|Michael Kalopoulos' Biblical Religion: The Great Lie|
Biblical Religion: The Great Lie is a very peculiar book. Despite the title, Kalopoulos isn't about "Biblical Religion" much here; it's more about the patriarchs who were the foundation for it in the Old Testament. The theses advanced are formulated on the principle that the Bible copied pagan myths. Thus for example, some guy named "Hermes Trismegistus" is said to have "supplied the raw material for the great religions of West and East" based on vague comments by the likes of Cyril of Alexandria and John of Damascus (we're talking people in the fifth and sixth century here, mind you) that this fellow designed canals, taught math, and also taught "secret legislation of God."
By the way, scholars aren't even sure if this Hermes guy was a man or a god, and there's plenty of room for vagueness -- see here for a popular summary.) So Kalopoulos is on shaky ground with his sourcework from the start.
You'll see Kalopoulos talk about some of the usual OT "problems" that have been contemplated for thousands of years (eg, the problem of evil), and you won't miss much by missing it as he doesn't add to the debate. You'll also see an amazing claim that the Greek version of the Flood story, starring Deucalion as Noah, in fact was the source for the Biblical account, as well as the Sumerian versions. A little hometown pride from Kalopoulos, apparently, since no scholar would ever claim such a thing.
Kalopoulos is not a typical atheist; he's more like Acharya S mixed with Erich von Daniken: he does not believe in a global flood, but does believe in a series of smaller monumental floods, and beleievs in the idea of a great and ancient lost civilization. Among his "proofs" for this are similarities between Minoan axe-heads and axe-heads found in Ohio. There are dozens of ways to design an axe, are there?
He also appeals to alleged parallels between, for example, words in Greek and words in Hawaiian. I checked these claims for Hawaiian at the dictionary here. Kalopolous claims parallels for the Hawaiian words for eagle, mind, learn, melody, and people. According to this dictionary, there is no word for "eagle" in Hawaiian; "mind" is not nous as in Greek, but mana'o; "learn" is not manao but a'o mai....so where does he get this junk? The only source I could find close, now offline, declares the examples of "eagle" and "melody" as coincidences.
Kalopoulos singles out for special scorn the figures of the Old Testament, for example Abraham, whom he supposes to be an evil genius ahead of his time, one who:
There's no doubt more of the same to be found in this book (I looked ahead and saw Moses accused of enacting the death of the Egyptian firstborn with "dietary segregation"), but having found a conspiracy theory to be the theme, I stopped reading at 124 pages. We recommend that you do me one better by not reading it at all.