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Aug 16, 2011

59 Is hell eternal torment

And now Mr. Matthew vs Revelation 

The Gospel of Matthew preaches:
In hell, the body and soul of the damned are destroyed.

But elsewhere, the Bible gives a different explanation!

The New Testament Book of Revelation preaches:
In hell, God torments lost souls forever. 

 The Gospel of Matthew preaches the annihilation of the soul in hell 

Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell.

But the Book of Revelation preaches eternal torment in hell 

Revelation 14:9 Those who worship the beast and its image and receive the mark on their forehead or on their hand 10 will themselves drink God’s wine, the wine of his fury, which he has poured at full strength into the cup of his anger! All who do this will be tormented in fire and sulfur before the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of the fire that torments them goes up forever and ever. There is no relief day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, for anyone who has the mark of its name.

Recap: In hell, it’s either total destruction or eternal hell. It seems the New Testament can't make up its mind which. Thus Matthew vs Revelation.

Aug 15, 2011

58 Will most people go to heaven

It’s time for 2 Peter vs Matthew

                 In 2 Peter:
                 It’s the Lord’s wish for all to be saved.

But wait!

In the Gospel of Matthew:
He says few are chosen to be saved!

In the New Testament letter 2 Peter, the Lord wants everyone to go to heaven 

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins. 

But in the New Testament letter Ephesians, the Lord has has already decided who will go to heaven

Ephesians 1:4 Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him. Because of his love, 5 God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children--this was his pleasure and purpose.  

Further, in the Gospel of Matthew, only the comparative few will go to heaven, anyway

Matthew 7:13 Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. 14 But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.  

Recap: Here's something to chew on: while the Lord wants everyone to go to heaven, most people aren't pre-destined to go. Thus 2 Peter vs Matthew. 

Aug 13, 2011

57 A rumor the Baptist had come back from the dead

In the first century AD the notion that the dead could return from the grave wasn't exactly unheard of. 

In the Gospels the king executed John the Baptist, but soon the people began rumoring that the Baptist had returned as Jesus. For example, the Gospel of Matthew says that Herod the Ruler believed that Jesus was the risen Baptist 

Matthew 14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 

The Gospel of Mark says that Jesus' disciples also heard rumors of the Baptist’s return from the dead 

Mark 8:27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

Recap: The Gospels say the people rumored that John the Baptist had risen from the grave and reappeared as Jesus. So a yarn was spun about the Baptist's return from the dead. I say that the followers of Jesus spread similar rumors about the executed Jesus. In other words, they believed there was a resurrection of the Baptist, but they were wrong. And later they believed there was also a resurrection of Jesus. But they were wrong again.

Related post on my other blog:
07 Was the resurrection hoaxed

Aug 12, 2011

56 Did Christ promise to return before long

Here’s where Matthew vs Matthew

In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 10, Jesus says that there’s only enough time to preach in Israel before his return

Matthew 10:23 I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 

Matthew 16:27 The Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

But in the Gospel Matthew chapter 24, Jesus says to preach in all the world until his return!

Matthew 24:14 This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Recap: First he says that there’s only time to preach locally before the second coming of Christ. But then he commands the disciples to go preach in all the world until the second coming. Thus, to me, the Gospel of Matthew smacks of multi-authorship. Further, I say those co-authors failed to work in close concert.

Aug 9, 2011

55 Did Mary stand close to the crucifixion cross

Now we come to Mr. Mark vs Mr. John

In the Gospel of Mark, Mary Magdalene stood at a distance from the cross when Jesus was crucified. That is, she stood watching from afar

Mark 15:24 Then they crucified him. ... 40 Some women were there, looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 They had followed Jesus while he was in Galilee and had helped him. Many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him were there also.

But in the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene stood close to the cross

John 19:16 Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. ... 25 Standing close to Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

Thus Mark vs John.

Aug 8, 2011

54 Did several disciples doubt the Resurrection

Now it’s Luke vs Matthew

The Gospel of Luke says:
That when the risen Jesus appeared to them in Jerusalem, the disciples believed.

Uh, wait!

The Gospel of Matthew says:
That when the risen Jesus appeared to them in Galilee, some of the disciples doubted!

In Luke, the risen Jesus appeared to the disciples in Jerusalem on resurrection day, and they believed

Luke 24:33 They [two followers] got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others and saying, 34 "The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!" 36 Suddenly the Lord himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 37 They were terrified, thinking that they were seeing a ghost. ... 41 They still could not believe, they were so full of joy and wonder; so he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" ... 50 Then he led them out of the city as far as Bethany, where he raised his hands and blessed them. 51 As he was blessing them, he departed from them and was taken up into heaven. 52 They worshiped him and went back into Jerusalem, filled with great joy, 53 and spent all their time in the Temple giving thanks to God.

