Some people say the Bible is the word of God. I’ve heard believers call it “perfect,” “unerring,” “unchanging,” and “the only book you’ll ever need.” I’ve even met a lot of Atheists and members of other religions who don’t believe the Bible is divinely inspired but still revere it as indispensable source of wisdom.
The Bible may contain a few good lessons, but you can find the same ideas in other religions that developed independently around the world throughout history. Every culture invented the idea it’s bad to hurt people because that truth is self-evident. Basic morality is common sense.
When you take out all the moral lessons that any child could have taught you, the Bible doesn’t offer much novel insight into the human condition. The overwhelming majority of its teachings are absurd, factually incorrect, and/or unethical. Don’t take my word for it. Look at this comprehensive list of commandments in the Bible and see how many you follow.
If you still don’t believe me, then put your convictions to another test. Find a nonbeliever, and tell them what an invaluable source of wisdom the Bible is. Then read the entire chapter of Leviticus 15 out loud to them and answer their questions.
I’ve copied all 891 words of Leviticus 15 below, highlighted important parts, and added commentary between passages. If these 891 words are too insane to follow or praise in public, then open your mind to the possibility the Bible is full of equally bad advice. The more you see, the more you’ll realize the Bible is just an archaic mythology written by humans who were projecting their primitive culture into their state religion.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any man has an unusual bodily discharge, such a discharge is unclean. Whether it continues flowing from his body or is blocked, it will make him unclean. This is how his discharge will bring about uncleanness:
“‘Any bed the man with a discharge lies on will be unclean, and anything he sits on will be unclean. Anyone who touches his bed must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. Whoever sits on anything that the man with a discharge sat on must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
“‘Whoever touches the man who has a discharge must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
“‘If the man with the discharge spits on anyone who is clean, they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
“‘Everything the man sits on when riding will be unclean, and whoever touches any of the things that were under him will be unclean till evening; whoever picks up those things must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
“‘Anyone the man with a discharge touches without rinsing his hands with water must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
“‘A clay pot that the man touches must be broken, and any wooden article is to be rinsed with water.
Leviticus 15 begins with the words, “The Lord said.” So if you’re thinking about dismissing this chapter as an innocuous add-in by humans that God didn’t really mean, then you should doubt the authenticity of the 300 other verses that begin with, “The Lord said.”
When the Lord says, “unusual bodily discharge,” he’s referring to a man ejaculating without having sex. In other words, masturbating or having a wet dream. So basically, these verses are saying whenever a man has an orgasm, he’ll be dirty until he washes his clothes and takes a bath. The second to last verse in Leviticus 15 tells us why you should wash up after ejaculating: “You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.”
Humans didn’t need God to tell us to take a bath if we’re dirty. Common sense told us that, and science backed it up with evidence. If every copy of the Bible disappeared tomorrow, we’d figure this life lesson out again. However, science wouldn’t tell us that anything a man’s horse is carrying while he’s riding dirty is taboo to touch.
More importantly, when the Bible says, “unclean,” it doesn’t just mean “physically dirty.” It means the person isn’t pure enough to stand near the presence of God, who according to the author of Leviticus, literally lived inside a large tent in the middle of a nomadic tribe’s camp. (The tent was later upgraded to a stone temple.) If you don’t believe God ever literally sat in a chair inside a tent, talking to priests, then you don’t believe the Bible.
You can tell these fraudulent priests were just writing down their own culturally-relative rules by the wording of God’s commandments because “the Lord” specifically mentions spitting on people, riding horses, and clay pots. These aren’t universal instructions. They’re cultural projections.
“‘When a man is cleansed from his discharge, he is to count off seven days for his ceremonial cleansing; he must wash his clothes and bathe himself with fresh water, and he will be clean. On the eighth day he must take two doves or two young pigeons and come before the Lord to the entrance to the tent of meeting and give them to the priest. The priest is to sacrifice them, the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement before the Lord for the man because of his discharge.
