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Born of a Virgin (Isaiah 7:14)

Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This is a fairly famous prophecy, which the New Testament claims was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus to Mary, a virgin. In fact, a cursory examination of the context of Isaiah 7:14 will quickly reveal that it was not intended to be a Messianic prophecy at all.

The first point to note is that Isaiah did not use the word "virgin" in his prophecy. He actually used the Hebrew word almah, which simply indicates a young women. Actually there is one case where almah is used to refer to an adulteress:

Proverbs 30:19-20 ...the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden [almah]. "This is the way of an adulteress: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, `I've done nothing wrong.'

If she is an adulteress, then how could this almah be a virgin? Since an adulteress cannot be a virgin then this word Almah cannot refer to a virgin(except in Christian dictionaries).

The RSV correctly translates Isaiah 7:14 as "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanu-el." The New Jerusalem Bible also correctly translates Isaiah 7:14 as "The Lord will give you a sign in any case: It is this: the young woman is with child and will give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel."

If Isaiah really intended to unambiguously designate the woman as sexually pure, he would have used the word bethulah, which does denote a sexually pure woman. Actually, Isaiah did use this word in 23:12, where he refers to the "virgin daughter of Zidon". To verify that bethulah indeed denotes a virgin, compare it's use in passages such as Genesis 24:16 and Judges 21:12. A longer passage from Deuteronomy will show that bethulah had the narrow sense of "virgin", which Christians claim for almah. (This passage uses the word bethulim, the masculine form of bethulah to denote the adjective "virginity").

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 (NIV) If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity [bethulim] ," then the girl's father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin [bethulim] to the town elders at the gate. The girl's father will say to the elders, "I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, `I did not find your daughter to be a virgin [bethulim].' But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity [bethulim]." Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the girl's father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin [bethulah] a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives. If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity [bethulim] can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.

The Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, mistranslated Isaiah 7:14 with the Greek word parthenos, which does denote a virgin. It seems that 'Matthew' used this Greek scriptures and did not recognize that this is a translation error. If 'Matthew' were really inspired by the Holy Spirit, then he would not have made this mistake.

If Isaiah did not refer to a virgin, then what was the "sign" of his prophecy? As Isaiah himself explains, the sign was the child who was to be born. This was a favorite literary device of Isaiah. He would introduce a child into his story, and then use the name of the child to elaborate upon his theme. In chapter 8, Isaiah introduces a child with the unlikely name of Maher-shalal-hash-baz. (Some commentators note that this child may in fact be the same as Immanuel of 7:14, but this point is debatable). Loosely translated, the name means "speed the spoil, hasten the booty" in Hebrew, and Isaiah uses it to pronounce his prophecy of impending doom upon Damascus and Samaria at the hands of the Assyrians (8:4). In chapter 9, Isaiah introduces another child with an even longer name (9:6), which is translated "God is wonderful, a counselor, mighty, the father of eternity, the prince of peace". Isaiah uses this name to introduce his theme of the eventual restoration of the Davidic kingdom (9:7).

And so it is in chapter 7 that Isaiah introduces a child with the name of Immanuel. This name means "God is with us", and Isaiah used it in the sense of "God is on our side" to predict that the alliance between Syria and Israel formed against Judah (7:1) would fail. In fact, Isaiah even put a time limit on his prophecy. In verse 16, he states that "...before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings." The Jews put the age of accountability at about eight years, so we may therefore assume that Isaiah expected his prediction to be fulfilled within this time limit. (It is also not clear that Isaiah's prophecy came true. II Chronicles 28 seems to indicate that Azah was indeed defeated by the kings of Israel and Syria).

To summarize: Isaiah does not refer to a virgin, nor does he expect his prophecy to be fulfilled centuries in the future. He gave his sign at a specific time for a specific purpose. That epoch had long since passed by the time that Matthew thought to use Isaiah out of context to lend credibility to his Messiah.

As for fulfilling that prophecy (if it were a prophecy); Jesus was not named Immanuel nor God is with us. His name was Yehoshua after his uncle. Later degenerated into Yeshua, then Yeshu.

Moreover, everybody knew that Jesus was the son of Joseph and not born from the Holy Spirit by a virgin:

(Jn 6:42) and they said, Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, I have come down from heaven?

 For the first thirty years, the Jews knew that this man was born from Mary and Joseph. It was only later when Jesus declared himself the Messiah and Son of God that he lied to his disciples that he was born from the Holy Spirit by a virgin.

(Jn 1:45) Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

So, even his own disciples knew that he was the son of Joseph and from Nazareth. But when they saw his hoaxes, they believed his claims and fell for the virgin birth. The virginity story shocked the Jews when he was already thirty! Even his own brothers did not believe that their mother was a virgin nor believed his fake miracles:

(Jn 7:3-5) Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

His brothers knew that he was eager to become famous and did not believe him. The priests believed his brothers and discarded the virginity story. How could the Rabbis verify the virginity of his mother thirty years later and after she gave birth to seven other normally conceived brothers?

 

Centuries before Jesus: According to Hindu literature, Krishna, the eighth incarnation of the god Vishnu, was born to the virgin Devaki in fulfillment of prophecy and was visited by wise men who had been guided to him by a star. Angels also announced the birth to herdsmen in the nearby countryside. When King Kansa heard about the miraculous birth of this child, he sent men to "kill all the infants in the neighboring places," but a "heavenly voice" whispered to the foster father of Krishna (who, incidentally, was a carpenter) and warned him to take the child and flee across the Jumna river. In this Hindu legend, we can recognize many parallels to the infancy of Jesus other than the virgin birth element.



-- Edited by devapriya solomon on Sunday 1st of July 2012 09:47:26 AM

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Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)

Matthew 2:4-6 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Messiah should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

John 7:42 Hath not the scripture said, That Messiah cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

 Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

The New Testament claims that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in fulfillment of Micah 5:2. In order to judge the accuracy of this claim, we need to establish two facts. First, is this in fact what Micah prophesied, and secondly, was Jesus actually born in Bethlehem?

In order to answer the first question, we need to take a closer look at the context of Micah 5:2. The book of Micah claims that it was written in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (1:1), that is, about 742 to 687 BCE. This seems to fit the general tone of chapters 1-3, which speak of a coming destruction of Samaria and Jerusalem in somewhat vague terms. The style and theme of chapters 4-5, however, is markedly different, and has led many scholars to conclude that these chapters were written by a much later author. In chapters 4-5, the place of Exile is said to be Babylon (4:10). Like second Isaiah, Micah 4-5 is structured around the theme of restoration. These chapters are in fact a commentary and expansion on Isaiah 2:2-5, which is quoted almost verbatim at the start of chapter 4.

Like Isaiah, Micah looks forward to a time when the kingdom will be restored and unified. Of necessity, this will require the restoration of the Davidic line of kings (4:9). With this in mind, we can turn once again to the start of Micah 5, and see if we can figure out what Micah is trying to say.

Who is the subject of these verses? The Messianic interpretation is partly correct: Micah sees a king once more on the throne of Israel, a king, moreover, descended from the line of David. And it is this that gives us a clue to the interpretation of 5:2. The phrase "Bethlehem Ephratah" is a reference not only to the town of Bethlehem, but also to the clan of Ephratah which originated in that town. It is thus quite likely that Micah 5:2 refers backwards, to the origins of the Davidic line, which the prophet then sees stretching forward into eternity. The Bible makes it quite clear that it was David himself who was born in Bethlehem, of the clan of Ephratah.

I Samuel 17:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse...

A second, but related possibility is that Micah was referring not to the town of Bethlehem, but rather to the man Bethlehem, the grandson of Caleb by his wife Ephratah.

I Chronicles 2:50-51 These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah...Salma the father of Bethlehem...

In this context, the phrase "Bethlehem Ephratah" refers to the clan from which David sprang, not specifically a geographic location. This interpretation receives support from the Septuagint, which reads "...Bethlehem, house of Ephratah...". In addition, the word translated "thousands" in the KJV rendering of Micah 5:2 is elsewhere used in the sense of "clans" (Joshua 22:30). Most modern versions translate this phrase in Micah as "...though you are little among the clans of Judah...".

Note that Matthew dropped the word "Ephratah" from his quote of Micah. It seems that not even Matthew (or the Holy spirit according to Christians) was above misquoting the Old Testament in order to support his views.

 That Micah had David in mind seems to be supported by his turn of phrase in 5:4, where the ideal King is said to "...shepherd his flock in the strength of Yahweh...". This recalls the words that Samuel spoke to David, when he was anointed King over the united Kingdom in Hebron.

If we assume that Micah was in fact referring to David as the originator of the Royal line, how are we to understand the phrase "...whose origins are from of old, from ancient times..."? This is most likely a reference to the fact that the Davidic house was established centuries in the past, from the perspective of the author. (The KJV has "from everlasting" in this verse, but the Hebrew word olam can also mean "ancient times", as in Deuteronomy 32:7, where it is translated "days of old".)

Micah may also be referring to the fact that the Jews understood the Davidic line to be the fulfillment of several promises made by God to the Patriarchs.

Genesis 49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. 

Numbers 24:17 "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth.

So, it seems that Micah 5:2 is in fact a prediction of the restoration of the Royal Davidic line, the line which originated in Bethlehem, of the clan of Ephratah. If, as many claim, this is in fact a prophecy of Jesus, it has to be asked at what time Jesus was a "ruler in Israel"? Obviously, he never was a ruler in his lifetime. Christians tend to claim that this part of the verse has yet to be fulfilled, and will come to pass in the future kingdom of God, when Christ rules over all the world. The logical flaw present in this reasoning is that claiming a future fulfillment automatically invalidates the prophecy, since, obviously, it has not yet come to pass, and there is no assurance that it will. Micah 5:2 therefore remains an unfulfilled prediction, from the Christian point of view.

The same problem presents itself in 5:3, where the prophet speaks of the re-unification of Israel. The phrase "rest of his brothers" is probably a reference to the Northern tribes, who were lost in the Assyrian conquest during the eighth century BCE. Obviously, Jesus never reunited Judah with the Northern tribes, and it now seems that he never will. These tribes are long extinct, having been assimilated into the Assyrian race thousands of years ago.

The second point that needs to be established is whether Jesus was in fact born in Bethlehem. This may seem a very strange question to a Christian, to whom the answer is self-evident, but it is in fact a valid concern. Of all the books of the New Testament, only two, the gospels of Matthew and Luke, record the fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Paul never once refers to this fact, even though it would have strengthened his claim that Jesus was a descendant of David (Romans 1:3). The gospels of Mark and John also never record that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. 'John' even asserts that those who knew Jesus and his family knew for certain that he was born in Galilee:

John 7:41-43 Others said, "He is the Messiah." Still others asked, "How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 
John 7:27-28 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from." Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, "Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from..."

The people did not believe that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and knew that he is from Galilee. They were even divided because of this. The priests were certain that he came form Galilee:

Jn 7:52 They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."

The priests knew for certain that Jesus came from Galilee, hence not from Bethlehem.

Christians will often counter that these people were simply mistaken in their belief that Jesus was born in Galilee. However, it seems strange that not even the author of John ever corrected their perception for the benefit of his readers. Further, Jesus himself confirmed in 7:28 that their knowledge of his origin was correct "Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from...".

What about the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke? A cursory examination of these two stories will quickly reveal that they are completely different. Matthew begins with Joseph and Mary living in a house in Bethlehem, were Jesus was born (2:1 and 2:11). Following the threats of Herod, Joseph fled to Egypt with his family (2:13-14), and remained there until Herod died (2:15). Upon learning that Herod's son reigned in his place, Joseph decided not to return to Bethlehem (2:22), but instead took his family to Nazareth (2:23).

Luke, on the other hand, begins his story with Mary and Joseph living in Nazareth. In order to comply with a Roman census, Joseph takes the pregnant Mary to Bethlehem (2:4-5), where Jesus was born in a barn, as there was no room at the local inn (2:6-7). Following the birth, Joseph took his family to the Temple in Jerusalem (2:22) and then returned to his home in Nazareth (2:39).

It should be obvious that the only point that these two stories have in common is that they both claim that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Aside from that, all the characters and events in these two stories are completely different. They are even set ten years apart in chronology. Matthew states that Jesus was born when Herod was still alive, no later than 3 or 4 BC. Luke states that Jesus was born when Cyrenius was governor of Syria, which did not take place until at least ten years after Herod's death (see proof: Date of birth of Jesus). This raises the suspicion that these birth narratives were in fact concocted simply to bolster the claim that Jesus was the promised Messiah, in accordance with the Christian understanding of Micah 5:2.

To summarize therefore, this prophecy fails on two counts: we cannot be sure that Micah intended his prediction to mean that a future king would be born in Bethlehem, and we also cannot be certain that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. We have further seen that parts of Micah 5:2 remain unfulfilled, according to the Christian interpretation. 



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Ministry in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2)

Matthew 4:12-16 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 

Isaiah 9:1-2 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

In order to judge the accuracy of this prophecy, we must once again look at the source passage in its historical context. Isaiah places this prophecy in the days of king Ahaz of Judah and king Pekah of Israel (7:1), which would have been between 732 and 734 BCE. At this time, the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser attacked the outlying Northern cities of Israel, and took captives back to Assyria.

