Sunday, March 31, 2002
"I find it impossible to dismiss the existence of God when faced with the beauty of the outdoors."
Oh, and he also earned himself a permalink in the Heathens and/or Liberals section.
As an (currently, at least) English major, I feel it my duty to contribute something worthy to the world. Thus, I propose to teach how to properly punctuate words with an apostrophe at the end.
My friend's name is Mark Jones. Mark Jones' wife's name is Ellen. The Joneses invited me over for dinner one night. Under the table was the Joneses' dog Yappy, hoping for scraps.
Jones is Mark's last name.
Jones' refers to something that belongs to Mark or is characteristic of him. It could also be written Jones's, though that's a little clunky for my taste.
Joneses refers to more than one person named Jones. Usually, if the people related, you say "The Joneses" or "Mark and Ellen Jones," while if they're not, you would say "Mark Jones and Eric Jones."
Joneses' refers to something that belongs to the Jones family or is characteristic of them. Again, you could write it Joneses's, but that looks a little silly.
Sorry if I was a little pedantic, I just get tired of seeing these mistakes all the time.
Make a movie about the Old Testament, and call it God.
Then make the sequel, and it could be Son of God.
I suppose if you were Mormon, you could also have Return of Son of God, but now I'm just getting silly.
It also occurred to me how great the blogging world is. Where else could I read great essays on theology from Catholics, Protestants, and
Saturday, March 30, 2002
Today is Holy Saturday, and is thus a very good time to address the question of why it was necessary for Christ to die, or even exist in the first place. Now, I don't presume to tell you exactly What It All Means. In the words of Ben Domenech, that would be unspeakably arrogant. However, the idea of Christ is, ironically enough, the part of the whole Christian thing with which I have the most trouble. I know it's central to all Catholic doctrines (as distinguished from Arian and Gnostic doctrines, for instance), but it's been very hard for me to understand. I'll try to start with basic ideas and try and build them together into some sort of free-standing structure (and I'll also try to keep the mixing of metaphors to a minimum).
Hardly anyone disagrees that Jesus Christ was a good moral teacher. There may be disagreements about certain practices, but overall, he's well-respected. Unfortunately for simplicity, that's not all there is. C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity asks how we can accept the teachings of a man who claims to be God if we deny his divinity. After all, while a loon may speak truth, he's usually pretty unreliable.
Perhaps the best way to go from here would be to examine Jesus' teachings, and see how radically different they were from contemporary Jewish teachings. If there's a historical basis in Jewish theology for them, and the modifications remain in the "spirit of the law," then we can at least establish that his teachings themselves were sound, even if we believe him not to be. Passages of prophecy will not be addressed here, only actual teachings. In Matthew 4:4-11, Jesus resists temptation by following Hebrew scripture, not deviating at all. In Matt. 5-7, though, we see him commenting on Jewish law in the beatitudes. In Matt. 5:17, Jesus says "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill." From this, we can gather that Christ did not want to nullify everything the Jews had already known, but to show that what had come before was just the groundwork for the coming Kingdom of God. The laws in the Pentateuch (Torah) had the effect of keeping God's chosen people, the Hebrews, distinguishable from surrounding peoples. Similarly, we see in the beatitudes a way of keeping God's people morally separate from others. They all had the purpose of emphasizing the importance of loving your neighbor, and thus loving God. This is fully in line with Jewish teachings, and so we can conclude that Jesus' teachings were beyond reproof.
Next, we must look at statements of divinity. Jesus Christ's self-referential claims of being the "Son of Man" and "Son of God" do not in themselves prove anything. All humans (except possibly Adam) are the "Son of Man." The title "Son of God" is similarly not definitive, as Hebrew kings were anointed "Son of God" upon their coronation. Furthermore, in Genesis 6:1-4, we learn that the "sons of God" came down, bred with humans, and produced the Nephilim. In Matthew 5:9, Jesus says "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." In Luke 20:36, we are told that those who will be resurrected will be "sons of God." However, while not definitive, they are helpful. As shown by Matthew 4:3, 4:6, 8:29, 14:33, 26:63, 27:40, 27:43, 27:54, and Mark 3:11, it wasn't expected that one would actually be the Son of God. Jesus' miracles and the miracles his disciples worked while acting faithfully were tokens that they were sons of God. I think what it comes down to is that I'm not sure Christ is the same thing as God.
