Episode 026

This week we finally answer the big question on everyone’s mind: Was Jesus a shape-shifter, YES OR NO?

Also, what exactly is a concubine, in biblical terms?

We answer some great listener questions:

  • What in the world is going on in Matthew 27:51-53 where the author talks about the earth shaking, tombs breaking open, and bodies raising from the dead and appearing to people?
  • What does the Bible have to say about why continual worship and adoration of God is such a big deal?

And finally, answering yet another burning question, we explain, according to the Bible, which insects you can eat, and which you must not.

The Bible, love it or hate it, is a book filled with puzzles and mysteries. It will be a hard task to one Raval, as many of them as possible. We want to understand the Bible is a human book, not a book inspired by a God. I’m Robert M. Price, and this is the third one. 

I am your host, Robert M. Price, and this is the Human Bible, the human Bible is a radio show and podcast of the Center for Inquiry, a think tank advancing science reason, freedom of Inquiry and humanist values and public affairs. And at the grass roots. Now, let’s start the show by airing some exciting Bible news, as it did with a manuscript Decipherment. 

And this is from a source called the Live Science Dot com. You may have read it there, but you can indulge me if you haven’t. 

Now going to read the whole darn thing, but Ario, a newly deciphered Egyptian text dating back almost 12 hundred years, tells part of the crucifixion story of Jesus with apocryphal plot twists, some of which have never been seen before. 

Written in the Coptic language, the ancient text tells of Pontius Pilot, the judge who authorized Jesus crucifixion, having dinner with Jesus before his crucifixion and offering to sacrifice his own son in place of Jesus. That also explains why Judas used a kiss specifically to betray Jesus because Jesus had the ability to change shape, according to the text. And it puts the day of the arrest of Jesus on Tuesday evening rather than Thursday evening, something that contravenes the Easter timeline. 

The discovery of the text, does it mean these events happened, but rather that some people living at the time appear to have believed in them, said Roelof Vander Broc of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who published the translation in the book Pseudo Syril of Jerusalem on the Life and Passion of Christ. This is from Bril in 2013. So this is not some kind of a wacky new age or cheap, sensationalist paperback or something, right? This is the real stuff. Bril But I’ll get back to the article. Copies of the text are found in two manuscripts, one of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City and the other at the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Most of the translation comes from the New York text because the relevant text in the Pennsylvania manuscript is mostly illegible. While apocryphal stories about pilot are known from ancient times, Vanden Brok wrote in an email to Live Science that he’s never seen this one before, with pilot offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus. 

Quote, Without further ado, Pilot prepared a table and the eight with Jesus on the fifth day of the week and Jesus blessed pilot and his whole house reads part of the text and translation pilot later tells Jesus. 

Well, then, behold, the night has come. Rise and withdraw. And when the morning comes and they accuse me because of you, I shall give them the only son I have so that they can kill him in your place. 

In the text Jesus comforts him saying, Oh, pilot, you have been deemed worthy of a great grace because you have shown a good disposition to me. Jesus also showed Pilet that he could escape if he chose to pilot, then looked at Jesus and behold, he became incorporeal. 

He did not see him for a long time. 

Pilot and his wife both have visions that night that show an eagle representing Jesus being killed in the Coptic and Ethiopian churches. Pilot is regarded as a saint, which explains the sympathetic portrayal in the text vended, Brock writes. In the canonical Bible, the apostle Judas betrayed Jesus in exchange for money by using a kiss to identify him leading to Jesus arrest. This apocryphal tale explains that the reason G. Judas used a kiss specifically is because Jesus had the ability to change shapes. 

Then the Jews said to Judas, how shall we arrest him? For he does not have a single shape. But his appearance changes. Sometimes he is ready. Sometimes he is white. Sometimes he is red. Sometimes he is weak colored. Sometimes he is pallid like ascetics. Sometimes he is a youth. Sometimes an old man. 

This leads Judas to suggest using a kiss as a means to identify him. If Judas had given the arrest as a description of Jesus, he could have changed shape by kissing Jesus. Judas tells the people exactly who he is. This understanding of Judas kiss goes way back. Vended Brock writes the explanation. This explanation of Judas as kiss is first found in origin in his work contract. Telson the ancient writer origin state of it to those who saw him. He did not appear alike to all. 

