Sunday, March 31, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 9 & 10: I dreamed a dream

Chapter 9

The fifth angel blows his trumpet and a star falls to earth, where it is given a key to the bottomless pit (v. 1). He (or maybe she? It's quite hard to identify a star's gender) turns the key in the lock and opens the door, which emits a giant belch of smoke that blocks out the sun and moon. Locusts fly out of the smoke and are given the power of scorpions. They're told to leave the grass and trees alone and to focus their rage solely on the humans who don't have god's seal of approval on their foreheads. They're also instructed not to kill the non-marked people, just to torture them with scorpion stings for five months. They're promised that the men will want to die, but won't be able to. John gets a closer look at the locust/scorpions, and sees that they look like battle horses wearing crowns and with the faces of men, hair of women, lion's teeth and scorpion stingers. They're wearing breastplates and their wings sound like chariots.

The locusts have a king, Abaddon on Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek, or 'The Destroyer' in English, because this book can never, ever be subtle.

The sixth angel sounds and one of the horns on the altar starts speaking. It tells the angel to let four other angels who are currently imprisoned in the Euphrates river out. The angels have a year, a month, a day and an hour to kill a third of the people on earth, so clearly they need an army of 200 000 horsemen, mounted on horses wearing breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone (v. 17) and with the heads of lions that breathe fire, smoke and brimstone and bitey snakes for tails. With all this in place, they run around and kill a third of the populace. The non-believers who don't die also refuse to repent.

Chapter 10

Yet another angel flies in, this one wearing cloud clothing and a rainbow hat. His face is as bright as the sun and his feet are pillars of fire. He lands with one foot in the sea and the other on land. He's holding a little book. He opens his mouth to speak and roars like a lion. When he stops, John goes to write what he said down, but only gets as far as raise show dogs before the angel tells him to keep what he said a secret. Then he raises his hands to heaven and swears that time stops now. He also says that when the seventh angel blows his trumpet, it will be the fulfillment of god's plan. God then speaks and tells John to go take the book from the angel. He does, and the angel instructs him to eat it, but promises it will taste like honey but eventually give him a tummy-ache, because paper is indigestible.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 7 & 8: Nightmare at 20 000 feet

When I was about 5, I snuck into the room while my parents were watching The Twilight Zone: The Movie, probably exactly when this clip was playing. It took me years to get over it.

Chapter 7

John now sees the four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding on to the wind, keeping it off the earth. A fifth angel starts rising in the east and tells the other four that he's just going to quickly mark god's 144 000 best christians(12 000 from each Israelite tribe) so they're safe from harm, and then they can start destroying everything.

Then John notices that a large crowd has gathered around the Jesus lamb, all dressed in white and carrying palm fronds. The angels give up on world destruction and also come over to worship the lamb. One of the elders is getting a bit senile and asks John who the people in white are, but then he remembers they're martyrs and they've washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (v. 14). Now they live in heaven, safe from famine, thirst and skin cancer. 

Chapter 8

The Jesus lamb opens the seventh seal and for half an hour, there is blessed silence. But then someone gives the seven angels trumpets. An eighth angel flies up to the altar carrying a censer full of incense and starts praying for the saints. Then he fills the censer with fire from the altar and throws it down to earth, which causes people to start shrieking again, as well as a thunderstorm and an earthquake. 

By now, the trumpeter angels have finished warming up. The first one blows his horn and a mix of hail, fire and blood falls to earth, burning a third of the trees and all of the grass. The second angel toots his own horn and a burning mountain falls into the sea, turning a third of it into blood, killing a third of the sea life and sinking a third of the ships. The third angel's trumpet causes a star to fall out of the sky and destroy a third of the rivers and fountains. This particular star is called Wormwood and it also poisons the water. The fourth angel's trumpeting is so bad it kills a third of the sun, moon and stars and kills a third of the day. The action is cut off by yet another angel flying through the air crying out woe to the people, because we haven't heard the other 3 trumpets yet.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 5 & 6: Dreamweaver

Chapter 5

God picks up a book with seven seals binding it shut. Suddenly an angel starts shrieking Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? (v. 2) No one can, which causes John to cry. One of the old dudes in the chairs assures him that Jesus can open the book.

