In terminology, Atheist’s Bible is a term, arisen in the 18th century, and thereafter, referring to a book that supplants religious belief for naturalism, materialism, physicalism, chemicalism, physicochemicalism, physicochemical-materialism reductionist based view of nature, via an explicit godless mode of logic; physicochemical atheism propounded, in short.

The following is a work-in-progress ranking of the known "historical" so-called atheist's bibles, each as summarized further below, chronologically:




1.Paul d’Holbach 75Baron d’Holbach
The System of Nature: Laws of Moral and Physical World1770Presents an anti-chance based, matter-and-motion basis of all things; credited with making both Goethe and Percy Shelley, the two main human elective affinity theorists, who each read this work in college, atheists.
2.Ludwig Buchner 75Ludwig Buchner
Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe, with a System of Morality Based Thereon1855
3.Lucretius 75Lucretius
On the Nature of Things55BCPresents the gist synopsis of Epicureanism.
4.Goethe (1809) 75Johann Goethe
Elective Affinities1809
5.Thomas Paine 75Thomas Paine
The Age of Reason1794
6.John Stewart 75John Stewart
Moral State of Nature1789 Note: the “Advertisement” (Ѻ), to his Moral State of Nations, which he indirectly refers to as the “Bible of Nature”, states that he presents a scheme of “pantheism”, a golden mean between “deluded superstition [theism], dogmatic deism, and chaotic atheism”.


In 55BC, Greek atomic theorist Lucretius's penned his On the Nature of Things, which thereafter became mentioned as an "atheist's bible". [2]

“In 1453, Gutenberg’s press turned out the first printed book, a Bible. By 1473, presses had published On the Nature of Things. Only twenty years had elapsed between the first mechanically printed bible and the first mechanically printed Lucretius!”
Jennifer Hecht (2004), Doubt: a History (pg. 271)

Some atheists, e.g. Thomas Jefferson, owned up to half-dozen copies of Lucretius.

In c.1550, a man named Monet was labeled a “practical atheist” and had a book of pornographic pictures in his possession that he called his “New Testament”; he was beheaded that year by John Calvin (1509-1564) (Ѻ). [6]

In 1651, Thomas Hobbes published his Leviathan, which has been associated with the term atheist’s bible:

“The modern myth that scientists will save mankind can be traced back to Bacon's scientific Utopia, New Atlantis. In his critique of Hobbes, Professor Mazzeo concentrates on the psychological aspects of Hobbesian thought rather than the political. Hobbes anticipated Freud in several insights, for example his view of the atemporality of unconscious processes and his conviction that religion was based on fear. Leviathan, however, is not so much an atheist's bible, as has sometimes been charged.”
— Author (1967), “Article” (Ѻ), The Month


In 1697, Pierre Bayle published his Historical and Critical Dictionary, wherein he classifies Benedict Spinoza at the “greatest atheist”, a multi-volume work which has been characterized as a “bible for doubters” (Hecht, 2003).
Atheist's Bible (d'Holbach)
French materialism philosopher Baron d’Holbach’s 1770 The System of Nature, the most-cited representation of an "Atheist’s Bible"; other so-labeled “Atheist Bibles include: Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason (1794), Thomas HobbesLeviathan (1651), Winwood Reade’s The Martyrdom of Man (1872), and Bertrand Russell’s Why I’m Not a Christian (1927).

