From the Mailbag
From the Mailbag
What an honor to be published by your fine magazine. I enjoyed
your article entitled "Mcbull to the rescue". Its [sic]
me, Mr. Till! I am the mighty McBull!!! I was sure to thank Richard
Fiori for forwarding our little debate to you. In my defense however,
I was unaware that he was going to do that. So it comes as both
an honor and a surprise, that I find myself gracing the pages
of your periodical. I do have to admit that my response was not
as complete as I would have liked, had I known it was going to
be picked apart by someone of your caliber, I could have provided
you with references and further background information. The thing
you have to remember, Mr. Till is that not too many people will
stand in and debate with me on America Online [sic]. Most people
are not as informed (or deceived) as you are, and as a result
never respond back to me. That being the case, if I were to write
a detailed response to every person, then I wouldn't have time
to eat, sleep, or take a dump, for that matter.
On the issue of the Amalekites, I would be more than happy to
provide you with my sources and information, then perhaps we could
debate the issue further to the enjoyment of your readers. However,
I picked up on an nference [sic] in your article that the subject
had become tedious to you. Perhaps you would rather let it go?
We can just call it a draw. By the way, what's the story with
all the "sics'? All I could picture was my cat when he gets
a hair ball, going "sic....sic....sic". Ever have a
cat do that? It's sort of entertaining to watch, if you know what
I mean. The most profound thing to me in the piece you mentioned
"...The fact that two people working independently of each
other would write such similar articles..." I found that
to be most profound, for reasons I don't expect you to understand.
I'll assume Mr. Mitchell knew he was being published? Anyhow,
I'll leave this one up to you, I'll defend every point I made,
refute all of yours, or move on. More on than [sic] in a moment.
Please accept my subscription, enclosed you will find $4 cash
for my first year. Ingersol told me that was the cost, I assume
he is correct. Please mail it too [sic] the Mighty McBull care
of the address above on this letterhead.
Now, I had a thought. Would you consider me for a position in
your publication? I got to thinkin' I would be interesting [sic]
in being your resident whipping boy. Perhaps we can have a debate
for the sake of the reader's [sic]. I'll take you on - in any
subject. I'll even let you choose the topics and I don't even
want to be paid for it! How about that!!! Maybe, I could have
an editorial column, The Christian Perspective, or something like
that. I could get the readers all riled up, and get them interested
in the debate process. What do ya think Farrell, I'm game for
it? I even have a great sense of humor, and I'm a really nice
guy to boot. Drop me a line.
By the way, could I get a copy of the issue that I am going to
be published in, I'll pay for whatever it costs. My mommy will
be so proud of me.
(Matthew C. Bullard, The Mighty McBull, 15520 Rockfield Boulevard,
Suite E-2, Irvine, CA 92718.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Gee, I don't know what to do. Should I take the
Mighty McBull on and risk humiliation from the blows of his impeccable
logic or should I crawl into a hole and hide until he goes away?
Oh, well, what the heck, I always have been the foolhardy type,
so I think I'll take him on.
Let's begin with that impeccable logic of his. He tells us that
"not too many people will stand in and debate" him on
AOL. Well, okay, if that's the case, then I would think that he
would have all the time he needs to eat, sleep, and attend to
his bodily functions. He informs us, however, that since few will
take him on, if he were to "write a detailed response to
every person [who did], then [he] wouldn't have time to eat, sleep,
or take a dump, for that matter." Somehow, the coherence
of his reasoning eludes me. Perhaps he can explain why not having
very many AOL opponents infringes on his time for eating, sleeping,
and toilet duties.
The Mighty McBull assured me that he would have put forth a better
effort had he known that his response to Ingersol (Fiori) was
going to be published in _The_Skeptical_Review_. Am
I to believe that he didn't mind if tens of thousands of AOL users
saw a sloppy performance but he would have preferred TSR's 1,200
readers to see him at his best? What I suspect is that we really
have seen McBull at his best and that he is just desperately trying
to put a better face on a pathetic performance that he thought
was pretty good until he saw his silly pulpit arguments critically
analyzed. An informed analysis of his Gleason Archer-Norman Geisler
echoes was probably a new experience for him.
