30 October 2009

The Conservative Bible Project needs your help!

Poor Andy is having a rough time re-writing the Bible. Most of the really cool changes have been undone, and hardly anyone is contributing anymore.

And they are missing thousands of opportunities to fix stuff for God.

Take Genesis 19:8 for example. Here is how the Conservative Bible "translates" it.

Look, I have two virgin daughters, and I'll give them to you and you can do whatever you want to them if you just promise me you'll leave these men alone. They're my guests and I'm honor-bound to protect them. Genesis 19:8

And here is 2 Peter 2:4-8.

God ... delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;) 2 Peter 2:4-8

As you can see, the second passage hasn't been translated yet. And that's where you can help.

Liberals and atheists love these verses because they show God to be a total jerk. Lot offered his daughters to a crowd of angel rapers, yet he is "just" and "righteous" to God. Someone needs to fix that.

There are several ways this could be done. Genesis 19:8 could be changed to say something that a decent father might say. Something like this:

Look, I have two virgin angels and I'll give them to you and you can do whatever you want to them if you will leave my family alone. For I love my family and I'm honor-bound to protect them. (The angels can probably take care of themselves.) Genesis 19:8

Now that would be just and righteous!

Or you could just remove the "just" and "righteous" stuff about Lot in 2 Peter 2:7-8 like Andy did with "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" and "Whoever is without sin cast the first stone."

Either of these (or both) would be a pretty good fix, but I'm sure you can think of others. When something is this fucked up, anything is an improvement.

Of course we would still have to deal with the rest of the (so far untranslated) story in Genesis 19.

As you may know, Andy has removed wine from the Bible. So this is how the story will have to read in the Conservative Bible.

And Lot went to a cave with his two daughters. And his older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old and there is no other man around. Let's give him some grape juice and fuck him." So they did that. Lot fucked his older daughter on the first night, and the younger one on the next. Thus were both the daughters of Lot impregnated by their father. Genesis 19:30-36

So now Lot won't even have the excuse of being drunk! How just and righteous is that?

Of course this is just one of the thousands of problems that need fixing at the CBP. So get over there, sign up, and help them out!

One note of caution, though. The CBP is a lot like the Boy Scouts: not just any kid can join. You'll need to sound sufficiently conservative (and batshit crazy) to win Andy's blessing. So watch a bit of Fox News before you go so you'll know how to talk when you get there. And then go to work. Andy needs your help!

19 November 2009 note: Andy and friends have finished the rest of Genesis 19. Here's how they deal with Lot and his daughters.

So they decided that the "just and righteous" Lot (2 Peter 2:7-8) got drunk (with wine, not grape juice) and was "intimate" with his daughters.

Now, that's messed up. Someone ought to go fix it!

20 November 2009: Now they're stuck on Exodus 4:24: "And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him [Moses], and sought to kill him."

Here is the translator's plea for help: "I'm having a bit of trouble with Exodus, specifically, the end of chapter 4 - I've read a few different translations of this part and I'm still not quite sure I grasp what's going on."

Yeah, that's a tough one. Why would a conservative guy like God try to kill Moses?

29 October 2009

A city is massacred and 1000 burn to death because of God's evil spirit

After Gideon died, it was time for his sons to take over. And he had lots of them.
Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives. And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. Judges 8:30-31
Which was a problem since only one son could succeed him. Luckily, Abimelech came up with a creative solution. He killed all of his 70 brothers on one stone.
Abimelech ... went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone. Judges 9:4-5
Well, all except one, anyway. Jotham, Gideon's youngest son, got away.
So the two remaining sons, Abimelech and Jotham, schemed against each other for control of Israel, with Abimelech winning out, becoming Israel's first king.
Then God decided to get involved by sending an evil spirit.
God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren. Judges 9:23-24
(Now you might think it strange that an evil spirit would be sent by God. But if so, you haven't been reading your Bible enough. The Bible is clear about evil spirits: they are either sent directly by God or their origin is unknown. The Bible never attributes evil spirits to Satan.)
Things get complicated after God's evil spirit arrives. But the short story is that Shechem revolts against Abimelech and Abimelech massacres everyone in Shechem, except for 1000 that escape to a tower.(See the Brick Testament story for the details.)

When Abimelech found about about the people in the tower, he set it on fire. While the tower was burning, a woman dropped a millstone and it landed on Abimelech's head, crushing his skull. Abimelech saw that it was a woman, so he told a soldier to kill him since he didn't want it said that he was killed by a woman. (In the Bible, there's nothing worse that being killed by a woman.)
So with the help of God's evil spirit, everything worked out according to God's plan.
Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham. Judges 9:56-57

Note: I missed this one up to now, so I'm going to have to revise the list. I estimated a total of 2001: 1000 in the burning tower, 1000 in the Shechem massacre, and Abimelech (who wasn't killed by a woman). I know the 2001 value is silly and arbitrary in its precision, but any attempt to put a number on God's killings will run into the same problem.

God's next killing: The Ammonite massacre

27 October 2009

Collision: Are Douglas Wilson's beliefs good for the world?

A couple years ago I mentioned the online debate between Douglas Wilson and Christopher Hitchens. Since then, they've been traveling around debating each other all across the country. And now now they're making a movie about it.

The movie is named Collision and it's set for release today, October 27.

In the online debate, Wilson evaded the topic (which was supposed to be "Is Christianity good for the world?") while forcing Hitchens to explain how an atheist determines what is good. So Hitchens was kept off balance trying to defend his own ethical system, rather than reveal the harm caused by the Bible and Christian belief. I expect Wilson to do the same in the movie version, which is why I am reposting his views here. It's only necessary to list Douglas Wilson's beliefs; once that is done, anyone with any morals will immediately conclude that such views are not good for the world.

Note: Since his views about slavery were made public several years ago in his (and my) hometown of Moscow, Idaho, Wilson has been quiet about his beliefs. I am not aware of any recent statements from him regarding the beliefs that are outlined below. All of the quoted articles are no longer available at the Credenda website. I was, however, able to restore the broken links through the marvel of the wayback machine.

Here is a list of the views of Douglas Wilson and his followers. (As found, but since removed, from the the Credenda Agenda website):

On Slavery

Wilson co-authored a pamphlet on slavery with the title, Southern Slavery as it was. (You can read it here.) Its purpose was to defend slavery as it existed in the pre-Civil War South and to defend the Biblical institution of slavery. When news of the booklet hit Moscow, Idaho in 2003, all hell broke loose. Wilson has since tried to hide his views on slavery through equivocation and denial.

Wilson brags in the article below that he has "said (out loud) that a godly man could have been a slave owner." He doesn't say that out loud anymore.

