Archive for Revelation

Covenants of Special Favor

Posted in belief, Bible, history, random, religion, scriptures with tags , , , , on August 19, 2012 by chouck017894

…or Promises Not Kept.

At Mount Sinai, Moses allegedly received directly from God the list of Laws under which the Israelites were to forever abide.  But when Moses trudged down the mountain to the Israelite camp lugging two stone tablets of Law he found that in his absence the Israelites had fashioned a golden calf to lavish their attention upon.  In anger Moses hurled the tablets of Law at the discontented Israelites and God’s Laws became rubble.  The Lord apparently had no backup technology or recovery system in those days, so Moses had to trudge back up the mountain again to get a second batch of commandments which spelled out the rules by which the Israelites could make themselves worthy of receiving God’s conditional love.  This second set of stone tablets survived and were then lugged around in an ark for years and even served as their battle standard during their weary 40-year wanderings, for apparently the Lord had neglected to include with the commandments a road map to the Promised Land.

The rest of the Exodus saga pivots upon the alleged covenant that the Lord is said to have established with the Israelites at Sinai.  For some never explained reason Yahweh pledged to make the Israelites his chosen ones, and he then bestowed upon them—out of all the people on the entire planet—special favors.  Yahweh’s promises included providing the chosen ones with a peaceful and affluent homeland.  Oddly, that promised land was already inhabited!  But all that the Israelites had to do to receive the “Promised Land” was to indulge in a bit of genocide to show their worthiness of the gift.    According to the priest written “history,” the Israelites thus received their “inheritance” by cleansing the land with Canaanite blood as Yahweh cheered them on.

Once the Israelites were in possession of the coveted land, the Israelites had every expectation, according to their understanding of the Sinai contract, to live peacefully in their cleansed and enclosed region.  But evidently Moses neglected to note the fine print clauses that apparently attended the Sinai covenant.  The inherited land, according to priest “history,” was not as idyllic as the Israelites had anticipated.  After years of guidance under assorted peculiar “Judges,” Philistine armies routed the Israelite tribal levies in battle and took the Ark of the Covenant as booty.  The priests and “prophets” came to the conclusion that the reason for their problem was because Yahweh had expected, although he never told them so, that they would set up their inherited land as a kingdom.  Sure enough, the “prophet” Samuel avowed that was indeed the wish of Yahweh, and the Lord’s selection to be the first king of Israel, Samuel relayed, was to be Saul. (The name translates from Hebrew as meaning “asked for.”)  Saul proved to have been an apparent spur of the moment decision on the Lord’s part, and it proved to be a not so omniscient choice, for even as Saul continued to reign, God was directing the “prophet” Samuel to select the youngest son of Jesse of the Benjamin tribe, David, to be groomed to replace the king.  The timeframe for David is traditionally placed as c. 1040?-973 BCE.

So how did the Lord show his favor of David?  In a deadly combat situation with a Philistine giant named Goliath!  Priest “history” asserts that the youth David, who was too young to serve in the military, was the only one connected to Saul’s defense forces who was brave enough to meet Goliath in one-on-one combat.  The priest authors carefully noted in this scripted plotline that David shouted to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with javelins, but I come to you in the name of the Lord.”  And then, of course, the Lord made certain that the single small stone in David’s slingshot struck the most vulnerable spot on Goliath’s helmeted skull.  Why the Lord needed an intermediary to bump off the Philistine giant is another divine mystery.  Even more mysterious, the Lord did nothing later to assist all those in dire need who had joined up with David when he became the renegade leader of fugitives and soldiers.  After King Saul’s death—some twenty-three years later—traditionally placed as around 1013 BCE, David was then allegedly anointed king of Israel.

The “word of the Lord” was again relayed to David through a minor “prophet” named Nathan who declared still another covenant promise (1 Kings 7:12-16); that the house, the kingdom and the throne of David “…shall be established for ever.”  The only restrictive clause in this covenant was that if the king did wrong in the Lord’s sight, the king, and not the people would be punished; even so God would not take the kingdom away from David as he had done with Saul (after 23 years).  This sounds like an unconditional promise—the house and the kingdom of David was to continue “for ever.

Genuine history seems not to have followed the Lord’s plan, however, for the kingdom of Israel was conquered and completely destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BCE, never to be resurrected as a monarchy ruled over by some descendant of David.  (By the way, something time-altering did occur in 587 BCE which forced every nation on Earth to begin recalculating its chronology: it was not because David’s kingdom fell to the Babylonians.)  Today, of course, there is the nation of Israel, but it is not under the rule of a descendant of David; it functions loosely as a democracy.  This means that the greatest covenant that the priest authors claim was extended by God to the Israelites was another sacred promise that seems not to have been kept.

That predicament does not seem to register with today’s army of Christian Bible thumpers who cherry pick verses out of scriptural accounts that support their inflated egos.  This continues even in defiance of the many archeological findings that fail to support scriptural assertion of the Moses-David-Solomon stories.  Ignoring the unfulfilled promises in the alleged covenants that God is said to have extended to the Israelites (not to the Jews, Hebrews or gentiles) allows the devotees of “revealed word” the privilege of accepting the present day democratic nation of Israel as the fulfillment of God’s promises.  This, in turn, allows Christians to indulge in spiritual lust over the New Testament book of Revelation in which Christ takes total control over worldly affairs.  Considering that the book of Revelation was written c. 135 CE, right after Roman armies defeated the Jewish rebellion in Palestine, the invented achievement of unchallenged world domination by Christ simply mirrors the empirical aspirations of Rome concerning Jewish fanatics in their 135 CE timeframe.  The book of “Revelation” is not an end of the world scenario.

Book of Revelation, More Sacred Subterfuge

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Government, history, life, politics, random, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on July 11, 2011 by chouck017894

There is a modern myth circulating in United States political circles that is based upon taking the New Testament’s “prophecy” called Revelation as inescapable destiny, and thus believe that the contemporary nation of Israel, established May 14, 1948, will play a deciding role when “end times” judgment is levied upon Earth.  It is known that the book Revelation was actually written c. 135-137, and its declared author was “St” John the Divine, who, inexplicably, has never been authenticated.  Oddly, Revelation begins in letter form, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia, grace to you and peace.” (1:4)  And, peculiarly, the book ends like Paul’s epistles to the same churches, with the “grace” of Jesus being invoked (22:21).

The locale for the alleged transmission of Revelation to John was on the island of Patmos off the coast of the Roman province of Asia.  It was there that the risen Christ supposedly appeared to John and instructed him to write to those seven particular churches to tell them about future conditions (chapters 2 and 3).  Chapters 4 and 5 had John whisked off to heaven where he sees god enthroned and holding a sealed scroll which can be opened only by the “lamb” standing beside god’s throne, a figure who bears the marks of sacrifice.  Chapters 6 through 19 relates a sick orgy of gory violence, which then launches into god’s judgment of the  world.  Predetermined is a new creation (chapter 21), and the “New Jerusalem” is to descend like a “bride of the lamb.”  The ending, chapter 22, is rampant with typical religious name-calling and contemptuous imaging, assuring the reader that outside the gates to the new city “…are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”  The same stock-in-trade hate rhetoric is still being used by religious bigots today. Apparently the isolationist city of New Jerusalem is destined to have for its next door neighbors the rowdy citizens of Hell.

The timeframe in which the writing of the New Testament’s final book occurred is pertinent to understanding the alleged “prophecy” that it depicts.  (In spite of it placement, Revelation was not the last book written: the book of Hebrews was written later, c. 137-140.)  The late appearance of Revelation upon the scene followed upon the Jewish insurrection in Jerusalem under Bar Cocheba (132-135), an insurrection that spread to Cyrene, Egypt, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia.  The Roman’s were pissed.  And Roman authors were responsible for all the New Testament writings.  Thus the character of the mild teacher Jesus became presented as gradually transforming psychologically through the early gospels to culminate as the harsh judge presiding over the elimination of all faith systems except what the authors represented.  It should be noted also that the format of Revelation borrowed heavily from the Old Testament book of Daniel, which the priests of Yahweh in Jerusalem happened to have reworked from a Babylonian poetic epic.