The text is written in the name of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and lived in the 4th century, and the story Cyrille tells the Easter story is part of a homily. A number of texts in ancient times claimed to be homilist by Saints sermons by St. Cerillo when they were probably not given by the saint in real life. Brock explained in this book. Near the beginning of attacks, several of the person writing his name claims that a book has been found in Jerusalem showing the writings of the apostles on the life and crucifixion of Jesus. Listen to me on my on the children and let me tell you something of what we found. Ethan in the house of Mary, he reads part of the text. Again, it’s unlikely that such a book was found in real life. Brok says that a claim like this would have been used by the writer, quote, to enhance the credibility of the peculiar views and uneconomical facts he’s about to present. By ascribing them to an apostolic source. Unquote. Adding that examples of this plot device can be found frequently in Coptic literature, Vanden Brok says that he’s surprised that the writer of a text moved the date of Jesus Last Supper with the apostles and arrest to Tuesday. In fact, in this text, Jesus actual Last Supper appears to be a conscious pilot in between his arrest and supper with pilot he’s brought before Caiaphas and Herod in the canonical text. The Last Supper and arrest of Jesus happen on Thursday evening. And present day Christians mark this event with Maundy Thursday services. By the way, what is Mondy mean? It means the Thursday of the man date, the final command of Jesus love one another. Anyway, it, quote, remains remarkable that pseudo Searoad relates the story of Jesus arrest on Tuesday evening, as if the canonical story about his arrest on Thursday evening, which is commemorated each year in the services of Holy Week, did not exist, writes Vanden Brock in the email. About 12 hundred years ago, the New York text was in the library of the Monastery of Saint Michael in the Egyptian desert near present day Al Harmfully in the western part of a fine home. The text says in translation that it was a gift from arch priest Father Paul, who has provided this book provided for this book by his own labors. The monastery appears to have ceased operations around the 10th century, and the text was rediscovered in the spring of 1910. In December 1911, it was purchased along with other texts by American financier J.P. Morgan. His collections would later be given to the public and are part of the present day Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. The manuscript is currently displayed as part of the museum’s exhibition, Treasures from the Vault. Some sort of like an easy comics title running through May 5th. Venton Brock writes in the email that, quote, In Egypt, the Bible had already become canonized in the fourth, the fifth century. But apocryphal stories and books remain popular among the Egyptian Christians, especially among monks. Whereas the people of the monastery have believed the newly translated text quote, in particular, the more simple monks and quote, He is not convinced that the writer of the text believed everything he was writing down. Quote, I find it difficult to believe that he really did. But some details. For instance, the meal with Jesus, he may have believed to have really happened. Vander Brok writes, quote, The people of that time, even if they were well-educated, did not have a critical historical attitude, do they? They say miracles are quite possible. And why should an old story not be true? Well, what do you know? I guess I read the old darn thing anyway. 

Sorry about that. 

A unfulfilled prophecy, one might say. Well, this is really interesting. The the idea of needing to identify a shape shifting Jesus with a kiss. Well, there’s a very similar sort of a notion in Islamic commentate Tater’s, I think. Out to Bahri and another as well say that the reason he had to point them out as if somehow Jesus Judas could see through this. I mean, they all seemed to assume that the reason he did this is that at the last minute, Jesus magically caused all the disciples to look just like him so they wouldn’t know who to arrest. And and, of course, in Islamic thinking, the story issues in somebody else being crucified in Jesus place and being made to look like him. Well, both. That’s not quite the same thing as the shapeshifting Jesus. But both of them appear to me to be attempts to to justify the presence of Judas in the singing at all. 

I’ve said this in a couple of books. Right. Why are they there to arrest Jesus? They think he’s a potential revolutionary. He is so popular that they have to arrest him on the sly and they don’t know which one he is. I like to think of this as Aiya. Which one of you guys is Elvis? Can there really be much doubt now? Why the heck is he in the story? 