In 1770, Baron d’Holbach published his The System of Nature, which was banned and even publicly burned, which is generally cited as the first main mention of a book referred to as an “Atheist’s Bible”. [1]

“Dr. Beard, in his lecture (sermon), quoted at some length d’Holbach’s System of Nature, which he called the Atheist’s Bible. D’Holbach’s conclusion was that there was no god.”
— George Holyoake (1861), “Manchester Lectures on Secularism, by the Reverend Dr. Beard”, The Reasoner (pg. 169), Mar 17

“Many of his manuscripts were published anonymously after being smuggled to Holland for publication. More officially, he wrote hundreds of articles for the Encycloptdie, principally on earth sciences such as geology, chemistry, and mineralogy; and, in 1770, he published his Systeme de la nature (System of Nature), his comprehensive defense of atheistic materialism sometimes called the "atheist's bible". This work pulled no punches. It depicted humanity as entirely a product of nonintelligent natural forces acting under necessary laws. The "soul" is an illusion. "Mind" is purely organic. Matter is inherently endowed with energy enough to account for all observed events. The book was immediately suppressed, of course, but nonetheless attracted a wide readership.”
— Frederick Ferre (1996), Being and Value: Constructive Postmodern Medaphysics (pg. 186)

The following quote, per citation of the 2004 BBC atheism documentary special, hosted by Jonathan Miller, of note was added to the Baron d’Holbach page, on 13 Apr by user [Dionyseus], and then removed (Ѻ), following talk page (Ѻ) contention debates (suppression tactics), by user [Devraj5000], on 14 Jun 2007:

“Holbach's book Le Système de la nature became known as the Atheist's Bible.”
— Jonathan Miller (2004), “Atheism: a Rough History of Disbelief” (Ѻ), BBC special

Here we see an example of Wikipedia suppression of knowledge at its finest.

In 1794, Thomas Paine published his The Age of Reason, was as a vicious attack on religion (Ѻ)(Ѻ), thereafter becoming one of the most-widely cited “atheist’s bible”, historically; to cite a few examples:

“During a circumstantial discussion of this spread through political associations such as the London Corresponding Society and other groups whose shifting addresses in both the East and West Ends are closely tracked, Paine's Age of Reason is given pride of place as the ‘New Holy Bible of the infidels (p. 5). It was, however, accompanied or preceded by such other works as the ‘heavy artillery of Voltaire, Godwin, &c.’, Meslier's Le Bon Sens, the works of Peter Annet (until stopped by prosecution) (pp. 7-8), and above all, Mirabaud's [i.e. d’Holbach's] System of Nature, and Volney's Ruins of Empires: the latter, in point of style, is looked upon as the Hervey of the Deists; the former, as the Newton of the Atheists: and, as the System of Nature was translated by a person confined in Newgate as a patriot, and published in weekly numbers, its sale was pushed' (p. 6).”
— Martin Priestman (2000), on quotes from William Reid’s The Rise and Dissolution of the Infidel Societies (1800), in: Romantic Atheism: Poetry and Freethought, 1780-1830 (pg. 39)

“Although denounced as the 'Atheist's Bible', Paine's work is actually an exposition of a radical kind of deism and makes an attempt at critical biblical scholarship that anticipates modern efforts. How many American leaders of today would have the courage to enlighten the public as to their true feelings regarding religion, but instead follow timidly along like sheep in fear of being ostracized?.”
— Christopher Reyes (2010), In His Name (pg. 230)


Atheist Bibles (fiction)
The following are two citations, in literature, to working atheist bibles, firstly Gunter Grass' 1959 Goethe-Rasputin Bible, where god is replaced with free energy, second Ernesto Sabato's 1971 Ostwald Bible, where god is replaced with energy (Wilhelm Ostwald, to note, was also the first atheist preacher of sorts, via is Monistic Sunday Sermons).
In 1809, Johann Goethe published his Elective Affinities. While not specifically cited as an “Atheist’s Bible”, Heinrich Heine said that it “overturns everything holy”, that it is an “attack against religion, morality, and the social forms”, and that Goethe was a “corrupter of religion”. [3] Goethe's Elective Affinities became an intellectual platform for other atheist bible like works, e.g. Buchner (1855), in the years to follow.

