Jesus is talking of signs that will happen before the end of the world to his disciples)
(Notice: Jesus probably thought the stars were little lights attached to a solid rotating sky dome like everyone else at that time)
(Mat 24:29 NRSV) "Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; *the stars will fall from heaven*, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.
(Mat 24:30 NRSV) Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see 'the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven' with power and great glory.
(Jesus now says to his disciples that their generation will not pass away before the end of the world)
(Mat 24:34 NRSV) Truly I tell you, *this generation will not pass away* until all these things have taken place.
(Their generation did pass away, but the world didn't end)
Jesus tells his disciples that those "who believe" can heal, handle snakes, cast demons out, speak in tongues, and drink poison.
(Mark 16:17-18 NRSV) And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
The Exodus story is almost certainly a fabrication or at least extremely exaggerated.
The bible says 600,000 men (hopefully accompanied by an equal number of women), children, and a "mixed" crowd supposedly left Egypt.
(Exo 12:37-38 NRSV) The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about *six hundred thousand men* on foot, besides children. A mixed crowd also went...
This is somewhere around 1.5 million people (more than live in the city of Dallas).
It is very unlikely that the Egyptians kept 1.5 million people enslaved, controlled, and fed.
It is also very unlikely that hundreds of thousands of Israelites wandered around on foot in a desert region with little food or water for 40 years after they left.
There is no record anywhere of Egypt ever enslaving the Israelites. There is no archaeological evidence to support the Israelites being in Egypt.
It is well established that the Egyptians themselves built all their cities and monuments during the off season (farming).
There is no record in Egypt of 1.5 million people suddenly getting up and leaving (The Egyptians were meticulous record keepers).
There is no archaeological evidence of anything more than a few scattered encampments in the wilderness where supposedly at least hundreds of thousands wandered and died in the bible.
Jesus was just a mortal man who had no special knowledge of modern cosmology. Here are some verses that indicate this:
(Jesus is talking about the end of the world) (Mat 24:29 NRSV) "Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; *the stars will fall* from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.
Jesus is obviously talking about stars (to him little lights) falling from the sky (to him just a few miles up) down to earth.
This was entirely feasible to people of his time as they did not know that the stars are hugh celestial objects like our sun (many, many times larger than the earth) that were unimaginably distant.
We know today that stars are suns that are at such distances that light takes dozens to hundreds of thousands of years to travel to us.
Even if they could travel instantaneously to earth, they could not "fall to earth" as they are up to millions of times larger than the earth.
Here is the certainly mythical story of how Jonah lived inside of a fish for three days:
(Jonah 1:17 NRSV) But the LORD provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Lets assume that the story was talking about a whale which was incorrectly identified as a fish by this tale and that the whale would have some interest in swallowing a person whole, let's look at some of the other ways this is fiction:
a) No oxygen.
b) Lot of poisonous digestive juices.
c) No drinkable water.
d) A whale has an enormously fast digestive system.
The Bible goes on to tell of how God "talks" to the "fish" and the "fish" "spews" the man on to dry land.
The test in the Garden of Eden myth, was not a fair test considering it requires the knowledge of good and evil to not do something evil, yet this is what eating the fruit was supposed to give to the couple.
(Gen 2:25 NRSV) And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.
(After eating the forbidden fruit)
(Gen 3:10-11 NRSV) (Adam) He said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
(God) "Who told you that you were naked?
Not knowing good from evil (Gen 3:5), they did something evil so God punished them...
The bible's primitive astronomy provides a longer day to complete the killing of all the Amorite men, women, and children.
Joshua realized that he wasn't going to have enough time to completely slaughter all of the Amorites (even with God helping by throwing boulders from the sky to crush the people that were fleeing) so he commanded the Sun to stand still in the sky over Gibeon and the Moon to stand still over the valley of Aijalon.
The author of Joshua like everyone else in his day was unaware of the earth's rotation and thought the Sun went around the earth and that the Sun and Moon were only a few miles up in the sky, hence the command to make them stand still over certain topographic features of the earth.
