On How to Write a Gospel Account

I challenge you to write an accurate history of Karl Dane, a 20th century Danish man.

This person spoke a different language than you, and never wrote anything down, and lived in a different country to you.

you are writing about him some 70 years after his death.

you cannot use the internet.

you cannot use the library.

you cannot use any book, since no other book has ever been written about him.

you cannot use the telephone.

you might be able to write some letters, but the reliability of them and time taken for delivery is highly suspect, plus knowing where the people live you need to speak to are is also a problem.

Debunking Christianity: On How to Write a Gospel Account

(Thanks Paul and Bill)

I particularly like the first comment:

The gospels were written by the eyewitnesses and their contemporaries.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not live in the United States. Instead, they lived in the world where the apostles were preaching about the risen Christ.

The post implies that distance is a problem to be overcome; however, distance was not an issue for the writters of the gospels so the argument is invalid.

Many look to the Bible for financial advice, but is it wise?

Depending on your view, the Bible is divinely inspired or a collection of tall tales. But many see it as a source of financial wisdom that transcends individual faith and the centuries between when it was written and today’s tough times. […]

Purveyors of biblically based financial advice count up to 2,300 verses on money management. Frequently cited verses in the Book of Proverbs urge careful spending, including “The plans of the diligent lead to profit, as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Another warns debtors that “the borrower is servant to the lender.”

Blue sees advice to diversify stock portfolios in a verse about a man’s “bread” from Ecclesiastes: “Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.”

But the many verses can be interpreted in different ways.

For instance, in the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full,” which some “prosperity gospel” preachers see as a promise of material wealth to faithful givers. Others say it’s an assurance of joy or contentment.

USA Today: Many look to the Bible for financial advice, but is it wise?

(via Religion News)

See also: Prosperity gospel’s role in crashing the economy

Why is this anti-gay Leviticus tattoo extra absurd?


Jesse Galef writes:

Yesterday, Andrew Sullivan put up a post about an extremely brutal hate-crime attack on an openly gay man. The 2-minute news report he embeds is depressing, but there was something to laugh about at the end. The studio interviewed one of the attackers’ friends, who proudly displayed this tattoo.

It’s a tattoo reading “[Thou] shall not lie with a male as one does with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22?. Who else sees the problem here?

Leviticus also forbids tattooing. In the very next chapter.

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28?

Full Story: The Friendly Atheist: Why is this anti-gay Leviticus tattoo extra absurd?

(via Paul Bingman)

See Also:

The Duggars and Quiverfull – The Cult Behind The Family

The Westboro Baptist Church is (Probably Not) a Scam

Who really said “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross”?

In the beginning God separated the Heaven and the Earth is correct translation says academic

Professor Ellen van Wolde, a respected Old Testament scholar and author, claims the first sentence of Genesis “in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth” is not a true translation of the Hebrew.

She claims she has carried out fresh textual analysis that suggests the writers of the great book never intended to suggest that God created the world — and in fact the Earth was already there when he created humans and animals.

Prof Van Wolde, 54, who will present a thesis on the subject at Radboud University in The Netherlands where she studies, said she had re-analysed the original Hebrew text and placed it in the context of the Bible as a whole, and in the context of other creation stories from ancient Mesopotamia.

She said she eventually concluded the Hebrew verb “bara”, which is used in the first sentence of the book of Genesis, does not mean “to create” but to “spatially separate”.

The first sentence should now read “in the beginning God separated the Heaven and the Earth”

Telegraph: God is not the Creator, claims academic

(via Satan a victim of bad PR, professor says

Gettin’ down with JC

Recently browsed Jesus links:

Jesus Never Existed

Unknown Life of Jesus

Appolonius of Tyana @ Wikipedia

Paul of Tarsus @ Wikipedia

Jesus @ Wikipedia

New translation of the Torah


A professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Alter says since he has never found a biblical translation that he liked or could recommend to his comparative literature students, he decided to do his own, starting with the story of Genesis and ending with the death of Moses.

Al Jazeera: Revised English translation for Torah

(via Disinfo)

There’s a New World Coming


Christian apocalypse comic PDF.

There’s a New World Coming

(via Abstract Dynamics)

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