IS THE OLD TESTAMENT INSPIRED ?

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?

Robert G. Ingersoll, 1894

The Christian Right Wants What Muslims Want

What is the agenda of the Muslim extremists, other than killing infidels?  Well we know that they are anti-woman’s rights and anti-gay rights.  They will kill women who step out of line and kill any person exhibiting gay behavior.  Their countries are generally controlled by religion and have no separation of church and state.

Funny thing…the Christian Right has pretty much the same agenda.  Women are considered second class citizens by the church hierarchy of most Christian denominations.  All but a handful of Christian churches condemn the homosexuals to burn in hell forever…and several evil fundamentalist movements want us Americans to be ruled by Old Testament law, which essentially means no separation of church and state.

So it seems that the Christian right wants exactly what the Muslim extremists want…they both want to take over America and make us slaves to their religion.

Fundamentalist Religion of any kind is evil, and bad for our country’s future.  As civilized, thinking, and caring people we need to recognize the threat these evil people present to us and our country and do our best to dissuade them from what they are trying to do.  They need to be exposed for what they are…a deadly and real threat to civilization.
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Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels

The Christian religion has had a few thousand years now to make a case for the fundamental concepts it pushes upon our world.  It has failed spectacularly to show ANY evidence for supernatural or magical forces, the existence of angels or demons or Satan, the efficacy of any ones prayers, the infallibility of heavens emissaries on earth (the Popes). It has failed horribly, and has never done what it claims it can do.

Of course I am not, by any means, the only person to understand this and note the inconsistencies and illogic that runs rampant throughout their beliefs.  Despite this several thousand years of apologetics and trying to clean up their Bible of the many mistakes it continues to be an unproven hypothesis.

“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,  Toronto

“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

“The Christian Fathers deemed it a pious act to employ deception and fraud.” “The greatest and most pious teachers were nearly all of them infected with this leprosy.” Johann Lorenz von Mosheim, “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 afterwords 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.”  Vexen Crabtree, Types of Christianity: Who were the original Christians? (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 can be found anywhere outside the Bible.

So what is a person to do? It seems to me that  anyone searching for something greater than oneself, a belief to offer hope and help, a God who’s always there to comfort and relieve stress is out of luck.  There are a little over 2.2 billion believers in the Christian God and only 1.1 billion non-believers, but those non-believers actually took the time to research their position and beliefs.  They didn’t come to that conclusion as a result of what they were born into. Of the 2.2 billion Christians in the world the vast majority have never researched one little bit of religion.  Their fathers and mothers were Christians…so they are too. They believe in some nebulous creator God who made the world 6,000 or so years ago and listens to their prayers and somehow watches over all of them.

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Did Jesus Fulfill Old Testament Prophecies

“I have examined all the passages in the New Testament quoted from the Old, and so-called prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, and I find no such thing as a prophecy of any such person, and I deny there are any.”  Thomas Paine

Did Jesus fulfill the Old Testament prophecies?  Did He bring peace on earth, or bring all the Jews back to Israel and end disease and oppression?  Did He spread the knowledge of the One True God throughout all nations?  Wasn’t all of this supposed to be done during the Messiah’s lifetime? And didn’t he promise to return before many of his people died?

A case can be made that the New Testament was written to fulfill those Old Testament prophecies. A man can be falsely imbued with the necessary myths to make the old well known stories appear to be consummated.

“Every case of alleged fulfillment of messianic prophecy suffers from one of the following failings: the alleged Old Testament prophecy is not a messianic prophecy or not a prophecy at all, the prophecy has not been fulfilled by Jesus, or the prophecy is so vague as to be unconvincing in its application to Jesus.” Jim Lippard  “The Fabulous Prophecies of the Messiah,”

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All three of them are evangelical fundamentalist wacko’s

Jesus Was/Is A Myth

If one follows the many earth sciences closely enough you are presented with facts that if followed deeply enough and cogitated about long enough, reveals to you that all is not as it seems.

For example, science tells us that actual humans (Homo-sapiens…us), have walked the earth for near 200,000+-  years. Among scientists this is pretty much an un-disputed fact, Other, almost humans, walked the earth for several million years…some modern day European and Asian people have actual DNA from some of these ancient ancestors, meaning there was inter-breeding and viable, fertile offspring.

DNA and the old bones are telling this story…this is indisputable, non-judgmental,   unbiased science that is narrating the story of our ancestors life, not a book written by goat-herders–millions of years after the real beginning of the tale.