In c.1820, Thomas Jefferson finished making his supernatural-events expunged so-called Jefferson's Bible, which as been referred to as an atheist's bible. [2]

In 1855, German physician Ludwig Buchner published his Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe, with a System of Morality Based Thereon, which was not only cited as the "Bible of materialism" but also the Bible of a new movement:

“Buchner's Force and Matter also became the Bible of a new movement, ‘free thinking’, otherwise known as atheism.”
Howard Bloom (2012), The God Problem (pg. #)


In 1872, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in his Demons (aka The Possessed) (Ѻ), a book originally intended to be called The Atheist, attacks the nihilists; in one passage of the book, an army officer goes mad and attacks his commanding officer, then smashes up his landlady’s little shrine of Christian icons, and puts in their place the works of Karl Vogt, Jacob Moleschott, and Ludwig Buchner, like a trio of Bibles on stands, in front of each he burns a church wax candle. [7]

In 1872, Winwood Reade, published his The Martyrdom of Man, summarized via the phrase “From Nebula to Nation”, dubbed an “atheist’s bible” (Ѻ) and “substitute bible for secularists” (Smith, 1967), wherein, using what seems to be a Darwin-based comparative religions stylized approach, he argues, in his last chapter, for what he calls a “religion of reason and love”. [4]

In 1895, Elizabeth Stanton, noted atheist feminist, penned The Women’s Bible; which may be a sort of atheist's bible, in some sense.
Smart Atheism (SA C 8)
Libb Thims 2016 draft-stage Smart Atheism: for Kids, originally entitled as "Atheist's Children's Bible".
In 1927, Bertrand Russell published his essay book Why I’m Not a Christian, which has been referred to as an “atheist’s bible”. (Ѻ)

In 2011, A.C. Grayling published The Good Book: a Secular Bible (Ѻ), where he attempts to give a secular version of ten commandments, as he sees things.

In 2016, Libb Thims, building on his "Zerotheism for Kids" (2015) lecture, a Sunday School class for atheist kids, began drafting Smart Atheism: for Kids, themed as an atheist bible for kids (see: Children's Atheism Bible). [5]

The following are related quotes:
“He was a practical electrician fond of whiskey, a heavy, red-haired brute with irregular teeth. He doubted the existence of a deity but accepted Carnot’s cycle, and he had read Shakespeare and found him weak in chemistry.”
Herbert Wells (1906), "Lord of the Dynamos" (Ѻ); in: The Door in the Wall, and Other Stories [1]

“Thus Spake Zarathustra has been called the ‘atheist’s bible’, for so Nietzsche intended it.”
— Wiley Richard (1990), The Bible and Christian Traditions: Keys to Understanding the Allegorical Subplot of Nietzsche's Zarathustra (pg. 35)
See also
Atheism timeline

1. History of atheism –
2. Looking for an Atheist’s Bible (2015) –
3. Tantillo, Astrida O. (2001). Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics (§Unpublished Comments, pgs. 7-12; §Negative Reviews and Responses, pgs. 12-26). Camden House.
4. (a) Reade, Winwood. (1872). The Martyrdom of Man. Charles P. Somerby, 1876.
(b) Smith, Warren S. (1967). The London Heretics, 1870-1914 (pg. 5). Constable.
5. Thims, Libb. (2016). Smart Atheism: For Kids (pdf | 309-pgs). Publisher.
6. (a) Allen, Don C. (1964). Doubt’s Boundless Sea: Skepticism and Faith in the Renaissance (pg. 7). Arno, 1979.
(b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 277). HarperOne.
7. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 412). HarperOne.

Further reading
● Konner, Joan. (2007). The Atheist’s Bible. Harper Collins, 2009.
● Linsley, Geoff. (2008). The Atheist’s Bible: How Science Eliminates Theism (thermodynamics, 8+ pgs) (Ѻ). iUniverse.
● Minois, Georges. (2009). The Atheist’s Bible: the Most Dangerous Book That Never Existed (Le Traite des trois imposteurs: Histoire d’un livre blasphematoire qui n’existait pas) (translator: Lys Eiss). University of Chicago Press, 2102.

External links
The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible –
The Woman’s Bible – Wikipedia.

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