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a little luck and much careful editing, perhaps a small pamphlet could be producedfrom the Bible -- one that could honestly be called good.Perhaps. But to the Bible-believer the entire Bible is inspired, and has God as itsauthor. Each passage contains a message from God that must not be altered ordeleted. So the believer is simply stuck with the Bible. He or she has no choice but tocall it good, true, beautiful, and perfect. When the Bible seems otherwise, as itnearly always does, the problem lies with the believer's interpretation of the Bible --not with the Bible itself.The believer's defense of the Bible is assisted by those who publish it. They areinvariably believers as well, and are interested in promoting and defending the Bible.They do so in many ways, but their efforts usually include at least some of thefollowing:Point out consistencies between the redundant passages, while nevermentioning the contradictions.Provide explanations and excuses for the absurdities, cruelties, vulgarities,and insults to women -- when they choose not to ignore them entirely.Emphasize the relative few passages that present a decent image of God.Attach footnotes to explain away any difficulties.Millions of such Bibles are published and distributed each year by believers in theirtireless and tiresome effort to propagate their beliefs. Consequently, nearlyeveryone, whether believer or skeptic, has at least one copy in his or her possession.Among these Bibles will be found many different versions, but all have one thing incommon: all are believer-friendly editions that support, promote, and defend theBible.
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible
attempts to remedy this imbalance. It includes theentire text of the King James Version of the Bible, but without the pro-Biblepropaganda. Instead, passages are highlighted that are an embarrassment to theBible-believer, and the parts of the Bible that are never read in any Church, Biblestudy group, or Sunday School class are emphasized. For it is these passages that testthe claims of the Bible-believer. The contradictions and false prophecies show thatthe Bible is not inerrant; the cruelties, injustices, and insults to women, that it isneither good nor just.The SAB will help those who believe in the Bible to honestly reconsider that belief. Itwill help those who are unfamiliar with the Bible to resist the temptation to believe.And it will help those who have already rejected the Bible defend their position.