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Some Interesting Coincidences

This is just a coincidence I noted when someone brought up Caligula’s attempt to deify himself and build a statue in his likeness in the Jewish Temple c. 40 CE

Andrew Criddle

Caligula sought c 40 CE to have his image venerated in the Jerusalem Temple. This episode has probably helped shape the present form of Mark 13.

For information about Caligula’s plans for erecting his image in the Jerusalem temple see josephus antiquities 18 and Philo Embassy to Gaius

These texts refer to Caligula by his true name Caius/Gaius

Abe

I am interested. Do you happen to know where I can find more information on that?

Me

Ιt’s also interesting to note that he was assassinated before he could follow through with it. If he had done it, the Jews would have probably went to war with Rome 26 years earlier than what history records.

Antiochus IV set up a statue of Zeus in the temple and the Jews went to war with the Greeks (and their Hellenized Jewish sycophants) over it. The Roman Emperor Hadrian set up a statue of Jupiter on the sacred ground of the temple and again 300 years later and the Jews went to war with Rome over it; even though they had their asses handed to them two times prior (1st Jewish/Roman war and the Kitos War). Both were “abominations” (the Hebrew word is interchangeable with “idol”) that caused desolation.

No doubt Gaius attempting to deify himself and erect a statue in his likeness in the temple would have infuriated the entire Judean populace. Though if Jesus is talking about Gaius and his potentially desolating abomination, then he would have to be alive sometime in the late 30s or very early 40s (40, 41). According to Josephus, this was around the time John the Baptist was imprisoned and killed.

DC Hindley

The timeline is believed to go something like this:

Winter 39/40 CE = Petronius, governor of Syria, receives Gaius’ order to erect a statue and proceeds to head towards Judea with 2 legions.

April/May 40 CE = Petronius negotiates with Jewish elders at Ptolemais. Sends report to Gaius.

June 40 CE = Gaius receives Petronius’ report and writes back urging him to expedite execution of his order.

August 40 CE = Petronius receives Gaius’ reply but hesitates to act on it.

End of September 40 CE = Agrippa I faints when he learns what Gaius has ordered and appeals to his childhood buddy, persuading him to send an order to Petronius to abandon the plan.

Beginning of November 40 CE = Petronius has more negotiations with the Jewish elders. Sends a request to Gaius not to erect the statue.

Ending of November 40 CE = Petronius receives Gaius’ order to abandon the plan that was sent in Sept.

Beginning of January 41 CE = Gaius receives the petition from Petronius sent in early November, and responds with an order for Petronius to commit suicide for stalling instead of acting.

24 January 41 CE = Gaius is murdered.

Beginning of March 41 CE = Petronius receives the news of Gaius’ death.

Beginning of April CE = Petronius receives Gaius’ letter ordering him to commit suicide, sent in early January, but naturally ignores it. Hey, the man’s dead!

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2010 in caius, caligula, gaius, jesus, john the baptist, josephus, mark 13:14, philo

 

Why The Name "Jesus"?

Jiri –

Guys, there is no doubt in my mind, that the name Jesus was the personification of gnosis, one acquired through contemplation and interpretation of the “cosmic” peaks of ecstatic transports. The issue is here is though, how did the earliest group agree on that name if, as it appears, they argued just about everything else ?

DG –

Jiri,

I wish I knew the answer to that question. It has been pointed out that the name Jesus would have appeared numerous times in the LXX and that this may have provided the impetus for the name, itself.

In actuality, I would consider this simple issue to be one of the better reasons to consider a case for an historical founder, by that name.

Me-

Jesus is probably the most important name in the LXX besides Moses. Jesus is a prophet like Moses or maybe some saw him as more important than Moses since “[YHWH’s] name is in him” (Exodus 23:21), and Jesus was also the first high priest when the 2nd temple was dedicated upon the Jews’ return from exile.

Odd that “Jesus” or “Joshua” only starts becoming a popular name after the exile. Where are all of the famous prophets/Judeans/Israelites named “Jesus” prior to the exile? Is it because the Jesus name (or Jehoshua) itself was an invention of the Judaean/Persian elites who crafted the story once back from the exile?

Clive-

Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice;(Y) do not rebel against him,(Z) for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him.
22″But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then(AA) I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.

23(AB) “When my angel goes before you and brings you(AC) to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24you shall(AD) not bow down to their gods nor serve them,(AE) nor do as they do, but(AF) you shall utterly overthrow them and break their(AG) pillars in pieces.

Umm, what has this to do with Jesus?

Me-

Who is the person that leads the Jews into their promised land and kicks the ass of all of the native peoples there?

DG-

Joshua… aka Jesus… :notworthy:

Me-

Of course. It only makes sense in Hebrew that “[YHWH’s] name is in him” when you realize that Joshua (or Jehoshua) has YHWH’s (Jehovah’s) name in his name.

Hebrew illiterate, Greek speaking people would have thought that the name “Jesus” was just special without knowing why.

“Why does god say that his name is in Jesus?”
“Who knows… it’s a mystery”
“It must be a really special name… maybe the most important name ever!”

Thus if anyone is going to be a savior, their name had better be Jesus.

SB-

[The] well known prototypical Hebrew/Jewish ‘Joshua’ hero/saviour legendary figure [was] well in place for hundreds of years before being co-opted by the Christian mythos.

DG-

True, […] that is exaclty where I think Paul got the idea in the first place.

Josephus lists about 20 or 30 characters named “Jesus” in his works “Antiquities of the Jews”, “War of the Jews”, and his autobiography.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2009 in jehovah, jesus, joshua

 

The Messiah Before Jesus (Gabriel’s Revelation)

This was posted in spin’s blog at FRDB three days ago, and is a bit more (not by much lol) in depth explanation of my post on the introduction to the history of early Christianity back in April, where I explained that the messiah claimant here might have been a slave of Herod the Great’s named Simon (Josephus, Antiquities 17.10.6).

An Israeli scholar named Israel Knohl wrote a book called “The Messiah Before Jesus”. It was a bit thin, but proposed that the notion of a suffering messiah already existed in Jewish tradition. Recently (July 2008) an inscription came to light, sold some years before to a person living in Zurich by a Jordanian antiquities merchant through a London newspaper.

The Israeli epigrapher Ada Yardeni was approached about the inscription, resulting in its publication in a Hebrew journal, then in BAR. Yardeni called the inscription “Hazon Gabriel” (“the vision of Gabriel”). Although the stele is unprovenanced, it has been examined by Yuval Goren, the scholar who exposed the James Ossuary, and Goren could find nothing wrong with it. It is thought to have been a grave monument from an ancient Jewish tomb in Jordan and has been dated to the early first century BCE.

When Knohl came across the article and found a line “after three days…, I Gabriel…”, he examined the lacuna after “three days” and found that a word could be seen, the verb “live”, a reading that Yardeni later confirmed upon further examination. This find lends support to the existence of a tradition of a messiah who was resurrected after three days.

Early in the inscription there is mention of both David and Ephraim (son of Joseph):

My servant David, ask of Ephraim [that he] place
the sign; (this) I ask of you. — (Knohl’s translation)

The context is apparently apocalyptic, making the reference to David messianic, yet Ephraim is taken to be part of the messianic tradition here as well, a notion that is strongly supported by a passing passage in the Babylonian Talmud tractate Sukkah 52a, referring to “the slaying of Messiah the son of Joseph”.

Three essential parts of the Jesus tradition are already in circulation before the end of the 1st c. BCE:

  1. son of Joseph;
  2. his slaying; and
  3. his resurrection after three days.
 
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Posted by on October 30, 2009 in ephraim, gabriel's revelation, jesus, son of joseph

 

Will The Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

Will the real Jesus please stand up? I repeat – will the real Jesus please stand up!

…we’re going to have a problem here.

