According to the Bible, the Lord in the Bible, Jehovah, is a:
Avoid bad company and you won't be of their number (Proverbial)
Safety first - "A man is known by the company he keeps." Jesus who said his teachings are for Jews only (Matthew 10:4-10; 15:24) is also a slavery-supporter, a guarantor of slavery as an institution (Matthew 5:17-19).
In the Old Testament, Jehovah - or Canaanite El - likens himself to a shepherd and his chosen ones his sheep, even-toed and ruminant, important for wool and meat and typically kept as livestock. Jesus uses the sheep allegory too. Who wants to be a sheep on all four and herded to be sheared, possibly infected by scabby ones, and later slaughtered ruthlessly? However, there is hope: Jesus informs that healthy ones do not need him. That made sense to Jesus . . . (Matthew 9:12; John 10:27).
Yahweh of the Bible hates and shows partiality - Further, his chosen ones - sheep or other innocents - may be slaughtered. You cannot be too careful when it comes to health and deeper health concerns, or in choosing your company, or what?
Well, do not be led by any religious neuroses, but seek professional help to get rid of them.
"Do not be led [blindly] by whatever has been handed down from past generations." Buddha [Kalama Sutta ].
How many Jewish followers are called by Jesus to surpass him some way or other according to John 14:12! As for those who are healthy, they do not need Jesus and his claimed at-one-with-Jesus Father (Matthew 9:12; John 10:27). We had better not let fools and their verbiage ruin innocents. Ask for top evidence; be wary enough for that.
Awareness of stages of life should be useful. [Erik H. Erikson's postulated stages].
Binding others sorely is not freeing them. Ask whether scapegoating and butchering innocent animals really expiates sins of two-legged scoundrels, and whether marriage promises imposed on you are clean and good. They serve societal order and control by binding folks on rather strict terms. It shows up after the marriage fiest is done with.
Inconsistencies in the Bible teachings can. There are well over a hundred contradictions in the Bible. Many are serious.
Say no to getting tricked and duped. Consider "I desire mercy, not sacrifice (Old Testament saying repeated in Matthew 9:12-13)." Did it mean God did not desire to sacrifice Jesus, after all? Tricks abound. Sheep see few of them.
Sta fermo, stay firm and do not underestimate the evidence - According to that lasting ordinance (Leviticus 16:29-34), Jesus was not to "atone for all". Nor did he, according to the Old Testament: Enoch, the father of Metusaleh and ancestor of Noah, could have found favour, for example. "Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." (Genesis 5:24). This allows for several interpretations. And Elijah's name typically occurs in Jewish lists of those who have entered heaven alive, wherever the bible writers got that from.
According to the post-biblical Jewish Midrash, eight people went to heaven (also referred to as the Garden of Eden and Paradise) alive, and among them are also Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh; she saved baby Moses (1 Chronicles 4:18; Jewish Encyclopedia).
Sound garden living - make it a foretaste of paradise if you can.
Many prophet sayings may be abused, and some remain unfulfilled. How could Jesus - a false prophet in that his timing about the end of the world was too bad - hope to fulfil prophet sayings?
Explanation: Dr Bart D. Ehrman sorts historical evidence from the New Testament and the more recently discovered Gospels of Thomas and Peter and shows that the main message of Jesus was that the end of history was near, that God would shortly intervene to overthrow evil and establish his rule on earth. Jesus and his disciples all believed these end time events would happen in their lifetimes. Dr Ehrman's work does not lack backup. Do not be trapped in the chimera of hard line Christian suggestions and inconsistencies? Jesus who said his teachings are for Jews only (Matthew 5:1-10; 15:24) foretold something that did not come to pass,, is considered a false prophet and should be put to death for his false prophesying, says the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 18:20-22) (Ehrman 2001)
The Lord is angry with all nations . . . He will totally destroy [their armies], he will give them over to slaughter . . . their dead bodies will send up a stench; the mountains will be soaked with their blood. All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved [It should take some time, though -] . . . The desert owl and screech owl will possess [the land of Edom] . . . nettles and brambles [will overrun] her strongholds. (Isaiah 34:2-12, passim)
In this chapter of Isaiah the universe collapses, but desert owls and brambles go on anyway - Did Jesus fulfil any of it? Don't be silly.
