Tag Archive | "bible"

A Simple Straight to the Fact Answer Will Do.


the_power_of_prayer4I don’t know…maybe it’s a good way to escape dilemmas. We call it here in the Philippines as “pa-pogi points”. Obviously, majority of their cult followers are either dumb or stupid to figure it out. But try reading Christian apologist reactions here in the Internet and you will notice that they are not answering questions. They are just …well …it sounded more like senseless, pretentious babbles (“ngak-ngak!”) to me.

One good example can be found on how a certain Eliseo Soriano tried to answer one of atheism simple inquiry, “Why won’t God heal amputees”?

First Mr. Soriano called the question as “stupid”. Hmmmm…so since you can’t answer the question, it becomes stupid huh? But I don’t blame Mr. Soriano, it’s a common Christian apologist tactic. Norman Giesler called the Paradox of the Stone as a meaningless question.

Now let us tackle the question “Why won’t God heal amputees?”
Bible idolaters believe that a pious Christian can ask God anything. Nothing is impossible to God (if it exist). Jesus Christ is even too generous to provide us his explanation. According to Jesus, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)
Now in this scenario, a Christian prayed hard to God to make his severe limb grow back again…something like a lizard’s tail or a crab’s claw.
Christians agree that God works in a mysterious, supernatural way. Now, when we talk about supernatural, we’re talking about events not considered to be normal…hmmmm just like a miracle. Something is said to be supernatural if it’s beyond any scientific explanation. If a person’s severe limb grows back, well…we can consider it a supernatural event.

The Bible is full of these alleged supernatural acts of God. Talking donkeys, sticks that turned into living snakes, dead people rising from the grave, iron ax head that floats on water and people walking on water… Sure sounded like things from that T.V. show The X-Files, right? Anyway, a severed arm growing back may be considered a supernatural miracle. Any person who doubts the existence of a god will sure buy the whole shebang if he will see some feat like that.

Now how many times an atheist will tell these Christian charlatans, “justifying God’s existence just by reading Bible chapter and verses will not achieved anything.” If a guy rationalize the existence of a god base on Biblical fairy-tales…well that will automatically make the reality of Spider-Man and The Batman possible. So an event such as a growing arm replacing a lost one will surely be a hit! Not only does a god proved his powers to his devouted, delusional followers but also proved his existence beyond reasonable doubt.

Bear in mind the Bible claim that 1.) Nothing is impossible to God, 2.) That faith can move mountains and 3.) Prayer works.

Yet until now, there is no such event. Even sites said to be phenomenal such as Fatima and Lourdes, there is not a single case of an amputee miraculously been restored a new leg or arm. Not even a detached finger! Even in the pages of the Bible, you will by no means find a story of an amputee growing back any lost limbs (yet dead guys walking out of the grave like zombies are too numerous). Christian evangelists and apologists would love to tell non-believers about the power of their god by telling stories of how supernaturally the Red Sea parted and how the Sun stops moving, yet you won’t find a single case of God regenerating a severed arm or leg of his favorite people. So is that such an impossible act for an all-powerful, omnipotent God?

So sorry to dissapoint you Mr. Soriano but the question is still not answered. Your long and dull explanation and biblical canting haven’t satisfies the inquiry. Oh and by the way, the question is not stupid as you have indicted. The reply needs a good explanation…and giving a very lengthy Bible apology is a very shoddy way of dodging the issue.

Posted in OthersComments (24)

Eliseo Soriano’s Imaginary Argument


broelisIf you’re a Christian or to be specific, a member of Eliseo Soriano’s “Ang Dating Daan” or ADD for short, chances are you’ve already read Soriano’s triage against atheism.

Using Soriano’s blog post (The Claim That There Is No God Is An Escape From All Realities), well what can I say…maybe instead of making a rebuttal I think it would be fitting to make an article about “How not to debate an atheist” instead. Using Mr. Soriano’s article we’re going to talk about poor methods employed by amateur apologists in dealing with atheism.

If we read the entire article there really isn’t any argument presented. Most of his blather doesn’t embark upon the issue of atheism and believe me, quoting Bible verses is really a poor tactic when dealing with atheism. Remember, to face an atheist Mr. Soriano should gave us a good reason why atheism is not a rational position.

So if we remove all the useless Bible verses in the article that tell us nothing about atheism, we are left with…eh nothing to talk about.

Stalin, Pol-Pot and Hitler?
After writing nothing about atheism, Mr. Soriano then included some infamous character to enhance his so-called argument.

So may I ask, “What’s the connection?”

Ah…these people were “atheists” so they killed a lot of people. Is that it?

But Joshua and Samson also killed a lot of innocent people? In fact, if you read the Bible, God’s generals also find it irresistible to do wanton killing of women, old folks, children and even cattle and live stocks.

Those Islamic terrorists that crashed jumbo jets in buildings, they believe that a god exists. Jim Jones, Mussolini, Franco and Saddam Hussein, these people also believe in a supernatural Supreme Being as Baise Pascal quoted, “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

But unlike Mr. Soriano, I will not say that since some theists are capable of killing, therefore all theists are killers. Guilt by association is a poor way to male a valid point.

How About Hitler?
What does Hitler got to do with atheism?

Did Mr. Soriano know that Hitler is also a believer like him?

There is no evidence whatsoever that Adolf Hitler was an atheist. In fact, on his book Mein Kemp and his speeches, Hitler always mentioned God. Not only was Hitler a Christian, but he used Christianity to justify his acts against the Jews.

Here’s an example taken from one of his speeches:

My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.

In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people…. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited.-Adolf Hitler, in his
speech in Munich on 12 April 1922

[Note, “brood of vipers” appears in Matt. 3:7 & 12:34. John 2:15 depicts Jesus driving out the money changers (adders) from the temple. The word “adders” also appears in Psalms 140:3]

I hope I’ll find better arguments on Mr. Soriano’s continuation of his article, but for now, all in all, his first part was rather dull and boring. It seems Mr. Soriano is just a beginner when it come in dealing with atheism.

Remember, when a God believer face an atheist or plans to disprove atheism, the issue is not to slander the atheists but to show that not believing in a god or gods is unreasonable.

Until next time,

John the Atheist

Posted in ReligionComments (79)

" Jesus who?"


LaughingJesusBWMost readers may think that I am fooling around if I say that I do not really know whom this Jesus H. Christ is. In the first place, this Jesus is so popular like the Marlboro Man and the Beatles, it is quite impossible to say that you do not know who this Jesus is.

N. Geisler even wrote some chapters on his fundy book, “When Skeptics Ask” devoted to this Jesus character and even compares Jesus to other religious or philosophical people. Therefore, this Jesus person is that important huh. Talk about being Mr. Big Shot!

Most Christians that I have chat in the Internet asked me what is it like to live without Jesus Christ in my life and they always insisted that have I felt Jesus have already done something special in my life; Now here’s my answer, NOTHING, NADA, ZIP and lots of it. That statement can really piss off any Christian.

And to top it all, Christians still insist that he is a god. So how can I say something like that? Maybe Christians who are reading this might say that I’m just being unfair, bias and they will never tolerate anybody that trash talks their Savior.

Oh come on, I’m just saying facts here.

So you think Jesus is really that important huh? OK…let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about Jesus!

HERE’S THE FACTS! This Jesus fellow never really contributed much to society in general. On the whole, Jesus said little that was worthwhile. He introduced nothing new to ethics (except hell). He instituted no social programs. Being a god, he is supposed to be “omniscient,” he could have shared some useful technology or medicine to the Hebrews, yet he appeared ignorant of such things. Let’s put this statement in a more specific manner.

According to Christian legend, Jesus was born in the time when Palestine was under the rule of Rome. In those times, slavery prevails and very common. I was just wondering. What did Jesus say or did to abolished slavery? What’s worst, Jesus encouraged the beating of slaves. (Luke 12:47). He never denounced servitude, but quite the contrary, incorporated the master-slave relationship into many of his parables. Also, what did Jesus did to bring about something in the issue of International Relation. Surely, Christian says that Jesus was God, so is it impossible for a god to talk to Roman authorities and knock some senses in their heads? Well, today the United Nations is capable of putting conquering states at bay. I wonder why a god could not accomplish this feat.

Jesus did nothing to alleviate poverty. Rather than sell some expensive ointment to help the poor, Jesus wasted it on himself, saying, “Ye have the poor with you always” (Mark 14:3-7).

Does Jesus do something to champion woman emancipation, women’s right and intolerance toward other culture? No women were chosen as his apostles or invited to the Last Supper. In Mark 7:27 (“But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. “). Imagine! Jesus equated non-Jews with dogs. It looks like Jesus teaches intolerance towards other religion and culture. Now just imagine what kind of a person will instruct his followers to kill in front of him those who don’t want him to be king ( Luke 19:27). By relating this incident, Jesus is implicitly condoning executions!

Christian believers say that Jesus turn water into wine, have healed the sick and resurrected the dead. Wow! Great feats of miracles! But when did this god-man turned health contagious? Did Jesus eradicate leprosy? Scientists, which are not gods, have eradicated small pox. So what disease did this god-man have wipe out when he was on earth? What he taught to his disciples was that sickness were caused by demons possessing our body or you need God’s forgiveness to be cure of your illness instead of teaching people that diseases are cause by tiny life forms called “germs”, and proper hygiene can lessen the chances of having a disease.

Christians say that Jesus made the blind to see and the lame to walk again. Have he taught the Hebrews how to cure polio or glaucoma? Have he taught the Israelites how to cure different ailments using simple medicinal herbs? How about teaching the Hebrews of turning dirty desert water into drinkable table water or a new agricultural technology that will make fig trees bear fruits even if it’s not fig season? All I have read so far in the Gospel is that Jesus knows how to curse fig trees. Does short time miracles really the only solution this god-man knows?

Now for Christians, Jesus is the sacrifice God use to take away the sins of the world. Hmmmm.. According to Jewish belief, you need to kill an animal to serve as a burnt offering for your sins. Does this mean Jesus is as good as a sacrificial goat? Beside, after Jesus is offer as a sacrifice like a temple animal to please God wrath to humanity, still sin is around every corner. Nothing really changed that much.

Christians will tell you that Jesus was send to us so we may have everlasting life. That is why it is very important to know Jesus. Yet the same Bible said to us that, “As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more” – JOB 7:9 and “Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal….all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” – Eccle. 3:19-21 NIV.

Now in a last ditch effort, a Christian might try to convince me about Jesus based on his moral teachings. According to Mr. Norman Geisler, Jesus moral was superior compare to Buddha, Lao Tse and Socrates. A certain person even tried to persuade me on liking this Jesus character because he claims Jesus taught us the Golden Rule. But Whoa! Wait a minute there. The Golden Rule is a universal rule and people like Confucius have already taught us that rule 3000 years before Jesus.

But does Jesus really have a superior moral standard?
1. “While he was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him; so he went in and sat at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not at first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, `Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?…woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done…'” (Luke 11:37-44 RSV).
Now this is an example of blatant rudeness! Imagine talking like this to someone in his house after he invited you to dine with him. Even if it were true, common decency dictated a more refined approach.

2. “So the devils besought him saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out they went into the herd of swine; and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters” (Matt. 8:31.32).
What had the owner or owners done to have their property destroyed by Jesus? What had the animals done to deserve such treatment? What happened to animal rights huh?

3. “Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?” (Luke 19:30-33).
Are we to believe this isn’t stealing? Imagine seeing an unfamiliar person driving your car away while claiming the lord needed it.

4. “Verily, I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecution, and in the world to come eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).
This teaching is not only immoral, but erroneous as well. Jesus is saying that the reward for giving up your wealth and following him is far greater wealth; So that means people should do right in order to obtain personal gain, not because it is the right act to do. Self-aggrandizement is not a decent basis for morality.

5. “Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees which were of Jerusalem, saying, `Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.’ But he answered and said unto them, `Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?'” (Matt. 15:1-3).
The statement “Why do ye also” is admittance by Jesus that his disciples were violating a commandment of God. He doesn’t deny they are breaking God’s law; he simply says that his critics are guilty of the same offense.

6. “then shall he say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat;…” (Matt. 25:41-42) and “when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee hencefoward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away” (Matt. 21:18-19).

Here Jesus failed to show the mercy his believers claim he has. An eternal curse resulting from disappointed hunger is hardly the reaction of a divinely merciful being equal to God. Killing a tree for lacking fruit isn’t indicative of a reasonably merciful and composed individual.

7. “the Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, `Behold, a glutton and a drundard…” (Luke 7:34 RSV).
If this comment is true, and there is little evidence to the contrary, Jesus’ character is, indeed, substandard.

8. “There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands…” (Mark 10:29-30).

Promising one’s followers immense riches is actually a form of bribery.

9. “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33) and “Jesus said unto him, `If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me'” (Matt. 19:21) and (Mark 10:21, Luke 3:11, 11:41, 12:35, 18:22) yet on Mark 2:15 it is said that “And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house”. Jesus has a house while telling others to surrender their wealth.

10. Jesus said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true” (John 5:31) and later stated, “I am one that bear witness of myself…” (John 8:18). The logical conclusion to be drawn from combining these two statements is that Jesus disproved his own honesty.

11. Jesus told us to “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you” but ignored his own advice by repeatedly denouncing his opposition. Matt. 23:17 (“Ye fools and blind”), Matt. 12:34 (“O generation of vipers”), and Matt. 23:17 (“…hypocrites…ye are like unto whited sepulchers….”) These are excellent examples of hypocrisy.

12. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). “I am come to set man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” (Matt. 10:35-36). When one of his disciples requested time off for his father’s funeral, Jesus rebuked him by saying “Let the dead bury their dead” (Matt. 8:22). Jesus never used the word “family” and he never married or fathered children. To his own mother, he said, “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” (John 2:4).

So what kind of family value does this Jesus taught us?

13. Jesus said that whoever calls somebody a “fool” shall be in danger of hell fire (Matt. 5:22), yet he called people “fools” himself (Matt. 23:17).

14. He appeared to suffer from a dictator’s “paranoia” when he said, “He that is not with me is against me” (Matt. 12:30).

And here are some more of Jesus so called “superior moral teaching”.
• Marrying a divorced woman is adultery (Matt. 5:32).
• Don’t plan for the future (Matt. 6:34)
• Don’t work to obtain food (John 6:27)
• Don’t save money (Matt. 6:19-20)
• Take the money from those who have no savings and give it to rich investors (Luke 19:23-26)
• If someone asks you for anything, give it to them without question (Matt. 5:42)
• If you lose a lawsuit, give more than the judgment (Matt. 5:40)

(Source: Biblical Errancy by Dennis McKinsey)

So when a Christian told me things about Jesus, and by comparing what history and Biblical mythology have to say about this person, I always ask the Christian back, “Jesus who?”

Posted in ReligionComments (12)

Hang Him High


James_Tissot_Judas_Hangs_Himself_300The Judas story conflict exists because the fourth century editors who decided which writings should be part of the Bible didn’t worry about whether one author’s story conflicted with another.Those who wrote Matthew says that Judas hanged himself (Matthew 27:1-5 and Matthew 27:3-8), while
those who wrote Acts says that he fell and his guts spilled out (Acts 1:16-19).

Now let us see Michelle Arnold’s ( Apologistng Catholic Answers Forum:) answer to the problem.He said, “There are two possible ways to reconcile the verses: Luke’s
purpose in Acts may have been simply to report what Peter
said at a point in time when the apostles’ information on Judas’s
death may well have been sketchy. After some of the Temple priests
converted (cf. Acts 6:7), they may have given further details on
Judas’s death that were later incorporated into the Gospel accounts.”

Mr. Arnold continues, “It is also possible that after Judas hanged
himself the rope broke
and he fell onto rocks that disemboweled him postmortem. Matthew’s
emphasis then would have been Judas’s actions in taking his own
life, while Peter’s emphasis was on what happened to him after his
suicide.”

Yet other Christians concluded: No. Both accounts are true. Apparently Judas first hanged himself. Then, at some point, the rope either broke or loosened so that his body slipped from it and fell to the rocks below and burst open. (Some have suggested that Judas didn’t do a very good job of tying the noose.) Neither account alone is complete. Taken together, we have a full picture of what happened to Judas. (For similar assumptions, see: Answers to Common Questions ,Whither the Traitor? and CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS & RESEARCH MINISTRY )

Now, maybe it’s better that we use a little common sense here? It should be noted that Judas fell headlong, meaning head first. So, an explanation is needed as to why Judas’ body rotated 180 degrees upon the rope breaking. Judas could have hung himself from a tree branch that protruded over a cliff in order to all the fall sufficient distance so that his body could flip, but that seems strange, First, why hang yourself to a tree with a branch that is portruding to a cliff as it would not have contributed to the hanging unless Judas meant for the rope to break? In fact it would have made it needlessly difficult as Judas would have had to climb out onto the tree to reach the protruding branch and tie the rope on that brance.

Now, did Judas fell and hit another such as another tree branch, that caused his body to flip? This is possible, but it would make more sense for Judas to simply choose the lowest branch that he could find that was sufficiently high. A branch with a branch underneath it would have only gotten in the way.

Various assumptions can be made about the organization of Matthew and Acts in order to justify placing the hanging part of the death in Matthew and the falling part of the death in Acts. Perhaps Matthew preferred to talk things in the air whereas Acts preferred to talk about things on the ground. Such assumptions seem arbitrary and contrived unless they are vindicated by the rest of the text.

Regardless of what is assumed about the organization of Matthew and Acts Judas died only once. Either Judas died when he hung himself and then later fell, or he was still alive when he fell and died when he hit the ground. In either case either Matthew or Acts neglected to mention how Judas actually died. Appeals to the idea that the authors of Matthew and Acts each knew what the other would write and wished to not be redundant are difficult to defend in light of the amount of repeated material in the rest of the New Testament; particularly the synoptic gospels.

There are other contradictions beside those stated above:

In Matthew, Judas threw away the money to the priests before
dying, then he went to hang himself. After that, the priests bought
a field. In Acts, Judas used the money himself to buy a field.

Let me add an additional item of interest. In Matt. 27:9-10, it is asserted that the prophet Jeremy (Jeremiah) uttered a prophecy regarding Judas, but no such statement is found in the book of Jeremiah. Instead, a similar statement is found in the book of Zech. 11:12,13. So did Jesus erred?

So whether those who wrote Matthew recorded their own fiction, or Acts recorded their own fiction, we will never know.

Posted in ReligionComments (9)

Read the Bible. Take your pick.


66909-main_FullDo you know that there are about 18 kinds of Bibles available in the market today? Confronted with this fact, a deceitful Christian will say that all Bibles have similar message on it, so you can just pick anyone of them since they are all the same. Well guess again!

Do you think that the KJV, NIV, NAB, Good News, The Message, etc. etc. have the same message on it? Well judging by the misunderstanding of different Christian sects existing today, we can carefully figure it out that Christians have been interpreting, translating and in most cases, even writing, their holy book differently to suit their congregations’ beliefs and dogmas.

KJV vs. NIV
Well let’s just look at the war between the KJV readers vs. the NIV readers. The KJV (King James Version) and the NIV (New International Version) are the most used Bible in Christianity today. Yet a feud is building up among their loyal devotees. The NIV claim that their translation is based on the Masoratic Text in the latest edition of the Biblia Hebraica, except where the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, and internal evidences led to corrections in the Masoratic Text. The New Testament was based upon the Critical Greek text. Well in comparison with the KJV in which was solely based on the Bishop Bible of 1568, the Tyndale, Matthew, Covendale ,Geneva and the 1516 and 1522 edition of Erasmus’ Greek Text, the NIV is more scholarly superior and up dated.

Most commentators on the KJV side insist that those scholars that help created the NIV were liars or they sometimes say that some translations were conflicting compare to the one they use (which is of course the KJV). Some see it too free a translation, quite interpretive and not textually dependable.

The Difference between KJV and NIV
Here is a small list of the differences:
1. PROV. 28:3 – “A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain….” (NIV) vs. “A poor man that oppresseth the poor” (KJV)
2. MICAH 5:2 – “…whose goings forth have been from old from everlasting”– (KJV) vs. “…whose origin is from old from ancient days” (NIV)
3. MATT. 12:40 – “For as Jonas was 3 days and 3 nights in the whale’s belly” vs. “For as Jonas was in the great fish 3 days and 3 nights” (NIV)
4. MARK 1:1 – “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ” (NIV) vs. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (KJV)
5. 1 JOHN 3:4 – “…for sin is transgression of the law” (KJV) vs. “…sin is lawbreaking or lawlessness” (NIV)
6. John 6:69 – And we believe and are sure that thou art that CHRIST THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD (KJV) vs. We believe and know that you are the HOLY ONE OF GOD. (NIV)
7. Acts 8:10 – This man is the great power of God (KJV) vs. This man is the divine power known as the Great Power (NIV)
8. GEN. 11:2 – “And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east” (KJV) vs. “…eastward or to the east” (NIV)
9. EX. 14:27 – “The Egyptians were fleeing toward it” (NIV) vs. “the Egyptians fled against it” (KJV)
10. NUM. 11:25 – “…when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease” (KJV) vs. “…and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did so no more” (NIV)
11. 1 SAM. 8:16 – “And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men…” (KJV) vs. “He will take your menservants, and maidservants, and the best of your cattle….” (NIV)
12. MARK 1:2 – “…as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger…” (KJV) vs. “as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold I send my….” (NIV)
13. LUKE 14:5 – “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit….” (KJV) vs. “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into….” (NIV)
14. ACTS 3:21 – “…which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (KJV) vs. “…that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old” (NIV)
15. REV. 8:13 – “and I beheld and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven” (KJV) vs. “Then I looked, and heard an eagle crying with a loud voice….” (NIV)

Most NIV critic says that the NIV weakens the divinity of Jesus Christ. It also weakens the concept of Predestination. Yet NIV defenders argue that the KJV has a lot of translation errors, unjustified additions base on the Latin text and not on the Greek text, misplaced verses and omitted words.

Catholic vs. Protestant Scriptures
The most obvious problem is the number of inspired scriptures. The Roman Catholic Church has canonized 75 books while the Protestant/Evangelicals only accepted 65 books. So which is which?

According to Christian fundamentalists, the Apocrypha were not inspired. But Apocrypha defenders says several ancient copies of Greek translations contain some of its books. It is also said that Jesus and his apostles use these books. Jude for example has quoted some passages from the apocrypha Book of Enoch. The term “apocrypha” was coined by St Jerome as biblical books contained in the Septuagint, but not included in the Hebrew Bible.

Now why are the other cannons very important to the Roman Catholics? That is because some of their church doctrines, like the existence of “purgatory” and prayers for the dead can be seen on the Apocryphal books 2 Maccabees and Tobit which the Protestants don’t believe.

Have you heard the Reformation in Europe? It’s the time when an unknown German monk lists his 95 theses to attack Roman Catholic corruption. It was also the time of Bible making in both concern parties!

Before that time, Bible making is just a Roman Catholic business. Well…until John Wycliffe entered the business. Wycliffe died two years after the completion of his Bible in 1382. In 1428, forty-four years after his death, his bones were dug up and burned after being condemned. His ashes were thrown into the River Swift in an attempt by the medieval church to stamp out his “unsavory” memory.

In the late 1400’s a new theology arises. Martin Luther has started to introduce his doctrine of salvation through faith and not through works and predestination. In Geneva, John Calvin (1509-64) has strengthened the concept of predestination which influences Presbyterianism and congregationalism, while Zwingli (1484-1531) denied substantiation. The apocryphal books were later added by the Roman Catholic Church in the Council of Trent in 1543-63 as an act to counter attacked against Protestantism.

The Protestants claim that the apocryphal books were not scripture. These books were not included in the original Jewish Bible.

Yet Martin Luther did not outright reject the books. He includes the apocrypha in the appendix on his German translation of the Bible in 1534 and said they were useful for reading but they don’t have the status of a scripture. Well, he also treats the Book of James in the New Testaments this way. For the Calvinist, they rejected these books because they have nothing to do in their unique theological position. In 1827, the British and Foreign Bible Society decided to refuse financial aid to any society that distributed Bibles which contains the apocryphal books.

So if I read the Roman Catholic Bible; am I reading a holy scripture or am I just reading a counter-reformation drive against the Protestants? How about the 65 version of the Protestants? Is that the real number of scriptures or they just wanted to be different?

It seems these books were left out because of economics and prejudice between the Roman Catholic and the Protestant reformers and has nothing to do with theological reason.

It’s all about biases
A Christian friend once told me that different Bible translation is not really a problem since all Biblical Hermeneutics are the same. Hermeneutics is a cool jargon that simply means Bible interpretation. Now is Bible interpretation the same on every Christian sect?

Bible interpretation is really about doctrinal biases. Remember that all Christian sects declare to own the “truth”. So if you belong to a Christian sect that believes in “Oneness”, then your congregation will interpret the Bible base on what the congregation believes. Sometimes, it will use a certain Bible that will back-up its doctrines. Liberal Christians who don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ can use Bibles that were written by people who don’t believe the divinity of Jesus. Bibles like Schonfield, Moffat, The Complete Bible an American Translation by Edgar Goodspeed and J. M. Powis Smith, Lamsa’s translation of the Peshita Text, New English Bible & Revised English Bible and New Testament in an Improved Version and Newcome’s New Translation are a good choice.

If you cannot find any Bible that will support your stand on the issue…well you can always write your own Bible. That’s just what the Jehovah’s Witnesses did. They have their own translation of the Scriptures in which they have taken unwarranted liberties with the Greek text called the “New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures.”

The Inspired Version was created by the Mormons. The text was published in 1867 and a “corrected edition” in 1944. If you believe that Joseph Smith was an inspired prophet, then his lack of knowledge of Greek and Hebrew would really not matter.

If you can’t print your own Bible, well you can always interpret the Bible base on your belief and doctrine. Scriptures about prophecies and apostleship is most targeted by different Christian sects.

The Iglesia ni Cristo for instance uses Isaiah 34:16 to prove the divinity of the INC Church base on prophecy. The World Wide Church of God also uses different prophesy in the Bible to give good reason for its belief that the Anglo-American people were the lost tribe of Israel.

Sometimes different Christians insert their belief in the pages of the Bible as foot notes. Finis Drake for example inserted his belief on the “gap-theory” in the pages of the Drake Bible.

Now notice the following examples of comparison from different Bibles:
1. In the New Revised Standard Version (NSRV) Genesis 2:18-18 established that animals were created after the human male. NIV erases the contradiction by using the word “had formed” to replace the NSRV “formed”.
2. The Revised English Bible, New Revised Standard Version, New American Bible and the New Jerusalem Bible agreed that it was Elhanan who killed Goliath the Gittite. The KJV says that Elhanan killed Goliath’s brother.
3. On MARK 11:26 – (“But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses”). Many modern versions–RS, LB, JB, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, NAB, TEV, and the NWT–omit this verse.
4. 1 John 5:7 – The King James Version gives the following translation. “For there are three that bear records in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one”. Other Bibles like the NIV have a different reading, “For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood: and the three are in agreement”.
5. 1 COR. 5:5 (“…that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”). By omitting the word “Jesus,” many versions–JB, NIV, NEB, NAB, TEV, and NWT–imply Jesus is not Lord.
6. 1 COR. 10:28 (“…for the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof”). Every version omits this verse except the King James.
7. MATT. 12:47 does not exist in the RS, LB, or JB.
8. In regard to MATT. 27:35 (“And they crucified him, and parted his garments casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots”), only the KJ and ML have the underlined phrase.
9. MARK 7:16 is not in the RS, LB, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, TEV, or NWT.
10. MARK 9:44, 46 is not in the RS, LB, JB, NIV, AS, BBE, NAB, NEB, TEV, or the NWT.
11. In MARK 10:7, “And cleave to his wife,” is not in the JB, NAB, NWT, or the NAS.
12. MARK 15:28 is omitted in the RS, JB, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, NAB, TEV, and the NWT.
13. LUKE 17:36 is not in the RS, JB, NIV, AS, BBE, NAB, NEB, TEV, or the NWT.
14. LUKE 22:19b-20 is not in the NEB. LUKE 22:43-44 is not in the RSV.
15. LUKE 23:17 does not exist in the RS, LB, JB, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, NAB, TEV, or the NWT.
16. LUKE 23:38 is absent from every version except the KJ and LV.
17. LUKE 24:12 and 24:40 are deleted from the RS and NEB.
18. LUKE 24:36 isn’t in the RS, LB, NEB, or the NAS.
19. JOHN 5:3b-4 is omitted from the RS, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, TEV and NWT.
20. ACTS 8:37 is not to be found in the RS, JB, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, TEV or the NWT.
21. ACTS 15:34 is not in the KJ, RS, LB, JB, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, NAB, TEV, or the NWT.
22. ACTS 24:6c-8a is absent from the RS, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, NAB, TEV, and NWT.
23. ACTS 28:29 is omitted in the RS, LB, JB, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, NAB, TEV and the NWT.
24. ROM. 16:24 is not in the RS, LB, JB, NIV, AS, BBE, NEB, NAB, TEV, or the NWT.
25. And finally, the phrase, “and so we are,” in JOHN 3:1 is in every version except the King James.

According to Mr. Dennis McKinsey, different Bible versions occur because:
First, variations in doctrine and theology emerge because translators often can not agree on how a verse should be translated.
Second, theological deviations sometimes emerge because they can not agree on whether or not particular words, phrases, or sentences should even be in the “authentic” Bible. And third, variations in the translation of separate verses have generated textual disagreements as to facts. I may also ad that one cause is the insertion of a particular doctrine to justify it or to look like it came from the Holy Scripture.

So returning to the Christian challenge that a freethinker must read the Bible, I will return the favor. What Bible do you want me to read?

“The Christian Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same but the medical practice changes. For 1,800 years these changes were slight–scarcely noticeable…. The dull and ignorant physician day and night, and all the days and all the nights, drenched his patient with vast and hideous doses of the most repulsive drugs to be found in the store’s steak…. He kept him religion sick for eighteen centuries, and allowed him not a well day during all that time.” – Mark Twain and the Three R’s, Ed. by Maxwell Geismar, p. 107

Posted in ReligionComments (15)

Dinosaurs in the Bible? You've got to be kidding?


The_Behemoth_and_the_LeviathanWhen paleontologists discovered the existence of dinosaur fossils, Christians retorted by saying that these bones were placed by Satan to deceive us to believe that Genesis didn’t happened…Well so far so good. When people didn’t buy this cockeyed explanation, some Christians made stories that say God created the dinosaurs together with human being, and what best reference they can show is what was written in their “Holy Bible”.

According to these Christians, the Book of Job is the evidence that dinosaurs can be found in the Bible.

Let us see.

Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him . Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares. (Job 40:15-24 KJV)

Isn’t that great or what… Lo and behold, Job is talking about a sauropod, a Brachiosaurus.

Yeah right…

Most Christians agree that the Behemoth in the Book of Job is a dinosaur. Many Young Earth Creationists propose that the Behemoth is a sauropod. But why are these guys’ compares the Behemoth to a dinosaur? It can mean anything?

The Christians claim Job 40:15-24 is definitely talking about a dinosaur.
1. he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly – So the Behemoth eats grass! Yep and a dinosaur eats grass.

But so does a hippo and an elephant. Dinosaurs don’t eat grass like an ox. They were wholly incapable of chewing their food at all. Their jaws can only move up and down like the jaws of a crocodile, not in a circular pattern like the jaws of a cow. They ate vegetation by grasping the food with the teeth, and pulled away with the head, thereby “raking” the leaves into the mouth. In order to “chew” the food they swallowed, they had to swallow stones (called “gastroliths”) that traveled through the necks and into the gizzard area. There, the stones help to grind their food by mashing plant matter into a digestible pulp with the help of special muscles found inside of the gizzards. Oh and did I forgot to tell you that sauropods were tree-browsers.

2. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

Well…since a behemoth “has a tail that is exactly like a cedar tree” it must be a dinosaur. Good grief! Guys, can you read this verse again. It doesn’t say that a behemoth’s tail is like a cedar tree, it says that its tail move like a cedar. That means that it does not necessarily pointing towards the size of the tail, it only speaking about the motion pattern. It’s just saying that the behemoth’s tail moved like the branches of a cedar tree in the wind.

In the New International Version (NIV), the verses in question are translated as the following:
“What strength he has in his loins; what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar, the sinews of his thighs are close-knit…”
This version could indicate that the animal moved parts of the loin-region, such as the phallus, around aggressively, whether in heat or not. Following the symbolism of strong, well-functioning phalli being a metaphor for masculine courage, the verses continue to demonstrate the behavior and dependence on God of the creature, indicating the humility of a creature that would appear to have no need for humility.

3. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him .
That means anyone, approaching the creature, must arm himself with raw firepower; any weapon needed to kill this vicious monstrosity, including a sword. We are not talking about a creature dated back between 70 and 65 million years ago. We’re talking about some modern African animal, like a hippopotamus, a highly dangerous animal that has been said to kill humans more than any other dangerous animal in Africa.

4. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.

The rest of the passage refers to Behemoth being a large amphibious mammal. Sauropods, on the other hand would not enjoy being stuck, bogged down, and up to their armpits in mud, mire, and water all the time and, in other cases, be drowned in their own tissue while standing in deep water.

