I'll most likely regret responding to this but I'm too tired to care at the moment.
The Bible has been historically tested by both skeptics and believers concerning the prove-able documentation, such as kings/rulers, names of countries, cities, peoples, tribes, places, religions, buildings, technology and much more. It is the definitive historical source for the ancient Hebrew people (now mostly known as the Jewish people).
As far as the pre-history (Adam and Eve), prophecies and more philosophical elements, those have been (and will be) debated ad-nauseum. In the absence of facts, you can't prove something didn't
happen, as JustNoPoint said. It just boils down to whether you believe it on faith or you don't. It is simply a subjective matter and always will be.
On the other hand, "a collection of stories" does not lead millions to convert to another belief system, but faith -- in that belief system, as supported by what is written in the Bible -- does.
What Phillby and some others seem to be getting frustrated/confused/amused or whatever by is the concept of someone (or in this case, a considerable number of people) literally believing the Bible to be the Word of God as divine inspiration given to the men who wrote the words. And since those of you who feel that way can't believe the Bible literally, then you think no one else should, either
-- and if someone does, then they "deserve" your ridicule and derision until they see the light of reason and what, convert to your belief system? If so, how interesting!
What I find amazing is why what someone else
does bothers you all so much? Live your own life
, believe what you want to believe and leave others' beliefs alone
. Ozone has been advocating that for quite some time, I believe (a live and let live approach, specifically).
But that doesn't happen here. It's gotten so bad that even when the Christians don't post, the "Anti-believers" keep re-hashing variations on the same topics and giving the same answers -- and end up being flabbergasted at how those (fill-in-the-blank) "believers/Christians, etc." can believe in the Bible or God or Jesus, because the Anti-believers have so much justification for what they believe -- but no answers on how to make all those annoying believers in the world just GO AWAY, because that's in essence what they seem to want.
That may be a harsh assessment, but every once in a while, I drop in and read the posts (the ones I can stomach, anyway). It's really somewhere between sad and funny to see debate over a seeming non-issue. If it's so impossible to believe, and there's noone around who cares to challenge you, then why continue to beat that "dead horse?" That seems borderline obsessive...
Okay, I'm going to bed now.
Philby I think your comments are getting a bit agressive there.
Whether your assessment is right or wrong, when you start getting insulting, mocking and arrogant about it, you are just going to end up alienating people, not persuading them to agree with you.
Asside from that, it just makes you seem antagonistic.
The Bible as we know it today is a collection of storys, letters and accounts from across history. It's been translated, edited and retranslated numerous times.
It is not the word of god, it is a book. The idea that it is a 100% factual historical document is laughable.
I don't think I've got a snowballs chance in hell of getting that point acrooss, no matter how polite I force myself to be.