Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter. "Put your sword back in its scabbard; am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?"
JOHN 18:10,11

Peter was JC's right hand man. His strong arm. His rock. He kept order for JC. And Judas kept the books (JOHN 13:29). JC sure knew how to pick friends. I guess he wasn't much of a judge of character. Then again, maybe we've misjudged JC's character. After all, he did say....

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace on earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword. For I have come to set son against father, daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law; a person's enemies will be the members of his own household. No one who prefers father or mother to me is worthy of me. No one who prefers son or daughter to me is worthy of me. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it. Anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it."
MATTHEW 10:34-39
(also LUKE 12:51-53)

"As for my enemies who did not want me for their KING, bring them here and execute them in my presence."
LUKE 19:27

He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and the same with a haversack; if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, because I tell you these words of scripture are destined to be fulfilled in me: 'He was counted as one of the rebellious.' Yes, what it says about me is even now reaching its fulfillment." They said, "Lord, here are two swords." He said to them, "That is enough!"
LUKE 22:36-38

And that's the prince of peace speaking! The same guy who overturned the tables of the money-changers (MATTHEW 21:12,13, MARK 11:15-18, LUKE 19:45-48, JOHN 2:13-16). The same guy who referred the Gentiles as dogs (MATTHEW 7:6, 10:5-7 & 15:22-28, MARK 7:24-30). The same guy who turned his back on his own family, and often spoke disrespectfully to his mother (MATTHEW 12:46-50 & 13:54-58, MARK 3:31-35 & 6:1-6, LUKE 8:19-21, JOHN 2:3,4). Maybe these are just some of JC's Satanic verses!

The cult of Christ was much like the People's Temple, and the Branch Davidians, and so many others when you look at it objectively. JC, like all cult-leaders, needed to separate his converts from their non-believing family members. JC would also need a bodyguard, an enforcer, a major-domo, a Sergent-at-arms. JC needed a guy like Peter to keep order, and to take care of His dirty work for Him. Peter was perfect for the job. He was a violent guy. He had a sword, and didn't seem to mind using it. JC needed men-at-arms, just like David Koresh needed automatic weapons and explosives. Faith must be very fragile armor against the dangers of the real world if even JC required an honor guard!

I think Judas' death smells awfully fishy too. What if Peter tracked Judas down after the Crucifixion and made him pay for selling out the Savior? Think about it. That's why the other three Gospels are silent about the fate of Judas. He just vanished from Luke, Mark, and John after the arrest of JC. They either didn't know what really happened to Judas after he received his blood money, or they knew, but chose to omit the facts because the truth was just too ugly to admit. That's why the hanging death of Judas, found only in Matthew, became the official story.

When he found that Jesus had been condemned, then Judas, His betrayer, was filled with remorse and took the thirty silver pieces back to the chief priests and elders saying, "I have sinned. I have betrayed innocent blood."

They replied, "What is that to us? That is your concern."

And flinging down the silver pieces in the sanctuary he made off, and went and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the silver pieces and said, "It is against the Law to put this into the treasury; it is blood money."

So they discussed the matter and with it bought the Potter's Field as a graveyard for foreigners, and this is why the field is still called the Field of Blood.
MATTHEW 27:3-8

Matthew's poetic, and unique account of Judas hanging himself was a cover story. Much better than remaining mum about it, like Mark, Luke, and John. Much, much better than the bloody murder of Judas hinted at in the book of Acts.

Matthew gave the readers just what they wanted. Poetic justice. Judas hanged himself in shame. All suicides are damned to eternal torment. A just and fitting fiction. Matthew's gospel has a lot of inventions that don't appear in the other gospels. Why let the truth ruin a good story? Matthew wasn't really a historian. Matthew was a myth-maker. A propagandist and a proselytiser. Matthew was a pious BS'er.

In ACTS (Luke's sequel) Peter described Judas’ blood-spattered demise as if he had witnessed it himself, and he thought it was a righteous thing. Peter even attempted to use the scriptures to justify his act. He didn't do a very good job of it, as far as I'm concerned. The following passage has both the ring of truth as well as a hint of foul play to it.

One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers – there were about a hundred and twenty people in the congregation, "Brothers," he said, "the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit through David, foretells the fate of Judas, who acted as guide to the men who arrested Jesus – after being one of our number and sharing our ministry. As you know, he bought a plot of land with the money he was paid for his crime. He fell headlong and burst open, and all his entrails poured out. Everybody in Jerusalem heard about it and the plot came to be called BLOODY ACRE, in their language, Hakeldama. Now in the Book of Psalms it says: Reduce his encampment in ruin and leave his tent unoccupied. And again: Let someone take over his office."
ACTS 1:15-20

No hanging for Judas in Peter's account. Judas falls to his death and splatters on the rocks below. Peter didn't say how Judas fell. If he'd jumped, or even fallen by accident, I'm sure Peter wouldn't have neglected to mention it. Peter seemed reluctant to provide a reason for Judas' fatal fall, yet he didn't spare us the guts and gore. Very, very fishy, folks.

"Bloody Acre", or the "Field of Blood", are fitting names for the spot where a ghastly murder was committed. Names that remind everybody that blood was spilled on this location. These names don't suggest a hanging. They suggest a violent death.


Here's a description of how the early Christian community, under Peter's iron hand, brought freedom to the world.

None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from the sale of them, to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any who might be in need.
ACTS 4:34

Sounds like a brainwashing cult to me. Sweet setup, if you're in charge. The rest just had their faith, and a get out of hell free card. Pretty damn handy. If you're dead, and God doesn't turn out to be Odin, instead of the other guy.

Peter was running the show until James, 'The Just', quietly took over. Peter was demoted without any stated reason. What happened? Luke and Paul were reluctant to write of it in the N.T. A scandal perhaps? The book of Acts shows us the probable reason. In Acts, Luke tried like hell to clean this story up. How do you clean up a double homicide?

There was also a man called Ananias. He and his wife, Sapphira, agreed to sell a property, but with his wife’s connivance he kept back part of the price and brought the rest and presented it to the apostles. Peter said, "Ananias, how can Satan have so possessed you that you should lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land? While you still owned the land, wasn’t it yours to keep,and after you had sold it wasn’t the money yours to do with as you liked? What put this scheme into your mind? You have been lying not to men, but to God."

When he heard this Ananias fell down dead. And a great fear came upon everyone present. The younger men got up, wrapped up the body, carried it out and buried it.

About 3 hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had taken place. Peter challenged her, "Tell me, was this the price you sold the land for?"

"Yes," she said, "That was the price." Peter then asked, "Why did you and your husband agree to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Listen! At the door are the footsteps of those who have buried your husband. They will carry you out too."

Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in they found she was dead, and they carried her out and buried her by the side of her husband. And a great fear came upon the whole church and on all who heard it.
ACTS 5:1-11

People who pissed off Peter had a way of dropping dead.

But these people speak evil of what they do not understand; they are like brute beasts, born only to be caught and killed, and like beasts they will be destroyed, being injured in return for the injuries they have inflicted.

Was Peter a multiple murderer? You be the judge.

Peter & Paul & The Christian Revolutionhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh2ztwD4s4A&feature=related

Friday, February 13, 2009

ELISHA: Miracle-Maker, or Mass-Murderer? -- by Richard C. Speaks

Let's begin with a rhetorical question: Two guys go off into the desert together. Only one of them returns with torn clothes, the other guy's wallet, and a wild story about alien abduction. Would you believe him? I bet you wouldn't.

Then why should we believe this same scenario just because it's in the Bible? Yet the faithful never question the tale of Elijah's ascention into Heaven upon a flaming chariot for that reason alone. If it's in the Bible, it must be true. Right? Not necessarily, folks. What really happened to Elijah? God only knows. We can only speculate. Foul play cannot be ruled out.

The begining of the end for Elijah came while the old guy was hiding from Jezebel's assassins upon Mount Horab; the mountain of God, where Moses received the Commandments. God had a commandment for Elijah that day. Here is what He had to say:

"Go," Yahweh said, "Go back by the same way to the desert of Damascus. You must go and anoint Hazael as king of Aram. You must anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and anoint Eilsha, son of Shaphat, of Abel-Meholah, as prophet to succeed you. Anyone who escapes the sword of Hazael will be put to death by Jehu; and anyone who escapes the sword of Jehu will be put to death by Elisha. But I shall spare 7000 in Israel; all the knees that have not bent before Baal, all the mouths that have not kissed him."
1 KINGS 19:15-18

I wonder how Elijah received this bit of news from on high. I have my suspicions. The Bible text is vague, but there are clues that suggest disharmony between master and disciple.

Leaving there, he came on Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was ploughing behind 12 yoke of oxen, he himself being with the 12th. Elijah passed near to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother, then I will follow you," he said. 
Elijah answered, "Go, go back; for have I done anything to you?" 

Elisha turned away, took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He used the oxen's tackle for cooking the meat, which he gave the people to eat. He then rose and, following Elijah, became his servant.
1 KINGS 19:19-21

I find it interesting that Elisha was introduced with a scene involving slaughter. After all Elisha was supposed to take part in reducing the surplus population of Israel down to a pious 7000 living souls, according to God. Elisha fit the bill. He was young and strong, and completely unbothered by bloodshed. 

Elijah sounded less than enthused at first, but Elisha's casual brutality must have won him over for a while. I wonder if he scared Elijah.

Oddly enough Elisha isn't mentioned again in I Kings. Perhaps he was temporarily entrusted to some subordinate from the Brotherhood of Prophets for training, while Elijah was busy placing a death curse upon Ahab and Jezebel following the murder of Naboth and the theft of his vineyard.

Perhaps he just didn't get mentioned because he had nothing to say at the time. I'm actually surprised that some ancient scribe didn't just insert Elisha into the text somewhere, in much the same way Raymond Burr was inserted into the original Godzilla, or the way the ancient scribes added Aaron into most of Moses' action. They could have given Elisha some quote-worthy thing to say, that could be squeezed into the narrative somewhere, as they often did in the Bible, but they didn't think of it this time, and so Elisha got left out of the action until the second chapter of II Kings. Which was Elijah's swan song. Luke Skywalker had a longer internship!

The next time we read about Elisha he seemed to be little more than a tag-along. Elijah seemed eager to ditch him at each town they came to. I assume that must have been the routine between these two all along. Was Elijah displeased with his disciple? Was Elisha fearful that his master might be thinking about replacing him? Am I just reading too much into it? You be the judge.

This is what happened when Yahweh took Elijah up to heaven in the whirlwind: Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal, and Elijah said to Elisha, "You stay here, for Yahweh is only sending me to Bethel. But Elisha replied, "As Yahweh lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!" and they went down to Bethel. 

The brotherhood of prophets living at Bethel came out to meet Elisha and said, "Do you know that Yahweh will carry your lord and master away today?"

"Yes, I know," he said, "Be quiet."
II KINGS 2:1-3

Elijah tried to shake Elisha at Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho before his disappearance on the far side of the Jordan. All in the same day we are told. Could this be a motive for murder? Or was it a Close Encounter of the weird kind?

Elijah said, "Elisha, you stay here, Yahweh is only sending me to Jericho. But Elisha replied, "As Yahweh lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!" and they went on to Jericho.

The brotherhood of prophets living at Jericho came out to meet Elisha and said, "Do you know that Yahweh will carry your lord and master away today?"

"Yes, I know," he said, "Be quiet."
II KINGS 2:4,5

And again:

Elijah said, "Elisha, you stay here, Yahweh is only sending me to the Jordan." But Elisha replied, "As Yahweh lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!" And they went on together. Fifty of the brotherhood of prophets followed them, halting some distance away as the two of them stood beside the Jordan.
II KINGS 2:6-7

This time the Bible tells us that the Brotherhood of Prophets sent 50 followers to follow Elijah and Elisha all the way to the bank of the Jordan River in an attempt to witnesses Elijah's mysterious departure. Too bad they failed. I wonder why the Brotherhood approached Elisha with the news at each town and not his master? I guess because Elijah already knew everything, being a prophet and all.

Here is where we enter the Twilight Zone, dear readers:

Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water; and the water dividedto left and right, and the two of them crossed over dry-shod. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Make your request. What can I do for you before I am snatched away from you?"

"Elisha answered, "Let me inherit a double share of your spirit.

"Your request is difficult," Elijah said. "If you see me while I am being snatched away from you, it will be as you ask; if not, it will not be so."
II KINGS 2:8,10

There were no witnesses at this point. The gap in the Jordan had closed up. The followers from the Brotherhood could no longer follow the two of them. From here on out we're just expected to take Elisha's word on what really went down.

Now as they walked on, talking as they went, a chariot of fire appeared and horses of fire coming between the 2 of them; and Elijah went up to heaven in the whirlwind.

Elisha saw it, and shouted, "My father! My father! Chariot of Israel and its chargers!" Then he lost sightof him, and taking hold of his own clothes he tore them in half.
II KINGS 2:11,12

If Elisha was telling the truth then this was an early X File, predating Ezekiel by centuries. If he was lying then this would be a job for CSI. What do you think? The X Files, or CSI?

He picked up Elijah's cloak which had fallen, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took Elijah's cloak and he struck the water. "Where is Yahweh, the God of Elijah?" he cried. As he struck the water it divided to right and left, and Elisha crossed over.
II KINGS 2:13,14

All Elisha had to do now was sell his wild tale of alien abduction to the Brotherhood.

The brotherhood of prophets saw him in the distance, and said, "The spirit of Elijah has come to rest on Elisha"; they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

Elisha was now the top dog, yet the followers from the Brotherhood still insisted upon conducting a search for Elijah, and they don't sound as if the expected to find him alive. Why look on the ground and under rocks for a man who was alive and well in Heaven above? They weren't buying it. Who would?

"Look," they said, "your servants have fifty strong men with them, let them go and look for your master; the Spirit of Yahweh may have taken him up and thrown him down on a mountain or into a valley."

"Send no one," he replied. But they so shamed him with their insistence that he consented. So they sent fifty men who searched for three days without finding him. They then came back to Elisha who had stayed in Jericho; he said, "Didn't I tell you not to go?"
II KINGS 2:16-18

Elisha didn't take part in the search, but remained in Jericho. 

The Brotherhood spent 3 days searching for Elijah's corpse, but couldn't find where Elisha had hidden it. They couldn't prove foul play without Elijah's corpse. They had little choice but to accept Elisha's specious extraterrestrial encounter into the official record without so much as a crop circle to back it up. That's where faith comes into the picture. Believe it or not.

Elisha was free to go on his way. And along the way he found an opportunity to test out his newly won powers.

From there he went up to Bethel, and while he was on the road, some small boys came out of the town and jeered at him. "Hurry up, baldy!" they shouted. "Come on up, baldy!" He turned round and looked at them; and he cursed them in the name of Yahweh. And two bears came out of the forest and savaged forty-two of the boys.
II KINGS 2:23,24

It's too bad he couldn't have just used his miraculous powers to grow more hair instead of putting a death curse on a group of children with poor manners. Let that be a lesson to all of you. Never tease a bald man. He might be a pissed-off prophet!

Extreme Bible Stories - Don't Dis Elisha!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWkhtcGfdWs

The Bent Bough -- by Richard C. Speaks

The ageless wonders of the heavens
as seen from dingy, drafty caves
All the wisdom of the wise men
didn't save them from their graves

Confounded by the dance of shadows
From thunder storms they cringed in fear
Through nature's ills they saw the proof
of greater powers lurking near

They sought out signs in constellations
and found dark omens to feed their dread
They passed down fables by the campfires
and groveled for their daily bread

They marveled at the solar eye
and at its changing lunar twin
Connecting good to godly favor
they linked all bad to moral sin

Some wise men dug through entrails
Others read the scattered runes
Many dreamt prophetic visions
They all forecast impending doom

They set up many laws of conduct
as their tribes began to grow
Governed by an unseen presence
whose whims the wise men only know

Each tribe had their own deities
that must be bribed through sacrifice
Through faith they knew their gods were real
and that the rest were Man's device


Here's one of my late Grandma's rhymes as a counter-point.

Evolution -- by Ruth E. Towle

The wonders of the universe
From ice to summer heat
Were all created by our God
His works are all complete

But some believe that things evolved
By whirling round in space
Or wiggling in a distant pond
Until they found their place

To those that want to think that way
I know it is their due
But how it fills my heart with joy
To know the Bible's really true

How can the wiggles from a pond
Bring joy and peace and love?
How can evolving things in space
Prepare a home above?

How I would miss the joy and peace
that filled my heart that day
When first I heard salvation's gift
That washed my sins away

The End?

You be the judge.