ave you read the Bible?
From cover to cover? From Genesis to Revelation?
It would seem that few of us have.
Not even devout Christians, or those you’d think would be required to read the whole Bible — like a nun who, when browsing through a copy of When God Speaks for Himself burst out, horrified:
“That’s not true!
Those verses aren’t in the Bible!”
To prove it, she opened the Bible — only to discover that she was wrong.
How can this be?
It turns out that what most people “know” about God, Jesus and what the Bible says is the abridged, saccharine version of the “Word of God.”
No wonder, then, that most Christians are astonished to learn that, when “God speaks for himself,” he uses words you’ll never hear in church or Sunday School:
•Gruesome, bloodthirsty massacres ordered by God — Bible passages that will make your stomach churn;
•Bible passages that say the exact opposite of another Bible passage, sometimes in two consecutive verses!
•Bible passages that contradict what you “know”: Jesus was born in Bethlehem — wasn’t he? (Page 35). And he gave his Sermon on the Mount on the mount, right? (Page 13). And of course David killed Goliath with a slingshot (didn’t he? — see page 40);
•Obvious inconsistencies about the Virgin Birth, Original Sin, and other central tenets of Christianity — to which the churches’ only possible answer is: “have faith”;
•Simple questions about such Bible favorites as the Creation, the Flood and Noah’s Ark that make Cinderella and The Three Little Pigs seem far more realistic;
Plus: extracts from official church documents, some kept hidden for centuries, including the actual words of the Inquisition’s reasoning and verdict on Galileo; a collection of pointed and often hilarious quotes and comments from skeptics and believers from all over the world…and much more.
In sum, in When God Speaks for Himself you’ll find the answers to dozens of questions you simply would not have been allowed to ask in church or Sunday School.
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Mark Tier, an Australian based in Hong Kong, started writing when he was 14—and hasn’t stopped since.