Dust to Dust

A friend sent me this quote: “You come from dust and to dust you will return. That’s why I don’t dust. It could be someone I know.” The “dust to dust” part of the quote is originally in Genesis 3:19 and Ecclesiastes 3:20. I think this saying is funny.

When I die, eventually I’ll become dust, but it will be done piecemeal because my body will go to the University of California, Irvine medical school and my brain to the university’s MIND Institute for the study of aging brains.… Read more >

Paul’s Version

I recently spoke with a friend who asked, “Why do you always say that Paul’s conception of Jesus’s resurrection was different than that of the Gospel?”

Good question. Basically, gentiles understand the Bible in a vastly different way from the Jewish people. (Remember, the Bible was written by Jewish authors.) Gentiles almost always interpret it literally.… Read more >

A Nonparade Parade

On Palm Sunday, Christians reenact the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey while crowds cheer him as a king.

I don’t think such an event ever happened, but I do think great truths are hidden in that story.

I can’t imagine the Romans ever allowing Jesus’s Followers to have a parade with thousands of angry (occupied) Jews gathered in confined spaces.… Read more >

Paul the Apostate

I think apostate is a more appropriate title for Paul than apostle. Paul appointing himself an apostle has always irritated me, as has Paul as a person.

Let me start with some definitions:

  • Apostate: “A person who forsakes his religion, cause, party, etc.” Paul abandoned mainstream Judaism when he proclaimed Jesus to be the Messiah.
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Why 153 Fish?

Whenever I read the story of Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish in John 21:1–14, I wondered why John specified that 153 fish were caught. Why not 150? Or 111? Or 666?

The story began with Jesus’s third postcrucifixion appearance to his disciples at the Sea of Galilee (which is really a lake).… Read more >

The Poor Need Money, Not Congratulations

I have never liked Luke 6:20, which says “Congratulations, you poor!” in newer translations. I think that’s demeaning. If I were a poor person, I’d be offended, especially once Luke adds, “For yours is the kingdom of God.” Yippee! I get the kingdom of God—except I have no idea what the kingdom of God is.… Read more >

Jesus Loved Picnics

Jesus must have loved picnics. The Gospels recount two humongous picnics hosted by Rabbi Jesus.

The Gospels call them feedings instead of picnics, but that’s just semantics. Both picnics and feedings happen outside on the ground despite challenging weather and insects.

Mark’s descriptions of the two picnics are long winded (6:30–44 and 8:1–10).… Read more >

Was Jesus Trilingual?

Jesus is one of the best-known names on earth, though we don’t know much about him other than he was Jewish, he was born in Galilee, he was an itinerant preacher who was crucified as a criminal, and his message changed the course of civilization. When trying to figure out who the real Jesus was, one often has to compare information from the Gospels and history and then draw conclusions.… Read more >