(3201) Unraveling the skein of salvation

The Bible offers so many concepts and requirements for the salvation of humankind that it causes conscientious Christians a headache to try to figure out which one is the operative model. The following explores the source of this confusion:


I should like now to briefly explore the issue of salvation and some of the more flagrant biblical contradictions regarding it. (Although the term “salvation” might be taken in various ways, I shall herein construe it, as nearly all fundamentalists do, to mean simply being “saved” by Jesus and provided with a blissful afterlife following physical death.) Perhaps the four most notable examples of such contradictions are these: according to Isa. 33:14, Matt. 13:40-42, and Rev. 14:10-11, unsaved sinners are eternally tormented, whereas according to Ezek. 18:4, Matt. 7:13, and Luke 13:3,5 they are not; John 12:32, Rom. 5:18, and 1Tim. 2:4,6 imply that everyone will get saved, while Matt. 7:13-14 and Luke 13:23-24 suggest the opposite; although Isa. 46:9-11, Jer. 10:23, and John 6:44,65 indicate that salvation is totally predestined by God, Matt. 25:34-40, Luke 10:25-37, and John 5:28-29 intimate that it is not; and finally, John 3:36 states that one who believes in God’s son but who has never repented will be saved, whereas Luke 13:3 suggests that repentance is mandatory for salvation. (I should hasten to add that for each of the passages cited here, multiple others could be provided so as to support the claim that the “Good Book” is virtually bursting at the seams with contradictions of the given sort.)

Moreover, as Theodore Drange has observed, “The Bible not only contradicts itself on the topic of salvation, but it may do so in as many as four different ways.” (Original italics)[8] Those ways, two of which pertain directly to the last pair of contradictions just mentioned, may be summarized as follows: (a) what it is that people are saved from; (b) whether or not everyone will eventually be saved; (c) whether or not salvation is completely predestined by God (as opposed to being in some way or another contingent upon what people do and/or believe during their earthly lives; and (d) what condition(s) one must satisfy in order to be saved.

According to Morris and Clark, “Personal faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the victorious Savior from sin and death is the means by which salvation is received.” Well, what, exactly, constitutes this “faith,” and, more specifically, what, precisely, qualifies as sufficient faith (i.e., the precise amount, depth, or degree of faith which is required for salvation)? Is one merely to profess this faith in the presence of his congregation or peers and thereby be saved? No, say the authors: one must sincerely believe in his heart that Jesus (and Jesus alone) is his Lord and Savior. If he is to be spared from everlasting torture, he must, as Morris and Clark put it, “trust completely” in, and “rely fully” upon, Jesus.

Also, add the authors in a later section, he must believe that Jesus rose from the dead and that he is both able and willing to save him; obey his will (whatever that might be) at all times; adhere as strictly as possible to all of his laws (presumably the Ten Commandments and all the moral teachings contained in the Bible); and generally entrust to him both his earthly existence and whatever awaits him in the hereafter (become, literally, his “bond-slave”).

Within the framework constructed by Morris and Clark, let us now examine these claims more closely. One obvious criticism is that, according to their definition of sufficient faith, not only are those who adhere to a religion other than Christianity (or, still worse, adhere to no religion at all) destined to burn forever in the fiery depths of hell, but even those who claim to be Christians, yet fail to meet each of the requirements put forth above, shall be cast into the insufferable flames of Hades. Needless to say, this view seems awfully harsh, and it hardly reflects the belief held by most Christians that if one is simply a “good person,” then salvation shall be his. Are we really to believe that even decent, upstanding, church-going Christians (along with all those who subscribe either to a faith other than Christianity or to no faith at all, many of whom are never even introduced to the Bible or Jesus’ teachings) who don’t “rely fully” upon Jesus as their Lord and Savior shall be damned to hell for eternity? What if one relies almost fully (so close to “fully,” in fact, that he is right on the border of possessing such a reliance) upon Jesus, and similarly trusts Jesus almost completely? Is he, too, strolling obliviously down that broad road which leads directly to the “everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 24:41; Rev. 20:10)?

And what about the man who does rely fully upon (and trust completely in) Jesus for all of his childhood, adolescence, and the preponderance of his adult life, but who, upon reaching old age, begins to have doubts about the truth of the gospel message (perhaps due to Alzheimer’s disease or some such mind-debilitating illness) shortly before his death? Is he also headed straight for Lucifer’s abode? What if those doubts are of the most negligible and fleeting sort imaginable (but are still great enough to ever so slightly diminish the strength of his faith) and occur but a mere week, or a day, or even an hour before his death? What conclusion are we to draw concerning his fate? Certainly these are immensely significant questions, ones which deserve (but do not receive) adequate answers from the authors.

God is supposedly not the author of confusion, though he is thought to be the author the Bible, and the Bible is a font of confusion, certainly on the topic of salvation, which is the most critical reason for its existence. This leaves the skeptic to wonder how an omniscient god could produce such a shoddy product.

(3202) Jesus changed in the tomb

The gospels give some very enigmatic stories of Jesus’ followers seeming not to recognize him after he resurrected, and also his movements became different as he de-materialized at times, walked through walls, floated up into the sky, and so forth. None of this happened prior to the crucifixion, so why and how did Jesus change in the tomb? The following was taken from:


Jesus must have much changed in the grave, for his disciples did not know him when he stood on the shore (John xxi. 4), and Mary, most attached to him, knew him not, but supposed that he was the gardener. According to the First Gospel, Jesus appeared to two women after his resurrection, and afterwards met eleven of his disciples by appointment on a mountain in Galilee. When was this appointment made? The text on which divines rely is Matthew xxvi. 32; this makes no such appointment. According to the Second Gospel he appeared first to one woman, and when she told the disciples they did not believe it. Yet, on pain of indictment now and damnation hereafter, we are bound to unhesitatingly accept that which the disciples of Jesus rejected.

By the Second Gospel we learn that instead of the eleven going to Galilee after Jesus he came to them as they sat at meat. In the Third Gospel he first appeared to two of his disciples at Emmaus, and they did not know him until they had been a long time in his company — it was evening before they recognized him. Unfortunately, directly they knew him they did not see him, for as soon as they knew him he vanished out of their sight. He immediately afterwards appeared to the eleven at Jerusalem, and not at Galilee, as stated in the First Gospel. Jesus asked for some meat, and the disciples gave him a portion of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb, and he did eat. Jesus was afterwards taken up into Heaven, a cloud received him, and he was missed. God is everywhere, and Heaven no more above than below, but it is necessary we should believe that Jesus has ascended into Heaven to sit on the right hand of God, who is infinite and has no right hand.

It almost seems like the gospel authors were hedging their bets about the resurrection, leaving open the option that it was more of a vision than a fully flesh and blood reanimation of his corpse. The expectation is that he should have been instantly recognizable to all who knew him and that the scope of his physical movements would have been unchanged from before his death. On the whole, the gospels are not good sellers of the resurrection, at least in the manner that most Christians believe.

(3203) Apocalypse of Peter

The Apocalypse of Peter or Revelation of Peter is an example of popular early Christian apocalyptic literature. Once a serious candidate for inclusion in the New Testament, it was considered scripture by several ancient Christian authorities, including Clement of Alexandria, but was lost to history for more the 1500 hundred years until its rediscovery near the turn of the twentieth century.

It was probably written in the first half of the second century and was focused on a comparative description of heaven versus hell. The descriptions of how people will be tortured in hell are shown in the verses below:

20. And over against that place I saw another, squalid, and it was the place of punishment; and those who were punished there and the punishing angels had their raiment dark like the air of the place.

21. And there were certain there hanging by the tongue: and these were the blasphemers of the way of righteousness; and under them lay fire, burning and punishing them. 22. And there was a great lake, full of flaming mire, in which were certain men that pervert righteousness, and tormenting angels afflicted them.

23. And there were also others, women, hanged by their hair over that mire that bubbled up: and these were they who adorned themselves for adultery; and the men who mingled with them in the defilement of adultery, were hanging by the feet and their heads in that mire. And I said: I did not believe that I should come into this place.

24. And I saw the murderers and those who conspired with them, cast into a certain strait place, full of evil snakes, and smitten by those beasts, and thus turning to and fro in that punishment; and worms, as it were clouds of darkness, afflicted them. And the souls of the murdered stood and looked upon the punishment of those murderers and said: O God, thy judgment is just.

25. And near that place I saw another strait place into which the gore and the filth of those who were being punished ran down and became there as it were a lake: and there sat women having the gore up to their necks, and over against them sat many children who were born to them out of due time, crying; and there came forth from them sparks of fire and smote the women in the eyes: and these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion.

26. And other men and women were burning up to the middle and were cast into a dark place and were beaten by evil spirits, and their inwards were eaten by restless worms: and these were they who persecuted the righteous and delivered them up.

27. And near those there were again women and men gnawing their own lips, and being punished and receiving a red-hot iron in their eyes: and these were they who blasphemed and slandered the way of righteousness.

28. And over against these again other men and women gnawing their tongues and having flaming fire in their mouths: and these were the false witnesses.

29. And in a certain other place there were pebbles sharper than swords or any spit, red-hot, and women and men in tattered and filthy raiment rolled about on them in punishment: and these were the rich who trusted in their riches and had no pity for orphans and widows, and despised the commandment of God.

30. And in another great lake, full of pitch and blood and mire bubbling up, there stood men and women up to their knees: and these were the usurers and those who take interest on interest.

31. And other men and women were being hurled down from a great cliff and reached the bottom, and again were driven by those who were set over them to climb up upon the cliff, and thence were hurled down again, and had no rest from this punishment: and these were they who defiled their bodies acting as women; and the women who were with them were those who lay with one another as a man with a woman.

32. And alongside of that cliff there was a place full of much fire, and there stood men who with their own hands had made for themselves carven images instead of God. And alongside of these were other men and women, having rods and striking each other and never ceasing from such punishment.

33. And others again near them, women and men, burning and turning themselves and roasting: and these were they that leaving the way of God

The fact that the torture methods in this text are so macabre combined with the acceptance of it as authentic scripture by many prominent Christian authorities of the 2nd Century is a testament to the prevailing belief at that time that hell was a venue for applying torturous and targeted punishment to the unsaved heathens. That is in stark contrast to mainline Christians today who envision hell as a sad, but painless ‘separation’ from God (who is everywhere?). This is another indication that scriptures hypothetically being written today would be very different from those written in the 1st and 2nd centuries. Humanity has moved on but the Bible and related documents of its time remain mired in a callous disregard for basic compassion and empathy.

(3204) Witch hunts used for recruitment

There is solid evidence that Catholic and Protestant churches used witch hunts as a means to recruit followers in a form of competition. Tens of thousands of innocent women died in this atrocity. And God watched with folded arms. The following was taken from:


The Salem witch trials of the 1690s have an iconic place in American lore. But before the Salem witch hunt, there was the “Great Hunt”: a larger, more prolonged European phenomenon between 1560 and 1630 that led to 80,000 accusations and 40,000 deaths.

Why’d it happen? Well, as with the Salem witch trials, there are a lot of theories. In the past, scholars have suggested that bad weather, decreased income, and weak government could have contributed to the witch trial period in Europe. But according to a new theory, these trials were a way for Catholic and Protestant churches to compete with each other for followers.

In a forthcoming Economic Journalarticle, economists Peter Leeson and Jacob Russ lay out their argument that the two churches advertised their finesse at persecuting witches as proof that they were the best church to join if you wanted protection from Satan. Witches, after all, were doing the bidding of Satan; so getting rid of them was a way to protect people from him.

“Similar to how contemporary Republican and Democrat candidates focus campaign activity in political battlegrounds … historical Catholic and Protestant officials focused witch-trial activity in confessional battlegrounds during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation to attract the loyalty of undecided Christians,” Leeson and Russ write. These “battlegrounds” were places where Protestantism had made inroads, giving Christians a choice about which church they wanted to belong to.

To bolster their point, the authors point out that from about 900 to 1400, the church didn’t want to acknowledge the existence of witches; and consequently, it didn’t try people for witchcraft. In 1258, Pope Alexander IV even prohibited the prosecution of witchcraft. Yet a few centuries later, the church reversed its decision. According to the economists, it was because of the Protestant Reformation.

Beginning in 1517, the Reformation split the church into two factions: Catholic and Protestant. Suddenly, these two churches had to compete with each other for followers, and they did so by using the attention-grabbing witch trials as perverse advertisements for their brand.

Leeson and Russ argue that this helps explain why areas where Protestantism spread saw more witch trials than solidly Catholic regions. Germany, where Protestantism began, accounted for 40 percent of these persecutions. Switzerland, France, England, and the Netherlands—all countries where Protestantism spread—accounted for 35 percent. But only six percent of persecutions took place collectively in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland, all regions that were more solidly Catholic.

The economists argue that witch hunts declined in the late 17th century thanks to the Peace of Westphalia. That 1648 treaty ended two religious wars, including the Thirty Years War, and established a new balance of power in Europe. It also gave Protestantism and Catholicism a religious monopoly on certain regions, eliminating the need to compete for followers by persecuting witches.

Still, some witch trials did continue between 1650 and 1700. Leeson and Russ suggest this may have been because people had become accustomed to witch trials, and sincerely believed them to be a way of protecting their communities from Satan.

Using witch trials to attract followers is only possible when the belief in witches is widespread. In the same vein, people “will only continue to demand witch trials if that belief continues,” Leeson and Russ write. The scientific revolution “may have eventually eroded popular belief in witchcraft, eroding popular demand for witchcraft prosecutions along with it.”

Three elements were needed to combust this butchery- a wide-spread belief in the existence of witches and a schism between Catholics and Protestants. And one final element- a god who didn’t care that his followers were killing women for no good reason, or a god who didn’t exist. The latter option is astronomically more likely to be true.

(3205) They disbelieved but we must believe

Notice that in the following scriptures, the disciples did not believe that Jesus had resurrected when first told of this event:

Mark 16:9-13

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.

Luke 24:9-11

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

Yet, people today are condemned to eternal torture if they don’t believe.

How do these situations compare:

1) The disciples spent at least one year with Jesus, so there was no ambiguity about his actual existence. Today, there is some doubt about whether Jesus even existed as a real person.

2) The disciples witnessed numerous miracles performed by Jesus. Obviously no one today has had that privilege.

3) The disciples heard that Jesus had risen by direct eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen him that very day. All people have today are ancient scriptures saying that it happened.

4) The disciples heard Jesus announce that he would resurrect on the third day, the very day that they received the report that he had.

The disciples believed only when they saw the risen Jesus, something nobody today has seen. Yet, they were sent to heaven, while disbelievers today are sent to hell. Christianity wants you to believe in the resurrection offering much less evidence than what the disciples had when they disbelieved. To be sure, isn’t there something intrinsically unfair about this situation?

(3206) Spirit of the Lord is for killing

It is interesting that whenever the spirit of the Lord descends on someone in the Bible, it is usually a prelude to that person killing someone. This is counter to how Christians today use the term, where it now means that the receiver of the spirit will gain insight and forbearance. The following was taken from:


According to the Bible, what happens when the Spirit of the Lord comes upon somebody?

Well, the short answer is this: a Spirit-possessed person usually kills things.

The phrase (“the Spirit of the Lord came upon him”) occurs only 8 times (in 7 verses) in the Bible. Let’s see what happens in each case.


The Spirit of the Lord came upon Othniel and he went to war. (The same thing happened to Bush.)

And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war. Judges 3:10


When the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, he blew a trumpet. That sounds innocent enough (even if a little crazy). But Gideon (with God’s Spirit) used the trumpet to summon soldiers to war. (For details about the war see Gideon’s story: The Lord set every man’s sword against his neighbor)

But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet. Judges 6:34


When the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, he killed his daughter as a burnt offering to pay God back for providing him with “a very great slaughter.”

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah … And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. … and the LORD delivered them into his hands. And he smote them … And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances … And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth. And … her father … did with her according to his vow which he had vowed. Judges 11:29-39


Samson had God’s Spirit on him three times. Each time he kills something: first a lion, then 30 men, and finally 1000 men.

Behold, a young lion roared against him. And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid. Judges 14:5-6

And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him … and slew thirty men. Judges 14:19

And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him … And he found a new jawbone of an ass … and slew a thousand men therewith. Judges 15:14-15

Saul and David

The Spirit of God was on Saul until he refused to kill all the Amalekites as commaded by God in 1 Samuel 15:2-3. For refusing to commit genocide, God took away his Spirit from Saul, sicked “an evil spirit from the Lord” on him, and transferred his Spirit over to David, where it remained forever. (In a previous post I described some of the things a person can do when the Spirit of God comes on him.)
The Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. 1 Samuel 16:13-14

Generally Christians want the spirit of the Lord to come upon them, so it is an embarrassment that the Bible authors interpreted this phrase to mean God sanctioning murder.

(3207) The murder trial analogy

Christians place unblemished trust in the veracity of the four biblical gospels, telling the story of Jesus, despite nobody knowing for sure who wrote them or where the authors got any of their information. The following analogy illuminates the folly of this uncalled for confidence.


You seem to trust what the Gospels say is what actually happened. I want to understand why. I have an analogy that I think might help. Suppose I hauled you into court on a murder charge, and the only evidence I had against you was a bunch of letters that described you murdering the victim in vivid detail. Of course you would ask who wrote those letters. I answer, “Joe, Mike, Bob, and Dan.” You then ask, “Who are they?” And I answer, “I donʼt know for sure.” Thatʼs a dead end, so you would ask, “How do they know any of the things they claim in those letters?” And I answer, “I donʼt know. They never say exactly where they are getting any of their information.” Okay. Imagine that happened to you. Would you conclude that I had a convincing case against you? Do you believe the jury should conclude that you committed the murder those letters describe you committing?”

If the evidence doesn’t fit, you must acquit. The suspect in the court case above would certainly walk free, but a believer in the gospel case should be convicted of gross gullibility. The quality of the evidence in no way matches the certainty proclaimed by resurrection believers.

(3208) Dishonor thy father and thy mother

The Fifth Commandment is “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

However we read in the gospels the following statement by Jesus:

Luke 14:26

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple.”

It is difficult to determine how a person could hate this father and mother and yet honor them at the same time. This is serious contradiction.

Christian apologists have tried to mollify this problem by stating that the word ‘hate’ in Luke means just to be willing to separate from them if necessary to follow Jesus, but lexicographers disagree. It is the definite word for hate, which even in the most painless connotation means to disregard their opinion about matters. This euphemistic interpretation still violates the Fifth Commandment.

(3209) God promises to rape women

If someone needs another reason to dislike Yahweh, they need only read Isaiah Chapter 3 where he promises to coercively expose women’s bodies. The following was taken from:


The Lord will harass attractive uppity women by exposing their private parts.

“Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.” (Isaiah 3:16–17 KJV)

The New International Version covers up this embarrassing passage with “make their scalps bald” in place of “discover their secret parts [Hebrew: poth = vagina].” Other translations are more honest: The Orthodox Jewish Bible has “lay bare their nakedness,” Amplified Bible “stripped naked,” Complete Jewish Bible “expose their private parts,” Common English Version “uncover their private parts,” and Living Bible “expose their nakedness for all to see.” Even if “daughters of Zion” is a metaphor for Israel, it is a metaphor of sexual assault.

To forcibly remove a woman’s clothing to expose her private parts is a form of rape. This is not a close call. Christians can complain, ignore, or make excuses, but the truth is that this scripture is sufficient evidence to convict Yahweh of rape. The Bible was clearly written before bodily autonomy became a thing.

(3210) Healing for show

If we take the Bible at it’s face, Jesus was able to cure people at will, with no restrictions regarding his power to do so. But it seems that he performed healings strictly as a way to burnish his credentials as a god-man and not in a broad sense of compassion for the afflicted. The following was taken from:


People say that Jesus was a healer, but that was only when there was someone to see it. He only healed a few people when he could’ve healed literally everyone on Earth of all their ailments. Shit he could’ve even just healed a couple towns, and he would be a better person than he is in the Bible.

Imagine a town is starving and you have enough food to feed the entire world for centuries and you only give a starving kid food when everybody’s watching. He’s a sick bastard who could’ve actually helped people very easily at no cost to himself and he said no.

This would be like someone driving through an impoverished town full of starving people while driving a truck containing thousands of meals, but distributing them only to those who happen to be walking along the road, then leaving town with almost a full load, and then throwing away the remaining meals. To help someone with the intent solely to increase your own fame is not a true expression of compassion. Jesus’ visit to the earth was lost opportunity to improve the condition of humanity.

(3211) The Door

Christianity operates like a well-tuned scam, to take people’s money, time, and effort for a payout that is promised but never actually delivered. The following analogy illustrating this argument was taken from:


Imagine that there is a door in a building that (I say) only I can open.

I tell you that you will be pampered and taken care of forever once you get in. It’s a big party, 100% fun. However, you have to give me your money, time, and effort to get in, and you have to act in ways that I approve of until you can get in. You can only speak well of me and of the room. You can’t ask questions about the room, and certainly can’t ask about what awaits you there, nor ask for proof. Once you go in, you’ll never come back.

Does this sound like a scam to you? What are the possibilities that I’m making this up? What do I get out of it, and what do you get out of it? Is the room one big party, or empty, or is it one really big meat grinder?

The promise that you can go to heaven if you make certain sacrifices to your earthly life would be a good deal if heaven actually existed. But there is no proof. And if it is truly a scam, as it appears to be to the un-indoctrinated (to be real, how can you think without a brain, see without eyes, hear without ears?, etc.), then it is the most immaculate deception ever visited upon humankind.

(3212) Four reasons why Yahweh does not exist

In the following, four reason are presented that in total prove that Yahweh, the god of the Bible, is fictional:


There is more than sufficient evidence to conclude that the god of the Bible is man made.

First Evidence: Part of a forgotten pantheon

Yahweh, the god of the bible, worship has been dated back to the bronze era, it was part of polytheistic worship, of which 99% of the gods and goddesses which were worshiped along side him has faded away. Yahweh being part/heading of now what is seen as a pantheon false gods, who not only referenced them but even acknowledged their existence which is evident in scripture. If Yahweh is real, then all the rest of gods are as well and the inverse would be correct as well due to his heavy association with them.

Second Evidence: favoritism

The god of the bible is blatant with his favoritism, favoritism that lines up perfectly with the main people who worshiped him and created him.

Third Evidence: His evolution

The god of the bible did not start off as a high god or even a monotheistic one, there is very strong physical evidence of him even having a wife, he started off as a storm and warrior god which then got conflated with the Canaanite high god El, becoming depicted as a high god, but still for the isrealites, he then changed again as society changed, from a war commanding deity to one of peace, now in modern times he is now depicted an omni being that exists outside of time and space, from a god that required blood sacrifices to a being outside of time and space.

Fourth Evidence: Acts very human

Nothing about the god of the bible shows an all knowing all powerful being, from petty jealousy, commanding needles bloodshed, being homophobic, sexists, having regrets, making mistakes, getting angry, to failing and even having a wife, being a clear product of the time he was created, mirroring the culture and people of that time.

All of this evidence is sufficient to conclude that Yahweh, the god of the bible, is just another man made deity like Asherah or Baal.

Most Christians are unaware of this information or they summarily dismiss it to protect their faith. But anyone who studies the origin of Yahweh belief and the way it progressed over time, and considers it in an objective manner, can conclude with consummate confidence that Yahweh, the god of the Bible and the god Christianity, does not exist.

(3213) Apostolic succession failure

The New Testament makes it very clear that miracles were to continue even after Jesus left the earth. According to the scriptures, Jesus gave them this power and they used it even after Jesus was gone, as documented in the following:

Matthew 10:7-8

As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

In Acts 3, Peter heals a lame man who miraculously gets up and walks.

In Acts 5, Peter miraculously strikes Annias and Sophera dead when they withhold some of their funds instead of giving it all.

Also in Acts 5, it talks about he apostles working wonders:

Acts 5: 12-16

The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people, and with one accord the believers gathered together in Solomon’s Colonnade. Although the people regarded them highly, no one else dared to join them. Yet more and more believers were brought to the Lord—large numbers of both men and women.

As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and all of them were healed.

The following was taken from:


The RCC’s entire basis for their authority is that Jesus gave his apostles authority to teach and to hear sins. I don’t need to cite the passage, any (former) Catholic knows this. They also use the part in Acts where Judas got replaced as evidence.

Ok ok. That’s fair, I guess. But oh wait, Jesus also gave them the ability to perform miracles. So why isn’t that passed down? Why don’t bishops have magic powers? Or at least the top bishop. The Pope should be able to use magic and do healings.

It’s almost as if the one part that could be objectively proven just…didn’t get passed on. Hmm. Wonder why.

So the problem for apologists is to explain why the successors of the apostles can no longer work these types of miracles today. There have been many tales of miracles being performed, but what hasn’t happened is any miracle that is indisputable and peer reviewed. Especially today, there should be video recordings of these occurrences.

It seems that the pope, priests, and others have become impotent and are unable to continue the miracle healings that the first apostles performed. Did Jesus intend for the miracle works to end with Jesus’ closest followers, and then for it to be lost to the world for the remaining centuries? This seems somewhat dubious. The apostolic succession has failed.

(3214) God, the pedocidal monster

In the following scripture, God orders the murder of children in Jerusalem who obviously have no responsibility for the matters that are upsetting him:

Ezekiel 9:3-11

Then the glory of the God of Israel rose from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side. “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem,” said the LORD, “and put a mark on the foreheads of the men sighing and groaning over all the abominations committed there.”

And as I listened, He said to the others, “Follow him through the city and start killing; do not show pity or spare anyone! Slaughter the old men, the young men and maidens, the women and children; but do not go near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.”

So they began with the elders who were before the temple.

Then He told them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go forth!”

So they went out and began killing throughout the city.

While they were killing, I was left alone. And I fell facedown and cried out, “Oh, Lord GOD, when You pour out Your wrath on Jerusalem, will You destroy the entire remnant of Israel?”

He replied, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of bloodshed, and the city is full of perversity. For they say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.’But as for Me, I will not look on them with pity, nor will I spare them. I will bring their deeds down upon their own heads.”

Then the man clothed in linen with the writing kit at his side reported back, “I have done as You commanded.”

Christians will complain, ‘but that’s in the Old Testament.’ Well, OK, then why don’t you cut the Old Testament out of your bible?

(3215) A nobody, a rock star, or a magician

If it is assumed that Jesus was a real person, there exist three main possibilities:

– he was a relatively unknown preacher as suggested by the lack of accounts written by historians of his time.

– he was a famous and influential evangelist who caught the attention of luminaries, as suggested by the gospels.

-he was a magician, who performed real magic tricks defying the laws of physics, as further suggested by the gospels.

The following discusses these three possibilities:


The current state of evidence regarding the origins of Christianity can be explained by a relatively insignificant itinerant preacher, who founded a cult that languished in obscurity for a few decades after his death, then experienced rapid growth. It could also be explained by a mystery cult built around a mythical god-man who “died for our sins” in the mythical “long long ago in a galaxy far far away”, which was only later changed into “a few generations ago in Jerusalem”. Neither of these models is perfect, and despite what some religious apologists might assert, neither one is universally accepted by the relevant historians. It could even have resulted from the merger of a few cults from column A and a few from column B. Any, all, or none of these God-men may have been known as Yeshua in the early years of their cult. Given the paucity of evidence, it’s hard to distinguish between these explanations.

What we can rule out with a fair degree of certainty, however, is the Rockstar Terrorist Jesus you get if you take even half of the non-magical claims of the gospels seriously. The man who preached before crowds of hundreds of thousands of people, who attracted the attention of the most influential people in the region, who lead an armed raid on Jerusalem’s temple complex, and who both the Sanhedrin and the Roman courts apparently thought was important enough to completely ignore all their own traditions in order to convict him. There are plenty of historians active in that place and time who would have noticed a guy like that, and absolutely none of them did. Any hypothesis which includes Rockstar Terrorist Jesus must account for how every one of them managed to miss somebody that impressive while noticing relative nonentities like Appollonius.

Of course, if we’re talking about “Jesus”, the main character of the gospels, we’re not just talking about a man with political powers, but magic powers as well. Even establishing the existence of Rockstar Terrorist Jesus would not be sufficient to establish the existence of Magic Superman Komodo Dragon Vampire Hovercraft Jesus. Somebody who attempts to assert the historicity of this figure has to contend with every problem of the Rockstar Terrorist Jesus hypothesis a hundred times over, and also explain why the laws of physics decided to take a vacation.

The historical record of the time, while extensive, is far from perfect. There are plenty of gaps in which a nobody from nowhere, who did nothing of any significance, and said nothing that any literate witness would have thought worthy of writing down, might be hiding. But if this hypothetical person didn’t perform any of the deeds attributed to a character, and there’s no record of them saying any of the quotations attributed to that character, and they don’t share a name or a birth place or even a zodiac sign with that character, in what meaningful sense can anyone claim that this hypothetical person is that character? And why should anyone care?

An objective historian would have to default to the most likely explanation- that Jesus was not famous and was not able to bend the laws of physics, but whose reputation enjoyed an explosive embellishment decades after his death by superstitious people who saw a need, a desire, or an opportunity to establish the Jesus myth. Once the movement started, time had passed sufficiently that physical evidence was no longer required to mushroom the myth into what it is today.

(3216) God, the defiant king

The following scripture paints Yahweh as an arrogant ,autocratic dictator who demands that he never be questioned or challenged. It is one of the most dehumanizing set of verses in the Bible. A skeptic is left to consider whether an actual god would demean humans in this manner.

Isaiah 45:9-12

Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker—

one clay pot among many.

Does the clay ask the potter,

‘What are you making?’

Does your work say,

‘He has no hands’?

Woe to him who says to his father,

‘What have you begotten?’

or to his mother,

‘What have you brought forth?’ ”

Thus says the LORD,

the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:

“How dare you question Me about My sons,

or instruct Me in the work of My hands?

It is I who made the earth

and created man upon it.

It was My hands that stretched out the heavens,

and I ordained all their host.

Could a real god be this hurt, this indignant, this condescending to life forms that are a mere spec compared to his grandeur? No, it seems more as someone on the same level who is upset that he is not receiving the star treatment that he thinks he deserves. This scripture is a hint that we are reading an author who is imagining god as a defiant king who feels mistreated, rather than a celestial, all-powerful deity.

(3217) John 3:16 is a joke

Christians swoon over John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

But wouldn’t a god who truly loved the world have done a bit more? Perhaps this verse should read as follows:

For God so loved the world, that he rid the planet of disease and genetic defects, deleted hell, revealed himself to everyone so as to end religious conflict, stopped natural disasters, cured paralyzed people, restored the environment to pristine conditions, and ended world hunger and poverty.

An all-powerful god who does nothing to assuage the ongoing suffering of people, and then dangles a post-death reward only to those who mostly by luck of birth believe in him while eternally torturing everybody else is not expressing love in any sense that registers as being even remotely authentic. John 3:16 is a joke.

(3218) Can God do something that is not good?

This is a question that goes to the heart of Christian theology, which commands that God should be worshiped and should not be judged. But this philosophy is stretched to the limit by observing God’s actions in the Bible. Can we still call these things good, or do we retreat and say they are not good by today’s standards, but were OK back then? This is a big conundrum for Christianity that is commonly overlooked by pastor and parishioner alike. The following was taken from:


I recently asked the question, “Is it wrong to burn people to death?“, and although there was a lot of discussion about it in the comments, there was no clear answer from any believer. The best (and pretty much only) answer seemed to be that yes, it is wrong to burn people to death today, but it wasn’t wrong back in the day when God told people to do it and did it himself on occasion. You see, back then there were no laws against it and it was an accepted form of punishment. God was just doing and telling others to do what everyone else was doing. What could be wrong with that?

It reminded me of the “answer” given by John Yoo when asked by John Conyers if there was anything the president could not order to be done to a suspect if it was necessary for national defense. When Mr. Yoo refused to answer, Conyers asked, “Could the president order a suspect to be buried alive?” Of course that question wasn’t answered either.

So it got me thinking. Is there anything that the God of the Bible could do that a believer wouldn’t call good? Could he, for example:

  1. Bury people alive?
    Korah, Dathan, and Abiram … came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me …. If these men die the common death of all men … then the LORD hath not sent me. But if the LORD make … the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass … that … the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up…. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. Numbers 16:27-34
  2. Burn people to death?
    And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense. Numbers 16:35 (See here for more examples.)
  3. Burn people forever after they die (but keep them alive to torture them)?
    The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God …he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone … And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever. Revelation 14:10-11
  4. Force parents to eat their children and friends to eat each other?
    And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. Jeremiah 19:9
  5. Force people to kill their brothers and eat themselves?
    Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts … no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm. Isaiah 9:19-20
  6. Force people to cut off their noses and women to pluck off their breasts?
    And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears. … Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and thou shalt … pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 23:25-37
  7. Kill a newborn baby to punish its parents?
    Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. 2 Samuel 12:14
  8. Dash little children to pieces and rip up pregnant women?
    Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. Hosea 13:16
  9. Cause birth defects and spread dung on peoples’ faces?
    Behold, I will corrupt your seed and spread dung upon your faces. Malachi 2:3
  10. Order a woman’s hand to be cut off “without pity” for touching a man’s genitals?
    When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her. Deuteronomy 25:11-12

Of course, this is just a sample of what God has done. See here for a more extensive list of biblical cruelties.

Are all of these things good just because God did them?

Very few Christians alive today would consider these 10 acts of God to be good, so that leaves them clinging to the fallback position that what is right or wrong changes with time, and that they were acceptable in biblical times, but not now. This forces Christians into a box that they abhor- the idea that morality is relative. Anyway you look at it, they have some problems here reconciling their inner feelings with the dogma that is being forced down their throats. This is not an easy time to be a Christian. And if all else fails they simply say that whatever God does is good, even if anyone else doing the same thing would be bad. The obsequiousness of such reasoning is embarrassing.

(3219) God can’t add to the Bible without revealing himself

The newest addition to the Bible was written about 1800 years ago. Apparently at that time God decided that he was finished inspiring authors and that there was nothing more to say. But this seems suspicious.

Wouldn’t there be more to provide humankind as society has evolved over the past 18 centuries, involving such issues as gay marriage, women’s rights, environmental stewardship, media consumption, euthanasia, animal rights, universal health care, drug use, etc. and especially some guidance on which denominations have the correct theology?

Note that if anyone today wrote a book and declared it to be inspired by God and that it should be added to the Bible, they would be laughed out of town. And yet, what makes the situation today any different than if somebody had done the same thing 1800 years ago.?

The crucial problem is that there is no central authority for deciding the credentials of any written product. Except, in the 4th Century, a group of men decided to take on that role and made what amounted to a decisive political (by popular vote) decision of what books were inspired versus those that were not. This action virtually capped what the Bible could contain and it also made it nearly impossible for anything else to ever be added.

If God wanted to insert another book into the Bible, how could he do it? Clearly it would take a miracle of unmistakable importance to garner a universal acceptance- which is something way more spectacular than what happened in the 4th Century.

What can be gleaned from this is that the Bible is captive even in the eyes of a god who would like to add more, because in so doing he would have to reveal his existence to the entire world, something he has been loathe to do. So God, if he exists, is hamstrung by his preference to be hidden from providing any updated scriptural revelations to the world.

(3220) Minimal facts failure

Many Christians have been convinced by the minimal facts argument that Jesus probably rose from the dead as depicted in the gospels. This assumes three ‘facts’ -that are usually taken at face value but are not well authenticated, and even if they were, the conclusion of a resurrection would be unfounded. The following was taken from:


As I understand it, the minimal facts argument takes for granted that Jesus was buried in a tomb, the tomb was later found empty, and his followers claimed he appeared to them afterwards. These are taken for granted on the basis that many academic biblical scholars believe these facts to be most likely true. Based on these facts, the argument says it is reasonable to conclude that Jesus probably was resurrected.

I’m not sure exactly how many biblical scholars would accept these facts (that’s a question better asked on r/academicbiblical) but I’m assuming for the sake of argument that these facts are true. Jesus was buried in a tomb, the tomb was later found empty, and some of his followers claimed he appeared to them afterwards.

But I still don’t think these facts can form a reasonable basis for claiming that Jesus was most likely resurrected from the dead. This is because we have no empirical basis for believing that resurrecting is even possible. We can’t prove it’s impossible, but I don’t think it is ever reasonable to conclude that an explanation lacking any empirical basis is more likely than other explanations that we can verify as being empirically possible. And I think Christians who rely of the minimal facts argument would generally agree with this, but are making a single exception in the case of Jesus (a special pleading fallacy).

To explain further, I think it should first be noted that there are literally infinite explanations that can be posited that adequately explain any past data. This is an implication of the problem of underdetermination in science.

So when determining what explanations are most reasonable, you need a way of ruling out some of these infinite possible explanations. I think one very simple and obvious rule would be to prefer possible explanations that we can empirically verify are possible over explanations that lack an empirical basis.

So for example, when investigating a murder you should prefer “the butler did it with the knife” over “a ghost did it using telekinesis.” This is because we can empirically verify that it is possible for a person to kill another using a knife, but we have no empirical basis for ghosts or telekinesis are things that actually exist. They might exist, but until such things can be verified it is reasonable to prefer explanations based solely on things that are empirically verifiable.

I think this holds true even if one doesn’t know of any empirically verifiable explanation. Like if you see a magician make a card seem to disappear, even though you might not be able to think of any way to do the trick without having magic powers, you are still not justified in concluding that the magician actually has magic powers. It would be more reasonable to think that some unknown physical manipulation of the card is the more reasonable explanation even though you don’t know how that would have been possible.

And this logic seems to be used by everyone including Christians when it comes to evaluating all other historical testimony not concerning Jesus. Herodotus, known as the father of history, is a key source for a lot of what is known about the ancient world. But whenever he says something that is lacking any empirical basis, historians (Christian and secular) do not accept that part of his testimony as being likely true. For instance he said that Scyllias deserted to the Greeks by swimming ten miles under water, that the temple of Delphi magically defended itself with animated armaments, lightning bolts, and collapsing cliffs, and that a sacred olive tree which had been burned up by the Persians grew a new shoot an arm’s length in a single day.

This is why secular scholars can accept that Jesus may have been a faith healer and exorcist (because we see faith healers and exorcists practicing today). They can accept that he might have been charismatic and gained a large fervent following, and that his followers made up stories about him after his death. But they cannot accept that he walked on water or had other magic powers because we have no empirical basis for saying that such things are possible. In fact I would defy Christians to present other non-Christian things lacking empirical basis that they believe to be true solely on the basis of testimony.

So getting back to the minimal facts arguments, it’s easy to think of many possible explanations that explain all of those facts yet rely solely on explanations that can be empirically verified as things that can possibly happen. I can think of several such explanations of the top of my head, maybe the body was stolen, maybe the body was hidden by his followers to protect it, maybe his followers experienced grief hallucinations, maybe a Jesus lookalike came on the scene after the fact, maybe Jesus had a secret twin like in The Prestige, etc. Or if we stray from the minimal facts, maybe the stories about his burial were later inventions, maybe the stories of his followers were legends, maybe the Christ myth theory is true. I would consider any of these possibility (plus many more I could think of) to be more reasonable to believe than an explanation lacking empirical basis such as a resurrection. I wonder where Christian proponents of the minimal facts theory would disagree with this logic?

And if you do disagree and say that we should consider explanations without empirical basis on the same basis as explanations verified as empirically possible, then I would wonder how you would determine which of these should be accepted? Because I can also posit countless explanations that lack an empirical basis but would explain all of the “facts.” Maybe it was a time traveler with technology to make himself look like Jesus, maybe it was aliens coming to earth, maybe Jesus was a highlander and was immortal unless beheaded, etc. How would you rule out these possibilities or come to conclude that resurrection by God was more likely?

We can safely say that the minimal facts argument is very weak and that it leaves open many alternative possibilities. The facts themselves are in dispute and poorly supported by evidence ,and even if they are taken at face value they do little to support the miracle of a resurrection.

(3221) The alien analogy

The is a gaping disconnect between what Christian purport to believe about the Bible and how they use it. This is illuminated by the following analogy:


Imagine this scenario: One day, you’re sitting in your living room idly watching reruns, when all of a sudden time freezes – your clocks stop, birds flying past your window are suspended in mid-flight – and a glowing portal opens up in front of you. Through it, you can see a group of alien beings watching everything that’s happening in the world on a giant computer screen – everything from your great-aunt brushing her teeth at home, to world leaders conducting top-secret meetings in undisclosed locations, to your own self staring dumbfounded at the portal – and from what you’re seeing, it’s clear that these alien beings are somehow monitoring and perhaps even controlling all the major events in the world. One of these beings turns toward you, says something in a strange language, and then hands you a thick sheaf of papers, before closing the portal and leaving you alone again in your living room. After a moment of shocked silence, you look down at the sheaf of papers and see some writing on them indicating that their contents explain not only who these alien beings are, but where they come from, what they are doing, what they want, and even the secrets of how they are able to see everything at will.

How do you respond to this situation? Do you [A] realize that the significance of what you’ve just seen dwarfs everything you thought you knew about the world, and start obsessively reading through the alien papers and spending the next several hours (or days, or weeks, or months, or years) desperately trying to glean everything you possibly can from them? Or [B] stick the papers on a shelf somewhere and tell yourself you’ll maybe take a look inside them someday, before promptly forgetting about them and going back to your reruns?

I suspect any sane person would pick the former. And yet, the situation with the Bible is claimed by many to be much the same – so we have to ask, then, why aren’t they treating it with the kind of urgency it would seem to deserve? After all, if God actually came down from the sky right now and handed you a sheaf of papers that he had personally hand-written himself, and told you that it contained all the universe’s most important truths and all the instructions that humans needed to follow in order to live forever, would you really just stuff it on your shelf somewhere and forget to ever read it because you needed to mow the lawn or whatever? In other words, would you treat this hypothetical Word of God the same way you treat the actual non-hypothetical Bible in the real world? And if not, what does that say about what you truly believe? It seems like there could be a very serious disconnect there.

Most Christians spend over 100 hours watching TV for every hour they read the Bible. What this says is that they really don’t believe that the Bible is the ultimate word of God and that it just isn’t that important to their lives. The sense of urgency is conspicuously lacking. It appears that they sense, perhaps subconsciously, that the dogma is somewhat disengaged from reality.

(3222) Pagan quote leaks into the Bible

Early Christianity was heavily influenced by pagan classical myth, and one of the best examples is how the author of Acts (presumably the same person who wrote the Gospel of Luke, and who was probably well versed in Greek classical literature) put in Jesus’ mouth an iconic line from the Greek tragedy The Bacchae (405 BCE) where Dionysus says, “It hurts you to kick against the goad [pricks].”

Acts 9:3-6 (KJV)

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Those reading newer translations, such as the New International Version (NIV), will note that this line has been removed, possibly to avoid the embarrassing connection to classic literature, which Jesus would presumably not have used himself, but an author making up stories might well do, based on his knowledge of such. Here is how the NIV deals with the same verses:

Acts 9:3-6 (NIV)

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied

“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The offending reference to The Bacchae was removed and for good reason. There was no reason for Jesus to use a 400 year-old quotation from classical literature, but there was plenty of subconscious motive for a scholarly man to insert it into his fictional narrative.

(3223) Nailing Jesus to the cross

It was not the normal custom of Romans to nail their crucifixion victims to the cross, but rather to tie them up so that they could presumably live longer and therefore suffer more humiliation. This avoided the subject from bleeding out and also ensured that the person stayed in place as a nailed hand or wrist could easily rip out.

The gospels do not directly state that Jesus was nailed to the cross. To be sure, there is no reference to it in either Mark, Matthew, or Luke, and not even in the crucifixion scene in John. But there is an indirect reference in John after the resurrection when Jesus confronted the Apostle Thomas (Doubting Tom):

John 20:24-29

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his 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. Then 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. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

The problem with this scripture, other than it refers to nails instead of rope, is that it implies that the nails were driven into Jesus’ hand. This would be an unsound way to anchor his arm: instead the nail should be placed in the more structurally sound wrist. Crucifixion victims would commonly sink down to draw breaths, placing most of their weight onto their arm holds, and a hand would likely not be able to bear this weight, though a wrist possibly could.

What this implies is that the author of John, in his zeal to have Jesus show proof of his resurrection to Thomas, and wanting Jesus’ body to bear physical evidence of the crucifixion, added the nail wounds to ‘flesh’ it out. In so doing, he made two mistakes (the use of nails in the first place and the hand positioning of them)- he should have just stuck with the spear in the side wound and left it at that.

(3224) Sayings of Jesus on the cross

The following table lists the sayings of Jesus in each gospel while he was attached to the cross. The lack of consistency is troubling:

Sayings of Jesus on the cross





Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. 23:34
Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. 23:43
Woman, behold thy son! and Behold thy mother! 19:26–27
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? or Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? 27:46 15:34
I thirst. 19:28
It is finished. 19:30
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. 23:46

The only saying that appears in more than one gospel is the Aramaic quote that in English means, “My god, why have you forsaken me?” that appears in both Mark and Matthew. Otherwise there is no consistency. Rather than the appearance that each of these authors was being ‘inspired’ by the Holy Spirit, it seems that each was simply making up what they thought sounded the best.

(3225) Psychological grooming

Christian faith healers and other clergy have learned that parishioners can be made to feel that they are witnessing miracles by creating an atmosphere of theatrics and crescendoing music, even without any miracles actually occurring. This is a time-honored tradition that spans centuries and various religions and denominations. This gimmick hijacks the brain by shrouding the left hemisphere with the hyper-exploited right hemisphere, making people think they have experienced a miracle on a seemingly cogent analytical basis. The following account told my Dan Barker of a faith healing service is illustrative of this tactic:

When Kathryn Kuhlman started coming to Los Angeles for her regular faith-healing services at the Shrine Auditorium, our choir formed the initial nucleus of her stage choir. I was there for her first regular visit in the mid ’60s and for two years I hardly missed a meeting, remaining choir librarian as the group grew in size, eventually incorporating singers from dozens of charismatic churches in Southern California.

It was the sound of the organ, more than anything else, that established the mood of the place. With its dramatic sweeps and heady crescendos flooding the huge vaulted building, we felt engulfed by the presence of God’s Holy Spirit, breathing in, breathing out, laughing and crying for joy and worship. Here and there a woman was standing, arms reaching upward, eyes closed, praying in an unknown tongue. Wheelchairs and crutches littered the aisles. Hopeful candidates pressed to find a seat as close to the front as possible; the balconies were standing-room-only.

My responsibilities as librarian did not inhibit me from sensing the intense hopefulness of the occasion. Before Kathryn walked out on stage the building radiated that strange, eager beauty of an orchestra tuning up before a symphony. I would often watch her as she stood backstage, nervous yet determined, possessing a holy mixture of humility and pride, like a Roman or Greek goddess in her flowing gown. The audience was anxious. The Spirit was restless.

The organ crescendo reached a glorious peak as Kathryn regally walked out on stage. Those who could rose to their feet, praising God, weeping, praying. It was electrifying and intensely euphoric. I felt proud to be a witness to such a heavenly visitation.

Kathryn would often deny that she was conducting “healing meetings.” She stated that her only responsibility was obedience to God’s moving; it was His business to heal people, and it didn’t need to happen in every meeting. Of course, the people had come for miracles, and would not be disappointed. She often seemed uncertain how to start. She would pray, talk a little, preach somewhat freely, or just stand silently crying, waiting for God to move. He always moved, of course – but the audience couldn’t stand it, this delay of climax. (It was like the anticipation on Christmas mornings, waiting for Dad to finish reading the biblical nativity story before we could open the presents.)

In those early months, before local ministers began sitting on the stage in front of the choir, we singers were placed directly behind Kathryn in folding chairs. I always sat in the front row, right behind her, about six or eight feet from her center microphone, peering past her down into the sea of eager faces in the audience – the faces of people who had come to be blessed. The choir would often sing quietly behind the healings, “He touched me, yes, he touched me! And, oh, the joy that floods my soul! Something happened and now I know; he touched me and made me whole!” It was rapturous. Ecstatic.

After 20 or 30 preliminary minutes, which included a few choir numbers, the healings would begin. People would be ushered up to Kathryn, one at a time, some sitting in wheelchairs, to receive a “touch from God.” She would face the candidate, touching the forehead, and would either ask the problem or directly discern the need. Often the supplicants were “slain in the spirit,” meaning they fell backwards to the floor under God’s presence, often with arms raised in surrender. I sometimes had to pick up my feet when they fell in my direction. Kathryn had a “catcher,” a short, stocky, redheaded former police officer who would move behind the people and soften the fall. He was often quite busy. People would be dropping all over the stage, even choir members and ushers. He rushed back and forth like a character in a video game, never missing, though it was sometimes quite close.

It didn’t matter that the healings were visually unimpressive. We were in God’s presence and a miracle is a miracle. Sometimes an individual would discard crutches or push Kathryn around the stage in the unneeded wheelchair, things like that. But the healings were usually internal things: “Praise God! The cancer is completely gone!”

One very common cure was deafness. Kathryn would tell the person to cover the good ear (!) and ask if she could be heard. “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?” she would ask, speaking louder and louder until the person nodded. Then she would dramatically move away and speak softly to the person, who would jump and say, “I can hear you! I can hear you! Praise God!” The place would fall apart, people screaming and hopping. Miracles do that to people. It was an incredible feeling, an ecstasy beyond description. We felt embraced by the presence of a higher strength, participating in a group worship (hysteria), floating on the omnipresent surges of the organ music, joining in song with heavenly voices.

In one service Kathryn replied to the criticism that some of her healings were purely psychosomatic by saying, “But what if they are merely psychosomatic? Is that not also a miracle? Doctors will tell you that the hardest illnesses to cure are the psychosomatic ones.” God works in mysterious ways.

As I look back on it now, I can see that most of the “miracles” were pretty boring. The excitement was in our minds. I saw people walk up to the side of the stage in search of a healing, before being told by an usher to sit in a wheelchair to be rolled up to Kathryn. When Kathryn quietly told the person to “stand up and walk the rest of the way,” the crowd went wild, assuming that the person couldn’t walk in the first place. I never witnessed any organic healings, restored body parts or levitations. A few crutches and medicine bottles littered the aisles, but no prosthetic devices or glass eyes. The bulk of the “cures” were older women with cancer, arthritis, heart problems, diabetes, “unspoken problems,” etc. There was an occasional exorcism (mental illness?), too. We had come to be blessed and we were not to be cheated, taking the slightest cue to yell, sing and praise God. I think, in retrospect, the organist was the real star of the show, working with Kathryn to manipulate the moods. We were so malleable.

Experiences like that were tremendously affirming. When I was “seeing miracles,” it seemed so real, so powerful, that I wondered who in the world could be so blind to deny the reality of the presence of God. Nonbelievers must be stupid or crazy! Anyone who deliberately doubted such proof certainly deserved hell.

I used to pray and “sing in the spirit” all the time. Riding my bike around Anaheim, I would quietly speak in tongues, exulting in the emotions of talking with Christ and communing with the Holy Spirit. If you have never done it, it is hard to understand what is happening when people speak in tongues. I actually got goose bumps from the joy, my heart and mind transported to another realm. It’s a kind of natural high that I interpreted as a supernatural encounter. I’m certain there are chemicals released to the brain during the experience. (I know this is true of music and the cerebellum, but has anyone studied the brain during glossolalia?) While some of my friends may have been sneaking out behind the proverbial barn to experiment with this or that, I was having a love affair with Jesus. I didn’t think I was “crazy” – I was quite functional and could snap out of it at any moment, like taking off headphones – but I did feel that what I had was special, above the world.

Jesus said that “My kingdom is not of this world,” and I felt like my physical body was just a visitor to planet earth while my soul was getting messages “from home.” It gave me a sense of overwhelming peace and joy, of integration with God and the universe, of being wrapped in the loving arms of my creator. It caused everything to “make sense.” I’m not sure why, but it did. I simply knew from direct personal experience that God was real, and no one at the time would have been able to convince me that I was delusional. I would simply say, “You don’t know.” I had seen miracles. I had talked with God. I knew the truth and the world did not.

Throughout the ages, religions have exploited the brain’s emotional vulnerability that allows one’s observations of events to circumvent the critical thinking areas and arrive at what seems like legitimate conclusions. Much of religious belief is a direct result of this phenomenon. Absent this window dressing, the world works in cold defiance of anything that departs from it’s rigid physical laws.

(3226) Christianity functions just like a false religions

If we consider how a false religion would probably function and then compare that to Christianity we get a near match. The following discusses this similarity:


Rather than defending some claim like “God doesn’t exist” or even “Christianity isn’t true”, I am instead going to try to defend the idea that Christianity (whether it’s true or not) functions how we would expect a false religion to. I believe this should give us pause and probably increase our skepticism in the truth of the religion.

A few examples of Christianity functioning like a false religion:

1) It’s primary source of truth is a holy book. Books are obviously not a great medium for getting the truth out for several reason. Namely, not everyone has access to books, not everyone can read (especially historically), and writings are inherently prone to misunderstanding and various competing interpretations.

It’s not surprising that a man made religion would have to settle for a book. After all, it was the best men could do. But a real God could do much better than getting his message out via a book in a world where the vast majority of people are illiterate.

2) It’s spread is geographical. Again, we would expect a man made religion’s spread to be heavily based on geography. These religions, after all, spread via word of mouth, conquest (like Islam), and exchange of texts and ideas. The prophets of Judaism and Christianity all come from the same region because that was necessarily the case (if it’s a man made religion) since no one can have knowledge of the Christian God unless some other person told them.

However, a true religion with an omnipotent God need not be this way. God might just as easily choose to raise up Prophets and perform wonders in South America, Africa, East Asia, etc. as in Judea. He might show and reveal himself to any and all peoples. The fact that the Christian God seems only to have revealed himself to the ancient Israelites and later the Romans in Judea directly then seems to be very much in line with claims we would expect from a false religion.

3) It has ideas in it that seem heavily culturally influenced rather than transcendent in origin. God’s favored people were Jews and he hated their enemies (to the point of commanding the genocide of the Amalekites, including their newborns and even their livestock). God only wanted male priests and religious leaders while women were to remain in submission.

Again, perhaps a real God would share these opinions as well. But it seems very much in line with a false religion written by Jewish men that God would favor Jews, hate the enemies of Jews, and place men in the position of authority over women. To put it another way, if ancient Jewish men were going to make up a God for selfish (or simply biased) reasons, he would’ve looked like the God of Abraham.

4) Christians don’t perform wonders or miracles for the public to see. There are Biblical claims of undeniably miraculous demonstrations, but it’s not something that we can see today. That is, there are no contests between Christians and Muslims where God sends fire from the Heavens to prove the Christians correct.

It may be the case that God is real and doesn’t want to do that for some reason. But it is also the case that a false religion would likely feature claims of miracles but not demonstrations of them, which is what we see in Christianity.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it just might be a duck. Christianity looks, feels, and functions in exactly the way one would expect of a false religion. It lacks a unique feature that would tend to separate it from the appearance of being false.

(3227) Yahweh was a pimp

If we are to take the Bible at face value, then God (Yahweh) became involved in the lives of two prostitutes out of Egypt that he called ‘Mine.’ They were his prostitutes. So Yahweh was a pimp.

Ezekiel 23:1-21

Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,“Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother, and they played in Egypt, prostituting themselves from their youth. Their breasts were fondled there, and their virgin bosoms caressed. The older was named Oholah, and her sister was named Oholibah. They became Mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. As for their identities, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

Oholah prostituted herself while she was still Mine. She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians—warriors clothed in blue, governors and commanders, all desirable young men, horsemen mounted on steeds. She offered sexual favors to all the elite of Assyria. She defiled herself with all the idols of those for whom she lusted.

She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt, when men slept with her in her youth, caressed her virgin bosom, and poured out their lust upon her. Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, the Assyrians for whom she lusted. They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and put her to the sword. Thus she became a byword among women, and they executed judgment against her.

Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister. She too lusted after the Assyrians—governors and commanders, warriors dressed in splendor, horsemen riding on steeds, all desirable young men. And I saw that she too had defiled herself; both of them had taken the same path.

But Oholibah carried her prostitution even further. She saw the men portrayed on the wall, images of the Chaldeans, engraved in vermilion, wearing belts on their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like officers of the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their birth. At the sight of them, she lusted for them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and in their lust they defiled her. But after she had been defiled by them, she turned away in disgust.

When Oholibah openly prostituted herself and exposed her nakedness, I turned away from her in disgust, just as I had turned away from her sister. Yet she multiplied her promiscuity, remembering the days of her youth, when she had prostituted herself in the land of Egypt and lusted after their lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of stallions. So you revisited the indecency of your youth, when the Egyptians caressed your bosom and pressed your young breasts.

For obvious reasons, this scripture is never read in churches or examined in bible studies. What it tells us is that a horny man put words in God’s mouth to satiate his own desire for erotica.

(3228) Jesus’ crime against humanity

In Luke, but no other gospel, Jesus tells a ghastly parable that, while being ruthless in nature, actually understates the underlying meaning of his intent.

Luke 19:26-27

He replied, ‘I tell you that everyone who has will be given more; but the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. And these enemies of mine who were unwilling for me to rule over them, bring them here and slay them in front of me.’ ”

The above are the final two verses of the Parable of the Ten Minas. The meaning of the parable is not that he will actually merely kill you, instead, he will torture you for eternity for the simple crime of not believing in him. The meaning of the parable is worse than the literal text in this case, not better.

From this text, Jesus should be convicted of planning an atrocity that fits the definition of a crime against humanity.

(3229) Jesus, the horse thief

Jesus is well known to have commuted a crime by turning over merchant tables on the temple grounds, or unnecessarily killing a fig tree, but few realize that he was a horse thief as well. The following was taken from:


While searching for a bible passage one day, my eyes fell upon a most curious account in Luke 19, verses 29 – 36.

And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying, go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.

What are we to glean from this sparse account? Looking at this with an eye on known human behavior modes, here is what it looks like to me: Jesus and his crew stopped outside a small town to scope it out and make some plans.

Apparently, these plans involved the removal of a horse (colt*) from the town without prior approval or notification of the owner. Today, this is known as ‘theft’ and, until relatively recently, was a hanging offense. Jesus told two of his men to go into the town where they would find a horse.

He told them to get the horse and bring it to him without being seen, but if they were seen, to inform the guy that they were taking his horse to their boss, a guy who apparently had enough of a rep (and 12 mindless “followers”, work-hardened and ready to do whatever the “son of God” might require of them) that people would simply hand over their l3oot without a struggle.

So they went to town, located this guy’s horse, and started to make off with it when the guy spots them and comes running out to find out what the hell they think they are doing.

So, they ‘splain to the guy how it’s gonna be. I guess you could say they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Long story short, the guy caves and they depart with what, for many people in that part of the world in those days, would have been a large and indispensable part of their net worth.

Whatever they told him seems to have been quite persuasive. Lastly, they made a riding blanket out of their clothing – so far so good, although it is a little surprising that the alleged son of God would require either a horse or padding for his own butt – but then it just got weird.

His followers started laying their clothing on the ground for the horse to walk on. Why they were doing this is not evident, but it sounds like something that a petulant young medieval prince might have had his minions do out of boredom.

Makes me wonder how many miles they kept that up. Boiled down, this has conspiracy, coercion, and grand theft written all over it.

I’m not sure how the folks around Bethpage and Bethany dealt with this kind of thing, but the Romans were known to be very tough on crime and were fond of using criminals, including petty thieves, for rough entertainment.

Where I come from, stealing a horse would have gotten a person hanged a lot faster than religious scammery.

And I think that’s exactly what happened. It turns out that local constabularies of the day viewed thievery very harshly.

Imprisonment, torture, and cruel executions were common even for petty offenses. It seems to me that there is a likelihood that this traveling preacher simply ran afoul of the law, got caught, and got hung, so to speak.

Now the large number of people who actually believe the Jesus fable will tell you that he was tortured and crucified like a common criminal for his beliefs.

The adamantly religious are rarely objective and sometimes diverge from the facts in the public assessment of their figureheads.

Looks to me like his followers and the biblical revisionists who came later may have glossed over any misdeeds committed by this pack of unemployed religionists, and painted his incarceration as if he were an innocent, unjustly imprisoned, and badly treated religious/political prisoner, Luke 19 notwithstanding.

This is a very curious scripture in that it paints Jesus as a person with no supernatural capability and who has to resort to common thievery to obtain a horse for his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, other than that he seemed to know that a horse (a virginal horse, of course, one that had never before carried a rider) would be tied up in the village. Jesus directing his followers to steal a horse seems to destroy the idea that he was without sin, and therefore questions how he could be a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

(3230) Jesus caught in immediate contradiction

Jesus was trying to warn his followers of the troubles that they will encounter as a consequence of being followers of him, when he made a blatant error, or at least that is how the author of the Gospel of Luke reported it. Consider the following verses:

Luke 21:16-18

You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. Yet not even a hair of your head will perish.

Anyone listening to this would be confused. “First Jesus said that some of us will be put to death, but then he said that not even one of our hairs will perish. Which is it?” Forsaking the infinitesimally small probability that this is an accurate transcript of Jesus’ speech, we can conjecture that either the author of Luke become distracted or confused as he wrote this, or perhaps someone else carelessly inserted an interpolation later on.

(3231) Dating the Gospel of Mark

Christian apologists have floated the idea that the Gospel of Mark was written close in time to Jesus’ ministry, thinking correctly that such a dating would improve its credibility. However, most scholars disagree and believe it was written about 40 years after the crucifixion. Here are the reasons why they think this:


Before we can talk about who wrote the canonical gospels, we first need to know when the canonical gospels were written. The Gospel of Mark (henceforth abbreviated as gMark) is almost certainly the earliest surviving gospel. Internal and external evidence strongly indicates that gMark was written sometime around the year 70 CE or thereabouts.

Possibly the strongest evidence that gMark was written sometime around this year is the way the gospel describes the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. gMark 13:1–2 states, as translated in the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV):

“As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’ Then Jesus asked him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.’”

In gMark 13:14, Jesus further warns, as translated in the NRSV:

“But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.”

Later, gMark 15:29–30 emphasizes Jesus’s prediction of the destruction of the Temple again, claiming that people mocked Jesus while he was hanging on the cross, misinterpreting his prophecy to mean that he claimed he was going to destroy the Temple himself. The passage reads as follows, as translated in the NRSV:

“Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!’”

These passages almost unquestionably refer to how, in August 70 CE, the Roman legions under the command of the general Titus sacked and burned the city of Jerusalem. They utterly destroyed the Second Temple and all the buildings around it.

As the Temple and the buildings around it burned, the Roman legionaries erected their standards, bearing the images of the emperor and Roman deities, inside the court of the Temple itself, performed ritual sacrifices to them, and hailed Titus as emperor, amounting to the greatest sacrilege against the Jewish God and the Jewish religion. (This incident is recorded by the Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus in The Jewish War 6.316.)

Christian apologists regularly try to claim that Jesus could have genuinely predicted the destruction of the Second Temple forty years before it actually happened and that gMark therefore could have been written before the year 70 CE. Believe it or not, even though I am a skeptic through and through, I do think that the first part of this argument is actually plausible.

Although the predictions of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in gMark are accurate, they are also quite vague. As I myself have proven in the past, vague predictions about future doom and devastation are virtually always bound to come true eventually. gMark essentially portrays Jesus as predicting simply that the Temple will be destroyed at some point in the future, without any specific details about when or how this would happen. Jesus didn’t need to have the supernatural gift of prophecy to make this prediction, since, quite simply, this prediction was bound to come true eventually, since all buildings will ultimately be destroyed at some point.

This argument, however, has a major flaw that Christian apologists have, for the most part, ignored. The most significant part of the passages I have quoted above is not actually Jesus’s prediction itself, but rather the way gMark describes his prediction. You see, in gMark 13:14, the author inserts his own authorial comment to the reader: “ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω.” This means “Let the reader understand.” In making this comment, the author of gMark is clearly hinting to the reader in his own voice that the prophecy Jesus has just made had recently been fulfilled.

There is other evidence that gMark must have been written sometime around 70 CE or shortly thereafter, but the author’s comment hinting at the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem is probably the strongest individual piece of evidence.

Assuming the 70CE dating of Mark is correct, this lessens the probability that it contains accurate information because, given the life expectancy of the time, very few if any of the people who knew Jesus could have lived long enough to see a copy of what he had written. It’s easier for an author to make up stories realizing that there is little chance of being directly challenged.

(3232) NDE reality

Christians often refer to near death experiences (NDE) as evidence for an immaterial aspect of our identity in an effort to make the afterlife appear to be more plausible. But in the following, it can be seen that any true evidence for NDEs requires a much higher bar of proof than Christians accept as being sufficient:


If a person who was near death, or who was having some other sort of supposed psychic experience, were to gather information that could not possibly have been gathered in any physical way — and this was rigorously tested under careful conditions designed to screen out confirmation bias and cold readings and the unconscious sending of messages and other cognitive or experimental errors (not to mention outright fraud), and the experience could be consistently replicated under similarly rigorous testing conditions — I would be persuaded that human consciousness was not simply a product of the human brain, and that it had a non-physical component that could hypothetically survive death. If someone near death or in a trance or whatever could reliably, testably report on the contents of a locked safe… that would persuade me of the existence of the soul.

I would not, however, be persuaded by anecdotal reports of these experiences. Casual observers are too — is there a nice word for “gullible”? I suppose there isn’t — too unfamiliar with natural explanations for supposedly supernatural events, too unaware of the kinds of experimental errors that can make these experiences seem real, too subject to confirmation bias, too incomplete in their understanding of probability, and far, far too eager to believe that the soul is real and they aren’t going to die. So these experiences would need to be rigorously tested and replicated, by people with experience in the kinds of cognitive and experimental errors that supposed psychic experiences are consistently subject to. (The reality is that whenever these types of experiences have been subjected to careful testing under good, scientific conditions, they never, ever, ever pan out. Ever.)

And I would definitely not be persuaded by the mere fact that some people have strange experiences when they’re near death. Being near death is an altered state of consciousness, and people have weird experiences when our brains are altered. We have weird experiences under all sorts of conditions: exhaustion, stress, distraction, trance-like repetition, optical illusion, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, sensory overload… any of these, and more, can create vivid “perceptions” that are entirely disconnected from external reality. You don’t have to be mentally ill, or even on drugs, to have weird experiences of things that aren’t there. And the oxygen deprivation and other physical changes that happen to the brain when it’s near death are definitely enough to do the trick. This one isn’t even close to being convincing. It makes absolutely no sense at all.

If NDEs were real, the type of convincing evidence discussed above would have already been scientifically demonstrated, and there would be no remaining controversy, other than what this fact implied for the world’s religions. It would not prove that Christianity, Islam, or any other religion was true. It would only prove that there is some aspect of our consciousness that is not dependent on physical matter.

This would be an astounding finding that would stretch the boundaries of science to the limit. Bur as far as religion is concerned, it would be a necessary but not sufficient fact to demonstrate their truth. And, to be sure, the persistent lack of evidence of this type continues to weigh against all religions that profess an afterlife.

(3233) Not as crazy as other faiths?

Christians often defend their beliefs by pointing out how the dogma of other religions are crazier than theirs, so by comparison, Christianity is more likely to be true. But a broader perspective leads to a conclusion that all religions, at least those that invoke the supernatural, are more or less equally crazy. The following was taken from:


First, just to be very clear: I’m not saying that all religious believers are crazy. I’m saying that religious beliefs are crazy. I’m criticizing the ideas, not the people. And when I say “crazy” (or “nutty” or “batshit” or “lunatic” or what have you), I don’t mean “literally, clinically mentally ill.” I mean “crazy” in the colloquial sense. I mean… well, I’ll get to that.

I was in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago giving a talk, and I took the opportunity to visit the Mormon Temple Square. If you’re not a Mormon, you can’t go inside the Mormon Temple itself; but Temple Square has all sorts of attractions for the non-Mormon visitor, including the tabernacle, the assembly hall… and two different visitors’ centers, specifically designed to explain Mormonism to the non-Mormon, and to make the religion seem inspiring, and to entice people into the faith.

I have no doubt that it has that effect on many people. Mormonism is one of the fastest-growing religions on the planet; there must be something about it that people like. But its effect on me… Well, it was inspiring, all right. It inspired me right into a rollercoaster ride of hilarity and horror. It inspired me, at one point, to out-loud laughter that I was literally, physically unable to control. It inspired me to get the hell off their property, take several deep breaths, and rant incoherently with my wife about what an appalling nightmare of indoctrination and brainwashing it was, before we plunged back in. It inspired me to work on my atheist activism ten times harder than I ever had. Its effect on me was not to entice me into the faith. Its effect was to make me think, even more strongly than I had before, “This religion is batshit crazy.”

But then I started thinking.

How much crazier is this, really, than any other religion?

Let’s not mince words. There is some profoundly crazy stuff in Mormonism. The magic underwear. The retroactive baptism of the dead. Getting to be a god on your own planet after you die. The Garden of Eden being in Missouri. The foundational story of Joseph Smith reading secret magical golden plates through a magic hat. The baptismal font sitting on the backs of twelve cows. (Okay, fine, oxen. Still.) The washings and anointings and veils and temple garments and secret handshakes and other highly ritualized pseudo-Masonic ceremonies. Lying for the Lord. (No, really. Look it up.) The casual shrugging-off of well-known, thoroughly documented facts of history and archaeology that contradict Church doctrine. The shameless, barefaced retroactive continuity, to the point of actually lying about the religion’s history. (“Polygamy is not a central tenet of Mormonism, and it never was. Racial bigotry is not a central tenet of Mormonism, and it never was. Stop looking at The Book of Mormon. No, stop it. We’ll tell you what our religion says, thank you very much.”) Mormonism loves to present a wholesome, clean-cut image of almost obsessive normality to the public… but when you scratch the surface, what you see is howling, chaotic lunacy. That assessment may seem harsh — but if these ideas were presented in any context other than a religious one, nobody would be debating it.

But then I started thinking:

How much crazier is this than any other religion?

How much crazier is this than talking snakes? People living inside giant fish? Boats that carry two of every living creature on the planet? Magic crackers that turn into the body of your god when you eat them? Magic fruit that ruins the lives of all your descendants? Virgins giving birth? Sprinkling magic water on babies so if they die they won’t burn forever in Hell? A planet that was created 6,000 years ago, despite an overwhelming body of evidence to the contrary from every relevant scientific field? A god who sacrifices himself to himself to save the world from the punishment he himself was planning to dole out?

And let’s not just pick on Christianity. How much crazier is this than ritual washing in a polluted magic river? Transferring your sins to a live chicken, waving it over your head, and having it slaughtered? Transferring your sins to a bundle of money, waving it over your head, and donating the money to charity, because the chicken thing is just too weird? The compulsory covering of women’s bodies from head to toe? The compulsory wearing of hats? A god who’s okay with you smoking weed, but doesn’t want you drinking alcohol? A god who’s okay with you drinking alcohol, but doesn’t want you smoking weed? A god who doesn’t want you to draw pictures of real things? A god who wants you to cut off your daughter’s clitoris? A god who wants you to cut off the tip of your baby boy’s penis?

Plenty of religions are loaded with crazy when you scratch the surface. You don’t even have to scratch very hard.

So why do these older, more mainstream religions seem less crazy?

A lot of it, I think, is popularity. If lots of people believe something, we’re more likely to give it credibility. This is a bias that all human brains are vulnerable to, and it’s largely unconscious. (Although many religious believers will make this argument consciously and overtly. Spend enough time in the atheist blogosphere, and I guarantee you’ll see it pop up: “How can you dismiss something that so many people believe in?”) We’re social animals, and we’re wired to think that if everyone else thinks something, it’s probably true. Or at the very least, that it’s not batshit insane on the face of it, and we ought to give it serious consideration.

From a strictly evolutionary standpoint, this bias makes sense. Other people can, in fact, be a useful reality check: if everyone in your tribe is screaming “Tiger!” and you don’t see one, it still makes sense to run. But it’s a confounding bias to contend with when you’re rigorously examining a truth claim. It makes it hard to voice unpopular perceptions… and indeed even to conceive of them. It’s very, very difficult to be the first person to say out loud, “The Emperor has no clothes.” It’s even more difficult to say it to ourselves.

Then adding to this de-crazification phenomenon, we have the power of time. In the earlier days of a religion, the battier elements are much more prominent. But with time, if a religion flourishes and becomes more mainstream, the rough edges get smoothed off. “Our Savior is returning within a generation” turns into “Our Savior is returning one of these days.” “You have to wear a ginormous hat all the time” turns into “It’d be nice if you wore a little hat in the temple.” “God created the entire universe out of nothing in six days” turns into “God created matter and energy and the laws of physics and let them unfold into life as we know it, and when we say ‘day’ we don’t mean a literal ‘day,’ and it’s absurd and unfair for you to think that we do.” The battier elements get abandoned entirely, or get hidden out of sight, or get shoved to the back burner as trivial and peripheral, or start being seen as metaphorical instead of literal. (45% of all U.S. Catholics don’t even know that, according to the doctrine of their own Catholic Church, the magic cracker literally becomes the body of their god when they eat it. They think it’s symbolic. They apparently weren’t paying attention in catechism class.)

The fascinating thing about Mormonism is that we can see this process happening in real time. As a religion founded within the last two centuries, during a time of good historical record-keeping, Mormonism is an intriguing case study of how a religion transforms from a despised fringe cult to a popular branch of mainstream modern faith. And part of that picture is the ways that the fringier elements have either been abandoned wholesale or kept out of the public eye. .. and indeed kept out of the eyes of its own adherents until they’ve already bought in. (Mormonism even has a “milk before meat” concept: teach the easy, non-controversial stuff about Mormonism first, and wait to teach the batty stuff until adherents are too deeply invested to leave.) The degree to which Mormonism has become mainstream is the degree to which the less digestible nuts have been eliminated from the fruitcake.

But most of this phenomenon, I think, is simple familiarity.

I didn’t learn about magic Mormon underwear until I was an adult. So when I did, the battiness of the belief smacked me in the face. I was like, “Really? Magic underwear? Really?” And the same was true for the magic hat, and the secret handshakes, and the Garden of Eden being in Missouri, and so on and so on. Every time I learn something new about Mormonism and Mormon history, it’s… well, it’s new. And I can see its craziness with fresh eyes.

But I’ve known about magic crackers and talking snakes since I was very young. So they just seemed normal. Part of the cultural landscape. I didn’t believe in them — but for years, I didn’t think about them very hard. And again, because these beliefs were widely held, when I did think about them I gave them more credit than they actually deserved.

So is it fair to think that Mormonism — or Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Scientology, or any other relatively new religion — is really any crazier than more mainstream religions? Is it fair to think that it’s crazier than the mainstream varieties of Catholicism or Baptism, Hinduism or Buddhism, Judaism or Islam?

I spent my day at Temple Square going back and forth on this question. One minute, I’d be thinking, “Well, okay, this is pretty nuts… but it’s not really any crazier than magic crackers and magic snakes.” The next minute, I’d be confronted with some new form of wacko, and I’d be thinking, “No, this really is crazier.”

So which is it?

I think the answer depends on what exactly we mean by “crazy.”

Crazy Is as Crazy Does

Like I said earlier, when I say “crazy” here, I don’t mean “mentally ill.” I mean… well, what, exactly?

If by “crazy” we mean “out of step with cultural norms”… then yes, Mormonism really is crazier. Pretty much by definition. To some extent, battiness and reasonableness are defined by social norms. In the Victorian era, it was considered entirely normal for women to wear tightly-laced corsets, all day, every day of their adult lives, to the point where their physical functioning was seriously impaired and their internal organs were deformed. In modern society, doing this would generally be considered pretty damn freaky. Instead, many women in modern society wear high-heeled shoes that impair their functioning and deform their feet, all day, every day of their adult lives… and this is considered standard, non-crazy behavior. So yes, by this definition, the more mainstream a religion is, the less crazy it is. And so yes, by this definition, Mormonism is crazier than, say, Catholicism.

But if what you mean by “crazy” is “out of touch with reality”?

Then it’s all equally crazy.

Any belief in a supernatural world that affects the natural one is equally implausible, equally the product of cognitive biases, equally unsupported by any good evidence. Some religions contradict reality quite blatantly, flatly stating that well-established historical and scientific facts aren’t true. (Young-earth Creationism does this with basic facts of evolution; Mormonism does it with basic facts of human history.) Other religions do a better job of presenting a plausible face and shoehorning their beliefs around reality. (The standard progressive Christian belief in theistic evolution is Exhibit A. Theistic evolution is entirely inconsistent with even the most basic facts of evolution, but these believers can still convincingly tell themselves and others, “No, no, we think science is great, of course we accept evolution, we’re not out of touch with reality.”)

But all religions are out of touch with reality. All religions are implausible, based on cognitive biases, and unsupported by any good evidence whatsoever. All of them ultimately rely on faith — i.e., an irrational attachment to a pre-existing idea regardless of any evidence that contradicts it — as the core foundation of their belief. All of them contort, ignore, or deny reality in order to maintain their attachment to their faith.

And by that definition, all religions are equally crazy.

Some just hide their craziness better than others.

Christianity enjoys no insulation from the vast universe of other crazy supernatural beliefs. It oozes its own brand of crazy from Genesis to Revelation, such that any clear-thinking person can see without any doubt whatsoever that it is a bogus enterprise.

(3234) Religious belief is malleable

It is well known that people who think analytically tend to be less religions. In addition, research has shown that encouraging people to think analytically causes their belief in religion to decrease in real time. That is, religious belief is not a static condition, it can change with the situation. The following was taken from:


Why are some people more religious than others? Answers to this question often focus on the role of culture or upbringing.  While these influences are important, new research suggests that whether we believe may also have to do with how much we rely on intuition versus analytical thinking. In 2011 Amitai Shenhav, David Rand and Joshua Greene of Harvard University published a paper showing that people who have a tendency to rely on their intuition are more likely to believe in God.  They also showed that encouraging people to think intuitively increased people’s belief in God. Building on these findings, in a recent paper published in Science, Will Gervais and Ara Norenzayan of the University of British Columbia found that encouraging people to think analytically reduced their tendency to believe in God. Together these findings suggest that belief may at least partly stem from our thinking styles.

Gervais and Norenzayan’s research is based on the idea that we possess two different ways of thinking that are distinct yet related. Understanding these two ways, which are often referred to as System 1 and System 2, may be important for understanding our tendency towards having religious faith. System 1 thinking relies on shortcuts and other rules-of-thumb while System 2 relies on analytic thinking and tends to be slower and require more effort. Solving logical and analytical problems may require that we override our System 1 thinking processes in order to engage System 2. Psychologists have developed a number of clever techniques that encourage us to do this. Using some of these techniques, Gervais and Norenzayan examined whether engaging System 2 leads people away from believing in God and religion.

For example, they had participants view images of artwork that are associated with reflective thinking (Rodin’s The Thinker) or more neutral images (Discobulus of Myron). Participants who viewed The Thinker reported weaker religious beliefs on a subsequent survey. However, Gervais and Norenzayan wondered if showing people artwork might have made the connection between thinking and religion too obvious. In their next two studies, they created a task that more subtly primed analytic thinking. Participants received sets of five randomly arranged words (e.g. “high winds the flies plane”) and were asked to drop one word and rearrange the others in order to create a more meaningful sentence (e.g. “the plane flies high”). Some of their participants were given scrambled sentences containing words associated with analytic thinking (e.g. “analyze,” “reason”) and other participants were given sentences that featured neutral words (e.g. “hammer,” “shoes”). After unscrambling the sentences, participants filled out a survey about their religious beliefs. In both studies, this subtle reminder of analytic thinking caused participants to express less belief in God and religion. The researchers found no relationship between participants’ prior religious beliefs and their performance in the study. Analytic thinking reduced religious belief regardless of how religious people were to begin with.

In a final study, Gervais and Norenzayan used an even more subtle way of activating analytic thinking: by having participants fill out a survey measuring their religious beliefs that was printed in either clear font or font that was difficult to read. Prior research has shown that difficult-to-read font promotes analytic thinking by forcing participants to slow down and think more carefully about the meaning of what they are reading. The researchers found that participants who filled out a survey that was printed in unclear font expressed less belief as compared to those who filled out the same survey in the clear font.

These studies demonstrate yet another way in which our thinking tendencies, many of which may be innate, have contributed to religious faith. It may also help explain why the vast majority of Americans tend to believe in God. Since System 2 thinking requires a lot of effort, the majority of us tend to rely on our System 1 thinking processes when possible. Evidence suggests that the majority of us are more prone to believing than being skeptical. According to a 2005 poll by Gallup, 3 out of every 4 Americans hold at least one belief in the paranormal. The most popular of these beliefs are extrasensory perception (ESP), haunted houses, and ghosts. In addition, the results help explain why some of us are more prone to believe that others. Previous research has found that people differ in their tendency to see intentions and causes in the world. These differences in thinking styles could help explain why some of us are more likely to become believers.

Why and how might analytic thinking reduce religious belief? Although more research is needed to answer this question, Gervais and Norenzayan speculate on a few possibilities. For example, analytic thinking may inhibit our natural intuition to believe in supernatural agents that influence the world. Alternatively, analytic thinking may simply cause us to override our intuition to believe and pay less attention to it. It’s important to note that across studies, participants ranged widely in their religious affiliation, gender, and race. None of these variables were found to significantly relate to people’s behavior in the studies.

Gervais and Norenzayan point out that analytic thinking is just one reason out of many why people may or may not hold religious beliefs. In addition, these findings do not say anything about the inherent value or truth of religious beliefs—they simply speak to the psychology of when and why we are prone to believe. Most importantly, they provide evidence that rather than being static, our beliefs can change drastically from situation to situation, without us knowing exactly why.

The fact that an external stimulus can change a person’s view of supernatural dogma indicates that the criterion used to judge people in the Christian religion is somewhat outside the control of that person. It is also illustrative to observe that the simple act of encouraging a person to think analytically causes their religious belief to decline- something that would be expected to happen in reverse if Christianity was true.

(3235) Probability vs. possibility

Defenders of the Christian faith often employ a deceptive strategy of equating possibility with probability, such that if a skeptic fails to prove an assertion to be impossible, then it must mean that it is probable. This artifice is fleshed out in this quote from John Loftus:

In every case when it comes to my reasons for adopting my skeptical presumption, the Christian response is pretty much the same. Christians must continually retreat to the position that what they believe is “possible,” or that it’s “not impossible.” Robert M. Price tells us that for Christian apologists “the controlling presupposition seems to be, ‘If the traditional view cannot be absolutely debunked beyond the shadow of a doubt, if it still might possibly be true, then we are within our rights to continue to believe it.’” In my opinion, Christians must repeatedly assert this to defend their faith. Keep in mind that anything that is not logically impossible is, in fact, possible. It’s possible I’m dreaming right now. It’s possible I’m merely recalling an event in the year 2012 in a dream I’m having right now in the year 2020. It’s possible that Jim Carrey could’ve gotten the girl of his dreams in the movie Dumb and Dumber, too (remember, the girl said he had a “one in a million” chance of doing so).

However, the more Christians must constantly retreat to what is “possible” in order to defend their faith, then the more their faith is on shaky ground. Why? Because we want to know what is probable, not what is possible. If we ask Christians to defend a particular belief and they argue such a belief “isn’t impossible,” then this is a tacit admission that instead of the evidence supporting what they believe, they are actually trying to explain the evidence away. In [debates with Christians,] you will see them retreating to the “merely possible” defense far too many times. [I] argue that the more often Christians are forced into arguing their faith is merely possible in the face of contrary evidence, rather than probable, then the less likely it is that their faith is true. Every time they do this they are explaining the evidence away by admitting the evidence does not support what they believe. Probability is what matters.

So in the end, Christians demand that I prove their faith is nearly impossible before they will consider it to be improbable, since most of their arguments are possibility ones rather than probability ones. This demand of theirs allows them to believe in the midst of many powerful arguments to the contrary. But it’s an utterly unreasonable demand. So long as they can find any escape at all, no matter how improbable, they can continue believing. That’s the power of the delusion. All I can do is show that their faith is improbable, very improbable. That should be good enough. Just imagine a trusted banker telling his patrons that if they invest all their money into a particular fund it will bring financial ruin upon them. And then think what you would say if some of them invested all of their money in that fund anyway simply because their banker did not say that no other result is possible.

No one can prove that the Christian god is impossible, but it is easy to show that the existence of this deity is extremely improbable, in fact, so improbable that it’s likelihood is no greater than hundreds of other gods worshiped over the course of human history.

(3236) Untestable, Undetectable, and unknowable

Christianity is the ultimate untouchable product in that it can never be proven false to the extent that such a conclusion is irrefutable. It enjoys an immunity that allows it to survive even in the wake of societal advancements that increasingly show it to be implausible. The following is taken from Greta Christina’s blog:


I’ve made this point before, and I’m sure I’ll make it again: Religion, by its very nature as an untestable belief in undetectable beings and an unknowable afterlife, disables our reality checks. It ends the conversation. It cuts off inquiry: not only factual inquiry, but moral inquiry. Because God’s law trumps human law, people who think they’re obeying God can easily get cut off from their own moral instincts. And these moral contortions don’t always lie in the realm of theological game-playing. They can have real-world consequences: from genocide to infanticide, from honor killings to abandoned gay children, from burned witches to battered wives to blown-up buildings.

To elaborate on the trinity of immunity traits:

1) Untestable belief– This is probably the greatest reason to be skeptical of religion and any other claim that does not expose itself to being tested. Any assertion that avoids an objective examination of its truth can be assumed false until further evidence becomes available.

2) Undetectable beings– Although the Bible asserts that some people have seen angels, demons, God himself, and, of course, Jesus, the veracity of these claims is in question. But what is more important is that in today’s world, none of these beings are detectable. We are led to believe that angels and demons are part of our everyday life, but nobody has seen or photographed them, or even recorded their ‘voices.’ If these beings exist, WHERE ARE THEY?

3} Unknowable afterlife– Promising a life after death without offering any evidence is the ultimate scam. Although Christians gulliblely parade out NDEs (near death experiences) as proof of an afterlife, a careful scrutiny of them eviscerates that claim. The afterlife is not only unknowable, it is exceedingly unlikely based on our knowledge of how consciousness works. “Give us your money and you will get a big reward after you die” is the biggest sucker bet of all time.

So, Christianity is a slippery devil, hiding itself from reality just enough to survive in a scientifically awakened society.

(3237) Unworkable rules

Some of the rules in the Old Testament were clearly unworkable in the real world, and seemed to exist only at the convenience of those who had the means to implement them. A good example is presented in the question and answer below:


According to Leviticus 15:19-30, Jewish women were unclean for seven days when having their menstrual period, as was everything they touched. What did small families that had no servants or other family members do for meals if the main housekeeper was unclean?

An excellent question I’ve never thought of. I have no sources on this, but your answer must lie in the fact that what happens in real life, especially among the poor, is often quite a bit removed from religious rules. Those rules tend to dominate the lives of those who can afford them.

It should be obvious that a real god would not promulgate rules that would decimate the efficiency of families of modest means. Rather, a wealthy person would dream up such a rule if he had the means to compensate for their implementation. This is a red flag for God being the source of this text.

(3228) How Satan came to rule over hell

Christian theology evolves with time even though their scriptures became essentially static starting in the 4th Century. One example is how Satan’s role in hell changed from being just another being who would be punished there to him being the actual ruler of the place. The following was taken from:


Matthew 25:41 is probably the first reference to connect Satan to Hell.

“Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’

The idea of Satan as ruler of hell is first developed in the writing of 17th-century poet John Milton in his epic poem Paradise Lost.

…the most important contributions of both Paradise Lost and The Inferno with regard to hell, come when they flow from their literary sources into the main current of Christian thought. The blending of these two poems with biblical texts, creeds, and systematic theologies creates a new vision of hell and of Satan that will endure for centuries. This vision of a terrifying, after-death torture is rendered even more frightening with the addition of a warden, Satan, the overseer of hell.

Modern Christians have grown up with the image of Satan wielding a pitchfork and directing his demons to exact painful prods at the damned. But the image of earlier Christians was different. They did not see Satan as having a Hitler-esque role in governing hell, but rather being just one of the many who were being punished there. Hell is now evolving again, this time from a place of pain and suffering to just a ‘separation from God’, which once again is not supported by any scriptures.

(3239) Jesus of Matthew vs. Jesus of Revelation

In the Gospel of Matthew, we see Jesus espousing the ideals of non-violence- blessed are the peacemakers, do not resist the evil-doer, and if someone takes something from you, let them take even more. But the Jesus in Revelation is totally different character. The following was taken from:


I’ve written before about the two Jesuses: the Jesus of the gospels, and Paul’s Hellenized “Christ.” However, there’s another Jesus we haven’t considered yet: and that’s the Jesus of the book of Revelation. Just as Jesus is separate from Christ, the Jesus/Christ in the book of Revelation is an all-together separate entity.

I’ve often said that I get the impression that the God of the Old Testament is a hard-core alcoholic. When he’s sober, he is loving, compassionate, extravagant and wants to do good things for his children. But when he’s on a bender, it’s plagues, fire from heaven, and complete annihilation of anyone unlucky enough to find themselves in his path.

In the New Testament, especially through Jesus, God is in AA and sent his son to “make amends” according to Step Nine of the 12-Step Program. When Christ comes along, God is still operating as an alcoholic, but a sober alcoholic, which means he can be reasoned with. But then there’s Revelation. This is where God has fallen off the wagon and is even worse than before.

The Jesus of Revelation is terrifying. He’s a whole different entity than even the God of the Old Testament (including Daniel and Ezekiel). He’s all the things God was in the Old Testament—on steroids: vengeful to the point of torture. First, he gives power to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. To one in particular, the rider of a fiery red horse, he gave the power to ‘take peace from the earth and make people kill each other,’

Revelation introduces us to a Christ who “is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” “Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.” “He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.” There are also the trumpeters, starting with the first trumpeter and getting progressively worse.

The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

And John is just getting started.

I’m convinced that John the Revelator put the wrong mushrooms in his pizza sauce.
~ Ben Tousey

The God/Jesus of Revelation is vengeful, and he doesn’t even try to hide it. The God/Jesus of Revelation is violent, and he even chooses names that identify himself with names that fully embrace this violent behavior. The God of Revelation is terrifying, and this is the God that Evangelicals embrace. In fact, they prefer this God to the Jesus of the gospels.

The extreme polarity between the portrayals of Jesus in the gospels and the Book of Revelation should trouble Christians. How could both of these characterizations be accurate? Could it be, as it is apparent to any skeptic, that the decision to place Revelation in the Bible was a mistake of historic proportions?

(3240) Christianity: The advertisement

If Christianity was being marketed like a regular product, the spiel might sound something like this:


Are you feeling depressed? Do you feel some emptiness in your life? Are you falling off the wagon? Is your life hitting rock bottom? Do you hate life and everyone? Are you masturbating too often? Well, don’t fret. There is a cure for all of your problems. It’s not philosophy. It’s not religion. It’s called Christianity.

What is Christianity? Christianity is the one true religion that will truly give meaning to your life. In fact, Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship with your Heavenly Father. He is the Creator of all life and the universe. He is God who is also our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Christianity offers, joy, love, peace, freedom, wisdom, strength, healing, salvation, and paradise through Him. Here are the things you must do in order to achieve these qualities!

1) Acknowledge that you’re a sinner in need of a Savior.

2) Repent of your sins. Sincerely.

3) Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

4) Baptism in water.

5) Receive the holy spirit while speaking gibberish.

Now that you’re saved. You are free from your sins. And you are now a part of God’s family.

But wait. That doesn’t end there.

You must live a life according to God’s standards. This means you are not allowed to enjoy the earthly things of this world like secular music, secular movies and television shows, drinking beer, smoking weed, and masturbation. You can’t hang with nonbelievers or people who believe in a false religion like Islam. You’re not allowed to curse. And if you’re a woman, you can’t wear any revealing clothing, fancy jewelry or makeup. You can’t be LGBTQ+. You can’t marry those who are non-Christian. And you can’t think any individual thoughts outside of the Bible. You are obligated to spend your entire life praying, worshiping, fasting, reading God’s Word daily, go to church, be involved in the church, fellowship with other like-minded Christians, and sharing the gospel with nonbelievers in hopes they will convert as well.

Being a Christian is hard, but at the end, it will all be worth it. Being a Christian and obeying God will earn you a reward where you will go to heaven bowing down and worshiping God forever and ever! Isn’t that lovely?

You must accept this wonderful one-lifetime offer. Don’t delay. Don’t wait until the last minute. Failure to accept this offer of salvation will result in God judging you for your sins and condemning you to hell where you will suffer agony and burning forever and ever!

Take this offer right now. If you don’t love it, send it back, and then you’ll just suffer in hell.

Convert to Christianity today! Jesus is coming soon! Don’t make him angry! Accept Him now! He loves you unconditionally! May God bless you! Amen!

P.S.: Ignore the gory parts of the Old Testament like slavery. Jesus did away with that. Or did He?

This parody hits on the fact that Christianity absorbs and restricts one’s life to the extent that it erases a person’s natural individuality and replaces it with a confining template. Why a god would want to over-manage human life in this manner is questionable. Rather, it appears much more likely that the rules of this religion were invented by humans intent on imposing their will on the masses. This ‘advertisement’ is spot on and it should awaken Christians to see what they have bought in to.

(3241) Bad Jesus quotes

Most Christians don’t read their bibles, if they even have one, and only get exposed to what their priest or pastor reads from the pulpit. They are unaware that Jesus is reported by the gospels to have said many things that they would reject if they knew it had been said by any other religion’s prophet. The following lists 292 sayings of Jesus from the gospels that are either malicious or at least off-center when it comes to what most people today see as being kind, moral, fair-minded, humble, or ethical:








Mark 1:15

The Kingdom of God is at hand/near



Mark 2:1-12

Jesus heals a paralytic by forgiving his sins



Mark 3:28-29

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an eternal sin



Mark 3:33

Who is my mother, my brother



Mark 4:11-12

Jesus taught in parables to prevent them from repenting



Mark 5

Jesus, the exorcist, talks with demons, transfers them into pigs



Mark 9

Priority put on prayer and belief and being nasty to his disciples



Mark 10:9

condemnation of divorce



Mark 10:29-30

100-fold reward prromised if people give up their families and houses



Mark 11:22-24

impractical advice on prayer



Mark 12:30

Love God at the all-all-all level



Mark 13:7-8

signs of the endtimes, wars, nations rise against nations, earthquakes: beginning of the birth pangs



Mark 13:11

say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit



Mark 13:17

woe to those who are pregnant or nursing



Mark 13:19

there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation…no, and never will be



Mark 13:27

then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds



Mark 13:30-31

this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place…my words will not pass away



Mark 13:37

and what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake



Mark 14:25

I won’t drink of the fruit of the vine until I drink it in the kingdom



Mark 14:62

you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven



Mark 16:15

Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation



Mark 16:16-18

baptised Christians will cast out demons, speak in tongues, drink poison, pick up snakes, heal people by touch




Matt 5:17-19

Not a single Old Testament law can be ignored or annulled



Matt 5:20

unless your righteousness exceeds that of religious leaders, you won’t enter the kingdom of heaven



Matt 5:22

if you call someone a fool, you will be liable to hell of fire



Matt 5:27-30

Jesus equates sexual arousal with adultery



Matt 5:31-32

whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery



Matt 5:33-37

Jesus on oaths



Matt 5:38-39

do not resist an evildoer



Matt 5:40-42

advice on being sued, go two miles instead of one, give to everyone who begs, always give to borrowers



Matt 5:48

be perfect, as your father in heaven is perfect



Matt 6:9-10

four things wrong with the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer



Matt 6:19-20

don’t store up treasures on earth, but store up treasures in heaven



Matt 6:32-34

strive first for kingdom of God, and everything else will be given to you



Matt 7:11

you who are evil



Matt 7:13-14

the gate is narrow, the wide gate leads to destruction



Matt 7:23

go away from me, evildoers



Matt 8:12

heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth



Matt 10:5-8

don’t go among the Gentiles or Samaritans; raise the dead



Matt 10:14-15

towns that reject the message will be destroyed



Matt 10:23

you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes



Matt 10:24

a slave is not above his master



Matt 10:33

whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my father in heaven



Matt 10:34-36

Jesus came to bring a sword, and to set family members against one another



Matt 10:37

whoever loves father or mother more than me, is not worth of me



Matt 11:4-5

Jesus brags about what he can do, including routinely raising the dead



Matt 11:13-14

John the Baptist is Elijah who is to come



Matt 11:21-24

woe to the cities that do no repent



Matt 11:25

these things have been hidden from the wise and given to infants



Matt 11:27

all things have been handed over to me by my father, no one knows the father except the son



Matt 12:6-8

something greater than the temple is here, son of man is the lord of the sabbath



Matt 12:31-32

blasphemy against the holy spirit can never be forgiven



Matt 12:36-37

on the day of judgment you’ll be held accountable for every careless word you utter



Matt 12:43-45

an evil spirit will return with seven even more evil spirits



Matt 12:46-50

Jesus rebuffs his mother and brothers; whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother



Matt 13:12

to those who have, more will be given; for those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away



Matt 13:39-42 & 49

the harvest is the end of the age; throw them into the furnace of fire; weeping & gnashing of teeth



Matt 15:11 & 20

it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles; to eat with unwashed hands does not defile



Matt 15:24 & 26

I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; don’t throw children’s food to dogs



Matt 15:22-28

Jesus insults a Gentile woman, comparing her to a dog



Matt 16:27-28

the son of man will come to repay everyone for what he has done; some here will see the son of man coming



Matt 17:17

Jesus gets nasty with his disciples: faithless & perverse generation. How much longer must I put up with you?



Matt 17:20

with faith the size of a mustard seed you can move a mountain. Nothing will be impossible for you



Matt 18:3-4

unless you change and become like children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven



Matt 18:6-7

if you put a stumbling block before one of these, it’s better if you were drowned in the sea



Matt 18:8-9

cut off your hand or foot; tear out your eye. Better than being thrown into eternal fire



Matt 18:18-19

if two of you on earth agree what to ask, it will be done for you by the father in heaven



Matt 18:34-35

the lord who had his slave tortured until he had paid debt; so will heavenly father do to those who don’t forgive



Matt 19:6

Jesus on divorce, what God has joined let me one separate



Matt 19:9

anyone who divorces and marries another commits adultery



Matt 19:26

for mortals (being saved) is impossible, but for God all things are possible



Matt 19:28-29

you will sit on 12 thrones, judging 12 tribes of Israel; you will receive 100-fold for leaving family, etc.



Matt 20:28

son of man came to give his life as a ransom for many



Matt 21:21-22

Jesus on prayer, i.e., moving mountains: whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive



Matt 22:14

king in parable orders improperly dressed man to be bound and thrown into out darkness



Matt 22:29-30

Jesus claims to know details about the afterlife, i.e., no marriage



Matt 22:31

Jesus proves the resurrection by the tense of a verb



Matt 22:37

greatest commandment: love God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind



Matt 23:9-10

call no one on earth “father” or “instructor”



Matt 23:39

you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the lord”



Matt 24:6-8

you will hear of wars & rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes; all this is but the beginnings of the birthpangs



Matt 24:14

this good news…will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all nations; then the end will come



Matt 24:21

there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world, and no never will be



Matt 24:37-39

when the son of man comes, there will be more suffering than at the time of Noah



Matt 24:51

he will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth


1,2, 3

Matt 25:41 & 46

Jesus fails as a great moral teacher in describing the last judgment



Matt 26:11

you will always have the poor with you, but you will not also have me



Matt 26:28

for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins



Matt 26:29

I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until I drink it new with you in my father’s kingdom



Matt 28:18

Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”



Matt 28:19

go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, son, and holy ghost



Matt 28:20

teaching them to obey all I have commanded you. I am with you always, to the end of the age




Luke 5:23

which is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven” or “Stand up and walk”? i.e., sickness is caused by sin



Luke 5:24

the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins



Luke 6:5

then he said to them, “The son of man is lord of the sabbath”



Luke 6:25

“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry,” “Woe to you who laugh now, you will mourn and weep”



Luke 6:29-30

to anyone who takes away your coat, give your shirt too; give to eveyone who begs; don’t ask to get back goods



Luke 6:35

Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return



Luke 8:10

to others I speak in parables, so that they look but not perceive, listen but not understand



Luke 8:18

from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away



Luke 8:21

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”



Luke 8:46

Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I noticed the power had gone out from me”



Luke 9:24

those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it



Luke 9:27

there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God



Luke 9:41

You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you?



Luke 9:60

Let the dead bury their dead



Luke 9:62

No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God



Luke 10:12

I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town



Luke 10:14

But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you



Luke 10:20

do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven



Luke 10:21

you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants



Luke 10:22

no one knows who the son is except the father, or who the father is except the son…



Luke 10:27

you shall love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, all your mind



Luke 11:13

If you who are evil, know how to give good gifts…how much more will the father give the holy spirit



Luke 11:26

then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there



Luke 11:27

blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you. No, blessed are those who hear God’s word



Luke 11:29

this generation is an evil genration



Luke 11:32

the queen of the south will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them



Luke 12:7

even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid, you are of more value than many sparrows



Luke 12:8-9

whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God



Luke 12:10

whoever blaspheres against the holy spirit will not be forgiven



Luke 12:22-23

do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear



Luke 12:30-31

all these things, your father knows you need them; instead strive for his kingdom, these things you will get



Luke 12:33

sell your possessions, give alms, make purses that don’t wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven



Luke 12:40

you also must be ready, for the son of man is coming at an unexpected hour



Luke 12:49

I come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled



Luke 12:51

Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division



Luke 12:52

from now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three



Luke 12:56

you know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, why don’t you know how to interpret the present



Luke 13:3 & 5

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did



Luke 13:16

a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years



Luke 13:27-28

I do not know where you come from; go away from me you evildoers; there will be weeping, gnashing of teeth


1, 3

Luke 14:14

for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous


1, 3

Luke 14:26

you must hate your family and even your life to be a disciple


1, 3

Luke 14:33

none of you can be my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions


1, 3

Luke 16:15

God knows your hearts; what is prized by humans is an abomination in the sight of God



Luke 16:17

it is easier for heaven & earth to pass away, than for one stroke of a letter of the law to be dropped



Luke 16:18

anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, as well as whoever marries a divorced woman



Luke 16:31

father Abraham shows no mercy



Luke 17:6

if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, a mulberry tree would obey you and go into the sea



Luke 17:26

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too will it be in the days of the son of man



Luke 17:35-37

On that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left



Luke 18:7

will God not grant justice to his chosen ones….will he delay long in helping them?



Luke 18:16-17

let the little childen come to me…whoever does not receive the kingdom like a child will never enter it



Luke 18:29-30

there is no one who has left house & family for the kingdom of God, who will not get back much more



Luke 20:34-35

those who belong to this age get married, but those who are worthy of the resurrection don’t marry



Luke 21:4

they have contributed out of their abundance, but she has given all she had to live on



Luke 21:9

wars and insurrections must take place first, but the end will not come immediately



Luke 21:17-19

you will be hated because of my name; not a hair of your head will perish; by endurance you will gain your soul



Luke 21:22

for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfilment of all that is written



Luke 21:26

people will faint from fear & foreboding…for the powers of heaven will be shaken



Luke 21:27

they will see the son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory



Luke 21:32-33

this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place…my words will not pass away



Luke 21:36

pray you will have the strength to escape all these things, and to stand before the son of man



Luke 22:16

I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God



Luke 22:18

from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes



Luke 22:19

This is my body which is given for you



Luke 22:20

This cup that is poured out for you in the new covenant in my blood



Luke 22:29-30

I confer on you a kingdom, so that you may eat at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging



Luke 22:36

the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one



Luke 22:69

from now on the son of man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God



Luke 23:28-31

the days are come when they will say, Blessed are the barren & wombs that never bore & breasts that didn’t nurse



Luke 23:43

Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise



Luke 24:25

Oh how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared



Luke 24:49

I am sending upon you what my father promised, so stay here until you have been clothed with power from on high




John 1:51

You will see heaven open, angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man



John 2:19

Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days



John 3:3

No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again



John 3:13

No one has ascended to heaven except the one who descended, the Son of Man



John 3:15

That whoever believes in him may have eternal life



John 4:14

The water that Jesus gives will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life



John 4:26

I, the one speaking to you, I am he (the messiah)



John 5:14

Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you



John 5:19

The son can do nothing by himself; whatever the father does, the son does



John 5:21

The father raises the dead…even so the son gives life to whomever he pleases



John 5:22

The father judges no one, but entrusts all judgment to the son



John 5:23

Whoever does not honor the son does not honor the father who sent him



John 5:24

Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life



John 5:25

A time is coming when the dead will hear the voice of the son of God and will live



John 5:28-29

Those in their graves will hear; doers of good will rise to life, evil doers condemned



John 5:36

The works the father has given me to finish…testify that the father has sent me



John 5:38

His word does not dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent



John 5:39-40

You study the scriptures…they testify about me, you refuse to come to me to have life



John 5:42

I know you do not have the love of God in your hearts



John 5:46

If you believed Moses, you would believe in me, for he wrote about me



John 6:27

Work for good that endures to eternal life, which the son of man will give you



John 6:35

I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never go hungry



John 6:39

This is God’s will: I won’t lose any of those given to me; will raise them up on the last day



John 6:40

Everyone who looks to the son and believes in him will have eternal life



John 6:45

Everyone who has heard the father and learned from him come to me



John 6:46

No one has seen the father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the father



John 6:51

I am the living bread from heaven…this bread is my flesh…I give for the life of the world



John 6:53-58

…whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…



John 6:63

The spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing…my words are full of life and spirit



John 7:16

My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me



John 7:17

Anyone who chooses to the will of God will find out if my teachings come from God or me



John 7:28-29

I am not here on my our authority. The one who sent me is true; you don’t know him



John 7:33-34

I am going to the one who sent me…where I am, you cannot come



John 7:38

Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow within them



John 8:12

I am the light of the world; those who follow him won’t walk in darkness, but have light



John 8:16

My decisions are true; I am not alone; I stand with my father who sent me



John 8:18

I testify for myself. My other witness is my father who sent me



John 8:23-24

To the Jews: you are from below, I am from above; if you don’t believe me, you’ll die in your sins



John 8:28

I do nothing on my own, but speak just what the father has taught me



John 8:29

The one who sent me had not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him



John 8:34

Everyone who sins is a slave to sin



John 8:42

If God were your father you would love me, for I have come here from God



John 8:44

You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires



John 8:47

Whoever belongs to God hears what God says…you don’t hear because you don’t belong to God



John 8:51

Whoever obey my word will never see death



John 8:54

My father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me



John 8:55

Though you do not know him, I know him; If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you



John 8:56

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad



John 8:58

Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am



John 9:3

Neither this man nor his parents sinned. He was born blind so that God’s works could be displayed



John 9:5

While I am in the world, I am the light of the world



John 9:37

You have now seen the son of man. In fact, he is the one speaking to you



John 9:39

I have come for judgment, so the blind will see, and those who see will become blind



John 10:7

Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep



John 10:9

I am the gate, whoever enters through me will be saved



John 10:11

I am the good shepherd, who lays down his life for the sheep



John 10:14

I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know me



John 10:15

Just as the father knows me and I know the father, and I lay down my life for the sheep



John 10:17

The reason the father loves me is that I lay down my life, only to take it up again



John 10:18

I have authority to lay it down and take it up again. This command I received from my father



John 10:25

You do not believe me. The works I do in my father’s name testify about me



John 10:28

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, no one will snatch them out of my hand



John 10:30

I and the father are one



John 10:38

Believe the works, that you may know and understand that the father is in me, and I in the father



John 11:4

This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory, so that God’s son may be glorified



John 11:14-15

Lazarus is dead. I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe



John 11:25-26

I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in me will never die



John 12:8

You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me



John 12:23

The hour has come for the son of man to be glorified



John 12:25

Anyone who loves their life will lose it. Anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eteral life



John 12:26

Whoever serves me must follow me; where I am my servant will also be



John 12:27-28

Shall I ask the father to save me from this hour? No it was for this very reason I came to this hour



John 12:31

Now is the time for the judgment of the world. The prince of this world will be driven out



John 12:32

And I, when I am lifted up from the world, will draw all people to myself



John 12:36

Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light



John 12:44

Whoever believes in me does not believe only in me, but in the one who sent me



John 12:45

The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me



John 12:48

There is a judge for the one who does not accept my words; my words will condemn them at the last day



John 12:49

I did not speak on my own. The father who sent me commanded me to say all I have spoken



John 12:50

His command leads to eternal life. Whatever I saw is just what the father told me to say



John 13:31

Now the son of man is glorified, and God is glorified in him



John 13:32

If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the son in himself, and will glorify him at once



John 14:1-4

In my father’s house there are many rooms…I will take you with me that you may be where I am



John 14:6

I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me



John 14:7

If you already know me, you will know my father as well…you know him and have seen him



John 14:9

Anyone who has seen me has seen the father



John 14:10

Don’t you know I am in the father…the words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority



John 14:13

I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the father may be glorified in the son



John 14:14

You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it



John 14:16

I will ask the father, and he will give you another advocate, to help you and be with you forever



John 14:21

The one who loves me will be loved by my father…I too will love them and show myself to them



John 14:23

Anyone who loves me will obey my teachings. My father will love them…we will make our home with them



John 14:24

Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teachings…the words belong to the father who sent me



John 14:26

The advocate, the holy spirit, whom the father will send in my name, will remind you of everything I said



John 14:30

I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me



John 14:31

He comes so that the world may learn that I love the father and do exactly what my father has commanded



John 15:1

I am the true vine and my father is the gardener



John 15:4

Remain in me as I also remain in you…neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me



John 15:5

I am the vine, you are the branches…apart from me you can do nothing



John 15:6

If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away…thrown into the fire and burned



John 15:7

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you



John 15:16

I chose you and appointed you so that you might bear fruit…whatever you ask the father will be given



John 15:19

You do not belong to the world. I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you



John 15:23

Whoever hates me hates the father as well



John 15:24-25

They have hated both me and my father… to fulfill their Law. They have hated me without reason



John 16:7

It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you



John 16:8-11

When he come he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment



John 16:13

When the spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all the truth…he will tell you what is to come



John 16:14

He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you



John 16:15

All that belongs to the father is mine. This is why I said the spirit will receive from me what he will tell you



John 16:23

In that day you will no longer ask me anything. My father will give you whatever you ask in my name



John 16:27

The father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I have come from God



John 16:28

I came from the father and entered the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the father



John 16:33

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have conquered the world



John 17: 2

You granted the son authority over all people that he may give eternal life to all those you have given him



John 17:3

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent



John 17:4

I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you have me to do



John 17:5

And now father glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began



John 17:10

All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them



John 17:11

Father protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one



John 17:22

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one



John 17:23

I in them and you in me–so that they may be brought to complete unity. The world will know you sent me



John 17:24

I want those you have given me…to see my glory…because you loved me before the creation of the world



John 18:36

My kingdom is not of this world. It it were my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders



John 18:37

I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me



John 20:17

Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the father…I am ascending to my God and your God



John 20:29

Because you have seen me, you believe. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed

Even a fan orgy of four Jesus lovers couldn’t paint their hero is pristine terms. The gospels spill the beans on Jesus, if he was real and was accurately quoted, then he was not a good person.

(3242) Disguising God’s name

Biblical translators have been busy massaging the scriptures to make them more digestible for modern readers. The following discusses a strategic change that was made to the most popular Psalm (23rd):


The author of this psalm made clear at the outset that his intent was to improve the image of his particular god; thus he starts by stating the name of the god. Gods commonly had names, and the Hebrew god did as well. But as theologians sought to knock off the rough edges of this god—as they sought to boost monotheism—god no longer needed a name. So translators have disguised the name in their renderings. No, the psalm does not start with the words, “The LORD is my shepherd.” Wherever we see lord in all-caps, LORD, that’s a disguise for YHWH, i.e., the name of the Hebrew god. This is commonly spelled Yahweh, but if you put in different vowels you get Jehovah; there is confusion because the Hebrew was written without vowels. But it sounds much better—to our modern ears—when we read:

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.”

This psalm would not be as beloved if it read, “Yahweh is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Manipulating the translation in this manner is an example of how the scriptures often need adjustment to cultivate  the the imagination of the faithful.

(3243) Simulations are sufficient

The following discussion presents a theory that much of what people experience as being supernatural is actually a simulation. The simulation feels real because it creates the same emotions that the real thing would cause. The following was taken from:


[Jean] Baudrillard defines the term “simulacrum” as something that is only an image of something either real or imagined, but that is interacted with as if it really is what it represents. This interaction can be referred to as a “simulation” of what a real interaction with the real thing would be like. So for example, if someone wears a pendant and believes it is lucky, the physical pendant has become a simulacrum of a magical pendant. To the wearer, it represents the idea of a magical pendant, and is treated directly as if it were magical. When a person believes that the pendant brings them luck, they’re simulating the experience that the pendant actually is magical. The physical pendant itself can be completely mundane, and have no magical properties whatsoever – but to the wearer, who is simulating a magical experience in their mind, otherwise mundane but fortunate events are perceived as expressions of the pendant’s power. One can think similarly about idols that are prayed to as if they are direct representations of gods – or pictures, possessions, or internal images of deceased loved ones that are spoken to as if they contain that person’s consciousness.

According to Baudrillard […] God himself, as experienced by the religious, was probably just another simulacrum – an image, representing the concept of a supreme supernatural being. Religious followers simulated an experience of this supreme being in their own mind by the way that they interpreted otherwise natural events, but this experience most likely involved no actual supreme being interacting with them at all. So when I experienced profound emotions due to what I perceived as the Holy Spirit, I was (according to Baudrillard) just simulating subconsciously in my own mind what I would feel like if the Holy Spirit actually existed and was reaching out to me. I experienced real emotions, but they were in response to a simulated experience. It felt real because my mind made it feel real. Our brains, apparently, are profoundly adept at creating simulations for our consciousness to experience.

Evidently the human mind can be easily fooled. It can blur the line between reality and fantasy without our consciousness recognizing it. A simulation can be perceived as the same thing it is simulating. Religion has exploited this vulnerability to its advantage throughout the ages- there’s no need for there to be anything real- simulations are sufficient.

(3244) Atheism is falsifiable, Christianity is not

Atheists often repeat the mantra that Christianity is not falsifiable, and therefore it does not enjoy the same pedigree of authenticity as other concepts that potentially can be shown to be false. If something is immune from being shown untrue, then it is usually unwise to adopt it as a working belief.

However, some say that atheism itself is not falsifiable, at least in a functional sense, referring to an atheist’s ability to rationalize any event or condition that on the surface appears to be supernatural. However, there are many things that could falsify atheism, such as

– prayer studies showing a positive correlation

– ancient scriptures that contain knowledge only recently discovered

– the detected presence of spiritual beings (demons, angels, etc.)

– observed violations of natural physical laws (gravity, conservation of mass and energy, etc.)

– indisputable medical miracles (restored limbs, paralysis cures, resurrection of the dead, etc.)

– people speaking in tongues shown to be real languages unknown to them otherwise

– verified messages received from the deceased

– near death or out-of-body experiences that reveal the receipt of otherwise unattainable information

– alien contact confirms they had an identical religious experience

– actual return of Jesus with a rapture of the faithful

Any of these events would be a serious blow to atheism, requiring a rational response that might itself be less rational than admitting the existence of the supernatural. But even it all of these events do not occur (which they haven’t so far), Christianity can go along without a single dent (at least among the faithful) because they don’t prove Christianity wrong- they merely suggest that it is. Christianity is not falsifiable. Atheism is. And that makes all the difference.

(3245) Missionary abduction

On October 16, 2021, 17 Christian missionaries were abducted in Haiti. As of November 15, their fate remains uncertain, though the ultimate outcome is not particularly relevant to this discussion. Christians generally will assume the following:

1) God observed the abduction.

2) God had the capability to stop the abduction.

3) God deliberately decided not to stop it.

These ‘facts’ are not controversial and virtually every Christian will agree with them. So, in the interest of maintaining their faith, an explanation is needed for why God did not protect his earthly emissaries. Here are some of the potential arguments:

1) God did not want to thwart the free will of the kidnappers. Well, OK, but what about the free will of the missionaries, who obviously did not want to suffer this fate?

2) God does protect his missionaries, and when he does this, you hear nothing because nothing has happened, but this was just an exception. Well, OK, but why make an exception when in this case, several children are involved?

3) God has a special purpose for this that is beyond human understanding. Well, OK, this is the usual cop-out for anything that doesn’t meet the smell test, and it is a meaningless argument that can be used anytime expectations are not met.

Here are two more possible explanations:

4) God is not omnipotent or not omniscient, or both. Perhaps he saw it happening and couldn’t stop it, or he never saw it real time and therefore couldn’t intervene.

5) God does not exist, evil is ubiquitous, and things like this happen from time to time.

One of these five ‘explanations’ for what happened is likely to be the most accurate. The first three are problematic as discussed above, and the fourth is something most Christians are loathe to concede. This leaves the fifth as the most sensible way to approach this and other similar events.  In fact, ‘God does not exist’ is a powerful explanation for virtually everything that happens.

(3246) The form Jesus will take on his return

Almost all Christians believe that Jesus will return to the earth some day, and do something involving the judgment of humanity (details of which are all over the map). But what form will Jesus take when he returns? It seems it will happen in one of the following four ways:

1) Jesus repeats the same way he came the first time- as a fetus, who is birthed by a virgin, and then grows up to be a man, and 30 years later starts to do something. But his seems to be rather anti-climactic and very few Christians are expecting this scenario.

2) Jesus returns in his previous form, as a 30 year old man, but this time he simply appears out of nowhere. If a security camera were to capture this scene, a long-haired, bearded man would suddenly appear out of nowhere. This seems quite implausible as well.

3) Jesus returns in his previous form, but stays in the sky and does not land on the earth. There are scriptures written by Paul that suggest that Jesus will appear ‘in the clouds’ and rapture his followers off the earth, and usher them to heaven. This scenario has a big problem, a Jesus man in the sky will be very difficult to see, and the only way to solve that problem would be for Jesus to upsize himself. It also seems hard to see how Jesus as a man could hover and breathe unless he was close to the ground, in which case he would be hard to see except for those in the immediate vicinity.

4) Jesus takes on an entirely different shape and appearance, perhaps as a giant ball of fire, or as one the phantasmagorical characters mentioned in the Book of Revelation. But if he does this, is this really the Jesus that all Christians imagine? At the least this will be confusing- ‘Is that Jesus, huh?’ That’s not the Jesus that would fit the image in Christians’ minds.

What this points out is that there isn’t a reasonable theory about what form Jesus would take on his second earthly mission. They all have problems. When no scenario seems plausible, there’s good reason to conclude that we’re dealing with something that’s not really going to happen.

(3247) Acceptance of vaccination science

It is illuminating to see the differences between atheists and people of faith in their acceptance of the vaccines that were developed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides a unique insight into the mindsets of these groups because it is an issue that is almost entirely separated from religious dogma- it is simply an article of public health policy. The following was taken from:


Atheists have a reputation for putting their faith in science, not divination.

Now, it’s a fact. A new Pew Research Center survey shows that the godless are more likely to get vaccinated for COVID-19 compared to religious groups — as 90% of atheist respondents said that they will “definitely” or “probably” seek the shot, or have already received their first vaccine dose.

Meanwhile, an average of 77% of Catholics will go in for the jab, and only 62% of Protestant participants — including white or Hispanic evangelicals and worshippers at historically black churches — will do the same.

By contrast, nearly half — 45% — of white evangelicals say they “definitely” or “probably will not” seek the coronavirus vaccine, regardless of the manufacturer. And they appear split down the middle as 54% affirmed that they likely will get the shot.

Insights into how various spiritual communities currently approach vaccination were first reported by Religion News Service, as part of a broader report by Pew researchers to investigate Americans’ intentions regarding COVID-19 vaccination, published Friday. The survey of 10,121 adults was conducted last month, between Feb. 16 and 21.

What this shows is that religious people do not think as logically as atheists, not just about religious matters, but essentially everything else as well. A COVID-19 vaccine should show no difference in the acceptance of these two groups (minus perhaps a small effect of disinformation about the use of fetal cells). If religious minds are as defective as this survey appears to indicate, then, in a backhanded way, it casts a shadow of doubt on the theistic dogma that they hold to be true.

(3248) Religious thinking stifles creativity

It might seem intuitive that combining your mind with the mind of God in prayer or thought would expand your mental horizons and peak your creativity, but recent research has shown the opposite to be true. Thinking about God is actually a good way to dry up your creative juices. The following was taken from:


New research provides evidence that thinking about God can stifle the creativity of believers, particularly among those who adopt a passive follower mindset after contemplating their Creator. But believers appeared to be just as creative as their faithless counterparts when not thinking about God. The new findings, published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, shed light on the impact of monotheistic belief in God on creativity.

“There is a growing demand to give believers the latitude to express their faith at work, which means that people spend some of their time at work thinking about God. Yet, we know little about how doing so might impact task performance. As a creativity researcher, I thus wanted to know whether believing in and thinking about God affects people’s creativity,” said study author Verena Krause, an assistant professor at the University College London School of Management.

After examining data from the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, a nationally representative sample of 35,957 adults, and records published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the researchers found that states with more religious believers tended to have a reduced patent output in the years 2007 to 2012 compared to states with less religious believers. This was true even after controlling for education levels, income, median age of the population, and the number of and quality of universities in each state.

But this finding only established that belief in God was correlated with a single measure of creativity.

To establish causality and rule out alternative explanations, the researchers conducted a series of five experiments, which included 313 participants from Israel and 1,537 participants from the United States. In the studies, the participants were randomly assigned to a God-prime or a control-prime condition before completing an assessment of creativity.

Krause and her team found that belief in God was associated with reduced creative ability, but only when a religious individual had been directed to actively think about God. Thinking about God did not appear to reduce the creativity of non-believers. “Our findings were replicated using different manipulations of thinking about God, different sample populations, and using both convergent and divergent measures of creativity, with both having important counterparts in the workplace,” the researchers noted.

A passive followership mindset appeared to play a key role in the relationship between thinking about God and creativity. Thinking about God was associated with feeling directed, led, guided, and devoted among believers, which in turn was associated with reduced creativity.

“The main takeaway of our studies is that people who believe in one God may feel like they are passive followers of their God when they are thinking about Him, which in turn may lead them to be less creative,” Krause told PsyPost. “It is important to note though that believers are not inevitably less creative but only when they are thinking about their God. If they are not thinking about their God, they may be just as creative as non-believers. Thus, given that creativity is important in many professions it might be advisable for believers to not think about their God while attempting to be creative.”

A corollary to this finding would be the probable fact that profound and near continuous focus on gods in the distant past stifled human progress… which runs primarily on the fuel of creativity. Another effect could be that religions that were able to saturate the public consciousness had a built in defense against being falsified because they successfully kept followers from thinking ‘out of the box’ so to speak. So once Christianity established its foothold, it grew like a snowball rolling downhill, gaining new believers, and keeping them from thinking too deeply about all of the absurdities and implausibilities it was disseminating.

(3249) No out for compassionate Christians

Many Christians today sense that there is something terribly wrong with the concept of hell, the idea that people (many of them very good) deserve to be eternally tortured for the trivial ‘crime’ of not accepting Jesus as their savior. So they apply their modern sense of morality and believe hell to be a non-tormenting experience, a ‘separation from God,’ or else that non-believers will simply be annihilated. But they can’t get away with this. Their scriptures demand the ugly, macabre version of hell. The following was taken from:


This text, which in some translations is also found in Mark 9:44 and 46, is a quote from Isaiah 66:24. The passage describes a future time when God will gather His people to Jerusalem and they will worship God for eternity (Isaiah 66:18–23). Those who are not His will face everlasting destruction and torment, metaphorically described as the worm and the fire.

“Worm” is from the Greek root word scolex and refers to a maggot that eats dead flesh. The fact that it does not die suggests a different meaning, although scholars are not sure what. Both this verse and Isaiah 66:24 say “their worm,” meaning it may be something the unbeliever brought with them, perhaps their shame and regret.

Annihilationism is the belief that after God’s final judgment, unbelievers will cease to exist. This is one of the verses that demonstrates this belief is unbiblical. The worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. It may bring comfort to think our non-Christian loved ones will be spared eternal torment, but God made our souls to be eternal.

You live by the scriptures, and die by the scriptures. If God breathed his message into the hand of the author of Mark, then it was his intent to show that he intends to torment non-believers forever. Christians must either concede this fact or else admit that the above scriptures are in error.

(3250) Bible’s obsession with dietary laws

Reading the Bible would make one believe that God was overly obsessed with what humans were eating, as he promulgated scores of dietary laws that seem to have little or nothing to do with a person’s righteousness or worthiness. This seems to be something that humans would concoct rather than the supernatural creator of the universe. The following compilation of biblical dietary laws was taken from:


1) Be a vegan

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. Genesis 1:29

2) Be an omnivore.

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. Genesis 9:3

3) Don’t eat blood.

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. Genesis 9:4

It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood. Leviticus 3:17

Ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Leviticus 7:26

No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood. … Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof. Leviticus 17:12-14

Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood. Leviticus 19:26

Ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water. Deuteronomy 12:16

Thou shalt not eat the blood thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water. Deuteronomy 15:23

Abstain … from blood. Acts 15:20

It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us … that ye abstain … from blood. Acts 15:28-29

As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves … from blood. Acts 21:25

Maimonides #192: Not to eat blood —Lev. 3:17

4) Don’t eat any animal (or its fat) that died of natural causes or was killed by other animals.

Neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field. Exodus 22:31

And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts … ye shall in no wise eat of it. Leviticus 7:24

That which dieth of itself, or is torn with beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith. Leviticus 22:8

Maimonides #190: Not to eat meat of an animal that was mortally wounded — Ex. 22:30

5) If you find an animal that has died of natural causes or was killed by other animals, feed it to the dogs or strangers, or sell it to aliens.

Flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs. Exodus 22:31

Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien. Deuteronomy 14:21

6) Don’t eat any fat, not even in your own home.

(All the fat is the Lord’s.)

All the fat is the LORD’s. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood. Leviticus 3:16-17

Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat. Leviticus 7:23

Maimonides #193: Not to eat certain fats of clean animals — Lev. 3:17

7) Don’t eat camels, conies, hares, or swine.

These shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat. Leviticus 11:4-8

Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh. Deuteronomy 14:7-8

Maimonides #180: Not to eat non-kosher animals — Lev. 11:4

8) Eat animals that live in water and have fins and scales.

These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. Leviticus 11:9

These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat. Deuteronomy 14:9

Maimonides #178: To examine the signs of fish to distinguish between kosher and non-kosher — Lev. 11:9

9) Don’t eat animals that live in the water but don’t have fins or scales.

(They are abominations.)

All that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh. Ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 11:10-12

Whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you. Deuteronomy 14:10

Maimonides #182: Not to eat non-kosher fish — Lev. 11:11

10) The following birds are abominations: eagles, vultures, ospreys, kites, ravens, owls, nighthawks, hawks, cuckoos, cormorants, swans, pelicans, storks, herons, lapwings, and bats. Don’t eat them.

And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; Every raven after his kind; And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. Leviticus 11:13-19

But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, And every raven after his kind, And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. Deuteronomy 14:12-18

Maimonides #181: Not to eat non-kosher fowl — Lev. 11:13

11) Don’t eat fowls that creep and walk upon all four.

(They are abominations.)

All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 11:20

Every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten. Deuteronomy 14:19

12) Eat flying creeping things that walk on four with legs above their feet. Among these are locusts, beetles, and grasshoppers.

Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 11:21-23

Maimonides #179: To examine the signs of locusts to distinguish between kosher and non-kosher — Lev. 11:21

13) Don’t eat creeping things that creep on the earth.

(They are abominations.)

And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. Leviticus 11:41

Maimonides #184: Not to eat non-kosher creatures that crawl on land — Lev. 11:41

14) Don’t eat any animal that crawls on its belly, goes on all four, or has lots of feet.

(They are all abominations.)

Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. Leviticus 11:42

Maimonides #186: Not to eat worms found in fruit on the ground — Lev. 11:42

15) Don’t eat any abominable thing.

Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. Deuteronomy 14:3

Maimonides #392: Not to eat sacrifices which have become unfit or blemished — Deut. 14:3

16) Eat these animals: oxen, sheep, goats, harts, roebucks, fallow deer, pygargs, and chamois.

These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. Deuteronomy 14:4-5

17) Eat clean birds.

Of all clean birds ye shall eat. Deuteronomy 14:11

All clean fowls ye may eat. Deuteronomy 14:20

Maimonides #177: To examine the signs of fowl to distinguish between kosher and non-kosher — Deut. 14:11

18) Eat your firstborn bulls and sheep in the place where God chooses.

All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock … thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household. Deuteronomy 15:19-20

19) Eat honey.

Eat thou honey, because it is good. Proverbs 24:13

20) Don’t eat too much honey.

Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it. Proverbs 25:16

21) Eat bread with joy.

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy. Ecclesiastes 9:7

22) Pay no attention to what you eat or drink.

Take no thought for … what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink. Matthew 6:25Luke 12:22

Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? Matthew 6:31

Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink. Luke 12:29

Let no man therefore judge you in meat or drink. Colossians 2:16

Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. 1 Timothy 4:4

23) Eat Jesus’s body and drink his blood.

(Or you’ll have no life in you.)

Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. John 6:53-54

24) Kill and eat animals.

Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. Acts 10:9-13

In a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. Acts 11:5-7

25) Abstain from meats offered to idols.

(This seemed like a good rule to the Holy Ghost.)

Abstain from pollutions of idols. Acts 15:20

Abstain from meats offered to idols. Acts 15:28-29

As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols. Acts 21:25

But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: 1 Corinthians 10:28

26) Abstain from strangled things.

(This also seemed good to the Holy Ghost.)

Abstain … from things strangled. Acts 15:20

It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us … that ye abstain … from things strangled. Acts 15:28-29

As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves … from strangled. Acts 25

27) Don’t judge those with different dietary preferences.

Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth. Romans 14:3

28) Don’t destroy a vegetarian by serving meat.

(For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink.)

If thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink. Romans 14:15-17

29) Eat whatever is sold at the store.

(Don’t let your conscience bother you.)

Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 1 Corinthians 10:25

30) If you are invited to dinner at an unbeliever’s house, eat whatever is set before you.

(Don’t let your conscience bother you.)

If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 1 Corinthians 10:27

These myriad and sometimes contradictory dietary laws are purely the product of human minds and tell us that we are peering into the superstitious, unscientific minds that existed thousands of years ago. Any person taking any of these laws to heart are being gullibly controlled by ancient people.

Follow this link to #3251