Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, THAT THEY MAY HOLD A FEAST UNTO ME IN THE WILDERNESS. Exodus 5:1

Verse 3 goes on to say; "...let us go we pray thee, three days journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword."

This is the first of several encounters between Moses and Pharaoh and the rational Moses uses as his argument. Passover has not occurred. Yet, a springtime festival is of such importance Pharaoh must--let my people go lest he (God) fall upon us with a pestilence.

And what are springtime festivals? Celebrations of rebirth. Winter (death) has been overcome and life (metaphorically) reborn in the form of a god. The Sumerians had Tammuz (Dumuzid), the Egyptians Osiris, and the Greeks Dionysus, hundreds (and hundreds!) of years before Passover.

"Different references to Passover in the Torah as well as knowledge of other ANCIENT RITUALS that took place at the same time of year indicate that there may have been several origins of the Pesach festival. The ancient Israelites took what was originally one or more separate Canaanite spring holidays and imbued them with a HEIGHTENED SIGNIFICANCE when they made Pesach a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt." ~My Jewish Learning (see link)

A week ago Sunday was Easter and the oh so typical debate was rehashed; is Easter a pagan ritual? Christians deflect this inquiry (which can't be refuted at face value) with, "we aren't celebrating Easter, but Passover." This dodge falls flat once the origins of Passover become known however. The Jews themselves acknowledge the source of their spring festivals. The difference is simply they have infused the pagan ritual with "heightened significance."

So it is with Christians. They have taken what is older than written symbols (cuneiform and hieroglyphics) and recast it in another light. That Jesus was the only begotten (monogenes) Son of God who died and was resurrected. But the motif--the theme--is well known. The evidence in the form of springtime festivals in all cultures goes back thousands of years. (circa 3000 BC for the Sumerians) What is it about us (homo sapiens) that insists on eternal life? That death be overcome? What is it that seems to be in the very fabric of our DNA?

To Be Continued

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Was There a Resurrection

Alas, no. The Gospels contradict themselves so strongly it is obvious it did not happen. Lets look at the evidence.

(Note--it is assumed you are going to read the entire chapter referenced)

Matthew Chapter 28: Verse 6) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay 7) And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see him: lo, I have told you. 10) Then said Jesus unto them, "Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee and there shall they see me." 16) Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17) And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

Mark Chapter 16: Verse 7) But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8) And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulcher; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. (Note: the authenticity of verses 9-20 is very controversial. Google Mark 16: 9-20 to enter the fray.)

Luke Chapter 24 Verse 33) And they rose up the same hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them 36) And as they spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, "Peace be unto you." 49) "And, behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." 50) And he led them out as far as to Bethany and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them 51) And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52) And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy

John Chapter 20 Verse 17) Jesus saith unto her, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18) Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her 22) And when he said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." 26) And after eight days again the disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace be unto you." 27) Then he saith he to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." Chapter 21 Verse 1) After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself .

Acts Chapter 1 Verse 3) To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them 40 days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4) And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, "which" saith he, "ye have heard of me. 5) For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." 9) And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. Chapter 2 Verse 1) And when the day of Pentecost was come, they were in accord in one place; 4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The problems seem insurmountable to me. Matthew and Mark have the disciples going to Galilee. Luke, John and Acts have them remaining in Jerusalem. Luke has Jesus ascending in a single day; Matthew, Mark, and John don't specifically say; Acts in 40 days. Acts has the Holy Ghost coming on Pentecost while John has Jesus breathing the Holy Ghost on the disciples (v. 22 receive ye the Holy Ghost) the day of the resurrection. John even disputes himself with the supposed instruction to Mary Magdalene (v. 17 touch me not, for I have not ascended) versus Thomas. (v. 27 thy hand, and thrust it into my side) It is one thing to have minor discrepancies of eye-witnessed events. It is another thing
all together whether the event occurred in Los Angeles or San Diego, the 5th or 22nd of the month. Those aren't discrepancies; those are different stories altogether.

To Be Continued