Unreliability of the Christian Bible
The Gospel of Matthew 2:13-18 tells the account of Herod's slaughter of the innocents in an attempt to hopefully kill the child Jesus in the slaughter. There is, however, not one contemperaneous account of this event outside the Bible, not one from the time when it happened, Josephus decades later made no mention of it, though Antiquities of the Jews mentioned Jesus, now recognized to be a spurious interpolation added long after Antiquities was written. Seutonius didn't make mention of it, neither did Tacitus.
Why might this be ? Why is this account found in the Bible alone, and no one else makes mention of it ? Could it likely be that the slaughter of the innocents simply never happened, that some unknown redactor interposed that into the story of Jesus decades after Matthew was originally composed. Maybe even as much as three to four centuries after Matthew was penned.
Archaeologists digging in the Sinai Peninsula have dug deep enough to find hunter gatherer tools and weapons, but have been unable to find any trace of any Hebrew encampments in the Biblical desert wilderness, they have found no traces wherever they have looked in Sinai. Jericho was not an inhabited city when Israel would have come to it. It was destroyed hundreds of years earlier. Archaeologists find no evidence that the Hebrew kingdoms of David and Solomon ever existed.
There are no traces of a Hebrew presence in Egypt. And if you look for evidence of Noah's global deluge in the earth's strata you won't find it. The geolgic column is properly ordered and not jumbled and mixed as they would be if there had been a catastrophic global flood. The geologic column is a geologic record of the progression of life from simple to complex. The Christian Bible is just not reliable.
"Brainwashed religious people can just ignore this. They just use the excuse that we can't know all of gawd's ways. Cognitive dissonance. Or, just stubbornly clinging to anything so they don't have to give up their "beliefs."
One of my books talks a lot about what you say. Christians and Muslims claim that God is incomprehensible to us, so we cannot understand his ways. The book shows how that makes no sense and makes God's existence untenable.
I believe that there is geological evidence of a massive flood in the Middle East, but not the whole world! I wonder if Noah's Arc is somehow tied to the flood. It could be a story about anything you want to make up!! It could be a tale of how one family and some of their farm animals survived the regional flood (Must be a miracle)!!! etc, etc, etc...Blah, Blah, Blah...
Indeed - Not everything in the religious texts is made up, just most of it. The bits that aren't are usually garbled references to things that actually did happen. I think that the flood legend is an embellishment of the lingering folk memory of the raising of sea levels immediately after the last ice age. The Plagues of Egypt story is, I believe, a record of events in the eastern meditteranean following the Santorini eruption, written centuries after the event, with the required embellishments neccessary to turn this into a story of something brought on by God.
I have studied the teachings of Jesus (Biblical) in-depth, referring to more ancient koine greek texts as well as modern re-tellings of a most dissimmilar story about Jesus' teachings, and I am of the firm conclusion that Jesus was not a Jew and he didn't believe in the existence of the Jewish God. In fact, his mission was to discredit that same God. But the texts were changed. As word gets out about the original story, Christian groups are creating new dictionaries to spread lies on line. In fact, the newest Bible (NIV) actually changed the name of Jesus to account for the fact that the original gospel says that in the balcony scene, bar abba rather than Barabbas was released unharmed. (Bar abba is a term rather than the name Barabbas that didn't come into existence until the 3rd century) So now, Jesus' name is Jesus Barabbas even though there is no mention of the name Barabbas until hundreds of years later.
I actually did the math for Noah's flood. For the story to be true, it would have to have been raining harder than is physically possible. In other words, there would have to be more water per cubic foot than will fit in a cubic foot of water. If that were the case, the ark, with its windows, would have been instantly under water. If the flood was salt water, all fresh water life would have gone extinct. If it was raining fresh water, then ocean life would have become extinct. If the globe was a world of water, its gravity would have been increased to the point where things would have been drawn to the center of the earth, and the weight of all that water would have crushed every living thing to the point where no skeletal remains would be found.
So far, all researchers looking at the exodus have concluded that it didn't occur. Not only is there no evidence of the Jewish slaves in Egypt, but there is evidence that there was never a mass exodus of slaves. There was no reduction in crop output of taxes paid, as there would have been if the massive slave population was suddenly gone. There have been settlements found in the ancient land of Canaan. These pre-date the exodus and appear to be the remains of the ancient Jews because certain settlements did not have any pork bones whereas others did.
One day, while thinking about the first chapter of Genesis, I realized that it sounded more like geometry told in the language of myth. So I pulled out my trusty compass and a straight edge and started following what sounded like instructions. I'm pretty sure that I found the original schematic for the great Pyramid at Giza. All the rooms and pathways line up perfectly. The rendering explained the boats. The story being theorized about the "king's chamber" and the "queen's chamber" with its 3 balls is suddenly seen in a very different light.
The story of genesis is a story of a multi-dimensional world laid out in a language. The story itself is multidimensional in nature, and it tells of photons, bosuns, fermions, matter and antimatter, relativity and the speed of light, evolution, and much more. It shows time as being very different from what we understand today - being something that goes forward and backwards. There was a part that I couldn't translate because I don't know of any science that compares with it, but there is a discovery of a patch of antimatter in space that may account for it. It's really the story of what we are - and it is not at all about a God. It's a story about an idea of magnificent proportions. It think it's the story of the singularity as a sentient being that became a super-positioned living relationship (powerless unto itself except as a communication device) among its various aspects who derive their own power from it. I call it living energy. New science calls it the energy field, the morphic field, the unified field and other names.
I feel sorry for the Christians who are afraid to think and ask themselves questions for fear of going to hell for merely asking or thinking.
What you have to say is interesting to say the least. But where did you come up with these ideas ? Also, are you some kind of mathematician ?
