As always, check here for more Screwballs who didn't earn Gold.


We start with one of the weirest spam emails ever:

I have made over the last several years a number of amazing discoveries that I do not fully understand completely myself. When showing others they do not seem to get it.

Interestingly while taking a carpentry course a several years back and struggling with the basic mathematics and architectural drawings, in my spare time I put together this website. http://pidigits.ca/index.html

Can you go over it? As I am very much looking forward to what you have to say about this. Judging by your writings you probably will understand my explanations.

Professor Dunning also called. He said:

Just wondering why you left the real endorsements, commands too, and acceptance of human sacrifices off your page "Does God endorse human sacrifice?" ? I mean, are you being dishonest? Or do you just not really know the Bible well? Like Judges 11:29-40 NLT. Or 1 Kings 13:1-2 NLT & 2 Kings 23:20-25 NLT or any of the others. I mean, they seem pretty clear, do they not count as much as yours? LOL never mind, believe whatever lets you get up in the morning-but He sure did both call for and accept human sacrifice.

What's hilarious here is that I DO cover Judges 11, and there's a link to the article halfway down in the one he cites. As for 1-2 Kings, it refers to Josiah desecrating pagan altars by killing pagan priests on them -- that's not a sacrifice.

Also got this email from someone calling themselves "Goddess Isis":

Subject: "What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!" Pope Leo X. The only poe that used common Sense. Religion is a Mental Illness, Cancer, disease, worse deadly virus in people minds.

When we are controlled and manipulated and told not to read out side of these bibles, we will know know Life Saving information.....

Mental health is a very important and required element for a productive, progressive and happy life. The false claims made by the various "revealed" religions, especially when introduced at an early age, cause much mental anguish and pain to individuals which then has a great potential to have a negative effect on society in general.Read more http://www.deism.com/religionmentalillness.htm

Religion is a widespread mental illness, of which the defining feature is delusional belief in a powerful invisible being or beings who is/are always watching you and will punish you if you don't follow his/her/their will. (The paranoid delusions found in schizophrenia are often remarkably similar). The illness comes in various strains, of which the most severe is IslamChristianity, symptoms of which include virulent antisemitism and homophobia. Almost matching in severity is scientology, the system in which aliens blew up a volcano, creating life. People not afflicted by religion are called atheists, and they can be identified by their ability and willingness to use rational thought, unless they don't (see Communism).

Religion is the most common infection in the world, with over 90% of the populace infected with one or another strain. Religion is usually brought on by infection by the group VI Fatal Anginal-Infective Transcribing Hepatitis virus more often known by the acronym FAITH. Symptoms involve believing something that is not only unproven but also outrageously illogical simply because someone (or occasionally a book), somewhere, says it's true. In this respect, faith can be considered the chronic form of the lesser mental disorder gullibility. For synonyms, see How To Make a Million Dollars. The official catch phrase of religion is "Give us your money, and you will have a good afterlife!", known to critics as the "Pie In The Sky" allegory.

Other symptoms involve donation of money to televangelists, participation in holy wars, a feeling of superiority, paraphilic fetishes towards guilt, lack of sense of humor, and spontaneous combustion.

It is commonly believed that religion is also able to manipulate one's personality/point of view in such a way that the infected individual believes, and often inflicts upon others, the idea that masturbation is evil, and that homosexuals are pure, undiluted evil and deserve no rights (see Christian logic). People infected with religion seem to have an addiction to being pedophiles who are members of the priesthood. God doesn't exist.

Continue http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Religion

By the way, "Uncyclopedia" is a parody site. Continuing:

Clinical basis to religion's role http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/321622.stm

Psychiatrists acknowledge that a mentally ill patient's strong religious beliefs can provide a solid platform for therapy. This is because much therapy will begin with something the patient holds as certain and building from there.

Religion Is Mental Illness? - The Atheist Experience http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsaOL85jx9Q

Religion - a Problem and Opportunity for Mental Illness http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/...es/003340.html

RELIGION IS MENTAL ILLNESS, GOD IS A PSYCHOPATH http://tbknews.blogspot.com/2006/05/...ss-god-is.html

Religious Fundamentalism As Mental Illness http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/y2k/illness.htm Take Dr. Madalyn Murray O' Hair, for example. This atheism activist has vanished after years of death threats from "Good Christians" who wanted her dead because of her involvement in the fight against religious indoctrination in public schools. All of this despite her living in a country whose Constitution guarantees free speech and (in theory, although you wouldn't think so from Mississippi's judges or Tennessee's state legislature) guarantees that the government will not take one side or the other in the matter of religion....

One who do not like to Read is Equal to the one who can not Read One who do not like to See is Equal tot he One who can not See One who do not care to Hear is Equal to the one who can not Hear One who is not open to Learn is Equal to the one who cannot Learn

My reply:

http://www.tektonics.org/lp/popeleox.html

Using a fake quote doesn't enhance your credibility any.

Their reply:

Beloved Patrick:

Thank you for your reply. I had anticipated your reply beening a reply that would have fueled my ascension.

Religion (killer, thief and destroyer) of people True self, does not use logic and reasoning, and we can not carry on a logical and reasonable dialog with Satanreligious Satan assassins people.

There are no Divine Free Critical Thinkers among religious people who are conformist to that which is anti-Universe/Nature, anti-Divine Life Living, anti-Divine Truth/Reality, workers of evil iniquities. Religious people aren't lien holders of their own conscious. They are controlled and manipulated by the evil forces to do the evil forces will and not the people true Divine Will.

Truth is a treason to lies (Ron Paul). Condemnation without investigation, is the ultimate ignorance (Einstein). When we are unaware of the Divine Truth, a lie will appear as truth. (Osiris) Believing without thinking is criminal (Osiris). Christianity is Crack, and religion is the Crack Pipe (Dr. Phil Valentine). Knowing the above, it reveals people in religion, religion in them, their minds are crack, and a crack mind can not use logic and reasoning.

May the Divine Truth/Reality tap into the sinew in the root of your strength.

Divine Everything

Wow. What have THEY been smokin'?


The August 2010 John Loftus Collection

Been reading his Christian Delusion lately for a rebuttal, and there's lot of screwy material, but this wins Gold: Loftus' chapter where he blames God for not communicating clearly in the Bible. The whole thing is debunked by his failure to heed the 7th Commandment as a Christian, but that's not why he wins a Screwball. What's up is that Loftus apparently got too many licks from me about the Bible as a "high context" society, so now he brings that up (though he pretends he got it from Malina and Rohrbaugh, when he knows darned well he heard it first from ME). So what's he use it for? This point:

...by revealing himself in a high context society, God made it extremely difficult to understand what he meant.

Danged if he don't always find a way to blame God somehow!

Loftus also wins for his Meltdown in Narcissism on a certain blog, after being called out for his insults to the disabled, lies, and other offenses:

The first time I went online in 2004 someone pointed me to TWeb. I didn't know any better. So I went there. What I found were juveniles and hacks who were not interested in an honest respectful debate. Holding was the ring leader. People there followed his example. But I stayed because I wanted to see if I could break through to them. And I didn't know where else to go.

What I know without a doubt is that Holding and his ilk are swine. They come here to drag me down into the mire with them. If I don't respond then it seems they win. If I do respond I am equated with him.

Just read how we write and how we deal with people who disagree and you will know the difference between us...

I am not like him. He is below me. He dogs my steps with a blog dedicated to personal attacks on me on a monthly basis, if not more. If I am obsessed with him then someone needs to document when the last time I ever mentioned his name on the web.

As far as I'm concerned Holding doesn't exist. This probably bothers him greatly because he craves validation and I refuse to give it to him (no matter what I say he will disagree, surely).

Until he comes up to the respectful adult world of discourse who treats his opponents as human beings, and until he displays a greater level of education and thinking skills I will ignore him (except in a context like this)....

In a few months he may think otherwise. Wait and see. I am his worse nightmare, not in any threatening physical sense. I am dedicated to the destruction of his faith. Evangelicals have him partially to thank.

Quote that Holding.

But he still laughs. He just does not see the danger. He avoids taking any responsibility for motivating me. He does not care that people are walking away from their faith because of my books and my Blog. He just doesn't care.

You wouldn't believe what I have planned for the coming months. I have only just begun. I'm not claiming to be great, but I do have an influence....

What's interesting to me is how many people think they are above the fray, better than me, who wouldn't get caught up in this [deleted] unless I was the type of person who regularly throws it, especially since it's easy for believers to think this is what atheist debunkers do. I don't. Anyone who regularly reads what I write will see this (with some lapses of judgment). And anyone who regularly reads what Holding and his clowns write will see what I'm saying too (with some lapses of civility). And that's all I can say.

Loftus also wins Gold for thinking NT Wright is a "full preterist" (Christian Delusion, p 334), and for once again making himself the standard:

The only reason evangelicals still exist is because most of them simply do not read. Those who do read don't read works like his. The few who do read works like his don't do so to learn anything. They already have their blinders on from a few years of indoctrination in an evangelical college of their choice. In my opinion when it comes to understanding biblical scholarship the phrase "educated evangelical" is an oxymoron.

John goes for the irony with this post:

Quote of the Day by a Christian Named Marcus McElhaney By John W. Loftus at 8/27/2010

"Emory and Greg, I concede that the Bible is indeed confusing...to both of you! Other people don't agree with you[r or] Greg's thoughts on how confusing the Bible is. Maybe you just need to study harder."

s quote is utterly ridiculous to the nth degree. If we study harder then we'd come to Marcus's conclusions, right? Right! With thinking skills like the ones Marcus displays here at DC, no wonder he believes. If Marcus is the example then we need to be almost brain dead to believe.

Uh...but who was it who said in defense of his "Outsider Test" that the main sign of whether you pass is that you come to believe the same things Loftus does?

Now for some of John's sycophants. Ed "I'm Talking and I Can't Shut Up" Dumbinski wins for this comment on James McGrath's blog:

For the record James, J.P. Holding also is "hoping" that folks like N.T. Wright and Ben Witherington will one day see the light.

J.P. HOLDING: I can really say only 3 people (Colson, Kennedy, Piper) are strong representatives of where Christianity needs to be. Unfortunately they are far outnumbered by people who teach either heresy or "feelgood" doctrines, or whose teachings are so "milky" that they do more harm than good in the long run. It'll be a great day when those names (i.e. Colson, Kennedy and Piper) include the likes of Witherington, Wright, and other scholars and apologists...but that day is probably a long way off, if it comes at all. http://www.tektonics.org/af/christianmyths.html

So, James, quit holding back that day, and "become a strong representative of where Christianity needs to be" per J.P. Holding's understanding. Hop on the bandwagon and also hold onto Witherington and Wright's shirtsleeves while you leap up onto it.

Dumbinski has worked in a library this long and still can't read English. I am not saying that With and Wright need to "see the light". I'm saying they need to be on the list of Most Influential Christians!!! And McGrath is just as dumb for "buying" Edski's interpretation.

McGrath also wins the Golden Moral Sewage Award for posting a copy of the E-Block review I sent him. His commenter JL Watts also wins the Blind Led by the Blind the award:

Truth be told - why is it that it is siding with Loftus when in fact, one should be holding 'Holding's' feet to the fire. John, not that we agree on much, is pretty honest about his tactics. J.P, on the other hand, claims the moral high ground, the Christian face, if you will, and while both men act the seemingly act the same, it is J.P. who is far, far worse because he does so pretending to hold on the to the plow.

Thom Stark, pseudo-Christian fruitcake, wins for endorsing Loftus' book, and for this excuse:

John Loftus has very kindly endorsed my forthcoming book and has given it a nice solid plug on his high-traffic blog. For that I am grateful and am in his debt.

As polarizing as Loftus is, I respect him. I don’t always agree with him, but I believe he speaks his mind and tries to be honest. I can’t fault anyone for that, even if what’s on his mind isn’t what many of us would like to hear. I’m not going to approve or condemn his methods of engaging his opposition. It is what it is, and if some of us don’t like it, we’re not obliged to pay any attention. But I will say that I think every Christian should be paying attention to Loftus, even, if not especially, when we don’t like the way he talks and what he has to say.

Finally, John wins a Golden Foot in the Mouth for calling one of his interlocutors a "non-credentialed, anonymous hack"-- it was later discovered that he was talking with Timothy McGrew, professor of Philosophy at Michigan University and contributor to the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology.

The August 2010 Lunchback of Notre Dame Collection

The old boy pulled a real boner with this one:

No, I passed Reading Comprehension 101! Luke admits in the very first verse of chapter 1 that there were many other Gospels extant before he took pen in hand! Please! Fact is, we can clearly get a fix on when luke was written based on Luke 1:3 Wherein he addresses Theophilus, the Bishop of Antioh who held that post between 169-177 A.D. Hardly close to the death of Jesus and plenty of time for the legend to become embellished and grow beyond recognition! Why, in less time than that, we have a Buffalo Bill's Grave in Colorado and another in Wyoming.

That reference to Cody's grave sounded like he was being really stupid so I checked it out. He's making it sound like there's two graves and no one knows which is real. Horse hockey. The issue is rather that he IS buried in Colorado, but there are people who think he wanted to be buried in Wyoming, so a rumor was started -- one easy to debunk -- that he was actually buried in Wyoming and the body in Colorado was a fake. The "he's buried in Wyoming" thing is just like the "Jesus had an evil twin" thesis. There's no way to use this as an example of "legend becoming embellished and growing beyond recognition". The truth is recognized as truth and the legend recognized as legend.

The Random Skeptic Collection

Composer continues his efforts at decomposition, and the odor is manifest:

Obviously you trinitarians are at odds with each other as Matthew Henry's commentary I quoted above specifically demonstrates his belief the ' harmless as doves ' refers to their non-violent nature and that the disciples should thus reflect that non-violent nature in their preaching.

I am most pleased to see you trinitarians opposing each other constantly and not of one accord, for that only reinforces my 50 year personal knowledge of you doing that repeatedly against each other on many even fundamental topics and you are making your story book Jesus miserable instead of joyous (LOL!) -

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind. (Philippians 2:2) KJV story book

Over 2000 years of alleged holy spirit guidance and you still fail dearies!

Tassman? Still up to his usual:

The Triablogue amateurs are the only “complete joke” around here in placing their blatant bias against the informed scholarship of Dr Richard Carrier.

Seasanctuary sets the bar high, high, high:

Killing someone else so they go to heaven and you go to hell would be extremely unselfish. Obeying God's rules so you personally get to live forever in paradise is the selfish thing in the long run.

Doug Shaver takes the easy route:

Any Christian nowadays can call anything scripture that they want to be scripture. It's their word, and they can define it as they wish.

On the assumption of Jesus' historicity, it is certainly reasonable to suppose that the epistle writers believed that Jesus was executed by Roman officials, but it is pure question-begging to use this as evidence for Jesus' historicity. The fact remains that the epistle writers do not say by whom Jesus was crucified (except for one cryptic reference to "the rulers of this age").

Avocado99, on why he hates Christians:

because they think that something exist who's intelligence is beyond their imagination but also think that this being tourtures people who are born in India for following the religion of their parents (just like Christians do) Apparently you can have unimaginable intelligence, but not understand the human species very well.... Sort of a contradiction.

Here's another good oxymoronic contradiction... they think faith is a virtue...

JimL is making plans to graduate from third grade:

There is but one God and one "mediator" between God and men, the "man" Jesus.

If we take these words literally then its meaning seems to be explicit in that there is only one God and that Jesus is not that God but rather he is a mediator or a prophet if you will between God and man.

Just wondering how Christians interpret this to mean that Jesus is God?

little monkey said a lot of stupid things, but for Gold we have:

In this case, claim X is not to be trusted because it came from source Y. Formal logic deals with factual statements. Religion deals with opinions. Wrong application of Logic.

Psychic Missile misfired a bit:

If you don't have reason and logic behind your morals, then your morals are superficial. Most people have reason and logic behind the majority of the morality-based decisions the make. Those reasons are usually something like "people with the means should help those in need" or "we can accomplish more as a group than as individuals" or "I need to set an example, if everyone did things this way the world would be a better place".

It's strange that someone wouldn't understand using reason and logic to make moral decisions. What would you use then, dogma and fallacies? The inferiority of such a position is readily apparent.

Nobody is bound to any kind of morality except for that which comes from instinct.

Jon Meacham of Newsweek gets one for this:

The religious case for gay marriage is a strong one. Broadly put, the Western monotheistic traditions hold that human beings are made in the likeness and image of God, and are thus all equal in the sight of the Lord.

The problem for those who assert biblical authority in support of traditional definitions of marriage is that one could, with equal validity, assert that the lending of money or certain kinds of haircuts are forbidden by God, or that slavery and the subjugation of women are authorized by the Lord.

robertb still has high academic standards:

I like Thomas Paine. I think he got the religious thing spot-on.

Rene Salm nominates Platinum for what is announced at http://www.nazarethmyth.info/mythicist_prize.html

The Mythicists’ Forum, a consortium of New Testament scholars, announces the Real Jesus Challenge award, also known as the 2011 Historicist Prize.

THE PRIZE -- The sum of $1,000 (U.S.) will be awarded to the author of a submitted essay which, in the opinion of the judges, demonstrates that Jesus of Nazareth did indeed exist.

NOTE: If no submission demonstrates the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth, then there will be no Real Jesus Challenge award (Historicist Prize).

ELIGIBILITY: Anyone is eligible to submit an essay.

COST: A fee of $50 must accompany all submissions for the Historicist Prize. This fee defrays the time and effort involved in processing and reading the submissions.

SUBMISSION: Contestants are limited to one essay each. Three copies of the work, along with a check for $50 (made payable to René Salm and drawn on a U.S. bank), should be mailed in one package to...

JUDGES: Earl Doherty, Robert M. Price, René Salm, Frank R. Zindler.

So let's see if I have this straight. I have to PAY to submit an essay that will be judged by a panel that consists of three amateurs and one Ph D (and that one a fringe lunatic), and this in a situation where it may be that NO prize will be awarded.

Pure Platinum, baby.

Naatee is a new fundy atheist toy:

Yes there is most definitely an elephant in the room. They call it "metaphorical language" when realizing that the Bible has once again been proven to be inaccurate. Is it not foolish to dispute thousands of scientific facts because the Bible, backed by primitive man's claim that it is the "word of God," says otherwise? The true elephant in the room is overlooked by your inability to realize that the Bible has, is, and always will be disprovable by science. Science is fact, while the Bible is primitive man's (pseudoscientific) attempt to explain the unknown. It's 2010, many more things are known now than during those times, and I am struck with an overwhelming sense of disbelief every time I encounter someone, such as yourself, who refuses to face reality. I am not suggesting that God does or does not exist by any means, although this is not my personal belief, I have no problem with the concept of a deity. But I do have a problem with concepts of the Bible which has resulted in oppression, intolerance and imposed an obstruction upon science, all of which have plagued man's mind for way too long.

Griggsy? Still nuts:

God cannot be omniscient, because having no body, He has no brain and thus no mnd and thus, He cannot exist. Alvin Plantinga makes light of this but then he is sophistical anyway! Never do we encounter minds not encased in brains. To claim otherwise is to beg the question! Ti's a mere it must be that He has a brainless mind as He can have no body, which some atheists thought He had, and the Soviet cosmonauts claimed that they could not find it! Yes, atheists can certainly err! Oh, some supernaturalists claim that contrariwise ,He has a body, and it is the world.

With that arises anothert argumentt that as non-physica,l He indeed can be no sort of a person.

The argument from perfection of Star Trek fame is that were He omni-perfect, then He'd make no imperfections, but as they indeed do exist, He cannot exist. The Sarte-Rand argument from worship and moral agency claims that if He existed, then He'd have to be worshipped, but as we are autonomous beings, such a claim contradicts that, and thus He cannot exist. The Lamberth argument from autonomy is that due t our level of conscsiousnes [ the UN Charter so notes] , no being has the right to rule over us or deserves worship, A double whammy!

Yes, we new atheists go for the supernaturalist jugular!

Carneades argues that He cannot be all-virtuous as being omnipotent, He fears no one and thus cannot have courage and thus cannot exist. But my friend, David Ramsay Steele, disallows Him having virtues and -vices, and thus finds HIm no sort of a person. A double whammy!

Were He transcendent, He couldn't be omnipresent as that is a contradiction and thus He cannot exist. And the argument from Existence eviscerates that He could be transcendent anyway. A double whammy!

The problem of evil reveals that He cannot be omnibenevolent,, omniscient and omnipotent as they so contradict each other. Here is one naturalist argument that they eviscerate: some naturalists claim that if God is omnipotent, then He should be able to make a stone so heavy that He Himself cannot lift it, but that is contradictory! Yes, naturalists can err!

I illustrate here just some of our incompatiblity arguments,hereby illustrating the power of the ignostic challenge to supernaturalism.And at that thread about the two category classification, I providenot only an example of the Ockham at work but why the postulation of God contradicts natural causes and explanations.

The Confused Believer Collection

Rainbow Brite does some serious math:

A straightforward biblical reading implies that Jesus was in the grave 3 days Human Time, 3000 years God Time, preaching to spirits in prison of purgatory hell who are released after 3000 years to Judgment. Which implies Human Time 2000 years to return, 1000 years of Millennium, then Judgment. Then the complete Temple of Heaven is made by Jesus, destroyed and raised up after 3 days of 3000 years God Time. The numerology stuff is just tweaking out on it all as I can see.

jluk, on the usefulness of critical thinking:

you came to a conclusion? so do you believe "you" accepted Christ or Christ accepted you? to put in bluntly, how arrogant :) , so do you read the bible in the eyes of sight? or God provided you the understanding.

man, how wise we are in our own limited eyes (i do it, so don't think i get self righteous here)

I wont answer a question that was a questioning to our Lord Jesus Christ about how he is to manage the universe and the very fabric our molecular make up. yes we serve a God, that we unconciously trash with our low views.

A Christian on Facebook has their epistemology down pat, with some help from Mormons:

On this day, God wants you to know ... that silence is golden. When we are quiet, we can hear God's messages to us. Sometimes these messages may be in the form of subtle intuition. Sometimes it may feel like an inner knowing. Sometimes we may hear a 'still, small voice.' If it feels right in your heart, trust that it is God speaking to you.

And another Facebook posting:

I would rather run the risk of leaving God, or losing him, looking for him everywhere, and expecting to find him, or him find me, than stay with the bible, and it's 'Christians', whose position shows, they will run the certainty of killing him, in everyone!

Adherence to scripture as a guide instead of a relationship with God is a sure equation for murdering God.

that's what anyone who has worked from a foundation of Sola Scriptura has done- the Pharisees did it, Martin Luther did it. Scripture alone leads you to kill people.

Biblialtry, the worship of the bible, the adherence to it before anything else, leads to disobedience from God- it leads you to tell God he's done doing new things, he is done doing things, and if he's going to do them, then he has to do them how he's done before- that kind of lack of creativity will lead you to kill a truly Creative God.

Why have Scripture when I can bed with the living God, which scripture pretty much says, 'set me down and find him'?

‎'TAste and see that the Lord is good.' Plus, you have to wrangle with the anomaly, that everyone in the old testament, esp from Torah to Chronicles, knows God's voice and who he is, without consulting the scripture, and they don't have the Holy Spirit in them- that says something.

Or the fact that God asks them to do things that disagree with scripture, but they still know it is him.

franktalk explains why we don't need textual criticism:

A list of men to support your claim is useless. Have you not read my posts? You said, "And the oldest known manuscripts do not have "through His blood". It is probably imported into the later manuscripts from Ephesians 1:7."

So if Satan wrote His version of the New Testament and it was older than what we have you would change over to that "scripture". Is that what you are saying?? You can form a club "Smart guys for Satan".

So please tell me how the older manuscript is automatically better?

He also says:

We all in some way do the things that Christ found distasteful. He used the Sadducees and Pharisees as an example to show how many will not accept the message and will instead follow their own path. Knowing how strong the world pulls at us I would expect that I would not be much different than the Pharisees. It would require the help of the Holy Ghost to stay on His path and not mine. Soon the world will turn from Christ and all good. The few that follow Christ will cast off the world and seek another kingdom. Many will find death at the hands of their fellow man. The strength to endure this type of test does not come from being an expert on scripture but a solid relationship with Christ. Now it is possible that one can have a relationship with Christ and be an expert on scripture. It is my personal experience that few match that description. Obviously that is an opinion and you may feel that being a scholar brings you closer to God. However scripture tells us that is not normally true.

So indeed when someone professes worldly knowledge beyond what is really possible I do push back and let them know that in my opinion they are attached to the world too much. Now what is a scholar to do when two ancient documents differ? Take the account in the Talmud of the gathering of the seventy two elders and compare it with Josephus. Who has the correct account? I would say neither. Josephus was not there so he was just parroting what he found in the written record. The Talmud account seems over the top. But we do know that a Septuagint was written. So the details are not available unless one focuses on one source and ignores the other. Not exactly what I would call fact, more like an opinion. And even when there are more sources how can we determine if any of them are accurate? Is it not possible that all are slanted? Most of history is written that way. Just look at the books being written right now on BHO. If in two thousand years the only book that made it was written by Ann Coulter I would imagine that future peoples would not have an accurate picture of the total truth. That is how I view the record of history. Mostly opinion and much of it biased.

A vicar in New Zealand wins for this:

God speaks to us in many ways: nature, people, and events… In listening to God in prayer, we focus on Scripture as God’s word to me here and now. What the text meant to the original writers/ hearers, to others throughout history, may be helpful - but it can also distract from what God is saying to me now. We are not trying to preach mental sermons to ourselves, nor discover insights that will be helpful to others.

Composer? Not through decomposing:

Not forgetting of course the story book hypocrisy of story book Jesus preaching the repeated forgiving those who sin against you an ' unlimited number of times ' 33tn Or “seventy times seven,” i.e., an unlimited number of times. See L&N 60.74 and 60.77 for the two possible translations of the phrase. (cf. Matthew 18:22, NET story book Footnotes) whereas the story book God condemned Adam & Eve immediately and showed no repeated forgiveness but instead showed only hypocrisy and lies.

Other Theists, Etc.

Mormon Jo, is a followup to franktalk, does even screwier:

This is an interesting question. Then it dawned on me, simply having an "older" manuscript does not mean it was teaching the Word of God as originally received. Sadly, "physical" evidence cannot always be a confirmation of its truthfulness. For instance, in 1,000 years from now someone living in Denmark finds an old chest in an attic. Inside is a copy of the New York Times from 2009 with a headline that reads "Obama was the greatest president the United States has ever had." Meanwhile, in 1,010 years from now someone in Spain finds a copy of the New York Times from 2011 with a headline that reads Obama was the worst president the United States has ever had. Which manuscript is the most accurate? Now, keeping in mind that there are some readers on this website who think Obama IS the best president, and there are some readers on this website who think he is the worst president, who are going to write letters about their stances which could also be found in 1,000 years or so, how is someone who looks at both copies of the newspaper, along with the letters going to find out the truth? Something to think about....

On the drive to the movies this weekend (fortunately, I was the passenger) which takes a good 50 minutes, I was watching the beautiful high desert all green from the monsoon rains. The skies are breathtaking! As I took all of this in, I spoke out loud how awesome the Creation is and wondering how anyone could not realize that a power beyond our understanding was behind it. I also voiced my sadness that so many of the followers of Christ have been victims of bigotry ever since Christ walked the earth. All of a sudden it seemed as though time stopped and in clear certainty, the thought seared into my mind that the BIBLE is a stumbling block!! Then, I started receiving information (this is the best way I can describe it) at such a rapid pace, that I was unable to speak out loud for several minutes. Interestingly, I WAS weeping rather loudly....but unable to speak. While the knowledge was flooding my mind, I felt so humble and in disbelief that Father would see fit to send ME this information. Suddenly I understood not only answers to questions I have had; but I also had knowledge about things I had never even thought of asking questions about before.

I cannot tell you everything that was revealed, as I'm not even sure how to express it. I don't want it to be misunderstood. What I CAN reveal is this. Until man stops looking at Scripture through worldly eyes, trying to examine every jot and tittle, the very Word of God itself is going to remain a stumbling block to their ability to receive spiritual understanding of them. God does NOT live in Scripture. Scripture points to Him. STOP looking in the past to try to find a better way to understand Scripture! It will NOT bring you closer to God. Seek the Kingdom of God FIRST!!!! The Kingdom of God is NOT in Scripture. He is NOT in old OR new manuscripts. He is a LIVING God. He will be found in prayer, in following Christ, in following the commandments, in loving one another, in listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You CANNOT build a relationship with the Bible. However, you CAN build a relationship with God! As long as the Bible, or ANY scripture remains a stumbling block, a person cannot unlock the meaning in God's Word.

Now, I know I have said many of these things before and already believed them. But NOW the REALITY of the EFFECT of this knowledge EXPLAINS SO MUCH!!!! When the Holy Spirit touches your spirit, even though it is something you already believed....the POWER is like trying to compare a .22 caliber bullet with a Nuclear bomb. It is the difference between "believing" and "KNOWING". I will never look at the arguments between man about their interpretations of the Bible the same way again.

stephen goswami? Still wacky:

Apostles never dared to call themselves Christians, but we dare.

World is full of the misdeeds of those who dare to call themselves Christians. Here in my locality all of them are no different from nonChristians, rather worse. That is expectable as here only people low in the social scale converted to ritualistic Christianity. They have more weaknesses than higher class people. Ritualistic barren Christianity could never regenerate them. Regeneration is only possible among repentant people as apostles were. They knew that they are betrayer of Christ, no better than Judas. Among them Paul repented most to be regenerated most. So he was the most fruitful.

Unfortunately church leaders and followers don’t realize that they are no better than apostles. They call themselves Christians and saved with a ring of pride. They have no repentance in their heart. They seek reverence from people imitating the Pharisees. But only fruitfulness counts in God’s kingdom and it comes from accepting humiliation-cross like Christ. It suppresses pride which destroys spiritual love, the root of fecundity. Apostles had plenty of that cross like Christ. So they could generate spiritual children. Now church leaders are fruitless or produce rotten fruits as in our place.

If you ask “what is wrong in calling ourselves Christians as I profess Christ.” There is the danger of pride. Ask a knowledgeable nonChristian what he expects from a Christian. He will invariably answer that Christ like qualities. If he doesn’t find it, he will call Christians imposters and hypocrites. That we hear always here in India.

The Antioch heathens jeered believers as Christians. They ridiculed Christ too by that term. Believers shouldn’t have condoned their ridiculing Christ by accepting that term. Even if one in blind reverence equates me with God, I must repulse it not to ridicule God. But Antioch people called in jeer only. Even if it is called in reverence we have to repulse it. But I must confess that in the past I also stated myself as Christian in forms and statements as I had no other options. So even in these forums I defined myself Christian. But as I am progressing in spirituality the spiritual danger of it is becoming obvious. So I call and introduce self as worse than Judas, as I coming to realize more and more so in my journey to Christ. But for common Christ believers it may seem awkward. They may call themselves Christ believers or followers. That may sound arrogant too but less arrogant than calling self Christian.

shunyadragon still thinks Dan Brown is a scholar:

Yes, the other books were destroyed. If you are looking for proof in history, lol, but the historical evidence is there. It was not the Roman Church that determined what was and was not in the NT of the Bible, It was Constantine (and possibly his mother) and the Roman Bishops of the time that made that determination. They formed the authority and determined the theology of the church. There was a diversity of different beliefs and other books were suppressed by Rome at that time and over the Roman history of the Church. We have found the ruminants of other books remaining since that time.

apostoli is sorry for Mormons:

If you believe in scripture, then keep in mind the pre-requisite of the final judgement "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." (John 12:48) Notice, there is not a pre-requisite of believing a set of contrived doctrines (contemplate Romans 2:11-16).

There is an old saying: kick a dog in the head enough and it will eventually lay down. I hope you comprehend the meaning...

What you and others seem to forget, is that the LDS believe they have additional revelation above the received canon, just as A.Paul & the other apostles believed they had extra revelation which was above that received by their fellow Jews. From an LDS viewpoint you guys are acting just as the opponents of A.Paul et al. All you guys are doing is justifying their personal convictions - the persecuted always believe they are right and carrying the cross of Christ.

Given the history of the LDS in the USA, if you happen to be baptist or methodist you have an uphill battle convincing a Mormon of anything...

As you guys attack, a knowledgable Mormon will have going through their head John 16:12-13 "I [Jesus] have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth..." and John 8:31,44 "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him...You are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth..." and Mt 23:27-31 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees [and Baptists and Methodists], hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees [and Baptists and Methodists], hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets."

It is that mentality you have to address.

Until five or so years ago, I retained a cult mentality and it was reasonable conversation that convinced me I was wrong, not political attack...

If your concern is to save the LDS, have a think on your beliefs in the light of Jesus' words at John 12:47 "And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world."

To our LDS friends: I encourage you to think on John 12:44-48

sylvius? Still loony:

Son of Man is Hebrew "ben Adam" or Aramaic "bar Enosh".

Genesis 5 lists the generations of Adam, Noach being the tenth and last. Only in the case of Noach's father, Lamech, there is written: "and he fathered a son" (Hebrew: "vayoled ben") -

That's why Noach is the Son of Man. Noach, whose name is declared in Genesis 5:29,

"This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands from the ground, which the Lord has cursed."

Same what Jesus said about himself, according to Matthew 11:28.

And more: Jewish tradition knows that Noach in reality is the Messiah.

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1062/1062_01.asp

http://www.earlychristianreligion.org/

http://www.getreligion.org/?p=40163

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/23/catholictv-launches-3d-sh_n_510628.html

Nomination for church sign that wins the Lost Self-Awareness Award: "GOD'S FAVORITE WORD IS COME"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yCWVnQ_u84&feature=fvhl

http://www.gayheroes.com/paul.htm

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100049783/vanity-fair-decides-pope-benedict-xvi-is-a-villain-not-a-criminal/

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/faith-school-menace

http://bardcan.wordpress.com/

http://holocartoons.com/main/index.php

http://atheists.org/wiki/images/a/a4/Certificate_of_De-Baptism.jpg

http://inewp.com/?p=4065

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10993749

http://gizmodo.com/5614875/farting-camels-and-pigs-targeted-by-murderous-australian-environmental-group

http://www.youtube.com/user/calpurnpiso

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4055789/Brad-Pitts-death-penalty-backflip

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38843111/ns/world_news-asiapacific

http://emptv.com/videos/the-book-of-job-covering-for-a-godless-world

This is from June but it is so stupid it deserves an award and will assuredly nominate Platinum. Background -- Mrs H and I like to go to minor league baseball games here in FL -- which is all single A level (starter league). One of the closer teams to us is the Brevard County Manatees (A league team for the Washington Nationals). While checking for info on a game, I found this:

VIERA, Fla. --- In lieu of recent events regarding the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill of the Gulf Coast of the United States, the Brevard County Manatees have announced that the club will be officially changing the name of "batting practice" or "BP" for short to "hitting rehearsal".

"As an organization we feel that changing the term 'batting practice' and 'BP' to 'hitting rehearsal' shows that we are deeply concerned and hurt by the disaster on the Gulf Coast," Manatees General Manager Kyle Smith said.

"We hope to send a message to the community that we are definitely worried with the pollution that is in the waters off the Gulf Coast and its potential impact on the beaches here in Brevard County."

Well heck. Since manatees are a threatened species, the team name might just be construed as somehow endorsing hunting them, right? So how about we change the name. Say to, "Brevard County Politically Correct Morons." And let 'em use Mao's flag instead of the American one....

http://www.thebible-onlinegame.com/

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/4074273/Skinheads-attack-3000-at-concert

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/27/paul_allen_patent_offensive/