Archive for the Hebrew scripture Category

Ezekiel Saw a Wheel

Posted in belief, Ezekiel the Prophet, Hebrew scripture, Jewish trinity, religion, sacred texts, scriptures on May 1, 2017 by chouck017894

“…way up in the middle of the air…”

In the “good book”, famous for its peculiar tales of God’s prejudices and choosing favorite ones from all the variety and diversity in his creation, the character of Ezekiel is one of the most bizarre.   He is also regarded as one of the greater Hebrew “prophets.”  Ezekiel began his “prophetic” career during the later years of another prophet, Jeremiah (born c. 650 BCE).  Ezekiel was the son of Buzi, a priest, so Ezekiel’s youth was conditioned in a priestly environment, his father being a priest in the timeframe of Jehoiakin, 18th king of Judah (598-597 BCE).  Ezekiel therefore tended to be more fanatic than Jeremiah in regard to ritual practices of holiness than was Jeremiah who stressed moral behavior rather than strict ritual.

It was in this timeframe that Ezekiel was carried captive to Babylonia.  This was around eleven years before Jerusalem would be destroyed by Zedekiah and the bulk of Jews deported to Babylonia.  After years of exposure to Babylonian culture in which human and mixed animal composites were common motifs (bull with wings, for example), his visions were undoubtedly colored by such images.

While captive in Babylonia, Ezekiel became intimately familiar with the methodical study of astronomy.  This introduced him to how the story of Creation had once been explained with use of the revolving images that were imagined to be traced upon the various constellations during their yearly procession.  Thus the opening “vision” related by this prophet happened to rely upon Babylonian star knowledge (astronomy) to galvanize “the whole house of Israel.”  Consequently in the first chapter of Ezekiel, the prophet declares that a whirlwind out of the north (did he refer to his captivity?)  brought him an awareness (vision) of things to come.  By verse ten he descries the winged creatures he had seen.  Ezekiel declares, “As for the likeness of their faces, the four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side; and the four had the face of an ox on the left side; the four also had the face of and eagle.”

Wow! What an attention-grabbing array of “visions.”  And to further raise awe of the exiles the prophet declared after long elaboration of the “faces” that they also had wings.  “The four wings of the four living creatures” described by Ezekiel are actually coded references taken from the prehistory lessons of Creation which used four quarterly divisions of the heavens as study illustrations.  We still reference those quarterly divisions of the heavens today with zodiac symbols of Aquarius (man pouring water);  ox (bull), Taurus;  lion (Leo); and scorpion (eagle was the Hebrew symbol for Scorpio).  As Ezekiel says, “…and they went every one strait forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went” (1-12).  (The stars retain their course.)  By verse 15 he saw a wheel “…upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.”  And their “work” (the established positions of constellations) was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.” (1-16)

Among Ezekiel’s prophecies it is this “wheel within a wheel” vision which is probably most widely known, and this first of his visions is what is concentrated on here.  This is because it was this extreme composite of figures and symbols which openly reveal the connection with ancient astronomy teachings upon which the Jewish trinity concept came to be established.  From this the “incommunicable name” of the Supreme Being was theorized which contains three elements.  That theorized name thus contained 1) Yod, which is the letter of the phallus; 2) He, representing the passive or bearing forth principle (considered feminine) within that Being; 3) Yau, representing the will to create; and 4) the passive He principle was repeated again to signify the creative power as the initiator.  Thus the name of the Supreme Being was theorized to be Ya-he-vau-he, or Yahweh.  The Jewish trinity concept expanded upon Ezekiel’s “vision” with the  Hebrew letters transliterated as YHWH or JHVH (Yahweh or Jehovah).

In Ezekiel’s Trinity the “first person”, “Yod”, or primal power, was the All-Father–the”Let there be light” Creator.  The second “person” (the “He” part) was regarded to be the enthroned passive principle by which and through which all diverse and varied manifestations become active as Creation.  This second “person” was regarded as either androgynous (asexual) or the fertilized virginal Source through which all become made manifest.  The third “person”, or “Yah“, is the Life Principle (the will to bring forth), which in Genesis 1:2 is referred to as “the spirit upon the face of the waters.”   The “He” or passive bearing forth of this creative power was then repeated again, for it must attend and fulfill the will to create.  Interestingly, the Christian version of Trinity has never allowed this much “feminine” identity with Creator power.

