Much of Religion is Falsifiable

Fal si fi a ble
“Able to be proven false, and therefore testable; as, most religious beliefs are not falsifiable and therefore outside the scope of experimental science”  Webster’s revised unabridged Dictionary

 The Christian religion makes many falsifiable claims about itself. It likes to tell its members that prayer is answered and is effective in curing sicknesses and helps in almost any situation.  Your pastor or priest or rabbi will not tell you about all the studies that have shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that prayer is totally useless, other than as a ‘positive thinking’ or placebo exercise.

Those unlucky people who have had an arm or leg amputation, have never had their prayers answered to regrow said limb…in all of earthly recorded history.

Those two undeniable ‘facts’ completely falsify the Christian claim that prayer does work.  So I wonder why this is?  It seems that Christians would have caught on by now.  Remember Texas Governor Perry having his little prayer meeting trying to get some rain in the state to relieve a terrible drought?   The fires broke out and Texas has had the worst fire season ever…way to go god.

1.  Prayer is a falsifiable claim of Christianity. And it has been proven false.

Since the 1600’s or so science has been relentlessly working on many many projects that have inadvertently invaded the claims and assertions of religion.  Other than the people who write for the Biblical Archaeological Review the scientists whose field is archaeology, paleontology, biology, geology, physical anthropology, or radiometric dating do not work to try and prove the Bible…nor do they work to disprove it.  They simply do their job and report what they find without prejudice.

Likewise the field of genetics, although a relatively new science, it, along with other earth sciences, in just a few short years has made tremendous strides in defining our humanness and ancestry and giving us a sense of history that defies and falsifies what religion has been telling us for thousands of years.

What these sciences together have done is falsify most of the books of Genesis and Exodus.  We now have convincing scientific evidence that falsifies the stories that generation after generation was brainwashed with and told were true history.  From about 500+- AD when the Bible was canonized till the middle of the 20th century, people who doubted the Christian religion and God were mostly without proofs of what they believed…not any longer.

Now we know where all of us humans came from…Africa…and most likely the Ethiopian area…and most likely about 50,000 + years ago.  Archaeologists and paleontologists have been saying this for years, and just in the last few years genetics and DNA has confirmed this. We have found proof that our ancestors mated successfully with Neanderthals.  There is new evidence (that is not fully confirmed yet), that our ancestors mated with some other ancient hominids.  The evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable…we are not guessing anymore…we have the proof to back it up.

We don’t need a physical ‘missing link’ anymore…we can follow our history in the blood and DNA.  We are the last surviving representative of the genus Homo…which is estimated to be 2.3 to 2.4 million years old…we have really ancient ancestors, we can no longer deny this.  We are not related to a mythical ‘Adam and Eve’ or to the mythical sons of Noah.

2.  Adam and Eve is a falsified claim of Christianity…they are just a Biblical myth. ***

This is going to cost the Christian community a big case of heartburn.  Because of Paul inventing ‘Original Sin’ in the New Testament and placing the blame on Adam and Eve’s fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.  ***There are additional falsified claims in Genesis.

Because of ‘Original Sin’ concept Christianity needs the first couple…badly.  The whole of the need for Jesus was Paul saying that through Adam and Eve’s disobedience and downfall, sin passed down to all of mankind, Jesus had to provide a blood-sacrifice to expiate the sins we humans all have.  Think of this…a blood sacrifice to a god…how insane and silly is that?

Does any of this sound suspicious and slightly familiar?  Didn’t the old civilizations in South America and the really old cultures in the Middle East, and elsewhere kill people as sacrifices to god or the god’s?  Blood sacrifices…like Jesus.

From Wikipedia:
“In Trinitarian Christian teaching, God became incarnate in Jesus Christ, sacrificing his first-born son to accomplish the reconciliation of God and humanity, which had separated itself from God through sin (see the concept of original sin). According to a view that has featured prominently in Western theology since early in the 2nd millennium, God’s justice required an atonement for sin from humanity if human beings were to be restored to their place in creation and saved from damnation. However, God knew limited human beings could not make sufficient atonement, for humanity’s offense to God was infinite, so God created a covenant with Abraham, which he fulfilled when he sent his only Son to become the sacrifice for the broken covenant. In Christian theology, this sacrifice replaced the insufficient animal sacrifice of the Old Covenant; Christ the “Lamb of God” replaced the lambs’ sacrifice of the ancient Korban Todah (the Rite of Thanksgiving), chief of which is the Passover in the Mosaic Law.

