Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Difference Between READING the Bible and Reading The Bible

Dr. Dale Martin, a professor of Religious Studies at Yale University has come to the conclusion that Jesus was crucified because his disciples were a band of thugs. He bases his arguments on John 18:10
Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave's name was Malchus.
From this one passage Dr. Martin makes the conclusion that Jesus' disciples were a bunch of armed thugs and Jesus was been executed just because they were armed. I will admit that the Pax Romana (Roman Peace: roughly translated as "We will keep killing you until you are peaceful") was pretty stringent. Martin goes on to say 

Although no legal records survive from Jerusalem, it stands to reason, based on a knowledge of Roman history, that the region’s rulers would have frowned upon the carrying of swords, and especially wouldn't have tolerated an armed band of Jews roaming the city during Passover, an often turbulent festival... Just as you could be arrested in Rome for even having a dagger, if Jesus’s followers were armed, that would be reason enough to crucify him (source)
Although theology is sliding into the depths of heretical nonsense as we approach the end times, the term "It stands to reason..." has yet to make inroads as a method of biblical based theology outside of Joel Osteen self worship events. Like I said, the Pax Romana was stringent, but it wasn't stupid. For one thing, it wasn't illegal to carry a dagger outside the city of Rome. Inside the city of Rome there were strict laws about weapons (based on that whole Julius Caeser stabbing thing), and they were enforced as stringently as Chicago gun laws, but outside the city walls the only real restriction was that slaves could not own weapons. 

Had this been the case, and if Jesus was crucified because Peter cut off Malchus' ear, it would be a guaranteed fact that Peter and at least 11 other disciples would be hanging on crosses next to Jesus. Martin claims that Jerusalem was a hotbed of political unrest, which beggs the question "So what?" Most of the Roman Empire was a hotbed of political unrest. Trier was such a city, it was in Gaul, surrounded by angry Germanic tribes, but the Romans never denied the citizens the right to bear arms. This is such an odd conclusion to come to, for there is not a single reference to Jesus preaching or inciting civil disobedience in the bible. In fact Jesus had to perform a miracle in order to pay taxes so they would not offend the civil authorities (Matthew 17:27)

Dr. Martin almost makes it sound like Jesus' followers were carrying AK-47's and Stinger missiles just in case the Roman Empire decided to invent attack helicopters, so when you actually read the Bible text and find out what happened you start to wonder just where did Dr. Martin come up with such ideas. To begin with, the sword in question wasn't a Claymore, nor was it a Zweihänder, nor a Longsword, in fact it wasn't a sword at all. If Dr. Martin had read the Greek text the word that's commonly translated to sword is machaira, which means "knife". 

Which leads us to the question - why would a professional fisherman like Peter be carrying a knife? Gee, I don't know... cutting line, rope, nets, snags, and fish maybe? 

As Dr, Paula Fredriksen historian of ancient Christianity at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says  Martin’s paper has several holes “that you could drive trucks through.” that's an understatement. Martin describes Jesus as a "Jesus was an apocalyptic Jewish prophet who was expecting an imminent arrival of the kingdom of God on Earth" yet that opinion cannot be held up by the works of the Bible, Jesus Himself said he didn't know when He was going to return (Mark 13:32) but he said that there would be definite signs that would predestine his coming:
25 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28)

That doesn't sound like someone who is expecting an "imminent arrival of the kingdom of God". If He truly was expecting the Kingdom of God to  come at any time, why would he say
 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
Dr. Martin completely ignores the fact that Jesus was the son of God (or if you want to go full secular then you can say that Martin ignores the fact that Jesus claimed to be the son of God) just as he ignored the fact that Jesus preached peace, obedience to civil authorities, and obedience to God. Martin also ignored the fact that the only thing that Jesus preached rebellion to was the domination of the Pharisees. 

I would expect these kind of misquotes and incorrect conclusions from a history professor, a scholastic who lives and breathes by secular records, but Martin is a professor of religious studies, and he completely ignored the religion part. Then again, His book "Sex and the Single Savior" seems bent upon misquoting and contradicting the bible's teaching on homosexuality with the same vengence as the Not All There  (NALT) Christians 

Which just goes to prove that you don't have to go to an Emergent Church to get buried in false teaching, any college with a "Religions Studies" program will fill your quota for Heresy and Blasphemy and charge you for the privilege too boot.

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