Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mark Twain on the Bible and Religion

Mark Twain was the most famous of American authors during his life time. His works like Tom Sawyer were considered American classics. What is not widely known about him is that he thought the Bible another work of fiction but not a partuclarly good one. Here are some comments that Twain made over his life time, some in his books and some not.

It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
- Letters from the Earth

The Christian's Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same; but the medical practice changes...The world has corrected the Bible. The church never corrects it; and also never fails to drop in at the tail of the procession- and take the credit of the correction. During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. the Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumb-screws, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood.
Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry.....There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain.
- "Bible Teaching and Religious Practice," Europe and Elsewhere

...a God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell--mouths mercy, and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules and foregiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!
- No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger

God's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.
- Notebook, 1898

God, so atrocious in the Old Testament, so attractive in the New--the Jekyl and Hyde of sacred romance.
- Notebook, 1904

The best minds will tell you that when a man has begotten a child he is morally bound to tenderly care for it, protect it from hurt, shielf it from disease, clothe it, feed it, bear with its waywardness, lay no hand upon it save in kindness and for its own good, and never in any case inflict upon it a wanton cruelty. God's treatment of his earthly children, every day and every night, is the exact opposite of all that, yet those best minds warmly justify these crimes, condone them, excuse them, and indignantly refuse to regard them as crimes at all, when he commits them. Your country and mine is an interesting one, but there is nothing there that is half so interesting as the human mind.
- Letters from the Earth

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion--several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven....The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste.
- "The Lowest Animal"

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.
- Autobiography of Mark Twain

I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
- Mark Twain in Eruption

Man is kind enough when he is not excited by religion.
- A Horse's Tale

If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be--a Christian.
- Mark Twain's Notebook

Christianity will doubtless still survive in the earth ten centuries hence--stuffed and in a museum.
- Notebook, 1898

The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive...but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born.
- Mark Twain, a Biography

There are those who scoff at the school boy, calling him frivolous and shallow. Yet it was the school boy who said, Faith is believing what you know ain't so.
-Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed in it. They have also believed the world was flat.
-- Mark Twain, Notebook

I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious -- unless he purposely shut the eyes of his mind & keep them shut by force.
-- Mark Twain, Frederick Anderson, ed., Mark Twain's Notebooks and Journals

Irreverence is another person's disrespect to your god; there isn't any word that tells what your disrespect to his god is.
-- Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger

Concentration of power in a political machine is bad; and an Established Church is only a political machine; it was invented for that; it is nursed, cradled, preserved for that; it is an enemy to human liberty, and does no good which it could not better do in a split-up and scattered condition.
-- Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.
-- Mark Twain, Following the Equator, ch. 51, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar" (1897)

A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.
-- Mark Twain, quoted from Barbara Schmidt, ed., Mark Twain Quotations, Newspaper Collections, & Related Resources

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
-- Mark Twain, quoted from Barbara Schmidt, ed., Mark Twain Quotations, Newspaper Collections, & Related Resources

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.
-- Mark Twain, Following the Equator, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar"

If the man doesn't believe as we do, we say he is a crank, and that settles it. I mean, it does nowadays, because now we can't burn him.
-- Mark Twain, Following the Equator

"There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing and predatory as it is -- in our country particularly, and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree -- it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime -- the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of to-day, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor His Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilt."
Reflections on Religion

48 Comments:

Blogger complbog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 05, 2006

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

I appreciate Dan's remarks and links which will not be visible to others. Why, if I appreciate them did I remove them? Because he unknowingly gave away a whole bunch of wonderful video links which I will be providing to our readers. Most of the links he mentions I have archieved for inclusion, a bit at a time, as I have been doing. There are a good number of fun video clips which readers of the site will enjoy. I have a list of them and every few days I will post another one. Thanks Dan, and don't take the wrong way that I deleted your post. We will be adding the links ever couple of days so as not to go into sensory overload with video all at once. There were a couple you provided that were not on my original list but thanks to your information they will be included. I appreciate it.

June 05, 2006

 
Blogger Joe said...

Smart man, that Samuel Clemmens, very smart.

June 05, 2006

 
Blogger em2histbuff33 said...

