The Bible is Fiction: A Collection of Evidence

By Daniel Miessler | July 2015
danielmiessler.com

Similarities To Other Stories

The similarities between the stories and characters in the Bible and those from previous mythologies are both undeniable and well-documented. It is only due to the extreme religious bias that pervades our world today that people rarely get exposed to this information.

In this short piece I’ll attempt to show blatant similarities with regard to two of the most important Biblical narratives: the Genesis story and the character of Jesus Christ.

The Book of Genesis’s Flood Story Mirrors The Epic Of Gilgamesh From Hundreds Of Years Earlier

Here are a number of elements that both Gilgamesh and the flood story in Genesis share:

  1. God decided to send a worldwide flood. This would drown men, women, children, babies and infants, as well as eliminate all of the land animals and birds.
  2. God knew of one righteous man, Ut-Napishtim or Noah.
  3. God ordered the hero to build a multi-story wooden ark (called a chest or box in the original Hebrew), and the hero initially complained about the assignment to build the boat.
  4. The arc would have many compartments, a single door, be sealed with pitch and would house one of every animal species.
  5. A great rain covered the land with water.
  6. The arc landed on a mountain in the Middle East.
  7. The first two birds returned to the ark. The third bird apparently found dry land because it did not return.
  8. The hero and his family left the ark, ritually killed an animal, offered it as a sacrifice.
  9. The Babylonian gods seemed genuinely sorry for the genocide that they had created. The God of Noah appears to have regretted his actions as well, because he promised never to do it again.

Keep in mind the level of detail in these similarities. It’s not a matter of just a flood, but specific details: three birds sent out, resisting the call to build the arc, and a single man being chosen by God to build the arc. Then consider that the first story (Gilgamesh) came from Babylon — hundreds of years before the Bible was even written.

Do you honestly think, based on the similarities above, that those who wrote the Genesis story had not heard the Gilgamesh story? And if they had heard it, and they were simply rehashing an old, very popular tale, what does that say about the Bible?

Jesus’s Story is an Obvious Rehashing Of Numerous Previous Characters

Perhaps even more compelling is the story of Christ himself. As it turns out it’s not even remotely original. It is instead nothing more than a collection of bits and pieces from dozens of other stories that came long before. Here are some examples.

  1. Asklepios healed the sick, raised the dead, and was known as the savior and redeemer.
  2. Hercules was born of a divine father and mortal mother and was known as the savior of the world.
  3. Dionysus was literally the “Son of God”, was born of a woman who had not had sex with a man, and was depicted riding a donkey. He was a traveling teacher who performed miracles, and was killed and resurrected, after which time he became immortal.
  4. Osiris did the same things. He was born of a virgin, was considered the first true king of the people, and when he died he rose from the grave and went to heaven.
  5. Osiris’s son, Horus, was known as the “light of the world”, “The good shepherd”, and “the lamb”. He was also referred to as, “The way, the truth, and the life.” His symbol was a cross-like symbol.
  6. Mithra’s birthday was celebrated on the 25th of December, his birth was witnessed by local shepherds who brought him gifts, had 12 disciples, and when he was done on earth he had a final meal before going up to heaven. On judgment day he’ll return to pass judgment on the living and the dead. The good will go to heaven, and the evil will die in a giant fire. His holiday is on Sunday (he’s the Sun God). His followers called themselves “brothers”, and their leaders “fathers”. They had baptism and a meal ritual where symbolic flesh and blood were eaten. Heaven was in the sky, and hell was below with demons and sinners.
  7. Krishna had a miraculous conception that wise men were able to come to because they were guided by a star. After he was born an area ruler tried to have him found and killed. His parents were warned by a divine messenger, however, and they escaped and was met by shepherds. The boy grew up to be the mediator between God and man.
  8. Buddha’s mother was told by an angel that she’d give birth to a holy child destined to be a savior. As a child he teaches the priests in his temple about religion while his parents look for him. He starts his religious career at roughly 30 years of age and is said to have spoken to 12 disciples on his deathbed. One of the disciples is his favorite, and another is a traitor. He and his disciples abstain from wealth and travel around speaking in parables and metaphors. He called himself “the son of man” and was referred to as, “prophet”, “master”, and “Lord”. He healed the sick, cured the blind and deaf, and he walked on water. One of his disciples tried to walk on water as well but sunk because his faith wasn’t strong enough.
  9. Apollonius of Tyana (a contemporary of Jesus) performed countless miracles (healing sick and crippled, restored sight, casted out demons, etc.) His birth was of a virgin, foretold by an angel. He knew scripture really well as a child. He was crucified, rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples to prove his power before going to heaven to sit at the right hand of the father. He was known as, “The Son of God”.

