flood was 187 years + 182 years + 600
years = 969 years. At the commencement of the Flood he was but 968
years old, and not until the end of it was he 969.

3. From the birth of Methuselah to the death of Noah was 187 years +
182 years + 950 years = 1319 years. As Noah died 350 years after the
Flood, from the birth of Methuselah to the end of the Flood was 1319
years - 350 years = 969 years. If he lived 969 years, he lived until
the end of the Flood.

As Methuselah was not one of the eight persons that went into the ark,
where was he during the Flood?

According to the Septuagint Genesis, the Flood occurred fourteen
years before the death of Methuselah.


"Of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring
into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and
female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind,
of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind; two of every
sort shall come unto thee" (Gen. vi, 19, 20).

"Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and
his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his
female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female"
(vii, 2, 3).

Referring to the above, the celebrated Jewish commentator, Dr. Kalisch,
says: "Noah was commanded to take into the ark seven pairs of all
clean, and one pair of all unclean, animals, whereas he had before been
ordered to take one pair of every species, no distinction whatever
between clean and unclean animals having been made.... We do not
hesitate to acknowledge here the manifest contradiction."


"And Noah was five hundred years old; and Noah begat Shem" (v, 32).

"And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon
the earth" (vii, 6).

"Shem was a hundred years old, and he begat Arphaxad two years after
the flood" (xi, 10).

If Noah was five hundred years old when he begat Shem, and six hundred
years old at the time of the Flood, Shem was one hundred years old
at the time of the Flood. If Shem begat Arphaxad two years after the
Flood, he was one hundred and two years old when he begat Arphaxad.


"And Arphaxad begat Salah" (Gen. x, 24).

"And Arphaxad begat Shelah" (1 Chron. i, 18).

"And Arphaxad begat Cainan, and Cainan begat Salah" (Genesis,
Sept. Ver.).

"Which was the son of Sala, which was the son of Cainan, which was
the son of Arphaxad" (Luke iii, 35, 36).

According to the Hebrew Genesis and Chronicles, Arphaxad was the
father of Salah; according to the Septuagint Genesis and Luke, Cainan
was the father, and Arphaxad the grandfather of Salah.


"The woman [Sarah] was taken into Pharaoh's house" (Gen. xii, 15).

"And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done
unto me?" (18).

"And Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah" (xx, 2).

"Then Abimelech called unto Abraham, and said unto him, What hast
thou done unto us?" (9).

It may be claimed that both Pharaoh and Abimelech took Sarah. But it
is evident that these are both legends of the same event, or, rather,
different and conflicting forms of the same legend. The first belongs
to the Jehovist, the second to the Elohist.


"And Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of
Haran.... And into the land of Canaan they came" (Gen. xii, 4, 5).

"And Terah lived seventy years and begat Abram" (xi, 26).

"And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years" (32).

"When his father was dead, he [Abram] removed him into this land,
wherein ye now dwell" (Acts vii, 4).

If Abram did not go to Canaan until after the death of his father,
he did not go until he was 135 years old, 60 years older than stated
in the first account.


"And Abram was four score and six years old when Hagar bare Ishmael
to Abram" (Gen. xvi, 16).

"And Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born unto
him" (xxi, 5).

"And the child [Isaac] grew, and was weaned" (8).

"And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle
of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the
child [Ishmael], and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in
the wilderness of Beersheba. And the water was spent in the bottle,
and she cast the child under one of the shrubs" (14, 15).

When Isaac was weaned, and Hagar was sent into the wilderness,
Ishmael, who was about sixteen years old, is represented as a babe
in his mother's arms.


"And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter
of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite"
(Gen. xxvi, 34).

"Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter
of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter
of Zibeon the Hivite; and Bashemath Ishmael's daughter" (xxxvi, 2, 3).

Did Esau marry two wives, according to the first account, or three,
according to the second? Was his first wife Judith, the daughter of
Beeri, or Adah, the daughter of Elon? Was Bashemath the daughter of
Elon the Hittite, or was she the daughter of his uncle Ishmael?


"I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name
of God Almighty: but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them"
(Ex. vi, 3).

"I [Abraham] have lifted up mine hand unto the Lord [Jehovah] the
most high God" (Gen. xiv, 22).

"He [Isaac] said, For now the Lord [Jehovah] hath made room for us"
(xxvi, 22).

"He [Jacob] said, Surely the Lord [Jehovah] is in this place"
(xxviii, 16).

According to the writer in Exodus, Jehovah did not become the
national God of Israel until after the time of Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob. According to the writer in Genesis, he was known to each of
these patriarchs.


"All the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were
three score and ten" (xlvi, 27).

"Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his
kindred, three score and fifteen souls" (Acts vii, 14).


"And the Midianites sold him [Joseph] into Egypt unto Potiphar,
an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard" (Gen. xxxvii, 36).

"And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an
Egyptian, bought him [Joseph] of the hands of the Ishmaelites"
(xxxix, 1).


"Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: the sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's
firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi," etc. (Gen. xxxv, 22, 23).

"And these are the names of the sons of Levi, according to their
generations: Gershon, and Kohath" etc. (Ex. vi, 16).

"And the sons of Kohath; Amram," etc. (18).

"And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she
bare him Aaron and Moses" (20).

"And the children of Israel journeyed from Ramases to Succoth,
about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children"
(Ex. xii, 37).

Levi was the son of Jacob, Kohath was the son of Levi, Amram was the
son of Kohath, and Moses was the son of Amram. Moses was the fourth
generation from Jacob. In the time of Moses the adult male population
of Israel numbered 600,000, representing a total population of about
3,000,000. Thus in four generations the progeny of Jacob increased
from twelve persons to three millions.


Judah, Jacob's fourth son, married and had three sons--Er, Onan, and
Shelah. Er grew to manhood, married Tamar, and died. Onan then married
his widow, and died also. Shelah, who was much younger than Onan, grew
to manhood and refused to marry his brother's widow. Tamar then had
two sons, Pharez and Zarah, by Judah himself (Gen. xxxviii). Pharez
grew to manhood, married, and had two sons, Hezron and Hamil (xlvi,
12), before Jacob and his family went to Egypt. When they went to
Egypt, Judah was but forty-two years old.



Much of the Bible is devoted to events which are narrated but
once. These records may be true, or they may be false. We may
question their truthfulness, but it is difficult to demonstrate their
falsity. Had all the events of the Bible been recorded but once
its credibility could the more easily be maintained. But wherever
two or more accounts of the same events occur, such as in Kings and
Chronicles, where two histories of the Jewish Kings are given, and in
the Four Gospels, where four biographies of Jesus are given, we find
them so filled with discrepancies as to make them unworthy of credit.

The following are some of the contradictory statements that occur in
the books pertaining to the Jewish kings:


Was David the seventh or the eighth son of Jesse?

"And Jesse begat his first-born Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and
Shimma the third, Nethaniel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the
sixth, David the seventh" (1 Chron. ii, 13-15).

"Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel
said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto
Jesse, are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet
the youngest [David]" (1 Sam. xvi, 10, 11).


Who gave David the shewbread to eat when he was a fugitive from Saul?

"Then came David to Nob to Abimelech the [High] priest.... So the
priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the
shewbread" (1 Sam. xxi, 1, 6).

"And he [Jesus] said unto them, Have ye never read what David did
when he was ahungered, he, and they that were with him? How he went
into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and
did eat the shewbread?" (Mark ii, 25, 26).


What relation did the High Priests Abimelech and Abiathar bear to
each other?

"Abiathar the son of Abimelech" (1 Sam. xxiii, 6).

"Abimelech the son of Abiathar" (2 Sam. viii, 17).


What sons were born to David in Jerusalem?

"And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem:
Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, Ibhar also, and Elishua,
and Nepheg, and Japhia, and Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet"
(2 Sam. v, 14-16).

"Now these are the names of his children which he had in Jerusalem:
Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon, and Ibhar, and Elishua,
and Elpalet, and Nogah, and Nepheg and Japhia, and Elishama, and
Beeliada, and Eliphalet" (1 Chron. xiv, 4-7).


What was the name of David's tenth son (twelfth according to

Eliada (2 Sam. v, 16).

Beeliada (1 Chron. xiv, 7).

"Eliada" means "God knows;" "Beeliada" means "Baal knows." Did David
name his son for the God of the Jews, or for the God of the heathen?


How many horsemen did David take from Hadadezer?

"David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen,
and twenty thousand footmen" (2 Sam. viii, 4).

"David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen,
and twenty thousand footmen" (1 Chron. xviii, 4).


Was it forty thousand horsemen or forty thousand footmen that David
slew of the Syrians?

"David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and
forty thousand horsemen" (2 Sam. x, 18).

"David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots
and forty thousand footmen" (1 Chron. xix, 18).


Who moved David to number the people, the Lord or Satan?

"The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David
against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah" (2 Sam. xxiv, 1).

"And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number
Israel" (1 Chron. xxi, 1).


How many warriors had Israel and Judah?

"And there were in Israel eight hundred thousand [800,000] valiant men
that drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand
[500,000] men" (2 Sam. xxiv, 9).

"And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and a hundred thousand
[1,100,000] men that drew sword; and Judah was four hundred three
score and ten thousand [470,000] men" (1 Chron. xxi, 5).


Was David to suffer three or seven years of famine?

"So Gad came to David and said unto him: Thus saith the Lord, choose
thee either three years of famine, or three months to be destroyed
before thy foes" (1 Chron. xxi, 11, 12).

"So Gad came to David and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven
years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three
months before thine enemies?" (2 Sam. xxiv, 13).


What did David pay for the threshing floor?

"And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an
altar unto the Lord in the threshing floor of Araunah [Ornan] the
Jebusite.... So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for
fifty shekels of silver [$26.50]" (2 Sam. xxiv, 18, 24).

"Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David
should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord in the threshing-floor
of Ornan the Jebusite.... So David gave to Ornan for the place six
hundred shekels of gold [$3,414]" (1 Chron. xxi, 18, 25).


How many overseers did Solomon have while building the Temple?

"And Solomon had three score and ten thousand that bare burdens,
and four score thousand hewers in the mountains; besides the chief
of Solomon's officers which were over the work, three thousand and
three hundred" (1 Kings, v, 15, 16).

"And he set three score and ten thousand of them to be bearers of
burdens and four score thousand to be hewers in the mountains, and
three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people awork"
(2 Chron. ii, 18).


What was the height of the pillars before the house?

"For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high
apiece.... And he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof
Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof
Boaz" (1 Kings vii, 15, 21).

"Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits
high, ... and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin,
and the name of that on the left Boaz" (2 Chron. iii, 15, 17).


What was the capacity of the molten sea?

"And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the
other.... And it was a hand-breadth thick, and the brim thereof was
wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained
two thousand baths" (1 Kings vii, 23, 26).

"Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim.... And
the thickness of it was a handbreadth, and the brim of it like the
work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received
and held three thousand baths" (2 Chron. iv, 2, 5).


How many overseers did Solomon have over his other works?

"These were the chief of the officers that were over Solomon's work,
five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the people that wrought
in the work" (1 Kings ix, 23).

"And these were the chief of King Solomon's officers, even two hundred
and fifty, that bare rule over the people" (2 Chron. viii, 10).


How many stalls did Solomon have for his horses?

"And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and
twelve thousand horsemen" (2 Chron. ix, 25).

"And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots,
and twelve thousand horsemen" (1 Kings iv, 26).


How much gold did they bring Solomon from Ophir?

"And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred
and twenty talents, and brought it to King Solomon" (1 Kings ix, 28).

"And they went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and took thence
four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought them to King
Solomon" (2 Chron. viii, 18).


Who was the first to die, Jeroboam or Abijah?

"Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah:
and the Lord struck him, and he died. But Abijah waxed mighty"
(2 Chron. xiii, 20, 21).

"And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years"
(1 Kings xiv, 20).

"And Abijam [Abijah] slept with his fathers; and they buried him in
the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. And in the
twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah"
(1 Kings xv, 8, 9).

Instead of Abijah waxing mighty after Jeroboam's death, Jeroboam
reigned two years after Abijah's death.


Who was the mother of Abijah?

"He [Rehoboam] took Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him
Abijah" (2 Chron. xi, 20).

"His [Abijah's] mother's name also was Michaiah the daughter of Uriel
of Gibeah" (2 Chron. xiii, 2).


Was Asa the son or the grandson of Maachah?

"Forty and one years reigned he [Asa] in Jerusalem. And his mother's
name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom" (1 Kings xv, 10).

"Three years reigned he [Abijam] in Jerusalem. And his mother's name
was Maachah the daughter of Abishalom.... And Asa his son reigned in
his stead" (1 Kings xv, 2, 8).


How long did Omri reign?

"In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to
reign over Israel twelve years.... So Omri slept with his fathers,
and was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead. And
in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the
son of Omri to reign" (1 Kings xvi, 23, 28, 29).

From the thirty-first to the thirty-eighth year of Asa's reign Omri
is said to have reigned twelve years.


When did Baasha die?

"Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his
son reigned in his stead.... In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king
of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign" (1 Kings xvi, 6, 8).

"In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of
Israel came up against Judah" (2 Chron. xvi, 1).


When did Jehoram king of Israel and Jehoram king of Judah begin
to reign?

"And Jehoram [of Israel] reigned in his stead in the second year of
Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah" (2 Kings i, 17).

"And in the fifth year of Joram [Jehoram of Israel].... Jehoram the
son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign" (2 Kings viii, 16).

According to the first account, Jehoram of Israel began to reign
in the second year of Jehoram of Judah; according to the second,
Jehoram of Judah began to reign in the fifth year of Jehoram of Israel.


When did Ahaziah begin to reign?

"In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign
over Judah" (2 Kings ix, 29).

"In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did
Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign" (2 Kings
viii, 25).


How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign?

"Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he
reigned one year in Jerusalem" (2 Kings viii, 26).

"Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he
reigned one year in Jerusalem" (2 Chron. xxii, 2).


How long did Jotham reign?

"In the second year of Pekah ... began Jotham the son of Uzziah king
of Judah to reign. Five and twenty years old was he when he began to
reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem" (2 Kings xv, 32, 33).

"And Hoshea ... slew him [Pekah] and reigned in his stead, in the
twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziab" (2 Kings xv, 30).


Who was Josiah's successor?

"Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and
made him king in his father's stead" (2 Chron. xxxvi, 1).

"For thus saith the Lord touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of
Judah which reigned instead of Josiah his father" (Jer. xxli, 11).


How old was Jehoiachin when he began to reign?

"Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign" (2
Chron. xxxvi, 9).

"Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign" (2 Kings
xxiv, 8).


When did Evil-Merodach release Jehoiachin from prison?

"In the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month"
(2 Kings xxv, 27).

"In the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month"
(Jer. lii, 31).


What relation did Zedekiah, the last of the Jewish kings, bear to
Jehoiachin, his predecessor?

1. He was his son. "Jechoniah [Jehoiachin] his son, Zedekiah his son"
(1 Chron. iii, 16).

2. He was his brother. "Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought him
[Jehoiachin] to Babylon, ... and made Zedekiah his brother king of
Judah" (2 Chron. xxxvi, 10).

3. He was his uncle. "The king of Babylon made Mattaniah his
[Jehoiachin's] father's brother king in his stead and changed his
name to Zedekiah" (2 Kings xxiv, 17).

"That Zedekiah, who in 1 Chron. iii, 16, is called 'his son,' is the
same as Zedekiah his uncle (called 'his brother,' 2 Chron. xxxvi,
10), who was his [Jehoiachin's] successor on the throne seems certain"
(Smith's Bible Dictionary, Art. Jehoiachin).



At the end of Solomon's reign the Jewish nation was divided into two
kingdoms. Two tribes acknowledged the authority of Solomon's successor,
Rehoboam. This was called the kingdom of Judah, of which Jerusalem was
the capital. Ten tribes revolted and made Jeroboam king. This formed
the kingdom of Israel, of which Samaria was the capital. The following
is a brief summary of the reigns of the kings of the two kingdoms from
the partition of the empire to the conquest of Israel by the Assyrians:

Kingdom of Judah.

"And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah ... and he reigned
seventeen years" (1 Kings xiv, 21).

"And Rehoboam slept with his fathers ... and Abijam his son reigned
in his stead" (1 Kings xiv, 31). "Three years reigned he" (xv, 2).

"And Abijam slept with his fathers ... and Asa his son reigned in
his stead" (1 Kings xv, 8). "Forty and one years reigned he" (10).

"And Asa slept with his fathers ... and Jehoshaphat his son reigned
in his stead" (1 Kings xv, 24). "And he reigned twenty and five years
in Jerusalem" (xxii, 42).

"And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers ... and Jehoram his son
reigned in his stead" (1 Kings xxii, 50). "And he reigned eight years"
(2 Kings viii, 17).

"And Joram [Jehoram] slept with his fathers ... and Ahaziah reigned
in his stead" (2 Kings viii, 24). "And he reigned one year" (26).

"And he [Ahaziah] fled to Megiddo and died there" (2 Kings xi,
17). "And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was
dead she arose and destroyed all the seed royal. But Jehosheba took
Joash the son of Ahaziah ... and he was with her [his nurse] hid in
the house of the Lord six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land"
(xi, 1-3).

"They slew Athaliah" (2 Kings xi, 20). "And they brought down the king
[Joash] from the house of the Lord.... And he sat on the throne of
the kings" (19). "Forty years reigned he in Jerusalem" (xii, 1).

"His servants smote him [Joash] and he died, ... and Amaziah his son
reigned in his stead" (2 Kings xii, 21)--"and reigned twenty and nine
years" (xiv, 2).

"They made a conspiracy against him [Amaziah] ... and slew him"
(2 Kings xiv, 19). "And all the people of Judah took Azariah ... and
made him king instead of his father, Amaziah" (21). "And he reigned
two and fifty years" (xv, 2).

"So Azariah slept with his fathers ... and Jotham his son reigned in
his stead" (2 Kings xv, 7). "And he reigned sixteen years" (33).

"And Jotham slept with his fathers ... and Ahaz his son reigned in
his stead" (2 Kings xv, 38)--"and reigned sixteen years" (xvi, 2).

"And Ahaz slept with his fathers ... and Hezekiah his son reigned in
his stead" (2 Kings xvi, 10) "In the sixth year of Hezekiah ... Samaria
was taken" (xviii, 10).

From the division of the empire, then, to the conquest of Israel by
the Assyrians, the reigns of Judah's kings were as follows:

                  Rehoboam,      seventeen     years,
                  Abijam,        three         years,
                  Asa,           forty-one     years,
                  Jehoshaphat,   twenty-five   years,
                  Joram,         eight         years,
                  Ahaziah,       one           years,
                  Athaliah,      six           years,
                  Joash,         forty         years,
                  Amaziah,       twenty-nine   years,
                  Azariah,       fifty-two     years,
                  Jotham,        sixteen       years,
                  Ahaz,          sixteen       years,
                  Hezekiah,      six           years.

Kingdom of Israel.

"They ... made him [Jeroboam] king over all Israel" (1 Kings xii,
20). "And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years"
(xiv, 20).

"And he [Jeroboam] slept with his fathers and Nadab his son reigned
in his stead" (1 Kings xiv, 20)--"and reigned over Israel two years"
(xv, 25).

"And Baasha smote him [Nadab] ... and reigned in his stead" (1 Kings
xv, 27, 28)--"twenty and four years" (33).

"So Baasha slept with his fathers ... and Elah his son reigned in
his stead" (1 Kings xvi, 6)--"two years" (8).

"Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him [Elah] ... and reigned
in his stead" (1 Kings xvi, 10)--"seven days" (15).

"Wherefore all Israel made Omri ... king over Israel" (1 Kings xvi,
16)--"to reign over Israel twelve years" (23).

"So Omri slept with his fathers ... and Ahab his son reigned in his
stead" (1 Kings xvi, 28)--"twenty and two years" (29).

"So Ahab slept with his fathers and Ahaziah his son reigned in his
stead" (1 Kings xxii, 40)--"and reigned two years over Israel" (51).

"So he [Ahaziah] died ... and Jehoram [his brother] reigned in his
stead" (2 Kings i, 17)--"and reigned twelve years" (iii, 1).

"I have anointed thee [Jehu] king ... over Israel" (2 Kings ix,
6). "And Jehu ... smote Jehoram" (24). "And the time that Jehu reigned
over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years" (x, 36).

"And Jehu slept with his fathers ... and Jehoahaz his son reigned in
his stead" (2 Kings x, 35)--"and reigned seventeen years" (xiii, 1).

"And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers ... and Joash his son reigned
in his stead" (2 Kings xiii, 9)--"and reigned sixteen years" (10).

"And Joash slept with his fathers and Jeroboam sat upon his throne"
(2 Kings xiii, 13)--"and reigned forty and one years" (xiv, 23).

"And Jeroboam slept with his fathers ... and Zachariah his son reigned
in his stead" (2 Kings xiv, 29)--"six months" (xv, 8).

"And Shallum ... slew him [Zachariah] and reigned in his stead"
(2 Kings xv, 10)--"a full month" (13).

"Menahem ... slew him [Shallum] and reigned in his stead" (2 Kings xv,
14)--"and reigned ten years" (27).

"And Menahem slept with his fathers and Pekahiah his son reigned in
his stead" (2 Kings xv, 22)--"and reigned two years" (23).

"Pekah ... killed him [Pekahiah] and reigned in his room" (2 Kings xv,
25)--"and reigned twenty years" (7).

"And Hoshea ... slew him [Pekah] and reigned in his stead" (2 Kings
xv, 30)--"nine years" (xvii, 1). "In the ninth year of Hoshea the king
of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria" (6).

From the division of the empire to the conquest of Israel the reigns
of Israel's kings, omitting Zimri's brief reign of seven days and
calling the combined reigns of Zachariah and Shallum one year, as
computed by chronologists, were as follows:

             Jeroboam,                twenty-two     years,
             Nadab,                   two            years,
             Baasha,                  twenty-four    years,
             Elah,                    two            years,
             Omri,                    twelve         years,
             Ahab,                    twenty-two     years,
             Ahaziah,                 two            years,
             Jehoram,                 twelve         years,
             Jehu,                    twenty-eight   years,
             Jehoahaz,                seventeen      years,
             Joash,                   sixteen        years,
             Jeroboam II.,            forty-one      years,
             Zachariah and Shallum,   one            years,
             Menahem,                 ten            years,
             Pekahiah,                two            years,
             Pekah,                   twenty         years,
             Hoshea,                  nine           years.

The foregoing epitome of Jewish history, gleaned from 1 and 2 Kings,
is presented in order that the reader may the more readily understand
the following solutions (based upon statements that appear in these
books) to the question that forms the topic of this chapter--When
did Jehoshaphat die?

Jehoshaphat is represented as one of Judah's best and greatest
kings. He did "that which was right in the eyes of the Lord." "The
Lord was with Jehoshaphat." "And Jehoshaphat waxed great." "And he
had riches and honor in abundance." He died at the age of sixty,
after a reign of twenty-five years. Ahaziah, king of Israel, is
represented as a very wicked king. "He did evil in the sight of
the Lord." "For he served Baal, and worshiped him, and provoked to
anger the Lord." Elijah prophesied his early death, which came after
a brief reign of two years. The last chapter of the first book of
Kings chronicles the reign and death of Judah's king, Jehoshaphat;
the first chapter of the second book of Kings records the reign and
death of Israel's king, Ahaziah. Now when did Jehoshaphat die? Did
he die before or after Ahaziah died?


"And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa
over Judah" (1 Kings xv, 9).

As Jeroboam reigned twenty-two years, he reigned two years after Asa
became king. From the commencement of Asa's reign, then, to the death
of Ahaziah, the reigns of Israel's kings were as follows: Jeroboam 2
years, Nadab 2 years, Baasha 24 years, Elah 2 years, Omri 12 years,
Ahab 22 years, and Ahaziah 2 years. 2 years + 2 years + 24 years +
2 years + 12 years + 22 years + 2 years = 66 years.

As Asa reigned forty-one years and Jehoshaphat reigned twenty-five
years, from the commencement of Asa's reign to the death of Jehoshaphat
was 41 years + 25 years = 66 years.

If from the commencement of Asa's reign to the death of Ahaziah was
sixty-six years, and from the commencement of Asa's reign to the
death of Jehoshaphat was sixty-six years, Jehoshaphat therefore died
in the same year that Ahaziah died.


"Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned
Abijam over Judah" (1 Kings xv, 1).

As Jeroboam reigned 22 years, he reigned four years after the beginning
of Abijam's reign. From the beginning of Abijam's reign, then, to the
death of Ahaziah, the reigns of Israel's kings were: Jeroboam 4 years,
Nadab 2 years, Baasha 24 years, Elah 2 years, Omri 12 years Ahab 22
years, and Ahaziah 2 years. 4 years + 2 years + 24 years + 2 years +
12 years + 22 years + 2 years = 68 years.

From the beginning of Abijam's reign to the death of Jehoshaphat
the reigns of Judah's kings were: Abijam 3 years, Asa 41 years,
Jehoshaphat 25 years. 3 years + 41 years + 25 years = 69 years.

If from the beginning of Abijam's reign to the death of Ahaziah was
sixty-eight years, and from the beginning of Abijam's reign to the
death of Jehoshaphat was sixty-nine years, Jehoshaphat therefore died
one year after Ahaziah died.


"In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to
reign over Israel" (1 Kings xvi, 23).

From the accession of Omri to the death of Ahaziah the reigns of
Israel's kings were: Omri 12 years, Ahab 22 years, and Ahaziah 2
years. 12 years + 22 years + 2 years = 36 years.

As Omri became king in the thirty-first year of Asa's reign,
Asa reigned ten years after Omri became king, and this added to
Jehoshaphat's reign of twenty-five years makes thirty-five years from
Omri to the death of Jehoshaphat.

If from the accession of Omri to the death of Ahaziah was thirty-six
years, and from the accession of Omri to the death of Jehoshaphat
was thirty-five years, Jehoshaphat therefore died one year before
Ahaziah died.


"In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king
of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel"
(2 Kings xiii, 1).

From the death of Ahaziah king of Israel to the accession of Jehoahaz,
Jehoram reigned 12 years, and Jehu 28 years, a total of 40 years.

From the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession of Jehoahaz, Judah's
sovereigns reigned--Joram 8 years, Ahaziah 1 year, Athaliah 6 years,
Joash 23 years. 8 years + 1 year + 6 years + 23 years = 38 years.

If from the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Jehoahaz was forty
years, and from the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession of Jehoahaz
was thirty-eight years, Jehoshaphat therefore died two years after
Ahaziah died.


"And Jehoram [of Israel] reigned in his [Ahaziah's] stead, in the
second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat" (2 Kings i, 17).

If Ahaziah died and Jehoram of Israel became king in the second year
of Jehoram of Judah, Jehoshaphat therefore died two years before
Ahaziah died.


"And Joram [Jehoram] king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out,
each in his chariot ... against Jehu" (2 Kings ix, 21), "And Jehu drew
a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and
the arrow went out at his heart" (24). "But when Ahaziah the king of
Judah saw this he fled by way of the garden house. And Jehu followed
after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so"

Jehoram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, were thus slain
at the same time. Jehu succeeded Jehoram; Athaliah succeeded Ahaziah,
reigned six years, and was in turn succeeded by Joash. Jehu had thus
reigned six years over Israel when Joash became king of Judah. As
Jehoram reigned twelve years, from the death of Ahaziah [of Israel]
to the accession of Joash then, was eighteen years.

From the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession of Joash, Judah's
sovereigns reigned as follows: Joram 8 years, Ahaziah 1 year, Athaliah
6 years--a total of fifteen years.

If from the death of Ahaziah to the reign of Joash was eighteen years,
and from the death of Jehoshaphat to the reign of Joash was fifteen
years, Jehoshaphat therefore died three years after Ahaziah died.


"In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel reigned
Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah" (2 Kings xiv, 1).

From the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Amaziah the reigns
of Israel's kings were: Jehoram 12 years, Jehu 28 years, Jehoahaz
17 years, Joash 2 years. 12 years + 28 years + 17 years + 2 years =
59 years.

From the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession of Amaziah, Judah's
kings reigned--Joram 8 years, Ahaziah 1 year, Athaliah 6 years,
Joash 40 years. 8 years + 1 year + 6 years + 40 years = 55 years.

If from the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Amaziah was fifty-nine
years, and from the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession of Amaziah
was fifty-five years, Jehoshaphat therefore died four years after
Ahaziah died.


"And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the
fourth year of Ahab king of Israel" (1 Kings xxii, 41).

If Ahab reigned twenty-two years and Jehoshaphat began to reign in the
fourth year of Ahab's reign, Jehoshaphat had reigned eighteen years
when Ahab died, and twenty years when Ahaziah died. As Jehoshaphat
reigned twenty-five years, he therefore died five years after
Ahaziah died.


"Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the
seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years
over Israel" (1 Kings, xxii, 51).

If Ahaziah began to reign in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat and
reigned two years before he died, he died in the nineteenth year
of Jehoshaphat's reign. As Jehoshaphat reigned twenty-five years,
he therefore died six years after Ahaziah died.


"Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria
in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah" (2 Kings iii, 1).

If Ahaziah died and Jehoram became king in the eighteenth year of
Jehoshaphat's reign, Jehoshaphat therefore died seven years after
Ahaziah died.


"In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel
began Jotham the son of Uzziah [Azariah] king of Judah to reign"
(2 Kings xv, 32).

From the death of Ahaziah to the beginning of Jotham's reign the
following were the reigns of Israel's kings: Jehoram 12 years, Jehu
28 years, Jehoahaz 17 years, Joash 16 years, Jeroboam 41 years,
Zachariah and Shallum 1 year, Menahem 10 years, Pekahiah 2 years,
Pekah 2 years. 12 years + 28 years + 17 years + 16 years + 41 years +
1 year + 10 years + 2 years + 2 years = 129 years.

From the death of Jehoshaphat to the beginning of Jotham's reign the
following were the reigns of Judah's kings: Joram 8 years, Ahaziah 1
year, Athaliah 6 years, Joash 40 years, Amaziah 29 years, Azariah 52
years. 8 years + 1 year + 6 years + 40 years + 29 years + 52 years =
136 years.

If from the death of Ahaziah to the beginning of Jotham's reign was
one hundred and twenty-nine years, and from the death of Jehoshaphat to
the beginning of Jotham's reign was one hundred and thirty-six years,
Jehoshaphat therefore died seven years before Ahaziah died.


"In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zachariah
the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel" (2 Kings xv, 8).

From the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Zachariah the reigns
of Israel's kings were: Jehoram 12 years, Jehu 28 years, Jehoahaz
17 years, Joash 16 years, Jeroboam 41 years. 12 years + 28 years +
17 years + 16 years + 41 years = 114 years.

From the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession of Zachariah the reigns
of Judah's kings were: Joram 8 years, Ahaziah 1 year, Athaliah 6 years,
Joash 40 years, Amaziah 29 years, Azariah 38 years. 8 years + 1 year +
6 years + 40 years + 29 years + 38 years = 122 years.

If from the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Zachariah was one
hundred and fourteen years, and from the death of Jehoshaphat to
the accession of Zachariah was one hundred and twenty-two years,
Jehoshaphat therefore died eight years before Ahaziah died.


"In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah the son of
Menahem began to reign over Israel" (2 Kings xv, 23).

From the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Pekahiah, Israel's
kings reigned as follows: Jehoram 12 years, Jehu 28 years, Jehoahaz
17 years, Joash 16 years, Jeroboam 41 years, Zachariah and Shallum 1
year, Menahem 10 years. 12 years + 28 years + 17 years + 16 years +
41 years + 1 year + 10 years = 125 years.

From the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession of Pekahiah, Judah's
kings reigned as follows: Joram 8 years, Ahaziah 1 year, Athaliah 6
years, Joash 40 years, Amaziah 29 years, Azariah 50 years. 8 years +
1 year + 6 years + 40 years + 29 years + 50 years = 134 years.

If from the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Pekahiah was one
hundred and twenty-five years, and from the death of Jehoshaphat
to the accession of Pekahiah was one hundred and thirty-four years,
Jehoshaphat therefore died nine years before Ahaziah died.


"In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of
Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel" (2 Kings xvii, 1).

From the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Hoshea the reigns of
Israel's kings were: Jehoram 12 years, Jehu 28 years, Jehoahaz 17
years, Joash 16 years, Jeroboam 41 years, Zachariah and Shallum 1
year, Menahem 10 years, Pekahiah 2 years, Pekah 20 years. 12 years
+ 28 years + 17 years + 16 years + 41 years + 1 year + 10 years +
2 years + 20 years = 147 years.

From the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession of Hoshea the reigns of
Judah's kings were: Joram 8 years, Ahaziah 1 year, Athaliah 6 years,
Joash 40 years, Amaziah 29 years, Azariah 52 years, Jotham 16 years,
Ahaz 12 years. 8 years + 1 year + 6 years + 40 years + 29 years +
52 years + 16 years + 12 years = 164 years.

If from the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Hoshea was one
hundred and forty-seven years, and from the death of Jehoshaphat
to the accession of Hoshea was one hundred and sixty-four years,
Jehoshaphat therefore died seventeen years before Ahaziah died.


"And it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which
was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that
Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it"
(2 Kings xviii, 9).

From the death of Ahaziah to the commencement of the siege of Samaria
the reigns of Israel's kings were: Jehoram 12 years, Jehu 28 years,
Jehoahaz 17 years, Joash 16 years, Jeroboam 41 years, Zachariah and
Shallum 1 year, Menahem 10 years, Pekahiah 2 years, Pekah 20 years,
Hoshea 7 years. 12 years + 28 years + 17 years + 16 years + 41 years +
1 year + 10 years + 2 years + 20 years + 7 years = 154 years.

From the death of Jehoshaphat to the siege of Samaria the reigns of
Judah's kings were: Joram 8 years, Ahaziah 1 year, Athaliah 6 years,
Joash 40 years, Amaziah 29 years, Azariah 52 years, Jotham 16 years,
Ahaz 16 years, Hezekiah 4 years. 8 years + 1 year + 6 years + 40 years
+ 29 years + 52 years + 16 years + 16 years + 4 years = 172 years.

If from the death of Ahaziah to the siege of Samaria was one hundred
and fifty-four years, and from the death of Jehoshaphat to the siege
of Samaria was one hundred and seventy-two years, Jehoshaphat therefore
died eighteen years before Ahaziah died.


"In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began
Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign" (2 Kings xv, 1).

From the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Azariah the reigns
of Israel's kings were: Jehoram 12 years, Jehu 28 years, Jehoahaz
17 years, Joash 16 years, Jeroboam 27 years. 12 years + 28 years +
17 years + 16 years + 27 years = 100 years.

From the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession of Azariah the reigns of
Judah's kings were: Joram 8 years, Ahaziah 1 year, Athaliah 6 years,
Joash 40 years, Amaziah 29 years. 8 years + 1 year + 6 years + 40
years + 29 years = 84 years.

If from the death of Ahaziah to the accession of Azariah was one
hundred years, and from the death of Jehoshaphat to the accession
of Azariah was eighty-four years, Jehoshaphat therefore died sixteen
years after Ahaziah died.


When did Jehoshaphat's death occur? Did it occur before or after
Ahaziah's death occurred? The following is a recapitulation of the
various answers to this question which the preceding solutions have

 1.  The same year.
 2.  One year after.
 3.  One year before.
 4.  Two years after.
 5.  Two years before.
 6.  Three years after.
 7.  Four years after.
 8.  Five years after.
 9.  Six years after.
10.  Seven years after.
11.  Seven years before.
12.  Eight years before.
13.  Nine years before.
14.  Seventeen years before.
15.  Eighteen years before.
16.  Sixteen years after.

Here are sixteen different answers to a simple historical question. But
one of them can possibly be correct; fifteen of them must necessarily
be incorrect. And yet I challenge the theologian to demonstrate the
incorrectness of one of them without at the same time demonstrating the
fallibility of the Bible and its unreliability as a historical record.

Notes and Explanations.

The history of Judah's and of Israel's sovereigns is recorded in Kings
and repeated in Chronicles. Had I used both Kings and Chronicles
in the preparation of this chapter, the number of various answers
would have been increased. Some Christian scholars, however, admit
that Chronicles is not entirely free from errors, while Kings, on
the other hand, is denominated a "marvel of accuracy." To avoid any
objections that might be raised were Chronicles used--to assail only
that which is deemed unassailable--I have confined myself to Kings.

To prevent confusion in regard to names, the reader should remember
that Israel had two kings named Jeroboam, and that Israel and Judah
each had kings named Ahaziah, Jehoram, and Jehoash. In Israel Jehoram
succeeded Ahaziah; in Judah, Ahaziah succeeded Jehoram. The contracted
form of Jehoram is Joram, and of Jehoash, Joash. Both forms are
used. Azariah is also called Uzziah.

In computing time, ordinal numbers are reckoned the same as cardinal
numbers. It may be urged that the phrase, "in the eighteenth year,"
does not denote the full period of eighteen completed years. In
justification of the method pursued, I may say that it is not only
the method generally followed by chronologists, but it is the method
authorized by the Bible. See 2 Kings xvii, 1; 2 Kings xvii, 6. Also
1 Kings xv, 9, 10; 2 Chron. xvi, 13. Its adoption simplifies the form
without increasing the number of solutions.

To reconcile other discrepancies, some Bible chronologists have assumed
an interregnum of eleven years between the reigns of Jeroboam II. and
Zachariah, and another of nine years between Pekah and Hosea. The
language of the Bible utterly precludes these assumptions.

"And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel,
and Zachariah his son reigned in his stead" (2 Kings xiv, 29).

"And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son
of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead"
(2 Kings xv, 30).

That these interregnums did not occur, nor indeed any interregnums
between the reigns of Israel's kings, is attested by Josephus, who by
Christians is esteemed an authority second only to the writers of the
Scriptures. The ninth book of his "Antiquities" bears the following
title: "Containing the interval of one hundred and fifty-seven years
from the death of Ahab to the captivity of the ten tribes." This
forbids the idea of any interregnum.

But if it could be shown that these or other interregnums really did
occur, the fact would increase rather than diminish the difficulties
connected with the solution of this question.

We search the writings of Bible commentators in vain for an explanation
or attempted reconciliation of many of the conflicting statements to
be found in the passages that I have quoted. These exegetes have either
been ignorant of their existence, or have purposely ignored them. Some
of the more noticeable ones they have attempted to reconcile; but the
explanations offered are of such a character as to make it seemingly
impossible for an honest scholar to advance them, or an intelligent
reader to accept them.

These pretended reconciliations have been abridged, and, in the
shape of marginal notes, transferred to the popular editions of the
Bible. Where different and conflicting dates are assigned for the
commencement of a king's reign, opposite the first will be found
such explanatory notes as "prorex," "viceroy," "in consort," or "in
partnership with his father;" and opposite the last, "began to reign
alone;" and all this without a word or hint, either in the Bible or
elsewhere, to authorize it.

The demonstration of a single error in the Bible destroys the dogmas of
its divinity and infallibility. Yet notwithstanding this single error,
or even twenty errors, it might still be valuable as a historical
record. But when it can be demonstrated that it abounds with glaring
contradictions, that its every chapter teems with flagrant errors,
it is utterly unworthy of credit, and must be rejected even as a
human record of events.



In the second chapter of Ezra is given a register of the Jews who
returned from Babylon to Jerusalem. The register begins with these

"Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the
captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar
the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again
unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city."

In the seventh chapter of Nehemiah, beginning with the sixth verse,
is a copy of the same register. Nehemiah says:

"And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at
the first, and found written therein,

"These are the children of the province, that went up out of the
captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar
the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem
and to Judah, every one unto his city."

Then follows in each a list of the families with the number of persons
belonging to them. But in transcribing the numbers, either Ezra or
Nehemiah has made many errors. A careful examination reveals no less
than twenty, as shown by the following:


"The children of Arah, seven hundred and seventy-five" (Ez. ii, 5).

"The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two" (Neh. vii, 10).


"The children of Pahath-moab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab,
two thousand eight hundred and twelve" (Ez. ii, 6).

"The children of Pahath-moab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab,
two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen" (Neh. vii, 11).


"The children of Zattu, nine hundred forty and five" (Ez. ii, 8).

"The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five" (Neh. vii, 13).


"The children of Bani, six hundred forty and two" (Ez. ii, 10).

"The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight" (Neh. vii, 15).


"The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and three" (Ez. ii, 11).

"The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight" (Neh. vii, 16).


"The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two"
(Ez. ii, 12).

"The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two"
(Neh. vii, 17).


"The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six" (Ez. ii, 13).

"The children of Adonikam, six hundred three score and seven"
(Neh. vii, 18).


"The children of Bigvai, two thousand fifty and six" (Ez. ii, 14).

"The children of Bigvai, two thousand three score and seven"
(Neh. vii, 19).


"The children of Adin, four hundred fifty and four" (Ez. ii, 15).

"The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five" (Neh. vii, 20).


"The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and three" (Ez. ii, 17).

"The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four" (Neh. vii, 23).


"The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three" (Ez. ii, 19).

"The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight" (Neh. vii,


"The children of Beth-lehem, a hundred twenty and three.

"The men of Netophah, fifty and six" (Ez. ii, 21, 22).

[The number of both is one hundred and seventy-nine].

"The men of Beth-lehem and Netophah, a hundred four score and eight"
(Neh. vii, 26).


"The men of Beth-el and Ai, two hundred twenty and three" (Ez. ii, 28).

"The men of Beth-el and Ai, a hundred twenty and three" (Neh. vii, 32).


"The children of Magbish, a hundred fifty and six" (Ez. ii, 30).

[This family is omitted from Nehemiah's list.]


"The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and five"
(Ez. ii, 33).

"The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one"
(Neh. vii, 37).


"The children of Senaah, three thousand and six hundred and thirty"
(Ez. ii, 35).

"The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty"
(Neh. vii, 38).


"The singers: the children of Asaph, a hundred twenty and eight"
(Ez. ii, 41).

"The singers: the children of Asaph, a hundred forty and eight"
(Neh. vii, 44).


"The children of the porters: the children of Shallum, the children
of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children
of Hatita, the children of Shobai, in all a hundred thirty and nine"
(Ez. ii, 42).

"The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the
children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita,
the children of Shobai, a hundred thirty and eight" (Neh. vii, 45).


"The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of
Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two" (Ez. ii, 60).

"The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of
Nekoda, six hundred forty and two" (Neh. vii, 62).


"And there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women"
(Ez. ii, 65).

"And they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women"
(Neh. vii, 67).

The following is a table of the census of all the families, as given
by Ezra and Nehemiah respectively:

               FAMILY.                   EZRA.   NEHEMIAH

               Parosh                    2,172      2,712
               Shephatiah                  372        372
               Arah                        775        652
               Pahath-Moab, etc          2,812      2,818
               Elam                      1,254      1,254
               Zattu                       945        845
               Zaccai                      760        760
               Bani                        642        648
               Bebai                       623        628
               Azgad                     1,222      2,322
               Adonikam                    666        667
               Bigvai                    2,056      2,067
               Adin                        454        655
               Ater                         98         98
               Bezai                       323        324
               Jorah (Hariph)              112        112
               Hashum                      223        328
               Gibbar (Gibeon)              95         95
               Beth-lehem and Netophah     179        188
               Anathoth                    128        128
               Azmaveth                     42         42
               Kirjath-arim, etc           743        743
               Ramah and Gabah             621        621
               Michmas                     122        122
               Bethel and Ai               223        123
               Nebo                         52         52
               Magbish                     156
               Elam                      1,254      1,254
               Harim                       320        320
               Lod, Hadid, and Ono         725        721
               Jericho                     345        345
               Senaah                    3,630      3,930
               Jedaiah                     973        973
               Immer                     1,052      1,052
               Pashur                    1,247      1,247
               Harim                     1,017      1,017
               Jeshua, etc                  74         74
               Asaph                       128        148
               Shallum, etc                139        138
               The Nethinim, etc           392        392
               Delaiah, etc                652        642
               Servants                  7,337      7,337
               Singers                     200        245

In the above table are twenty discrepancies. Twenty errors in
forty-three numerical statements is a bad showing for an infallible

Ezra and Nehemiah both state that the whole congregation, exclusive of
the servants and singers, numbered 42,360. Yet the sum total of each
is much less than this, that of Ezra being but 29,818, and Nehemiah,

In the number of domestic animals Ezra and Nehemiah agree. In the
oblations they disagree. According to Ezra they gave 61,000 drams of
gold, 5,000 pounds of silver, and 100 priests' garments. According
to Nehemiah they gave in all 41,000 drams of gold, 4,200 pounds of
silver, and 597 priests' garments.

When bibliolaters affirm that there is not one error in the Bible,
refer them to this register, where in two chapters may be found two
dozen errors.



The more intelligent of orthodox Christians admit that the Bible as
a whole is not infallible and divine, but claim that it contains a
divine revelation--that a part of it is the work of God and a part
the work of man. And yet they cannot separate the one from the other,
cannot agree as to which is divine and which human. Concerning this
claim Prof. Goldwin Smith writes:

"When we are told there are in the Old Testament scriptures both
a human and a divine element, we must ask by what test the divine
is to be distinguished from the human? Nobody would have thought of
'partial inspiration' except as an expedient to cover retreat. We but
tamper with our own understanding and consciences by such attempts at
once to hold on and let go; to retain the shadow of the belief when
the substance has passed away. Far better it is, whatever the effort
may cost, honestly to admit that the sacred books of the Hebrews,
granting their superiority to the sacred books of other nations,
are, like the sacred books of other nations, the works of man and
not of God."

Others admit the fallibility and human origin of the Old Testament
and claim infallibility and divinity for the New Testament alone. But
they cannot consistently claim infallibility and divinity for the New
and not for the Old. The New Testament is based upon the Old. If the
foundation be fallible the superstructure must be fallible also. Both
have been declared canonical; both are bound in the same volume and
labeled Holy Bible. The chief apostles declared the writings of the
Old Testament to be divine, a claim they did not make for the writings
of the New. Besides, the New Testament is as full of errors as the Old.

It has been shown that the Four Gospels are not genuine--that they were
not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is to their credit
that they were not. A knowledge of the fact relieves the Apostles
and their companions of a very discreditable imputation. Were four
witnesses to testify in a court of justice and contradict each other
as the Evangelists do, they would be prosecuted for perjury.

In another work five hundred errors to be found in the Four Gospels
will be exposed. In this chapter twenty, selected largely at random,
will suffice to disprove the credibility of these books:


When was Jesus born?

"In the days of Herod the king" (Matt. ii, 1).

"When Cyrenius was governor of Syria" (Luke ii, 2).

Between Matthew and Luke there is a discrepancy of fully nine years. If
Jesus was born in the days of Herod he was born at least three years
before the beginning of the Christian era: if he was born in the
time of Cyrenius he was born at least six years after the beginning
of the Christian era.


Where was Jesus born, in a house, or in a manger?

"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child
with Mary his mother" (Matt. ii, 11).

"And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the babe
lying in a manger" (Luke ii, 16).


What did his parents do with him?

"When he [Joseph] arose, he took the young child and his mother by
night, and departed into Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod"
(Matt. ii, 14, 15).

"And when the days of her [Mary's] purification according to the law
of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem to present
him to the Lord.... And when they had performed all things according
to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city
Nazareth" (Luke ii, 22, 39).


What were the names of the twelve apostles?

"Now the names of the twelve Apostles are these: The first, Simon,
who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee,
and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew
the publican; James the son of Alpheus, and Lebbeus, whose surname
was Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot" (Matt. x, 2-4).

"He chose twelve, whom also he named apostles: Simon (whom he also
named Peter), and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and
Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon
called Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot"
(Luke vi, 13-16).


Whom did Jesus call from the receipt of custom?

"He saw a man named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom; and
he saith unto him, Follow me" (Matt. ix, 9).

"He went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt
of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me" (Luke v, 27).


When Jesus sent out his Apostles, did he command them to provide
themselves with staves?

"And he commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey,
save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money" (Mark vi, 8).

"And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves,
nor scrip, neither bread, neither money" (Luke ix, 3).


What did Jesus' neighbors say of him?

"Is not this the carpenter?" (Mark vi, 3).

"Is not this the carpenter's son?" (Matt. xiii, 55.)


Was it one man or two men possessed with devils who came out of
the tombs?

"There met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit" (Mark
v, 2).

"There met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs"
(Matt. viii, 28).


As Jesus was going to Jerusalem, how many blind men sat by the wayside?

"A certain blind man sat by the way side begging.... And he cried,
saying, Jesus thou Son of David, have mercy on me" (Luke xviii, 35).

"Two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus
passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of
David" (Matt. xx, 30).


What was Jesus' prediction regarding Peter's denial?

"Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice" (Matt. xxvi, 34).

"Before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny me thrice" (Mark xiv, 30).


What was the color of the robe placed on Jesus during his trial?

"And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe" (Matt. xxvii,

"And they put on him a purple robe" (John xix, 2).


At what time during the day was he crucified?

"And it was the third hour [9 A.M.], and they crucified him" (Mark
xv, 25).

"And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour
[noon].... Then delivered he him unto them to be crucified" (John xix,
14, 16).


What did they give him to drink?

"They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall" (Matt. xxvii, 34).

"They gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh" (Mark xv, 23).


Did both thieves revile him on the cross?

"And they that were crucified with him reviled him" (Mark xv, 32).

"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him.... But
the other answering rebuked him" (Luke xxiii, 39, 40).


Certain words were inscribed on the cross; what were these words?

"The King of the Jews" (Mark xv, 26).

"This is the King of the Jews" (Luke xxiii, 38).

"This is Jesus the King of the Jews" (Matt. xxvii, 37).

"Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews" (John xix, 19).


Was it lawful for the Jews to put Jesus to death?

"The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put
any man to death" (John xviii, 31).

"The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die"
(John xix, 7).


What women visited the sepulchre on the morning of the resurrection?

"The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene, early when it was
yet dark, unto the sepulchre" (John xx, 1).

"In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first
day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the
sepulchre" (Matt. xxviii, 1).

"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning,
they came unto the sepulchre.... It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna,
and Mary the mother of James, and other women" (Luke xxiv, 1, 10).


At what time in the morning did they visit the tomb?

"At the rising of the sun" (Mark xvi, 2).

"When it was yet dark" (John xx, 1).


Whom did they see at the tomb?

"The angel" (Matt. xxviii, 2).

"A young man" (Mark xvi, 5).

"Two men" (Luke xxiv, 4).

"Two angels" (John xx, 12).


Where did Jesus first appear to his disciples?

"Then said Jesus unto them [the women], Be not afraid; go tell
my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see
me.... Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a
mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him they
worshiped him; but some doubted" (Matt. xxviii, 10, 16, 17).

"And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found
the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, saying,
The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.... And as they
thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them" (Luke xxiv,
33, 34, 36).

The first time I read Paine's "Age of Reason" I was amazed to learn
that the Bible contains as many errors as he exposes. But when a little
later I made a more thorough study and analysis of the Pentateuch,
the so-called historical books of the Old Testament, and the Four
Gospels, I found that Paine had only selected here and there one
of a multitude of errors--that in a single book of the Bible were
to be found more errors than he had cited from its sixty-six. The
briefest exposé of all the errors of the Bible would require a larger
volume than the Bible itself. And yet, this book which contains more
errors than any other book in Christendom, is the only book for which
Christians claim inerrancy.



In this chapter will be presented some passages from Paul and the
other Apostles pertaining to their writings, their teachings, and
their characters, which affect the credibility of the remaining books
of the New Testament.


It is popularly supposed that Jesus and his twelve Apostles formulated
the doctrines of Christianity and founded the Christian church. Paul
was the real author of this religion and the founder of the church.

"Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: and when he had
found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a
whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much
people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch"
(Acts xi, 25, 26).

Jesus Christ was a Jew. Peter, John, James, and the other Apostles in
Palestine were not Christians, but Jews--orthodox Jews--who differed
from other Jews chiefly in accepting Jesus as the expected Jewish
Messiah. Paul and his followers were the first Christians. The Dutch
critics frankly admit that "Christianity has to thank him more than
any other for its existence," that he was "the founder of the Christian
church," and that "without him it would have remained an insignificant
or forgotten Jewish sect" (Bible for Learners, Vol. III. pp. 20,
642, 643).


The conversion of Paul is described as follows:

"And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there
shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth,
and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou
me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus
whom thou persecutest" (Acts ix, 3-5).

This was simply a hallucination; and upon this hallucination of the
diseased mind of Paul the whole system of Christian theology is based.


The effect of Paul's miraculous conversion upon his companions is
thus related:

"And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless" (Acts ix, 7).

"We were all fallen to the earth" (xxvi, 14).


"And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a
voice, but seeing no man" (Acts ix, 7).

"And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid;
but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me" (xxii, 9).


After his conversion Acts states that "straight-way he preached Christ
in the synagogues" (ix, 20) at Damascus; that when, soon after, the
Jews sought to kill him he escaped and went immediately to Jerusalem;
that "Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles" (27);
"And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem" (28).

Paul denies this. Referring to his conversion he says:

"Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up
to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into
Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I
went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and abode with him fifteen days. But
other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother"
(Gal. i, 16-19).


Paul declares that his mission was to the Gentiles alone.

"I am the Apostle of the Gentiles" (Rom. xi, 13).

"That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles"
(xv, 16).

According to Acts (ix, 20-22; xiii, 5, 14-43; xiv, 1; xvii, 1, 2,
10; xviii, 4, 19; xxviii, 17), from the beginning to the end of his
ministry, he was continually preaching in the synagogues to the Jews.


While Paul proclaims himself the apostle to the Gentiles he declares
that Peter's mission was confined to the Jews.

"The gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel
of the circumcision was unto Peter" (Gal. ii, 7).

Peter contends that his mission was to the Gentiles.

"And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto
them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made
choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word
of the gospel" (Acts xv, 7).


The chief of Paul's theological teachings is Justification by Faith

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but
by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ,
that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works
of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified"
(Gal. ii, 16).

"If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain" (21).

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the
deeds of the law" (Rom. iii, 28).

James declares this doctrine to be false and pernicious.

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead"
(James ii, 20).

"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works
is dead also" (26).

"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith
only" (24).


The two great miracles of the Gospels are the immaculate conception
and the bodily resurrection of Jesus. The Evangelists teach the
doctrine of the immaculate conception. Paul and Peter declare Jesus
to be simply a man.

Paul: "The man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. ii, 5).

Peter: "A man approved of God" (Acts ii, 22).


The Evangelists teach the resurrection of the natural body--a body
of flesh and blood. Paul teaches a spiritual resurrection only.

"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body" (1 Cor. xv,

"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (50).


Paul both affirms and denies the immortality of man: "Glory and honor
and immortality" (Rom. ii, 7). "This mortal must put on immortality"
(1 Cor. xv, 53).

"The King of kings, and Lord of lords [Christ]; who only hath
immortality" (1 Tim. vi, 15, 16).


Paul: "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ,
that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come we
are no longer under a schoolmaster" (Gal. iii, 24, 25).

"But now we are delivered from the law" (Rom. vii, 6).

Jesus: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law.... I am not come
to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and
earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law"
(Matt. v, 17, 18).


"We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not
prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from
heaven, ... and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are
alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds"
(1 Thes., iv, 15-17).

Paul believed that Christ had appeared to him. It was a delusion. He
expected Christ to come again. He was mistaken.


The following is an example of Paul's reasoning:

"Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to
them that believe not; but prophesying serveth not for them that
believe not, but for them which believe. If, therefore, the whole
church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues,
and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will
they not say ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there cometh in
one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all"
(1 Cor. xiv, 22-24).

Speaking with tongues is for the unbeliever. Therefore if you speak
with tongues the unbeliever is not convinced.

Prophesying is not for the unbeliever. Therefore if you prophesy the
unbeliever is convinced.

"Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto
you; as also in all of his epistles, speaking in them of these things;
in which are some things hard to be understood" (2 Peter iii, 15, 16).

The Duke of Somerset says: "There is scarcely a single passage in
the Pauline Epistles, or a single doctrine in the Pauline theology,
which is not darkened or embroiled by the ambiguity of the expression"
(Christian Theology and Modern Scepticism, p. 116).


The following passage of seven verses from Paul (Rom. iii, 12-18)
is borrowed from six different chapters of the Old Testament. Is it
a medley of misquotations, or a mosaic of plagiarisms?

"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become
unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

"Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used
deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips.

"Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.

"Their feet are swift to shed blood.

"Destruction and misery are in their ways.

"And the way of peace have they not known.

"There is no fear of God before their eyes."

"They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there
is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Ps. xiv, 3).

"Their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with the tongue
(Ps. v, 9). Adders' poison is under their lips" (cxl, 3).

"His mouth is full of cursing and deceit" (Ps. x, 7).

"Their feet run to evil and they make haste to shed innocent blood"
(Is. lix, 7).

"Wasting and destruction are in their paths" (Ibid).

"The way of peace they know not" (8).

"There is no fear of God before his eyes" (Ps. xxxvi, 1).


The following words are ascribed to Jesus by Paul:

"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed
to give than to receive" (Acts xx, 85).

No such words are to be found in the recorded sayings of Jesus.

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have
entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
for them that love him" (1 Cor. ii, 9).

The above is quoted by Paul as scripture, but the scriptures do not
contain this passage.


"Who his [Christ's] own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree"
(1 Peter ii, 24).

The Epistles of Peter are devoted largely to Christ's suffering and
death, but no mention is made of his crucifixion. The words "cross"
and "crucify" are not to be found in them. In Acts Peter speaks of
Jesus' death as follows:

"Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree" (v, 30).

"God anointed Jesus of Nazareth ... whom they slew and hanged on a
tree" (x, 38, 93).


"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word
and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one" (1 John v, 7).

This is the chief text relied upon to support the doctrine of the
Trinity, and this text all Christian scholars admit to be a forgery.


"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying,
Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints" (Jude 14).

Jude's scriptural authority is an apocryphal book.

Genesis, Chronicles, and Luke all agree that Enoch was not the seventh,
but the sixth from Adam.

"Adam ... begat ... Seth" (Gen. v, 3); "Seth ... begat Enos" (6);
"Enos ... begat Cainan (9); "Cainan ... begat Mahalaleel" (12);
"Mahalaleel ... begat Jared" (15); "Jared ... begat Enoch" (18).

"Adam, Sheth, Enoch, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Henoch" (1 Chron. i,

"Which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was
the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son
of Seth, which was the son of Adam" (Luke iii, 37, 38).


"Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him,
saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before
them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest" (Matt. xxvi, 69, 70).

"And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man" (72).

"Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man" (74).

"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I [Paul] withstood him to the
face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came
from James, he did eat with the Gentiles; but when they were come,
he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the
circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him"
(Gal. ii, 11-13).

"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church"
(Matt. xvi, 18).


"Him [Timothy] would Paul have to go with him, and took and circumcised
him because of the Jews which were in those quarters" (Acts xvi, 3).

"Thou seest, brother [Paul], how many thousands of Jews there are
which believe, and they are all zealous of the law.... Do therefore
this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
them take and purify thyself with them. Then Paul took the men, and
the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple"
(Acts xxi, 20-26).

Paul rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy. But if he practiced circumcision,
and took the vow of a Nazarite, as claimed, he was a greater hypocrite
than Peter; for Saul the Jew was not more violently opposed to the
religion of Christ than Paul the Christian was to the religion of the
Jews. That he was addicted to hypocrisy and dissimulation is shown
by the following admissions in his genuine epistles:

"Being crafty I caught you with guile" (2 Cor. xii, 16).

"Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews"
(1 Cor. ix, 20).

"I am made all things to all men" (22).


John impeaches the credibility of Paul and denounces him as a
liar. Critics agree that portions of Revelation, including the
following, are aimed directly at Paul:

"Thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not,
and hast found them liars" (ii, 2).


"And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this
book: for the time is at hand" (Rev. xxii, 10).

Among much that is unintelligible, the writer of Revelation clearly
predicts the destruction of Rome (xvii, 16, 18); asserts that Nero,
who was really dead, was yet alive (xiii, 3); proclaims the immediate
coming of Christ (i, 7; xxii, 7, 12), the avenging of the persecuted
prophets and apostles (xviii, 20), the binding of Satan for a thousand
years (xx, 2), and the establishment of God's kingdom (xxi).

"We know how completely these expectations were
disappointed. Jerusalem, where the temple at least was never to be
violated, fell utterly, and the sanctuary was laid low never to rise
again; while Rome, instead of being turned to a desert, still held
her rank and fame. Nero, the Antichrist, was dead and never returned
to life; but neither did the Christ come back to earth. The martyrs
were not avenged, but fresh persecutions awaited the faithful. The
kingdom of Satan held its own, and the kingdom of God came not"
(Bible for Learners, Vol. III., p. 655).