Mark Twain was one of a kind. Did you know that many of Mark Twain's books are available online free like
The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc is available online here

November 17, 2007

 
Blogger gfutfy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

A comment that was complete gibberish and random links was deleted.

February 03, 2009

 
Blogger Sarah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 05, 2009

 
Blogger nick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 05, 2009

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

I removed two sermons left here for theism. Comments are not free advertising for cults like the Jehova's Witnesses. Stay on topic. Simple preaching is worthless.

May 06, 2009

 
Blogger nick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 06, 2009

 
Blogger Sarah said...

I'm not a Jehovah's Witness. I'm not in a cult. I'm a Christian. I will pray that you will realize the truth before it's too late.

May 06, 2009

 
Blogger nick said...

Hi Sarah,

Never said you were in a cult. Just mentioned that Jehovah's Witnesses are not a cult in anyway. Jehovah's Witnesses are Christian. Christian means to be a follower of Christ, or Christ-like.

Jehovah bless!

Nick

May 06, 2009

 
Blogger Sarah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 06, 2009

 
Blogger nick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 06, 2009

 
Blogger skymind1 said...

Looking for MT quote that states something like he lives by preaching and example, as opposed to faith and intimidation, Anyone help me?

January 02, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 03, 2010

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

One of the more bizarre cults around just tried to use the site to encourage my readers to join them. As usual, if they want to preach, they can do it their own churches. It won't happen here. It was deleted.

January 03, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

What are you afraid of? This blog is about Bible and religion and I am encouraging others to look into the Bible. So no one can be free to express themselves on this blog unless they have the same opinion as yourself. I find that very sad and in away quite bizzare. I will let you get back to micro-managing other expressions.

Nick

January 03, 2010

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

This blog is private property and people are allowed to use it according to the terms of the owner. Your logic is bad. Consider if someone went into one of your Kingdom Halls and started promoting atheism. Your crowd would have him removed immediately. So what are you afraid of? Freedom of expression does not require other people to give you a forum. You have no claim on my property, to use it without permission is theft.

There is no promoting of religion by cult members here. Go stand on a corner with your Watchtower if you want but I won't provide you with a forum to promote bullshit.

January 03, 2010

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

In addition I should point out that the post was about Mark Twain and his view. You offered nothing on that subject but instead launched into a sermon about the Jehovah's Witnesses, one of the most insane cults around.

January 03, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Seems I touched a nerve. No need to get so angry. Why are you so unhappy. I thought this was available to the public to comment. You are wrong when you say I started with a sermon. I started quoting Mark Twain. Isn't this what this blog was about, Mark Twain on the Bible and Religion. I made a comment. You didn't like it. You pulled the plug. That is entirely up to you. Have a good day.

Nick

p.s "Profanity is ugly"

January 03, 2010

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Bullshite is a perfectly good word and one that accurately describes some of the more wacko cults and what they disseminate.

You started quoting Twain and used that as an excuse to urge people to contact the cult that you belong to. YOu wanted to use this blog as a means to advertise the bizarre views that you hold. It is no more appropriate for you to that here than for me to do so in one of your services.

January 03, 2010

 
Blogger Ice Cream Soldier said...

By the way Nick, Most of us who are atheists are because we already know your bible better than you. Twain nailed it!

April 01, 2010

 
Blogger Kevin said...

I was a christian for many years. I look at Mr. Twain's words and I wish they had been around when I had been growing up. But of course, they were written decades before I was even born.

But the thing is, before the Internet, you probably couldn't find these writings even in your local public library. Now, with the Internet, they're instantly accessible everywhere, to everyone.

Unless they can figure out a way to control the internet, the churches will be gone in a generation.

April 01, 2010

 
Blogger facelikedog said...

Thanks for removing the more extreme religious rants.
Incidentally, a great way to see the back end of a jehovas witness? Tell them you're jewish. Whether you are jewish or not, some hate other people so thoroughly they've actually run away from my door.

April 02, 2010

 
Blogger Patrick Hutchinson said...

God Save us from Christian prayers!

They pray to save us from ignorance and that we be saved, but I say please God save us from Christians, The Bible and Their Prayers.

I was onced asked if I was a "Believer"?

Why do Christians think they own the term and it's intrinsic meaning "Believer"?

