Why are so many young French people turning to jihad?



The scrapbook is filled with photographs and tributes: they show Dominique Bons' son Nicolas growing from a teenager into a young man.
Offering brief glimpses of past holidays and family moments, clues to his passions and personality, the book is one of Bons' few souvenirs of her son's short life.
Nicolas, from Toulouse, converted to Islam four years ago, gradually becoming more and more devout.
Bons, who is a former French soldier, says Nicolas had never spoken to her about wanting to join a religious war, but last year the 30-year-old announced he and his half-brother were going on vacation together.
Three weeks later he called to say they were in Syria -- two of the more than 900 French citizens the government believes are involved in the jihad there and in Iraq.

Within days, his half-brother was killed, and shortly afterward he spoke to his mother for the last time, telling her she would be notified if anything happened to him.
In late December, Bons received a text message explaining that Nicolas has been killed in "an explosives operation" -- that's all she knows.
"The body? There is no body... I don't have a body," she says. "If he was killed in a truck filled with explosives, the body... boom!"
Because no body has been recovered, there is also no death certificate, meaning that --officially at least, in France -- Nicolas is still alive.
For his mother, he always will be. In her grief, she has written a poem -- added to the treasured scrapbook -- telling her son: "You will exist in my heart eternally. I love you."
Unlike Bons, one anonymous French bus driver knows his daughter is still alive in Syria -- but he is desperately worried that may not be the case for much longer.

The man -- who asked not to be identified out of concern for his daughter's safety -- says the 23-year-old converted to Islam and married a Tunisian man before moving to Syria with the couple's two children.
The couple said they were going there to do humanitarian work; they are now believed to be in Raqqa, and safe -- for the moment at least -- but the city, an ISIS stronghold, is a target of coalition forces.
And both father and daughter fear she could be arrested if she comes back to France.
He has a warning for other parents: "Pay attention... it could happen to you before you even know it."
David Thomson, author of "The French Jihadists," believes there are many reasons why so many French Muslims are becoming radicalized and heading to Iraq and Syria to join militant groups.
"Religious frustrations, material frustrations, perhaps a feeling that it would be a sin to stay back in France, a desire to experience this historic moment and die fighting the coalition," he explains.
Concerned at the growing threat of radicalization, French authorities have introduced new regulations in an effort to stem the tide of citizens traveling to the Middle East to join the fight.

"We had to change our rules in different ways," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius explained to CNN's Christiane Amanpour recently.
"First we decided that the government, the administration, would be able to suspend not only passports but also ID for people whose intention is to go to Syria."
The second step is to encourage families concerned at the path their children appear to be taking to contact the authorities and report their fears.
"Because we have many cases where families do not agree with the youngster and at the moment they are aware that the young people want to leave and therefore they have to get in touch with us in order to have a reaction," he said.
"We have to be very, very strict and to explain to these young people, especially the young girls -- 13, 14 years old -- that if they are going there, some of them think that it will be a new life, [but] in fact they are prostitutes, they are sexual slaves.
"The young people are utilized and many of them are killed."
Fouad El Bathy has spent the past nine months trying to bring his teenage sister safely home from Syria before it is too late.
Nora, 16, was recruited and given a plane ticket to join the fight in Syria, according to French intelligence.
Fouad is convinced she is being held against her will, and took the risky step of trying to find her and get her back -- he was even taken captive at one point.
But when he finally tracked her down, he couldn't convince her to leave.
"I told her to come back with me but she cried and beat her head against the wall and she said I can't I can't."
Later he was told the leader of the group wanted to marry her.
Since Nora is a minor, El Bathy's lawyer hopes that if she does make it back he can persuade French officials to treat her as a victim not a combatant.
Like El Bathy and Bons, the relatives of many of those caught up in the jihadists' web say they feel powerless to protect their children and siblings.
Bons has set up an organization aimed at publicizing what has happened to some of those who have made the trip to Iraq and Syria.
She hopes that by spreading the news through schools and social media, she can convince others of the dangers posed by Islamist extremists -- though for her son, it is too late.

CNN
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10 Myths About Atheists


1) Atheists Believe Everything Came From Nothing

Many theists believe there was once nothing, and then there was something—the universe—created by their god. And so they ask, “But if there is no god then how can something come from nothing?”
This question has been asked for thousands of years, but now Quantum physics has provided a basis for some atheists, such as Lawrence Krauss, to indeed believe the universe comes from “nothing.” But Krauss doesn’t speak for all atheists and he speaks of a very different kind of “nothing,” the kind where virtual particles are created from borrowed energy inside a vacuum. This is not even remotely close to what theists mean by the term “nothing.”
When asked about the universe, most atheists simply stop somewhere along the lines of “the evidence suggests the universe began expanding approximately 13.77 billion years ago.” Beyond that I’m fine with “I don’t know.” I don’t need to know. I do not believe the universe came from “nothing” in the way theists use the word or in the way Krauss uses the word. I don‘t think there’s enough evidence to reach a conclusion yet and I‘m fine with that. I’ve never met an atheist who believed everything comes from “nothing“ in the way theists use the word and in my experience, only a minority subscribe to the theory Krauss puts forward. Theists may believe the universe sprang from nothing, but they then have the burden of proving there was ever “nothing” and that “something” requires any gods at all.


2) Atheists Have No Morals

Humans are social beings, and as such we have morals. Some theists say atheists have no reason to be moral since we don’t believe in a god to instruct or punish us. This claim seems rather disingenuous when one considers that most theists who say this wouldn’t become immoral deviants overnight if they suddenly stopped believing in a god.
Studies have shown our morals are a product of multiple factors. The Milgram experiment shows authority plays a major role. The Stanford prison experiment showed the same, but also displayed the role of social hierarchy. The “good or evil” puppet test for babies suggests we are all born with a basic sense of fairness, justice, and unfortunately, bigotry. Human morality is too complex to be explained by religion or lack of it.
Millions of atheists across the globe live moral lives every day. Some don’t. Neither do some believers. There are atheist charities and atheist criminals. There are religious charities and religious hate groups. Religious people and atheists can both behave morally or immorally because of—or wholly independent of—their religious beliefs. One doesn’t necessarily lead to the other. Studies have shown the basis of human morality is present even before we’re exposed to religion.


3) Atheists Have No Meaning of Life

Even if humanity survives the next 5 billion years on this planet, the sun will balloon into a red giant, boil and possibly devour the earth before exploding and blasting out through the cosmos. The universe will continue to expand at an increasing rate, and eventually the force of gravity will be too weak for any new stars or planets to form. The universe will whither and die.
Some theists consider this and think without belief in an afterlife, nothing really matters in this life. Believing in an afterlife can influence one’s meaning of life, but a meaning of life doesn’t require belief in an afterlife. Some theists refer to Nietzsche’s nihilism as if Nietzsche were the be-all and end-all of existentialist philosophy. But humans generally define our meaning in the moments we enjoy and the goals we set. This was probably best articulated by Albert Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus.
I enjoy every moment I spend with my daughter, and one of my goals is to be a good father. I enjoy art, and one of my goals is to read, hear and see more of it. I like a large, hot cup of coffee while watching the dim glow of morning just before dawn. I love the serenity of canoeing on a sunny day and the soft crunch of fresh snow beneath my feet. I enjoy my friends and my family. Atheism does give life meaning because as an atheist, I understand this is the only life I’ve got.

4) There Are No Atheists in Foxholes

Yes there are. They even have a website. Nonetheless there persists among some this belief that atheism is generally disingenuous and that everyone cries out to “God” in times of need. This claim highlights a conflicting epistemology between the theist who is basing beliefs in part on fear and need, and the those of us who determine beliefs based on facts and evidence.
Their assumption also implies that when a theist cries out “Oh God,” they are literally trying to talk to “God.” I have several religious family and friends who say “Oh God” in all sorts of scenarios but are rarely actually trying to carry on a conversation with The Almighty. Even a theist saying “Oh God” in a foxhole is most likely not actually expecting divine intervention. The phrase is generally used in the same way as “Oh Shit,” which generally doesn’t involve any reference to actual shit. Even so, there are millions of people who’ve encountered life threatening situations and didn’t cry out about god, shit or anything else.

5) Atheists Just Hate God

About as much as we hate unicorns. Theists tend to make this claim when atheists assert moral opinions about supposed deeds of their deity. “How can you have opinions about something you don’t believe in?” The same way we form opinions about Darth Vader, Willy Wonka or the Wicked Witch of the West—according to their role within the story. It doesn’t matter if the story involves a Sith killing all the Jedi kids or a god killing a nation’s first born.
Just repeating the claim back usually gets the point across. Do Christians “hate” Allah? Do Muslims “hate” Jesus? Do Jews “hate” the FSM? Not believing in a particular religion is not dependent on a negative opinion of that religion’s deity or messiah figure. It’s simply the result of not being convinced because the burden of proof has not been met. I personally think Buddha and Lao Tzu both had great things to say, but I’m not a Buddhist or a Taoist.

6) Atheists Just Don’t Want to Submit to God

Well, one would first need to provide reason for believing there is anything to submit to. Lacking belief in deities doesn’t mean one doesn’t want to submit to what they don’t believe in. Like number 5, the point can be made rather easily by simply repeating this back to the theist. Does the Christian lack belief in Allah just because she doesn’t want to wear a hijab? Do non Catholics lack belief in Catholicism simply because they don’t want to submit to the Pope? Do Muslims lack belief Jesus was the embodiment of “God” simply because they want to continue justifying child marriages with the actions of their so-called prophet?


7) Atheists Are Angry

There once was a time when challenging religion was considered taboo. Some would like to hold on to that standard to save their religion from scrutiny. Those days are over, but that doesn‘t mean being skeptical of religion means skeptics are angry.
Being confrontational does not equate to anger. If someone told you Elvis was spotted buying T-shirts at K-Mart, their claims would be analyzed, scrutinized, debunked and in most cases, outright laughed at. I see no reason why it should be any different for religious claims.


8) Atheists Are Responsible for the Worst Atrocities in History

Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao were all atheists, so atheism must be responsible for the mass executions during said reigns—or so the accusation goes. This statement is usually a retort to blaming Christianity for the Crusades or Islam for terrorism. The fact of the matter is there have been Christians, atheists, Muslims and many others of different beliefs and non beliefs who have committed multiple atrocities throughout history. But there have also been some of the kindest deeds in history performed by people of all kinds of belief and non belief.
Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao did not execute people in the name of atheism, but rather for simply not submitting to them as if they were gods themselves. There is a long list of atheist politicians who never committed atrocities. Claiming atheism would lead to disastrous atrocities like those witnessed in the early Soviet Union is a hasty generalization fallacy which ignores all the good deeds of decent atheist politicians throughout time.


9) Atheists Are Guilty of “Scientism”

It must be difficult holding beliefs which cannot be justified with evidence. This leads some theists to conclude atheists all subscribe to “scientism.” This term is meant as an insult against skeptics for daring to ask for evidence when confronted with extraordinary claims.
Scientism is a philosophy which holds that science is the ultimate truth, and that science is the only way to truth. But preferring science to superstition doesn’t mean science is always correct. Scientists are humans and can make mistakes like anyone else. However, the methodology of science does work. That doesn’t mean science is the only way to truth. It just means it’s an effective method of attaining natural truths.
Many atheists are equally skeptical of science and religion. My first assignment in my college statistics class was to find three examples of misused data in the media. This same task had been given to each class for over a decade and no two people ever turned in the same three examples. I have also studied philosophy, including philosophy of science, and so I understand science can be wrong. I have yet to meet an atheist who believes scientists are infallible.


10) Atheists Are All Rational and Logical

This is one I hear mostly from other atheists. Some atheists like to consider themselves more rational than theists and ask why we should call ourselves atheists at all, as opposed to calling ourselves rationalists or some other such term.
But all atheists are not rational. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in deities. There are atheists who believe in homeopathy, ancient aliens, 911 conspiracy theories and a host of other completely irrational ideas unsupported by any stretch of logic. Just because someone arrived at the rational non belief in deities does not mean they are rational about everything else.

By : Lee Myers
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7 Facts That Shatter the Theories About Who Really Wrote the Bible




Moses Did Not Write the Torah/Pentateuch

Jews and Christians widely believe that Moses wrote the first five books in the Bible. However, beginning with some medieval rabbis, doubts have been raised. Among the details that challenged the notion that Moses was the author are as follows:
  • The Edomite kings listed in Genesis 36 did not live until after Moses was dead.
  • Moses is referred to in the third person in several passages.
  • There are places named that Moses could not have known (he never entered the Promised Land).
  • The Hebrew of the text includes terms that were developed long after Moses’ death.
  • Moses’ death is included in Deuteronomy.
  • Camels are listed in Abraham’s retinue, but camels were domesticated around 1000, long after Abraham (1550 B.C.) and even Moses (1250 B.C.)..
  • In Deuteronomy 34, the writer says, “There never arose another prophet in Israel like Moses.” It didn’t seem to make sense that Moses — or even God, in Moses’ time — would write such words

    The Gospels Are Not Eyewitness Accounts?

    The four canonical Gospels in the New Testament were originally anonymous. The names of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not attached to them until the second century.
    As is the case with all the Gospels, it is unknown exactly when the Gospel of Mark was written. Most scholars believe that it was written by a second-generation Christian, around or shortly after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple in year 70.
    Numerous early sources say that Mark’s material was dictated to him by St. Peter, who later compiled it into his Gospel. The Gospel, however, appears to rely on several underlying sources, which vary in form and in theology, and which go against the story that the Gospel was based on Peter’s preaching.
    Biblical scholars generally hold that Matthew was composed between the years c. 70 and 100 and the author was probably a Jewish Christian writing for other Jewish Christians.
    As is the case of the Gospel of Luke, scholars have proposed  a range of dates from as early as 60 A.D. to as late as 90 A.D. and it was penned by the same author who wrote Acts of the Apostles.
    A majority of scholars find it unlikely that John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John because the Gospel is a deeply meditated representation of Jesus’ character and teachings rather than a plain account of Jesus’ ministry.


    Matthew and Luke are a Plagiarized Version of Mark?

    Although it is unknown exactly how the four canonical Gospels were composed, a popular theory among scholars is the two-source hypothesis. The hypothesis puts the Gospel of Mark being written first and then the authors of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke using Mark and a hypothetical Q document, in addition to some other sources, to write their individual Gospels. The three Gospels are called the Synoptic Gospels since they are so very similar.
The Q document, also called the Q source, Q Gospel  or Q (from German: Quelle, meaning “source”) is a hypothetical written collection of sayings from Jesus (the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer) that is believed, by some scholars, to be the source of the material found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke but not in the Gospel of Mark.
According to this hypothesis, verbal agreements between Matthew and Luke suggest the non-Markan material must have been taken from a written, not oral, source. Since Q does not contain any Passion story, this has led some researchers to conclude that whoever first wrote the document must have regarded Jesus as a teacher of wisdom and nothing more.

Apostle Paul Only Wrote Half of Those Letters?

According to renowned biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman, Paul only wrote seven of 13 books attributed to him in the New Testament
The remaining books are forgeries, Ehrman says. His proof: inconsistencies in the language, choice of words and blatant contradiction in doctrine.
For example, Ehrman says the book of Ephesians doesn’t conform to Paul’s distinctive Greek writing style. He says Paul wrote in short, pointed sentences while Ephesians is full of long Greek sentences (the opening sentence of thanksgiving in Ephesians unfurls a sentence that winds through 12 verses, he says).
The scholar also points to a famous passage in 1 Corinthians in which Paul is recorded as saying that women should be “silent” in churches and that “if they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home.”
Only three chapters earlier, in the same book, Paul is urging women who pray and prophesy in church to cover their heads with veils, Ehrman says: “If they were allowed to speak in chapter 11, how could they be told not to speak in chapter 14? 

 


Daniel Is ‘Prophecy-After-The-Fact’ ?
The Book of Daniel is often paired with the Book of Revelation as providing the road map of future end-time events. Many alleged prophecies in Daniel were fulfilled, but most scholars of the Book of Daniel conclude that so-called “prophecies” were only produced “after the fact” or ex eventu. This is a position reached by first examining the historical, theological and literary nature of the Book of Daniel.
Some scholars say Daniel might actually be a Jew from the Hellenistic period, not a person from the Babylonian court and the book itself betrays more than one author. Chapters 1–6 were written in Aramaic, while chapters 7–12 are in Hebrew. Daniel makes many historical errors when talking about the Babylonian period, the time in which he supposedly lived. For example, he claims that Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but the Nabonidus Cylinder found in Ur names Nabonidus as Belshazzar’s actual father. Also, Belshazzar was a crown prince but never a king, contrary to Daniel’s claim.
In Daniel 5:30, Daniel writes that a certain Darius the Mede conquered Babylon. It was actually Cyrus the Great, a Persian and not a Mede, who overthrew Babylon.
On the other hand, Daniel writes about events of the Hellenistic era with extreme accuracy.

John Did Not Write Revelation?
The traditional view that Jesus’ disciple John wrote the Book of Revelation was questioned as early as the third century. Christian writer Dionysius of Alexandria, using the critical methods still employed by modern scholars, spotted the difference between the elegant Greek of John’s Gospel and the crudely ungrammatical prose of Revelation. The works could not have been written by the same person.
Ehrman, who charges in his book Forged that half the New Testament is forged, says that Jesus’ original disciples, John and Peter, could not have written the books attributed to them in the New Testament because they were illiterate.
“According to Acts 4:13, both Peter and his companion John, also a fisherman, were agrammatoi, a Greek word that literally means ‘unlettered,’ that is, ‘illiterate,’ ’’ he writes.
It’s likely that Revelation might have been originally written even before Christianity existed. References to Jesus Christ would then have been inserted only later to Christianize the document. Surprisingly, the verses containing references to Jesus can be removed without disturbing the structure and flow of the surrounding verses, keeping the meaning and sense of the text intact. This suggests that the original Book of Revelation had nothing at all to do with Jesus.



Bible Stories Borrowed From Ancient Mythology?
There are almost 3,000 years of high culture and folklore predating the book of Genesis. Two-thirds of recorded  history had already taken place before the Old Testament writers had ever stepped on the scene.
Judaic similarities with Egyptian other ancient religious mythology can be found as early as the book of Genesis,  Where the Ten Commandments resemble the Laws of Ma’at written in the Egyptian Book of the Dead:
Commandments: Egyptian Book of the Dead (circa 1800 B.C.) vs. Ten Commandments (1491 B.C.):
Book of the Dead: “I have done away sin for thee and not acted fraudulently or deceitfully. I have not belittled God. I have not inflicted pain or caused another to weep. I have not murdered or given such an order. I have not used false balances or scales. I have not purloined (held back) the offerings to the gods. I have not stolen. I have not uttered lies or curses.”
Exodus 20:7-16: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. … Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery … Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor…”
There is also ample evidence of similarities between Jesus and the Egyptian gods Horus and Osiris, and the Flood narrative in the Bible and the Mesopotamia story of Gilgamesh which can be read here.



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30 Famous Logos That Have A Hidden Message








   
























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God, Darwin and My College Biology Class


EVERY year around this time, with the college year starting, I give my students The Talk. It isn’t, as you might expect, about sex, but about evolution and religion, and how they get along. More to the point, how they don’t.

I’m a biologist, in fact an evolutionary biologist, although no biologist, and no biology course, can help being “evolutionary.” My animal behavior class, with 200 undergraduates, is built on a scaffolding of evolutionary biology.

And that’s where The Talk comes in. It’s irresponsible to teach biology without evolution, and yet many students worry about reconciling their beliefs with evolutionary science. Just as many Americans don’t grasp the fact that evolution is not merely a “theory,” but the underpinning of all biological science, a substantial minority of my students are troubled to discover that their beliefs conflict with the course material.
Until recently, I had pretty much ignored such discomfort, assuming that it was their problem, not mine. Teaching biology without evolution would be like teaching chemistry without molecules, or physics without mass and energy. But instead of students’ growing more comfortable with the tension between evolution and religion over time, the opposite seems to have happened. Thus, The Talk.

There are a few ways to talk about evolution and religion, I begin. The least controversial is to suggest that they are in fact compatible. Stephen Jay Gould called them “nonoverlapping magisteria,” noma for short, with the former concerned with facts and the latter with values. He and I disagreed on this (in public and, at least once, rather loudly); he claimed I was aggressively forcing a painful and unnecessary choice, while I maintained that in his eagerness to be accommodating, he was misrepresenting both science and religion.
In some ways, Steve has been winning. Noma is the received wisdom in the scientific establishment, including institutions like the National Center for Science Education, which has done much heavy lifting when it comes to promoting public understanding and acceptance of evolution. According to this expansive view, God might well have used evolution by natural selection to produce his creation.
This is undeniable. If God exists, then he could have employed anything under the sun — or beyond it — to work his will. Hence, there is nothing in evolutionary biology that necessarily precludes religion, save for most religious fundamentalisms (everything that we know about biology and geology proclaims that the Earth was not made in a day).

So far, so comforting for my students. But here’s the turn: These magisteria are not nearly as nonoverlapping as some of them might wish.
As evolutionary science has progressed, the available space for religious faith has narrowed: It has demolished two previously potent pillars of religious faith and undermined belief in an omnipotent and omni-benevolent God.

The twofold demolition begins by defeating what modern creationists call the argument from complexity. This once seemed persuasive, best known from William Paley’s 19th-century claim that, just as the existence of a complex structure like a watch demands the existence of a watchmaker, the existence of complex organisms requires a supernatural creator. Since Darwin, however, we have come to understand that an entirely natural and undirected process, namely random variation plus natural selection, contains all that is needed to generate extraordinary levels of non-randomness. Living things are indeed wonderfully complex, but altogether within the range of a statistically powerful, entirely mechanical phenomenon.

A few of my students shift uncomfortably in their seats. I go on. Next to go is the illusion of centrality. Before Darwin, one could believe that human beings were distinct from other life-forms, chips off the old divine block. No more. The most potent take-home message of evolution is the not-so-simple fact that, even though species are identifiable (just as individuals generally are), there is an underlying linkage among them — literally and phylogenetically, via traceable historical connectedness. Moreover, no literally supernatural trait has ever been found in Homo sapiens; we are perfectly good animals, natural as can be and indistinguishable from the rest of the living world at the level of structure as well as physiological mechanism.
Adding to religion’s current intellectual instability is a third consequence of evolutionary insights: a powerful critique of theodicy, the scholarly effort to reconcile belief in an omnipresent, omni-benevolent God with the fact of unmerited suffering.

Theological answers range from claiming that suffering provides the option of free will to announcing (as in the Book of Job) that God is so great and we so insignificant that we have no right to ask. But just a smidgen of biological insight makes it clear that, although the natural world can be marvelous, it is also filled with ethical horrors: predation, parasitism, fratricide, infanticide, disease, pain, old age and death — and that suffering (like joy) is built into the nature of things. The more we know of evolution, the more unavoidable is the conclusion that living things, including human beings, are produced by a natural, totally amoral process, with no indication of a benevolent, controlling creator.

I CONCLUDE The Talk by saying that, although they don’t have to discard their religion in order to inform themselves about biology (or even to pass my course), if they insist on retaining and respecting both, they will have to undertake some challenging mental gymnastic routines. And while I respect their beliefs, the entire point of The Talk is to make clear that, at least for this biologist, it is no longer acceptable for science to be the one doing those routines, as Professor Gould and noma have insisted we do.
Despite these three evolutionary strikes, God hasn’t necessarily struck out. At the end of the movie version of “Inherit the Wind,” based on the famous Scopes “monkey trial” over a Tennessee law prohibiting the teaching of evolution, Spencer Tracy’s character, fashioned after the defense attorney Clarence Darrow, stands in the empty courtroom, picks up a Bible in one hand and Darwin’s “Origin of Species” in the other, gives a knowing smile and claps them together before putting both under his arm. Would that it were so simple.
--------------------------
David P. Barash is an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology at the University of Washington and the author, most recently, of “Buddhist Biology: Ancient Eastern Wisdom Meets Modern Western Science.”



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Facts That Shatter the Theories About Who Really Wrote the Bible - part 2


Read PART ONE HERE

Facts That Shatter the Theories About Who Really Wrote the Bible - part 1

 


Daniel Is ‘Prophecy-After-The-Fact’ ?

The Book of Daniel is often paired with the Book of Revelation as providing the road map of future end-time events. Many alleged prophecies in Daniel were fulfilled, but most scholars of the Book of Daniel conclude that so-called “prophecies” were only produced “after the fact” or ex eventu. This is a position reached by first examining the historical, theological and literary nature of the Book of Daniel.
Some scholars say Daniel might actually be a Jew from the Hellenistic period, not a person from the Babylonian court and the book itself betrays more than one author. Chapters 1–6 were written in Aramaic, while chapters 7–12 are in Hebrew. Daniel makes many historical errors when talking about the Babylonian period, the time in which he supposedly lived. For example, he claims that Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but the Nabonidus Cylinder found in Ur names Nabonidus as Belshazzar’s actual father. Also, Belshazzar was a crown prince but never a king, contrary to Daniel’s claim.
In Daniel 5:30, Daniel writes that a certain Darius the Mede conquered Babylon. It was actually Cyrus the Great, a Persian and not a Mede, who overthrew Babylon.
On the other hand, Daniel writes about events of the Hellenistic era with extreme accuracy.



John Did Not Write Revelation?

The traditional view that Jesus’ disciple John wrote the Book of Revelation was questioned as early as the third century. Christian writer Dionysius of Alexandria, using the critical methods still employed by modern scholars, spotted the difference between the elegant Greek of John’s Gospel and the crudely ungrammatical prose of Revelation. The works could not have been written by the same person.
Ehrman, who charges in his book Forged that half the New Testament is forged, says that Jesus’ original disciples, John and Peter, could not have written the books attributed to them in the New Testament because they were illiterate.
“According to Acts 4:13, both Peter and his companion John, also a fisherman, were agrammatoi, a Greek word that literally means ‘unlettered,’ that is, ‘illiterate,’ ’’ he writes.
It’s likely that Revelation might have been originally written even before Christianity existed. References to Jesus Christ would then have been inserted only later to Christianize the document. Surprisingly, the verses containing references to Jesus can be removed without disturbing the structure and flow of the surrounding verses, keeping the meaning and sense of the text intact. This suggests that the original Book of Revelation had nothing at all to do with Jesus.





 


Bible Stories Borrowed From Ancient Mythology?

There are almost 3,000 years of high culture and folklore predating the book of Genesis. Two-thirds of recorded  history had already taken place before the Old Testament writers had ever stepped on the scene.
Judaic similarities with Egyptian other ancient religious mythology can be found as early as the book of Genesis,  Where the Ten Commandments resemble the Laws of Ma’at written in the Egyptian Book of the Dead:
Commandments: Egyptian Book of the Dead (circa 1800 B.C.) vs. Ten Commandments (1491 B.C.):
Book of the Dead: “I have done away sin for thee and not acted fraudulently or deceitfully. I have not belittled God. I have not inflicted pain or caused another to weep. I have not murdered or given such an order. I have not used false balances or scales. I have not purloined (held back) the offerings to the gods. I have not stolen. I have not uttered lies or curses.”
Exodus 20:7-16: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. … Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery … Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor…”
There is also ample evidence of similarities between Jesus and the Egyptian gods Horus and Osiris, and the Flood narrative in the Bible and the Mesopotamia story of Gilgamesh which can be read here.



Continue Reading.... Résuméabuiyad

Facts That Shatter the Theories About Who Really Wrote the Bible - part 1





Moses Did Not Write the Torah/Pentateuch

Jews and Christians widely believe that Moses wrote the first five books in the Bible. However, beginning with some medieval rabbis, doubts have been raised. Among the details that challenged the notion that Moses was the author are as follows:
  • The Edomite kings listed in Genesis 36 did not live until after Moses was dead.
  • Moses is referred to in the third person in several passages.
  • There are places named that Moses could not have known (he never entered the Promised Land).
  • The Hebrew of the text includes terms that were developed long after Moses’ death.
  • Moses’ death is included in Deuteronomy.
  • Camels are listed in Abraham’s retinue, but camels were domesticated around 1000, long after Abraham (1550 B.C.) and even Moses (1250 B.C.)..
  • In Deuteronomy 34, the writer says, “There never arose another prophet in Israel like Moses.” It didn’t seem to make sense that Moses — or even God, in Moses’ time — would write such words

    The Gospels Are Not Eyewitness Accounts?

    The four canonical Gospels in the New Testament were originally anonymous. The names of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not attached to them until the second century.
    As is the case with all the Gospels, it is unknown exactly when the Gospel of Mark was written. Most scholars believe that it was written by a second-generation Christian, around or shortly after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple in year 70.
    Numerous early sources say that Mark’s material was dictated to him by St. Peter, who later compiled it into his Gospel. The Gospel, however, appears to rely on several underlying sources, which vary in form and in theology, and which go against the story that the Gospel was based on Peter’s preaching.
    Biblical scholars generally hold that Matthew was composed between the years c. 70 and 100 and the author was probably a Jewish Christian writing for other Jewish Christians.
    As is the case of the Gospel of Luke, scholars have proposed  a range of dates from as early as 60 A.D. to as late as 90 A.D. and it was penned by the same author who wrote Acts of the Apostles.
    A majority of scholars find it unlikely that John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John because the Gospel is a deeply meditated representation of Jesus’ character and teachings rather than a plain account of Jesus’ ministry.


    Matthew and Luke are a Plagiarized Version of Mark?

    Although it is unknown exactly how the four canonical Gospels were composed, a popular theory among scholars is the two-source hypothesis. The hypothesis puts the Gospel of Mark being written first and then the authors of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke using Mark and a hypothetical Q document, in addition to some other sources, to write their individual Gospels. The three Gospels are called the Synoptic Gospels since they are so very similar.
    The Q document, also called the Q source, Q Gospel  or Q (from German: Quelle, meaning “source”) is a hypothetical written collection of sayings from Jesus (the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer) that is believed, by some scholars, to be the source of the material found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke but not in the Gospel of Mark.
    According to this hypothesis, verbal agreements between Matthew and Luke suggest the non-Markan material must have been taken from a written, not oral, source. Since Q does not contain any Passion story, this has led some researchers to conclude that whoever first wrote the document must have regarded Jesus as a teacher of wisdom and nothing more.


    Apostle Paul Only Wrote Half of Those Letters?

    According to renowned biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman, Paul only wrote seven of 13 books attributed to him in the New Testament
    The remaining books are forgeries, Ehrman says. His proof: inconsistencies in the language, choice of words and blatant contradiction in doctrine.
    For example, Ehrman says the book of Ephesians doesn’t conform to Paul’s distinctive Greek writing style. He says Paul wrote in short, pointed sentences while Ephesians is full of long Greek sentences (the opening sentence of thanksgiving in Ephesians unfurls a sentence that winds through 12 verses, he says).
    The scholar also points to a famous passage in 1 Corinthians in which Paul is recorded as saying that women should be “silent” in churches and that “if they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home.”
    Only three chapters earlier, in the same book, Paul is urging women who pray and prophesy in church to cover their heads with veils, Ehrman says: “If they were allowed to speak in chapter 11, how could they be told not to speak in chapter 14?
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Facts That Shatter the Theories About Who Really Wrote the Bible - part 2 

 

 

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