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We review revelations. You can find it in any bible.
It’s like the voodoo math that happens when you buy a car! The six-winged oxen luxury package plus the eagle who can hunt for you, (we’ll throw in all the eyes) = your imaginary eternal soul.
WOW, that an ending! A real drop the mic moment. You summed up the entire atheist movement in a few short words. There are few moments when I am riveted to the spot but you had me at hello, or should I say, halo…! I plan to get this episode out to as many people, doubters that I can. It’s an amazing episode thank you.
I’ve listened to a couple other podcasts that have done Bible readings/reviews, and while they’re pretty good, you guys should definitely do your own Bible analysis shows. Love the vitriol!
A lot of the insanity of this book stops once you reframe it as an anti-roman treatise, written in code and metaphor to avoid trouble from the empire. The seemingly random numbers of things start making sense for example – they’re not actually numbers, they’re cultural references which let the readers decode the message. Imagine saying nowadays that “Obama employed seven leaders in his electoral campaign, and each of them had thirteen hands” to say in an obfuscated manner that he won only because he got lucky with his campaign and that’s only because of nasty tricks he had his people pull, and doing it in this way because you fear the black obamacopters coming down on you in the night and stealing your guns and jobs and freedoms or whetever. This is further supported by the fact that Nero’s greek name transliterates into Hebrew as the famous 666, since in Hebrew letters were used as numbers (the latin name transliterates as 616, for the record).
When you look at it as a political treatise in code though, all the “these people clearly have no idea how the world works” comments from the ep start sounding sort of groanworthy.
They do still apply to people who believe this book literally, though!
I can’t believe all the flak you guys got for your revelations episode. Sacred cow much?
Cecil you did a great job defending yourself on the air in the episodes following, but one additional thing I’d like to mention is this: A whole lot of your critique during the episode involved the blatantly obvious fact that the level of understanding the author(s) possessed about the world around them was as poor as would be expected of nomadic itinerant goat herders from that age.
This critique remains true regardless of whether the authors were really writing about political struggles of the time! Unless these people think integral to the allegory was to feign ignorance of what stars were!
And more importantly, even the concept that this was an allegory for a political upheaval against the Romans I feel is a dubious and insincere apologetic at best. I find it HARD to believe that the authors sat down and wrote Revelation with the sole intent to convince it’s readers to rebel (or whatever the claim is) against the Romans, and that they had no intention AT ALL of scaring the readers/parishioners into believing the end times were nigh.
Personally I can’t help but find it MUCH more likely that the authors’ intent was similar to that of Christian whackaloons of today preaching that Obama is the antichrist and therefore the endtimes are nigh!
The reason there are references fitting in with the Romans is because the doomsayers were doing the same thing–except they got to write in the details! Today Christian nut jobs struggle to hammer in Obama and current events to fit the details written in Revelation. But the Author whackaloons back then were actually WRITING those details and thus had a much easier task after tailoring things to fit the Romans.
But here’s the key point: The Romans, just like Obama is today, is just the character pointed to that keeps the faithful convinced that the endtimes ARE nigh, and they better be fucking careful and tithe because Jesus is coming and he’s gonna be fucking pissed if we don’t all look busy!
…But who knows, MAYBE convincing the masses to be frightened and stay in line wasn’t the authors intent. MAYBE the authors really were just goat herding political pundits and Armageddon narratives were the talking-heads-news-shows of the day, and it wasn’t until much later that the churches realized Revelation just so happens to be a great tool for keeping the masses of faithful conveniently fearful.
And one additional thing to the email you guys read that was incredulous that you wouldn’t find the bible to be beautiful literature–why should it be?
The purpose of the bible was complex and had many facets, but being a beautiful piece of literature wasn’t one of them. In fact most of the Old Testament was passed down orally, seen in the endless repeating of information and contradiction. The fact that most all characters are woefully undeveloped and one dimensional is also consistent with this. The fact that it in many places reads like a fucking instruction manual is also consistent with this.
It would be like someone 2000 years from now stumbling upon my spam folder full of the change.org newsletters I never read and thinking that that they must have found a treasure trove of beautiful ancient literature because syntax was different back then and it’s old.
Another thing that bothers me is the blind acceptance that in Hebrew Gematria (sp?) that Nero Caeser adds up to 666 or 616. I’ve tried to find tables of values to verify this or some article explaining why certain spellings and certain name orders of Nero and not others were used, and I’ve come up dry. For someone to verify this they’d need to be an expert in quite a few more fields than just biblical studies.
It seems to me that every person I’ve read who repeats this is just taking it on faith that the original claim is true. Considering this is just modern numerology I put it right above the bible code as far as how deliberate it was.
Doing some further research, I am even more skeptical of the Nero/666 inference that is so widely accepted by everyone who saw that same crappy history channel documentary. This isn’t just one notch above the bible code, it’s at the same level.
Using Occam’s razor I would conclude that the number 666 likely is a result of 6 (one less than 7, which is used by all the angels posse) being an evil number so three sixes in a row would be really really really evil number.
I’m sure one of the one hundred-plus different traditional methods of using Gematria to assign number values to names combined with one of the plethora different options to spell names in Hebrew could give Jesus Christ a value of 666 too.
Sorry to keep posting, but as I research more and let the topic turn over in my head, I feel more and more that Cecil and Tom owe not even the slimmest apology nor explanation for the episode.
The people with their panties in a bunch are acting like pseudo intellectuals and have likely just watched the crappy history channel documentary about Revelation and nothing more.
Essentially they are saying “How dare you not respect the unwritten internal memo we wrote after seeing that History Channel show.” Same people who decided because we feel bad about drone strikes that we aren’t allowed to criticize Islam. And they have the nerve to call you guys simple?
The fact that revelation has references that fit well with the roman authority at the time simply confirms Revelation was written at the time. If it were written today, the details would fit well with Obama. None of this is indicative that the prophecy about the apocalypse wasn’t being taken literally.
It’s well known that christ’s followers who were alive at that time thought the end times would happen within their own lifetime. Revelation was written shortly after that, so what leads them to believe they had changed their minds? What leads them to believe it was actually just political commentary and never meant to be taken literally? Was it the advanced intellect prevalant amongst 1st century Christians?
Ridiculous, christian apologetics coming from atheists. Tom and Cecil, thank you for this excellent, informative, and entertaining episode. Please don’t let these pseudo intellectuals make you think otherwise about producing stuff like this in the future.
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