It seems to me that Jesus Christ was a prophet and messiah. Many say that Christ was God in the flesh, and thus God met us half-way by learning what it was like to be a man. I don't discount that, but I think it's more likely that he was a divinely inspired and guided man, and that it was as if he never had need of spiritual resurrection, and was thus made like God at his baptism. He was sinless, and thus was a perfect example for those seeking to love God. By being crucified, he rendered to Caesar what was Caesar's, while remaining faithful to God. By emulating him, we too can become sons of God through grace.
Of course, I'm still turning all this over, so it's quite possible this Foray will need to be significantly revised.
Friday, March 29, 2002
All I can say is: finally.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for --
But everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
-Found on the body of an anonymous teenaged Confederate soldier
Thursday, March 28, 2002
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
"Hie ye hence from ma heath! What, dunnae ye spake English?"
Meanwhile, the campus rag here ran a cartoon today that first appeared in the Sacramento Bee last Tuesday. Disgusting.
I know I have a very small voice in the blogging community, but I think it's time we bring Israel back to the forefront of American politics. If enough of us do it, then perhaps we can actually make a difference. Today begins Passover. Every day until Easter, I will post about why the Israelis are right and the Palestinians are a bunch of whining, vicious animals. I'd appreciate any company I can get. Balloon Juice and VodkaPundit have already been doing this, and I'm proud to join with them.
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
UPDATE: After looking at Oxford's Virtual Tour, I've come to the conclusion that the Britons dress like they did in the 1980s, judging by the pictures I've seen of my dad. Plain, bold colors and rugby shirts appear to predominate. I'm thinking my Hawaiian shirt would look out of place.
Of course, there is some room for disagreement, since it's also believed that I'll die on February 15, 2054 at the age of 71, probably of cancer, but possibly of a horrible accident or confusion.
"Stop! We have reached the limits of what rectal probing can teach us." -Kodos and Kang
Is anyone out there going to the Virginia College Republican Convention on April 6th in Virginia Beach?
Governor Mark Warner: I voted against you twice, you Connecticut carpetbagger. Run as a conservative, will you?
Senator John Warner: Real Republicans don't vote for Campaign Finance Reform, Partial-Birth Abortion, and letting Clinton off the hook. I mean, you're only good on economics and the military, and even Chuck Robb was good for the military! I never thought I'd see a Virginia RINO.
AOL Time-Warner: Actually, they haven't done anything to annoy me. Then again, the complaining of people who are upset with them is getting to me...
Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Personally, I am literally 100% behind Israel. Let's take the facts, and we'll see what we see:
1. The Palestinians never had their own country, generally referred to themselves as "Southern Syrians," and didn't mind a potential state of Israel until they realized that the Zionists were a lot more advanced and wealthy than they were.
2. The British controlled what is now Israel and Jordan until their independence, and allowed Jews to settle in what was then called Palestine.
3. Upon declaring independence, Israel was invaded by seven neighboring Arab countries in order to destroy it.
4. In this first invasion, the Israeli Palestinians were warned by the coming armies to leave, and they could return when Israel was destroyed. Most did, leaving their countrymen to be butchered.
5. Palestinians are despised by other Arabs, who don't seem especially willing to let them settle in their countries.
6. Arab nations have consistently attacked and instigated intifada against Israel, including attacking on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.
7. The Palestinians have consistently rejected plans to give them their own lands, and want to drive the Jews into the sea.
Are we starting to see a pattern here?
I honestly think the Israelis have the right to expel every single Palestinian from their country and threaten to nuke Mecca and Medina if their sovereignty is violated again. The Palestianians aren't serious about peace.
Brilliant idea: Give the Palestinians Saudi Arabia!
However, that's not enough to prevent me from my polemics. I do disagree with the RCC on several issues, most notably praying to saints, mariology/-latry, and the priesthood. On the first charge, why not pray directly to God? Having a patron saints of particular causes sounds an awful lot like covert polytheism to me. As a Protestant, my understanding of what happens when we die is that we go to sheol/purgatory, and wait until Judgement Day (not the movie), with the faithful being resurrected. Now, some of the dead must obviously be in Heaven already, as evidenced by Mark 9, but it still seems to me that it's silly to pray to an intermediary when you can pray to Eloi/Adonai/YHWH/El Shaddai/I Am/Lord of Hosts/God himself.
