Luke’s UNRELIABLE Passion Story: Part 2
WHERE WE ARE I am arguing that the Passion Narrative in the Gospel of Luke is historically unreliable. The Passion Narrative in Luke is found in Chapters 22 and 23 of the Gospel of Luke. I am beginning my careful examination with Chapter 23, which contains the following six parts: Part 1: Jesus Before Pilate (verses 1-5) Part 2: Jesus Before Herod (verses 6-12) Part 3: Jesus Sentenced to Death (verses 13-25) Part 4: Crucifixion of Jesus (verses 26-43) Part 5: Death of Jesus (verses 44-49) Part 6: Burial of Jesus (verses 50-56) In Part 1 of this series, I argued that the opening section of Chapter 23 (Jesus Before Pilate) was historically unreliable. Here is my conclusion about Luke 23 verses 1 through 5: In addition to seven general reasons for doubting the historical reliability of the Gospels, and in addition to another general reason for doubting the historical reliability of the Gospel of Luke (i.e. it begins with a FICTIONAL birth story and ends with a FICTIONAL stori ... Read Article
Did God Intervene And Prevent Trump’s Assassination?
Well, Trump is claiming God did. On Truth Social Trump's reaction to the events was: Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers yesterday, as it was God alone who prevented the unthinkable from happening. We will FEAR NOT, but instead remain resilient in our Faith and Defiant in the face of Wickedness. Our love goes out to the other victims and their families. We pray for the recovery of those who were wounded, and hold in our hearts the memory of the citizen who was so horribly killed. In this moment, it is more important than ever that we stand United, and show our True Character as Americans, remaining Strong and Determined, and not allowing Evil to Win. I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin. DJT Meanwhile, from Lara Trump @LaraLeaTrump , RNC Co-Chairman: Failed assassinations are certainly not inherently miraculous, but let's think about this. So, since normal people deal in probabiliti ... Read Article
Trump CLEARLY LOST the Debate: REASON #3
THREE REASONS WHY TRUMP CLEARLY LOST THE DEBATE ONE REASON why Donald Trump CLEARLY LOST the debate with Joe Biden, is that Trump lost the debate on the most important issue of the debate: Who was the worst president in the history of our nation? Biden made a good case for his claim that Donald Trump was the worst president that our country has ever had. So, Trump LOST on the most important issue of the whole debate (see my post "TRUMP’S LIES and the LYING LIARS Who Tell Them"). A SECOND REASON why Donald Trump CLEARLY LOST the debate with Joe Biden, is that Trump lost the debate on an issue that Trump believes (or pretends to believe) is one of the most important issues that our country faces: IMMIGRATION. Trump LOST the debate on issues concerning IMMIGRATION for one simple reason: Nearly every comment by Trump about IMMIGRATION was either a LIE or was BULLSHIT. I have provided details about the many LIES about IMMIGRATION that Trump made during the debate (see my post "Trump CLEA ... Read Article
The Rapture: Is it Biblical?
One of the hallmarks of contemporary conservative theology is the idea that Jesus will come and rapture (take away) the church during the End Times. See for example: But is the rapture Biblical, or read into the text artificially? Dr. Bart Ehrman, a Biblical scholar and New Testament specialist teaching at an accredited secular university doesn't thinks so. Ehrman comments: At that point I had come to realize that the whole idea of a “Rapture” in which the dead would rise to meet God and then the living believers in Jesus would be taken up to meet them all in the clouds was a metaphorical description of how in the final analysis, however the end comes, God will make right all that is wrong in this world. The passage is ultimately about how God is sovereign. This world may be a cesspool of misery and suffering now, but God will overcome all that is evil and will repay all who do it, and he will reward his faithful, somehow or other. It was a ... Read Article
Luke’s UNRELIABLE Passion Story – Part 1
THE PASSION NARRATIVES AND THE CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS Was Jesus crucified in Jerusalem about 30 CE? Did Jesus die on the cross on a Friday afternoon? Was his body placed into a stone tomb on Friday evening, after his crucifixion? Was his tomb found to be empty early on Sunday morning? Did a living, walking, talking, physically embodied Jesus meet with his disciples in Jerusalem on Sunday evening, a little more than 48 hours after his crucifixion? Did Jesus rise from the dead? According to Christian apologists, and to most Evangelical Christian believers, Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem about 30 CE; he died on the cross on Friday afternoon. His body was placed into a stone tomb on Friday evening, after the crucifixion; the tomb was found to be empty early on that Sunday morning, and a living, walking, talking, physically embodied Jesus met with his disciples in Jerusalem on Sunday evening, a little more than 48 hours after his crucifixion. They conclude that Jesus did actually rise from the ... Read Article
1/4 Americans Now Have No Religious Affiliation Christian communities face growing political divide as religious affiliation declines. More than a quarter of Americans now claim no religious affiliation, a finding from the Pew Research Center. That makes the so-called “nones” the largest bloc of Americans. For white Christians, the once-dominant group by far, there’s also been a growing political divide within communities as faith has receded. ... Read Article
Ricky Gervais and The Meaning of Life
Enjoy! ... Read Article
Trump CLEARLY LOST the Debate
ONE REASON why Donald Trump clearly lost the debate with Joe Biden, is that Trump lost on the single most important issue of the whole debate: WHO WAS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES? Biden claimed that Trump was the worst president that we have ever had, and Biden made a strong case for this strong claim. See my previous post "Trump's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" for the details on that issue. After watching the debate, NOBODY should vote for Trump, simply because in that debate Biden showed that Trump was the worst president that our country has ever had. This one single very important point is sufficient reason by itself to conclude that Trump LOST the debate. Today, I will give a SECOND REASON why Donald Trump CLEARLY LOST the debate with Joe Biden: ALMOST EVERYTHING DONALD TRUMP SAID ABOUT IMMIGRATION WAS EITHER A LIE OR WAS BULLSHIT. It is clear that Donald Trump believes (or pretends to believe) that one of the most important issues we face is ... Read Article
New Critique Of Richard Carrier and Mythicism is Out
Here is the presentation: Here are the corresponding peer reviewed articles (top two on list) ... Read Article
TRUMP’S LIES and the LYING LIARS Who Tell Them
We used to have Al Franken to point out many of the lies of the BIG FAT IDIOTS on the right (e.g. Rush Limbaugh) and the of the LYING LIARS (e.g. Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, and more recently the snivelling racist shithead Tucker Carlson). Franken is still pointing out the lying liars, but for the TRUCKLOAD OF LIES and bullshit that came out of Trump's mouth during the Presidential debate on Thursday, we should turn to major fact-checkers to find out what specific lies, exaggerations, falsehoods, and bullshit Trump spewed out in the debate: The Washington Post: "Trump made dozens of false claims, many of them his favorites. Biden made a few." The New York Times: The Associated Press: ... Read Article
The Bible and Education
All Oklahoma schools are now required to incorporate the Bible and the Ten Commandments in their curriculum, the state's superintendent announced. The Oklahoma memorandum follows a law in Louisiana passed June 19, that requires all public classrooms to display the Ten Commandments. A group of Louisiana parents and civil rights organizations are suing the state over the new law, contending the legislation violates both US Supreme Court precedent and the First Amendment. See the article HERE ... Read Article
FFRF, coalition sues over Louisiana law requiring public schools to display 10 Commandments
A group of nine Louisiana families with children in public schools filed suit in federal court today to block HB 71, a new state law requiring all public elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom. In their complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, the plaintiffs, who are Jewish, Christian, Unitarian Universalist and nonreligious, assert that the newly enacted statute violates longstanding U.S. Supreme Court precedent and the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. More than 40 years ago, in Stone v. Graham, the Supreme Court overturned a similar state law, holding that the separation of church and state bars public schools from posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms. No other state requires the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools. The plaintiffs in Roake v. Brumley are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, Americans United ... Read Article
Religion and Morality – Part 1: Divorce Rates
It is generally believed that religion makes people morally good, or that religion is a significant factor in making religious people morally better than non-religious people. Christians generally believe that the Christian religion makes Christians morally better than non-religious people. But there is a good deal of evidence that casts doubt on these widely held beliefs. One piece of evidence is this: DIVORCE RATES. Divorce is an important moral issue, at least from a Christian point of view. There are a few reasons for thinking divorce is a moral issue. First, marriage, at least for Christians, involves promises or vows. Keeping promises or vows or commitments is a part of being a morally good person. Second, one of the Ten Commandments prohibits people from committing adultery (at least that is how most Christians understand the Ten Commandments), so Christians and Jews view adultery as a serious moral evil. Cheating or sexual infidelity is a major cause or reason for divorce. Third, because c ... Read Article
Growing up in the fundamentalist evangelical flock I believed my Pentecostal pastor when he told me God had revealed to him that I, a scrawny little schoolgirl who came to church because I had nothing better to do, possessed the gift of divine healing. I placed my little hands with their nervously bitten nails and WWJD beaded bracelets on many a searching and desperate soul and imagined the incredible power of Jesus transmitting from my soul and through my fingers to reach their every complicated spiritual and physical ailment. No one ever jumped out of their wheelchair like they did at the televangelist megachurches on TV, but I didn’t dare doubt that magical healing would eventually take place. If it never did, I knew it was my fault for not having enough faith. I left Christianity behind in my early 20’s, much too far behind to pick it up again even as a crutch after I became disabled in a car accident at age 32. Rendered a complete quadriplegic I often found myself seeking and extending solidar ... Read Article
Part B Of My Exploration And Application of Robyn Faith Walsh’s Book Has Been Published
ABSTRACT: This is Part B of a three-part literary application and defense of Robyn Faith Walsh’s recent (2021) hypothesis that the Gospels are not, as is usually thought, the product of literate spokespersons conveying the oral tradition of their community, but rather are birthed out of networks of elite Greco-Roman-Jewish writers in dialogue with one another, not downtrodden illiterate peasants. For example, what if the empty tomb narrative did not originate in the oral tradition of a Christian community, but in empty tomb apotheosis narratives that the author had read from ancient novels like that of Chariton? As a literary test of a hypothesis, I ask what predictions we can make of the kinds of concepts that we should find in the New Testament on Walsh’s literary elite education model, compared to what we should find if the oral tradition model is correct. I show that Walsh’s approach is certainly plausible and makes good sense of the evidence, such as pervasive intertextual haggadic midrash (Jewish ... Read Article
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