Sunday, March 4, 2007

Them Bones, them Bones...

Alright, you people, of today’s social order – you academics, scientists, archaeologist, authors, film makers, etc. – enough already!

As I’ve said before it is not easy to scuttle that which I have always believed. Hard to compromise on the stuff resident in my mind since I took my first steps. It is painful to rip stuff out of my chest. To discard it and then restuff that void without causing lumps and painful cramps. But I do it. Oftener than I would like to. I grit my teeth, brace my feet on the floor, chuck in my chin, and I do it.

Because of you I am now convinced that margarine and pig fat are not good for me. That purple no longer complements orange as it did in the late sixties. That smoking is a wicked, degrading, perverted act and the people that do it the scum of the earth. I have subscribed to the belief that gender preferences have to do with biological order rather than brain disorder. And that if a car goes into a skid, steering in the direction of the skid is the wisest thing to do.

But some other things I could not buy into. I still think that “The Little Match Girl” and “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” should be read to children in their original form. These are stories that impart empathy, compassion, and a deep-seated concern for others that are less fortunate. And I don’t wear it anymore, but I still like purple and orange.

And the Bible, I don’t want anyone monkeying with that either. The DaVinci code was fiction and I read it as fiction so there was nothing disturbing in that for me. But now we have the finding of an ossuary that so many are convinced is Jesus’ tomb. So that of course fires off the initial thought that if remains are found in a tomb of a resurrected figure, then I’ve been duped again. Going have to rearrange my stuffing.

But not so fast. Let me think about this just a bit. We don’t know a lot about death, but this much we do know. That in near-to-death experiences, people leave their bodies as it were and then find themselves at another vantage point looking down on their situation. And these have reported that they see their physical body as it initially was, unmoved and unchanged, although for a moment they are not in that body.

It has so often been said that “Faith would not be faith if it could be scientifically proved”. Faith is about that which some outward power compels our inner being to accept and believe without hard logic. And furthermore, although the Bible says we will be resurrected in like-form and that others will recognize us, I don’t think it insinuates that we will be earth-based bones, and cells, marrow, with specific blood types and DNA wrapped in heavenly flesh.

So now, you may call me delusional if you like. You may say, I just foolishly believe what I want to believe. But hold on just a minute. I am no more delusional than those who believe our justice system is just. Or that professionals can always be trusted. That health care and law enforcement, and other public service providers, can remain cleansed of corruption through internal investigations. And that some day as we plunder down this new path of enlightenment, equality, respect, non-discrimination, and democracy will rule the globe. That environmental warming will be stopped in its tracks. And that the U.S. will end the era of WMS’s and biological warfare with a biological weapon of its own. A philosophy of liberty and freedom so contagious that when dispensed over rogue countries, all who breath it in will succumb to its septic drift.

Nah, I’m not too concerned about the finding of Jesus tomb, or his bones, or other body debris. But still if your religion is more superficial. More about status and respect in your community, about being well thought of, rather than an unwavering conviction within your soul, this tomb-business could be very upsetting.

So as a final thought I have to wonder at the purpose of these journalists, film makers, and archaeologists. What kind of people are embedded in this project? Is financial greed at the root of it? Yes I think so. But that doesn’t bother me near as much as a suspicion (and it is only a suspicion) that there may be an alternative intent to deal a crushing blow to Christianity while at the same time bolstering other beliefs that counter that Jesus was only a prophet, historical figure, or common man, but not a Messiah. Like political campaigns that smear the opponent to increase their own popularity, could the intent of this effort be a determination to sway Christians away from Christianity to redemption through a ‘holy war’ rather than a Jesus-based belief? And could it be we are too dumb to realize that?

12 comments:

Seven Star Hand said...

Lying about the name Jesus, for profit, yet again...

Hello Roberta and all,

The most interesting aspect of this Jesus Tomb story revolves around the actual names on the bone boxes compared to what is being asserted in the effort to make a profit. Pay special attention to the tortured explanations of how names like Jesus, Mary, Matthew, Joseph, and others were "translated" (interpolated) from inscriptions that actually say otherwise. Most specifically, both Christians and those who are promoting this "Jesus Tomb" discovery and its associated assertions are profiting from the very same long-term process of obfuscation and meticulous misdirection. For anyone, whether Christian leaders and adherents or James Cameron to keep a straight face while claiming that the name Jesus was one of the most common in Second Temple Israel is highly instructive. The name that is commonly translated as Joshua was very common, but the name Jesus is a very unique and narrowly targeted construction of recent centuries that simply cannot have truthfully appeared anywhere in the ancient Near East. Likewise, many are writing that Jesus is instead the english form of Joshua, as if the millions of english speaking Christians and Jews named Joshua have foreign names. Furthermore, does anyone know of any person named Joshua who would seriously assert that the English form of their name is Jesus? These deceptive assertions are beyond absurd.

This long-term charade about a name that simply could not have been written or pronounced in Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, or even Latin, which is now being touted as one of the more common names from ancient Israel/Judea, serves as an illuminating microcosm for the entire New Testament and the many dubious assertions and activities that have accompanied it and Christianity throughout their entire existence. As Christians rally to "prove" that this archeological find can't be the tomb and bones of the "Jesus" and "Mary" of the New Testament, they too should honestly answer questions about why it is correct to interpolate those names in such a unique way to support the veracity of the most profitable story in history, but not to interpret an archeological discovery. Christians must truthfully answer the question of why it is wrong for the "Jesus Tomb" crew to use Christianity's own methodology to arrive at the names now being asserted as appearing on those bone boxes.

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Matty said...

