Sketches on Atheism

I Believe in Traditional Biblical Marriage

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309 thoughts on “I Believe in Traditional Biblical Marriage

  1. I used to pose a similar argument to my Christian friends and family. They would either downplay it by saying this is Old Testament stuff and we don’t live this way anymore OR they would say this was their culture at that time. Neither made it right !

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      • Why bother? Research, folders, logic, discourse … all pointless in the face of God.

        You have to think, yourself.

        Can you, with rationality, change the course of the True Believer? I don’t think so.
        If you even could the Return On Investment wouldn’t justify the effort.
        Your resources then are being misapplied—if you are serious in your pursuits you should target the young; teach the little snots how to actually think.

        Think: not what you want them to, which is just as bad—but teach ’em how to think for themselves. How to be rational, even pragmatic. How to weigh evidence, how to recognise charlatans, how to spot contradictions and how to resolve them.

        The other course, while being great fun, is merely mental masturbation …

        Boom boom! 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hahahahaha! Love it. Reflects perfectly man’s created “logic” of a ficticious Diety. Not even Women could fabricate something that pea-brained if they tried, huh? Unfortunately, due to our fragile egos they’ve had to play along for several millenia until Feminism, equality, Sufferage, etc, were firmly rooted and the “gig” was up!

    Thank goodness for (super slow?) evolution and progress, eh!? 😉 😛

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Ah, the sanctity of marriage, the sacred vows, the property, er, wife. You left out marital rights of the women so involved (few, but not zero), like being executed if some other guy rapes her, unless the rapist pays a fine (to the husband) and then all is good.

    As always, John, brilliant!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Oh, one other point. when the Bible says “servants,” do not think of people getting paid for their service as a job. That situation did not seem to exist. Apparently “servants” is a euphemism for slaves.

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  5. Having many wives is the natural order of the world. And a percentage of the time you see bull on bull or buck on buck. But they only come around during breeding time. What makes man special that he should be excluded from it?

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  6. As a necrophiliac atheist, I’m very angry the good ‘ole OT doesn’t contain this important saying, “By all means, f**k your brother’s dead wife. Ain’t much she ‘kin do to stop ya’. Now, go whip ‘dem ‘der “servants”. They be workin’ way to slow. Praise Yahweh!” $Amen$

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  7. Back when I was religious, I couldn’t get enough of the Bible. Its mysteries just prodded me to dig deeper. Soon enough, I found a series of books put out by one of the mega-Christian publishing houses devoted to the most well-worn doctrinal disputes. It was called the Counterpoints Collection and included such titles as “Five Views on Sanctification,” “Four Views on Eternal Security,” and “Four Views on the Lord’s Supper.”

    And I read’ em all. Like I said, I couldn’t get enough.

    The volume I want to talk about was “Five Views on Law and Gospel,” its existence engendered by the fact that the New Testament seems to speak with, at least, two voices about whether or not Christians must follow the Law of Moses. Sometimes the New Testament seems to say yes, sometimes no. The volume boasted the thoughts of five theologians:

    — One of whom posited a “non-theonomic reformed view of the use of the law.
    — One who argued for a “theonomic reformed approach.”
    — One who maintained that “the weightier issues of the law of Moses are binding on believers today”
    — One who advocated for “the dispensational view”
    — And one who proposed a “modified Lutheran approach with a clear antithesis between the Law and Gospel.”

    (I’m still waiting to meet a Modified Lutheran. I suppose I’ll know him when I see him, won’t I?)

    After reading this volume—and all the volumes in the Counterpoints Collection—one is left to fall back on some version of the familiar bulwark of the religious: “We’ll just have to ask God about this when we get to heaven.” Ah well. Makes sense. God is absolutely simple, yes, in that He is an undivided One, but he is mind-bogglingly complex. What were we thinking—assuming we could fathom scripture’s mysteries?

    Or . . . maybe’s there’s another reason the Bible’s a mishmash. What if the Bible is all over the map on theological issues because it was written by men who were, literally and figuratively, all over the map? The riddles of the Bible suddenly make sense when you accept the fact that the book was written by hapless schlubs like ourselves, hopelessly prone to walking around with our flies open and being none the wiser—i.e. imprudent and clueless, just parading around with our wangs wobbling in the breeze and thinking we’re all that.

    To wit:

    The reason the New Testament speaks with varied voices on the issue of Law vs. Gospel is that different men with different opinions wrote different sections of scripture. For example, Jesus was all about obeying the Torah

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    • My evangelical Christian neighbors keep telling me that the Bible is the literal word of God. When I informed them that it was actually written, rewritten, edited, and reedited so many times by so many men that even theologians can’t be sure, they responded with an immediate and categorical denial. “I don’t believe that!” they said in unison.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Robert, hear the exact same thing too, especially in Texas. Is there some robotic cookie-cutter factory mass producing these Evangelicals and their brains somewhere — the Hilly-Billy Tops of Tennessee maybe!? 😮 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, Professor Taboo, but the cookie-cutter factory isn’t fixed to any one location. It moves around as directed by its dominionist Christian overlords. My evangelical neighbors were born in southwest Washington state – not exactly hillbilly Tennessee or Texas (BTW, has it seceded from the Union again?).

        Liked by 3 people

      • Hahaha… actually we never ‘truly’ joined the Union in the first place. That’s why we so arrogantly boast “The Lone Star State”! Yee-HAW!

        (shoots off a full magazine from both of his automatic rifles into the Divine Sky!) 😉

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      • SOM, who cares? Anyone who wants their beliefs to be taken seriously, and it’s obvious that Christians most emphatically do. But, they can’t have it both ways. To expect a general perception of credibility, while flippantly denying the existence of objective facts, is a patently irrational state of mind.

        Yes, Christians do get to define their own religion. The problem is they don’t agree. Christianity is so theologically fractured that there are literally hundreds of distinct denominations within Protestantism alone. For a religion, or any ideology for that matter, to have so many differing interpretations of its foundational precepts (i.e. the Bible) does not inspire the perception of credibility.

        If Christians didn’t care about proselytizing their faith to others, and instead simply kept their spirituality to themselves, then the credibility issue would be irrelevant. However, everyone knows that isn’t the case.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Robert,

        Your 2nd paragraph is spot on! Your points further confirm that life, our world, and all the some 2-million species (we know about now; it continues to grow and diversify) are an endless derivitive of previous derivitives. Believing life, Earth, our planetary species’, and Cosmos are fundamentally monistic or binary is utter foolishness, to put it politely. LOL

        Liked by 2 people

      • Robert,

        The Bible was compiled by the Catholic Church in an effort to define, in writing, authentic Christian doctrine.

        Therefore, it makes no difference how many times anything gets written or rewritten since all biblical literature was edited by the Catholic Church.

        Further, with modern methods, no matter the version, the basics of Christianity remain in tact.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SOM, I see. Therefore, the following can be extrapolated from your assertion:

        1) the only “authentic” interpretations of biblical literature, which constitute Christian doctrine, are exclusive to the Catholic Church.
        2) The Bible is not the literal word of God, and was written and edited by mortal men.
        3) The Bible is a “living” document, rewritten and reedited as deemed necessary by Catholic Church.

        I suspect an angry army of Protestants would take issue with your assertion. Also, please explain what the “basics of Christianity” are.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Robert,

        1. Yes. For the Catholic. And need to let Catholics be Catholics and Protestants be Protestants.

        Atheists have no business trying to redefine the Christian religion for other Christians.

        The Bible is, indeed, the Word of God.

        According to Christians (the only people who count in this matter) the Bible was written by men under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

        That is bedrock Christian teaching that you don’t get to define just because you don’t like it.

        3. The Bible was first compiled at the end of the 3rd century Anno Domini at the behest of Pope Damasas I. Saint Jerome translated the Hebrew and Greek texts into Latin.

        That was the first Bible.

        It was NEVER rewritten.

        As scholarship improved over the centuries, newer, better translations were printed.

        But the theology and the doctrine always remained unchanged.

        That is because Christianity began with no scripture at all. It was an oral tradition taught by word of mouth.

        And of course Protestants would take issue with my assertions.

        That’s why they are Protestants and not Catholics.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “… let Catholics be Catholics and Protestants be Protestants.”

        Great, that’s why I referred to Christianity earlier as theologically fractured.

        “… the Bible was written by men under the influence of the Holy Spirit.”

        That is a supposition, not an objective, verifiable fact.

        “It [the Bible] was NEVER rewritten.”

        Language translation of texts, no matter how expertly performed, must be – by definition – rewritten because many words have no direct equivalence in the other language and many more words have different meanings in each language. Therefore, some content must be altered or even lost with each translation. With time, this effect increases.

        SOM, you didn’t answer my previous question: What are the “basics of Christianity?”

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      • Robert,

        Christian Western Civilization, the greatest, most prosperous, most technically advance, most just civilization in human history verifies the factual nature of the Bible.

        Like the universe itself, atheists think Western Civilization just happened all by itself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SOM, that’s the second time you’ve alluded to “atheists” in our discussion. In case you had assumed my religious self-identification, let me correct you. I am agnostic and a former Catholic.

        The rise of Western Civilization did produce the most prosperous, technologically advanced societies to date; however, they were hardly “just.” The genocide of Native Americans and the institutionalized slavery of Africans are two egregiously immoral countering examples, and there are many more.

        Furthermore, its rise was a consequence of many contemporary sociological factors including the 16th century “Protestant work ethic” (i.e. Calvinism), the 17th century expansion of colonialism enabled by the development of more capable ocean-going ships, and the 18th century secular Enlightenment Era. To see all this as factual proof of biblical history not only strains credulity, it shatters it completely.

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      • Robert,

        I did not claim that Western Civilization was totally just. I said it was the most just.

        And that is undeniably true.

        What happened to the so-called “Native Americans” happened to almost every indigenous culture on the planet as they came into contact with culturally and materially superior agrarian and industrial societies.

        The leftist Native American guilt trip is ridiculous. It is an example of raw, ingrained ignorance of world history.

        Also, the American Civil War and the 13th amendment are examples justice being served with regard to slavery. The Southern slave culture was eradicated from the face of the Earth by the North where slavery was illegal.

        Again, the American slavery guilt trip is totally ridiculous and a result of ignorance.

        Slavery being consistent with Protestant work ethic is also ridiculous. Slavery is a contemptible rebuke of the Protestant work ethic.

        Southern slavery was a product of greed and racism. It was instituted into government by the Democrat Party.

        Your commentary on the Enlightenment is also raw ignorance. You obviously never read the works of the actual philosophers like I was required to.

        And you were never exposed to the concept of development. Atheists think everything just happened all by itself except with evolution which they use as a really terrible argument against the existence of God.

        What happened with the Native Americans and the slaves in the past, does not negate the development that happened to produce our very rich present.

        There is a vast difference between what you can learn on your own reading from primary sources verses what university professors force you to swallow, which is basically their personal opinion of things.

        In short, my argument stands. It is historically accurate and free from Marxist leftist ideology that you preach.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Robert,

        You do not respond to my commentary because you can’t.

        You’re a leftist.

        You can’t think for yourself because you let yourself be told what to think.

        That means you can’t see what is right before your eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Very good points Robert. Just my addition to your fair assessment of Western Civilization and the US’s part in it. Much (if not a very significant amount) of American GDP in the 18th thru almost half the 20th century was produced in great deal by the physical labors of non-caucasin farm-fields and factory-worker’s backs. Reference:

        http://www.alternet.org/books/americas-economy-was-built-slavery-not-white-ingenuity-historians-should-tell-it-it

        I wonder what Western Europe’s racial-ethnic historical assessment would reveal? How many of those non-caucasins back then you think were Catholic? 😉 And to the “American Dream” or Western Civilization Dream for African-Americans? The numbers tell the story…Reference:

        https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/10/what-if-black-america-were-a-country/380953/

        As Walter Benjamin suggests, “History is written by the victors” …via many known and unknown tactics, huh? 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • Indeed Sir. Most intelligent open-minded people that examine ALL SIDES of an issue/controversy know this. It’s getting all the manufactured ignorance out of the way for the gullible that is a big task. 😉

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      • John,

        When I become a rabid, psychotic troll hell bent of hurting you and other people, then by all means delete my comments.

        When I am in your space, I do my best to behave myself.

        You should do the same when you are commenting on other people’s blogs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is astonishing, isn’t it. SOM pens these words (and worse) to Colourstorm, on Colourstorms blog, then whines when I remind him of them. Not only that, he then censores my comments due to his own embarrassment.

        The way these Christians censor they could all get jobs in Beijing. Madblog does the same.

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      • Beijing, Damascus, Pyongyang, Tehran, and might as well throw in Moscow too. LOL 😉

        What I also find astonishing is their behavior toward different thinkers (that includes Americans!) is essentially no different than how other militant extreme groups, e.g. ISIS, Anti-Balaka Christians in the CAR, et al, treat them/us. Irrational hate is irrational hate is irrational hate no matter HOW you try to exclusively and selectively slice it.

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  8. “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’… ”

    “And the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

    The book does not endorse the violations. It would be intellectually literate and honest to add the attendant consequences of those violations, which are also related.

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    • Unlike you, notice how I don’t censor you, Madblog.

      Judges 21:20-23

      So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, “Go and hide in the vineyards 21 and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife. Then return to the land of Benjamin. When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, ‘Do us the favor of helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war. You will not be guilty of breaking your oath because you did not give your daughters to them.’”

      Liked by 4 people

    • The book…“?

      Which “book” exactly? Canonical? Non-canonical books? Is there PLEASE just one book somewhere with one simple theology, one exegetical answer, instead of so many different books, churches, denominations, sects, et al, with variations, confusing contradictions, errors and later modifications, written by just one Man!? That would make it all so much easier! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hah! No, that’s a completely valid question Ark and as neutral a question as most? It at least shows a level of some objectivity or effort toward that is difficult to find sometimes in various parts of the world and certainly this nation! 😉

        Nonetheless, your point is taken Sir. And the Qu’ran/Koran at least has significantly fewer contradictions, errors, modifications, or exegetical issues by comparison for sure. Might explain somewhat why Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world presently. Hmmm. Or not at all. LOL

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      • Hmmm, well… “one man” or “via Angel” or ‘servants of Muhammed’ — who memorized and/or wrote down MOST of his utterings and teachings “shortly” after his death — aren’t an absolute consensus either among all Muslims. 😮 😛

        That super unique divine revelation stuff, that everyone claims infallable exclusivity to, is just so damn hard to sort out with all these Abrahamic faith-followers AND the rest of the intellectual world! Dang it! What are we to do? 😉

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      • Yes, but God didn’t flick some other dipshit on the ear and say: ‘Oi. You with the Gingham tea-towel round your head! Write this down!”
        So for now we will just have to to take Morehamdad’s word for it that he was the ”Designated Dipshit”.

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      • Hey , don’t you oppress me you …you .. bloody apostate! I’m reading it as it is wrote.
        So my book is probably better than your shitty imitation as it was also published by the Amana group in Maryland, US of Eh?
        And they’re posh.With fake gold embossing and a string thingy to mark the pages.
        Approved by Mohammed’s family. Honest.

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      • You’ve moved the goalpost about a mile. Are we discussing marriage as depicted in the Bible or whether there are people on the earth who think differently from one another regarding religious beliefs? Why can’t those idiots just be robots like they’re supposed to!

        Try reading the passages I quoted slowly. They are the words of Jesus. Since he clearly explains that the definition–a man and a woman–bound for life–exclusive and faithful–create one being from two–which should not be divided–was ordained FROM THE BEGINNING; I’m not sure what questions have not been answered. The speaker is the One who created marriage, according to the book which we are referencing.

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      • Jesus never abolished Mosaic Law. Here is a Liberty University educated theologian stating just that:

        What Christians most often forget is how to read the whole Bible as the complete Word of God. For some, there is a misunderstanding that the Old Testament no longer applies to Christians. That would be a mistaken understanding because Jesus came to fulfill the “Law and the Prophets” (the Old Testament), but not to change a “jot or tittle” of it. Jesus did change some of the incorrect ways that the Jews were practicing the Law, but did not change the Law itself.

        http://appliedfaith.org/2015/10/06/can-christians-carry-concealed-weapons/

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      • I did not suggest that Jesus changed Mosaic Law, nor would I. My point was that since, according to the book we’re referencing, Jesus created marriage and then defined it while pointing out that it has always been defined thus from the beginning, the aberrations you cite WERE aberrations and violations. It may not be news to you that human beings don’t often do what’s right. Even people of the eras recorded in the Bible! What a shock.
        Your point is dumb.

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      • Aberrations? Violations?

        Really?

        Traditional Biblical Marriage.

        Deuteronomy 22:28-29

        If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

        Rape a girl, get a bride… Traditional Biblical Marriage.

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      • Aberrations? Violations?

