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Dec 31, 2011

99 Do buildings collapse as a consequence of sin

It’s Mr. Luke

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says a certain tower collapsed; it fell down on sinners who didn't deserve it more than other sinners did.   

Luke 13:1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  

All you sinners, a building could fall down on you as a result of sin. After all, you’re sinners, a class which includes virtually everybody.  

Incidentally, those who are not sinners could be destroyed by divine plan, anyway, to spare them from an evil world. In the Old Testament, Isaiah the prophet says so, says that the righteous perish because they are being taken away from evil times--  

Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. 

Recap: So, either way--whether you're sinful or righteous--the Bible God could snuff you out for a purpose.  

Related topic:

98 Is Yahweh ever unmerciful

The Old Testament Book of Jeremiah (c. 600 BC) says: 
God will make the Judeans (his people) pay big because they turned away from him

Jeremiah 19:3 Listen to what the Lord says, you kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, I will bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it ring! 4 I will do so because these people have rejected me and have defiled this place. ... 9 I will make them so desperate that they will eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters and the flesh of one another.

In the New Testament God isn’t merciful or forgiving any more than he is in the Book of Jeremiah. For example, Matthew says God would seriously punish anyone who refused to listen to the disciples   

Matthew 10:14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Recap: God will get you for ignoring or turning away from his disciples’ words. Now that’s "good news" (cough).

Look it up:

Dec 30, 2011

97 A feminist didn’t make this rule

The Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy includes a law that forbids women to hit men below the belt in a fight  

Deuteronomy 25:11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. 

Recap: The woman will be severely punished for her infraction of this law. Something tells me women didn’t sponsor this law.  

Look it up:

Dec 29, 2011

96 Was Judas an invention

The Apostle Paul writes (c. AD 55) that there were twelve disciples after Jesus’ resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:3 [W]hat I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve

Paul says there were twelve. But he should have known that Judas hanged himself in the story of Jesus and the disciples. Thus there were just eleven disciples when the risen Jesus appeared to them. Further, the Gospels (AD 70s-80s) talk of “eleven disciples” at the time the risen Jesus reunited with his disciples. I say Paul never heard the tale of the betrayal of Jesus, so he says there were twelve. I suspect that Judas was an invention sometime after Paul. 

Related post: 
93 Which disciple did Jesus love 

Dec 28, 2011

95 Does the newly risen Jesus greet ten disciples

It’s Mr. John vs Mr. Luke

The Gospel of John says the newly risen Jesus appeared to the disciples, but Thomas wasn’t in the room 

John 23:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. ... 24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.

It says that Thomas saw Jesus a week later

25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!

The Gospel of Luke says the newly risen Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples in the room! 

Luke 24:33 [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.

Luke says “eleven disciples.” Yet Thomas was away someplace in the Gospel of John.

Recap: Luke counts eleven disciples in the room. John counts ten. I say one of them has misspoken himself.

Dec 27, 2011

94 Does the Angel of Death seek complainers

In the New Testament letter 1 Corinthians, written by the apostle Paul, Paul says that Christian complainers invite death

1 Corinthians 10:1 I want you to remember, my friends, what happened to our ancestors who followed Moses. ... 5 God was not pleased with most of them, and so their dead bodies were scattered over the desert. ... 8 We must not be guilty of sexual immorality, as some of them were--and in one day twenty-three thousand of them fell dead. 9 We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did--and they were killed by snakes. 10 We must not complain, as some of them did--and they were destroyed by the Angel of Death. 11 All these things happened to them as examples for others, and they were written down as a warning for us.

Um, very nice. It sounds like really Good News (cough) or a reign of terror.

Related post:

Dec 26, 2011

93 Which disciple did Jesus love

The Gospel of John mentions a disciple whom Jesus loved at the last supper. The disciple is unidentified 

John 13:23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved, was at the table.

The Gospel of John says Jesus loved all of the disciples

John 13:24 I give you a new commandment--to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus bestowed a kingdom on the disciples at the last supper. They were all worthy

Luke 22:29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

In the Gospel of John again, Jesus even loved Lazarus although Lazarus wasn’t one of the original twelve disciples

John 11:1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

Thus Jesus loved people who were outside the charmed circle of the disciples. He loved his main disciples and those who weren’t his main disciples. Yet there was the anomalous “disciple whom Jesus loved,” and thus a Gospel oddity.

Recap: John says Jesus was partial to a particular disciple. But Jesus showed love for all his disciples. The other Gospels failed to mention the disciple whom Jesus loved. And other New Testament books don't mention him, either. I doubt that the original tale about Jesus included the beloved disciple. It appeared just in the Gospel of John. So I say the writer of John invented the beloved disciple.

Related post on my other blog:
09 Did the Apostle John write John

Dec 23, 2011

92 Was there a greatest disciple

The Gospel of John says a beloved disciple sat at a place of honor at the last supper. He was seated next to Jesus

John 13:23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved, was at the table to the right of Jesus in a place of honor.  

But the Gospel of Luke says at the last supper the disciples started an argrument about who was the worthiest among them

Luke 22:24 A dispute also arose among [the disciples] as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 

I say they already had at least a year to have a picture of where they stood with respect to their savior and his plans. They should have known by then.

Recap: Luke says a dispute broke out among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Meantime John says one of them was seated at the place of honor. That should have given them a hint. Thus John vs Luke.

Related post:
93 Which disciple did Jesus love 

Dec 19, 2011

91 Will Christians do greater works than Jesus’

The Gospel of John says:
Devout Christian believers will do greater deeds than Jesus did 

John 14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the deeds that I do, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. 

But when did the apostles surpass the miraculous works of Jesus? I will say they never did.

Dec 17, 2011

90 Did Noah walk with God but get drunk

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, Mr. Noah walked with God

Genesis 6:9 Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.

But in Genesis again, Noah got drunk

Genesis 9:20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk.

However, the Old Testament Book of Proverbs denounces drunkenness

Proverbs 23:20 Do not spend time among drunkards.

The New Testament is down on drunkeness, too 

Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery.

1 Corinthians 6:10 Thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Recap: An upright man who walked with God, Noah got himself completely drunk on wine. But the Bible teaches that getting oneself heavily intoxicated is ungodly. But Noah, a godly man, tied one on.