That's a L-O-N-G story, but I'll give you snippets.
I learned about Jesus in an attempt to be a better Christian - that eventually led me to be a spiritual atheist. ( http://www.atheistnexus.org/forum/topics/i-became-an-ex-xtian-as-a-... )
During that time, I learned that bar abba (bar-abba in Koine Greek) is a term meaning something like "son of papa" or "son of dada". There is absolutely no reverential connotations whatsoever. (bar = son and abba = papa). The one called bar abba was released.
The abba that Jesus talked about, and that he said is the source of our power, is so loving that no matter what you ask for, if you believe it is here now, then it is provided. Ask and it shall be answered. Ask for (in this way) and it shall be given. This would make the more appropriate ancient to modern English translation into abba is a "sugar daddy".
I also learned that Jesus didn't speak of repenting. He spoke of Metanoeo and Metamellamai which mean "change your way of thinking" and "change your way of emoting" respectively.
He didn't speak of sin. He spoke of hamartia - meaning spiritual ignorance causing harm - to self or others.
He didn't speak of Hell. He spoke of Gehenna - the garbage dump outside of Jerusalem's gates, where those with the most wretched of lives eek out a miserable existence.
So if your life is wretched, you need only overcome your hamartia through Metanoeo and Metamellamai. Believe these words (believe in me), he said, and you can have all that you desire. You will also find the kingdom of heaven from whence all and more comes. the kingdom of heaven is within you (which I take to mean consciousness).
The flood part began with someone telling me they had done the math and computed the volume of the earth if water levels raised to cover to top of Mt. Everest, arriving at the rain rat of 9 meters per hour. From that, it wasn't hard to find a web site talking about the volume of raindrop in a torrential downpour to see that even if there were mere raindrops, they would exceed the boundaries of a square meter of water. The rest of the ideas came after I did the computations and realized the sheer lunacy of the ideas.
As to Genesis 1 being told in the language of geometry laid bare by a story, that simply came to me one day.
I was intrigued when, on the 3rd day, I had drawn a tree (6 pointed star with a stem) along with grasses (long straight lines) and herbs (intersections of those lines) forming crooked lines.
I did get stuck on the 4th day until I looked up how to use a compass and straight edge to create a perfect pentagram, (5th day) and the instructions required me to draw what had already been drawn as the 4th day, and then to extend the 4th day so that the rendering matched what I was supposed to see on the 4th day. (Two lights - the greater and the lesser - and a field of stars appeared on my paper. Another circle was between the light with a star in it (the sun) and the lesser light - the circle with no star in it). At that point, and I don't remember how I got there, I realized that the first three days are time going forward, and the last three days are time going backward, because the 6th day had to eventually be created before I could place the 5th day in the proper position)
It's not that I'm a mathematician. It's that I'm an avid life-long learner. I will learn anything that interests me. I will spend as much time as it takes to understand even a minor curiosity. This frame of mind has sent me on a journey that is extremely fascinating. My hope for humankind is that everyone will someday discover the joys of learning. Only when willful ignorance leaves this world will we be able to make the necessary change that will end all of humanity's social ills in far shorter order than most would anticipate.
you sound more like a mystic than anything, perhaps neither a theist nor an atheist, nor an agnostic. In fact, you sound a little like a gnostic. I don't mean any of this in a bad or derogatory way. But to be honest I just don't agree with your view, and that's not a bad thing either, as everyone is different and unique. As for me, I am a pure materialistic atheist. I don't believe in anything beyond matter (which, of course, is energy in another form as implied by the first law of thermodynamics). I possess no belief in any spiritual reality, nothing that contradicts or goes beyond the laws of physics. But I find you a likable person, and you are quite welcomed as a member of Atheist Nexus as far as I'm concerned.
Well, thank you. And I have no objection to your materialistic view of reality. I'm just happy to have found a group of sane people who dare to use their minds - wherever their minds lead them. Where there is something to learn, I am happy to be in the presence of interesting ideas.
Nova's "The Bibles Buried Secrets" is excellent but apparently not well received by some Jews and Christians
because it questions the verasity of their holy book.
For reasons that escape me some people are just more deep thinkers than other people. When it comes to religion many deep thinkers are able to free themselves from the shackles of the delusion that is religion. You are one of those deep thinkers, and you must realize that faith is the antithesis of reason. Faith is believing even in the face of overwhelming evidence against the propositions of faith. The word delusion is defined as: In psychology, a rigid system of beliefs with which a person is preoccupied and to which the person firmly holds, despite the logical absurdity of the beliefs and a lack of supporting evidence.
To quote Michael Specter: "People wrap themselves in their beliefs. And they do it in such a way that you can't set them free. Not even the truth will set them free".
Some believers just cannot be freed from their religious dogmas. I've met many who, even in the face of every disaster or setback, refuse to see that the argument from evil is one of the strongest proofs against the existence of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God. They've taken the position of Job in the Bible: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him." Job 13:15 KJV. Nothing will sway these kind of believers. The best we, as atheists can do in such cases, is plant seeds in their minds and hope somehow they will eventually take root.
Most believers are harmless, but there are those who are violently fanatical, and it is for this reason we must keep up the good fight using the only weapon we have...rationality and reason.
"Not even the truth will set them free"
Are you listening American Atheists? I think we've found your next billboard. Harsh? Sure, but why not?
I'm on a roll here. I might as well continue to hijack this thread.
I heard a brilliant line in a horrid movie (Goonies) that my kids were watching the other night.
"Brand, God put that rock there for a purpose... and, um... I'm not so sure you should, um... move it..."
Take my wife...please.
I'll be here every night this week, next week, until the rapture.