Controversies over the Bible

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Controversy about the Bible has existed since ancient times . Fundamental criticism of the credibility of biblical statements was made by the Platonist Kelsus in the 2nd century AD and the Neo-Platonist Porphyrios in the 3rd century , to which the Church Fathers responded with detailed replies. In the Middle Ages , criticism came mainly from the Islamic side and was hardly noticed in the Christian world. Only in the modern era did the clashes between critics and defenders, the apologists of the Bible, begin on a broad front (see the main article History of Modern Biblical Criticism ).

Critics of the Bible today turn less against the Bible texts as such than against the interpretation and use made of these texts within Christianity. The thesis that the Bible was “ inspired by God ” ( 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21) and that it had “God as its author” is controversial . Many Christians still claim this for the Bible, for example in the Catechism of the Catholic Church , no. 136. Critics, however, reject this claim. To this extent, criticism of the Bible appears as part of criticism of the church or of religion .

In order to refute the verbal inspiration, for example , the critics put forward arguments against the credibility of certain factual claims in the biblical books: They point to the results of scientific or historical research and occasionally to real or apparent contradictions in the statements. Because of these arguments, some have questioned not only the inspiration, but the credibility and worth of the texts as a whole. There is also criticism of numerous ethical ideas, for example with regard to the use of force.

Conflicts with scientific knowledge

The development of science as we know it today is shaped by conflicts with religious authorities. In many cases, it was not and is not directly about the content of the Bible, but rather about religious doctrine and the delimitation of responsibilities in answering existential questions. However, the Bible repeatedly plays an important role in this conflict, all the more so since the contending parties refer to it in their argumentation.

Truth-finding methodology

“What is truth?” Asks Pontius Pilate in the Bible when he is interrogating Jesus ( Jn 18.38  EU ). This question often ignites the conflict between science and religion . Traditionally, the concept of truth in the book religions is based on divine revelation. The scriptures, then, as the primary testimony of this revelation, contain this truth that can be found through scripture study. The science concept of truth, on the other hand, is based on the correspondence between predictions resulting from theories and their experimental verification. See also philosophy of science . Some solve the resulting conflict by starting from several parallel truths, which are all supposed to have their justification. These two different conceptions of truth or the establishment of truth came and come into conflict with each other when they make different statements on the same topic. This case happened and does happen again and again. Well-known historical examples of this conflict are:

The Bible also makes statements on all these topics, which can be interpreted not only literally, but also translated or mythologically. It depends on this interpretation to what extent conflicts with the sciences arise.

There have been and are numerous attempts, not least by religiously minded scientists and scientifically educated theologians, to resolve these conflicts and to achieve a fruitful coexistence of science and religion. Since the conflicts persist (for example over creationism and intelligent design in the United States ), one cannot speak of a complete success of these efforts. However, they contribute to a better understanding of both sides.

Subjects of criticism

Reliability, Authority and Authenticity of the Bible

Historical reliability

Parts of the Old Testament were finalized many hundreds of years after the original events or the first oral and written traditions.

The Gospels of the New Testament and the Acts are about 30 to 70 years after the death of Jesus was placed in its present form. This does not rule out the fact that, in addition to individual letters, there could have been collections of sayings of Jesus, such as the hypothetical source of the Logia Q , or a Passion report in written form.

The controversies about the historical correctness of biblical statements are particularly about the following arguments from critics:

  • Some of the stories in the Old Testament are myths with no connection to historical reality.
  • The representation of actual events was also falsified by the formation of myths in the course of a long oral tradition before the written record.
  • Many biblical texts are shaped by the personality of the respective author and his individual ideological and theological views.
  • Many writings in the Bible were edited and supplemented by different authors over long periods of time, sometimes long after the events described in each case. Therefore, they can only be assessed as viable historical reports to a very limited extent.
  • There are contradictions between historical statements in the Bible, e. B. the contradicting statements about the ancestors of Jesus .
  • There are not scientifically confirmed and demonstrably false historical statements in the Bible.


For fans of verbal inspiration , the question of the human authors of the individual books of the Bible is of comparatively little importance, since they only functioned as God's tools anyway . If the author is expressly named in a book, then the correctness of this information is usually not doubted, because it is usually excluded that God himself could have intended to pretend false facts .

For critical theologians and Bible critics in general, however, the authorship of many books is in question. For example, it is widely doubted that Paul is the author of the pastoral letters . Since the author pretends to be Paul of Tarsus in the letters ( 1 Tim 1,1  EU , 2 Tim 1,1  EU , Tit 1,1  EU ), this would amount to a deception. This gives rise to the problem of pseudepigraphy , i.e. incorrect attribution, and its evaluation.

Some Bible critics therefore speak of deceit and deny the Bible authority. On the other hand, there are indications that such deceptions for pious purposes were considered legitimate ( pia fraus or pious fraud ). A vague reference to this can be seen in Rom. 3.7  EU , this attitude can be found even more clearly in later church fathers such as B. Origen . To what extent this can be agreed is still controversial, even among Christian authors. On the one hand, it is pointed out that the pretense of authorship was perhaps widespread even in antiquity, but was by no means generally accepted. On the other hand, one also wonders what use is supposed to lie in this deception. If it is uncovered, it will provide the opponents with an effective argument. As the example of the criticism presented by Celsus shows, such deceptions were already seen through in ancient times.


A core area of ​​controversy about the Bible is the dispute over the opinion of critics that the compilation of the biblical writings into the Biblical canon (canonization) is the work of man, and the assertion that the selection goes back to God himself can be confirmed by an examination of the over several centuries the ongoing historical process of canonicalization. In addition, some critics claim that the scriptures were selected with the intent to arbitrarily discredit certain doctrines by excluding them from the canon.

For some scriptures there are different traditions between the Christian denominations regarding their affiliation to the canon (see canons of the Old Testament and canons of the New Testament ). Critics of the faith based on the Bible see this as an indication that people have decided at their own discretion what God's word is.

Various manuscripts and translations

The books of the Bible are available in different versions, which is partly due to different translations and partly due to the fact that the texts are in manuscripts with different variants. Some modern Bible editions therefore contain edition notes with information about how the source texts differ and it is not certain how a text is to be understood (examples are notes on the release of slaves, on the inspiration of "scriptures"), as well as information on where experts believe or suspect that parts of the original text were lost and that certain parts were added later (e.g. at the end of the Gospel of Mark ). More detailed information can be found in text-critical editions of the Bible.

Regarding the inerrancy of the Bible, which some Christians claim , critics ask which of the different versions should be understood as the reliable and binding Word of God. In most cases, the inerrancy relates to the original manuscripts that have not been preserved.


The designation of the Bible as the Word of God  - taught in both the Catholic and the Protestant Church - does not exclude the view that the Bible needs to be interpreted .

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "The task of interpreting the Word of God in a binding manner was entrusted only to the Magisterium of the Church, the Pope and the bishops who are in communion with him."

Martin Luther advocated the principle of Sola scriptura : The standard for all theories and practices of Christianity must be sought in the Holy Scriptures . The writing is its own interpreter, so interpret itself ( Scriptura sacra ipsius suis interpres ). The real Word of God made man is only Jesus Christ . That is why everything “that Christ does” is also the word of God in the Bible. At the same time, he gained an internal biblical standard for criticizing content that was not appropriate to Jesus Christ and that Jesus Christ overtook, rejected or invalidated.

Narrative and ideological perspective

The overwhelming restriction of the Old Testament narratives to individuals, the people of Israel and their political and military entanglements as well as to the region of today's Middle East does not, in the opinion of Bible critics, fit with the claim to universal validity and divine inspiration of the Bible. Even Jesus himself, although referred to as the Son of God, appears to them to be regionally too limited: He was not one of the dominant cultural languages ​​at the time and possibly not even able to write. There is little evidence that he was familiar with the non-Jewish culture, way of thinking and living.

On the one hand, God is seen as the creator, ruler and judge of the whole world, on the other hand, in the Old Testament , he and his people have to constantly defend themselves against other peoples and their gods or even idols . This is a god who created the world, but whose followers huddle together in a certain area on the Dead Sea , surrounded by hostile peoples and temporarily ruled and even enslaved and deported. From the perspective of the Jewish people of that time, this is plausible and certainly contributed significantly to the cohesion and survival of the people, but from a global perspective this seems implausible.

In many cases, the narrative perspective also allows conclusions to be drawn about the author or the editor of the biblical texts. Their consideration and analysis is therefore one of the methods of textual criticism. Contradictions and errors also come to light. For example, there are some passages in the Gospel according to Mark that indicate that the author was not familiar with the Jewish social order but with the Roman one and made some mistakes that would not have happened to a Jewish author. In verse Mk 10.12  EU , Jesus allegedly says that a woman commits adultery if she leaves her husband and marries another. A Roman would have understood that, because there women and men had the right to divorce, but in Jewish law this was reserved for men ( 5 Mos 24.1  EU ). Some conclude from this that Jesus could not have uttered the sentence ascribed to him in this way. Looking at the Sermon on the Mount (even conceptual adultery is adultery in God's eyes), the statement can certainly be accepted as that of Jesus. From the point of view of critics, other passages in the Gospel also suggest that the author was not well acquainted with Jewish customs.

Creation doctrine


The cosmological concepts in the Bible are fundamentally different from those of today's science. The extent to which the Bible represents the worldview of the flat earth and to what extent the geocentric and the heliocentric worldview are compatible with the Bible was and is also controversial . Today's theological doctrine has made peace with the view that the earth is not at the center of the universe.

Likewise, many authors within the sphere of influence of the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church in Germany have no problem assuming that the Big Bang theory essentially correctly describes the scientific aspects of the creation of the universe. It is also often emphasized that the Bible has important things to say about other aspects of the creation of the world; in this way she gives answers to questions about “why?” and “why?”.

In addition, there is still disagreement about the theories about the origin of the universe. The biblical accounts of creation are sometimes seen as contradicting the theory of the Big Bang and the formation of galaxies and stars. Partly criticism of the Bible is derived from it, partly criticism of cosmological science.


The theory of evolution has encountered resistance in religious circles since Charles Darwin . The controversy over this continues to the present and is z. B. in the United States also carried out in the field of school policy. A section of the evangelicals in particular see the gradual emergence of species as a contradiction to the biblical doctrine of creation.

Numerous theologians since Teilhard de Chardin have tried to understand evolution as God's method of creation. God, as “Creator Spiritus”, would have created the framework within which evolution took place.


There have been numerous attempts to reconstruct the time of creation from the Bible by evaluating the genealogies and other dates. Even though no unequivocal dating can be achieved in this way, a point in time about 6000 years ago results. In contrast, the geological findings speak for an age of the earth of over 4 billion years. There have been numerous attempts to explain or resolve this discrepancy.

For example, there is the argument that God created the earth (and the universe) to appear to be billions of years old. The fossils and rock layers, for example, were already created in this form. On the other hand, the objection is that it is not very clear why God wanted to deceive man in this regard or what reason there could be for it other than the intention to deceive.

Image of God

The concept of sin and its human consequences are central themes throughout the Bible that also had profound implications for the Bible-based religions and creeds.

The Christian Biblical Position

Sin is understood as both an act and a condition and fate. The Bible teaches that man is by nature sinful as a result of his disobedience or mistrust in paradise ( fall ) and can therefore no longer help but sin or distance himself from God ( original sin ). With God's help he should keep away from sinful thinking and acting ( Dtn 11.26ff, Prov 10.19, Eph 6.12ff, Rom 12.21, 1 Thes 5.22 and many others), but can never achieve this goal during his lifetime quite reach. He will inevitably commit (deed) sins for which he will be held accountable after his death on the last day . In order to obtain salvation through the grace of God, man should hear the sermon of Christ ( Gal 3: 1–6  EU ): Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of mankind on the cross through his sacrifice ( Rom 5 : 18–21  EU ) . Whoever believes this is considered righteous before God ( Rom . 3: 21-30  EU ). Whoever trusts in Jesus will be saved ( Rom. 10 : 9-13  EU ). Jesus calls for a change of mind ( Mk 1.14f  EU ). Man should lead his life by the power of the Holy Spirit ( Gal 5,24f  EU ). The spirit, not the strength of man (called 'flesh' by Paul), not the moral exertion, brings forth the good ( Gal 5,22f  EU ). It is God who accomplishes both: the right will and the accomplishment ( Phil 2:13  EU ). What the Christian does not do on this basis, i.e. H. acts on the basis of Christ has no endurance in eternity, but the soul of the believer is saved ( 1 Cor 3 : 10–15  EU ). Therefore, it seems to a Christian to build his life on Christ (i.e. to lead a sin-free and pious life through the power of the Holy Spirit ) and to focus on him again and again or to confess his sins and turn around to goodness ( sanctification ) . Because even Paul apparently lost sight of him ( Rom 7,7-25  EU ), and Peter even denied him ( Mk 14,66  EU ). The life of Christians can therefore be determined by the power of sin. However, the Bible gives hope that God will one day finally end this ( 1 Cor 15.25–28.54–58  EU ) and that the power of sin has already been broken thanks to Jesus ( Lk 11.20  EU ) / ( Matt 28:18  EU ).

Criticism of the Christian understanding of sin

  • The inevitability of sin places man in a situation in which he is inescapably dependent on divine salvation. In this way the Bible itself creates the emergency for which it then offers the solution. In the eyes of the critics, however, the emergency does not really exist, but is first persuaded the believers about the biblical “concept” of sin. By using the Bible to determine both what sin is and offer the only possibility of salvation, they argue, they keep believers in an emotional dependency that is ultimately used as an instrument of control and domination could be. A prominent example of this is the Catholic Church's indulgence trade .
  • The idea that one could vote for a god through a sacrifice, even a human sacrifice , and thus promote one's own interests, is rejected as archaic .
  • The idea that a loving Father God could deliver his own son for torture and execution is rejected as absurd - even if he is resurrected from the dead afterwards. It is also not accepted that this is supposed to have a redeeming effect, especially since an almighty God could certainly have found bloodless means of redemption.
  • God could have created human beings from the outset in such a way that they would have no need of atonement through such a sacrifice.
  • It is also inconsistent to grant people salvation in advance through the sacrifice of the Son of God and, on the other hand, to demand the pious and non-sinful life from them, which in principle the Old Testament also demanded before Christ's crucifixion. The advantage that results from the death on the cross, since the final evaluation will not take place until the last day anyway, cannot be seen.
  • With reference to the vicarious suffering of Christ, the believer is given a guilt complex in the face of his own inevitable sinfulness , which often accompanies him throughout life and hinders his psychological development. 
  • The idea of original sin or the principle of human sinfulness is fundamentally a contradicting idea. Because on the one hand it implies guilt, on the other hand, in the case of inheritance (or transmission) or a fundamental sinfulness of the person, he cannot be held responsible for the alleged sinfulness .

The divine “justice” from an ethical point of view

The term righteousness often has a different meaning in the Bible than in today's language . So in many passages God is praised as "just" (e.g. Dtn 32.4  EU , Neh 9.33  EU ), although God demands or commits many deeds that are viewed as unjust by Bible critics - from the point of view of ethics how it shapes the constitutions and laws of today's democratic constitutional states, an ethic that includes respect for human rights and the principle that punishment is only legitimate if it affects someone who has personally committed an injustice. Biblical critics complain that the “righteousness” defined in the Bible has other goals than tolerance or long-suffering. The severe punishment or even the annihilation of people of different faiths by God in the Old Testament or in the Last Judgment is felt to be "just" (e.g. Ps 129.4  EU ).

A misfortune or punishment imposed by God is represented in the Bible as a just punishment, especially for ungodliness (so-called doing-doing-connection , see e.g. DanEU ). The first murder leads to the curse of homelessness ( Gen 4.11–12  EU ). The divine “punishment” also affects whole peoples (Egypt for example for the disobedience of the Pharaoh ( ExEU )) and almost all of humanity in the report of the Flood ( GenEU ). For the justice of these punishments, however, the fact that the pagan peoples have committed idolatry (mostly including human sacrifices) and that every person distances himself from God and thus from life through his personal sins. From a Christian perspective, God is entitled at any time to carry out his punishment himself or through third parties.

In 2 Chr 12  EU or JonaEU it is told how humble repentance resulted in God's anger being appeased and the divine punishment softened. Penalty-mitigating repentance is no stranger to today's legal systems.

Also the understanding of justice in the biblical theology of the cross - “God has set it up for faith as atonement in his blood to prove his righteousness”, wrote Paul ( Rom. 3:25  LUT ) - is criticized: “The punishment should satisfy justice be done? To me, punishing an innocent person is just a new injustice. "

The polar emotionality of the image of God

The portrayal of God in the Bible makes use of strong pairs of opposites over long periods. Anger and love of God are primarily ascribed to him as emotions . From the point of view of the New Testament, the focus in the Old Testament seems to be on the strict, punitive and angry God, in the New Testament, on the other hand, on the love of God (New Covenant). This discrepancy in the representation of God between OT and NT appeared to Marcion so great that he assumed that it could not be about the same God and consequently rejected the entire OT as sacred scripture. According to Bible critics, reports of positive emotions from God are rare.

Love and anger are not the only striking opposites. Curse and blessing are set against each other, and damnation against salvation . Whoever does not believe is exposed to the state of sin without protection; he can only escape eternal damnation through the grace of God ( Mk 16:16  EU ). On Judgment Day the blessed will be separated from the cursed , the former will enter the final kingdom of God , while the latter will be thrown into eternal fire ( Mt 25 : 31-46  EU ). This judiciary , based on the word of Jesus as it is handed down in the apocalyptic writings of the Bible, is condemned by biblical critics as violent and selective. The Sermon on the Mount also contains selective motifs when it places the entrance to the kingdom of heaven against the entrance to hell ( Mt 5 : 17-48  EU ). Franz Buggle takes this as a sign of Jesus' “dual character”, who on the one hand combines the loving and non-violent aspects with an extreme rigor on the last day.

Critics are bothered by both the strong emphasis on the contrast, which they consider exaggerated and constructed, and the archaic motivation. The purpose of this emphasis is to suggest to people the necessity of a clear decision in favor of belief in the Christian God and to set themselves apart from the Gentiles . The psychological consequences of such a strict separation of opposites, which every human being has to carry within himself and which must harmonize with one another, are also criticized.

Ethical ideas

Biblical critics see contradictions between the ethical ideas in the Bible and those of modern times, such as those expressed in human rights . The psychologist and religious critic Franz Buggle writes that "the very frequent occurrence of divinely ordered crimes and atrocities" would "disqualify the Bible [...] as a source of ethics and religiosity that is acceptable today." Buggle criticizes "genocides ordered by God" and the "invitation of the biblical God's excessive use of the death penalty ”. “When Yahweh imposes the ban on the Amalekites and orders not to spare anyone, but to exterminate the whole people, then we call this 'genocide' today, and there is no theological salvation through reinterpretation or reinterpretation, but only the theological one on our part Ban ”, wrote the Protestant theologian Heinz Zahrnt . "If atrocities are committed at the behest and in the name of God [...] - then today one can only preach about it by preaching against it ."

Biblical critics often base their ethics on humanistic ideals without recourse to the Bible and then criticize the ethical standards of the Bible based on this position. This is based on the conviction that ethics do not need a religious foundation and that ethical standards can be derived from both reason and social structure. Biblical ethics can be criticized on the basis of these standards. On the other hand, those who regard the Bible as the basis of ethics have no independent standard by which this could be criticized - the Bible itself is the standard. Here one can at best examine the inner consistency of biblical ethics.

There are two different types of criticism of ethics:

  • Criticism of the lack of internal consistency in biblical ethics. This raises the question of the extent to which the ethical statements of the New Testament contradict those of the Old Testament (“Love your enemies” ( Lk 6,27–28  EU ) in the New Testament, “you should use them. the enemies] absolutely enforce the ban ”( Dtn 20,16-17  EU ) in the Old Testament).
  • Criticism of the lack of consistency of biblical ethics with other approaches, especially with those that go back to humanism and the Enlightenment (e.g. human rights).

When criticizing biblical ethics, it should be noted that the conditions at that time cannot simply be measured with today's standards. From the point of view of that time, when blood revenge and sevenfold retribution were common, for example, the biblical limitation to simple vengeance (an eye for an eye) is already a considerable step forward.

Religious intolerance in the Old Testament

In the first of the Ten Commandments ( Ex 20.5  EU ) God is understood by Bible critics as a jealous and vengeful God. Throughout the Old Testament there are numerous examples in which God demands, instigates or approves the punishment or extermination of people of different faiths and their cult ( Ex 34.11–16  EU , DtnEU ).

With the new covenant , so argues a Christian interpretation, such violence has become obsolete.

Depictions of violence

See violence in the Bible


Relationship of the sexes, sexuality

Patriarchy, primacy of men over women in the Old Testament

Many Bible critics accuse the Old Testament of a thoroughly patriarchal attitude and order. This can be seen in numerous examples of unequal treatment:

  • The priesthood is reserved exclusively for men.
  • God has predominantly male features.
  • Family trees are given using the male line, women play a minor role (e.g. 1 Chr 1–9  EU ).
    • When specifying the offspring, information on the mothers is missing (e.g. Gen 5,6  EU or Gen 4,17  EU ).
    • The daughters are usually passed over (e.g. 2 Sam 3,2ff  EU ).
  • A man can have several wives and concubines , but not the other way around ( 5 Mos 21.15f  EU , 5 Mos 25.5ff  EU ). With some kings, the Bible speaks of a large number of wives and concubines; B. at Solomon ( 1 Kings 11.3  EU ). His father David also had many concubines ( 1 Chr 14.3  EU , 2 Sam 20.3  EU , 2 Sam 5.13  EU )
  • Daughters are seen as the property of the fathers, wives as the property of the husbands ( 1 Mos 29,16ff  EU ).
  • A woman is impure twice as long after the birth of a daughter as after the birth of a son ( 3 Mos 12  EU ).
  • If a woman grabs a man by the genitals during an argument, her hand should be chopped off ( 5 Mos 25,11f  EU ). There is no corresponding reverse bid.
  • Women are portrayed as weaker and more unreliable, traitors are often female ( JosEU , Ri 16  EU ).
  • The formation of the woman from the man's rib in the story of paradise ( 1 Mos 2,18ff  EU ) is understood as a reversal of the biological conditions. For this reason alone, women are regarded as subordinate to men.

On the other hand, women are repeatedly at the center of the action as positive heroines. B. Deborah , Rut and Ester .

The strict patriarchal attitude is often explained with the general order in antiquity. Indeed, at that time, such ideas also appeared in societies other than Jewish. Even then, however, there were already various societies in which women enjoyed a much greater degree of personal freedom and equality. 

Two aspects are countered to this criticism:

  • Some interpret the points mentioned as a symbol of togetherness and therefore reject a justification of the patriarchy according to GenEU . Still, you can't just overlook the asymmetry. That is why it was of particular concern to psychologists. For example, one finds the thesis that there is a kind of “femininity envy ” in men, in analogy (and to a certain extent also in opposition) to Freud's concept of “ penis envy ” in women. The man would therefore react to a perceived threat with this construction. 
  • From the philological point of view, reference is made to the choice of words. The chapters in Gen 2,4  EU to 23a consistently use the designation adam to denote the human being. It is only in Ex 2.23b OT that a distinction  is made between isch (“man”) and ischah (“woman”; with Luther: “woman”, to more precisely reproduce the play on words that expresses togetherness). The basis of man is therefore neither female nor male, but is simply "human".

The story of the Fall of Man ( 1 MosEU ) is also of interest to psychologists in this context. Psychoanalysts find a relationship to the Oedipus conflict : on the one hand, the son wants and should be like the father; on the other hand, the father's prohibitions prevent him from doing so (Sigmund Freud). If one takes God as the Father and Adam as the Son, a similar relationship emerges in biblical history. The divine prohibition is expressly intended to prevent the son from becoming like the father ( 1 Mos 3:22  EU ).

Image of women and sexuality in the New Testament

Jesus showed more mildness and openness towards women ( Joh 8,3ff  EU , 4,7-29 EU ) than those around him. In addition, he curtailed the rights of men (e.g. Mt 5,27f  EU , 5,31f EU , 19,3ff EU ). Jesus had numerous women among his followers ( Lk 8 : 1–3  EU ).

Paul then again emphasizes a more traditional view ( 1 Cor 11.7–12  EU , 14.33ff EU , Eph 5.24  EU ). It becomes clear here that Paul deliberately interprets the creation story in a patriarchal way. Peter also takes an attitude that is more oriented towards the Jewish tradition ( 1 Petr 3 : 1–7  EU ). The contrast in attitudes between Jesus and Paul is repeatedly pointed out by critics, and the attitude of the church fathers and the Christian church is seen in the tradition of Paul. Paul is accused of even exceeding the strictness of the Jewish traditions in some cases. On the other hand, it says in Gal 3:28  EU that (in faith or in Christ) there is no difference between man and woman.

Among the women in the New Testament, Mary , the mother of Jesus, has the greatest importance. In large parts of Christianity there is a pronounced cult of Mary , which has increased significantly over the past two centuries. Critics point out that the Madonna is shown as a sexless being, which in turn is linked to the patriarchal principle. Others, on the other hand, see the Madonna as an embodiment of the mother principle (e.g. mother archetype according to CG Jung ).

Social and psychological consequences

The biblical patriarchal attitude, so the Bible-critical argument, has had a profound effect on the conditions in Christian societies, and this effect is still ongoing. With reference to the Bible, patriarchal relationships in families, clergy and society are justified to this day.

See also Feminist Theology , Pelagianism , Celibacy , Original Sin .

Acceptance of biblical criticism

The historical-critical method is the standard of theological research at universities today. The scientific approach is as if God did not exist ( etsi Deus non daretur  - a formula going back to Hugo Grotius ). According to this, the disciplined, professionally trained and critical human mind is the last resort in the question of historical truth.

In many denominations, however , the clarification of questions of interpretation is left to the religious authorities. In the Roman Catholic Church, "everything that relates to the type of explanation of the Scriptures ... is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church, which performs the divine commission and service to preserve and interpret the word of God". Other confessions (e.g. the Protestant churches ) leave the interpretation of the Bible to the individual, who may also use prayer and meditation or consult further literature and religious authorities ( Martin Luther : " sola scriptura ").

Some followers of the religions and creeds that refer to the Bible as Holy Scripture consider criticism of the Bible to be fundamentally inadmissible or even to be a form of blasphemy . Some evangelical Christians hold this view. The fundamentalist hermeneutics and biblicism be their own requirements are not held responsible use of the Bible by some to be an uncritical, itself.

Liberal , enlightened and pluralistic societies also allow public criticism of the Bible within the framework of general freedom of expression. In earlier epochs, biblical criticism was often threatened with severe sanctions, which meant that critical texts were published anonymously and conspiratorially distributed or could only be published after the author's death. This is why texts have been lost, the content of which can only be accessed indirectly today.

Criticism of religion or the Bible is hardly restricted by law in secular societies. In Germany, for example, it is only punishable if on the one hand it represents "abuse", i.e. a particularly offensive expression of disregard in terms of form and content (BGH St 7, 110) and on the other hand is also suitable for "disturbing the public peace" ( § 166 ). Also satirical or polemical criticism of the Bible is the fundamental right to freedom of expression protected, as far as not the limits of § exceed 166th

Controversies between Bible critics and supporters of inerrancy

The arguments of Bible critics like Robert Green Ingersoll are to be understood implicitly or explicitly as arguments against divine inspiration or the inerrancy of the Bible. They assume that it is purely human work. They see a confirmation of this point of view in contradictions and inconsistencies.

The reactions of Christians vary greatly depending on their understanding of the Bible:

Fundamentalist understanding of the Bible: verbal inspiration and inerrancy

Based on the assumption that the entire Bible is inspired by God ( verbal inspiration ), a large part of the evangelical movement to this day understands the Bible as a history book and emphasizes that "the Bible is absolutely inerrancy and infallible". The Chicago Declaration on the Inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures of 1978 emphasizes "that the Scriptures in their entirety are inerrancy and therefore free of errors, forgery or deception;" this also includes scientific statements ( biblical fundamentalism ) . Communities like the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Christadelphians also emphasize the divine inspiration as well as the inerrancy and contradiction of the Bible.

From this point of view, any criticism that certifies errors, mistakes or contradictions in the Bible is considered to be flawed and is perceived as a fundamental criticism of the Bible and thus of the basis of Christian faith. The existence of real contradictions in the Bible text is denied. Apparent contradictions are explained as the results of errors of interpretation; they could be eliminated through correct interpretation. If knowledge from the sciences contradicts the Bible, then these will be rejected. In part, this leads to a general rejection of the historical-critical method in theology.

Alternatives to the fundamentalist understanding of the Bible

Symbolic interpretation

Another approach to defending the view that the Bible is error-free is to state that certain parts of the Bible were not intended literally in the first place. Critical references to errors in the literally understood content of the biblical text therefore missed the point: Criticism of a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible could be justified, but not criticism of the Bible itself.

For advocates of this view, there is no need to deny errors and contradictions in the literal content of certain Bible texts and to reject conflicting results from the sciences.

It is a question of interpretation which biblical texts apply in detail to the statement that they were not meant literally from the start. There is no agreement on this.

Divine inspiration and human fallibility

Other Christians argue that the Bible, while divinely inspired, is man-made. The occurrence of errors and contradictions in the Bible text can be explained by the contribution of fallible people to the creation of the Bible, without questioning the conviction that important statements in the Bible are shaped by the Spirit of God. Open-mindedness towards scientific knowledge is thus also possible in cases in which this knowledge contradicts those biblical passages in which the interpretation that they are “not meant literally” would meet with general skepticism.

Which Bible texts can be traced back to divine inspiration is a question of interpretation.

For example:

  • There is a widespread opinion that the stories of creation and the stories of the Flood and the Tower of Babel are not reports of facts, but statements of faith, clad in natural and mythological ideas of their time of origin.
  • This view can also be extended to other parts of the Bible, e.g. B. on the stories of the patriarchs Abraham , Isaac and Jacob . For the factual reports in the Bible it is sometimes pointed out that in the course of up to three thousand years of tradition inaccuracies and errors could have crept in.
  • In some cases, the view that certain biblical passages are time-related and human work is not only represented for natural history and historical statements, but also for ethical ideas and for calls for certain behavior. The Protestant theologian Heinz Zahrnt wrote : “When the apostle Paul says about women that they should obey their husbands at home and be silent in the congregation, then this speaks more of the zeitgeist than the Holy Spirit and more the bachelor than the apostle. "
  • The Catholic Church teaches: "It is to be confessed of the books of Scripture that they teach safely, faithfully and without error the truth which God wanted to have recorded in the scriptures for our salvation" ( Catechism of the Catholic Church , no. 107 ). This can be interpreted in such a way that inerrancy is only claimed for statements of belief, but not necessarily for scientific and historical factual assertions.
  • Some theologians, including Rudolf Bultmann , advocate extensive demythologization of the Bible. They explain certain stories as myths , which are not intended to transmit facts, but to proclaim beliefs.

The way in which non-fundamentalist Christians make their distinctions - be it in the question of which texts are to be understood literally and which not, be it in the question of which texts are to be understood as the work of fallible people and which inspired the commitment of divinely inspired Can make use of texts - some comments are very critical. Hans Albert writes : “Bultmann [...] comes to completely arbitrary decisions about what is to be eliminated and what is not. He wants to eliminate angels and miracles, he seems to prefer to 'interpret' the concept of God and the event of salvation. "Albert calls demythologization" a hermeneutic immunization process for that part of Christian faith that modern theologians [...] want to save under all circumstances . "He speaks of" breaking off the criticism at the crucial point "and believes that" a consistent striving for truth is definitely incompatible with this strategy. "

In his letter to Eberhard Bethge of May 5, 1944, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's criticism of Bultmann comes to a completely different view: “You remember Bultmann's essay on the 'demythologizing' of the New Testament? My opinion today would be that he did not go 'too far', as most thought, but went too little. Not only mythological terms such as miracle, ascension, etc., but the 'religious terms' are problematic. One cannot separate God and miracle from one another (as Bultmann thinks), but one must be able to interpret and proclaim both 'non-religiously'. Bultmann's approach is basically liberal. "

See also

References and comments

  1. KKK No. 136
  2. This not only results in conflicts with the sciences, but also with other religions and denominations.
  3. (Sources: Dürr, Küng, CFv Weizsäcker)
  4. Reimarus : “The apostles are themselves teachers and present theirs”; in: On the purpose of Jesus and his disciples
  5. Examples are Karlheinz Deschner or Jean Meslier .
  6. Origen thinks that even God himself can lie for a good cause: “Don't you yourself say, Celsus, that one can use deception and lies 'as a remedy'? So would the use of such a means have been absurd if such a means could have brought about salvation? For some are of such a nature that they are more likely to be set on the right path with a few untruths, such as the doctors sometimes use with their patients than with the pure truth. [...] Because it is not absurd if someone who 'heals sick friends' has also 'healed' the human race he loves by using such means that one should not preferentially but only need according to circumstances ”(Contra Celsus 4:19). But also compare 4 Mos 23.19  EU for this view .
  7. Eckhard J. Schnabel : “For the biblical, Old and New Testament tradition, for which lies, deception and seduction were fundamentally a rejection of the truth of God and a connection to God's opponent, the same interest in authentic texts can be assumed: The God revealing himself to Israel is 'jealous' and punishes presumptuousness in cultic, priestly and prophetic things in the strictest way. ”In: The biblical canon and the phenomenon of pseudonymity. In: Yearbook for Evangelical Theology. 3, 1989.
  8. Eckhard J. Schnabel: “If the pseudonymity hadn't been based on deception, it wouldn't be necessary. Pseudepigraphic texts - especially those that claim teaching authority - only achieve their intended effect if they actually and effectively deceive the reader. If the deception were recognized, the arguments to be conveyed would have lost their credibility completely. ”His conclusion:“ Canonicality, inspired by the Spirit of God, revelation of communicating authoritative writings and fiction-implying pseudonymity exclude each other. ”(Ibid.)
  9. Kassühlke: "The New Testament is available in around 35 versions, the Old Testament in 23, plus a number of translations of individual biblical books" (only the German translations are meant here). “Unfortunately, we do not have the author's original for any biblical work. All manuscripts, including the very oldest, are copies from later centuries, the wording of which differs from one another in many ways. ”; in: One Bible - Many Translations ; ISBN 3-417-20560-3
  10. What a slave should do when he can become free, the apostle Paul said in 1 Cor 7:21  ELB . But whether this is to be understood in such a way that the slave should make use of this possibility or, on the contrary, that he should rather remain a slave  - there are different opinions. In different translations, the decision was made for several options. The possibility that the slave should use the opportunity to become free is u. a. to be found in the following translations: Translation according to Luther 1 Cor 7,21  LUT , New International Version 1 Cor 7,21  NIV , Today's New International Version 1 Cor 7,21  TNIV , New Int. Readers Version 1 Cor 7.21  NIRV , King James Version 1 Cor 7.21  KJV ; The Elberfeld translation, 1 Cor 7:21  ELB, also favors this possibility, but notes: “Many. also: better stick with it ”. The standard translation, on the other hand, favors the option “I would rather live as a slave” 1 Cor 7:21  EU , but notes: “The Greek wording of the verse and the context of the section recommend this translation. But there are also reasons for understanding: Better take the opportunity (to become free). ”, In: The Bible , standard translation ; Stuttgart: Catholic Bible Institute, 1980; ISBN 3-451-18988-7
  11. 2 Tim 3:16  ELB begins according to the Elberfeld translation with the words: "All scripture is inspired by God 1 and 2 useful for teaching 3 ", but notes u. a. to: " 2 Other us .: All scriptures given by God are also"
  12. Udo Schnelle: “Mk 16, 9-20 are not handed down by the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus , i. H. the oldest surviving version of the Gospel of Mark ends with chap. 16, 1-8. It is controversial whether the gospel always ended with Mark 16: 1–8 or whether the original conclusion of Mark was lost. [...] It must therefore seriously be reckoned with the possibility that the original closing of Mark was lost. "; in: Introduction to the New Testament , p. 250; ISBN 3-8252-1830-9 ; Mk 16  EU
  13. z. B. Nestle-Aland: The New Testament. Greek and German ; ISBN 3-438-05406-X and ISBN 3-920609-32-8 ; for the Old Testament Emanuel Tov: The text of the Hebrew Bible. Handbook of Textual Criticism ; ISBN 3-17-013503-1 .
  14. Arno Schmidt in Atheist? : Indeed ! : “As long as the purest source of 'Divine Truth', as the sacred norm of 'Most Perfect Morality', as the basis of state religions, is proclaimed a book with, to put it mildly, 50,000 text variants (ie an average of 30 disputed passages per printed page!); the content of which is contradictory and often obscure; rarely related to life outside of Palestine; and its useful good (already known before him and partly better known) is based on untenable reasons of a suspiciously dark theosophical enthusiasm: as long as we deserve the governments and conditions that we have! "
  15. Catechism of the Catholic Church , No. 104 : “In the Holy Scriptures the Church finds her nourishment and her strength constantly [cf. DV 24.], because in it she not only receives a human word, but what the Holy Scriptures really are: the word of God [cf. l Thess 2:13]. "
  16. No. 100
  17. Even an early critic of Christianity, Celsus, who for a time still had a horizon that was limited to the Mediterranean region in the broader sense, criticized it: “If God, like Jupiter of comedy, after awakening from a long slumber, dated the human race Trying to liberate evil, why then did he send this spirit you speak of into a corner of the world? He should have blown it into many bodies in a similar way and sent them out all over the world. In order to generate laughter in the theater, the comedy poet has now written that after his awakening Jupiter sent Mercury to the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians; but don't you think that you made God's Son even more ridiculous by sending him to the Jews? ”; quoted from: Origen: Against Celsus , Book 6. Own translation
  18. Arno Schmidt sharpened this view in a polemical way in Atheist? : Indeed ! so: “What would we say today if a young man came from some insignificant dwarf state; one of the ever-present and not only 'economically underdeveloped' eastern areas; none of the great cultural languages ​​powerful; completely unfamiliar with what science, art, technology, including earlier religions, have achieved over the millennia - and such a man stood before us with the thick words: 'I am the way; and the truth; and the life'? We would have to have it translated from the barbaric dialect by a called interpreter - would we not advise him, half amused, half incomprehensible: 'Young person: Live and learn first: and then come back in 30 years!' "
  19. See z. B. Walter-Jörg Langbein: Lexicon of the errors of the New Testament , p. 63ff
  20. In his work Earth not a Globe , Samuel Rowbotham cites numerous biblical quotations which, in his opinion, support or presuppose the worldview of the flat earth (Chapter 15).
  21. A prominent biblical passage that seems to speak for a geocentric world view and to which proponents of the geocentric world view refer is Jos 10.13  EU .
  22. The Christian understanding of sin goes back to a large extent to the Sermon on the Mount . The criticism of the morality of the Sermon on the Mount is a recurring theme in the debate about the Bible and the Christian faith. An earlier (18th century) of many examples of a critical examination of this doctrine is presented by d'Holbach in the 10th chapter of his Histoire Critique de Jesus Christ .
  23. ^ Manfred Keßler, Abitur training. Evangelical religion 1. Man between God and the world. Basic course , p. 70; ISBN 3-89449-220-1
  24. Gerhard Vinnai : “Wherever one takes refuge in such divisions and these are supported by religious interpretations, one tends not to accept evil in oneself, but to identify it outside of oneself, in others, in strangers. This favors the persecution of those to whom the self-denied destructive impulses are shifted. ";
  25. ^ A b Franz Buggle: Because they do not know what they believe ; P. 31 (in the preliminary remarks on the revised edition )
  26. Franz Buggle: Because they do not know what they believe ; P. 95
  27. a b Heinz Zahrnt: Why I believe. My cause with God , pp. 71f, ISBN 3-492-02307-X ; Emphasis on Zahrnt. In the Bible the call for the extermination of the Amalekites can be read under Dtn 25,17-19  EU or Dtn 25,17-19  GNB .
  28. The view that ethics need a religious foundation, or more precisely a rule-giving God, is widespread. It finds expression in the saying attributed to Dostoevsky, “Without God, everything is permitted.” However, it is entirely possible to develop an ethic without recourse to religious ideas or revelations. See z. B. Mackie : Ethics . In view of the religiously motivated acts of violence that occur frequently, the fundamental superiority of religiously based ethics is repeatedly disputed.
  29. The exceptions include Isa 66.13  EU , 49.15 EU ; In addition to anthropomorphic images, others are also used, e.g. 1 Mos 49.24  EU , 5 Mos 32.18  EU , Jer 2.13  EU , 17.13 EU .
  30. E.g. Erich Fromm : "In contrast to the facts, the man is not born through the woman, but the woman is created from the man."; in: Das Christusdogma , p. 115f.
  31. In the direct Jewish field of vision was the situation in Egypt , where women already in the Pharaonic times had the free choice of partner and otherwise great autonomy. See z. B. Peter H. Schulze : Women in Ancient Egypt , ISBN 3-404-64119-1
  32. In Greek mythology and history, female figures often appear in a thoroughly autonomous and self-confident situation, such as B. the Amazons , various goddess figures such as Hera or Athene or also Sappho and her students on Lesbos . In Sparta women were not treated on an equal footing, but enjoyed a number of rights that a Jewish woman did not have, such as: B. Property and inheritance rights.
  33. ZB Zilboorg: “The feeling of fatherhood is basically a feminine attribute that the man finally adopts when trying to secure his dominion over the woman, who periodically proves her superiority by having children, and to calm himself down . I tend to assume that it is not the woman's envy of the penis, but the man's envy of femininity that is psychogenetically older and therefore of fundamental importance. "; in: Male and Female. Biological and cultural aspects ; in: Hagemann-White (ed.): Women's Movement and Psychoanalysis , 1979
  34. Gerhard Vinnai: “The male psyche is provoked into fantasies and constructions of reality through the threat that emanates from the feminine, which make the feminine something secondary in order to break its seductive and at the same time threatening power. The idea on which the biblical construction is based that the male phallus and thus also the male semen alone represent an active principle of procreation corresponds to an ancient patriarchal myth. According to this myth, the mother is at best a kind of incubator or flower pot in which the male semen is placed in order to develop. According to him, the whole human being is already contained in the male semen. "(Jesus and Oedipus)
  35. See also Ranke-Heinemann : Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven. Catholic Church and Sexuality ; Hamburg 1989
  36. Vinnai: “Freud's construction, like the biblical one, shows a contradicting claim of authority over the son, which leads to tragic entanglements for him. In the Bible what is withheld from Adam by his Father God is the 'knowledge of good and evil'. In Freud's case, the son is confronted with the father's prohibition relating to sexuality: it should be reserved for the father in his relationship with the mother. Through the psychoanalytic interpretation it is necessary to show that both prohibitions are related to each other. ”-“ At first in the [biblical] text both male and female are originally present, later the female becomes from Adam's rib, which can be interpreted as a symbol of the male phallus , created. This contradicting constellation already indicates that the gender relationship in the Bible raises problems that Christianity cannot cope with. The biblical text fits in with a patriarchal tradition that also took precedence later in European history and that thrives on the defense of the feminine. "(Ibid.)
  37. Simone de Beauvoir : “The Christian ideology has contributed not a little to the oppression of women. [...] The passionate anti-feminist tradition of Judaism lives on in the Apostle Paul. St. Paul commands women to be discreetly restrained; on the old and the new testament he founds the principle of the subordination of women to men ”; The opposite sex , book 1, part 2, chap. 4)
  38. Karlheinz Deschner contrasts the two positions in The Cross with the Church (Chapters 6 & 7): “Christian asceticism has no support in Jesus. He advocates celibacy, discrimination against women and marriage, fasting and other practices of mortification as little as militarism or exploitation. [...] It is not difficult to imagine the radicalism with which Jesus would have condemned the instinctual life had it been up to him. But he used to associate himself with sinners and whores. [...] Jesus communed freely with women. He did not consider them inferior and never put them back ”, but“ Paul [...] not only induced a number of sharply anti-Jesuan dogmas that actually justified Christianity, but also introduced the defamation of sexuality, the dismissal of women, contempt for marriage and asceticism. [...] With such attacks against lust [...] Paul still sinks under the Judaism of his time ”.
  39. Christina von Braun : “Only if motherhood is seen as asexual can the father also become the mother. It turns out that there is no absurdity: the image of omnipotent and asexual motherhood serves at the same time to eliminate mothers and to transform 'spiritual fatherhood' into motherhood. A clear symptom of this development is the revival of the cult of Mary in the emerging industrial age. Neumann, like many other authors, sees the cult of the Madonna as a relic of matriarchal societies. He considers the 'Mother of God' to be the heir to the 'Great Mother' of early history, who held on despite Christianity. In reality, the Madonna has nothing in common with the 'Great Mother': she has neither her own language nor sexuality and fertility of her own. She is genderless  - and that is precisely what makes her a suitable projection surface for male motherhood. Precisely because she is not a woman, the Blessed Virgin is raised to the ideal of motherhood. The asexual image of the mother provides evidence that motherhood cannot have anything to do with gender; it testifies that a man can also become a mother. Therefore - and not out of adoration for women - the dogma of the immaculate conception was proclaimed in 1854 and almost all pilgrimage sites that have emerged since the beginning of industrialization are dedicated to the cult of Mary. Because the Madonna is seen as a symbol of male motherhood, the dogma of the physical ascension of Mary was proclaimed in 1950, which for the Catholic believer puts her on almost the same level as the Savior. "; Not me. Logic lie libido ; 1985
  40. Karlheinz Deschner: “Although Christianity is almost spiritually bankrupt today, it still has a decisive influence on our sexual morality, the formal restrictions of our sexual life are basically still almost as in the 15th or 5th century, as at the time of Luther or Augustine. But that affects everyone in the western world, even non-Christians and antichrists. Because still determines what any nomadic goatherd thought two and a half thousand years ago, the official codes from Europe to America; there is a tangible connection between the sexual beliefs of the Old Testament prophets or Paul, and the criminal prosecution of fornication in Rome, Paris or New York. "; from the foreword by: The Cross with the Church
  41. This applies to Judaism as well as to most Christian denominations. The religious authorities continue to regularly use their influence to make these conditions the social norm. Female authors from the feminist spectrum have often addressed this topic. See e.g. B. Elizabeth Cady Stanton : “The Canon and Civil Law; Church and State; Priests and legislators; all political parties and religious denominations alike have taught that women were made after, out of, and for man, an inferior being, subject to man. Creeds, statutes, scriptures, and statutes are all based on this idea. The fashions, forms, ceremonies and customs of society, ecclesiastical rite and discipline all grow from this idea. […] The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, brought about the fall of the human race, that she was accused, tried and punished in the judgment seat of heaven. Marriage should be for her a state of bondage, motherhood a time of suffering and agony, and in silence and submission she should play the role of a dependent on man's generosity and for all the information she has on the essential issues of the day she was ordered to ask her husband at home. This is the biblical position of women in a nutshell. Those who have the divine insight to translate, exchange and glorify this sad and pitiful object into a sublime and dignified personality who is worthy of being the mother of our sex must be congratulated on their participation in the occult mystical power of the Eastern Mahatmas . Ordinary English for the common mind does not allow such free interpretation. The bare texts speak for themselves. The canonical law, church rites and scriptures are homogeneous, and all reflect the same spirit and the same feelings ”; Own translation from the introduction to The Woman's Bible
  42. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 119
  43. This was often the case with Bible-critical works of the Enlightenment and before. Examples are works by d'Holbach, Voltaire or Reimarus.
  44. E.g. the will of Abbé Meslier
  45. So z. B. the critical work of the Bible by Celsus, which today only survives through Origen's reply.
  46. Where these limits are to be set is always the subject of public disputes, as is the paragraph itself: Some are calling for it to be tightened ( e.g. by the CSU state government of Bavaria [1]  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice .; PDF; 35 kB), by others its abolition: for example by the parliamentary manager of the Greens, Volker Beck (source: Die Welt from November 30th 2006)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  47. See e.g. B. Robert Green Ingersoll: A Few Reasons for Doubting the Inspiration of the Bible. (in English)
  48. Arno Schmidt : “The theologians want to use force to turn the Bible into a book in which there is no common sense. Your hair stands on end when you consider the effort that has gone into explaining it; And in the end, after thousands of years, what was the price of all the efforts that was taken for granted from the outset for every impartial person? None other than that: The Bible is a book, written by people, like all books. "; from: Atheist? : Indeed !
  49. Johannes Vogel, Breckerfeld; in: idea press service 46/004
  50. quoted from : idea-Pressedienst 25/2003
  51. z. B. Eta Linnemann, original or forgery (PDF; 544 kB), historical-critical theology in the light of the Bible .
  52. A well-known example of a dispute about whether a certain biblical passage should be understood literally or symbolically is the evangelical sacrament dispute
  53. KKK No. 107
  54. ^ Albert: Treatise on Critical Reason , p. 133
  55. ^ Albert: Treatise on Critical Reason , pp. 134f
  56. Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Resistance and Surrender , ed. by Eberhard Bethge; Letter to E. Bethge dated May 5, 1944; Munich, Hamburg: 1970


Biblical literature

  • Franz Buggle : Because they don't know what they believe . Alibri, Aschaffenburg 2004, ISBN 3-932710-77-0 .
  • Israel Finkelstein , Neil Asher Silberman: No Trumpets Before Jericho. The Archaeological Truth About the Bible. Beck, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-406-49321-1 .
  • Karlheinz Deschner : Criminal History of Christianity , Vol. 1, The early days. From the origins in the Old Testament to the death of St. Augustinus (430) , Reinbek 1986: Rowohlt, ISBN 3-499-19969-6 .
  • Norbert Rohde: Farewell to the Bible . Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2004, ISBN 3-8334-1577-0 .
  • Johannes Maria Lehner: The Cross with the Bible: The Book of Books in the Light of Science, Reason and Morality . Books on Demand GmbH, ISBN 978-3-83701-470-9 .
  • Hartmut Krauss (ed.): The testament of Abbé Meslier . Background Verlag, Osnabrück 2005, ISBN 3-00-015292-X .
  • W. Stewart Ross: Jehovah's Collected Works. A critical examination of the Judeo-Christian religious building on the basis of biblical research. 2nd revised edition. Published by Wolfgang Schaumburg, Zurich.
  • Voltaire : La Bible enfin expliquée . (around 1776)
  • William Henry Burr: Self-Contradictions of the Bible . Prometheus Books, Amherst, ISBN 1-57392-233-1 .
  • C. Dennis McKinsey: The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy . Prometheus Books, Amherst 1995, ISBN 0-87975-926-7 .
  • Walter-Jörg Langbein: Lexicon of Biblical Errors. From A for Resurrection of Christ to Z for Jehovah's Witnesses. Langen / Müller, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-7844-2922-X .
  • Walter-Jörg Langbein: Lexicon of the errors of the New Testament . Langen / Müller, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-7844-2975-0 .

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Responses to Biblical Criticism