II Kings 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.

With this background in mind, it is not difficult to see what Isaiah was talking about in chapter 9. The first section of this chapter predicts a reunification of the Davidic kingdom. Isaiah foresees the restoration of the outlying parts of Israel to the kingdom (9:4), and the re-establishment of the royal line of David over the united kingdom (9:7). Isaiah speaks of this ideal king in 9:6, another passage that is a favorite of Christian apologists, although it was never used as such by any of the New Testament writers. (Some commentaries suggest that Isaiah may have had Ahaz's son, Hezekiah, in mind. This point is debatable. What is true is that the titles applied to the ideal king in 9:6 are similar to honorific titles of the Egyptian kings).

Although Isaiah did not give a time limit to this prophecy, we should note that no king of the line of David has ever ruled over a united Israel since the days of Solomon. If this passage does in fact apply to Jesus, as Christians insist, we might ask at what point he restored Galilee to the Davidic kingdom? 



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Called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1)

Matthew 2:14-15 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. 

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Matthew is the only Evangelist to use Hosea 11:1 as a Messianic prophecy, and with good reason: it is hard to find a more blatant misuse of an Old Testament passage anywhere in the Christian Bible. The very verse quoted by Matthew quickly establishes that Hosea never intended this verse as a Messianic prophecy. It is, in fact, a remembrance of the time when Israel was rescued out of Egypt by God. It has nothing whatsoever to do with a coming Messiah.

It also has not been established that Jesus ever spent any time in Egypt. Matthew is the only New Testament writer to record this incident, and his chronology contradicts that of Luke, who states that Joseph took his family back to Nazareth no more than fifty days after Jesus was born, and never mentions any Egyptian sojourn. It appears that we have here one more example of Matthew making up events in Jesus' life to conform to his own perception of Old Testament prophecy.  



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Enters Jerusalem on a Donkey (Zechariah 9:9)

Matthew 21:4-5 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. 

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Unlike the other so-called Messianic prophecies, Zechariah 9:9 may be one of the few that were indeed intended to refer to the coming Messiah. That it was fulfilled by Jesus is also fairly certain. All four of the gospels record the event with only minor discrepancies (Matthew has Jesus riding on two animals - evidently, he misread the Septuagint version of Zechariah 9:9). Thus, if we assume that the gospels are accurate, we can be fairly confident that this prophecy was in fact fulfilled by Jesus.

But we have to ask how did people use to travel? Did they use trains or planes? What were their means of transportation?

Since horses and chariots were relatively expensive, then only the rich could have afforded them. But donkeys were the transportation mode of the poor. Having this in mind, we can be certain that many thousands of innocent people also entered Jerusalem on donkeys. They too fulfilled this unique messianic prophecy. 



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Time of his Coming (Daniel 9:24-26)

Daniel 9:24-26 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

The seventy weeks of Daniel has long been a source of much speculation among Biblical interpreters. Sir Robert Anderson, in his book "The Coming Prince", published in 1894, gave an interpretation of this passage that is still very popular with conservative Christians.

It is generally agreed by scholars that the seventy weeks refer to seventy weeks of years, or 490 years. Thus, Daniel appears to be saying that the Messiah would come sixty-nine weeks (483 years) after the "commandment to restore and build Jerusalem". Anderson started by trying to locate this decree that Daniel referred to in verse 25. There are four such decrees recorded in the Bible - the decree of Cyrus to rebuild the Temple, given in 538 BCE (Ezra 1:1), a decree of Darius I to allow work to continue on the Temple, given in 517 BCE (Ezra 6:6-12), a decree of Artaxerxes I to allow some of the Jews in his kingdom to return to Jerusalem to assist with the rebuilding of the Temple, given in 458 BCE (Ezra 7:11-26), and finally, another decree of Artaxerxes I to allow Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city itself, given in 445 BCE (Nehemiah 2:1-8).

Of these, Anderson reasoned, only the fourth actually mentions the city itself, as required by Daniel 9:25. This then becomes the starting point of Daniel's sixty-nine weeks. From 445 BCE, 483 years takes us to about 37 CE, which seems a little late for Jesus. In order to get around this problem, Anderson noted that the Jews used a lunar calendar of twelve months by thirty days, or 360 days. This view seems to be reinforced by Revelation 11:2-3, where forty-two months is said to be 1,260 days. Using a year of 360 days, the sixty-nine weeks come out to 32 CE, which, says Anderson, corresponds to the year that Jesus was crucified.

There are several problems with this approach. To begin with, the Jews did not simply use a lunar year of 360 days. Such a calendar would quickly get out of sync with the solar year, leading to severe problems for farmers. To counter this, an extra lunar month was added every two or three years to arrive at an average year of 365 days.

Another problem relates to the choice of the decree of Artaxerxes I given in 445 BCE. A close reading of Nehemiah 2:1-8 will fail to turn up any reference to such a decree. All we find is that Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah letters of safe conduct, and permission to use lumber from the royal forests to assist in the rebuilding project that was already underway.

To what, then, does Daniel's seventy weeks actually refer? The answer to this question is not easily found, for several reasons. Among these are the fact that the Hebrew text of Daniel 9 appears to be corrupt. The Jerusalem Bible, for example, notes that one or more words seem to be missing from verse 26, making translation very difficult. To compound this problem, Daniel seems to display some confusion about the Persian period. For example, he claims in chapter 11 that there would be four Persian kings before the coming of Alexander the Great. In fact, there were nine. Since this period makes up part of Daniel's seventy weeks, it is not possible to determine how long Daniel though the Persian period was.

If we look at Daniel 9 in context, however, we can make an educated guess as to its intended meaning. We should note first of all that internal and external evidence points to a date of the late second century BCE for the book of Daniel. More specifically, the book of Daniel was written in about 164 BCE, in response to the persecutions visited upon the Jews by the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The actions of the "prince that shall come" in Daniel 9:26 match the atrocities of Antiochus.

A further problem is raised by the fact that Christians tend to read this passage with a pre-conceived bias. When they see the word "Messiah", they automatically assume that Daniel must have been referring to Jesus. This is not so. The word "Messiah" simply means an anointed one, and can refer either to a king or to a priest. It should further not be assumed that Daniel was referring to the same person in verses 25 and 26. He may have been stating that seven weeks would result in "an anointed one, a prince" (9:25), and sixty-two weeks would result in "an anointed one" who shall be "cut off" (9:26). There is no reason to assume that these two Messiahs are the same person.

The KJV translation of verse 25 has further confused the issue. The word that the King James committee chose to translate "commandment" in fact simply means "word", and it is the same noun that Daniel used in 9:2 when he refers to the "word of the Lord" that came to Jeremiah. And it is this fact that gives us a clue to the meaning of the seventy weeks. Daniel says that he was reading the book of Jeremiah, specifically the part where Jeremiah predicted that the Israelites would be in bondage for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12). To a Jew living at the time that the Babylonian exile ended, this might have seemed plausible. However, to a Jew living during the Hellenistic period, as the author of Daniel was, Jeremiah's prophecy seemed like a bitter irony. The decree of Cyrus to allow the captives to return to Jerusalem had not resulted in independence for the Jews. The Persians maintained a firm hold on Palestine for the next two centuries, as did the Greeks after them. How then was Daniel to understand Jeremiah's prophecy?

Daniel re-interprets the prophecy to be seventy weeks of years, or 490 years of servitude (9:24). The starting point of this period was the "word" that came to Jeremiah concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 30:17-18). The first seven weeks was the approximately forty-nine years that the Jews spent in Babylon (587 to 536 BCE). The first "anointed one" was probably Cyrus, who is called the Lord's Messiah by second Isaiah (44:28). It is not clear from verses 25 and 26 whether the next sixty-two weeks were to follow the seven, or to start at the same time as the first seven. Given Daniel's confusion about the Persian period, it is not really possible to answer this question. In any case, it appears that Daniel intended the next sixty-two weeks to end in his own time, with the murder of the high priest Onias III in 171 BCE. The final seven weeks would result in the defeat and death of Antiochus, from 171 to 164 BCE. As it happens, Daniel was almost right. Antiochus died in Persia in 163 BCE, and Judea gained a temporary period of independence under the Hasmonean dynasty until the coming of the Romans in 63 BCE.

So, to sum up, there is no good reason to assume that Daniel 9 is a prophecy of Jesus. In order to do so, one has to ignore the separation of the sixty-nine weeks into seven and sixty-two (some scholars claim that the seven weeks saw the end of prophecy with the book of Malachi, but this view is generally rejected by most commentators), and further insert a gap of unspecified duration between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth week, since it is clear that the crucifixion of Jesus was not followed by the end of the world, as the Christian reading of Daniel 9 would indicate. 



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Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53)

Who was this suffering servant? The Messiah or the nation of Israel itself?

Acts 8:32-35 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

 

John 12:37-38 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

 

 Isaiah 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

The Song of the Servant, the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is probably the passage most often presented as startling proof of the inspiration of the Bible, and of the Messiahship of Jesus. And, at first blush, the passage does seem to be remarkably accurate. It speaks of a servant who was "despised, and rejected of men" (53:3), who has "borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (53:4), who was "wounded for our transgressions", "bruised for our iniquities" (53:5) and "the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (53:6). We are further told that he "made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death" (53:9), and the Lord will "make his soul an offering for sin" (53:10). All this seems like an extremely prescient synopsis of Jesus' earthly career. But is it really so clear? We have to ask why so many Jewish people down through the centuries have rejected Jesus as the Messiah, if their own scriptures testify of him so clearly? Is there perhaps another interpretation of this passage?

In order to correctly divine the meaning of this passage, we have to take note of the historical context in which it appears (especially it speaks in the past tense). The second part of Isaiah, from chapter 40 to 55, is generally thought to be the work of a later author, commonly designated deutero-Isaiah. The reasons for this designation are far too complex to go into here, but it should be noted that the name "Isaiah" does not appear anywhere in this section. Nor is this section thematically related to the first thirty-nine chapters of Isaiah. Whereas proto-Isaiah saw the destruction of Israel as imminent, and the restoration in the future, deutero-Isaiah speaks of the destruction in the past (42:24-25), and the restoration as imminent (42:1-9). (Notice, for example, the change in temporal perspective from (39:6-7), where the Babylonian Captivity is cast far in the future, to (43:14), where the Israelites are spoken of as already in Babylon). For this, and other reasons, scholars generally date this second part of Isaiah to about 536 BCE, when Cyrus the Persian first gave permission for the Jews to return back to Israel (Ezra 1:1, Isaiah 44:28, 45:1).

The theme of Isaiah is jubilation, a song of celebration at the imminent end of the Babylonian Captivity. It is in this setting that we find the Song of the Servant, chapter fifty-three. (In fact, chapter 53 is actually the fourth of a quartet of "servant songs". The others are 42:1-9, 49:1-6 and 50:4-9). Who, then, was this servant of whom deutero-Isaiah speaks? It is evident that the word is used in two different ways. First, it is used by deutero-Isaiah to apply to himself, as the servant of God (49:5). The word is used overwhelmingly, however, by the author to refer to the nation Israel itself.

Isaiah 41:8-9 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

Isaiah 44:1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen...Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant...

Isaiah 44:21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.

Isaiah 49:3 ...Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

It should be abundantly clear, then, that the servant is the nation Israel. When we combine these two facts, the fact that the theme of second Isaiah is the restoration of Israel after Exile, and the fact that the servant is the nation Israel itself, we then find that the meaning of the Song of the Servant, in chapter 53, becomes clear.

Why Isaiah chose to use the third person is not immediately obvious. Some have suggested that the Song is written from the perspective of the gentile nations. This is certainly the case in 52:15 (the fourth Song of the Servant actually starts at 52:13). Here, the nations are said to be astonished at the restoration of Israel. Another interpretation is that deutero-Isaiah is speaking of the generation that went into Exile so many years ago as "him", and the generation that is now returning to Israel as "us". In this sense, the author casts the former generation in the role of a sin-offering (53:10), who were punished for the sins of the nation (53:5-6) so that the later generation could be forgiven and restored (53:11).

The Christian interpretation does not even fit the context of Isaiah 52-54, and further is not supported by some statements in the Song itself. For example, verse 10 states that the Servant will live a long life, and have many children. It should be fairly obvious that Jesus died at a young age, and never had any children. Christian apologists often claim that this verse is symbolic, that it refers to Jesus' resurrection, and the establishment of the Christian Church. It has not been explained why we are required to take the rest of Isaiah 53 literally, but this one verse as allegorical. 



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Right Hand of God (Psalm 110)

Jesus said that what was written in Psalms is actually David prophesying about Jesus himself sitting at the right hand of God and judging the nations himself.

Mark 12:35-37 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, "How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: "`The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet."' David himself calls him `Lord.' How then can he be his son?" The large crowd listened to him with delight.

Assuming that what Jesus claimed is true and that those were real prophecies about him, then their composers should have been genuine prophets. Although Christians concede that the composer was David, some Christians do not believe that David was a prophet. Strangely enough, they still believe that his psalms were real prophecies but he himself was not a prophet. Those psalms are actually Hebrew poetry in the form of songs. They narrate situations about practically every situation in daily life. Jesus was referring to one of those:

(Psalm 110) The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth. He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head.

In order to prove the Trinity, Christians will contend that, since there are two Beings called "Lord" here, God must be a collective entity comprising at least two persons. Furthermore, they claim, that the Jesus must be God in flesh.

It should be obvious that neither claim is true. The Christian Bible always renders God's name as "LORD" in all capital letters. In Psalm 110:1, the first occurrence of "Lord" is indeed all capitals, but the second is not. This is because the word rendered "to my Lord" is "l'adoni", which really means "to my master". The Jews believe that this is a psalm enchanted every time God appoints a King as both King and Priest. God is telling the new priest (master of the singing people) to sit at His right hand. This is a figurative speech that he will be the right hand of God, that is, God will help him and through him God will accomplish and rule. It does not mean a physical sitting at Gods right. It is like saying that this man is the right hand of the President. It is only a figurative speech and nothing more.

Moreover, if the "master" referred to was indeed Jesus who is supposed to be God in flesh, then monotheism requires that they both be the same person. But then God would be talking to Himself (and needs to be put in a straitjacket). When confronted with the fact that the second occurrence of "Lord" really should be "master", who then is this other Lord? Christians often contend that the only person David could have called "master" is God Himself. But remember that while most of those Psalms were composed by common psalmists, they were meant to be played and sung by the Levites in the Temple (and in the tabernacle before the Temple was built). The Levites, of course, would have called David himself their master, since he was king over them. But also he was not their only master or Lord. The Jews had many Lords, many anointed prophets and many priests whom they called masters. The Jews believe that this is a psalm enchanted every time God appoints a King as both King and Priest. They never meant anything of what Christians believe; otherwise they wouldnt be knowing what they are composing and then singing (and they too need straitjackets!!!)

Further more, He will judge the nations which means that those events have not yet occurred and hence cannot be claimed as fulfilled prophecies.



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Resurrection (Psalm 16)

Christians claim that the 'Old Testament' indeed prophesied that the Jesus should die and rise again from the dead:

Acts 2:27-27 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

Christians claim that since the psalmist said that he should not see decay, then he must rise again from the dead. It sounds true. This verse is found in:

Psalm 16:9-10 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,10 because you will not abandon me to the grave [Sheol], nor will you let your Holy One see decay[shahath].

The Hebrew word translated 'decay' is 'shahath'. But 'Shahath' is actually a synonym for 'Sheol'; and simply means a pit or grave. It is correctly translated as 'pit' in the RSV, NRSV, Jerusalem Bible and the New American Bible (read footnote 5). Just as the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) mistranslated 'almah' into 'virgin'; it also mistranslated shahath intodestruction. Christians build on this mistranslation and on the Hebrew ignorance of their subjects to claim imaginary prophecies.



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Bones not Broken (Psalm 34:20)

John 19:33-36 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs...For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

Psalm 34:20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

The first point to note about this particular prophecy is that it does not actually fit the quotation of Psalm 34:20. At best, it can be said to be a paraphrase of this verse. The possibility exists that John was appealing to a prophecy that is not preserved in the Hebrew Bible. As strange as it sounds, this is not the first time that John did such a thing.

 Jn 7:38 as the scripture says: Rivers of living water will flow from within him

Here we find 'John' quoting a scripture which has no counterpart in the Old Testament (Although it does correctly describe the water from his pierced bladder). Nevertheless, for the purposes of this analysis, we will assume that John was indeed referring to Psalm 34:20. If this is the case, a quick look at the context will be enough to dispel any illusions of a Messianic prophecy. Psalm 34 contrasts two groups of people - the righteous (34:7) and the wicked (34:16). It is in this context that verse 20 appears, as one of the benefits of being righteous.

Psalm 34:17-20 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

It should therefore be obvious that verse 20 is not directed to one individual, but is in fact directed to a group of people - the righteous. There is no indication at all in this Psalm that the author is talking about the Messiah, who was to come many centuries hence. If Christians insist that verse 20 is a Messianic prophecy, they must also concede that there must be many Messiahs, according to the context of this psalm. In summary then, we find no reason to believe that Psalm 34 is intended to be a Messianic prophecy. In contrast, we find that the Psalm talks about the righteous in general terms - it does not single out one particular individual.



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Crucifixion (Psalm 22)

Mark 15:24-34 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 

Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 

Psalm 22:7-8 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. 

Psalm 22:16,18 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet...They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Psalm 22 is another favorite passage that apologists will often point to as a fulfillment of prophecy. This is a little curious, however, because nowhere in this psalm does the author give any indication at all that he is predicting the future. On the face of it, this psalm is another prayer for deliverance, like psalm 28, 30, 35 etc. As with most of David's deliverance psalms, this song follows the same structure. First, the author recounts his present distress, and pleads for divine help (1-21). The psalm then ends with a song of rejoicing and praise to God (22-31). This is what the story is all about. What can we say about the Christian interpretation of this psalm as a prophecy of Jesus' crucifixion? First, we should note that the psalm nowhere actually mentions the act of crucifixion. This is not too surprising, since this form of execution was not known in David's time. The closest that we can come is verse 16, which states that they "..pierced my hands and feet...". This phrase actually still does not necessarily refer to crucifixion. There is no mention, for example, of nails or a cross. Since the author mentioned dogs in this same verse, he was obviously referring to animal bites. The interpretation of verse 16 is further complicated by the fact that the Hebrew text appears to be corrupt at this point. Most Hebrew manuscripts have the word "lion" in place of "pierced", which does not seem to make any sense in the context. The New Jerusalem Bible translates verse 16 as "...a gang of villains closing in on me, as if to hack off my hands and feet...". The footnote reads "Hebr. ka'ari 'as a lion', unintelligible; Gk 'they have dug into'; Syr. 'they have wounded'." The NIV note at this verse reads "Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts like the lion...". A further point is that it seems strange that none of the Evangelists quoted this verse as being fulfilled by Jesus. John quoted verse 18 in reference to Jesus' clothes, and quoted Zechariah 12:10 in reference to Jesus' side being pierced by a weapon, but never quoted Psalm 22:16 with regard to Jesus' crucifixion. Nor do any of the other gospels quote this verse. It seems likely that the Old Testament version that the Evangelists used did not have this particular rendering. What about the parting of the clothes (verse 18)? In fact, this was actually standard practice for an executed criminal. The psalmist is no doubt telling us that his enemies already considered him dead. That Jesus was executed as a criminal is also stated in the gospels. We should not therefore be too surprised that his executioners divided his clothes among themselves. They probably did the same with the other two thieves that were crucified with him. If the Christian interpretation is to hold, one wonders how verse 10 is to be resolved. The psalmist here states that God was with him from the moment of his birth. This makes sense for a purely human protagonist, but it is hard to reconcile with the notion of a pre-existent, divine Messiah. To sum up, then, we have several problems: first, there is no indication that this psalm was intended to be prophetic. It follows the theme and structure of a number of David's other Songs of Deliverance. Second, the psalm does not refer to crucifixion in the first place. There are other interpretations, which better fit the context of the poem. Finally, there are elements of the psalm that cannot easily be applied to Jesus. The bottom line is that this is simply one more Old Testament passage that was abused by the New Testament writers.  



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Vinegar on Cross (Psalm 69)

Jn 19:28-29 After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst." There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.

This is found in:

Psalm 69:22 Instead they put gall in my food; for my thirst they gave me vinegar.

It sounds true. So lets read few more verses as well:

Psalm 69:23-29 Make their own table a snare for them, a trap for their friends. 24Make their eyes so dim they cannot see; keep their backs ever feeble. 25 Pour out your wrath upon them; let the fury of your anger overtake them. 26 Make their camp desolate, with none to dwell in their tents. 27 For they pursued the one you struck, added to the pain of the one you wounded. 28 Add that to their crimes; let them not attain to your reward. 29 Strike them from the book of the living; do not count them among the just!

He asked God to blind his enemies, to make their camp desolate, to add iniquity to their iniquity, and to blot them out of the book of life... If the psalmist was talking about a future 'Christ-figure', then how can Christians explain the difference in the attitude he displayed toward his enemies and the one that Jesus displayed to his? It seems strange indeed that God would have chosen a person as spiteful and vengeful as this man to serve as a prophetic figure of the forgiving Jesus. Everyone knows the famous spirit of forgiveness that Jesus demonstrated before and during his crucifixion; yet this 'Christ-figure', that the psalmist was referring to, was quite the opposite.

 

Furthermore, the plaint of this distressed psalmist included also (in the same verse that mentioned the vinegar) a reference to gall that he was given for meat when he was hungry. So if it was necessary for Jesus to be given vinegar on the cross in order to fulfill this prophecy, shouldn't they have given him gall too? How could half the verse be a prophecy and the other half not? By what logic is that?  



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Pierced on Cross (Zechariah 12:10)

Christians truly believe that what happened to Jesus was written about him in the scriptures. When a soldier thrust his lance into Jesus on the cross:

(Jn 19:37) And again, another passage says: They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

It sounds true. This verse is found in Zechariah 12:10:

 (Zec 12:10) I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and petition; and they shall look on him whom they have thrust through, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they shall grieve over him as one grieves over a firstborn.

But all it takes is to read few more verses as well:

(Zec 12:11-14) On that day, the mourning in Jerusalem shall be as great as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 And the land shall mourn, each family apart: the family of the house of David, and their wives, the family of the house of Nathan, and their wives, 13 the family of the house of Levi, and their wives, the family of the house of Shemei, and their wives; 14 and all the rest of the families, each family apart, and the wives apart.

In those verses, it is the Jews who will be mourning the one whom they (their enemies) have thrust their weapons through. But in the case of Jesus, it was the exact opposite. According to the New Testament it was the Jews who were plotting to kill Jesus all along. So, how could they have mourned over him? Even Christians want Jesus to be crucified in order to take away their sins.

 

It turns out that nobody mourned this man, so how could Christians claim a fulfilled prophecy? This prophecy was not talking about this man.



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Marry and Virgin Birth Of Jesus Christ

If Jesus were really born of a virgin, by the Holy Spirit, everybody in such a small community would have known this and would have talked about it for the first thirty years. But this was not the case. Everybody knew that Jesus was the son of Joseph and not born from the Holy Spirit by a virgin:

(Jn 6:42) and they said, Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, I have come down from heaven?

For the first thirty years, the Jews knew that this man was born from Mary and Joseph. Even his own disciples knew that Joseph was his father and that he was from Nazareth (hence not from Bethlehem):

(Jn 1:45) Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the Law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth."

At the beginning, even his own disciples knew that he was the son of Joseph and from Nazareth. It was not until later when Jesus convinced his stupid disciples that those were true miracles that he was able to brainwash them with his virgin birth. The virginity story shocked the Jews when he was already thirty! Even his own brothers did not believe that their mother was a virgin nor believed his fake miracles:

(Jn 7:3-5) Jesus' brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. 4 No one works in secret if he wants to become a public figure. If you do these things manifest yourself to the world." 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Who would have known him more than his own brothers? His brothers knew him and knew their mother long enough to believe him or not. If he were really born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, they would have believed him and believed his miracles. At least they would have believed the Holy Spirit, but still they didnt believe him nor believed his Holy Spirit.

 

The Rabbis werent able to verify her virginity since she had already given birth to seven other earthly conceived brothers (number of angel brothers unknown). Since the Rabbis were only able to ask his earthly brothers, and since they had no reason not to believe them, the Rabbis had no choice but to discard the virginity story. If his own brothers did not believe him, why should we?But We are really fortunate to have 'John' as a witness so that we know how Jesus established his fake divinity.

 

As for his birth was really in Bethlehem or not, those who knew Jesus and his parents confirmed that he was born in Galilee and not in Bethlehem:

(Jn 7:41-43) Others said, "He is the Messiah." Still others asked, "How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.

So the people knew that Jesus was from Galilee. Even worse, Jesus himself admits that their knowledge about him is correct:

(Jn 7:27-28) But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from." Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, "Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from..."

The people knew for certain that he was not from Bethlehem but that he was from Galilee. Jesus even admitted that their knowledge about him is true. Also the priests were certain that he came form Galilee:

(Jn 7:52) They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."

Everybody knew for sure that Jesus came from Galilee, and not from Bethlehem. Jesus conceded to this and did not deny it. But what is most pathetic, is that even Saul, the founder of Christianity, never even mentioned in the NT the virgin birth, birth in Bethlehem, nor ever acknowledged Jesus do a single miracle.

 

Centuries before Jesus: According to Hindu literature, Krishna, the eighth incarnation of the god Vishnu, was born to the virgin Devaki in fulfillment of prophecy and was visited by wise men who had been guided to him by a star. Angels also announced the birth to herdsmen in the nearby countryside. When King Kansa heard about the miraculous birth of this child, he sent men to "kill all the infants in the neighboring places," but a "heavenly voice" whispered to the foster father of Krishna (who, incidentally, was a carpenter) and warned him to take the child and flee across the Jumna river... In this Hindu legend, we can recognize many parallels to the infancy of Jesus other than the virgin birth element.  



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 Resurrect Lazarus (Jn 11:1-44)

Miracle Of Jesus Christ Ressurect Dead LazarusWas Lazarus buried according to Jewish burial customs? ‘John’ illustrates in explicit detail the raising of a single man: Lazarus.

(Jn 11:43-44) And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go”.

Unlike Jesus, Lazarus was not buried according to Jewish burial customs:

(Jn 19:38-40) After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. 39 Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom.

Jesus’ body was bound with burial cloths along with the spices. The myrrh is a plant derivative that could be of several forms; one of them is oil (does not evaporate). The aloes are plant leaves (do not evaporate). Those leaves should have been smeared with myrrh. Those leaves should have been bound around the body with the burial cloth. And then the wrapped body should have been laid over even more leaves. But Lazarus was not prepared for burial according to the Jewish burial custom. ‘The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.’ THE MYRRH AND ALOES AND THE BURIAL CLOTHS ALLOVER THE BODY WERE MISSING.

Miracle of Jesus Christ Raise DeadIf Lazarus were Wrapped ACCORDING to Jewish burial customs then he would not have been able to move, nor come out of the tomb by himself, simply because his whole body would still be wrapped!!! The mere fact that he came out first on his own and only later they untied his hands and feet, means that he was not wrapped allover, according to Jewish burial customs.

‘So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go”’ confirming that Lazarus was only ‘tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth’ but not his whole body.

Some Christians say that Lazarus was indeed wrapped allover his body according to Jewish burial customs, but God unwrapped him as part of the miracle. If that were the case, then why did God fall short of untying his hands and feet or at least unwrapping his face? '38 So Jesus perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.''John' testifies that Lazarus was in a CAVE (that can support life). Lazarus was NOT buried according to Jewish burial customs. The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.’ This is not Jewish burial custom. The burial cloths wrapped allover the body were missing. It is 'John' who witnessed and reported this. It is not that 'John' is lying; on the contrary, it is very fortunate for us to have 'John' as a witness so that we know how Jesus performed his fake ‘miracles’. Anyone can disappear for a while, tie himself up, wrap his face in a cloth, and then wait alive in a cave.

Some Christians say that Lazarus was not buried according to Jewish burial custom because his sisters were too poor and could not afford the burial cloths and the spices. But those Christians forgot that his sister, Mary, anointed the feet of Jesus with oil worth 300 days of wages. This proves that she had more than enough money for a Jewish burial. No, Lazarus was not buried according to Jewish burial customs.



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How did Jesus conspire with Lazarus?

How could Lazarus wait alive in the cave?

The two sisters sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was ill. Later, Jesus arrived in Bethany and found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Jesus called his name and Lazarus walked out of the tomb by himself. But where was Jesus when they sent word to him that Lazarus was ill?

(Jn 10,40) He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. 41 Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true”. 42 And many there began to believe in him. (11,1) Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany… '

John' was divided into chapters and verses by the church and not by the original author. We have to follow his time frame. He links the successive events by using ‘then…’ or he mentions that it happened after so many days… When locating Jesus, the author says '42 And many there began to believe in him. (11,1) Now a man was ill…' which means not several days afterward. We cannot say that it happened in any other time. We have to stick to his time frame. So Jesus remained where John first baptized. John the Baptist was baptizing throughout all of the Judean wilderness and along the Jordan River, but at the time of this particular incident where was he?

(Jn 1,26) John answered them, “I baptize with water, but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, 27 the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie”. 28 This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Therefore, John was baptizing in Bethany. And where was Bethany?

(Jn 11,18) Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.

(Mk 11:1) As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples…

Bethany is situated on the Mount of Olives facing Jerusalem. Mount of Olives is still in the same place. It doesn’t move much. Bethany should remain on the Mount of Olives facing Jerusalem and two miles away. Those who try to place Jesus away from Lazarus are literally ‘moving mountains’. (There was no ‘other’ Bethany to the east. To Christian apologists see: Bethany beyond the Jordan). John the Baptist was baptizing everywhere throughout the Judean wilderness and along the Jordan River, but at the time of this particular incident, he was at Bethany at the Mount of Olives. So, when the sisters sent word to Jesus on day zero that Lazarus was ill, Jesus was already in Bethany at a walking distance from Lazarus. Halleluiah…

(n 11,1) Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary, and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and dried his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill. 3 So the sisters sent word to him saying, “Master the one you love is ill”. 4 When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but it is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it”. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was.

Day two, Lazarus alive, Jesus still in Bethany at a walking distance from Lazarus.

7 Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea”. 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go back there?”

Bethany is situated on the Mount of Olives. Mount of Olives had a small community of Bethpage and Bethany. It had a Sadducee majority (Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes… are Jewish sects). The Sadducees did not persecute Jesus, so, he often found refuge at their Mount of Olives. Here he asked his disciples to leave their refuge at Bethany and go back to where the Pharisees tried to stone him.

9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in a day? If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him”.

Blah, blah, blah… Day three, they leave Bethany towards Judea with Lazarus still alive. Bethany is two miles east of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is only half an hour walking distance from Bethany. All of Judea proper is within thirty miles radius. They should reach any point in Judea within twelve walking hours. Logic says that they should reach any point in Judea within two days maximum.

11 He said this and then told them, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him”. 12 So the disciples said to him, “Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved”. 13 But Jesus was talking about his death, while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep. The disciples believed that Lazarus was asleep as they last saw him in Bethany and not dead. 14 So then Jesus said to them clearly, “Lazarus has died. 15 And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe. Let us go to him.”

Jesus wants to make his disciples believe that he could do real miracles and ‘RAISE THE DEAD’. So he leads them out of Bethany and makes clear to them that he was away from Lazarus when he ‘DIES’ so that they may believe that he really can raise the dead. He starts heading back to Bethany, and at a maximum of twelve hours walking distance from Bethany. No matter what day it is, from any point in Judea they should arrive in Bethany within twelve walking hours, a maximum of two days.

16 So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go to die with him”.

‘Yes, I am stupid’.

17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Jesus arrives after declaring Lazarus dead the day before maximum, but the sisters have already declared Lazarus dead and in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother.20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask God, God will give you”. 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day”. 25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” 28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying, “The teacher is here and is asking for you”. 29 As soon as she heard this, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 For Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still where Martha had met him. 31 So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her saw Mary get up quickly and go out, they followed her, presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled,

Notice the exact words of Martha and Mary ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died’. Martha already told Jesus that Lazarus is dead, but he did not weep then because the Jews were not there. Only when the Jews are watching he weeps and shows emotions to beloved Lazarus.

34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come, and see”. 35 And Jesus wept36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” 37 But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?” 38 So Jesus perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a CAVE, and a stone lay across it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone”. Martha, the dead mans’ sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days”. 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”

Christian apologists have a very curious slogan “Who moved the stone?”; as if it were a miracle.

41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. 42 I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go”.

 Jesus’ body was bound with burial cloths along with the spices. But Lazarus was not prepared for burial according to the Jewish burial custom. ‘The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. THE MYRRH AND ALOES AND THE BURIAL CLOTHS ALLOVER THE BODY WERE MISSING.

 

There was no stench (although, the stench of a dead rat would have corrected the ambiance and made it a more realistic ‘resurrection’).

 

Do not try this at home: This was a staged resurrection. The two sisters sent Jesus a word that Lazarus was ill so that he starts his plan. He remained for two days near Lazarus. Then he led his stupid disciples towards mainland Judea where the Pharisees tried to stone him. Then Jesus wasted time in order to let Lazarus do his part. Lazarus disappeared for a while and the sisters claimed that he was dead and already buried. At the planed time for his staged resurrection, Lazarus tied himself up and waited in the cave for Jesus to call him out. When Jesus returned, everybody played his part as planned, tears, even the exact words “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. They knew that Jesus was near Lazarus all along and lied about it in front of the Jews. Lazarus simply waited in the cave for Jesus to call him and led the Jews to believe that Jesus was the Messiah who can do real miracles and even raise the dead...

(Jn 11,5) Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

If Jesus could really raise the dead, he would not have called his beloved disciple out of a cave. He would have led the Jews to the nearest graveyard, dug up a skeleton and brought it back to life. But of course he didn’t because he couldn’t.



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Why did Lazarus conspire with Jesus?

The ‘Raising of Lazarus’ story appears normal; It has two women in it: Martha and Mary. The same women, Martha and Mary, are found in the anointment incident at Bethany, that happened after the resurrection of their brother Lazarus.

(Jn 12,1-11) Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. 3 Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, 5 "Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?" 6He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. 7 So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

They gave a dinner for him there (Bethany), and Martha served’ but we don’t know in whose house. ‘Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.’ Mary anoints Jesus with very expensive perfumed oil and Judas complains about wasting the expensive oil that costs 300 days of wages. This exact incident is found in the gospel ‘Mark’. Maybe if we look into ‘Mark’ we can reach the whole story.

(Mk 14:3-7) When he was in BETHANY reclining at table in the house of SIMON the leper, a woman came with ALABASTER jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the ALABASTER jar and poured it on his head. 4 There were some who were indignant, “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages and the money given to the poor.” They were infuriated with her 6 Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done good for me.7 The poor will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me…

It is the same incident in ‘John’ and ‘Mark’ since:

1) Happened in Bethany.

2) At table.

3) 300 days wages.

4) Jesus asks them to leave her alone because they always have the poor with them…

‘Mark’ says that it happened in the house of SIMON the leper. However the gospel ‘Luke’ uncovers that the woman who anoints Jesus’ feet at the house ofSIMON is sinful and everybody knows her. Jesus forgives her sins in front of everybody and preaches about people repaying debts to each other:

(Lk 7:36-50) A Pharisee invited him to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisees’ house and reclined at table.

This Pharisee stood out in Bethany because Bethany had a Sadducee majority.

37 Now there was a SINFUL WOMAN in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabasterflask of ointment, 38 she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. 39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “IF THIS MAN WERE A PROPHET, HE WOULD KNOW WHO AND WHAT SORT OF WOMAN THIS IS WHO IS TOUCHING HIM, THAT SHE IS A SINNER.” 40 Jesus said to him in reply, “SIMON, I have something to say to you”. “Tell me teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. 42 Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more? 43 SIMON said in reply, “The one, I suppose, with the larger debt was forgiven”. He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to SIMON, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. 47 So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one whom little is forgiven, loves little.” 48 He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven”. 49 The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins? 50 But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.

Jesus preached for three years, which is roughly 1000 days. The Bible only records a total of 50 days out of those 1000 (less than two months out of three years). In those remaining 950 days, Jesus was going from village to village preaching. Jesus could have been anywhere. Unlike 'John' and 'Mark', 'Luke' inserts this story into his gospel without locating where or when this incident happened. But 'Luke' affirms that it was indeed at the house of Simon and that the woman anoints Jesus feet with ointment. (Note that 'Matthew' typically puts all his discourses together. This does not mean that Jesus actually said all these things at the same time, but 'Matthew' arranged them topically and so did 'Luke').

In ‘Mark’ and ‘Luke’ it is the same incident since:

1) It happened in the house of Simon.

2) At table.

3) Alabaster jar.

 In 'Luke' and 'John' it is the same incident since:

1)Feet dried with her hair.

2) At table.

There is a very famous Christian argument that this leper in 'Mark' could not have been the same Pharisee in 'Luke', hence not the same Simon (hence different incident and different Mary): First: TheAmerican Leprosy Missions is a good source for clearing the Christian myths about leprosy. Of the world's population, 95% have a natural immunity to leprosy. It is not necessary to isolate a person with leprosy at any time. Also, it is NOT transmitted through sexual contact or pregnancy. Most people will never develop the disease even if they are exposed to the bacteria:

LEPROSY FACTS AND MYTHS 1.3 

"Is leprosy in the Bible the same as it is today? No. The Hebrew word for leprosy refers to many types of skin diseases. "

The Bible never said that Jesus cured Simon the leper. Simon could have been infected with other type of bacteria that people thought was leprosy. Simon, a Pharisee, had a skin disease that was healed by time and then rejoined people again. This is why this leper did not believe that Jesus could do miracles. He did not even believe that Jesus was a prophet: “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.

Second: Pharisees, Essenes, Sadducees… are Jewish sects. Simon was a common Pharisee and not a priestThis Christian argument that if someone once had certain skin decease cannot be of a certain sect doesn’t make any sense.

In all three accounts, when a woman anoints Jesus with very expensive ointment, he is invited at table… It doesn’t take much to see that 'John', 'Mark' and 'Luke' are talking about the same incident. It is also easy to deduce that Jesus raised the brother of a woman who was sinful. Later Jesus forgives her many sins in front of everybody. This incident happened after ‘resurrecting’ her brother Lazarus from the dead.

