IS IT GOD'S WORD?

AN EXPOSITION OF THE FABLES AND MYTHOLOGY OF THE BIBLE AND OF THE IMPOSTURES OF THEOLOGY

by JOSEPH WHELESS

NEW YORK—:—1926


NOTE: Wheless' anti-fundamentalist book is long, unbendingly commonsensical, and packed with opinions! Each chapter is stored separately; clicking on any link will load its entire chapter, then move to the selected place within it. File sizes are shown. Select your topic; with luck one chapter will contain many sidelights—Rae West.
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Gordon Stein's 2nd Anthology of Atheism & Rationalism (Prometheus, 1987) has this biographical note, supplied by David R.:—
'Joseph Wheless was born the son of a banker in Nashville, Tennessee in 1868 and was educated at private schools. He read law in his uncle's law office and was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 1889. He practised law in Nashville and St Louis, specializing in Latin American legal cases, and at one point represented American interests in Mexico. After moving to New York City he continued his law practice, which was interrupted by law service in the Judge Advocate Corps of the Army in the First World War and in Army Intelligence in the Second World War. He spoke five modern languages fluently and also knew ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Latin.
    Wheless was a freethinker and often served as attorney for various atheist organisations including the Freethinkers of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism. He made a hobby of the study of Jewish and Christian origins, for which his knowledge of ancient languages proved a tremendous asset ... He died in 1950.'



FOREWORD 11K

CHAPTER I   THE GENESIS OF CHRISTIANITY 60K
[THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY 6 | THE NEW AND THE OLDER RELIGIONS 8 | PAGAN TOLERANCE AND CHRISTIAN INTOLERANCE 13 | THE DEADLY SANCTIONS OF RELIGION 14 | "LIKE KING LIKE PEOPLE" 16 | "NOT DEAD—BUT SLEEPETH" 17 | FAITH FLOURISHED ON IGNORANCE 19 | "CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION" 20 | THE "CHRISTIAN" PEOPLES 22]


CHAPTER II   A SKETCH OF HEBREW SCRIPTURES 118K
[THE BIBLE A COLLECTION OF "LITTLE BOOKS" 24 | THE LANGUAGE OF THE BOOKS 24 | THE BIBLE LANGUAGE—HEBREW 26 | THE NAME OF THE HEBREW TRIBAL GOD 27 | THE BIBLE ALL COPIES OF COPIES 28 | AND TRANSLATIONS OF TRANSLATIONS 29 | WHEN THE BOOKS WERE WRITTEN 29 | SOME LIGHTS ON BIBLE CHRONOLOGY 30 | SOME SIDELIGHTS ON MOSES 31 | THE "FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES" 33 | THE BIBLE "PREFACE" 34 | SOME "POST-MOSAICA" 35 | OTHER LATE-WRITTEN BOOKS 38 | "YAHVEH" AND "ELOHIM" 39 | A PARENTHESIS OF EXPLANATION 40 | OTHER "SOURCES" OF SCRIPTURE 41 | DUPLICATIONS OF INSPIRATION 42 | INSPIRATION AND CONTRADICTION 43 | THE LAWS AND TEST OF TRUTH 44 | FATAL CONTRADICTIONS OF REVELATION 45 | The Creation 45 | The "Days" and Matter of Creation 48 | Some Significant Mistranslations 49 | "Adam" Means only "Man" 50 | "Living Creatures" and "Living Soul" 51 | The "Flood" Contradictions 52 | The Tower of Bab-el 54 | Jacob's Ladder, and Beth-el 56 | Jacob's Bargaining Vow 57 | Sundry Other Contradictions 57]


CHAPTER III   THE PATRIARCHS AND THE COVENANTS OF YAHWEH 60K
[THE SPLENDID CIVILIZATION OF ABRAM'S TIME 60 | THE "PROMISE" TO ABRAHAM 62 | THE EGYPTIAN SLAVERY PROVISO 63 | THE PROMISE OF ISAAC 64 | ISAAC'S DUBIOUS PATERNITY 65 | THE PROMISE RENEWED TO ISAAC 65 | THE PROMISE RENEWED TO JACOB 66 | THE MIGRATION TO EGYPT 66 | AMAZING MULTIPLYING 66 {421} | THE "SOJOURN" IN EGYPT 67 | THE "FOUR GENERATIONS" 68 | THE "INEFFABLE NAME" REVEALED 69 | A "PIOUS FRAUD" OF TRANSLATION 70 | A CURIOUS MUDDLING 72 | WHY THIS "PIOUS" FRAUD? 73 | A PECULIAR TEST OF PROPHECY 74 | SOME ASSURANCES OF SUCCESS 74 | CONJURING CONTESTS 75 | THE FEARFUL AND WONDERFUL "PLAGUES OF EGYPT" 76]


