Book Review: Some Mistakes of Moses by Robert Ingersoll

  The Pentateuch is hailed as a foundation for modern Christianity and ancient Judaism. As a former bible-believing propagator, sundry situations in the Old (and New) Testaments plagued me. Being reared to believe the Bible without allowance for critical reasoning, I assumed that all my teachers and biblical theologians MUST have "figured it all out." It was my duty to trust their interpretation and the inspiration of these difficult passages.

 

Robert Ingersoll's books were off-limits to my narrow Christian sect. Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, and Kent Hovind dominated my library bookshelf, but their Christian Apologetics left me even more confused. Gaping holes in their reasoning pervaded their arguments. Accounts did not match. Acrobatics were necessary to fit the Bible with scientific truth, archaeological research, and ancient historical accounts. My focus turned elsewhere.

 

I plunged into other sources for truth. Upon my journey, Some Mistakes of Moses was recommended to me. This book highlighted questions that had ever plagued me. So, I was not the first to have asked them, eh? Only a few of the accounts detailed in the Pentateuch are addressed in this small edition. Ingersoll asks imminent questions from each biblical story from Creation to The Flood to the Egyptian Captivity. These questions force the reader to engage his own mind to unravel the mysteries of scripture. As a former believer, I had heard some of Ingersoll's arguments feebly defended by theologians. Ingersoll's philosophy cannot help but permeate his endless questioning, which unpretentiously influences the reader's mind towards unbelief in the improbability of each.

 

Freethinking is essential to gaining insight from this critique. My emotions ranged from outrage at the ludicrousness of a tale to contagious laughter at the glaring myths purported as "absolute truth." Even in the 19th century, Ingersoll was privy to the barbaric portrayal of the bible as "the inerrant word of God."