i dont know what to make of this

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by ckm49er, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. ckm49er

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    Oct 24, 2004
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    i was in an internet chatroom and a girl began to talk about the bible and then i asked her to support her views and she sent me this.(sorry its kinda long)


    (Translated by Dr. Tamponet of the Sorbonne) The
    licentiate Zapata, appointed Professor of Theology at
    the University of Salamanca, presented these questions
    to the assembly of doctors in 1629. They were
    suppressed. The Spanish copy is in the Brunswick


    How am I to undertake to prove that the Jews, whom we
    burn by the hundreds, were for four thousand years
    God's chosen people?

    How could God, who cannot without blasphemy be
    regarded as unjust, have abandoned the entire earth
    for the little Jewish tribe, and then abandon his
    little tribe for another, which was for two hundred
    years much smaller and much more despised?

    Why did he perform a great number of incomprehensible
    miracles in favor of this paltry nation before the
    period called historical? Why has he performed no more
    for several centuries? And why do we never witness
    any, we who are God's chosen people?

    If God is the God of Abraham, why do you burn the
    children of Abraham? And when you burn them, why do
    you recite their prayers in the process? How is it
    that you, who worship the book of their law, put them
    to death for observing their law? . . .

    Is the book of Genesis science or allegory? Did God
    truly take a rib from Adam to make a woman from it?
    And why is it previously said that he created male and
    female? How did God create light before the sun? How
    did he divide light from darkness, since darkness is
    nothing but the absence of light? How did he make day
    before the sun was created? How was the firmament
    formed in the midst of the waters, when there is no
    such thing as a firmament, and when this false notion
    of a firmament is only a fiction of the ancient
    Greeks? There are people who conjecture that Genesis
    was not written until the Jews had some knowledge of
    the erroneous philosophy of other peoples, and it
    would grieve me to hear it said that God knows no more
    about physics than he does about chronology and
    geography. . . .

    Am I to confess or deny that the law of the Jews
    nowhere speaks of punishment or reward after death?
    How is it possible that neither Moses nor Joshua spoke
    of the immortality of the soul, a dogma known among
    the ancient Egyptians, the Chaldeans, the Persians and
    the Greeks; a dogma which was somewhat in fashion
    among the Jews only after the time of Alexander, and
    which the Sadducees always condemned because it is not
    in the Pentateuch? . . .

    I beg of you to tell me by what trick Samson caught
    three hundred foxes, tied them together by their
    tails, and attached torches to their hind quarters to
    set fire to the harvests of the Philistines. Foxes are
    commonly found only in countries covered with woods.
    There was no forest in this district, and it seems
    rather difficult to catch three hundred foxes alive
    and to tie them together by their tails. It is said
    also that he killed a thousand Philistines with the
    jawbone of an ass, and that from one of the teeth of
    this jawbone there issued forth a spring. When it is a
    question of ass's jawbones, you owe me some
    enlightenment. .

    I know not how I shall justify the conduct of Samuel,
    who cut into pieces King Agag, whom Saul had made
    prisoner and had put to ransom. I do not know
    whether our King Philip would be approved if, having
    captured a Moorish king and made an agreement with
    him, he cut his royal prisoner into pieces.

    We owe great respect to David, who was a man after
    God's own heart; but I fear I would not have
    sufficient knowledge to justify, by ordinary laws,
    David's conduct in leaguing himself with four hundred
    men of ill-repute and overwhelmed with debts, as the
    Scripture says; in marching to sack the house of
    Nabal, the king's servant, and, eight days later,
    marrying his widow; in going to offer his services to
    Achish, his king's enemy, and putting to fire and the
    sword the lands of the allies of Achish, sparing
    neither sex nor age; in taking new concubines as soon
    as he is on the throne; and not content even with his
    concubines in ravishing Bathsheba from her husband,
    and accomplishing the death of the man he dishonors. I
    have some difficulty again in conceiving how God
    descends later in Judea from this adulterous and
    murderous woman who is counted among the ancestors of
    the Eternal Being. I have already warned you about
    this article, which is extremely troublesome to pious
    souls. . . .

    I have still greater need of your wise instructions
    concerning the New Testament; I am afraid I do not
    know what to say to reconcile the two genealogies of
    Jesus. For I shall be told that Matthew gives Jacob as
    the father of Joseph, and that Luke makes him the son
    of Heli, and that that is impossible unless we change
    He to la, and Ii to cob. I shall be asked how the one
    counts fifty-six generations and how the other counts
    only forty-two, and why these generations are all
    different, and again why, of the forty-two that are
    promised, there are found to be only forty-one; and
    finally, why this genealogical tree is Joseph's, who
    was not the father of Jesus. I fear lest I shall reply
    only nonsense, like all my predecessors have done. I
    hope that you will extricate me from this labyrinth. .
    . .

    When I teach that the family went to Egypt according
    to Matthew, they will reply that that is not true, and
    that they stayed in Judea according to the other
    Evangelists; and if I then grant that they stayed in
    Judea, they will maintain that they were in Egypt. Is
    it not simpler to say that one can be in two places at
    once, as happened to St. Francis Xavier and several
    other saints? . . .

    I beg of you, when you go to a wedding, to tell me how
    God, who also went to a wedding, went about it to
    change the water into wine for the benefit of people
    who were already drunk.When you are eating figs for
    breakfast towards the end of July, I beseech you to
    tell me why God, being hungry, looked for figs at the
    beginning of the month of March, when it was not the
    season for figs.

    After receiving your instructions on all such
    prodigies, I shall be obliged to say that God was
    condemned to be hanged for original sin. But if they
    reply to me that there never was anything about
    original sin, either in the Old Testament or in the
    New; that it is said merely that Adam was condemned to
    death the day that he should eat from the tree of
    knowledge, but that he did not die from it; and that
    Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, former Manichean, was the
    first to establish the system of original sin, I
    confess to you that, not having the people of Hippo as
    auditors, I might get myself laughed at while speaking
    much and saying nothing. For when certain wranglers
    came to point out to me that it was impossible that
    God should be put to death for an apple eaten four
    thousand years before his death, impossible that in
    redeeming the human race he should not redeem it, and
    should leave it still wholly in the clutches of the
    devil, except for a chosen few, I replied nothing but
    verbiage, and went off to hide myself for shame. . . .

    They will ask me then whether Peter was at Rome; I
    shall reply, to be sure, that he was Pope for
    twenty-five years: and the big reason that I shall
    produce is that we have an epistle from this fellow
    who could neither read nor write, and that this letter
    is dated from Babylon; there is no answer to that, but
    I should like something stronger. . . .

    Are you not as sorry as I am that the early Christians
    forged so many bad verses which they attributed to the
    Sibyls: that they forged letters from St. Paul to
    Seneca, letters from Jesus, letters from Mary, letters
    from Pilate; and that they thus established their sect
    through a hundred crimes of forgery that would be
    punished in all the law courts on earth? These frauds
    are today recognized by all scholars. We are reduced
    to calling them pious. But is it not sad that your
    truth should be founded only on lies?...

    I know to be sure that the Church is infallible; but
    is it the Greek Church, or the Latin Church, or the
    Church of England, or that of Denmark and of Sweden,
    or that of the proud city of Neuchatel, or that of the
    primitives called Quakers, or that of the Anabaptists,
    or that of the Moravians? The Turkish Church has its
    points, too, but they say that the Chinese Church is
    much more ancient. . . .

    In short, would it not be better not to lose ourselves
    in these labyrinths and simply preach virtue? When God
    judges us, I doubt very much if he will ask whether
    grace is versatile or concomitant; whether marriage is
    the visible sign of an invisible thing; whether we
    believe that there are ten choirs of angels or nine;
    whether the pope is above the council or the council
    above the pope. Will it be a crime in his eyes to have
    addressed prayers to him in Spanish if one does not
    know Latin? Shall we be the objects of his eternal
    anger for having eaten twelve farthings worth of bad
    meat on a certain day? And shall we be rewarded
    eternally if we have eaten with you, wise master, a
    hundred piastres worth of turbot, sole and sturgeon?
    You do not believe so in the depth of your hearts; you
    think that God will judge us according to our works,
    and not according to the ideas of Thomas and of

    Shall I not render a service to men in announcing to
    them nothing but morality? This morality is so pure,
    so holy, so universal, so clear, so ancient that it
    seems to come direct from God, like the light of day
    which we consider his first creation. Did he not give
    men self-love to insure their preservation; sympathy,
    beneficence and virtue to control self-love; mutual
    needs for the formation of society; pleasure in the
    satisfaction of them; pain which cautions us to enjoy
    with moderation; passions which lead us on to great
    things, and wisdom to curb passions?

    Did he not in short inspire all men united in society
    with the idea of a Supreme Being, in order that the
    adoration that we owe to this Being might be society's
    strongest tie? Savages who wander in the woods have no
    need of this knowledge; the duties of society, which
    they know nothing about, do not concern them; but as
    soon as men are assembled together, God manifests
    himself to their reason: they need justice, and they
    adore in him the principle of all justiceā€¦ God, who
    does not want their vain adoration, receives it as
    necessary for them and not for him. And likewise he
    gives them the genius of arts, without which every
    society perishes, and he gives them the spirit of
    religion, the first and the most natural of sciences,
    the divine science whose principle is certain, even if
    uncertain consequences are daily drawn from it. Will
    you allow me to announce these truths to the Spanish

    If you wish me to hide this truth; if you order me
    absolutely to announce the miracles of St. James in
    Galicia, and of Our Lady of Atocha, and of Mary of
    Agreda who exposed herself to small boys in her
    ecstasies, tell me how I must deal with the rebellious
    who dare to doubt: shall I have them given, along with
    edification, ordinary and extraordinary torture? When
    I meet Jewish maidens, shall I lie with them before
    having them burned? And when I put them to the fire,
    have I not the right to take a thigh or so for my
    supper with Catholic maidens?I await the honor of your

    Dominico Zapata, y verdadero, y honrado, y caritativo.

    Zapata, receiving no reply, began to preach God in all
    simplicity. He announced to men the father of men, the
    rewarder, punisher and pardoner. He extricated truth
    from falsehoods, and separated religion from
    fanaticism; he taught and practised virtue. He was
    gentle, beneficent, modest; and was roasted at
    Valladolid, in the year of grace 1631.

    Pray God for the soul of Brother Zapata!
  2. Marcia

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    May 12, 2004
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    I would say this to the person who sent you this:
    "Please don't send me stuff in other people's words. Tell me what YOU believe about the Bible in your own words."
  3. superdave

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    Jun 30, 2000
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    That has nothing to do with the Bible anyway, but is a rather good evaluation of the failures of organized religion when it comes to being anything close to what could be considered Biblical. And believe me, in the 1620's, the Catholic church in Europe was a lot further removed from the truth than our current American protestantized catholic church.

    I don't see what this has to do with her opinon or belief about the Bible. I'm with Marcia on this one.
  4. trailblazer

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    Nov 30, 2004
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    Sounds more like aethist rhetoric to me.

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