11 April 2006

Judas Iscariot

Zuco has an interesting post about whether Judas Iscariot was really a traitor. Apparently an ancient gospel, missing for 1,700 years, has showed up casting a new light on the old story.

I remember reading Nikos Kazantzakis's novel "The Last Temptation" years ago, during my junior college days. (Yeah, Mr Wang was very much into illegal merchandise in those days). Nikos also had the same theory that Judas's "betrayal" was all part of the game plan.

In other words, Judas didn't do what he did for 30 pieces of silver. He did what he did, so that Jesus could be arrested and crucified and all of mankind could be saved.

What did you really think - that Judas was THAT stupid? 30 lousy pieces of silver, or everlasting life in paradise? The choice would be clear, even to a little kid.

55 comments:

redbean said...

god had it all planned. judas was to betray jesus so that the prophecy will be fulfilled and jesus can then go on to save the world.

judas is as innocent as god. if judas is guilty then god should be more guilty. for he planned it to be so.

i also post at www.redbeanforum.com

yh said...

judas was no judas

Jeremy said...

Hmmm, interesting theory, but 30 pieces of silver is worth more than Singapore peanuts in those days. Money makes people do lots of unthinkable things. Just now, Goh Chok Tong threw another stinker telling the world that they know who votes for who in the coming Singapore elections; so is GCT doing a "Judas"?

passer-by said...

Hey, who has time for abstract concepts like "ever-lasting life" when there's money to be made? i mean, we are not even sure 100% plus chop there is such a thing as eternal life. Little kid? Give him sweets and he will do your bidding. The sight of money makes people go blind. It stands to reason that Judas would betray Jesus for money.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Possibly. However, your interpretation sounds unlikely to me because Judas was one of the 12 Apostles. He'd been travelling with Jesus for quite some time witnessing miracles. It would be peculiar for him to have any doubts about "everlasting life".

Also possibly, Jesus was wavering - He knew what had to be done, but being human, He was weak after all. Judas understood that for the sake of mankind, Jesus must not be allowed to falter. Therefore Judas enacted his plan to ensure that mankind would be saved. Jesus, being God, knew beforehand what Judas was up to (hence the Last Supper scene), but He still said what He said at the last supper, because He was afraid of the coming crucifixion.

Yet another interpretation is that Judas did what he did for both reasons - he wanted mankind to be saved, AND he wanted his 30 pieces of silver.

The 3rd interpretation is that Jesus and Judas had it all planned out. Jesus was not weak, and knew what he had to do - so He instructed Judas to "betray" him to the Romans.

singaporean said...

Evangelical Christians have long hammered Catholics for not taking the Bible as literally as they do. While the return to prominence of Da Vinci Code/Holy Blood Holy Grail/Gospel of Judas may seem very damaging to the Catholic Church, it is even worse for the Evangelical Christians.

For who picked which books should be in the New Testament? God didnt hand it to us, at least not in the same way the Ten Commandments arrived in the hands of Moses or the Quran in the hands of the Prophet Muhammad. One Bishop here, another Bishop there decided what constituted the Christian faith and what constituted heresy, ie the Bible is very much a part of Church tradition, rather than some overriding immutable literal commands direct from God carved in stone and hand delivered by Jesus. If Church tradition at any point can be corrupted, then so can the Bible. The Catholic Church today may be far from perfect, but if it is corrupted to the core as some Evangelicals believe, then all Christians are well, screwed.

That said, I have to admit my opinion as a wavering christian bothers as a heretic myself. The Gospel of Judas merely reinforced my belief that whichever book of the Bible should never be interpreted too literally. For example, just because one line in the Bible says God hates gays doesnt necessary mean so; it may just be the writer hates gays and tried to enforce it using God's name. Just because the people of the time couldnt fathom that the earth is anything but flat and wrote that down in the Bible doesnt mean we have to choose between the earth has to be flat or God has to be wrong. Strip the Bible of it's context, and the message of God will be lost. This is the danger of fundamentalism in any faith.

Judas was handpicked by Jesus to be an apostle; a bishop no less. If Jesus can pick someone corrupt to be an apostle, one has to question the divinity of Jesus. If greed was Judas' sole motivation, he would have taken money and fled, rather than hang around and feel guilty and eventually to throw away the money and hang himself. I believe the truth is somewhere in between what is found in the the New Testament and the Gospel of Judas, because both accounts seem too eager to take extreme sides.

klimmer said...

It's kind of strange that people still worked up over something happened over 2,000 years ago. It's not like any of the participants then are still around today.

Mr Wang Says So said...

I'm not worked up. I'm not even Christian.

I'm a person with a strong interest in people, psychology and .... literature. I love stories (real stories, as well as fairy tales, novels, fiction, poems etc). As a corollary, I love thinking about the motivations and intentions of characters in these stories.

It has occurred to me that it would be very difficult to write a convincing story about the last days of Jesus's life on earth, using the conventional explanation that Judas betrayed Jesus just for money.

I suspect that in "The Last Temptation", Nikos Kazantzakis wrote what he wrote, because the way he wrote was the most plausible interpretation he could think of. The act of writing forces the novelist to get deep into the heads of his characters, and then they take on a life of their own, and you just cannot make them do what they will not do. Nikos could not make Judas betray Jesus as per the conventional Biblical version; artistically, it was just not possible any more.

It would be like a very badly directed movie where a character just suddenly behaves totally out of sync in the last scenes -

like an Indiana Jones movie where Indiana Jones suddenly turns out to be afraid of cockroaches;

or a James Bond movie where Bond suddenly turns out to be gay;

or a Star Wars movie where Darth Vader starts telling funny jokes and turns out to be a pretty jovial, friendly person. after all.

redbean said...

Also possibly, Jesus was wavering - He knew what had to be done, but being human, He was weak after all....

Jesus, being God, knew beforehand what Judas was up to...

because He was afraid of the coming crucifixion.


now ain't this confusing. one moment he is a man, was weak and wavering. the next moment he was god and knew beforehand. then he was afraid to die.

i also post at www.redbeanforum.com

redbean said...

sorry i quoted above from mr wang's post.

Mr Wang Says So said...

But isn't this a key point of the Bible?

That Jesus was both God and man?

Also, I don't think that there's any conflict between:

(1) knowing what you have to do; and
(2) being afraid about it.

To give a very everyday example, you may know that you have to go to the dentist to have your wisdom tooth yanked out, but you may nevertheless be afraid of the idea.

Or if you need a grander example, you may know that it is your duty to fight and die for your country in a war, but you may nevertheless be very afraid and entertain thoughts of AWOL.

You can think of Judas as the guy who makes you go to the dentist / takes you by force to the frontline.

Mr Wang Says So said...

And collects a commission from the dentist/SAF for it. Heheh.

redbean said...

A man can be afraid. god has nothing to be afraid of. if jesus is indeed god and knows exactly what is going to happen, to think that he can be afraid is blasphemy.

how can god be afraid unless he is not god. during those moments jesus already knew that he is god.

or are you suggesting that he does not know? he does not know that he is going to be betrayed, that he is going to be hanged and resurrect on the third day to save the world?

he knew. he knew because he knew he was god.

and that was why the jews wanted him dead.

Mr Jherek said...

Hmmm from memory both Pontius Pilate and Judas are saints in the ethiopian church. Might be wrong there.

The gospel that's be translated is a Gnostic gospel.

Anonymous said...

Could Jesus have chosen a corrupt person to be his Apostle? He could, cos it was prophesised that he would be betrayed. I dun believe Jesus was wavering cos in the garden of Gethsamane, he was strengthened. So was Judas a helpless pawn in the whole scenario? Let me put it that out of greed he betrayed Jesus.

Look at Peter. He boasted so much yet denied Jesus three times that very night. So what is so special of Judas that he cannot be 'corrupt'? The only thing is, Peter repented. Judas killed himself.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Whatever.

I prefer the idea of Jesus being afraid. If he was not afraid, then the crucifixion becomes kinda meaningless. What kind of "sacrifice" would it be?

Imagine a smiling, laughing Jesus on the cross. Saying to all the people around, "Heheh, this doesn't hurt at all, no problem, man, I'm God you know, nothing to be afraid, you could poke me with a few more spikes, just as you please, I'm feeling great, hey let me tell you a few new parables to pass the time."

Whether Jesus was afraid or not, however, is not that central to the Judas issue. (For example, Judas may or may not have betrayed Jesus, but either way, Jesus may or may not have been afraid.)

I do think, however that Jesus was afraid. I thought it was apparent from the Gospel actually. In Gethsemane, the night before his crucifixion he prayed to his Father to let the cup, ie his passion, pass him by.

Matthew 26:39 'My Father, if it is possible, do not let this happen.

In other words, "Oh please, God, please, do I really need to be crucified?"

His prayer for that didn't quite work out that way but instead he got the strength to face his passion, "Not my will, but yours be done."

Mr Wang Says So said...

"or are you suggesting that he does not know? he does not know that he is going to be betrayed, that he is going to be hanged and resurrect on the third day to save the world?"

You could know and still be afraid. Is that difficult to understand? Think of the dentist example again.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Peter's behaviour is entirely believable. He chickened out. Plain & simple. There is nothing inconsistent between his earlier behaviour and later behaviour.

Judas's behaviour (as depicted in the conventional Bible) is much less believable. As I said, it'd make a lousy movie, if it were a movie.

Anonymous said...

well, the world is full of foolish people acted stupidly, which even a kid should know which is the better choice. Dun u agree. U might say Peter's act is rational. Cos he chickened out. I think Judas act is also rational. After all, even in modern Singapore, we have people ready to sell out what is valuable for what is not.

Earn a little bit more (and u r not exactly poor) or time with ur children. Ppl still choose earning a little more..

Mr Wang Says So said...

Well, possibly Judas did betray Jesus.

But possibly he did not. That's all I'm saying.

(Ok, I'm saying one more thing - I think Version 2 is much more plausible).

I feel that your analogy about Singaporeans & children is a bit off. If you really want to use this kind of analogy, then the question then is whether Singaporeans would kill their children in order to be extremely successful in their careers. I don't think so.

Some Singaporeans may neglect their children in order to succeed in their careers (just as some apostles were not always perfect followers of Jesus);

some Singaporeans may choose not to have children at all in order to succeed in their careers (just as someone in Jesus' time may have refused to give up his material lifestyle to become an apostle);

BUT I don't think any Singaporeans kill their children so that they can succeed in their careers (just as I don't think it's plausible that Judas would have Jesus killed for 30 pieces of silver).

Anonymous said...

Would any singapore parent kill their children in order to further their careers?

When there are so many abortions, abandoned parents (children are working and mot in poverty, mind u) and the such, i reserve my opinion, though u can guess where i lean towards.

chrischoo said...

It's plausible to kill someone for money isn't it? There've been so many drama serials depicting a husband or wife kill their spouse to claim an absurd amount from insurance companies. And infanticide? Seems to pan out on TV and even in reality.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Actually I don't think most people would kill their spouse for money. It's even less likely if they happened to know that their spouse is the saviour of mankind.

Anyway, I've said my piece, and I've made my point.

Seems like there's a new (or rather, old and rediscovered) gospel supporting the view I've suggested.

guest said...

It looks like Mr Wang is very bent on taking the 2nd theory of Jesus being afraid and Judas being the one who steps up and enforces the sacrifice.

Just some questions...

What is so special about Judas, that *he* must be the strong one who comes and *makes* Jesus go through the cruxifiction?

In other words, it is written that Jesus will die and rise on the 3rd day, so that our sins will be saved...but if God did not allow for Jesus to die this way, then no matter what a religious zealot Judas is, his one-man action will bear no fruit.

To suggest that Judas, a man has to be the one who makes sure Jesus, both God and man goes through the sacrifice seems implausible to me... I cannot reconcile that...not being argumentative...just throwing up a query...

guest said...

Another thing mentioned, would Judas betray his master, someone he has followed for so long for 30 pieces of silver?

In the same vein, would a man kill his own wife, just to get at a few dollars, which can be used for his new pregnant mistress?
(think Balakrishnan)

Would a teenager kill a stranger, who has never crossed his path before for just $100 000? (Think Anthony) (There is another case, which I can't remember the name, where 3 boys agreed to kill this man's gf for a few hundred dollars...appalling, how cheap human life is nowadays)

On Judas turning coat, Mr Wang says: "It would be like a very badly directed movie where a character just suddenly behaves totally out of sync in the last scenes.."

But Mr Wang, isn't it also said that fact is stranger than fiction?

Greed can make people blind...that's why gambling is such a big issue...

Judas could be thinking, "so what if He's the Messiah, the saviour...how sure are you? We have been wandering around for so long, where's his promised kingship? I think I'll just take what's real and in sight -- money."

People can die/cheat/lie/betray for money...greed la...

And besides human behaviour is irrational (think when is the last time you could not understand your loved one...she dunno why u dun want a country club membership then)

Reasons are only reserved in movies, or else the show won't sell la...

soulburnz said...

True salvation is the ceasation of greed, aversion and ignorance.

And this can only be done so by self realisation and effort; not by relying on external self-proclaimed supereme being.

Anonymous said...

"What did you really think - that Judas was THAT stupid? 30 lousy pieces of silver, or everlasting life in paradise? The choice would be clear, even to a little kid."

So Mr Wang, have you make a wise choice? 30 lousy pieces of silver, or everlasting life in paradise?

Mike Wang

Fung Suan said...

"30 lousy pieces of silver, or everlasting life in paradise?"
Some unscruplous HR people have used the line: "No increment now, but if year end performance is good, you get enough bonus to cover difference".
Finance guys will tell you the present value of $1 now is better than $1 twelve months later.
Unless you think hanging around with boring angels and singing same old hymns over and over again is reward, most will prefer the 30 pieces of silver.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Frankly, I don't really care about the Judas issue. As I said, I'm not a Christian. And even if I was, I don't think I'd care anyway.

Why? Because as I see it, the Judas issue is not really central to the key Christian beliefs. What's really central? I would say, the following ideas:

1. The idea that man is flawed.

2. The idea that this guy named Jesus showed up on earth, and clearly was not an ordinary joe

3. He taught love, kindness, forgiveness etc

4. He was crucified and his sacrifice is the path of salvation

5. You need to believe in him to be saved.

In a nutshell, those, as I see it, are the central tenets. If I were Christian, those five points probably would matter most to me.

You'd see that whether Judas betrayed or did not betray Jesus does not affect any of the five points. Whether or not Judas betrayed or did not betray Jesus, Points 3, 4 and 5 still remain true. Jesus still sacrificed himself for mankind and therein lies the key.

So the Judas issue is really something for the theologians, the academics etc to mull over. Maybe the filmmakers and the novelists too. And maybe even for the average Christian, on a rainy day with nothing better to do. Otherwise it really doesn't matter.

I don't know why some Christians are so adamant about demanding that this particular interpretation of the Bible is right or that particular interpretation is right. Singaporean already made the point very clearly in his earlier comment:

"For who picked which books should be in the New Testament? God didnt hand it to us, at least not in the same way the Ten Commandments arrived in the hands of Moses or the Quran in the hands of the Prophet Muhammad. One Bishop here, another Bishop there decided what constituted the Christian faith and what constituted heresy, ie the Bible is very much a part of Church tradition, rather than some overriding immutable literal commands direct from God carved in stone and hand delivered by Jesus."

It's a very good point. But frankly, to the real-life Christian who thinks straight, it DOESN'T matter. The five points I mentioned earlier come through clearly in the Bible, whatever you read. You either accept that, or you don't. If you do, you're a Christian. If you don't, you;re not.

The rest - did the earth really get created in six literal days? Did Judas really betray Jesus? Can all the animal species in the world really squeeze into one Ark? - is secondary.

So what if some of it is myth, or opinion, or metaphorical, or a less-than-commendable effort to record history? It's really secondary. If the theory of evolution is true, then let it be true lor. Why so afraid? IMHO, fear of Darwin's theory simply means you're missing the real point of Christianity.

And what's the real point again? It's love, it's kindness, it's faith in Jesus and the salvation He brings.

Etc.

(All this coming, ironically, from a non-Christian).

Mr Wang Says So said...

The point you guys keep fumbling on is that you keep comparing Judas to Anthony Ler, or some murderous insurance agent, or some violent criminal teenager.

You keep forgetting that Judas was an apostle. One of the very special 12 people on this planet who were handpicked by Jesus. And someone who had already given up his material possessions, his earthly life, to follow his spiritual master round and round spreading the Good Word, often at great risk to himself. Someone who was a constant companion to Jesus and a firsthand witness to the miraculous works of Jesus.

If you liken Judas to just some ordinary Tan Ah Kow (in fact, worse than that - you liken him to some Tan Ah Kow sitting in Changi Prison for murder) -

then you liken all the apostles to just some ordinary Tan Ah Kows. But they were not. They were all very special people. The word "Saint" before the names Peter, Thomas, Matthew etc is not there for nothing.

Of course, I am not saying that Judas DEFINITELY did not betray Jesus. But I am saying that to me, it does sound quite plausible.

Sleepless in Singapore said...

Dear Mr Wang, I have been restraining myself from joining this discussion becos I normally make it a point not to (or at least be seen to) evangelize on other people's blog. But,sigh, I see so many errors and misconceptions.

I don't even know where to begin. Maybe I just take it from your 5 points.

1. The idea that man is flawed.

It's much more serious than that. Theologians called it Total Depravity. Here's a sample of what the bible says about man. "The heart is desperately evil" (Jeremiah), "there is non righteous, no not one" (Paul - Romans)

Conclusion - unless he is born again, he has no way of escaping hell; eternal separation from his creator God.


2. The idea that this guy named Jesus showed up on earth, and clearly was not an ordinary joe.

Indeed he was not an ordinary Joe. The entire Old Testament was to prepare the people for his arrival. Many, many prohecies about him were fullfilled in his earthly life. He chided 2 of his disciples; "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself",(Luke 24:25-27)

3. He taught love, kindness, forgiveness etc.

These are virtues which all religions embrace. But they are not the core issues.

4. He was crucified and his sacrifice is the path of salvation

You missed out the word 'only'.

Why is salvation only in this person. ("I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" - John 14:6, "Neither is there salvation in any ohter: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." - Acts 4:12.

This is the core doctrine. No man can die for our sins, becos he himself has a sin nature. Only a sinless God can take away our sins. Hence Jesus is God. Hence Jesus has to be born of a virgin.

But God cannot die. Hence Jesus has to become a man. Hence he was born of a woman. Jesus is often referred to as the Son of man'.

Jesus in not half-God, half-man. He is 100% God and 100% man.



5. You need to believe in him to be saved.

Salvation is by grace through faith. It is unmerited. You cannot earn it by your own good works.

One more. You said his disciples were no ordinary people.

Completely wrong. Jesus deliberately chose ordinary unlearned, even dishonest and cowardly people. (e.g. fishermen, tax collector - most hated among the Jews)so that when they became empowered by the holy spirit and 'turned the world upside down', all the glory goes to God and not men.

"For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath cosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; ..... That no flesh should glory in his presence." (First Corinthians 1:27-29)

I gladly count myself one of those 'weak things'.

Mr Wang Says So said...

The way I see it, you agree with me on Points 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

There are many ways to describe Mount Fuji. There is still only one Mount Fuji.

A tomato is a tomato, and a gardener, a chef, a nutritionist and a quantum physicist would agree on that, even if they all have their own ways of regarding a tomato.

On apostles, okay lor, they're all just ordinary folks. And maybe tomorrow I'll become a saint. Yay.

Mr Wang Says So said...

And just by the way, I could jolly well use your own descriptions of Points 1 - 5, and the point is still the same:-

"You'd see that whether Judas betrayed or did not betray Jesus does not affect any of the five points. Whether or not Judas betrayed or did not betray Jesus, Points 3, 4 and 5 still remain true. Jesus still sacrificed himself for mankind and therein lies the key.

So the Judas issue is really something for the theologians, the academics etc to mull over. Maybe the filmmakers and the novelists too. And maybe even for the average Christian, on a rainy day with nothing better to do. Otherwise it really doesn't matter."

Matthew said...

"So the Judas issue is really something for the theologians, ... Otherwise it really doesn't matter."
I wish things were so simple. My church is now split over the academic issue of whether the King James Version is 100 per cent error free. This despite the undisputed fact that the original text of the bible, the Autographs of Scripture, have perished, and nobody knows what happened them.

Anonymous said...

Its a win-win situation for Judas. Let's move on!


LOL

BL said...

Thought it might help if I put a Wikipedia entry on this subject:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Judas

As for my opinion, I will leave the scholars and theologicians to sort out the mess. History is written by the winners and somehow things get lost on the way, and it's better to keep an open mind.

singaporean said...

If the written word was the sole means of recording the Christian faith, why didnt Jesus sit down and write something? Was he illiterate? I dont think so. Unless he is a fantastic cartoonist, it must be words he scribbled in the sand. Did he have time? He had a whole thirty years in Nazareth, more than enough time to reproduce a few copies if he wanted to. So why didnt he do so?

Or maybe Gospel of Jesus/Memoirs of a Messiah did exist, but the Catholic Church under Roman corruption burnt them all because it is radically different from the canonical Gospels? Like I said, if the Catholic Church is totally corrupt, all Christians are screwed.

Anybody who read any of the Gospels would know that no one person could have witnessed all the events from the start to the end, with the possible exception of Mary. Much of the accounts of Jesus before adult life would have to be recollections by Mary, for example. All Gospels, inspired writing or not, were not written by an eye-witness, but are a collection of word of mouth by a lot of people. Was everything said accurately transcribed, or could there be "typo" errors along the way? Jesus is typically depicted as a solemn person, but could he be joking when he said some of the stuff? Did he exaggerate? Did he use sarcasm? If only we know the look on his face when he was speaking, but we dont.

Maybe that's why Jesus didnt bother to do any writing, because whatever he wrote could have it's meaning lost in translation or it's interpretation perverted to serve the selfish needs of men.

So what we really can get from the Gospels, is really just a gist of what Jesus is about. Jesus did try to condense his teachings, eg in the new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.

In many ways, great men like Gandhi is more Christian than most Christians. I reject any suggestion that he has to go to hell because he missed out a simple ritual like baptism. Conversely, you expect to meet someone like George W Bush in heaven?

What exactly is paradise anyway? Plenty of good food? Foot massage? Excellent TV programming?

Picture this: the afterlife could very well be you spending a lot of time with the people you hate most. If you cannot release the hate, you suffer. If they cant forgive you, you suffer. Only when all forgives, then all can live in harmony. Heaven and hell can be the exact same place.

But of course, life is so much simpler if we dont have to tax ourselves thinking so much. Life is so much simpler if we have moral clarity, like George W "Either you are with us or against us" Bush.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Personally, I have no doubt at all that once upon a time on earth, there was someone by the name of Jesus, and he was no ordinary joe, but a very, very extraordinary human being, who had access to spiritual levels in a most amazing way, and he brought to the world a priceless sort of message.

Personally, I also have no doubt at all that once upon a time on earth, there was someone by the name of Prince Siddharta (Buddha), and he was no ordinary joe, but a very, very extraordinary human being, who had access to spiritual levels in a most amazing way, and he brought to the world a priceless sort of message.

In terms of transmission of the respective message however, Buddha had a huge edge over Jesus.

Firstly, Buddha lived to a much older age, and therefore had several decades than Jesus to travel around, teach people and pass on his own message.

Secondly, Buddhism didn't suffer from that kind of problem which Christianity did, with gospels disappearing and reappearing and getting hidden and lost and found, thanks to a bunch of people with their own agendas.

So we can be much more confident that the Buddhist teachings available today are close to what Buddha actually said/did; than we can be confident that the available Gospels today are close to what Jesus actually said/did.

To avoid offending anyone, I hereby state very clearly that in this comment, I do not opine on the relative instrinsic value of the message of the Buddhist scriptures or the Gospels.

I am merely talking about the relative accuracy of society's records of what Buddha/Jesus said/did in their respective lifetimes.