All of the above, and more, leads us to the necessity to re-examine and measure many old tall tales that have been passed off as truth to billions of people…namely the Biblical myths of our earthly Genesis.  Moses nowadays is thought to be pretty much a mythical figure.  His “contribution” to the Bible (The Pentateuch) is probably a product of earnest Jewish scholars of the sixth or seventh century BC …long after the reputed time of Moses…trying to keep a tribe together

We know that the essential stories of Genesis…Adam/Eve, Noah, dispersion of language, slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, Exodus, exploits of Joshua, etc. are mythical or allegorical tales.  Some people may think this is not a big deal, but some cogitation on the subject proves otherwise.  In fact if these stories are not true, the consequences ricochet through time…to the story of Jesus, and then go even greater lengths to prove the whole chapter–maybe the whole book–is only myth.

Follow this: there was no Adam/Eve as portrayed in the Bible. The Bible gives clues that much of civilization and early technology was miraculously “there” almost as soon as the story got going. This irrevocably puts the stories into the fifth or sixth millennia BC…a time that is extremely well researched and known about by our earth sciences.  The bone evidence and DNA evidence agree in their respective branches that there was never a time when our ancestors only numbered 2 in the case of Adam/Eve, and further out, the 6 mythical procreating members of the mythical Noah’s Ark.

As stated above man/womankind has walked the earth for 200,000 +- years…there was never an Adam/Eve couple six or eight or ten or fifty thousand years ago.  No Adam and Eve mean no “Original Sin” which irrevocably means there was no need for a Jesus to die as “blood atonement” for non-existent sins.  If you think about it God said, before Paul invented Original Sin, that children are not guilty of the sins of the father. Also the blood atonement think is kind of stupid…it’s nothing but theater, a contrivance to batten up a weak plot line.

With that thought in mind we go to some thoughts of people who are, or were, in the front lines of scholarship in matters of the Christian religion.

“It is important to recognize the obvious: The gospel story of Jesus is itself apparently mythic from first to last”Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute

“We can recreate dimensions of the world in which he lived, but outside of the Christian scriptures, we cannot locate him historically within that world”Gerald A. Larue, The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You to Read.

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

“According to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, a faithful account of the actions and words of Jesus is to be found in the Gospels; but it is impossible to reconcile this with the existence in the text of contradictions, improbabilities, things which are materially impossible or statements which run contrary to firmly established reality”Maurice Bucaille, The Bible The Quran And Science

“Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it”C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy

“Even if there was a historical Jesus lying back of the gospel Christ, he can never be recovered. If there ever was a historical Jesus, there isn’t one anymore. All attempts to recover him turn out to be just modern re-mythologizing of Jesus. Every “historical Jesus” is a Christ of faith, of somebody’s faith. So the “historical Jesus” of modern scholarship is no less a fiction”Robert M. Price, Jesus: Fact or Fiction

“So unreliable were the Gospel accounts that “we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus”Rudolf Bultmann, University of Marburg

So Prof. Bultmann is saying that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are unreliable, so bad that we can’t be sure about Jesus. Just how much faith can we put in the Gospels?  Let’s see what some other scholars believe…

“We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John”Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, The Gnostic Gospels.

“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 classics, history and religious studies at York University.

“The gospels are so anonymous that their titles, all second-century guesses, are all four wrong”Randel M. Helms, Who Wrote the Gospels?

“But even if it could be proved that John’s Gospel had been the first of the four to be written down, there would still be considerable confusion as to who “John” was. For the various styles of the New Testament texts ascribed to John- The Gospel, the letters, and the Book of Revelations– are each so different in their style that it is extremely unlikely that they had been written by one person”John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar, Testament.

“Paul did not write the letters to Timothy to Titus or several others published under his name; and it is unlikely that the apostles Matthew, James, Jude, Peter and John had anything to do with the canonical books ascribed to them”Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College.

“Yet today, there are few Biblical scholars– from liberal skeptics to conservative evangelicals- who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with Jesus”Jeffery L. Sheler, The Four Gospels

“The bottom line is we really don’t know for sure who wrote the Gospels”Jerome Neyrey, Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass.

“The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus… The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information — not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life”Moncure D. Conway, Modern Thought

Some really bad press for a few people from the Christian religion. They keep saying there is all this evidence that their religion is the true one.  I’m wondering where it is.