Yay, Lord I am a Believer, I believe that the Bible is full of lies and Myths!

April 02, 2010

 
Blogger Patrick Hutchinson said...

The Bible is a horror story of the worst kind, one full of murder, rape, orgies, bloodletting, beheading, paedophelia, incest, torture, child abuse, etc... etc...

Who would read and enjoy such foul trashy literature and call it the word of God?

Who would be a lifelong adherent and worshipper of such satanic substance?

Who would live by it's code and standards and pass it on to thy children, thy family, thy friends and thy neighbours?

April 02, 2010

 
Blogger Steve said...

Quit knocking the bible it is a wonderful chronicle of the human psyche. It augments the cacophany of greek myths and legends. It yet inspires because it defines the inner most workings of who we are. We who know must distinguish ourselves from brash narcissistic youths that seek defiance of all constructs. Nor must we not collude with the socialpathic anarchists of Pedophilia and exploitation of the impoverished.

July 21, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Salmon P. Chase:
"There came a time in my life when I doubted the divinity of the Scriptures, and I resolved as a lawyer and a judge
I would try the Book as I would try anything in the courtroom, taking evidence for and against. It was a long,
serious and profound study and using the same principles of evidence in this religious matter as I always do in
secular matters, I have come to the decision that the BIBLE is a supernatural Book, that it has come from God, and
that the only safety for the human race is to follow its teachings"

July 21, 2010

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Steve: If the Bible were seen as a chronicle of the human psyche comparable to Greek myths there would be no problem. The problem is the moron who take it as the word of God.

Nick (or should I say Steve again): Your posts contradict one another. Chase was a politician of course. And politicians say what people want to hear and are notorious liars. Perhaps you want a better advocate?

July 21, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Instead of name-calling why don't you do what the man I quoted was willing to do, make an informed decision by a through examination of the Bible. That Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies in one man should show you that there is inspiration in the Scriptures.

July 21, 2010

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Nick: I didn't call you a name.

And why do you assume I didn't read the Bible. I went to seminary at a fundamentalist center after graduating a fundamentalist high school. Jesus didn't fulfill 300 prophecies that is just BS where people scoured the Bible after the NT was written and reinterpreted verses to be prophetic, when previously they were not seen as such. The Bible is full of contradictions and reflects the irrational, errant mind of man, not something from a deity.

July 21, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Please supply just One Bible contradition.

July 21, 2010

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Matthew says the father of Joseph was Jacob, but Luke thinks it was Heli.

Gen 1 says God created the fowls from the waters, Gen 2 says he formed them out of the ground instead.

Matthew thinks Jesus's first sermon was on a mountian, Luke says he stood "in the plain."

Numerous verses say God can't be seen, other verses say he can be seen.

Second Kings says Jehoiachin was 18 when he became king. Second Chronicles says he was 8.

The bible says Herod was king when Jesus was born but also says that Cyrenius was governor of Syria. The two ruled 10 years apart, not at the same time. Herod had died by the time Jesus was born.

Luke says Mary and Jospeh went to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus, Matthew says they went to Nazareth. Luke says after the birth they returned to Galilee, but Matthew says they fled to Egypt.

Matthew, Luke and John all have different "last words" for Jesus.

Matthew says the two Mary's discovered the resurrection. Mark says that Salome was there as well, but Matthew forgot. In John only Mary Magdalene was there by herself. So was it one woman, two women or three women—take your pick.

Matthew says there was an angel at the tomb on stone outside. Mark says it was a young man sitting inside the tomb. Luke says it was two men and John says it was two angels one at the head of the stone where Jesus had lain and the other at the foot.

Mark says the resurrection was discovered "just after sunrise" but John says it "while it was still dark."

July 21, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Thanks for taking the time to send me these apparent contradictions. I leave to Rome in a few hours and will come back on Monday to address these with you.

July 21, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

I will just take one tonight before I go.

You said:

"Matthew says the father of Joseph was Jacob, but Luke thinks it was Heli."

This one is easy. The real father of Joseph was Jacob (Matthew1:16); but having married the daughter of Heli, and being perhaps adopted by him, he was called his son, and as such was entered in the public registers. This is common in Scripture and apparent for someone who knows the Bible.

