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Ask the Patriarch 258
More questioning the Old Testament... and the New

from: ArmyDicked

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I apologize for my 'late night' rant but I just had a heated exchange with my hyper-religious nephew and it just had my head spinning.  I normally limit my rants to one obscenity per message and it appears I exceeded my quota.  I can take the NEW TESTAMENT else LEAVE IT because, to me, it's harmless. It's the OLD TESTAMENT that has me going.

  1. Yesterday, I was accosted by some nutcase of an Ultra-Orthodox Jew who screamed Jesus is not the King of the Jews because he is a MEMSZER (a bastard child). Technically, this is true. GOD did not get permission of Joseph to impregnate his virgin wife (Is God pulling that 'Right of Kings' to deflower virgins on their wedding night that Gilgamesh liked to do?).

  2. Jesus is a LEVITE, House of David; House of Judah. At the Roman conquest of Palestine, the Levites had been excluded from the monarchy since the fall of the Jewish Kingdom in 582BC.  As a Jew, Jesus wasn't Sh*t (ooops) anything---It be as if an Englishman claimed the Crown of England because his ancestors were STEWARTS!!! Jesus had no right to claim he was King of the Jews.  This is one reason MODERN Jews (except those idiot Jews for Jesus) don't consider Jesus anything more than a RABBI and the Muslims a PROPHET.

  3. We don't even know if he was Circumcised. The Bible doesn't say.  I had a Muslim girlfriend who insisted he wasn't circumcised.  The sign that he was King of the Jews wouldn't make sense by itself because the JEWS already had a King BUT he wasn't circumcised and his towel fell (whatever) from the cross that KING OF THE JEWS AND CROWN OF THORNS would have been hysterically funny which --- epistemologically, IT WOULD!!! 

  4. Don't get me started on GENESIS. The Jews themselves have about eight versions of it. There's a version where God makes the Universe, then Earth then ADAM & Lilith (Adam's sometimes mentioned first wife) who were not made of mud. She used to only do Adam 'Cowgirl/Reverse Cowgirl' and when he complained she left him...something about modern JEWS writing the names of the angels who tried to bring her back to prevent her from killing infants...she's also the goddess of WET DREAMS!!! The Jews then have God making Adam then the planets then EARTH then EVE and another one in reverse order. WTF!!!

  5. I don't believe in FLAMING Popsicles no matter how hard I try---its the same thing that the Man/Earth/Sun/Stars/Planets are only 6-8,000 years old. 23 OCT 4004BC or give or take six days!!!  Please.  The Otsi the caveman (found 2004) is a  Neolithic hominid who dates back to 5-6,000BC. We can radio-carbon date meteorites to 3 Billion years and the earth about 4.3 million years old.  

    I hate how Christians make things up to fit their myths. If you ask about the 23 OCT 4004BC date they'll go "Well, even though the Bible says God made everything in 6 days, they weren't Celestial days but GOD DAYS? WTF? I asked my Nephew "If God is God, he can never tire or get sick, Right?!!!  So why did he rest on the Sabbath? What" The 49ers were playing or something?!!!   Also, If we are MUD MEN (God made Out of MUD), how is it our DNA has zero silica in it but is almost 97% matched with monkeys and rats? The bible itself was written 300 years after the death of Christ, half of it steals page after page from the Torah and any other old camp fire story passing around (like Gilgamesh & the Flood; David & Goliath, Samson & Delilah (or was that Tom Jones?). And don't get me started on Jonah & the ...(big fish)!!! "Big FISH that got away STORY!!!

  6. Does God have testicles like Adam has?  That infers GOD has sex, right? With whom? His Angels? His Girlfriend? Why would Adam have them if there was no EVE? What? To better annoy the sheep with? Like I say, none of this makes sense!!

  7. There have been four JEWISH MESSIAHS, only one properly analyzed (the one who became Secret Muslim in Turkey around 1609). Jesus was dead for over 300 years before the first Greek writing on him took place.  There is no contemporary written record of Jesus existing---that be like me writing about George Washington or about the Pilgrims!!!  Forget the miracles, just Jesus' sayings and preaching are, for me suspect.  

