Obscure Bible stuff
I make no claims of being a Biblical scholar.
However, through my experiences in a class at San
Francisco State University earlier this year, I
can share the following bits of info, which I
believe may be of interest to EarthRite users.
If you disagree with any of the information in
this posting, I encourage you to respond as you
see fit (short of violence, ridicule, miscel-
laneous mayhem, etc.). What follows is simply a
semi-refined version of my classroom notes; I am
not the original source for any of what follows.
If there are factual errors below (there are
probably a few transpositions and typos, too), they
are the result of my trying to write down as much
information as I could, as fast as I could, while
I had access to the information. This stuff comes
from Biblical scholars all over the world and I
will try to include recommended reading at the end
of this scroll.
In large part, this posting is about how the Bible
is a highly derivative collection of unrelated
stories cannibalized from other, older religions,
then stitched together clumsily by later scribes,
most of whom had political, xenophobic agendas.
(Funny how such writings could eventually
inspire the violence and hatred so many of us
have experienced at the hands of supposedly
spiritual people. The price of monotheism is
I have been assured that the most historically and
linguistically accurate translation of the Bible is
the James Moffatt translation, published since the
1930s by Harper & Row. All references in this text
(unless otherwise indicated) are references to the
text as it appears, correctly translated, in Moffatt.
Since I'm typing this at EarthRite Central, roughly
900 miles from my reference library, and the low-end
word processor I'm using here cannot flag any
potentially misspelled words, there may be some
English language errors below, either ridiculous
or sublime. If so, mea culpa.
Please post any comments, responses to Hagbard
Celine, c/o EarthRite (93:9060/208).
There are several creation stories in the Old
Testament, not just one. One of these stories is
actually a retelling of the Babylonian myth known
most commonly to the Western world as Enuma Elish.
If you are familiar with that myth (or even if
you're not), you might want to read the following
Biblical passages in Moffatt:
Genesis 1:1-2 \
Psalms 74:11-17 \
Isaiah 27:1 \ Enuma
Job 26:5-14 / Elish
Isaiah 51:9-10 /
Psalms 89:10 /
This myth is roughly the same age as the myth of
Gilgamesh and Enkidu, which was adapted in the
Bible as the story of Noah's Ark and the flood
(written roughly 1,500 years before Homer).
The King James version of the Bible is so poorly
translated that whole sections of it are riddled
with structural and historical errors. For example,
Isaiah 9:1 in the King James version says precisely
the opposite of what it says in the original Hebrew.
And in Isaiah 1:10, the King James version mistranslates
a metaphorical reference to the story of Sodom as being
a literal reference.
The New World translation mixes up past, present and
future tense, so that nothing in it makes any logical
Despite popular belief, David wrote no more of
the Bible than 1/2 of one psalm. Solomon, too,
wrote virtually none of what is attributed to him.
Much of the Bible was written thousands of years
before there was any such thing as a Bible. In
fact, the word Bible is derived from the Greek word
"biblion," so the stories of the Bible were not
compiled in their more-or-less familiar form until
Alexander the Great had conquered what was left of
Israel. The Old Testament (Tenach) was written
before there was any concept of a Bible. Until the
time of Jesus, what few of these writings had been
compiled were known as The Law and The Prophets.
Partof the Bible contradict one another because
they were written by warring tribes who worshipped
different gods -- Yahweh and Elohim being the most
obvious example of such gods -- that were blended
together by later redactors.
The first chapter of Genesis was written 500 years
after the second chapter of Genesis. They feature
entirely different creation stories because they
weren't written by the same people or about the same
god. In the second chapter, man is created in desert
conditions, not in a garden. Question for xians: If
the Bible tells stories that are mutually exclusive,
how can it be inerrant?
The second chapter of Genesis was written several
hundred years after the biography of King David
that's found in 2 Samuel. That's why there's no
religion in the biography story: it was never meant,
when written, to have any religious context, content
God has at least 15 names in the book of Genesis
because the stories in Genesis actually come from
many different and distinct mythologies. And remember,
even these individual mythologies were mostly
polytheistic. God uses the so-called "royal we" in
Genesis, even though the "royal we" wasn't created
until the 17th century. That's because more than one
god is speaking at a time. Yahweh was a single deity,
but "Elohim" translates as the plural "gods."
Chapters 1 and 5 of Genesis were written by the Priestly
astronomers who were Elohim worshippers; chapters 2,
3 and 4 were written by their enemies, the farmers who
The serpent in the Genesis story is not the Devil. No
such character exists in Old Testament writings. The
serpent is actually the hero of the storsaving his
consort, Eve, from a life of ignorance. But her
creator is afraid of having equals.
Although Joseph Campbell has been accused of many
horrible things, he does present accurate and non-
hateful information in "The Serpent's Bride and the
Mother-Goddess Eve," a chapter in his book The Masks
of God: Occidental Mythology. The serpent is Eve's
(Havah's) consort. (Havah=Yahweh). This was originally
a story of goddess worship.
Also, the god in this story is not the creator of all
living things and the text says as much in chapter 3
of Genesis, verse 1; the text says plainly that this
god did not create the serpent.
Ishtar = Eve = Havah = Astarte = Ashtarot, etc. All
the same character originally. The Tetragramaton
has been translated as JHVH and YHWH, which is where
we get names like Yahweh and Jehovah (written Hebrew
has no vowels).
Although Yahweh as a character is derived largely
from the Midean god Yah, the word "yahweh" is
very closely related to the Hebrew verb "havah,"
meaning "is." The goddess Havah (Eve) preceded
Yahweh as a Hebrew diety.
Genesis 2:16-17 -- god's first words to humanity
are a lie. This doesn't bode well. Compare to
Genesis 2:15 -- god says the garden needs to be
protected, but from what? What is this god afraid of?
Genesis 2:18-20 -- having noticed that the other
animals are having wanton sexual relations, Adam
"examines" every single animal in the garden during
his search for potential sexual partners. When he's
worn out all the wombats, weasels and wildebeasts,
he asks his creator to invent just one more animal.
According to Rabbinical interpretation and revision
of this story 1,000 years later, the mate provided
to Adam was Lilith (also a goddess -- the goddess of
newborn children -- from the fading matriarchal
society crushed by the rising patriarchy), not Eve.
The first 5 books of the Old Testament are often
misnamed the Books of Moses, as if he wrote them,
which he most certainly did not. These stories were
part of the oral tradition for so long that they
were distorted from matriarchal to patriarchal
stories over time.
Genesis 6 and Genesis 7 are two different stories,
written hundreds of years apart, that have been
intertwined. In the Moffatt translation, this
contradictory doublet has been separated into
italicized and Roman type. Both of these stories
are about Noah and the flood, but each serves the
distinct political agenda of its time.
(Note that the door to Noah's ark is closed by
Yahweh, with his anthropomorphic hand. At the time
these stories were written, Yahweh was not yet
invisible, or in any other significant way
different from human beings.)
The oldest myths are the (a)etiological myths, which
served in their time the same function served now by
science. Etiological myths are myths of origins.
"Where did women come from?" is a completely different
etiological myth than "Where did men come from?". Other
such myths: Why does humanity have to work
so hard? Why is childbirth painful? Why don't snakes
have legs? Why do we work on a set schedule? Why do
we wear clothing?
Most of the stories in Genesis 2,3 and 4 are etiological
stories, and were used to educate children. Most of
these stories were at least sevehundred years old
before anybody knew how to write them down -- and in
those hundreds of years, the etiological myths spread
from one population to another, mutating and contorting
to suit the agendas of the story-tellers in each of
those communities. That's one of the reasons why so
many of the same basic themes are repeated in the myths
of many societies/religions (and perhaps why virtually
every religion begins with giants and a flood).
Genesis 1 is not as etiological as Genesis 2, which
explains the work week and the origin of matter.
Anthropomorphic deity needs to rest at the end of
Genesis 3:8 -- god tromps through the garden, unaware
of where Adam and Eve are hiding. This is omniscience?
Genesis 3:21 -- god guts and skins animals for Adam and
Eve to wear tunics. (God has to sew?)
Genesis 3:22 -- the god in the Garden of Eden is vengeful,
arrogant, vain, fearful, a liar, and jealous of human
Genesis 6: 1-4 -- angels can fornicate with the best
Genesis 6: 6-8 -- god makes a gaffe, has regrets/
Genesis 6:19 contradicts Genesis 7:2, re: number of
animal-pairs Noah should bring upon the ark.
Genesis 8:20 -- animal sacrifice -- God likes the smell
of burning flesh. Later, in Leviticus, god explains the
proper way to offer him an animal sacrifice for his maximum
enjoyment. But then, in Isaiah 1:11, he changes his mind and
gets huffy about it.
Genesis 9: 18-27 -- very confusing trying to determine
whether Canaan is the son or the grandson of Noah, because
the story was partially re-written to justify the genocide
of Canaanites (Phoenicians/Palestinians). In the original
version, Noah's sons were Canaan, Shem and Japeth. But the
revision introduced a new son, the cursed Ham, and made
Canaan Ham's son. This hateful myth gained a new lease on
life in the 19th century when it was combined with an
unscientific study of differences in language andsed to
justify the vicious mistreatment of African black people
in the western world (because the 19th century theory said
dark-skinned people were the cursed descendants of Canaan).
This ridiculous theory is still in use in S. Africa.
Ham/Canaan's crime, as revealed in Robert Graves' book,
Hebrew Myths: When a drunken Noah exposed his genitals to
his children, an outraged Canaan (Ham) castrated his father.
Genesis 11:6-7 -- spiteful god
Genesis 1:29 is pro-vegetarian; Genesis 4:4 is pro-
carnivore -- so guess which chapter was written by the
agrarian society and which chapter was written by
people into animal husbandry (no, not the kind Adam
Daniel is underground, revolutionary, political propaganda,
-- wholly fictional -- from whence Jews derive their belief
in an afterlife. Daniel was written several hundred years
after the Babylonian captivity and about 170 years before
the birth of Jesus. Also, Daniel is unusual for having been
written partially in Aramaic (from the word "Aramaic" in
Daniel 2:4 through the end of chapter 7).
Daniel provides the first references in hundreds of years to
political action, and so represents the beginning of a new
political state in Israel. In many ways, Daniel is a
"modernized" version of the story of Joseph in the final 14
chapters of Genesis.
Scholars know Daniel is fictional because it was written
several hundred years after it says it was; we know more
about the events it claims are contemporary than the author
knew. Daniel makes no historical sense because it was
actually written between 168 and 165 BCE. The character Daniel
is a fictional version of Judas Maccabeus, intended to inspire
pious loyalism to Judas Maccabeus. The references in Daniel
to Babylon are actually sly, coded references to Greece.
2 Samuel 1:26 \
1 Samuel 20:41 \ Was King
1 Samuel 20:1-4 / David gay?
me of the lost books of the Bible include the Book of
the Wars of Yahweh, and the Book of Nathan, both of
which are referred-to in Biblical passages.
Genesis 12: 10-20 (Yahwist) is a doublet with Genesis 20:1
and Genesis 26 (Elohist), re: Abram & Sarai. Genesis 12 is
Yahwist mythology and Genesis 20 is Elohist morality.
(An interesting side note to this doublet: Recent
archaeological excavations in Syria have proven that at the
time the Yahwist version was written, wives were called
"sister to the brother," because of patrilineal inheritance
rights. But 500 years later, the Elohist writer didn't have
that knowledge and -- thinking the older story was accepting
of incest -- changed it.)
When Abram's name changed to Abraham in the stories, it was
because Abram means "Ram is my father," and indicated his
family's worship of a non-Hebrew deity. It was politically
expedient when the stories were being transcribed to change
his name to Abraham, which means "father of many."
Abram/Abraham was probably not an individual person -- in
the stories, some scholars believe he represens a tribe of
at least 70 people, all fairly closely related. (This isn't
as strange as it may sound. In the Old Testament the word
"Israel" can represent Jacob, or his descendents, or all
Israelites, or their land/country, or just the northern part
of their country.) However, a post-WWII archaeological dig
in Syria seems to confirm the historical existence of Abram.
Genesis 19 -- story of Sodom is about middle eastern
hospitality laws, not homosexuality.
| | |
Ham Shem Japeth
| | |
Canaan Abram Lot
| | |
| Moab Ben-Ammi
(Had 11 brothers;
12 tribes of Israel)
Assuming that these characters were ever real people, they
were almost certainly not related by blood. But for the sake
of continuity and for the sake of simplifying religious
bigotry, the Bible says they WERE related by blood. Stories of
characters descended from OFF the center line are xenophobic
stories about people who are not Hebrew. Judah is in the
center line so Jesus will descend appropriately (for
dramatic impact, etc.). Since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
worshipped three different gods, it's unlikely that they
were grandfather, father, and son.
Genesis 32:2 is from the Yahwist account; Genesis 32:7 is
from the Elohist account -- these offer conflicting explanations
for why Joseph's brothers despised him. Elohist account
describes behavior offensive to Elohists; Yahwist account
describes behavior offensive to Yahwists.
Genesis 34 is two stories, not one. These stories were later
interleaved. The Priestly version of the story is the later
of the two, and begins with a marriage broker, NOT a rape.
The Priestly version was written 500 years after the
original, at a time when Jewish self-rule had been nearly
obliterated and -- as a response -- their leaders set
religious laws against marrying non-Jews.
Psalm 137 -- written post-David, when Hebrews were living
in Babylonian captivity. This is a reverential poem about
genocide, about kling foreigners. Like most of the
Priestly writings, this is undiluted hatred for all things
The name of Isaac's god translates into English literally as
Exodus 6:2-8 is a Priestly doublet for the earlier Exodus 3,
written by both Elohists and Yahwists. The Priestly version
provides the Hebrew proper names for three gods. Translated
into English, these are God, The Eternal, and God Almighty.
Exodus 3:11 calles him Elohim. Then 3:14 calls him
I-Will-Be-What-I-Will-Be (in other translations: I Am That I
Am). This one is actually a Hebrew phrase in future tense:
ehyeh ashohyeh, with the two H's as in Yahweh (YHWH),
which means, sort of, "to become." The most natural
translation into English would be "I am what I am," but
the comic strip character Popeye ruined this phrase for
Biblical translators. Some of god's other names in the
Bible transliterate as "I cause things to come into being,"
"I bring war into existence," and "I will be."
Exodus 2:10 -- Egyptian meaning of Moses: Like "Ramesses"
meant son of Ra, and "Thutmose" meant son of Thoth, and
"Ahmose" meant son of Ah (Ra, Thoth and Ah all being
ancient Egyptian gods), Moses was named on the assumption
that he was the son of a god, but nobody knew which one...
they hadn't decided. He probably had a Hebrew name, too, but
it has been forgotten. The revisionists who forget to look
at Moses' name in light of his having been raied as
Egyptian royalty say that his name means "removed," but
In Exodus, god tries to kill Moses, but fails to do
so because a woman outsmarts him. This is one of the most
puzzling, primitive and enigmatic stories in the Bible.
Exodus 2:23a \
Exodus 4:19-20 \ order in which the
Exodus 4:24-26 / story should be read
Exodus 2: /
Why would Yahweh want to kill Moses? Probably for the same
reason that Yahweh (described plainly and simply as a man)
attacks Jacob in Genesis 32:22. In both stories, god fails
to defeat mortal men in simple hand-to-hand combat. The
Genesis account also says that Yahweh has to flee the scene of
the conflict before dawn. These stories support
archaeological evidence that the Hebrews appropriated Yahweh
from stories in Midean mythology of a fearsome night demon
named Yah, who was not visible in the daylight.
The Midean story revised in Exodus features a woman
resolving the crisis, which suggests it predates thiarchy. The foreskin tossed at Yahweh's feet weds Yahweh
to Zipporah -- symbolic of the hymen breaking in virginal
intercourse, particularly when you know that feet in the Old
Testament usually represent a penile erection. Yahweh intended
to rape Zipporah, but her magic confused him. The earliest
version of the story probably had no infant and probably
featured the circumcision of Moses (or the man for whom Moses
became a stand-in in the Biblical account).
Many of the "miracles" described in the Old Testament were
miracles only to the people describing them, because they
were witnessing various natural phenomena with which they
were not previously familiar. The story of the parting of
the reed sea (a low-level lake, not red at all, its English
name was spelled awkwardly in the days of Middle English non-
standardized spelling, leading to a prevailing
mispronunciation of the translated name) was not even
slightly "miraculous." A small lake (known variously as
Maeotis, Bardawi, and Baudouin) is separated from the
Mediterranean Sea by a VERY thin strip of land, but only
when the weather is clement. During inclement weather the
path is completely obscured by water and is
indistinguishable from the Mediterranean. The path here is a
far more likely path for the Exodus than the one through the
The story of Manna from Heaven also involves a
misunderstanding. In fact, one reasonable translation of the
Hebrew word manna is "What is it?".Manna is an extrusion of
sap from the tamarind tree -- it comes out of the tree in
the early morning, when a worm/bug has bitten the tree.
Because these critters store their excrement in the manna,
it becomes an unpleasant dining experience shortly after it
comes out of the tree. The folks who originated the story of
the miraculous manna believed it formed on the trees
overnight, like dew, and therefore must be a gift from
Heaven. Manna is sold in Israeli shops today under the
brand name Mannite. Although it tastes something like maple
syrup (before it's spoiled with bug shit), Mannite is sold
as fertilizer, not food.
Isaiah 6:9-13 -- god loves people so much, this is his plan:
Make the minds of the people dull,
make their ears heavy and close up their eyes,
lest their eyes see, lest their ears hear,
lest their minds understand
and their health be restored.
When asked how long he wants this torture to go on, god
Till they are ruined,
till their towns are empty,
and their houses uninhabited,
and the land left desolate...
...even if a tenth of them be spared,
they too must be burned up,
like stumps of oak and terebinth
that have been felled
The book of Joshua is entirely fictional, historians and
scholars say. Ditto for Daniel (a political potboiler) and
The word "prophet" is a Gree mistranslation of the Hebrew
word "nabi," and the mistranslated word incorrectly implies
that the Biblical prophets were believed, and considered
sane by their people. The opposite is true. And contemporary
usage of the word "prophet" has misled many people to think
Biblical prophets were predicting the future, or even trying
to. All the prophets cared about was revising the behavior
and beliefs of the Hebrew race in order to forstall/prevent
its annihilation. Prophesy means speaking forth.
Isaiah's name was really Yeshayahu. "Yahu" means god, as in
Yahweh or ehyeh, and "yesh" means "to save." So Isaiah means
"Yahweh Saves," but this has nothing to do with individual
salvation like the "Jesus saves" slogan is meant to imply.
Instead, Isaiah's name was meant as a constant reminder to
save the tribe.
Joshua chapters 6-10 are mas a justification of
S. Israel (Judah) raised crops, worshipped Yahweh. Wrote
from roughly 950 to 850 BCE.
N. Israel (Ephraim) raised animals, worshipped Elohi. Wrote
from roughly 850 to 750 BCE. After 721, those who survived
moved to the southern kingdom and inter-married.
During Babylonian captivity, Priestly writers (astronomers)
wrote about Elohim and genocide from roughly 500 to 400 BCE.
A few of the populationss they aspired to slaughter were the
Phoenicians, the Moabites, the Philistines, the Ammonites,
the Assyrians, and the Arameans (which I've almost certainly
Christians later interpreted Isaiah 7:14 as a reference to
Jesus. Such interpretation is historically and grammatically
absurd, since the passage is written in the Hebrew
equivalent of past perfect tense.
Among the groups that are purportedly part of the lost 10
tribes of Israel: the indigenous people of North America,
the indigenous people of Japan, the "Anglo-Israelites" of
England, and thecias (probably misspelled) of Ethiopia.
2 Kings 17:21 -- now worshipping Elohim is a sin
Isaiah 11 -- this poem was seminal in the development of the
concept of a messiah, back when that meant an earthly king,
not a holy one
Isaiah 1:4 -- "Majesty of Israel" as name for a god to
Isaiah 1:24 -- "Hero of Israel" as name for a god to
Isaiah 1:12-15 -- god says this about churches:
Crowd my courts no more, bring offerings no more;
the smoke of sacrifice is vain, I loathe it;
your gatherings at the new moon and on sabbath,
I cannot abide them;
your fasts and festivals, my soul abhors them,
they are a weariness to me, I am tired of them.
You may stretch out your hands,
but I will never look at you,
and thoughmay offer many a prayer,
I will not listen.
Hosea 2:8 -- Yahweh is growing, changing from his previous
role as a god for shepherds -- new name might as well be
Yahwehelohim or Yahwehadonai, since the merger has now begun
between the gods of the north and the south.
Hosea 2:14-15, 2:17 -- god tells Canaanite followers of Baal
that he can also be such a god -- a god of fertility and
agriculture, not just a god for shepherds.
One of Saul's sons was Ishbaal, whose name meant "man of
Baal (god.)" Ish is from the Hebrew and Baal is from the
Canaanite. But later scribes changed his name in Biblical
accounts to Ishbosheth (Ishibosheth?), meaning "man of
A similar transformation occurred in the Bible with the
common woman's name Meribaal, changed by later scribes to
Names incorporating both Hebrew and Canaanite words were
common at this time because the two cultures had become
Hosea 2:18, 2:21-23 -- Yahweh will destroy Israel unless its
people worship him instead of Elohim.
When reading any of the prohetic writings (Isaiah, Hosea,
Jeremiah, etc.) watch for references to Moses. You will
notice that Moses gets none of the credit for freeing the
Hebrew slaves of Egypt. The prophets all hated Mosaic law.
No Bible prints the stories in chronological order, as they
were written, because that's considered too radical, too
revealing. However, the paperback edition of the Bible, as
published by Houghton-Mifflin, apparently makes at least an
attempt at chronology.
Hosea 11:9 -- first declaration that god is more than just a
particularly astute man. This idea was very slow to catch
A jeremiad is what you say while you're shaking your fist
and criticizing/shaming someone.
Jeremiah 1:5 -- used by Operation Rescue-type groups:
Before I formed you in the womb, I chose you; ere
ever you were born, I set you apart...
But they leave out the rest of the verse, because it's
clearly aimed at Jeremiah and Jeremiah alone:
I have appointed ya prophet to the nations.
Jeremiah 1:6 -- god's name here is Lord Eternal
Jeremiah 1:18 -- Yahweh says his army will defeat Elohim's
The book of Deuteronomy is considered the fifth book of
Moses, even though it was written 1,000 years later than the
other four. No one ever took the credit for writing it.
Jeremiah 20:14 has an entirely fictional doublet in Job 3.
Jeremiah 20:7-11 -- in modern, psychiatric terms, Jeremiah
would probably be diagnosed as having schizophrenic
Jeremiah 31:27-34 -- one of the most important prophesies in
the Bible, since it says sins no longer travel through
the generations (i.e. sins of the father). Here, sweeping
changes occur in the religion, including the abolition of
organized worship, of priests, and of sins. Here,
individualistic religion dawns as a response to conditions
of slavery and genocide. But this law was apparently a law
for the moment, with the assumption that it would be
abandoned if things ever improved. What Jeremiah was
proposing was a way to keep their religion alive while they
were in captivity.
Ezekial 1:4 -- since electron is the Greek word for amber,
electricity was named for the reference to it in this passage:
...as I gazed, there was a storm-wind blowing from
the north! -- a huge cloud with fire flashing out of it, and with a sheen encircling it and issuing from
it, the colour of amber.
But this passage continues through verse 14 and becomes
interesting for an entirely different reason. In this
passage, Ezekial is attempting to re-shape the religion of
his people into a religion of animal-worship. Biblical animal
gods appear for the first time (not the last) in Ezekial:
Out of it appeared the forms of four creatures, and
this was their appearance: they had the same form,
each with four faces and four wings, with limbs
straight and gleaming like burnished bronze, and
with the soles of their feet rounded like the feet
of calves. Under their wings, on the four sides of
them, were human hands. As for their four faces and
wings -- their wings touched one another, and their
faces never turned as they moved; each moved
straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces
-- all four had in front the face of a man, on the
right the face of a lion, on the left the face of a
bull, and the face of an eagle at the back. Their
wings were stretched out, one pair to touch the
next Creature, the other pair to cover the body.
Each moved straight forward; wherever the Spirit
impelled them to go they went, never turning as they
moved. Also, in the middle of the Creatures there
was Something moving to and fro, like gleaming
coals, like torches, a fire that gleamed and flashed
The description continues through verse 28, with references
to wheels and a variety of additional, extremely peculiar
appendages. Finally, dwarfed by the spectacle around him
is -- ho hum -- god, sitting down and seeming unimpressive.
But the description of Ezekial's vision is actually just a
retread of Babylonian mythology -- remember Genesis hasn't
been written yet -- and Babylon was a polytheistic soceity.
Oh, and by the way, previous writers had said anyone who saw
or described Yahweh -- even saw him in a vision -- would die
immediately. But Ezekial didn't. So go figure.
Dreams andvisions in the Bible are almost always incoherent
-- yet they form the foundation of the religions based on
Ezekial's writings are -- for lack of a term used at the
time they were written -- science fiction.
Isaiah was not one writer. Starting in chapter 40, the book
of Isaiah was written by someone scholars call
Duetero-Isaiah, who was the first Biblical monotheiest.
EVERYTHING IN THE BIBLE WRITTEN CHRONOLOGICALLY BEFORE
CHAPTER 40 OF THE BOOK OF ISAIAH WAS WRITTEN BY PEOPLE WHO
BELIEVED IN MORE THAN ONEGOD.
(But remember that the stories in the Bible are not arranged
in the order in which they were written.) So whoever Duetero-
Isaiah was, s/he was showing enormous chutzpah by writing in
...I am the Eternal, maker of all things,
I alone stretched out the heavens,
'twas I who spread out the earth; who aided me?
Monotheism emerged at the nadir of Hebrew/Jewish history.
Every time in the bible that reference is made to the
creation of the universe, you can be pretty sure you've
encountered yet another god from yet another religion.
Isaiah 40:3 -- Yahweh accompanied the Jews to Babylon and
now he's going to walk with them back to Israel. This
prophesy is rewritten in Luke 3:4 so that John becomes the
level road to Jesus and Yahweh needn't travel through the
desert. The New Testament almost always garbles its
references to the Old Testament, and never accidentally.
Ezekial 37:1-14 -- first Biblical reference to immortality,
influenced by the near-genocide of the Hebrew people and
their return to JudaNot intended as individual
immortality, but an immortal race. No reference to Heaven or
The book of Daniel and the story of Jonah are fictional, not
prophetic, and represent the failure and decline of the
prophetic movement. These writings were followed by the
writings of anonymous scribes attributed to famous men ohe distant past (David, Solomon, etc.), then by Priestly
writing, which led into a new testament intended for Greek
audiences (not Hebrew or Aramaic).
The word "wisdom" in the Old Testament is often used as an
oblique reference to goddess worship.
What the dream means in Daniel 2:31-36:
Gold = Babylonians
Silver = Mideans
Bronze = Persians
Iron = Early Greek Empire (Alexander)
Iron/Clay = Later Greek Empire (Epiphanes)
Iron and c cannot alloy; clay destroys iron. Epiphanes
has feet of clay and cannot maintain the empire handed to
From 330 to 50 BCE, Greeks had a huge influence on Hebrew
culture. This dream is also referential to Book One of
Ahbed's (sp?) Metamorphases, a Latin consumption of parts of
the Old Testament.
Daniel 4:32 -- god gets another new name: The Most High.
Daniel 4:37 -- god gets another new name: King of Heaven
(this is the first time Heaven has been a place).
Proverbs chapter 8 proclaims the dawn of a new religion, one
in which men and women are equal, one with both a god and a
Wisdom (a kind of religious writing) \
Hypostasis (inductive creation of new god) \
Hochma (Hebrew goddess of wisdom) \ a brief
Hacham (wise man) \ vocabulary
Sophia (goddess of wisdom) / lesson
Gnosis (knowledge) /
The goddess says (Proverbs 8:22-31):
The Eternal formed me first of his creation,
first of all his works in days of old;
I was fashioned in the earliest ages,
from the very first, when earth began;
I was born when ther no abysses,
when there were no fountains full of water;
ere he sunk the bases of the mountains,
ere the hills existed, I was born,
when earth and fields were not created,
nor the very first clods of the world.
When he set the heavens up, I was there,
when he drew the Vault o'er the abyss,
when he made the clouds firm overhead,
when he fixed the fountains of the deep,
when he set the boundaries of the sea,
when he laid foundations for the earth;
I was with him then, his foster-child,
(alt. vers.: I was with him then, his architect,)
I was his delight day after day,
playing in his presence constantly,
playing here and there over his world,
finding my delight in human-kind.
Lest you think the goddess is an innocent bystander in the
cosmos, however, she also says this (Proverbs 8:12, 14-21):
I Wisdom have intelligence in hand,
knowledge and insight I command,
counsel and skill are mine,
I possess mind and might.
It is by me that monarchs reign,
and rulers deal out justice,
by me that great men govern,
and magnates rule the earth.
Those who love me, I love them;
those who seek me find me.
I hold wealth and honour,
position and good fortune;
what I yield is better than the best of gold,
what I bring in is better than rare silver.
I deal right fairly,
justly do I act,
enriching those who love me,
and filling their stores full.
FYI: Hochma is introduced in Proverbs 1:20, and further
refences follow in chapters 2 and 3 (as "wisdom"). By
chapters 7 and 8, her sect (the Kabbalists) has grown in
influence. Proverbs 7 is very funny, re: father's advice
to his hormonally-engulfed pubescent son.
Wisdom literature was an international phenomenon, and seems
to have struck everywhere simultaneously, very similar from
one culture to the next. All wisdom literature is centered
on the concept of hochma, meaning wisdom as a human trait.
Biblical wisdom literature virtually never mentions god;
much more emphasis placed on philosophy/gnosticism.
Proverbs 31 and 32 were written originally in Arabic, not
Hebrew, which tells you something of their origins.
Gnosticism was lost to history until shortly after WWII.
Gnostics emphasized salvation (from physical destruction)
through knowledge. Gnosticism was popular for about 500
years, with the birth a Jesus marking aough half-way
point. Like xianity and Isis-worship, gnosticism was one
of the "mystery religions," though it was more intellectual
than xianity. The earliest writings about Christ are gnostic
in origin. Gnostics believedaith = ignorance.
By 330 AD in Rome, gnosticism was suppressed -- which is how
it stayed for the next 1,600 years. Until 1946, the only
evidence to indicate there had ever been any such thing as
gnosticism were the religious tracts opposing it. But in
1946, 52 gnostic documents were recovered in the Egyptian
village Nag Hammadi. Similar to but broader than the New
Testament. The best-known of these is the Gospel of Thomas,
written c 50 BC, which features sayings by Jesus without
any narrative context. Thomas was the twin brother of Jesus
(some of their other siblings were James, Joses, Judas and
Simon). The recovered gnostic texts have required the xian
religious establishment to perform theological damage
control, particularly since the gnostics never mention niggling
details like resurrection, organized worship, an external god,
There are two kinds of gods: higher and lower. The higher
god (godhead/gottheit) is ineffable, unknowable, mysterious,
both male and female, beyond any anthropomorphicization.
The lower god (demiurge) has human tendencies. By these
definitions, neither Judaism nor xianity has a higher god,
because Yahweh and Christ are both gods with human
Proverbs 31:10-31 -- the nicest thing the Bible ever says
Although the characters in the book Job are all Arabic
characters, the story has survived only in the Hebrew
tradition, not in any Arabic language or tradition. The book
of Job questions whether the Hebrew god is a just god.
In Job, the first two chapters and the last chapter are
Yahwist in origin. All the other chapters are Elohist.
Job 1 introduce "adversary," for which the Hebrew word
is satan (pronounced saa-taan). This character is in no way
related to Lucifer or to the serpent in the garden.
The story of Job is a metaphor for the history of Judaism to
that point, and is probably thebest-written part of the
Job 38-40 -- Elohim mocks Job's pain, while bragging about
his own strength and efficiency. This is a snotty,
malicious, ironic, sarcastic god.
Mark and John -- authors are unknown; these
books were written hundreds of years after the death of
Jesus, whom these writers never knew. Luke and
Matthew were written roughly 40 years after the death of
Jesus, at the time of the ll of Jerusalem. This is not a
coincidence. Another 20 years passed before anybody invented
the story of a resurrection -- 60 years after the death of
Two kinds of Biblical scholarship: tendentious/religious
(i.e. JPP, Impramatuer, Harper, Jovanovich) and
independent/historical (JDEP -- almost always non-dogmatic).
A quote from professor Waidelich of SFSU's World and
Comparative Literature Department (now retired): "More than
nine-tenths of the New Testament is fiction; lies, lies,
lies everywhere -- that's standard."
In the New Testament, the word "fulfilled" is a dead
giveaway that the passage is fictional or contains recreated
dialogue, particularly if uttered by Jesus.
After the time of Jesus, there were five major Jewish sects:
Higher criticism says the Bible was written by mortal men
who were not divinely inspired.
Lower criticism examines nonce words and text in a tchnical
These two are combined in form criticism, which is
linguistic, literary criticism, looking at what words were
used and what those words meant in the original context.
The Jesus Seminar wasa 5-to-6-year project, probably
disbanded by now, designed to combat televangelists,
apocalyptics and pious platitudes with scholarly,
non-theological Biblical research. Their findings and
other good books are published by the:
19678 Eighth St. E
Sonoma, CA 95476
The Mellon Press is also asociated with the Jesus Seminar.
According to the Jesus Seminar, it is fairly simple to
identify which quotations attributed to Jesus are completely
fabricated. The real sayings of Jesus were short, pithy,
memorable, nd provocative. When speaking, Jesus used
aphorisms and parables, often calling for a reversal of
roles or upset expectations. His sayings are humorous,
exaggerated and paradoxical.
Most of the sayings attributed to Jesus were part of the
pre-existing oral folklore, or were written by the church to
further its agenda.
Also, in history, Jesus never claimed to be a messiah, the
son of god, or thbne annoited one. If anything, he said "su
egeis," which is a Greek translation of an idiomatic
Aramaic phrase meaning, "you said it!". KJV translates this
as "thou sayest" and Moffatt translates this as "certainly,"
but since no witness recorded the moment, it is almost
One of the early church fathers, an Egyptian named Origen
(185-255 AD), said -- and this is paraphrased because I don't
have access to the actual quotation:
=The scripture wove into the story some things that
did not happen and some things that could not happen.
The careful reader will detect thousands of such
passages in the gospels.=
Marcan Jesus \
Lucan Jesus \ These stories
Johannine Jesus / are Greek myths
Matthaian Jesus /
Gnostic Jesus.........A Coptic (Greek in Egypt?) myth
St. Paul invented Christianity. He created the myth almost
single-handedly. See Hyam Maccoby's book, The Mythmaker:
Paul and the Inon of Christianity. Also see The Dead
Sea Scrolls Deception.
Paul (Saul) was an enemy of Jesus; read Acts.
Paul invented anti-Semitism; read Acts 7:60, Acts 8:1-3,
Acts 9:1-2. Paul wrote that God wanted the Js to kill
Jesus so that people would know Jews were evil and persecute
them forever. Two points to remember: Jesus was killed by
Roman soldiers, not Jews; and Paul lied about his supposedly
Jewish heritage in order to lend credibility to his
Paul wrote Romans, including 11:1, where he lies about his
supposedly Jewish lineage -- his native language is
Greek and he knows nothing about the birth, life, or
ministry of Jesus.
Acts and Luke were written by the same author.
At least one passage in the gnostic Secret Gospel of Mark
(see: p.329, The Historical Jesus) says outright that Jesus
enjoyed participating in sexual acts with other men.
Jesus was not the only messiah. In fact, there were at least
2,000 messiahs crucified. Titus bragged that in 70 AD there
were 500 or more messiahs crucified every day of the year.
However, only one crucified skeleton has ever been found in
Each Roman soldier was required to bury the men he
crucified; all the stories of family participation in the
burials is xian mythology.
We don't know for a fact that the historical Jesus was a
violent man, but Biblical passages can be used to refute
xian teachings that Jesus was exclusively (or even
predominantly) a man of peace. Whether those passages are
historically accurate or not, they do point to an
inconsistent portrayal of Jesus in the Bible and a selective
portrayal of Jesus by the church. And if Jesus was perfect,
he wouldn't need 20th century sugar coating.
Peter was the first bishop of Rome, but even the word
"bishop" goes against everything Jesus stood for, since it
comes from the Greek word episcopos, meaning overseer.
Jesus' re movement was based on unbrokered
egalitarianism, where no one assumes dominion over peasants.
The church immediately demolished the ideal of equality
espoused by Jesus.
Simplifying the theories of author John Dominick Crossan,
author Paul Hollenbach has this to say about Jesus as
radical, healer (this is a paraphrase of a parhrase):
Medicine was virtually unknown among Jesus' people. Most
diseases don't even have names. Jesus was a magician/healer.
He was a political figure fighting oppression, suffering and
squalor. He comforted downtrodden people with his words,
while his hatred of the oppressive Rome grew and grew.
The cases of "possession" cured bus were actually just
cases of oppression. Possessiion and exorcism are common
worldwide phenomena through history. Hollenbach says the
phenomenon is cross-cultural and transcontemporable (sp?).
The situations of social tenion that cause possession are
* economic exploitation
* the erosion of revered traditions
* colonial domination
Exorcism = revolution -- people venting their anger. Divided
minds and schizoid dreams are a cry for revolution.
Domination and rebellion encourage mental illness among the
oppressed. Mental illness is an oblique protest against
oppression. But salvation by "possession" doesn't threaten
the social position ofthe oppressor. It's an ineffective
protest. All those who are "possessed" are social deviants,
so society says all social deviants are "possessed." This
creates a symbiotic relationship when the oppressor can
accuse the oppressed of being "possessed." Colonized people
conspire in their own oppression if they don't fight for
freedom. Insanity is an individuated symbolic revolution.
(Such oppression can occur in families, too.)
Beelzebub = Baal = lord of the flies.
Peter, Andrew, and John were illiterate -- not authors.
R E C O M M E N D E D R E A D I N G:
(may be written in Latin)
Anchor Biblical Commentary
Auerbach, Elias Moses
Barnstone, Willis, ed. The Other Bible
Brandon, SGF Jesus and the Zealots
Bultmann, Rudolf Primitive Christianity
Campbell, Joseph The Masks of God: Occidental
Crossan, John Dominic The Historical Jesus: The Life of a
Mediterranean Jewish Peasant
Freud, Sigmund Moses and Monotheism
Graves, Robert Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis
Helms, Randel Gospel Fictions
Hick, John The Myth of God Incarnate
Hoffmann, R. Joseph Jesus Outside the Gospels
Horsley, Richard Jesus and the Spiral of Violence:
Popular Jewish Resistance in Roman
Horsley, Rchard Bandits, Prophets and Messiahs
Jesus Seminar The Parables of Jesus, red letter
Jesus Seminar The Gospel of Mark, red letter
Keller, Werner The Bible as History
Meyer, Marvin, trans. The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden
Sayings of Jesus
Miller, Robert J. The Complete Gospels, annotated
Maccoby, Hyam The Mythmaker: Paul and the
Invention of Christianity
Maccoby, Hyam Revolution in Judea: Jesus and the
Parrot, Andre Babylon and the Old Testament
Patai, Raphael The Hebrew Goddess
Robinson, XXXXX The Nag Hammadi Library
Rosenberg, David The Book of J
& Harold Bloom
Schweitzer, Albert The Psychiatric Study of Jesus
(Unknown) The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception
(Unknown) The Nag Hammadi Library in English
(Unknown) e Lost Books of the Bible and the
Forgotten Books of Eden
(Unknown) The Historical Jesus
(Unknown), Elaine The Gnostic Gospels
Wolfe, Roland E. The 12 Religions of the Bible