The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that are known to science. In
Genesis, the earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects,
and flowering plants before any animals. The order of events known from science is just the
God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day.
Yet he didn't make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day
(1:14-19). And how could there be "the evening and the morning" on the
first day if there was no sun to mark them? 1:3-5
God spends one-sixth of his entire creative effort (the second day)
working on a solid firmament. This strange structure, which God calls heaven, is
intended to separate the higher waters from the lower waters. 1:6-8
Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic
processes (1:14-19). 1:11
God lets "the earth bring forth" the plants, rather than creating them directly.
Maybe Genesis is not so anti-evolution after all. 1:11
In an apparent endorsement of astrology, God places the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament so that they can be used
"for signs". This, of course, is exactly what astrologers do: read "the signs" in the Zodiac in an effort to predict what
will happen on Earth. 1:14
God makes two lights: "the greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night." But
the moon is not a light, but only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to "rule the night", does it spend
half of its time moving through the daytime sky? 1:16
"He made the stars also." God spends a day making light (before making the stars) and separating light
from darkness; then, at the end of a hard day's work, and almost as an afterthought, he makes
the trillions of stars. 1:16
"And God set them [the stars] in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the
In verse 11, God "let the earth bring forth" the plants. Now he has the earth "bring forth" the animals as well. So maybe
the creationists have it all wrong. Maybe God created livings things through the process of evolution.
God gave humans dominion over every other living thing on earth. 1:26
God commands us to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have
dominion over ... every living thing that moveth upon the earth." 1:28
"I have given you every herb ... and every tree ... for meat."
Since many plants have evolved poisons to protect against animals that would like to eat them, God's advice is more than a little reckless.
Would you tell your children to go out in the garden and eat whatever plants they encounter? Of course not. But then, you are much nicer
and smarter than God. 1:29
All animals were originally herbivores. Tapeworms, vampire bats,
mosquitoes, and barracudas -- all were strict vegetarians, as they were created
by God. 1:30
"God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." He purposefully designed a system
that ensures the suffering and death of all his creatures, parasite and host, predator and prey. 1:31
In Genesis 1 the entire creation takes 6 days, but the
universe is 13.7 billion years old, with new stars constantly being formed. 1:31
Humans were not created instantaneously from dust and breath, but
evolved over millions of years from simpler life forms. 2:7
After making the animals, God has
Adam name them all. The naming of several million species must have kept Adam busy for a
God fashions a woman out of one of Adam's ribs.
Because of this story, it was commonly believed (and sometimes it is still said today) that males have one less
rib than females. When Vesalius showed in 1543 that the number of ribs was the same in males and females, it created a storm
of controversy. 2:19
God curses the serpent. From now on the serpent will crawl on his belly and eat dust.
One wonders how he got around before -- by hopping on his tail, perhaps? But snakes don't
eat dust, do they? 3:14
Because Adam listened to Eve, God cursed the ground and causes thorns and thistles to grow. Before this,
according to the (false) Genesis story, plants had no natural defenses. The rose had no thorn, cacti were spineless, holly
leaves were smooth, and the nettle had no sting. Foxgloves, oleander, and
milkweeds were all perfectly safe to eat. 3:17-18
Enoch doesn't die he just ascends into heaven. 5:21-24
Enoch lived 365 years before he was taken (alive?) by God.
When Lamech was born, nine generations were alive at once. Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech were all alive at
the time of Lamech's birth. Adam lived to see his great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson. 5:25
Methuselah lived 969 years. (World record holder.) 5:27
"There were giants in the earth in those days." 6:4
God tells Noah to make one small window (18 inches square) in the 450
foot ark for ventilation. 6:14-16
Whether by twos or by sevens, Noah takes male and female representatives from each
species of "every thing that creepeth upon the earth." 7:8
God opens the "windows of heaven." He does this every time it rains.
All of the animals boarded the ark "in the selfsame day." 7:13-14
The flood covered the highest mountain tops (Mount Everest?) with fifteen cubits to
"The windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained." This
happens whenever it stops raining. 8:2
Noah sends a dove out to see if there was any dry land. But the dove returns without
finding any. Then, just seven days later, the dove goes out again and returns with an olive leaf.
But how could an olive tree survive the flood? And if any seeds happened to survive, they
certainly wouldn't germinate and grow leaves within a seven day period.
When the animals left the ark, what would they have eaten? There would have been no
plants after the ground had been submerged for nearly a year. What would the carnivores have
eaten? Whatever prey they ate would have gone extinct. And how did the New World
primates or the Australian marsupials find their way back after the flood
"And the Lord smelled a sweet savor."
Noah kills the "clean beasts" and burns their dead bodies for God. According to
7:8 this would have caused the extinction of all "clean" animals since only two of each were
taken onto the ark. 8:20-21
"Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." Although this would have been good advice for the mythical Noah, it
is deadly advice for humankind as a whole. Overpopulation is one of our greatest problems, yet there is nothing in the bible to address it.
According to this verse, all animals fear humans. Although it is true that many do, it is also
true that some do not. Sharks and grizzly bears, for example, are generally much
less afraid of us than we are of them. 9:2
"Into your hand are they (the animals) delivered." God gave the animals to humans, and they can do whatever
they please with them. This verse has been used by bible believers to justify all kinds of cruelty to
animals and environmental destruction. 9:2
"I do set my bow in the cloud."