For reasons that he doesn't expect me to understand, McBull thought
it "most profound" that I had pointed out that "two
people working independently of each other would write such similar
articles," so let me see if I do understand what McBull sees
profound in this. I suspect that he wants us to think that the
similarity wasn't really coincidence but merely the result of
truth being easy to recognize. However, until he makes good his
promise to "defend every point [he] made" and "refute
all of [mine]," I'll choose to believe what is probably the
real reason for his and Mitchell's agreement in the matter. They
both relied on a pathetically weak "explanation" that
has been widely disseminated in fundamentalist churches.
So should I make McBull our "resident whipping boy"?
Well, first I have problems with the title he wants to appropriate.
A whipping boy was someone designated to stand in and take the
punishment due another, but McBull has personally earned every
whiplash I have administered. He has simply parroted the absurdly
illogical "explanations" of the apologetic professionals,
and he did it on the writing level of a junior high school student.
Did he seriously think that I would tremble in fear at the prospects
of crossing verbal swords with someone who doesn't know what a
sentence is or the difference in there and their and to and too?
Does he expect us to believe that someone who doesn't know the
basic rules of punctuation nevertheless knows the answers to questions
that have puzzled Bible readers for centuries?
Although we can't make McBull our "resident whipping boy,"
we are certainly willing to give him space to demonstrate his
forensic skills. He boasted that he can defend every point that
he made and refute all of mine, so we're going to give him the
opportunity to make good that boast. If he will send us a reply
to "McBull to the Rescue," we will publish it. We will
expect him to make good his boast to defend every point that he
made and refute all of mine. This means, of course, that he will
present proof that (1) the Amalekites of Saul's day were "guerrilla
terrorists" who had been given "plenty [of] time to
repent of their utter rejection of God," (2) the Amalekites
of that time practiced incest, molestation, homosexuality, bestiality,
child sacrifice, and murder, (3) the Amalekites of that time had
to be destroyed because of the gravity of their sins and so that
the "remnants could not continue their acts of violence against
the nation of Israel," and (4) the act by which God took
the lives of the Amalekite children was far from merciless because
the children went to heaven. In support of this final point, we
hope that McBull will provide us with photographs of children
frolicking in heaven. If he lives up to his expectations, we will
certainly look forward to publishing him again on another subject.
Dear Mr. Dobbs:
As a university student, I am relatively new to the intellectual
scene of religion and skepticism. Recently, I have watched the
tapes of your debate with Farrell Till, which took place in Portland.
There are many things that I can comment on about the debate,
but I have chosen one topic in particular to discuss in my letter.
I would like to comment on your argument for the veracity of "metaphorical
prophecy" from the Old Testament. I believe that Farrell
Till was correct in stating that this was a rather "weak"
argument and that you "stretched the meaning by a country
mile." For example, you stated that the story of Jonah living
three days in the whale gave the "substance" of prophecy
for Jesus rising out of his tomb after three days. Don't you see
the fallacy you are making? This allows Christians to snatch practically
anything out of the Old Testament, twist it around to fit their
own theology, and proudly declare it a glorious "fulfilled"
prophecy. This is exactly what the writers of the Gospels were
guilty of doing.
Let's just take a hypothetical case. With your definition of a
Bible prophecy, I can easily say that the story of the Genesis
Flood was a messianic prophecy. How you might ask? Well, Yahweh
wanted to flood the world so that he could destroy the wicked,
but Noah was righteous in Yahweh's eyes, so he instructed him
to build an ark so that he could be saved from the floodwaters.
Hence, the wicked symbolize all those who are unsaved and thus
will perish in the final judgment. The ark is a metaphor for Christ
who will save all those who are righteous before God.
It took me only about forty seconds to think up this metaphor.
I am willing to predict that if I stood in front of your congregation,
told them I was a Christian apologist, and stated the above metaphorical
"prophecy," I would probably receive full acceptance
and maybe a chorus of "amens" too. In Dan Barker's book
in his chapter on Bible prophecy he states, "Maybe this kind
of thing is a 'proof' to those who already believe, but they should
certainly be able to understand why the rest of us raise our eyebrows"
In closing, I would like to say that when I watch public debates
I try to look past my biases and the rhetoric to determine the
winner. Mr. Dobbs, I can honestly say that you were not the victor
in Portland. If you wish to convince us skeptics that Christianity
is true, arguments like "metaphorical prophecy" will
certainly not establish your case.
(Jason Munroe, 70 Nottingham Road, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada,
EDITOR'S NOTE: As soon as the last session of my second debate
in Portland ended (May 24, 1994), Mr. Dobbs, who had served as
one of Jerry Moffitt's assistants, angrily confronted me and called
me a liar for saying that I had distributed video tapes of the
Till-Dobbs Debate to various TSR subscribers. The longer he ranted,
the angrier he became, saying among other things that _The
Skeptical_Review_ was a big nothing and had nowhere close
to a thousand subscribers. I was understandably delighted just
a month later to receive Jason Munroe's letter, which proves not
only that I have made the tapes available to TSR viewers but have
even sent them out of the country. I have had several debating
opponents, but Mr. Dobbs has easily proven himself the sorest
loser of them all.
I recently received a copy of your _Skeptical_Review_
and read it cover to cover.
How you got me on your mailing list I'll probably never know,
but I am grateful. Although I am not as yet an atheist, I am certainly
a skeptic and found your arguments profound and titillating.
Enclosed is a check for $5 for copies of the _Laws-Till_Debate_
and _Prophecies:_Imaginary_and_Unfulfilled_. I will
look forward to receiving them
Thank you for the copy of your publication, and I trust you will
continue to send them.
(Lola R. Reams, 412 Memphis Way, Vancouver, WA 98664.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ms. Reams was put on our mailing list at the request
of a friend. If you have friends or relatives whom you think would
like to receive _The_Skeptical_Review_, send us their
names and addresses. We will send them TSR for a year at no cost.
I am writing to inform you of a change of address, but first I
just want to say how much I have enjoyed your publication. My
only complaint is that the issues are too small and too infrequent.
I read and reread each issue I receive, eagerly anticipating the
next one. Keep up the great work. The world needs more clear thinking
and rationalism such as yours to make it a better place and to
free people from intolerance, guilt and hatred such as is engendered
by religious superstitions.
(Bob Hypes, P. O. Box 305, Howe, IN 46746.)
Thank you for allowing me to view your taped debate with Mr. Dobbs.
I think you did an excellent job. Mr. Dobbs is mistaken with his
analogy between testimonies of the life of Jesus and other secular
figures. The first involves events of a totally unique nature;
the second are particular instances of general phenomena, which
may or may not be true but are possible or probable.
I am very interested in Bible inerrancy (or errancy?) and contradictions,
but so far I have read only Thomas Paine's Age of Reason. What
books do you recommend? Which Bible translation do you think is
Thank you again, and I hope to hear from you soon.
(Richard G. Rich, Route One, Box 89A, Decatur, AL 35601.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Isn't it strange that simple truths are so obvious
to some people but not to others? Mr. Rich has no difficulty distinguishing
ordinary historical information from extraordinary religious claims.
Now why can't Bible fundamentalists see the difference too?
_The_Christ_ by John Remsburg, _Is_It_God's_Word?_
and _Forgery_in_Christianity_ by Joseph Wheless, _The
Diegesis_ by Reverend Robert Taylor, _How_Did_Christianity
Begin?_ by Howard Teeple, _The_Story_of_Christian_Origins_
by Martin A. Larson, _The_Myth_of_the_Resurrection_
or just about any other book by Joseph McCabe would be excellent
reading materials for those interested in researching biblical
origins. For research in basic biblical contradictions and discrepancies,
_The_Bible_Handbook_ (G. W. Foote, W. P. Ball, et al)
and Dennis McKinsey's monthly paper _Biblical_Errancy_
(3158 Sherwood Park Drive, Springfield, OH 45505) would be good
sources to study.
Emmett Fields, 514 Eastern Parkway, Louisville, KY 40217, has
scanned numerous freethought classics and recorded them on computer
disks. A set of 10 HD disks on which most of the books listed
above and many others have been copied in ASCII files can be obtained
from him for only $10. If there ever was such a thing as a bargain,
this is definitely it.
I use primarily the American Standard Version but probably only
because it is the version I used when I was a preacher. I have
27 different versions in my library. They all have their strengths
and weaknesses. Modern versions, such as the NRSV or NIV, can
make meaning much clearer than the old King James Version, but
one must use them carefully. In some cases, these versions seem
to mistranslate deliberately in order to conceal inconsistencies
in the original texts. The NIV, for example, changed Ahaziah's
age from 42 to 22 in [ref003]2 Chronicles 22:2
to make it agree with a parallel statement in [ref004]2 Kings 8:26.
You asked for permission to use my original letter in the winter
1995 issue of TSR. You certainly do have my permission. If its
publication could lend courage or support to even one other person,
pastor, missionary or spouse, then I would want it printed in
May I take this opportunity to relate to you just a bit more of
my--that is, our--story? You might find it interesting.
Both my wife Virginia and I were raised in conservative Christian
homes during the '40s and '50s. Charles Fuller's Old-Fashioned
Revival Hour was a regular in both our homes, as were the broadcasts
of Donald Grey Barnhouse and many others. We met in our first
year at college (the former National Bible Institute, renamed
Shelton College; this eventually became one of the strongholds
of Carl McIntire, founder of the American Council of Christian
Churches) and have been together ever since. I graduated from
Gordon Theological Seminary (now Gordon-Conwell) in Wenham, MA,
and served churches in both the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations,
all strictly evangelical/ fundamentalist.
During those years, I always preached the standard gospel message
of the "necessity of the new birth," based on the foundation
of an "inerrant" Bible. I gave altar calls, held evangelistic
and missionary conferences, sent the young people to Christian
camps, etc., etc. But despite all this, which of course included
an active personal prayer life, I became more and more concerned
about the truth and validity of what I was doing and what I was
To help quiet my ever-growing uneasiness, I decided to return
to formal studies, eventually graduating from Westminster Theological
Seminary (Philadelphia, PA) with a Th. M. degree. Two years later,
I again returned to the books, entering the Ph.D. program of the
University of Nebraska at Lincoln ("Big Red" territory).
My major was ancient history; my hopes were to find a way to bolster
my sagging faith. (Yes, I was serving a church at the time.) I
became a "teaching fellow" and was well on my way to
a degree, but time began to run out in the sense that I was losing
in the faith department faster than I was gaining in the doubt
More knowledge--knowledge about the Bible and Christian history
and other religions, etc.--only made the situation worse for me;
now I could clearly see the fallacies, problems, cover-ups, denials,
inconsistencies, exaggerations, and misrepresentations, which
at one time I only suspected existed. To her eternal credit, it
was my wife who had the guts to say, "This is crazy; you
can stay in the church if you want, but count me out." Without
her, I fear it would have taken me twice as long to do what needed
to be done years earlier: I resigned never to pastor another church
again. And--I want it clearly understood--not only did I resign
from my particular church, but we also left the entire Christian
Have we ever regretted this decision? Never. Not once. I admit,
for a while, we didn't know what, if anything, to do about beliefs,
or god, and such things. But this should not be mistaken for sorrow
for leaving either the pastorate or the "faith." We
have never, at any time, been sorry. We feel free, unburdened,
relieved... and happier than we have ever felt in our entire lives.
The initial concern that god would "get us" for this
is gone. Now, together we explore ideas, seek new realms, experience
wisdom previously lost to us. We look at social, political and
spiritual issues in an entirely new way, invariably diametrically
opposed to our old "Christian" views.
As we consider the condition of the evangelical church of today,
see their tactics, listen to their "logic," understand
their agenda, hear their rationalizations, we are indeed glad
that no longer are we caught up in this mindset, which once so
powerfully "had us."
Well, I'm not finished expressing myself by a longshot, but I'll
stop, appreciative of this opportunity to have my say. There's
a lot more to relate, about our present "beliefs," and
what we are endeavoring to do, but I know you're a busy man. If
you would like to hear more some time I'll be happy to comply.
In the meantime, we do wish you success in your work. We feel
a close kinship to people like you and are glad someone is doing
something to refute the claims of that so-called "mighty
One final question: do you know of anyone who is seeking to help
former preachers and missionaries and their spouses on an emotional
or psychological level through a support network or newsletter
or something? ...I'm thinking of former Christian workers only,
not lay people.
(Ransom L. Webster, 121 Jaffrey Road, Marlborough, NH 03455.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Webster sent an earlier letter in which he
said that he had been a fundamentalist preacher for 20 years and
now "shudder[s] at those days and the amount of energy spent
leading so many people astray." Although his second letter
was much longer, I couldn't resist publishing it instead of his
first. Again, we have personal testimony of the happiness and
intense satisfaction that comes from breaking the shackles that
enslave the mind to religious superstition and nonsense. In my
debates, the opposition continually charges that I have nothing
to offer but doom and despair, but those who have been down the
same road I have traveled consistently testify to the tremendous
joy and relief that accompany abandonment of the ridiculous belief
system that Christian fundamentalism represents.
Although I am pleased to publish this ex-preacher's story, there
is really nothing new in it. Long-time subscribers to TSR will
remember similar letters that we have published, and they all
tell essentially the same story. A preacher begins to study higher
criticism, world history, religious history, philosophy, etc.,
and eventually, he begins to see that he has been misled. Christianity
is not a unique religion that God revealed in the first century
but only a patchwork of pagan beliefs fraught with "fallacies,
problems, cover-ups, denials, inconsistencies, exaggerations,
misrepresentations," and many other flaws that Mr. Webster
Each letter like his makes me wonder how many more fundamentalist
preachers are out there wallowing in misery, who want to get out
but don't know how. If by chance any read this and want whatever
assistance I can give, please be assured that your letters will
be held strictly confidential. I have been where you are, so I
know what you are going through.
I received the Spring 1994 issue of _The_Skeptical_Review_
and read the whole issue the same day. My wife snagged it next;
then I took it to work where I have been involved in the occasional
argument over Biblical errancy. We enjoyed it very much, and I
would like to express our appreciation of your efforts in making
this available to others.
I run an electronic bulletin board on my personal computer, and
the articles in _The_Skeptical_Review_ look as if they
will make excellent reference material for the debates I am involved
in regarding Judeo/Christian religions. I have accumulated a variety
of information and opinions which I store electronically to facilitate
rapid searching and quoting when needed, and I was curious if
I could get the past issues of _The_Skeptical_Review_
on disk so as to utilize in the same manner. I have enclosed the
fee requested for the 17 back issues and three booklets listed
on the last page of the Spring 1994 issue (_The_Laws-Till
Debate_, _Jackson-Till_Debate_, and _Prophecies:
Imaginary_and_Unfulfilled_). If this request is not possible
to be fulfilled, please just send the paper versions instead.
Assuming I can get the information electronically, there are several
options open for me. I have an IBM compatible, with a 1.44 meg
3.5" floppy drive, or my bulletin board is operating 24 hours
a day with a 14.4 US Robotics modem running at 57,600. I have
a guest account which requires no password to log on, and a compressed
file containing all of the information can be attached to e-mail
to the sysop (me). I can also call out to Illinois to pick up
the data if there is a board which is willing to act as an intermediary
for us (which I could quite easily arrange; I know several sysops
If there is any other information you need, or if you have any
questions or even want my reference materials (don't know if they
would benefit you or not, but you are certainly welcome to them),
my home phone is (619) 667-1223, and the BBS phone number is (619)
(Dante Ridley, 5639 Amaya Drive, Apartment 305, La Mesa, CA 91942.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: We sent Ridley not just the paper versions of all
back issues but also all of the articles in ASCII. This will be
just one more of many BBS's sending out TSR and other biblical
errancy materials. As I said in an earlier "Mail-bag"
column, computer technology will undoubtedly hasten the demise
of Bible fundamentalism. In the past, Christians could suppress
information detrimental to their cause, but this is no longer
possible. The lay public is going to learn a lot about Christianity
that is not complimentary to it. If other BBS enthusiasts would
like to have our articles on disk, please let us know.
