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Chapter 19

Joseph Wheless

              22 page printout, page 406 - 427 END
                           CHAPTER XIX

                  CESSET SUPERSTITIO! AND THEN?

          "But if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it
     be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast
     out, and to be trodden under foot of men" (Matt. V, 13). --
     "It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for dunghill; but men
     cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Luke
     xiv, 35).

     PAUL'S naive confession that he told lies that the truth of
God might the more abound (Rom. iii, 7) we have found to be about
the only true thing he is recorded as saying. A like paucity of
truth is found in all his confreres, as our examination has shown.
We have found, no doubt with amazement, that lies are "the mostest
things there isn't nothing else but" in all Bible and Theology, to
the pretended glory of God -- and to the great profit of
priestcraft. Paul also spoke true when he admitted that he
"profited in the Jew's religion above many" (Gal. 3, 14) -- showing
that it was for many a profitable occupation; he lost no pelf when
he apostatized to become the propagandist in chief of the new
faith. But "strong delusion that men should believe lies" of
religious superstition propagated by him and his confreres was not,
as he avers, sent by God; it is just another of Paul's own admitted
mendacities, the conscious -- and unconscionable -- work of
professional priestcraft.

     That otherwise intelligent thinking people should be yet under
this strong delusion to believe priestly lies is because they do
not know their Bible and derived theology; they take their fore-
shortened beliefs about it "on faith" from the parsons and from
such choice fervent texts as they hear expounded or casually read.
That the vast majority of Christians are rank know-nothings of
Bible and theology is evidenced by the gasps of surprise and shock
which no doubt many readers of this book have made at the
disclosures of what really "God's Word" is. Brought up from youth
on the "strong delusion" that it is all verily "God's Word," and
that "he that doubteth is damned -- suffering the vengeance of
eternal fire," they do not reason or dare to doubt; they hear
believingly, if they do not heed, the preached word.

     Some good and scholarly "divines" too, educated to theology
and its sophistries, no doubt believe even yet, in simplicity of
faith, quite innocently. The distinguished Bishop Colenso, Church
of England "divine," may be instanced. Being appointed, in the good
mid-Victorian era, bishop of Natal, so great was his zeal to spread
the saving truth in "Darkest Africa" that be learned the Zulu
language, wrote a grammar and dictionary of the idiom, and then
taught English to a number of bright native converts to the
Christian faith. With their aid he then began the work of
translating the Bible into Zulu, for the conversion of the heathen
natives. Before long the good bishop's troubles began, and he began
to "see a great light." His intelligent Zulu collaborators, who had
been converted to Christianity by hearsay and not upon knowledge,
would come to him in great amazement and point out to him things
encountered in the Bible, as they worked in translating, which to
their untutored minds seemed shocking contradictions of text; 

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absurdities and untruths in what they had been taught was the
inerrant inspired Word of God. The Bishop's attention being thus
for the first time challenged, he thoroughly studied the whole
matter of inspiration and revelation in this new light. The result
was his monumental seven-volume work The Pentateuch and Book of
Joshua Critically Examined (1862-1879), in which the inspiration
and truth of the Old Testament were denied and disproved. The
bishop's "conversion" caused great sensation and scandal in
England; he was excommunicated and deposed by his indignant church,
and his salary stopped; but the courts held this action invalid and
decreed full payment of salary with all arrears. Similar cases of
conversion to reason have been known.

     But many instances no doubt abound, in these more recent
times, like that of the good parson in St. Louis who urged the
writer to become a member of his church and congregation. In answer
to the frank objection that, for the reasons now exposed in this
book, be could not without hypocrisy go back into the church which
he had abandoned, the good pastor as frankly replied that all that
was no sound objection; "If your ideas about the Bible and mine
were put into a bag and shaken up and poured out, you could not
tell which were yours and which mine"! How many good parsons
reading this book would not -- at least to their own inner selves
-- make a like "confession of faith"!

     The Christ, in the text on salt of lost savor, quoted above,
was inveighing against the superstitious old Hebrew law, in himself
now fulfilled, said to have been handed down by word of mouth from
his own putative Father, Yahveh God of Israel. In all the Bible
there is no Christian God but Yahveh, and the Christ is his Son.
The description and condemnation thus voiced by the Christ are
found to fit perfectly the ancient fables and superstitions both of
the old and the new "revelations." The theories, long and fondly
held, of the divine revelation, inspiration, and inerrant truth of
these old Jewish books as the unimpeachable "Word of God" have lost
their savor, and must be cast out.

     The most and worst that follows from the discovery that the
Bible is not the "Word of God" -- merely Jewish fables of Yahveh
and his Son -- is that God has not seen fit to deliver any written
"word" or "law," either to the ancient Hebrews. or to the
Christians, or to anybody else. Possibly the Supreme Architect of
the universe, who framed all this wonder of the world and
established its immutable laws, could, and would if he so pleased
and saw fit, find some way and means to make written revelation of
himself and of his will for the behoof of the human race. But he
who ordered the harmony of the worlds and ordained their divine
laws, would in such event, we may do him credit to believe, so
reveal and state his will and laws to man that man would know
veritably two things: that the God made the revelation, and what be
said and meant. It would be certain and unmistakable, so that it
could be known for sure to all men. It would be as simple, too, as
two and two are four; so simple and sure that the wayfaring man,
though a fool, could not err therein. There would be no danger of
losing one's soul through the impossibility of understanding the
revelation; no occasion for "heresies," and schisms, and sects,
with different and discordant interpretations of it, as with the 

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present revelations of Yahveh and Son by the mouth of priests and
clergy. In such a true God-given revelation there would be no
occasion for the apologetic casuistry of Peter -- himself an
"ignorant and unlearned" person -- for the Jewish revelation, "in
which are some things hard to understand, which they that are
unlearned and unstable wrest unto their own destruction" (2 Pet.
iii, 16); and Paul would not be so put to it to make believe that
"the foolishness of God [Yahveh] is wiser than men" (i Cor. i, 25).

     The supreme destiny of the human soul would not be left, by a
true and intelligent God, to such clouded, mystic, mythic, jangling
jargon of professional priests and prophets and apostles and
theologians as we have found their "revelation" and theology to be.
A God who could not or would not reveal his awful will for the
eternal destiny of man better and more truly than in these
"inspired revelations" of Bible and theology is not fit to be a God
or to be entrusted with the fate of a human soul. A man's last will
and testament, so dubiously authenticated, would never be admitted
to probate; and with such darkened and contradictory dispositions,
would by any competent court be held "void for uncertainty," and
the testator declared intestate, if not insane. Since, evidently,
the true, all-wise Creator God has not revealed thus
autobiographically his Word, his creature man is evidently in need
of no such revelation and is none the worse off without it.

     The mythic Yahveh of Israel, exactly like all ancient and some
more modern mythic deities, was by his professional prophets and
priests pretended to have spoken and commanded through them. But in
truth, as admitted, "the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests
bear rule by their means, and the people love to have it so" --
then, and all through human history. Professional priests
undeniably devised all "revealed" gods and religions; professional
clergy are yet the propagandists of these ancient myths as
"religion" of God, as "articles of faith necessary to salvation" --
with damnation as the alternative.

     Priests ruled the ancient world and kings superstitiously did
their crafty bidding. For centuries priests dominated the modern
world and made kings superstitiously grovel before them and don and
doff their crowns at their command. Priestcraft to-day proclaims
itself vicar of Yahveh God on earth, and strives yet mightily to
impose itself on the minds and consciences of men, through their
superstitious fears, invented and imposed by priest and clergy, and
through the awful but anachronistic authority of the "keys of
heaven and hell." It is all the same old priestly game, very little
modernized.

     The Hebrew Scriptures are seen to be an inextricable complex
of ancient cosmological legends, of primitive folklore, of rude
tribal chronicles, of some actual historical events, of
superstitious religious fables, of pagan Hebrew concepts of their
mythological tribal Yahveh, God of Israel. Later the fabled Yahveh
of Israel was slowly and dubiously evolved into a -- no less
mythological -- One God Yahveh of all the earth. A mythological god
cannot evolve into a real living true God -- ex nihil nihil fit. A
myth cannot be imagined into a reality. The "revelation" is all
one, from Moses to Ezra and his priests -- they hang and fall
together. False premisses cannot produce true conclusions.

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     Seizing upon the patent myth of Yahveh as God of all the earth
for its basic point of departure, and retaining fully and without
reserve all the primitive fables and mythology of ancient Jewry,
the Christian "revelation" builds up a fabulous fatuous scheme of
theological mystery and casuistry fondly called the sacred science
of Christianity -- founded upon the Yahveh myth, Yahveh's curse on
mankind for the "original sin" of the fabled "first Adam," atoned
for by the sacrifice of the "last Adam," virgin-born Son of the
mythic Yahveh, sent to redeem the world from Adamic sin, and
culminating in the dogma of three gods in One. Such is the holy
Christian faith -- "which except a man believe faithfully and
firmly, he can not be saved" (Athanasian Creed, Cath. Encyc., Vol.
II, p. 34).

     The theology of this is rather mystifying. Each of these
triune persons is all Yahveh but only a part of Yahveh. According
to the creed above cited, "The Father [Yahveh] is God, the Son is
God, and the Holy Spirit is God," "these Three Persons being truly
distinct one from another"; and yet there are not three Gods but
one God" (Yahveh). And the sacred deposit lays it down: "In this
Trinity of Persons the Son is begotten of the Father by an eternal
generation, and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal procession
from the Father and the Son. Yet notwithstanding this difference as
to origin [Gods are supposed to be without origin, "from
eternity"], the Persons are co-eternal and coequal: all alike are
uncreated and omnipotent" (Cath. Encyc., Vol XV, p. 47). If three
persons are co-eternal, all existing from eternity, it is difficult
to perceive how one should be begotten by another, which implies
the previous existence of the begetter, or how another could
"proceed" from the other two, which implies the previous
coexistence of the other two. This is too subtle for any but
professional theologians. But they seem to be contradicted by the
positive Yahvistic declaration of the relatively modern begetting
of the Son, only about 1000 B.C.; for David quotes some one,
apparently (but quite impossibly) the Son himself, on his supposed
first day of existence: "Yahveh hath said unto me, Thou art my Son;
this day have I begotten thee" (Ps. ii, 7). For positive assurance
of identity it is thrice asserted by Paul: "God [Yahveh] ... hath
raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm,
Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee" (Acts xiii, 33;
Heb. i, 5; v, 5). So Yahveh the Father and his Son can hardly, on
this revealed record, or naturally, be "co-eternal"; and if the
Holy Ghost "proceeds" from Yahveh and Son, the "procession" must
have begun since the date the Son was begotten by Yahveh.

     Yahveh was wholly a mythological deity, existent only in a
very primitive pagan imagination; a mythological deity could by no
possibility, except imaginative, have had an actual begotten and
incarnate son, and it is a very attenuated Ghost that could
"proceed" from such mythic sources. This simple consideration, with
its unescapable logic, leaves nothing of the Triune-Yahveh but myth
and a pious perplexity at the dogma of the theologians, once
accepted by faith.

     It may be mentioned, in passing, that the "Three Persons" of
the Yahvistic godhead -- or at least two of them, these being the
only ones recorded as ever saying anything -- are, on all Bible 

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authority, to be taken as "being truly distinct one from another,"
and therefore difficult to regard as "not three Gods but one God."
Yahveh assured his Son: "This day have I begotten thee"; a thousand
years later the Son comes to earth while the Father Yahveh remains
in heaven; the Father Yahveh calls from heaven: "This is my beloved
Son," and the Son prays to the Father -- all which is odd if both
are the same Person. The Son is specially said to be "an advocate
with the Father" (1 John ii, 1), who "is even at the right hand of
God [Yahveh], who also maketh intercession for us" (Rom. viii, 34),
as also "the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with
groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. viii, 26). We are often
told that the Son sitteth or standeth "on the right hand of the
Father" (Yahveh). The Bible speaks of "God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Holy Ghost," but never once does it say that these
three distinctly named and designated Gods are all One God or a
Triune God. The word "Trinity" is totally unknown in Holy Writ. All
this clearly corroborates the fact of three Gods "truly distinct
one from another"; but their distinctive functions and activities
leave more questionable the theory of "not three Gods but One God"
(Yahveh alone). As fact this seems inexplicable; as fable it needs
no explanation: it is theology.

     As the Bible is altogether superstitious falsities and its
Yahveh-God wholly mythological, no less so must be the elaborate
and intricate theology founded on them; the stream can rise no
higher than its source. This simple truth quite destroys the whole
congeries of conflicting creeds and wrecks their exhaustless fount,
the "sacred deposit of faith." The disclosed undeniable want of
inspiration and truth in the Bible makes grimly humorous the
dogmatic assurances of the inspired truth of the deposit, for which
it is claimed: "All revealed truth is not consigned to Holy
Scripture, but Christ gave to his apostles to be transmitted to his
Church -- or they received from inspiration or revelation -- divine
instructions which they transmitted to the Church and which were
not committed to the inspired writings. Thus Christ instituted his
Church as the official and authentic organ to transmit and explain
in virtue of divine authority the revelation made to men. Holy
Scripture is therefore not the only theological source of the
revelation made by God [i.e., Yahveh] to his Church. Side by side
with scripture there is tradition, side by side with the written
revelation is the oral revelation. This granted, it is impossible
to be satisfied with the Bible alone for the solution of all
dogmatic questions" (Cath. Encyc., Vol. XV, pp. 6, 7, art.
Tradition). The premisses of the above ratiocination not being now
so readily granted, there may be appreciably less satisfaction with
either Bible or tradition in respect to the verity of theological
dogmas.

     The Bible, though thus all true, is not all the truth -- so
says the sacred deposit. Let us now again -- in the light of our
study of Bible and deposit -- read a couple of precious excerpts
from the deposit vouching for the Bible, both put forth as ex
cathedra utterances of the Holy Ghost of Yahveh God (the italics
being mine): "These books are sacred and canonical because they
contain revelation without error, and because written by the
inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God [Yahveh] for their
Author" (Vatican Council, Sess. III, ch. ii, 1870; Cath. Encyc., 

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                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

Vol. II, p. 543). And: "It will never be lawful to restrict
inspiration merely to certain portions of the Holy Scriptures, or
to grant that the sacred writers could have made a mistake ... They
render in exact language, with infallible truth, all that God
[Yahveh] commanded, and nothing else"! "Wherever the sacred writer
makes a statement as his own, that statement is the word of God and
infallibly true, whatever be the subject-matter of the statement"!
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Prov. Deus, 1893; Cath. Encyc., Vol. II,
p. 543). To be impartial, take this example of the stark
presumption of uninspired bunkum from the thirteenth of the
Thirty-nine Articles of Religion: "Good works done before the grace
of Christ are not pleasant to God; but they have the nature of
sin"! Sancta simplicitas!

     The old Roman augurs, when they performed the sacred mysteries
of the auspices upon the livers and entrails of the sacrifices and
delivered to the superstitious their solemn oracular mummeries of
the awful will of the god so revealed, were wont to stick their
tongues in their cheeks and wink at one another, in mirthful
appreciation of their own ingenuity in "getting away with it,"
thanks to the crass ignorance of their pious dupes. The pagan
augurs must have felt as selfconscious of base imposture as are, of
Yahveh's own power of miracle, the Christian priests who with
mystic signs and mutterings "make God with four Latin words," and
metamorphose ordinary bread and wine into the veritable bod and
blood of a God who never was -- and who, being a "spirit" (John iv,
24), could not have body and blood or other "corporeal elements" to
be thus anthropophagously consumed, thousands of millions of times
a year through twenty centuries. When the theologians and
"divines," in full twentieth century, read in their Bibles the
self-same things we have just wonderingly reviewed, and then give
utterance to the above quoted and other like outpourings of the
Holy Ghost, and stand forth to proclaim all this to intelligent
modern men as God's own truth -- to disbelieve which is eternal
death and damnation -- probably they restrain themselves from
outward visible indications of their inner reactions; or maybe,
knowing no better, they have none. The charitable imputation of
ignorance is all that saves them from the guilt of conscious
imposition, though ethically it is all one to assert as true what
one does not know to be true and to assert as true what one knows
to be untrue. Whether ignorant or conscious, theology and dogma
savor none the less inevitably of imposture and superstition.

     Superstition is thus defined by a high lexicographic
authority:

          "A belief founded in irrational feelings, especially of
     fear, and characterized by credulity; also any practice
     originating in such belief; excessive and unreasonable
     scruples due to ignorant dread of the supernatural.
     Specifically, a belief in a religious system regarded by
     others than the believer as unreasonable and without support;
     a false religion, or any of its rites" (New Standard
     Dictionary of the English Language).

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     With this accurate definition of superstition, and with the
preceding revelations of Holy Writ fresh in mind, are not the 
Hebrao-Christian creeds, dogmas, and theologies, of Bible as of
"deposit," superstitions all? The question is submitted in all
candor to every candid mind.

     The supernatural myths and superstitions of Bible and theology
are no part of real religion; they have no portion in the
inheritance of righteousness which exalts a man and a nation.
Rather are they a degrading concept of God and his intelligence,
and betray a strange contempt for the dignity of mind and common
sense of men in imposing such nonsense for their belief.

     Full faith in Adam, the talking snake, and Yahveh's curse is
not in these modern days necessary to an abiding faith in the
Creator God and in the creature man, though the Catholic
Encyclopedia says that "the first three chapters of Genesis contain
facts touching the foundations of the Christian religion" (Vol.
VII, p. 313). That the "law" was not given by word of mouth of
Yahveh, tribal God of Israel, to Moses on Sinai, does not hinder
one from heeding the better principles of the ten commandments,
valid in every moral code. To discredit the virgin-birth by mortal
woman of a Son of Yahveh does not nullify the good in anything the
reputed Son may have said of truth and righteousness, nor destroy
a manly reverence for woman and motherhood. To throw hell into the
discard does not impair man's ability or will to "do good, for good
is good to do," spurning "bribe of heaven and threat of hell." To
relegate angels, devils, witches, and miracles to the limbo of
childish fancy along with Santa Claus yet leaves place -- freer,
better place -- in the hearts and lives of men for truth, honor,
and justice, by freeing their minds from "complete paralysis of the
intelligence, resulting from irrational surrender to the blight of
theological dogma."

     As the distinguished doctor of divinity quoted in the last
line earnestly says (the italics are mine)

          "The work of the Church in bringing Christ to men [nota
     bene -- not men to Christ, in the old pulpit cant] is
     enormously handicapped by associating it with the imposed
     belief in the veracity and historicity of what are patently
     early myths and naive, childish, primitive folklore.

          "It is of supreme importance to remember that a proper
     understanding of these Jewish stories, while necessarily
     working havoc with the ideas of Paul and the elaborate
     theology that is based on them, in no wise affects in the
     slightest manner the Christianity of Christ, the religion of
     Jesus, the eternal principles by which he lived and for which
     he died" (Fagnani, The Beginnings of History According to the
     Jews, pp. 23-24).

     Again this erudite doctor of divinity and professor of Hebrew
Scripture asserts Yahveh, God of Israel, to have been "an imagined,
aboriginal, primitive deity, ... not the God of the New Testament"
(Ibid., p. 18). But the God is Yahveh in Old and New Testaments
alike.

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     While this saving clause yet savors a bit of the original sin
of theological dogma, however well diluted, these two frank,
pregnant utterances destroy alike in toto the Bible fables of
Yahveh as true God and the false theology of Paul and the Church
regarding everything based on these Bible fables. They leave
untouched, except to mention and to magnify them, and instinct with
all then pristine worth, the "eternal principles," all that is good
and true and pure and worthy of all acceptation in the recorded
words and life of him who is called the Christ, and who gave to all
"power to become the sons of God" (John i, 12) -- in the same sense
as was the Christ himself.

     In 1797-8, a score of years after the American Revolution for
political and religious liberty, a celebrated state trial was held
in England against a bookseller for the crime of blasphemy -- for
selling a copy of the Age of Reason, by the immortal American
patriot, Thomas Paine. The distinguished attorney general of the
kingdom conducted the prosecution and made a very remarkable
argument to the trial jury. He expressed in fervent words "the
regret and indignation I feel, that any man in this country should
dare to disseminate such pernicious doctrines"; and he declaimed:

          "What have we to expect if those long-established
     feelings and principles be expelled from the minds and hearts
     of men? What reliance have I to receive from you, gentlemen of
     the jury, an honest verdict on the evidence which has been
     laid before you? On what were you sworn that you would act
     conscientiously? To what were you referred when you swore that
     you would return a true verdict, 'so help me God'? You swore
     on that Holy Book. ...

          "What reason have you to believe that the witnesses will
     speak the truth, except from the operation of those religious
     principles which I have described to you? Are they not sworn
     on that sacred volume? ...

          "What hold have we on the mind of His Honor that he will
     administer the law with strict justice, uprightness, and
     impartiality? What security has the defendant himself that
     pure justice will be rendered to him on his trial, except the
     oath of His Honor? ...

          "When any individual assumes a station of trust or power
     in the government, the constitution prescribes an oath; ...
     that oath is on the holy gospels of God. ...

          "I have only, therefore, to remind you, gentlemen, that
     this information was not preferred from any idea that the
     Christian religion could be affected in its character or
     irresistible progress by this disgusting and contemptible
     book; but to prevent its circulation amongst the industrious
     poor, too much engaged in the support of their families by
     their labor, and too uninformed to be secure against artful
     wickedness. Of all human beings they stand most in need of the
     consolations of religion, and the country has the deepest
     stake in their enjoying it, not only from the protection which
     it owes them, but because no man can be expected to be 

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faithful to the authority of man who revolts against the government
of God! Gentlemen, I leave it to you as twelve Christian men to
decide whether this is not a most blasphemous and impious libel."
(William's Case, 26 Howard's State Trials, 1798-9; pp. 654-719)

     On this specious, fantastic plea of His Majesty's attorney
general that justice could not be administered nor government
maintained among men but for the sanction of a superstitious oath
on a book of fables, the "pure justice" of a verdict of "guilty" of
blasphemy -- against the mythologic Yahveh -- was returned in a
"Christian court of justice" against the disseminator of the truth.
Let our English friends remember this eminent English precedent
when disposed to sneer too critically at the "monkey case" in the
hill-country of Tennessee!

     That sixty per cent or more of the people of these United
States are not galled by the yoke of dogmatic theological religion
of any brand of itself belies the pretentious casuistry that
justice cannot or would not be done between state and citizen,
between man and man, but for the sanction of a religious oath with
the fear of hell fire behind it -- as often violated by perjury as
observed from an honest regard for truth; and belies especially,
the unveiled assertion that it is the poor particularly who stand
in need of the restraints, and assumed consolations, of this
priest-forged rod of authority, without which they would be quite
ungovernable. Every intelligent person versed in history knows that
it is not true that justice cannot be done, or order in government
be maintained, without the Christian threat of hell and damnation
to restrain the false witness or the insubordinate subject or to
constrain the righteous judgment of the judge.

     Times have changed. Not a state of this Union but still
retains the oath "So help me God"; and in New York the greasy old
tome of Holy Writ must usually be dragged out and tagged by the
witness as he swears upon it. But such oath is not always required;
the witness may simply "affirm" that he or she will speak the
truth; or may break a saucer, or jump over a broomstick, or swear
by "the beard of the prophet" or whatever other freak he may regard
as of most sacred compulsion for him to tell the truth. It's a
piddling performance at best; no oath prevents perjury. A thousand
hands are held to heaven or laid on the musty book each day, to
speak the truth, "So help me God"; and a large part of all the
solemnly vouched testimony given is lies. it would be better to
abolish the whole superstitious farce; let a man affirm that be
speaks the truth, and if he lies, jail him for perjury, and perjury
will cease to be so much in vogue as a means to "justice."

     Justice can be done without swearing by fables. The noblest,
most admirable system of law, the sternest, fairest scheme of human
justice, which the world has ever known -- under which the whole
civilized world lives to-day -- is pagan Roman law. It is to-day
the basis of every legal system of Europe, as of Japan's; it
largely supplements the crudities of the common law of England; the
whole system of English and American equity is derived from and
instinct with the spirit of the stern, impartial justice of pagan
Rome. Many American judges are Jews; many others no doubt quite
disbelieve the Christian faith; American juries are composed in 

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large part of Jews and disbelievers; still justice is rendered
between men; still government, the best on earth, is maintained,
protecting men in life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of
happiness. It will yet persist, and human happiness be no doubt
more nearly perfect when strife and dissentions engendered by
religious differences have been relegated to oblivion.

     The glory that was Greece, the grandeur that was Rome, they
know, have filled the world with beauty and with law, ages before
the Christian superstition existed or the torch of its crude
theology had been applied to the brimstone of hell and its holy
fires kindled for the unbelieving soul. Those learned in the law
will recall the maxims of the jurisprudence of ancient Rome,
mistress and lawgiver of the world; maxims gathered by Justinian
into the Digest, culled from the olden precepts of the noblest of
the old Roman jurisconsults and legal philosophers, which still
rule the civilized world to-day. It was Ulpian, pagan that be was,
who described the Roman lawyers as "priests of justice, engaged in
the pursuit of a philosophy that is truly such and no counterfeit";
and pagan Ulpian it was who gave the living definition:
"Jurisprudence is the knowledge of things human and divine, the
science of the just and unjust" -- almost a translation of the much
more ancient pagan Greek Stoic concept of "sophia." The very first
sentence of the Digest is this: "The precepts of the law are these:
to live honorably, to injure no one, to render to every one his
due." The pagan Cicero declared: "Law is nothing else than right
reason, enlightened by the gods, commanding what is honest and
forbidding what is dishonest."

     There are to-day some 243,000 churches, temples, synagogues,
and whatever they may be called scattered throughout these United
States, to minister to some 47,000,000 members of them all. No
doubt they are a force for good in the land. A far greater force
they will be for far greater good when once they turn from
propagating worn-out superstitions and strive to further personal
and civic righteousness for its own high sake. Recently a very
well-known "liberal" minister in the metropolis declared through
the public press that his own sons refused to attend church
because, they said, they "did not want to have to listen to a lot
of bunk." Nor do hundreds of thousands of other men gifted with
fair, reasonable minds. I find the question, so often heard, again
seriously put "whether the pulpit is any longer useful in modern
life"; and on this the Dean of St. Paul's, London, thus comments:

          "The crumbling of certain parts of the dogmatic structure
     has undoubtedly increased the difficulty of preaching. There
     is much uncertainty as to what may be, and should be, said
     from the pulpit. The people themselves are impatient with
     dogma. Accordingly, many preachers try to interest their
     congregations by topical discussions of newspaper
     controversies, new books, or, worst of all, burning economic
     problems, in which their ill-informed tirades generate much
     more heat than light. There seems to be a kind of fatality
     that the Church always begins to champion a political party at
     the moment when it is preparing to abuse its power. The Church
     never goes into polities without coming out badly smirched,
     and few sermons are more unprofitable than rambling comments
     or declamations on secular affairs" (Literary Digest, November
     21, 1925, pp. 31-32).
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     Churches are to-day largely social gathering places, where the
social gradations are as marked and as rigidly observed as at the
king's court, the rich in the best pews, the poor in the rear and
side ones, and little recognition or fraternity between them. On
Sundays the sacred edifices are solemnly open, and maybe on an
evening during the week; the rest of the time they are mostly
closed and dark, and as cold as is their spirit when open.

     Every "house of God," of whatever god (and there are many),
throughout the land should be kept open and habitable and every day
and evening, and should be active centers of spiritual and social
and civic interests, where, most of all, the homeless should find
a shelter if not a home. Churches are in a large and important
sense supported by the State, by the public, being free from all
taxation, to the extent all told of thousands of millions of
dollars yearly; they should be brought to some real return of
service to the public, beyond preaching fables and singing psalms
a couple of times a week. Church houses should be community
centers, open to every responsible and respectable society and
organization, religious, social, civic, political, freely or at
only the actual expense of service for the occasion.

     Make the churches public forums, where the public may
forgather for every kind of social and civic occasion and innocent
diversion, from the instructive scenes on the "silver screen" to
the healthful, joyful dance; public lectures, political gatherings,
social and literary societies -- all are quite as socially and
spiritually useful and uplifting, and as innocuous and little
"desecrating" to the sacred edifices as church "rummage sales" and
parish "grab-bag" parties and "rates." The talk about "sacredness"
and "consecration" of churches, which must not be "desecrated" or
"profaned" by honest uses for worthy purposes, is sanctimonious
silliness. All human service is sacred, all human effort that makes
for right and for righteousness is holy, consecrated.

     Let the churches then, if they would attract and hold
intelligent modern men and women, leave off preaching and teaching
the fables of the Bible as the truthful Word of God, about Adam's
talking snake, and Balaam's talking ass, and Jonah's marvelous
whale, and men raised from the dead, and men living in heaven or
hell after they are dead -- of devils, and angels. Let the
ministers quit "sky-piloting" for the very dubious hereafter and
devote themselves to spreading the knowledge of God's real truths
of life and nature here on earth; ethical and educational truths,
God in his wonders of nature, the bands of Orion, or the bandaging
of wounds in first aid to the injured; the cruel hatefulness of war
and its ostracism from earth; the beauty and duty of charity to all
men, of whatever race or tongue or creed, and the loathsomeness of
prejudices of race or color or creed -- and speed the abolition of
creed. Thousands of truths of knowledge and use and beauty, to the
true glory of God and benefit of man, may be taught and spread
abroad from the pulpit with never a hint of superstition or a whiff
of fire and brimstone.

     Then may people, in growing numbers, come to hear and remain
to be instructed in things worth while; the vast numbers driven
from the Church to-day by the vacuous myth-mongering of its 

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preachings may return with joy to its teaching of wholesome truths,
of knowledge in all its scope, of science in popular form. Then
will the influence of the churches be real and potent for good to
all the people; not restricted as now to miracle-mongering for a
credulous few, and to social display for worldly wise but very
indifferently believing and behaving Christians.

     If the churches will not with good grace make this return of
public utility and service for valuable public support by tax
exemption on their billions of dollars' worth of deadhead property,
then tax them like rich men's clubs or poor men's cottages, and let
them share the common burden of support of the government which
protects all alike under the law, and Christians from each other.

     Broaden and enforce the laws against "superstitious uses," and
make illegal and void the rich legacies, and the painfully earned
pittances of the poor, for the already over-swollen "treasury of
the Lord," obtained by the false pretence of "lending to the Lord,"
or for praying the souls of the superstitious out of non-existent
purgatory -- than both which there is no nearer grand larceny in
the annals of priestly avarice. Make it by the penal code grand
larceny de jure as grand larceny it surely is de facto. Consider
for a moment the countless millions filched through the centuries
from the credulous through this pious confidence game! Justice to
a man and to his surviving family comes before superstitious
generosity to the Devil to buy surcease of pains for a dead man's
soul gone wrong, or tainted only with Adam's original sin.
Purgatory not only does not exist, for the souls "go down
immediately into hell" (Decree Unionis) -- but if it did exist,
paid prayers are utterly worthless to get the souls out, for it is
"revealed" that they writhe there until "the first resurrection" or
until "the last judgment," which is exactly when they would get out
anyhow, to pass to heaven or hell -- if such places existed.

     For two thousand years mankind in Christendom has been the
victim of these priest-invented superstitions imposed on it as the
holy will of Almighty God; has from infancy been priest-taught to
believe fishermen's tales as inspired truth; has been duped into
reverencing, obeying, and supporting for life a horde of parasitic,
hypocritic, indolent, insolent soul-savers who have dealt damnation
to all who eluded their thraldom. Numberless millions of the most
intelligent and independent human beings have been tortured by
fiendish devices, murdered, and sent to everlasting torment in the
fires of hell for daring to doubt, to question, to deride, and to
despise the priests and their deadly superstitions. The human
intellect has been atrophied and debauched, the mind paralyzed and
debased, God-given reason crumbed or confined into puerile and
worthless channels, by enforced bondage to priestcraft. Freedom of
thought had been martyred; learning, discovery, science have been
cramped and thwarted; the progress of civilization itself has been
hindered and delayed by priestly oppression.

     Gulliver is beginning to break the multiplied threads which so
long have bound him prostrate before padre and parson; let the
Lilliputians beware. Divinely endowed men, turned swine-minded by
the hateful enchantments of the scarlet Circle could, when freed,
trample their seducers under foot, and turn again and rend them. A 

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better and holier than they heard the fearful cry "Crucify him!
crucify him!" Like Samson rendered impotent by the shearing, they
may be caught and crushed in the crash of the temple when its
tottering supports are knocked from under. Verbum sat sapienti.

     Once free the mind and soul from the debasing thrall of
"imposed belief in the veracity and historicity" of these Bible
fables, and from the "blight of theological dogma," as God's Word
necessary to salvation, and what a flood of spiritual light and
truth may illumine man's mind and conscience from the book of God's
work in nature! True, an unknown God not revealed in writing, but
still the true Creator God, revealed through his wondrous works.
Nor need the Bible be altogether disregarded as ennobling truth.
Full as is the Bible, Old and New Testaments, of crude, cruel,
immoral, revolting fables and concepts of the mythic Yahveh as God,
it abounds, too, in truly inspired outbursts of the highest fervor
of spirit, of the purest morality, of eternal principles of right
and wrong, of that righteousness that exalts men and nations, and
of denunciations of those sins which are a reproach to any people.
Amid the chaff and trash and filth in Holy Writ there are infinite
gems of purest ray serene to illumine mind and soul with true
godliness whereby to light the way to death. All such gems of
ancient devotion are to be cherished as part of the great spiritual
treasures of life, to be found in the Bible as in many another work
of highest worth in many literatures and religions, valid and true
wholly apart from the fables and myths. With all the crude, gross
Bible fables eliminated, there yet remains much of truth and
beauty; verses which are the gems, and contain the germs, of true
religion of the human spirit. This is the religion of clean hands
and pure hearts; of fact, not of faith; of good deeds, not of
credulity. Revolting is the doctrine of theology that not by the
doing of good and by right living, but only by credulous faith, is
there profit to man or God. As we have read: "Except which a man
believe faithfully and firmly he cannot be saved"! "Good works done
before the grace of Christ are not pleasant to God; but they have
the nature of sin"! Better far to so sin and die in such sin than
live in debasing belief in such theological "confidence" stuff!

     Micah, prophet of old Israel, denouncing the credulous beliefs
and superstitious practices of his people, struck for once in the
Hebrew Scriptures the high key-note of true religion:

          "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth
     the Lord [Yahveh] require of thee, but to do justly, and to
     love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah vi, 8)

     This is not Christian; it was written ages before Christ. It
is not sectarian; it is catholic, universal. It is not
superstitious, but sensible. It is the key-note of the universal
religion of the sincere mind and heart, striving after spiritual
godlikeness. It is identical with the universal, highly religious
concept of the very first of the Praecepta of the pagan Institutes
of the law of nature and of world law of Rome:

          Juris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non
     laedere, suum cuique tribuere. The precepts of the law are
     these: To live honorably, to injure no man, to render to
     everyone his due." (Institutes, 1, 1, 3)

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     Under the new dispensation of superstition, there sounds out,
too, one pure note in harmonious unison with the same true
religion; uttered by the own brother after the flesh of the Master
of the new faith of miracles and credulity:

          "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is
     this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,
     and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James i, 27)

     These three golden precepts of religion pure and undefiled by
crass superstitions are the utterances of three lofty-minded, high-
visioned men: an Old Hebrew prophet crying against the grossly
superstitious creeds and practices of the Chosen People of Yahveh;
a noble pagan prophet and priest of justice and law, human and
divine; a Hebrew of the new dispensation, brother of its Founder,
who believed but a modicum of its superstitions, but stressed to
its utmost its substance of love and charity and truth, as his
beautiful Epistle shows. To these may be added the noble
exhortation of fiery Paul:

          "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
     whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just,
     whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
     whatsoever things are of good report; think on these things."
     (Phil. iv, 8)

     The sum total and golden substance of truth of them all is
synthesized by a creedless modern seer in the tocsin couplet of the
Kasidah:

               "Do good, for good is good to do:
                Spurn bribe of heaven and threat of hell."

     These all are words which utter the doom of superstition, the
apotheosis of godly reason. They are the golden rule of highest
human righteousness. They spell the noblest terms of religion, of
true pure spirituality. They exclude not God; they embrace the
innate sense of God, of walking humbly with thy God, in Micah's
golden phrase. God we know not except through his wondrous works of
universal creation, save in the unstillable strivings of the human
soul for righteousness, for godlikeness. Whoever, whatever God be,
we feel him instinct within us; with the pagan poet quoted by Paul
on Mars' Hill, we feel that "in him we live, and move, and have our
being"; in a very high, real sense "we are also his offspring"
(Acts xvii, 28). In our souls we feel the impelling stirring of the
truth of Festus: "Nothing but God can satisfy the soul that he made
great" -- the greatest gift of God to his masterpiece man.

     But this God is not the crude tribal Yahveh, the
superstitious, psychopathic Jesus, and the inane Holy Ghost -- the
cerberus Trinity -- "revealed" in the oriental fancy of the Hebrao-
Christian Bible. God is not to be worshipped, as I conceive it, by
superstitious creeds, but in golden deeds wrought in the heart for
the good of the soul and of man.

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     The Bible is not the inspired infallible "Word of God"; it is
the very human record of the human fallible striving of man's soul 
after an Unknown but very conscious God-in-man, urging its
realization in men's lives, unconcerned with the unknowable
hereafter.

     That the Bible has been shown to be, IS, wholly human,
fearfully immoral, false, and cruel for the most part, detracts
naught from its immense value to mankind as a veritable treasury,
not of "God's outpourings through Moses," but of man's outpourings,
of man's upliftings of spirit towards righteousness, towards
godliness. That it is over-full of primitive, puerile
superstitions; that priests and hierarchies of priests have forged
out of its crude myths a cruel, blighting system of "theology" for
dominating men's minds and souls by priestly schemes of graft and
aggrandizeinent, of rule and ruin, is, unhappily for mankind, all
too true, as several thousand years of history and the imperfect,
inadequate sketches of this book prove. But when this demonstration
is brought home to the minds and realization of men, the damage is
ended forever. Knowing the truth, men will be free from the
dominion of error; the priestly era and occupation will be gone --
gone as the ghosts of yesteryear.

     But the Bible, in its better parts will endure, to the real
benefit of humanity, once it is rated at its true worth.
Inestimable evils, far more than from Pandora's box, have come from
this Bible: because misguided, mistaught, priest-taught men have
mistaken it for an inerrant book of facts of God, instead of, as it
is, a book of wondrous, fallible fables of man, carrying tremendous
morals of mighty spiritual truth. Once realize its fables as fables
frankly, its inspiration as the genius of man's fervent spirit
groping up towards the truths of spiritual life, with its gross
chaff winnowed away by the discernment of the spirit, then its
"apples of gold in pictures of silver" will become more beautiful
to the mind's eye, more palatable to the spirit's taste, more
vitally nourishing to the soul's salvation from error and
superstition.

     The Bible has always been a wonderful work of literature. Held
as a purely human, spiritual literary work; as such cherished,
reverently regarded, spiritually and reasonably lived; with its
superstitions, prolific cause of religious hatreds and intolerance,
of wars and woes unnumbered, banished from men's minds and souls;
with its lofty ideal truths of spirit impressed on men's hearts,
not its fatal mystic texts "engraven on their reeking swords" for
murderous strifes over its vain fables; and with its fine assurance
that "of one flesh hath God made all men under the sun" and that
all men are brothers under the universal fatherhood of God -- then,
then only, then indeed, will the humanized, revitalized Bible be
potent, omnipotent perhaps, to perfect the true civilization of
mankind; then triumphantly may be realized the burden of the
angels' storied song over the birth of the new era of the storied
Christ:

               "On earth peace to men of good will."

           Or better yet: "Peace to all mankind."  EFF

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                TABLE OF CONTENTS OF SUBHEADINGS

FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1
CONTENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
THE GENESIS OF CHRISTIANITY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
THE NEW AND THE OLDER RELIGIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
PAGAN TOLERANCE AND CHRISTIAN INTOLERANCE. . . . . . . . . .   13
THE DEADLY SANCTIONS OF RELIGION . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   14
"LIKE KING LIKE PEOPLE". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   16
"NOT DEAD BUT SLEEPETH". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   17
FAITH FLOURISHED ON IGNORANCE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   19
"CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   20
THE "CHRISTIAN" PEOPLES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   22

A SKETCH OF HEBREW SCRIPTURES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   24
THE BIBLE A COLLECTION OF "LITTLE BOOKS" . . . . . . . . . .   24
THE LANGUAGE OF THE BOOKS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   24
THE BIBLE LANGUAGE -- HEBREW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   26
THE NAME OF THE HEBREW TRIBAL GOD. . . . . . . . . . . . . .   27
THE BIBLE ALL COPIES OF COPIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   28
AND TRANSLATIONS OF TRANSLATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   29
WHEN THE BOOKS WERE WRITTEN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   29
SOME LIGHTS ON BIBLE CHRONOLOGY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   30
SOME SIDELIGHTS ON MOSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   31
THE "FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   33
THE BIBLE "PREFACE". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   34
SOME "POST-MOSAICA". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   35
OTHER LATE-WRITTEN BOOKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   38
"YAHVEH" AND "ELOHIM". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   39
A RARENTHESIS OF EXPLANATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   40
OTHER "SOURCES" OF SCRIPTURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   41
DUPLICATIONS OF INSPIRATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   42
INSPIRATION AND CONTRADICTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   43
THE LAWS AND TEST OF TRUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   44
FATAL CONTRADICTIONS OF REVELATION . . . . . . . . . . . . .   45
The Creation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   45
THE "DAYS" AND MATTER OF CREATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . .   48
SOME SIGNIFICANT MISTRANSLATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   49
"ADAM" MEANS ONLY "MAN". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   50
"LIVING CREATURES" AND "LIVING SOUL" . . . . . . . . . . . .   51
THE "FLOOD" CONTRADICTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   52
THE TOWER OF BAB-EL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   54
JACOB'S LADDER, AND BETH-EL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   56
JACOB'S BARGAINING VOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   57
SUNDRY OTHER CONTRADICTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   57

THE PATRIARCHS AND THE COVENANTS OF YAHVEH . . . . . . . . .   60
THE SPLENDID CIVILIZATION OF ABRAM'S TIME. . . . . . . . . .   60
THE "PROMISE" TO ABRAHAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   62
THE EGYPTIAN SLAVERY PROVISO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   63
THE PROMISE OF ISAAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   64
ISAAC'S DUBIOUS PATERNITY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   65
THE PROMISE RENEWED To ISAAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   65
THE PROMISE RENEWED TO JACOB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   66
THE MIGRATION TO EGYPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   66
AMAZING MULTIPLYING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   66

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THE "SOJOURN" IN EGYPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   67
THE "FOUR GENERATIONS" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   68
THE "INEFFABLE NAME" REVEALED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   69
A "PIOUS FRAUD" OF TRANSLATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   70
A CURIOUS MUDDLING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   72
WHY THIS "PIOUS" FRAUD?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   73
A PECULIAR TEST OF PROPHECY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   74
SOME ASSURANCES OF SUCCESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   74
CONJURING CONTESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   75
THE FEARFUL AND WONDERFUL "PLAGUES OF EGYPT" . . . . . . . .   76

THE WONDERS OF THE EXODUS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   79
"IN THE FOURTH GENERATION" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   79
THE HOSTS OF THE LORD OF HOSTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   80
SOME PREGNANT FIGURES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   80
THE AMAZING PASSOVER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   82
THE MARCHING ORDERS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   83
THE HOSTS ON THE MARCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   84
THE HOSTS AFRAID OF WAR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   85
THE RED SEA MASSACRE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   85
THE CHILDREN WAIL FOR WATER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   86
SMITING THE ROCK FOR WATER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   86
FOOD RIOTS -- HEAVENLY MANNA AND QUAILS. . . . . . . . . . .   87
MIRACLE AND MATHEMATICS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   89
THE MOSES FAMILY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   90
WHO PROPOSED THE JUDGES OF ISRAEL? . . . . . . . . . . . . .   91
THE TENTS OF ISRAEL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   92
THE GREAT ENCAMPMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   93
SOME FEATURES OF CAMP-LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   94
THE "BURNING QUESTION" OF FUEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   95

THE FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS. . . . . . . . . . . . . .   96
THE MISTAKE ABOUT THE PRIESTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   97
THE TWO CENSUSES IN THE WILDERNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . .   97
SOME CENSUS ODDITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   98
THE LEVITES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   99
THE MOTHERS OF ISRAEL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   99
THE PUZZLE OF "SAME" OR "NOT SAME" . . . . . . . . . . . . .  100
THE TABERNACLE AND ITS ACTIVITIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  102
SACRIFICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  103
MORE OF THE PRIESTS AND LEVITES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  105
SOME JAHVISTIC MURDERINGS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  106
THE RAPE OF MIDIAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  107
THE WONDERFUL LAST DAYS OF MOSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  109
MOURNING FOR AARON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  109
WAR WITH CANAAN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  109
TEN ENCAMPMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  110
WAR WITH AMORITES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  110
WAR WITH JAAZER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  110
WAR WITH BASHAN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  110
THE EPISODE OF BALAAM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  111
SPORTING WITH MOAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  112
CENSUS TAKING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  113
EXPEDITION TO MIDIAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  113
"MOPPING UP" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  113

THE "TEN COMMANDMENTS" AND THE "LAW" . . . . . . . . . . . .  115
DIVERGENT DECALOGUES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  115

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              422

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

THE TABLES OF STONE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  117
THE FIFTH MOUNTAIN TRIP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  118
THE FIRST TABLES OF STONE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  119
THE INCIDENT OF THE GOLDEN CALF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  119
THE SECOND TABLES OF STONE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  121
THE ACTUAL "TEN WORDS" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  121
THE LAW OF THE DECALOGUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  122
LAWS OF SLAVERY AND MURDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  122
CANNIBALISM AND HUMAN SACRIFICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  123
OTHER DIVINE MOSAIC LAWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  125
MOSES NOT THE "LAW-GIVER". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  128
THE "LAW" OF LATE PRIESTLY ORIGIN. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  128
THE "FINDING" OF THE LAW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  129
THE LAW AND THE REFORMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  130
POSITIVE PROOFS AGAINST MOSES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  131
BIBLE HISTORY DISPROVES THE "LAW OF MOSES" . . . . . . . . .  132

THE "CONQUEST" OF THE PROMISED LAND. . . . . . . . . . . . .  136
BUT NOT CONQUERED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  141
THE ABJECT SUBJECTION OF ISRAEL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  142

THE HEBREW HEATHEN RELIGION. SEX WORSHIP AND
IDOLS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  145
PHALLISM, OR SEX-WORSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  145
THE PRIMITIVE TRINITY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  146
PHALLIC EMBLEMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  147
THE PATRIARCHAL PHALLIC IDOLATRY . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  148
THE PHALLIC SYMBOLS OF SCRIPTURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  148
THE "PILLARS" OR MAZZEBAHS OF YAHVEH . . . . . . . . . . . .  148
THIS "GROVES" OR ASHERAHS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  150
YAHVEH'S PHALLIC EPHODS AND TERAPHIM . . . . . . . . . . . .  151
THE SACRED DICE OF YAHVEH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  153
OTHER HEATHEN RITES OF YAHVEH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  154
THE TEMPLE AN IDOL HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  156
THE TEMPLE HARLOTS OF YAHVEH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  157
PHALLUS HOMAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  158
SANCTITY OF THE PHALLUS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  159
THE SUPERSTITION OF WITCHCRAFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  159
THE BIBLE A GREAT "DREAM BOOK" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  160

THE PAGAN GOD -- AND GODS -- OF ISRAEL . . . . . . . . . . .  162
PAGAN ORIGINS OF THE HEBREWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  162
THE HEBREWS WERE HEATHENS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  164
"EL" -- "BEL" AND "BAAL" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  165
"BAAL" IS "LORD" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  165
YAHVEH IS BAAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  166
HA-ELOHIM YISHRAEL -- THE GODS OF ISRAEL . . . . . . . . . .  167
THE ORIGINAL HEBREW WORDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  167
"THE GODS CREATED" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  168
PLURALITY OF GODS BETRAYED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  171
Plural Nouns and Plural Verbs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  171
The "Plural of Dignity". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  172
YAHVEH -- "E PLURIBUS UNUM". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  173
Many "Other Gods" are Acknowledged . . . . . . . . . . . . .  173
The God of Israel and the Gods of the Nations. . . . . . . .  175
PAGAN BIBLE NAMES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  178

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              423

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

YAHVEH -- THE "TERRIBLE GOD" OF ISRAEL . . . . . . . . . . .  179
YAHVEH AS A SUPERMAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  179
EX NIHIL NIHIL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  182
YAHVEH A LOCAL DEITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  183
YAHVEH A KING ELOHIM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  183
YAHVEH AS A WAR-GOD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  184
YAHVEH, WAR-GOD OF ISRAEL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  184
PERSONAL TRAITS OF YAHVEH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  185
YAHVEH A DEITY OF TERROR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  186
A GOD OF BLOODY MURDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  187
YAHVEH THE VENGEFUL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  188
THE CHANGEFUL YAHVEH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  189
YAHVEH REPENTANT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  190
THE FATHER OF LIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  191
THE LUSTS OF YAHVEH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  192
YAHVEH THE WHITE-SLAVER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  192
L'ENVOI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  193

THE HOLY PRIESTS AND PROPHETS OF YAHVEH. . . . . . . . . . .  195
PRIESTS BEFORE MOSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  195
A "KINGDOM OF PRIESTS" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  196
REVELATION OF PRIESTLY MONOPOLY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  196
THE PRIESTLY PERQUISITES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  199
THE HOLY FAKIR PROPHETS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  200
THE FRENZIED PROPHETS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  201
THE DIVINE TEST OF PROPHECY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  202
SAMUEL, DEAN OF THE PROFESSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  203
ELIJAH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  204
ELISHA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  205
ISAIAH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  205
JEREMIAH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  207
EZEKIEL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  207
DANIEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  208
YAHVEH'S HOWLING DERVISHES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  209
PROPHETIC EROTICISM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  209
PROPHETIC LYING FACTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  211
CONFESSIONS OF THE PROPHETS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  213
THE PROPAGANDISTS OF CHRISTIANITY. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  214

BIBLE THEOLOGY AND MODERN TRUTH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  216
WITCHCRAFT AND INSPIRATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  225
ANCIENT FAITH YET FULLY VALID. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  228

THE "PROPHECIES" OF JESUS CHRIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  231
THE GOSPEL RECORDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  232
The Miraculous "Virgin Birth" of Jesus . . . . . . . . . . .  234
"VIRGIN" OR "YOUNG WOMAN". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  235
THE "SIGN" OF A FALSE PROPHECY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  236
Where the King was Born. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  238
"Out of Egypt" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  239
"Out-Hereding" Herod . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  240
The "Nazarne". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  241
The Great Light. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  241
He Bore Our Infirmities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  242
The "Bruised Reed" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  243
"The King Cometh". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  244
What is this One?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  245

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              424

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

The "Potter's Field" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  246
JUDAS HANGED HIMSELF?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  247
Parting His Garments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  248
MARK'S APPEALS TO PROPHECY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  249
To "Prepare the Way" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  249
"Numbered among Transgressors" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  250
LUKE CITES PROPHECY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  251
"GENEALOGIES" OF JESUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  252
JOHN APPEALS TO PROPHECY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  253
A Prophecy Puzzle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  253
"For Moses Wrote of Me" (Jesus). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  254
Who Hath Believed? And Why Not?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  255
A Cooking Lesson as "Prophecy" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  256

THE INSPIRED "HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS". . . . . . . . . . . .  259
OF THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  259
THE DATELESS NAZARENE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  260
THE "BLESSED NAME" OF JESUS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  262
GENEALOGIES OF JESUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  263
VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  266
THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  270
THE SHEPHERD CHOIR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  272
THE NOCTURNAL FLIGHT TO EGYPT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  272
THE "MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS". . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  275
JOHN AND THE BAPTISM OF JESUS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  275
THE TEMPTATION IN THE WILDERNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  278
THE APOSTLES CHOSEN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  279
"THE TWELVE" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  281
APOSTOLIC GREED AND STRIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  282
OTHER APOSTOLIC TANGLES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  284
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT -- OR THE PLAN . . . . . . . . . . .  284
THIS LORD'S PRAYER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  285
CHRIST ANOINTED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  285
JESUS -- KING OF THE JEWS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  286
POT-POURRI OF INSPIRED INHARMONIES . . . . . . . . . . . . .  288
ECCE HOMO! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  296
SECRECY ENJOINED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  302
SUPERSTITIONS OF JESUS CHRIST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  303
THE "SECOND COMING" OF CHRIST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  304

MORE "HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  306
THE CLOSING SCENES OF THE DRAMA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  306
THE LAST SUPPER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  306
THE "LORD'S SUPPER" OR EUCHARIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  307
THE BETRAYAL AND ARREST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  309
PETER'S DENIAL OF JESUS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  312
THE TRIAL OF JESUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  315
THE CRUCIFIXION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  317
BEARING THE CROSS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  317
WHEN WAS IT? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  317
THE INSCRIPTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  318
THE WITNESSES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  319
THE INCIDENTS AT THE CRUCIFIXION . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  320
THE LAST WORDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  322
THE WONDERS AT DEATH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  322
THE BURIAL SCENE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  323
THE RESURRECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  326

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              425

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

BREAKING THE RESURRECTION NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  329
POST-RESURRECTION APPEARANCES OF JESUS . . . . . . . . . . .  330
THE FIRST APPEARANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  330
THE SECOND APPEARANCE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  331
THIRD APPEARANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  332
FOURTH APPEARANCE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  333
SUNDAY OTHER APPEARANCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  333
THE ASCENSION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  335
NOBODY BELIEVED THE "IDLE TALES" . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  336
A PROPHET WITHOUT HONOR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  337

THE SACRED DOCTRINES OF CHRISTIANITY . . . . . . . . . . . .  339
THE FORMULA OF FAITH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  340
LYING AND FRAUD ADMITTED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  340
REDEMPTION FROM THE CURSE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  341
FREE FOR ALL OR LIMITED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  342
"SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  343
BELIEVE AND BE SAVED -- OR STAY DAMNED . . . . . . . . . . .  344
REPENTANCE AS A CONDITION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  344
ELECTED OR ECLECTIC? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  345
FAITH OR WORKS?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  347
LAW OR NOT LAW?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  349
CIRCUMCISION OR UNCIRCUMCISION?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  351
BAPTISM AND BACKSLIDING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  351
FORGIVENESS OF SIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  352
RESURRECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  353
THE FINAL JUDGMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  355
THE "SECOND COMING". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  356
DEVILOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  359
FIGHTING THE DEVILS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  363
THE PENALTIES OF UNBELIEF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  366
INTOLERANCE AND DESTRUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  367
INSPIRED PRIESTLY PRESUMPTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  370
AN INFAMOUS ACCUSATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  372
THE APOSTLES' VIEWS OF EACH OTHER. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  373
KNOWLEDGE SCORNED -- IGNORANCE EXALTED . . . . . . . . . . .  374
CHILDISH FAITH FOR SALVATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  375
DAMNATION FOR UNBELIEF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  375
FATUOUS FANATICISM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  375
THE "PRINCE OF PEACE". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  376

THE CHRISTIAN "PLAN OF SALVATION". . . . . . . . . . . . . .  377
ORIGINAL SIN AND ETERNAL DAMNATION . . . . . . . . . . . . .  377
"Redemption from the Curse". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  377
THE REVELATION OF THE FALL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  378
THE "CURSE" IN EDEN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  378
THE SNAKE CURSE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  379
THE CURSE ON WOMAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  379
THE CURSE ON MAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  380
THE "CURSE" INNOCUOUS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  380
THE "CURSE" LIFTED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  382
THE RIDDLE OF THE SERPENT SEED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  382
A BIG CHANCE MISSED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  383
DAMNATION A CHRISTIAN DOGMA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  384
PAUL THE APOSTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  384
THE "PLAN OF SALVATION". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  386
"REDEMPTION FROM THE CURSE". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  387

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              426

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

THE CURSE NOT 100% REDEEMED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  388

REVELATIONS OF THE HEREAFTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  390
HEAVEN, HELL, AND PURGATORY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  390
WHAT HEAVEN IS AND WHERE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  391
SO THIS IS HELL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  393
CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  395
A DAMNED PLACE IS HELL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  397
PURGATORY -- AND PAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  398
CESSET SUPERSTITIO! AND THEN?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  406

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   The Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful,
scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of
suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the
Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our
nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and
religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to
the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so
that America can again become what its Founders intended --

                 The Free Market-Place of Ideas.

   The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old,
hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts
and information for today. If you have such books please contact
us, we need to give them back to America.

                          ****     ****

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?
                               by
                         Joseph Wheless

                              1926

                          ****     ****

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              427
/library/historical/disclaimer.html
The Historical Library is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. DO NOT CONTACT US ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. Please read the full Historical Library Disclaimer
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