God is rightly filled with remorse for having
killed his creatures. He makes a deal with the animals, promising never to drown
them all again. He even puts the rainbow in the sky so that whenever he sees it,
it will remind him of his promise so that he won't be tempted to do it again.
(Every time God sees the rainbow he says to himself: "Oh, yeah.... That's right.
I promised not to drown the animals again. I guess I'll have to find something
else to do.").
But rainbows are caused by the nature of light, the refractive index of water, and the shape of raindrops. There were rainbows
billions of years before humans existed. 9:13
"Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided."
Some creationists believe that this verse refers to continental drift, which, they say,
began to occur during the days of Pelag (which means "division"), about 100 or so years after the flood. But many
other creationists disagree. 10:25
"The whole earth was of one language." But this could not be true, since by this time (around 2400 BCE)
there were already many languages, each unintelligible to the others. 11:1, 6
"Now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."
God worries that the people will succeed in building a tower high enough to reach him (them?) in heaven, and that by
so doing they will become omnipotent. 11:4-6
According to the Tower of Babel story, the many human languages were created
instantaneously by God. But actually the various languages evolved gradually over long periods of
The ridiculously long lives of the patriarchs. 11:10-32
And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years. 11:32
"Abram ... pursued them unto Dan."
This is an obvious anachronism, since the city of Dan was not named "Dan" until the time of the Judges
(see Judges 18:29). In fact, Dan (for whom the city
was named) was not even born yet (see Genesis 30:6). 14:14
"And they returned to the land of the Philistines."
But the Philistines didn't arrive in the region of Canaan until around 1200 BCE --
800 years after Abraham's supposed migration from Ur. 21:32,
Laban learns "by experience" that God has blessed him for Jacob's sake. "By experience"
means "by divination", at least that is how
most other versions translate this verse.
Jacob displays his (and God's) knowledge of biology by having goats copulate while
looking at streaked rods. The result is streaked baby goats. 30:37-39
God (or an angel) praises Jacob for his fancy genetic work in 30:37-39.
The birth story of Moses is suspiciously similar to that of the birth of Sargon, an
Akkadian monarch from the 3rd millennium BCE.
(BBC: The tale of the
The Israelite population went from 70 (or 75) to several million in a few hundred years.
1:5,7, 12:37, 38:26
Why are some people born with disabilities? Because God deliberately makes them that way. 4:11
God killed Egyptians and their livestock by smashing them with huge hailstones mixed with fire. 9:24
God led the Israelites through the land of the Philistines, hundreds of years before the Philistines
were established in Canaan. 13:17
If you do what God says, he won't send his diseases on you (like he did to the Egyptians).
But otherwise.... 15:26
"The manna referred to in the Bible, in Exodus 16:14, seems to have been
the dried excrement of Trabutina mannipara, a scale insect that feeds
on tamarisk trees." Benjamin B. Normark, The
Sex Lives of Scales, Natural History, Sept. 2004. 16:14-15
It took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan, yet such a journey, even at that time,
would have taken no more than a few weeks. 16:35
A magical trumpet played loud while God came down in smoke, fire, and earthquakes onto Mt. Sinai. 19:16-18
"In six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them."
Believers often say that the "days" of creation should be taken allegorically, but this verse is quite clear. God created the
universe in six 24 hour days. 20:11
Be sure to watch out for those "other flying creeping things which have four feet." (I wish
God wouldn't get so technical!) I guess he must mean four-legged insects. You'd think that since
God made the insects, and so many of them (at least several million species), that he would know
how many legs they have! 11:23
God's law for lepers: Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the
dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly off.
Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe.
Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe.
Repeat. Finally kill a couple doves and offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt
The Israelite population went from seventy (Exodus 1:5) to
several million (over 600,000 adult males) in 400 years. 1:45-46,
When the tabernacle was set up, it was covered by a cloud during the day and by fire all night. 9:15
God led the Israelites from one camp to the other with a cloud. When the cloud stopped and rested someplace, the Israelites pitched their
tents. When the cloud started moving again, the Israelites followed it. 9:16-23
God sends quails to feed his people until they were "two cubits [about a meter] high upon the face of the earth." Taking
the "face of the earth" to be a circle with a radius of say 30 kilometers (an approximate day's journey), this would amount to 3
trillion (3x1012) liters of quails. At 2 quails per liter, this would provide a couple million quails for each of several million
God strikes Miriam with leprosy. (In the Bible, leprosy is caused by the wrath of God or the malice of Satan.
"They ... cut down ... a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff."
A single cluster of grapes was so heavy that it took two men to carry it. I guess that's what you'd expect, though,
since they were in the land of giants. (See verses 32-33.) 13:23
"And there we saw the giants
... And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their
sight." This statement may have been figurative, hyperbole, typical biblical
exaggeration, or an actual description of the sons of Anak, in which case they must have been
about 100 meters tall. These are the same giants (the Nephilium) that resulted
when the "sons of God" mated with "the daughters of men in
Genesis 6:4 Of course, these superhuman god-men should have been
destroyed in the flood. So what are they doing still alive? 13:33
Moses hits a rock with his rod and Presto! -- water comes out. 20:11
God sends "fiery serpents" to bite his chosen people, and many of them die. 21:6
God's cure for snakebite: a brass serpent on a pole. 21:8
God has "the strength of a unicorn." Oh heck, I bet he's even stronger than a unicorn.
