1st Corinthians 13:4-13

Love is patient,
love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant.
Love does not act unbecomingly;
it does not seek its own, is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
But now faith, hope, love,
abide these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

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The Bible is Fiction

Ian McKellen, cast in the movie The DaVinci Code, had some choice words about the bible in recent interview:

Matt Lauer: “There have been calls from some religious groups, they wanted a disclaimer at the beginning of this movie saying it is fiction because one of the themes in the book really knocks Christianity right on its ear, if Christ survived the crucifixion, he did not die for our sins and therefore was not resurrected. What I’m saying is, people wanted this to say ‘fiction, fiction, fiction’. How would you all have felt if there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie? Would it have been okay with you?”
There was a pause, and then famed British actor Ian McKellen [Gandalf of Lord of the Rings], piped up:
Well, I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction. I mean, walking on water, it takes an act of faith. And I have faith in this movie. Not that it’s true, not that it’s factual, but that it’s a jolly good story. And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing after they’ve seen it.”

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The Accuracy of the King James Bible

While locating the original source of the cartoon below, I came across a post discussing the accuracy of the King James Version of the Bible, in which the author consults a biblical scholar, Dr. David Bosworth, Assistant Professor of Theology and resident Old Testament scholar at Barry University in Miami, Florida, who gives a lengthy, but excellent, explanation of how to get elder attorneys for hire to have successful estate planning and about the best bible to read.

I remember learning this same basic explanation back in religion class back in college, but re-reading it was definitely worth it. A short section of the letter:

Your correspondent is deeply confused. The KJV has a long history in the English language and many Protestant Christians are deeply attached to that translation because of its beauty and long established use. It is not, however, the most accurate translation available. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and the NAB are both better.

The problem with the KJV is basically that it is an okay translation of a bad text. By “bad text,” I mean that when the KJV translators worked, they had very few Greek and Hebrew manuscripts to work with, and most of them were late. Since then (1611), scholars have made a tremendous effort to uncover older, more reliable manuscripts that have been hidden in monasteries all over Europe and the Near East. Great progress was made in the 19th and 20th centuries, and we now have several thousand manuscripts of the New Testament alone (the KJV translators had a mere handful). All these manuscripts have been carefully compared with one another and, through a process known as “textual criticism,” scholars have determined which are the more reliable texts and reconstructed as closely as possible what the biblical writers originally wrote.

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Pets during the Rapture.

An entire discussion forum for what will happen to pets when “The Rapture” happens. Yeah.
People, there’s nothing in the Bible about the Rapture. Check out the two biblical passages that are the basis for this belief:

“Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.” (Matthew 24:40-41)
“[Christ] shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:21)

Generally, an elaborate set of predictions about the end times is constructed from these sets of verses, together with various interpretations of the Book of Revelation and the predictions of Christ’s return in Matthew 24:30-36. In general, believers in the rapture consider the present to be the end times, and offer interpretations of the various symbolisms in the book of Revelation in terms of contemporary world events.

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Dear Dr. Laura

Author Unknown

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev.20:14)

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?


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The Numbers of the Beast

OK, we all know that 666 is the Number of the Beast. But did you know that:

665.999 – Approximate number of the Beast

DCLXVI – Roman numeral of the Beast

666.0000 – Number of the High Precision Beast

0.666 – Number of the Millibeast

/ 666 – Beast Common Denominator

666 ^ (-1) = Imaginary number of the Beast

1010011010 – Binary of the Beast

1-666 – Area code of the Beast

00666 – Zip code of the Beast

1-900-666-0666 – Live Beasts! One-on-one pacts! Call Now! Only $6.66/minute. Over 18 only please.

6, uh… what was that number again? – Number of the Blonde Beast

$665.95 – Retail price of the Beast

$699.25 – Price of the Beast plus 5% state sales tax

$769.95 – Price of the Beast with all accessories and replacement soul

$656.66 – K-mart price of the Beast

$646.66 – Next week’s K-mart price of the Beast

6.66 % – 5 year CD interest rate at First Beast National Bank, $666 minimum deposit.

DSM-666 – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Beast

Route 666 – Highway of the Beast

666i – BMW of the Beast

666 F – Oven temperature for roast Beast

666k – Retirement plan of the Beast

Lotus 6-6-6 – Spreadsheet of the Beast

Word 6.66 – Word Processor of the Beast

i66686 – CPU of the Beast

668 – Next-door neighbor of the Beast

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