The writer of Job is not talking about dinosaurs here. The New Living Translation says that it’s a hippopotamus. In the original Hebrew, the word behemoth is of Egyptian origin. According to the Easton Bible Dictionary, “Some have supposed this to be an Egyptian word meaning a “water-ox.” The Revised Version has here in the margin “hippopotamus,” which is probably the correct rendering of the word. The hippopotamus is truly a wild animal that “eateth grass like an ox,” can never be tamed, and makes his home in the swamps, lakes, and rivers of Africa. They were once common in the Middle East, especially in Egypt, but were not seen anymore in that area due to them being hunted down for their ivory teeth, meat, and hide by humans.

Another dinosaur “wannabee” in the Bible is the Leviathan.

The word “Leviathan” appears six times in the Bible:
1. Isaiah 27:1: “In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”
2. Psalms 74:14: “Thou didst crush the heads of the Leviathan, thou didst give him for food to the creatures of the desert.” NIV
3. Psalms 104:25,26: “O Lord, how manifold thy works, in wisdom you have created them all. So is this great and wide sea… there go the ships and the Leviathan which you have created to play therein” (AV);
4. Book of Job 3:8 “May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan “; (NIV )
5. Book of Job 40: 24-32, 41:1-24: “Can you draw out a Leviathan with a hook or press down its tongue with a cord? Canst thou put a hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a bridle ring? Will he make many supplications to thee? Will he speak soft words to thee? Will he make a covenant with thee? To take him for thy servant forever? Will thou play with him as with a bird? Or wilt thou bind him for thy girls? Will the tradesmen heap up payment for him?… Lay thy hand upon him, thou will no more think of fighting. Behold the hope of him is in vain, shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?…Who can open the doors of his face? His teeth are terrible round about. His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. One is near to the another, that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered. By his [sneezing] a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of morning. Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth….His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone….He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble….He maketh the deep to boil like a pot….he is a king over all the children of pride.”

According to Duane Gish, the Leviathan is a dinosaur, some dort of a Parasaurolophus or Corythosaurus, or a plesiosaur such as Koronosaurus. Yet have he forgotten that the Leviathan appears also in Ugaritic texts, where it is described as a twisting serpent. In Canaanite mythology and literature, it is a monster called Lotan, ‘the fleeing serpent, the coiling serpent with the seven heads’. It was eventually killed by Baal. The Leviathan is also the Ugaritic god of evil.

In Psalms 74:14 it also says that the Leviathan has many heads (Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.)

Also, let us not forget the following descriptions:
A.) Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.
B.) Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron.
C.) His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth

Gosh! These descriptions sounds like more of one of those monsters from a Japanese 1960’s monster show…like those Godzilla movies. Dinosaurs don’t have such abilities. The gentle Parasaurolophus or Corythosaurus doesn’t shoot fire from their mouth. Also, there were no sailing ships on the time when sea reptiles known as pliosaurs ruled the seas.

Let me point out…the Bible is neither modern nor scientific. It was written in a poetical, ancient and mythological manner. So I hope Christian fundies should use their brain often and should try to distinguish facts from fables.

Posted in Religion, ScienceComments (11)

The Bible and the Institution of Slavery


slaverySlavery is an institution based on a relationship of dominance and submission, whereby one person owns another and can exact from that person labor or other services. The Holy Bible refers to slaves as a personal property that could be purchased & beaten. In one of Jesus’ parables, he approved beating servants severely, instead of preaching of its abolition (The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” – Luke 12:47-48 NLT).

Christian supporters of slavery argued that the New Testament clearly did not forbid slavery, and did not deem it a sin and today, modern Christian apologetics try to soften it by claiming that a more accurate translation would be as a servant or hired workers rather then slaves despite that the Bible states that one should not regret the gift, for slaves were only half as expensive as hired workers (It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest. – Deuteronomy 15:18 King James Version)

Clearly, according to the Bible, the spirit of the Lord has little to do with liberty. The well-known reverend, Alexander Campbell contended: “there is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral.” Only during the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century the spread of the ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau and others, and the increase of democratic sentiment led to a growing attack on the slave trade and slavery in general.

Isn’t it odd to think that faulty humans at least tried to abolish slavery compare to an all-knowing, all-good God?

Just read the following verses:

Deuteronomy 15:17, English Standard Version

Lev. 25:44-46, English Standard Version

Exodus 21:20-21

Exodus 21:2-6

Deut. 15:12

Deut. 28:68

Eph. 6:5-7

1 Tim. 6:1

Col. 3:22

Titus 2:9

1 Peter 2:18,21, NIRV

And then read these following quotations from some so-called men of God and other famous people:

“[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God…it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation…it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts.” Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. 1,2

“There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral.” Rev. Alexander Campbell

“The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example.” Rev. R. Furman, D.D., Baptist, of South Carolina

“The hope of civilization itself hangs on the defeat of Negro suffrage.” A statement by a prominent 19th-century southern Presbyterian pastor, cited by Rev. Jack Rogers, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

“The doom of Ham has been branded on the form and features of his African descendants. The hand of fate has united his color and destiny. Man cannot separate what God hath joined.” – United States Senator James Henry Hammond.

The quotation by Jefferson Davis, listed above, reflected the beliefs of many Americans in the 19th century. Slavery was seen as having been “sanctioned in the Bible.” They argued that biblical passages recognized, controlled, and regulated the practice.

The Bible permitted owners to beat their slaves severely, even to the
point of killing them. However, as long as the slave lingered longer than 24 hours before dying of the abuse, the owner was not regarded as having committed a crime, because — after all — the slave was his property.

You won’t find any law in the Ten Commandments that prohibits slavery. There are no prophets of God that condemned it. The twelve Apostles are silent about its abolition.

Jesus could have condemned the practice. He might have done so. But there is no record of him having said anything negative about the institution.

Paul had every opportunity to write in one of his Epistles that human
slavery — the owning of one person as a piece of property by another – is profoundly evil. His letter to Philemon would have been an ideal opportunity to vilify slavery, but he wrote not one word of criticism.

Eventually, the abolitionists gained sufficient power to eradicate slavery in most areas of the world by the end of the 19th century. Slavery was eventually recognized as an extreme evil. But this paradigm shift in understanding came at a cost. Christians wondered why the Bible was so supportive of such an immoral practice. They questioned whether the Bible was entirely reliable. Perhaps there were other practices that it accepted as normal which were profoundly evil — like genocide, torturing prisoners, raping female prisoners of war, executing religious minorities, burning some hookers alive, etc. The innocent faith that Christians had in “the Good Book” was lost — never to be fully regained.

Thanks for secular laws we have today, we now abolished slavery. On 10 December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 4 states:
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

I just wonder, why such law can’t be found in a book said to be inspired by a just God.

Posted in Religion, SocietyComments (5)

It's not a woman's world


2827464697_d46334b928_oEvery aspect of organized religion are male dominated. Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Brahman, Khristna, the priests, all are men. The religions themselves practice overt discrimination against women within their own institutions. They are run by men for men.

The major male dominated monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam have had a profound effect on women’s lives up to and including the present day. Woman was supposedly created as an afterthought from Adam’s rib. Even their holy books degrade women in the rank of plain accessories for men, a kind of property and worst, cattle and livestock. Her role established in the scriptures are nothing more but a temptress, a whore, a foot-washer and a domestic servant. She is suppose to be unclean during menstruation and untouchable until ritual cleansing after childbirth. As Elizabeth Cady Stanton once quoted, “The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man’s bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire.”

Here are some samples from the Christian Bible:

1. “And a man will choose…any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman…Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die” Ecclesiasticus, 25:18, 19 & 33.

2. Genesis 3:16 God punishes Eve, and all women after her, with the pains of childbirth and subjection to men.

3. Genesis 7:2 “The male and his female …” Notice that in the Bible female animals are the property of male animals, as women are the property of men.

{Gen. 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.}

4. Exodus 20:17 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, … nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” In the Bible, women are the property of men; they are his possessions — like an ox or an ass.

5. Genesis 19:8 (also see: 2 Pet.2:7-8) Lot refuses to give up his angels to the perverted mob, offering his two “virgin daughters” instead. He tells the bunch of sex-starved men to “do unto them [his daughters] as is good in your eyes.” This is the same man that is called “just” and “righteous”

6. Exodus 21:7 God explains how to go about selling your daughter — and what to do if she fails to please her new master.

7. Exodus 34:16 “Their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.” God always blames the women; it is they who “go a whoring” and then “make” the men “go a whoring.”

8. Leviticus 12:1-5 Women are dirty and sinful after childbirth, so God prescribes rituals for their purification. If a boy is born, the mother is unclean for 7 days and must be purified for 33 days; but if a girl is born, the mother is unclean for 14 days and be purified for 66 days. This is because, in the eyes of God, girls are twice as dirty as boys.

9. Leviticus 31:1-54 Under God’s direction, Moses’ army defeats the Midianites. They kill all the adult males, but take the women and children captive. When Moses learns that they left some live, he angrily says: “Have you saved all the women alive? Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” So they went back and did as Moses (and presumably God) instructed, killing everyone except for the virgins. In this way they got 32,000 virgins — Wow! (Even God gets some of the booty — including the virgins.)

10. Deuteronomy 5:21 Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife or ass — or any thing that belongs to your neighbor. You see, in the eyes of God, women are the possessions of men.

11. Deuteronomy 25:11-12 If two men fight and the wife of one grabs the “secrets” of the other, “then thou shalt cut off her hand” and “thine eye shall not pity her.”

12. Judges 9:53-54 After being hit in the head with a millstone thrown by a woman, a soldier orders his armor bearer to kill him so that no one would say that a woman had killed him.

13. Isaiah 3:12 Isaiah shows his contempt for women by saying that things have gotten so bad for his people that “women rule over them.”

14. Zechariah 5:7-8 Evil is personified as a woman.

15. Luke 2:23 Males are holy to God, not females.
(As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

16. Romans 1:27 Paul explains that “the natural use” of women is to act as sexual objects for the pleasure of men.
(And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.)

17. 1 Corinthians 11:3 Paul says “the head of the woman is the man,” meaning that the women are to be subordinate to men.

18. 1 Corinthians11:7-9 Men are made in “the image and glory of God,” but not women; they are “the glory” of men. Paul concludes that women are made from and for men.

19. 1 Corinthians14:34-35 Women are commanded by Paul to be silent in church and to be obedient to men. He further says that “if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in church.”

20. 1Timothy 2:11-12 Paul forbids women to teach or “to usurp authority over” men. Rather they are to “learn [from men] in silence with all subjection [to men].”

21. 1Peter 3:1 Peter orders all wives to be “in subjection” to their husbands.

Even Islam has its share of bigotry to women.

1. Have sex with your women whenever and as often as you like.
2:223 Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad).

2. A woman is worth one-half a man.
2:282 O ye who believe! When ye contract a debt for a fixed term, record it in writing. Let a scribe record it in writing between you (in terms of) equity. No scribe should refuse to write as Allah hath taught him, so let him write, and let him who incurreth the debt dictate, and let him observe his duty to Allah his Lord, and diminish naught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call two witness from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not at hand, then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if one erreth (though forgetfulness) the other will remember. And the witnesses must not refuse when they are summoned. Be no averse to writing down (the contract) whether it be small or great, with (record of) the term thereof. That is more equitable in the sight of Allah and more sure for testimony, and the best way of avoiding doubt between you; save only in the case when it is actual merchandise which ye transfer among yourselves from hand to hand. In that case it is no sin for you if ye write it not. And have witnesses when ye sell to one another, and let no harm be done to scribe or witness. If ye do (harm to them) lo! it is a sin in you. Observe your duty to Allah. Allah is teaching you. And Allah is knower of all things.

