who needs the new testament when you can get the ‘new new testament’

The New New Testament

Jesus Laughing. (See, the caption on the book's cover even says so.)

Santa Claus has come to town and has brought you a shiny new Bible. In fact, from the looks of things, Santa may have written it himself. But this is no ordinary Bible, it’s a New New Testament. The New New Testament’s author, Ken Maley, doesn’t consider himself the author, but instead goes by the title, “The Scribe” (beating out U2’s “The Edge,” wrestling’s “The Undertaker,” and Canadian classic rock’s “The Guess Who” for best “The” name). This is because The Scribe claims that the New New Testament is “rewritten through Jesus and the Original Authors.”

And “The Scribe” wants you to buy his book hear the new new revelation that Jesus personally told him to write. So, he did what prophets and recipients of divine revelations have always done: he set up a website, complete with praise from reputable individuals such as:

“Exactly what Jesus would say if he came to earth again! Perhaps this is how he will come again.”  –  Christian Person
“What Christians have been seeking for centuries. Literally millions will love it.”   – Catholic Bishop
“Speechless! I am totally amazed at what is here.”   – Person with ties to India and Hinduism
“Poetry for my soul.”  – Protestant Minister
“Marvelous! My wife and I have read John’s Gospel through twice to each other. Our favorite phrase: ‘God’s Heart is so big you can’t walk out of it.'”   – Couple with a Mormon background
“Many will find that this book is miraculous, since Jesus brings us into the Heart of God.”  – A Seeker

(Personally, I have always found the recommendations of “Person with ties to India and Hinduism” to be quite compelling.)

This Bible is more than a new translation; it is a completely new revelation that just happens to closely resemble the old New Testament in modern parlance. However, in this New New Testament, The Scribe channels Jesus and Paul and offers introductions in the first person to each of the Bible’s sections. The gospel of John has been moved to the beginning because it begins with “In the beginning,” and because it possesses the thematic passage for the entire New New Testament: We are all gods. (John 10:34). According to The Scribe, “The translators or scribes who changed this passage could not believe what Jesus had said, so they simply changed it to fit their own beliefs.” So, naturally, The Scribe is changing it back to what it should have said because, well, Jesus personally instructed him to do so.

And shockerrrrr! It’s available on Barnes & Noble.com for purchase.

Jesus is indeed laughing (see the book’s cover).

For more about The Scribe, read below or check out the website, where The Scribe offers up a personal narrative about himself. And do watch the YouTube videos. They alone are worth it.

(And I should also ask from a serious scholarly standpoint if this is how Jews 2000 years ago reacted to rewritten Biblical texts. Was the reaction to 4QRPa/4Q158 “Rewritten Pentateuch” or the Genesis Apocryphon the same as our reaction to the New New Testament? Just a thought…)


From the “About” section:

Ken was ordained a Catholic bishop, though not Roman Catholic, on Easter of 2001. And because of his Native American blood, he promised a long Vision Quest in the desert to open more fully to Jesus and Spirit. It was during these three months that Jesus first asked him to rewrite the New Testament, but he did not have the courage to do it at that time. When the Call came again in 2009 he was more prepared and agreed to the arduous task, knowing that many would believe he was delusional or even worse. But what Jesus wanted done was more important to him than what people might think of him.

Because of his Vision in the desert, he began the Moviemiento Buena Nueva de Jesus in Latin America to share this Good News.  The tenth anniversary of his Vision was the same day that the New New Testament was finally published. His dream is to have his Catholic Spiritual roots reach down through to the original Spirituality that Jesus proclaimed.  What Jesus preached was not legal to write or talk about in his time, and so could not be openly proclaimed in the original New Testament.  It was for that very reason that Ken was asked to rewrite our New Testament to include Jesus’ basic Teachings.

Jesus told him very clearly that this New New Testament was not to begin a new sect or Church, but simply be a spiritual tool for those open to his Real Message.

(HT: B&I via the Sac Bee)

i see nutjob: mark driscoll’s psychic visions and extrasensory perception

You have absolutely got to be kidding me! Mark Driscoll is becoming the Glenn Beck of Evangelical Neo-fundamentalism: you desperately want to ignore him, but he keeps saying crazy crap and posting it online.

