“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16
For 2,000 years, Jesus of Nazareth and the pages of holy scripture have taken on all comers, put the lie to every conspiracy theory, and stand untouched and unblemished by the accusations and ravings of a lost and dying unsaved world. This latest, and might I say, pathetic effort to discredit Jesus Christ and the bible will wind up in the trash bin with all the others.
And Mr. Atwill, if you are reading this, why don’t you get down on your knees and ask the Messiah you mock to save your wicked soul? My bible tells me He will…because if you don’t, you are going to wind up here.
From Covert Messiah: American Biblical scholar Joseph Atwill will be appearing before the British public for the first time in London on the 19th of October to present a controversial new discovery: ancient confessions recently uncovered now prove, according to Atwill, that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats and that they fabricated the entire story of Jesus Christ. His presentation will be part of a one-day symposium entitled “Covert Messiah” at Conway Hall in Holborn
Although to many scholars his theory seems outlandish, and is sure to upset some believers, Atwill regards his evidence as conclusive and is confident its acceptance is only a matter of time. “I present my work with some ambivalence, as I do not want to directly cause Christians any harm,” he acknowledges, “but this is important for our culture. Alert citizens need to know the truth about our past so we can understand how and why governments create false histories and false gods. They often do it to obtain a social order that is against the best interests of the common people.”
Atwill asserts that Christianity did not really begin as a religion, but a sophisticated government project, a kind of propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire. “Jewish sects in Palestine at the time, who were waiting for a prophesied warrior Messiah, were a constant source of violent insurrection during the first century,” he explains. “When the Romans had exhausted conventional means of quashing rebellion, they switched to psychological warfare. They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system. That’s when the ‘peaceful’ Messiah story was invented. Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to ‘give onto Caesar’ and pay their taxes to Rome.”
Was Jesus based on a real person from history? “The short answer is no,” Atwill insists, “in fact he may be the only fictional character in literature whose entire life story can be traced to other sources. Once those sources are all laid bare, there’s simply nothing left.”
Atwill’s most intriguing discovery came to him while he was studying “Wars of the Jews” by Josephus [the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea] alongside the New Testament. “I started to notice a sequence of parallels between the two texts,” he recounts. “Although it’s been recognised by Christian scholars for centuries that the prophesies of Jesus appear to be fulfilled by what Josephus wrote about in the First Jewish-Roman war, I was seeing dozens more. What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus. This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern. The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar.”
How could this go unnoticed in the most scrutinized books of all time? “Many of the parallels are conceptual or poetic, so they aren’t all immediately obvious. After all, the authors did not want the average believer to see what they were doing, but they did want the alert reader to see it. An educated Roman in the ruling class would probably have recognized the literary game being played.” Atwill maintains he can demonstrate that “the Roman Caesars left us a kind of puzzle literature that was meant to be solved by future generations, and the solution to that puzzle is ‘We invented Jesus Christ, and we’re proud of it.’”
Is this the beginning of the end of Christianity? “Probably not,” grants Atwill, “but what my work has done is give permission to many of those ready to leave the religion to make a clean break. We’ve got the evidence now to show exactly where the story of Jesus came from. Although Christianity can be a comfort to some, it can also be very damaging and repressive, an insidious form of mind control that has led to blind acceptance of serfdom, poverty, and war throughout history. To this day, especially in the United States, it is used to create support for war in the Middle East.”
Atwill encourages skeptics to challenge him at Conway Hall, where after the presentations there is likely to be a lively Q&A session. Joining Mr.Atwill will be fellow scholar Kenneth Humphreys, author of the book “Jesus Never Existed.” source – Covert Messiah
“But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time…” Jude 1
Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly does not believe that the bible is true or trustworthy, and in his new book “Killing Jesus”, he explains why. O’Reilly also says that, after casting doubt on the entire New Testament and mocking the words of Jesus, that the “Holy Spirit inspired him to write it”.
From NewsMax: Bill O’Reilly didn’t become the most popular personality in cable television news by being noncontroversial. And he told CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday that he wasn’t afraid to spark controversy in his new historical thriller, “Killing Jesus.”