These very verses were used by the Church against Galileo when he suggested that the earth turned instead:
(Josh 10:12-13 NRSV) On the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the LORD; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand still *at Gibeon*, and Moon, *in the valley of Aijalon*."
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in midheaven, and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.
Here is the dream of Nebuchadnezzar as the author of the book of Daniel imagined it. The author imagined a tree growing from the center of a flat earth and it reached the sky which in his day was thought to be just a few miles high. The tree was visible to the "ends" of the flat earth.
(Dan 4:10 NRSV) Upon my bed this is what I saw; there was a tree at the center of the earth, and its height was great.
The word hebrew word for earth here is ara:
772. 'ara', (Chald.), ar-ah'; corresp. to H776; the earth; by impl. (fig.) low:--earth, inferior
(Dan 4:11 NRSV) The tree grew great and strong, its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the ends of the whole earth.
According to the bible, Ahaziah was 2 years older than his father Jehoram.
(Jehoram was inflicted with a disease by God that killed him after an eight year reign)
(2 Chr 21:20 NRSV) (Jehoram) He was *thirty-two* years old when he began to reign; he reigned *eight years* in Jerusalem. ... They buried him in the city of David...
So Jehoram died at the age of forty.
(2 Chr 22:1 NRSV) The inhabitants of Jerusalem made his *youngest* son Ahaziah king as his successor; for the troops who came with the Arabs to the camp had killed all the *older* sons. So Ahaziah son of Jehoram reigned as king of Judah.
(2 Chr 22:2 NRSV) Ahaziah was *forty-two* years old when he began to reign; he reigned one year in Jerusalem. ...
The bible incorrectly says there are 4 legged insects. There are no insects anywhere that have 4 legs.
(Lev 11:20-21 NRSV) All winged insects that walk upon all fours are detestable to you.
But among the winged insects that walk on all fours you may eat those that have jointed legs above their feet, with which to leap on the ground.
The bible incorrectly states that rabbits (hares) chew their cud.
(Deu 14:7 NRSV) Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cleft you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you.
Here again the bible seems to be saying that the earth is flat.
Here are more verses describing it as God "drawing" a flat 2 dimensional circle on the *face* of the waters to make the earth.
(Prov 8:26-27 NRSV) when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world's first bits of soil. When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
(Job 26:10 NRSV) He has described a circle on the face of the waters, at the boundary between light and darkness.
(Isa 40:22 NRSV) It is he who sits above the *circle of the earth*, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in;
The hebrew word for circle here is chuwg
2329. chuwg, khoog; from H2328; a circle:--circle, circuit, compass
Problems with the story of the tower of Babel (A myth to explain why there are different languages).
(Gen 11:4-7 NRSV) Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens,
(Like most people in their time, the authors of Genesis thought that the sky was a dome that was just a few miles up)
and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
(If they don't make a name for themselves they will be scattered, this sounds fairly contrived so far)
The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built.
(The Lord had to "come down" cause he was "up" in heaven not omni- present, but imagined as anthropomorphic to this author. Also he had to come down because he *couldn't see the city and the tower* from where he was?)
And the LORD said, "Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
(God is afraid of these people when all they are doing is building. Look at the pyramids in Egypt and Central America, and the structures *high* in the Andies mountains by the Incas, and the sky scrapers we build today. There hasn't been any apparent divine intervention to spoil these projects yet)
Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another's speech."
Jesus incorrectly said that he was mention by Moses in his law.
(Luke 24:44 NRSV) Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you--that everything written about me in the law of Moses,...
Jesus incorrectly states that noone has ascended into heaven except the "Son of Man".
(John 3:13 NRSV) No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
(John 3:15 NRSV) that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
(here is Elijah *ascending* to heaven)
(2 Ki 2:11 NRSV) As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah *ascended in a whirlwind into heaven*.
The author of Matthew says there are 42 generations from Abraham to Jesus.
(Mat 1:17 NRSV) So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah fourteen generations. (3 x 14 = 42)
The number of generations he actually lists is instead 41.
