Freedom Tracks Records - Nashville, Tennessee





Fixing America In 500 Words Or Less


REVOLUTION ~ SIDE B
Religious and Historical Biblical Bias and
Poor and Misleading Translation


INTRODUCTION From I Corinthians 15: "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received; that Messiah died for our sins according to the scriptures and, that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures and, that He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve.  After that he was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.  After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.  Then last of all he was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time."

Some critics claim that Paul's letters were written before the Jesus story existed, which makes no historical or other sense based on this from I Corinthians and also several other references to the story made by Paul elsewhere.  As historian Will Durant concluded, it is historically irrational to claim that Jesus didn't exist or, to claim that the words and deeds of Jesus recorded in the New Testament are a later invention. According to Durant, the words of Jesus alone represent a highly advanced mind, far greater than any other mind known to history.

From Britannica, ancient Egypt: "One of the inscriptions concludes with a poem of victory (written about another battle), famous for its words 'Israel is desolated and has no seed.' This is the earliest documented mention of Israel outside of the Old Testament; it is generally assumed that the exodus of the Jews from Egypt took place under Ramses II.

While most historians today claim that the Pyramids were built by free laborers, it may be true that they were built by both slaves and free laborers.  This does not mean that the Hebrews while slaves in Egypt built pyramids but, they may have been involved with various other structures.  Many historians today agree that the historical information found in the Old Testament is more trustworthy than what is called the 'history' of Egypt, Babylonia and other cultures mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.

NOTE ON TRANSLATION: There are no known existing original versions of either the Old or New Testaments.  What are known as "the dead sea scrolls" and all other existing translations known today are copies of earlier translations. Perhaps this is the way God planned it, as the purpose of the Bible according to the New Testament, is to believe in Jesus, not to trust in our understanding of the Bible.  Jesus strongly reprimands the Pharisees for trusting in their often incredibly shallow and biased interpretation of the Old Testament in John 5:39: "You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life and, these are they which testify of me."

Jesus says in John 6:29:  "This is the work of God, that you believe in him who he sent".  He did not say that the work of God is to believe in the Bible.  Modern Christians who teach otherwise, like Jesus said of the Pharisees of old, are in great error concerning the scriptures.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes: "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" Romans 10:13.  Christians who add other requirements like the Pharisees, are in great error, adding heavy burdens on us sinners, who Jesus loves and came to set us free.  If anyone becomes entrenched in the theology and traditions of the modern Catholic, Evangelical or other Protestant churches, be forewarned that you will be sorry, for they will make you less free rather than more free.

Jesus says if we listen to him, we "will know the truth and, the truth will make you free" John 7:31-32.  There is a hard lesson in life that few people ever learn or, learn very well:  If you want to be free, then follow Jesus.  If you want to be even less free than you already are, then follow somebody else.  "For Jesus came to "heal the broken-hearted. . .to set at liberty those who are oppressed" Luke 4:18.

The New King James Version is used here except when noted otherwise. Pronouns like he and him and words like spirit and father in relation to Jesus and God (who are one), are not capitalized here as in NKJV and, words like "Whom" are typically rendered as "who".  Certain corrections in translation, for example God so loved "the people" (rather than "the world") are sometimes inserted, being in my opinion, likely more accurate to the original Greek.  Some modern versions capitalize pronouns relating to Jesus and God (who are one), while others do not.  Most early Greek versions do not capitalize pronouns in relation to Jesus or God (who are one) and, that method is chosen here as perhaps being more accurate to the original.

The original New Testament is believed to have been written in Koine Greek and entirely CAPITALIZED LIKE THIS.  This was what the common people spoke in the Eastern Mediterranean, from Alexander until around 600 A.D. Letters in ancient Hebrew are all written at the same height, with five letters sometimes drawn differently when the last letter in a word.  German capitalizes all nouns, while Dutch rarely capitalizes anything.

The reason for this explanation is not to discourage or confuse anyone but rather, it is wise to note that languages and cultural traditions are often quite dissimilar.  The NKJV version may be the most accurate translation available, but this is an opinion rather than intended as a fact; many newer versions contain Christian bias that is inaccurate to what the Greek and Hebrew actually says and most likely intends.

The dissimilar nature of various cultures and languages can cause misunderstandings and confusion to different people.  Thus, it is helpful to understand that whatever KJV or other modern versions of the Bible capitalize is an arbitrary decision on the part of the translators.  As such, no priest, preacher or anyone else can legitimately claim one way is correct over the other.  People who insist on quoting the old KJV English in this author's opinion, have a poor understanding of where Jesus is coming from.  Jesus appears to have done his best to properly teach average largely uneducated people for free, leaving the world a better education than any money can buy.

There is no indication Jesus has any desire to confuse average people with archaic English words that are no longer spoken today.  To do so is a great injustice to every author of the Bible, as it would be to any author.  To compare, consider how unfair it would be to Samuel Clemens or John Steinbeck, if their books were re-issued in 16th Century English.  Thus, the NKJV translation is used here (except as otherwise noted), not because it is a perfect translation without error; there is no such thing as a translation without bias and error. Rather, it may be the overall best modern translation available.

The purpose here of attempting to correct poor translation is not to alter the intended meaning of or 'modernize' or simplify the Bible but rather, it is an attempt to understand the intent of the authors more clearly and, to try to separate the most likely intention from religious, historical and other bias. Because both Greek and Hebrew like English, contain words with multiple meanings, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the original intention of the various authors of the Bible.

To not both want and seek out the most correct meaning is to cling to our own misconceptions, darkness and confusion, rather than to want what is really true. What is really true is of primary importance to both our individual and collective freedom and, important to everything else in life that matters.  And not surprisingly, apparently to every author of the Bible.  To cling to what one believes rather than to go wherever the evidence leads, is to allow one's own heart, mind, soul and strength to stagnate, rot and die.

The unknown author of Hebrews writes, faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1.  Unlike many scientists, educators and others very wrongly assume here in the modern age, there is no such thing as “faith-based religion” found in the New Testament.

Like Paul writes, we believe in the unseen God based on the visible evidence of God's creation: Romans 1:20. And like John writes in I John 4:13: "By this we know that we abide in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his spirit." Thus, we can believe in God based on the wonders of his creation and also by awareness of his spirit working within us.

Blind faith either in the Bible or anything else profits nothing.  True faith, like true science when practiced correctly, is based on "the evidence of things not seen" Hebrews 11:1 and/or, fully understood; for now we understand "in part" I Corinthians 13:12.

Our faith grows, the more evidence we have of Jesus working in the reality of our daily lives.  True faith is based on evidence and, faith requires action according to both Hebrews and James, who says, "faith without works is dead" James 2:14-26.

And Paul writes, ". . .for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified. . . "  Romans 2:13.  Paul also explains later in Romans 6:14 that in Jesus, we "are not under law but under grace" and, we ourselves are not capable of fulfilling God's law, which is why we need Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sins.

Paul opens and closes every letter attributed to him with "grace" to you followed often by "mercy" and/or "peace", always listing grace first.  He also says that Jesus gives us more grace and, we grow from grace to grace (more free, bigger and better understanding).  Unlike many Christians teach, why would Paul say this if salvation isn't an ongoing process, as if we no longer need any more grace or understanding ? ? ?  Consider how crazy it would be for someone to believe they could read and understand the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in one day. And that is nothing, compared to what Jesus knows and, we have yet to learn.

Salvation is not just about learning, but also about being changed by God from the inside out and as a result, having more love and becoming more free.  It may be fair to define "salvation" as everything God wants to do for us, in us and through us.  If we don't want Jesus to save us from our sins, we will never be remotely free, for sin makes us less free, not more free.  And, it is a hard and difficult row to hoe to try to care without God's help, "for God is love".

"Moreover, the Lord is the spirit; where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all moreover, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the spirit" II Corinthians 3:17-18 (corrected to the Greek). Verse 18 cannot rationally be interpreted some other way, other than an ongoing process.  Over time, the better we will know and understand what is true, the more free we will become and, the more love we will have for both ourselves and other people; "for God is love" 1 John 4:7-8.

God's salvation, found only in Jesus, is a lifetime ongoing process, as indicated by Paul several times, who after many, many years, did not view himself as having attained.  Paul writes in Philippians 3:12-14:  "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Messiah Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Messiah Jesus."

Again, Paul writes elsewhere in I Corinthians 8:2:  "And if anyone thinks that they know anything, they know nothing yet as they ought to know".  Those who teach that salvation is not an ongoing daily process and, who say if we have asked Jesus to forgive us, we no longer need him to forgive us, are in direct contradiction to the New Testament.  According to John 1:8-9, written to people who are already believers in Jesus:  "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Note that John says if "we" confess "our" sins, including himself personally. Jesus saving us from our sins is quite clearly a daily, ongoing process. Otherwise, the above quotations from Paul and John quite literally, don't make any sense. The entire idea of God's free salvation is to believe in and know Jesus better and in doing so, become more and more free and have more "love, one for another". As noted to earlier, Jesus says if we listen to him, we "will know the truth and the truth will make us free".

Jesus clearly implies an ongoing learning process when he says "you will know the truth and the truth will make you free", which agrees with Paul and I John. Who for example, has shown up for the first day of elementary school and, learned everything they need to know about God and life on the first day?  If the idea is to learn more of what is true so we can be more free, how could anyone claim that salvation isn't an ongoing process?  And, if we don't want Jesus to continue to forgive us once we have asked him, who is going to "cleanse us from all sin", like John says in I John 1:7?

Conservative Christianity very wrongly teaches that once we are saved, we no longer need to be saved and, once we are forgiven, we no longer need to be forgiven.  Hopefully the above few paragraphs puts this twisted teaching down in the Pit permanently where it belongs.  Apparently, the truth is, once we have asked Jesus to forgive us, we are saved from God's wrath and, we have eternal life from that point forward.  But we have much to improve on, experience, understand, go through and grow over time and thus, salvation is also an ongoing lifetime process.  Who among us can say "I have achieved", as if we need no more improvement and have nothing left to understand or accomplish?

Modern scientific belief in invisible light, black holes and tiny bits of matter far too small to visibly see, is based on the evidence of things not seen.  No one has actually ever seen invisible light, which is why it is called "invisible".  What we can see and otherwise detect are results of what invisible light causes, such as outlines of teeth and bones caused by invisible x-rays and, noise on a car radio caused by invisible radio waves.  Imagine how cluttered our vision would be if everywhere we went, we could see radio waves and other kinds of invisible light. Our eyes are created to see what we need to see, just as certain animal and insect eyes can see what is invisible to us.

God's creation is a result of the will, power and creative imagination and intelligence of our unseen Creator. As Paul says in his letter to the Romans:  "For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse..." Romans 1:20.  Charles Darwin thought it was amazing how life adapts and changes and, it is.  But consider what he might say if he had our knowledge today, that the entire universe is in a constant state of dynamic adapt and change transition.  This only demonstrates how much better and more imaginative God is at creating than we are.

What are known today as the four “gospels” represent a different individual insight and perspective into the same historical Jesus.  Each one of them contains valuable information the others do not, while John in particular offers considerable insight and unique words and deeds of Jesus not found in the rest. Some historians count "John" among the 5 greatest works ever written; in reality, all four narratives are among the greatest works ever written.  As historian Will Durant wrote in his volume "Caesar and Christ", Jesus had by far the greatest mind known to human history; a mind consistent with all four of the biographies of Jesus in the New Testament.

In order to have a reasonable basic understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus, it is highly recommend that all four of them be read many times over.  It is also helpful to study the history and cultural surroundings of the biblical narrative and, Encyclopedia Britannica is recommended as the most reliable and perhaps least biased source.

It is recommended that one avoid so-called "christian" books and Bible study guides and that instead, every man, woman and child should read the Bible for themselves.  Don't be afraid to check out original Greek and Hebrew meaning and, if something seems to hard, to check out what various people have to say. But we should be extremely careful, as the world is filled with bias concerning the Bible.

The four narratives were not originally titled as they are today and, there remains considerable debate as to who actually wrote them.  In spite of what many scholars claim to the contrary, Matthew, Mark and John may well have been written by people who actually knew the real historical Jesus and, witnessed themselves what they later recorded.

While the author of Luke apparently didn't know Jesus in the flesh, the author claims to have been well acquainted with the Jesus narrative and, undoubtedly knew many people who did witness the life of Jesus first hand.  What many of the orthodox and conservative religious persuasion and even some secular scholars never seem to quite grasp is, the words and deeds and related content found in the four "gospels" is very far more important than either who wrote them or when or in what order they were written.

Unlike in the middle 20th Century, currently it is the majority opinion among historians and other scholars that Jesus was a real person and that the New Testament was likely finished prior to 100 A.D.  Today, virtually no serious scholar believes Jesus didn't exist.  Or, that the New Testament was written by 3rd Century monks, two common inventions of the past.

Most scholars insist all four of the narratives of Jesus were written after 70 A.D. and the book of Acts was written around 80 A.D.  However, there is zero reason to believe this is true and every reason to believe it is a convenient invention by those who aren't paying attention to the obvious evidence (as discussed below).

Many scholars claim that at least three of them are based on an earlier common source known as “Q”.  While almost anything may be possible, there is little to no historical evidence supporting such a position and thus, this remains another convenient invention rather than reliable history.

Luke hints that there were several writings about Jesus rather than a single common source and again, perhaps either Luke or Matthew was written first and then the other was familiar with the first narrative.  And then again, perhaps the author of Mark borrowed from either Matthew or Luke or both or neither, but was still written last of the three.  To be fair, all four narratives differ enough from each other as to have been independently written without knowledge of the rest.

Attempting to piece together chronology from many generations gone by can become a confusing enterprise of possibilities leading to rather suspect conclusions.  Most scholars assume Mark was written first and then either Matthew or Luke and lastly John.  Again, there is no real historical evidence supporting this and no one living today knows either when or in what order the four narratives were written; perhaps our father in heaven prefers it that way.

From Wikipedia:  "Most scholars since the late nineteenth century have accepted the concept of Marcan priority.  It forms the foundation for the widely accepted two-source theory, although a number of scholars support different forms of Marcan priority or reject it altogether."  And as already noted, the importance lies in the content and words and deeds of Jesus, rather than in who wrote them or in what order.

Because John refers to the Sea of Galilee also by another name "Sea of Tiberius", this does not prove it was written last.  Tiberius lived around 42 BC - 37 AD and apparently the inhabitants of the town of Tiberius (located on the shore of what John also refers to as the Sea of Galilee, as does Matthew and Mark), called it the Sea of and/or Lake Tiberius.  Luke refers to it as "lake of Gennesaret".  The town of Tiberius was founded by Herod Antipas (a son of King Herod) who ruled 4 BC - 39 AD according to most sources.

If so, Jesus may have been born in 5 BC or earlier.  Some sources say King Herod reigned until 1 BC, so as one can see, there is no clear agreement on what month or in what year Jesus was born.  Some of the differences depend on how the dates of King Herod's reign are calculated.  Commonly accepted historical dating today is not necessarily accurate, as dates may have been calculated using different criteria by early historians and other authors, whose methods weren't necessarily the same among each other.  As such, claiming precise historical dating for people born over 2,000 years ago remains rather suspect at best.

It is common in the Bible (and many other works) to find different names for the same places, which does not necessarily demonstrate error but rather, it only indicates that various people called various places by different names at various times.  Many foreign cultures, kings and others mentioned in the Bible are known by different names in outside cultural records.  This is how human language often translates across cultures and develops over time, rather than necessarily due to either error or deliberate deception.

Because Mark is shorter and most of what it contains is found in Matthew and/or Luke, this by no means proves it was written first.  For all we know, John may have been written first and Mark last, although no one really knows.  We do know that many biographies of famous individuals can vary significantly in length and shorter biographies of the same individual are often written after comparatively longer ones.  It is highly recommended here that one approach each "gospel" as an individual narrative unto itself and, read it carefully to avoid confusing what the New Testament actually intends with the vast ignorance of both modern Christianity and many so-called 'scholars' often having a biased ax to grind.

Similar to the narratives of Jesus, some modern biographies of Martin Luther King, Jr. for example, leave out significant portions of his life, words and deeds that other biographers have chosen to include.  Biographies both today and in the past are often deliberately not written in chronological order, a style of literature (and many modern films) familiar to the Greeks and, also apparently found in at least one and possibly more of the Jesus story narratives.  This is not an indication of either error or deliberate deception, as some of the poorly trained wrongly assume.

Virtually all scholars assume the "gospels" were written sometime after 70 A.D., based solely on their assumption that Jesus could not possibly have predicted the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.  Given that a great many of the predictions found in both the Old and New testaments either have already come true or are in the process of coming true as our 21st Century global climate warms, it is absolutely certain that Jesus could have predicted the destruction of the temple.  As such, all four of the narratives of the life of Jesus found in the New Testament may well have been written prior to 70 A.D.

The Book of Acts declares itself to be a sequel to the story of Jesus found in Luke, thus Luke by any and all historical rational, was written prior to Acts.  The events described in Acts all occur after the portrayal of Jesus found in the four New Testament narratives.  Acts describes details about the lives of many of the early followers of Jesus, including Peter, James, Phillip and Paul, who became a follower several years after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Acts names many other men and women followers of Jesus who are also named in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.  Beginning in Chapter 16, Acts is written on and off in the first person, the author writing in reference to traveling with Paul that "we should sail to Italy" and "we sailed in an Alexandrian ship" Chapters 27-28. Apparently, the author was sometimes with Paul and other times not from Acts chapter 16 on; thus "we" is used on and off rather than consistently.

While written about events occurring after the four Jesus narratives, in Acts Chapter 3 the temple is referenced as being still in existence several times, without even a hint of it having been later destroyed in 70 A.D:  "Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.  And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms."

One might fairly inquire of certain 'scholars', why such a catastrophic life-shattering event in the eyes of the First Century Jewish population isn't mentioned anywhere in Acts as having already occurred, if this book was written in 80-90 A.D., ten or more years after the temple's destruction, as certain 'scholars' claim.  If the author's goal is to convince his audience that Jesus is the Messiah, one would presume he would bend over backwards to emphasize the fact that the temple had been destroyed, just like Jesus predicted it would be.

It is being less biased and more historically fair to conclude that 1) The Book of Acts was written prior to the destruction of the temple; 2) Luke was written prior to Acts and thus likewise, written prior to the temple's destruction and 3) Jesus is the Messiah and thus, he correctly predicted the destruction of the temple before it occurred.

Discussion of other evidence the temple was destroyed after the four Jesus narratives were written can be found at This Link.  Information at the provided link points out that John refers to the pool of Bethesda with its five porticoes as existing in the present tense (as if its existence is common knowledge to those he is writing to), which was destroyed along with the temple around 70 AD. This is strong internal evidence that John was written prior to 70 AD.

And this is significant, because if John was written prior to 70 AD, then again, Jesus correctly predicted the destruction of the temple.  Also, if the other so-called "gospels" were all three written prior to John, then all four of them were written prior to the temple's destruction.  Such 'scholars' can't have it both ways and expect to be taken seriously.

Consider this particular passage from the Book of Acts:  "They also set up false witnesses who said, 'this man [Stephen] does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us' Acts 6:13-14.  Again and again, the author of Acts references the temple as existing in the present tense, as if this is common knowledge to his intended audience.  How can a so-called 'scholar' honestly conclude that Acts wasn't written until 80-90 AD, given the internal evidence found in Acts Chapter 6 alone?

Acts repeatedly references the temple as existing in the present and, clearly at the beginning of Chapter 1, declares itself to be a sequel to the Jesus narrative found in Luke.  Since both Acts and Luke and the rest of the first five New Testament books, as well as the rest of the New Testament, were clearly intended to be circulated to the First Century followers of Jesus, how is it rational at all to pretend that all of them would lie about a no longer existing temple; if in fact they were written after the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., as many so-called 'scholars' pretend?

How could the authors of the New Testament possibly expect any of their intended audience to believe them, if they ignored such a catastrophic event, as if the temple's destruction had never happened?  If these works did not include Jesus' prophecy of the temple's destruction, the same 'scholars' would more than likely conclude they were written prior to the temple's destruction, if for no other reason than that Acts completely fails to mention it.

Modern intellectual bias of the supposedly well-educated seemingly knows no boundaries as to the comic absurdity of its conclusions.  Besides taking the existence of the temple for granted, there are other clear indications found internally within Acts demonstrating that it was written prior to 64 AD.  James the brother of Jesus, who was martyred around 62 AD, is very much alive and well in Acts 15:13.  While mentioning many persecutions of the early Jesus followers and the names of other Roman rulers, Acts is silent about Nero (ruled 54 thru 68 AD), who apparently began gravely persecuting the followers of Jesus around 64 AD.

Recording the murders of both Stephen and James the brother of John, Acts doesn't name anyone martyred after 64 AD.  The narrative ends with Paul still living in Rome, saying nothing about the deaths of either Peter or Paul.  So-called "scholars" who insist Acts was written 10-20 years after the temple was destroyed, would have us believe while reporting many persecutions and murders of the early Jesus followers, Acts would carelessly entirely leave out any mention of Nero's persecution and, the deaths of three leading followers Peter, Paul and Jesus' brother James.  The overwhelmingly historically obvious conclusion is that all of them were still living when the book of Acts was written.

It is historically absurd to pretend that these narratives are an invention of later century monks or of anyone else.  If Jesus didn't exist and the four “gospels” aren't in the main correct, one is left with no rational explanation as to where the wisdom of Jesus comes from.  Albert Einstein for example, often lauded as being one of the most intelligent people of the modern era, had deep reverence and respect for the words and deeds of Jesus and, he scoffed at the idea Jesus is an invention (as quoted further below), as also did the learned historian Will Durant.

We do know that the story of Jesus in some form predates the destruction of the temple by at least fifteen years.  We know this not only because of Acts, but elements of the Jesus story found in the gospel narratives are casually mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians, as if many of those he is writing two are already well familiar with the story.  This particular letter of Paul, written sometime between 52-60 A.D., is considered authentic by virtually all of the same 'scholars' who claim the four gospels weren't written until after 70 A.D.

Consider I Corinthians 11:23-25:  "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which he was betrayed took bread.  And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.'  In the same manner he also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'"

This same crucial part of the Jesus story noted above by Paul in I Corinthians, is also found in Matthew 26:17–29, Mark 14:12–25, Luke 22:7–38 and John 13: 18-38.  This is conclusive evidence that the Jesus story existed prior to 52 AD.  And even more important, it is evidence that the first four books of the New Testament were written prior to 54 or so AD, at least fifteen years before the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.

The four narratives of what has become known as "The Lord's Supper", differ enough to indicate they are not copied from the same common source.  Rather, they indicate they were written by four different individuals recording different details of the same important event; modern biographers and even trained reporters likewise often significantly differ regarding the same events.

The destruction of the temple would have been an extraordinary occurrence to anyone living at that time and place in history, more so than the "9/11" twin towers destruction in the modern United States.  Consider that it would have been an incredible fulfilled prophecy to any follower of Jesus and proof he had foretold the future.  Why then does the author of Acts fail to mention the Temple's destruction, if Acts was written after 80 AD ? ? ?  The overwhelmingly fair and honest conclusion, is that Acts and all four Jesus narratives were written prior to the temple's destruction.

We can be quite confident that the information found in the New Testament narrative is contemporary with the actual life and times of Jesus.  Consider for example, that many modern biographies of Martin Luther King, Jr., John Kennedy and other prominent individuals of the 1960's were written less than 30 years after they died.  All four of the New Testament narratives may be as contemporary to Jesus.

Paul, who knew many people who had known Jesus in the flesh (including Peter and James), apparently was born 10-20 years after Jesus, making him as contemporary to Jesus as those in America born in 1940-1950 are to King (1929).  It is beyond any and all historical comprehension that Paul would not have diligently inquired concerning the personage, words and deeds of Jesus from those who had personally witnessed them.

After Jesus died, many of his thousands of followers were dispersed throughout the larger Greco-Roman world.  And Paul in II Corinthians, based on Young's Literal Translation, mentions that some of the people he is writing to knew Jesus in the flesh, again demonstrating the story of Jesus in some form existed soon after his crucifixion.

In order to claim as some obvious liars have tried to do, that Jesus is just an invention, one would have to believe that Paul, one of the most well-traveled and educated people of his time, was completely and entirely deceived by thousands of largely uneducated common fishermen and farmers, who had no rhyme or reason for doing so and every life-threatening reason not to do so, as early followers of the way were horribly persecuted.

It is historically absurd to pretend that thousands of largely uneducated mostly illiterate average people with no paper, pens, phones or any other means of modern communication, could somehow keep intact what such liars claim to be a 'myth', just given the words of Jesus alone. Notwithstanding, these same thousands of people, scattered throughout the Roman Empire, would have had to be willing to risk daily arrest, torture and horrific execution of both themselves and their own spouse and children, for an invented story that appeared out of nowhere within their own lifetime; something totally and completely unheard of within the known annals of human civilization.

Many scholars demonstrating incredibly sloppy research, claim that the two existing letters attributed to Peter could not have been written by him because in Acts he is said to have been uneducated.  The problem with this type of 'reasoning' is, Peter may have become quite well-educated over the course of his life and even worse for such researchers of incredible bias, the first letter from Peter closes with a notation indicating, like many of Paul's letters, that Peter (like Paul) had someone else do the actual writing down of the letter (possibly a converted scribe):  "By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you..." 1 Peter 5:12.  One should be wary of 'scholars' with a personal bias ax to grind.

While all four of the narratives about Jesus reflect each author's own distinct perspective and insight, they are in remarkable agreement with each other, including the very different work of "John".  Likewise, both the books of "Acts" and "Revelation" and the diverse letters of Peter, John, James, Jude, the unknown author of the letter to the Hebrews and the many letters attributed to Paul, together represent a combined profound message of love, hope, faith, truth, freedom, justice and peace very much in agreement with each other.

Their unparalleled influence resounds through the ages, reflected in the thinking and writing of names as diverse as Shakespeare, Descartes, Marx, Rousseau, Locke, Jefferson, Harriet Tubman, Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Helen Keller, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and a very long list of prominent individuals of significant historical impact and influence themselves.

Eleanor Roosevelt is reported to have memorized much of the New Testament. She was fond of the Hebrew prophet Micah:  "And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8, the famous Jesus portrait of a true patriot found in Matthew 25: "...inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" Matthew 25:40 and what has come to be called the "sermon on the mount" Matthew 5 Luke 6.

Cesar Chavez said:  "Jesus' life and words are a challenge at the same time that they are Good News.  They are a challenge to those of us who are poor and oppressed.  By His life He is calling us to give ourselves to others, to sacrifice for those who suffer, to share our lives with our brothers and sisters who are also oppressed.  He is calling us to 'hunger and thirst after justice' in the same way that we hunger and thirst after food and water; that is, by putting our yearning into practice."

According to a biographer, even though Harriet Tubman was illiterate, she memorized long passages of the Bible.  She had a deep faith in God and often credited God with leading her throughout her many treacherous journeys along the Underground Railroad, which she reportedly traveled at least thirteen times, leading about 70 fellow slaves to freedom without any of them being captured and, helping free over 750 more slaves during the Civil War.  Harriet Tubman said, "I always tole God, I'm gwine to hole stiddy on you, an' you've got to see me through."

Albert Schweitzer, who gave up a life of comfort and ease in Europe, moved to Africa where he established a hospital and labored helping the sick and poor of Lambaréné, Gabon.  Over time while living in Africa, Dr. Schweitzer became modern history's first prominent environmentalist, basing his "Reverence for Life" philosophy on the life and teachings of Jesus.  According to Albert Schweitzer: “Day by day we should weigh what we have granted to the spirit of the world against what we have denied to the spirit of Jesus, in thought and especially in deed.”

President James Earl Carter:  “Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality.”

Vincent van Gogh:  “It is a very good thing that you read the Bible. . . Christ alone. . . has affirmed as a principle certainty, eternal life. . ."

Helen Keller:  “I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God...alone we can do so little, together we can do so much...Just as all things upon earth represent and image forth all the realities of another world, so the Bible is one mighty representative of the whole spiritual life of humanity.”

Rene Descartes:  “It is absolutely true that we must believe in God, because it is also taught by the Holy Scriptures.  On the other hand, we must believe in the Sacred Scriptures because they come from God.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau:  Socrates died like a philosopher; Jesus Christ died like a God.”

Albert Einstein:  “I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.  Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrase-mongers, however artful...no man can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus.  His personality pulsates in every word.  No myth is filled with such life.”

Mohandas Gandhi:  “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others including his enemies and, became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.”

Mikhail Gorbachev:  “Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.”

Philip Yancey:  “Yet as I read the birth stories about Jesus I cannot help but conclude that though the world may be tilted toward the rich and powerful, God is tilted toward the underdog.”

Rosa Parks:  "I learned people should stand up for rights just as the children of Israel stood up to the Pharaoh."

Martin Luther King, Jr:  "Jesus Christ was an extremist for love, truth and goodness."

Johnny Cash:  “When God forgave me, I figured I’d better do it too.”

Bob Dylan:  "There’s a lone soldier on the cross...you didn’t know it, you didn’t think it could be done, in the final end he won the wars, after losing every battle."

The New Testament narrative of John is considered by many historians and literary experts to be one of the top 5 greatest works ever written, while the oft maligned and greatly misunderstood Paul of Tarsus is considered by historians to be, when weighed in the balances of his society and time in history, perhaps the most liberal author in the history of human civilization.  The liberalism of Paul is perhaps surpassed only by Jesus himself, who without question is the most liberal person to ever walk on earth.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female..." Galatians 3:28, "To the pure all things are pure.." Titus 1:15, "...nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving" 1 Timothy 4:4 and, "...you are not under law but under grace" Romans 6:14, remain among the most radically liberal and progressive teachings known in the history of human civilization.

These and many other teachings of Paul break the religious orthodox mold so radically and completely, there is no semblance of any religion left standing, as the term is commonly understood today.  Consider how radical and extremely dangerous it was for anyone to promote ideas such as in Jesus, we "are not under the law, but under grace", within a Jewish society which for 1400 years was based on and rooted in the law of Moses and, while Rome was a nation of strictly enforced law and order among her subjects, if there ever was such a nation on earth.

Modern critics of Paul apparently don't have a clue regarding how brave and dedicated and radical (and poor) Paul was, dedicated to the goal of achieving individual and collective love, freedom, justice and peace on earth.  The New Testament view and indeed, perhaps the greatest lesson of history, agreeing with many past and modern human rights activists long remains, if my brother or sister is enslaved, hungry, naked, homeless, abused, marginalized or otherwise not free to pursue a life of liberty, security, peace, justice and equality, neither am I free and, neither is anyone else living on earth free, no matter how wealthy or famous or powerful they may be.

Where would the modern American Civil Rights movement be without the song "We Shall Overcome"?  And, where would any of us living in the 21st Century be without the words, example and influence of Jesus?  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches.  To those "who overcome, I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" Revelation 2:7.


NEW TESTAMENT

The original content of the New Testament was entirely capitalized in Koine Greek LIKE THIS.  Thus, capitalizing letters when referring to Jesus as “he”, “him”, “my” or “his”, was done later by those of orthodox religious persuasion. Such capitalization has been eliminated throughout this work, as we do not know the true intentions of the authors if they had written in lower case English.

The original texts also didn't contain either verses or the many often poorly divided chapters we are familiar with today; such artificial divisions can lead to significant bias, misinterpretation and confusion.  Each of the various letters found in the New Testament should be understood as a single complete letter without division.

The message of Jesus in the New Testament is highly secular rather than religious in nature and focus, Jesus deliberately associating with the sinners and average people and often those of low repute within his society such as tax collectors.  Jesus consistently makes caustic 'sport' of the conservative orthodox religious leaders of his society, while his often humorous and “street-level” authentic populist message was received “gladly” by the sinners and common people.  Much of the sarcasm and caustic humor of Jesus readily understood by the average people of his society is lost in cultural translation, modern sermons and religious orthodoxy.

Compare “Saturday Night Live” and late show television audiences today.  Such audiences, which generally despise and laugh at jokes making fun of conservative Christianity, would have greatly loved and bonded with the true historical Jesus.  If born instead here in the 21st Century, Jesus would undoubtedly be in great demand for every late night and other media slot available.  It is wise to keep in mind when reading the story of Jesus, that unlike modern priests and preachers, "the common people heard Him gladly" Mark 12:37.

Throughout the New Testament (and Old Testament), we find prophesy of a promised future for those who accept forgiveness from Jesus, which when taken together foretell a new universe and a new earth.  And unlike the planet we live on today, the new earth won't have any oceans, indicating perhaps a freshwater planet only.  Apparently, this will be what science today calls a "rogue" planet, which is a planet without any star, although unlike any such planet known today; this one will always have enough warmth and light and, it may be many times larger than our current earth.

According to the book of Revelation, God himself will light this planet, no sun will ever again burn us and, he will wipe away every tear from our eyes.  On this planet, there will be no night and all of God's creation will live in perfect harmony, rather than in competition as currently here on earth. So, if you want to know how wrong Darwin can be, now you know.  According to Jesus, there will be no marriage on this planet; he does no say there will be no sex, as the conservative religious invent, such narrow minds unable to conceive otherwise.

JOHN 3:16-17:  Few people living in the 21st Century seem to be aware that one of the most well-known and famous passages in all of human literature is rather poorly translated.  A better translation from the same Greek is as follows: “For God so loved the people that he gave his only conceived son, that whoever believes in him will not die but have eternal life.  For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the people but, that the people through him might be saved” John 3:16-17.  Virtually all if not all scholars agree that the intent of what is poorly translated as "world" is in reference to humanity.

Note how much more “people-centric” this translation is than the rather vague and impersonal “world” invariably found in modern bibles.  Note in particular that in correct translation, Jesus is very clear that God did not send him into the world to condemn any of us, either straight or gay or dark or light of skin or rich or poor or short or tall of stature or strong or weak or educated or illiterate or young or old or fat or ugly or undocumented or conservative or liberal or wealthy or poor or anything else.  There are other instances in John translated as "world" that are perhaps better translated as "people"; for example, Jesus saying "I am the light of the world" translated as "light of the people".

Rather than to condemn us, Jesus came to save us from what causes greed, fear, avarice, slavery, inequality of wealth, war, global mass pollution and all manner of anti-human rights behavior and, what keeps every man, woman and child on earth from being as loving, caring and free as we would like to be.  Like the angels sang, "peace on earth, goodwill toward the people" Luke 2:14 (KJV). And like Jesus says quoting Isaiah:  "The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor" Luke 4:18-19.

The New Testament and teachings of Jesus in particular are highly “people-centric”, focused in particular on the sinners and average people and on the downtrodden, outcast, sick, poor, immigrant and least among us.  It is grossly misleading for anyone to insinuate otherwise or to present Jesus in any other fashion, other than as a friend of sinners and the champion of the average people, the poor, outcast and oppressed.  Jesus far more accurately belongs categories of "ethics" and “human behavior” rather than “religion”, although in truth, Jesus belongs in virtually every category ever invented.

Suffice it to say, it is very unwise to depend on other people to tell you what the New Testament says and means, rather than reading it for yourself.  You may find that in reading it many times, it becomes much more clear and easy to understand after several readings.  Even if you don't believe in Jesus or are an atheist, it is wise to read the New Testament anyway.  After a while, one begins to learn how badly educators, atheists, Christian leaders and others with a pre-conceived ax to grind, twist and distort what it actually says and, how much of what today we call "Human Rights" is already established in the words and deeds of Jesus.

APOSTLE/BISHOP/ELDER/DEACON/PROPHET/EVANGELIST/SHEPHERD AND TEACHER: In Acts 20:17 Paul refers to several people from the church at Ephesus as elders (Greek "presbyterous").  But Paul refers to the same people in Acts 20:28 as "episkopous" which means "overseer" in English; "episkopes" is translated into English as "bishop" in 1 Timothy 3, which again means "overseership" in Greek.  In NKJV, both of these are translated as "elders" in Acts 20.  It is safe to conclude, based on Acts 20 and I Timothy 3, that elder, bishop and overseer refer to the same thing.  This may seem confusing to us when translated into English, but was probably not confusing to speakers of First Century Koine Greek.

The modern habit of a church having one Bishop, preacher or pastor is not of biblical origin.  The word translated as pastor in most bibles means "shepherd" in Greek.  Shepherd, wrongly translated as "pastor" is just one of many positions of the real church; see also 1 Timothy chapter 3 and Ephesians 4:11.  The word "deacon" means "servant" in Greek and, all of the various positions of God's church found in the New Testament are (apparently unpaid) positions of service, not of power as many pastors (shepherds) elevate themselves today.

The position of "shepherd", wrongly translated as pastor as the place of prominence so-called "pastors" today grab for themselves, is not a position of particular prominence in the real church but rather, it is just one of several; apparently shepherd and teacher are the same thing.  There is no such position as a "preacher", who shouts, yells and waves his arms while delivering a lengthy boring sermon.