3. Lot offers his daughters to a mob of angel rapers.
15:71 He said: Here are my daughters, if ye must be doing (so).

4. Believing women must lower their gaze and be modest, cover themselves with veils, and not reveal themselves except to their husbands, relatives, children, and slaves.
24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.

5. 38:52 Female companions await those who enter the Gardens of Eden on the Day of Reckoning.

6. 56: 36-37 Allah made virgins to be lovers and friends to those on his right hand.

Here are other samples from the Book of Mormon:
1. 2 Nephi 13:12 When women are allowed to rule, everything goes to hell in a hand basket.
2. Jacob 2:28 God delights in the chastity of women.

How about the early church fathers and known Christian personalities?

“Do you not know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the Devil’s gateway: You are the unsealer of the forbidden tree: You are the first deserter of the divine law: You are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert even the Son of God had to die.”
– St. Tertullian (about 155 to 225 CE)

“What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman……I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children.”
– St. Augustine of Hippo (354 to 430 CE)

“As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence.”
– St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 to 1274 CE)

“If they [women] become tired or even die that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth, that’s why they are there.”
– Martin Luther (1483 to 1546)

“In the beginning God made man male and female. He made Adam first, and then made Eve from Adam’s rib. This order of creation subordinates wives to their husbands in marriage, and women to men in the church. As an act of submission to their Creator women are commanded to submit to their husbands and to male leadership in the church. Women are not allowed to teach or have authority over men in any formal capacity in the church.”
– Reformation Fellowship of the East Valley, Mesa, AZ (circa 1995)

“Most of these feminists are radical, frustrated lesbians, many of them, and man-haters, and failures in their relationships with men, and who have declared war on the male gender. The Biblical condemnation of feminism has to do with its radical philosophy and goals. That’s the bottom line.”
– Jerry Falwell

History is quite cruel. Before these male dominated religions emerge, our ancestors were worshiping women.

The Cro-Magnon people, the first recognizable humans, were worshipping female deities as far as 35,000 BCE. Among the first human images discovered are the “Venus figures,” nude female figures having exaggerated sexual parts that date back to the Cro-Magnons of the Upper Paleolithic period between 35,000 and 10,000 BCE. Cave paintings women are depicted giving birth. “A naked Goddess appears to have been the patroness of the hunt to mammoth hunters in the Pyrenees and was also protectress of the hearth and lady of the wild things.”

Other female figurines were discovered dating back to the proto-Neolithic period of ca, 9000 – 7000 BCE, the Middle Neolithic period of ca. 6000 – 5000 BCE, and the Higher Neolithic period of ca. 4500 – 3500 BCE. Some of these figurines were decorated as if they had been objects of worship. In black Africa were discovered cave images of the Horned Goddess (later Isis, ca. 7000 – 6000 BCE). The Black Goddess images appeared to represent a bisexual, self-fertilizing woman.

Women were associated with fertility and reproduction so it was given to them the title of the “Great Mother”, the great symbol of the earth’s fertility, the creator of everything. The female life-giving principle was considered divine and a great mystery.

I say that modern organized churches are nothing more but an extension of bigotry and sexism. Women deserve more that what these religions try to portray them. Women are not just a play thing, nor a live stock for man to own. These books are sick to place women in such disgusting roles.

DAMN THOSE CHAUVINIST PIGS!!!!!

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As if the Bible really matters.


bibleInfo003
One day, I came across one message from a certain Christian which says, “Christianity doesn’t back out. Because our warrant is the Bible: the propositional word from God. It answers man’s deepest questions like “the finality of life,” the purpose of man, etc.. “
Is this a statement of belief or what?

I think this is pure egoism in the part of the writer. What do you think?
Well, as expected, Christians always rely in egocenticism. (Have you read Norman Geisler’s book? Talk about being too egoistic).

Is the Bible the only book capable of going to the deepest human concerns? There are other choices. Back in early 20th century, a European Ambassador asked a Japanese diplomat how Japanese children learn about morality without reading the Bible. The Japanese diplomat answered, “The Japanese children read the Code of Bushido.” The point is that answers to the questions regarding life purpose, morality, etc., is not monopolized by the Christian holy book. The Buddhist dharma for instance teaches its adherence how to resist and control desire and to look for higher wisdom and the importance of self reliance. The Tao-Te-Kung teaches absolute virtue. The Hindus teaches religious tolerance and the Avedas of the Persians teaches man about the fight between good and evil and eternal reward for the righteous and damnation to the evil doers.

For nonbelievers, reading works from different philosophers are good alternatives. There are many nonbelievers which have lived lives with purpose and have contributed to the benefit of humanity. People like Robert Ingresoll, Clarence Darrow, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Sanger and allot of others are but few examples. Their lives are inspirations to many nonbelievers.

Now as for the Holy Bible, I did not say that this book has nothing to answer about the questions on morality and virtue, I just say that there are better books to choose for.

We have better choices…

Posted in ReligionComments (7)

L2MF Post #03: On Church Offerings and Charitable Donations


Dear Dad,

I listened to the sermon in Mum’s church two weeks ago and the topic was about giving offerings (i.e. tithes) to the church.

According to church doctrine, one of the duties of a church member is to give offerings. Though this is a feature that is common to all Christian denominations, I would like to concentrate on the giving of offerings within my Mum’s church.

You know that in the early years of your marriage, Mum persuaded you to listen to the doctrines of the church through regular Bible studies. However, you have decided to stop attending those studies because you found that her church and its doctrines were not to your liking.

In one of our family dinners, you have mentioned your opinion about the church’s finances. (I’d rather not mention it here.) Thanks to you, I have felt the urge to question church doctrines and take them with a grain of salt.

In this letter, I will mention the Biblical bases of giving offerings (according to how the sermon was delivered).

Why give offerings?

Therefore, through him let us always bring God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Do not neglect to do good and to be generous, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.

— Hebrews 13:15-16 ISV

But isn’t it just a doctrine written by man?

For I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin.

For I did not receive it from a man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that person be condemned!

— Galatians 1:11-12, 8 ISV

How should one give offerings?

Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously.

Each of you must give what you have decided in your heart, not with regret or under compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver.

— II Corinthians 9:6,7 ISV

Where do the collected monetary offerings go?

1. To provide for the needs of the ministers

In the same way, the Lord has ordered that those who proclaim the gospel should make their living from the gospel.

— I Corinthians 9:14 ISV

The ministers are not allowed to have other means of earning money (e.g. job with a salary, business) except through preaching and other church work. In local church jargon, it is called “tulong” (financial assistance). It was based on a law made by Moses.

For in the law of Moses it is written, “You must not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” God is not only concerned about oxen, is he?

Isn’t he really speaking on our behalf? Yes, this was written on our behalf, because the one who plows should plow in hope, and the one who threshes should thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.

— I Corinthians 9:9-10 ISV

However in the next verse (which was not mentioned by the minister during the sermon), I have read:

If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap material benefits from you?

— I Corinthians 9:11 ISV

It was then backed up by another verse:

For everyone must carry his own load.

The person who is taught the word should share all his goods with his teacher.

— Galatians 6:5-6 ISV

2. To provide for the needs of the church and the ministry

For this ministry you render is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but it is also overflowing with more and more prayers of thanksgiving to God.

Because of the proof that this service of yours brings, you will glorify God because of your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and because of your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else.

— II Corinthians 9:12-13 ISV

According to church doctrine, the monetary offerings are used to provide for the needs of the church, for the administrative expenses, and for evangelical missions. In this era of technological advancement, the church uses print media, radio, television, and the Internet to spread the gospel, and that needs money. (Yes Dad, they have a radio and TV station.)

3. To build houses of worship

Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, says the LORD.

— Haggai 1:8 UKJV

The church buys an area of land where a building (or buildings which include offices and houses for resident ministers) will stand. The church also buys building materials, pays the laborers, and provides for the maintenance of the buildings and the things used in the church.

I asked myself, “Why would God, a being who had the power to create planets and galaxies, need a man-made house here on Earth?” There are a lot of homeless people due to poverty and natural and man-made disasters. They do need houses.

The “carrot and stick”

For he will repay everyone according to what that person has done:

eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing good;

but wrath and fury for those who in their selfish pride refuse to believe the truth and practice wickedness instead.

There will be suffering and anguish for every human being who practices doing evil, for Jews first and for Greeks as well.

But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who practices doing good, for Jews first and for Greeks as well.

—Romans 2:6-10 ISV

The “good” being referred to is, again, the duty of giving monetary offerings.

And finally, the last reading of the sermon:

How to show devotion?

Never be lazy in showing such devotion. Be on fire with the Spirit. Serve the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in trouble, and persistent in prayer.

Supply the needs of the saints. Extend hospitality to strangers.

—Romans 12:11-13 ISV

This only means that church members should always do their duties, which includes the giving of monetary offerings.

My Conclusion

Being a cheerful giver is nice, but I’d rather give to those who really need the money. God does not need money and houses, people do.

There are a lot of people who lost their homes and livelihood to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng and they are in need of help. For me, helping them through donations and volunteer work is the way to go. The church can thrive even if I choose to divert my charity pesos or dollars to worthy causes.

efore, through him let us always bring God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Do not neglect to do good and to be generous, for God is pleased with such sacrifice

(J) The Freethinking Geek

Posted in Personal, ReligionComments (2)

A Scientific Bible?


If the Bible is inspired by an omniscient God, then even in the field of science and mathematics the Bible must be correct. Even the “Sorianista” (the followers of Eliseo Soriano’s sect) believe that God is the inventor of science…whatever that means.

It’s not the atheist’s job to prove whether the Bible is scientifically inaccurate. Hey! It’s the Christians who make the positive claim of infallibility.

But like other ancient literature, the Bible is prone to criticism and like other so-called sacred books; it’s only the adherents’ claim that the Bible is a word of a certain god or is it a product of a supernatural being.

Evangelical Christians claim that the scientific errors of the Bible are not errors because nothing is impossible to God. It may look like an error to a skeptic but since God is beyond natural laws and empirical science, God can bend the rules. Remember, God is the one who created natural law in the first place.

I think this is an absurd explanation, yet I have seen books, websites and Christian pamphlets that suggest this explanation in dealing with scientific inaccuracies of the Bible. You see, these people will be adamant to justify the doctrine of biblical inerrancy to the point of looking foolish. For them God can create a square triangle or a married bachelor – without further explanation, just to save their faith for further scrutiny. Faith is the motivation not knowledge and fanaticism is the outcome.

But not all Christians agree with such reasoning.

Don Stewart responded to those who question the Bible’s scientific qualifications in his book “Answers to Tough Questions”, “The Bible is not a textbook on science. Its purpose is not to explain in technical terms the technical data of the natural world, but to explain God’s purpose and relation to man, to deal with spiritual things. It is definitely not a technical textbook for scientists. The descriptions which the Bible gives concerning nature are neither scientific nor unscientific, but phrased in words that are non-technical and often general, so that even the common reader can follow the thought. This does not at all mean the statements are incorrect.” (P. 104)

In the TIME Magazine interview (January 15, 2007), Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the United State National Genome Research Institute and the author of the book The Language of God – A scientist presents evidence of belief said, “There are sincere believers who interpret Genesis 1 and 2 in a very literal way that is inconsistent, frankly, with our knowledge of the universe’s age or of how living organisms are related to each other. St. Augustine wrote that basically it is not possible to understand what was being described in Genesis. It is not intended as a science text book. It is intended as a description of who God was, who we are and what our relationship is supposed to be with God. Augustine explicitly warns against a very narrow perspective that will put our faith at risk of looking ridiculous.”
But still, most Christians persist of making their faith look ridiculous.

