Other Alternate Realities

The Bible

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When we say “Bible” we are referring to what is known in Christianity as the “Holy Bible”. In particular, we prefer the “red-letter edition” of the King James Version of the bible.

The reason it is necessary to be so specific is that there have been many bibles over the years, all based to some extent on writings dating from about 100 AD or later. The “Bible” has itself evolved many times over the centuries. What was to be included in this book was debated and modified a number of times. At least one list of the intended contents was lost before any actual publication and had to be re-generated, revised, reviewed and finally pass muster before being printed.

When the first printings were done, they were done by hand and in Latin. The reason for this was at least in part because of the location where these books were printed and also the desire to keep all knowledge in the hands of the (Catholic) church and away from the members of the church.

As various “scriptures” or books were re-transcribed over the years, notations were added in the margins and later, these notations were added to the document as if they had always been there.

As you probably know, one of the features of the “Protestant Revolution” was the re-translation of the bible into a common language. The first version was in German and that was later translated into English. Then another more politically-correct version was published in English.

This did not satisfy the growing dissent among the various protestant factions so an attempt at a political solution resulted in the “King James Version” of the bible and the relocating of Puritans to the Americas.

One of the more interesting things that have been discovered about the organization and order is that the book of Genesis, which is first in the bible, was determined by writing analysis to have been written later than other books in the so call “five books of Moses”. Another interesting fact is that the fifth book of Moses could not have been written by him unless he came back as a ghost and dictated it. Of course, belief in an all powerful god makes believing this, along with the earth “standing still” possible.

This version stood for many years as the “definitive” translation and is still in use today in many churches. In an effort to make the bible more accessible to ordinary and semi-literate individuals, numerous “modern” translations of the bible have appeared. It should be also noted that various verses used by religious organizations such as the Mormons, have been “sanitized”. In my own cynical way, I see this as one of the main reasons for the “modern” translations. This way, the more fundamental religions do not have to deal with inconvenient passages in the bible that deal with things such as “baptism for the dead”.

I have found the philosophies and principals attributed to Jesus to be, for the most part, valuable and important in separating us from our simian relatives. They are indeed words to live by. The words of his disciples… not so much.

However, the bible does make interesting reading especially if you start from the beginning and read all the way through. You can skip the “Song of Solomon” if you like as it is boring and I have no idea why it was included. Also, you will find “Revelations” to be something of an acid trip and about as useful as the quatrains of Nostradamus.

It is interesting to see how god evolves from a Jealous God -- who considers a man righteous even though he has sex with his daughters and will have his chosen people deceive and slaughter people as retribution even after a confession and recantation of their evil -- to a god of love and forgiveness as presented in the New Testament.

Religious people attempt to rationalize away the dichotomies of their bible because to acknowledge them would lead them to abandon their faith and that is more than most people can stand.

All versions of "scripture" were written and translated by men and the men were misogynists. This is the primary reason that Mary Magdalene has been described as a prostitute even though there is absolutely no evidence for that.

I do accept that there was a man known as Jesus and that he taught a new way of living but his most important message has been lost or perverted because it is inconvenient to religion in general. He was opposed to organized religion and spoke against it at every opportunity. You can see how that would be unacceptable to every religion. What he tried to teach, but you cannot teach it, was to be enlightened and self-actualized. People must come to both of these on their own and it cannot be passed on or taught.

This page was last modified:      Saturday, November 02, 2013 at 1:27:52 PM