If the life of Jesus had been different (if for example, he had been crucified at age 70, and had had more years to travel and teach and tell parables and perform miracles), then I think that we would have more records surviving today of what he was really all about.

But anyway, as I said, it really doesn't matter. What did survive, is enough. The Good Word did get through.

The details, the details ...

(How could a koala bear survive in Noah's Ark for 40 days, unless it had eucalyptus leaves?

The lifespan of the mayfly is less than 40 days, how could 2 mayflies last so long on the Ark, then survive to propagate the species?

How could a male polar bear and a female polar bear travel from the Artic and make it to the Middle East region without overheating?

How could the flightless kiwi bird indigeneous to New Zealand make it to Noah's Ark?)

.... are secondary to me. Really not that important.

Mr Wang Says So said...

And anyway that was the Old Testament. Who cares, when you've got the New?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Hmmm .... I cannot help but think of the following related question:

After the Ark landed, how did the pair of flightless kiwi birds make it all the way back to New Zealand?

Anonymous said...

Go to Google's video web site and look for this video called 'Helping hand' or something. It absolutely says whats on my mind about a religion except all the f words.

Anonymous said...

Singaporean said "Just because the people of the time couldnt fathom that the earth is anything but flat and wrote that down in the Bible doesnt mean we have to choose between the earth has to be flat or God has to be wrong."

This link might help.
http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c015.html

Mike Wang

Anonymous said...

"Personally, I have no doubt at all that once upon a time on earth, there was someone by the name of Jesus, ..."

The difference between christianity and other religion/belief is that Jesus said that he is God.

If Jesus is real, he must either be
1. Lying
2. Lunatic
3. Telling the truth

If he is lying, he must be quite foolish to die for his lies. And from what we know, he is certainly not foolish and lunatic. Even the Jews who wanted him dead is amazed at what he said.
Therefore the 3rd option is something worth considering.

Mike Wang

Mr Wang Says So said...

Actually, Mike, it really isn't as easy as that. Your proposition seems attractively simple and apparently logical, but really these sorts of questions are never that straightforward.

For example, there is no universal consensus on the meaning of "God". The word would mean different things, say, to a Hindu, a Christian, a Jain follower, a Buddhist etc.

To a Hindu, there are many gods, and possibly a Hindu, upon having Christianity explained to him, may agree with you and conclude that indeed, "Jesus is a god", one of many gods, and possibly even conclude that he was a pretty powerful or good one.

A Jain follower, upon having upon having Christianity explained to him, may agree wholeheartedly with you that "Jesus is God", and then go on to tell you "We are all God" - you, me and Jesus - because in the Jain tradition, all human souls collectively make up this thing we call "God".

To a Buddhist, there is no such concept as God, therefore if you assert to him that "Jesus is God", you may as well assert to him that "God is the number 42" or "God is gurtyisti" - in other words, he has no reason to disagree with you that "Jesus is God" - it would not offend him if you insisted that Jesus is God - but basically the assertion is just meaningless to him.

Therefore Jesus may well be telling the truth when he says "I am God" -

yet the effect of that truth is ambiguous when we do not all know what God is, or understand "God" in the same way.

Anonymous said...

That's why i enjoyed reading your blog, as it shows the thinker inside you. But seems that it's a different you after the trip.

Anyway back to the point.Agreed with your point that different pple have differrent understanding of God.

Lazy me will copy this
"I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" - John 14:6, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." - Acts 4:12.

To continue, Jesus said he's God AND he is the only way. This is another distinct difference from most religion/belief.

Mike Wang

Sleepless in Singapore said...

Mr Wang,

Your questions, the "details" have been asked and answered long ago.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Sleepless:
Which question? The kiwi bird?

Mike:
That only begs the question of what is "salvation" and what is "everlasting life".

Anonymous said...

"That only begs the question of what is "salvation" and what is "everlasting life"."

It also comes back to the question on whether this guy call Jesus is telling the truth or something else. He said he is God. He says he's the only way. These 2 factor is not something other pple can agree on (ex. hindu, buddist, taoist...etc)

"Therefore Jesus may well be telling the truth when he says "I am God" "
Jesus is either telling the truth or not. so going back to the simple test, if he is telling the truth( that he is God) then he has no reason to lie tat he is the only way.

Another point to look at it is, he can jolly say he's God and period. By saying he's the only way, he is opening up for "attacks", which again lead me to the 3 test(liar/lunatic/truth).


Mike Wang

Mr Wang Says So said...

Mike:

Actually I have spent more than a little time thinking about different religions and faiths and about what they have in common; how they can be reconciled.

My line of thinking really runs somewhere along the following lines:

If God is universal, omnipotent and omnipresent, and the alpha and the omega -

there must be a great many different ways to access Him; reach Him; hear Him; build a relationship with him; call on Him; access his Power

(whatever phrase you prefer)

and mankind in its history must have found many of those ways:

(prayer? ritual? tradition? dance? song? meditation? contemplation? through selected intermediaries like prophets, saints, mediums, holy people? finding signs - in dreams, weather, burning bushes, seers' cards, visions?) ...

and I seriously doubt if ANY major religion could have completely got wrong.

You may be surprised how easily things can be reconciled - even the things that you think are really irreconciliable.

I could suggest to you, for example, life on earth is "hell" - after all, Buddhism tells us that life is suffering. Reincarnation goes on and on - and therefore you keep suffering and suffering, until the lifetime where you are finally able to cast off the illusions of the mind and reach the stage of nirvana, where further reincarnation does not take place.

Introducing Christian thinking into the above, I could go on to tell you faith in Jesus and God's grace is one method to achieve nirvana - everlasting life, no more reincarnation, no more death, just a nice blissful everlasting existence in a construct the Christians call "Heaven", and the Buddhists call Nirvana.

There. Reconciled.

There are other possibilities, of course.

Anonymous said...

Introducing Christian thinking into the above, I could go on to tell you faith in Jesus and God's grace is one method to achieve nirvana - everlasting life, no more reincarnation, no more death, just a nice blissful everlasting existence in a construct the Christians call "Heaven", and the Buddhists call Nirvana.

There. Reconciled.

Err...if that's the case, Christianity is flawed as Jesus said that he is the only way. It seems that you either believe Christ or not...there's no two way to it.

Sidetrack:Correct me if I'm wrong, there is no other belief that says he is God and he is the only way. Most is either see a vision,came out with a concept(crude way to say it),see God...etc

Mike Wang

Anonymous said...

For those Kiwi questions, like you said, it's not really important as I suspect that even that is solved, people will still not believed in Christ.

For most people, I think, the problem is that something must be done inorder for them to be saved. Q: which other belief teaches that you are saved by grace?
Probably that is a major mental block for most people.
Mike Wang

Nietzsche said...

Quite possibly, there is no God.

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between animals and humans? Have you ever see a monkey to mimic man worshipping?

Like I say, for me, I believe that Jesus is real(as in histroy) and the rest is easy for me to accept(he's God and only way).

There was a story where a famous scientist(Newton?) built a galaxy model and invited his friend over. His friend was amazed at the model and asked who made it? He said throw it all together and it just evolved to this amazing model.The friend said stop kidding me. He said, well if you can accept big bang, I guess you can accept this!

You can ignore the spirtual sense, but it wont go away just because we dont want to think abt it. Think but not too hard that it blinds your heart.

No matter how many facts is presented or how intelligent you are, if the heart is not willing to accept,it is not of used.

Maybe I'm just a simple guy who dont over think :)

Mike Wang

Mr Wang Says So said...

I actually had some other things to say, Mike, which I thought you might find very thought-provoking, but then at the same time, I also thought that you might find them highly offensive ... On balance, I decided not to say them.

This unfortunately is one of the difficulties of organised religion - it often has this tendency to close off self-examination, on the grounds that such self-examination would be blasphemous/sinful/wrong/immoral/heretic etc.

As for your "heart" point, I know fully what I mean, and actually I agree. The thing is, that leap of faith is required in every religion, and in every religion, there are fervent believers who have taken that leap.

Anonymous said...

The closest anyone can get to god(s) is when he/she is dead.

Hence I prefer to stay as far i can from god(s).

That is provide they even exist.