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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Is The Bible A Fable?

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Image from: ~ The Brick Testament


If there is any evidence that the Bible is a fable, or contains fables, then the presence of talking animals would certainly be a part of such evidence.

The story of the temptation of Eve, right at the beginning of the bible, is the cornerstone of Jewish, Christian, and Moslem theology. Without it, there is no need for salvation. It is clearly a "moral tale," and it contains a talking animal.

Genesis3:1 ~ Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

The Bible also mentions an ass that didn't know when to stop talking.
Numbers. 22:30 ~ The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?"

The Bible describes more talking animals.
Revelation 4:8 ~ Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."

The Bible also vividly describes satan as a talking animal.
Revelation 13:11 ~ Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 15. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

The Bible contains moral tales that involve speaking animals. Therefore, the Bible is a fable.

"You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say we are the ones that need help?"--Mark Twain



Fable: ~
1. a short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters
a story not founded on fact
a story about supernatural or extraordinary persons or incidents

"What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!" Pope Leo X.



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69 Comments:

Anonymous ted said...

The Bible: Ancient stories that have been told and retold then finally written down. In Joshua 10:13 - "is it not written in the book of Jasher" is where it talks about the sun standing still so that Joshua had time to finish off the Canaanites. Was the "book of Jasher" an older "book" from an aural tradition perhaps being written down for the first time? Who can say? There's no doubt though that if "the sun stood still in the sky for a day", we are talking about major astronomical events...

It's an interesting conundrum, and no mistake. Personally I think most of the "good" book is just a collection of normal stories (talking animals and the like) stories about disasters and other life threatening events (floods and pestillence from the sky) or mundane/political events (the fall of Babylon, Tyre and a myrriad others) that were deemed important enough to make it into various aural traditions that eventually got written down.

I won't link, but there is series of essays that explore this subject over on my blog. If anyone is interested, you'll find them in the "Science vs. Religion" series, starting at "Myth Becomes Fact", an apt title for this one and the previous as well Beep...:-)

21/9/06 11:51 am  
Blogger urizon said...

I was just saying the same thing to cat. Oddly, he thinks I'm full of shit.

21/9/06 12:47 pm  
Blogger Daniel said...

I think the Bible, Koran, etc, demonstrates the soaring excesses of man's imagination and wishful thinking.

After all, humans are no more important than any other species and most egos (animals haven't got them) can't handle this obvious reality.

Besides, there's lots of money to be made and power to be had trading on superstition and wilful ignorance.

21/9/06 4:29 pm  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

Sounds like a Disney book to me.

21/9/06 10:06 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

Hi guys,
Except you can't deny that Jesus lived, and the witnesses who saw Him after He was resurrected. How do you explain that?

21/9/06 11:35 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:

I know that many people believe that jesus existed and rose from the dead. But I don't.

Let's look at what supposedly happened at the time of the resurrection from the bible itself.

Matthew 27:51-53
51 Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.

52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many.

So not only did jesus supposedly come back from the dead, but a temple was destroyed, there was a huge earthquake and other people got up out of their graves and went wandering about as well.

Amazingly, this piece of "historical" information is ONLY found in the bible. Such an unusual, extraordinary event is not mentioned in any of the roman writings of the time.

And you'd think that a lot of people would have noticed a whole stack of crusty, decaying bodies doing the zombie boogaloo into Jersualem. But nope, not one writer of the time ared to mention it.

Nor do they mention a huge earthquake.

So, my question to you is, "why was this"? Was it normal or ordinary, for people to crawl out of their graves and make a procession into Jerusalem?

I know why you believe. You believe because the bible says it happened.

I don't believe because none of the huge amount of writing which was concurrently happening mentions it at all.

Dead people stay dead. If they come back to life, they are not dead in the first place.

22/9/06 6:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm more and more convinced it's such a nice book!
For me the point it's not really if it tells the truth or not, but more how people can still believe and build their lives according to a religion based on a book written thousands of years ago by some random guys, influenced by a society and a set of moral rules that today make no sense at all, simply because we have in the meantime evolved, both socially and scientifically. This book, coz it's simply a nice book, was written as a code of practice for a society which was only-men ruled, racist, mainly ignorant and uneducated, which could give no meaning to its own existence.
Roman Catholics have a much softer interpretation of the bible, saying that the snake for example is just a metaphore, but this doesn't change much the result. Most of xian teachings and set of morals are still silly and pointless today.
Just a few examples: sex out of marriage. Whay not? I suppose it had a meaning 2000 years ago when u could catch any kind of desease but not today that u can use a condom. Same with pork being forbidden and dogs and the role of women.
What difference does it make anyway if Jesus existed or not? he could have been just a very carismatic and clever man. Who were this witnesses? did you actually met them? I dont think so... Oh yes! It's written in the bible!
Sorry, I missed that.

22/9/06 7:03 am  
Blogger PJB said...

Um, yes. The Bible is a fable. Except I'm a bit freaked out that the word verification for this comment is an anagram of Judas. Woah.

Oh, and you've been tagged. Or tagged back, I guess.

http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com/2006/09/my-favorite-things.html

22/9/06 12:43 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

Well, my apologies, I just lost my long comment here, I'll redo it in the morning.

22/9/06 12:58 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

I lost mine too, but it's morning for me now (night shift)...:)

Except you can't deny that Jesus lived

Actually Todd, we can. If we look at evidence other than the bible, there really isn't anything much at all. There's a paragraph about Nero blaming the Christians for burning Rome by Tacitus in 64ad, some dubious and probably edited accounts by Josephus (he was prisoner of Rome and was forced to write a Roman account of the Jewish War after all) in 75ad and a letter from Pliny the Younger to the Emperor Trajan in 112ad asking for help with some Christians who were making trouble for him. And that's about it....

So the only collaberating (if you can call them that) refereces we have were written at least 60 years after Jesus is supposed to have died and Christianity was founded. Considering that both Herrod and Pilot had a lot of correspondence with Rome concerning the problems they were having in Judea with the Pharisees and others, it's strange don't you think, that they never once mention the troublesome Nazarene who according to the bible, caused so many of those problems they were writing about?

22/9/06 6:05 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

Well,
The references you cited corroborate the existence of Christianity and is all we need. Jesus lived. Then we look at the God's word to us in the bible and see othing but consistent verification. Jesus lived, Christianity was born.

There was no accurate reference made to the Matt. verses about people being raised. None of it would have been notable historical information. Who would have known what to make of the seemingly routine earthquake, the bodies being raised and so on? What did it actually look like? Who at the time would have wanted to know? Are they supposed to call the History Channel, or be laughed out of town. Nor did anyone in all of the contentiousness refute what the author of Matt. had said, or any of the available information. But there surely was no crawling zombies, probably not even any disturbance to the dirt. It doesn't literally say how or what exactly happened, but enough to ge the atention of people who cared to look. The other references made to the Matt. verses are simply exagerated and not found in the text.

And Jones, you're talking about a bunch of messed up cult members, not Christians, when you talk about the roman catholics. While it was a handy institution for preserving reliable ancient documents, most Christians are just interested in the impecableness and consistency of the old manuscripts that were in circulation during the lives of people who lived with Jesus, and therby proved accurate by them as to the content of the original letters and writings. We don't care about the traditional church, just the documents they helped to preserve that can be relied upon to match the original letters and writings. And Jones, the only two words to describe Jesus, other than God's Son, would be a liar or a psycho. Clever or charismatic would be to really miss what the bible contains about Jesus.

Did all the apostles collaborate together to concoct that Jesus appeared to them and many others to give them information of emmense and eternal magnitude? I think the gnostics and others would have had a field day with that. They cold find no reason to doubt or question the accuracy of the accounts of Jesus.

Were they lieing when they reported that the guards of the tomb were offered money in exchange for telling the public that they had fallen asleep and Jesus body was gone when they awoke?

These apostles would be idiots concocting easily refuted stories of these sorts. And then to go to their death for them? For a guy making up clever tales in which He included no earthly rewards or worldly power to His followers? Only public humilation? Well, that's enough to get 'me' in the bible and find out where it really came from, who's doing the talking and why, and does it add up!

The existence of two talking animals with very brief lines is nothing for God. Not when you see how He made an entirely new human being out of the nowhere around 8 thousand years ago. Where is the skeletal link between the last jump in evolution, that is, between the morons that were walking around the earth 15 thousand years ago and the people who appeared with many different highly advanced languages and thinking skills 7-10 thousand years ago? All the evidence would be right at the top, just 5 or 10 feet below the surface of the ground. I can't believe intelligent guys such as yourself could miss such evidence of a new creation appearing at that time. And ten to expect God to explain to us exactly how He did it is wi9shful thinking. We wouldn't know what to do wih that kind of information if we had it. And we would turn right around to our own strength and power and importance and ignore Him again just as the bible illusrates throughout.

All God wants to do is to remind us who He is and that He is there. And if we don't listen to Him and give Him credit and respect then He's going to throw us away. That's not asking much of us in my mind. He wants us to remember who made us and where all the wonders of the world, which we know almost nothing about, came from. Also, that He is the real deal and wants to share His kingdom with us but will not tolerate our filth and so has provided a way to enter into where He resides by way of obedience simply to His word. His word (the bible, the good news or the gospel)says that He has provided a blood sacrifice for our filth through the death of is Son Jesus. And if we give Him credit for sending the sacrifice for us because of our sin, which He foretold doing thousands of years ahead of time, then we meet His conditions to be bought back or redeemed from our true position here on earth which is as sinfilled filth.

In the meantime, it's much more fun to do our own thing, including chasing dead-end rabbit trails that question the accuracy of the bible. I've been there myself. It's boring. But the bible is one complete and consistent account of the one true God's personality and of the things He's chosen to reveal to men. You better give it serious attention. The average Christian will take away from it's credibility and effectivenes by not knowing much about it. So beware and have fun, but don't let bad Chrisians drive you away from God's only revelation of Himself to us. Or your own lack of curiosity, or discernment. Get a New American Standard Version, it's the most literal translation and reads much more accurately. Your web-site suggests you love to talk about these things. So here I am. Thanks for your sincerety and thanks for considering what I've said.

23/9/06 12:39 am  
Blogger Deacon Barry said...

If Jesus had been beheaded, and then appeared to his apostles with his head reattached, then you could suspect divine intervention. But three hours of crucifixion is survivable, even with a spear wound in the side, so if he appeared to his apostles, showing them the wounds in his hands and side, using Occam's razor, you have to assume that he wasn't dead when he was taken off the cross. A Roman Soldier is no Casualty doctor. If he looked dead, then he was dead, and if that high ranking politician Joseph of Arimathea wants to bundle the body away with no questions asked, well, the Roman army doesn't pay well enough to get on the wrong side of someone who could complain to the Prefect...
Bottom line is: Jesus survived the cross - no resurrection. No miracle. Mind you, the septicaemia from the spearhead and nails probably killed him a few days later, which probably explains why there's no further mention of him in the record.

23/9/06 9:13 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:
"The references you cited corroborate the existence of Christianity and is all we need."

No, it isn't all WE need. It is all that YOU need.

The references are basically about "christians", not a verification for any singular supposedly god-like person like jesus.

If I provide 3 references in the ancient world which speak about fairies, is that conclusive evidence that fairies exist?

Come on now todd, it isn't evidence. You believe jesus existed because the bible tells you he did, not because of any huge weight of corroborating comtemporary information.

It is the usual circular argument. The bible is the word of god, therefore whatever the bible says is true.

Therefore if the bible talks about jesus, jesus must have existed because the bible is the word of god and whatever the bible says is true. It is just the same old logical fallacy over and over ad nauseum.

All believers use the same fallacy. It is only the book which changes.

23/9/06 10:05 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE Todd:

"Who would have known what to make of the seemingly routine earthquake, the bodies being raised and so on? What did it actually look like? Who at the time would have wanted to know? Are they supposed to call the History Channel, or be laughed out of town."

Hey, hang on. What is NORMAL about bodies being raised up and wandering around in their crustiness?

Just a tip for assessing further information during your lifespan. If it sounded stupid 2000 years ago and that is why none of the thousands of scribes wrote about it, nor any of the pharisees, nor the thousands of educated roman patriarchs, it probably WAS stupid.

Your claim is that it sounded too unlikely and too unrealistic to be reported. Maybe it wasn't reported because NONE of it could be verified.

No one saw those zombie people doing the crusty boogaloo into Jerusalem. There was NO earthquake. There was NO temple being ripped apart.

Matthew was written approximately 60 years after the supposed crucifixion. It is like waitng to write about WW2 (end 1945) until 2015. Imagine if something as powerful as WW2 wasn't written about by ANYONE until 2015. What would be the reason for that?

Frankly, I would think that the event didn't happen, because there is NO way that such an extraordinary event wouldn't have been mentioned at the time it was actually supposed to have happened.

23/9/06 10:22 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Deacon,
His apostles saw him ascend into the sky, and for no particular gain (other than obedience to the truth), testified to it unto their complete senseless humiliation and death. Where's the conspiracy in that one?

Beep,
Christian's existed. It's been satisfactorily proven. Who were the Christians and what were they about? There is no doubt there. Is it real? To many people of the time who cared to look, there is no doubt, and they testified to it unto death. Others tried to distort it but testified to it nonetheless. Many ignored it, the dummies.

Provide 3 credible references that fairies existed in the ancient world and I'll believe in fairies too. But I know of none.

The bible is a compilation of testimony that passed scrutiny at every stage of its writing by many of the smartest and bravest men of the age and has not yet shown to contain a substantive error.

The bible has not changed. Copies of the original letters of testimony and explanation are the same. They are the bible. Never changed. There are a lot of self-serving interpretive bibles out there that unfortunately can legally entitle themselves as a bible as well.

And by the way, if you'll not point to things which I did not say and suggest that I'm guilty of those logical fallacies ad nauseum then I'll spare you all the pitiful bungling naive arguments that you've not made that I've heard from other bible detractors.

What do you think happened 10 thousand years ago or so at the appearance of modern man Beep? How were we suddenly not slightly hunched over and grunting anymore but extremely intellectual with complex systems of language and thought to emerge at the relative blink of an eye as we are now?

Sit and try and conceptualize what the human race is going to be like in two hundred years, and then try and convince me that you don't feel like an idiot. I doubt if you can do it. All that is to say is that it is unfathomable to figure out how we got where we are in ten thousand years(hypothetical number simply for illustrations sake). The guesses can really get ugly. I'm not saying this proves the bible, I'm suggesting that the bible helps prove historical fact.

Study the bible to learn God's personality and it will make more sense to you. Let's face it, there are a lot of bad bible teachers out there and your chances of finding peace with the one and only true God who's been revealing Himself to us in for 6000 years, through one of them is pretty doubtful. Sorry about that.

23/9/06 11:30 am  
Blogger Todd said...

"No one saw those zombie people doing the crusty boogaloo into Jerusalem. There was NO earthquake. There was NO temple being ripped apart."

Apart from the earthquake none of these things you mention does the bible mention. Read it again. The raising was surely unique but probably did not stand out any whatsoever. Your imagination is not serving you well in understanding this. Certainly no one could associate with the whole thing under risk of humiliation and serious fallout. I think things were pretty confusing to most and like you, they went into denial. You could publish a paper back then about it and probably say by-by to your writing career.

If Matt. was written in 60 a.d. then it was written 27 years after the sacrifice of Christ. If the author was 25 at the time he was living with Jesus then he would be 52 when he formally wrote the document. After talking about it for the last 27 years. I don't see a problem there. It had to pass scrutiny before all who had witnessed the life and death of Jesus, many who knew Him better. People from all over the world were watching. There were many others at work for the Lord at the time who it was impossible to coroborate with and it came out substantively perfect and consistent with everything written in the preceeding thousands of years and since. And so did everything else. That in itself is a miracle.

What happened in Matt. 27 at the time of the crucifixion is intrigueing but not that important in the larger scheme of things and in my mind was not intended by God to make a statement but only be a sign of encouragement to a few people who needed it had the discernment to recognize what had happened and had the ability to report it among other interested parties and other generations. It was simply an subtle incidental meant for the encouragement of whoever was lucky enough to be paying attention.

23/9/06 12:00 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

The references you cited corroborate the existence of Christianity and is all we need

I have to agree with Beep here but I will say that Tacitus does mention a "Christ" that "paid the highest price for his evil." I guess that's it then, he must have existed...:-)

7-10 thousand years ago

Please correct me if I'm wrong somebody, but I believe that man has been here is his current form for about 60,000 years? Where's the evidence, skelital or otherwise? Well, your local museum is generally a good place to start...

All God wants to do is to remind us who He is and that He is there

Then being as clever as he so obviously is, surely he can find a better way than to give us a book that's so full of lies, contradictions and hypocricies. Something that's believeable would be nice.

23/9/06 5:53 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:

"Apart from the earthquake none of these things you mention does the bible mention. Read it again."

Ok, I am reading it again.

Matthew 27:51-53
51 Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.

52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many.

Yup. The zombie boogaloo into Jerusalem is mentioned, and the temple being "veil", which I suppose means the roof or some other significant part of the structure, is torn in two.

And I agree that christians existed. I have my doubts as to whether Jesus existed as a man or as a god/man as the evidence of such isn't sufficient.

The claims of god-like beings resurrecting have been claims throughout ancient history. Personally, I think they stem from the same source. And that source has been sun worship. Jesus is an allegory of the sun as it moves through the astrological heavens.

Jesus is just one of multitudinous ancient depictions of the sun, from a geocentric perspective. Just as the sun is "the light of the world" so is Jesus.

Just as Sol Invictus ("the undefeated Sun") or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus ("the undefeated sun god") was the light of the world, so was jesus.

This concept of "sun gods" and sun worship was applied to deities throughout Roman history.

Mithras also preceded the jesus story as well, and the claims of Mithras and other sun gods bear a striking resemblance to the jesus story.

RE: "It had to pass scrutiny before all who had witnessed the life and death of Jesus, many who knew Him better. People from all over the world were watching."

No it didn't. And that is the point. It didn't have to pass any scrutiny. It was just the creation of yet another religion. One whose claims were essentially no more believeable than the ones which preceded it.

You need to remember that these were people who basically believed that bird blood performed as a ritual sacrifice would cure leprosy. These are very superstitious primitive people. They didn't have the ability to scutinise most information for veracity.

It basically comes down to whether you believe that people can come back from the dead. I don't. You do.

The existence of the bible doesn't prove the existence of jesus, nor does it prove the existence of a god.

What the bible does provide is evidence of belief. I just don't believe the claims the bible makes. And I am astounded that any so called rational person does.

23/9/06 6:31 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Apart from the earthquake none of these things you mention does the bible mention

I'm reading from an NIV and it's almost word for word what Beep has written so obviously, "the raising" did stand out otherwise why would the bible mention it at all? That's the point though isn't it. I wouldn't have thought that you could say that it's God's word and is true, correct, unchanged and is everything God wants us to know, then discount any of what you read as unimportant.

not yet shown to contain a substantive error

Well as an example, if we just take a quick look at the destruction of the temple for instance, we'll find plenty of Roman documentation that says they found an intact and in use temple in Jerusalem in 70ad which they then destroyed themselves. Interestingly, there's also evidence to suggest that Titus himself wanted to leave it for the people and NOT destroy it but couldn't control his other generals. Of course, there's not many who would believe that though. Scant references you see...

23/9/06 7:20 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

Sure Ted,
Your wrong. The people who were here 20 thousand years ago were different than modern man, skeletaly and intellectually.

Ted,
"Then being as clever as he so obviously is, surely he can find a better way than to give us a book that's so full of lies, contradictions and hypocricies."

Is this as far as your ability goes on saying something coherent about the substance of the bible?

Would you like to get more specific?

24/9/06 3:16 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Beep,
Don't suppose the 'veil' means the roof. Take a good honest look at it and see that the veil is nothing more than a curtain across an entrance into the very inside of the Jewish temple. The significance is that we no longer need the Jewish priest to go in beyond the veil and intercede to God on our behalf, now we can talk to Him ourselves and He listens. Especially when we say to Him "o.k. God, I've may an earnest attempt to read your book and undeerstand who you are, and tanks for revealing that to me. You are a pretty clever Guy." The veil was torn in half. A cute little symbolic way of saying there is now nohing between us and God.

Where is the zombie boogaloo part that I am missing? Or are you reading into it.

Where is the sun worship connection? The reference to Jesus being the Light of the world is only a minor concept and never connected to the sun. It's not hard for you and I to conceptuallize that you and I live in intellectual darkness much less spiritual and emotional. The bible doesn't take that anywhere that you secularists take it. You can't show me a sun concept in the bible. And His story bears no remote similarity to your other sun god examples. There's does not even hold a candle to His.

Where are the god-man resurrection claims remotely resembling Christ?

"Mithras also preceded the jesus story as well, and the claims of Mithras and other sun gods bear a striking resemblance to the jesus story."

Mithras was a pitifull attempt at dredging up a fake god and he and his entire history and legacy have no gratifying substance whatsoever. No one but a college freshman would see any remote similarity between he and Jesus.

Some of the brightest men of the time looked at the evidence of Jesus and became Christians. None of the writings of the bible show the least bit of eccentricity, detachment from reality, or inconsistency with reality, each other, or thousands of years of what had until then had been regarded as records belonging to a quirky little nation called Israel. According to reliable dating of documents, all the prohpecies that were told of and later came to be from scripture could not have been made up. That's clever enough for me. None of the Christians at the time, who you now believe to have existed, questioned the witnesses to Jesus having revived a dead stinking corpse. He had the power of life, He could simply call on His life generating power to repair and generate life back into the basic building blocks of the world, if you will. The burning bush Moses witnessed was just a small intense concentration of energy generated by God to get Moses attenion just because He could. And then Him speaking to Moses accomplished the rest. These unusual occurances were witnessed for thousands of years before Jesus by the Jewish people who and when the miracles of Jesus day were happening, they were scrutinized by tens of thousands of reasonable men and women with sound minds and passed scrutiny. I have no reason to disbelieve them. The writings of the old testament are the wisest and most intellectually advanced of all literature, and when read with care, show a remarkable record told in one single remarkable voice.

It's only logical that any God would be able to bring people back from a state of death with the simple directing of reparative energy. What are you, still back in the 19thcentury. And it is illogical that there is not a single God/Creator behind this contradictory universe. This universe which is supposed by secularists to be evolving to perfection and devolving to commonality all at the same time. Very illogical to the point of asking someone to be a fool to believe it.

And you can't still be serious that the bible and other facts do not prove a man named Jesus lived.

The human mind is capable of not only believing the most ridiculous of propositions but failing to believe the most obvious as well. So is that helpful? No, but it's a useful warning.

24/9/06 4:29 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Ted,
Wrong, there is not similarity between the words nor the context Beep uses vs. the ones the bible uses, except the word 'earthquake'. Everything else is a complete personalized re-characterization.

There is no indication in the text how the 'raising' appeared or to whom. If you want to draw conclusions on your own and then fill in the blanks feel free. No reasonable person is going to accept it. What is not true is your stating that just because it is mentioned in the bible, ["the raising" did stand out otherwise why would the bible mention it at all?]. Not very meaningful.

And you are off on this misunderstanding that anyone in Matt. suggests that the temple was destroyed. No one does. You don't appear to be sophisticated enough to even make a simple reading of the factual content of the passage. You are off on desperate rabbit trails. And I see from your blog that you wannabee a writer and authority on this subject too. First you are going to have to read it at least one more time.

But thanks for your curiosity and your remarks.

24/9/06 4:58 am  
Blogger Deacon Barry said...

Mitochondrial Eve, the common ancestor to everybody on the planet is estimated to have lived between 100,000BC and 200,000BC. Modern humans are reckoned to have evolved about 500,000 years ago give or take a couple of 100,000 years. Just imagine the number of gods who have been forgotten in that time!

24/9/06 7:53 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Ok Todd, let's see what we agree on.
1. "The veil" mentioned in Matthew 51 "Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom" could just mean a veil in front of the temple door.

Let's see where we differ.
1. If this does not mean that religious people got up out of their graves after the resurrection and walked into Jerusalem as a sign that Jesus had risen, what does it mean? And don't pretend that they were just sleeping. People don't sleep in tombs. They are in tombs because they are dead.

52 "The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many."

To me, it means that some dead people came to life, got out of their graves, and wandered into Jerusalem. The only other thing that supposedly does that sort of thing are the zombies in horror stories.

2. You believe that:
a. There was literally a man called Jesus. Who was not only a man but also a god. > I don't.

b. You believe, contrary to all reason, that this man was killed and came back to life miraculously. >I don't.

c. You believe that because a 2000 year old book says it is so, then it is literally true. > I don't.

These are extraordinary claims. The god claims (all of them) are extraordinary and hence require an extraordinary burden of proof.

If the evidences of such things were sufficient, I wouldn't need to BELIEVE that they happened. But the evidences are NOT sufficient and that is why I don't believe that they happened.

I acknowledge that it is enough evidence for believers, but essentially they are not supposed to ask for evidence, they are supposed to accept religious claims on faith.

I don't accept religious claims on faith, because I am not religious.

The bible even tells you that faith is evidence: ~
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Bible, Hebrews (ch. XI, v. 1)

In other words, you hope that certain things are true, and that this hope is evidence that they are true. This definition of evidence certainly doesn't cut the mustard when considering evidence scientifically.

I prefer Aughey's definition of faith. "Faith without evidence is, properly, not faith, but prejudice or presumption; faith beyond evidence is superstition, and faith contrary to evidence is either insanity or willful perversity of mind." - James H. Aughey

Now I know that Aughey was a clergyman, and his idea of what constitutes evidence is also not evidence from a scientific point of view. But he is closer than the bible is.

Now, because the evidence is insufficient, and religious people require faith to be considered evidence, it follows that "faith without sufficient evidence is prejudice or assumption, and faith contrary to evidence is either insanity or wilful perversion of mind."

Why are the evidences insufficient?
1. The bible is evidence of a book. The bible is evidence of belief. But is not evidence of extraordinary events as extraordinary events require extraordinary levels of proof. If a book or ancient writing is considered definitive evidence of the existence of god/gods, then all of the ancient writings and practices concerning ALL the ancient gods are evidence of the existence of all those gods as well. Which means that RA, RE, Amun Ra, Sol, Mithras, and any other god you can name literally exists as well. It makes them ALL evident. Not just the particular godhead you have chosen.

2. The extraordinary claims of the bible are not complemented by comtemporary sources. Other sources written later mention christians. This is evidence that christians existed but not evidence that what they believed actually happened.

3. Eye witness accounts are not considered reliable sources. If eyewitnesses were always completely accurate in what they say, we’d have no need for trials by jury. We could just ask someone what happened. In point of fact, eyewitness testimony is generally regarded as the least reliable of any sort of evidence that might be submitted during a criminal trial.

None of these "evidences" are insufficient if you already believe. If you do not believe, they are insufficient and based on faith.

Now, concerning the "sun gods". It matters not to me if you see the pattern of sun worship throughout history or if you don't. I am not out to convert anyone to sun worship. So, whether you accept jesus as just another form of sun worship or not is irrelevant to me. But I am more than happy to write more about sun worship in another post at a later date.

24/9/06 12:06 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Wrong, there is not similarity between the words nor the context Beep uses vs. the ones the bible uses

Well, if you don't believe in dead people being able to get up and walk (as I don't), then there's little difference here between what the bible describes and any number of "zombie" stories.

The people who were here 20 thousand years ago were different than modern man, skeletaly and intellectually

Considering the arguments and references you give for this I assume that this is about as far as your ability goes on saying something coherent about the substance of evolution? So the temple wasn't good enough for you huh? We could look at adultery if you like. How many wifes and concubines does it take until you finally get around to commiting adultery?

You're right though Todd, I'm a "wannabee" writer and am not very good at it, as you so eloquently point out. You can see that at a glance though. Probably explains why I do it in a blog and not in a newspaper eh?

You are wrong when you say I am/want to be an authority on this subject however, I merely like to talk about it. If you had actually read any of my blog instead of just look at it, you would have noticed that I've said as much more than once. I have nothing but some experience, a decent reference section and an opinion that I like to have corrected (which I've also said more than once), so please feel free to do so there if you wish.

The problem we have here though is that I see lies and contradictions in the bible because I prefer to base my "belief" in tangible and provable evidence rather than in an unseen God or any book that he's supposed to have written. You don't because you believe that the bible is truly God's word an is therefore infallible.

24/9/06 1:57 pm  
Blogger Deacon Barry said...

Why would Jesus ascend into the sky? Certainly the ancients who wrote this believed that heaven was up beyond the clouds, but you and I know that up there is just billions of light years of near vacuum interspersed with great balls of nuclear fusion and some rocks. Now a body ascending into the sky (without a rocket attached) is a big miracle, but this isn't the big miracle that the apostles talked about. For them, it was coming back from the dead after being crucified. That's the whole point of the christian religion. The ascension is just an add on, probably written in by a later translator to give the story more oomph.

24/9/06 8:44 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

Beep,
"1. If this does not mean that religious people got up out of their graves after the resurrection and walked into Jerusalem as a sign that Jesus had risen, what does it mean? "

To know what biblical people are like when they're raised, we look at biblical examples. When Jesus was raised, He did not go walking about, He appeared and disappeared at will. An easy feat for any God. We don't have to believe He was God's Son to know what it says about His 'raising' in the bible, and from His and from other 'raising' contexts of the bible, we know that raised people do not go marching along into a city, unless it specifically says that. How the people who were 'raised' in Matt. acted was simply like the other 'raised' people in the bible who appeared, and unappeared, to other people at will (unfortunately other believers and not probably not the news media), and we can't assume they "got up and walked", marched or crawled, or that they looked like anything other than the way they looked when they were alive. Not your zombies. So there was nothing to see except by those people they had appeared to after they were raised. They are the only ones who would have seen anything, and there does not have to be anything else to be seen. No big procession of crawling zombies. And these things were written about and shared in the presence of thousands or tens of thousands of extremely intelligent and sophisticated witnesses (testified to by the consistency, substance and sobriety of all of their writings)of Christ's life, works of His which people had seen collectively, as well as the immense tapestry of the hitherto Jewish religion which He had mastered and fulfilled the prophecies regarding Himself therein.

Many bodies were 'raised', 'entered Jerusalem' and 'appeared to many', that is all we know for sure on the nature of what happened, and this passage of Matt. has inspired your imagination to read a lot more into it than it says. So yes, the bodies became supernatural in some way when they were 'raised'. If I could know how then I would be dissappointed in any God.

So they appeared to many in Jerusalem. It was self-evident and immediately accepted without a problem by those who saw it or heard about it, after having known Christ and His works and foretellings. That is truly amazing. And the centurion's remarks are simply in passing and of no one trying to prove anything to anybody.

And I would ask that you ponder this for a moment or two. There is absolutely no indication anywhere in the bible, anywhere, that anyone can point to, of people telling, reading, or writing anything about the events of the story of God and His revelation of Himself to the world, that suggests a STRAINING by any writer to convince anyone of anything. They just tell it. Very surprising and wonderful to me. It's incredible. They just nonchalantly go about saying what they have to say about this or that hard to believe event or the next, in a manner that, more realistically, betrays their believability than not. And they simply make their case. Incredible record.

Now what about this idea of 'faith' that you so diligently and incompletely mapped out?

The apostles did not need to have faith that Jesus was God because they, and others, saw Him appear after He was raised from His tomb, and then dissappear, as well as ascending up into the sky. Moreover, they witnessed many wonders, works, signs and miracles as well as His mastery of Truth. They recorded His actions and teachings during their experience with Him. Christians accept their witness. We don't need to have faith that Jesus is God because He proved that to many and they are witnesses for us to fact. Surely, some of the apostles wavered in believing briefly that what their eyes were seeing and ears were hearing was in fact the Truth, but in the end, all doubt was erased in all of them with the ressurection and ascention. No, you're right, eye witness testimony can easily be flawed and wrong, therefore you look at it carefully and you weigh it against other eye witness testimony as well as everything else that is known and therby establish very reliably whether or it could be true or not. The diverse witnesses of the time did that through their prolific and consistent, and isolated, telling of what they had seen. And this evidence is in tact and has not changed from the beginning. The bible has not changed from the beginning, in spite of useless attempts at doing so through the ages, simply because we have enough copies of the original documents, in circulation and uncontested at the time, from the time when many of these witnesses were living, to determne that nothing of any significance that had been recorded at the begining has been altered. So now you know and can be greatly relieved.

We do not need faith to know that the Son of God was here. We may need faith in reliable eye witnesses but tat is hardly faith. Either it was proven that He was or it was not. I suppose if you have a difficult time sifting through reliable evidence then you would have to have a sort of faith to make up for your lack of judgement.

So why do we need to have faith?

We need to have faith in the promise. The promise that God is going to do what He says He is going to do. Just like Abraham, through which He determined to begin the revealing of Himself and His plan for mankind. God spoke to Abraham. Abraham was a little dismayed that God was talking to him. Was there any doubt in Abraham's mind that there was a supernatural Being talking to him? No, he did not need faith to see that there was a super natural Being talking to him, He had to have faith in what was being asked of him, which was to go forth with the promise that he would be shown where he was going and why, at a later date. As well as the more substantial and eternal promises that were to come. Abraham was asked to have faith in that promise because it was not going to consumate for awhile. And the promise that he would father many nations was one he would never see and could only have faith that it would come to pass.

And we are now asked to, in view of the historical evidence of 6000 years of God's revealing Himself to man, to have faith in Christ's promise of everything He spoke as being True. And revealing Himself how else but in a most incomplete and ungratifying way to us self-centered humans.

Finally:
"So, whether you accept jesus as just another form of sun worship or not is irrelevant to me.

I think Jesus would make an excellent 'sun god' but the evidence for that is found nowhere in the bible. And nowhere else either. Except in athiest speculation.

"In point of fact, eyewitness testimony is generally regarded as the least reliable of any sort of evidence that might be submitted during a criminal trial."

There are very few other tpes of evidence, and well corroborated eyewitness testimony is impeccable.

There are no other 'god' books which you cite above that could be classified as anything more than a cheap fairy tale. Especially Islam which is fully explained and prophesyed of in the bible.

Any God will surely make His own rules as to what is sufficient evidence and they will not match ours because we would abuse them badly. We would and do mock any and everything else. Any God would surely make us come to Him to learn the answer on His own terms. I see His creation which cannot and incidentally will not be explained any other way than having bee originated by a Creator.

Science proves the existence of a Creator whether it can understand that it does or not. Science is invaluable to learning about the world but in the end demands that we have faith in it. It can be shown empirically and scientifically that we cannot.

So Ted,
Since you are a little short on examples of zombie stories, and a little long on imputing into the passage what is not there, in the way of "dead people being able to get up and walk", since it does ot even imply that.

["We could look at adultery if you like. How many wifes and concubines does it take until you finally get around to commiting adultery?]

Have no idea of what you are saying. Everyone who gets mentioned in the bible is a mess. Every single character without exception. All the major charactors in the old testament God winds up punishing for disobedience. That's God's whole point. Don't you get it? Did you ge that far through the book? Pure and simple. Read any story, they all screw up. That's God's whole point, and the point that alot of Christians would chose not to acknowledge. So you've got a real advantage now. Pick your fights with them, not te bible.

["The problem we have here though is that I see lies and contradictions in the bible because I prefer to base my "belief" in tangible and provable evidence rather than in an unseen God or any book that he's supposed to have written. You don't because you believe that the bible is truly God's word an is therefore infallible." ]

Sorry, I know you're getting tired of hearing this but, wrong again.
I do see the "lies and contradictions", but there are none in the bible, as your inability to point helps to prove. The "lies and contractions" are in the church.
You athiests are not the only ones who get things turned around and messed things up. Christians from the very beginning have messed it up. It's one of the main battles in just about every letter in the new testament. People messing up the facts as established by Jesus.

You see "lies and contradictions" in the bible because you wouldn't know one from a hole in the ground. You've never given the bible a serious look. Just like you showed in your comment about the temple being destroyed. That's not even good athiest doctrine.

Deacon,

You don't have a clue what's beyond the stars and neither do I, and no one ever will. That is about the truest statement you will ever hear so remember where you heard it.

What about the invisible particles we've now discover penetrate right through the earth.

Don't bore me with any more of your guesses.

Here's something you can bore me with. The highly complex languages in ancient times came out of the blue. There is no record of how the diverse and complex languages started, other than Genesis. How did they? Do you even understand how complex they are? How did that develope seemingly overnight?

The skeletal structure of men was different 15,000 years ago. How did the progression in skeletal conformation and intellectual capacity happen as modern man exploded into existence a few thousand years ago? There was no progression whatsoever. Evolution, a method that God has used to shape His creation, has been happening for more years than we can even concieve of, but what happened there? Deacon? Have you thought about the obvious like that lately? If you imagine the stars just going on and on forever then this hard factual stuff may not be your thing.

Instead, sit and ponder the unmatchable tale of the bible and how all of those events are easily explainable through the work of the Spirit on our physical and easily manipulated world.

25/9/06 10:47 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Beep,
"1. If this does not mean that religious people got up out of their graves after the resurrection and walked into Jerusalem as a sign that Jesus had risen, what does it mean? "

To know what biblical people are like when they're raised, we look at biblical examples. When Jesus was raised, He did not go walking about, He appeared and disappeared at will. An easy feat for any God. We don't have to believe He was God's Son to know what it says about His 'raising' in the bible, and from His and from other 'raising' contexts of the bible, we know that raised people do not go marching along into a city, unless it specifically says that. How the people who were 'raised' in Matt. acted was simply like the other 'raised' people in the bible who appeared, and unappeared, to other people at will (unfortunately other believers and not probably not the news media), and we can't assume they "got up and walked", marched or crawled, or that they looked like anything other than the way they looked when they were alive. Not your zombies. So there was nothing to see except by those people they had appeared to after they were raised. They are the only ones who would have seen anything, and there does not have to be anything else to be seen. No big procession of crawling zombies. And these things were written about and shared in the presence of thousands or tens of thousands of extremely intelligent and sophisticated witnesses (testified to by the consistency, substance and sobriety of all of their writings)of Christ's life, works of His which people had seen collectively, as well as the immense tapestry of the hitherto Jewish religion which He had mastered and fulfilled the prophecies regarding Himself therein.

Many bodies were 'raised', 'entered Jerusalem' and 'appeared to many', that is all we know for sure on the nature of what happened, and this passage of Matt. has inspired your imagination to read a lot more into it than it says. So yes, the bodies became supernatural in some way when they were 'raised'. If I could know how then I would be dissappointed in any God.

So they appeared to many in Jerusalem. It was self-evident and immediately accepted without a problem by those who saw it or heard about it, after having known Christ and His works and foretellings. That is truly amazing. And the centurion's remarks are simply in passing and of no one trying to prove anything to anybody.

And I would ask that you ponder this for a moment or two. There is absolutely no indication anywhere in the bible, anywhere, that anyone can point to, of people telling, reading, or writing anything about the events of the story of God and His revelation of Himself to the world, that suggests a STRAINING by any writer to convince anyone of anything. They just tell it. Very surprising and wonderful to me. It's incredible. They just nonchalantly go about saying what they have to say about this or that hard to believe event or the next, in a manner that, more realistically, betrays their believability than not. And they simply make their case. Incredible record.

Now what about this idea of 'faith' that you so diligently and incompletely mapped out?

The apostles did not need to have faith that Jesus was God because they, and others, saw Him appear after He was raised from His tomb, and then dissappear, as well as ascending up into the sky. Moreover, they witnessed many wonders, works, signs and miracles as well as His mastery of Truth. They recorded His actions and teachings during their experience with Him. Christians accept their witness. We don't need to have faith that Jesus is God because He proved that to many and they are witnesses for us to fact. Surely, some of the apostles wavered in believing briefly that what their eyes were seeing and ears were hearing was in fact the Truth, but in the end, all doubt was erased in all of them with the ressurection and ascention. No, you're right, eye witness testimony can easily be flawed and wrong, therefore you look at it carefully and you weigh it against other eye witness testimony as well as everything else that is known and therby establish very reliably whether or it could be true or not. The diverse witnesses of the time did that through their prolific and consistent, and isolated, telling of what they had seen. And this evidence is in tact and has not changed from the beginning. The bible has not changed from the beginning, in spite of useless attempts at doing so through the ages, simply because we have enough copies of the original documents, in circulation and uncontested at the time, from the time when many of these witnesses were living, to determne that nothing of any significance that had been recorded at the begining has been altered. So now you know and can be greatly relieved.

We do not need faith to know that the Son of God was here. We may need faith in reliable eye witnesses but tat is hardly faith. Either it was proven that He was or it was not. I suppose if you have a difficult time sifting through reliable evidence then you would have to have a sort of faith to make up for your lack of judgement.

So why do we need to have faith?

We need to have faith in the promise. The promise that God is going to do what He says He is going to do. Just like Abraham, through which He determined to begin the revealing of Himself and His plan for mankind. God spoke to Abraham. Abraham was a little dismayed that God was talking to him. Was there any doubt in Abraham's mind that there was a supernatural Being talking to him? No, he did not need faith to see that there was a super natural Being talking to him, He had to have faith in what was being asked of him, which was to go forth with the promise that he would be shown where he was going and why, at a later date. As well as the more substantial and eternal promises that were to come. Abraham was asked to have faith in that promise because it was not going to consumate for awhile. And the promise that he would father many nations was one he would never see and could only have faith that it would come to pass.

And we are now asked to, in view of the historical evidence of 6000 years of God's revealing Himself to man, to have faith in Christ's promise of everything He spoke as being True. And revealing Himself how else but in a most incomplete and ungratifying way to us self-centered humans.

Finally:
"So, whether you accept jesus as just another form of sun worship or not is irrelevant to me.

I think Jesus would make an excellent 'sun god' but the evidence for that is found nowhere in the bible. And nowhere else either. Except in athiest speculation.

"In point of fact, eyewitness testimony is generally regarded as the least reliable of any sort of evidence that might be submitted during a criminal trial."

There are very few other tpes of evidence, and well corroborated eyewitness testimony is impeccable.

There are no other 'god' books which you cite above that could be classified as anything more than a cheap fairy tale. Especially Islam which is fully explained and prophesyed of in the bible.

Any God will surely make His own rules as to what is sufficient evidence and they will not match ours because we would abuse them badly. We would and do mock any and everything else. Any God would surely make us come to Him to learn the answer on His own terms. I see His creation which cannot and incidentally will not be explained any other way than having bee originated by a Creator.

Science proves the existence of a Creator whether it can understand that it does or not. Science is invaluable to learning about the world but in the end demands that we have faith in it. It can be shown empirically and scientifically that we cannot.

So Ted,
Since you are a little short on examples of zombie stories, and a little long on imputing into the passage what is not there, in the way of "dead people being able to get up and walk", since it does ot even imply that.

["We could look at adultery if you like. How many wifes and concubines does it take until you finally get around to commiting adultery?]

Have no idea of what you are saying. Everyone who gets mentioned in the bible is a mess. Every single character without exception. All the major charactors in the old testament God winds up punishing for disobedience. That's God's whole point. Don't you get it? Did you ge that far through the book? Pure and simple. Read any story, they all screw up. That's God's whole point, and the point that alot of Christians would chose not to acknowledge. So you've got a real advantage now. Pick your fights with them, not te bible.

["The problem we have here though is that I see lies and contradictions in the bible because I prefer to base my "belief" in tangible and provable evidence rather than in an unseen God or any book that he's supposed to have written. You don't because you believe that the bible is truly God's word an is therefore infallible." ]

Sorry, I know you're getting tired of hearing this but, wrong again.
I do see the "lies and contradictions", but there are none in the bible, as your inability to point helps to prove. The "lies and contractions" are in the church.
You athiests are not the only ones who get things turned around and messed things up. Christians from the very beginning have messed it up. It's one of the main battles in just about every letter in the new testament. People messing up the facts as established by Jesus.

You see "lies and contradictions" in the bible because you wouldn't know one from a hole in the ground. You've never given the bible a serious look. Just like you showed in your comment about the temple being destroyed. That's not even good athiest doctrine.

Deacon,

You don't have a clue what's beyond the stars and neither do I, and no one ever will. That is about the truest statement you will ever hear so remember where you heard it.

What about the invisible particles we've now discover penetrate right through the earth.

Don't bore me with any more of your guesses.

Here's something you can bore me with. The highly complex languages in ancient times came out of the blue. There is no record of how the diverse and complex languages started, other than Genesis. How did they? Do you even understand how complex they are? How did that develope seemingly overnight?

The skeletal structure of men was different 15,000 years ago. How did the progression in skeletal conformation and intellectual capacity happen as modern man exploded into existence a few thousand years ago? There was no progression whatsoever. Evolution, a method that God has used to shape His creation, has been happening for more years than we can even concieve of, but what happened there? Deacon? Have you thought about the obvious like that lately? If you imagine the stars just going on and on forever then this hard factual stuff may not be your thing.

Instead, sit and ponder the unmatchable tale of the bible and how all of those events are easily explainable through the work of the Spirit on our physical and easily manipulated world.

25/9/06 10:47 am  
Blogger Todd said...

And Deacon,
The apostles didn't consider His ascension a miracle. The old testament said it would happen. They'd already seen wilder things than Jesus coming back from the dead. Remember the transfiguration. Jesus had told them He would come back from the dead. They would have considered it a miracle if He had not come back from the dead. The miracle was that He told them He was going to be raised, 4 thousand years of Jewish history told them He was going to be raised and all they had to do was sit there and watch it all happen. It all came to be just as was foretold.

And your belief about things being written in by translators cannot apply to the bible. Christians rely on thousands of bits and pieces of the new testament collected which were in existence during the lives of the apostles and the first Christians, which are all virtually the same, and in which there is no meaningful variation. Those are even more valuable to prove the contents of the original manuscripts than one alledged original epistle. To trained historians anyway. It couldn't have worked out much better. The fact that you have not yet grasped that tells me you are not even at the beginning of a serious look at the bible or the serious pursuit of truth.

25/9/06 12:17 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:

So basically, your claim is that this should not be taken literally >> 52 "The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many."

1. The tombs were opened. (This is not literal? )
2. Many bodies of the saints were raised. (This is not literal? )
3. They came out of the tombs. (This is not literal?)
4. They entered the holy sity. (This is not literal?)
5. They appeared to many. (This is not literal?)

Why would tombs be opened if they did not appear in the body? Why does it say "the bodies of the saints" were raised, if it meant their ghosts or spirits? Why does it say that they "entered the holy city and appeared to many" if it was figurately supposed to mean, they materialised as spirits to people?

And if certain passages are open to interpretation, (literal or figurative), what is the standard for ascertaining which passages are literal and which are figurative? The "standard" appears to be subjective and arbitrary.

Believers appear to interpret bible passage so it concurs with their emotional and psychological disposition. You don't want to interpret Matthew 51 literally because it conflicts with your personal and subjective view of what SHOULD have happened.

Obviously you do not interpret this literally as well: ~

"If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:26

Not many christians would agree that one is to hate their father and mother, yet this is EXACTLY what the bible says to do if you want to be a disciple of jesus.

And what about his one where jesus states that he doesn't come to bring peace, though to believers he is seen as the "prince of peace."

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother- in-law...." - Matthew 10:34

Nice that jesus doesn't come to bring peace but a sword. But I know how you rationalise these away according to your own "faith filters."

The sword becomes the "sword of justice" or the "sword of faith" and many must die or physically or in "the spirit" because of their evil ways. It sounds just as insane as any other religion.

Warmongering christians interpret this passge to mean that fighting and killing in the name of jesus is condoned by the bible.

So who has the RIGHT interpretation? If "hate" does not mean "hate" in Luke 14:26 and "sword" does not mean "sword" in Matthew 10:34, can we just pick and choose as to which parts of the bible are to be taken literally?

What about this one from Matthew 10:4-6 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Is this to be taken literally? If so, it means that Jesus came for the jews, not for the gentiles and christianity shouldn't exist.

As far as I am concerned, the old and the new testament can only be reviewed according to the LITERAL CLAIMS they make, not according to individual interpretation which more often than not, attempts to honey-coat parts of the bible which the believer finds distasteful or incongruous with their already held beliefs.

RE: "There are no other 'god' books which you cite above that could be classified as anything more than a cheap fairy tale. Especially Islam which is fully explained and prophesyed of in the bible."

Firstly, let me make it clear that I consider them all to be myths including islam.

And the religions which predate yours would probably consider yours to be a cheap fairytale too. So quid pro quo.

So, is it literally true that jesus died on the cross? Or was he just bashed around a bit, put into a tomb and staggered out a few days later? You see the problem. If the word cannot be taken literally, then my interpretation of events is as valid as yours.

And if the bible cannot be taken literally in all it's forms, does jesus dying on the cross represent the sun dying through winter and being reborn at the beginning of spring?

Many God-Men were born on the Winter Solstice, and many died on the Vernal Solstice. Attis's mother was Cybele, a virgin, known as Queen of Heaven.

Further back, we find the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar and her dying/resurrected son/lover Tammuz, born/resurrected at the Winter Solstice, dying at the Spring Equinox.

RE: " The apostles did not need to have faith that Jesus was God because they, and others, saw Him appear after He was raised from His tomb, and then dissappear, as well as ascending up into the sky."

I doubt eyewitness accounts in a 2 thousand year old book. Eyewitness accounts are NOT reliable.

If they are to be considered reliable, then every eyewitness claim made should have the SAME level of veracity. Therefore if I claim to have astral travelled and seen my pastlife as Cleopatra, that should also be definitive evidence that I WAS cleopatra in a pastlife.

If eyewitness accounts are automatically reliable evidence, then all the ancient people who claim to have seen miracles performed by their deities MUST be true without question as well.

Further more, there is no reliable evidence to support the claim that the Four Gospels were written by either Jesus or by his disciples, who were supposed eyewitnesses to his ministry.

Rather, the existing evidence suggests strongly that they are the product of later Church tradition, written down no less than 50 to 60 years after the mission of Jesus, when that message had passed from the hands of his immediate followers to the non-Jews, i.e., Greeks and Romans whose religious background was rooted in the numerous pagan religions of that time.

The gospels were written not in aramaic, but in greek, which suggests strongly that they were NOT written as eye witness accounts by Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.

The oldest known manuscripts of Matthew and Mark are in Greek. There are NO records of the gospels in aramaic or hebrew.

Greek fragments of these two Gospels have been verified as dating from as early as the 60s A.D. It is therefore reasonable to say that the Gospels of Luke and John, the Book of Acts, the Epistles, and the Book of Revelation were also originally written in Greek.

Hebrew was used in the synagogue when the Scriptures were read, but the language of the streets was Aramaic. This continued through the time of Christ, and it is probable that the language He most frequently used was the common Aramaic.

So if the language of the disciples was aramaic, why were the "eyewitness accounts" written in greek?

Also, why would the disciples pen their accounts in greek if they were specifically told by jesus NOT to evangelise to the gentiles (greeks and romans) or the pagan samaritans?

They were told specifically to take their message to "the lost sheep of the children of Israel.

As they were instructed to take their message to the jews, the gospels woud have better served that purpose in hebrew or aramaic.

They were written in greek because they were NOT eye witness accounts written by the disciples. They were penned approximately 60 years after jesus was claimed to have died on the cross.

In this light, the gospels would be considered "heresay" and not conclusively representative of any actual eye witness events.

25/9/06 1:51 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

As to tombs being opened and "saints" being "raised" I'll leave that to Beep. I certainly couldn't have said it any better, but you already knew that...

But come on Todd, everyone's heard of Frankenstein, surely. I'm not 100% sure he classes as a proper zombie though seeing as how he was reanimated with electricity and was meant to be sentient. Perhaps you can bring your formidible knowledge to bear with this one, but the use of the dead is what's important for zombies. Bits of dead bodies stitched together to make a whole body then re-animated? Hmm not sure...

But for real zombies, how about "Resident Evil" or "Dawn of the Dead" or "Return of the living dead" or "Reaimater" or "Evil dead", do I need to continue? These are some examples of "real" zombie stories. You're right though, the bible does seem to pale in this area when put alongside those gems.

"Contradictions" (although, I think I preferred "contractions"), allow me to explain. A concubine ISN'T married to her lover. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (Kings 11:3 and Deuteronomy 17:17). At some point along the way I'm sure one of those 1000 odd ladies possibly coveted Solomon, who would have been another woman's husband. Now correct me if I'm wrong, please, but isn't that what the bible says adultery is? The coveting of someone elses wife or husband? "Thou shall not covet thy neibours wife" (Exodus 20:17). Does this apply to women as well? Well Leviticus 20:10 doesn't really allow for it not to; "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife — with the wife of his neighbour — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death." Neither does Deuteronomy 5:18 "You shall not commit adultery". Well then it would seem, on the face of it at least, that Solomon consorted with about 999 adulteresses. Oh sorry, bigomy was ok back then wasn't it. That means there was probably only 300 or so adulteresses.

As to the temple, well when the Romans got there, there was defiantley still a "veil" as well as a working temple with priests and everything. I think it's time for you to put the bible down and read some real history Todd.

So you see, I have read the bible and I study it quite a bit. That's why I have as much trouble with it's "facts" as I do. There was a time that I too believed in it all, but my eyes were opened.

So, I may not be best at writing and I may have stuff to learn Todd, but I am quite obviously prepared to admit to it, so please keep your snide comments to yourself and take your Christianity with a little humility, as your Lord and Master obviously intended you to...

25/9/06 5:56 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

Beep,
All of your suspicions have easy and factual answers. All literal interpretations are reliable, and a snare to any hasty critic that wants to rush along drawing superficial conclusions. I'll try and show you.

RE "1. The tombs were opened. (This is not literal? )
2. Many bodies of the saints were raised. (This is not literal? )
3. They came out of the tombs. (This is not literal?)
4. They entered the holy sity. (This is not literal?)
5. They appeared to many. (This is not literal?)"

The raised body is shown by God to be different than the ordinary living body. See Jesus appearing and dissappearing after He left His tomb. I already pointed this out. I don't have a problem with tombs being visibly opened. It is easy to conclude by simply looking at the circumstances of the day that whatever there was of this event that was noticeable, to either the Jews or the Romans, would have been strenuously suppressed by each, out of sheer confusion and lack of being able to make sense of any of it. According to other examples of raised persons in the bible the bodies would have been quite invisible except for when they were appearing to whomever they were appearing to.

If we are to look at the passage literally, we cannot tell in what bodily form they came out of the tombs, how or in what form they entered Jerusalem, and who they appeared to. There is no indication that this was seen or even intended to be seen by anyone other than believers purely for their own encouragement. It was finished. Christ's current purpose was served. He had further revealed God, Himself and God's word to the world. He had fullfilled everything He was supposed to from the old testament prophesy. He fulfilled the law as foretold. He brought a means of peace and reconciliation to the world between God and men and free access to God now, through Him, for those that would simply look (behold) to Him and then reach out and take (believe-accept, recieve) what He has shown. He had further revealed the mystery of how God's plan for peace with the world, having used the nation of Israel as His means of implementing it, was moving forward and available now to all men. He also came to disarm the "spiritual forces of wickedness", and abolish the power of death over those who chose to accept Him as the Creator. We too will be raised. That was Jesus' predetermined function in coming to earth and then leaving the way He did. The bible also gives us indications of what that will be like. So that is the long and short of what a raised body would be like. The bible shows us what raised bodies are like here on earth and your imagination is useless in trying to add to that. Your imagination is taking the passage of Matt. where it does not allow itself to be taken. I have no problem with taking this passage literally, and it stands very well on its own. You can laugh at it simply because it does not give you all of the literal content you desire but that will not improve your understanding of it. It doesn't give us all the content we would like and I don't have a problem with that. Inject your own content into it at the risk of your own confusion.

Re "And if certain passages are open to interpretation,...."

Say no more. You've just committed the same frivolous error that the people you critisize committed.
There is no place for interpretation.
We know what the authors of the bible said. We had multitudes of samples of the writings of the bible as were in existance from the beginning and they confirmed one another. There is no question as to what God said. And granted there is much that we don't understand. Paul and Peter both separateley expressed concerns that they did not understand eveything they were being taught by God. But at the same time that the complete mind of God and His purposes were by our flesh nature unfathomable. And they were content with what they had recieved knowing conclusively where it was coming from.

Anything that is not clear, but is open to interpretation has to be regarded as interpretation and therefore questionable. If it cannot be taken literal from the text then it is interpretation. No interpretations allowed. There are many things in the bible which are not clear and if we chose to rely on a particular interpretation then the bible says we are to do it 'to ourselves', by ourselves, 'from faith'. Not to require it of others. So be gone with your interpretations, and don't use bad Christians to justify your critisizing Christianity.

"If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:26

This is an important Christian principle. A basic Christian principle spoken in strong terms. God hates sin. The world is self-willed, does not seek God, is disobedient to God and one day the world and those who don't comply will suffer His wrath. Anything that is of the flesh is opposed to God and must be reborn of the Spirit into the Body of His Son. God hates our sinful fleshly disobedient nature and anything that is not a part of His Son. If your mother or father or sibling (even your puppy) are not reborn of the Spirit then they are spiritually opposed to God, and remain abiding in the spiritually dark world that is opposed to God. Therefore, they are subject to His hatred of the world which does not seek Him, and so they must abide in our hate spiritually as well, if we are to truly follow Jesus spiritually. Get it? On a spiritual level we are supposed to hate them, but to show them the love of God as God has shown it tous by buying us back from His condemnation with Jesus blood.

It can be painful in this world to be a Christian because it is not easy to follow Christ on His terms until you fully understand them. And even then it's not easy.

And, again, I couldn't care less what many Christians agree on or disagree on things. Consensus does not rule in Christianity God's word does.

RE "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother- in-law...." - Matthew 10:34"

Firstly, Jesus came to bring spiritual peace between God and man, not on earth or in any other sense than spiritually on earth between God and man.

Now what does the scenario in this verse look like to you? It looks to me like a political squabble gone bad over the family holiday dinner. It's all family members not other members of a society or another culture or country. Let me try and put it this way. There are many things He says throughout His time here on earth which are intended to suggest principles understood in relation to other basic principles He's already spoken about somewhere else. This passage is obviously going back to the family thing and is a warning of how much the sway of family opinion can keep people from listening closely to and undestanding what Jesus is saying. No implications of warmongering in this passage.

So let "hate" mean hate, and "sword" mean sword. But if you can draw meaning from this passage that tells you what to do with the sword, to whom, and why, then you are more clairvoyant than I am. So all a Christian can do is put the sword down and get a grip on their zeal. There are also many very meaningful ways the bible would allow you to impute the figurative use of the word sword in there if you want. And in a very harmless nonviolent way. because the 'sword' is also referred to in the bible as the 'word of God'(bible, Christ), and is intended for use in our vebal defense, as we stand in defense inside the protective 'armor of God', which it always refers to as 'defensive' and not offensive or as an aggressive posture.

It's a hard passage to get comfortable with and best not be read into. It's also a good option to show others what interpretations they cannot read into passages than to give it exact meaning to others. To me Matt. 10 simply reinforces that one must put following the desires of Christ above following the desires of family. Many erroneous interpretations of this verse can be dismissed when they do not correspond to other clear and direct statements in the bible, much less correspond to a literal rendering of the verse at all. The verse seems relatively clear and harmless to me. In the wrong hands anything can be dangerous.

The bible certainly is not for part-timers to take lightly.

Re "And the religions which predate yours would probably consider yours to be a cheap fairytale too. So quid pro quo."

They all worship what they do not know. We don't. And when you put them side by side and look at substance, that's when they look like a cheap fairy tale, even to undiscerning minds.

Re "What about this one from Matthew 10:4-6 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

The Messiah was sent to Israel, to be the Light of the world through Israel. To the Jews first, then to the Gentiles as planned. Their own attention was fixated on themselves instead of scripture. It was just complex enough of a plan to be confusing to the hasty observer, but still fully explained as well as foretold.

Re "So, is it literally true that jesus died on the cross? Or was he just bashed around a bit, put into a tomb and staggered out a few days later? You see the problem. If the word cannot be taken literally, then my interpretation of events is as valid as yours."

Everything literally. Bible says Jesus died. No room for any other interpretation, just low-grade speculation.

Re "And if the bible cannot be taken literally in all it's forms, does jesus dying on the cross represent the sun dying through winter and being reborn at the beginning of spring?"

The bible contains the opposite of the concept you propose here. The bible emphasizes one death, one resurrection, and it would be an offensive thing in scripture to re-cruxify Him, or clebrate Him being re-cruxified. It clashes with the biblical truism that He died once and for all for mankind and any suggestion of Him dieing and rebirthing is at total odds with any scriptural content or message. Any mention of Jesus's death and ressurrection in relation to Fall and Spring is man-made and not a biblical principle. And there is no end to man's trying to create a god based on the seasons and worship what they do not know but instead wish. During how many countless times of public shame must the apostles have wished that they did not know what they did?

Re "If eyewitness accounts are automatically reliable evidence, then all the ancient people who claim to have seen miracles performed by their deities MUST be true without question as well."

Nobody said eyewitness accounts are automatically reliable. I'll say it again-logially assessed well corroborated eyewitness accounts can be used to recreate an event very accurately and successfully.

Re"Further more, there is no reliable evidence to support the claim that the Four Gospels were written by either Jesus or by his disciples, who were supposed eyewitnesses to his ministry.

Re"Rather, the existing evidence suggests strongly that they are the product of later Church tradition, written down no less than 50 to 60 years after the mission of Jesus, when that message had passed from the hands of his immediate followers to the non-Jews, i.e., Greeks and Romans whose religious background was rooted in the numerous pagan religions of that time."

These two statements of yours are able to be wholly refuted. None of the gospels claims to be written by Jesus. Two of the gospels themselves declare who the writer is. The texts make it self evident as well that the writer is who he says he is.

It can be shown the gospel of Mark was written 22 years after the death of Christ, or 55 A.D. The rest were written a relatively short time later. The church at the time, and what was forming into the traditional church, did not even even close to fully understand these to the point of having the ability to change them into something so confusing yet error free. The church was actually a mess with no solid understanding of them and even less of a desire to abide by them. Nor did anyone have the opportunity to change the record. There was no one record. Nor is there any indication or evidence the gospels were altered in any appreciable way other than simple writing errors

There is an abundant supply of record and references to ONE gospel record. One consistent group of documents floating around during the times of the very early church. And very little understanding of it. No evidence WHATSOEVER that it had been tampered with.

And yes, the traditional church immediately started to infuse pagan religious ideas into their practices and the basis for none of it can be found in the bible.

The passing of the manuscripts from the hands of the Jews to the non-Jews is more untenable man-made conspiracy theory that is laughable in light of what we can know for sure.

Re "The gospels were written not in aramaic, but in greek, which suggests strongly that they were NOT written as eye witness accounts by Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. "

It would suggest that to the uninformed only. Here's why. Greek is what everybody spoke. All over the Roman empire and beyond. Aramaic is what was commonly spoken among Jews. They were scattered from empire to empire for hundreds of years and that's what they wound up with as their native tongue at that time. Hebrew was not in ordinary useage any longer. And everyone spoke Greek. Jesus asked them to go out and proclaim the good news to all nations. Idiots would have written done it in provicial aramaic. Jesus Himself many times spoke to people outside of the Jewish community, so He had to have often spoke Greek as well. The bible makes several specific references when He does speak in Aramaic so it may be that He spoke predominantly in Greek. Everything was written in Greek as one would expect it to be.

Nothing really that tough to deal with here in your points if one has the knowledge and the desire to look at them earnestly and in an informed manner.

26/9/06 3:37 am  
Blogger Deacon Barry said...

The skeletal structure of man was no different 15,000 years ago than it is today - in fact it wasn't much different 150,000 years ago. 15,000 years ago, men and women were worshipping gods, making elaborate tools, making and wearing clothes, and doing lots of art - sculpture and painting, dance and drama. Symbols such as the wheeled cross and the swastika come from those times.They sang, gossiped, told stories in languages that contained the roots of today's languages. We do not know the languages they spoke, because they are unrecorded, but one, spoken in the steppes of Russia became Proto-Indo-European, which is the ancestor of all languages spoken by European and Middle-Eastern people - except for Basque, which is totally unrelated, and descends from an indigenous Iberian language that remained unswamped.
The Aboriginal people of Australia are not skeletally different, and they parted from the mainstream of humanity 50,000 years ago. 12,000 years ago, the Native American people colonised the Americas, no skeletal difference there. In fact, the only humans who were skeletally different at that time were the 'hobbits' (Homo Floresiensis) living on Flores in the East Indies.
Language has been around for hundreds of thousands of years, so of course its origins are lost in the mists of time. It has had ample time to develop from simple beginnings to the complex grammers we have today. Just because the roots are hidden from us, doesn't mean they weren't there.

26/9/06 9:23 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Greek is what everybody spoke. All over the Roman empire and beyond

I think you'll find that the Roman's spoke and wrote in Latin.

26/9/06 10:07 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:
You say one thing and then say another.

Example: "All literal interpretations are reliable, and a snare to any hasty critic that wants to rush along drawing superficial conclusions."

If something is taken literally, it is NOT interpreted or added to, it is taken on face value.

And then you go on to interpret the passages NOT according to what they literally say, but what you BELIEVE they say.

It isn't easy to conclude that "whatever there was of this event that was noticeable, to either the Jews or the Romans, would have been strenuously suppressed by each, out of sheer confusion and lack of being able to make sense of any of it."

We are talking about primitive people. People who have believed in talking bushes, talking donkeys and gods who do all sorts of supposedly miraclulous things.

So, I think that IF these things had been seen, or witnessed, they would have been considered to be part of the continuing parlance concerning the power of god.

RE: "According to other examples of raised persons in the bible the bodies would have been quite invisible except for when they were appearing to whomever they were appearing to."

Once again you are using a claim in the bible to back another claim. Ancient peoples have throughout their histories claimed to have communed with gods, to have had visitations from them and to have been special eyewitnesses to their events. I don't believe those accounts, nor do I believe the biblical ones.

"The raising of the body" has been a special concern for me in this exercise. The Catholic church, who basically ensured the survival and spread of christianity, did NOT condone cremation until 1963, BECAUSE the scriptures speak LITERALLY about the body being raised from the dead.

Example: "I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY AND THE LIFE EVERLASTING" Your interpretation is NOT about a literal body being raised, it is about the ghost floating about and going into jerusalem.

RE: "If we are to look at the passage literally, we cannot tell in what bodily form they came out of the tombs"

Literally: - the body is the body; the spirit is the spirit and a ghost is a ghost. You are getting further and further from the original LITERAL description of what supposedly happened if you begin to interpret "the body" as "the spirit".

You interpret the passages according to what you subjectively believe to be THE INTENT of the writer. Once you begin to do that, you are NOT taking the passage literally or at face value.

What it does mean is that you are claiming "special knowledge" which supposedly allows you to interpret the intent of those ancient writings. Are you claiming "special knowledge" that allows you to interpret the intent of god?

The passage literally states that the bodies of the saints were raised. This must refer to "jewish saints" or hasids as the word "saint" is a more recent description of a holy man from catholicism. The word comes from the latin "sanctus" which means holy.

And the passage does not refer to "bodily shapes of the spirit", it literally says that the BODIES of the saints were raised.

RE: "You can laugh at it simply because it does not give you all of the literal content you desire but that will not improve your understanding of it."

You seem to have a problem with understanding what literal means.

LITERAL: - Being in accordance with, conforming to, or upholding the exact or primary meaning of a word or words. This means the exact meaning of a word without interpretation. Therefore literally, a body means a body and not a representation of a spirit.

RE: "There is no place for interpretation."

But you have been interpreting according to what you believe. Which is why when the bible says "the bodies of the saints were raised", you interpret it to mean "the spirits of the saints were raised in the shapes of bodies."

RE: "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:26

I know how believers interpret this because I know how I would interpret it if I was a believer. And they do NOT take it literally or at face value because if they did, it has jesus telling them to hate their families, and their own life.

Once again, I think you have a major problem with understanding what "literal" means, so I will post the definition once more for you. To take something literally, means to take it without interpretation, or without assuming the intent of the writer.

LITERAL: - Being in accordance with, conforming to, or upholding the exact or primary meaning of a word or words. Therefore, the literal meaning is to hate your family and your life in order to be a disciple.

RE: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother- in-law...." - Matthew 10:34"

You then go on to interpret this to mean that jesus comes to bring peace. Maybe you are unaware that you spend your time interpretting the passages to better suit your religious predilections.

Whereas literally he says that he doesn't come to bring peace. He has come to cause division. Not only has he come to cause division, but he comes with a sword to add a threat of violence.

RE: "And, again, I couldn't care less what many Christians agree on or disagree on things. Consensus does not rule in Christianity God's word does."

If God's word, is the bible, it appears to be open to many interpretations unless it is taken literally. Do you presume to know what god intended to say in the bible and that is why you interpret it so often to suit?

Do you presume to know the intent of god's words so you help by clarifying it and interpreting it?

RE: "And the religions which predate yours would probably consider yours to be a cheap fairytale too. So quid pro quo."

And your reply is - "They all worship what they do not know. We don't." They knew as well as you do. In other words, neither of you KNOW, both or all of you BELIEVE or BELIEVE that you know. To claim you KNOW is to claim you KNOW the mind of god. Are you claiming to know the mind of god?

RE: "The bible contains the opposite of the concept you propose here. The bible emphasizes one death, one resurrection, and it would be an offensive thing in scripture to re-cruxify Him, or clebrate Him being re-cruxified. It clashes with the biblical truism that He died once and for all for mankind and any suggestion of Him dieing and rebirthing is at total odds with any scriptural content or message."

Sun worship symbolises the death of the sun, knowing that the sun doesn't die; knowing that it returns to be the light of the world and the sustainer of life. Just as you worship the death of jesus, while all the time believing that jesus doesn't die and that he is the sustainer of life and the light of the world.

So it isn't a matter of re-crucifying either the sun, or the son of the sun, but a matter of celebrating the rebirth of the sun or the son. I find the parallels quite compelling, but I am sure you don't, as you have picked a religion and it is always hard to unpick a religion once it has been picked . :)

RE: "What about this one from Matthew 10:4-6 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

And your reply - "The Messiah was sent to Israel, to be the Light of the world through Israel. To the Jews first, then to the Gentiles as planned." Not according to jesus's plan. According to Paul's plan perhaps, but not a plan ennunciated by jesus. His instructions were to go to the lost children of Israel and to specifically, or literally, NOT go to the gentiles or the samaritans.

So what you more accurately have is Paulianism, not Jesusanity or Christianity. Paul is the one who decided to carry "the message" outside of the jews. jesus literally said not to do so.

RE: "These two statements of yours are able to be wholly refuted. None of the gospels claims to be written by Jesus. Two of the gospels themselves declare who the writer is. The texts make it self evident as well that the writer is who he says he is."

I agree that none of them are written by jesus, but the gospels claim to represent the specific or literal words spoken by jesus.

It is accepted in many theological circles that the gospels are ATTRIBUTED to matthew, mark, luke and john, but that no one actually knows who wrote them. They were attributed to them as this would supposedly lend authority to the words within.
Who wrote the Bible? (Part 4) http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbible4.html

What it basically comes down to is this >> You believe that the bible is the word of god and I don't.

Afterall, it all comes down to whether you believe in magic or not.

26/9/06 10:54 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Deacon,
"The skeletal structure of man was no different 15,000 years ago than it is today"

I don't think you can accurately say that.

Skeletally modern man first appeared 30-40,000 years ago. Did not learn to garden until about 9,000 B.C. and had no elaborate tools until a few thousand years after that. I'll gladly put a new creature at right around 9,000 years ago and call it a new creation, because it exploded in advancement virtually from nothing. All at the same time across several continents. Different races of people who came from one very diverse gene pool all at the same point in their evolution. A pretty unlikely scenario to happen by chance.

All those people you describe flamboyantly at the beginning of your comment were exhibiting behavior slightly more organized and advanced than basic animal behavior. Playing, making joyful noises, scratching pictures on things, there may have been a primitive language of sorts started here or there, though like you say, there is not much recorded evidence by them so they must have had great memories. Or just very small minds. It's concievable that God created a new man around 9,000 years ago. Is it just coincidence that that's where the bible puts it.

Everyone through history as been worshipping gods because God has made His existence self-evident in nature and all of creation.

26/9/06 12:26 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

Ted,
"I think you'll find that the Roman's spoke and wrote in Latin."

Many Romans knew Latin, Greek was by far the prevailing language in the Roman empire at the time of Christ.

26/9/06 12:33 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

Beep,

"If something is taken literally, it is NOT interpreted or added to, it is taken on face value."

The core definition of the word interprete is "to explain the meaning of".

The bible is not open to interpretation. You use God's word to explain God's word. If you have a problem knowing what is meant by the author of a word or passage, then you have to ask the author, such as what a 'raised' 'body' is. Common sense. Not put words into his mouth or rely on your own mundane understanding of those words used by yourself in unrelated contexts.

In about 24 hours I've got a little more to say.

26/9/06 12:50 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd: The literal meaning of something is something which IS NOT OPEN TO INTERPRETATION.

26/9/06 1:17 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

LITERAL : ~ in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical: the literal meaning of a word.

NOT what you interpret the word to mean.

26/9/06 1:22 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

I'll grant you Todd that Latin wasn't quite as popular in Jerusalem itself, still spoken and written but as popular as Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, the three main languages in use in that city at the time. In Rome and within the Roman empire however, Latin was not only the language of politics, it was also the language of the common man.

26/9/06 4:25 pm  
Blogger Deacon Barry said...

The cave paintings of Lasceaux and the Venus of Willendorf statue are artistic creations of high order. Spears, spear throwers and boomerangs are not primitive tools. All the remains of the coastal civilisations of ice age times have been submerged by the rising sea levels following the melting of the ice sheets.
Modern humans have been around for at least 200,000 years, but for some of that time we shared the world with Homo Erectus, Homo Floresiensis, and in Europe, Homo Neanderthalis, whose brain capacity was even larger than ours.

27/9/06 7:46 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Ooops, sorry, that should read; but not as popular as Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek

They all worship what they do not know. We don't.

"Because, excuse me, we have the truth."

What makes you think the Greeks didn't "know" their deities or what they wanted? These people fall well within your time frame of the "new creation" and on the surface at least, seem to have known theirs a whole lot better than anyone has come to "knowing" god. Each of theirs had a well defined personality and a specific purpose. Can you get any closer to knowing the personality of an esoteric, or ethereal entity? Job 11:7-8 tells us that we can't possibly fathom any of God's mysteries.

27/9/06 10:27 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Beep,
"RE todd: The literal meaning of something is something which IS NOT OPEN TO INTERPRETATION."


You've just proven that there is no such thing as a 'literal interpretation'. However, I don't think that is going to stand up under critical analysis.

"Re LITERAL : ~ in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical: the literal meaning of a word.

NOT what you interpret the word to mean."

I've forced no such interpreting on you. Shortly, I will show you.

Ted,
Greek was ultimately to send Latin into retirement and completely replace it as the prevailing language of the Roman Empire. There is every reason to beleive that it was happening at the time of Jesus. That's why the roman catholic church used it, because no one knew what they were saying and neither did they.

Deacon,
The Venus sculpture is not very impressive and it is relatively recent. Birds have made much more complex and beautiful nests than that rare stone age artist. How could anyone look around at all the beauty and not try and create some themselves? Their attempts were terribly unimpressive, or I should say attempt shouldn't I.

Those are too primitive tools.

You're speculating on the coastal civilizations. Drives the imagination but doesn't give us anything useful.

You've completely mischaracterized the concept of brain capacity haven't you? On the terms you've described in your above comment on brain capacity, an elephant would have more brain capaciy than a man does. Do you want to compare test scores between an elephant and a man. Aren't you aware that it is intellectual brain capacity that is relevant to the discussion here? You've stated that neanderthal man had more brain capacity than modern man. Are you sure that historical analysis is something you want to be doing?

I apologize, like all of you I have a very hectic life and it is bed time and I must go there. I will surely finish my comment first thing in the morning. Thank you for your patience.

27/9/06 12:23 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:

There is the "literal meaning" of a phrase, passage, word, or group of words, and then there is "figurative interpretation."

You do NOT rely on the literal meaning of words, you interpret them to mean something other than their literal meaning.

In other words, you ADD or SUBTRACT from their literal meaning.

You interpret them to mean something other or more than their literal meaning.

27/9/06 12:58 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd: Example ~

This is the literal meaning of a "sword"

N. ~ a weapon having various forms but consisting typically of a long, straight or slightly curved blade, sharp-edged on one or both sides, with one end pointed and the other fixed in a hilt or handle. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sword

So if I am using or accepting the literal meaning of a "sword", it means just that.

Once I interpret the sword to represent "a philosphical division between people" or I attach or substract other meanings or characteristics to it, I am using a "figurative interpretation" of the word, sword.

I hope this makes it clear to you.

27/9/06 1:05 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

Beep,

Re "So if I am using or accepting the literal meaning of a "sword", it means just that."

I specifically said...

"So let "hate" mean hate, and "sword" mean sword. But if you can draw meaning from this passage that tells you what to do with the sword, to whom, and why, then you are more clairvoyant than I am."

Re"Once I interpret the sword to represent "a philosphical division between people"

Who said this, I didn't. I did entertain a figurative interpretation of the 'sword' in that passage that I would not disagree with. But that admittedly is an interpretation on my part that I am not asking you to believe. I am content to take the sword passage literally, and stated as much.

Re"You do NOT rely on the literal meaning of words, you interpret them to mean something other than their literal meaning."

Re"In other words, you ADD or SUBTRACT from their literal meaning."

Re"You interpret them to mean something other or more than their literal meaning."

I have not and you cannot show me otherwise.

My interpretations are strictly my own and I don't suggest that they have to be yours, I only explain why they are mine. I make a distinction between my interpretation and what the bible literally states. Anytime I mention a biblical principle I am prepared to back it up with literal language from the bible in support. No interpretation necessary.

Here's the long and the short of it.

Re"So, I think that IF these things had been seen, or witnessed, they would have been considered to be part of the continuing parlance concerning the power of god."

This is not a bad point you've made. Except we do not know to what extent or to who they were seen and what parlance may have ensued. The parlance surely existed among the Christians. They did not dwell on all of these physical sightings. Anyone of the religions of the time could have made similar sighting claims and gained unfounded credibility from such the same way. God has always known that. What the Jews and early Christians were intent upon was going back and seeing how the coming of, death, and reserrection of the Messiah Jesus could be proved from scripture. That was the good stuff. The sightings simply helped to confirm what Christ had predicted and the apostles and many others witnessed first hand. The parlance that followed changed the whole world dramatically. How much parlance do you want?

Re"We are talking about primitive people. People who have believed in talking bushes, talking donkeys and gods who do all sorts of supposedly miraclulous things."

We are also talking about a God to whom the physical manipulation of anything on earth simply by His own basic directing of energy any way He chose, would be simple. Any of the miracles in the bible are easily explained through intense energy manipulaion to make things look like or do anything He wants.

Re"Literally: - the body is the body; the spirit is the spirit and a ghost is a ghost. You are getting further and further from the original LITERAL description of what supposedly happened if you begin to interpret "the body" as "the spirit".

Re"You interpret the passages according to what you subjectively believe to be THE INTENT of the writer."

That is exactly what scholarship requires. That is how you come to an accurate understanding of what the writer intends to say. That is how I get my understanding of passages. I am reiterating what the bible literally tells us about bodies and spirits. Is it a proper literal understanding or interpretation of a passage or book. The literal construction of the passage answers that.

What if I see the word 'spirit'? do I know what a spirit is? Do I go to Marvel Comic Books or the Twilight Zone to find out what a spirit is? No, I look at what the author is meaning that a spirit is. And the same goes for 'body', 'raised' or 'raised body'. In the dictionary it's many things. Something can't literally be every thing the dictionary defines it as. You go to the source and allow it to construct it's own meaning and then decide if it is supportable enough to be the Truth.

You must make any authority prove itself and not confuse things by injecting silly prenotions you may have and which it does not say.

Re"What it does mean is that you are claiming "special knowledge" which supposedly allows you to interpret the intent of those ancient writings. Are you claiming "special knowledge" that allows you to interpret the intent of god?"

Again, were did I make such a claim of having special knowledge and in what way?

Re"The raising of the body" has been a special concern for me in this exercise. The Catholic church, who basically ensured the survival and spread of christianity, did NOT condone cremation until 1963, BECAUSE the scriptures speak LITERALLY about the body being raised from the dead."

This is an religious cult. Don't try and understand anything they say. This is not Christianity. It's a political organization who've usurp and abused the bible for their own political gain. And preserved original Christian documents.

RE: "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:26"

Re"I know how believers interpret this because I know how I would interpret it if I was a believer. And they do NOT take it literally or at face value because if they did, it has jesus telling them to hate their families, and their own life."

Now you can imagine yourself as a believer and know what you would think if you were? That's how Alice in wonderland works, not the human mind. Granted you can imagine what you would believe and believe what you imagine, but not know what you would believe IF you believed it.

Again, take this literally(to hate your family and yourself). And then, don't stop there, read more of the bible to see what He means by it and then see whether it makes sense. And forget about listening to other confused Christians, just as I would hope you don't believe every statement that comes from every athiest.

Re" You then go on to interpret this to mean that jesus comes to bring peace. Maybe you are unaware that you spend your time interpretting the passages to better suit your religious predilections."

No I don't, I go on to say that Jesus came to establish peace between God and man spiritually. Not at all between men. When you recieve the gift of God's Spirit you have inner peace with other men, but that does not mean they will have inner or outward peace towards you.

This would be one of the verses where I get that from:

1Cor. 5:19, "...God was in Christ reconcilling the world to Himself,..."

That is Jesus bringing peace between God and the world through Christ. For that reason Jesus is considered peace and since He lived among men, you get the phrase 'peace among men'.

Regarding the bodies of the 'saints' being raised. Saints are believers. Saints in the old testament were ones set apart for God. Now the apostles while disavowing Judahism grabbed the word for the purpose of signifying believers because it had the necessary meaning of 'one's set aside for God'. Because the old Jewish 'saints' are no longer 'one's set apart for God' but the believers in Christ are. Just as they could prove from their scripture.

Re"If God's word, is the bible, it appears to be open to many interpretations unless it is taken literally. Do you presume to know what god intended to say in the bible and that is why you interpret it so often to suit?"

Yes, I presume God intended to say exactly what He has said and that there is only one correct understanding or interpretation. If it is not clear then don't make your own up. God was clear on eveything we need to know. There is much more that we are not told and do not need to know to confidently know our status with God.

Do I 'interpret it to suit myself'? Show me where. Did you come to the part in the bible yet that tells us we have the mind of Christ? And how the Spirit works with us to assure that we understand the bible literally? All a literal understanding. Or literal interpretation, if you will. If you don't like 'interpretation', then just stick with 'literal understanding'. But don't constrain people in the bible from speaking figuratively once in awhile. We all do it and it can be a pleasing thing that enhances our understanding sometimes.

Re"And your reply is - "They all worship what they do not know. We don't." They knew as well as you do. In other words, neither of you KNOW, both or all of you BELIEVE or BELIEVE that you know.

Yes, just like Ted knows from his marvel comic books and the late late show what raised bodies look like, they knew what their gods were, and according to what God has very reliably revealed to us, we KNOW, Who is Truth, and yes, we can know it and believe it as well.

Again, you find the parrallels to sun worship interesting. I find them quaint. It's just not in Christainity. We don't care about the sun. Eventually in Christianity the sun is destroyed. Surely neanderthal man and people of like intellectual capacity will look up and worship the sun. The sun holds no importance to as Christians. Is it a subconscious thing? Where, how?

Re"And your reply - "The Messiah was sent to Israel, to be the Light of the world through Israel. To the Jews first, then to the Gentiles as planned." Not according to jesus's plan. According to Paul's plan perhaps, but not a plan ennunciated by jesus. His instructions were to go to the lost children of Israel and to specifically, or literally, NOT go to the gentiles or the samaritans."

You're biblically illiterate after I've already explained this one to you. Maybe it's my fault. Jesus explains when and how He is turning from the Jews fully describing their new status, as being set aside to the Jews, and why. He says it better than I do.

When looked at in the light, athiest doctrine is desparate inuendo. Sorry. You've failed to show where I've interpreted or imagined or any other whacko thing about God's word or the existance of God's word..

I'll bet this won't be the end of the discussion, but surely we are getting close.

28/9/06 2:48 am  
Blogger Deacon Barry said...

The Venus of Willendorf is 24,000 years old, hardly recent. And it is a thing of beauty. Elephants may have bigger brains, but they've also got bigger bodies. Their brain/mass ratio is less than ours. A Neanderthal's mass, on the other hand, is the same as ours, therefore his brain/mass ratio is greater.

28/9/06 5:45 am  
Anonymous ted said...

If you lived late in the Roman era in the Eastern empire (which was soon to become the Byzantine empire), then you probably spoke Greek. If you were writing however, you'd still be doing it in latin simply because it was still the "official" language and was used in the Eastern empire in all official contexts, right up until about 550ad.

Latin doesn't actually fall out of favour until about 600ad. At this point, the catholic church is still writing everything in Late Latin (similar to classical and encompasses the period 200 - 550ad). During the period 600 - 750ad, the church begins to recognise that latin has become a "dead" language and starts to use local popular languages.

28/9/06 9:41 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: Interpretation of the bible VS the literal meaning.

You are making my point quite successfully. You suggest that both interpretation and the literal meaning are valid ways to "gain" from biblical scripture.

What you fail to acknowledge is that each time a passage is indiviually interpreted to mean something other than it's literal meaning, you are in fact, presuming to know the intent of the writer.

If the bible is the inerrant word of god, you are presuming to know the intent of god, or the apostles, or whoever is supposed to have written which parts.

You read the bible from a position of faith and that is why you can manipulate it so it appears to make sense to you.

I read it from a position of nonbelief, therefore most of it is ludicrous to me. I read it with a critical eye, you read it from the point of view of faith.

You read it from the point of view of someone who has already accepted that it is the word of god and hence everything in it is true and I read it from the point of view of a nonbeliever and hence the claims within appear ridiculous to me.

For me, the bible is just another example of another religion where extraordinary claims are made and where these extraordinary claims are to be accepted on faith.

1. Faith that the bible is the word of god.
2. Faith that because the bible is the word of god that everything in it is either literally or figuratively true.

So, you continue with the same circular argument which goes something like this.

1.The bible is the word of god and therefore everything in it must be true.
2.God exists because the bible is the word of god and everything in it must be true.

My argument goes along these lines.
1. The bible is a book which claims to be the word of a god.
2. Many books and writings claim to be the word of a god/gods.
3. What makes the claims in this book any more credible than the thousands of other claims in other ancient writings?
4. What do the god claims have in common?
5. They each claim extraordinary or "supernatural powers."
6. Many claim an extraordinary birth or a virgin birth.
7. Many claim to have been born on December 25th, the winter solstice.
8. Most are life/death/rebirth/ deities.
9. Many offer salvation based on faith.
10. Many claimed the ability to do miraculous healings.
11. Many claim to have died and risen.
12. Some also exist as a "divine trinity."
13. Most do battle with the "prince of darkness" or the forces of evil.
14. Many had followers who supposedly witnessed the miraculous works of their leader.

Why the similarities? My opinion is because they each borrowed from the other. If a successful religion had a virgin birth, other religions incorporated that into their religion, and so on.

Religions evolve. (The christian religion continues its evolution with hundreds of sects each claiming that they are the "real version.")

The god claims are also remarkably similar because they catered to the taste of the people who would be inclined to support them. I would call it "the god template."

Support guaranteed power, power guaranteed wealth, wealth guaranteed political dominance either locally or nationally. And today, we see the most successful of these religions vying for international power as well.

Why do the claims of these deities seem ludicrous to you? I would suggest it is because you do NOT read their writings or interpret their words through the "veil of faith."

Similarly, I don't interpret the words or works of these deities through the "veil of faith" either.

I just add the bible, the torah and the quran to the list of books that I don't read "through a veil of faith."

28/9/06 11:34 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Ted,
Bad news. I found a comment of yours from the other day that I had missed.

Re"As to tombs being opened and "saints" being "raised" I'll leave that to Beep. I certainly couldn't have said it any better, but you already knew that..."

But you really out-did yourself this time.

"But come on Todd, everyone's heard of Frankenstein, surely. I'm not 100% sure he classes as a proper zombie though seeing as how he was reanimated with electricity and was meant to be sentient. Perhaps you can bring your formidible knowledge to bear with this one, but the use of the dead is what's important for zombies. Bits of dead bodies stitched together to make a whole body then re-animated? Hmm not sure..."

Ted are defining your reality here with make-believe fictional stories, the late late show, and comic books.

You say "These are some examples of "real" zombie stories.You are right though, the bible does seem to pale in this area when put alongside those gems."

Why, because there is no one running and screaming in the bible? Or no one with an eyeball hanging out? In that respect the bible pales. So I understand, you prefer the "real" zombies. And your following comments help me undestand that.

Re"Contradictions" (although, I think I preferred "contractions"), allow me to explain. A concubine ISN'T married to her lover. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (Kings 11:3 and Deuteronomy 17:17). At some point along the way I'm sure one of those 1000 odd ladies possibly coveted Solomon, who would have been another woman's husband. Now correct me if I'm wrong, please, but isn't that what the bible says adultery is?"

Oh, so this is one of those contradictions you accuse the bible of which you've been holding back.

You try and say here what the bible says adultery is:

"The coveting of someone elses wife or husband? "Thou shall not covet thy neibours wife" (Exodus 20:17). "Does this apply to women as well? Well Leviticus 20:10 doesn't really allow for it not to; "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife — with the wife of his neighbour — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death." Neither does Deuteronomy 5:18 "You shall not commit adultery". Well then it would seem, on the face of it at least, that Solomon consorted with about 999 adulteresses. Oh sorry, bigomy was ok back then wasn't it. That means there was probably only 300 or so adulteresses."

Concubines were low-grade wives. He didn't covet or have an adulterus affair with another man's wife. Polygamy was not forbidden until Christ during the age of grace.

But I'm guessing he was an adulterer in some way. Regardless, if you read Solomon's story, he was severely punished for two things, and one of them was for taking wives from other nations, which was prohibited. His father was severely punished for his adulterous affair with Bathsheba. Adultery was always alive and well in the nation of Israel and always will be. I'm not sure what your point here is. As you know, since you have studied the bible, every one of the men and women God chose to advance His plan in the bible messed up. That's God's point, remember, everyone needs someone to intercede for them before Him if they expect to be in His presence hereafter. That is His whole expressed point for sending Christ. Christ enables us to enter the kingdom of heaven inspite of our filth. Moses disobeyed Him countless times. There was no one in the old testament who did not sin repeatedly and disobey God, regardless of what your sunday school teacher told you. So why is it any surprise if Solomon was an adulterer? God provided a wonderful display of His personality in His dealings wih Solomon for our benefit. I don't see what it matters if he was an adulterer or not. But then there are a lot of unique things that go on in your mind, let me explain.

Re"As to the temple, well when the Romans got there, there was defiantley still a "veil" as well as a working temple with priests and everything. I think it's time for you to put the bible down and read some real history Todd."

When the Romans got there. Interesting snippet of history you've found there Ted. So the Romans did verify Christ and Christianity, how convenient? Except for one thing. You've made this up.

So when the Romans got there, Ted, they saw the veil. Those priests must have put a new one up already, or perhaps the Romans saw a veil torn down the middle. The Romans could settle this whole matter! Did they see a torn veil or not? Wow, this is a conspiracy theory dream come true! Ted this is worse than ludicrous. Either you are dishonest or you've fallen prey to some classic athiest research on this veil subject which you showed that you had no clue about at the beginning of these comments the other day. It was in your first or second comment.

Re"I think it's time for you to put the bible down and read some real history Todd."

Your dangerous Ted.

Re"So you see, I have read the bible and I study it quite a bit. That's why I have as much trouble with it's "facts" as I do. There was a time that I too believed in it all, but my eyes were opened."

It's funny what opens your eyes.

Re"So, I may not be best at writing and I may have stuff to learn Todd, but I am quite obviously prepared to admit to it, so please keep your snide comments to yourself and take your Christianity with a little humility, as your Lord and Master obviously intended you to..."

So, you're "quite obviously prepared to admit it"? Then let's see how prepared you are to admit that you are a liar or a fool then.

Ted, don't expect people to suffer long with you when you make claims of this caliber.

28/9/06 11:43 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd and ted:

Tsk tsk. Let's play nicely children. After all the gods are watching. Or not...(chortle)

28/9/06 11:49 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Beep,
Well great, you've just unloaded your standard anti-religious arguement on me that has nothing to do with anything we've talked about. It is kind of like the 'veil' of generalizations.

And let's look at this powerful list:

"My argument goes along these lines.
1. The bible is a book which claims to be the word of a god.
2. Many books and writings claim to be the word of a god/gods.

Give me one example. The book of Mormon. Well give me one other example.

3. What makes the claims in this book any more credible than the thousands of other claims in other ancient writings?

Have you listened to a thing I've said? I've told you all about it.

4. What do the god claims have in common?

Nothing with the God of the bible.

5. They each claim extraordinary or "supernatural powers."
6. Many claim an extraordinary birth or a virgin birth.

These are stories, not records. and none claim to be the word of God. Can't you tell the difference.

7. Many claim to have been born on December 25th, the winter solstice.

Christians don't claim Christ was born on Dec. 25, we guess Him as being born in the spring sometime if anthing. We actually don't pretend to know. We don't care.

8. Most are life/death/rebirth/ deities.

They are grade school descriptions, in story form, not consistent detailed record. A grade schooler would see no similarity.

9. Many offer salvation based on faith.

None. Islam is documentably an of-shoot copycat religion of Christianity. Even they don't. Not on faith but on works of faith.

10. Many claimed the ability to do miraculous healings.

Many? The ones that are are random disconnected stories that make no sense traceable to someone who was influenced by hearing about Christianity. there's people all over the country that claim miraculous healings with no reference to God. What''s the point. How would this eliminate the poosibility of the one true God?

11. Many claim to have died and risen.

They were based on nothing and laughed out of existence.

12. Some also exist as a "divine trinity."

None. Much of Christianity does not even make that claim. The trinity is a interpretation that the bible does not expressly prove. All Christians have to accept that and most do. The trinity is regarded as likely but not absolute truth. The Trinity is not a concept that the bible is bent on proving and 'literally' does not exist. I'd like to know the others. Even one other. I'm sure they were flash-in-the-pan religions made up by some poor fellow in his bedroom late at ight.

13. Most do battle with the "prince of darkness" or the forces of evil.

The tendency for bad fiction goes way back. That's what distinguishes the bible. You can't even call it bad fiction. There are non-Christians who regard it as the greatest piece of literature ever.

14. Many had followers who supposedly witnessed the miraculous works of their leader."

None credible or documentable.
Or can you give me an example.

I've read about all this religious history and none of it can be taken seriously. Any more seriously than attempts to make something out of nothing. Or just fleeting attempts to tantilize the imagination, patterned after somthing they heard somewhere.

Re"Why do the claims of these deities seem ludicrous to you? "

They're unsupported. They lack anything except superficiality. Because there is 'NOTHING THERE' to know about them to the extent of something to believe in. That is a vey easy question.

Re"Similarly, I don't interpret the words or works of these deities through the "veil of faith" either."

Where have I. Faith has never even entered this discussion.

Well thank you very much for your exchange. I was curious and I've learned much. Again, thank you.

28/9/06 12:40 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:
"Well great, you've just unloaded your standard anti-religious arguement on me that has nothing to do with anything we've talked about. It is kind of like the 'veil' of generalizations."

Firstly, I don't consider my comments to be anti-religious unless you come from the position that religion cannot be discussed. Secondly, it has a lot to do with what was being discussed. I wanted to explain to you that the reason the biblical claims seem logical and reasonable to you is because you view them through the eyes of someone who already believes what they say implicitly. That is, you view them through a "veil of faith". You do not question them as I do, because to do so, would be to think critically. Thinking critically about religion is not conducive to the preservation of faith.

RE : "Give me examples of other writings or books which claim to be the word of god. "
The answer is >> all of them.
A good place for you to start is 1. The Internet Sacred Text Archive http://www.sacred-texts.com/index.htm Or 2. The Golden Bough http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/frazer/index.htm

RE: "3. What makes the claims in this book any more credible than the thousands of other claims in other ancient writings?" And your reply >> "Have you listened to a thing I've said? I've told you all about it." Sorry, your replies do not make any of it seem more credible than any of the other god claims.

RE: "4. What do the god claims have in common?" And your reply >>> "Nothing with the God of the bible. "
Well, that is a little unfair. They all claim to be gods for a start. They all claim to have supernatural powers. They all claim that they deserve worship. They all claim that they are the right one.

RE: "5. They each claim extraordinary or "supernatural powers." 6. Many claim an extraordinary birth or a virgin birth." And your reply >>> These are stories, not records. and none claim to be the word of God. Can't you tell the difference." They are all stories, the difference is that you believe your story to be true, while dismissing all the other stories as untrue. What is the difference between a myth and a true story? The difference is BELIEF. You can quite happily believe yours isn't a myth while condemning all the others as myths. To the ancient peoples who worshipped their gods, their gods were as real as yours is to you. If you were born in ancient greece, you probably would be claiming that Apollo is the one true god. There are records of many of the "god claims". You should be able to find many of these records on the sacred texts archive.

RE: "7. Many claim to have been born on December 25th, the winter solstice." And your reply >>>
"Christians don't claim Christ was born on Dec. 25, we guess Him as being born in the spring sometime if anthing. We actually don't pretend to know. We don't care." Well, some do. Especially the ignorant ones. But if you didn't really care about when he was born, don't make a fuss when someone wishes you "happy holidays" or "happy winter solstice" on Xmas day.

RE: "8. Most are life/death/rebirth/ deities." And your reply >>> "They are grade school descriptions, in story form, not consistent detailed record. A grade schooler would see no similarity." Hang on, previously you said these records/ texts didn't exist, so which one is it? They exist? They don't? The category life-death-rebirth deity also known as a "dying-and-rising" god is a convenient means of classifying the many divinities in world mythology or religion who are born, suffer death or an eclipse or other death-like experience, pass a phase in the underworld among the dead, and are subsequently reborn, in either a literal or symbolic sense. Such deities might include Osiris, Adonis, Jesus, and Mithras. Female deities who passed into the kingdom of death and returned include Inanna and Persephone, the central figure of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

RE: "9. Many offer salvation based on faith." And your reply >>> "None. Islam is documentably an of-shoot copycat religion of Christianity. Even they don't. Not on faith but on works of faith."
Certainly it is presumed by many religions that belief in the god coupled with deeds which honor the god will bring salvation. The god will smile on you in the afterlife. One example of salvation through belief is to be found in the religion which revolved around Tammuz. Tammuz was an ancient babylonian god. Tammuz suffered a painful death in order to become mankind's saviour. On the third day, some accounts claimed, Tammuz was resurrected into a new life of eternal blessedness.

RE: "10. Many claimed the ability to do miraculous healings." And your reply >>> "Many? The ones that are are random disconnected stories that make no sense traceable to someone who was influenced by hearing about Christianity. there's people all over the country that claim miraculous healings with no reference to God. What''s the point. How would this eliminate the possibility of the one true God?"