"He made them wander in the wilderness forty years."
It took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan, yet such a journey, even at that time, would have taken no more than a few weeks.
"The people is greater and taller than we ... we have seen the sons of the Anakims there."
More giants in the promised land. 1:28
It took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan, yet such a journey, even at that time,
would have taken no more than a few weeks. 2:7, 8:2,
"A land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time."
(They must have been much more common back then.) 2:10-11,
Og, the king of the giants, was a tall man, even by NBA standards. His bed measured 9 by 4 cubits (13.5 feet long and
6 feet wide). 3:11
God promises to cast out seven nations including the Amorites, Canaanites, and the Jebusites. But he was unable to
fulfill his promise. These nations were "greater and mightier" than the Israelites, who according to
Exodus 12:37 and Numbers 1:45-46 already had numbered
several million. So the region, according to the bible, must have had a population of
more than twenty million! 7:1
"Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were
fiery serpents? ... Who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint?" 8:15
"A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims."
More giants! 9:2
"When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone ... I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water." 9:9
This verse mistakenly says that the hare chews its cud. 14:7-8
To the biblical God, a bat is just an another unclean bird. 14:11, 18
"And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall
be iron." 28:23
"The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed."
"An eagle ... beareth them on her wings."
Do eagles carry their young on their wings? I know of no evidence (except for the single anecdote
provided here) that they do.
"Their wine is the poison of dragons." I wonder what genus and species the bible is referring to when it mentions
Joseph's "horns are like the horns of a unicorn." 33:17
It took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan, yet such a journey, even at that time,
would have taken no more than a few weeks. 5:6
Joshua says that those who try to rebuild Jericho will be accursed by God, and will have to sacrifice both their oldest
and their youngest sons in its construction. But Jericho still exists today, and is often considered to be the world's oldest,
continuously occupied city. 6:26
This verse says that Ai was never again occupied after it was destroyed by Joshua. But Nehemiah (7:32) lists it among the cities of Israel at the
time of the Babylonian captivity. 8:28
In a divine type of daylight savings time, God makes the sun stand still so that Joshua can get all his killing done
before dark. 10:12-13
"And the coast of Og king of Bashan, which as of the remnant of the giants." 12:4, 13:12
"The stars in their courses fought against Sisera." Unless astrology is true, how can the
stars affect the outcome of a battle? 5:20
"As the sun ... goeth forth in his might." The sun, according to the bible, goes around the earth.
Samson rips up a young lion when "the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him." Later, when going to "take"
his Philistine wife he notices a swarm of bees and honey in the lion's carcass (a Divine miracle -- or just rotting flesh, flies,
and maggots?). 14:5-8
There ... was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes,
four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant." 21:20
"These four were born to the giant in Gath." 21:22
"The earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth." 22:8
"The foundations of the world were discovered ... at the blast of the breath of his nostrils." 22:16
Israel had 1,300,000 fighting men in this battle. Of course, this is a ridiculously high number for a
battle between two tribal armies in 1000 BCE. (The United States had about
1.46 million active duty soldiers in 2010.) 24:9
When Solomon was annointed king the people sang and shouted so loudly that it caused an earthquake! 1:39-40
This verse implies that the value of π is 3. (The actual value is
approximately 3.14159.) 7:23
God creates droughts by causing "heaven to shut up" as a punishment for sin.
"And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up ... And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's
hand was restored him again."
Ever the playful spirit, God withers, and then restores, the hand of king Jeroboam. 13:4-6
After killing the "man of God" for God, the lion hung around with the ass and the carcass on the side of the road for a few days.
God passes by and causes a great wind, earthquake, fire, and a little voice. (God was in the little voice.) 19:11-12
God sends two bears to rip up 42 little children for making fun of Elisha's bald head. 2:23-24
Another miracle birth! (And another boy)
Elisha and God make an old woman pregnant. 4:16-17
Elisha restores the life of a dead child, but only after laying on him
a couple of times, putting his mouth on the child's mouth, his eyes on the child's eyes, and
his hands on the child's hands. Finally, the child responds by sneezing seven
Was this a miraculous healing or artificial respiration? 4:32-35
Elisha can do all the tricks of Jesus (raise the dead, heal the sick, etc.). Here he cures a leper, but only after the
leper dips himself seven times in the Jordan. 5:14
Elisha not only can cure leprosy, he can also dish it out. Here he makes his servant (Gehazi) and all his descendants
lepers forever. 5:27
Elisha makes an iron ax head swim. Neat trick, not even Jesus did that one!
"Elisha ... telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber."
Elisha is clairaudient (acquires psychic knowledge
by auditory means). 6:12
A dead body is brought to life when it accidentally touches the bones of Elisha.
"Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered." 20:7
Isaiah, with a little help from God, makes the sun move backwards ten degrees. Now that's quite a trick. All at
once, the earth stopped spinning and then reversed its direction of rotation. Or maybe the sun traveled around the
earth in those days! 20:11
Some creationists believe that this verse (and Genesis 10:25) refers to
continental drift, which, they say, began to occur during the days of Pelag (which means "division"),
about 100 or so years after the flood. 1:19
"The earth ... shall be stable, that it be not moved." It doesn't spin on its axis or
travel about the sun. 16:30
According to this verse David's army had 1,100,000 men from Israel and 470,000 men from Judah,
Of course, this numbers is ridiculously high for a battle between two tribal armies in 1000 BCE.
(The United States had about 1.37
million active duty soldiers in 2001.) 21:5
David provides Solomon with a fantastically large amount of gold and
silver with which to build the temple: 100,000 talents of gold and 1,000,000 talents of silver. Since a
talent was about 60 pounds, this would be about 3,000 tons of gold and 30,000 tons of silver.
King David collects ten thousand drams (or
darics) for the construction of the temple in Jerusalem. This is especially interesting since darics
were coins named after King Darius I who lived some five hundred years after David.
As usual, the reported amounts of gold, silver, and iron are grossly exaggerated. (5000 talents
of gold, for example, would be about 150,000 kilograms, which would be worth about 4.2 billion US dollars in today's market.)
"In the house of the rolls ... in Babylon"
This is the only library building mentioned in the Bible. The author mistakenly thought that Media was a
part of Babylon. 6:1-2
"I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well."
According to creationist writer, Derek Isaacs, "Ancient Jewish tradition, apart from the Bible, taught that a dragon was somehow
attached to the well, either in reality or in spirit. More than likely, that story arose from an actual dinosaur living in the region,
or even at some point, living inside the well itself."
Dragons or Dinosaurs?: Creation or Evolution?, p.163
God spread out the sky, which is a solid structure, hard and strong like a mirror. 37:18
The earth is set on foundations and it does not move. 38:4-6
God could (if he wanted to) pick up the earth by its ends and shake all the wicked people off of it. 38:13
God has snow and hail stored up to use later in time of trouble and war. 38:22
"Out of whose womb came the ice?"
Gosh, I don't know. Was it Glinda, the Good Witch of the North? 38:29
"Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion?"
God seems pleased to have created prey for lions and ravens to eat. 38:39-41
"Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee?" The unicorn referred to here is probably not the single-horned mythical creature, but rather
a wild ox that was mistranslated in the KJV. 39:9-10
Ostriches are not cruel and stupid birds who abandon their eggs to die after laying them, as these verses
imply. They are, in fact, careful and attentive parents. The male scoops out a hollow for the eggs,
which are incubated by the female during the day and the male at night. After the eggs are hatched,
they are cared for by the mother for over a month, at which time the chicks can keep up with running
"The eagle ... seeketh the prey.... Her young ones suck up blood."
God is pleased with the way that predators kill and devour their prey. 39:27-30
Bible believers have identified the behemoth as a hippopotamus, dinosaur, wildebeest, or
crocodile. But my favorite is the way these verses are
by Stephen Mitchell: "Look now: the Beast that I
made: he eats grass like a bull. Look: the power in his thighs, the pulsing
sinews of his belly. His penis stiffens like a pine; his testicles bulge with
"Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord?" 41:1
"His [the leviathan's] teeth are terrible round about."
God has equipped predators with teeth that tear the flesh of their prey. 41:14
"Thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons." 44:19
"I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field
are mine. ... The world is mine, and the fulness thereof."
God takes credit for the entire creation. Preadators, prey, parasite, and host: God purposefully
designed them all. 50:11-12
According to the psalmist, snails melt. But they don't, of course, they simply leave a slimy trail as they move
"The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even
Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God." 68:8
"I was pricked in my reins."
("Reins" means kidneys in the Bible.) 73:21
God is so strong that he can break the head of dragons and of leviathan.
"Thou has set all the borders of the earth"
A spherical earth has no borders. 74:17
"He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea."
See Numbers 11:20-32, where God sends quails to feed the Israelites until it literally came out their
Another reference to "the foundations of the earth", implying that the earth is fixed and
does not move. 82:5
"I will make mention of Rahab"
Rahab is a sea-demon or dragon from ancient Jewish folklore. 87:4
"Thou hast broken Rahab [the sea monster] in pieces." 89:10
"The world also is established, that it cannot be moved." 93:1
"The world also shall be established that it shall not be moved." 96:10
"The Lord ... who healeth all thy diseases." God heals all diseases. Medical science is
"God ... who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain"
(The earth is stationary and does not orbit the sun.) 104:5
"The waters stood above the mountains."
Noah's flood covered the highest mountains, just like it says in Genesis 7:20. 104:6-7
God gives the lions their meat. The cruelty and brutality of nature are all part of God's plan.
"In wisdom hast thou made them all." (God purposely designed the brutality and cruelty of nature.)
God is offended by those who make things with their hands or invent things with their minds.
"God ... turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters." 114:7-8
"The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works." Then why do nearly
all animals die painful deaths from starvation, predation, or disease long before they reach adulthood?
God "satisfiest the desire of every living thing." But in nature few needs are met
and few desires are satisfied. Life is short, hard, cruel, and painful for nearly every living
"He calleth them all by their names."
God knows how many stars there are and knows them all by name. That's pretty impressive since there are 100 billion or so galaxies,
each containing about 100 billion stars. 147:7
"The sun also ariseth"
Although this verse is interpreted figuratively today, it was taken literally by virtually all
Christians until the Copernican revolution, and was used by the Church to condemn Galileo for
teaching the heliocentric heresy. 1:5
"The place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again."
Good description of the water cycle. 1:7
"He hath made every thing beautiful."
Everything is beautiful in its own way. Parasitic worms, cancer cells, bubonic plague. You just have to look at it from God's eyes.
"No man can find out the work that God maketh."
Science is impossible. We can learn nothing at all about the natural world. 3:11
"That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?"
Who can find out? We can by using science! The earth, ocean, solar system, galaxy, and universe -- nothing is too deep or far away for
science to discover and explore. 7:24
"Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work
that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet
he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet
shall he not be able to find it."
Oh, I think science has done a pretty good job of finding things out over the last four centuries or so. 8:16
"Thou knowest not ... how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child."
Actually, this is pretty well understood by modern embryology. 11:5
"When he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."
(Earthquakes happen when God gets angry.) 2:19, 21
"He has stretched forth his hand against them ... and the hills did tremble." (God makes earthquakes when he gets angry.)
"He [God] ... will hiss unto them from the end of the earth."(The earth is flat and has an end.) 5:26
"Neither doth his heart think so"
In the Bible, people think with their hearts not their heads. 10:7
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb...." I wonder what will become of the spiders.
Will they be more friendly toward flies? And will the parasitic wasps find another way to feed their larvae? Or will they
continue to feed off the living bodies of caterpillars? 11:6,
"And the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den." A cockatrice
is a serpent, hatched from a cock's egg, that can kill with a glance. They are rare nowadays.
God will gather up the people of Judea "from the four corners of the earth." In the Bible's view, the earth is flat with four
The moon produces its own light and the earth does not move (except
when God gets angry and shakes the heavens). 13:10-13
When God gets really angry, he causes earthquakes. 13:13
Dragons will live in Babylonian palaces and satyrs will dance there.
Out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent." What ever happened
to these fascinating biblical creatures? 14:29
"The foundations of the earth do shake ... The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard."
(Earthquakes are all a part of God's wondrous plan.) 24:18-20
God will punish the leviathan ("that crooked serpent") with his own sword and will kill the sea dragon.
Natural disasters (earthquakes, storms, fires, tsunamis) are caused by, and are a sign
of, God's wrath. 29:7
Among the many strange creatures mentioned in the Bible that no longer seem to exist is the "fiery flying serpent."
"The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be
sevenfold." Well, this is one prophecy that will never come true. Since the moon has no light of its own, but only
reflects that of the sun, it could never shine like the sun. And the sun will not, at least not while there are humans to see
it, shine 7 times as bright as it does now. 30:26
"The LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew
the lighting down of his armwith the indignation of his anger, and with
the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones." 30:30
"The host of heaven shall be dissolved ... and ... shall fall down."
The stars will dissolve and fall from the sky. 34:4
"And the unicorns shall come down with them." 34:7
Dragons and satyrs may not seem real to you, but they did to the author of these verses.
"In the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes." 35:7
God makes the sun move backwards 10 degrees. Now that's a neat trick! 38:8
The earth is a flat disc that God looks down upon from his throne in
God made the stars, presumably all at once on day four of creation, and "not one faileth." But new stars are being
formed today and old stars are dying, just as they have been doing for the last 13 billion years or so. 40:26
Dragons and owls will thank God for irrigation. 43:20
God set the earth on foundations so it doesn't move, his hand is as big as the universe,
and the stars stand up straight when he calls them. 48:13
God cut Rahab (the sea
monster) to pieces, wounded the dragon, and dried up the sea. 51:9-10
Bad people hatch poisonous cockatrice eggs. Whoever eats the eggs will die, and
when the eggs are crushed a viper hatches out of them. 59:5
"Neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee." Of course the moon doesn't give off
light, but only reflects the light from the sun. 60:19
"I will send serpents,cockatrices among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you."
A cockatrice is a serpent, hatched from a cock's egg, that can kill with a glance. They are rare nowadays. 8:17
God will make Jerusalem an uninhabited "den of dragons." 9:11
When God gets angry, the earth trembles. (That's what causes earthquakes.)
Judah will become a desolate den of dragons. 10:22
"O LORD of hosts ... that triest the reins [kidneys] and the heart." 11:20
The wild asses "snuffed up the wind like dragons." 14:6
"O LORD of hosts, that ... seest the reins [kidneys]." 20:12
The earth is set on foundations and does not move. 31:37
Jeremiah predicts that humans will never again live in Hazor, but will be replaced by dragons.
But people still live there and dragons have never been seen. 49:33
"Nebuchadrezzar ... hath swallowed me up like a dragon." 51:34
"Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an
hissing, without an inhabitant. They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions' whelps." 51:37
"The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the
waves thereof." 51:42
"I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her
rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not
wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts."
God will force the Babylonians to get so drunk that they die from alcohol poisoning. 51:57
Ostriches are not cruel and inattentive parents, as this verse implies. They are, in fact, careful and
attentive parents. The male scoops out a hollow for the eggs, which are incubated by the female during the day
and the male at night. After the eggs are hatched, they are
cared for by the mother for over a month, at which time the chicks can keep up with running adults. 4:3
"The firmament ... the terrible crystal, stretched
forth over their heads above." 1:22
Ezekiel proclaims that the world (which is flat and has four corners) is ending.
The firmament is over the heads of the cherubim.
"Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his
This is the only clearly symbolic use of "dragon" in the Bible. 29:3
God "will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light." To Ezekiel, the
sun is just a little light that can be covered with a cloud, and the moon produces its own
God will get so angry that his fury will come up in his face so that even the fish, birds, beasts, and bugs will shake when they see him.