CHAPTER IV   THE WONDERS OF THE EXODUS 57K
["IN THE FOURTH GENERATION" 79 | THE HOSTS OF THE LORD OF HOSTS 80 | SOME PREGNANT FIGURES 80 | THE AMAZING PASSOVER 82 | THE MARCHING ORDERS 83 | THE HOSTS ON THE MARCH 84 | THE HOSTS AFRAID OF WAR 85 | THE RED SEA MASSACRE 85 | THE CHILDREN WAIL FOR WATER 86 | SMITING THE ROCK FOR WATER 86 | FOOD RIOTS—HEAVENLY MANNA AND QUAILS 87 | MIRACLE AND MATHEMATICS 89 | THE MOSES FAMILY 90 | WHO PROPOSED THE JUDGES OF ISRAEL? 91 | THE TENTS OF ISRAEL 92 | THE GREAT ENCAMPMENTS 93 | SOME FEATURES OF CAMP-LIFE 94 | THE "BURNING QUESTION" OF FUEL 95]


CHAPTER V   THE FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS 62K
[THE MISTAKE ABOUT THE PRIESTS 97 | THE TWO CENSUSES IN THE WILDERNESS 97 | SOME CENSUS ODDITIES 98 | THE LEVITES 99 | THE MOTHERS OF ISRAEL 99 | THE PUZZLE OF "SAME" OR "NOT SAME" 100 | THE TABERNACLE AND ITS ACTIVITIES 102 | SACRIFICES 103 | MORE OF THE PRIESTS AND LEVITES 105 | SOME JAHVISTIC MURDERINGS 106 | THE RAPE OF MIDIAN 107 | THE WONDERFUL LAST DAYS OF MOSES 109 | MOURNING FOR AARON 109 | WAR WITH CANAAN 109 | TEN ENCAMPMENTS 110 | WAR WITH AMORITES 110 | WAR WITH JAAZER 110 | WAR WITH BASHAN 110 | THE EPISODE OF BALAAM 111 | SPORTING WITH MOAB 112 | CENSUS TAKING 113 | EXPEDITION TO MIDIAN 113 | "MOPPING UP" 113]


CHAPTER VI   THE "TEN COMMANDMENTS" AND THE "LAW" 72K
[DIVERGENT DECALOGUES 115 | THE TABLES OF STONE 117 | THE FIFTH MOUNTAIN TRIP 118 | THE FIRST TABLES OF STONE 119 | THE INCIDENT OF THE GOLDEN CALF 119 | THE SECOND TABLES OF STONE 121 | THE ACTUAL "TEN WORDS" 121 | THE LAW OF THE DECALOGUE 122 | LAWS OF SLAVERY AND MURDER 122 | CANNIBALISM AND HUMAN SACRIFICES 123 | OTHER DIVINE MOSAIC LAWS 125 | MOSES NOT THE "LAW-GIVER" 128 | THE "LAW" OF LATE PRIESTLY ORIGIN 128 | THE "FINDING" OF THE LAW 129 | THE LAW AND THE REFORMS 130 | POSITIVE PROOFS AGAINST MOSES 131 | BIBLE HISTORY DISPROVES THE "LAW OF MOSES" 132]


CHAPTER VII   THE "CONQUEST" OF THE PROMISED LAND 26K
[BUT NOT CONQUERED 141 | THE ABJECT SUBJECTION OF ISRAEL 142]


CHAPTER VIII   THE HEBREW HEATHEN RELIGION. SEX WORSHIP AND IDOLS 54K
[PHALLISM, OR SEX-WORSHIP 145 | THE PRIMITIVE TRINITY 146 | PHALLIC EMBLEMS 147 | THE PATRIARCHAL PHALLIC IDOLATRY 148 | THE PHALLIC SYMBOLS OF SCRIPTURE 148 | THE "PILLARS" OR MAZZEBAHS OF YAHVEH 148 | THE "GROVES" OR ASHERAHS 150 | YAHVEH'S PHALLIC EPHODS AND TERAPHIM 151 | THE SACRED DICE OF YAHVEH 153 | OTHER HEATHEN RITES OF YAHVEH 154 | THE TEMPLE AN IDOL HOUSE 156 | THE TEMPLE HARLOTS OF YAHVEH 157 | PHALLUS HOMAGE 158 | SANCTITY OF THE PHALLUS 159 | THE SUPERSTITION OF WITCHCRAFT 159 | THE BIBLE A GREAT "DREAM BOOK" 160]