1. The first person in Jewish history to be named Jesus was also the first “Jewish Messiah”, even though he never had that title. But his actions are what each subsequent Jewish Messiah was modelled on (like Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, Judas of Galilee / Menahem son of Jair, and Simon Bar Kochba). He led the Jews to their promised land and helped establish the first Kingdom of Israel. He was the person Moses names as his successor – Jesus son of Fish.

Of course, in our modern English Bibles he is named “Joshua”, but this is a subtle sleight of hand of our modern Biblical translators. Moses actually names his successor “Yehoshua” which means “YHWH is salvation”. In Aramaic, this name was shortened to “Yeshua” from where we get the name “Joshua”. However, in the Greek version of the Torah (called the LXX) that was translated for the Greek king Ptolemy Philadelphus around 280 BCE, the name given to Hosea son of Nun (Nun is Fish in Aramaic) is Jesus. Yehoshua cannot be rendered in Greek since there is no “Y” or “J” sound in Koine Greek. Thus the first letter of his name – yod – was rendered as an iota (I) in Greek. The following vowel is rendered as an eta (H – long E), the shin rendered as sigma (S), and the ending ayin left as “ou” to keep the name masculine. Thus you end up with IHΣOY (Iesou) from where we get the name “Jesus”. So while it may read in our modern English Bibles that Moses names Hosea son of Nun “Joshua”, in 280 BCE for Greek speaking Jews (and Gentiles) Moses names Hosea son of Nun “Jesus”.

While our Bible translators authentically translate instances in the Tanakh of the Hebrew “Yehoshua” into English as “Joshua”, they still leave in other LXX (Greek) names in the Tanakh like “Genesis”, “Moses”, “Exodus”, “Psalms”, “Deuteronomy”, etc. All of those words are Greek in origin and were introduced in the LXX. On the flip side, they authentically translate “messiah” as “anointed” in our modern English versions of the Tanakh or Old Testament, yet leave the Greek version of the word “anointed” (christ) only in the New Testament. There are multiple people named or titled “christ” in the LXX. It is somewhat underhanded.

It might be a coincidence that Jesus is the son of Fish (Nun), and later Christians used the symbol of a fish for Jesus. One other hypothesis is that the abbreviation for “Jesus Christ” in Greek ([Ι]ησου [Χ]ριστου – ΙΧ) is also the first two letters for the Greek word for “fish” – ιχθυς ichthys.

In 2nd Temple Judaism there was a cult of veneration for Moses, but there was also a smaller cult of veneration for Jesus, his successor – and the first messiah.

2. Jesus is the first person named as High Priest for the rebuilt Temple upon the Jews’ return from exile (Zecharaiah 3-6). All High Priests are anointed with oil once taking office, so this “Jesus” was also a “Christ”; the Greek word for “anointed”. Again, in our English bibles, his name is rendered as “Joshua”. The earliest Christians, however, would have read this High Priests’ name as “Jesus” since they could only read Greek. The Greek speaking author of the anonymous letter to the Hebrews used Zecharaiah 3 as his inspiration.

3. Jesus son of Joiada had a brother named John who was High Priest during the reign of Artaxerxes II of Persia. John got in a fight with his brother Jesus and John subsequently kills Jesus in the temple. The fight might have been instigated because Artaxerxe’s general Bagoses had promised Jesus the high priesthood instead of John. Accordingly, Bagoses made use of this pretense, and punished the Jews seven years for the murder of Jesus (Antiquities of the Jews 11.7.1).

4. Jesus son of Sirach wrote an apocryphal Old Testament book that has been named “The Wisdom of Ben Sirach” and he lived around 180 BCE. His wisdom included mixing Greek Homer styled heroes with Old Testament theology. This Jesus was a wandering Jewish preacher who apparently was always close to getting killed due to his teachings.

