The Bible, the old and new testament. I think of the bible as a very important historical book documenting the evolution of thought, culture and morals of the western world. Mostly done through allegorical stories that are not technically true but stories that carry a moral meaning. In the bible Moses, after seeing God, is full of rays of light radiating off of his body and particularly off of his face and head. In the King James version is is translated at horns of light. If you go to the Sistine Chapel in Rome there is a large bronze statue of Moses with huge horns on his head like a bull or the Devil i.e. the rays of light. If they cannot translate that accurately how are we suppose to believe that this document is the EXACT voice of God?
I knew I would get some very vocal replies. I am sure so many people are in pain and suffering from abuse by people who have misused this simple book. But the bible is only a simple book with simple stores, at least the old testament, but even the new testament has some interesting stories. The important thing is not to lose your mind over a simple book of fairy tales. The old adage applies "don't throw the baby out with the bath water".
I think many people who have responded on here read past the part about the evolution of thought. They focused instead on the history of morality and culture. I think the history of morality or the evolution of morality is an important feature along with the evolution of human thought. After the Sermon On The Mount the Disciples ask Jesus why he taught in parables to the crowds instead of speaking clearly as he does to his disciples and he answers with the famous reference to giving that which is Holy to dogs and the pearls before swine analogy. The entire bible uses allegory for the same reason. Those who refuse to see beyond the literal meanings are clearly not worthy of understanding its true meaning. We see this truth born out throughout Traditional Christian Churches today.
I see the Bible that way too. For me, the history of thought, culture and morals comes first with myth, then religion, then philosophy. One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that although it covers everything from the beginning of time in its own way, supposedly written by Moses around the 13th century BC, it was probably started around the 6th century BC.
The Bible used by Judaic Christian groups is a heavily edited paternalistic, compendium of Hebrew law, history, mythology, moral instruction and culturally specific record. Because the Hebrew people were often enslaved, oppressed and cohabitant minority group, there history is entwined with many other major civilizations of the early times for human habitation of our planet. It is not divinely inspired but subject to all kinds of ungodly mischief. Asiatic religious works are far more complete and not overly edited. Trust these treatises more than the Bible when searching for spiritual guidance and humanist enlightenment.
I always referred to this as a book of stories. My ex studied christian philosophy(insert yawn!) and historical criticism. It’s inspired by god. I happen to find very little of moral value that I would ever want to follow in my life in that book... rape, the murder of children, polygamy. It maybe should be in a museum alongside the confederate statues as something shameful from our past.
The answer is we aren't supposed to believe it's the it's the exact voice of Gawd.
That job is held by the weak-minded and brainwashed.
Even so-called believers generally don't believe that shit....they sure don't make any real attempt to follow it.
That the bible as a very important historical book documenting the evolution of thought, culture and morals is also the main thesis of (evolutionary biologist) Carel van Schaik and (historian) Kai Michel in their wonderful book "The Good Book of Human Nature: An Evolutionary Reading of the Bible". If you have not read it yet... you'd like it!
The Bible is no more important historically than Mein Kampf, it has no intrinsic value other than as a window in the mindset of idiots and dangerous lunatics and what garbage can be used to motivate and steer them in the direction an insane demagogue desires for political, religious or theocratic reasons.
The fact this filth has been idolised for millennia, imbued with mythological power and given credence in no way makes it right, true, important or admirable.
The same goes for all other so called "holy books"
There is no "exact voice of god" and the bible is not an "important historical book." This Frankenstein of scripture that we call the bible is actually made up of 66 independent books if you are Protestant. If you are Catholic there are 73 of them. Some 300 years after the time of Jesus there were so many books floating around that it was not funny. Churches had their favorite books and some churches were not aware of the books the others had. Some of the books told stories of Jesus as a child making birds out of clay or killing enemies. One book had a talking cross after crucifixion. Some had miracles just a bit beyond belief. By the time Constantine got involved the idea was to get rid of ridiculous books and put the accepted ones in a big volume. Over the years there were so many religious books. Were the stories real or allegorical? This took some time and many councils because of differing belief but the big volume had a beginning and an end just like a big storybook. Revelation was the last book accepted and is still not accepted by everyone even today.
Understanding of the above is why you see contradictions in what is called the bible. All these individual books were floating around from the beginning and were not meant to be bound together as one story. This is the main reason I reject the Abrahamic god. Seeing a similar pattern in all scriptures it is a main reason to reject god belief in general. There is no record written by an invisible being. Gods are not trying to talk to you.