“While It Was Still Dark . . . ” Part III

A Theological/Bible Related Commentary Part III      We ended Part II of this series wondering aloud why none of Jesus’ disciples was prepared for his return from the dead. Not a single  one! And this, despite the gospel reports of Jesus  actually attempting to explain the Passion to his disciples on several separate occasions! (And one can only imagine how many attempts were made with the apostles on an individual, one-to-one basis!)      Christian scholars,…
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“While It Was Still Dark . . . ” The Conclusion

A Theological/Bible Related Commentary Part IV      When last we left Mary Magdalene, she and “the other Mary” had returned to Jerusalem to inform Jesus’ immediate male disciples that they met the risen Jesus, and that he was to meet them in person in Galilee.       In Matthew’s gospel, the two Mary’s first  encounter a lone angel, at dawn, sitting atop the entrance tomb stone who informs the pair that Jesus has risen from the dead. The angel then gets up…
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Jesus God versus God the Father

A Theological/Bible Related Commentary An Encounter with Gods A Journey into the Hypothetical       And now, a thought experiment: Imagine that you have found yourself standing near the entrance to a long, sumptuous, palatial corridor. At the far end of this long corridor you spy none other than God the Father seated upon a spectacularly  majestic throne. At the very entrance to this eerie passageway, you behold the God Jesus, seated atop a gloriously splendid throne of his own, still sporting his wounds from the crucifixion. You start to head…
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On God and Evil . . . Christian Apologists Play “Defense”

A Theological/Bible Related Commentary Part V It’s a “Mystery”      Rather than provide a blow-by-blow account of what Christian commentators have had to say elsewhere in respect to the issues covered in this series, I will simply focus on the two most resilient “defenses” apologists have had to offer when caught in a particularly difficult exegetical bind.      The first of these I find inherently dishonest and intellectually bankrupt. It is completely devoid of any real  quantitative substance. Yet, it is, without a doubt, one of the most…
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On God and Evil . . . God’s Evil Power

A Theological/Bible Related Commentary Part IV On God’s Evil Power      Have you ever wondered where Satan gets his extraordinary powers from? (Pssst, that’s him in the painting above disguised as Jesus! Damn  decent impersonation of him, wouldn’t you agree?) Okay, enough silliness. Back to the serious stuff.      It is rather clear that Satan couldn’t have created his evil powers himself. The Bible clearly demonstrates that it is God who created every  single thing in existence: God and God alone. “For by him…
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On God and Evil . . . What “Sinless” God?

A Theological/Bible Related Commentary Part III What “Sinless” God?      There is a deeply-held religious conviction that God is utterly  incapable of doing anything evil, of being wicked, or of behaving “sinfully”; that He is simply unable to exhibit anything other than pure “holiness.” Evil is altogether absent from God’s heart, insist Christian commentators. God is all that is Good. He is without blemish. Sin is an anathema to God’s very being!      Really?      Well, if God actually thought-up  the concept of evil,…
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On God and Evil: About that “Tree of Knowledge”

A Theological/Bible Related Commentary Part II About That “Tree of Knowledge”      The bible tells us that God planted a “tree of knowledge” right alongside normal fruit-bearing trees in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 2:9). This “knowledge tree” gave the partaker of its fruit the ability to discern the difference between what is good and what is evil, with scripture once again pointing to that force which produces evil and wickedness, and which, as we have…
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On God and Evil . . . Yet Another Go-Around

A Theological/Bible Related Commentary Part I      After having undergone a rather strenuous evolution through the hands of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin writers down through the ages, the terms “Lucifer,” “the devil,” and “Satan” have come to symbolize a beguiling supernatural creature who Christians believe to be the very embodiment of “evil“.      One tradition holds that this creature was originally an angel esteemed highly by God who somehow transformed himself into a megalomaniac intent on usurping his Lord and Creator as Lord of the…
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At What Hour, And On What Day, Was Jesus Crucified? – Part II

A Bible-Related Commentary Good Friday The gospel evidence overwhelmingly points to Jesus being crucified on “Good Friday” of Passover week. All four gospel writers report that it was the day of Preparation that Jesus underwent his trial before Pilate and was subsequently executed on. This day of “preparation,” or paraskeuē (παρασκευή) in New Testament Greek, refers to “Friday,” the day Jews set aside to prepare for their holiest day of the week, the Sabbath, or…
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At What Hour, And On What Day, Was Jesus Crucified? – Part I

  A Bible-Related Commentary In a stark, straight-forward statement, the earliest gospel writer, Mark, declares: “And it was the third hour when they crucified him.” Since scholars generally agree that the ancient Jews reckoned their daylight hours from dawn to sunset we can be reasonably sure that by “the third hour” Mark (15:25) meant three hours from sunrise (= 6 a.m.), or roughly 9 o’ clock in the morning; thus providing us with a remarkably precise chronological record of…
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The Origin of Evil: God’s Dirty Little Secret

A Philosophical/Theological Commentary Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that “God” actually exists. Let us, then, go back in time; to the dawn of time; on a hypothetical journey to the time before time even began; to that time referred to in Scripture as “In the beginning.” At a certain point during our imaginary journey into preexistence, we will come across God deep in thought mulling over the idea of creating the very…
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The Problem of Matthew 19:28

A Bible-Related Commentary It is a glaring “error” that should make even the most rabid religious right Christian fundamentalist wince with discomfort. Moreover, it illustrates yet another example of a New Testament writer failing to give full thought to what he is writing. In other words, failing to see things through to their logical conclusion. Due to the uncritical, unquestioning mindset of Christian fundamentalists, however, this glaring incongruity continually fails to be held up to the rigid scrutiny…
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