Friday, October 13, 2017

Jesus' Instruction about Forgiveness, and Universal Reconciliation.

Matthew chapter 18, verses 21 through 35 (the last verse of the chapter) are refereed to as the "Instruction about Forgiveness".   Verse 22 is the famous 70 times 7 times quote.  And starting in verse 23 is a parable, explicitly likened unto The Kingdom.

The King forgives a a servant the debt they owed him.  That servant goes on to proves unwilling to forgive someone who owed him a debt.  When the King heard of this, he was very upset and scolded him and then comes the last two verses
"And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."
Now, back when I was just arguing for Eternal Security, this would have been an issue to me.  I can see those teaching Salvation can be lost using part of this story's ending out of context.  But what I emphasized in Bold is the key, it was clearly not an eternal punishment.

The fact that I've shown Aionios doesn't always mean Eternal.  Means we can clearly apply this to The Lake of Fire.

And before anyone tries to argue this is only for Believers who fail to forgive.  The tone of this story is clearly that this person being someone who the Lord had already forgiven shown mercy on, made him more angry.  So it seems illogical to suggest a non Believer's punishment for their debt would be worse.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Gendered Hebrew names and Transgender people in The Bible

I've done one post defending Transgender people Biblically already.

In Hebrew, certain grammatical rules make some names pretty indisputably either Masculine or Feminine names.  The most well understood by me being that names ending with a Heh or Tav tend to be Feminine.

Now this can complicate looking at names in English since both those letters have other letters that seemingly sometimes become the same letter in English, like Tav and Teth both becoming a T and/or Th.  There are two names for example that become Noah in English.  The Patriarch of the family that survived The Flood was a Noah ending in a Het, so Masculine.  But the daughter of Zelophead was a Noah ending in a Heh and thus Feminine.  Selah and Terah of the ancestors of Abraham ended with Het so those are Masculine names.

Sometimes however a name that seems unambiguously of one Gender, is seemingly used by individuals of the other Gender.

The first Shelomith in The Bible is in Leviticus 24 and is clearly a woman.  Later however a few Shelomiths seem, in the KJV translation at least, to be males.  Like the one in Ezra 8:10 or 1 Chronicles 26.  2 Chronicles 11:20 lists a Shelomith among the children of Rehoboam, I believe that was a daughter because of my Song of Solomon theory, but others are inclined to assume only sons are named in verses like that.

I'm suggesting that maybe sometimes apparently confusing uses of certain names are evidence of Transgender people in The Bible.  In many cases it can be unclear whether The Bible is recording the name given at Birth/Circumcision, or a name taken later.  So it may not always be easy to guess which kind of Trans a person they could have been.

Also plenty of verses translate "Ben" in a way that suggests it can be gender neutral, especially when used in plural (Children), even though the default is to translate it Son.   And also be aware that sometimes translations include more pronouns then the Hebrew and Greek text imply.  Often Gender pronouns appear only because of preconceived notions about the Gender of the person being refereed to.

However "begating" offspring I do believe refers strictly to the technically male role in reproduction, and so anyone who "begat" offspring must have been assigned Male at birth.  Just as "bearing" children refers to the female role.

So you're about to read the result of me going through the 1 Chronicles genealogy looking for examples.

Elishah ends with a Heh, Elishah was of the children of Javan son of Japheth (Japheth ends in a Teth so it's masculine).

Raamah ends with a Heh, but The Bible avoids using "begat" when referring to Sheba and Dedan as Raamah's sons.  So at first I thought I had an example here, but it turns out Raamah could easily be  a Cis woman.  Or maybe a Transman or Non-Binary.

Diklah of the children of Joktan ends with a Heh. As does Havilah, a name the pops up among Cush's children also.  But Jerah ends in a Het and is also the Semetic name for the Moon, always viewed as masculine by the Semitic near east. Hazarmaveth ends with a Tav.

Dumah of the children of Ishmael also ends with a Heh.  No examples of Dumah being described as negating anyone however.  Isaiah 21:11 however associates Dumah with Seir, a region many tied to Edom.  I've cited before Bill Cooper 's After The Flood saying the Idumeans descended from Dumah not Edom.  I could see a documentary hypothesis proponent suggesting Dumah and Edom as conflicting Genesis origins for the same nation, since the name possibly share a common root.

Esau married a daughter of Ishmael, (possibly two depending on how you view the different accounts of his wives), in Genesis 36 a daughter of Ishmael bares him sons.  Could it be Dumah and one of the wives of Esau were the same person?

Kedamah also ends with a Heh, in this case Kedamah can even be explain as a feminine form of Kademon, which means "East", east of the Jordan is mainly where the Ishmaelites originally settled.  But perhaps most surprising is how the first born of Ishmael, Nabojoth, ends with a Tav.

Of the children and grandchildren borne to Abraham by Keturah.  Shuah ends in a Het so is a masculine name.  But Ephah ends with a Heh,, and is later the name of a Concubine of Caleb in 1 Chronicles 2:46.  Eldaah ends with a Heh as well.  But I'm still searching for an example of one who begat children to make my case airtight.

Aiah and Anah both end with a Heh.  Anah is a name that within Genesis 36 seems to be applied to both a male and a female.  Being called both a Bath of Zibeon and a Ben of Zibeon.  Since it seems possibly Bath is used more strictly gender-wise anyway it's safe to say Anah was a daughter.

Now I enter 1 Chronicles 2, and we reach Judah.  Judah ends in a Heh, and Judah begat at least 5 children.  But Judah is someone we know enough about that it's hard to imagine the intent was for this name to imply anything Feminine.  Nothing in Judah's story seems to suggest Gender Identity being an issue.

And it's a pretty common male name, largely from people being named after this Judah.  So this is perhaps where the critics of the hypothesis I'm building here would really see it's Achilles heel.  Judah was simply named after the Hebrew word for "praise", which also ends with a Heh.  In general, Judith is viewed as the feminine form of Judah.  There seem to be less exceptions to the Tav ending implying Gender then the Heh.

This does make me, as someone who is admittedly no where near an expert of linguistics, ask how do Hebrew scholars decide when ending with a Heh is Feminine, and when it is not?

A lot of the exceptions to ending in a Heh being Feminine are for theophoric names ending with Yah or YHWH.  Others seems to be when there is a Vav before the Heh, which is the case with the name of YHWH.  And that causes to me to wonder if there is a desire among scholars to deny that Yah and YHWH could be technically feminine names.  Meanwhile Elah and Eloah are possibly feminine forms of El (God) that are both used of YHWH in the Hebrew Bible.

At any rate the Hebrew word for Praise perhaps ends with a Heh because it's used to praise YHWH who's name ends with a Heh in both long and short forms.

Eleasah is a name that ends with a Heh.  1 Chronicles 2:39-40 says that Helez begat Eleasah and Eleasah begat Sisamai.  So I finally found something.

Two of David's children born in Jerusalem are named Eliphelet, but that name ends in a Teth not a Tav.

I've refereed to Shelomith and Shulamith as variant forms of the same Feminine version of Solomon's name, and they both end with Tav.  Are the verses with Shelomith that sound like they're referring to Men refering to Transgender people perhaps?  I can't be sure.  But 1 Chronicles 3:19 does refer to a Shelomith as the sister of her brothers.

Solomon is an interesting name on it's own however.  The Hebrew is Shlomoh, an example of a name ending in Vav-Heh.  So maybe that name itself could be Feminine?  It could be Salma or Salmon is the actual masculine form, Solomon possibly comes from Greek texts combines the names Shlomoh and Salmon.

At no point is Solomon described as Begating any of his children, they're just called Solomon's son or daughters.  Naamah the Ammonitess is refereed to as the mother of Rehoboam, but is not described as bearing him per say.  Naamah is also never referred to as a Queen or Queen Mother, a fact probably most likely to mean she was one of the Concubines, but still interesting.  Naamah is definitely a female name, it ends with a Heh and wa sin Genesis 4 the sister of Tubal-Cain.

I've also often wondered if Solomon might have been Asexual or something, having seemingly less children then his father or son in-spite of having way more wives and concubines.

As King, Solomon definitely presented as male, since The Hebrew Bible has distinct terms for Female Monarchs.

Another name of Solomon's was Jeddiah, the name Nathan the Prophet gave to Solomon.  This name is another one that would always been assumed to be male chiefly because it's Yah Theophoric.

There is speculation that Lemuel of Proverbs 31 is a name for Solomon, perhaps specifically the name Bathsheba gave Solomon at birth.  It seems like a Male name though there are women in The Bible who's name ends in L, something I didn't want to get into here.  Those examples aren't El Theophoric names however.

And at this point it occurs to me I forget something very early on. Right at the start.

Seth ends with a Tav, and Seth Begat Enosh, and many other sons and daughters.  Could Seth have been a Transwoman right at the start of The Bible?

This is all speculative, and not at all something I want to build a major Doctrine on.  Especially the Solomon part, that's the most speculative.  But it's interesting how something Conservative Christians want to reject can potentially make more sense out of some confusing details of The Bible.

Update: It turns out, on the subject of Salmon ancestor of David, father of Boaz.  The KJV rendering obscures this, but in Ruth 4:20 the name is spelled Salmah, ending with a Heh (Strong number 8009) while in Ruth 4:21 it is Salmon.   Sometimes this person is also called Salma, like in 1 Chronicles 2:11 (another Salma towards the end of that chapter may or may not be the same person).

Then there is the matter of this Salmon/Salmah's spouse.  We know Salma was assigned male at Birth because Matthew 1:5 says "and Salmon begat boos of Racab".  This Racab is often viewed by Christians as the same person as the Rachab of Joshua, the Harlot of Jericho who helped the Spies Joshua sent.  Fitting a theme of the women named in Jesus genealogy being women who did or were perceived as committing sexual sins.  And that would happen to fit my own agenda of deconstructing Augustinian sexual morality, a whore was an ancestor of Jesus.

But the Greek spelling in Matthew is Racab.  While Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25 when unambiguously referring to the Rachab of Joshua use the spelling Raab.  Meanwhile I find it unlikely chronologically that the father of Boas was a contemporary of Joshua.

A Hebrew name perhaps far more likely to explain the origin of the Greek Racab is Rekab, rendered in the KJV as Rechab.  But this name is a male name, given to at least two male individuals.  But the last verse of 1 Chronicles 2, while talking about clans of Judah (one of whom being he founder of Bethlehem Ephratah) and right before returning to David's genealogy, refers to "the House of Rekab".  The Septuagint text of 1 Chronicles 2:55 uses almost the exact same spelling for Rekab that Matthew 1:5 uses for Racab, only the first vowel is different.

Is is possible that Salmah and Racab were a marriage between a Transwoman and a Transman?  Or maybe Salma was non-binary?  Making Boas the son of Trasngender couple?  Remember these are Ancestors of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Why are Mass Shootings (and Gun Violence in general) most common in America?

This is the retort I've been getting to my point in my previous post, about comparing Banning Guns to Alcohol or Drug prohibition.

There are many reasons why America would have more then any other countries.  Even Michael Moore in his very Pro Gun Control documentary Bowling for Columbine does not conclude having legal access to Guns is the reason, he blames it on the Fear Mongering in our news media.

In general it has repeatedly been proven high crime rates in general are a result of high poverty rates.  Something Liberals are frequently pointing out.  That's why minority communities have higher crime rates, because systemic racism keeps them poorer.

America is also the 3rd largest country in the world by Population.  The only two larger are not Western or even particularly westernized countries, so not so easy to compare.

The claim that America has by such a large margin more then any other country is dependent on a pretty specific definition of what a Mass Shooting is.  For one things gun based slaughter committed by Governments are not counted.

So on twitter I've been seeing a lot of citing of Australia and their strict Gun Laws issued after a mass shooting in 1996.  Saying boldly that there have been NO mass shooting in Australia since, ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

Wikipedia's list of Massacres in Australia.

Frankly I think not counting these two 2014 incidents as "mass shootings" is offensive and disingenuous to their victims.  They are certainly included in what American Gun Control activists are claiming strict Gun Laws will prevent, American equivalents to these are aboslutly pointed to by them.

Meanwhile massacres not involving guns have happened plenty.  I know Gun Control advocates love to be dismissive of that point.  As if being killed by something other then a Gun is inherently less tragic.   The problem is they have an outright superstitious view of Guns, that every Gun is like the One Ring and you can't hold one without feeling an urge to use it.  Maybe it says more about them that they feel that way, I've held a Gun a few times and felt nothing special about it, I took it seriously, but felt no sense of godlike power from it.

And it's not like Australia was having an epidemic of these comparable to America's before.  Australia has a population of less then 25 million compared to America having over 300 Million.  They are inevitably going to have less of everything.

I feel confident an analysis of Canada or European nations would turn out the same.

Japan is another nations with strict Gun Laws the Gun Control advocates point to.

Problem is there are a lot of differences between Japan's Laws and America's Laws.  And most of them are NOT ones a Liberal would want to point to as good.  Japan is overall a very Conservative nation, in some ways the only "industrialized" nation to the right even of America.  Their Gun Ban is about the only thing Liberals would point to as a plus.  I'm kinda the opposite of Japan here, Gun Control is the only political issue on which I'm still a conservative.

Just look at How Japan Uses Low Crime Rates to justify it's Cruel Prison System.  I've also seen Alt-Right blogs claim Japan has never been a victim of "Islamic Terrorism" because they don't have many Muslims and are actively seeking to keep it that way.  While not mentioning how Japan was the victim of a famous act of Buddhist Terrorism back in 1995, the Subway Sairn Gass Attack.

I hate to say this as an Otaku, but Japan is not a free country.  But I shouldn't hate to say that, so much of the Anime I watch is about Japan not being a Free country, Isekai is so popular right now because everyone living there wants out.  Just watch TheAnimeMan's WTF Japan videos on YouTube.

So my point is, even if you could convince my Gun Control would mean less violence.  That's not worth it.  I support Gun Rights for the same reason I oppose the Patriot Act and Trump's Muslim Ban.  I am intensely opposed to giving up Freedom out of Fear, when we do that, the Terrorists win.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Well, another Mass Shooting happened.

I wanted to just spend October watching and talking about Horror Anime.  But now the world has to go through this Gun Control song and dance again.

First of all the people who are supposedly on my side of the Gun issue are going to engage in a moronic hypocrisy of saying to not politicize it to those making their stupid Pro-Gun argument, but at the same time will aboslutly look for ways to make it serve a Right Wing agenda.

Just make the Pro-Gun Right argument, and refute theirs, every-time you try to act like we shouldn't talk about it at all you make yourself look scared and our argument look weak, when it isn't.  It really makes me suspect that all these Republicans and the NRA secretly want Guns to be banned.

But I think it's also fair to remind the Left that there are plenty of times we don't want the country just doing what the most instant fear driven knee jerk reaction to a tragedy is.  Like when it's a Terrorist attack committed by professing Muslims.

Now Gun Control is just about the only remaining issue where I still hold what is currently considered the Conservative position.  So people who know how much I've changed over the last decade, from being a Ron Paul Libertarian to a Libertarian Communist, may feel like suggesting I will inevitably change on this issue too.

Well no, I won't. 

Because you see on Guns I follow the same logic I currently follow on Abortion, and Drugs, and Prostitution, and Gambling.

BANNING THINGS DOESN'T WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It never has, and it never will.

It frustrates me how many on The Left get this argument when it comes to all those things, but can't consistently apply it to Guns.

But it's equally moronic and hypocritical that Conservatives will get this argument when it comes to Guns, but not apply it to all those other things.

The nice thing about not being a Constitutionalist anymore is that I no longer base my Pro-Gun Rights argument on the Second Amendment, just a I don't base my belief in Free Speech on the First.  So I don't have to listen to any stupid arguments about defining what a Militia is.

If I wanted to quote people who lived a long time ago.  I might start with how even Karl Marx said the state should never take people's Guns away.  The modern Left hasn't put as much work into explaining that away as they have the Gandhi quote you might have heard before.

But more directly relevant to America is the fact that The Black Panthers were originally a Pro-Gun rights group, protesting laws passed to restrict the Gun Rights of African Americans.  The first Gun Law ever passed in American was one banning freed slaves from owning Guns after the Civil War.

Look, I don't like Guns, I wish they'd never been invented.  But we can't give fire back to Prometheus.  They are here are they aren't going to go away by wishing them away.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Sunni/Shia split was originally about Democracy vs Hereditary Monarchy

I've said before in my criticism of Neo-Con foreign policy that I feel it is inherently a mistake to try and force Western Democracy on the Islamic World.

But I do not want anyone thinking that means I think Democracy is incompatible with Islam.  In fact Democracy has been part of Islam from the beginning.

The split between the Sunnis and the Shiites was ORIGINALLY based on the Sunni view that a Caliph should be elected by the people and his ancestry doesn't matter.  As opposed to the Shia view that Ali ibn Abi Talib as a close relative and Son in Law of Muhammad inherited Muhammad's political Authority.

I've already done a post on The Bible's view of Monarchy.  So on this issue I feel inclined to prefer the Sunni position.

I say "Originally", because this got distorted over time.  With many Muslims identifying as Sunni or Shia based on where they live or their family rather then an actual opinion on the original dispute.  And also further complicated by various sub-sects emerging within each major sect.

So today we have Shia countries the seemingly value Democracy to some degree, like Iran.  And Sunni monarchs who claim descent from the exact same family the original Shias favored, the descendants of Ali and Fatimah.  Like the modern Jordanian Royal Family (for whom the claimed descent is pretty legit) and the leader of I.S.I.S. (who's claim is probably B.S.).

The Shia highly revere Ali, but the Sunni don't dislike Ali.  Ali and Uthman both engaged in the same fallacy as Justinian and many other Christian leaders.  They wanted "Unity" in their nations, and concluded the way to achieve that was to make everyone agree.  True Unity comes from accepting disagreements.

Democracy is not incompatible Islam, especially not Sunni Islam.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Anne Frank was attracked to Girls

The Diary of Anne Frank is the second highest selling Book of all time, topped only by The Bible.  I've always found it interested that both of the most popular books of all time were written by Jews.

Earlier today I say this interesting article about Anne Frank.

Pretty cool I think.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

According to Ezekiel 16, Sodom will be restored.

This fact about Ezekiel 16 has been relevant to my Universalism argument in three prior posts on this Blog.  Words Translated Eternal, KJV only Universalism and My Evangelical Universalism does not contradict Free Will.  Typically also referencing Jude's use of the word Aionios in reference to the Fire that consumed Sodom.

The context is God scolding Judah, foretelling Judgment that will come upon Judah.  And He references both Samaria (The Northern Kingdom) and Sodom as earlier nations He judged.  Saying Samaria had less excuse then Sodom, and Judah has less excuse then Samaria.  But He also promises Judah will eventually be restored, just as Samaria and Sodom will be.

Genesis 18-19 clearly tells us Sodom and Gomorrah had no righteous people in them, and so they were completely destroyed with no Survivors.  Lot and his Family were taken out, but they were up to this very day still considered foreigners living among them by the Sodomites.  And Lot's descendants became their own nations living in a different geographical region, Moab and Ammon.

So Sodom's restoration can't be via bringing their descendants back, as we traditionally assume Judah and Samaria's restorations will be.  Sodom's restoration can only be via The Resurrection of the Dead.  And thanks to Ezekiel 37, I believe that is what Judah and Samaria's restorations are ultimately about as well.

So there is no way an aboslutly Literal interpretation of Ezekiel 16 can get around it's obvious Universalist implications.

And yet, the only valid typolocial or allegorical interpretation, is even more Universalist.  As that says the three nations in question here must somehow represent all of Humanity.

You can't argue that even Sodom represents a type of believer.  Because even going off only what this passage says about Sodom, they are clearly people who never had a relationship with Yahuah.

The only valid typological interpretation, is that Sodom represents people who never believed, Samaria people who believed and then fell away, and Judah people who remained believers, but still even the best of us have our failings.  And our knowledge of God's Word only makes us more accountable for our Sins.

Therefore the Universalist implications of Ezekiel 16 are unavoidable.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Freedom of Speech is meaningless if it's conditional

This post is going to be another online rant about how people of every political ideology tend to be hypocrites in their attitude towards Freedom of Speech, supporting it if they agree but opposing it if they disagree, and then making excuses for that hypocrisy.

But first, there is something I want to clarify.  because the words "Freedom of Speech" in America have a tendency to cause an assumption I'm citing something I did not actually cite.  So let me be clear.

I ultimately do NOT care what the First Article of Amendment to the United States Constitution says.  Freedom of Speech, like the other rights mentioned in that Amendment, is a concept that existed before then.  It is to me a moral value more so then a civil one.  So a Constitutional Lawyer's opinion on what this archaic document legally protects is irrelevant to my moral position on Freedom of Speech.

There was a time in the past when I was a Constitutionalist, but thankfully I am not anymore.  Frankly I think the Constitution is a wicked anti-democratic document.

So I get sick of seeing rants about how 'The First amendment only means the Government can't do something", to defend corporations and internet websites choosing to censor their users/employees.  Especially when it includes seeing Liberals making what is usually a conservative argument, the same argument conservatives will use to say the state shouldn't get involved when a bakery doesn't want to sell a cake to a Gay wedding, or a restaurant doesn't want to serve Black People.

But even if I wanted to make this rant Constitutionally.  The fact that the Constitution technically is only restricting Government goes for ALL of the rights that make up the Bill of Rights, including the parts that protect our privacy.

And the fact is originally the notion that it only restricts Government applied even more specifically to the Federal Government.  Before the Civil War many state laws that openly violated the Freedom of Religion clause by pretty much codifying The Ten Commandments were on the books, and were upheld by the courts because the Constitution only restricted the federal government.  Then after the Civil War the 13th through 15th Amendments were passed, and it came to be understood that the state also has a responsibility to protect people from others who would violate those rights. 

So when I see people okay with YouTube taking down controversial videos so long as they're videos they disagree with.  I see that as dangerous, I see it as dangerous to their own agenda in the long run because that same abuse of power they are setting a precedent for may be used against them later.

So I don't care how offensive it is, If you won't stand up for the Freedom of Speech of those you find offensive, you forfeit the moral right to cling to it it to protect your own speech.

Pewdipie is an idiot, he stupidly said the N word during a live stream.  A form of idiocy not uncommon now days.  Deciding because you find that word offensive to support people trying to use the DMCA to take his videos down sets a very dangerous precedent, because trust me lots of Liberal videos on YouTube could be threatened by the DMCA just as easily, like FeminsitFrequency.  (I could go on a separate rant about how I find Copyright law itself to be inherently wrong.)

I've had this rant in my head since long before this recent controversy even happened.  Via my awareness of more obscure incidents of YouTubers being taken down.  I don't generally find MumkeyJones funny, and I find his videos directed as Islam really ignorant.  But at the end of the day all shutting down stupid Islamphobic channels does is make a martyr out of them, and thus only further reinforces the worldviews they and their followers hold.

Meanwhile YouTube is also labeling videos as age restricted for simply talking about LGBT issues.  Or the user being openly LGBT.  And people on the right aren't getting involved on that issue because they think it won't hurt them.  Or when it does decide they don't mind their videos being for adults only.

All of this is a threat to Freedom of Speech.  Being selective on when you stand up for it will only weaken your credibility in standing up for it when you do.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

You can't have Private Property without Government.

There are people out there who consider themselves some form of Anarchist, particularly Anarchro-Capitalists, who also support the idea of Private Property.  These people tend to also consider themselves Libertarians of some sort.

How do you enforce Private Property without Government?  You can't, Private Property is a Government mandated monopoly.

I have a Playlist on YouTube of videos against Copyright and Intellectual Property Laws.  At the moment most videos on it, and they will probably always be the start of it, are from Libertarians arguing against it from a Libertarian POV.  I suspect they qualify as Anarchro-Capitalists as well.  On at least one of those videos there was a comment about how all these arguments against Intellectual Property can be used against Private Property period.

