The Pokey Finger of God

meditations on religion and culture

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Second and Third Derivations

July 31st, 2008 · Comments Off on Second and Third Derivations · christianity, history

Since discovery of PRF Brown’s site[1], I have burned a good many hours both reading and thinking. It’s clear that the “Eusebian Fiction Postulate”[2] has forced me to re-examine what I thought I understood about early church history. I have been relatively pleased, so far, to find that it seems to make more sense, given […]

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Jah Calling

July 26th, 2008 · Comments Off on Jah Calling · christianity, history

At the root of Judaism is a written history of people to whom Yah has spoken. These people, we are told, had direct, immediate, and personal knowledge of God. They spoke with him. He answered. His words became the driving force for their actions. This is exactly the sort of individual congress with the divine […]

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A Little Extra

June 16th, 2008 · Comments Off on A Little Extra · christianity, media

After I posted my review of Marvin Vining’s Jesus the Wicked Priest, he contacted me to thank me for the review and asked me to send him questions. Heh, heh, heh. So I did. My questions: You claim that Essenes were the dominant culture and that their leader, the “Teacher of Righteousness,” was also the […]

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Another Student of Cumont

June 10th, 2008 · Comments Off on Another Student of Cumont · christianity, history, media

I was looking to see what content wiki had on early Christianity, when I found a link to a digital version of papers written by Martin Luther King, Jr, when he was in divinity school. Most immediately, I’ve enjoyed his study of Mithraism and his paper on Mystery Religions in Christianity. It is at this […]

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Jesus the Wicked Priest

June 1st, 2008 · Comments Off on Jesus the Wicked Priest · christianity, history, media

Marvin Vining, Jesus the Wicked Priest. (C) 2008. Published by Bear and Company, Rochester, VT. www.MarvinVining.com This work is a fascinating reading that combines sources from Dead Sea Scroll materials and Biblical exegesis to produce a surprisingly personal story of conflict between characters in the gospel stories. Vining brings to life a vital, aggressive Jesus, […]

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Essene but not heard

May 27th, 2008 · Comments Off on Essene but not heard · christianity, history

I’m enjoying the Marvin Vining book, Jesus the Wicked Priest, but not because I agree with his conclusions. In fact, the more I read, the further removed I become from agreement. He’s another armchair archaeologist, so I feel a certain kinship with him. This despite the fact that the guy has to go through some […]

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Moses in the High Places

March 5th, 2008 · Comments Off on Moses in the High Places · Uncategorized

According to Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, psychedelic drugs formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times. Writing in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy, he says concoctions based on the bark of the acacia tree, frequently mentioned in the Old […]

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Seeking, Not Found

January 29th, 2008 · Comments Off on Seeking, Not Found · christianity, culture

A recent religion post contained something of a broad statement. It was a conclusion I had drawn without the benefit of third-party confirmation. What I had said was that the term “Christian” did not just apply to those who followed the “Jesus Movement”, but also those who followed any of a dozen Hellenized, Asian mystery […]

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Faded Memories

January 16th, 2008 · Comments Off on Faded Memories · history

History is a funny thing. Written history goes back four thousand years, and yet there are periods simply rife with myth to the point that it didn’t matter if “actual” history had been recorded. There does appear to be a natural tendency for famous people to accumulate mythology as they become farther removed from the […]

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Draw the map when you get there

January 14th, 2008 · Comments Off on Draw the map when you get there · history

I had promised a review of Franz Cumont’s Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism. It is difficult for me to stop where I am with the book and make these few statements, as I desperately want to spend more time tracing out the various ideas and go about verifying his assertions. In these few lectures, Franz […]

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