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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: The Bible Has One Theme, One Coherent Plot, and is Unified Throughout

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I will take a look at your [Neil Robinson’s] blog posts, but honestly I don’t expect anything more than I have read in many atheist apologies. And you probably would say the same of my brief appeal to the classic cosmological and teleological arguments. So we are at an impasse. But since you have a background in literature, I will add this one.

The Bible is a book made up of 66 books (Protestant). They were written over about one thousand years time, and probably include pieces that are older than the oldest OT book. There are more than 20 different authors. Yet the Bible has one THEME and a COHERENT PLOT and is UNIFIED with no rabbit trails or strands of thought that are unconnected to the central theme. 

If the Bible were written by one author, that would be remarkable in a book that ranges so broadly across history. Written by multiple authors, it is more than remarkable. Even given that there were editors and a selection of books from among a larger number, that is remarkable. 

The INTRODUCTION in Genesis 1-6 and particularly in Genesis 3 is so necessary to the larger narrative that it is inconceivable that the plot could be created apart from that background because it includes an introduction to the primary characters and the first and underlying CONFLICT for the whole book. And that is to say nothing of the DENOUEMENT in Revelation that ties together the narrative in a conclusion that resolves all the conflicts. 

It does this while being comprised of pieces in many different genres written in styles that even now are recognized to be some of the best of all literature written, ancient or modern. 

As a student of literature, I cannot imagine how that can have happened. It has no equal in all of literature. I can only explain it by divine superintendency. And that implies a God.

— Comment by Don Camp, Rejecting Jesus, Slippin’ and Slidin’, February 3, 2022

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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8 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Karuna Gal

    Okay, you’re a “student of literature,” but not a Bible scholar. You say all the loose ends of the entire Bible are wrapped up in Revelation. But I don’t see any discussion of the fate of the “Sons of God” from Genesis 6 in Revelation, among many other things. Enlighten me, will ya, Don?
    Genesis 6
    When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.
    Who are these horny “Sons of God”? Since this passage always puzzled me I will deeply appreciate your response.
    And what, exactly, are the one theme and coherent plot of the Bible you mention? You need to tell us explicitly.
    Thanks! 😀

    • Avatar
      Kel

      The writer of the Epistle of Jude pronounces judgement on ”angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode”. It is very likely that these fallen angels are the “Sons of God” who married the human females in Genesis 6, the union of whom produced the giants Nephilim.

      But of course, all these are interpretations. And this particular Epistle itself seems to rely heavily on the Book of Enoch, which is not included amongst the 66 books. It makes one wonder about the rules (or lack thereof) exercised in canonisation.

  2. Avatar
    GeoffT

    Don Camp! Not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He’s been annoying the life out of John Loftus for years across at Debunking Christianity.

    One comment I think he nearly got right was this “ The Bible is a book made up of 66 books…”. Of course it should read “ The Bible is a made up book of 66 books…”

  3. Avatar
    Neil Robinson

    I’ve given up responding to Don on my blog. Having discovered it he seems intent on commenting on every post I’ve ever published. I’ve already pointed out to him, on Debunking Christianity, that the Bible appears to be coherent because he ignores great swathes of it and then imposes his own idiosyncratic interpretation on what’s left.
    I’m letting him carry on with his overlong, fatuous comments on my blog for now, in the hopes he’ll wear himself out and/or grow tired of being ignored.

  4. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    In my dim, dark past, I was a student of literature. If the Bible is indeed a work of literature, let alone great literature (a belief that outlived my belief in Christianity, God or a god), it is an anthology, not the continuous narrative with a coherent plot that Don Camp believes it to be.

    There is indeed a beginning in Genesis and an ending in Revelation. But there is not a “coherent plot” from one to the other. The Fall leads to God’s anger or dismay, which he expresses in the Flood and other ways. I don’t understand, however, how such events form a “through line” to God sending “his only son” (through means that contradict everything we know about human anatomy and biology or make God into a hit-and-run father) or from that to Revelations. There are stories, anecdotes and aphorisms, but they no more, by themselves, make for a narrative than eggs, flour and milk make a loaf of bread or a cake without someone and something to combine them.

    Then again, even if the Bible had a “coherent plot” that led from its beginning to its end (which Don, as a “student of literature,” ought to know is not the same as a denouement), that no more makes it divinely inspired, or even a touchstone for how one should live one’s life, than, oh, The Great Gatsby, Les Miserables, Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina or any number of other novels I could name–which offer, not only coherent plot lines, but more believable characters and stories than the ones in the Bible.

  5. Avatar
    Kel

    Some Christian apologists assert that the Bible is superior to the Koran since it (supposedly) does not contain any “abrogations”. There are certain verses in the Koran, revealed when the Prophet was in Medina, which are thought to abrogate or cancel other verses which were revealed earlier in Mecca.
    This, to the apologists, testifies to the fact that the Moslem God had changed his mind. But the Bible is consistent throughout, or at least according to Don.

    However, I can’t help but notice that similar occurrences can also be found in the Bible. These discrepancies are frequently explained away as part of God’s “progressive revelation”. For instance, Deuteronomy 23 forbids the Moabites from ever joining the congregation of the Lord, not even after ten generations. This stands in contrast to the status of the Egyptians, whose third generation descendants may eventually be permitted to participate in the worship of the Israelite God. Again, the “not even to the tenth generation” bit must mean “not ever” since it is deliberately put in contrast with “the third generation”.

    But then the protagonist of the Book of Ruth is a Moabitess, who became the ancestor of David and later, Jesus, according to Matthew. Is God abrogating his earlier command in this instance?

    And concerning Genesis 3, the Orthodox Christians (and the Jewish people, for that matter) have a different interpretation compared to Western Christians since they don’t believe in the Augustinian concept of “Original Sin”. If it is a consistent (and clear) story, why are there so many different interpretations?

  6. Avatar
    Sage

    Wow! I actually see what Don is saying! Once I was able stop thinking logically, ignore the parts than contradict his narrative, and rationalize anything else that may be problematic to his viewpoint, well..I have to admit…it all made sense then!!

  7. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    It’s cohesive if you’re expecting a certain throughline narrative, and if you ignore some problematic situations, and if you put the works in a certain order and interpret things in a certain way (while standing on your left foot with your right eye closed….)

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Bruce Gerencser