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From the Mailbag

I got this query:

I am seeking the small meaningless words scribbled in certain locations all through the gospels. i have heard them called mousse words, but after 20 + years cannot find any thing on them beyond the fACT THAT THEY EXIST IN THE ORIGINAL GOSPELS, BUT WERE NEVER INCLUDED IN ANY OF THE translations, as they are/were wrongly considered meaningless..

Do you have any idea, what it is I am getting at, or looking for?

Mousse huh? He should check his dessert aisle. But, an alert reader noted that this correctly describes a phenomenon in the Quran, not the Gospels. When I told the nut this, he replied:

Thank You

For Another sample..

The February 2013 John Loftus Collection

Loftus wins for yet another lie about an endorsement of his book:

You may have noticed in John Loftus’ book “Why I Became an Atheist” an endorsement on the inside cover from Christian philosopher Matthew Flanagan:

“Loftus is one of the few new atheists to actually address Christian scholars. I don’t think he succeeds, but at least he is doing so.”

I was initially rather impressed with this: Matthew is a reputable scholar, and I took this to be the conclusion of his review of the book. It actually quite tempted me to purchase Loftus’ book, what with it sounding like a pretty strong endorsement.

However, it turns out that this is from what actually happened. As Matthew writes:

“You’ll see a blurb from me in the front pages, I had an exchange with Loftus on MandM [Matthew's blog]. I got a letter from Prometheus [Loftus' publisher] where I got sent a free copy and was thanked for writing a blurb for their book. When I looked inside I discovered a sentence from the exchange had been placed in the front cover. Loftus has e-mailed me earlier asking my address. LOL”

So, far from being a ringing endorsement of the book, Loftus has taken a snippet from an entirely different conversation, where the context differs significantly: it becomes at least plausible that this is hardly an endorsement at all. Who knows what else was said in that conversation? I know plenty of scholars or pseudo-scholars who have “addressed” Christian scholars, but that does not imply the least bit of intellectual integrity on their part.

Oh well. John Loftus does what he needs to do to get his name out there, and I suppose this kind of dishonest publicising is what it takes.

He also wins for being a thin-skinned narcissist on Facebook.

Atheist Miscellany

YT fundy atheist AronRa wins for stating in this YT vid the fact that he has never talked to a Theist who wasn't a fideist:

YT fundy atheist Maber01:

My college textbook on the New Testament says "the gospels are anonymous".

My college professor says "the gospels are anonymous and not eyewitnesses".

Biblical scholars like Bart Ehrman write and teach that the gospels are anonymous and not eyewitnesses.

Therefore, I find it "Reasonable to Doubt" that the gospels were written by Matt, Mark, Luke or John. And I find it "Reasonable to Doubt" they are eyewitnesses.

The burden of proof is on you (ouch), prove it "Beyond Reasonable Doubt".

Whag has advice for us:

Shed the faux penitence of Pauline rhetoric for a spell. It might improve your outreach.

Facebook atheist Sandra reacts to a scholarly Christian bibliography:

Erm.......books written by men are evidence that there is a sky daddy god thingy

Richard Dawkins noms Famous Atheist Platinum for this tweet:

I feel sorry for the Pope and all old Catholic priests. Imagine having a wasted life to look back on and no sex.

Amazon fundy atheist John Grove wins for using the "Mithra vs Jesus" argument...and saying: I don't worship scholarship, I was asked why I don't hold to the New Testament as historical or accurate. I gave my answer. The consensus of what Christian scholarship says doesn't mean a thing to me, which is my point.

Tassman noms Platinum for why he posts to Nick Peters even when Nick has him on Ignore:

For the vast viewing masses to see that Nick is unable to address my arguments and has retreated into denial. If he could respond he would.

Lil Monster noms Platinum for TWeb n00b.

The Christian and Theist Collection

Fundy Amazon reviewer Hico, on negative comments I made about a negative review of a scholarly book:

It is interesting that you tell Jeremiah Parker to "Consult serious anthropological scholarship" yet you also state Making the same mistake over and over and over again doesn't correct the mistake." seems like a contradiction. Why study something wrong. Besides scripture does teach on subjects they took for granted, it's because we take for granted so much that we need the bible. Also, don't be so mean. Right or wrong it was a nice critique, yours was not. Let's have nice discussion to get to the truth.

