The Bible Naked, the Greatest Fraud Every Told
Written by Sam Warren
Book Review by Dennis Moore
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).”
If one believes in this premise, which does not rely on logic, they are going to have some consternation and difficulty with a new book about the Bible. Sam Warren, the President of the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild, and the founder of SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego, has written a controversial and disturbing book about the Bible; The Bible Naked: The Greatest Fraud Ever Told. Disturbing, in the sense that such harsh words and terms as fraud, absurdities and false prophecies are used to describe a book that has been the foundation of Christianity and faith.
Just the word, "fraud," gets the debate and controversy started, as Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines fraud as; "Intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right."
The preface of Warren's book is most revealing, and says a lot about the subject matter. The author states: "What qualifications do I have to write this book? I don't have a Ph.D. after my name and I'm not a trained Biblical scholar. You don't have to be a genius to see that the Bible is full of errors, absurdities, lies, contradictions, false prophecies, immorality, etc. If a nebbish like me can see them just reading the Bible with an open mind, then everyone who has an ounce of intelligence can see them if they haven't been brainwashed by society and their minds are not impervious to facts and logic."
Just as Vincent Bugliosi attempted to do in my phone interview with him, and my subsequent review of his book, "Divinity of Doubt: The God Question," they both rely on logic. Bugliosi did seem to take his thoughts and material more seriously than Warren, by taking a scholarly approach. Nevertheless, they both are off base, for faith in the traditional sense cannot be reduced to just logic.
Warren, the author of "Tales from the Tijuana Jails," and "The Priest, the Pastor and the Rabbi," is a humorous storyteller, and admittedly gay, states in his book: "You will find as you read this book, that God evolves from a physical, superman kind of war god limited by tribe and territory with a body and who lives somewhere up in the sky, into a modern, spiritual god who lives in another dimension called Heaven and sends us to Hell if we believe gays should be allowed to marry." Of course, God condemns homosexuality in the Bible, and perhaps the author's reasoning and logic is somewhat skewed by that fact.
In my interview of the author at his home, and by reading his book, it is hard to determine if he actually believes all that he says, or has written, or if it is intended to be satire. As a matter of fact, Keith Taylor, former president and program chair for the San Diego Association for Rational Inquiry, gives a testimonial in the book, stating: "Satire is the best weapon against ignorance. Sam Warren goes beyond satire with a 300-page belly laugh. Keep a copy on hand and read any passage from it the next time Mormon missionaries or Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking on your door." Perhaps the author is unsure if he wants his book to be taken seriously, or he takes himself seriously. I am going to view it as satire, for you can't possibly take everything he says in the book seriously, which is actually sprinkled with bits of humor.
An example of the attempt at satire and humor in Warren's book, is as follows: "Did you know that there are many translation errors and forgeries in the Bible? You just can't trust a Christian. Many believed so strongly that a little thing like proof wouldn't hold them back. And a little tampering with the text is all for a good cause." Me, personally, and being a Christian, find nothing humorous in that! Christians, such as myself, would find this book offensive and very disturbing.
And, speaking of errors, absurdities and contradictions, the author states in his book: "The first five books of the Bible ('bible' is another word for 'book') are called 'The Pentateuch' and are also called 'The Book of the Law' by the Jews and were supposed to have been written by Moses. That would have been very difficult as not only was Moses' own death recorded in them, there are different styles of writing. It might surprise you to learn that most of the books of the Pentateuch were reverse plagiarism." The author doesn't provide any source for this information, nor does he for other pronouncements in his book. As a matter of fact, "The Pentateuch" supposedly being written by Moses, cannot be found by me in the Bible, nor does Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary reference Moses in their definition. I trust that the author is not just picking these statements and pronouncements out of the air.
The various illustrations throughout the book, are cute, and humorous, which leads me to view the material as satire, and not take the subject matter seriously. A very crude example of this attempt at humor is found on page 248 of Warren's book, as it depicts Jesus nailed to the cross, and stating: "Hey John! I can see your house from up here."
Perhaps, most revealing about this book, is when the author initially approached me about writing the review several months ago. He prefaced it by saying that I would probably hate it, and he later joked that he would probably "burn in hell!" I guess, that remains to be seen.