Where In The Hell Did Jesus And Elijah Think They Were Going!?

According to the Christian bible, both Elijah and Jesus rose up bodily into heaven, Elijah in a chariot of fire (just like Romulus the founder of Rome, similarly Mithra of Persia) and Jesus like superman. One can’t help but wonder where exactly Christians think heaven is? Clearly the writers of the bible believed that this place of gold-paved roads was literally floating above our flat earth on a VERY sturdy cloud (which makes one wonder how important the time of liftoff was considering if either man had waited 12 hours they would have been headed in a COMPLETELY different direction) so where do Christians think heaven is? In other words, where in the hell did Elijah and Jesus think they were going? How high did they get before they were no longer able to breathe and their bodies turned to ice? Also, when these two men with their human bodies arrived in heaven, a place populated by souls, angels and a God, what then? Did they have to eat? What did they eat? How did they get all their necessary vitamins and minerals? Did they wear clothes? The same clothes? Every day? Did their hair continue to grow? Did they have to sleep? Where did they urinate and defecate? Did they have gas? Did they have B.O.? Did they get involuntary erections as all men do? Did their noses produce snot? Could their bodies be injured? Could they suffer from aging? Were the angels and souls jealous of Elijah and Jesus’ human bodies or contemptuous of them? I occasionally get criticized for asking silly or frivolous questions but I truly am curious as to what Christians think about these things. I appreciate anyone who will take the time to voice their opinion on this subject.

Thank You

DoubtingThomas

Please visit my main page (https://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/) to gain a better understanding of where I am coming from. There you will find all my observations regarding religion and the bible categorized on the Right hand side of the page. Please feel free to read through them and leave a comment or two if you like.

 

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62 Responses to “Where In The Hell Did Jesus And Elijah Think They Were Going!?”

  1. Wow.

    You just keep forgetting what powers God has at His disposal, don’t you?

    Your scenario is a farce, Thomas. You admit to flying humans, but leave out the context of the supernatural?

    The Bible states that there are 3 heavens: the sky is one, the stars are another and beyond that somehwere is the third heaven. if you picture the universe as our contemporaries do, the universe, like the Earth, is a big bubble [or torus, if you’re Stephen Hawking]. Outside the bubble of our existence lies the realm where God pre-existed [you know, that place he existed in before He created the universe]. God exists independently of the universe He created.

    One of the implications of this factoid of Christian orthodoxy is that He is not absolutely bound by the physics of His Creation. He can circumvent them directly [miracles] or by using another law to supercede an existing law [such as when we circumvent the law of gravity in flight or on a swing set] since He knows these laws intimately.

    Another part of the tale you have left out is the element of transfiguration. We christians are promised new, incorruptible bodies. Jesus walked around in one in His post-Resurrection appearances. He ate and drank and walked, but He could also walk through walls, disappear suddenly and defy gravity. Newtonian physics give way to Einsteinian relativity. And Einstein is but a babe compared to the intellect of God. What happens when God plays a superstring guitar? ;]

    The point is: There would be no aging, no cold, no hair growth nor deterioration in an incorruptible body. The fiery chariot could not burn one who had been translated to a new incorruptible body.

    Time would be irrelevant to a God who invented it and knows how to manipulate it. To go forward in time, we go slower than the speed of light; to go backward in time, we exceed the speed of light; to make time stand still, we go equal to the spped of light: which allows God to hear every prayer and watch the action of everything on Earth. As Eternal [unbound by time] master of Infinite Time, He has all the time in our world. Too, since time and distance are linked in this universe, He can manipulate time-space as He chooses. perhaps He uses wormholes or some aspect of superstrings, but He can appear where/when/ever he chooses.

    Elijah’s chariot also suggests the possibility of a material conveyance. The disciples only saw Jesus rise into the clouds. They did not see the rest of the journey. Modern science might well term an angel an alien and an extraterrestrial conveyance as a UFO. Paranormal and supernatural are two different ways to examine the same things. The former claims to be science of a sort. The other is generally dubbed theology.

    Your questions deflate when we get away from the misleading idea of mere men, even if they can fly, and examine them instead in the light of Christian revelation. Elijah and Jesus both ascended by the power of God, not their own power. You’ve forgotten to ask: What is God capable of?

    Oh, angels are noted to be envious of only one thing in Scripture: Salvation, something they are said to long to look into. This does not preclude them from being envious of something else, but it does make us wonder how we could so disregard and demean something they hold in such regard.

    Think about it.

    Sirius Knott

  2. Sirius: I think, after having given up belief in first, Santa Clause by the age of five, and then fairies, possibly eight or nine years of age, I’ve just been given good reason to believe in them after all. All I have to do is dream up reasons for their existence and, “poof” they were real after all.

  3. Mary,

    You should know that Sirius always answers with opinions he assumes are facts. When Sirius says something is true, it is true. No other evidence is necessary. Not that this is an unusual character trait with the orthodox Christian.

    DoubtingThomas

  4. Mary,

    The biggest problem for your point of view is the internal consistency of the Bible. A collection of books written over a few thousand years, bearing the same message, and making a meaningful difference in the lives of literally millions of people over millenia… I’d say that’s good enough proof for most.

    And to be fair, let me just preempt you on the inevitable come back, “The Bible isn’t internally consistent.” I’m sorry, but others on this very blog have devoted time to answer every one of DT’s objections, from the Bible. Sometimes people are very gracious and point out places where the Bible consistently matches external evidences too. If you refuse to acknowledge that, you have no reputation as a reasonable skeptic, but rather as just a stubborn-minded fool who has no time for objective truth.

    Sorry to be blunt.

    P.S. I suspect some of what Sirius says is just silly, but that doesn’t excuse you.

