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THE END OF BIBLICAL STUDIES BY HECTOR AVALOS

The fact of the matter in relation to whether Christianity is true or false, is that people are paid to tell lies on behalf of the religion.  This happens in relation to the Bible which is promoted as a beautiful work of art, the core of our civilisation and the word of God by Christian "academics".  They get qualifications in telling lies and ignoring important truths.  They are the wilfully blind leading the wilfully blind and leading the lazy and the stupid.  Another tactic they use to prevent people assimmilating the truth is to create confusion and dispute when there should be no dispute.  This is using noise to keep the voice of truth from being heard.  They write complicated articles that people think are clever and smart.  The end result is if these articles say things such as Jesus was sinless or rose from the dead people will think these claims are credible.  They will think that not because they read the articles but because the articles exist.  An uneducated person thumbing through a Christian scholars book will think it is a smart book.  That lends credence to the faith.

The outstanding research of Hector Avalos shows that Bible study is good but not in the hands of dogma promoting careerists.

We are told God wrote the Bible but the fact is that it was tampered with a lot.  “The text of many biblical books was probably unstable and very changeable during their earliest history. For example, we now know that the Greek version of Jeremiah, which is one-sixth shorter than what is found in modern Bibles, actually does faithfully reflect another Hebrew edition found in the DSS.”

“Jesus and New Testament authors routinely quote the Greek translation, even when it disagrees with the Masoretic Text.” He points out how Jesus in Matthew 5:31 quotes the Greek text as saying that whoever divorces his wife I give her a divorce certificate. But the original Hebrew text does not have I give her. This is important for it means Jesus is saying that either Moses or God is giving the certificate. Avalos points out Jesus use of a Greek translation is embarrassing for Christianity claims that the original Bible texts not the translations are infallible and from God.

The New Testament says all scripture is breathed out by God and prepares one to be fully godly.  Avalos says that the original untranslated text makes it clear that all scripture is a way of saying that “there is no such thing as a passage that may be considered less doctrinally important than any other passage.” He links it to Deuteronomy 4:2 where God reveals that any adding to God’s word or what God has said or any subtracting is bad and forbidden and the reason must be is that all of what God said is important for teaching.  That doctrine means that Christians cannot say the moral rules of the Old Testament are obsolete.  Other rules could be but not those ones.  Christians with an agenda often downgrade the Old Testament in order to get doing what they want with a clear conscience.

The purpose of scripture is to make us good in God’s eyes which is why the text says all scripture helps the man of God to be complete and ready for every good work.  That clearly shows that Bible scholars who invariably use speculation and other things to interpret the Bible are frauds. Some say that Romans 1 condemns temple prostitution among men going with men but does not condemn gay sex as intrinsically bad.  That is an example of speculation being allowed to colour how you read the text.  It is just a licence for misreading.

Avalos points out how 100% per cent certainty or knowledge only means that you assume your senses and your brain are tools for learning which means that what they tell you is considered proven. Anything else that is not as directly known such as stuff we are told by others amounts to belief not knowledge. For that reason, a belief that by its nature cannot be tested or checked is unreasonable. A fact that cannot be tested is not a fact as far as the person is concerned.  My comment is that certainly shows it is silly to believe in miracles for you cannot test that they are true.  A person can as easily say they saw a miracle as that they did not so for that reason it is unconvincing.

Avalos deals with how some treat anything the Bible says as being wrong until some independent source shows it is right. What about the idea that the Bible should be assumed to be neither right or wrong until some independent authority shows what it says is accurate?  The Bible does not claim to be a normal text but the word of God.  That increases the demand for the evidence you need to call it accurate.  It is not unfair to hold the Bible to a higher standard of verification and testing than you would if it claimed to be a natural normal document.  Not doing that is what would be unfair.

There is an ossuary reading James brother of Jesus.  We read that the team that thought the Jesus word was added in on the James ossuary have been accused of cleaning the inscription and contaminating it.  I contend that the reference to Jesus was added but that the ossuary could still be of James and thus the ommission of Jesus could be a sign that Jesus never existed or that the New Testament when it titles James as brother of Jesus did not mean it literally.  The ossuary affair is just the Turin Shroud thing all over again with its getting credibility from those who shout the loudest against those who might or probably know it is a fake.

Christians speculate that the New Testament is too complex to be sheer lies.  “The rise of Arthurian literature refutes the notion that ancient authors could not create ‘complex stories about kingship out of the whole cloth’.” Avalos points out to how Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon which shows that a whole “history” that is not true can appear and be accepted by many very fast.  The reality is that if we lived in a Mormon world history books and all would be full of Book of Mormon "history."

Naturalism is the view that if something odd happens then it must be put down to natural causes and if we cannot prove it is natural it may be because the data is inaccurate somewhere. We have to explain it somehow and we know something can appear magical and still be non-magical. There is no unfairness or bias in that. It is not biased to accept the only valid explanation - that it is natural.  A valid explanation does not mean right explanation.  It means the one you should go for.

