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The Oldest Books in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible

As anyone with even a cursory familiarity with the Judeo-Christian Bible knows, that book is composed of a collection of writings which were...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Some considerations on the primacy of Peter

If Scripture really does imply or state that Peter was the primary/preeminent/most important/lead apostle, then how do you explain the following?

Thirteen or fourteen books of the New Testament are attributed to Paul and only two are attributed to Peter.

Saul/Paul is mentioned 181 times in Scripture and Peter is mentioned 158 times.

Despite Peter having received a vision about what God regarded as clean/unclean and claiming that God had chosen him to deliver God's message to the Gentiles, the New Testament reflects the fact that PAUL (not Peter) was the apostle most responsible for carrying that message to the Gentiles.

Paul criticized Peter's different behavior among Jewish and Gentile converts and openly opposed him on the issue within the church.

A council of apostles and elders was assembled at Jerusalem to settle the matter of just how much of the Law of Moses that the Gentile converts would be required to observe. And, although Peter spoke to the assembly, it is certainly implied in the account of this event that James concluded the matter.

Christ said that anyone who wanted to be preeminent within God's Church or Kingdom had to be the servant of all the others. He also said that he didn't want his followers lording it over each other.

Christ asked Peter three times if he loved him more than the other apostles did and instructed him to take care of his flock after he answered that question three times in the affirmative. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

What if God created a MULTIVERSE?

As long time readers of this blog know, I have previously expressed my interest in a concept that has received some attention in scientific circles over the last several years:  That our vast universe (with all of its vast galaxies) is only one small part of a much bigger multiverse. For some physicists, mathematicians, cosmologists, etc., a multiverse explains many things that have puzzled them for years. Indeed, for some of them, it has even called into question what we define as reality.

In some versions of the multiverse, each one of us has a doppelganger (counterpart or exact duplicate) living in each of these other realms acting out a different version of our lives. The thinking is that each time we make a choice/decision in our life - the alternative(s) is/are acted out somewhere else by another version of us. Thus, in theory, we would be exposed to all of the possible outcomes for our lives based on the different choices/decisions that we make for ourselves.

Now most of the folks who subscribe to this view characterize it as endless, but what if it wasn't? What if the death of the individual was a constant in all of these universes? Yes, the length of the life would vary across the spectrum (depending on choices made), but what if all of the various manifestations of you had to end in death? The possibilities would still be staggering, but they would not be endless. And, when the last you drew its last breath, then what? Could this be indicative of some greater design and purpose?

What if the function of this life is to clearly demonstrate to us that we cannot make it on our own? What if this life isn't a matter of being tested, but rather being given an opportunity to prove to ourselves that all of our decisions/choices will end in the same place? Could this be the ultimate expression of free will? Are we all learning a profound lesson about our need for something greater than ourselves? Are we preparing ourselves to make the ultimate informed decision someday? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Does God like guns?

As America faces the nightmare of what happened in Las Vegas, both sides in the debate over gun control are polishing up and reintroducing their arguments pro and con. For many, the question is whether ANY limitations on gun ownership are permitted under the Second Amendment. However, in a nation where many folks claim to be Christian, we have to wonder how many of them have considered what God thinks about all of this. For those who are interested in pursuing this line of thought, I thought it would be appropriate to offer a few passages from the Judeo-Christian canon:

Thou shalt not kill. --Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17

And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God: But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou has shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. --I Chronicles 22:7-8

Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good. --Ecclesiastes 9:18

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. --Isaiah 2:4

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. --Isaiah 11:9

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord. --Isaiah 65:25

And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. --Micah 3:3

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment... --Matthew 5:21-22

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. --Matthew 5:38-39

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you... --Matthew 5:43-44

And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. --Matthew 26:51-52

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. --Revelation 21:3-4