The long recounting of planned godly rampage which makes up the tale of Revelation thus concludes with Jerusalem, the seat of Jewish faith, being whisked off the Earth and a “New Jerusalem” being plunked down far from heaven to replace it.  How the expected Christian rapture is equated with all the soot and ashes and bones and desecration upon which the New Jerusalem is to be put in place is another unanswered divine mystery.  Perhaps it is simply because the book of Revelation was written in the heyday of the Roman Empire which accounts for the city of Rome being spared a similar replacement policy.

A large percentage of Christian evangelicals in the US believe that the second coming of Jesus (do they mean the early gentle teacher or the later death-dealing judge?) hinges upon the Jews gaining and maintaining control over the so-called “Holy Land.”  Thus in the US we have fanatic believers such as newly installed (January 2011) Republican congressman from Florida, Daniel Webster, using Revelation logic to advocate doling out excessive “aid” to Israel because, as he put it, “…if we stop helping Israel, we lose god’s hand and we’re in big trouble.”  This was aired on “Good Life 45,” a televangelist TV program and replayed on YouTube.  Somehow that assessment of god’s character is more in keeping with the Republican characteristic of cutting backroom deals for personal gain and political domination.  The political power merchants in Israel smile and shrug at such Religious Right interpretations in the US, and humbly accept the “help” of $2.4 billion a year while laughing up their sleeves.  This is the political savvy that makes Israel the top recipient of foreign aid money from the United States—while the poor of our own nation are callously disregarded.

Revelation’s Bumpy History

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on August 7, 2010 by chouck017894

The late appearance of the New Testament book Revelation upon the Christian scene, penned c. 135-137 CE, followed closely upon the occurrence of the Jewish insurrection in Jerusalem under Bar Cocheba (132-135).  It was a Jewish insurrection which spread to Cyrene, Egypt,  Cyprus and Mesopotamia.  With this NT book’s  late appearance there is presented an inexplicable psychological change in the character of Jesus from a mild and peaceful teacher into a harsh judgmental figure.  Missing in the new book of Revelation was any attempt to attract or convert Jews to the struggling cult: the emphasis was focused instead on the establishment of a new Jerusalem, a situation that is picturesquely achieved at the end of the lumbering tale (Revelation 21:10).  There is strong but veiled anti-Jewish anger expressed in this tale written during Roman Empire times, and it is revealed in the contention that it is a new Jerusalem that is to be purified and lowered from Heaven; it is not Rome that is to be cleansed and lowered back to Earth.  It should be noted that the work is addressed to a definite group of seven churches, all in the Roman Province of Asia.

It is also worth noting that the description of the new Jerusalem asserts that it is to have a wall surrounding it with twelve gates—three each along the north, east, south and west.  As in the Old Testament tales, where the number twelve is a prime clue in the story, it is a covert way of referring to the Zodiac—as are numerous other descriptions in Revelations.  And clearly the symbolism used, such as the number seven, is common to all Creation myths: 7 angels,  7 horns, 7 stars, 7 seals, 7 vials, 7 plagues, 7 candlesticks, 7 churches, 7 spirits before the throne, and the great beast with 7 heads.  These are not unique to the book of Revelations, for the very same symbols are to be found in the OT book of Ezekiel (4).  Another example of Zodiac plundering opens chapter four where a throne is beheld; “…and one sat upon the throne.”  The one sitting upon the throne was said to have the look  “…of a jasper and a sardine stone and there was a rainbow round about the throne in sight like unto an emerald.”  The mention of these stones—jasper, sardine stone, and emerald—happen to be the gem symbols for Pisces, Gemini and Cancer.  This type of borrowing continues throughout the book.