CHAPTER IX   THE PAGAN GOD—AND GODS—OF ISRAEL 56K
[PAGAN ORIGINS OF THE HEBREWS 162 | THE HEBREWS WERE HEATHENS 164 | "EL"#151;"BEL" AND "BAAL" 165 | "BAAL" IS "LORD" 165 | YAHVEH IS BAAL 166 | HA-ELOHIM YISHRAEL—THE GODS OF ISRAEL 167 | THE ORIGINAL HEBREW WORDS 167 | "THE GODS CREATED" 168 | PLURALITY OF GODS BETRAYED 171 | Plural Nouns and Plural Verbs 171 | THE "Plural of Dignity" 172 | YAHVEH—"E PLURIBUS UNUM" 173 | Many "Other Gods" are Acknowledged 173 | The God of Israel and the Gods of the Nations 175 | PAGAN BIBLE NAMES 178]


CHAPTER X   YAHWEH—THE "TERRIBLE GOD" OF ISRAEL 50K
[YAHVEH AS A SUPERMAN 179 | EX NIHIL NIHIL 182 | YAHVEH A LOCAL DEITY 183 | YAHVEH A KING ELOHIM 183 | YAHVEH AS A WAR-GOD 184 | YAHVEH, WAR-GOD OF ISRAEL 184 | PERSONAL TRAITS OF YAHVEH 185 | YAHVEH A DEITY OF TERROR 186 | A GOD OF BLOODY MURDER 187 | YAHVEH THE VENGEFUL 188 | THE CHANGEFUL YAHVEH 189 | YAHVEH REPENTANT 190 | THE FATHER OF LIES 191 | THE LUSTS OF YAHVEH 192 | YAHVEH THE WHITE-SLAVER 192 | L'ENVOI 193 ]


CHAPTER XI   THE HOLY PRIESTS AND PROPHETS OF YAHWEH 68K
[PRIESTS BEFORE MOSES 195 | A "KINGDOM OF PRIESTS" 196 | REVELATION OF PRIESTLY MONOPOLY 196 | THE PRIESTLY PERQUISITES 199 | THE HOLY FAKIR PROPHETS 200 | THE FRENZIED PROPHETS 201 | THE DIVINE TEST OF PROPHECY 202 | SAMUEL, DEAN OF THE PROFESSION 203 | ELIJAH 204 | ELISHA 205 | ISAIAH 205 | JEREMIAH 207 | EZEKIEL 207 | DANIEL 208 | YAHVEH'S HOWLING DERVISHES 209 | PROPHETIC EROTICISM 209 | PROPHETIC LYING FACTIONS 211 | CONFESSIONS OF THE PROPHETS 213 | THE PROPAGANDISTS OF CHRISTIANITY 214]


CHAPTER XII   BIBLE THEOLOGY AND MODERN TRUTH 48K
[WITCHCRAFT AND INSPIRATION 225 | ANCIENT FAITH YET FULLY VALID 228]


CHAPTER XIII   THE "PROPHECIES" OF JESUS CHRIST 84K
[ THE GOSPEL RECORDS 232 | 1 The Miraculous "Virgin Birth" of Jesus 234 | "VIRGIN" OR "YOUNG WOMAN" 235 | THE "SIGN" OF A FALSE PROPHECY 236 | 2 Where the King was Born 238 | 3 "Out of Egypt" 239 | 4 "Out-Heroding" Herod 240 | 5 The "Nazarene" 241 | 6 The Great Light 241 | 7 He Bore Our Infirmities 242 | 8 The "Bruised Reed" 243 | 9 "The King Cometh" 244 | 10 What is this One? 245 | 11 The "Potter's Field" 246 | JUDAS HANGED HIMSELF? 247 | 12 Parting His Garments 248 | MARK'S APPEALS TO PROPHECY 249 | 1 To "Prepare the Way" 249 | 2 "Numbered among Transgressors" 250 | LUKE CITES PROPHECY 251 | "GENEALOGIES" OF JESUS 252 | JOHN APPEALS TO PROPHECY 253 | 1 A Prophecy Puzzle 253 | 2 "For Moses Wrote of Me" (Jesus) 254 | 3 Who Hath Believed? And Why Not? 255 | 4 A Cooking Lesson as "Prophecy" 256]


CHAPTER XIV   THE INSPIRED "HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS" OF THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST 156K
THE DATELESS NAZARENE 260 | THE "BLESSED NAME" OF JESUS 262 | GENEALOGIES OF JESUS 263 | VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS 266 | THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM 270 | THE SHEPHERD CHOIR 272 | THE NOCTURNAL FLIGHT TO EGYPT 272 | THE "MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS" 275 | JOHN AND THE BAPTISM OF JESUS 275 | THE TEMPTATION IN THE WILDERNESS 278 | THE APOSTLES CHOSEN 279 | "THE TWELVE" 281 | APOSTOLIC GREED AND STRIFE 282 | OTHER APOSTOLIC TANGLES 284 | THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT—OR THE PLAN 284 | THIS LORD'S PRAYER 285 | CHRIST ANOINTED 285 | JESUS—KING OF THE JEWS 286 | POT-POURRI OF INSPIRED INHARMONIES 288 | ECCE HOMO! 296 | SECRECY ENJOINED 302 | SUPERSTITIONS OF JESUS CHRIST 303 | THE "SECOND COMING" OF CHRIST 304]


CHAPTER XV   MORE: "HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS" 98K
[THE CLOSING SCENES OF THE DRAMA 306 | THE LAST SUPPER 306 | THE "LORD'S SUPPER" OR EUCHARIST 307 | THE BETRAYAL AND ARREST 309 | PETER'S DENIAL OF JESUS 312 | THE TRIAL OF JESUS 315 | THE CRUCIFIXION 317 | BEARING THE CROSS 317 | WHEN WAS IT? 317 | THE INSCRIPTION 318 | THE WITNESSES 319 | THE INCIDENTS AT THE CRUCIFIXION 320 | THE LAST WORDS 322 | THE WONDERS AT DEATH 322 | THE BURIAL SCENE 323 | THE RESURRECTION 326 | BREAKING THE RESURRECTION NEWS 329 | POST-RESURRECTION APPEARANCES OF JESUS 330 | THE FIRST APPEARANCE 330 | THE SECOND APPEARANCE 331 | THIRD APPEARANCE 332 | FOURTH APPEARANCE 333 | SUNDRY OTHER APPEARANCES 333 | THE ASCENSION 335 | NOBODY BELIEVED THE "IDLE TALES" 336 | A PROPHET WITHOUT HONOR 337]


CHAPTER XVI   THE SACRED DOCTRINES OF CHRISTIANITY 95K
[THE FORMULA OF FAITH 340 | LYING AND FRAUD ADMITTED 340 | REDEMPTION FROM THE CURSE 341 | FREE FOR ALL OR LIMITED 342 | "SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS" 343 | BELIEVE AND BE SAVED—OR STAY DAMNED 344 | REPENTANCE AS A CONDITION 344 | ELECTED OR ECLECTIC? 345 | FAITH OR WORKS? 347 | LAW OR NOT LAW? 349 | CIRCUMCISION OR UNCIRCUMCISION? 351 | BAPTISM AND BACKSLIDING 351 | FORGIVENESS OF SIN 352 | RESURRECTION 353 | THE FINAL JUDGMENT 355 | THE "SECOND COMING" 356 | DEVILOLOGY 359 | FIGHTING THE DEVILS 363 | THE PENALTIES OF UNBELIEF 366 | INTOLERANCE AND DESTRUCTION 367 | INSPIRED PRIESTLY PRESUMPTION 370 | AN INFAMOUS ACCUSATION 372 | THE APOSTLES' VIEWS OF EACH OTHER 373 | KNOWLEDGE SCORNED—IGNORANCE EXALTED 374 | CHILDISH FAITH FOR SALVATION 375 | DAMNATION FOR UNBELIEF 375 | FATUOUS FANATICISM 375 | THE "PRINCE OF PEACE" 376]


CHAPTER XVII   THE CHRISTIAN "PLAN OF SALVATION" 40K
[ORIGINAL SIN AND ETERNAL DAMNATION - "Redemption from the Curse" 377 | THE REVELATION OF THE FALL 378 | THE "CURSE" IN EDEN 378 | THE SNAKE CURSE 379 | THE CURSE ON WOMAN 379 | THE CURSE ON MAN 380 | THE "CURSE" INNOCUOUS 380 | THE "CURSE" LIFTED 382 | THE RIDDLE OF THE SERPENT SEED 382 | A BIG CHANCE MISSED 383 | DAMNATION A CHRISTIAN DOGMA 384 | PAUL THE APOSTLE 384 | THE "PLAN OF SALVATION" 386 | "REDEMPTION FROM THE CURSE" 387 | THE CURSE NOT 100% REDEEMED 388]


CHAPTER XVIII   REVELATIONS OF THE HEREAFTER 52K
[HEAVEN, HELL, AND PURGATORY 390 | WHAT HEAVEN IS AND WHERE 391 | SO THIS IS HELL 393 | CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE 395 | A DAMNED PLACE IS HELL 397 | PURGATORY—AND PAY 398]


CHAPTER XIX   CESSET SUPERSTITION—AND THEN? 49K
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