Bible Study

 Posted by on July 18, 2010  Add comments
Jul 182010
 

I have an old leather-bound King James bible that’s been in the family forever, and occasionally I flick through it at random.  I’ve always loved the sonorous language, which is so powerful and so much richer than the insipid, watered-down new bibles of the twentieth century.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I haven’t lost my marbles and gone all religious, but those crazy people from Castlebar got me thinking.  Remember them?  The lunatics denouncing gays with quotes from the Old Testament.

I was a bit rusty on my Old Testament.   It was time to read it again.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy for a start.

Holy shit!

I now realise that the deities in those days did a lot more job-sharing than they do in latter times. There was less demarcation.  It’s quite obvious that the God of the Old Testament was actually Satan double jobbing.  This guy loves blood. He loves slaying and smiting and going in unto virgins.

He’s mad.  The God of the Old Testament is Colonel Kurtz.

The whole biblical world is full of people beset by unclean spirits that have to be cast out.  Out to fuck there, ya bastard unclean spirit, says the Prophet.  Fuck off out of it!

I remember when I was a lad, asking a religion teacher about the five books of the Pentateuch, as we called it, or the Torah as it’s known to the Jews.  Why don’t you tell us about Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy?

Ah, he said, that’s a bit boring.  It’s all laws  and things.

It sure is.  Laws about when a rape victim should be killed and when gays should be killed, and when people who work on the Sabbath should be killed.  And when everyone in your defeated enemy’s land should be killed, including babes in arms, all  men and all married women, but making sure to keep the young virgins alive so that you can go in unto them.

This is the word of the Lord.

A fucking maniac.

Genesis, a book most sane people would read as a fairy-tale is the basis for the Sarah-Palin creationist fundamentalists in the US.

Even in this book, God is a demented homicidal maniac.  When he realises that Man is a nasty bastard, and that creating such despicable creatures was a mistake, he decides to kill everyone.  But he doesn’t stop there.  A recurring theme throughout the book is God’s delight in seeing animals suffer, so he decides to drown everything.  Cats, dogs, pigs, cows, sheep, goats.  He doesn’t explain how he proposes to drown the fish, the ducks, the swans, the otters, the seals, the walruses, the shags, guillemots and cormorants, but we can only assume it was by magic.  In those days, God didn’t really think things out.

He had wrath issues.

Anyway, he didn’t kill Noah who was six hundred years old at the time, and feeling every second of it.  God  commanded the old guy to build a ship 150 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet deep.  A very dodgy design, in my opinion, likely to induce severe seasickness, but who am I to question God?

Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t tell Noah to take two of every animal into the Ark.  He took fourteen of some, but only two of the unclean ones.  Every animal in the world, all packed into a small boat.  Imagine the smell.

Genesis tells us that it rained for forty days and that the waters rose fifteen cubits, which is twenty-two feet, covering all the twenty-two-foot mountains in the world.  Yetis and alpacas breathed a sigh of relief, not to mention every non-aquatic bird in the world.  It was a bit of an intelligence failure for God in many ways, but he set up a focus group for the debrief and they all learned from their mistakes.

Anyway, that was God’s first mass murder.  The first of many in the Old Testament.  He goes on to kill everyone in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and to fuck with Abraham’s head by telling him to kill his son Isaac.

God is a nasty piece of work in Genesis, obsessed with murder and sex.  He kills poor Onan for practising coitus interruptus.

It gets worse in Exodus, when the children of Israel leave Egypt looking for the land of Canaan which hath been given unto them by God, who doesn’t care that people live there already.  The plan is to kill them all, which is pretty much what Charlton Heston does as he leads his people in a journey of conquest and ethnic cleansing.

God starts to get his kicks by killing babies, and smites the first-born of all the Egyptians, from the Pharaoh to the servants, and even their animals.  Mwoohahahaha!! says God, in a little-known passage from Exodus.

He also starts to hand down laws.

A bull that gores somebody must be stoned to death.  Not stabbed.  Stoned, for maximum pain.  If it happened due to the owner’s carelessness, he has to be stoned as well.  Of course, if the gored person is only a slave, the bull’s owner has to pay the slave’s owner, but the bull still gets stoned.

Children who curse their parents must be  killed, along with those who lie with animals.

Lie.

It reminds me of something my good friend Parkenstein says: I’m great in bed.  Two minutes and I’m off to sleep. Not a peep out of me.

If they killed people who only lay with animals, I wonder what they did to people who fucked animals?

Obviously, working on the Sabbath gets you killed, but that goes without saying.

The thing that amazes me about it is how violent Moses turns out to be, killing people for the slightest offence, but on mature reflection, maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise.  Look how influential he became in the NRA.

I was going to talk you through the rest of the Torah, but in truth, the whole thing is more of the same.  Smiting.  Slaying thine enemies.   Taking unto thyself thine enemy’s women. Slaying thine enemy’s first-born.  Sacrificing herds of cattle, the smoke sweet unto God.  Pestilence.  Plague.   Slaying. Smiting.  When and to whom thou may sell thine daughter.

I trudged on through the Prophets, the Psalms, Judges, Ecclesiastes, endless slaying and smiting.

Smiting, slaying and pestilence.

Jesus Christ, I was longing for the kind and tolerant New Testament, but Jesus seems to have little trouble with the things the old-timers said.  In fact, he seems to be your standard, orthodox Imam that anyone might expect on the TV these days in gold-rimmed glasses defending some beheading in the name of Allah.

In fairness, at least there’s a comic side to Jesus.

My favourite story so far is the one about the Gadarene swine.  Do you remember it?

Jesus goes into a town of the Gadarenes, and he meets a fellow possessed by unclean spirits.  As I said, everyone was possessed by unclean spirits in those days, but in this story, Jesus becomes Brian.  He casts out the evil spirits, whose name is Legion, and they fly into a herd of 2000 pigs. The pigs go apeshit and jump off a cliff into the sea where they’re all drowned, and Jesus is delighted.

Look, he says.  They’re gone, the bastards.

Unfortunately, the people of the town aren’t so happy.

They come unto Jesus, and beseech him, saying , Would you kindly fuck off out of here and not come back, you mad bastard.  All our fucking pigs are drowned.

Ah, this Bible study is great.

  51 Responses to “Bible Study”

Comments (51)
  1.  

    “the God of the Old Testament was actually Satan double jobbing.”

    Precisely what many Gnostics believed. They took a close look at the world, and – since they could not imagine one without a creator – concluded that he/she/it was an egregious bar-steward.

  2.  

    Does the Good Book explain what the Jews were doing with 2,000 porkers? – was the above BC, before crubeens, or AC, after crubeens?

  3.  

    Brilliant!
    Not something I say easily.
    But this piece was one of your best!

    I’m looking forward to your review of the third instalment of the thora, that is, the Koran/Qouran. Same stuff with new twists. I have one here, but unfortunately no time to study it properly and write about it. But the three monotheistic religions (jewish, christian, islam) all have the same roots in an authoritarian god with issues. The similarities, as far as I kind of studied it, is quite striking.

  4.  

    Poor ould Onan-he was just using the withdrawal method so he would’nt get his sister in-law knocked up-no evil contraceptives for Onan- and gets called a wanker for his troubles (and then struck down by God on top of that)

  5.  

    Dorothy Parker named her budgie Onan, because he spilled his seed.

  6.  

    “God of the Old Testament was Satan.” Really Bock?

  7.  

    @ idf.soldiergirl: ““God of the Old Testament was Satan.” Really Bock?”

    This was the belief of the Gnostic Christians – and based on the text of the Torah/OT, it’s hard to disagree. And what happened to those people? Hmmm – let’s see: they were massacred in the Albigensian Crusade by our friends in the Catholic Church (who then went on to butcher other undesirable flavours of Christians, then Muslims, as well as Jews). The phrase “Kill them all, let God sort them out” came form this ignominious episode. Thanks, POPE@!

    Then again, given your nick……why should your comment be so surprising? If you’re implying (in a TEDIOUS PAVLOVIAN KNEE JERK) that Bock is anti-Semitic, then might I suggest you re-read his post, which also includes traditional Christianity as part of the Desert Death Cult Clusterfuck…room enough for Jahweh, Jesus and Allah. Equal opportunity Satanism. I’m an Aleister Crowley man myself.

    Reading comprehension: Try It sometime.

  8.  

    “God starts to get his kicks by killing babies, and smites the first-born of all the Egyptians, from the Pharaoh to the servants, and even their animals.”

    Typical that, isn’t it. The poor average Egyptian worker getting caught up in and industrial dispute between the boss and an immigrant worker’s trade union. Let my people go! honestly, in a recession everyone has to tighten their belts. They were were they were.

    Anyway, I think you have to remember that it was a different time, way back at the formation of the earth, 12,000 years ago. Back when a god could really work out his issues without bottling his (for god is most definitely he) emotions up. That’s not healthy.
    Nowadays you throw a lightening bolt and some bureaucrat starts pissing on about energy effeciency.

  9.  

    Bock reading back over the Book did it help you to understand the mindset of a certain current middle eastern state that sometimes thinks itself European?

  10.  

    No doubt, as a Jew currently living in Limerick I find certain topics and comments on this local website insultive. As a result I rarely comment, but instead just browse the articles my partner contributes to this site.

    My personal opinion of Bock is just that, my personal opinion. I won’t respond to assumtions/accusations of strangers against my personality.

    Definition of reading comprehension: Bock = dermotmoconnor?!

  11.  

    This post is interpreted by me as a piece of comedic interpretation, And for me it works.
    The ” double jobbing ” held no intendres for me other than to reinforce comedically the amount of violence in the old testament.

  12.  

    I’d have to say that, going on the evidence in the Old Testament, God’s behaviour in those times is considerably more Satanic than benign, unless you think that encouraging rape, mass murder and torture are all acceptable attributes in a just deity.

    There have been posts on Christianity and Islam here as well, at which people took offence. But this post is not about Jews. I haven’t got around to that yet. This post is about the old and New Testaments. The Old Testament, as far as I know, is shared by several religions, all of which sprang from these stories.

  13.  

    Ah those were the good old days when smiting was all the rage.Everyone was at it!!.Anyhow reading through this thread has confirmed what I always suspected religon to be.Nothing but fucking devil worship wrapped up in fake piety and “goodness”.Religeous nuts and their followers have brought nothing but evil and suffering to the world.In fact it seems to be their mission on earth.Interesting to know that at least there were some christian sects who were honest enough to admit it was satanic worship.I think there is one of those sects somewrere in Iraq as well,They were smited by a suicide bomber not so long ago if I remember correctly.

  14.  

    @ IDF Girl

    The only reference that could be considered to be related to Judaism, is that he speaks of the god of the Old Testement, which is pretty much the Torah. It actually smacks of arrogence that you would assume that is was a reference to Jews in particular. The Old Testiment is also the basis for the christian and muslum faiths. Thus, in one fell post, he has offended all three. After all, one in the Torah is worth two in the Talmud.
    ____________

    I think I remember reading aan article on a study made by Psychologists of the bible. They found that god wasa Sociopath. I think that’s where their funding ended too.

    As regards saying the god of the old testiment was Satan, I’m sure Dermot would agree, As above, So below.

  15.  

    I’m not sure what that Dermot O Connor bit is about.

  16.  

    Bock – “’I’m not sure what that Dermot O Connor bit is about.”
    Dermot O Connor – I’m an Aleister Crowley man myself.

    While Crowley didn’t coin the phrase “As Above, So Below” he did make it famous.

  17.  

    ROFL…
    What really puzzles me is that a dodgy manuscript (by yet another small tribe of Arabic people, a long time ago), is being used by fanatics and lunatics all across Planet Earth to spread destruction and oppression. There’s history, of course. When the Roman Empire was bolloxed, the Romans needed a new angle to spin the idea of one emperor, one god (silly, isn’t it!!!!).
    Just burn the friggin book and get on with life.

  18.  

    Great post Bock.
    Can’t wait to get home and get the good book out.

  19.  

    FT Duck,
    Don’t forget to Burn After Reading!

  20.  

    The bible is more f*cked up than Anglo Irish Bank

  21.  

    Only came across this post by you now, Bock.

    Mighty stuff.

  22.  