The observable universe contains about 30 to 70 sextillion stars organised in more than 80 billion galaxies that form clusters and superclusters. Alan Guth thinks the entire Universe could be at least 1023 to 1026 times as large as the observable universe. The light from a distant star takes a long time to travel to reach us. For example, the light from the Eagle Nebula takes 7,000 years to reach the Earth. (WP "Observable universe")
Some talk with two tongues - but does it pay? Jesus communicates two different things. In Sanhedrin that he had taught openly, but in Matthew 13 of secrets he had imparted. He was executed.
Several questions may arise: whether he imparted secrets without letting anybody know he did it, including his disciples. Or whether he imparted secrets that were so secret that not even he understood them at the moment. Or both - so that neither his disciples nor himself knew about the secrets he had taught.
There are two New Testament versions of how Judas died. In the gospel version he hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-8), In the Acts tale he "bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. (Acts 1:19).
Is there a right version, one may come to wonder. In the New Testament, Jesus promised to send the Spirit of Truth to the apostles. Two different versions on how Judas Iscariot died discount it. So one or two writers of New Testament parts were not guided into all the truth of how Judas died. (John 16:12-14)
Yet we may let truth, truthfulness, and heart-agreed-on righteousness support our outlooks (Matthew 21:32; John 4:24; 7:24), and through that our mental health and well-being. "Better say no to Bible forgery" is a fit attitude for scholars. Consider Jan Hus too. (WP, "Jan Hus")
The teachings of Jesus about mustard are faulty, at least in the translations of the passages in which they occor. (Cf. Matthew 13:31-32; 17:21; cf. Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19; 17:5-6)
Mustard is a not a very big plant and does not grow into a tree. There are no branches to perch on there. The mustard seed is not the smallest garden seed either. Flax seeds and sesamum seeds are smaller, and many others.
Mustard itself is not known for any of the faith feats Jesus wrongly ascribes to it, but is quite a "must" with hot dogs.
Further, mustard is not known for uprooting trees and planting them anywhere else, or for moving mountains. Is that staggering?
Probe to see whether anybody around has had the marks of faith that Jesus talks of. They should be able to do greater things than massing bible slogans and hypocrites and demonaics. Any false and misleading bible teachings should not be welcomed, but run out of town.
Some say that the data of Jesus about mustard, which allow for double-checking, is wrong, but his largely figurative information about heaven, which is difficult to find out of first-hand, is right. We ought not be like them, but prefer sound biology teachings and common sense over and above erroneous doctrine.
Pancreator, Developed Church Rituals and Monasticism
There are some features not found among Jewish (ill-sheep) followers of Jesus and in the first church.
1. Monasticism as a movement in the early church rose in Egypt some centuries CE. (EB "Christianity")
2. There was no Christianity of Jesus. Christianity came later (from ca. 50 CE) and changed as it grew and got dominance. It is still changing as it goes away from original decrees, and does it by leaders-and-groups agreements. A nice indication is:
When Christians got power in the Roman empire after some centuries, (1) Jesus was put on the Emperor's throne, so to speak, as Pantocrator (all-ruling majesty). (2) Christians also agreed on serving as soldiers to keep the church as the Roman state's religion - the old pacificism of turning the other cheek was bartered away for worldly influence. These things were formally cemented before 400 CE. (3) And the church took over a huge load of lithurgical elements from pagan sources in the Roman Empire too. It was competing with them. [Study the facts].
