30 July 2010

Surah 2:106-138: Abrogation, proof, and Allah's coloring book

The section begins with a verse that contradicts itself.

Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. 2:106

Nothing in the Quran, not a singe verse, is wrong -- except for the verses that are wrong, that is. And Allah will replace them later with better verses.

There is some disagreement among Muslims about this abrogation thing. Did Allah fix earlier messed up verses in the Quran with better ones later on? Or is every verse in the Quran correct as is?

They all seem to agree, though, that when it comes to the Quran, later is better. Allah may have made some mistakes when he revealed the Quran to Muhammad, but if so, he corrected them as he went along. Allah is wise, all-knowing, careful.

Next Allah tells us a few things about the people of the Scriptures. The Jews and Christians know damn well that the Muslims are right, so they try to make Muslims disbelievers because they envy the truth that they know the Muslims have.

Many of the people of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth hath become manifest unto them. 2:109a

Well, Allah says that's fine. Play nice with them until Allah tells you to get nasty.

Forgive and be indulgent (toward them) until Allah give command. 2:109b

But when they say that you must be a Christian or a Jew to go to heaven, ask them to prove it (and hope they don't ask you the same thing when you tell them that they must be Muslim to go to heaven).

They say: None entereth paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. ...
Say: Bring your proof (of what ye state) if ye are truthful. 2:111

Beyond that, don't worry about it. Allah will make their lives miserable in this world and torture them forever after they die.

Theirs in the world is ignominy and theirs in the Hereafter is an awful doom. 2:114

And pay no attention to the know-nothings that ask Allah for a sign. (Or ask him to say something good, kind, decent, or reasonable in the Quran.)

And those who have no knowledge say: Why doth not Allah speak unto us, or some sign come unto us? 2:118a

Their hearts are all alike (they suck). Allah's revelations are clear to those that already believe that Allah's revelations are clear.

Their hearts are all alike. We have made clear the revelations for people who are sure. 2:118b

Allah will take care of the disbelievers later (by burning them forever in the Fire).

As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire - a hapless journey's end! 2:126

Meanwhile, remember that Muslims are colored by God. And who is better at coloring than Allah?

(We take our) colour from Allah, and who is better than Allah at colouring. 2:138

I give up. Who is better than Allah at coloring?

Bogging the Quran
Surah 2:139-158 -- Changing holy directions (qiblah)

21 July 2010

1 Nephi 9: Nephi names his plates

Lucky for us, Nephi left out a lot of shit his dad said while camping out in the valley of Lemuel.

And all these things did my father see, and hear, and speak, as he dwelt in a tent, in the valley of Lemuel. 1 Nephi 9:1a

He just didn't have room for it on his plates.

And also a great many more things, which cannot be written upon these plates. 1 Nephi 9:1
He only had room for important stuff -- like what to name his plates.

But first, Nephi tells us that these plates (the ones he's writing now) are not the plates that have the history of his people written on them.

And now, as I have spoken concerning these plates, behold they are not the plates upon which I make a full account of the history of my people. 1 Nephi 9:2a

No, those plates are called the plates of Nephi. That's why he calls them the plates of Nephi. He named them after his own name, which (in case you've forgotten) is Nephi.

For the plates upon which I make a full account of my people I have given the name of Nephi; wherefore, they are called the plates of Nephi, after mine own name. 1 Nephi 9:2b

There are other plates that are also called the plates of Nephi, but these plates (the ones Nephi is talking about now) are not those plates of Nephi, although they are also called the plates of Nephi.

And these plates also are called the plates of Nephi. 1 Nephi 9:2c

Now that we know which plates of Nephi Nephi is talking about, he can tell us about them.

First of all, God gave Nephi a commandment to write down the ministry of his people on these plates (which Nephi called the plates of Nephi).

Nevertheless, I have received a commandment of the Lord that I should make these plates, for the special purpose that there should be an account engraven of the ministry of my people. 1 Nephi 9:3

God told Nephi to make two sets of plates: one for "for the more part of the ministry" and the other set "for the more part of the reign of the kings and the wars and contentions" of his people.

Upon the other plates should be engraven an account of the reign of the kings, and the wars and contentions of my people; wherefore these plates are for the more part of the ministry; and the other plates are for the more part of the reign of the kings and the wars and contentions of my people. 1 Nephi 9:4

God told Nephi to make both sets of plates "for a wise purpose." But Nephi had no idea what that purpose was.

Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not. 1 Nephi 9:5

And thus it is and so on and so forth. Amen.

But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen. 1 Nephi 9:6

Blogging the Book of Mormon
Next episode -- 1 Nephi 10: Lehi proves Jesus wrong by becoming the greatest prophet ever

17 July 2010

1 Nephi 8: Lehi's magic happy-fruit tree

After Nephi and his brothers got back from their women-hunting mission to Jerusalem, it came to pass that Lehi had another dream -- that is he dreamed a dream; or, in other words, he had seen a vision.
And it came to pass that while my father tarried in the wilderness he spake unto us, saying: Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen a vision.1 Nephi 8:2
(The dream that Lehi had was nearly identical to Joseph Smith, Sr.'s dream 2400 years later, before Joseph Smith, Jr. "translated" the Book of Mormon. But I'm sure that was just a coincidence.)
Lehi dreamed about tree with fruit that could make you happy if you ate it (or smoked it?).
And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.1 Nephi 8:10
Lehi partook of the fruit thereof, and it was the sweetest thing he'd ever tasted, and was whiter than anything he'd ever seen before. (Being white is the best thing a thing can be in the Book of Mormon.)
And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen. 1 Nephi 8:11
And it made him exceedingly happy, happier than he'd ever been before. He was so darned happy he could hardly stand it. So he wanted his family to eat from the happy tree, too.
And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.1 Nephi 8:12
So Lehi cast his eyes round about until he discovered his family.
And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit.1 Nephi 8:13
Lehi told his family to eat the happy fruit, and the good members of his family (Nephi, Sariah, and Sam) ate it.
And ... I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi; and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go. And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit. And it came to pass that they did come unto me and partake of the fruit also. 1 Nephi 8:14-16
After the good guys ate the good fruit, Lehi cast his eyes about again until he saw Laman and Lemuel. He told them to eat the fruit, but they wouldn't do it (because they were bad).
And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also; wherefore, I cast mine eyes towards the head of the river, that perhaps I might see them. And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit. 1 Nephi 8:17-18
Lehi saw an iron rod along the side of the river that people clung to as they traveled towards the happy tree.
In the background there was a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness that lots of people got lost in.
And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost. 1 Nephi 8:23
But some managed to find the happy-fruit tree by hanging on to the rod of iron.
And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.1 Nephi 8:24
But after partaking of the happy fruit, the people cast their eyes about like they were ashamed or something.
And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed. 1 Nephi 8:25
Then Lehi cast his eyes about again and saw a big building floating in the air.
And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.1 Nephi 8:26
The building was filled with people that were looking down and pointing and laughing at the people eating the happy fruit.
And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.1 Nephi 8:27
Then the people who were ashamed after eating the happy fruit crawled off into the darkness and got lost.
And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.1 Nephi 8:28
Some of the ashamed fruit-eaters made it to the big building, but others drowned.
And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building. And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads. 1 Nephi 8:31-32
Those that made it into the big building in the sky began pointing the finger of scorn at the happy fruit eaters below.
And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not. 1 Nephi 8:33
Here's what the whole thing looked like.

Blogging the Book of Mormon
Next episode -- 1 Nephi 9: Nephi names his plates

16 July 2010

Surah 2:75-105 -- Little is that which they believe

Now here is something I can agree with Allah on!

Little is that which they believe. 2:88b

There is little in the Quran that I believe. Actually nothing. It's all complete bullshit to me.

And because I disbelieve in his bullshit, Allah has cursed me.

The curse of Allah is on disbelievers. 2:88a

And is my enemy.

Allah (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers. 2:98

And will torture me forever after I die.

They have incurred anger upon anger. For disbelievers is a shameful doom. 2:90
For disbelievers is a painful doom. 2:104

But then I deserve it. Allah revealed clear tokens and only miscreants will disbelieve in them.

We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them. 2:99

Of course, non-believers won't be the only people in hell.

Evil people will also be there.

Whosoever hath done evil and his sin surroundeth him; such are rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide therein. 2:81

Along with those (like the Christians) who believe only part of the scripture.

Believe ye in part of the Scripture and disbelieve ye in part thereof? And what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be consigned to the most grievous doom. 2:85

And Jews, who are, according to Allah (bless his heart), "the greediest of mankind."

And thou wilt find them greediest of mankind for life and (greedier) than the idolaters. (Each) one of them would like to be allowed to live a thousand years. And to live (a thousand years) would be no means remove him from the doom. 2:96

Richard Dawkins has famously said that the God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction. I'm starting to think that Allah is even more unpleasant.

Bogging the Quran
Surah 2:106-138: Abrogation, proof, and Allah's coloring book

14 July 2010

Steven L. Anderson: Jesus wore pants and had no tattoos on his thigh (or scrotum)

Remember my post about Jesus' testicles? It was based on this verse from Revelation.