Therefore, Jesus raises the brother of sinful Mary and later Jesus forgives her many sins in front of everybody and preaches about people repaying debts to each other.

Jesus visits Martha and sinful Mary after the anointment incident

(Lk 10,41) The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 42 There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her”.

So Martha is worried about many things while sinful Mary wants to keep the better part.

But when did Jesus first meet a sinful woman? Jesus met a woman caught in adultery!!!

(Jn 8,1) …while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 But early in the mourning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. 4 They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.

We can see from 'Luke' how easily the reputation of a sinful woman spreads; although the sinful woman in 'Luke' was still alive and was not stoned to death. Maybe somebody saved her from the Law of Moses. Who could have saved her from the Law of Moses other than the Messiah? Don't Christians ever think about it? Jesus is saving her right here when she was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Jesus is saving her in front of everybody. All the Jews know about this sinful woman who was saved from the Law of Moses. This is the sinful woman in 'Luke' who was saved from the Law of Moses. The woman in 'Luke' is Mary in 'John', the sister of Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead.



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Why Marry in particular?

miracles_of_jesus_see.gifBethany, the village of adulteress Mary, is at the Mount of Olives and Jesus has just been there ‘(Jn 8,1)…while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives 2 But early in the mourning he arrived again in the temple area…’. This happened the very next morning. We cannot say that it happened in any other day. So Jesus was not faced with a stranger at all.Mount of Olives had a very small community of Bethany and Bethphage (Sadducee majority and practically everybody knew everybody). The Sadducees did not persecute Jesus, so he often found refuge at their Mount of Olives. Jesus spent enough time there and could have easily seen her before.

 

So Jesus bends down buying time and thinking how to exploit the situation. He has a doomed woman on his hands, who would owe him her life but only if he could save her now. “Bent down and began to write on the ground”??? Who bends down and writes on the ground?… A person in deep thought, plotting a scheme, in mood, or all!!! So, he bends down, buying time and thinking of a way to outsmart the Jews and save her life. Thinking…Thinking…

7 But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” 8 Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.

Thinking again…

9 And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him.

He outsmarts the Jews, saves the life of a doomed woman, and then gets alone with her. Now Jesus is alone with a sinful woman who owes him her life. There are no witnesses at all. Jesus can ask her anything to repay her debt to him. Jesus has the motive, opportunity to negotiate a deal with her, no witnesses, knows how to contact her later…

10 Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? 11 She replied, “No one, sir”. Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

She walks out of it, owing Jesus her life.

He did not ‘forgive’ her now, because she has yet to pay him back.

She did not thank him now, because she will surely pay him back big time.

Accordingly, the order of events becomes:

1) Jesus saves the life of sinful Mary.

2) Jesus raises the brother of sinful Mary.

3) Only now Jesus forgives the sins of Mary and preaches about people repaying debts to each other.

4) Jesus visits adulteress Mary who wants to keep the better part.

Now we have a much clearer and different picture of the whole story. It is very easy to put things together and deduce how Jesus saved the life of Mary when she was caught in adultery and was about to be stoned to death by the Jews. In return Jesus wanted her to do him a little favor. Jesus asked Mary to help him stage the death of her brother ‘Lazarus’ in order to convince his stupid disciples and the non-suspecting Jews that he is the Messiah, who can raise people from the dead… Mary conceded to the plan so that she can repay the large debt that they owed him. FOR she owed him her life. Lazarus was simply repaying Jesus for saving his sister and cleansing her filthy reputation.



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Jesus Cures Crippled (Paralytic) (Jn 5:1-18)

Miracle of Jesus Christ CrippledScience says that Psychosomatic illnesses are not imaginary; They are physical disorders in which both emotions and thought patterns play a central role. The illness is emotional or mental in origin but has physical symptoms. Medical doctors today heal psychosomatic illnesses by simply removing those emotional or mental causes; then the physical symptoms automatically disappear (see also: Hypochondria). Medical doctors today are trained to be good persuaders in order to heal those psychosomatic illnesses.

(Jn 5:2) Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep [Gate] a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. 3 In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. 5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.

Out of all the sick, the blind, and the lame Jesus did not cure any of them. Jesus cured a man who was sick for so many years and not cured so many people.

7 The sick man answered him ‘Sir, I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me’.

While I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me” which means that this man could move on his own but moves slower than the others, hence he was not paralyzed. 'John' never said that this man was paralytic, lame, or anything of the kind. But 'John' correctly refers to him as ‘sick man’.

14 After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him “Look, you are well, do not sin anymore so that nothing worse may happen to you”.

Do not sin anymore so that nothing worse may happen to you”, so Jesus knew that this man felt sick not from disease but felt sick due to guilt from sin. But this is a typical Psychosomatic Illness. And Psychosomatic illnesses can be cured by the power of persuasion. Obviously this man had a psychosomatic illness that can be cured by words. Moreover, Jesus knew about him before Jesus approached him:

6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” “Do you want to be well?” Son of God is telling you: “Rise, take up your mat, and walk”.

If curing a psychosomatic illness by words is a miracle, then miracles happen everyday.

Christians say that Jesus couldn't have known what a psychosomatic illness is. No, Jesus did not know what we call a psychosomatic illness, but he noticed the effects of persuasion on people. At the time of Jesus, people were not so ignorant as Christians portray them; the Romans built multi-story buildings and even used concrete (it is not a new invention). They knew HOW things worked but did not know WHY they worked. Jesus simply noticed the power of persuasion. Jesus only needed to be a good persuader in order to cure illnesses due to guilt from sin and claim to do real miracles



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Jesus Walked on Water (Jn 6:16-21)

Jesus walk on waterWere the disciples disoriented? Was Jesus on Shore all along?

(Jn 6:16) When it was evening, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 embarked in a boat, and across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown DARK, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and began to be afraid. 20 But he said to them, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ 21 They wanted to take him into the boat but the boat immediately arrived to the shore to which they were heading.

17 Embarked in a boat, and across the sea to Capernaum’ the disciples took the boat and headed to Capernaum. Their destination was Capernaum. After rowing three or four miles, they saw Jesus and then beached somewhere, which they thought was 'the shore to which they were heading' (that is Capernaum). If they were NOT disoriented then their boat should be beached at Capernaum. But this was not the case. The next day, the crowd came and saw that the boat was not beached at Capernaum at all, but beached somewhere between their departure point (where they ate the bread) and their destination (Capernaum).

(Jn 6,22) The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. 23 Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. 24 And when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 And when they found him across the sea they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you get here?’

'The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there' they saw one beached boat there. ‘and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left.’ which means that this was indeed the disciples' abandoned boat. Then other boats also came from the starting point where Jesus fed the 5000: 23 Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanksThis means that now they are NOT at the starting point. 24 And when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. But the crowd still took their boats and continued to Capernaum, which means that the disciples’ boat was not beached at Capernaum after all, otherwise the crowd would not need to row anywhere further. This proves that the disciples were indeed disoriented when they thought that they arrived to Capernaum 'to the shore to which they were heading'.

So How did Jesus appear to walk on water?

Once upon a time, in a dark windy night, there were people on a boat, in the dark, strong winds and high waves (poor visibility). They were near the shore but since they were in the dark with strong winds and high waves (no reference points), they got disoriented and thought that they were in the middle of the ocean. And there was an innocent man walking on the shore towards them. As the man stepped into the shallow waters, he said ‘Hola’ (which is translated ‘Hello’). The people on the boat, who still thought that they were in the middle of the ocean, saw the man and thought that he was a ghost walking on water! Suddenly the boat jerked. They thought that they hit a whale, but when they investigated they noticed that they ran aground. One of them said, “Thank Christ, we have reached the shore to which we were heading”. The innocent man knew that he was on shore all along but it was them who were disoriented. Accordingly, the innocent man did not walk on water and surely did not do any miracle.

Similarly, they saw Jesus and beached somewhere between their departure point and their destination (Capernaum). And they were really disoriented when they thought that they arrived to their destination. Yes, they were really disoriented all along. They were disoriented and rowing near the shore when they saw Jesus walking in shallow waters. All the disciples could have walked in shallow waters too... got hit by a wave, fallen then stood up and walked in shallow waters again... This is not a miracle.    

If the boat were not there, then why did the crowd stop here? Did they see any traces of a beached boat? Logic says that all traces on the shore will be wiped away by the very first wave. Nothing will survive for the next day. Those Christians failed to explain what technology did the crowd use in order to see things in the past. Logic says that since the crowd had no means to look into the past, then the crowd witnessed the boat in front of them. 'John' says that the crowd ‘saw that there had been only one boat there’, not two boats, not three boats. The crowd saw one beached boat. There was no other boat, so they could not have mistaken it for any other boat. 25 And when they found him across the sea they said to him, ‘Rabbi, WHEN did you get here?’ The crowd weren’t amassed HOW he got here because they already saw the beached boat and knew that he came on foot. They asked him WHEN did he get here.

 

Christians claim that those were experienced fishermen, so they couldn’t have been disoriented. Those Christians seem to keep forgetting that even today’s best and most experienced aviators, with the best navigational instruments, occasionally do get disoriented, so how about simple fishermen at night, strong winds and high waves with no reference points at all…? 



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Jesus Heals Blind Man (Jn 9:1-41)

Jesus Blind ManHow do the blind identify people? Science says that blind people rely extensively on their other senses for spatial orientation, especially their hearing. They notice sounds that are often ignored by people capable to see. They also identify the people around them by memorizing their voiceprint. Blind people easily identify other people around them from their voiceprint, even if they spoke different words... The blind do not need to see the person in order to identify him. They are even capable to decipher speech from further distances…

If Jesus really healed a blind man and it wasn't a hoax then this "blind" man should have recognized voiceprints. But this wasn't the case: He couldn't recognize voiceprints!

(Jn 9:1) As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

If this beggar were really blind from birth, then he would have certainly relied on his hearing in order to identify people around him. As Jesus passed by the beggar he spoke about him to his disciples:

(Jn 9:4) … We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world’ 6 When he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, 7 and said to him ‘Go wash in the pool of Siloam’…

When he said this, he spat on the ground’ which means Jesus spoke about the beggar near him and then later spoke directly to him. This beggar knows exactly the voiceprint of the man who put clay on his eyes. If this were really a blind beggar he would have spontaneously recognized that voiceprint again few hours later. But this was not the case:

(Jn 9:35) When Jesus heard that they had thrown him, he found him and said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?36 He answered and said, "Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?37 Jesus said to him, "You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he."…

Jesus spoke to the beggar but his voiceprint did not ring a bell at all. The beggar had no idea who was talking to him. Then Jesus had to introduce himself clearly to the beggar. And all this happened in front of the Jews:

(Jn 9:40) Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him…

In this charade, Jesus and the beggar were trying to act normal in front of the Jews. But they made a mistake. A real blind man would have immediately recognized the voiceprint of the one who gave him his sight few hours earlier. It seems that Jesus and the beggar did not know that blind people recognize voiceprints spontaneously. They miscalculated the capabilities of the people born blind and staged the wrong act. A truly blind man would have recognized the voice of Jesus immediately. Jesus would not have needed to introduce himself any further; actually Jesus would not have needed to finish his sentence. But Jesus and this sighted beggar did not know this fact about the blind when they planned this charade. The innocent bystanders did not notice this and fell for it. This beggar did not recognize the voiceprint of Jesus. He could not have been born blind.

Jesus Heals Another Blind Man (Mk 8:22-26)

Jesus healed another blind man who could not have been born blind; this blind man already knew how things looked like:

(Mk 8:22-26) They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" 24 He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." 25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village."

This 'blind man' recognized the shapes of trees and how people walked. If he was really blind all along, then how could he have recognized the shapes of trees if he never saw them before? How could he have recognized how walking looks like if he never saw it before? When people born blind regain their sight they should not know how trees look like nor how walking looks like. This man could not have been born blind. This incident is just a sample; Jesus did it many times but we are fortunate to have 'John' as a witness so that we know how Jesus did his fake miracles.

Did Jesus really conspire with a sighted beggar? 

Some Christians say that the first beggar indeed recognized the voiceprint of the man speaking to him as the one who put clay on his eyes, but he did not know what "Son of Man" meant. In the Old Testament, the term "Son of Man" always referred to prophets (and not to ordinary people). And the beggar knew about this because he used to go to the synagogue. If he did not know what “Son of Man” meant, then this means that he did not go to the synagogue. In this case both he and his parents lied about it (and the testimony of liars does not stand). Actually he did admit that the man who put clay on his eyes was a prophet:

(Jn 9,17) So they said to the blind man again, "What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet."

So the beggar acknowledged the man who put clay on his eyes was a prophet; and he also knew that a prophet is referred to as "Son of Man". This beggar knows that the one who put clay on his eyes was the "Son of Man".

 

Other Christians say that the beggar recognized his voiceprint but did not know that this prophet (Son of Man) was the Jewish long awaited Messiah. But those Christians keep forgetting what happened that day:

(Jn 9,22) His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the MESSIAH he would be expelled from the synagogue...