About one-half of the books of the Bible purport to be, to a
considerable extent at least, historical. But from Genesis to
Revelation there is scarcely a book which can be accepted as a reliable
record of events. Nearly all of them abound with manifest absurdities,
exaggerations, and contradictions. Their authors, for the most part,
deal with matters concerning which the ancient profane historians take
no cognizance; and this, in a measure, conceals their errors. But
when they do refer to known historical events, they exhibit such
an ignorance of the facts, or such a desire to pervert them, as to
destroy their credibility. In this chapter will be presented some
"sacred" history which reason rejects or the demonstrated facts of
profane history disprove.


"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

The Bible, it is affirmed, contains a connected and reliable historical
and chronological record of events from the Creation down to the
universally accepted dates of profane history. And yet between the
three versions of the Jewish Bible there is an utter disagreement. The
creation of the world, according to these versions, was as follows:

                       Hebrew,       4004   B.C.
                       Samaritan,    4700   B.C.
                       Septuagint,   5872   B.C.

The Talmud and Josephus, based upon the above, agree with neither,
nor with each other. According to the Talmud, the Creation occurred
5344 B.C.; according to Josephus, 4658 B.C.


"And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about
six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And
a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds,
even very much cattle. Even the selfsame day it came to pass, that
all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt" (Ex. xii,
37, 38, 41).

"And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused
the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night.... And
the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry
ground.... Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of
the Egyptians" (Ex. xiv, 21, 22, 30).

The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is represented as having taken
place in an incredibly brief space of time. It was after midnight when
Moses was ordered to notify his people to depart. Before morning they
were all en route from Rameses to the Red Sea, which they reached in
three days and crossed in a few hours.

As there were 600,000 men, the total number of persons must have
been nearly 3,000,000. Three millions is a number easily spoken and
quickly written. But neither the author of this story nor those who
accept it as history have the slightest conception of its meaning. They
evidently think that three million people--old and young; men, women,
and children; the sick and the lame, together with their flocks and
herds, their household effects and provisions--could be moved with
the celerity of a few hundred men. When Napoleon crossed the Nieman
in 1812, it took his army of trained soldiers, inured to hardships
and accustomed to rapid marches, three days and nights to cross the
river in close file on three bridges. Had his army been as large as
this body of Israelites, to have crossed the river on one bridge,
allowing the necessary time for rest, would have taken six months. It
would have required months to notify, assemble, and organize this vast
population of slaves in readiness for their migration. And when the
journey began, if the head of the column had left Rameses in the spring
the rear of the column would not have been able to move before autumn.


"Behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel
for a possession" (Deut. xxxii, 49).

In the twelfth chapter of Joshua is given a list of thirty-one
kingdoms which were conquered by them. This was in the fifteenth
century B.C. From this time forward they are represented as a mighty
nation by Bible historians.

Rameses III. overran Canaan and conquered it between 1280 and 1260
B.C. The Egyptian records give a list of all the tribes inhabiting
it. The children of Israel--the Hebrews--were not there. In the fifth
century B.C., when Herodotus, the father of history, was collecting
materials for his immortal work, he traversed nearly every portion
of Western Asia. He describes all its principal peoples and places;
but the Jews and Jerusalem are of too little consequence to merit a
line from his pen. Not until 332 B.C. do the Jews appear upon the stage
of history, and then only as the submissive vassals of a Grecian king.


1. "Elhanan, the son of Jair, the Bethlehemite, slew Goliath of Gath,
the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam" (2 Sam. xxi, 19,
H. V.).

2. "Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the
Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver's beam" (1 Chron. xx, 5).

3. "Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother
of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's
beam" (2 Sam. xxi, 19, A. V.).

The above are three versions of the same passage. The first is a
correct translation of the passage as it appears in the Hebrew. It is
a part of one of the two discordant narratives used by the compiler of
Samuel. The compiler of Chronicles saw the discrepancy and interpolated
the words "Lahmi the brother of." Our translators interpolated the
words "the brother of."

Critics admit that if the killing of Goliath is a historical event,
which is improbable, it was Elkanah, and not David, who slew him. The
story of David and Goliath given by the other narrator in 1 Samuel is
a myth. This writer says: "And David took the head of the Philistine,
and brought it to Jerusalem," evidently believing that the Israelites
then occupied Jerusalem, whereas the duel between David and Goliath
is said to have occurred 1062 B.C., while the conquest and occupancy
of Jerusalem by the Israelites did not occur until 1047 B.C., fifteen
years later.


"And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, ... Behold, I purpose to build an
house unto the name of the Lord my God, ... and my servants shall be
with thy servants, and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants"
(1 Kings v, 2, 5, 6).

"And Solomon had three score and ten thousand that bare burdens,
and four score thousand hewers in the mountains; beside the chief
of Solomon's officers which were over the work, three thousand and
three hundred" (15, 16).

"So was he seven years in building it" (vi, 38)

"And the house which King Solomon built for the Lord, the length
thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits,
and the height thereof thirty cubits" (2).

The main building of Solomon's Temple, then, was about 96 feet long,
32 feet wide, and 48 feet high. One hundred and fifty thousand men
engaged seven years in building a house as large as a village church
or a country store! The mountain labored and brought forth a mouse!


"And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered
them into their hand. And Abijah and his people slew them with great
slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand
chosen men" (2 Chron. xiii, 16, 17).

Five hundred thousand slain in one battle! At the battle of Gettysburg,
one of the greatest battles of modern times, for three long days,
two mighty armies of America engaged in deadly conflict, and when it
was ended, the defeated army had less than five thousand killed. And
yet we are asked to believe that this puny race of Hebrews, too
insignificant to attract the notice of ancient historians, marshaled
in battle two contending armies, the carnage of which equaled that
of a hundred Gettysburgs.

Talk about oriental exaggeration! If you wish to find its choicest
specimens, search not the pages of Persian and Arabian romance,
but read a chapter of sacred history.


"And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land; and Menahem gave
Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to
confirm the kingdom in his hand" (2 Kings xv, 19).

The king who reigned in Assyria at this time was Iva-lush. Assyria
never had a king named Pul.


"Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords,
and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the
wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father
Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem;
that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might
drink therein" (Dan. v, 1, 2).

"In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand and wrote over
against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's
palace" (5).

"And this is the writing that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN"

"In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans [Babylon]
slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom" (30, 31).

As a dramatic piece of fiction Belshazzar's Feast is good; as a
chapter of ancient history it is bad. Belshazzar was not the son of
Nebuchadnezzar; neither was he king of Babylon. Darius the Mede did
not take the kingdom.


"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from
Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing
was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)... And Joseph
also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea,
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of
the house and lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused
wife, being great with child" (Luke ii, 1-5).

This cannot be accepted as historical for the following reasons:

1. Cæsar Augustus never issued a decree that all the world should be
taxed, nor even one that all the Roman world should be taxed.

2. If he had issued such a decree Joseph and Mary would not have been
subject to taxation, because they lived in Galilee, an independent

3. Had they been subject to taxation they would have been enrolled
in their own country and not in some distant kingdom.

4. Cyrenius did not become governor of Syria until nearly ten years
after the death of Herod, and Jesus was born, it is claimed, in the
days of Herod.


"Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was
exceeding wroth, and sent forth and slew all the children that were in
Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under"
(Matt. ii, 16).

The statement that Herod the Great, who was firmly established in
his government, and who had full-grown male heirs to succeed him,
was afraid that the babe of an obscure Nazareth carpenter would
supplant him in his kingdom, is enough to cause a Covenanter to laugh
on Sunday. Had Herod issued such a decree his friends, instead of
executing it, would have had him confined in a madhouse. The fact that
the Roman and Jewish historians of that age--one of whom, an enemy,
gives a full and complete record of his life--know nothing of this
awful tragedy, that an anonymous author writing nearly two centuries
afterward is the only one who mentions it, is of itself sufficient
to brand it as an atrocious falsehood.


"That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth,
from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of
Barachias whom ye slew between the temple and the altar" (Matt. xxiii,

The divine historian ascribes these words to Jesus. Jesus was
crucified, it is claimed, about 29 A.D. Zacharias was slain in 69 A.D.,
forty years after the death of Jesus. Some contend that Jesus refers
to the Zachariah mentioned in 2 Chronicles (xxiv, 20, 25). But this
Zachariah was the son of Jehoiada. Besides, the accusation of Jesus
is intended to cover all time from the first to the last offense,
and to name this Zachariah would be to admit that they had shed no
righteous blood for 850 years.


"For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be
somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined
themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were
scattered, and brought to nought.

"After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and
drew away much people after him: he also perished" (Acts v, 36, 37).

According to Acts the sedition of Theudas occurred before the taxing,
which was about 6 A.D. It really occurred while Fadus was procurator
of Judea, about 46 A.D.--forty years after the date assigned in Acts.

The Bible is largely a medley of fables, mythologies, and
legends. These legends contain a modicum of truth--how much cannot
be determined. The reliable historian faithfully presents the facts
contained in the materials at his command. These so-called sacred
historians do not. With them history is secondary to theology and
made subservient to it. Every event is represented as a special act of
divine Providence and is tortured to uphold and serve their theological
notions. Referring to the author or compiler of Judges, Dr. Oort
says: "The writer has drawn most of his narratives from trustworthy
sources.... Our gratitude to him would indeed be still greater than it
is, if he had given us all that he found in his authorities unmixed
and unaltered. But to an Israelite historian this seems to have been
a simple impossibility" (Bible for Learners, Vol. I., p. 363).



"There is a beautiful harmony between the principles of science and
the teachings of the Bible."--Dr. Cheever.

Bibliolaters, unacquainted with the principles of science, and
scientists unacquainted with the teachings of the Bible, may accept
this statement; those conversant with both cannot. In the Bible a
thousand scientific errors may be found. The limits of this work
preclude a presentation of them all. Enough will be given, however,
to show that the teachings of the Bible conflict with the teachings
of the ten principal sciences--Astronomy, Geology, Geography, Botany,
Zoology, Ethnology, Physiology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics.


"And God said, Let there be light, and there was light" (Gen. i, 3).

"And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And
the evening and the morning were the first day" (5).

"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day and
the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also ... and
the evening and the morning were the fourth day" (16, 19).

The cause is supposed to precede the effect; but here the effect
precedes the cause. Light and darkness, morning and evening, day and
night exist before the sun.

The Bible teaches us that the earth is older than the sun; science
teaches us that the sun is older than the earth.

In the creation of the universe God devoted five-sixths of his time
to the creation of this little world of ours, while but a fragment
of the remaining time was needed to create the countless worlds that
exist outside of our solar system. Five brief words, "He made the
stars also," record the history of their creation.

According to the Bible, the oldest star is less than six thousand
years old. What says the scientist?

"I have observed stars, of which the light, it can be proved, must
take two millions of years to reach this earth."--Sir William Herschel.

"Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley
of Ajalon."

"So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go
down about a whole day" (Josh. x, 12, 13).

"Behold, I [the Lord] will bring again the shadow of the degrees,
which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So
the sun returned ten degrees" (Isaiah xxxviii, 8).

The Bible teaches the geocentric theory that the sun revolves around
the earth; Science teaches the heliocentric theory that the earth
revolves around the sun.

Luther, accepting the Bible and rejecting science, wrote:

"The fool [Copernicus] wishes to reverse the entire science of
Astronomy. But sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the
sun to stand still and not the earth."

"Biblical astronomy," says the celebrated Jewish commentator,
Dr. Kalisch, "is derived from mere optical appearance."


"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. i, 1).

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed,
and the fruit tree yielding fruit" (i, 11).

"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving
creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth"
(i, 20).

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after
his kind, cattle and creeping things" (i, 24).

"And God said, Let us make man in our image" (i, 26).

"In six days the Lord made heaven and earth" (Ex. xx, 11).

According to the Bible, the earth was created in six days about
six thousand years ago. Geology tells us that the earth was old six
million years ago.

To make room for the earth's development, theologians now contend
that a vast period of time elapsed between the work recorded in the
first verse and in those following. To this Bishop Colenso replies:

"We are plainly taught in the book of Genesis, according to the simple,
straightforward meaning of the words, that Elohim created the heaven
and the earth in the beginning of these six days--that is, taking
into account the chronological data of the Bible, about six thousand
years ago" (The Pentateuch, Part IV, p. 94).

Again, theologians claim that these six days were not six literal
days, but six long epochs of time. The Rev. Moses Stuart, Professor of
Sacred Literature in Andover Theological Seminary, one of the ablest
Hebrew scholars, says:

"When the sacred writer in Genesis i says, the first day, the second
day, etc., there can be no possible doubt--none.... What puts this
beyond all question in philology is that the writer says specifically,
the evening and the morning were the first day, the second day,
etc. Now, is an evening and a morning a period of some thousands
of years? Is it, in any sense, when so employed, an indefinite
period? The answer is so plain and certain that I need not repeat
it. If Moses has given us an erroneous account of the creation, so
be it. Let it come out, and let us leave the whole. But do not let
us turn aside his language to get rid of difficulties that we may
have in our speculations."

The Jewish scholar, Dr. Kalisch, not only rejects this interpretation
of the word day, but admits that it would not reconcile Genesis with
science if allowed. He says:

"The device that the days denote epochs is not only arbitrary, but
ineffective, for the six epochs of the Mosaic creation correspond in
no manner with the gradual formation of cosmos."

According to Genesis the creation of organic life occupied but three of
these six days. The order of creation for these three days, or periods,
is as follows: 1. (3d day) Land plants; 2. (5th day) aquatic animals,
birds; 3. (6th day) Mammals, reptiles, man.

Is this confirmed by science? Passing Lyell by, let us cite our more
orthodox Dana. Dr. Dana, who professed to believe that the study of
Geology tended "to strengthen faith in the Book of books," gives the
several geological ages, together with the successive appearances of
organic life, as follows: 1. Archæan Age--Lowest marine life, if any;
2. Silurian Age--Invertebrates, marine plants; 3. Devonian Age--Fish,
earliest appearance of land plants; 4. Carboniferous Age--Luxuriant
vegetation, lowest forms of reptiles; 5. Reptilian Age--Highest forms
of reptiles; 6. Tertiary Age--Birds, mammals; 7. Quaternary Age--Man.

Even Dana cannot reconcile Genesis with Geology. Genesis tells us
that the earliest organic life was terrestrial vegetation; Geology
tells us that ages of organic life passed before terrestrial plants
appeared. Genesis tells us that fish and fowls were created at the same
time; Geology tells us that the finny tribes existed ages before the
feathered tribes appeared. Genesis tells us that mammals and reptiles
were created at the same time; Geology tells us that while reptiles
existed in the Carboniferous age, mammals did not appear until the
close of the Reptilian age. Genesis tells us that birds appeared before
reptiles; Geology tells us that reptiles existed first. Genesis tells
us that life existed first upon the land; Geology tells us that the
sea teemed with animal and vegetable life ages before it appeared
upon the land.

The seven ages of Geology comprise twenty-five geological
periods. Genesis recognizes but six periods in the creation of
the entire universe; Geology recognizes twenty-five periods in the
formation of earth's crust alone. According to Bible chronology, the
universe is less than six thousand years old; according to Geology,
the mere existence of life upon earth's crust, which is as but a day
compared with the existence of the universe, is probably nearly fifty
millions of years. Dr. Dana says:

"If time from the commencement of the Silurian included 48 millions
of years, which some geologists would pronounce much too low an
estimate, the Paleozoic part [Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous],
according to the above ratio, would comprise 36 millions, the Mesozoic
[Reptilian] 9 millions, and the Cenozoic [Tertiary and Quaternary]
3 millions" (Text Book of Geology, p. 329).

When Geology was in its infancy scientists attempted to reconcile
its teachings with the teachings of the Bible. No scientist worthy
of the name attempts to reconcile them now.

Writing over thirty years ago, Carl Vogt thus records the triumph of
Geology over Genesis:

"It is hardly twenty years since I learned from Agassiz: transitional
strata, palæozoic formations--kingdom of fishes; there are no reptiles
in this period, and cannot be any, because it would be contrary to the
plan of creation; secondary formations (Trias, Jura, chalk)--kingdom of
reptiles; there are no mammals and cannot be any, for the same reason;
tertiary strata--kingdom of mammals; there are no men and cannot be
any; present creation--kingdom of man. What is become of this plan of
creation, with its exclusiveness? Reptiles in the Devonian strata,
reptiles in the coal, reptiles in the Dyas. Farewell, kingdom of
fish! Mammals in the Jura, mammals in Purbeck chalk, which some reckon
as the lowest chalk formation; good-by, kingdom of reptiles! Men in
the highest tertiary strata, men in the diluvial forms--au revoir,
kingdom of mammals!"


"The world also shall be stable, that it be not moved" (1 Chron. xvi,

"Who laid the foundations of the earth that it should not be removed
forever" (Ps. civ, 5).

"For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the
world upon them" (1 Sam. ii, 8).

"I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth"
(Rev. vii, 1).

"The devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth
him all the kingdoms of the world" (Matt. iv, 8).

The science of Geography describes the earth as spherical in form,
with a daily revolution on its axis and an annual revolution around
the sun. The Bible describes it as stable, flat, and angular.

"And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence
it was parted, and became into four heads.

"The name of the first is Pison" [Indus or Ganges] (Gen. ii, 10, 11).

"And the name of the second river is Gihon [Nile]: the same is it
that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.

"And the name of the third river is Hiddekel [Tigris]: ... And the
fourth river is Euphrates" (ii, 13, 14).

Bible geography makes the Nile and the Euphrates both branches of
the same river.

"Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar" (John
iv, 5).

Samaria contained no city of this name.

"These things were done in Bethany beyond Jordan" (John i, 28,
New Ver.).

Bethany was a suburb of Jerusalem and not located beyond the Jordan.

"He departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea beyond
Jordan" (Matt. xix, 1).

The dead sea and the Jordan formed the eastern boundary of Judea,
and no coasts of Judea existed beyond the Jordan.

"Which was of Bethsaida of Galilee" (John xii, 21).

Bethsaida was not of Galilee, but of Perea.


"And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after
his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself,
after his kind" (Gen. i, 12).

"And the evening and the morning were the third day" (i, 13).

"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day"
(i, 16).

"And the evening and the morning were the fourth day" (i, 19).

The Bible states that the earth was covered with vegetation, that
grass and herbs and trees flourished without the heat and light of
the sun. Science denies it.

"Cursed is the ground for thy sake.... Thorns also and thistles shall
it bring forth to thee" (Gen. iii, 17, 18).

Thorns and thistles are represented as resulting from a curse. They
are no more the result of a curse than are grapes and corn.

"And again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came
in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf
plucked off" (Gen. viii, 10, 11).

Hebrew commentators state that it was a fresh olive leaf. The Bible
writer supposes that the earth could be submerged for nearly a year
without the vegetable kingdom being destroyed. Had this deluge really
occurred, all vegetation, save, perhaps, a few aquatic plants, would
have died.

"He planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it" (Is. xliv, 14).

Not in Western Asia, for the tree does not grow there. Bible
commentators believe that the pine is meant.

The authors of Genesis (xxx, 37) and Ezekiel (xxxi, 8) both mention
the chestnut-tree. But it is admitted that the chestnut did not grow
where they stated. Referring to this error, Smith's Bible Dictionary
says: "The 'plane-tree' ought probably to have been substituted. The
context of the passages where the word occurs indicates some tree
which thrives best in low and rather moist situations, whereas the
chestnut-tree is a tree which prefers dry and hilly ground."

"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone:
but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John xii, 24).

If it die it bringeth forth no fruit.


"Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and
of everything that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two
[or by sevens of clean according to another account] unto Noah into
the ark" (Gen. vii, 8, 9).

The animal kingdom, including insects, etc., comprises more than
1,000,000 species. According to the Bible, two or more of every species
from every clime--polar animals accustomed to a temperature of fifty
degrees below zero, and tropical, to one hundred degrees above--were
brought together and preserved for a year in an ark. If the teachings
of Natural History be true, this Bible story is false.

The Bible pronounces unclean and unfit for food the following animals:

"The camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof"
(Lev. xi, 4).

"The coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof"
(xi, v).

"The hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof"
(xi, 6).

"The swine, though he divideth the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet
he cheweth not the cud" (xi, 7).

Every statement proclaims the writer's ignorance of the simple facts of
Zoology. The camel does divide the hoof; the coney does not chew the
cud; the hare does not chew the cud; the swine is not cloven-footed
(bisulcate), but four-toed.

"All ruminants have the foot cleft, and they only have it."--Cuvier.

"Every one of the four instances or illustrations brought forward by
the Biblical writer is necessarily erroneous; any attempt at defending
them implies an impotent struggle against Science."--Dr. Kalisch.

Scarcely less erroneous are the following passages: "And these are
they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls: ... the stork,
the heron after her kind, and the lapwing and the bat.

"All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination
unto you.

"Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth
upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon
the earth;

"Even these of them may ye eat: the locust after his kind, and the
bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the
grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which
have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you" (Lev. xi, 13-23).

"And the Lord said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this,
thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field;
upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days
of thy life" (Gen. iii, 14).

The serpent does not eat dust, while Science shows that it crawled
upon its belly before the curse just as it did afterward.


According to the Bible, all mankind have sprung from a single pair
created by God six thousand years ago. Science does not admit that
man is the result of a divine creative act, that all the races have
descended from a single pair, or that his existence here is confined
to the brief period of sixty centuries. She is not able to tell yet,
even approximately, when man's advent upon the earth occurred, but
she has long since proved the Biblical record false, and shown that
instead of his having occupied the earth but six thousand years he
has been here at the least from ten to fifty times six thousand years.

Referring to the Biblical origin of man, Professor Huxley says:
"Five-sixths of the public are taught this Adamitic monogenism as
if it were an established truth, and believe it. I do not; and I am
not acquainted with any man of science, or duly instructed person,
who does" (Methods and Results of Ethnology).

"There were giants in the earth in those days" (Gen. vi, 4).

The Bible, like the mythical records of other early nations, represents
the earth as peopled with a race of giants. Yet the stature of man
is as great to-day as it was five thousand years ago.

"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years"
(Gen. v, 5).

The Bible says that for a period of two thousand years men lived
for centuries, that at least seven patriarchs attained to an age of
nearly 1,000 years. The Egyptian records of that period show that
man's longevity was no greater then than it is now.

Not only the size and age of men, but their numbers are exaggerated by
Bible writers. The Israelites, at the time they settled in Palestine,
numbered, it is claimed, two or three millions. Out of this country,
to make room for them, God cast "seven nations greater and mightier
than" the Israelite nation (Deut. vii, 1). Palestine must then have
sustained a population as great as Spain does now with a territory
thirty times as large.

The census of Israel and Judah, taken in the time of David, places
the number of warriors at 1,570,000 (1 Ch. xxi, 5). This makes the
whole population twice as great as that of Illinois with an area nine
times as large as Palestine and a soil ten times as fertile.

"And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech"
(Gen. xi, 1):

"Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may
not understand one another's speech" (Gen. xi, 7).

The origin of the various languages of men is here attributed to a
miraculous confusion of tongues. Science shows that languages had no
such origin. Renan says:

"Far from placing unity at the beginning of language, it is necessary
to look at such a unity as the slow and tardy result of an advanced
civilization. In the beginning there were as many dialects as

This Bible account of the confusion of tongues is contradicted by
the preceding chapter of Genesis (x, 5, 20, 31), which, referring to
the children of Japheth, Ham, and Shem, says they were divided "every
one after his tongue," "after their families, after their tongues."


"And the ark rested in the seventh month ... upon the mountains of
Ararat" (Gen. viii, 4).

"And in the second month [of the following year] was the earth dried"
(viii, 14).

Here on the top of Ararat, three miles above the surrounding country,
and three thousand feet above the region of perpetual snow, for months,
the respiratory organs of man and all the animals of earth performed
their functions without difficulty!

"Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?" (Matt. ix, 4).

"What reason ye in your hearts?" (Luke v, 22).

Jesus recognizes the heart as the seat of reason and intelligence.

"In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children" (Gen. iii, 16).

"She was found with child of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. i, 18).

"Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit" (Mark v, 8).

"And the prayer of faith shall save the sick" (James v, 15).

Attributing the pains of parturition to a curse, recording the
generation of a child without a natural father, ascribing nervous and
other disorders to demons, and healing the sick by prayer are Biblical,
but not scientific.

"And all the first-born males [of Israel] ... were twenty and two
thousand two hundred and three score and thirteen" (Num. iii, 43).

As the population of Israel was about 3,000,000, this would give
130 persons to each family and an average of 128 children to each
mother. Faith may accept this, but physiological science rejects it.


"And he lifted up the rod and smote the waters that were in the river,
... and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood"
(Ex. vii, 20).

"Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled
them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now and bear
unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the
feast had tasted the water that was made wine," etc. (John ii, 7-9).

"But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar
of salt" (Gen. xix, 26).

"And he took the [golden] calf which they had made and burnt it in
the fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water,
and made the children of Israel drink of it" (Ex. xxxii, 20).

Turning a river into blood, water into wine, flesh into salt, and
burning and grinding gold into powder and holding it in solution,
cannot be harmonized with the teachings of science.

But it is not merely to a few Biblical passages, to a few so-called
miraculous changes in the elements of nature, that the science of
chemistry is opposed. It is opposed to the entire Bible as a divine
revelation. The central ideas of this book, a Creator, a Providence,
and a Mediator, are all overthrown by this science.

Referring to this, Comte truthfully observes:

"However imperfect our chemical science is, its development has
operated largely in the emancipation of the human mind. Its opposition
to all theological philosophy is marked by two general facts, ... first
the prevision of phenomena, and next our voluntary modification of
them" (Positive Philosophy, Book IV., chap. i).

"In this way, Chemistry effectually discredits the notion of the
rule of Providential will among its phenomena. But there is another
way in which it acts no less strongly: by abolishing the idea ... of
creation in nature" (Ibid).


"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a
covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when
I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the
cloud: and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you
and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more
become a flood, to destroy all flesh" (Gen. ix, 13-15).

The Bible writer did not know that it was the refraction and reflection
of the sun's rays on the drops of water which produced the prismatic
colors of the rainbow; he did not know that the phenomenon was as
old as rain and sunshine, but believed it to be a postdiluvian sign
thrown on the dark canvas of clouds by the Almighty.

"It seems plain," says the Bishop of Natal, "that the writer supposes
the bow to have been seen for the first time when the deluge was over."

"The words which Moses spake unto all Israel" (Deut. i, 1).

"And Moses called all Israel and said unto them" (v, 1).

"There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read
not before all the congregation of Israel" (Josh. viii, 35).

Nature's temple must have possessed wonderful acoustic properties
to enable Moses and Joshua to reach the ears of a multitude of three

"Let us build a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven"
(Gen. xi, 4).

God himself, ignorant of pneumatics, believes the project possible,
and confounds their language to prevent it.

"And the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into
the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were as a
wall unto them on the right hand, and on their left" (Ex. xiv, 21, 22).

A fundamental principle of hydrostatics is the following: "When a
pressure is exerted on any part of the surface of a liquid, that
pressure is transmitted undiminished to all parts of the mass, and
in all directions."


"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word,
and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John v, 7).

"The incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic, that
three are one and one is three!"--Thomas Jefferson.

Matthew concludes his genealogy of Jesus as follows:

"So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;
and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen
generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are
fourteen generations" (Matt. i, 17).

This genealogy, including both Abraham and Jesus, contains but
forty-one generations. Here we have an inspired scholar performing
the mathematical solution of dividing forty-one generations by three
and obtaining fourteen generations for a quotient.

"The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three
hundred and three score" (Ezra ii, 64).

This number, 42,360, is given as the whole number of persons belonging
to the families that returned from Babylon. Adding together the numbers
given in the census register, of which the above is declared to be the
sum total, we find the whole number to be only 29,818--a difference
and a discrepancy of 12,542.

The foregoing are but three of three hundred mathematical errors to
be found in the Bible.

It is not merely in a few unimportant scientific details, but in the
fundamental principles of the most important sciences--of astronomy,
of geology, of geography, and of man--that the Bible errs. Its writers
evince no divine knowledge of the facts of nature. Their works exhibit
the crude notions of the age in which they lived. Some of their
teachings are in harmony with the accepted truths of Science; but
these prove no more than a human origin. The wisest of mankind do not
know all; the most ignorant know something. While there are phenomena
too complex for the mind of a Newton or a Darwin to grasp, there are
others regarding which the first impressions of a child are correct.

To assert that the Bible is in harmony with the teachings of Modern
Science is to assert that no advancement has been made in Science for
two thousand years, when all know that many of the most marvelous
scientific discoveries are less than two hundred years old. The
scientific attainments of Bible writers were not above those of
the age and country in which they lived, and probably far below;
for the Bible is largely the work of theologians, and theologians
have ever been behind their age in scientific knowledge. The mission
of theologians is not to advance, but to retard Science. They have
waged a relentless but ineffective warfare against it. In the words
of Huxley: "Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every
science, as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules."

"The Hebrew Pentateuch," says Gerald Massey, "has not only retarded the
growth of science for eighteen centuries, but the ignorant believers
in it as a book of revelation have tried to strangle every science
at its birth. There could be and was but little or no progress in
Astronomy, Geology, Biology, or Sociology until its teachings were
repudiated by the more enlightened among men."

Of the Bible and Science thus writes America's eminent scientist and
author, Dr. John W. Draper:

"It is to be regretted that the Christian church has burdened itself
with the defense of these books, and voluntarily made itself answerable
for their manifest contradictions and errors.... Still more, it is to
be deeply regretted that the Pentateuch, a production so imperfect
as to be unable to stand the touch of modern criticism, should be
put forth as the arbiter of science" (Conflict Between Religion and
Science, p. 225).

"The world is not to be discovered through the vain traditions that
have brought down to us the opinions of men who lived in the morning
of civilization, nor in the dreams of mystics who thought that they
were inspired" (Ibid, p. 33).

"For her [Science] the volume of inspiration is the book of
Nature, of which the open scroll is ever spread forth before the
eyes of every man. Confronting all, it needs no societies for its
dissemination. Infinite in extent, eternal in duration, human ambition
and human fanaticism have never been able to tamper with it. On the
earth it is illustrated by all that is magnificent and beautiful,
on the heavens its letters are suns and worlds" (Ib., p. 227).



"Prophecy is a demonstration of divine knowledge; as miracles,
in the restricted acceptation of the word, are a demonstration of
divine power. Prophecies being true, revelation is established as
a fact."--Keith.

"The predictions respecting Christ are so clear, so detailed
and circumstantial, as to constitute together one of the most
important proofs of the inspiration of the Bible and of the truth
of Christianity."--Hitchcock.

