March 11, 2006

The Bibles: Do People Really Know The History Of Them?

There a some great blogs out there that deal with debunking religion like Debunking Christianity, Goosing the Antithesis, and Recovering Ortho Jew. I'm not even going to pretend to be in their league as far biblical knowledge goes, but like with science, I'm pretty good when it comes to a layman's understanding of the topic. The points they discuss are fascinating. And what I find sad is, that the same people who call evolution a crock, also believe their bible is based on fact, in most instances.

I read a tremendous account of the history of the Old and New Testament this morning. I suggest that everyone of my readers check this out.
The author factually explains the reasons behind the content of the Bibles and the historical context which led to a need to write these "books of God."
To sum it up, bibles were written at times when followers were all over the map in their beliefs. The writers borrowed ancient mythological stories coupled with believable, but incorrect human history.
As literacy rates went up in the Holy land, writers put down their mythological stories on paper. The Old Testament writers of around 750-650 BC, used the story of the Hyksos who were driven out of Egypt around 1570 BC, as their foundation for the Exodus myth, for example.

In order to get the people to defend Israel from Assyria, the concept of monotheism was reinforced by Isaiah, who gave god some new and improved qualities.
When the Assyrians forced the Jews into exile, for 48 years, God's qualities again were modified, and when the Jews were allowed back as foreigners, even more modifications were made to be consistent with the times, like the NO KING rule.
Then came the Greek skeptics who started influencing many of the Jews of Palestine.
They started to look at the bible as a bunch of allegorical stories, causing Jews to be in different camps.
Quoting Scott Bidstrup's article, "And Greek philosophy, skeptical and secular in many ways, made a great deal of sense. So again our Hebrew culture is presented with a problem.
How can the Jewish god, who by now had acquired a great deal of mythological and philosophical baggage, be reconciled with the unspeakable, unknowable god(s) of the Greek philosophers?"
The literal maniacal jealous vengeful god wasn't a hit with most people.
Then came the height of Roman persecution of the Jews and the Destruction of the Second Temple, causing every Rabbi to be on his own. And of course, that maniac God let his people down again. The time was perfect just leading up to this event and of course after it, to redefine god one more time. Making him out to be a loving, understanding, turn the other cheek sort of dude, who promises an eternal blissful after life for all those who accept him. The early Christians found a perfect scam, people already believed in God, now they finally had the hook to reel the suckers in.
And of course it snowballed.
In fact, the Jesus myth was mostly a combination of Dionysus, a Greek God and Yeishu ha Notzri(Jesus of Nazereth???), a magician from around 100 BC and Pagan stories.
Not a word was written about Jesus until Mark put something on paper, around 70 AD, almost 40 years after Jesus' supposed death. He wrote nothing about the virgin birth or mangers or wisemen, because that idea didn't come along until later. The stories just built on one another from Mark to Matthew to Luke to John.

Taken from an article by John Bice, 'Early Christian cults embraced a highly diverse variety of beliefs and disagreed on numerous fundamental elements of faith. Some Christian groups believed Jesus was divine, but others believed he was merely a man. Some Jesus cults believed in two gods, others in 12, 30, even 365 distinct gods. Religious scholar, Bart Ehrman writes in his new book , "Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.", "All these groups claimed to be Christian, insisting that their views were true and had been taught by Jesus and his followers."'
Eventually a weeding out process occurred, and the New Testament was written. Taking a little bit from here, and a little bit from there.


Of course, then came the numerous rewrites, Protestant revisions, the King James version, etc. All rewritten to appease the current political and religious leaders of the time they were rewritten. And of course the language barrier: "thousands of New Testament manuscripts exist, including over 5,700 in the original Greek language, but "among these thousands of copies, no two of them are exactly alike in their wording."

Bice concludes: "Rational people, however, will recognize that the Bible is a demonstrably imperfect, purposely altered and error-ridden collection of texts created by humans, not a mythical supreme being."

The one thing I liked the best from Bidstrup's article is the concept called the Negative Evidence Principle. I never heard of it before, but here is how he describes it:

"Here's how the N.E.P. works - it states that you have good reason for not believing in a proposition if the following three principles are satisfied: First, all of the evidence supporting the proposition has been shown to be unreliable. Second, there is no evidence supporting the proposition when the evidence should be there if the proposition is true. And third, a thorough and exhaustive search has been made for supporting evidence where it should be found."

The Negative Evidence Principle discredits both The Exodus, and the existence of Jesus Christ.

Again, don't shoot the messenger.

14 comments:

  1. “You can trust me I love you.”

    I feel uncomfortable with the notion of Jesus or God loving you. I would much prefer they simply “liked” you or looked out for you. Love seems too much of a burden. For some weird reason you need to reciprocate or one party gets all upset and then, boy are you in big trouble! Say something wrong or do something wrong and all hell breaks loose – literally when it comes to the above two.

