"Today, I am mostly smiting the Tiptonites"
There is much in the bible which troubles thoughtful Christians. Most Christians are blissfully unaware as they have not read the book they base their religious beliefs upon. Also these pesky troublesome bits are never the basis for the Sunday sermon. They are conveniently ignored and brushed under the ecclesiastic carpet. As an atheist, I have read the bible and appreciate it for what it is. The Old Testament is a collection of diverse literature spanning a thousand years. It contains ‘history’ (but not as we know it), laws, exaltations, mythology and love poetry. It is written by men, often barbarous men, untainted by sophisticated philosophy. It throws light on the state of affairs at the time of writing. The men who wrote the bible where not unintelligent, but they wrote as they saw things through a lens of perceived piety. A pre-scientific world view dominated by miraculous events and an unswerving belief in their warrior storm deity. The bible is not the inspired word of god. It was written by fallible men tainted by their narrow perspective and petty prejudices.