An Atheist’s Favourite Bible Verses

(All quotes from Revised Standard Version)

Hats off to Eve, the heroic Biblical character who stood up to God and dared to reach for wisdom, truth, beauty, and good food; and to the serpent, who had the guts to tell the truth about God’s lies, arrogance, injustice, and tyranny.

Genesis 3:2-6

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.


And a kick in the butt to Adam, that sniveling, finger-pointing, pusillanimous, brain-dead excuse for a husband.

Genesis 3:12

The man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”


Excerpt from the forbidden book, avariciously read by 8-year old Christians everywhere, by flashlight. They were puzzled then and they’re puzzled now.

Song of Solomon 7:1-9

How graceful are your feet in sandals, O queenly maiden! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand. Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, overlooking Damascus. Your head crowns you like Carmel, and your flowing locks are like purple; a king is held captive in the tresses.


God forces people to believe in lies and then condemns them for it.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


The criminal death of a fetus is a misdemeanor, not murder.

Exodus 21:22-25

When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.


The Bible is pro-choice — it says it is better to be aborted in the womb than to live an unhappy or wicked life.

Jeremiah 20:14-18

Cursed be the day I was born! the day when my mother bore me, let it not be blessed! Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, “A son is born to you,” making him very glad. Let that man be like the cities which the Lord overthrew without pity; let him hear a cry in the morning and an alarm at noon, because he did not kill me in the womb; so my mother would have been my grave, and her womb for ever great.. Why did I come forth from the womb to see toil and sorrow, and spend my days in shame?

Job 3:16-19

Or why was I not as a hidden untimely birth, as infants that never see the light? There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners are at ease together; they hear not the voice of the taskmaster. The small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master.

Ecclesiastes 6:3-5

If a man begets a hundred children, and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but he does not enjoy life’s good things, and also has no burial, I say that an untimely birth is better off than he. For it comes into vanity and goes into darkness, and in darkness its name is covered; moreover it has not seen the sun or known anything; yet it finds rest rather than he.


A couple of examples of the Old Testament’s respect for women.

Judges 19:22-29

As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, base fellows, beset the house round about, beating on the door; and they said to the old man, the master of the house, “Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.” And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brethren, do not act so wickedly; seeing that this man has come into my house, do not do this vile thing. Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine; let me bring them out now. Ravish them and do with them what seems good to you; but against this man do not do so vile a thing.” But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine, and put her out to them; and they knew her, and abused her all night until the morning. And as the dawn began to break, they let her go. And as morning appeared, the woman came and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her master was, till it was light. And her master rose up in the morning, and when he opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way, behold, there was his concubine lying at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, “Get up, let us be going.” But there was no answer. Then he put her upon the ass; and the man rose up and went away to his home. And when he entered his house, he took a knife, and laying hold of his concubine, he divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel.

Genesis 19:4-8

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”


The adultery test—a God-sanctioned recourse for any suspicious husband:

Numbers 5:17, 24-28

The priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put in into the water. … And he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain. … If she has acted unfaithfully against her husband, … her body shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away, and the woman shall become an execration among her people. But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be free and shall conceive children.


Meek and mild Jesus, the harbinger of love, mercy, and turning the other cheek.

Matthew 10:34-35

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.”

Matthew 13:49-50

“So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.”

Matthew 23:33

“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”


A few of God’s forgotten commandments.

Exodus 21, 22, and 23

[21:2] “… When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing.”

[21:7-8] “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.”

[21:26-27] “When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free for the eye’s sake. If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free for the tooth’s sake.”

[22:18, KJV] “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

[22:19] “Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.”

[22:20] “He that sacrificeth unto any god save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.”

[22:29] … “The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do likewise with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its dam; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.”

[23:19] … “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”


After committing genocide against the Midianites, Moses parcels out the booty.

Numbers 31:17, 40

[Verse 17, Moses says:] “Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

[Verse 40:] The persons [women who had not known man by lying with him] were sixteen thousand, of which the Lord’s tribute was thirty-two persons.


God’s enthusiastic endorsement of child abuse.

Proverbs 23:13-14

Do not withhold discipline from a child. If you beat him with a rod, he will not die. If you beat him with the rod, you will save his life from Sheol.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father; or the voice of his mother, and, though they chastise him, will not give heed to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, “This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall purge the evil from your midst; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.


A kernel of wisdom and realism, amidst the stupidity and wishful thinking.

Ecclesiastes 3:19-20

For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place, all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.


The greatest story ever told. It’s got it all–heroism, lost innocence, jealousy, betrayal, intrigue, romance, conflict and suspense, humble beginnings, and a glorious end, all tied together by the abiding love between a father and his son. It’s the story of Joseph, and reading it still gives me goose bumps.

Genesis 45:1-3

Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him; and he cried, “Make every one go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; is my father still alive?”