According to Genesis, Cain killed his brother Abel and so God banished him to wander, but he was also given a mark so that “Anyone who kills Cain will be punished sevenfold” (4:15). His descendant Lamech then boasts to his two wives that just as Cain would be avenged seven times over for any injury, he would be avenged 7×7 times after a young man tried to injure him. What does this mark of vengeance represent?
4/26/14: Update Below
So the Richard Dawkins Foundation posted a picture on Facebook identifying Ishtar as the goddess that Easter was named after. Assuming that the original author of the picture meant that Ishtar was the earliest form of the Easter goddess, it implicitly identified Eostre, the Western fertility goddess that Easter is named after, with Ishtar, the Eastern goddess whose Mesopotamian and Anatolian dying-and-rising cult is centered around Christmas and Easter. This caused a lot of people to think they finally caught Mr. Smarter Than Religion in a huge blunder, although Dawkins himself does not control the Facebook page. A Germanic goddess and a Middle Eastern goddess? How could there be any relationship between those two?
Back in November 2010, a friend of mine from Portland sent me a CNN article about 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud being arrested for trying to detonate a bomb at Christmas celebration there. The subject heading was “close to home.” But the thing was, there was never any explosives. The entire plot was actually concocted by the FBI: the only thing Mohamud did was push the button thinking it was bomb. Entrapment is illegal but there’s a quick way around it: if you rope a dope in and then give him a choice to commit a crime or something else, then it’s all right. The FBI claims that they gave this guy 5 choices other than launching a terrorist attack, including prayer, but strangely enough, the recording of that proof is gone due to “technical difficulties.”
In the last post of my review of “Did Jesus Exist?”, we saw Ehrman tried to claim that the church fathers were lying when they claimed that they knew of elements of the mysteries of the dying-and-rising gods. So, for example, when Justin the Martyr said, “The devils, accordingly, when they heard these prophetic words, said that Bacchus was the son of Jupiter, and gave out that he was the discoverer of the vine, and they number wine [or, the ass] among his mysteries; and they taught that, having been torn in pieces, he ascended into heaven,” this excuse for why pagan resurrection predated the resurrection of Jesus was completely unnecessary. Of course, one is apt to ask how we could possibly know about pagan resurrection if people from their own time didn’t know? Well, it turns out, Ehrman tells us that we actually don’t know if there was any pagan resurrection. Thus, as is so well put in this response to Ehrman from Doherty: “Not only must any dependence on the mystery cults be refuted on Christianity’s own turf, the war has been carried further afield in an attempt to eliminate even the alleged sources. Thus, the armies of Christian independence are dispatched to the enemy’s home territory, there to destroy its own precepts.” But why would mythicists just take unsupported evidence and come up with the exact same conclusion about dying-and-rising gods that the second century apologists happened to take? Apparently, much like Justin’s devils, who supposedly took the idea of Perseus being born of a virgin from Isaiah (despite Isaiah not mentioning a virgin), mythicists have stolen obscure passages from the Old Testament and perverted them so as to create false gods for the sole purpose of mocking Christianity. In our final part of this review, Ehrman dons his crusader helmet and does battle in pagan territory against the virgin birth, atonement, and resurrection: