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September 6, 2008

Communism is not atheistic

Obvious: communism was not and is not atheistic. Communist-states merely removed religions that did not support the communist foundation and kept churches that obliged just like any other establishment.

History: During the Nazi period along with German Catholics in the 1920s, 1930s, and through the 1950s, the American anti-communist panic and right-wing fanatics fueled the idea that communism meant an absence of religion and or supported atheism (propaganda). This falsehood is still pushed by political conservatives, religionists and anti-communist apologists but, nowhere in the Communist Manifesto or in the USSR’s Constitution (1936 & 1977) is there a mention of atheism nor did the USSR eliminate religion. Communism does not prohibit religion and the Communist Manifesto compares Christianity with socialism. Communism illustrates an economic and social principle system, based on the notion of community (state property) ownership rather than individual (private property) ownership; period. In the early 1900s communist-states prosecuted religion because of political concerns and not atheistic grounds. Stalin reintroduced the Russian Orthodox Church: communists want to control all facets of social resources and this includes religion just like it wants to control industry and agriculture. In the 1970s and 1980s communist-states embraced Christianity: South America.

Consider: We can find an overabundance of theological arguments to justify religious crusades, riots and inquisitions but, when it comes to the so-called atheistic reasoning behind communists’ atrocities we find nothing. If communism justified itself through atheism, where is the evidence?

Communism highlights the loss of ownership and giving one’s self to a larger ideal (community or state) has more in common with theism than atheism.

Soviet Russia: the transition of Russia was from a Feudal-state to a revolutionary socialist-state lead by Lenin and other elites and not by the proletariat (working class). So, this transition lacked the capitalist period, proletariat and was brought about by elites which ruined the utopia and created the repressive state that brought tyranny, the Great Purge, the Gulags and other atrocities.

Filed by Frank at September 6th, 2008 under Contemporary
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September 5, 2008

Zoroastrianism, Judaism & Christianity

Zarathustra (Zoroaster in Greek & Zarthosht in Persia and India) founded the religion of Zoroastrianism. Scholars generally date his life between 1500 BCE to 1000 BCE based on his style of writing and he lived in Persia.  There are fewer than 200,000 Zoroastrians in the world today. In spite of its relatively few members, its importance to humanity is much greater than its current numbers might suggest, because:

1 – Their theology has had a great impact on Judaism, Christianity and other later religions, in the beliefs surrounding God and Satan, the soul, heaven and hell, savior, resurrection, final judgment, etc.

2 – It is one of the oldest religions still in existence.

3 – It may have been the first monotheistic religion.

Zoroastrian Beliefs

1 – A single god Ahura Mazada who is supreme and only god worthy of being worshipped.

2 – Communication between himself and humans is by a number of attributes called Amesha Spentas (Angels).

3 – An evil spirit of violence and death called Angra Mainyu who opposes God.

4Asha is a form of righteous, all encompassing, natural law.

5 – A Saoshyant (savior) will be born of a virgin but of the lineage of the prophet Zoroaster who will raise the dead and judge everyone in the final judgment.

It was during the Babylonian captivity that the Jews (Israelites) would have first been exposed to these ideas (and this is the time in which most of the Hebrew Bible was composed). Who followed Jesus? Jews and gentile Christians who simply used the system of beliefs of this earlier religion to create the Jesus myth (of course, they used other religions as well

Filed by Frank at September 5th, 2008 under Religion
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The Works of Flavius Josephus translated by William Whiston

Antiquities of the Jews

War of the Jews

The Life of Flavius Josephus – Autobiography

Josephus’s Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades

Flavius Josephus Against Apion

HERE

Filed by Frank at September 5th, 2008 under Religion
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The Thousands of Manuscripts

Apologists when speaking on the historical New Testament like to point out that there are thousands of manuscripts, but what they do not mention or do not know is that 90% of them are 12th to 13th century or later and about 5% are 9th century and later. When the 1st Bible was assembled around the 4th century and before the manuscripts consists of isolated fragments. Prior to 200 CE; existing manuscript evidence amounts to 0.28% of the New Testament (22 fragmentary verses out of a possible 8,000 verses coming only from Revelations and the Gospel of John). The Oxyrhynchus (P77) which contains verses from the Gospel of Matthew (200 CE), the Chester Beatty papyri (P46) which contains verses from the Pauline Epistles and 28 fragmentary manuscripts which date to about the 3rd century CE. Greek manuscripts: I would consult Appendix I Codices Graeci et Latin in Nestle-Aland 27th Edition and Novum Testamentum Graece (pp. 684-718).

