i know many christians come to this blog

for information and today we have other news for you. many of you have been wondering why 2000 years later, Jesus has not yet to come back while scripture says he was due 1900 years give or take 40 years. the answer has been here all along, to repeat the song don’t cry for me Argentina

And the reason is lack of fare. If you can’t take my word for it, I am sure those of you of evangelical bend will most definitely believe this pastor who says

I honestly believe this — the reason why Jesus hasn’t come is because people are not giving the way God told them to give

So please, start donating in millions. We want to be done with this Jesus transportation problem asap.

on Jesus Christ

In yesterday’s post or link, Superman was leading in the battle of the heroes. This quote from Ingersoll is a good addition to the debate

“Why should we place Christ at the top and summit of the human race? Was he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Lao-tsze, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death – a sublimer martyr than Bruno? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of Shakespeare, the greatest of the human race?”

Col Robert Green Ingersoll, About the bible

in defense of Judas

When a guy is a snitch in an organization, he is called a Judas. Many times you hear the admonition don’t be a Judas but I think for the sake of literature, Judas needs rehabilitation. Read that passage again. For believers, it is found in Mathew 26. Who even told Judas the high priests were meeting and how did he manage this feat. Who sent him information the priests needed an informant, a Judas, pun intended.

At the table, Jesus already knows one of his disciples will betray him that evening and even says the scriptures already declared the son of man must die. He decides not to be a Judas and make this information public to his disciples nor does he take measures against his being betrayed. It is more like he wanted it to go down that way. At the end he paraphrases Ecclesiastes better not to be born when he tells his disciples that for him that shall betray him, it was better for him not to have been born.

If anything, this is one of the verses in the bible that portray Jesus as a nondescript preacher-man in some remote village. Why, if he had been driving out demons, healing the sick would identifying him be so hard? Is it the case there was nothing outstanding about him?

What was the need for the chief priest to pay 30 pieces of silver when all the soldiers needed to do was come and ask who is the Jesus fellow, that is if there was none among them who could tell him out to the rest.

I think Judas saw an opportunity to make easy money and took it. Jesus had it coming. What else had he come for, anyway? And how did he see it going down?

it does appear

to me that some religious faithful don’t read their bibles. Paul says if Christ is not risen then their faith is in vain. Elsewhere he says as death came to the world through one man, so life through Jesus. And we are told Jesus came to die for our sins. Why they chose deicide as the preferred model instead of dying in his sleep I don’t know. You are wondering why I am telling you all this, wonder no more. First it was a Kenyan lawyer who sued Israel at the ICJ for the death of Jesus but now I see there is an American pastor who is demanding an apology from Israel for the death of Jesus. I thought it was the Romans who did the crucifying? Curious minds want to know.

Things I never learned in Sunday School

By Nan Yielding

First, thanks Nan for the free copy. It is an interesting and easy read. I think a revised edition is due especially because I think you have in the intervening period learnt something that maybe was not available at the time of first publication.

This book is not a polemic against religion or an apologia. Maybe we could say it is an argument against taking someone as an authority without good reason. In this respect, I think Nan makes her point clearly throughout the book.

That said, I have a few issues with the book.

On the pentatauch, she alludes to Moses writing the first five books. First comment is that the existence of Moses is highly doubtful but that’s a story for later. On the authorship of the first five books, research that I have read point to a multiple group of writers. My preface to the African Bible( used by the Catholic Church) is explicit that while it is commonly believed Moses wrote those books, this is no longer tenable.

On Jesus, Nan writes in a manner that shows she is convinced of at least two things; he existed and had a message of love that he taught. The interesting question here is which Jesus. And having read several researches on Jesus life, I would ask with Ark, which Jesus? Nan writes we are certain Jesus died but this is putting the cart before the horse.

What can be said of the resurrection? She points out the various contradictions in the narratives telling of this special event. And I don’t think much needed to be added. Maybe we can say with Mangassarian that if he went to the sky it is best to live him there.

She writes a lot on Paul which is understandable because of his influence in Christian teaching. The first question is Paul who? Does the author of Acts know Paul? And while her conclusion is correct that without the Pauline literature, we would likely end up with a different religion today. She takes it for granted that Paul was. And I would think, as the theme of the book is not taking things on authority, a little bit of rigour would not be asking for too much.

Her exposition on the devil is quite illuminating. But in that chapter she says we are certain a supreme being exists? But does it really? Are we certain about this? What is the nature of this being & though in the final chapter she makes the argument that resembles that of Aviciena( via negativa) that maybe we can’t begin to name or even describe this being, this gives us no light on whether we should assume such a being exists.

I am not convinced the argument about the Roman empire persecution of Christians hold against scrutiny. I will have to dust my books & update this criticism but her position is not tenable.

I am African and it is a pet peeve of mine when I find African deities or religions referred to as tribal gods. This is following Hegel where everyone else has national gods or just religions but the African, no. His is a tribal god. I know it is not Nan’s fault here that most literature sees Africans only through the lens of tribe.

I think on matters where there is doubt, to express certainties must surely take away from the value of the work. To claim a supreme being/ god certainly exists is to stretch credulity a little far. My other general comment that covers the whole work is on miracles. The bible which is the source document for Christian belief is said to be a miracle- that is, it is not of natural production but involves the action of god(s) in unknown ways- is in need of defence.

