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Publisher's Summary

What words come to mind when we think of God? Merciful? Just? Compassionate? In fact the Bible lays out God's primary qualities clearly: He's jealous, petty, unforgiving, bloodthirsty, vindictive - and worse!

Originally conceived as a joint presentation between influential thinker and best-selling author Richard Dawkins and former evangelical preacher Dan Barker, this unique book provides an investigation into what may be the most unpleasant character in all fiction.

Barker combs through both the Old and New Testaments (as well as 13 different editions of the "Good Book"), presenting powerful evidence for why Scripture shouldn't govern our everyday lives. This witty, well-researched book suggests that we should move past the Bible and clear a path to a kinder and more thoughtful world.

©2016 Dan Barker (P)2016 Pitchstone Publishing

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Very Good but.....

This book may be better as a physical copy for its reference qualities. Although Dan Barker adds some of his commentary, the book primarily follows the following formula : list a characteristic of god then quote bible verses to prove. This isn't a bad thing and the quotes aren't "quote mined", Dan even invites the reader to check the context, it's just not the best format for an audio book, unless you really like listening to bible scripture.

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Right effect but not for audible

Dan did so much work on this and very thorough. The major issue is bible text after bible text with horrible human suffering from a so called god. But looses its effect because it’s one line of commentary and 20min of horror line after line. Not great for reflection but great for reference. Right idea hard to listen to.

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Interesting and (oddly) Tolerance Promoting

it was an interesting listen, though it did drag on in parts (i.e., where a long series of questions is presented that, I think, are meant to simply be skimmed in the print edition).

Perhaps the best part of the book is the tolerance it promotes in other religions by reminding those of us raised in Judeo Christian backgrounds of all the skeletons in our closets.

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  • Phillip
  • 2018-08-06

Helpful for Overcoming Childhood Indoctrination

If you were raised as a Christian like me, you will find this book very helpful in moving past the false beliefs that were implanted in you as a child. Much of the book is simply quotes from the Bible, scriptures that are not usually covered in church.

The book covers many of the negative aspects of God one-by-one, chapter-by-chapter. Many scriptures that paint God in a negative light are arranged into those chapters by topic, such as genocidal, infanticidal, etc. This makes it a very helpful reference.

As I listened to it, I kept thinking about the character of God as stated in these scriptures. My thought that kept occurring was, “What an (insert expletive here)!”

Christians try to portray their God as the ultimate moral being. As this book demonstrates, that is truly not the case if you just read the Bible. It becomes obvious that the character described would be the ultimate moral monster. Obviously, God, as portrayed in the Bible, reflects the tribal morality of the time it was written.

Since the Israelites came to see everything as coming from God, they felt evil that befell them was punishment from God. Also, they longed for the day when their enemies would pay for what they had done.

Churches oftentimes read the same nice verses over and over again. It is good to consider the bad verses to balance one’s view of the Bible. Yes the Bible has some nice thoughts in it, but it has a lot of bad stuff in it too. If it was really the product of a perfect moral being, that should not be the case. The standard for a book written by a perfect moral being would be set very high. However, the Bible can’t even get off the ground. Also, the morality should be perfectly consistent, but again the Bible fails miserably.

I highly recommend this book. I think it is very important to read when leaving Christianity. Even if the God of the Bible exists, he certainly isn’t good and I am justified in not worshipping him. Even if I am wrong (about his existence), I am still right (about his character).

23 people found this helpful

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  • Abraham R.
  • 2016-09-13

Finally, we hear what is not cherry-picked.

Fantastic and enlightening book. Kept to the bible with minimal outside input and whatever input was added was mostly helpful and insightful. Only thing I can say bad about this is that Dan Barkers reading speed was a tad slow and a bit monotone at times.

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  • Kristin
  • 2016-08-02

Amazing.

Extremely well written and put together. Both educational and entertaining at the same time. I have no doubts in recomending this book to anyone who wishes to be educated about what is really in the bible, both old and new testament.

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  • Alan Ebbinga
  • 2019-01-10

Desk reference material, not for audiobook format.

Terribly mundane and boring. I get the concept, he can reference a Bible verse...

I can see this would be a good desk reference manual, but it does not lend well to listening in audio format. Couldn't even finish it, kept putting me to sleep (and I like to listen to books while I drive!)