Avalos mentions the idea of some that the idea that Jesus rose from the dead is the one that explains the data the best. He points out how William Lane Craig argues that the theory outstrips rival theories and “no naturalistic hypothesis has attracted a great number of scholars.” As Avalos said it all depends who he considers scholars. And what is supposed to be the consensus now might not be in a few years. I have to ask, since when did the most important reason to believe in the resurrection, the alleged consensus of the so-called experts, override problems with the claimed resurrection?  That is very weak and is just trying to take advantage of people in Churches who are not confident to think critically of religion.

Avalos asserts that the people of Jerusalem are stated in Acts 13:27-27 to have buried Jesus not a handful of fearful disciples as the gospels say.  The burial was very quiet as if done in shame and was hurried.  That could not be more different than saying that the people of Jerusalem buried him.

Avalos quotes Reimarus who said that if those who saw Jesus’ miracles, or so the gospels say, and still had problems believing that he would rise from the dead and did (see Matthew about people doubting what they were seeing) why should we today be reproached for doubting or even disbelieving?

Avalos points out that the alleged beauty of the Bible in the original texts ignores the fact that it is often messy and riddled with bad poetry. He says that trying to make out the Bible is a work of art is disgraceful just like it would be terrible if somebody wrote a poem extolling beheaders and got it considered artistic. He points out that religious believers are still brutally murdering people which is why such material is obscene.

He writes with approval of how Eichrodt “notes that the Old Testament does not envision God as pure spirit.”  That is true. Not a single line of the Bible says God is a being without components or parts.  When people talk of spirit they usually have ghosts in mind and ghosts are never considered to be beings without parts but wear clothes and ring bells and so on.  It has always been that way.  Jesus called God spirit but never said he different from what people meant by the word.  It follows the part-free God of Christendom is a new one.  It is not Christian and yet it is fundamental to every single Catholic doctrine even the notion that God is able to turn bread into Jesus and relates to creation the notion of something being made from literally nothing.  Mormonism had the Christian God or something close to it until 1844 and Joseph Smith then decreed that God was not a spirit but a man.  It did the religion no harm.  Reason says that changing Gods is a big deal but people just let it go over their heads.  It is like they are hypnotised.

Avalos quotes Deuteronomy 10 where Israel is told that the Lord requires them to fear him and to walk in all his ways and to love him and to serve him with all their heart and soul and to keep the commandments which are given for their good.  So the essential command is to love and serve God with a complete heart - that means do all 100% just for him.  Then there is a command to keep the commandments for the common good.  So it is clear though you can love God totally and you can keep the commandments it does not follow that keeping the commandments is what you mean by the love.  There is no room here for such nonsense that putting God first is just a way of saying keep his commandments.  The two are inseparable but not the same.  Saying love God only means keep the commandments is silly for somebody must give you the damn commandments!  And it would follow belief in God does not matter and the atheist can love God more than the believer!

Avalos points out how Romans 9:6-8 has Paul declaring his followers to be Israelites though they are not of Abraham’s literal parentage they are adopted. Considering that the Israel concept was religiously racist – ie we are the chosen people and just us – that is not a good doctrine at all. Far from watering down racism, it opens it up to Gentiles to fancy themselves as Jews and having the right to look down on other cultures and nations.

Liberation theologians are shown up as frauds by Avalos. They pretend that the word for peace in Hebrew, shalom, is peace as in real peace when the term actually means imperialistic peace. That is, the people of God force peace on their conquests by forcing them to submit. He shows that Isaiah 14:1,2 is clear that he is right. Needless to say Liberation Theologians ignore all that and cherry pick texts hoping that nobody will have the sense to check their interpretations out in context.

Avalos points out how people such as Carl Ernst insist that Islam is really a religion of peace and it is how history and non-Muslims have treated Muslims that is behind the problem of Islamic violence.  That amounts to saying that Christianity both as a religion (eg the Crusades) and as accepting the validity of warmongering kings and leaders as Christians is to blame.

Avalos looks at a prophecy of Jesus nailing to the cross. When you remember that translations often take liberties and learn what the original said you see it is not a prophecy at all. He says the correct translation is, “Dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me. Like a lion my hands and feet.” He writes that a verb seems to be missing. Seems is an important word. But he thinks it could read, “my feet and hands [are] like a lion”.  It is felt that this phrase makes no sense but what if it was an idiom for making a lion of your hands and feet by being violent?  This prophecy is actually one of the most important ones and the gospels use it.  But it is too Nostradamus to read the crucifixion into it and it has lead to the Church misrepresenting it.  The misuse of the prophecy is clear proof that Christianity is dishonest.

Avalos debunks the lie that Christians tell about Ephesians 5 and its teaching of submission of wife to husband. The Christians say it teaches equal and mutual submission and never tell you that the text nowhere says the husband is to submit to the wife in everything but it does say the wife is to submit to the husband in everything.

Avalos has shown that from every angle, including the moral, the ongoing fraud that is Bible study needs to be halted in so far as it serves the interests of the Church at the expense of truth and true scholarship.