Which means that the subject of the day was already raging whether the one who put clay on his eyes was the long awaited Messiah or not. So if the beggar really recognized his voiceprint then he should have spontaneously asked him: 'Are you the Messiah?' (or at least 'Thank you for giving me vision'). But this was not the case; instead he asked him: 'Which one is the prophet so that I worship him?'. Which means that he still does not know that the one speaking with him is the one who gave him sight; the subject of the day (the Messiah or not). No, this beggar did not recognize the voiceprint of Jesus. He could not have been born blind.

Who would have known this beggar more than his neighbors? His neighbors saw him everyday. They would have surely known if he were born sighted, if he were born blind, or if he faked it later in his life… The neighbors themselves would be the ones who would testify that he was really blind from birth. But this was not the case. It was his neighbors and those who saw him earlier who did not believe that he was blind. If his neighbors knew that he was blind from birth they would not have asked his parents. This man was a beggar. Everybody knew him as a beggar and not a blind man. If he were really blind, his neighbors would have remembered his disability more than his financial status; but this was not the case:

(Jn 9,8) His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as abeggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said, “It is”, but others said, “No, he just looks like him”. He said, “I am”.

So, everybody remembered him as the beggar. His biggest trait was his way of making a living and not any disability whatsoever. His neighbors suspected that he faked his blindness for begging purposes and/or to help do the hoax. This is why his neighbors did not believe that he was blind from birth and went on to investigate this matter further. The neighbors asked how his eyes wereOPENED because they were CLOSED. Anyone can CLOSE his eyes (for a month or so for the hoax). They asked his parents because they didn't remember them CLOSED from birth.

According to Jesus himself:

(Jn 8:17) “Even in your law it is written that the testimony of two men can be verified”.

So to verify any claim, one needs two testimonies. But also according to Jesus:

(Jn 5:31) “If I testify on my own, my testimony cannot be verified”.

Therefore, according to Jesus, a person cannot testify for himself in order to prove his own claim. So to verify the beggar’s claim, that he was really blind and not staging a sham with Jesus, he needs at least two other testimonies to prove that he was really blind. For this reason his neighbors asked his parents:

(Jn 9:20-23) His parents answered and said “we know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 We do not know how he sees now, nor we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age, he can speak of himself”. 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Messiah he would be expelled from the synagogue.23 For this reason his parents said “He is of age, question him”.

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews”, 'John' bluntly says that his parents are lying somewhere in their testimony. 'John' himself admits that they were lying somewhere in their testimony and were hiding something.

 

Other Christians believe that his parents did not lie to the neighbors that 'he was born blind', but that they only lied to the neighbors that ‘We do not know how he sees now, nor we know who opened his eyes’. Christians seem to keep forgetting that his parents were not direct eyewitnesses to the ‘miracle’ but only knew what their son had told them. Wouldn’t his parents be telling the truth when they say that they weren’t there to see who did what? They can only be telling the TRUTH about it either way (blind or fake). How can they testify who did what if they never saw who did what? Actually, if they gave any other answer they would be lying about it. They had to be telling the truth. This leaves only one part where they were lying and hiding something: 'he was born blind'. Anyhow, no matter where they lied or what they were hiding, a lying testimony does not stand. So, the lying testimony of his parents does not stand. After the growing suspicions, that he was not blind from birth but just faked it later, the neighbors and those who saw him earlier as a beggar tried to interrogate his parents but couldn’t because his parents evaded. The beggars’ parents DID NOT testify for their son and evaded interrogation: “Ask him, he is of age, he can speak of himself”. This is why the neighbors and the Rabbis were only able to interrogate the beggar himself. Accordingly, the beggar did not secure a single valid testimony to prove that he was really blind and not faking his blindness just to help Jesus do his ‘miracles’.

 

The claims of the beggar remained uncorroborated. In the end, his own neighbors and the Rabbis who questioned him did not believe him, and then they threw him out:

(Jn 9:34) They answered and said to him “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out.

If his own neighbors did not believe that he was blind from birth, why should we? Jesus was receiving donations (from which Judas was steeling, and Jesus who knows everything and is going to judge us, did not know this). The more donations Jesus received the more miracles he was able to finance. The beggars’ parents did not want to interfere, fearing the Rabbis from one side and fearing to lose the money from Jesus from the other side, after all, their son was a professional beggar. This is why they said ‘question him’ and won both sides.



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Jesus Feeds 5000 Bread From Heaven (Jn 6:1-15)

Did Jesus secretly buy the food and trick the audience?

(Jn 6:5-10) When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” 6 He said this to test them, because he himself knew what he was going to do... 9 There is a boy here who has five barely loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many. 10 Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined about five thousand in number.

'John' himself was amazed about the unusual amount of grass! Logically this was wild untrimmed grass that could grow high enough to obscure the vision of someone reclined. When the 5000 get reclined, they can’t see the ‘MIRACLE’. Jesus ‘himself knew what he was going to do’, so he told them to recline (so that they cannot see what he will do next). Jesus already chose the timing, location, scenario… They followed him to where he had already hid the pre-purchased food (amid the ‘great deal of grass’). Jesus simply tricked them that this bread that appeared amid the ‘great deal of grass’ was fresh from heaven… The innocent crowd fell for it.

 

Jesus Feeds 5000 Bread From HeavenAll that Jesus needed is a pit or depression in the ground (naturally occurring everywhere, especially in that mountainous area). He put the food there and then covered it with the same grass. This is why he asked them to recline so that they can't see where the bread came from (even if the food wasn't covered with grass). He raised his hands to heaven, abracadabra and then uncovered the food (still hidden to them). Praise the Lord! Cheesecakes freshly backed in heaven!!! ]

 

The next day something happened that exposed everything. Not the entire crowd fell for it. Some of the crowd did not believe that it was a miracle and followed Jesus in disbelief. He noticed their disbelief and tried to correct the situation. To avoid confrontation, he quickly admits to the crowds that they are following him not because they had seen real miracles, but because he fed them:

26 Jesus answered them and said, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.

But they still insist to see a real miracle:

30 So they said to him “What sign can you do, that we may see and to believe in you? What can you do? 31 Our ancestors ate manna in the desert. As it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat’”

The crowds ask Jesus to show them any miracle for them to believe in him, affirming what he has just declared and asserting that they did not see him the previous day do any miracle. They didn’t see him do the ‘MIRACLE’ because they were laying amid the ‘great deal of grass’. On the contrary, they ask him to feed them by a miracle like Moses did when he fed them in the desert. If they saw the miracle the day before, they wouldn’t have asked him to show them the same miracle again. The people themselves never said that Jesus fed them by a miracle but that they are still waiting for a miracle for them to believe in him. The crowds asked him to show them the same miracle again, but of course this time he was not prepared. This time he did not have any pre-purchased food, so he tries to evade:

32 So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.

Now that he is exposed, he doesn’t want the story of ‘bread from heaven’ to stop circulating, so he tries to convince this unbelieving crowd with another type of ‘bread from heaven’:

33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst”.

Sir, give us this bread always” referring to the ‘bread of life’. Jesus is convincing this crowd of another type of bread from heaven, the ‘bread of life’. Jesus won this crowd over with a promise, instead of a real miracle.

49 Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died; 50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.

This crowd circulates the story of ‘bread of life’, and the first crowd circulates the story of ‘bread form heaven’. It is easy to figure out how the five thousand fell for it. They ate pre-purchased bread while reclining amid ‘great deal of grass’ (and then were filled). Those who noticed that it was a hoax followed Jesus in disbelief. He himself admits their disbelief: 36 But I told you that although you have seen [me], you do not believe. Then they asked him to show them a true miracle or to feed them by a miracle like Moses did. Unable to do so, Jesus won them over not with physical bread from heaven, but with a promise of ‘Bread of Life’. In the end, everybody ate some sort of ‘bread from heaven’ and was filled. Till this day, Christians still eat this ‘bread from heaven’ and get filled.  

Christians claim that Jesus did not have enough money to buy all that food.

Macro Economics 101: A day’s wage should feed the worker, his wife, and three kids (three grownups +) three meals a day. This adds up to roughly 10 meals a day. But since cost of food is only 50% of the daily living cost then the cost of the 10 meals is only half of the daily wage of a worker. This means the wage of a labor day is equivalent to 20 meals. Feeding the 5000 a single meal requires 250 days wages (5000 meals divided by 20 meals/labor day). Finance 101: Jesus only needed to secure 250 days wages. Jesus was receiving donations (Judas held the money bag from which he was steeling, and Jesus who knows everything and is going to judge us, did not know this). If each believer in this god donated a single day’s wage per month Jesus could have easily collected 5000 days wages (one day's wage from each believer). Those 5000 days wages are enough money to feed 100,000 people (5000 labor days x 20 meals/labor day). Jesus could have easily fed those 5000 and still ended up with a fortune. If he can afford to anoint his feet with 300 days wages then he would surely invest another 300 to do more miracles (250 meals + 50 transportation to site). Miracles make more money and more money make more miracles… 



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God Spoke to Jesus (Jn 12:27-29)

Miracles of Jesus Christ God SpokeWere there any witnesses?

(Jn 12,27) “I am troubled now. Yet, what should I say? ‘Father save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again”. 29 The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder, but others said, “An angel has spoken to him”.

But others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him'”, the others who were never there still say so (like all Christians today), but what counts is the live testimony of the crowd there who heard it and said it was thunder. The crowd there did not believe that it was daddy; they said it was thunder.  

Jesus was simply exploiting everything around him, even thunder.  



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Jesus Heals Fever (Jn 4:46-54)

Miracle of Jesus Chrsit Sick FeverWas Jesus a doctor? All people do get fever and then recover. People who get fever can live; Everybody knows this.

(Jn 4,50) Jesus said to him “You may go; your son will live” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. 51While he was on his way back, his slaves met him and told him that his boy will live. 52 He asked them when he began to recover. They told him, “The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon 53 The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live’ and he and his whole household came to believe.

Even a nurse can tell that it was a coincidence and not a real miracle. People believed without any proof that Jesus was really doing anything.  



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Jesus Turns Water To Wine at Cana (Jn 2:1-12)

Miracles of Jesus Christ Water To Wine CanaWhere was the wine? In the jars or in the cup?

If the water in the jars really turned into wine, then the servers should have drawn wine from the jars. But this was not the case. The servers drew water from the jars and not wine:

(Jn 2,7) Jesus told them, “Fill the Jars withwater”. So they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them “DRAW SOME out now and take it to the headwaiter”. So they took it. 9 And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the SERVERS WHO HAD DRAWN THE WATER KNEW), the headwaiter called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.

If the water in the jars really turned into wine, then the servers should have drawn wine from the jars. But this was not the case. The servers drew water from the jars and not wine: “although the SERVERS WHO HAD DRAWN THE WATER KNEW” asserting that the servers drew water (not wine) and knew that it came from the jars.

 

How could Christians claim that the jars contained wine if 'John' bluntly said that the servers drew water from them? Don’t Christians ever think about it? 'John' himself says that the servers drew water from the jars and not wine. Therefore, the jars there still contained water. No miracle in the jars. If the servers FILLED the jars with WATER and later they DREW WATER from the jars, then it was water all along. This ‘miracle’ must have happened after the jars, in the cup of the headwaiter. If this ‘miracle’ happened after the jars, then this is the same trick performed today worldwide. This is not a miracle at all. This is a hoax. But we are fortunate to have 'John' as a witness so that we know how Jesus Copperfield did his miracles. 



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Cannot Prophesy

Jesus prophesied that the stars would fall and the sun would darken and that he would come in the clouds to establish his kingdom before that generation would pass:

Mark 13:24-30: The sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light. And the stars of heaven will fall and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then he shall send his angels and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven… Verily I say to you, that THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE DONE. (See also Matthew 24:29-35 and Luke 21:25-33)

What is the time limit that he gave? ‘THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE DONE’. That generation passed away almost 2000 years ago, and still no one has seen him coming back on the clouds to establish his kingdom. No one has seen the sun darken and the stars fall...

Jesus also promised that he would come with the angels before some of the crowd standing there would die:

Matthew 16:27-28 For the son of man shall come in the glory of his father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there be SOME STANDING HERE WHICH SHALL NOT TASTE OF DEATH TILL THEY SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN HIS KINGDOM. (See also Mark 9:1)

What is the time limit for this one? ‘SOME STANDING HERE WHICH SHALL NOT TASTE OF DEATH TILL THEY SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN HIS KINGDOM’. According to his prophecies, he should have come with his kingdom before some of the crowd standing there die. They all died 2000 years ago and none of his prophecies came true. There is no room for blind faith here. The time limit passed and his prophecies never came true.

Also, his prophecies concerning the three days and three nights did not come true:

Matthew 12:38-40 There shall no sign be given than the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Jesus clearly says that the only sign we should verify is him being in the grave for three days and three nights. At least he should get this one right. So we are checking: He was crucified on Friday afternoon, the day before the Sabbath (Mark 15:42) and then he was supposedly resurrected on Sunday morning (Mark 16:9).