Much of the symbolism used in Revelation happens to have been common to Apocalyptic tradition of that era, and doubtlessly parts of it were also drawn from ancient Babylonian or Persian mythology.  The Apocryphal vision presented in Revelation was likely also stirred by the old Hebrew tales of Moses (legends which were not canonically approved).  In the unapproved Moses tale it tells of a “war in heaven” which was allegedly fought between angels and Satan’s horde over possession of Moses’ physical body after his death.  The elements of Revelation made the book a divisive work from the start, with many finding its style and brutal scenes as starkly out-of-place with the earlier books of Gospel.

Unfortunately, by the time of “saint” Irenaeus (flourished 170-190), the book began being presented as a prophecy of God’s intention for the world or his plan for the church.  The third century theologian, “saint” Dionysius of Alexandria. c. 260, said of Revelation: “Even if I do not understand, I yet conceive some deeper sense to lie in the words.  Not measuring and judging these things by private reasoning but giving the chief right to faith, I have supposed it to be too high to be comprehended by me.”  But not all Christian cult theologians were so willing to abandon rationality.  For example, by 340 the Christian Bishop Cyril of Jerusalem omitted the book of Revelation from his canon.  In 370, however, Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis (Constantia) of the Island of Cyprus reinstated the book for use.  But then in 375 the Bishop of Nazianzen, in SW Cappadocia, struck the book form his canon.  And in 380 Bishop Philastrius, bishop of Brescia (Lombardy, Italy) omitted Revelation from his canon.  Even “saint” Jerome (about 390) expressed doubt about the book being attributed to John the presbyter.  (The general uniformity of style indicate that was by a singular author, however.)

Even the later reformers such as Martin Luther (1483-1546) and Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) were doubtful of the book’s authenticity.  In general those who attribute the Fourth Gospel to “saint” John deny that Revelation could have been written by him. 

The message in the Judgment Day tale is defined by local color found in the Roman Empire of the time, and references to contemporary events and issues clearly indicate that it was meant for its own age.  Without doubt the author was strongly connected to the Christian cult circles in Asia, and his purpose was to send forth a message of intimidation and warning to insurgent Jews that Christ would soon be manifest and cleanse the world (the Roman world) of unbelievers. 

At the closing of Revelation, John allegedly beheld “…a holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”  This happens to have been lifted out of Gnostic lore of Creation, not some revelation of the new church being the “bride” of the world’s savior.

Time has shown (over 2000 years) that the things allegedly foretold in Revelation is not applicalbe to the world we know today; its imagery simply is not relvant, and more importantly, it holds no spiritual value.

 

Saints and Religious Propaganda

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, politics, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by chouck017894

Religious adherence, like any marketable product, needs a variety of representations and catch phrases to keep sales active and appealing.  In western religious practice one of those tools, especially as taken over in Christian practice, is the use of the word “saint.”  That word is commonly traced back as translating some derivative of the Hebrew qados and/or the Greek hagios.   In both cases these words were applied primarily to the gods that inspired awe and therefore rightly warranted adoration.  Of course those in the business of selling belief found it profitable to extend the meaning to include those persons or things that allegedly had a unique relationship to the gods.  The advertising ploy was that this special relationship of certain persons or things had been set apart from the unhallowed world and made sufficiently clean (rendered holy”) by man-concocted rites so that they could be used for sacred theatrics. 

Thus in religious phraseology the political minded priests of Yahweh at work in Jerusalem c. 850 BCE (their works would not be codified until the early 5th century BCE) declared anyone devoted to their god made up the “holy people” of Israel.  This necessitated that the priests indulge themselves in a bit of flim-flam, for “holy” in this use did not imply any moral sense: it was simply the priestly claims of being specially selected as God’s people.  Behind this priestly indulgence of smoke and mirrors, the true purpose had nothing to do with people’s personal spiritual advancement; it was totally focused on attaining and maintaining material advantages for their “faith” project.  Thus the followers of the Yahweh priests were declared “holy people”—or what we are taught to think of as “saints”—in their  meaning a nation set apart (self-segregated) for worship or service to God under priestly administration.

