Yes, the Bible Does Say to Kill Infidels

Conservative Christians love to rail against the many verses in the Quran that command Muslims to kill non-Muslims, but they also ignore the verses in the Bible commanding the same thing and things that are every bit as barbaric. Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association flat out denies that such verses exist at all:

“The Quran has explicit admonitions or instructions for followers of Allah to do violence and harm against the infidel,” Wildmon fumed. “There’s nothing like that in the Bible, that tells the Christian to go out and decapitate the infidel.”

The video:

httpv://youtu.be/KaqDILi90KQ

How about Deuteronomy 17:

Deuteronomy 17

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.

Or Deuteronomy 13:

6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in 13 that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 16 You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt.

Or Numbers 31, where God commands the Israelites to attack Midian and kill all the men, all the married women and all the male children but to keep the virgin females as the spoils of war and distribute them among the soldiers. The reason offered for that barbarism? Two Midianite women had allegedly “tempted” two Israelite men to worship other gods.

About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • marcus

    Dumbass “There’s nothing like that in the Bible, that tells the Christian to go out and decapitate the infidel.”

    He picking nits. That passage is telling the Jews to go out and kill people, it was impossible for God to tell Christians to do those things, because there were no Christians then!

    Lying for Jesus is so easy!

  • fmitchell

    The usual rejoinder is that Jesus redefined the laws of God (except that he said the opposite). Thus Old Testament laws are invalid (except against homosexuality, and formerly in favor of slavery).

  • John Pieret

    “There’s nothing like that in the Bible, that tells the Christian to go out and decapitate the infidel.”

    Ah, but you see, Christ did away with the Old Testament laws (unless Christians like them), such as not eating shellfish or wearing clothing of mixed fibers or offing infidels. Of course, that doesn’t go for icky things like gays, because, after all, Paul said they deserve death. All you need is the right secret decoder ring to distinguish the things the Bible tells Christians to do from the things they can ignore.

  • laurentweppe

    Yes, the Bible Does Say to Kill Infidels

    The Bible also says it’s okay to beat the shit out of moneylenders’ asses. That’s the problem with fundies: they always skim through the fun parts.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Yes, there’s plenty of bloodthirsty shit in the OT. But, to be fair, Jesus very clearly told his followers, in both word and deed, to “keep the Commandments” but not to slavishly follow any other bit of OT law when it was clearly obsolete, inapplicable, or contrary to basic reason or decency.

    So, on the one hand (based on the evidence seen here at least), Wildmon is right — there’s nothing in the NEW Testament telling CHRISTIANS to kill infidels; but there’s plenty in the OLD Testament telling JEWS to kill infidels, and too many Christians insist on thinking Bronze-Age Jewish laws apply to them too, even though Jesus himself said they don’t (and got crucified for it).

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Two Midianite women had allegedly “tempted” two Israelite men to worship other gods.

    “Harold, have you been out worshipping other gods?”

    “…”

    “Don’t lie to me, Harod. I’ve seen the texts.”

    “It wasn’t my fault, baby. A Midianite woman tempted me!”

    “Harold, you get out this very instant! And don’t come back until you murder them all!”

    “Yes, dear.”

    “And be sure to pick up a nice Midianite girl for our son on the way back.”

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Of course, that doesn’t go for icky things like gays, because, after all, Paul said they deserve death.

    Really? Where?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Two Midianite women had allegedly “tempted” two Israelite men to worship other gods.

    What the hell is a Midianite woman? A woman who stands on the midian strips of major highways and temps passersby into worshipping other gods?

    Or is it a moderate woman who takes the middle of the road and ignores the extremists on either side?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    John Pieret #3: Of course, that doesn’t go for icky things like gays, because, after all, Paul said they deserve death.

    Raging Bee #7: Really? Where?

    Homosexuality is condemned in several epistles, but generally not with mention of specific penalties.

  • dhall

    #6 – Modusoperandi – You made my day, as you often do. Thank you.

    #8 – The Midianites were one of the many ethnic/tribal groups running around in the Middle East.

