Why should I consider Christianity when Christians are so bad?

[“Even if I did believe in god, I could not sponsor the Christian faith (or any other religion) because of their historical crimes. Sweeping these crimes to one side – and saying that these Badpeople are bad Christians or misguided doesn’t undo these wrongs.”

Nobody is trying to diminish the old misdeed; that kind of statement is taking this conversation deliberately in the wrong direction. Nobody either said that Christians never do anything bad but to claim that atheism is perfect is not to understand our modern history. Think Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Moa Tse Tung, of China and Nicolae Ceauşescu of Romania. These are all people that wanted God out of the picture.

[“Supporting the ‘word’ that justified these crimes would make me no better than the people that performed these crimes, as they used the so called ‘word of god’ to justify their actions.”]

If you are talking about Biblical events, please note the following:

  1. There were no liberal minded people then, i.e. similar to what you find today. It was very simple: kill or be killed so no modern philosophy on that one is justifiable.
  2. If you know even a little bit of the local history of the country that Israel took over, you would know that local people used to sacrifice their own children, burn them alive. They would then play loud music to drown the noise of crying babies. They were also known for tying the legs of young mothers so that they would die during childbirth.
  3. There is also new information today as a result of archaeology and anthropology. Examination of bones of the local inhabitants has shown that many were infectious and had diseases like leprosy. I’m not making excuses here but you should remember that 3,000 plus years ago, the world was a different place.

[“The 19th, 20th and 21st charitable face of Christianity (the Victorian morals) is a kin to a thug beating up someone, and then calling an ambulance and giving them medical care afterwards. The damage by religion on the human race has been done – and any number of Christian aid charities, apology’s to grate men like Galileo Galilei – will undo these wrongs.”]

You are becoming too passionate in your arguments, so much so that one thing that you supposedly elevate above all else is not present. This is not reason or logic talking but an emotional outburst. Without the Church, there would be no Galileo. As I’m sure you are aware from history, Britain would not be what it is today without the influence of the Church.

[“Hitler used God to appeal to the masses – and in doing so galvanised and implemented the final solution – to terminate all Jews – such is the horror of religion when used in all it’s crowning glory. And today, we are still picking up the pieces, the conflict between the Jews and Muslims is exaggerated by the aftermath of the paranoia that all Jews have regarding their race and other race’s desire to terminate them.”]

We must be careful not to twist truth on its head. This is not historically correct. First of all, if you know anything about Hitler you would know that he sponsored Black Magic and things like paganism and not Christianity. Second of all, there are links between Hitler and the Vatican but I will not even attempt to justify that. I am not Catholic but I happen to think that they can provide you with enough of their reasoning.  You also sound a bit anti Jewish in your comments so I won’t go there.

[“The way forward is to drop this sociological tool (i.e. religion) – and to use something that is better – that is foundered on the belief of no absolutes, and the ability to be proven wrong. Einstein’s theories are tested to this day, and one day many of them may be proved wrong, or subsumed into wider reaching understandings – this is a rational perspective. You will not find people that will galvanise nations to go to war or terminate others based on Einstine’s philosophy or theories – and the say Einstine is proven wrong will be celebrated – as this will be the day, when humanity has stood on the shoulders of a scientific giant and proved him wrong in order to better the human race’s knowledge and understanding of the universe.”]

You should first check what you write down before making claims that have no solid foundation. First of all, since when are Christians anti science? Second of all, what makes you think that Christians would resist the truth if science was somehow to prove Christianity wrong? These claims and many like them are totally arrogant where one side pretends to know the truth and then attempts to lecture the other. This is not a dialogue, it’s lecturing. I often get accused of preaching but just re-read your comments and tell me what they sound like to you. Also, having no absolutes does not work. First of all, you need constants if you are going to learn anything about any other thing. We have gravity, speed of light etc. These are absolutes that we understand and can control, i.e. we can slow down the speed of light and fly an airplane but this uses other constants to overcome the constant of gravity.

[“Inventing God is a cheat – it gives people the excuse not to think or explorer ‘we don’t understand it – therefore God created it’ – but actually including God into the equation makes things harder to explain. If God created everything – who or what created God? and if God was not created and has always been – where exactly was he when before he created everything.”]

This makes me smile every time I hear comments like that. These are presuppositions that really do need to have some kind of supporting evidence if they are to be treated seriously. Dr Dawkins knows that and you should stop listening to him. Test first then, and only then, adopt or reject.

Just think about this: all your intelligent Atheist friends will tell you that the Big Bang is what is accepted by general science and is an accepted theory, yet it claims that all came out of nothing. We are talking here that sub atomic particles created all matter in the universe. First of all, how about acknowledging that this is amazing. Second of all, it sounds like a Bible talk to me. Nobody creates God that is why he is called God. There has to be end to this digression, otherwise it will be a never-ending constant who created who, which I’m guessing your logic tells you is not possible. Don’t ask for the explanation of the explanation otherwise scrap all the knowable science we have today.

[“These paradoxes are prevalent in science also, but science attempts to explorer these topics – religion just says, it is just so – live with it. One day science may prove that there is a god – but until that time, we should all be sceptical and we should all search for the truth unhindered without indocrination and fear or belief in the words that were written by old fashioned thinking and ideology.”]

These are significant contradictions. First you allow for the possibility of God then you deny any opportunity for the existing material (Bible) to be considered? Is this not a kind of anti knowledge and even anti science if the science is going to prove God?

[“But the philospophical debate surrounding God is just a distraction – the main reason for God to exist in a sociological context is to control people. Since man learnt to speak, he has used beliefs to support his political and moral view. God has taken us to war countless times, it has been used as an excuse to smother great discoveries like evolution, genetics and cell biology.”]

Let me answer this in two parts. First of all don’t knock philosophy: you use it in everything you do. Your philosophical world view will guide you to either being an atheist or a Christian. Secondly, God was only involved with the nation of Israel, so don’t blame him for all the other wars. The fact is people often look for excuses and you rightly point out that countries’ leaders used religion but here is where you make a logical fallacy: this was their own doing and nothing to do with God. It’s like me killing a man and then blaming it on you, as you believe in self defence. I call that morally inaccurate.

[“Many of the things that church has used to justify its actions are immoral – for example the use of condoms to prevent AIDS – the fact that the Catholic church is against this sickens me… the mature rational view is to understand that humans have sex, sometimes for pleasure – and no matter what you or I think, it will always be so. But to make people who do not understand the risks in third world countries, believe that they will go to hell for using a condom is awful – the real hell is living with AIDS in a third world country without medical care – that is a living hell.”]

I refuse to be blamed for the actions of the Catholic Church. On this we agree but also note that if there was no moral promiscuity we would not have a problem with AIDS to the extent we have it today.

[“And what do the Christians say – well abstain, don’t have sex – because to do so out side of wedlock is a sin anyway – this is rubbish. Men and women are animals, they were animals before religion came and they are animals after religion came. Since they are animals, they have animal needs, desires and instincts – asking someone to abstain from sex is like saying – never eat until satisfied. Perhaps, this explains why priests that claim that they are celibate seem to be the ones that prosecuted for raping little boys…  as they may not regard that as sex outside of marriage so this is OK.”]

Notice your assumptions are different from my assumptions so it is pointless to argue here as we are not going to agree.

  1. I don’t consider myself to be an animal
  2. I’m not anti sex. I’m against pressurising others by saying it’s OK just do it, where small children are doing it, because “all my friends said it was OK”.
  3. Don’t blame me for the sins of other priests that belong to a different church. I consider it immoral that the Catholic Church forbids its priests to marry.

[“Or perhaps, it is OK for a Christian  to perform a immoral act so long as it is confessed – after all Jesus forgives all of our sins – except the one to deny the holly ghost’s existence – do you not think it strange, that this is the one sin that is easiest one to perform? It is easier than murder, rape, theft, adultery – so no wonder Christians are terrified of thinking and are blinded by their faith… poor souls, how you suffer the injustices of man on man.”]

First of all, I see your misunderstanding about what sin against the Holy Spirit is, just as Dr Dawkins does. You could only do that if you happen to live at the same time as Christ where he is talking to you, and during which time the Holy Spirit is working on you to persuade you that he is the messiah. Therefore, it is impossible for you to do that. The closest that you and I can come to that is to continuously refuse to accept Jesus as our Saviour, in which case, you would refuse his saving sacrifice which will have the same affect. So don’t bother yourself unnecessarily with that. It is yet another red herring.

It is not OK for Christians to sin, but Christians do understand that we all sin regardless of what we believe. The difference is that Christianity offers a way out of this never-ending cycle of sin and guilt. First, we have freedom from our sinful nature then gradually we become more like Christ. This is an ongoing process that only ends when our lives on this earth end.

