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An Atheist’s Condensed Bible

With All the Bad Stuff Taken Out

Copyright © 2015 by Wil C. Fry. All Rights Reserved.

Published 2015.09.03


This is the original version of this page. To see the updated version, click here.



The Bible isn’t entirely bad. There are great moral precepts and some pretty decent suggestions for behavior mixed in among the made-up and embellished stories — and the clearly immoral or nonsensical laws and commands. This page is an attempt to list the good parts.

In the spirit of The Jefferson Bible, for which Thomas Jefferson removed any references to Jesus’ divinity or miracles, hoping to leave only “the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man”, I have below listed every verse in the Bible that promotes wisdom and good morals. However, I went further than Jefferson, removing even the most basic stories, for which we have no outside substantiation and which teach no worthwhile lesson.

See my methodology notes at bottom for a fuller explanation of what I left out and what I kept. Use the More menu to navigate this page.



Genesis

“It is not good for the man to be alone.” (2:18) Note

“Through painful toil you will eat food from the ground all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (2:17-19)


Exodus


“You shall not murder... You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony.” (20:13, 15-16)

“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner. Do not take advantage of the widow or fatherless.” (22:21-22)

“If you lend money to someone who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.” (22:25)

“Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness. Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd. If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it. Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death.” (23:1-2,4-7)


Leviticus


“No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed. Do not have sexual relations with an animal.” (18:6,21,23)

“Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute. When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself. Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights.” (19:13-14,16,18,29,33-34,35-36)

“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you.” (23:22)

“Do not take advantage of each other. If anyone becomes poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them.” (25:17,35-36)


Numbers


“You must have the same regulations for both the foreigner and the native-born." (9:14)

“Do not pollute the land where you are... Do not defile the land where you live.” (35:33,34) Note


Deuteronomy


“Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly. Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike.” (1:16-17).

“You shall not murder... You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (5:17,19-20)

“Do not show ill will toward the needy. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart.” (15:9,10)

“If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand them over to their master. Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them.” (23:15-16) Note

“Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy.” (24:14)


Joshua

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Judges

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Ruth

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


I Samuel

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


II Samuel

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


I Kings

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


II Kings

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


I Chronicles

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


II Chronicles

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Ezra

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Nehemiah

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Esther

[Nothing found in this book, even the extended version, that matches the requirements.]


Job

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]



Psalms


“Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret — it leads only to evil.” (37:1,8)

“My days [are] a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing... Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.” (39:5)

“We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.” (74:9) Note

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy.” (82:3-4)


Proverbs


“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’ — when you already have it with you. Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse anyone for no reason — when they have done you no harm. Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways.” (3:27-31).

“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (6:6-8)

“People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay... though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.” (6:30-33)

“Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults... Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still.” (9:7-9)

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs.” (10:12)

“Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.” (10:19)

“Whoever derides his neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” (11:12-13)

“Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” (11:17)

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” (12:1)

“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” (12:4)

“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.” (12:15-16)

“The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.” (12:23)

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (12:25)

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (13:12)

“All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly.” (13:16)

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” (13:24)

“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief.” (14:13)

“The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.” (14:15)

“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (14:29-30)

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (15:1)

“Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred. A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” (15:17-18)

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed. A person find joy in giving an apt reply — and how good is a timely word.” (15:22-23)

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (16:24)

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” (16:28)

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” (17:1)

“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. A rebuke impresses a discerning person more than a hundred lashes a fool.” (17:9-10)

“Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly.” (17:12)

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (17:17)

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (17:22)

“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (17:27-28)

“An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” (18:1-2)

“To answer before listening — that is folly and shame. The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear.” (18:13-14)

“In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.” (18:17)

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (19:11)

“A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again. Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” (19:19-20)

“Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” (20:1)

“It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” (20:3)

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?” (20:5-6)

“Gold there is, and rubies in abundances, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.” (20:15)

“It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows.” (20:25)

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” (21:5)

“Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife... Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” (21:9,19)

“Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.” (21:13)

“Those who guard their mouths and tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (21:23)

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (22:6-7)

“Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court.” (22:22)

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.” (22:24-25)

“Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.” (22:26-27)

