The Pomperipossa effect.

The marginal tax rate above 100% which is dubbed the ‘Pomperipossa effect’  happens whenever the government subsidizes some taxpayers below a certain income level, then abruptly removes that subsidy above that level.

In Sweden, beginning with the 1960s income transfer became all the rage. Certain people groups were to be raised to equality with the wealthier classes. I just have one small example from my own life. My father was an elementary school teacher, and covered under the non-academic teachers union. His salary was at the very peak of the class that was favored by the government. He was begged to take the job of librarian for the school, a job that would give him less than a hundred dollars a year. He said he could only afford to take the job if it was unpaid, for if he earned any more money that year some benefits would be cut. But it was against the law to work without pay. So the position was left unfilled. I still remember the story, because his refusal to do the library gave me free food coupons for two years as I entered University.

In the USA this could never happen, right? In Pennsylvania, families below a certain income level pay no State tax. Above that level the tax is gradually phased in. Lets see an example.

For a family with 8 children they pay no state tax if their income is 89000 or less (2008 numbers). If their income is 90251 they pay the full amount. The state tax is 3.07%.

So for the last 1251 dollars you pay 2770 in taxes. This is a marginal tax rate of  222%.

This is a harbinger of things to come if income transfers will become normative.

Is Obama a Christian? A Limerick.

Shahada, professing Obama’s belief

That makes him a Muslim, much to our grief

He keeps saying this:

A Christian he is.

Unless he is baptized, he lies like a thief.

In Feb 2008 Obama said: “Here are the simple facts. I am a Christian. I am a devout Christian. I have been a member of the same church for 20 years. I pray to Jesus every night.” We’ve all heard by now that Obama became a Christian mostly to expedite his political career and that the Trinity United Church of Christ he joined, presided over by Reverend Jonathan Wright, was not exactly mainstream. We’ve heard about Wright’s damning of America and we know that the church was — and might still be — a hot bed of black nationalism. But what is not as well-known is that no baptism is required, nor must Muslims renounce Islam to be accepted as full members in that church. Obama mentioned his two children were baptized by Rev. Wright. He has as of today made no reference to his own baptism, nor does the media seem to be the least interested if he is or not. On February 27th 2007, speaking to Kristof of The New York Times, Barack Hussein Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

In an interview with Nicholas Kristof, published in The New York Times, Obama recited the Muslim call to prayer, the Adhan, “with a first-class [Arabic] accent.” The opening lines of the Adhan (Azaan) is the Shahada:

“Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! I witness that there is no god but Allah I witness that there is no god but Allah I witness that Muhammad is his prophet? ”

According to Islamic scholars, reciting the Shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, makes one a Muslim. This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim’s complete acceptance of, and total commitment to, the message of Islam. Obama chanted it with pride and finesse. Here is a call to prayer at sunset:

Do you think it is one of the prettiest sounds on earth? So which Jesus does Obama pray to every night? Is it the Christian Jesus Christ as stated in the Apostles Creed? I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Or is it: I believe in Jesus the Muslim, a great Prophet, who was conceived by a decree from Allah, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was not crucified, did not die , and was never buried; he descended not to the dead. On the third day he did not rise again; but ascended immediately into heaven, Allah raised him up unto Himself, and he will come again  and deny he ever claimed divinity, he will defeat the anti-Christ, give witness that Muhammad is the supreme last and final Prophet, that all the world must convert to Islam or perish, and after that peace will come?

Sarah Palin mocks Obama’s 57 states, then gets cut off. A Limerick.

Obama: Our two score and seventeen states 

A Freudian slip, that’s what the left hates.

U.S.A., OIC*

Not the same, not to me,

 But Sarah pokes fun when Obama misstates.

*The Organisation of Islamic States, an organization with 57 member nations.

Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad joined in prayer, where?

President Obama gave a rousing speech in Cairo which was dubbed by some as Wilsonian in its lofty rhetoric, historic in scope and generally inspiring to all of mankind. I however was left puzzled. When did Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad ever appear together, and for what purpose?   First let us take a look at the quote.