I hate to see you waste your time or our time by sending your
"junkmail" to us. We will not read it or show it to
any of our friends as it is offensive to us. So be advised we
wish to never see another copy of this sent to us. We trust we
will not hear from you again.
"Watch out that no one decieves [sic] you." [ref006]Mark 13:13,
"All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm
to the end will be saved." This is our stand!
(Randy and Candy Eckstein, 695 Hillcrest Road, Milan, IL 61264.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Since we have no desire to send TSR to people with
the Ecksteins' attitude, we opened our address files to remove
their name and found that they were not listed. We have no idea
who sent them the copy that raised their hackles.
Some scriptures give good advice, and the Ecksteins quoted an
excellent one in [ref007]Matthew 24:4.
It contains advice that we would urge them to heed, but, unfortunately,
it is too late for them. They have already been deceived. The
world's best biblical scholarship rejects the Bible inerrancy
doctrine, but apparently the Ecksteins continue to allow preachers
to deceive them into believing superstitious nonsense.
We are publishing their letter so that whoever sent them TSR will
know how close-minded they are. If they should ever flaunt their
righteousness or attempt to evangelize the one who sent them TSR,
he/she will then have every right to tell them that their "junk-belief"
While picking Lindell Mitchell's arguments to pieces, you overlooked
a simple flaw at the heart of his logic. Mitchell argued that
god "looked down the corridor of time" and foresaw that
"the babes of Amalek were destined to become vicious beasts
like their ancestors."
Reality check! The babes of Amalek were not destined to become
vicious beasts. Obviously, they were destined to die as babes,
slaughtered by marauding Israelites. How can anyone, speaking
normal English, say an event was predestined yet did not happen?
Can anything be more self-contradictory? Just what does predestined
mean in Mr. Mitchell's vocabulary anyway?
Well, perhaps he thinks God "changed destiny." Then
destiny is flexible. "Destined" events are not inevitable.
So why bring it up, except to fog the issue?
Lindell Mitchell is a master of evasion. Don't let him get away
(Kenneth E. Nahigian, 2411 Tyrolean Way, Sacramento, CA 95821-4809.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Nahigian makes an excellent point, and I must admit
that I'm a little embarrassed for having let it slip by me. The
fact that a reader picked it up just may be one of the reasons
why Mitchell and his inerrantist cohorts are reluctant to have
their articles published in TSR. They realize that they are writing
for a much more critical audience than what they are accustomed
to in their religious journals. Like newly-hatched nestlings,
pew-warmers tend to swallow everything poked down their throats,
but Mitchell has seen enough from our readers to realize that
this isn't the type of audience he will be dealing with when he
is published in _The_Skeptical_Review_.
I enclose $10. Four dollars is for this year, and since it is
likely that the postal rates will go up next year, the six bucks
is to cover the second year's subscription. If you do not raise
the subscription rate next year... well, you really ought to raise
it. Four bucks is too cheap.
(Jacques A. Musy, P. O. Drawer 69, Valrico, FL 33594.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: The subscription rate is $5 this year but only
because we will be publishing five issues rather than four. Postage
rates did increase for nonprofit bulk mail, but we are trying
to absorb the increase without raising the subscription rates.
After Reading my first two issues, I'm so favorably impressed
that I want to order all the back issues from Winter 1990 through
Winter 1994. I think that comes to 17, so here's my check for
that many dollars. Your responses to the letters from Nikki Kaley
and Mildred Bahn were especially well put. As you say, though,
it does amount, as far as they are concerned, to casting pearls
before swine. Those people are so deluded as to very likely be
past any hope of enlightenment. As the saying goes, "There
are none so blind as those who will not see." I know, because
I grew up around that kind and was once almost one myself. Fortunately,
I eventually came to my senses.