    The whole thing sounds as if they know that the people who listen to them and believe their crap have actually never read that awful book.

  • dshetty

    You are missing the Dawkinsian or Harrisian weighing scale wherein you can measure the badness of all the verses in various tomes and come to the conclusion that Islam is number 1.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002686842900 ChristineRose

    Jesus appears to have been one of many Jews (along with scribes, Pharisees, and Essenes) who was concerned with the question of how diaspora Jews were supposed to keep the laws. Most of the laws were probably never really kept as they were written for the mythical return to Israel. And we know now that the genocides ordered against the non-Jewish Canaanites never happened either, and that polytheism was common.

    Given all this it’s really hard to say that the Old Testament is ordering Jews to do anything as the context is fictional. Jews living in a Roman province couldn’t be expected to stone every non-Jew who came to town, and they weren’t conquering any villagers and taking their little kids for slaves. You could probably say something similar about the exhortations to violence in the Koran though. It’s all based on fantasy where the Muslims conquer the desert, one hovel at a time, and everyone decent converts and all live happily ever after.

  • John Pieret

    Raging Bee @ 7:

    Romans 1:26-32. Specifically, Romans :32:

    32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    To be fair, many Christians think he meant “spiritual death,” i.e. going to hell, not taking them out to be stoned.

  • raven

    Given all this it’s really hard to say that the Old Testament is ordering Jews to do anything as the context is fictional. Jews living in a Roman province…

    The OT was all written before Israel and Judea became Roman territories.

    Most of it was set in the era before the Assyrian and Babylonia conquests although it was probably mostly written in final form after the Babylonians were taken over by the Persians.

    Exodus and the genocide of the Canaanites is still fictional though. The ancient Jews were just another tribe of…Canaanites.

  • A Hermit

    John Pieret @ 3 says

    “Ah, but you see, Christ did away with the Old Testament laws…

    Whenever they pull that one out just quote Jesus from Matthew 5:17-18 back at them:

    “17”Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18″For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    “There’s nothing like that in the Bible, that tells the Christian to go out and decapitate the infidel.”

    But Christians have proven to be so very good at it. Add up all the Pogroms, Crusades, Inquisitions, Holocaust, etc., and you’ve got one hell of a body count. Far more than those Muslim wannabes could ever achieve.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Ah, but you see, Christ did away with the Old Testament laws…

    Every word of the Bible is literally true and without error. Except the first half.

  • eric

    @1, 2, 3, 5: the “new covenant” argument is simply irrelevant in this case. Wildman is not claiming that these instructions exist in the OT but have been superseded by the NT, he’s claiming they don’t exist in the bible. They clearly do.

    If he wants to say that, yes, they do exist, but that Christians are not bound to follow them, then let him say that. But that’s not the argument he’s making.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Whenever they pull that one out just quote Jesus from Matthew 5:17-18 back at them…

    And you’re totally misinterpreting it because you’re ignoring what went before it: that promise comes after a lot of talk about “blessed are X, for they shall receive Y.” Jesus wasn’t talking about Talmudic or OT law, he was clearly talking about the “law” of how God rewards people for doing godly things.

    32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    Which “such things” is Paul referring to there?

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @Raging Bee

    Yes, there’s plenty of bloodthirsty shit in the OT. But, to be fair, Jesus very clearly told his followers, in both word and deed, to “keep the Commandments” but not to slavishly follow any other bit of OT law when it was clearly obsolete, inapplicable, or contrary to basic reason or decency.

    I dispute the “very clearly” part. What Jesus says and wants depends on the writer. Paul wanted to allow gentiles into the church and wrote to that effect. IIRC, Mark continued this trend, but Matthew tried to revert that and tried to require Jewish observance. Then Luke came along and effectively sided with allowing gentiles into the church.

    The Christian bible is the big book of multiple choice. For almost any position, you can find parts in favor, and parts against. It’s the Rorschach test for the morally impaired.

  • raven

    I’ve never read the Koran. The bible was bad enough. What a horrible overrated anthology.