Obama said: Too many tears have been shed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra — (applause) — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)

Since Muhammad is mentioned, we must look at the Holy Quran (Obama’s word) for clues. The first clue is found in:

Sura – 17 The Children of Israel (Bani Israel)

[17:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

[17:1] KHALIFA: Most glorified is the One who summoned His servant (Muhammad) during the night, from the Sacred Masjid (of Mecca) to the farthest place of prostration, whose surroundings we have blessed, in order to show him some of our signs. He is the Hearer, the Seer. YUSUFALI: Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things). PICKTHAL: Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far distant place of worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer. SHAKIR: Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

[17:2] KHALIFA: Similarly, we gave Moses the scripture, and rendered it a beacon for the Children of Israel that: “You shall not set up any idol as a lord and master beside Me.” YUSUFALI: We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): “Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs.” PICKTHAL: We gave unto Moses the Scripture, and We appointed it a guidance for the children of Israel, saying: Choose no guardian beside Me. SHAKIR: And We gave Musa the Book and made it a guidance to the children of Israel, saying: Do not take a protector besides Me;

Trying to find more clues I read the whole Sura 17 to see if there were more clues. It dealt to a large extent of the importance of the contact prayers. Let us take the one at noon (or is it after the sun’s zenith?) It turns out that it is illegal to start the midday prayer before the sun starts to decline, so there are helpful aids on the internet for more than six million locations all around the world to give you the exact local time to start your prayers. If you start them too early you nullify the whole idea of submission. At night you can pray as long as you want for extra credit.

17:78] KHALIFA: You shall observe the Contact Prayer (Salat) when the sun declines from its highest point at noon, as it moves towards sunset. You shall also observe (the recitation of) the Quran at dawn. (Reciting) the Quran at dawn is witnessed. YUSUFALI: Establish regular prayers – at the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony. PICKTHAL: Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. SHAKIR: Keep up prayer from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night and the morning recitation; surely the morning recitation is witnessed.

[17:79] KHALIFA: During the night, you shall meditate for extra credit, that your Lord may raise you to an honorable rank. YUSUFALI: And pray in the small watches of the morning: (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for thee: soon will thy Lord raise thee to a Station of Praise and Glory! PICKTHAL: And some part of the night awake for it, a largess for thee. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate. SHAKIR: And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.

Moving right along I find another startling statement:

[17:101] KHALIFA: We supported Moses with nine profound miracles – ask the Children of Israel. When he went to them, Pharaoh said to him, “I think that you, Moses, are bewitched.” YUSUFALI: To Moses We did give Nine Clear Signs: As the Children of Israel: when he came to them, Pharaoh said to him: “O Moses! I consider thee, indeed, to have been worked upon by sorcery! PICKTHAL: And verily We gave unto Moses nine tokens, clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty). Do but ask the Children of Israel how he came unto them, then Pharaoh said unto him: Lo! I deem thee one bewitched, O Moses. SHAKIR: And certainly We gave Musa nine clear signs; so ask the children of Israel. When he came to them, Firon said to him: Most surely I deem you, O Musa, to be a man deprived of reason. [17:102 ] KHALIFA:  He said, “You know full well that no one can manifest these except, obviously, the Lord of the heavens and the earth. I think that you, Pharaoh, are doomed.” YUSUFALI: Moses said, “Thou knowest well that these things have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence: and I consider thee indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!” PICKTHAL: He said: In truth thou knowest that none sent down these (portents) save the Lord of the heavens and the earth as proofs, and lo! (for my part) I deem thee lost, O Pharaoh. SHAKIR: He said: Truly you know that none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has sent down these as clear proof and most surely I believe you, O Firon, to be given over to perdition. The Torah clearly states there are ten miracles (maybe one of them was not profound). The one omitted is the death of the firstborn, leading Pharaoh to finally let the children of Israel go. The death of the firstborn is the key event in the time of Egyptian captivity. It is still memorized as Passover, and for us Christians Jesus was the Passover lamb.

