AUTHOR JOSEPH MANI’S LETTER TO THE EDITOR – BOOK REVIEW “BEYOND GODS AND SCRIPTURES”

 

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Joseph Mani

Author of the Book

BEYOND GODS AND SCRIPTURES

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replies as follows:

 

I am grateful to  Vincent Bagul, Joseph Mattappally who have commented positively on the Review of my book by Isaac Gomes. I am also grateful to Fr. Francis Rosario and Chhotebhai who have posted negative comments.

 

Many of those who have commented do not seem to have read the book and have based their comments on the review. Mr. Isaac Gomes has done a great review. But no review can capture the whole content of a book. If people had read the book, perhaps their comments may have been different.

 

For example, if Mr. Chotebhai had read the book he would have found that I have not based my arguments on science. I have quoted scientists to either mention some facts or to counter those believers who claim that science validates their beliefs. I have based my arguments, particularly in Section One (the most controversial Section), not on science but on the bible. It is based on a careful reading of the four gospels that I assert, for instance, that perhaps there was no “good thief” and that Jesus was not born in a manger and was not born in Bethlehem. I wish more of us Christians would read the whole New Testament thoroughly, sentence by sentence as I have done and not go only by what we hear from the pulpit and from evangelical TV channels which necessarily are selective.

 

Talking of science, it is true that science is evolving and scientists are always in a search mode in contrast to religion which has fixed and unchanging dogmas based on neither logic nor evidence. (By the way, the Higgs Boson – the God particle – has been found by scientists at CERN in July 2012 and Peter Higgs who had proposed the existence of such a particle was awarded the Nobel in 2013)

 

Again, Mr. Chotebhai would have realized that I have not said that Mathew and John were not disciples of Jesus. What I have said is that these two gentlemen did not write any gospels, that the gospels that go by their names were written decades later by unknown individuals based mostly on oral traditions passed down through a few generations and hence liable to exaggerations and distortions. In support of this conclusion, I have quoted an authoritative Catholic source which was endorsed by Pope Paul VI.

 

The “research” Mr. Chotebhai quotes only establish that certain books of the bible existed; that does not guarantee their accuracy.

 

Again, in the book I have not called St. Augustine a debauch. I think it was Voltaire who called him that. What I have said is that Augustine was anti-Semitic, as the Catholic Church has been throughout history right up to Pope Pius XII in the 20th century and Pope Benedict XVI in the 21st century. And I have given proof of this, if only someone takes the trouble to read my book.

 

I do not know if we are sons of Abraham and if it is a compliment to be called so. Also I have shown that Jesus could not have been from the lineage of David if his was a virgin birth. You cannot have it both ways.

 

Fr. Francis Rosario says I lack theological understanding of religions and its role for common good. If he reads the book he will find that the whole of Section Three of the book is about the positive and beneficial effects religions have for human beings. There is also a whole chapter on Philosophical Arguments for the Existence of God.

 

I wish people would read my book before commenting on it. After reading, some may still disagree with and criticize my views. But at least that will be informed criticism.

 

Thanks everyone.

Joseph Mani

 

Note: The author may be contacted at : manijoseph3@gmail.com

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