The problem, of course, is that these previous narratives existed hundreds to thousands of years before Jesus did.

Unavoidable Contradictions

Not only was the Bible taken largely and blatantly from previous stories, but there are contradictions so massive that they defy belief. Here are just a few of them.

  • Noah’s Arc: The story of the Arc is that a pair of every animal on earth was put on the ship. Forgetting for a second the fact that the story came directly from the Epic of Gilgamesh, keep in mind we’re being asked to believe that two 500-year-old people are caring for tens of thousands of animals. And where did they keep the food? How did they keep the poisonous snakes from biting the other animals? And where did they get the polar bears, alligators, and thousands of other animals that that don’t live in the Middle East?
  • The Angel’s Message: In Matthew 1:20 it says the Angel spoke to Joseph. In Luke 1:28 he spoke to Mary. Which was it?
  • Mary’s Virginity: The Hebrew word ‘Almah’, which people took to mean virgin, actually means ‘young woman of marriage age’. And there are plenty of indications that Jesus had brothers and sisters.
  • The Census: The authors of the Bible are trying so hard to get Jesus born in Bethlehem that they craft a story about a census. They say that Joseph had to travel back to his father’s homeland in order to register for it. Can you seriously imagine—in any period let alone then—asking the entire country to travel back their father’s hometown to register for a census? It’s completely impossible. The author of the story put it in there because they needed Jesus born in that city. Plus, historians note that the Romans kept extraordinary records, and there wasn’t even a census at that time. It’s completely fabricated, and for obvious reasons.
  • Jesus and the Family: The Bible says honor your father and mother, yet Jesus says you must hate your father, mother, wife, children, and even your own life to be a disciple, and says to call no man on earth your father. (MT 10:35-37, LK 12:51-53, 14:26, MT 23:9)
  • God and Murder: God says killing is wrong, yet he advocates genocide. (EX 34:11-14, LV 26:7-9)
  • God and Slavery: We all know slavery to be wrong, yet God openly advocates it. (GN 17:12, EX 12:43, EX: 21:1, EX 21:20, EX 21:32, LV 22:10, LV 25:44, LK 7:2, CL 3:22)
  • Jesus’s Heritage: There are two different genealogies for Jesus given in the Bible, and they don’t match. One is curiously given through Joseph, which is curious since he’s not Jesus’s father. Why give a genealogy through someone who isn’t related to you?
  • The Passover: It’s widely understood that God is supposed to be all-seeing and all-knowing. If that’s true, then why did he need people to mark their houses with blood in order to keep from killing their babies inside?
  • Kill Your Son to Prove You Love Me: God told Abraham to kill his son to prove that he loved God. Abraham raised the knife to him, about to do it, and God called it off—pleased that he would have done it. Does that sound like a moral God to you?

This is just a tiny sample of the inconsistencies and moral problems with the Bible. There are far more linked in the notes. But don’t take my word for any of this. Go to the passages. Read the material. It’s all there.

The Logical Conclusion

Many are familiar with Occam’s Razor, which states that, all things being equal, one should not seek complex explanations when more simple ones are available. Few dispute that these other stories predate the Judeo-Christian Bible, or that the Bible is full of massive contradictions, so we really have two main options:

  1. God created all these stories and characters thousands of years before the Bible in order to trick people, and then created new stories and characters that were almost exactly the same. But the version that went into the Bible—even with all the contradictions and immoral teachings—is the actual word of God. …OR
  2. The Bible was created during a time where stories were orally passed down over thousands of years.

    Stories constantly morphed and changed over time, and the Bible is a collection of these. This is why it has the nearly identical flood story from Gilgamesh, and why Jesus has the same characteristics as Dionysus, Osiris, Horus, Mithra, and Krishna. The contradictions and immorality in the stories are not evidence that God is flawed or evil, but rather that humans invented him, just like the thousands of other gods that we used to but no longer believe in.

If you hadn’t been taught Christianity since you were a young child, which of these two explanations would make the most sense to you?

Notes

  1. The goal of this page is not to say God is evil or bad. The point is to show that he is imaginary, created by humans, and to use the blatant reproductions, inconsistencies, and immoral teachings of the Bible to show that these are all just stories written by man. God is not at fault here, because we made it all up.
  2. Jesus: Original or Fake? http://www.bandoli.no/nooriginaljesus.htm
  3. Here is a list of far more contradictions and problems with the Bible
  4. Comparison of Babylonian and Noahic Flood Stories: http://www.religioustolerance.org/noah_com.htm
  5. This website is a phenomenal resource for showing how immoral the teachings of the Bible truly are.
  6. An Easter Blessing: http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/blessing.html
  7. [ November 2015 ] A number of the facts listed above about mythical beings that pre-dated Jesus are up for debate. Back when I wrote this I took the content to be factual (I was less careful then), but the truth is that there is much discussion around these details. The important thing to capture from that section is that there were popular concepts that predated Jesus by hundreds of years that ended up in his stories as well. You can research the details more deeply if you want; I have removed a couple of points already, and will be cleaning it up more as I have time. I’d currently give that section an 85% accuracy rating.

Daniel Miessler is an information security professional and writer born, raised, and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find him on Twitter, on GitHub, or reach him at daniel@danielmiessler.com.

Ricky Gervais – The Bible

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62 COMMENTS

  1. A few details you overlooked.

    The best evidence indicates that the "old testament" was created shortly after the return of the Babylonian Captives. Thus, they had been quite thoroughly exposed to the Epic of Gilgamesh, And Zorastarnism, with it's Supreme Deity Ahura Mazda, and his adversary Ahriman. Additionally, there is very little evidence of Saul, David, or Solomon in actual archaeological evidence.

    It likely appears to be that "King" Josiah, the "rebuilder" of the "Temple of Solomon" needed to create a national identity for the tribe of refugees returning from Babylon, and the "discovered" "Ancient Documents" in the "Temple Ruins" probably didn't even have dry ink yet. He had his priests compile a "holy book" out of whatever myths and legends they knew to support his "Supreme God YHVH" and it went downhill from there.

    And, there is every reason to think that exact same thing happened 500 some odd years later, under Peter and Paul, since there is even less actual evidence to Yeshua Ben Yosef's existence. (At least we have ONE pottery shard with "house of David" inscribed on it.)

    • I think you need to do some more reading. Even the agnostic historian Bart Erlman acknowledges the fact that Jesus lived on the earth and died on a cross.

    • good point. it was also josiah who eradicated Kaneh Bosm from all the temple incense and oils of annointing. the first drug war brought to you by a royal asshole. Also, yhvh- is actually Babylons EA. which is why "god" supposedly said through moses do not make any images of god, because if they did, the invisible god woould be a Sumero/Babyloian

    • For me the bottom line is the fact that the Deity and culture/people presented in the Torah are primitive ignorant barbaric pagans. If the deity YHWH was the Creator of the entire universe(in 3761BCE) he would have instructed a culture so advanced as to be stunning.The hebrews didn’t have a flashlight for over 5000 years and yet are supposed to know the origin of light.The morals and ethics of the deity and culture/people are brutally barbaric.The abrahamic cults are all ethno-centric genocidal ignorant pagans instructed in primitive tribal rituals and values. They were instructed to TAKE what was supposedly promised to them. So they TOOK and killed and raped and murdered in the name of GOD for millennia.Which continues this very moment. The same mentality was and is manifest in the destiny of the ‘Judeo/christian’ cultures and Islamic cults that emerged from this stone age barbarism. Thus the taking and looting of resources and cultures in the name of ‘god’ and country is still justified and Celebrated. It is MOST apparent in every facet;the ‘hebrews’ never had ANY contact with a Higher Intelligence. Humanity must overcome this dark age self destructive primitive pagan mentality before we destroy what is left on this blue garden oasis that is our heavenly home.

