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The Holy Bible, PT 2

I read more than half of the King James Version of The Holy Bible last year. So many people seem to identify in faith as Christian that I was curious what was actually in that text. I was looking for some sort of higher meaning or purpose to life, I must admit. I’ve heard that the book is about compassion, love, and goodwill for as long as I can remember. Jesus Christ died a martyr for believing in humanity. Rainbows and unicorns everywhere!

That’s the message one gets second-hand. So, as an atheist that does not outright reject all religious context, I have this preconceived notion that the book is about justice. Equality. In fact, one of the most important words in The Holy Bible is ‘iniquity.’ (Please see my previous entry for more about the interpretation of iniquity, but in short, it comes from the word inaequus, which means ‘not equal’ or ‘not just’.)

I read the Old Testament from the King James Version. I read almost all of it before I chucked the book at the wall. All throughout the entire novel, they completely contradict the ten commandments in every sense of the word. There is war, there is betrayal, there is avarice, there is pride, there is greed, there is lust, there is ego everywhere. Many times, the message in the story tells us that putting these things in your field house is wrong. It implies that a tough lesson will be learned by those who do not contribute to the greater society in a humble, beneficial manner. This message says that God will personally hold all villains accountable for their wrongdoing and protect the meek and the innocent. It’s repeated throughout the entirety of the Old Testament, actually.

Where is God? Did He go to sleep for a few centuries? How are there billionaires and trillionaires who step all over the common person who is making less than $7.00 an hour and busting their asses forty or more hours a week just to afford health care and try to put their kids through school or keep a roof over their heads? How are there people who can single-handedly afford to cure the entire world of all disease that never lift a finger to help another soul?

I’m not happy with the KJV. I’m not happy with any version I’ve read so far. I think it makes people into victims. It’s telling people if they just wait, the villain gets their comeuppance because the mystical magical God will hold them accountable in the afterlife! That we cannot hold anyone accountable in this life personally. All responsibility and authority is transferred from the mature to God, a faceless and nameless entity that we should put all our trust and faith into.

It makes us all into children, you know. Deferring to the wisest and most mature entity, invisible or not. We formed a service called law enforcement and we created laws to keep order. Without these things, we would never hold anyone accountable, no matter how heinous their crime is. Bank robbers, rapists, and pedophiles alike will never be punished until they’ve committed all their crimes and pass away. What about those pedophile rings one hears about all the time? Why aren’t all those people in jail yet? By saying God takes care of it all is telling everyone that life is going to be a fairy tale. Someone invisible will take care of all the wrongdoing. All you have to do is stay in your lane and do the best job you can do.

Many criminals stay out of the system of reform we’ve created. Is it because they have… money? How did they get that money? Was it by being noble and outstanding members of the community?

I found today that there is a literal translation of The Holy Bible from 1862 called Young’s Literal Translation or the YLT. According to some basic internet searching, the King James Version was translated in 1611. That means the YLT came into being 250 years later. It doesn’t even rate as a popular version of the Bible, as you can see below in my screen capture from The Wikipedia. Instead, a different interpretation called the New International Version has become the second most popular Bible in America, if not the world.

Why doesn’t the YLT rank here? I don’t know why the Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) did not gain in popularity well before the NIV was even conceived of. The YLT was published 110 years before the New International Version. It is even in the public domain today.

Why is the KJV the most popular version? Why is it the thrift store version? Why is it the version on a hotel room’s bedside table? Why is it the standard for the masses to read? Who benefits today from this publication being so widely sold? Is it the monarch of England? There’s no way a monarch might want the monarchs in The Holy Bible to be presented in some light other than the actual written word, is there? Could it be white-washed due to the origin? I sure hope not! I hope reading Young’s Literal Translation will tell me, either way.

I’m convinced I want to read the YLT simply from reading The Wikipedia’s article regarding the YLT.

The following are excerpts from The Wikipedia:

‘THE WORD OF GOD IS MADE VOID BY THE TRADITIONS OF MEN.’ I loved this quote. It’s basically saying that humankind perverts the message just because we are limited and biased, in general. We are not by default just or concerned with upholding the idea that we are all equal.

Secondly, the Hebrew verb nathan is translated 67 different ways in the King James Version. Young’s Literal Translation reduced this word to 10 meanings. Some say it could be reduced further.

I read Exodus last year. I will admit I have not revisited the text since I did so, but I did take pains to rewrite the sentences in the correct order, look up any words that I did not understand, and do my best to absorb the ‘lesson’ behind the words. I wanted to understand the essence of the story and was distracted by lack of proper sentence structure, lack of continuity, and many other problems that I don’t really want to highlight at this exact moment because I have a feeling that I’m going to go through The Holy Bible one story at a time.

I suppose I will find out the major differences between the versions when I read Exodus in the YLT. Before I do that, I’ll recap the King James Version right now, as briefly and factually as possible. (Sometimes I have some ‘shit-disturber’ types of questions. Please forgive me in advance!)

Exodus, KJV, Take One

The half-Jewish man that came to be named Moses is born in Egypt near the Nile river. During this time, there is a law to kill newborn babes of Jewish lineage, so he is abandoned on the bank of the Nile. The pharaoh’s daughter takes pity on the abandoned baby, ordering a Jewish nursemaid to give milk to the baby until he is weaned. The princess then nurtures Moses until he is a young man. At this point, Moses goes out and about in Egypt and has the misfortune of witnessing a Jewish duo killing an Egyptian man outside of the city.

The next day, he sees the same Jewish men once again inside the city, and challenges them regarding the crime. He says to the them, ‘Are you going to kill me now?’ The three of them get enter into a physical altercation and end up in trouble with the law. Moses becomes a fugitive and runs away from Egypt, finding himself coming to rest at a farm.

Moses decides to help the farm hands (presumably the sons and daughters of Reuel, the owner of the farm) and they finish their tasks early. The farm hands return to Reuel and he inquires, ‘How is it you have finished so quickly today?!’ They replied and told them a man helped them. Reuel demands to repay the man by feeding him a meal, so they fetch Moses.

Over time, Moses and Zipporah fall in love and soon are wed. Gershom, their son, is born.

One day, Moses is on a mountain and encounters a burning bush that gives him a holy quest. He is to go to Egypt, the place where he is wanted by the pharaoh for breaking the law, and rescue the captured Jewish people. God tells him, ‘Don’t worry, that pharaoh is gone. Nobody remembers the altercation anymore.’ Moses protests being God’s tool, saying he is slow to speak. God says to him, ‘Do not worry, I will give you the words to say.’ Moses protests again. ‘How will the people know I am a servant of God?’ God responds by giving him three miracles to perform as proof of his authenticity. His staff turns into a snake when thrown on the ground, his hand turns white as snow when he touches his heart (and then back again when he touches it a second time), and the third sign is that when he pours water from the river onto the ground, it turns to blood. God says, ‘Surely these three signs are enough to move the pharaoh.’

Moses, now convinced he may do as God bid him to do, goes to Reuel, his father-in-law, to explain that God has given him a mission and he asks Reuel for permission to leave the farm in order to carry out the mission.

Moses leaves with Reuel’s blessings, goes to Egypt, and talks to the Jewish elders to convince them he was sent by God. Then, he goes to the Pharaoh to convince the king to let go of the captive Jews. Along the way to fulfill his mission, Moses meets Aaron the Levite, who then takes over and performs God’s miracles instead of Moses… Sort of.

For the first miracle, Aaron throws his staff to the ground and it becomes a snake. The magicians in the pharaoh’s court throw their own staves on the ground, which also become snakes. Then, Aaron’s snake eats the other snake staves. The second miracle is never used because Moses is there for show at this point. Aaron has taken over rescuing the Jews for God. The third miracle is perverted and kills an entire river of fish and other aquatic creatures by turning the river to blood.

The king begs for mercy and the river is restored. Finally, the people of Egypt can drink the life-sustaining water again. Then, instead of actually letting the Jews go, the king goes back on his word and decides to keep them in captivity even longer. This causes Aaron to bring down plague after plague, killing millions of God’s creatures to teach the king a lesson about the great and terrible God!

Begrudgingly, the king lets go of the Jew slaves, who are then led away. Because the king is an asshole, he dispatches warriors in his employ to follow a column of thousands of Jews in exodus, somehow thwarted as Moses parts the red sea. Luckily, the red sea returns to normal just as the riders threaten to catch up to slay the people of Israel who dare to escape the clutches of the evil King Jethro.

The king is wily, doing his best to reduce the Jews to nothingness. ‘If I can’t have them, no one shall!’ seems to be his message. (Who can argue? They’re free labor. So instead of paying these Jews for labor, he pays people to oppress them to give free labor. How convenient for the people who don’t want to till soil and instead wish to murder people, don’t you think?)

Moses and many thousands of Jews finally escape the treacherous, lying fiend of a king and find a mountain to settle on. Moses is never reunited with his wife, Zipporah, or his son, Gershom. Instead, he becomes the keeper of Jewish law, the settler of disputes, the judge of the people for the rest of his life just three days west of the border of Egypt.

The End (of what Sansara made herself read.)

I believe some nonsense with Aaron takes place at the end of the story, but I got bored trying to read that drivel. I had too many questions already that seemed more important than the grandstanding that reoccurs all throughout this story.

  1. Why did Aaron steal Moses’ thunder?! Moses is the one God spoke to, isn’t he?
  2. Why wasn’t Moses able to convince the pharaoh, as God assured him in Ch. 2, with his three miracles?
  3. Why didn’t Moses show his snow-white hand to the pharaoh as miracle #2?
  4. What kind of man, modern or ancient, watches water become blood and does not declare, ‘Your God is mighty. TAKE YOUR PEOPLE AND GO!
  5. What kind of God kills millions of innocent creatures instead of killing a psychopathic king to prove He’s almighty?

If a person poured a bottle of water out in front of me and I watched it turn to blood on the ground or as it seeped out of the vessel, I would be completely astonished and afraid of what else that person could do that was so unnatural. I would tell them to take whatever they want and get their voodoo far, far away from me. It just is not natural.

Isn’t turning water into non-water ethereal enough to convince someone, of any standing, that maybe God is talking through the person who can do this crazy unnatural thing? Jesus did it and everyone believed him. He turned water into wine, or so the story goes.

But this king? Nope. The pharaoh sends men who vie for a portion of the king’s wealth to do as he commands to commit genocide and slay thousands of unarmed people because he’s a sore loser. And God let him live. What kind of God does that? A psychopath. That’s what kind of God this story describes.

We’re reading a story about an ancient Hitler and instead of killing Hitler, God instead kills millions of innocents to try to make Hitler see the error of his ways. Literally, WTF? Do you think Hitler saw the error of his ways? I don’t. I think he ran away from being held accountable because he was convinced he was right.

I hope there is an afterlife with accountability, but I simply do not believe in it.

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