I’m often rebuked with Bible verses that try to make critical thinking itself appear evil or unreasonable.
I recently decided to respond to a Christian posting these verses to my channel by “translating” them, in plain English, to say what they actually mean (which is pretty much always a fallacious philosophical argument).
The results have been fun. One of my subscribers joined in, too. Which made me think: maybe people should respond this way generally to bad Bible verses.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.
John 4:1-6 translated:
Guys, don’t believe everything you hear: test things you hear to see if they are from God, because there are many people out there who say false things. Here’s how you know if something is true: everybody who says [OUR RELIGION] is true is from God, and everybody who DOESN’T say [OUR RELIGION] is true is not from God. People who say [OUR RELIGION] is wrong are EVIL. But don’t worry: you are from God and will overcome them, because you are a member of [OUR RELIGION] and are greater than those “worldly” people who don’t believe in it. They are so deluded and lost and just delude each other. We are so much better than those poor deluded losers.
Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
Proverbs 26:24-26 translated:
If someone seems to make a cogent argument that disagrees with [OUR RELIGION], just tell yourself that he has hate in his heart and is deceitful. That will make you feel better. You know what, let’s just go ahead and say he has *seven abominations* in his heart. That makes him sound even more evil. And don’t forget that he is deceptive and hateful, too, in case you already forgot I said that. Repeating it makes it seem more true. Oh yeah, and he’s wicked. And his wickedness is going to be exposed in some assembly.
There. I hope you are convinced now that you shouldn’t listen to anyone who disagrees with [OUR RELIGION]. ESPECIALLY if his arguments are convincing. That’s just a sure sign that he’s a hateful liar.
2 Timothy 4:3
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow thier own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.
2 Timothy 4:3 translated:
At some point in the future people MIGHT no longer listen to the OUR RELIGION.They will QUESTION IT and will look for teachers who PROVIDE REASONABLE ANSWERS. They will reject OUR RELIGION and follow REASON INSTEAD.
2 Timothy 4:3 translated:
If people ever stop listening to the teachings of [OUR RELIGION], we will accuse them of *truth relativism*. Because, apparently, if people don’t believe in our religion it means they don’t believe in TRUTH. That’s right: we are equating our philosophically sloppy, evidentially unjustified religion with the PURSUIT OF TRUTH ITSELF.
A Possible Project:
Maybe we could put this together into some kind of project. For example, multiple people could submit translations for each verse of the Bible and users could vote on them. The most highly voted verses would appear in the “official”, seamless translation on the website (and change as better verses appear and are more highly voted).