  5. Jedi Rev,

    No one has answered every one of my objections. Nor even come close. And as for your suggestion that a collection of ever evolving texts, many of which were blatantly lifted from earlier mythology, and that regularly contradict and conflict with each other, but, ah yes, made a meaningful difference in people’s lives is proof of truth if just sad. By your very definition ALL religions and ALL gods mankind has invented over countless generations are therefore proven real. Silly.

    DoubtingThomas

  6. Hi,

    Thomas, I’ve read enough of your frankly immature blog to see that people have answer your objections. If you are unwilling to accept their answers, or be unpersuaded, then so be it. But answers, they be aplenty.

    The notion of ever evolving texts is, eh, unaccpetable. The Hebrew Bible of the massoretic text is known to be of considerable antiqitiy, and I’m sure I don’t need to lecture you on the vast body of exidence that supports the New Testament in Greek – 400 times the number of manuscripts that exist to support any of thier contemporary documents.

    As for alleged contradiction, I fear you see them where they are but mist! I’ve been gracious to look at your blog, and I don’t find you presenting a single contradiction that has stood up to robust explanation.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see internal consistency in other sacred writtings. Were you to devote your blog to demonstrating that, you would have my full support. But you have not – nor do you. You instead attack the message of the Christian God, and so we must disagree.

    As an aside, your single minded attack on Christianity, as opposed to say Islam, tells me a lot about you and your form of atheism. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.

  7. Jedi Rev,

    What part of what I said was silly exactly?

    Thomas,

    How are you, Sonny Jim? I see the good Rev has stumbled upon the fact that no matter how many people answer your pulp protests, you continue to come up with more objections. Why? Because you don’t WANT to believe, but you’d like folks to think you’re a fair-minded skeptic who just hasn’t been given enough evidence.

    Tell me, how much evidence you need?

    You’re an intellectual fraud, Thomas.

    Mary,

    Now, pertaining to the subject at hand, you’ve belittled my opinion, but you’ve hardly refuted it. [In fairness, it would be impossible to.] Oh, and I’ve never believed in fairies. [Dang, just killed another one. Oops.]

    I’ve said it ad infinitum: Generally, whoever comes out of an argument with me and is still convinced of their own opinion just wasn’t listening. I know Thomas certainly has his fingers plugged in his ears.

    –Sirius Knott

  8. Jedi Rev
    Your words. . .

    “The biggest problem for your point of view is the internal consistency of the Bible. A collection of books written over a few thousand years, bearing the same message, and making a meaningful difference in the lives of literally millions of people over millenia… I’d say that’s good enough proof for most.
    My question: What is so strange about the Bible’s “consistency”? Your statement. . . A collection of books. . . says it all. If a writer is aware of what a writer before him has written, and keeps his work compatable with the former work, and so on, well, naturally, the finished work is going to have “collaborating” parts. Christians, of course, find excuses for the Bible’s many contradictions, and they are many. How can a book, inspired by God, have so much as one contradiction? As for the book making a “meaningfful” difference in the lives olf literally millions over a thousand years or so? Can’t see anything miraculous in that. Christians have been, except for more or less minor differences, all caught up in the same basic beliefs. Now, for another “meaningful” book. Let’s see: Muhammad, the Muslim prophet died in the year 632 CE. That’s was just a comparatively short time after the death of Jesus and the onset of the Christian church. The sacred book, the Koran, had to have followed soon after Muhammad’s death. Would you deny that the Koran has made an equally “meaningful” existence since then in the lives of Arab Muslims, and looks like it’s going to continue to do so? Both have been used for the shedding of blood in the effort to convert the “unbeliever” and both have used supernatural events to “prove” their case.

  9. Sirius,

    The part about aliens and UFOs. It really muddies the waters. But more importantly, you’ve no basis in Scripture for ascerting that. And that in particular makes is silly. 😉

    Mary,

    I’m really going to bow out of discussions on this blog if you are going to keep throwing back the “The Bible is full of contradictions” line. If you won’t accept the answers Christians give to that objection, what more can we do?

    As to the “collection of writers” – I don’t think you can have it both ways. Either they stay on message throughout, or it’s what some of your fellow conspirators would call “evolving”. It can’t be both. If it’s the latter, I agree, dismiss it. If it’s the former, then you have to ask what is that message, how does it affect me, do I need to examining my life in light of it, and so on. If it’s the former, you have to deal with a guy who died believing that, and whose followers did, and continue to, endure the worst of persecutions becasue they believe it.

    I’m not willing to get dragged into discussions about bloodshed for the faith. The truth is instances like the crusades simply show the bloodiest excesses of human nature, and tell you nothing about the character of God. I hate the very notion of using the sword to force the Gospel.

    Sorry, maybe I wasn’t too clear, it’s not the book that makes the difference, it’s the message. The message is one of freedom from guilt, one of forgiveness, one of triumph over what really is the dirty little stain of human corruption. The message of the Bible, about a God who condescends to our level, who comes and serves, even dies for us, that is unique, and that is what set us apart from Muslims, or others.

    And so, to answer your final point – do I see a difference between the effect of Christianity and Islam on the lives of their respective adherents? YES! Muslims serve an ungracious god, who demands their unstinting service, even calling them to kill the infidel. Christ called us to love our enemies and die for them – just like he loved us and died for us. The effects of following these two utterly diametrically opposed systems are as plain as the nose on the end of my face.

    I don’t see how you can lump us all together.

  10. Lone Wolf Says:

    The simple answer about Jesus and Elijah is that they did think that Heaven and God(s) was in the sky.

    As for the rest of the questions, there is no logical answer, its ancient mythology’s though up by ancient people who had no understanding of physics, biology or what was actually in the sky. If you look at it from the point of view of the people of 2000 years ago it makes sense. Its really sad that people today still say such mythology’s are true and then strain there brain to try to make it work in the face reality. If Christens would just look at it as mythology then it would make sense, they wouldn’t have to strain there brains to make it work.

