Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Divine Blunder

Read Your Bible Series - Week Twelve

A Divine Blunder


This week I would like to discuss a fairly serious Biblical issue about which, I would wager, most Christians are completely unaware.  As a matter of fact, it's fairly easy to recognize whether a person of the faith has ever been introduced to the subject.  All you have to do is listen to what they say to each other about Jesus or read what they write about him.  More than likely, you will find statements similar to the following:
Jesus had to be perfect, so he could die for our sins!
We should all strive to be as perfect as Jesus!
And my personal favorite:
There's only been one perfect person, and he died on a cross for all of us!
It's the most popular message of Christians.  Jesus was transcendentally aware, without sin, without fault... the consummate example of perfection in human form.  And yet, omniscience appears to have goofed on the history of his own religion.  Mark 2: 23-28:
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"
He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions."
Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
The Pharisees apparently had caught Jesus and his disciples committing a crime by "working" on the Sabbath.  While I don't agree with these clowns that picking a few seeds of grain qualifies as "work", these Pharisee guys sure seemed to think it was.

But you know Jesus... he was able to wiggle his way out of their mistake by going all, "Son of God" and, "Lord of the Sabbath".

However, that wasn't even the error that the Pharisees should have ultimately been able to catch Jesus making.  That tiny, simple little paragraph before Jesus went full diva should have set off alarms in the Pharisees' heads!  The story of David and his companions was not in the days of Abiathar the high priest, it was in the days of his father, Ahimelek the high priest!  Check it for yourself in 1 Samuel 21: 1-9:
David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, "Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?"
David answered Ahimelek the priest, "The king sent me on a mission and said to me, 'No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.' As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find."
But the priest answered David, "I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women."
David replied, "Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men's bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!" So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.
Now one of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul's chief shepherd.
David asked Ahimelek, "Don't you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent."
The priest replied, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one."
David said, "There is none like it; give it to me."
Not only is the name, "Ahimelek the priest" mentioned in this passage, it's mentioned no less than three different times that David was talking to Ahimelek, not his son, Abiathar.  And the true, "Son of God" and, "Lord of the Sabbath" should have known this.  Sure, Abiathar did eventually take over the family biz from his father and he became high priest, and sure Abiathar was most likely alive when his father provided David and his companions with the "consecrated" bread...  But the story that Jesus references is not the story of Abiathar!  And I don't care hard Christian apologists try to dance around it, Jesus was flat wrong.

So let this point soak in for a few minutes: by getting the story of David wrong, Jesus can no longer be considered perfect.  You cannot be sinless and you cannot be sacrificed for all of mankind if you are not perfect.  Repeat it if you have to, just so you understand how important these points are.  And do not underestimate the importance of Jesus' historical gaffe.  To anyone that really and truly studies the Bible, this issue remains one of the most important in the entire book, so much so that there have been many former religious leaders who openly discuss this issue as the first step in their disbelief.

So yes, it's that important; and if you're still reading your Bible, then Mark 2: 23-28 should be committed to memory.

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