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Monday, December 11, 2006

Luke is a dissapointed atheist

First, watch this video. It's hilarious. Second, that video made me realize something that I honestly cannot believe I didn't know. The Bible has unicorns in it.

Job 39:9-10 (King James Version) -- Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

There's no string of curse words I could put together that would express the amount of angry dissapointment I have in myself right now. Not only that, it happens in EIGHT MORE PLACES!

Numbers 23:22 (King James Version) -- God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Numbers 24:8 (King James Version) -- God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.

Deuteronomy 33:17 (King James Version)-- His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.

Psalm 22:21 (King James Version) -- Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Psalm 29:6 (King James Version) -- He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

Psalm 92:10 (King James Version) -- But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

Isaiah 34:7 (King James Version) -- And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

From an early age, I knew this religion thing wasn't for me. Except for that year-long stint where I desperately tried, and subsequently failed, to be Baptist, it just wasn't going to happen. I ask too many questions and I take too much pleasure in proving things wrong. I remember at 10 years old asking my preacher uncle why there were no dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible and getting an answer back that didn't even satisfy a 10-year-old.

But, at no point did I ever stand up on my pew on Sunday and yell to the congregation "DO YOU PEOPLE REALIZE THERE ARE UNICORNS IN THIS GODDAMN THING?!?" How could I not have noticed? How does no one notice this? I can only assume that people routinely skip over these passages. If not...my god. There aren't words.

If you're flipping through your holy book, and you see a mention of "unicorns," how does your faith not shatter around you? You do a double take, you ask your neighbor if he sees the same thing you do, and then you realize you're worshipping something that isn't there. That has to be how it works. It has to be. Because before today there was only one thing I knew of that actually mentioned unicorns. Fairy tales.


Blogger Matt Hill Comer said...

Faith does not shatter for me (yeah coming from the gay guy, I know right), because I take the time to look up the word being translated to unicorn.

Translation... Duh!


or a shorter, more concise thing (this time Wikipedia is right):

Any Christian dumb enough to just read any translation of the Bible and take it "as is" needs a lesson in human error... and they need to take their faith seriously, even if it means making time to do research on vague and obscure texts or words.

Did you know that the words translated into "sodomite" (or "homosexual") and "effeminate" in modern translations of the Bible are actually the Greek words for the dominant craftsman and submissive apprentice (in the Greek culture of men taking adolescents as sex partners)?

12/11/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Matt Hill Comer said...

Note addition to the last paragraph in my comment above: The words I'm talking about are found in St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians Ch. 6 v. 9-10

12/11/2006 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Luke McIntyre said...

I did read several translations and attempted explanations, all of which I laughed at. Most of them seemed to center around three arguments, very similar to a lot of biblical arguments I've seen.

1. "Hey, I don't understand Ancient Greek or Hebrew, but look at me go anyway!" Not that the argument shouldn't be made, I just think it's amazing how many people on the Internet have both access to these ancient texts and a full knowledge of these complicated languages.

2. A weak grammatic argument saying that because the Deuteronomy verse says "His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns" in plural, obviously this means that the animal referenced as a unicorn has more than one horn. But, you wouldn't say "the horn of unicorns," being that you're referring to more than one unicorn and thus more than one horn.

3. So there's this king in ancient Assyria that used to hunt ox... and when they painted him hunting ox they always showed the ox from one side... so they only LOOKED like they had one horn... and the people who saw these paintings thought they had one horn... because the normal thing to do when a person sees a picture at an odd angle is to assume it's a creature no one has ever in the history of Earth seen... and they also thought the king had only one eye... and no I can't cite a single reference for my little story...

Obviously it doesn't actually matter whether or not the unicorn referred to in the Bible is a magic one-horned horse. I just think it's hilarious that it's in there. The real point isn't that no one should be dumb enough to read any translation of the Bible and take it as is. No one should be dumb enough to read any translation of the Bible and actually take it seriously.

On that subject, I'd be interested in hearing your response to more direct condemnations of homosexuality in the Bible. Leviticus seems to be pretty clear on the subject.

12/11/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, but If I was told there were unicorns in the bible-when I was a child-I would have definitly stayed with christianity much longer.

I mean, come on. Friggin' unicorns would have topped it off. Men walking on water, 40 year floods, magical beasts. Its the best bed-time story EVER!

12/12/2006 01:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, that was from Peavey

12/12/2006 01:49:00 AM  
Blogger C. L. Lowrance said...

My favorite mis-translation is the whole "messiah born to a virgin" thing. See, the two nativity stories in the New Testament are both based verbatim on a prophecy in the Old Testament. According to the Greek translations the writers of the New Testament had, the messiah was to be born to a "virgin."

Problem was, that's a mis-translation. The original Hebrew word meant "young girl" or "maiden." Meaning the "Virgin Mary" is a fiction created to fit a mis-translated prophesy.

12/12/2006 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Killian said...

The bits that aren't shamelessly thieved from older theologies are almost indecipherable and have been screwed with so many times for so long that no amount of combing through it really surprises me anymore.

12/15/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous peter said...

All the mentions of unicorns you quote come from the Old Testament. That just reaffirms my belief that the New Testament is just a bunch of hippy bullshit while the Old Testament remains incredibly badass.

While both these texts belong to the same Judeo-Christian mythology, the only badass part in the New Testament is when Jesus finally sees the error of loving thy neighbor and proclaims "And I will kill her children with death" (Rev. 2:23). That was a pretty cool insight, but I think ultimately Jesus was just pissed because he got speared.

However, on the whole, the Old Testament remains more awesome than the New Testament. First I thought it was awesome because it contained instructions on stoning women and invading, pillaging, and burning villages... but now I find out it has unicorns in it? Fucking awesome.

On a more serious note, I think Matt Hill is on the right track. Apologists need to shift from arguments justifying the Bible to damage control, and then from damage control to revision and rewriting, kind of like Thomas Jefferson did. The majority of sane, open-minded Christians I know subscribe to the belief that The Bible should not be taken literally.

It would lend a lot more credibility to Christianity if instead of opening a Bible and finding things such as unicorns, I opened it found a semi-intelligent commentary on the problems that we face today.

Members of the Baha'i faith believe that each religion made sense at the time it was introduced into the world. So why not re-write the Bible so it makes sense to us today?

12/19/2006 02:28:00 PM  

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