The events of the Ezekiel’s accounts cover approximately twenty-one years.  In truth there was little definable or visionary mystery about Ezekiel’s means of communication with heaven.  As noted, each of these four symbolic divisions of the heavens as seen from Earth was defined in prehistory lessons which used constellations as illustrations for Creation/cosmology and life lessons.  To recount, the “Man” of Ezekiel’s earliest “vision” came from the opening of the ancient lessons on Creation which began with constellation Aquarius.  There a naked male figure (his back  toward the viewer) poured water from an urn held on his left shoulder.  The ox,  the second alleged “face” of Ezekiel’s vision, represents Taurus (the Bull); the lion-face refers to constellation Leo; and the Eagle was the Hebrew symbol for constellation Scorpius.  Each of these four major “face” constellation symbols had two companion constellations of progressive study.  With Aquarius, for example, was Pisces and Aries; lessons with Taurus were given with Gemini and Cancer; with Leo were Virgo and Libra; and with Scorpio were Sagittarius and Capricorn.

Ezekiel’s prophetic “calling” is said to have begun c. 593 BCE, and his prophecies revolved around the concept that the future of the “chosen people” (Judaic followers) was to be fulfilled by the Babylonian exiles.  His strongest influence upon Judaism was his “vision” of a sacred nation which would be raised above all others.  This, in turn, influenced the Messianic sermonizing which developed in later centuries.  Ezekiel’s prophecies marked the transformation of the prophetic period of Jewish people into the priestly period, which was then phased out with rabbis (my master) in the general timeframe of Herod (75 BCE – 4 BCE).

 

Uncertainties in Sacred Texts

Posted in Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew scripture, religion, sacred texts, thoughts on February 18, 2017 by chouck017894

For the majority of persons of the western cultures today who have been indoctrinated into the Christian faith systems, few are aware that there is yet to be found any original copies of any of the books which are honored as the New Testament.  There are age-old copies to be sure, but they are just that, copies.  Usually made from copies.  And the Hebrew Scriptures, so proudly declared to be meticulously accurate reproductions of god-dictated holy word, many uncertainties happen to linger there which necessitates footnotes (as in the New Revised Standard Version).  In fact various passages are integrated where translators were uncertain what the original text really was (as for example, in 1 and 2 Samuel).  This presents a tragic predicament for world cultures, because the many uncertainties which continue to hover and cloud all man-written “sacred” texts have been used as models upon which were fashioned each culture’s moral, ethics and spiritual trust.  Thus it is actually sacred uncertainties which have served as foundations for the three by-the-book faith systems which routinely reflect their holiness in constant murderous conflicts.

Basic beliefs, most of which originated in Bronze Age tribal cultures, were heavily colored by fears and superstitions.  In addition, the words which have been handed down through century after century have been altered–sometimes accidentally, more often deliberately–by countless interpreters and translators who put their own spin on the declared meaning in those words.  Predictably the declared meaning said to be god-relayed in those man-written texts was always interpreted from the events of the interpreter’s  particular time frame.  The fundamental philosophy which brought about all the age-old written “holy” works conveniently allowed for such self defensive flexibility and manipulative license.  And it is precisely this philosophical elasticity which stimulates the addictive fascination for what is revered as holy word.  It provides anxious seekers with ego gratification–which is commonly praised and promoted as spiritual fulfillment.  In extreme antiquity the stories were carefully penned to illustrate cosmological and/or life-purpose instruction. Regrettably these were often indirectly–or more often than not intentionally–colored by later scribe’s personal likes, dislikes, envy, jealousies and political aims which consequently provoked irrelevant posturing and theatrics rather than radiating any genuine spiritual enlightenment.

The faithful who cling unquestioningly to “sacred” texts (Hebrew scriptures, New Testament of Quran, as examples) like to believe that those compositions which have been accepted as revealed and sacred, contain no mistakes, no textural booboos, and no faulty assessments.  But every such textural “holy” work was produced by human hands, and even the most faithful humans fall far short in cosmic awareness to serve as infallible spokesmen for the perfection and broad diversity which is the creative and sustaining power which is the all-enfolding Source.

The discovery in 1947 of a number of parchment scrolls which contained Hebrew and Aramaic scriptural texts and liturgical writings of an asectic community which dated from c. 250 BCE to about 70 CE are known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The intensive research on these scrolls brought to light the startling fact that those texts, which are around a thousand years older than any previously known “old texts” contained a stockpile of significant differences from the Hebrew Scriptures which are today considered to have always been inviolable.  Time and circumstances since the era of the Scrolls’ authorship brought with them alterations that resulted in textural content which became more or less standardized only around 1000 CE.  Thus the western world today has become victim to what may be termed sacred shell games.

