Where the Bible makes no sense at all

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Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:03 pm

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him in the temple...And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously." (RSV, Luke 2:41-48)

How many parents do you know who are going to leave a large city without being certain that their child is with them or has their permission to travel home with relatives or friends? And we're not talking a few miles to the next county to get home either. Jerusalem as the crow flies is easily 65 miles from Nazareth. Back then, that was at least a four day journey not even considering that by road the journey was probably somewhat longer.

Well, but one might say that knowing Jesus was God, they had no reason to be concerned for his wellbeing.

If that's the case, then why did they go back to Jerusalem to look for him? Couldn't the Son of God easily find his own way home? And why panic? Surely he'd be fine. He IS God after all.

As for "looking for you anxiously," it took them long enough--an entire day--to check on his whereabouts at all to see if he was in fact with relatives or friends. Wouldn't most parents check within a short time after setting out on a 60-some mile journey home to be certain their son was with the caravan and not merely "suppose" that he was?

Perhaps we might argue that a twelve-year-old in that time was nearly a man. Bar mitzvahs are held for thirteen-year-olds in our own time, so maybe Jesus's parents figured he was old enough that they trusted him to have joined the caravan homeward. But wouldn't you still check to be certain?

Does Jesus express any remorse for having caused his parents not only needless worry but their having had to search until they found him? Not a bit.

Which raises issues of how cavalierly Jesus treats his parents, particularly when they find him after what then amounts to four days of anguished searching.

What does he say to them? ..."How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (RSV, Luke 2:49)

What sense does that make? Of course, they're going to be searching for him not knowing where he might be. They aren't God!

Luke's description of his parents' reaction to this audacious little speech is, And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. (RSV, Luke 2:50) HUH? What's not to understand? Your son just said in essence, "DUH! You should have known where I was. How dumb are you guys anyway?"

This whole account is so nonsensical that I wonder how anyone can possibly believe it.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by john5180 on Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:21 pm

People loose track of their kids all the time, Dot. I know you had to have read it in the papers, or heard this on tv news before. Take your eyes off of the little crumb snatchers for half a second, and they turn into Houdini. And they are normally just as sarcastic when you do find them looking at the latest styles of the well dressed teens. Now after going through that experience with my first child, I simply left them to fend for themselves. Oddly enough, just as the dog or cat you drive for miles into the country to haul off, these kids generally manage to get home before you do, and distort the experience so greatly that I have found myself sleeping on the sofa without even as much as a blanket.

Teen aged kids, even those who are the son of god can be a royal pain in the ass.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by Willowcreek70633 on Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:49 pm

As Mary would of said "Oye, kids!"
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:33 pm

Oh, I'm not questioning how Jesus's behavior is portrayed. I taught teenagers for nearly twenty years and had more than enough experience with such idiocy and huffy arrogance from them.

I'm talking about how Luke claims Mary and Joseph acted.

I simply can't imagine parents setting off on a 65+ mile trip home that they do only once a year either on foot or maybe with some four-footed transportation and going a whole day's journey before figuring out that their son isn't with the group. This isn't having a teenager wander off at the local mall where they can call someone to haul them home.

This whole setup frankly strikes me as bad drama. "Isn't he with you guys?" "No, he told us he was going with you."

Now, I can believe where the chapter concludes that Mary pondered these things in her heart. Hell, she was probably wondering what the Holy Spirit was setting her up for from this kid next!

Although, come to think of it...this episode might explain what was going on during the so-called "missing years." Joseph probably hauled the kid out of the temple by one ear saying something like, "Son of God or no Son of God, if you think you're getting out of my sight or your mother's again until you're at least thirty, you've definitely got another think coming." Twisted Evil Wink
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DeavonReye on Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:05 am

There seems to be more going on in that story than just a lost child. And I agree that it seems quite odd that they would be frantic to find him. . . .in a city 60 miles away. How long would it take to travel on foot 60 miles at that time?

Anyway, there also seems to be a bit of an issue about, when they found him at the temple, Jesus saying, "did you not know that I would be about my father's business?", . . . to which they were not sure of what he was talking about, . . . .though they both were visited by angelic messengers before his birth stating his "son of god status".

As with many biblical stories, . . . they often don't make a lot of sense.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:57 am

DeavonReye wrote:There seems to be more going on in that story than just a lost child. And I agree that it seems quite odd that they would be frantic to find him. . . .in a city 60 miles away. How long would it take to travel on foot 60 miles at that time?

Three mph is a pretty brisk pace for me. That's what I usually set on a treadmill. Since people of their socioeconomic class mostly walked, I'd guess that 2.5 mph to 3 mph might be an average pace for adults. However, this was a group of relatives and acquaintances (Luke doesn't say how many altogether), so there likely were young children who would slow the group down.