A prophet, according to the orthodox and popular signification of
the term, is one who predicts. A prophecy is a prediction, and the
writings of the prophets are a collection of predictions regarding
future events. Prophet and prophecy, as used in the Bible, have no
such meaning. The prophet might make a prediction, just as any one
may make a prediction, but this was not necessarily any part of his
office. The functions of the prophet were those of preacher, poet,
and musician. There were not merely a score of them, but thousands
of them. The more talented prophets became authors--composed the
poems, recorded the history, and wrote the religious works of the
Hebrews. Some of these prophets were moral reformers--labored earnestly
to reform their people. The wicked were exhorted to forsake their
sins, and threatened with divine retribution if they did not. When
their countrymen were in bondage they consoled them with the promise
that God would liberate them. The oppressed and the captive longed
for a deliverer. The prophet gave utterance to these longings, and
this gave birth to the Messianic idea.

The more important of these so-called prophecies will now be examined.


"And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees'
excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall
never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to
generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall
the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert
shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures;
and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the
wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and
dragons in their pleasant palaces; and her time is near to come,
and her days shall not be prolonged" (Isaiah xiii, 19-22).

Had this prophecy been literally fulfilled, it would not have evinced
supernatural prescience on the part of the prophet. It is the fate
of cities to flourish for a time and then decay. The world contains
the ruins, not of Babylon alone, but of a thousand cities.

The enemies of Babylon wished for and hoped for its destruction. The
prophet voiced that wish and hope. Perhaps at that very moment the
victorious armies of the Persian were leveling its walls.

But this prophecy has not been literally fulfilled. Babylon was not
as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah; it has been inhabited;
it has been dwelt in from generation to generation; the Arabian
has pitched his tent there; shepherds have made their fold there;
satyrs have not danced there; dragons have not occupied her palaces;
her days were prolonged. The ancient glory of Babylon has faded,
but a thriving city still exists there, a standing refutation of the
claim that Isaiah's prophecy has been fulfilled.


"For thus saith the Lord God: Behold I will bring upon Tyrus
Nebuchadrezzar [Nebuchadnezzar], king of Babylon.... With the hoofs
of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy
people by the sword, and thy strong garrison shall go down to the
ground. And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey
of thy merchandise.... And I will make thee like the top of a rock:
thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more:
for I the Lord have spoken it" (Ezekiel xxvi, 7, 11, 12, 14).

Here is a specific prediction. But it was not fulfilled. Nebuchadnezzar
did not destroy, nor even conquer, Tyre. "He reduced the whole sea
coast except Tyre, which stood a thirteen years' siege by water
and by land, ending, not in subjection, but ... leaving the native
sovereigns on their thrones and their wealth and power untouched"
(Chambers's Encyclopedia).

A thousand years after Ezekiel uttered his prophecy, Jerome, the
foremost Christian of his age, declared it to be "the most noble and
beautiful city in Phoenicia." Twenty-four hundred years have passed,
and Tyre still survives.


"Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be
a ruinous heap" (Isaiah xvii, 1).

This prophecy was spoken nearly twenty-seven hundred years ago,
and yet during all these centuries Damascus has flourished, and is
to-day the most prosperous city of Western Asia.


"And I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from
the tower of Syene even unto the borders of Ethiopia. No foot of
man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it,
neither shall it be inhabited forty years" (Ezekiel xxix, 10, 11).

This and a score of other prophecies concerning Egypt have never
been fulfilled.


"For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel
shall surely be led away captive out of their own land" (Amos vii, 11).

Jeroboam did not not die by the sword, and Israel was not led away
captive, as predicted. "And the Lord said not that he would blot out
the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of
Jeroboam the son of Joash. Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam and
all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered
Damascus and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel, are they
not written in the book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? And
Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel"
(2 Kings xiv, 27-29).


"Thus saith the Lord of Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none
to sit upon the throne of David; and his dead body shall be cast
out in the day to the heat and in the night to the frost" (Jeremiah
xxxvi, 30).

This prophecy was not fulfilled. "So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers:
And Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead" (2 Kings xxiv, 6).


"And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment;
and these nations shall serve the King of Babylon seventy years"
(Jeremiah xxv, 11).

It is now conceded by all critics that the book of Jeremiah, as a
whole, was not composed before the Captivity. But even if these words
were uttered before the Captivity, they are fatal to the claim of
Bible inerrancy; for either the prophecy was not fulfilled, or Bible
history is false. According to the historical books of the Bible,
the Captivity did not last seventy, but only about fifty years.

Referring to this and similar prophecies, Matthew Arnold says: "The
great prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah are, critics can now see,
not strictly predictions at all" (Literature and Dogma, p, 114).


"And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end
of the earth even unto the other" (Deut. xxviii, 64).

These words were uttered, not as a prophecy, but as a warning or
threat. If they obey the Lord's statutes a long list of blessings are
promised; if they do not obey them, a hundred evils are threatened,
among which is the one quoted. One of the most dreaded and one of the
most common calamities in that age was the conquest or dispersion
of one tribe or nation by another. In an enumeration of all known
evils, it would be strange if this, the one most often threatened,
had been omitted.


"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his
name Immanuel" (Isaiah vii, 14).

This is cited as a prophecy of Jesus Christ. The only thing in it
suggestive of the story of Jesus is the word "virgin." The word
thus translated, however, does not necessarily mean virgin in the
common acceptation of this term, but simply "young woman," either
married or single. Correct this error and the text reads: "Behold, a
young woman shall conceive, and bear a son." All that is suggestive
of the miraculous conception vanishes. But this is not the only
error. The forms of the verbs have been changed. The passage should
read as follows: "Behold, a young woman is with child and beareth a
son." The woman was with child when the prophet wrote. This precludes
the possibility of a reference to Jesus Christ. Not only this, the
context utterly forbids it. All the events named by the prophet,
including the birth of this child, occurred more than seven hundred
years before Christ.

Michaelis rejects this prophecy. He says: "I cannot be persuaded that
the famous prophecy in Isaiah (chap. vii, 14) has the least reference
to the Messiah."


"I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign
and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In
his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this
is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS"
(Jer. xxiii, 5, 6).

The correct rendering of this passage is as follows:

"I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign
and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the land. In
his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and
this is the name whereby they shall call themselves: The Eternal is
our righteousness."

In order to make a Messianic prophecy of this passage and give it
effect, no less than eight pieces of trickery are employed: 1. The
word "branch" is made to begin with a capital letter. 2. The word
"king" also begins with a capital. 3. "The name" is rendered "his
name." 4. The pronoun "they," relating to the people of Judah and
Israel, is changed to "he." 5. The word "Eternal" is translated
"Lord." 6. "The Lord our righteousness" is printed in capitals. 7. In
the table of contents at the head of the chapter are the words "Christ
shall rule and save them." 8. At the top of the page are the words
"Christ promised."


"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, ... until Shiloh come;
and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Gen. xlix, 10).

The meaning of Shiloh being somewhat obscure, it was made to apply
to Christ. It is now known that Shiloh was the national sanctuary
before the Jews occupied Jerusalem. A correct translation of the
passage reads as follows:

"The pre-eminence shall not depart from Judah so long as the people
resort to Shiloh; and the nations shall obey him."

But even if the writer meant "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah
until Christ comes," as claimed, the prediction was not fulfilled; for
the sceptre departed from Judah six hundred years before Christ came.


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the
government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be declared
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the
Prince of Peace" (Isaiah ix, 6).

This passage, even if genuine, is not applicable to Jesus Christ. But
it is not genuine. Professor Cheyne, the highest authority on Isaiah,
pronounces it a forgery.


"Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the
commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto Messiah the Prince,
shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks" (Daniel viii, 25).

It is claimed that "week" here means a period of seven years, and
assumed, of course, that by Messiah is meant Christ. Seven weeks
and three score and two weeks are sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years,
the time that was to elapse from the command to rebuild Jerusalem to
the coming of Christ, if the prophecy was fulfilled.

The decree of Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple was made
536 B.C. According to the accepted chronology, Christ was born 4
B.C. From the decree of Cyrus, then, to the coming of Christ was 532
years instead of 483, a period of seven weeks, or forty-nine years,
longer than that named by Daniel.

Ezra, the priest, went to Jerusalem 457 B.C. This event, however, had
nothing whatever to do with the decree for rebuilding Jerusalem and the
temple. It occurred 79 years after the decree was issued, and 58 years
after the temple was finished. But a searcher for Messianic prophecies
found that from the time of Ezra to the beginning of Christ's ministry
was about 483 years, or 69 prophetic weeks; and notwithstanding there
was a deficiency of 79 years at one end of the period, and an excess
of 30 years at the other, it was declared to fit exactly.


"The days shall come, in the which there shall not be left one stone
[of the temple] upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away
captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the
Gentiles" (Luke xxi, 6, 24).

It has been shown that the books containing this so-called prophecy of
Jesus were written one hundred years after the conquest and destruction
of Jerusalem.


"The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light. And
the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven
shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in
the clouds with great power and glory.... Verily I say unto you,
That this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done"
(Mark xiii, 24-26, 30).

That generation did pass, and more than eighteen centuries have
followed, and yet the Son of man has not come and these things have
not been done. Christ was a false prophet.


"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet.... And upon her
forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother
of Harlots" (Revelation xvii, 4, 5).

Protestant churches have no difficulty in recognizing in this Mother
of Harlots the Church of Rome, apparently forgetting that they are
her daughters.

The following, relative to Bible prophecies, is from the pen of
William Rathbone Greg:

"A prophecy, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, signifies
a prediction of future events which could not have been foreseen
by human sagacity, and the knowledge of which was supernaturally
communicated to the prophet. It is clear, therefore, that in order
to establish the claim of any anticipatory statement, promise, or
denunciation to the rank and title of a prophecy, four points must
be ascertained with precision, viz., what the event was to which the
alleged prediction was intended to refer; that the prediction was
uttered in specific, not vague, language before the event; that the
event took place specifically, not loosely, as predicted; and that
it could not have been foreseen by human sagacity."

"It is probably not too much to affirm that we have no instance in the
prophetical books of the Old Testament of a prediction in the case of
which we possess, at once and combined, clear and unsuspicious proof
of the date, the precise event predicted, the exact circumstances of
that event, and the inability of human sagacity to foresee it. There
is no case in which we can say with certainty--even where it is
reasonable to suppose that the prediction was uttered before the
event--that the narrative has not been tampered with to suit the
prediction, or the prediction modified to correspond with the event"
(Creed of Christendom, pp. 128, 131.)



That curious volume of exaggerated fiction known as the Baron
Munchausen stories has delighted many. Works of this character fill
a legitimate place in literature. The humorists have contributed much
to the health and happiness of mankind.

A charming store of wit and humor of the Munchausen variety is to be
found in the Bible. Here are a thousand and one stories as marvelous
and amusing as are to be found in the whole realm of modern fiction.

Unfortunately those who profess to value this book the most derive
the least benefit from it. They mistake the meaning and purpose of
its writers. They accept as facts its most palpable fictions. Its
most laughable stories are read with the most solemn visages. This
serious method of treating the ridiculous has produced an army of
morose dyspeptics who mistake indigestion for religion, and intolerance
for virtue.

To afford a little relaxation from the duller chapters of this work,
to furnish a few grains of pepsin to aid in the digestion of a Sunday
dinner, a small collection of these funny tales of ancient wits--the
Baron Munchausen writers of old times--is given. He who can read
them without a smile must be either dull of comprehension or without
appreciation of humor.

The First Cutlet.


And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone. I
will make him an help meet for him.... And the Lord God caused a deep
sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs,
and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib which the Lord
God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man
(Gen. ii, 18, 21, 22).

The Great Freshet.


The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and
the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth
forty days and forty nights.... And the waters prevailed exceedingly
upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole
heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail;
and the mountains were covered (Gen. vii, 11, 12, 19, 20).

Ringstreaked, Speckled, and Spotted.


And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chestnut
tree; and pilled white streaks in them, and made the white appear
which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled
before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the
flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to
drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth
cattle ringstreaked, speckled, and spotted (Gen. xxx, 37-39).

The Waters Were Divided.


And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused
the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made
the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of
Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the
waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left
(Ex. xiv, 21, 22).



And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from
the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey
on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side,
round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of
the earth. And the people stood up all that day, and all that night,
and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered
least gathered ten homers [over 100 bushels] (Num. xi, 31, 32).

Three Good Snake Stories.


And the Lord said unto him [Moses], What is that in thine hand? And
he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it
on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before
it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it
by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became
a rod in his hand (Ex. iv, 2-4).

And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the
people; and much people of Israel died.... And the Lord said unto
Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall
come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon
it shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon
a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man,
when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived (Num. xxi, 6, 8, 9).

And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants,
and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and
the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like
manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod
and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods
(Ex. vii, 10-12).

More of Aaron's Tricks.


And he [Aaron] lifted up the rod and smote the waters that were in
the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of the servants;
and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood
(Ex. vii, 20).

And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the
frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt (viii, 6).

Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and smote the dust of the
earth, and it became lice in man and in beast; all the dust of the
land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt (viii, 17).

The Sun Stood Still.


And he [Joshua] said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon
Gibeon; and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood
still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves
upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So
the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down
about a whole day (Josh. x, 12, 13).

Samson's Feats.


And he [Samson] found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his
hand and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. And Samson said,
With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of an
ass have I slain a thousand men (Judges xv, 15, 16).

And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands,
and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two
tails. And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the
standing corn of the Philistines and burnt up both the shocks, and also
the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives (Judges xv, 4, 5).

The Loquacious Ass.


And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with
the princes of Moab.... And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord,
she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he
smote the ass with a staff. And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass,
and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee that thou hast
smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because
thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now
would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass,
upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I
ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay (Num. xxii, 21, 27-30).

A Bear Story.


And he [Elisha] went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going
up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city,
and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou baldhead; go up, thou
baldhead. And he turned back and looked on them, and cursed them in
the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she-bears out of the
wood, and tare forty and two children of them (2 Kings ii, 23, 24).

The Boy Sneezed.


And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead,
and laid upon his bed. And he went in therefore, and shut the door upon
them twain, and prayed unto the Lord. And he went up and lay upon the
child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes,
and his hands upon his hands; and he stretched himself upon the child:
and the flesh of the child waxed warm. Then he returned, and walked
in the house to and fro, and went up, and stretched himself upon him:
and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes
(2 Kings, iv, 32-35).

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.


These men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats,
and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning
fiery furnace.... And the princes, governors, and captains, and the
king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men upon whose
bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed,
neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed
on them (Dan. iii, 19, 21, 27).

Take Me Up.


Then they said unto him [Jonah], What shall we do unto thee that the
sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought and was tempestuous. And
he said unto them, Take me up and cast me forth in the sea.... So
they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea; and the sea
ceased from her raging.... Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to
swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days
and nights.... And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out
Jonah upon the dry land (Jonah i, 11-17; ii, 10).

The Confiding Husband.


Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary
was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with
child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband being a just man,
and not wishing to make her a public example, was minded to put her
away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel
of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of
David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is
conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.... Then Joseph being raised
from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took
unto him his wife; and knew her not till she had brought forth her
first-born son; and he called his name Jesus (Matt. i, 18-25).

They Did Eat and Were Filled.


And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves and two fishes. He
said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to
sit down on the grass and took the five loaves and the two fishes,
and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves
to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did
all eat, and were filled; and they took up the fragments that remained
twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand
men beside women and children (Matt. xiv, 15-21).

Lazarus Come Forth.


When Jesus came, he found that he [Lazarus] had lain in the grave four
days already.... Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh
to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said,
Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead,
saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he hath been
dead four days.... He [Jesus] cried with a loud voice, Lazarus come
forth. And he that was dead came forth (John xi, 17, 38, 39, 43, 44).

These Bible stories, which Christians profess to believe, are unworthy
of serious consideration. They are not historical, but fabulous. A
miracle is a fable. The miraculous is impossible; the impossible
untrue. If miracles were possible and necessary in that age they are
possible and necessary now. This is an age of unbelief. Give us one
miracle and we will believe. Let Jesus visit earth again and with
his divine touch revivify the inanimate dust of Lincoln and give him
back to the nation that loved him so well, and we will acknowledge
his divinity and believe that the Bible is inspired. Had he restored
to life the decaying corpse of Lazarus the Jews would have believed
in him. The Jews did not believe in him, therefore the miracle was
not performed.

The divine origin of the Bible cannot be established by miracles
because the possibility of a miracle itself cannot be established. In
the language of Hume, "a miracle is a violation of the laws of nature;
and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws,
the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as
entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined."



The Bible, it is claimed, is the word of God--a revelation from God
to man. It was written or inspired by God, and deals chiefly with
God and his works.

Who and what is this God of the Bible? What is the nature and
character of this divine author? Is he omnipresent, or has he a local
habitation merely? Is he omnipotent, or is he limited in power? Is
he omniscient, or is his knowledge circumscribed? Is he immutable,
or is he a changeable being? Is he visible and comprehensible, or is
he invisible and unknowable? Is he the only God, or is he one of many
gods? Does he possess the form and attributes of man, or is he, as
Christians affirm, without body, parts, or passions? Let God through
his inspired penmen answer.

Is God Omnipresent?

Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord (Jer. xxiii, 24).

The heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him (2 Ch. ii, 6).

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell,
behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell
in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me
(Ps. cxxxix, 8-10).

The Lord was not in the wind: ... the Lord was not in the earthquake
(1 Kings xix, 11).

And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the
land of Nod (Gen. iv, 16).

And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I
meet the Lord yonder (Num. xxiii, 15).

Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to
gaze (Ex. xix, 21).

God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath
not been such a thing heretofore (1 Sam. iv, 7).

Is God Omnipotent?

With God all things are possible (Matt. xix, 26).

I know that thou canst do everything (Job xlii, 2).

There is nothing too hard for thee (Jer. xxxii, 17).

For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth (Rev. xix, 6).

And the Lord was with Judah, and he [the Lord] drove out the
inhabitants of the mountain, but could not drive out the inhabitants
of the valley, because they had chariots of iron (Jud. i, 19).

Is He Omniscient?

God ... knoweth all things (1 John iii, 20).

The eyes of the Lord are in every place (Prov. xv, 3).

He knoweth the secrets of the heart (Ps. xliv, 21).

No thought can be withholden from thee (Job xlii, 2).

The Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, ... to
know what was in thine heart (Deut. viii, 2).

God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart
(2 Ch. xxxii, 31).

The Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great,
and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now and see
whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which
is come unto me: and if not I will know (Gen. xviii, 20, 21).

Is He Immutable?

I am the Lord, I change not (Mal. iii, 6).

With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James i, 17).

My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out
of my lips (Ps. lxxxix, 34).

He is not a man that he should repent (1 Sam. xv, 29).

I [God] am weary with repenting (Jer. xv, 6).

It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth (Gen. vi, 6).

The Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel (1 Sam. xv,

And God repented of the evil that he said he would do unto them;
and he did it not (Jonah iii, 10).

The Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house and the
house of thy father should walk before me forever: but now the Lord
saith, Be it far from me (1 Sam. ii, 30).

Is He Visible and Comprehensible?

I have seen God face to face (Gen. xxxii, 30).

And they saw the God of Israel (Ex. xxiv, 10).

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his
eternal power and Godhead (Rom. i, 20).

No man hath seen God at any time (John i, 18).

Whom no man hath seen, nor can see (1 Tim. vi, 16).

There shall no man see me and live (Ex. xxxiii, 20).

God is great, and we know him not (Job xxxvi, 26).

Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out (Job xxxvii, 23).

Is There One God Only?

There is one God; and there is none other but he (Mark xii, 32).

Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me
(Is. xliii, 10).

I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God
(Is. xliv, 6).

Thou shalt not revile the gods (Ex. xxii, 28).

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us
(Gen. iii, 22).

Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? (Ex. xv, 11).

Among the gods, there is none like unto thee, O Lord (Ps. lxxxvi, 8).

The Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods (Ps. xcv, 3).

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the
gods (Psalms lxxxii, 1?).

In What Form Does God Exist?

"There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body,
parts, or passions."--Thirty-nine Articles.

Compare the above conception of Deity with the anthropomorphic
character of God portrayed in the following one hundred passages:

God created man in his own image (Gen. i, 27).

The hair of his [God's] head (Dan. vii, 9).

Thou canst not see my [God's] face (Ex. xxxiii, 20).

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro (2 Ch. xvi, 9).

And his [God's] ears are open (1 Pet. iii, 12).

These are a smoke in my [God's] nose (Is. lxv, 5).

There went up a smoke out of his [God's] nostrils (2 Sam. xxii, 9).

That proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. iv, 4).

His [God's] lips are full of indignation (Is. xxx, 27).

And his [God's] tongue as a devouring fire (Ibid).

He shall dwell between his [God's] shoulders (Deut. xxxiii, 12).

Thou [God] hast a mighty arm (Ps. lxxxix, 13).

The right hand of the Lord (Ps. cxviii, 16).

This is the finger of God (Ex. viii, 19).

I [God] will show them the back (Jer. xviii, 17).

Out of thy [God's] bosom (Ps. lxxiv, 11).

My [God's] heart maketh a noise in me (Jer. iv, 19).

My [God's] bowels are troubled (Jer. xxxi, 20).

The appearance of his [God's] loins (Ezek. i, 27).

Darkness was under his [God's] feet (Ps. xviii, 9).

The mind of the Lord (Lev. xxiv, 12).

The breath of his [God's] nostrils (2 Sam. xxii, 16).

In the light of thy [God's] countenance (Ps. lxxxix, 15).

Thou God seest me (Gen. xvi, 13).

My God will hear me (Micah vii, 7).

The Lord smelled a sweet savour (Gen. viii, 21).

Will I [God] eat the flesh of bulls? (Ps. 1, 13.).

Will I [God] drink the blood of goats? (Ibid.)

The hand of God hath touched me (Job xix, 21).

We have heard his [God's] voice (Deut. v, 24).

God doth talk with man (Ibid).

The Lord shall laugh at him (Ps. xxxvii, 13).

Now will I [God] cry (Is. xlii, 14).

He [God] shall give a shout (Jer. xxv, 30).

Why sleepest thou, O Lord? (Ps. xliv, 23.)

Then the Lord awaked (Ps. lxxviii, 65).

God sitteth upon the throne (Ps. xlvii, 8).

God riseth up (Job xxxi, 14).

The Lord stood by him (Acts xxiii, 11).

I [God] will walk among you (Lev. xxvi, 12).

Thou [God] didst ride upon thine horses (Hab. iii, 8).

He [God] wrestled with him (Gen. xxxii, 25).

The Lord will work (1 Sam. xiv, 6).

I [God] am weary (Is. i, 14).

He [God] rested on the seventh day (Gen. ii, 2).

The Lord God planted a garden (Gen. ii, 8).

God is able to graft (Rom. xi, 23).

The Father is a husbandman (John xv, 1).

He [God] hath fenced up my way (Job xix, 8).

The Lord is my shepherd (Ps. xxiii, 1).

The Lord build the house (Ps. cxxvii, 1).

The tables were the work of God (Ex. xxxii, 16).

Thou [God] our potter (Is. lxiv, 8).

The Lord God made coats of skin (Gen. iii, 21).

And [I God] shod thee with badger's skin (Ezek. xvi, 10).

The Lord shave with a razor (Is. vii, 20).

I [God] will cure them (Jer. xxxiii, 6).

And he [God] buried him (Deut. xxxiv, 6).

Thy God which teacheth thee (Is. xlviii, 17).

Musical instruments of God (1 Ch. xvi, 42).

He [God] wrote upon the tables (Ex. xxxiv, 28).

Thy book which thou [God] hast written (Ex. xxxii, 32).

O Lord, I have heard thy speech (Hab. iii, 2).

The Lord is our lawgiver (Is. xxxiii, 22).

The Lord is our judge (Ibid).

For God is the king of all the earth (Ps. xlvii, 7).

He [God] is the governor (Ps. xxii, 8).

God himself is ... our captain (2 Ch. xiii, 12).

The Lord is a man of war (Ex. xv, 3).

The Lord hath opened his armory (Jer. i, 25).

The Lord shall blow the trumpet (Zech. ix, 14).

I [God] myself will fight (Jer. xxi, 5).

He [God] will whet his sword (Ps. vii, 12).

He [God] hath bent his bow (Lam. ii, 4).

God shall shoot at them (Ps. lxiv, 7).

Rocks are thrown down by him [God] (Nahum i, 6).

I [God] will kill you (Ex. xxii, 24).

Thou [God] art become cruel to me (Job. xxx, 21).

I [God] sware in my wrath (Ps. xcv, 11).

I [God] have cursed them already (Mal. ii, 1).

Thy God hath blessed thee (Deut. ii, 7).

The Lord repented (Amos vii, 6).

God did tempt Abraham (Gen. xxii, 1).

O Lord thou hast deceived me (Jer. xx, 7).

He [God] hath polluted the kingdom (Lam. ii, 2).

He [God] is mighty in strength (Job ix, 4).

With him [God] is wisdom (Job xii, 13).

I [God] was a husband (Jer. xxxi, 32).

The only begotten of the Father (John i, 14).

The sons of God saw the daughters of men (Gen. vi, 2).

The love that God hath to us (1 John iv, 16).

These six things doth the Lord hate (Prov. vi, 16).

The joy of the Lord (Neh. viii, 10).

It grieved him [God] at his heart (Gen. vi, 6).

The Lord pitieth them that fear him (Ps. ciii, 13).

I [God] feared the wrath of the enemy (Deut. xxxii, 27).

The Lord ... is a jealous God (Ex. xxxiv, 14).

The fierce anger of the Lord (Num. xxv, 4).

With the Lord there is mercy (Ps. cxxx, 7)

Vengeance is mine ... saith the Lord (Rom. xii, 10).

While many of these texts are simply metaphorical allusions to a Deity,
as a whole they clearly reveal the anthropomorphic conception of God
that prevailed among Bible writers generally. This God was represented
as a being of power and glory, yet a being possessing the form, the
attributes, and the limitations of man. He was a colossal despot--a
king of kings.

The God of the Bible is a product of the human imagination. God did
not make man in God's image, as claimed, but man made God in man's
image. Man is not the creation of God, but God is the creation of man.

This God who was supposed to have created the universe out of nothing
has himself gradually been resolved into nothingness in the minds
of his votaries, and to-day, enthroned in the brain of Christendom,
there reigns a mere phantom, "without body, parts, or passions"





We are asked to accept the Bible as the revealed will of an
all-powerful, all-wise and all-just God. We are asked to revere it
beyond all other books, to make a fetich of it. Above all, we are asked
to accept it as a divine and infallible moral guide. Christians profess
to accept it as such; and many who are not Christians--many who reject
the authenticity of the most of it, and who doubt the credibility
of much of it--parrot-like, repeat the claims of supernaturalists,
dwell upon its "beautiful moral teachings," and abet the efforts of
the clergy to place it in our public schools, seemingly oblivious to
the fact that it is not in any sense a moral guide.

What is Morality?

What is morality? Paley, by many considered the chief of modern
Christian authorities, basing his conception of morality on the Bible,
defines it as "the doing good to mankind, in obedience to the will
of God [as revealed in the Bible], and for the sake of everlasting
happiness [and to escape everlasting misery]." Supernaturalism and
selfishness are thus its sole principles; supernaturalism being its
source and selfishness being the motive for its observance. Here virtue
does not bring its own reward, the will of God is not omnipotent,
and mankind, like a spoiled child, must be bribed or frightened to
obey its precepts.

This is the Christian conception of morality. But it is a false
conception. Morality is not supernatural and divine, but natural and
human. It is purely utilitarian. Utility, regardless of the will
of God, is its all-pervading principle. Whatever is beneficial to
man is right, is moral; and whatever is injurious to him is wrong,
is immoral. The end and aim of moral conduct, according to Hobbes,
is self-preservation and happiness; not everlasting happiness in
another world, as taught by Paley, but life-lasting happiness in
this. Dr. Priestley's phrase, "The greatest happiness of the greatest
number," is pronounced by Jeremy Bentham, one of the most eminent
of ethical writers, "a true standard for whatever is right or wrong,
useful, useless, or mischievous in human conduct."

More and more, as men become civilized and enlightened, the egoistic
principles of religionists give way to the altruistic principle
of Rationalists. "Live for others" is the sublime teaching of the
Positivist Comte. In obeying this noble precept we are not sacrificing,
but augmenting our own happiness. "To do good is my religion,"
said Thomas Paine. The rewards and punishments of this religion,
which is here but another name for morality, are happily expressed
by Abraham Lincoln: "When I do good I feel good, and when I do bad I
feel bad." The husband and wife who labor for each other's happiness,
regardless of their own; the father and mother who deprive themselves
to make their children happy; men, like Sir Moses Montefiore and
Baron Hirsch, and women, like Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton,
who devote their time and wealth to aid in removing the poverty and
alleviating the sufferings of humanity--these, by increasing the
happiness of others, increase their own.

When the true principles of morality are universally understood and
accepted, divine revelations will be cast aside and supernatural
religions will die; the zealot's visions of a celestial paradise
will vanish, and the philanthropist's dream of a heaven on earth will
be realized.

Bible Codes.

The Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and the Sermon on the Mount,
including the Golden Rule, in the New, are supposed to comprise
the best moral teachings of the Bible. They are declared to be so
far superior to all other moral codes as to preclude the idea of
human origin.

The Decalogue is a very imperfect moral code; not at all superior to
the religious and legislative codes of other ancient peoples. The last
six of these commandments, while not above criticism, are in the main
just, and were recognized alike by Jew and Gentile. They are a crude
attempt to formulate the crystallized experiences of mankind. The
first four (first three according to Catholic and Lutheran versions)
possess no moral value whatever. They are simply religious emanations
from the corrupt and disordered brain of priestcraft. They only serve
to obscure the principles of true morality and produce an artificial
system which bears the same relation to natural morality that a
measure of chaff and grain does to a measure of winnowed grain.

As a literary composition and as a partial exposition of the peculiar
tenets of a heretical Jewish sect, the Sermon on the Mount is
interesting; but as a moral code it is of little value. Along with
some admirable precepts, it contains others, like the following,
which are false and pernicious: "Blessed are the poor in spirit;"
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth;" "If thy
right eye offend thee pluck it out;" "If thy right hand offend thee
cut it off;" "Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth
adultery;" "Resist not evil;" "Whosoever shall smite thee on the
right cheek, turn to him the other also;" "If any man will sue thee
at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also;"
"Love your enemies;" "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth;"
"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall
drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on;" "Take therefore
no thought for the morrow."

Christians claim that unbelievers have no moral standard, that they
alone have such a standard--an infallible standard--the Bible. If we
ask them to name the best precept in this standard they cite the Golden
Rule. And yet the Golden Rule is in its very nature purely a human rule
of conduct. "Whatsoever ye [men, not God] would that men should do to
you, do ye even so to them." This rule enjoins what Christians profess
to condemn, that every person shall form his own moral standard. In
this rule the so-called divine laws are totally ignored.