Firstly, of course ancient gods claimed to be able to heal the sick, or that they would imbue their loyal followers with these powers. One example is Mourishimal. Mourishimal is claimed to be The Healing Hand God of healing, peace, and spring. Though his disciples can use their powers to heal, they often will not use this power without some expression of devotion to their god. Secondly, these religions predate christianity. Thirdly, I am not trying to eliminate the possibility of one true god. I am showing you that many of the claims of your supposed one true god have been made prior to the creation of yours. Even the idea of "one true god" isn't original. That one stems from Egypt.

RE: "11. Many claim to have died and risen." And your reply >>> "They were based on nothing and laughed out of existence." No, they were based on the same need for god belief that you have. They were believed then, in the same way that you believe yours now. They were not laughed out of existence, they were either incorporated into other religions, or powerful nations destroyed other nations and made the worship of the traditional gods a crime or a sin. Not before they borrowed some of the ideas from them though.

RE: "12. Some also exist as a "divine trinity." And your reply>>>> "None. Much of Christianity does not even make that claim. The trinity is a interpretation that the bible does not expressly prove. All Christians have to accept that and most do. The trinity is regarded as likely but not absolute truth. The Trinity is not a concept that the bible is bent on proving and 'literally' does not exist. I'd like to know the others. Even one other. I'm sure they were flash-in-the-pan religions made up by some poor fellow in his bedroom late at ight."

Other religions and godheads have a trinity. Devaki, the radiant Virgin of the Hindu mythology, bore Krishna to the god Vishnu (second god of the Trimurthi (also called the Hindu Trinity). Krishna is the second person of the Hindu Trinity: (1) Brahma, (2) Vishnu, (3) Siva. Krishna is the incarnation of Vishnu. The Greek triad of Zeus, Athena, and Apollo also preceded the christian trinity. As far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was common. That influence was also prevalent in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries before, during, and after Christ.

RE: "13. Most do battle with the "prince of darkness" or the forces of evil." And your reply >>> "The tendency for bad fiction goes way back. That's what distinguishes the bible. You can't even call it bad fiction. There are non-Christians who regard it as the greatest piece of literature ever." You consider it bad fiction because you don't believe it. I consider all the stories to be "bad fiction" because I don't believe any of them.

RE: "14. Many had followers who supposedly witnessed the miraculous works of their leader." And your answer>>>> "None credible or documentable. Or can you give me an example. I've read about all this religious history and none of it can be taken seriously. Any more seriously than attempts to make something out of nothing. Or just fleeting attempts to tantilize the imagination, patterned after somthing they heard somewhere."

Firstly, it is documented. Secondly, yes, I can give you an example. Thirdly, you claim you have read all about them and yet you continue to claim that no documentation exists. Fourthly, many of them ARE patterned after previous religions. Just as christianity is patterned after judaism and judaism is patterned after the cultures and religions which preceded it. Furthermore, inscribed about 3,500 years ago,1500 years before Jesus’ alleged advent, on the walls of the Temple at Luxor were images of the Annunciation, Immaculate Conception, Birth and Adoration of Horus, with Thoth announcing to the Virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus; with Kneph the 'Holy Ghost,' impregnating the virgin; and with the infant being attended by three kings, or magi, bearing gifts. In addition, in the catacombs at Rome are pictures of the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis—the original 'Madonna and Child'. And even monotheism isn't original. Egypt for a time worshipped "The aten" probably the first recorded instance of monotheism.

Now back to the disciples as witnesses. Horus, for example had 12 disciples, two of who were his 'witnesses” and were named 'Anup' and 'Aan'. Just as Jesus allegedly raised Lazarus from the dead, Horus was supposed to have raised El-Azar-us from the dead. Mithras had 12 companions or disciples and was considered a great travelling teacher and master. Mithras performed miracles.

Re: "Why do the claims of these deities seem ludicrous to you? " And your answer >>>> "They're unsupported. They lack anything except superficiality. Because there is 'NOTHING THERE' to know about them to the extent of something to believe in. That is a vey easy question." Well, it should be obvious to you that the documentation of ancient texts shows that most, if not all of the claims have been made before. These ideas were NOT original. They had been made many times preceding the advent of christianity.

Re: "Similarly, I don't interpret the words or works of these deities through the "veil of faith" either." And more of your reply>> "Where have I. Faith has never even entered this discussion."

Yes, you have. It takes faith to believe that a person is risen from the dead. It takes faith to believe that a god exists. It takes faith to believe that jesus is a son of a god. It takes faith to believe that someone else can die for your sins. In the same way that it takes faith to believe that Mithras remained celibate throughout his life, and valued self-control, renunciation and resistance to sensuality among his worshippers. The reason the claims of the other religions sound ludicrous to you, even though they have many similarities, is because you have faith that your version is true. I see no evidence that would convince me that ANY of them are true.

One man's myth is another man's bible.

28/9/06 5:50 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Whe you get down to the nitty gritty todd, you are the one who believes in talking snakes.

28/9/06 5:58 pm  
Blogger Deacon Barry said...

Let us not forget Kenny, who died (many times), harrowed Hell and saved the world
"Oh my god, they killed Kenny!"
"You bastards!"

29/9/06 8:09 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Tsk tsk. Let's play nicely children.

Sorry Beep...

Ted are defining your reality here with make-believe fictional stories

Yes, just like you...:)

He didn't covet or have an adulterus affair with another man's wife.

I know. That's why I said adulteresses, not aldterer. He didn't have to covet any of them, it would have been the women doing the coveting. That makes them adulteresses and it's an obvious contradiction in any language. Don't try and turn it around, it won't work....

Concubines were low-grade wives.

No, they weren't. No marriage was involved, simply a bit of adultery. I provided a link to a definition of the word so that we could all be sure of what it means.

Why, because there is no one running and screaming in the bible? Or no one with an eyeball hanging out?

You got it. If you're going to write a fictional story about people getting out of their graves, spice it up, give it a bit of oomph. Otherwise, someone might just try and say it wasn't important and say something like "none of these things you mention does the bible mention". The problem is that the bible, as a story is no more credible than any of these stories, and a lot more fanciful in parts.

When the Romans got there. Interesting snippet of history you've found there Ted. So the Romans did verify Christ and Christianity, how convenient? Except for one thing. You've made this up.

Really? Then who was this Titus fella I've been reading about? It says here he was Vespasian Cesar's son. Go figure...

Those priests must have put a new one up already, or perhaps the Romans saw a veil torn down the middle

Pesky priests! Of course it could also just be that what Titus reports he found was actually what he found. A temple that hadn't suffered at all.....

Your dangerous Ted.

Other way around Todd. It's irrational belief in a non-existent entity that is dangerous. Ever heard of a fundemental atheist blowing himself and others up in the name of, well, nothing? Didn't think so...

Then let's see how prepared you are to admit that you are a liar or a fool then

Ah... Now I fully appreciate your understanding of the scriptures.

Matt: 5:22 "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."

Time to pray Todd.........

29/9/06 9:16 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Ted,
My statement:
Re:"Ted are defining your reality here with make-believe fictional stories

Re"Yes, just like you...:)"

You are looking at something admitedly made up and comparing them with things witnessed by multitudes. The "cloud of witnesses" who have witnessed activities alledged in the bible and surrounding the bible. So Ted, no, not just like me. The authors that you get your factual information from never allege that it is factual.

My statement:
Re:"He didn't covet or have an adulterus affair with another man's wife."

Re "I know. That's why I said adulteresses, not aldterer."

Oh good , so Solomom is not and adulterer.

Re" He didn't have to covet any of them, it would have been the women doing the coveting. That makes them adulteresses and it's an obvious contradiction in any language. Don't try and turn it around, it won't work...."

So who other than you cares if they were aldutresses? The contradiction still escapes me Ted can you put it to words?

My statement:
Re"Concubines were low-grade wives.

Your answer:No, they weren't. No marriage was involved, simply a bit of adultery. I provided a link to a definition of the word so that we could all be sure of what it means.

What was a marriage other than an agreement. There was a contract in a concubinage, verbal or otherwise. Parties obligated for certain things

Ted, you missed my question. What does this have to do with lies and contradictions of the bible?

Ted, read my lips, "WHAT ARE YOU SAYING HERE? And do you know?


My Statement:
Re"When the Romans got there. Interesting snippet of history you've found there Ted. So the Romans did verify Christ and Christianity, how convenient? Except for one thing. You've made this up."

Yours:
Really? Then who was this Titus fella I've been reading about?

You tell me Ted.

He is the figment of your imagination Ted. Put in there by some fictional reading you've been doing.

A mind that cannot tell the difference between fact and fiction is dangerous. That would be you.

Re:Other way around Todd. It's irrational belief in a non-existent entity that is dangerous. "

I don't remember you proving that God doesn't exist Ted.

But you have proved how your own mind operates and it does not function usefully.

My Statement:
Re"Then let's see how prepared you are to admit that you are a liar or a fool then"

All the rest are yours Ted:
"Ah... Now I fully appreciate your understanding of the scriptures.

Matt: 5:22 "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."

Time to pray Todd......... "


Does that get you off the hook Ted? I'm glad you agree fools exist. There is no sin in pointing out to a fool the error of his ways.

30/9/06 12:01 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

It is interesting to me how Lot doing the wild thing with his daughters isn't incest or perhaps pedophilia, nor is it considered in the bible to even be immoral.

Afterall, the poor old bugger needed someone to "carry his seed".

Male lineage and having an heir was considered more important than the fact that you had to shag your daughters to get one, or the fact that they had to give you a "mercy shag".

So, in order to provide dad with an heir, and in lieu of anyone else, a family member seemed like a good idea at the time.

So incest isn't incest if dad needs an heir and adultery isn't adultery if Solomon has 300 concubines.

Perhaps this just shows that our views on human morality ARE RELATIVE. They are relative to the time period and the culture in which they occur. The bible certainly appears to be evidential of this.

30/9/06 2:01 am  
Blogger Todd said...

Beep,

The myths of the world in ancient times come from god's first contact with man. That explains any resemblance to the Jewish ancient record. The other ancient so-called religions make only incoherent substanceless references to things mentioned by God already to their ancestors in a coherent and consistent form to the very first mans descendents. They are always a complete departure from the original. Modern intellectual man descended from a new creation in recent history. That can be archeologically supported. God revealed himself to that man and his immediate descendents and began the only record of its kind.

Those descendents would multiply into the millions in not much more 4 or 5 centruies. All from a new and extremely diverse gene pool which enabled those first generations to interbreed and create diverse looking family members and races. Modern science can explain this. God's revelations to the originals were handed down in a simple manageable way and taken in all sorts of directions by all of the ancient people trying to explain and remember what God had originally told their ascenstors.

The contents of all other ancient religious than Judaism are man-made. Most of them are acknowledged, or simply betrayed, by their believers weak minds to be a imaginative guesses. None of them even pretend to state something remotely possible and in all cases impossible to even imagine. And all are impossile to make sense of. Any similarities between them and to the record found in Judaism came from either Judaism or god's original revealing of Himself to mankind. You would expect to find these early bible details and prophecies in all sorts of other man-made religions.

They ancients who strayed from God's people , or were caste off, gladly looked around for other gods. They worshipped nature and invisible gods of nature no one would ever see. Gods among who had no history, no explanation for their existance, no coherency, and no real confidence or track record of doing what ever they were supposed to do. Judaism always had all of those things. Your examples have no substantive similarity to the God of the bible nor do they predate Him.

The disimilarities of any of the gods in your reference material far outnumber any similarities. No gods make contact with mankind. No gods have provided a record open to scrutiny. Nor have they predicted the future events as the God of the bible and been proven right. I'm sure there are more godd examples. And when the religions you've cited use similar influences they recieved from the bible, they are totally removed from the context in which they are mentioned in the bible and have no similarity in context, nor make any sense unto temselves. Snippets with no context or substance. They died out from not doing what they are supposed to do. But generally they were just dumb. Their disimilarities with the God of the bible are much greater than their similarities. Christianity cannot be shown as borrowing from one of them. Roman catholicism or any other denomination or sect cannot be confused with Christianity.

Additionally, the bible is not a story it's a record of events.

A skizophrenic person has complete faith in their reality. Is that an argument that others reality which they have complete faith in is also flawed? I need not compare myself with others who believe in athiesm or peter pan and discount the legitamacy of my belief on the basis that beliefs can be erroneous.

Who cares that people have always believed in some sort of supernatural force or creator. It can be very scientifically argued that there more likely than not is one.

Your statement:
RE: "8. Most are life/death/rebirth/ deities." And your reply >>> "They are grade school descriptions, in story form, not consistent detailed record. A grade schooler would see no similarity." Hang on, previously you said these records/ texts didn't exist, so which one is it? They exist? They don't? "

I never even stated what you are saying here.

Re"The category life-death-rebirth deity also known as a "dying-and-rising" god is a convenient means of classifying the many divinities in world mythology or religion who are born, suffer death or an eclipse or other death-like experience, pass a phase in the underworld among the dead, and are subsequently reborn, in either a literal or symbolic sense. Such deities might include Osiris, Adonis, Jesus, and Mithras. Female deities who passed into the kingdom of death and returned include Inanna and Persephone, the central figure of the Eleusinian Mysteries."

Still you give me no examples of anything remotely similar to Judaism or Christianity.All of these examples show no relationship to Judaism or Christianity other than inevitably certian words. Held up side by side, (just as if you were to give me a clear example) there would be no likeness or relationship. And everything is suspect as coming from the preexisting verbal record of God to the first people and would likely be showing up all ove the place..

You are not specific for understandable reasons since any comparison with any of the other life/death/resurrection dieties, or any other example of similarity by you is impossible. You've been mislead by very persuasive people offering you half truths.

Re"One example of salvation through belief is to be found in the religion which revolved around Tammuz

Another false example. No comparison. Would you explain to me the comparison. This makes no mention even remotely of anything which the bible talks about in any way. This is a wierd little story with nothing resembling a salvation.

I don't care about a guy who was half man half bird even if he ad twelve disciples. there were twelve months in the year weren't there? Why wouldn't a god who's one eye is the sun and he other one the moon have twelve witnesses(if that is what they even were).

All of the freaky Egyptian gods were influenced by the religion of their captive Israel nation and the prophecies in Judaism. Why is it strange that the Egyptian religion took on some of the characteristics of written or verbal Jewish religious characteristics?. How much longer could the egyptians sustained their long freaky make-it-up-as-you-go mythology without them borrowing from others especially credible religion.

Mithraism came out of nowhere, based on secrecy, and went nowhere. No rational, they didn't know who their god was or why or for what. They looked to themselves for inspiration because they didn't know who teir god was. Celibacy is taught nowhere in the bible. Man-made solely for the control o the sexual desires and morality of the Roman army.

You forward example after example without getting specific as to the actual substance of your example. Why are you so reluctant to get specific instead of actually finishing your assertion with something other than a poorly constructed hushed comparison? Why don't you slam dunk me with one good example?

You've shown in these examples of myth and so-called religion nothing but how man is prone to look toward nature and toward his emotions in inventing religion. And you cannot relate any of your examples to Judaism or Christianity. There are many more dissimilarities than similarities between Christianity and these other wannabees and that your 'god template' as you referred to it, falls apart. It fails to be a meaingful participant in a critical discussion.

Produce some useful examples of why Judaism and Chrisianity should not be looked upon as some wholly different type of religion than ay others.

And you continue to cite misinterpretations from Chrisianity as being Christianity and that too is a basic logical error. I'm not going to condemn athiesm by citing Ted.

I appreciate your belief that you're looking at all this through the veil of objectivity and critical thinking. You explain this belief at length to me. I appreciate your trying to play psychologist and expalin to me how there is a veil in front of my understanding that you can see and I can't.

The bible is based on more than acceptable eywitness proof. If a person reads it carefully then they should be able to ascertain that. Paul and the other apostles regarded the resurrection as fact. The faith enters in knowing whether or not Jesus is who He says He is and will do what He's told us He will. Much of what He promised refers to future events as well as present spiritual things that He asks us to take His word on. We have faith in that. We did not see what the apostles and many others saw 2 thousand years ago so we must have faith in that sense as well.

Of course I believe in the snake that God made talk. Why is that hard? It would be too hard for God to make a snake talk?

30/9/06 3:37 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Todd, you've got me this time, I simply don't know what to say.

and adultery isn't adultery if Solomon has 300 concubines

Thanks Beep, I give up...:(

30/9/06 11:39 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:

RE: "The myths of the world in ancient times come from god's first contact with man."

And your evidence for this is? Let me guess. The bible. I consider the bible to be the work of men so there goes that supposed credible evidence out the window.

RE: "Modern intellectual man descended from a new creation in recent history. That can be archeologically supported. God revealed himself to that man and his immediate descendents and began the only record of its kind."

And your evidence for this pronouncement is? Oh oh. The bible, the work of ancient tribes who probably attributed navel fluff as a sign from the gods that they would have a fantastic maize harvest.