3.  The need for Jesus as a blood sacrifice for ‘Original Sin’ is falsified by the non-existence of Adam and Eve.

Most archaeologists and earth scientists have known for years that there was never any evidence of the Hebrews (a million + strong) living in and subsequently leaving Egypt.  Repeated surveys of the Sinai desert by the best scientists in their field has never found the slightest bit of evidence for the Hebrew passage and their camping out for 40 years. There are no Egyptian records or writings supporting the myth of half or more of their population leaving suddenly. This is a non-event…it has no scientific attestation at all.

4.  The truth of the Exodus and the supernatural events that follow in the myth has been falsified by over a hundred years of searching for the slightest evidence…and not finding any.

In the thousands of years of human history, magical or supernatural explanations of phenomena have never once been proved…and natural explanations have ALWAYS worked. Never the other way round.

There is more to all of this, but it’s past my bedtime. 🙂

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleontology
http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/forensics.shtml
http://www2.estrellamountain.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/BioBookDNAMOLGEN.html
https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/lan/en/atlas.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution
http://humanorigins.si.edu/
http://www.becominghuman.org/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_life/human/human_evolution/index.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice#Judaism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_violence.

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Wall of Separation Between Church and State.”

Michael Zimmerman has an article in the Huffington Post called The Danger of Ignoring Creationism. In it he says: “…The Discovery Institute is little more than a shill for the billionaire Howard Ahmanson.  And Mr. Zimmerman quotes Ahmanson as saying, “My goal is the total integration of biblical law into our lives.”

Well that should be an interesting situation.  That means we will have to go out and kill homosexuals and stone to death anyone who commits adultery.  Women who give birth to boys will have to be put away for 30 days, and if they give birth to girls they will have to go away for 60 days. Women on their period will have to be confined to quarters for 7 days.  We won’t be allowed to eat Pork anymore…God, I’ll miss bacon.

Just think of all the people who will go to prison for blasphemy, and heresy will of course mean burning at the stake, as will witchcraft and demonry…is that even a word? 🙂  Now if Mr. Ahmanson is a real fundamentalist (sure sounds like he is) we won’t be allowed to dance or drink or use lipstick or dress up with jewelry. Any music more advanced than Laurence Welk would be outlawed, and you might as well forget Mohawk and Mullet haircuts (no loss there).

Do we reeaalllly want people who think like this to have any power at all over us?  I don’t think so, but the religious right is totally behind this kind of power grab…you know those fundagelicals and all those ‘Raptured’ people and followers of the 700 clubs Pat Robertson and his fellow Millenarianists. They actively want the Christian bible to be “The Law” and everyone to submit to what they believe in…with no exceptions. See blasphemy and heresy above.

We’re not talking Sunday School teachers taking over…we’re talking hard line Dark Ages Inquisition and burn at the stake fanatics…these people are truly scary.  They lie and cheat and scheme and talk a good game, but deep down they are evil.

Late thought:  Can you imagine the Inquisition in today’s world of electronics and computers and miniature video cameras?  A shiver just went down my spine.

The quote of the day below takes on serious meaning when confronted by people like Howard Ahmanson and Pat Robertson and crew.

Quote of the day

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”

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-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802

Misc. Bible Related Stuff

From Time Magazine
“…On the other hand, say many scholars, much of what is recorded in the Bible is at best distorted, and some characters and events are probably totally fictional. Most scholars suspect that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Judaism’s traditional founders, never existed; many doubt the tales of slavery in Egypt and the Exodus; and relatively few modern historians believe in Joshua’s conquest of Jericho and the rest of the Promised Land. In the most extreme view, all of the above are complete fabrications, invented centuries after the supposed fact.”

And:
“John Van Seters of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, summed up many of their commonly held positions. The oldest books of the Old Testament, he declared with Pope-like confidence, weren’t written until the Israelites were in exile in Babylon, after 587 B.C. There was no Moses, no crossing of the sea, and no revelation on Mount Sinai.”

And:
“The Bible’s accounts of these people and events are among the most familiar stories in the Old Testament. But even scholars who believe they really happened admit that there’s no proof whatsoever that the Exodus took place. No record of this monumental event appears in Egyptian chronicles of the time, and Israeli archaeologists combing the Sinai during intense searches from 1967 to 1982 — years when Israel occupied the peninsula — didn’t find a single piece of evidence backing the Israelites’ supposed 40-year sojourn in the desert.”

