Category Archives: Bible

The wrongest verse in the Bible

Proverbs 3:5-6:

5Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Continue reading The wrongest verse in the Bible

How can Jesus possibly be wrong?

In a recent post, I said, if Jesus did teach thus-and-so, he was wrong.

That’s an extreme position for someone who calls himself a Christian.

And some may be alarmed at the total rejection of Biblical “inspiration” it implies.

There are quite a few wrong things in the Christian Bible.

For the moment, I’ll pass over those I find in the “Old Testament.”

Particularly from a series of threads done by Sophiee at Messiah Truth about “365 Prophecies of Jesus,” it has become clear to me that nearly all of the “Old Testament” quotations in the book of Hebrews are misapplied.

Yes, it can shake one’s confidence in what one thought one believed.

Secrets of the Dead Sea scrolls

The real secret:  There aren’t any.

Christmas day, when I sat down in the shower line at the shelter where I stay, Comet was showing the last 15 minutes or so of a movie.  The din in the room normally precludes hearing any dialogue, but a momentary dip allowed me to hear this:  one man told another on the phone, “The missing gospel has been found.”

There followed a long sequence of a woman writhing and screaming on a bed, while blood flowed from her hands, feet and scalp.  This was interspersed with black-and-white scenes of Jesus’ crucifixion.  The bedroom was engulfed in flames.

The next scene was of a man digging in the floor of a church while a nearby statue of the Virgin wept blood.

The movie concluded with three stills of white text on a black background.

The first still read to this effect:

In 1945, near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, a scroll was found buried in the sand.  It began with the words, “These are the secret teachings of Jesus Christ.”

The scroll can say whatever it likes.

The second still read to this effect:

Known as “The Gospel of Thomas,” scholars the world over have agreed that this scroll contains the closest thing we have to the actual words of the historical Jesus.

It’s highly debatable that there’s any such consensus.

The third still read to this effect:

Even so, the Vatican refuses to recognize this text, and has gone so far as to call it heresy.

The Vatican is free to choose what it does and does not believe.

No horror movie will persuade me about the Gospel of Thomas.
Continue reading Secrets of the Dead Sea scrolls

Forgiving the cosmos

For years, I’ve had a special sensitivity to reports of child abuse.

This one may give you nightmares for the rest of your life.

victoria-martensVictoria Martens

According to the police report, on her 10th birthday, the mother’s boyfriend and his female cousin injected this little girl with drugs “to calm her down.”  They proceeded to strangle, torture, rape and dismember her.

While her mother looked on.

Where is God, or what is God, when such an event can occur?

Continue reading Forgiving the cosmos

Jesus’ outrageous parables

(Originally posted 10/11/13.  Transcribed from an e-mail I sent my mother 24 August 2010.)

Jesus said any number of things in large part, at least, for shock value.

Their outrageousness is easily lost on 21st Century students, for two reasons.  First, we have heard or read these things so many times that any shock value they might have at first had for us — when we first heard them, say, perhaps at age 4 or age 5 — has long since worn off.  We’re not likely to remember it, and also not likely to give the opinions of our 4- or 5-year-old selves, the credit they, in this case, deserve.

Second, by virtue of “respect for authority,” for centuries students of Chrstianity have trained themselves to ignore, deny or suppress any outrage they might feel at anything The Teacher says.  Instead, one expects oneself and all one’s fellow students, approvingly, to “tip my hat … take a bow … smile and grin …”[*]

[*]The Who, “We Won’t Get Fooled Again.”


“BLESSÈD ARE YOU POOR.”
Continue reading Jesus’ outrageous parables

About the Parable of the Talents

Main points:
(1) God always provides more than you need.
(2) Use well what you’ve got now; only then will you get more.
(3) What you abuse, you lose.
(4) Absent a disease process, chronic poverty is not a natural condition.

I write as a man with next to nothing, concerned principally for others who have next to nothing.  God put me in this position for a reason.

I am strongly tempted to want to rename it “The Parable of the Bootstraps.”

Continue reading About the Parable of the Talents

The Parable of the Talents

(Originally posted 10/08/13.)

Matthew 25:

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24 “Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

26 “But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’[”]

On the one hand, I don’t believe Jesus ever said these words. (Link) On the other hand, I firmly believe in the principles expressed, and will have occasion to refer to this text many times.
talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger >

About the widow and the judge

Many people are skeptical about prayer.

How many have prayed fervently, day and night, for an ailing loved one, and never obtained the desired outcome?

The parable of the widow and the judge promises, “[W]ill not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.”  For African Americans, that deserves to be laughable.

No one has ever lived, nor is ever likely to live, more expert in prayer than Jesus.  I cannot believe he set forth a teaching either so completely wrong in itself or so subject to complete misunderstanding.

So what is wrong, and what is right?

Continue reading About the widow and the judge

The parable of the widow and the judge

Luke 18:

¹Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”