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Is the Bible a collection of superstitious beliefs?
June 13, 2007
7:05 pm
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In referring to the veracity of the Christian Bible, two renound thinkers state the following:

"We find collected in this book [The Bible] the superstitious beliefs of the ancient inhabitants of Palestine, with indistinct echoes of Indian and Persian fables, mistaken imitation of Egyptian theories and customs, historical chronicles as dry as they are unreliable and miscellaneous poems, amatory, human and Jewish-national, which is rarely distinguished by beauties of the highest order but frequently by superfluity of expression, coarseness, bad taste, and genuine Oriental sensuality."
Max Nordau (1849-1923)

"The dogma of the infallibility of the Bible is no more self-evident than is that of the infallibility of the popes."
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

What evidence do we have that repudiates these claims?

June 13, 2007
8:32 pm
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The Bible Code - Proof of God?

Submitted Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Submitted by: Dante Petrilla (33)
Dante Petrilla

Imagine the ability to predict the future. Events, places, names, dates and times mapped out in front of you on a sheet of paper. And while cutting edge science is theorizing that time, as Einstein once remarked, may itself be an illusion, that there is no real difference between past, present and future - it seems outlandish. Who can know the future?

On November 1, 1994, author Michael Drosnin flew to Jerusalem and had a letter delivered to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The letter warned of a possible attempt on the Prime Minister's life. Drosnin believed that Rabin was in danger and felt the need to warn him. His letter was ignored. On November 4, 1995, Rabin was shot dead by an assassin who said he was on a mission from God.

Had Drosnin uncovered some plot to assassinate Rabin? No. He found his information in the Bible. Drosnin is a reporter from New York City who formerly wrote for the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and he is the author of an astounding book called The Bible Code.

The Bible code, as the name implies, is a hidden code which exists in the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament. This mysterious code amazingly uncovers specific details of important historical events which happened thousands of years after the Old Testament was first chiselled in stone.

The notion that there might be some sort of hidden code in the Bible was first hit upon by a rabbi by the name of H.M.D. Weissmandel from Czechoslovakia. He noted that at the beginning of the book of Genesis if he skipped fifty letters, then a further fifty, then fifty more, the letters in this skip sequence spelled the word "Torah". Torah is the Hebrew name for the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch). He also found this sequence in the Books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

More than fifty years later, a Russian born mathematician by the name of Eliyahu Rips heard about this purely by chance. He found it interesting and did some follow-up work. With the help of a modern computer Rips unlocked the Bible code.

The program Rips applied to the original Hebrew text searched for significant words or phrases spelled out in any number of skip sequences like the one mentioned above. It could be every second, fifth, tenth or thousandth letter in the 304,805 letter long string which is the Torah. A keyword or phrase is located in this way, and the skip code is identified. If, say, the keyword is spelled out using every 100th letter, the text is then arranged in rows of 100 characters in length. The program then searches the surrounding text for related words or phrases. Every time the rows are rearranged according to different skip sequences a new set of interlocking text is created surrounding the particular keyword, whatever it happens to be. But if even one single letter of the Torah is out of place or missing, the code will not work.

The amount of information which has been found in this manner in the Bible code is nothing short of astonishing. In his own words Rips, "Found words encoded far more than statistics allowed for by random chance." And one of Israel's leading mathematicians is quoted as saying, "Statistically it is far beyond what is normally required. The most stringent standard ever applied is 1 in a thousand. Rips' results are significant at least at the level of 1 in a 100,000..."

Rips, working in conjunction with colleagues Doron Witztum and Yoav Rosenberg, developed a mathematical model which when applied to the Hebrew Old Testament via computer, confirmed the existence of the code.

They conducted an experiment to obtain this verification of the code in which they searched the text for the names of 32 significant wise men from historical to modern day. They wanted to see if the names would appear along with the dates on which these people were born and died. They also searched other control texts including a Hebrew translation of War and Peace for these same names and dates. The results were shocking.

All the names together with the correct birth and death dates appeared in the Bible code. None appeared in any of the three control texts. They calculated the odds of this happening to be 1 in 10 million.