Since it's mentioned they discovered his absence when a day's journey from Jerusalem, I'd guess they had to go back maybe 15 miles.

One estimate I found indicated that a very fit person could probably travel about 20 miles in a day if you were really booking it and barely stopped at all. So, I'm figuring that it likely took them 4-5 days to go the entire distance. Could easily have been more like a week if you factor in kids who couldn't walk that fast or were so small they had to be carried.

Anyway, there also seems to be a bit of an issue about, when they found him at the temple, Jesus saying, "did you not know that I would be about my father's business?", . . . to which they were not sure of what he was talking about, . . . .though they both were visited by angelic messengers before his birth stating his "son of god status".

Exactly. Since they knew their son to be the Son of God, you'd think that his possibly being in the temple would have occurred to them much sooner than after three days of frantic searching.

The only reason I can think of why they didn't seem to understand what he was saying was that they were amazed and furious that he had the nerve to say something of that sort in front of the highpriests that he was supposedly teaching. "Honor thy father and mother" perhaps? Mary immediately makes clear who they are when she says that she and his father have been searching frantically.

As with many biblical stories, . . . they often don't make a lot of sense.

Interestingly, this story was usually presented in my Christian years as demonstrating what a child prodigy Jesus undoubtedly was since he was answering the questions of the highpriests at age twelve. No one ever seemed to point out how obnoxiously Jesus behaved to his poor parents. Funny, that.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DeavonReye on Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:12 am

Hmmmm. . . . he really doesn't seem to be honoring his parents, in this instance, . . .does he?
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by MaineCaptain on Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:21 pm

Deavon, that is how I always saw the story. Why would he make his Earthly parents worry in the first place. We are not supposed to be dealing with a normal human teen here, but a supposedly divine one.

If he wanted to hang about at temple, fine, but let his parents know first, not just sneak off. Bad example for a god to be making, however it is perfect for todays teens. They can just say, "well, Jesus did it".

And the fact that Mary and Joseph had no clue was ridiculous, after all they should have had some idea, since they KNEW he was divine.

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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by john5180 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:01 pm

I get the feeling that people are making more of this tale than necessary. It's a story.... And perhaps, just perhaps there's a reasoning behind it that defies understanding. But then again, all of the heaping of guilt that comes from Christianity defies understanding.

The message I understand this story reveals is that this so called son of god was not understood to be more than just a normal everyday kid by those who knew him most. That is to say the idea of him being more was not something that was general knowledge to even his mother and father. Supposedly it was foretold that it was to be this way. Now I don't understand the message behind the reason for this story; but I don't take the message as literal. The idea that a religion has to build up this bazaar myth to accumulate a following to me defies all logic. Perhaps that was one of the very reasons I never was able to fully embrace the idea. But it runs hand in hand with the talking snake, and a god who would punish his creation in the manner this god does.

Christianity has this unseen god who goes about with a ledger checking off every past flaw in it's creation, looking for ways to punish for his piss poor workmanship. I would prefer, and in fact do believe in gods (and the occasional goddess) who goes about looking at the good people do in their every day walk. My religion has a gotcha for both good and bad actions in the way it returns like for like, and not a particular judgment day when one goes on trial for the crime of being born human.

For those of you who can't get behind the meaning of most of the biblical stories, why not just accept the religion for what it is..... one that oppresses it's followers, sets standards that even their mangod can't follow, and keeps people living a life of constant fear in not being quite good enough to make the cut.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DeavonReye on Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:42 am

True. . . . . and that's why I won't ever be able to follow it again. If it had truly been the story of "the god of love for all humanity", and didn't include all the barbarism, crazy stuff, and inconsistencies, . . . then it would be worth following. IF the god (or goddess) took the time to actually reach me in the way that works for me, . . . that is.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DotNotInOz on Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:14 am

john5180 wrote:For those of you who can't get behind the meaning of most of the biblical stories, why not just accept the religion for what it is..... one that oppresses it's followers, sets standards that even their mangod can't follow, and keeps people living a life of constant fear in not being quite good enough to make the cut.

Behind the thread topic is my belief that there has to be something else going on when a large number of intelligent, rational people can't seem to see how nonsensical much of the Bible accounts are.

As you suggest, John, it's a rather frightening form of conditioning that doesn't allow people to think past the point of "Pastor/priest says so."

Those who persist in doing so generally end up like most of us here, realizing that the carefully restricted interpretations presented to churchgoers are the cherries picked from what's actually said in the Bible.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by gillyflower on Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:54 am

It is simply because it is "sacred" and they (and I include myself) were told how one is supposed to interpret it. If they changed the names, it would be a different news story:

Today the 12 year old boy who went missing from his parents group 3 days ago was found safely in a church. He said he ran away because he was the son of God. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

I mean, come on! Every parent knows that one would feel relief at first quickly followed by the temptation to beat the heck out of the little squirt, who cares who the dad was. They'd be grounded forever!

The response to the story is emotional - hear the story, feel proud that the son of Yahweh was so smart. (And really the son of Yahweh should be, eh?) It is drilled until there is no thought involved, just the knee jerk reaction. It is an emotional cue card.

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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by john5180 on Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:24 am

DotNotInOz wrote:

Behind the thread topic is my belief that there has to be something else going on when a large number of intelligent, rational people can't seem to see how nonsensical much of the Bible accounts are.

As you suggest, John, it's a rather frightening form of conditioning that doesn't allow people to think past the point of "Pastor/priest says so."

Those who persist in doing so generally end up like most of us here, realizing that the carefully restricted interpretations presented to churchgoers are the cherries picked from what's actually said in the Bible.

One line in Gilly's post says it all Dot. "It is drilled until there is no thought involved, just the knee jerk reaction. It is an emotional cue card." You've heard it on boards like this, and most likely in real life too... "Once you've come to believe, you'll understand." It's mind control, plain and simple, and plays on fear, which btw is a very strong emotion. Once a person really looks at what they are being taught, and loose their fear of the bogey man, as you said, they generally end up like most of us here; or turn into what those who persist in accepting the irrational call "not Real(tm) Christians", or of the lukewarm variety.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by john5180 on Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:19 pm

DeavonReye wrote:True. . . . . and that's why I won't ever be able to follow it again. If it had truly been the story of "the god of love for all humanity", and didn't include all the barbarism, crazy stuff, and inconsistencies, . . . then it would be worth following. IF the god (or goddess) took the time to actually reach me in the way that works for me, . . . that is.

As in all belief systems, Deavon, Christianity has good ideas that are worthy of emulating. The idea of good will toward your fellow humans is one. As is doing what is right to others as you would want done to you. Could the religion carry this off without this example of how one does not show honor to their parents? I believe so. Could this religion carry these ideas off without the concept of a egotistical god who demands love of him above all else? I most emphatically think so. Could this religion survive if it accepted the fact that as a part of creation, we have built in flaws, and can only aspire to do the best we can with the tools we are born with, and not need to worry that our flaws will in some way lead to our destruction as well as our planet by a vengeful god?

These are the things that I had the most problems accepting about the religion. And I had this problem even before I knew there were any other religions out here to follow.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DeavonReye on Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:53 pm

I think most of the concepts would have been known without christianity. It makes for a better society to "treat others as you would want to be treated". It doesn't take a religion to know that one should love, be patient, be kind, being gentle, etc. But there is something to be said about people REALLY being [ultimately] scared of the consequences of "not believing", more than anything else. That fear keeps them from even looking at a possible decenting opinion, seeing it as "satan inspired". I used to be that way, . . . . in the past, . . . . afraid of looking at materials/beliefs that were contrary to what I had been raised with. I once dropped a college level class because the professor "dared to state, 'if you believe that the earth is young [6,000-10,000 years old], stop by after class and I will tell you why that is wrong'." I would take that class today, . . . if I was still in college, that is.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by Davelaw on Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:11 pm

This story is best understood by looking at Mecca during Haj or any other place where great pilgrimages still occur. The entire Galilee emplied out to go to Jerusalem. That 60 mile path was jam-packed with foot travel. I doubt they made more than ten miles a day.

As for purposes behind the story-it merely repeats recurring memes: a Prophet has no honor among his own and I have more understanding than all my teachers being two of the main ones.

I am still a fundy and literalist-yet I dare any of y'all to make the claim that "I blindly repeat without thought" with a straight face.

For the record "inerrant" means the doctrine is without error is useful for doctrine, correction and instruction; not the strwmwn about history and science-that are usually constructed so they can be knocked down.

And one can believe that all time was created by God 6000 years ago; but that history and our past were created at the same time-resulting in data that goes back billions of years.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by Davelaw on Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:11 pm

This story is best understood by looking at Mecca during Haj or any other place where great pilgrimages still occur. The entire Galilee emplied out to go to Jerusalem. That 60 mile path was jam-packed with foot travel. I doubt they made more than ten miles a day.

As for purposes behind the story-it merely repeats recurring memes: a Prophet has no honor among his own and I have more understanding than all my teachers being two of the main ones.

I am still a fundy and literalist-yet I dare any of y'all to make the claim that "I blindly repeat without thought" with a straight face.