“‘When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. When a man has sexual relations with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both of them must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
It would be profoundly ignorant or disingenuous to claim God is simply educating humans on how to be hygienic in Leviticus 15 because verses 13-15 slips in a major “bait and switch.” Every time you ejaculate, you have to walk to the big tent in the middle of town where God literally sits, and you have to give a priest two birds. The priest kills one and burns it on a stone altar next to the tent so the blood fumes can waft inside and feed God. The other bird, the priest keeps and eats. You wouldn’t mind taking a shower after ejaculating, but would kill and burn a bird or pay a priest money every time you masturbated or had sex? Paying a jizz tax is exactly what the Lord is commanding in Leviticus 15.
“‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.
“‘Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, they will be unclean till evening.
“‘If a man has sexual relations with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean.
“‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. Anyone who touches them will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
“‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge.
“‘You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.’”
These are the regulations for a man with a discharge, for anyone made unclean by an emission of semen, for a woman in her monthly period, for a man or a woman with a discharge, and for a man who has sexual relations with a woman who is ceremonially unclean.
You don’t need God to tell you menstrual bleeding can pose a health hazard if you don’t practice proper hygiene. Leviticus 15 takes this common sense practice to an insane extreme. First, it says any object or person a menstruating woman touches is unclean, and anyone who touches that thing or person will also be unclean. This was literally political law in the Israelite’s encampment. How would you feel if this was a law enforced by the police in your country? How would you feel if your neighbor reported you to the religious police for not turning yourself in after ejaculating or knowingly touching a clay pot after a menstruating woman held it? If you’d hate that, then you hate the Bible’s wisdom.
Equally sinister is the fact that the “cure” for menstrual uncleanliness is… you guessed it… slaughtering birds and giving priests free food. At the end of the day, the main purpose of this law, is to guarantee every woman has to pay a monthly menstrual tax to a group of fat con artists guarding a tent with a big secret inside: Nothing. Leviticus 15 isn’t wisdom written in the language of the people at the time so they could understand it. It’s a big, fat, premeditated lie invented to rob both men and women.
This isn’t an isolated incident in the Bible either. In Leviticus 13-14, the Lord commands the Israelites to pay the priests anytime you get a rash on your skin or mold in your house, and look what Leviticus 12 commands:
The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.
“‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. He shall offer them before the Lord to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.
“‘These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”
Leviticus 12 is another verse in the Bible that begins with the words, “The Lord said,” and then goes onto say something retarded. Sure, it makes sense for a woman to take a bath after giving birth, but is it reasonable for her to not be allowed to touch any religious objects or go near the tent in the middle of town where God literally lives for seven days? Is it sane for a woman to be considered unclean for twice as long if she gives birth to a girl? Should you be required to give a lamb to a priest every time you have a child? If the lamb is so important, or if two birds are all God really needs, then why set different prices for rich and poor people? If someone is too poor to own a lamb, why should they have to pay a useless priest anything to atone for the “sin” of having a child?
You might be able to answer these questions, but it’s going to take a lot of mental gymnastics and making things up. I can answer any hard question in the Bible in four words, “the Bible is mythology.”
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December 30th, 2017 at 10:15 am
Posts like these just make me say, how, how did I used to believe in this stuff? Just…how? I had read this Bible chapter many times before, but I think I was so used to just blindly accepting that stuff wouldn’t make logical sense, but my logic was wrong and the pastor knew better than me, so I was used to it.
You’ve mentioned how, as a Christian, it becomes necessary to do all kinds of mental gymnastics to try to justify what you read. One story I was taught in one church was that God purposely made the laws impossible to follow so that man would fail and see his need for a savior, which was Jesus Christ. In other words, the laws were supposed to be ridiculous so no one would be able to succeed at following them, so God would have an opportunity to show how loving and merciful he was by sending his son to die, so he could be the ultimate sacrifice. So, even for this level of ridiculousness, there was a justification.
Thanks for this post and for all you do.