Do you know who Matthew wrote principally to? Who did Luke write to and for what purpose? Knowing this might help answer your own question.

July 21, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

I will take two more alleged "contradictions" that are not even close to being real contradictions.
Here they are:

“Gen 1 says God created the fowls from the waters, Gen 2 says he formed them out of the ground instead.

Matthew thinks Jesus's first sermon was on a mountian, Luke says he stood "in the plain.”
Whereas the original Hebrew text is clear at Genesis 2:19 that the “flying creatures” (literal meaning of Hebrew word) were made "min ha-adamah" -- "from the ground" , the earth at Genesis 1:20 we are simply told what they did once they were made, they swarmed. One comment deals with HOW they were produced and the other comment tells us WHERE they were produced and WHAT they did. Where is the contradiction?

At Matthew 5:1 we are told the Sermon on the Mount took place on a mountain. The literal Greek word for "plain" as we see in Luke 6:17 actually is "PEDINOS" which means "a level place."

Go back and read carefully Luke 6:12 that tells us about the same event where Jesus was on the mountain and then came down to a level place to give his sermon. That would still be on the mountain. Are the critics arguing there could be no lower level place on the mountain? There must be hundreds of examples around the world even as I write this. Why would anyone conclude this is a contradiction?

July 26, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Another alleged “Bible contradiction” you submitted was this one:

“Second Kings says Jehoiachin was 18 when he became king. Second Chronicles says he was 8.”
The correct age of Jehoiachin was 18, not 8. Obviously, Jehoiachin was 18 when he began his rule since it says he did evil in the site of the Lord which suggests maturity and responsibility.

The discrepancy in ages is probably due to a copyist error. We can see that the difference in ages is 10 years. The system of number notation used by the Jews at the time of Ezra consisted of horizontal hooks that represented values of ten.

If one or both of the hooks were smudged or flaked off of a papyri, then the dates would be off by values of 10 years.

Does this mean the Bible is not trustworthy? Not at all. Inspiration is ascribed to the original writings and not to the copies. Scribes made errors. However, the errors were very infrequent and from other information in the Bible, we can easily ascertain what the correct age is by what is called textual criticism. Other manuscripts available have 2 Chronicles showing Jehoiachin was 18. That is why many Bible translations like the New World Translation have 18 in both places, not 8.

July 27, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Here is the next alleged “contradiction” you felt was in the Bible:

”Numerous verses say God can't be seen, other verses say he can be seen.”

The Bible clearly states that God cannot be seen. 1 John 4:12 says, "No man has seen God at any time." Jesus is not God, as some Trinitarians would hold. When God or Jehovah is described as being seen, an angel or idiom is involved.

Moses once expressed the desire to see God. At Exodus 33:18-20, we read: “‘Cause me [Moses] to see, please, your glory.’ But he [God] said: ‘I myself shall cause all my goodness to pass before your face, and I will declare the name of Jehovah before you; and I will favor the one whom I may favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I may show mercy.’ And he added: ‘You are not able to see my face, because no man may see me and yet live.’”

What God permitted Moses to see was His passing glory. Verses 21-23 state: “And Jehovah said further: ‘Here is a place with me, and you must station yourself upon the rock. And it has to occur that while my glory is passing by I must place you in a hole in the rock, and I must put my palm over you as a screen until I have passed by. After that I must take my palm away, and you will indeed see my back. But my face may not be seen.’”

In harmony with what Jehovah told Moses and what the apostle John said, Moses saw no materialization or material form of God. All that Moses saw was the afterglow of the divine presence passing by. Even then he had to be divinely protected. Obviously, it was not God himself that Moses saw.
When Moses spoke to God “face to face,” as stated at Exodus 33:11, he was not in visual contact with Jehovah.

This expression indicates the manner in which Moses communicated with God, not what he saw. Speaking with God “face to face” indicates a two-way conversation. Similarly, an individual can carry on a two-way conversation by telephone without seeing the other person.

When Moses talked with God and received instructions from him, the communication was not through visions, as was often the case with other prophets. This is noted at Numbers 12:6-8, where we read: “He went on to say: ‘Hear my words, please. If there came to be a prophet of yours for Jehovah, it would be in a vision I would make myself known to him. In a dream I would speak to him. Not so my servant Moses! He is being entrusted with all my house. Mouth to mouth I speak to him, thus showing him, and not by riddles; and the appearance of Jehovah is what he beholds.’” In what sense did Moses behold “the appearance of Jehovah”?

Moses beheld “the appearance of Jehovah” when he, Aaron, and certain other men were on Mount Sinai. At Exodus 24:10, it is written: “They got to see the God of Israel. And under his feet there was what seemed like a work of sapphire flagstones and like the very heavens for purity.” But how did Moses and the other men get to “see the God of Israel,” since God had told him, “No man may see me and yet live”? Verse 11 explains, for it says: “He did not put out his hand against the distinguished men of the sons of Israel, but they got a vision of the true God and ate and drank.” So the appearance of God that Moses and the others saw was by means of a vision.

July 27, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Here are three more “Bible contradictions” you supplied but are they really?

You said: “The Bible says Herod was king when Jesus was born but also says that Cyrenius was governor of Syria. The two ruled 10 years apart, not at the same time. Herod had died by the time Jesus was born.”

Answer: The Roman senator P. Sulpicius Quirinius was governor of Syria twice, the first time evidently coming after P. Quintilius Varus, whose term as legate of Syria ended in 4 B.C.E. Some scholars place Quirinius’ first governorship in 3-2 B.C.E.

You said: “Luke says Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus, Matthew says they went to Nazareth. Luke says after the birth they returned to Galilee, but Matthew says they fled to Egypt.”

Answer: This is evidently a misunderstanding of the account. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. (Matt 2:1). From there, Joseph took his family to Egypt (2:14). From there, they settled in Nazareth (2:23).

You said: “Matthew, Luke and John all have different "last words" for Jesus.”

There are different accounts of his death, and as one would expect from eyewitnesses, not all describe the period of his death exactly the same way. If they did, critics would be saying that these were colusions or secondary spin-offs from one initial writer. Matthew highlights one comment Jesus made (27:46), Mark the same one (15:34), Luke another statement (23:46), and John fourth one (19:30). All of these are brief statements that were made within a short time of each other.

July 27, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Next up, you said, “Matthew says the two Mary's discovered the resurrection. Mark says that Salome was there as well, but Matthew forgot. In John only Mary Magdalene was there by herself. So was it one woman, two women or three women—take your pick.”

Again, the accounts are harmonious. Notice how events evidently transpired:

When the women find Jesus’ tomb empty, Mary Magdalene runs off to tell Peter and John. However, the other women evidently remain at the tomb. Soon, an angel appears and invites them inside.

Here the women see yet another angel, and one of the angels says to them: “Do not you be fearful, for I know you are looking for Jesus who was impaled. He is not here, for he was raised up, as he said. Come, see the place where he was lying. And go quickly and tell his disciples that he was raised up from the dead.” So with fear and great joy, these women also run off.

By this time, Mary has found Peter and John, and she reports to them: “They have taken away the Lord out of the memorial tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Immediately the two apostles take off running. John is fleeter of foot—evidently being younger—and he reaches the tomb first. By this time the women have left, so no one is around. Stooping down, John peers into the tomb and sees the bandages, but he remains outside.

When Peter arrives, he does not hesitate but goes right on in. He sees the bandages lying there and also the cloth used to wrap Jesus’ head. It is rolled up in one place. John now also enters the tomb, and he believes Mary’s report. But neither Peter nor John grasps that Jesus has been raised up, even though He had often told them that He would be. Puzzled, the two return home, but Mary, who has come back to the tomb, remains.

In the meantime, the other women are hurrying to tell the disciples that Jesus has been resurrected, as the angels commanded them to do. While they are running along as fast as they can, Jesus meets them and says: “Good day!” Falling at his feet, they do obeisance to him. Then Jesus says: “Have no fear! Go, report to my brothers, that they may go off into Galilee; and there they will see me.

-continued

July 27, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

-continuing

Earlier, when the earthquake occurred and the angels appeared, the soldiers on guard were stunned and became as dead men. Upon recovering, they immediately went into the city and told the chief priests what had happened.