The Golden Rule, so far as the Bible is concerned, is a borrowed
gem. Chinese, Greek, and Roman sages had preached and practiced it
centuries before the Sermon on the Mount was delivered. This rule, one
of the best formulated by the ancients, is not, however, a perfect rule
of human conduct. It does not demand that our desires shall always be
just. But it does recognize and enjoin the principle of reciprocity,
and is immeasurably superior to the rule usually practised by the
professed followers of Jesus: Whatsoever we would that you should do
unto us, do it; and whatsoever we wish to do unto you, that will we do.

The three Christian virtues, faith, hope, and charity, fairly represent
this whole system of so-called Bible morals--two false or useless
precepts to one good precept. Charity is a true virtue, but "faith
and hope," to quote Volney, "may be called the virtues of dupes for
the benefit of knaves." And if the knaves have admitted charity to be
the greatest of these virtues, it is because they are the recipients
and not the dispensers of it.

Bible Models.

The noblest types of manhood, like Bruno, Spinoza, Paine, and
Ingersoll, have been slandered, anathematized, and slain by Christians,
while the gods, the heroes, the patriarchs, the prophets, and the
priests of the Bible have been presented as the highest models of
moral excellence. Of these, Jehovah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David,
Paul, and Christ are represented as the greatest and the best.

Who was Jehovah? "A being of terrific character--cruel, vindictive,
capricious, and unjust."--Jefferson.

Who was Abraham? An insane barbarian patriarch who married his sister,
denied his wife, and seduced her handmaid; who drove one child into
the desert to starve, and made preparations to butcher the other.

Who was Jacob? Another patriarch, who won God's love by deceiving
his father, cheating his uncle, robbing his brother, practicing
bigamy with two of his cousins, and committing fornication with two
of his housemaids.

Who was Moses? A model of meekness; a man who boasted of his own
humility; a man who murdered an Egyptian and hid his body in the
sand; a man who exterminated whole nations to secure the spoils of
war, a man who butchered in cold blood thousands of captive widows,
a man who tore dimpled babes from the breasts of dying mothers and put
them to a cruel death; a man who made orphans of thirty-two thousand
innocent girls, and turned sixteen thousand of them over to the brutal
lusts of a savage soldiery.

Who was David? "A man after God's own heart." A vulgar braggadocio,
using language to a woman the mere quoting of which would send me
to prison; a traitor, desiring to lead an enemy's troops against
his own countrymen; a thief and robber, plundering and devastating
the country on every side; a liar, uttering wholesale falsehoods
to screen himself from justice; a red-handed butcher, torturing and
slaughtering thousands of men, women, and children, making them pass
through burning brick-kilns, carving them up with saws and axes,
and tearing them in pieces under harrows of iron; a polygamist,
with a harem of wives and concubines; a drunken debauchee, dancing
half-naked before the maids of his household; a lecherous old
libertine, abducting and ravishing the wife of a faithful soldier; a
murderer, having this faithful soldier put to death after desolating
his home; a hoary-headed fiend, foaming with vengeance on his dying
bed, demanding with his latest breath the deaths of two aged men,
one of whom had most contributed to make his kingdom what it was,
the other a man to whom he had promised protection.

Who was Paul? A religious fanatic; a Jew and a Christian. As a Jew,
in the name of Jehovah, he persecuted Christians; as a Christian,
in the name of Christ, he persecuted Jews; and both as a Jew and a
Christian, and in the name of both Jehovah and Christ, he practiced
dissimulation and hallowed falsehood.

Who was Christ? He is called the "divine teacher." Yes,

                                        "He led
    The crowd, he taught them justice, truth, and peace,
    In semblance; but he lit within their souls
    The quenchless flames of zeal, and blessed the sword
    He brought on earth to satiate with the blood
    Of truth and freedom his malignant soul."


Immoral Teachings of the Bible.

In the modern and stricter sense of the term, morality is scarcely
taught in the Bible. Neither moral, morals, and morality, nor
their equivalents, ethical and ethics, are to be found in the
book. T. B. Wakeman, president of the Liberal University of Oregon,
a life-long student of sociology and ethics, says:

"The word 'moral' does not occur in the Bible, nor even the
idea. Hunting for morals in the Bible is like trying to find
human remains in the oldest geologic strata--in the eozoon, for
instance. Morals had not then been born."

I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions
nearly every vice and crime. Here is the long list of wrongs which
it authorizes and defends:

 1.  Lying and Deception.
 2.  Cheating.
 3.  Theft and Robbery.
 4.  Murder.
 5.  Wars of Conquest.
 6.  Human Sacrifices.
 7.  Cannibalism.
 8.  Witchcraft.
 9.  Slavery.
10.  Polygamy.
11.  Adultery and Prostitution.
12.  Obscenity.
13.  Intemperance.
14.  Vagrancy.
15.  Ignorance.
16.  Injustice to Woman.
17.  Unkindness to Children.
18.  Cruelty to Animals.
19.  Tyranny.
20.  Intolerance and Persecution.

The Bible is, for the most part, the crude literature of a people
who lived 2,000 years, and more, ago. Certain principles of right
and wrong they recognized, but the finer principles of morality were
unknown to them. They were an ignorant people. An ignorant people is
generally a religious people, and a religious people nearly always an
immoral people. They believed that they were God's chosen people--God's
peculiar favorites--and that because of this they had the right to
rob and cheat, to murder and enslave the rest of mankind. From these
two causes, chiefly, ignorance and religion, i. e., superstition,
emanated the immoral deeds and opinions which found expression in
the writings of their priests and prophets.

The passages in the Bible which deal with vice and crime may be
divided into three classes:

1. There are passages which condemn vice and crime. These I indorse.

2. There are many passages in which the crimes and vices of the people
are narrated merely as historical facts without either sanctioning
or condemning them. The book merits no censure because of these.

3. There are numerous passages which sanction vice and crime. These,
and these alone, in the chapters which follow, I shall adduce to
prove the charges that I make against the Bible as a moral guide.




I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions
lying and deception.

"And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab that he may go up and
fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another
said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit and stood before
the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. And the Lord said unto him,
Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit
in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade
him, and prevail also; go forth and do so. Now therefore, behold the
Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these, thy prophets"
(1 Kings xxii, 20-23).

"If the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord
have deceived that prophet" (Ezek. xiv, 9).

"O Lord, thou hast deceived me" (Jer. xx, 7).

"Wilt thou [God] be altogether unto me as a liar?" (Jer. xv, 18.)

"God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie"
(2 Thess. ii, 11).

Respecting the forbidden fruit God said: "In the day that thou eatest
thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. ii, 17). But the serpent said,
"Ye shall not surely die" (iii, 4). Satan's declaration proved true,
God's declaration proved untrue. Thus, according to the Bible, the
first truth told to man was told by the devil; the first lie told to
man was told by God.

In regard to the promised land God says: "Doubtless ye shall not come
into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein,
... and ye shall know my breach of promise" (Num. xiv, 30-34).

God commands Moses to deceive Pharaoh (Ex. iii, 18), he rewards the
midwives for their deception (Ex. i, 15-20), and instructs Samuel to
deceive Saul (1 Sam. xvi, 2).

"And the Lord said unto Samuel, ... fill thine horn with oil, and go,
I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me
a king among his sons. And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it
he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take a heifer with thee, and say,
I am come to sacrifice to the Lord."

Would an omnipotent and a just God use falsehood and deceit? If there
be such a God we must believe that he is an honest and a truthful
Being. But this God of the Bible violates nearly every pledge he makes,
and instructs his children to lie and deceive.

The patriarchs all follow his example and instructions. Abraham tries
to deceive Pharaoh and Abimelech (Gen. xii, 13-19; xx, 2); Sarah tries
to deceive the Lord himself (Gen. xviii, 13-15). Abraham becomes the
parent of a liar. Isaac said of Rebecca, his wife, "She is my sister"
(Gen. xxvi, 7). Rebecca in turn deceives her husband (Gen. xxvii,
6-17). Jacob sustains the reputation of the family for lying.

"And he came unto his father, and said, My father; and he said,
Here am I; who art thou, my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I
am Esau, thy first-born.... And he discerned him not, so he blessed
him. And he said, Art thou my very son, Esau? And he said, I am"
(Gen. xxvii, 18-24).

Jacob's wives, Leah and Rachel, both used deceit. The former
deceived her husband (Gen. xxix, 25); the latter deceived her father
(Gen. xxxi, 34, 35). His twelve sons were all addicted to the same
vice (Gen. xxxvii; xlii, 7), and these became the founders of the
twelve tribes of Israel, God's chosen people.

David, Elisha, and Jeremiah, three of God's holiest men, were liars
(1 Sam. xxvii, 8-11; 2 Kings, viii, 7-15; Jer. xxxviii, 24-27).

Speaking of the Hebrews and Bible writers prior to the Exile and the
introduction of Persian ethics, Dr. Briggs says:

"They seem to know nothing of the sin of speaking lies as such. What
is the evidence from this silence? They were altogether unconscious
of its sinfulness. The holiest men did not hesitate to lie, whenever
they had a good object in view, and they showed no consciousness of sin
in it. And the writers who tell of their lies are as innocent as they."

The Decalogue itself does not forbid lying. It forbids perjury;
but mere lying is not forbidden.

Christ taught in parables that he might deceive the people.

"And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of
the kingdom of God, but unto them that are without, all these things
are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive;
and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time
they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them"
(Mark iv, 11, 12).

Paul used deception and boasted of it. He says:

"Being crafty, I caught you with guile" (2 Cor. xii, 16).

"Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews"
(1 Cor. ix, 20).

"I am made all things to all men" (1 Cor. ix, 22).

"For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his
glory, why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" (Rom. iii, 7.)

The primitive Christians, accepting the Bible as infallible
authority, naturally regarded lying for God's glory not a vice but
a virtue. Mosheim in his "Ecclesiastical History" says:

"It was an established maxim with many Christians, that it was
pardonable in an advocate for religion to avail himself of fraud and
deception, if it were likely they might conduce toward the attainment
of any considerable good."

Dean Milman, in his "History of Christianity," says: "It was admitted
and avowed that to deceive into Christianity was so valuable a service
as to hallow deceit itself."

Dr. Lardner says: "Christians of all sorts were guilty of this fraud."

Bishop Fell writes: "In the first ages of the church, so extensive
was the license of forging, so credulous were the people in believing
that the evidence of transactions was grievously obscured."

M. Daillé, one of the most distinguished of French Protestants, says:
"For a good end they made no scruple to forge whole books."

Dr. Gieseler says they "quieted their conscience respecting the
forgery with the idea of their good intention."

Dr. Priestley says they "thought it innocent and commendable to lie
for the sake of truth."

Scaliger says: "They distrusted the success of Christ's kingdom
without the aid of lying."

That these admissions are true, that primitive Christianity
was propagated chiefly by falsehood, is tacitly admitted by all
Christians. They characterize as forgeries, or unworthy of credit,
three-fourths of the early Christian writings.

The thirty-second chapter of the Twelfth Book of Eusebius's
"Evangelical Preparation" bears this significant title: "How far it
may be proper to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of
those who require to be deceived."

Bishop Heliodorus affirms that a "falsehood is a good thing when it
aids the speaker and does no harm to the hearers."

Synesius, another early Christian bishop, writes: "The people are
desirous of being deceived; we cannot act otherwise with them."

That is what most modern theologians think. With Dr. Thomas Burnett,
they believe that "Too much light is hurtful to weak eyes."

That the methods employed in establishing the church are still used in
perpetuating its power, a glance at the so-called Christian literature
of the day will suffice to show. Read the works of our sectarian
publishers, examine the volumes that compose our Sunday-school
libraries, peruse our religious papers and periodicals, and you will
see that age has but confirmed this habit formed in infancy.

Every church dogma is a lie; and based upon lies, the church depends
upon fraud for its support. The work of its ministers is not to
discover and promulgate truths, but to invent and disseminate
falsehoods. In the words of Isaiah, they well might say: "We have
made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves."

The church offers a premium on falsehood and imposes a punishment
for truthfulness. With a bribe in one hand and a club in the other,
she has sought to prolong her sway. The allurements of the one and
the fear of the other have filled the world with hypocrisy. In our
halls of Congress, in the editorial sanctum, in the professor's chair,
behind the counter, in the workshop, at the fireside, everywhere, we
find men professing to believe what they know to be false, or wearing
the seal of silence on their lips, while rank imposture stalks abroad
and truth is trampled in the mire before them.

Every truth seeker is taunted and ridiculed; every truth teller
persecuted and defamed; the scientist and philosopher are discouraged
and opposed; the heretic and Infidel calumniated and maligned. In proof
of this, witness the abuse heaped upon the Darwins and Huxleys, see
the countless calumnies circulated against the Paines and Ingersolls.

It is said that Paulus Jovius kept a bank of lies. To those who paid
him liberally he gave noble pedigrees and reputations; those who
did not he slandered and maligned. Paulus is dead, but the church,
guided by Bible morality, continues his business.


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide, because it sanctions
cheating and the use of dishonorable methods in obtaining wealth
and power.

"And Jacob sod [boiled] pottage; and Esau came from the fields, and
he was faint; and Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that
same red pottage; for I am faint.... And Jacob said, Sell me this
day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die;
and what profit shall this birthright do me? And Jacob said, Swear
to me this day; and he sware unto him; and he sold his birthright
unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and
he did eat and rose up and went away" (Gen. xxv, 29-34).

This transaction, one of the basest recorded, receives the sanction
of the Bible. Jacob, with God's assistance, by using striped rods,
cheated Laban out of his cattle:

"And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive,
that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters,
that they might conceive among the rods.

"When the cattle were feeble, he put them not in; so the feebler were
Laban's and the stronger Jacob's. And the man increased exceedingly,
and had much cattle" (Gen. xxx, 41-43).

"If he [Laban] said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the
cattle bare speckled; and if he said thus, The ringstreaked shall be
thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstreaked. Thus God hath taken
away the cattle of your father and given them to me" (Gen. xxxi, 8, 9).

Thus, by defrauding his uncle, his famishing brother, and his blind
and aged father, this God-beloved

patriarch stands forth the prince of cheats--the patron saint of

The Israelites obtain the Egyptians' property by false pretenses.

"And I [God] will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians;
and it shall come to pass that when ye go, ye shall not go empty; but
every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in
her house, jewels of silver and jewels of gold, and raiment; and ye
shall put them upon your sons and upon your daughters; and ye shall
spoil [rob] the Egyptians" (Ex. iii, 21, 22).

"And the Lord said unto Moses, ... Speak now in the ears of the
people, and let every man borrow of his neighbor, and every woman of
her neighbor, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold" (Ex xi, 1, 2).

"And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and
they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold,
and raiment; and the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the
Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required;
and they spoiled the Egyptians" (Ex. xii, 35, 36).

Here obtaining goods under false pretenses and embezzlement are
commended by God himself. It may be claimed that the Egyptians had
wronged the Israelites. Suppose they had; could God secure justice
for them only by treachery and fraud? Suppose your son worked for a
farmer, and that farmer defrauded him of his wages; would you advise
your son to borrow a horse of his employer and decamp with it in order
to obtain redress, especially when you had the power to obtain redress
by lawful means? Instead of encouraging these slaves in an act that
would eventually lead them to become a race of thieves and robbers,
an honest God would have taken their masters by the collar and said,
"You have received the labor of these men and women; pay them for it!"

In the Mosaic law we find the following beautiful statute:

"Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself; thou shalt give
it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it, or
thou mayest sell it unto an alien" (Deut. xiv, 21).

"Anything that dieth of itself" is diseased. Diseased flesh is
poisonous. To authorize its use, even if those receiving it are not
deceived, is immoral.

Out West, a family, good Christians, had a hog to die of some
disease. What did they do with it? Eat it? No, their Bible told them
this would be wrong. They dressed it nicely, took it into an adjoining
neighborhood, and sold it to strangers. Was this right? The Bible
says it was.

With the widespread influence of a book inculcating such lessons in
dishonesty, what must be the inevitable result? Men distrust their
fellow men; along our business thoroughfares Fraud drives with brazen
front; in almost every article of merchandise we buy we find a lie
enshrined; at every corner sits some Jacob slyly whittling spotted
sticks to win his neighbor's flocks.


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions
theft and robbery.

Its pages teem with accounts of robberies, and in many instances God
is said to have planned them and shared in the spoils. He instructs
Moses to send a marauding expedition against the Midianites. They
put the inhabitants to the sword, and return with 800,000 cattle. Of
this booty God exacts 800 head for himself and 8,000 head for his
priests. The remainder he causes to be divided between the soldiers
and citizens. So elated are the Israelites with their success, so
grateful to God for his assistance, that they make him a gift of
16,000 shekels of stolen gold (Num. xxxi).

When Joshua took Jericho, "they burnt the city with fire, and all that
was therein; only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass
and of iron they put into the treasury of the Lord" (Josh, vi, 19-24).

When he captured Ai, "the cattle and the spoils of that city Israel
took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the Lord
which he commanded Joshua" (Josh, viii, 27).

Jehovah gets the spoils of Jericho, and Israel those of Ai.

David, a modest shepherd lad, is placed under the tutelage of Jehovah
only to become the cruelest robber of his time. On one occasion,
purely for plunder, he despoiled three nations and "saved neither man
nor woman alive to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should
tell on us" (1 Sam. xxvii, 8-12).

It is said that the Italian bandit never plans a robbery without
invoking a divine blessing upon his undertaking, doubtless believing
that the God of David, of Moses, and of Joshua still reigns.

Jacob's wives, Leah and Rachel, were both thieves. Leah appropriated
the property of her son; Rachel stole her father's jewels. Neither
act was condemned.

"When thou comest into thy neighbor's vineyard, then thou mayest eat
grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure, but thou shalt not put any in
thy vessel.

"When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbor, then thou
mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a
sickle unto thy neighbor's standing corn" (Deut. xxiii, 24, 25).

"Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he
is hungry" (Prov. vi, 30).

Grand larceny is condemned, but petty larceny is commended.

Christ enjoined submission to robbery: "Of him that taketh away thy
goods ask them not again" (Luke vi, 30).




I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions

It is true the Sixth Commandment says, "Thou shalt not kill;" but
this law is practically annulled by innumerable commands from the
same source, like the following, to kill:

"Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his
side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and
slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every
man his neighbor" (Ex. xxxii, 27).

"Spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling"
(1 Sam. xv, 3).

"Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children"
(Ezek. ix, 6)

"Cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood" (Jer. xlviii,

For the leader and legislator of his chosen people, God selects a
murderer. The first recorded act of Moses was premeditated murder. "He
looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man,
he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand" (Ex. ii 12).

For committing a murder, Phinehas is rewarded by Jehovah with "the
covenant of an everlasting priesthood" (Num. xxv, 6-13).

Samuel "hewed Agag," a captive king, "in pieces before the Lord"
(1 Sam. xv, 32, 33).

Jehu murders all the house of Ahab, and God rewards him for it:

"And Joram turned his hands and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is
treachery, O Ahaziah. And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength,
and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his
heart and he sunk down in his chariot.

"But when Ahaziah, the king of Judah, saw this, he fled by the way
of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite
him also in the chariot. And they did so.

"And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she
painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. And
as Jehu entered in at the gate she said, Had Zimri peace who slew his
master? And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on
my side? Who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he
said, Throw her down. So they threw her down, and some of her blood
was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses; and he trode her under
foot. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see
now this cursed woman, and bury her; for she is a king's daughter. And
they went to bury her, but they found no more of her than the skull,
and the feet, and the palms of her hands."

The dogs had devoured her.

"And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters and
sent to Samaria.... And it came to pass when the letter came to them,
that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put
their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel."

"So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel,
and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he
left him none remaining."

"And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing
that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of
Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the
fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel" (2 Kings ix,
23, 24, 27, 30-35; x, 1, 7, 11, 30).

The assassination of Eglon by Ehud was characterized by the basest
treachery and brutality. Eglon was king of Moab. Ehud carried a present
to him, and after he had delivered the present he told the king that he
had a private message for him. Eglon ordered his attendants to retire,
and when alone Ehud drew a large dagger from beneath his cloak and
thrust it through the body of the king. And the Bible tells us that
God raised up Ehud expressly for this work (Jud. iii, 15-23).

The warmest eulogy in the Bible is bestowed upon a murderess. Sisera
is a fugitive from battle. He reaches in safety the tent of Heber, his
friend. Heber is absent, but Jael, his wife, receives the fugitive, and
bids him welcome. She gives him food, spreads a soft couch for him, and
covers him with her mantle. Wearied with his retreat, and unconscious
of impending danger, Sisera soon sinks into a profound slumber. With a
tent nail in one hand and a hammer in the other, Jael approaches the
bedside of her sleeping guest. She bends over him, listens to assure
herself that he is asleep, then places the nail against his temple,
and with a blow drives it through his head. A struggle, and Sisera
is dead, a victim of one of the most damnable deeds ever committed.

In honor of this assassination, God's favorite prophetess, Deborah,

"Blessed above women shall Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, be;
blessed shall she be above women in the tent. He asked water, and she
gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish. She put
her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workman's hammer;
and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when
she had pierced and stricken through his temples. At her feet he
bowed, he fell, he lay down; at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he
bowed, there he fell down dead. The mother of Sisera looked out at
a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long
in coming? Why tarry the wheels of his chariot?" (Jud. v, 24-28.)

We wish to place before our children, for their emulation, good
and noble characters. We have been taught that in the Bible such
characters may be found. You desire a model woman to place before your
daughter. What one will you select? Here is a woman whom the Bible
pronounces "blessed above women." This must be a suitable model,
then. Blessed for what? For committing one of the most infamous
of murders.

We had a Kansas girl who followed in the footsteps of this
"blessed woman." Years ago, across the prairies of southern Kansas
stretched a lonely road. By its side, far from other habitations,
stood an unpretentious dwelling, inhabited by four persons--father,
mother, son, and daughter. But the daughter was the ruling spirit
there. Their only volume, we are told, was a Bible, and this the
daughter read. The house contains two rooms besides the cellar. The
rooms are separated simply by a curtain. In the front room is kept a
small stock of groceries. Here, too, with its back against the curtain,
and fastened to the floor, stands a chair. Above the door is a sign
with this inviting word, "Provisions." A traveler enters and makes some
purchases, displaying a well-filled purse. He is treated hospitably,
and invited to remain awhile and rest. Wearied, he drops into the
chair, his head pressing against the curtain. Armed with a hammer,
this follower of Jael now approaches from the rear. One well-directed
blow, and the tired traveler sinks into eternal rest. His pockets are
rifled, and his body thrown into the cellar, to be taken out at night
and buried in the little garden behind the dwelling. Time rolls on;
the traveler does not return. Day after day his wife at home, with
anxious heart, peers through the window and sighs, "Why don't he
come?" At length suspicion rests upon this den of infamy. A search
is instituted, and the garden is found to be a cemetery, filled with
the bodies of murdered travelers--one a little child. In the mean
time this female monster with her kin has fled. Detectives are still
searching for her. They'll never find her. Where is she? In heaven
with Jael. Now let some modern Deborah sing, "Blessed above maidens
shall Kate Bender be!"


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions
wars of conquest and extermination.

"Blessed be the Lord, my strength, which teacheth my hands to war
and my fingers to fight" (Ps. cxliv, 1).

The Old Testament is largely a record of wars and massacres. God
is represented as "a man of war." At his command whole nations are

"Ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you,
... and ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell
therein" (Num. xxxiii, 52, 53).

"And thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall
deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them" (Deut. vii, 16).

"Of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee
for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
but thou shalt utterly destroy them" (Deut. xx, 16, 17).

"And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses;
and they slew all the males.... And the children of Israel took
all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took
the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their
goods. And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all
their goodly castles with fire" (Num. xxxi, 7-10).

Moses is angry because the women and children have been saved, and
from this fiendish conqueror comes the mandate: "Kill every male
among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man."

The mourning remnants of twenty thousand families are thus to be
destroyed. The fathers, far away, lie still in death beside the
smouldering ruins of their once fair homes; and now their wives and
little ones are doomed to die. The signal is sounded, and the massacre
begins. The mothers, on bended knees, with tearful eyes and pleading
lips, are ruthlessly cut down. Their prattling babes, in unsuspecting
innocence, smile on the uplifted sword as if it were a glittering toy,
and the next moment feel it speeding through their little frames. The
daughters only are spared--spared to be the wretched slaves of those
whose hands are red with the life-blood of their dear ones.

And this is but a prelude to the sanguinary scenes that are to follow.

"Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon; behold
I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and
his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. This
day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon
the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report
of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee."

"And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the
men, and the women, and the little ones of every city, we left none
to remain" (Deut. ii, 24, 25, 34).

"The Lord our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of
Bashan, and all his people, and we smote him until none was left to
him remaining. And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a
city which we took not from them, threescore cities.... And we utterly
destroyed them as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying
the men, women, and children of every city" (Deut. iii, 3-6).

Moses dies, and Joshua next leads Jehovah's troops.

"And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand
Jericho.... And they utterly destroyed all that was in that city,
both man and woman, young and old" (Josh. vi, 2, 21).

"And the Lord said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in
thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand.... And so
it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were
twelve thousand.... And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it a heap forever"
(Josh. viii, 18, 25, 28).

"And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish,
and encamped against it, and fought against it. And the Lord delivered
Lachish into the hands of Israel, which took it on the second day,
and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were
therein" (Josh. x, 31, 32).

"And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him;
and they encamped against it, and fought against it. And they took it
on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls
that were therein he utterly destroyed that day" (Josh. x, 34, 35).

Thus city after city falls, and nation after nation is vanquished,
until thirty-one kingdoms have been destroyed. And still there
"remaineth much land to be possessed," and many millions more of
unoffending people to be slain to please this God of War.

Christ came, heralded as the "Prince of Peace." But he "came not to
send peace but a sword"--a sword his own arm was too weak to wield,
but which his followers have used with dire effect. Expunge from the
history of Christendom the record of its thousand wars and little will
remain. From the time that Constantine inscribed the emblem of the
cross upon his banner to the present hour, the church of Christ has
been upheld by the sword. Five million troops maintain its political
supremacy in Europe to-day. To "express our national acknowledgment
of Almighty God as the source of all authority in civil government;
of the Lord Jesus Christ as the ruler of nations, and of his revealed
will as of supreme authority;" in short, to make this a "Christian
nation," as Bible moralists demand, means a standing army in this
country of five hundred thousand men.

The Bible has inspired more wars in Christendom than all else
combined. It is a fountain of blood, and the crimson rivers that have
flowed from it would float the navies of the world.



Human Sacrifices.

I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions
human sacrifices.

"No devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the Lord of all that
he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession,
shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy unto the
Lord. None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed;
but shall surely be put to death" (Lev. xxvii, 28, 29).

God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son:

"Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get
thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering"
(Gen. xxii, 2).

The order was countermanded, but the perusal of this text has driven
thousands to insanity and murder.

That a famine may cease, David sacrifices the sons of Saul:

"Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and
wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance
of the Lord?... And they answered the king, The man that consumed us
and devised against us.... Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto
us, and we will hang them up unto the Lord.... And the king said, I
will give them. And he delivered them unto the hands of the Gibeonites,
and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord; and they fell all
seven together, and were put to death in the days of the harvest"
(2 Sam. xxi).

The sacrifice, we are told, was accepted, and the famine ceased.

Five of these innocent victims, if the Bible be true, were the sons
of Michal, David's own wife. Two were the sons of Rizpah. Throughout
that long summer--from April till October--in the heat and glare of the
day and the chill and darkness of the night, Rizpah, broken-hearted,
tenderly watches and protects the decaying bodies of her dead sons
and relatives.

"And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for
her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped
upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air
to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night."

When I dwell on this dark tragedy, and contrast the love and devotion
of this agonized and despairing Hebrew mother with the malignant
hatred and heartless cruelty of this Bible God and his despicable
agent, humanity rises to the highest heaven and divinity sinks to
the lowest hell.

The pathetic story of Jephthah's daughter is familiar to all. Jephthah
is a warrior, and makes a vow that if he is permitted to conquer
the children of Ammon, upon his return the first that meets him at
the door will be offered up for a burnt offering unto the Lord. He is
successful; the Lord permits him to defeat the children of Ammon. Upon
his return the first to meet him is his daughter, an only child. He
tells her of his vow. She prays for two brief months to live. Her
prayer is granted, and at the expiration of this time, the Bible tells
us that Jephthah "did with her according to the vow which he had vowed"
(Jud. xi, 26-40).

Describing the fulfilment of this terrible vow, Dr. Oort says:

"This victim, crowned with flowers, was led round the altar with
music and song in honor of Yahweh. She met her cruel fate without
shrinking. But who shall say how sick at heart her father was when
he struck that fatal blow with his own hand and saw the blood of his
darling child poured out upon the sacred stone, while her body was
burned upon the altar?" (Bible for Learners, Vol. I., p. 408.)

"In that frightful sacrifice that he performed--breaking the holiest
domestic ties--we do but see the disastrous results of a mistaken
faith" (Ibid., p. 411).

The celebrated Jewish commentator, Dr. Kalisch, while endeavoring
to palliate as far as possible the crimes of his people, admits that
human sacrifices were not uncommon among them:

"The fact stands indisputable that human sacrifices offered to Jehovah
were possible among the Hebrews long after the time of Moses, without
meeting a check or censure from the teachers and leaders of the nation"
(Leviticus, Part I., p. 385).

"One instance like that of Jephthah not only justifies, but
necessitates, the influence of a general custom. Pious men slaughtered
human victims, not to Moloch, nor to any other foreign deity, but to
the national God, Jehovah" (Ibid., p. 390).

Jules Soury says: "Nothing is better established than the existence
of human sacrifices among the Hebrews in honor of Iahveh, and that
down to the time of Josiah, perhaps even until the return from the
Babylonish captivity" (Religion of Israel, p. 46).

The Church, having received the benefits of a sacrificed God,
deems human sacrifices no longer necessary. But what can be said
of the Church as a whole cannot be said of all its individual
members. Scarcely a year passes without the sacrifice of human beings
by those who believe the Bible to be inspired, and who believe that
what was right three thousand years ago is right to-day.

