John W Loftus the editor of this excellent anthology is an atheist author who has earned three master's degrees from Lincoln Christian Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Loftus, a former student of noted Christian apologist William Lane Craig, got some of the biggest names in the field to contribute to this book, which represents a critical analysis of the very idea of miracles or more importantly if they are good enough to base faith on.

The main point in the book is that only evidence should form our beliefs.  Possibilities then are nothing in the face of evidence.  Probabilities count and possibilities do not count at all.  A miracle being possible does not give us grounds for saying it is worthy of belief.  And belief is one thing.  Faith is another.  Faith requires commitment and is more than just intellectual assent.  The religion clearly goes too far. It uses the miracle of Jesus being supposedly alive to urge us to put him above all and commit to him even unto the shedding of blood.

Christianity can argue that the gospels may be based on evidence but it has to admit they might be hearsay.  If God raised Jesus that may be possible.  But the Church is left with no right to discriminate against anybody who thinks God sent aliens to do it or that false memories were planted in Jesus and others to think that he had been crucified.  The gospels say nothing about Jesus reviving in the tomb.  They just give the bald statements that he died and was buried and appeared saying he had been raised.  Would believers like him as much if it turned out that something bizarre had to be done to the body to raise it? Witches?  Touched by Elisha's bones?  Plus the body could have been stolen and still raised and so it is suspicious trickery how the gospels are so interested in people knowing the tomb was empty.  The gospels only briefly describe the burial but it is not a strict forensic account and there is room for people making it look like they buried Jesus.  He could have been sneaked out before they rolled the stone back. 

Anyway on Sunday morning, the gospels had to have a tale where an angel rolls back the stone so people could peer in and see that the body was absent.  Worse, Matthew has the tomb being opened and the guards run off meaning the body could have been taken then.  There was nobody about.  It is not a good story at all.  And Jesus could have been a ghost who was earthbound and thought he still had his body.  The point is Christianity is based on guesses not evidence.  The religion lies that it has a God who loves truth and science and evidence.


The book says that God is defined as a being that you have no real experiential evidence for his existence. He is spirit so he cannot be heard or touched. "Nor does anybody see God do a miracle either." In other words you don't see who is doing it and why or how - you just see an effect.

Those who report an experience of God are really suggesting that God planted a feeling in them.  First they do not have the right to tell God what he has done.  Second feelings deceive.  As God cannot be heard or touched he has to give you a simulation of those experiences so you never hear or touch God at all.  It is all smoke and mirrors.

Thomas Paine is quoted, "Revelation [from God] when applied to religion, means something communicated immediately from God to man. It is revelation to the first person only, an hearsay to every other, and, consequently, they are not obliged to believe it. It is a contradiction in terms and ideas to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication."

Against Elisha getting bears to attack children - The bears in the story are actually Syrian brown bears and they are small and shy and would not be near those children for their home as the mountains. These bears then if they were away from home were hungry and that was why they were aggressive.

The Bible speaks of the miracle of the flood. But lots of other miracles are implied. For example, take how such a flood would make the world spin more so the ark of Noah would not have survived the turbulent and insane waves that would result. And all that water would have taken the salt out of the oceans. The salt came from the oceans just being the oceans instead of disappearing and coming back when the flood settled - there being no flood - period.

Nothing in the Bible speaks of female angels.

Jesus says angels do not marry and are not given in marriage. This is because angels are married to God in a sense.

When Jesus ascended he would have died the higher he went up. I would add that the Christian answer which is that he went up on a cloud only means that he used symbolism to go. The cloud is an image of God taking Jesus away. The text does not say the cloud was not real or that it was a stand-in for God. A cloud transporting you made sense in those days.

There are several clues that people thought Paul had a mental problem. He even admitted to speaking like a man deranged. He admitted to worrying that people were thinking that he had an unsound mind.

It is pointed out that the New Testament writers used prophecies out of context to argue that Jesus was predicted. They fabricated prophecies. They even rewrote them to retrofit them - this was to get them to match Jesus's life. Far fetched interpretations were used. The book says you would need to see their motives to accuse them of lying and says their techniques were common among Jewish teachers at the time. "The Christian authors were not violating what we would call the professional standards of their day."

I wish to say, writers can and did use prophecies that way. The idea was that God's word gave lessons in 500 BC that could help and speak to parallel situations in 30 AD. This was treating the Bible as a guide but was never meant to be seen as actual prophecies of the the current situation. The Jews however did have some prophecies that the Bible did not say were fulfilled yet that they speculated were directly predicting their day but they did not use far fetched interpretations or alter the text or retrofit. The New Testament writers violated Jesus' own command that the Jewish Bible text must be absolutely respected even to the smallest iota.

The New Testament never claimed to care about the current culture. In fact it condemns Jewish and Pagan scholarship.

The New Testament writers were deliberate frauds trying to deceive those who had not the time or the money to check the sources of the prophecies.

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