    Scholars who have read both e.g. Phillip Jenkins say the bible is slightly more bloodthirsty. But mostly because it is a lot longer.

    The NT has its violent passages too. There are several different jesus’s running around in it and one isn’t very nice. At one point, he tells his followers to sell their stuff and buy swords. In another place, he says when he comes back, anyone who doesn’t believe in him is going to be judged and then killed.

    Matthew 10:34 – “Do not suppose that I have come to – Bible …

    https:// www. biblegateway.com/passage/?search…10…

    Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    Yeah we noticed. Those millions of dead people killed by xians was a giveaway.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Reginald: the article you cited pretty clearly admits that the “prohibitions” you speak of are nowhere near as clear-cut in their meaning as some people think they are.

    And here’s the biggest kicker about that infamous passage in Romans: it begins with “For this reason [idolatry] God gave them up to passions of dishonor…” Which means this passage is condemning IDOLATRY, not homosexuality, and saying gayness is something God “gave them up to,” not something people chose to do. So that’s really not a clear statement about homosexuality either. If there’s anything like a clear message in that raving mishmash, it’s probably more along the lines of “idolatry makes you a decadent crazed uncontrollable pervert,” not “being gay is bad.”

  • tbp1

    And there’s the parable of the 10 minas. Although told in the third person, I think it’s pretty clear he was referring to himself: Luke 19: 26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    EL: Yes, but none of the examples you cite refute my statements about what Jesus said, or what he meant. Yes, there’s lots of contradiction and ambiguity in the Bible, but that doesn’t mean we can’t discern a clear message in Jesus’ words, and (more importantly) use them to debunk right-wing Christian bigotry and con-artistry.

  • lowkey

    That Deut. 13:11 is pretty much the definition of terrorism, no?

  • A Hermit

    “you’re totally misinterpreting it because you’re ignoring what went before it: that promise comes after a lot of talk about “blessed are X, for they shall receive Y.” Jesus wasn’t talking about Talmudic or OT law,”

    Except that the reference to the Prophets makes it clear that he is talking about Talmudic Law. Right down to the last “jot and tittle.”

  • footface

    Those are metaphors.

  • CJO, egregious by any standard

    laurentweppe #4:

    The Bible also says it’s okay to beat the shit out of moneylenders’ asses.

    Moneychangers. Jesus is not attacking greedy bankers in those passages; neither should it be read as commentary on any particular practice at the Temple, over and above any other. Currency exchange was an ordinary, necessary function of the sanctuary. In the “cleansing” Jesus is symbolically shutting down operations, not casting out profiteers.

  • Michael Heath

    Raging Bee writes:

    Yes, there’s plenty of bloodthirsty shit in the OT. But, to be fair, Jesus very clearly told his followers, in both word and deed, to “keep the Commandments” but not to slavishly follow any other bit of OT law when it was clearly obsolete, inapplicable, or contrary to basic reason or decency.

    If you tried to code what Jesus supposedly said in relation to the OT, that app wouldn’t run. The Bible as a whole is incoherent, something people with critical thinking skills knew prior to software development.

  • marcus

    eric @ 18 Actually I agree with you. Not only is the “new covenant” irrelevant. it is intentional obfuscation of the the truth, as you pointed out.

  • Kevin Kehres

    @28 CJO, egregious by any standard says

    Loath as I am to pick nits about a scene from a work of historical fiction…the issue was that the money changers were cheating their customers. Not giving a fair exchange, and making lots of undeserved profit.

    So, it wasn’t about shutting down the temple. It was about the money changers overcharging.

    Next up: Was Dumbledore gay or bi?

  • Kevin Kehres

    With the usual caveats that none of this really happened. It’s all fiction/myth-making.

    I’m going to agree that Luke 19:26-27 is an explicit call from Jesus that establishes himself as the new king AND calls on his followers to kill those who disagree. He prefaced it with a parable, but then makes a pretty darn bold claim — and followed it up immediately by riding into Jerusalem in the manner prescribed for a king that would fulfill the OT prophecy. In fact, the explicit charge against him that could be taken to Pilate would be that of sedition. The Sanhedrin did not need Pilate to execute Jesus on a charge of blasphemy. They had all the authority they needed. So, it’s all of a piece. Jesus calls himself king, calls for armed conflict against anyone who opposes him, rides into town AS a king, gets arrested and is sent to Pilate on the charge of sedition, which is punishable by crucifixion. A mere blasphemy charge would get him a nice simple stoning.

    There is also Matthew 10:34-37 —

    Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

    Which is recapitulated (OK, plagiarized) in Luke:

    If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.

    Those are less explicit calls to kill non-followers … but they could certainly be used in the service of suicide bombers, for example.

  • CJO, egregious by any standard

    So, it wasn’t about shutting down the temple. It was about the money changers overcharging.

    No it wasn’t. The gospels are so heavily pre-interpreted for modern readers that this has become the usual interpretation of the “cleansing” passages. (Because of the “den of robbers” line I suppose. But reflect that their den is not where robbers do their robbing, it’s where they hide out.) But it’s false.

    Read the passage (Mark 11:15-16):

    And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.

    All the basic functions of the temple are disrupted here: operating a market, taking cash donations, performing sacrifices, and everyday operational necessities. If “it was about the money changers overcharging,” what do buying and selling, and carrying things through the temple have to do with it?

    Then there’s the fact that, in Mark, the earliest version and the model for the rest, the “cleansing” is sandwiched within the two halves of the cursing of the fig tree. Taken in context, Jesus is cursing the entire religio-political structure the temple represented, not just the mis-administration of one function by corrupt moneychangers.

  • anat

    Regarding Deuteronomy – in response to ChristineRose @12 and raven @14:

    There are several opinions regarding when Deuteronomy was composed and for what purpose. A common view is that it was composed in the days of Josiah as an excuse for his (alleged) religious reforms (or as a justification for his claim to rule over parts of the former northern kingdom of Israel when its Assyrian occupiers were losing power). Others think the Josiah reforms were a fiction invented by Jews returning (or preparing to return) from Babylonian exile and Deuteronomy was written to frame their views of the new Judah based on a fictional idealized old Judah. In any case, the chance laws about running an independent Jewish theocracy ever referred to a real situation are low.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @Raging Bee

    I happen to agree in large part with the work of Dr Richard Carrier. The conclusion is that four canonical gospels are a complete fiction, and that one cannot derive any true sayings of Jesus from them. All of them were written with clear propagandizing intent with no regard for the truth. Even if there was a historical Earthly Jesus, I think it basically impossible to ascertain any truth about Jesus from the gospels.

    @Kevin Kehres

    Loath as I am to pick nits about a scene from a work of historical fiction…the issue was that the money changers were cheating their customers. Not giving a fair exchange, and making lots of undeserved profit.

    So, it wasn’t about shutting down the temple. It was about the money changers overcharging.

    Actually, I’m with Dr Richard Carrier on this one.

    Let me see if I can get this right…

    The Jewish temple of the temple cult around 1 AD was the center of operations spiritually for the Jewish people. They performed two necessary religious services for the people: Passover and Yom Kippur. The Jews had to retain control over the temple itself for the religious sacrifices to happen.

    This need to control the area and related feelings created a problem. Contrary to their religious expectations, the Jews were not military masters, and they were beaten somewhat regularly by their neighbors. At that time, it was the Romans. This led to a Jewish military action against the Romans, which ended in failure and destruction of the temple cult.

    Jesus and Christianity was a theological answer to the military failure, and to the general corruption of the Jewish temple cult.

    This point is made especially clear in Mark. In Mark, Jesus curses a fig tree for not bearing fruit, even though it is not the season for bearing figs. Immediately after, Jesus as a one-man kung-fu army clears out the temple square of money changers. Remember, it was about 40 acres of land IIRC. IIRC, the money changers were necessary for the people attending the temple to change money to pay to perform the required religious services, and thus the throwing out of the money changers was both a symbolic shutting down of the sacrifices of the temple cult, and an indictment against the corruption of the temple cult. Immediately after that, Jesus walks by the now withered fig tree. This a-b-a structure lets the reader know that the things are connected; this was a common literary device at the time. Further, the fig tree was a common symbol for the Jewish temple cult at the time.

    The intended message is that Jesus declared that the temple cult is no longer needed to perform the ritual sacrifices, and that the time of ritual sacrifices at the temple cult is now over. Going forward, Jesus is to replace the need for these ritual sacrifices.

    For more information, I suggest the work of Dr Richard Carrier.

  • U Frood

    If a God tells his followers to kill infidels, does it make those command less repugnant that he later on retracted the commands? Of course not.

  • anat

    EnlightenmentLiberal, interestingly the Jews found ways to live without a temple and without Jesus. Under the leadership of those Pharisees that Jesus so disliked. The priestly families remained in purely symbolic roles (they still, to this day, perform the priestly blessing, but have no influence on the running of Jewish communities). The divine voice lost its authoritative power, and instead Jews lived according to the consensus view of the rabbis of the generation. In the traditional Jewish narrative the hero was Yohannan ben Zackai, who was smuggled out of Jerusalem by his students in a coffin and transferred the sanhedrin to Jamnia.

  • dingojack

    Raging Bee – “because you asked for it“.

    Dingo

  • Akira MacKenzie

    John Pierette @ 3

    Ah, but you see, Christ did away with the Old Testament laws…

    So, all that stoning, slavery, and genocide was morally kosher (sort of speak) before Jesus came along? So much for the “absolute, objective morality” Christians insist so vital.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @anat

    Yes, and? I sensed that you intended that as a rebuttal to my position, but I don’t see a rebuttal.

  • dingojack

    EL — Yes the whole universe is all about you!

    @@

    Dingo

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @dingojack

    Got anything better to do than troll?

  • dingojack

    Angling for a Bryan Fischer Award are you, EL?

    Dingo

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    Do you ever respond with anything except non-sequiturs?

  • anubisprime

    The dullard probably is well aware of the passages that exhort xtians to do abhorrent and utterly psycho acts in the name of jeebus, but that does not fit the narrative he is promoting so he blithely ignores all references to the inhumanity and blatantly denies the evidence.

    Mainly because he knows full well that the brain dead, that drool after his words and nod sagely at his ‘wisdom’, will not bother checking, and in all probability will not have actually read the bible.

    They are told what is in there and that is good enough. cos pastors and other affiliated clowns never lie cos they be jeebus fans and jeebus fans never lie, so why should they bother to read long words with a confused and frankly boring rambling dirge of incomprehensible nonsense verse?

  • anat

    To EnlightenmentLiberal – not a rebuttal, just a sequel for the lurkers. It is a too common misconception that Judaism somehow froze 2000 years ago.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I happen to agree in large part with the work of Dr Richard Carrier. The conclusion is that four canonical gospels are a complete fiction, and that one cannot derive any true sayings of Jesus from them.

    I don’t dispute any of that — but if Jesus is a fictional character who exists only in the Bible, than that makes the Bible the definitive source for information about Jesus; in exactly the same way as European folklore is the definitive source for information about vampires and werewolves. Either you derive “true sayings of Jesus” from the Bible, or, for all practical purposes, there is no Jesus to talk about.

    There is also Matthew 10:34-37 — “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

    Okay, that’s more like it. OTOH, just about everyone who advocates any type of radical reform, political, economic, social or religious, will have the same effect if he/she gets a following: people, families, institutions and whole communities will be sharply divided between those who support his/her ideas and those who don’t. (How many of us have, at one time or another, felt pressure to bite our tongues to avoid offending someone else in our families?) Jesus was basically warning people that, good and righteous as his path may be, no one could expect to follow it without getting into serious fights with even those they loved most. Change is never easy, and those who oppose change always use “we just want to avoid conflict and keep everything peaceful” as an excuse.