Then, after I chastised him:

Wow, you use a lot of big words I have to look up. I'm sorry if I made you angry, it really is no fun to be angry. But thanks for making my point though. You must be a professor but your definatley not a teacher. I probably could have learned something today but not from you. By the way I ordered the book based on the previous guys response. I wasn't going to based on your but that would be unfair to the author

Franky Schaeffer noms Famous Christian Platinum...assuming he qualifies on the latter:

Today, Schaeffer goes “to a Greek Orthodox church not because I’m Greek Orthodox … I just happen to like Byzantine liturgies because it’s mostly in Greek so I can’t understand them. It’s good because it’s the words that bother me.” He explained that “to me, worship is finding a space to be quiet in, and not think clever thoughts … you just do the liturgy, and everyone can bring their own interpretation to it.”

To Schaeffer, “to be a Christian is not to believe in Jesus in terms of who he was, whether he is the Son of God, rose from the dead or not, it is to believe in that life as an example.”

Amazon kook William Conkis, on Petrus Romanus:

Showing your hate does not straighten your argument which is no argument in the first place. Even if you did not like this book it is an extremely scholarly work which you will not acknowledge because of your prejudice and bias. Petrus Romanus alludes to the soon return of Christ which is an issue with some people, well good luck with that.

David Reed has this dispensational lunacy for us:

Some of the reports say the huge meteorite fell into a lake. So, it was sort of like this: "something like a great burning mountain was thrown into the sea" - Rev. 8:8 The Original Bible for Modern Readers

Or, like this: "a great star fell from the sky, burning like a torch" - Rev. 8:10 The Original Bible for Modern Readers

People get mad and call you "nuts" when you say God causes disasters. I suppose they did that in ancient Israel, too. So, if you DON'T think our global warming (and resulting hot/cold extremes and storms) have a religious significance, when DO you think these verses will apply?:

"The other people who were not killed by these terrible disasters still did not change their hearts . . . and turn away from murder or evil magic, from their sexual sins or stealing." - Rev. 9:20-21 New Century Version

Like with global warming: "They were burned by the great heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these disasters. But the people refused to change their hearts and lives and give glory to God." - Rev. 16:9 New Century Version

YT fundy wacko speedlearner, on why he thinks Isaac was burned on huge logs of wood which would be very hard to carry up the mountain:

My research also indicates that Issac was a type of Christ. So therefore, those weren't twigs he was carrying. They were more like logs.

Norman Geisler wins for attributing the words of John Crossan to Mike Licona. One of his drones, C. Haun, wins for this:

What's so idiotic about a senior apologist-and-theologian attempting to warn the evangelical public about a junior apologist and rising star in the world of biblical scholarship who claims to believe the Bible has no errors in it (especially in line with the articles produced by the first two Chicago statements) when in fact he actually teaches that the Bible does have errors in it? I am thankful to Dr. Geisler for taking a stand on this much like the Apostle Paul did in his letters to Timothy and Titus. Christianity has been evolving/devolving away from it's New Testament roots for 1900 years or more. And, really now, what good is an "apologist" who says you can believe Matthew 28 but not Matthew 27? An apologist should defend the Bible and the faith, not defend the Bible out of one side of his mouth and cast doubt on it with the other side of his mouth. As for me, if I cannot trust Matthew's account of the historical facts in Mt 27, I cannot trust his account of the historical facts in Mt 28. If Matthew is prone to exaggeration or to copying style from pagan authors in Mt 27, then he's just as likely to do it again in Mt 28. Matthew becomes an unreliable witness. Where are you going to draw your line? Is it acceptable for an "apologist" to cast doubt on 2% of the gospels? 4% 10% 30% 49% If he casts doubt on 49% of the gospels but still believes in the resurrection of Jesus, is he still an admirable apologist in your view? Surely not. Let's say an apologist casts doubt on 2% of the gospels. What does that prove? It proves that he's infected with the virus of higher criticism. And higher criticism in the past spread through the mainline denominations of Europe, Canada, and the USA like a pandemic. To me it is no more idiotic for Dr. Geisler to call out signs of this infection and call for quarantine than it would be for someone from the CDC to warn everyone that Anthrax or Bubonic Plague has surfaced again. for its Super Bowl commercial

Award to British schools for still teaching that Columbus proved the world was round.

CNN anchor Deborah Feyeric noms for Famous Platinum for asking Bill Nye if the recent asteroid that passed by was an "effect of, perhaps, global warming?" (for Bill Maher)

Screwball to YouTube's transcript feature, which determined that the following were real lines from one of my vids:

bank and gaza false anyway so they could be sacrifice that nothing in reality

nursery him i've presented to our kittens

so allow me to somalia

canada citizens should be about promises -- someone forgot Alexander the Great!

Book nom: