Thursday, June 30, 2011

An Opportunity to Help!

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'
And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
(Matthew 25.35-40 ESV)

Hi All,

I'm training for the Chicago Triathlon this summer with The Team to End AIDS (T2).

I'm raising money for T2 in exchange for their training services and I need everyones help to continue with training.  I'm asking for help from my readers in raising funds to help this great organization.

T2 uses this money to provide services to those with HIV/AIDS and support research to look for a cure.
HIV/AIDS used to be a death sentence to those afflicted, but because of research and the tireless efforts of people around the world, HIV and even AIDS are controllable and those afflicted have a longer brighter future.  

I've met a lot of great people on this blog.  We all have different beliefs and opinions, we have different ideas on how we should be living this life on this planet.  But I think one thing we can all agree on is that we should help those in need.  We, as human beings have a need and an obligation to help the sick and needy.  The quote above should ring true regardless of your belief.
As an Atheist I believe in it's message.  Not for helping man in the name of Jesus but in the name of humanity.

If you've enjoyed this blog, and maybe even feel that it has helped you understand the Bible and others beliefs a little better, please consider clicking on the link below and making a donation in any amount you feel appropriate.

Thank you,

Book of Psalms 12-22 Mostly Sunny with a Chance of Wrath

Psalms 12-22

Psalm 13 is what I was expecting when reading this book.
Unfortunately, Psalms 14 brings us back to the negative.  Telling us that not one has done good.  Not one.

For the most part, these Psalms are positive and uplifting.  I much more pleasant read then the first 11.
Except for Psalm 18.  Long and harsh.

Psalm 22 is the money psalm.  Does it predict the crucifixion of Jesus?  Did Jesus really quote the opening line while on the cross?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book of Psalms 1-11

Psalms 1-11

I had a totally different expectation of what the book of Psalms would be.  I imagined a more pleasant, joyous praising of God, not this vengeful, "God's gonna get you sinner" stuff.
Only four of the 11 chapters in this section are violence free and even most of those chapters ask or proclaim that God should punish the wicked.

Why do I keep thinking the Bible is going to get nicer?

Also, the LORD doesn't like leasing?  Purchase only.

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Did You Find...

The limerick in the titles of the Job posts?

There once was a man from Uz
who thought that his life was a snooze
"Satan", quoth the LORD
"You seem rather bored
I've a man you might like to abuse."

A big thank you to my wife for coming up with this clever poem.  She actually came up with two.

There once was a man from Uz
who thought that his life was a snooze
Then God killed his brood
and ruined his mood
Yet he had so much much more to lose 

Anyone else care to take a shot at it?

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Book of Job 36-42 God, You got some 'splainin' to do

Job 36-42

God returns.  Will his excuse satisfy Job?

I find it interesting that the Bible references the Pleiades (the seven sisters) and Orion, two entities of ancient Greece.  I had no idea that greek gods had entered into mythology this early.

So, God comes back and gets angry (at least that's the voice I read it in) that Job and friends were getting all philosophical.

God:  Did you create the heaven and earth?
Job: No
God: Can you pull up the corners of the Earth and shake off the evil people?
Eliphaz: You can do that?  Then why did you destroy all life with a great flood then?
God: Shut up Eli!  You owe Job a bunch of cows and sheep for questioning me!
Eliphaz: sorry
God: Can you catch sea serpents with a hook thru the nose?  No, you can't,  so don't question my actions when I do horrible things for no apparent reason.  Job, I'm going to make it up to you by bringing your kids and slaves back to life.  And they're all going to give you money.  And if you act now I'll throw in an extra three really hot daughters.  What do you say?
Job:  Thanks, but I kind of enjoyed the peace and quite.  Can you just remove the boils from my body?  And maybe kill my wife?
God:  No.  Take it or leave it.  I'm busy, I have to create some songs about how great me and my people are and then get people to write them down for future generations.  I think I'll call it Rap.
Job: Rap sounds so harsh.  It fits your personality but you should call it something that rolls off the tongue, like... salms.
God: I like that.  Except we have to spell it funky so I look hip.  We'll spell it Psalms.  We cool Job?
Job: For shizzle ma nizzle!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book of Job 29-37 - I've a man you might like to abuse

Job 29-37
This is a long read but I wanted to read Elihu's rebuttal to Job as a whole.
I mentioned earlier that I liked the writing in this book.  Can I take that back?  It's still rather poetic but man does it drag.

A few interesting bits:
-Job is quite boastful in chapter 29.  Would God approve?

-Is this a reference to heaven?
30:23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.

-It takes Elihu and entire chapter just to let us know he's going to speak his mind.

This book would be more interesting if it were 25 chapters shorter.  Seems the writers didn't learn about something called storyline, plot or getting to the point.

Relavent part starts at 1:08 in.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book of Job 22-28 - You seem rather bored

Job 22-28

23.2 my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
Who said the Bible wasn't dirty.

We continue on with Job and his pals chatting.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book of Job 16-21- "Satan", quoth the LORD

Job 16-21

Job and friends continue to discuss the metaphysical aspects of God and man, good and evil, up and down.

Job sure complains allot about what god has done to him for a guy that still worships the guy.  Guess happiness and faithfulness don't need to go hand in hand.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book of Job 8-15 - Who thought that his life was a snooze

Job 8-15

More ruminations on life, the world and everything from Job and his drinking buddies.

These conversations reminds me of the Socratic Dialogues from Plato.

Do you think the writing style could have been influenced by the Greeks?  Plato lived around 450 bce, so his influence may have been possible.  What is the origin of this original book?  Could it have been Greek?

Which brings up another question.  If this is a true event, (for those that believe the Bible is 100% real), who  had access to the interactions between God and Satan?  Did God relay this information to the author?  Wouldn't the author have mentioned that he spoke to God?!?!

Awesome line of the day:
13:28 And he, as a rotten thing, consumeth, as a garment that is moth eaten.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The God/Jesus Relationship - Explained

This came up in comments so I thought I'd post it in it's own space.
We're getting way ahead of ourselves though.  We won't be reading the NT until September.
Anyway, I hope this clears up any questions you had.

Oh, and the younger guy is "Jesse"

Tim Minchin on Religion

Watch it for the laughs.  Enjoy it for the smarts.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Book of Job 1-7 There once was a man from Uz

Job 1-7
The famous/infamous fable of Job.  How much shit can one man take?  I find it interesting that he blames himself for his blight.  He just assumes he's sinned against God.
This book brings us the first real appearance of Satan as a character.  We don't learn much about him in these early chapters other then he likes to wander the Earth and show up at Gods morning meetings from time to time.
Satan raises some interesting questions thou.  
1. What relationship does he have with God?  There seems to be no animosity (yet anyway) between them.
2. Did Satan trick God into letting him destroy Job's life?  Their interactions read like a Huck Finn story.
3. Why would God allow this to happen?  He allows Satan to kill Jobs children, slaves and livestock.
It seems God holds life in low esteem to allow these horrible actions to take place.  Has he got a trump card hidden up his sleeve?  Will he make everything right again after this cruel wager?
I do find the chapters rather poetic.  Almost Shakespearian.
Favorite line, One of Jobs friends tells him;
5:25 Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth.
This comes after all of Jobs kids were killed.  whoops!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Book of The Godfather, I mean Esther 1-10

Esther 1-10
This book is a short easy read.  I think it's best done in one sitting to appreciate the story.

Now I know where Mario Puzzo got his inspiration for the last part of the Godfather.

Two things stand out in this book.
First and most obvious, a woman has major role in the story.  Extremely rare in the Bible.
Second, God is COMPLETELY absent from the story.  No input from the big guy.  No one praising or praying to him.  Just a story about hate, murder, revenge and power. Ala, The Godfather.

The book starts off with one of the most misogynistic pieces so far.  A drunken King Ahasuerus want to parade his hot wife around for his friends at a party.  She doesn't want to be treated as such and the result is the king and his buddies creating a law that commands women to submit to their husbands (I'm surprised this law didn't exist already!)  Of course, the king is going to need a new wife!  Enter Esther.

This is were the story gets good.  I won't ruin the ending for you but let's just say the word Jew can easily be replaced with Corleone.

Obviously the Jews in this book believed in "Do unto others" but not the "as you would have them do unto you" part of the saying!

Biblical Father's Day

As we've seen from our readings, some biblical fathers aren't really good role models.