And there lays the difference: Atheists say it’s OK to sin, you can’t do anything about it. The other is saying I sin but I know that God can do something about it. Surrendering to God is not an easy thing to do, just look at all the people who complain about God. Do you think they all base their decision on an intimate knowledge of science or a complete philosophical understanding, which they have somehow attained? I don’t think so. This fear that comes from the inside is related to not wanting the dirt on the inside to be seen on the outside.

Defend the word


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13 Responses to Why should I consider Christianity when Christians are so bad?

  1. cherokeebydesign says:

    After watching most of my family who attend church act like a bunch of animals I decided to just stay at home and act the best I can.


  2. pelagian7 says:

    ” Examination of bones of the local inhabitants has shown that many were infectious and had diseases like leprosy.”

    Could you please cite your reference for this. My understanding of the data is no leprosy (Hanson’s disease) was found in the bones of Jerusalem at the time of Christ.

    Your opinions and explanations offer nothing of substance. My biggest problem with Christianity is you quote the book you are defending, as if, that provides support for your argument. Why don’t you quote non Christian sources who witnessed events of the Bible.

    I mean come on, if I saw the dead, brought to life, I’d be telling everyone. Their must be documents all over, preserved by God.

    How about this. From your own book. John 7: 16-24. Jesus admits that his teachings don’t come from him but the “one” who sent him. (God) then he chastised the crowd for being swayed by appearances, The Pharisees, rigid literal interpreters of scripture, were quoting scripture but also being hypocrites. Jesus said “judge me not by appearances; but judge me according to what is right.” Jesus healed on the Sabbath. A literal reading of scripture made him guilty, but he says let your heart guide you to what is right.

    He is also subversive to scribes. Why attack writers of scripture, not have your own story written as it happens, and then inspire later scribes to write, copy, interpret and translate the story. His own teachings point to caution when using scripture.

    What if you and most Christians have it wrong? Read allegorically with Nomina Sacra, Jesus, using the number one often, is telling us more than just the literal. Luther warned to not interpret this way, why, he also said the Jews wrote this way more than any other peoples. He didn’t say allegory wasn’t there but he saw it used by the Church to create traditions he didn’t support.

    Why do many believe the Bible inerrant. 1&2 Timothy and 2Peter are believed to be creations of the Church for the Church in the second century. But even then, saying all scripture is God breathed, which was the same word in Greek that later became the Holy Ghost in some translations, means all scripture, not only the writings voted into a canon three hundred years later. And since this must be the case if read literally, then all those other writings are divine also.
    Or, inspirational writings of a religious nature were all called God breathed and our interpretation of that term as divinely inspired is incorrect.
    I look forward to your reply, Pelagian

  3. misunderstoodranter says:

    Thanks for turning my comments into a post – I am flattered.

    Hitler wrote: “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.

    I don’t believe Hitler though he was evil – the Allies won the war and gave him this label as the truth came out about his extermination activities – I might add that this was discovered in the latter part of the war during liberation. You may also want to check about the British and their role in developing and using the concentration camp pre-1900.

    Hitler wasn’t a Satanist, he didn’t think what he was doing wrong or evil – he thought he was doing the right thing – as many leaders do – he thought he was doing the Lord’s work. If he worships black cats, the population would have distanced themselves from him and he would never have in to power.

    Like many world leaders he would have used passages from the bible, to justify people following him – passages like Hebrews 13:17.

    I don’t think it is emotive to discuss these topics – I think it is a reality – which being a non-believer allows me to see.

    There were infectious diseases everywhere – their wasn’t any real medicine – this is why curing leprosy would have been considered a miracle in Jesus time, and it is probably why it was used as an example.

    But since we are on the topic of leprosy (you may consider the a red herring) – we may as look at this, as it is an interesting disease. Until the development of dapsone in the 1940s, there was no effective treatment. However, the bacteria that cause leprosy ‘evolved’ antibiotic resistance and by 1960 the only drug treatment available is was totally useless, better antibiotics have been developed since, however, leprosy remains to be a dangerous disease that is monitored by the WHO – as it has a tendency to evolve.

    I can see why people with faith misinterpret the big bang as evidence a god – this is because they think that the big bang is the totality of our universe. There may have been many big bangs, the big bang that we are currently collecting evidence for could be the product of any number of different cosmological events – it is not proof that a god exists. The literal word of the bible talks about the creation in earthly context mainly. As scientific discoveries enabled a better understanding, and proof that the world was not flat, and that the earth was not at the centre of the universe – the religious people had to adapt their theory of God – if they didn’t they would have looked ridiculous.

    As for the speed of light being absolute, this is not true either.

    The scientific constants you talk about are theories, the speed of light is a assumption – in that it is assumed that the speed of light is constant throughout the universe. The same with gravity – and we have no way of bringing these theories together yet – this is what Einstein was working on before he died, and the reason why the space agencies of the world have sent a number of experiments into orbit to take measurements. In addition, there are many newer scientific theories, like string theory and quantum theory that contradict Einstein in parts – and Einstein himself did not believe in quantum mechanics famously quoting that god does not roll dice – if he was alive today, you can be assured that he would believe in quantum mechanics and would be working very hard to understand it better – because as with evolution the evidence of its existence is overwhelming.

    Galileo – I take your point about no church no Galileo, but they did persecute him for giving them ideas that meant they they might doubt gods existence – and this is the problem. The only difference between old Christianity and Modern Christianity, is that Christianity is not as powerful as it once was – if Christianity had the power that it did then, many scientists would have perished or have been silenced. Christianity, has had to evolve in order to survive in the modern world, because its ‘true’ behaviour is unacceptable by modern standards.

    “The difference is that Christianity offers a way out of this never-ending cycle of sin and guilt.”

    And here is the precise problem with Christianity (actually all religions), and why it is immoral – if I murder someone, there is no one I can repent to so I am guilty all my life – my conscious guides me, I know write from wrong, and I would punish myself, which is the hardest punishment there is – believe me. Christians can sin, and repent and live a guilt free life – this explains why great crimes can be done by religious people queue twin towers, concentration camps and the like. I know many Christians that think it is OK to be prejudice to homosexuals, and repent there bad behaviour and feel ok about it – or quote passages in the bible to excuse there anti-social behaviour – I don’t do that, homosexuals are people and I treat them as I would like to be treated, I don’t see them as wrong or evil or unnatural – as we are animals, I understand and know that other animal species show homosexual behaviour.

    I wasn’t knocking philosophy, on the contrary, I was philosophying, whether god is tool of society, rather than an actual being – which is pretty rational.

    When I was young, I used to be scared of ghosts, until my wise old granddad said to me ‘don’t be afraid of the dead – be afraid of the living, it is they that can hurt you’.

    This is the same – I am not afraid of god, but I am afraid of those who claim to know god, and claim to do god’s bidding. I am actually more afraid of Christians and Muslims than I am of Satanists – because I am more likely to encounter a Christian or a Muslim with a fundamental view that what they are about to do and say is absolutely right – that thought worries me deeply. World leaders proclaim that they have prayed to god to help them make the decision whether or not to go to war – both Bush and Blair said this during the start of the recent unrest in Iraq. I think this is immoral, I would rather they had made the decision based on a rational thought and if they had perhaps they would have understood the consequence’s of their actions better.

    If I got on a plane and I saw an anxious man, I would be concerned, if I got on a plane and saw an anxious man clutching a bible, I would be terrified – there are many others that feel the same.

    Shaman do drugs to enact their religion, this is something I can understand because they purposely alter their mental state – their brain chemistry so that they see magical things. But to see magical things without any reason i.e. ‘I saw the light or god spoke to me’ is irrational and scary – and I think is one of the reasons young people are distancing themselves from modern Christianity.

  4. misunderstoodranter says:

    “I refuse to be blamed for the actions of the Catholic Church. On this we agree but also note that if there was no moral promiscuity we would not have a problem with AIDS to the extent we have it today.”

    Well obviously, if no one had casual sex AIDS would not be as bad – but this does not justify religious dogma to support the non-use of condoms. But the fact is religious dogma is used for this purpose – and whether you are Catholic or not is no defence either. You sympathise with the Catholic belief, you understand it more than I could ever do, and because you are a devout Christian, the Catholics would draw upon your beliefs and teachings to support their view in a argument, as you have done in the statement above.

    The only real difference here – is that you have in this statement attempted to distance yourself from the Catholics, probably because you see the irrationality and injustice of the Catholic faith with regard to AIDS.

    Where as I have distanced myself from all religious people – because of similar crimes by all faiths – to deny people basic healthcare, or to spiritually blackmail them into not using a facility of basic health care (i.e. a condom) is a crime, it is no different than advertisers tempting the young to smoke cigarettes – in fact I would say it worse.

  5. Refer to my previous answer and you will find your logical inconsistency in your insistent proposition.

  6. pelagian7 says:

    {[“Inventing God is a cheat – it gives people the excuse not to think or explorer ‘we don’t understand it – therefore God created it’ – but actually including God into the equation makes things harder to explain. If God created everything – who or what created God? and if God was not created and has always been – where exactly was he when before he created everything.”]

    “These are presuppositions that really do need to have some kind of supporting evidence if they are to be treated seriously.”}

    Defendtheword, you are making his argument for him. Your response should be his response to you. Both athiest and theist positions should have supporting evidence to make absolute conclusions.

    If your argument is good enough to reject his idea, then your position is compromised too. And if you are going to quote anothers opinion, as evidence to support your claim, and also claim it has special significance because it was written in antiquity, save your breath.

    From my earlier thread, “Your opinions and explanations offer nothing of substance. My biggest problem with Christianity is you quote the book you are defending, as if, that provides support for your argument. Why don’t you quote non Christian sources who witnessed events of the Bible.”

    On the surface this may seem easily dismissable. Why, because you accept the Bible completely. But, there is also a important clue here. There are “no” non-Christian confirmations of Jesus. Apologists try to interpret things such that they provide evidence, but there is curiously, about 100 years of Jerusalem history void of historical writings.

    Only two remain that say anything about Jesus. The scriptures of Rome and an interpolation in Josephus. The paragraph in Josephus is so obviously not his that even an untrained eye can pick it out. Besides, ante nicene Church fathers quoted Josephus and today those parts no longer exist in his works. Evidence of Church editing.

    Philo of Alexandria, a contemporary of Jesus, wrote substantially. There was a temple in Alexandria and the Jewish population was the highest outside of Jerusalem. Yet Philo knows nothing of Jesus. My evidence of altered writings was provided by you.

    “There were no liberal minded people then, i.e. similar to what you find today. It was very simple: kill or be killed so no modern philosophy on that one is justifiable.”

    In that we can agree and that is exactly why you cannot trust them to tell you the truth. If they, including Jews, had it that hard, you are correct, are modern sensibilities would not apply. They would most certaily promote their own beliefs, editing scripture to appear as martyrs, with no moral connundrums. It was kill or be killed, right?

    You have successfully defended my word, thank you.

  7. Here is some information you requested I will add more re other issues you raised.

    One Palestine inhabitants: their goat-hair tents are but little protection from the heat of summer or the cold and wet of winter; while, during the latter season, the atmosphere of their dwellings is commonly saturated with the irritating smoke from wood or dung. It might be supposed that the smoke would at least afford some protection from insect pests, but the truth is that, under such conditions, lice, mosquitoes, and other insect pests are found in abundance. Doubtless, in the days when the bedawin possessed considerable wealth of cattle, camels, and horses, and were able both to feed well and to keep themselves in good physique by martial exercises, they enjoyed greater robustness, but now a large proportion of the bedawin of Palestine are sallow in complexion, and constantly suffer from malarial fever, and even from pulmonary tuberculosis (consumption), from which it might bethought their out-door life would save them. Even their nomad habits do not deliver them from epidemics of small-pox, typhus, enteric, measles and whooping-cough; and the mortality is very high, especially among the young. While it is probably true that the great desert tribes are largely free from venereal diseases, this is certainly not the case with the mongrel bedawin in the neighbourhood of the towns of Palestine, who have very low morals: syphilis and gonorrhoea are extremely common among them, and it is said that the same is the case with some of the nomads of Sinai. These same bedawin are described as being peculiarly liable to rheumatism.

    …All over the land the custom of intermarriage within the very narrow circle of a single village, or of a small group of villages, is the rule. This constant interbreeding is naturally prejudicial to health, and must greatly concentrate the
    tendency to inheritance of disease. The houses of the fellahin are usually constructed of very loosely built walls, with flat mud roofs, unprovided with parapets (Deut. xxii, 8), and in many parts of the land without even chimneys. These ill-made walls, however, have the advantage of allowing free ventilation even when, as is the rule, all windows and doors are closed at night. Most dwellings swarm with vermin. In some parts of the land (e.g., Hattin, Banias, etc.) the inhabitants sleep in booths constructed on the roofs during the summer months, when the vermin are most active. A witness to the commonness of the presence of body lice is supplied by the exclamation frequently used in northern Palestine, “May God not remove them [i.e., the lice] from me!” because the sudden departure of these pests from anyone is considered a sign of mortal sickness.



    di-zez’, di-zez’-iz (chalah, choli; nosos): Palestine, from its position and physical conditions, ought to be a healthy country. That it is not so depends on the unsanitary conditions in which the people live and the absence of any attempts to check the introduction or development of zymotic diseases. The number of marshes or pools is fairly small, and the use of active measures to destroy the larvae of mosquitos might easily diminish or abolish the malarial fevers which now prevail all over the country. The freeing of Ismailieh and Port Said from these pests is an object-lesson in sanitation. When one examines the conditions of life in towns and villages all over the country, the evidences of the ravages of these fevers and their sequelae appear on every hand as they affect all ages from infancy to middle age, and one meets but few individuals of extreme old age. The absence of any adequate system of drainage and the pollution of the water supplies are also factors of great importance in preserving this unhealthiness.
    In ancient times it was regarded as healthier than Egypt, as it well might be, hence, the diseases of Egypt are referred to as being worse than those of Palestine (Dt 7:15; 28:60; Am 4:10). The sanitary regulations and restrictions of the Priestly Code would doubtless have raised the standard of public health, but it is unlikely that these were ever observed over any large area.
    The types of disease which are referred to in the Bible are those that still prevail. Fevers of several kinds, dysentery, leprosy, intestinal worms, plague, nervous diseases such as paralysis and epilepsy, insanity, ophthalmia and skin diseases are among the commonest and will be described under their several names. Methods of treatment are described under MEDICINE; PHYSICIAN. The word “disease” or “diseases” in the King James Version is changed to “sickness” in the Revised Version (British and American) in 2 Ki 1:2; 8:8; Mt 9:35, and left out in Jn 5:4; while in Mt 8:17 “sicknesses” is replaced by “diseases.” the Revised Version (British and American) also changes “infirmity” in Lk 7:21 to “diseases,” and in Ps 38:7 “a loathsome disease” is changed to “burning.”
    Alex. Macalister


    History of Leprosy: (Atheist Blog)
    Because of ancient references going back to at least 1350 BCE in Egypt, leprosy is sometimes referred to as the “oldest recorded disease” or the “oldest known disease.” In one form or another, leprosy appears to have stalked human beings for millennia, always causing those who suffer from it to be ostracized from their communities and encouraging the belief that sufferers are being punished by the gods.


    Leprosy in Man. The priest was to decide whether the leprosy was in its dangerous forms when appearing on the skin (Lev. 13:2–28), on the head and beard (vv. 29–37); in harmless forms (vv. 38–39); and when appearing on a bald head (vv. 40–44); and he was to give instructions concerning the removal of the leper from social contact (vv. 45–46). When he was thus excluded the leper was to wear mourning costume, rend his clothes, leave the hair of his head disordered, keep the beard covered, and cry, “Unclean! Unclean!” that everyone might avoid him for fear of being defiled (cf. Lam. 4:15). As long as the disease lasted he was to dwell outside the camp (Lev. 13:45–46; Num. 5:2–4; 12:15; etc.) Respecting the symptoms the priest was to decide as to whether they indicated leprosy or some other disease.
    The ceremony prescribed for the purification of persons cured of leprosy is based on the idea that this malady is the bodily symbol not so much of sin merely as of death. Accordingly the rite of purification resolved itself into two parts. The first part of the rite had to do with the readmission of the sufferer (Lev. 14:1–9), who had been looked upon as dead, into the society of the living, and the preparation for his return to fellowship with the covenant people. This ceremony, therefore, took place outside the camp. The officiating priest caused two clean and living birds, along with some cedar wood, scarlet wool, and hyssop, to be brought. One of the birds was killed over running water, that is, water from a spring or stream, in such a way that the blood would flow into the water. He then dipped into this the living bird, the cedar, the scarlet wool, and the hyssop—the symbol of duration of life, vigor of life, and purity. He then sprinkled it seven times upon the leper, after which the living bird was set free, thus symbolizing that the leper was at liberty to return to society. The slain bird, though not having a sacrificial character, seems intended to show that the leper was saved from death by the intervention of divine mercy. The sprinkling was repeated seven times. The symbolical cleansing was followed by the shaving off of the hair, which was peculiarly liable to be affected by the leprosy, bathing the body in water, and washing the clothes.
    The second part of the rite had to do with readmission of the former leper to the camp (Lev. 14:10–32), that he might resume living in his tent. This privilege was obtained after a second cleansing, on the eighth day. On this day the priest presented the candidate, with the necessary offerings, before the Lord. These offerings were two male lambs, one ewe lamb, three-tenths of an ephah of flour mingled with oil, and one log of oil. The priests waved one of the male lambs and the log of oil for a trespass offering. The lamb was then slain, and some of the blood was put upon the tip of the ear, the hand, and the foot of the person. These same organs were afterward anointed with oil, and after the priest had sprinkled some of the oil seven times before the Lord the remainder was poured upon the head of the person to be dedicated. The ewe lamb was then offered for a sin offering, for the purpose of making atonement (v. 19), after which the burnt and meat offerings were presented. In case the person was poor he offered one lamb, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons (vv. 21–22). Thus the restored leper was admitted again to communion with the altar and with Israel.

    Unger, M. F., Harrison, R. K., Vos, H. F., Barber, C. J., & Unger, M. F. (1988). The new Unger’s Bible dictionary. Revision of: Unger’s Bible dictionary.

    VII. Hygiene and sanitation
    One respect in which Jewish medicine was better than that of contemporary peoples was the remarkable sanitary code of the Israelites in Moses’ time (e.g. Lv. 15). A. Rendle Short gives an excellent short account of this (The Bible and Modern Medicine, pp. 37-46). Although generally referred to as a code, the details are, in fact, scattered through the Pentateuch. The Jews, as a nation, might not have survived their time in the wilderness, or the many other vicissitudes through which they passed, without their sanitary ‘code’. It deals with public hygiene, water supply, sewage disposal, inspection and selection of food, and control of infectious disease. The most interesting thing about it is that it implies a knowledge which in the circumstances of the Exodus and the wilderness wanderings they could scarcely have discovered for themselves, e.g. the prohibition, as food, of pigs and of *ANIMALS which had died natural deaths, the burial or burning of excreta, etc., and the contagious nature of some diseases. Burning of excreta (Ex. 29:14) was a particularly wise practice for a wandering people, since there was no time for dung to do good as ‘manure.’ The spread of disease was thus effectively prevented. The origin of the word ‘quarantine’ is the Jewish use of the period of 40 days of segregation from patients with certain diseases (Lv. 12:1-4) adopted by the Italians in the 14th century because of the relative immunity of Jews from certain plagues. In a number of respects the biblical outlook on the sick, and on health in general, has a bearing on modern medical practice, and is perhaps more up-to-date than is generally realized. The story of the good Samaritan (Lk. 10:30-37) presents an ideal of care which has always inspired the medical and para-medical professions and typifies selflessness and after-care. There is more than a little in the Bible about what might be called ‘the medicine of the family’, the ideal of marriage among the Jews being a high one.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY. W. Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, 1958; G. Bennett, The Heart of Healing, 1971; M. Botting, Christian Healing in the Parish, 1976; S. G. Browne, Leprosy in the Bible, 1974; G. S. Cansdale, Animals of Bible Lands, 1970; R. E. D. Clark, ‘Men as Trees Walking’, FT 93, 1963, pp. 88-94; R. A. Cole, Mark, TNTC, 1961; A. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 1907, Appendix 16; V. Edmunds and C. G. Scorer, Some Thoughts on Faith Healing, 1956; J. N. Geldenhuys, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, 1950; J. S. McEwen, SJT 7, 1954, pp. 133-152 (miracles in patristic times); F. MacNutt, Healing, 1974; idem, The Power to Heal, 1977; D. Morse et al., ‘Tuberculosis in Ancient Egypt’, American Review of Respiratory Diseases 90, 1964, pp. 524-541; J. C. Peddie, The Forgotten Talent, 1961; A. Rendle Short, The Bible and Modern Medicine, 1953; J. R. W. Stott, Men with a Message, 1954; M. Sussman, ‘Diseases in the Bible and the Talmud’, in Diseases in Antiquity, ed. D. Brothwell and A. T. Sandison, 1967; R. V. G. Tasker, James, TNTC, 1956; B. B. Warfield, Miracles: Yesterday and Today, 1965 (reprint of Counterfeit Miracles, 1918); F. Graber, D. Müller, NIDNTT 2, pp. 163-172; on Paul’s thorn in the flesh, see C. Brown, NIDNTT 1, pp. 726f.

    Leprosy proper, or lepra tuberculosa, in contradistinction to other skin diseases commonly designated by the Greek word lepra (psoriasis, etc.), is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacillus leprœ, characterized by the formation of growths in the skin, mucous membranes, peripheral nerves, bones, and internal viscera, producing various deformities and mutilations of the human body, and usually terminating in death.
    History of the disease
    Catholic Encyclopaedia: Leprosy was not uncommon in India as far back as the fifteenth century B.C. (Ctesias, Pers., xli; Herodian, I, i, 38), and in Japan during the tenth century B.C. Of its origin in these regions little is known, but Egypt has always been regarded as the place whence the disease was carried into the Western world. That it was well known in that country is evidenced by documents of the sixteenth century B.C. (Ebers Papyrus); ancient writers attribute the infection to the waters of the Nile (Lucretius, “De Nat. rer.”, VI, 1112) and the unsanitary diet of the people (Galen). Variouscauses helped to spread the disease beyond Egypt. Foremost among these causes Manetho places the Hebrews, for, according to him, they were a mass of leprosy of which the Egyptians rid their land (” Hist. Græc. Fragm.”, ed. Didot, II, pp. 578-81). Though this is romance, there is no doubt but at the Exodus the contamination had affected the Hebrews. From Egypt Phœnician sailors also brought leprosy into Syria and the countries with which they had commercial relations, hence the name “Phœnician disease” given it by Hippocrates (Prorrhetics, II); this seems to be borne out by the fact that we find traces of it along theIonian coasts about the eighth century B.C. (Hesiod, quoted by Eustathius in “Comment. on Odyss.”, p. 1746), and in Persia towards the fifth century B.C. (Herodotus). The dispersion of the Jews after the Restoration (fifth century) and the campaigns of the Roman armies (Pliny, “Hist. Nat.”, XXVI) are held responsible for the propagation of the disease in Western Europe: thus were the Roman colonies of Spain, Gaul, and Britain soon infected.

  8. Pelagian

    You sound very confident in your assertions, yet you have not checked all the posts on this blog, I suggest you do that before you make such a rush comments. I’m guessing that you feel so right about your views that you have never considered what others are saying properly.

    You have picked one part of my answer and ignored the others, this is very selective hearing, like a child who is disobedient to his parents, and only chooses to selectively take only small portions of the conversation. On top of that you twist my words, again this is a trait of a young adult that should consider text in its entirety before rashly jumping to conclusion.

    There is plenty of information here, simply saying there is no information is same as Homer Simpson, shouting from top of his voice and closing his eyes and saying if I don’t known about it then it can’t be real.

    That is how little children argue, I see that you are interested in proving me wrong, but what you lack in knowledge you make up in confidence. Don’t pretend that what you say is authoritative, first of all this blog has two functions one to engage other people to come and voice their opinions secondly to give information that can be assessed. Now I don’t mean to put you on the spot but, you have made comments that are just like mine without any evidence? Where is your back up? Secondly do make good use of the posts that are already listed readily available to be inspected tested and proved or disproved either way. This is way more than what I see you do with your remarks.

    On the issue of Why I use the Bible, it is very simple, there are over 40 authors, it is written over long period of time it has been tested and proved to be correct unlike many Atheistic propaganda that is often based on a very small group of people, often obscure and often hard to authenticate. So please don’t lecture me, I have plenty of information but I do not want people to be scared away by too much information, secondly I do not like to baffle people with too much technical data. I am willing to provide you with specifics all you need to do is ask.

    On the issue of records of Jesus, we are very lucky to have Biblical records, it is your rejection of them that is your problem.

    1. Note that at the time of Jesus there was only a very small percentage of the population that was literate (This will reduce records of anything) This is why these cultures had strong oral tradition.
    2. Many records could have been destroyed during the time Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD or do I need to provide you with evidence for that. (I suggest that you google these if you are interested in makings sure that I’m not just making things up.)

    So there is massive logical fallacy on your part to make such assertions. You should have considered that before jumping the gun on your judgement.


    Defend the word

  9. misunderstoodranter says:
  10. You bring some very exciting issues, I’m so glad you did, I will come back to you soon I have few things to do tonight (Few guests to entertain). But I have to say I’m very impressed with few of your early comments, they are very sophisticated and have serious substance to them. Even though I don’t agree with your conclusions I very much respect your thought process.

    Especially with your beginning opening comments (not the repeated staff we already discussed)


    Defend the word

  11. pelagian7 says:

    I have posted your comments and my reply as a new post. It is so large that it merited a new location. I have however linked it (I have included a link to our original post and comments.) to the previous point of discussion.

    You can find the post here:



    Defend the word

  12. I have posted your comments and my reply as a new post. It is so large that it merited a new location. I have however linked it (I have included a link to our original post and comments.) to the previous point of discussion.

    You can find the post here:



    Defend the word

Comments are closed.