Ends . . . – . . . Beginnings

I feel at night, when I look at the stars, if I could only stand higher, I could reach out and grab a star.  I sometimes feel betrayed, I remember the news, the stars are so far away, I could not even reach them at the speed of light.  I also feel betrayed because I remember then, these are only the visible stars, they span out forever, way beyond what we can see. Evolution_by_alyn2

It makes me wonder what is out there and then I recall, the is a forever.  It boggles my mind, we cannot see the end and even if we do, we’ll wonder what is on the other side.  Not having an end is against what I know, because all I know is destined to end.TheEndWorld

I first remember the day ended, the night began, there were meal times, bed times, sleep times, school years, races,  pain ends, pleasure ends, and most dramatically, life ends.  It seems as though we are enthralled with things that end.  There seems to be 100’s of movies predicting the end of earth, the restart of the human race, the destruction of the world.  We are so enthralled with it, we have the ration of the diameter of a circle to how many times it goes around the circumference approximately  3.14 times but we have divided it out to over a trillion times to try and find the end.  piposter

What’s wild is we are so fascinated with ends, yet this has two sides.  It is hard to imagine something with no end,  yet we’ve been given hints of the end yet do not seem to be able to recognize them.

The Demand for a Sign

Matthew 16:1–4 (NIV)   16:1–12pp—Mk 8:11–21

16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.  A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

I wonder how many people look at the complexity of a personal computer, smartphone, automobile, and believe it created itself out of randomness?  imacpartsI wonder if people look at the cycle of life as something that just happened, got lucky and stuck. cycleoflife Like a rough rock, a piece of granite, turning into a wheel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe if you believe this world, this universe just happened by chance, then you can also believe it was created by a creator, I know as God.maxresdefault

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FORD VS. KAVANAUGH

Reposted from: https://thethinkery.me/2018/09/27/ford-vs-kavanaugh/

THE THINKERYGREAT MINDS THINK.

FORD VS. KAVANAUGH

September 27, 2018

The Supreme Court nominee is being accused of awful conduct. He is denying it. What do we do with that?

This situation is just one of countless others. We constantly need to sift through data, analyze information, and weigh evidence. When we want to make a wise decision, draw areasonable conclusion, or make a fair judgment about something, we must employ certain skills.

These are skills I teach in Critical Thinking Basics. Here are some steps to effective analysis taken from the lesson “Figure it Out”:

Identify your biases, and set them aside.Make sure that you know what kind of statements you’re dealing with (Facts, Errors, Theses, Beliefs, Opinions).Make sure that you are dealing with verified facts.Make sure that you have all of the available facts.Conduct research when necessary to verify facts and gain more knowledge.Take time to think about the facts. As best you can, determine which ones are relevant. Look at them as puzzle pieces. Consider how they relate to each other.Ask the right questions, understanding that there is value in unanswered questions, as well.Employ reason. Ask, Does this make sense?Understand that you might not have enough facts to form a correct conclusion and that you might have to form a preliminary conclusion and adjust it as more facts become available.When an absolute conclusion is not possible, carefully consider possibilities and probabilities. Leave room for a logical conclusion, and get comfortable with uncertainty.

If you are not willing or able to go through these steps, it is best to avoid making a judgment or drawing a conclusion. Certainly don’t act on it.

You might speak philosophically on the matters involved (“Sexual assault is horrible”, “False accusations are devastating”), but be careful when you do. Consider how your words will be taken by others, and be sure to add that you are not necessarily speaking about this particular situation because you don’t know the whole story.

It’s troublesome that many people seem to be sure
that they know the truth of this situation.

When it’s a scenario such as Ford vs. Kavanaugh, with two parties asserting conflicting claims, consider whether each party has a reason to lie, whether each one could be mistaken but sincerely believe he or she is telling the truth, and whether memory could be problematic.

