By Kelly Granite Enck, Comprised During Bible College
1. How many books are in the Bible?The Bible contains 66 books, divided among the Old and New Testaments.
2. How many books are in the Old TestamentThere are 39 books in the Old Testament.
3. How many books are in the New TestamentThere are 27 books in the New Testament.
4. What does "testament" mean?Testament means "covenant" or "contract." New Testament means-New Covenant
5. Who wrote the Bible?Many different authors wrote the Bible, historians believe the scribes were highly educated, because most people could not write during this period in time. They transcribed the stories that were being told, by word of mouth, with one exception in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul, who wrote seven of the 13 books attributed to him. Paul was a Jewish Pharisee, and a highly educated "convert" to Christianity. The Bible is the historical account of the Jewish people’s lives, their culture, and the laws and regulations of their religion. The New Testament was added to the Torah (Old Testament) in the early 4th century, with the aim of finishing the Old Testament Prophecy, of a savior coming to save the chosen ones; the Jews.
Jesus included the gentiles as he taught, even though he was a Pharisee and Jewish, this was his first radical stand. The New Testament is still disputed by most Jews, because, they do not see Jesus as their savior. The problem with adding Jesus teachings to the end of the Jewish religion is that his teachings apposed their 613 laws, which they followed to be accepted by God. Jesus on the other hand, taught a "new" way of thinking, based on “Grace, Love and Forgiveness.” Sadly, many of Jesus teachings were not included in the second half of the Jewish religion, called the New Testament, because the Priests who were ordered under Emperor Constantine to create "one" religion, from a group of "opposing views" did not understand what Jesus' teachings really meant. The Council of Nicaea (325 AD) created a formal religion, called, Orthodox Christianity- and picked which stories to canonize as the Holy Bible. They picked the view that finished telling the story of the Old Testament Jewish prophecy, rather than, the Gnostics views, like, the "Gospel of Truth," among others. It is ideal to read all the Gospels, Fables, and literature written in the first three centuries, to weave the true essence of Jesus teachings.
( See my blog on Gospel of Truth )
6. Which single author contributed the most books to the Old Testament?Moses is credited for the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy which are called the Pentetuch. There are scriptures, which attributed Moses as the authors. (Ex. 17:14; Num. 33:1-2; Deut. 31:9). (Josh 1:7-8; 1 Kings 2:3; Ezra 6:18; Dan. 9:11-13; Mal. 4:4). (Matt. 9:8; Mark 12:26; Rom. 10:5)
Based on historical evidence, (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy ) these five books are composed of diverse source materials, composed over a span of many centuries, which were edited and then conflated in a single set of manuscripts.
7. What is the origin of the Ten Commandments from Moses?"The Book of the Dead." This Egyptian funeral ceremony was written circa 1800 BCE. The Schofield Reference Bible estimates that the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt and the provision of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai occurred in 1491 BCE., some three centuries later. Many historians have concluded that the Hebrew Scripture's Ten Commandments were based on this earlier hierogyphic texts, rather than vice-versa.
“They were not new codes of conduct invented for the Israelites, but were simply newly stated versions of the ritual confessions from the Papyrus of Nu. For example, the confession 'I have not killed' was transposed to the decree Thou shalt not kill; 'I have not stolen' became Thou shalt not steal; 'I have not told lies' became Thou shalt not bear false witness - and so on.”
Where is the Papyrus of Nu right now?In the The Department of Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum (Hieroglyphic Texts)
Where is the list of the 42 "negative confessions" from the Papyrus of Ani, which the Ten Commandments are based on?
Papyrus of Nu 1 - Catalogue of Books of the Dead in the British Museum
8. Were the Israelites slaves in Eygpt?If you read the Bible text in Hebrew, it uses the word “avadeem”. Avadeem is not the word for slave, it is the word for “worker” or even servant. The fact of the matter is that the Israelites in Egypt were not slaves.
9. Which single author contributed the most books to the New Testament?The Apostle Paul, who wrote 14 books (over half) of the New Testament.
"Seven letters are generally classified as “undisputed”, expressing contemporary scholarly near consensus that they are the work of Paul: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Six additional letters bearing Paul's name do not currently enjoy the same academic consensus: Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus."
There is debate over the authorship of 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus known as the Pastoral Epistles. Biblical scholars believe they were written by 2nd-century proto-orthodox long after Paul's death, to keep women out of leadership roles in the church. These letters conflict with regards to whether women should be "silent in church" and in subordination to men or the opposite as in Galatians 3:28 Paul writes: There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Biblical Scholars do not dispute the letter from Paul to Romans in which he confirms women as apostles. Paul's letter to Romans stated that "Junia" was an apostle, even though most of the English translation made her "name" male. Paul wrote that Junia was "outstanding among the apostles." The newer translations from Greek to English have corrected this error, as well as the error making Phoebe a "servant" instead of a "deacon."
The King James translation took liberties to make women submissive to men. For example when Paul used the Greek word, "Diakonos" referring to women the King James transcribed it as "servant" when it was used to describe a woman and when this same Greek word was used for males they changed it to "deacon' or "deacon in an office."
"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."
10. Was Junia a female apostle?Yes.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
11. Was Phoebe a female deacon?Yes.
1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.
The ProblemIn the majority of ancient New Testament manuscripts, verses 34-35 appear after verse 33; however, roughly half of a group of manuscripts classed as the Western witnesses, limited to manuscripts from northern Italy and Irish monastics, place these verses after verse 40. While there are no manuscripts that omit verses 34-35, why is there some evidence of two locations for these verses?
Possible ExplanationsPaul did not write the words at all; rather, they were an early marginal gloss, which were subsequently inserted into the text at two different places.
Verses 34-35 are Paul’s authentic words and therefore demand exegesis of the plain meaning of the Text.
12. What is the origin of Noah's Ark?The Epic of Gilgamesh is a virtually identical story of "Noah's" Ark and was written in 3600 BC predating Noah by a substantial length of time.
The Babylonian flood myth in the Epic of Gilgamesh is generally regarded as having been derived from these earlier flood stories. The Epic dates back to the third millennium BCE. The Epic, in turn, appears to be a main source of the flood stories in Genesis. There were originally two stories written in Hebrew by two unknown authors, these were interleaved into the single Genesis account by a redactor (editor). There are about 20 points of similarity between the Bible story and the flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Hebrew version is a monotheistic re-writing of the original Babylonian polytheistic text.
Comparing the stories
The Chaldean Flood Tablets from the city of Ur in what is now Southern Iraq, describe how the Bablylonian God Ea had decided to eliminate humans and other land animals with a great flood which was to become "the end of all flesh". He selected Ut-Napishtim, to build an ark to save a few humans, and samples of other animals.
The Babylonian text "The Epic of Galgamesh" 1,8 and the Hebrew story are essentially identical with about 20 major points in common. Their texts are obviously linked in some way. Either:
Genesis was copied from an earlier Babylonian story, or
The Galgamesh myth was copied from an earlier Hebrew story, or
Both were copied from a common source that predates them both.
In both the Genesis and Galgamesh stories:
The Genesis story describes how mankind had become obnoxious to God; they were hopelessly sinful and wicked. In the Babylonian story, they were too numerous and noisy.
The Gods (or God) decided to send a worldwide flood. This would drown men, women, children, babies and infants, as well as eliminate all of the land animals and birds.
The Gods (or God) knew of one righteous man, Ut-Napishtim or Noah.
The Gods (or God) ordered the hero to build a multi-story wooden ark (called a chest or box in the original Hebrew).
The ark would be sealed with pitch.
The ark would have with many internal compartments
It would have a single door
It would have at least one window.
The ark was built and loaded with the hero, a few other humans, and samples from all species of other land animals.
A great rain covered the land with water.
The mountains were initially covered with water.
The ark landed on a mountain in the Middle East.
The hero sent out birds at regular intervals to find if any dry land was in the vicinity.
The first two birds returned to the ark. The third bird apparently found dry land because it did not return.
The hero and his family left the ark, ritually killed an animal, offered it as a sacrifice.
God (or the Gods in the Epic of Gilgamesh) smelled the roasted meat of the sacrifice.
The hero was blessed.
The Babylonian gods seemed genuinely sorry for the genocide that they had created. The God of Noah appears to have regretted his actions as well, because he promised never to do it again.