Matthew 1rst chapter:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Abraham Isaac Jacob Judah Perez Hezron Aram 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Aminadab Nahshon Salmon Boaz Obed Jesse King David.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Solomon Rehoboam Abijah Asaph Jehoshaphat Joram Uzziah 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Jotham Ahaz Hezekiah Manasseh Amos Josiah Jechoniah
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Salathiel Zerubbabel Abiud Eliakim Azor Zadok Achim 8 9 10 11 12 13 Eliud Eleazar Matthan Jacob Joseph Jesus
14+14+13 = 41
Jesus quotes another scripture that doesn't exist in the canonized bible.
(John 7:38 NRSV) and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, 'Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.'"
Paul gives a list of things that supposedly indicate the "last days", but the things he listed are things that are continually going on all the time.
(2 Tim 3:1-5 NRSV) You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come.
For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!
Jesus lists things that supposedly indicate the "last days", but his list is of things that are continually going on throughout history..
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
Jesus answered them, "Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Messiah!' and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs. "Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come. ...
(Here is the only specific thing Jesus says and it is right before the specific "coming on the clouds of heaven")
(Matthew 24:29) "Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.
(Again vauge nonspecific things that have been going on throughout all history (except for the Messiah statement which has only been going on since the Babylonian Exile ~2500 years ago)
Preachers have been using vauge "signs" ever since Jesus to claim that their generation will be the last one. This has been going on for centuries and is being claimed today.
Here is Satan telling Jesus (who was supposed to be God and owner of the world according to christian religions) to worship him and he will "give" him the world?
(Mat 4:8 NRSV) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;
(Only possible on a flat earth, which the authors of the synoptic Gospels must have imagined)
(Mat 4:9 NRSV) and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me."
The Deuteronomist outlaws foreign sorcery, but the bible authors use a multitude of their own sorcerers (called prophets) to contact a supernatural power (their god) and to attempt to determine the future.
(Deu 18:10 NRSV) No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, or who *practices divination*, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a *sorcerer*,
"Sorcerer practices" or "Divination and Magic" From Holman's Bible Dictionary:
An attempt to contact supernatural powers to determine answers to questions hidden to humans and usually involving the future.
Jesus here is simply wrong, a man can serve several masters and hate all of them or love all of them.
Even though this is just an analogy, an analogy is suppose to draw a parallel from something that makes sense.
(Mat 6:24 NRSV) "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. ...
(Mat 6:24 NRSV) ... You cannot serve God and wealth.
The Apostle Peter (like the author of Matthew does many times) takes an Old Testament verse out of it's context to try to make it seem as though it was forecasting a future event.
Some observers see people acting funny, speaking in tongues that they are not capable of (this feat is never duplicated in modern day Assembly of God churches) during their "filling of the Holy Spirit" at the "Pentecost".
They then conclude they are all drunk.
Peter tells them that they aren't drunk, but they are filled with the Holy Spirit, that is why they are acting strange.
(Acts 2:15-16 NRSV) Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
(Peter then goes on to quote the prophet Joel, claiming that this filling of the spirit means they are in the "last days" before the coming of the "great day of the Lord".
A) The prophet Joel was making another vauge prediction about how Judah and Israel are going to get back together and of a great war that the Jews would have with many nations of which only they will survive (this is Joel's "Lord's great and glorious day"). Of course this prophecy failed because it never happened. (Joel 2:28 - 3:21)
B) Peter was wrong as this has nothing to do with the Pentecost or Jesus.
C) Peter takes this prediction and turns it into a validation that they were in the last days before Jesus was to come back which was his "Lord's great and glorious day" (because it mentions a "filling of a spirit" and "prophesying".
D) It was natural for Peter and the Apostle Paul in his letters to assume this because Jesus himself said he would come back before all of the disciples had died. (Mat 16:28)
E) Jesus never came back, not then, and not in the almost 2000 years since, so Peter was wrong about them being in the "last days".
(Acts 2:17 NRSV) 'In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall ...
(Acts 2:19-20 NRSV) And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.