Farrell Till on Christianity in America

From Farrell Till’s biography:

Over the years, I have spent many hours studying the Bible. My first efforts were directed at looking for solutions to the problem of textual inconsistencies and contradictions. I suppose my intention was to discover that there were no grounds for my skepticism, but the more I studied the Bible, the more I realized I would never resolve the problem of biblical discrepancies, because the truth is that the Bible is a collection of books written by uninspired, fallible men, and like all fallible men they made mistakes.  They probably were sincere in their belief that they were writing as representatives of God, but their sincerity didn’t make it so.  The truth was a long time in coming, but finally I realized that God had had exactly nothing to do with the authorship of the Bible.

My first instinct was to keep this discovery to myself, because religion is a sensitive subject.  If I said anything publicly, I might offend somebody, and I didn’t want to do that. At times, I wasn’t able to remain silent because of religious activities in the community that I considered infringements on the rights of others, but for the most part, I kept my views of the Bible to myself.  Gradually, my thinking about this changed, because I eventually realized that people with religious beliefs had no qualms about offending those who didn’t. Christian fundamentalists didn’t mind intruding on the privacy of others by going door to door to try to impose their religious beliefs on others.  They weren’t a bit bashful about polluting the airwaves with their doctrinal nonsense, and they certainly didn’t mind forcing their hackneyed prayers on the unreligious at public meetings that had nothing to do with religion.  Then, finally, during the Reagan administration, I became deeply concerned with the way that the Republican Party openly courted the support of Christian fundamentalists and even at times catered to their whims. I saw a danger in what was happening and decided that the outrageous claims of biblical authority and inerrancy that fundamentalists were making needed to be publicly opposed by an informed opposition.   I decided to be that opposition.


8 Responses to “Farrell Till on Christianity in America”

  1. Farrell Till on… Says:

    […] Continued here: Farrell Till on… […]

  2. Demian Says:

    1 Tell me a single contradiction. 2 Tell me what version you used, almost every single version is not accurate, as it has been erroneously translated for two thousand years. The origonal language wasn’t English you know.

    • monado Says:

      Well, for one thing Judas is said to have tripped over a stone, gashed his stomach, and died; and also to have hanged himself. That’s a pretty big contradiction.

      • Jim Says:

        And went and hanged himself – The word used in the original, here, has given rise to much discussion, whether it means that he was suffocated or strangled by his great grief, or whether he took his life by suspending himself. It is acknowledged on all hands, however, that the latter is its most usual meaning, and it is certainly the most obvious meaning. Peter says, in giving an account of the death of Jesus Act 1:18, that Judas, “falling headlong, burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.” There has been supposed to be some difficulty in reconciling these two accounts, but there is really no necessary difference. Both accounts are true. Matthew records the mode in which Judas attempted his death by hanging. Peter speaks of the result. Judas probably passed out of the temple in great haste and perturbation of mind. He sought a place where he might perpetrate this crime.
        He would not, probably, be very careful about the fitness or the means he used. In his anguish, his haste, his desire to die, he seized upon a rope and suspended himself; and it is not at all remarkable, or indeed unusual, that the rope might prove too weak and break. Falling headlong – that is, on his face – he burst asunder, and in awful horrors died – a double death, with double pains and double horrors – the reward of his aggravated guilt. The explanation here suggested will be rendered more probable if it be supposed that he hung himself near some precipitous valley. “Interpreters have suggested,” says Professor Hackett (Illustrations of Scripture, pp. 275, 276), “that Judas may have hung himself on a tree near a precipice over the valley of Hinnom, and that, the limb or rope breaking, he fell to the bottom, and was dashed to pieces by the fall. For myself, I felt, as I stood in this valley and looked up to the rocky terraces which hang over it, that the proposed explanation was a perfectly natural one. I was more than ever satisfied with it. I measured the precipitous, almost perpendicular walls in different places, and found the height to be, variously, 40, 36, 33, 30, and 25 feet. Trees still grow quite near the edge of these rocks, and, no doubt, in former times were still more numerous in the same place. A rocky pavement exists, also, at the bottom of the ledges, and hence on that account, too, a person who should fall from above would be liable to be crushed and mangled as well as killed. The traitor may have struck, in his fall, upon some pointed rock, which entered the body and caused ‘his bowels to gush out.’”

      • monado Says:

        Keep on writing that fanfic and elaborating that back-story until you have all the inconsistencies smoothed away to your satisfaction.

  3. Jim Says:

    Reply to Mr. Till’s article that tried make the Bible out to be a liar:

    NONPROPHECIES: Fulfilled.
    John 7:38: Isa 55:1.
    Luke 24:46: Ps 22:1-31; Matt 12:39-40; Luke 11:30.
    Matt 27:29: Jeremiah is not in the original Aramaic text (Ref Pleshitta).
    Matt 2:18: Jer 31:15.
    Isa 7:14: The word use is `almah which means a unmarried girl of marring age – therefore, a virgin.
    Matt 2:23: Nazarite = Nazarene (G3480 Nazoraios = “one separated”) – Numbers 6:3, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21; Judges 13:5, 7, 16:17; Lamentations 4:7; Amos 2:11, 12. Number 6:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:

    • monado Says:

      Almah is an ambiguous word like “maid” — the word for virgin is “betulah,” is it not?

      I realize that a lot of the New Testament was contrived and twisted and re-written to make it look as if it was fulfilling prophesies. It’s still fiction.

  4. Jim Says:

    Read both for yourself:
    – Original: בּתוּלה
    – Transliteration: B@thuwlah
    – Phonetic: beth-oo-law’
    – Definition:
    1. virgin
    – Origin: pass. participle of an unused root meaning to separate
    – TWOT entry: 295a
    – Part(s) of speech: Noun Feminine
    – Original: עלמה
    – Transliteration: `almah
    – Phonetic: al-maw’
    – Definition:
    1. virgin, young woman
    a. of marriageable age
    b. maid or newly married ++++ There is no instance where it can be proved that this word designates a young woman who is not a virgin. (TWOT)
    – Origin: from H5958
    – TWOT entry: 1630b
    – Part(s) of speech: Noun Feminine

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