God will throw a tantrum, toppling every wall and mountain. 38:18-20
The third year of the reign of Jehoiakim would be 606 BCE, at which time Nebuchadnezzar was not yet king of Babylon. It was 597 BCE that Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem for the first time (without actually
destroying it). By that time Jehohiakim was dead and his son, Jehoiachin, was
The stone became "a great mountain" that "filled the whole earth." This could only be possible on a flat, disc-shaped earth.
Daniel's tree is tall enough to be seen from "the end of all the earth." Only on a flat earth would this be possible.
"Belshazzar the king"
Apparently, the author of Daniel knew of only two Babylonian kings during the period of the
exile: Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, who he wrongly thought was the son of Nebuchadnezzar. But
Nebuchadnezzar died in 562 BCE and was succeeded by his son, Awil-Marduk (referred to in the bible
as "Evilmerodach" [see 2 Kg 25:27 and
Jer 52:31]). In 560 BCE, Amel-Marduk was
assassinated by his brother-in-law, Nergal-shar-usur. The next and last king of Babylon was
Nabonidus who reigned from 556 to 539, when Babylon was conquered by Cyrus. It was Nabonidus, and not
Belshazzar, who was the last of the Babylonian kings. Belshazzar was a the son and viceroy of
Nabonidus. But he was not a king, and was not the son (or any other relation) of
Darius the Median is a fictitious character whom the author perhaps confused with
Darius I of Persia, who came to the throne in 521 BCE, 17 years after the fall of Babylon. The author of Daniel
incorrectly makes him the successor of Belshazzar instead of Cyrus. 5:31
To Daniel, the stars are small objects that can fall from the sky and then be "stamped upon." 8:10
God destroyed the Amorites who were a race of giants as tall
as cedars and as strong as oaks. 2:9
"Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion."
Other translations have "Pleiades" instead of "seven stars." In any case, the Pleiades is an open star cluster
that contains thousands of stars, not just the "seven stars" that are easily visible from earth without a telescope.
And the constellation Orion is a collection of stars that happens to form an interesting, but temporary, pattern when
viewed from earth. It was not purposefully designed by anyone or anything. 5:8
"Shall not the land tremble for this?"
(Earthquakes are a punishment from God.) 8:8
"I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day." 8:9
God will "cut them in the head" and "slay the last of them with the sword." Any that try to escape by diving to the bottom of the sea will be bitten,
at God's command, by a sea-serpent. God will set his "eyes upon them for evil, not for good." 9:1-4
According to the horses of different colors, "the earth sitteth still, and is at rest." 1:11
"The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth."
God set the earth on firm foundations. (So it doesn't move.) 12:1
On the day of the Lord, the mount of Olives will be split in two and half the mountain will be removed. 14:4
Someday there will be a day that will have neither day nor night with a bright sunny evening. 14:7
"The star ... went before them."
If the star "went before them," leading them to Bethlehem, then it couldn't have been a star or any
other astronomical object or event. But Matthew couldn't have known that. Everyone at the time
thought that stars were just little points of light a short distance above the earth. It'd be no
problem to have one hover above a particular place for a while. 2:9
Herod kills all boys in and around Bethlehem that are two years old and under. Such a massacre would certainly have
been noted by contemporary historians. Yet not even Josephus, who documented Herod's life in detail, mentioned this
The devil kidnaps Jesus and takes him up to the top of the temple, and then to the top of "an exceedingly high
mountain," high enough to see "all the kingdoms of the world." I guess the earth was flat in those days.
"Behold the fowls of the air...." Jesus says that God feeds them. But, if so, he does one hell of a lousy job at it. Most
birds die before leaving the nest, and the few who manage to fly soon die painful deaths of starvation, predation, or disease.
If God is caring for them, pray that he stays away from you. 6:26
Speaking of the birds, Jesus asks: "Are ye not much better than they?" This is meant as a rhetorical
question, but the answer is far from obvious to me. I guess to Jesus, though, birds are not worth much compared to humans. So you
can do whatever the hell you want with (and to) them. 6:26
Peter's mother-in-law was sick with a fever. Jesus healed her by touching her hand, so she could get back to serving them.
(Peter's mother-in-law? The first pope was married?) 8:14-15
Jesus and his disciples were crossing a lake in a boat when a storm came. Jesus was asleep, so his
chicken-shit disciples woke him up. Jesus rebuked them for having little faith and then calmed the winds and the waves. All of which was to show,
what? That weather is sent by God and can be controlled by faith? 8:24-26
Jesus heals a paralytic man by forgiving his sins. (Paralysis is caused by sinful behavior.) 9:2-6
"Thy faith hath made thee whole."
If you have enough faith, you will never get sick. (Illness is caused by sin and lack of faith.
Medical science is unnecessary.) 9:22
Jesus heals two blind men. (Or was it their blind faith that healed them?) 9:27-29
Jesus heals a "dumb man possessed by a devil." (Those who cannot speak are possessed by a devil.) 9:32-33
"Jesus went about all the cities and villages ... healing every sickness and every disease." 9:35
Jesus gives his disciples "power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness."