The sacrifice of little Ben Smith at Los Angeles, in 1882, is still
remembered by some. His father was converted at a Methodist revival. He
became very religious. The press dispatches stated that "for several
months he devoted his time to the study of the Bible until he not
only convinced himself that he ought to make a human sacrifice, but
brought his wife and their only child, a boy of thirteen, to acquiesce,
in his views." I quote from the mother's testimony:

"When he talked to me and persuaded me that a good wife ought to
think as her husband did, I got so as to take whatever he said as the
truth. He made us fast, and when Ben asked him if God had ordered us
to starve he said yes. When he announced that the boy must be killed
we both remonstrated, but finally thought it was all right. On the
day appointed for the ceremony he called Ben out of the house and
told him he had to die for our savior. The little fellow knelt down
and I got on my knees by his side; John raised the knife, looked hard
into the boy's face, and then drove the knife into his breast."

Here the mother was overcome with grief. Regaining her composure,
she continued: "I am always thinking of Ben; I am always hearing him
in the night asking to be brought in and laid on his bed, and begging
for a little water before he died."

Let me recall another half-forgotten scene. In a quiet village of New
England live a pair whom nature meant for good, kind citizens. But
they have become infatuated with the Bible. They believe it to be
infallible. Day after day they pore over its pages. They dwell with
especial interest upon the story of Abraham and Isaac, until at last
they become impressed with the belief that they, too, are called
upon to offer up their child. The fatal hour arrives. Nerved for the
cruel deed, they approach the bedside of their child, a sweet-faced,
curly-haired girl of four. How placidly she rests! Folded upon her
breast are dimpled hands, white as the winter snow; curtained in
slumber are eyes as mild as the summer sky. How beautiful! How pure! We
would risk our lives to save that pretty thing from harm. How dear,
then, must she be to that father and that mother! She is their
idol. But that idol is about to be sacrificed upon the altar of
superstition. There they stand--the mother with a lamp in her hand,
the father with a knife. They gaze for a moment upon their sleeping
victim. Then the father lifts his arm and plunges the knife into
the heart of his child! A quiver--the blue eyes open, and cast
a reproachful look upon the parent. The little lips exclaim, "O
papa!" and the sacrifice is made!

You may say these people were insane. Aye, but what made them
insane? And what, more than almost any other cause, is filling our
asylums with these unfortunate people? The vain attempt to reconcile
with reason the irreconcilable teachings of the Bible.


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it teaches the
horrible custom of cannibalism.

"The fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons
shall eat their fathers" (Ezek. v, 10).

"And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your
daughters shall ye eat" (Lev. xxvi, 29).

"And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of
their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend"
(Jer. xix, 9).

"And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy
sons and of thy daughters.... So that the man that is tender among
you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother,
and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his
children which he shall leave; so that he will not give to any of
them the flesh of his children whom he shall eat.... The tender and
delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole
of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye
shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and
toward her daughter, ... for she shall eat them" (Deut. xxviii, 53-57).

"The hands of the pitiful women have sodden [boiled] their own
children" (Lam. iv, 10).

"And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered,
This woman said unto me, Give thy son that we may eat him to-day,
and we will eat my son to-morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat
him. And I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son that we may
eat him; and she hath hid her son" (2 Kings vi, 28, 29).

You will say that these were punishments inflicted upon these people
for their sins. And you will have us believe that these punishments
were just. Strange justice! a merciful God compelling a starving
mother to kill and devour her own child!

"Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
ye have no life in you" (John vi, 53).

The church perpetuates the idea, if not the practice, of
cannibalism. The Christian takes a piece of bread, and tries to make
himself and the world believe that he is eating the body of Christ;
he takes a sup of wine, and says, "This is Christ's blood." Your
sacramental feast points to the time when savage priests gathered
around the festal board and supped on human flesh and blood.

Primitive Christians, many of them, were guilty of cannibalism. In
their Agapæ they were accustomed to kill and eat an infant. Dr. Cave
in his "Primitive Christianity" (Part III., ch. i) says:

"Epiphanius reports that the Gnostics (a sect of primitive Christians)
at their meetings were wont to take an infant begotten in their
promiscuous mixtures, and, beating it in a mortar, to season it
with honey and pepper and some other spices and perfumes to make
it palatable, and then like swine or dogs to devour it, and then to
conclude all with prayer."

Meredith, in "The Prophet of Nazareth," says:

"So well known were those horrid vices to be carried on by Christians
in their nocturnal and secret assemblies, and so certain it was thought
that every one who was a Christian participated in them, that for a
person to be known to be a Christian was thought a strong presumptive
proof that he was guilty of these offenses.... It would appear,
however, that, owing to the extreme measures taken against them by
the Romans, both in Italy and in all the provinces, the Christians, by
degrees, were forced to abandon entirely in their Agapæ infant murders,
together with every species of obscenity, retaining, nevertheless,
some of them, such as the kiss of charity, and the bread and wine,
which they contended was transubstantiated into real flesh and blood."

In the remote districts of Christian Russia, where the rays of
our civilization have not yet penetrated the darkness of theology,
where Bible morals are still supreme, we are told that even at the
present time a more terribly real form attaches to this eucharistic
ceremony. From Harper's Weekly I quote the following:

"We hear of horrid sects at present in Russia, practicing cannibal and
human sacrifices with rites almost more devilish than any recorded in
history. 'The communism of the flesh of the Lamb' and 'the communism
of the blood of the Lamb' really seem to have been invented by the
lowest demons of the bottomless pit. The subject is too revolting to
be pursued in detail; it is enough to say that an infant seven days
old is bandaged over the eyes, stretched over a dish, and a silver
spoon thrust into the side so as to pierce the heart. The elect suck
the child's blood--that is 'the blood of the Lamb!' The body is left
to dry up in another dish full of sage, then crushed into powder and
eaten--that is 'the flesh of the Lamb!'"


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it recognizes
as a verity the delusion of witchcraft and punishes with death its

The God that inspired the account of Saul's interview with the
witch of Endor was as thorough a believer in witchcraft as the most
superstitious crone of the Middle Ages.

Manasseh "used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a
familiar spirit, and with wizards" (2 Chron. xxxiii, 6).

Isaiah speaks of "wizards that peep and mutter" (Isa. viii, 19).

Samuel (1 Sam, xv, 23) and Micah (v, 12) and Nahum (iii, 4) and Paul
(Gal. v, 20) all admit the reality of witchcraft.

The decline in the belief of wizards and witches denotes a decline of
faith in the Bible. Until a very recent period, those who professed
to believe in the divinity of the Bible also professed to believe in
the reality of witchcraft. "Giving up witchcraft," says John Wesley,
"is, in effect, giving up the Bible" (Journal, 1768).

Sir William Blackstone says: "To deny the possibility--nay, actual
existence--of witchcraft and sorcery is at once flatly to contradict
the revealed word of God in various passages both of the Old and
New Testaments."

Sir Matthew Hale says: "The Bible leaves no doubt as to the reality
of witchcraft and the duty of putting its subjects to death."

"I should have no compassion on these witches." said Luther; "I would
burn them all" (Table Talk).

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Ex. xxii, 18).

"A man also or a woman that hath a familial spirit, or that is a
wizard, shall surely be put to death" (Lev. xx, 27).

Oh, that I could bring to view the suffering and death these texts
have caused! Millions have died because of them. One thousand were
burned at Como in one year; 800 were burned at Würzburg in one year;
500 perished at Geneva in three months; 80 were burned in a single
village of Savoy; nine women were burned in a single fire at Leith;
sixty were hanged at Suffolk; 3,000 were legally executed during
one session of Parliament, while thousands more were put to death by
mobs; Remy, a Christian judge, executed 800; 600 were burned by one
bishop at Bamburg; Boguet burned 600 at St. Cloud; thousands were
put to death by the Lutherans of Norway and Sweden; Catholic Spain
butchered thousands; Presbyterians were responsible for the death of
4,000 in Scotland; 50,000 were sentenced to death during the reign
of Francis I.; 7,000 died at Treves; the number killed in Paris in a
few months is declared to have been "almost infinite." Dr. Sprenger
places the total number of executions for witchcraft in Europe at nine
millions. For centuries witch fires burned in nearly every town of
Europe, and this Bible text, "Thou shall not suffer a witch to live,"
was the torch that kindled them.

Four hundred were burned at Toulouse in one day. Think of it! Four
hundred women--guilty of no crime, save that which exists in the
diseased imaginations of their accusers--four hundred mothers, wives,
and daughters, taken out upon the public square, chained to posts,
the fagots piled around them, and burned to death! See them writhing
in the flames--listen to their piteous shrieks--four hundred voices
raised in one wild chorus of agony! And all because the Bible says,
"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

Only a few years ago, in the province of Novgorod, Russia, a woman was
burnt for witchcraft. Agrafena was a soldier's widow, and possessed
of more than ordinary gifts of mind. But ignorance and superstition
prevailed around her. Every strange occurrence, every disease that
could not be accounted for, was the result of witchcraft. One day a
farmer's daughter was seized with some violent disease, and in her
paroxysms of pain she chanced to breathe the name of Agrafena. That
was enough; Agrafena was a witch. A mob was raised and led to the
widow's dwelling. They called her to the door, parleyed with her a
moment, then thrust her back into the house, fastened its doors, and
set it on fire. And while it was burning, this mob, led by Christian
priests, stood around it, singing praises to God--their strains blended
with the shrieks of this dying woman--dying because the Bible says,
"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

And in our own America the blighting influence of this delusion and
this brutal statute has been felt. With the soil of our Republic is
mingled the dust of murdered women--murdered because the Bible says,
"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."




I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions
the infamous crime of human slavery.

"Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall
be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy
bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover, of the children of the strangers that
do sojourn among you; of them shall ye buy, and of their families
that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be
your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your
children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be
your bondmen forever" (Lev. xx. v, 44-46).

In certain cases they were even permitted to enslave the members of
their own race.

"If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve; and in the
seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself,
he shall go out by himself; if he were married, then his wife shall
go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have
borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her
master's and he shall go out by himself" (Ex. xxi, 2-4).

If he desires his liberty he must desert his wife and little ones. To
become a freeman he must become an exile.

"And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife,
and my children; I will not go out free, then his master shall bring
him unto the judges; he shall also bring him unto the door, or unto
the door-post; and his master shall bore his ears through with an awl;
and he shall serve him forever" (5, 6).

"And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be
unto his brethren.

"And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be
his servant.

"God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem;
and Canaan shall be his servant" (Gen. ix, 25-27).

Nor is it the Jewish Scriptures alone which sanction slavery. The
Christian Scriptures are not less emphatic in their indorsement of it.

"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters
worthy of all honor" (1 Tim. vi, 1).

"Exhort servants to be obedient unto their masters" (Titus ii, 9).

"Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to
the flesh, with fear and trembling" (Eph. vi, 5).

"Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the
good and gentle, but also to the froward" (1 Pet. ii, 18).

It may be urged that the term "servant" here refers to a hired
servant. Not so; wherever the word "servant" occurs in the New
Testament, it means slave in its worst sense.

The Fugitive Slave law, which made us a nation of kidnappers, derived
its authority from the New Testament. Paul had established a precedent
by returning a fugitive slave to his master.

Referring to this act of Paul, the Rev. Dr. Stringfellow of Virginia

"Oh, how immeasurably different Paul's conduct to this slave and
master, from the conduct of our abolition brethren! This is sufficient
to teach any man that slavery is not, in the sight of God, what it
is in the sight of the abolitionists" (Scriptural View of Slavery).

The Rev. Moses Stuart of Massachusetts wrote:

"What, now, have we here? Paul sending back a Christian servant,
who had run away from his Christian master.... Paul's conscience sent
back the fugitive slave. Paul's conscience, then, like his doctrines,
was very different from that of the abolitionists."

It was no easy task to convince the Bible moralist that slavery
was wrong. When the French Revolutionists rejected the Bible, they
abolished slavery in the colonies. When the church regained control
of the government, the Bible came back, and with it slavery. When
Clarkson's bill for the abolition of slavery was before Parliament,
Lord Chancellor Thurlow characterized it as a "miserable and
contemptible bill," and "contrary to the Word of God."

Charles Bradlaugh, in the North American Review, writing of his own
Christian England, says:

"George III., a most Christian king, regarded abolition theories with
abhorrence, and the Christian House of Lords was utterly opposed to
granting freedom to the slave. When Christian missionaries, some sixty
years ago, preached to Demerara negroes under the rule of Christian
England, they were treated by Christian judges, holding commission
from Christian England, as criminals for so preaching. A Christian
commissioned officer, member of the Established Church of England,
signed the auction notices for the sale of slaves as late as 1824."

The most zealous defenders of slavery in this country were Bible
moralists. The Rev. Alexander Campbell wrote: "There is not one verse
in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not
then, we conclude, immoral."

The Rev. E. D. Simms, professor in Randolph-Macon College, wrote:
"These extracts from Holy Writ unequivocally assert the right of
property in slaves."

The Rev. R. Furman, D. D., Baptist, of South Carolina, said: "The
right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures,
both by precept and example."

Rev. Thomas Witherspoon, Presbyterian, of Alabama, said: "I draw my
warrant from the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to hold the
slave in bondage."

Said the Rev. Mr. Crawder, Methodist, of Virginia: "Slavery is not
only countenanced, permitted, and regulated by the Bible, but it was
positively instituted by God himself."

You say that this is the testimony of interested parties, that the
South was interested in perpetuating slavery. True, but where did
your Northern theologians stand?

Rev. Dr. Wilbur Fisk, President of Wesleyan University, thus wrote:
"The New Testament enjoins obedience upon the slave as an obligation
due to a present rightful authority."

The Rev. Dr. Nathan Lord, President of Dartmouth College, wrote:
"Slavery was incorporated into the civil institutions of Moses; it
was recognized accordingly by Christ and his apostles. They regulated
it by the just and benevolent principles of the New Testament. They
condemned all intermeddlers with it."

Professor Hodge, of Princeton, said: "The Savior found it around him,
the Apostles met with it in Asia, Greece, and Italy. How did they
treat it? Not by denunciation of slave-holding as necessarily sinful."

Said the Rev. Dr. Taylor, Principal of the Theological Department of
Yale College: "I have no doubt that if Jesus Christ were now on earth,
he would, under certain circumstances, become a slaveholder."

It is now half-forgotten that the North as well as the South once
practiced slavery--that New England, New York, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania all held slaves. Christian New England, which made the
Bible both its legal and moral code, for more than one hundred years,
held Negroes and Indians in slavery, and even sold Quaker children
into bondage. "Parish ministers all over New England," says the
Rev. William Goodell, "owned slaves" (American Slave Code, p. 106).

Clerical slaveholders in the South trampled under foot the relations
of wife and mother; and clerical slaveholders in the North did the
same. Mr. Goodell says:

"Even in Puritan New England, seventy years ago, female slaves,
in ministers' and magistrates' families, bore children, black or
yellow, without marriage. No one inquired who their fathers were, and
nothing more was thought of it than of the breeding of sheep or swine"
(Ibid., p. 111).

"A Congregational minister at Hampton, Conn. (Rev. Mr. Mosely),
separated by sale a husband and wife who were both of them members
of his own church, and who had been, by his own officiating act as
a minister, united in marriage" (Ibid., p. 114).

Let me cite one of the laws of the Bible relative to the treatment
of slaves--a law which demons would blush to indorse, but which a
merciful (?) God enacted for the guidance of his children:

"If a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die
under his hand, he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he
continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money"
(Ex. xxi, 20, 21).

Here a master may brutally beat his slave, and if that slave linger
in the agonies of death a day or two before dying, he shall not be
punished, because the slave "is his money."

Goodell's "American Slave Code," a work written by a Christian
clergyman, and which I have already quoted, contains four hundred
pages of outrages, like the following, committed by men who accepted
the Bible as their moral guide:

"A minister in South Carolina, a native of the North, had a stated
Sabbath appointment to preach, about eight miles from his residence. He
was in the habit of riding thither in his gig. Behind him ran his negro
slave on foot, who was required to be at the place of appointment
as soon as his master, to take care of his horse. Sometimes he fell
behind, and kept his master waiting for him a few minutes, for which
he always received a reprimand, and was sometimes punished. On one
occasion of this kind, after sermon, the master told the slave that
he would take care to have him keep up with him, going home. So he
tied him by the wrists, with a halter, to his gig behind, and drove
rapidly home. The result was that, about two or three miles from home,
the poor fellow's feet and legs failed him, and he was dragged on
the ground all the rest of the way by the wrists! On alighting and
looking round, the master exclaimed, 'Well; I thought you would keep
up with me this time!' So saying, he coolly walked into the house. The
servants came out and took up the poor sufferer for dead. After a
time he revived a little, lingered for a day or two, and died!"

Was this brutal minister punished? He was not. "If he continue a day or
two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money." Was he silenced
from preaching? was he even reprimanded by the church? No. Without
punishment, without censure, he continued to preach Bible morals and
abuse his slaves.

Frederick Douglass, the greatest of his race and a slave, says:
"My master found religious sanctity for his cruelty.... I have seen
him tie up a lame young woman and whip her with a heavy cowskin
upon her naked shoulders, causing the warm red blood to drip; and,
in justification of the bloody deed, he would quote this passage of
Scripture: 'He that knoweth his master's will and doeth it not shall
be beaten with many stripes.'"

Slavery flourished on this continent because the Bible taught
that it was lawful and just. To oppose slavery was to oppose the
plainest teachings of this book. The Abolition movement was an Infidel
movement. The Emancipation Proclamation was a nullification of "God's
law." The great Rebellion was a contest between Bible morality and
natural morality. The latter triumphed, but the conflict filled half
a million graves, brought grief to many million hearts, and covered
the land with desolation.

And this advocate of slavery is the idol Protestants worship; this
is the book they wish to become the law of our land; this is the
moral guide they wish to place in our public schools! In the name
of those who died for the freedom of their fellow-men; in the name
of those made childless, fatherless, and companionless by this cruel
strife; in the name of those whose backs still bear the scars of the
master's lash; in the name of human liberty, I protest against this
retrogressive movement!


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions
that other twin relic of barbarism, polygamy.

The Mosaic law provides that "if a man have two wives, one beloved
and another hated," he shall not ignore the legal rights of the hated
wife's children (Deut. xxi, 15-17). This statute recognizes both the
existence and the validity of the institution.

Another statute (Deut. xxv, 5) provides that if a man die, his
surviving brother shall become the husband of his widow, and this
regardless as to whether the brother be married or single.

The first eighteen verses of the eighteenth chapter of Leviticus
are devoted to what is termed "unlawful marriages." Here polygamy
is recognized and regulated to the extent of prohibiting a man from
marrying the sister of a living wife.

But there is one statute which places the validity of this institution,
so far as the Bible is concerned, beyond all controversy. Deuteronomy
(xxiii, 2) declares that no illegitimate child shall enter into the
congregation of the Lord, even up to the tenth generation. Now,
polygamy was either lawful or unlawful. If unlawful, then the
children of polygamists were illegitimate children, and disqualified
for the sanctuary. But the children of polygamists were not thus
disqualified. The founders of the twelve tribes of Israel were all
children of a polygamist.

The most renowned Bible characters were polygamists. Abraham had two
wives, and when he died the Lord said, "Abraham obeyed my voice,
and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws"
(Gen. xxvi, 6).

Jacob was a polygamist, and after he had secured four wives and
concubines, God blessed him and said, "Be fruitful and multiply"
(Gen. xxxv, 11).

Gideon had "many wives" (Jud. viii, 30), and it was to him an angel
came and said, "The Lord is with thee" (Jud. vi, 12).

David had a score of wives and concubines, and "David was a man after
God's own heart;" "David did right in the eyes of the Lord." God
himself said to David, "I delivered thee out of the hands of Saul;
and I gave thee thy master's house and thy master's wives" (2 Sam. xii,
7, 8).

"And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much,
and largeness of heart"--sufficient to hold a thousand wives and

Many years ago the Mormon, Orson Pratt, wrote a defense of polygamy,
based upon the Bible. A noted lawyer of New York sent a copy of it
to the Rev. Dr. W. B. Sprague with the interrogation, "Can you answer
this?" Back came the frank reply, "No; can you?"

It is claimed that the New Testament is opposed to polygamy. It is
not. William Ellery Channing says:

"There is no prohibition of polygamy in the New Testament. It is an
indisputable fact that although Christianity was first preached in
Asia, which had been from the earliest ages the seat of polygamy,
the Apostles never denounced it as a crime, and never required their
converts to put away all wives but one."

Elizabeth Cady Stanton says: "It was at a Jewish polygamous wedding
that Jesus performed his first miracle, and polygamy was practiced
by Christians for centuries."

It is true that many primitive Christians did not practice
polygamy. And why? Because Pagan Greece and Rome had taught them
better. It was to them, and not to their Scriptures, that they were
indebted for the monogamic system of marriage. The Roman Catholic
church did not generally sustain polygamy; but it did sustain a
system of concubinage which was certainly as bad. For centuries the
keeping of concubines was almost universal among the Catholic clergy,
one abbot keeping no less than seventy.

The founders of the Protestant church, however, accepting the Bible
as their guide, attaching to it a degree of authority which had
never been attached to it before, were candid and consistent enough
to admit the validity of the institution. Referring to this subject,
Sir William Hamilton, a Christian and a Protestant, says:

"As to polygamy in particular, which not only Luther, Melanchthon,
and Bucer, the three leaders of the German Reformation, speculatively
adopted, but to which above a dozen distinguished divines among the
Reformers stood formally committed" (Discussions on Philosophy and

Speaking of Luther and Melanchthon, Hamilton says:

"They had both promulgated opinions in favor of polygamy, to the
extent of vindicating to the spiritual minister a right of private
dispensation, and to the temporal magistrate the right of establishing
the practice if he chose by public law" (Ibid).

In accordance with these views, John of Leydon, a zealous Protestant,
established polygamy at Munster, and murdered or drove from their
homes all who dared to oppose the odious custom. Other Protestants
followed his example.

On the 19th of December, 1539, at Wittenberg, Luther and Melanchthon
drew up the famous "Consilium," authorizing the landgrave, Philip
of Hesse, to have a plurality of wives. This instrument bears
the signatures of Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Martin Bucer,
Dionysius Melander, John Lening, Antony Corvinus, Adam Kraft, Justus
Winther, and Balthasar Raida, nine of the leading Protestant divines
of Germany.

It is a well-known fact that Luther advised Henry VIII. to adopt
polygamy in his case, but by divorcing two wives, and murdering two
more, the founder of the English church avoided it.

The advocacy of polygamy by the chief Reformers prevented Ferdinand
I. from declaring for the Reformation. The German princes, too,
generally opposed it; and this opposition, coupled with the fact that
the most licentious sects espoused it, finally caused a reaction in
favor of monogamy.

Protestants, it ill became you to point the finger of scorn at the
Mormons of Utah. Yet with characteristic consistency you were demanding
the suppression of polygamy in the territories, while at the same time
you were endeavoring to have the whole country accept as infallible
authority a book which sanctions the pernicious custom. Make the Bible
the fundamental law of the land, as you demand, and polygamy will
become, in theory at least, a national instead of a local institution.




I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions
adultery and prostitution.

Adultery is made prominent by the recital of the numerous adulteries
of Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Judah, Samson, David, and other Bible saints,
and sanctified by the approved adulteries of Abraham and Jacob.

Both Abraham and Isaac were willing to sell the virtue of their wives
to save themselves from harm.

Two instances are recorded of fathers having offered their own
daughters to gratify the lust of a sensual mob, and these abominable
acts are represented as especially meritorious. Read the nineteenth
chapter of Genesis and the nineteenth chapter of Judges; dwell upon
the eighth verse of the former and the twenty-fourth verse of the
latter; and then, if you can indorse the spirit of these narratives,
you are unfit to be the parent of a daughter.

The Mosaic law authorizes a father to sell his daughter for a concubine
or mistress (euphemistically translated "maid servant"). God's
instructions respecting the thirty-two thousand captive Midianite
maidens impliedly sanction concubinage and prostitution.

These Bible teachings have been the cause of countless outrages
against the chastity of woman. John Wesley says:

"Almost all the soldiers in the Christian world ... have claimed,
more especially in time of war, another kind of liberty: that of
borrowing the wives and daughters of the men that fell into their
hands" (Wesley's Miscellaneous Works, Vol. III., p. 117).

Luther, drawing his morality from the Bible, gave concubinage his

"There is nothing unusual in princes keeping concubines; and although
the lower orders may not perceive the excuses of the thing, the more
intelligent know how to make allowance" (Consilium).

Luther might with equal truthfulness have said, "There is nothing
unusual in priests and preachers keeping concubines," and he might have
helped to confirm it by a few leaves from his own private history. In a
letter to his confidential friend, Spalatin, he confessed to numerous

God instructs his prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute. He subsequently
commands him to love and hire an adulteress (Hosea i, 2, 3; iii, 1, 2).

Christ forgave the woman taken in adultery, while his favorite female
companion was a reformed (?) prostitute. Referring to his female
ancestors, Dr. Alexander Walker, a Christian, says:

"It is remarkable that in the genealogy of Christ only four women
have been named: Tamar, who seduced the father of her late husband;
Rachab, a common prostitute; Ruth, who, instead of marrying one of her
cousins, went to bed with another of them, and Bathsheba, an adultress,
who espoused David, the murderer of her husband" (Woman, p. 330).

The early Christians were notorious for their adulteries. Dr. Cave, in
his "Primitive Christianity" (Part II., ch. v), says it was commonly
charged "that the Christians knew one another by certain privy marks
and signs, and were wont to be in love almost before they knew one
another; that they exercised lust and filthiness under a pretense
of religion, promiscuously calling themselves brothers and sisters,
that by the help of so sacred a name their common adulteries might
become incestuous."

Of the Carpocratians, who Dr. Lardner says "are not accused of
rejecting any part of the New Testament," Dr. Cave says: "Both men
and women used to meet at supper (which was called their love-feast),
when after they had loaded themselves with a plentiful meal, to prevent
all shame, if they had any remaining, they put out the lights, and
then promiscuously mixed in filthiness with one another" (Ibid).

In his Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul says: "It is reported commonly
that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not
so much as named among the gentiles" (1 Cor. v, 1).

It is an indisputable fact that the most notorious adulterers are
those whose profession makes them most familiar with the teachings
of the Bible, and compels them to accept its teachings as divine.


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide, and protest against
its being placed in the hands of the young, because its pages are
defiled with obscenity.

Aside from thousands of coarse and vulgar expressions contained in it,
there are at least a hundred passages so obscene that their appearance
in any other book would exclude that book from the mails and send
its publisher to prison. The United States courts have declared
parts of the Bible to be obscene. There are entire chapters, such as
the thirty-eighth chapter of Genesis, that reek with obscenity from
beginning to end.

In proof of the charge of obscenity, I refer you to the following:
Isaiah xxxvi, 12; Ezek. iv, 12-15; Gen. xix, 30-36; xxx, 1-16; xxxviii;
2 Kings xviii, 27; Lev. xv, 16-33; Job xl, 16, 17; 1 Kings xiv, 10;
Isaiah iii, 17.

That portions of the Bible are obscene and unfit to be read, is
admitted even by Christians. Noah Webster, a Protestant, edited an
expurgated edition of the Bible. In vindication of his work, he says:

"Many passages are expressed in language which decency forbids to be
repeated in families and in the pulpit."

The Rev. Dr. Embree, Methodist, of Kansas, in a speech before the
Topeka School Board advocating the reading of Bible selections in
the public schools of that city, recently said:

"I would not want the Bible read indiscriminately. I think some of
it unfit to be read by any one."

The Rev. Father Maguire, Catholic, in his debate with the
Rev. Mr. Greg, at Dublin, gave utterance to the following:

"I beg of you not to continue such a practice; it is disreputable. I
will ask Mr. Greg a question (and I beg of you, my brethren of the
Protestant church, to bear this in mind), I will ask him if he dare
to take up the Bible and read from the book of Genesis the fact of
Onan--I ask him will he read that? Will he read the fact relative to
Lot and his two daughters? Will he read these and many other passages
which I could point out to him in the Holy Bible, which I would not
take one thousand guineas, nay, all the money in the world, and read
them here to-day?"

Richard Lalor Shiel, M. P., and Privy Counselor to the Queen,
thus wrote:

"Part of the Holy Writings consist of history, and the narration of
facts of a kind that cannot be mentioned in the presence of a virtuous
woman without exciting horror. Shall a woman be permitted to read in
her chamber what she would tremble to hear at her domestic board? Shall
she con over and revolve what she would rather die than utter?"

And if unfit for the perusal of a matured woman, shall innocent
childhood be polluted by these vile, indecent tales?




I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it fosters the
evil of intemperance.

While the sacred books of Buddhists and Mohammedans, by forbidding
the use of intoxicating drinks, have contributed to make drunkenness
among these people disreputable and rare, the Bible, by encouraging
their use, has made intemperance in Christian countries frightfully
prevalent and almost respectable.

"Thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after,
for oxen or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink" (Deut. xiv,

"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto
those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink and forget his poverty,
and remember his misery no more" (Prov. xxxi, 6,7).

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake"
(1 Tim. v, 23).

"Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry
heart, for God now accepteth thy works" (Eccles. ix, 7).

"Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids"
(Zech. ix, 17).

"They shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof" (Amos ix, 14).

"Wine that maketh glad the heart of man" (Ps. civ, 15).

"Wine which cheereth God and man" (Jud. ix, 13).

"In the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto
the Lord for a drink offering" (Num. xxviii, 7).

Will that wing of the Prohibition army which accepts the Bible as
its guide inscribe these texts upon its banner?

As a reward for the Jews keeping the judgments of the Lord he was to
bless their wine (Deut. vii, 13).

Liberal giving to the Lord was to be rewarded with an abundance
of wine.

"Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all
thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy
presses shall burst out with new wine" (Prov. iii, 9, 10).

One of the most direful calamities was a wine famine.

"Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine,
because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.... The
drink offering is cut off from the house of the Lord; the priests,
the Lord's ministers, mourn.... Gird yourselves and lament, ye priests
howl, ye ministers of the altar; come, lie all night in sackcloth,
ye ministers of my God; for ... the drink offering is withholden from
the house of your God" (Joel i, 5, 9, 13).

God's especial favorites had a weakness for wine. When he drowned
the world's inhabitants he saved Noah, knowing that as soon as the
waters subsided he would plant a vineyard, make wine, and become
intoxicated. When Sodom was destroyed the only righteous man he
found was that foul drunkard, Lot. When David made his celebrated
feast in honor of the Lord he gave to every man and woman a flagon
of wine. He kept some for himself and so merry did his heart become
that he "danced before the Lord with all his might."

Thus joyously sings Solomon: "I have drunk my wine with my milk [milk
punch]; eat, O friends! drink, yea, drink abundantly." In the morning
he sings another song: "Open to me ... my love ... for my head is
filled with dew." How many a wayward fellow like Solomon has risen
from the gutter, sorrowfully wended his way home, and serenaded his
sleeping spouse with that same melody!

