|The Skeptic's Anonotated Bible: Comments|
Do you know a person who writes in their Bible? Some Bibles today even come with space for such scribblers. I do write in my books, though not in my Bible, since that's a little hard with one on CD-ROM. But after numerous requests we have decided to offer some comments on one of the leading Skeptical sites on the Net, the Skeptics' Annotated Bible, which will remind you of someone who writes in their Bible the same way.
By appearance this site is about the same as Ken's Guide to the Bible and even uses some of the same categories. But Ken offers even more details than these guys. As most will know, SAB is an online version of the Bible with little pictures placed by verses editorializing on the comment: stuff like sex, blood and guts, injustice, etc.
Why have we not bothered with this site before? Why have I now moved the bulk of this project to my other site? Because they aren't actually arguing anything. Editorial commentary in the form of pictures and one-sentence comments are not arguments. SAB is the Internet equivalent to a brick wall scribbled with graffiti. It performs no analysis of the social background, the literary data, or context. It is merely "instant reaction" from an angry Skeptic, and that sort of arguing isn't arguing at all. We feel no more obliged to offer a response than they would feel obliged to respond to a preacher whose only argument was, "You're a sinner bound for hell!"
That said, such implied arguments as SAB uses are indeed thoroughly answered on this site and others we link to, but as our time has opened up a bit it is time to get more specific. But as we try to stick to critics who warrant serious attention, we have (as of June 2006) moved our critiques over to my newer website, Tektoonics.
By estimate perhaps 40-50% of SAB's comments are either "argument by outrage" or places where SAB takes moral offense, usually against a cultural norm. Most of the rest are easily answered by links, and I would encourage readers to spend their time better reading other material on this site that, while answering SAB's claims, has nothing to do with them directly.
SAB also demonstrates tremendous provincialism, as for example, they will insert a "laughing head" icon next to verses which describe some Bible social custom with which they are unfamiliar. Imagine what kind of credibility someone would deserve if they read a history of feudal Japan and put a "laughing head" next to descriptions of people taking their shoes off before they enter a home. That is the level to which SAB regularly stoops.
Overall, almost none of SAB deserves detailed response and many cases require no more than a "So?" as a response. Our responses, as they are moved to Tektoonics, will not address any new claims by SAB since our former treatment (because little has changed) and will also address older ones (even if they have been removed from SAB).
You will find the detailed critiques on my other site in the parodies section.