Do all atheists own a Bible? Personally I own two and one New Testament. As a research material what do most of you atheists use, a physical book Bible or online resources such as Bible Gateway biblewarninglabelor the Skeptics Annotated Bible? Alternatively does anyone use an offline resource, such as a Bible study program on your computer?

For those of you who would like a handy offline Bible resource, I suggest you have a look at the Sword Project, free Open Source Bible study software. This program can be loaded with various versions of the bible as well as commentaries, dictionaries etc; which are available on the module add-ins page. Alternatively you can try BPBible – “a free, flexible Bible Study tool” based on the sword project software engine.  BPBible is also fully searchable, a great tool for finding that obscure reference to unicorns for instance.  KJV_unicorn BPBible is also available as a Portable Application which can be run from a USB memory stick, if you don’t want to load it onto your PC/Laptop. The attached picture is the search screen showing the six (6) mentions of the word unicorn in the King James version of the Bible.


There is another version called e-Sword based on the Sword project engine, it looks a lot better than Sword and the graphics work with it.

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15 Comments to “The Bible”

  1. I use both. Usually cause the wife has objections to be taking the laptop into the toilet.

  2. Jonathan Morgan says:

    Common misconception, but e-Sword is not based on Sword, but is a completely separate application, with different Bibles, dictionaries, etc. available and so forth.

  3. ozatheist says:

    Sean, that’s probably more to do with the pron than the bible methinks :lol:
    Jonathan, welcome, and thanks for the info. Can you clarify that further or is it just a hunch?

  4. kt says:

    im an atheist. i own two bibles: one catholic one and one protestant (from the seventies – the title is in these faded out rainbow letters – i bought it for a dollar)

    i also own the tao te ching and chuang tse and some other book about taoism…and the god delusion, a book of our solar system and one about dinosaurs and prehistoric earth

    i never read the bible anymore. cause i wanna learn stuff – and all i learn from the bible is how to be brutal and submissive. it is good to have a reference tho. it also comes in handy if u run out of zig zags.

  5. (((Billy))) says:

    I have three Bibles in the house. Two are antiques (one from (((Wife)))’s family, one from mine. My working Bible (I really don’t want to destroy the old ones by leafing through them (they have sentimental value) so when I went to a fire in Virginia, I grabbed the free Gideon’s Bible in the hotel room. I sure ain’t gonna BUY another one.

  6. ozatheist says:

    welcome kt and (((Billy))), I agree with you kt, you won’t learn anything from the bible, I only use it as a reference to point the absurdity of it to Christians. (((Billy))) I like playing ‘hide the gideons’ when I go to hotel rooms; first I put a warning label inside, then hide it somewhere in the room.

  7. (((Billy))) says:

    I like the idea of a warning label. Of course, if you then hide the Bible, how will the faithful find the warning?

  8. I am an atheist and I own (and read!) several Bibles. My favorite for general use is The New Oxford Annotated Bible (1973 edition), because of the RSV translation and the copious footnotes. I also have a King James Version, a combination NASB and NIV, a Greek New Testament, and all the New Testament volumes of The Interpreter’s Bible – plus a Greek Septuagint with English translation. The reason I use all these is that Bible contradictions is sort of a hobby with me. I was totally amazed at the number of contradictions and difficulties that it contains – just in the New Testament! I am also compiling a new Bible commentary for atheists at the website It’s a bit more serious than the Skeptics Annotated Bible, and captures some of the more subtle contradictions that a lot of the internet lists miss. Check it out. If you are interested in Bible criticism I think you’ll find it a useful resource. Oh – and is SUPERB for searching the Bible and finding contradictions galore! (as well as for comparing translations)

  9. [...] Biblical dissonance 8 10 2008 Still on hiatus, but I thought I’d pop in to drop a couple of Bible conradiction resources on you via the comments at OzAtheist. [...]

  10. First-Class post.Sustain the great work,You should definitely have to keep updating your site

  11. Sally says:

    I own both as well and leave them accessible to all of my children. I also allow them to explore other ideas (including religion), but I point out the flaws and expose them to science as well, so hopefully they will all become atheists eventually, barring the teenage rebellion years when I fully expect them to announce they will join some cult.

  12. novparl says:

    The worst thing about the Bible is all that stuff about love, worshipping material things is much better. Look how well globalisation is looking after us.

  13. AV says:

    The worst thing about the Bible is all that stuff about love, worshipping material things is much better.

    “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

    Thus saith the Lord, and thus saith any cult leader.

    The notion that if one does not worship a deity, one worships material things is an obvious false dichotomy. Just ask the Christians driving their SUVs to their megachurches to listen to prosperity gospel preachers. And of course, there is always the option of not worshipping anything (or anyone) at all.

    Having said that, it makes more sense to love one’s family members, since these people actually exist and their existence can be verified, than to worship an entity for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

  14. novparl says:

    Clearly, to non-atheists, this is not meant to be taken literally.

    I agree Christianity isn’t true, but one of its “selling” points is to talk about love. Atheism talks about survival of the fittest. The God Delusion has one passage only about love, or rather sexual selection. (Is the book that interesting? Are the Beatles as important as Dawkins thinks? How many care that Prof Gould, who died 6 years ago, had a dispute with him?)

  15. Jonathan Moran says:

    Haven’t looked back here recently, but the difference between the Sword Project and e-Sword is a well documented fact (look for example at the Wikipedia pages for the two). As it happens, Sword was first, but has not achieved the popularity of e-Sword (I suspect largely due to the fact that it is not as good at e-Sword).

    Incidentally, I am one of the developers of BPBible, which you can easily verify, and have been heavily involved with the Sword project for the past year and a half or so. I now believe BPBible is at the stage where it will serve many users better than e-Sword (I use it as my primary Bible application).

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