Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is God going to exterminate the Jews as a punishment?

Let's look at a parable that Jesus is supposed to have said:

The Parable of the Tenants

Mark 12:1 He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed. 6 "He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 7 "But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 "What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.
The allegory is obvious:

The owner of the vineyard = God
The vineyard = Israel (as God's Kingdom)
The tenants = the Jews
The servants that get beaten up or killed = the prophets
The son of the owner = Jesus
The others = the Christians (or rather Jewish Christians at the time)

So the story is about the Jews killing Jesus and Jesus promising that God will avenge this by coming soon and killing them ( = the Jews, the unfaithful who have rejected Jesus):

Verse 9 "What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others."

How does this fit into his teaching of love and forgiveness?

(On a side-note: The parable also doesn't reflect well on BibleGod since the owner doesn't seem to be very bright. He keeps sending his servants to the tenants, knowing (and one doesn't even have to be omniscient in this case) that they will get beaten up or killed. I mean ok, one couldn't know this when the first servant was sent and beaten up, but when the third one was killed, one could start to detect a pattern and rethink the strategy of sending lone servants there on a potential suicide mission ... why not send ten of them together? And why send the only son alone too? That's called courting disaster!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The early Christians were 'Communists'.

The early Christians seem to have been Communists in the original sense, or even hippies if you want (but without the physical free love and with threats).

Just look at the stories told in 'The Acts of the Apostles':

Acts 2:44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
And you better had to act this way and really give the community everything you had if some other story from the same book is to be believed:
Acts 5:1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? 4 "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 5 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. 6 The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him. 7 Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter responded to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?" And she said, "Yes, that was the price." 9 Then Peter said to her, "Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well." 10 And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.
That's some very efficient propaganda. So the message is clear: Don't hold anything back for yourself or God/Jesus will kill you. This line of thinking that you have to give everything to the community has hold up remarkably well if you look at modern cults and sects.

Selling everything you have and living together makes of course especially sense within apocalyptic communities that think that the End of the world is coming soon, like early Christianity, the Branch Davidians, etc.
And I'm sure that especially the capitalist US version of Christianity is willfully turning a blind eye on parts like Acts 2:44-45.


I'm reanimating this site but under slightly different premises.

The focus will still be the New Testament and its oddities but I won't analyze them per chapter anymore. I'll describe more general, overarching oddities in both biblical texts and christian concepts. That makes more sense in my opinion, and it will also be more interesting (for me and you) since the Synoptics for example repeat a lot of stuff and reanalyzing them is boring.

The updates will probably be weekly (or every few days).