“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV)
For many years of my life, this verse represented the happiest of all possible messages. But my opinion has changed. Let me explain why.
I no longer believe that God exists, but even if he did, is the Biblical God really a God of Love? How does the Bible portray him? Sure, the Bible does say that God is love (1 John 4:8), but the vast majority of scripture portrays him quite differently.
Exodus 22:24 – And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
Numbers 31:17 – Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
Exodus 17:8-16 – The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up-one on one side, one on the other-so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord.”
Exodus 32:27 – Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’ ”
There are many more verses in the Bible that clearly portray God as evil rather than loving. In fact, the vast majority of the Bible portrays God as more evil than loving!
What about the world that God supposedly loves? What is its nature? According to the Bible, it is flat! The Bible is a flat earth book from cover to cover.
The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. (Daniel 4:11)
This would only be possible if the earth was flat.
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in. (Isaiah 40:22)
This “circle” is a flat disc, which was a common cosmology for the time. If the earth was flat, the inhabitants would appear as grasshoppers from a great height. You spread out a tent on a flat surface, not a sphere!
So, God can’t even get the shape of the earth right!
…that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish…
The idea of substitutionary atonement is barbaric to me now. Couldn’t God come up with a better salvation plan that having to kill himself in order to save us from himself? I don’t believe in such a thing as sin, but even if I did, I would not believe that blood and violence would be required to atone for it. I’m better than that, and God certainly should be too!
Then we have the problem of the authorship of the book of John. We don’t even know who wrote it! John, like the other Gospels, was written anonymously. See:
So… that should explain why I no longer see John 3:16 as the “Good News” I once believed it to be.