Well, just because someone had decided that when earlier texts such as in Romans say that Jesus was. Handed over or offered up, implying by his father to die for the sins of humanity. Somebody decided that Parratt did owe me. 

The Greek verb really meant. Betrayed. And it can mean that you have to decide on the basis of of context. But they decided it meant some some back stab or sold them out. And so then they decided there must have been a guy who did it and. And who better than somebody named Judah or Judas? Because this was a sort of became sort of an allegory for as Christians viewed it. Jews selling out their own messiah. And so he gets stuck in the story where there’s no natural place for him. And these Islamic and these later Coptic Christians saw the problem implicitly. And so they’re giving a kind of an answer as to what the heck he was doing there in the first place. What they don’t tell you is how Judas would have been able to see through the illusion any more than anybody else. Now, about this shapeshifting thing where they get mad. 

Well, that is certainly not unprecedented, that it appears in the second century were called the Acts of John. This was a not necessarily a Gnostic text, though. It may be, but it is at least a dose Santic text. Now, I think you were probably remember we’ve discussed what dose it TISM was before. It’s based on the Greek word, Duquette. Oh, two same. And the idea was that Jesus only seemed to have a flesh and blood body. 

He was really a spiritual entity who could not possibly have defiled himself with a disgusting human flesh of a seed of all sin. But of course, he had to take on the appearance of it if he was to communicate with human beings. And that’s and that implies that, well, if he could take on one appearance, he could take on any appearance, just like the ancient Greek gods. They could fool you by taking on any appearance. 

Let me just read you this little bit from the acts of John. From my own translation, if you don’t mind, from the pre Nicene New Testament here. 

John is telling his disciples many years later what it was like to hang around with Jesus. As I often point out. 

Content aside, this form is what you would expect in the gospels. If they were actually based on eyewitness testimony. Now, this isn’t. But at least in the writer here, it knows that if he is to pose as one of the disciples of Jesus. This is what it has to sound like. That makes me think that the authors of the four gospels were not even trying to pose as eyewitnesses. 

This guy was. All right. Let’s see. 

He says once he had called Peter and Andreas, who are brothers, he comes next to me and my brother Jacob and James saying, I need you, come to me and my brother on hearing it, said, John, this child standing on the shore and calling us, what can he want? And I said, What child? And he replied that when motioning to us and I answered, We have kept watch it see too long, my brother. You’re not saying straight. Can’t you see it as a man standing there, handsome, light skinned and smiling. But he said to me him, I do not see my brother. But let us go to shore, and we will learn what it is he wants of us. And so when we adopt the boat, we saw him helping us secure the boat. And when we left there and climbed to follow him, I saw him this time as a largely ball, as largely bald, but with a thick and curling beard. While Jacob saw him as a youth with only fuzz on his cheeks. So we were both uneasy and confused. What we saw. What could it mean? Subsequently, as we followed him, we gradually became only more confused as we ponder the thing. But next, something even more amazing appeared to me, for I would try to catch him off guard and never once did I see his eyes blinking. They were constantly open and often he would appear to me as short and ugly. 

And then again, as a man as tall as the sky. Also another marvel about him. When I reclined next to him at mealtime and leaned back against him to ask him something. Sometimes I felt his breast as smooth and soft. But other times, hardest stone. Laughs I was inwardly troubled and reflected. How can I be experiencing this? And as I thought about this, he turned and said to me, John, you see yourself in me. If your own hardest tender than I am tender to your touch. But if your heart is stony, then that’s also when you find me. There’s there’s more of the same it’s just really fascinating. And amazingly interesting account to me anyway. 

And so this is there’s a lot earlier than this newly deciphered Coptic text. Makes you wonder what the heck took him so long. 

But it’s the same sort of idea of docx autism, no true form. Thus, any old form he desires. And so that that is not. Then, of course, the translator notes, this is a much older idea. So it is pretty fascinating. Any likelihood it tells us anything about the historical Jesus? Not a chance. 

But then again, what’s the likelihood that the Gospels are telling us about the historical Jesus as well? I wouldn’t bet on it. Let’s get up to speed. 

Now, since I have gabbed so much already, let me just do a quick one. 