    Heaven was in the sky, God(s) lived in the sky. Thats why Jesus raised into the sky, thats why Elijah rose into the sky, thats why the people built the tower of babble and why God destroyed it. Heaven was in the sky and thats where Go(s) lived.

  11. Lone Wolf,

    I did not need to strain my brain to make anything fit. I simply had to think. If I used my imagination and reason to explain some anamoly to fit Darwin, you’d praise me. Ah, sweet hypocrisy.

    And your answer [“It was just the sky, dagnabbit!”] betrays an ignorance of the historical Judaic understanding of the heavens. They had separate words for each level, though they are only rendered “heaven” in English. St. Paul himnself related how he knew a man who was caught up into the third heaven [i.e. — the realm of God.]

    Jedi Rev,

    Speaking of cultural and historical contexts, what I’m saying is that the dichotomy between alien/angels [or UFOs/Ezekiels wheel within a wheel, or alien abduction/being caught up into the thrd heaven, or religiously correct terms/paranormal terms] may be purely aesthetic. If we take out the historical context, the terms are interchangeable. No, I’m not saying greays and angels are the same thing. Nor am I defending UFOlogists per se. I’m saying, by strict definition [if we’re to be fair about it] angels are extraterrestrials, being separate and distinct creations from man and being not indigenous to Earth. The aesthetic dichotomy of terms comes from an understandable will to distance ourselves from the alien conspiracy Raelian nut jobs and the paranormal in general. This is a little hypocritical, as the paranormal also encompasses demons, generally viewed as fallen angels but angels nonetheless.

    I submit that it is simply your cultural bias that makes you suppose I’m being silly. As for the charge that “It’s not in the Bible!” : I would not expect to see the words “alien” or “saucer” in the Bible, as the terms had not been coined yet. [This is similar to the case that dinosaurs are not mentioned by name in the Bible, since the term “dinosaur” was not coined until after King James’ time, though there are descriptioons of possible dinosaurs and things designated as “dragons” which may well refer to dinosaurs.] I would however expect to see descriptions of things we have now coined terms for, written from the historical perspective and understanding of the writer. For example, ezekiel’s wheel within a wheel.

    Oh, and on your point comparing Islam and Christianity: well put.

    Thomas,

    When are you going to bother to substantiate why you believe the Bible has evolved, has been borrowed [did you say blatantly?] from other mythology and contradicts itself?

    Oh, and when are you going to tell us why your rejection of Christianity also led to a rejection of deism/theism in general? A rejection of Christianity does not demand atheism. What are your reasons for holding this belief in a vacuum?

    I have answered your pulp protests by the numbers, but it became apparent that your reasons for atheism have little to do with the wall of excuses and questions you offer. Your objections are not rational or even emotional; they’re volitional. It’s a matter of will. You have plenty of evidence. You have chosen to reject it [no amount of evidence or argument compels acceptance; you can believe or disbelieve something despite all evidence to the contrary; you can be right – like Galileo – for all the wrong reasons] because you want to.

    be honest,
    Sirius Knott

  12. Lone Wolf Says:

    And your answer [“It was just the sky, dagnabbit!”] betrays an ignorance of the historical Judaic understanding of the heavens. They had separate words for each level, though they are only rendered “heaven” in English. St. Paul himnself related how he knew a man who was caught up into the third heaven [i.e. — the realm of God.]

    That statement is not supported by anything in the bible. Or any historical account. It does however support the idea that heaven is in the sky which makes perfect sense when you think about if from the point of view of some one from those times.

    But it would be pointless to debate you on this. 1 I don’t feel like getting into a debate and 2, well Thomas said it best

    Sirius always answers with opinions he assumes are facts. When Sirius says something is true, it is true. No other evidence is necessary.

    http://www.infidelguy.com/heaven_sky.htm

  13. Jedi Rev, this is just too good to be true: you are going to bow out if I continue to reject the answers given by Christians in answer to my simple statements of fact. Christians can’t handle facts, never could and never will. When assumptions, suppositions, conjecture, theory, postulations and so forth fail to disloge fact, why, then, just quit. Walk away while “shaking the sand from your sandals”. I haven’t been this flattered in years.

  14. Sirius, I have chosen these words of yours to be the same you offer all those who reject your version or vision of God. “Your objections are not rational or even emotional; they’re volitional. It’s a matter of will. You have plenty of evidence. You have chosen to reject it [no amount of evidence or argument compels acceptance; you can believe or disbelieve something despite all evidence to the contrary; you can be right – like Galileo – for all the wrong reasons] because you want to.
    Well, Sirius, if you were to ask me to give you an example of why I reject all you claim, I’d ask you to explain, without reverting to books written by those authors with whom you already share their opinions and beliefs, to explain: First: Exodus, chapter 22, verse 28 in which God says we are not to revile the “gods”. What gods? Other than God, what other gods existed? Next, explaing the two following verses: Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give to me. LIkewise, thou shalt do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep. Seven days shall it be with its dam;; on the eighth day thou shalt give it to me.
    Note: the word, LIKEWISE!
    Yes, later on, God relented and firstborn sons were spared being butchered and sent to him in the form of sweet-smelling smoke he loved inhaling. But, in the interim, how many hundreds of thousands of newborn sons do you estimate were sacrified to God?

  15. Facts, please. Just the facts.

  16. Mary:

    God is referring to the many idol’s that existed. To say that they are gods does not mean they exist. When I say the Greek god Zeus, this does not mean I believe he exists.

