Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Creationist Method

This has almost nothing to do with what we're reading right now but I thought it was funny.

My friend Hemant's recent post at The FriendlyAtheist.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gospel of Luke 11-15 The paps which thou hast sucked

Luke 11-15

The thing that caught my attention right off was that the "Lord's Prayer" really has it's origins with John the Baptist.

Jesus doesn't feel that his mother is worth being blessed!

11:27 ... a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.
11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

We are reminded that Jesus doesn't practice proper hygiene and tries to deflect criticism by accusing others of an even worse transgression.
11:38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner.

11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

You can see from the exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees (11:37-54) that this relationship wasn't going to end well!

I'm sounding like a broken record but, why do religious leaders live in opulence when Jesus clearly tells them not too?
12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

I like this line;
12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

We get parables and actual events mixed up.  Did Jesus curse the fig tree or was it just a parable?
Luke 13:6 says; He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

13:7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

13:8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
13:9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Matthew 21 and Mark 11 tell us that Jesus damned a fig tree for not bearing fruit.  Clearly the story was mixed up over the ages.

Jesus seems to tell us that even though you try to follow God to get into heaven,  you may not qualify;
13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Jesus uses sarcasm!!! I love it!
14:1 And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.

14:2 And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.

14:3 And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

14:4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;

This passage has me totally confused.  Is this Jesus speaking or are we still hearing the parable from the unpopular rich man at the wedding? It doesn't logically connect to the wedding story so I'm thinking Jesus said it.  But it doesn't sound like something he'd say...
14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

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God is a lousy designer

A rather entraining website with examples of God's shoddy workmanship.
Centre for Unintelligent Design

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gospel of Luke 6-10 Jesus is Elijah Spelled Sideways

Luke 6-10

More of the same from Jesus.

Did anyone (as in actual scholars) consider that Jesus, who most surely knew of Elijah the Prophet was just mimicking his act?
Healing, making zombies, exorcisms, multiplying the number of things in a container...  This stuff isn't unique to The Son of Man.

8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Sounds like Jesus doesn't want people to know what he's talking about.  Or does he consider his followers to dim to follow what he's really trying to say?

8:33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

Jesus kills a herd of pig, destroying the livelihood of the pigs owners.  Pretty thoughtless act for the Son of God. But then, Jesus was responsible for many LESS killings than his dad!

Also, I have to admit that when I read about people being possessed by demons I find it hard to take these stories seriously.

Along the same lines of believability, Jesus talks with two fictional characters from stories in the Old Testament;

9:29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
9:30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
9:31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

One of my favorite bits from That Mitchell and Webb Look;
9:52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

10:1 After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
I'm surprised Jesus had this many people in his service.
He commands them to live humbly and only take what is offered to them for their service.  I again ask, Why do modern Christian preachers dress in expensive suits and have 'Mega-churches"?  Why does the  Catholic Church revel in ornate material objects and wear expensive clothes and jewelry? Tom gave an explanation here but it didn't satisfy my question.

10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Why is Jesus happy that intelligent people haven't received the word of god, but those with minds of a child have?  I get why the wise and prudent wouldn't listen to him but for Jesus to be happy that some folks did not receive the word seems rather odd, petty and counter-productive on his part.

As an aside, I get a kick out of the Zemanta add-on that helps you with research for your blog.  It will sometimes recommend an earlier blog post of mine as a reference!  Proof that you must be very careful about what to trust on the internet!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ancient Words Still Ring True

Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them. In fact, men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth — often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable.
Hypatia of Alexandria

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gospel of Luke 1-5 The Devil is in the Details

Luke 1-5

We get the third version of the Jesus chronicles.  Rashomon anyone?  Just kidding, Luke tells the same story as Matthew and Mark.

So far, Luke seems (to me) to be a better storyteller.  It's nice to get a little more background on Jesus.

I'm amused and confused by chapter 2.  Mary and Joseph don't notice that their 12 year old kid isn't with them on the way home?!?!  Someone call DCFS!

Then we get this line from Jesus in the temple;

2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
It's my understanding from reading Matthew and Mark that Jesus didn't know he was the son of God until he was baptized by John.

We do get a ton of historical references, which some state is proof that the events in the book are real.  But we have to keep in mind that these gospels were written well after the events occurred and these names could have been inserted to add credibility.

The last part of chapter three gives us another asinine listing of begats.  Useless information. 

While reading chapter five, I was struck by something that I didn't pick up on while reading Matthew and Mark.  The story of the fishermen Peter, James and John seems more like one of Jesus' parable and less like an actual event.  Did the author(s) confuse the fiction with the non-fiction?  Was it lost over the time between the life of Jesus and the writing of the books?

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Gospel of Mark - The Cliff Notes

Gospel of Mark

Mark copies off Matthew's paper and gives us an abbreviated version of the story of Jesus.
For the millionth time I question the editors of the bible.  Why is this in here?  It's obviously just a cut and paste job.

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