Atheists habitually quote the Bible in their never ending attempt to discredit religion in general and Christianity in particular.
But is it really possible for atheists to actually understand what they are reading when they pick up a collection of ancient works such as those that comprise the Bible?
The answer is a resounding, “No!” and here is why:
We can discern much about the Bible through the understanding conveyed by our Western Heritage.
For example, justice was one of the premier themes in Plato’s, “Republic” and justice is also a premier theme all throughout the books of the Bible.
Plato brought the written word to life in his famous device called, the dialogue. In the dialogue, the reader’s own mind is activated to think for itself and examine the questions presented by the characters in the story.
The ancient Hebrews used devices like parables, symbols and types to breath life into their Bible literature.
Through those devices it is possible to discern themes, values and modes of thought that run from one generation to the next, down through the centuries.
Eventually those themes, values and modes of thought comprised what is known as our Western Heritage, which itself became known through the works of literature often referred to as the Great Books.
And central to our Western Heritage is the idea, or to speak in Platonist terms, the form, of justice.
Hell concerns justice.
Consequently, if a person does not understand the meaning or idea, or form of justice, then it is not possible to understand the meaning or idea, or form of Hell.
And just as one can spend his entire lifetime contemplating the ideas presented in Plato’s, “Republic,” one could spend an eternity contemplating the ideas presented in the Bible.
But what purpose is found in contemplating a basic idea like justice as presented by Plato or the authors of the Bible books?
The answer is wisdom.
Both the Hebrew, the ancient Greek and the Christian view wisdom as central to understanding the meaning of justice.
Unfortunately, atheism is a total rejection of our Western Heritage.
That means that it is impossible for the atheist to use his mind to contemplate ideas basic to Western Civilization such as justice.
Therefore it is impossible for the atheist to acquire wisdom.
As a result, when the atheist quotes the Bible and offers up his interpretation of it, the result is as useless as a cadre of chimpanzees trying to bang out the works of Shakespeare on a keyboard.