Thursday, April 24, 2014

Judas, at dinner, with the kiss of death

This time Billy Graham fields a question about Judas. This should be interesting...
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why did Judas betray Jesus? It’s never made sense to me, because for years he’d been close to Jesus, hearing his teachings and seeing his miracles. And anyway, why did the authorities even need to find someone to betray Jesus? — D.M.
If Jesus did everything he is said to have done, and Judas witnessed it he probably wouldn't have betrayed him. But the Bible says that he did, so that should speak volumes about Jesus' supposed
abilities as much as Judas' character.
DEAR D.M.: During Jesus’ final days in Jerusalem large crowds gathered to hear him, and his enemies were afraid a riot might break out if they attempted to arrest him publicly.
Yes, people were said to come and listen to him. But it was a congregation that would be of no worry to the might of the Roman army. That's like claiming that the US Armed Forces wouldn't be able to easily take down the Tea Party if there was a battle between them. Jesus' followers would be easy for the Roman army to defeat (in number and fighting skill/equipment). So there goes that excuse...
They needed to arrest him privately, but they didn’t know where to find him, since each night he slipped away to a secret location outside the city. That’s why they were delighted when Judas offered to betray Jesus by leading the soldiers to him.
It's not just that the Romans didn't know where to find Jesus, but that they didn't even knew who he was. When Judas turned Jesus in, he had to go as far as pointing out (kissing) which man Jesus was. Isn't it odd that if Jesus was so well known, and had such a large following that the Romans would have absolutely no idea what he even looked like?
Judas will always be something of a mystery to us because you’re right: He had been with Jesus almost from the beginning and had all the evidence he needed to convince him that Jesus was the Savior sent from God. And yet he willingly turned against Jesus and offered to betray him for 30 pieces of silver.
Judas' surprise turning against Jesus isn't a surprise when you look at the Bible as the work of fiction that it is. It reads like a intriguing twist in the story.  It's like when Snape kills Dumbledore in Harry Potter. Or like the twist in The Sixth Sense when we find out that Bruce Willis' character had been dead the whole time. Judas switching sides is an interesting plot development. And seeing that the
Bible is fiction, it makes a lot more sense in that regard.
Why did he do it? Was it greed? That may have been part of it, because the Bible tells us that as treasurer of the little band of disciples Judas sometimes stole money from them. Or was it disappointment, because Jesus refused to become a king and Judas wanted power for himself? We can only speculate about this.

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Or maybe it was none of those reasons. Remember, when the Bible was compiled there were many parts that were left on the cutting room floor. One of those was the Gospel of Judas. In this book, a different story is told. One where Judas does turn Jesus in, but because Jesus asked him to so that all could be fulfilled. How about that option Billy? Or also the option that there was no one for Judas to betray in the first place.
But the real reason was that although he was outwardly committed to Jesus, in his heart Judas remained rebellious and unbelieving. He is a sad illustration of the Bible’s warning: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NKJV). May we all learn from his tragic example, and instead be firm in our own commitment to Jesus Christ.

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One thing I have never understood about Christians is the contempt they sometimes show toward Judas. Okay sure, he turned Jesus in. But if he hadn't, Jesus wouldn't have been crucified. No crucifixion, no resurrection. No resurrection, no savior dying for the sins of all. Without Judas there is no Christianity and no redemption for it's followers. Christians owe that all to Judas. So they should actually revere him rather than hate him. Oh but silly me, here I am using logic again...

-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The mysterious avocado

Sometimes I listen to the radio in my car, and there is an advert that Chipolte is running that I really don't much care for. The spot in question poses questions about the supposedly mysterious avocado. But is it really that mysterious?

Chipolte asks:
The humble avocado. Wrinkly on the outside, yet tasty on the inside. Why is it that way?
Um, to be appealing to the creatures that originally evolved alongside the avocado. They would eat from the plant, and distribute the seeds. Just like every other fruit-bearing plant.
Are you a fruit or vegetable?
It's a fruit. The botanical definition of a fruit is the area of a plant that develops from the flower and contains the seeds. That definition includes the avocado, so it is a fruit.
We don't know why mother nature made you how she did, but we salute her.
Yeah, we actually kinda do... The avocado's creation was driven by evolution. We also know that it is a holdover from another time. You know that giant pit in the middle of an avocado? That's where the seed is. An animal is supposed to eat the fruit, pit and all (just like when a bird eats a mulberry). Later on, the pit/seed is passed by the animal. Then, a new avocado tree would possibly grow where is was deposited.

The avocado co-evolved alongside the mammoth and the giant sloth. These large mammals would eat the avocado whole, and later pass the pit with the seed. In fact, several fruits actually guard their seeds in a hard shell to protect them from being chewed on and eaten, but still be viable when they
The giant sloth would probably love guacamole.
are later 'plated' by the animal that ate it. I know that when I started my Ginkgos from seed, I had to scrape the hard seeds with a knife to help promote their chances of growing.

So avocado evolved to be eaten by a giant sloth or mammoth. That's why the seed is so big. It tastes good, because the tree needs to animal to take and distribute the seeds. But now those creatures are gone... Lucky for the avocado that we found them tasty though. We can't eat the seed, but we can plant them and grow them. If it weren't for human intervention, the avocado may have died out eventually.

You see, the avocado isn't really a mystery at all. It's a product of evolution that survives to this day.

-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How will you view the future?

My wife and I went out for a car club cruise on Saturday, and along the way we realized that with it being Easter weekend, the door-to-door religion salesmen would probably be about. We saw a guy that look like he was selling Mormonism when we went through one town. I wondered if we'd miss whoever comes to our house, or if I actually be home for a change. When we got home, I got my answer... The Jehovah's Witnesses had let us yet another pamphlet in our door.

Since I love to analyze these things, let's do just that...
How do you view the future?

Will our world ... 
• stay the same 
• get worse?
• get better?
How do I view the world? I try to be optimistic, but also realistic. Anything could happen. Medical science could find the cure for cancer tomorrow, or WW-III could break out. The world could get better or worse. But all of that in mind, I try to remain positive, and work to make the best of whatever situation I find myself facing. I can tell you one thing though, the only future the Bible predicts is a bad one...
What the Bible Says
"God... will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away." -Revelation 21:3-4
Revelation? The end times? Really...? That is a pretty bleak future. In a nut shell, Earth becomes a living hell, Jesus returns, the faithful are ruptured, Satan is imprisoned for 1,000 years, he is then released, and Christ defeats Satan in one final battle. We are also told that this could happen at any time, and that we should look forward to it.

So the believers go to Heaven to become God's never ceasing worship slaves (the Bible says Heaven is worship, not hanging out with grandma and grandpap). Meanwhile, those left behind have to go through the tribulations and live through Hell on Earth. Sorry, but neither one sounds good, or like something to look forward to. Oh, and JW's believe that only 144,000 followers (throughout all of history) will go to Heaven. So yeah... the odds of not getting to live through Hell on Earth is pretty slim for everyone.
What that can mean for you
• Meaningful and satisfying  work. -Isaiah 65:21-23.
How is any work or anything supposed to be satisfying when you are told to expect devastating end times at any time?
• No more sickness or suffering of any kind. -Isaiah 25:8, 33:24.
No suffering... Unless, you know... You aren't one of the 144,00 that get admittance into Heaven. But hey, if you do get in, you won't get a cold while you're on your knees in eternal worship.
• A happy, unending life with family and friends. -Psalms 37:11-29.
Except for the fact that the Bible never actually mentions that version of Heaven that everyone seems to talk about.
Can we really believe what the Bible says?
Yes, for at least two reasons:
 No, we actually can't believe the Bible or trust it as reliable. There is no evidence that any of it's fantastic claims, and even many of the mundane claims are actually true. Furthermore, there is much in there that is ridiculous or just plain wrong.
• God has the ability to fulfill the promise. In the Bible, Jehovah God alone is called "the Almighty", for he has unlimited power. (Revelation 15:3) So he is fully able to keep his promise to change our world for the better. As the Bible says, "with God all things are possible." -Matthew 19:26.
God can do anything... Except defeat chariots of iron (Judges 1:19). If God has the power to change the world for the better, then why doesn't he do just that? That is what a loving god would do after all... Jehovah is the only one called 'the almighty'? Sorry, try again. And even so. What if Odin was the only one called the all-father?  Would that prove that Odin is the one true god?
• God has the desire to fulfill the promise. For example, Jehovah has "a yearning" to restore life to people who have died. -Job 14:14-15.
So go ahead and do it then... I thought this god was supposed to be loving.
The Bible also shows that God's Son, Jesus, healed the sick. Why did he do so? Because he wanted to. (Mark 1:40-41) Jesus perfectly reflected his Father's personality by his desire to help those in need. -John 14:9.
And the Norse religion says that Thor defeated the demon serpent during the final battle of Ragnarok. Prometheus also brought mankind fire. Why? He had befriended mankind and wanted to see us live on and succeed. Jesus 'perfectly reflected' God's personality by his 'desire to help those in need'? Did they ever read the Old Testament? How is the genocidal, egotistical, misogynistic, rape ignoring, slavery approving god of the Bible in any way helping those in need?
So we can be sure that both Jehovah and Jesus want to help us to enjoy a happy future! -Psalm 72:12-14; 145:16; 2 Peter 3:9.
Or maybe the Buddha will help you lead a happy future. Or, I could just lead a happy future with no gods or religion at all. Imagine that...
To think about
How will God change our world for the better?
That Bible answers that question at Matthew 6:9-10 and Daniel 2:44.
 Well, since he doesn't exist, he won't. And even if he did, his track record and the Bible's end times predictions paint a clear picture that he only ever makes things

-Brain Hulk

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Was Jesus really dead?

One of Billy Graham's readers wastes their time by asking Billy a question that he will only ever answer one way. After all, he has no choice but to parrot the same unevidenced nonsense...
Q: Was Jesus really dead when they took Him down from the cross? I have a hard time believing that, because everyone knows that dead people just don’t come back to life — which is what you Christians claim Jesus did, don’t you? — C.T.
Correct, people coming back from the dead is a pretty absurd concept. Why is it that we can all laugh about the prospect of a zombie apocalypse, yet Christians take Jesus pulling the same zombie trick as unquestionably true. But was he really dead? Read on, because my replies to Graham will show that we simply can't know (if we're generous with our assumptions)...
A: Beyond doubt, Jesus was dead when His body was taken down from the cross; the Roman soldiers who’d nailed Him to the cross made certain of it. Remember, too, that His body was then placed in a cave-like tomb, which was sealed with a stone weighing hundreds of pounds.
Wrong Billy, it is not beyond any doubt that Jesus was dead. How can that be, when there's not even any proof that he was actually crucified or even existed at all? The answer is that we can't! But there are some glaring problems with the crucifixion story, that throw a ton of doubt into the story, even if we assume he was real and was crucified.

Crucifixion is far from pretty. Jesus supposedly died after just a few hours on the cross. The problem is that death from crucifixion usually took a few days to a week. So if he was pulled down as quickly as the Bible says, he should have still been alive. In a lot of pain, but still living.

There is also a problem with how the Romans checked to make sure he was dead. Did they take his pulse? Nope. They stabbed him with a spear. And when they did so, John 19:34 says that, "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." It's odd that they took that as a sign that he was dead, because a sudden burst of blood and water like that would actually be a sign that he was alive, and not dead. This is what happens when people write books without doing the proper research...

After Jesus' supposed resurrection, he only showed himself to his followers and hid from those that were against him. Seems to me that if he really was back from the dead, showing this fact to one and all would erase any doubt and bring more into his flock. Maybe he had to hide out so that the authorities wouldn't find out he never really died. Then there is the fact that the gospels can't even get their stories straight, even on the most important story for the Christian religion!
And yet, on the third day after His death, Christ was alive, appearing not only to the women who first came to the tomb to anoint His body, but to the disciples who’d gathered behind closed doors. During the next 40 days He appeared repeatedly to numerous others. Decades later, Paul wrote that Jesus “appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living” (1 Corinthians 15:6).
Any documents to back up these claims that he appeared to over 500 people? No? You would think that at least one of those people who met the supposedly resurrected savior would think it to be a big enough deal to make some note of it...
Only one explanation covers all the facts: Jesus rose from the dead by the power of God. The people of Jesus’ day knew that death was final, just as much as we do. And yet the evidence was overwhelming: Jesus was alive! Only God could make it happen — and He did.
 If all of what Graham has said were actually facts, then sure he'd have a point. But the truth is that they aren't facts. They are claims that have no proof to back them up. So if the face of fantastic claims with absolutely no evidence, isn't the more likely and reasonable answer that it simply didn't happen?
Why is Jesus’ resurrection important? It tells us we don’t need to fear death if we know Christ, for sin and death and hell have been conquered. It tells us also that this life is not all; ahead of us is eternity, either with God in heaven or separated from Him forever in that place of total despair the Bible calls hell. Put your faith in Jesus Christ today — for He is alive forevermore!
Why is Jesus' resurrection important? Gee... How about if you tell me why Horus' resurrection was
important. Or Osiris', or Attis', or Krishna's, or Mithra's, or Dionysus', all the Norse gods, and the list goes on... Resurrection is an old claim that many deities were said to have done prior to Jesus. So why not take their claims seriously as well?

Sounds to me that Billy is just spouting more and more hearsay as if it were truth again. So nothing different there... I just wish he and other Christians looked a little deeper at the stories they are told, because what they find may surprise them.

-Brain Hulk

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Biblicaly cursed and blessed

A recent comment Billy Graham made in his column reminded me of a verse in the Bible that contradicts itself. Graham said...
When we give our lives to Christ, God welcomes us into His family and makes us His children forever.
And he also referenced Hebrews 13:5.
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you
Okay, so by this line of thinking, the majority of atheists should be just fine in his book, right? In the United States (and throughout the world), many atheists were Christians before they were atheists. Many deeply religious and committed... Some even studying to join the clergy. Myself, I was a believer in Christ for many years before I lost my faith in the religion of my youth. But according to Graham, I was welcomed into God's family when I believed, and since he states that this relationship is eternal, Hell shouldn't be a worry if Christianity were correct.

But how does that sit with Mark 3:29?
but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin
I'm guilty of that. So which is it? Will God never forsake me and I am an eternal member of his family? Or is it my blasphemy that is eternal and unforgivable?  But wait... Lets muddy the waters further with Exodus 20:5-6
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Uh... How can he do both. The promise/threat stated in Exodus isn't possible to fulfill fully. Those
Yup, curses... How does anyone take this book seriously?
that are the first generation to 'hate' him would have had to be born of a generation that is blessed. So the following 1,000 generations are promised the same blessing. But the following 4 are also supposed to be punished as well. So, are at least those four generations supposed to be simultaneously blessed and cursed? My parents believe, so am I automatically blessed? What if I had kids? Would they be blessed or cursed? They would be within 1,000 generation of my parents, but also withing four of myself. So which would it be?

Also, how screwed up is it for a god to curse the children of someone for a 'crime' they didn't commit and were not a party to? What if they believe, but their parents didn't? Are they just out of luck?

Of course none of this is really surprising. The Bible is far from sensical, and is ripe with contradictions, so this example is just one among a sea of many.

-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ray Comfort: feeding God

There are few evangelists that are as simultaneously clueless and entertaining as Ray Comfort. And when one of his readers writes him with a question, he doesn't disappoint...
“I'm from Brazil and I really loved the movie/documentary, but Ray I have a question. Atheists [have] an argument…against Christians…: hunger and poverty in Africa, and God is bad with them? What is your opinion?” Felipe Matsuri
Hypocrisy much?
Um... They don't have that phrased quite right. We don't think that God is 'bad with them', we just
point out that if there was a supposedly all loving god, he seems to be displaying this endless love in a rather curious way.
1. As atheists, they have “no belief in a god.” So God doesn’t exist, and therefore didn't let anyone starve.
Wow, he actually got that part right. Maybe this won't be as bad as I thought.
2. For an atheist, a starving child is no big deal, because it's just evolution's “survival of the fittest” in action.
Unfortunately, the cruel truth is that suffering is a very real part of the reality of nature. Some do better, and some do worse. Those that do better are more likely to pass on their genes. But to say that a starving child is no big deal to an atheist is both wrong and offensive. We have feelings. We empathize with those that are suffering and want to help out how we can. Like people of all walks of like, we care. So don't act like atheists see a starving child and think nothing of it. We do care, and when we help, we actually help. Believers may sometimes help, but some simply pray and act like they are actually helping when they're not.
3. Much of the hunger in Africa is political, rather than a social problem. When food is sent for starving people, governments often block its delivery.
True. But that shouldn't be an obstacle at all for a god that's supposed to be all powerful. So he can create the universe and flood the Earth, but he can't defy a small African nation's government or military? Apparently God is less powerful than many of the nations on Earth...
4. Starvation, poverty, disease and death are evidences that the Bible is right when it says that we live in a fallen creation.
Except that he's supposed to be all loving... Anyone that's truly all loving couldn't and wouldn't allow as much suffering as is visible in the world around us if they could help it. And he's supposed to be all powerful too, right? What we are left is another inconsistency in the theology... But what we see is the world we'd expect to find if we truly do live in a fully natural world.
Like I said, Ray's ridiculousness is always good for a laugh.
5. We are the guilty party, and yet sinful atheists (in the ultimate gesture of a delusion of grandeur) stand in moral judgment over Almighty God—when they have no real basis for any morality.
What a load... Guess I was wrong when I briefly thought that Ray might surprise me with an isolated moment of lucidity. Atheists are perfectly capable of morality. While believers may like to pretend that they follow some type of objective morality, they truth is that they don't. We atheists get our morals from the same subjective and societal means that we all do. Morals that are far superior to those in the Bible... A book that has no problem with genocide and slavery.
6. God lets the rain fall on the just and the unjust, and if He withholds rain for some reason, we know that all of His judgments are righteous and true altogether. He never doesn't anything morally wrong. Ever.
I'm guessing Ray meant to say 'He never does anything morally wrong. Ever.' Really? God never does anything morally wrong in the Bible? Advocating slavery? Punishing innocent children for the actions or thoughts of their parents? Demanding the murdering of entire cities? Committing worldwide genocide? Demanding a ritual human sacrifice? The list goes on and on, but if the god of the Bible is one thing, it's certainly not moral.
7. If atheists really care about starving children, they will go to other countries and join the thousands of Christians who are feeding them.
Um... We do. Atheists go overseas, create organizations that help at home and abroad, and donate to existing organizations. Atheists and believers alike help those in need. But when an atheists helps the hungry, it's always by way of food and water, or by donating money to secure as much. And many believers help out in the same way, but some also think they are helping the hungry by sending them Bibles instead of food, or simply preaching to them and praying for them instead of offering actual help.
8. The Bible says we are to love our neighbor (others) as much as we love ourselves. Instead of doing that, most secular governments spend billions of dollars each year creating weapons to kill people.
An interesting complaint, since (at least in the United States) the most religious factions of the electorate, are also the ones that back war and military spending much more swiftly than the less religious. In fact, many Christians backed Bush's Iraq war as a just and glorious holy war. Meanwhile, a non-believer like myself feels it was a war we never should have started.
9. We also spend billions of dollars searching for intelligent life in space; money that could instead be used to feed, house, educate, and clothe the less fortunate.
As if space exploration is worthless... So much of our modern lives owes it's origins to the space program. While it is important to know if we are alone in the universe, space exploration is still important even if we never find other life. We may eventually find ourselves needing to leave the Earth. Either we will pollute it to the point that our home can't sustain us anymore, global warming may one day reach extremes we can no longer cope with, or the eventual expansion of the Sun will force us to move on or die. And isn't criticizing space exploration (something that's actually useful) hypocritical when Christians are wasting at least $70 million on building a replica of the (fictitious) Arc in Kentucky instead of putting that money to noble use.
10. A plane hits severe turbulence. Flight attendants quickly take to their seats before getting food to the hungry passengers at the back of the plane. The atheist is like a man who sees those hungry people, makes an insane leap of logic, and says, “Those people are hungry. Therefore no one made this plane.” Atheism believes that nothing created everything. It is a quiet form of intellectual insanity.
Has anyone else noticed that Ray comes up with the worst, and most flawed analogies that I've ever heard spewed? Lets see if we can actually fix this one for him...

Claims that the banana is the 'atheist's nightmare' because it is
perfect proof of God's design. Doesn't realize that humans
selectively bread the banana into it's current form, which
is nothing like a wild banana.

There is a plane that is crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Some passengers claim that Superman is on board and will take care of all the accommodations. But in the middle of the flight attendants handing out food, the plane hits turbulence and everyone takes their seats. The Christians on the plane would be those that say not to worry, Superman will take care of those that didn't get food yet. Meanwhile, the atheists would be those that hear that claim, but see that those in the back of the plane never got fed. Seeing this, they would doubt that Superman was on the plane (lest he would have helped) or that Superman didn't exist at all.

That would be the more accurate version. I must wonder why Ray feels the need to jump to the unrelated tangent of who made the plane? My guess is that he is knowingly creating a strawman. He makes and absurd statement that atheists don't believe anyone made the airplane to try and also discredit anything else an atheist says. Sad really... Oh, and atheism doesn't say that nothing created nothing. Atheism is simply nothing more than the lack of a belief in gods. But why all this fussing about 'nothing'?

Some believers say that everything had to be created. But then where did God come from? He would have had to come from nothing. They may claim that he's eternal. Technically, that's a bit of a cop out of an explanation, but if the most complicated thing that has been conceived can 'just be' eternal, why not simple energy? Something simple always existing, is far more likely than something complicated after all...

Ray is always good for a laugh. But in that way that he's so wrong that you can't help but shake your head and laugh in dismay at the magnitude of his fail. Sadly, he has fans and followers that eat up his every word (as inane as they often are), and that's troubling.

-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boring Bible?

One of Billy Graham's readers read the Bible and didn't give it a five star review? This ought to be good...
Q: I don't mean to offend you, but I've tried to read the Bible and found it kind of dull. And yet some of my friends find it exciting. What's wrong? Why don't I get anything out of it?
The truth is that this person should be commended. The reason they found the Bible dull is that they read it without preconceived notions. They read it and took it for what it is. An unbiased reading of the Bible will have you finish it realizing just how terrible it is. It's poorly written, full of absurdities and contradictions, has some very dodgy morals, and a hero that comes across as more of a villain. There's a reason that it's said that the Bible is one of the best books to read for creating atheists.
A: In reality, the Bible should be the most exciting book you'll ever read! The reason is, this isn't just another book; it is God's Word, and through its pages God speaks to us. Think of it: The Creator of the universe wants to talk to you!
Citation needed. All other holy books are supposed to be their deity reaching out to speak to us as well. Odin speaks to us, Allah reaches out, Krishna is telling us the way. So try again Billy. There's nothing about the Bible that makes it any more special than any other holy book.
Tell me again which one is the
good guy...
What does He want to tell you? First, He wants to tell you about Himself - who He is, what He is like, and what He has done for you. We can understand some things about God by looking at the world He created, but we only fully understand Him by discovering what He's told us in the Bible.
And read what Thor has done for us. How he sacrificed himself to defeat the great demon serpent. Perhaps we should read about Prometheus and how he brought us the gift of fire and was sentenced to eternal torture for the gift he had given us. Again, tell me why anyone should lend any more
credence to the Bible over other holy books.
But God also wants to tell us He loves us, and the proof is that He came down from heaven in the person of His Son, Jesus, who gave His life for us. This is why the best place for you to begin reading the Bible is in one of the Gospels (I often suggest John), because there you'll discover who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Because of Jesus, "we know and rely on the love God has for us" (1 John 4:16).
 Yes, discover Jesus for who he was and what he did. A man that if he ever existed was so unspectacular that he left no trace of his existence in the whole of recorded history. His supposed miracles... not impressive enough to be recorded by his peers. Him as a person? So well known that none of his peers thought to even record and account his existence or teachings? Yeah... Sounds like he was real impressive... Any book can make great claims of a character, but if you want to argue that the claims are true, you're going to have to back them up with some proof.
Get a modern translation you can understand, and set aside time each day to read through one of the Gospels - perhaps only a few paragraphs at first. As you open it, humbly ask God to make its meaning clear. Most of all, ask God to help you apply its truth to your life, because "Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on my path" (Psalm 119:105).
 Ah, yes... The modern translation trick. The thing with modern translations is that they often not only use more modern language, but they change that language in a dishonest way. Sometimes one or two words are changed in a way that changes the very meaning of a verse. This is often used to try and make an ugly verse seem a little less ugly.

You can think of newer and newer translations as a game of telephone. The Bible was written in one language, then translated to another, then it was translated into English. Then it has been translated again and again. Each time things change and likely loose a little something from the original. Remember, when your Bible has the word 'version' right in the title, just how reliable can it be?

-Brain Hulk

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