Was Mary a Virgin

Matthew 1:22-23
And this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin is with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means ‘God is with us'”.

Matthew is quoting the book of Isaiah (7:14) from the Septuagint. The word for virgin is rendered in the Greek Bible as parthenos. This word carries the explicit meaning of virgin. However, if we are to look at the Bible in its original Hebrew, from the Masoretic text, the word used there is almah. The nearest English translation for “almah” is a young woman and does not carry with it any suggestion of virginity.

The Nazarenes, who were likely followers of Peter and James (the brother of Jesus), never accepted the story of the virgin birth. We know this from references of their beliefs by the early church fathers such as Justin Martyr, Jerome, Irenaeus, and Origen. It is this group of Christians; more than any other, that can have claim to be direct eyewitnesses to the events in Jesus’ life.

Mark reveals that when Jesus started preaching, his whole family, including his mother Mary, went to call him back because they thought he was “out of his mind” (Mark 3:21). Now why on earth would Mary, of all people, think her son “out of his mind” when he started preaching, because-we are told-that an angel told her what was going on

The earliest sources on Jesus are silent on the issue of the virgin birth; Paul writes nothing of it, and the Gospel of Mark is silent about Jesus’ divine conception.  Both Paul and Mark were convinced believers and had it occurred or had they heard about it, they would surely have written something about it.  A natural reading without any theological preconceptions of Paul’s letter to the Galatians show that the “apostle to the gentiles” believed Jesus entered this world like anyone else:

Galatians 4:4
But when the time had fully come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

The message that Paul seems to convey here is that Jesus was a normal Jewish child called upon by God.

Did Matthew or Luke invent the Virgin Birth?

Horus–Egypt–Born of a virgin
Mithra–Persia — Born of a Virgin
Krishna–India–Born of a Virgin
Dionysus–Greece–Born of a Virgin
Perseus–Greece—Born of a Virgin
Adonis–Phoenician—Born of a Virgin

In almost all the popular mystery religions around the Mediterranean at the time of Jesus, the belief was that the divine personalities were born of virgins. The emerging new faith would want to show signs that Jesus and Christianity was divine and what better way than to claim virgin birth such as the other cults of the time.

I kinda wonder if any of the above myths have anything to do with the final birth story of Jesus as we know it now.

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Conversation about God’s reality

The following is part of a discussion between me and a very intelligent Catholic apologist.  We have been at this off and on for many months now and I truly enjoy “talking” with him

Qb: “Now wait a minute. 1) If you believe that man was alive around 250,000 years ago then that’s when Adam was around not 6,000 BC. And “all the earth” can mean either the whole globe or the known world at that time (which could be localized). The moral of the story works fine in either case. You haven’t disproved the flood story by demonstrating that there wasn’t one when Creationist say Adam lived. You’ve demonstrated that either the flood was 250,000 years earlier or you’ve disproved that it was local not global. IOW’s your disproved their interpretation of scripture, you haven’t undermined the bible’s moral story that humanity pays for its sins.”

Me: No, actually there is no evidence for a world –wide flood…ever.  There has been no time in at least the last 100 million years that I (courtesy of science) know of, when the earth was completely covered with water.  The Biblical story doesn’t make much sense if it is interpreted as a local flood.  Why go to all that trouble to build a boat structure (that would have actually been impossible for the times) like described in the Bible, when all you would have to do is herd the animals to the surrounding hills or mountains.

The story just doesn’t make any sense at all; in any context you try to put it.  Logic and geology and archaeology and palaeology say the story is false.  All the information given in the bible, the little and large clues about time and place and people do not lead any further back than 10,000 years, and for thousands of years this is what organized religion has been telling people is the truth.  The Bible is 100% true in all matters they say.  This Christian book is the be-all-end-all in the life of man.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. This is supposedly one of the Pastoral Epistles of Paul, but was probably written a hundred years after his death by an anonymous author so we probably should discount everything it says.

I digress…sorry.  What I am trying to say is that the Bible has these stories that the Church has been saying are true for 2000 years. It has all these chapters with all these sayings and instructions that the church has passed off as truly inspired from God and therefore true in all ways…it has ground this stuff into our brains for 2000 years…killed to further its vision…browbeat all who would dissent…demonized those who would not accept.

Now humans have grownup and we have learned about our world and its history and for the first time in over 200,000 +- years we can view and plot what has been our and our planets history.  It’s a foggy view at times, but sometimes things are crystal clear…we know things that people who lived many thousands of years ago couldn’t have even visualized or wouldn’t have thought possible.  We can prove things of the past with circumstantial evidence.

We can genetically plot the rise of man from the orangutans  or monkeys. We can genetically plot the meanderings of humanity for tens of thousands of years, across the whole face of the earth.  A real God would have known this and would not write a story that can so easily be dismissed nowadays.  The stories of the Bible are myths written by men to tell around the campfire or to entertain children…they have no basis in a real God…way to many mistakes that we can now see, they do not resonate as truth in today’s time because of the false stories that are passed off as truth…there is absolutely no sign of transcendent knowledge which we would expect a God to have.

Yes the story of Noah’s flood does have a moral, but it a false one because it tells that God will kill you if you do not bow down to him….but where is the God who tells false stories, where is a omniscient God who would know that people would pass off this story as true for 2500 years only to have it disproven later by a much smarter people…people who don’t believe in magic or demons or provably impossible myths.  There is no God…its getting clearer all the time.

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Demons and Devils and Popes, Bishops and Priests

“All the fathers of the church believed in devils. All the saints won their crowns by overcoming devils. All the popes and cardinals, bishops and priests, believed in devils. Most of their time was occupied in fighting devils. The whole Catholic world, from the lowest layman to the highest priest, believed in devils. They proved the existence of devils by the New Testament. They knew that these devils were citizens of hell. They knew that Satan was their king. They knew that hell was made for the Devil and his angels.”

As late as the middle of the sixteenth century, every infant that was baptized was, by that ceremony, freed from a devil. When the holy water was applied the priest said: “I command thee, thou unclean spirit, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that thou come out and depart from this infant, whom our Lord Jesus Christ has vouchsafed to call to his holy baptism, to be made a member of his body, and of his holy congregation.” At that time the fathers — the theologians, the commentators — agreed that unbaptized children, including those that were born dead, went to hell.

And these same fathers — theologians and commentators — said: “God is love.”

These babes were pure as Pity’s tears, innocent as their mother’s loving smiles, and yet the makers of our creeds believed and taught that leering, unclean fiends inhabited their dimpled flesh. O, the unscarchable riches of Christianity!

For many centuries the church filled the world with devils — with malicious spirits that caused storm and tempest, disease, accident and death — that filled the night with visions of despair; with prophecies that drove the dreamers mad. These devils assumed a thousand forms — countless disguises in their efforts to capture souls and destroy the church. They deceived sometimes the wisest and the best, made priests forget their vows. They melted virtue’s snow in passion’s fire, and in cunning ways entrapped and smirched the innocent and good. These devils gave witches and wizards their supernatural powers, and told them the secrets of the future.

Millions of men and women were destroyed because they had sold themselves to the Devil.

No man has genius enough to describe the agonies that have been inflicted on innocent men and women because of this absurd belief. How it darkened the mind, hardened the heart, and poisoned life! It made the Universe a madhouse presided over by an insane God.

Think! Why would a merciful God allow his children to be the victims of devils? Why would a decent God allow his worshipers to believe in devils, and by reason of that belief to persecute, torture and burn their fellow-men?

Christians did not ask these questions. They believed the Bible; they had confidence in the words of Christ.

How did your Devil, who was at one time an angel of light, come to sin? There was no other devil to tempt him. He was in perfectly good society — in the company of God — of the Trinity. All of his associates were perfect. How did he fall? He knew that God was infinite, and yet he waged war against him and induced about a third of the angels to volunteer. He knew that he could not succeed; knew that he would be defeated and cast out; knew that he was fighting for failure.

Why did God create those angels, knowing that they would rebel? Why did he deliberately sow the seeds of discord in heaven, knowing that he would cast them into the lake of eternal fire — knowing that for them he would create the eternal prison, whose dungeons would echo forever the sobs and shrieks of endless pain?
Robert Ingersoll late 1800’s

Remember people God never changes and he is a God of love….right….right???

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About The Holy Bible

A man ahead of his time. In the mid to late 1800’s a man named Robert Ingersoll was writing essays against religion, the Bible, slavery and any number of other things that struck him as intellectually or morally wrong.  His wit and intelligence made him popular, but he was reviled by many a pastor, priest, or minister for exposing the many, many wrongs and downright evil things that are promoted in the Bible.

Below are a few short excerpts from his writings “About the Holy Bible.”

“This book is the enemy of freedom, the support of slavery. This book sowed the seeds of hatred in families and nations, fed the flames of war, and impoverished the world. This book is the breastwork of kings and tyrants — the enslaver of women and children. This book has corrupted parliaments and courts. This book has made colleges and universities the teachers of error and the haters of science. This book has filled Christendom with hateful, cruel, ignorant and warring sects. This book taught men to kill their fellows for religion’s sake. This book funded the Inquisition, invented the instruments of torture, built the dungeons in which the good and loving languished, forged the chains that rusted in their flesh, erected the scaffolds whereon they died. This book piled fagots about the feet of the just. This book drove reason from the minds of millions and filled the asylums with the insane.

This book has caused fathers and mothers to shed the blood of their babes. This book was the auction block on which the slave- mother stood when she was sold from her child. This book filled the sails of the slave-trader and made merchandise of human flesh. This book lighted the fires that burned “witches” and “wizards.” This book filled the darkness with ghouls and ghosts, and the bodies of men and women with devils. This book polluted the souls of men with the infamous dogma of eternal pain. This book made credulity the greatest of virtues, and investigation the greatest of crimes. This book filled nations with hermits, monks and nuns — with the pious and the useless. This book placed the ignorant and unclean saint above the philosopher and philanthropist. This book taught man to despise the joys of this life, that he might be happy in another — to waste this world for the sake of the next.

I attack this book because it is the enemy of human liberty — the greatest obstruction across the highway of human progress.”   Robert Ingersoll

IS THE OLD TESTAMENT INSPIRED?
If it is, it should be a book that no man — no number of men — could produce.
It should contain the perfection of philosophy.
It should perfectly accord with every fact in nature.
There should be no mistakes in astronomy, geology, or as to any subject or science.
Its morality should be the highest, the purest.

Its laws and regulations for the control of conduct should be just, wise, perfect, and perfectly adapted to the accomplishment of the ends desired.
It should contain nothing calculated to make man cruel, revengeful, vindictive or infamous.
It should be filled with intelligence, justice, purity, honesty, mercy and the spirit of liberty.
It should be opposed to strife and war, to slavery and lust, to ignorance, credulity and superstition.
It should develop the brain and civilize the heart.
It should satisfy the heart and brain of the best and wisest.
It should be true.
Does the Old Testament satisfy this standard?
Is there anything in the Old Testament — in history, in theory, in law, in government, in morality, in science — above and beyond the ideas, the beliefs, the customs and prejudices of its authors and the people among whom they lived?
Is there one ray of light from any supernatural source?
The ancient Hebrews believed that this earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun, moon and stars were specks in the sky.
With this the Bible agrees.
They thought the earth was flat, with four corners; that the sky, the firmament, was solid — the floor of Jehovah’s house.
The Bible teaches the same.
They imagined that the sun journeyed about the earth, and that by stopping the sun the day could be lengthened.
The Bible agrees with this.
They believed that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman; that they had been created but a few years before, and that they, the Hebrews, were their direct descendants.
This the Bible teaches.
If anything is, or can be, certain, the writers of the Bible were mistaken about creation, astronomy, geology; about the causes of phenomena, the origin of evil and the cause of death.
Now, it must be admitted that if an infinite Being is the author of the Bible, he knew all sciences, all facts, and could not have made a mistake.
If, then, there are mistakes, misconceptions, false theories, ignorant myths and blunders in the Bible, it must have been written by finite beings; that is to say, by ignorant and mistaken men.
Nothing can be clearer than this.

For centuries the church insisted that the Bible was absolutely true; that it contained no mistakes; that the story of creation was true; that its astronomy and geology were in accord with the facts; that the scientists who differed with the Old Testament were infidels and atheists.

Now this has changed. The educated Christians admit that the writers of the Bible were not inspired as to any science. They now say that God, or Jehovah, did not inspire the writers of his book for the purpose of instructing the world about astronomy, geology, or any science. They now admit that the inspired men who wrote the Old Testament knew nothing about any science, and that they wrote about the earth and stars, the sun and moon, in accordance with the general ignorance of the time.

It required many centuries to force the theologians to this admission. Reluctantly, full of malice and hatred, the priests retired from the field, leaving the victory with science.

