The Bible as a base reference

The Bible is a wonderful anthology with many interesting stories. It contains the message of God. Man has tried vainly to describe the indescribable. To make meaning of that which cannot be understood.

The writers of Sacred Scripture were caught up in their own bias, their limited understanding of the world and universe around them. They also had to communicate with an audience who thought disease was caused by demons and the world was flat, covered by a blue dome separating Man’s home from God’s home. That God sat on a raised throne like the worldly kings of old.

Dr. Manfred Barthel evaluated the Bible as a detailed, literal account. He brings up some interesting facts.

The Bible is an anthology of songs, chronicles, fables, proverbs, and revelations … Written between 1200 BC and 150 AD … The old testament especially is recordings of stories told around the campfire of tribesmen, embellished and transmitted by word of mouth for hundreds of years until written down … Even then, today’s bible is not a constant. There are over 200 translations from many languages, cultures and perspectives.

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It is thought by many Bible scholars today that everything in Genesis from Creation to the Tower of Babel is simply a parable through which the writers were trying to explain the unexplainable workings of God.

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The first two chapters of Genesis give contradictory accounts of creation. Each chapter reflects a very different literary style.

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George Smith, an Assyriologist and assistant curator of the Assyrian collection in the British Museum discovered 12 clay tablets in Northern Iraq, near the ruins of Ninevah. Tablet 11 describes “The Epic of Gilgamesh”. This epic describes a flood almost exactly as it was in the Bible. These tablets were written about 2500 BC, long before the biblical account.

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The Earth’s axis has shifted many times. The last was about 8,000 to 15,000 years ago. This shift resulted in a huge climactic change. As the ice caps melted and the crust cracked, there were huge floods, volcanoes, terrible storms, and much more.

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Moses’ mother set him afloat on the Nile to save him from the Egyptians … Sargon of Akkad was set upon the river Euphrates a thousand years before to escape … Many more narrow escapes by infants spared by God for greater things are recorded. Romulus and Remus, Hercules, and Jesus are but a few.

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The council of Laodicea, under Pope Liberius settled on four Gospels. Originally there were many more.

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The early texts were difficult to translate. Not only were there problems of interpretation as Scripture went from one language to another, but: MANYWORDSWEREABREVIATEDSPAELLINGWASALITTLESLOPPYANDTHEWRITINGWASINALLCAPITALSWITHOUTSPACES

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Sacred Scripture can help us as we strive to understand a rich Judeo-Christian tradition. The Bible chronicles the Judeo-Christian concept of God. But, we must separate theological truth from pre-scientific myths. We must see this wonderful message of God in a way that is consistent with our understanding of reality.

Your Third Marriage

Note:  This was given to me by my former wife when she realized I needed to find myself.  She is very intuitive.
Your Third Marriage 

There are three marriages that all human beings can experience. The marriage to another person--with the well-spring of energy and depth that true intimacy can deliver. Or the marriage to a career - - with all the deep fulfillment that flows doing work that you were meant to do. The third marriage, becoming one with your true self -- is not only not optional, it's the essential point of this life.         

How many incarnations do we have to stumble through before we get to know the stranger who lives and waits patiently at our very center? But all the greats, somehow, became their true self.
Man on a bench.                                                                                                             
At some point, they all received the grace and permission to stop pretending, to stop pretending to be the person that everyone had always told them they should be. Thomas Merton was certainly one of the greats. A month before his shocking death in Bangkok, he said it so simply, "Brothers and sisters, what we have to be is what we are."  It's this "third marriage" that is the focus of the spiritual journey. But the point of that inner journey to the true self is that it gives you the ability to live your authentic life--here and now. The spiritual journey doesn't lead you to some remote cave in the Himalayas, but rather, right into the warp and woof of daily life.

Or as the Zen master who had made the inner journey to the true self proclaimed--"Chopping wood, carrying water - How wonderful!"

