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A New Project

November 12, 2011 Leave a comment

So while I am constantly reading sections of the Bible in Koine Greek, or cross-referencing manuscripts, or comparing conflicting stories in various books it has been a while since I went back and read the whole Bible. I remember the first time I read the whole Bible. It was around the time when I was twelve years old, right after my apostasy from the church. Having experienced Episcopalian, Roman Catholic and Southern Baptist traditions I decided to read the book in its entirety to see if I could figure out which was right. I came to the conclusion upon finishing the book that none of them were right and perhaps the book was wrong too. There were too many questions, too many contradictions, too many conflicting stories to make the whole thing truthful… I was twelve. Codex Gigas - (Kungl. biblioteket)

The time has come for me to delve back into this enormous project and I hope to document it all here. Unlike the last time I tackled the whole Bible I will not be beginning with Genesis and moving straight through to Revelation. I will be beginning with the New Testament first of all, mostly because Christian scripture and church history is the most interesting aspect of the whole thing to me. I will also be reading, rather than from the King James Version alone, from various translations including the Revised Standard Version and the Lexham English Bible English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament alongside the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece 27th Edition. I will also be referencing the manuscript tradition when I feel something might be better expressed or to note interesting textual variants.

I hope to document as much of the process as I can. I will be reading not only the testaments out of order but I will be reading them in a very specific order which I believe helps shed light on the themes hidden below the surface of the Bible. I will be starting with Mark, the first gospel written, and then on to Matthew and Luke, its textual dependants. Then on to Acts, Luke’s sequel. From there I will be reading the Gospel of John and the Johannine Epistles (1, 2, & 3 John). Then to Paul in the order of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon, Galatians, Romans, Ephesians, Colossians. Leaving Paul for the time being I will move to James then to Pseudo-Paul’s Pastorals: 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. I will finish with 1 & 2 Peter, Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation. I will also be interspersing my readings with various translations of other non-canonical works such as the Gospel of Thomas, Letter of Ignatius, Acts of Paul and Thecla and the Didiache.

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My newest project

April 20, 2011 Leave a comment

So on April 9th, my good friend Jason had me come on his internet radio show to discuss the May 21, 2011 end times prophesy. It was originally just going to be me on the show with his co-hosts. The show runs for two hours and we were set to talk about Harold Camping, May 21st, and the rapture more generally. However, about 4 hours before the show was to start Brother Mike called Jason’s hotline and asked to be on the show.

Well the show came and we had Brother Mike come on and talk about the claims. He was long winded and full of crap but he was generally polite. He was on for just shy of an hour before he was cut off and we went into the second portion where the three hosts and myself discussed what Brother Mike said.

After the show, Bob who is also an atheist, Jason who is religiously apathetic, and myself decided that we could have a show just to address the things that came up during that one episode. So we got together and planned out our own show, I am the host and Bob and Jason agreed to be the co-hosts.

We filmed our first episode on Monday. The format is somewhat raw, we were out in public, but we think that this will work well for what we are doing. Jason’s other show is filmed in his living room so we wanted something more open for this show. Our inaugural episode deals with the Resurrection Challenge issued by LogosApologia last September as a sort of kick off. We have some big things planned once we get a small following. If you want to check out the show you can like our fan page on Facebook and tune in at 8pm ET tomorrow night at Zombie-Popcorn.com for our first episode.

Evangelism in America: Is the Religious Right taking the helm of America’s Christian traditions?

March 15, 2011 Leave a comment

The headlines have said it; Evangelical Christianity is on the rise while the more moderate Protestant Christian denominations are in decline. But is this really the case? And if it is, how long will it be before the more radical aspects of Protestant Christianity hold sway over the majority of Americans? Imagine if most people bought into the inane garbage spewed by the Pat Robertsons, Billy Grahams, and Jerry Falwells of the world. A frightening projection indeed; so what does the major research into this field tell us about this supposed unstoppable growth?

The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS)[1] conducted out of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut found in 2008 that so called Mainline Christianity is indeed in the decline while Pentecostal and other Charismatic and Evangelical denominations are increasing; however, it is the Non-Denominational and Unspecified Christians who take the lead in areas of growth. While Pentecostals grew from 1.8% of the population to 2.3% the former groups grew from 4.7% to 10.9%. It seems that hand over fist it is the more generic Christians who are taking charge of the faith but another interesting conclusion of the ARIS report is that Christianity as a whole, while still adhered to by a majority of Americans, is in decline. From 1990 to 2008 the number of Christians in American dropped by nearly 10% while the irreligious went from 8.2% to 15%, gaining nearly the whole loss from Christianity. It is safe to say that according to ARIS the US won’t face an Evangelical takeover anytime soon.

Then there is the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life,[2] a great research tool for anyone with questions concerning demographics of religion and politics. They found in 2010 that only 39% of Americans attended a religious service once a week, only a third of Americans believed that the Bible was the literal and unaltered word of God, and only 56% of Americans consider religion to be very important to one’s life. Striking figures when one considers that Christians make up 76% of the US population. Finally, according to the Pew Foundation the irreligious grew by 1.1% in the two years between the 2008 ARIS report and the one done by Pew in 2010.

From this we can clearly see that while Evangelism is a growing trend within Christianity it is by no means the fastest growing nor is it the dominant trend. On top of that Christianity as a whole is in decline, it would seem that the denominations are more so cannibalizing current members from other churches than gaining new members from outside the faith resulting in a net loss in the pews. Secularism and irreligiosity is one of the fastest growing trends in the American religious landscape possibly by Christianity’s step toward the political right as it becomes less mainstream and more Evangelical. Whatever the reason it, it would seem that the reports about the evangelization of the nation are all taken out of proportion.

Survey about religion.

May 4, 2010 Leave a comment

So I decided to do some research with respect to religious demographics. Hopefully the research will go well and I will be able to conduct more in depth research and just maybe write a research paper on the subject of my findings. I believe that the internet is the best way to do these sorts of things. In 2010 a majority of Americans have access to the internet and it provides a better statistical analysis than if I were to stand around asking people to take a survey like I did back in college. With that said, please take the survey, answer all the questions honestly and hopefully within a few weeks I will be able to come back with some of the results.

Click Here to take survey

Cheers!