I'm supposed to be organizing an Atheist Bible Study for my school's atheist club. I don't really know the best way to do this. Does anyone have any tips? Thanks

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Comment by Shireen on July 5, 2009 at 11:06pm
these are good ideas, thanks
Comment by Greywolf on July 5, 2009 at 5:55am
I've found that once you know your “stuff,” use the commentaries of most highly respected ultra-conservative bible scholars against them. You will be surprised how many of em' will admit to practically unsolvable “problems” with the bible here and there. Use their authority figures to your advantage.

One of the very best arguments you can possibly use in “bible study” is the fact that there isn't one single solitary “original” book of either the Old or New Testament extant. Point out that “God” and his son “God” must not have thought those books worth preserving for posterity. And so there's no arguing that such and such a passage in the “original” writing . . . There is no “original” book. Only copies of copies of copies now known to me corrupted in one way or another. How to explain that away, eh!

Use sites such as the two below to attack extra-biblical issues.

http://godisimaginary.com/

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god5.htm



Best of luck with the project!
Comment by Sara Gwin on July 5, 2009 at 3:55am
This sounds awesome! I just may have to visit Eugene more often. :)

I think it would interesting to look at the Bible through a historical lens. Perhaps a good Bart Ehrman book to guide you through certain sections? In this context, Revelations could easily be written by someone wishing an external figure (Jesus) could come back and fight against those that were persecuted by the Romans. I's also a pretty big departure from the Jesus of the gospels...

I also think it would be interesting to have a discussion on the popular stories of the Bible among Christians that guide their beliefs. For example, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is not as explicitly anti-gay as some believers like to think. The "men" that come to Lot's house are actually these mutant angel beings. And instead of allowing the townsfolk in to meet them, Lot offers his daughters to be raped. It's one of those stories that is just weird. It could just as easily be a parable for the need to be hospitable. And why is Lot rewarded for his actions? God clearly doesn't see women as more than property to be bargaining chips for men. Anyway, I hope that helps!!
Comment by Billy Deaton on July 5, 2009 at 1:23am
Shireen,

What an interesting idea, wish I were in that club. I think there's a lot of temptation to point out all the contradictions, but I think what's MORE interesting would be to try and figure out what morals certain Bible stories hope to promote and discuss whether those morals are compatible or out-of-touch with today's moral standards.
Comment by Michael Howard on July 4, 2009 at 7:59pm
Hi Shireen, just like regular old bible study. Break it down into themes, Bio-genesis, resurrection, good vs. evil etc. Here are a couple links to help you with counter balance to scripture.
http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com
http://www.evilbible.com/
Comment by Shireen on July 4, 2009 at 6:47pm
thanks for the ideas,
we're Atheists studying the Bible.
Comment by Kitty on July 4, 2009 at 2:51pm
HI!
A few questions first. Are you studying The Atheist's Bible, or are you atheists studying the bible?
If you are studying the bible, there is a nice web site set up for just such a study... The Atheist Bible Study

Another idea is to get some actual bible study materials from a church or christian book store, follow along and then poke holes in the circular reasoning, etc.

Hope this helps.

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