Oh God! A Bible for blasphemers

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The Independent Online

Religious Affairs Correspondent

It had to happen: after the Good News Bible, and the Bible for feminists comes an edition of the Bible for blasphemers. Ken's All True Guide To The Bible, a book to be published in this country next month, contains a memorable selection of God's fruitier words: a guide to genocide from Genesis to Revelation.

St Paul's second letter to Timothy claims that "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness". Ken Smith's guide sets out to refute this proposition.

Mr Smith uses various Bible translations, tested by their fidelity when translating one of the prophet Ezekiel's more startling images of Israel, which are quoted in the New International version: "There she lusted after her lovers whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses."

Ken Smith can find almost anything in the Bible but brotherly love: Numbers 31 contains an example of the Children of Israel dealing with some proto- Palestinians. They kill the men, and bring the women and children back to Moses. He is not pleased: "Moses said to them, 'Have you let all the women live? ... 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'." Numbers 31: 15-18. In Joshua, where God makes the Sun stand still all day, Mr Smith points out that this is only done so that the Children of Israel will have a better light to butcher the Amorites by.

As the Bible's understanding of God grows more sophisticated, Mr Smith's abuse of its characters becomes more strident. "Isaiah was an egomaniacal crackpot.... "It's hard to read him without thinking of William Shatner doing dramatic readings, bugging out his eyes ... with King Nebuchadnezzar, the Bible finally creates a human character as mentally unstable as God," he writes.

A spokesman for the Church of England said: "We know that the devil can quote scripture: the Bible says so."

Things that are NOT in the Bible

n The people of Israel building pyramids.

n The archangel Gabriel blowing a horn.

n Anyone selling their soul to the Devil.

n Christians being killed in a Roman arena.

n Any reference to people becoming angels in heaven.

nGuardian angels, original sin, a sacred heart, the evil eye, Easter, Christmas, halos, the Immaculate Conception, people with ashes on their foreheads.

nSaint Peter at the pearly gates of heaven.