Though he used the New Testament’s four Gospels as source material, he left out parts he doesn’t believe happened as written. For instance, Jesus didn’t say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” from the cross, the Catholic O’Reilly maintains. It wouldn’t have been physically possible, he said.
“You die on a cross from being suffocated,” he said. “You can hardly breathe. We believe Jesus said that, but we don’t believe he said it on the cross because nobody could have heard it.”
People have a right to take the Bible literally, he said, but in the case of “Killing Jesus,” he was trying to be historically accurate. He never says in the book that Jesus was the Son of God because his book is not intended to be religious.
“So is this the Gospel according to Bill?” asked “60 Minutes” correspondent Norah O’Donnell.
“This is best available evidence according to Bill,” O’Reilly responded.
The most important thing he learned while writing the book was that Jesus of Nazareth became the most famous human being who ever lived, yet he had no infrastructure. He had no government, no public relations expert, no money and no structure, O’Reilly said.
“It’s never been done.”
“Killing Jesus,” follows two other best-sellers by the former high school history teacher, “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy,” about two U.S. presidents assassinated a century apart. He writes the books with a co-author who does extensive historical research. O’Reilly uses the material to rewrite a fast-moving, compelling story.
He admits the titles are sensational, but explains that’s the only way to be heard in the marketplace. ”I just want to write about important things in a very entertaining way,” he said. “That’s the formula.”
While the book isn’t religious, O’Reilly is. He says he was inspired to write “Killing Jesus” by the Holy Spirit. He says he just woke up in the middle of the night and thought, “Killing Jesus.”
Asked by O’Donnell why the Holy Spirit would mark him as “the chosen one,” O’Reilly denied any such title. Instead, he said, he is “just one of many who have been given the gift. I can write and I can bloviate on TV.”
O’Reilly now makes more than $20 million a year through Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” a syndicated column and a live tour he does with comedian Dennis Miller. Two of O’Reilly’s third-grade classmates told O’Donnell he used to get the whole class in trouble by arguing with the nun who taught the class.
“Ain’t America great?” O’Reilly responded. “I was a little thug, and now I’m getting paid millions of dollars for being a big thug.” source – NewsMax
Reza Aslan, author of the new book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” has been interviewed on a host of media outlets in the last week. Riding a publicity wave, the book has surged to #2 on Amazon’s list.
His book is not a historian’s report on Jesus. It is an educated Muslim’s opinion about Jesus — yet the book is being peddled as objective history on national TV and radio.
Aslan is not a trained historian. Like tens of thousands of us he has been formally educated in theology and New Testament Greek.
He is a bright man with every right to hold his own opinion about Jesus—and to proselytize his opinion.
As a sincere man, Aslan’s Muslim beliefs affect his entire life, including his conclusions about Jesus. But this is not being disclosed. “Zealot” is being presented as objective and scholarly history, not as it actually is—an educated Muslim’s opinions about Jesus and the ancient Near East.
“Zealot” is a fast-paced demolition of the core beliefs that Christianity has taught about Jesus for 2,000 years. Its conclusions are long-held Islamic claims—namely, that Jesus was a zealous prophet type who didn’t claim to be God, that Christians have misunderstood him, and that the Christian Gospels are not the actual words or life of Jesus but “myth.”
These claims are not new or unique. They are hundreds of years old among Muslims. Sadly, readers who have listened to interviews on NPR, “The Daily Show,” Huffington Post or MSNBC may pick up the book expecting an unbiased and historic report on Jesus and first century Jewish culture. (I will let my Jewish friends address Aslan’s statement on MSNBC that, “there were certainly a lot of Jewish terrorists in first century Palestine.”)
As a journalist and author who is Christian I cannot imagine penning a so-called objective biography of Muhammad and then concealing my conflict of interest in national media interviews.
In world history there are no religions more violently and anciently opposed than the crusading, fighting, at times blood-shedding rivals of historic Islam and historic Christianity. Even non-violent Muslims and Christians, like Aslan and myself, understand that we hold aggressively oppositional views—particularly about Jesus. National news coverage of “Zealot” has ignored this conflict of interest.