Today, something you probably don’t really need to know to understand the Bible, but you might run across it occasionally. And what the heck might as well be for warned and forearmed? What the heck is a concubine? This came up on the Bible geek the other day and I had a vague idea, thought I knew, but I decided I’d better look it up. And it’s pretty interesting. What what’s going on here? A guy in ancient Israel could have a wife or even a wives and a concubine or concubines. One example of this appears to be Father Abraham. His wife is Sarah, but she seems unable to bear children. So suggests that he impregnate her, made Hagar, who then gets some kind of dignity in the household. Well, Abe doesn’t marry her. So she would count as a concubine. And so there is one. Another one is in judges 19, I believe it is, where we hear the blood curdling tale of how this man’s concubine gets mad at him and goes home to her dad’s house and he goes to her with presumably with flowers and candy to woo her back. And that’s not so, Blood-curdling. The rest of it is because she meets with a rather nasty end. I won’t go into that. I think we probably have even discussed it before. Is that in the Bible? But here’s a tale of a concubine. So what what gives. What status did a concubine have? Oh, well, let me just add one other thing about about King Solomon with his 700 wives and 300 concubines. Must have been a busy man. OK, so what’s a concubine? Well, it appears that there was no formal marriage, though, again. That’s a little vague because we don’t really know what formal marriage was like. Do I imagine to sheer accident? No. No ancient information about that has survived. 

But for one thing, we do know that a legal wife brought a dowry to the marriage, some kind of money and property, whatever, to help the household get started, and also to make it less likely that the husband would eventually be tempted to divorce her because she’d take the dowry with her and he wouldn’t want to lose the goodies. Right. Sort of an A.I. palimony agreement or something. 

Well, a bride would be the concubine didn’t have to and probably couldn’t because it seems implied that concubines were of lower social status and and that’s probably one big reason they didn’t actually get married. 

It was figured to be beneath the station of the husband. So she becomes, I guess, what you might call a common law wife, but not officially. It’s just a way of saying, well, yes, she is kind of beneath him. 

But what the heck? And it appears also that if some other guy committed adultery with her, it didn’t carry capital punishment with it. 

If if somebody had committed adultery with a guy’s wife, then both adulterers were supposed to be stoned to death, but not in this case. And of course, the point of that is I’m sure everybody is pretty steamed about it. But the point is, well, she wasn’t actually his wife. So there’s a degree of wiggle room there. And so a concubine winds up being a kind of slightly informal second wife, often taken on to provide children. If, as with Sarah, there was a problem with the official first wife being able to bear children. 

And however, despite that, the children that the concubine would bear to the husband would be considered legitimate children. 

So that’s not an awful lot, but at least we can surmise that much about what a concubine was. 

It’s kind of a neat word. I always like it. I mean, even if you don’t know what it means, it’s a fun Bible word. What would a concubine be today? 

Maybe a surrogate mother. I don’t know. Hmm. Interesting. 

All right. DAB out a couple of questions from our imaginative an area. Dite human bible listeners. 

What a group. I love him. Steve writes, What in the world is going on? And Matthew, 27, 51 through 53. It seems inexplicable to me why the author of Matthew would write such a thing at that moment that I was like to do my Hesston thing. 

You know, he did Tape-recording old Bible at that moment, the gertten of the devil was stolen. And two from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rock split in the tombs broke open the bodies of many holy people or saints. Some translated honky boy who had died were raised still alive. They came out of the Tombs APTA Jesus resurrection and went into the Holy Sit in a beard. Many people, many of you don’t do hesston. You really cheat yourself for the full value of the word people anyway because you know. So then Green is made him beat anyway. Sorry. Yeah. What is going on? 

It seems not appropriate to allude to a science fiction or horror film when you’re dealing with a kind of a gospel version of Night of the Living Dead. 

So what’s up here? Well, let’s just say it looks very likely that what we have here is a kind of narrative’s statement of theology, either simply the notion that Christ is the first fruits of them that sleep, as it says, in First Corinthians. Fifteen, that his death might. I’m sorry, is his resurrection marks the beginning of the general harvest of the dead expected for the end of time. 

And of course, the early Christians believed that they were right on the verge of the end of the age. And so they. Matthew can’t show you that happening. Right. But he has to what I guess they call a pro electic version of it here, saying, well, you see, this sort of is like a cameo of the significance of the resurrection of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is going to happen on a universal scale eventually. 

It was a bit confused as as symbol of that, because, of course, Jesus wasn’t rising yet. He was simply dying. 

Now, again, they must have thought of it as kind of a complex so that the death and resurrection would lead to the resurrection of the dead in general. And so they’re going to have it happen here. That is still a little confused. And that is why someone is probably added the phrase after his resurrection. It looks like in fact, I think there’s even a couple of manuscripts that don’t have it, though. I’d really have to double check on that. You see, when I start these things, I never expect to bloviate as much as I wind up doing. But so it looks like someone has said, oh, they okay, okay. They they came back from the dead when he died, but they at least waited to go trick or treating until the resurrection. You okay then. Mitigated somewhat. They didn’t want to just rewrite the story completely. A variation on this explanation which is is still kind of weird. But I mean, it’s got to be some crazy thing going on. Right. Another variation is that this is already an instance of the harrowing of hell doctrine that the dead, the righteous dead of the pre-Christian dispensation were kind of waiting around. None of them could go to paradise. Well, actually, that isn’t much of a stretch, because throughout the Old Testament, you really don’t have anybody died and go into paradise. Right? They just go to this sort of subterranean parking garage called Shea Oul. Well, all right. A new era has dawned. 

The death of Jesus redeems the humanity, at least the righteous. And so the righteous ones, the holy ones, are allowed to get out of shale finally. And so they they go to heaven. But why are they appearing on earth? Yeah. Why are they showing up in Jerusalem? That sort of implies that they are recently dead. So you know what? That’s not exactly the harrowing of hell I d I yeah. Would be included in it. But if the writer actually means Old Testament Saints Noah and Abraham and David, that these guys went into Jerusalem and showed themselves, how can anybody even have known who they were? I mean, it’s not like it was a Purim party where people dress up in costume. What, they have little name badges. Hello, my name is Mel Kishon Act or something. So it may be that that story is poorly thought out or those problems with it may indicate that’s not what the writer meant. So we have a kind of a handful of of poor choices here. 

I’d like to note here that by racking my brain for stuff like this, it sounds rather similar to the the gymnastics that apologists use to defend this as as a historical event. 

Anything that the kitchen sink. Well, of course, I’m not doing that and don’t have sympathy for that. But I do have to admit, the writer must have had something in mind. 

Right. Some must have been going on. And it said so. You know why? I guess we have to try to conjecture what that might be. Now, one other point about this, which I find really interesting. The Jehovah’s Witnesses commentators, and it needn’t be that they are just want to give credit where credit is due. It doesn’t serve their doctrinal interests, as far as I can tell. Just sharp eyed thinking. 

They said, now, wait a minute, this isn’t just recounted in connection with the fact that Jesus died. 

Well, yeah, it’s linked to that, but it’s listed in a series of seismic events. 

Right. There’s an earthquake. The rocks split. But you you’ve got rocks breaking up. 

Well, maybe all this means is that if you continue the logic rock tombs like that of Joseph Aviram Afia, that will be introduced shortly. These rock tombs broke open. And I guess that actually happens in earthquakes sometimes. And the bodies of the righteous buried there were exposed to to the site of passers by. 

And that that’s what it it means when it says that they appeared to many. Now, I don’t think that quite works, but it almost does. And because it says they went into the city and appeared to many, that sounds like the writer does mean they got up alive and went in and knocked on the door in a kind of anticipation of the. 

What is it? I think it’s W.W. Jacobs story, The Monkey’s Paw. 

Suppose, however. And I think they’re really onto something. Suppose that originally the story. 

Simply said that the tombs were opened and the bodies were exposed just to give the reader an idea of the magnitude of this this earthquake, that Matthew was basically created as special effects. And now we know I think it’s very clear that the gospel of Matthew has various layers to it, that it’s not just a revision or redaction of Mark’s gospel, but that there were later redactions of it on the way to the canonical text we have. My guess would be that the witnesses are right, that that’s what it originally said, that the earthquake shattered the seals of the tombs and broke them open and bodies were exposed. It was that much of an earthquake. 

But somebody later on, perhaps in the interest of bringing in these notions of mentioned already. Christ as the first fruits of the resurrection or the harrowing of hell, somebody added this business about them get up and go and into the city. That that would be my guess, because it why if a connection with the breaking of the rock. So I think maybe they don’t put it this way. Right. But they want they’re good fundamentalists. They want to say what it says happened, happened. But as rationalists, they’re trying to say, well, maybe what it says happened was not quite so spectacular. I don’t think you can quite make that adjustment with a straight face. 

But I think what they have pointed out is evidence that originally it read a bit more modestly, but in a way that would actually make more sense in the context and that somebody revising the text is added this crazy night of the living dead scenario. So, as you can tell, I really am interested in this little issue and and I’m glad you mentioned it. Another question. Tom says, It’s always fascinated me that throughout the Bible there’s a lot of emphasis on the importance of the continual worship and adoration of God. I can understand praying to a deity for intercessory purposes. But one reason, if any, is given in the Bible for repetitive worship. How does this relate to other religions preceding the Judeo-Christian one? Well, I’m glad you asked that one. The reason is not as far as I remember explicitly given in the Bible, but by reading a lot of these psalms, for instance, which were many of a huge number, which are hymns of praise. You can pretty clearly, I think with certainty, infer what the reason was. Now, I hope that in your religious education you have watched a couple of Monty Python flicks. Of course, the indispensable life of Brian of Nazareth. And that’s that’s a classic. But I’m referring here to the meaning of life in it. There is this great, great scene in this Anglican boy’s school and in the chapel service. And Michael Palin is the the priest in charge. And. He starts on this long, obsequious ass kissing prayer. 

Oh, Lord, you are so vague, so incredibly huge. All of us down here are really impressed. I can tell you at center, etc.. That’s a little bit caricatured, but not by much. If you read the Psalms, all the stuff about how you led your people out of Egypt and you’ve done this and you destroyed the bad guys and you created the world and you founded your throne on righteous what? You don’t think he knows this is God so senile? He asked to be reminded as no. What is the point? 

Well, pretty quickly you start hearing the intercession, as you say, and the petitions. You’re buttering up God to praising him, to incline him to answer your prayers. 

There’s a little element even of holding him accountable when it says, well, you did all this for our ancestors. Here we are worshiping you. Surely you’d want to do the same for us, right? 

So it seems to me that it’s pretty clear you this is what it’s called sometimes a sacrifice of praise. It has the same function as as offering a plant or animal sacrifice to God or the gods, but without the element of feeding them, they. The ancients believed that the gods had to be strengthened and nourished. You find that in the Rigveda, you find that satirized and Aristophanes the birds. Great, great piece. 

But here it’s feeding their egos and and it seems that’s pretty clear also in the Rigveda where you’ve got a different slate of gods with the same thing. Oh, Indra, you save the world. You defeated the dragon redrill. You did this and that. And we just can’t get enough of your mighty deeds. By the way, would you mind answering these prayers for us? So it seems pretty clear that’s what’s going on there. 

But it does imply that if God wants this, God is a bit of an ego test. And here I just can’t resist reading my favorite thing from Alfred North Whitehead, which conspicuously does not conclude his philosophical writings, which are just brain breaking. 

Here’s what he says to a friend, Lucianne Price, in his in Price’s collection, Dialogs of Alfred North Whitehead. 

As for the Christian theology. Can you imagine anything more appallingly idiotic than the Christian idea of heaven? What kind of deity is it? That would be capable of creating angels and men to sing his praises. Day and night to all eternity. It is, of course, the figure of an Oriental despot with his inane and barbaric vanity. 

Such a conception is an insult to God. I love that. I think that’s that’s part of the unofficial price bible. Yeah. Yeah. What would God? I mean, it’s like the flip side of this issue of can we really enrage God by our sins and blasphemies? It’s I mean, I don’t get mad at an ant who bites me. I don’t like it, but I’m not gonna rage against the ant. And God supposedly can’t even feel that he’s like Superman. Can God really care what nothings like us would would think about him negatively or positively? Well, I kind of doubt it. 