For the record "inerrant" means the doctrine is without error is useful for doctrine, correction and instruction; not the strwmwn about history and science-that are usually constructed so they can be knocked down.

And one can believe that all time was created by God 6000 years ago; but that history and our past were created at the same time-resulting in data that goes back billions of years.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:15 pm

Davelaw wrote:

And one can believe that all time was created by God 6000 years ago; but that history and our past were created at the same time-resulting in data that goes back billions of years.

That's a mindfuck in a sentence for sure. Very Happy


Though in earnest we new-agey types are told we create our past just like we do our present and future, since time is an illusion and it's all in the Now.

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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by Davelaw on Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:20 pm

why? thats the parameter for most recorded history (6000-10,000 years)-so why is so hard to believe the rest of the "backstory" was created?

One could even make an argument that we didn't gain souls until we gained some sort of literature-whether written or oral. Or in other words Adam and Eve even if they existed were not truly human until they became part of a collective -something greater than themselves.


Last edited by Davelaw on Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:21 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : for clarification)
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DeavonReye on Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:41 pm

Dave, . . .because it [a made up past] would be an untruth. Something that never happened. And it would be absolutely unnecessary BUT to deceive many people.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by gillyflower on Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:59 pm

It's a myth, people, or rather the bible is a collection of myths. It isn't meant to be true. It is meant to entertain and to explain what is important to a particular culture at a certain point in time. It was important to someone within the later culture (200 AD let's say) to show that Jesus was a child prodigy. It's a foreshadowing story. Look at the myths of Hercules. He has the same type of myths about him as a child. It's to make the story better. It show that the signs were there while they were growing up, rather than all of the sudden as an adult. It makes for a better story.

Ed to add: the OT was also an oral history of a tribe and given that they were the authors of it, its going to have some bias, depending upon who had the clout at the time. Think of the oral history of your own family. Some stuff is going to get left out when telling it to the next generation because it doesn't fit the sensibilities of some people, some stories, like "fish" stories, get exaggerated, some people's versions of the incident are so different from other people's versions that you wonder if any of them were even there, sometimes people mash a couple of stories in together and never know they've done it, it evolves.

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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by DotNotInOz on Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:31 pm

Davelaw wrote:This story is best understood by looking at Mecca during Haj or any other place where great pilgrimages still occur. The entire Galilee emplied out to go to Jerusalem. That 60 mile path was jam-packed with foot travel. I doubt they made more than ten miles a day.

Huh? A bunch of people observe the traditions of their religion by traveling long distances to visit places they consider sacred during a major religious holy day. What's to understand? And how does understanding that people do this add anything to our comprehension of this account?

As for purposes behind the story-it merely repeats recurring memes: a Prophet has no honor among his own and I have more understanding than all my teachers being two of the main ones.

Again, HUH? Why would either be worthy of reiteration in a compilation to which people are directed for guidance in leading a more virtuous life?

For the record "inerrant" means the doctrine is without error is useful for doctrine, correction and instruction; not the strwmwn about history and science-that are usually constructed so they can be knocked down.

Such as what doctrine that is without error? The resurrection, for example? Or do you understand the resurrection of Jesus somewhat differently than "was dead and then wasn't"?

How can a doctrine be inerrant when we can be reasonably certain one of the primary events upon which Christianity is based never happened?

And one can believe that all time was created by God 6000 years ago; but that history and our past were created at the same time-resulting in data that goes back billions of years.

I'm with TED on this one. This is a mindfuck the likes of which I've rarely encountered.

No thanks. I'm not into believing in a deity that deceives and lies like this, which is what creating all time 6000 years ago and simultaneously establishing a historical timeline containing data billions of years old amounts to.
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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by MaineCaptain on Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:30 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:

And one can believe that all time was created by God 6000 years ago; but that history and our past were created at the same time-resulting in data that goes back billions of years.

I'm with TED on this one. This is a mindfuck the likes of which I've rarely encountered.

No thanks. I'm not into believing in a deity that deceives and lies like this, which is what creating all time 6000 years ago and simultaneously establishing a historical timeline containing data billions of years old amounts to.

I agree with Tiger and Dot. I would want no part of a deity that would play such games. That would be the behaviour of a cruel trickster. Not an honourable being, worthy of worship.

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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by gillyflower on Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:07 pm

"Hi, there, I'm Yahweh and I created the earth 6,000 years ago but I'm going to make humans think that it is much older just to really f*ck with their heads! Isn't that a mahvelous idea, dahling?"

I can see Eddie Murphy playing god here.

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Re: Where the Bible makes no sense at all

Post by gillyflower on Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:10 pm

I take it back. This is pure Robin Williams playing Yahweh.

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