When Solomon erected his temple to God he gave to his laborers "twenty
thousand baths [nearly 175,000 gallons] of wine" (2 Chron. ii, 10).

The Nazarite, it is claimed, was commanded to abstain from wine. Yes,
but only during the period of his separation. "After that the Nazarite
may drink wine" (Num. vi, 20).

God commanded Jeremiah to tempt with wine those who abstained from
its use:

"Go unto the house of the Rechabites and speak with them, and bring
them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give
them wine to drink" (Jer. xxxv, 2).

Christ spoke as follows:

"John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine.... The
Son of Man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous
man and a winebibber" (Luke, vii, 33, 34).

This censure was evidently not unmerited. The first act in Christ's
ministerial career was to manufacture three barrels of wine for
a wedding feast; his last recorded act was a benediction upon the
wine cup.

Theology being no longer in demand, the Protestant clergy, contrary
to the teachings of the Bible, and the traditions of the church, now
find it popular and profitable to espouse the cause of temperance. But
in championing one rational virtue they employ two Christian vices,
hypocrisy and intolerance. The most inconsistent, the most uncharitable
opponents of the liquor traffic to-day are these fresh converts who
profess to be doing their master's will and who claim that his Word
is the advocate of total abstinence and prohibitory laws. With fierce
invective they declaim against the old God Bacchus, yet every anathema
they hurl at him will apply with equal justice to their God and Christ.

One of the most unscrupulous arguments ever adduced in support
of any cause is that now advanced by some Christian temperance
advocates to the effect that the wine sanctioned in the Bible was
not intoxicating. With the same ease that they declare that in the
Bible "black" means "white," that "hate" means "love," and "day"
means "age," they declare that Bible wine does not mean wine, but
unfermented grape juice.

The Rev. Dr. W. M. Thompson, Rev. William Wright, Rev. S. H. Calhoun,
Rev. C. V. A. Van Dyke, and other able Hebrew and Sanscrit scholars
of Western Asia, who have made the history and customs of its people
both ancient and modern a life study, affirm that such a thing as
non-intoxicating wine was unknown, that the unfermented juice of the
grape was never recognized as wine. Dr. Philip Schaff, the foremost
Bible scholar of this country, affirms the same:

"The wine of the Bible was no doubt pure and unadulterated.... It was
genuine and real wine, and, like all wine in use in grape-growing
countries, exhilarating. To lay down the principle that the use of
intoxicating drink as a beverage is a sin--per se--is to condemn the
greater part of Christendom, to contradict the Bible, and to impeach
Christ himself, who drank wine and made wine by miracle to supply
the marriage guests."

At the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church held at Belfast,
Ireland, in 1870, an exhaustive examination and discussion was given
this subject. The result was the adoption by an almost unanimous
vote of the following resolution offered by the Rev. Robert Wales,
Professor of Dialectic Theology, Belfast:

"As the wine used in the oblations of the Old Testament time at the
Passover and by our Lord Jesus Christ himself in the institution of the
supper was the ordinary wine of the country, that is, the fermented
juice of the grape, we cannot sanction the use of the unfermented
juice of the grape as a symbol in the ordinance."

That the sacramental wine used by the early Christians was
intoxicating, and that they were addicted to using it to excess at
the Lord's Supper, is admitted by Paul (1 Cor. xi, 20-34).

Referring to this subject, the Christian Register says: "We deplore
intemperance, and welcome every truthful argument against it, but the
argument founded on the non-intoxicating character of Bible wine is
a weak and diluted fallacy."


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it encourages
poverty and vagrancy.

Jesus Christ was the panegyrist of poverty and the promoter of

"Blessed be ye poor" (Luke vi, 20).

"But woe unto you that are rich" (Luke vi, 24).

"A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. xix,

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for
a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Mark x, 25).

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth" (Matt. vi, 19).

When the judicious use of wealth is promotive of human happiness,
and when poverty is the source of so much misery and crime, such
teachings are not only false, but pernicious.

"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall
drink; nor yet for your body what ye shall put on.... Behold the
fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather
into barns.... And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the
lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they
spin.... Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or,
What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?... The
morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto
the day is the evil thereof" (Matt. vi, 25-34).

To-day our land is infested with an army of tramps. Their skirmishers
are deployed along every highway; their points of attack are the
kitchen and the haymow; their text-book on military science is the
Sermon on the Mount. "They sow not, neither do they reap;" "They toil
not, neither do they spin." They beg and steal. These are Christ's
followers--the truest followers he has on earth to-day.

In the streets of our cities we see men clad in rags, idle, and
drunken, and penniless. We see them arrested for vagrancy, thrust into
prison, or made to labor for their bread. These are Christ's martyrs.

Poor tramp and vagrant! How you are "persecuted for righteousness'
sake!" Men despise you; the farmer drives you from his door; the social
economist racks his brain to devise a plan for your suppression;
state governments legislate against you; everywhere you are treated
as an outcast--and all because, taking the Bible for your guide,
you endeavor faithfully to conform to its teachings.


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it condemns
the use of reason and the acquisition of knowledge.

"Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat
of it" (Gen. ii, 17).

"She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her
husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were
opened" (iii, 6, 7).

"Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden" (23).

"He that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark xvi, 16).

For partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, our parents
were banished from Paradise; for obeying the dictates of reason,
we are consigned to hell.

Education, physical, moral, and intellectual, is discouraged.

Bodily exercise profiteth little.--Paul.

Be not righteous overmuch.--Solomon.

Neither make thyself over wise.--Solomon.

Choice mottoes, the above, to hang up on the walls of the school-room!

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy" (Col. ii, 8).

"Knowledge puffeth up" (1 Cor. viii, 1).

"Thy wisdom and thy knowledge it hath perverted thee" (Isa. xlvii, 10).

"I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly; I
perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom
is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow"
(Ecles. i, 17, 18).

"If any man be ignorant let him be ignorant" (1 Cor. xiv, 38).

"The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Cor. iii, 19).

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Prov. i, 7).

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of ignorance. This fear has
kept the world in intellectual bondage. It is a flaming sword that
priestcraft has placed in every highway of learning to frighten back
the timid searchers after truth.

"The clergy, with a few honorable exceptions," says Buckle, "have
in all modern countries been the avowed enemies of the diffusion of
knowledge, the danger of which to their own profession they, by a
certain instinct, seem always to have perceived."

The Bible, and the religion emanating from it, are the fruitful
parents of ignorance and idiocy. They demand a sacrifice of the very
attribute which exalts the man of sense above the idiot; they bid him
pluck out the eyes of Reason, and in their place insert the sightless
balls of Faith.

"Reason should be destroyed in all Christians," says Luther
(L. Ungedr. Pred. Bru., p. 106).

"One destitute of reason," is a phrase employed by Webster to define
the word "fool."

"We are fools for Christ's sake," exclaims Paul (1 Cor. iv, 10).



Injustice to Women.

I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it has degraded

The holy offices of wife and mother it covers with reproach. Its
teachings carried out, as they were during the centuries of Christian
rule, leave woman but two paths in which to tread--the one leading into
slavery, the other into exile. Servitude in the house of a husband,
or self-banishment into a convent--these are the sad alternatives
presented for her choice.

"Thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee"
(Gen. iii, 16).

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands" (Col. iii, 18).

"As the church is subject unto Christ so let the wives be to their
own husbands in everything" (Eph. v, 24).

"Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted
unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience,
as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask
their husbands at home; for it is a shame for a woman to speak in
the church" (1 Cor. xiv, 34, 35).

"Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.... For after this
manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God,
adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands; even
as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord" (1 Peter iii, 1-6).

"Let woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not
a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be
in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not
deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression"
(1 Tim. ii, 11-14).

Oh! the unspeakable outrage that woman has suffered because of that
old Jewish fable!

The teachings of the Bible respecting marriage are an insult to
every married woman. Christ discouraged marriage (Matt. xix, 10-12),
while a more despicable dissertation on marriage than Paul gives in
the seventh chapter of 1 Corinthians was never penned.

In contracting matrimonial alliances, woman's rights and choice are
not consulted. The father does his daughter's courting, and sells
or gives her to whom he pleases. A father is even allowed to sell
his daughter for a slave (Ex. xxi, 7). In the Decalogue the wife is
classed with slaves and cattle as a mere chattel.

Kidnapping is commanded for the purpose of obtaining wives.

"Therefore they [God's priests] commanded the children of Benjamin,
saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; and see, and, behold, if
the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out
of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters
of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.... And the children of
Benjamin did so, and took them wives according to their number of
them that danced whom they caught" (Jud. xxi, 20-23).

The Levitical law makes motherhood a sin that can be expiated only
by offering a sin offering at the birth of every child. The degree
of sinfulness depends upon the sex of the child; giving birth to
a daughter being esteemed a greater sin than giving birth to a son
(Lev. xii).

The laws of the Bible in regard to divorce are most unjust. A husband
is permitted to divorce his wife if she displease him, while a wife
is not allowed to obtain a divorce for any cause whatever.

"When a man hath taken a wife, and marries her, and it come to pass
that she find no favor in his eyes, ... then let him write her a bill
of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house"
(Deut. xxiv, 1).

"When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord
thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken
them captive, and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and
hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldst have her to thy wife; then
thou shalt bring her home to thine house.... And it shall be, if thou
have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will"
(Deut. xxi, 10-14).

Wives were compelled to suffer outrage for the sins of their husbands.

"Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out
of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes,
and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in
the sight of this sun" (2 Sam. xii, 11).

"Their houses shall be spoiled and their wives ravished" (Is. xiii,

"I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the
city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished"
(Zech. xiv, 2).

"Let their wives be bereaved of their children and be widows"
(Jer. xviii, 21).

The teachings of the Bible have been used by the church to keep woman
in a subordinate position.

"There is not a more cruel chapter in history," says Dr. Moncure
D. Conway, "than that which records the arrest by Christianity of the
natural growth of European civilization regarding woman. In Germany
it found woman participating in the legislative assembly, and sharing
the interests and counsels of man, and drove her out and away.... Even
more fatal was the overthrow of woman's position in Rome. Read the
terrible facts as stated by Gibbon, by Milman, and Sir Henry Maine;
read and ponder them, and you will see the tremendous wrong that
Christianity did to woman."

Even the priceless virtue of chastity, in the name of law and in the
name of the Bible, was trampled under foot. Mrs. Gage, in "Woman,
Church, and State," says:

"Women were taught by the church and state alike that the feudal lord,
or seigneur, had a right to them, not only against themselves, but as
against any claim of husband or father. The law known as Marchetta,
or Marquette, compelled newly-married women to a most dishonorable
servitude. They were regarded as the rightful prey of the feudal
lord from one to three days after their marriage.... France, Germany,
Prussia, England, Scotland, and all Christian countries where feudalism
existed, held to the enforcement of Marquette."

Respecting this law, Michelet writes: "The lords spiritual had this
right no less than the lords temporal. The parson, being a lord,
expressly claimed the first fruits of the bride" (La Sorcerie,
page 62).

In this country, while the most illiterate and depraved man is
clothed with the rights of a sovereign, the noblest woman is held in
a subordinate position; and from the Bible, priests and politicians
have procured the chains that hold her in subjection.

Referring to the Bible, America's greatest woman, Elizabeth Cady
Stanton, says: "I know of no other books that so fully teach the
subjection and degradation of woman" (Eighty Years and More).

Brave Helen Gardener says: "Every injustice that has ever been fastened
upon women in a Christian country has been 'authorized by the Bible'
and riveted and perpetuated by the pulpit" (Men, Women, and Gods,
page 14).

"Women are indebted to-day for their emancipation from a position of
hopeless degradation, not to their religion nor to Jehovah, but to the
justice and honor of the men who have defied his commandments. That
she does not crouch to-day where St. Paul tried to bind her, she
owes to the men who are grand and brave enough to ignore St. Paul,
and rise superior to his God" (Ibid, page 30).

George W. Foote of England says it will yet be the proud boast of
woman that she never contributed a line to the Bible.

Unkindness to Children.

I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because its teachings
respecting the treatment of children are cruel and unjust.

It advocates the use of corporal punishment for children.

"Thou shalt beat him with the rod" (Prov. xxiii, 14).

"Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with
the rod he shall not die" (Ibid xxiii, 13).

"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of
correction shall drive it far from him" (Ibid xxii, 15).

"The rod and reproof give wisdom" (Ibid xxix, 15).

It advocates capital punishment for children:

"If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey
the voice of his mother, and that when they have chastened him will
not hearken unto them; then shall his father and his mother lay hold
on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the
gate of his place.... And all the men of the city shall stone him
with stones that he die" (Deut. xxi, 18, 19, 21).

It advocates the indiscriminate and merciless slaughter of little

"Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes"
(Isa. xiii, 16).

"Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God;
they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces"
(Hosea xiii, 16).

"As he [Elisha] was going up by the way, there came forth little
children out of the city, and mocked him.... And he turned back,
and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And
there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and
two children of them" (2 Kings ii, 23, 24).

It advocates the punishment of children for the misdeeds of their

"I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children" (Ex. xx, 5).

"I will stir up the Medes against them, ... their eye shall not spare
children" (Isa. xiii, 17, 18).

"I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your
children" (Lev. xxvi, 22).

David prays that the children of his adversaries may become vagabonds
and beggars; and Jeremiah, that the children of his enemies may perish
by famine.

God kills Bath-sheba's child:

"And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bore unto David,
and it was very sick.... And it came to pass on the seventh day that
the child died" (2 Sam. xii, 15-18).

Poor babe! tortured and murdered for its parents' crime!

Cruelty to Animals.

I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it sanctions
and enjoins unkindness and cruelty to animals.

Portions of the Old Testament, and particularly those relating to
sacrifices, are calculated to foster a spirit of brutality, and
a total disregard for animal life. God revels in the blood of the
innocent. The offering of fruits made by Cain is rejected by him;
the bloody sacrifice of Abel is accepted.

Nearly the entire book of Leviticus is devoted to such laws as these:

"If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before
the Lord. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering,
and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation; and Aaron's
sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar"
(Lev. iii, 7, 8).

"And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the Lord be of
fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtle-doves, or of young
pigeons. And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off
his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be
wrung out at the side of the altar" (Lev. i, 14, 15).

The minutest directions for conducting these bloody sacrifices come
from the lips of Jehovah himself, and are too brutal and disgusting
to repeat.

The number of animals sacrificed was incredible. At times whole
herds were killed. On one occasion Asa sacrificed 700 oxen and 7,000
sheep. David made an offering of 1,000 bullocks and 2,000 sheep. At
the dedication of the temple, 142,000 domestic beasts were sacrificed
by Solomon.

And this wholesale slaughter of innocent animals, we are told, was
highly pleasing to the Lord. But

            "What was his high pleasure in
        The fumes of scorching flesh and smoking blood,
        To the pain of the bleating mothers, which
        Still yearned for their dead offspring? or the pangs
        Of the sad ignorant victim underneath
        The pious knife?"


A God of mercy, it would seem, ought to protect the weaker orders of
his creation; but the God of the Bible manifests an utter disregard
for them. When the being created in his own image proved too true a
copy, and he wished to destroy it, he sent a deluge, "and all flesh
died that moved upon the earth." To wreak his vengeance upon Pharaoh,
he visited with disease and death his unoffending cattle. In times of
war, he ordered his followers to "slay both man and beast." Saul's
great transgression, the chief cause of his dethronement and death,
was that he saved alive some sheep and oxen instead of killing them
as God desired. David and Joshua, God's favorite warriors, houghed the
horses of their enemies, and thus disabled turned them loose to die.

We teach a child that it is wrong to rob the nests of birds. It opens
the Bible and reads:

"If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree,
or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam
sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the
dam with the young; but thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and
take the young to thee" (Deut. xxii, 6, 7).

Throughout Christendom "man's inhumanity to man" is only equaled by his
cruelty to the inferior animals. The Buddhist, who has not the Bible
for his guide, considers it a sin to harm the meanest creature. Even
the savage kills only what he needs for food, or such as threaten him
with danger. But the Christian, whose Bible gives him dominion over
the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, maims and murders
in pure wantonness, and after years of patient service, even turns
his beast of burden out to die of hunger and neglect.

For the sake of these dumb creatures, would that our world had less
theology, and more humanity; had fewer Moodys, and more Henry Berghs!




I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because it enjoins
submission to tyrants.

"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, ... whether it be to
the king as supreme; or unto governors" (1 Pet. ii, 13).

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no
power but of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth
the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves
damnation" (Rom. xiii, 1, 2).

And these sentiments were uttered when a Nero sat upon the throne--when
Palestine was being crushed beneath the iron heel of despotism--when
brave and patriotic men were struggling for freedom.

The Bible has ever been the bulwark of tyranny. When the oppressed
millions of France were endeavoring to throw off their yoke--when
the Washingtons, the Franklins, the Paines, and the Jeffersons were
contending for American liberty--craven priests stood up in the pulpit,
opened this book, and gravely read: "The powers that be are ordained
of God; they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation."

In the American Revolution every Tory was a Christian, and nearly
every orthodox Christian was a Tory. Writing in 1777, John Wesley says:

"I have just received two letters from New York.... They inform me
that all the Methodists there were firm for the government, and on
that account persecuted by the rebels" (Wesley's Miscellaneous Works,
Vol. III., page 410).

Referring to our Revolutionary fathers, Robert Dale Owen says:

"I know not what the private opinions of those sturdy patriots were,
who, in the old Philadelphia State House, appended their signatures
to the immortal document. But this I do know, that when they did so,
it was in defiance of the Bible; it was in direct violation of the
law of the New Testament.

"If a Being who cannot lie penned the Bible, then George Washington
and every soldier who drew sword in the Republic's armies for liberty
expiate, at this moment, in hell-fire, the punishment of their ungodly
strife! There, too, John Hancock and every patriot whose name stands
to America's Title Deed, have taken their places with the devil and
his angels! All resisted the power; all, unless God lie, have received
to themselves damnation" (Bacheler-Owen Debate, Vol. II., page 230).

From the first century to the twentieth--from Paul to Leo--these Bible
teachings have dominated the Christian world. Of the early Christian
Fathers, Lecky writes:

"The teaching of the early Fathers on the subject is perfectly
unanimous and unequivocal. Without a single exception, all who touched
upon the subject pronounced active resistance to the established
authorities to be under all circumstances sinful" (Rationalism in
Europe, Vol. II., page 136).

Jeremy Taylor, one of the greatest of modern divines, speaking not
for himself alone, but for all Christians, says:

"The matter of Scripture being so plain that it needs no
interpretation, the practice and doctrine of the church, which is
usually the best commentary, is now but of little use in a case so
plain; yet this also is as plain in itself, and without any variety,
dissent, or interruption universally agreed upon, universally practiced
and taught, that, let the powers set over us be what they will,
we must suffer it and never right ourselves" (Ductor Dubitantium,
Book III., chapter iii).

This has been the chief cause of Christian triumph and Christian
supremacy. It has secured for the church the adherence and support
of every tyrant in Christendom. Thomas Jefferson truly says:

"In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to
liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses
in return for protection to his own."

Writing of his country and his country's church, Macaulay says:

"The Church of England continued to be for more than 150 years the
servile handmaid of monarchy, the steady enemy of public liberty. The
divine right of kings and the duty of passively obeying all their
commands were her favorite tenets. She held these tenets firmly through
times of oppression, persecution, and licentiousness, while law was
trampled down, while judgment was perverted, while the people were
eaten as though they were bread" (Essays, Vol. I., page 60).


I refuse to accept the Bible as a moral guide because its teachings
have filled the world with intolerance and persecution.

"If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter,
or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul,
entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which
thou hast not known, thou nor thy fathers: namely, of the gods of the
people which are round about you [that is, accept another religion]
... thou shalt not consent unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him;
neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him; but thou
shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him
to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people" (Deut. xiii, 6-9).

Kill your friend, kill your brother, kill your wife, kill your child,
for accepting another religious belief!

Did a merciful God inspire this prayer?

"Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his
children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children be
continually vagabonds, and beg; let them seek their bread also out of
their desolate places. Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and
let the strangers spoil his labor. Let there be none to extend mercy
unto him; neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children"
(Ps. cix, 8-12).

"In the literature of the world there is nothing more heartless,
more infamous, than the 109th Psalm."--Ingersoll.

Let me quote from the New Testament:

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned" (Mark xvi, 16).

"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire" (Matt. xxv, 41).

"These shall go away into everlasting punishment" (Matt. xxv, 46).

"Cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched" (Mark
ix, 45).

These passages ought to consign to everlasting abhorrence the being
who uttered them, the book containing them, and the church indorsing
them. This dogma of endless punishment is the dogma of fiends,
the most infamous dogma that human lips have ever breathed! What
needless terror it has inspired! What misery it has caused! Think
of the millions of innocent children whose young lives it has filled
with gloom! This horrible nightmare of hell has strewn the pathway of
childhood with thorns where flowers should have been made to bloom;
it has filled the minds of children with fear and made them wretched
when their hearts should have been filled with joy; it has robbed
home of wife and mother, it has driven thousands of pure and loving
women to madness and despair. I had rather trace my descent to the
tiger or hyena than to the creation of a God who dooms his creatures
to eternal pain; and the time will come when the remembrance of the
theologians who have taught this hideous lie will provoke more shame
and pity than the ancestral apes do now.

"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive
him not into your house" (2 John i, 10).

Amid the storms of a winter night, a traveler, perishing with cold
and hunger, knocks at your door and begs for food and shelter. You
interrogate him as to his religious belief, and finding that he is
not a member of your church you forbid him to enter. In the morning
when you discover his lifeless body by the roadside, how impressed
you will be with the transcendent beauty of Bible morals!

Paul preached a sermon on charity, and then wrote to the Galatians
as follows:

"If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have
received, let him be accursed" (Gal. i, 9).

From the same pen, too, came this sneaking, infamous hint:

"I would they were even cut off which trouble you" (Gal. v, 12).

What ghastly fruits these teachings have produced! We see earth
covered with the yellow bones of murdered heretics and scholars; we
see the persecutions and butcheries of Constantine, of Theodosius,
of Clovis, of Justinian, and of Charlemagne; we see the Crusades,
in which nearly twenty millions perish; we see the followers
of Godfrey in Jerusalem--see the indiscriminate massacre of men,
women, and children--see the mosques piled seven deep with murdered
Saracens--the Jews burnt in their synagogues; we see Coeur de Lion
slaughter in cold blood thousands of captive Saracens; we see the
Franks in Constantinople, plundering, ravishing, murdering; we see
the Moors expelled from Spain; we see the murder of the Huguenots
and Waldenses--the slaughter of German peasants--the desolation
of Ireland--Holland covered with blood; we witness Smithfield and
Bartholomew; we see the Inquisition with its countless instruments
of fiendish cruelty; we see the Auto-da-fé, where heretics, clad in
mockery, are led to torture and to death; we see men stretched upon
the rack, disjointed, and torn limb from limb; we see them flayed
alive--their bleeding bodies seared with red-hot irons; we see them
covered with pitch and oil and set on fire; we see them hurled headlong
from towers to the stony streets below; we see them buried alive; we
see them hanged and quartered; we see their eyes bored out with heated
augers--their tongues torn out--their bones broken with hammers--their
bodies pierced with a thousand needles; we see aged women tied to the
heels of fiery steeds--see their mangled and bleeding bodies dragged
with lightning speed over the frozen earth; we see new-born babes
flung into the flames to perish with their mothers, or with their
mothers sewed in sacks and sunk into the sea; in short, on every hand,
as a result of this book's teachings, we see hate, torture, death!

But, thanks to the brave Infidels who have gone before, you, Bible
moralists, can use these instruments of cruelty to silence heretics
to Christianity no more.

   "Where are the hands which once for this foul creed,
    'Mid flame and torture, made an Atheist bleed?
    Gone--like the powers your fathers used so well
    To send souls heavenward through the flames of hell.
    And you, poor palsied creatures! you, ere long,
    With them thrice cursed shall swell Gehenna's throng.
    Your God is dead; your heaven a hope bewrayed;
    Your hell a by-word, and your creed a trade;
    Your vengeance--what? A mere polluting touch--
    cripple striking with a broken crutch!"



Twenty crimes and vices--lying, cheating, stealing, murder, wars of
conquest, human sacrifices, cannibalism, witchcraft, slavery, polygamy,
adultery, obscenity, intemperance, vagrancy ignorance, injustice
to woman, unkindness to children, cruelty to animals, tyranny,
persecution--are, we have seen, sanctioned by the Bible. Scattering
this book broadcast over the land, making it the chief text-book of
the Sunday-school and, above all, placing it in our public schools
and compelling our youth to accept it as infallible authority,
is a monstrous wrong; and you who advocate it are the enemies
of virtue and the promoters of vice. James Anthony Froude says:
"Considering all the heresies, the enormous crimes, the wickedness,
the astounding follies, which the Bible has been made to justify,
and which its indiscriminate reading has suggested; considering that
it has been, indeed, the sword which our Lord said he was sending,
and that not the devil himself could have invented an implement more
potent to fill the hated world with lies and blood and fury, I think
certainly that to send hawkers over the world loaded with copies of
this book, scattering it in all places, among all persons, ... is
the most culpable folly of which it is possible for man to be guilty."

There are within the lids of this Bible a hundred chapters sanctioning
the bloodiest deeds in all the annals of crime; and this is the book
you wish to place in the hands of our sons! There are within the
lids of this Bible a hundred chapters which no modest woman can read
without her cheek becoming tinged with the blush of shame; and this
is the book you wish to place in the hands of our daughters! If you
delight to feast upon such carrion you have the right to do so, but
you have no right to thrust it down the throats of your neighbors. As
a Liberal, I concede to the Christian cuckoo the right to propagate
her species; but I protest against her laying her eggs in the secular
nest and having them hatched by the state.

I contend that the Bible does not present an infallible moral
standard, and I have given many valid reasons why it does not. I
expect the defenders of this book to complete the task that I have here
essayed. They will claim that the Bible is opposed to crime. They will,
no doubt, cite numerous passages in confirmation of this claim. Let
them do this. Then place the results of our labors side by side. This
will show that the Bible abounds with teachings that conflict. This
fact established, the dogma of its divinity must fall. And this is what
I am endeavoring to do--to tear this dogma from the human brain. Not
until this is done can we have a pure morality. So long as men's
minds are confused and corrupted by these conflicting and demoralizing
teachings, so long will immorality prevail. You cannot make men moral
while they accept as their moral guide a book which sanctions every
crime and presents as the best models of human excellence the most
notorious villains. You cannot make them moral by teaching them that a
lie is better for being called inspired, that a vice becomes a virtue
with age, that a dead rogue should be canonized and a live one killed.

Not until this dogma is destroyed can you appreciate what is
meritorious in the Bible. There are in it some noble precepts. It
contains along with the false much that is true; along with the bad
much that is good; but while you are compelled to accept all--the
true and the false, the good and the bad, as alike infallible, as
alike divine--it can be of no value to you.

You may contend that I mistake the meaning of what I have quoted from
this book. But the language is too plain to be mistaken. Do not tell
me that it states one thing and means another. This is, you affirm,
the word of your God. Is your God wanting in candor?

So far as the Bible is concerned, the criminal has as much to
support the justness of his crime as the Christian has to sustain
the truthfulness of his creed. The various doctrines of the church
are not upheld by stronger Scripture proofs than have been cited in
justification of the crimes that I have named.

Bible apologists tell us that it is only in this book that wrongdoers
confess and record their sins, and that this is evidence of its
divinity. Were this true we might say that the Bible is the only book
whose authors are so devoid of shame as to parade their sins. But this
claim is not true. It was not the sinners who wrote these accounts
of their sins any more than it is the criminals to-day who write and
publish the accounts of their crimes.

Bible lands, we are told, are more moral than other lands. This is
false. The morality of Pagan China and Japan, without the Bible,
is not inferior to that of Christian Europe with it. Modern Europe
with its partial rejection of the Bible is superior in morality
to medieval Europe with its full acceptance of it. The morals of
the people have improved in about the same ratio that their faith
in the book has declined. A further declension of faith will bring
a further improvement in morals. In Christian countries those who
have discarded its teachings are morally superior to those who still
accept them. It is the ignorant who are the most devout believers
in this book, and it is the ignorant who are the most immoral. The
intelligence and morality to be found in Christian lands are not the
results of Bible teachings, but exist in spite of them.

That some great and good men have commended the Bible as a moral
guide is true. These commendations are given wide publicity. But the
testimonials of these men are, for the most part, not the result of
careful reading and study. They have been inspired by the teachings of
childhood, by the sentiment that prevails around them, or by a perusal
of only the choicest portions of the book. These testimonials, too,
are mostly from men who, while expressing admiration for many of
its teachings, do not believe and do not profess to believe in its
divinity. Many of these testimonials are forgeries.

"If you discard the Bible, what," asks the Christian, "will you give
us as a moral guide?" Enter a public library blindfolded; take from
its shelves a volume at random, and you will scarcely select a worse
one. The book you select may not pertain to morals. It may not even
contain the word "moral." But neither does the Bible. Must we go to
the ignorant past for our morality? Does human experience count for
nothing? Have the most marvelous advances been made in every other
department of human knowledge during the past two thousand years
and none in ethical science? Read Bentham, Mill, and Spencer. Let
your children study Count Volney's "Law of Nature," and Miss Wixon's
"Right Living." These books are not infallible and divine, they are
fallible and human; but they are immeasurably superior to any books
that supernaturalists can offer. Not in Moses nor Jesus, not in the
Decalogue nor Sermon on the Mount, is there to be found a statement of
moral duties so just and so comprehensive as the following from Volney:

"What do you conclude from all this? I conclude from it that all the
social virtues are only the habitude of actions useful to society
and to the individual who practices them; that they all refer to the
physical object of man's preservation; that nature having implanted
in us the want of that preservation, has made a law to us of all
its consequences, and a crime of everything that deviates from it;
that we carry in us the seed of every virtue, and of every perfection;
that it only requires to be developed that we are only happy inasmuch
as we observe the rules established by nature for the end of our
preservation; and that all wisdom, all perfection, all law, all virtue,
all philosophy, consist in the practice of these axioms founded on
our own organization:--Preserve thyself; Instruct thyself; Moderate
thyself; live for thy fellow-men, that they may live for thee."