And:
“…considering that artifacts from as far back as the late Stone Age have turned up in the Sinai , it is perplexing that no evidence of the Israelites’ passage has been found. William Dever, a University of Arizona archaeologist, flatly calls Moses a mythical figure. Some scholars even insist the story was a political fabrication, invented to unite the disparate tribes living in Canaan through a falsified heroic past.”

Read the whole story: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983854-1,00.html

“It would be impossible…to argue that the Bible is a unified whole, inerrant in all its parts, inspired by God in every way. It can’t be that. There are too many divergences, discrepancies, contradictions; too many alternative ways of looking at the same issue, alternatives that often are at odds with one another. The Bible is not a unity, it is a massive plurality. God did not write the Bible, people did.”   Jesus Interrupted (p. 279). Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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A time will come when a politician who has willfully made war and promoted international dissension will be … surer of the noose than a private homicide.
~ H. G. Wells

Prove There Is No Jesus He Says

Deacon Blue’s blog HERE issued a challenge to all…

“So, to those of you who want to knock me off my faith, you are going to have to give me credible reason to believe that Jesus never even existed, and neither did the apostles, for you to knock me off my faith.”

And: “Consider it a challenge if you like. If you can provide me with such evidence of those two assertions that it overwhelms the record of the existing sources from which I currently draw my knowledge and on which I base my faith.”

My first reply to him is:

Jesus may have existed, but no one wrote about him in his time. There is real serious questions about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John’s authorship of the gospels however…I am just going on what people a lot smarter than I say on these matters. Fallout from this position is that we may not know what Jesus actually said (if he existed).

For me however, I go to the Answers in Genesis people and their position that if Genesis in the Bible is not true…the whole of Christianity falls apart.

Well, most, if not all, of Genesis is demonstrably wrong according to what we know about our world now.

The AiG people go to tremendous lengths to try to prove their point, but they are unable to do so.

The science they try to push on an unsuspecting public has been screened time after time by reputable scientists and proven wrong.

They are the same people who opened the “Creation” museum in Kentucky and try to tell us that Jesus rode a dinosaur…well actually they say that dinosaurs roamed the earth with our ancestors and were on Noah’s ark.

Well, we have known for 400 years now that there was never a Noah’s ark and world-wide flood. Most of Christianity accepts this now. The main point of contention left is whether the Adam and Eve story from the Bible could be true.

We know for a fact (this is NOT a theory) that humans did not suddenly appear on earth six thousand years ago or ten thousand years ago or even fifty thousand years ago…this is NOT in question at all. The Adam and Eve story does not, and will not, fit into a scenario where they were created 200,000 years ago. The story also will not support the fact that there were several Homo specimens who preceded us and they had already learned about fire and mastered the making of stone tools before we came along 200,000+- BC

If Adam and Eve are not true…and I posit they were not…then the whole story actually does fall apart. No “Original Sin” no need for Jesus to somehow expiate our non-existent sins. That whole ‘blood’ debt thing is creepy anyway. And God inseminating Mary to conceive Himself so that He can be executed for sins that He created in this world is just plain out bonkers, a truly crazy conceptual idea.

I don’t think there is any shame in admitting that one is wrong…many have done it over this information. It is overwhelming and factual and the Bible is fighting a losing battle against real facts and truth. There is no magic in this world…”

Addendum: So by using circumstantial evidence that we have known as facts for many many years now, one can in a roundabout way throw very serious doubt on the old Jewish myths.  The Old Testament (Hebrew writing) is very essential to Christianity and the New Testament today…it is what the whole Christian shtick is based on.

He replies in essence that he believes none of this. So in reply to this I write

You write in your original post:
“So, to those of you who want to knock me off my faith, you are going to have to give me credible reason to believe that Jesus never even existed, and neither did the apostles, for you to knock me off my faith.”

Of what need is there for Jesus if there was no ‘original sin” to expiate??

The Jews of course are adamant that the messiah hasn’t come yet.

They do not write of ‘original sin’ do they…isn’t that a concept that Jesus never heard of??

Isn’t this a concept that was invented in Paul’s writing?

If the Gospels were written by “who knows” (Genesis also) (half of Paul’s epistles too) well after the death of Jesus, and the final Bible took the ‘Orthodox’ Church about 400 years to produce; do you think we, in our times, REEAALLYY know what is true and real, or is there just a small possibility that we got stuff wrong?…really wrong. Remember that the Bible is almost certainly a product of humans (without that “God breathed” thing going on)…way to many problems with it to have a gods official stamp on it.

If you ***really*** get into trying to find the real answers to religion you very quickly come across thousands of problems and questions…this leads you to apologetics which will drive you crazy with the twists and turns of logic and lame answers to serious questions…this in turn leads you to science and all of a sudden things begin to make real sense.

A real and true religion, it seems to me, would not need a search for answers because there would be no anomalies and little things that bother you because parts and more parts of the words are not matching, and the stuff we find out in real life would match up with what is written. The God would be self evident…not an elusive sky will-o-wisp. He could still live in the sky, but there must be some way of proving this God, because us humans are a contrary lot. The old apologetics that you must have faith does not cut it, and more and more young people are finding this out.

In closing; Jesus may have existed as a human person, but he was not “God” incarnate…there is no real proof.

Adam and Eve did not exist…this really puts a crimp in the need for a messiah. And if you don’t need a messiah…what is he?

It goes on…

I realize that you accept some science and that’s a lot further than most fundagelicals go.
I feel however that you somehow can’t accept where it is inevitably leading. I’m guessing that you just push to the back of your mind anything that might make you doubt where you are and where you want to be.

Non-scientific. Do you believe in the “Rapture?” I have it on good authority that if you aren’t “Born Again and believe in the Rapture” you will NOT go to heaven when the trumpet sounds.

I have it on good authority that if you DON’T believe in the Trinity…that God was Jesus and the Holy Spirit all rolled into one (or was it the other way round?) you will burn in hell forever.

I have it on good authority that if you DO believe in the Trinity you will burn in hell.

I have it on good authority that if you don’t believe the precise dogma of “X” denomination you will burn in hell…literally hundreds or thousands of answers to this one.

Do you believe in the Virgin Mary and her (as well as Jesus’) Immaculate Conception? Do you follow the dogma that Jesus had no brothers or sisters (Mary remained a virgin) i.e. an only child…If not I have it on good authority that you will burn in hell–forever.

I have it on good authority that if you don’t believe in Allah and follow the Koran…you will burn in hell forever and possibly be blown up here on earth by fanatic Muslims.

Really do you think this religion is in any way real when it cannot even agree and tell anyone how to comport yourself in this world and the afterlife, or in front of a supposed God.

Do you really believe the present (and past) state of religion on this earth makes any kind of sense??? Do you believe the machinations of untold thousands of religious people for their own personal aggrandizement and profit (think of televangelists and the Catholic Church here) speaks of something “Holy”???

So you think religion is supposed to be this way? All fractured and non-compliant with each other…each one “Knowing” that they are the “only” way to heaven. Each one imputing a God with their own sensibilities and likes and dislikes, each one thinking the “others” are going to burn in hell forever?

The Roman Catholics worship one way.
The Lutherans worship another way.
The Baptist worship another way.
The Pentecostals worship another way.
The Anglicans worship two other ways.
Those Mormon upstarts worship another way.
The Jehovah’s witnesses worship another way.
The Quakers worship another way.
The Orthodox Catholics worship another way.

This could go on for days…but I forget a lot of them.

Each of the above say they worship the same God, but each of them just knows they have the only true and real passage to heaven…all the others will burn in hell forever.

Is this really anyway to run a religion? Is this the indicator of the truth of God? Do you think God wants to be worshiped in 2000 different ways and wants all the hard feelings and strife that goes along with the strong dichotomies that exist in the Judeo-Christian religious world.

God is certainly not living up to His implied abilities. You know…being organized and efficient. Kinda’ laying down on the job as to being all loving…letting all these bad feelings towards each other simmer and blow up occasionally. If He created us He surely knows how we are.

My expectations of a God (sorry if I’m being to prideful here) is of one who is logical, intelligent, very kind to ALL, one who watches out for His experiments (us), and who has pride in His work and craftsmanship. AS well as all the other attributes given Him by philosophers over the centuries…omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc., etc.. Oh, and He would actually answer prayers occasionally…which He never does now.

“In the eleventh century, Isaac ibn Yashush, a Jewish court physician of a ruler in Muslim Spain, pointed out that a list of Edomite kings that appears in Genesis 36 named kings who lived long after Moses was dead. Ibn Yashush suggested that the list was written by someone who lived after Moses. The response to his conclusion was that he was called “Isaac the blunderer.”
History however has proven him to be correct.  This is further proof that Moses did not write the Pentateuch.