“Zealot” is written with the self-assumed authority of groundbreaking revelation from a historian. In reality, it is a religious person’s opinion about Jesus—from an adherent to the religion that has been in violent opposition to Christ for 1,400 years.
Aslan informs us that we cannot trust the Gospel of Mark–because it was written 40 years after Jesus’ death. He then chides us to trust his new book, written almost 2,000 years later.
I believe in Aslan’s right to hold and propagate any opinion. It’s a right that, ironically, Christians do not have in many Muslim countries.
My concern is that national media coverage be smart and forthright about this conflict of interest, just as it would be if I—a Christian author and pastor—wrote a book about Muhammad.
Pouring praise onto “Zealot” as new information about Jesus, without explaining its author’s devotion to a combatting religion, is blatant bias. This same bias would be unthinkable if the Christian and Muslim roles were reversed.
With its riveting demolition of Jesus, “Zealot” will continue to attract interviews—some from reporters who want to see Jesus deconstructed. Many more interviews will come from reporters who simply don’t understand that Reza Aslan has a horse in this race. He is not an objective observer, but, to use his own word, a zealot, with religious motivation to destroy what Western culture has believed about its central figure for hundreds of years. In many ways, this conflict is larger than Christianity and Islam. It is a conflict of Western and Middle Eastern foundations. These are great and important debates that we should welcome, but let’s be honest about our motivations, positions and conflicts of interest as we dialogue.
Let’s hope reporters in future interviews will, being informed, mention the glaring conflict of interest in this Islamic opinion of Jesus. It is no more objective than my educated views about Muhammad, as a Christian.
“Zealot” is not new work from a historian. It is a sophisticated presentation of views that Muslims have held about Jesus for more than 1,000 years. source – Fox News
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” James 4:14,15
We don’t know Susan’s spiritual condition, if she has trusted in Jesus Christ as her Saviour or not. But this story is a very timely-reminder of the brevity of life, that any one of us at any time can be struck down. We are not promised tomorrow, or even the rest of today. Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.
Today is the day of salvation…
Until I Say Goodbye
As her body succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, journalist Susan Spencer-Wendel wrote her life story. It took her three months to type it, letter by letter on her iPhone, using just her right thumb-all of her other fingers had stopped working by then.
“I cannot lift my arms to feed myself or hug my children,” the 45-year-old mother of three wrote in “Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living With Joy,” which will be published in March. By then, she says, she will probably no longer be able to speak clearly.
“My muscles are dying, and they cannot return. I will never again be able to move my tongue enough to clearly say, ‘I love you’,” she wrote. “Swiftly, surely, I am dying. But I am alive today.”
A former courts reporter for the Palm Beach Post newspaper in south Florida, Spencer-Wendel lives in Florida with her husband, John, and their children, Marina, 15, Aubrey, 11, and Wesley, 8. She was diagnosed with the disease during the summer of 2011, and swiftly decided to make every moment count.
Spencer-Wendel, who was adopted, met her birth mother in Northern California and journeyed to Cyprus to learn about her birth father. Before her body could fail her, she traveled to the Yukon to see the Northern Lights with her best friend, Nancy Maass Kinnally, in December 2011; her hands were so weak that Kinnally had to dress her in the heavy-duty cold-weather gear.
“Time to stop dreaming and start doing, I thought,” she wrote of her trip.
She and her daughter, then just 14, went to New York City to pick out Marina’s wedding dress at Kleinfeld’s Bridal, where the TLC reality show “Say Yes to the Dress” is set. Both mother and daughter are fans of the show; both know that Spencer-Wendel will not live to see her daughter walk down the aisle.
“As my beautiful daughter walks out of the dressing room in white silk, I will see her ten years in the future, in the back room right before her wedding, giddy and crying, overwhelmed by a moment I will never share,” she wrote. “When my only daughter thinks of me on her wedding day, as I hope she will, I want her to think of my smile when I say to her at Kleinfeld’s, ‘You are my beautiful’.”