[N]othing is clearer – the New Testament opposes anything like the abolitionism of our country prior to the War Between the States. The New Testament contains many instructions for Christian slave owners, and requires a respectful submissive demeanor for Christian slaves. See, for example, Eph. 6:5-9, Col. 3:22-4:1, and 1 Tim. 6:1-5.
. . .
The reason why many Christians will be tempted to dismiss the arguments presented here is that we have said (out loud) that a godly man could have been a slave owner. But this 'inflammatory' position is the very point upon which the Bible speaks most directly, again and again. In other words, more people will struggle with what we are saying at the point where the Bible speaks most clearly. There is no exegetical vagueness here. Not only is the Bible not politically correct, it was not politically correct one hundred thirty years ago.
. . .
This entire issue of slavery is a wonderful issue upon which to practice. Our humanistic and democratic culture regards slavery in itself as a monstrous evil, and acts as though this were self-evidently true. The Bible permits Christians to own slaves, provided they are treated well. You are a Christian. Whom do you believe? (1)
On the Law, Homosexuality, and the Sin of Pity

The entire legal system would depend on one book: the Bible.

Let's pretend, just for a moment, that we could have it our way. The great revival we have been praying for has occurred, and every executive, legislator, and bureaucrat in the capital has just been saved. Knowing they ought to begin applying Scripture in their jobs, but not knowing how to go about it, they come to you and your church for advice. What will you tell them? How should they apply God's law?

Looking at the Bible with an eye toward applying it in the civil realm, several things become apparent. First, it is pretty small. … [O]n the average, a little over 1,000 pages. Think of the money governments will save on printing and shelf space!

If biblical law is to be biblically applied, then the biblical punishment must be used.
. . .

Of course, there would be laws enforced against certain crimes which are currently ignored, such as homosexuality. (2)

The list of crimes punishable by death would be a long one, and would include witchcraft, adultery, homosexuality, and cursing one's parents. Most people today would consider this cruel, but that's because they are guilty of the sin of pity. We should kill our family and friends, without pity, by stoning them to death if they believe in the wrong God. And we should cut off a woman's hand if she touches a man's private parts while defending her husband in a fight. And our eye must not pity her.

The civil magistrate is the minister of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer (Rom. 13:4). God has not left his civil minister without guidance on how to exercise his office. The Scriptures set forth clear standards of judgment for many offenses. Capital crimes, for example, include premeditated killing (murder), kidnapping, sorcery, bestiality, adultery, homosexuality, and cursing one's parents (Ex. 21:14; 21:16; 22:18; 22:19; Lev. 20:10; 20:13; Ex. 21:17).

In contemporary American jurisprudence, none of these offenses is punishable by death, with the occasional exception of murder. The magistrates have dispensed with God's standards of justice. Some Christians believe this is an improvement. They would be horrified to think that the "harsh" penalties of the law should still be applied. Sometimes this is the result of the mistaken belief that the Old Testament has no further application after the advent of Christ. This is an exegetical problem. Too often, it is the result of a sinful view of the criminal. This sin is called pity. … Why is pity a sin?

First, pity is not always a sin. But neither is it always good. … God included in the law specific prohibitions against the exercise of pity in meting out punishment.

If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods,". . . you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; but you shall surely kill him . . . (Deut. 13:6-9).

If two men fight together, and the wife of one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of the one attacking him, and puts out the hand and seizes him by the genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall not pity her. (Deut. 25:11, 12).

God commands the judge to evaluate the crime rather than the criminal. If the crime is one for which God requires death, then death must be the punishment. Your eye shall not pity. … Thus, the Bible teaches that pity is not an option where God has decided the matter. The magistrate, God's minister, is to faithfully execute justice according to God's standard, not man's. (3)

On Crime and Punishment

The magistrate is God's minister of wrath against those who do evil. There would be only three punishments: death, lashing, and restitution. There would be no jails, prisons, or hospitals for the mentally ill.

Responsibility for the civil order is placed in the hands of magistrates, who act as God's ministers of wrath against those who do evil (Rom. 13:1-7).

God's law sets forth three basic punishments for crime: death, lashing (essentially, a government-sponsored spanking), and restitution. There is a conspicuous absence of county jails, state penitentiaries, reform schools, and hospitals for the criminally insane. The goal of the sentence is to execute God's wrath. . . . (4)

On Elected Officials

We are all currently ruled by God-hating tyrants. Only male Christians (belonging to Doug Wilson's church) should be allowed to hold public office.

If we have God-hating tyrants ruling over us (and we do), then we must recognize that they rule by our invitation.

First, our rulers are to be able men. ... The responsibility of civil, ecclesiastical and family leadership is given to men. … [I]t is an embarrassment and a reproach to the men to have women ruling a nation (Is. 3:12).

The men we choose are to fear God. The unregenerate do not fear God by definition (Rom. 3:18).

We are to choose men of truth. … A man who honestly believes erroneous doctrine may be sincere, but he is also deceived.

From this list of qualifications, it is apparent that, biblically, it is only professing Christians who are qualified to hold public office. (5)

On Disobedient Children

You can't just kill your son for being disobedient. You have to bring a son that is "worthy of death" before the elders of the church (Doug Wilson's church) and have them kill him for for you.

[A] father may (and must) discipline his son, but he may not exercise capital punishment against him on his own authority. Instead, he must bring a son worthy of death to the elders of the city, who are charged with applying the civil penalty (Prov. 13:24; Deut. 21:18-21). (6)
On Church and State

If the judge can't figure out what the proper biblical punishment should be for a crime, then the judge must take the case to the church (Doug Wilson's church). The church (Doug Wilson) will then decide what the Bible says the punishment must be and the judge "wields the sword." The ultimate authority for every matter is the church (you know who's church). Everyone must be a member of and submit to Doug Wilson's church.

God has established the magistrate for the purpose of executing His wrath, but He has not made the civil ruler the exclusive authority on the question of when wrath is appropriate. If a matter is too hard for the judges to determine with the knowledge at hand, then they are commanded to take the question to the church for clarification. The church decides, based on God's Word, what judgment should be carried out, and the judges are obliged to pronounce sentence accordingly.

The state wields the sword, and must wield it in submission to God's law. But if the law is not clear on a particular point, and the state has a question about what God's law requires, it is powerless to interpret Scripture on its own authority. Instead, the state must take the question to the church, which has been charged with protecting, interpreting, and teaching the law of God. The leaders of the church are instructed to make a judgment as to what the law requires, but the church does not thereby take up the sword. Rather, the judgment is passed back to the state, and the magistrates then wield the sword in a manner consistent with the judgment of the church.

[I]t is not enough that the civil government give Christianity a place at the table, even if it is the most honored place. … Nor is it sufficient that the magistrate render "personal submission to the spiritual government" of the church. While our rulers should be members of Christ’s covenant household … a Christian who is also an executive, legislator, or judge owes a duty of submission different than that of the ordinary layman.

On Non-Christians

All citizens would be required to to take oaths of allegiance to the Lord as a prerequisite of citizenship. "Reforming the State ... is about forcing people to outwardly conform to a Christian standard and about protecting the Christian religion." We should have the courage to punish heretics, apostates, blasphemers, swearers, sabbath-breakers properly. (They should all be killed.)

