As a child growing up I never read the bible. I grew up Catholoic so we were taught ‘catechism’ and while some stories from the bible were mentioned in our Sunday school classes and there were some reading of passages from the bible during Mass I did not have any kind of real knowledge of what was in the bible.
When I got to college I some of the friends I made there encouraged me to read the bible telling me what a good exciting book it was.
Well I took their advice and read the bible and found myself shocked and dismayed at as Richard Dawkins would say:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
While there were many passages and sections of the bible that horrified me one that always stuck in my mind was the slaughter of the Amalekites in in 1 Samuel 15
“Yahweh sent the prophet Samuel to command Saul, the first king of Israel, to “go and smite Amalek” and to ” utterly destroy all that they have and spare them not” (v:3 ); the command explicitly stated that Saul was to kill “both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass””
Was this the same god I had be brought up to believe was so kind, good, all loving and merciful?
While the seeds of my own disbelief may have been planted years before that before I was even a teen it was reading the bible that certainly watered and fertilized and eventually grew my disbelief.
Genocide and the flood – God is not good – with William Lane Craig – Part 2 – YouTube
The website (which I mis-named) is Dwindling in Unbelief and can be found here:
The specific page of that site that I refer to – How many has god killed? – is here:
The clips of William Lane Craig are taken from here:
His debate in Oxford, in which he is asked the specific question I refer to:
(the question and his answer are about 20 minutes before the end of the video)
His lecture, Arguments for the exisence of god:
and, his lecture at Florida State University:
The full version of “God on trial” is here:
The clips I used came from the final part – the verdict, which is here: