Sunday, April 30, 2006

Canaanites

MYTH
The punishment of the Canaanites was unjust

Regarding the slaughter of the Canaanites, the Canaanites were far from "innocent." Canaanite religious practices included child sacrifice, bestiality, incest, male and female prostitution, and homosexuality. Genesis 15:16 indicates that God would not destroy the Canaanites until their guilt called for their complete destruction in judgment. The Canaanites were given more than 400 years to repent. God is the sovereign Creator of all life [Deuteronomy 32:39]. God would be bringing the Canaanite babies into Heaven if children who die prior to reaching the age of accountability go to Heaven. The Canaanite children would have inevitably become like their wicked parents in that corrupt society.

St. Peter's Papacy and Primacy

St. Peter, who authoritatively interprets prophecy [2 Peter 1:16-21] and other Scripture [Acts 2:14-41] and is the foundation of the Church [Matthew 16:18] to whom Jesus bestowed the keys to Heaven [Matthew 16:19], worked the first miracle of the Church age by healing a lame man [Acts 3:6-12], uttered the first anathema [Acts 5:2-11], was the first man after Jesus Christ to raise the dead [Acts 9:40], and was the first to refute heresy [Acts 8:14-24]. Peter, who set up and was in charge of the first Council of Christianity [Acts 15:7-11] and was the spokesman for the other apostles [Matthew 18:21; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:5; 12:41; John 6:67-69], is the Church’s main bishop/shepherd [1 Peter 5:1], or Pope of Rome [1 Peter 5:13]. The primacy of the Roman See and the fact that Peter's successors are also popes is attested to by St. Clement, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Irenaeus, St. Victor, Abercius, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Dionysius of Alexandria, and Emperor Aurelian.






Saturday, April 29, 2006

I thoroughly enjoy Kain Cioffie's 29-track album GUESS WHO'S NEXT???
One of the most convenient, effective, and useful fitness machines I've seen is the HF Maxx by Hydra-Fitness. I tested one out today and I think that I will buy one when I can afford one.

Justification for Iraqi Regime Change

It's time for thinking people to stop complaining that we should never have went into Iraq. Saddam, who hates America and supported anti-American terrorists (including, believe it or not, al-Qaeda -- there is hard evidence for this that has been largely ignored by opponents of the Iraq War), fired Scud missiles into Israel and Saudi Arabia, admitted his desire for nuclear weapons, murdered more than 1 million people, forcefully annexed Kuwait, used nerve and mustard gas on Kurds living in Halabja, violated the 1945 UN Charter agreement to disarm nukes, and committed scores more crimes against humanity. We already have a good track record in Afghanistan [1] and Kurdistan, as our military ended tyranny and provided prettymuch stable autonomy there. The cruel, irreligious dictator Saddam Hussein needed to be removed from power; with all our resources we as responsible and patriotic Americans couldn't just stand there and allow Saddam's butchering to continue.

"But Iraq had no WMDs!" The weapons weren't found there because they were moved to Syria!

More thoughts coming soon.

[1] I met an Afghanistan vet today; God bless him and praise be to God that he is in excellent mental and physical health and was never maimed in combat.

Friday, April 28, 2006

There is a site called DontAttackIran.org at which you can sign a petition in hopes of avoiding war in Iran. Whatever happens (I hope war can be avoided), there is a need for real democracy and regime change there (ideally a careful, peaceful transition) and Iran must NOT be given nuclear technology.

Outline of Response to Brian Holtz's "Atheist Cage Match Challenge"

My eventual response to Holtz's "Atheist Cage Match Challenge" will probably have a table of contents like this:
1. Basic 12-Step Argument for Christianity
2. Theism -- cosmological/moral/ontological/teleological arguments, definition, coherence (omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence), atheist and agnostic arguments, other views of supernatural agency
3. Bible -- inspiration, authorship, dating, alleged contradictions, morality of Yahweh and other ethical matters (slavery, women, Canaanites, firstborn of Egypt and other plagues, Noachian Flood, Midianites, hardening of Pharaoh's heart, sexual ethics, sacrifice, Amalekites), historicity and reliability, canonization process
4. Prophecy -- Biblical dating, extra-biblical documentation, nature of prophecy, Second Coming of Christ, importance
5. Jesus Christ -- genealogy, virgin birth, infancy, childhood, ministry, family, character, Trilemma/Quadrilemma/Quintilemma, Resurrection, Ascension, Second Coming
6. Gospels -- harmony, authorship, dating, reliability, formation, canonicity
7. Miracles -- answering skeptics'
' anti-miracle arguments, Old Testament, New Testament, internal corroboration, external corroboration, alleged mythologizing/hoaxes/delusions/hysteria/hallucinations/misinterpretations/rationalizations
8. Resurrection -- eyewitnesses, harmony of accounts, physical nature, dogs theory, swoon theory, mistaken identity theory, wrong tomb theory, mass hallucination theory, stolen body theory
9. Afterlife -- immortality, justness/nature/coherence of Heaven, justness/nature of Hell
10. Trinity and Hypostatic Union -- a Quaternity?, a contradiction?, Biblical basis, heresy, Jesus' claims to be God

There will be dozens if not hundreds of Biblical and extra-Biblical citations, and I will do my best to condense the information into 50KB without omitting key information.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hopefully my Amazon review of David Ray Griffin's "The New Pearl Harbor" will be posted soon. I removed the potentially offensive (yet factual) quote "What follows is a review which many 9/11 "skeptics" will probably rate as "not helpful" because of their bias and refusal to accept the reality that 9/11 was not a USA government conspiracy" and I also replaced the URLs with non-hyperlinked news and web citations. I added much more detail and documentation about the hijackers, the alleged gun on Flight 11, al Qaeda's responsibility for 9/11, alleged insider trading, flight debris, and the NORAD response. There is much more than could be said about the collapse of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon attack, and other categories. It is clear that on Amazon enthusiasts for the 9/11 "Truth" Movement are at work; there are a couple of detailed, balanced reviews that challenge David Ray Griffin's claims that have a low helpful to non-helpful vote ratio, while there are other reviews that contain nothing but blind praise and lame slogans that are almost unanimously rated as helpful by quite a number of users. Get a grip, 9/11 conspiracy theorists! Chill and stop wasting your time and money on beating dead horses and spreading false theories to the gullible.

"Classic Cartoons"

Cool blog: http://classiccartoons.blogspot.com/.

Every so often I link to a brilliant blog that is worth a visit.

I've reached Flappy Bird status in the TTLB ecosystem. If you enjoy this site or visit it often please tell a friend or family member and/or link to it on your site. Thanks very much and God bless you!
I have gleaned much more information to be added to my Remus and Romulus AP History resource, but these items will probably not be added until at least this weekend due to the time I spend studying, finishing homework, and playing basketball. In the meantime I requested from a library in the county "Cracking the AP World History Exam, 2006-2007 Edition" so that I can do some fine tuning and boost my essay skills so I can get a 5.

Contra Celsum on the Virgin Birth

MYTH
Jesus was fathered by a Roman soldier named Panthera

Celsus' claim that Jesus was fathered by a soldier named Panthera are debunked by Origen [Contra Celsum, 1.28-32]:

CHAP. XXVIII.
And since, in imitation of a rhetorician training a pupil, he introduces a Jew, who enters into a personal discussion with Jesus, and speaks in a very childish manner, altogether unworthy of the grey hairs of a philosopher, let me endeavour, to the best of my ability, to examine his statements, and show that he does not maintain, throughout the discussion, the consistency due to the character of a Jew. For he represents him disputing with Jesus, and confuting Him, as he thinks, on many points; and in the first place, he accuses Him of having "invented his birth from a virgin," and upbraids Him with being "born in a certain Jewish village, of a poor woman of the country, who gained her subsistence by spinning, and who was turned out of doors by her husband, a carpenter by trade, because she was convicted of adultery; that after being driven away by her husband, and wandering about for a time, she disgracefully gave birth to Jesus, an illegitimate child, who having hired himself out as a servant in Egypt on account of his poverty, and having there acquired some miraculous powers, on which the Egyptians greatly pride themselves, returned to his own country, highly elated on account of them, and by means of these proclaimed himself a God." Now, as I cannot allow anything said by unbelievers to remain unexamined, but must investigate everything from the beginning, I give it as my opinion that all these things worthily harmonize with the predictions that Jesus is the Son of God.
CHAP. XXIX.
For birth is an aid towards an individual's becoming famous, and distinguished, and talked about; viz., when a man's parents happen to be in a position of rank and influence, and are possessed of wealth, and are able to spend it upon the education of their son, and when the country of one's birth is great and illustrious; but when a man having all these things against him is able, notwithstanding these hindrances, to make himself known, and to produce an impression on those who hear of him, and to become distinguished and visible to the whole world, which speaks of him as it did not do before, how can we help admiring such a nature as being both noble in itself, and devoting itself to great deeds, and possessing a courage which is not by any means to be despised? And if one were to examine more fully the history of such an individual, why should he not seek to know in what manner, after being reared up in frugality and poverty, and without receiving any complete education, and without having studied systems and opinions by means of which he might have acquired confidence to associate with multitudes, and play the demagogue, and attract to himself many hearers, he nevertheless devoted himself to the teaching of new opinions, introducing among men a doctrine which not only subverted the customs of the Jews, while preserving due respect for their prophets, but which especially overturned the established observances of the Greeks regarding the Divinity? And how could such a person--one who had been so brought up, and who, as his calumniators admit, had learned nothing great from men--have been able to teach, in a manner not at all to be despised, such doctrines as he did regarding the divine judgment, and the punishments that are to overtake wickedness, and the rewards that are to be conferred upon virtue; so that not only rustic and ignorant individuals were won by his words, but also not a few of those who were distinguished by their wisdom, and who were able to discern the hidden meaning in those more common doctrines, as they were considered, which were in circulation, and which secret meaning enwrapped, so to speak, some more recondite' signification still? The Seriphian, in Plato, who reproaches Themistocles after he had become celebrated for his military skill, saying that his reputation was due not to his own merits, but to his good fortune in having been born in the most illustrious country in Greece, received from the good-natured Athenian, who saw that his native country did contribute to his renown, the following reply: "Neither would I, had I been a Seriphian, have been so distinguished as I am, nor would you have been a Themistocles, even if you had had the good fortune to be an Athenian!" And now, our Jesus, who is reproached with being born in a village, and that not a Greek one, nor belonging to any nation widely esteemed, and being despised as the son of a poor labouring woman, and as having on account of his poverty left his native country and hired himself out in Egypt, and being, to use the instance already quoted, not only a Seriphian, as it were, a native of a very small and undistinguished island, but even, so to speak, the meanest of the Seriphians, has yet been able to shake the whole inhabited world not only to a degree far above what Themistocles the Athenian ever did, but beyond what even Pythagoras, or Plato, or any other wise man in any part of the world whatever, or any prince or general, ever succeeded in doing?
CHAP. XXX.
Now, would not any one who investigated with ordinary care the nature of these facts, be struck with amazement at this man's victory?--with his complete success in surmounting by his reputation all causes that tended to bring him into disrepute, and with his superiority over all other illustrious individuals in the world? And yet it is a rate thing for distinguished men to succeed in acquiring a reputation for several things at once. For one man is admired on account of his wisdom, another for his military skill, and some of the Barbarians for their marvellous powers of incantation, and some for one quality, and others for another; but not many have been admired and acquired a reputation for many things at the same time; whereas this man, in addition to his other merits, is an object of admiration both for his wisdom, and for his miracles, and for his powers of government. For he persuaded some to withdraw themselves from their laws, and to secede to him, not as a tyrant would do, nor as a robber, who arms his followers against men; nor as a rich man, who bestows help upon those who come to him; nor as one of those who confessedly are deserving of censure; but as a teacher of the doctrine regarding the God of all things, and of the worship which belongs to Him, and of all moral precepts which are able to secure the favour of the Supreme God to him who orders his life in conformity therewith. Now, to Themistocles, or to any other man of distinction, nothing happened to prove a hindrance to their reputation; whereas to this man, besides what we have already enumerated, and which are enough to cover with dishonour the soul of a man even of the most noble nature, there was that apparently infamous death of crucifixion, which was enough to efface his previously acquired glory, and to lead those who, as they who disavow his doctrine assert, were formerly deluded by him to abandon their delusion, and to pass condemnation upon their deceiver.
CHAP. XXXI.
And besides this, one may well wonder how it happened that the disciples--if, as the calumniators of Jesus say, they did not see Him after His resurrection from the dead, and were not persuaded of His divinity--were not afraid to endure the same sufferings with their Master, and to expose themselves to danger, and to leave their native country to teach, according to the desire of Jesus, the doctrine delivered to them by Him. For I think that no one who candidly examines the facts would say that these men devoted themselves to a life of danger for the sake of the doctrine of Jesus, without profound belief which He had wrought in their minds of its truth, not only teaching them to conform to His precepts, but others also, and to conform, moreover, when manifest destruction to life impended over him who ventured to introduce these new opinions into all places and before all audiences, and who could retain as his friend no human being who adhered to the former opinions and usages. For did not the disciples of Jesus see, when they ventured to prove not only to the Jews from their prophetic Scriptures that this is He who was spoken of by the prophets, but also to the other heathen nations, that He who was crucified yesterday or the day before underwent this death voluntarily on behalf of the human race,--that this was analogous to the case of those who have died for their country in order to remove pestilence, or barrenness, or tempests? For it is probable that there is in the nature of things, for certain mysterious tea-sons which are difficult to be understood by the multitude, such a virtue that one just man, dying a voluntary death for the common good, might be the means of removing wicked spirits, which are the cause of plagues, or barrenness, or tempests, or similar calamities. Let those, therefore, who would disbelieve the statement that Jesus died on the cross on behalf of men, say whether they also refuse to accept the many accounts current both among Greeks and Barbarians, of persons who have laid down their lives for the public advantage, in order to remove those evils which had fallen upon cities and countries? Or will they say that such events actually happened, but that no credit is to be attached to that account which makes this so-called man to have died to ensure the destruction of a mighty evil spirit, the ruler of evil spirits, who had held in subjection the souls of all men upon earth? And the disciples of Jesus, seeing this and much more (which, it is probable, they learned from Jesus in private), and being filled, moreover, with a divine power (since it was no mere poetical virgin that endowed them with strength and courage, but the true wisdom and understanding of God), exerted all their efforts "to become distinguished among all men," not only among the Argives, but among all the Greeks and Barbarians alike, and "so bear away for themselves a glorious renown."
CHAP. XXXII.
But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that "when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera;" and let us see whether those who have blindly concocted these fables about the adultery of the Virgin with Panthera, and her rejection by the carpenter, did not invent these stories to overturn His miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost: for they could have falsified the history in a different manner, on account of its extremely miraculous character, and not have admitted, as it were against their will, that Jesus was born of no ordinary human marriage. It was to be expected, indeed, that those who would not believe the miraculous birth of Jesus would invent some falsehood. And their not doing this in a credible manner, but (their) preserving the fact that it was not by Joseph that the Virgin conceived Jesus, rendered the falsehood very palpable to those who can understand and detect such inventions. Is it at all agreeable to reason, that he who dared to do so much for the human race, in order that, as far as in him lay, all the Greeks and Barbarians, who were looking for divine condemnation, might depart from evil, and regulate their entire conduct in a manner pleasing to the Creator of the world, should not have had a miraculous birth, but one the vilest and most disgraceful of all? And I will ask of them as Greeks, and particularly of Celsus, who either holds or not the sentiments of Plato, and at any rate quotes them, whether He who sends souls down into the bodies of men, degraded Him who was to dare such mighty acts, and to teach so many men, and to reform so many from the mass of wickedness in the world, to a birth more disgraceful than any other, and did not rather introduce Him into the world through a lawful marriage? Or is it not more in conformity with reason, that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons (I speak now according to the opinion of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Empedocles, whom Celsus frequently names), is introduced into a body, and introduced according to its deserts and former actions? It is probable, therefore, that this soul also, which conferred more benefit by its residence in the flesh than that of many men (to avoid prejudice, I do not say "all"), stood in need of a body not only superior to others, but invested with all excellent qualities.

Could it be that the blasphemous myth originated from a corruption of "Ben Parthenos" ("Son of the Virgin") [Klausner and Bruce] or "Pentheros" (son in law) into "Ben Panthera" (Son of Panthera) [Adolf Deissman: Panthera was a common name among ancients], or the actual ancestor of Jesus named Panthera [Monk St. Andrew of Crete, Monk St. John of Damascus (Doctor), & Monk St. Epiphanius]?{1}

Notes & References
{1} Josh McDowell & Bill Wilson (1993), He Walked Among Us 66-67; cited in Sam Shamoun, "Jesus in the Rabbinic Traditions" in Answering Islam @ http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/talmud_jesus.htm.

False Gospel of Judas

MYTH
The Gospel of Judas tells the true history of Judas Iscariot

The Gospel of Judas is unhistorical. If Jesus had asked Judas to betray Him, Jesus wouldn't have called Judas the "son of perdition" [Jn. 17:12] and said that it would have been better if Judas had never been born [Mt. 26:24]. Judas wouldn't have been driven to suicide by the guilt of knowing that Jesus was condemned to crucifixion [Mt. 27:5]. As a Gnostic forgery, the Gospel of Judas was rightly condemned by St. Irenaeus for its false teaching on a wide variety of matters, such as Judas' actions. This false gospel from the 2nd century contradicts the true character of Jesus and His apostles. Jesus wasn't condescending and hostile to the sacrament of the Eucharist. Judas is in Hell for eternity, not in the Kingdom of God.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I hope and honestly believe that I will score a 5 on the AP World History examination. Pray for me!

Brian Holtz's Egregious Historical Error

Holtz falsely claims that Jesus preached "exclusively for Jews." [@] Jesus preached for Samaritans [Jn 4], Romans [Lk 7:1-10], Canaanites [Mt 15:22-28], and Greeks [Josephus, Antiquities]. He repeats this falsehood all over his debates. Holtz's Mt 15:24 citation is based on a misunderstanding of how Jesus' priority was to evangelize Jews but He was willing to reward faith wherever it was found.

[@] = laughable, inexcusable blunder

Re: Holtz on Jesus' Family

Re: Brian Holtz on Jesus' Family. My words will be in red.
[@] = laughable, inexcusable blunder

Jesus seems to have been illegitimate, and to have been known to be such in his community [Mt 1:18-24, Jn 8:41].
Jesus was not illegitimate; He was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary (coming soon). Mt. 1:18-24 simply refers to the initially anxious St. Joseph's discovery of the Virgin Conception via angelic revelation. The assumption that in Jn. 8:41 the people were calling Jesus illegitimate is unwarranted. The people were simply claiming to be descendants of Abraham who behaved like him, with no reference to Jesus’ legitimacy. Both of these proof texts fail.
His only recorded words before his ministry concern his disobedience [Lk 2:48,51] at age 12 to his mother and stepfather,
Jesus didn’t need to ask permission or apologize since He was at the age when young Jewish boys may begin acting independently and entering manhood. Jesus spoke inan authoritative, not rebellious, manner.
whom he denied [cf. Mt 23:9] by calling the Temple "my Father's house".
St. Joseph was only Jesus' legal father; Jesus had no biological father.
He spurned his stepfather's trade of carpentry to take up a ministry proclaiming himself the son not of Joseph but of God.
[@] The Gospels say that Jesus was a carpenter [Mk. 6:3], so Jesus didn’t “spurn” Joseph’s trade.
The New Testament contains not a single report of James' beliefs about Jesus.
[@] Gal 1:19 states that James is an Apostle, and thus He believed in Jesus' mission (salvation), claims (e.g., to be God), and deeds (miracles). James 1:1; 1:7; 1:9; 2:1 indicate that James believed in the deity of Jesus Christ. James was a part of Jesus' ministry [Jn 2:5,12].
"Mary and her family ignored Jesus' angelic annunciation, miraculous conception, and lifelong sinlessness, and failed to join Jesus' miracle-filled ministry before its climax, because X".
Mary and Jesus' brethren were part of Jesus' ministry before Jesus' arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection [John 2:12].
Despite angelic revelations [Lk 1:32, Mt 1:20, Mt 2:13, Mt 2:20] to Mary and Joseph, Mary's knowledge [Lk 1:34] of the virgin conception, and Mary's witness of at least one miracle [Mk 2], they (and Jesus' siblings) did not believe in him [Jn 7:5, Mt 13:57]
Mt 13:57: since people at the time viewed honor as a limited good, prophets’ peers rejected their claims to special honor because they thought the prophets were taking away their honor. The expression is proverbial, and thus does not indicate that Jesus’ family disbelieved. In the miracle story of the wedding at Cana, Mary submits to Jesus' power and authority by telling everyone to obey His commands; thus, she believed in Him prior to His Resurrection. As for Jn 7:5, Jesus had no siblings, and good exegesis demands that His “brothers” are not biological brothers. They are cousins, which would still make them part of Jesus’ family. However, the text can also mean people of the same neighborhood or race. This interpretation may have some weight because Mary and her husband, Joseph, James, Jude, Simon, and Joseph (Jesus’ cousins) clearly believed in Jesus and joined His ministry. (See above)
and thought him "out of his mind" [Mk 3:21],
The text doesn’t say Jesus’ friends (family), but only says, "those with Him," so attributing such a belief to Jesus’ family is unnecessary. Even those who thought He was “out of His mind” were His family, they could have said this out of concern for His safety or concern for the family’s honor, since Jesus’ teachings were so rabidly opposed by some people as to result in His arrest and crucifixion. However, this does not matter since Jesus' family didn't come into the picture until Mk 3:31. It's a shame that Holtz wastes so much time, space, and energy on this in his polemics.
leading Jesus to repeatedly stress [Mk 3:33, 10:29; Mt 10:37, 12:48, 19:29; Lk 11:27-28, 14:26] that one should choose God over one's biological family.
The connotation here seems to imply that Jesus was anti-family, which is false (coming soon). There is no evidence of a causal connection between these two ideas; i.e., there is no justification that the events in Mt. 13:57, Jn 7:5, and Mk. 3:21 led Jesus to make such statements about what one’s priorities should be.
Only on the day of his death do the gospels record a single friendly word [Jn 19:26] from Jesus to his family.
What does that matter? Jesus had all the years between His infancy and beginning of His public ministry to do so. Also, Jesus was clearly respectful of His mother Mary at the wedding at Cana. This is splitting hairs.
Only after Jesus' death does the New Testament record someone from his family joining his movement.
[@] This is false; see above.
James may have been an opportunist, or may have in his grief tried to salvage some meaning from his brother's sacrifice. The only significant thing James does in the New Testament is expand the movement's donor base by ruling [Acts 15:19] that converts need not be circumcised.
James also instructs Paul in how to answer charges of antinomianism [Acts 21:18ff]. James is one of the "pillars" of the early Church [Gal 2:9; 2:12].Important information is often relayed to James [Acts 12:17]. James was the Bishop of Jerusalem. He was a resurrection witness [1 Cor 15:3-8].
In sharp contrast to Jesus' brief ministry, James enjoyed three decades in the leadership of the movement before being executed in his old age in 62CE in a dispute with the Sanhedrin.
Yes. And…?
No mention is made in the New Testament of Jesus' parents or his sisters or his other brothers (Joseph, Simon, and Judas) -- or indeed any hometown or pre-baptism acquaintance -- ever playing any role in the movement.
[@] False; see above.
Jn. 1:36-51 refutes the claim that Jesus recruited no pre-baptism and/or hometown acquaintances.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I love rap and R&B and listen to it every day (see a list of my favorite artists at my Amazon profile), but Proof's actions leading up to his death are hard to rival in terms of stupidity.
I am almost finished with my rebuttal to Brian Holtz's Easter post.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Know Your Priorities

God bless my wise, talented, dedicated, and compassionate coach, who rightly says that one's priorities should be:
1. God
2. Family
3. School
4. Sports

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Over at Remus and Romulus, the 1914-Present AP World History section is prettymuch finished.