As you can see, this is complicated business because there are so many variables, considerations, and unavailable facts. It’s troublesome that many people seem to be sure that they know the truth of this situation. I blame the failure to think critically. This typically is due to laziness and/or a lack of skills. Perhaps the chief factor in this particular scenario is bias precluding thought. It’s easy to believe what we want to believe because of our preferences, alliances, and agendas.

To properly handle the onslaught of information and misinformation out there, we must develop a habit of critical thinking and a bias for truth. In that way, we can avoid being part of the problem and instead be part of the solution.

Day of the Crucifixion?

Does the Bible Contradict Itself Regarding the Day of the Crucifixion?

Since the second century, a great dispute has been carried on as to the apparent discrepancy between John and the synoptists in their statements concerning the Passover. The synoptists…clearly represent Jesus as having eaten the Passover at the proper time, and as having been arrested on the same night, while John here and elsewhere…seems to represent Jesus as being arrested before the Passover (2012, CXVIII, John 13:1-20, italics in orig.). Is this a legitimate discrepancy that can be levied against the Bible?

From http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=5059&b=John

Matthew 26:17 (NIV)

The Last Supper

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

Mark 14:12 (NIV)

The Last Supper

12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

Luke 22:7–8 (NIV)

The Last Supper

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”

John 13:1 (NIV)

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

John 18:28–29 (NIV)

Jesus Before Pilate

28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

John 19:14 (NIV)

14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

A straightforward reading of this passage leaves the impression that the last supper that the disciples ate with Jesus was not the Passover meal, but actually “before the feast of the Passover,” as though the Passover began the next day. This would contradict the synoptic Gospels’ clear claims and imply that either John taught that the last supper was not actually the Passover meal as the other Gospel writers claimed, or that Jesus was observing the Passover early—on a different day than was commanded by God. In truth, the alleged contradiction in this case is easily dispelled by understanding that the phrase “supper being ended” (NKJV) is properly translated:
According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, before His crucifixion, Jesus sent disciples to prepare the Passover meal, killing the Passover lamb. They note that this task was completed on “the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,” the 14th of Nisan on the Jewish calendar, the day before Jesus’ crucifixion (cf. Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7)—identifying for us that the meal was prepared on a Thursday. In accordance with the Law of Moses, Jesus then ate the Passover meal that evening—Thursday night to the modern mind, but the beginning of the Jewish Friday to the Israelite (the Jewish day began at sunset). Jesus’ crucifixion then occurred the next day on Friday (the same day as the initial Passover meal to Jews), before the Jewish Sabbath Day began Friday evening (the Jews’ Saturday). [NOTE: While some believe the crucifixion, and hence the Passover meal, was earlier in the week, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, and Matthew 27:62 indicate that the crucifixion took place on Friday, “the day before the Sabbath,” with Jesus dying as “the Sabbath drew near.”

“during supper” (ASV; ESV; RSV; McCord, 1989), or
while the “meal was being served” (NIV), “being prepared…or going on” (Jamieson, et al., 2012, John 13:2), or “was preparing” (Clark, 2013, John 13:2), or
“while they were at supper” (Barnes, 2012, John 13:2), or
“there being a supper made, or he being at supper” (Henry, 2014, John 13:2).

 

Maybe I have a little of Thomas . . . doubting . . .

Doubt is good, if doubt leads to honest investigation.  There is doubt which is like having a weak floor and just hoping to avoid the freaks, the crevices, the spots.  It may even a cause to avoid using the area, because of the doubt.  But, if doubt leads to investigation and investigation leads to knowledge, then doubt disappears and belief increases, regardless of the outcome of the investigation.

Recently, I swayed away from my daily posting of my devotion.  I was not fond of my new daily lack of, but it seems like it had some me good to have had the break.  I wondered where my interest lie in my faith, what did I want to improve, increase and/or strengthen within my relationship with Christ.  During my sabbatical, my son introduced me to Jordan Peterson, a new trending deep thinker.  On YouTube, he is all over the place having conversations and debates with other deep thinkers.  Jordan has a series on YouTube about the Bible.  In my search for them, I came across other deep thinkers and Scholar’s of the Bible.  One of the in Dr., Professor Bart Erhman.  He is not only a leading scholar on the Bible, he has authored several books about the Bible, focusing on his belief to why the Bible is not, for him, the word of God. Thus, denouncing his faith in the Bible, Jesus Christ, and Christianity.  Having heard a few of his debates and lectures about the errors, discrepancies, and hypocrisies in the Bible, I wanted to learn about them first hand.

One of the recommendations was to read the Gospels, which had most of Dr. Erhman’s criticism, was to read the Gospel stories horizontally.  Meaning, read a story in Matthew, find the same story in the other Gospels, and see how they compare.  He believes, we would, as he did, find there were errors, discrepancies, and hypocrisies within them.  I wondered how one might know if a story exists in other Gospels and where might they be?  I then realized, my NIV Life Application Bible had what is called, a Harmony of the Gospels, which does list the life of Christ and major events as they occurred in each Gospel

To have access to the Harmonies, I felt it would be convenient to have them in an Excel for easy access and looking up.  I wanted to be acquainted with two things, firstly to have a greater insight to how the stories do differ.  I thought that would be good to know, especially if someone brought it up.  The other is to not just know them, but to learn about them, do they offer any insight into the life of Jesus Christ or do the really offer direct contradictions to the Bible which could cause someone to lose their faith as Dr. Rehman did. 

I came across a few websites which had a Harmony of the Gospels and this was wonderful.  I was quickly able to run down the same stories between the Gospels.  However, I am more interested in stories which the “experts” thought had discrepancies, not just a list of stories.  I came across this wonderful, wonderful website: http://www.apologeticspress.org/  It lists, what seems every conceivable discrepancy the Bible has.  Not just in the Gospels, but in EVERY book, Old Testament and New Testament.   What they did not have was a Harmony of the Gospels listing the issues among them.  They had each book of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John on a separate page with a listing of the discrepancies.  I did notice a discrepancy in the same story of a different Gospel had the same error title. 

I then used some basic computer skills and combined the four Gospels into one document.  Sorted the group by error title and was able to discover Gospels stories with errors.  What I really like in addition to have a harmony but, the error titles kept their links to the website which has an explanation of the discrepancy.  I added a couple of columns to categorize the discrepancies in an uncomplicated way.  One column is to categorize the same discrepancy together and the second is to list the Gospel it came from.   I also made a pivot table which combines the discrepancies and added a column to count how many Gospel have the same discrepancy.  What is cool, I click on the discrepancy and it drills down to list them separately on a new worksheet, which allows me to drill down to the actual text in the Bible. 

[Descrepancy Table]  Links are active

 

Gospel C/V Event Ev## Auth
Matthew 7:21 “Calling on the Name of the Lord” 1 1
Luke 6:46 “Calling on the Name of the Lord” 1 3
Mark 14:61-62 “He Opened Not His Mouth” 2 2
Mark 15:2 “He Opened Not His Mouth” 2 2
Mark 15:34 “He Opened Not His Mouth” 2 2
Luke 23:34 “He Opened Not His Mouth” 2 3
Matthew 26:32 “Meet Me in Galilee” 3 1
Matthew 18:10 “Meet Me in Galilee” 3 1

[Pivot Table] Tells me how many Gospels have the same discrepany.

Row Labels John Luke Mark Matthew #x
“Calling on the Name of the Lord” 1 1 2
“He Opened Not His Mouth” 1 3 2
“Meet Me in Galilee” 2 1
“No One has Ascended to Heaven” 1 1
“Christianity Could Not Possibly Be True” 1 1
“Extra, Extra, Read all about it” 2 2 2 1 4
“The Event Could Have Happened Only One Way” 1 1 1 1 4
“Today You Will be with Me in Paradise” 1 1
A Donkey and Her Colt 1 1 1 1 4
Addition Does Not a Contradiction Make 1 1 1 1 4
At What Hour was Jesus Crucified? 1 1 2

One Question, Three Different Answers

 

Three times in the book of Acts, Luke the physician recorded non-Christians asking what they needed to do to be saved, and three times a different answer was given.

