Friday, 16 December 2011


When I was a child I swallowed the Bible
Now I've digested, deliberated and cogitated the Bible
I've absorbed the good bits and ejected the shit
All you need from the Bible is the Golden Rule, be caring, don't hurt anyone.
 Don't name call but instead aim to speak in emotionally literate terms. You'll note that the Bible writers never got round to understanding such things because the language of their culture was at a more primitive stage.

Pope Francis quoted Matthew 24v20,“the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” which is quoting Isaiah 13v10 but the authors of those scriptures lived in pre -scientific times and knew very little about the universe around them. There is no chance of the sun being darkened for millions of years yet, the moon has no light of it's own but only reflects sunlight. If the sun was dark then we would not see the moon. Stars are far larger than Earth so there is no chance of them falling to Earth. If the Earth moved closer to the Sun life on Earth would soon die but no chance of that either. The authors had no comprehension of how far away the stars are. In what way could the heavens be shaken ? The only way to make sense of such a passage would be to redefine what the words meant. Did stars just mean asteroids or meteors ?
Maybe Pope Francis could have recommended that people who think Jesus was a prophet would do well to read about his ideas as recorded in the New Testament and at least pick out his best ones. I would recommend John 13v34, "A new commandment I give unto you: Love one another" or the golden rule of Matthew 7v12,"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets" ( though the golden rule existed long before the first century ) How about Romans 13v10 ( though it is uncertain who the author was ) "Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law"
What about 1 John 3v14,"We know we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Anyone who does no love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him" ? However I think this way of thinking is overly generalised. It is possible to have very mixed emotions towards another person, you can strongly agree with one thing they did or said and the next moment strongly disapprove of another thing they did or said. Also if you rightly view murder as abhorent then how can you approve of the idea of a hell ? A universalist view would be that a loving god would either take everyone to a happily ever after or let them cease to exist at death but are there any gods at all ?
Pope Francis might also have pointed out that a real god would do any terminating all by itself and would not need us humans to pick up weapons against each other. In fact there are examples in the Bible stories of supernatural terminations eg Exodus 32v25. Deuteronomy 32v35 has god say, "It is mine to avenge, I will repay all by myself" Ok I took some liberties there and altered it slightly, but I consider it an improvement. In the Exodus 32 story I think that Moses was seriously mistaken to order the Levites to slay their fellow Israelites if Moses imagined god was able to target those responsible for the golden calf with plague. Why didn't the Levites refuse to follow Moses order, saying that they feared it would be considered by god to be murder ? The story may be mostly fictional anyway.

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