left biblioblography: DEMOLISHING THE NT IN 500 WORDS OR LESS

Sunday, March 05, 2006

DEMOLISHING THE NT IN 500 WORDS OR LESS

Yes, it’s Sunday again. While the original Sabbath was on Saturday, in keeping with tradition (HA!), it’s time to go after one of my favorite targets: religion.
This an old piece, from my website, brushed off the dust, and presented in its entirety -
DEMOLISHING THE NT IN 500 WORDS OR LESS
In accordance with Deut 18:22, the entire NT should be thrown out. Passage reads:
“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
This is particularly damning, in view of the following 4 passages:
“I think that in view of the present distress it is well for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. But if you marry, you do not sin.... Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the form of this world is passing away. [1 Cor. 7:26-31]
Matthew 16:28 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.
Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
Now, it is granted that the Corinthians passage is in actuality a ‘schema’ for marriage, but 7:31 can be interpreted as the world ‘passing away’. But it could very well be about the ephemerality of the material world as compared to the spiritual one. I favor the former, but I am no Greek rhetorician. The passages from Matthew, Mark and Luke are particularly damning (unless some of ye faithful have actually bumped into one or more of the 1st century followers of JC). I believe it was C.S Lewis (I believe the reference was to Matthew) who deemed it ‘the most embarrassing of the passages in the NT’ (paraphrase). It also lends credence to the Marcan priority theory, seeing that most translations have these 3 passages that resemble one another nearly verbatim. If we are to follow the fundie literalist viewpoint, then fundie orthodoxy needs to toss the NT (in accordance w/Deut 18:22), and revert to Judaism! After all, if the entire book is divinely inspired and inerrant, then one must abide by the terms and rules as stipulated. Come, all ye faithful!

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5 comments:

Beowulf said...

Hi RA, I remember first coming across these passages and being disturbed. It bothered me for some time (or several months) until I actually did some serious inquiry. I know you said this is an older article, but I was wondering if you had looked into the ways that people have tried to resolve the issue.

Here is a short article about these passages. Yes, it’s Christian, so it’s probably bias (I will just admit it upfront), but I assume you are interested in the Christian response to the issue.

Mesoforte said...

Pretty good RA, I'll remember that when I'm writing my essay.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
Hey, interesting take on it. Issues always arise when you translate from a language where 1 word means many things (aramaic) to a language where there are many words for 1 thing (greek).
I may have run across that before.
Here's a website for ya:
http://www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/2000/4/004genea.html
Granted a bit slanted, but these guys check EVERYTHING. Twice. Every which way to Sunday.

Beowulf said...

I honestly of nothing of Aramaic and Greek (sharbeta, Genea). From what I can tell, the majority of literature confirms the Greek Genea as a ‘contemporary generation’ (and I thought the link you provided was not bias because it only provided references to translations of Genea without commentary). One thing to consider when dealing with these passages is that Jesus answered two questions: one, concerning the fall of Jerusalem; the other, concerning His second coming (this was when the disciples had their private meeting with Jesus).

There’s a NT Greek professor at school (Dr. Cate) who was a former professor of mine (obviously not Greek though) I will ask him about his take on the possible Aramaic and his personal interpretation on that passage.

Anonymous said...

Here are three possibilities you don't seem to have considered:

1. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.

2. The destruction of the temple by Titus in A.D. 70.

3. John's vision of the apocalypse.

These have all been advocated by different scholars. These are just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are many more possibilities. Do you have any arguments or reasons to give about why one of these should be preferred above the others or why they should all be rejected? I'm afraid you won't have succeeded in your demolishment objective until you do.

No name calling! Just rational argument, please. After all, don't atheists pride themselves on their use of reason?

(In case other readers wonder about my tone, this person first took the initiative to interact with me here. You can evaluate the quality of argument yourself.)

Also, do you care to offer your ideas (with supporting evidence, of course, preferably something that can be observed in the text itself) about what "the present distress" is that Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians?