Month: September 2014

Bastards are not very well liked in the Hebrew Bible

If you are a child born outside of marriage, there are commands in the Bible forbid you to go to church. (Or perhaps to join the assembly of the people, or the leaders, depending on who is writing the commentary, and how much they are trying to soften this passage for the modern reader.)

“No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 23:2)

This sounds even nicer in the good ‘ol King James:

“A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 23:2)

Why would the quality, visibility, and magnitude of supernatural miracles decrease over time?

In the era when 99% of people couldn’t read, write, and didn’t have camera-phones, we had miracles that could were undeniably supernatural, like oceans opening up to make a tunnel.

Today, when such things would be quickly instagramed, we have miracles like: getting a good job and headache relief. Why?

Why would the quality, visibility, and magnitude of supernatural miracles decrease over time?

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Giza pyramids were built over two hundred years before the biblical flood purportedly happened

According to a biblical chronology by AiG, the largest and most prominent biblical creationist ministry, the global flood happened in 2348 BC. (1)

Yet, according to historians and archaeologists, Egypt has an unbroken historical lineage from two thousand years before this date of the flood. The evidence of this includes everything from excavated buildings to pottery and paintings to written records. (2)

In fact, archaeologists say the Giza pyramids were built between 2589 and 2504 BC, or two hundred years before the date of the purported global flood. (3)

According to psychologists memory is utterly unreliable

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Did you know that memory is very unreliable? We often, edit, and remake our memories without realizing it.

“If I’ve learned anything from these decades of working on these problems, it’s this: just because somebody tells you something and they say it with confidence, just because they say it with lots of detail, just because they express emotion when they say it, doesn’t mean that it really happened. We can’t reliably distinguish true memories from false memories.” (Elizabeth Loftus, cognitive psychologist)

The great Bible hero Samson ended his life as a “suicide bomber.”

Samsons last great act was the destruction of a building that resulted in the death of 3,000 civilians (including women) who were members of a different religion, while they were not engaged in war, but were at a worship service.

“Now the house was full of men and women; all the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about three thousand men and women, who looked on while Samson performed. Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “Lord God, remember me and strengthen me only this once, O God, so that with this one act of revenge I may pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.” And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other.  Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He strained with all his might; and the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed during his life. (Judges 16:27-30)

The great Bible hero Samson ended his life as a “suicide bomber.”

Incidentally, to help us appreciate the number of casualties, the September 11 suicide attack also left about 3,000 civilians dead.

There are seven different version of the “Ten Commandments”

What we know as the “Ten Commandments” actually has more than 10 laws and sayings, (up to 19-25 separate commands) thus different groups of Christians have had to group these many commands into “Ten Commandments” but they have done it differently.

Here are the seven different versions that group these many commands into ten.

S: Septuagint
P: Philo
T: Jewish Talmud
A: Augustine
C: Catechism of the Catholic Church,
L: Lutherans
R: Reformed Christians

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Why does God allow mental illness, doesn’t mental state affect our ability to choose obedience or faith?

Why is there mental illness (according to various theologies)?

According to traditional Christian/Jewish/Islamic belief we are placed on this earth to have a chance to accept/reject God (or to be tested if we will obey/disobey God’s laws). It’s postulated that our testing is the best explanation for our existence, our world, free will, moral laws, suffering, the universe, and every other part of the human condition. It’s all so we could accept/reject God.

Yet, there are millions of people who are born with cognitive impairments and are not at all capable of making these kinds of spiritual/moral choices. They don’t have the same mental capacity that you or I have to make moral choices.

Why would God ordain/allow the birth of so many people with such cognitive deficiencies?