5. Yesu ha-Notzri was a member of a Jewish sect called “Notzrim” around 100 BCE. He was charged with practicing sorcery and tried by the Sanhedrin. For 40 days a town crier was sent out into the streets of Jerusalem asking if anyone would come forth and speak in his defense. When no one came, he was executed; he was hanged on the eve of Passover. He apparently also had five disciples. How much of that is true or false, no one knows. It’s one of the many notes on Sanhedrin trials found in the Jewish Talmud. If this sounds eerily similar to the Jesus of Christianity, it should. “Yesu ha-Notzri” means “Jesus the Nazarene”. The Notzrim were apparently a Gnostic Jewish sect who flourished under the reign of Hasmonean queen Alexandra Helene Salome (139–67 BCE) among Hellenized supporters of Rome in Judea.

Around 100 CE, the Notzrim sect came to be the Hebrew designation for Christians (Nazarenes).

6. Jesus ben Pandira might have started or belonged to the Essenes (one of the “big three” Jewish sects in the first century besides the Pharisees and Sadducees). He was reported to have been a miracle worker and upset the Maccabean king (106-79 BCE) by continually preaching about the end times, and was eventually executed by being hanged from a tree – on the eve of Passover. Ben Pandira might be the Essene “Teacher of Righteousness”; the Essene suffering, benevolent teacher.

7. Jesus Barabbas, according to some manuscripts of the gospel of Matthew, was a violent insurrectionist who was about to be crucified when the Jews brought the Jesus of Christianity to Pilate in exchange for Barabbas. The name “Barabbas” is literally Aramaic for “son of the father” – so this Jesus is really Jesus son of the Father.

8. Jesus son of Ananias was a homeless preacher who preached solely about the end times starting around the year 62 CE. He caused a disturbance in the Temple while shouting continually “woe to Jerusalem” during the Passover feast. He was brought to the Procurator Albinus by the Jews who were worried that he was possessed by an evil spirit. This Jesus was whipped and punished in front of the procurator without saying a word other than “woe to Jerusalem” and said nothing else in his defense. Albinus, seeing that Jesus was innocent of any crime but simply out of his mind, released him.

Jesus continued to preach “woe to Jerusalem” in the streets of Judea for the next 8 years until, during the war between Judea and Rome, he was killed by a seige weapon.

9. Jesus son of Sapphias was a Jewish rebel during the first Jewish/Roman war (66 – 72 CE) who gathered a group of fishermen and poor people to mutiny against the Jewish general (and subsequent Jewish historian) Josephus. When one of Jesus’ entourage decided to betray him, he was arrested and his group of fishermen and poor people abandoned him.

10. Jesus son of Damneus had a brother named James who was illegally executed by the Sanhedrin. When the High Priest of this Sanhedrin was fired for this transgression, Jesus was subsequently given the High Priesthood.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2009 in jesus

 

The Morning Star

How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations.

– Isaiah 14:12

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.

– Revelation 22:16

This is one of the first tricky/wacky Biblical translations I discovered when I first started reading the Bible critically back in 2000. Many conservative Christians say that Isaiah 14:12 is talking about a being that the Jews thought was called Lucifer. But the actual translation of the Hebrew would be “day star” (helel). How did this happen? Well, back when Jerome translated the Hebrew Tanakh into Latin around 400 CE, he used his vernacular Latin to describe the “day star” of the Hebrew. At the time, the commonly known Day Star (or Morning Star) wasn’t called Venus, it was called Lucifer.

Lucifer comes from the Latin “lucem fer” which means light bringer. The lucem fer was a herald for the sun in Latin, thus a “morning star”. We now call this morning star Venus. In actuality, this passage of Isaiah is talking about a Babylonian king who persecuted the Jews. The title “day star” given because he wore a lot of exuberant jewelry, much like how Louis XIV got the title “Sun King”. This chapter of Isaiah is part of a larger taunt song against this Babylonian king. In the LXX version of Isaiah, “helel” is rendered as εωσφόρος (eosforos [or ewsforos]), and the rest of the passage reads “ο πρωι” which would be “[of] the morning” in Greek. Εωσφορος is a proper name which comes from φωσφορος (phosphoros) which literally means φως (light) φέρω (I bring) – light bringer. Thus the passage in Greek is faithful to the Hebrew – light bringer of the morning.

