So… this is where the Bible tells people not to believe in evolution? Or something? Or not?

Cidu Bill on Mar 20th 2017


Filed in Bill Bickel, Bizarro, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor | 54 responses so far

54 Responses to “So… this is where the Bible tells people not to believe in evolution? Or something? Or not?”

  1. Kilby Mar 20th 2017 at 12:36 pm 1

    As you can clearly see, this was all very intelligently designed. And if you happen to hear somebody behind the fourth wall laughing out loud, you’re mistaken about that, too.

  2. James Pollock Mar 20th 2017 at 12:38 pm 2

    The Bible also says something about not letting transgender people use the bathroom, and Jesus is quoted as saying “Love thy neighbor, unless he’s a Muslim”. It’s quite plain.

  3. Targuman Mar 20th 2017 at 01:18 pm 3

    Perhaps a reference to the recent discoveries that Neanderthals and humans were likely kissing?

    There are those who reconcile the biblical creation account with evolution. Evolution occurred outside the Garden and then Adam and Eve were banished out into that world of evolutionary creatures. So this comic would be inline with that, but given what I know of Piraro I doubt he was trying to support any such theory.

    One more: God is perhaps saying, “Fake news!”

  4. Zookeeper Mar 20th 2017 at 01:21 pm 4

    I love this, it makes you think on different levels. Nice touch all around…”You’re mistaken.” Hah!

  5. James Pollock Mar 20th 2017 at 01:49 pm 5

    The “the Bible says no evolution” interpretation arises on three fronts, both requiring the “every word in the Bible is inerrantly true, even the parts that disagree with each other” understanding. Of course, there’s nothing in the Bible that says “evolution does not happen”, because the guys who wrote the thing had no idea about evolution in the first place.

    First, there’s “young Earth”. Some person went through the Bible and calculated how long ago creation must have been, and came up with an answer of “6000 years ago”, and since evolution takes much longer to give us the speciation that we see, evolution is contrary to the Bible. Except… the Bible doesn’t say “and there wasn’t any other stuff that happened that we didn’t write down.” The timeline from creation to present-day isn’t all recorded.

    The second one is related. God created the Universe in six days. Six days is incompatible with “millions of years”. Unless… God measured the time of creation differently than we do.

    Third, there’s the notion that God created the animals as He intended, and therefore the notion that they are changing, however slowly, implies that God didn’t know what he was doing, and We Can’t Have That Idea Floating Around. This is similar to the resistance to heliocentricity… it’s not really based on Scriptural interpretation.

    My own theology is not hampered by a “every word in the Bible is interrantly true, because it’s the word of God and therefore can’t be anything other than true (even the parts that contradict each other).” Even if you accept that every word is direct from God (and I do not), that doesn’t mean it must therefore be true. God may have looked down upon the shepherds of the field and thought to Himself “these blokes are NOT ready for orbital mechanics or evolution by natural selection. I’ll give ‘em the old ’six day’ story, which should keep them satisfied until they figure it out.” YMMV.

  6. billybob Mar 20th 2017 at 02:51 pm 6

    Adam, I am your Father!

  7. Blinky the Wonder Wombat Mar 20th 2017 at 03:13 pm 7

    I read this a slightly different way in light of our new anti-fact culture: don’t believe what your eyes tell you but accept the administration’s narrative.

  8. Joseph K. Mar 20th 2017 at 03:14 pm 8

    There is pie in paradise.

  9. Joseph K. Mar 20th 2017 at 03:14 pm 9

    There is pie in paradise.

  10. James Pollock Mar 20th 2017 at 03:49 pm 10

    “There is pie in paradise.”

    Sure. Just drop the A,R,A,D and S.

  11. Kevin Mar 20th 2017 at 03:58 pm 11

    On the sixth day God created “mankind” and told them to “Be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:26-28)

    But on roughly the third day (before he had made rain fall on the earth Genesis 2:5), he created “a man” who he put in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:7-8)

    Later God created Eve (Genesis 2:22) .