This false sense of spiritual entitlement that was introduced in the “faith” that was being manufactured in Jerusalem cultivated characteristics that guaranteed the faith could never reflect the all-embracing, liberal power that they claimed to serve.  By their self-serving interpretation of material  existence the incalculable diversity displayed throughout Creation is said to be manage through a system of favoritism and discrimination.

The rise of a counter doctrine was inevitable, especially since the  devotees to the priestly politics of spirit in Jerusalem had made for unending skirmishes through the young muscle-bound Roman Empire.  The invention of Christianity occurring in this timeframe was primarily a political undertaking, not some miraculous intervention of heaven to “save” the (Roman) world.  It is for this reason that the starring character in the new movement was cast as a Jewish rebel, whose name was derived from the Torah‘s brutal messiah named Joshua.  Thus in the anthology that became the New Testament there is found a heavy draw upon things Jewish in hope of clearing away at least some of that gang mentality that was the core of Judaism. 

The new faith movement was conceived and fleshed out primarily in Rome, not Jerusalem, but the authors had a certain amount of familiarity with the governing families in Jerusalem.  As the Christian counter movement evolved, borrowing strong attributes from other religious cults active in Rome at that time, the emphasis remained on a more moderated and less special interest understanding of things that function  beyond human comprehension.  But various authors brought different colorings to the new cult, among which was  the absorption of the notion of special category of persons that supposedly pleased heaven and which also appealed to the egos of converts.  Thus, as the people of Israel had been presented as “holy ones” or “saints,” there had to be allowance made that placed the competing “faith” movement in Rome on an equality basis with the unruly Jews.  Consequently God suddenly found himself possessed with a whole new variety of “favorites.”

The political minded authors of the Christian cult therefore cleverly incorporated into the new holy works the idea that those who comprised the church were “holy” and “saints” because they were set apart for God (not by God), and the church itself was the alleged new Israel.  So we now read in Romans 1:7, written 100 CE when the authors were restructuring the  earlier Christian strategies, that Christians are referred  to as God’s own people.  This theme is also implied in 1:1 Philippians undoubtedly written much later that the 64 date commonly insisted upon.  By this time Roman annoyance at the Jews spiritual arrogance was being channeled toward a practice of spiritual intimidation—which reached its orgiastic conclusion in Revelation (written c. 135 CE) where a new Jerusalem is lowered to Earth.

As the Christian movement grew and its tentacles spread from Rome across Europe, the movement became the replacement  for the collapsed Roman Empire.  It cannot be said to have been a true blessing for the world.  But its “saints” had amazing self-breeding capability.  The first “saints,” of course, were the supposed disciples;  the church could not have been built if they had not been systematically put in place.  In this is found the clue for church respect for all those it has promoted as “saints.”  From that starting point every figure ever presented as a “saint” throughout Christian history has been so honored because that “saint” in some manner advanced the corporate church itself.  In no way did any of those church approved “saints” ever advance man’s understanding that the universe responds directly to each person if each person learns to approach it in true humbleness.

So how have religion’s “saints” advanced the spiritual potential of mankind?  A look at the many schisms in every organized religion suggests that the evil so railed against by all of them is actually nurtured primarily within those practices of imagined superiority.  But the magic acts are still being indulged in even as we pass through the front hall of the 21st century—a calendar dating system, incidentally, based on a “holy” character whose existence has never been proven.  Amazingly, the Roman Catholic Church is still indulging in the old self-promotion scams, and plans are in place to elevate the late Pope John Paul to “saint” status.  All that is needed is a miracle that can be credited to him.  As the old adage goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

Ancient Star Lore & Biblical Myths

Posted in Astronomy, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, humanity, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by chouck017894

There is never any acknowledgment among religious scholars of the vast debt that is owed to the prehistory star-wisdom and cosmic understandings upon which the authors of “sacred” tales fashioned a holy “history.”  A good example of sacred language is the intentionally oblique manner that actually refers to the Zodiac.  For example, in Proverbs 8:27 it is the Zodiac that is spoken of where it says, “When he established the heavens, I was there: when he set a circle upon the face of the deep.”  Elsewhere in scriptural myths the four major Zodiac divisions are alluded to as the “four-square wilderness camp” of the Israelites.  In sacred language, wilderness always referred to the void in which creative activity brought forth energy manifestations.  Israelites, the supposed forebears of the Hebrew devotees of Yahweh, are really in reference to the elementary particles or primordial energies moving—or fleeing—into prototype forms that are to become manifest as matter.  And the twelve Israelite “tribes” alluded to are none other than the twelve divisions of the Zodiac reworked and presented as ancestral background.  (This is detailed in The Celestial Scriptures: Keys to the Suppressed Wisdom of the Ancients.)

The twelve “tribes” are said to have been headed by the alleged descendants of Jacob/Israel, and each “tribe” can be identified in relation to the Zodiac divisions.  The most undisguised reference is found in Genesis 49:17 where Jacob/Israel lay dying and gives the “blessing” which was supposedly prophetic of the tribes.  In this case the “prophecy” was in regard to Dan: “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels so that his rider shall fall backward…”  This is reference to Scorpio (and its associate constellations, Ophiuchus and Serpens) which in the Zodiac lineup is figuratively at the heels of Sagittarius, the Centaur.

The most famous reference to the Zodiac in biblical myths, however, is the alleged “vision” of a “wheel in the middle of a wheel” related in the book of Ezekiel.  We should take into account that Ezekiel is one of the two “prophets” linked with the exile saga (the other “prophet” of exile is Daniel who personifies Libra).  The story goes that the “prophet” Ezekiel allegedly saw the “likeness of four living creatures” that came out of the midst of a “whirlwind” that circled out of the sky, and their “faces” were likened to a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle.  It is not coincidence that these figures also happened to refer to the constellations that marked the quarterly divisions of the ancient charting of the heavens.  Ezekiel’s man was and still is the representative of constellation Aquarius, which heads the first quarterly  division, and the water signs of Zodiac.  The lion, as you may suspect, represented the constellation Leo which heads the third Zodiac division.  The ox is Taurus, more familiarly represented with the bull, marks the second quarterly division.  The eagle happened to be the Hebrew figure used for constellation Scorpius (Scorpio), and heads the fourth quarterly division.  The “vision” reference to the “likeness” lineup was muddled intentionally in an attempt to disguise the fact that the Zodiac was the true source of the “prophet’s” vision.  The “whirlwind” of Ezekiel’s vision is in reference to the entire cyclic movement of the constellations which exemplified the cyclic rhythm of Creation. 

Of course we should not ignore the glaring coincidence that there were supposedly twelve apostles that are said to have orbited around Jesus just as the twelve Zodiac divisions seem to revolve about the Sun.  Each of those can be identified with specific Zodiac signs.  Thomas, for example, is Gemini (remember, he had to see Jesus’ hands).  In St. John 20:24 (King James version) he is called Thomas Didymus, and Didymus comes from the Greek didymos, a direct reference to the Zodiac twins–Gemini.  Thomas was also referred to as “…the twin.”  Then there is the “many mansions” spoken of as being in my father’s house (John 14:2), which alluded to the twelve major Zodiac divisions, each of which also had three sub-constellations closely associated with it.