Modern intellectual man doesn't believe that snakes talk, nor does he believe that bird blood will cure leprosy.

RE: "All from a new and extremely diverse gene pool which enabled those first generations to interbreed and create diverse looking family members and races."

Is this supposed to be a reference to the "biblical flood"? The flood which supposedly covered the whole planet? There are evidences in the historical records of floods occurring in many parts of the world at different time periods.

A "worldwide flood" as referred to in the bible would have covered the KNOWN world. This would have meant at least part of the land area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

There are accounts of numerous floods that have occurred in that region, some more devastating than others.

Primitive and superstitious minds attributed those natural occurrences to the wrath of a god. In the same way that superstitious minds today, attribute whatever they do not understand to the actions of some wrathful, jealous or vengeful god.

In order to explain catastrophic events, ancient peoples made up stories to explain them. They became part of myth and legend and sometimes they developed into people's religions.

So, prove the existence of the god, and prove that he/she/it did it. Oooops, I forgot, you can't.

On the other hand, I can show that flood stories were common and that these predated the "biblical flood."

The Biblical account of the creation of man as well as Noah's flood narrative resemble the Sumerian tales very closely. Fragments of the Sumerian myths were written many centuries earlier than the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the Bible.

Different gods of course, but the idea is very similar. The Chaldean Flood Tablets relate the "Gilgamesh Story" from the city of Ur in what is now Southern Iraq, describe how the Sunerian God Ea had decided to eliminate humans and other land animals with a great flood which was to become "the end of all flesh".

He selected Ut-Napishtim, to build an ark to save a few humans, and samples of other animals. (Enki was a deity in Sumerian mythology, later known as Ea in Babylonian mythology.)

The Babylonian creation story is called by its first two words "Enuma Elish." The flood account gradually evolved from the original Babylonian version to the Hebrew version.

The Babylonian version may have been a record of an ancient flood which occurred when the Mediterranean Sea partially emptied into the Black Sea circa 5600 BCE.

The Sumerian Flood story is one of the 6 forerunners to the Old Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic, the source for the Old Babylonian myth Atra-Hasis, and for the Biblical account of the Flood (Genesis 6:5-9:29), written down several hundred years later.

Either way you look at it. Ancient peoples mixed fact, fantasy, existing legends and myths to create explanations for natural events which were beyond their knowledge.

The fact is, Todd, you indulge in non-thinking, commonly called faith.

4/10/06 11:14 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:
RE : "The contents of all other ancient religious than Judaism are man-made. Most of them are acknowledged, or simply betrayed, by their believers weak minds to be a imaginative guesses. None of them even pretend to state something remotely possible and in all cases impossible to even imagine. And all are impossile to make sense of. Any similarities between them and to the record found in Judaism came from either Judaism or god's original revealing of Himself to mankind. You would expect to find these early bible details and prophecies in all sorts of other man-made religions."

All religions are manmade Todd, the ones which predate judaism, including judaism and anything that comes after judaism.

You and I have more in common than you think. You are an atheist to all the other religions except the one you believe in. I just believe in one less god than you.

All religions claim to be the "one true religion". It is an unsupportable claim, which is why you have faith and not much in the way of evidence.

RE: "They ancients who strayed from God's people , or were caste off, gladly looked around for other gods. They worshipped nature and invisible gods of nature no one would ever see. Gods among who had no history, no explanation for their existance, no coherency, and no real confidence or track record of doing what ever they were supposed to do. Judaism always had all of those things. Your examples have no substantive similarity to the God of the bible nor do they predate Him."

Well, sorry, but the Tablets of Ras Shamra predate the god of the bible.

The oldest examples of ancient hebrew writing are to be found in the Ras Shamra Tablets which date from the 15th century BCE.

Ras Shamra is the modern name of the ancient city Ugarit which today would be located in Syria.

The archives of Ugarit have yielded literally thousands of tablets containing several diverse languages and types of literature.

They are significant because they are literary forms common to both Ugaritic and Biblical Hebrew.

Philologists (those who study historical and comparative linguistics), have identified language and literary forms common to texts from Ra Shamra and biblical texts, which suggests that the Israelite religion, rather than being the product of divine guidance, was adapted from surrounding pagan religions. In particular, the texts uncovered at Ras Shamra.

Ugaritic religion centered on the chief god, Ilu or El, the "father of mankind", "the creator of the creation." El was the chief god at Ugarit.

Yet El is also the name of God used in many of the Psalms for Yahweh. In 1 Kings 22:19-22 we read of Yahweh meeting with his heavenly council. This is the very description of heaven which one finds in the Ugaritic texts. For in those texts the "sons of god" are the sons of El.

Other deities worshipped at Ugarit were El Shaddai, El Elyon, and El Berith. All of these names are applied to Yahweh by the writers of the Old Testament.

What this means is that the Hebrew theologians adopted the titles of the Canaanite gods and attributed them to Yahweh in an effort to eliminate them.

If Yahweh is all of these there is no need for the Canaanite gods to exist. This process is known as assimilation.

One of the most interesting of these lesser deities, Asherah, plays a very important role in the Old Testament.

There she is called the wife of Baal; but she is also known as the consort of Yahweh. That Yahwists worshipped Asherah until the 3rd century BEFORE Christ is well known from the Elephantine Papyri. Thus, for many in ancient Israel, Yahweh, like Baal, had the SAME consort.

Baal is described as the "rider on the clouds" in KTU 1.3 II 40. Interestingly enough, this description is also used of Yahweh in Psalm 68:5.

There is also one Ugaritic text which indicates that Yahweh was viewed as another son of El. KTU 1.1 IV 14 says: "The name of the son of god, Yahweh." This text indicates that Yahweh was known at Ugarit, though not as the Lord but as one of the many sons of El.

Also, one of the most famous of the lesser deities at Ugarit was a chap named Dan’il. There is little doubt that this figure corresponds to the Biblical Daniel; while predating him by several centuries.

This has led many Old Testament scholars to suggest that the Daniel in the bible was modeled on him. The bible also stole the idea of the leviathan, which is mentioned first in the Ras Shamra tablets.

The religion of the ancient hebrews evolved from the ancient pagan Ugaritic religion. This i is called a process of religious assimilation.

4/10/06 12:26 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: todd:

RE: " No gods make contact with mankind. No gods have provided a record open to scrutiny."

I agree. No gods have made contact with mankind. No gods have provided a record open to scrutiny. Human beings create the gods and create the records of the gods which they create.

RE: " Nor have they predicted the future events as the God of the bible and been proven right."

Of course they have. If you have a very loose idea of what prediction means. I can predict that there is going to be a car accident where people are injured in the future. I can do this because:

1. I know that cars exist.
2. I know that car accidents happen.
3. I know that people drive cars.
4. I know that in many instances people are injured as a result of car accidents.

Now, I wouldn't claim to have any great divinely inspired predictive powers because of this knowledge. Why not?

Because the prediction or prophecy is deliberately NON SPECIFIC. This is common to all predictions and claims of prophecy.

RE: "Additionally, the bible is not a story it's a record of events."

If I write a story about New York and I mention the city of New York and I mention people, places, habits of people in New York, does it mean that everything in the book is literally true? Of course it doesn't. The same applies to the bible.

RE: "Who cares that people have always believed in some sort of supernatural force or creator. It can be very scientifically argued that there more likely than not is one."

What it shows is that people throughout the ages, have had an emotional desire to understand their world. In lieu of a lack of knowledge, they make up gods.

4/10/06 12:52 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE todd:

RE: "The category life-death-rebirth deities"

What this category shows us Todd, is that the idea of a god being born, a god dying and a god being reborn is not original to the jesus story, nor is it original to christianity.

This category is a way of classifying the many gods in world mythology or religion who are born, suffer death or an eclipse or other death-like experience, pass a phase in the underworld among the dead, and are subsequently reborn, in either a literal or symbolic sense. Such deities include Osiris, Adonis, Jesus, and Mithras.

These concepts existed before Christianity and Judaism. They are not original to judaism nor christianity. They were borrowed from the religions which preceeded them

1. Monotheism - 1353 BCE-1336 BCE or 1351 BCE–1334 BCE - first recorded evidence in Ancient Eqypt during the reign of Amenhotep IV who took the name of Akhenaten.

2. Heaven - 2400BCE - The pyramid texts composed by the priests of Heliopolis for the tombs of the V Dynasty are the first historical record of an idea of heaven and hell.

3. Hell - 2400BCE - The pyramid texts composed by the priests of Heliopolis for the tombs of the V Dynasty are the first historical record of an idea of heaven and hell.

4. Life/Death/Rebirth deity - 1370 BCE - Tem or Ra was the God and Father of all, the ungenerated original of the universe. He it was who laid the egg in the chaotic waters from which he was himself reborn. Ra was also a monotheistic God. Written evidence of Ra in "A Hymn to Ra" (approx. 1370 BCE)

(Have a look at your money, Todd, you will see the pyramid and the all-seeing eye of RA, which was eventually assimilated into the eye of Horus, the first recorded god that died and was reborn.)

5. Salvation - 1875 BCE - The dying and resurrected savior god Osiris was worshipped thousands of years before Christ. The Passion of Osiris was re-enacted at all of his temples during his annual festivals. On a stele at Abydos erected in the 12th Dynasty by I-Kher-Nefert, a priest of Osiris during the reign of Usertsen III.

6. Sin - 1580 BCE - The first recorded evidence of the concept of sin is to be found in The Egyptian Book of the Dead - The earliest known versions date from the 16th century BCE during the 18th Dynasty (ca. 1580 BCE–1350 BCE). It partly incorporated two previous collections of Egyptian religious literature, known as the Coffin Texts (ca. 2000 BCE) and the Pyramid Texts (ca. 2600 BCE - 2300 BCE), both of which were eventually superseded by the Book of the Dead.

In Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead, the dead man's heart, deemed to be the seat of the intellect and will and well as the life-giving center of the physical body, is weighed against the symbol of ma'at or justice (usually depicted as a feather), which serves as an ethical standard.

(One major test for sin was that the weight of their heart was compared to that of a feather. Egyptians believed that If the person had committed sin during his or her lifetime, then their heart would become heavier. The heart does naturally gain weight with age. The Egyptians might have noticed this and assumed that the weight gain was caused by the commission of sins. Unfortunately, there appears to be no chance that the deceased person can pass that test. Adult hearts weigh over a pound: an male heart weighs 280 to 340 grams. Female hearts weigh from 230 to 280 grams. 3 A feather weighs a small fraction of a pound.)

7. Baptism - Water was purified in ancient Egypt, both for the living and the dead. Indeed, washing in water was essential to the resurrection from the dead in ancient Egypt, just as in the idea of christian baptism.

The initiation of an Egyptian priest was a baptism in a sacred pool. This pool was symbolic of the waters of Nu, the Cosmic Ocean, which washed away all evil. Then the priest candidate was sprinkled with oil and water as purification.

8. Trinity - Horus is the god of the sky, and the son of Osiris. His mother is Isis. Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way Christian Theology religion shows a direct link with the Egyptian worship of Horus, Osiris and Isis.

9. Devil/Satan - Ancient Egyptian god called Set. Set became the god of evil, in eternal conflict with the gods of light, and especially with Horus, the son of Osiris. Set became identified with his former enemy, the serpent Apep. (Oh dear, an evil serpent rears it's head in Egypt.)

10. Soul - To the Ancient Egyptians, their soul, their being, were made up of many different parts. Not only was there the physical form, but there were eight immortal or semi-divine parts that survived death, with the body making nine parts of a human.

11. The Cross as a symbol of eternal life - The Ankh was, for the ancient Egyptians, the symbol of life but it is an enduring icon that remains with us even today as a Christian cross.

The Ankh was symbolic of the sunrise, with the loop representing the Sun rising above the horizon, which is represented by the crossbar. The vertical section below the crossbar would then be the path of the sun. Easy to see how this is was borrowed by christians to symbolise "the sun of god", jesus, dying on the cross to be born again.

The fact is, Todd, there is very little new under the sun. Ancient religions were assimilated by other more aggressive religions and cultures.

The god concepts, ideas and some of the rituals became the property of the conquerers. They added what they wanted, put their own folk heroes in leading roles and claimed a "new religion" which was, of course, claimed to be "divinely inspired by god".

Just as every religion before them.

4/10/06 3:14 pm  
Blogger Todd said...

And then God sent what can't be denied is the living Christ to clear it all up.

11/10/06 11:26 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE:Todd

"And then God sent what can't be denied is the living Christ to clear it all up."

God set up the living christ in the same way that hopping up and own on one leg makes the sun disappear behind the clouds.

27/10/06 4:37 pm  
Anonymous Tori said...

Hi. I stumbled upon this blog while doing a search for the "Light of the World" saying... and wow. A lot of this stuff you guys are saying shows an inability to look into a text and understand the evolution of the Bible.

I'm a college student. I am taking my second year of Biblical Greek, and I've take a ton of classes on the NT (New Testament), which were purely academic, including: Backgrounds of Early Christianity, and the Sayings of Jesus.

THE TEXT:
The four gospels were written from approx. 50 to 100 years after the death of Jesus. This leads to the fact that it seems impossible that every word from Jesus' lips, or event in which he took part is recorded exactly as it happened. However, if you study the style of the evangelists (who were most likely not the actual original authors of their gospels--- it helps to attach a famous name to your gospel) you can see how they may have used Jesus' words to support their messages and communities. For example, Luke cares for outcasts and hates the rich, John's main message is "Believe in Jesus," and Matthew has Jewish undertones as he is speculated as having been a converted Jew.

In an attempt to uncover the exact words that came from Jesus' mouth (down to the last verb, in the right tense etc.) scholars look at the attestation (the frequency of uses) of a saying, and compare the different versions. There a million examples of this. Try the lampstand saying (Mt 5:14-16, Luke 11:33, 8:16, Mark 4:21)

Now, there were many gospels written. John and the synoptics are the only four who made it into the New Test. While the others are ruled out as heretical (you shouldn't believe in them as a part of your faith) they are useful in determining Jesus' words.

which brings me to GOSPEL OF THOMAS and the Q DOCUMENT:
Many people haven't heard of these if they haven't taken a college course, because you definately won't hear about them in church. The gospel of Thomas (a.k.a. gos. Th.) was written by someone,who assumed the name of Thomas (probably for its famous nature-- there are a lot of well-known/close to Jesus Thomases in the Bible). It is a sayings collection, meaning it has no context (like stories and the such) and was recorded in coptic (egyptian in greek characters) and greek. It is considered a gnostic text. People like the Middle-Platonists were gnostic. (I could do a whole different post on gnosticism if you'd like, so I won't elaborate here) The gist of gnosticism has to do with knowing yourself, and that being the way to salvation as opposed to needing Jesus in order to be saved. The Q document is a hypothetical sayings collection. I repeat: we do not have a copy of it. Scholars (my professor is a part of the Q project) in the International Q Project have attempted to reconstruct the document based on common passages in Matthew and Luke.

Which bring me lastly to the TRANSMISSION
Due to text similarities and differences between the four gospels, and knowing the approx. dates that they could first have been written, many scholars believe the following to be true:
Mark and Q are the first to be written. Matt. and Luke each used Mark and Q as sources for their gospel, but changed the texts to suit their needs. Luke tends to improve Mark's language/grammar/style (this is in the greek, and less apparent in english). Matthew tends to elaborate on Mark. Mark's is the most plain of them all and the greek isn't so hot.

a quick note on DEVELOPMENT OVER TIME
The Bible was recopied a bazillion times so that people could read it (no printing press yet ). Hence, not every scribe copied the original versions perfectly. Scribal errors (missing lines, "typos" etc) occur often. Sometimes, they even added or changed the text as the church evolved. For example, the text might have said "Praise Jesus" and the scribe made it "Praise Jesus, the son of our Lord God" in order to impress the matter that Jesus was God's actual son.


all that said... You need to look below the surface when reading a Bible verse... like:

"If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:26

Not many christians would agree that one is to hate their father and mother, yet this is EXACTLY what the bible says to do if you want to be a disciple of jesus.


well no... you shouldn't take it literally, because Jesus speaks in parables and they have hidden meanings. This passage just implies that one should love Jesus before all others, including family. (note: I could write a paper on this saying, my version is simplified.)

P.S. Of course Jesus was a real person... he's a historical figure born during the time of Augustus.

1/11/06 5:24 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE tori:

Welcome to the blog. I apologise if I am unable to spend a long time discussing your religious beliefs, I already have some equally demanding trolls in residence.

RE: the bible

Whether the bible is in greek, aramaic, latin or hebrew, "talking snake" seems to mean the same thing.

Let me think. Will I spend time believing in a book whose story rests on whether a snake can talk to a woman and cause the fall of man, or will I spend time reading a science book? Ok, ya got me. I will read the science book.

1/11/06 6:34 pm  

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