[T]he political leader is the head of the civil covenant. If that head acknowledges that his authority comes from God (as he should), is it enough that he honors God personally? … Or can he also require, for example, oaths of allegiance to the Lord as a prerequisite of citizenship? (Before you balk, keep in mind that we don't have any problem saying pledges of allegiance to mere flags or the nations for which they stand.)

Again, we have no problem making school children dutifully recite the pledge of allegiance, or requiring new citizens to swear oaths of loyalty to the U.S. government. Why can't they also be required to acknowledge the sovereignty of the one true God, and to "zealously renounce all heathen practices?" … Someone who is required to renounce Buddhism as a condition of citizenship is no longer trapped by a spiritual snare, and can't be a snare to anyone else. That is a blessing. Reforming the State is not about forcing people to be Christians. But it is about forcing people to outwardly conform to a Christian standard and about protecting the Christian religion. Historically, the civil magistrate has enforced laws against blasphemy, apostasy, heresy, swearing, and working on the Sabbath. The difficulty is not in defining or punishing these crimes; the difficulty is finding the strength and wisdom to do so.

On Environmentalists

All environmentalists are anti-Christian and all true Christians are anti-environment.

An environmentalist who seeks to "manage" the environment by letting it run wild is disobeying God's command to fill, subdue, and exercise dominion over the earth.

The consequences of environmentalist philosophy are disobedience to God in the short run…. Droughts and famines do not come upon a people who are obedient, but they are promised to those who disobey. An earth left to itself will only yield thorns, thistles, disease, and decay. If Christians are to be obedient to God's dominion mandate, they must oppose the rebellion inherent in environmentalist government policy. (11)

On Pluralism

There wouldn't be any. Everyone would be forced to belong to the One True Church (Doug Wilson's Church).

[T]he Christian magistrate acknowledges there is such a thing as a true church, and that he has a responsibility to nurture that church so that it thrives and to protect it against those things that threaten to do it harm. Obviously, this excludes the idea of pluralism. (12)

Sources: (All of the quotes are taken from the Credenda Agenda, which is the official publication of the church founded by Douglas Wilson.)

1. Douglas Wilson, Thema: So Why Are We Writing About This?, Volume 4, Issue 6

2. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: Know where to draw the line, Volume 3, Issue 11

3. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: Your Eye Shall Not Pity, Volume 3, Issue 9

4. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: On Crime and Punishment, Volume 4, Issue 7

5. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: On Elected Officials, Volume 5, Issue 3

6. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: On Disobedient Children, Volume 5, Issue 4

7. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: The Church as Advisor, Volume 5, Issue 4

8. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: Nursing Fathers Pt. 2, Volume 13, Issue 2

9. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: Leading in Righteousness, Volume 9, Issue 4

10. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: Nursing Fathers, Volume 12, Issue 3

11. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: On Environmentalists, Volume 3, Issue 5

12. Gregory Dickison, Magistralis: On Pluralism, Volume 13, Issue 2

25 October 2009

Gideon's story: The Lord set every man's sword against his fellow

Here's a story about Gideon. You know, they guy they named the Bible after.

It starts out in the usual way: The Israelites "do evil in the sight of the Lord," so God sells them into slavery. Then "the children of Israel cried unto the LORD" and God kills all the guys that he sold them to. (Midianites, this time around)

Here's the long version.

An angel of the Lord was sitting under an oak tree and he saw Gideon threshing some wheat. So he started up a conversation with him.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. Judges 6:12
And then God joined in.
And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? ... And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. Judges 6:14-16
(As always, the best way to picture this is to read the Brick Testament story.)

So Gideon has a three-way conversation with the angel and God, but he doesn't believe either of them. He demands a sign.

But first, he runs off to slaughter a goat. And then, guess what happened.
Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff ... and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Judges 6:19-21
Yep. The angel touched the bloody, dead goat and it burst into flames.

But it still didn't convince Gideon. He needed another sign to prove that God wasn't lying to him. So he put some wool on the ground and asked God to make it wet, while keeping the surrounding ground dry.
And Gideon said unto God ... Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. Judges 6:36-37
And God passed that test, no sweat.
And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. Judges 6:38
Now you might think that would be enough proof for Gideon. But no. He's still not sure he can trust God, so he asks God to reverse the trick, and make the ground wet and the wool dry.
And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. Judges 6:39
And God did that trick, too!

So God passed all of Gideon's tests and Gideon and God got down to business. But first, they had to select some accomplices.

I'm not sure how this happened, but it always happens this way. The Israelites were enslaved, but somehow they managed to keep a huge, well-equipped army. I guess they did this so they'd be ready when they cry out to God and he decides to kill those guys that he sold them to.

Well, this time is no different. The Israelite slaves had a big army, too big, in fact, for God's liking. He worried that if they killed all the Midianites with that big of an army, nobody would believe that it was God that was doing the killing. And God wants all the credit for his killings.
The LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Judges 7:2
So God tells Gideon to get rid of some of the men. Start with the chicken shits.
Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. Judges 7:3
That got rid of 22,000. But 10,000 were still there, which was still too many. But God had a plan.

God told Gideon to have the soldiers go down to the water to get a drink. Those that lap the water "as a dog lappeth" are the natural-born killers that he's looking for, while those that got down on their knees to use a cup or their hands are fucking wusses that should be sent home.
So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men ... And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you. Judges 7:5-7
You see, God knows that real men pee standing up and lap water like dogs.

Now the Bible tells us that there were gazillions of Midianites. They were like grasshoppers. Like the sands of the seashore. Like that.
(Which is strange since God killed every male Midianite during the time of Moses, and yet here, 200 years later, they flourish like grasshoppers "without number.")
And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. Judges 7:12
Was Gideon worried about attacking a gazillion Midiantes with 300 water lappers?

No. Because some guy had a dream about barley cakes and tents, and that guy told some other guy about the dream that he had, and then later Gideon heard about it.
And ... behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshiped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. Judges 7:13-15
But enough with the dreams. It's time to get down to killing. Gideon gives each dog-lapper a trumpet and a pitcher with a lamp in it, and tells them:
When I blow with a trumpet ... then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. Judges 7:18
And that's what they did.
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. Judges 7:20
Great idea, eh? But it didn't really do anything. It was God that did all the dirty work by forcing the gazillions of Amalekites to kill each other.
The LORD set every man's sword against his fellow. Judges 7:22
The story gets a bit confusing after that. Two princes are caught, decapitated, and their heads are brought to Gideon. The princes of Succoth question Gideon's leadership and he promises to come back and torture them later. (Which he did and then killed all the men in their city.) And Gideon tells his son to kill two kings, but ends up having to do it himself, since his son was a chicken-shit, cup-drinking, sit-down-pee-er.

