Famous Author’s Claim Bible Is a ‘Work of Fiction’ Ignites Social Media Furor

ABOVE: Author Joyce Carol Oates, Aug. 17, 2019, at the Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Famous author Joyce Carol Oates has faced an onslaught of criticism in recent days after posting on social media her belief the Bible is “a work of fiction.”

Listen to them on the latest episode of “Quick Start”

“The bible, as you call it, is a work of fiction; or rather, an anthology of fictions,” Oates wrote in a Jan. 11 X post. “It is not ‘the’ bible for much of the world’s population & those who claim it as their own select those verses that appeal to them while ignoring other verses. Fertile ground for hypocrisy.”

Before we get into the reaction to this post, it’s important to note the impetus for these comments, which appear to be part of a reaction to a separate statement on X originating from writer Matthew Sitman.

Sitman commented about the mistreatment of an inmate in Alabama and then more generally called out the handling of prisoners, calling the “treatment of incarcerated people” an “abomination.”

He then followed up with a separate message on X, writing, “Widows, orphans, prisoners — no Christian can, without doing great violence to Scripture, get around the extremely clear obligations we have to such people.”

That’s when Oates offered an initial response that seemed to question these sentiments.

“‘Widows, orphans, prisoners’ — really, these entirely disparate categories have something in common?” she questioned, with Sitman’s friend and podcast co-host Sam Adler-Bell responding, “Read a book (the bible).”

And that’s when Oates seemed to double down by calling the Bible “fiction.”

The reactions were unsurprisingly swift. While some sympathized and agreed, others ranged from heartbroken to frustrated over her take, pondering how she could get Scripture so profoundly wrong.

“I’m going to pray for your soul tonight,” one X user wrote.

Christian author Robert Clifton Robinson offered a more robust reply, noting he was once a skeptic who eventually came to faith.

“These are the uneducated comments of a person who knows nothing about the Bible,” he wrote. “I was an atheist 49 years ago, and became a believer in Jesus because of the historical eyewitness testimony within the extant New Testament manuscripts.”

He continued, “I have published 37 books and over 3,400 essays documenting the historical reliability of the Bible.”

But perhaps professor and author Taylor Patrick O’Neill had the most pertinent reply.

“It’s 2024. We’re still doing the ‘I bet you didn’t know that there are other religions, Christian’ shtick?” he wrote. “Yeah, there are other holy books. Wild. The Bible is still the right one.”

These reactions only scratch the surface, as you can read the full list of responses to Oates here.

***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

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