Between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning there is 36 hours. Can anyone fit within those 36 hours three days and three nights?

Those prophecies never came true. If he could not even prophesy correctly, how could he be a god?  



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Knows NOT Scripture

Jesus said that David entered the Temple (Tabernacle) in the days of Abiatharthe high priest and ate the showbreads:

Mark 2:24-26 The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions."

But during this incident, Achimelech was high priest, and not his son Abiathar:

I Samuel 21:1-6 David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech trembled when he met him, and asked, "Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?"... So the priest gave him the consecrated bread...

See, during this incident, Achimelech was high priest, and not his sonAbiathar. A high priest functions until the day he dies, and then his son takes over. So only after the death of Achimelech (I Samuel 22:18), did his son Abiathar succeed him:

I Samuel 30:7; And David said to Abiathar the priest, Achimelech's son, …

But this was not the only mistake of Jesus. Let us take a look at yet another one: Jesus said that Zacherias, who was slaughtered between the Temple and the altar, was the son of Berachia:

Matthew 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of the righteous Able unto the blood of Zacherias son of Berachias, whom you slaughtered between the Temple and the altar.

But Zacherias was the son of Jehoiada, and not the son of Berachia:

II Chronicles 24:20-21; And the spirit of God came upon Zacheriah son of Jehoiada the priest which stood above the people, and said to them … And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones, at the commandment of the King, in the house of the Lord.

Zacherias, who was slaughtered between the Temple and the altar, was the son of Jehoiada, and not the son of Berachia, as stated by Jesus. Jesus was mixing up two things: There was a prophet Zacherias son of Berachias, but he was not the one who was slain in the Temple courtyard. Zacherias son of Berachias was the prophet who gave us the Bible book Zacheriah.

Zecheriah 1:1; In the eight month in the second year of Darius came the word of the Lord to Zecheriah, son of Berechiah, son of Iddo the prophet…

This Zecheriah lived after the destruction of the first Temple, during the rebuilding of the second Temple. The killing of Zacherias son of Jehoiada in the Temple courtyard happened in the first Temple period, long before Zecheriah son of Berechiah. In case that in your Bible translation Zacheriah 1:1 says "Zecheriah, son of Iddo the prophet, …" then be assured of the fact that the Hebrew text says; "Zecheriah, son of Berachiah, son of Iddo the prophet, …" In some Bible translations the text is intentionally corrupted in order to cover up this mistake of Jesus.

Not only Jesus was ignorant of basic scriptures, he did not even know the prophets who wrote them. What does this tell us about Jesus?



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Jesus Lied (Jn7:1-10)

Jesus lied to his brothers that he was not going up to the feast, but when they left, he secretly went up there:

(Jn 7,1) After this, Jesus moved about within Galilee; but he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. 2 But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near. 3 So his brothers said to him, Leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 No one works in secret if he wants to be known publicly. If you do these things, manifest yourself to the world. 5 For even his brothers did not believe in him. His own brothers did not believe that he was doing miracles and challenged him if he was really doing miracles let him do them publicly and not in secret. 6 So Jesus said to them, My time is not yet here, but the time is always right for you. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I testify to it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I am not going up to the feast, because my time has not been fulfilled9 After he had said this, he stayed on in Galilee. 10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but [as it were] in secret

Jesus lied to them that he was not going up to the feast, but when they left, he secretly went up there.

Christians quickly say that Jesus simply changed his mind. But according to scriptures, God does not lie nor change his mind:

Nu 23:19 God is not man that he should speak falsely, nor human, that he should change his mind. Is he one to speak and not act, to decree and not fulfill?

How could Jesus be God in flesh if he either lied or changed his mind?



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Blasphemed

Deuteronomy 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord, he is G.d in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is no other. 

Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with me. 

Isaiah 43:10 I am He, before Me no god was created, neither shall there be after Me. 

Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel and his redeemer, the Lord of hosts, I am the first, and I am the last, and beside Me there is no god. 

Isaiah 45:18 I am the Lord, and there is none else.

The first commandment says that people should worship none other than God. But Jesus claimed to be divine. Jesus even claimed that he replaced God altogether on Judgment Day!

Jn 5,21-22 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. 22 Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given ALL judgment to his Son.

Jesus claimed that he will judge people on judgment day!!! If his simple prophecies never came true, why should we believe this one?

Jesus even went further to claim to be God himself:

Jn 10:30 The Father and I are one.

According to the Tenach, this is pure blasphemy; and the penalty for blasphemy is death.

(Jn 5,17) But Jesus answered them, My Father is at work until now, so I am at work. 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.

Jesus called God his own father making himself equal to God!!!

Jesus made a god and a savior out of himself... Mary the mother of God... according to the Tenach (Old Testament) this is idolatry and blasphemy. Even Moslems admit that they would have persecuted Jesus too if he really said and done those things written in the 'New Testament' (They believe that the Bible is fake and those things never happened; that is, Jesus claimed to be Son of Man not Son of God, raised the dead indeed but did not raise Lazarus, healed the blind but did not stage it with that sighted beggar...).

And what about saving people for the next world? According to the New Testament Jesus is the savior of mankind, without him no salvation is possible. What does the Old Testament say about this?

Isaiah 43:3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy one of Israel, thy saviour.

So the Old Testament clearly says that the one and only God is our savior.

 Does God need another savior? Will there ever be any other savior?

Isaiah 43:10-11 Before Me there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me, even I, I am the Lord, and beside Me there is no saviour. 

Isaiah 45:21-22 ... I the Lord, and there is no god else beside Me, a just god and a saviour, there is no saviour beside Me. Look unto Me and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else. 

Hosea 13:4 Yet I am the Lord thy God, and thou shall know no god but Me, for there is no saviour beside Me.

The Old Testament says that God is god alone, man's only savior. This is what the Tenach (Old Testament) is all about. There cannot be anything clearer.

Jeremiah 17:5-7 Thus says the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusts in man Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

According to the Tenach, any claim of divinity to any other than God is blasphemy.



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Why Jesus was not the Messiah

The Sanhedrin (the highest Jewish court) found Jesus guilty of doing fake miracles (documented in the Talmud)... Christians claim that the Jews brought forward false witnesses to the Sanhedrin to testify against him... But from 'John' we can see that those witnesses were actually telling the truth to the Sanhedrin, that Jesus was indeed doing fake miracles Now unless the Jews falsely fabricated 'John' to implicate him (Trojan Horse), Jesus was nothing more than a con man.  

There is no such thing as a suffering Messiah in Judaism beliefs. Even Paul himself admits that this was not revealed in the Tenach (Old Testament):

(Eph 3:4) When you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit

Paul himself admits that this is not revealed in the Tenach (Old Testament) and admits that it is a newly revealed MYSTERY. A suffering Messiah is a Christian claim (see: Suffering Servant Isaiah 53 is nation of Israel, not the Messiah as Christians claim). But Christians twist the Tenach to prove something out of nothing, (just like they accuse us of doing with their 'New Testament').

What did the Tenach say about the Messiah?

(Habakkuk 3:13) You come forth to save your people, to save your anointed one. You crush the heads of the wicked, you lay bare their bases at the neck

According to this prophecy, God WILL save his anointed one. God should have saved Jesus if Jesus was the anointed one. Logic says that if Jesus was the Messiah, God should have saved him. Instead Jesus died the most humiliating death. Jesus even died before the other two criminals who were crucified with him (according to 'John'), which makes him an even weaker mortal.

(Ps 91:1) You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, 2 say to the Lord, My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust. 3 God will rescue you from the fowlers snare, from the destroying plague 11 For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways. 12 With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone

God commands his angels to protect his Messiah. Surely this didnt happen to Jesus, because Jesus was not the Messiah! 



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Problem: "Born again" involves an impossible play on words 
Verses: John 3:3-7; Status: Serious

My source for this problem is Bart Ehrman's book Jesus Interrupted.

While talking to a man named Nicodemus, Jesus tells him that he must be born "from above". However, the word Jesus uses - ανωθεν (anwqen) - can also mean "again", and Nicodemus understands Jesus in this second sense. Obviously these verses pose some difficulties for the translator, but this is the NRSV's attempt at John 3:3-7:

Jesus answered him, 'Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.' Nicodemus said to him, 'How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above." (NRSV)

Right then. Jesus said one Greek word, but a word with two meanings, and Nicodemus understood the wrong meaning. This isn't just my own interpretation; it's the view of (among others) the NET Bible:

This is a favorite technique of the author of the Fourth Gospel, and it is lost in almost all translations at this point. John uses the word 5 times, in 3:3, 7; 3:31; 19:11 and 23. In the latter 3 cases the context makes clear that it means "from above." Here (3:3, 7) it could mean either, but the primary meaning intended by Jesus is "from above." Nicodemus apparently understood it the other way, which explains his reply, "How can a man be born when he is old? He can't enter his mother's womb a second time and be born, can he?" The author uses the technique of the "misunderstood question" often to bring out a particularly important point: Jesus says something which is misunderstood by the disciples or (as here) someone else, which then gives Jesus the opportunity to explain more fully and in more detail what he really meant.

Emphasis mine. What the author of John apparently failed to consider is that this misunderstanding between Jesus and Nicodemus cannot have occurred, since Jesus and Nicodemus would have been speaking Aramaic, not Greek, and there is no such double meaning in Aramaic.

I suppose inerrantists will want to say that the play on words is entirely accidental, and there was no such confusion in the original (Aramaic) conversation. Jesus said one thing or the other, and Nicodemus misunderstood anyway. But I think John knew what he was doing.



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Problem: The genealogy in Matthew is too short 
Verses: Matthew 1:1-17; Status: Serious

The differences between Luke and Matthew's genealogies of Christ are well known, but another problem is that Matthew's genealogy appears to be too short. Luke goes from King David to Joseph in 41 generations, whereas Matthew takes just 26. In order for this to work, the average age of fathers in Matthew's genealogy has to be much older than normal. It's known from history that David reigned around the year 1000 BC, so to get to Joseph in 26 generations, the average age of a father in this genealogy needs to be about 37 or so, which is an extremely high average, especially two to three thousand years ago when life was short. There is no reason it should be this high.

It's clear that Matthew skips some generations. This alone might be consistent with the Bible's inerrancy, yet Matthew also claims that there are 14 generations between David and deportation to Babylon, and 14 generations between deportation and the Messiah. This is Matthew 1:17:

So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. (ESV)

Since Matthew is skipping generations, he's not entitled to say that he is also giving the correct number of generations between David and Jesus. He can't possibly do both.

Probably the best defense of verse 1:17 is this, from the ESV Study Bible:

Matthew does not mean all the generations that had lived during those times but "all" that he included in his list [...] Perhaps for ease of memorization, or perhaps for literary or symbolic symmetry, Matthew structures the genealogy to count 14 generations from each major section.

But to me, it looks like 1:17 is talking about reality itself, not merely the list.



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Problem: Hell is real and eternal, and billions will go there 
Verses: Revelation 14:9-11, Revelation 13:7-8; Status: Serious

Quite often, the Greek or Hebrew words translated as "Hell" simply mean "the grave". It's harder than you might think to show that (according to the Bible) Hell is a place of eternal torture where millions of unbelievers will go. But there are some verses that make this crystal clear. This is Revelation 14:9-11:

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name." (ESV)

That seems clear enough, but Ernest Geoffrey Seddon, in The Heresy of Eternal Suffering, writes that it is only the smoke that remains forever. But he ignores the "no rest" part of the verse, which surely implies the consciousness of the damned.

While one might suggest that this verse only applies to those who worship the beast, that in itself would be a huge number of people, as we are told by Revelation 13:7-8:

Also [the beast] was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. (ESV)

This passage certainly seems to say that worshippers of the beast will be in the majority. This surely means millions of people; probably billions.

Other verses that explicitly describe Hell as actual fiery torment include Matthew 5:22 ("the hell of fire"), Matthew 13:40 ("the fiery furnace ... weeping and gnashing of teeth"), Matthew 25:41 ("eternal fire"), Mark 9:43 ("unquenchable fire") and Luke 16:22-24 ("I am in anguish in this flame"). Although these verses do not make it explicit that the damned suffer in Hell eternally (as opposed to simply being consumed and destroyed by the eternal fire), the verse from Revelation does.

Some philosophical musings

Although I know there are people who vehemently disagree, I think it's obvious that the torture of millions of people is something a benevolent superintelligence would neither do nor allow. This is clearly not just.

And while Christians think that all have sinned against God and deserve punishment, there's no reason for the punishment to be so disproportionate.

Some say that sin against an infinite being deserves infinite punishment. But this is completely backwards: the more powerful someone is, the less significant a crime against that person is. It's better to steal from a millionaire than a poor starving orphan. It's better to kick a man than a child.

Aware of the difficulty, some Christians reinterpret Hell as a place of "seperation from God". I don't see what difference it makes precisely how Hell is described. If the lives of the damned aren't worth living, and if they would choose annihilation if they could, the whole thing is still unacceptable. Whether the pain is physical or mental doesn't matter.