        Traditional Biblical Marriage

        Deuteronomy 21:10-14

        When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

        Steal a terrified woman, force her into marriage, rape her after one month… Traditional Biblical Marriage

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      • John,

        Jesus didn’t abolish Mosaic Law because to do so he would have had to wipe out the Jewish Ruling Class and it followers.

        Read Saint Paul. He explains it well. What Jesus brought far surpassed Mosaic Law.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nothing wrong with mobile goalposts! Thinking outside the box ends up creating life-saving vaccines or putting astronauts on the Moon.

        To answer your question about biblical marriage or a diversity in beliefs, neither! You stated “the book”. By inference of your comment I was assuming the typical post-325 CE Nicaean Canonical bible, or in other words, the average Protestant bible. But I was asking you WHICH one just to be polite because there are thousands/millions of faith-followers that do not subscribe to the 325 CE Nicaean Canonical bible. I don’t know your specific beliefs in comparison to the rest of the world.

        Try reading the passages I quoted slowly. They are the words of Jesus.

        I’m very familiar with any passages you’d like to quote from the post-325 CE Nicaean Protestant bible — three and a half years in seminary did me a world of good in biblical exegesis, more specifically Protestant Calvinism or Arminianism, which are the majority of American church congregations and ministers.

        I’m not sure what questions have not been answered.

        That’s a highly ambigious and limited subjective illiberal statement. There are usually NEVER enough questions that couldn’t/shouldn’t be asked in order for progress of humanity.

        The speaker is the One who created marriage, according to the book which we are referencing.</em"

        That is a personal opinion. Myself, I prefer to reference as many reliable forms of truth(?), evidence, extrapolations, interpolations, interpretations, empirical data, over many time-periods, etc, etc, and draw out a wide general consensus of high-probability — becausee there is no such thing as 100% absolute certainty all the time. This is overwhelmingly demonstrated in our existence, on Earth, with human nature, general Nature, and all throughout the Cosmos. To be more direct, Monism is just mere ludicrousy or blatant denial of reality.

        Therefore, my question still stands… Which book are YOU referencing? Thank you Madblog.

        Liked by 3 people

      • This discussion is referencing the integrity of the Biblical description of marriage. I’m merely referencing this source and IT portrays God the Father as the creator, inventor, designer of marriage. I wasn’t declaring my opinion.
        So if the Son, Jesus, is God incarnate, as the book declares; and if He has just given us a definition of marriage according to God; and if he says it was thus from the beginning; then according to the Bible…that’s what marriage is. In other words, he is the horse’s mouth, his definition trumps any other description in the book.

        Then, as I’ve pointed out a couple times now, we must look more thoughtfully at passages (which are on their face not descriptions or definitions) which seem to be in opposition to the designer’s definition. Context usually is the stumbling block for those not really wishing to find a resolution, but context must always be included in an honest search for understanding.
        The Old Testament is the story of the old covenant. It is a history of generations after generations of people turning their backs on God and his covenant, punctuating with short periods of faithfulness. Since it is a history of people NOT honoring God’s covenant, it is a history of the many ways in which they did not do as the Creator wished. Human beings are creative and we’ve found creative ways to do evil. That is what JZ is referencing as proof-text that the Bible makes no sense.

        We all know which book I’m referencing, or does Zande need to answer that question also?

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      • This discussion is referencing the integrity of the Biblical description of marriage. I’m merely referencing this source and IT portrays God the Father as the creator, inventor, designer of marriage.

        Whether that is true, somewhat true, disputable, or completely refutable Madblog, that wasn’t what I asked you. I asked when you state “the book”:

        Which “book” exactly? Canonical? Non-canonical books?

        Then asked again:

        “Which book [specifically] are YOU referencing?” For more clarification of my question, the original scrolls, papyrus, and oral traditions — PRIOR TO lots of extant modern bibles — were written and spoken in Aramaic, Kione Greek, Hebrew, Coptic, Latin, just to name FIVE, and from within at least a dozen different cultures of those languages… then interpreted, interpolated, extrapolated, and circulating in many different forms and formats throughout Synagogues around Asia Minor, the entire northeastern, eastern, middle eastern, southeastern, and southern (Egypt) provinces of the Roman Empire. Every modern bible/book, including your’s Madblog, has its roots SOMEWHERE in this well-established, well-documented portion of the ancient Roman Empire.

        Which one is your’s please?

        John, perhaps it would aid Madblog if you gave which bible/book (version) your opening meme uses? I first asked Madblog directly because it is simply very helpful to know/understand linguistics and how it is conveyed among us for improved accuracy and less confusion in discussions. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • No, not the marriage ordained by God, since it does not meet the designer’s definition. Abraham’s
        Are you actually not reading my responses? Covered and covered. Read on further for the consequences which follow, always disastrous.

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      • Nonsense. 2 Samuel 12:8 specifically says Yhwh gave David his wives…. 6 or 7, if I remember correctly. Further still, Yhwh says that if David (whose heart was perfect with Yhwh, 1 Kings 15:3 ) had wanted more wives, he would have given him even more.

        “And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.”

        So, polygamy is Traditional Biblical Marriage

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      • Traditional Biblical Marriage

        2 Chronicles 13:21

        But Abijah grew in strength. He married fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.

        Polygamy… Traditional Biblical Marriage

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      • Traditional Biblical Marriage

        1 Samuel 1:1-2:21

        There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite[a] from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

        Polygamy… Traditional Biblical Marriage

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      • Because not all 2.2-billion (approx.) Christians use, read, or teach from ONE Bible Madblog. I was guessing you’d prefer to use a different bible than John might use given the background of you two. 🙂

        I don’t feel my question was that difficult to understand or answer. If I need to elaborate and/or clarify more, please ask me to.

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      • He answered that below: KJV.

        But to be more precise, more comprehensive, it’s not just the KJV or the AV (Authorized Version), but it is the 325 CE Nicaean KJV-AV Canonical bible, as opposed to say the 70 different NT scriptures circulating between c. 40 CE to 330 CE… and numerous Jewish Hebrew bibles (Tanakhs) recorded over a millenium (some Old Testaments?) which may or may not make-up YOUR bible Madblog.

        Did he use your book/bible Madblog or a different one? And if different, why and how is it different? 🙂

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      • So if Zande and I are using the same Bible…why is the choice of Scriptures relevant here exactly? And why am I questioned and lectured, while Zande is not?

        And Zande…cherry picking is indeed the issue here; but you could avoid doing that if you were to read the histories in full context. you might then answer your own questions.

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      • Ahhhh! Finally. Thank you Madblog. You therefore are using a severely amputated history/testament(?) of Yeshua, Saul, and the Tanakh. If I may, my next question then…

        Were you aware that in the earliest known copy of all the Synoptic gospels, the Gospel of Mark (Codex Sinaiticus), there is no story of any resurrection of Yeshua? Nothing at all, not even a hint?

        Do you understand the catastrophic implications that Tischendorf’s Codex has to the very foundation of Christianity’s veracity? Not talking about “faith”. I’m talking about truth, historicity, and false traditions/beliefs. 🙂

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      • Please. You are not giving me an education. Your information is agenda-sourced and incorrect.

        Again, why are you accepting Zande’s references from a severely amputated and suspect (to you) source? Why aren’t you questioning his accuracy?

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      • Untrue. Incorrect.

        “Zande’s” information checked out with mine and many other renown scholars 20-25 years ago when I was doing a thesis on the subject and related subjects.

        Anyway, thanks for the very brief disjointed dialogue Madblog. Enjoy your evening.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sorry Madblog, I also meant to include this table to assist in your broader education of just how many “books/bibles” were circulating between 50 CE and 330 CE around the ancient Roman Empire, i.e. the roots of earliest Christianity:

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      • Awww, now that was not at all necessary Madblog. Weren’t we having a civilized adult discussion? You were doing pretty well up to this point. 😦

        Question to self: Why do radical faith-followers always resort to childish, paranoid antics when I ask post-grad, revealing questions? 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      • Thank you John. Yes, and that “cherry-picking” is rampant among all religions, but more so among all three Abrahamic religions — they’re all quite aggitant and divisive in ridiculous attempts to be elite, supremely unique, and exclusive; e.g. ColorStorm, Leroy, SoM, etc, etc.

        Ironically, that is the exact opposite “spirit” of Yeshua’s known reliable teachings and parables.

        Thank you John. 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      • It’s because of the near uniformity of the parables across the many Jesus books that I tend to think “Jesus” was a metafictional character, a literary devise invented to help a 1st century Crisis Cult impart their doctrinal message. Interestingly, one key element of metafiction is that it does not hide the fact that it is fiction. In fact, it goes out of its way to alert the reader/listener/audience that it is fiction, and we see this in how the various stories announce the parables:

        He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed…” (Matthew 13:31–32)

        He spoke also this parable to certain people… (Luke 18:9-14)

        Then Jesus told them this parable: … (Luke 15:3-7)

        Jesus spoke to them again in parables… (Matthew 22:1-14)

        Liked by 3 people

      • Totally agree John and I would not argue your posture on a metafictional character.

        Toward that literary form/function that also stands aligned with the increased sensationalism later inserted as a needed counter-response to the MANY complications, confusions, and complete hijacking of Jewish and Judeo-Christian doctrines of Messianism and the scriptural purpose of a LIVING Messiah! The Dead Sea Scrolls clearly corroborate just how confusing, divisive, and heated (militant) much of 1st-century CE Jerusalem was as a powder-keg for distorted tales of a Messiah. And they were written exactly during Yeshua’s lifetime! The Synoptic Gospels also allude to this quagmire of dissension and volatile debate over Messiahs.

        Once Rome and Herod Antipas got completely fed-up with the constant bickering and social unrest/rebellions the various Jewish and Neo-Jewish sects, leaders, and followers kept instigating, as Rome normally handled it… they began wiping out all of it in 69 CE. This created the (pseudo vague) Messianic void to be later replaced with Roman and Pagan traditions/versions in the 3rd and 4th century CE. Madblog – This is when today’s Bibles were compiled then canonized by Romans — i.e. Romans and Constantinian bishops loyal to the Emperor’s sociopolitical wishes, not the rest of the Empire and certainly not Yeshua’s reformations of Judaism. Enter Paulian doctrines — they are most definitely heavily flavored Greco-Roman sociopolitical (Christ-ish) inventions and modifications. They hardly reflect anything Jewish or Messianic.

        But I’m sure you knew most of this already John. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • Great summary, and we must always remember to frame that time in that particular pocket of the earth as just coming off 100 years of the Maccabees who made the bed for the Crisis Cultists of the time.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Excellent point! The chronological contexts and sociopolitical spectrum of the time in that region of the Roman Empire CANNOT be ignored. It all paints a much MUCH different picture of 1st century CE Jerusalem than average clergy and ministers know, much less the common tithing church-goer. 😉

        Liked by 3 people

      • LOL…By all means then SoM, supply what you speak of. I’ve tried over several months many many times to respectfully engage you in discussion, dialogue, and challenges… and yet childish heckling is apparently all you can do. Even when others resepctfully and logically question you — e.g. on Allallt’s blog — you resort to immature heckling.

        (not holding my breath for any change in your maturity, but maybe there’s always hope)

        Please, PLEASE prove me wrong with your next comment/reply. LOL 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bloviate. 😮 That was a nice big word by the way, I must say. Don’t confuse faith with facts. And not being able to follow complex or abstract concepts for lengthy periods is often/sometimes symptomatic of ADHD. From the DSM-5 for example,

        1. Avoids direct questions or redirects topics entirely when faced with a task that requires a lot of thought and/or organization at the outset.

        2. Fidgets or squirms when forced to sit down for a long time on a direct question.

        3. Has difficulty concentrating on what people say or write, even when they are speaking concisely and directly; turns it quickly into unwarranted confrontation.

        4. Tends to get frustrated easily and impatient, volatile when things aren’t going exactly their way.

        When you have some free-time from your APD, look into having these additional symptoms confirmed or excluded by a licensed professional. Best of luck SoM.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Professor T’Bo,

        This discussion is about the facts of faith.

        Atheists must hallucinate an alternate version of Christianity in order to make their atheism work out for them.

        Here, I am simply stating correctly the true meaning of the Bible.

        Liked by 2 people

      • LOL. So, would that be “Catholics” stemming from the Adamites, Ebionites, Elcesaites, Marcionists, Nazarenes, Bardaisanites, Basilideans, Carpocratianists, Nicolaitans, Sethianists, Simonians, or the Valentinianists?

        Liked by 3 people

      • John,

        Just kidding!

        If you had bothered to read Mad’s comments instead of just do your usual trolling, you would have seen that our biblical interpretations of Adam’s rib are identical.

        NOTE: Mad is Evangelical Protestant. I am Roman Catholic.

        Liked by 2 people

      • John,

        Evangelicals are an incoherent mess because while they believe in the natural common sense of marriage, they also think that Earth is 6000 years old or that the Earth is flat, or some other nonsense.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Of course, it’s not actually clear if Judges is endorsing the action of the Benjamites. After all, Judges ends with this tale and the final line: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit (emphasis mine).” The book of Judges is filled with these kind of Catch-22s (usually involving some blatant violation of a Deuteronomistic rule). The broad pattern in Judges is that the people continually disboey God’s rules, repent when enemies threaten them, a hero arises, people turn back to God for a short period, but then start disobeying, pattern repeats, leading to further and further social disintegration. The point seems to be: don’t follow God’s rules, society falls apart.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That doesn’t forbid or censure the act, Consol.

        But if you want to talk about Deuteronomistic rule

        Deuteronomy 22:28-29

        If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

        Liked by 3 people

      • The point seems to be: don’t follow God’s rules, society falls apart.

        That’s certainly one simple exegesis easy to understand. I’d like to offer another angle if I may. A more humanistic one.

        How to build and maintain a thriving society was historically learned just as easily and just as empirically well in other parts of the world — versus the Judean-Hebrew lessons — by the simple principle of Strength in Numbers. In other words, no equality = social-cast strife and collapsing society; no social laws (or enforcement of those laws) = collapsing society; no traveled education of one’s Friends and Foes = one dimensional decay and collapsing society to more progressive intelligent societies. Same thing anywhere in the world at any period in history. Also learned by studying the animal kingdoms and their methods of survival. No need for divine superstitions IMO.

        A decent life, certainly for mere survival, working together dictates the principle without any need for a Deity. The more significant telling question and answers are HOW TO IMPLEMENT the following of those social-group rules outside of total slavery. It can be legitimately argued that religion is a form of slavery. In that pursuit of comparisons and contrasts, there are a plethora of social methods, particularly successful ones, without any need of a superstitious Deity. As well there are many horrific ones with and without a popular Deity. It seems to me that a society is only as survivable or progressive as its own average (rising or falling) intelligence and broad (rising or falling) education of its entire populace. Diversity breads refined progress. Monism breads collapse then extinction.

        Perhaps another significant question would be “which God?” Which rules? Which Nature of God are we referring to? In my personal view, YHWH isn’t the only “God code” to live by, certainly not the best or the most veracious.

        Hope that was all somewhat clear. I raced to finish it and was interrupted many times while composing it. Ugh! LOL 😛

        Liked by 3 people

      • Based on your response it would seem I wasn’t clear enough in my previous post. This is my fault.

        So let me try to be clearer: I am absolutely NOT endorsing the message of Judges. I was merely stating what I think the message is using my extensive literary background. I raised the issue because a good literary reading of the work, IMO, suggests that we ought to be careful about reading the parts of Judges–and many parts of the Bible in general for that matter–in a straight-forward simplistic way.

        Liked by 3 people

      • @Professor

        True, but literary criticism and theory provides the same tools to analyze the Bible as those that can be used on any other mythology or secular literary text. The problem, I suspect, is that most people don’t have adequate practice or knowledge in using them.

        Liked by 2 people

      • @ConsoledReader —

        Completely agree there CR. The wonderful aspect about having no allegiances to any party, any creed, only to the consensus mechanisms — and of course their refinement over time — typically (usually?) offers MORE precision and objectivity/unbias given the current data. Furthermore, within this model it is embraced (with little hesitation among colleagues) to label a test, an investigation, as to be determined or insufficient evidence and allow future developments to factor in properly.

        Closed or canonized systems, do not allow for such later precision, refinements, and corrections.

        Thanks CR 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Professor T’Bo,

        That’s why you have to go back to the original Catholic exegesis if you want to understand the real meaning of the Bible.

        The Catholics were first. They trace their origin to Jesus through Peter, the first pope.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Professor T’Bo,

        Society certainly won’t fall apart from deviating from biblical teachings.

        Nevertheless, if we want to remain modern, free and prosperous, only following biblical teachings will do.

        That is not an assertion, it is a fact.

        For Christian Western Civilization is the only civilization that progressed beyond the camp fire, the beast of burden, the slave and war as engines of prosperity.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Professor T’Bo,

        It is a fact that Christian Western Civilization is the only civilization in human history that developed beyond the camp fire, slave and beast of burden.

        Clearly, you value your own hallucinated version of history over simple, obvious facts.

        It is beyond my power to “add anything” to one of your hallucinations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • John,

        Just when I was catching up with your hallucinations about the Bible, you started hallucinating about President Trump.

        I really am having trouble keeping up with all the hallucinations around here.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Now that you mention it, the OT was filled with holy quests to kill off enemy men and boys, and then take their women and girls as property. Isn’t it kind of weird that the practice changes the second they come into contact with more powerful neighbors that can conquer them?

    Liked by 3 people

  10. What most of you reject is, is that you were wonderfully made by a loving Creator. God tells us the greatest command is to love each other, all the Laws of the Prophets depend on it. I sense an anger deep inside some of the comments. I understand the laughing and mockery and hate. It seems it is most likely genetic.

    In a blog post on Psychology Today. Clay Routledge, a professor of social psychology at North Dakota State University, discusses whether or not a person’s interest in spirituality might be less of a conscious choice and more of a genetic trait.

    “They key idea of personality is that these are traits that people are likely born with and they tend to be stable over time. In other words, you do not chose your personality.”

    “Spirituality may be similar [to other personality traits]. Some people might be naturally inclined to be spiritual.”

    “And maybe some people who are not naturally spiritual don’t want to be…Indeed, many atheists say they do not have spiritual needs and tend not to think about spiritual questions.”

    source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/more-mortal/201604/is-spirituality-choice

    The Bible message seems to echo this observation, that some are born with spiritual personality traits, and some are not.

    Within Christian theology there are different perspectives that deal with the issue of election, predestination, and our free will.

    To be elected means to be chosen by God (Ephesians 1:4-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).  That is what “election” means.  Therefore, we find such verses as Ephesians 1:4, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.”  So, God definitely chooses us for salvation.

    But, on the other hand, we do freely choose God because not only does God choose us, but he enables us to choose him granting to us what we need. Although there most certainly are exceptions, most believers in a Christ God tend to be wired with the spiritual personality trait.

    There is mystery in how all this works to the spiritual lacking mind but the Scriptures are clear. God works faith in us (John 6:28-29) and grants that we believe (Philippians 1:29).

    So, in his work in us, we are then enabled to freely choose him.  Some identify this as regeneration preceding faith. What this means is that God changes us, regenerates us, which enables us to freely choose God. An analogy can be found in the lightbulb. We would say that whenever electricity is present in the lightbulb, light is the result. But it is not the case that electricity is the result of light. Likewise in salvation, when regeneration is present, faith is the result. This would be a logical necessity rather than a temporal one.

    So, when people ask whether or not we choose God, or does God choose us, there is a sense in which both are true because God chooses for us for salvation and that enables us to choose him.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Recap Nana 🙂

      1) You are not a random cosmic accident but created with intention.
      2) There are indications the ability for spirituality is another personality trait some are born with and some not.
      3) The Bible echo’s the obvious fact of #2 when it teaches election, predestination, and our free will.

      Liked by 2 people

      • So Yahweh created a large number of people who He, being Omniscient and knowing all from the beginning of time, knew would fail to believe for a variety of reasons? That is might Calvinist of you, but why would we non-elect want to worship a being that created us as playthings for his vile games? That is not a good god but an absolutely horrible monster, the bleatings of the Cultists aside.

        That is what I cannot understand…how you do not see the fundamental immorality of your faith and your definition of “God”. Even if He existed, he is an omnimalevolent being, The Owner of All Infernal Names.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Yes there are many social psychologist who see spirituality as an evolutionary adaptation. There is debate in the scientific community over this to some degree, but sure it’s reasonable to say that it may be in our genes to seek out spiritual practices because of the social benefits it provided in our tribal beginnings. And when I say “beginnings” I mean to our great ape evolutionary ancestors. We see ritualistic or spiritual behavior in chimpanzees as well. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/03/chimpanzee-spirituality/475731/

      There are two logical errors that apologists make when they try to weave arguments from evolution into their discussion. First that even if spiritual behavior were to be purely genetic such that we one day isolate the “spirit” gene, it would not validate the truth of their being a Divine presence in the world. The adaptation could simply be there as a means of being able to out compete other groups. The advantages to why religious practices would make for greater tribal unity are clear, but that doesn’t mean that any of those practices are valid from a truth standpoint. It doesn’t make those practices moral either. Sexual aggression and genocide are also primate qualities, that doesn’t make them moral. It may mean at one time they were solutions to problems that we faced, but they have no validity anymore. It may simply means like many of our more primal urges, religion is another one we should outgrow. To suggest that since spirituality is natural it is therefore good is to commit the naturalistic fallacy.

      The second logical error is that every Christian apologist makes the leap from spirituality is a natural human trait to therefore Christianity is true. Again the fact that spirituality is part of our evolution biologically does not validate one spiritual belief system or practice over another. There is no more “Truth” in the Bible than there is in the Qu’ran, or the Baghavad Gita. So all your Bible quotations become meaningless self-referencing nonsense in trying to explain the truth of things. Because you have not presented any evidence that the bible represents truth, that it was guided by divine hand, or that the divine even exists.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Superbly well said, and you’re spot on: finding agency in nature was a stunningly beneficial evolutionary adaption (trick) when even the strongest amongst us were considered snack items to the apex predator. Nature erred on the side of caution, favouring the speedy responses of the perennially paranoid (the superstitious) over the slower pace of the rational sceptic.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Swarn,

        If spirituality is an evolutionary adaptation, why don’t chimpanzees build churches in tribute to the almighty banana?

        My goodness!

        You people need to get a brain of your own and train it to think rationally.

        The biggest hole in the theory of evolution is man who surpasses nature and can come to know intimately, its Creator.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s amazing that you think spirituality requires some sort of book or church. Hunter-gatherers, aboriginals, they’ve been having spiritual experiences, rituals, without ever building churches or worshipping idols. Are you actually able to conceive of spirituality beyond the confines of your narrow definition?

        Liked by 3 people

      • Swarn,

        Christian Western Civilization, the greatest civilization in human history cannot possibly be compared to hunter-gatherers and aboriginals.

        That is true even for the great civilization of antiquity, Roman, Greek, Chinese, Persian.

        That Christian civilization actually requires literacy and rational thinking in order to practice its spirituality is a wonderful and remarkable attribute.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Who was comparing? I wasn’t comparing. Once again your claim on the greatest civilization in human history cannot be proven, but I am not going to challenge you because you have no evidence.

        I am going to have to just start holding you to the same standards I hold Colorstorm you have to stop making argumentation fallacies. Last comment it was a straw man trying to claim that having spirtuality meant that you had to worship a banana, and since they didn’t worship a banana apparently they didn’t have spirituality.

        And then here, same sort of thing. I was simply saying that spirituality, spiritual practices, or even a more organized religion, doesn’t require the building of cathedrals and discovering Newton’s Laws.

        I pray for you SoM that one day you’ll be able to reason and I might one day be able to take you seriously. If you had been practicing that rational thinking you’re bragging about you’d be able to argue better and you wouldn’t be a theist.

        P.S. I loved all the thinking that went into burning witches and the spanish inquisition. Man those Christians really knew how to think!!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Swarn,

        Your comment is indeed uses hunter-gather and aboriginal spirituality as some sort of standard.

        My claim, which is really obvious, is that the primitive lifestyle of hunter-gathers is matched by a primitive spirituality and that the sophisticated, modern lifestyle of Christian Western Civilization is matched by a sophisticated spirituality.

        Spirituality based on written literature was one of the incredible innovations of the ancient world.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Writing things down is an innovation for pretty much everything. For obvious reasons. When it came to religion it certainly led to a more beautiful expression of ideas…it also helped spread the misinformation that religion spreads as well.

        Oh and Hindu texts pre-date the bible, but don’t let that stop you! Writing was not invented by the writers of the bible. Did you know that Hindu scholar saw beautiful mathematical relations in trigonometry and geometry but didn’t have any application for them so simply saw them as evidence of God and wrote Vedic poetry with them?

        And again your ability to read makes me question you entirely. In response to another person who brought evolution into the argument I simply made the point that the evolution of spirituality as a trait by no means prove the validity of any particular religion. Part of that proof was to show that spirituality can also be found in chimps, which clearly makes spirituality a social tool not something that represents truth. The best way we have discovering truth which is through the scientific method. A test religion fails to pass every time. And lesser spiritual practices too. Just because you have over-grandized what at its heart is no different than the reason any hunter-gatherer gives for their spiritual practices…a way of explaining a fearful uncertain world that they don’t understand it is. Just because you put a tuxedo on your belief system, it still looks exactly the same naked. A primitive attempt at describing the world. We’ve outgrown it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Swarn,

        The Bible is unsurpassed with regard to the wisdom it conveys about human nature, morality and justice.