It is mainly Land Ownership I care about here.  I'm against having a government mandated monopoly over control of a portion of The Earth itself.

I am among many who reject the idea that Communism is compatible with Socialism, because true Communism is Anarchistic.  If I have a political ideology at all, it is a form of Libertarian-Communism or Anarchist-Communism.  To us Socialism is not an alternative to Capitalism, Socialism is Capitalism where the State is the Capitalist,, that goes for the USSR, China, North Korea and Cuba.

Many Libertarian Communists make a distinction between Private Property and Personal Property.  But the key issue is we believe that the means of production should be shared.

 The members of the Society of the Friends of Truth, founded by Nicholas Bonnevile included men like Condorcet and his wife Sophie, Sylvian Marchel, Francois "Gracchus" Babeuf, and Olympe de Gouges.  Their contemporary kin in the English speaking world included Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine (and John Oswald).  But in Germany strangely enough included some members of the controversial Bavarian Illuminati, chiefly Kingge.  I'm still a conspiracy theorist, but one who's come largely to view the hype around the Bavarian Illuminati as a distraction.

Marco di Luchetti has made an English Translation of one of Bonneville's books.  And in the introduction talks at length about the ideology and politics of the group. on things like Property and Taxation.  He is wrong in how he massively overstates Bonneville's connection to the Illuminati, and in confusing Iluminism with the Illuminati, Terry Melanson is a better historian on The Illuminati.  Bonneville like Jefferson publicly defended the Illuminati but there is no evidence he was a member, if he'd been recruited by Bode it would be mentioned in Bode's memoirs of his trip to France which we still have.  But he's very good at describing the different political factions of the Revolution.

Upon reading Marco di Luchetti's book, I definitely still have areas of disagreement with Bonneville and Brissiot, chiefly their Preemptive War policy.

Robespierre was a Demagogue and a Statist.  In truth he was more a Monarchist then the Royalists, but wanted himself to be the Dictator.  The marriage of Communism and Socialism began with Buonarroti.  He was a follower of Robespierre, and has also been claimed to be an Illuminati member though there is no documentation that he was.  He wrote a biography of Babeuf which misrepresented him as a follower of Robespierre, and misinformed many for generations to come including Nesta Webster in her World Revolutions book.  He was an important figure in the history of the Carbonari and Italian Freemasonry.  Mazzini then carried on his mantle in a more militant and Nationalist form leading to Italian Fascism. And at the same time Bounarroti influenced Karl Marx and Engels.

So I don't have an exact model of how I feel Libertarian-Communism should look.  But this is all stuff I feel Libertarians need to start rethinking our assumptions on.

Post Script:

This isn't the first post on this blog more about arguing a belief of mine from a Secular POV.  The people I'm talking to here might be put off by the very title of this blog.  Yet I don't feel like it would fit on any of my existing blogs.  Should I start a new one?

I've already argued for Libertarian-Comunisim from a Biblical Perspective in my post The Bible and Private Property.  Much of this was copied/pasted from there, but not the opening paragraphs.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fighting for Statues is stupid

Let me be clear, even if Robert E. Lee had never done or been involved with anything a lot of people find morally offensive.  I think fighting for a statue of someone who died long before you were born is stupid.

Most of these people I'm pretty sure are Protestants or Evangelicals.  We're supposed to consider Statues Idolatry, we consider Statues of Jesus are Idolatry and that is someone we literally believe is God.  So I firmly believe Christians should never defend statues, and yes I'll apply that even to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and the Statue of Liberty.  And even Eugema.

Now I don't particularly care about this issue enough to fight for tarring them down either.  But tarring down statues can be a very powerful symbol of liberation.  When they roe down Saddam Hussien's statues in 2003 I don't recall anyone arguing "Saddam Hussein was still an important part of Iraqi history, we shouldn't just erase history", nope, no one made that argument when it was a statue of a brown person being torn down.

So no I don't think all these protestors were openly racists, but I do think they're all stupid.  And no matter how much evidence you present to me that the other side got violent too, I still inherently sympathize more with them.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Early Christian Schisms on the Nature of Christ

This blog Post is partly my thoughts on Extra Credits series of YouTube videos on the Subject.

They made that series partly to provide background for their earliest series on Justinian and Theodora.  My own opinion on Justinian isn't nearly so positive as theirs.

They covered this subject from a Secular perspective, not really interested in which position in these disputes The Bible agrees with.  And that's fine, an outsider perspective on Christianity can be very useful.  So I'm going to take it on myself to provide my Biblically influenced personal perspective.  Though the issue central to the last episode, episode IV, is primarily what I'll be talking about.

The first three episodes are all about disputes where who won in the end I feel is pretty strongly agreed to be the Biblically supported position.  Most Christians speaking negatively of the Council of Nicea do so from not knowing what that Council actually debated.  Last month I did posts on The Council of Nicea and the Homoousion Doctrine partly in preparation for this post.

I feel they should have had another episode between the Council of Nicea episode and the Nestorian controversy episode (Episodes III and IV) on the Pelegian controversy.  The chief opponent of Pelagius was Augustine of Hippo, a man I have little fondness for.

Some people think what Pelagius taught has been misrepresented by his opponents.
Recent analysis of his thinking suggests that it was, in fact, highly orthodox, following in the tradition established by the early fathers and in keeping with the teaching of the church in both the East and the West. ... From what we are able to piece together from the few sources available... it seems that the Celtic monk held to an orthodox view of the prevenience of God's grace, and did not assert that individuals could achieve salvation purely by their own efforts...[ Bradley, Ian (1993) The Celtic Way. London: Darton, Longman and Todd; p. 62]
Free Will is definitely a Biblically supported Doctrine.  Theodore of Mopsuestia wrote "two tomes against him who asserts that sin is inherent in human nature." Which was no doubt an attack on Augustine of Hippo.

The controversy central to the final video of this series was a three way dispute about how Jesus Divine and Human natures relate to each other.

1. The Chalcedonian position, that Jesus had two different but unified or mixed natures, a Divine Nature and a Human Nature.

2. The Nestorian position, that Jesus had two distinct and separate natures, a Divine Nature and a Human Nature.

3.  The Monophysite position, that Jesus had one single Nature that was both Divine and Human.
   (Monophysite was often used broadly to include other groups that wouldn't have called themselves that.  I personally find the best form of Monophysitism to be Miaphysitism.)

All three agree that Jesus was both Divine and Human, and not in a Greek demigod half-god/half-man sense, but fully Divine and Fully Human.  I personally find the differences between these three views to be quite semantical and not a big deal.  Especially since I'm not sure what my own view is.  But it seems in Christianized Rome is was a pretty big deal.

Last month I expressed support for Traducianism on the issue of how most Human Soul/Spirits are created. Even that doesn't settle the issue.  While at fist glance it would seemingly help the Chalcedonian position, a Human Nature inherited from Mary mixed with a Divine Nature provided by the Holy Spirit.  But a Monophysite or Miaphysite would retort that we don't refer to most Humans as having two natures, a Paternal and Maternal one, but as having one.  Perhaps the Nestorian position would be the hardest to make compatible with Traducianism, but I don't think impossible.

Pretty much all major Christian denomination in the West are considered nominally Chalcedonian (Catholicism, Greek Orthodox, all major Protestants denomination as well as Baptists and Pentecostals).  Even though I don't think most average Christians or even Pastors in America have ever actually thought about what their position on this debate would be.

One reason why I think Protestants and Evangelicals should take a second look at this History is because of how much the inciting incident was Nestorius (and it seems even some Monophysites) objected to calling Mary "Theotokos" (God Bearer) a Title that definitely plays into her quasi-Deification.  And it seems Nestorius may have inherited this from his mentor Theodore of Mopsuestia.

As someone who likes to draw attention to overlooked Historically important Women, I wish the Extra Credits video on his controversy had talked about some of the Women who were important to these events.  Theodosius II's sister Pulcheria worked with Cyril of Alexandria strongly supporting the Chalceodnian position, and was a strong supporter of calling Mary Theotokos.  While his wife Aelia Eudocia was a Monophysite who opposed calling Mary Theotokos.

If the Chalcedonian position is correct, it's unfortunate it had such horrible representatives during this time period.  Cyril of Alexandria was very Anti-Semtic and generally in support of persecuting non-Believers.  However as I expressed before, I blame these negative traits more on his belief in Eternal Damnation.

So again I'm not entirely sure what my position is.  I'll stick with being Nominally Chalcedonian for the time being.  Nesotrianism can be the most interesting historically to look into, and I may definitely have more to say about that subject on this Blog in the future.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Constantine and the Council of Nicaea

In Protestant, Evangelical and Hebrew Roots sects of Christianity it is popular to vilify Constantine.  I consider myself to some decree part of the last two of those groups.  Yet my view of Constantine is different.

I'm by no means inclined to view Constantine as the ideal Christian or an Ideal Ruler.  But I think the extent to which many people pin everything they don't like about mainstream Christianity on Constantine greatly oversimplifies things.

All the core doctrines of Catholicism had their seeds planted among the Church Fathers who came before Constantine.  The reverence of the Greek Philosophy of Plato, Aristotle and Philo had already started.  And to varying decrees so did the desire to reconcile Christianity with Rome.

Constantine did not formally make Christianity the state religion.  In fact the Edict of Milan was actually an edict granting Freedom of Religion to all Religions.
"When you see that this has been granted to [Christians] by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made that we may not seem to detract from any dignity of any religion."
The common statement that Christianity didn't become the State Religion till Theodosius I is also perhaps an oversimplification.  Christianity had certainly become a state sponsored religion before then.  But only Gratian removed the state sponsored status of any element of the old Roman Religion.

It is with Theodosius I that Christianity as the state religion to the exclusion of other faiths began.

The original Nicene Creed of 325 AD contains nothing I object to (I just did a post defending the Homoousion doctrine).  Nor anything I would expect to be objected to by most Protestants, Evangelicals, or other Christians who like to vilify Constantine and say Pre-Nicene and Post-Nicene to distinguish which Early Church Fathers they consider worth quoting.

"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. 

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God,] Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

And in the Holy Ghost.

[But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'— they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.]"
Later the Creed was revised at the Council of Constantinople of 381 AD under Theodosius I.
"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (├Žons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead. ; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.

In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."
I don't mind the removing the Condemnation part.  As a supporter of Eternal Security and now a Universalist, I have no desire to question the Faith of people I disagree with, even Arians.

It is mainly the last paragraph I object to, firmly establishing a terrestrially organized Church.

The other differences seem to be influenced by the earlier Old Roman Symbol and Rule of Faith creeds that goes back to the Second Century.

The Donations of Constantine were a forgery made by the Roman Catholic Church, though it gets used by Papal Antichrist theorists.  That Constantine moved the Capital from Rome to Constantineople makes him if anything more a founder of the Eastern Orthodox Church then the Roman Church.

Theodosius I made Christianity the state religion and outlawed other faiths with the Edict of Thesselonica.  I'm surprised more Historicists and other Papal Antichrist theorists haven't made a big deal out of that Edict being in the same city Paul directed his most Eschatological concerned Epistles to.

However I feel Justinian's reign was equally important to formalizing what I consider corrupt mainstream Christianity.  It was under his reign that Universalism was first condemned as a Heresy.

What do I think of the Doctine of Traducianism?

I'm not sure.  But I'm kind of leaning towards it.

"In Christian theology, traducianism is a doctrine about the origin of the soul (or synonymously, "spirit"), holding that this immaterial aspect is transmitted through natural generation along with the body, the material aspect of human beings. That is, an individual's soul is derived from the souls of the individual's parents.[1] This implies that only the soul of Adam was created directly by God (with Eve's substance, material and immaterial, being taken from out of Adam), in contrast with the idea of creationism of soul (not to be confused with creationism as a belief about the origin of the material universe), which holds that all souls are created directly by God (with Eve's substance, material and immaterial, being taken from out of Adam).[2]"
In other words the Soul/Spirit reproduces the same way our bodies do.

This isn't like my other blog posts.  I don't have much of my own insights to add.  So I'll be quoting Wikipedia's section on the Biblical Arguments for it.
Supporters of traducianism present arguments from the Bible such as the following:
  • Begetting includes the image and likeness of God (Genesis 5:3), but since God is spirit, this must mean the immaterial aspect of human beings.
  • God's creation is finished (Genesis 2:2), thus no new souls are created directly, but are instead transmitted by natural generation just as the body is.
  • Creationism destroys the idea of the miraculous and supernatural, since it incorporates God's supernatural, miraculous creation of the soul (out of nothing or himself) into the natural process of reproduction. This is inherently contradictory, since it makes that which is against natural law a part of nature: it is against natural law that something is created out of nothing.
  • God created all things "very good" (Genesis 1:31), yet many Christians understand the Bible to teach that after the fall, all are sinful at birth (Job 14:1-4; 15:14; Psalm 58:3; John 3:6) and from conception (Psalm 51:5). Since most theologians hold that God would not have created something sinful, it follows that souls are not created directly but are generated. Those who adhere to Roman Catholicism believe that it is possible for God to create a soul that simultaneously takes on a fallen nature, much like He can create a soul that simultaneously is prevented from taking on a fallen nature (see The Immaculate Conception); this view is not typically held by Protestants or other Christian denominations.
  • Genesis 46:26 can be understood to teach that souls are already present in the loins, and Hebrews 7:10 ("When Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.") seems to take this view.
  • In Genesis 6, some interpreters see the traducian model as the best explanation for the begetting of monstrous offspring with human bodies and demonic souls by the angels that took wives of the daughters of men. The soul-creationist's difficulty of God creating souls for such monsters may be why most later churchmen rejected the literal interpretation of Genesis 6 as referring to angels interbreeding with human women.
The first of these arguments is perhaps the least likely one I'd use myself, since it sounds like diminishing the significance of our Physical Bodies being Made in God's Image.  The last one I'm also hesitant to use since my position on the Genesis 6 issue has become complicated.  And the third isn't much of a Biblical argument at all.  But the rest are pretty solid.

The Wikipedia section on the arguments against it don't mention any that impress me.

This view was supported by Augustine of Hippo.  A person I have generally emphasized my disagreements with in the past.  But I've never said he was wrong on everything.  Similar with Tertulian though I have recently questioned how sure we are he wasn't a Universalist.  Gregory of Nyssa was a Universalist who supported Traducianism.

The Godhead, what does that mean?

Godhead is a word that appears three times in the KJV, and in all three it is a different word in the Greek (though all of them were derived from Theos, meaning God or god).  But first we need to discus the English word itself.

Originally, Godhead was just a variant spelling and pronunciation of Godhood, and so carried the exact same meaning as that word, referring to the status of divinity.  But that's not how it's usually used today.

I've seen people who agree with he doctrine of The Trinity as it's usually defined, but don't like the word "Trinity" for whatever reason, say we should say The Godhead instead.  And even others not suggesting we use it as a synonym for Trinity, still seem to mean something similar by it.

Let's look at all three verses it is used in and their corresponding Greek words.

Acts 17:29
"Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device."
Godhead here is Theion, Strong Number 2304.  This is the only of the three words used more then once, though the others is a slightly different form.  Theios in 2 Peters 1 verses 3 and 4, there it is translated "divine".  And I think likewise "the divine" is how it should be rendered in Acts 17.

Romans 1:20
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"
Here it is Theiotes, Strong Number 2305.  Here I agree with the Strongs that it should be rendered "Divinity".  And so it would be here that the "Godhood" meaning would be accurate.

Colossians 2:9
"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Here the Greek word is Theotes, Strong Number 2320.  This word is a bit more mysterious.  One website says it also means divinity but with "abstractly" in parentheses.  I've also seen it defined as "The substance of being God".

In this case it is useful to talk about some of the Greek words around it.

The word for "fulness" is Pleroma.  Because the Gnostics used Pleroma a certain way, it suits some people to say Paul is using it that way here.  But this is the same word for "fulness" used when he refers to the "fulness of the gentiles" in Romans 11:25.  It just means fullness.

The word translated "Bodily" is Somatikos Strong Number 4985.  It's a variation of Strong Number 4984.  It could also equally accurately be translated Corporeally or Physically.

The term Homoousion "of the same substance" was a key focus of controversy at the First Council of Nicea in defining The Trinity.  While I can sympathies with those who objected to the word because it was not used in The Bible and seems to have been coined by Gnostics.  The point of the Nicean Homoousion doctrine is supported by Colossians 2:9.

If I were to make my own translation, Colossians 2:9 might likely be the only place where "The Godhead" is used.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

My Evangelical Universalism does not contradict Free Will

I made a brief post on Free Will before Pelegius once.  I decided that I didn't need much of a separate post proving Free Will Biblically because those Church Fathers themselves quotes Scripture in those quotes.

Since then I've become a Universalist.  And in the Evangelical Universalism group on Facebook I joined, there seems to be a lot of hostility towards Free Will.  My differences from a lot of other modern Universalists I think has a lot to do with my not being as fond of Origen and closer to agreeing with the Antiochian school.  Though at the same time Origen did refer to Free Will.  It is still the Platonic influence on the Early Church he reflects that allows rejection of Free Will seep in.

The Pagan Greek mindset always rejected Free Will.  The Oedipus Legend is all about how Man can't escape the Fate that the gods decreed for him.

I do believe there is a difference between those who Believe in Jesus in this Life and those who didn't.  I believe only those who enter a Covenant Relationship with Him become Citizens of His Kingdom, and eligible to become Co-Rulers.  Revelation 21-22 refers to "Nations of the Saved" outside New Jerusalem.

The idea that you must be rejecting Free Will if don't think God is going to punish unbelievers  eternally for their choice.  I think is an abuse of what Free Will means.  Traditional Arminians believe in theoretical Free Will, but they don't actually believe God respects it, because they say if you make the Wrong Choice he will either annihilate or eternally torment you for it.

My point is, True Free Will is ONLY believed in by those who reject Eternal Punishment.  The same passages in The Bible that I consider the strongest proofs of Unviersalism, also clearly show that people will make different Choices.  Like Sodom being Restored (Ezekiel 16), and that verse from John 12 I made a post on recently.

It is God's Will that none should Perish.  I unlike Calvansits and Amrinians believe that can be accomplished without rejecting Man's Free Will. We won't Perish, but we do have choices.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Incest and The Law of Moses

My previous Incest in The Bible post I still want to be my definitive discussion of the topic.  What I'm going to argue here I'm not definitively arguing for.  It's somewhat Rhetorical.  But I can't say I entirely don't actually agree with it either.  It's a complicated matter.

In my discussions with those who strongly believes Christians are still supposed to follow the Law of Moses.  I see them misusing Malachi's "God doesn't Change" quote.

Which bugs me because Augustine of Hippo, when he was a Manichean still, cited the fact that the Old Testament depicted an Emotional God who changes as what he was mainly uncomfortable with, and why he was drawn to sects that depicted that God as Evil.  It was Ambrose convincing him those changes could be allegorised away that convinced him to convert to "Orthodox" Christianity.

Malachi's point had nothing to do with whether or not what God permits us to do can change.  It mostly has to do with that He keeps His Word.  God repents of things often in the Old Testament (Repent means a change of mind), but when He swears an oath He won't Repent.

So to point out the absurdity of this misuse I created the following Image via Meme Generator.

That was the most shocking example.  I also brought up the evidence that Capital Punishment and eating meat wasn't allowed before the Flood but were after.  Arguing God's laws had changed a few times before we even left the Torah.

On those latter two issues however they had arguments against the notion that those things were treated differently before the Flood.  I forget what the argument on Capital punishment was.  But for the eating meat they basically felt the allusions to Animal Sacrifice in the Pre-Flood world implied eating Meat.  And I think there was an appeal to the heretical Book of Enoch.  I was and still am unconvinced of those arguments, but at least they made fairly Biblically based arguments.

On the Incest issue however they just cited the common argument from my fellow Young Earth Creationists, that the supposed Genetic Risks from Inbreeding simply weren't a factor till many generations after the Flood.  And while I'm as inclined as ever to agree with that argument scientifically.  It's not a directly Biblical argument.

And either way it doesn't change that God's Law apparently changed.  It changing with a reason doesn't undermine the comparison to things changing at the Cross and/or Pentecost.  That event is what all History revolves around according to our world view.  There was as good a reason as ever to change some things.

Now to get to the main topic of this post.  As I was laughing to myself at their failure to even make an argument.  I went and came up with an argument for them.  This has been in my mind for months, over a year actually, I just kept putting off making a post on it.

The wording in Leviticus 18, 20 and Deuteronomy on the Incest restrictions, is strictly speaking about Sex not Marriage.  And I have shown Biblically that not all Sex Outside Marriage is a Sin.  And that it's mostly potentially reproductive Sex God puts restrictions on.

So one then could make the argument that when you marry someone your relation to them legally changes, and they are now your Wife not your distant-Cousin-as-a descendant-of-Noah or Sister.

Now I know that sounds kinda like a Loop Hole.

My argument about the very differently worded verses alleged to condemn all Homosexuality also get accused of being a Loop Hole, but they're not.  The issue there is only someone with a very modern way of thinking about Sexuality would read that as condemning all Same-Sex affection to begin with.  When dealing with other commands in the Torah, all both Jewish and Christian scholars agree if there is a qualifying statement, it's condemning only where the qualifier applies.  "Don't boil a kid in it's mother's milk" is not condemning all boiling or even all boiling of kids (nor does it condemn Cheeseburgers as some Rabbis think).  It's condemning a specific Canaanite practice that we now know quite a bit about thanks to the Ugarit texts.

But even if it is a Loop Hole.  If God's Word has Loop Holes they are there for a reason.  When I look at Chuck Missler's argument about how God worked around the Curse on Jechoniah, it sounds like God loves taking advantage of his own loop holes.

I've done a post on why Amnon's Sin was mainly Rape, and the incestuous part was incidental.  And I even then talked about how what Tamar says in II Samuel 13:12-13 seemingly ignores that marrying your Sister is supposed to be illegal.  Now I am iffy on building doctrine on something a girl says to ward off unwanted advances.  But it is still there in the text that theatrically David might have let Amnon marry Tamar if he simply asked.  It kinda parallels an aspect of what God via Nathan says to David when exposing his Sins against Uriah The Hittite.

More interesting however is the second witness I have.

Now much has been written about how in the Song of Solomon, The Beloved poetically called Shulamith his Sister.  I've seen people argue "Sister" is simply a misleading translation, and that I don't buy.  I am NOT about to argue they were literally Brother and Sister, I stand by my earlier post on the Song of Solomon where I argue Shulamith is Shelomith daughter of Rehoboam and Granddaughter of Solomon, and The Beloved a humble Shepard not of Royal Blood.

I am aware that some of the arguments against them being actually Brother and Sister could be explained away by them being half siblings, same father and different mothers.  But my ultimate conclusion remains the same as it was in those posts, largely because I see no evidence of the Beloved being Royalty.

The key factor is Song of Solomon Chapter 8 Verse 1.  This verse tells at a few things.
"O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised."
It clearly says they are not brother and sister.  But at the same time she says she wishes he was?  Like it would easier if he was.  And it makes sense with her being Royalty and him not, since patriarchal society tends to be less tolerant of women marrying below their station.  Princesses are usually either married into other Royal families, or if incest is allowed they marry within their own.  Egypt isn't the only ancient Monarchy to practice Royal Incest, they were just different in making it almost completely required.

This all happens to fit in well with a post I did in September 2015 on my Prophecy Blog on the subject of The Man Child being The Church.

Mainly my point here is, to Hebrew Roots Christians, either argue that Marrying your Brother or Sister isn't prohibited, or stop the "God Never Changes his laws" argument.  You can't have it both ways.

Monday, June 19, 2017

John 12:46-48

"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Sabians mentioned in The Koran

I have made a few blog posts where I allude to my belief that the Sabians in the Koran were either the Himyarite Jews and/or other Jews and Christians of Yemen where Sheba/Saba was.  That Sabians equals Sabeans.

Like my theory about the Ebonite origins of Islam.

The Koran Says Israel belongs to the Israelites.

And my theory that the Magi were from Yemen rather then Persia.

Only the first of those three is it even close to being relevant to the main point.

I am well aware that the most mainstream view is that they were rather the Mandeans, a Gnostic sect most famous for claiming to be followers of John The Baptist but not Jesus.

Thing is, that theory makes no sense to me.  It seems to derive from them calling themselves a vaguely similar name.

But the Sabians of the Koran are considered "People of The Book".  And that Book refers to one of or all of three specific parts of our Bible, The Torah, The Psalms and a Gospel.  The Mandeans revere none of those books, as they reject Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus all as being False Prophets.  The Prophets they have in common with traditional Judeo-Christian or Islamic line of Prophets ends with Noah or maybe Shem.  They instead claim Aram was the first key post-Flood Prophet.

And I suspect they might very well deny The New Testament's claim that John The Baptist was an Israelite and instead claim he came from Aram, since his ministry was mostly East of The Jordan.  He must have been in Perea to fall under Antipas' authority.  Or maybe their John The Baptist was never meant to be the same as ours anyway, since theirs lived to see the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

As Gnostics, they weren't even truly Monotheistic.  Which also rules them out as being People of The Book.

Muslim sources outside the Koran say they specifically followed the Zabur (The Psalms).  That goes against my theory of them being the Sadducean Himyarites who were Torah only.  But those sources are later and possibly based on misinformed assumptions.  But it could also be the name comes from The Sabbath, and The Gospels tend to associate the Pharisees with The Sabbath more often then the Sadducees.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

More on The Early Church Fathers and Universalism

It may be outright annoying how much I talk about the Early Church Fathers when I also make a point of rejecting their authority. 

Thing is in addition to being a Christian I'm also a Historian, an amateur one but a Historian none the less.  I'd like to know what they thought, regardless of how much it matters.  And today we have on every issue advocates of every position imaginable wanting to make it sound like the Early Church Fathers agreed with them, when they didn't even all agree with each other.

With the "Apostolic Fathers" especially, they were never even concerned with interpreting The Bible, they were usually just repeating and paraphrasing it.  And so what they say can be as open for interpretation as The Bible is, or more so since each one wrote far less (that has survived at least) then Paul did.  And it is in that context that what The Bible says shall be very relevant to this post, as well as that these quotes are some of them quoting Scripture.  And I've already made my main Sola Scirptura arguments for Universalism.  And I may do more.

In fact since I became a Universalsit I've written entire posts on this blog that to someone who doesn't know what else I believe could be interpreted as consistent with Eternal Torment, or even assumed to lean that way by those who just assume that's the default view.  Like most recently What does Lawlessness mean in The New Testament.  Where I say those condemned for Lawlessness are those trying to justify themselves by the Law, since they inevitably fail.  I never clarified what they were being condemned to, but obviously those who know this blog know I didn't meant unending torment.

And also I wasn't always a Universalist, I changed my mind on that over time.  And since I've shown many pagan belief systems believed in eternal suffering, how many young Christians even in the earliest generation made assumptions that their study of Scripture would later refute?  And then there was a transitional phase where I most posts where I intentionally avoided the subject.  And my blog mainly about Prophecy I almost never directly allude to my Soterology.

So much of what I say in this post is a response to this article.  Were the Church Father Unviersalists.  This is a very Mainline Protestant website, and so as someone who also doesn't give the Church Fathers that much reverence, I have to agree with the comments about it's Protestant Arrogance.  The first comment left there will also be addressed in this post later.  It's not possible to leave new comments now.

Clement of Rome

‘Let us fix our thoughts on the Blood of Christ; and reflect how precious that Blood is in God’s eyes, inasmuch as its outpouring for our salvation has opened the race of repentance to all mankind. 25-6
38 Again, God says to Him, Sit down at my right hand, until I make your enemies a cushion for your feet. Who are these enemies? Why, wicked persons who set themselves against His will. 38
I'm assuming this is first Clement, the other Clementine literature is all fraudulent and later.  The first quote is really strange here since it sounds like the main Clement quote a Universalist would cite.  As for the second, which is him quoting Psalm 2, them being His Footstool is an idiom of him ruling them.  God also calls the Earth his Footstool.


‘Regarding the rest of mankind, you should pray for them unceasingly, for we can always hope that repentance may enable them to find their way to God’. 64
’… much more when a man’s subversive doctrines defile the God-given Faith for which Jesus Christ was crucified. Such a wretch in his uncleanness is bound for the unquenchable fire, and so is anyone else who gives him a hearing.’ 65
‘….the Cross which so greatly offends the unbelievers, but is salvation and eternal life to us’ 65-6
‘To profess any other name than that is to be lost to God….’72
‘Flee for your very life from these men; they are poisonous growths with a deadly fruit, and one taste of it is speedily fatal.’ 81
‘His passion was no unreal illusion, as some skeptics aver who are all unreality themselves. The fate of those wretches will match their unbelief, for one day they will similarly become phantoms without substance themselves.’101
‘For let nobody be under any delusion; there is judgment in store even for the hosts of heaven, the very angels in glory, the visible and invisible powers themselves, if they have no faith in the blood of Christ’.102
Once again there is nothing a Unvierslaist wouldn't say.  We do define the Fire as Unquenchable because it comes from God.  It's unquenchable so it will consume the Sin.  Saying there will be judgment does not prove how long it will last.


‘All things in heaven and earth have been made subject to Him; everything that breathes mays Him homage; He comes to judge the living and the dead, and God will require His blood at the hands of any who refuse him allegiance’ 119
Again, only that there will be Judgment.

The Martydom of Polycarp

‘The other said again, “If you do not recant, I will have your burnt to death, since you think so lightly of wild beasts”. Polycarp rejoined, “The fire you threaten me with cannot go on burning for very long; after a while it goes out. But what you are unaware of are the flames of future judgment and everlasting torment which are in store for the ungodly. Why do you go on wasting time? Bring out whatever you have a mind to” ’.128
This one is another example of what Aionios means being the issue.  Because even 1 year in the Lake of Fire would dwarf how long Polycarp wold have burned.  Not that his point even was a fear of going there, the point of Martyrdom is to demonstrate your Faith in your Eternity.


‘For when the Lord judges the world there is going to be no partiality; everyone will be recompensed in proportion to what he has done. If he is a good man, his righteousness will make the way smooth before him; but if he is a bad man, the wages of his wickedness will be waiting to confront him.’163
‘For the man who does this, there will be glory in the kingdom of God; but one who prefers the other Way will perish together with his works. 181-2
The Epistle of Barnabas was not written by Banrabas, it is known Pseudopigrapha.  It's not only not authoritative it's anti-authoritative.  That it's lying about who wrote it would make it a surprise to me if it wasn't teaching some dangerous demonic doctrine.  And elsewhere it certainly does as it's perhaps the earliest expression of Anti-Semitism within The Church.

Regardless, the second quote here sounds more like Annihilationism then Eternal Torment.  But even then, depending on what one means by "perish" there are reasons a Universalist might consider it's usage consistent.  It could be an idiom for not being in the Kingdom, or for just entering the Lake of Fire at all no matter how long it is.

The first quote is a good segway to Bible Quotes that allude to the coming Judgment being not the same for all Sinners.  How can there be some equivalent exchange between the amount of Sin and amount of Punishment if the Minimum sentence is forever?  No, to me these kinds of passages work against the eternal torment position.  And perhaps equally so against Annihilationism.