A paper detailing Rips, Witztum and Rosenberg's premise and results of their experiments was submitted to Statistical Science, a journal of mathematics from the U.S. The skeptical editor of this publication had the results checked an unprecedented three times by separate mathematical experts to determine its authenticity. Each expert came back in disbelief with the same result - there was a code in the Bible. The paper was published in August of 1994. No one could refute the findings or even bring them into question, and no one has since. What's more, no one has been able to explain how this code was created.

Harold Gans, a master code-breaker working in America's National Security Agency investigated the code, believing it to be a hoax. Gans set out to prove that there was no code. He went to the trouble of devising a computer program of his own to search the text.

Gans used the same information Rips and his colleagues used in their original experiment with something added. It was Gans' thinking that if the names and dates of the wise men appeared together, so should the cities where they were born. Amazingly, all the cities were there as well, all matching the appropriate names and dates. Gans said, "I set out to disprove the code and ended up proving it."
That the Bible code exists seems at this point to be an unarguable fact despite its incredible nature, what it contains, and what the implications of its existence are.

Here is just a small sample of some of the more interesting things found in the code: The stock market crash of 1929. The words "depression", "stocks" and "economic collapse" all appear with the Hebrew year "5690" which is 1929 on our calendar.

"Evil man", "slaughter", "Nazi and enemy" appear encoded together with the name "Hitler".

"Newton" appears with "gravity". "Edison" appears with "light bulb" and "electricity". "Wright Brothers" appears with "airplane". The list goes on and on. In fact, practically every significant event throughout history appears together with relevant names, dates and phrases. The amount of accurate information is staggering.

So what exactly could we be dealing with here? A mathematician by the name of I. Paitetski-Shapiro who also examined and confirmed the code's existence is of the opinion that its ostensible ability to predict future events is outside the scope of classical Newtonian as well as quantum physics. He believes it is representative of some higher intelligence. In fact, he believes that it is confirmation that God exists.

Another question which arises concerns whether or not the code is written in stone, so to speak. It has been spot on in predicting events which took place after its first writing which were in its future, but to us exist in the past. But what of our perceived future?

Mathematician Roger Penrose suggests in his book Shadows of the Mind that it is only our consciousness which requires us to perceive a "flow" of time, and that in physicists' description of space-time, space and time are interchangeable. Time is no more required to flow than is space. If time truly does not flow such as we perceive, then it is reasonable to assume that a being of sufficient intelligence, possessing the technology capable of producing something as complex as the Bible code, would be able to "view" the whole fabric of time in one complete picture. Any and all probabilities would be a part of this picture, and the reality of what we experience may only represent a tiny part of it, and be no more significant than any other part of the picture - a single thread within an intricate and complex weave which makes up this fabric of time.

Is the Bible code predicting just the one possible, unchangeable future, or is it presenting us with probabilities based upon what is happening in our perceived "now"? Could we change the future?

We can return to Drosnin's experience with Rabin's assassination to examine this. Drosnin had seen Rabin's assassination in the code a year before it happened, but he didn't really believe in it at the time. He nevertheless attempted to warn the Prime Minister to no avail. And as Drosnin asserts, Rabin's death brought the reality of the Bible code home to him, and in a strange way this is connected to something else Drosnin subsequently found in the code.

In 1995 Drosnin found "Holocaust of Israel" encoded with our year 1996. On further inspection he found in the same place, "atomic holocaust". There were also other connected phrases in this area which seemed to link these events with the Rabin assassination: "The next war", "It will be after the death (of) Prime Minister", "Yitzhak".

Then Drosnin noted that the characters in Hebrew which represent 1996, "5756" also spell out the phrase "Will you change it?" Drosnin and Rips who were working together on the code at that time were compelled by the evidence and convinced of a real danger - the threat of a possible nuclear attack on Israel which might spark another world war.

Drosnin went to great pains to contact and convince Prime Minister Shimon Peres. He believed that the danger was real, but that it was possible something could be done to prevent it. After much communication with Drosnin, an initially sceptical Peres made a speech in Jerusalem in which he focused attention on the great danger posed by nuclear weapons falling "Into the hands of irresponsible countries..."