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Ten Plagues and Moses

“And if anyone can show me one example in the history of the world of a single spiritual person who has been able to show either empirically or logically the existence of a higher power with any consciousness or interest in the human race or ability to punish or reward humans for their moral choices or that there is any reason other than fear to believe in any version of an afterlife, I will give you my piano, one of my legs, and my wife.”  Tim Minchin

God: Moses…
Moses: ……
God: Moses…
Moses: Eh, what?
God: Moses I have been thinking about the plight of the Jews in Egypt.
Moses: Really…You have…after only 400 years, you’re thinking of us?
God: [pause]  has it been that long?
Moses: Yes, but it’s alright Boss…good…thank you.
God: I will take your people out of bondage after 10 very terrible and nasty plagues.
Moses: [pause] ten…plagues?
God: Is that a problem?
Moses: Well, it’s just that 10 is a lot of plagues.  Couldn’t you do it in maybe one or two?
God: I don’t think so; for you see, I will harden Pharaoh’s heart against me.
Moses: Wait a minute…you are going to stop Pharaoh from setting us free from slavery?
God: Yes.
Moses: So…so you can bring more terrifying plagues upon the people?
God: Yes…Hmm, I’m thinking maybe something with first-born also.
Moses: Do you see nothing wrong with this plan God?
God: [pause] No…why?
Moses: Is there like maybe a supervisor up there I could talk too?
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Was Moses a Real Person

A few wandering families — poor, wretched, without education, art or power; descendants of those who had been enslaved for four hundred years; ignorant as the inhabitants of Central Africa, had just escaped from their masters to the desert of Sinai.

Their leader was Moses, a man who had been raised in the family of Pharaoh and had been taught the law and mythology of Egypt. For the purpose of controlling his followers he pretended that he was instructed and assisted by Jehovah, the God of these wanderers.

Everything that happened was attributed to the interference of this God. Moses declared that he met this God face to face; that on Sinai’s top from the hands of this God he had received the tables of stone on which, by the finger of this God, the Ten Commandments had been written, and that, in addition to this, Jehovah had made known the sacrifices and ceremonies that were pleasing to him and the laws by which the people should be governed.

In this way the Jewish religion and the Mosaic Code were established.

It is now claimed that this religion and these laws were and are revealed and established for all mankind.

At that time these wanderers had no commerce with other nations, they had no written language, they could neither read nor write. They had no means by which they could make this revelation known to other nations, and so it remained buried in the jargon of a few ignorant, impoverished and unknown tribes for more than two thousand years.

Many centuries after Moses, the leader, was dead — many centuries after all his followers had passed away — the Pentateuch was written, the work of many writers, and to give it force and authority it was claimed that Moses was the author.

We now know that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses.

Towns are mentioned that were not in existence when Moses lived.

Money, not coined until centuries after his death, is mentioned.

So, many of the laws were not applicable to wanderers on the desert — laws about agriculture, about the sacrifice of oxen, sheep and doves, about the weaving of cloth, about ornaments of gold and silver, about the cultivation of land, about harvest, about the threshing of grain, about houses and temples, about cities of refuge, and about many other subjects of no possible application to a few starving wanderers over the sands and rocks.

It is now not only admitted by intelligent and honest theologians that Moses was not the author of the Pentateuch, but they all admit that no one knows who the authors were, or who wrote any one of these books, or a chapter or a line. We know that the books were not written in the same generation; that they were not all written by one person; that they are filled with mistakes and contradictions.

It is also admitted that Joshua did not write the book that bears his name, because it refers to events that did not happen until long after his death.

No one knows, or pretends to know, the author of Judges; all we know is that it was written centuries after all the judges had ceased to exist. No one knows the author of Ruth, nor of First and Second Samuel; all we know is that Samuel did not write the books that bear his name. In the 25th chapter of First Samuel is an account of the raising of Samuel by the Witch of Endor.

No one knows the author of First and Second Kings or First and Second Chronicles; all we know is that these books are of no value.

We know that the Psalms were not written by David. In the Psalms the Captivity is spoken of, and that did not happen until about five hundred years after David slept with his fathers.

We know that Solomon did not write the Proverbs or the Song; that Isaiah was not the author of the book that bears his name; that no one knows the author of Job, Ecclesiastes, or Esther, or of any book in the Old Testament, with the exception of Ezra.

We know that God is not mentioned or in any way referred to in the book of Esther. We know, too, that the book is cruel, absurd and impossible.

God is not mentioned in the Song of Solomon, the best book in the Old Testament.

And we know that Ecclesiastes was written by an unbeliever.

We know, too, that the Jews themselves had not decided as to what books were inspired — were authentic — until the second century after Christ.

We know that the idea of inspiration was of slow growth, and that the inspiration was determined by those who had certain ends to accomplish.

This was written in 1894 by Robert Ingersall in his book “About the Holy Bible