So how scientific is the Bible?

What Christians advocate as “scientific” has two components. The first is to begin with unchallengeable statements which are Bible stories. Then they will try to find, in carefully selected natural phenomena, alleged corroborations of those stories.

The second is to look for any inconsistencies or controversy, no matter how trivial or evanescent, in real science and present it as proof of the validity of the Bible stories.

Real science proceeds in the opposite direction. Scientists use the result of observations to construct theories that support further observation.

Now let see how scientific the Bible really is.

The number one problem in the Genesis narrative is that Christians can’t even agree to themselves if the word “day” means a 24-hour period or a thousand years. Evangelicals agree to a 24-hour “day”. Young Earth Creationists (as they are known) always use misquoted reports, edited information, out dated research and books and will even scoff on carbon dating technique, accusing it of inaccuracies just to squeeze their belief.

I even saw a booklet from The Radio Pulpit, saying that dinosaurs and humans once live together. Talk about the Flintstones!

There also those who believe that the “day” in the creation story mean a thousand years. This is also known as the “The day-age theory” and they are known as Progressive Creationists. They don’t base it on geological finding…Nope; they base their interpretation from Psalms 90:4 and 2Peter 3:8.

That’s the difference between religion and science. Science base it’s knowledge from the evidence that were collected while religion interprets the belief first and will fashion its doctrine to fit the evidence.

Let us see more “Genesis science” and I will just skip the issues about “talking snakes” and trees that bear fruits of “life” and “knowledge”. Such objects are obviously mythological in nature.

Genesis 1:1-2
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Is the Bible suggesting that the entire universe is made up of water? This kind of thinking was very common in ancient times. Even the Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus thinks that water was the first principle of life and the material world

Genesis 1:3-5 vs. Genesis 1:14-19
It seems the Genesis narrative is implying that planet Earth is older than all the heavenly bodies in the universe. Earth was created in an empty heaven in the first day and the rest of all the planets and stars are created in the 4th day.

Now if we’re going to believe that Earth is older than all the stuffs in the universe, we’re going to have a problem proving this. The distances between stars are measured in light years. Now in one second, a beam of light travels 186,000 miles. So in 8 minutes, light have traveled on a distance from the Sun to the Earth. We can say that the Sun is 8 light minutes away from Earth. In a year, light crosses nearly 10 trillion kilometers of intervening space. That is one light years.

The nearest star from planet Earth next to the Sun (our Sun is a medium size star) is Proxima Centauri which is 4.26 light years away. This means that the light from Proxima Centauri will reach Earth at 4.26 years.

The Andromeda Galaxy is 2 million light years away. The Galactic Center of the Milky Way (our galaxy) is about 28,000 light years away.

Given all that figures, how can be the universe be a mere 8,000 years old? According to Bishop James Ussher and John Lightfoot, God created the universe on October 23, 2004 BC. If light has been traveling at such distance in time and space…for about billions of years, then how is it possible that Earth (which is 6,000 old according to Evangelical Christianity be older than the universe?

Now what if we believe that Earth is about hmmm…a million years old according to Progressive creationists, can we justify that Planet Earth is still older than the universe? Let’s talk about the age of rocks and not the Rock of Ages. The oldest rock sample that was found here on Earth is about 3.5 to 3.8 billion years old. Oldest rock samples returned from the moon are 4.4 to 4.5 billion years old and the oldest meteorites are about 4.5 to 4.6 billion years old.

Knowledge of the Hubble constant and of the matter and vacuum density parameters allows us to estimate the age of the universe. Using a technique where we calculate the age of the stars, we can at least have a good approximation of the age of the universe.

There are two main ways of estimating ages of old stars: Heavy element abundances due to radioactive decay and lower luminosities.

A recent estimate places the age of the Universe at approximately 12.5 to 16 billion years old.

Genesis 1:3“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

There are a lot of speculations regarding Genesis 1:3. Some Christian sects reason out that “light” refers to radiation emitted by the Big Bang, while other says that it is some kind of cosmic radiation. Other suggests that the “light” is a metaphor that means order or law. Evangelical Christians suggest it’s magic.

Notice that the passage in Gen. 1:3 refers to a visible light. (Gen. 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good…) so we can discard the radiation presumption and the metaphor. Christian magical explanation is not scientific so we can discard it as well.

Genesis 1:4-5
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Does this only refer to the terrestrial world or the whole universe? There isn’t any evidence we could find to say that the whole universe has an interval of being dark in a certain period of time and being bright in a certain period of time. In the vastness of space, distribution of lightwave scatters. Visible wavelength becomes shorted. That’s why it’s dark in outer space.

So we come to the problem of “day and night”. A “day” refers to the period of the interval represented by one rotation of the planet around a light source, in our case, the Sun. So if God created the Sun in the forth day, then what causes day and night in planet Earth? How could there be “the evening and the morning” on the first day if there was no Sun to mark them?

When God created light and divided it, in what planetary rotation did he base his “day”? Remember that Earth still have no Sun to rotate in 24 hours. Also, other planets in the Solar System have its own “day”: Mercury = 59 days, Venus = 243 days, Mars = 24 Hour and 37 minutes, Jupiter = 9.8 hours, Saturn = 10.2 hours, Uranus = 17.24 hours and Neptune = 16.05 days.

The Solid Vault (Genesis 1:6-8)
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

The ancient Hebrews believed in a three-story universe filled with water. That is quite common with ancient Canaanite mythology. The word “tehom” (See: Job 26: 5-7, Jer. 4:33 and Is. 40:17.23) means the deep and cognate with the Sumerian/Babylonian “Tiamat” – the salt-water ocean.

This is the reason why in the Genesis myth, the Elohim divided the waters above and the waters below with a solid vault (raqia), which the English translators of the Bible referred as “firmament”. Evidence of this solid vault can also be found in Amos 9:6 as the word “aquddah” was used by its author (see also: Isaiah 40:22 and Psalms 104:2). The common poetic image of this “Hebrew astronomy” is a dome or tent covering a circle coin.

Evidence of such ancient astronomy belief system can also be found in an extra biblical source. In Nachmanides commentary of the torah he quotes from the ancient rabbis, “The heavens were in fluid form on the first day, and on the second day they solidified. Another ancient rabbi said, “Let the firmament become like a plate, just as you say in Exodus 39:3. Jewish Bible scholars agree that raqia suggest a firm vault or dome which held the stars and provided a boundary beyond which the divine dwelt.” (Nachmanides (Raban) Commentary of the Torah Vol. 1 pp 33-36)

The Hebrews taught that the heavenly bodies (stars, the Sun and the moon) are all inside this solid dome (Gen. 1:7). There wasn’t any idea of outer space at that time. This solid dome or “firmament” even has windows, flood gates or trap doors to let rain water or hail inside (Gen. 7:11, 8:2, Job 38:22, Psalm 104:3, 13). Beyond this dome is where the primeval waters are located. Remember…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Even the writers of the New Testament believe this ancient astronomy. See Matthew 24:29 and Revelation 6:13-14.

Hey, check out these chapters and verses in the Bible to know what I mean: Job 38:22, Psalm 104:3, 13 and Genesis 11:4.

Well…humans have invented the rockets, have flown as far as the moon, Mars and Jupiter. Have already send space stations and a space mission out of our galaxy…never had it hit any solid vault between Earth atmosphere and the exosphere.

Genesis 1:11-12
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

So God created the plants first before he created the Sun (Gen. 1:16).

The booklet “Is the Bible Really the Word of God?’ by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania seems to imply that plants can live without the Sun by lightless photosynthesis (According to the booklet, a report from Science News letter of August 25, 1962, under the headline “Lightless Photosynthesis” Kurio Tagawa and Daniel Arnon succeeded in eliminating the need for light in a key energy-transforming reaction of the photosynthetic process in spinach leaves.)

Remember that the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in “Progressive Creation” so they have to justify that plants have live in planet for more than a thousand years without the Sun. But such justification produces dishonest answers. First, the Bible was quite clear on this, God brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, and these plants all required photosynthesis to live. They got green leaves remember? And second, we don’t have any evidence that somewhere between a million years ago, these plants (grasses, herbs and trees) does not use the Sun’s light to the process of photosynthesis.

I also wonder who created the bacteria, fungi, molds, ferns and certain aquatic plants. They seem to be left out of God’s list.

Genesis 1: 14-17
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

The moon does not have a light of its own; it only reflects light from the Sun. Also it seem to absurd to think that God spends a day making the Sun and the moon (before making the stars) and separating light from darkness; then, after a hard day’s work, and almost as a late addition, he creates trillions of stars. Speaking of stars, why are only a tiny fraction of stars visible from earth? Under the best conditions, no more than five thousand stars are visible from earth with the unaided eye, yet there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy and a hundred billion or so galaxies. Yet this verse says that God put the stars in the firmament “to give light” to the earth.

Genesis 1:29-30
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

I will not talk about evolution. There is really no need for that since there are a lot of website in the Internet that deal with the subject. But I can recommend The Panda’s Thumb and Talk Origin . The have good articles regarding Evolution that you can read.

According to one of the articles in this Christian propaganda pamphlet called The Radio Pulpit (Volume 45 September 2000 Number 9), “ Notice that God declared creation “very good” only after he first announced that all moving, breathing, feeling creatures would eat plants not each other.” (p. 42) In the same page it continues, “You may ask, “What about the big, sharp teeth of so many animals? Doesn’t that prove they are always meat eaters?” No, it only proves that they have big, sharp teeth.”

That what happened when a person doesn’t read elementary biology text books.

Evangelical Christians think that there was once a time when there were no carnivores. Well…that was correct on a micro level…on one-celled animals but not with lions, cheetahs, sharks, wasps, crocodiles and piranhas!

Herbivores and carnivores differ not only on “big teeth” as the Christian pamphlet suggests. They also differ in activities. Carnivores run faster in comparison with their body weight and the energy comes from protein which is in meat. Also, meat generates more body heat. That’s why reptiles are meat eaters.

In all mammalian carnivores the jaw articulation is arranged in such a manner that movement is limited to vertical hinge motions and transverse sliding. The temporal muscle dominates the jaw musculature, forming at least one-half of the total mass of the jaw muscles. In all modern carnivores the brain is large and the cerebral hemispheres are highly developed.

Bears (the sample used by The Radio Pulpit) are omnivores – they eat both meat (mostly salmons) berries and herbs. Panda’s teeth are built in cracking bamboos but its form is quite different from a Tasmanian devil or a crocodile. Frankly speaking, there aren’t any scientific evidences that support a theory that modern carnivorous animals were once herbivores. The earliest fossil records are early Paleocene, but the earliest well-represented material comes from the middle Paleocene of North America. During the Paleocene and Eocene the stem carnivorans or miacoids underwent considerable diversification in both the Old and New World. At the end of Eocene and beginning of Oligocene time throughout the Northern Hemisphere, a dramatic change took place within the Carnivora; this was the appearance of primitive representatives of modern carnivore families.

Genesis 6:4 There were giants on the earth at one time.
No evidence exists to supports this assertion.

“Flood Geology”

By a literal interpretation of the Bible, the worldwide deluge occurred in the year 2348 BCE. According to the story, the only humans to survive the flood were members of Noah’s own family, who rode in the Ark with Noah and the animals.

Christians believe that the Ark story is not a myth. Fundamentalist Christians believe there is evidence of a universal flood according to the Bible since Genesis 10:32 declares that the whole world was populated after the flood from the eight who were saved. This would not have been true if those outside the local area had not drowned. Peter refers to the salvation of only eight (1 Peter 3:20).

The story of the flood is a common mythology to many cultures around the world. Norman Giesler in his book, “When Skeptics Asks” assume that this is a proof of the flood really did happened. Other Christian uses the same reason. But two geophysicists, William Ryan and Walter Pitman have discovered evidence of a giant flood of epic proportion that happened 7,600 years ago in the region known as the Black Sea. Base on the findings, when this Mediterranean river overflowed, a catastrophic flood destroyed those living on its ancient shore lines. Naturally, ancient people assume that the flood had indeed covered the whole earth. Those who survived the deluge carried to them the story with their culture as far as Western Europe, Central Asia, China, Egypt and the Persian Gulf region via migration. The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Deluge of Ziusudra and Noah’s Ark are all mythical tales passed down from generation to generation commemorating this epic event.

But is the story scientifically accurate? Let see:

Genesis 6:16
A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above;….

How could so many creatures breathe with only one small opening which was closed for at least 190 days–150 days plus an additional 40 days (Gen. 8:3-6)?

Genesis 6:17
“I do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die.”

Gen. 7:4 supports this point, “…and every substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.” Yet, how would a flood destroy animals living in the waters, especially those living in great depths, such as whales, porpoises, giant squids, tube worms , deep-sea crabs dolphins and all animals entirely underwater?

How did animals that are restricted to certain parts of the earth get to the Ark? If you have knowledge of different animals living on different geographic conditions you will know that it’s really not a feasible idea. Tamaraws, kangaroos, polar bears, koalas, kiwis and many others would have to have crossed vast oceans just to reach the location of Noah and the Ark. Slow animals from other continents–snails, sloths, turtles, and so forth–must have started their journey to the Ark before the earth was created!

How did many of the animals withstand climatic changes? Many of those from Polar Regions could not have withstood the heat of the Middle East.

How were animals prevented from killing their natural prey?

How the Ark was kept sanitary, since there was only one window and one door is beyond any scientific guess.

After being released, how did they return to their respective regions of the world? How did the New World primates or the Australian marsupials find there way back after the flood subsided?

The vegetation which many animals eat only grows in certain parts of the world. How was it brought to the Ark for storage? For example, how did Noah gathered the eucalyptus leaves which are the only food of the Koala bear?

If Christians denounce the theory of evolution , then explain it scientifically how tremendous variety of animals in the world today if only two of every species–two dogs, two cats, two elephants, two snakes, and so forth–entered and leave the Ark?

Genesis 8:11
“And the dove came in to him in the evening; and lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off.”

It’s difficult to believe a dove could have found an olive leaf to freshly pluck in a world that had been submerged for nearly a year.

If the waters covered the Earth for a year, was the water salty or fresh? How fresh water fishes (or sea water fishes) survived?

Gen. 8:5 and 8:13 state the Flood covered the earth and its mountains. If so, where did all the water go?

How were the animals preserved after leaving the Ark? There was no grass except such as had been submerged for a year. How were the herbivores taken care of until the earth was again clothed with vegetation? There were no animals to be devoured by the carnivores, except those which were on the Ark. From whence came their food?

If all your answers to the following questions is that “God can do the impossible”, then you are automatically telling me that the Bible is not a scientific book.

Other “scientific” Bible verses

Genesis 9:2
And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

According to this verse, all animals fear humans. Although it is true that many do, it is also true that some do not. Sharks and the Komodo dragon, for example, are generally much less afraid of us than we are of them.

Genesis 9:13
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

Does that mean that there were no rainbows prior to the flood? Rainbows are caused by the nature of light, the refractive index of water, and the shape of raindrops. There were rainbows billions of years before humans existed or it appears that the laws having to do with refraction of light were null and void prior to this time. You call that “scientific”?

Genesis 30:37-39
And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.
And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.

Jacob displays his (and God’s) knowledge of genetics by having goats copulate while looking at streaked rods. The result is streaked baby goats. This reminds me of the silly superstitions and old wife’s tale here in the Philippines. They believe that when a pregnant woman always sees a face of an ugly man, her child will be as ugly as the ugly man’s face. Or if a pregnant woman eats a certain food, it will have an effect the look or characteristic of her child…for example, if the mother always eats chocolate, chances are her child will be darker and if she always drinks milk, her child will have a fair complexion. This belief has nothing to do with the science of genetics.

Leviticus 11:5-6
And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

Deuteronomy 14:7
Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.

The Bible says that hares and coneys are unclean because they “chew the cud” but do not part the hoof. But hares and coneys are not ruminants and they do not “chew the cud.” Physiologically, a ruminant is a mammal of the order Artiodactyla that digests plant-based food by initially softening it within the animal’s first stomach, known as the rumen, then regurgitating the semi-digested mass, now known as cud, and chewing it again. Leporidae (Rabbits, coneys and hares) are not ruminants.

Leviticus 11:20
All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you

Name me a bird (fowl) that has four legs.

Leviticus 11:23
But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.

Name me a “flying creeping thing” with four legs.

The Geocentric Solar System

Joshua 10:12-13
The spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

Here’s the perfect verse that picture the idea of the Bible when it come to the Solar System – a geocentric universe. Ancient Hebrew believed that the Earth is in the center of the solar system and all the heavenly bodies (Sun, moon and stars) rotate around it. According to Bible astronomy, planet Earth is stable and it doesn’t move (See: Job 38:4-6, Job 9:6, 1 Chron.16:30, 2 Kings 20:11) and the Sun moves around it (Psalms 19:5-6).

The geocentric model originated in Babylon and it’s connected with astrology. Astrology is a pseudoscience – a claim in the absence of good evidence. It is a faith.

A Polish Catholic cleric named Nicholas Copernicus introduce the heliocentric model but the Roman Catholic Church place his writings on their list of forbidden books from 1616 to 1835.

The Italian scientist, Galileo Galilei concluded through observations that the Sun did not rotate around the Earth but rather the Earth rotate around the Sun. The Roman Catholic Church forced Galileo to recant under threat of torture. Not until December 28, 1991 when Pope John Paul II cautiously admitted officially that Galileo has been right and that the Church, as well as the Bible, had been wrong about the heliocentric model of the Solar System.

Thanks to the Laws of Planetary Motion of Johannes Kepler, we now have a better idea of a heliocentric model in which planet Earth, just like other planets in the Solar System, revolves around the Sun.

The Flat Earth
Another ancient and unscientific belief is that the Earth is flat. The Bible also promotes such archaic idea.

Ezekiel 7:2 Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.

Daniel 4:7-8 “I saw a tree of great height at the center of the world. It was large and strong, with its top touching the heavens, and it could be seen from the ends of the earth.”

The Greek mathematician/philosopher Pythagoras was the first person in the history to deduce that the Earth is a sphere (Not a flat circle that the Bible pictured).

Anaximander (of Miletus) (611–547 BCE) Ionian (Greek) natural philosopher: suggested Earth was a curved body in space. Realizing that the Earth’s surface was curved, he believed it to be cylindrical (with its axis east to west); and he was probably the first Greek to map the whole known world. He visualized the Earth as poised in space.

In the Greek city of Alexandria, around the 3rd century BCE., the Greek astronomer/philosopher Eratosthenes discovered that the surface of planet Earth is curve not flat, just by using sticks, his eyes, feet and brain, plus a taste for experiment. He also become the first person on this planet to measure the size of a planet – a feat not even the biblical “wise” character Solomon and his god has done.

Christopher Columbus, using Eratosthenes’ estimates of the circumference of the Earth proved that the Earth is a sphere. There were no “ends” of the Earth, no pillars and no corners. What Columbus discovered was the New World and an easy route to Asia.

Judges 16:17-22 Samson loses his strength as a result of having his head shaved. So where in the science of physiology says that human hair is the source of a person’s strength. Physical strength is in the muscular system. Human hair consist largely of dead, keratinized cells!

1Kings 7:23 and 2 Chronicles 4:2
This verse implies that the value of π is 3. (The actual value is approximately 3.14159.)
Since the molten sea was round with a diameter of ten cubits and a circumference of thirty cubits, we know that the biblical value of π is 3. (The actual value is approximately 3.14159.)

The Swiss-German physicist Johann Lambert (1728–1777) made the discoveries concerning the mathematical constant π. If you don’t know, the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is what we called Pi, also known as Archimedes’ constant. Its approximate value is 3.1419 but, being an irrational number, it can’t be written as a terminating or recurring decimal. For the record, the first 100 digits of π are: 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679.

Job 26:11
The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.

There aren’t any pillars that support heaven.

Job 39:13-16
Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?
Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,
And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.
She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear;

Ostriches are not cruel and stupid birds who abandon their eggs to die after laying them, as these verses imply. The verse reflect more of a traditional belief on desert dwellers that a scientific insight about ostriches.

Modern biologists know better than what the “scientifically insightful” author of Job mistakenly thought about the ostrich. Both Encyclopedia Americana and Britannica, describe ostriches as very caring parents. The female lays her eggs on the ground, but so do many other species of birds. The eggs are not abandoned to the heat of the sand, but in the female’s absence, the male incubates the nest. The male scoops out a hollow for the eggs, which are incubated by the female during the day and the male at night. When the young hatch, they are given watchful care by their mother. As a biological creature, the ostrich has survived for thousands of years, so obviously it is a successful procreator. Its labor is not in vain, as the passage above incorrectly declares.

Isaiah 13:10
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

The Moon doesn’t shine its own light. Just like planets, the Moon only reflects its light from the Sun. By the way, around 450 BCE in Athens, Greece Anaxagoras was the first person to state clearly that the Moon shines by reflective light.

Daniel 8:10
And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.

To Daniel, stars are small objects that can fall from the sky and then be “stamped upon.” (See: Revelation 6:13)

Proverbs 6:6-8
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

Proverbs 6:7-8 described the ant as an industrious creature, “which having no chief, overseer, or ruler provides her bread in the summer, and gathers her food in harvest.”

Etymologists disagrees with this biblical verse. Unknown to the writer of the Book of Proverbs, ants (Formicidae) leave the nest, forage, and feed the queen (they have a queen); they rapidly expand the nest and care for the next brood. The founding queen continues to lay eggs and remains in the nest. When the colony reaches a certain size the queen lays fertilized (diploid) eggs, which receive a special diet and treatment, and will develop into reproductive females.

The Existence of Dragons
“…it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.”—Isaiah 34:13.
“…the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”—Psalm 91:13.

One of the most universal monster myths is that of the dragon. The awesome, reptilelike beasts appear in the folklore of nearly every country. The mythical dragon is described as a reality in over a dozen additional Bible verses, including Psalm 74:13; Deuteronomy 32:33 and Micah 1:8.

