Some Bible Questions Answered

by Kenneth Francis (October 2023)

Savaoph God the Father
, Mikhailovich Vasnetsov, 1885-96


Many atheists, including my younger self before reverting to believing in God some 20 years ago, say the most ridiculous things about the Bible. I will try to answer a few idiotic questions on the Greatest Book of All Time that reveals the Truth. The first question is usually asked by five-year-old children, as well as atheist professors and State proxy-warrior “comedians”/celebs who have been socially engineered to hate a God they don’t believe in.


Let’s begin with this kindergarten howler: “Who made God?”

God is an eternal, Necessary Being. Such a Being always existed and didn’t need a creator. In contrast, the universe, which had a beginning (proved by the Second Law of Thermodynamics [“In the beginning…”]), and physical Humans, who are finite, needed a creator to create them.


“But the Bible was written by men, and you can’t trust the words of men on the meaning of life or God’s existence.”

This is a self-refuting statement, as it is being asked by a prone-to-fallibility human. Also, those men who wrote the Bible (prophets, Gospel writers, scribes, etc) were carrying out the instructions of Divine revelation by the Holy Spirit. A crude analogy would be to see these noble, holy men as ancient ‘stenographers’, inspired by God. Isiah certainly wasn’t some ancient nomadic desert rapper, shaking his fist at the sky and ranting about his personal world view and disdain for human folly.


“A virgin birth is impossible.”

A God that created the universe could easily make it possible.


“Don’t tell me you believe Noah built a giant ark and put two of every species in the world into it.”

Noah certainly didn’t travel to the Arctic Circle to pick up two polar bears. However, with supernatural divine intervention, anything is possible. That’s how Noah achieved what he did with the help of God. The notion of him also sailing to Australia to pick up two kangaroos, two koala bears and a pair of platypuses is silly. The Ark story also has metaphors and symbolism to be considered.


“But how can a believer be 100% certain God exists?”

How can the atheist be 100% certain God does not exist? No believer in God is 100% certain He exists, in the same way they are not 100% certain in the existence of the external world or other minds. The case for belief in God is based on reasonable faith, either existentially (properly basic) or on the enormous cumulative evidence for the existence of such an Entity, both theistically and scientifically. There is also the case for Christ and His ministry of miracles and resurrection from the dead. The writer Lee Strobel has written an excellent book on this.


“Christians are weaklings and afraid of the dark.”

Perhaps atheists are afraid of the Light. As for weaklings: Consider the bravery of the Crusades, defending Christendom from barbarians, or Joan of Arc, burnt at the stake for her faith.


“Then what about ‘blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth’?”

This refers to Matthew 5:5 (The Sermon on the Mount) and it has to be understood in the original Gospel texts written in Greek. It’s meaning is not physical weakness but ‘praus’: A war horse that is broken-in and, in the context of the Beatitudes, serving the Lord with calm acceptance of God’s will, with humility and great strength.


“What about ‘turning the other cheek?”

The ‘slap’ is meant as a metaphor and not a physical act. One meaning could be to never argue with an idiot, as onlookers won’t know the difference. When ignorant elders in the Sanhedrin or thuggish Roman soldiers mocked Jesus, He did not retaliate. Instead, He either spoke truth or remained silent (John 18:19-24; John 19:3; Matthew 26:62-68). In the Old Testament, Isaiah predicted that the Messiah, Jesus, offered his back and cheeks to his abusers and “did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 50:6; 53:7)


“Why all the suffering in a world ruled by God?”

We live in a fallen world ruled by the devil, and he never had it so good. But when the Bible says that Satan is the “god of this world,” it is not saying that he has ultimate authority. It is conveying the idea that the devil rules over the unbelieving world in a specific way. Ultimately, God has sovereign power. As for suffering: A lot of it is caused by the moral shortcomings of most human beings. A good metaphor for this is the survival-of-the-fittest dominant behaviour displayed in a troupe of baboons.


“How could a good God ask Abraham to murder his son?”

