From American atheist (http://www.atheists.org)
Millions of people claim that they belong to the Christian religion, but few of them know anything about the alleged life of the founder of their religion, a mythological fellow named Jesus. Why is this so? Since secular history is silent on the historical actuality of the alleged life and teachings of Jesus, our only source of information on him is the Bible. The Bible is claimed to be the very word of god, but few Christians have ever read the Bible to see what it says. If they would read the Bible, most of them would probably be surprised and shocked as to what it says. With that in mind, let's examine the Bible to see what it says about this alleged Jesus and what he was supposed to have said and taught.
THE TRUTHFUL WITNESS
"If I [Jesus] bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." (John 5:31)
"I [Jesus] am one that bear witness of myself..." (John 8:18)
According to these scriptures, Jesus was a false witness.
THE GENEALOGY OF JESUS
"And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary...." (Matthew 1:16)
"And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being ... the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli..."(Luke 3:23)
WHO JESUS SAID WAS GOD
"Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" (John 10:34)
According to this scripture, Jesus thought that the Jewish law (i.e., the Old Testament) reported that he said the Jews were gods.
THE VIRGIN BIRTH
"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh...." (Romans 1:3)
THE SO-CALLED SON OF GOD'S COURAGE
"And I [Jesus] say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do." (Luke 12:4)
"Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple..." (John 8:59)
"After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because Jews sought to kill him." (John 7:1)
A case of do as I say, not as I do!
THE PRINCE OF PEACE
"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I [Jesus] tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three." (Luke 12:51-2)
"Think not that I [Jesus] have come to send peace on earth: I come not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34)
"...for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." (Matthew 26:52)
"...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
And to think that these ravings are supposed to be the sayings of one some call the prince of peace.
WHOLESOME FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
"For I [Jesus] 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. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:35-6)
"If any man come unto me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)
"Honour thy father and thy mother..." (Matthew 19:19)
"And call no man your father upon earth..." (Mathew 23:9)
"All that ever came before me [Jesus] are thieves and robbers..." (John 10:8)
GREAT WISDOM OF HIS TEACHINGS
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I [Jesus] will liken him unto a wise man..." (Matthew 7:24)
"And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish..." (Matthew 5:29)
Who in their right mind would pluck out their eye and think that it was profitable?
THE HOUR OF THE CRUCIFIXION
"And it was the third hour, and they crucified him." (Mark 15:25)
(John 19:12-18) clearly shows that he was not crucified until after the sixth hour.
"Then was fulfilled [by Jesus] that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet..." (Matthew 27:9)
It was Zechariah, not Jeremy, who made that prophecy. See (Zechariah 11:12)
"...that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He [Jesus] shall be called a Nazarene." (Matthew 2:23)
There is no mention by the Old Testament prophets that this Jesus fellow would be called a Nazarene. God was often confused when writing the Bible.
"Verily I [Jesus] say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things [the end of the world] be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32)
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:22)
The early followers of Jesus died waiting for the end of the world, and even today, over 1900 years later, some Christians still believe that the world is to end in their generation, and that Jesus will give them anything that they ask for in prayer.
His friends come to Jesus' tomb, but the doorstone is rolled away and one angel sitting on the outside gives the news to them before they go in. (Matthew 28:1-8)
His friends come to the tomb, go inside, find nobody, are perplexed, and then two men give them the news. (Luke 24:1-4)
The other resurrection stories are different as well.
WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
The Bible is one of twenty-seven books for which divine origin is claimed. Christians deny the divinity of all Bibles but their own. We deny the divinity of only one more than they do.
Out of 250 Jewish-Christian writings, sixty-six have arbitrarily been declared canonical by Protestants. The rejected books are of the same general character as those now published together as the "Holy Bible." Circumstances rather than merit determined selection.
For 150 years the Christian Bible consisted of the sacred books of the Jews. The New Testament was not formed until the latter half of the second century when Irenaeus selected twenty books from among forty or more gospels, nearly as many acts of apostles, a score of revelations and a hundred epistles. Why were these particular books chosen? Why four gospels instead of one? Irenaeus: "There are four quarters of the earth in which we live and four universal winds." The gospels were unknown to Peter, Paul, and the early church fathers. They were forged later.
The Bible did not assume anything like its present form until the fourth century. The Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, and Protestant canons were not adopted until modern times. The Bible was recognized as a collection of independent writings. The Council of Trent (1563) determined the Roman Catholic, Protestants denounce the Catholic Bible as a "popish imposture." The Greek Catholics at the Council of Jerusalem in 1672 finally accepted the book of Revelation. Their Bible contains several books not in the Roman canon. The Westminster Assembly in 1647 approved the list of sixty-six books composing the authorized version, the one most used in America. Our Bible, therefore, is less than 300 years old.
The Christian faith is based on the belief that the Bible is indeed the word of god. If the Bible cannot be shown to be inspired, then the Christian faith could be said to be false and no more than a farce. If the Bible cannot be shown to be inspired, then Christianity can be said to be the same as any other religion that has been devised and practiced by man.
The Bible story of Jesus is a contradictory and confusing account. The Bible shows that this Jesus fellow spoke and taught many absurd and foolish things, and often believed he was having a conversation with devils. If one will read the entire Bible, one will find tales of ignorance, murder, sexual perversions, mass insanity, idiotic laws, and even cannibalism and human sacrifice. It staggers the imagination how anyone in his right mind could read the Bible and believe that it was written by a wise, just, and loving god. Christians have found biblical scriptures telling them to burn people at the stake, to justify slavery, to oppress and persecute others, and to kill and commit war in the name of their god. Unfortunately, there are some even today who would have us return to the teachings and laws found in the Bible.
We are taught in our culture that Jesus is the divine hero, but other cultures have different saviors. Religious beliefs are a function of the culture in which one lives. If we had been reared in a different culture, we would have heard the story of a different savior, instead of the Jesus story. Upon comparing the stories of the different saviors, one finds that the similarities are so striking, it is beyond a doubt that they are more than just a coincidence.
Jesus is a myth just like all the other saviors and gods of old. Atheism is the clear and rational alternative to the confusion, fear, and superstition that are offered by religion. Atheism encourages freedom of thought and inquiry, while religion by its very nature has to encourage unquestioning obedience and blind faith in doctrines. Belief in god myths has brought misery, suppression of thought and inquiry, fear, and has promoted ignorance. The human race no longer needs these myths of old. Just as little children grow up and learn the truth about the existence of the tooth fairy, the human race needs to mature and learn the truth about the existence of god.
For those interested, American Atheist Press publishes a magazine, books, and numerous articles that inquire into the god myths and offer clear alternatives to those offered by religion. Membership is offered in American Atheists, the organization that promotes Atheism, stands for complete separation of state and church, and opposes those who would take away our freedoms and place America under the laws of the Bible instead of the Constitution. The choice between religion and Atheism is yours.
All Bible quotes are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible (Abradale Press, New York).