Wikipedia:

Isaiah promises that the Israelites will be freed and will then be able to use in a taunting song against their oppressor the image of the Morning Star, which rises at dawn as the brightest of the stars, outshining Jupiter and Saturn, but lasting only until the sun appears. This image was used in an old popular Canaanite story that the Morning Star tried to rise high above the clouds and establish himself on the mountain where the gods assembled, in the far north, but was cast down into the underworld. […] As the Latin poets personified the Morning Star and the Dawn (Aurora), as well as the Sun and the Moon and other heavenly bodies, so in Canaanite mythology Morning Star and Dawn were pictured as two deities, the former being the son of the latter.

Unfortunately (or humerously), Jesus apparently uses the same title for himself in Revelation 22:16 – “[bright] star of the morning” (αστήρ ο πρωίον). 2 Peter 1:19 also uses the phrase “morning star” but uses the one closer to the LXX version of Isaiah – φωσφορος, which is literally light bringer. Each case it is understood to mean the morning star.

Satan falling from heaven is strictly Christian theology, Judaism has no concept of a fallen, rebellious angel. This is due to this misunderstanding and conflation of Hebrew culture and language, Greek, and Latin culture and language. Quite literally lost in translation. But if you want to get overly literal, you could say that Jesus himself is Lucifer. You would technically be right according to the literal translation of the Latin “Lucifer” and Revelation 22:16 / 2 Peter 1:19.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2009 in jesus, lucifer, morning star

 

Dating the Book of Daniel

A favorite prophet for Christians (mainly because of the apocalyptic “Son of Man” language and the Abomination causing Desolation in chapters 7 and 8 which Jesus invokes, cf. Mark 13:14), Daniel isn’t aprophet in Judaism. Daniel was written during the Maccabean revolt c. 165 BCE, the outcome of which is still celebrated to this day with Hannukah. Daniel attempts to be writing in the 6th century BCE but was really written in the 2nd centry BCE.

Those reasons include the following:

1. Daniel contains a number of historical inaccuracies regarding Baylonian history- the era during which it is alleged by traditionalists to have been written. These include such things as the erroneous belief that Nebuchadnezzar had a son named Belshazzar, that this Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon during the Jewish captivity, that Babylon under Belshazzar fell to Darius and that Darius was a Mede. Every single one of those points is wrong. There were four kings of Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel thinks there was only one, and the one he names never existed. Nebuchadnezzar did not have a son named Belshazzar and no one by that name was ever king of Babylon. The guy who was king when Babylon fell was named Nabonidus and he was not related to Nebuchadnezzar. Interestingly, Naboninus had a son named Belshazzar but that son was never king and he died before his father did.

2. Daniel is also wrong about both the name and nationality of the person who conquered Babylon (and liberated the Jews from captivity….something which a contemporary Jew should not have gotten confused about). Babylon was not conquered by “Darius the Mede” but by Cyrus, who was Persian. There was no such person as Darius the Mede and (contrary to Daniel, who was evidently trying to backfill failed prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah) Babylon was never conquered by the Medes.

Cyrus had a grandson named Darius who eventually became king, but he, like his grandfather, was a Persian, not a Mede. Daniel also says that “Darius the Mede” was the son of Xerxes, but Xerxes was actually the son of Darius, not his father. It is quite implausible that any Jewish person who survived the entire exile would get this many things wrong but would be entirely to be expected by anyone who was writing historical fiction several centuries later.

3. The Book of Daniel contains a number of historical anachronisms which date it well after the Exile and into the Hellenistic period. It uses Greek words and references a Greek musical instrument which didn’t exist until the 2nd century BCE (Dan 3:5 contains “psaltery”, which is Greek). it contains Aramaic dialect which dates well after the exilic period. It contains an anachronistic use of the word “Chaldean” to refer to astrologers. That word was only an ethnic indicator during the era of the exile and only came to be used for astrologers much later. Daniel contains post-exilic eschatological ideas about such things as a resurrection and judgement of the dead. Daniel also references the book of Jeremiah as a “sacred book” (i.e. as scripture) but Jeremiah would have been a contemporary of Daniel and the Book of Jeremiah did not become part of Jewish Canon until c. 200 CE.