Happy father's day to all dads!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Book of Nehemiah 8-13

Nehemiah 8-13

Nothing like ANOTHER recap from a people separated by several centuries.  Again I ponder how long the Bible would be if they cut out the redundancy.  And don't get me started on the naming and the counting.

Several times through out the last two books, 'strange wives' are mentioned, meaning that the Israelites are marrying women from other tribes/countries.  Ezra and Nehemiah reflect on the Chosen People turning away from God and the sins committed but they keep coming back to the 'strange wives' as the big problem.
It reminds me of todays Christian politicians blaming the gays and the horror of gay marriage as causing the fall of America.

The more things change...


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Friday, June 17, 2011

Book of Nehemiah 1-7 New Book, Old Construction

Nehemiah 1-7

We get yet another account of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.   This one is again devoid of the LORD and therefore devoid of killing!  Make for easier reading by us Atheists!

There is a certain sense of paranoia in this writing, and not without cause.When the Jews start rebuilding the city, the neighboring kingdoms get a little worried, perhaps remembering the past bloodshed brought on by the children of Israel in their bid to claim the promised land.  Is another war just around the corner?

Chapter 7 seems to be full of contradictions with the accounts of Ezra.  I'm sure an apologist can explain why the inspired word of God (as recorded by man) can't keep census numbers straight or do simple addition.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book of Ezra 6-10

Ezra 6-10

A first person account!!!  I think this is a first for the Bible.  For me, it adds a feel of historical truthiness.

We learn more about the return to Jerusalem.  Ezra reports on a group of men trying to get back to the good old days (of God not killing them) and their efforts to follow the laws of Moses and practices of Aaron.

Strange wives could be a deal breaker so Ezra tells the men to send the unfit wives and children off to (die in the desert?).

This book seems to be written like an actual historical account.  I think it's because God, the LORD has no presence in it except for a people trying to get back on the good side of an absent deity.

What do you think?

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book of Ezra 1-5 for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel

Book of Ezra 1-5

People move back to Jerusalem and try to get God to like them again.

After all the violence in the previous books, it's nice to read a few chapters where the LORD has no input.

I like the names Artaxerxes and Asnapper

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Friday, June 10, 2011

2 Chronicles 32-36 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars

2 Chronicles 32-36

We made it thru Chronicles with nary a scratch!  Commenting as dropped off quite a bit but I expected that since we're basically rereading Kings.

Good news thou, we start fresh material this weekend!  Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are all nice and short books so we'll finish all three in one week!
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Poll - How Many Gods are There?

Last week's poll showed that most of you believe that the Bible is comprised of a little history, a little mythology and a lot of creative writing.

This weeks poll asks how many gods exist.

The Bible has many references to other gods beside the main god of the OT, but, did the writers believe these gods existed or did they feel they were false, made up gods worshiped by other nations?

If there are other gods, where did they come from?  After all we are told the god of the Bible created the universe as we know it.

As an aside, someone once told me that other father/son god combos like Zeus/Apollo, Odin/Thor, Saturn/Jupiter just showed that these ancient people actually were worshiping Yahweh and Jesus.

Questions for discussion;
Are there other gods?
Where did they come from?  Where are they now?
Did other cultures actually worship the OT god(s) but under different names?

2 Chronicles 22-26 The leprosy even rose up in his forehead

2 Chronicles 22-26

As REO Speedwagon sang "Keep pushin' on", we'll be starting the Book of Ezra this weekend!

2 Chronicles 16-21 Asa was diseased in his feet

DANG IT!!!  I thought I posted this two days ago!

2 Chronicle 16-21

We get to relive the exciting adventures of Asa, Ahab and Jehoshaphat.

Friday, June 3, 2011

2 Chronicles 9-15 ...and also in Judah things went well.

2 Chronicles 9-15

"...and also in Judah things went well." Well, except for the enslavement to the Egyptians thing.

And Israel suffers a body count of 500,000 people at the hands of Judah.  I guess brotherly love doesn't kick in until Jesus shows up.

God helps Asa kill one million Ethiopians.

"They smote also the tents of cattle"  Wait.  What?  The Ethiopians kept their cattle in tents?

We finish up with God agreeing (thru a covenant) that all non-believers should be put to death.

Strange these Bible stories never made it to my sunday school classes.
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