Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by. Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you. Isaiah , NIV. In this passage, the moon-worshippers and astrologers are clearly not the Hebrews, but the Babylonians whom God is saying He is about to destroy! So we have seen that the passages Ms. Murdock appeals to in support of her thesis that the Hebrews were involved in moon-worship do not support her view in the least.
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Rather they have been taken out of context, a practice referred to a "proof-texting. This is not to say that there was not a single Hebrew who worshipped the moon. But her absurd interpretations indicate that she has not supported her view that the Hebrews as a nation had a practice of moon-worship. This is further confirmed by the fact that the worship of anyone or anything other than God was prohibited.
Whenever this practice is mentioned in the Bible, there is correction or strong condemnation.
Murdock, the Bible is not friendly towards astrology. There is not a single verse that approves of sun-worship, moon-worship or astrology. Murdock also claims that the Bible is favorable towards divination. She writes, " In the earliest parts of the Bible, divination is praised as a way to commune with God or divine the future Genesis But Laban was known to worship other gods. For example in Leviticus , it is written, " Do not practice divination or sorcery. She claims that the Bible teaches the signs found in the stars and quotes Genesis in the old King James Version: " And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years This is also how prominent Hebrew dictionaries understand it.
Richard Patterson is an Old Testament scholar who has specialized in ancient Semitic languages during his career. He has written close to journal articles, critical reviews, and Hebrew dictionary entries. Concerning Genesis , Dr. Patterson comments, " The KJV translates this verse in a wooden sense. Moreover, a look at the occurrences of this word throughout the Old Testament reveals that it is not used in the sense of astrological signs even one time outside of our verse in question.
It is interesting to note that the equivalent Greek word SHMEION is never used in the sense of an astrological sign in the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament which was popular among the Hebrews and the early Christians, although it appears times. Murdock says a lot more in reference to astrology and the Bible which this short paper cannot address.
However, it is hoped that these few samples are adequate to demonstrate that she is terribly inaccurate in her understanding of the practice of astrology among the ancients as well as her ineptness in using the Bible to support her view. Murdock contends that Jesus as crucified savior was merely borrowed from other religions.
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For her, one of the most striking similarities is found with Krishna, the Hindu god. What about Ms. As of the writing of this paper, he has just translated the Bhagavata-Purana life of Krishna for Penguin World Classics and is currently writing a book to be titled, In Quest of Historical Krishna.
When I informed him that Ms. Murdock wrote an article claiming that Krishna had been crucified, he replied, " That is absolute and complete non-sense. There is absolutely no mention anywhere which alludes to a crucifixion. He died and ascended. It was not a resurrection. The sages who came there for him could not really see it. Then I read a statement by Ms. Murdock from her article "Krishna, Crucified? Prior to him was another incarnation of Vishnu, the avatar named Wittoba or Vithoba, who has often been identified with Krishna. Vithoba was a form of Krishna worshipped in the state of Maharashtra.
There are absolutely no Indian gods portrayed as crucified. Later I emailed him regarding her 24 comparisons of Krishna to Jesus which the reader may find in The Christ Conspiracy. After tracing similarities related to the birth, childhood, and divinity of Jesus, as well as the late dating of these legendary developments in India, " [t]here can be no doubt that the Hindus borrowed the tales [from Christianity], but not the name.
Bryant believes the former " to be prior to the 7th century AD although many scholars have hitherto considered it to be 11th century AD.
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Of the Harivamsa, Bryant is uncertain concerning its date. However, most sources seem to place its composition between the fourth and sixth centuries, again hundreds of years after the Gospel accounts had been in circulation. Murdock further claims that Christianity has failed in India because " the Brahmans have recognized Christianity as a relatively recent imitation of their much older traditions.
Bryant simply commented, " Stupid comment. Her claims are false, unsupported, and exhibit a lack of understanding of the Hindu faith. In addition to Krishna, Ms. Murdock cites similarities between the Buddha and Jesus as an example of how Christianity has borrowed from Buddhism. Yu has specialized in Buddhist studies. I listed the 18 similarities recorded by Ms. Murdock and asked if these were actual traditions of the Buddha. She replied writing, " None of the 18 [are] correct. A few, however, have some semblance of correctness but are badly distorted.
Yu ended by writing, " [The woman you speak of] is totally ignorant of Buddhism.
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It is very dangerous to spread misinformation like this. You should not honor [Ms. Murdock] by engaging in a discussion. Please ask [her] to take a basic course in world religion or Buddhism before uttering another word about things she does not know. It is appropriate to mention here that Ms. Murdock claims to have mastered several religions. Her book, The Christ Conspiracy claims a mastery of Christianity and her new book, Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled , with excerpts found on her web site also indicate that she believes Hinduism and Buddhism to be two other religions which she has mastered in terms of her knowledge of them.
However, as we have seen, she is terribly ignorant of the actual traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. And as we are about to see, she is likewise mistaken when it comes to her understanding of Christianity. We saw in section one "Astrology" that Ms.
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Murdock does not use biblical texts in an accurate manner to support her views. In this section we will notice that she also possesses some peculiar views when it comes to New Testament higher criticism. Can these views be supported? Murdock holds that the Gospels were not penned until after AD , a view held by no major New Testament scholar, irrespective of their theological perspective.
Justin Martyr, the most eminent of the early Fathers, wrote about the middle of the second century. His writings in proof of the divinity of Christ demanded the use of these Gospels, had they existed in his time. He makes more than quotations from the books of the Old Testament, and nearly one hundred from the Apocryphal books of the New Testament; but none from the four Gospels.
But this is false. Why is it that Justin does not cite the Gospels when defending the deity of Christ? He is dialoguing with a Jew and wants to use the Old Testament Scriptures to defend his position, since he shares these in common with Trypho. This was also the practice of Paul: " Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures As further support she cites Charles Waite: " At the very threshold of the subject, we are met by the fact, that nowhere in all the writings of Justin, does he once so much as mention any of these gospels. Nor does he mention either of their supposed authors, except John. Murdock could claim that the Gospels Justin referred to were different than the four we now have.
But if this is the case, what data can she provide to support her view? She must also adequately explain why there is a complete absence of manuscripts for these while we have an abundant number of manuscripts for the four Gospels we now have. Moreover, the Gospels Justin appeals to seem to have precisely the same content as the four we now have.