Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Exodus: Part 3


At this point the Israelites are travelling. They have escaped the Egyptians and are travelling to the Canaanite land.
At one point the Israelites look up and see the glory of the lord. What is “the glory of the lord”? There’s no explanation as to what they’re looking at and why it matters.
The people are given very clear instructions about how they will survive. They are told to go out and collect the magic bread to eat. They can only collect so much of it. They are also told not to save any. Why did Moses get angry because some of the people saved their bread? Isn’t it their loss when it goes bad? Later, they are told that they must save some because none will form on the Sabbath day. Why did Moses get reprimanded because some people are forgetful? It hardly seems like a big deal. They had to go out every other day and weren’t allowed to save any. One day the rules change. Who wouldn’t be likely to forget?
The length of time that it took the Israelites to get to the Canaanite land makes no sense. Why did it take 40 years to get to the land of Canaan? It didn’t take Joseph very long to get to Egypt from Canaan. At that rate they could have walked around the Earth and ended up back in Egypt…several times.
Then the Israelites are attacked. This event also makes little sense. So God sent the Israelites to the Canaanite lands the long way so that they would not get scared back to Egypt by an attack, but when an attack comes Moses sends Joshua to fight the attackers off while he stands on a rock with his hands in the air? Why didn’t they just do that to start with? Surely the Israelites wouldn’t run back to Egypt after watching one man defeat an army.
How did Jethro hear about what God had done for Moses? Jethro says “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods.” Did Jethro doubt this before? And we once again see evidence of polytheistic beliefs among the Hebrew people.
We later see more evidence of God’s lack of omnipresence. The Israelites are said to have ate in the presence of God. This means that it is possible to not eat in the presence of God. So he’s not always there.
Thousands of Israelites left Egypt. We know this because Moses needed help managing all the issues. He has people who handle thousands. How did that work? Logistically that would have been a nightmare.
Why did God choose the Israelites over all others? What was so special about them? They seemed to just annoy God.
God makes some odd rules along the way. Why would God decree that anyone who touches the mountain should die? Why is he concerned about animals touching it?
All of the Israelites met God. They saw the smoke and heard his voice, but Moses is told to not let the people near him. It sounds like he’s saying “I dare you.” It also goes against the belief that nobody has ever seen God. Clearly thousands have. At least, they have if the Bible is true.
How is it moral to punish a child for their parent’s actions? Or their grandparent’s and great-grandparent’s? How is it moral to reward thousands for one person’s love? How does that even make sense. If one parent is godly and the other angers God, what happens to the child?
The people already heard God, but they were afraid that they would die if they heard God. Moses response was that they were being tested and that God meant to put fear in them so they wouldn’t sin. How is it moral to scare somebody into obeying you? Isn’t that called bullying? If he doesn’t want the Israelites to sin, why doesn’t God try a better method? Like reasoning? And what is with all the tests? How paranoid is God?
A good portion of Exodus is given over to laws. Many of the laws are odd. “Do not make any gods to be beside me.” So people create gods then? “And do not go up to my alter on steps or your private parts might be exposed.” What? Seriously, what? Is God 12? “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.” Right…that seems logical. God seems to really like killing though. He seems to think a lot is deserving of the death penalty. And slaves (at least the male ones) seem to have more rights than women. So many of these laws go counter to today’s moral standards. They fit perfectly into a historical perspective, but they challenge the view that God’s law never changes and God is always the same. Either God has changed, our society has gone so far from God’s path that even the most fundamentalist of Christians or Orthodox of Jews is screwed, or there is no god. “Do not allow a sorceress to live.” But magicians are okay. And are these just Israelite sorceresses or all sorceresses? Seriously, magic was fine a little while ago, what’s wrong with sorceresses? “Whoever sacrifices to any other god than the lord must be destroyed.” This only applies to those who follow this god…right? It doesn’t apply to none Israelites (the being destroyed, not the doing the destroying)? “You must give me the first born of your sons.” In what sense? Do they have to sacrifice them? Or are they supposed to become priests?
Some of God’s laws make the Republicans look bad. “Do not show favoritism to a poor person.” That parts easy for them. But then it says “Do not deny justice to your poor people.” At least these laws show some real morality.
God goes on to say “Be careful to do everything that I have said to you.” We definitely don’t follow half of these laws today. Luckily they only applied to the Israelites. But, if someone believes that the Bible is the literal word of God, shouldn’t they make sure to follow all of these laws? “Do not invoke the names of other gods.” More polytheism. Clearly the Israelites were worshiping other gods. Why would God care if they didn’t exist?
Why does God want to wipe out the other Hebrews? The genealogy says that they are as much decedents of Abraham as the Israelites. And why do they worship other gods? Didn’t their parents pass down the same religious beliefs as the Israelite’s parents?
“I will take away sickness from your land and none shall miscarry or be barren among you.” This is incredibly easy to falsify. This is all that is needed to say that this God is a liar.
“Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.” So they can talk to the other gods?
At one point it talks about Moses and the elders going up and seeing God. It talks about Gods feet. They ate and drank with God. God wrote the ten commandments. God is given very human features.
This God would be very easy to prove.This is a very physical God. This God has physical features. And the people can talk to this God. It sounds like the other gods are the same. This means that they can be tested for and proven to exist. It also means that it makes more sense to be an atheist until the gods show themselves than it does to be a theist until the gods are disproven.

