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Few people ever bother to read the Christian bible from page 1 to the end. Believers in the Christian mythologies are spoon-fed bits and pieces of the myths in accord to whatever their priests wish; and even then the "true meanings" of the writings are "interpreted" for the sheep.

David Voas has written an extremely valuable walk-through of the New Testament of the Christian bible as seen through the eyes of James -- the bother of Jesus. Believers in the Christian mythologies will find this work as valuable as the better educated.

This work isn't a detailed examination into the contradictions and blatant scientific blunders on may find in the Christian Bible. Rather it provides commentary on what the mostly anonymous authors of the Christian Bible were thinking of and talking about, describing the stage upon which the apostles and Jesus walked.

Here I will provide the forward to the book and then extracts from every chapter of the book. WARNING: Reading unauthorized sections of the Bible may violate the rules of your religion. Check with your minister, priest, or Bishop before you read further!

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"The Bad News Bible: The New Testament" by David Voas

This new book aims to make the least-read best-seller readable. Its effort to make the "good book" a good read is a real revelation.

Modern Christianity has been described as the ultimate feel-good religion, but reading the New Testament can be an alarming experience; the gospels are far from being good news for the modern reader. The words of Jesus (or his ghost writers) specifically deny much of Sunday School theology, and only the most selective quotations can give anyone confidence in salvation.

Jesus doesn't live up to his Good Shepherd reputation. The promise of a heavenly afterlife comes from Paul, whose views on sex, women, and the family do little for his credibility. Judgement Day could come at any moment.

Excerpting from the King James Version, David Voas's take on the New Testament presents "the word", warts and all. Mixing quotations and narrative, Voas systematically covers every chapter of each book of the gospels. The result is a critical yet entertaining discussion that provides everything the educated adult always suspected about the scriptures but was afraid to ask.

David Voas (La Luz, NM) is professor in the Division of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at New Mexico State University.

209 pages Publication date: 21st September, 1995

ISBN 0-87975-968-2

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Extract from "The Bad News Bible: The New Testament" by David Vaos

~*~ Matthew ~*~

Admittedly, no one I knew ever mentioned a virgin birth -- not even Paul, and he probably wished that everbody could have had one.

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, god is with us. Calling him Jesus must have been a mistake.

Our father which are in heaven, hallowed be thy name. The kingdom come. They will be done in Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread... First we appeal for judgement day to arive ('thy kingdom come') and then we ask for something to eat while we wait.

But when they persecute you in this city, flee uye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not jhave gone over the cities of Israel, ttill the son of man be come. The messiah would usher in the devine kingdom, in other words before they had even finished their travels. The world is such a disappointment: It simply refuses to end on schedule.

Think not that I am come to bring peace on Earth; I came not to send peace but to send the sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man's foes shall be they of his own household.

...so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the Earth. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but the period he spent in the tomb (Friday evening to Sunday morning) doesn't add up to that.

But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brothern? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples and said, Behold my mother and my brethern! For my part, I wasn't offended, but my mother was hurt and anxious. Fringe religious activities have a way of scaring parents.

The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. You'll have to excuse his botanical blind spots; I know that the mustard plant isn't a tree, let alone a large one, but we grew up in a town.

Jesus asked if he had made himself clear, and they said Yea, lord, you bet.

I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. When she still didn't give up, he tried racial abuse (the old pearls- before-swine argument) It is not ment to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, truth, lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table.

Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the son of man coming in his kingdom.

Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. The deciples were much impressed by his fast- acting herbicidal powers.

Even if my brother was inaugurating a new covenant (or testament) between god and the world, these were incredible things to say. He was a Jewish preacher, after all. Admittedly he wasn't rigorous about dietary restrictions, but the whole foundation of the law in this area is that you don't consume the life blood of any creature. The idea of drinking it would have been repellent to his deciples, and that's without even consideriung symbolic cannibalism.

Wanting to whitewash the Romans, Matthew had Jews take the blame. It was a nasty trick -- one that did more harm than he could ever have imagined.

And the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. They must have kept it quiet, because no one else mentions the living dead walking the streets.


~*~ Mark ~*~

Something else they added was the story of a virgin giving birth in Bethlehem; that wasn't one that Mark had come across, it seems.

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. They were rather offensive themselves; calling him the son of Mary (rather than of his father) carries a clear suggestion of illegitimacy.