        As anyone can see from the comments, most of the complaints about the Bible are simple hatred and religious bigotry often expressed as trolling.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Swarn,

        The scientific method was developed in Christian Western Civilization by Christians.

        No other civilization in human history developed the scientific method.

        That is why Christian Western Civilization is the only civilization in human history to progress past the campfire, the slave and the beast of burden.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. John & anyone else,

    Since we’ve been discussing “the Book” here — which Book exactly is still completely unanswered — if I may, I would like to share some quotes from the 325 CE Nicaean Protestant Book/Bible (the CJB version) for consideration:

    “If men are fighting with each other, and the wife of one comes up to help her husband get away from the man attacking him by grabbing the attacker’s private parts with her hand, you are to cut off her hand; show no pity.” — Deut. 25:11-12

    “Yes, she lusted after their male prostitutes, whose members are like those of donkeys and who ejaculate like stallions.” — Ezekiel 23:20

    “The daughter of a cohen who profanes herself by prostitution profanes her father; she is to be put to death by fire.” — Leviticus 21:9

    “I will reject your seed; I will throw dung in your faces, the dung from your festival offerings; and you will be carted off with it.” — Malachi 2:3

    “But if the charge is substantiated that evidence for the girl’s virginity could not be found; then they are to lead the girl to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her town will stone her to death, because she has committed in Isra’el the disgraceful act of being a prostitute while still in her father’s house. In this way you will put an end to such wickedness among you.” — Deut. 22:20-21

    “I will cause them to eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters; everyone will be eating the flesh of his friends during the siege, because of the shortage imposed on them by their enemies and those set on killing them.” — Jeremiah 19:9

    “Whoever attacks his father or mother must be put to death.” — Exodus 21:15

    “…and if there is something they want to know, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for a woman to speak out in a congregational meeting.” — I Cor. 14:35

    “If a person beats his male or female slave with a stick so severely that he dies, he is to be punished; except that if the slave lives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his property.” — Exodus 21:20-21

    “A blessing on anyone who seizes your babies and smashes them against a rock!” — Psalm 137:9

    “A leak that keeps dripping on a rainy day and the nagging of a wife are the same – whoever can restrain her can restrain the wind or keep perfume on his hand from making itself known.” — Proverbs 27:15-16

    “Don’t suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Land. It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword!” — Matthew 10:34

    Thoughts everyone?

    For one reference and info on the Complete Jewish Bible go here:

    https://www.gotquestions.org/Complete-Jewish-Bible-CJB.html

    Then start your own study, research, and fact-finding about the many origins, time-frames, translations, of “the Book.”

    Great post & discussion John! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Agreed, calling it “the book” is absolutely ludicrous. The canonical gospels speak of a wildly differing character, Jesus, and if you then add in the 70+ apocryphal Jesus books penned between 100 and 300 CE you have, quite literally, such a confused mess of stories that it is sheer madness to claim something like “the” book.

      I wrote a post on this ages ago, drawing a contemporary example from the development of Batman:

      ”Now, this is just one snippet (a few days copied across three canonical documents) in the life of what is essentially fifty entirely different (albeit mostly incomplete) Jesus’; a 1st Century Judean gnostic character who in even the church sanctioned editions exhibits different personality traits doing completely different things at entirely different times depending on which account you read. It is a character to whom not a single physical description is given and who floats in a suggested window of time, yet no date for his birth, deeds or death is offered anywhere. Since his invention in 1939, Batman has also exhibited over fifty entirely unique versions of himself depending on which account you read. In the original 1939 version Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, but in DC Comics Azrael’s version it’s the computer science graduate student, Jean-Paul Valley, who assumes the role of masked crusader. In Batman Earth Two Bruce Wayne is born in 1910, but in Gotham by Gaslight Batman starts his crime fighting career in 1889. In The Batman of Arkham Bruce Wayne is a psychiatrist who runs the Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, while in Castle of the Bat, Bruce Wayne is a geneticist who brings to life a patchwork corpse containing bat DNA and the brain of his father.”

      Liked by 4 people

      • Hahaha! Excellent comparison John. I often use Peter Pan (since he can fly as well) for mine.

        Some of the characters from The Chronicles of Narnia work equally as well AND offer personalities the (extreme?) faith-followers are more comfortable in identifying with. I am also a former student of R.C. Sproul who was a teaching-speaking colleague of C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles.

        I am most definitely interested in reading that post. Do you have a link to it?

        Liked by 2 people

    • When you talk about other religions Prof, and other Bibles, what exactly are you speaking of? Anything relevant to us today? Any current major religion practicing today?

      It’s typical for the spiritually deficient to pull 1 verse out of a Chapter of 42 verses, and say, “See?”

      Let’s take just one of your out-of-context verses.

      “Don’t suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Land. It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword!” — Matthew 10:34

      Did the Messiah ever raise a sword? No. Did he ever build an army to fight the Roman invaders? No.

      This simple fact is why the Jews rejected their Messiah and had him crucified.

      Matthew 10 is Jesus sending out his disciples, giving them instruction and warning. The Messiah is about to give up his life for the salvation of the world and his instructions and warning to the twelve are of the upmost importance. The events about to unfold will shake the entire world. His resurrection and subsequent return will loose the Holy Spirit and thousands of people will witness and testify giving birth to the Christian Faith.

      Matthew 10 is a warning about the utter hatred the spiritually dead have towards the things of God, specifically Christians. It is a warning for people like me, that we might be killed for our faith.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When you talk about other religions Prof, and other Bibles, what exactly are you speaking of?

        If you had stopped right there Leroy, I would have gladly answered. However, since you went on with more questions, then your lengthy version of your own biblical exegesis from your own bible… it appears you were never interested in an answer.

        Nevertheless, for anyone else following this thread, here is what WOULD’VE been my answer for Leroy: 😉

        http://wp.me/p1uLmp-3u

        http://wp.me/p1uLmp-cR

        http://wp.me/p1uLmp-Uh

        http://wp.me/p1uLmp-4EO

        And more precisely this one: http://wp.me/p1uLmp-1FP

        So as not to overly clutter John’s comments here, feel free to ask any questions over on those answers/blog-posts.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Funny how people hide their face. I find it strange, not seeing a persons eyes. The Internet can be so devoid of personal connection or accountability to our fellow beings. Not seeing the laugh lines, the graying hair, the imperfect imperfectness we all wear.

        None of the five links to your blog answered my question PT.

        You asked a question, “Tell me why you feel YOUR bible (which is very different from holy scriptures of other religions) is any better, any holier than anyone else’s.”

        What other holy scripture of another religion are you comparing the Bible too?

        You made a statement, “There are millions (reaching billions?) of other non-Catholic, non-Christian followers around the world who say the exact same thing about their Scriptures that you say about yours.”

        Who are these near billions? What is their religion?

        Very simple. Back up your claims.

        Liked by 2 people

      • You did ask me to comment on the quotes you provided. I addressed one and you ignored my comment.

        Looking at all of the others they have words missing, or words added.

        For example Ezekiel 23:20. Your quote and my NIV is much different

        Yours: Yes, she lusted after their male prostitutes, whose members are like those of donkeys and who ejaculate like stallions.
        Mine: There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

        This is 1 verse 49.

        This chapter in Ezekiel addresses prostitutes and it is not good.

        The last sentence in this Chapter convicts. “You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sins of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”

        Liked by 2 people

      • For Leroy’s above 2nd comment/reply —

        Not that seeing or not seeing my face has anything to do with these discussions — other than your uninformed attempt to discredit? — but the reason I must protect myself, my occupation, and my two children’s visitations are twofold:

        1. Texas is an “At Will” work/job state. This state law allows for discriminatory abuses in hiring, evaluating, or terminating employees for NO REASONS OFFERED by employers; just bye, you’re fired. Given the content and subjects of my blog, like social-media checks by HR departments or their contracted “background checking” affiliates, if that/a particular employer or state agency did not like my Facebook or WordPress blog, by the aforementioned law they can fire me without any reason whatsoever and I have no recourse. That is a red Ultra-Conservative state and Congress for you. LOL Open-minded Texans MUST pick-n-choose their battles here and protect their interests. Period.

        2. My ex-wife and mother of my children is now a radical Fundy-Evangy Christian (like her parents before her) and in order to justify her divorce from me with her ministerial-pastoral parents, she made the divorce, child-support, and visitation conditions EXTREME and in her favor, as the state of Texas Family Law does indeed support and condone for single Moms. In fact, Texas is one of the WORST states for divorced fathers.