Jesus tells his disciples to perform all the usual tricks: "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers,
raise the dead, and cast out devils." 10:8
"Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all." 12:15
God is involved in the death of every sparrow. He sees to it that they each die
painful deaths of starvation, predation, or disease. But don't worry. God will do the same for you. (He thinks that humans
are worth much more than sparrows.) 10:29. 31
Jesus casts out a devil from a man who was
blind and dumb. (Those who are unable to see or hear are possessed by devils.) 12:22
"Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly." 12:40
"An enemy hath done this." Some Christians believe that the natural
evil in the world (predators, parasites, pain, death) is due to Satan, not God. 13:28
Jesus is incorrect when he says that the mustard seed is the smallest seed. And since there are no trees in the
mustard family, mustard seeds do not grow into "the greatest of all trees." 13:31-32
"Jesus ... saw a great multitude ... and he healed their sick." 14:14
"They sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased ... and as
many as touched were made perfectly whole." 14:35-37
Jesus cures an epileptic "lunatic" by "rebuking the devil." (Epilepsy is caused by devils.)
"The blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them." 21:14
The end of the world will be signaled by wars, famines, disease, and earthquakes (6-7). And that's just
"the beginning of sorrows" (8). Next believers will be hated and killed by unbelievers (9), believers will hate and betray each other (10), false
prophets will fool people (11), iniquity will abound and love wax cold (12). But hey, if you make through all that, you'll be saved (13).
Only one more thing will happen before the end comes: the gospel will be preached throughout the world (14). Well, that and the abomination
of desolations will stand in the holy place (15), many false Christs and false prophets will show great signs and wonders (24), the sun and moon
will be darkened and the stars will fall (29), the sign of the son of Man will appear in the sky, everyone on earth will mourn, and then,
finally, the great and powerful son of Man will come in all his glory (30).
Oh, and all these things will happen within the lifespan of Jesus' contemporaries (34).
Or maybe not. Jesus was talking about things he knew nothing about (36). (See Mark 13:32.)
"The moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven." Apparently, Jesus believed that the moon
produces its own light, and that the stars are lights held in place by a firmament only a few miles above our heads.
Jesus believed that Noah's flood actually happened. 24:37
When Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of complete darkness "over all the land." And when he
died, there was a great earthquake with many corpses walking the streets of Jerusalem. It is strange
that there is no record of any of these extraordinary events outside of the gospels.
Peter's mother-in-law was sick with a fever. Jesus healed her by touching her hand, so she could get back to serving them. 1:30-31
Jesus heals "all that were diseased" by casting out devils. 1:32-34
Jesus heals a paralytic man by forgiving his sins. (Paralysis is caused by sinful behavior.) Notice that Jesus didn't just heal him,
he forgave his sins, which is something only God is supposed to be able to do. 2:3-12
"He [Jesus] ordained twelve, that they should ... have power to heal sicknesses,
and to cast out devils." 3:14-15
Jesus is incorrect when he says that the mustard seed is the smallest seed.
(The smallest seeds are found among
the tropical, epiphytic orchids.) 4:31
"He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."
"A certain woman ... had an issue of blood twelve years...."
So this is where all those phony faith-healing stories came from! Notice that the doctors made her condition worse, but she was instantly cured
by faith. 5:25-29
"Thy faith hath made thee whole." If you have enough faith, you will never get sick.
(Illness is caused by sin and lack of faith. Medical science is unnecessary.) 5:34
"And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them."
"Whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that
they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole." 6:56
Jesus puts his fingers in a deaf man's ears, then spits and touches his tongue. This immediately cured his deafness.
Jesus cures a blind man by spitting in his eyes. 8:22-23
Jesus' spit did not completely cure the blind. So Jesus tried again. He put his hands on the man's
eyes and, this time, the blind man "saw every man clearly." 8:24-25
Jesus heals a boy with "a dumb spirit" by saying, "Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge
thee, come out of him and enter no more into him." (Sounds like a script from Monty Python,
doesn't it?) But how could a deaf spirit hear the words
spoken to it? And how could a dumb spirit cry out? 9:17, 25-26
"But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female."
Jesus believed that sex and Adam and Eve were created
"from the beginning." But the universe is about 13.7 billion years old,
the earth 4.6 billion, sex a billion years or so, and humans (depending
on how you define "human") for a couple million years. 10:6
"Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And
immediately he received his sight." 10:52
"The beginnings of sorrows."
The end of the world will be marked with wars, famines, and earthquakes. (Thank God for that helpful hint!) 13:8
"In those days ... the moon shall not give her light, and
the stars of heaven shall fall." Of course this is nonsense. The billions of stars will never
fall to earth and the moon does not produce its own light. 13:24-25
When Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of complete darkness "over the whole land." It is
strange that there is no record of this extraordinary event outside of the gospels.
Jesus cures an epiletic child by rebuking an unclean spirit. 9:42
Jesus tells his disciples to do two things: heal the sick and say the
kingdom of heaven has come upon you. 10:9
People who cannot speak are possessed with devils. 11:14
"Some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief
of the devils ... and others ... sought of him a sign from heaven."
A reasonable hypothesis (assuming devils exist) and a fair request (assuming a god exists). 11:15-16
"If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out?"
Jesus believed the Pharisees could cast out demons, too! 11:19
Jesus says it is impossible to get rid of unclean spirits. If you manage to evict one, he'll soon return with
seven others "more wicked than himself" and you'll be worse off than you were before. So just learn to live with
whatever unclean spirits that are currently possessing you. 11:24-26
"The wind bloeth where it listeth."