    I had a visit recently from one of those nutty cults. The lady with the good book said I have come to bring you the good news. Oh yeah I said would it be contained in that book you are carrying, because if it is dont tell me because I never read obscene books and that book is obscene. Of course she objected strongly, this is a holy book and it is not obscene, how can you say such a thing. I am not saying it , the book itself says it for me. If you dont believe me open any page of the old testament and read it. She opened a page and read it. It told the story of Lots daughter getting the old boy drunk and then raping him. Now I said tell me that is not obscene. The poor lady was speechless, but eventually blurted out I have never seen it in that light before. S he shuffled off a very confused lady indeed.

  23.  

    Hi Bock, Just a reference to your 22 ft. mountains. “Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” (In so far as I know, this is the Bible’s first mention of mountains — they are not mentioned before the flood). I think that this description makes it clear that the TOPS of the mountains were under fifteen cubits of water.

  24.  

    You’re losing me there, John. What point are you making?

  25.  

    The context of your writing implies that the water rose only fifteen cubits. (22ft). and that the highest mountains were only 22 ft. high. The Bible reads that the (highest) mountaintops were covered by fifteen cubits. Mount Ararat, where the Ark landed, is considerably higher than 22 ft. (Now, don’t tell us it flew up there !!)

  26.  

    Are you saying the Bible contradicted itself? I can’t believe that could be possible.

  27.  

    YOU can’t believe that the Bible contradicts itself?!!
    The Bible never contradicts itself. A CAREFUL reading of it shows that it all fits together like a jigsaw. Just like a jigsaw, all the pieces are not immediately obvious but they will fit together if the problem is worked correctly.
    Now, back to your mountains: The Bible never indicates the height of mountains in the account of the Deluge — it only indicates that they were submerged.

  28.  

    They were submerged in 22 feet of water, as far as I can see. So what height does that make them?

  29.  

    Mount Ararat is an awful lot more than 22feet high —- more than 12,000 ft. for the lesser peak and nearly 17,000 ft. for the greater. So, as this particular mountain is mentioned by name in the account, how do you suppose the Ark got up there?

  30.  

    That’s what confuses me. Not being a Bible scholar, I have to rely on you, but the Bible seems to say that the flood rose to a height of 15 cubits, which is about 22 feet.

    I could be wrong. Maybe it says 11,000 cubits, in which case I’d be grateful if you’d let me know where that height is mentioned.

  31.  

    I am no Bible scholar either but I think that I can make an intelligent reading of the account. There is no ground reference for the fifteen cubits, (22 ft.), but if the Ark was made of gopher wood and was 45 ft. deep, then a structure of such estimated weight simply will not float in 22 ft. of water.

  32.  

    According to Genesis, the water rose by 15 cubits. This clearly causes a difficulty for two reasons. Firstly, the ark will not float, and secondly the mountains must be exceedingly small. Any assistance you can provide in regard to this will be very welcome. Maybe I’m completely wrong, and some other part of Genesis quotes a much larger flood. If so, please point out where it says so and correct me. I’m usually wrong about most things.

  33.  

    I’m usually wrong about most things but you can probably set me right on this.

    Obviously, if the water rose by 15 cubits, or 22 feet there might have been enough to float the ark, depending on the original depth. Clearly, the seas would have been adequate to float a ship of any size, and therefore I can see no difficulty with floating the ark, whicjh seems to have been a very modest vessel by any standards.

    However, the 15 cubits mentioned in Genesis is not very much. Most animals would have had no difficulty walking to slightly higher ground. If you could point out where the Bible mentions a greater depth of water, it would be very helpful

    Certainly, a 22-foot flood would be absolutely devastating in a flat region, but its effects would be very local. Do you have information about the height of the flood in Africa, for instance? Did it happen in every part of the world, or was it confined to the Middle East? How high was the flood in the Himalayas? Did it affect the people in the Andes or the Alps?

    Everest is roughly 19,000 cubits high. How does that fit in with biblical accounts of the Flood?

  34.  

    The Bible being a document of great age is often expressing itself in a manner and style that is not easily comprehended by us today. Even the old classical English of the KJV which is only 350 years old can be difficult to grasp. Now, according to the account of the flood, the Ark DID float with its full load and it DID settle on Mount Ararat at an altitude of several thousand feet. I would understand that fifteen cubits was a minimum clearance above the highest landform or maybe an early deepness measure soon after the beginning. It might even possibly refer to the waterline on the Ark itself —- I don’t know. However, the writer of Genesis would know that fifteen cubits would not float the Ark and that the Ark landed finally at a height far above, so it obviously has some sensible meaning that fits in.