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Scriptural Contradictions

“The Spaniards in Mexico and Peru used to baptize Indian infants and then immediately bash their brains out; by this means they secured these infants went to heaven.  No orthodox Christian can find any logical reason for condemning their actions, although all nowadays do so.  In countless ways the doctrine of personal immortality in its Christian form has had disastrous effects upon morals.”  Bertrand Russell

God is seen and heard / God is invisible and cannot be heard

God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things / God is not everywhere present, neither sees or knows all things

God is the author of evil / God is not the author of evil

Adultery forbidden / Adultery allowed;

The father of Joseph, Mary’s husband was Jacob / The father of Mary’s husband was Heli

The infant Christ was taken into Egypt / The infant Jesus was not taken into Egypt

John was in prison when Jesus went into Galilee / John was not in prison went Jesus went into Galilee

Jesus was crucified at the third hour / Jesus was crucified at the sixth hour

Christ is equal with God / Christ is not equal with God

It is impossible to fall from grace / It is possible to fall from grace

God is a man of War / God is a God of peace

I and my Father are one / my Father is greater than I

He said: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” …Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” Matt.

He said: “Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:” and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” Luke

He said: “It is finished:” and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John

“I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy.” / “The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy.”

There are over a hundred more of these.  Many of the passages represent “perfect contradictions” that is you cannot affirm the truth of one without asserting the falsity of the other.

Inerrancy…Hah

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Historical Criticism of the Bible

I finished reading Bart Ehrman’s new book “Jesus Interrupted” a few days ago and was surprised by quite a bit of what he had to say.  For those who don’t know Mr. Ehrman, he is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He reads the ancient languages of the Bible, and he is published widely and respected as a scholar.

He wrote a best seller in 2005 “Misquoting Jesus,” that so upset the Evangelical community that it spawned 3 books in rebuttal. He was raised as an Episcopalian and had a “born again” epiphany as a sophomore in high school and accepted Jesus as his savior.  Wanting to study scripture full time he entered the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where all students and professors had to sign a document attesting that they believed the Bible to be the inerrant word of God, and was a divinely inspired document from beginning to end.

It wasn’t long before he ran into problems with what he was learning. One of his first classes taught that none of the original texts of the New Testament exist. All we have left are copies of copies that are written as much as a few centuries after the originals. He also learned they are filled with errors and intentional changes (thousands) made over centuries by scribes. This made Ehrman start a serious study of the New Testament. He finished his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College in Illinois where he studied ancient Greek language. He was on a quest to understand how we could know the word of God if all we had were error riddled copies.

He then enrolled in the Princeton Theological Seminary (A Presbyterian school) in the late 70’s and immersed himself in the study of the New Testament texts…being still a believer in the inerrancy of the Bible.  This was soon to change.

Many students enrolling in mainline Protestant seminaries are surprised by the challenge they face to their cherished warm and fuzzy views of the Bible. The seminaries now teach the “historical-critical” method of bible study, completely different than the “devotional” method taught in church.

For three hundred years German and English scholars have pored over the Bible and critiqued the writings for what the authors meant in the historical context, who the actual authors were, what circumstances were they writing in, what issues were they trying to address, what were their sources, when were the sources written, and many other questions.  These were the things taught in Mr. Ehrman’s school, the Princeton Theological Seminary.  They make students knowledgeable about the Bible, not just what is in the Bible.

This method used asks the hard questions about scripture; is it possible that the books of the Bible have internal contradictions, are there irreconcilable differences, and what if we don’t have the original words…over the centuries the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament was copied by hand by scribes and some of the words were changed by well meaning but careless copyists, or those with a agenda of supporting a particular viewpoint.

Mr. Ehrman learned in his classes taught in the historical-critical method that the Bible is filled with discrepancies, many of them irreconcilable, Moses did not write the Pentateuch, and Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not write the Gospels, the Exodus certainly did not happen as written in the Bible, the promised land is based on legend, maybe Moses never existed, and we probably don’t know what Jesus actually taught.

The historical narratives of the Old Testament are filled with mythical fabrications and in the New Testament we find it contains historically unreliable information about the life and teaching of Paul.  Other than the Gospels already mentioned, many of the other books of the New Testament are pseudonymous…that is written by someone other than the Apostles, claiming to be the apostles

Mark says that Jesus was crucified the day after the Passover meal was eaten (Mark 14:12, 15:25) and John says he died the day before it was eaten (John 19:14)

Ehrman’s inerrancy belief was broken many times and he eventually came to believe that the Bible was a “human book from beginning to end.” That it was written by different authors, at different times, and for different needs.