But finally we are told that 120,000 were killed in the whole wet-fleece, water-lapping, trumpet-blowing, pitcher-smashing, the-Sword-of-the-Lord-and-of-Gideon episode.
There fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. Judges 8:10
Sorry that was so long. But at least now you know why the Gideons chose Gideon as their namesake.

They're fucking crazy.

God's next killing: A city is massacred and 1000 people burn to death because of God’s evil spirit

23 October 2009

Jael pounds a tent stake through a sleeping man's skull

In God's last killing, God “discomfited” the Canaanite army, causing them all to be killed. (It's not clear how God did this, but he probably forced them to kill each other. He likes doing stuff like that.)

But Sisera, the captain of the Canaanite army, somehow managed to escape. And that night he passed by Heber's tent (Heber was an ally of the Canaanites), which is where Jael enters the story.

Jael was Heber's wife and she came out to greet Sisera, inviting him to stay the night in their tent. She prepared a bed for him, gave him a glass of water, and tucked him in for the night.
Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. Judges 4.18-19
Then, after he was asleep, she drove a tent stake through his head.
Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.4.21
OK, so what, you say. Why blame this killing on God?

Because God blamed it on himself. Deborah, who was a prophetess, said the killing would take place, and that God would take an active part.
The LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. 4.9
After the killing Deborah even wrote a little song about Jael and her blessed hammer.
Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be,
blessed shall she be above women.

He asked water, and she gave him milk;
she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.

She put her hand to the nail,
and her right hand to the workmen's hammer;

and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head,
when she had pierced and stricken through his temples. 5.24-26
So there you have it. Jael is the most blessed of all women. I think there's even a well-known prayer about it. It goes like this:

Hail Jael, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women....

Or maybe I’m confusing it with another prayer.

God's next killing: Gideon's story

22 October 2009

Barak and God massacre the Canaanites

This is just another variation of the same stupid story. So if you've been following along, you can predict what's going to happen.

1. The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord.
The children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. Judges 4.1
 2. So God sells them into slavery.
The LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin … the captain of whose host was Sisera. 4.2 
3. The Israelites cry out to the Lord.
The children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron. 4.3 
4. God slaughtered the people that he sold the Israelites to.
The LORD discomfited Sisera [the captain of King Jabin’s army], and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword … and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left. 4.15-16
This story is more interesting that most, though, because one of the characters is named Barak. (Although Barack Obama's first name is not derived from this biblical character, believers sometimes like to pretend otherwise.)

Here are the details about Barak.

After Ehud dies, a woman becomes the leader of the Israelites. Her name is Deborah and she is called a prophetess and judge. She sat under a palm tree and everyone "came up to her for judgment."
Deborah, a prophetess … judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah … and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. Judges 4.4-5
One day she summoned Barak and told him to take 10,000 soldiers and fight Sisera.
She sent and called Barak … and said unto him … the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying … take with thee ten thousand men … to … Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. 4.6-7
Barak, who was a bit of a chicken shit, said:
Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. 4.8
Deborah said she'd go with him and they'd defeat Jabin's army (even though he had 900 iron chariots), and that God would deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.
She said, I will surely go with thee … for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak. 4.9
So Deborah and Barak go off to fight in God's holy war. Guess what happens.
The LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword ... and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left. 4.15-16
But Sisera somehow got away. Don't worry, though. God will take care of him in his next killing.
(Since the Bible doesn’t say how many were killed, I gave it the usual 1000.)

God's next killing: Jael pounds a tent stake through a sleeping man’s skull

20 October 2009

The Divine Guide is guiding the Conservative Bible Project

Here's a hot news item from Conservapedia.

Conservapedia was live on WNOX, "Knoxville's Big Talker," Tuesday morning at 7:05am ET for nearly an hour. The phone lines lit up during the show. One caller's statement: "People were guided by the Holy Spirit when they wrote the Bible." Answer: "People are guided by the Holy Spirit now too."

Yes, that's right, folks. The Holy Spirit is guiding Andy Schlafly and his friends as they remove the liberal bias from the Bible.

But I thought Andy renamed the Holy Spirit to Divine Guide! Which I guess would mean that the Divine Guide guided Andy to change its (his?) own name. (I wonder if Andy baptized him in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Divine Guide after renaming him.)

Still, Old What's-His-Name goes by two names at the Conservative Bible. In Mark his name is always "Divine Guide", but in John it's "Holy Spirit". I guess the Divine Guide hasn't quite made his mind up yet.

19 October 2009

Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad.

The entire story takes place in just one verse.
Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad. "And he also delivered Israel."
Shamgar … slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel. Judges 3.31
The inspired storyteller obviously viewed this mass killing to be a glorious, noble, and wonderful thing. To him it is every bit as cool as Ehud's message from God (43).

But I suspect that God not only approved of this killing, he assisted with it. How else could one man kill 600 Philistines with a pointy stick?

God's next killing: Barak and God massacre the Canaanites

The Conservative Bible: Putting fresh grape juice into old bottles

The Conservative Bible Project (CBP) is done with the Gospel of Mark. And I think they've done a fabulous job!

Take that pesky verse about wine and wineskins, for example. Here's how it reads in the CBP:

"And no man puts fresh grape juice into old bottles. The fresh juice will burst the bottles, spilling the juice and damaging the bottles. Fresh juice must be put into new bottles." Mark 2:22

Jesus was talking about grape juice here, not wine, as the note for this verse explains.

The Greek word οινος, translated "wine," actually meant "fruit of the vine" and was not fermented, as it commonly is today. Repeated references in the Book of Proverbs tell their readers specifically to avoid fermented grape juice. Furthermore, at least five methods of preservation were known to the ancients, methods that avoided fermentation, long before Louis Pasteur would invent his pressure-cooking method.

So drinking wine is wrong and Jesus sure as hell never drank any.

But if that's true, why does the CBP say that Jesus changed water into wine at the wedding at Cana? Shouldn't that be grape juice, instead?

Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the pots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, "Carry them out now to the host of this feast." And so they did. When the host of the wedding feast tasted the water, it had been made into wine, and he did not know where the wine had come from (though the servants knew), and so the host of the wedding feast called the groom, And said to him, "Usually, a man, at the beginning of a feast, sets out his good wine, and when all have drank their fill, then the poorer quality wine. But you have kept your good wine for last!" John 2:7-10

So I guess Jesus messed up here. Oh well, nobody's perfect.

18 October 2009

God delivers 10,000 lusty Moabites

After Ehud delivered God's message to Ehud (a knife blade in the belly), he blew a trumpet to summon all the Israelites.
Ehud … blew a trumpet … and the children of Israel went down with him. Judges 3.26-27
Then he told the people:
Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. 3.28
So they followed Ehud and God helped them kill 10,000 lusty Moabites.
And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man. 3.29
Kind of boring, I know. But sometimes God runs out of imaginative ways of killing people.