They took another position;

They declared that the authors, or rather the writers, of the Bible were inspired in spiritual and moral things; that Jehovah wanted to make known to his children his will and his infinite love for his children; that Jehovah, seeing his people wicked, ignorant and depraved, wished to make them merciful and just, wise and spiritual, and that the Bible is inspired in its laws, in the religion it teaches and in its ideas of government.

This is the issue now. Is the Bible any nearer right in its ideas of justice, of mercy, of morality or of religion than in its conception of the sciences? Is it moral?

It upholds slavery — it sanctions polygamy.
Could a devil have done worse?
Is it merciful?
In war it raised the black flag; it commanded the destruction, the massacre, of all — of the old, infirm. and helpless — of wives and babes.
Were its laws inspired?
Hundreds of offenses were punished with death. To pick up sticks on Sunday, to murder your father on Monday, were equal crimes. There is in the literature of the world no bloodier code. The law of revenge — of retaliation — was the law of Jehovah. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a limb for a limb.
This is savagery — not philosophy.
Is it just and reasonable?
The Bible is opposed to religious toleration — to religious liberty. Whoever differed with the majority was stoned to death. Investigation was a crime. Husbands were ordered to denounce and to assist in killing their unbelieving wives.
It is the enemy of Art. “Thou shalt make no graven image.” This was the death of Art.
Palestine never produced a painter or a sculptor.
Is the Bible civilized?
It upholds lying, larceny, robbery, murder, the selling of diseased meat to strangers, and even the sacrifice of human beings to Jehovah.
Is it philosophical?
It teaches that the sins of a people can be transferred to an animal — to a goat. It makes maternity an offence for which a sin offering had to be made.
It was wicked to give birth to a boy, and twice as wicked to give birth to a girl.
To make hair-oil like that used by the priests was an offence punishable with death.
The blood of a bird killed over running water was regarded as medicine.
Would a civilized God daub his altars with the blood of oxen, lambs and doves? Would he make all his priests butchers?
Would he delight in the smell of burning flesh?  Robert Ingersoll Reformatted somewhat…no words changed, altered, or deleted

Many of Robert Ingersoll’s works can be found at the link below

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/.

More details of Robert Ingersoll’s life and more links to his works can be found on Wikipedia at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_G._Ingersoll

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Myths about Jesus…Myths in the Bible

“Many people– then and now– have assumed that these letters [of Paul] are genuine, and five of them were in fact incorporated into the New Testament as “letters of Paul.” Even today, scholars dispute which are authentic and which are not. Most scholars, however, agree that Paul actually wrote only eight of the thirteen “Pauline” letters now included in the New Testament collection: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Virtually all scholars agree that Paul himself did not write 1 or 2 Timothy or Titus– letters written in a style different from Paul’s and reflecting situations and viewpoints in a style different from those in Paul’s own letters. About the authorship of Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, debate continues; but the majority of scholars include these, too, among the “deutero-Pauline”– literally, secondarily Pauline– letters.”
Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University

“When the Church mythologists established their system, they collected all the writings they could find and managed them as they pleased. It is a matter altogether of uncertainty to us whether such of the writings as now appear under the name of the Old and New Testaments are in the same state in which those collectors say they found them, or whether they added, altered, abridged or dressed them up”.   Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

“All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions.”
Steve Mason, professor of religious studies, York University in Toronto

“The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel.”  Bishop John Shelby Spong

“A generation after Jesus’ death, when the Gospels were written, the Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple (in 70 C.E.); the most influential centers of Christianity were cities of the Mediterranean world such as Alexandria, Antioch, Corinth, Damascus, Ephesus and Rome. Although large numbers of Jews were also followers of Jesus, non-Jews came to predominate in the early Church. They controlled how the Gospels were written after 70 C.E.”
Bruce Chilton, Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College

“Other scholars have concluded that the Bible is the product of a purely human endeavor, that the identity of the authors is forever lost and that their work has been largely obliterated by centuries of translation and editing.”
Jeffery L. Sheler, “Who Wrote the Bible,” (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

“The clerical confessions of lies and frauds in the ponderous volumes of the Catholic Encyclopedia alone suffice …to wreck the Church and to destroy utterly the Christian religion…. The Church exists mostly for wealth and self-aggrandizement; to quit paying money to the priests would kill the whole scheme in a couple of years. This is the sovereign remedy.”
Joseph Wheless, “Forgery in Christianity”

“Enterprising spirits responded to this natural craving by pretended gospels full of romantic fables, and fantastic and striking details; their fabrications were eagerly read and accepted as true by common folk who were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity. Both Catholics and Gnostics were concerned in writing these fictions. The former had no motive other than that of a Pious Fraud.” Catholic Encyclopedia

Church historian, Johann Lorenz von Mosheim, writes: “The Christian Fathers deemed it a pious act to employ deception and fraud.” Again, he says: “The greatest and most pious teachers were nearly all of them infected with this leprosy.”  “Ecclesiastical History”, Vol. I, p. 347.]