Mr. Ehrman points out; none of what he is saying in his books is the least bit academically controversial. Even scholars who are devout Christians agree, and have for decades. The field of biblical historical-critical textual studies is 300 years old.  Ehrman’s book simply presents the accepted findings of the field for the lay audience.

In his book, “Jesus Interrupted,” Ehrman goes beyond textual problems to look at deeper doctrinal inconsistencies and contradictions. Ehrman points out that Mark and Luke had much different attitudes toward Jesus’ death: Mark saw him as in doubt and despair on the way to the cross, while Luke saw him as calm. Mark and Paul saw Jesus’ death as offering atonement for sin, while Luke did not. Matthew believed that Jesus’ followers had to keep the Jewish law to enter the kingdom of Heaven, a view categorically rejected by Paul. The conventionally recited response to this is to try to “harmonize” the Bible by smashing all four Gospels together. But as Ehrman argues, this only creates a bogus “fifth Gospel” that doesn’t exist.

He points out that many of the books in the New Testament were not even written by their purported authors: only eight of its 27 books are almost certain to have been written by the people whose names are attached to them. He thinks that scholars have tended to avoid the word “forged” because of its negative connotations, but argues convincingly that much of the Bible is, indeed, forged.

Surprising, even to readers who have some familiarity with biblical scholarship, is Ehrman’s argument…which is the mainstream position among biblical scholars…that Jesus did not teach that he was divine. In only one Gospel, John, does Christ call himself divine, but John’s theology is radically different from that in the other three Gospels. Mentioned also is that “some of the most important Christian doctrines, such as that of a suffering Messiah, the trinity and the existence of heaven and hell,” were not held by Jesus himself and were not contemporaneous with him.”  The doctrine of the trinity only appears once in the New Testament, and the doctrine that Jesus is equal but not identical to God is found in none of the four Gospels.

Ehrman argues that we must remember who Jesus was: a radical millenarian Jew. Like the other Jewish prophets in the Palestine of his day, Jesus taught that a cosmic judge, the Son of Man, was coming soon to earth, but he did not regard himself as the Son of Man.

Jesus was not a Christian, but a Jewish apocalyptic prophet and rabbi. It was only from his followers that “Christianity” became a reality. Jesus preached a profoundly Jewish religion, It was the later self-proclaimed Christians (including John and Paul) who turned Christianity into the virulently anti-Semitic religion it was to become. Ehrman’s own attitude toward Christianity, evolved in a long and complex process. His realization that the Bible was merely a human document ended his literalist faith, but did not cause him to leave the church. Instead, he embraced Christianity as a “beautiful myth.”

What ultimately led Ehrman to leave the church was a more fundamental issue: the problem with evil, what theologians call theodicy. In his 2008 book “God’s Problem,” Ehrman explained that he could no longer believe in an all-knowing and all-powerful God in a world in which an innocent child dies of hunger every five seconds.

Overall the book is exceptionally writen and answers and explains many little known facts about the Bible and Christianity…most of which I’m sure many fundamentalists will disagree with.

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More Catholic Sex Scandals

Well, once again folks the Catholic Church demonstrates just how holy and spiritual they are, and proved once again that the Catholic policy on sex and priests and nuns is derailing the Church. I’ll bet if they look real close at the Bible they will find there really isn’t any Biblical reason to keep their priests celibate.

Full story here

“DUBLIN – After a nine-year investigation, a commission published a damning report Wednesday on decades of rapes, humiliation and beatings at Catholic Church-run reform schools for Ireland’s castaway children.”

“The investigation of the tax-supported schools uncovered previously secret Vatican records that demonstrated church knowledge of pedophiles in their ranks all the way back to the 1930s.”

“A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from,” Ireland’s Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse concluded.”

“The Catholic religious orders that ran more than 50 workhouse-style reform schools from the late 19th century until the mid-1990s offered public words of apology, shame and regret Wednesday. But when questioned, their leaders indicated they would continue to protect the identities of clergy accused of abuse — men and women who were never reported to police, and were instead permitted to change jobs and keep harming children.”

“The report found that molestation and rape were “endemic” in boys’ facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ll bet members/officials of the Catholic Church have been doing this for two thousand years and in every nook and cranny on earth where they operate.  We even have historical records of early Popes engaging in sexual no-no’s.   If you keep track of church related sex and pedophile scandals…you have to wonder if these people really think that God is watching, or do they know there is no God and they don’t have to worry.  It goes on daily, and unfortunately, in all Christian denominations.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how these sexual predators in the churches can be crushed and made to see how wrong this is?

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