If the account of Jesus' resurrection is to be understood as a literary device, then , not just the torn curtain! detail must mean something or the author would not have included it. Furthermore, those symbolic meanings must be consistent with the themes of the rest of the New Testament.
Is John's arrival at the empty tomb before Peter supposed to symbolize that youth will be the first to believe before their elders? Is the head cloth supposed to tell us that the head is the most important part of the body, or that religious evidence must be considered by our brains? Are women supposed to be the first witnesses or believers in Jesus in a society, or the first missionaries in a new region? Is the risen Savior too holy or exalted to touch?
In the 2,500 years since the Book of Job was written mankind has explored the earth and accumulated some knowledge. We can now respond with a pretty good answer to God's question: "The earth is 25,000 miles around and 8,000 miles in diameter. Its highest point is Mt. Everest at 29,028 feet above sea level, and its deepest point is Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench at 36,200 feet below sea level." Jehovah in his grace and mercy has permitted us to discover some of the mysteries of the universe He created. A scientific explanation does not prove that there is no god; instead, it reveals the marvelous handiwork of Him who designed the natural laws, set the planets in motion, and continues to watch over and care for mankind every day.
This essay came about only because anti-evolution views were thrust forward at a worship service. I heed the warning in Titus 3:9-11: "Don't get involved in arguing over unanswerable questions and controversial theological ideas; keep out of arguments and quarrels about obedience to Jewish laws, for this kind of thing isn't worthwhile; it only does harm. If anyone is causing divisions among you, he should be given a first and second warning. After that have nothing more to do with him, for such a person has a wrong sense of values. He is sinning, and he knows it."
All Biblicaltranslations, unless otherwise noted, are from the Revised Standard Version. The "[other translations]" link after each cited passage compares theRSV translation with four others: the King James, American Standard Version,Young's Literal Translation and New American Standard. I chose the RSV todisplay in the text because of what I consider its greater readability. Readers of this essay will see that by and large any differences among thetranslations do not affect the interpretations I give to the RSV version ofeach passage. The few instances where translation differences from the RSVlend a somewhat different meaning, are balanced by the times when a non-RSVtranslation bolstered my point but the RSV did not, and so the passage was notincluded at all in the essay.
Compare that $13 billion figure to the a year we Americans spend on weight-loss products and programs. How about westop stuffing our faces so much, and instead use that $35 billion (plus themoney saved on the food we won't have eaten) to nourish the hundreds ofmillions of Matthew 25 "least of these" who truly need that food?
18. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me topreach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to thecaptives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who areoppressed, 19. to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
Confusion is one explanation, but the fervent,sustained anti-Matthew 25 agenda of right-wing pseudo-Christians who areintelligent enough to know better, seems to me to call for a concept more likeSatanism.
What a joke isthis harping on the "illegal" nature of much immigration. Everyoneknows that businesses, and hence the government, apply the"wink-and-nod" approach here: the businesses want the cheap labor,and the political parties want votes from these ethnic blocs. The"illegality" is about as serious as jaywalking. And please don'twrite to harangue me about how we have to protect ourselves against terroristswho enter the country illegally. I agree: crimes of terrorism ofthe first magnitude, and the illegal entry of terrorists beprevented. But let's keep separate things separate. Don't falsely invoketerrorism to demonize and make dangerous criminals of the lettuce pickers whocross the Rio Grande so you can eat your dinner salad tonight.
Indeed,concept that health care should be considered a vitalhuman right – as much as the freedoms of religion and speech – has started to some publicrecognition. I just don't understand the thinking of people who don't thinkhealth care is a basic human right. If a person is dead, then the rights offree speech or exercise of religion are not of much use that person anymore,are they? A recent study that 18,000 people die in the United States every year because they don't havehealth insurance. Much pain and suffering also results from not having health insurance.
15. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing butinwardly are ravenous wolves. 16. You will know them by their fruits. Aregrapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17. So, every sound treebears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. 18. A sound tree cannotbear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19. Every tree that doesnot bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20. Thus you willknow them by their fruits. 21. "Not every one who says to me, `Lord,Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Fatherwho is in heaven. 22. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we notprophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mightyworks in your name?' 23. And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you;depart from me, you evildoers.'
16. And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed mustI do, to have eternal life?" 17. And he said to him, "Why do you askme about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keepthe commandments." 18. He said to him, "Which?" And Jesus said,"You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal,You shall not bear false witness, 19. Honor your father and mother, and, Youshall love your neighbor as yourself." 20. The young man said to him,"All these I have observed; what do I still lack?" 21. Jesus said tohim, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to thepoor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." 22. Whenthe young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.23. And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hardfor a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24. Again I tell you, it iseasier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man toenter the kingdom of God." 25. When the disciples heard this they weregreatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" 26. But Jesuslooked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with Godall things are possible." 27. Then Peter said in reply, "Lo, we haveleft everything and followed you. What then shall we have?" 28. Jesus saidto them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shallsit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelvethrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29. And every one who has lefthouses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for myname's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30. But manythat are first will be last, and the last first.
Compare that $13billion to the a year we Americans spend on weight-loss products and programs. How about westop stuffing our faces so much, and instead use that $35 billion (plus themoney saved on the food we won't have eaten) to nourish the hundreds ofmillions of Matthew 25 "least of these" who truly need that food?