  35.  

    John , you seem to be suggesting that the Bible must be believed even though it makes no sense. In other words, you seem to be telling me that I must show faith. Is that correct?

  36.  

    Well, frankly, yes. However, I am against any effort to force it IN ANY WISE upon others because I think that it alienates, especially when there is some fanatic declaring himself absolutely right in the most anti-intellectual manner and then calling that “faith”.
    Now, it is true that I find myself having to believe many things that I cannot understand and indeed to me may appear as contradictions but I find myself having to defend its veracity against any illustration that there is a mistake. This includes postulated technical and historical errors. If I believe that the Bible is the inspired written word of God then I must believe that there is no mistake, however small, technical, historical or otherwise.
    As I said earlier, it is akin to a jigsaw puzzle, except that it is a very, very complex one that I will not solve in my lifetime but that will come together in the end.

  37.  

    John like many people who have been corrupted by religious extremism you are clearly unable to speak from a secular point of view. Your attitude towards the rights of others is an incitement to hatred and violence. Your deep set fear of what others do in private is perhaps a reflection of your own issues around sexuality. By the way do you consider heterosexual anal sex to be unnatural?

  38.  

    Some more information to perhaps JUSTIFY your 22 ft. mountains. Mountains are not mentioned at any time before the flood so it is quite LOGICAL, but not likely, to suppose that they simply were not there before the flood. It rained for 40 days and also the wellsprings of the Earth broke forth. This could logically indicate that mountains were formed in unison with the flood in a series of massive geological upheavals. I do not see this as a likely interpretation but logically it does fit the bill.

    Now, if mountains were there beforehand, what about people and animals on high ground?? Now, if you read the preceeding text in Genesis, indications are that it never rained before and that the Earth was watered by a mist that rose from the ground and enveloped the whole world in some kind of a cycle. This mist (cloud??) it seems, collapsed to the Earth emptying a virtual waterfall onto the planet so anyone on high ground would simply be crushed and be washed downhill and drowned under the enormous force. This is not my own interpretation but rather what I have picked up from approved Christian sources who do find material to sustain this claim.
    I think that some of the Jews might also subscribe to this idea.
    I don’t know.
    So what do you think?

  39.  

    You already know what I think, John.

  40.  

    What’s an ‘approved Christian source’?

    The Cambridge University Press commentary regards the first eleven chapters of Genesis as dating from around the 6th Century BC and to be a collection of tales assembled by an editor. The material is similar to other contemporary Near Eastern Creation myths.

  41.  

    Hi there John,

    The ‘Flood Myth’ is something that many societies around the entire globe have fostered from pre-historic times. Much of it can easily be explained by the great rise in sea levels experienced by our ancestors between 12,000 and roughly 10.000 years ago.

    However, more recently (1997) scientists studying off the shores in northern Turkey discovered man made structures and evidence of human habitation at points offshore at a depth of over 80 metres. Further studies such as carbon dating of recovered objects concluded that they dated from a period around 5,600 BC (7,600 BP). This is well after the period of the post-glacial floods.

    Scientists William Ryan and Walter Pitman subsequently devised the ‘Black Sea deluge hypothesis’ whereby the Black Sea (then a freshwater lake) had been spared the initial post-glacial flooding through being cut off from the from a Mediterranean Sea that was some 80 metres higher at the Bosporus ‘blockage’. This blockage they postulate, broke suddenly (perhaps due to water pressure) and the resulting inflow of seawater would have created a waterfall 200 times greater in volume than that which flows Niagara falls.

    Therefore, it appeared to these scientists that this was a catastrophic event that occurred over a period of a few years or perhaps or an even shorter timescale.

    Obviously, were such an event to have come to pass, stories of the event would been seared into the folk memories of many, many future generations and would have required explanation.

    Anyhow, the idea of rain for 40 days and 40 nights would have been akin to a poor patch in an Irish summer, where the worst that might be required would be a 4×4 and a decent pair of wellingtons.

