Tag Archives: Christianity

A Bible for Slaves

A unique part of history, a terrifying part of history that shows how the Bible was used to justify slavery. It’s entitled, “Parts of the Holy Bible selected for use of the Negro Slaves in the British West-India Islands”. Shocking to say the least.

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Click to Enlarge

This Bible is said to have omitted themes of slavery, so passages from the Book of Exodus were removed. It is currently housed at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.

and God knows best.

Pagan Influences in Christian Theology

I recently read from a budding South African theologian of Ad Lucem Ministries that the New Testament’s concept of God is not based on Graeco-Roman philosophy. Yet this does not seem to be the case…(see attached photo), Acts 17:28 (NIV):

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It is quite peculiar that the New Testament uses the term “ειμι” (to exist) for God but never in the present participle form of “ὤν” (being). What’s interesting is that New Testament’s translators continue to replace in their translations “ειμι” for “ὤν” in English, almost as if the allegedly inspired texts in and of themselves use insufficient language…

We see further examples of a dependency on Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics in Philippians 2:6, where “μορφε” (form) is translated as “nature or essence”, a completely Platonic-Aristotelian pre-Christian concept in philosophy, referring to the “material whole”.

The Trivium Final

This is why in Christianity, God who is a “ουσια” (substance) can also be immanent, because it fits into the Aristotelian pre-Christian concept of an “accident” (a substance that exists in another substance), i.e. God (a being) in flesh (another substance). This can also be seen in the sense of passion, from the “Praedicamenta”/ 10 Categories of Being, where God (a being) uses a form and thus can experience pain in one sense and not in other because this Being can distinguish between itself (read as quantitatively, therefore “Persons” in the Godhead) and can have various forms (read as qualitatively) hence the hypostatic union.

The Trivium Final

While some Christian apologists deny these dependencies on Platonic-Aristotelian pre-Christian philosophies, by using these terms, they are implying an already understood meaning, which in this case would be the predominant Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics for their onto-theology of “God”.

It should be noted that this is the reasoning behind Justin Martyr’s statement of:

“And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound NOTHING DIFFERENT from WHAT YOU BELIEVE regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.”

Source: Justin Martyr, The First Apology, Chapter 21.

Some apologists have argued that Justin was using “hyperbole”, this is an ignorant claim, without understanding of basic Graeco-Roman metaphysics.

and Allah knows best.

Upcoming Debate: Br. Yusuf Ismail and Pastor Fluech

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To contact IPCI for further details, please see their Facebook page. We have requested details about a possible livestream and we have received information that there most likely will be one. As soon as we get any further information we’ll share it, and we’ll also post the link to our social media pages.

The time for the debate for those of us outside of South Africa is as follows:

  • London, UK – 4 PM.
  • New York, USA – 11 AM.
  • Port of Spain, Trinidad – 12 Noon.
  • Lahore, Pakistan – 9 PM.

and God knows best.

The Changes to the First Words in the New Testament

Last month I published a paper on how the very first words in the New Testament evolved over time. It was entitled, “The Inscriptio of the Gospel Attributed to Matthew.” Today we have produced a 2 minute video that simplifies and summarizes the research from that research paper:

Alternative YouTube Link: Click Here.

For more information, you can see a quick 15 minute talk on how the Old Testament was corrupted (including the Shema Yisrael!). To view or download the presentation slides from the 15 minute video, please click here.

To download or read the paper mentioned in this post, please click here.

and God knows best.

Missionary Mishap: Sam Shamoun and Reaction Formation

I came across this post on Facebook and immediately cringed because Sam Shamoun was demonstrating a psycho-social phenomenon that is quite easily identifiable. Let’s take a quick look at his post:

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Consider his argument:

  • If x says not y, I do y.
  • If Ehrman says don’t use the KJV, I use the KJV

In psychology this is called reaction formation:

Reaction formation is a type of defense mechanism in which a person acts in the exact opposite manner to his own disturbing or socially unacceptable thoughts or emotions. This behavior is often unconscious and appears exaggerated, perhaps in an effort to overcompensate for the embarrassment, guilt or repulsion the person feels regarding his private thoughts.

By using reaction formation, one’s self-identity remains “safe” as the ego is kept in ignorance of the person’s true motives. For example, a highly religious man with lustful urges toward women might react with exaggerated disgust upon seeing a woman in revealing clothes, or he may go into long lectures about modesty. Or a woman who harbors racist feelings may go out of her way to be overly kind to people of another race. Or a man who fears that he is falling in love with his new girlfriend begins to pick fights and lash out at her in anger.

Behavior due to reaction formation is often extremely exaggerated, compulsive and inflexible. These behaviors don’t vary due to changes in emotion as do natural behaviors. For example, a father who feels guilt at resenting his child may go above and beyond to express showy love to the child under all circumstances. These behaviors based on fake emotions are often easy to spot. Therapists often observe reaction formation in patients who claim to strongly believe in something and become vehemently angry at everyone who disagrees.

Does the last line remind you of anyone?

and God knows best.

To Confuse or Not to Confuse?

1 Corinthians is an epistle when read carefully, offers quite a few interesting arguments about the guidance of God. Today we’ll be looking at one such argument. We read as follows:

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound (καταισχυνη) the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; – 1 Corinthians 1:27.

We then read as follows:

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. – 1 Corinthians 14:33.

These two statements are plainly contradictory. On the first hand, we have the argument that God intentionally chose the absurd and foolish things of this world to confound (confuse) the wise. On the other hand, we have the argument that God is not the author of confusion.

Looking at 1 Corinthians 1:27, we note several things. Firstly, that the Christian (concept of) God cannot blame anyone for being guilty of rejecting the belief that God can be both man and God, that God can be both capable of suffering and all powerful, ignorant and all knowing. This is because, as the scripture says, God intentionally chose the foolish things to confuse the wise, if the wise are confused because of the foolish things, then who bears responsibility for the confusing in the first place? In this case, it would be the Christian (concept of) God. We also note that the word here for confounding or confusing is not a translational error. Many translations including the KJV, AKJV, Jubilee Bible 2000, Douay-Rheims Bible and the Webster Bible Translation all use the word “confound” in their editions for this verse. Additionally, the Greek word used here is καταισχυνη which according to Strong’s Lexicon (#2617), means:

Short Definition: I shame, disgrace, put to utter confusion
Definition: I shame, disgrace, bring to shame, put to utter confusion, frustrate.

Therefore, to appeal to claim it is a word equivocation between the words in the two passages would be incorrect, to appeal to a different translation is also incorrect and to also claim that the word does not mean confusion is also wrong.

Looking at 1 Corinthians 14:33, we see the argument that the Christian (concept of) God is not the author of confusion. To understand the context the verse is being used, we read from Barnes’ Notes on the Bible:

God is not the author of confusion – Margin, “Tumult,” or “unquietness.” His religion cannot tend to produce disorder. He is the God of peace; and his religion will tend to promote order. It is calm, peaceful, thoughtful. It is not boisterous and disorderly.

Some may argue that other interpretations refer to the confusion as women (as we find in the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible commentary) or that the confusion refers to a conflict in prophecy. If the confusion is to be understood as women, it makes the verse much worse, if it refers to prophecy and the words of prophets (or those inspired by God), then the issue is not removed as Christians consider both passages above to be from inspiration and they plainly conflict which does not remove the problem but compounds it. Other commentaries have combined the two and indicated that the confusion is both moral and spiritual, as we find in the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges:

for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace] Confusion; literally, unsettlement. Cf. St James 3:16. Also St Luke 21:9, where the word is rendered commotion. As in the natural, so in the moral and spiritual world, God is a God of order.

Both of these interpretations do not remove the contradiction between the passages, but affirms them, and therefore to appeal to other commentaries would not remove the issue. The contradiction stands as is.

In conclusion, if the Christian (concept of) God is not the author of moral or spiritual confusion, why would the Christian (concept of) God intentionally make the religion of Christianity both difficult and confusing?

and God knows best.

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