Isaiah Authorship

Mirror link

MYTH
There are at least three different authors of Isaiah

The Catholic Study Bible (1990) affirms Proto-Isaiah (1-39) in addition to Deutero-Isaiah (40-55) and Trito-Isaiah (56-66). In this way, the predictive prophecy about King Cyrus is denied. There are good reasons to believe the book was composed in the 8th century by Isaiah. The Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint (LXX), Qumran, and other ancient texts don’t indicate multiple authorship. The LXX heading for the entire book is The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Later prophets (Nahum 1:15 on Is 52:7; Zeph 2:15 on Is 47:8,10) refer to Deutero-Isaiah as the work of one author, Isaiah. Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 48:22-25 refers to Trito-Isaiah as the work of the “original” Isaiah. Jesus Christ and other New Testament figures referred to the entire book as the work of the one Isaiah. Josephus in Antiquities XI, 3-6 --i. 1-2 states that the book has one author, the prophet Isaiah. Deutero-Isaiah and Trito-Isaiah contain Messianic prophecies and should be attributed to Isaiah. The whole book has great unity in perspective, language, and style, mentioning the "Holy One of Israel." Both the first part and second part of Isaiah tell us about a Messiah who is a Servant and a King. I realize that the title itself does not indicate authorship, but there are excellent reasons to believe that Isaiah is the author of the book.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Massive updates are planned for the Remus and Romulus AP History blog today.
At last night's basketball game I played OK; I was "getting my feet wet" in the words of my awesome coach. I executed the plays pretty well, but made two major mistakes: taking a shot after listening "to the crowd, and not the bench" and playing zone in one possession so that the man I was covering snuck behind me and scored an easy lay-up. I certainly would've scored had I played more, and certainly would've done a lot better had I studied the plays and tips coach gave me while I was on vacation.

Friday, April 21, 2006

If you haven't abandoned 9/11 conspiracism by now, SHAME ON YOU!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

420

How did this infamous 420 phenomenon come to be? The consensus is this (from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia): "... In the early 1970s, a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California used to meet every day after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana at the water tower. One piece of evidence supporting an origin of the term from the time 4:20 is the fact that the number is always said "four twenty". This theory is also the most cited, and the most widely-accepted." It's funny that at the time of this writing the Wikipedia article is read-only.

Do yourself a favor and quit using marijuana. [1]

[1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/alcohol-causes-depression-nausea-and.html

QMLK

MYTH
The Gospel authors depended on different collections of the sayings of Jesus which were called Q, M, L, and K

Whatever the date of the Gospel of John, we know that it was written by St. John the Apostle, an eyewtiness to the crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We know that each Gospel was written by the respective person in the title. We also know that of the "Synoptics," Matthew and Mark were written before A.D. 50, Matthew was written before Mark (Markan priority is false), and that Luke was written before A.D. 62. That Markan priority is incorrect is a fatal blow to the theory that a Q (Quelle = Source) document existed. Since Matthew was written by the eyewitness St. Matthew, positing a document called M is entirely unnecessary. Some people propose a hypothetical L document, which Luke allegedly used as a source. This theory will be evaluated in a future post.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I used to be a trivia buff, and I might start up that hobby again. If you see a list of "facts" that says "Elephants are the only animals that can't jump," then be a little suspect; there's also snakes, ants, worms, etc.
I may soon be working for a financial company, a bank, and/or Nike, but I'm definitely working for the volunteer ambulance and fire department. Hopefully this summer I will be able to help out Rotary International again.
On Remus and Romulus, I posted a mostly-finished portion of the list of things AP World students are expected to know for the Foundations Period, ca. 8000 B.C. to A.D. 600.
The Catholic practice of forbidding "practicing homosexuals" to become priests and bishops is not doublespeak. It wouldn't be right for a hypocrite who commits mortal sins on a regular basis to occupy that office. The same goes for a drug dealer, etc.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

4/18 Anniversaries and Birthdays

Today is the centennial anniversary of the devastating 1906 7.8+ magnitude San Francisco earthquake. It's also the 25th anniversary of the longest pro baseball game in history. The League of Nations was dissolved 60 years ago. 18 years ago America launched Operation Praying Mantis against the Iranian Navy in relatiation for the 4/14 naval mining of the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will. The operation lasted one day and is the world's largest naval battle since World War II. Moreover, today is the birthday of Pope Alexander VI's daughter Lucrezia Borgia, American attorney Clarence Darrow, American actor James Woods, Canadian comedian Rick Moranis, American actress Anna Kathyrn Holbrook, American comedian Conan O'Brien, American actress Maria Bello, and daughter of Scientologists [1] Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Suri Cruise.

[1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/02/scientology-is-false.html
REMINDER: Contribute to charity FOR FREE WHILE STAYING PUT. Do this EVERY DAY.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Gospel of Matthew

MYTH
The Gospel of Matthew was written well after A.D. 70

A late date for the Gospel of Matthew is poorly justified. The early Church fathers almost unanimously agree that Matthew was written before Mark, and Mark is quite early. Matthew 21:41-45; 22:7; 24:15; and 27:25 are predictive prophecy; predictive prophecy about the destruction of the Jerusalem temple dates back to Old Testament times. Trinitarianism is not a late development; see 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 and 2 Corinthians 13:14, which are dated to the 50s. The Trinity concept is also found in the Old Testament. The Saduccees are prominent in Matthew, indicating a time prior to A.D. 70. Matthew 5:23-24; 12:5-7; 23:16-22; and 26:60-61 indicate that the Jerusalem temple was still standing at the time of Matthew's composition. If Matthew's Gospel were written after A.D. 70, Matthew 17:24-27 would have been meaningless and therefore probably removed. Since Matthew was written before Mark, and Mark was written before A.D. 50 [1], Matthew was written before A.D. 50.

[1] http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/04/mark-131311-indicates-that-jerusalem.html

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Brian Holtz has responded to my page http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/so-far-following-parts-of-brian-holtzs.html at http://blog.360.yahoo.com/KnowingHumans?p=307. He points out that I have not accepted his cage match challenge. I don't plan to do so anytime soon, but will probably have a response by the summer (when, despite work, exercise, and other recreation, I will have plenty of free time to create a rebuttal). Then, he will no doubt have a rebuttal, to which I will respond, and the cycle will probably go on. I apologize for my simplistic and admittedly pathetic/lazy response to that assertion, and I will expand that post in the near future, and post a response to the section he added. Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl, Mr. Holtz.

Contra Catholic Study Bible

The Catholic Study Bible by Donald Senior, et al states that Apostolic Matthean authorship of the Gospel of Matthew is “untenable” because of Matthew’s dependence on Mark and apparent knowledge of the Roman War and destruction of the Jerusalem temple. However, Matthew 5:23-4, 12:5-7, 23:16-22, and 26:60-1 indicate that the Jerusalem Temple was still standing at the time of composition. Reading this Gospel, one notices that the author, a Hellenized Jew, seemed very at home in the Roman world, just as St. Matthew the tax collector would. In the story about a publican follower of Jesus, the author refers to "the house,"which is to be expected of a person writing about their own house in the context of a third-person narrative. Alleged Matthean dependence on Mark will be evaluated soon.

Gospel of Mark

Mark 13:1,3,11 indicates that the Jerusalem temple is still standing, and thus the Gospel of Mark was written before A.D. 70. The early church fathers unanimously testified that John Mark, a disciple of the Apostle Peter, is the author. Reputable Spanish papyrologist scientifically dated a Dead Sea Scroll Mark manuscript to A.D. 50, so the Gospel of Mark existed before A.D. 50. Mark 16:1-8 describes Jesus' Resurrection, whereas many people think the Resurrection account begins in the hotly debated 16:9-20 section; Mk 16:9-20 is part of the original text, as I will soon show.
Happy Easter! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gospel of John

Mirror link

MYTH
John the Evangelist did not write the Gospel of John

The Apostle John is certainly the author of the Gospel of John. Up until the 1700s, St. John the Theologian was universally accepted as the author of the Gospel of John. Ancient manuscripts label John the Apostle as the Gospel's author. Church Fathers Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishop St. Theophilus of Antioch, Bishop St. Papias of Hierapolis, St. Clement of Alexandria, attest to this fact. The author of the Fourth Gospel avoids mentioning his name during incidents in which the Apostle John was involved [John 1:37-40; 18:15; cf. 20:3-10]. The style of the Gospel indicates that the author was an eyewitness to the events. The author is the "disciple whom Jesus loved" [John 19:26; cf. 19:35]. In John 21:24, the author affirms that St. John the Apostle is the author of the entire Gospel. The striking similarity in teaching, style, and language between the Gospel of John and 1, 2, and 3 John--which are written by the "presbyter"--show that St. John the Apostle wrote the Fourth Gospel. The same St. John was the author of Revelation [Revelation 1:1,4,9; 22:8].

Quirinius Census in Luke

MYTH
The Gospel of Luke makes historical errors about the Census of Quirinius

Many people attack the historicity of the Gospel of Luke by pointing to the Quirinius census. There are good reasons to think such a census occurred. Luke is an extremely reliable historian, and this is especially clear in Acts. There is no information that contradicts Luke's assertion. The argument against the census is essentially an argument from silence. Augustus often took local censuses, and censuses were taken during a change of leadership, which happened in Palestine at the time Luke describes. Literary and archaeological evidence indicates that Augustus took a census for the whole empire at that time.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Good Friday. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Park was obviously very scenic, and you have to be there to fully appreciate the beauty of the trees, waterfalls, foliage, and wildlife. The ride up to the campsite is scary because there are hardly any guard rails and the turns are very sharp. The food is delicious at all the lodges. Visit Yosemite National Park when you get a chance!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

C.S. Lewis on Purgatory

A great quote from C.S. Lewis on Purgatory:

"Of course I pray for the dead. At our age the majority of those we love best are dead. What sort of intercourse with God could I have if what I love best were unmentionable to Him? I believe in purgatory. Our souls demand purgatory, don't they? My favourite image on this matter comes from the dentist's chair. I hope that when the tooth of life is drawn, a voice will say, 'Rinse your mouth out with this.' This will be purgatory." -- (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, 107-109)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Who Would've Thought?

Not surprisingly, Eminem and Kim Mathers are divorcing again.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Happy Palm Sunday. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Alcatraz

I enjoyed my visit to Alcatraz today. On the scenic boat ride to the island a fat worker said, "Have you folks seen any whales today?" We responded in the negative. Then, pointing to himself, he said, "Well, did you look this way?" That hilarious moment was a good note to start the tour on.

The structures on the island are visibly worn down. Many areas are fenced off. The demolished Indian residences with all the smashed concrete and gnarled, rusty cables look like a city destroyed by atomic bombs. In the same area, right when you exit the overgrown recreation area, there was a building that had water on the roof that was rippling from the cool, refreshing breeze.

The poignant audio tour was masterfully narrated. The section about the prisoner rebellion in which guards were taken hostage and 2 of them were murdered was especially haunting. I would've liked to learn more about individual inmates, but there are plenty of places from which that information can be gleaned.

The courageous guards and wardens are to be commended for risking their lives daily to try to improve the character of the prisoners; especially in the cafeteria, which was the most dangerous room to work in. I went into a solitary confinement room. A National Park Service employee closed the door and the room was pitch black. There was no chair, no toilet, etc. in the room. One convict spent his time tossing his shirt button and then trying to find it. Despite the lack of stimulation from light it was obviously very difficult to get a good rest. However, the workers their did their best to serve palatable food and treat the prisoners fairly.

After leaving realistic dummy masks with hair from the "barber shop" on their beds, three men managed to escape the jail, but their fate afterwards is uncertain. I'll look it up, but it seems likely that they never made it back to San Francisco and probably perished in the water.

If you have an opportunity to tour Alcatraz, take advantage of it!






Friday, April 07, 2006

America's Best and Brightest

AP World History was quite a farce today. Classmates thought that Muhammad founded Buddhism, that Islam was polytheistic, that Islam was founded in India, that the Exodus and Diaspora were of little historical significance (this was said by a Jewish girl!), and other things that were way off the mark. When I started answering questions about the beliefs and political, etc. effects of various religions, a classmate said it was easy for me because I had my study sheet out, and my teacher pointed out that I was the only one who bothered to fill any of it out. I didn't really refer to it because I have lots of outside knowledge from the research and reading I do, which I mentioned. It was pathetic that I seemed to know more about Judaism than the snobby girl I mentioned above, but most of my stuff was from common knowledge since I don't really research Judaism in depth at this time. It was basic: Torah, Talmud, Old Testament, Ten Commandments, Abraham, Moses, Exodus, Diaspora, Messiah had not arrived yet. Before the class discussion we worked with groups of 3 or 4 and I told my classmates everything we need to know for the AP test in those areas, and they seemed to treat me with skepticism, because they didn't copy the items down until the teacher mentioned them; they should've known that these were items we covered and therefore were important. This girl was very hostile to Christianity, saying in a nasty tone of voice that it was "intolerant." I knew this to be false, so it was only her manners that bothered me.

It seems that in some individuals intelligence quotient and common sense are inversely proportional.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Daily updates will most likely cease until the 16th because I will probably have little or no access to a computer while on vacation.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I am starting up a blog--Remus and Romulus--as a useful study guide for AP history students (World, American, European).

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Do Not Buy Anything from Fraudster Kevin Trudeau

FACT
Kevin Trudeau is a quack

Some blunt consumer advice: Don't buy Kevin Trudeau's new book "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know." It's not even the fact that he has a criminal history as a con artist, but the fact that he is an obvious quack right now! Trudeau fails to substantiate his medical claims with logic, evidence, and references and has no medical expertise. His website offers overpriced rehashed information that is widely available free of charge. The book comes with a CD on "How to lose 30 pounds in 30 days." That is dangerous! You should lose no more than 1-2 lbs. per week. It is an established fact that Trudeau hired people to give his book positive reviews on Amazon. [1] There are false claims about how to cure cancer based on bogus chemistry. If you bought this book, get a refund!

[1] Please check out my reviews on Amazon and leave constructive feedback. My review for David Ray Griffin's "9/11: The New Pearl Harbor" at the time of this writing has 8 "helpful" votes out of 58 total; this is the ridiculous work of conspiracist trolls--and that's no conspiracy theory :-). If you read it please vote "helpful" if you care about the truth behind 9/11: that it was NOT a USA government conspiracy.







Monday, April 03, 2006

I am fond of The Catholic Study Bible but it has a few flaws. It endorses the following theories which I believe to be false: the Q (Quelle = "Source") document, J-E-D-P theory, and Deutero-Isaiah. I will elaborate soon.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I am going to Mass for the 2nd time very soon. I will be baptized this summer.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Happy April Fool's Day. I haven't done a prank yet. It's really spring now; I did some work in the yard and the weather is great.