While reading the book, a thought occurred to me concerning monotheism. Is it a belief in the existence of only one god or the belief in & worship of only one god While not negating the existence of other gods? The israelites are told not that other gods don’t exist, just that they should worship a specific god. Or as Nietzsche put it, the other gods laughed themselves to death when one of them said I am on the only god. Am I missing something?

Happy Sunday everyone. And thanks again Nan for the book.

On historicity of Jesus

I have been reading Albert Schweitzer’s autobiography and in there he talks about his book the quest for historical Jesus which if you have not read yet, I suggest you do. But that’s not what caught my eye. He mentions the works of J. M Robertson, William Benjamin Smith, James George Frazer, Arthur Drews as those who have contested the historical existence of Jesus.

He writes

It is not difficult to pretend that Jesus never lived. The attempt to prove it, however, invariably produces the opposite conclusion. In the Jewish literature of the first century the existence of Jesus is not attested to with any certainty, and in the Greek and Latin literature of the same period there is no evidence for it at all. Of the two passages in his Antiquities in which the Jewish writer Joseph’s makes incidental mention of Jesus one was undoubtedly interpolated by Christian copycats.[…. ] It still has to be explained when, where and how Christianity originated without either Jesus or paul; how it later came to trace its origins back to these mythical personalities; and finally for what curious reasons they, both Jewish, were designated as the founders of Christianity. To prove that the gospels and epistles are not genuine one has to explain how they were written without being authentic.

Out of my life and thought: an autobiography

Unbelievable? Chapter 5

also titled will the real Jesus stand up.

Justin tells us those who are Jesus skeptics are in the extremist camp of the non-religious. I think this makes me an extremist. I am going ahead of myself.

When I read this quote below, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Laugh. Cry. Bang my head against a wall. Then I remembered what Nietzsche wrote in Thus spake Zarathustra about other gods laughing to their death when one of the gods said there is no god but god. Justin writes

From its inception, Christianity has been a public religion making claims that could be held to historical scrutiny in the place it was birthed. That’s not true of other religions. The precepts of Buddhism originated in the mind of Buddha alone. The ancient writings of Hinduism derive from mystical teachings that are not located in a historical framework. Islam is constituted by the teaching and stories of the Quran as related to Muhammad in a private angelic visitation.

I think irony is lost to Justin on the similarities that exist between what he says of other religions and his religion. How for example can the claim of a virgin birth be scrutinized? Do we have any other extant material apart from the claims of the bible about this birth? In fact, how can miracles be proved historically? Say for example the story of Jonah eating a fish or is it riding a fish? The claims of Paul- the foremost Christian evangelist if he existed- came from his mind alone. The stories such as those of the OT where we have giants having intercourse with the daughters of men are mystical teachings, but to Justin, only other religions have these. Christianity is all evidence based.

Justin then tells us that the death of Jesus has a greater attestation that Caesar crossing the Rubicon. First, even if that were the case, no one is going to hell for doubting the crossing the Rubicon. If Christianity were true, its claims would require more stringent attestations because people’s future eternal lives depend on it. The argument that other historical figures are not doubted as much as Jesus is not an argument in favour of Christianity. Any reasonable person would demand that god, if it were real, would present a much better case for us to believe.

Justin tells us the gospels are evidence for the life of Jesus. Some scholars having looked at the stories in the gospels have concluded the Jesus of the gospels did not exist and have created their own Jesus. We have Jesus the Zealot, the guru, the husband and many more. Is the bible and the gospels specifically a work of history or a miraculous work brought into being by the actions of deity? Did the biographers write what they saw, or what were they inspired to write?

Justin writes we should read the bible differently that we do other historical documents.

In his book, the quest for historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer writes

The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the messiah, who preached the ethic of the Kingdom of God, who founded the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, and died to give his work its final consecration never had any existence. He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism and clothed by modern theology in an historical garb.

but Bruno Bauer said it best when he wrote

The formation of the church and the arising of the idea that the Jesus of the Gospels is the messiah are not two different things, they are one and the same thing, they coincide and synchronize; but the idea was only the imaginative conception of the church, the first movement of its life, the religious expression of its experience.

The question which has so much exercised the minds of men-whether Jesus was the historic Christ- is answered in the sense that everything that the historical Christ is, everything that is said of him, everything that is known of him, belongs to the world of imagination, that is, of the imagination of the Christian community, and therefore has nothing to do with any man who belongs to the real world.

Maybe Justin should read Renan’s life of Jesus or Spencer’s but most of all, I recommend as a good place to being, Walter R Cassels’ Supernatural religion.

On religious tolerance

First, it appears if Jesus appeared on Halloween (where this is observed), it would be a wrong day to make appearance.

https://i2.wp.com/ragingpencils.com/2019/10-31-19-halloween-jesus.png

Obama on religious tolerance.

And in what can only be the irony of ironies, Man who set adultery laws flogged for adultery.

And finally, if you are Catholic and the priest knows your stand on abortion, be careful. You may not get communion as Joe Biden learnt a few days ago.

Happy weekend everyone.