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Nov 30, 2011

89 Will wisdom ever bring you sorrow

A Proverb vs Ecclesiastes

The Old Testament book of Proverbs says wisdom is a good thing, a very good thing

Proverbs 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.

But the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes says wisdom brings sorrow  

Ecclesiastes 1:18 With much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

Recap: The Bible advises everybody to gain in wisdom. Another Bible book warns that wisdom comes at a price, because the more wisdom you have, the more sorrow you have. Uh, what? Thus Proverbs vs Ecclesiastes.

88 Should we put away childish things

It’s Psalm vs 1 Corinthians


An Old Testament psalm lends special credibility to what children say

Psalm 8:1 O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world! Your praise reaches up to the heavens; 2 it is sung by children and babies.

But the New Testament letter Corinthians, written by Paul, teaches that a child’s talk lacks in maturity and grown-ups should put such talk behind them

1 Corinthians 13:11  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 

Recap: Although a Psalm values praise to God sung by children, 1 Corinthians warns against childish talk, thinking, and reasoning.

Nov 29, 2011

87 Could an angel get misinformed

Now it’s Mr. Matthew vs Mr. Matthew
The Gospel of Matthew says an angel told Joseph, the husband of Mary, that it was safe to return to Israel. The angel said that nobody sought to harm the child Jesus any longer. The way was clear for the family to leave Egypt and return to Israel 

Matthew 2:19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

Matthew says, too, that Joseph dreamed another dream. It told him to avoid Judea. He shouldn't return to there because someone was still on the lookout for the child

Matthew 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.

Recap: An angel told Joseph that his family was safe. But a follow-up dream warned him of danger. I say it appears that the angel was an misinformed one. Thus Matthew vs Matthew.

Nov 28, 2011

86 Do you go to hell because God is love

It’s Hebrews vs 1 John

The New Testament letter Hebrews says, better believe in the Christian doctrine or go to hell

Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But the letter 1 John teaches that God is love  

1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Recap: It's a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, who is love. Um ... 

Nov 27, 2011

85 Could animal sacrifice remove your sin

Here’s Hebrews vs Leviticus

The New Testament letter to the Hebrews teaches that animal sacrifice can't take
                             away sins

Hebrews 10:4 [It] is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. ... 12 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

But the Old Testament Book of Leviticus teaches that it can take away sins

Leviticus 16:27 The bull and the goat for the sin offerings, whose blood was brought into the Most Holy Place to make atonement, must be taken outside the camp; their hides, flesh and offal are to be burned up. ... 30 because on this day [Yom Kippur] atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins. ... 34 This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites." And it was done, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Recap: The Christian writer of Hebrews denounces animal sacrifice. He says animal sacrifice can't remove sin. But before Christianity God put animal sacrifice in place for the removal of sin. It was good enough for God. Thus Hebrews vs Leviticus.

Related post on my other blog:

Nov 26, 2011

84 Should Christians drink Jesus' blood

It’s Mr. Matthew vs Leviticus 

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus commanded his devotees to drink his symbolic blood

Matthew 26:27 [H]e took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” 

In the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, God gaves a commandment against consuming blood. It was well before the advent of Christianity

Leviticus 17:10 Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood--I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. ... 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood."

Recap: Jesus said to drink his blood. But Leviticus prevented it. Thus Matthew vs Leviticus.

Related post:

Nov 18, 2011

83 Does God ever change his mind

The Old Testament Book of Numbers says God doesn't change his mind

Numbers 23:19 God is not ... a son of man, that he should change his mind.

The Old Testament Book of Malachi says it too

Malachi 3:6 I the LORD do not change.

I infer from it that God wouln't ever change the commands he gave to humans, either.

But in the Old Testament book of Genesis, just green plants were food before the great Flood. After the great Flood, Noah walked out of the ark and God said everything was fit to eat now, plants and meat

Genesis 9:3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Later God changed his mind and named which animals were fit to eat, not just any old animals like before

Leviticus 11:1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 "Say to the Israelites: 'Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat.’”

