Top 10 worst Bible passages
A list of the top 10 worst Biblical verse has been drawn up, which includes approval for sexism, genocide and slavery. Continue reading
A list of the top 10 worst Biblical verse has been drawn up, which includes approval for sexism, genocide and slavery. Continue reading
Many Christians are often fond of accusing Muslims of committing several honor killings in the name of Islam; they then use this line of argument as a reason to discredit Islam in their eyes. In this article we shall once again turn the table on the Christian showing that honor killings can be found in the Bible, and that the Bible is for honor killings! Hence by their own criteria, Christians will have to abandon their own book.
Let us now see the honor killings in the Bible:
Lev 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.
So note, if the priests daughter commits a bad sexual act, she is to be burned because of her fathers reputation, because it is against his honor. What will Christian say now? This is one example of honor killing in the Bible, in fact the act is ordered by the Bible itself.
“And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 21:17)”
“For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. (Leviticus 20:9)”
So here the children are put to death for insulting their parents,
this is another example of honor killings,
the children are put to death for dis-honoring their very own parents and the punishment is death.
So we have seen 3 examples of honor killings in the Bible, so since Christians always have a problem with honor killings and say Islam is wrong because of some Muslims who commit this act, then the Bible is also wrong for allowing honor killings which also makes their own God wrong, and if God is wrong then he cant God because God is always correct. Either way the Christian is in a bad dilemma.
Sam the greatest liar of 21century is accusing Quran to describe the miraculous conception of Jesus in a very graphic way. His accusation can be divide into following categories.
1- Quran uses the term ‘farj’ which is a person’s private [here Mary’s vagina] part in the context of conception of Jesus.
2- The conception of Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Quran, as described by the Tafasir is gross and abusive.
3- To whom the Quran refer in 66:12 as ‘he’.
Before I start, I want to inform the readers that when I am going to use the word ‘God’ to refer to ‘Allah’ and ‘Yaweh’for the God of the Bible.
Refutation of Allegation #1:
Sam claims that Quran uses the word ‘farj’ to mean Mary’s vagina and he furthur twisted the translations alleges that Allah breathed into Mary’s vagina through angel Gabriel. He quoted the verses of the Quran which talks about how Maryam (A.S) got pregnant. He quoted Surah 21:90-91,66:12 regarding the verses of Maryam’s conception of Jesus (A.S). To further cement his claim he also quoted 24:30-31 and 23:125 to mean ‘farj’ as private parts. For the sake of brevity, I would quote only 21:90-91 which talks about the conception of Jesus.
The verse says:
????????? ?????????? ????????? ??????????? ?????? ??? ????????? ?????????????? ?????????? ????? ???????????????
And [mention] the one who guarded her chastity, so We blew into her [garment] through Our angel [Gabriel], and We made her and her son a sign for the worlds.
Farj – used as an honour:
The angel breathed into the garment of Maryam (A.S) not in her vagina.
So doesn’t farj means a person’s private area?
Yes it does! But only when it is referring to private parts like in one of the Hadith (Sunan of Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2126). Arabs sometimes refer to farj in the context of chastity or honor. A narration below is one of the few examples.
A Shiite Muslim, Al-Kulayni (d. 329 A.H.) records;
?? ??? ??????? (?) ?? ????? ?? ????? ????: ?? ??? ??? ??????
It is narrated from Abu Abdullah –on his be peace- he said about the marriage of Umm Kulthum. So he said: “That this was the honor (farj) that was coerced from us” (al-Kafi 5/494 Narration no. 9536. Al-Majlisi has accepted it as authentic)
Now here Abu Abdullah (i.e. Hassain bin Ali) is talking about his sister Umm Kulthum and it needs no elaboration that a brother –who is a learned imam- would refer to his sister as ‘honor’ and will never refer to her privacy even in his imagination, let alone mention it to others.
Farj- used as an opening [here of the garment]:
Commentators use the word farj here as a narrow opening of Maryam’s garment [not vagina since every garment has opening and it makes more sense] not vagina because the word for vagina is ‘mahbil’, if angel blew into the Maryam’s vagina the word ‘mahbil’ would have been used but that’s not the case, use of the word farj has opened the gates of two meanings. According To Lane’s lexicon ‘farj’ also means an opening.
It is unanimously agreed by commentators that the term ‘farj’ here means ‘the narrow opening of Maryam’s garment’. Some of the examples include:
1. Al-Tabari (d. 310 A.H.) states, “It is the opening of her garment.” (Tafsir al-Tabari, 23/500).
2. Al-Qurtubi (d. 671 A.H.) says it refers her garment and not her private part. (Tafsir Al-Jami’ al-Ahkam al-Qur’an, 18/203)
3. Al-Zamakhshari (d. 538 A.H.) states it’s about her garment. (Tafsir al-Kashshaf 4/573)
4- Al-Suyuti (d. 911 A.H.) says the very same. (Tafsir Jalalayn 1/754)
Refutation of allegation #2:
Let us jump to Surah 19:22-23, where a similar verse describes the conception of Isa (peace be upon him) and let us see the relevant commentary of Tafsir Ibn Kathir in this regard. Note the word farj isn’t used in this verse; Surah 19:22-23 says,
“And she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.”
Ibn Kathir’s commentary:
Ibn Kathir remarks on these verses: “Allah, the Exalted, informs about Maryam that when Jibril had spoken to her about what Allah said, she accepted the decree of Allah. Many scholars of the predecessors (Salaf) have mentioned that at this point the angel (who was Jibril) blew into the opening of the garment [farj which also means an opening] that she was wearing. Then the breath descended until it entered into her vagina and she conceived the child by the leave of Allah.” (Online Source)
First we should dig in the term ‘spirit’. Tafsir Al-Jalalayn while commenting on S 38:72 defines it as something that gives life, from a hadith (Sahih Bukhari, Book #55, Hadith #549) that says that an angel come to write about a person’s lifetime and then blow his spirit to give life to fetus which is in the womb, similarly God of the bible also blew into Adam’s nostrils [Genesis 2:7]. It would be foolish to say that God love to breath in someone’s nostrils,Adam was there with God but Eisa (peace be upon him) was to nourish in the womb of Maryam (A.S). The breath itself reaches the uterus through vagina [as in case of Adam it was his nose, so it’s just an opening into the body] as this is only opening into the uterus!
Now it’s not mentioned anywhere that embryo Eisa was there in the womb when it happened. If you read furthermore, the Tafsir ibn Kathir says.
“After this, her menstrual bleeding ceased and she experienced what the pregnant woman experiences of sickness, hunger, change of color and there was even a change in the manner of her speech.”
It means Eisa (peace be upon him) wasn’t there in the womb of Virgin. Maryam(A.S) thus conceived her son through this breath which travelled through her vagina and into the uterus (womb), where Esa (peace be upon him) was nourished like every human born of a woman, Adam didn’t nourish in the womb of a female that’s why his spirit took the route of nostrils as the Bible says.
Refutation of allegation #3:
Sam in his gown of crusades alleged that to whom Quran refer to in 66:12, he remarked :
“The second problem is caused by the Arabic language. In Arabic, Allah does not say: ‘so we breathed into her of our spirit’, but ‘into him’. Who is it, into whom the spirit was breathed? The embryo ‘Isa? That is difficult to accept, for then ‘Isa would have existed in Mary’s womb already before the spirit was breathed into her. That would mean that Allah created ‘Isa before hand or that he existed before he was conceived. Both options are out of the question for Islamic scholars.
Who is it then, into whom the Spirit from Allah was breathed? IT IS ALMOST UNSPEAKABLE, but the last expression in the previous sentence, which is masculine in Arabic, IS THE EXPRESSION FOR MARY’S GENITALS. The literal meaning of Allah’s statement in Arabic is then, ‘so we breathed into her vagina [farj] of our spirit.’ This turns the stomachs of some of our readers.”
Surah 66:12 of the Quran reads:
?????????? ??????? ????????? ??????? ?????????? ????????? ??????????? ????? ??? ????????? ??????????? ??????????? ???????? ?????????? ????????? ???? ?????????????
Dr.Ghali: “And Maryam (Mary) daughter of Imran, who kept safe her private parts, (i.e., safeguarded) so We breathed in it of Our Spirit, and she sincerely (believed) in the Words of her Lord, and His Books; and she was one of the devout.”
Actually none of the translators translated as ‘unto him’ but as ‘there in(Pickthall) , in it (Dr.Ghali), into her (Yusuf Ali, Shakir)’.
Again the Sam is playing his dirty tricks to confuse the readers and exposes his bigot nature;
the word ????? (fihi) is used in this verse as a masculine singular object pronoun and means the farj[opening] of Maryam (A.S)’s sleeves or garments as garments are treated as masculine in Arabic. We have earlier proved that Isa (peace be upon him) wasn’t there in the womb of Maryam (A.S) and she conceived him after she received the breadth from Gabriel which blew into her garment not her vagina.
Before I come to the bone of contention i.e. Luke 1:35, let me reply to Sam’s argument on this verse.
My Response: The Greek word used in Luke 1:35 is ?p????µa? (Strong’s G1904-eperchomai), and in context of spirit coming upon someone is used only in Luke 1:35 and Acts 1:8, but the spirit when came upon the disciples in acts, one of the disciples of Jesus Mary Magdalene didn’t conceive any baby so it must have come upon them in a different way. The Luke 1:35 uses this word for explaining the impregnation of Mary, as something is coming upon her as a husband come upon his wife.
My Response: The term overshadow doesn’t always mean that a person is shadowed by some cloud, we should have to see the context also as to where and why the word is used and what possible meanings it may have, which I have discussed below.
The Catholic view about the birth of Jesus can be put in a nutshell by this simple picture.
Holy Ghost hovered over Mary exhorted creative energy on her womb while Yahweh was overshadowing her with clouds and boom! Jesus was conceived. Infact, early church fathers gave many theories which we will view in the later text and this isn’t the first place where God of the bible sounds pornographic, the intention of God to have martial relationship with his people is also reflected in.
In Ezekiel, God compares Bride Israel to a young woman, using some striking imagery to describe his love for her:
Then you grew up, became tall, and reached the age for fine ornaments; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown.Yet you were naked and bare.Then I passed by you and saw that you were ready for love; so I SPREAD MY CLOAK OVER YOU and covered your nakedness. I swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became mine, declares the Lord God. – Ezekiel 16:7-8
The phrase “spread my cloak over you” was a Hebrew euphemism for conjugal relations (see Ruth 3:9). This passage should give us an idea of the basic goodness of the marital act as God designed and intended it.
Ruth 3:9 : And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: SPREAD THEREFORE THY SKIRT OVER THINE handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
The phrase indicates receiving and acknowledging her as a wife.
Due to the nebulous and somewhat graphical language of Luke 1:35 several theories are proposed depending which sect of Christianity you are talking about, since Catholics aren’t the only Christians in the scene.
The language of Luke 1:35 made some Christians (Mormons) to believe that Yahweh was sexually involved with Mary. Luke 1:35 states, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon you and the power of the most high (Yahweh) will overshadow you. This makes some Christian to come to conclusion when Holy ghost came upon Mary she became unconscious and Jehovah had an intercourse with her.
To further explain as to why he reach this conclusion on Luke 1:35, he said,
Luke 1:35 says that holy ghost will come upon Mary and the power of the most high will overshadowed her. A Christian source remarked, ‘overshadowed’ is just another delicate discreet way of saying a man got on top of a woman, casting his shadow over her, and entered her with his penis and ‘made love’ to her. This is just the good old-fashioned missionary way of producing babies. The woman gets ‘overshadowed’…or as King Solomon via the Holy Spirit said… His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. (Song of Solomon 2: 6) Because her lover is over top of her…. and he is overshadowing her …..’and his banner over me was love’ (2: 4).Do clouds penetrate into the womb ?…. Does gas produce babies ? The answer obviously NO. The Lord created sperm to break thru the egg of a woman to combine with the cell of a woman to reproduce into a new body for a new soul. That’s the Lord’s biology, that’s His embryology. That’s the Lord’s sexuality.
Mathew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is CONCEIVED IN her is of the Holy Ghost.
And the conception happened INSIDE Mary’s womb.
Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was CONCEIVED IN THE WOMB.
Some Christians are of the view that Holy Ghost was the spouse of Mary. Can a spirit have sex with humans? According to a Christian source, there is a possibility, according to Zohar [a book on Jewish kaablah] and the Alphabet of Ben Sira [wrote by Jesus bin Sirach], Lilith was Adam’s first wife who later became a succubus[female demon]. She left Adam and refused to return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with archangel Samael (who was an angel) and according to another source, even Pope Sylvester also had a sexual relationship with a succubus. However, Catholics kept this relationship in just spiritual realm;
Saint Maximillian Kolbe say that the relationship between the Spirit of God and the Theotokos is redolent of a marriage in the following ways: As a husband and wife become “one flesh” in marriage (Genesis 2:24) yet remain distinct persons, so Mary and the Spirit are two distinct persons who share a deep spiritual union. As human spouses cooperate in giving life to their children, so, analogously, the Spirit and Mary “cooperate” in communicating spiritual life to us. (H.M. Manteau-Bonamy, The Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit: The Marian Teachings of Saint Maximillian Kolbe (Libertyville, IL: Franciscan Marytown Pr, 1977 ) , So how does husband and wife become one? Of course after sexual intercourse .Levi Jones, associate pastor of theology in U.S.A see the impregnation of Mary analogous to Zeus’s relationship with Leda.
As said earlier it is possible that a spirit can have sexual relationship with a human. However, Jesus is refereed to son as the son of Yahweh i.e. born of Yahweh’s sperm or semen and the spirit act as a vector in transferring the sperms of Yahweh into Mary’s womb probably in an old fashioned way. We see that Holy Spirit can take physical forms such as dove, thus it possible that it came upon her and overshadowed her. According to a source, Holy Spirit is also designated as the most high and he was the one overshadowing her and ejaculating the seed of Yahweh into her. Some Christian may say if this copulation then Mary is no longer a virgin which goes against Isaiah 7:14, Oh really? The word used for defining the virginity of Mary in the New Testament is pa?????? (strong’s G3933-parthenos), however! It also mean a marriageable maiden; Infact in Septuagint, this term is also applied for woman who are already deflowered women and harlots.
As for Isaiah 7:14, the R.S.V. 1952 Bible which was produced by Thirty-two scholars of highest eminence, and reviewed by fifty representatives of cooperating denominations, gives its translation as;
“Behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Imman’u-el.”
And in the footnote to this verse it says;
“Young woman, Hebrew ‘almah, feminine of ‘elem, young man (1 Sam.17.56, 20.22); the word appears in Gen.24.43; Ex.2.8; Ps.68.25, and elsewhere where it is translated “young woman,” “girl,” “maiden.”
(The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version 1952, Edited by Herbert G. May and Bruce M. Metzger, Oxford University Press, New York 1962)
In a book Unveiling God’s Presence in the Bible By Tommy C. SEAY, he claims that it was the angle Gabriel sexually involved with Mary and this claim is inspired by his holy ghost (pg297-301). Bible Review Magazine 1902-1903 By Harry et al Wright, he claims that when ghost came upon both both Mary and Joseph when they were in bed and clouds overshadowed them, they committed sex unconsciously and this how Jesus was born (pg.113-114). All these books can be read on Google books.
Early Church fathers unable to understand how Mary became impregnated with Jesus, posed different drawings. One of them was that a Yahweh is oozing semen from his mouth through a tube which is going beneath Mary’s skirt.
Even the spirit brought the breath of God, there was no sex at all, the conception was totally spiritual etc etc. The point is that Luke 1:35 is at the time so graphic and nebulous that it made Christians to came up with some nasty and promiscuous thoughts about the conception. On the other hand, Quran is very clear and free of such imagery. Christians should check their own sources before criticizing ours. Infact, both Mathew and Paul never made any claim about the virgin birth, why? I leave this answer to the Christians.
Qur’an refers to Mary, the most chaste woman ever in the most excellent manner and in the language befitting the Divine Majesty. This is why Muslims never have had any graphical or immodest description of her conception, whereas the Biblical description speaks of a human mind behind the narrative which brings in a mental picture which has lead to all the non-sense shown above. And perhaps all this was a reflection of Greek mythology cf. Zeus’ relation with Leda.
Whatever is given in the “Lets see What Bible says” section is just a showing of the mirror to Christian missionary haters of Islam otherwise neither the author of this post and nor any Muslim can ever think of anything remotely akin to it. No Muslim is a Muslim if he has any such imagination about the purest and greatest woman of all times.
300 Changes In The NIV & Other Modern Bible Versions
Note: The word “Bible” comes from the Koine Greek word “biblios” and it simply means the same as the word “book” in English. Nowhere in the Bible do we find the word “Bible.” However, it is interesting to note the word “kitab” (Bible in Arabic) appears many times in the Quran, referring to the Bible and the People of the Book (Jews and Christians).
Let me begin by saying that the King James “version” of the Bible is in English. There was no English language until the year 1066 AD when the Normans invaded the Saxons. Therefore the English Bible cannot be anything like what any of the prophets spoke or understood, as it did not exist in their times.
Next, my grandfather, who was a devout and wonderful Christian man gave a gift of the Holy Bible to my sisters and I almost fifty years ago. It was an authorized version of the Bible, being The Revised Standard Version of the Bible which was a revised version of the American Standard Version, published in 1901, which was a version of the King James Version, published in 1611, which was revised and corrected for the first time in 1612, etc. I was very much impressed with the easier to read text and clarification of some of the wording which was presented in this version and began to read the Bible on a daily basis for hours at a time. The removal of the Elizabethton English terms, phrases and expressions made the Bible a more accessible and understandable and intimate Book for me. But that is not all the RSV did for me and many others, as well.
My love and respect for the Word of God increased the more that I spent time reading and understanding the message. The Bible became my most prized and respected book in my life. I often turned to it throughout the rest of my life in times of joy, happiness, sadness, troubles and pain. It was my compass, my road map, my weather vane and my friend. However, there were still some problems with this IMPROVED VERSION of the Holy Bible. It began to disturb and concern me to the extent that I made consultation with my father, who was also an ordained minister and student of the Bible since childhood. Based on his research and background in the origin and sources for modern day Christianity, I began to go deeper into the problems which had plagued my thinking and faith since childhood.
I prayed to Almighty God and then found the answers to some of the problems were spelled out very clearly in the very beginning of the exact same book. I have that book lying in front of me on my desk as I write this article and would like to quote to you from some of the PREFACE page iii and iv:
“The King James Version has with good reason been termed ‘the noblest monument of English prose.’ Its revisers in 1881 expressed admiration of ‘its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of express… the music of its cadences, and the felicities of its rhythm.’ It entered, as no other book has, into the making of the personal character and the public institutions of the English-speaking peoples. We owe to it an incalculable debt.”
“Yet the King James Version has grave defects. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the development of Biblical studies and the discovery of many manuscripts more ancient than those upon which the King James Version was based, made it manifest that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for a revision of the English translation. The task was undertaken, by authority of the Church of England, in 1870. The English Revised Version of the Bibles was published in 1881-1885; and the American Standard Version, its variant embodying the preferences of the American scholars associated in the work, was published in 1901.”
“Because of the unhappy experience with unauthorized publications in the two decades between 1881 and 1901, which tampered with the text of the English Revised Version in the supposed interest of the American public, the American Standard Version was copyrighted, to protect the text from unauthorized changes. In 1928 this copyright was acquired by the International Council of Religious Education, and thus passed into the ownership of the churches of the United States and Canada which were associated in this Council through their boards of education and publication.”
“…. decision was reached that there is need for a thorough revision of the version of 1901..””In 1937 the revision was authorized by vote of the Council.”
“Thirty-two scholars have served as members of the Committee charged with making the revision, and they have secured the review and counsel of an Advisory Board of fifty representatives of the co-operating denominations.”
“Each section has submitted its work to the scrutiny of the members of the charter of the Committee requires that all changes be agreed upon by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the Committee.”
“The problem of establishing the correct Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Old testament is very different from the corresponding problem in the New Testament.”
“For the New Testament we have a large number of Greek manuscripts, preserving many variant forms of the text. Some of them were made only two or three centuries later than the original composition of the books.”
“For the Old Testament only late manuscripts survive, all (with the exception of the Dead Sea Texts of Isaiah and Habakkuk and some fragments of other books) based on a standardized form of the text established many centuries after the books were written.”
“The present revision is based on the consonantal Hebrew and Aramaic text as fixed early in the Christian era and revised by Jewish scholars (the ‘Masoretes’) of the sixth to ninth centuries. The vowel signs, which were added by the Masoretes, are accepted also in the main, but where a more probable and convincing reading can be obtained by assuming different vowels, this has been done.”
“… vowel points are less ancient and [less] reliable than the consonants.”
“Departures from the consonantal text of the best manuscripts have been made only where it seems clear that errors in copying had been made before the text was standardized.”
“Most of the corrections adopted are based on the ancient versions [translations into Greek Aramaic, Syriac, and Latin], which were made before the time of the Masoretic revision and therefore reflect earlier forms of the text.”
“Sometimes it is evident that the text has suffered in transmission, but none of the versions provides a satisfactory restoration. Here we can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text.”
“Many difficulties and obscurities, of course, remain.”
“Where the choice between two meanings is particularly difficult or doubtful, we have given an alternative rendering in a footnote.”
“If in the judgment of the Committee the meaning of a passage is quite uncertain or obscure, either because of corruption in the text or because of the inadequacy of our present knowledge of the language, that fact is indicated by a note.”
“It should not be assumed, however, that the Committee was entirely sure or unanimous concerning every rendering not so indicated.”
“To record all minority views was obviously out of the question.”
“The King James Version of the New Testament was based upon a Greek text that was marred by mistakes, containing the accumulated errors of fourteen centuries of manuscript copying.”
“It was essentially the Greek text of the New Testament as edited by Beza, 1589, who closely followed that published by Erasmus, 1516-1535, which was based upon a few medieval manuscripts.”
“The earliest and best of the eight manuscripts which Erasmus consulted was from the tenth century, and [yet] he made the least use of it because it differed most from the commonly received text; Beza had access to two manuscripts of great value, dating from the fifth and sixth centuries, but he made very little use of them because they differed from the text published by Erasmus.”
“We now possess many more ancient manuscripts of the new Testament, and are far better equipped to seek to recover the original wording of the Greek text. The evidence for the text of the books of the New Testament is better that for any other ancient book, both in the number of extant manuscripts and in the nearness of the date of some of these manuscripts to the date when the book was originally written.”
The words are in plain English. The second paragraph says it all, “Yet, the King James Version has grave defects.
Therefore, we must conclude the “King James Version” is NOT the Actual Bible sent by God to mankind.
Copyright © By Dr. Adel Elsaie, Book Title: “History of Truth, The Truth about God and Religions“
Verses deleted from bible :: Proof Bible Edited by Human
Dr. Adel Elsaie
I was reading the Holy Bible, Easy-To-Read Version – Matthew 18:10-14. I found that the number of verse 11 existed with no text! The footnote for this verse states that some Greek copies add verse 11: “The Son of Man came to save lost people.” I could not believe it. Some Greek copies add a verse and some don’t. So the Easy-To-Read Version decided against including this verse. Why? Isn’t the Bible the “inspired Word” of God that no verse should be added, removed, or changed?
I started investigating this problem by looking at footnotes! I was shocked that this is a common problem in the Word of God. Many of the following verses also do not exist in American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, and New Revised Standard. These verses exist mainly in King James Version. The Text that is added or deleted is italicized.
The serious question about the above deleted verses is: Who added them in the beginning? And why? There are big sections that added in Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53 to 8:11. These are clear evidence that the Church has tampered with the New Testament. Are the above verses “inspired corrections,” “inspired additions,” or “inspired deletions.”? You decide!
Richmond, Virginia (CNN) – If Jesus were tried in Richmond, Virginia, today, would he have been sentenced to death? Or would he have faced life behind bars with no chance for parole?
That’s the choice given to jurors here recently.
During Lent, the Church of the Holy Comforter used Virginia law to retry the sentencing phase of the blasphemy case against Jesus of Nazareth. Church members and guests played the role of the jury.
The trial was the brainchild of Mark Osler, a former U.S. Attorney in Detroit who teaches at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis and is friends with a member of the Richmond church.
Osler wanted to hold the trial in part to call attention to the state’s use of capital punishment. Virginia is second only to Texas in the number of executions per state since the mid-1970s, when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty, according to federal statistics. He held a similar event in Texas a few years ago.
“For many of us our faith, as it relates to policy especially, is often unexamined,” Osler said “We’re surrounded by people who feel the same way, and what we need to do is have it be troubled at least and see if that takes us someplace different.”
The mock sentencing phase was held the night before Palm Sunday.
Osler played the part of Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest in the biblical narrative of the trial. In that account, Jesus had no defense council. But on this night, Osler faced off against Jeanne Bishop, a real-life public defender from Chicago.
“Jesus was indigent,” Bishop said. “And so I think [Osler] wanted a public defender to underscore the point that this is a man with no money, no resources, no position in society.
“Most of the people that I represent fit that description.”
“He also wanted to have a young African-American man play Jesus, and that’s what we have tonight. Most of clients look exactly like this young man who will be sitting beside me,” she said.
The night was bittersweet for Bishop. “My younger sister, her husband and their unborn baby were murdered 21 years ago today, the day before palm Sunday.”
In 1990, Nancy Bishop Langert was killed during a home invasion in Winnetka, Illinois. Her death was part of the reason Jeanne Bishop became a defense attorney and an outspoken opponent of the death penalty.
Even before her sister’s murder, Bishop said, she was against the death penalty. “When my sister and her husband and their baby were killed, my immediate response was, ‘No more killing, no more bloodshed, please let it stop right here.’”
Osler is also against the death penalty. It was a decision he said he reached as a prosecutor while sitting in church one Sunday.
“They read John 8, about stoning the adulteress, and I’m like everyone else – when I hear a story like that, I put myself in the role of Jesus. A lot of prosecutors who are Christians who talk about that will say, ‘Jesus said go and sin no more.’ And what I came to eventually is, ‘I’m not Jesus. I’m part of the mob. I’m somebody with a stone in my hand.’
“I think that story is very direct that we don’t have the moral authority” to execute prisoners, Osler said.
Playing the role of prosecutor and asking jurors to condemn Jesus to death was difficult for Osler.
“It’s very dark to have the prosecutor in me go to war with the faith [in me]. There’s a cynicism you need to be a good prosecutor,” he said. “It’s been in some ways a troubling enterprise, and I didn’t see that coming.”
“We don’t have a script,” Osler said shortly before taking the stage at the Church of the Holy Comforter. “We’re approaching this the way trial lawyers would. I haven’t known what her theory of the case is or what her arguments will be, and she doesn’t know mine. That’s the way it really works. It’s not a play. It really is a trial in that sense.”
As the audience took their seats, Bishop leaned over and whispered to her client, a teenager from the church who sat beside her in a dark blazer and khaki pants.
William G. Broaddus played the role of the judge. He was Virginia’s attorney general for six months after his predecessor stepped down to run for governor. During that time, five defendants were executed in Virginia.
“We will now call the case of the Commonwealth of Virginia versus Jesus of Nazareth,” Broaddus bellowed from the pulpit. “I will remind you this man has already been found guilty of the criminal charge of blasphemy.
“Tonight it is your duty to determine the proper punishment,” he told the jurors.
The attorneys each called two witnesses. The prosecution called Peter, one of Jesus closest disciples, and a rich young ruler whom Jesus urged to sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor, here though the witness was played by a woman from the congregation. The defense called a centurion whose slave Jesus had healed, as well as Malchus, a high priest’s slave whose ear was cut off by Peter then reattached by Jesus.
The sentencing trial followed the rhythms of a standard criminal case. Bishop spoke gently yet firmly as she questioned the witnesses, her line of questioning seeking to emphasize Jesus’ acts of compassion and mercy.
Osler was forceful and tried to paint Jesus as a rebel who sought to rend the fabric of society. He also played heavily on the issue of slavery in his questioning.
Richmond was an international slave port prior to the Civil War – a fact not lost on members of the audience, who quietly bristled or frowned when Osler brought it up. He repeatedly reminded them that while Jesus healed the centurion and high priest’s slaves, he did not set them free.
In her closing argument, Bishop told the jury that Jesus loved his enemies. “A man who showed such compassion is at least deserving of your compassion at this moment,” she said.
Osler rebutted that Jesus had “poked a hole in the fabric of society. Are you going to let it tear or are your going to keep it a small hole?” he asked as he tore a hole in his own pressed, white button-down shirt to gasps in the crowd.
After the closing arguments, the audience broke into several juries of 12. Following the Virginia state statutes, they had two votes to consider. First: “Do you find that there is a probability that, if not executed, the defendant would commit criminal acts that would constitute a continuing serious threat to society?”
If they answered yes to that question, they were instructed to move on to the second: “In the light of all mitigation, is a death sentence warranted?” Both questions required a unanimous vote.
In one of the juries, 11 members quickly agreed the answer to the first question was yes, but there was one holdout. The other jury members began to press her in favor of the prosecution. Eventually they were successful.
“I think he’s convincing,” an older woman on the panel said of Osler, adding, “I didn’t like myself for thinking that.”
As the judge told the crowd they had just five minutes left to deliberate, the noise in the sanctuary grew louder and more heated.
The votes were taken and the jury forms passed forward.
The judge stepped forward and read the verdict.
“Jesus please stand,” he said.
He read the first question aloud and said, “The majority of the juries have found that should be answered in the affirmative.”
It meant the juries thought Jesus would blaspheme again if not executed.
“Turning then to the next question,” he said. “The majority of the juries voting on that issue found that the death sentence is not warranted.”
There was applause from the audience.
“The defendant is remanded to the jailer for the rest of your natural life.”
And with that the trial ended.
(CNN) – A frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.
“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul – says in the Bible’s 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy.
There’s one just one problem – Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.”
“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.In “Forged,” Ehrman claims that:
* At least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries.
* The New Testament books attributed to Jesus’ disciples could not have been written by them because they were illiterate.
* Many of the New Testament’s forgeries were manufactured by early Christian leaders trying to settle theological feuds.
Were Jesus’ disciples ‘illiterate peasants?’
Ehrman’s book, like many of his previous ones, is already generating backlash. Ben Witherington, a New Testament scholar, has written a lengthy online critique of “Forged.”
Witherington calls Ehrman’s book “Gullible Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.”
All of the New Testament books, with the exception of 2 Peter, can be traced back to a very small group of literate Christians, some of whom were eyewitnesses to the lives of Jesus and Paul, Witherington says.
“Forged” also underestimates the considerable role scribes played in transcribing documents during the earliest days of Christianity, Witherington says.
Even if Paul didn’t write the second book of Timothy, he would have dictated it to a scribe for posterity, he says.
“When you have a trusted colleague or co-worker who knows the mind of Paul, there was no problem in antiquity with that trusted co-worker hearing Paul’s last testimony in prison,” he says. “This is not forgery. This is the last will and testament of someone who is dying.”
Ehrman doesn’t confine his critique to Paul’s letters. He challenges the authenticity of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John. He says that none were written by Jesus’ disciplies, citing two reasons.
He says none of the earliest gospels revealed the names of its authors, and that their current names were later added by scribes.
Ehrman also says that two of Jesus’ original disciples, John and Peter, could not have written the books attributed to them in the New Testament because they were illiterate.
“According to Acts 4:13, both Peter and his companion John, also a fisherman, were agrammatoi, a Greek word that literally means ‘unlettered,’ that is, ‘illiterate,’ ’’ he writes.
Will the real Paul stand up?
Ehrman reserves most of his scrutiny for the writings of Paul, which make up the bulk of the New Testament. He says that only about half of the New Testament letters attributed to Paul – 7 of 13 – were actually written by him.
Paul’s remaining books are forgeries, Ehrman says. His proof: inconsistencies in the language, choice of words and blatant contradiction in doctrine.
For example, Ehrman says the book of Ephesians doesn’t conform to Paul’s distinctive Greek writing style. He says Paul wrote in short, pointed sentences while Ephesians is full of long Greek sentences (the opening sentence of thanksgiving in Ephesians unfurls a sentence that winds through 12 verses, he says).
“There’s nothing wrong with extremely long sentences in Greek; it just isn’t the way Paul wrote. It’s like Mark Twain and William Faulkner; they both wrote correctly, but you would never mistake the one for the other,” Ehrman writes.
The scholar also points to a famous passage in 1 Corinthians in which Paul is recorded as saying that women should be “silent” in churches and that “if they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home.”
Only three chapters earlier, in the same book, Paul is urging women who pray and prophesy in church to cover their heads with veils, Ehrman says: “If they were allowed to speak in chapter 11, how could they be told not to speak in chapter 14?”
Why people forged
Forgers often did their work because they were trying to settle early church disputes, Ehrman says. The early church was embroiled in conflict – people argued over the treatment of women, leadership and relations between masters and slaves, he says.
“There was competition among different groups of Christians about what to believe and each of these groups wanted to have authority to back up their views,” he says. “If you were a nobody, you wouldn’t sign your own name to your treatise. You would sign Peter or John.”
So people claiming to be Peter and John – and all sorts of people who claimed to know Jesus – went into publishing overdrive. Ehrman estimates that there were about 100 forgeries created in the name of Jesus’ inner-circle during the first four centuries of the church.
Witherington concedes that fabrications and forgeries floated around the earliest Christian communities.
But he doesn’t accept the notion that Peter, for example, could not have been literate because he was a fisherman.
“Fisherman had to do business. Guess what? That involves writing, contracts and signed documents,” he said in an interview.
Witherington says people will gravitate toward Ehrman’s work because the media loves sensationalism.
“We live in a Jesus-haunted culture that’s biblically illiterate,” he says. “Almost anything can pass for historical information… A book liked ‘Forged’ can unsettle people who have no third or fourth opinions to draw upon.”
Ehrman, of course, has another point of view.
“Forged” will help people accept something that it took him a long time to accept, says the author, a former fundamentalist who is now an agnostic.
The New Testament wasn’t written by the finger of God, he says – it has human fingerprints all over its pages.
“I’m not saying people should throw it out or it’s not theologically fruitful,” Ehrman says. “I’m saying that by realizing it contains so many forgeries, it shows that it’s a very human book, down to the fact that some authors lied about who they were.”
|Posted by: John Blake – CNN Writer|
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