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Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion, when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities. Thomas Paine
The followers of Christ were told they were living in the end of days. Bettany Hughes, Divine Women II: Handmaids of the Gods, BBC 2012
Paul was wrong about the Apocalypse: the world didn’t end. ibid.
Tell a devout Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yoghurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence whatsoever. Sam Harris
It is time we admitted, from kings and presidents on down, that there is no evidence that any of our books was authored by the Creator of the universe. The Bible, it seems certain, was the work of sand-strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and for whom a wheelbarrow would have been a breathtaking example of emerging technology. To rely on such a document as the basis for our worldview – however heroic the efforts of redactors – is to repudiate two thousand years of civilizing insights that the human mind has only just begun to inscribe upon itself through secular politics and scientific culture. We will see that the greatest problem confronting civilization is not merely religious extremism: rather, it is the larger set of cultural and intellectual accommodations we have made to faith itself. Sam Harris
The Book of Thomas does give us a Jesus who seems less apocalyptic ... More a gentle teacher of wisdom. Mysteries of the Bible s1e2: Jesus in Galilee, 1994
Sepphoris: why do the Gospels make no mention of the business metropolis? ibid.
The Christmas story remains an unsolvable enigma. Mysteries of the Bible s1e6: Jesus: Holy Child
[In] Luke’s account there is no star shining in the heavens and there is no wise men. ibid.
Mythology’s list of virgin births is impressive. ibid.
For the first three hundred years after Jesus lived and died December 25th was not Christmas. ibid.
Of the 1,426 names in the Hebrew Bible only 111 are those of women. The New Testament offers but a few more. Mysteries of the Bible s1e9: Scarlet Women
In modern times millions await signs that the Apocalypse is at hand. And some have followed its prophecies to the tragic ends. Why was the Book of Revelation written? Mysteries of the Bible s2e3: Apocalypse – The Puzzle of Revelation
Is mankind destined for an apocalyptic confrontation? ibid.
Those who died at Waco believed in the Apocalypse. ibid.
While the Four Horsemen ravish humanity, a devastating earthquake rocks the Earth: the sun turns black, the moon turns to blood, and the stars fall from the sky. Seven angels blow seven trumpets and a third of humanity perishes. ibid.
No written account by an eye-witness exists of the unique life and death of the young preacher from Galilee. Mysteries of the Bible s2e7: The Execution of Jesus
He ruled over Judea when Jesus was born. Mysteries of the Bible s3e2: Herod the Great
Nearly everything we know of Herod’s life comes from a Jewish historian named Josephus who lived a century after Herod’s death. ibid.
What mad drive for power could bring a king to kill his own kin? ibid.
He continues to build as if driven by an obsession. ibid.
The Slaughter of the Innocents – even Josephus ... makes no mention of this crime. ibid.
No original manuscripts of the Four Gospels have been found. Mysteries of the Bible s3e7&8: Who Wrote the Bible?
Matthew and Luke may have copied the work of Mark. ibid.
No material evidence for the existence of the hypothetical Q Gospel has even been found though its influence is unmistakable. ibid.
According to most scholars the Gospels as presented in the New Testament are not first-hand eye-witness accounts. Mysteries of the Bible s3e10: The Lost Years of Jesus
Could Jesus have travelled to India and encountered the teachings of Buddha? ibid.
Some scholars find striking similarities between Jesus and Buddha. ibid.
In 1887 Notovitch, a Russian journalist, travelled to Hemis, an isolated Buddhist monastery high in the Himalayan mountains of northern India. In his book The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ Notovitch claims that there he was shown secret manuscripts which detailed the life of a wandering prophet named Esa. ibid.
Did Jesus travel to England? And does the cup from the last supper – the Holy Grail – hold the key which could unlock the secrets of his missing years? ibid.
Did Jesus spend his lost years in the wilderness with a fanatically religious apocalyptic sect? ibid.
If Jesus were involved in revolution, this could explain why a gap exists in our knowledge of his life. ibid.
The New Testament makes no mention of angels being present at the manger or the birth of Jesus. Mysteries of the Bible s4e3: Biblical Angels
Were women present too? Mysteries of the Bible s4e4: The Last Supper
Why did Jesus deliberately affront the most powerful authorities in the land? ibid.
The motives for Judas’s betrayal have long baffled historians. ibid.
Was Paul’s new vision of Christ influenced by secret pagan cults? Why is the Bible silent about Paul’s final years? Mysteries of the Bible s4e8: Paul the Apostle
Were they as most scholars believe invented by an unknown author centuries after Paul’s death? ibid.
A fourteen-year-old Jewish peasant girl, a virgin named Mary, is said to have miraculously given birth to the saviour of her people. There is scant evidence of Mary’s remarkable life. Mysteries of the Bible s4e10: Mary of Nazareth
According to the Infancy Gospel [of James] Mary’s conception in her mother’s womb is physically ordinary. But God makes a special provision: Mary will be born without ordinary sin. ibid.
Instead of being overwhelmed by the stunning impact of Gabriel’s words, that she would bear the Son of God out of wedlock, Mary responds to this momentous prediction with a single telling question: How can this be? ibid.
Once more an angel intervenes on Mary’s behalf: this night he speaks to Joseph in a dream. ibid.
Was Jesus born in Bethlehem or in Nazareth? ibid.
Historians have never found a shred of evidence that a Roman census was conducted precisely at the time the Christian Bible records Jesus’ birth. ibid.
Is it possible that Mary and Joseph were never married at all? ibid.
Mysteriously, the Christian Bible provides no details whatsoever about her days spent in Egypt with her husband and the infant Jesus. ibid.