    • Why is it necessary for Babylon to have been the creator of the flood story simply because they have a story written in clay. Did you know nearly every ancient society has a worldwide flood story? Could it be the Israelites have influenced the Babylonians in as much as they were influenced? Or, could there be a global worldwide story because it really happened? And because you have not experienced a personal God, means nobody has? Why are you not asking these questions?

    • Josiah lived before the Babylonian Exile, and The Old testament is actually several books, not one book… And you really shouldn't be gullible. The evidence in this article is largley fallacious.

  2. The Angel’s Message: In Matthew 1:20 it says the Angel spoke to Joseph. In Luke 1:28 he spoke to Mary. Which was it?:

    What is your point? In a dream an angel delivered a meesage to Joseph, and to Mary the angel appeared face to face. What's wrong with you? The same message to Mary and her spouse is from the same angel! In order not to mess giving a name to their first born child, JESUS, CHRIST the LORD.

    For with God nothing shall be impossible.

    • If nothing is impossible for God, then why was it necessary for him to drown pretty much the whole human race, not to mention all the unknowing and innocent animals and plant-life? Surely, if he was all knowing and all seeing and to him all things possible, he could have done something else other than mass murder?

      • The term Murder is used by the lazy. Calling God a Murderer tomake him look Evil is stupid given killing doesnt mean Murder, and really all you do when you use the term is prove that you're lookign for excuses.

  3. Kill Your Son to Prove You Love Me: God told Abraham to kill his son to prove that he loved God. Abraham raised the knife to him, about to do it, and God called it off—pleased that he would have done it. Does that sound like a moral God to you?

    HOW DARE YOU!!! God is a loving and caring father. He did this to test Abraham's obedience. God knew what was going to happen, and if Abraham raised his sword (witch he did), He would stop him from killing his son.

    Jesus’s Heritage: There are two different genealogies for Jesus given in the Bible, and they don’t match. One is curiously given through Joseph, which is curious since he’s not Jesus’s father. Why give a genealogy through someone who isn’t related to you?

    There is an easy explanation for two genealogy's : one is Mary's, and one was Josephs. Also, Joseph is related to Jesus. He is Jesus step father.

      • I often wonder if this isn't the most genius element of religion, not just blind obedience, but also blind faith? It chops the head off any questioning or debate before it can even begin.

    • "There is an easy explanation for two genealogy's : one is Mary's, and one was Josephs. "

      WRONG! Read the two genealogies:

      Luke 3: "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi …"

      Matthew 1: "… And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ."

      Both genealogies are clearly meant to be of Joseph; there is no way you can twist these words to indicate otherwise. And both are wildly contradictory.

    • HOW DARE YOU?
      Pfff, not much to dare with insulting a non existing god. On the other side, I'm rather afraid of some of his more inflammable followers.

    • Being a step father is not being blood related. If you want to believe there will be no logic to make you understand the farse. Faith is blind.

    • In all seriousness, why did an all knowing God have to test Abraham? Wouldn’t He already know? If God has to test us in order to know, then He is a limited being not worthy of the praise you would say he deserves. Also, why would the God of all the Universe want to know if we would be willing to kill our own son for Him? This doesn’t make any sense.

    • The issac thing. It was common practice to give up the oldest child in order to have many more. Jerusalem was a place of ritual child sacrifice. Abraham was a man of the times. It was expected that he do this. The fact that he waited, then did not do it defied the religious norms. He was then distinguished as having another ‘greater’ god.

