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kermit4jc, you wrote "apparently you did not read my post fully" and "you said you look up tranlsations." I did read all of your post. I think you missed the point of my comment. When I mentioned translations of Luke 3:23, I provided a link at to the Bible Hub site which provides 21 translations of Luke 3:23 into English. I also mentioned another translation of the passage into English from a Bible translation not provided through that site. I stated that all of those translations use the word "son" not "son-in-law" for the translation of the original Greek into English. So your claim that the genealogy in Luke 3:23 is the genealogy of Jesus through Mary and so Heli is Jesus maternal grandfather does not match the plain English words in any of those translations.

You can, of course, make the claim you are making that if one understands the original Greek and also Jewish customs one can harmonize the two genealogies, though I think that claim is dubious. I.e., you can claim that by using "son of" in all those English translations that the translators have mistranslated the original Greek and are misleading English readers to think that Joseph was the son of Heli when he was, instead, the son-in-law of Heli. That implies that the average person, who does not know Greek and is unaware of ancient Jewish customs, can't understand the Bible without help of an intermediary. That was once the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which insisted that the Catholic clergy was the intermediary between God and man. So it seems then that only a small group of scholars can truly understand what the Gospel authors meant by the words they wrote in their Gospels, if someone will misunderstand such passages if he relies solely on the plain English found in them.

Luke 3:23 (King James Version): "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli"

How is the average English reader of the Bible to know when he sees "son of" that in only the case of Luke 3:23 is he to interpret that to really mean "son-in-law". E.g., should he use the common understanding of the phrase in Genesis 7:13 (KVJ) and all the other Bible verses which refer to "sons of Noah":

"In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Ja_pheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark"

In Genesis 11:31, it mentions "Lot the son of Haran". Does it mean Haran is Lot's father there or could it mean father-in-law there as well?

And supposing one does have to refer to the Greek of the unknown author of the Gospel of Matthew. You state "there is a Greek word.. NOMIZO..its a LEGAL term". According to the site at , "Nomizo" can mean "supposed", but that doesn't imply a son-in-law to father-in-law relationship. Isn't "supposed" in the case of Joseph's paternity of Jesus to mean that he's not the real father of Jesus, but that, instead, Yahweh is his father? What can you point to in the Greek language in Luke 3:23 that clearly points to that type of relationship, since Mary is never mentioned in Luke's genealogy? If the author of the Gospel of Luke is relating Mary’s genealogy, why mention that Joseph is the supposed father of Jesus and not mention Mary herself? And why write the genealogy in a way that many, even many Biblical scholars, would be led to seek other means of reconciling the two Gospel genealogies? E.g., other Biblical scholars in the past posited Levirate marriage as the reason for the discrepancy, but that would require many such marriages among Jesus forebears, since the two genealogies differ so widely. E.g., from The Nativity: History and Legend by Geza Vermes, one of the first scholars to examine the Dead Sea Scrolls after their discovery in 1947 who is the author of the standard translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls into English, which I referenced in my prior comment:

A final remark on the two genealogies. The substantial differences between Matthew and Luke are beyond dispute and have always puzzled the theologians and the Bible interpreters of the Church. New Testament scholars have attempted since time immemorial to iron out the discrepancies and reconcile them, but without visible success. We encounter the first major effort to solve the dilemma as far back as the early third century. It is attached to the name of Julius Africanus, a learned Palestinian Christian. In his opinion the contradictions between the lists of Matthew and Luke must stem from the Jewish law concerning leviratic marriage. Leviratic, or brother-in-law, marriage entails the moral obligation of a brother to marry his deceased brother's childless widow.

Augustine of Hippo (354 – August 430), one of the most important Church Fathers in the West, also connected leviratic marriage to the Gospel of Luke's genealogy.

Others speculated that Jacob and Heli were the same person, though that notion is less accepted.

It seems, instead, that some read the interpretation that the Gospel of Luke is offering Mary's genealogy into that genealogy because they need a means to harmonize the two discrepant genealogies. There are others who have tried to reconcile the two discrepant versions of Jesus' genealogy by claiming that it is, instead, the Gospel of Matthew that uses Mary's genealogy. E.g., from In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture edited by Steven B. Cowan, Terry L. Wilder:

Some (like Tertullian, c. 160-225) suggest that Luke gives Jesus' genealogy through Joseph's lineage and Matthew gives it through Mary's lineage. Conversely, (2) some (like Martin Luther, 1483-1546) suggest that Matthew gives Jesus' genealogy through Joseph's lineage and Luke (with his tremendous interest in Jesus' mother) gives it through Mary's lineage.

You claim I am "showing ignorance here" by not accepting your method of reconciling the discrepant genealogies. If so, I think I'm in good company, not just the company of all the translators who produced the translations into English I referenced, but many modern Biblical scholars even many who, still wishing to claim that the Bible is the inspired word of a god, claim that the author of the Gospel of Matthew had a "theological purpose", etc. for his stories which may not reflect actual historicity, i.e, they can't quite bring themselves to admit he engaged in pia fraus, even when they recognize his stories can't be true. E.g., from Matthew: The Christbook, Matthew 1-12 by Frederick Dale Bruner:

The frequently heard view that Matthew's infancy narratives come from Joseph and his family and that Luke's come from Mary and her family (e.g., by Bengel) has been called by the most thorough student of the birth stories as, at best, "pious deduction" (Brown, Birth, 35), and by another respected scholar as "Verlegenheitauskunft" (roughly, "the desperation of embarrassment," Gnilka). Matthew's and Luke's infancy narratives are not only different but, as Brown, Birth, 36, shows with docu_mentation, "contradictory to each other in a number of details." We may say, then, quite openly, that Matthew's genealogy is a work of theological craftmanship more than it is a simple historical list. It is not only genealogy, it is theology; it is not only archive, it is doctrine; it is not only history, it is sermon.

The Brown referenced above is Raymond E. Brown (1928 – 1998), a prominent Biblical scholar of his time who was professor emeritus at the Protestant Union Theological Seminary (UTS) in New York, the first Roman Catholic professor to gain tenure there, and one of the first Roman Catholic scholars to apply historical-critical analysis to the Bible, who wrote The Birth of the Messiah. The Gnilka referenced is Joachim Gnilka, a German theologian and renowned exegete who served for 15 years on the Roman Catholic Church's Pontifical Biblical Commission.

There are many other discrepancies in the Gospel Of Matthew, e.g., a reference to Rahab as the mother of Boaz, etc. where Matthew appears to be using the Rahab from Joshua 2:4-5. Some references on other discrepancies for the biblical genealogies are the book I mentioned by Geza Vermes, The Nativity: History & Legend or you can visit

In regards to the Massacre of the Innocents that is found in the Gospel of Matthew, the standard Christian response as in so many cases is "Just because there is no historical evidence for it", doesn't mean it didn't occur. That is true; just because no historian of the time knows of it, doesn't mean that it could not have occurred. And just because, unless one starts with the presumption that everything in the Bible reflects actual events and people, the fact that we find no credible evidence for Jesus' existence outside of the Bible doesn't prove the stories weren't based on the life of an actual person. We also have nothing outside of the Bible to show that Jesus performed the miracles attributed to him, which are so reminiscent of those performed by Greek deities. And despite the claim that Yahweh once made himself known to humans thousands of years ago, but now remains hidden, I hear Christians proclaim "You can't prove he doesn't exist!" But do you never wonder why if Yahweh has a rule that no one can enter heaven unless he believes those Biblical tales and believes Yahweh incarnated himself in human form in the first century that all those who fail to believe those stories, despite a paucity of evidence for them, will be tortured by Yahweh for eternity, didn't Yahweh provide more undeniable proof of the veracity of those tales? Why did he not even preserve the original versions of the tales? Why don't the earliest versions of the entire Greek Bible that remain, i.e., the four great uncials Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Alexandrinus, and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus contain the same material? The British textual critic Herman Charles Hoskier (1864–1938) found, without counting errors of iotacism, 3,036 textual variations between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus in the text of the Gospels alone. Why can't all Christians even agree on what books should be part of the Bible? E.g., Catholic and Protestant Bibles don't contain the exact set of books nor do either Catholic or Protestant Bibles match those of Eastern or Oriental Orthodox Christian traditions. E.g., see the tables for the Old and New Testaments at . And even Protestant Bibles don't all agree what material was in the original versions of the Gospels and what passages are interpolations by later scribes when making new copies.

And why, when the god could have communicated his existence in so many ways did he only convey his words of wisdom, when he decided to move beyond being just a national god for the Jews in the first century, only to a group of 1st century Jews? Obviously, there are many problems in translating text from one language to another even when translating literature that no one claims is the word of a god. Yet the god relied upon unreliable human translators and copyists, though he could have spoken from heaven to everyone in the world at once, if he is as all-powerful as Christians claim. With the advent of radio and TV, he could have broadcast his message instantly to everyone in the world at once. Instead, Christians claim that anyone, such as myself, who looks at the evidence for Christianity's claims and finds the evidence lacking, will be tortured for eternity upon death simply because of the paucity of evidence for those claims. Is that what you believe? That anyone who doubts the veracity of such claims must be tortured for eternity by your god?

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