    I also replied to your suspected “sacrificing” of babies on the seventh day. That is not what happened, they were to be circumcised(as all males) and set aside to work for the Lord as priests. In Numbers God revokes this, giving the tribe of Levi this sole responsibility of being Israel’s priests.

  17. I suspected that you would answer pretty much as you did. When Christians can’t accept a fact they read in the Bible, they fudge. Even as I asked about “gods”, I realized the original Aramaic word probably had several meanings just like the the word “angel” had. Exodus, chapter 22, verses 29 and 30 states that firstborn sons were to be sacrificed and you can’t get away from that. If sons had not been sacrified at one time, why was it necessary to redeem them at a later time? Yahweh demanded blood, just as every “god” ever dreamed into existence demanded. God gave the Israelites strict orders not to sacrifice their children to Moloch, but says nothing against sacrificing them to him. I haven’t a clue . . . yet . . . as to just when Yahweh instituted the practice of circumcision, but again, it has to do with the shedding of blood, male blood. Christians take the Bible at face value for those passages they accept as truth, but for those that give them a problem, they come up with conjecture.
    I think I’d like to get into the subject of “special vows” to the Lord, but I’ll let that go for now.

  18. Just reread and have to respond to . . . “God is referring to the many idols that existed”. God forbids his chosen people to create false gods . . such as the golden calf, from worshipping false gods, from bowing down to them and from sacrifing their children to them, but, were prohibited from reviling them?
    Oh, come on. Get real!

  19. Mary:

    I’ve already answered the sacrificial thing under a different post.

    As far as what your saying or getting at with the false gods… I haven’t the slightest idea.

  20. Brooksrobinson, I asked a question on this post and I expect an answer on this post. I quote you: as far as what you’re saying or getting at with the false gods. . I haven’t the slightest idea.
    I don’t like belittling anybody, but what did I write that is so dense that you can’t understand plain English? God wrote: thou shalt not revile the gods, and you countered with. . . God referred to the many idols that existed. I agreed with you. I than went on to cite the prohibitions God gave the early Israelites concerning those idols and you don’t appear to be able to comprehend what is written in the Bible. If you wish, I can give you book, chapter and verse for each prohibition concerning how the Israelites were to deal with “false gods”.

  21. Brooksrobinson: you wrote, “I also replied to your suspected……my words….I don’t “suspect” anything. I go by what the Bible says. Now I may choose to disbelieve what I read, but I don’t deny what I read, as you and others choose to do. …..Your words again. …the ot “sacrificing” of babies on the seventh day. That is not what happened, they were to be circumcised (as all males) and set aside to work for the Lord as priests.”
    …..There is no absolutely no such meaning in Ex. 22: 29/30 as you suggest. No Christian with whom I’ve ever discussed those verses could bring himself/herself to admit that perhaps God, like other gods at the time, demanded the sacrifice of fistborn sons, but I’m not going to allow any Christian who feels it their duty to convert me to get around that word, LIKEWISE: Likewise means, among others, in addition, as well as, furthermore, in the same way, also, in one and the same way, and on and on.
    I asked a sensible question when I asked you to explain why firstborn sons had to be “redeemed” if they had never been sacrified in the first place. Did “redeeming” spare them circumcision? Just what did redeeming spare them?

  22. Mary:

    “I than went on to cite the prohibitions God gave the early Israelites concerning those idols and you don’t appear to be able to comprehend what is written in the Bible.”

    I fully understand what the Bible says. What I don’t understand is what your trying to get at.

    “..There is no absolutely no such meaning in Ex. 22: 29/30 as you suggest.”

    I’ve already answered this a week or so ago, but apparently you did not read my response. Chapter 13 of Exodus talks about the consecration of the first born. The animals were sacrificed, the humans were not. The humans were set aside in a sort of priestly service for God. In verse 14 of chapter 13 you have the son asking his father what this means, and the father eventually telling him it will be a sign on your head and your hand. If a son is to be sacrificed to God on the 8th day, the son cannot possibly ask his father what this means. Notice how God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son but did not allow him to carry it out, instead providing a ram? Read also Numbers 3:39-51, which is when the practice of using the first born of all tribes and the animals from all tribes ceased, and given to the tribe of Levi. If you wanted to see what happens to the consecrated males, read Luke 2 which is Jesus’ consecration.

  23. “..There is no absolutely no such meaning in Ex. 22: 29/30 as you suggest. Your words.
    Those “words” tell me in plain, everyday language that God, for however short a time it might have been, demanded the sacrifical death of firstborn sons! If the commanment was but for one generation, it was still a commandment! If I were to so much as suggest that the words found in John 3:16 didn’t really mean what they appear to mean, but something entirely different and only because I don’t like their implication, would I be on safe ground?

  24. mary:

    Read Ch. 13 as I stated.

  25. you thought I was serious? Of course I understand full well every word in John 3:16. I appear to have a better understanding of the historical and POLITICAL climate of the area and times in which Jesus lived and died, so I see those scriptures from a different angle than you do. Since you can’t handle such a simple word as the word “likewise” when it says quite plainly that what you do with newborn sons, is what you are to do with with your firstborn male offspring of sheep and cattle,…..why go on? I’ll add just one thing more. You claim the verses meant that firstborn sons were to be circumcised. That must have left other sons off the hook until God decided later on that he wanted all males . . . those just born and those already grown, to be circumcised. . . . . But what if I agree with your statement, God meant circumcision in Exodus 22:29/30? However, along comes that word “likewise”. By your reasoning, the word “LIkewise” means that first born male offspring of sheep and cattle were to be circumcised and not sent to God as burnt offerings. As Alice in Wonderland is supposed to have said, “Things are getting curiouser and curiouser”. Why not get this whole “conversation” over with and tell me in plain language just what Moses was referring to when he used the word ‘likewise’ in EX. 22:29,30?