Acts show how formerly unheard of it was when Peter was when he brought Christianity to Gentiles - to a Cornelius and his family. The other apostles found it hard to digest it, but finally did. It more than suggests that Jesus had not told them to turn to Gentiles, which is what Peter had done after a vision in Joppa. In fact, Jews had made it clear to them that his teachings, healing ministry and salvation were for Jews only (Vermes 2012). Encyclopedia Britannica:
Extending the Kingdom of God to the Gentiles must, therefore, have been cast by the early community. (EB, "Christianity")
The last few passages in the last chapter of Matthew, containing the so-called missionary command, are added to the gospel much later, and much likely forged. [Joseph Wheeless shows how]
Disagreements among apostles
Paul viewed the crucifixion of Jesus as the supreme redemptive act - but see: If it be true, why did millions of martyrs have to suffer and die instead of enjoying life and God? And why did not anybody - Jesus, his Eli-father, and all others involved - remember to "mumbo-jumbo" two goats yearly? The scapegoating was instituted to redeem the Lord's people year by year, and given for all time to come, it says. (Leviticus 16)
[Aaron] is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites - all their sins - and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place. (Leviticus 16:21-22]
Paul's doctrine that the gospel represents liberation from the Mosaic Law created difficulties at Jerusalem, where the church was headed by a brother of Jesus, James, and the circle of the intimate disciples of Jesus. James was the primary authority for the Christian Jews, and the letter of James opposes Paul's anti-law interpretations of the doctrine of justification by faith.
Further, all the gospels record how Jesus commissioned Peter as the leader of the twelve apostles. Peter seems to have held some middle position between James and Paul.
Even more astounding, there were no written gospels that went into the first church, only four requirements and a Ghost (Spirit). (Acts 15:19-21; 21:25)
The developing early church had a very negative attitude toward other religions, and soon included Judaism among them the religion that Jesus grew up in. He said his teachings, kingdom and salvation were for Jews only, and only ill, depraved ones among them." (Matthew 15:24, 10:4-10; Vermes 2012) [More]
Christianity incorporated a whole lot of elements from paganism, while Jewish Christianity declined. [More].
Further, at any time in the 100s or 200s, Christians could find themselves the object of unpleasant attention. Before the 300s AD, worship was in private houses. (EB, "Christianity")
Jesus did not teach Christianity or monasticism; he taught Jewish followers and never called himself "Messiah" or "Christ" either. The title Messiah means the "oil-anointed one", stemming from 1 Samuel 10, and shows that Hebrew kings were originally appointed to be God's punishment to the people. (1 Samuel 8; 1 Samuel 10:1)
Monastics separate themselves from a general society. Christian monasticism developed from hermits, mostly in Egyptian. Celibacy might not have been part of that early monastic community. Also, in the said "Christianity of Jesus" there are no monastics at all. They made their way later. (EB "monasticism")
Jesus in the gospels also said no to false Christs (Mark 13:21-23; Matthew 24:23-25); and no to having many masters (Matthew 23:7-9), no to other masters and teachers than himself, and so on. But what did he know? His gardener skills are rudimentary, his teachings about how to raise the son of man, barnasha, are into something - however, how to do it with skill is given elsewhere.
This is not well enough taught: John 18:19-21 versus Matthew 13:11-17.
Christianity started as a tense sect, an offshoot of Judaism. Later-written gospel teachings and other writings are full of elements that engender controversy, and sectarian divisions, not unity. Forgeries were common, as Bart D. Ehrman has shown in some of his books (1993, 2005. 2011, 2013). Subjugations, religious warfare and other forms of cruelty are hallmarks of Christianity in the light of history.
Jesus talks in one place of binding the strong one and taking his house (Matthew 12;29-30, 33). Is it a description of prescription? That can be hard to decide on. Yet the golden rule offers normal people help against bad sayings or tricks. "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Toráh; the rest is the explanation; go and learn it." (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a)
The hard, slave-taking God of the Old Testament got a son through an angel against the Mosaic Law, his own Law. It says unmarried women with illegitimate children must be stoned, or similar. The illegitimate child grew up to talk of robbery, which is violence and theft. Jesus vouched for slavery, which tends to be rooted on robbery of formerly free persons, and continuing in that. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them (Matthew 5:17)." And that Law says such as, "Keep the Canaanite slave forever (Leviticus 25:46)."