(Jerry Brown, 8929 Hubbard Street, Culver City, CA 90232.)
Having just sampled your excellent publication, Skeptical Review,
Winter '94, I would now hate to miss another debate. Please put
me on your mailing list A.S.A.P., and I will gladly pay any postage
I currently subscribe to _Freethought_Today_, _Humanist
in_Canada_, and _American_Atheist_. It took me
37 years to discover others like me (M. O'Hair on Donahue, 1992),
who are anxious for information and determined that critical thinking
should have more exposure and be much more accessible; we can't
help each other or make a difference by helplessly letting others
dictate to us.
(Judy Loewen, Box 429, Debolt, Alberta, Canada T0H 1B0.)
I enjoyed your summer issue, particularly your discussion of Buster
Dobbs' argument that the existence of a counterfeit proved the
existence of a real article. I like Mr. Dobbs' logic. Many of
the sayings attributed to Jesus are copied from Jewish scripture,
so he clearly destroys Christianity. It's only a counterfeit of
Judaism. But... much of the material in Jewish scripture--outside
of the historical chronicles--is copied from even earlier works.
For instance, Genesis 1 is counterfeited from the Mesopotamian
origin work the "Enuma Elish." Genesis 2 is plagiarized
from a separate Mesopotamian origin story, which explains the
contradictions between the two accounts.
Also, the Noah story is counterfeited from the earlier Mesopotamian
story of Atrahesis and the ark, which is copied from the earlier
(about 2000 B.C.E.) story of Utnapishtim and the ark, found within
the Gilgamesh epic, which is copied from the 3rd millennium B.C.E.
story of the Sumerian king Ziusudra, who rode an ark to safety
atop a worldwide flood. Many more examples of counterfeiting from
pre-Israelite societies in the Middle East can be cited.
Thus, Judaism is only a counterfeit of the Mesopotamian religion.
Dobbs' logic makes the origins of the Bible easy to explain.
Your list of dying/resurrected gods, from whom Jesus was counterfeited,
was good, but left out one significant deity. The Sumerians worshiped
the goddess Inanna as the Queen of Heaven, the source of the fertility
of life, the original sex goddess, and the creator of civilization.
Later Semitic peoples joined in worshiping her under the name
Ishtar, aka Anath and Astarte to the Canaanites and Israelites.
is a reference to Israelite worship of her with a sacrament of
wine and cake). She was regarded as the power behind all thrones,
the source of victory in war, the healer of the sick, and the
inspiration of prophets and visionaries.
Inanna/Ishtar also was a dying/ resurrected deity. She supposedly
visited her twin sister (or the dark side of her psyche) Ereshkigal,
who was ruler of the underworld. Ereshkigal had Inanna/ Ishtar
killed, and her body was hung up, either upon a peg in a wall
or upon a wooden stake (almost like a crucifixion). After three
days, the goddess was resurrected. She then appeared to various
people on the earth, looking for a substitute for her in the underworld.
She finally selected her lover--Dumuzi in Sumerian stories, Tammuz
in Semitic ones. He then had to spend part of each year in death.
That's why the women of Israel, among others, wept for Tammuz,
as you cited in your article ([ref009]Ez. 8:14).
Scholars in recent years have gotten away from earlier theories
that Christianity was simply copied from pagan ideas and are focusing
instead on Christianity's inspirations from Judaism. So I can't
say that Jesus is just a transvestite version of Inanna/Ishtar,
but it's obvious that if Jesus' parents were Jewish, his grandparents
were pagan. This is why Christians, every Easter, prominently
feature such pagan fertility symbols as fresh flowers, egg-carrying
rabbits and bright green grass. They're honoring the ancient fertility
deities--mother goddess Inanna/Ishtar; grain god Osiris; and rain
god Adad, aka Baal, the dying/resurrected son of the Canaanite/Israelite
high god El, who is revived through a grain-sowing ritual.
Truly, some things under the sun never change.
(William Sierichs' address is printed on page 8 at the end of
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