“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” (23:12)

“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice.” (24:17)

“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” (24:26)

“Do not testify against your neighbor without cause — would you use your lips to mislead? Do not say, ‘I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.’ ” (24:28-29)

“If you find honey, eat just enough — too much of it, and you will vomit. Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house — too much of you, and they will hate you.” (25:16-17)

“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (25:21-22)

“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” (26:4-5)

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider and not your own lips.” (27:1-2)

“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” (27:5-6)

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (27:17)

“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” (27:19)

“The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” (29:7)

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (31:8-9)

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting... Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” (31:10-31) Note


Ecclesiastes


“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.” (1:4-7) Note

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new’? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.” (1:9-11)

“For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” (1:18)

“I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. The wise have eyes in their heads, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.” (2:13-14)

“So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. (2:17-24)

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace... I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live... Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth? So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?” (3:1-8,12,19-22)

“Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed — and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors — and they have no comforter. And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive. But better than both is the one who has never been born, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun... Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (4:1-3,9-12)

“It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” (5:5)

“If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things.” (5:8)

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” (5:10)

“Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.” (5:15)

“A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded. Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man — even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?” (6:3-6)

“For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?” (6:12)

“Death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart... It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.” (7:2-3,5)

“Avoid all extremes.” (7:18)

“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear [someone] cursing you — for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.” (7:21-22)

“As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has power over the time of their death.” (8:8)

“I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of their life.” (8:15)

“No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.” (8:17)

“This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. Anyone who is among the living has hope — even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun. Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart... Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life... — all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.” (9:3-7,9-12)

“Calmness can lay great offenses to rest.” (10:4)

“Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless. You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see... So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.” (11:7-10)

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” (12:12)


Song Of Solomon

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]



Isaiah


“Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.” (8:12)

“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed... making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” (10:1-2)

“The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered... The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the heavens languish with the earth. The earth is defiled by its people...” (24:3-5)

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst.” (41:17)

“I look but there is no one — no one among the gods to give counsel, no one to give answer when I ask them. See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; their images are but wind and confusion.” (41:28-29) Note

“Loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke... set the oppressed free and break every yoke... Share your food with the hungry and... provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked... clothe them...” (58:6-7)


Jeremiah


“The prophets are prophesying lies... They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries, and the delusions of their own minds.” (14:14)

“Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good. Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” (16:19-20)

“Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood.” (22:3)


Lamentations

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Ezekiel

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Daniel

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Hosea

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Joel

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Amos

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Obadiah

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Jonah

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Micah

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Nahum

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Habakkuk

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Zephaniah

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Haggai

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Zechariah


“Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.” (7:9-10)


Malachi

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]



Tobit


“Give alms of thy substance; and when thou givest alms, let not thine eye be envious, neither turn thy face from any poor... If thou hast abundance, give alms accordingly: if thou have but a little, be not afraid to give according to that little.” (4:7-8)

“Give of thy bread to the hungry, and of thy garments to them that are naked; and according to thine abundance give alms; and let not thine eye be envious, when thou givest alms.” (4:16)

“It is not good that man should be alone.” (8:6)

“It is better to give alms than to lay up gold.” (12:8)

“Show thyself merciful and just, that it may go well with thee.” (14:9)


Judith

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]



Wisdom Of Solomon


“Therefore beware of murmuring, which is unprofitable; and refrain your tongue from backbiting: for there is no word so secret, that shall go for nought.” (1:11)


Ecclesiasticus (by Jesus ben Sirach)


“Go on with thy business in meekness.” (3:17)

“Defraud not the poor of his living, and make not the needy eyes to wait long. Make not an hungry soul sorrowful; neither provoke a man in his distress. Add not more trouble to an heart that is vexed; and defer not to give to him that is in need. Reject not the supplication of the afflicted; neither turn away thy face from a poor man. Turn not away thine eye from the needy, and give him none occasion to curse thee.” (4:1-5)

“Deliver him that suffereth wrong from the hand of the oppressor; and be not fainthearted when thou sittest in judgment. Be as a father unto the fatherless, and instead of an husband unto their mother.” (4:9-10)

“Make not thyself an underling to a foolish man; neither accept the person of the mighty. Strive for the truth unto death... Be not hasty in thy tongue, and in thy deeds slack and remiss. Let not thine hand be stretched out to receive, and shut when thou shouldest repay.” (4:27-29,31)

“Be swift to hear; and let thy life be sincere; and with patience give answer. If thou hast understanding, answer thy neighbor; if not, lay thy hand upon thy mouth... Be not ignorant of any thing in a great matter or a small.” (5:11-12,15)

“A faithful friend is a strong defense: and he that hath found such an one hath found a treasure. Nothing doth countervail a faithful friend, and his excellency is invaluable. A faithful friend is the medicine of life...” (6:14-16)

“Fail not to be with them that weep, and mourn with them that mourn. Be not slow to visit the sick: for that shall make thee to be beloved. Whatsoever thou takest in hand, remember the end, and thou shalt never do amiss.” (7:34-36)

“Rejoice not over thy greatest enemy being dead, but remember that we die all.” (8:7)

“Do no secret thing before a stranger; for thou knowest not what he will bring forth. Open not thine heart to every man, lest he requite thee with a shrewd turn.” (8:18-19)

“Answer not before thou hast heard the cause: neither interrupt men in the midst of their talk. Strive not in a matter that concerneth thee not... My son, meddle not with many matters...” (11:8-10)

“Be faithful to thy neighbor in his poverty, that thou mayest rejoice in his prosperity: abide steadfast unto him in the time of his trouble, that thou mayest be heir with him in his heritage...” (22:23)

“Lend to thy neighbor in time of his need, and pay thou thy neighbor again in due season. Keep thy word, and deal faithfully with him, and thou shalt always find the thing that is necessary for thee...” (29:2-3)

“Yet have thou patience with a man in poor estate, and delay not to show him mercy. Help the poor... and turn him not away because of his poverty. Lose thy money for thy brother and thy friend, and let it not rust under a stone to be lost.” (29:8-10)

“Better is the poor, being sound and strong of constitution, than a rich man that is afflicted in his body. Health and good estate of body are above all gold, and a strong body above infinite wealth. There is no riches above a sound body, and no joy above the joy of the heart. Death is better than a bitter life or continual sickness.” (30:14-17)

“Give not over thy mind to heaviness, and afflict not thyself in thine own counsel. The gladness of the heart is the life of man, and the joyfulness of a man prolongeth his days. Love thine own soul, and comfort thy heart, remove sorrow far from thee: for sorrow hath killed many, and there is no profit therein. Envy and wrath shorten the life, and carefulness bringeth age before the time.” (30:21-24)

“Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad. Wine measurably drunk and in season bringeth gladness of the heart, and cheerfulness of the mind: but wine drunken with excess maketh bitterness of the mind, with brawling and quarrelling. Drunkenness increaseth the rage of a fool till he offend: it diminisheth strength, and maketh wounds.” (31:27-30)

“Speak, young man, if there be need of thee: and yet scarcely when thou art twice asked. Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in few words; be as one that knoweth and yet holdeth his tongue.” (32:7-8)

“A man that hath traveled knoweth many things; and he that hath much experience will declare wisdom. He that hath no experience knoweth little: but he that hath traveled is full of prudence. When I traveled, I saw many things; and I understand more than I can express.” (34:9-11)



Baruch

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


The Three Holy Children

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Susanna

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Bel And The Dragon

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


I Maccabees

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


II Maccabees

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]



Matthew


“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? ... Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ... Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (6:25,27,34)

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” (7:12)

“You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (19:18-19)

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor.” (19:21) Note

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (22:39)

“...the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness.” (23:23)


Mark


“You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.” (10:19)

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (12:31)


Luke


“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same... Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely — be content with your pay.” (3:11,14)

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you... Do to others as you would have them do to you... But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back... Be merciful” (6:27,31,35,36)

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (10:27)

“Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (12:15)

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes... Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (12:22-23,25-26)

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” (12:33) Note

“When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” (14:13)

“You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.” (18:20)


John


“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (15:13)


Acts


“And all those who believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” (2:44-45)

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” (4:32)


