Monday, July 31, 2006

another suggestion

hey y'all. i've got another suggestion for you. David Bayne is a good friend, a brilliant guy, and he's also freakin' adorable. so go read :). it's also in my links list so go ahead and click away!

i never bothered to explain the other people in my links list. Ryan has been one of my best friends for a while now annnd has the (un?)fortunate pleasure of currently dating me. a political junkie of the highest caliber, go here if you have any interest in ohio politics, politics in general, or if you just feel like being nice :).

Salim is brilliant. period. global review and instantreplay both belong to him, so go take a look.

ok i've covered all my bases now :).

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hey! Go look here!

Hey y'all. My brother (webmaster of this webcomic) sent me a link to a blog today entitled "Blogging the Bible". At first glance it's pretty interesting. I've put a link to it in my links section but I did want to call attention to it. Seriously, go take a look.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

I read the news today oh boy...

Some interesting things in the news:
- According to Reuters, there have apparently been at least 36 messages from bin Laden/Zawahri since 2001. This is a pretty interesting chronology of the messages aired on al-Jazeera this year.
- A heatwave in France this summer has already claimed the lives of 64 French citizens this summer. According to Former VP Al Gore, global warming is caused by CO2 in the atmosphere. Could it be that all the hot air coming out of the French government is actually causing localized global warming over Gaul? Either way, this is quite a sad day for France. France now has to live with the knowlege that the American South is better equipped to cool off its citizens than France is. Switzerland is having its own problem with the current heat wave, namely how to properly care for the animals in the Zurich zoo. But, never fear, "zookeepers said they [have] been serving the animals ice creams made of berries, meat and bones to cool them down."
- I am always curious as to handle articles like this one. While I understand why it may be difficult for a German security force to guard the Israel-Lebanon border, the fact remains that current German soldiers should not have to feel guilty or be kept from doing their jobs because of the errors of the past. German soldiers have done amazing security work in recent years, especially in the Balkans and Afghanistan. The current situation Israel/Palestine/Lebanon should in no way be compared to the Holocaust, and it is almost a disservice to German soldiers to not give them the chance to put the past behind them by doing their jobs now. If Germany feels that it should be involved in this peacekeeping mission, it should not have to make the decision because of the past but rather should be able to make the decision based on where they stand currently. But, history will win out I'm sure. No one can see past the Holocaust anymore. - I'm a horrible human being for thinking this was funny, because it really isn't, but the irony was too much even for me. Picture this, Wednesday, Liberia. Monrovia to be exact. Four world leaders (Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and of course Liberia) sitting around, prolly noshing on something. Suddently, and without warning (as sudden occurances usually are), FIRE!!! The ironic part? This was the first time in fifteen years that Monrovian streetlamps had been turned on... This is horrible, it really is. But it is funny....

And that's the way the cookie crumbles...

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Yeah, so sometime this school year all of the announcements regarding the newly rediscovered "Gospel of Judas" began coming out. Being so wrapped up in trying to graduate I really didn't give this the attention it deserved. So, with nothing better to do this summer I started doing some homework.

After reading this gospel I can't say that I'm at all surprised at it. It reads like a typical Gnostic text. In this text, Jesus has secret knowledge of the universe that he imparts to Judas, which makes sense in a Gnostic text as gnosis itself means (secret/hidden) knowledge. Some interesting parts:

"He began to speak with them about the mysteries beyond the world and what would
take place at the end. Often he did not appear to his disciples as himself, but he was found among them as a child."

"The disciples said to [him], “Master, why are you laughing at [our] prayer of thanksgiving? We have done what is right.”
He answered and said to them, “I am not laughing at you. are not doing this because of your own will but because it is through this that your god [will be] praised.”
They said, “Master, you are […] the son of our god.”
Jesus said to them, “How do you know me? Truly [I] say to you, no generation of the people that are among you will know me.”
- This I found to be very interesting. In the canonical Gospels, Christ is often asked if he is the son of G-d etc., and his answers vary. This Gnostic text is peppered with Christ referring to G-d in this way, as if the G-d of the apostles was different from his G-d.

(Jesus speaking) [Let] any one of you who is [strong enough] among human beings bring out the perfect human and stand before my face.”
They all said, “We have the strength.”
But their spirits did not dare to stand before [him], except for Judas Iscariot.

Jesus seems to give preferential treatment to Judas throughout this gospel, especially when it comes to imparting important knowledge of the universe. No other apostles are named throughout this gospel; when the other apostles do speak it is as one. I also was shocked to find that there wasn't a more direct command from Christ telling Judas to have him offed. From the hype that I do remember coming out of this, I was surprised, and even slightly disappointed, that there wasn't a conversation like the following:
"Hey Jude."
"Hey Josh, what's up?"
"About those damned Temple officials that want to kill me."
"Are they seriously up to that again?? Geez, what about it?
"Yeah, I want you to go turn me in."
"WTF?! Why!!??"
"BECAUSE I SAID SO! The prophecies aren't going to just fulfill themselves y'know!!!"
"Yeah, so, you want me to kill the son of G-d... Very funny, Joshua... You realize people go to Hell for stuff like that."
"You're not going to go to Hell... We're Jewish, Judas, we don't believe in Hell."
"Oh yeah..."
"Besides, you have to do this, Jude. Without you being forced to kill me, the Calvinists would have no basis for their dogma!!!"
"The who?"
"Don't worry about it.... Say, you have a tiny bit of bread and fish layin' aorund? I'd like to get started on dinner before the other 11 disciples get home. You know they're not going to catch anything without me helping...."
[end scene]

So yeah, as usual, I'm really not seeing where the hype was. Sure, it was an interesting read. And I've always been one to root for Judas. It's not his fault that the entirety of the Tanakh woule have gone unfulfilled without him. I'm not the only one who feels this way either:

Lyrics to "Damned for All Time/Blood Money" from Jesus Christ Superstar
Lyrics to "Until the End of the World" by U2

So that's pretty much all I've got. I'll leave you with some interesting links i came upon while researching this stuff:

Wikipedia - Barbelo
National Geographic Site on the Gospel of Judas
"A Gospel in the Gospel of Judas?"
"The Gospel of Judas - Some Observations"

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

jews and muslims and christians, oh my!

So gmail found this article for me. basically an op-ed piece on the Jews and the Persians and how neither party really has any right to hate the other.

I love when writers smack politics and politicians in the face. seriously, people. Anyone who thinks that Muslims and Jews have absolutely nothing in common really needs to get their head out of their ass and come up for air at some point and look around them. The Hebrews and the Muslims both got their start at the same point: Abraham sacrificing Isaac/Ishmael to El/Allah. Both are political religions: each have a set of law (Mosaic/Shari'a) and a political structure that cannot be separated from the religion itself.

So this article points out the major points of the common history of the Jews and the Persians. It recalls how Judaism would not exist in the first place if it hadn't been for King Cyrus' decree 2500 years ago that the Jews needed to leave their Persian bondage, return to Israel, and rebuild their temple. Israel as a state was all but gone at that point. Cyrus is the only reason it came back. Ahmadinejad's statements that Israel should be blown off the map are ridiculous, when looked at in this light. Furthermore, Olmert's statement that a nuclear-armed Iran is an "existential threat to Israel." i'm sorry, but if someone had a nuclear weapon pointed at me, I think that's when the threat moves from "existential" to "imminent." Not that I honestly think Iran would be dumb enough to actually blow up Israel. Nevertheless, I may have to send Olmert's speechwriter a Hebrew-to-English dictionary.

The article moved foward from King Cyrus, but, as always occurs with me, I started getting bored. Much past the BC/AD (or BCE/CE for all you nuts out there) and I start getting bored.

That's OK, b/c the Muslims reading this entry were going "A.D.? Who's he??"

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

foray into politics

i guess you'll never be able to take the tongue-in-cheek political analyst out of me.

i found this article on the Discovery Channel website today. basically a discussion of how has recently digitized all of our census records from 1790 to 1930 (excluding 1890 b/c this was burned in a fire. no information can be released from 1930 on as that information is protected under privacy law). for anyone out there interested in geneological studies, a simple search of someone's name now also brings up all their census info. pretty damned cool if you ask me.

in doing this research, however, it was found that President Bush and VP Cheney are in fact distantly related... ... ... ...


... ... ... ...and after living with this administration since January of 2001, we're supposed to be surprised that this country is run by West Virginiaesque administration?? i think not.

the article also explained that Lee Marvin was related to Robert E. Lee. makes sense, b/c Lee Marvin is a total badass! haha. Tom Hanks is related to President Lincoln, which is pretty bitchin' because I too am related to Lincoln. not too shabby for me :).

but in all seriousness, they say that geneticaly speaking the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. the US has rules that keep people from the same state from running on the same Presidential/VP ticket. we probably should petition Congress to push for a Constitutional amendment requiring a background check into genetics to ensure we're not just keeping politics in the family... well, any more so than the Bush's already have...

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Monday, July 03, 2006


this blog has been ridiculously neglected.... starting in august i'll be in the masters program in religion at the university of georgia. so, what i'm thinking is that this blog will become a corner for me to discuss my masters work, random tidbits of athenian culture (of the georgia variety rather than of the greek variety), the occasional personal note, and political science stuff that catches my eye. my masters program is in hebrew bible/old testament history, so much of the entries will be on that subject. as always, leave me some lovin'!