Bible-Related Nonsense

img class=”alignleft” src=”http://i.ytimg.com/vi/COeqlKXvgN4/0.jpg” alt=”” width=”202″ height=”151″ />I focus on information literacy skills in my course on the Bible – i.e. the ability to identify and utilize reliable sources of information amid the wide array of sources of varying degrees of reliability – and ridiculousness – that abound on the internet. And so I asked them at the end of class last time to come up with something bizarre that they have found or can find online that relates to the Bible.

Then I will ask them what makes it bizarre, and what the difference is between something that is nonsense or untrustworthy as opposed to something that is from a reliable source but might nevertheless still be wrong. In other words, starting to focus on the difference between scholarly views (and determining whether a given topic is characterized by consensus or division among experts), idiosyncratic scholarly views, and non-scholarly views.

If they do not come up with good ones, I might show them the video below which John Byron shared, about a topic I mentioned briefly in an earlier post, namely parents who are concerned that a palm vein scanner in the school cafeteria might be related to the “mark of the beast.” What makes it idiotic nonsense is not just that the Bible has no reference to such technology, but also the fact that the scanner scans the veins that are already in your hand, and has nothing to do with anyone getting a mark or microchip. And so the fears are at least doubly unfounded.

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Is that a good example of the category of Bible-related nonsense? What other good and perhaps better examples can you come up with?

  • Dr. David Tee

    The principal doesn’t make a good case for using that technology. The Bible doesn’t have to mention the technology, all it has to do is mention the mark of the beast. This technology, along with credit cards, store discount cards, debit cards, etc. are just subtlely training people to use a number.
    You do not entrap people with th emark right away as there woul dbe a lot of resistance and rebellion. You introduce the idea very carefully using legitimate reasons and concerns to make it accepted so people get used to the idea.
    Some of those concerns are–eating, child safety, law and order (the Nazis loved that one–take awy the people’s guns, they can’t resist you) and so on.
    The 70s movie A Thief in the Night couldn’t depict how the one world government tracked people and knew where they were at all times. Well with the general implementation of GPS we now know how they will do it. Then fiber optics help the government see into people’s homes without their knowledge. That last one was told me second hand by a brother of a u.s. military officer but I can see how it makes sense since fiber optics are used to operate law enforcement cameras.
    The mark is coming and the Bible has forewarned everyone. Now it is up to the people to make a choice. You do not need technology to protect your family–God will do it for free.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Why do you once again refuse to accept what the Bible says? Revelation is clear that the Beast denoted a human being whose name its initial readers could calculate, and that its seven heads were seven kings one of whom was reigning in the author’s time. Why can’t you accept that? Why twist the book to make it about our future?

      • Mary

        No offense Prof McGrath but because Revelation is very symbolic I think it is a bit unrealistic for you to expect others to understand your theories. I don’t think the text is clear at all.
        I am not saying you are wrong, in fact I think your theory sounds interesting but the meaning is not obvious for us non-scholars. Pehaps you could explain it to us?
        Thanks!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          I agree that the book is challenging and I ought to have included specific references.

          Take a look at Revelation 17:10. Is it not explicit, and clearer than most of the book, that one of the kings connected with the city with seven hills, i.e. Rome, is ruling in the author’s time? And doesn’t 13:18 expect the original readers to be able to figure out his name?

          The Book of Revelation often seems more obscure than it needs to because people reading today assume it is all about their future and miss the indications in the book that it was intended to be relevant and intelligible to its original readers.

          • Mary

            Thank you. I will check it out.

    • Mary

      You ignore also that Jesus said he would return WITHIN HIS APOSTLES’ LIFETIME. Paul said that too. And you are reading too much into a book that almost didn’t make it into the canon. In my opinion Revelation is like an ink blot test, because of its highly symbolic nature you can pretty much read into it anything you want. (No offense Dr. McGrath).
      There is a good book called “The History of the End of the World” which documents the fact that in every generation since Jesus walked on this planet Christians have been convinced that the end of the world is imminent.

      • Dr, David Tee

        Both responses are false accusations and do not deal with what I wrote… Must mean they have no answer

        • Mary

          We do have answers but you will not listen. You won’t even take the time to check your own bible. Since you are too lazy I guess I have to lay it out for you. This is what Jesus said about his second coming:
          Matthew 10:23New King James Version (NKJV)
          23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.Matthew 16:28New King James Version (NKJV)28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”Matthew 24:34New King James Version (NKJV)34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Mark 13:30New King James Version (NKJV)30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Mark 13:30New King James Version (NKJV)30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?Matthew 16:28New King James Version (NKJV)28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”Matthew 24:34New King James Version (NKJV)34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Mark 13:30New King James Version (NKJV)30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Mark 13:30New King James Version (NKJV)30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?Matthew 24:34New King James Version (NKJV)34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Mark 13:30New King James Version (NKJV)30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?Mark 13:30New King James Version (NKJV)30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?Luke 21:32New King James Version (NKJV)32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. As far as Revelation goes, you cannot read into it what is not there, period.If you are going to sulk every time someone says something you don’t like then why even post here at all?

          • Mary

            I am sorry somehow what I posted somehow got replicated.

  • rmwilliamsjr

    one of the fascinating things i’ve learned both from my reading in theology and in watching online discussions, is how easily people slip ideas from their culture into their reading of the Bible. it’s almost as if the Bible is a mirror that encourages people to express what has already been placed in their minds by the people around them. nowhere is this more evident than in prophecy, it’s this magic world where your dreams and creativity have full sway, yet when they pop out of your mouth they take on the protective coloration of Holy Writ so your listeners, if they are so inclined, can hear your words as Gospel and your mutual admiration can feed each other’s fantasies.

    • Mary

      Very well put.

  • andom

    are those people harming someone with this belief?
    Let them believe what they want…
    As, I suppose, in the cafeteria the school is concerned about the dietary needs of Jews or Muslims, in the same way the school should find a way to do not hurt those people.
    Where is your Christian compassion (if you are Christian of course)!

    • Mary

      Yes actually they are harming others, infecting people with fear and mistrust. When people believe that everyone is against them, then they make bad decisions that hurt others. And I believe that he does have compassion for those people who are being brainwashed by this craziness.

      • andom

        Mary, my question was for Christian people…
        Are you Christian?

        • Mary

          I believe in Jesus and your question was in no way addressed to just Christians. I can’t figure out why this would be so upsetting to you. Why are you so combative?

          • Mary

            And by the way, this forum is open to liberal Christians and others who believe in Jesus. So it is very rude for you to decide that I don’t belong here.

            • andom

              I just asked.
              anyway interesting that someone after writing about ‘infecting people with fear and mistrust’ and about people ‘brainwashed by craziness’, the same accuses me to be ‘rude’…

              • andom

                what do you mean with ‘I believe in Jesus’?
                how do you know what Jesus said and did?
                Do you ground your belief in the Gospel? in the Bible? or what?

                • Mary

                  I’m sorry andom, but my experience is when most Christians ask this question they are not being sincere. What they want is to “convert” me. I have no desire to be involved in an argument.

              • Mary

                I am not accusing you of anything. And I am not attacking your religion either. But when people make false claims about palm scanners and “the mark of the beast” or that Obama is the Antichrist I find that disturbing. I wouldn’t want my child to be exposed to that.
                You are right that the schools don’t really need to do the palm scan, but I still object on the principle of it.
                By the way, it isn’t just these “Christians” I find disturbing. The whole thing about 2012 and Mayan prophecies of the end of the world. A lot of people are getting rich off of this crap.


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