Scott has an excellent commentary on Driscoll’s latest diarrhea of the mouth. In sum, the words “delusional,” “bully,” “non-discerning,” “terrible scholar,” and “Mickey Mouse” are involved.

Please allow me to add “nutjob.” (And I agree, Scott, methinks the Driscoll train is about to go off the rails.)

It’s not enough to be a bully and an open advocate for the subjugation of women and homosexuals. But now, Mark Driscoll is admitting HE SEES THINGS!, as in, bilocative visions and psychic extrasensory perception in his head as well as back through time! In fact, Mark Driscoll claims he can see your past abuses from 10 years ago! He claims:

On occasion, I see things. I see things. Uh, like, I was meeting with one person, and they, they didn’t know this, but they were abused when they were a child, and I said, ‘When you were a child, you were abused. This person did this to you – physically touched you this way.” And he said, “How do you know?” And I said, “I don’t know. It’s like I got a TV right here and I’m seeing it.” He said, “No, that never happened.” And I said, “Go ask ’em. Go ask ’em if they actually did what I think they did, and I see that they did.” And they went and asked this person, “When I was a little kid, did you do this?” And the person said, “Yeah, but you were only like a year or two old. How do you remember that?” And they said, “Well, Pastor Mark told me.” (Watch from the 0:06 mark).

Driscoll then offers a humble disclaimer stating,

I’m not a guru. I’m not a freak. I don’t talk about this. If I did talk about it, everybody’d want to meet with me and I’d end up like one of those guys on TV. (Watch from the 0:45 mark)

The irony of the previous statement is palpable.

Then, not surprisingly, Driscoll goes on to tell the story of a woman cheating on her husband (of course):

There was one woman I dealt with, she’d never told her husband that she had committed adultery on him early in the relationship. I said, “You know,” (she’s sitting there with her husband) I said, “You know, I think the root of all this, I think Satan has a foothold in your life ’cause you’ve never told your husband about that really tall blond guy that you met at the bar, and then you went back to the hotel, and you laid on your back, and you undressed yourself, and he climbed on top of you, and you had sex with him, and snuggled up with him for a while, and deep down in your heart, even though you had just met him, you desired him because secretly he is the fantasy body type.” I said, “You remember that place: it was that cheap hotel with that certain colored bedspread. You did it, you had sex with the light on because you weren’t ashamed and you wanted him to see you, and you wanted to see him.” She was just looking at me like [throws hands in air]. I said, “You know, it was about ten years ago?”

I see everything [makes TV square with hands].

She says… she looks at her husband, he says, “Is that true?” She says, “Yeah.” “He was 6’2″? Blond hair? Blue eyes?” “Yeah.” (Watch from the 1:00 mark)

(Numbers 5:16-30 comes to mind.)

By the way, I’d have never guessed that Mark Driscoll would psychically see a woman cheating on her husband (and not the other way around), given his wonderful history with gender-related issues. Go figure.

And seriously, does Driscoll really end that story with, “I see everything!“?? Seriously? And he describes it as “supernatural” and “whole other realm?”

Unbelievable. Literally. Unbelievable.

And then, as if what he’s already said wasn’t enough, Driscoll goes on to offer incontrovertible evidence of his extrasensory perception skills:

“And sometimes I see things too. I see things too. I’ve seen women raped. I’ve seen children molested. I’ve seen people abused. I’ve seen people beaten. I’ve seen horrible things done. Horrible things done. I’ve seen children dedicated in occultic groups and demons come upon them as an infant by invitation. And I wasn’t present for any of it, but I’ve seen it visibly.” (Watch from the 3:10 mark in the video. Emphases mine.)

I see nutjob.

Of course, he’s claiming he possesses the “gift of discernment” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10 (“to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits (διακρίσεις πνευμάτων)…”), but rather than defining it as “understanding,” the “capacity for judgment,” or as a “discernment” akin to wisdom as is done in other biblical lists of gifts of insight (cf. 1 Kings 4:29; Job 12:20; Isaiah 29:14), and rather than considering a cognate term’s use in 1 Corinthians 2:14 (πνευματικως ανακρίνεται), where its context leads the reader to a comparison of the wisdom and foolishness of this world versus that of the next (a lesson worth reading), “Pastor Mark” interprets the “discernment of spirits” (which as a leader, he, of course, possesses), as the ability to bilocate through time, and Driscoll is claiming to be able to see his followers’ past sordid deeds in visions!!!

Sheer quackery!

I shake my head…

(HT: MPT, Scott)


Update:

It looks like the Pyromaniacs blog posted concerns about this back on Aug 15, 2011.

Unreasonable Faith also has some good commentary.

southern christianity, nascar, product placement, and a smokin’ hot wife

if this is not the epitome of selling out christianity for product profitability and popularity, then i don’t know what is.

i shake my head…

[HT: MPT]

jesus appears in a walmart receipt

Jesus in a Wal-Mart receipt

Jesus in a Wal-Mart receipt

A Christian couple in Anderson County, SC discovered an image they believe to be Jesus on a WalMart receipt (of course that’s where they were.) But some are questioning whether the image is Jesus or someone else. (Experts are doing comparisons with some early self-portraits and photographs of Jesus to determine for certain.)

There is one easy way to determine whether the pic is of Jesus or not: is the man in the picture a masculine looking man, or just some “chickified church boy in a sweater vest“? @PastorMark #ManlyMen

The pic does looks pretty thuggish and hard core. Maybe @PastorMark can use him as a greeter at Mars Hill (it is a WalMart receipt after all…).

no, it wasn’t my moving van on the way to iowa

Marijuana plants. Image courtesy: zztopblue/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

Marijuana plants. Image courtesy: zztopblue/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

…but, the LAPD did find something during a traffic stop, and methinks it was a tad bit over an ounce:

Over a ton of marijuana has been found during a mid-city Los Angeles traffic stop.

A Torrance police officer stopped the car on July 8 and a drug-sniffing dog alerted the officer that there were drugs in the vehicle.

A Torrance police report released Wednesday says a search discovered more than 2,600 pounds of marijuana.

The investigation led to eight arrests.

The department hasn’t disclosed the reason for the traffic stop some 15 miles from Torrance.

I haven’t left yet, so don’t point the finger at me.

there really is a ‘council on biblical manhood and womanhood’

This morning, I came across something I did not know existed, and I initially thought was a joke. But alas, this incredible discovery is real (although, imho, it is still a joke).

Lo and behold, there exists (and I’m not making this up), a Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. They even have a logo.

I kid you not – A Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood!

This is not an Onion article, nor is it satire. It’s a real organization. Their self-description (I kid you not – this is in the very first paragraph on their ‘About Us‘ page) reads:

In 1987, a group of pastors and scholars assembled to address their concerns over the influence of feminism not only in our culture but also in evangelical churches. Because of the widespread compromise of biblical understanding of manhood and womanhood and its tragic effects on the home and the church, these men and women established The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. (underlines mine)

Seriously! They formed their organization to “address their concerns over the influence of feminism not only in our culture but also in evangelical churches!” And they did so in nineteen eightyseven! Not nineteen fifty-seven, not eighteen eighty-seven, nineteen eighty-seven!

They go on to say that they stand in “opposition to the growing movement of feminist egalitarianism.” And they make no apologies: they are firmly against the equality of men and women! And it gets better. This group has:

articulated what is now known as the “complementarian position” which affirms that men and women are equal in the image of God, but maintain complementary differences in role and function. In the home, men lovingly are to lead their wives and family as women intelligently are to submit to the leadership of their husbands. In the church, while men and women share equally in the blessings of salvation, some governing and teaching roles are restricted to men. (emphasis, bold, red, quotes, and implied outrage all mine)

The group regularly rails against (surprise, surprise) same-sex marriage (in one article, the legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa is said to be worse than a 500-year flood causing damage to the homes and farms of thousands of people), homosexuality, and feminism.

Here are pictures of those serving in leadership roles on their Board of Directors. (Should I be shocked that everyone but the secretary is a white male?) And here are the council members. (Again, I don’t know whether to be more aghast at the fact that everyone is white, or that the five women serving on the board all have ‘homemaker’ or ‘Pastor’s wife’ listed first as primary occupation, followed only then by ‘author’ or ‘consultant.’ I certainly don’t see the men listing ‘Loving Husband’ or ‘Father’ before their titles of ‘Founder and Chairman,’ ‘President,’ or ‘Executive Director’ in the members’ descriptions. Is it also telling that two of the women don’t even have pictures?)

The group’s latest job, it appears, is to criticize the new revision of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible (the first revision to the NIV in 25 years) because it includes “gender-neutral” language. The CBMW’s review of the NIV is here.

Sigh.

Here’s an observation: if this group had the word “Islamic” in it, and all of the members were citing the Qur’an and the women pictured were in burqas or veils, I’m guessing the members of this same CBMW group would condemn it as Sharia Law fundamentalism suppressing the rights of women. But somehow, because it’s a Christian organization and they’re citing the Bible, this group has no problem suppressing the roles of women, and citing divine authority in doing so.

The use of religion to suppress women is wrong regardless of the religion used to do so. This – THIS! – is precisely why non-Christians hate fundamentalist Christians: because they use scripture to keep women down, when all Jesus ever wanted to do was lift them up.

I shake my head…

ezekiel 23:20 is now apparently a drink at a new zealand pub

Scott Bailey has the story of the day:

A pub in New Zealand has introduced horse semen to its drinks menu, a stomach-churning addition tinged with the wholesome flavour of apple.

Yeah… ’cause ‘Apple’ makes everything go down better… especially Horse jizz. Dear God…

The Green Man Pub in Wellington offers the 30ml shots for a princely sum of £12 – and apparently it’s going down a treat with regulars.

The gastro-pub serves the drink chilled fresh from a Christchurch stallion farm and each shot contains about 300 million individual horse sperm cells.

Green Man pub co-owner Steven Drummond is to blame for the grimace-inducing drink, which he explained is knocked back by both male and female customers.

He advises his customers to shoot the sticky horse semen back in one gulp rather than attempt to sip the bizarre concoction.

He came up with the idea when trying to invent a new drink to spice-up a local food challenge.

—————————————————

I don’t know anyone from New Zealand, but I’m pretty much judging the country en masse right now…

Can you imagine the pickup lines in that pub?

Absolutely brutal. And yet, they’ll sell a ton of them, mostly on dares.

(BTW: Ezek 23:20 reads, “and lusted after her paramours there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose emission was like that of stallions.” At least it’s biblical, no?)

HT: Scott

unintentionally honest church sign of the day (via scott via matthew paul)

I know they didn’t necessarily mean to say it, but that’s precisely the point of this party.

CoC Block Party

They didn't necessarily mean to say it, but that's *precisely* the point of this party.

(Via Scott Bailey via Matthew Paul Turner)

fake martin luther king, jr. quote demonstrates how we got the apocrypha

MLK said what?There is a beautiful quote going around the internet. It reads:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is only one problem with this quote: Martin Luther King, Jr. never said it. As Megan McArdle and Erik Haugsjaa point out, the second part of the quote is from Dr. King’s 1963 Strength to Love, but the first sentence isn’t part of the original quote. It’s fake. Someone added it to the King quote to make it relevant to Osama bin Laden’s death.

MLK 'Strength to Love' on Google Books

The actual quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'Strength to Love' as demonstrated in Google Books. Note the first part of the quotation was not written by Dr. King.

The viral nature of this quote demonstrates how people will believe whatever they read if it fits their preconceived notions, especially when it is attributed to a well-respected authority or personality. This is precisely how we got the Apocrypha (the books that didn’t make it into the Bible), and a number of the books that actually did make it into the biblical canon. Someone writes something, it sounds like something someone authoritative would say, the quote or book is attributed to said authority, people read it, believe it, and pass it on. (Recommended reading: Forged by Bart Ehrman.)

It’s how we got the fake Bin Laden death photos, it’s how we got the MLK quote, and it’s how we got many of the books of the Bible (i.e., some letters attributed to Paul, all 4 Gospels, many of the pastoral letters, the Apocrypha, etc.).

What’s a shame in the modern age is that it’s actually quite easy to fact check. Unfortunately, people don’t. They just parrot misinformation without citations because they like the way it sounds. It reiterates the need for readers to check their facts, and for authors to cite their sources.

In the words of Al Gore, “This is not why I invented the internet.”1

1Al Gore did not make this statement.


UPDATE: See the Salon.com article by Drew Grant, who attributes the quote to a tweet from Penn Jillette, who got it on Facebook from someone named Jessica Dovey. A screenshot of Dovey’s Facebook message shows that she did, in fact, offset MLK’s quote from her own comments. So Penn (apparently) mis-attributed the first portion to Dr. King. Penn acknowledged his mistake, but not before it went viral.

This demonstrates that there are usually two attributions needed for a saying to become ‘authoritative’: attribution to a recognized respected authority, and the propagation by another respected/beloved figure. It also demonstrates a point that Bart Ehrman and his teacher, Bruce Metzger, both make: not all edits and changes are intentional. Like Penn in this case, it was an honest mistake, which, to his credit, he immediately corrected.

Excellent work Drew!!

czech researchers claim ‘gay caveman’ found

Archaeologists have unearthed 5,000-year-old male remains in Bubenec, Czech Republic, buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age. The skeleton was surrounded by domestic jugs.

Archaeologists have unearthed 5,000-year-old male remains in Bubenec, Czech Republic, buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age. The skeleton was surrounded by domestic jugs. Image by: Europics

No, it’s not a GEICO commercial‘s attempt at humor (or a bomb of short-lived television series), this may actually be legitimate.

Mara Gay reports that Kamila Remisova Vesinova and a team of researchers from the Czech Archeological Society are claiming to have discoverred the remains of an early homosexual man dating to 2900-2500 BCE, just outside of Prague.

During the Copper Age 5,000 years ago, men were traditionally buried facing the west, along with weapons and knives. But archaeologists in the Czech Republic say the skeletal remains of the newly discovered caveman were found facing the east, along with household items like water jugs and pots, funeral rites almost always reserved for women in the region during that time.

“From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously, so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake,” archaeologist Kamila Remisova Vesinova told reporters Wednesday, according to London’s Telegraph. “Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual.”

So, because the 5,000-year old skeleton was buried with its head pointed toward the east rather than west (a position scholars say is reserved for women in the Corded Ware culture), and was surrounded by domestic items rather than by tools and weapons that typically accompany male remains, the researchers say the male was gay.

However, Katerina Semradova, another member of the team, conceded that the reverse has also been found: the same team previously unearthed a female from the Mesolithic period who was buried in the fashion of a man. So do these burials represent position in a society (i.e., wealth, status, etc.) or sexual orientation? Could it be a mixup? (It’s unlikely, but possible.) Beyond that, could it have been an intersexual individual (possessing both sexual organs, with a skeleton that researchers would interpret as male, but who was gendered as a female while alive?) And why can’t a straight male work in the domestic realm in antiquity like many straight males do today? Are the scholars playing into ‘ancient’ scholarly stereotypes by assuming that men only worked in non-domestic arenas? And if the researchers are assuming a male/female stereotype, why not conclude that the male was somehow being punished by those who buried him, for instance, for exhibiting what they might consider to be “cowardice,” say, for refusing to fight in a battle? (Or, do the researchers assume that the use of ‘male’ and ‘female’ labels and discrimination/persecution of homosexual individuals is merely a modern phenomenon)? To conclude the individual was gay may be superimposing a lot of modern stereotypes upon an ancient culture.

Methinks this may be a legit argument in the scholarly arena with serious implications for our understanding of sexuality in antiquity, if only we could keep the Telegraph and Daily Mail from running sensationalistic headlines.

(HT: John Lynch)

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