She and her husband went to Budapest to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in May 2012. She wrote about her travels for the Palm Beach Post, where her stories caught the eye of editors at publishing giant HarperCollins. They offered her $2 million for her memoir; co-written with Bret Witter, “Until I Say Good-Bye” is expected to be translated into 25 languages. Universal Studios paid her another $2 million for the movie rights to her story.
But she knows that she doesn’t have much time left
“My decline is speeding up: each day I lose more steps and words. I now choke at most every meal, episodes which leave people around me screaming ‘Should we call 911?’ Ergo, I don’t eat much anymore,” she wrote in a New Year’s email to The Palm Beach Post.
“I knew it would be this way. So for Thanksgiving we had our major holiday event. Our entire families-40 in all-came. Was wonderful. Hectic, but wonderful,” she continued. “Thus, Christmas is a time just for John and me and our children.”
They celebrated by giving money to their favorite charities, and special “forever” gifts for family members-scrapbooks for her children, jewelry that can be handed down to her future daughters-in-law and grandchildren, personal gifts for her husband and parents. But the most tangible part of her legacy is her book.
“I am writing about accepting, about living with joy and dying with joy and laughing a helluva lot in the process,” Spencer-Wendel wrote on her website. With her memoir, she’s crossing one last item off of her life’s to-do list: “To make people laugh and cry and hug their children and joke with their friends and dwell in how wonderful it is to be alive.” source – Yahoo News
One more slap in God’s face
RELATED STORY: 400 Years Of The King James Bible
The Bible is the most published book by far and those numbers will continue to increase as a new English translation called “The Voice Bible” will enter the mix of scores of revisions of the Holy Scriptures. What makes this version different is that it has removed Christ, the term angel, and apostle from the wording.
Professor David Capes of the Houston Baptist University said that “people don’t really understand what the term Christ means”. Capes said the term “Christ” is a transliteration meaning “the anointed One of God”. Capes noted that even Christians erroneously believe that Christ is part of the name of Jesus instead of a title which Christ actually should be.
Capes called the Bible “the most owned and least read” literary work meaning many people have Bibles but don’t take the time to read it. The Voice was put together using scholars, poets, musicians and story tellers in hopes of making the Bible easier to read and understand.
An example is the King James in Genesis 1:1 notates, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” The Voice states, “In the beginning God created everything: the heavens above and the Earth below. Here’s what happened”. Not as majestic, but it gets the point across.
Reading for better understand is a great idea, but removing names as “Christ” because people don’t undertand the meaning of the word Christ may not be a good idea. Removing the title of Christ removes the meaning “Anointed One of God, Messiah, the Promised One; the Deliverer of the Jewish people from the scriptures.
The disconnect takes place in Bible verses as Isaiah 10:27 which read, “And it shall come to pass in that day that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.”
Anointing in Isaiah 10:27 refers to the title of Christ, the Anointed One of God. Removing Christ disconnects Christ as the identifier of Isaiah 10:27 and thus removes not only Jesus but removes the prophesy which is critical towards the referance to Jesus. This is just one example. Time has not allowed a complete analysis of what other “anointing” terms were deleted with Christ being removed from the translation. Even if it’s one, then it’s too much.
The Bible has been riddled with modern day updates that tweaks the meaning away from the verbage written 400 years ago. Reading for understanding seems like a nice intellectual enterprise, however the Bible is illuminated through revelation knowledge that is spiritually discerned. It is an intergrated message system that is interconnected with other verses in the Bible.
Words written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit need not be adjusted or changed since we lack the ability to understand if there is an interconnection to other scriptures. Changing one word can interrupt or void other written scripture. This is one reason why there is a warning about adding or subtracting from the word of God.
In 1 John 1:27 the word says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
The Holy Spirit, which Jesus commanded the earliest disciples to wait for in Jerusalem, is very spiritually connected to Him. The anointing breaks the yoke of bondage and sets the captives free, ie: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”, which is John 8:32. The anointing and title of Christ transcends our understanding, thus our understanding should not be a reason why Jesus’ title is subtracted from the equation. It diminishes what Jesus represents. source – Examiner
A Gift For The Muslim Couple
The bible has quite a different take on this subject: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” Ephesians 5:25
From the Toronto Sun: The 160-page book, published by Idara Impex in New Delhi, India, is written by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who’s described in the book’s foreword as a “prolific writer on almost every topic of Islamic learning.”
It wasn’t clear whether the shop has ordered more copies of the book, but it’s available at online Islamic bookstores and even through eBay.
In the book’s opening pages, it is written that “it might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.”
Later, its author advises that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”
Page 45 contains the rights of the husband, which include his wife’s inability to leave “his house without his permission,” and that his wife must “fulfil his desires” and “not allow herself to be untidy … but should beautify herself for him … ”
In terms of physical punishment, the book advises that a husband may scold her, “beat by hand or stick,” withhold money from her or “pull (her) by the ears,” but should “refrain from beating her excessively.”
Moderate Muslim voice Tarek Fatah says the shopkeeper should be charged for selling such a book.
“I wouldn’t say it’s hate, but it is inciting men to hit women,” said Fatah, who identified the book’s author as a prominent Islamic scholar. “This is new to you, but the Muslim community knows that this is widespread, that a woman can be beaten. Muslim leaders will deny this, but… ”
Male dominance over women has been making headlines for some time, with the recent lengthy trial and conviction of the Shafia family.
Mohammad Shafia, 59, his second wife, Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son, Hamed, 21, were each convicted in January on four counts of first-degree murder in what was characterized as an honour killing of four female family members as punishment for disobedience. They were handed life sentences with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Shafia’s three daughters and his first wife were found drowned in a car at the bottom of the Rideau Canal in Kingston, Ont., in June 2009.
Eric Brazau says he was flipping through the marriage guide while in the bookstore around a month ago.
Brazau bought it out of curiosity but was taken aback when he found dozens of chapters and passages giving Muslim husbands advice on controlling, restraining, scolding and beating their wives.
“At first, I thought that it is incredible that this kind of thing can be found in Canada,” said Brazau. “And then I thought, radical Islam is not coming to Canada, it is already here.” source – Toronto Sun
The Coffeehouse Chronicles
If you are or will be the parent of a college student, or if you know anyone who is struggling with their faith as a result of the often liberal views being taught at universities across the country, I invite you to do two things…First, I invite you to check out Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett’s three book series entitled The Coffeehouse Chronicles.
The brilliance of The Coffeehouse Chronicles, with titles including, Is The Bible True…Really?, Who is Jesus…Really?, and Did the Resurrection Happen…Really?, is that it is set on a university campus. The story centers around a handful of students and professors who share real life together, all the while wrestling with deep theological truths. The character development and storyline is so compelling, the reader will actually feel as if they are sitting at the Coffeehouse taking part in the discussion. The second reason this series is a very worthy read, is that it addresses every major theory that will be thrown at college students related to their faith—with the goal being not just to challenge their faith, but to refute it all together. Upon reading this series, many students will be able to, for the first time, defend their faith not just with their heart, but with their mind as well. They’ll be able to give sound answers from history regarding the inerrancy of the Bible, the deity of Christ, and the validity of the resurrection. Without a doubt, these books should be in the hands of every college student as well as those who love and minister to them. For these reasons, The Coffeehouse Chronicles has earned a well-deserved grade of an A!
Secondly, I’d like to invite you to a very special event regarding The Coffeehouse Chronicles…JOIN Co-authors Josh McDowell & Dave Sterrett for The World’s Biggest CoffeeHouse Chat Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 7 PM Central/7 PM Pacific. Josh, a former agnostic and best-selling Christian author, and Dave of I am Second will host a one-hour live, interactive webinar to tackle your hard-to-answer questions about the Bible, Jesus, and the Resurrection. To sign up for this event, or to purchase The Coffeehouse Chronicle book series, go to http://www.theworldsbiggestcoffeehouse.com/.