But over in Matthew, the risen Jesus appeared to the disciples in Galilee, and some were skeptical

Matthew 28:16 The eleven disciples went to the hill in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him, even though some of them doubted.

Recap: The Gospel of Luke tells us that the eleven disciples saw the risen Jesus in Jerusalem and believes: they were all convinced that Jesus had been risen. But the Gospel of Matthew tells us that the eleven disciples saw the risen Jesus in Galilee, and a few of them doubted! There was just one set of eleven disciples, so either they all believed or they didn't. Thus Luke vs Matthew.

Look it up:

Aug 7, 2011

53 Did Paul forbid circumcision

This time it's Paul vs Paul

In the New Testament letter Galatians, written by Paul:
Paul sternly claims that anyone who gets circumcised falls away from grace

Galatians 5:2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 

In Galatians again:
Paul is critical of anybody who gets circumcised 

Galatians 6:12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 

But in the New Testament Book of Acts:
Paul has a disciple get circumcised!

Acts 16:1 Paul came to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. 2 The brothers [Christians] at Lystra spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.  

Recap: Paul teaches his followers that Christ won't be of value to them any longer if they let themselves get circumcised. But one of Paul’s followers lets himself get circumcised by Paul. Hmm, it sounds to me like a double standard or moral relativity.

Aug 3, 2011

52 A donkey talked! Would you be surprised?

In the Old Testament's Book of Numbers, an ordinary donkey started to talk. But the extraordinary occurrence didn't even phase the man who heard it! What happened first of all, Balaam the prophet couldn't see an angel standing in the road, but his donkey could see it

Numbers 22:22 As Balaam [the prophet] was riding along on his donkey, accompanied by his two servants, the angel of the LORD stood in the road to bar his way. ... 27 When the donkey saw the angel, it lay down. Balaam lost his temper and began to beat the donkey with his stick.

The prophet wasn't one bit surprised when the donkey talked! The text doesn't say whether his two servants were surprised, either

28 Then the LORD gave the donkey the power of speech, and it said to Balaam, "What have I done to you? Why have you beaten me these three times?" 29 Balaam answered, “Because you have made a fool of me! If I had a sword, I would kill you.”

Soon Balaam could see the angel, too. And he marveled at its appearance

31 Then the LORD let Balaam see the angel standing there with his sword; and Balaam threw himself face downward on the ground.

But he wasn't amazed to hear the donkey talk!

Recap: Naturally, you don't hear a donkey talk every day. But one day, when one talked, Balaam took it in stride. He was unaware that a divine power made the animal talk. The way I see it, a real person wouldn't act that way. But a fictional character would.

Aug 2, 2011

51 So, was Jesus really born of a virgin woman

It's Galatians vs Gospels

In the New Testament letter Galatians, by Paul, Paul says that Jesus was born of a woman. But Paul doesn’t write that Jesus was born of a virgin woman 

Galatians 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law. 

Paul uses the general Greek word for woman; he doesn’t use the Greek word for virgin woman. He could've clearly told us that Jesus was "born of a virgin woman.” But he didn’t write it in that way. So it makes me suspect that the virgin-birth story was a Gospel invention after Paul. Thus Galatians vs Gospels.

Aug 1, 2011

50 Which one would you blame: God or garden snake

Genesis vs Genesis

The Old Testament Book of Genesis says:
That the Lord made the serpent cunning.

But wait just a red hot minute! 

Genesis also says:
God cursed the serpent that he had made cunning!

God created the serpent to be the cunning reptile that it

Genesis 3:1 Now the snake was the most cunning animal that the LORD God had made.

And earlier in Genesis God was pleased with all the animals that he had made 

Genesis 1:24 God commanded, "Let the earth produce all kinds of animal life: domestic and wild, large and small"--and it was done. 25 So God made them all, and he was pleased with what he saw.
Yet God punished the serpent which he had made, cursing it because it had coaxed Eve to eat forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil

Genesis 3:13 The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.” 

Recap: God created the serpent to be crafty. I say that when it tricked Eve and she ate the forbidden fruit, the blame can be laid on God's doorstep.

Genesis doesn’t ever say Satan possessed the serpent in the Garden of Eden. It only states that the serpent was “the most cunning animal that the Lord God had made.”  

I might think that the fox or other animal was actually the most cunning. But Genesis says the true zoological answer is the snake. I wonder if snakes are still the craftiest animal today, but have managed to keep it a secret.

Related post:
44 So, does the Lord ever hide the truth