Reference Material

This page contains “useful” reference material, primarily for my use. This stuff consists of Bible verses and calendar info, and possibly more stuff later.

Here is another list of An Atheist’s Favorite Bible Verses.

First, a few verses from the Qur’an

There is no compulsion in religion.
Surah 2:256

Whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve.
Surah 18:29

Surah 109 - The Disbelievers

[1] Say: O disbelievers! [2] I worship not that which ye worship; [3] Nor worship ye that which I worship. [4] And I shall not worship that which ye worship. [5] Nor will ye worship that which I worship. [6] Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.

Basically, I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe. Each of us is free to have any religion we want to. Apparently most Muslims don’t pay any attention to this Surah, or to those other two verses above.

Of course, there are plenty of verses in the Qur’an which condemn followers of other religions. So I guess you can pick which verses you like better.

Bible Verses (King James Version, unless otherwise noted)

Those who aren’t like you should be killed

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Deuteronomy 13:6-10

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, ... Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
Deuteronomy 17:2-5

... whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
2 Chronicles 15:13

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
Exodus 22:18

A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
Leviticus 20:27

And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Leviticus 20:10

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Leviticus 20:13

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto 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. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
John 15:6

The verse above was long used to justify burning of non-believers (“heretics”), though one can argue that that is a misinterpretation.

Shun those who don’t believe as you do (at least that’s better than killing them)

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Romans 16:17

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: [11] For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
2 John 1:10-11

I am told that these two passages are “referring [only] to false teachers who were pretending to be Christians.” However, I see nothing in the nearby verses that would indicate this.

Of course, you are shunning those non-believers because they are evil

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
2 John 1:7 [see also 2 John 1:10-11 above]

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [19] And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 3:18-19

I am told, by the same person as above, that “this avoidance only refers to false teachers who claim to be Christians. It does not apply to non-Christians who do not claim to be Christians.” Again, I don’t see where the Bible says this.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? ... Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.
2 Cor. 6:14-17

God is accused of deceiving

Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets.
2 Chronicles 18:22

Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people.
Jeremiah 4:10

O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; ...
Jeremiah 20:7

[11] For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.
[12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, ...
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

In this last set of verses, God causes some people to believe lies, so they will end up in hell. But some Christians tell us that God does not send people to hell, instead, people choose to go to hell.

If God deceives us, can He really be perfect and all-good, as is claimed? And if God does not deceive, then don’t these accusations constitute blasphemy? (See below)

God admits to being deceptive

[19] And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? ...
[20] Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?
[21] And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.
[22] Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.
2 Chronicles 18:19-22

And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
Ezekiel 14:9

The penalty for cursing God’s name (i.e. blasphemy)

[13] And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, [14] “Take outside the camp him who has cursed; then let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him. [15] Then you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin.’ [16] And whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the LORD, he shall be put to death.”
[23] And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Leviticus 24:13-16, 23

Women should be silent in church

[11] Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. [12] But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

(and here is why)

[13] For Adam was first formed, then Eve. [14] And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

(but she can “be saved” by having children)

[15] Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
1 Timothy 2:11-15

God is as strong as a unicorn

God brought them out of Egypt, he hath as it were the strength of a unicorn.
Numbers 23:22

God sends bears to kill children

And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
2 Kings 2:23-24

What about brides who are not virgins?

But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: ...
Deuteronomy 22:20,21

What do you want to eat?

And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him; and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.
2 Kings 6:28-29

What to do in case of ...

Thanks to the Skeptics Annotated Bible for pointing out the following:

[16] And if any man’s seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. [17] And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. [18] The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.
[32]This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him, and is defiled therewith;
Leviticus 15:16-18, 32

Thank God (so to speak) that this is in the Bible!

Keep the virgins for yourselves, and kill the rest

God orders Moses to avenge the Midianites. So his army kills all the men and take the women and children captive. But Moses says that wasn’t enough -- they must keep only the virgin women and kill the rest of the captives.

[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [2] Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. [3] And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian. ... [6] And Moses sent them to the war, ... [7] And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. ... [9] And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. [10] And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire. ... [12] And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, ... [15] And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? [16] Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. [17] Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. [18] But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
Numbers 31:1-18

And [the booty included] thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.
Numbers 31:35

Taking a census

Either God or Satan, depending on which account you read, orders David to take a census. David does, and then says to God, “I have sinned really badly by taking this census.” God then punishes David by killing 70,000 men.

[1] And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. [2] And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. ... [5] And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword. ... [7] And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. [8] And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. ... [14] So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
1 Chronicles 21:1-14

[1] And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. ... [15] So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.
2 Samuel 24:1-15

But I thought Christians believed in an afterlife

As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away, so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.
Job 7:9

For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
Psalms 6:5

The dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward.
Ecclesiastes 9:5

For there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Ecclesiastes 9:10

For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
Isaiah 38:18

How many generations?

From David to Jesus, there were twenty-eight generations (Matthew 1:17), Joseph was a descendant of David’s son Solomon (Matthew 1:6), and Joseph was the son of Jacob (Matthew 1:16).

From David to Jesus, there were forty-three generations (Luke 3:23-38), Joseph was a descendant of David’s son Nathan (Luke 3:31), and Joseph was the son of Heli (Luke 3:23).

Not that any of that really matters, except that since the Bible is supposed to be the inspired word of God, one would think that these two would at least come close to agreeing.

The fig tree incident

And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.
Mark 11:13-14

And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
Mark 11:20
Note: Mark 11:23-24 is similar to Matthew 21:21-22 below.

And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
Matthew 21:19-20

[continuing] Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Matthew 21:21-22

Hares chew their cud, bats are birds, and other (mis)information

And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
Leviticus 11:6

Note: According to something I read somewhere, “chew the cud” means simply “eat grass”, in which case you could say that “hares chew the cud” is not incorrect.

[13] And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, ... [19] And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
Leviticus 11:13,19

[20] All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. [21] Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; [22] Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. [23] But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
Leviticus 11:20-23

God is merciful

[1] O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. [2] O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. [3] O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. ... [10] To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever. [15] But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. [17] To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever. [18] And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalms 136:1-3,10,15,17,18 (such a merciful God!)

And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
Exodus 12:29-30

It sure would feel great to kill our enemy’s babies!

[8] O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. [9] Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
Psalms 137:8-9

God promises to kill babies, too, along with pregnant women

Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.
Hosea 13:16

It’s OK to lie, if it furthers the cause of Christianity

For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
Romans 3:7

I suppose that verse could be taken either way. It could mean that it is OK to lie, or that it is not OK to lie. It was nice of Paul to be so clear and unambiguous! However, the following verse does seem to be clear.

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Philippians 1:18

Are you in danger of hell fire?

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 5:22

If a Christian refuses to answer your question, try this verse

But sanctify the Lord God in you hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1 Peter 3:15

Jesus’s last words

[34] And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [35] And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. [36] And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. [37] And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
Mark 15:34-37

[46] And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [47] Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. [48] And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. [49] The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. [50] Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
Matthew 27:46-50

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Luke 23:46

[28] After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. [29] Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. [30] When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
John 19:28-30

Calendar Information

The calendar we use today is called the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII (pope from 1572 to 1585). This calendar was established by Gregory XIII in 1582, and introduced the current system of regular years and leap years. The year numbering is based on the supposed year of the birth of Jesus, according to a dating system started in the year 532 by the monk Dionysius Exiguus. In this system, Jesus was supposed to have been born in the year 1 (one). Modern scholars believe that Jesus was actually born in 1 BC or earlier.

The Hebrew calendar starts at the estimated time of the world’s creation (as reckoned by young-earth creationists). Tradition puts this start at 3760 years and 3 months before the birth of Jesus. The New Year begins in October or November. November 2000 was the start of year 5761.

The Chinese calendar begins in the year 2637 BCE, which is the year in which Emperor Huangdi is said to have invented it. The year starts at the second new moon after the beginning of winter (winter solstice). Thus, the New Year starts no earlier than January 21 and no later than February 20.

Reference for the above: The World Book Encyclopedia, 2002 edition.

According to the book “The Happy Heretic”, by Judith Hayes, our year 1996 corresponds to Chinese Lunar Year 4695. This would put Chinese year 1 at 2699 BCE, assuming one Gregorian year = one Chinese Lunar year. Perhaps that is a rash assumption, or maybe there is another explanation. At any rate, more research is needed to find out for sure.

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This page was last updated on January 9, 2011.