According to Mark they were to take nothing except a cloak, footwear, and a staff (Matthew improved the story by excluding even sandals and staves.)

There are some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of god come with power. Either he was wrong, or some very old people are still waiting.

Jesus said unto him, why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, god.

Mark often told his stories with only half Matthew's enthusiasm. Remember the two blind mmen who had their sight restored outside Jericho? Mark doesn't; he only mentions one. Or how about the donkeys borrowed for the entrance into Jerusalem? I gather from Mark they made do with just one. According to him, in fact, they arrived too late to do anything at the temple; the ejection of the money-changers had to wait a day.

Before the cock crow twice, thou shall deny me thrice. Matthew removed the 'twice,' which I personally this is a shame.

The next day was the sabbath, but the following morning Mary Magdalene went with two other women (Matthew, I know, said it was only one) to put sweet-smelling oil on the body.

~*~ Luke ~*~

He rather undermines his credibility, unfortunately, by specifying that the census took place during the rule of a particular governer -- one who didn't take charge until a decade after Jesus appeared.

Unfortunately he didn't get together with Matthew on this, and so they ended up with irreconcilable lists. Not even the name of Joseph's father is the same. Luke traces the line all the way back through Seth which was the son of Adam, which was the son of god. From son of god to son of god in 75 generations.

Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of god. Anyway goodbuys are so upsetting.

Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him.

He was a pain to have around the house, but I was secretly delighted by his distate for family values.

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothern, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he can not be my disciple.

Not only the number of angels, but of women too, increased from earlier accounts. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

~*~ John ~*~

Can Jesus be the only son, if all believers might become god's children? I suppose they'll just be adopted. It was also a surprise to hear that, No man hath seen god at any time. Moses, to name but one, had seemed so certain.

Everybody else reports this incident (casting out the money-changers) as happening [toward] the end, not the beginning, of his career, but for all I know it was a regular feature of his visits to Jerusalrem.

I should mention that whoever wrote this particular version of my brother's life was even more concerned than the others to show traditional Jews in a bad light. I have no objection to sectarian controversy, but exaggeration and abuse is dangerous. To provide a sample: And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him... the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but had said that god was his father, making himself equal with god.

If I bear witness iof myself, my witness is not true.

Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying said, of a truth this is the prophet. Others said, this is the Christ. But some said, shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, that Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? They were quite right, of course, and in due time appropriate adjustments were made to the official biography.

The men wandered off, leaving Mary weeping at the tomb. When she looked in, however, she saw two angels sitting where the body had been laid.

Contrary to Jesus's promise, the kingdom of god hadn't arived in the lifetime of his companions. To sidestep the embarrassment, my friends suggested that there had been a misunderstanding; pof his beloved deciple, Jesus said unto him, He shall not die; but if I will that he tarry til I come, what is that to thee? Hope that clears things up.

~*~ The Acts of the Apostles ~*~

That's thirty-nine days longer than he previously told us; if he had written a trhird volume, Jesus might never have made it back to heaven at all.

Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jeursalem -- except Matthew, I suppose.

All that believed were together, and had all things in common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. The leadership would come to need quite a lot, but at this stage everyone was trying to be a good communist.

The god of our gfathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

And in these days came prophets from Jerusalemunto Antioch. One of them, Agabus, predicted great famine throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. At least if a moderate shortage in Judaea fufils the prophecy. The faithful sent food relief to their mother coumntry.

Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. I enjoy miraculous escapes as much as the next man, but I do fault god for not protecting the innocent from reprisals.

And certain men which came down from Judaea taughter the brethern, and said, except ye be circumsized after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. So began the great penile fashion debate.

God had given Abraham instructions about the sort of penis he liked to see, and that was that.

Being intellectually curious, his audience invited him to address the council in a more formal setting. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) Then Paul stood in tghe midst of Mars' hill and said,

Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an alter with this instcription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is lord of heaven and Earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on alkl the face of the Earth.

This god is not hard to find, For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring. For a long time it didn't matter if you didn't look; this ignorance god winked at. Now, however, he orders people everywhere to repent, because he has scheduled a day of judgement. He has alco chosen a judge, reinforcing that choice by raising him from the dead.

And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, we will hear thee again in this matter. So Paul departed from among them, never to return. I find that a shame, myself. Debating free-thinkers in Athens was perhaps less heroic than braving persecution elsewhere, and the number of converts might have been disappointing, but doctrine can always benefit from rational inquiry.

Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people. In fact he was a Roman citizen, which was even more impressive, but once again he chose not to advertise it.

Not only was he a Jew, Paul said in his own defense, but he had been brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, the great Rabbi. He had been zealous in his persecuting heretics -- the partisans of Jesus -- until his revelation on the road to Damascus. Incidentally, he admitted that his companions on that occsaion heard not the voice of him that spake to me; had they been contradicting the original story that they did hear a voice?

~*~ Romans ~*~

How can god blame people when all their actions are subject to his will? Not having much of an answer, Paul could only abuse the questioners as imputent pups.

O man, who art thou that repliest against god? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou mnade me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, the same lump to make one vessel unto honous, and other unto dishonour?

Quite so: the potter can do what he likes with his pots. What he can't do is blame them for being imperfect, or for being used as chamber-pots.

...mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

~*~ I Corinthians ~*~

...it pleased god by the foolishmess of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

The work on judgement day is being delicated right down the line; first god was on the job, then Jesus, and now we have responsibility. Paul even asked Know yhe not that we shall judge angels? No, and I imagine that it might come as a surprise to our friends in white.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of god? Be not deceived: neither fornicators , not idolators, nor adulteraters, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, not thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of god. So let's see: out of ten ways to end in in god's bad books, four originate below the belt, three concern property, and not one involves violence. That might just suit someone who's physically brave but sexually insecure.

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of matrimony.

But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. Probably.

...he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. Paul never did get the hang of family values.

...to us there is but one god, the father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and (and?) one lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. [How many gods again? Count them once more.]

I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is god.

For a man indeed ought niot to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of god: the the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

Let your women be silent in the churches: for it is not permitte unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for woman to speak in the church.

~*~ II Corinthians ~*~

After further pokes and prode, he closed with a blessing that helped to produce the idea of the trinity, the three-in-one god: The grace of the lord Jesus Christ, and the love of god, and the communion of the holy ghost, be with you all. Amen.

~*~ Gelatians ~*~

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.

~*~ Ephesiand ~*~

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Domestic slavery makes life so much easier.

~*~ I Timothy ~*~

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and chariry and holiness with sobriety. Delighted to hear it.

~*~ Titus ~*~

No doubt we'll still be arguing when my brother returns.

~*~ Hebrews ~*~

Sometimes the analysis hardlyh makes sense; if we're supposed to think about Moses running away after killing the Egyptian overseer, for example, it contradicts scripture to say that By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king.

~*~ James ~*~

This letter is supposed to be from me. Although I'd go along with most of these exhortations, I'm afraid I don't remember writing them. Unless my memory is failing the epistle is a forgery (or as we say to be polite, a pseudonymous work) but I'll take credit (and blame) for it anyway.

Don't you know that the friendship of the world is enmith with god? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of god. I must have been drunk when I said that -- or more likely hungover.

Ye have heard of the patience of Job (he complained non-stop, if truth be told.

I close by saying that if anyone returned a believer who had strayed back to the fold (something the last letter declaired to be impossible, you might recall) he shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. It's confusing, the way you can have eternal life one day, lose it the next, and then get it back again. Some people must pop up and down like fleas in a kennel.

~*~ II Peter ~*~

I don't know who wrote this letter, but it wasn't Peter. For a start, he wouldn't have called Jesus 'our god and savior,' as much as he loved him. [How many gods were there again?]

There's a certain irony in hearing an imposter say that we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and comong of our lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

~*~ Revelation ~*~

And I will kill her children with death -- usually the best method -- and all the churches shall know that ...I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (He'll give it to your children, too.)

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: 144,000. The number seemed comfortably large at the time, but I'm beginning to have second thoughts. The end is constantly being put off, while the movememt, not to mention the population, continues to grow; we're going to have a lot of irate customers when they discover how much we've overbooked.

These are they which were not defiled with woman; for they are virgins. This was the worse news yet. It was bad enough that merely a select few would be joining Jesus, and now I discover that only male virgins are eligible.

John, I gathered, just wanted everything to be finished. When Jesus repeated Surely I come quickly, he replied, Amen. Even so, come, lord Jesus. I won't try to guess why there's been such a delay, but it looks like good news to me.

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