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Problem: The New Testament predicts an early apocalypse 
Verses: 1 John 2:18, Mark 13:24-30, others; Status: Serious

There are many passages in the Bible that indicate that the authors saw the apocalypse as coming in the very near future. One of the most blatant is the First Epistle of John, 1 John 2:18:

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. (ESV)

This is... difficult to reconcile with the continuing existence of the Earth and human civilisation.

Especially given that inerrantists often see the entire world (or at any rate, the human species) as about 6,000 years old, the 1,900 years or so that have elapsed since that was written can hardly be described as a mere hour. It would be almost a third of human history.

Other verses one could point to are Hebrews 1:2James 5:8, and 1 Peter 4:7. The last of these is particularly bad:

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (ESV)

It's really hard to see this as foretelling anything other than an imminent apocalypse. However, the ESV Study Bible suggests Peter is really saying that everything relevant to God's plan for salvation has already happened; so the end could come at any time. This reading is at least fairly plausible, and could perhaps apply to the other verses as well.

The gospels

Jesus himself seems to directly state that the end is near. Some such cases can be explained away; for example Mark 9:1 seems to say that the kingdom of God will come before the disciples are dead, but could instead mean they will witness the Transfiguration, which indeed follows directly afterwards, in Mark 9:2-8.

 

A more serious problem is Mark 13:24-30 in which Jesus unambiguously discusses the end times:

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. (ESV)

This generation will not pass away until all these things take place. That seems clear enough. If there is a solution at all, it's probably some alternate meaning of "this generation" (the word in the Greek text is "genea"), perhaps something like "this evil generation", meaning an entire class of people who will persist for millenia. There are a number of such readings suggested by the ESV Study Bible, perhaps none of them too plausible.

I am grateful to Tom Schaber for bringing this point to my attention.



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The History of Christmas-AUTHOR: LAWRENCE KELEMEN

origin of christmas

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I.     When was Jesus born?

A.     Popular myth puts his birth on December 25th in the year 1 C.E.

B.     The New Testament gives no date or year for Jesus’ birth.  The earliest gospel – St. Mark’s, written about 65 CE – begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus.  This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ birthdate.

C.     The year of Jesus birth was determined by Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian monk, “abbot of a Roman monastery.  His calculation went as follows:

a.       In the Roman, pre-Christian era, years were counted from ab urbe condita (“the founding of the City” [Rome]).  Thus 1 AUC signifies the year Rome was founded, 5 AUC signifies the 5th year of Rome’s reign, etc.

b.     Dionysius received a tradition that the Roman emperor Augustus reigned 43 years, and was followed by the emperor Tiberius.

c.       Luke 3:1,23 indicates that when Jesus turned 30 years old, it was the 15th year of Tiberius reign.

d.      If Jesus was 30 years old in Tiberius’ reign, then he lived 15 years under Augustus (placing Jesus birth in Augustus’ 28th year of reign).

e.       Augustus took power in 727 AUC.  Therefore, Dionysius put Jesus birth in 754 AUC.

f.        However, Luke 1:5 places Jesus’ birth in the days of Herod, and Herod died in 750 AUC – four years before the year in which Dionysius places Jesus birth.

D.     Joseph A. Fitzmyer – Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and former president of the Catholic Biblical Association – writing in the Catholic Church’s official commentary on the New Testament[1], writes about the date of Jesus’ birth, “Though the year [of Jesus birth is not reckoned with certainty, the birth did not occur in AD 1.  The Christian era, supposed to have its starting point in the year of Jesus birth, is based on a miscalculation introduced ca. 533 by Dionysius Exiguus.”

E.      The DePascha Computus, an anonymous document believed to have been written in North Africa around 243 CE, placed Jesus birth on March 28.  Clement, a bishop of Alexandria (d. ca. 215 CE), thought Jesus was born on November 18.  Based on historical records, Fitzmyer guesses that Jesus birth occurred on September 11, 3 BCE.

 

II.     How Did Christmas Come to Be Celebrated on December 25?

A.    Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25.  During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the weeklong celebration.  The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.”  Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week.  At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman.

B.    The ancient Greek writer poet and historian Lucian (in his dialogue entitled Saturnalia) describes the festival’s observance in his time.  In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits (still produced in some English and most German bakeries during the Christmas season).

C.    In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it.  Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.[2]

D.    The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.

E.      Christians had little success, however, refining the practices of Saturnalia.  As Stephen Nissenbaum, professor history at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst, writes, “In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Savior’s birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been.”  The earliest Christmas holidays were celebrated by drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (a precursor of modern caroling), etc.

F.      The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who  first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.”[3]  Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681.[4]  However, Christmas was and still is celebrated by most Christians.

G.    Some of the most depraved customs of the Saturnalia carnival were intentionally revived by the Catholic Church in 1466 when Pope Paul II, for the amusement of his Roman citizens, forced Jews to race naked through the streets of the city.  An eyewitness account reports, “Before they were to run, the Jews were richly fed, so as to make the race more difficult for them and at the same time more amusing for spectators.  They ran… amid Rome’s taunting shrieks and peals of laughter, while the Holy Father stood upon a richly ornamented balcony and laughed heartily.”[5]

H.     As part of the Saturnalia carnival throughout the 18th and 19th centuries CE, rabbis of the ghetto inRome were forced to wear clownish outfits and march through the city streets to the jeers of the crowd, pelted by a variety of missiles. When the Jewish community of Rome sent a petition in1836 to Pope Gregory XVI begging him to stop the annual Saturnalia abuse of the Jewish community, he responded, “It is not opportune to make any innovation.”[6]  On December 25, 1881, Christian leaders whipped the Polish masses into Antisemitic frenzies that led to riots across the country.  In Warsaw 12 Jews were brutally murdered, huge numbers maimed, and many Jewish women were raped.  Two million rubles worth of property was destroyed.

 

III.     The Origins of Christmas Customs

A.     The Origin of Christmas Tree
Just as early Christians recruited Roman pagans by associating Christmas with the Saturnalia, so too worshippers of the Asheira cult and its offshoots were recruited by the Church sanctioning “Christmas Trees”.[7]  Pagans had long worshipped trees in the forest, or brought them into their homes and decorated them, and this observance was adopted and painted with a Christian veneer by the Church.

B.     The Origin of Mistletoe
Norse mythology recounts how the god Balder was killed using a mistletoe arrow by his rival god Hoder while fighting for the female Nanna.  Druid rituals use mistletoe to poison their human sacrificial victim.[8]  The Christian custom of “kissing under the mistletoe” is a later synthesis of the sexual license of Saturnalia with the Druidic sacrificial cult.[9]

C.     The Origin of Christmas Presents
In pre-Christian 
Rome, the emperors compelled their most despised citizens to bring offerings and gifts during the Saturnalia (in December) and Kalends (in January).  Later, this ritual expanded to include gift-giving among the general populace.  The Catholic Church gave this custom a Christian flavor by re-rooting it in the supposed gift-giving of Saint Nicholas (see below).[10]

D.     The Origin of Santa Claus

a.       Nicholas was born in Parara, Turkey in 270 CE and later became Bishop of Myra.  He died in 345 CE on December 6th.  He was only named a saint in the 19th century.

b.      Nicholas was among the most senior bishops who convened the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE and created the New Testament.  The text they produced portrayed Jews as “the children of the devil”[11] who sentenced Jesus to death.

c.       In 1087, a group of sailors who idolized Nicholas moved his bones from Turkey to a sanctuary in Bari, Italy.  There Nicholas supplanted a female boon-giving deity called The Grandmother, or Pasqua Epiphania, who used to fill the children's stockings with her gifts.  The Grandmother was ousted from her shrine at Bari, which became the center of the Nicholas cult.  Members of this group gave each other gifts during a pageant they conducted annually on the anniversary of Nicholas’ death, December 6.

d.      The Nicholas cult spread north until it was adopted by German and Celtic pagans.  These groups worshipped a pantheon led by Woden –their chief god and the father of Thor, Balder, and Tiw.  Woden had a long, white beard and rode a horse through the heavens one evening each Autumn.  When Nicholas merged with Woden, he shed his Mediterranean appearance, grew a beard, mounted a flying horse, rescheduled his flight for December, and donned heavy winter clothing.

e.       In a bid for pagan adherents in Northern Europe, the Catholic Church adopted the Nicholas cult and taught that he did (and they should) distribute gifts on December 25th instead of December 6th.

f.        In 1809, the novelist Washington Irving (most famous his The Legend of Sleepy Hollow andRip Van Winkle) wrote a satire of Dutch culture entitled Knickerbocker History.  The satire refers several times to the white bearded, flying-horse riding Saint Nicholas using his Dutch name, Santa Claus.

g.       Dr. Clement Moore, a professor at Union Seminary, read Knickerbocker History, and in 1822 he published a poem based on the character Santa Claus: “Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.  The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in the hope that Saint Nicholas soon would be there…”  Moore innovated by portraying a Santa with eight reindeer who descended through chimneys.

h.       The Bavarian illustrator Thomas Nast almost completed the modern picture of Santa Claus.  From 1862 through 1886, based on Moore’s poem, Nast drew more than 2,200 cartoon images of Santa for Harper’s Weekly.  Before Nast, Saint Nicholas had been pictured as everything from a stern looking bishop to a gnome-like figure in a frock.  Nast also gave Santa a home at the North Pole, his workshop filled with elves, and his list of the good and bad children of the world.  All Santa was missing was his red outfit.

i.         In 1931, the Coca Cola Corporation contracted the Swedish commercial artist Haddon Sundblom to create a coke-drinking Santa.  Sundblom modeled his Santa on his friend Lou Prentice, chosen for his cheerful, chubby face.  The corporation insisted that Santa’s fur-trimmed suit be bright, Coca Cola red.  And Santa was born – a blend of Christian crusader, pagan god, and commercial idol.

 

IV.     The Christmas Challenge

·        Christmas has always been a holiday celebrated carelessly.  For millennia, pagans, Christians, and even Jews have been swept away in the season’s festivities, and very few people ever pause to consider the celebration’s intrinsic meaning, history, or origins.

·       Christmas celebrates the birth of the Christian god who came to rescue mankind from the “curse of the Torah.”  It is a 24-hour declaration that Judaism is no longer valid.

·        Christmas is a lie.  There is no Christian church with a tradition that Jesus was really born on December 25th.

·        December 25 is a day on which Jews have been shamed, tortured, and murdered.

·        Many of the most popular Christmas customs – including Christmas trees, mistletoe, Christmas presents, and Santa Claus – are modern incarnations of the most depraved pagan rituals ever practiced on earth.

 

Many who are excitedly preparing for their Christmas celebrations would prefer not knowing about the holiday’s real significance.  If they do know the history, they often object that their celebration has nothing to do with the holiday’s monstrous history and meaning.  “We are just having fun.”

Imagine that between 1933-45, the Nazi regime celebrated Adolf Hitler’s birthday – April 20 – as a holiday.  Imagine that they named the day, “Hitlerday,” and observed the day with feasting, drunkenness, gift-giving, and various pagan practices.  Imagine that on that day, Jews were historically subject to perverse tortures and abuse, and that this continued for centuries.

Now, imagine that your great-great-great-grandchildren were about to celebrate Hitlerday.  April 20tharrived. They had long forgotten about Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen.  They had never heard of gas chambers or death marches.  They had purchased champagne and caviar, and were about to begin the party, when someone reminded them of the day’s real history and their ancestors’ agony.  Imagine that they initially objected, “We aren’t celebrating the Holocaust; we’re just having a little Hitlerday party.”  If you could travel forward in time and meet them; if you could say a few words to them, what would you advise them to do on Hitlerday?

On December 25, 1941, Julius Streicher, one of the most vicious of Hitler’s assistants, celebrated Christmas by penning the following editorial in his rabidly Antisemitic newspaper, Der Stuermer:

If one really wants to put an end to the continued prospering of this curse from heaven that is the Jewish blood, there is only one way to do it: to eradicate this people, this Satan’s son, root and branch.

It was an appropriate thought for the day.  This Christmas, how will we celebrate?

For More From The Same Author Click here ------> Lawrence Kelemen


SOURCES

[1] Addison G. Wright, Roland E. Murphy, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “A History of Israel” in The Jerome Biblical Commentary, (Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1990), p. 1247.

[2] The first mention of a Nativity feast appears in the Philocalian calendar, a Roman document from 354 CE, which lists December 25th as the day of Jesus’ birth.

[3] Increase Mather, A Testimony against Several Prophane and Superstitious Customs, Now Practiced by Some in New England (London, 1687), p. 35.  See also Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas: A Cultural History of America’s Most Cherished Holiday, New York: Vintage Books, 1997, p. 4.

[4] Nissenbaum, p. 3.

[5] David I. Kertzer, The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican’s Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001, p. 74.

[6] Kertzer, p. 33, 74-5.

[7] Clement Miles, Christmas Customs and Traditions: Their History and Significance, New York: Dover Publications, 1976, pp. 178, 263-271.

[8] Miles, p. 273.

[9] Miles, p. 274-5.

[10] Miles, pp. 276-279.

[11] John 8:44

 



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