And the last verse is also troubling: [17:111] KHALIFA:  And proclaim: “Praise be to GOD, who has never begotten a son, nor does He have a partner in His kingship, nor does He need any ally out of weakness,” and magnify Him constantly. YUSUFALI: Say: “Praise be to Allah, who begets no son, and has no partner in (His) dominion: Nor (needs) He any to protect Him from humiliation: yea, magnify Him for His greatness and glory!” PICKTHAL: And say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. SHAKIR: And say: (All) praise is due to Allah, Who has not taken a son and Who has not a partner in the kingdom, and Who has not a helper to save Him from disgrace; and proclaim His greatness magnifying (Him). This is obviously a dig to all Christians.

But there was no reference to joined prayer; This is to be found in the mythical story:

Laylat-ul Mi’raj

(The Night of Mi’raj)

In Islam, the Prophet Muhammad’s night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem prior to his famous trip to heaven is called Isra’.  As alluded to in the Qur’an (17:1), a journey was made by a servant of God, in a single night, from the “sacred place of worship” (al-masjid al-haram) to the “further place of worship” (al-masjid al-aqsa).

Traditionally, there was general agreement that the servant of God was Muhammad and that the “sacred place of worship” was Mecca.  Early commentators, however, interpreted the “further place of worship” as heaven, and the entire verse was considered a reference to the Prophet’s ascension into heaven (Mi’raj), an ascension which also originated in Mecca.  In the period of the Umayyad caliphate (661–750), the “further place of worship” was read as Jerusalem.  The two versions were eventually reconciled by regarding the Isra’ simply as the night journey and relocating the point of Muhammad’s ascension from Mecca to Jerusalem to avoid confusion.  Some commentators also suggested that the Isra’ was a vision sent to Muhammad in his sleep and not an actual journey at all; but orthodox sentiment has emphatically preserved the physical, thus miraculous, nature of the trip.

The Isra’ story, greatly elaborated by tradition, relates that Muhammad made the journey astride Buraq (q.v.), a mythical winged creature, in the company of the archangel Gabriel. Muhammad meets Abraham, Moses, and Jesus in Jerusalem; he then officiates as leader (imam) of the ritual prayer (salat) for all the prophets assembled and establishes his primacy among God’s messengers. For the full story go to: “http://www.geocities.com/khola_mon/myth/Miraj.html”

So, this was the story if Isra, which gave the rousing applause at Obama’s speech. There are quite a few things that bother me, as a Christian about this quotation. But one thing is cute The mythical creature has the name Buraq, meaning Lightning. Barack is a namesake of this winged horse. So I can imagine Obama as a young lad in Indonesia going to public school and hearing the story of Isra during the mandatory Quran classes (Obama was registered in the school as Muslim by his step father) hearing from the teacher he has a famous name, and then hearing the whole story and feeling blessed and important destined to do great things. (This is just my imagination running wild).

Whar really bothers me are these things:

  1. Moses, Jesus and Muhammad pray the contact prayer (salat). This means Jesus acknowledges Mohammed’s      superiority as the final prophet.
  2. The furthermost place of prostration has been changed from Heaven to Jerusalem  to satisfy Ymayyad’s claim to Jerusalem, and is not found in the Quran. This story is the main claim of the Muslims for supremacy of Jerusalem apart from the normal claim, people and territory once under Muslim control must remain under Muslim control forever. They still haven’t gotten over the loss of Spain.
  3. Obama says piously:  Peace be upon them, as if Jesus is just another dead prophet. Jesus is not dead, He is Risen.

The Islamic infiltration is pervasive. Another example happened last winter:

Invocation by Husham Al-Husainy, Imam of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, a Shi’ite mosque in Dearborn, Michigan, at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting. Here’s a transcript:

… In the name of God the most merciful, the most compassionate. We thank you, God, to bless us among your creations. We thank you, God, to make us as a great nation. We thank you God, to send us your messages through our father Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Muhammad. Through you, God, we unite. So guide us to the right path. The path of the people you bless, not the path of the people you doom. Help us God to liberate and fill this earth with justice and peace and love and equality. And help us to stop the war and violence, and oppression and occupation. Ameen.

The inquiring mind wants to know: Who are “the people you doom”. These are anybody that stands in the way of final peace that will come only after Islam is practiced by everybody. So this means Jews, Christians, cult members, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Shintoists, Animists, Wiccan, Agnostics, Atheists, and anybody that considers himself free from  all or belonging to another religion.

Obama’s Cairo speech and crucifixion.

Obama’s Cairo speech and the topic of  crucifixion.

President Obama held a speech in Cairo Jun 4 2009 and quoted the Holy Quran a number of times. I looked up a few of the verses in context and stumbled on the term  Crucify  in the next verse in the same Sura. It seems that the punishment for murder is  Crucifixion.mutilation or forced exile. Let us look at all the instances of Crucify  and compare it with the account in the Holy Bible.

The verse Obama quoted is from Sura 5 (The Feast) The Authorized English translation of the Quran, by Dr. Rashad Khalifa.

[5:32] Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing.

[5:33] The just retribution for those who fight GOD and His messenger, and commit horrendous crimes, is to be killed, or crucified, or to have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or to be banished from the land. This is to humiliate them in this life, then they suffer a far worse retribution in the Hereafter.

[5:34] Exempted are those who repent before you overcome them. You should know that GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

The punishments are severe indeed. Not only for murder , but also for working against GOD and His messenger.

Next comes 3 instances of Moses and the Egyptian magicians They are in Sura – 7 The Purgatory, Sura – 20 T.H. (Ta Ha) and Sura – 26 The Poets (Al-Shu`ara’)

[7:117] We (Allah) then inspired Moses: “Throw down your staff,” whereupon it swallowed whatever they fabricated.

[7:118] Thus, the truth prevailed, and what they did was nullified.

[7:119] They were defeated then and there; they were humiliated.

[7:120] The magicians fell prostrate.

[7:121] They said, “We believe in the Lord of the universe.

[7:122] “The Lord of Moses and Aaron.”

[7:123] Pharaoh said, “Did you believe in him without my permission? This must be a conspiracy you schemed in the city, in order to take its people away. You will surely find out.

[7:124] “I will cut your hands and feet on alternate sides, then I will crucify you all.”

The second recount of the same occurrence.

[20:60] Pharaoh summoned his forces, then came.

[20:61] Moses said to them, “Woe to you. Do you fabricate lies to fight GOD and thus incur His retribution? Such fabricators will surely fail.”

[20:62] They disputed among themselves, as they conferred privately.

[20:63] They said, “These two are no more than magicians who wish to take you out of your land with their magic, and to destroy your ideal way of life.

[20:64] “Let us agree upon one scheme and face them as a united front. The winner today will have the upper hand.”

[20:65] They said, “O Moses, either you throw, or we will be the first to throw.”

[20:66] He said, “You throw.” Whereupon, their ropes and sticks appeared to him, because of their magic, as if they were moving.

[20:67] Moses harbored some fear.

[20:68] We said, “Have no fear. You will prevail.

[20:69] “Throw what you hold in your right hand, and it will swallow what they fabricated. What they fabricated is no more than the scheming of a magician. The magician’s work will not succeed.”

[20:70] The magicians fell prostrate, saying, “We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses.”

[20:71] He said, “Did you believe in him without my permission? He must be your chief; the one who taught you magic. I will surely sever your hands and feet on alternate sides. I will crucify you on the palm trunks. You will find out which of us can inflict the worst retribution, and who outlasts whom.”

And once more the same account:

[26:43] Moses said to them “Throw what you are going to throw.”

[26:44] They threw their ropes and sticks, and said, “By Pharaoh’s majesty, we will be the victors.”

[26:45] Moses threw his staff, whereupon it swallowed what they fabricated.

[26:46] The magicians fell prostrate.

[26:47] They said, “We believe in the Lord of the universe.

[26:48] “The Lord of Moses and Aaron.”

[26:49] He said, “Did you believe with him before I give you permission? He must be your teacher, who taught you magic. You will surely find out. I will sever your hands and feet on alternate sides. I will crucify you all.”

The corresponding Old Testament version is taken from Exodus 7:

6 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

8 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.”

10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

Note that there is no retribution in the biblical account, and certainly no crucifixion. In fact crucifixion is not mentioned even once in the Old Testament. I have been told that crucifixion was invented by the Romans as the most visible, slow and cruel torture-execution they could think of. So if Pharaoh did crucify people, this should be general knowledge among the Egyptologists. But I have not found it so.

