Monday, July 5, 2010

I...Am Your Father! Luke Chapter 11

Part 5 of my "I...Am Your Father!" series.
  • Verses 2 - 4: "Lord, teach us to pray," but give us some guide as to how to reconcile the conflicting accounts of what you teach us. You really have to read the fine print with this guy. In just these three verses, my NIV copy of the bible list three footnotes that say, "Some manuscripts" have some extra and/or alternate wording:

    • "Father" becomes "Our Father in heaven"
    • "...your kingdom come" is extended with "May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
    • "...lead us not into temptation" is extended with "...but deliver us from the evil one."

    It also has a footnote that mentions the original Greek: "...for we also forgive everyone who sins against us" is a bit of a narrow translation, it seems. The Greek says, "...for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us." So which is it: Jesus recited the prayer in Greek and we have a simple Greek-to-English mistranslation, or he recited it in Aramaic and we have a more complicated combination of mistranslations from Aramaic through Greek to English? Also, isn't this supposed to be the inspired, inerrant word of God? Why would it have such translation issues and emendations? Why would these thousands upon thousands of manuscript copies, which Christians are always pointing to as support for the inerrancy and reliability of the Gospels, not all agree with each other? Why would a god who loves us all and wants to save us all make it so freaking hard to see even the slightest sign of omniscience and omnipotence in the most important message it ever gave to human kind? Finally, if we decide to trust the Greek, then we have to accept that Jesus was far more an advocate of socialism than his so-called followers wish to admit. He promotes socialism far more than he condemns slavery, rape, torture, child abuse, and racial inequality.
  • Verse 17: "A kingdom divided against itself will be ruined." Jesus' very own words. Think about this pronouncement and then go back to Matthew 19:7-8: Jesus' opponents ask, "Why...did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replies, "...because your hearts were hard. It was not this way from the beginning." Sounds like some serious division going on in Yahweh's kingdom.
  • Verses 24 - 26: "When an evil spirit comes out of a goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself...the final condition of the man is worse than the first." So Jesus wasn't exactly doing anyone a favor when he cast out their demons, was he? Unless maybe this applies only to men, not to women or children. If he were loving and merciful, he would have refrained from casting demons out of men.
  • Verse 29: No miraculous sign will be given to this "wicked generation" except the sign of Jonah, by which Jesus seems to mean that he'll spend three days in the earth just as Jonah spent three days inside a fish. What are we to make of all these healings and exorcisms? Those aren't miraculous signs?
  • Verse 42: "Woe to you neglect justice..." Funny, Jesus never condemned slavery, rape, torture, child abuse, or racial inequality. He never even hinted that any of these was a problem. Can't that be considered neglecting justice? Woe to Jesus. Being God, we might have expected a bit less hypocrisy from him.
  • Verse 49: "Because of this, God in his wisdom said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.'" This makes me think about Martin Luther King. He was killed, but his message endured, and racial inequality is on the wane. Why couldn't God have sent prophets and apostles whose messages had some impact? If he couldn't give them a way to persuade people to behave better, then wasn't he just wasting their lives?
  • Verses 53 - 54: Jesus' opponents begin "waiting to catch him in something he might say." Despicable, right? If he was wrong, then they wouldn't have had to catch him out; they could just clearly demonstrate that he was wrong. Right? So why is there so much quote-mining and straw-manning and outright lies coming from Jesus' most rabid followers today? I just received a message from a YouTuber, criticizing my liberal views, which include this gem: "Left-wing anti-God Atheists...think it was okay for Caananites to have sacrificed their babies in the fire." You guys aren't representing very well. You're acting more like Jesus' opponents did.

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