    I’m going to agree that Luke 19:26-27 is an explicit call from Jesus that establishes himself as the new king AND calls on his followers to kill those who disagree. He prefaced it with a parable, but then makes a pretty darn bold claim — and followed it up immediately by riding into Jerusalem in the manner prescribed for a king that would fulfill the OT prophecy. In fact, the explicit charge against him that could be taken to Pilate would be that of sedition. The Sanhedrin did not need Pilate to execute Jesus on a charge of blasphemy. They had all the authority they needed. So, it’s all of a piece. Jesus calls himself king, calls for armed conflict against anyone who opposes him, rides into town AS a king, gets arrested and is sent to Pilate on the charge of sedition, which is punishable by crucifixion.

    Now this sounds like a pretty clear call to at least fight infidels who fight him, if not kill them indiscriminately. (The Koran has a similar call to arms, but it also promises that God rewards those who show restraint.) But it’s kinda contradicted (or at least blunted) by the fact that when it actually came down to force, Jesus directly ordered his followers NOT to resist, either at the time or later. And there’s also that “render unto Caesar” bit, where Jesus simply refuses to draw a battle-line against any infidels.

    Another thing about that riding-into-Jerusalem story: I heard other commentators saying that Jesus didn’t ride into Jerusalem to fight a war and make himself king; he rode in because he realized that the authorities were gunning for him (okay, spearing for him maybe), and he chose to meet them directly, rather than hide in the hills and cause a more drawn-out battle that would only fail and get more people killed. The attitude wasn’t “I’m a king and I’m taking over,” it was more like “You think I’m trying to be a king? Here, let me come to town and face your accusations directly.”

    Of course, Jesus could have got a bug up his ass and thought he actually could take over Jerusalem, and thus Judea, and his idea of a triumphant conquest turned out to be a laughable pathetic failure; and all the Bible stuff and subsequent commentary could just be an attempt to make that sad failure look more noble than it really was at the time. Rationalizing failure and rewriting it out of history and memory is something religious cult-leaders tend to do, so we can’t really call it “inconceivable” that Jesus’ followers could have done something like that too.

  • http://strangesally.wordpress.com/ SallyStrange

    And this is why I will never read the Bible* nor debate it with Christians. Pointless waste of time.

    *In full; I’ve read parts. That was enough. Ditto the Quran.

  • Abdul Alhazred

    OK. You win the cheap debating point contest. Therefore let’s do nothing about the folks who are massacring infidels *right* *now*, because of shit that happened (if it happened) 3000 years or so ago.

  • John Horstman

    So, yeah, if the OT isn’t part of the Christian Bible (pick a version), then why is it included in every Christian Bible I’ve ever seen? Alternatively, if the stuff about slavery and genocide is wrong, why are the creation myths (there’s more than one!) and whatever other bits our hypothetical Christian interlocutor likes trustworthy? The source is obviously no longer infallible at that point…

  • http://www.jafafahots.com Jafafa Hots

    [blockquote] …the Old Testament… …as the context is fictional.[/blockquote]

    You don’t say.

  • http://www.jafafahots.com Jafafa Hots

    meh. you get my point.

  • Hoosier X

    I’ve never read the Koran. The bible was bad enough. What a horrible overrated anthology.

    I’ve read them both. The Koran gets lots of extra points for being a lot shorter.

  • iangould

    “OK. You win the cheap debating point contest. Therefore let’s do nothing about the folks who are massacring infidels *right* *now*, because of shit that happened (if it happened) 3000 years or so ago.” Abdul Alhazred

    What do you suggest we do about the Christians murdering Muslims in the Central African Republic or the Orthodox Christian Russian militias murdering Catholic and Protestant clergy in Eastern Ukraine?

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    @anat

    To EnlightenmentLiberal – not a rebuttal, just a sequel for the lurkers. It is a too common misconception that Judaism somehow froze 2000 years ago.

    Understood. Thanks!

    @John Horstman

    So, yeah, if the OT isn’t part of the Christian Bible (pick a version), then why is it included in every Christian Bible I’ve ever seen?

    I’ve seen plenty of new testament only books.