Many different people spoke in the real church as they were so moved by God's spirit.  As Jesus teaches us, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves" Luke 22:25-26.

There is no such thing as a pope in the real church of Jesus, nor is it necessary to attain a religious degree to instruct others.  We are all brothers and sisters with one leader and one teacher, Jesus Messiah (see "church" below).  Jesus is our only high priest (see Hebrews) and only Jesus can forgive sins.

Those who confess their sins to a priest should ask Jesus to forgive them, just like all the rest of us should.  To preach simply means to proclaim and, anyone one earth can proclaim the good news of Jesus; one does not need to attend a religious university or obtain a divinity degree, which things are worthless pieces of paper.  We can save our time and money and be taught by Jesus himself.

Based on several letters of Paul, the early churches when gathered together as a group several people spoke as the spirit moved them, perhaps interspersed with singing as likewise, the group was moved to do so.  There was no lengthy boring sermon and meetings seem to have been entirely spontaneous and unscripted.

Such gatherings apparently also usually included eating and socializing among the group.  Early followers of Jesus gathered in homes, perhaps public spaces and outside, weather permitting.  They appear to have sometimes lived in the same larger housing complex.  Constructing an expensive building or temple to supposedly honor God seems to have been anathema to both Stephen and Paul in Acts, who both state that God "does not live in temples made with hands."

It is important to understand that real churches in the New Testament were not temples or other buildings.  When Paul travels around in Acts establishing new "churches", these are groups of Jesus followers, not buildings.  The real Jesus is not a religion.  Rather, he is about grace, mercy, love, peace and great freedom. And Jesus is deliberately secular, associating with the average people, poor and oppressed and some of the worst thought of people in his society.  Those who present Jesus in some other fashion will more than likely answer for doing so.

CARPENTER:  It is virtually certain that Jesus was not a carpenter as the term is generally perceived today.  Many if not most historians believe the literal Greek refers to either a stone mason, handyman or common laborer.  Though ambiguous, it is believed the literal Greek may refer to someone who carried stones from the quarry, chiseled and arranged them for a mason.

This is important because the term "carpenter" today generally refers to someone who has a skilled trade requiring at least four years of certification and if a union carpenter, someone who earns a middle-class income.  Jesus being a poor common laborer is perhaps much more in sync with the rest of the "average people" narrative found in the New Testament.  Apparently Jesus had no job after he began teaching around the age of thirty.  Often lost in the religious orthodoxy of Christianity, Jesus was a great teacher and orator, who could hold up to 15,000 people in rapt attention for several days.  He appears to be the first person of note to teach average and illiterate people for free.

CHRIST:  Means "anointed" or "the anointed one" in Greek.  In Hebrew, "mashiach" means the same thing, which is translated as "Messiah" into English. Most English bibles leave this untranslated as "Christ", which is Greek for Messiah.  Whether we say Jesus Christ or Jesus Messiah is perhaps of little importance, but it is extremely important to understand that Christ means Messiah, the anointed one, the chosen one of God to save us from our sins.

Likewise, whether we call Jesus of Nazareth, "Jesus", "Yeshua" or "Yeshu", the same name will save us as long as we are referring in our hearts to Jesus of Nazareth, who is called "Messiah", rather than to someone else.  The name "Jesus" traces from Latin; in Aramaic, it is "Yeshua" and in Hebrew "Yehoshua" or "Yeshu".  Regardless of translation, there is great power in the name of Jesus, who is able to save us to the uttermost when referring to Jesus of Nazareth.

It is important to remember that ". . .the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart I Samuel 16:7.  God understands our intentions regardless of our understanding, what language we speak or what translation we are familiar with.  It is not the purpose of this author to dispute over translation but rather, to attempt to help clarify what the Bible actually says and the historical context.

CHRISTIAN:  Paul never once refers to himself as a “christian”, while at least five times in the New Testament he refers to himself as a follower of the “way”. The “way” was considered to be a revolutionary new “way” of life, centered on the true communism of sharing all things in common and distributing to each according to need, the opposite of both Roman, Greek and modern capitalist societies.  Unlike in the 21st Century, First Century followers of Jesus largely remained among the poor, Paul being among the very poorest of the poor; he was entrusted to carry the "purse" for the poor, donated by people who themselves were generally very poor.

The term “christian” appears to have originally been a derogatory term invented by outsiders, loosely comparable to the “N-word” in modern American society. According to Acts 11:26, the term was first used (apparently by Greek outsiders) in Antioch.  When a Roman ruler says to Paul, “you almost persuade me to become a christian”, Paul replies, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains” Acts 26:28-29.

Note that Paul seems to deliberately avoid using the term “christian” in his response, perhaps suspecting even then it was being used to place the followers of Jesus back under religious laws, rules and vain traditions, something Paul utterly opposed.  No one knows for sure why Paul doesn't use the term “christian” in his response to King Agrippa, but we do know based on Romans, Galatians and other writings, that Paul strongly opposes forms of outward religion, insisting that those who have the spirit of Jesus within them, “are not under law, but under grace” Romans 6:14; see also Galatians 5:18.  Paul may have been adverse to referring to himself as a "christian" for similar reasons that people today resent being referred to by a racial or other derogatory term.

It appears being branded as a "christian" was eventually adopted as a badge of honor, signifying that one was willing to endure ridicule and ostracization from regular Jewish, Roman and Greek society, was willing to adopt a completely different type of lifestyle perhaps seemingly 'strange' to their First Century peers (as it would likewise appear very different today in the modern-day capitalist United States).  And, one was willing to risk imprisonment and extreme forms of torture and execution, which could also apply to spouse, children, extended household and friends.  The bad habit of seeking to accumulate more than we need seems to be as old as civilization itself, for as Ecclesiastes says, there "is nothing new under the sun" and as Paul writes, "the love of wealth is the root of all evil."

It is perhaps worthy to note, that even as late as the events in Acts 19, followers of Jesus are not referred to as followers of Christianity, as if Jesus was ever viewed by his early followers as having come to establish a new religion.  Rather in Acts 19:23 we find followers of Jesus, including Luke the author of Acts, viewing themselves as being followers of the "way":  "And about that time there arose a great commotion about the way".  Also, towards the end of the record of his life, Paul refers to "this way" in Acts 22:4 and "the way" in Acts 24:14, indicating that many followers of Jesus considered themselves to be followers of the "way" until after the authors of the Bible had all passed on.

Suffice it to say, both Stephen and Paul in Acts insist that God does not live in temples made with hands, Paul in particular being utterly scornful of what today is commonly understood as "religion". If when we hear the word "religion", we think in our minds of dependence on God's help to in turn, freely "love one another", then the New Testament is indeed a highly religious collection. However, if when we hear the word "religion", we think in our minds of institutionalized religion, temples and church structures, priests and preachers parading around in garments differing in any way from how regular average people normally dress in their leisure and, an organization collecting huge sums for any reason other than helping the sick and poor, then the New Testament remains among the least religious body of works in the history of humanity.

While many people today call themselves Christians, the New Testament reference to "christian" is worlds different than modern day Christianity in all of it's insidious extreme twisting of the New Testament reality.  It is not that modern Christianity needs tweaking and correcting but rather, it is completely and entirely very much in the way of the true "sinners" and average people friendly message of Jesus.  Modern Christians can learn from the portrait of Jesus in the New Testament that, if it ain't gladly heard and received by the sinners and average people of human society, it ain't remotely correct.

Other than it's use in Acts twice as noted, the word "christian" only appears one other time in the Bible: "Yet if anyone suffers as a christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter" 1 Peter 4:16.  One should never confuse what it meant to be a christian at the time this was written, with well-fed and palatially housed televised frauds, clothed in clownish so-called 'sacred' attire and flying around in personal jets.

Meanwhile, such frauds extract large sums from well-meaning common people with false promises of a so-called "prosperity gospel".  And, rather than giving such sums to help widows, orphans and the poor, as both James and Jesus himself teach us to do, using them instead to live in opulent extravagance.  Such liars truly personify biblical terms like "ungodly" and "hypocrite" in about the worst possible way imaginable.

Use of the term "christian" in the New Testament can be found here Acts 11:26, here Acts 26:28 and here 1 Peter 4:16.  James may also refer to this word, but he does not do so directly.  Even though the term originated as early as Acts 11, Luke, Paul and other followers of Jesus continue to refer to themselves as followers of the “way” through the end of Acts.

Be not deceived, for the word "Christianity" is not anywhere in the Bible.  And there is zero historical or other evidence that Jesus is the founder of either Christianity or any other religion. Rather, as Jesus says in John 10:10, "the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

CHURCH:  The word "church" (Greek "ekklesias", "ekklesian", "ekklesia") when found in the New Testament always refers to people, the human followers of Jesus.  The Greek does not refer to either a religion, a religious building or a religious organization.  The Greek somewhat poorly translated as "church" in modern bibles, derives from "ekklesia", the name given to the political assembly of the City of Athens.

Some researchers believe the term "ekklesia" traces from a Roman word later assimilated into Greek, originally roughly meaning a gathering of common people for socio/political purpose.  Not all historians agree with this, but it is virtually unanimously agreed that the Greek word "ekklesia" refers to the general assembly of those eligible to vote in ancient Greece; all male citizens over 18 (later raised to 20).

This term was apparently chosen by Jesus himself to refer to his followers, both male and female and it underscores the champion of the common people secular intent of the "good news" for sinners message of the New Testament.  The more we study the words and deeds of Jesus, the more we realize the perfection of the teaching of Jesus.  And the more we begin to see how corrupted and false modern Christianity truly is.

Paul, in both Ephesians Chapter 1 and elsewhere throughout his letters, makes it very clear that Jesus is the head and, his followers are themselves the "body" of his church.  There is no pope, preacher, pontiff or prelate, no scientist, educator, self-help guru or anyone else who has any standing, position or authority over us.  As we find explicitly stated in Romans 2:11, in regards to all of humanity:  "For there is no partiality with God."

For there is one high priest and one teacher, head and authority over all, who is Jesus:  "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Jesus" Galatians 3:28. The fact that we are all equal without partiality before God, is so important to Paul that he not only definitively underscores it in Romans (see preceding paragraph), he repeats it yet a third time in similar fashion in Colossians 3:11. Those who believe ". . . have put on the new man/woman who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of him who created him/her, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Messiah is all and in all."

I Peter 2:9-10 says: "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."  ALL people who ask for forgiveness from Jesus are ALL part of the same "royal priesthood" before God.  As noted above, in Jesus there is no brother or sister who is above another.

Suffice it to say, based on Colossians 2:21-23 and the rest of Paul's letters, he would be utterly appalled by what today is known as Christianity, which does not remotely represent either Jesus or Paul or the rest of his early followers: "Therefore, if you died with Messiah from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations; do not touch, do not taste, do not handle, which all concern things which perish with the using, according to the commandments and doctrines of men?  These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh."

And consider this from Galatians 4:9-11: "But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?  You observe days and months and seasons and years?  I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain."  Note how both these passages in Colossians and Galatians agree with what both Paul and Steven say in Acts, that God "does not live in temples made with hands." Acts 17:24 -- Acts 7:48.

COMMON PEOPLE:  What is translated in most versions of the New Testament as "common people", means "crowd" in Greek.  However, the vast majority of the "crowd" who followed Jesus around were most likely regular average people, rather than the religious and elite.  The religious leaders often hung nearby because they were trying to trick and trap him into saying something they could accuse him of.  Thus the "crowd" who responded overwhelmingly positive to Jesus, does not refer to them.  In Acts 26:22 and Romans 12:16, what is translated as "common people" means "lowly" people in Greek.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica article "Judaism", the average people of the time slightly before the birth of Jesus (and most likely also during the life of Jesus) had come to hate the religious leaders.  This may well explain why the "crowds" "heard Jesus gladly", while they had ceased to listen to or obey their religious leaders

Compare today, where many churches are going bankrupt because nobody wants to hear their twisted conservative nonsense (Jesus doesn't appear to have a conservative bone in his body).  If the common average people don't respond positively to your message, then whatever is being promoted is most likely at odds with the real First Century Jesus, who could hold the "crowd" in rapt attention for days on end.

DEMONS AND ANGELS:  The word translated as “demons” in most English bibles refers to invisible (to us) evil beings that are in opposition to God.  The word translated as “angels” refers to messengers of the true God; invisible beings who are greater than humans and who are on the side of what is good and best for humanity.  According to the entire Bible, there are both good forces and evil forces in conflict here on earth and perhaps throughout the larger universal reality.

Modern intellectuals sometimes carelessly compare this to belief in witchcraft, ghosts and astrology, when in fact prejudice surrounding the words "demon" (an Old English term) and "angel" is largely due to being lost in translation.  Consider for example, that today many educated people including even some atheists claim to be "spiritual".  And then, they turn around and ridicule Jesus and the authors of the Bible for believing in unseen spiritual beings.

Consider that human science today, according to many scientists themselves (in agreement with Paul), knows very little about almost everything compared to what there is yet to learn.   science can only theorize what may exist outside of our three-dimensional plus time ability to detect.  Many scientists and other highly educated people believe in unseen dimensions and suspect there is far more than meets the three-dimensional eye.  As well as today, many scientists believe there is much more to the human mind, conscious awareness, soul and spirit than just the brain itself.  What some scientists now refer to as "mind" in differentiating it from the brain, remains very poorly understood at best.

According to the Bible, God "creates each one" of us "with an individual heart"; according to modern science, there are no two minds that are the same and as such, humans have an individual mind.  Theory of mind in science includes conscious awareness, "soul", "feelings" and awareness of "self" within our own bodies; more than just the brain (see "Mind" in Encyclopedia Britannica for more information).  Also according to recent science, the heart dictates feelings to the brain and not the other way around.  Like the Bible says, we "are wonderfully and fearfully made" and things like mind, soul, feelings and sense of self remain a great mystery currently only poorly understood by us humans trapped in three dimensions plus time.

DISCIPLE: Greek "mathetai"; meaning "student", "follower".  It has no special religious connotation or significance, other than one might contend that to follow Jesus is both a significant and important choice.  The word in Greek can be used in reference to a follower of anybody, from Karl Marx and Charles Darwin, to Ayn Rand and Donald Trump to any Tom, Dick or Jane on Twitter (who would be most likely no worse of a choice to follow).  When the New Testament uses the word 'disciple", it is simply referring to the followers of Jesus and thus, the word should be correctly translated into English as “follower”.  Doing otherwise implies an orthodox religious context where none is likely intended.

DOCTRINE:  Greek "didaskalias"; simply means “teaching” or "instruction" in Greek.  The Greek translated as “doctrine” has no special religious connotation or significance.  For example, "sound doctrine" is correctly translated as "sound teaching" or "sound instruction".  Again, the insistence of continuing to use "doctrine" in most modern bibles and sermons implies an orthodox religious context where none is likely intended (see also Epistle below).

EPISTLE:  Simply means "letter" or formal letter in Koine Greek.  While today one can look up the word "epistle" in a modern dictionary and find that it refers to a formal letter of special importance, in the First Century world of Paul and other authors of the New Testament, the Greek "epistole" apparently referred to any and every kind of letter.  Some of Paul's letters were intended to be read to one or more groups of people, some of them like First and Second Timothy, Titus and Philemon, are personal letters written to a specific individual.  It is the very counter-productive and misleading habit of modern translators to leave certain words in modern bibles in or close to their original Greek (and sometimes Latin) form, rather than translating them correctly into English and other languages.

Thus, words like "epistle", "disciple", "gospel", "doctrine" and far too many others give modern Bibles an orthodox religious 'tone' where none is likely intended.  The message of Jesus in every way is a highly secular message intended for sinners and common average people, as well as for the rest of humanity.  There is nothing in the New Testament that is remotely similar to modern Catholic and Protestant theology-laden Christian religions.  One should never confuse simple basic English words like "teaching" and "instruction, with the religious sounding "doctrine", as if it means something different than simply teaching or instruction.

Paul always refers to God's "law" in the singular and, never as "laws" in the plural.  If we break any part of God's law, we have broken God's law.  Unlike what is frequently heard in pulpits, there are no such thing as "doctrines" of the church.  Rather, "doctrine" is singular; "sound doctrine", as found in II Timothy 4:3 and elsewhere in the New Testament, simply means proper teaching or instruction.  Likewise, disciple simply means follower, gospel means good news and church ALWAYS refers to people; the word "church" as found in the New Testament, does not ever refer to a religion, a religious building or a religious brand or organization.

EYE OF THE NEEDLE:  The discipline of "philology" is applied by historians when attempting to understand the true intentions behind words spoken in a particular historical time-frame and context, rather than wrongly assuming that word definitions found in a modern dictionary necessarily apply.  For example, it being difficult for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle as taught by Jesus, appears to have been a familiar scenario to the people of his time.

Many if not most scholars agree this is apparently a reference to when travelers arrived at the gates of a large city like Jerusalem, they had to unload baggage off of their camels so the camel could squeeze through a small opening in the wall,  This small opening was commonly known as the "eye of the needle", purposefully constructed for security reasons Mark 10:25).

GOSPEL:  Greek "euangelion" means "good news" or "glad tidings".  It should never be translated in any other way other than this in modern English bibles. Paul is correctly translated as saying “my good news”, not “my gospel”, as is also Jesus himself correctly translated in Luke as “to proclaim good news to the poor” Luke 4:18.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "the word gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon term god-spell, meaning "good story."  The Greek means "good news", not good story.  Jesus is good news for sinners and common people and the sick, poor, slaves, immigrants and the otherwise oppressed.  Average people can easily relate to "good news", while most probably have no idea of the meaning of "gospel".

This is important because "good news" demonstrates the sinners and average people secular focus of the New Testament message, rather than being about establishing a new religion.  It may be true that "good news" sometimes refers to the larger message and other times maybe not, but why not translate it into English properly as "good news"?

The word "gospel" sounds religious while "good news" is secular and easily relateable by anyone.  Words that are poorly translated like gospel, disciple and the rest listed here, are a good example of how charlatans and frauds have turned the very secular Jesus into a twisted religion called Christianity.

Why do translators feel such a need to leave certain orthodox sounding words untranslated in Greek, rather than correctly rendering them into common English so the average reader can more easily grasp the intent?  Why do religious leaders continue to feel a need to mislead and otherwise confuse regular average people who Jesus claims to dearly love?  Jesus deliberately chooses to eat, drink and associate with sinners and the common people and, some of the worst thought of people of his time, such as tax collectors and Samaritans, the "illegals" of his society.

JEWS ("THE JEWS"):  In John, we find this concerning Jesus: "Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, “Where is he? And there was much complaining among the people concerning him. Some said, "he is good"; others said, "No, on the contrary, he deceives the people." However, no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews" John 7:11-13.

"The Jews", in this case, refers to the temple rulers and, not to the general Jewish population.  We know this because it says above, "no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews." "No one", in this case, refers to the rest of the people gathered for the feast, who were virtually all if not all Jewish.  Thus, when we see this phrase "the Jews" in the story of Jesus, it does not refer to all Jews or the Jewish nation but rather, it refers to the temple rulers, who were Jewish.

For hundreds of years, the Catholic and later Protestant church of Europe terrorized, tortured and murdered large numbers of the minority Jewish population, because "the Jews" were said to have killed Jesus.  This in spite of the fact that Mary the mother of Jesus, Andrew, James, John, Peter the supposed first pope and, thousands of initial followers, were virtually all Jewish.  The truth is that the religious rulers stirred up the crowd to be against Jesus when he was crucified, though many did not assent to his crucifixion, apparently including a few Jewish rulers.

So, if we are to blame someone for killing Jesus, it was the religious leaders, who Jesus called "hypocrites", "snakes" and "blind leaders of the blind", among other choice words.  So, in spite of the fact that Jesus himself was mostly Jewish and, in spite of the fact that nearly all of the early followers of Jesus were Jews, nevertheless the Catholic and Protestant leaders of Europe treated the minority Jewish populations with significant hostility, including laws banning them from most occupations; as well as they terrorized, tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of them, based on a lie of complete and utter hypocrisy.

When we see Christian leaders today, who openly condemning sinners and especially LGBTQ sinners who Jesus came to save, like Ecclesiastes says, there truly is nothing new under the sun.  Of such hypocrites, Paul says the following: "Therefore you are inexcusable, O one, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things" Romans 2:1.

JUDGE:  Jesus says, "Judge not, that you be not judged" Matthew 7:1.  We also find this in Romans, where Paul writes, "Therefore you are inexcusable, O one, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things" Romans 2:1.

"Judge" in this sense, does not apply to a legal judge, nor does it mean that we shouldn't try to discern what is good for us from what is not in our best interest, nor does it mean that we can't strongly disagree with someone else concerning their religious, political, social or other views.

What "judge" does mean in this sense, is that we should not condemn another human being for any reason, either for their religious, political, social or other views, nor for their nationality, ethnicity, perceived sexual orientation, skin coloration, social or economic status, perceived lack of intelligence, perceived lack of social grace, stature, perceived lack of strength, beauty, coordination or, for any other reason.

According to Paul in Romans, modern Christians who in any way condemn someone else as being less sexually moral as they vainly imagine themselves as being, are openly announcing to the world that they in fact, are the same Romans 2:1.  According to Paul, it is not true that heterosexuals are any better than homosexuals, bisexuals, asexuals, transgender people or anyone else. Rather, it is true that all human beings possess a sexuality askew from what is right and correct before our father in heaven; for we all have sinned and fall "short" of moral, sexual and other perfection.

Let no man, woman or child deceive you concerning this, for we all like sheep have gone astray of what is morally and otherwise, correct in the eyes of God.  If you do not agree that people are like sheep gone astray, check out this short video:  Are People Really Sheep?.  God's law is singular throughout the New Testament and is not correctly viewed as "laws" in the plural.  If we have broken any tiny part of God's law, we have broken God's law Romans 3:10-19.

LILIES OF THE FIELD:  Jesus says, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.  And yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" Matthew 6:28-29.  This is perhaps the greatest environmental awareness statement in human history, given when environmental issues weren't even on the public radar.

It serves to demonstrate how intricately in tune Jesus was with God's creation. And, it becomes even more significant when one realizes that Jesus is probably not referring to a "lily" as commonly understood today but rather, to a common wild flower, grass or weed flower, perhaps comparable today to a wine cup, bluebonnet, lupine or dandelion.

LOGOS:  “In the beginning was logos, and logos was with God, and logos was God” John 1:1, inadequately translated as "Word" in most modern bibles.  While it is true that the "word of the Lord" or the word of God is an aspect (or part) of God, this by no means describes everything that God is and thus, "word" doesn't even begin to describe what the author of John most likely intended.  The author later in the same narrative quotes Jesus as saying "I am the way, the truth and the life. . .", which is perhaps a better description of what logos most likely means in the context used by the author of John.

To the ancient Greeks, "logos" referred to the divine reason, order, plan and purpose in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning; or, the "mind" and intention of God.  The Greek term “logos” represents God's understanding and universal and beyond view, which at best is only very partially understood by anyone living on earth.  Like Paul writes, for now we understand "in part" 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Translating the Greek “logos” as “the Word” is inadequate and misleading.  Based on its use in "John", the concept of logos, though lost in translation to most people today, may have been somewhat commonly in usage in the First Century world of Jesus and his followers, in particular among Greeks.  Logos is perhaps best commonly understood to mean roughly, that which is really true, as opposed to what human beings think, believe or otherwise assume to be true.

Rather than being an easily definable term, “logos” represents what is far beyond human understanding and ability to adequately either define or comprehend.  This is reflected in the letters of Paul, who teaches us that both God's love and God's peace are beyond all understanding.  Paul also says:  "And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know" I Corinthians 8:2.

As already mentioned, later in “John”, Jesus says to his followers:  "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the father except through me" John 14:6.  According to the Bible, there is only one God, with various aspects like grace, mercy, love and peace.  These cannot be separated, any more than we humans can separate our physical beings from our inward heart, mind, soul and conscious awareness.  Rather, like "the word of the Lord" as mentioned in the Old Testament several times, these are all different aspects of the same one true God; Jesus is love, Jesus is truth and, Jesus is the true God and, eternal life.

Even we humans can feel and emanate more than one thing, like compassion, hatred, sorrow and anger, yet these are all aspects of our singular beings.  And, unlike many are taught in great error, God's grace, mercy, love and peace cannot be separated from freedom, any more than water can be separated from what we need to survive.

If we don't want to be free, we cannot follow the true God, who is far more free than anyone on earth can even begin to imagine.  Like the New Testament says, Jesus came "to set at liberty those who are oppressed" and, "you will know the truth and, the truth will make you free".  Unlike Christianity and other religions, Jesus is about becoming more and more free, not less free; for where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and there is love.

Conservative preachers often grossly mislead their congregations by using this inadequate translation to equate the Bible with Jesus, saying things like Jesus is the “spoken" or "living" Word and the Bible is the "written Word", capitalizing “Word” each time and more or less equating the Bible with God.  It is a very great error to ever equate either any author of the Bible or our own understanding with Jesus.

There is God's understanding of love, justice, peace and freedom and then, there is our own far less reliable and partial human understanding of love, justice, peace and freedom, which is what the Greek concept of “logos” is all about. Logos is a word representing what for now we understand only “in part”.  Logos represents what is ultimately true, which we humans can only for now, see as if in a mirror, darkly.  Consider how much better off we would all be today if our modern preachers, scientists and educators freely admitted to the rest of us the truth, that they don't really know very much about what is really true.

And if this seems to be somewhat difficult and hard to grasp, don't feel bad, for we are all born into darkness and confusion and, God's free salvation is all about setting us free from the darkness and confusion of the society we are born into, whatever that society many be.  We can be comforted in these words from Paul, who unlike many modern Christians who prance around claiming to "know" God, Paul far more humbly says, "But if anyone loves God, this one is known by him" I Corinthians 8:3.

While through Jesus we can have a growing awareness of God's grace, mercy, love, peace and freedom in the reality of our daily lives and, a growing understanding of God in relation to ourselves and other human beings, it is not as if we understand God but rather, God knows and understands us.  God's love is very, very far better than the very best love we will ever experience from a parent, spouse, brother, sister or friend.

While making a religion out of God, Jesus and/or the Bible is a very bad idea, actually reading the Bible for ourselves is a very good idea, no matter who we are.  Reading the Bible helps us understand better what is really true.  More importantly, the Bible focuses on what matters to our own survival and benefit in the reality of our daily lives.  The Bible is not very much about God in the larger universal picture put rather, it focuses almost entirely on God in relation to people and, people in relation to each other.

It may seem important to a scientist to discover what may have occurred a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second after a theoretical big bang. But, consider how much more important it is to our own survival and well-being, for scientists to focus their time, efforts and research dollars on how to eradicate global pollution, contain contagious disease and prevent hunger and mass starvation.  Wisdom in part is about learning how to apply knowledge correctly to best help the global human community.  As Jesus says, "but wisdom is justified by all her children" Luke 7:35.

Jesus and the authors of the Bible help us cut trough what the King James version translates as "dung", commonly today known as "bullshit", to understand what really matters for our own peace, happiness, safety and well-being here on earth.  Like Jesus teaches us and the authors of the New Testament emphasize, the real solution to humanity's problems can be summed up in this, that we with his help (who is love), learn to treat other people like we want them to treat us. While what matters in life may seem confusing, difficult and hard to comprehend, what really matters is so simple and easy, even a small child can understand and, apply it accordingly.

MONEY:  Today there is some controversy over I Timothy 6:10, which in many modern Bibles is translated as "love of money".  The original Greek appears to primarily mean avarice, which is defined as "extreme greed for wealth or material gain."  Martin Luther translated it as "avarice", while William Tyndale chose to use "covetousness".  Only later did the KJV translate it as "love of money".  Apparently the Greek "philargyria" can refer to avarice, covetousness and the love of money, all three.

Human greed and love of wealth obviously involves much more than just physical money.  People historically for thousands of years are seen as greedy over land, cattle, spouses, servants, slaves, silver, gold, jewels, art and all manner of wealth.  Money on the other hand, represents a certain form and reckoning of wealth.  Unfortunately today, the love of wealth is at the heart of modern capitalism, which has caused much war and other violence and great and growing disparity of wealth between the rich and poor on a global level.

From Wikipedia: “Accounting records – in the monetary system sense of the term accounting – dating back more than 7,000 years have been found in Mesopotamia and, documents from ancient Mesopotamia show lists of expenditures and goods received and traded and the history of accounting evidences that money of account predates the use of coinage by several thousand years."  Forms of wealth during the time of Abraham included servants, slaves, wives, children, land, cattle, camels, goats, sheep, jewels, gold, silver and more.  Ancient peoples often traded cattle, camels, goats and sheep, as well as food and clothing rather than physical money.

It is historically quite clear, in spite of claims to the contrary, that human greed and the "love of wealth" are the root cause of war and other violence, slavery and human oppression in all of its insidious forms.  The Crusades for example, were not religious wars but rather, they were fought over land, gold, silver, jewels and more, the ultimate prize being Constantinople, the wealthiest trading port of the time; whoever controlled Constantinople in large part, controlled the wealth of much of the known world during the time of the Crusades.

PHYSICAL JESUS  Isaiah prophesies that Messiah would have "no form or comeliness.  And when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him" Isaiah 53:2.  Many if not most historians agree Jesus was probably dark, short, unkempt by modern standards and according to Isaiah was unattractive, having nothing exceptional in regards to his physical appearance.  Based on the two genealogies available, Jesus was mostly Jewish but of mixed ancestry, which should forever silence any foolish notion of racial superiority.  It is probably safe to assume that Jesus wasn't at all like he has been portrayed in most paintings, photographs and motion pictures.

While many of the poorly trained are critical of how the two New Testament genealogies appear to contradict each other, scholars who have dug a little deeper have discovered that there were at least three different methods for recording genealogy in the time of Jesus.  The method used in Matthew is different than the one used in Luke, which explains why some of the content is identical and some is not; Matthew and Luke are apparently aiming at two different cultural audiences, which may be the reason why they used different methods.  A highly detailed and historical analysis can be found here: Analysis of the Genealogy of Jesus

Jesus seems to have been born sometime between 6 B.C. and 4 A.D., perhaps 5 B.C., depending on which scholar one chooses to believe.  Most likely, he was not born in December.  The New Testament says he began teaching about the age of thirty and, because age estimations were not exact, Jesus probably died sometime between age 31 and 39.  His twelve main chosen followers were probably either around his age or younger.

Jesus later choose many more primary followers and it is unclear whether some of them were female.  What is clear is that Jesus had an inner circle of women who traveled with him and helped take care of his needs, which appears to have been contrary to what was considered socially acceptable in First Century Jewish society.  Apparently so-called 'proper' women of that society were expected to stay within the immediate vicinity of their own home unless accompanied by a male family member.

The Greek "mathetai", wrongly left as "disciples" in most English bibles, simply means students and/or followers and, it should be translated as "followers" to avoid confusion.  It is often unclear in the narrative how many people are being referred to when this term is used.  We know from the narrative that Jesus was the firstborn among at least four brothers and apparently three or more sisters: "Is not His mother called Mary?  And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?  And His sisters, are they not all with us?" Matthew 13:55-56.

Although that might be considered as a large family today, it may have been about average for working-class First Century Palestine.  Mary Magdalene, sometimes portrayed as a prostitute and/or lover of Jesus, was most likely not a prostitute and, neither a wife or sexual partner of Jesus.  Jesus' own words strongly imply he was celibate Matthew 19:12.

Jesus in various places is said to be hungry, thirsty, tired, angry and sad and thus, there is a very human side to Jesus found in the New Testament, rather than being some kind of unbelievable superman type of character.  Jesus repeatedly refers to himself as "son of man".  It appears that Jesus wanted his followers to identify with this very human side of himself, perhaps because we cannot otherwise relate to God very well in the larger universal sense, other than like Jesus teaches us, as "our father in heaven".

Unlike Catholicism insists, there is no indication in the New Testament that Mary the mother of Jesus was in any way, innately different than any other woman ever born on earth.  There have been several recorded virgin still births among human populations and, many live successful virgin births among various kinds of animals.  As such, any scientist, educator or anyone else who claims they know for a fact that our Creator and father in heaven could not have been behind a human virgin birth, is truly only deceiving themselves.  Mary may have been 12-15 years of age when giving birth to Jesus, an age of marriage common in her society.

It is possible there may have been successful human virgin births somewhere in the past other than Jesus, as the vast majority of human civilization history remains unknown.  In many societies, a virgin finding herself with child may well have been hidden by her family, with any knowledge of such an event suppressed and never recorded.

This can be seen in the Jesus narrative of Joseph wanting to put Mary away privately, presumably a common human reaction within societies frowning upon birth out of wedlock (true of a great many historical as well as many modern societies).  Experienced historians are aware that often what is thought to be 'myth' is discovered by later evidence to be true history; King David being one of many such supposed mythological examples, recently declared to have been a real historical person based now on what is now virtually irrefutable evidence.

PREACH:  The word “preach” in Greek means to proclaim.  The word “preach” as found in the New Testament should never be confused with what one commonly hears today from television evangelists and religious pulpits, much of which is the antithesis of the New Testament message of proclaiming good news for sinners and average people.  Anyone who feels the need to shout at their audience or otherwise try to force them to believe or, believe just because the Bible says so, is more than likely someone who has no idea where the real Jesus is coming from.

What average people and sinners utterly detest or are otherwise bored to tears regarding, is a sure sign that the message being "preached" isn't remotely in tune with the real Jesus, who held the attention of thousands of everyday people out in the elements for days at a time, without either an auditorium or any refreshment stands, means of voice amplification, lighting, music or other entertainment.  Anyone who wears any type of religious attire when preaching to the common masses doesn't really have a clue in regards to where the real Jesus is coming from, nor does any modern priest or preacher who feels the need to dress any differently than average people shopping at the mall.

RELIGION:  Jesus is presented throughout the New Testament as the friend of sinners and regular average people.  And he is also presented as the enemy of orthodox conservative religion, which he seems to have passionately hated. Later both Stephen and Paul in Acts insist that God "does not live in temples made with hands", which represents a complete rejection of both the Jewish religion, as well as all of the Greek, Roman and other religions of the New Testament era.  Such unmatched today bravery resulted in a whole lot of trouble for both Stephen and Paul.  It is more than fair to add both Islam and Christianity and any other religions with the bad habit of building expensive buildings, rather than using the same money to feed, clothe and house the poor.

In the New Testament, we find the most progressive of all teaching, for in Jesus we are all of equal status, standing, authority and importance.  This does not mean to imply that God is not of central importance to the message of Jesus but rather, what is commonly understood in the modern age as “religion” has nothing in common with Jesus.   According to James 1:27:  "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world system."

When not otherwise referring to the planet (as in "go into all the world") or to humanity ("for God so loved the people"), what is badly translated as "world" and should be translated "world system", often refers to the world system of evil, based on the love of wealth and personified as the Whore of Babylon. Unlike modern American Christians are taught, the must have toys and trinkets of modern capitalism, as well as modern capitalism itself, are part of the "world system" of evil that the Bible admonishes us to not be caught up in and enamored with. "Do not love the world. . ." is more accurately translated as "do not love the world system, neither the things that are in the world system" I John 2:15.  The New Testament authors use the same Greek "kosmos" to refer to the planet, the people on the planet and, the world system of evil.

Obviously, it matters significantly whether the author's intention is entire earth, as opposed to the people or, to the global system of evil and, to translate all of this as simply "world" in modern bibles is entirely misleading.  Throughout human history and long before any concept of capitalism existed, the "kings of the earth" are seen as bowing down to the world system of evil; placing their palaces, splendor, power and wealth ahead of the best interests of common average citizens.

And quite obviously, this reality abounds all over the earth today, where the rich and powerful live in splendor; like Jesus prophesied, the poor have long remained among us as a result.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, modern psychology is finally coming to terms with the fact that there is a very dark and twisted nature lurking deep within all human beings, which the Bible has claimed for thousands of years  Calling "sin" something else does not change the reality of the human condition one iota.

Unlike many modern people naively assume, there is no clear evidence that humanity is morally progressing forward or, that people in general are any more moral than the populations of ancient Sumer, Babylon and Egypt.  The immoral reality of modern humanity is clearly seen in the rapidly growing unprecedented disparity of wealth on open 21st Century global display, along with the ongoing design and production of ever-worse weapons of mass destruction, often by scientists who should know better.  It seems that no nation on earth is ever satisfied with enough weapons.

How many modern priests, television evangelists, religious book authors and/or preachers today use all of the money they collect, often from poor widows and other poor but sincere folks, to help widows and orphans?  And how many among them, like James, Peter, Paul, John and the rest of the early followers of Jesus, remain poor themselves?  Jesus went after people with a whip who tried to profit from God and, it is highly unlikely he views this modern very bad habit of Christianity with any less vitriol.

According to the Bible, God “does not live in temples made with hands” Acts 7:48, "heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain" God I Kings 8:27 and, in God “we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:28.  This is hardly a "little man in the sky” as many poorly schooled modern sycophants of atheism falsely claim.  In fact, it appears to agree with the modern theory of "multi-verse" (i.e., "heaven of heavens") and, it remains the only ancient concept of God continuing to match the known modern evidence.  Perhaps most of us don't really think through very carefully what the word “God” even begins to imply.

SAINT:  Almost always found in the plural as "saints" in the New Testament, the Greek word translated as "saint" in modern English Bibles, simply refers to believers in Jesus, such as "the saints" who lived at Lydda Acts 9:32.  It does NOT refer to someone who is necessarily celibate or someone who is any better than anyone else, nor does anyone need to be declared a saint by the pope or any other human being.  Only Jesus can turn a sinner into a saint.  We cannot save ourselves or other people and, the entire notion of "self-help" is utter foolishness.  The Bible does not teach that God helps those who help themselves, which is the so-called Protestant work ethic.  Rather, Jesus died to save those who cannot help themselves.

The word in Greek translated as "saint" is "hagiois", which means holy.  If we ask Jesus to forgive us for our sins, then our sins are covered and in God's eyes, we are now holy.  We are holy in God's eyes because Jesus died on the cross, not because of anything that we have done.  Ephesians 2:8-9 is correctly translated from Greek as follows:  "For by grace are you saved through faith and this not of yourselves; the gift of God, not out of works so that not anyone might boast" (both KJV, NKJV and several other translations fail to translate this accurately).

Only God, through forgiveness of sins in Jesus, can declare someone to be a saint.  Peter, who Catholics refer to as the first "pope", was not celibate, nor anything remotely like a pope.  Paul, a primary author of the New Testament, refers to himself as "less than the least of all saints" Ephesians 3:8, blowing the modern Catholic Church, with all of its insidious nonsense, clear out of the solar system and beyond.  What part of God "does not live in temples made with hands" do Christians fail to understand, as stated twice in Acts Here and Here?

SCYTHIAN:  There is considerable debate among scholars as to why Paul in his letter to the Colossians, singles out the Scythians.  Many later historians have concluded that the Scythians were a somewhat advanced nomadic group of people.  But, it appears that in the Greco-Roman world of the early followers of Jesus, that "Scythian" may have become a generalized term referencing many different northern nomadic cultures, similar to how the modern term "Indian" is often used to refer to often vastly different early American cultures.  Apparently such nomadic tribes were viewed in the Greco-Roman world as being uncivilized and savages, similar to how most unfortunately, many savage Europeans viewed the comparatively more peaceful and civilized Natives of Northern America.

This is more important than it may appear at first glance, because it is consistent with the rest of the story of Jesus and his early followers.  Jesus is repeatedly portrayed as being a champion, not only of common average people, but in particular of the sick, the poor and the otherwise marginalized people of human societies.  Such is underscored in the story of the "good Samaritan", the Samaritan woman at the well, the short tax collector Zacchaeus, the story of the rich man and poor Lazarus the beggar.  And again made clear in deed, by Jesus' consistent habit of attending to the lame, blind, lepers, beggars and otherwise least among us.

Later, the early followers of Jesus were focused specifically on helping widows, orphans, the sick, the poor and least among them, as Paul relates in Galatians 2:9-10:  ". . .James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.  They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do."

As James likewise teaches, we should show no partiality between the rich and the poor; ". . .but if you show partiality, you commit sin. . ." James Chapter 2. And, that true religion is to help widows and orphans and, to keep ourselves "unspotted" from the world system of evil James 1:27.

We should all take heed how this agrees with both the Old Testament Ezekiel and the New Testament Jesus.  "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy Ezekiel 16:49.

And Jesus: ". . .for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me" Matthew 25:35-36.

The manner in which 21st Century politicians and their assenting conservative Christian sycophants treat immigrants, the sick and poor in modern day America is truly a wicked and evil abomination if there ever was one.  Such obscene liars should be asking themselves, how would Jesus treat a so-called "illegal" immigrant, when in fact Samaritans in the First Century were treated as "foreigners" encroaching on Jewish Territory?  To justify themselves for voting for wicked politicians, many conservative Christian leaders teach it is wrong for governments to help the poor.  This contradicts both Jesus himself and many Old Testament prophets, including Moses.  For more information, please Link Here.

And why, while never mentioning the unborn, does Jesus repeatedly daily in both word and deed, admonish every human being on earth to go out of our way to help the already born immigrants, sick, poor and marginalized among us?  How is voting for the worst kind of leaders imaginable, who delight in taking healthcare, food and shelter away from the sick and poor, while ripping immigrant children from their weeping parent's arms and locking them in filthy disease-infested cages, honoring the life, words and deeds of Jesus?

SINNERS:  According to the narrative of Jesus found in John 2:1-7, the first miracle of Jesus was to turn water into very fine wine.  This pretty-much sums up how much different Jesus is than the religious leaders of human history.

According to Paul in Romans chapters 1-3, all of us "have sinned" and fall short of the glory of God.  And most certainly, Jesus understood that religious people, like the Pharisees and Sadducees of his time are sinners, just like the rest of us.  According to the New Testament, if we break one little part of God's law, we have broken God's law, in some ways similar to as if we chip an expensive hand-painted plate of China, we have ruined the entire plate.

God's law is singular "law" and not plural "laws".  According to Jesus, God's law and the prophets can be summed up as this: "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" Matthew 7:12.  If you don't believe you are a sinner, try doing what you think is good all the time and, see how well you do.

In spite of the fact we are all sinners, the story of Jesus singles out a certain type of people as "the sinners".  These were people who the religious hypocrites of his time thought they were better than, which is pretty much the same as today.  To compare, "the sinners" today generally like to drink, gamble, go to bars, fight over their favorite sports teams and otherwise, try sometimes too hard to have a good time.  The message of hope that the good news of Jesus brings, is that whatever our lot in this world, those who accept his forgiveness and his free salvation, will soon be having a very good time forever.

These were the type of people who Jesus chose to eat and drink with, as well as common average people, who may or may not be as "party-oriented".  If you're not sure what is meant by "the sinners", take a trip to downtown Nashville, Tennessee on any given weekend.  And if you can't afford to do that, you can find plenty of videos on YouTube.


BETWEEN OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS

In the Old Testament, God says to Moses:  "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." Exodus 3:14  In the New Testament, Jesus says:  "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM" John 8:58. This is the only concept of God tracing from ancient times, that here in the 21st Century continues to match the known historical, scientific and other evidence and, it remains the only known rational explanation for the existence of both ourselves and the rest of the grand design universal reality.

If one doesn't believe this is true, they can try for themselves to rationally explain their own existence apart from "Eternal Creator" and, see how far they get; philosophers and scientists have been trying unsuccessfully since the ancient Greeks and, neither modern evolutionary theory or "multi-verse" theory rationally satisfies origins any better then the Greeks could manage.  It is important to note the term "rationally"; anyone can invent a non-evidenced based irrational explanation for anything.  For more information as to why it is mathematically and otherwise far beyond irrationally absurd to pretend there is no God, feel free to wade through the information at this link.

Eternal Creator is the only explanation in all of human history that satisfies origins, rationally explaining both our own existence and that of the larger grand design universal reality.  Apart from "Eternal" Creator, there is no rational explanation for either our own existence or for the rest of the grand design cosmic reality; there is no science, no reason, no purpose and no hope for a wayward race called "human being".

According to the New Testament, when Jesus was born, God's messengers sang "...on earth peace, goodwill towards the people" Luke 2:14, ushering in a new age of grace, where through forgiveness found only in Jesus, we can live free from what Paul later refers to as “the curse of the law”.  In John's narrative, we likewise find a similar explanation for the difference between the Old and the New Testament era: "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Messiah" John 1:17.

And herein lies good news from Jesus, for if we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sins, from that moment forward we immediately pass from death unto life, where we can walk in freedom before our Creator, for we "are not under law, but under grace" Romans 6:14.  Another part of the good news from Jesus, is that if we have asked Jesus to forgive us for our sins, we have eternal life and our soul will never die, but we will go on living forever and ever John 3:16.  And even more good news, God's salvation is "the gift of God, not of works less anyone should boast" Ephesians 8:10.

Paul writes that Messiah “has redeemed us from the curse of the law” Galatians 3:13.  And in another letter Paul says that Jesus ". . .having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.  And he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross" Colossians 2:13-14.  "For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes" Romans 10:4.

According to Paul, God gave us his law as a tutor (or teacher) to teach to us that we are sinners with an innate disobedience problem Galatians 3:24.  If you don't believe you are a sinner and you are somehow exempt from our commonly shared innate disobedience problem, try doing what you think is good all of time and, see how well you do.  Like Paul writes elsewhere, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23.

Obviously changing the word "sin" to "seething mass within" (like the Encyclopedia Britannica), "dark core of human personality", (like some modern scientists), "anti-human rights", "negative societal behavior" or calling sin something else, doesn't change the fact that we have an innate disobedience problem, nor does it change the resulting greed, fear, hatred, avarice, violence, inequality of wealth, slavery, pain, other suffering, sorrow and death that sin causes, clearly displayed both in the historical record and in the 21st Century daily media news (just who's trying to kid Who?).

If we don't want Jesus to forgive us or save us from our sins, we remain subject to God's law, which is written on the hearts of humanity, like Jeremiah says and Thomas Jefferson echoes.  Apart from God's grace, we cannot escape God's law and, will be judged according to our evil deeds, accordingly.  Evidence that God has written his law on our hearts is abundantly seen in human behavior, ideas and ideals, such as "human and civil rights". These are based on our God given conscience.  Similar laws against murder, theft, adultery and false witness are found spread throughout the historical record; from tribal cultures to large modern civilizations, as well as similar so-called "golden rules".

Like Paul teaches us, while under God's grace we are free to "do all things", obviously not everything is in our best interest and, we should use our freedom wisely to care about each other, rather than to sow destruction upon ourselves and other people.  While we are free to jump off of a high building without any parachute, drink two cases of beer and eat twelve dozen donuts at the same party, perhaps most of us wouldn't necessarily wish to try.  What is okay and what is not good for us is a lengthy learning process from cradle to grave and, we attempt to escape this lifetime learning curve at our own peril.

Freedom is not only about what we can do, freedom is also about what we don't have to do, don't want to do and, freedom is about putting off what is too hard for now until later, when it becomes easier and we feel more like doing it.  We all limit our own freedom, often without thinking twice, which is sometimes to our benefit (such as refraining from jumping off of a high building) and, sometimes to our detriment, leaving us fearful, tense and uptight (like conservative religious folks often are).  Freedom is something sinners work on every day, whether or not they believe in Jesus and, whether or not they even realize it.

Freedom is also about changing our mind over time, something relatively easy for sinners to do and, often difficult for the conservative fundamentally religious. There is far more to freedom than meets the casual eye and like the Bible says, we must all "work out" our own salvation.  No one can do it for us, no matter who they are, what they claim or, how much money we throw away paying them:  For "God is no respecter of persons" Acts 10:34 (KJV) and, "by grace" we are saved Ephesians 2:8 (KJV).

And freedom is also about taking it easy, for "by grace" we are saved.  Many people are afraid to take it easy in life, for fear they will miss something, while the main thing they are likely to miss is freedom from a heart attack.  Don't forget you have been told, under God's grace we can take it easy.

Unlike in the Old Testament era, we are told by Jesus to put our swords away and instead, promote love, peace and goodwill to all people.  Jesus says:  "He who is not with me is against me and, he who does not gather with me scatters abroad." Matthew 12:30.  And according to Paul:  "...he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the spirit will of the spirit reap everlasting life" Galatians 6:8.

Modern Christians ignoring the specific instruction by Jesus to put our swords away, which is also referenced in Revelation Chapter 13, are without excuse and are a terrible example to well-meaning and rational people of all religious, political and other persuasion.  An atheist carrying an anti-war or peace sign is perhaps closer to what Jesus calls “the kingdom of heavens”, than a Christian openly endorsing the actions of a government engaged in a so-called "pre-emptive" slaughter of men, women and children.  It says volumes that not a single follower of Jesus in the New Testament is ever mentioned resorting to violence as a means to an end, after Jesus tells us to put our swords away; "for all who take the sword will perish by the sword" is directed at all people Matthew 26:52.

