Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Judges: Part 1


Judges isn’t very long, but I found a lot worth discussing, so I’ve broken it into two parts.
At the beginning, the men of Judah killed a king. They cut off his thumbs and big toes, so I assume he died of infection. That is a terrible way to die. Of course, Judges continues where Joshua left off, so their is a lot of death and killing. It’s a fairly good story, but I can’t help but think that it’s written from the bad guy’s perspective.
It talks about the battles that the Isrealites fought while taking their own land tribe by tribe. Apparently, God could help the Israelites defeat the people in the hills, but he couldn’t help them defeat the people of the plains because…their chariots were fitted with iron. I don’t know why that matters, but apparently it does.
After it is finished talking about the battles, it mentions that the Canaanites weren’t completely driven out of the land. God promised Moses that he would drive out the Canaanites so that the Israelites could live in their land, but Judges says that the Canaanites weren’t driven out of the land completely. First God says that he’ll drive them out, then it’s said that the Israelites weren’t able to drive them out. Why are the Israelites to blame when God said that he’d do it? In judges, God says that he said he will not drive the Canaanites out. When did he say this? It looks to me as though he’s lying. This is another contradiction in the Bible.
Also, we have another angel sighting. I’m still wondering how they know that these are angels. Is it just because they say they are? It seems to just be assumed.
Earlier, with Moses and Joshua, God tried to ensure that the people would not serve other gods, and the Israelites set up their own protections to ensure the continued worship of Yahweh, but it still only took one generation for people to begin worshiping other gods? They began worshiping Baal and others according to Judges. If Yahweh is so powerful, shouldn’t he have been able to prevent this? Or is Baal more powerful? God’s response was to help the Israelites’ enemies defeat, kill, and enslave them. But that’s okay because he sent judges to save them (that is, to convince them to go back to worshiping Yahweh alone). So far, Judges is a curious book. It seems to be off in its own little world as far as the Old Testament is concerned. It doesn’t seem to follow the other stories very well.
Because he feels betrayed, God says that he will no longer drive the other nations out of the Promised Land, but he didn’t seem to be doing that anyway. After all, it’s been a whole generation since the Israelites apparently took the land.
Apparently marrying non-Israelite women and worshiping gods other than Yahweh is evil to Yahweh. I don’t see how this counts as evil, but I’m also skeptical of the very existence of so-called evil. It seems as though they’ve done other evil, but it is unclear what this evil is.
The people keep calling to Yahweh for help, so clearly they still see Yahweh as the most powerful god. So basically God is throwing a hissy fit because he isn’t the only god they’re worshiping. Keep in mind this was a time when most people believed that there were many gods and it was perfectly acceptable to worship different gods for different tasks. And, if Yahweh is so mad at the Israelites, why does he keep sending them help when they ask? Why not just give up on them? After all, he seems to find something wrong with them fairly regularly, and they clearly frustrate him. If they are such a lost cause, why bother?
God was now able to help the Israelites defeat the Canaanites despite their chariots fitted with iron. Why can he now help them, but couldn’t before?
If a spike is driven into someone’s temple, and it goes into the ground, you don’t really need to add that they died. That bit’s kind of obvious. But the Bible does this a lot. It would be far easier to read without the unnecessary bits and repetitions.
Apparently the stars fought Sisera. It doesn’t say how, or why, but they did. The song sang by Deborah kind of sounds like she believed that the gods were battling against each other, and her God won. And the human battle was a mere representation of the battle fought by the gods.

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6 responses to “Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Judges: Part 1

  • Scott Kaelen

    Every time I read part of the Bible (and I usually go for the King James version) my inner editor spontaneously combusts. Really, whoever wrote that tripe obviously never clued themselves up about scenes and sequences, tightening grammar, word conservation and – more importantly – repetition and redundancy.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      There seems to be two types of Bibles. Ones that try to stick as close to the original translation and those that try to be more poetic. I don’t think many people enjoy reading the King James. I’m using the NIV, which is written for readability.

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      • Scott Kaelen

        The problem is that with each modernised rewrite the Bible loses something from the previous version. Unfortunately for us atheists each rewrite makes things worse.

        Previous ambiguity is softened up, given a modern-tolerance spin to attract more people. Modern versions have a more ‘lowerst common denominator’ vibe to them, as opposed to the much older versions that have a more ‘dictatorial propaganda’ edge to them.

        Many of the most ridiculous parts have been reworded to blur or pretty-up all the murders, mutilations, rapes, incest, etc.

        In the KJV there are dots that when connected really do make the Christian/Hebrew deity out to be a total hypocrite. Again, sadly, much has been lost in modernised translation.

        I think it was Isaac Asimov who said something like, “For absolute proof that God does not exist, one need look no further than the Bible itself.”

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Yeah. If I could read the original Greek, I would go that route. Unfortunately, my ancient Greek isn’t quite up to the task.

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          • Scott Kaelen

            Same here, sadly. But I make sure to check several different sources whenever I study a section of the KJV. I compare it to modern versions, and I check to make sure I’m not misinterpreting things. I’ve done a few Bible translations on my blog you might find interesting (and entertaining). 🙂
            Most god-fearers wouldn’t know what was in front of them if they ever bothered honestly trying to understand their book.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            I’ll definitely be checking it out :). And very true, though they are good at interpreting what they read as what they want to read (or what they’ve been told it means) and not realizing it.

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