4. Daniel is very accurate about the Greek period and makes historically sound “predictions” regarding Alexander’s conquest and subsequent dynasties up to and including the reign of Antiochus, his installation of a statue of Zeus in the Temple (167 BCE – the Abomination causing Desolation) and the Jewish revolt against him. Once Daniel gets past 164 BCE, though, the predictions all fail. Daniel predicted that Antiochus would be killed in Palestine by a Ptolemaic king from the south and then the end of the world would come. Antiochus died not in Palestine, but in Persia, not by a king from the south but by an illness. Obviously, the world never ended either.

This is a clear indication that Daniel was written after the installation of the “abomination” in the Temple (167 BCE) but before the death of Antiochus (164 BCE). Christians have a lot of problems understanding Daniel. They even think the text is a prophetic text, but the Jews place it amongst the other writings (Ketuvim). Christians should give the Hebrew bible back to the Jews and stop making such a mess with it.

If we turn to ch.11 we find a series of conflicts between the kings of the north and the kings of the south immediately after the time of Alexander, the warrior king of 11:3 and the diadochi in 11:4. The king of the north is clearly Seleucid and the king of the south is Ptolemy and chapter 11 describes the Syrian Wars.

The fulcrum is the stopping of temple sacrifices (and the persecution of the Jews from 167 to 164 BCE), 11:31, 9:27 and 8:11 – this last is done by the little horn, who we also see is the culmination of the fourth beast in chapter 7, who attacked the Jews and attempted to change the seasons and the laws.

The four beasts of chapter 7, the lion (Babylon), the bear (Media), the panther (Persians), the unnamed beast – the elephant to us – (Greece), is the same progression in the statue of Dan 2, which has the Greek empire dividing into two legs, the Seleucids and the Ptolemies. The feet made of iron and clay indicate the varying power that the two empires were able to wield.

The usual Christian view is to interperet that the Medes and the Persians were really one empire, despite the fact that the Persians conquered the Medes. The Jews of course saw Media as separate from the Persians, Isaiah 13:17-19 prophecying that the Medes would destroy Babylon.

The Romans are obviously not the legs of the statue in Dan 2. The Seleucid and Ptolemy kingdoms explain the data correctly and the struggle between them, the kings of the north and south, is outlined in Dan 11. Dan 2:43 deals with the marriage of Berenice with Antiochus II, which was an attempt to unite the two kingdoms, an attempt which failed.

(The major primary sources are Polybius’s history and 2 Maccabees. More information about the struggle between the Seleucids and Ptolemies can be found in any history of the Hellenistic period.) In addition, the canon of the Prophets (Nevi’im) was closed by about 200 BC with the composition of Malachi. The apocryphal book of Jesus ben Sirach (who I wrote a bit about here), written about 180 BCE, contains a long section (chapters 44-50) in praise of “famous men” from Jewish history that does not include Daniel. However 1 Maccabees, composed about 100 BCE, repeats much of that list with the addition of Daniel and the three youths in the fiery furnace, leading to the conclusion that these stories were likely added to Hebrew literature sometime after 180 BCE.

However, Daniel could be a “prophecy” of the events of the Maccabean Rebellion… that means it wasn’t a prophecy about Jesus.

This interpretation of Daniel fits Maccabees (specifically 1 Maccabees 1:54) where the desecrating idol of Antiochus is referred to as an “Abomination of Desolation” (see Daniel 9:27). Also, Josephus identified the “little horn” as Antiochus (Antiquities 10:11).

