|An Atheist Reading the New Testament Part Five
||[Feb. 2nd, 2013|11:54 am]
The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians
1:10 “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” I keep hearing ‘You are not of the hive.’
OK, seriously, what the fuck is all of this …..? (the following)
1:19 “For it is written, ‘I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I SHALL PUT ASIDE.’” (The caps are from the book, not me.)
1:21 “For since in the wisdom of god the world through its wisdom did not come to know god, god was well pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
I don’t even know where to start with that. I mean … what? You can’t be wise and worship god at the same time? You have to be foolish to worship god? How is that not a huge problem?
1:25 “Because the foolishness of god is wiser than men, and the weakness of god is stronger than men.”
I don’t want a creature able to destroy the planet to be subject to foolishness.
1:27 “… but god has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and god has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.” Maybe they mean something different when they use the word ‘wise.’ (You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.) Because the idea of shaming someone because they are wise, that’s so ridiculous and ultimately short-sighted. Or, hey, maybe that’s why there’s so little wisdom in the world today. God ripped all of the wisdom out of the gene pool.
2. Oh there is wisdom. God’s wisdom. It just happens to be hidden wisdom, hidden in mystery or some such crap. That makes everything better.
3:10 “According to the grace of god which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it.” So it’s ok for Paul to be wise.
4 You know, the bible goes on and on about not judging people, to leave that to god, but how could that possibly be a logical way to run a society? People can commit crimes and no one else can do about it except hope the criminals die young? Or hope the place is so overrun by murderers and rapists (and tax collectors and scribes) that god decides to wipe the whole city/country/planet out?
7 You shouldn’t get married (like Paul!) unless you can’t control yourself, in which case it’s better to get married than have sex outside of marriage and burn in hell. No ‘go forth and multiply’ stuff here. Does he think the second coming or whatever is going to happen the next week?
7:21 This is hilarious and pathetic and stupid all at the same time. “Were you called as a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.” Don’t worry about being a slave, it’s no big deal. But arrange for your freedom – It’s so easy! – if you feel like it. I know slavery was different in Ancient Rome than it was in North America, and again, this book is two thousand or whatever years old, but it still rankles.
7:36 “But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she should be of full age, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry.” I looked this up because what the hell?! My first reading of this was that this was giving a father permission to have sex with his daughter. Truly, what else is ‘he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter’ supposed to mean? According to what I found on the internet, the inappropriateness has to do with whether to have her marry or not, when it’s better for people not to marry. But if that’s so, this is a seriously bad way to phrase the idea, and I don’t care what the interpretation is, this clause completely creeps me out.
10:10 “Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. (God.)” Don’t complain or you’re DEAD. “Gozer the destructor!” I don’t know where that came from.
11 A bunch of crap about man being the head of woman, and he is supposed to leave his head uncovered while in worship, but she isn’t, because man is the glory of god and woman is merely the glory of man
11:14/15 It’s a dishonour for men to have long hair (no hippies!) but not for women, because long hair functions as a sort of head covering for women. In fact it is a dishonour for women to even cut their hair. (11:6)
12 How everyone belongs to the body and there’s not supposed to be any disagreement ever.
13 Couple of quotes I remember from movies.
14 Stuff about speaking in tongues that I totally don’t understand and I don’t care enough to google about it.
14:20 “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking ….” I think this is in contradiction to all the stuff that says not to have wisdom and not to question.
14 Don’t have everyone in the congregation speaking in tongues all at once, because if a stranger walks in he’ll think they’re all nuts. Do it one at a time so the stranger will think they’re less nuts
14:34 “Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says.” This reminds me of Joyce Meyer, who preaches in one of those huge mega-church things. I don’t know which brand of Christianity she is. She’s hilarious in her illogic. She mentioned speaking to the founder of feminism, because apparently she can speak to the dead, and that the founder – who rediscovered the true path – admitted that the devil was able to enter her thoughts because she hoped one of the five men she lived with would carry a full basket of laundry up the stairs. Also, Meyer once had a cross and a tree of knowledge on the stage, and the tree of knowledge was evil. Anyway, she also always goes on about how no one is supposed to move from 2,000 year old traditions, and women are supposed to be submissive to men, and I’d be thinking that I was pretty sure tradition dictated that women not get up on stage and make a mint lecturing people. In a church.
14:35 “And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.” But it doesn’t matter if women learn anything or nothing.
15:32 “….Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Klingons!
16:1,2 And here is the demand for money, known as collecting for the saints. Why do saints need money?
The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians
Seven chapters of repeating stuff that’s already been addressed eight thousand times.
8:3 Despite being poor, everyone in Macedonia gave us money, so you should, too.
8:24 “Therefore openly before the churches show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.” Prove your faith with MONEY! That’s pretty much what all of chapter 8 is about.
9 Really shameless about demanding money. If you give us money, god will reward you! Really!
11:2 “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy, for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” Who is he talking to? All of the Corinthians? What does this mean? And jealousy isn’t godly.
11:8 “I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to serve you…” A thief trying to make others feel guilty. Nice.
11:9 “… and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia, they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.”
12:1 “Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable….” Boasting may be necessary in a job interview. That’s about it. And even then, it should be a matter of “This is what I did and what I can do well,” not “Look how fabulous I am.”
12:16 “But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit.” Deceit. He appears proud of this.