2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Satan is not a red dude with a pitchfork

Lucifer and Satan and brief lesson.

The original Hebrew term, satan, is a noun from a verb meaning primarily to, “obstruct, oppose,” as it is found in Numbers 22:22, 1 Samuel 29:4, Psalms 109:6. Ha-Satan is traditionally translated as “the accuser,” or “the adversary.” The definite article “ha-”, English “the”, is used to show that this is a title bestowed on a being, versus the name of a being. Thus this being would be referred to as “the satan”.

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The Virgin Birth: A examination

 

Matthew alleges that Jesus’ birth fulfilled a prophecy. Per Mt. 1:22-23:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” (NIV)

Did this fulfill an Old Testament prophecy? Let’s examine the context of the original verse in the Book of Isaiah. King Ahaz of Judah is concerned about aggression from the kings of Aram and Israel and he gets some advice from a prophet. Per Isaiah 7:14-16:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right. But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. (NIV)

Could this passage have been intended to refer to Jesus? It appears merely to be about people living at the time, and in fact in Isaiah 8:3 a male child is born. Jesus was never called Immanuel. As the Son of God it does not make sense to suggest that Jesus was ignorant of right and wrong. To support the claim that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy it would be necessary to demonstrate that he was born of a virgin, and the only evidence that this occurred is in the statements of Matthew and Luke.

Additionally, this prophecy is based on a mistranslation from Hebrew. As the Biblical inerrancy site 100propchecies.org explains:

[Non-Christian scholars] say that the Hebrew word “almah,” which is the word that Christian Bibles often translate as “virgin,” actually means “young maiden.” It is true that “almah” means “young maiden,” however, the Bible never uses the word to refer specifically to a married woman. 

In reality, with the exception of the Young’s Literal Translation version, neither is it remotely true that every instance of “almah” in the Bible is translated as “virgin.” Proverbs 30:18-19 in particular is translated, in the New International Version, as follows:

There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.

It would seem problematic to substitute “virgin” in this case.

If, however, one were to assume the woman in the Isaiah passage were a virgin then that would necessitate explaining two miraculous conceptions.

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The Destruction of Egypt….

Egypt. What a desolate wasteland
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The Nile shall run dry with sand….

Ezekiel continues in verse 12 with a prediction that the Nile River will run dry.

I will dry up the streams of the Nile and sell the land to evil men; by the hand of foreigners I will lay waste the land and everything in it. I the LORD have spoken. (NIV)

There is no evidence that this has happened in recorded history.

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Jesus was supposed to be from Bethlehem

Matthew alleges that Jesus being born in Bethlehem fulfills a prophecy. In Matthew 2:4-6 King Herod is concerned about the birth of the “King of the Jews.”

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The line of David will never end..endure forever….eternity….really…

At several instances in the Old Testament God promises David that the descendants of Solomon will rule Judah forever. For example, in 2 Samuel 7:13-16 God tells the prophet Nathan:

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