The Didache

‘After that, all humankind will come up for their fiery trial; multitudes of them will stumble and perish, but such as remain steadfast in the faith will be saved by the Curse’ 198
[These extracts are from Early Christian Writings, trans. Maxwell Staniforth, revised and provided with Introductions and new editorial material by Andrew Louth. (Penguin Books, 1987)]
Again the word perish comes up.  But in this context it sounds like the saved and unsaved both enter the fire???  We don't know who wrote the Didache, and I suspect this writer was the worst at expressing themselves of all the ones relevant here.

Now I shall quote the writer of this Article itself.
"Isn’t it extremely odd that a controversially-minded writer such as Augustine, writing in the fifth century, did not spot any such deviancy of the theological schools of his day or of the past from what he, at least, regarded as Christian orthodoxy, particularism and a clear teaching regarding heaven and hell?"
I'm confused by this?  Is he acting like Augustine was unaware of Unviersalim existing?  Because I did a post all about how Augustine talked about there being many Unviersalists in his day.

And now to the comment, that was talking about a "rule of faith" attested in both Ireneaus and Tertullian.
Irenaeus writes,
1. The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father “to gather all things in one,” and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, “every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess”to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send “spiritual wickednesses,”and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory. (Against Heresies Book 1, ch.10.1; emphasis added).
Irenaeus is very clear in the section following this quote (1.10.2) that this is church doctrine taught throughout the church wherever it has spread. Including Germany, Spain, Gaul, the East, Egypt, Libya, etc.
With Irenaeus who wrote in Greek, it is again a mater of what Aionios meant.  And Origen who taught a form of Universalism (but distinct from mine) also used the word Aionos to describe the judgment of the Lake of Fire.  The mere use of that word proves nothing, just look how Jude used it.
Tertullian writes,
Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics. (On Prescription against Heretics, ch.13; emphasis added)
Tertulian wrote in Latin, and because of that most Universalists see him as the origin of mistranslating Aionios.  But I recently argued that perhaps even what Eternal meant isn't what we always assume and maybe even Tertulian wasn't clearly teaching unending punishment.

Tertulian did not list Unvierslaism among the Heresies he condemned.  Yet at the same time enemies of Universalism keep saying heretics like Marcion and Valentinius and other early Gnostics taught it that early.

In his Treatise on The Soul Chapter 7, he said only the Ungodly went to Hades.  The Saints went directly to God's Throne if they were Martryd (probably based on the Fifth Seal in Revelation 6), and the rest to Abraham's Bosom, based on the Rich Man and Lazurus parable of Luke 16.  In the last chapter of that, 58, he talks about the coming Judgment that will come after the Resurrection.  But his objective here is to argue against Soul Sleep, and while I also am skeptical of the Soul Sleep doctrine, I know that we can't build doctrine on that Luke 16 parable.

Point is, whether or not the Coming Judgment is without end is not addressed there.  But I still need to read more on Tertulian to solidly conclude anything.

The most Universalist Christians of antiquity were of the School of Antioch.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Apostles of Ephesus

According to the ancient traditions of the Eastern Church, Mary Magdalene went to Ephesus along with the Mother of Jesus and the Beloved Disciple.  Gregory of Tours, the first historian of Medieval France agreed with that tradition.  But later a tradition developed that Mary Magdalene (and eventually others with her) came to southern France.  And much later that would get tied into the modern Holy Grail Bloodline mythology.

Naturally I consider the older Eastern tradition more likely to be true.  But I'm curious about how these kinds of traditions develop.  Why would French mythographers choose Mary Magdalene over one of the 12?

With Britain I feel there is evidence that a Christian community popped up there in the first century.  But with Gaul a Christian community doesn't seem to show up till the second half of the second century.  And the oldest one was in Lyon, where it seems the first Christians of Lyon came from Ephesus.  Pothinus and Irenaus, the first two Bishops of Lyon were students of Polycarp, who was believed to have been a student of John.  And contemporary with them, the Bishop back in Ephesus was Polycrates, who is interesting for a few reasons.

So maybe the later tradition comes from this community of Christians seeing Mary Magdelene as a founder of theirs back in Ephesus?

There are debates about if the assumption that John son of Zebedee is the Beloved Disciple is true.  No one doubts the three Canonical Epistles attributed to John were written by the same authors as The Gospel, but the author of those Epistles doesn't name himself either.  Revelation is the only John book thought to be by a different author, and only it identifies it's author as being named John.

I've been thinking for awhile about what my position on that is.  I'm obviously not for any that say the text has been changed somewhere, so that rules out the Mary Magdalene theory.  And I think it is someone probably not mentioned by name in the Gospel According to John, so that rules out Lazarus.

The idea that it was disciple in Jerusalem, usually not involved in what was going on in Galilee I think is viable.  If it's the person who owned the house they had the Last Supper in, then that would likely be the man holding the pitcher of water in Luke 22:10.

One thing I've considered is, John was a very common name back then, maybe it was a different person not in the Twelve but also named John?  John 18:15-16 implies the Beloved Disciple is known to the High Priests.  Acts 4:6 lists a John among the kindred of the High Priests.   Also interestingly the Samaritan High Priest during the time of Jesus was named Johnathon, but I doubt that is really relevant.

In a supplemental portion to a post on my Prophesy blog I suggest that it was a different John who came to Ephesus, John the Presbeter.

Polycrates is considered the oldest source on John being the Beloved Disciple.  Here is the letter he wrote as transcribed by Eusebius.
"We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord's coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus. And Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumeneia, who fell asleep in Smyrna. Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead? All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said 'We ought to obey God rather than man'...I could mention the bishops who were present, whom I summoned at your desire; whose names, should I write them, would constitute a great multitude. And they, beholding my littleness, gave their consent to the letter, knowing that I did not bear my gray hairs in vain, but had always governed my life by the Lord Jesus."[Eusebius, Church History, Book V, Chapter 24]
When referring to Philip he specifically said he was one of the Twelve.  But he doesn't say that for this John who did what the Beloved Disciple is described as doing in John 13:23-25.  Just calls him a  Witness and a Teacher.  The Beloved Disciple witnessed both the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Side note, some people may think Polycrates here is an early example of confusing Philip of the Twelve Disciples with Philip the Evangelist simply because daughters are mentioned.  Philip the Evangelist had four daughters (Acts 21:8-9), Polycrates only mentions three for this Philip.  And these three daughters are not specifically described as having been Prophetesses.  Paul said all of the Apostles but him were married (1 Corinthians 9:5), so it's perfectly plausible that both Philips had daughters.

On the other hand I myself am not entirety against a theory that both Biblical Philips were actually the same person.  No passage mentions both by name together.  I get why people assume Acts 6 allows no overlap between the Twelve and the Seven.  But remember in John chapter 12 the Philip who is of the Twelve serves as the contact between Greek Speaking Jews interested in Jesus message and the Twelve.  So Acts 6 could just be him still playing that role.  And Stephen in mentioned first even over one of the Twelve because he became the first Martyr, while when Acts was written Philip's Martyrdom may not have even happened yet.  In that context you may wonder why Polycrates only mentioned three daughters?  Well he was only mentioning people who died in Asia Minor (or the Roman Province of Asia), maybe the fourth died somewhere else?  And it is interesting that for both Philips the traditions about their careers post existing the book of Acts takes them to Asia, though different cities, yet Polycrates knew only one Asian Philip to reference.

Back to Mary Magdalene.  Every Gospel but Luke doesn't mention her till the Crucifixion account.  In Luke she's mentioned in Luke 8 briefly.  This lack of information is probably why it's so popular for writers to fuse her with other characters.  Maybe she was married to the Beloved Disciple?  And that's why she traveled to the same place that he and Mary the Mother of Jesus did?

You may wonder then why Polycrates didn't mention either Mary?  Maybe it was a little bit of Sexism, he didn't mention any women by name, and perhaps only mentioned daughters of Philip as they further back up the citing of Philip.  Or maybe given the agenda of this letter he didn't mention people who didn't keep the Passover on the 14th, or at least who he couldn't prove did.

Update August 17th 2017: Another interesting note is that the Tarasque, the monster Martha of Bethany tamed in France according to the Golden Legend, was said to be originally form Galatia, another region in Asia Minor.  If you think Fate/Grand Order has something to do with that popping into my head now..... you're correct.