    The most impressive book I have read on God is:

    God: A Biography by Jack Miles.

    For anyone who was brought up a practicing Christian or Hebrew it is a fascinating read. No philosophising, just a straightforward biography of God from the only source material available, the Old Testament. It really opens your eyes to how much God was simply a reflection of the gods of the time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In case you are wondering, your sidebar gets kicked down by and exceeding line length or picture length or combination on the main posting menu.
    One char space over on the main menu and sidebar gets kicked down.

    The trouble with believing in God is that any god is always more important than any man so someone who believes will always sacrifice other humans for their belief in God.one

    ReplyDelete
  3. AA, looks like a good book. I'm not big into books. I like articles. The internet is full of good summations. The article that I based this post on mostly was along the same lines as Miles book.
    Max, I don't have a problem with my sidebar or viewing my blog unless I look at an individual entry. Then it breaks in two. But I'm not a whiz with computers, so I don't mind the view.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do you enjoy going over to Vox Day's blog site and getting bitch slapped?

    Your "evidence" is pathetic, a homeschool kid could debunk it.

    Jesus didn't exist? Study history, there are plenty of extra-biblical historical texts (by non-Christians)that reference his life and cruxifiction.

    If you think you are so wise and savvy, I DARE you to pick an intellectual fight with Vox. No, I DOUBLE DARE you. How about a TRIPPLE DOG DARE. You act tough over here and say, "Fundies will be disturbed by my blog site" but how about we see what you are really made of.

    I doubt we'll see it though. Pussy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Why don't you debunk it then homey? All I see is you attacking me. Pretty funny.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Blogger help If you watta fix your sidebar problem

    >>>>>>>>>

    what happened at the Denmark Support Rally today in TO?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't live in Toronto. I used to. But I don't anymore. It was a nice day. I took my dog for a walk instead.
    Here is the Yahoo board for the rally:
    http://tinyurl.com/lllre

    I'll check your link out for the sidebar problems.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I do believe there are no contemporary accounts of the life of Jesus, nada, zip. Josephus mentions something but that was quite a number of years after Jesus had “died”. Pretty odd considering he was so miraculous and all. Look Anonymous the whole story of Jesus is just nonsense, a child’s fairy tale… and surely Bacon can “act tough” on his own blog .

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bacon, I know what you mean about books. Jack Miles’ book was probably one of the last books I bought for my library which is now packed in boxes in the attic. Now I only buy a book to read on a long journey or if I am on holiday. The Internet now is my primary and almost sole source of information. I rarely even buy newspapers or magazines these days. Why would you when you can just tap into the biggest machine man has ever made and be online to billions of pages of up to date information?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like the Jesus bumper sticker statement which goes something like this>> "Jesus loves you but I think you are a #@&*"
    I actually saw a picture like the one you have posted with that on it. It certainly isn't very PC, but it appeals to my aussie sense of humour.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Really all i see here is a bunch of people denying that there ever was a Christ that walked this earth. I guess no one beleive anymore. everyone that i talk to say prove to me that your God lives and maybe i`m worship him. why don`t you say it like it is. Your God weigh me down with all this love stuff. you slow my speed in this life by wanting me to treat everone else like i want to be treated. beside isn`t evelution the going thing now. well show me something that has evolved from something else in the last 55 years. oh no you can`t becasue eveloution take thousands of years not half centuries.
    for those who would believe i can tell you from first hand knowledge that God is real. Jesus is alive for he lives within me daily.
    here is something a old time preacher use to say: HELL= the realization of reality too late.
    it is appointed for a man to die once and then the judgement. if God isn`t real why hasn`t eveloution changed that yet. I know we live longer but we still die. wouldn`t it be nice to know what tomorrow hold. if there really is a heaven and hell..something we can point to that we can know that what the scriptures teach is real. the only way you will ever know what is real and what is not is to give your life to Jesus..ask him to forgive you of your sin and come into your mind and be the ruler of your life. life for Christ while you can God gave everything he had for us. he gave us his son Jesus to die for everyone`s sins so we would not have to experience the seperation of life with out God in it. God is everywhere. even if you don`t want to be apart of him he is still apart of you. he will remain apart of you until you die. if you haven`t given all and asked Jesus into your life and to forgive your sins you will in that instance realize what hell realy is. it is the seperation of your life from God.
    kickintime 1949

    ReplyDelete
  12. God does not exist. There is absolutely no proof he had ever been alive. Science explains or will eventually explain everything.
    Firsthand? Hah.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Your God weigh me down with all this love stuff." - that's well put kickintime. I'm impressed by the sincerity of your comment.

    ReplyDelete