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About The Holy Bible by Robert Green Ingersoll

Produced by David Widger

ABOUT THE HOLY BIBLE

A Lecture

By Robert G. Ingersoll

"In the nature of things there can be no evidence to establish the claim of Inspiration."

1894.

ABOUT THE HOLY BIBLE.

THERE are many millions of people who believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God--millions who think that this book is staff and guide, counselor and consoler; that it fills the present with peace and the future with hope--millions who believe that it is the fountain of law, justice and mercy, and that to its wise and benign teachings the world is indebted for its liberty, wealth and civilization--millions who imagine that this book is a revelation from the wisdom and love of God to the brain and heart of man--millions who regard this book as a torch that conquers the darkness of death, and pours its radiance on another world--a world without a tear. They forget its ignorance and savagery, its hatred of liberty, its religious persecution; they remember heaven, but they forget the dungeon of eternal pain.

I. THE ORIGIN OF THE BIBLE.

A FEW wandering families--poor, wretched; without education, art or power; descendants of those who had been enslaved for four hundred years; ignorant as the inhabitants of Central Africa--had just escaped from their masters to the desert of Sinai.

Their leader was Moses, a man who had been raised in the family of Pharaoh, and had been taught the law and mythology of Egypt. For the purpose of controlling his followers he pretended that he was instructed and assisted by Jehovah, the god of these wanderers.

Everything that happened was attributed to the interference of this god. Moses declared that he met this god face to face; that on Sinai's top from the hands of this god he had received the tables of stone on which, by the finger of this god, the Ten Commandments had been written, and that, in addition to this, Jehovah had made known the sacrifices and ceremonies that were pleasing to him and the laws by which the people should be governed.

In this way the Jewish religion and the Mosaic Code were established.

It is now claimed that this religion and these laws were and are revealed and established for all mankind.

At that time these wanderers had no commerce with other nations--they had no written language--they could neither read nor write. They had no means by which they could make this revelation known to other nations, and so it remained buried in the jargon of a few ignorant, impoverished and unknown tribes for more than two thousand years.

Many centuries after Moses, the leader, was dead--many centuries after all his followers had passed away--the Pentateuch was written, the work of many writers, and to give it force and authority it was claimed that Moses was the author.

We now know that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses.


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