Month: July 2015

Did any of the writers of the Bible own a calendar?

stunning-art-of-ancient-calendars-L-dFCA9MMany Christians today look to the Bible not only as a theological book but as a history book revealing God’s intrusion into our world. They quote the historical events involving Moses and the Exodus of the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt and Jesus and his many miracles around Galilee.

For believers, it’s easy enough to just take the Bible at face value and believe. The Bible is their history book and if no other history books corroborate the stories, that’s probably because the secular historians didn’t believe in miracles or God and thus suppressed the narratives. I actually don’t know the apologetic arguments for the non-existence of outsider corroboration but I know they have them.

For believers who decide to research the Bible as I finally did (with a skeptical eye this time), it would be a validation of some kind to find corroborating historical evidence backing up the Biblical “history,” at least in terms of who was where and when. Even without the miracle working, it would at least provide some backing to the stories and make them appear less purely mythological.

When I looked, I started to notice first that there are almost no names for the Pharaohs of Egypt. Their names are usually ‘Pharaoh’ in the Bible. It would be similar to writing an account of Obama now and just calling him ‘President.’

I started to look at the dates for Jesus and found their weren’t any. All the dates were inferences. The birth dates are estimated based on the only 2 gospels that discuss the birth of Jesus (Matthew and Luke and even they end up 10 years apart – 4 BC and 6 AD). None of the gospels give any dates for the crucifixion either. The dates there are estimated based on when Pontius Pilate was in power.

I also started looking more at the Old Testament and the Moses and Exodus stories. And there are no dates there either.

After awhile i started to ask myself the question: Why are there absolutely no hard dates in the Bible? Did the writers have and use calendars? I did a little research and of course they didn’t use the calendar we use today but they did have calendars at the time of the writing of the Bible. And historians today are able to determine ancient dates by a formula converting their calendar dates to our current calendar dates. That’s how they can determine close dates even for people like Aristotle (born circa 384 BC).

The gospel of Luke is especially noted for his historical acumen (mostly because Luke claims he’s a historian) and Bible scholars have since determined some of his sources including Josephus. But why no dates at all?

I believe there are no dates because many of these writings occurred after the fact and in almost all the cases of historical narrative in the Bible, the writers are simply mythologizing and inserting their heroes into history and have no hard dates because they aren’t contemporary to the events at all. And this is revealed in the many anachronisms in the Bible.

But let’s assume the Christian world view is correct. God himself planned this out so as to hide any external proof of himself or his revelation. It’s almost as if he wants most of us to burn in hell. God revealed himself (on threat of eternal torture for disbelief) in such a way that not a single contemporary writing exists about Moses and his exploits and Jesus and his exploits. And even if such a writing did exist, God made it almost impossible to find because the writers never wrote down a single date.

After a thorough review, it’s clear that almost every historical story in the Bible is pure mythology intended to look as though it’s historical. It’s a complete historical fiction or just pure fiction from cover to cover.

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Why does God need angels?

hologramToday I was listening to the audio book by Dr. Richard Carrier called “On the historicity of Jesus” and he was discussing definitions and that he would be calling angels and demons “gods” (lower case g). This reminded me. Many times, I think about the gods concept regarding Satan. He’s a god whether people call him that or not. He’s in all of our heads tempting us. He’s intruding on nature. He’s creating cancer and viruses, etc. And to round out our list of Gods, we have the Trinity (the three in one God-head).

So the first logical progression is that although people call themselves monotheists, it seems semantic pretzel twisting to see their spiritual beliefs as anything other than polytheism with 1 highest God, otherwise known as monolatry.

And finally that leads to a question. Why don’t we simply have monotheism in the strictest sense? Why does an all powerful God need an army of minions? After all, the created angels who turned on him became the devil and his demons.

And even if the angels didn’t turn evil, what’s the point of the good angels? Is there work to be done in heaven? “Gabriel, do you mind taking out the trash please?”

The cultural religious beliefs relegate many tasks to the angels. Everyone has a guardian angel. Whenever we hear a bell an angel gets his wings and so on. But why would God make these created angels immortal? And where do the guardian angels’ tasks end and the Holy Spirit’s tasks begin? The Holy Spirit (one member of the Trinity) is omnipresent. For the times in the Bible that humans needed angels to tell them things (the story of Sodom and Gomorrah where they visited Lot and when they had to warn Joseph that Mary, although pregnant, was still a virgin) could have been done via holograms like we see in Star Wars movies. He could just create a temporary “angel” and have it disappear after the angel’s task is done.

It seems to me that an all powerful God who can create a vast universe with magical incantations shouldn’t need millions or billions of helpers on one tiny planet in the corner of one galaxy of in a sea of billions of galaxies. In fact, take note of the consequences. Because God needed someone to help him with his chores, we got Satan and Hell as a result.