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  • Benjamin Barnett
  • 2018-05-26

Mind blowing

I have always had doubt about religion but I had hope in God. After listening to this wonderful book, I believe religion and God is a great big hoax that has destroyed the world as we know it.

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  • Jared
  • 2016-10-15

good, but not recommended for bible-aware atheists

This book consists largely of bible verse quotes interrupted by a sentence or two of commentary. It is encyclopedic, literally, and about as interesting a read. It's a fantastic reference, and I would recommend any questioning regionists read this as opposed to just reading "The Scriptures" everyday.... I suspect the bible lulls believing readers into selective perception, mixing enough seemingly-good content that it is possible to forget or overlook the clearly bad content. This book is a dictionary account of all that bad stuff, but if you are already a fervent atheist, reading this book will feel a lot like reading a dictionary - mostly mundane, with a few exciting new items you'd forgotten about or never knew were in the lexicon.

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  • Me, myself and I
  • 2016-09-08

Amazing..

.. how some people in this world still see it as a "good book", what a horror... Scary and amazing at the same time.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-07-06

Know the REAL Lord/ God of the Bible

You have to increase the speed for this book by x1.1 to x1.2

This book is Explosive Expose of “God’s” true qualities based on the very book that attempts to describe “Him”. Taking a page from Richard Dawkins, former evangelist minister and co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Dan Barker takes the readers on a journey through the Bible and during this trip he clearly describes the “Lord Jealous”.

1. Well-researched, well-written book. Barker takes glee in exposing the character of “God”.
2. The fascinating topic of the characterization of “God” through analyzing the Bible. “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
3. The chapters are broken out by character traits. Each chapter begins with a biblical appropriate passage. “A jealous and avenging God is the Lord, the Lord is avenging and wrathful.” —Nahum 1:2”
4. Barker knows the Bible with mastery and provides countless biblical passages that clearly supports his main points. “He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22:2)”
5. So many biblical passages that will make your head spin. “Leviticus 19:28 “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh on account of the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
6. Traits of an unjust “God”. “Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.””
7. The concept of hell. “The concept of eternal Hell, a truly infinite lack of forgiveness, does not occur until the New Testament, thanks to Jesus.”
8. Many examples of “God’s” Type-A micromanagement.
9. Traits of a vindictive “God”. “Deuteronomy 32:35 “The Lord says, … ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’””
10. The bloodthirsty lord. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you for making atonement for your lives on the altar; for, as life, it is the blood that makes atonement. (Leviticus 17:11)”
11. Threatening nonbelievers, so cruel. “2 Chronicles 15:13 “All who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.””
12. Ethnic cleanser of biblical proportions. “Go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. (1 Samuel 15:3)”
13. Misogyny and plenty of it. “Deuteronomy 22:28–29 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her; he may not put her away all his days.” RSV (You broke it, you buy it.)”
14. So anti-gay. “Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.””
15. The Bible endorses slavery, how terrible. “Leviticus 25:44–46 “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are round about you. You may also buy from among the strangers [NRSV: “aliens”] who sojourn with you and their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property.””
16. Examples of infanticide. “O daughter Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall they be who pay you back what you have done to us! Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock! (Psalm 137:8–9)”
17. Examples of megalomania. ““So I will display my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” —Ezekiel 38:23””
18. Examples of malevolence. ““I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” —Isaiah 45:7, KJV”
19. Just a plain old bully. “But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go. (Exodus 10:20)”
20. Examples of flame-happy “God”. “Leviticus 21:9 “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.” KJV (Notice that her “crime” is profaning her father.)”
21. And so much more.

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  • Shayna
  • 2016-05-19

God worse than I already knew.

I liked the book, but it was a little tedious at times. But I should have expected as much to a point, as it is basically scripture study. But there is SO MUCH that was not taught to me and/or I glossed over in my early days of devout religion. Awesome.

8 people found this helpful

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  • THOMAS OQUENDO
  • 2020-09-04

REPETITIVE ARGUMENTS

I agree with the content of this book but for the love of life how many time do you have to repeat the same thing to try to get your point across? it gets to a point to absurdity. but overall a good listen.

1 person found this helpful