Next, a dead lamb appears in the middle of the floor. It has seven horns and seven eyes, because it represents the seven spirits of god. It takes the book and the old dudes and the animals all start worshiping it. Now they have harps and censers and they sing about Jesus and the book. 

John realises that there are more things in the room as millions of angels and animals, then everything on earth starts shouting about Jesus. Then the original four animals say amen.

Chapter 6

The Jesus lamb starts opening the seals on the book. The first one causes a man with a bow to appear, riding a white horse. They put a crown on him and he rides off to conquer stuff. The second horse is red and its rider has a sword. He gallops off to take away peace on earth and make people kill each other. The third rider is on a black horse and has a set of balancing scales. He babbles for a bit about the price of wheat and reminds us not to overdo it on the wine or oil. The fourth horse is pale (v. 8) and is being ridden by Death, with Hell following along behind. Death is given charge of a quarter of the earth and is allowed to kill people by the sword, famine or wild beasts. When the fifth seal is opened, John sees a bunch of martyred souls under the altar shrieking about vengeance. They are handed white robes and told it will be a while yet, but to hang tight until their brethren are similarly killed. The sixth seal causes a massive earthquake and solar eclipse and the moon turns crimson. The stars fall down and the figs die. Heaven rolls up and the mountains and islands all take one step to the left. The people hide and beg the mountains to give them shelter from the wrath of god.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 3 & 4: Nightmare on Elm Street

Chapter 3

Sardis: You're the living dead. Don't get too excited, though, because you aren't perfect yet and Jesus could come back at any time. There are a few people who haven't defiled their garments (v. 4) and he'll dress them up in white and recommend them to god. 

Philadelphia: You, Jesus likes. He likes you so much he's going to force the worshipers from a nearby synagogue (or as John likes to call it: the synagogue of Satan (v. 9) to worship the christians. He also promises not to put them on trial during the apocalypse. Finally, he agrees to give them all free tattoos: one with god's name, another with Jerusalem's new name, and finally one with his new name. 

Laodiceans: You, Jesus is not so sure about. You've been tepid in your faith and he's been thinking of spitting you out as a result. Apparently they've come into some money and have been bragging that they don't need anything. Jesus counsels them to buy white clothing, gold and eye makeup. He invites himself over to their houses for dinner and promises that in return, when he takes them to heaven, he'll sit them on the throne with himself and his dad.

Chapter 4

Now the really trippy part starts. John looks up and sees a door into heaven. A voice calls to him to come up and check things out. He has an out of body experience and goes through the door. The first thing he sees is a throne with a figure on it like a jasper and a sardine stone (v. 3) with a green rainbow around it. There are 24 old men in crowns seated around the main throne. Everybody is silent because the throne has thunder and lightening and voices coming from it. There are seven candlesticks in front of the throne, each representing a spirit. Also in front of the throne is a sea of crystal glass. Arranged around it are four beasts- a lion, a calf, a man and an eagle,  with eyes in the fronts and backs of their heads. Each has six wings with eyes on it, and each just sits there all day shrieking Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come (v. 8). When god gets tired of hearing that, the old men cast their crowns at his feet and say  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (v. 11)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Revelation, Chapters 1 & 2: Nightmares and Dreamscapes

Revelation is the most controversial book in the bible, the one that almost didn't make it in during the Nicene Council, a collection of visions worthy of only the best of acid trips. I say, after 21 books of being told to behave because the world really is going to end now, bring it on.

Chapter 1

Jesus decided to let his friend John have a peek at what the end of the world will look like, even though the time is at hand (v. 3). First he sends greetings to the seven churches of Asia from god's seven bestie angels and from Jesus, who, we are gruesomely reminded washed us from our sins in his own blood (v. 5).

Now, onto the Stephen King part of our story, or if you prefer The Brick Testament: Jesus will arrive on a cloud and people will start to wail, because he'll announce that he's here to end the world. John pauses the action briefly to give us some background on his vision: he was on the island of Patmos in the Spirit on the Lord's day (v. 10), which I'm just going to infer means 'drunk off my ass, and possibly a little high,' when a voice told him to write down everything he's about to see and send it off in book form to the other churches. He turns to look for the source of the voice and sees Jesus sitting at the centre of a circle of seven candlesticks, wearing a skirt belted at the nipples a la Steve Urkel. His hair is white, his eyes red, his feet glowing like brass in a fire, and his voice sounds like waves. He's holding seven stars, his tongue is a two-edged sword, and his face is shiny. John faints, but Jesus revives him and says he's back and he stole the keys to heaven and hell from his dad. He explains that the stars are angels and the candles are churches.

Chapter 2

Jesus has a message for the angel of the church at Ephesus: he knows they've been hard workers and haven't listened to any of those pesky christian dissenters, but he still doesn't like them because thou hast left thy first love (v. 3). Jesus threatens that, unless they take her back and apologise, he'll throw their candlestick away like he did with the hated Nicolaitanes. He promises that if they do that, he'll let them eat from the tree of life. 

Now, a few words for the church angel in Smyrna: he knows they're doing good works, but also that they're being persecuted by some people claiming to be Jews but who are really the synagogue of Satan (v. 9). He also informs them that they can expect to be thrown into prison and tortured for 10 days, during which time they will possibly die, but he'll reward them for it. 

Pergamos, aka Satan's seat (v. 13): someone named Antipas was martyred there, but he still doesn't like them for eating meat intended for sacrifice and for fornicating. Also, they've been sheltering his hated Nicolaitanes. He advises them to repent before he comes over there with his tongue-sword. 

Now he has a message for all christians: if you can persevere, he'll give you manna and a stone with your secret name on it. 

Thyatira: you've been good, but you're also under the sway of a woman who calls herself Jezebel and claims to be a prophetess. She's been teaching them to fornicate and to eat sacrificial meat. He warned her to stop, but she didn't so now he's going to throw her into a torture bed with her lovers. He's also going to kill her children with death (v. 23) so everyone will know he judges you by your kidneys and your heart. He promises that people who obey until the end will rule over nations with an iron bar they can use to shatter potters' vases. As a bonus, he'll give them the morning star, possibly the planet Venus.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jude, Chapter 1: The tyranny of small differences

This book purports to be written by Jude, brother of James and Jesus, an illiterate, Aramaic-speaking peasant who somehow wrote a letter in fluent Greek. He urges his followers to ignore the false prophets who god is controlling and who are turning them against Jesus' teachings and sending them all to hell. He backs this claim up by reminding us about that time god smote the Israelites or that other time when some angels came down from heaven to breed with human women, for whom god is reserving punishment until the end times. He also refers to Sodom and Gomorrah and a text that isn't part of the bible about the archangel Michael and the devil fighting about Moses' body. He also talks about Cain and Balaam. You get the picture: the early christians were not a unified, loving community of like-minded individuals. The good news is, these are all signs of the apocalypse, so he urges them to convert as many people as possible by whatever means necessary, compassion, fear, whatever works.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

2 & 3 John: John and the real Christ

2 John

John is writing to a lady and her children to remind them to love each other, because there are many antichrists in this world who don't believe Jesus was flesh and blood. No, really, this was a source of huge debate according to Bart D. Erhman: was Jesus really flesh, or spirit made to look like flesh? This is what the top minds in Europe thought about for hundreds of years. Imagine where we'd be if they'd put all that energy into cancer research or combating poverty. Anyway, John is clearly in the 'real flesh' section and promises that anyone on team 'fake flesh' is going to hell, so he urges his followers not to let them into their houses. He promises to come and visit soon.

3 John

John now turns his attention to someone called Gaius, about whom he heard some good things that inspired him to write. He praises him for his evanglising and for not accepting gifts from non-christians. He also passes along some gossip about a church run by one of his political enemies, a man named Diotrephes, who is trying to take over church leadership and who he unironically accuses of talking smack about him. He urges Gaius not to be swayed by Diotrephes so he can go to heaven.

And that's it. Two shortest books in the New Testament.

Friday, March 15, 2013

1 John, Chapters 1-5: The sky is falling

Chapter 1

'John', who is certainly not the same 'John' as who wrote the gospel of 'John' swears up and down he's telling the truth that he knew Jesus and by extension god and now he wants to pass along their message of light. He's also a huge talk-downer, constantly referring to his followers as little children. He informs us that we've been purged of all our sins by the blood of Christ, but then tells us we all sin, and to deny that is to lie. So the answer is to confess and be forgiven.

Chapter 2

Try not to sin. But when you inevitably do, confess and all will be well. You know Jesus if you keep his commandments. Lots of people claim to know him and not follow his teachings, but they're liars. How else can you tell if you're a believer? Well, if you love your brother, you're good. If you don't: hell. Also, don't love the world, or indulge your lusts or be proud, because this is all ending soon and the only thing that will matter is whether you obeyed god.

It's the end of days, and there are a lot of antichrists about, which 'John' defines as former believers and non-believers. Anyone who doesn't believe in both Jesus and god doesn't worship the same god, so take that, Jews! Now, sit back and get ready for the return of Jesus.

Chapter 3

The world ignores the christians, but that's okay because it will all be over soon. Meanwhile, keep hope and don't sin. Except that somewhere between chapter one and now, John has had a change of heart and decided that Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him (v. 6) In fact, the only people who sin are devils. He moves the goalposts even further, telling is that not only do christians not sin, they don't even do things that aren't righteous. So love one another, even if the world hates you. Hating your brother is akin to murder. Show your love through works. God knows what's in your heart, so all you have to do is ask for things and he'll give them. 

Chapter 4

Don't hedge your bets by worshiping every god around, you only need one. How will you know who to believe? If they say Jesus was flesh and blood, they're real. Also, the spirit is stronger in you than it is in the world. Anyway, love each other, because god is love (v. 8) and God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him (v. 9). If you love people god will live in you. If you believe in Jesus, god will love you. If you have fear, god doesn't love you, nor does he love you if you hate your brother.

Chapter 5

We know Jesus was god's son because he was baptised and then he died on the cross. Also, the father, the son and the holy ghost are the same thing and you have to believe in all three. There is something called a sin unto death (v. 16), but what that might be, John doesn't say. Also, it's possible to commit sins that don't carry the death penalty, but again, we don't know what those are. Fortunately if you're a christian, you can't sin, just all those other assholes out there. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

2 Peter, Chapters 1-3: Red Forman's bible

Chapter 1

'Simon Peter' greets the christians and hopes they're avoiding all those icky lusts and striving to be The World's Most Perfect People so they can get into heaven! Speaking of which, he swears up and down that Jesus really is coming back to end the world, and reminds them that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation (v. 20).

Chapter 2

As the end of days approaches, there will be plenty of false prophets, and it's important not to listen to them lest you end up in hell. And believe you me, god is not shy about who ends up there: fallen angels, everyone but Noah's family, Sodom and Gomorrah. Right now he's not happy about people who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government (v. 10), which hopefully means the entire Tea Party is hell-bound. 

You won't get reported to god by those tattle-telling angels, no your own bad deeds will be obvious to god, like Balaam's.

Good lord, did you know that
dumb ass (v. 16) is a biblical saying, and not a divine revelation given to the immortal Red Forman? I did not. But that's not even the most disgusting image in this chapter. No, that title belongs to verse 22: The dog is turned to his own vomit.

Chapter 3

'Simon Peter' has another beef, this time with people who doubt that Jesus is actually coming back, seeing as we've been waiting 2000+ years now. That's just ignorance, and god is coming for you with fire, someday. We won't know when because one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (v. 8) Of course, god doesn't actually want to send you to hell, and the best way to prevent that is to be a good christian and not read 'Paul's' letters. Wish I'd read that verse about 15 books ago.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

1 Peter, Chapters 1-5: Are you covered in blood? Good.

Apparently, Peter has spent his time between Acts 4 and now going from an illiterate speaker of Aramaic to a fluent writer of Greek. Or, you know, this letter is a fake.

Chapter 1

'Peter' writes to the elect (v. 2), who will know who they are based on whether god sprinkled some of Christ's blood on them. If so, you're going to heaven when the world ends.  Don't look like Carrie? Sorry, you're SOL. Meantime, be sober and judge people for their works.

Chapter 2

Be nice and control your lusts and Peter will use you as a stone in his building of worship. Also, brag about your good works to people and obey the king, who will punish evildoers. Slaves ought to fear their masters.

Chapter 3

We haven't talked about women for awhile, so let's do that now. Women have to obey, of course, but at the same time, their obedience has to win non-christian husbands over. It doesn't seem to occur to anyone that a wife converting while her husband remains a pagan is pretty disobedient. She also can't beguile him into faith through sexy tricks like hair braiding, lingerie or fancy jewellery. She has to be dowdy like the old testament matriarchs.

Husbands have to honour their wives as the weaker vessel (v. 7), be compassionate to others, and not get caught up in vengeance cycles. Plus, bad people can't harm you if you're faithful. Of course, if you do suffer, it's god's will, just like when Jesus died and went to hell to talk to the sinners. Furthermore, christians should be prepared to discuss their faith with anyone who asks.

'Peter' also explains to us where baptism comes from: apparently, when everybody except for Noah's family died in that flood way back when, it was actually god saving people, and dunking your head now will also get you saved. No, it is not explained what the connection between saving people by keeping them dry and saving them by getting their hair wet might be.

Chapter 4

Suffering means you aren't sinning. This will also allow you to finally give up thinking sexy thoughts like those whoring pagans and think about god until the world ends.

'Peter' also wants to tell us that Jesus went down to hell once to give the sinners a chance to repent.

Be good, be charitable, and for heaven's sake, don't murder anyone, no not even when the apocalypse starts. Speaking of apocalypses, it will be much worse for non-believers.

Chapter 5

'Peter' reminds the elders to take care of their flocks and the younger members to obey their elders. All people should remember that the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (v. 8).

Friday, March 8, 2013

James, Chapters 1-5: Your tongue will condemn you to hell

Chapter 1

Finally! A chapter of the new testament that isn't all about Paul and his creepy sexual predilections. James informs us that he's writing to the Jewish diaspora about how to get wisdom. Namely, ask god and he'll give it to you. I check the statistics to see if that is the most abused bible verse of all time, and yup, it is. Also, if you don't get wisdom, it's your fault, because your faith wasn't perfect.

The poor will be rewarded, and the rich punished, but not until everybody's dead, of course. In fact, the very best thing to be is tempted, because if you can resist it, you'll get the crown of life (v. 12). But don't say you're tempted, because god can neither tempt nor be tempted, nor does he ever change. Your temptations are because of your sinful, human, god-created lusts, which will eventually kill you. So be good, and better yet, do good works. What might those include? Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (v. 27). If only more christians followed that verse and didn't obsess about what happens in other people's bedrooms.

Chapter 2

A parable! I don't think we've had one of those in a donkey's age. So this is about a rich man dressed in  the gay clothing (v. 2) and a poor man, who both come into the temple. The rich man is offered the best seat in the house, whereas the poor is told to stand or crouch under someone's footstool. Lesson: don't judge a book by its cover, because god is taking the poors to heaven while the rich exploit us and sue us and blaspheme Jesus' name. 

If you do everything right, and then screw up one little thing, you're going to hell. But also if you were a merciless prick in life, you won't be shown any mercy in the afterlife. 

You can only get to heaven through good deeds, not just through faith. So if you see someone in need and wish them well, that's not enough. Also, devils believe in god.

Chapter 3

Don't become a preacher because you will be judged more harshly than others. A person who can control his own tongue is perfect and perfectly in control. He compares the tongue to a bit in a horse's mouth or a ship's rudder: a small instrument that controls a large and powerful thing. Likewise, your tongue can get you sent to hell. We are told that men can control any animal, but not his own tongue, which can be used equally well for cursing and blessing. It's like a fig tree that grows olive berries, or something. Anyway, control your tongue and you'll be saved.

Chapter 4

People suck: we fight wars, fuck people we aren't married too, and want things we can't have. Oh, we sure ask for things we want, but we don't get them because we asked in the wrong way. 

Next, James calls us adulterers because we try to hedge our bets by praying to various gods in hopes of assuring a good harvest or recovery from illness, but doing that will send us to hell. So resist greed, purify yourself, act sad and don't badmouth other people and you'll get into heaven. Finally, you are just a little speck of dust to god, and the only way to get noticed is through your good works.