Now, you know, we depend on your questions, so I want you to send in more and more and more. One more goodie today is that in the Bible? 

You probably know about this, but you might have thought it was a rumor. 

It’s so wacky and it’s pretty brief. And it raises a question I can’t really answer, but it’s in Leviticus. Eleven twenty. 

Now, you may have thought there was nothing interesting in Leviticus except all that stuff about homosexuality, which we sort of wish wasn’t in there. Let’s see. Have you been tempted lately to. To eat and the insects just mentioned Lance. Some people do have chocolate governance, I’ve never seen him offered. 

But Leviticus wants you to be pretty darn careful about which bugs are on the menu. Listen to Leviticus. Eleven twenty through twenty three. 

All winged insects that go off on all fours are an abomination to you. Yet among the winged insects that go on all fours, you may eat those which have legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. Them you may eat the locust, according to its guide. The bald locust, according to its kind guide to pay wearing I’m sorry, the cricket according to its kind in the grand supper, according to its kind. But all the other winged insects which have four feet are an abomination to you. 

Well, I would sort of think it’s pretty easy to keep that commandment since there are not any four footed insects. 

But how could this even be in there? I mean, is that in the Bible? Yes, it is. But it’s really a mystery now. I’m not saying the idea that there’s certain insects you might want to eat and others you wouldn’t. There are rationales for that. It has to do with the ancient taxonomy. I’m not going to get into that. 

I think I have before. But that’s not what I’m so puzzled at. How could they have thought there were insects with four legs now and the beginning of it, you say, well, they go on all fours. 

Now, that doesn’t really commit you if you say that to believing that they only have four legs. I mean, it’s just a it just means they crawl on the ground on the the end of legs. I don’t know what that leaves out, but not an insect creeping thing. Snake doesn’t. Right. That’s different sort of locomotion. Well. 

Yeah, I can see that. But at the end it actually speaks of insects that have four feet. 

Well, if you can figure out that one, let me know. I guess this is an unprecedented Aristotle made some pretty wacky claims about animal anatomy and physiology. I guess you just have to assume that sometimes they didn’t check their notes very well. I mean, these guys weren’t Charles Darwin and making Ghara or Audubon. Right, making sketches and careful notes. I suppose even even at that, it it kind of dumbfounded me as to how somebody wouldn’t have noticed that there aren’t any four legged insects. I mean, even the plastic ones, the cooties. Right. I think even they have six legs. I don’t know. But then again, if you can think of something, it is your duty to the Human Bible podcast to tell us what the answer is. 

But, of course, this is a question that’s mine to you. So since nobody asked me this, I don’t feel too embarrassed about not having an answer. That’s why stick it in undera is that in the Bible and it is now maybe somebody will discover some Dead Sea Scrolls manuscript where it says six legs and you know, we can just let it go. But I don’t think so. 

OK. Thank you for being with us on the Human Bible. And be sure to go to our human Bibles store and get a human Bible T-shirt and fact if you want. You could just pick out a church and go to it, even if you’re not ordinarily a churchgoer and consider it a witnessing wage. As we used to say, those of us who were once fundamentalists and people say if a human Bible, what could that be? Well, you should tune in. And indeed, you should do next time. 

So thanks a bunch for being with us on the Human Bible. 

Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Human Bible to send us questions or comments on the show, which we really hope you do. You can e-mail questions at the human Bible, dot net or feed back at the human bible dot net. We’re also on Twitter at Human Bible, on Facebook at slash the Human Bible. And you can even leave a voicemail on our human bible hotline by calling seven one six seven one. I b Ellie. You can get all that information and more on our Web site. The human Bible dot net views expressed on the human Bible aren’t necessarily the views of the Center for Inquiry, nor its affiliated organizations. The Human Bible is produced by Adam Isaac in Amherst, New York, and features contributions from Debbie Goddard. I’m your host. Robert M. Price.