God's next killing: Shamgar kills 600 Philistines with an ox goad

17 October 2009

Ehud delivers a message from God

Remember how in his last killing, God was so angry at the Israelites for worshiping other gods that he sold them as slaves to King Cushy?

Yeah, well, pretty much the same thing happens here, except the names, places, and times change.
The children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel ... So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. Judges 3.12-14
But then the Israelites cried out to God again ("Yahweh!, Yahweh!").
But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD 3.15a
And he raised up another hero for them. This time it was a left-handed guy named Ehud. God sent him to deliver a present to Eglon.
The LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud … a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab. 3.15b
Ehud’s present to Eglon was a message from God: a knife blade in his belly pushed in so far that "the dirt (feces) came out."
Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man ... And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. ... And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out. 3.16-22
God has a funny way of communicating, doesn't he?

God's next killing: 10,000 lusty Moabites

16 October 2009

Stephen Colbert is in the Conservative Bible!

(Well, he was, anyway, for about 14 hours.)

Not much is happening anymore at the Conservative Bible Project besides vandalism, banning accounts, and reverting back to the original language of the KJV.

He's back. And this time he's got Jon Stewart with him!

Andy caught this one in only 12 minutes. Way to go, Andy!

Shoot! Now Harry Potter is in there.

And the Dude with the diapers.

Donald Duck.

Andy fixed these 3 in only 9 minutes!

The LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim

God was angry at the Israelites for ignoring him in favor of Baal and Asheroth ("the groves" in the KJV).
The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Judges 3.7
So he did what any good god would do and sold the Israelites into slavery. Chushanrishathaim was the happy buyer.
Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia. 3.8a
The Israelites were Chushanrishathaim's slaves for eight years. But then the Israelites cried out together in unison to the Lord and he "raised up" Othiniel, who was Caleb's nephew and the first "judge" of Israel.
The children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. 3.8b-9
And then "the spirit of the Lord came upon Othiniel ... and he went out to war."
The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war. 3.10a
Whom did Othiniel go to war with? Chushanrishathaim -- the guy that God sold the Israelites to.
The LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. 3.10b
The Bible doesn’t say how many of King Cushy’s soldiers were killed in this holy war. I’ll just guess the usual 1000.

God's next killing: Ehud delivers a message from God

15 October 2009

Biblical Baseball

Before getting back to God's killings, I thought I'd throw in something fun.
via The BEattitude

And Jesus said, "Beware of the Bread of the Intellectuals"

OK, I spoke too soon. The intellectuals have not been completely cast out of Andy's gospel.

It's true that the scribes and the intellectuals departed from the verses that I quoted last week. But intellectuals still haunt other verses. (I haven't seen any Liberals masquerading as Pharisees lately, though.)

Here is my favorite.

And Jesus warned them, "I caution you, beware of the bread of the intellectuals and the bread of Herod." Mark 8:15

And here are the others that I could find.

The intellectuals came to him and began to try to tempt him with their questions, demanding a sign from heaven. Mark 8:11
Returning to his disciples, he found an enormous crowd had gathered around them, with the intellectuals interrogating them. Mark 9:14
Jesus demanded of the intellectuals, "What are you asking the people about?" Mark 9:16
The intellectuals and corrupt priests heard this and conspired to destroy him, fearing him and the people who were amazed by his teaching. Mark 11:18
When they returned to Jerusalem, the intellectuals (chief priests, scribes, and elders) came to him as He was walking in the temple. Mark 11:27

The "Analysis" for Mark 11:27 asks: "use intellectuals here? or incumbents, or elites?"

So the intellectuals replied to Jesus, "We cannot answer." And Jesus responded, "Neither do I reveal to you my authority for my good deeds." Mark 11:33
The furious intellectuals wanted to grab him them, but feared the public; they knew this parable was directed at them. They gave up for now and walked out. Mark 12:12

And there's still a few elites pestering Jesus.

"But Elijah has already come, and the elite did to him whatever they wanted, as was prophesied." Mark 9:13

"Analysis" for this verse: "Clarifying "they" (Herod et. al)". (Herod et. al were elites.)

Now, back to God's killings!

16 October 2009:
The "bread of the intellectuals" in Mark 8:15 has been changed to the "yeast of of the Pharisees."

"Intellectuals" in Mark 8:11 has been changed back to "Pharisees".

18 October 2009:
"Intellectuals" no longer in Mark 8:11; 9:14, 16; 11:18, 27, 33.

But "furious intellectuals" are still hiding in Mark 12:12!

Liberals and Intellectuals cast out of Conservative Bible

Can the Divine Guide be far behind?

Last week I posted some verses from the Conservative Bible. The Pharisees had become Liberals and scribes, intellectuals.

Well, Here's how Mark's Andy's Gospel looks today.

Mark 2:8

King James Version
And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
Conservative Bible (7 October 2009)
Jesus perceived immediately what the intellectual types were thinking, and he asked them, "Why are you so hostile to this?
Conservative Bible (15 October 2009)
Jesus immediately perceived in His spirit what they were thinking, and he asked them, "Why are you so hostile to this?
Mark 2:16

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
Conservative Bible (7 October 2009)
Seeing him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, the Pharisees and intellectuals demanded of his disciples, "Why does he eat and drink with these tax collectors and sinners?"
Conservative Bible (15 October 2009)
Seeing him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, the Pharisees and scribes demanded of His students, "Why does he eat and drink with these tax collectors and sinners?"

(Oh, I like that! They've changed disciples to students. I guess Jesus was home schooling them.)

Mark 3:2

And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
Conservative Bible (7 October 2009)
The Liberals watched Jesus to see if they might catch and accuse him of healing on the Sabbath.
Conservative Bible (15 October 2009)
They were watching Jesus to see if they might catch and accuse him of healing on the Sabbath.
Mark 3:4

And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
Conservative Bible(7 October 2009)
Jesus asked the Liberals, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: doing good or evil? Saving a life, or killing one?" The Liberals did not answer.
Conservative Bible (15 October 2009)
Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: doing good or evil? Saving a life, or killing one?" And they didn't answer.
Mark 3:6

And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
Conservative Bible (7 October 2009)
Jerusalem intellectuals came also, smearing Jesus by saying "He has Beelzebub and casts out devils by the power of the devil!"
Conservative Bible (15 October 2009)
The Pharisees then fled from the scene to plot with the Herodians against Jesus, and plan how they might destroy him.

(Damn! I really liked having the intellectuals come smearing Jesus. Why did they remove that?)

Mark 3:22

And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
Conservative Bible(7 October 2009)
Jerusalem intellectuals came also, smearing Jesus by saying "He has Beelzebub and casts out devils by the power of the devil!"
Conservative Bible (15 October 2009)
Some scribes from Jerusalem came also, smearing Jesus by saying "He has Beelzebub and throws out demons by calling on the leader of demons!"

(Oh good, at least the scribes are still smearing Jesus, even if the intellectuals aren't.)

So now I'm worried.

How long will it be before the Divine Guide is cast out of the Conservative Bible? It would be such a shame to lose a verse like this:

Mary ... became pregnant with the child of the Divine Guide. Matthew 1:18

14 October 2009

Five massacres, a wedding, and some God-proof iron chariots

This is hodgepodge of killings from the rest of Judges 1.

After the Jerusalem Massacre, the "children of Judah" go on a God-assisted smiting spree, wiping out a bunch of kingdoms "with the edge of the sword."

You can read all about it in Judges 1.10-25, if you really want to.

It's hard to say how many cities were massacred. But there were at least five: three in Hebron, one in Zephath, and Bethel.
Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron … and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai. Judges 1.10
Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. 1.17
And they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them. … And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will shew thee mercy. And when he shewed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family. 1.22-25
And there would have been a lot more if it weren't for those damned iron chariots. Some things are just too hard, even for God.
The LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron. 1.19
These killings also contain an important message about Biblical Family Values. Look at the timeless example that Caleb gives to fathers everywhere.
And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. 1.12-13
Isn't that a sweet story? God's special hero gave his daughter to the man who could kill the most people. Now that's Biblical Family Values for you!

(Since five cities were massacred, I gave it the usual 1000 per city for a total of 5000.)

God's Next Killing: The LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim
Table of God's Killings

13 October 2009

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Divine Guide, Amen

Here's a fun news item from Conservapedia.

Panic sweeps liberals about our Conservative Bible Project. Another newspaper in the increasingly atheistic Canada runs a story about us.[15] Why are liberals who do not read the Bible themselves so opposed to this project?

Well, I can't speak for liberals that don't read the Bible, but I'm a liberal who reads the Bible (way too much) and I absolutely love the Conservative Bible Project (CBP). It's more effective in pouring ridicule and scorn on both conservatives and the Bible than any of my poor efforts at the SAB could ever be.

One of the things that I like most about the CBP is that you can see what the contributors are thinking. Here for example is the discussion on what the hell they should call the Holy Spirit.

First they deal with the Holy Ghost.

Doesn't the term "Holy Ghost" not convey the intended meaning? Since ghost conjures up images of haunted houses and stuff like that. If the idea here is to use terminology that accurately conveys the intended meaning to people of today, then "Spirit" is probably a better word. AddisonDM 22:57, 17 August 2009 (EDT)

But then Andy explains that changing from "Holy Ghost" to "Holy Spirit"

...had the false effect of immobilizing it in the minds of Christians....--Andy Schlafly 23:01, 17 August 2009 (EDT)

(Ghosts move around a lot better than spirits do.)

So the next word they try out is "Force". Here's what Andy says about it.

I've also wondered if there isn't a word better than "ghost" and "spirit". Perhaps something like "wind" but without the nature-worship connotation.-Andy Schlafly 18:01, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

Yeah, those nature-worshiping liberals would like "Holy Wind" too way much. And it might be confused with "Holy Fart".

But Andy knows lots of other words.

Or perhaps a word borrowed from an entirely different context, such as physics: "energy" or "force"? --Andy Schlafly 18:01, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

And he's rapidly converging on the correct, conservative name for the third person of the Trinity.

Coincidentally, I also thought of "force," though it seems almost too mathematical and physics-related. "Breath" is like wind, but sounds too animistic, while "presence" seems as passive as "spirit." I also wondered about "hand," though that muddles the separateness of the Holy Spirit... DouglasA 18:06, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

So "Holy Force" is too sciency, "Holy Breath" is too animistic, and "Holy Presence" is no better than spirit. "Holy Hand" sounds good, but since Jesus and his dad both have hands it could confuse people.

But Andy likes "Holy Force". Here's why.

It takes some getting used to, but I like "Holy Force." The term may appeal even more to teenagers. It may also gain traction with the physics-students-headed-for-atheism crowd. --Andy Schlafly 18:14, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

Yeah, it will sound so cool to "the physics-students-headed-for-atheism crowd"!

But what about the whole "Holy" thing? Couldn't we scrap that too?

P.S. We don't have to be tied down with the first word "Holy". Perhaps "Divine Force" is better still? --Andy Schlafly 18:16, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

And fuck "force". Let's go with "guide".

This is actually very interesting. I like the sound of "Divine Force" but perhaps that undermines the fact that the Holy Spirit is actually a seperate person of the Trinity. "Divine Force" sounds like a Jehovah's Witness or other non-trinitarian way of describing it. Almost something like "Divine Guide" works better, if you're going to completely change the rendering. AddisonDM 19:00, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

How easy wast that? I guess great minds really do think alike. The "Holy Ghost" was converted into a "Divine Guide" just like that. (It was a Holy Hand job.)

All that's left now is to congratulate each other.

Divine Guide" is very nice! I like it.

No translation has yet been based on the wiki approach, or the conservative approach. I think this project has great potential. Already I have learned enormously from this, as I'm sure other participants have.--Andy Schlafly 19:55, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

But Holy Shit! Now some of the guys are having second thoughts!

I think that "Divine Guide" may be too liberal sounding; to me it sound too much like a Navajo spirit or something. ... It's far too nebulous and frankly, new-age.... User:m9999 09:45, 06 October 2009 (EDT)

I'm with m9999. Divine Guide sounds pretty emasculating to me. Wmarshall 18:50, 6 October 2009 (EDT)

"Divine Guide" is liberal sounding and emasculating. Heck, from that name you can't even tell if the Holy Ghost has a penis or not. (He does, by the way. A really big one.)

But Andy likes it, so the Holy Ghost has a new name.

Here's how it sounds in the CBP version of Matthew 28:19.

"So go and make students from all ethnic groups, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Divine Guide,

No wonder liberals are so panicked about the CBP!

The Jerusalem Massacre

This is one of the Bible's shorter stories, so it's easy to miss. All the action is packed into one verse.
Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. Judges 1.8
This verse doesn't say that God had anything to do with the massacre, but the context makes it clear that he did. God chose the tribe of Judah to kill the Canaanites and "delivered them into their hand."
Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand ... And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand. 1:1-4
So God deserves the credit (or the blame) for the Jerusalem massacre, along with the other killings in Judges 1.

Since this was just an ordinary massacre, I gave 1000 for the number of victims.

12 October 2009

The LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites

After Joshua died, the Israelites wondered who was going to do their killing for them. So they asked God.

Can't you just picture it? Several million Israelites asking God together in unison:
Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them? Judges 1.1
Well, at least they asked the right guy.
The LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. 1.2
So God selected the tribe of Judah to kill the Canaanites and steal their land.