Many scholars think that Eusebius interpolated his writings. In Ecclesiastical History, he writes, “We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity.” (Vol. 8, chapter 2). In his Praeparatio Evangelica, he includes a chapter titled, “How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived” (Vol. 12, chapter 32).

There is not the slightest bit of physical evidence that supports a historical Jesus; there are no artifacts or dwellings, no works of carpentry, no written manuscripts (by Jesus), nothing.  All we have are writings from other people and there is no contemporary recording of the man/God nothing written while he was alive.  All documents about Jesus came well after his supposed life on earth from people who had never even met him, from unknown authors, or from fraudulent mythical /allegorical writings.  There are no Roman Records that show Pontius Pilate executed a man named Jesus.

“The gospels are all priestly forgeries over a century after their pretended dates.” Those who concocted some of the hundreds of “alternative” gospels and epistles that were being kicked about during the first several centuries C.E. have even admitted that they had forged the documents”  Joseph Wheless, “Forgery in Christianity”

“Pauline/Roman Christians: When the Roman-backed instance of Christianity went in search of the ancient centers of Christianity, they discovered to their horror that the Ebionites and Gnostics pre-dated them. Their un-Christian answer was to edit verses, burn books, arrest and harass the other poverty-stricken Christians until no opposition was left. The form of Christianity that we have inherited from the Roman Empire is far from what Christianity originally was.”
Types of Christianity: Who were the original Christians?”  by Vexen Crabtree (2006)

According to the Gospels several things happened around the time that Jesus died on the cross.
His death was supposedly accompanied by a three hour blackout of the sun, earthquakes, and the rising of the dead. No record of these events is to be found anywhere outside the Bible.

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Help Save our Children

Sadly there are cretin pedophiles and totally sick-ass people out roaming the streets of our country looking for victims.  Hundreds and hundreds of children disappear each year, many never to be seen again; many show up in shallow graves days, weeks, or years later.

Children are precious and deserve a safe and nurturing home and a vigilant society to watch out for them.  You can help.  Go to wirelessamberalerts.org  HERE and read how to save the life of an innocent child.  Come on…Be a Hero…it cost you nothing, and it could mean the whole world to a kidnapped child.

Did you know that statistics show that the first three hours after an abduction are the most critical in recovery efforts?

Wireless Amber Alerts and our children need your help.

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Carbon Dating And The Bible

Most all of the people I have ‘talked’ to on this blog are Christian evangelical fundamentalist creationists.  They almost to the man think that sciences dating of archaeological artifacts is flawed and cannot be trusted, especially if the dates disagree with their dogma.  The Catholics and some mainline Protestants groups have seen the error in their ways and have accepted that science is right on these matters.

Below is the introductory paragraphs from a paper on dating of ancient materials by one of their own brethren who just happens to be a scientist involved in dating.  I have provided a link to the whole article and the author, I should warn you the article is fairly technical.

Radiometric dating–the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements–has been in widespread use for over half a century. There are over forty such techniques, each using a different radioactive element or a different way of measuring them. It has become increasingly clear that these radiometric dating techniques agree with each other and as a whole, present a coherent picture in which the Earth was created a very long time ago. Further evidence comes from the complete agreement between radiometric dates and other dating methods such as counting tree rings or glacier ice core layers. Many Christians have been led to distrust radiometric dating and are completely unaware of the great number of laboratory measurements that have shown these methods to be consistent. Many are also unaware that Bible-believing Christians are among those actively involved in radiometric dating

This paper describes in relatively simple terms how a number of the dating techniques work, how accurately the half-lives of the radioactive elements and the rock dates themselves are known, and how dates are checked with one another. In the process the paper refutes a number of misconceptions prevalent among Christians today. This paper is available on the web via the American Scientific Affiliation and related sites to promote greater understanding and wisdom on this issue, particularly within the Christian community.

Dr. Roger C. Wiens RCWiens@MSN.Com
Whole article can be found at: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

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