  8. The Trinity is contradictory.  How can you have God saying that he is a Jealous God and not to have other Gods before him but he has to share with my worship with Jesus & Casper the Holy Ghost?  Me? I don't Like GOD---too arrogant, too dependent, too emotional & hot-headed --- forces you to kill your kid to prove your love for him. JESUS & SATAN never did that!!!

  9. Why is there a Heaven? Why is there a need for a Parallel Universe if this one is so perfect?

  10. Why is there such wickedness/waste/wrongness if there is a GOD? Did he make another Adam & Eve (EDDIE & Steve) and only wants to hang out with the 'Good Ones'?!!!  I gotta know!!!

The Patriarch replies:

I'm not sure I was ready to go a second round with you before the first one was even published, but here goes, though I won't cover every single point.

I don't agree with you that the New Testament is harmless. There's a number of issues I could take on to show the harm, but the one I'll go with here is the End-Times prophecy element. There are far too many Christians who believe End Times will occur in their lifetimes, some of whom actually do their best to bring it about including encouraging the Israelis to undertake the reconstruction of the Temple (which would involve detroying Islams third holiest mosque). Others use End Times as their excuse to fight conservation efforts and to deny or ignore global warming. Some actually believe it is required by God to use up all Earth's resources so that End Times can come. And the New Testament is where they find justification.

As to Jesus being a bastard - I don't think that's biblical. Bastardy requires being born out of wedlock. By the standards of the day, Joseph and Mary were married when she gave birth, and Joseph never denied paternity. Joseph may have been cuckolded, but still, Jesus was not a bastard - as far as the New Testament is concerned. And there is no Jewish documentation which predates the gospels that contradicts this.

Did God deflower a virgin? It's been fairly well established that the New Testament story of Mary being a virgin is based on a Greek translation error of Isaiah. But in any event, Christian theology has Mary getting pregnant through an injection by the Holy Ghost somewhere other than her vagina. It had no effect on her virginal status or otherwise.

Jesus as King of the Jews. Most Bible translations don't have Jesus making this claim - it's a title put on him - sometimes respectfully, sometimes mockingly. And those Christians who like to say Christ the King are referring to him as their king - not King of the Jews. In any event, it's a spiritual king - there was no attempt to supplant Herod.

Jesus' circumcision - given the time, it would be highly unusual if he was not circumcised, and 1 January is celebrated as Feast of the Circumcision. Amusingly, a dozen or more Holy Prepuces were sold to credulous Crusaders and some are still in various European churches as holy relics. Amusing it may be to to consider the implications if he wasn't circumcised, but if Jesus existed, realistically, he was circumcised.

I'm not too sure about eight Jewish versions of Genesis, but indeed there are extra-Biblical stories about creation in The Mishna and The Talmud. But other than Lilith being the actual first woman, I'm not familiar with the other things you mention.

I'm sure you are writing from memory rather than with sources in front of you. Otzi was found in 1991, and it is estimated he lived around 3300 BC. As to Christian views on the age of the Earth, I think I covered that in the previous piece. But you mention the Bible written 300 years after the death of Christ? I suggest that contemporary scholarship would place most of of the writing between 20 and 80 years afterwards. 300 years is a reasonable time for when the canonical bible got established, with a number of texts tossed out.

Whether God has testicles or not is something I don't worry about. Convince me he exists, then I'll worry about what he looks like. The "made in his image" thing is generally regarded as "spiritual image."

The nature of expecting a messiah guarantees there will occasionally be a claimant who gains followers. Most recently the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson who died in 1994 was widely expected to make the claim - but had the misfortune to die, aged 92 before he got around to it.

The Trinity, as non-trinitarian Christians are fond of pointing out, is never mentioned in the Bible. It is easy for each side of this difference of opinion to mock the other's belief. It is also all too easy to confuse the two positions. As a non-believer I dwell on this issue as much as I do on the multiple incarnations of Krishna.

I'd suggest that Heaven may be an elaboration on the Greek idea of the Elysian Fields reserved for heroes and the virtuous, whereas most of the dead ended up suffering in Hades, repurposed by Christians as Hell.

As to your final question dealing with the problem of evil, I recommend to you:

God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer by Bart D. Ehrman. A very good book by a theologian who happens to be agnostic.