The were a number of differences between the two stories:
Noah received his instructions directly from Jehovah; Ut-Napishtim received them indirectly during a dream.
Noah's ark was 3 stories high and rectangular in shape. Two estimated dimensions are 547 x 91 ft. and 450 x 75 ft. The Babylonian ark was 6 stories high and square.
Ut-Napishtim invited additional people on board: a pilot and some skilled workmen.
Noah's ark landed on Mt. Ararat; Ut-Napishtim'sat on Mt. Nisir; these locations are both in the Middle East, and are located few hundred miles apart
In the Bible, some of the water emerged from beneath the earth. And the rains from above lasted for 40 days and nights. A 40 day interval often symbolized a period of judgment in the Hebrew Scriptures. 2 In the Babylonian account, the water came only in the form of rain, and lasted only 6 days.
Noah released a raven once and a dove twice; Ut-Napishtim released three birds: a dove, swallow and raven.
13. What is the origin of the book of Genesis?Pagan Babylonian religious text, the Gilgamesh epic. It contains a passage that is very close parallel to the Genesis story. It involves Enkidu and a harlot who received sexual knowledge as a result of eating the forbidden fruit. This caused them to be embarrassed at their nudity. The Epic was written many centuries before Genesis. Religious liberals generally assume that parts of Genesis were copied from The Gilgamesh epic. This would include the stories of the forbidden fruit, the clothing, and the universal flood.
Gilgamesh. The written records can be traced farther back than the Torah. The Epic may have been written earlier than 700 BCE. The Torah on the other hand was written around 539 to 334 BCE (around the time of the first diaspora).
14. When was the Bible written?1391 B.C.-325 A.D.
If the first five chapters were written by Moses, and he was born in 1391 B.C. and lived for 120 years, then the Bible was written between 1391 B.C. and completed when Emperor Constantine canonized it in the early 4th century.
The Council of Nicea, held in 325 A.D.
Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BCE)
15. What is the oldest book in the Old Testament?Many scholars agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written by an unknown Israelite about 1500 B.C. Others hold that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are the oldest books in the Bible, written between 1446 and 1406 B.C.
16. What is the youngest book in the Old Testament?The book of Malachi, written about 400 B.C.
17. What is the oldest book of the New TestamentProbably the book of James, written as early as A.D. 45.
18. What is the youngest book in the New Testament?The Book of Revelation is the youngest book of the New Testament, written about 95 A.D.
19. What languages was the Bible written in?The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.
20. When was the Bible canonized?The ‘canon’ that we possess today was a late development.
Until the beginning of the fourth century the text of the New Testament developed freely. It was the “living text” in the Greek literary tradition, unlike the text of the Hebrew Old Testament, which was subject to strict controls because (in the oriental tradition) the consonantal text was holy.
In the year 325 C.E., it was agreed that representatives from several different sects of Christianity would have a meeting and each would bring with them the writings upon which they were basing their teachings. Some compromise version of Christian teachings would have to be agreed upon for the Christian church to grow as a unit, as each separate sect spread different versions of belief. The meeting called the Council of Nicea was held in Nicea, Turkey and the disputes among all those calling themselves Christians were intense. The disputes were not only about the points of Christian doctrine, but also about which of these many writings were authentic. In one letter from Fauste to St. Augustine, Fauste says
It is thus that your predecessors have inserted in the scriptures of our Lord many things, which, although they carry His name agree not with His doctrines. This is not surprising, since that we have often proved that these things have not been written by Himself, nor by his apostles, but that for the greater part they are founded upon tales, upon vague reports and put together by I know not what, half-Jews, but with little agreement between them, and which they have nevertheless published under the names of the Apostles of our Lord, and have thus attributed to them their own errors and their lies.
Emperor Constantine was greatly troubled by the swelling ranks of his Christian subjects and the great division among their ranks which did not bode well for the continued stability of his empire.
