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Some Biblical Observations

I find it fascinating that:

— A mistranslation in the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) may have resulted in Jesus’ virgin birth. In any event, the author of Matthew took extreme liberties to make Jesus fit Old Testament prophecies and probably wasn’t even familiar with the Hebrew OT.

— Contra orthodoxy, we don’t actually know who the majority of the NT authors were. Out of the 27 books, we can reasonably conclude that we know 7 to 11 of them. There are only 7 undisputed letters of Paul (1-2 Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon, Philippians) and 4 books that may have been written by their traditional authors (Revelation, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, and 1 Peter).  The remaining books are either (1) misattributed—anonymous but misattributed by later Christians (2) homonymous—written by Christians who share the same name with a traditional author or (3) pseudographs—written by later Christians claiming to be a traditional author.

— With the above in mind, there is a good chance that we have no written documents from eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus.

— Early Christianity was not even close to being homogenous. No extra-biblical evidence is necessary to determine this. Close scrutiny of the NT books is good enough. These authors are not saying the same thing.

— Some of the earliest church members (e.g. members of Paul’s churches) were considerably (and quite hilariously) disorganized and immoral. As evidenced by Paul in his letter to them, the church of Corinth had members suing each other. Some people were visiting prostitutes and bragging about it in church. They would compete with each other spiritually during worship by attempting to speak in tongues louder and more often than their competition. At the weekly communion meal (an actual meal), some people were coming early and eating most of the food and getting drunk off wine. Those who could not come until later thus had nothing to eat or drink.

— The earliest churches (at least Paul’s) were also completely egalitarian. There was no hierarchy. Rather, the church was led by the Holy Spirit working through each member. Lack of leadership may explain why there was so much chaos in some of these churches. Someone needed to take control. Of course, that eventually happened, introducing a whole new set of problems.

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