Open Letter #19 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Lovely Day by Bill Withers is placed perfectly in AFTER LIFE

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After Life #1 Trailer

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May 6, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 19th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE, and then I wanted to pass along some evidence that indicates the Bible is historically accurate.

Bill Withers’ LOVELY DAY starts off the beginning of the first episode of AFTER LIFE in the first season with these positive words:

When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mindThen I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way
Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day)When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
And when someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way
Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
A lovely day

This song is perfectly placed because it sums up Tony’s dilemma in that he admits in this song that he does know the way, but the flavor of the song is positive because it assumes that the one person who does know the way will be there with Tony, but it is the whole point of the series to see how will Tony put his life together again after the passing of his wife Lisa. 

Likewise Solomon starts off sounding positive in these verses below, then there is the backlash that all is vanity which sounds similar to Tony’s search for satisfaction and meaning in life in AFTER LIFE. 

Ecclesiastes 9:8-9

Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head. 9 Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, (DOES IT SOUND OPTIMISTIC? NOW COMES THE BACKLASH) all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.


Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?

(Francis Schaeffer comments on Solomon’s words in ECCLESIASTES below)

The best translation is “should eat and drink and delight his senses.” Also with the phrase “from the hand of God” Solomon doesn’t really mean this is from God but this is just an expression. This is statement of desperation when he says that one “should eat and drink and delight his senses.”

Ecclesiastes 8:15

15 And I commend joy, for man has nothing better UNDER THE SUN but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 9:7-12

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head. 9 Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, (DOES IT SOUND OPTIMISTIC? NOW COMES THE BACKLASH) all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Solomon when at work takes off his hat and he stands by the grave of man and he says, “ALAS. ALAS. ALAS.”

But interestingly enough the story of Ecclesiastes does not end its message here because in two places in the New Testament it is picked up and carried along and put in its proper perspective.

Luke 12:16-21

16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax,eat, drink, be merry.”’ [ALMOST EVERYONE WHO HAS PROCEEDED HERE HAS FELT CERTAINLY THAT JESUS IS DELIBERATELY REFERRING TO SOLOMON’S SOLUTION.]20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Christ here points out the reason for the failure of the logic that is involved. He points out why it fails in logic and then why it fails in reality. This view of Solomon must end in failure philosophically and also in emotional desperation.

We are not made to live in the shortened environment of UNDER THE SUN in this life only!!! Neither are we made to live only in the environment of a bare concept of afterlife [ignoring trying to make this life better]. We are made to live in the environment of a God who exists and who is the judge. This is the difference and that is what Jesus is setting forth here.

I Corinthians 15:32

32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

There is no doubt here he is reaching back to Solomon again and he is just saying if there isn’t a resurrection of the dead then let’s just follow Solomon and let’s just eat and drink for tomorrow we die!!!! If there isn’t this full structure [including the resurrection of the dead] then just have the courage to follow Solomon and we can eat and drink because tomorrow we die and that is all we have. If the full structure isn’t there then pick up the cup and drink it dry! You can say it a different way in the 20th century: If the full structure is not there then go ahead and be an EXISTENTIALIST, but don’t cheat. Drink the cup to the end. Drink it dry! That is what Paul says. Paul  the educated man. Paul the man who knew his Greek philosophy. Paul the man who understood Solomon and the dilemma. Paul said it one way or the other. There is no room for a middle ground. IF CHRISTIANS AREN’T RAISED FROM THE DEAD THEN SOLOMON IS RIGHT IN ECCLESIASTES, BUT ONLY THEN. But if he is right then you should accept all of Solomon’s despair and his conclusions.

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Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #1 Dead Sea Scrolls

This post wraps up our Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology series. To see the complete series please click here.

Old Testament Scribes

How accurate is the Old Testament we hold in our hands? It’s popular today to attack the accuracy of the Bible on the grounds of its lack of effective transmission. Popular authors claim the Bible we have today has simply been copied too many times, with too many textual errors, to be believed as the very words of God handed down to us over the millennia.

Free Video – Session 1 from the Church History Boot Camp

Every single copy of the Old Testament was hand copied up until the printing press came along in the 15th century AD. Imagine that, some of the books of the Old Testament were copied over and over for more than 3,000 years (traditional view of dating). Can a document copied so many times by hand truly be accurate today?

Tradition tells us the Hebrew people were meticulous copyists of Scripture. Scribes were so aware of their task they would go to great lengths to make sure their hand-written copy of Scripture was free from error. Hebrew scribes were bound to the following rules:

  1. They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts.
  2. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines.
  3. The ink must be black, and of a special recipe.
  4. They must verbalize each word aloud while they were writing.
  5. They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies every time before writing God’s name.
  6. There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone.
  7. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document.
  8. The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc.).

Silver Amulet Scroll and Nash Papyrus

With all the careful scribal work a shockingly few number of Old Testament ancient manuscripts exist until today.The silver amulet scroll is by far the oldest. The scroll was mentioned as #4 in this top ten series. The amulet scroll dates way back to 600 BC. This is fantastic but it is only a couple verses of the entire Bible. So we can get a feel for the accuracy of those couple verses but not be able to get a good representative sample for the entirety of Scripture.

The Nash Papyrus dates to around 200 BC. It’s also a wonderful discovery but similar to the amulet scroll it only contains a hand-full of verses. Gratefully those verses are the Ten Commandments, but nonetheless our only 2 manuscripts of the Old Testament from the BC era are a very small representation of the entire Old Testament canon.

Codex Aleppo

Codex Aleppo is the oldest entire Old Testament possessed by humanity. The manuscript dates to around 900AD. The priceless manuscript is indeed magnificent. When analyzing the more than 2.7 million writing details that make up the Old Testament, the manuscript appears to be very precise in its creation. Although we have such a beautiful manuscript, the elephant in the room is that this manuscript dates from 900AD. Many New Testament manuscripts are older than our oldest Old Testament manuscript. Most of the Old Testament was written over 1500 years before Codex Aleppo.


1946-47

The greatest biblically relevant archaeological discovery, made in the winter of 1946-47, would shake up the biblical and archaeological world. John C. Trever has done a good job reconstructing the story of the scrolls from several interviews with the Bedouin people.

Muhammed edh-Dhib, a 15 year old Bedouin living in Bethlehem, was with his cousin in the region of the Dead Sea. Jum’a Muhammad, the cousin of edh-Dhib, noticed some possible cave openings while out shepherding some goats. Edh-Dhib made it into a cave and discovered something that had been untouched for more than 2,200 years. He reached into a pot and retrieved some scrolls and showed them to Jum’a.

The impact of these scrolls were not readily apparent. The scrolls were taken back to the Bedouin camp to show the rest of the family. The Bedouin kept the scrolls hanging on a tent pole while they figured out what to do with them, periodically taking them out to show people.

The scrolls were first taken to a dealer named Ibrahim ‘ljha in Bethlehem. In one of those famous dumb moments of history ‘ljha returned them saying they were worthless. Undaunted, thankfully, the Bedouin went to a nearby market, where a Syrian Christian offered to buy them. A sheikh joined their conversation and suggested they take the scrolls to a part-time antiques dealer. The Bedouin left one scroll with the dealer and then sold three scrolls to another for the ridiculous sum of $29!

George Isha’ya, a member of the Syrian Orthodox Church, heard about the scrolls and contacted St. Mark’s Monastery in the hope of getting an appraisal, news of the find then reached Metropolitan bishop Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, better known as Mar Samuel.

After examining the scrolls and suspecting their astronomical worth, he expressed interest in purchasing them. Four scrolls found their way into his hands. More scrolls continued to arrive on the scene. By the end of 1948, nearly two years after their first discovery, scholars had yet to locate the source of the manuscripts.

What was all the fuss about? After careful analysis and scientific analysis at the University of California, Davis it was determined that a new era of Old Testament biblical manuscripts had arrived. We were witnessing what appeared to be the discovery of an entire library of Old Testament and ancient Jewish writings.How old were these books? Remember our oldest complete Old Testament had been 900AD. An entire scroll of Isaiah was found and dated to around 200BC! Can you believe that, in one discovery 1100 years of biblical hand-written copies were spanned.

Magnitude of the Discovery

Archaeologists were able to track down the origin of the first scrolls and together with the Bedouins ended up finding a total of 972 manuscripts from 11 different caves. All 11 caves are in the southeastern Dead Sea area of Israel. The area receives almost no rainfall making it a perfect climate for ancient manuscripts to last thousands of years without decomposing.

The scrolls contain verses from every Old Testament book except for one. Only about 1/3rd of the scrolls are biblical writings. 2/3rds of the manuscripts are not biblical but pertain to Jewish life at the time. Think of it as stumbling across the 1,000 volume library of a Christian with many books of the Bible but then all sorts of books about 21st century Christian life and thought. This is the equivalent of the Dead Sea Scroll discovery. Many of the non-biblical books discovered were not known to even exist!

The scrolls, for some insane reason, were put up for sale in the Wall Street Journal on June 1, 1954. They were purchased for $250,000 and brought to Jerusalem where they eventually became housed in a museum called the Shrine of the Book where they reside today when not circulating in museums around the world. The scrolls today are considered priceless. Just to purchase a replica facsimile copy of 3 of the scrolls currently will run you $60,000 (a donation of replica scrolls to Parchment & Pen will not be turned down).

Significance of the Discovery

The scrolls are still, after decades, a discovery still being digested. The 972 manuscripts have shed great light on the accuracy and complexity of the Old Testament. The Isaiah Scroll, in comparison to Codex Aleppo and other manuscripts, show that the message of the Old Testament has not been changed over millennia. More articles and books have been written about the Dead Sea Scrolls than any other archaeological discovery with biblical significance. The scrolls are shedding a great deal of light on the Jewish religious world of roughly 200BC-90AD. The scrolls are generally showing the modern-day Old Testament to be an extremely accurate representation of the original writers.

Work in Progress

Google has announced a new deal with the Israeli Antiquities Authority to photograph all of the scrolls in order to make high-resolution photos available to anyone online for free. The scrolls continue to amaze and delight us; where we once had only a couple fragments of the ancient Old Testament we now enjoy an abundant library.

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The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:

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After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Kath: You are an atheist?

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Francis Schaeffer THE AGE of FRAGMENTATION

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