After consulting with the “older men” of the Jews, the decision is made to try to hush up the matter by bribing the soldiers. They are instructed: “Say, ‘His disciples came in the night and stole him while we were sleeping.’”

Since Roman soldiers may be punished with death for falling asleep at their posts, the priests promise: “If this [report of your falling asleep] gets to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and will set you free from worry.”

Since the size of the bribe is sufficiently large, the soldiers do as they are instructed. As a result, the false report about the theft of Jesus’ body becomes widely spread among the Jews.

Mary Magdalene, who remains behind at the tomb, is overcome by grief. Where could Jesus be? Stooping forward to look into the tomb, she sees the two angels in white, who have reappeared! One is sitting at the head and the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been lying. “Woman, why are you weeping?” they ask.

“They have taken my Lord away,” Mary answers, “and I do not know where they have laid him.” Then she turns around and sees someone who repeats the question: “Woman, why are you weeping?” And this one also asks: “Whom are you looking for?”

Imagining this person to be the caretaker of the garden in which the tomb is situated, she says to him: “Sir, if you have carried him off, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
“Mary!” the person says. And immediately she knows, by the familiar way he speaks to her, it is Jesus. “Rab•bo′ni!” (meaning “Teacher!”) she exclaims. And with unbounded joy, she grabs hold of him.

But Jesus says: “Stop clinging to me. For I have not yet ascended to the Father. But be on your way to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.’”

Mary now runs to where the apostles and fellow disciples have gathered. She adds her account to the report that the other women have already given about seeing the resurrected Jesus. Yet, these men, who did not believe the first women, apparently do not believe Mary either. (Matthew 28:3-15; Mark 16:5-8; Luke 24:4-12; John 20:2-18.)

July 27, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

Alright, here are the last two you shared:

“Matthew says there was an angel at the tomb on stone outside. Mark says it was a young man sitting inside the tomb. Luke says it was two men and John says it was two angels one at the head of the stone where Jesus had lain and the other at the foot.”

Answer: There is no discrepancy at all. An angel of the Lord moved the stone and was sitting upon it outside (Matthew 28:2) The two men (Luke 24:4) were angels (John 20:12). Mark 16:5 presents the only potential issue and it isn't the only one at all. If there were two angels in the tomb, then there was at least one. This one was on the right. Therefore, we see that there was one angel outside and two on the inside of the tomb. Remember also that later Bible writers already knew what had been written and provided additional information as shown in the above explanation.

Lastly, you said: “Mark says the resurrection was discovered "just after sunrise" but John says it "while it was still dark.”

Answer: Mark shows that early that Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome, Joanna, and other women arrived at Jesus tomb to treat Jesus' body with spices. They find an empty tomb. John highlights Mary Magdalene only (perhaps the eyewitness he spoke to) and says she "came" "while there was still darkness". The women began their journey at night and arrived as dawn was breaking. Instead of contradicting each other, the accounts have the feel of authenticity.

If I can assist you with any others you would like to hear further explanations on please let me know anytime.

July 27, 2010

 
Blogger Fay said...

I'd like to know what Twain sees in death and what his religion is...

September 28, 2010

 
Blogger Dolan said...

Very impressed that you let Nick take on the supposed contradictions without deleting. I think Mark Twain would appreciate the critical examination on both sides. That said, I also agree with your deletion of blatant proselytizing.

October 17, 2010

 
Blogger Lucid Stu said...

Nick has scholarship to burn, apparently, but he also allows enough shading to his arguments that proves the point that men always have and always will interpret the bible as they see fit.

phrases like "... being perhaps adopted by him"

and

"Obviously, Jehoiachin was 18 when he began his rule since it says he did evil in the site of the Lord which suggests maturity and responsibility."

and the whole irrational interpretation of "face to face"

not to mention such bold assertions like, "The discrepancy in ages is probably due to a copyist error." seem to suggest Nick hasn't quite grasped what it means to be sure of one's arguments before presenting them.

Admitting the potential for errors then but not allowing them now (re: your interpretation of why they exist in the first place) is just the same hubris that starts "religions" and keeps them chug-chug-chugging along.

November 19, 2010

 
Blogger nick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 20, 2010

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

comments are closed.

November 20, 2010

 

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