  26. Mary:

    Your reading what you want, I said circumcised and set aside for God. All males were circumcised, the first born were also set aside for the service of the Lord. The first born animals were sacrificed, not humans. They later were replaced by the tribe of Levi for priestly serivce, and their first born cattle and such were sacrificed. Read Numbers 18 as well, pretty much says the same thing as Exodus 22. It is clear through archaeology digs, history, and proper exegises of the scripture (including the study of other verses) that the Hebrews did not sacrifice to YHWH. They did however sacrifice babies to the gods that they adopted in there periods of disobedience.

  27. You just can’t handle that word, “likewise”, can you? Never met a believer who could, and you are no exception. Didn’t think you would be. Even to admit the word exists in that particular scripture is a conumbrum beyond your ability to explain, so, like others you choose to ignore it as though it exists. Well, it does exist and all the theologic literature ever written cannot erase the word, likewise. At least you admit that the early Israelites sacrificed their children to other gods, but, whoa!

    To what “god” did Abraham set out to sacrifice his son Isaac to? Yes, “God” stepped in to save Isaac, but from the beginning to the end
    but I read nothing in the entire story to even suggest that Abraham set out to
    If God did not inspire Et

  28. interrupted. I shall begin again: Genesis 22: 1 And it came to pass that God did tempt Abraham…I shall overlook a verse that claims that God does not tempt anybody into sin….and Abraham obeys God and prepares to sacrifice his son to him. . . . my question: if it was not a common, or at least an acceptable practice,—at that time—to sacrifice one’s own children to “Yahweh”. . . God . . . how is that such an idea could have even entered Abraham’s mind? Today, when a person claims that God told them to kill a child, as proof of their faith in him, we call that person, insane.

    I “miswrote” one line in the previous comment: so, like others, you choose to ignore it…likewise…as though it does not exist. Well, it does…….and so on.

  29. anytime you want to admit defeat, just so say

  30. Sirius,

    The only intellectual fraud is you, as you continue to put up dogma and reinterpreted scripture as facts to ‘answer’ my questions. Your concept of Christianity (Orthodox) is just one of many and no more legitimate than any other. And to suggest that I keep forgetting how much power your God has is ridiculous. I haven’t forgotten, I don’t believe. Or have you forgotten? If you are going to put forward the typical cop out answer to the countless problems with the bible that God used his magic powers to solve them then there is really no need for a discussion. Just always say that that is the answer. How did Noah get animals native to lands Noah had no ability to access? God used his magic to teleport them to the Ark. How did animals that couldn’t survive in Asian climate survive not only the flood but the trek to and from? God used his magic to make them well. What happened when Adam or Eve had to defecate in the perfect paradise of the Garden of Eden? God used his magic to make it so they didn’t have to poo. How did the Jews stay healthy eating only manna for forty years? God used his magic to secretly slip each of them a multivitamin every day. Where were Jesus and Elijah going when they flew up into the sky (heavens)? God used his magic to teleport them to the alternate dimension where heaven actually exists. I guess both Jesus and Elijah were unaware that ascension was just figurative speech and they didn’t need to take to the air at all. Such drama queens! And it isn’t that I don’t WANT to believe, as you assert, it is that I CAN’T believe. You CHOOSE to believe, Sirius, I don’t choose not to believe. You said – Outside the bubble of our existence lies the realm where God pre-existed [you know, that place he existed in before He created the universe].” – Where exactly does it say that God created everything (our universe plus the thousands of others) separate from his pre-existing realm? How do you know he didn’t create everything right smack dab in the middle of the realm he was lounging around in? Because he isn’t bound by the laws of our realm? Huh? Is he all powerful God or not? This just sounds like another example of you stating a personal opinion as fact. You say, smugly – “We christians are promised new, incorruptible bodies.” – as an explanation for how Jesus was able to do what he did post resurrection. But if this was a new body/form (hence why no one recognized him) why did his reanimated corpse still show the wounds of his torture? And where does it say this new incorruptible body Christians are granted also grants them super powers? BTW, what the hell happened to all those reanimated saints who clawed their way out of their tombs after the resurrection? The reappearance of these folk should have made quite a ruckus and yet there is no further mention of them, either in the bible or in any historical text. Odd, don’t you think? And are you really asking me why my loss of belief in the Christian God also coincided with my lack of belief in other gods? Really? I’ll ask you, Sirius, why don’t YOU believe in Krishna? Why don’t YOU believe in Zeus? I bet our reasons for not believing in other gods are quite similar. Remember, you are very nearly an Atheist just like me. It’s just on our list of gods mankind has invented over the years; you have one left that you haven’t been able to scratch off. For a very long time I stubbornly refused to scratch that last god off my list as well, but eventually the scales fell from my eyes and I saw the truth that could no longer be denied. All gods are created by man. As for when I will substantiate my claim that the Bible was lifted from other mythology, I will do so now by creating a brand new post addressing just this subject. I’ve been working on it for quite some time and only finished recently. It was written as another article I was planning on submitting to the guys at http://www.pathofreason.com (and I still plan on doing so) but I will go ahead and create the new post first. Here it is:

    https://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/2008/06/01/the-mythological-origins-of-christianity-pt-1-of-3/

    JediRev,

    First, you are correct, people have ‘answered’ some of my questions, if by answered you mean regurgitated scripture and dogma, revised passages to mean whatever their particular sect of Christianity preferred to believe, and stated opinion as fact, something you, brooksrobinson, and Sirius are masters at. And your denial of the existence of contradictions in the bible is just bizarre. Even most Christians admit that there are contradictions, usually explaining them away with man made errors of the ignorant and biased writers of the bible (an explanation I can respect at least). And my focus on Christianity is because it is the religion I spent so much of my life a part of. If I were raised a Muslim I’m sure this site would be dedicated to that.

