Special to The Guardian
In a find that stunned the world of religion, archaeologists digging in a remote region of the Sinai desert discovered what is believed to be the original Holy Bible from more than 2,000 years ago with its International Standard Book Publishing (ISBN) code still intact.
“This is an almost unbelievable discovery,” says Alfred Pottersmith, lead curator of Middle East artifacts at the British Museum in London. “To think we could be holding in our hands the original bible from God’s disciples is humbling beyond words.”
What gives archaeologists confidence the bible is the original Word of God, first edition, is the presence of the internationally recognized 9-digit numeric commercial book identifier code known as the ISBN code.
By tracing the numeric code, researchers can identify with precision when, where, and by whom the book was published. In technical terms, the ISBM number identifies the “prefix element, registration group, registrant, publication and check digit,” says Nigel Cox, professor emeritus of ancient book publishing studies at Oxford University.
The code on the newly discovered bible clearly identifies “Holy Land” as the location of the publisher, the year of release as “0,” and the publisher as “Galilee Press,” which is believed to have been one of the few publishers in the area at the time.
The code also identifies “John the Baptist” as lead author.
“The Bible is a compilation, and so it’s traditional for publishers to select one of the contributors as the lead author, and in this case it’s John the Baptist, and that makes sense,” says Pottersmith. “That’s not to say he received all the royalties. I’m sure Matthew, Mark, and the others also received a share in the royalties, but all that would be worked out in a separate contractual arrangement; the ISBN number wouldn’t have anything to do with that.”
Pottersmith noted that the royalties on the originial Holy Bible would be “astronomical,” because the book is the all-time world bestseller. “In copies, how many hundreds of millions–billions, actually—of this book have been sold?” says Pottersmith. “If John were around today, he would be incredibly wealthy just from his quarterly royalty payments, even with the split of royalties with the others. Not that he would care about that. I’m sure he would donate all or most of his royalties to charity—a church maybe.”
Researchers continue to analyze the book under the supervision of a special commission established by the International Governing Council of Hebraic and Christian Historical Research Studies. It will be housed in a separate research wing at Oxford University.
Amazon is seeking rights to publish replicas of the book, which will be available as an e-book.
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): bb and gc (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
Franklin Graham III, son of the late televangelist Billy Graham, says he’s concerned for the country’s moral well-being because today almost a quarter of Americans identify as atheists or otherwise claim no religious affiliation, a sharp increase from a generation ago, when few people claimed no religious affiliation. “The United States is a country founded by Christians on the basis of Christian values, so it is very disturbing from a moral and spiritual standpoint that one out of every four Americans is not going to get into heaven,” said Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Graham was speaking at a rally in Charleston, S.C., for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Other religious leaders, including Jerry Falwell, Jr., and James Robison, were at the event. More.
Jews, Muslims, and peoples of other faiths in the United States will have to scramble to find ways to talk about the omnipotent, omnipresent deity referred to as God®, because American Christians have successfully trademarked the term “God®” along with “Savior®” and “Holy Father®.” “It’s a great day for American Christians of all types,” says Edward Reynolds, head pastor of the Ecumenical Christian Church, U.S.A., based in Foxborough, Mass. “For more than 200 years, peoples of Abrahamic faiths in the United States have peacefully shared among themselves the use of the term “God®” and other important religious words, but today the terms have been provided a permanent home with American Christians, which, as we’ve been arguing for years, is the rightful place for them.” More.
A tribe of nomadic goat herders from a remote desert region say their jealous, spiteful, and misogynist God is the one true God for all the universe and for all time even though He might seem an odd fit for today’s world. “I know it is hard for you in the technologically advanced West to believe that you should be ruled by our God, who had nothing to say to anyone in the world until He chose to speak to our ancestors 2,000 years ago. But that is the fact of the matter,” says Lazarus Ben-ammi, leader of a tribe of desert goat herders who claim a direct line with God. The tribe is in New York City on the first stop of a world tour in which they explain why theirs is the one true God of all the universe. More.
A man preaching God’s Word last night on a street corner in Los Angeles isn’t a true preacher, a group of religious leaders has charged, because the preacher has not been certified. “Only preachers who’ve been certified, for obvious reasons, have the right to preach God’s Word,” says a statement by the International Association of Religious Preachers, based in Houston. “Absent certification, anyone can pose as a preacher and claim to represent the Word of God. For that reason, it’s important that persons impersonating professional, certified preachers be enjoined from engaging in acts of uncertified religious preaching.” The accused preacher, Lemont Davis, was apprehended by Los Angeles police at 5:30 p.m. on the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Beverly Blvd. According to the charge filed with the Los Angeles Municipal Court, Davis was claiming to “spread God’s Mercy,” with the aim of spurring a miracle on behalf of a homeless woman, Roberta Jackson, whose health is in decline. More.
After seven years of investigation, a United Nations team of researchers has concluded that Iran does not have homosexuals, as former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asserted at Columbia University in 2007. In his statement seven years ago, while he was speaking in New York City, Ahmadinejad told his audience of mostly students and faculty that “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you we have it.” At the time, the comment elicited laughter and some boos among the 700 people in the audience. But according to the U.N. team that has just delivered its comprehensive report to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Iran in fact has no homosexuals. More.
If all the resources that go into supporting religion in the United States were channeled into productive enterprises, the domestic economy would expand by an estimated $465 billion a year, a study by the Federal Reserve finds. “Religion is a big part of the identity of many Americans, and certainly is embedded in our heritage as a country, but from a purely economic standpoint, it’s a disaster,” says Alfred Smith, a senior Fed economist. The study by Smith and a team of researchers is the most detailed yet of the economic toll religion takes on the U.S economy. It has sought to factor in virtually every way religion intersects with the economy, from lost tax revenue to states and localities, lost investment into goods and services that grow the economy, lost productivity by having people employed in religious institutions instead of companies and organizations that produce goods and services, and the cost of violence perpetrated in the name of religious belief. More.
Saying it’s tired of sitting on the sidelines for the majority of compositions in the English language, the letter Q announced today its secession from the English alphabet and a ban on all uses of the letter Q in subsequent English compositions. The letter Q also says it’s reviewing its ties with French, German, Spanish, and other Indo-European languages, but for now, it’s willing to stay in those Latin-based languages until further notice. “For thousands of years the joke has been on the letter Q,” says the letter Q in its Declaration of Secession, delivered simultaneously to the American Library Association, the British Library, the National Library of Canada, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Webster English Dictionary, the Associated Press, and the Chicago Manual of Style. “But no more. As of today, the letter Q is not available for your use.” More.