Mythical Creatures.
“And owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces.”—Isaiah 13:21-22.
“Out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.”—Isaiah 14:29

The Bible contains innumerable other references to fanciful creatures, such as the Cockatrice—a serpent hatched from the egg of a cock whose mere glance could kill its enemies (Isaiah 11:8); Satyrs—creatures that were half man and half goat or horse (Isaiah 13:21); Fiery serpents (Deuteronomy 8:15) and Flying serpents (Isaiah 30:6).

Scientific Absurdities of the New Testament

Matthew 13:31-32
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Mark 4:31
It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

The writers of the Gospels were incorrect when they say that the mustard seed is the smallest seed. Orchids have the smallest seed according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Epiphytic orchids seed weighs in at approximately 0.0000008 grams! Also, there are no trees in the mustard family (Brassicaceae), mustard seeds do not grow into “the greatest of all trees.” This plant is an annual or perennial herb.

Luke 1:44
For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

A fetus cannot understand speech.

Matthew. 24:29
“The moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven.”
Mark 13:24-25
“In those days … the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall.”
Apparently, the writers of the Gospels believed that the moon produces its own light, and that the stars are lights held in place by a firmament only a few miles above our heads. Of course this is gibberish. Trillions of stars will never fall to Earth and the moon does not produce its own light.

I Corinthians 15:36
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

Paul (and God) shows their lack of knowledge of botany by saying that only dead seeds will germinate. Actually, a seed must be alive to germinate. Dead seeds will remain “dead”.

Hebrews 1:10

And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

God set the earth on a foundation; therefore, it must not move. (See: The Geocentric Solar System )

Revelation of John 6:13
“And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth….”

To John, the stars are just little lights a few miles away that can easily fall to the earth.

So how far and big are the stars? Unlike what the prophets, the Apostles and the Messiah believed, stars just doesn’t hang around inside Earth’s “firmament” like dainty little Christmas lights. The nearest star, our Sun (yep! In case you still doesn’t know, our Sun is a star) is already 150,000,000 km away. The nearest star system, Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri are 15 light years away. Beta Adromedae is about seventy-five light years away and the nearest galaxy in the Milky Way (our home galaxy), M31 is 2 million light years away. Oh and before I forget, a light year is equal to 9.46 x 10 to the 12th power kilometers. Very far huh?

Unlike what the Bible seems to imply, stars are massive. Our Sun, a medium size star can fit a thousand Earth in its interior. There are stars that are 10 times more massive that our Sun.

Revelation of John 7:1
And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

It seems the New Testament has a different shape of the world. The Old Testament has a circular world …something lake a plate. Well, I guess that settles it: the earth is flat and at least quadrilateral in shape. (See: The Flat Earth)

Revelation of John 8:10
“And there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters.”

In the bible, stars are just little lights that can fall to the ground from the sky. (See: Revelation of John 6:13)

This is really not a very complete lists and maybe, just maybe this list is enough to support my point that the Bible is not a scientific book. So kids…if you use the Bible as a reference to your science test, chances are you’ll going to get a grade of “F”.

Until next time,
John the Atheist

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Jesus and the Fig Tree


The story of the fig tree can be found in Mark 11:12-26 and in Matthew 21:17-22 . Most Christians I have encountered say it is a metaphor. But is it? If you read the following passages, it is not a metaphor, but a continuous narrative on that day before Jesus and his gang went to Jerusalem. Jesus was hungry and went up to a fig tree to get something to eat — and subsequently cursed the tree to death because it had no fruit.

Now, is this the way this “Jesus loves me” thing is supposed to act? Aside from the obvious question as to why Jesus, being so big on forgiveness here, did not forgive the fig tree (or even heal it). He even cursed it! In my interpretation, Jesus just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, that’s why he’s too crabby on that day. Anyway, the Fig-tree enigma just tells me that Jesus is not “all-good” as what Christian fundies are saying. It’s a myth. If the New Testament is as accurate as these fundies would have me believe, its main character, Jesus, is a dolt.

We can summarize the story so far as:
1. Jesus was hungry.
2. He looked for figs on a tree.
3. But it was not fig season.
4. So, because the moron didn’t get his way, Jesus killed the poor tree in retaliation.

Why did Jesus (if he’s a god) cannot even tell if it’s fig season? Can”t this nut even tell if its fig season? Remember that it is Passover season. Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) begins on the eve of the fifteenth day of the month of Nisan according to the Jewish lunar calendar. The date varies from year to year according to the English calendar, falling in March or April (that falls in springtime.) So, it’s not even a season where fig trees are supposed to have fruits! I thought Jesus is god and a god is supposed to be all-knowing?

If it wasn’t fig season, why would this moron look for figs? Is killing a tree for not bearing fruit out of season a reasonable response by any standard?

Now, what is the moral of that story? As a good Christian, if you asked for something and the guy failed to give it to you, kill him! Is that what your Jesus likes to teach? Sounds more like the MAFIA to me.
Furthermore, the Fig-tree story is another proof of biblical inconsistency. Compare Matthew 21:17-22 to Mark 11:12-14 and 20-26. Look closely, in the Matthew version, when Jesus cursed the poor fig-tree, it died immediately and his apostles saw it happened. On Mark’s version, the poor tree died sometime and was already dead when Jesus and his gang passed by it from Jerusalem. (Talk about accurate reporting huh.)

Now the Christians want me to believe that an All-Good God named Jesus exists, but the Bible says otherwise. Then, the Jesus is God concept doesn’t exist.
Jesus cursed a fig tree.

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Ashes to Ashes…dust to dust.


Well guess what…Every living thing in this planet turns into dust. If your doggie dies it turns to dust. So does your neighbor’s cat, the fish in the aquarium, oysters, elephants, a newt, a gecko – and even a petunia.

Yet you won’t see any word in the Bible that says they too are made from the “dust from the ground”.

Turning to dust is just a natural process.

Decomposition is a process where an object is separated into its simplest constituent parts. Since living things are made up of organic molecules like water, iron, a lot of carbon, calcium…etc. – these molecules will someday return to Earth.

Made from clay.
The Torah never said that God created man from “dust”. It says that man was created from wet clay.

וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָֽאָדָם עָפָר מִן־הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים

וַֽיְהִי הָֽאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּֽה׃(v’yyitzer YHWH ‘Elohim ‘et ha’adam ‘aphar min ha’adamah ) – Genesis 2:7

The word “dust” was translated by the Greek writers (which is very uninspired by the way) from the Hebrew word “aphar”, which means “clay, earth, mud, ashes, ground, morter, powder, rubbish. .” So let see…since the word aphar has a lot of meaning, which word is right?

Don’t ask me…Let’s ask Job.
Job 10:9 – “Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?”

How about Isaiah?
“Woe to those who hide deep from the LORD their counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, ‘Who sees us? Who knows us?’ You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay; that the thing made should say of its maker, ‘He did not make me;’ or the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding'”? (Isaiah 29:15-16)

Still not convinced? Let us ask Paul.
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?” (Romans 9:20-21)

Now…do other religions other than Judaism and Christianity teach that man is formed from clay?

From the middle Paleolithic culture, there are evidences of clay use. Clay was a crucial raw material for the manufacture of utensils for daily use. It is also use to create container for storage. Man has been using clay to create his pots and pans. He uses it to create bricks for his home. He even uses clay to create an image and likeness of himself and call them gods. So it is not a surprise that the use of clay has been incorporated to his mythology. In the creation story of the A-Hsi (a small tribe of the Yi people in China) for example, it is said that man came from yellow clay. T’oh-lo and Sha-lo first took the clay and used it to create man’s body. Then, using the black coal and the white mud they formed man’s eyes. The woman was then fashioned from the mans’ rib (sounds familiar?).

One of the clearest Babylonian descriptions of a deity creating man out of clay is preserved in the Gilgamesh Epic 4: . . . “the Goddess Aruru nipped off clay, cast it upon the ground, the hero Enkidu she built.” In ancient Mesopotamian myths, man is made from clay. The term “adama” (after which the name Adam was coined) means “red clay”. According to the myth, The Mother Goddess: Mix to a core the clay from the Basement of Earth just above the Abzu -and shape it into the form of a core.

The Fon of Dahomey (people living in the south of Benin (called Dahomey until 1975) and adjacent parts of Togo) believe that after he created and ordered the universe, Mawu formed the first human beings from clay and water. But clay was in short supply in those days, and so when men died, Mawu took their bodies to make new men.

Native origin stories in America, and elsewhere, frequently feature clay and mud in the creation of the world and of people, and of course in the invention of ceramics. In the Blackfeet of Montana, the Old Man created the first woman and her child from clay ( Blackfoot Lodge Tales pp.137-138).

Just wondering…Does the myth of humans come from clay only reflects the idea that ancient civilization used it to build potteries and their brick houses.

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Belief, non-belief, and homosexuality


I’ve had thoughts such as this one for quite some time now, specifically for few years now. What baffles me is how a lot of our countrymen (and women of course) who are homosexuals seem to let themselves be persecuted by their religion for being such. Of course by religion here I’m referring to Catholicism and Islam, and their denominations. The dilemma, I think, arises when they seek acknowledgment in their respective religions, whereas their religion’s holy scriptures explicitly denounce them outright.

The Bible is littered with verses explicitly condemning homosexuals, even grouping them with thieves, extortioners, and so on:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” – Leviticus 20:13

And so many more.

sources:

  • Your very own Bible
  • http://bible.org/article/homosexuality-christian-perspective
  • http://www.bible-knowledge.com/Homosexuality-and-the-Bible.html

The Qur’an is not so explicit with homosexuality and how homosexuals should be treated, as the passages below quickly glance over the topic:

Sura 7:80-84: “And Lot, when he said to his people, ‘Do ye approach an abomination which no one in all the world ever anticipated you in? Verily, ye approach men with lust rather than women- nay, ye are a people who exceed.’

Must ye needs lust after men instead of women ? Nay, but ye are folk who act senselessly.

sources:

  • Your local copy of the Qur’an
  • http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/27/index.htm
  • http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_isla1.htm

Of course, the fact that the Qur’an is quite mum about homosexuality does not mean homosexuals aren’t being mistreated. Au contraire, homosexuals are quite persecuted, based on their sexuality, amidst the more tolerant take of the Qur’an on homosexuals, relative to the Bible (see 3rd source above).

In fact, I could probably go so far as to say that a significant number of homosexuals in the country are quite religious, even fanatical. They appeal to their local churches to be able to take part in fiestas and such. How I wish that they’d reconsider and rethink their position regarding their belief. If only they’d realize that non-belief offers a serenity in mind, heart, and so on regarding their sexuality, which the Bible, the Qur’an, nor their followers can barely provide. One would think that non-believers would immediately acquire the support of a significant number of the homosexual population, given that both 1) were/are being persecuted by a largely religious society 2) holy scriptures both group them together as sinners. Unfortunately that isn’t the case, I’m thinking. It would be a pleasant surprise though if I were proven wrong.

Finally, one could also say that these things happen to homosexual believers, since apart from their sexuality, they’re no different from the average joe who believes in Creation and a stalker god in the sky. If that is so, then all the more reason to let them realize they have a better option or alternative.

Qur’an

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