Yesterday my sister & I were confirmed by The Bishop of Tewkesbury.
I really enjoyed the event and look forward to deepen my spirituality further in the coming years.
After a year of working my way through The Holy Bible this was a wonderful way to finalise this part of my spiritual journey. I’m so happy that I was joined by my sister! 🙂
It was a wonderful evening. ❤
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4(18)
At a certain point after venturing into The New Testament, I sent our local priest an email asking if I could purchase the Bible that I had borrowed.
What I had in mind was to highlight my favourite passages after writing notes during my reading of The Old Testament, and to my delight I was told that I could keep the Bible as a gift.
It has a symbolic value to me personally and I love the fact that it is so old and worn that other people have also written their names in it.
The New Testament makes for a remarkably quick read, considering its influence, and consists mainly of Paul’s letters.
I guess this can explain in part people’s fascination with non-canonical gospels, as if thought desperate to find more material regarding what Jesus actually said during his short life-time. Much is made of the fact that few know what Jesus was up to before he was baptised by John The Baptist.
What strikes me as odd when it comes to the Christian faith are all of the various denominations and all of the disagreements that are present within Christianity.
One body – one church.
That was the goal at least, yet that is not how things have played out sadly.
Building bridges between various Christian denominations ought to be a priority if living by the Biblical principle of: one body, one church.
“Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common.” Acts 4(32)
“…for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognised.” 1 Corinthians 11(19)
There are some misconceptions and malpractice within various Christian denominations that strike me as especially peculiar, considering what The New Testament actually says.
Celibacy among priests, as in Catholicism, is not advocated in The New Testament, quite on the contrary. It is described that Bishops and Deacons need to have orderly households.
It is also mentioned that women involved with the church (even though the role isn’t specified) are meant to be of good, steady character.
Abstaining from alcohol is also not advocated in the Bible. So strict Scandinavian interpretations, where a merciless war is to be fought against wine and spirits, is actually quite off the mark.
Circumcision, so favoured by Americans, is also not advocated in The New Testament. Nor is money worship and/or extreme capitalism. Selfish materialism is at odds with Holy Texts consistently highlighting the importance of collectivism within the church.
“For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6(10)
What I personally struggled with were the sections condemning rebellion against ones government (see Romans 13, Titus 3, Hebrews 13(17), Peter 2(13)). It makes sense if someone loves you and care for you that they wouldn’t be interested in the State coming after you. Then again; the disciples were persecuted and Jesus was killed on the cross due to their rebellion. The disciples and his followers saw Jesus as a fulfilment of Isaiah, but to the Jewish establishment he was the leader of a spiritual revolt, a heresy, that had to be rooted out. The Christian narrative was one that deserved to be squashed to pieces, especially before it reached more people.
The sections concerning slavery, (see Ephesians 6(5), 1 Timothy 6, Titus 2(9), Peter 2(18)) and the whole air that one should be happy in whatever position that one has been born into, fly in the face of the “pursuit of happiness” principle/doctrine; it can also be argued that a slave rebellion is more aligned with justice than accepting physical bondage, at least from a modern perspective.
Yet again, rebellions have a tendency to fail if they aren’t planed well, and the fate of those who are/were dissenters is seldom bright.
The sections concerning women is also at odds with the Western world of today:
“For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” 1 Corinthians 14(35)
You can read about women and faith here: “The Gender Agenda” by Lis Goddard & Clare Hendry.
The last aspect of The New Testament that had me wondering was the idea that Abraham’s descendants are the people of faith. This contradicts the Jewish people and their historical obsession with lineage. The Christian perspective is that you are Abraham’s descendant if you are “of him” in spirit.
This is certainly a radical notion, but fits in with other passages in The New Testament concerning a non-Ethnocentric spirituality, that was first intended for “the lost sheep of Israel,” but became accessible to all as Jesus progressed through his mission.
There are several instances where Jesus praises the faith of non-Jewish characters and openly lament those Jews who reject him.
In fact The New Testament can be read as the 2nd rescued operation initiated to save the tribes of Israel. After God’s ranting in The Old Testament, he sends his son, as an incarnation of “The Word” into the world to interact with the Jews. They react to this by killing the one who was sent to save them, driving out his disciples who then do what they can to spread the word to “the Gentiles.”
In killing Jesus the Jewish establishment fulfilled the prophesy and emphasised, in fact confirmed, his Messiah status. Yet there are many today who would still argue that this is/was not the case.
I find it very realistic that humans would react with disbelief if faced with Jesus or anything celestial; humans would either bend the knee or laugh, and even if a miracle was to be performed it would be too far-fetched to expect generation after generation to still believe. Those who witnessed the miracles would know, but how many others? Especially without any tangible, worldly, evidence! That one thing upon which everything rests in this day and age!
I enjoy The Holy Bible’s realistic descriptions of human behaviour.
It is interesting to note for example that Moses is more loyal to his ethnic tribe than to those who adopted him and raised him. He could have lived in luxury and remained comfortable, but decided to throw all of that away in order to fight against social injustice and follow God. (See Hebrews 11(24))
Some of my favourite passages in The New Testament are the ones concerning the celestial:
“For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10(3)
“For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6(12)
Jesus is normally portrayed as an accepting entity, perfectly aligned with our current culture where everything goes, yet the Bible completely contradicts this:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.” Matthew 10(34)
“Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?” Luke 11(17)
“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division;” Luke 12(51)
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil.” John 7(7)
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15(19)
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2(15)
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5(19)
Jesus demands that his disciples leave everything behind in order to follow him:
“So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14(33)
“…and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.” Acts 2(45)
There are several passages where Jesus orders people to stay quiet about his miracles.
Much emphasis is put on “false prophets,” religious hypocrisy, and showing off:
“Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them; then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 6
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7 (15)
“It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you make it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21(13)
“So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matthew 23(28)
The Jewish establishment is repeatedly referred to as envious of Jesus’ popularity:
“For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.” Mark 15(10)
“And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death; for they feared the people.” Luke 22(2)
“This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5(18)
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.” John 8(58)
The Jewish establishment go on to persecuted Jesus’ disciples and followers after Jesus’ crucifixion:
“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted what was spoken by Paul and reviled him.” Acts 13(44)
“But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.” Acts 14(2)
Much is said of people’s blindness since they don’t recognise the prophets among them, not even the Messiah. These passages are some of the most beautiful in the Bible:
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by deeds.” Matthew 11(18)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Luke 13(34)
“If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.” Luke 16(31)
Salvation isn’t something that can be bought for money, nor do privilege in this world guarantee privilege in the spiritual world:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Matthew 9(12)
“… and be content with your wages.” Luke 3(14)
“…for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12(15)
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12(34)
The New Testament acknowledges diversity and patriotism/tribalism:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28(19)
“If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5(8)
In Revelation it sounds like God is an eater of men and/or a vampire (see Revelation 14(18)):
“He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” Mark 12(27)
“Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” Revelation 19(17)
“for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56(7)
“He who closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself cry out and not be heard.” Proverbs 21 (13)
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25 (28)
“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 26 (12)
“Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool that repeats his folly” Proverbs 26 (11)
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27 (2)
“Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming; but who can stand before jealousy?” Proverbs 27 (4)
“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” Proverbs 28 (13)
Some years ago I decided to read The Holy Bible due to its influence on numerous influential artists.
So much of our cultural inheritance is Christian in nature; it is therefore natural to ask why that is.
Reading Paulo Coelho for example is reason enough to be curious, Tolkien was also a profoundly religious individual and our political constitutions are in large synonymous with Christian values…
Yet my first attempt at reading The Old Testament was not very successful. I found it all very interesting until I reached the section where God commands Moses about how his altar/place of worship needs to be adorned in precious stones and metals.
At that point I have to admit that it all became a bit too materialistic for me.
When I then reached the section where the privileges of the priesthood class was described I didn’t venture any further.
Yet here I am again.
Because you can neither call yourself a reader nor a protector of our values unless you read the Bible! When I started reading the American Constitution for example, I actually stopped since I felt that I had to read the Bible first, due to how steeped the American foundational texts are in religious references.
On a different note it is also very comforting if you are out travelling and/or are preparing yourself for a performance to find a Gideon Bible hidden in your nightstand. It has certainly provided me with some comfort now and then.
Faith disintegrates loneliness, sows hope where there is none and offers love to those who feel forgotten. It can offer a mental way out of difficult situations, and can give you tips on how to align your life.
” … for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever. Take heed now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.” 1 Chronicles 28 (9-10)
Yet it can be a turn off for a non-believer to read and see that everything is centred around God, since this means that there has to be a belief in a God for the advice and comfort to truly sink in.
So how are things working out?
What I have in my hands is the Revised Standardised Version lent to me by my local church. There are certain details that really stand out to me so I’ve been wondering if I had a more politically correct version in my possession before. It is virtually impossible to engage in a fast reading of the work as you’ll inevitably find yourself “investigating” certain topics contained within this Holy work if you have an inquisitive nature…
It’s not an advanced read but it is still difficult since The Bible was obviously not written to be a bestseller or a page turner. It will inevitably take some time to read it if you are going for the whole “shebang.”
It is of interest and of importance to note that the Old Testament is God’s contract with the Jewish people and their “creation myth.” “Nothing should be added to it and nothing should be taken from it.”
It can be slightly confusing to realise this since Christian churches and Christians in general liberally quote from The Old Testament; it is especially puzzling when you look at the drastic difference in writing style and temperament between The New Testament and The Old.
I’m assuming that The New Testament falls under the category of heresy or blasphemy from a traditionally Jewish perspective since “Nothing Shall Be Taken From It And Nothing Shall Be Added To It.” Yet the accusation goes the other way as well since Jesus accused the Jewish establishment of gross hypocrisy.
They did not believe that he was the Messiah, they found him annoying, they were envious of his appeal and popularity, and killed him. They wanted to control “the narrative” and are still waiting for the true Messiah, whereas Christian people disagree and see Jesus as their saviour; myself included.
I do smell a conflict of interest when it comes to the two texts which is probably why it is a good idea to look at them separately, even though Jesus didn’t reject the Old Law at all. The Christian establishment clearly see the two texts as linked, and deem this as very important. Which is something I realised when talking with our local priest and by reading some books that he recommended to me.
There are also plenty of references to the prophet Isaiah in The New Testament, in order to validate that Jesus is indeed the Messiah.
Even though I started writing this entry a good while ago, I decided to keep it unpublished until I had read some books that our local priest had recommended to me and until I was done reading The New Testament. I did this to ensure that there were no misconceptions and so that I can link to these texts and my review of them right here:
The majority of what I’ve written in this review was written while I was reading The Old Testament with some updates here and there as I progressed into The New Testament.
With that in minded, I’ll continue….
Jesus can in many ways be seen as a rebel, yet he can in many ways be seen as even more conservative in his interpretation and approach to The Law in some respects.
This impression once again clashes with the pop-depiction of Jesus and the Christian faith in general.
There are many paragraphs that are without a doubt quotable from The Old Testament, the problem with Holy Texts though is that you cannot be selective and just take to heart what is pleasing to you while ignoring other parts of the text. When dealing with religion you have to be truthful, either you’ll accept what is offered to you or you’ll have to reject it. You can of course choose to align yourself with Judaism or Christianity or stand in solidarity with both, but I fail to see how you can adhere to, quote and subject yourself to certain chosen segments while discarding large (inconvenient) chunks.
Yet I sense that this must be the norm.
Then again; maybe it doesn’t matter in terms of Christians’ relationship with The Old Testament, since those texts are meant for the Jewish people and are part of their contract with God. A question then naturally presents itself: what can be thrown out? And what is to be kept?
The Jewish people for example are meant to engage in blood sacrifice and sprinkle blood on their altars according to God’s will. I don’t think they are doing that anymore, at least not openly; so there you have a breach of the “holy contract.”
If industrialised slaughter of animals was to be seen as a form of “blood sacrifice,” then this is incorrect as well, since only perfect animals without blemish should be offered up as a sacrifice to “the living God,” that “consumes” these tributes.
A tribute is also something that you as an individual have to be aware of and engage in consciously….
It is also wrong to see “Jewish” as synonymous with “religious,” in this day and age. Even though The Old Testament speaks of “one Israel, with one heart,” this was impossible due to the behaviour of the Jewish tribes in the past, and there is no reason to believe that internal diversity has ceased in modern times.
While I’ve been progressing through the text it has also struck me how the whole approach of: “following a religion if it speaks to you personally,” might be suitable in our age of “Do What Thou Wilt” but certainly clashes with the idea of Christianity being the faith, or the living God being the superior chieftain deity above all lesser deities.
This in particular is of great interest; that the existence of other gods is not refuted, but that they are described as “lesser gods.”
“And you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” 1 Kings 18 (24)
This would make it easier I guess to merge “the living God” with other belief systems; where God reigns supreme as the ultimate victor in terms of “God power.” There is one God, an all-knowing, omnipotent God, but there are also other celestial and other-wordly entities, and lesser Gods that shouldn’t be worshipped, but are nonetheless ever present in the realm of celestial beings.
“And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice; no one answered, no one heeded.” 1 Kings 18 (26-27)
God is also genderless. God is an “it.” Yet God incarnates as a man in The New Testament, and is referred to as “the father.”
This puts humans’ desperate attempts at depicting the Divine in an interesting light; we are dealing with superior entities that we cannot perceive properly and a super force that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. A super force that is behind all and connects all, yet we cannot touch it and cannot see it properly, but some have the ability to feel it and some can interact with the spirit world too. Only that the world of spirit will pass its messages in ways that aren’t always straightforward; this does not work well in a digitalised modernised world, where the senses are polluted and overwhelmed.
Nor does it work within a cultural climate fixated on “evidence.”
Human entities try to convey what they cannot properly interpret due to humans’ restricted understanding and scope. We cannot really see beyond our own innate limitations and therefore depict God as a man restricting the Godly to avatars that we can perceive and understand, or it can be argued that God greets us in a simplified form that we can understand. A God cannot be kept within walls, especially not if we are referring to the God of all Gods. Who is to say that a garden or a forest isn’t a “church” in and of itself?
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!” 1 Kings 8 (27)
The liberal approach to faith and religion is also of interest, since it hinges on people neither reading their Holy Texts nor taking them seriously. You cannot ignore the secular laws of the land you live in for example, just because you don’t like them. Likewise it is interesting how our society preaches “personal alignment” rather than adhering to a set of moral laws as you’ll undoubtedly end up in hell or some sort of a limbo situation if you go against the will of “the architect of the universe.”
Just like you would fear the police or a judge, you are meant to fear the wrath of God and divine judgement. This of course clashes with the modern ideal where all that matters is: what feels right to you. I can imagine that this mentality probably is a source of much anxiety within proper church communities, where God’s disillusionment regarding mankind inevitably will have many a soul worried about the sins of others and what sort of repercussions this may have for entire cities or Nations.
Great sadness came over me when I reached the end of “The First Book of The Kings” where Jerusalem is besieged, the Israelis enslaved and Solomon’s legacy destroyed. God was sick and tired of the Jews acting in a degenerate manner so he delivered them into the hands of their enemies.
Even if you decide to take God out of the equation and read it as a secular text, it is a common pattern. You have those high-performing individuals and generations who build civilisations and obliterate their enemies, then you have long periods of ungrateful degeneracy, before the inevitable fall from grace occur and you are either replaced or overshadowed by a new emerging power.
It is also of importance to note that you don’t have to read a lot of history or historical texts to realise that our technologically advanced societies of convenience are pretty “un-natural” and “un-usual.” Everything works as long as there are no interruptions, as long as the digital, electronic, infrastructure is functional, as long as the global networks of trade run smoothly; the second that there is a hiccup though we’ll be thrown “back in time,” since our “post-modernism” can at best be described as “abstract.”
It doesn’t really align with general human nature. It can very easily be thrown off balance, and it is also of great interest to note that our obsession with “gender compression” render us incapable of competing with other tribes and cultures who do not engage in such a self-destructive practise. (Not that I personally ever thought much about “gender-compression” when I was younger. I thought of it as fun to play around with gender pre-conceptions and stereotypes in my teens and early twenties).
It is not strange that people peddle conspiracy theories and believe in these when there are so many loose threads left behind in the open after a catastrophic event; especially when people realise that dysfunctional practises and ideas are promoted internally within their own nations by those who’ve been elected to allegedly protect the interests of said nations. One could easily get the impression that poor physical and mental health of the general population in addition to low birth-rates is in the interest of those who govern Western Nations. Why this would be the case is a very good question indeed, especially when said forces literally promote “replacement migration” as a solution to whatever problems.
If it really is the case that governing/private forces in the West are “colour-blind” and don’t see Nations anymore, only the world, then it would probably be time for these individuals and institutions to be informed of the fact that other groups of people seem very much aware of their own identities and that people generally do have an innate in-group preference. Meaning that their Utopian goal for the world as a whole damage The West more than anything leaving a future to younger generations in Europe and America, where we are set to lose.
Reading The Bible and other foundational texts is probably not such a bad idea, trouble come to those generations who opt for escapism and convenience only, leaving behind ignorance as their inheritance and legacy. What mistakes could have been avoided if the human factor (and history) had actually been plotted into the equation when it comes to our societies? At one point we stopped caring for those who established our social constructs and now we see the result; unless it was deliberate to advocate for certain changes in order to weaken us from within….
What makes The Old Testament a very intriguing read is that it describes “the living God,” an entity that can be communicated with and that bothers to listen to the pleas of its subjects. A God driven to great anger, ranting left-right-and-centre about the Jewish people, but a God nonetheless who decides to show mercy after its colossal scoldings.
“Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still.”
After further thought I’ve reached the conclusion that The Old Testament and the Holy Bible in general depicts the failure of mankind and the hopelessness of establishing a permanent order.
The flexibility and disappointing nature of mankind is on full display and is consistently depicted as problematic.
It can be argued that our spirits are born into the shackles of biology and that we are in a constant battle against our own innate nature to behave in a functional, ideal manner. Should you cave in to the defects of what it means to be human? Or will you confess your faults and pray for forgiveness, while working on your own self-improvement?
It is obviously easier to just keep on going rather than subjecting oneself to self-punishment, which is what personal strictness can be compared to.
Yet what will benefit you the most in the long run? And most importantly: what will benefit your tribe and/or clan the most?
Several times it is mentioned that God will send the Jews into “burning ovens.” This is repeated with such frequency that it becomes almost comical, after a while, all things considered. I’m wondering if the final fate of the Jews and “others” at the hands of Nazi-Germany was a very dark manifestation of synchronicity or testimony to a very sick sense of humour on the German’s behalf, comparable to: “Arbeit Macht Frei.” How many times haven’t we heard the argument of: “… when a people throw other people into ovens….” “… a society that burns humans is a particular kind of evil….” yet in the Holy Bible there is no end to the amount of ovens that will be set alight apparently. I find that to be a peculiar detail indeed and bring the reader’s attention back to my previous comments above.
“As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it; and you shall know that I the LORD have poured out my wrath upon you.” Ezekiel 22 (22)
“and whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Daniel 3 (6)
” though they escape from the fire, the fire shall yet consume them; and you will know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them.” Ezekiel 15 (7)
Was the “final solution” partially based on the German’s own knowledge of the Holy Bible or was it purely a coincidence?
In the book of Esther there is even a “Hitler situation” where the total annihilation of all The Jews is being advocated and pursued:
“Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to slay, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.” Esther 3 (13)
Esther, is one of my absolute favourite Biblical books (together with Ecclesiastes) due to this quote and how the story plays out:
“Think not that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther is elevated into the status of “Queen of Persia,” since the previous one didn’t bother to listen to her husband The King:
“If it pleases the king, let a royal order go forth from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is to come no more before King Ahasu-e’rus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.”
The Old Testament also touches upon the pitfalls of multiculturalism; warning that Israel will lose itself and its culture if mixing too much with other neighbouring tribes:
“In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab; and half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but the language of each people.
And I contended with them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair; and I made them take oath in the name of God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.
Did not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women? Among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless foreign women made even him to sin. Shall we then listen to you and do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying foreign women?” Nehemiah 13 (23-27)
“Thus I cleansed them from everything foreign, and I established the duties of the priests and Levites, each in his work; and I provided for the wood offering, at appointed times, and for the first fruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.” Nehemiah 13 (30-31)
“I will punish the officials and the king’s sons and all who array themselves in foreign attire.” Zephaniah 1 (8)
“When people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent.” Nehemiah 13 (3)
“The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jeb’usites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons; so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. And in this faithlessness the hand of the officials and chief men has been foremost.” Ezra 9 (1-2)
Celestial punishment by the means of demographic warfare through replacement migration is mentioned in 2 Kings 17 (24-25):
“And the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharva’im, and placed them in the cities of Samar’ia instead of the people of Israel; and they took possession of Samar’ia, and dwelt in its cities. And at the beginning of their dwelling there, they did not fear the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them.”
“… therefore, behold, I will bring strangers upon you, the most terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and defile your splendour.”
“He and his people with him, the most terrible of the nations, shall be brought in to destroy the land;”
“The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
Ironically enough the Old Testament also touches upon how difficult it is to maintain an ethno-State, since the Israelis exploit one another; even financially enslaving their “brothers” and “sisters,” selling out their own:
“Now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children are as their children; yet we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been enslaved; but it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our field and our vineyards.” Nehemiah 5 (5)
“We, as far as we were able, have bought back our Jewish brethren who have been sold to the nations; but you even sell your brethren that they may be sold to us!” Nehemiah 5 (8)
This passage in 2 Chronicles 2 is also of interest: “Then Solomon took a census of all the aliens who were in the land of Israel, after the census of them which David his father had taken; and there were found a hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred. Seventy thousand of them he assigned to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry in the hill country, and three thousand six hundred as overseers to make the people work.”
The Jewish people are consistently warned not to create nets and traps for others, as they will inevitably find themselves boxed in by their own clever antics if they meddle in other’s affairs. This is constantly being brought up in the text.
In Ezra 10 there is also an example of property rights being violated, which is always an issue that stands out to me whenever I come across it in our part of the world especially, since we are constantly being sold that property rights is one of the fundamental guarantees in the Western world. Not that it is the bank that truly owns your house or anything, or that your house can either be directly or indirectly confiscated by the government:
“And a proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles that they should assemble at Jerusalem, and that if any one did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all his property should be forfeited, and he himself banned from the congregation of the exiles.”
It is also described how there is a “season” for war: “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go forth to battle,” … this practise of war being almost like a ritual, that preferably should take place during a specific time during the year is something that can be spotted in other cultures as well; such as Viking raids. Warfare and raids can become a tradition; the point in a man’s life when he ceases to be a boy and the man is born.
Overall it can be said that several parallels can be drawn to our world today; which is probably why you are not supposed to read classic texts!
Just look at these quotes and bear in mind how those in the opposition describe Western leadership today:
” The princes of Zo’an have become fools, and the princes of Memphis are deluded; those who are the cornerstones of her tribes have led Egypt astray.” Isaiah 19 (13)
“Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles false and misleading.” Lamentations 2 (14)
“The kings of the earth did not believe, or any of the inhabitants of the world, that foe or enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem.” Lamentations 4 (12)
Now fasten your seatbelt as I guide you through certain important points in the Bible as I read through the entire work. This is certainly not politically correct in any way. In fact it might prove shocking to some…
- First of all it is explicitly said in The Old Testament that male circumcision is a covenant in the flesh with God. All males are supposed to undergo this procedure eight days after their birth. Those who are not circumcised are excluded from this contract with the Lord.
- Concubines are allowed in The Old Testament. There are several instances of wives being barren offering their handmaid to their husband so that they might get children. In one passage it is even said that a female servant is offered upon the knees of a wife to her husband. Fidelity means that you should not touch someone who is married, but a man having several women, whether harlots (prostitutes – not part of the household) or concubines (as part of the household) is not condemned.
- A case of incest is included when two daughters get their father drunk so that they can become pregnant by him but in Leviticus it is explained how incest is forbidden.
- Slavery is described and not illegal in The Old Testament (this is a good read about it), you do however lose your slaves if you mistreat them. There is a distinction between slaves and maidservants it seems, since the word usage is different. It can be concluded that the handmaids can sometimes be 2nd grade wives, it is plausible that they are above the level of slaves. Yet it is described how badly the handmaid Hagar is treated by Abraham’s wife who physically attacks her and get’s away with it.
- Human sacrifice has divided Biblical scholars since one paragraph makes it plausible that God demanded the blood sacrifice of first born Jewish children; yet it is later described that the first born child should be “redeemed,” and the conclusion can therefore be drawn that animals are sacrificed instead of the first born. The chosen people are not meant to forget how the Lord killed off all of the firstlings in Egypt so that the pharaoh would let the Jewish people go. Child sacrifice is described as a degenerate and appalling practise later, as one progresses into the text. In Leviticus it is written: ” You shall not give any of your children to devote them by fire to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.“
- The Jewish people actively engage in eugenics by purging those who go against the will of the Lord. ” Put every man his sword on his side, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.'” And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” It doesn’t take much for an individual to be ostracised. I watched a couple of episodes of Leah Remini’s ” Scientology And The Aftermath” where they described the act of disconnection. If a family member speaks out against the church and becomes an “enemy” to Scientology you’ll have to cease all contact and sewer any bonds. This practise can be seen in The Old Testament as well, where you’ll be cut off from the covenant and God’s people if you don’t follow the rules.
- What is appealing about the Bible in contrast to more idealistic and secularist ideologies is how “human” the Biblical characters are. The fallibility of man and human nature is continuously described which makes these holy text more true than “enlightened” ideas and concepts where the psychology of man is overlooked and forgotten. Yet it is interesting to note that “trickster” behaviour isn’t necessarily punished within The Old Testament; justice is therefore not absolute – unless punishment is handed out upon death, but we do not get to see how the afterlife plays out for the Biblical characters.
- The Old Testament is not inclusive but very nationalistic. In several instances it is described how the men of the Israeli tribe travel far and wide to find a wife from an acceptable tribe. The Bible also adopts a very human rather than Holy air when the Lord commands: ” You shall tear down their altars, and break their pillars, and cut down their Ashe’rim (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)…” Genocide is promised to the Israelites by God, who guarantees that other tribes will be driven out of the promised land. It is also said that: ” … no foreigner shall eat of it; but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. No sojourner or hired servant may eat of it … And when a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
- The Old Testament describes capitalism, which is funny considering how very old these texts are, I guess this should tell us an awful lot about humans. You are supposed to have “atonement money” for the upkeeping of the church and God. Again we see something very earthly rather than celestial, unless we keep in mind that God created man in his image. This is an interesting segment: “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor, and you shall not exact interest from him.”
- Why unleavened bread? According to The Old testament there was no time for the bread to be leavened when the Jewish people had to hurry out of Egypt, here you can read a very interesting article about: The Significance of Unleavened Bread.
- God travels with the Jewish people as a cloud after the construction of the tabernacle: “Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would go onward; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not go onward till the day was taken up. For throughout all their journeys the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.”
- The Jewish people are expected to sacrifice an awful lot of foodstuffs if you think about it. Quite interesting considering the times. What did these people do if there were shortages? It is also described how God devours that wich is offered to him.
- A great amount of animals are killed off as blood sacrifice with their blood sprinkled on the altar.
- The Old Testament is extremely detailed touching upon what women should do during their period, what men should do if they experience a discharge, what types of insects and animals that can be eaten and how to deal with lepers.
- You are not supposed to eat blood: ” For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life.” No raw meat or bloody steaks I guess: ” … shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust.”
- Gay people and LGBTQ are not respected in The Old Testament: ” You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
- Nor are those engaged in beastiality: ” And you shall not lie with any beast and defile yourself with it, neither shall a woman give herself to a beast to lie with it: it is perversion.”
- God is not too keen on degeneracy: ” Do not defile yourself by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am casting out before you defiled themselves; and the land became defiled, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.”
- In Leviticus it is written: “You shall not press your neighbour or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.”
- “You shall do no injustice in judgement; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbour.”
- “You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand forth against the life of your neighbour: I am the Lord.”
- “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbour, lest you bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.”
- “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; nor shall there come upon you a garment of cloth made of two kinds of stuff.”
- “You shall not practise any augury or witchcraft.”
- “You shall not make any cuttings in you flesh on account of the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
- “Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry and the land become full of wickedness.”
- “Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them; I am the Lord your God.”
- “You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God : I am the Lord.”
- “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
- According to Leviticus 20 you should be put to death for the following: offering children to Molech, cursing your parents, committing adultery with the wife of your neighbour (both shall be put do death), laying with your father’s wife if you’re a man, laying with your daughter-in-law, engaging in gay activity and “if a man takes a wife and her mother also” they shall all three be burnt with fire. Beastiality will also be punished by death, even the animal will be killed.
- Stoning towards people is first specifically mentioned in Leviticus 20: ” … who gives any of his children to Molech shall be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.”
- The Old Testament does not fit into our politically-correct post-modern world with statements such as this: ” And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”
- “A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned with stones, their blood shall be upon them.”
- None of the animals offered to God can be diseased or “imperfect” not even the priest doing a burnt offering can have a handicap/blemish. Something that is also interesting to note when thinking about today’s society of “tolerance” and “acceptance.” It does match how defects were treated back in the day when imperfect children would be set out in the forest to die for example, which is pretty different from how we behave now.
- Charity is also addressed in The Old Testament; when you reap the harvest of your land you should leave some of it for the poor “and for the stranger,” it is also written that the poor shouldn’t have to pay interest on any loan.
- The Old Testament even give directions on how long you should wait before you eat meat or throw it away. Considering how old these texts are I guess they were trying their best to avoid contamination and the spread of diseases.
- The Old Testament justifies stoning for Blasphemy, if you cause someone’s disfigurement then the same shall be done to you, if you kill someone you will also be killed.
- There is also a merciful property law in The Old Testament, since you are supposed to have the opportunity to re-purchase your old property, if previously forced to sell it due to financial misfortune.
- Rather than claiming benefits and assistance from the government it is written in The Old Testament that: ” And if your brother becomes poor, and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall maintain him; as a stranger and a sojourner he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or increase, but fear your God; that your brother may live beside you.”
- Not having the power to fight ones enemies is described as a punishment from God if his followers don’t obey his statutes. This is another punishment among many: ” You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.”
- Sheol is the name of the underworld in The Bible, first mentioned in Numbers. You can read about Sheol and the development of hell right here: Sheol.
- Moses is apparently the “meekest man on earth,” his face also “shines” after speaking with the Lord. Yet he was not allowed to bring his people into the promised land which struck me as odd. I couldn’t really understand what wrong he had done to be punished by God yet this article shines some light on it.
- The Old Testament describes inheritance law and also the importance of keeping ones word; Numbers also describes how the loot after a war/battle shall be divided. It is interesting to read these text, but they are Jewish stories and their creation myth and their rules and their laws! At this point in the text (Numbers 30) there isn’t much historical relevance to Europe or Scandinavia, it is a “middle-eastern-affair,” but these quotes for example, are of interest if you think about our laws and our “values”: “If a man dies, and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter.” “When a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”
- Was this human sacrifice? ” And levy for the Lord as a tribute from the men of war who went out to battle, one out of five hundred, of the persons and of the oxen and of the asses and of the flocks; take it from their half, and give to Elea’zar the priest as an offering to the Lord.”
- Later the inheritance that passes unto daughters is elaborated on. In order for their inheritance to not go to another Israeli-tribe it is written that these women have to marry their cousins.
- Once again you see genocide justified, funny enough this quote is actually accurate. If you take someone’s land it’s a bad idea to keep any of the original population alive as they will of course loathe you: ” But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. And I will do to you as I thought to do to them.”
- The Old Testament is just when it comes to the division of land; the tribes greatest in numbers will be allotted the most amount of territory, likewise: “And as for the cities which you shall give from the possession of the people of Israel, from the larger tribes you shall take many, and from the smaller tribes you shall take few;“
- “If any one kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses; but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness.”
- If you kill someone unintentionally by accident you’ll have to live in a city of refuge and no ransom can free you. You’ll have to stay there until the high priest dies, only after that can you be free.
- “The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. ” ” You shall not thus pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and no expiation can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of him who shed it.”
- Once again we see how charity is described in the Old Testament: ” If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficiently for his need, whatever it may be.”
- There should be no graven image of God. God is described as neither male nor female. In Deuteronomy it is also said that: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it;” The tribes destined for destruction will not be driven out because the Israelis are so righteous or upright, but because “of the wickedness of these nations.” It is then repeated to let it sink in if there ever was any doubt: “Know therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to posses because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people.”
- It is warned against false prophets in Deuteronomy 18: “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.”
- This segment is of particular interest if you pay attention to the ritual/symbolism: ” When you go forth to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hands, and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you have desire for her and would take her for yourself as wife, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and pare her nails.” This passage in Deuteronomy 21 grants a waiver to a warrior interested in a wife from a different tribe.
- The first-born son will have priority when it comes to inheritance even if the child isn’t the favourite; if your child is rebellious and problematic he shall be stoned to death “so you shall purge the evil from your midst;” There isn’t much room for negotiation in other words. Obey or die.
- If you find something astray that belongs to your brother, you shall keep it for him and reconnect him with what is his. It is an abomination to the Lord if men wear women’s clothes and vice versa. If you find a bird’s nest you can take the little birds or eggs, but not the mother. If you build a new house you have to ensure that the ceiling isn’t a death trap. If a man tries to disrespect his new wife by engaging in slander regarding her virginity, he shall be whipped and fined since “he has brought an evil name upon a virgin of Israel.” However if the woman is found to be lying she shall be stoned to death. There is no mercy in The Old Testament in other words, you better be honest at all times. This focus on “purity” greatly clashes with a post-modern society where more-awesome-points are given the greater the degeneracy. In fact, I think of it as a shame that so few would probably read these texts, as it would have been fun to see/hear the reactions from proper post-modernists who live their life in accordance with our “shared modern values” or whatever it can be called, because I don’t really know what is what in our societies, and I don’t think anyone else knows either.
- “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die,””If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones,” the virgin shall be killed off too because she did not cry for help, however if misfortune befalls her out in the country, she will be spared as no one could hear her and come to her aid. If a man runs into a virgin who is not betrothed ” and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife,” yep, certainly not compatible at all with our society. Makes me think of “cultural enrichment,” maybe post-modern feminists should read some Holy Texts and be notified that there are other cultures out there who never received the politically-correct-post-modernism-memo. I mean, religious texts are a danger to any post-modern nation I’m guessing, but then again what wouldn’t be, if waving your flag is racist, or describing well-documented differences is disturbing. Only blandness can pass in such a world I guess, but what happened then to our societies in the west that apparently were, or were meant to be, bastions of the exchange of ideas and thoughts? If being pro-Europe, pro-American and inquisitive as to what our societies have been built upon is wrong, then of course it can be asked what the hell isn’t? Staring into mindless entertainment for hours or listening to politicians who cannot even argue their points well?
- ” For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.”
- This kind of punishment is also described in The Old Testament: “the judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offence.” I have to admit that I’m curious about what The New Testament will say, since the quote above sounds like the kind of behaviour we condemn from other cultures. There are many who argue that only The New Testament holds significance to Christians, but I ask then why The Old Testament is constantly selectively quoted and also how the God presented to us in The Old Testament can be completely separated from the one presented to us in the newer one?
- It is of particular interest to read what is described as the ultimate form of punishment in Deuteronomy 28, where military defeat and subsequent displacement of ones tribe is seen as the ultimate horror. If the Israelis disobey God, they will not only lose their territory but see it go up in flames in the worst way possible. The entire passage is a very good read and can even be interpreted in a non-religious fashion, meaning that if your defences are poor and your nation starts suffering socially and culturally speaking, then you will eventually be doomed – this is further elaborated on in Judges – a section of the Holy Bible filled with so much toxic masculinity it will probably soon be verboten. In short it is described how the Israelis constantly disobey God’s laws and as a result lose their land and are subjugated and humiliated by other tribes. They cry out for help and God show’s his mercy by rewarding them with a military leader who crushes the enemy, regaining ground for Israel. Funny enough once the badass warrior is gone, the Israelis once again fall into destructive behaviour, and the cycle is repeated. My notes highlight Deuteronomy 28, from (25) all the way until (43), where this eye-opening, potent section ends with: “The sojourner who is among you shall mount above you higher and higher; and you shall come down lower and lower.” It then continues with:” He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you, till you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded you. They shall be upon you as a sign and a wonder, and upon your descendants for ever.” I find it most interesting, that these things are seen as the ultimate punishment. There is a reason as to why I highlighted the entire section, anyone should actually read it, but who will? Not the majority of people I think, even though everyone should.
- Continuing through the text I’ve actually highlighted Deuteronomy 28, 29, 30 and 31. Within the passages it is described how the Israelis will end up eating their own children in order to survive sieges:” And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you; and you shall be plucked off the land which you are entering to take possession of it.” “In the morning you shall say, ‘Would it were evening!’ and at the evening you shall say, ‘Would it were morning!’ because of the dread which your heart shall fear, and the sights which your eyes shall see.”
- Enter Joshua, one mighty character who I’d gladly name a future child after, his conquests are impressive to say the least. He is the most badass character described at this point if reading the text in order. After the destruction of Jericho it is said:”Cursed before the LORD be the man that rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho. At the cost of his first-born shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates. So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was in all the land.”
- In Judges we are introduced to another badass character, Gideon, who encounters my favourite entities: Angels, or more correctly one Angel. This is another instance when the Israelis have become degenerate and they are in need of a saviour. I highlighted the entire passage it seems, so that would be a bit too much for me to quote on here, but roughly speaking the story goes as follows; Gideon encounters a celestial warrior, but doesn’t believe him to be so, the Angel has to prove himself, and Gideon knowing that he has conversed with the Lord makes an altar, even replacing an altar erected by his father to another entity. He proves his loyalty to God when the faith is struggling and goes on to lead men into battle winning for Israel, with a rather small amount of fighters during the first battle, after his success the “men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also; for you have delivered us out of the hand of Mid’ian. Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the LORD will rule over you.”