There was no nuclear attack on Israel in 1996. So had Drosnin, with the help of the code, succeeded in changing a supposed future prediction of war? Was the Peres speech a catalyst which stepped up security and prevented at atomic attack on Israel? There is no way to know.

So is it possible that the Bible code could be a warning for us - a creation of some benevolent being or race with an intelligence far exceeding our own who desires to help us? Perhaps a God? Again, there is no way to know, but the evidence shows that the code seems to be a stark and sometimes frightening reality. It is not someone's personal interpretation of Nostradamus or any other prophet. It is a self evident, objective reality in its own right which has been confirmed by numerous initially skeptical experts.

The Bible code even refers to itself. The phrase "Bible code" is encoded from the books of Genesis to Numbers. The word used to refer to Bible is Torah which, again, is just the first five books of the Bible. The phrase appears attached to "He encoded the Torah and more".

And in the book of Deuteronomy, "Bible code" again appears, but this time the word used for Bible is Tanakh, which refers to the Old Testament in its entirety, suggesting that perhaps more than just the first five books are encoded. The phrase appears with "Sealed before God".

It also contains the inter linked phrases "It was made by computer", and "The writing of God engraved on tablets". This suggests that the technology of the computer was required to unlock the code which, in fact, it was. Indeed, Sir Isaac Newton was obsessed with the notion that there was a code in the Bible, and spent much of his life trying to prove it. If he had had a modern computer, he doubtless would have found it.

So if the code is a way of warning us of possible future catastrophic events on our planet, how do we go about putting it to good use? How can we know what to look for? Rips says that, "Our efforts to see the future and to do something about it both probably play a role." So what we might do is to carefully examine the current events we believe may be shaping our future in a significant way, and look for these in the code, then search for surrounding clues as to what might happen. In this way we might discover a course of action which may improve our chances of survival.

And it may be in our best interests to do just this. For just as the code told of comet Shoemaker-Levy smashing into Jupiter, naming the comet, the planet and the date exactly, it also encodes "comet" with the Hebrew year "5766" which is 2006, and "Year predicted for world". The phrases "Its path struck their dwelling", and "starlike object" also appear here. We have a few months left in this year, so hopefully this one won't come to pass.

"Comet" is also encoded with "5772" (2012), and "Earth annihilated", and "It will be crumbled, I will tear to pieces".

Great earthquakes are forecast for Los Angeles in 2010. "World war" is encoded with 2000/2006 as well as "atomic holocaust". Another possible catastrophe is predicted for the far-off date of 2113 where we find the phrases "desolated, empty, depopulated", and "for everyone, the great terror: fire, earthquake".

There is more, but this alone should be enough to make us sit up and take notice of this enigma called the Bible code. Whether or not it is God trying to help us along is open for debate, but could the code actually save us from some future catastrophic event? Strangely, it suggests this itself where along with "world war", "atomic holocaust" and "end of days" the phrase "code will save" is found. Perhaps we should examine the code in more depth and perhaps save ourselves.

For more reading on the Bible Code, visit http://www.torahsearch.com

June 14, 2007
6:51 pm
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OMW

"On November 1, 1994, author Michael Drosnin flew to Jerusalem and had a letter delivered to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The letter warned of a possible attempt on the Prime Minister's life. Drosnin believed that Rabin was in danger and felt the need to warn him. His letter was ignored. On November 4, 1995, Rabin was shot dead by an assassin who said he was on a mission from God. "

1.

Has the author documented all the cases throughout the world of biblical prophecy not coming true?

If not then the author is not presenting evidence to support this being anything other than a random chance event.

I could go around predicting the future a million times until I am right just once and then offering this correct prophecy as evidence that I am a prophet! Hmmmm!

2.

