Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pseudepigrapha Psalad Psurgery V(a): Hebrews Sans Context I

One interesting attribute of Hebrews is that the author quotes the Old Testament extensively. Jesusianismists often charge atheismists with taking bible verses out of context. Strangely, although I find that the author of Hebrews takes a few of the Old Testament verses out of context, I've never heard any Jesusianismist complain about it. This is a multi-part essay. In the first two parts, Parts 'a' and 'b', I'll cover Hebrews taken at face value, just as I have all the other books of the New Testament. In Part 'c' and those that follow, I'll look into the true context of the Old Testament verses used by the author. Now, a few words about authorship.

There are reasons to believe that the book of Hebrews was written by Apollos, the Jew from Alexandria mentioned in Acts 18:24.

There are reasons to believe that the book of Hebrews was written by Barnabas, the Levite from Cyprus mentioned in Acts 4:36, who for a time accompanied the Apostle Paul as recounted in Acts 12:25 - 15:39, at which time Paul and Barnabas "had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company".

It is certain that the Apostle Paul was not the author of Hebrews. To my endless delight, the split between Paul and Barnabas brought doom on the church, at least according to Jesus, in Matthew 12:25, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined."

Before I go through verses in order, I'll point out some unfortunate uses of the verb to become. The root of the problem is in Chapter 13, Verse 8, where the author says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Now, notice Chapter 1, Verse 4: "...[Jesus] became..." and Chapter 2, Verse 17: " order that he might become a...high priest..." Now if Jesus always has been and always will be unchanging, then how can he become anything?

Next, Chapter 1, Verse 5:  " I have become your Father". In other words, Yahweh adopted the fully human Jesus, which Paul suggests in Romans as well. I believe it was the Marcionites, devout Jesusianismists in their day, also subscribed to this view. Now I'll move on to my usual sequential survey. Here I'll cover Chapters 3 - 6.

Chapter 3
  • Verse 7: "If you hear [its] voice, do not harden your hearts." Then we atheismists are safe, right? We've never heard its voice.
  • Verse 11: Yahweh "declared on oath". See also Chapter 6, Verse 13, where Yahweh "swore by itself". Now take a look at Matthew 5:34-37: "Do not swear at all...Simply let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' 'no'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. More true than most Jesusianismists realize: Yahweh is truly the evil one.
Chapter 4, Verse 3: "[Yahweh's] work has been finished since the creation of the world." So all that intervening in the affairs of the Israelites, all that punishing, all that saving, not to mention the uncounted prayers it has answered, none of that counts as work?
    Chapter 6, Verse 18: " is impossible for God to lie..." And unnecessary, since it seems to have a lying spirit on staff, putting it to good use in First Kings 22:19-23: "I saw Yahweh sitting on its throne with all the host of heaven standing around it on its right and on its left. And Yahweh said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking [the city] and going to his death there?' One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before Yahweh and said, 'I will entice him.' 'By what means?' Yahweh asked. 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said. 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said Yahweh. 'Go and do it.' So now Yahweh has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours." In case you missed these verses, they're repeated in Second Chronicles 18:18-22.

    And if God's lying spirit is too busy, God itself will just send "a powerful delusion so [people] will believe [lies]." See II Thessalonians 2:11. It's not really saying much in favor of God to claim that it cannot lie.

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