- After this passage Gideon dies and the cycle of ungrateful and dysfunctional behaviour is repeated once again. One of Gideon’s sons decides to make himself guilty of absolute betrayal when he plots to remove all of his brothers in order to position himself as a ruler, he manages to get all but one killed, and the single surviving brother then says up on a mountain:“The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them; and they said to the olive tree,’Reign over us.’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my fatness, by which gods and men are honoured, and go to sway over the trees?’ And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come you, and reign over us.’ But the fig tree said to them,’Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to sway over the trees?’ And the trees said to the vine, ‘Come you, and reign over us.’ But the vine said to them,’Shall I leave my wine which cheers gods and men, and go to sway over the trees?’ Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘Come you, and reign over us.’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”
- Progressing through my notes I’ve highlighted Judges 12 – (34) which doesn’t make much sense to me and probably would’t make much sense to anyone else either., especially since the next note says: Judges 13 (4). Judges 12 goes from 1 – 15, and neither (3) nor (4) stand out to me now, so God only knows what I was doing…
- I’ve made a note about Ruth 2 (1-20).
- ‘” If a man sins against a man, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the Lord to slay them.’
- Samuel 5 offers a very interesting story of “the ark of the God of Israel.” When the ark was lost to the Philistines they experienced a cancer epidemic and poltergeist activity as well.
- “Yet his sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice.”
- In Samuel 8 the Jewish people want to have an earthly King to rule over them; Samuel warns that they will eventually complain about this and that God will ignore them once they do. The passage is very nicely written and I highly recommend checking it all out: “Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.“
- “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.” Saul goes to visit a medium in Samuel 28 and is so greatly disheartened by what he finds out that he refuses to eat.
- Saul becomes fixated on David and yearn for his premature demise. It can be claimed that his envy drives him to insanity, it certainly comes across that way; in Samuel 19 (5) it is written: “for he took his life in his hand and he slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?“
- In Samuel 22 Saul commands the killing of 85 priests due to his own obsession with David and his personal difficulty in understanding why “his people” don’t want to join him in the persecution of “the son of Jesse.”
- I recommend reading about David. I especially enjoyed 2 Samuel 12.
- “And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle.”
- I recommend reading “David’s Song of Deliverance” in 2 Samuel 22.
- “And when the angel stretched forth his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented of the evil, and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Arau’nah the Jeb’usite.“
- I recommend reading Job 12.
- “Will any teach God knowledge, seeing that he judges those that are on high? One dies in full prosperity, being wholly at ease and secure, his body full of fat and the marrow of his bones moist. Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of good. They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them.“
- I recommend reading Job 24.
- “But when I looked for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came.” From Job 30 (26).
- “Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life.“
- “He who winks the eye causes trouble, but he who boldly reproves makes peace. The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.“
- “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.“
- “When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.“
- “He who meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.“
- “For lack of wood the fire goes out; and where there is no whisperer, quarrelling ceases.”
- “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.“
- “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds; for riches do not last for ever; and does a crown endure to all generations?“
- “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is perverse in his ways.“
- “A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.“
- “If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.“
- “Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless, and the wicked seek his life.“
- “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds it back.“
- “When the wicked are in authority, transgression increases; but the righteous will look upon their downfall.“
- “He who pampers his servant from childhood, will in the end find him his heir.”
- “A man of wrath stirs up strife, and a man given to anger causes much transgression.”
- “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but he whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.”
- I recommend reading all of Ecclesiastes which is one of my absolute favourite books in The Old Testament; ” A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains for ever. The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.“
- Check out: Solomon’s Dedication Prayer, Contest on Mount Carmel & David’s Song To God.
- God’s punishment and cursing is not exactly mild according to Ezekiel 24 (10): “Heap on the logs, kindle the fire, boil well the flesh, and empty out the broth, and let the bones be burned up.”
- I recommend reading all of Lamentations 5.
- Spells can be found in Ezekiel 4 & 5.
- Idol makers are described as being run out of business.
- I recommend reading Ezekiel 16 where God’s love for Israel is compared to that of a man’s love for a beautiful woman, who betrays him by prostituting herself, thus causing God’s envy and wrath.
- “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6 (6)
- Not having children is repeatedly depicted as a curse from God: “Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.” Hosea 9 (14)
- “Because you have trusted in your chariots and in the multitude of your warriors, therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed, ” Hosea 10 (11)
- I recommend reading Amos 6 in its entirety, it deals with those who know that trouble is looming on the horizon but ignores it and do nothing about injustice and “degeneracy.”
- I recommend reading Jonah in full. It is one of the shorter Bible books.
- Amos 9 (2)-(4) deals with the all-seeing power of God. There is nowhere to hide from the almighty.
- I was a bit confused by this passage in Habakkuk 1 (14): “For thou makes men like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. He brings all of them up with a hook, he drags them out with his net, he gathers them in his seine; so he rejoices and exults.” Does this mean that God eats people? I think I’ll ask my local priest about this exact quote.
“For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” Ezekiel 18 (31)
“Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 1 (3)
“As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts,” Zechariah 7 (13)
When reading The Old Testament I cannot help but to think about the Ancient Aliens theory such as when Lot’s wife is turned into a pillar of salt or the fact that God travels down to talk to Moses via a cloud of smoke. I can certainly understand why people would think that there are spaceships involved and radioactivity; since you will die if you actually face God – yet we might be limited in our imagination and understanding, which is the conclusion that I’ve reached.
Why spaceships? We might not be able to literally see those entities that we refer to as “Aliens” and if we are prevented from doing so, then why would we believe that these aliens/deities are travelling in material vessels?
The Angles are also described as God’s soldiers, so they are pretty much celestial warriors. Now that’s pretty awesome, but very far removed from the image of little, chubby, children with wings. Since there are so many boring segments in The Old Testament it can be difficult to not consider it a serious document; much like a grandparent ensuring that all the details of their family tree is jotted down, you get the same impression whenever all of the children of so and so are meticulously immortalised in the records.
An interesting thing to bear in mind is how the people of Israel are described as doubting – this gives the text credibility since it makes it relatable.
It is obvious that humans struggle to describe and transmit the knowledge of the divine.
Why would it be possible for humans to keep God as some sort of “pet” locked up inside a temple?
This question can be answered by this book: “Simply Christian” by Tom Wright., where it is said that Heaven and Earth interlocks in certain places. Churches and temples can therefore be seen as portals to God’s dimension!
Regardless of what is and might be; it is impossible to not be slightly thrown back whenever the Holy Text venture too far into materialism. The air of The Old Testament at this point changes and gives off the air of being very much manmade or corrupted by man. Of course it can then be argued that God created man in his image; but if you do believe that here is something out there, something “between earth and heaven,” then there is a high probability that you’ll find religiously sanctioned greed very off putting and un-Godly. Isn’t faith spiritual in nature? So why all the precious stones?