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:16

From that verse alone, we know for sure that Jesus has "King of Kings" and "Lord of Lords" written on his thigh. And since thigh is a biblical euphemism for male genitals, well, you get the idea.

It may not be true (heck, he might not have flaming eyes, blood-drenched clothes, white hair, and a sword sticking out of his mouth either), but it's fun to think about. Isn't it?

But Steven L. Anderson doesn't like the idea. Jesus doesn't have a tattoo on his thigh or his scrotum. It is written on his pants.

Obviously John was not referring to a tattoo he was seeing on Jesus’ naked thigh since Jesus was clothed from head to foot according to Revelation 1:13. He had his name written upon the clothing on his thigh, just as he had his name written upon his coat. When wearing a dress or a “tunic” the thigh is not delineated. Clothing that is worn on each “thigh” is referred to as a pair of pants. Therefore it is apparent that Jesus was wearing pants as he rode in on a white horse to defeat the antichrist. Apparently “scholars” would have us believe that Jesus was riding to battle on a horse in a dress.

And here's his proof:

The universal symbols for a man and for a woman say it all. Have you looked at a bathroom door lately?

06 July 2010

Bryan Fischer: May each of us be a Phinehas in our own world

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association says that each of us should be a Phinehas in own world.

Now that won't mean much to you, unless you've read the story in Numbers 25.

And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel ... And when Phinehas ... saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. Numbers 25:6-8

Here's what he has to say about it.

I want to read a passage that my wife pointed out to me this morning from Numbers 25. This is a story about a man by the name of Phinehas, the nation had lapsed into rampant sexual immorality - I don't know if that sounds familiar to you, it certainly does to me - and Phinehas was motivated to do something about this and he did something very decisive: he found an Israelite in flagrante with a Philistine woman and he ran them both through with a spear, pinned them both to the ground inside their tent, ran his spear through both of them, right into the ground. And that shook up the nation, it got their attention and they transformed, they made a decision, they turned from that kind of behavior and renewed their commitment to follow God.


So Phinehas is commended for his zeal, that he was willing to take action, that he was willing to act boldly, he was willing to act decisively out of his jealousy for his God and his jealous desire to see that his people, his nation, would be wholly devoted to God.

So what God is obviously looking for is more Phinehases in our day ... you know, and it's striking here, that here's the actions of one man, here is one man by his action, by his commitment, by his energy, by his commitment, by his willingness to take decisive and assertive action when that's what was called for, he alone was able to turn back the wrath of God from his people, from his nation.

So may his His tribe increase, may each one of us be a Phinehas our own world and in our own generation.

Mr. Fischer has later tried to deny that he was saying what he so obviously was saying: that we should all go out and murder people having (interracial?) sex. And yet it was the double murder of the interracial couple that made Phinehas a hero to Bryan Fischer and his God.

Here's his attempt to deny what he previously said.

So in Bryan Fischer's authorized (chicken-shit) revised version, Phinehas was a hero for murdering the interracial couple and each of us should imitate him and thereby become a Phinehas in our own world, but none of us should actually do what Phinehas did.

1 Nephi 7: Oh Fetch! We forgot the fricken women!

Remember how Nephi and his brothers had to return to Jerusalem to get the brass plates? Well, now they have go back again to get some women. Otherwise they'd have to have sex with their mom in order to populate the New World, and that's just too yucky for Mormons to even think about. (It was OK for Adam's family back in the day, but not for Mormon Israelites in 600 BCE.)

So after Lehi made an end of prophesying about his seed, God stopped by to chat for a while. God said that he couldn't help but notice that Lehi didn't bring any women along with him, and God just didn't think it was meet for Lehi not to have some daughters to give to his sons. What were they going to do, God asked, fuck their own mother? (I'm paraphrasing here.)

And now I would that ye might know, that after my father, Lehi, had made an end of prophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise. 1 Nephi 7:1

So God commanded Lehi to send his four sons back to Jerusalem (again!) to get Ishmael and his family. That way Nephi's sons would could have sex with Ishmael's daughters instead of their mom.

And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi, and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness. 1 Nephi 7:2

And so it came to pass that Lehi's sons went back to Jerusalem one more time.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did again, with my brethren, go forth into the wilderness to go up to Jerusalem. 1 Nephi 7:3

It was just another quick, uneventful, 400+ km trip. After they arrived, the Lord softened up Ishmael's heart enough that he agreed to leave Jerusalem with his family and go into the wilderness so that Lehi's sons could have sex with Ishmael's daughters.

And it came to pass that we went up unto the house of Ishmael, and we did gain favor in the sight of Ishmael, insomuch that we did speak unto him the words of the Lord. And it came to pass that the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father. 1 Nephi 7:4-5

But then deja vu came to pass all over again. Laman and Lemuel revolted, along with two of Ishmael's daughters and two of his sons.

And it came to pass that as we journeyed in the wilderness, behold Laman and Lemuel, and two of the daughters of Ishmael, and the two sons of Ishmael and their families, did rebel against us; yea, against me, Nephi, and Sam, and their father, Ishmael, and his wife, and his three other daughters. 1 Nephi 7:6

The whole rebellion thing came to pass because they were desirous to return to the land of Jerusalem.

And it came to pass in the which rebellion, they were desirous to return unto the land of Jerusalem. 1 Nephi 7:7

And then Nephi gave a speech that no one should ever have to read or listen to.

And now I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, therefore I spake unto them, saying, yea, even unto Laman and unto Lemuel: Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you? How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word of the Lord? How is it that ye have forgotten that ye have seen an angel of the Lord? Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record? Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him. And if it so be that we are faithful to him, we shall obtain the land of promise; and ye shall know at some future period that the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled concerning the destruction of Jerusalem; for all things which the Lord hath spoken concerning the destruction of Jerusalem must be fulfilled. For behold, the Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them; for behold, they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison. And they have sought to take away the life of my father, insomuch that they have driven him out of the land. Now behold, I say unto you that if ye will return unto Jerusalem ye shall also perish with them. And now, if ye have choice, go up to the land, and remember the words which I speak unto you, that if ye go ye will also perish; for thus the Spirit of the Lord constraineth me that I should speak. 1 Nephi 7:8-15

After listening to Nephi's awful speech, Nephi's brothers were exceedingly wroth. So they tied him up and left him for the animals to eat.

And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts. 1 Nephi 7:16

But then Nephi prayed unto the Lord.

But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound. 1 Nephi 7:17

And, just like magic, the cords were untied.

And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again. 1 Nephi 7:18

Nephi's brothers tried to lay hands on him again but he was saved by a daughter, mother, and brother of Ishmael, who softened the hearts of Nephi's younger brothers.

And it came to pass that they were angry with me again, and sought to lay hands upon me; but behold, one of the daughters of Ishmael, yea, and also her mother, and one of the sons of Ishmael, did plead with my brethren, insomuch that they did soften their hearts; and they did cease striving to take away my life. 1 Nephi 7:19

Then Nephi's brothers bowed down and begged Nephi to forgive them.

And it came to pass that they were sorrowful, because of their wickedness, insomuch that they did bow down before me, and did plead with me that I would forgive them of the thing that they had done against me. 1 Nephi 7:20

And it came to pass that Nephi forgave his brothers and they returned to their father's tent in the wilderness, where they killed and sacrificed some animals for God and began to get to know the daughters of Ishmael.

And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done, and I did exhort them that they would pray unto the Lord their God for forgiveness. And it came to pass that they did so. And after they had done praying unto the Lord we did again travel on our journey towards the tent of our father. And it came to pass that we did come down unto the tent of our father. And after I and my brethren and all the house of Ishmael had come down unto the tent of my father, they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him. 1 Nephi 7:21-22

Blogging the Book of Mormon
Next episode -- 1 Nephi 8: Pointing the finger of scorn at Lehi's magic happy-fruit tree

01 July 2010

1 Nephi 6: It mattereth not to me that I am particular

In the last chapter, Lehi's family spoke in a certain manner of language. In this chapter, Nephi says nothing at all.

He's not going to say anything about Lehi's genealogy.

And now I, Nephi, do not give the genealogy of my fathers in this part of my record; neither at any time shall I give it after upon these plates which I am writing; for it is given in the record which has been kept by my father; wherefore, I do not write it in this work. 1 Nephi 6:1

"It sufficeth" for him to say that he and his family are descendants of Joseph. (But you already knew that from the last chapter.)

For it sufficeth me to say that we are descendants of Joseph. 1 Nephi 6:2

The reason Nephi is going on and on about nothing at all is that he doesn't have room to say anything. After all, he's writing all this down on metal plates. You wouldn't waste words if you were doing that, would you?

That's why it mattereth not to him that he is particular to give a full account of all the things, etc., etc.

And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God. 1 Nephi 6:3

So he's not going to write pleasing things; he's going to give commandment unto his seed.

Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world. ... Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed. 1 Nephi 6:5-6

And that's all Nephi has to say about that.

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Next episode -- 1 Nephi 7: Oh Fetch! We forgot the fricken women!