Jesus says that no one knows which way the wind is blowing. But, of course, he was wrong about that. The
direction and speed of the wind are easily measured. 3:8
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye
believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" Good question, Jesus!
He was wrong about creation in Mk 10:6, wrong about the flood in
Lk 17:26-27, and wrong about the smallest seed in Mt 13:31-32.
So why would anyone believe him when he talks about heaven in Jn 3:16?
Jesus believes people are crippled by God as a punishment for sin. He tells a crippled man, after healing him, to
"sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." 5:14
The disciples ask Jesus about the cause of a man's blindness. Was it because he or his parents sinned? Jesus said neither
had sinned. The man was born blind so that Jesus could show off his powers by curing him of his blindness.
Jesus spits on the ground, mixes his spit with the dirt, and rubs the muddy spit on (or in?) a blind man's eyes.
Then he told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. After that, the blind man could see again.
The Bible doesn't say whether it was the holy spit, holy mud, or holy water that did the trick. 9:6-7
"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
Jesus was wrong about seeds. If a seed dies, it dies. It only produces a new plant if it stays alive (in a dormant stage) until
it germinates. Dead seeds bring forth no fruit. 12:24
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?"
This verse was used by a Dominican friar to discourage the use of Galileo's telescope. (Notice the
pun on Galileo's name in "men of Galilee".) 1:11
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood."
It happens with every solar or lunar eclipse. 2:20
After only two years of preaching, everyone in Asia had heard the word of the Lord!
Sick people were cured by touching the handkerchief or apron of Paul. And the evil spirits when out of them."
Paul is bitten by a poisonous snake and yet
lives. The "barbarians" who were shipwrecked with him thought he must
be a murderer since he was bitten; but then they changed their minds and thought
him to be a god since he didn't die. (The snake story is especially interesting since there
are no poisonous snakes on Malta, and there is no evidence of their existence in the past.)
By praying and touching the sick people of Malta, Paul cures them of their diseases.
The existence and nature of God are self-evident; thus, unbelievers are "without
The Religious Right often uses Romans 1:21-25 to condemn environmentalists. 1:21-25
Paul claims that before Adam sinned death did not exist. But, of course, death didn't enter the world
a few thousand years ago because of Adam's sin. Death has been a part of life since life first arose
(on this planet, at least) a few billion years ago. 5:12
"The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."
Some Christians use this verse to show that we live in a
sin cursed world. (But
others disagree.) 8:22
Paul says that everyone, even in his day, had the gospel preached to them. Even the Native Americans, Asians,
Pacific Islanders? 10:18
Those who eat and drink unworthily often get sick and die. (And then go to hell.) 11:30
"In Adam all die."
Nothing died before Adam sinned. 15:22
Paul shows his ignorance (and God's) of biology by saying that only dead seeds will germinate. Actually, a seed
must be alive to germinate. 15:36
"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another of beasts."
This verse is used by Creationists to argue against both evolution and any attempt to create "human-animal hybrids" or
"The first man Adam"
Young Earth Creationists use this verse to support
a literal reading of Genesis. "If we cannot believe in the First Adam, why believe in the Last [Christ]?"
"And afterward that which is spiritual."
Asa Gray, the foremost American botanist in the 19th century and close friend of Charles Darwin,
used this verse to support the idea that the Bible is not inconsistent with human evolution.
"For Adam was first formed, then Eve." Young Earth Creationists use this verse to show that Paul believed the creation story in
Gen 2:18-22. 2:13
"Science falsely so called"
Avoid science, especially that which disagrees with Paul.
This verse is often used by believers to justify the rejection of any idea, scientific or otherwise, that contradicts the bible.
James says that, even in his day, all beasts, birds, serpents, and sea creatures had been tamed by humans.
If you are sick, rely on the power of prayer. It works every time. 5:14-15
By praying, Elias was able to keep it from raining for three and a half years. 5:17
"Eight souls were saved by water."
God drowned everyone on earth except for Noah and his family. This verse is used by young-earth Creationists to show that New Testament
writers believed the Old Testament stories. 3:20
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him." This could only happen on a
flat earth. 1:7
"Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." God created parasites,
pathogens, and predators for his very own pleasure. One of his favorite species is
guinea worms. 4:11
The sixth seal is opened and there is a great earthquake, the sun becomes black, and the moon red,
the stars fall from heaven, and mountains and islands move around. 6:12-14
"And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth...." To John, the stars are just little lights a few miles away that can
easily fall to the earth. 6:13
John "saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth." Well, I guess that settles it: the earth is flat and
square-shaped, or at least quadrilateral in shape. 7:1
An angel threw the censer down to earth, causing thunder, lightning, and earthquakes.
"And there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers,
and upon the fountains of waters." In the Bible, stars are just little lights that can fall to the
ground from the sky. 8:10
The fourth trumpet smites one third of the sun, moon, and stars. 8:12
"I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth." 9:1
"There were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." 11:19
The dragon's tail smacks down to earth one third of the stars. To the author of Revelation,
the stars are just little lights that can fall to the ground from the sky. 12:4
The seventh vial: voices, thunders, lightnings, earthquakes, hail. 16:17-21
"And there was no more sea."
For an old sailor like me, this verse, if it were true, would
be one of the saddest verses in the Bible. 21:1