Hitch-ing the Supreme Court

The situation with the Supreme Court in the United States has caused no end of commentary, hand wringing, and gloating along different points of the political spectrum. It all reminded me of a Hitchens quote that boiled things down to the ugly little stone sitting at the bottom of the pot. But first, a bit of context.

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YouTube – “Isaiah-Gate” and the Virgin Mary… Minus the Virgin

L'_Annonciation_de_1644,_Philippe_de_ChampaigneIt stands to shame that we Christians are the last to know about our own errors of sacrilege. But as the season of Lent is here, I would petition abstention from one particular sacrilege, the inherited error of believing Jesus was born of a virgin, and that being so conceived would have fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy. Our belief that Isaiah predicted a virgin-born Messiah is simply false, a scandal which heretofore shall be referred to as Isaiah-Gate! And though many books have discussed this, I finally located a succinct 4-minute description in an engaging lecture. And a good thing too, because there are two quite curious points to this dilemma of non-prophecy. First, it is odd that we came to believe the messiah would be born of a virgin, essentially based on a translational boof. Second, it is more interesting still that we should wind up with gospel stories describing the fulfilment of said prophecy, when we now realize that Isaiah said no such thing.

But first things first. Here is the YouTube lecture excerpt, with commentary following.

YouTube: Bart Ehrman

Manifold Greatness of the King James Bible, 4 min., January 2013.

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(NOTE: video is set to play from 45:08 to 49:03. Timings sometimes do not work correctly in IE. Recommend using Firefox)

Recap

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Quotation: Voltaire on Miracles

Marble. In the collection of the National Gall...The daughters of the high priest Anius changed whatever they chose into wheat, wine or oil.

Athalida, daughter of Mercury, was resuscitated several times.

Aesculapius resuscitated Hippolytus.

Hercules dragged Alcestis back from death.

Heres returned to the world after passing a fortnight in hell.

The parents of Romulus and Remus were a god and a vestal virgin.

The Palladium fell from heaven in the city of Troy.

The hair of Berenice became a constellation.. . .

Give me the name of one people among whom incredible prodigies were not performed, especially when few knew how to read and write.

~ Voltaire, Miracles and Idolatry, cited from Hitchens (2007)

 

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