Archive for the ‘Religius’ Category

10 Biblical Facts That Everyone Gets Wrong

August 24, 2011

I love religious lists – especially those involving facts or debunkings. In memory of the very popular list on factlets people get wrong I have put this one together inspired by the same excellent source. Be sure to add your own factlets to the comments, and when you are done, check out the Top 10 Misconceptions About the Bible. This list also features a competition, so be sure to check out the bonus item.

10 Adam and Eve

Contrary to popular belief, Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden not because they ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but in order to prevent them from eating from the tree of life (both forbidden trees are in Genesis 2:9) which would have made them eternal. God doesn’t like competition! Here is the verse (Genesis 3:22-23): “And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. [23] And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken.”

9 Jonah and the Whale

We all know the tale of Jonah and the whale… but how well do we know it? Well enough to know that he wasn’t eaten by a whale? It was no mammal that ate Jonah – it was a huge fish – though its type is not mentioned. Of course, I am presuming that everyone reading this list knows that a whale is not a fish.

8 Samson and Delilah

Samson and Delilah is a famous story from the Old Testament which ends rather badly, as Samson’s long hair is cut short to destroy his strength. The common misconception is that Delilah was the one to give him the chop – a kind of ancient bobbit if you will. But in fact, it was Delilah’s servant who did it.

7 Rapture

The “Rapture” is not in the Bible! Despite being believed by a large number of protestants (many of whom also believe that only that which is in the Bible can be true) it was actually invented in the 1600s by one Cotton Mather – otherwise famous for murdering women by strangling them to death (by hanging) in the Salem witch trials. The term in the Bible commonly mistranslated to the word “rapture” actually comes from the Greek ἁρπάζω (harpazo) which actually means “caught up” or “taken away” and it refers to one person only (Philip).

6 Three Wise Men

There weren’t three and they didn’t visit Jesus in a manger. The Bible gives neither the number of men (but does the number of gifts as three, which is probably where this misconception stems from). Additionally, Herod demanded the death of all boys under two, making it probable that Christ had been born up to two years prior. Also, the wise men visited Jesus when he lived in a house according to the Biblical account in Matthew 2:11.

5 Get Rich Quick

The Bible does not condemn drinking alcohol (remember that Jesus’ first public miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding party), or gambling and betting. The closest it comes to the latter is to recommend against get rich quick schemes (Ecclesiastes 5:10) and loving money excessively. Be sure to remember that next time you are sipping your wine at the local casino. Addendum: “The Bible does NOT condemn the drinking of alcohol – that misconception is a holdover from Calvinistic and Purtanical Prtotestantism – which worked its way into Methodism etc; What the Bible DOES say is “Be not DRUNK of the fruit of the vine” – at the same time many gainsayers will claim that the water was turned into grape juice – but the original Gospels clearly use a word which translates from the original Greek as WINE a “fermented grape beverage”. [addendum courtesy of carra 23]. Traditionally drunk means “falling down drunk” – in other words, the loss of the will to control oneself.

4 Help

“God helps those who help themselves” – a wise and good quote that everyone knows is from the Bible. But, in fact, it isn’t. It was a man, not a god who coined the well known (and overused) proverb. It was Benjamin Franklin in his Poor Richard’s almanac.

3 Brother’s Keeper

Another quote we all know from the Bible is “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Now ask yourself – do you know what God’s answer was to this question? You don’t – no one does because the Bible doesn’t tell us what He replied. If God were to have answered, we can presume it would have been in the affirmative if all of the other commands to look after our brothers in the New Testament are taken into consideration.

2 Christmas Travel

The Virgin Mary is not described in the Bible as having travelled to Bethlehem on a donkey. No mention is made at all in the gospels of the mode of transport used in the journey. The first mention of her riding a donkey comes from the non-Biblical Protoevangelium of James which you can read here. It was written around 150AD and is also one of the oldest works to describe Mary as a virgin both before and after the birth of Christ. The exact quote from the Protoevangelium is “And he [Joseph] saddled the ass, and set her upon it;”

1 Horned Moses

This has been mentioned in passing in comments on previous lists but it definitely warrants a mention here. Unlike most of the misconceptions here which deal specifically with what the Bible says or doesn’t say, this one is a misconception about the translation of part of it. The Old Testament refers to Moses as having horns on his head after he went up the mountain to see God. This prompted Michaelangelo to sculpt him with the horns. Many people believe that this was due to a mistranslation of the description of Moses but, in fact, it isn’t. Moses really is described as being horned. And the reason for this? In Old Testament times, a person who was believed to have seen or been touched by God was described as having horns (or rays of light) coming from their head. It was an ancient symbol much like today’s gloriole.

+ Competition

[NOTE: The competition has now ended and the two winners of the beautiful Bible are: 23redleader and MrsBenLinus – congratulations!]

In honor of this list being about Biblical misconceptions and the fact that Christmas is almost one week away, we are having a competition. After the publication of tomorrow’s list I will choose two commenters at random to win a copy of the Haydock Bible – a stunning leather bound Bible which has a commentary alongside each verse giving interpretations from the early Christian fathers. It is my favorite edition of the Bible and it is an impressive size (11×9 inches). This book is valued at $118 USD and we will deliver to any country.

http://listverse.com/2010/12/17/10-biblical-facts-that-everyone-gets-wrong/

14 Stations of the Cross

August 24, 2011

Today is Good Friday, the day traditionally set aside in the year to remember the death of Jesus on the cross. Good Friday is one of only two days in the year that Roman Catholics do not have Mass. Instead, on this day, most Catholic Churches say the stations of the Cross (these are normally found an pictures around the inside walls of all Churches). In the 12th century, St Francis of Assisi devised the list and started the tradition of reciting it as a type of devotional service. Structurally, Mel Gibson’s 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, follows the stations. This is the complete list of the 14 stations, as St Francis defined them.


1

First Station

Jesus is condemned to death

 

 

 

 


2

Second Station

Jesus carries His cross

 

 

 

 

 

 3

Third Station

Jesus falls the first time

 

 

 

 

 


4

Fourth Station

Jesus meets his mother

 

 

 

 

 

 5

Fifth Station

Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

 

 

 

 

 

 6

Sixth Station

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

7

Seventh Station

Jesus falls the second time

 

 

 

 

 

 8

Eight Station

Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

 

 

 

 

 

9

Ninth Station

Jesus falls a third time

 

 

 

 

 

 10

Tenth Station

Jesus’ clothes are taken away

 

 

 

 

 

 11

Eleventh Station

Jesus is nailed to the cross

 

 

 

 

 

 12

Twelfth Station

Jesus dies on the cross

 

 

 

 

 

 13

Thirteenth Station

The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

 

 

 

 

 

 14

Fourteenth Station

Jesus is laid in the tomb

 

 

 

 

 

http://listverse.com/2008/03/21/14-stations-of-the-cross/

 

10 Fascinating Angels and Demons

August 24, 2011

This is a list of angels and demons probably not featured in the recently released movie of the same name. The entities listed below, have at various times been subject to exoteric and esoteric teachings throughout our history in many allegedly divinely inspired traditions as physical beings or as a psychological projection into the outer world of our own good and evil emotions and thoughts. This is a list of angels and demons probably not featured in the recently released movie of the same name. The entities listed below, have at various times been subject to exoteric and esoteric teachings throughout our history in many allegedly divinely inspired traditions as physical beings or as a psychological projection into the outer world of our own good and evil emotions and thoughts.

10  Uriel

In Christianity, one of the 7 archangels, Uriel plays a role in the rescue of Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist from the massacre of the innocents. He carries John and his mother Saint Elizabeth to join the Holy Family after their Flight into Egypt. Their reunion is depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks. From medieval Jewish mystical traditions, Uriel is also the Angel of Sunday and the Angel of Poetry.

 

 

 

9  Azrael

The archangel of death in Islam also equated with the angel of death in Judeo-Christian traditions and sometimes more commonly known as the grim reaper. He has 4 faces to watch over the 4 cardinal points of the earth, he has 4000 wings, and his whole body consists of eyes and tongues, the number of which corresponds to the number of people inhabiting the earth, he will be the last to die, recording and erasing constantly in a large book the names of men at birth and death.

 

 

8  Gabriel

In Christianity and Islam, Gabriel prophesied the birth of Jesus. He is regarded by Muslims as the intermediary between God and Muhammad in revealing the Qur’an, where he is known as Jibril. Believing in angels is one of the six Articles of Faith in Islam. In Mormonism he was both Noah in his mortal existence and Gabriel in the realms of heaven. Gabriel is mentioned only twice in the New Testament, the passage “I am Gabriel, who stand before God” (Luke 1:19), have led some to think that he must belong to the highest rank, however he is an archangel which is 8th in rank of the 9 orders of angels. The orders are: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels and Angels.

 

7  Incubus/Succubus

These are demons, male and female respectively who inhabit people’s dreams in order to have sex with them. One such encounter with an Incubus is said to have resulted in the birth of Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend. The Succubus are said to be highly attractive, sustaining their life force by repeated and forced fornication in the presence of the mans wife to the point of complete exhaustion resulting in death.

 

 

6  Metatron

Metatron is primarily associated with Judaism. The Zohar (a Kabalistic work attributed to Simeon Ben Iochai) identifies him as the Angel who oversaw the exodus of the people of Israel out of Egypt. Many esoteric traditions teach that he is the scribe who takes down God’s words, it is said he has an good sense of humor, and can at times be very mischievous! Metatron is associated with the symbol of a blacksmith’s hammer, which represents the shattering of our realities, and then the forging of new ones.

 

 

5  Babalon

Referred to as The Guardian of the Abyss, The Scarlet Woman, Mother of Abominations, her place in St. John’s Book of Apocalypse (Revelation) and Enochian magic inspired occultists to elevate her to the position of the liberated woman within the Mystical system of Thelema. This culminated in a series of magical rituals known as the Babalon Working. These took place between January 4 and March 4, 1946 by Jack Parsons (the co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL) and his partner and scribe Frater H. The point of these rituals was to invoke and manifest Babalon, then to conceive a child who would bring forward the aeon of Horus and the death of all religion. The success of the rituals has been debated ever since, in esoteric and occult legend. Jack Parsons died in 1952 aged 38 in an explosion at his home, and rumors have persisted of a magical working gone wrong. A crater on the far side of the moon is named after him. After the Babalon working, the scribe, Frater H, eloped with Parson’s wife and his money (a skill he became very good at). The identity of Frater H? None other than L Ron Hubbard the founder of scientology!

 

4  Moroni

Moroni is the name given by Joseph Smith to the angel that he claimed appeared to him several times in the 1820s. Smith believed that he was the keeper of the gold plates upon which was written, the book of Mormon. The plates were written in unusual characters, referred to as “reformed Egyptian”. Smith hid behind a blanket so no one else could see the golden tablets, and translated them into King James style English. Smith claimed that Moroni instructed Smith to use every means at his disposal to facilitate the translation including the use of a magical stone. Mormon theology says that when Smith finished the translation, the angel Moroni took the gold plates away with him to heaven. In 1826 Joseph Smith was charged with being a disorderly person and an impostor by a court in Bainbridge NY.

 

3  Choronzon

In Aleister Crowley’s magical system of Thelema, the serpent Choronzon is the ‘dweller’ in the Abyss, the final great obstacle between the magician and true enlightenment. Choronzon is known as the ‘Demon of Dispersion’, and described by Crowley as “a temporary personification of the raving and inconsistent forces that occupy the Abyss.” The name Choronzon though popularized by Aleister Crowley, first occurred in the Enochian records of John Dee (a consultant on many issues to Queen Elizabeth I) where Choronzon is synonymous with the serpent of the garden.

 

2  Seraphim

Many civilizations believe in angels, and many names have been given to the various angels. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Bible names only three angels that have a definite individual personality. They are Michael – Prince of Angels, Gabriel – Archangel of annunciation, resurrection, mercy, revelation and death, (Gabriel is considered by many theologians to have been female.) and Satan – The Fallen Angel. The Seraphim are said to be the highest order of angels who guard God’s throne. They are often depicted as ‘burning angels’ to represent them on fire with love for God. In the Bible Isaiah saw them as six winged beings. Tradition holds that they were the first creation of God, to enable God to know himself, through their existence and experiences. Many civilizations believe in angels, and many names have been given to the various angels. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Bible names only three angels that have a definite individual personality. They are Michael – Prince of Angels, Gabriel – Archangel of annunciation, resurrection, mercy, revelation and death, (Gabriel is considered by many theologians to have been female.) and Satan – The Fallen Angel. The Seraphim are said to be the highest order of angels who guard God’s throne. They are often depicted as ‘burning angels’ to represent them on fire with love for God. In the Bible Isaiah saw them as six winged beings. Tradition holds that they were the first creation of God, to enable God to know himself, through their existence and experiences.

 

1  Lucifer

Lucifer means “light-bearer” and it is used in various places in the Vulgate Bible as a reference to the planet Venus, a sign of the Zodiac, and “the aurora” (Job 11:17, Job 38:32, Psalm 109:3), and also, most significantly for this list, as the name of the King of Babylon (Isaiah 14:12) which is considered in Christianity to be a metaphor for the Prince of Devils (Lucifer is not considered to be the Devil’s name in Christianity – merely the state from which he fell). The use of the Morning Star metaphor is symbolic of the fall of the light-bearer – as the morning star vanishes in the daylight, so the devil fell from heaven. Interestingly, the word is also used to refer to Jesus in 2 Peter 1:19.

http://listverse.com/2009/05/14/10-fascinating-angels-and-demons/