The first killing was easy, since God delivered them into their hand.
The LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men. 1.4
After the Bezek massacre, they captured the king and cut off his thumbs and big toes.
But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. 1.6
Which I guess was to pay him back for doing the same to seventy other kings.
Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me.  1.6
Then they brought him to Jerusalem, where he died.
And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died. 1.7

Estimated Number Killed: 10,000
God's next killing: The Jerusalem massacre
List of God's killings

09 October 2009

07 October 2009

The Anakim: Some more giant killing

We've finally made it to the last of God's killings in Joshua. And although this one is pretty unspectacular, it does involve some giant killing.

If you remember back in Deuteronomy, God killed everyone in the "land of the giants." Here he helps Joshua do it again.

The victims were the Anakim, who are described elsewhere in the Bible (Deuteronomy 1.28, 2.10, 2.21, and 9.2) as "a people great and tall" -- which is biblespeak for "giants".
Joshua ... cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel. Joshua 11.21-22
Since Joshua utterly destroyed all their cities and no Anakim were left alive, I estimated the number of victims to be 5000.

God's next killing: The Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites

The Gospel According to Mark Andy: The Liberal plot against Jesus

The Conservative Bible Project is off to a fine start. It is rapidly converging on the absurd.

Here's my favorite verse so far:

The Liberals then fled from the scene to plot with Herod's people against Jesus, and plan how they might destroy him. Mark 3:6

(Who knew that the Pharisees were liberals?)

Here are a few more fun verses from Mark's Andy's Gospel.

Mark 2:8

King James Version (KJV)
And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
Conservative Bible (CB)
Jesus perceived immediately what the intellectual types were thinking, and he asked them, "Why are you so hostile to this?
CBP Comment: the hostility was to the forgiveness

(Intellectual types hate forgiveness.)

Mark 2:16

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
Seeing him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, the Pharisees and intellectuals demanded of his disciples, "Why does he eat and drink with these tax collectors and sinners?"

Mark 3:2

And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
The Liberals watched Jesus to see if they might catch and accuse him of healing on the Sabbath.
CB comment: Tentatively using "Elite" rather than "Pharisees" or skeptical "teachers" for more modern accessability. See talk. - "Self proclaimed elite" = "liberals", fits modern terminology, see talk.

(It's hard to decide, isn't it? Were the bad guys Liberals, skeptics, or elites?)

Mark 3:4

And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
Jesus asked the Liberals, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: doing good or evil? Saving a life, or killing one?" The Liberals did not answer.

(The Liberals didn't answer because they're chicken shit and anti-life.)

Mark 3:22

And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
Jerusalem intellectuals came also, smearing Jesus by saying "He has Beelzebub and casts out devils by the power of the devil!"

(Don't you just love it when intellectuals come smearing Jesus? I do.)

I hope this project never dies!

What's your favorite verse from the Conservative Bible?

14 October 2009: The CBP has changed "Liberals" back to "Pharisees, but "scribes" are still "intellectual types".

15 October 2009: "Intellectuals" and "intellectual types" have reverted to "scribes". Can the "Divine Guide" be far behind?

05 October 2009

Conservapedia is fixing the Bible (to make it fair and balanced)

This is going to be fun to watch! Conservapedia is doing the Bible the way Fox does the news.

The Conservative Bible Project is completely re-doing the Bible to make it fair and balanced by removing its well-known liberal bias. It's about time someone did that.

Here's an example.

You've probably heard through the liberal media that Jesus said while he was dying on the cross: "Forgive them father, for they no not what they do." Well that is a liberal falsehood. (He actually said, "You're all going to fry forever in Hell for this.") The liberals that created the KJV just added that verse to make Jesus look like fucking hippie.

But they haven't Conservapediaed this verse yet. They've only done Philemon and Mark 1-7 so far. (I guess they started with the New Testament since there's more liberal shit (i.e., good stuff) in there. Heck, they may just leave the Old Testament alone. It's already fair and balanced.

Here are a few verses that they've corrected so far.

And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. Mark 4:10-12

Conservapedia Version:
Privately a few along with the twelve Apostles asked Jesus about the parable. He said to them, "You have been granted insight into the kingdom of God, but to others the parables contain the mysteries: that they may see but not perceive and hear but not understand; yet should they convert, then their sins shall be forgiven."

I guess sometimes Jesus is just too conservative for Conservapedia. In the KJV, Jesus explains why he speaks in parables: to confuse people so that they won't be converted (and will therefore go to Hell). Conservapedia gives it a new, liberal spin. Jesus talked in parables so that people wouldn't understand, but if they (somehow) convert (after being confused by the parables) their sins will be forgiven.

Here's another one where Jesus is going rogue and needs correction.

And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death. Mark 7:9-10

Conservapedia Version:
Isaiah also told them, 'You turn your backs on the commandment of God, in order to cling to your own customs.' For Moses said, 'Honor your father and mother; and whoever curses his father or mother should receive the death penalty';

Once again, Jesus is just too conservative for Conservapedia. Jesus wouldn't say that the Pharisees should execute children for cursing their parents. (Sarah Palin might, but Jesus wouldn't.) So they blame it on Isaiah instead.

So some passages are too liberal and some are too conservative. But some are just right. Take Mark 4:25, for example.

For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

Conservapedia Version:
"He who has will be given, while he doesn't will see that little which he has taken from him."

Now that's a fair and balanced verse!

This is one of those really bad ideas that will die quickly. So see it now because it won't last long. (I suspect that Andy Schlafly and his mom are busy trying to find the least embarrassing way to quietly kill it.)

How long do you think it will last?

04 October 2009

There was not any left to breathe.

In God’s last killing, everyone in seven cities was massacred, along with the kings, with the land taken by the Israelites. When King Jabin of Hazor heard about it, he sent a letter to all the surrounding kingdoms (those that hadn’t yet been slaughtered by the Israelites) to form a coalition to defend against the Israelites.
When Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph, And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west, And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh. Joshua 11.1-3
And it worked, too. All the kings (around 20 or so) joined the coalition, forming an army with more soldiers than the grains of sand on all the ocean’s beaches.
And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many. And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel. 11.4-5
But God told Joshua not to be afraid because tomorrow he would kill them all and deliver their dead bodies to Joshua.
The LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel. 11.6a
God told Joshua to hamstring ("hough" in the KJV) their horses and burn their chariots.
The LORD said unto Joshua ... thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire. 11.6b
And that’s what happened.
The LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them … until they left them none remaining. And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire. 11.8-9
The Israelites killed the King Jabin of Hazor and his people until “there was not any left to breathe.”
Joshua … took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms. And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire. 11.10-11
Then they did the same to all of the other kings and cities in King Jabin’s coalition.
All the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. 11.12
Joshua, of course, killed all the kings.
So Joshua took ... all their kings ... and smote them, and slew them. 11.16-17
But the most disgusting thing about this whole bloody, genocidal affair is that it was completely unnecessary. God purposefully hardened the kings’ hearts so that he would have an excuse to kill them, along with all the men, women, children, and babies in their kingdoms.
For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses. 11.20
Such a God, if he existed, should be hated by every decent person on earth.

(I estimated 20,000 for this killing, 1000 from each kingdom.)

Steven Weiberg doesn't like God

(No one does who is honest about it.)

I really don't like God. It's silly to say that I don't like God, because I don't believe believe in God. But in the same sense that I don't like Iago, or the Reverend Slope, or any of the other villains of literature. The God of traditional Judaism, Christianity and Islam seems to me a terrible character. He's a God who is obsessed with the degree to which people worship him and anxious to punish with the most awful torments those who don't worship him in the right way.

02 October 2009

The Bad-News Bears: A guest post from Brucker

Me with the *other* King of kings.I think a lot of people are surprised to hear that I like Steve Wells. I have a personal theory about the way people interact with each other, and it's very telling when you see the way people interact in particular on the Internet. You see, if somebody outspoken disagrees with you, it's easier to dismiss them as a jerk if you don't really know them. The Internet gives us access to millions upon millions of potential jerks, but it gets more difficult to turn someone into a jerk if you've taken the time to know them a little better.

Now, Steve and I are hardly bosom buddies, but we've e-mailed each other and commented on each other's sites enough that I'd like to think we have a certain mutual respect for each other as people, without agreeing much in the slightest on theology. One thing that I do know about Steve is that one of his favorite Bible verses is 2Kings 2:23-24.

"And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them." (King James Version)

Only you can prevent the wrath of Almighty God!That may not be exactly a secret though, as he's blogged on it several times, the October 1st entry being a recycling of a post from 2007 as he implied. However, two days before I started my blog, on July 26, 2005, Steve wrote me an e-mail ending with: "I’d like to know a bit more about you and get a better idea of how you would respond [to the SAB]. How about sending me an example? I’d prefer something challenging, like say 2 Kings 2:23-24." So I could tell right away that Steve was a smart guy who knew how to cut to the heart of the matter, and I must admit, while I still have this e-mail, I thus also have record that I had no response.

"Are there any Bible believers that are not bothered by this story?" Steve asks. I can't answer for all Bible-believers, but yeah, I for one am bothered by it. There are issues in the Bible that don't have easy answers, and I agree heartily with Steve that it's easier to focus on why perceived contradictions are not contradictions than to deal with perceived cruelty. And when it comes to perceived cruelty, this passage takes the cake.

But that's the Old Testament...No, I'm kidding. There are a lot of easy cop-outs like that one could take. Actually, looking into this verse, I was amused to find that even one translation of the Bible incorporated some of the (potential) cop-outs into its wording.

"He went up from Jericho to Bethel. On the way, young [maturing and accountable] boys came out of the city and mocked him and said to him, Go up [in a whirlwind], you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!" (v.23, Amplified Bible)

For those not familiar with the Amplified, it tends to insert [in-line comments] to clarify terms, but frankly, I think they're stretching here.

But it's a good segue into the usual explanations. Some people have argued that the "little children" were really young men or teenagers, but aside from the fact that the Hebrew (n'arim q'tannim) doesn't support this (although it allows such an interpretation, as the same noun is used of Joseph in Egypt when he may have been as old as 39), it honestly makes little difference to most people. Is it really less cruel to kill 42 "young men" than "little children"? All other things being equal, I don't think this helps much.

Although I hope it wouldn’t come to that!Yet there is one more thing to say about this. Even if one assumes that these were indeed young children, how intimidating would it be to be accosted by a crowd of (at least) 42 kids who were clearly hostile to you? Have you ever considered how many five-year-olds you could take in a fight? If that linked site is to be believed, I myself couldn't handle more than 23, and as far as I can determine, even the toughest fighter can't take more than about 40. It's not completely unreasonable to assume that Elisha felt threatened, or perhaps was genuinely threatened. After all, do you think 42 boys just stood there and let the bears attack them? If the bears caught 42, how many do you suppose there were in total? My guess would be at least 100. Whatever the age of this group accosting Elisha, they weren't just a few kids sitting around, but were some sort of semi-organized mob. Many have suggested that this was some sort of Israeli street gang, a suggestion I find very believable.

The second inserted note in the Amplified Bible points to something that is likely very important about the story, although the Hebrew definitely doesn't support it in such a direct fashion. In context, it is very likely that the issue was not mainly a matter of taunting over baldness, but that these kids were saying effectively that now that the prophet Elijah was gone (see earlier in the chapter), they wish Elisha would go away, too. If so, this is probably key to the story. These kids, knowing full well that the great prophet Elijah had been taken up into Heaven in a miraculous fashion, mocked not only Elisha by their statement, but the great prophet Elijah and the God that both of them served.

Sticks and stones...Being involved in amateur apologetics for so many years, I've noticed a few interesting things about the Bible, you might guess. There is something that I've noticed about a handful of the more shocking verses in the Bible that I just realized has application here. In Numbers 15:32-36, a man is stoned to death for gathering kindling on the sabbath. In Joshua 7, the whole nation gets punished and one man's entire family is put to death for taking a few items from the city of Jericho. In 2Samuel 6, a man is struck down by God for touching the Ark fo the Covenant. And to not leave the New Testament out, in Acts 5, a man and his wife are struck dead for telling a white lie (not for stealing, see v. 4). These verses have something in common with each other, and with the verse in question here. They all occurred near the beginning of a new phase in God's work with the nation of Israel. When God starts something, like the nation of Israel, the conquest of Canaan, formalized religious practice in a newly-established kingdom, or a worldwide Church, He has this tendency (like it or not) to deal decisively with problems right out of the gate in order to send the message, "I'm serious about this. Really serious." This was the beginning of Elisha's ministry, and God wanted to let people know that this was not a man to be taken lightly, as he would be speaking on behalf of God. (Yes, essentially, I'm saying that however cruel you may consider God to be, at least He's consistently so.)

So what does it all add up to? An unruly mob of kids with no respect for authority gang up on a known prophet of God, and get punished for it. (Some have pointed out that the passage doesn't say that the kids were killed, but getting mauled by a bear even a little bit is serious stuff.) It served a purpose in punishing these kids for their lack of respect, punishing their parents indirectly for not controlling their kids and teaching them to respect authority, and letting Israel as a whole know that God expected his prophet to be treated with due respect. Sure, maybe one can think of other ways to have dealt with them, but the fact that this is shocking and violent is, in many ways, the very point of the story. Like the image above appropriated from Cracked magazine, it's outrageous, but hopefully you get it.

There's a message that is pretty consistent throughout the Bible that non-believers don't tend to get: from a spiritual perspective, mocking God is potentially as serious as--no make that far more serious than getting mauled by a bear. Clearly, that's not an easy answer, but in a very real sense, that's the only answer that makes any sense of this passage. I can totally understand that a non-believer would find that hard to swallow, and I respect that. Does the fact that I happen to believe that make me just another fundie jerk from the Internet? I suppose just like the passage itself, that's for you to judge for yourself.