The Bible moralist would have us believe that from this book all
morality has been derived; that God is the author and the Bible the
revelation and sole repository of moral laws. But it is not from
Gods and Bibles that these laws have come. In the words of Tyndall,
"Not in the way assumed by our dogmatic teachers has the morality of
human nature been propped up. The power that has molded us thus far
has worked with stern tools upon a rigid stuff.... That power did
not work with delusions, nor will it stay its hands when such are
removed. Facts, rather than dogmas, have been its ministers--hunger,
shame, pride, love, hate, terror, awe--such were the forces, the
interaction and adjustment of which during the immeasurable ages of
his development wove the triplex web of man's physical, intellectual,
and moral nature, and such are the forces that will be effectual to
the end."

Accepting the Bible--not for what it is claimed to be, the word of
God, but for what it is, the work of man--I can excuse, in a degree,
the crude ideas of right and wrong and the laxity of morals that
prevailed among the people whose history it purports to record. The
age in which they lived, the circumstances that surrounded them,
must palliate, to some extent, their deeds and theories. But it is
humiliating to think that in these better times, illuminated by the
light of a glorious civilization, there are those who spurn the robes
of virtue that Reason in the loom of grave Experience has woven,
and who from the dark and musty closets of the past drag forth for
use the soiled and blood-stained garments that barbarians wore.

With this chapter our review of the Bible ends. We have examined
successively the authenticity of its books, the credibility of its
statements, and the morality of its teachings. The authenticity of the
Bible must be abandoned. It will be abandoned, and abandoned soon. Its
credibility, impaired by a knowledge of its lack of authenticity and
the exposure of its numberless errors, will be contended for awhile
longer. But this, in turn, will go. When its credibility has been
destroyed, and it is acknowledged to be mostly a volume of fables
and legends, priestcraft continuing to survive, the clergy, as a
dernier resort, will descant upon the divine lessons of morality
taught by these fables and legends. But the relentless iconoclasts
of criticism will break this image also, and the Bible as a moral
guide and religious authority will be laid away forever.


Arguments Against the Divine Origin and in Support of the Human Origin
of the Bible.

A celebrated theologian has used with much ingenuity and effect the
watch as an argument in support of the divine origin of the universe. I
have a watch. Like other watches it is not infallible. But supposing
that I should claim for it infallibility and divinity; that while
other watches are of human invention and workmanship, this particular
make of watches is the work of God. The claim would be deemed too
absurd for serious consideration. I would be regarded as a lunatic
or a jester. Now, it is no more absurd to claim infallibility and
divinity for a watch than it is to claim infallibility and divinity for
a book. Yet millions of people of recognized sanity and intelligence
profess to believe, and many of them do sincerely believe, that a book
called the Bible is divine. How do we account for this? It is simply
the result of centuries of religious education. I could have taken
my children and taught them that my watch is divine. Had I kept them
isolated as far as possible from other people, had I commanded them
to shun discussion, and forbidden them to reason about it, as the
clergy do in regard to the Bible, they would probably believe it. I
was taught that the Bible is divine. I believed it. But in a fortunate
hour I listened to the voice of Reason; I examined the claims of its
advocates; I read it; and the halo of holiness surrounding the old
book vanished.

As a supplement to my review of the Bible I shall present some
arguments, thirty-six in number, against the divine origin and
in support of the human origin of the Bible. The brevity and
incompleteness of many of them will, I admit, justify the conclusion
not proven. I have space for little more than a mere statement of
them. The evidence supporting them will be found in the preceding
chapters of this book.

In a discussion of this question the champion of the Bible is placed
at a tremendous disadvantage--is handicapped as it were--at the very
commencement by this fact: While both the advocates and opponents of
Bible divinity admit that man exists and has written books, it has
not been proven that a God even exists, much less that he has written
or inspired a book. But let us concede, for the sake of argument,
that there is a God; that he is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-just;
and that he can write or inspire a book. Is the Bible the work of
such a Being? It is not. The following are my arguments:

1. Its mechanical construction and appearance. The Bible is printed
with type made by man, on paper made by man, and bound in a volume
by man. In its mechanical construction and appearance it does not
differ from other books.

2. The character of its contents. The contents of this book consist of
thoughts--human thoughts--every thought bearing unmistakable evidence
of having emanated from the human mind. There is not a thought
expressed in the Bible, the meaning of which can be comprehended,
that is beyond the power of man to conceive. If it contains thoughts,
the meaning of which cannot be comprehended, they are not a revelation,
and are self-evidently human.

3. The manner in which its contents were communicated to man. These
thoughts are expressed in human language. The Bible originally
appeared, it is claimed, in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages,
two of them obscure languages of Western Asia. The president of
the United States does not issue an important proclamation in the
Cherokee or Tagalese language, and the ruler of the universe would not
have issued a message intended for all mankind in the most obscure
languages of the world. Had he given a message to man he would have
provided a universal language for its transmission.

4. Lack of divine supervision in its translation into other
tongues. Failing to provide a universal language for its transmission,
God would at least have supervised its translation into other
languages. Only in this way could its inerrancy and divinity have
been preserved. Yet no divine supervision has been exercised over the
translators, the transcribers, and the printers of this book. Divine
supervision, it is admitted, was confined to the original writers.

5. Not given to man until at a late period in his existence. This is
an argument advanced by Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon rejected the
Bible. He said that if it had been given to man at the creation he
might have accepted it, but that its late appearance proved to him
that it was of human origin.

6. Not given as a guide to all mankind, but only to an insignificant
portion of it. Not only has the Bible been confined to a small period
of man's existence, it is nearly all addressed to one small race of
earth's inhabitants. While Christians affirm that it is a universal
message intended for all, its doctrines and ceremonies pertain to
the Jews. This is wholly true of the Old Testament, and, with the
exception of a few doubtful passages, true of the Four Gospels, the
chief books of the New Testament. Now, is it reasonable to suppose that
this great and just All-Father, as he is called, would for centuries
take into his special confidence and care a few of his children and
ignore and neglect the others?

7. It deals for the most part, not with the works of God, but with the
works of man. What man does and knows is not a divine revelation. Paine
says: "Revelation, therefore, cannot be applied to anything done upon
earth, of which man himself is the actor or witness; and consequently
all the historical and anecdotal part of the Bible, which is almost
the whole of it, is not within the meaning and compass of the word
revelation, and therefore is not the word of God."

8. But one of many Bibles. There are many Bibles. The world is divided
into various religious systems. The adherents of each system have their
sacred book, or Bible. Brahmins have the Vedas and Puranas, Buddhists
the Tripitaka, Zoroastrians the Zend Avesta, Confucians the five King,
Mohammedans the Koran, and Christians the Holy Bible. The adherents of
each claim that their book is a revelation from God--that the others
are spurious. Now, if the Christian Bible were a revelation--if it
were God's only revelation, as affirmed--would he allow these spurious
books to be imposed upon mankind and delude the greater portion of
his children?

9. Many versions of this Bible. Not only are there many Bibles in the
world, there are many versions of the Christian Bible. The believers
in a divine revelation have not been agreed as to what books belong
to this revelation. The ancient Jews, who are said to have sustained
more intimate relations with God than any other race, were not agreed
in regard to this. The accepted Hebrew version contains 39 books (22
as divided by the Jews), the Samaritan version contains but 6 books
(some copies 5); while the Septuagint version contains 50. The early
Christians were not agreed. The Syriac version of the New Testament
contains 22 books; the Italic 24 (some copies 25); the Egyptian 26;
the Vulgate 27. The Sinaitic and Alexandrian MSS. each contains 29
books, but they are not all the same. The Gothic version omitted four
books in the Old Testament. The Ethiopic omitted books in both the
Old and New Testaments which are now accepted, and included books
in both which are now rejected. The Bibles of the Roman Catholic,
of the Greek Catholic, and of the Protestant churches do not contain
the same books. This disagreement regarding the books of the Bible
is proof of their human origin.

10. Incompetency of those who determined the canon. If the Bible were
the word of God it would not have required the deliberations of a
church council to determine the fact. And yet the Christian canon
was determined in this manner; and it took centuries of time and
many councils to make a collection of books that was acceptable to
the church. Not until the close of the fourth century were all the
books of the Bible adopted.

It is commonly supposed that the members of these councils were men of
great learning and still greater honesty. On the contrary, they were
mostly men of little learning and less honesty. They were ignorant,
fanatical, and immoral. Their deliberations were characterized by
trickery, lying, mob violence, and even murder. Many of them, so far
from being able to read and critically examine the books of the Bible,
could not read their own names. Even the molders of their opinions
concerning the canon--Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria,
Jerome, and Augustine--were they living now, would be considered
very ordinary clay. The historical facts in regard to the formation
of the Bible, if generally known, would be sufficient to dispel all
illusions respecting its divinity.

11. Books belonging to this so-called revelation lost or
destroyed. There were many other Jewish and Christian writings for
which divinity was claimed and which Bible writers themselves declare
to be of as much importance and authority as those which still
exist. The transitory and perishable nature of these books proves
their human origin, and shows that while those that remain are more
enduring they are not immortal and imperishable, and hence not divine.

12. Different versions of the same book do not agree. There are a
hundred versions and translations of the books of the Bible. No two
versions of any book agree. The translators and copyists have altered
nearly every paragraph. The earlier versions alone contain more
than 100,000 different readings. The original text no longer exists
and cannot be restored. Every version, it is admitted, abounds with
corruptions. Now, to assert that a book is at the same time divine and
corrupt is a contradiction of terms. God, it is affirmed, is all-wise,
all-powerful, and all-just. If he is all-wise he knew when his work
was being corrupted; if he is all-powerful he could have prevented it;
if he is all-just he would have prevented it. This God, it is declared,
is everywhere and sees everything. He watches the sparrows when they
fall, and numbers the hairs of our heads. He knows the secrets of every
heart. If he made a revelation to his children, upon the acceptance
and observance of which depends their eternal happiness, and then
knowingly and wilfully allowed this revelation to be perverted and
misunderstood, he is not a just God, but an unjust devil.

13. The mutability of its contents. The alterations made by
transcribers and translators demonstrate the mutability of its
contents, and this disproves its divine character. To admit that man
can alter the work of God is to admit that human power transcends
divine power. If the thoughts composing the Bible were divine man
could not alter them.

14. The anonymous character of its books. If the Bible is to be
accepted even as a reliable human record its authors ought, at least,
to be persons of acknowledged intelligence and veracity. And yet
almost nothing is known of its authors. The authorship of fully fifty
books of the Bible is absolutely unknown. Its books are nearly all
either anonymous or self-evident forgeries. This is true of the most
important books. The Pentateuch we know was not written by Moses,
nor the Four Gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Aside from
the anonymous character of the writings of the Bible, with a few
exceptions, they evince neither a superior degree of intelligence
nor a high regard for the truth.

15. Its numerous contradictions. If the Bible were divine there would
be perfect harmony in all its statements. One contradiction is fatal
to the claim of inerrancy and divinity. Now the Bible contains not
merely one, but hundreds of contradictions. Nearly every book contains
statements that are contradicted by the writers of other books. This
is especially true of the Four Gospels. The writers of these agree that
a being called Jesus Christ lived and died; but regarding nearly every
event connected with his life and death they disagree. Human discord,
and not divine harmony, dwells in its pages.

16. Its historical errors. If the Bible were divine its history would
be infallible. But it is not. It presents as historical facts the most
palpable fictions, and denies or misstates the best authenticated
truths of history. Referring to Bible writers, the eminent Dutch
divines, Drs. Kuenen, Oort, and Hooykaas, in their preface to "The
Bible for Learners," say: "As a rule, they concern themselves very
little with the question whether what they narrated really happened
so or not." Its history is fallible and human.

17. Its scientific errors. God, the alleged author of this book,
it is claimed, created the universe. He ought, then, to be familiar
with his own works. The writers of the Bible, on the contrary,
display a lamentable ignorance of the universe and its phenomena. The
Rev. Dr. Lindsay Alexander, orthodox Calvinist, in his "Biblical
Theology," referring to these writers, says: "We find in their writings
statements which no ingenuity can reconcile with what modern research
has shown to be scientific truth." The demonstrated truths of modern
science were unknown to them. They give us the crude ideas of primitive
man and not the infallible knowledge of an omniscient God.

18. Its alleged miracles. The Bible is filled with marvelous
stories. The sun and moon stand still; the globe is submerged with
water to the depth of several miles; rods are transformed into
serpents, dust into lice, and water into blood and wine; animals
hold converse with man in his own language; men pass through fiery
furnaces unharmed; a child is born without a natural father; the
dead arise from the grave and walk the earth again. These marvelous
stories--these miracles--are adduced to prove the divine origin of
the Bible. They prove its human origin. If these miracles prove the
divinity of the Bible, then nearly all the books of old are divine,
for they abound with these same miracles. If these stories be true,
if these miracles occurred, the laws of nature were arrested and
suspended. The laws of nature are immutable. If the laws of nature
are immutable they cannot be suspended. The laws of nature cannot be
suspended; they never have been suspended; these stories are false;
and being false, the Bible is not divine.

19. Its immoral teachings. If the Bible were of divine origin its moral
teachings would be divine. It would be what its adherents affirm it to
be, an infallible moral guide. But its moral teachings are not divine;
it is not an infallible moral guide. It contains, like other Bibles,
some moral precepts; but it also sanctions nearly every crime and
vice. War and murder, bigotry and persecution, tyranny and slavery,
demonism and witchcraft, adultery and prostitution, drunkenness and
vagrancy, robbery and cheating, falsehood and deception, are all
authorized and commended by this book. It cannot, therefore, be divine.

20. Its inferior literary character. If the Bible were the word
of God, as a literary composition it would be above criticism. It
would be as far superior to all other books as God is superior to
man. Its rhetoric would transcend in beauty the glorious coloring
of a Titian. Its logic would be faultless. The Bible is not such a
book. It contains some admirable pieces and these owe much of their
literary merit to the translators, appearing as our version did in
the golden age of English literature. As a whole it is far inferior to
the literature of ancient Greece and Rome; inferior to the literature
of modern Italy, of France, of Germany, and of England. If the Bible
be the word of God it is a long way from God up to Shakespeare.

21. Its writers do not claim to be inspired. Had the writers of the
Bible been inspired they would have known it and would have proclaimed
it. Had they claimed to be inspired it would not prove the Bible
to be divine, for like Mohammed, they might have been deluded, or,
like a more recent finder of a holy book, impostors. But they do not
even claim that their books are divine revelations. Some of these
books contain what purport to be divine revelations, but the books
themselves do not pretend to be divine. The only exception is the
book called Revelation, admittedly the most doubtful book of the Bible.

"All scripture is given by inspiration." Waiving the questions of
authenticity and correct translation, who wrote this? Paul. What was
the scripture when he wrote? The Old Testament, the Old Testament
alone. The writers of the Old Testament do not claim to be divinely
inspired. This is a claim made by the later Jews and by the early
Christians. Paul and the other writers of the New Testament do not
claim that their writings are divine. This, too, is a claim made by
others long after they were written.

The fact that the writers of the Bible do not believe and do not
assert that their books are of divine origin, that this claim was
first made many years after they were composed, by those who knew
nothing of their origin, is of itself, in the absence of all other
evidence, sufficient to demonstrate their human origin.

22. God has never declared it to be his word. The Bible does not,
as we have seen, purport to be the word of God. Nowhere, neither in
the book nor outside of it, has he declared it to be his revealed
will. It contains various messages, chiefly of local concern, which
he is said to have delivered to man; but the book, as such, is not
ascribed to him nor claimed by him.

23. Whatever its origin it cannot be a divine revelation to us. Even
supposing that the writers of the Bible had claimed to be inspired
and that these books really were a divine revelation to them, they
would not, as Paine justly argues, be a divine revelation to us. The
only evidence we would have of their divinity would be the claim of
the writer--a claim that any writer might make--a claim that even
an honest writer might make were he, like many religious writers,
the victim of a delusion.

24. A written revelation unnecessary. To affirm the necessity of a
written revelation from God to man, as Christians do, is to deny his
divine attributes and ascribe to him the limitations of man. If God
be omnipotent and omnipresent a written revelation is unnecessary. To
impute to him an unnecessary act is to impute to him an imperfection,
and to impute to him an imperfection is to impugn his divinity. We do
not write a communication to one who is present. Think of an infinite,
all-powerful, and ever-present God communing with his living children
through an obscure and corrupted message said to have been delivered
to a tribe of barbarians three thousand years ago!

25. Its want of universal acceptance. A divine revelation intended
for all mankind can be harmonized only with a universal acceptance
of this revelation. God, it is affirmed, has made a revelation to
the world. Those who receive and accept this revelation are saved;
those who fail to receive and accept it are lost. This God, it is
claimed, is all-powerful and all-just. If he is all-powerful he can
give his children a revelation. If he is all-just he will give this
revelation to all. He will not give it to a part of them and allow
them to be saved and withhold it from the others and suffer them to
be lost. Your house is on fire. Your children are asleep in their
rooms. What is your duty? To arouse them and rescue them--to awaken
all of them and save all of them. If you awaken and save only a part
of them when it is in your power to save them all you are a fiend. If
you stand outside and blow a trumpet and say, "I have warned them,
I have done my duty," and they perish, you are still a fiend. If
God does not give his revelation to all; if he does not disclose its
divinity to all; if he does not make it comprehensible and acceptable
to all; in short, if he does not save all, he is the prince of fiends.

If all the world's inhabitants but one accepted the Bible and there was
one who could not honestly accept it, its rejection by one human being
would prove that it is not from an all-powerful and an all-just God;
for an all-powerful God who failed to reach and convince even one of
his children would not be an all-just God. Has the Bible been given
to all the world? Do all accept it? Three-fourths of the human race
reject it; millions have never heard of it.

26. Non-agreement of those who profess to accept it. If the Bible
were the work of God there would be no disagreement in regard to its
teachings. Its every word would be as clear as the light of day. Yet
those who profess to accept it as divine are not agreed as to what
it means. In the Christian world are a hundred sects, each with a
different interpretation of its various teachings. Take the rite of
baptism. Baptism is enjoined by the Bible. But what is baptism? The
three leading Protestant denominations of this country are the Baptist,
the Presbyterian, and the Methodist. I ask the Baptist what constitutes
baptism, and he tells me immersion; I ask the Presbyterian, and he
tells me sprinkling; I ask the Methodist which is proper, and he
tells me to take my choice. Sectarianism is conclusive proof that
the Bible is human.

27. Inability of those who affirm both a human and a divine element
in it to distinguish the one from the other. Confronted by its many
glaring errors and abominable teachings, some contend that a part of it
is the work of man and a part the work of God. And yet they are unable
to separate the one from the other. If a hundred attempts were made by
them to eliminate the human from the divine no two results would be the
same. Their inability to distinguish this supposed divine element from
the human is proof that both have the same origin--that both are human.

28. The character of its reputed divine author. The Bible is an
atrocious libel on God. It traduces his character, and denies his
divinity. The God of the Bible is not this all-powerful, all-wise,
and all-just Ruler of the universe, but a creature of the human
imagination, limited in power and knowledge, and infinite only in
vanity and cruelty.

29. The belief of primitive Christians in its divinity not an immediate
conviction but a growth. Had the books of the Bible been divinely
inspired their divinity would have been recognized at once. When they
originally appeared they were believed and known to be the works of
man and accepted as such.

Referring to the Old Testament, Dr. Davidson says: "The degree of
authority attaching to the Biblical books grew from less to greater,
till it culminated in a divine character, a sacredness rising even
to infallibility" (The Canon of the Bible, p. 274).

Of the New Testament Dr. Westcott says: "It cannot, however, be
denied that the idea of the inspiration of the New Testament, in
the sense in which it is maintained now, was the growth of time"
(On the Canon of the New Testament, p. 55).

The admitted fact that these books were originally presented and
received as human productions, and that the idea of inspiration
and divinity was gradually and slowly developed by the priesthood,
is conclusive proof that they are of human and not of divine origin.

30. Its acceptance by modern Christians the result of religious
teaching. In India the people believe that the Vedas and other sacred
books or Bibles are divine. Why do they believe it? Because for a
hundred generations they have been taught it by their priests. The
Turks believe that the Koran came from God. They believe it because
for twelve centuries this has been their religious teaching. For nearly
two thousand years Christian priests have taught that the Holy Bible is
the word of God. As a result of this the masses of Europe and America
believe it to be divine. Each generation, thoroughly impregnated with
superstition, transmitted the disease to the succeeding one and made
it easy for the clergy to impose their teachings on the people and
perpetuate their rule. The belief of Christians in the divinity of
the Bible, like the belief of Hindoos in the divinity of the Vedas,
and of Mohammedans in the divinity of the Koran, is the result of
religious teaching.

The ease with which a belief in the divine character of a book
obtains, even in an enlightened age, is illustrated by the inspired
(?) books that have appeared in this country from time to time,
and for several of which numerous adherents have been secured. About
seventy-five years ago a curious volume, called the Book of Mormon,
made its appearance. A few impostors and deluded men proclaimed its
divinity. A priesthood was established; Mormon education and Mormon
proselytism began their work, and already nearly a million converts
have been made to the divinity of this book.

Dr. Isaac Watts says: "The greatest part of the Christian world can
hardly give any reason why they believe the Bible to be the Word of
God, but because they have always believed it, and they were taught so
from their infancy." Really the entire Christian world--pope, bishop,
priest, and layman--the learned and the unlearned--can give no other
valid reason.

Profoundly true are these words of the historian Lecky: "The
overwhelming majority of the human race necessarily accept their
opinions from authority. Whether they do so avowedly, like the
Catholics, or unconsciously, like most Protestants, is immaterial. They
have neither time nor opportunity to examine for themselves. They
are taught certain doctrines on disputed questions as if they were
unquestionable truths, when they are incapable of judging, and every
influence is employed to deepen the impression. This is the origin
of their belief. Not until long years of mental conflict have passed
can they obtain the inestimable boon of an assured and untrammeled
mind. The fable of the ancient is still true. The woman even now sits
at the portal of life, presenting a cup to all who enter in which
diffuses through every vein a poison that will cling to them for
ever. The judgment may pierce the clouds of prejudice; in the moments
of her strength she may even rejoice and triumph in her liberty;
yet the conceptions of childhood will long remain latent in the
mind to reappear in every hour of weakness, when the tension of the
reason is relaxed, and when the power of old associations is supreme"
(History of Rationalism, Vol. II., pp. 95, 96).

Schopenhauer says: "There is in childhood a period measured by six,
or at most by ten years, when any well inculcated dogma, no matter how
extravagantly absurd, is sure to retain its hold for life." Considering
the impressionable character of the immature mind, and how nearly
impossible it is to eradicate the impressions of childhood, the
wonder is not that so many believe in the divinity of the Bible,
unreasonable as the belief is, but rather that so many disbelieve it.

31. An article of merchandise. Bibles are manufactured and sold just as
other books are manufactured and sold. Some are printed on poor paper,
cheaply bound, and sold at a low price; while others are printed on
the best of paper, richly bound, and sold at a high price. But all
are sold at a profit. The publisher and the book seller, or Bible
agent, derive pecuniary gain from their publication and sale. It
may be urged that the Bible can be obtained for the asking, that
millions of copies are gratuitously distributed. But this is done
in the interest of Christian propagandism. Nearly all religious,
political, and social organizations, to promote their work, make a
free distribution of their literature.

The printing and selling of Bibles is as much a part of the publishing
business as the printing and selling of novels. One of the leading
publishing houses of this country is that of the American Bible
Society. Wealthy and deluded Christians have been successfully
importuned to contribute millions to this Society. Directly or
indirectly the clergy reap the harvest, leaving the gleanings to
the lay employees, many of whom labor at starvation wages. In Great
Britain the crown has claimed the sole and perpetual right to print
the Bible (A. V.). For monetary or other considerations her kings have
delegated this right to publishers who have amassed fortunes from its
sale. Twenty years ago Bible publishing was characterized as the worst
monopoly in England. If the Bible were divine God would not allow it
to be used as merchandise. It would be as free as light and air.

32. A pillar of priestcraft. Not only is the Bible printed and sold
like other books, but its so-called divine teachings themselves are
used as merchandise. There are in Christendom half a million priests
and preachers. These priests and preachers are supported by the
people. Even the humble laborer and the poor servant girl are obliged
to contribute a portion of their hard earnings for this purpose. In
this country alone two thousand million dollars are invested for their
benefit; while two hundred million dollars are annually expended for
their support. For what are these men employed? To interpret God's
revelation to mankind, we are told. An all-powerful God needing an
interpreter! According to the clergy, God though omnipresent has had to
send a communication to his children, and though omnipotent he cannot
make them understand it. Those ignorant of other tongues and unable
to make known their wants require interpreters. The various Indian
tribes employ them. For the sake of gain these men degrade their God
to the level of an American savage, representing him as incapable of
expressing his thoughts to man, and representing themselves as the
possessors of both human and divine wisdom and authorized to speak
for him.

These Bibles are simply the agents employed by priests to establish
and perpetuate their power. They claim to be God's vicegerents
on earth. As their credentials they present these old religious
and mythological books. These books abound with the marvelous and
mysterious--the impossible and unreasonable--and are easily imposed
upon the credulous. If the contents of a book be intelligible
and reasonable you can not convince these people that it is other
than natural and human; but if its contents be unintelligible and
unreasonable it is easy to convince them that it is supernatural and
divine. Smith's Bible Dictionary says: "The language of the Apostles
is intentionally obscure." Of course; if it were not obscure there
would be no need of priests to interpret it, and what is Scripture
for if not to give employment to the priests?

We are triumphantly told that the Bible has withstood the assaults of
critics for two thousand years. But as much can be said of other sacred
books. Any business will thrive as long as it is profitable. Bibles
will be printed as long as there is a demand for them; and there
will be a demand for them as long as priests do a lucrative business
with them. Considering their abilities the vendors of the Gospel
are among the best paid men in the world to-day. The wealth of men
and the smiles of women are bestowed upon them more lavishly than
upon any other class. There are thousands in the ministry enjoying
comfortable and even luxurious livings who would eke out a miserable
subsistence in any other vocation.

33. Its advocates demand its acceptance by faith rather than by
reason. In the Gospels and in the Pauline Epistles, the principal
books of the New Testament, Christ, the reputed founder, and Paul, the
real founder of the Christian religion, both place religious faith,
i. e., blind credulity, above reason. This evinces a lack of divine
strength and is a confession of human weakness.

Modern advocates of the Bible in presenting the dogma of divine
inspiration ask us to discard reason and accept it by faith. In the
affected opinion of these men, to examine this question is dangerous,
to criticise the Bible is impious, and to deny or even doubt its
divinity is a crime. What is this but a tacit acknowledgment that
the faith they wish us to exercise is wanting in themselves? This
condemnation of reason and commendation of credulity is an insult
to human intelligence. A dogma which reason is obliged to reject,
and which faith alone can accept, is self-evidently false; and its
retention is not for the purpose of supporting a divine truth, but
for the purpose of supporting a human lie.

34. The refusal of its advocates to correct its acknowledged
errors. That the clergy are controlled by mercenary motives rather
than a love of truth is attested by the fact that they continue to
teach the admitted errors of the Bible. Our Authorized version, it is
conceded by Christian scholars, contains hundreds of errors. That the
Revisers corrected many of these errors is admitted. Yet the clergy
cling to these errors and refuse to accept a corrected text. The
principal reasons assigned for retaining the Old version instead of
adopting the New are these: 1. The English of three hundred years
ago possesses a certain charm which distinguishes the Bible from more
modern works and secures for it a greater reverence. 2. Its division
into chapters and verses renders it more convenient. 3. The adoption
of the New would expose the errors of the Old, suggest the possible
fallibility of the New, and sow the seeds of doubt. Thus expediency
prompts them to teach the acknowledged errors of man in preference
to what they claim to be the truths of God. This proves the human
character of the Bible and the insincerity of its professed exponents.

35. Its authority maintained by fraud and force. For sixteen hundred
years--from the time that Constantine, to gain a political advantage
over his rivals, became a convert to the Christian faith--corruption
and coercion have been the predominant agents in maintaining its
supremacy. Fagot, and sword, and gun, and gibbet, and rack and
thumbscrew, and every artifice that cunning and falsehood could devise,
have been used to uphold the dogma of this book's divinity. To-day,
in nearly every nation of Europe, the powers of the state are employed
to compel allegiance to it. And in this free Republic, everywhere, with
bribe and threat, the authorities are invoked to force its bloody and
filthy pages into the hands of innocent school girls to pollute with
superstition, lust, and cruelty their young and tender minds. These
deeds of violence, these pious frauds, these appeals to the civil
powers, all prove it to be the work of man and not the word of God.

36. The intelligence of the world for the most part rejects it. If
the Bible were divine the wise would be the best qualified to realize
and appreciate the fact; for while all may err the judgment of the
intelligent is better than the judgment of the ignorant. In Christendom
the ignorant nearly all believe the Bible to be the infallible word
of God, every verse of which is to be accepted literally. A more
intelligent class reject the objectionable portions of it, or give to
them a more rational and humane interpretation. Those of the highest
intelligence--the great leaders of the world in national affairs, in
the domain of literature, in science and philosophy, and in Biblical
and religious criticism--the Washingtons and Lincolns, the Franklins
and Jeffersons, the Fredericks and Napoleons, the Gambettas and
Garibaldis; the Shakespeares and Byrons, the Goethes and Schillers,
the Carlyles and Emersons, the Eliots and de Staëls; the Humboldts
and Darwins, the Huxleys and Haeckels, the Drapers and Tyndalls, the
Comtes and Spencers; the Humes and Gibbons, the Voltaires and Renans,
the Bauers and Strausses, the Paines and Ingersolls--all these reject
its divinity. A Gladstone is an anomaly.

Dr. Watson of Scotland gives frank expression to a fact of which
his fellow clergymen are fully cognizant, but which they are loth
to admit. He says: "The great, and the wise, and the mighty, are not
with us. These men, the master minds, the imperial leaders among men
are outside our most Christian church."

The ignorant suppose that the intelligent accept the Bible; because
the intelligent, dependent in a large degree upon the ignorant,
and knowing that of all passions religious prejudice and hatred are
the worst, do not care to arouse their antagonism by an unnecessary
avowal of their disbelief. This is especially true of men in public
life. But these men think; and to their intellectual friends they talk.

In his "History of the Bible," Bronson C. Keeler says: "The only men
distinguished for their learning who now believe it to be the inspired
word of God, are the men who are, either directly or indirectly, making
their living out of it." Do these learned divines themselves believe
it? Nearly every intelligent clergyman entertains and confidentially
expresses opinions regarding the Bible which he dare not proclaim
from the pulpit. But master and slave are alike growing weary--the
master of his duplicity, the slave of his burden. Emancipation for
both is approaching. To-day the clergy smile when they meet; some
day they will laugh outright, this stupendous farce will be ended,
and man will be free.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bible - I. Authenticity II. Credibility III. Morality" ***

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