I'm sure that the 'information' found in the bible was very non-specific about the name, date and the actual details of the events predicted. thus the author's imagination and biassed interpretations play a large part in making the prophecy fit the events. The Prophecies of Nostradamus require the same mental 'agility'! Hmmmmm! It's like putting a jigsaw together with a sledge hammer to get the picture you want not that which the jigsaw designer intended. I'm sure the scribes of old who wrote the biblical documents would be quite amused by all this manipulation of their intended meaning to fit the present day events. After all Christ's followers thought the world would end within a hundred years or so of Christ's death. That's if Christ ever really existed of course which some suggest that he didn't.

"Mathematician Roger Penrose suggests in his book Shadows of the Mind that it is only our consciousness which requires us to perceive a "flow" of time, and that in physicists' description of space-time, space and time are interchangeable."

I would agree with penrose on this point. But to use Penrose to justify what follows destroys the author's credibility completely. I'm sure Roger Penrose would agree.

As for finding some mathematical code in the bible, I'm sure great mathematicians can find such code in Phantom comics too if they tried hard enough.

"Great earthquakes are forecast for Los Angeles in 2010. "World war" is encoded with 2000/2006 as well as "atomic holocaust". Another possible catastrophe is predicted for the far-off date of 2113 where we find the phrases "desolated, empty, depopulated", and "for everyone, the great terror: fire, earthquake"."

Yea'r right! Will these authors stand up and publicly admit they were wrong when these events don't come to pass? Not bloody likely. Their false predictions are conveniently forgotten by all.

These crackpots are predicting all over the place all the time. When a prediction comes true they are quick to claim the success but remarkably slow to claim their failures. Why is that, do you think?

Thanks for providing support for the cut and paste. What your post does prove to me is the superstitious, irrational, illogical, gullible nature of those who seek to find sense in nonsense.

June 15, 2007
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On my way, are you getting a fee for promoting this gibberish? I give this as much credence as a person standing on the street, holding a sign, claiming "The world is coming to an end".

June 15, 2007
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Robert123 ~ you've made me laugh for the second time in 2 days. Thanks!

June 15, 2007
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Robert 123....well isn't this what Libs is for?...promoting gibberish of sorts?
And thank you...if you see me as promoting this as opposed to simply taking conversation in Libs, I consider that as a compliment! 🙂

Tez,
I have heard of the Bible Code before, but have not studied it or experienced it first-hand. But I don't consider it entirely impossible.

Do you also remember such singng groups as Grateful Dead & Jimi Hendrix...it was said when these records were played backwards, you could hear demonic voices. So who knows. I personally beleive in the supernatural, and you already know how else i believe.

June 15, 2007
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Charles Manson heard voices telling him to kill. Those voices came from the Beatles White Album.

I guess he could have just as easily have heard it in another groups- Herman's Hermits- Iron Butterfly.

June 15, 2007
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OMW
You wrote:
" ... isn't this what Libs is for?...promoting gibberish of sorts?"

I believe that neither the Site Coordinator nor very many others would agree with this statement of yours regarding the raison d'etre of the Liberation Threads. But then I'll wait and see what others have to say on their own behalf.

And you followed up with:

"I personally beleive in the supernatural,..." <.I>

Do you mean by this statement that anything that you cannot comprehend, you believe in filinf it away under this classification of "supernatural"?

This is at the very foundations of all superstitious beliefs; namely, that for which one cannot explain the causations, one attribute the causes to supernatural forces such as either divine or demonic intervention.

The authors of the bible did exactly this in trying to explain to those, whose minds they would manipulate, the causes of the calamities that befell them.

June 15, 2007
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bevdee
15-Jun-07

"Charles Manson heard voices telling him to kill."

Some people hear voices telling them to strap explosives around their waists and to die for Allah their God. The Crusaders slaughtered thousands in the name of their god, Yehweh,(or was it Jehoveh or his son who preached otherwise?).

Others write down what these same voices tell them . Nowadays these same writings are called the Bible and the book of Mormon, the Koran etc, etc.

Who is it that gets to decide which of these voices are not hallucinations? The pope, learned theologins, or the individual who is hearing the voices? Manson obviously thought the latter and acted accordingly. This is the danger of giving unsubstantiated credence to these superstitious beliefs such as Christianity in our society.

June 15, 2007
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"Tez, I have heard of the Bible Code before, but have not studied it or experienced it first-hand. But I don't consider it entirely impossible."

Could of fooled me OMW 🙂 You produced pages of material on The Bible Code. You seem to be very knowledgeable about it.

June 15, 2007
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Tez you ask - "Who is it that gets to decide which of these voices are not hallucinations? "

Those with the strongest faith that their own personal voices are right?

June 15, 2007
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To the believers here: Do you think this Bible verse is true?

Deuteronomy 23:1 ESV

"No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord."

If its true, then, isnt it sad? If its false, then you've answered Yes to Tez's question.

June 15, 2007
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G_!

What is this Bible-gonad fixation you have?

June 16, 2007
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Bible gonad, lol. Yesssss. Thats because its the shortest most embarrasing Biblical verse. Find me another and I'll switch to that, heh. I am BAD.

I'm sorry my religiuos friends, thats the way I am, I dont care. If Bible sentenced me to Hellfire becuase I chose not to be "saved", I should atleast be free to make fun of it while I'm alive.

June 16, 2007
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OMW- "Robert 123....well isn't this what Libs is for?...promoting gibberish of sorts? And thank you...if you see me as promoting this as opposed to simply taking conversation in Libs, I consider that as a compliment! :)"

I thought Libs is for thoughtful conversation and discussion. Not just promoting something like propaganda. Do you not enjoy "taking conversation"? Dialogue vs monologue?

June 16, 2007
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No, I don't think Libs are for promoting gibberish, but for a respectful discussion and exchange of opinions...which not always takes place here. For the long time I saw Libs like a back alley, the gloves are off, and where one doesn't have to be respectful to other posters and everything is allowed including personal attacks.

Aside from that, personally I don't care if there is a code in the bible, if there are 100 of them. This book promotes misogyny, patriarchy, sexism, heterosexism and homophobia, to name a few. If the Heaven I am promised by obeying will exclude all the people who have different ideas and ideals, I'd rather not go there. I am here for too long, and I've seen too much to buy that kind of "teaching", no matter if there are codes in it or not. If you can hear hellish sounds in Jimi Hendrix's music (how nicely does it fit that he happened to be an African American, meaning "black" - look up what "black" means in a dictionary; well, maybe no more, but certainly it did when he was alive), then I am sure you can hear and see all kinds of different, supernatural things all over the place, including baby's talk.

June 16, 2007
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It is not "just" that.

It also contains poetry and philosophy.

It also has stories, some of which are more-or less true.

And it also contains the teachings of Jesus.

June 16, 2007
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On the 16-Jun-07, referring to the bible, you said:

"And it also contains the teachings of Jesus."

How do you know that?

How do you know the the Jesus Christ that features so prominently in the last 21.24% of the bible, really existed at all?

One biblical scholar points out that from non-biblical sources so much is known and recorded about James, Jesus's bro, yet practically zilch is known or recorded about the most famous 'rebel' against Roman authority in Judea except through mythological recountings by the party faithful who obviously filled in all the gaps and modified the verbal traditions to suit their own ends. Such verbal hand me downs were not even recorded to well after JC's death. Even then Paul, the great adversary of JC's bro James in the matter of doctrine, wasn't even around when JC was supposedly in full flight!

I have more faith in the veracity of the dreamtime stories of the Australian Aborigines and their 'saviors' than I do in the 'dreamtime' stories of the tribes of ancient Judea.

By comparison, the Buddha reportedly lived 500 years before JC yet there is a glut of the Buddha's direct teachings recorded in Chinese, Sanskrit and Pali.

Why wasn't the same done for JC? All we have is 327 out of 1539 pages in the bible and much of those 327 pages is gobbledy gook - not JC's direct teachings at all. However Paul figures prominently in those 327 pages along with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. What happened to the 'gospel of Peter' the so called head of JC's church??

In fact if Paul hadn't solicited help from a highly superstitious Roman emporer, who won a battle and attributed his success to crosses painted on the Roman shields, then Christianity would have withered on its superstitious vine. Perhaps his success was more attributable to the training, discipline and courage of the Roman legionnaires than to any divine intervention. But then what's new. In a severe drought as we have in much of Australia right now, Christians pray for rain. If rain comes then their God heard their prayers. If it doesn't then their God still heard their prayers but for reasons, supposedly beyond human understanding, said "NO"! I say Hmmmmmm! Another extremely viable alternative is that there is no God in existence to hear anything. Yet another is that the Christian God is either deaf, impotent, or an a..hole. Take your pick.

June 16, 2007
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Tez

First, in referring to your question about the veracity of the claims that the bible is infallible, I don't believe you have to look any further than the contradictions in the bible to know that there is no veracity. There is indeed infallibility.

But to answer one of your questions- No, I don't believe there is any substantial proof. I can't think of anything in that bible that can be proved. Godluvem, those bible advocates are still trying. And they have and will continue to offer weak *archeological* finds and so-called historical proof to the *fold* that will never look beyond or question what these so called experts dish out to them. They call that faith.

Well- of course I had some more thoughts on this. So I looked around a little, and I learned some more.

I find it very ironic that there is so much strife between Islam and Christianity. From what I have read, in the bible and elsewhere, I believe that these two religions evolved from Judaism, which was an evolution of Persian (Iranian? Iraqi?) mythology, and the Persians probably borrowed from even more ancient myths, dating all the way back to Asia Minor. It is ironic to me that Christianity and Islam are so opposed to each other and call each other infidel, each convinced that the other is evil. Because of translation? A difference of opinion, splitting hairs? That need to be right?

I have always thought that all religions are basically saying the same thing and Islam and Christianity both share the beliefs of
Monotheism, worshipping one God,A prophetic tradition. - one that recognizes figures called "prophets. Are of a Semitic origin, a linear concept of history, beginning with the Creation story.

The Persian religion of Mithraism predates Christianity, and was practiced at the time Jesus was reported to have lived. Mithras is the Roman name for the Indo-Iranian god Mitra, or Mithra, as he was called by the Persians. Mithras is believed to have been born in a cave on Dec. 25, of a virgin. He was a shepherd and a soldier. There are depictions of Mithras carrying a lamb on his shoulder, but he was also a bullslayer - Mithras died and rose 3 days later from a cave.

Reading about this bullslayer caused me to think of Brahman bulls and I got to thinking about the Hindu Brahma , and I googled that and came upon the following. (My mind takes these little side trips, sometimes - and I let it - and those trips still lead me back around to what I was thinking of in the first place) The word Abraham is derived from Brahman, and Aristotle and Voltaire were of the belief that Abraham was descended from Indian priests. Ab in Arabic means father.

Brahma was also born not requiring the earthly womb of a mother, being born from a lotus in the navel of a mangod. The bull is promininent in mythology and godman religions, representing power and strength.

There are certain parallels between the Hindu god Brahma and his woman, Sarai-iswati, or Saraisvati and the Jewish Abraham and Sarai. Both couples were half - brother and sister. The bible also states that Hagar's son Ishmael,and his descendants lived in India. "...Ishmael breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his kin... They dwelt from Havilah (India), by Shur, which is close to Egypt, all the way to Asshur." (Genesis 25:17-18.)

I have never before thought of Hindu. Seriously, I never gave it much thought, or the proximity of all those countries. I guess that shows how narrow my scope is. I don't watch TV too much anymore, certainly not anything educational, and despite all the thought I have given to religion as I know it, how it makes me feel,and recovering from that - I didn't give it much thought, other than to surmise that the patriarchal societies just changed it all up from the goddess religions. I have really been looking inward in the last year.

Zoroastrianism is the religious system founded by Zoroaster, an ancient Persian prophet and set forth in the Avesta scriptures, teaching the worship of Ahura Mazda (supreme god) in the context of a universal struggle between the forces of light and of darkness. (sound familiar?)

The Bundahishn (Iranian book of creation) has three main themes - creation, the nature of earthly creatures, and the Kayanians (their genealogy)
Zoroaster was the prophet, born of a virgin, baptized in a river, began his ministry at age 30. Tempted by the devil in the wilderness. He told of Ahura Mazda who is the highest god and alone is worthy of worship. He is,the creator of heaven and earth - of the material and the spiritual world. He is the source of the alternation of light and darkness while the malevolent is represented by Angra Mainyu , sometimes referred to as Ahriman.
His followers celebrated a sacred eucharistic meal. Mithraism is believed to be an outgrowth of Zoroastiansim. But that's not an original script, either.

There are other similar stories. Attis predated Christ. Before and during the years the Christian Gospels were written (from the reign of Claudius, AD 41 - 54) there was this Festival of Joy, which celebrated Attis' death and rebirth yearly in Rome. Attis, long haired and beautiful, was born to the Virgin Nana on December 25th.
He was both the Father and the Divine Son. After his death he was reborn as an evergreen pine. Cybele was his woman, and ceremonies in her honor, worshipping the mother goddess were celebrated in the spring. Like - Easter, Mother's day. Fertility rites.

Attis' predecessor was Ishtar, whose name Easter is derived from. The use of a cross as a religious symbol is attributed to her mate, Tammuz.

Hundreds of years before Jesus, there was a story told about a godman, Dionysus, another virgin birth in a stable. He travels with around with these followers, preaching and performing miracles, and he too, turned water into wine. But - he pisses off the authorities, who are appalled that he refers to himself as the son of god. He allows himself to be arrested and tried for blasphemy- a sacrifice he is willing to perform for mankind. He is found guilty and executed, and rises from his grave three days later, where the women weeping at his tomb do not recognize him until he assumes his divine form. Cool story - that one sounds familiar.

Look up the story of Krishna, of a divine incarnation, birth attended by shepherds, and wise men and given gold, frankincense and myrrh. He died nailed to a cross, descending into hell and arising on the 3rd day to go to heaven.

Check out the myth of Osiris, or Horus, the Egyptian god of life, and depictions of him show him holding a crook and a flail , instruments used by a shepherd. He was also born of the virgin Isis-Meri in a cave and manger with a star to announce his birth on Dec 25th. Baptised at age 30 by Anup (which translates to John). He performed miracles and he too, walked on water. He was known as the *Fisher*. Horus was part of a Trinity - with Atum the Father and Ra the Holy Spirit. This cult of Osiris was considered a mystery religion, one in which religious functions were closed- for which the inner-working of the religion were kept secret from the general public. From what little I know about these "esoteric" religions - this sounds alot like the Egyptian Rosicruceans and the Freemasons.

If you are still reading and still interested, check out these guys- Adonis born December 25, son of the virgin Myrha.

Hermes born December 25, son of the virgin Maia, a member of a holy trinity Hermes Tris-Megistus

Bacchus, born on December 25, was crucified in 200 BCE.

Prometheus, born on December 25, descended from heaven - God incarnate as man, to save mankind, and was crucified, suffered, and rose from the dead.
Dec 25th is the winter solstice. The sun stops its southerly path on Dec 22nd for three days before returning to its northerly path again. The Sun is reborn on December 25th. The calendar originally began in the Virgo constellation- so the sun was reborn in the sign of the virgin? I have read the suggestion that the 12 *helpers*, or 12 disciple theory may have originated with the *helpers* of the Sun- the 12 signs of the Zodiac. Makes sense in a nonsensical, caveman explanation kind of way.

I believe there are many more plagiarisms, I just haven't found them yet. There have always been stories that niggled at me. Like Athena springing from the temple of her DaddyZeus. Gimme a break - that's as weird as the rib story. It defies medical science. Lilith? The Jewish Adam's first old lady? She was probably borrowed from the Sumerian fables of Lilla. Who know where Sumerian Lilla came from? Beyond recorded time, I reckon. I really liked that Lilith, though, she's my kind of gal. She gave as good as she got.

There was a flood that Brahman or Abraham fled, about 1900 BC, but that was in India. Heavy rains and an earthquake that caused the rivers to flow backward caused a westward migration, and everyone migrated out toward what is now referred to as the Middle East, Egypt and Greece. The names of *Noah'*s sons and/or grandsons were very much like some of those of the biblical and Q'uran Abraham's. Maybe Noah and Abraham were the same dude. Maybe there were two accounts of the flood. There were two creation stories in Genesis.

I think the *authors*, the editors and compilers of all these bible stories, picked what they liked, changed some of it, then rolled into one story to suit the needs of the people of the time. I see that it has been edited throughout history to suit the political needs of the people at the time. Political. Military. Onward Mithran soldiers, oops sorry - Christian soldiers. It was probably about land way back then, or borders, and now it is about fuel. It's always about pride.

I've been thinking about or saying this since I was 14 years old- Religions are all the same stuff- there may be some ancient truth in there, but in my opinion there's a lot of bullshit to wade through.

So to answer the thread title- yes, IMO, it is superstition. I just can't buy the story of a godman or saviorman that is born without a mom - c'mon - virgin birth. But- at a time when there was no science, no biology, no physics, no psychology, no ology whatsoever- no study of. At that time these myths and their propagation throughout the centuries may have been an attempt by men to explain that which caused wonder. Or to explain the staus quo. But- the satus quo has changed so much now. IMO , the explanations are insults to even medium intelligence now.

I still have more to ponder!

June 17, 2007
9:06 am
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Robert123
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bev, interesting stuff. What I also find interesting and possibly a bit unerving is how belief systems themselves are acquired. My understanding is most are
developed in childhood and are absorbed from our parents. They aren't actually 'ours', but rather a mirroring of what we were taught. Later in life we may develop our 'own' but it may involve letting go of everything we have been taught our entire lifetime. This may prove too frightening for most. To entertain the possibility of a different viewpoint or thought that is not inside the constraints of conventional religious thought requires a fearless attitude and strength. This is something I am working on. bev it sounds like you have given your belief systems a lot of thought. Keep up the good work.

June 17, 2007
9:10 am
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Robert123
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bev, interesting stuff. What I also find interesting and possibly a bit unerving is how belief systems themselves are acquired. My understanding is most are
developed in childhood and are absorbed from our parents. They aren't actually 'ours', but rather a mirroring of what we were taught. Later in life we may develop our 'own' but it may involve letting go of everything we have been taught our entire lifetime. This may prove too frightening for most. To entertain the possibility of a different viewpoint or thought that is not inside the constraints of conventional religious thought requires a fearless attitude and strength. This is something I am working on. bev it sounds like you have given your belief systems a lot of thought. Keep up the good work.

June 17, 2007
9:12 am
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Matteo
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Thank you Tez, that was very informative and interesting. Seems like the whole bunch of gods was born on December 25 to a virgin?

From what I know the main difference and animosity between Islam and Christianity comes from worshiping Jesus as a god by Christians. Muslims treat him as a prophet, but believe in one God, not a Trinity.

June 17, 2007
2:37 pm
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on my way
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Good grief...all of you sound alike! you guyz-z-z-z-!

Islam reigns from Ishmael in the OT, and Christianity reigns from Isaac. I think when Iran finally invades Israel with bombs, the world will see some 'supernatural' acts.

guest if you are reading this far...I kiddingly & affectionately agree with bevdee about you being obcessed with biblical gonads. You are too funny.

gibberish...of course Libs is not about gibberish, except that I am certain that my beliefs are 'gibberish' to you, and your beliefs I do not adhere too either.

June 17, 2007
8:42 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Tez,

Mind you, I believe that some of the things attributed to Jesus in the Bible are simple falsifications and that Jesus is spinning in his grave about it.

It does not really matter whether or not the "teachings" of Jesus as conveyed in the Bible actually represent the teachings of Jesus--in fact even if Jesus was a fictional character and his "teachings" were written by a comittee it does not matter.

Just like it does not matter if the Buddha was an actual person.

There is a body of powerful and sublime moral and philosophical teachings there.

As you probably know, there are many congruences between the teachings of Buddha and the teachings of Jesus.

June 18, 2007
3:16 am
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bevdee
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If either Buddha or Jesus lived at the times they were reported to have - Buddha could never have been a Christian, but Jesus might have made a good Buddhist.

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