    JediRev also said –“The message is one of freedom from guilt, one of forgiveness, one of triumph over what really is the dirty little stain of human corruption. The message of the Bible, about a God who condescends to our level, who comes and serves, even dies for us, that is unique, and that is what set us apart from Muslims, or others.” – JediRev, do you really think your skewed concept of Christianity is so different from the Muslim faith or the vast majority of the religions man has created over the years? And really, there are a great many sects of Christianity that don’t seem to agree that freedom from guilt and/or forgiveness are part of their message. I urge you to follow the link I gave to Sirius above and realize how utterly UNunique Christianity really is. And could you define “the dirty little stain of human corruption” for me? As for your statement that — “Muslims serve an ungracious god, who demands their unstinting service, even calling them to kill the infidel.” You should really go out and talk to some Muslims at your local Community Center (most cities have them, look it up in the yellow pages) and stop getting your definitions from FOX-News. Most of the Muslims I meet (there is a large number here in Portland) are more moderate than most of the Christians I meet.

    Brooksrobinson,

    Regarding the numerous examples showing that the writers of the bible clearly believed that there were other genuine gods and that even God refers to these other gods, you stated – “God is referring to the many idol’s that existed. To say that they are gods does not mean they exist. When I say the Greek god Zeus, this does not mean I believe he exists.” – Again, another willful assertion. Same with your explaining away the babies being sacrificed on the seventh day Mary brought up. An opinion stated as a fact. Another Christian explaining to us what God REALLY meant. Ahh, if only God would have taken the time to explain it to the WRITERS that would have saved us all soooo much trouble. And who was the god that granted the Pharaoh’s sorcerers the ability to match Moses’ magic trick for trick? Let me guess, you are going to suggest the typical Christian cop out that the Pharaoh was a Satan worshiper. Consciously or unconsciously?

    DoubtingThomas

  31. Mary:

    “You just can’t handle that word, “likewise”, can you?”
    I wish I knew what point your trying to prove.

    “I shall overlook a verse that claims that God does not tempt anybody into sin….” Good cause the reference to which you are talking about is in James 1:13, which is referring to evil temptations/desires that man comes across.

    “how is that such an idea could have even entered Abraham’s mind?”
    Did you not read what you told me to read? God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Did Abraham know about child sacrifice? Why most certainly, he was an idol maker in Ur, prior to his selection.

    Doubting Thomas:

    “Regarding the numerous examples showing that the writers of the bible clearly believed that there were other genuine gods and that even God refers to these other gods”

    Those gods did exist, but repeatably YHWH is known as the ONLY LIVING GOD. I believe Zeus existed… his idols are all around, his temples are left behind, and there is plenty of evidence depicting Zeus devotion. Do I believe he was a living god? No, just as the Hebrews did not consider the other gods living.

    “An opinion stated as a fact.”
    I’m curious what scholarly sources told you that? There is no evidences archaeologically that babies were sacrificed ritualistically to YHWH. They have evidence of idols in Israel, evidence that Israel worshiped other gods, but nothing depicting sacrificing babies to YHWH, only to the foreign gods. Thats why I recommend you properly exegesis the scriptures, instead of going in with an agenda.

    I find repeatedly DT that your blogs/comments have no fact behind them, but are mere opinion or poorly backed scholarly work. Just like with your list of so called “gods Christianity copied.” If your going to state something check your sources… many so called scholars have been presenting that theory for awhile now and with little backing to show for it. Books have been published about the “similarities” and “borrowing”, and those same authors have never been able to stand up to the scrutiny of their work.

  32. I will go to sleep tonight with a profound sense of gratitude to a certain Dr. Fenton Russell, long deseased, who, one night, told me I thought I was thinking, but I was not COGITATING! Brooksrobinson, if you can’t figure out just what lies behind the word “likewise” in Exodus 22:29/30, you are one confused person. Those two scriptures, in spite of all your usless arguments to escape the fact, plainly states that Yahweh . . . God . . . demanded the sacrifice of newborn sons. KINDA PUTS A CRIMP IN ANOTHER SUBJECT, doesn’t it? If God, at that time, instructed the Israelites to circumcise their firstborn sons, the scriptures would have said so. If you insist on holding to your version, why would God have demanded that “only” the firstborn son be circumcised? I am beginning to tire of having to remind you, bt here I go again. Why would God have told his people to do “likewise” to their cattle and sheep?
    If I give one child spcific orders to make his bed and tidy up his room or he can expect to miss dessert for the following week . . . and if I were to turn to his brother, who is standing next to him, and whose bed needs made and whose room is also untidy, would I be in danger of confusing him if I say to him, “Go, son, and do “likewise”? I think its rather plain that the word “likewise” in this case means that both sons are to make their beds and tidy up their rooms . . . ,
    As for. . . God told Abraham to sacrifice his son. . . how do you absolutely know that? Yes, you have faith that anything and everything you read in the Bible must necessariarly be true, but faith proves nothing, absolutely nothing.
    Fortunately, for my peace of mind, I don’t believe, and never have believed, that God ever demanded so much as a drop of blood from either animal or human . . . nor for any reason whatsoever.

  33. Mary:

    “If you insist on holding to your version, why would God have demanded that “only” the firstborn son be circumcised?”

    Notice how I said circumcised AND set aside for priestly services to God. All males were circumcised on the 8th day, all first born were circumcised AND then set aside.

    “likewise”

    Thanks for the clarification, I wasn’t sure what you were trying to point out, probably cause I was reading it wrong (as far as what you meant with the term “likewise”, I was using a different translation that didn’t use the term “likewise”)

    Since your using likewise to mean “similarly” in this context this answer must follow. There is no Hebrew word used in the Hebrew manuscripts we have to mean “similarly” in these set of verses. Thus you must use likewise in its “in addition to” context. If you don’t know what I’m talking about refer to any dictionary and you’ll find two definitions of the word “likewise.” “1. In Addition to”, “2.In like manner”. In other words the word likewise is the “In Addition to” form, being used as an English filler, to make the statements flow grammatically.

  34. Mary:

    PS- I don’t know how that wink got in there (for I did not do the keyboard symbols for the wink “;” “)”, but it fits hehe).

  35. But here’s the thing; where would religion be without science or vice versa? Otherwise explaining things would be quite difficult indeed.

  36. Brooksrobinson: Your words: “If you insist on holding to your version, why would God have demanded that “only” the firstborn son be circumcised?”
    You are finally “getting it”. God did not demand the circumcision of firstborn sons only, and that’s where the problem lies between the two of us. The Bible clearly states that, whatever was done to the firstborn male child on the eighth day of it’s life, was to be done to the firstborn male offspring of cattle and sheep. Nothing more or less.
    As I wrote: I don’t for a moment, believe God ever demanded so much as a drop of blood from either man or beast, but “God” did not rule over the early Semetic nomad tribes that were the early Israelites. PRIESTS RULED, and they ruled unconditionally. Their words were law. A thorough reading of the Old Testament convinces me that the Early Israelite priests were as cruel, as viscious, as barbaric and as power-hungry as any group of people living at the time. The Philistines—next door neighbors—were a powerful people whose devotion to Moloch was no less than that of the Hebrews to Yahweh.
    The Philistines sacrificed their children to Moloch without it weakening the nation, at least not at the time. It’s easy for me to believe Israelite priests followed suit. What better way to further intimidate the masses, at least until convinced to institute the practice of circumcision as a substitue?
    It doesn’t matter to me if one person chooses to believe that God was in charge and directing every move made, or that events pretty much happened as normally back then as they do today. The truth is, “S—” happens. If a priest, at the request of a jealous husband, has the right to force a woman to drink what well might cause her death, and all to prove her fidelity to her husband, I am capable of believing a priest, and that includes Moses, could well have instituted the sacrifice of firstborn sons.

  37. Mary:

    I’m not convinced you read my comment.

  38. I read your comment . . . carefully. You said nothing to prove anything concerning the meaning found in Exodus 22:29/30
    I have a Bible translated directly from the original Aramaic, and it still says the same thing. Firstborn born sons were to be given to God: not circumcised, not dedicated, not anything but these words: the first-born of your sons YOU SHALL GIVE IT TO ME. That scripture is followed by—and you can use any word you choose— ****** you shall do with your oxen and your sheep; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.
    Why would God, when directing his words to be put into print, cause firstborn sons, oxen and sheep to be “lumped into one and the same pot”?

  39. Mary:

    I did not agree to what you were saying. Instead I pointed out to why you are wrong. Its evident in Biblical archeology, Biblical Law, as well as the language, babies were not sacrificed to YHWH. I was referring to the the wrong context of “likewise” you were using. As a Hebrew word for the context you were implying was not located in the Hebrew manuscripts. Ask any Jewish commentator and they’ll tell you the same thing. It is against the Law of Moses to sacrifice humans to YHWH, that is what is significant to the passage of Genesis with Abraham and Isaac.

    Also you keep implying that I meant circumcision only on the 8th day. Read my responses I said circumcision AND being consecrated for God. In other words as they were circumcised they was also another ceremony that was done to set them aside for the work of God. The Levite Priests later picked up this responsibility (see Numbers).

    “A thorough reading of the Old Testament convinces me that the Early Israelite priests were as cruel, as viscious, as barbaric and as power-hungry as any group of people living at the time.”

    I’m curious to what verses have brought you to this conclusion.

    “The Philistines sacrificed their children to Moloch without it weakening the nation, at least not at the time.It’s easy for me to believe Israelite priests followed suit.”

    The Philistine god of choice was Dagon. Moloch was the god of the Ammonite’s. It certainly intrigues me that you would hold to such a “faith” that the priests of the Hebrews followed suit to the Philistines with no “scientific” evidence. I do not disagree the that Hebrews sacrificed babies, but as a whole, the Hebrew Law has forbidden human sacrifice since its development. There is no archaeological evidence to show that the Hebrews sacrificed humans to YHWH, but only to the foreign gods they accepted later. Which only makes sense considering the Bible depicts Israels betrayal to YHWH many times. So if your going to use the belief that baby sacrifice crept in Hebrew devotion to YHWH, back it up.

  40. Mary:

    “I have a Bible translated directly from the original Aramaic, and it still says the same thing”

    Exodus wasn’t written in Aramaic.

    There is two separate meanings to the “giving” of humans and animals. Humans when given to God were used in a Priestly or prophetic role. Animals were sacrificed. This is the custom of the Hebrews, this is why I’ve repeated my claim a few times for you to properly exegeses the verse. Which includes understanding Hebrew culture and history. This is why your reading the verse wrong, and understanding it differently then me. There is no point in debating this with you until you’ve developed an understanding of Hebrew culture, and not just from the Bible. Until you do so, you’ll cling to your belief that this is what is intended by the Bible, despite being mistaken.

  41. You ended your comment claiming that I’ll cling to my belief that this is what is intended by the Bible, despite being mistaken.
    Brooksribinson, I don’t have a “belief” one way or the other. I KNOW the words are but the ranting of an over-religious fanatic, but they are found in the Bible! There are many scriptures found in the Bible, equally ridiculous as Ex. 22:29/30 and all of them nothing more than the illusions of men such as those who wrote a good bit of the Old Testament.
    I don’t read into a scripture what is NOT THERE. Since I fail to see anything in Exodus 22:29/30 other than the words, the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give to me, and, in the very next verse read, ********. . . fill in any word or words you wish. . . shalt thou do with thine oxen and with thy sheep. . . I take the words to mean what they say. Doesn’t mean I believe them. Thank you for some enlightening information. It may not appear so, but I do have an open mind. That is how I escaped the church to begin with. My husband and I were both members of a strict Christian fundamental church from some time in 1948 until 1959 when I finally escaped its clutches. However, I remained a victim of it’s idiotic, insane teachings until my husband finally came to his senses some fifteen years later. I was subjected, almost beyond endurance at times, to his railings against me leaving the church and giving up heaven for a place in hell. Well, hell does not exist, never did and never will.
    With that, I am taking my leave. It’s been interesting and a diversion. Nothing like keeping the mind honed. I am going to leave with one of my favorite sayings from H.L Mencken: Once the mind has been expanded, it can never return to it’s original dimensions. Nice “chatting” with you. Mary from Meander With Me.

  42. Mary:

    Yes nice chatting.

    Its always interesting knowing that two people can study the Bible and have two different outcomes.

    No fancy quotes come to mind right now haha.

    Brooks Robinson

  43. brooksrobinson,

    You said – “Its always interesting knowing that two people can study the Bible and have two different outcomes.”

    I’m sorry, I just had to comment. You, no doubt, can guess where I’m going with this. I also find it “interesting” that two people can study the bible and come to two different outcomes. But I find it even more “interesting” that TWO THOUSAND people can study the bible and come to TWO THOUSAND different outcomes. Christians love to declare that the number of Christians in the world continues to grow but when you consider that the division among Christians also continues to grow and new sects of Christianity, each with their own concept of Christianity, continue to fracture their religion, this number becomes far less impressive. The reality is it is a race between Mormons and Muslims for world domination. I’m not sure which one would be more disastrous for the future of humanity.

    DoubtingThomas

  44. “Doubting Thomas Kaufman” happy to have had you enter what I consider to be the final contact between Brooksrobinson and me.
    It was a black day for the future of all mankind when men began to look skyward in their quest for answers to all things: good and evil; good fortune and bad; for the “why”, the “how” and the “when”, and began to believe in an unseen spirit—”God”.

  45. Doubting Thomas:

    “Christians love to declare that the number of Christians in the world continues to grow but when you consider that the division among Christians also continues to grow and new sects of Christianity, each with their own concept of Christianity, continue to fracture their religion, this number becomes far less impressive”

    You’ll be surprised on how many denominations have the exact same doctrinal statement. Usually there is a few major divisions in Protestantism, the Fundies, Evangelicals, and Liberals. The Fundies and Evangelicals usually get along ( a few denominations may not but for the most part they do). In the Evangelical camp you have those who are Calvinists and those who are into Arminianism(some of these ideals creep into the fundie camp as well). The division isn’t as wide as it seems, although it is there. I’ve been to many various denominations through out my church life,and have many friends that who are not in the same denomination. For the most part all of our views are the same. The difference in views is usually things that the Bible may not be 100% clear on, predestination, pre-tribulation rapture or post-trib or mid-trib, etc. Things of that nature. But many denominations have shrived to unite all church’s in there communities, and have had major success.

  46. I must have touched a nerve, huh?

    –Sirius Knott

  47. Just a few thoughts on some of the differant denominations/views within Christianity to add to brooksribinson – I think throughout history and today if you take a look into any church or church movement you will find that there will always be people who use the bible or God or religion to get what they want – like your quote of the day says. I’ve read accounts of priests who prided themselves on the fact that they had never read the Bible – and yet they were teaching hundreds of people “religion”. When people refuse to rely on the word of God (within a church) as the authority that they base their views on, you are going to get all types of divisions. That’s why the reformation was based on the idea of scripture alone. The Bible itself speaks to the fact that there will be false prophets and teachings and it should not surprise Christians one bit when they arise – for the rest – I agree with BrooksR. that when it comes down to it most denomiinations mostly agree, and I have been in more then one circle of firends with more then one pastor of a differant denomination discussing some of the differances.

  48. chris papa Says:

    To answer you Mary, the people themselves did not sacrifice. The offerings were brought to the temple. The priests sacrificed. The bringing of the firstborn sons were not for sacrifice but offered for service to God.

    Let me put this in another way:
    I would ask you for a donation for a food bank. You can either give me goods or services for donation. If you gave me goods, it would be in the form of food. If it was services, you would help in making food or boxing and delivering it.
    Both are offerings: one is goods (oxen, sheep and harvest) and one is services ( first born sons).

  49. This is a very interesting thread which seems to have stalled for the time being, I’m sorry I came to it late! Here is some outside confirmation about the idea that the ancient Jews sacrificed their children… Herodotus, the first historian, wrote in the 5th Century B.C., and gives many fascinating looks at the cultures all around the Mediterranean. I was never able to read his “Histories” from cover to cover, but here is a quote: “”The Hebrews sacrificed humans to their God Moloch.” (Herodotus, Vol. II, p. 45) NOT the Phillistines (Phoenicians), NOT the Egyptians, but the Hebrews! Well, I have not personally seen this quote, with the actual book in front of me, but have seen several references to it, so believe it is actually there, perhaps someone could look into it! I believe this gives strength to your argument. Best, —-Ed

  50. Ed:

    Your mistaken, I could not find that quote in Herodotus’s work. However, I would not be surprised that the Hebrews did human sacrifices. They did, as recorded in the Bible, turn their back on YHWH and worshiped the local pagan gods(as there is proof of idols in Hebrew ruins). Which is why they were punished on multiple occasions. However, there is no archaeological or written evidence that the Jews sacrificed humans to YHWH. Also the Philistines are not the same people as the Phoenicians.

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