Who’s Right?


Earlier today, in response to a post on Steve’s blog, Arnold (a Christian and occasional contributor to this blog), included the following statement within one of his comments:

 To me there are infinite interpretations to the bible, unique to each person.

I responded thus:

Arnold, IF the Christian god exists and is the behind-the-scenes author of the bible … wouldn’t it seem sensible/logical/natural that there would NOT be “infinite interpretations, unique to each person”??? Even the bible says that God is not the author of confusion, yet that’s exactly what we see today within the God-worshipping religions.

And I ask that question of ANY believer …

The plethora of denominations indicates to me that either God mumbles — or perhaps believers prefer to “hear” what makes them feel the most comfortable.

Physical indications of the latter are plentiful and can be seen in the number of churches within any given location. In fact, one could easily say there is “a church on every corner.” Granted, some of them share the same core beliefs, but I would venture to say only 10% (or less) in any area are “duplications.”

When presented with this perspective, Christians will generally respond that it’s much ado about nothing because all of them believe in Jesus’ saving power. But do they? It seems to me if that were the case, there would be no need for the very wide variety of biblical interpretations, worship styles, and even requirements among various denominations.

Moreover, since there is this (rather obvious) lack of agreement about the bible’s contents and meanings, along come untold numbers of “apologists” to explain, interpret, and decipher (and make beaucoup bucks via books and videos) what the bible really means.

Bottom line … considering all the many facets that enter into one’s belief related to the Christian religion, how can anyone answer the question of  “Who’s right?”

Jesus’ Temper Tantrum


On another blog, a reference was made to the Jeffersonian Bible. Having never really looked into this version of the “Holy Word,” I googled a PDF version and perused a few lines. While I admit I haven’t finished it, something jumped off the page at me at the very beginning.

The following passage supposedly takes place shortly after Jesus has been baptized by John:

And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
30 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and
doves, and the changers of money sitting:
31 And when he had made a scourge of cords, he drove them all
out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured
out the changers’ coins, and overthrew their tables;
32 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence;
make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

I’m sure many bible readers are familiar with this event and probably haven’t given it much thought. However, as I read it something puzzling occurred to me. Up to this point, Jesus was just another Jew, right? He didn’t have any special designation as a Jewish priest or any other position of repute.

So what gave him the authority to create this havoc in the temple?  Although he did refer to Jewish scripture related to the temple being a house of prayer, this hardly provided justification for his actions. Bottom line is that he was nothing more than an irate Jew who let his temper get the best of him.

Of course, Christians will say that it was John’s “baptism” that suddenly turned Jesus into a mini-god and he now possessed “godly” authority. But in fact, the use of the Jewish mikvah was primarily “a ritual purification and cleansing bath that Orthodox Jews [took] on certain occasions (as before Sabbath or after menstruation).” It didn’t magically turn any of the participants into some kind of god.

So when I considered the actual circumstances in place, it seemed to me that Jesus didn’t have ANY authority to do what he did.

But of course, no one nowadays reads the scriptures as written. Instead, they read the “interpretations” offered by individuals who seem to think they have an inside track on understanding what was happening over 2,000 years ago. So surely, I’m just misinformed, right?

Today’s Word: SIN


One of the core issues within Christianity revolves around the word “SIN,” with countless references to the word throughout the bible. One of the most well-known scriptures about this highly utilized term is found in the King James Version of the bible: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

But what exactly is “SIN“?

According to one definition, it is an act regarded by theologians as a transgression of God’s will.” Consider these words for a moment: an act regarded by theologians. And just who are these “theologians”? Answer: They are none other than human beings who study religion (in this case, Christianity) and somewhere along the way took it upon themselves to make this unequivocal definition of the word SIN.

Further … it is these same “theologians” that frequently pass judgment on whether any one individual has committed one of these transgressions.

Now let’s consider where the word “SIN” is most frequently used? Yup! You guessed it. The BIBLE … that book written and produced by humans.

One final thought … did you know that the word SIN can actually be traced back to the Proto-Germanic word sunnǭ, which means “The sun”? Hmmm. So how did it get reworked over the years into this foreboding term that, according to common usage, separates humans from their (imaginary) god? (Isaiah 59:2)


Following are various definitions for the word “Eternity“:

  1. Time without end
  2. What exists outside time
  3. An endless or seemingly endless period of time
  4. The timeless state following death
  5. A state of eternal existence believed in some religions to characterize the afterlife

That last definition is the focus of this post.

On several occasions I’ve come across Christian believers who mention “Eternity” in discussions related to their departure from this earthly plane — and I’ve frequently asked them to describe exactly what they think they will be doing during this rather extended period of time.

So far, no one has provided an answer. (In fact, the question is usually ignored.)

According to this website, there are 42 bible verses that talk about “eternal life.” However, after a cursory look at the list, I was unable to find a single verse that offers a description of activities during this period of “time.”

I then came across another website that discusses the topic of Eternity using biblical data and theological analysis. It covers the philosophy of time, Augustine’s view, modern views … and even covers “practical applications.”  But again, no discussion of activities by believers during this prolonged period.

And then there’s this website that offers a quite lengthy discussion of the difference between the words “eternal” and “Eternity” but once again, the writer fails to offer any suggestions of what believers will be doing during the latter.

Finally, Google rendered a website with a more academic bent related to the topic of Eternity from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. While the site provided extensive coverage of the topic, including a discussion of “Divine Timelessness,” along with the mention of  “temporal entities,” I was unable to discern any information related to activities that might take place by believers.

Finally, referencing the bible itself, in the book of Revelation, John talks about seeing a new heaven and a new earth, and describes a holy city “coming down from God out of heaven.” He writes that the city is made of precious stones and jewels and has “streets of gold.” He declares that the “nations of them which are saved” will walk in the light of it — and adds that there will be no night or day in this city. 

However there is no mention of what people will be doing in this glorious city for … Eternity

So, considering that “ETERNITY” is a very, very, very long “time” … and considering the lack of information in the bible related to any planned activities … one can’t help but wonder why Christians are so anxious to get there. And even more to the point … what do they think they will be doing … forever?

The Book


In the U.S., today is Sunday and many folk undoubtedly attended worship services to honor the Christian god. Undoubtedly, some carried along their bible as a “sword” against the enemy, even though they know little of its contents. (Except, perhaps, John 3:16.)

While some may retain for a short time what was shared from the pulpit during their weekly pew-warming visit, for many others the “sermon” will quickly be replaced by the demands of daily living.

Nonetheless, there will be those who will hold fast to the message because they intend to follow the instructions found in The Book, i.e., Ephesians 6:11: “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Of course those “wiles” come straight from us devilish infidels. 😈) 

You see, most Christians are generally convinced that the words in The Book (you know, the one that often has a cross on its cover) are evidence that “God” is real — and they quite frequently quote passages from The Book as though it is “fact.” 

Yet, as one person said in a comment on one of the blogs I follow:   

The Bible is not evidence. It’s an unsupported assertion, and it cannot be used to support its own claims.

(Interestingly, when faced with this truth, believers often begin to share “personal experiences” — which surely will convince even the hard-core non-believer!)

Yes, for Christians, The Book is the final word — even though contradictions abound within its pages and scripture upon scripture must be “explained” and/or “justified” to validate its claims.

And yet … faith abounds.