While I do not argue the stand of atheism (because as a Jew I find it totally logical and acceptable), I have noticed that there are odd carryover preconceptions about Scripture that some hold as axiomatic about the Bible (at least the Hebrew texts), misconceptions that have nothing to do with the Jewish Scriptures themselves.
So regardless of what you may think of Scripture, whether you believe it is of G-d or not, I thought some of you might enjoy a reference to see how much the Watchtower teaching on Scripture might still be influencing the conclusions you are making today...at least about the Tanakh. Jews read their texts acknowledging the following:
1. NO SCRIPTURAL CONCEPT OF ORIGINAL SIN. Despite the story of Adam, Eve and the serpent, Jews don't find this story as teaching the origins of sin, or introducing a being Christians call Satan the Devil, or beginning a theological economy wherein the sin of Adam gets spread to all his descendents.
2. NO MASCULINE REFERENCES TO G-D. While the pronoun for G-d is technically masculine, this gender state is merely part of the Hebrew syntax. Much as in the way that Spanish labels a room as masculine and a table as feminine, even though they do not possess gender, the masculine Hebrew pronoun "he" in reference to G-d actually means something closer to "it," if the word "it" could also refer to a person that is.
3. THE SCRIPTURES ARE NOT MEANT TO ACT AS EVIDENCE THAT G-D EXISTS. Sorry Christians, but the Bible is not a manifestation of the Divine, at least that is not what Jews see in it. Jews believe that any miracles and prophecies from G-d must follow the example of Moses for them to be accepted. Such revelations were public, performed before believers and unbelievers, and oracles from G-d were publically announced and not hidden in texts. Jews believe in G-d not because of Scripture but because of public manifestations called theophanies. The greatest of these was when the entire nation of Israel stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai after the exodus from Egypt. Events like this proved G-d for the Jews, not the Scriptures that came about generations later.
4. THE SCRIPTURES ARE NOT MEANT TO BE SCIENTIFICALLY ACCURATE. Sorry Watchtower, but you mistranslated Isaiah 40.22. It does not read in Hebrew that G-d sits over a spherical earth but that G-d sits over the "dome" of the earth. In the Scritptures the Jews describe the sky as a "firmament," which means a dome made out of beaten metal. (Look up the word "firmament.") You see, instead of the vacuum of space the Jews believed in the Mesopotamian cosmogony where there was just water...no space, but water throughout the cosmos. When YHWH made the earth, G-d made a flat surface of ground on pillars, a basin in the middle of the earth so the "under waters" could come up to form the seas and rivers and springs, and water gates in the metallic dome above so water from the cosmos could fall down upon earth to provide rain. The sun, moon, and stars were luminaries that were affixed to this dome that rotated back and forth to give us day and night. Isaiah 40.22 says that YHWH sits over this metallic dome, not over the earth which is a "circle." And the Scriptures reflect all the other unscientific views of the period in which it was written...because it's not a book of science!
5. THE SCRIPTURES ARE NOT THE BASIS OF RELIGION, THEY ARE ITS PRODUCT. The worship of the G-d of Abraham and Sarah began with these two ancestors, before there was written Torah, before there was a Bible. The religion from the G-d of Abraham and Sarah was never based on a book. No, it produced a book. And that book is based on the religion, not the other way around. Pagans had religions based on sacred texts and books, but not the Jews. Ours is based on what Abraham and Sarah believed was contact with an actual G-d, not some book someone wrote. It is pagan to base your beliefs and religion on so-called sacred texts.
6. READING AND STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES ARE NOT A REQUISITE TO PLEASING G-D. Whatever you think about the Hebrew Scriptures, whether you believe they are folly or true, you will also have to admit that it never demands that people must read and study its pages to please the Creator. It can be a good place to start, but not a requisite.
7. THE JEWISH SCRIPTURES ARE OFTEN NOT MEANT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY. Ever read Exodus? Did you notice how the Egyptians' animals kept dying again and again? One plague kills all the beasts, then a hail storm kills all the beasts, and then the Egyptians still have animals from somewhere to die in the 10th plague. If they all died in one plague, how can any be left over to die in a hail storm and then any firstborn of beast left to die on Passover night? The answer is that the Exodus is not a literal reselling of the story. A dramatized narrative device is used here as in many places that tells the Jewish reader that the truth is not in the details. By giving descriptions that could not be true, the writer is using a technique that tells the reader that an religious truth is the reason behind the story, not the events themselves. For some reason the Watchtower demands that readers see this story as if it was as true as a news report. Which makes more sense? A factual report where animals die to rise again and die two more times or the Jewish understanding that this is written using an ancient technique common to religious narratives that are not meant to be taken literally?