Genuine history is routinely forgotten in what has become accepted as holy word.  For example, the OT book  of Esther was rewritten from an older version which some scholars have said had been composed by some Roman source.  Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph (c.50-132 CE) was one of the most eminent teachers of his timeframe, and he headed the school at Jaffa: It was he who rewrote the text known as Esther.  And the Jewish code known as the Mishnah was developed by him partly on the basis of his own teachings.  In the original Roman account of the Esther tale there was a character named Haman (or Aman or Hamin) who vows to kill all Jews.  Some scholars say that Haman was modeled upon a Roman aristocrat named Arius Piso.  The Jewish holiday feast of Purim was established ostensibly to celebrate the deliverance of the Jews from the alleged massacre by Haman.  The rewritten book of Esther and the association  of Haman with Roman aristocracy therefore served as the covert reminder to all Jews of the alleged conspiracy of the Romans to destroy the Jews.

Once a faith system has compiled its self-serving literary collection and stamped it as “canon” (an ecclesiastical code or laws), that man-written anthology has been advertised and marketed as containing all knowledge which is ever necessary for a believer to attain godly protection, salvation or entrance into Paradise.  Thus have sacred theatrics and man-devised by-the-book directives been set in place as the edifying mechanism over mankind’s social and spiritual evolution (or lack thereof).

Today, contented that the faith systems which we have been taught as holding divine knowledge and which supposedly extends privileged access into a higher and exclusive domain, we are kept uninformed of how and from what that belief slowly and haphazardly evolved.  Every man-contrived faith system has been built upon the awe and wonder that our ancient ancestors had felt for the celestial panorama which was then unmarred by the light and air pollution we humans produce today.  In our self-enveloped bubble of technology we have been manipulated away from the ancient’s awareness and veneration the universal phenomena, and those observations and practices became intentionally modified and disguised.  Why?  Because the “Pagan” sources from which those holy words were “borrowed” had openly respected such things a solstice periods, time of the equinoxes, phases of the moon, constellation grouping of stars, and their associated cycles of Nature.  These and other such natural observable facts thus played calculated influences in every man-contrived faith system which dominate cultures and societies today, and those natural wonders are camouflaged and smothered under priest-invented “histories” and theatrical rites.

Man!  That is almost enough to drive an atheist to attempt a prayer!  Lord, rest your hand upon the heads of earnest seekers of enlightenment, and your other hand over the mouths of the braying self-possessed proselytizers.

 

Questioning Bible Style Creation

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, Bible, days of Creation, faith, Hebrew scripture, life, prehistory, random, scriptures, theology on October 16, 2016 by chouck017894

God’s revealed word assures us that God merely had to say “Let there be…” this or that and then this and that appeared.  Thus, without any recipe or formula or thought-out blueprint all the varied components of whatever he commanded magically appeared.  No trials, no errors, just zap.  Although Earth seems to be God’s center of focus, not only was Earth thus conjured up but all of infinity was set in place in only seven “days.”  However, the authors of “revealed wisdom” never bothered themselves to clarify which of the two  differing Creation specifics  (Genesis l and/or 2) are to be considered most proper.  And, of course, we are instructed to never ask how God himself came into existence.  This is what some Bible fanatics (in the USA) insist must be taught in our schools!

In order for all of God’s varied and diverse forms which were thus allegedly brought forth by God talking to himself, some form of regeneration also had to be put in place for the continuation of manifesting such diverse and varied handiwork.  That renewal system of each and everything created by word of mouth required a recipe or formula or blueprint for its continuation.  Scientific sleuthing has managed to discover one vital part of that blueprint, and we know that reproduction diagram as DNA.  Life, whether micro or macro, each follows specific developmental (evolutionary) processes, and even galaxies and the universe itself follow the same constant motions of re-creation.

Social cultures that preceded the “revealed  word” of God by thousands of years, and therefore not privileged to biblical enlightenment, apparently had to grope about in ignorance of how everything became created.  It was up to the self-appointed priests in Jerusalem in the much later 8th century BCE to explain the revealed facts of Creation.  In that later timeframe the entire population of the world, which has been guesstimated to have been around seventy to one hundred million persons, the Creator was apparently interested only in enlightening a tiny percent of those humans in regard to his acts of Creation; and those “chosen” ones just happened to live around Jerusalem.  Oddly, God chose not to bother himself with any specifics, such as what went into his creative process—things like the chemical compounds and such which he utilized for manifesting everything and which continues the re-creation process. Again the authors and devotees of those revealed words counsel us not to question God ways.