Roberta,
I like purple and orange, but not together, esp. popsicles!
The root of it,,,money, fame, notoriety, money, and a Movie! and money!
I'm a Christian and I have my faith, they can take away my bacon and my peanut butter,,,but no,,not at my age, nobody is pulling the rug out from under me!
You gotta have faith!

Roberta S said...

Hi seven star hand, some of this like the semantics of language and it's translation are beyond my comprehension. So that is why for me, it matters not to me if what they say is true or untrue. As I said in my blog, Faith does not require proof and if it is solidly proved it is really no longer faith.

Roberta S said...

Hi matty. Loved your comment. I find with your sincerity, uncanny wisdom, no nonsense attitude, and wonderful sense of humor, there is always something worthwhile to extrapolate and something sweetly funny that makes me smile.

Your faith is the kind of faith I most admire, and your faith is the kind of faith that others most envy. So we'll keep our faith. Right, matty?

Eleanor said...

Hi Roberta,
Long time no chat! Sorry about that, but you know what's what by now, I'm sure.

Anyway, I've been rolling my eyes at this whole box of bones thing, and at the Da Vinci Code hoopla, too. I guess I come from a slightly different place than you as far as interpretation of the Bible goes, but faith is faith. I don't believe that every word of the Bible should be taken literally, and recognize that the stories therein are full of holes, etc. However, I believe that Jesus was who he was, he did what he did, etc. Whether he was married or not, had children or not, is buried here or there, blah blah blah, is irrelevant to me. Sure, the historian in me would like to know the factual details about his life, but knowing them won't change my Christian beliefs at all. Would he be less "special" just because he had a wife and children? Of course not.

As for the bones bit, I suppose that it depends on someone's interpretation of Heaven. But to me it's quite logical that there would be "earthly remains". My interpretation is that it was his spirit which ascended, leaving the body behind.

I've always found the whole scientific proof vs. Bible debate rather silly. To me, both sides are arguing the same point, just in different ways. Scientists know that life forms came to be in seven different stages ... and who's to say that the seven days in the Bible are to be literally interpreted as seven 24-hour periods? And on it goes.

I'm in 100% agreement with your thoughts on "The Little Match Girl" and "Grimm's Fairy Tales".

Roberta S said...

eleanor, everything you said in that comment is 100% right on. I'm with you on all of it despite the questions I expressed in this rant. Creation, indeed, what's to question? It happened in 7 days, 7000 days, or maybe 70,000 years but the beauty of it and precision of it are far too awesome to have happened by chance.

Thanks for stopping by, now I think I'll go back to shedding more tears and finish reading "The Little Match Girl".

Eleanor said...

I really just came back to grab your url to link you at my new place. But while I'm here, I'll add something I forgot earlier. "The Little Match Girl" had a huge impact on me as a child, and I know that it contributed greatly to how I treat others. Yes, it made me cry every time I read it, and still does, but that's the point, isn't it? It wasn't traumatized crying, which is what modern "experts" seem to have against the story. Rather it touched and opened my heart in good ways, which is what children nowadays really need. Pah to all of the nonsense about watering down fairy tales and such, to spare the "tender" feelings of today's kids!

Anonymous said...

Roberta, as usual, I am 100% in agreement with you. I was astonished at the uproar over The DaVinci Code. I find myself saying "It's a work of FICTION," to all who sound so troubled by it. It's great that it makes you think about your religion, but it doesn't have to shake the foundations of that belief, and neither does this business about the bones.

I find it impossible to belive that they think they can identify these bones after two milennia. The entire situation screams "HOAX," to me. THere is no proof anyone could offer that would make me positive that these are the bones of Jesus. And, if they could, it wouldn't have any affect on my faith. It doesn't matter to me what form Jesus took as he ascended. Corporal, or ephemeral, it's the concept of Jesus as the Son of God that matters to me. Some people are not happy unless there is a crisis to create.

I'm glad that you clarified that you were talking about wearing orange and purple clothing. The colors still work together, even if we choose not to wear them today. It sounds like the fashion police were talking to you! *G*

Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

Buffy

Roberta S said...

eleanor, "The Little Match Girl" needs to be a blog unto itself. I am so amazed at what you said about it because just two weeks ago my daughter told me 7-yr-old granddaughter went from a kid constantly in a worry about her popularity and value (ie. if she enough friends, enough talent, enough stylish clothes,etc...) to worrying about others who seemed lonely, impoverished, or sad. Prior to this MD had the "politically correct" story of the little match girl, but not the original story -- and it was the original story that made my granddaughter change from self-centered concerns to concerns for others. There was another story in the 'originals' about kids that were given sand to eat, but I've not seen it, or heard of it before. I don't see MD often but when I do, I will ask her to let me read that story.

Matty said...

I just read the story of the Little Match girl on-line. I don't know if I could read it to my grandaughter,,,its hard to read if you're sobbing uncontrollably,,,,and maybe if I read it to her, she might think that God has plans for me? her nana?
Well, for anyone who wants to read it on-line, go ahead but you have been warned,,,,have plenty of Kleenex handy.

http://www.readprint.com/work-24/Hans-Christian-Andersen

Roberta S said...

Hi Buffy, so nice to hear from you. I am truly glad you added your comments to this discussion.

Orange and purple have somehow become an item of comical interest in this post. That's good. Actually I think another couple birthdays and I'll probably return to purple with orange and wear it unabashed.

Roberta S said...

Thanks for that reference matty. I think I'll go read it myself right now. I don't know why but sometimes a truly sad story and a good cry are as refreshing as a gentle rain. Oops. Almost forgot to grab the Kleenex.