As for Mary, I don't see much about her to merit her lofty status. Yes, it was a blessing to give birth to the Christ. And yes, she did show great faith. However, my only recollection of Mary after that is trying to talk to Jesus, and being told that his followers were his true "mother and brothers." Christ didn't seem to hold her in especially high regard. Peter, James, and John seem to have been closest to Jesus, and yet they're not considered co-redemptors. Heck, we hardly ever even hear about James, though Peter did get to go on to be Pope and John was the only apostle not martyred. As for the notion of Mary also being of immaculate conception, I'm not sure where this came from. The closest I can figure is that in order to conceive immaculately, she must also have been immaculately conceived. Of course, one must ask "What about Mary's mother? Why could she do it, but not Mary?" Personally, I think her status came about from a mingling of medieval church and romances, with Mary being seen as the ultimate in a fitting ideal of adoration. The rosary, which I've been told is like giving a rose to Mary, seems to confirm this to me. I also don't think that Mary was sinless, and she obviously didn't remain a virgin, since she had other children.
Finally, the priesthood. I can't really find any examples of Christian priests, besides Christ himself. There are plenty of ministers, and church officers (deacons and deaconesses), but no priests as Catholicism seems to understand them. I also don't know of the basis for allowing Popes to be any more infallible than anyone else. It was Peter himself who was granted authority, not his role. The whole "Thou art Peter" doctrine just seems to lack evidence for me.
I think that what happened was that the Catholic church used a lot of allusion and metaphor in early practice, but later forgot that they were only using a familiar proxy to describe the real thing, and began regarding the teaching tools as the Truth. Catholics often accuse Protestants of being too literal in their reading of the Bible, but it seems to me that the Catholics themselves are too literal themselves and misunderstand their own teachings.
Monday, March 25, 2002
I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I try not to swear. I don't screw. I'm a Christian. I'm an economic and social conservative. I try not to break the law. I greatly respect the military.
I don't drink or do drugs because, well, they're illegal. To me, if you willingly break the law, then you're a hypocrite if you ever try and use the law to protect yourself or your interests. Now, there's room for "youthful indiscretions" and the like, but the idea is that you need to grow out of those before you can claim protection. Being young isn't an excuse, either, if you know that what you're doing is wrong and just figure that you'll regret it later. While I'm in England this summer, I'll do some drinking, since they're legal age is 18. I suppose if I was in Amsterdam, I might consider smoking up, though of course I'd have to be mindful of the fact that many employers ask "have you ever done marijuana?" regardless of whether it was legal or not.
I don't smoke because, well, I don't. No moral stance here, just a personal decision. If other people want to smoke, they have my full support so long as they don't interfere too much with the quality of the air I personally breathe. On the other hand, I think that just dropping butts is littering. If you're going to smoke, you need to throw away your trash, not leave it to fester on the ground. The government needs to stop screwing with the tobacco companies. I agree that cigarettes shouldn't be sold to minors, but I think the companies have the right to develop a "brand loyalty" with youths so long as they don't sell to them. If they were smart, you'd have Marlborough making not only tobacco, but also something like jeans or sunglasses so as to piggyback the cigarettes on the more palatable items. Virginia famers growing tobacco are hurt by these regulations, and these heavy taxes are a burden. If you're going to try and de facto outlaw tobacco, then you need to subsidize a crop transition with the taxes being pulled in from cigarettes.
I try not to swear because I'm a Christian and because I just think it's rude, especially in mixed company. My ears almost literally hurt and my heart breaks when I hear otherwise attractive girls dropping the F-bomb like they're pilots in Linebacker II. It's not that the words aren't descriptive, but that decorum states that you should avoid them. If you need to punctuate your speech with words to give you time to think and express, just find something else to say. You of course have the right to free speech, but other people have the right to think you're a jerk or of otherwise inferior quality and react accordingly.
I don't have sex because I think we're meant to wait until marriage. Of course I'm bound to this by my Christian beliefs, but I also see plenty of secular reasons. First, we would eliminate virtually all venereal diseases in just about a generation. Think about it: the permanent cure for AIDS and the like is for just one generation to be monogamous. I also think women are getting taken advantage of. Women aren't as strong as men, but they can exercise complete control by simply denying themselves to their would-be lovers. By giving in, they've lost their most effective bargaining tool. As for me, I would be very hesitant to marry someone who wasn't a virgin. If both of you wait until marriage, it's literally incomparable. Furthermore, by being the only source of sex for each other, you've got a safety net that might save a marriage that is otherwise unworkable. I'm not saying that sex is a basis for a relationship, but that it might be that one little thing which tides you over until you can reconcile.
Saturday, March 23, 2002
"Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you secretly long for cold-hearted Republicans to lower taxes, brutalize criminals and rule you like a king!"
Friday, March 22, 2002
A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by
repeated action from one mind to another.
Perhaps I'm the only one to appreciate the sublime irony of it all.
UPDATE: He also apparently voted to allow partial-birth abortions. That settles it.
-e.e. cummings, |(a
The city is officially a nuke-free zone, so note to Al Qaeda, if you have a nuke, don’t you dare set it off in Arcata. Don’t even bring it into the city limits – you’d be violating a Municipal Ordinance with your nuclear ordinance."
Thursday, March 21, 2002
Yo no soy medico, no soy chapusero,
Solamente soy pobre, y ya estoy tan solo
(I'm not a doctor, I'm not a joker, only a poor man, and now I'm so alone)
I thought it was:
Yo no soy medico, no soy chapusero,
Solamente soy pobre, y ya estoy Han Solo
(I'm not a doctor, I'm not a joker, only a poor man, and now I'm Han Solo)
-Sublime, Chica mi Tipo
Maybe not funny to you, but I'm the one who counts in this case.
UPDATE: Apparently, I was going off poor vision and bad information (the Iron Line of politics). I only saw one or two white shirts, which represent women who've died of violence. The color I saw most of was yellow/beige, which represents women who've been battered or assaulted. There are more colors representing other things like incest, sexual assault, and homophobia, but I'll just say that they were all fairly represented. What got to me wasn't that there were so many shirts, but that there were so few. Over ten years, they'd accumulated about 300 shirts. That's only about 30 per year, of all kinds of assault (which is simply the threat of violence). Of course this isn't what it should be, and I'm sure there are plenty of cases that weren't reported or put on shirts, but I was still underwhelmed.
Which of the following is TRUE about the news media?
1. Journalists tend to have a liberal bias in their reporting.
2. Journalists tend to be subjective in their reporting.
3. Journalists tend to be negative.
4. None of the above.
Unfortunately, I sold out. I'm not so principled that losing 2 points on a test is unimportant to me. I put #3. I am shamed.
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
more to come...
Tuesday, March 19, 2002
In the Tuesday, Feb. 19 edition of the Collegiate Times, the article "Fraternity rated first by Playboy" was written based on false information provided by the fraternity. The Collegiate Times regrets this error."
The CT won't rename the frat who pulled this off, but I will.
Advantage: Sigma Alpha Epsilon!
Seriously, I'm just about to stop blogrolling and actually provide original content. Really.
UPDATE: "Creamy Nougat" isn't a category on the Sarges' page. It doesn't really make sense, either, so I shouldn've known. Disadvantage: HokiePundit!
Monday, March 18, 2002
Sunday, March 17, 2002
Saturday, March 16, 2002
One of the things that most irritates me is when people deliberately use semantics to avoid facing the real question. One of the best examples of these is the "If God is all-powerful, could he make a rock so big he couldn't lift it?" In a question where you lose no matter if you answer yes or no, you must debunk the question. I would say that there are some things that can't be created. Is it because God is limited? No. God couldn't create a stone too big for him to lift because he is all-powerfuln and thus nothing beyond him (to quote from Star Wars, "size matters not"). Similarly, God couldn't just create humans who loved him unconditionally. To do so would defeat the purpose, since there's no joy in the assured. Is God cruel for doing this, knowing that some people will be unable to be saved? No. The Bible says that even Satan is salvageable, and he's far worse than any humans. Thus, everyone has a chance. I don't think that fully answers the Problem of Evil, but it's a start.
"I think it's worth a human life, don't you?"
"I believe our goal is one and the same: the pursuit of the truth."
"I wish I could share it. I wish everyone, if only for a moment--could feel that sense of awe, and humility... and hope. That continues to be my wish."
"I had... an experience. I can't prove it. I can't even explain it. All I can tell you is that everything I know as a human being, everything I am -- tells me that it was real. I was given something wonderful. Something that changed me. A vision of the universe that made it overwhelmingly clear just how tiny and insignificant -- and at the same time how rare and precious we all are. A vision... that tells us we belong to something greater than ourselves... that we're not--that none of us--is alone."
Also, I highly recommend BraveNet for tracking your visitors (note to Conspiracy Theory types: I just look where you come from, not at your interesting banking habits). HokiePundit: Product Placement with My Ego in Mind(TM)
Friday, March 15, 2002
UPDATE: I cringe at the possible repercussions of the above statement.
Thursday, March 14, 2002
UPDATE: K-Dogg informs me that I haven't been dumped. Not that I won't start a Blog Watch V some day, though.
The Hokie-Pokie is what it's all about. I invite you to procure tickets to a Virginia Tech football game next season and watch in anticipation and childlike wonder as 330 uniformed maniacs do the Hokie-Pokie at halftime. Perhaps then you will realize that it's not such a bad fate after all (unless you're UVA, *snicker*).
Wednesday, March 13, 2002
Who needs content? HokiePundit: Tastes Great, Less Filling
Now, it seems to me that we have several things happening. The first is that artists are selling their product, and receiving money in return. As I understand it, they retain the rights to play their songs in public, unless otherwise stipulated. Secondly, record companies are selling their product, and receiving money in return, with the purchaser gaining the right to listen to their purchase and play it in public for noncommercial purposes. Another group of people, deciding that they want both the songs and the money in their pockets, take the songs without paying for them. Am I missing something, or is this what we consider stealing?
The RIAA may well be stupid beyond belief for not giving in to pressure. That is their right. It's their property. Musicians are threatening to release stuff straight to the web, as well. Again, that's their right (so long as they haven't sold it first). However, they shouldn't be surpised when no one buys their albums any more. After all, why buy something when you can get it for free? For the album art and liner notes? Now, I will say that the Canadian government is misguided for putting such a silly tax on things capable of storing MP3s, though once again, within their rights.
Right to sell your compositions: yes
Right to sell purchased compositions: yes
Right to get commercial products without payment: no
Right to tax whatever you feel like: stupid, but probably there
"Since the PT Cruiser's been out, I've been in love with it. Some people asked why I didn't get a Corvette or something like that, but I just like it because it's just a different car."
However, investigative pseudo-journalist that I am, I went and looked up the facts. The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor retails for $23,175, while the basic PT Cruiser sells for around $17,000. On the other hand, the Crown Victoria has things like a 4.6 V-8 engine and rear-wheel drive, compared to the Cruiser's 2.5 V-4 and front-wheel drive. However, if it's going to be used for the DARE program and not to chase down marauding bandits (Blacksburg: Fortress Virginia), we should be okay.
Tuesday, March 12, 2002
Actually, I can't. While I disagree with most of the stuff Mark put on his site, he does make a decent argument for liberalism. Most liberals (and to be fair, a lot of conservatives) seem to use emotion rather than reason to justify their ideas, but he actually presents things in a palatable cause-and-effect format. For a taste, try this, and be sure to check out the rest of his site!
UPDATE: On one hand, I know that my support for VodkaPundit is merely a drop in the barrel for him. On the other hand, if you've seen that one Foster's commercial, you know that every drop counts.
Now, he says that he's sick of the word "quagmire." Thus, I have a modest proposal. Henceforth, I propose that all bloggers shall use the term "dropping the Q-bomb" whenever they feel the need to use a synonym for swampy deathtrap. Peter Sellers fans will think I'm brilliant for coming up with this (that's an order), everyone else will think that I'm a loser. I can deal with that.
Monday, March 11, 2002
Sunday, March 10, 2002
1. Why our education system sucks (a scholarly treatise).
2. The Problem of Evil
3. Whither AYBABTU?
4. "What I learned from reading this book"
5. Why do people dislike Christians?
6. People locks to protect guns
7. Are there conflicts between religion and technology?
8. Why I'm not quite Straight Edge
Philosophers: St. Thomas Aquinas
Colossal Death Robots: Optimus Prime
“Twentieth-century standards of scientific, historical precision and accuracy on the biblical writers does not hold true for any ancient writings. For instance, the Scripture describes things phenomenologically—that is, as they appear to be, even as they appear to us. It speaks of the sun rising and setting. Of course, we know that the sun doesn’t actually rise and set but that the earth rotates. We use sunrise and sunset, even in an age of scientific enlightenment, because this is a convenient way of describing what appears to be happening. Consequently, we cannot charge the Bible with error when it speaks phenomenologically. It speaks in this way, as have people of all ages and cultures.
The same standards of exactness in historical matters were not used in ancient times. Although illustrations abound of the wars, dynasties and reigns of kings in the Bible, round numbers were used rather than precise figures. Today we also do this. When the police estimate a crowd, we know the figure is not precise but close enough for their purpose.
Some apparent errors may be errors in transcription when hand copying the texts. Gutenberg invented the printing press and printed the first Bible in Latin in the 1450s. Although tedious, hand copying had been the method used previously to make Bibles during the centuries before Gutenberg. Remarkably, evidence has demonstrated the overall accuracy of the text from copy to copy over time with very minor mistakes due to the utmost care given to each copy.
In comparing these thousands of biblical documents, some problems as yet do not yield a ready explanation. We can freely admit this, remembering many times in the past when possible discrepancies in a text were resolved when more data became available. Therefore, the logical position would be, where there are areas of seeming contradictions, to hold the problem in abeyance. We can admit our present inability to explain and await the possibility of new data. The presence of problems does not prevent us from accepting the Bible as the supernatural word of God.”
-Paul E. Little, Know Why You Believe
“There is a close parallel between science and Christianity which surprisingly few seem to notice. As Christianity assumes that all in the Bible is supernatural, so the scientist assumes that all in nature is rational and orderly. Both are hypotheses based, not on all of the evidence, but on the evidence “for the most part.”
Science devoutly holds to the hypothesis that all of nature is mechanical, though, as a matter of fact, the mysterious electron keeps jumping around as expressed by what is called the Heisenberg principle of uncertainty.
How does science justify its hypothesis that all of nature is mechanical, when it admits on other grounds many areas of nature do not seem to conform to this pattern? The answer is that since regularity is observed in nature “for the most part,” the smoothest hypothesis is to assume the same throughout the whole.”
–E.J. Carnell, An Introduction to Christian Apologetics
These are examples provided to me from the same listserv, showing where math and the Bible don't always agree.
(1) I Chronicles 3:22 --> 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 6
(2) 1 Chronicles 25:3 --> 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 6
1 Chron. 25:3 says “Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, , Mattithiah....” QED.
(3) Joshua 15:33-36 --> 15 cities = 16 cities
(4) 1 Kings 7:23, 2 Chronicles 4:2 --> 2 * pi * 5 cubits = 30 cubits
In ancient times, pi was reckoned as 3.0. 2*3*6=30 cubits.
(5) 1 Chronicles 3:19-20 --> 7 males + 1 female = 5 persons
1 Chron 3:19-20 says “19...And the sons of Zerubbabel were Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister; 20 and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed, five.” The five clearly refers to the sons in verse 20, not to the entire family.
(6) Joshua 15:21-32 --> 29 cities = 36 cities
(7) 2 Chronicles 21:20, 22:1,2 --> Son is 2 years older than father!
Jehoram died at the age of forty, having ascended to the throne at age 32 and dying eight years later. His son Ahaziah became king at the age of 22, meaning that he would’ve been born when his father was 18, which is reasonable.
(8) Ezra 1:9-11 --> 1000 + 29 + 30 + 410 + 1000 = 5400
The Apocryphal (which doesn’t mean wrong, but simply not canon) book 1 Esdras lists the items slightly differently, and comes up with 5469 items. As was common practice at the time, the largest round number (5400) is given as the total.
(9) Joshua 19:2-6 --> 13 cities = 14 cities
(10) Ezra 2:3,64; Neh. 7:8,66 --> 42,360 = 29,818 = 31,089
The list in Nehemiah is later than that in Ezra, and is updated. Both passages list only the “sons” and “men of” in the figures of 29,818 and 31,089, while they list “the whole assembly,” presumably including women, as 42,360.
Examples 1, 3, 6, and 9 do appear to be errors, most likely from translation. In each case, a list is simply miscounted. It is also possible that portions of the list got lost, and the Dead Sea Scrolls may be able to help fill in the gap. In none of these cases are things of theological significance missing. If grammatical and spelling errors were enough to conclude that something was wrong, then I shouldn’t have paid any attention to my Physics or Zoology professors last semester. Only when things directly contradict each other should this be brought up. There is a legal principle that “the law takes no notice of small things,” and a similar scientific principle called the Five-percent Rule.
These questions were posed to me on the Virginia Tech Freethinkers discussion group. If anyone has any refutations of my defenses, or additions, please tell me.
No matter how you read it, it's incontrovertible that God promised Tyre would be 'erased from the map' and that never happened.
Alexander the Great razed the city, executed the men, and sold the women and children into slavery. This seems like being wiped from the map, even if they did later rebuild the city.
Judas still explodes in a field AND hangs himself.
Only twice does the term "hanged" appear in the Bible. In the first, 2 Sam 17:23, it explicitly states that the person "hanged himself; and died...." Matthew's account does not go on to state that he died. Hanging is not always
a reliable method of suicide, especially when attaching the rope to a tree branch. "Falling on your sword" as the ancient Romans did is similar to the method described in Acts, and has a far greater chance of success. Thus, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that he failed in his first attempt.
Jesus' lineage is still different between Matthew and Luke.
Only one of the lineages claims be physically his. He would've been considered an adopted son of Joseph, and thus under Jewish law able to lay claim to Joseph's lineage as well as Mary's.
Different people show up at his tomb to find different scenarios, depending on the book you're reading.
The Bible doesn't say that all these occur at the same time, either.
