If I could put a thought in a person’s head it would be for them to think for themselves.
If I could put a thought in a person’s head it would be for them to think for themselves.
Apart from the most rabid fundamentalists among us, nearly everyone admits that the Bible might contain errors — a faulty creation story here, a historical mistake there, a contradiction or two in some other place. But is it possible that the problem is worse than that — that the Bible actually contains lies?
Most people wouldn’t put it that way, since the Bible is, after all, sacred Scripture for millions on our planet. But good Christian scholars of the Bible, including the top Protestant and Catholic scholars of America, will tell you that the Bible is full of lies, even if they refuse to use the term. And here is the truth: Many of the books of the New Testament were written by people who lied about their identity, claiming to be a famous apostle — Peter, Paul or James — knowing full well they were someone else. In modern parlance, that is a lie, and a book written by someone who lies about his identity is a forgery.
Most modern scholars of the Bible shy away from these terms, and for understandable reasons, some having to do with their clientele. Teaching in Christian seminaries, or to largely Christian undergraduate populations, who wants to denigrate the cherished texts of Scripture by calling them forgeries built on lies? And so scholars use a different term for this phenomenon and call such books “pseudepigrapha.”
You will find this antiseptic term throughout the writings of modern scholars of the Bible. It’s the term used in university classes on the New Testament, and in seminary courses, and in Ph.D. seminars. What the people who use the term do not tell you is that it literally means “writing that is inscribed with a lie.”
And that’s what such writings are. Whoever wrote the New Testament book of 2 Peter claimed to be Peter. But scholars everywhere — except for our friends among the fundamentalists — will tell you that there is no way on God’s green earth that Peter wrote the book. Someone else wrote it claiming to be Peter. Scholars may also tell you that it was an acceptable practice in the ancient world for someone to write a book in the name of someone else. But that is where they are wrong. If you look at what ancient people actually said about the practice, you’ll see that they invariably called it lying and condemned it as a deceitful practice, even in Christian circles. 2 Peter was finally accepted into the New Testament because the church fathers, centuries later, were convinced that Peter wrote it. But he didn’t. Someone else did. And that someone else lied about his identity.
The same is true of many of the letters allegedly written by Paul. Most scholars will tell you that whereas seven of the 13 letters that go under Paul’s name are his, the other six are not. Their authors merely claimed to be Paul. In the ancient world, books like that were labeled as pseudoi — lies.
This may all seem like a bit of antiquarian curiosity, especially for people whose lives don’t depend on the Bible or even people of faith for whom biblical matters are a peripheral interest at best. But in fact, it matters sometimes. Whoever wrote the book of 1 Timothy claimed to be Paul. But he was lying about that — he was someone else living after Paul had died. In his book, the author of 1 Timothy used Paul’s name and authority to address a problem that he saw in the church. Women were speaking out, exercising authority and teaching men. That had to stop. The author told women to be silent and submissive, and reminded his readers about what happened the first time a woman was allowed to exercise authority over a man, in that little incident in the garden of Eden. No, the author argued, if women wanted to be saved, they were to have babies (1 Tim. 2:11-15).
Largely on the basis of this passage, the apostle Paul has been branded, by more liberation minded people of recent generations, as one of history’s great misogynists. The problem, of course, is that Paul never said any such thing. And why does it matter? Because the passage is still used by church leaders today to oppress and silence women. Why are there no women priests in the Catholic Church? Why are women not allowed to preach in conservative evangelical churches? Why are there churches today that do not allow women even to speak? In no small measure it is because Paul allegedly taught that women had to be silent, submissive and pregnant. Except that the person who taught this was not Paul, but someone lying about his identity so that his readers would think he was Paul.
It may be one of the greatest ironies of the Christian scriptures that some of them insist on truth, while telling a lie. For no author is truth more important than for the “Paul” of Ephesians. He refers to the gospel as “the word of truth” (1:13); he indicates that the “truth is in Jesus”; he tells his readers to “speak the truth” to their neighbors (4:24-25); and he instructs his readers to “fasten the belt of truth around your waist” (6:14). And yet he himself lied about who he was. He was not really Paul.
It appears that some of the New Testament writers, such as the authors of 2 Peter, 1 Timothy and Ephesians, felt they were perfectly justified to lie in order to tell the truth. But we today can at least evaluate their claims and realize just how human, and fallible, they were. They were creatures of their time and place. And so too were their teachings, lies and all.
So if God went to hell to fight the devil and he kills the devil, where does the devil go?
Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes.1 The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $59 billion.2
Thankfully, there are effective measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from alcohol-impaired driving.
Drivers with prior driving while impaired (DWI) convictions:
Traffic stops where law enforcement officers assess drivers’ level of alcohol impairment. These checkpoints consistently reduce alcohol-related crashes, typically by 9%.
Devices that are installed in the vehicles of people who have been convicted of driving while impaired. They prevent operation of the vehicle by anyone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above a specified safe level (usually 0.02% – 0.04%). When installed, interlocks are associated with about a 70% reduction in arrest rates for impaired driving.
Effective measures include:
Areas for continued research:
The more alcohol you consume, the more impaired you become.
Learn how your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) affects your ability to drive.
Whenever your social plans involve alcohol, make plans so that you don’t have to drive after drinking. For example:
A cop pulled me over and asked “Did you have anything to drink tonight?”, I said “No ociffer, just this water here on my lap” the officer picked up the bottle and said “That’s wine” I stuck my head out the window and yelled “Jesus, you did it again”.
Plastic surgery is all over the media these days, touted by top stars as their means of attaining physical “perfection”. It has become accepted and indeed commonplace in today’s society, especially with the advent on non-invasive procedures such as Botox. In fact, in 2007 the American Society of Aesthic Surgery reported that almost 13.2 billion dollars was spent on plastic surgery, a 17% increase over the previous year. The total number of people undergoing cosmetic procedures has skyrocketed by 457% and growing since the statistics began to be recorded, and nearly 11.7 million surgical and non surgical procedures were performed in the year 2007. Statistics are unavailable for the year 2010, but the media coverage and public awareness keep growing at astronomical rates. Plastic surgery can be extremely addictive; people get hooked on the rush or high of being “beautiful” or being just like popular celebrities, often at their own detriment.
“I woke up to an ex girlfriend rubbing my face, I asked her what she was doing, she said trying to erase that ugly mark”
Reverse the positions of adversaries. The phrases is often used when the weaker position subsequently becomes dominant.
Games like backgammon are known as ‘tables’ games. The phrase ‘turn the tables’ derives from these games and from the practise of reversing the board so that players play from their opponent’s previous position.
The first known example of the figurative use of the phrase in print is in Robert Sanderson’s XII sermons, 1634:
“Whosoever thou art that dost another wrong, do but turn the tables: imagine thy neighbour were now playing thy game, and thou his.”
Turning the tables is only good if your are the one doing the turning, otherwise you have to eat the crap on the other person’s plate.
You may think you have a good idea about addiction already, but these 10 surprising facts about addiction may challenge the beliefs you have about it. Please continue reading to learn more.
1. Drug and/or alcohol addiction is surprisingly common. Approximately 1 out of every 8 Americans is living with some form of addiction. This includes drugs and alcohol. Since this figure only includes known cases of addiction, the true figure may be much higher.
2. Rates of addiction to drugs and alcohol are on the rise. The number of people who are living with some type of addiction has been increasing steadily over the past decade or two. This is hardly surprising, since almost 50 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 21 have admitted to using drugs and/or alcohol.
3. Approximately 15 percent of children under the age of 18 have admitted to experimenting with illegal drugs . These kinds of activities are on the rise, despite educational programs designed to help kids “Just say no” to drugs.
4. One-quarter of Grade 8 students admit to smoking marijuana regularly , and just over 30 percent of high school students smoke pot. The good news is that overall use of illegal drugs seems to be on the decline, but that doesn’t mean there is not a significant problem with drug addiction.
5. Addiction to prescription drugs is a growing problem among young people . OxyContin and Vicodin are not illegal when prescribed by a physician. They are addictive, and have become increasingly popular among drug users. Using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes is being used at approximately the same rate as marijuana among people between the ages of 12-20.
6. Approximately 70 percent of people who are using illegal drugs are employed . The fact that they have a drug problem means increased costs to the employer in terms of absenteeism, decreased productivity and staff turnover.
7. Ninety percent of muggings and property crimes (theft) are related to drugs . 70 percent of all crimes involving violence were committed by someone under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
8. The average drug addict needs to come up with $200 per day to support his or her addiction . If an addict resorts to stealing to get money for drugs, he or she will need to steal approximately $1,000 worth of property to raise $200.
9. One-quarter of all hospital admissions are related to alcoholism . The total cost to society each year due to alcohol and/or drug addiction is estimated to be $250 billion per year.
The last item on this list of 10 surprising facts about addiction is probably the one that will amaze you the most :
10. Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is a problem for approximately 30 million people in the United States alone . Addictions to these substances and the mental health issues that go along with them are one of the most serious health problems that are affecting modern society today.