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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Interesting Bible Trivia

Here is a quick quiz for everyone: What is the one Commandment (out of the 'traditional' Ten Commentments) That Jesus Christ Himself did not break? Please consider the four gospels and the Acts in your answer.

If you guessed "graven image" then you are correct. Jesus lied, murdered, coveted, dishonored his parents, blasphemed, failed to keep holy the Sabbath, stole, held up other gods besides God, and committed adultery through lust.

So go check this post out by Ed Brayton. 'Relative' and 'Absolute'? I think someone needs to go to someone more logical than Christianity to define those terms.

I mean if both eating shellfish (like lobster, crab and shrimp) and homosexuality were both 'abominations' to God in Leviticus, but suddenly in the time of Jesus, eating anything was now acceptable but being gay was still wrong proves that 'relative' is in the eye of the religious beholder... as is slavery and a black man marrying a white woman.

I guess killing falls in the same category: It is morally acceptable to kill ala war and the death penalty, but wrong to kill otherwise is absolute, but killing due to only justifiable war, and no death penalty is relative. Who would have guessed?

Discuss the absurdities.

[Update: In comments, Rhology challenged me on my claim that Jesus violated 9 of the 10 Commandments. He wanted me to cite references. So the following addition to this post is my response to that request.]

Rhology, you are correct, I should have given references to all this, but I was feeling lazy and figured it was all known and simply accepted. I had been explained all this when I grew up in private Christian schools. It is all in the gospels clear to see, and required explanation. Of course the reasons given then make no sense to me now because I am older and more rational. In fact the only broken commandment that is not explicitly stated as such is the lust/adultery and that dealt with Jesus and Mary Magdaline. (This was well before Da Vinci Code, Last Temptation of Christ and even Holy Blood/Holy Grail). So let's look at them one at a time and I will mention the specific Gospel verses which show Jesus breaking the given rule.

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
Jesus claimed that he was God as a man. But Jewish law (i.e. the Old Testament) said there was only one God, Yahweh; and Jesus was not claiming to be Yahweh, but rather another version or entity of him. See John 5:24-26
Jews at that time believed that there would be a messiah, but they did not believe it would be God Himself in human form, and they certainly did not believe in any such notion as a "trinity" They believed in One God, not Three Gods in One.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth
Jesus did once stoop to write in the dirt, using symbols known to no one. If they were the "writing" of heavenly bodies, then that could be considered graven images, but since it also could have been doodles in the dirt, then it cannot be considered a violation. Jesus is free and clear on this commandment. Anyone else, however who has a picture of Jesus, or of angels, or devils, or fish or whales or sharks is currently breaking this commandment willfully. See: John 8:5-7

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain
Jesus was crucified for blasphemy. I thought this would be completely self-evident. A man calling himself God is blasphemy. And Remember Jesus' last words upon the Cross:"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" See Matthew 27:46
Does that sound like a person talking to himself? At best, Christianity can claim this should be in the context of the "trinity" but no such concept was ever spelled out in the Old Testament. Only One God. So blasphemy it is.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
This is another one that I thought would be blatantly obvious. It is a story told in all three synoptic Gospels. See It here in Mark 2:23-28.
Note the implications of blasphemy here as well.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee
Again, this is another famous story out of the gospels mentioned in the synoptics. Jesus comes across his family; mother and brothers and sisters. He shuns them (rebukes is a better word) Telling your own mother to 'shove off' is anything but honoring her. See: Matthew 12:46-50
Also see this tale of Jesus rebuking his mother. It is the famous story of turning water into wine in John 2:1-4
Then check out his speech about family: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" See Luke 14:26
Does this sound at all like "honoring your mother and father"?

6. Thou shalt not kill
Another really obvious one here. Jesus died on the cross. He had the power to save himself. He chose to die instead. That is known as suicide. And suicide is killing. I leave it to you to find the appropriate references here.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
As I said before this is the only murky one here. There are a number of heretical sources which reference Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene, or just sleeping with her. But what I really find interesting are the not-so-veiled references to Jesus' homosexual activities. Only in the Gospel of John do you find references to a disciple, "the one whom Jesus loved". Now how creepy is that? You would think, that as his disciples, he loved them all. And furthermore, as a godhead, he would love all humanity -- equally. Yet there are these specific references to a specific person that he loved in a specific way. And that can only mean in a carnal sense -- sex. (Oh, and it was not Peter, either). See: John 13:23, John 19:26, John 20:2 -- this one is particularly creepy, John 21:7, and John 21:20

8. Thou shalt not steal
Jesus stole an ass. Stealing is stealing. Again this is another famous story. See: Matthew 21:1-3

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
Again, very well known. How many times in the gospels did Jesus refuse to tell the truth to the public, but said it in private to his disciples? He even went so far as to "shut up" some pesky demons who wanted to tell the truth to the people. Lying is lying no matter how its done. See for one example:
John 8:14 "Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true"
and John 5:31 "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true"

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's
Clearly Jesus never coveted any material things (except possibly Mary Magdalene), but he did covet one thing and that is the one thing he knew he couldn't keep; his life. Jesus pleaded with his Father that the crucifixion would "pass him by." Now considering everything that was at stake, according to the gospels, that was probably the most selfish act ever in the entire bible. "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me" Matthew 26:39
And, "Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”" Matthew 26:42
That is the biggie, but I can also present here as evidence the desire to steal that donkey that Jesus stole as coveting as well, but that really is not as grievous a sin as this one. Desiring another's donkey is nowhere near as selfish as desiring one's own life over that of all of humanity's souls. Now I understand that this also points out the absurd flaw inherent in this commandment; that desiring something is not really bad at all, especially if you don't follow through with that desire, but it is still listed as a sin against God greater than rape (which is not adultery) and abortion (which is not killing) or homosexuality or stem cell research. Oh, and what else is "coveting"? Today coveting is called "Keeping up with the Joneses". In other words, Capitalism. That is correct, The American Way, is anti-Tenth-Commandment.

Sometimes I really am saddened that I am so far ahead in biblical knowledge than those who profess to believe in the bible. I honestly thought all this was common knowledge..

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10 Comments:

At January 16, 2008 12:36 PM, Blogger Rhology said...

Jesus lied, murdered, coveted, dishonored his parents, blasphemed, failed to keep holy the Sabbath, stole, held up other gods besides God, and committed adultery through lust.

What's your argument for those?

 
At January 17, 2008 8:46 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Rhology,

I hope my addition to this post satisfies your question.

P.S. I still look forward to debating you on the morality solely supported by some sky-god and morality only supported by societal survival needs.

 
At January 18, 2008 9:44 AM, Blogger Rhology said...

Hi Jeff,

Let me help clarify why this post is mixed up. Alot of it is assuming that the Jewish authorities of Jesus' day were absolutely correct, which ignores his almost constant rebukes in their direction for doing just the opposite!

1) Jesus didn't just CLAIM to be God. He *is* God. God claiming to be God is not a violation of a commandment.
A violation would occur if He claimed NOT to be God.
I don't grant that there was no call for believing in sthg other than unitarianism in OT Judaism, but even if I did, it would make no difference if the Jews had it wrong. What matters is what is the case.


2) Obviously a graven image is an object of worship.
You can't just neglect the context and expect to make any sense. There is no reason to grant any respect to this kind of shoddy reasoning.

3) It would be blasphemy if Jesus weren't God and said what He said. Since He is, however, the charge is groundless.
Here you attack a strawman, a classic fallacy. Hopefully it will be the last of those!
Jesus is not talking to *Himself*. He's talking to the Father. As it is, you've formed an argument against Oneness Pentecostalism. They're not Christian, so fire away!

4) You must have missed the multiple references to "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" and "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath."
There was a specific set of reasons for this commandment; the Jews had screwed it up over the yrs and Jesus corrected them. He's being helpful!

5) Leading Jesus' mother into the truth about Who He was is the highest respect.
And remember, who are Jesus' mother and brothers? "Those who do the will of My Father" (Matt 12).

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father..."
Living a life that exemplifies Christ is the best thing anyone could do for their parents, so that hopefully the parents would also repent and believe.
But what of Jesus' multiple other commands to love everyone? We must allow for hyperbole, figures of speech, etc where appropriate, just like we allow for such today all the time. Not doing so is just special pleading and unworthy of any respect.
Again, context!

6) It's "thou shalt not murder", not kill.
I'm amazed you didn't know that. What reason would anyone have to believe what you're saying given such silly errors?
Jesus was put to death by others. Hardly suicide. Just think a little about what you're saying, man. Self-sacrifice for another's benefit is not suicide biblically. And that's the standard you have to use to prove your point.

7) Utterly ridiculous - Jesus was homosexual?
I'll be happy to let any reader look at those passages. It's sheer imagination from a man who has his head a bit in the gutter. Have fun with that one.

8) The man gave it to him. Read all the parallel passages in the Gospels.
And God owns everything in the universe. You don't steal what you own.

9) This is pitiful, man.
Refusing to tell all the truth all the time for justifiable reasons is not the same as telling a lie.
John 5 and 8 - I discussed that recently in fact.

In the homestretch, you're batting 0.000. It's not looking good.

10) Clearly Jesus never coveted any material things (except possibly Mary Magdalene)

-You've granted that you have no backing for this. OK.
-The stuff about Mary Mag is simply conjecture. Why not conjecture that somewhere in the Gospel stories, pink space aliens were eating people, too? Why not conjecture that you, JeffPerado, are nothing more than an advanced computer writing all this? Please.

The command mentions nothing about coveting one's life. It's dealing with things that AREN'T YOURS. Again, give me a break.

Hopefully that helps. This is some of the most inane argumentation I've seen.

Peace,
Rhology


PS - You never answered my 01Nov email so I thought you weren't interested. Your 3 posts didn't answer very many of the relevant charges, no. If you're interested, since I've made the charge that no atheistic morality can be based on anything more than personal/societal preference, I'll be happy to post my initial statement soon. Would that be OK?

 
At January 18, 2008 4:02 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Greetings Rhology,

Maybe I should approach this from a slightly different perspective. First I guess I should say that when I critique the bible to argue against Christianity. I necessarily make a couple of assumptions. The First is that I have to assume that there is, in fact, a God, and that He is the author of the bible. Second, whenever possible (and I stress this) I try to only use the logic found in the bible, and only turn the bible against itself. If the Old Testament says one thing, and then something contradictory comes along in the New Testament, that is how I play it. Just like you mentioned, the Jews at the time of Jesus believed in the Old Testament. That was all they had. Jesus knowingly and willfully violated all that they knew. Anything that you believe about Jesus today is irrelevant. And that is the Truth.

Third, I try to use only what was said in the bible in my arguments. Admittedly, that is at times impossible, and I have to bring in outside references. Those references are today considered heretical. But that is not relevant at all to the actual discussion. Those things were written by people of the time, they were believed by those people. To simply wave your hands and make all that irrelevant is no different than waving your hands and calling today's Christians who believe differently than you just as irrelevant and just as wrong. For the one thing you cannot do is prove that your current beliefs are absolutely correct and those of other diametrically opposed Christians are completely wrong. If you could do that, then all Christians would believe exactly as you do. And that is clearly not the case. So you have no proof for your stances other than your beliefs.

And that is my point entirely. I only use that which is defendable in a factual sense. So I use the bible. If you don't agree with it then you and I simply disagree. But that has no effect on the truthfulness of my statements. So I say I am still batting 1.000.

Oh, and you do make one very good point. About stealing. Yes you are right, the bible clearly says God created all things. Thus, He owns all things and cannot steal anything.

What I am curious to know then is what about all the souls in hell? If God still owns them, and if He owned them at all points in time, then the possessors of said souls never owned them. And if they didn't own them, they cannot be held responsible for them. So why then are they condemned? Why does God throw out his very own possessions like so much garbage, if He always owned them, and the holder of God's possession never did own them? Simply saying the person who held that soul sinned is no excuse if God was always the One True owner of that soul.

 
At January 18, 2008 7:35 PM, Blogger Rhology said...

hey Jeff,

I can appreciate the way that you try to play it, and you're doing it right by me as far as your operating assumptions go.

That said, it still doesn't change the fact that you seem to have a deficient understanding of the situation.
Again, the reason why Jesus excoriated the teachers of the law so much while He was on earth is b/c they DIDN'T understand the OT. We see this in all the ways Jesus answered their poor understandings and arguments and they couldn't come up with any counterarguments. So we have to dispense with that supposition, that the NT-time Jews knew and followed the OT perfectly.
Besides, the OT points to the Messiah, Christ Himself.

Jesus knowingly and willfully violated all that they knew

Well, not ALL. He didn't violate monotheism, didn't tell them the law was useless, etc.
But He did violate a lot. It shows how wrong they were.

Anything that you believe about Jesus today is irrelevant.

Unless it's in the biblical account, yes.
It just so happens that what I believe about Jesus is in line with the biblical account, though, so...

To simply wave your hands

You might look again - I didn't just wave my hands. I produced arguments for my points.
And I don't see too many responses to those points here in this comment, so that's something about handwaving.

calling today's Christians who believe differently than you just as irrelevant and just as wrong.

If I do that, I give reasons for it.
But I don't do that en masse.

For the one thing you cannot do is prove that your current beliefs are absolutely correct and those of other diametrically opposed Christians are completely wrong.

And why is that?
Have you ever seen me attempt it?

If you could do that, then all Christians would believe exactly as you do.

I call that the Perfect Computer Manual fallacy. It's a classic non sequitur.
If you write the perfect computer manual and people ignore parts of it, ignore virtually all of it, neglect to take some of it into account, forget parts or all of it, look only at the pictures, refuse to follow its instructions, etc, is that the fault of the user or of the manual?
Take 5 people, give them each the same Bible, put 'em in 5 different rooms. The diff interps that come out are a good argument for not trusting people. Right?

So you have no proof for your stances other than your beliefs.

I'm more than happy to let the reader judge who has given arguments here and who hasn't responded.

About stealing. Yes you are right, the bible clearly says God created all things. Thus, He owns all things and cannot steal anything.

Cool, we agree on SOMEthing. :-)

If God still owns them, and if He owned them at all points in time, then the possessors of said souls never owned them

Yeah, you could call a given soul loaned for all eternity to the person in question.

And if they didn't own them, they cannot be held responsible for them

Remember, you said you weren't going to step out of biblical bounds here.
God DOES hold each man responsible for his actions, and unfortunately every man's actions are sinful.
Each man chooses to do evil. Each man has broken God's law. Just b/c God owns every soul doesn't mean that He controls each soul like a marionette.
But b/c of God's great love and mercy, He provided a substitute - Jesus Christ - so that none of us have to die and spend eternity in judgment! How I pray you'd turn to the Savior for that. You need it as desperately as I did and still do.

Finally, I'd say that it's fairly easy to see who's been able to back up whose arguments on this question.

Peace,
Rhology

 
At January 20, 2008 9:26 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

You know I have to say I still find it funny that you are still arguing from the same weak position. I tried to help you out, give you a chance to fix your argument. You chose to simply reiterate your same arguments in the same way.

The problem remains that if, in your view, God created all morality. God made all the moral laws. Then above all else, He has to be adherant to them all, lest He give up his claim to morality. If Jesus is God as the NT claims, then Jesus by default must adhere to all laws.

The fact he broke them makes him (and God by default via the Trinity) not moral beings, but supremely powerful beings. They have the same level of morality by our (your) standards as the devil does, able to break laws with impugnity because they are much more powerful.

That is the God you worship, if you continue to defend His lawbreaking.

No one is above the laws, even the lawgiver.

This is one fact that shows that the Bible is supremely flawed, and its God is nothing but a human-designed myth.

I was surprised you did not see this truth.

P.S. you are correct, the OT described monotheism. Three equally divine beings is still not monotheism. And if it is monotheism, then Jesus talked to himself.

 
At January 20, 2008 9:30 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Heh..

What Jesus should have said instead of:"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

is:

"MySelf, MySelf, why have I forsaken MySelf?"

 
At January 25, 2008 7:56 PM, Blogger The Rev. Jenner J. Hull said...

Rhology,

"1) Jesus didn't just CLAIM to be God. He *is* God. God claiming to be God is not a violation of a commandment."

Muhummad Ali didn't just CLAIM to be the Greatest. He *is* the Greatest.

Pugilism 1:1 - "And, lo, He was Pretty. And He doth Float like a Butterfly. And He doth Sting like a Bee. And He was the GREATEST OF ALL TIME!!!"

 
At January 28, 2008 6:20 AM, Blogger Rhology said...

Hi Jeff,

in your view, God created all morality

That's not my view, though.
That which is good morality is a reflection of God's character, Who He is. He does not create it nor supersede it, it's part of Him.


He has to be adherant to them all

Well, that's fair to say since they reflect Who He is.
That's not to say that moral laws are applicable the same way to Him as they are to humans.
For example, murder is wrong for man b/c it's unjustifiable killing of another who bears the image of God.
Yet God cannot commit murder (it's as impossible as creating a square circle) b/c death is the fully-deserved consequence for all humans since all have broken the law. It's God's mercy that PREVENTS us from being killed at the moment of our first sin, but God is 100% justified in putting anyone to death at any time.


If Jesus is God as the NT claims, then Jesus by default must adhere to all laws.

Agreed, keeping in mind the qualification I just stated.
And we see that distinction in operation in my 1st comment here. It's not idolatry for Jesus to accept worship from people b/c Jesus is God Himself. Whereas if *I* were to accept worship, I would be sinning.

The fact he broke them

You haven't even responded to my first comment, so this is just a naked assertion, facts not in evidence.
Rebut my comment and we'll talk.

And if it is monotheism, then Jesus talked to himself.

It is monotheism but not unitarianism.
Trinitarianism is one God revealed in three persons.
This chart could prove useful.
Jesus is not the Father. Jesus is God. The Father is God. Jesus is one person. The Father is one person. Etc.

"MySelf, MySelf, why have I forsaken MySelf?"

This is an example of a strawman, but now that I've explained, I hope you'll do the right thing and stop repeating it (forever) or offer an argument as to why it can't be the case.
As it is, it's an argument against Oneness Pentecostalism (TD Jakes is an example) (they're Unitarians), one I've used before, actually!




RJJH said:
Muhummad Ali didn't just CLAIM to be the Greatest. He *is* the Greatest.

This isn't a thread about whether God exists. It's about the internal consistency of a facet of the biblical worldview. Try to keep up.


Peace,
Rhology

 
At January 30, 2008 10:02 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Rhology,

I think your comments are quite satisfactory as being the final thoughts on this discussion. So I'll let you have the last word.

In fact I cannot improve on what you said.

 

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