The idea that God might demand something from you or that a contract with a God might be rough is incompatible with popular depictions appropriate in an age of political correctness and pacifism, and is probably the most crucial and important aspect of The Holy Bible as a whole. It turns everything on its head in terms of pop-Christianity which I will address further when I write about The New Testament.
Where do we stand in today’s society when it comes to Christian values? That’s another good question.
How can authority figures justify energy spent on reaching out to other faiths for example, when there is so much internal division in the Christian church? There is supposed to be “one body of Christ.” Yet disagreements have been a factor from the very beginning and it is an issue even today.
How do you get people to abstain from something that they crave in a society where any want should be indulged? Fat shaming is not considered nice for example, gluttony should in fact, be celebrated. Envy is the fuel of a great number of political movements, same with legislation so massive that no freedoms can be enjoyed by anyone. Greed is highly regarded in our society too, ironically enough, where dancing around the golden calf is expected from you. Harlotry is depicted and promoted as something that is empowering. You are literally a fascist if you don’t support LGBTQP. Sacrificing children to Molech through abortions is seen as beneficial to women and the list goes on….
With all of this said I will conclude with one last observation and comment; I find it interesting to see how humans crave worship, even if the majority of our Western populations aren’t aware of this fact. In the absence of God we see the worship of government and political figures. We see the cult of celebrity, and cults built around products. People are ideologues when it comes to their political convictions. People download apps to their smart phone related to the practise of meditation, yet they don’t see this as being neither religious nor spiritual. People purchase self-help books for guidance. This is the secularist West. Hopelessly lost on the lookout for something to venerate, yet proclaiming intellectual superiority to those superstitious fools who go to church and read the Bible.
This book came into my possession courtesy of our local vicar, who lent it to me after having read my review of “Simply Christian” by Tom Wright.
The work is a discussion between two Christian women regarding female leadership and involvement in the Church.
I can hardly think of a topic more relevant in this day and age where female priests seem to be the only vicars left, in addition to female bishops, even female lesbian bishops!
With the emphasis on LGBTQ and egalitarianism it is certainly surprising to read the actual Holy Bible and see how the texts contrast with our “modern values. ”
In my review of “Simply Christian” I wrote among other things this:
“I’m also questioning the presence of female priests and authority figures within Northern European churches when it is explicitly said in 1 Timothy 2 (12) : “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” I guess it can be counter-argued that women are keeping the faith alive and that it is better with female priests than no priests.”
That is probably a good place to start, because the Holy Bible does certainly not come across as a feminist manifesto, to put it that way, even though Lis Goddard seems to think so.
Her interpretation of The Holy Bible hinges on our Bibles being translated wrong … which means that both my copy of the Bible and Clare Hendry’s copy are faulty.
Lis Goddard zooms in on what could have been the intended or original meaning of certain words in the texts and she also seem to believe that Genesis depicts a gender-neutral Utopia of sorts, before the Fall….
Eve is created from Adam’s rib and God first turns to Adam when Eve has not only been disobedient but has brought her man into disobedience as well. A great deal of people will read this as follows: God created the man first, gave him a companion “of him,” and was upset with Adam when he failed in his leadership, punishing both parties (even the snake).
Lis Goddard and those who agree with her, would claim that there was no such thing as any leadership to begin with. That Adam and Eve were equals, that both were leaders in their own right, but that the Fall distorted this Utopia leading to gender-unbalance, which was finally corrected with the arrival of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom.
My impression after reading “The Gender Agenda” is that joining a Bible reading group might put you into a situation where after staring at certain passages in the Bible for a prolonged period of time, you’ll start seeing all sorts of strange things…Everything that is all of a sudden isn’t and everything that isn’t is.
In other words: if you analyse something long enough you’ll eventually get whatever you desire, seeing your own reflection after turning what you are reading into a mirror.
The same can be observed in a lot of modern journalism.
I’m not saying this to be rude, but the book certainly gives off this vibe and as I result I opened up my Bible again to read Genesis to see what I had missed.
The passage that Goddard and Hendry constantly fall back on doesn’t even occupy a full-page. It is a remarkably short section spanning from Genesis 2 (18) up until the Fall in Genesis 3. After reading this section again, a couple of times, I find it difficult to agree with Goddard’s interpretation.
A good point made by Hendry is that if a woman is supposed to listen to her husband, and he is the head of the household, then how does that work out if a woman is to be the head of a Church? This might be the reason as to why there were supposed to be male monarchs back in the day. Will a female Queen be “King enough”? Or will she be swayed by her husband as “the head,” in effect meaning that the man is ruling the territory rather than the actual Queen?
Yet with all of this said; it is written in the Bible that women should study, prophesy, and pray, not to forget that there are important female characters present in the Biblical texts which is something that anti-Christian critics wouldn’t acknowledge or downplay. Women are to have a role and be active, the question is how.
An interesting point made in “The Gender Agenda” is that Paul was writing to different Churches, helping them with whatever issues that they were facing. It was also mentioned that women and men were probably seated according to their gender, just like in the synagogues, which can explain why Paul says that women need to be quiet in Church. No gossiping and chit-chat in other words. Here is an interesting quote from 1 Corinthians 9 (22):
“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
That quote might shed some light on Paul’s letters. It is also of interest to note that disagreements was a factor from the very beginning of the establishment of the various Churches:
“I appeal to you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’e’s people that there is quarrelling among you, my brethren.” 1 Corinthians 1 (10)
I would recommend reading Goddard & Hendry’s book as it is extremely relevant in today’s Church environment. If you’ve attended any Church services in Scandinavia or the U.K., then you’ll know what I mean.
Reading the Old & New Testament will instantly put you in a situation where you’ll be worried that you’re supporting heresy, which is probably why young people turn to Islam or Orthodox Christianity.
Pluralism and political correctness is hurting Northern churches, who would probably gain more by proclaiming God as the God and the Holy Bible as the Truth. If you start doubting yourself, then others will do as well and in today’s political and spiritual environment, I don’t know if that’s the best way forward.
To conclude; it is certainly at odds with everything in our modern pop-culture to be a practising Christian, especially if you are a woman, since being: argumentative, loud, not modestly dressed and especially having authority over men are all characteristics that are currently being celebrated, in addition to abortion. Nothing gains wider praise than women involved with the military, ministry or politics. So if you are looking at the Bible and Christianity through a conservative lens you’ll probably think that you’ve woken up in Hell, or at least in a world that is in a state of absolute chaos.