Re: Biblical citations.
We were taught that the Bible was the undeniable word of an infallible God. It said so right in the Bible itself. That was proof enough, said our Pastor back in the day. Whoops, I thought, "Faith, the enemy of reason".
One wondered, “Why did omnipotent God, who could write graffiti on walls (“Mene, mene tekel…”) and chisel Mosaic Law on stone tablets, bother to use earthly scribes with such potential for error to record our Bible?”
Jesus wrote nothing. God’s Word filtered down to us haphazardly, anecdotally. Parsed and eagerly edited, it further suffered numerous translations and subjective revisions. Biblical writers, anxious to exalt, reported miracles as proof of divine power. Church Councils decided the Table of Contents. Stuff got blown up or omitted. The Word became what the Man said. The leap of faith kept growing.
The Word spread anyhow. Heathen cults gave way to Christianity which later splintered into a numerous manmade sects. Each claimed infallibility based on different biblical passages. Ethical essence became obscured by dogma and liturgy. Powerful hierarchies evolved with customized belief systems. Evangelists messed with politics, preached in great temples and became rich by selling eternal life to the poor. The Golden Rule was nowhere in evidence as Christians followed the cross into war.
Illustrations showed the anthropomorphic God as an old bearded man levitating on a heavenly cloud. How could God have made us in his image? Most of us are younger than he, and half of us are women. Then there are the fairy tales of Genesis and Revelations, which confound science and common sense.
Pity the Bible was not copyrighted. Six hundred years later the Koran appeared, and made all kinds of trouble.