The Bible verse seems to suggest that Abraham, consciously or unconsciously, was aware that the sacrifice of his son, Isaac, would not happen. Consider the verse extract from Genesis 22: ‘… 4: On the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5: Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”’


“Atheists can be good without God.”

True, atheists can be good, but there is no such thing as good or bad without God. There are only molecules in motion; atoms bumping into one another. Face it: On atheism, we are all grown-up worms living on a speck of solar dust orbiting a giant ball of fire.


“Christianity is a ‘crutch’ for fear of dying.”

Atheism is a ‘crutch’ for moral autonomy and fear of final judgment and disbelief in the horrific prospect of eternal suffering in Hell.


“What kind of fool believes in the talking snake in the Garden of Eden?”

There is no mention of a talking snake in the Garden of Eden. But there is mention of a serpent, a metaphor for something sly, slippery, and evil. The Bible version is not like the Jungle Book’s cartoon snake with a lisp. To hold such a view is based on a Crayon Christianity mentality lacking sophistication.


“The Bible is incompatible with science”

The Bible is compatible with authentic science and not the current, corrupt pseudo “scientism” that is rampant today.


“How can God be three persons?”

Three persons (natures) make up the one Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If that sounds confusing, consider a human being who is made up of two natures: The species homo sapiens and the mind/soul personality inhabiting that body. To stretch this a bit more, it could be crudely argued that a human also has an extra third nature as well as those mentioned above: A career/profession that a person works at throughout their lives: Joe the professor in maths or Mary the brain surgeon. This analogy does not define the Trinity, but it points to another example of something vaguely resembling a Triune spirit.


There are many more questions worth answering, but the above ones are the most common. The key to understanding the Bible is not to read it, but to study it in context, both hermeneutically and metaphorically. And no other book equals the Bible in its beautiful use of language. But don’t take my word for it. According to the late atheist Christopher Hitchens, who lamented the gradual eclipse of the King James Bible, was against words in the Bible being altered in any way.

Hitchens said: “A culture that does not possess this common store of image and allegory will be a perilously thin one. To seek restlessly to update it or make it ‘relevant’ is to miss the point, like yearning for a hip-hop Shakespeare … ‘Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward,’ says the Book of Job. Want to try to improve that for Twitter?”

Fellow atheist Richard Dawkins said: “A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian.”

Although most of us live busy lives and don’t have the time to sit down and study the Bible, I would urge non-believers to listen to it while driving your car, especially the Psalms. I highly recommend downloading the audio of The Essential King James Bible, narrated by Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres.


Table of Contents


Kenneth Francis is a Contributing Editor at New English Review. For the past 30 years, he has worked as an editor in various publications, as well as a university lecturer in journalism. He also holds an MA in Theology and is the author of The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth (St Pauls Publishing) and, most recently, The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd (with Theodore Dalrymple) and Neither Trumpets Nor Violins (with Theodore Dalrymple and Samuel Hux).

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


3 Responses

  1. The following are not biblical questions (but some are commented on below):
    Number 1. Who made God? Number 2. The Bible was written by men, and you can’t trust the words of men. Number 5. But how can a believer be 100% certain that God exists? Number 6. Christians are weaklings and afraid of the dark. Number 11. Atheists can be good without God. Number 14. The Bible is incompatible with science. Number 15. How can God be three persons?

    Number 2. The Bible was written by men, and you can’t trust the words of men …”
    The problem with saying that this question is self-refuting, is itself self-refuting, for each of the answers given are actually provided by a “prone-to-fallibility” human. Besides, it is not a Bible question, since the Bible nowhere even suggests that the Bible is God-given or inspired by God. But the Bible is always subject to interpretation, so that there is no one clear and undivided message in the Bible. Indeed there are contradictions within it. The gospels cannot together he held to tell a consistent story.

    Number 3. A virgin birth is impossible.
    Of course we can always say that God can do anything. But that is not the point. A virgin birth, as we know, from Dolly the sheep, is not impossible. The question is not the impossibility but the reason for it. A virgin birth is not impossible even for science, but it is pointless. Besides it is a slander on women’s sexuality, because it supposes that only a pure virgin can give birth to the redeemer of the world, which presupposes that a woman who has sex is sinful. Actually, to be fully human Jesus must have the DNA of a mother and a father. To call Joseph Jesus’ foster father is a libel of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Of course, God could do this too, if you find this argument convincing — which it is not — but, if Jesus is fully human, why would God want to do this?

    Number 4. Don’t tell me you believe Noah built a giant ark and put two of every species in the world into it.
    Of course, with supernatural divine intervention anything might be possible, but the idea that Noah could have fit a male and female of all species of animals on earth into an ark with the measurements given.

    Number 7. Then what about ‘blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth’?
    We could go on about the meaning of ‘meek’ here, but what would be the point? Clearly lowliness and humility before God are at issue here, and we do not need to go into detail about either Greek or Hebrew. We should remember that this beatitude is a quote from Psalm 37:11 about those who are worthy to inherit the promised land.

    Number 8. What about ‘turning the other cheek.’?
    We can relate this to Isaiah 53 if we like but what did Jesus’ mean by it (if he said it)? To suggest that the slap is meant as a metaphor is implausible, and there is no reason so to interpret it. What could convince us that it is, especially since the explanation goes on to take it seriously as the physical act of the officials of the Sanhedrin and the Roman soldiers.

    Number 9. Why all the suffering in a world ruled by God?
    This is not strictly a biblical question. It is the traditional problem of evil, and it is not solved by saying that the world is ruled by the devil. There is no basis for this. Paul says that Satan is the god of this world, (1 Cor. 4.4) but it does not follow from this that the world is ruled by the devil. The devil stands in for Mammon, those things which deceive us with their allure, and draw us away from God. The little aside trying to solve the problem of evil is a bit of a giveaway here. This is not an answer.

    Number 10. How could a good God ask Abraham to murder his son?
    Of course, the point of this story is that God does not ask us to murder our children. The point of the story is to speak about the radical obedience that we owe to the call of God. The story tells us precisely that the sacrifice of our children is never what God demands of us.

    Number 11. Atheists can be good without God?
    This is not a biblical question, however, it deserves comment. You can simply define moral action as action following the dictates of God. But that is scarcely satisfactory. Plato put paid to this idea long ago in the Euthyphro. Does God command something because it is good, or does the fact that he commands it mean that it is good? The question of goodness is not answered by referring to God. Therefore, we must be good without God, since this is always our responsibility. We cannot ever plead: But God commanded me to do it.

    Number 13. What kind of a fool believes in the talking snake in the Garden of Eden?
    Do people actually ask this question? This is clearly a misunderstanding of the story. It is a story about beginnings, much like Kipling’s tales, but much more profound. Is the serpent evil? The serpent is a character in the story, and there is nothing clearly evil about it, aside from the fact that the serpent is a tempter, and leads to disobedience. Insofar as he convinces the human to seek to know, and leads to the development of consciousness — which is what the story is about — it begins the process of humanisation, in which the human leaves the natural innocence of the Garden and is cast out into a life in which we must take responsibility. The explanation is completely off course, and takes the story as straightforward reportage. It is not, it is a myth or story with a meaning. The Jews understand this story correctly. Augustine’s interpretation in terms of original sin has no basis whatever in the story.

    Number 14. The Bible is incompatible with science.
    Strictly speaking, this is not a biblical question, and is, in addition, completely uncomprehending. It is true that the idea that human knowledge is summed up in the sciences is a form of scientific triumphalism known as scientism. It is not true that the Bible is consistent with science. Nor should we expect it to be, since it was written long before science, as we know it, ever appeared. The Bible is not consistent with the findings of science, and it is hopeless to argue that it is.

    Number 15. How can God be three persons?
    This is not a biblical question. Actually the explanation given here is a form of the heresy called Modalism. The doctrine of the Trinity is not biblical, but is the result of pondering on the questions of how we are to understand the Christian experience of the divine, especially insofar as the person of Jesus as the Christ is understood. This goes a long way beyond the biblical witness, and was worked out, not on the basis of the Bible, but on the basis of very complex theological reasoning that came to expression in the ecumenical creeds of the Church.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

The perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Order on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend