Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book of Isaiah 4-6 The Fire Devoureth the Stubble

Isaiah 4-6

Man this stuff is getting REALLY monotonous.  When are we going to get back to some of that good old God smiting and war mongering of his chosen people?

Are God's best days behind him?  Are we going to spend the rest of the OT reading 'back in my day, the LORD didn't put up with this shit!'
And cranky old man lines like;

6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

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Monday, August 29, 2011


I completed my first olympic distance triathlon yesterday and am firmly planted on my couch today watching pro cycling on Tivo.  I'm surprised on how good I feel!

I want to thank everyone who contributed to my fund raising efforts for The Team to End AIDS.  You were very generous in your giving and the money will go to a great cause, helping those afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

As a reminder, you can still contribute until the end of the year at my donations page.  I stil have a ways to go to reach my goal of $1800.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book of Isaiah 1-3 the LORD will discover their secret parts.

Isaiah 1-3

I almost forgot, we're doing this Bible Project thing.

Isaiah, son of Amoz gets right to the finger wagging.  He doesn't care for the Israelites handling of they're "Chosen People" status.  And he raises an interesting point in 1:9

Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

Considering how quickly God destroyed S&G, and killed thousands of Israelites after their escape from Egypt for breaking the rules, he seems to have gone soft after they settled in the promised land.  I know he still killed lots of folks for lots of reasons but his breaking point seems to have shifted.

We also get a return to the violent retribution for not following the rules!  At least that's what Isaiah wants.  We still haven't heard directly from the big guy in quite a while.

And when is this supposed to happen?

2:4 and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Isaiah is a long book so lets hunker down and set our sites on the horizon.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I guess the Catholics got it wrong

Turns out Jesus lived to a ripe old age in Japan.

Song of Solomon 5-8 and my bowels were moved for him

Song of Solomon 5-8

I reread the entire book after reading the great comments from Abbie and Andy in the previous post.

Abbie's interpretation makes the most sense to me, that it's a wedding song, sung between the bride, groom and chorus.
Andy, I couldn't wrap my head around the idea that it's "a metaphor for Christ's love for his church".  Perhaps you could give some samples from the text that would indicate this line of thinking.

The text is very colorful and bright and uses some great euphemisms for body parts and sex!

But, why is it in the Bible?  Did the editors put it in as an ApĂ©ritif or digestif to cleanse our palette from the previous books and set us up for the rest of the OT?

As an aside, I thought this guy was funny, if not a little over the top.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Song of Solomon 1-4

Song of Solomon 1-4

What the hell is this?  A love poem to Solomon?  From Solomon?  To God?  A 4000 year old dirty story?

Lots of sexual innuendo and not a whole lot of sense.

What do you think?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book of Ecclesiastes 10-12 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it

Ecclesiastes 10-12

Not much really stands out to me in these final three chapters.  I did like this line;

11:4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
The end of book of Ecclesiastes just kind of repeats the sames messages as the rest of the book, which isn't a bad thing.  I liked Ecclesiastes better then most of the other books as it has allot of positive messages and good, down home wisdom.

Song of Solomon next!
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Story of Jesus, kind of

My friend Jamie made a video about her understanding of Jesus.  It's genuine and hysterical.

BTW, Jamie is super smart with a masters from the University of Chicago and the vice-president of the Women Thinking Free Foundation.

Book of Ecclesiastes 7-9 A living dog is better than a dead lion

Ecclesiastes 7-9

Again, lots of good thoughts and messages but I have to once again disagree with the author.

7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

Having lost a good friend recently to cancer I, my family and friends greatly benefitted from sharing pleasant, fun memories.  It was better to share in the joy of someones life then to be maudlin about his death.

This is another great piece of wisdom;
7:19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city

Unfortunately, it's followed by this downer;

7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
And later;

9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Always with the negative waves...

The author also seems to think death is final.  Just a little contradiction from Jesus's upcoming messages about living happily ever after in heaven.

9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Speaking of contradictions, this author seem to vasilate between "eat, drink and be merry" and "sorrow is better then laughter."  Is this another case of multiple authors being combined?

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Beaten to Death in the Name of God

Regardless of your beliefs, this should make you sick to your stomach.  Hell should exist just so these sick fucks can spend eternity suffering for what they did because of their twisted belief.

I know that 99.9% of Christians would never consider this anything but horrifying and repugnant, but that someone can interput the same Bible that we are reading right now makes me (again) question how anyone can believe that a god that cared about us would allow this to happen to an innocent child.

The sad fact is there are sick people that do sick things, no gods or devils needed.

PZ Myers got it right when he said;

Christianity says obey. Christianity says submit. Christianity worships authority. Women and children are to submit to the will of the father of the family, just as he is to submit to the grand phantasmal patriarch. Christianity is about never questioning; about not thinking critically; about worshipping; about accepting holy writ. It is about knitting elaborate straitjackets for the mind, cheerfully putting them on yourself, and then making sure your children are burdened with the same restraints, all in the name of perpetuating a hateful and limited ideology.
Yes, the Pearls are extremists who cinch the straitjacket more tightly and more brutally than most, and I do not regard most Christians as even endorsing the evil they promote (although, with over 650,000 copies of their book sold, the Pearls’ ideas are apparently a rather popular subset of Christianity) — but still, this isn’t an aberration, a wild notion grafted onto a benevolent faith. It’s part of faith itself, that people are raised to value belief in and obedience to the holy strong man.
Your children are not your followers or your servants or slavish little echoes of yourself. They are your responsibility, and your job is to raise them to be free and independent and, most of all, to be themselves. We are not sinners in the hands of a <insert random adjective here> god, and this whole idea that there is a hierarchical chain of authority is demeaning and destructive. We are fractious and creative and unique and wild and interesting, and when you force children into this restrictive mold of subservience, you diminish their humanity.
And sometimes you snuff it right out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book of Ecclesiastes 4-6 For he cometh in with vanity

Ecclesiastes 4-6

Love this line;
4:6 Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.

Chapter 4 as a whole has some great thoughts and messages.

Chapter 6 has several positive messages as well.  I particularly liked;
6:7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

6:8 For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?

Jesus Christ!

Surviving the World

Off Topic: Read The Tag Blog

Friend and King-and-I commenter Tom and his wife Suzanne have started a new blog that focuses on the issue of buying products from countries with questionable labor laws and practices.

From the site:

This blog is meant to shed light on the consequences of buying products from various countries where Human Trafficking and Child Labor remains.
I will also showcase companies that do not sell products made in these countries.
I also encourage anyone to post their struggles and success stories on this topic as well.

While it has nothing to do with the reading of the Bible, I thought it was a subject that many readers would find important.  I'll link to it on the right for future reference.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book of Ecclesiastes 1-3 Wisdom Excelleth Folly

Ecclesiastes 1-3

The author of this book (Solomon?) seems to enjoy life and encourages others to do so.  He's also very reflective about his life and work.

He also totally ripped off the Byrds!

One of the most interesting things I've read so far comes at 3:19-3:22.  The author clearly states that the beasts of the earth and man will share the same fate.  That both will return to dust and that he/we can't know that there is an after life.
His philosophy? Enjoy life while you're here.  Sounds like an Atheist to me!

Between Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, the Bible seems to be turning into a more positive book.  Quite the change from the killing and mayhem of the first half of the Old Testament.

Why the change?  I think it's because God has had no direct input for the last several books.  Humans seem to be very pleasant when he's not around! ;-)
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book of Proverbs 29-31 The ants are a people not strong

Proverbs 29-31

Another book that kinda falls flat at the end.

The only notable things that I found were that the last two proverbs are by named authors and number 31 is from a mother giving advice to her son on what to look for in a virtuous woman.

Ecclesiastes is next.  Who's excited?

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I Was a Teenage Exocist

At the very least I have to thank Reverend Bob Larson for giving me a good laugh this morning.

He runs an exorcism school in Arizona and his most successful "demon hunters" are teenage girls.

Larson says "We've found that our female, teenage exorcists are particularly effective at curing the possessed, because they're so sensitive and very pure,"

Since I don't believe in gods, I don't believe in demons.  The idea that mini-devils are running around looking for people to corrupt seems very primitive and silly in the 21st century.
Demons were used to explain mental illness hundreds of years ago.  We now better understand the human body and mind and can treat people properly.

And really, does prayer, crosses and holy water really drive them out?  What if they're not christian demons?  Are these kids trained to deal with Aztec demons, Aborigine demons or Muslim demons?

My guess is that if there are any demons, they leave because of the boredom and monotony of this rite!
Can I use this rite to exorcise demons in my spare time or do they only listen to catholic priests?

