Jesus says no branch can bear fruit by itself. A branch can only bear fruit if it remains in the vine. (So if it’s a detached tree branch that was never even part of a vine to begin with, it definitely can’t bear fruit, then.)
But the Old Testament says Aaron’s staff once sprouted, budded, blossomed, and produced almonds, which are fruit seeds. So either Jesus proves the Old Testament is wrong, or the Old Testament proves Jesus is wrong.
Continue reading Can any detached branch bear fruit?
David’s son Amnon was obsessed with his beautiful sister Tamar. Amnon’s nephew advised him to pretend to be sick. Then he could request a meal to be served to him in bed by his sister. So he did. When Tamar went to Amnon’s bedroom and tried to give him some food, he wouldn’t eat it. Instead, he told her to get in bed with him.
Tamar said she couldn’t do that right now, because that would be foolish and wicked and disgraceful. They should get married first! She was sure their righteous father David would allow his children to marry each other. But Amnon ignored her proposal, raped her, and sent her away. Absalom, another son of David, saw Tamar crying, and he told her to shut up. He said she should stop taking Amnon’s actions so seriously, because he was just her brother.
King David was not happy with what Amnon had done. Two years later, Absalom had Amnon killed. David heard that all his sons had been killed, and he wasn’t happy about that, either. When he found out that only Amnon was dead, he was just slightly more happy. Absalom wasn’t allowed to see his father for two years. Then Absalom set Joab’s barley field on fire, which convinced him to let Absalom visit David.
Absalom became popular (despite his disgracefully long hair) by kissing all the men who came to see King David. Then Absalom was able to get the people to declare him king of Israel. When David heard that his son was trying to overthrow him, he and most of his household ran away. But he made ten of his girlfriends stay behind to take care of his palace.
Continue reading The Story of King Absalom—
A Man’s Enemies Are the Members of His Own Household
The Bible says Jesus once got mad at a tree for refusing to give him figs at the wrong time of year. And rather than miraculously make it produce fruit for him out of season, Jesus chose to curse the tree so it would never make fruit for anyone again.
Then the tree immediately withered, and his disciples were amazed that it had withered so quickly. That’s how it happened according to Matthew, anyway.
But in Mark’s version of the story, Jesus curses the tree, and then goes and spends the day in Jerusalem wrecking stuff and making people want to kill him. And it’s not till the next day that the disciples pass by the tree again and Peter notices that it’s withered. When Peter points out that the tree has withered, he’s remembering Jesus having cursed it the previous day.
Continue reading Did the fig tree wither immediately?
Moses told his people that when they attacked a city, they shouldn’t cut down the city’s trees. Or at least not the fruit trees. That would be silly; the trees aren’t your enemies. Trees are useful, and fruit trees in particular are most useful when they haven’t been cut down.
God punished Jeremiah’s enemies when they called him a fruit tree and plotted to cut him off and destroy him.
Jesus told a parable where he seemed to approve of a man deciding not to cut down a fig tree even though it hadn’t produced any fruit for three years. (That man Jesus approved of was open to cutting the tree down if it was still unproductive after another year of special care, though…)
The prophet Elisha encouraged the king of Israel and his allies, telling them that with God’s help, they would successfully overthrow their Moabite enemies. He said they would stop up all the Moabites’ springs, ruin all their good fields, and cut down all their good trees. Apparently God thinks spitefully cutting down the enemy’s trees is a good thing now.
Continue reading Should fruit trees be destroyed?
In the beginning, there was nothing but a perfect God. Everything that existed was perfect. So God decided to create the world, which he knew would turn out to be imperfect. Now everything is no longer perfect. Good job, God.
Continue reading The Story of Adam and Eve—
The Garden of Eden