That's not in my Bible

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(read this article in French)

Many Christians are not familiar with large sections of the Bible; therefore, such Christians have not have noticed some of its more peculiar or more abhorrent passages. There are many occasions of God commanding atrocities in the Old Testament. The Bible contains absurd laws that are virtually impossible to follow. Theists may express disbelief that such things are in the Bible because of their lack of familiarity with sections that are downplayed by their religion.

The best way to counter this argument is to show the person the relevant passage. There are several web sites and books that list questionable passages in the Bible.

Absurd laws[edit]

There are many laws in both the Old and New Testaments that are almost impossible to follow and are ignored by Christians. Some highlights include:


According to Deuteronomy, the punishment for raping a woman who is not engaged is restitution of fifty-pieces of silver to the woman's father, and the rapist is required to marry the woman. (Deuteronomy 22:28 Bible-icon.png) Divorce is prohibited, (Deuteronomy 22:29 Bible-icon.png) and the woman has no right to divorce. If a man rapes a woman who is engaged, both the rapist and the woman are to be stoned to death; the rapist for violating another man's property, and the woman because she did not cry out for help. (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 Bible-icon.png)

Rape is encouraged as a military tactic throughout the Bible, which sanctions the raping of virgin women as prizes of war.


In the Old Testament, Yahweh told the Israelites to exterminate any tribes in the area he had promised to give them. This was followed by a long series of atrocities that were directly commanded by Yahweh.

For instance: at Jabesh Gilead, (Judges 21:10-12 Bible-icon.png) Israelites kill all of the men and non-virgin women. They take four-hundred virgin women back to their camp, implying that those women were raped.

Human Sacrifice[edit]

According to the Bible, the Abrahamic God apparently approves of human sacrifice.

  • Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-24 Bible-icon.png). Although Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice Isaac at the mountaintop, and is willing to do so, an angel sent by God intervenes at the last moment. There is a corresponding story in Islam, which credits the son as Ismail instead of Isaac.
  • Jephthah ritually sacrifices his daughter to God (Judges 11:29-40 Bible-icon.png) after vowing to sacrifice the first thing that greets him when he returns from his military victory over the Ammonites.
  • After the Israelites violate God's commandments, God commands Joshua to instruct the people in ritual repentance, which includes the destruction by fire of those who violated the covenant. (Joshua 7:15 Bible-icon.png) It is ambiguous as to whether this is ritual sacrifice performed by the tribe or whether it is performed directly by God.
  • Jeroboam prophesies that Josiah will sacrifice pagan priests who use shrines to God. (1 Kings 13:2 Bible-icon.png) Josiah later executes them, and burns their bones. (2 Kings 23:20 Bible-icon.png)

Counter arguments[edit]

Christians usually claim the Old Testament does not apply to them since the arrival of Jesus. Their justification for the selective use of the Old Testament is questionable. It also does not explain their selective use of the New Testament.

External link[edit]

v · d Common objections to atheism and counter-apologetics
Personal   Why are you trying to tear down other people's faith? · Why can't everyone just have their own beliefs? · What are your qualifications? · Atheists believe in nothing · You are a communist · Why do atheists inspire such hatred? · That's not my God
Religious   That's not in my Bible · They're not true Christians · You just want to sin · Atheists know there is a God · It takes more faith to disbelieve than it does to believe · God doesn't believe in atheists · Science is a faith · Atheism is a religion · Atheists worship materialism · Hypocrisy of celebrating religious holidays · Atheism is based on faith · Religious belief is beneficial
Science and logic   You can't prove God doesn't exist · Science can't touch god · God can't be defined · So you think we came from nothing / pondsoup / monkeys? · If God didn't create everything, who did? · That might be true for you, but its not true for me · Religion is another way of knowing · Apologetics and dinosaurs