    Reports of Noah’s Arc being discovered on Mt. Ararat are pure nonsense. No such discovery has been made (although many hoaxes have been tried).

    So John, you can have your faith and the best of luck with that. As for myself, I prefer to trust in the sciences of geology, anthropology, physics, archeology, geography, chronology, chemistry, etc.

  42.  

    Niall —- Thank you for your learned discourse. I value it for it does appeal to reason and science after all is only the art of discerning facts.
    However, as I said to Bock earlier on, the Bible for me is also facts and how the two
    co-relate, I do not know. I have come to terms with the fact of life that there are many things that I will never understand, somewhat like the way Isiac Newton once expressed it.
    But for me, faith is not optional. Like the big jigsaw puzzle that I cited before, it will come together in the end.

  43.  

    John,

    Saying ‘the Bible for me is facts’ is a nonsensical statement. A fact is something scientifically verifiable, it can be tested by whoever wishes to do so. The Bible is not ‘fact’, it is not scientifically verifiable, nor did its writers ever intend it to be viewed in such terms. It is a story of faith and clumsy attempts to apply it in the way you do are a disservice to people of faith.

  44.  

    Jon — you have every right to your own opinions and your own beliefs. However, nobody is entitled to their own facts.

  45.  

    Hi John,

    I must admit to be somewhat confused by the following two statements.

    You state “…science after all is only the art of discerning facts…”

    Then you go to say “…, the Bible for me is also facts’…

    As Bock rightly points out, beliefs and opinions are one thing – facts are another – they are verifiable and demonstrable.

    In an earlier post, you stated to Bock that Noah’s ark ended up on Mount Ararat. You also said that this was a “fact”.

    It is no such thing and I challenge you to prove me wrong.

    If, as it seems, you believe in the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, you will find that your beliefs very quickly come into conflict with orthodox scientific thinking.

    Is it, for example, a fact that the world approximately 12,500 years old?

  46.  

    P.S. Science is never an art – it is a code of practice, always evolving.

  47.  

    An academic point.

  48.  

    Niall and Ian —- Sorry that I did not notice your comments no’s 43 and 45:

    Facts are facts whether we think so or not. We do not ordain the universe around us or anything whatsoever in it. Facts are there for us to discover. They already exist whether or not our science has verified them or not.

    Now, I am not dictating that everyone must believe what I believe, because with respect to your point of view, I am wrong in trusting to faith and I have to respect that.
    From my own point of view however, as a Catholic, I believe the Sacred Record and if it is all a fable and worst of all for me, that Christ is not risen from the dead, then I have followed a terrible delusion, my faith is in vain and I of all men am most miserable.

  49.  

    Niall again — I cannot find any comment that I made in which I stated that the Ark landing on Mt.Ararat as being “fact” . Can you point it out to me —- I just can’t see it.
    The nearest that I said here was comment no. 34 which read: “Now according to the account of the flood, the Ark DID float with its full load and it DID settle on Mt Ararat at an altitude of several thousand feet”. I was recounting the Genesis account not declaring any “fact”: “Now, according to the account of the flood…..”

  50.  

    John, indeed you correct in the strictest sense of the word. You did not say that it was a fact. However you did say –

    “…Mount Ararat, where the Ark landed, is considerably higher than 22 ft. (Now, don’t tell us it flew up there !!)” (25) and later “…how do you suppose the Ark got up there?” (29).

    That to me attributes veracity to something and decreeing the status of fact to something that is entirely unproven.

    Strangely, as a Roman Catholic you would probably be out of step with their views on Genesis where they have discarded (sensibly for them) such literal interpretations of Genesis, given the vast weight of scientific evidence to the contrary. Mind you, they took 600 years to ‘apologise’ to poor old Galileo.

    As a believer in the idea that the bible is the ‘word of God’ you seem to hold the irrational position that science is rational and revealing except where its findings conflict with the words of the bible.

    To be honest, I find it somewhat tedious to debate with people where their beliefs conflict with scientific reason, be they believers in religion or homeopathy, the power of crystals or angles.

  51.  

    This has been the most entertaining debate I have read in a long time. Lotario dei Conti di Segni, otherwise known as Pope Innocent III, modelling himself on a Roman
    Emperor declared himself “higher than man, but lower than God”.

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