        So Leroy, as an excellent Father clearly I have enormously good reasons to keep my identity safe from the general public. Close and dear friends, however, know exactly who I am… many of them moderate sane Christians. Hah! LOL

        If you read every bit, every word of my 5 blog-links you would have read a substantial amount of very specific points toward the confusion and contradictions of a “loving Creator” versus the Bipolar Schizoid Personality Disordered “Creator”. It’s there in plain site, you just never were interested. That’s the real truth isn’t it Leroy? 😉

        You wrote next:
        What other holy scripture of another religion are you comparing the Bible too? and…

        Who are these near billions? What is their religion?

        Keep in mind Leroy that these were initial curious questions for Madblog’s use of the term “the Book“, not plural, singular. I was offering her/him the opportunity to answer as she/he saw fit as to precisely WHICH single book she was referring to. But I’m happy to indulge you here…

        1st question: For starters, the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, and Vedas… the Agamas… the Tripitakas… the Holy Qu’ran… the Kitáb-i-Aqdas… the Book of Rites & Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Mencius, and Analects… and the Kojiki to name just thirteen. They all have just as much value and impact as… well, whichever Bible Christians talk about.

        2nd question: Simple answer here… 5.3 billion. Their religions? Primarily the 13 I just listed. The “backing up claims equation”? 7.5 billion world population – (minus) 2.2 billion Christians = (equals) 5.3 billion. But who’s precisely counting, right? 😉 The fact still remains that around 5.3 billion people make the same sort of claims that SoM and all militant/extreme Xians make.

        For further “claims backing up” go back to my 5 blog-links and actually READ every word in all of them. 🙂 You will find references to the significant major statements. If you have any deeper, further questions about other content, ask me on those individual blog-posts. I’ll be very happy to provide them.

        Btw Leroy, thank you for coming back around for some civilized dialogue. I appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Professor T’Bo’,

        I am not a militant extremist Christian. Everything I write here comes directly from the Bible, Catholic Catechism, primary sources and a general understanding of the obvious.

        I also voted for Trump

        Liked by 1 person

      • For Leroy’s 3rd comment/reply —

        No, in my 2nd comment/reply to you I did NOT ask you anything at all because you implied by your previous comment/reply to me Leroy you weren’t really interested in my answer(s). Nevertheless Sir, I will indulge you here too…

        For example Ezekiel 23:20. Your quote and my NIV is much different.

        That is EXACTLY MY POINT LEROY! And your version and my version are merely TWO versions out of well over 150 different variations. Please tell me you now see and understand the exact point I was making?????

        Liked by 2 people

      • Well it’s happened many times on threads before and several times under this post here so I am not sure where to post this exactly, but this seemed like a good spot. 🙂

        It’s absolutely tiring to see constant complaints by evangelical Christians about us taking things out context. They are much more the masters than we are in that. Texas sharpshooter fallacies abound with the evangelical community. Let’s start with the fact that just quoting the bible all the time is the height of taking things out of context. Because you know there was like an entire world going on at the time the OT and NT was written. Civilization had been around since about 8000 BC and humans around for 60,000 years are so before that. There were many other religions, and groups with various levels of moral progression and peaceful to warlike mentalities. And yet somehow what was going in what constitutes no more than 1% of the total land area of the Earth must be the truth. Give me a break. Then there is all the historical facts that refute many claims of the bible, but let’s ignore that context and just keep quoting bible verses.

        And the best defense is the “well that’s not to be taken literally, it’s figurative in the larger context”. But plenty of people have taken verses literally in the bible just like the ones we’re quoting because they represent actual practices people have committed throughout religious history. Taking passages from the bible and using them to justify great crimes against other humans has happened so frequently by followers of Christianity, that every Christian here who complains about atheists quoting scripture out of context literally (not figuratively) embarrasses themselves with such an accusation. That’s what your religion has done. I will once again post one of the greatest Mark Twain quotes ever:

        “During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumb-screws, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood.
        Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry…..There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain.”

        Liked by 3 people

      • Come on Prof. Paranoid much? The Law in Texas protects you. John knows I live in Texas. It use to be it’s own Country, when they fought the Mexicans and won independence. Texans are very independent and Texas is the most prosperous State of the Union. My great-grandparents immigrated here fro Germany and Ireland.

        The employment-at-will doctrine in Texas is not without its limits. Terminations initiated by the employer must not be discriminatory or in violation of specific federal or state laws. For example, the employer is legally prohibited from taking any “adverse employment action” against an employee because of his or her race, gender, age, disability, national origin, or any other legally protected characteristic or activity. Protected activities include, but are not limited to:

        • Filing a complaint of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin or disability.
        • Filing a workers’ compensation claim.
        • Jury service.
        • Refusing to perform an illegal act.
        • Reporting violations of law.

        Bashing the Christian faith is not grounds for termination and any half-wit lawyer can get you back-pay and damages. Being in HR and reviewing background checks, we do not hire based on religion, or the lack thereof, and we certainly do not fire good employees because they are outspoken on their faith, or outspoken against others faith, on Internet social-media. If a problem arises on the jobsite we delve to resolve conflicts, not fire people.

        You married a Christian? Shame on her. The Bible contains warnings against such things. Your upset the Law slants towards divorced mothers. Shame again, this time on you.

        And I read all your links Prof. I get it. At all costs, for your sake, there is no God. There is no God-come-Saviour to erase your pain and everlasting death. There is no afterlife. There is no soul. In your mind there are many contradictions and confusion.

        The other ancient writings you mention pale in comparison to Christian Bible. They do not have the authority claimed by the Jewish Messiah. They do not have contemporary Jewish/Roman invader/Prefect historian mentions.

        Your blog and twisted history and lack of specific reference sources makes your articles plain opinion pieces. To negate the fact of historical writings by contemporaries during the time of Christian birth convicts your writings as twisted opinions.

        Thank you too…civilized is good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • To Leroy —

        Your 1st paragraph:
        I am an 8th-generation Texan, my son is a 9th. We were here collaborating with the Native American Indians when Texas was a fledgling “nation.” I am extremely well-rooted and thus well-versed in a broad spectrum of Texas history and geneology. In fact, I sort of HAD to learn it because my Mom is a Daughter-of-the-Republic of Texas. But honestly, we do not need to go off on this rabbit-trail here on John’s blog. And there is certainly no need for you to pretend you know all the details and extenuating circumstances about my past, my ex-wife, my family, or even more so Texas Family Law as if you are an attorney. LOL Besides, I merely addressed your poorly informed (non-existent? unclassy?) presumption about hidden faces. Hah! That is/was completely irrelevant to these discussions. Moving on…

        The 2nd paragraph, (TX)bullets, and 3rd para —
        As you may or may not know, in Texas every municipality, county, and precinct have rubberized “flexibility” with state laws which is indeed afforded by exactly what you mentioned: “Texans are very independent” Hah! The understatement of the year! 😉 Furthermore, there is often a fluid degree between legislated law and ENFORCED laws. Just because they’re on the books doesn’t mean they are fully enforced. Remember, a great majority of Texans (or more) DO NOT WANT more government; i.e. little government-law enforcement interference… they/we LOVE our Wild Wild West ways! Hahahaha. Your bullet-points and following two paragraphs adequately show you’ve read little-to-none of my blog (surprise surprise) about these very things you pretend to know about me. (I’m shaking my head in disappointment again) My personal views on Abrahamic religions is less-than 1/3rd (ONE THIRD!) of my blog subjects. Now, if you decide to go get INFORMED, then go read — every single word, page, and post — on my blog. I’ll warn you though Leroy, it will take you a few weeks to digest it all, something I seriously doubt you have any interest in doing. Yes? Moving on…

        The remaining paragraphs —
        Well, I disagree with you wholeheartedly Leroy on all guesses. My WordPress stats don’t show those blog-posts being viewed within the last 10-12 days by your IP-address. You haven’t read everything on my blog because even if I give you the benefit of the doubt (not WordPress), a decently intelligent polite man wouldn’t presume the (highly imaginative) opinions you’ve stated here about me. It isn’t possible. LOL

        Yes, civilized is always best. Therefore, as we’ve done before this time last year, let’s part ways agreeing to disagree. Perhaps as polar-opposites disagreeing on most everything! Hahahaha! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Professor T’Bo’,

        Try having someone whip you bloody.

        Then after that, they cut the thorny stems of your beloved roses into sticks and construct a crown of thorns out of them. And after that, they jam the crown onto your head until the thorns dig into your skull.

        Then have that someone drive nails through your hands and feet.

        If someone asks whether or not you are suffering, what would you tell them.

        Thought so…

        It hurts like a bitch because you are suffering.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was brutal SoM. The Romans were brutal, the Coliseum where they would feed Christians to lions was brutal.

        It is amazing that at a specific point in time, a time where there were Roman historians writing history, recording the activities of their Caesar and Prefects, that there burst upon the scene Christians. The Roman and Jewish writers were hostile to the Christian’s and their “King”. During the Roman occupation the Jews so desperately sought for their Messiah to come and liberate them and restore their rightful place. But God had a different plan.

        Exactly what was said, who knows, we have the Bible narrative with key details corroborated by hostile sources sure, but the fact is something happened back then for men to give their lives up to spread the word that God came in human form, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and buried and three days later rose again. It is a historical fact many of those first Christians went to their death beds for the sake of being Christian never renouncing Christ as a lie. Christ gave his life and many believers at that point in time reciprocated. Even to this day in parts of the world you could be killed for the simple fact of being Christian.

        I think the difference between me and most atheists are that they are the way they are because they think I have the concept of God as to be a finite entity with infinite powers, like Superman. So they stop believing in the concept till evidence is provided. After all, who really believes in Superman.

        They then demand evidence in a comprehensible form like visual or sensory evidence. History written 2,000 years ago does not count. Personal, contemporary stories of God’s work in the lives of the faithful do not count.

        They say I can’t see, I can’t hear, I can’t feel etc., and cite that as lack of evidence.

        Spiritualists realize that what makes people see, what makes people hear and the power that makes people sense or feel, is God.

        How can you see something that is responsible for sight?

        So in essence, atheists simply shut out their minds from developing further by stopping to believe. Spiritualists tend to increase the power of their minds by dwelling deep and trying to understand who they are in true sense.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. For SoM (from our above thread),

    Answer this one very simple question…

    Using YOUR “facts”, tell us — in detail & without personal attacks or heckling — HOW your/the God speaks specifically to you or any other human beings. It’s a very easy simple question.

    Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Professor Taboo,

    God speaks to us first and foremost through scripture, that is, the Bible.

    Then with sufficient discipline and practice, practice, practice the disciple can discern God through the events of everyday life, insights, events, other people, nature, our desires, works of charity (such are the teachings of Saint Ignatius de Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits).

    Since each person is a unique one-off it is necessary to develop knowledge of one’s self in order to understand what God is communicating.

    As Saint John Paul II, Pope wrote, (and I paraphrase), It is in coming to know our self that we come to know God.

    The converse is also true: As we come to know God, we come to know our self.

    Liked by 2 people

    • God speaks to us first and foremost through scripture, that is, the Bible.

      Ok, PAUSE RIGHT THERE for a bit.

      There are millions (reaching billions?) of other non-Catholic, non-Christian followers around the world who say the exact same thing about their Scriptures that you say about yours. If a neutral bystander asked you SoM “Who is right and how can we verify their claims against yours?” How would you answer them?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Professor Taboo,

        What does the Bible tell us?

        The Bible tells us how to behave morally, think constructively, and how to worship God.

        Since no other civilization in human history progressed past the camp fire, the reasonable person must conclude that Christianity is unique and quite powerful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No. Not “What does the bible tell us” — that was not the question. I’ll repeat:

        If a neutral bystander asked you SoM “Who is right and how can we verify their claims against yours?” How would you answer them? Simple easy question.

        Thanks

        Liked by 3 people

      • Hahaha…but in fact (if I can borrow YOUR word) you have not and are not answering the simple question! You are cracking me up! 😛

        Pretend the question is presented to you from a neutral bystander, a complete stranger who is courteously asked you that simple question. I’ll repeat it again:

        If a neutral bystander asked you SoM “Whose [Bible] is right and how can we verify their claims against yours?” How would you answer them?

        Another simply way to ask directly is “Tell me why you feel YOUR bible (which is very different from holy scriptures of other religions) is any better, any holier than anyone else’s.” And let me make it even a lot easier for you… give a link or two if you are too lazy(?) to do the work and answer. ❤ 😉

        Thanks

        P.S. This neutral bystander isn't infinitely patient by the way! LOL

        Liked by 2 people

      • Professor T’Bo’,

        “Most” would definitely consider my point of view, if not accept it outright.

        Why should I go watch one of your stupid videos?

        Your ignorance is stupid enough for any man.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL… it wasn’t a video for you or all about you. It was/is however a fair representation and reflection of answering very simple questions that anyone else can appreciate.

        You are welcome to get the last word in SoM. LOL

        Liked by 2 people

  14. From John’s 2013 post, Excuse me, but which Jesus are you talking about?

    I love this introduction! I love it because 95% to 99% of Christian Faith-followers (Madblog?) have no clue about the historical established roots and origins of their own Book/Bible:

    …there are in fact over seventy so-named Apocryphal books that were evidently considered either too outlandish or simply too contradictory by early Christian publicists to make the final grade.

    Bravo! And your point as to WHY these gospels, epistles, testaments were not included (Canonized) is spot on! Great post Sir.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. John,

    Want to read your and other’s thoughts on this. I think what has surfaced with these attempted discussions of personal beliefs confirm what several university Psych Department studies found about two prevalent human behaviors when a person’s beliefs of self and the world are being reinforced or challenged:

    1. Cognitive Ease (or Illusion of Certainty/Truth) and subsequently…

    2. Cognitive Strain

    Care to guess which of the two human experiences the majority of people wish to experience most all the time? LOL

    As it turns out, those human test subjects which prefer (heavily?) #1 and its constant reinforcement, have noticeably higher aggitated responses to #2 and almost ALWAYS look for ways of avoiding, ignoring, or attacking #2 because it is correctly or incorrectly PERCEIVED as a threat. This is the human Fight-or-Flight mechanism that paleoanthropologists and evolutionary psychologists say goes back over 200,000 years when humans constantly experienced very real, lethal threats in the wild. It is a natural genetic response, however, one that CAN BE and should be reversed/refined when necessary! For example, your blog discussions John are not in a jungle full of famished predators. Everyone here has the safety of hundreds to thousands of miles across the internet, right? No need for knee-jerk paranoid reactions, or rather the Fight-or-Flight syndrome. It’s just words, questions, and close scrutiny of (emotional?) cognitive systems! LOL 😉

    I will also wager that fearful aggitated responses of Cognitive Strain to questions or challenges illicit a LOT of laziness. In other words, many people just don’t want to leave their state of reinforced Cognitive Ease — even if their perceptions of self and the world MIGHT be partially or completely misguided — the feel-good feelings are indeed addictive, especially by surrounding one’s self with non-stop emotional affirmations.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Humans are lazy, so yes, the easiest path (of less resistance) will typically be favoured over that which is uncomfortable. Interestingly, a large body of research exists which demonstrates that the more we lie, and the more we are exposed to the ever-so-delicious lies of others, the uneasiness felt by us in the face of deception weakens.

      Specifically, see Neil Garret, et al., 2016, The brain adapts to dishonesty, Nature Neuroscience, 27 September

      Liked by 4 people

      • Very good point and reference. Thank you!

        …the more we lie, and the more we are exposed to the ever-so-delicious lies of others, the uneasiness felt by us in the face of deception weakens.

        True. To be fair this applies to all and us non-Christians too of course. And I am perfectly satisfied in examining, reexamining, dissecting, modifying, overhauling, etc, when a particular paradigm or belief-system is just too unstable or has too many parts that simply collapse under further (comprehensive cross-referencing) scrutiny. This exact result happened to me after my 18-years inside Xian Evangy-Fundy ministries including 3+ years in seminary (RTS) when my repeated questions about The 17-Missing Years of Yeshua went repeatedly unanswered and/or shamed by most in all those religious circles. Others were simply apathetic to what I saw as a major enigma and crack-in-the-foundation of all Christendom. Wow, John… talk about serious Cognitive Strain during those 5-6 years and the ostracization I was put through!!! 😮 Needless to say I lost many friends; or rather they lost as much, huh?

        The moral of the story? Never ever stop the introspection, scrutinizing, or asking the hard questions that some/many are too afraid to ask or ask of themselves. I don’t mind equal portions of Cognitive Strain and Ease. The benefits far outweigh the regrets! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  16. John,

    Stumbled across this fantastic song my one of my favorite bands, Muse. Have danced to Muse and their songs for many years with “my tribe”. But this particular song has multiple meanings, not just militant extremism. Thought I’d share it… 😈

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Pingback: Responding to the #Nashvillestatement | The Recovering Know It All

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