Extra bonus wackiness;

An exorcism in India;

A Muslim exorcism;

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book of Proverbs 26-28 As a dog returneth to his vomit

Proverbs 26-28

There is a lot of good writing in this book.  I especially like;
26:11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

Then there is; 
27:18 Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
Jesus curses and kills a fig tree later in the book.  Is this foreshadowing? ;-)

How could this be;
28:14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

I did learn something in proverb 29.  It's necessary to beat children and slaves in order to teach them.
Good to know if I ever acquire either.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Book of Proverbs 22-25 For a whore is a deep ditch

Proverbs 22-25

Gotta love the colorful language you run across in the Bible!

Proverb 22 has some great thoughts in it, starting off with 22:1

22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

I like the first half of this one but would edit the last half to read 'for they shall share the same final fate.'

22:2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.

22:9 and 22:17 are also winners.

22:9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
22:17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

I do have to disagree with 23:9
23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

As someone who is passionate about education, I feel that even the fools, especially the fools, need to learn from others.  Every once in a while a fool may see the light.

Lines 23-24 on the other hand...
I have personal experience with this as a child (Sister Madonna at Saint Mary's School) and can tell you that using the rod to correct a child usually ends up with a traumatized child and nothing more.

23:30-32 has a very important message for us all.  If you're out drinking, don't mix your drinks!
Proverb 25 seems to have some repetition in it from previous proverbs.  Perhaps priming us for the New Testament? ;-) 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book of Proverbs 19-21

Proverbs 19-21

Nothing extraordinary stood out for me today.

My favorite line:

21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

This is a close second:

21:20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

What are your favorites?
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Friday, August 5, 2011

Book of Proverbs 16-18 Pride goeth before destruction

Proverbs 16-18

I'm beginning to zone out because of the repetition of the same messages over and over and over.
Shades of Job and Psalms.

The one thing my Atheist mind picked up on is the introduction of "Social Engineering" to the Bible.

My favorite line from this section;
17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Making of the King James Bible App Available

Andrew Currah, from the University of Oxford let me know that the University has released an app (iPhone, iPad and Android) celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

The $.99 app was created as a companion to the Bodleian Libraries exhibit- The Making of the King James Bible and is not a fully fleshed out document on the creation of the bible.  Consider it a Cliff Notes version of the exhibit.

Having said that, the app has a great deal of interesting pieces.  It presents a concise history of why the JKV created, who created it and the travails it endured to become the defacto bible of the church.
They also include a little history on the pre-King James versions and images from the "Wicked Bible", that contained a misprint of the seventh commandment stating "Thou shalt commit adultery".

This app has a lot of interesting content for only 99 cents.  I recommend it.

I would love to see this exhibit.  Unfortunately,  it only runs until September 4, 2011.  I live in Chicago and don't expect to make it back to England in the near future.  Luckily they have a book for sale for 19.99 (British Pounds).  I think I'll order one.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Book of Proverbs 13-15 the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence

Proverbs 13-15

I love the title line!  How could you not?
13:2 may be my favorite sentence in the entire book.

Proverb 13, and most of 15 seem to be an exercises in contrasts.  It was Katy Perry's inspiration for her first hit.

Morality and the Bible

Here is an interesting, and well done video on morality.  The author has a series of videos you may enjoy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book of Proverbs 9-12 As a Jewel of Gold in a Swine's Snout

FYI, I've caught up and posted my thoughts on chapters 5-8 in the earlier post.

Proverbs 9-12

Proverb 9 has some nice thoughts on wisdom (other then the misogynistic imagery the end).
Imagine if it was applied to reason and critical thought!

Proverb 10:30 states;
"The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth."
Doesn't this contradict the Book of Revelations which tells us that the good guys will be raptured off the earth while the wicked will be 'left behind'?

11:1 shows that God hates Fox News!

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Science and the Bible - Compatible?

My friend and science teacher Matt Lowry has an interesting post at his site, The Skeptical Teacher blog.
He received a pamphlet from someone at TAM last month that seemed to make the claim that the bible has content that is supported by science.
Comparing the biblical passages to the claims, I found that they are cherry-picking at best and at worst, desperately grasping at anything that remotely sounds 'sciencey'.

Matt's blog has many other great posts that use science to demystify things like fire walking, walking on broken glass, even the Loch Ness style monster in Alaska!  Please check it out.
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