Chapter 5

God is going to punish the rich by tarnishing their silver in the end times, so hold off on your jealousy now. And the end times are nigh. God is right outside the door. So don't take oaths, but pray. If you're happy, sing a psalm. If you're sick, as the others to pray for you and you'll feel better right away.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hebrews, Chapters 9-13: Meat Markets

Chapter 9

You'll remember that way back in 1 Kings, god had the Israelites build a hideously-decorated temple to store Moses' crap in while he was 'between places.' Turns out it wasn't just Moses' stuff, it was also a pot of manna they were saving for the end times and Aaron's stick just in case they, I dunno, needed to hit someone or something. Oh, also all this had been sprinkled with mixed cow and goat blood. No wonder they never picked it up. You'll also remember that most of the priests could only go into the first chamber of the temple, and only the high priest could go into the inner chamber, and he had to bring blood with him, because god is Ron Swanson. But none of that got you into heaven! In fact, it was blocking the way to heaven. Nope, that was the old system, and now Jesus is taking us to an even better afterlife. So now we don't have to sacrifice things, because god is satisfied with Jesus' blood. Also, you can't have a testament without somebody dying.

Chapter 10

God cannot try you twice for the same sin. Since sacrifices are reminders of past sins, they actually offend him now. Jesus forgets our sins, except for those of his enemies, whom he uses as a footstool. Plus, I think whichever one of Moses' sons in law was running the meat market behind the temple is now out of favour. So now believers should encourage each other to do good works while they wait for the end times, and not dwell too gleefully on how the Jews are all going to hell when Jesus comes back.

Chapter 11

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (v. 1). Seems about right. Also, god created the universe, and what we see is not what we are made of. 

Without faith, you can't please god. Then we get a list of people from the book of Genesis who supposedly pleased god, like Abel, who was murdered. Or Abraham, who was all set to kill his son Isaac on god's whim, a sort of practice Jesus. Or a bunch of nameless people who were tortured and asked for more because it meant a better afterlife. 

Chapter 12

Strip off all that baggage of laws and sacrifices and just sit naked for a while and think about Jesus. And if you get scourged or told off, just know that it's god's way of showing his love for you. In fact, if god isn't abusing you, you're clearly a bastard and not a real son. In exchange for being tortured, you can't have premarital sex or swear. And you will get to climb a mountain. Not a physical mountain, like the one Moses went up, the one where if you touched it, they stoned you to death. No, you're going to god's metaphysical city on a hill, when he destroys the world.

Chapter 13

Be nice to other people, including slaves. And don't go to prostitutes. And be content with your lot in life, so you won't go seeking satisfaction through other religions.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hebrews, Chapters 5-8: Snoozefest

Chapter 5

God selects priests to be his holy representatives. Also, Jesus didn't really want to die, but god brought him to heaven because he was obedient and now he's in heaven and a priest of Melchisedec. They would like to explain this further, but the audience is really dumb, so progress is slow. They should be teachers by now, but they're only going over the basics. 'Paul' calls them babies, unable to distinguish right from wrong.

Chapter 6

Now we're going to talk about perfection and the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment (v. 2). Thrilling. Ex-christians can never come back to the fold because it's like nailing Jesus to that cross all over again. Also, they're hell-bound. Not this congregation, of course! There's still hope for them. So work hard and remember that even Abraham had kids eventually and you'll get into heaven, where Jesus is waiting.

Chapter 7

Who is this Melchidesec that Hebrews is suddenly so enamoured with? Well, he's the king that met Abraham and blessed him after the slaughter of the kings way back in Genesis 14. Abraham gave him 10 percent of his war spoils. We know nothing else about this man, except that he's the reason you're supposed to pledge a tenth of your earnings to the church. According to 'Paul', the person who gives the blessing is better, as is the person who gets the tithes, because priests die, but Melchidesec is still out there, somewhere, like Godot. Also, if the Levite priests were so awesome, how come there's a new priestly order, hmm? And, here's the kicker: Jesus was from the tribe of Juda and he's also immortal. So there's a new priesthood, not based on blood, but on oath-taking and Jesus' priesthood is forever. And now barbecues, please, he's into promises, not sacrifices.

Chapter 8

We need a new covenant, because if the first one had been perfect, we wouldn't need a new one. So soon god will wash away the dirty old covenant.