Acts 16:25–32 (NIV)

25 About
midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other
prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a
violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all
the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The
jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and
was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But
Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The
jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He
then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you
will be saved—you and your household.”
32 Then they
spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.

Acts 2:36–39 (NIV)

36 “Therefore let
all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified,
both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When
the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the
other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38 Peter
replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of
you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you
and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God
will call.”


Acts 22:12–16 (NIV)

12 “A
man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and
highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood
beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment
I was able to see him.

14 “Then
he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see
the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will
be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And
now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

Explanation . . .
The reason these sinners were told three
different things
regarding salvation was because they were at different starting
points when given the various answers. It is as if the jailor were in Jackson,
Tennessee, the Jews on Pentecost in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Saul in Fort
Smith. All wanted to go to the same place, but
were at different starting points when they asked the question, “What must I do
to be saved?”
The unbeliever was told to believe. The believers were
told to repent. And the penitent believer was told to be baptized. The three
statements may be different, but they are not contradictory. For a person to
become a child of God, he or she must do all three (see John 8:24; Luke 13:3,5;
Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16).

 

 

Take it or don’t . . .?

I don’t know how many times I have read the Bible and not noticed many of the differences people point out.  I believe, to me, they did not alter the story.  It’s like when people point out mistakes in the making of a movie, they are so small and the mistakes clearly don’t have any impact on the story or the message.

Below is an apparent contradiction.  Jesus tells the disciple to take a staff and in other Gospels Jesus tells them not to take a staff.,  For me, I would of picked this up as a scribe error, missed writing it down, since there are two who say no and one to yes, easy to have missed the one negating world.

In the fourth column, I put in an explanation I found, which does make sense; but to me not necessary.  There is also another explanation which basically reminds us humans, maybe we don’t know the situation; we as humans with our limited capacity, don’t have all the information to say whether Jesus, God, or the scribe may have made a mistake.

 

Mark 6:8–10 (NIV)
These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.
Luke 9:3–5 (NIV)He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Matthew 10:9–11 (NIV)“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. Explanation . . .?
The two concessions of a staff and sandals are unique to Mark. Both are forbidden in Matthew 10:9-10, and the staff is forbidden in Luke 9:3. Matthew used ktaomai (“to procure, acquire”), instead of airō (“to take”); so the disciples were not to acquire additional staffs or sandals – but to use the ones they already had. Mark and Luke both use airō, “to take or carry along.” But Luke says, “Take nothing for the journey – no staff (rhabdon),” presumably no additional staff; while Mark says, “Take nothing for the journey except (Mark 6:5) a staff (rhabdon),” presumably the one already in use. Each writer stressed a different aspect of Jesus’ instructions (p. 128, emphasis original).
The fourth column and the explanation below are From <https://bible.org/seriespage/are-there-contradictions-gospels>

I like how that team of scholars mentions “hyperbole.” That is an acceptable literary Scriptural device, which is an intentional exaggeration to draw attention to the main point. For example, Jesus uses a hyperbole when he says that we should not pull a speck out of our bother’s eye, while we have a big beam or plank in our eye (Matt. 7:3). Can we literally have a beam or plank in our eye? Can we rightly say, “There’s an error in Scripture, because no one can literally have a beam or plank in his eye!” However, the attitude behind the “gotcha” misses the literary technique of hyperbole.https://bible.org/seriespage/are-there-contradictions-gospels>

Resurrection of Jesus . . .harmonized

 

Matthew 28:9–10 (NIV)
Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Mark 16:9–13 (NIV)
9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
Luke 24:1–8 (NIV)
Jesus Has Risen
24:1–10pp—Mt 28:1–8; Mk 16:1–8; Jn 20:1–8
24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
John 20:14–16 (NIV)
14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).