Daniel was intended to be read as a “prophecy” of (or writing about) the Maccabean Rebellion, so it was more than likely written during this time period. Though later Christians have Jesus reinterpreting it to make it a prophecy about Jesus.

Incidently, the events in the Maccabean rebellion and the Bar-Kochba rebellion are similar. Just like Daniel was more than likely written during the Maccabean revolt, the Christian gospels might have been written during the Bar-Kochba rebellion. Both events have a pagan statue being erected on the sacred ground of the temple insigating Jewish rebellion. Though to be fair, Hadrian erected a statue of Jupiter on the grounds of the temple mount in 132 CE (since the temple had been destroyed in 70 CE) and Antiochus erected a statue of Zeus actually inside of the still standing temple in 167 BCE.

 

The Literal Adam

Romans 5
12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

20The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Here Paul outlines the basics of the “Original Sin” doctrine of Christianity. The entire point that Jesus was sacrificed. It seems as though Paul thought that there was a literal Adam. The one man through whom all sin and death entered the world. Paul’s argument can only make sense if there was a literal “first human being” since he juxtaposes it with how the other “one man”, Jesus, nullified Adam’s transgression of bringing death into the world.

Unfortunately, the existence of a literal Adam is impossible. The Christian creation story is absurd, and doesn’t answer why death “entered” the world.

If Adam and Eve couldn’t die before getting kicked out of Eden, then you’re left with a ridiculous situation. Why do we get hungry? Because we are dying. If Adam couldn’t die, then he couldn’t have possibly gotten hungry. This means that Adam must not have had a digestive system. No esophagus, no stomach, no gall bladder, no small intestine, no large intestine, no rectum, no anus. Since he didn’t have any of that stuff, then there’s really no reason for a circulatory system either. So no blood.

If he had no blood then there’s no purpose for having lungs. This makes “sense” (lol) since Adam couldn’t die. Therefore he couldn’t have ever suffocated or drowned before the Fall.

What you’re left with is some sort of inhuman homonculous Adam that is simply filled with smaller “Adams” until you get to a G. I. Joe sized Adam that is filled with creamy nougat.

Even if I grant [you] that Adam got hungry, this still necessitates death being in the world prior to the Fall. Creationists like to claim that every animal prior to the Fall was a vegetarian. But this really betrays their ignorance of basic biology. Plants are alive. In order to eat them, they have to die. Therefore, “death” was in the world prior to the Fall if life forms got hungry.

Even if I allow all of this nonsense to be granted as true, you’re still left with a nonsense situation. Death enters the world because of sin. In order for there to be sin, there has to be this great, awesome, gift of free will. This gift of free will is so awesome, that god refuses to transgress it to prevent suffering.

So we have free will > sin > death.

So once we get to heaven, there’s ostensibly no death. But if there’s no death – and the only reason why there’s death in the first place is because of sin – then there’s no sin in heaven. But if there’s no sin in heaven, then there must not be free will in heaven. Since free will is the only reason why sin exists, right? Therefore when you get to your heaven, you are simply some sort of godbot without a soul. This great, awesome gift of free will isn’t so awesome once you’re in heaven.

All around, the Christian doctrine of “Original Sin” is patently absurd. If there was no literal Adam, then the first major premise of Christianity – as argued by Paul in Romans 5 – is done away with; and Jesus’ death makes no sense.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2009 in early Christianity, jesus, paul

 
 
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My ὑπομνήματα about religion

Euangelion Kata Markon

A blog dedicated to the academic study of the "Gospel According to Mark"

PsyPost

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

PsyBlog

Understand your mind with the science of psychology -

Vridar

Musings on biblical studies, politics, religion, ethics, human nature, tidbits from science

Maximum Entropy

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

atheist, polyamorous skeptics

Criticism is not uncivil

Say..

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

Research Digest

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

Disrupting Dinner Parties

Feminism is for everyone!

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

The New Oxonian

Religion and Culture for the Intellectually Impatient

The Musings of Thomas Verenna

A Biblioblog about imitation, the Biblical Narratives, and the figure of Jesus