Today’s holidays: Shrove Tuesday (Christianity), Feast Day of Peter Damian (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Boris Karloff (Church of the SubGenius).
I have previously posted my notes on the Epistle to the Romans 1-4. Reading and taking notes on the New Testament is going slow but I have gotten myself caught up with writing notes on Romans, and I posting those on chapters 5-12 below. The contents and Paul’s incompetence (or dishonesty) in citing the Hebrew Bible should give a good idea why reading the New Testament is going so slow.
Romans 5—Paul introduces the concept that Jesus suffered and died for us as a demonstration of God’s love in order that we may be justified through faith. Paul also introduces the concept of original sin. This makes sense in terms of his delusion that we are all corrupt; no matter how good someone behaves, Paul ascribes the sin of ’Adham to him/her in order to rationalize the need to believe in Jesus for this person to receive grace and be saved. Paul sets up a symmetry that ’Adham introduced death and sin into the world and Jesus introduced life and and justification. Paul even goes so far as to claim that the Torah was given to increase wrath, all the more to increase grace as well. Original sin, as a taint on all humanity, is not present in the Hebrew Bible; rather everyone is to be punished for their own sins and for failing to learn from the mistakes of their ancestors. That one person should die for others has no basis whatsoever in the Hebrew Bible. That the Torah should be only to increase sin makes no sense, as large portions of the Torah, not to mention the rest of the Hebrew Bible, are given over to discussing and requesting repentance; there is no need for faith in Jesus if YHWH has already given a solution to the problem of sin.
Romans 7—Paul makes a questionable comparison of the applicability of the Torah with marriage. Paul affirms the goodness of the Torah, citing Exodus 20:13/Deuteronomy 5:17, but denies that one can actually keep it. Yet again, Paul fails to deal with the question of why YHWH should bother giving the Torah if it is not meant to be kept.
ֳRomans 8—More of the justification through faith in Jesus business. ’Abba’ is Aramaic for “father”. Cites Psalms 44:23 out of context.
Romans 9—Paul admits that the Jews are the chosen people, but he tries to turn this into a mere Divine whim and cites various verses out of context as if Divine displeasure at one time means Divine displeasure ever afterwards. Cites Genesis 21:12, Genesis 18:14, Genesis 25:23, Malachi 1:2-3 (botched), Exodus 33:19, Exodus 9:16, a botched variation on Isaiah 29:16 or Isaiah 45:9, Hosea 2:23, Hosea 1:10, Isaiah 10:22-23 (botched), Isaiah 1:9, and a really botched combination of Isaiah 8:14 and Isaiah 28:16.
Romans 10—Paul promotes justification of faith and downplays actually practicing what is written in the Torah. To this extent he dishonestly cites out of context Leviticus 18:5, Deuteronomy 30:12, Deuteronomy 30:13, Deuteronomy 30:14, Isaiah 28:16 in botched form, the nonexistent Joel 2:32, Isaiah 52:7 in botched form, Isaiah 53:1 in botched form, Psalms 19:5, Deuteronomy 32:21 in botched form, Isaiah 65:1, and Isaiah 65:2 in botched form. Deuteronomy 30:12-14 blatantly refers to the Torah and not Jesus as Paul would have us believe.
Romans 11—Paul defames the Jews (again) by quoting the Hebrew Bible out of context (a botched version 1 Kings 19:10 or 1 Kings 19:14, a botched version of 1 Kings 19:18, something which could be a botched version of Deuteronomy 29:3 or Isaiah 29:10, and a botched version of Psalms 69:23-24) and tries to argue for their salvation by their being branches grafted on Israel. He admits that Israel will be saved (citing a botched version of Isaiah 59:20-21 and Isaiah 27:9), but he has the bizarre notion that it will happen because they are disobedient and thus may receive mercy. This fits in with his untenable notion that none of us can really do what YHWH has told us to do. Paul further cites Isaiah 40:13 in botched form and something which is allegedly Job 41:11 but bears no resemblance.
Romans 12:1-2—Paul preaches the idea that we should view ourselves as “living sacrifices”, which sounds from the phraseology that he advocates separation from the world.
Romans 12:3-8—Paul advocates we think of ourselves as members of a single body in Jesus.
Romans 12:9-21—Paul preaches a morality of love, one taken to extremes of pacifism, as advocated by Jesus, citing Deuteronomy 32:35 and Proverbs 25:21-22.