Jesus appears in four different places after his 'resurrection,' depending on the book you're reading.
He actually appears in ten different places. These occur over time. If I were to say that I'm taking Physics, US Gov't, English, and Calculus, do I prove myself wrong?
sometimes in the same passage!! Here's a few examples:
Man was created before the animals Genesis 2:18-19; Man was created after the animals Genesis 1:25-27
Man was created spiritually before the animals and physically after them. Look at the language more closely.
God is satisfied with his works; it is good in Genesis 1:31; God is dissatisfied with his works, decides to destroy it all in Genesis
Man hadn't sinned yet in Genesis 1:31. In Gen 6:6, all men have become sinful except Noah and his family.
God punishes his chosen people (Israel) repeatedly for their wickedness in Numbers 11:1, 11:33, 16:35, 16:44-49, and 21:5;
God has not seen wickedness in Israel Numbers 23:21.
At the time of Num 23:21, the wickedness of the previous chapters is in the past. In Num 23:21, Balaam is reciting God's message to him, and is saying that God is delivering a blessing because Israel is not currently wicked.
Robbery is forbidden by God Exodus 20:15 and Leviticus 19:13, but robbery is commanded by God Exodus 3:21-22 and 12:35-36.
The easiest response is to once again point out that God forbids stealing after earlier "commanding" it. However, a better response is to point out that in Exodus 3:21-22,35-36, God is commanding the Hebrews to recover that which was stolen from them by the Egyptians.
Making of graven images is forbidden Exodus 20:4, but making of graven images is commanded Exodus 25:18-20.
The Bible actually refers to idols in these passages, with special reference to graven images as idols. The Ten Commandments in Ex. 20:4 ban making idols for oneself. This was in response to the practice at the time of having personal gods other than YHWH. The Ark of the Covenant described in Ex. 25:18-20 is not for the Israelites to worship, but for the glorification of God. Thus, it is not an idol, and is not forbidden by the Ten Commandments.
God forbids Moses from counting the Levites in the Israeli census in Numbers 1:48, but God commands Moses to count the Levites in the Israeli census in Numbers 3:15
God forbids counting the Levites when Moses is taking a census for the purposes of raising an army. Later, God commands Moses to count the Levites, since they are to belong to God alone, and not to the Hebrew administration. Once again, God commanding one thing at one time and commanding something else later is not an inaccuracy. If I say at 10AM that I'm not hungry, and at noon that I am hungry, I haven't refuted myself.
Good works are to be seen of men in Matthew 5:16, good works are NOT to be seen in Matthew 6:1.
In the first passage, Christ is commanding that good works be done, and that it is to be hoped that people see and follow their example so that they might also do good. In the second passage, Christ is saying to not do good deeds in order to make other think more highly of you, as the Pharisees do. The difference is between doing good works to inspire others and doing good works
to make others admire you.
No one can ever see God, lest they die in Exodus 33:20, 34:20, but Moses speaks face-to-face with God regularly in Exodus 33:11.
Before anything else, I'd like to point out that Ex. 34:20 has nothing to do with this, but is concerned with rules of sacrifice. In Ex. 33:11, it is said that God spoke with Moses "face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend." In Ex. 33:20, Moses asks God to reveal his face to him. If Moses had already seen God's face, why would he ask him to show it to him? The answer is that the first passage is idiomatic, like saying that I spoke to a female friend in a "man to man" manner. Furthermore, the first passage doesn't say that Moses actually saw God's face, just that he communicated with it. This means that he spoke and heard, rather than saw a pillar of fire or a plague of locusts.
Jesus states that if he ever witnesses himself, then his witness will be a false one in John 5:31, but Jesus bears witness of himself in John 8:18.
Jesus says that if he alone witnesses himself, his testimony will be false. However, he later states that both he and God the Father through the Old Testament witness Christ. He points out that under Jewish law, the testimony of two men is to be considered true. As he has two witnesses, he is true.
It was unlawful for the Jews to put Jesus to death in John 18:31, but it was lawful for the Jews to put Jesus to death John 19:7.
Not quite. The Jews said that a man who claimed to be God should be put to death, but that they did not actually have a law to do so. Many people believe that adulterers should be considered criminals. However, American law (not counting the military) does not consider it a criminal offense, (though you can be sued for it). Thus, the Jews needed the Romans, who actually had capital punishment, to execute Jesus for them.
The risen Jesus says 'Touch Me' in John 20:27, but the risen Jesus says 'Do Not Touch Me' in John 20:17.
In John 20:17, Jesus tells Mary to stop clinging to him and go tell the disciples that Christ is risen. In John 20:27, Jesus tells the doubting disciples to touch him. The difference is that in verse 17, he wants the news of his resurrection to be spread, and Mary cannot start this while she's still clinging to him. In verse 27, Jesus is proving to the disciples that he is not just a hallucination, but a physical fact.
Jesus promises that he will build his church upon Peter and give him the keys to Heaven, whatever Peter decrees will be true in Heaven and on Earth in Matthew 16:18-19, but Jesus calls Peter "Satan", describes him as offensive, accuses him of selfish, evil materialism, and demands that Peter get lost in Matthew 16:23.
The first passage is in the future tense. In the second, Jesus is rebuking Peter for his doubts. These do not contradict each other. At boot camps, the drill sergeants tell the recruits that they will be made into soldiers, but that they are not soldiers yet. Do they contradict themselves?
Anyone who calls another a fool is liable to Hell in Matthew 5:22, yet Jesus says that anyone who hears his words and does not do them is a fool in Matthew 7:26.
Not quite. In the second passage, Jesus says that those who do not believe are like fools. If you are like something, you are not actually such. I am not like a student at Virginia Tech, I am a student at Virginia Tech. In any case, the purpose of the second passage isn't to define who is and who is not a fool, but to state the consequences of unbelief (which is like building a house on sand).
Insects in fact have six legs and not four (Leviticus 11:20).
”Walking on all fours” is idiomatic, and differentiates between the winged insects mentioned and others such as ants or termites.
Bats are not birds (Lev 11:19).
The Hebrew word actually means “flying animals,” since the Hebrews’ zoology was measured differently from our own. Thus, bats and eagles are both “flying animals.”
Saturday, March 09, 2002
Moving down, we here at HokiePundit noticed that the worthy Ben wants us to develop a killer instinct and go for it. Alas, it is not something I'm in a position to do right now (mostly because I lack a car, though the job and college degree are also missing from the equation). He is right that I need a killer instinct, though (if I have to develop it, is it really an instinct? Why do I have so many parenthetical thoughts?), especially since I seem to seriously lack one. I got beaten by my sister 10-1 in foosball today, though the other games were a 10-9 loss and a 10-9 win. That's what I get for playing on her crooked table (half her goals come from hitting the back side, and the ball bouncing around my goalie to score. Stupid gravity.).
I laughed for five minutes straight after seeing it, but maybe that's because I have a dirty mind.
Friday, March 08, 2002
-some really cool but short guy at the Black Cat last night
More on this later, when I can think rationally.
Also, over at the Sarge's, I'm listed under "Salty Nuts." Can anyone tell me what this means? Am I just a goober, or what?
Note to that one guy: you don't get called by your name until you link to me.
I'd be an awful blogger if I didn't give you a link, so go to The Sarge for an exclusive account of the battle of Mogadishu from the pilot of Super 65.
Thursday, March 07, 2002
I'd met a girl in one of my classes last semester that I really liked. She was (is, actually) smart, pretty, fun to be around, and not self-centered or overly-ambitious. Obviously, I had a huge crush on her, though I did my best to hide it, especially since I knew she was a Senior (I was a Sophomore at the time) and was graduating a semester early. Nonetheless, we became friends, and since she lived near me at home, we hung out over Christmas Break. Well, we were talking, and I asked her if she was twenty-one. She said that she was twenty-three (I'm nineteen). The feeling of someone thrusting a rusty, serrated knife into your heart, twisting it, and pulling out your still-beating heart on a skewer was what it was like. The worst part was that she didn't even know about it. Well, in any case, my heart actually physically ached. We hung out a few days ago, too, since I'm on Spring Break, and had a good time. Finally, it occurred to me that pining away on my crush, I'd neglected the fact that I was friends with a really cool person. I had an excellent time being with her, and I got to do things I probably never would've done otherwise. I feel a little ashamed for being so self-centered before, but I'm glad that I realized what a cool friend I have before I did something dumb which might've hurt our friendship. I'm sure most people have realized this long ago, but I just thought I'd share it.
Tuesday, March 05, 2002
Meanwhile, I'd just like to say that if you haven't seen Black Hawk Down yet, you need to go now. It's quite possibly the best war movie I've ever seen. It has several of those rare scenes (like the one in Rules of Engagement when Shaft orders his men to open fire) where your blood is just pulsing patriotically, and you want to stand up and scream "yeah!" For that matter, if you ever get a chance to see a good war movie at a military base theater, go for it. They'll appreciate it far more than the crowd at the uptown cinema.