Jesus did not fulfil all the prophets at all. For example, the prophet Jeremiah says, "Everyone is senseless and without knowledge." (Jeremiah 10:14). Did it include Jeremiah too? The little example says Jesus had to be everyone, senseless and without knowledge to fulfil at least that prophet passage. As it is, the very few passages he seems to welcome are figurative and do not describe him well, if at all, since detail in them does not fit him. But we leave the prophet bluffs about Jesus aside here.
Is there anything better than a Law where slavery (bullying) is instituted and regulated (Exodus 21 ff etc)? It depends on the living. Earlier, proficiency in marauding with slave-taking brought Vikings and Israelites alike a long way into some promising land. To many Norsemen it was Normandie, to Hebrews it was not. In their case, sources differ. The Bible speaks of slaughter, slavetaking and holocausts, as seen in the book of Joshua. (Joshua 10:40,42) But bible archeologists tell there is no evidence of Joshua's campaigns.
What archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. [And] the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And . . . the God of Israel, YHWH, had a female consort and . . . the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai." - University archaeologist Ze'ev Herzog (in WP, "Criticism of the Bible")
Accordingly, we should face we might read of more than one fictitious Bible holocausts. The Israelites of said holocausts killed minor children and cattle, and destroyed many fine trees. And their Yahweh decided to have the Israelites killed too; various passages in the Old Testament say so. How successful was he?
There was slavery in the Bible before the Law of Moses, and slavery in the Old Testament was instituted and regulated by Yahweh, we read (Exodus 21 ff). Jesus and Paul don't say no to it, contrary to the Golden Rule (above and elsewhere). Examples:
The Law: "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod . . . he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. (Exodus 21:20-21)
As for the "Keep the Canaanite slave forever (Leviticus 25:46)," it is listen among the "613 good things to do" the mitzvot for Jews. A theoretical complications appears: Judging from artefacts, Bible archeologists think Hebrews were Canaanites. Who is to be a slave, then?
The Stone Lessons: "Concepts do not always fit," or "There is not always a way out"
Jesus does not specify the size or shape of the needle in one of his saying for Jews only, in one of those "teachings" he expressly forbade non-Jews to get, as Geza Vermes summarises (2010:37,41). It boils down to this: There are good and in part far better teachings than his, teachings that are not forbidden non-Jews.
As a matter of courtesy to all non-Jews, the fit response to quite barbaric gospel teachings and that the gospel teachings are for Jews only, we may just cut them out.
Consider how a vast amount of prayers go unanswered. Pray for a shower of rain in the desert to test it out repeatedly to make the study fit for a research paper. Remember, one swallow doesn't make a summer; one shower is not thought to ahve proof value, scientifically speaking. Have at least twenty-four separate tests to eliminate the most severe errors of conclusions, to show you are onto something.
Or test-ask God to create a stone that is so big that he cannot lift it. Conduct decent tests. Find facts that matter and don't be taken in by all sorts of big words. It could be good for you. [Kalama Sutta]
Luckily, brutish, self-molestation commandments of Jesus were for Jews only (Matthew 15:24; 10:4-10). It should not be wrong to respect that and not recite old forgeries and vagaries of gospels in the dozens.
To be baptised without one's own consent: cruelty
Child baptism tends to be followed up by religious indoctrination and great intolerance to ensure much conformism too. It is a system approach at work, in part served by indoctrination.
Child baptism is opposed to baptising only individuals who personally confess faith in Jesus. Little is agreed on about the very widespread ritual practice of baptising little children.
Child baptism got momentum in medieval times during the reign of Carlemagne, as a means of stability. Infant baptism was a way to incorporate new-born babies into the community by tying them to the current faith.
(WP, "Infant baptism")
Ehrman, Bart D. 1993. The Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. New York: Oxford University Press.
⸻. 2001. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. Paperback ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
⸻. 2005. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. New York: HarperCollins.
⸻. 2011. Forged: Writing in the Name of God: Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. New York: HarperCollins.
⸻. 2013. Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Vermes, Geza. 2010. The Real Jesus: Then and Now. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2010.
⸻. 2010b. The Story of the Scrolls: The Miraculous Discovery and True Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. London: Penguin, 2010b.
⸻. 2012. "From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity." Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012.
Harvesting the hay
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