Daily Archives: 15 Aug 2017

To the Angry Atheists Moaning About the Bible and Slavery…

‪Angry atheist – “the bible supports slavery.”‬

‪So what. Everyone in the ancient world did INCLUDING YOUR ANCESTORS, AND slavery isn’t central to Scripture’s message‬.  So find a new red herring to fry.

Christians and The Other

“You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exod. 22:21)

“Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exod. 23:9)

`And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. `The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. (Lev. 19:33-34)

`The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. (Lev. 19:34)

`You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the LORD your God.'” (Lev. 24:22)

“Then they also will answer Him, saying,`Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’  “Then He will answer them, saying,`Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.  (Matt. 25:44-46)

Any questions?

Fox News Host Suggests Learning the Proper Technique to Run People Over…

Not the Onion-

Will Fox repudiate this murderous nonsense?

A Short History of Torches and Intimidation

Read it.

In Charlottesville, Virginia this week, a number of white nationalist action groups came together at a “Unite The Right” rally to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. Marching on the campus of the University of Virginia on the night before the planned rally, protesters carried tiki-torches and chanted “You will not replace us.”

The carrying of torches to suggest power and project intimidation has a long and sordid history.

Fire was a constant hazard in the ancient world. Property owners, apartment dwellers, city magistrates, and emperors lived in fear of the potential damage caused by unchecked fires in urban areas in particular. Torches could be used to light weddings (as they frequently were), but could also be used by soldiers as weapons particularly during siege warfare. They were also carried by rioters wishing to brandish a dangerous weapon which, in Latin, was called a ‘fax .’

Following the assassination of Caesar in 44 BCE, the citizens in Rome who gathered in the Forum to hear Antony’s eulogy grabbed pieces of wood and furniture in the area in order to make an ad hoc pyre upon which to burn the dictator’s body. Many present at the cremation then grabbed pieces of flaming wood as torches from the pyre. As the historian Plutarch noted, “people rushed up from all sides, snatched up half-burnt brands, and ran round to the houses of Caesar’s slayers to set them on fire.”

All of it.

The Bee Stings The Communism Romanticizers

A study performed by researchers at Harvard University found a strong link between supporting the idea of communism and never once having even briefly opened a history book, sources confirmed Tuesday.

The study appears to imply that would-be communists are deterred from supporting the political theory the moment they encounter any real-life examples of communism in world history and read about the tens of millions of people murdered or slaughtered under communist rulers.

“We found that of the people who advocate communism today, over 97% slept all the way through each of their history classes in elementary school, high school, and college,” head researcher Todd Devlin said in a statement accompanying the release of the study’s findings. “Without exception, not a single supporter of communism in the study had ever opened any kind of history textbook or scholarly work covering the 20th century.”

“They do occasionally catch a special on Nazis on the History Channel, but usually turn it off before the piece begins to break down the horrific regimes of Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao,” the paper continued.

The study also found that the majority of modern communists who do happen across a stray piece of information showing the horrors and atrocities of real-life communism are able to quickly rationalize the historical facts away by labeling those examples “not real communism.”


The Old Testament in Archaeology and History

One hundred and fifty years of sustained archaeological investigation has yielded a more complete picture of the ancient Near East. The Old Testament in Archaeology and History combines the most significant of these archaeological findings with those of modern historical and literary analysis of the Bible to recount the history of ancient Israel and its neighboring nations and empires.

Eighteen international authorities contribute chapters to this introductory volume. After exploring the history of modern archaeological research in the Near East and the evolution of “biblical archaeology” as a discipline, this textbook follows the Old Testament’s general chronological order, covering such key aspects as the exodus from Egypt, Israel’s settlement in Canaan, the rise of the monarchy under David and Solomon, the period of the two kingdoms and their encounters with Assyrian power, the kingdoms’ ultimate demise, the exile of Judahites to Babylonia, and the Judahites’ return to Jerusalem under the Persians along with the advent of “Jewish” identity. Each chapter is tailored for an audience new to the history of ancient Israel in its biblical and ancient Near Eastern setting.

The end result is an introduction to ancient Israel combined with and illuminated by more than a century of archaeological research. The volume brings together the strongest results of modern research into the biblical text and narrative with archaeological and historical analysis to create an understanding of ancient Israel as a political and religious entity based on the broadest foundation of evidence. This combination of literary and archaeological data provides new insights into the complex reality experienced by the peoples reflected in the biblical narratives.

I did some proofreading of most of the essays in the early stages of the project and I have to say, they’re quite useful.  It’s taken a while to get the thing done, and I’m not sure if the projected New Testament companion volume addressing the same subject will ever come out, but I hope so.  At any rate, you’ll want to take a look at this.

Signs of the Times

Antonio Lombatti, on the Shroud, Again…

Every time Shroud of Turin nonsense raises it’s senseless head, Antonio Lombatti can be counted on to debunk the bunk.   Read his latest in Bible and Interpretation.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”—The Great Gatsby

No other quote could better illuminate the latest “evidence” that “will challenge the skeptics” (“Turin Shroud: the latest evidence will challenge the sceptics”) in the absurd and never-ending debate on the Shroud of Turin (SoT). Nothing is new aside from some distinct efforts by Catholic researchers who are incapable of accepting the fact that this relic is just one of the thousands of hoaxes forged during the Middle Ages. So, even if I had decided to hang up my pen on this matter years ago, I sometimes feel like I must hold that pen again to stand up for science.