26 March 2015

It's time to remove Leviticus 20:13 from the Bible

It would save Christians a lot of embarrassment.

Here is the verse:

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13

How many Bible believers still believe that this verse was inspired by God? How many would be willing to do what it so clearly says to do?

Even Bob Jones III is now embarrassed by Leviticus 20:13. This wasn't always the case, however. Here's what he said in 1980:

It would not be a bad idea to bring the swift justice today that was brought in Israel's day against murder and rape and homosexuality. I guarantee it would solve the problem posthaste if homosexuals were stoned.
In his recent apology to Bob Jones University, he had this to say:
Upon now reading these long-forgotten words, they seem to me as words belonging to a total stranger—were my name not attached. ... The Bible I love, preach, and try to practice, does not present today the stoning of sinners as God’s way.
But the statement that he makes in his apology is simply not true. As long as Leviticus 20:13 remains in the Bible, the Bible does "present today the stoning of sinners as God’s way."

It's time for believers to admit that Leviticus 20:13 was not inspired by God. It was never a good idea to stone homosexuals. It is wrong today, it was wrong in 1980, and it was wrong when the verse was first written.

Any book that contains an idea like that expressed in Leviticus 20:13 is not a good book. Why not begin the process of making it one by removing this evil verse?

It would, at least, be a good place to start.

23 March 2015

EJ&T Psalms 61-150: Make a loud noise on God's holy hill

In the Every Jot and Tittle project, I am listing all of the Bible's commandments from Genesis to Revelation, in accordance with Jesus's words in Matthew 5:18-19. I have no idea how many commandments I'll find, but Jewish tradition claims there are 613. See here for a list of those that I've found so far.

  1. Pour out your heart to God.
  2. Pour out your heart before him. Psalm 62:8

  3. Don't trust in oppression.
  4. Trust not in oppression. Psalm 62:10

    Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. Proverbs 3:31

  5. If you become wealthy, don't value your riches too much.
  6. If riches increase, set not your heart upon them. Psalm 62:10

  7. Make a joyful noise to the Lord.
  8. Make a joyful noise unto God. Psalm 66:1

    Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Psalm 81:1

    Make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Psalm 95:2

    Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth. Psalm 98:4

    With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. Psalm 98:6

    Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Psalm 100:1

  9. See the terrible things that God has done (and continues to do) to people.
  10. Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men. Psalm 66:5

  11. Acknowledge God's strength.
  12. Ascribe ye strength unto God. Psalm 68:34

  13. Don't harden your heart.
  14. Harden not your heart. Psalm 95:8

  15. Bless God's name.
  16. Bless his name. Psalm 96:2, Psalm 100:4

  17. Make a loud noise.
  18. Make a loud noise. Psalm 98:4

  19. Exalt the Lord.
  20. Exalt ye the LORD our God. Psalm 99:5

    Exalt the LORD our God. Psalm 99:9

  21. Worship at God's footstool.
  22. Worship at his footstool. Psalm 99:5

  23. Worship at God's holy hill.
  24. Worship at his holy hill. Psalm 99:9

  25. Know that the Lord is God.
  26. Know ye that the LORD he is God. Psalm 100:3

  27. Talk about all of God's wondrous works.
  28. Talk ye of all his wondrous works. Psalm 105:2

  29. Praise the name of the Lord.
  30. Praise the name of the Lord. Psalm 113:1

    Praise ye the name of the LORD. Psalm 135:1

  31. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary.
  32. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary. Psalm 134:2

17 March 2015

EJ&T Psalms 31-60: Don't worry, be happy

In the Every Jot and Tittle project, I am listing all of the Bible's commandments from Genesis to Revelation, in accordance with Jesus's words in Matthew 5:18-19. I have no idea how many commandments I'll find, but Jewish tradition claims there are 613. See here for a list of those that I've found so far.

  1. Be brave.
  2. Be of good courage. Psalm 31:24

  3. Be glad in the Lord.
  4. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. Pslam 32:11

    Delight thyself also in the LORD. Pslam 37:4

  5. Magnify the Lord.
  6. O magnify the LORD with me, , and let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:3

  7. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
  8. O taste and see that the LORD is good. Psalm 34:8

  9. Don't say evil things.
  10. Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Psalm 34:13

  11. Seek peace, and pursue it.
  12. Seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 34:14

  13. Don't worry about evildoers.
  14. Fret not thyself because of evildoers. Psalm 37:1

    Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Psalm 37:7

    Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. Psalm 37:8

  15. Don't envy the bad guys.
  16. Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. Psalm 37:1

    Envy thou not the oppressor. Proverbs 3:31

  17. Rest in the Lord.
  18. Rest in the Lord. Psalm 37:7

  19. Wait for God.
  20. Wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

  21. Don't be angry.
  22. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. Psalm 37:8

  23. Clap your hands and shout to God.
  24. O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Psalm 47:1

  25. Walk around Zion.
  26. Walk about Zion. Psalm 48:12

  27. Listen to Psalm 49.
  28. Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world Psalm 49:1

  29. Gather God's saints.
  30. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. Psalm 50:5

  31. Listen to God.
  32. Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. Psalm 50:7

    Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces. Psalm 50:22

  33. Make vows to God.
  34. Pay thy vows unto the most High. Psalm 50:14

  35. When you're in trouble, ask God for help.
  36. Call upon me [God] in the day of trouble. Psalm 50:15

  37. Cast your burden upon the Lord.
  38. Cast thy burden upon the LORD. Psalm 55:22

12 March 2015

Has there ever been a just or righteous person?

For those of you who read my last two posts, this must seem like a silly question. The Bible clearly says there are just and righteous people.

The Bible describes in great detail the characteristics of just and righteous people. Just people, for example, never get near menstruating women; and righteous people rejoice while washing their feet in the blood of the wicked. It may be hard to find people like that anymore, but their existence is assumed in dozens of verses throughout the Bible.

And while it is true that there are only two people in the Bible who were both just and righteous (Lot and Noah), there were quite a few that were one or the other.

Here's a list of the Bible's just people:

  1. Lot (2 Peter 2:7)
  2. Noah (Genesis 6:9)
  3. Joseph (Mary's husband) (Matthew 1:19)
  4. Simeon (Luke 2:25)
  5. John the Baptist (Mark 6:20)
  6. Joseph of Arimathaea (Luke 23:50-51)
  7. Cornelius the centurion (Acts 10:22)

And the Bible's righteous people:

  1. Abel (Hebrews 11:4, Matthew 23:35)
  2. Lot (2 Peter 2:7-8)
  3. Noah (Genesis 7:1; Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 2 Peter 2:5)
  4. Daniel (Ezekiel 14:14, 20)
  5. Job (Ezekiel 14:14, 20)
  6. David (2 Samuel 22:25)
  7. Zacharias son of Barachias (Matthew 23:35)
  8. Elisabeth (Luke 1:6)
  9. Zachariah (Luke 1:6)
So the Bible is clear about just and righteous people: there have been plenty of them.

But then there's this strange statement:

For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Ecclesiastes 7:20
And these verses, saying that no one is clean or righteous. We are all just a bunch of unclean, unrighteous, filthy rags.
What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Job 15:14

We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6

Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. Isaiah 41:26

There is none righteous, no, not one. Romans 3:10

So I give up. According to the Bible, has anyone ever been just or righteous?

It's a simple question. Is there a Bible believer who can answer it for us?

For more on this topic see Has there ever been a just person? and Has there ever been a righteous person?.

11 March 2015

Who were the just and righteous people in the Bible?

If you took yesterday's just and righteous test, you probably failed. It's hard to avoid menstruating women these days, and not many people are willing to rejoice as they wash their feet in wicked people's blood. In fact, with qualifications like that, I wonder if there are any just and righteous people alive today -- outside of card-carrying members of the Islamic State, anyway.

There weren't many in the Bible, either. Only two were said to be both just and righteous: Lot and Noah. Here are their biblical credentials:

God ... delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 2 Peter 7:8

Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9

And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Genesis 7:1

The Bible doesn't say much else about these two, except that:

Noah, the just and righteous, got drunk after the flood and lay around naked in his tent. When his son Ham happened to see his father in this condition, Noah cursed not Ham, who supposedly saw Noah naked, but his grandson Canaan and all of Canaan's descendants with slavery. Genesis 9:20-25

And the just and righteous Lot offered his daughters to a crowd of angel rapers, and then later got drunk and impregnated them (his daughters, that is, not the angel rapers). Genesis 19:8, 32-38.

So don't feel bad if you failed the test. Who would want to join a club with members like that?