Still, we can’t help but wonder.  Planet Earth is heavy with chemical components, and it is this chemical heaviness which stands as a major argument against biological life having originated on this planet, as “revealed word” implies.  But that fact of our planet’s  chemical makeup, in itself, does not negate the Genesis explanation.  However, scores of years of scientific research has projected that Earth was formed around four billion five hundred million years ago.  Within only a few hundred million years the simple life forms were already in existence on Earth–an incredibly short time in Creation terms.  To science a few hundred million years after Earths‘s formation and simple life forms were already appearing ? It seems a case of too much too soon.  Ahh, but all that was just one “Day” in the Genesis account.

If the oldest and simplest life forms were indeed present well over three billion years ago, and these simplest life forms had, as science has shown, molecules of biological origin, some dimension of Creation seems to be overlooked.  Life on this planet seems to have arisen and developed from some source other than a combination of inert gases and chemicals that were then predominant on the infant planet. Some of the most abundant chemical elements of Earth’s composition are nickel and chromium.  If biological life originated in such an abundant chemical composition, wouldn’t it seem logical that these more plentiful elements (like nickel and chromium) would figure in the composition of any life forms that developed in that primeval stew (the “dust” in biblical vernacular)–if not prominently, then at least moderately?  But nickel and chromium play practically no role whatsoever in the biochemical structure of the life forms that thrive on this planet.  Of course, they are not needed in the Genesis account.

On the other hand, the element molybdenum, a metallic element of the Chromium group is quite rare on this planet, but nonetheless that rare element plays a pivotal role in enzymatic reactions that are vitally necessary to all biological life!  Furthermore, if biological life arose on this planet, whether from the “dust” of Eden or in a simmering primeval stew, logic suggests that a variety of genetic codes would have resulted.  But that did not happen either.  Instead, all life forms on Earth developed from a single genetic code–and all life forms on Earth share this single genetic composition.  To those who idolize the biblical tales this genetic singularity can be easily brushed aside as proof of God’s verbal commands as related in Genesis.

Long before the authors of sacred writ were around, some ancient Sumerian cuneiform texts provided more authoritative information in regard to the puzzle of life’s appearance on primal Earth.  According to the deciphered texts, life on this planet developed billions of years ago from an outer space source; from a huge planet that made at least two passes through our developing solar system.  The Sumerians did not confuse that rogue celestial object with any comet, asteroid or other space object, and that roving planet was defined with the name Marduk.  The Sumerians also referred to this planet, which was obviously not affiliated with our solar system, as “the planet of crossing.”  This information later became reworked by the succeeding Babylonians, and was the basis for personification of the Babylonian god Marduk. This god is known in the Bible as Merodach (Jeremiah 50:1-2), who was credited by the Babylonians with bringing the chemistry of life to planet Earth.  Could that possibly be the inspiration for the god that the post-Sumerian story tellers in 8th century BCE Jerusalem referred to in Genesis as commanding the activation of all life?

Oddly, in recent modern science a theory has been advanced that is remarkably similar to the ancient Sumerian account.  A minority of scientists, risking reputation and government financial support, dared to offer the theory that life on this planet may have been seeded from minuscule organisms given off by some free-wheeling planet that once brushed close to the primordial Earth.  Perhaps that planetary lovemaking is what took place over the biblical six “days” of Creation?  Or was God simply playing a solo game of billiards those “days”?

 

 

 

 

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Creation Truths vs. Religious Myths

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, days of Creation, faith, Hebrew scripture, logic, prehistory, religion, scriptures, theology on August 13, 2016 by chouck017894

The principal theme of literature that is distributed as sacred writ throughout the world is commonly in regard to the origin and interactions of energies which we perceive as the universe.  In the study of “holy” myths there is commonly a distinction made between Creation myths (elemental cosmology) and myths of origins, which focus more on the later evolved features within Creation such as animals, humans, social orders, etc.

Study of the origin of anything is properly only a continuation of Creation’s activity which marks the progress of the original creative energy outpouring.  And this continuation of Creation activity accounts for the progressive arrangement of scriptural myth presentations.  The mythic style is useful for instructing minds which are not fully capable of grasping the theoretical complexity and multidimensional characteristics which we speak of as Creation.  The technique of myth-telling and the use of sacred language was originally the attempt to bridge the abyss of comprehension by personifying creative energy dimensions and their involvement as being characteristics of god, demigods, heroes, and/or divinely favored mortal beings.

The tragedy of this means of instruction is that the original scientific understanding behind the stories easily became sidetracked and the accounts then became accepted as authentic reporting.  Even more dangerous for those whom the myths were invented to aid them comprehend primal energy actions, the stories were restructured as having been actual historic ancestors.  Once the bogus “history” technique for teaching became the standard our role within Creation became trapped in the dark theological maze that has no off-ramp by which one could return to rationality.

Creationists, those Bible-thumping fanatics incapable of abstract thought who insist that Creation took place literally in six 24 hour Earth-time days, remain oblivious to  pertinent clues provided within the tale itself.  The clues reveal that the Genesis version of Creation was based upon an older and broader understanding of the true involution/evolutionary development of primal energies-into-matter.  There is a telling peculiarity in the writing style of the Genesis account of Creation which is consistently disregarded by Creationist fanatics concerning the measurement method of those “days” of Creation.  It is perhaps too subtle for those incapable of abstract thought.  By verse 5 of the first chapter of Genesis, immediately after God created light, the account declares: “And God called the (initial) radiance Day, and the darkness (primal energy conditions) Night.  And the evening and the  morning were the first Day.”  Interestingly Day is emphasized by a capital D, and Night is similarly stressed with a capital N, and the emphasis is for a reason.

In man’s standard time measurement practice, a solar-centered day is not reasonably calculated or defined as being “the evening and the morning.”  Nonetheless, the “holy word” extremists happily ignore the fact that in the priest written sacred account Earth was not even conjured up until verse 10; so the first “Day” obviously is not supposed to be calculated from how our puny little planet would measure time.  This is the complex reckoning by which each “Day” of Creation is erroneously interpreted in scriptural terms, however.  Creation of the “firmament” is the subject in verse 6 (the second Day) and is accentuated by the division of “waters” within which. scientifically speaking, creative energies involve with specific frequencies.  Then in verse 8 the “firmament” itself was allegedly labeled “Heaven” by God.  With the establishment of the “firmament,” verse 8 sums it up, and again “…the evening and the morning were the second Day.”  The account is worded in this manner in an anxious attempt to convey to non-technical minds the understanding that everything that was/is made manifest out of a void (primordial or virginal) condition.

Creation’s primal energy dimensions of what we may here term quantum activity are not involvements of Creations’s energies that can be assessed in terms of solar-reckoned days. This period of Creation activity, defined in scriptures as “Days,” is often circumvented by literal minded faith merchants by referring to the immeasurable time of Creation activity as “days of the Lord.”  That elusive attempt to sidestep explanation of the immense progressive phases of Creation’s energy involvements and expansion into defined forms necessitated the familiar day/night sequence they personally experience.  Thus the Days of Creation–or each primordial energy dimension of involvement (or involution)–which progresses out of a virginal void–was  conveyed in allegorical style and presented as “holy word.”

But what did the priest-authors mean in verse 8 by a “firmament” being established?  The Hebrew word which is translated as “firmament” is rakia, which actually means a vast expanse–or what we think of as space.  The word “firmament” is traceable back to the Latin word firmare, which happened to mean something that supported or strengthened something (from Latin firmus, “firm”).  And thus was holy word rendered into a stew pot of mismatched ingredients.

The priest authors of “holy word” were intent upon obtaining and maintaining their control over the tribal setup (Hebrew) and in order to this they had to mask what they did not know. Thus did they assert that a strangely human-like God labored six days over Creation.  This has served western cultures as “holy revelation” for around three thousand years, during which many bright youngsters have innocently asked, “But where did God come from?” The common response to that childish rationality has been, “We must never question God.”  Unfortunately, by adulthood too many formerly bright kids have been thoroughly brainwashed and their inclinations to question such things are directed to the No-No list.  And the trusting believers now committed to the literal presentation of “holy word” are understandably traumatized when their taught assumptions are challenged by archaeological research that uncovers evidence of a totally different picture of true history.

 

 

From A Jewish Cult To Christianity

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, faith, Hebrew scripture, Joshua, random, religion, scriptures on June 5, 2016 by chouck017894

In the timeframe of the expanding Roman Empire the aristocrats and literati in Roman society became more and more uneasy at the intense antagonism that flared repeatedly in the region of Palestine.  The unease of these prominent Roman citizens was not simply political concern but, for several, it also involved relationships through marriage to important families in that region.  This interrelationship provided closer perception to underlying conditions there which simmered in that occupied territory, and it was thus known that there was an active but subdued movement in Jewish culture among the Nazarene which focused on a messiah-like being called Jesus, a name derived from the legendary Joshua (Jeschu).  As uprisings steadily increased throughout Palestine the Roman aristocrats and literati sought a means to counter the Jewish conviction that they alone possessed exclusive godly guidance which their priest-written scriptures avowed.  There were some in Rome’s upper echelon who began to ponder over the possibility that the Jesus cult which was already active in Palestine could in some way provide the wedge that might be used to modify the Jewish obstinacy and thus a more cooperative conduct would be established.

Among those few privileged class Roman citizens the idea of such a wedge led to research and their findings showed that a number of attributes credited to Joshua were also shared by Pagan solar gods such as Apollo, Helios and others.  Joshua was, after all, credited with halting the sun in its course.  That alleged feat was certainly at least equal to any miracle that had been ascribed to Pagan sun gods or to Moses.  Joshua was also revered among Jews as a deliverer, a messiah–albeit a violent, murderous one–whose holocaustal conquests were claimed to have been approved and brought about by their Lord.  What would happen, the privileged Romans wondered, if a new deliverer/messiah appeared, one through whom the Lord would offer a new covenant?

A ticklish proposal of drawing upon the underground Nazarene cult’s fascination with Jesus rested in the Roman authors attempting to provide Jesus with a biological lineage.  In hope of appealing to Jewish sensibilities the Roman authors sought to provide one genealogical version in Matthew 1:1-16, written c. 70-75 CE, which traced Jesus’ decent from Abraham. This genealogy seems intent upon showing that Jesus was of royal lineage–from Abraham to David–even going so far as to refer to Jesus as “son of David” throughout the book of Matthew.  This version of biological background includes four women–a curious accounting whey you consider that in the priest-composed Hebrew Scripture the listing of lineage was always traced back only through male forebears.  Even more curious is that in the later Luke version three of those four females happened to be non-Israelite women.  Was that provision possibly calculated to open the way for gentiles to also be accepted as among God’s alleged “chosen”?

The genealogy as offered in Luke 3:23-38, written c. 84-90 CE, made the attempt to trace Jesus’ biological background even further to Adam!  Luke’s genealogy introduced a different tack by using Jewish textual traditions such as incorporating numerological exercises to present the family tree of Jesus.  This led to various speculations over time.  According to some old Greek manuscripts there was thus declared to have been 11×7 generations from Adam to Abraham. Other Greek manuscripts, however, as well as the Catholic Vulgate and the Syrian Peshito, assert there were 76 generations between Adam to Abraham, while other Latin genealogies list on 72.  Regardless of the quibbling over how many generations between all the impossible-to-trace biblical characters, the purpose of the claims  was to show that Jesus was not only the fulfillment of the history of Israel but to illustrate that Jesus was also the savior of the (Roman) world.  The fly in the ointment, we might say, is that such genealogical lines are utterly pointless if Jesus was, as claimed, born of a Jewish virgin name Mary who was unsuspectingly impregnated by divine spirit.

But why assert a miraculous “virgin birth” claim at all?  Not so coincidentally many ancient Pagan cultures had myths of their major god impregnating a virgin who bore him a demigod son.  The Greek god Zeus and  Roman god Jupiter, among others, were said to have impregnated other women.  All such virgin birth myths had originated out of extremely ancient teachings regarding causation and creation–in lessons using stars of various constellations as illustrations.  Those lessons taught the scientific principle which is now known–that primal energies–virginal conditions–involve and evolve to manifest as matter.

The focus of the Roman authors of Gospel remained upon Jewish examples, partly because the very first Gospel book which had been written, Mark, c.50-55 CE, had referred to a “prophecy” from the Jew’s revered book of Isaiah.  The Roman author of Mark happened to slyly misquote Isaiah 7:14 as “Behold, the Virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.”  Why did the Jewish prophet say Emmanuel if he meant Jesus? The name Jesus is derived from Joshua, and a prophet worth his salt would know that.  The actual priest-written book of Isaiah simply stated, “…a young woman with child…” and implying the event described was to occur in the timeframe of Isaiah.  So the text that Mark borrowed did not exactly verify that Isaiah prophesied a coming messiah named Jesus.

Thus around 70 CE the Roman author of the Gospel book of Matthew (now listed canonically as the first Gospel) labored very hard to update both the earlier book of Mark as well as his own first edition of Matthew.  And the author indulged himself as well in some holy slight of hand, and Lo! –today those blind with belief still believe that Jesus was the mortal son of god who was born to a virgin Jewish girl.

A Few Biblical Crimes

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, faith, Hebrew scripture, random, religion, scriptures, thoughts on May 13, 2016 by chouck017894

For some two to three thousand years the Bible has been advertised and promoted as being the ultimate in moral guidance for mankind.  But anyone with genuine respect for moral conduct and ethical behavior toward their fellow man often staggers away in bewilderment after reading some holy accounts.

Indeed, the opening chapters of Genesis brusquely kick things off with a highly questionable take on common ethics.  The naive couple, Adam and Eve, the last of the Creator’s handiwork, were seemingly fashioned only for fun and games.  Naked and clueless they were placed in a deceptively paradisaical setting–a setting which featured two breathtakingly beautiful fruit-bearing trees as it focal point.  Ah, but these were declared to be off limits as a food source for God’s not-too-bright last creations.  This is clearly a case of crafty entrapment, not omniscient wisdom.  But God is pictured as outraged and declared that death is to be their punishment–and not just for Adam and  Eve, but for all matter-life forms!  The first human couple had absolutely no experience as life beings, so how could they have possibly comprehended what the threat of death meant?

Ethics and compassion soon got another below-the-belt attack in the “revealed” record of Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve.  Cain was a farmer and Abel was a sheepherder. For all the bounty that God had graciously allowed them God expected both of them should bring material offerings to him in gratitude.  Abel slit a sheep’s throat and God found this to be extremely pleasing, but Cain’s gift taken from laboriously tended fields, was scorned by the Creator.  Cain, of course, smarted at this discrimination and in a jealous frenzy killed his brother.  According to the Bible there were no actual criminal laws established in Paradise, nor had there been need for such law in a family of four.  So the homicide of Abel cannot be termed murder or even manslaughter.  So the Omniscient One banished Cain from his native land and Cain was commanded not to till the ground anymore.  Apparently Cain was expected to starve himself to death.  Or perhaps that was the Omniscient One’s plan for Cain’s evolutionary success, for Cain became wonderfully successful as a builder of cities after that..  Still we can’e help but wonder–is infinite punishment for “sins” committed by a finite being’s brief life really the caliber of a Creator’s justice?

The same loose concepts of holy moral/ethical conduct is continued throughout holy word.  Aggression is highly praised in divine tales, and war crimes pass as acceptable practice–if carried out for the security of a man-invented faith system.  For example, under Moses’ generalship the Israelites are glorified for having killed off all the Midianite men, their kings and the prophet Balaam.  Joshua is portrayed as reveling in holocaustic violence in which even thousands of noncombatant women, children, and the aged were slaughtered.  Deceitful David exterminated men, women and children in various stories, even sawing victims in half or hacking them to pieces.

In a number of holy stories characters are admired for homicide.  The alleged “prophet” Elijah, for example, is glorified for killing 450 priests of Baal to “justify” Jehovah and is held as exemplary.  And there is Elisha, Elijah’s successor, who called upon God to send two bears to kill children who had dared to mock his bald head.  And there is Esther who is praised for plotting the mass murders of Persians.  And there is Jezebel who trumped up false charges against a father and his two sons so they would be slain.

Sexual misconduct, as long as it is strictly heterosexual, is routinely sniffed over. Abraham’s nephew, Lot, and his two daughters merit no chastising for acts of incest.  The maltreatment of Sarah whom Abraham loaned out to the king for material benefits is brushed over. Isaac, their son, followed dad’s example and passed his wife off to the king as his sister for favors.  Good old David, indulged in adultery and had the husband set up for assassination.  Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, too young to give legal consent, was defiled by her half-brother, prince Shechem.  How do these tales and many other similar holy tales teach anyone how they are to achieve a personal state of grace?

Strangely, impurity is a constant counterpoint played upon in holy tales, but the “impurity” is always about following some man-invented routine of pretentiousness and mannerisms as being the only method that God approves.  The impurity angle is more of a concern in Judaism and Islam, but subliminally it lingers in Christianity also.  This springs primarily from the claim that just being born–expelled from a woman’s body–renders each person impure.  It’s that old “original sin” scam.  It is never explained why, if the Creator is omniscient (all knowing), “he” could not have devised a more practical manner for multiplying new life.  Nonetheless, that little oversight allows for his self-appointed representatives to have steady employment in their self-devised theatrics.  For example, to make up for original impurity some sects insist that one’s hair must be trimmed in a strict prescribed manner, or certain foods must be avoided or prepared in a ritual way, and of course certain theatrics (man-contrived rites, rituals, ceremonies, etc.) must be performed.

Such is the enticement and lure of man-written holy books.  The emphasis is commonly placed upon following some man-devised routine as though it was magically set down in stone and perhaps delivered on some mountain top.  That, however, is not the all-inclusive nature of true spirit.  Rigidity and inflexibility happen to be the conditions of something that is dead.

 

 

Continuous Modifications in Faith Fashions

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, faith, Hebrew scripture, random, religion, scriptures on March 1, 2016 by chouck017894

Truth, it has been said, defines a principle which stands unchanged under any inquiry. By this measure of dependability we have a means to evaluate the reliability of claims, traditions and tenets of any faith system.  The reason for this thought has been initiated by a memory of events that occurred in 2011 concerning rabbis in Ashkelon, Israel where attempts were then being made to close out an ancient African-Jewish practice of Judaism–the ancient unmodified priest led version.

The Ethiopian followers of the more ancient Jewish faith system of belief claimed to be descendants of the alleged “lost tribes” of Dan.  It is a fact that for well over a thousand years ancient Jewish practices as once established in the crude book of Leviticus–a book that had been written by priests for priests and jimmied between Exodus and Numbers and which interrupted the Israelite plot line.  This early style version continued to be followed and led by priests in far-off Ethiopian communities.  Isolated from the rest of the Jewish factions the Ethiopian division maintained scriptural instructions on priesthood while in the rest of the Jewish world the priesthood was phased out and replaced by rabbis. Consequently the scriptural recorded practices such as sacrificing animals and the collection of first fruits of the harvest (for priest use) had prevailed among the Ethiopian Jews.  The old priest formula had remained in place in the distant African communities and the result of this was a reaction of discrimination in Israel against the Ethiopian immigrants who had followed the rejected earlier form of practiced reverence.  Neither side, apparently, had ever been alerted by god as to which of these two man-contrived methods of devotional indulgences was his preferred system to honor him.

The early priest concocted method of Judaic faith which the Ethiopian believers still followed was phased out around the later part of the sixth century BCE.  Indeed, it was in Babylonia where the actual character of the Jewish people began to be shaped among the exiles and where Judaism as such was really shaped.  Cyrus II of Persia freed the people of Judah from Babylonian captivity c. 536 BCE and aided the exiles return to Judah.  Virtually all that had once been instilled as sacred practice by the earlier Jerusalem priests of Yahweh had been largely forgotten after seven decades of exile in Babylonia.

In the life altering seventy year exile which is referred to as the Babylonian Captivity the people from Judah had been heavily influenced by the Chaldean and Persian cultures, which became united into one nation by the military might of Cyrus.  For the people returning to the land of Judah a sense of national unity became confident and optimistic.  By this time the Judaic people were accustomed to and influenced by the religion of Zoroaster.   Indeed, there is a Talmudic passage that freely acknowledges that the name of the months, and even the letters of the alphabet were brought back with the refugees who returned to the land of exile.  It was after the return to their homeland that the literature which is now cherished as the Torah was assembled and imposed by the priest authors as law.

The principal architect of the reconstruction of Judaic culture is claimed to have been a priest name Ezra–a somewhat shadowy figure of whom nothing really positive has ever been found in support of such a person.  The most likely scenario, dare we speculate, is that a few enterprising men who returned to the homeland discovered and utilized the earlier versions of priest-written “history” and exclaimed “aha!”  Here was a treasure trove: it only needed a bit of editing.  This they did under the nom de plum of Ezra to lend the aura of a divine messenger.  The Temple was rebuilt, and at the meetings held there this revised and edited “history” anthology was read aloud, which for all extent and purpose, gave holy authority to the texts.

To promote the amended anthology as holy authority the reworked texts were asserted to have been dictated by God to Moses,  so the editing job followed the same motivational reasoning of the earlier priest-authors of Yahweh.  It was in this same timeframe of Temple reconstruction that the rewrite authors also utilized the Babylonian character of Job, which, theologically speaking, is not Judaic in flavor.  It was in this borrowed literary work that Judaism was presented with the premier appearance of Satan–with a capital S. Unfortunately, the anonymous authors, i.e. Ezra, misinterpreted the astronomical and zodiacal significance pertinent to the original Babylonian story which clarified the relationship of such things as the names of the months, and the cosmological significance of the purely symbolic “angels”.  The “angels” in the borrowed literature were earlier references to the solar family’s planets.  It was not acknowledged even in the Babylonian version, however, that it was from Zoroaster that ideas of angels had become separated from ancient planetary references and reinterpreted by Zoroaster as making up an infernal hierarchy.  As a consequence ancient wisdom and symbolism became hopelessly confused.  And subsequent faith systems which have splintered off from this background have only added to that confusion.

The point which has been labored for here is that faith system modifications have been going on ever since our distant ancestors climbed down from primordial trees.  Different environments and life stresses always color previous superstitions, and it was the most boisterous and belligerent activists who most often managed to badger their pet superstitions into tribal culture as “holy law.”.