    • It wasn't for God's sake, it was for Abraham's sake. I wasn't always a believer. I was absolutely dead set against creation and began writing a book I absolutely believed was going to point to evolution beyond any doubt. I did the research and counter-research. Believers actually have a lot of scientific evidence to support their belief. Even the Bible recommends seeking the truth in order to defend what they believe. What hidden god or pretend god would tell their believers to seek factual provable evidence?

  4. It was evidence like this that made me question my faith. The more I researched it,the more compelling it became. God truly is imaginary. There is not enough evidence to support Jesus ever existed.

  5. It’s all a fabrication of multiple over active imaginations. Fiction to say the least. Read it like you would Alice in Wonderland!!

  6. Truly the world is near end! The Jews grip the world. The Church is silent! Disbelievers rule. O Judeo-Christians you have far strayed since 2000 years, the day you rejected Jesus, killed him and Zechariah and John the Baptist. You also deny and reject the Last Testament Qur'an. Islam is the last religion upholding all that God said that most of you
    ignore. If any among you still wish to know the real Truth, read the Qur'an. This is your last chance. Find out what it is if you claim to be a believer in one true God.

  7. Obviously, you haven’t tasted the God I know. What you unearthed is simply satans conterfeit of my loving Jesus. No god will love you like the One you just posted against. God forgive him, for he know not what he is doing.

  8. Remember… You have to put all of your problems in our Lord Jesus's hands! … Oh wait no, sh*t he's got holes in them….. No good, no good….

  9. Pretty cool and seems very accurate except for the fiction tag that was ascribed to it. The obvious albeit difficult, (for those desiring a refutation) to swallow conclusion is that the reason that there are multiple accounts that vary slightly is that it is an account of history from the viewpoint of several different historians in some cases the stories were meticulously recorded and copied and in others typos were introduced or the stories were committed to memory using the constellations as mnemonic devices and later committed to paper others got the stories out of sequence others embellished the stories and of course there were the ones who purposely included inaccurate information in order to create mysteries that only they or their initiates could understand thereby insuring that they had control of the secrets and could manipulate people to do certain things to learn these mysteries that only the higher orders of the craft knew that made the work easier for the journeyman and more difficult for the apprentice. So just like one goes tho multiple sources in order to establish a reasonably unbiased viewpoint when attempting to ascertain the true matter while researching history or current events. In other words this person, rather than proving fiction, as intended, just established that there were several accounts of the same history. The fact that Moses likely had access to previous materials wouldn’t be unreasonable since the children of Israel would have kept the historical artifacts and stories of their ancestors since they were originally nobles in pharaoh’s court and there were prophecies of future events already floating around resulting in pharaoh deciding to kill some first born children in the first place. These legends or prophecies have obviously been discovered and now exist to corroborate the history and prophecies. Therefore Moses got the unadulterated story from G-d as the Jews and corroborating prophetical texts indicate or he had a surprisingly interesting vast array of knowledge about the fossil record and cosmology and the domestication of animals and which animals and cooking techniques resulted in the lower probabilities of bacterial, viral and parasiticals. etc. Thank you for providing corroborating stories and references to the names of the source materials to aid further research.

    • Amazing how religious people will twist themselves in knots to try to make it look like disproof becomes proof.

    • I never understood how religious people can blithely pretend to know such things as "God is inside and outside of you" without any evidence. How can people lie to themselves like that? It is weird. There is something very broken in a large number of humans.

  10. You need citations. Did you invent these stories and the timeline? For example, where did the story of Buddha’s mother come from? Certainly not any sutras written before Christ.

  11. You cant just use wikipedia as your source – its not very reliable. Of all your example, only Buddha, Apollonius and Jesus Christ were real historical people. The, rest are mythical. Buddha and Apollonius were both born into a wealthy family, had literate disciples but had little impact on the world’s history, and in people’s lives. Jesus was born poor, lived poor, did not even travel outside of his country, tortured and crucified, died (and for believers -resurrected). He had poor mostly illiterate disciples that should have cowered and kept their heads low after His death, yet they went out into the world and converted kings and queens and noblemen as well as billions of ordinary people. 2000 years later it’s still going strong. There’s definitely something about Jesus :D

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