The book I read to research this post is Atheism For Dummies by Dale McGowan which is an excellent book which I bought from kindle. This book looks at the arguments for and against God in a variety of different religions. The author is an Atheist who used to be a Christian and studied a wide variety of religions including even Greek which him think if that religion can fall out of favor maybe mainstream religions will one day to and be replaced by something else. Many Atheists believe in a God but don’t conform to any set religion. Agnostics believe your relationship with God is a personal thing and certainly don’t believe in going to church. Deists believe God is something that is incomprehensible to us, he doesn’t perform miracles and there is so much life in the Universe he probably doesn’t even know we exist. I must admit I can relate to those 2 belief systems. Even if you choose to follow a particular religion the author suggests you learn about as many different religions as possible and why their followers follow them. He suggests attending services and talking to members of different religions about their beliefs. There are a lot of religious beliefs that are directly connected to world problems like the Catholic Churches opposition to contraception and the overpopulation in many countries. I was brought up a Catholic although some of what they believe like transubstantiation, the turning of bread and wine into Jesus’s body and blood literally, I find ridiculous. At one time in the Western World it was considered unthinkable not to believe in God and many things like that the Earth goes around the Sun and not the other way around were considered heresy that you could be put to death for believing. Until the discovery of genetics in the 30’s & 40’s many wouldn’t accept evolution was possible. I really enjoyed this book and would like to do more posts on different religions and why people follow them. I think no religion is 100 % accurate about God and the truth is probably a combination of many religions.
Archive for the ‘christianity’ Category
Tags: agnostics, atheism, book reviews, books, christianity, deism, history, politics, religion, textbooks
Tags: ancient history, biblical history, book reviews, books, christianity, europe, history, rome, textbooks, the romans
The book I read to research this post was The Roman Empire A Very Short Introduction by Christopher Kelly which is a very good book which I bought from kindle. There are around 2-300 titles in this series of books and they are intended as an introduction to the subjects and I think this particular book does a more than adequate job. The Roman Empire at its peak was about 20 times the size of Britain contained 60 million subjects and completely encircled the Mediterranean which they regarded almost as a private lake. When Rome first began to grow it was via a series of treaties with nearby cities. One thing that made the Roman Army was most free men served in it at sometime and normally they were conscripted from 17 for 7 years and this ensured they had a huge amount of man power and a well trained army. Bigger nations normally didn’t have anything like their manpower at their disposal. When there were rebellions they were put down in a ruthless manner that was unmatched until Spain conquered South America. One rebellion in Gaul or what is now France resulted in 1 milion deaths and another million being enslaved. Generally countries in the Empire were governed at a local level with a minimum of interference from the Emperor as long as they paid their taxes. One thing worth pointing out is although christians faced terrible fates for much of its history they were given the opportunity to renounce their faith and no further action would be taken if they did. Of course eventually the Roman Empire would turn christian. This book also looks at some of the ancient texts written at that time and what they tell us about Roman life. It also looks at how the Roman Empire was interpreted by people in the British Empire & Mussolini’s Italy when at their peak. I did really enjoy reading this book.
Tags: biblical history, book reviews, books, christianity, history, judaism, religion, textbooks, the bible
The book I read to research this post was The Second Messiah by Christopher Knight et al which is a very good book which I bought from Amazon. This book is similar to the kinds of books Andrew Collins & Graham Philips write in that they have taken the information in the bible and looked at what the evidence suggests. The book mainly focuses on the Turin Shroud & Jesus. According to this book Jesus never claimed to be God and the idea of son of god is a mystical one applying to everyone else as well. Jesus founded a church called the Jerusalem and when he died his successor was James both one of the apostles and his brother. Peter was a bit of a heretic who taught Jesus was God and what he taught appealed to the Greeks & Romans. When Jesus died he wasn’t very popular but when James was put to death there was a massive uprising which ended in the Romans putting to death and expelling the Jews from Israel. The Turin Shroud according to the authors contains the image of a crusader put to death possibly by the Saracens. The shroud didn’t come into contact with the poor man but apparently it contains predominantly lactic acid which came into contact with oxygen and reacted to form the image. It goes into how it was created but it’s quite complex. I’m not sure if I agree with everything in the book but it is definitely an interesting read. I do enjoy reading these kind of books.
Tags: biblical history, books, british history, christianity, history, judaism, king arthur
The book I read to research this post was A Brief History of The Holy Grail by Giles Morgan which is a very good book which I bought from Kindle. The roots of what the holy grail is like giving perpetual youth lie in pagan religion. Some claim the holy grail was what Jesus used at the last supper others claim it was what Joseph of Arimethea used to collect Jesus’s blood & yet others claim it was the sacred bloodline of Jesus’s descendants. A small blue receptacle was found at Glastonbury which some claimed was the holy grail. There’s a legend that Joseph of Arimethea & the virgin Mary went to Glastonbury. The King Arthur stories which although a fictitious work were based on much older legends tell of Percival trying to save the Fisher King with the holy grail but when he sees it at the white castle he doesn’t ask what it’s purpose is. There probably was a King Arthur but he wasn’t called Arthur. Many films have been inspired by the King Arthur legends like obviously Excalibur but also Star Wars & the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The holy grail in a famous scene in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade was depicted as being made of wood & Jesus didn’t have a lot of money so it was probably not made of a precious metal. The eskimoos believe if you drink out of a walruss skull it has similiar properties to what we believe about the holy grail. They also believe the northern lights are spirits trying to reenter our world. The Nazis tried to hijack the King Arthur legends & the holy grail story for their own ends. Hitler was obsessed with ancient artifacts. They tried to make out christianity was a left over of judaism & that the Cathars who claimed they had descended from had possessed the holy grail. It’s from stories like that, that some people wonder if they found the holy grail.
Tags: ancient egyptians, biblical history, christianity, egypt, history, israel, judaism, the romans
The book I read to research this post was The Arcadian Cipher by Peter Blake et al which is a very good book which I bought from a car-boot sale. This book presents some quite interesting theories especially concerning the crucifixion of Jesus. Many of the classic artists studied things like the kabalah & gnostic christianity & this often influenced their pictures. Nicholas Poussin studied hebrew among other things for example. Although in many pictures & in many hollywood films for that matter Jesus is shown high off the ground at the crucifixion in practise he may have only been a few inches off the ground. Another theory in this book is that Jesus may have not been nailed to the cross as that was reserved for roman soldiers who broke the law, it would have been a horrific death either way. Often people who were crucified took days to die & if they broke their legs so they suffocated that was seen as welcome relief. Nazareth apparently didn’t exist at the time of Jesus & the title of Jesus of Nazareth was a mistranslation of Nazareone which was an egyptian religion which involved magic. According to the Talmud Jesus was egyptian & when he was crucified he was accused of being a magician among other things. As you probably know he did live in egypt as a child. We’ll probably never know the truth concerning these theories but they are interesting.
Tags: ancient egyptians, biblical history, history, israel, the persians
The book I read to research this post was The Templars & The Ark of The Covenant by Graham Phillips which is an excellent book which I bought from Amazon. Very little is known about the construction of the Ark of the Covenant. We know that the exodus or the jews leaving Egypt happened about 3,500 years ago. It’s thought the Old Testament was written in around 600 BC before that it had to be passed on verbally. Mount Sinai was thought to be a sacred mountain where God dwelled by the locals before Moses arrived & it was forbidden for their cattle to graze there. Nowadays there is a shrine which is a sacred site to muslims which contains a spring said to have been found by Moses. One theory about the red ball of fire which was said to be God & was brought up by the Ark is could it be geothermal plasma. When aranite sandstone is crushed by seismic activity this is released & this type of rock is found at Mt Sinai. Could the tablets Moses found be subjected to a similiar process by the Ark. It’s thought the Ark could have been buried by the Essenes near where they buried the Dead Sea Scrolls but they were wiped out so we may never find it. Prior to that it had been taken from the Synagogue in Jerusalem by the Babylonians when they plundered the place but was returned by the Persians 70 years later. In the book it’s claimed the Templars found the tablets near Mt Sinai & one of these was found in Britain but it’s difficult to prove one way or the other.
Tags: ancient egyptians, biblical history, christianity, egypt, history, israel, judaism, pharoah
The book I read to research this post was The Moses Legacy by Graham Phillips which is an excellent book which I bought at a car boot sale. The supposed idea in the bible that we are all descended from Adam & Eve is nonsense because their son Cain got married so there must have been others. Also it says they built a city which I think would be beyond one family. The name Moses probably comes from the egyptian word mose meaning son & Moses was probably the son of the pharoah who took an interest in the jews. Obviously for literary purposes it’s better to make him a jew in the bible. There were probably 2 Moses one who led them out of egypt & got the pharoah to release them & another who guided them to Israel. In the original bible it didn’t tell you which mountain Moses died on & it was due to Justinian the first, leader of the byzantine empire who claimed it was mount sinai & that appeared in later bibles. The old testiment bible wasn’t written down for hundreds of years & the jews memorized it & there are certain things like the domestication of camels which happened later on but before the bible went to print. Around the time the jews left egypt, the egyptians followed similiar religious practises to judaism ie they worshipped one god called Aten which means giver of life but their god didn’t have a specific name, these were the only 2 religions in the world at that time to not name their god. The egyptians must have got disillusioned with their gods prior to that. For more on that have a look at my Act of God post which explains that. A couple of generations later the egyptians went back to worshipping lots of gods.