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10 responses to “Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Exodus: Part 3

  • rajeevjsebastian

    You wrote “This God would be very easy to prove.This is a very physical God. This God has physical features. And the people can talk to this God. It sounds like the other gods are the same.”

    There is a tension here. For some reason the writers of this book, seem to be able to directly talk to god and indeed, have dinner and a nice chat with him. Not just once or twice, but regularly and frequently. This is also seen in many other books and religious texts from ancient times.

    In modern times, most theists do not report such experiences at all, rather they talk about “feelings” and “faith” and “beliefs” and so on, rather than concrete experiences.

    Julian Jaynes’ theory of the bicameral mind in his book The Origin of Consciousness, tackles this issue very nicely. He came up with a simple theory with vast consequences: that humans in antiquity did not have the same mentality as we do today. They did experience these “gods” and it felt quite real to them. But we lost this tendency as we continued to develop our current subjective consciousness.

    As for why this was, and what are the vast implications of the theory, I strongly recommend the book itself (if you haven’t done so already)

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  • Arkenaten

    I loved this! Made me smile.

    Exactly how a lay person would read it. And more to the point, it shows that most religious people more than likely have not!

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  • Johnny Ojanpera

    You made some good points. A word of caution: any time you address a religious text in the manner of its contradictions, you must know that these contradictions are by design. There is a counter-point to every point, and a clever excuse or explanation for every discrepancy. The most glaring example of god changing is the new testament. Why wasn’t his law perfect to begin with? Why wasn’t murder and bigotry good enough? It is because love is a more lucrative message, but the benefit of having the old law is that christians can defend their bigotry with it. Religion has little to do with faith, and more to do with money; it always has. The bible accidentally gives that up in the crucifixion story. The priests/government were losing profits because of him, so they killed him. It was a great reset button. There is really no way to have a rational argument with a person who believes such irrational things. Your position seems more agnostic than atheist. You are still asking questions of a god you don’t believe in, and attempting to disprove something that does not exist. There is much freedom in true atheism; so much that these arguments do not matter. There is no proof in the bible. It is merely a bad novel. Don’t let religious people drive you crazy. They are the ones living in a fantasy world with a magical wizard at their disposal.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      My point has nothing to do with having these questions answered. People have tried to answer them, but none of their answers have been satisfactory.
      The point is: I’m reading the Bible as any lay person would, but from a non-belief stand point. I’m trying to show why saying “if you’d just read the bible you’d believe” is a moot point. Sadly, people seem to keep missing that bit, which I’ve written in a few of these posts.
      I don’t know what you mean by a “true atheism.” If you believe in gods, you’re a theist. If you don’t, you’re an atheist. Ergo I’m an atheist. Agnosticism has nothing to do with belief and everything to do with knowledge. Do I know that there are no gods? No. So I’m an agnostic atheist. Very few people would be willing to say they know whether or not a god exists, so most of us are agnostic in our beliefs. I doubt there are any true gnostics out there.

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      • Johnny Ojanpera

        I understand. Please know that I am not trying to find holes in your personal belief system. We all define and perceive things differently and I respect your stance. I have also been at it for quite a few more years, so I am a bit more secure in what I choose to cut out of my life, or what I choose not to believe. These definitions don’t really matter at the end of the day, and they only become more convoluted as time moves on.

        For me personally, religion was a way of life until I was old enough to choose for myself. It caused me much pain and confusion, and never once was I offered any substantial evidence that any of it applied to real life, or that it enriched life in any way beyond a social club. When I finally realized that it didn’t fit no matter how hard I searched, I was liberated from the guilt and oppression that inevitably comes along with belief in any subjective, invisible deity. If there is a god, I don’t care. Men have used the god concept to manipulate people for milenia, and it has not advanced human kind yet. It has only caused war and internal strife. I appreciate your work on this blog, and I hope to have more intelligent discourse in the future. We need voices of opposition to an otherwise disgusting system of belief in vapor. 🙂

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  • 2611rl

    Hi wanted to comment on one particular thing that you said. Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years because they disobeyed God by not entering into the promised land (the land of Canaan) the day He called them to go. Numbers Chapters 13-14. Israel had seen the power of God when God delivered them out of Egypt (Exodus 12). I Corinthians 5:7. Israel got delivered out of Egypt by the Passover blood. Exodus 12: 40-41. God had spoken to Abraham in Genesis 15:13 that He would deliver Israel after 400 years of slavery. Compare Genesis 15:13 to Exodus 12:40-41. Israel had seen God’s power to save, and deliver them while in Egypt. Deuteronomy 4:34 says “what God is there among us who could deliver one nation out of another nation?” God delivered Israel out of the first world empire and nation, which was Egypt.

    If God could do this, could He not bring Israel into the Land of Canaan where there were 10 nations greater and stronger than them? Israel became afraid and limited God’s power. Psalms 78:41-43. Matthew 19:26. With God all things really are possible, but you have to believe in it. It looks like you have a lot of issues and concerns and I would love to continue a discussion with you. My email is prophetbob@outlook.com

    Thank you for looking at my blog as well.. I try not to be judgemental and would like to discuss thing and share ideas.. I wanted to offer scriptural facts to you about some of what you said. I want to close with this: God’s people today are saved by the Blood of Jesus who has cleansed me and all others who accept HIm as savior from sin. I Corinthians 5:7. Like Joshua and Caleb who moved on into the Promised Land, I also have progressed or grown in the faith in Jesus. Numbers Chapters 13 & 14. The book of Joshua.

    Please write me. Bob

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    • hessianwithteeth

      If all things are possible with God, why are the Israelites able to do anything that limits his power? Why is belief necessary?

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      • 2611rl

        1st, GOD is the one who delivered Israel out of Egypt. Who created the 10 plagues in Egypt in Exodus? Was it not Jehovah God? What God asks man to do is obey HIm. The last plague of the 10 that saved Israel; God asked Israel to put the blood of an unblemished lamb on the doorpost. Israel obeyed God and the angel of death sent by God passed over them. Here’s the thing, Israel believed God by faith, and God saved the firstborn of Israel. The Egyptians however, did not put the blood on their doorposts, and their firstborn died. This last plague is a type of Christ. I Corinthians 5:7. Christ is our Passover. Israel like Christians today, believed God by faith and are saved. The Egyptians (they represent unbelievers ) did not believe God and died. Belief or faith is our access to God. You have to believe in something and you do so whether you acknowledge this or not. Belief in Christ or trusting in Christ gives us access to God Scripture The Just Shall live by faith, (Habakkuk 2:4-5)–He also had questions about God, by the way. . See also Romans 4:5-8 Galatians 3:11. Bob

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  • thelogicalmormon

    You’ve made some astute observations as well as some obvious mistakes in your analysis of Exodus. Understanding the traits and character of God is an important part of being Christian. Be careful, when analyzing the Bible that you are reconciling it to itself as opposed to a specific sect’s interpretation of it. You may find that in disproving God, you merely disprove one errant perspective of God, and actually become that much closer to a true understanding.

    Additionally, to compare the laws of the Old Testament to the teachings of Christianity is misguided. It was a lesser, preparatory form of worship, to be substantially replaced by the doctrine that Christ gave in the New Testament. The Old Testament details religion for a society. The New Testament reveals religion for the individual.

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  • Why I Can't Agree With the Bible: Exodus: Part 3 | Christians Anonymous

    […] Source: Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Exodus: Part 3 […]

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