Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.
["David Bowie. Ray Davies. Waterloo Sunset"]
Because honesty, rationality, and basic morals prevail less in life than they should and ought to, it is necessary as a matter of course that effectually all and anyone be at some point degraded and debased. Now there are two kinds of degradation to choose from: either (1) being beat up by someone else (i.e., crucified), and or (2) becoming one of them.
Under the present management, it reminds me of all those (hypocritical) jokes they make about North Korea.
Earlier, and several occasions otherwise, I expressed my own personal view that some portions of the Bible are or may have been tampered with at some point. Well, just yesterday, I came across a good candidate for such in this passage from Mark* 11:12-22:
(* Believed by modern Biblical scholars to be the historically first of the four gospels.)
12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT THE SEASON FOR FIGS.
14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,
16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.
21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.
23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
The story of Jesus cursing the fig tree has so baffled commentators over the ages that you will scarce find any credible explication of it. Meanwhile, I noticed at one self-professed atheist website that this fig tree story is one more proof that Christ, the Bible, and or Christian teachings are clearly false, confused, and untrustworthy in their message.
Adopting for the moment this idea of after the fact interpolation and possible tampering, let's remove the very awkward phrase (and which I capitalized for emphasis): "BECAUSE IT WAS NOT THE SEASON FOR FIGS."
Now read the passage, and you can see the story makes immeasurably more sense.
But since it takes place at the time of Jesus coming to Jerusalem at the time of Passover, it is inferred that, yes, the events described did take place at or near early Spring -- a time when the tree indeed would/could not have born fruit. And yet if the story, even though (let's say) true in fact, was for bad motives subsequently and wrongly inserted in this portion of the text pertaining to the time of Passover, it would lead one to think the phrase "because it was not the season for figs" did harmonize with the time of the event. In a word, consider how by such relatively slight modification and rearrangement the story and its meaning are radically changed, and consequently rendered preposterous and inexplicable.
["Born Free - Mighty Sparrow and Byron Lee"]
Where then is there a single honest, rational, and intelligent person who is in awe of and takes these spirit people seriously? I defy you to find or name even one. And that one cannot be found is undeniable proof that the entire, perhaps global, empire of the secret oaf and the ghoulish magician is built and rest standing upon the lives and credibility of so many childish persons and fools. (As for their heaven, I've seen it, and take my word for it, it's a lot of junk.)
You've seen and heard all the hype plastered over YouTube of late. Here then to give you the straight up is Snoogans460.
["AXE 'ANARCHY' Body Spray (REVIEW)"]
[ch. 4] In the case I have supposed where the historians desire to teach us by an image what they have seen in their mind, their meaning would be found, if the four were wise, to exhibit no disagreement; and we must understand that with the four Evangelists it is not otherwise. They made full use for their purpose of things done by Jesus in the exercise of His wonderful and extraordinary power; they use in the same way His sayings, and in some places they tack on to their writing, with language apparently implying things of sense, things made manifest to them in a purely intellectual way. I do not condemn them if they even sometimes dealt freely with things which to the eye of history happened differently, and changed them so as to subserve the mystical aims they had in view; so as to speak of a thing which happened in a certain place, as if it had happened in another, or of what took place at a certain time, as if it had taken place at another time, and to introduce into what was spoken in a certain way some changes of their own. They proposed to speak the truth where it was possible both materially and spiritually, and where this was not possible it was their intention to prefer the spiritual to the material. The spiritual truth was often preserved, as one might say, in the material falsehood. As, for example, we might judge of the story of Jacob and Esau. [Genesis xxvii] Jacob says to Isaac, “I am Esau your firstborn son,” and spiritually he spoke the truth, for he already partook of the rights of the first-born, which were perishing in his brother, and clothing himself with the goatskins he assumed the outward semblance of Esau, and was Esau all but the voice praising God, so that Esau might afterward find a place to receive a blessing. For if Jacob had not been blessed as Esau, neither would Esau perhaps have been able to receive a blessing of his own. And Jesus too is many things, according to the conceptions of Him, of which it is quite likely that the Evangelists took up different notions; while yet they were in agreement with each other in the different things they wrote...
[ch. 5] On the same passage one may also make use of such an example as that of Paul, who at one place [Romans 7:14] says that he is carnal, sold under sin, and thus was not able to judge anything, while in another place he is the spiritual man who is able to judge all things and himself to be judged by no man. Of the carnal one are the words, “Not what I would that do I practise, but what I hate that do I.” And he too who was caught up to the third heaven and heard unspeakable words is a different Paul from him who says, Of such an one I will glory, but of myself I will not glory. If he becomes [1 Corinthians 9:20-22] to the Jews as a Jew that he may gain the Jews, and to those under the law as under the law that he may gain those under the law, and to them that are without law as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that he may gain those without law, and if to the weak he becomes weak that he may gain the weak, it is clear that these statements must be examined each by itself, that he becomes a Jew, and that sometimes he is under the law and at another time without law, and that sometimes he is weak. Where, for example, he says something by way of permission [1 Corinthians 7:6] and not by commandment, there we may recognize that he is weak; for who, he says, [2 Corinthians 11:29] is weak, and I am not weak? When he shaves his head and makes an offering, or when he circumcises Timothy [Acts 16:3], he is a Jew; but when he says to the Athenians, [Acts 17:23] “I found an altar with the inscription, To the unknown God. That, then, which you worship not knowing it, that declare I unto you,” and, “As also some of your own poets have said, For we also are His offspring,” then he becomes to those without the law as without the law, adjuring the least religious of men to espouse religion, and turning to his own purpose the saying of the poet, “From Love do we begin; his race are we.” And instances might perhaps be found where, to men not Jews and yet under the law, he is under the law.
[ch. 16] ...To think, moreover, of the Son of God taking the small cords in His hands and plaiting a scourge out of them for this driving out from the temple, does it not bespeak audacity and temerity and even some measure of lawlessness? One refuge remains for the writer who wishes to defend these things and is minded to treat the occurrence as real history, namely, to appeal to the divine nature of Jesus, who was able to quench, when He desired to do so, the rising anger of His foes, by divine grace to get the better of myriads, and to scatter the devices of tumultuous men; for “the Lord scatters the counsels of the nations and brings to naught devices of the peoples, but the counsel of the Lord abides for ever.” Thus the occurrence in our passage, if it really took place, was not second in point of the power it exhibits to any even of the most marvellous works Christ wrought, and claimed no less by its divine character the faith of the beholders. One may show it to be a greater work than that done at Cana of Galilee in the turning of water into wine; for in that case it was only soulless matter that was changed, but here it was the soul and will of thousands of men. It is, however, to be observed that at the marriage the mother of Jesus is said to be there, and Jesus to have been invited and His disciples, but that no one but Jesus is said to have descended to Capernaum. His disciples, however, appear afterwards as present with Him; they remembered that “the zeal of your house shall devour me.” And perhaps Jesus was in each of the disciples as He ascended to Jerusalem, whence it is not said, Jesus went up to “Jerusalem and His disciples,” but He went down to Capernaum, “He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples.”
[ch. 28]...We ought to notice certainly that “many” are said to believe, not in Him, but in His name. Now, those who believe in Him are those who walk in the straight and narrow way [Matthew 7:14], which leads to life, and which is found by few. It may well be, however, that many of those who believe in His name will sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, the Father's house, in which are many mansions. And it is to be noted that the many who believe in His name do not believe in the same way as Andrew does, and Peter, and Nathanael, and Philip. These believe the testimony of John when he says, “Behold the Lamb of God,” or they believe in Christ as found by Andrew, or Jesus saying to Philip, “Follow Me,” or Philip saying, “We have found Him of whom Moses and the prophets did write, Jesus the Son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Those, on the other hand, of whom we now speak, “believed in His name, beholding His signs which He did.” And as they believe the signs and not in Him but in His name, Jesus “did not trust Himself to them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man, because He knew what is in every man.”
[ch. 30] It may also be asked what signs those many saw Him do who believed on Him, for it is not recorded that He did any signs at Jerusalem, though some may have been done which are not recorded. One may, however, consider if what He did may be called signs, when He made a scourge of small cords, and cast them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables. As for those who suppose that it was only about men that He had no need of witnesses, it has to be said that the Evangelist attributes to Him two things, that He knew all beings, and that He had no need that any one should testify of man. If He knew all beings, then He knew not only men but the beings above men, all beings who are without such bodies as ours; and He knew what was in man, since He was greater than those who reproved and judged by prophesying, and who brought to the light the secret things of the hearts of those whom the Spirit suggested to them to be thus dealt with. The words, “He knew what was in man,” could also be taken as referring to the powers, better or worse, which work in men. For if any one gives place to the devil, Satan enters into him; thus did Judas give place, and thus did the devil put it in his heart to betray Jesus, and “after the sop,” therefore, “the devil entered into him.” [John 13:2-27] But if any one gives place to God, he becomes blessed; for blessed is the man whose help is from God, and the ascent is in his heart from God. You know what is in man, Thou who know all things, O Son of God. And now that our tenth book has come to be large enough we will here pause in our theme.
~ Origen (185-232 A.D.), Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book X