And also which kinds of fishes were fit to eat now

10 [A]ll creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales--whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water--you are to detest.

And what kinds of birds were edible now

13 These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable....

Thus God changed his commands.

Recap: God changed his mind and commanded new diets. It could be argued that God planned it all along, that there was a changeable master plan despite what food was okay in Genesis 9.

Or Biblicists could argue that God didn’t change but only his commands did. But I say it only squares the circle; in other words, their explanation doesn't jibe.

Related post on my other blog:
88 Should we overlook the differences in the Gospels

Nov 13, 2011

82 Is immortality original to Christianity

Pre-Christian Greeks and Romans believed that they could be godlike in the afterworld. And once in heaven, the mortal body underwent a change to an immortal one. Heroes were the top canditates to be rewarded with immortality in heaven. They could even be made one with the Olympian gods. 

For example in 44 BC the Romans believed Julius Caesar, their emperor, was made a god after his death. Caesar became a god thanks to the power and blessing of the god Jupiter. Then the Romans prayed to Caesar, hoping he might hear the prayer and protect Rome.

For another example, the gods carried the first Roman king to heaven, to the abode of the gods, after his death eight centuries before Christ. The Roman senators explained to the people that he had been made co-equal with the god Mars. Imagine believing in that kind of thing. 

Christianity says Christians receive a glorified body in heaven, too. In fact the new bodies will be godlike like Jesus.  

In the New Testament letter 1 Corinthians, written by the apostle Paul, Paul preaches that Christians will put on the likeness of the Savior in the next life 

1 Corinthians 15:49 Just as we wear the likeness of the man made of earth, so we will wear the likeness of the Man from heaven. 50 What I mean, friends, is that what is made of flesh and blood cannot share in God's Kingdom, and what is mortal cannot possess immortality. 51 Listen to this secret truth: we shall not all die, but when the last trumpet sounds, we shall all be changed in an instant, as quickly as the blinking of an eye. For when the trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised, never to die again, and we shall all be changed.

Recap: Ancient Greco-Roman religious belief and Christianity taught that any deserving man and woman gets an immortal body in the afterlife. Since Greco-Roman religious dogma was older than Christianity, it could be said that the dogma about transformation wasn't a Christian original one.

Related post on my other blog:
53 Is God mysterious and controversial

Nov 12, 2011

81 Is divine human nature a free gift

Now 2 Peter vs 2 Peter

The New Testament letter 2 Peter, allegedly written by the apostle Peter, says that God gives Christians supernatural gifts

2 Peter 1:3 God's divine power has given us everything we need to live a truly religious life through our knowledge of the one who called us to share in his own glory and goodness. 4 In this way he has given us the very great and precious gifts he promised, so that by means of these gifts you may escape from the destructive lust that is in the world, and may come to share the divine nature.” 

The letter declares that Christians receive divine gifts during their lifetime. The catch is that Christians are required to be extra nice

5 For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; 6 to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; 7 to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love.  

They should be kind to people or their divine gift might go to waste  

8 These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if you do not have them, you are so shortsighted that you cannot see and have forgotten that you have been purified from your past sins.

It’s as if Christians have won a lottery prize worth lot of money but then must go to work to get it.

Further, there’s a chance that they won’t get to heaven if they become negligent in their Christian duties

11 In this way you will be given the full right to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Recap: I would expect they are assured a place in heaven once they have a ticket to get there. But they must do things to earn the gift, their new divine nature. A gift is supposed to be free.

Nov 11, 2011

80 Is it okay to test the Lord

In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Gideon the soldier tested to see whether God would keep a promise  

Judges 6:36 Gideon said to God, "If you [God] will save Israel by my hand as you have promised-- 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said." 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew--a bowlful of water.

Even when God passed the test, Gideon devised a second test 

39 Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew." 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

But in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus rebuked Satan for tempting him to test God. Jesus declared that it was wrong to test God 

Matthew 4:7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 

Recap: Gideon tested God. But Jesus says you mustn't. Thus Judges vs Matthew.