Perhaps the greatest mockery of ancient star lore pops up in the book of Revelation which was based entirely on prehistory events in Earth’s shifting and terrifying relationship with other planets.  These prehistory calamitous events served as the basis for the alleged “prophecy” of Armageddon in the closing book of the New Testament.  Reworked and presented as the “judgment” passed upon man by god to take place in the near future the tale’s purpose was to strike fear in spiritual seekers to turn them to the cult movement that became Christianity.  Today the book of Revelation still strikes fear in spiritual seekers who accept as truth the claim that every word in their man-written scriptures contains prophecy of world’s end.   However, the timeframe of Revelation‘s writing, 132-135 CE, makes it suspicious, to say the least.  The composing of Revelation followed upon the Jewish insurrection in Jerusalem under Bar Cocheba, 132-135 CE, which had spread to Cyrene, Egypt, Cyprus and Mesopotamia.  At that time the psychological change in the Jesus character from gentle teacher to the harsh judgmental figure was due primarily at frustration at the Jews and a conviction of the author that the Christian movement had been mishandled.  Tellingly, through the early centuries of the Christian cult movement the book was banned as unacceptable numerous times by many prominent church leaders who felt that it was not consistent with the compassionate, peaceful Jesus character presented in earlier N. T. scriptures.

Unicorns & Satyrs in Scriptures?

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, humanity, life, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2009 by chouck017894

God has revealed in holy scriptures all the wisdom that man needs to know—or so claim the fundamentalists who insist that everything in scripture should be taken literally.  Generally they purposefully ignore a few things scattered through “holy word” that tend to jar the hard-line stance that it is man’s righteous duty to accept biblical teachings without question.  To take everything in the Bible literally means that we should believe in the behemoth, the cockatrice, and dragons, the Leviathan, satyrs, and unicorns.

Think not?  The behemoth is mentioned in the book of Job (40:15-24).  The word comes from Hebrew and is intensive plural, meaning “great beasts.”  The book of Job where this is found happens to have been taken from a Babylonian tale and reworked into Jewish scripture.  It is for that reason that the character of Job never condemns himself for the misfortunes that befall him: he knows that he is innocent—which is not the same thing as being without sin.  The ending of the priest-plagiarized version was altered for Jewish consumption with Job “repenting” and god winning a rather stupid test of character.  Biblical scholars have attempted to get around the mythic “beast” part by saying that possibly the tale was referring to a hippopotamus!  Since the beast remains unexplained it must be placed as a mythological beast.

In the books of Jeremiah and Isaiah there is reference to a creature called cockatrice, an alleged serpent-like living-thing reputed to be hatched from a cock’s egg and having the power of killing with a glance.  It is telling that the cockatrice is mentioned by two major “prophets” who happened to forecast world threatening terror that would at times rampage out of the skies in that era. (See Jeremiah 8:17, and Isaiah 11:8, 14:29, and 59:5.)

Dragons play a role in scripture as symbolic of how one is to be judged and reproved for not measuring up.  Christian mythology inherited the Hebraic concept of the dragon, which is prominent in all the important apocalyptic literature of the Bible.  But the distended dragon role in Revelation seems like a distorted echo of two short closing verses of Isaiah 13:21-22; “…dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”

Leviathan is a term used in the Bible to designate an enormous scaly monster.  In Psalms 104 and in Isaiah 27, Leviathan is interpreted to mean “whale” because the creature is described in these verses as living in the great wide sea (waters of Creation).  But that is not what is said in much older writings upon which Genesis was crafted: in those ancient texts Yahweh battled with Leviathan, the dragon: a creation myth.  (The tale is reminiscent of Tiamat in Babylonian myths from which came the Old Testament expression T’hom, “deep.”)  Providing for newly created life is the meaning behind the words of Psalms 74 that says: “Thou breakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.”  Elsewhere, in the book of Job 41:10, “borrowed” from Babylonian literature, the truism is stated that God and Leviathan are as one.

Satyrs are spoken of in the book of Isaiah too (13:21-22), along with the aforementioned mythical dragon and cockatrice.  Satyrs of mythology referred to any class of woodland gods or demons, often depicted with pointed ears, and the short horns and legs of a goat.  What are they doing in the “revealed word of god”?