Summary:

P52 2nd century contains Gospel of John (GJ) 18:31-33,37-38

P90 2nd Century contains GJ 18:36-19:1, 19:2-7

P98 possibly 2nd Century contains Rev 1:13-20

P32 ca. 200 CE contains Titus 1:11-15, 2:3-8

P46 ca. 200 CE contains lengthy portions of 9 Pauline and Deuteropauline epistles; none is complete

P64 , 67 ca. 200 CE contains portions of Gospel of Matthew (GM)

P66 ca. 200 CE most chapters of GJ

Since we have almost nothing in the way of New Testament texts before the 4th century then we cannot evaluate the historically of the claims within them.

Filed by Frank at September 5th, 2008 under Religion
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The Tel Dan Inscription

The Tel Dan Stele is a black basalt stele erected by an Aramaean king in northernmost Israel, containing an Aramaic inscription to commemorate his victory over the ancient Hebrews (8th or 9th century BCE). George Athas (the leading authority on the Tel Dan inscription) along with other scholars, Knauf, Romer and de Pury have demonstrated that it cannot be a dynastic label, but actually a place-name like Bethlehem (House of Bread) and Bethel (House of God). The Tel Dan Inscription: A Reappraisal and New Interpretation by George Athas.

The inscription could also be read as, House of the beloved or Temple of the beloved: DWD could be DOWD or DUWD. Even if BYTDWD meant House of David it does not signify a physical or historical person (the Hebrew Bible has many legends of people which correspond to town names). The Assyrians never called Israel the House of David, they used Israel, Samerian, or House of Omri.

George Athas “I analyzed the fragments in Jerusalem back in 1998 and found them genuine: However, the common arrangement of the fragments side by side (Fragments B1+B2 to the left of Fragment A) is physically, contextually and epigraphically impossible. They are certainly written by the same hand, but Fragments B1+B2 belong LOWER than Fragment A — a good deal lower. This means that the text which most people read is defunct. The author was not Hazael — it was his son, Bar Hadad. I also discovered a couple of extra letters here and there which simply do not show on the published photographs, and some letters had been wrongly identified. These really altered the text as it has been published previously. The inscription has nothing to do with Jehu’s coup and assassinations.
The rendition of BYTDWD as House of David is only one of several possibilities. I’m guided by specialists here but I understand the term would normally be written as
ביתדוד, with a dot used as a word divider, absent from the TDI ( ביתדוד ). The reference may not be to DWD at all but perhaps HDWT (towdah) – one of several Hebrew words translated as Praise.” ‘House of Praise

Filed by Frank at September 5th, 2008 under Religion
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The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) on forgiveness

Ezekiel 18: 27 – 28 “And when a wicked man repents of his wickedness that he has done, and does justice and righteousness, he will keep his soul alive. He will see and repent of all his transgressions that he has committed-he shall surely live; he shall not die.” Isaiah 45:22, 2 Samuel 12:13, Jonah 3:10, Leviticus 26:40 – 42, Ezekiel 18:21 – 32 (fuller context), Ezekiel 33:14 – 16, Numbers 11:2, and 1 Kings 8:33

It seems repentance and salvation are between man and God alone so why the need of animal sacrifices and why the need for a mediator aka Jesus (Christians)?

Filed by Frank at September 5th, 2008 under Religion
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The Pharisees’ are righteous

In Matthew 5:20, Jesus clearly says, I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

If you research the Jewish roots of Jesus then this statement makes perfect sense.

Filed by Frank at September 5th, 2008 under Religion
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The Origins of Christianity in Sumer

I copied this from a conversation online.

The roots of Christianity can be traced back directly to ancient Samaria, and there is no religion known that is older than theirs. The beauty of this line of religion is its ability to adapt and change, and it has changed and adapted numerous times through out history. I fully expect it to continue to do so in the future and it is now in the present. Texts that they use to study the evolution of spiritual understanding states that is where its roots lie, in ancient Ur. Ur only dates to the early 3rd millennium (approx 2600 BCE), at that time the Egyptian religion was well over 2400 years old….then you have the thought that various 10000 year old settlements in Turkey show a well developed “Mother Goddess” cult, along with a “Bull cult” and a “Leopard cult.” It is open to debate…It would be a good archeological thread, what is the oldest civilization of earth. Lots of folks might have good tidbits to add. Actually it all hinges on what you mean by civilization…if you mean cities and priest kings and extreme organization then it would be Mesopotamia and Egypt. They both flowered at about the same time (although Egypt seems to be a few centuries earlier). However, if you are speaking of highly organized social units, then your attention must be directed to Anatolia, Syria and Palestine. Between 8000 and 5000 BCE at varied places; Catalhoyuk in Anatolia, Munhatta in Syria and Jericho in Palestine, large villages of 10,000 people or more came into being. These social units were highly organized, well built with human comfort in mind, and fortified with entry into the village in much the same manner as the Anasazi (early Puebloans) of the New World – by use of ladders. All houses were connected and had no paths or walkways existing at ground level, the roofs were the thoroughfares of these towns. The inhabitants had a very complex system of beliefs and religion, originally worshipping a male and a female deity, along with various animal cults that I mentioned earlier. Over a span of a millennium or two, the male deity disappeared from their daily life and the female (the Mother Goddess) came to the fore of their religion. Sometime around 7000 and 5000 BCE emigrants from this culture settled Cyrus and quite probably at a slightly later date settled Crete and intermingled with the native culture, laying the foundation for the later Minoan society. This is a demonstration that while it is possible that Judaism is a much mutated offshoot of the Sumerian religions, it is equally possible that it is a much mutated offshoot of the Neolithic religion of Anatola and the Levant. One in which the monotheistic Mother Goddess underwent a sex change in order to appeal to patriarchal nomadic herders, the ancestors of the Semitic peoples…At the time Sumer, Akkad and Ur came into being, the Neolithic village culture would have been nearly 5 millennia old. Makes you think doesn’t it….it is entirely possible that YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah is the Neolithic Mother Goddess after a quick trip to Denmark (only the old timers will understand that allusion).

Filed by Frank at September 5th, 2008 under Religion
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The Gospels are not eyewitness testimony

The Gospels are not eyewitness testimony, because an eyewitness is one who was actually there and the Gospels were not writing by persons who were actually there and relating first-hand accounts: they are hearsay, written down decades after the death of Jesus, after being transmitted by word of mouth. The Gospels we have today are composite-texts created by many competing gospels over a period of 250 years while the finalization of the 1st Bible occurring about 397 CE. The official Gospels were not agreed upon until the 2nd century CE (Luke may have been written by one or more women).

Summary: Google: Gospels Comparison Chart

Mark (author a bi-lingual Aramaic/Greek interpreter writing to a persecuted Gentile community in Rome or Alexandria) 70’s CE

Matthew (author a Jewish-Christian scribe writing to an educated community arguing with other Jews in Galilee or Antioch) 80’s CE

Luke (author a Gentile Christian writing to a wealthier complacent urban community in Antioch or Greece) 80’s CE

John (author/s Jewish Christians writing in conflict with other Christian communities in Syria or Ephesus) 90’s, 100-150 CE

[Matthew was more likely writing in 130 CE, Luke was more likely writing in 110 CE and John was more likely writing in 140 CE]

The Gospels are based on second-hand, decades-old recollections of events; the authors were evangelists and not historians.

It took hundreds of years for the people involved to come to an agreement about which Gospels were to be included in the official canon and it was finally decided by a vote. Eusebius reports that the vote for the official canon was off by 5 votes which mean if 5 bishops voted differently, the official Bible would be composed of different books. The people involved did not hesitate to lie nor murder dissenting groups called heretics: the Gnostics, the Docetics, and Anabaptists.

Resources: Google

Gospels are Hearsay

Are the Gospels Eyewitness Accounts

The Textual Reliability of the New Testament

 [http://members.aol.com/DrSwiney/mmlj.html]

[www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_packham/montgmry.html]       

[www.bowness.demon.co.uk/gosp1.html]

[www.bowness.demon.co.uk/reli2.html]

Filed by Frank at September 5th, 2008 under Religion
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The End Times

The Greek Scriptures provide many verses that tell of the ‘end times. What does Jesus (supposedly) have to say about the ‘end times?

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Jesus describes his second coming. Then continues: Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Jesus is talking to his disciples, and said that his second comingwill be in their [disciples] lifetime.  Matthew 26:63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus is talking with the high priest then continues: Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Jesus tells the high priest that he will see the second coming. Let’s cross-reference this: Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Jesus says that his second coming,will be in their [disciples] lifetimes. Mark 14:61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Jesus tells the high priest that he will see the second coming. Let’s cross-reference this again: Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and [in his] Father’s, and of the holy angels. Jesus describes his second coming. Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God. Jesus says that his ‘second coming,’ will be in their [disciples] lifetimes. Now, the Greek Scripture provide more verses that support theseread it.

Filed by Frank at September 5th, 2008 under Religion
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