The next account is Joseph in jail, and Pharaoh’s dream; it is found in Sura – 12 Joseph ( Yousuf).

[12:38] “And I followed instead the religion of my ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We never set up any idols beside GOD. Such is the blessing from GOD upon us and upon the people, but most people are unappreciative.

[12:39] “O my prison mates, are several gods better, or GOD alone, the One, the Supreme?

[12:40] “You do not worship beside Him except innovations that you have made up, you and your parents. GOD has never authorized such idols. All ruling belongs to GOD, and He has ruled that you shall not worship except Him. This is the perfect religion, but most people do not know.

[12:41] “O my prison mates, one of you will be the wine butler for his lord, while the other will be crucified – the birds will eat from his head. This settles the matter about which you have inquired.”

[12:42] He then said to the one to be saved “Remember me at your lord.” Thus, the devil caused him to forget his Lord, and, consequently, he remained in prison a few more years.

[12:43] The king said, “I saw seven fat cows being devoured by seven skinny cows, and seven green spikes (of wheat), and others shriveled. O my elders, advise me regarding my dream, if you know how to interpret the dreams.”

The corresponding biblical account is found in:

Genesis 40 (NIV)

The Cupbearer and the Baker

1 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them. After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.

6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why are your faces so sad today?”

8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”

9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”

12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”

20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, 22 but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.

23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.

Genesis 41

1 When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.

8 In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.

9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged. “

(The term hang could also be impale, which means stick a spear through the body of the condemned, stick the spear in the ground and leave them  up for public exposure. Since the spear is stuck through the heart it means instant death. This too is not crucifixion.)

And finally:  Sura – 4 Women (Al-Nesaa’)

[4:157] And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him – they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him.

[4:158] Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

Here the New Testament accounts are numerous, but also the Old Testament accounts testify of a crucifixion, but since it was not invented yet, it was described in other words

Here are two of the Old Testament accounts:

Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The oldest preserved copy of Isaiah was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and dates back to around 150 B.C. (or BCE for non-Christians)

Another source is:

Psalm 22

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?

2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.

4 In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.

5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.

7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

8 “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast.

10 From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

13 Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced [c] my hands and my feet.

17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.

18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

19 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

20 Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.

21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.

23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

24 For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.

26 The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him— may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,

28 for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive.

30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.

31 They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn— for he has done it.

These two Old Testaments depicts how the Messiah must suffer and die.

Jesus quotes Psalm 22 when He is on the cross.  This is a quote from Matthew 7:

45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

This is significant for many reasons. The Hebrew word for GOD is Elohim and the same word in Arabic is Allah. They are both plural, and since they are semitic languages plural means three or more. Here Jesus uses the word El, which is GOD in singular. When some heard it they did not understand, since they had never heard GOD referred to in singular, so rhey thought he must mean Elijah. David penned the sentence many centuries before under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had said before “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Here is the first and only time when they are separated, by the conscious act of the Father (forsaken, not forgotten). As we saw from Isaiah 53:10 above this makes sense that He must suffer and die to take away our sins. But also , by becoming a man, He could do away with the physical sacrifice once and for all. So He died, was buried, and on the first day of the week He rose again.  Forty days later He was taken up to Heaven (Ascension Day). Luke 24:50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Acts 1:9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11″Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Now the accounts in the Bible and the one in the Quran converge again, and we can agree:

[Sura 4:158b]GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise. This is the Easter message of the bodily risen Messiah. The New Testament accounts go into more details about this and provide confirmation that the Old Testament prophesies indeed are true.

 

Obama’s State of the Union speech and Groundhog day. A Limerick.

As Air America Radio pointed out:

“It is an ironic juxtaposition of events: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication while the other involves a groundhog.”

This gem was originally aired in 2007  but is much more àpropos today. Air America is now defunct, for obvious reason, not related to this  quote. This year the state of the union speech is a week early, but seeing his vacation picture I could not help but make some observations:

Obama is looking a wee bit too scrawny.

Gone are the days when he seemed to be brawny.

He can’t cope with stress

So he works less and less.

Gets scared of his shadow, like Phil Punxsutawney