Over the next centuries they slowly selected and collected the “truly inspired” gospels into one volume which later became the “New Testament.” They burned all other gospels. Many sweeping campaigns of “Inquisition” were launched. Everyone found possessing any of these “false” Gospels was put to death and his Gospel burned.
div style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">21. What does "canon" mean?"Canon" is derived front the Greek word "Kanon," signifying a measuring rod. Thus, to have the Bible "canonized" meant that it had been measured by the standard or test of divine inspiration and authority. It became the collection of books or writings accepted by the apostles and leadership of the early Christian church as a basis for Christian belief. It is the standard by which all Christians throughout the ages live and worship.
22. When was the first translation of the Bible made into English?1382 A.D., by John Wycliffe.
23. When was the Bible printed?The Bible was printed in 1454 A.D. by Johannes Gutenberg who invented the "type mold" for the printing press. It was the first book ever printed.
24. What is the oldest almost-complete manuscript of the Bible now in existence?The Codex Vaticanus, which dates from the first half of the fourth Century. It is located in the library of the Vatican in Rome. There are older fragments of the Bible that are still preserved however-- the oldest being a tiny scrap of the Gospel of John was found in Egypt, dating back to the beginning of the second century. (It is currently in the Rayland's Library in Manchester, England).
25. What is the longest book in the BibleThe book of Psalms.
26. What is the shortest book in the Bible2 John.
27. What is the longest chapter in the BiblePsalm 119
28. What is the shortest chapter in the BiblePsalm 117
29. What is the longest verse in the BibleEsther 8:9
30. What is the shortest verse in the BibleJohn 11:35
31. Which book in the Bible does not mention the word "God?"The book of Esther.
32. Who was the oldest man that ever livedMethuselah who lived to be 969 years old (Genesis 5:27).
33. Who were the two men in the Bible who never died but were caught up to heaven?Enoch, who walked with God and was no more (Genesis 5:22-24). Elijah, who was caught up by a whirlwind into heaven (II Kings 2:11).
34. Who does the Bible say was the meekest man in the Bible (not including Jesus)Moses (Numbers 12:3).
35. Was Jonah swallowed by a whale?The correct translation is a "great fish" even more interesting, a "female" fish. The Hebrew text of Jonah (1:17 in English translation), reads dag gadol (Hebrew: דג גדול), which literally means "great fish." Saint Jerome is a Christian church father, best known for translating the Bible into Latin. A later translated the Greek phrase as piscis granda in his Latin Vulgate, and as cetus in. At some point, cetus became synonymous with whale.
In the line 2:1 the book refers to the fish as dag gadol, "great fish", in the masculine. However, in the 2:2, it changes the gender to daga, meaning female fish. The verses therefore read: "And the lord provided a great fish (dag gadol, masculine) for Jonah, and it swallowed him, and Jonah sat in the belly of the fish (still male) for three days and nights; then, from the belly of the (daga, female) fish, Jonah began to pray." The peculiarity of this change of gender led the later rabbis to reason that this means Jonah was comfortable in the roomy male fish, so he didn't pray, but that God then transferred him to a smaller, female fish, in which the prophet was uncomfortable, so that he prayed.
Jonah's prayer Some biblical scholars believe Jonah's prayer to be a later addition to the story (see source criticism. Despite questions of its source, the prayer carries out an important function in the narrative as a whole. The prayer is a psalm of thanksgiving, serving to interpret Jonah's swallowing by the fish as an act of Divine salvation. God has lifted Jonah out of Sheol and set him on the path to carry out His will. The story of descent (from Israel, to Tarshish, to the sea, to under the sea) becomes the story of ascent (from the belly of the fish, to land, to the city of Nineveh). Thus, the use of a psalm creates an important theological point. In the popular understanding of Jonah, the fish is interpreted to be the low point of the story. Yet even the fish is an instrument of God's sovereignty and salvation.
36. What is the origin of Revelations?
From ancient Egyptian writings: The Egyptian Amduat and the Book of Gates
The following is but a small portion of the list of parallels between events and characters described in the Book of Revelation and ancient Egyptian writings:
1. Parallel passages to the Egyptian Amduat and the Book of Gates are found in two distinctive groups: the first is found in Rev. 5-14 and the other is in Rev. 15-22.
2. All the major events described in Revelation follow the same sequence as as their parallels in Egyptian sources.
3. Practically all of Revelation’s main characters (God, the Lamb, Christ, Satan, angels and etc.) appear in the same order as in their Egyptian counterparts.
4. The sequence of the scenes in the Book of Revelation conforms with the sequence of parallel scenes written on the walls and ceilings of a single tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.
Here is just a small portion of the numerous similarities between ancient Egyptian sources and the Book of Revelation:
1. The opening scene in Egypt's Book of the Dead (Chapter 30B) is extremely similar to the opening scene of Rev. 1-2.
2. Practically all the main elements (knowledge of peoples deeds, rebellious activities, etc.) in the letters to the seven churches (Rev. 3-4) are present in a group of six consecutive chapters in the Egyptian Book of the Dead plus one in the Book of Caverns. The structure of two of the letters has the same form as Egyptian sources.
2. The entire middle section of the 6th Division of ancient Egypt's Amduat is similar to the one describing the opening of the scroll in Rev. 5:1-9. Almost all characters and events follow the same order in both sources.
3. The unusual scene describing the cries of the souls those slain in Rev. 6:9-11 is remarkably similar to that depicting the cries of the souls slain in the 8th Division of the Amduat.
4. Egyptian names with similar meanings as those of the tribes of Israel in Rev. 7:4-8 are present in a single group of 24 characters in the Amduat. Also, the individual groups in the two sources have the similar physical characteristics.
5. The scene describing the four angels and the four winds in Rev. 7:1-3 bears an extraordinary resemblance to a scene prominently displayed on the wall of a tomb in Egypt's the Valley of the Kings.
6. Multitudes with palm branches in their hands described in Rev. 7:9
are also shown in the 7th and 9th Divisions of the Amduat.
7. Apocalyptic events in the Book of Revelation, taken as a whole, are those normally associated with an eruption of an island volcano. A number of events in Egyptian sources also describe a volcanic eruption which conforms with modern knowledge of an eruption in the Aegean Sea in the 17th century BCE.
8. In what is possibly the most remarkable grouping of parallels found, the 1st beast, 2nd beast and the image of the 1st beast in Rev. 13 are not only clearly identified in the 4th Division of Amduat, but the order in which they appear and the events in which they are involved are in the same order in both sources. Even Revelation's use of the most enigmatic number, "666," for the name of the 1st beast has a very simple explanation when viewed from an ancient Egyptian perspective.
9. The capture of Apophis, the ancient serpent, illustrated in the 10th Division of the Book of Gates conform with those described in the capture of Satan, the “ancient serpent” in Rev. 20:1-3,
10. The 10th Division of Egypt's Book of Gates refers to the reign of the Lamb (the juvenile form of the sun-god Re) for a thousand year period, just as we find in Rev. 20:2. Similarities include martyrs (as in Rev. 20:4-5), the resurrected made priests (as in Rev. 20:6) and Satan’s release from prison and his subsequent recapture (as in Rev. 20:7-10).
11. The judgment of the dead (Rev. 20:11-15) (including the great and the small), the opening of the books (with an emphasis on those who had died by drowning), and of the resurrection and punishment of the wicked are all emphasized in Egypt's Book of Night.
12.The final picture in the Book of Gates contains practically all the elements of Rev. 21:1-8. For example: a new creation including a new heaven and earth, the arrival of a new holy city and the dwelling place of God and his faithful followers. Revelation's bride is readily identifiable as Egypt’s holy city.
13. The physical description of the holy city in Rev. 21:10 to 22:5 conforms with ancient Egypt’s heavenly city --- including the functions of its walls, the number of guarded gates and the river which runs through it with banks where various kinds of plants grow.
37. Where did the "Lake of Fire" in Revelation Originate?The "lake of Fire" after death; was taken right out of the Egyptian's Book of the Dead. An image in the Papyrus of Ani (ca. 1250 BC), a version of the Book of the Dead, has been described as follows:
The scene shows four cynocephalous baboons sitting at the corners of a rectangular pool. On each side of this pool is a flaming brazier. The pool's red colour indicates that it is filled with a fiery liquid, reminding one of the "Lake of Fire" frequently mentioned in the Book of the Dead.
Hippolytus of Rome, pictured Hades, the abode of the dead, as containing "a lake of unquenchable fire" at the edge of which the unrighteous "shudder in horror at the expectation of the future judgment, (as if they were) already feeling the power of their punishment", while the righteous "are brought to a locality full of light"
* There is no ever-burning hell with an eternity of torture.
* There is no such place as purgatory.
* There is no universal restoration of all sinners.
These are all from Pagan religions before Jesus arrived on the scene; I doubt he taught Pagan ideals.
Love dissolves fear, and fear is not of God. This idea that we have a God of Wrath is absurd; God cannot be love and evil both. This is the ultimate, Paradox, and Jesus cannot teach to forgive and at the same time, Judge them, then throw them in an eternal "Lake of Fire."
38. How many languages has the Bible been translated into?The Holy Bible has been translated into 2,018 languages, with countless more partial translations, and audio translations (for unwritten languages). (This is an enormous amount of translations. In comparison, Shakespeare, considered by many to be the master writer of the English language, has only been translated into 50 languages.)
39. Is the Bible still the best-selling book in the world?Yes. We are all trying to figure out how to connect to God.
40. Which Bible verses condoned the ill treatment of women??
1. Women should learn in silence and subjugation.
2. Women should not teach.
3. Women should not have authority over men but should remain silent.
4. Adam and Eve were not equal in sin. Adam was not deceived but Eve was.
5. Women are commanded to be under obedience to men. God ordained that men shall for all time rule over women
6. Women must keep silent in Churches. It is shameful for them to open their mouths therein. If they have a question they should ask their husbands before going to church and then their husbands will ask for them in the church.
7. A woman should neither pray nor profess with her head uncovered.
8. If a woman prays with her head uncovered then she might as well shave her head.
9. Man was created in the image and glory of God, and Woman was created in the glory of Man, thus Man must have power over her.
10. Any woman who delivers a male baby shall be unclean for one week. But any woman who delivers a female baby shall be unclean for TWO weeks. Thus, females make their mothers DOUBLY unclean as compared to males.
11. While it is possible to find one upright man in every thousand, it is impossible to find even one single upright woman in every thousand
12. Woman is a snare, her heart is a trap, and her hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but she will ensnare the sinner.
13. If a woman had her period and touches a chair or a bed or anything else then that item immediately becomes unclean. Anyone who then touches those things shall also become unclean. They must then bathe themselves and wash their clothes because they have touched an item that a menstruous woman has touched.
14. In the Bible's book of Deuteronomy it says that if a man marries a woman and then decides that he hates her, he can claim she wasn't a virgin when they married. At that point her father must prove she was a virgin. (How is not explained.) If he can't, then the girl is to be stoned to death at her father's doorstep.
15. If you see a pretty woman among your captives and would like her for a wife, then bring her home and "go in unto her." Later, if you decide you don't like her, you can simply "let her go." (Deuteronomy)
16. If a betrothed virgin is raped in the city and doesn't cry out loud enough, then "the men of the city shall stone her to death." (Deuteronomy)
17. In the book of Esther the king apparently decrees a sex contest among young virgin women to see who can best please him. (There is debate on how.) He eventually chooses Esther. However, since women are viewed as inherently dirty, Esther must be "purified" for twelve months before she can be made queen. (Esther)
18. Paul points out in New Testament Romans that "the natural use" of women is to provide men with sex. (Romans 1:27)
19. Heaven is to be inhabited by 144,000 virgin men who have not been "defiled" by women. (RE 14:1-4) [One wonders how this squares with God's command to, "Be fruitful and multiply...(Genesis )]
20. A group of sexual depraved men beat on the door of an old man's house demanding that he turn over to them a male house guest. Instead, the old man offers his virgin daughter and his guest's wife: "Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine (wife); let me bring them out now. Ravish them and do with them what seems good to you; but against this man do not do so vile a thing." The women were subsequently ravished and killed. (JG)
21. In Exod. we see that it is permissible to sell one's daughter (but apparently not one's son) into slavery.
22. According to St. Jerome, "Nothing is so unclean as a woman in her periods; what she touches she causes to be unclean." In Leviticus it states, "If a woman conceives and bears a male child, she shall be ceremonially unclean seven days...if she bears a female child she shall be unclean two weeks...."
23. "A woman dropped a stone on his head and cracked his skull. Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, 'Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can't say a woman killed me.' So his servant ran him through, and he died." (Judges)
24. Under God's direction, Moses' army kills all the adult males, but they mercifully just take the women and children captive. When Moses learns that they left some
women and children alive, he angrily says: "Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him." Throughout Bible history God is said to demand that thousands, if not millions, of men, women and children be slaughtered. And they are.
25. A man has an obligation to produce a child with his brother's widow. If he refuses, his sister-in-law is to spit in his face in front of the elders. (Deuteronomy 25:5-9) And in case you are Jewish, you may be familiar with the Jewish prayer: "Blessed be the God who has not created me a heathen, a slave or a woman."
41. What is the definition of a "Heretic", with regards to the Holy Bible?A heretic may be anyone whose outlook someone else dislikes or denounces. According to tradition, a heretic is one who deviates from the true faith. But what defines that "true faith"? Who calls it that, and for what reasons?
We find this problem familiar in our own experience. The term "Christianity," especially since the Reformation, has covered an astonishing range of groups. Those claiming to represent "true Christianity" in the twentieth century can range from a Catholic cardinal in the Vatican to an African Methodist Episcopal preacher initiating revival in Detroit, a Mormon missionary in Thailand, or the member of a village church on the coast of Greece. Yet Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox agree that such diversity is a recent--and deplorable--development. According to Christian legend, the early church was different. Christians of every persuasion look back to the primitive church to find a simpler, purer form of Christian faith. In the apostles' time, all members of the Christian community shared their money and property; all believed the same teaching, and worshipped together; all revered the authority of the apostles. It was only after that golden age that conflict, then heresy emerged: so says the author of the Acts of the Apostles, who identifies himself as the first historian of Christianity.
But the discoveries at Nag Hammadi have upset this picture. If we admit that some of these fifty-two texts represents early forms of Christian teaching, we may have to recognize that early Christianity is far more diverse than nearly anyone expected before the Nag Hammadi discoveries.
42. Where were the Gnositic Gospels found?Egypt
by Elaine H. Pagels:
The Harrington Spear Paine Foundation Professor of Religion Princeton University
GNOSTIC TEXTS OF NAG HAMMADI
The discovery at Nag Hammadi began with an Arab villager whose name was Mohammed Ali going with his brothers on an ordinary errand. They saddled up their camels and they rode out from their village, a small town in the barren stretches of upper Egypt. They took their camels and rode up to a cliff nearby, which is honeycombed with thousands of caves. These caves were used as burial caves in antiquity, thousands of years ago. But they were digging under the cliffs for fertilizer, that is, for bird droppings which fertilized the crops. And Mohammed Ali said he struck something when he was digging underground. And, curious, he kept digging, and he was startled to find a six foot jar sealed. And next to it was buried a corpse. Mohammed Ali said he hesitated to break the jar because he thought there might be a jinn in it. But hope overcame fear; he said he picked up his mattock and smashed the jar, and saw particles of gold fly out of it, much to his delight. But a moment later he realized it was only fragments of papyrus. Inside the jar were 13 volumes, bound in tooled gazelle leather. Thirteen volumes of papyrus text. Now Mohammed Ali could not read these texts. He doesn't read Arabic, which is his own language. And these texts were in some strange archaic language. They were actually Coptic, which is the Egyptian language of 1400 years ago. But he nevertheless put them in his backpack, slung them along and took them home and threw them on the ground in his house near the stove. Later his mother said that she took some of them and threw them into the fire for kindling when she was baking bread. What we didn't know until much later is that these contained some of the most precious texts of the 20th century. That they have uncovered for us a whole new way of seeing the early Christian world.
There were 52 texts altogether, apparently, unless some of them were burned that we don't know about. And they contain, some of them, secret gospels, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is a similar text that was found separately. They also contain conversations between Jesus and his disciples.... All kinds of literature from the early Christian era, a whole discovery of text rather like the New Testament but also very different.
For more on the gnostic texts discovered at Nag Hammadi, read this excerpt from Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels. Plus, read excerpts from the gnostic Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene.
43. What is the essence of The Gnositc Gospels?To know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God.
44. Where can I read the Gnositic Gospels?The Nag Hammadi Library