We find this in I John 5:20:  "And we know that the son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his son Jesus Messiah.  This is the true God and eternal life."  And in Revelation: "And the spirit and the bride say, "come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come.  Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely" Revelation 22:17.

Jesus says, "these things I command you, that you love one another."  And as Paul later writes in his letter to the Romans:  "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.  For the commandments, 'you shall not commit adultery', 'you shall not murder', 'you shall not steal', 'you shall not bear false witness', 'you shall not covet' and, if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself'".  Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" Romans 13:8-10.


OLD TESTAMENT

ADAM AND EVE:  Modern science has discovered that due to what is called “species-crossbreeding” and “weaker strains” along the genetic trail being weeded out, all Europeans living on earth today share a very recent common ancestor no more than 1,000 years ago, while all people living on earth today share a recent ancestor no older than Noah in the Bible and quite possibly, considerably younger.  This means that the genealogy of Jesus in the New Testament tracing back to Adam is scientifically accurate as far as modern science knows; it can neither be proven or disproven by modern science.

The short video at the first link that follows provides a mathematical explanation of why our most recent common ancestor may have lived long after Adam and Eve, rather than many thousands of years before, as was assumed by most scientists and intellectuals prior to the 21st Century.  It also contains other interesting information such as, a single human cell is so complex it contains more atoms than all of the estimated stars in the known universe.

Rather than in the comparatively simplistic time of Darwin, today we find ourselves within a universal reality of ever-changing overwhelming complexity. It seems almost as if science knows far less today than it did back in the black and white, transistor radio, Flintstones cartoon, pre-moon landing American innocence of Buddy Holly and Elvis.
Our Earliest Common Ancestor May Have Lived Only 2-4,000 Years Ago
Recent Common Ancestry for Europeans About 1000 Years
Most Recent Ancestor of Modern Humans Surprisingly Recent
Recent Common Ancestry for Modern Humans Estimates

These three links would help anyone with a middle school or higher education easily understand that their science textbooks are obviously lying to them.
Why DNA Without Intelligence is Irrational
Cambrian Explosion: The Failure of Darwin's Theory
Random Chance Probability of a Single Protein Forming

These three links would help anyone with a 5th grade or higher education easily grasp why it is 100% scientific, logical, rational and reasonable to believe in God, while it is 100% wrong to pretend the universe somehow magically appeared, no matter how many scientific or other credentials one may, for some unknown "random" "totally by chance" and astronomically overwhelmingly irreducible inexplicable reason, somehow happen to possess.
The Great Math Mystery
Nature by Numbers (Fibonacci Sequence & The Golden Ratio)

This link provides several reasons why many actual practicing scientists believe natural selection is plainly inadequate to explain the overwhelmingly complexity of our father in heaven's creation.
Does Science Really Know what's True?

FIRMAMENT:  The word translated as "firmament" still found in many modern bibles literally means “expansion” in Hebrew Genesis 1:6.  Genesis agrees in many distinct ways with modern 21st Century cosmology and, it does not claim that God creates species one at a time.  Rather according to Genesis, the waters and later the land brought forth “life in abundance”, in agreement with mainstream modern science Genesis 1.

There is more than one explanation for the "days" of creation.  The Hebrew "yowm" translated as day, is translated variously in the Bible as referring to a day, an indefinite period of time, a year, age, season and evermore.  The book of Daniel as translated in KJV, uses the same phrase "evening and morning" to describe a period of time stretching more than 2,000 years, indicating that to the Hebrews, this was an acceptable way of describing a lengthy period of time.  For more information please link here.

Gerald Schroeder, a former MIT/Princeton mathematician, has an entirely different explanation for how the "days" of creation can be both literal 24-hour days and lengthy periods of time.  This is based on the belief among some scientists that both the speed of light and time itself are increasing along with the rest of the universal expansion.  Rather than go into detail, Mr. Schroeder's explanation can be viewed here at this YouTube video link: Six Days of Creation and Modern Scientific Dating.

ITALICIZED WORDS:  In some versions of the Bible, including KJV and NKJV, certain words are in italics.  Such words are not italicized for emphasis as in most English writings.  Rather, these are words added for clarity and are not in the original Hebrew or Greek.  This is sometimes necessary because neither Hebrew or Greek always translate clearly and smoothly into English.  But one should be suspect of these added words, because sometimes they are added because of certain religious bias, rather than what is necessary for clarity.  Most of us can't speak either Hebrew or Greek and, this website linked here can be helpful to compare the original language against the translation in English Interlinear Bible.

NOAH:  The Hebrew "kol eretz" (or "erets") is translated in KJV as referring to the whole earth in the story of Noah.  But in the story of Abraham, found later in the same book of Genesis, the KJV translation refers to the local region of Ur and not the whole earth.  And, the same Hebrew word is often used as referring to country, region or land, such as the "land" of Israel elsewhere in the Bible. Hebrew, like Greek and English, contains many words with multiple meanings and thus, it is sometimes merely a translator's opinion how a Hebrew or Greek word with multiple meanings should be translated.  If the story of Noah is about a great regional flood, it remains accurate as far as history and science knows Genesis 6.

Various stories found in the Old Testament like the story of Noah are often claimed by scholars to having been “borrowed” from Sumerian and Babylonian myths.  It is more likely however, that different and far more detailed and accurate accounts of the same historical events were passed along by Abraham and his descendants.  Abraham came from the City of Ur not far from Babylon and thus, it is historically logical and fair to conclude that Abraham and his family were familiar with these same actual historical events.  And not surprisingly, they may well have passed them along to their descendants, eventually finding their way into what is now known as the Old Testament Genesis 12.

The Old Testament contains many lists of “begats”, not only a clear sign of oral history, but of a meticulously and accurately preserved oral history.  Experienced historians are aware that oral history can be as good or even more reliable and accurate than written history, in particular when it is the only means available for preserving one's cultural heritage.

After the development of writing, the Old Testament is known to have been extremely meticulously preserved by highly trained scribes.  And, it is filled with both positive and negative attributes of it's various and sundry characters, detailing battle losses, blunders, moral failings and mistakes, as well as great and sometimes craftily and deceptively won victories, a clear sign of authentic rather then invented history.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Old Testament today is considered to be “generally reliable history”, unlike other surrounding cultures which are known to have exaggerated battle victories while minimizing and sometimes entirely omitting defeats.  This is a complete 360 degree turnaround from what the majority of historians and other intellectuals believed concerning the accuracy and authenticity of the Old Testament only a generation or two ago.

Just in the past century or so, evidence has been found for the existence of a literal garden of Eden, the great flood, the tower of babel, the story of Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, the existence of Joseph, David, Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, a city where Hebrews toiled as slaves in the story of Moses and much more.  It represents extreme dishonesty to deny the existence of Moses, which some unbending researchers continue to do, given the rest of the recently acquired historical evidence.  Why would Joseph and David be real but not someone as prominent as Moses who was born in-between the two?  For more historical and scientific information on history, science and the Bible, please please link here.

PROPHETS:  Many modern preachers severely misrepresent various prophets in the Old Testament.  In the United States today, Christians are taught to blindly support Israel, blindly support politicians who blindly support Israel and to blindly support the U.S. government in arming Israel to the teeth with all manner of nefarious weaponry (representing huge profits for the U.S. military industrial complex), no matter how rightly or wrongly Israel treats her neighbors.  Wicked leaders in modern Israel for many years have enslaved and otherwise horribly unjustly treated the Palestinian population in their midst.

The real prophets in the Old Testament were very brave people who by-and-in-large, stood up against grave wrong doings and injustices of their own people. The real prophets strongly opposed the actions of Israel whenever her leaders didn't act in accordance with what the prophets believed to be God's will.  It is overwhelmingly absurd to pretend that the real Isaiah and Jeremiah would defend the leadership of Israel today in regards to how they continue to gravely and unjustly severely mistreat the Palestinian people.

Here is what Isaiah has to say in regards to the eventual future for all nations on earth:  “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” Isaiah 2:4.  Consider how absurd it is to pretend that Isaiah would endorse arming Israel to the teeth against her neighbors, like modern conservative Christian preachers do, in spite of what Jesus himself says in agreement with Isaiah, that we should put our swords away.

When Jesus was born, God's messengers sang, “peace on earth, goodwill to the people”.  While we don't have peace on earth today, love, justice, peace and freedom are most definitely what all of us should be striving to achieve, rather than promoting, endorsing and moving in the opposite direction.  Modern Christians who say they don't care about climate catastrophe or looming global anarchy and World War Three, because they believe such will hasten the return of Jesus, have no idea who Jesus loves and no understanding or concept of what love even is.

According to the New Testament, it is the will of our father in heaven, who is love, that no man, woman or child living on earth should perish.  People suffer and die, not because it is God's will but rather, because of our own choices and actions.  Jesus clearly says, “these things I command you, that you love one another” John 15:17.  Christians who promote otherwise are directly contradicting Jesus himself.

We know by the collective words and deeds of Jesus and by the Old Testament command to love our neighbor as our self, that it is God's will that we should care in every way what happens to God's children who are already born and living among us.  How can anyone claim to care about the unborn, who doesn't give a damn what happens to them after they are born?  And, how can anyone care about the unborn who they have not seen, if they fail to care about the already born, who they have seen?

SLAVERY:  Because slavery is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments, it is treated separately Here.

SODOM AND GOMORRAH:  Unlike many modern preachers completely and entirely ignore, according to the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, God destroyed Sodom because she refused to help "the poor and needy" Ezekiel 16:49. According to Jesus in Matthew chapter 25, God will judge all nations by how they treat the sick and poor, immigrants and imprisoned Matthew 25 (this passage may refer to those unjustly imprisoned).

One can safely conclude, based on Ezekiel 16:49, Matthew 25 and the rest of the New Testament, that a true patriot is someone who strives to help immigrants, the sick and poor and the least and most vulnerable within their own nation, as well as elsewhere.  Compare many modern Christians, who spend enormous amounts of time, money and effort pretending to care about the unborn, while endorsing wicked racist leaders of hatred and division and extreme dishonesty and avarice, who do everything in their power to ensure that the lives of immigrants, the sick and poor and average people who Jesus claims to love, will remain lives of living hell.

TEN COMMANDMENTS:  Consider these three familiar commandments found in the King James Version of the Old Testament: 1) Thou shalt not kill. 2) Thou shalt not steal. 3) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.  Then consider that you shouldn't kill, you shouldn't steal and you shouldn't lie, is moral instruction that virtually every well-meaning parent in the modern age, including atheistic parents, teach their children in the same or similar form.

A lot of confusion about the Bible today is due to the insistence of many to use the King James Version, which contains often difficult to understand and unduly harsh sounding language, bound to alienate many modern people for no good reason at all.  And finally, consider that banning these or similar rules from public schools would quickly lead to a learning environment of disharmony, fear and chaos for our children.

It isn't possible to separate God's law from either American classrooms or from human society and, still have a society remaining.  Like Paul says and Thomas Jefferson echoes in the Declaration, human beings ". . .show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness. . ."

It is very important to understand that unlike Christianity very wrongly promotes and practices, the New Testament is not about believing in or following a religion or about observing the Old Testament law.  Rather, Jesus is about grace, mercy, love, peace and great freedom:  "Therefore, if the son makes you free, you shall be free, indeed" John 8:36.  Jesus came "to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives. . . to set at liberty those who are oppressed" Luke 4:18. And if we have asked Jesus to forgive us for our sins, we "are not under law, but under grace" Romans 6:14.

God's law, as likewise the dictates of our own conscience, can be summed up in this, that we should love our neighbor as our self.  Jesus says:  "Therefore, whatever you want people to do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets" Matthew 7:12.  Under God's grace, we should use our freedom wisely to care about both our own selves and our neighbor.  And as Jesus continues to speak today, ". . . you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. . . my way is easy and, my burden is light. . . this is my command, that you love one another."


The above is true and correct as far as I understand and am aware as of this edit.  One should run in the opposite direction from any scientist, educator, priest, preacher or anyone else who claims to know or otherwise acts as if they know everything that is true or even a small minority of what is true; for now we see "in part", as through a mirror darkly.  

As our brother Paul writes, "if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know".  If the term "easier" ever applies to God, it is perhaps easier for our father in heaven to work with sinners who have been around a few blocks, than to try to convince the fundamentally self-righteous that there might just be an easier and better way to live.  Perhaps this is one reason why Jesus seems to have preferred the company of sinners and average everyday people, who can say for sure?

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Last updated August 17th, 2020 by Richard Aberdeen.



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