The fabulous unicorn, as fleshed-out in ancient Greek and Roman myths, supposedly had a body resembling that of a horse, but having a straight horn protruding from its forehead.  It is odd that this creature is spoken of in more than one of the books of the Bible: Numbers (23:22, 24:8), Deuteronomy (33:17), Job (39:9-10), Psalms (22:21, 29:6, 92:10), and Isaiah (34:7).

Funny—none of those creatures were ever mentioned as having been in Eden.

Revelation, fallacy of

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, history, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2009 by chouck017894

Written in the occult style, the book of Revelation, penned c. 135-138, is not “revelation” at all but is embellishment upon mystery teachings concerning the dimensions and advancement of creation powers that were ancient even in Roman Empire times.  The occult manner of presentation such as the repeated use of the number seven should be clue enough to alert any reader that the “revealed” information is being presented in a questionable mystical style.  Consider for example—7 angels, 7 horns, 7 stars, 7 seals, 7 vials (of god’s wrath), 7 plagues, 7 candlesticks, 7 churches, 7 letters (to the churches), 7 spirits (before the throne), 7 dooms, 7 heads, 7 kings–and eventually 7 new things.

An important factor to remember about the book of Reveleation is the timeframe of its composition.  The Roman Empire at the time was in an extremely critical state from barbarian invasions and the revolts of subject peoples, especially the Jews.  Emperor Hadrian had been compelled to go to Palestine to put down the insurrection of the Jews that had escalated from 132 under the leadership of Bar Cocheba.  Roman patience was running thin at the decades-long stubborn noncompliance of the Jews.  Revolts had spread even to Cyrene, Egypt, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia.  Jerusalem was destroyed by Hadrian’s army and Jews were forbidden to set foot on the site.  It was established by Roman strategists that the spiritual obstinacy and consistent disquiet of the Jews was anchored in their priest-written and self-serving scriptures.  Out of this came the inspiration for the work claimed to have been authored by “Saint John the Divine,” but was more likely the work of a Roman frustrated at Jewish resistance to Roman governance.

The Apocryphal vision presented in Revelation was unmistakably influenced by Hebrew stories such as that of Moses and the “war in heaven” allegedly fought between the archangel Michael and Satan for possession of Moses’ body.  Obviously that tale was not about a mortal man but used Moses as analogous to the primal Earth.  In other words, that tale was cosmology told in occult style.  Among the elements borrowed from that Moses myth and incorporated into Revelation was the attention given to the number seven, as mentioned earlier.

Many of the symbols in  Revelation are also found in Ezekiel; i.e. gates of heaven opening, a throne within, seven lamps, etc.  As in Ezekiel, dead bodies are seen in the street which, after three and a half days, rise and walk.  There are numerous other parallels.  And all of them were borrowed from  more ancient mystery teachings on creation processes and cosmology, but tossed together without proper sequence to present the ecclesiastic deception of man’s downfall if Christianity was not embraced by all. 

Another example out of hundreds of the occult treatment used as Revelation can be discerned in chapter 4 verses 2-3 that describes “…a throne was set in heaven, and one sat upon the throne.  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.”  More ecclesiastic deception: these gemstones symbolize the Zodiac constellations Pisces, Gemini, and Cancer.  (See accompanying notes on Gemstones of the Bible.)

Another example of  occult story handling continues in verses 6-7: “…and round about the throne were  four beasts full of eyes before and behind.  And the first beast was  like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had the face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.”   Really?   It all sounds suspiciously like the four quarters of the Zodiac (also used by Ezekiel) listed out of sequence—Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, and Scorpio (the eagle was Hebrew symbol for Scorpius).  Why are Zodiac symbols part of  Revelation?  Because in cultures predating the Hebrews, creation-cosmology lessons were taught using the constellations as focus for the lessons.  (As detailed in The Celestial Scriptures: Keys to the Suppressed Wisdom of the Ancients.)

The  book of Revelation is not worthy spiritual material, which is probably why so many other “saints” could not comprehend it.