God the Omniwriter? – The Biblical Argument for God That Does Not Materialize

God the Omniwriter? – The Biblical Argument for God That Does Not Materialize

There’s a modern Christian custom to include a reference to a Bible verse in Twitter bios, Instagram descriptions, and even Tinder profiles. Whenever I encounter this, for whatever reason, I feel compelled to check the actual passage. I open an online Bible and enter the numerical code into the search engine. I want to know: Which sentence from God changed their life so monumentally that they chose to highlight it on social media?

Every single time, without fail, I’m disappointed by the verse I find.

Though the urge to share a favorite biblical passage doesn’t seem to be a coordinated effort, some sort of herd instinct must be at play. Almost all of them come down to just a few quotes repeated endlessly across platforms. These popular verses are remarkably unimpressive. Even when an uncommon passage is chosen, it tends to be unremarkable. This issue is not limited to social media; whenever I encounter Christians, I am baffled by the portions of the Bible they consider worth sharing with an unconvinced audience.

While the Bible is often revered, it is also, quite frankly, boring. At least, the parts that believers are comfortable sharing are. I’ve yet to encounter a Christian proudly quoting verses that command, for example: “One shall not suffer a witch to live,” or describe God sending bears to kill children who mocked his prophet for being bald, or depict the gruesome massacre of Egypt’s firstborn by the angel of death.

The Book of Boredom

The books of Proverbs, Psalms, and most of the Epistles are utterly uninteresting in terms of moralistic conclusions for our lives. They are intriguing when one delves into issues of their authenticity, the early Christian infighting between Paul and Peter, or the evolution of theological views away from Jesus’ teachings. However, in terms of inspirational content, they fall short compared to other religious texts and are inferior to many ancient or later philosophers.

To play the devil’s advocate, the impact of the Bible on European and American culture may have stripped it of its novelty and meaning, making its ethics seem obvious to Western readers. However, even with this consideration, the Bible still falls short. I cannot imagine seeking advice on how to live my life from the Bible, not because of my anti-theist bias, but simply because the content is inadequate.

As a practicing teenage Catholic, I forced myself to study the Bible through strict self-control. I knew it was important to know the book sent by God, but I was always unimpressed. The priest’s long-winded instructions based on the passages never resonated with me. Today, I barely remember any of the teachings. I don’t think I was an anomaly among churchgoers, but the norm. An honest introspection by Christians would likely reveal that biblical passages are neither momentous nor significant to their ethical decisions.

The Omniwriter

This observation is devastating to supernatural claims about the Bible. As a writer, albeit maybe a mediocre one, I do not excuse bad writing, not even for divine beings. Given enough time, I could significantly improve any piece of writing, choosing words precisely to convey my intent perfectly. Imagine the intricate plot crafted with unlimited hours of thought, telling the most engaging story ever. This is what we should expect from God the Omniwriter.

If God embarked on the task of crafting a text to communicate his will perfectly to humanity, it would be the best book in history. Every page would be a masterpiece, worth endless hours of study. The perfection of the text itself would argue for a supernatural creator capable of such literary supremacy. This is the standard we should hold every Christian apologist to when they claim the greatness of the Bible. This is the book we should expect under the Christian worldview, but it is certainly not the Bible.

The Missing Awe

Think of the most intense feeling you’ve had while reading a book—perhaps the sense of dread for the fellowship of the ring in Tolkien’s novel or the awe at a philosopher’s observation. Have you ever felt such intense emotion reading the Bible? Have you had sleepless nights because you couldn’t put it down? I’ve had such experiences with many books, but never with the Bible. I never fell asleep with my head on the Bible, captivated by its text.

My experience is clear, and I guess yours might be similar. A major reason for this guess is the widespread ignorance of the Bible among Christians. The fact that I can fluster them with well-chosen passages that contradict their moral intuitions or established Christian myths shows that the Bible is not as great as claimed. Believers struggle to stay captivated by the Bible, a struggle that should not exist. Believers of a religion with a sacred script from an omniwriter would be such vehement scholars of this book that no atheist attack could succeed.

However, the Bible is so lackluster that it can even lead to deconversion. Penn Jillette, in the episode “The Bible: Fact or Fiction?” of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, said:

“Take some time and put the Bible on your summer reading list. Try and stick with it cover to cover. Not because it teaches history; we’ve shown you it doesn’t. Read it because you’ll see for yourself what the Bible is all about. It sure isn’t great literature. If it were published as fiction, no reviewer would give it a passing grade. There are some vivid scenes and some quotable phrases, but there’s no plot, no structure, there’s a tremendous amount of filler, and the characters are painfully one-dimensional. Whatever you do, don’t read the Bible for a moral code: it advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition, and murder. Read it because we need more atheists—and nothing will get you there faster than reading the damn Bible.”

While atheists probably shouldn’t start giving out pocket Bibles to deconvert believers, the inadequacies of the Bible are a strong argument against its supernatural origin.

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