(this is my reponse to a post on current: http://current.com/items/89777589/the_bible_and_truth.htm
The Bible is a huge document with many authors, many strands, and indeed two distinct volumes - old and new testament.
To say the bible is true or false is a meaningless claim. The bible is a multiplicity and can not be reduced to a singular, binary, true/false proposition.
The short answer is this: there is no god, no heaven or hell, no life after death. There is only this natural world, which is much older than the bible claims. Man evolved from lower species; there was no creation and no creator.
Jesus was a man, albeit a great moral teacher, as was Socrates and Buddha.
Ultimately the bible and it's supporters encourage ignorance and fear and shun reason and knowledge. Hence, religious superstition is responsible for much of the worlds pain and suffering.
I encourage all good people to step out of the darkness of religious superstition and into the light of reason. Be brave; be strong; be an atheist!