Yesterday my husband and I watched Thor 2 – The Dark World. The plot in this is that an evil dark elf tries to take over the universe during the alignment of the nine worlds, these nine worlds being those of Norse mythology. Afterwards I tried to note down all the worlds I knew about in Norse mythology, since I couldn’t really remember there being nine. I made it to Asgard (realm of the Aesir, or gods), Midgard (where we live), Svartalfheim (dark elf country, this being one of the ones mentioned in the film), Lysalfheim (light elf country, which is apparently just called Alfheim) and Jotunheim (home of the giants). The ones I missed were Vanaheim (home of the Vanir, or older gods), Niflheim (realm of the dead), Nidavellir (home of the dwarfs) and Muspelheim (home of fire giants and demons).
This site gives a brief description of all the worlds, plus some salient facts. Such as the fact that Muspelheim is ruled by the giant Surt, sworn enemy of the Aesir, who will ride out with his flaming sword during Ragnarok (which is the end of the world, as you should all know).
Where am I going with this? Simple – pre-Christian theology was so much more awesome than the shite I’m being fed in the Bible! It’s just as (un)believable, but at least it’s a shedload more entertaining. I’ve always loved Greek and Roman mythology, got really interested in Celtic mythology after reading Morgan Llywelyn’s On Raven’s Wing and I’m still looking for a good book on Norse mythology to expand my knowledge of it. And all of it is stuff I’d much rather be reading than the Bible, but I got this far, so I must persevere.
Anyway, what did I cover this week, let’s see… The butt end of 2 Corinthians, the Epistle to the Galatians (De Brief van Paulus aan de Galaten), the Epistle to the Ephesians (De Brief van Paulus aan de Efeziërs), the Epistle to the Philippians (De Brief van Paulus aan de Filippenzen), the Epistle to the Colossians (De Brief van Paulus aan de Kolossenzen) and the First and Second Epistle to the Thessalonians (De Eerste en Tweede Brief van Paulus aan de Thessalonicenzen).
No, I didn’t read more than usual this week, these epistles are just all fucking short. They also didn’t have a huge amount of interesting stuff, by the look of it, but let’s see.
2 Corinthians really was a total non-event – I literally have nothing to say about the whole Bible book.
Galatians 2 states that the apostle Peter was sent out to preach to the circumcised, whereas Paul was sent to the (uncircumcised) heathens.
My note for Galatians 3 says ‘more twisted logic and incomprehensible twaddle’. Reading back over it, it’s all about how people become righteous through belief, not by following the law (of Moses, presumably) or something like that. It still doesn’t make much sense to me.
Galatians 5 once again has Paul preaching that circumcision isn’t necessary to follow Jesus. I’m beginning to feel that Paul is just as obsessed with circumcision as God was, except they’re on opposite sides. Is there something freudian going on here? Did Paul’s circumcision go horribly wrong when he was an 8-day-old baby and is that why he hates it so much, and why he leads a life of celibacy? I’ve just made up my own conspiracy theory, woo!
We’re on to the Ephesians, and it’s apparent that Paul is writing these while in prison. Is this still his imprisonment in Rome while he waits for the emperor to pass judgement? Fuck knows. The only noteworthy (and infuriating) bit in this book is Ephesians 5, which states that women should be submissive to their husbands. Men must love their wives like they love their own body and women must be in awe of their husbands. I guess love isn’t important for women.
Next up are the Philippians, and Paul states in chapter 1 that he desires to be with Christ, for that is by far the best. He’s clearly getting suicidal in prison. I have no other comments here, so it must have been just the usual drivel of being strong in the faith of Christ and living like good Christians should.
Colossians 2 states that ‘you have been buried with Him in baptism’. This also makes no sense. Did Paul ever use the Chewbacca defense, I wonder?
It also once again says that this whole ‘don’t eat this, don’t touch that’ malarkey is rubbish. I still find it bizarre that Paul so happily preaches against Moses’ laws. Moses sweated over those, you know! Thousands of Israelites were killed during the making of those laws! (Okay, mostly because they were idiots displaying their goldfish memories, but still.)
1 Thessalonians 4 states that at the call of an archangel the Lord will descend from heaven, and those who died in Christ will rise first, then the living will be carried away in the blink of an eye on the clouds towards the Lord in the sky. I guess this is where the whole idea of the Rapture comes from?
2 Thessalonians 3 tells the community to live well and be good little Christians, and also reproaches those who apparently do no work, but keep themselves busy with things that are not work (yes, it is that vague). Paul must have conveniently forgotten that Jesus taught his followers to live off the charity of others.
I know I haven’t finished Paul’s Epistles yet, but everything I’ve read so far seems to teach me that the entire dogma on which the (proto-)medieval church was built was dictated by one man, and it wasn’t Jesus. No, it was Paul, and Paul was a twat, frankly. Oh, you can tell me that there is maybe evidence that all of Paul’s epistles stem from a number of different authors, but that’s the historical view on the Bible. The proper Christian view is that everything in the Bible is the (literal) God-given truth, so it must also be the literal truth that all these epistles were written by one man. Which means that nearly twenty centuries of treating women as less important than men is all down to one proselytising fucktard. All that shit about keeping your gob shut and being submissive to your husband and being a good little baby-maker is all down to Paul.
Well fuck you, Paul. Fuck you very much.