My Introduction

(Written December 1994, updated in 1998, updated in 2011, updated in 2020, and again in 2021 )

This is my first post of the St. Joseph’s Blog rebirth. It is a little long, but lays the foundation for a lot of what I’m trying to accomplish. If you want to see a biographic sketch about me, look back in Bill-Beeler . com “About Me page”

I plan to post lots of articles and poems that you may find of interest.  Feel free to offer your own articles or poems about pretty much any subject that might be of interest to our readers.  Use the contact page to submit your work.  Comments are always welcome.  Flames will be ignored.  I want to add more audio prayers and maybe some videos as things develop.  Any suggestions are welcome.

This darned virus has gotten to all of us.  Stay safe and wear a mask.  I am way over 65 and have my share of comorbidities.  Most of my friends are in the same boat.  If you don’t wear a mask for your protection, wear one for mine.  As Tiny Tim said, may God Bless us, one and all.  Stay safe!

You might wonder why I am sporadically writing this blog . I’ve asked myself the same thing several times since I started. in the early 1990s. All I know is that I can’t stop. God knows I tried, I got to a point that was very uncomfortable. Starting out as a book, it went into a corner to collect dust. It kept eating at me, gnawing at the back of my mind. I could not leave it alone. Maybe God would not take “no” for an answer. He kept whispering in my ear until I picked up the task again, and again.

It is a compilation of my persona. It is not meant to have a point, an objective, or maybe even a sense of direction. It is instead a collection of my, and my readers, thoughts. Maybe a little like Mark Twain’s autobiography. I, like him in his lifetime, go in so many directions it is impossible to develop a coherent commentary.

I will, sometimes, try to stay in a more or less chronological order – maybe – if not too sidetracked by other impulses. Well, Let’s see where this goes.

I have tried to make this collection a personal account of my search for God. Much of what I describe might be questionable. The people I talk about are real. The descriptions and incidents are real. A little research on the reader’s part could verify most of them.

Any illegal acts I describe have exceeded the statute of limitations. A few incidents will only be suggested because old ghosts deserve to rest in peace. Innocent people do not need to be embarrassed.

When I talk about the church, I will try to be objective and clear. Like Jesus said, “Judge not lest ye be judged”. I will try to avoid placing responsibility or blame. I will describe the events as they occurred. Who was responsible? Was it the Catholic Church? Individual Nuns or Priests? Maybe it was my inability to grasp the obvious.

Were the actions described wrong, inappropriate, or downright malicious? You must assess each situation for yourself. I try to be fair in my description, but realize that my emotions may still blind my judgment.

I will also try to capture the product of my communication with God. An integral part of these communications has been my meditation and research. The effort to understand what I am hearing in my heart. Sort of translating a conversation of the heart to a conversation of the mind. In my first draft, I left this research out. This was simply a personal book that I wanted to share with you.

According to my theologian friend, that is great if I am writing about little green men. It does not fly in this type of book. I need to provide a warrant for my statements – a basis for your judgment.

Yes, I questioned the word “warrant” too. I looked it up in the unabridged. A warrant is not necessarily a proof. Much about God, emotions, and morality is unprovable. A warrant is something that serves as a reason or ground for a belief, opinion, or action. Not only have I included these warrants from before, but I have continued my research as I try to address my friend’s questions and suggestions. I will provide the warrants for my statements as they occur where possible.

I have attempted to recapture my communication with God as accurately as possible, but they are not quotations. By their nature, they are not quotable. They are recaps of the communication, understandings. These understandings have occurred while driving, lying in bed, walking, sleeping, talking to friends about heavy matters, and even while sitting at the computer. I have included where possible footnotes and a bibliography of all references cited. I invite you to check and verify my references to further your understanding as you also strive to know God.

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This blog is burning a hole in me. I have to get it written, even if just one person is helped by sharing what I have discovered over the last 77 (2021) or so years, so let us begin.