    That means Adam and Eve, who knew nothing of sex (Genesis 2:25) lived at the same time as mankind who were told to have sex and reproduce (Genesis 1:28)

    Which explains how Cain was able to get married because he went to live among mankind (Genesis 4:16-17)

  12. james Mar 20th 2017 at 04:07 pm 12

    Headcannon: Adam and Eve were created 6,000 years ago. Everyone living before then didn’t count. (It would explain how their kids were able to find spouses and why God was worried about people persecuting Cain).
    Alternative Headcannon: Adam and Eve were the first Cro-Magnons.
    Alternative spelling: Headcanon

  13. James Pollock Mar 20th 2017 at 04:13 pm 13

    A fun question to ask fundamentalists who are certain that they, and only they, know the word of God:

    “How do you know He didn’t give me different directions than He gave you?”

    This never seems to occur to them naturally, despite Scriptural support for God giving different instructions to different people. (The people who lived outside of Eden being just one of a very long line of examples.)

  14. DmL Mar 20th 2017 at 06:41 pm 14

    As a thiest and someone sympathetic to pseudoscience, I find this very funny!

  15. Blinky the Wonder Wombat Mar 20th 2017 at 11:22 pm 15

    James Pollack- it’s also fun to have them explain why there are two different creation stories in Genesis.

  16. Boise Ed Mar 20th 2017 at 11:39 pm 16

    A friend of mine once had a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on his door. He invited them in with a straight face, asking them to resolve a biblical matter. He showed them 1 Kings 7:23: “He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.” Then he went to 2 Chronicles 4, which says the same thing. Then he pulled a 10-inch dinner plate from the shelf and measured it with a flexible tape. “See, now this plate is 10 units wide,” he showed them, “but 30 units only gets me part-way around it.” They sputtered for a bit, said they’d have to consult their Elder, and never came back.

    Another is this item.

  17. Cidu Bill Mar 21st 2017 at 01:15 am 17

    I had an interesting encounter with a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses some 20 years ago. I stepped outside pointed to the mezuzzah on my doorjam, and told them “You can see that we’re Jewish. Do you understand how disrespectful it is for you to knock on our door on a Saturday morning to tell us your religion is better than ours?”

    One of them said “You’re right,” and apologized, and they never knocked on our door again.

    And yes, I still can’t believe it was that easy.

  18. Proginoskes Mar 21st 2017 at 03:49 am 18

    @ James Pollock [10]: You beat me to it.

    @ Kevin [11]: Also, if Adam and Eve hadn’t had sex, Genesis 3:16 (”in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children”) should have elicited a “huh?” response. … As to how Cain got married, in one of the books that didn’t make it into the Bible, it is revealed that Cain and Abel were born, each with a girl (fraternal twins).

    @ Boise Ed [16]: There’s lots of fun stuff like that in

    Finally … What kind of Designer creates a platypus? Not an intelligent one …

  19. Cidu Bill Mar 21st 2017 at 04:41 am 19

    Oh come on, Proginoskes, if you were the Designer, you wouldn’t create a platypus just for fun? Or a panda just because they’re so damn cute?

  20. Kilby Mar 21st 2017 at 07:33 am 20

    @ Bill (17) - A well-known German comedian (Dieter Nuhr) once quipped that he wouldn’t shut the door on Witnesses, he’d invite them in, let them speak their piece (because it’s so wonderfully scary - like a horror movie), and then he’d return “I believe the human body was created for the purpose of ecstasy“, and watch their eyes turn blank.

    P.S. I’ve never had them knock on our door here, but if that were a problem, would it be morally reprehensible to install a faux mezuzzah as a defensive ploy?

    P.P.S. Showing up at the door with a big pot of spaghetti and playing the Pastafarian card just wouldn’t carry the same weight.

  21. Rayal Mar 21st 2017 at 08:01 am 21

    @Boise ed: In regard to your circumference quote, it is quite clear from the cartoon that there was pie in the garden of eden.

  22. Powers Mar 21st 2017 at 09:20 am 22

    James (#5): “The timeline from creation to present-day isn’t all recorded.”

    It isn’t, because the Bible wasn’t written in the present day. But the timeline from creation to Jesus can be sussed out because of the genealogies presented in various books. It requires some assumptions about fathers’ ages at birth of their children, but you can get a reasonable estimate at least.

  23. Targuman Mar 21st 2017 at 09:51 am 23

    ProginoskesMar you write “As to how Cain got married, in one of the books that didn’t make it into the Bible, it is revealed that Cain and Abel were born, each with a girl (fraternal twins).”

    I do not pretend to know everything about the Bible and its ancient interpretation, but I am actually a scholar of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature. (Really, it’s what the university pays me to do, believe it or not.) I have read a LOT of curious interpretations of Genesis but I have never come across this book that “didn’t make it into the Bible” that refers to fraternal twins. Can you give me a reference? I am very interested to see it!

  24. DemetriosX Mar 21st 2017 at 01:08 pm 24

    @Boise Ed (16): The diameter/circumference thing has always felt like a weak argument to me. It’s just an approximation, not to mention the lack of precise measuring methods in the Bronze Age. Maybe it’s because I studied engineering, and that’s what an engineer would use for an initial, back-of-the-envelope calculation.

    @Proginoskes: What kind of Designer creates a platypus? As I recall, it was a bunch of slightly befuddled wizards trying to explain a duck to the Creator.

  25. Scott Mar 21st 2017 at 01:27 pm 25

    Powers@22. The timeline from Adam to Noah is complete, with ages when the next in line was born and when each died. I worked it out myself once. All the patriarchs were dead before the Flood happened, by the way. So there is no room for long stretches of time to match the Bible with reality. It is just a myth. When I went to Hebrew School they didn’t even pretend the Flood and Creation were history - history started with Abram. In any case, you can get a pretty good estimate of time between Adam and known history.

    James Pollock@5 - an accurate creation story does not need particle physics. I wrote up one myself once that people 2700 years ago could probably understand. Getting the order of creation right would be a start. Saying the universe was created a long time ago, as many Eastern religions say, would help too.

  26. Scott Mar 21st 2017 at 01:30 pm 26

    Cidu Bill@17
    I never played the Jewish card on JWs, but I did on a pair of Baptists. They responded by telling me that I would be damned unless I found Jesus. I responded with my patented 2000 years of oppression rant. They never came back.
    The last JW who came brought a little kid, to keep from getting yelled at, I think. I politely asked her to defend creationism. She couldn’t - and she never came back either.

  27. Targuman Mar 21st 2017 at 01:42 pm 27

    Scott@25 - The Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) were all AFTER the Flood.

  28. James Pollock Mar 21st 2017 at 04:06 pm 28

    “an accurate creation story does not need particle physics.”
    OK. The parts that seem to be giving us trouble, however, were orbital mechanics (notably, heliocentricity, but lunar behavior, too) and evolution by natural selection. I mean, ALL of the cosmology of the Bible is ludicrous, but it took time to work it all out, and the shepherds had to keep watch on their flocks. So, opening the vaults of heaven to let the waters flow through, or halting the sun in its course across the sky, or the Earth as a flat circle rather than a sphere… these guys worked with what they had, you know?

    The ancients would have accepted evolution by UNnatural selection… they were farmers, and they understood selective breeding… but it might have taken them a bit to get the notion that speciation occurs without a divine force, as well.

    They might’ve been able to get the water cycle… the ones who lived near the sea, anyways.

    Look, throughout the Bible, God identifies Himself as the “father”. This is because in those societies, dad was the ultimate authority. But… when a kid asks a question that the kid is not quite ready for… notoriously, “where do babies come from?”… sometimes dad tells a little fib, about storks or cabbage leaves or whatnot. I’m extending that concept to a whole new order of magnitude. So when the shepherds of the field as God “say, are we the center of the Universe?”, and God, in His infinite Wisdom says “these guys probably aren’t ready to hear a spiral arms of galaxies and quantum redshift, so, um, sure, you’re the center of the Universe, that little piece of ground you’re standing on.”
    If you buy into this notion, then stuff can be the literal Word of God, and still be something you should have figured out by now.

    Ultimately, the Bible has something in it for everybody. All you have to do is ignore the parts that don’t match up to what you want to do, and there’s Scriptural support for every position there is. Back before the Civil War, a favorite pastine was the abolitionists and the slavers throwing Bible verses at each other. It is apparently possible to look at the teachings of Jesus and discover that he was pro-rich people (properity gospel is actually a thing.)
    Famously, a good number of political “Christians” would utterly reject Jesus as a political candidate, because of his positions on the issues… pro-tax, pro-separation of Church and State, anti-death-penalty, and pro-tolerance for people of differing religious practices (Hint: That’s what the parable of the Good Samaritan was all about… to Jesus’ audience, there was no such thing as a “good” Samaritan.)

  29. Boise Ed Mar 21st 2017 at 04:20 pm 29

    JP [5]: John Lightfoot came up with that in 1644 and James Ussher in 1658. I particularly like that Lightfoot even proclaimed that Creation started at 9 AM.

    Proginoskes [18] and Rayal [21]: :-)

    DemetriosX [24]: Is that like tweeting “wiretap” in quotation marks, so one can fudge on it later?

    Targuman [27]: Did they come in a patri-ark?

  30. Grawlix Mar 21st 2017 at 09:39 pm 30

    Are we making fun of religion again?

    @#15: Could the answer be that the narrative shifts because there were more than one author, and each had a different viewpoint?

    @ others: It seems to me life is about bumping into people who won’t happen to share your religious (or non-religious) background, perhaps challenging your own particular viewpoint. I don’t see that as a bad thing. Is the takeaway from this discussion that we should cynically troll others for being different from us instead of seeking a common ground?

  31. Arthur Mar 21st 2017 at 11:22 pm 31

    Grawlix, bumping into people and having conversations about
    everything, including religion, is fine. The problem for some of
    us is when people interrupt you at home specifically in order to
    attempt to persuade you to abandon your current religion and
    join theirs. Some people feel it’s a physical imposition version
    of spam, and (almost) whatever you do to such people is
    justified. Thus the trolling.

  32. James Pollock Mar 21st 2017 at 11:23 pm 32

    “Could the answer be that the narrative shifts because there were more than one author, and each had a different viewpoint?”

    Fundamentalists will not accept any answer that depends on any part of the Bible written by any man. They start with the assumption that the exact words of the Bible (mistranslations and all) must be literal truth because these are the exact words chosen by God, and (says their logic) if they’re the exact words of God they MUST BE true and correct in all aspects. There’s no room for ambiguity caused by translation (in some cases, translations of translations or even more levels in indirection), by changes in the meanings of words over time, by the fact that big chunks of the original books were oral tradition for dozens of generations before they were ever written down, or any such nonsense. There’s no point in arguing matters like this with a person who will use faith as an argument; it’s true because they WANT it to be true and no amount of facts is sufficient.

    So, with some people, you can have a discussion of allegory, of poetic phrasing not meant to be taken literally, of the reasons why the shepherds in the field saw casting out of devils as medical treatment just because the germ theory of disease was still a couple of dozen centuries away from being discovered.

    Pointing out that “we believe it’s the word of God, therefore it’s all literally true” is a non-sequitur is not a discussion some people will entertain. Pointing out “why do you hate the Muslims so badly? They’re praying to the same God you are.” is not a discussion some people will entertain. Pointing out “look, antibiotics work. Modern medicine isn’t in the Bible, but it works anyway.” is not a discussion some people will entertain. Telling someone “No, sir, Obama didn’t tapp your wires” is not a discussion some people want to have. No, sir, it wasn’t the British, either.

    Everybody’s religion has some wacky things in it that make sense to the adherents of that religion, but just look nutty to outsiders. You can have a good sense of humor about it, or you can have murderous rage, but it turns out that neither one changes anything.

  33. Meryl A Mar 22nd 2017 at 01:02 am 33

    The (reform) rabbi who taught my confirmation class (not bas mitzvah, this is 10th grade) told us that the orthodox believe that the Torah was dictated to Moses while he was getting the ten commandments by God, but that it is obvious from differences and other oddities that it was written by different people at different times.

    One thing that surprised me is that my husband told me that he did not learn Bible when he went to Roman Catholic religious education. He told me that every year they just repeated the story of Jesus and what one has to do - there were no other stories from any part of the Bible. He used to confused at references to things from the Bible as he had not learned them (amazingly I knew more of the New Testament than he did). When we got married I figured we should have both versions of the Bible in the house so I bought one for him - go figure I bought the Protestant version - I didn’t know they were different.

    Also most people do not realize that the Jewish day starts the night before the day because it says so in the Torah. Paraphrase as I am not running upstairs for my copy -There was darkness and there was light - the first night and the first day.

  34. Olivier Mar 22nd 2017 at 10:22 am 34

    Targuman @23 : regarding these stories of twins, I think it’s mostly rabbinic speculation but Wikipedia says these details figure in Islamic versions of the Old Testament ( , in the “In psychoanalytic theory” paragraph).

  35. Targuman Mar 22nd 2017 at 11:28 am 35

    Olivier @32 Thank you! I have not come across that in the midrashim and will look again. It is certainly a typical rabbinic answer to such a problem. Checking…and it is Bereshit Rabbah 22:7 and it is attributed to Rab Huna. It is in reference to a gap in Gen. 4:8 (“…and Cain said to his brother Abel. And when they were in the field…” Most English translations provide something for Cain’s statement to his brother, but there is nothing in the Hebrew text. It must have dropped out in transmission. A rare occurrence.) The natural question is “what did Cain say to Abel?” and the discussion moves from there.

    “… about what was their quarrel? Said R. Huna: An additional twin was born with Abel, and each claimed her. The one claimed: ‘I will have her, because I am the firstborn’; while the other maintained: ‘I must have her, because she was born with me.’”

    This midrash actually is saying that Abel was born a triplet! “An *additional twin* was born….” So the argument was about who should claim the additional woman. Not very progressive, I know.

    So, there it is! Thank you Olivier.

    To be clear for others who are still reading this thread, the midrashim are not, however, “books that didn’t make it into the Bible.” They are rabbinic (i.e., early Jewish) commentaries on Scripture, in this case probably from the 1-3 century CE. They do not propose to present some “lost text” but rather they are collections of the rabbis’ efforts to interpret and understand the texts.

  36. Targuman Mar 22nd 2017 at 11:29 am 36

    And in case one would like to read the midrash itself, in Hebrew or English:

  37. Boise Ed Mar 22nd 2017 at 01:27 pm 37

    Well said, James [32], well said.

    Targuman [35]: I’m a bit surprised that the word before Rabbah in your second line got past the Wordpress autocensor.

  38. Christine Mar 22nd 2017 at 04:57 pm 38

    James Pollock - I’ve encountered the argument that the New Testament supports killing others where necessary. (Granted, this wasn’t so much cherry-picking a verse as really twisting it around - “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. “)

    And you forgot the tautology of “we can believe the Bible because it says so in the Bible” (as well as every variant involving “how can anyone read the Bible and not believe in God*?”

    *in the exact same way I do

    DemetriosX - I was doing an assessment for learning disabilities while in undergrad, and managed to get the “what’s the volume of this cylinder” wrong. The guy doing my assessment knew I was in engineering, and was dumbfounded. I had to explain that when you round to pi = 3, you get mistakes like that. He still didn’t get it, so I had to explain about the pi = 2 digital hack (and how I had a class where the prof threatened to deduct marks if we used more than 2 significant digits).

  39. Grawlix Mar 22nd 2017 at 06:25 pm 39

    Meryl A @#33: This link appears to address your comments regarding some Catholics not having read the Bible. To be brief, I think historically it’s more of a Protestant thing to study the Bible for oneself.

    @ evryone else: Although I’ve “bumped into” some of the neighborhood-roaming religious groups mentioned above, I’ve still managed to escape unscathed. :-) Some of the comments suggested baiting people into giving answers you know you’d disagree with just so you can beat them down. Doesn’t seem constructive to me.

    It’s easy to pick on fundamentalists, but oddly enough, the religious people I know in my area tend to be more moderate and respectful than extreme. I’m more apt to run into atheists telling me the whole concept of religion is foolish than fundamentalists tying to convert me. There are a couple of atheists in a club I belong to and more than one occasion have they made derogatory comments regarding religion during meetings (including one very long fiery rant), for no reason I could fathom. How’s that any better than some random guy telling you he has some “good news” for you?

    I consider myself a moderate I just wish both ends of the spectrum could find some kind way to get along.

  40. DemetriosX Mar 23rd 2017 at 05:41 am 40

    @Boise Ed: Nah, it’s just a first approximation for getting a ballpark figure. You do quick and dirty calculations with rounding, gravity is 10 m/sec^^2, that sort of thing, try and keep an eye on whether you’ve mostly rounded up or down, add or subtract 10% accordingly, and wind up with a rough idea. Then you go back to the office, sit down and do real calculations.

    @Meryl: Yeah, the Catholic bible has a few extra bits: additional verses to Esther and Daniel, an addendum to Ecclesiates, plus Tobit and two books of the Maccabees. Some of that might be in the Hebrew bible, but not the Protestant Old Testament. I’m not sure about that, though

  41. Targuman Mar 23rd 2017 at 03:33 pm 41

    @DemetriosXMar The books in the Catholic Bible that are not in the Jewish or Protestant canon are called either the “Apocrypha” or the “Deuterocanon.” They were all written by Jewish authors in the final 2-3 centuries of the prior Era, (i.e., 300-1 BCE), but are not a part of the Jewish canon (Hebrew Bible). There are debates about that passages here and there might have been edited by later Christian authors, but on the whole they are Jewish texts that largely fell out of circulation in the Jewish communities because of Christian appropriation.

  42. Christine Mar 24th 2017 at 08:39 am 42

    @Boise Ed - to further explain the really rough numbers, to calculate one thing that you need for design work (e.g. the size of a spring), you often need to know numbers for other parts of the design (say, how much the object weighs). Since you don’t know any of the numbers when you start, you have to start with a bunch of guesses that you can plug in for your first round of calculations, which you then repeat using numbers that you calculated the first time, and so on until your numbers stop changing. Given how many calculations you’re going to be doing, there’s no point in wasting time calculating things well for the first set (these days, the computer will often do all your further rounds, so there’s really no point in spending *your* time doing the calculations).

    And the Deuterocanonical books also include things like Esdras, which the Catholics don’t accept either.

    @Grawlix While Catholic have a reputation for not reading the Bible, I find that a lot of the groups who make a big deal about this (generally Evangelicals) have a tendency to overstate their Bible literacy. My favourite is “Bible Study”, which isn’t what it says, it’s just a group of people getting together and reading the Bible. Maybe having a discussion about how it made them feel. (Group Lectio Divina for those for whom that makes sense.) I agree with you about atheists who get loud (I’m well aware that it isn’t all atheists, just a very vocal subset. The ones who make it an identity). I’ve head a theory that a lot of those problems come because many North American atheists are former fundamentalists, which gives them a grudge against religion (and a skewed view of what theists believe), and a bit of an unhealthy view of how to discuss one’s beliefs, because their formative years were spent in an environment which had unhealthy views on how to discuss belief.

  43. Winter Wallaby Mar 24th 2017 at 11:55 am 43

    Bill #17 / Scott #26: I’ve had JW and Mormons come to my door multiple times at different addresses. In each case, I’ve been (I hope) polite, and in some cases invited them inside for lengthy discussions. Typically they’ve asked at the end if they could come back, and I’ve said yes. Even so, in some cases they didn’t come back for a 2nd visit. No one has ever come back for a 3rd visit. Presumably even religious fanatics have some sense of when they’re wasting their time.

  44. Winter Wallaby Mar 24th 2017 at 12:00 pm 44

    Christine #42: While many Protestants may overestimate their Bible literacy, there is a real difference between Catholics and Protestants, in that many Evangelical groups have historically said that the Bible is their sole source of inspiration and knowledge, whereas the Catholic church has not said that. So (most) Protestants are at least supposed to know their Bible, unlike Catholics. In fact, pre-Vatican II, many/most Catholics were discouraged from reading the Bible.

    I have a friend who was raised in a strict Catholic environment, but no longer believes, and more recently went (once) to an atheist discussion group. His summary was “It was just like the Catholic school I went to when I was little. We sat around in a circle and talked about how stupid all other religions are.”

    (BTW, to chime in, I agree with the other scientists/engineers on this thread that pi * 10 = 30 is a perfectly reasonable calculation.)

  45. James Pollock Mar 24th 2017 at 01:50 pm 45

    “I’ve had JW and Mormons come to my door multiple times at different addresses.”

    I used to live in a college town year-round. In the summer, there are various events held on campus. There’s a couple of weeks of cheerleader camps (every available bit of lawn covered in high-school-age young women throwing each other at the sky, and USUALLY catching them.) OK, this IS cult-like activity, but the one that I really want to talk about is the gathering of Mormons in the basketball arena. I think it was training camp for the young men about to leave on their missions, because every night, thousands of pairs of young, white men in black pants and crisp white shirts would jump on bicycles and and ride away, in all different directions.

  46. Targuman Mar 24th 2017 at 02:06 pm 46

    @Christine The books of 1 and 2 Esdras (or 3 and 4 Esdras in the old numbering where Ezra and Nehemiah were called 1 and 2 Esdras) are not in the Deuterocanon but are technically a part of the Apocrypha. (This is broader than the DC by three texts the Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh.) So you are correct, they are not held to be “canonical” by the Western Church although they are in the Eastern.

  47. Targuman Mar 24th 2017 at 02:07 pm 47

    (So it was my sloppy note #41 that conflated Apocrypha and Deuterocanon. Sorry about that!)

  48. Boise Ed Mar 24th 2017 at 06:23 pm 48

    WW [44]: It’s a perfectly reasonable estimation, like converting yards to meters by adding 10%.

    Targuman [46]: I wonder if anyone publishes a book of all of these stories that are known, whether or not they’re approved by any particular church organization.

  49. Targuman Mar 24th 2017 at 06:41 pm 49

  50. Cidu Bill Mar 24th 2017 at 11:52 pm 50

    Winter Wallaby (43), the way I understand it, “wasting their time” isn’t a factor. I’m sure they can go their entire lives withour actually converting anybody. The obligation is to offer the message.

    That said, they’re not likely to return someplace when they’ve specifically been asked not to, because they’re not a@@@@@@s.

  51. Winter Wallaby Mar 25th 2017 at 11:38 am 51

    Bill #50: Yeah, but I said they were welcome to come back, so in my case, they wouldn’t have been a@@@@s. For whatever reason, they felt there was no point in offering the message again.

  52. Christine Mar 25th 2017 at 08:32 pm 52

    @Targuman - I didn’t actually know that the Deuterocanon and Apocrypha weren’t the same, so I guess I’m one of today’s 10,000 (or is that not cool enough for the reference to count?) And my understanding was that Esdras (I’m not going into the numbering, because it’s confusing as all get out) was only accepted by *some* of the Eastern churches.

  53. Meryl A Mar 29th 2017 at 02:11 am 53

    One thing that seems wrong to me is that while many Protestant groups tend to say that the Bible has to be taken literally and followed exactly - the do not circumcise their sons as the Old Testament tells them to do and more of them should have beards as the OT tells them to.

    Very interesting interview on the last page of the current Time magazine. I am too lazy to go upstairs and get it, so I cannot provide the name of the person, a write, being interviewed. He speaks pro women and LGBT(etc).

    According to him, it can be interpreted that male and female are both in Adam - especially before he is named making the concept of both in one - or one not being the gender they were born - date to Eden. He also talks about Eve should not be blamed - Adam could have avoided eating the apple (pomegranate?) and women should not be considered cursed by same. Further God said to be fruitful and multiply - not get married and be fruitful and multiply. It is a short one page interview.

  54. James Pollock Mar 29th 2017 at 05:25 am 54

    “One thing that seems wrong to me is that while many Protestant groups tend to say that the Bible has to be taken literally and followed exactly - the do not circumcise their sons as the Old Testament tells them to do and more of them should have beards as the OT tells them to.”

    The early Church struggled with the question… did converts to Jesus’ Church have to adopt all of the Jewish fate (meaning circumcision for adult male converts and the dietary laws) or could they skip the parts of the OT that they didn’t like (again, meaning circumcision for adult male converts and the dietary laws) under the premise that Jesus came and changed the rules. The leadership decided that Jesus’ message was meant for all people, and not just people who happened to be Jewish, and therefore people who were interested in converting to Jesus’ Church were not required to first become Jewish.
    Of course, the result lacks any sort of consistency. Fundamentalists get all atwitter over gay people, because the Old Testament says, sort of, not to be gay. But Jesus never said anything about the topic, at least, not anything that was written down. But the OT has all those dietary laws that are clearly and extensively laid out, and those same gay-criticizing fundamentalists happily eat bacon cheeseburgers.

    I fall back on a simple observation: Have you ever noticed that whenever anybody starts talking about what God wants, it always seems to turn out that that thing is also what the person speaking for God wants.

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