Romans


“Love must be sincere... Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves... Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction... Share with... people who are in need. Practice hospitality... Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil... If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends... On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink...’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (12:9-10,12-13,15-21)

“The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery’, ‘You shall not murder’, ‘You shall not steal’, ‘You shall not covet’, and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.’ (13:9-10)

“One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.” (14:5) Note

“For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.” (14:7)

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (14:19)

“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up... Accept one another, then.” (15:1-2,7)


I Corinthians


“ ‘I have the right to do anything’, you say — but not everything is beneficial.” (6:12)

“ ‘I have the right to do anything’, you say — but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ — but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” (10:23-24)

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal... If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (13:1,3-8)

“Bad company corrupts good character.” (15:33)


II Corinthians


“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (9:6)

“Encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace.” (13:11)


Galatians


“We should continue to remember the poor.” (2:10)

“Serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (5:13-14)

“...Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (5:22-23)

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.” (6:10)


Ephesians


“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (4:2)

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body... Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry... Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen... Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other...” (4:25-26,28-29,31-32) Note

“Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” (5:15-16)


Philippians


“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (2:3-4)

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing.” (2:14)

“Let your gentleness be evident to all... Do not be anxious about anything.” (4:5-6)

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (4:8)


Colossians


“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition.” (2:8)

“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander...” (3:8)

“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”(3:12-14)

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” (3:23)

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (4:5-6)


I Thessalonians


“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” (5:11)

“Acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you... and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” (5:12-15)


II Thessalonians

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]



I Timothy


“Command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations...” (1:3-4)

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters... Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.” (5:1-3)

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have... pierced themselves with many griefs.” (6:7-10)


II Timothy


“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels... Opponents must be gently instructed.” (2:23,25)


Titus


“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” (2:7-8)

“Be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” (3:1-2)

“But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” (3:9)

“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.” (3:14)


Philemon

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]



Hebrews


“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (10:24)

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone.” (12:14)

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers... Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (13:2,3)

“Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.” (13:9)


James


“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (1:19)

“Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (2:13)

“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed’, but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (2:15-16) Note

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (3:13)


I Peter


“Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” (2:1)

“Be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing.” (3:8-9)

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you... But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience.” (3:15-16)

“Therefore be alert and of sober mind... Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (4:7-9)


II Peter

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


I John

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


II John

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


III John

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Jude

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]


Revelation

[Nothing found in this book that matches the requirements.]




Methodology Notes


Because I wanted a version of The Good Book that was actually good, my first priority was to remove the bad parts. Morality, being subjective, will not always be agreed upon, so another person might leave in (or leave out) different verses than I chose. For example, one person might consider it morally acceptable to rape young virgins and then pay 50 shekels to marry their victims; that person would have left Deut. 22:28-29 as part of his condensed Bible. Since I consider such an action morally repugnant, I left it out. This of course is just one example in which my own moral code guided my decisions, subjectively. I also left out verses condoning slavery, indentured servitude, mass murder, wars over religion, etc., because I consider these immoral as well. It also meant I had to leave out numerous New Testament passages, including Jesus’ words, when he exhorted listeners to obey the entirety of the Old Testament law.

In addition to wanting a good version, I wanted one that didn’t immediately destroy its own credibility with “history” that is verifiably untrue. This meant removing big and famous stories like Creation, The Flood, The Exodus, and the stories of the unified kingdom of Israel — all of which are known to have not happened as told in the Bible. Closely related are stories that are either unnecessary (how the Tabernacle was built, for example) or questionable in their veracity (genealogies, stories of the patriarchs, life and times of Jesus, etc.).

Most questionable are the mentions of God, the Lord, angels, spirits, demons, Satan, Jesus, and other characters who are almost certainly fictional. As for Jesus, there is no question men lived at the time who had the name Jesus, but almost nothing is known about any of them. I kept words attributed to Jesus if they met the first requirement. While a good number of people (almost everyone in the history of the world) believe in supernatural beings of some kind, there has never been any agreement on the names or characteristics of these beings, for whom there is no empirical evidence.

If you feel I’ve left out a verse or passage that is moral, true, wise, or helpful in some way, please comment below or contact me via the email address listed below.





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