Monday, June 29, 2009

Tribe of Judah

Map of the twelve tribes of IsraelThe Tribe of Judah (hebrew: יְהוּדָה, "praise" n. Judea; Judah, Yehuda (name), Jude; nm. Judaization) is one of the Hebrew tribes of Israel, founded by Judah, son of Jacob.

Together with the Tribe of Benjamin, descendants of Judah eventually formed the southern kingdom of Judah in the ancient land of Israel, when the kingdom of Israel was divided. These two tribes were thus not carried into captivity with the ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel when it fell. This started the tradition (some say myth) of the ten lost tribes of Israel.

As the Tribe of Benjamin was always very much the minor partner, in time the tribe of Judah became identified with the entire Israelite nation, and even the entire Hebrew nation, and gave their name to the Jews.

Judah and his three surviving sons went down with Jacob into Ancient Egypt (Gen. 46:12; Ex. 1:2). At the time of the Exodus, when we meet with the family of Judah again, they have increased to the number of 74,600 males (Num. 1:26-27).


Saturday, June 27, 2009


Pablo Picasso. The Lovers. 1923.Reductionism in philosophy describes a number of related, contentious theories that hold, very roughly, that the nature of complex things can always be reduced to (explained by) simpler or more fundamental things. This is said of objects, phenomena, explanations, theories, and meanings.

Roughly, this means that chemistry is based on physics, biology is based on chemistry, psychology and sociology are based on biology. The first two of these reductions are commonly accepted but the last step is controversial and therefore the frontier of reductionism: evolutionary psychology and sociobiology versus those who claim that such special sciences are inherently irreducible. Reductionists believe that the behavioral sciences should become a "genuine" scientific discipline by being based exclusively on genetic biology.

In the painting (right) by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), titled "The Lovers," painted in 1923, we see that the two figures are rendered realistically and that they have the appearance of being a loving couple. But the hands and the faces have been innately simplified and are presented as simple lines rather than circumspectly imitated models.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Original sin

Ceiling fresco of Creation in the Sistine Chapel, Main scene: original sin and expulsion from Paradise. Michelangelo BuonarrotiAccording to Christian tradition, Original sin is the general and non-personal condition of sinfulness (lack of holiness) into which human beings are born. It is also called hereditary sin or birth sin. Used with the definite article ("the original sin"), it refers to the first sin committed by humans, seen as the seed of future evil effects for the whole human race. Christians usually refer to this first sin as "the Fall".

By analogy the term is used in fields other than religion to indicate a pervading inherent flaw.

Adam and Eve's sin, as recounted in the Book of Genesis is sometimes called in Hebrew החטא הקדמון (the original sin), on the basis of the traditional Christian term. But the term used in classical Jewish literature is חטא אדם הראשׁון, (the first sin of man, or of Adam).


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mount of Olives

Christ on the Mount of Olives, Caravaggio, c. 1605The Mount of Olives (also Mount Olivet, Hebrew: Har HaZeitim הר הזיתים, sometimes Jebel et-Tur, "Mount of the Summit," or Jebel ez-Zeitun, "Mount of Olives") is a mountain ridge to the east of Jerusalem. It is named from the olive trees with which its sides are clothed. Jesus entered Jerusalem, gave his final teaching, and ascended to heaven from the Mount. It is the site of many important Biblical events.

In the Book of Zechariah the Mount of Olives is identified as the place from which God will begin to redeem the dead at the end of days.

For this reason, Jews have always sought to be buried on the mountain, and from Biblical times to the present day the mountain has been used as a cemetery for the Jews of Jerusalem.

Major damage was suffered when the Mount was occupied by Jordan during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, with Jordanians using the gravestones from the cemetery for construction of roads and toilets, including gravestones from millennia-old graves.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Didache

Didache “The Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles by the Twelve Apostles” (Διδαχὴ κυρίου διὰ τῶν δώδεκα ἀποστόλων τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, Didachē kyriou dia tōn dōdeka apostolōn tois ethnesin)The Didache (Διδαχὴ, Koine Greek for "Teaching") is the common name of a brief early Christian treatise (c. 70–160 CE), containing instructions for Christian communities. The text is possibly the first written catechism, with three main sections dealing with Christian lessons, rituals such as baptism and eucharist, and Church organization. It was considered by some of the Church Fathers as part of the New Testament but rejected as spurious (not from the claimed source) by others, eventually not accepted into the New Testament canon with the exception of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church "broader canon". The Roman Catholic Church has accepted it as part of the collection of Apostolic Fathers. It is the only rediscovered Christian text during the last 150 years of discoveries in libraries or in papyri to receive wide acceptance by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Considered lost, the Didache was rediscovered in 1883 by Philotheos Bryennios, a Greek Orthodox metropolitan bishop of Nicomedia, in the Greek Codex Hierosolymitanus written in 1053, from which he had already published the full text of the Epistles of Clement in 1875.

Shortly after Bryennios' initial publication, the scholar Otto von Gebhardt identified a Latin manuscript in the Abbey of Melk in Austria as containing a translation of the first part of the Didache.; later scholars now believe that to be an independent witness to the tradition of the Two Ways section.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gospel of Luke

St Luke the Evangelist. Artist: Domenico Ghirlandaio. Date: 1486-90The Gospel of Luke is a synoptic Gospel, and the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament, which purport to tell the story of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. The author was also the author of Acts of the Apostles. Like all gospels, the gospel originally circulated anonymously. Since at least the 2nd century, authorship has been ascribed to Luke, named in Colossians 4:14, a doctor and follower of Paul.

The introductory dedication to Theophilus, 1:1-4 states that since many others have compiled an "orderly narrative of the events" from the original eyewitnesses, that the author has decided to do likewise, after thorough research of everything from the beginning, so that Theophilus may realize the reliability of the teachings in which he has been instructed. The main characteristic of this Gospel, as Farrar (Cambridge Bible, Luke, Introduction) remarks, is expressed in the motto, "Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil" (Acts 10:38; cf. with Luke 4:18). Luke wrote for the "Hellenistic world".


Monday, June 22, 2009


Saul and David (Rembrandt, approx. 1630)King Saul (Hebrew: שאול המלך) ("King Saul" or Sha'ul) (שָׁאוּל "Borrowed") was the first king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel [] described in the Hebrew Bible. His story is found in the first of the Books of Samuel.

Saul was the son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin.

According to the Book of Samuel, Saul was sent with a servant to look for his father's she-asses, who had strayed. Leaving his home at Gibeah, Saul and his servant wandered eventually to the district of Zuph, near Samuel's home at Ramah (1 Samuel 9:4-6). At this point, Saul proposed to them to return from the three days' fruitless search, but his servant suggested that they should first consult the "seer." The two met with Samuel, who secretly anointed Saul as king over Israel.

After Saul returned home, Samuel summoned the people to an assembly at Mizpah.


Sunday, June 21, 2009


Ezra in Prayer’, by Gustave Doré.The historical Ezra (Hebrew עזרא `Ezra', "help") was a priestly sofer (scribe) who is thought to have led about 5,000 Israelite exiles living in Babylon to their home city of Jerusalem [virtual map of Jerusalem] in 459 BCE. Many scholars credit him as the author of the Book of Ezra and the Book of 1 Chronicles in the Bible. Ezra is also believe to have led the reforms of the returned exiles in Jerusalem, and was a co-worker with Nehemiah.

Unless otherwise specified, all historical information about Ezra in this article is derived from the last four chapters of the Book of Ezra, and Chapter 8 of the Book of Nehemiah. More general historical information about the people and places Ezra would have interacted with is available at Israelites.

Ezra was either the son or grandson of the Biblical character Seraiah (2 Kings 25:18-21), and a lineal descendant of Phinehas, the son of Aaron (Ezra 7:1-5). In the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see also Darius I of Persia), Ezra obtained leave to go to Jerusalem and to take with him a company of Israelites (Ezra 8). Artaxerxes showed great interest in Ezra's undertaking, granting him "all his requests," and giving him gifts for the house of God. Ezra assembled a band of approximately 5,000 exiles to go to Jerusalem. They rested on the banks of the Ahava for three days and organized their four-month march across the desert.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Second Temple

A Greek language inscription from Herod's Temple, late 1st century BCE. It warns gentiles to refrain from entering the Temple enclosure, on pain of death.The Second Temple was the reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem which stood between 515 BCE and 70 CE. During this time, it was the center of Jewish worship, which focused on the sacrifices known as the korbanot (see korban). Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was destroyed in 586 BCE when the Jews were exiled into the Babylonian Captivity. The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and its Second Temple circa 70 CE, ending the Great Jewish Revolt that began in 66 CE.

After the return from captivity, under Zerubbabel and the high priest Jeshua, arrangements were almost immediately made to reorganize the desolated Kingdom of Judah after its demise seventy years earlier.

The body of pilgrims, forming a band of 42,360 including children, having completed the long and dreary journey of some four months, from the banks of the Euphrates to Jerusalem, were animated in all their proceedings by a strong religious impulse, and therefore one of their first concerns was to restore their ancient house of worship by rebuilding their destroyed temple and reinstituting the sacrificial rituals known as the korbanot ("sacrifices" in Hebrew).


Friday, June 19, 2009


Shechem Baal Berith temple ©, Sichem, or Shkhem (Hebrew: שְׁכֶם‎ /שְׁכָם n. "Shoulder", v. to get up early, be awakened) was an Israelite city in the tribe of Ephraim, situated at Tell Balatah 32°12′11″N, 35°18′40″E, 2 km east of present-day Nablus) was the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel [].

Archaeological evidence (see biblical archaeology) indicates that the city was razed and reconstructed up to 22 times before its final demise in 200 CE.

Within the remains of the city can still be found a number of walls and gates built for defense, a government house, a residential quarter and the ruins of a temple raised to Zeus by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the latter dating to the second century CE.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Josephus on Jesus

A woodcut of Flavius Josephus by John C. Winston.In 93, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus published his work Antiquities of the Jews. The extant copies of this work, which all derive from Christian sources, even the recently recovered Arabic version, contain two passages about Jesus. The one directly concerning Jesus has come to be known as the Testimonium Flavianum, and its authenticity has been disputed since the 17th century. The other passage concerns James the brother of Jesus.

The passage appears in Antiquities of the Jews xviii 3.3, which, in the translation of William Whiston, reads:
3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him.

And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love of Christ.Agapē (Αγάπη - affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love) is one of several Greek words translated into English as "love." The word has been used in different ways by a variety of contemporary and ancient sources, including Biblical authors such as Matthew, John and Paul. Many have thought that this word represents divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love. Greek philosophers at the time of Plato and other ancient authors have used forms of the word to denote love of a spouse or family, or affection for a particular activity, in contrast to philia-an affection that could denote either brotherhood or generally non-sexual affection, and eros, an affection of a sexual nature. The term 'agape' is rarely used in ancient manuscripts, but was used by the early Christians to refer to the self-sacrificing love of God for humanity (cf. John 3:16), which they were committed to reciprocating and practicing towards God and among one another.

Strong's Lexicon, G25 defines agapaō as such:
  1. of persons
    • to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
  2. of things
    • to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

Monday, June 15, 2009


The “ Hospitality of Abraham ” by Andrei Rublev: The three angels represent the three persons of GodChristianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus, the Christ, as recounted in the New Testament.

With an estimated 2.1 billion adherents, Christianity is the world's largest religion. Its origins are intertwined with Judaism, with which it shares much sacred text and early history; specifically, it shares the Hebrew Bible, known in the Christian context as the Old Testament. Christianity is considered an Abrahamic religion, along with Judaism.

In the Christian scriptures, the name "Christian" (thus "Christianity") is first attested in Acts 11:25-27:
"25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians."


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Seven Churches of Asia

The Seven Churchs of AsiaThe seven churches of Asia (properly Asia Minor) are seven major churches of the early Christianity, as mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation. All sites are in modern-day Turkey. In Revelation, Jesus Christ instructs John the Apostle to:
"Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
(Revelation 1:11)

19"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

20The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. (Revelation 1:19-20)
It should be understood that "churches," in this context, refers to the community of Christians living in each city, and not merely to the building or buildings in which they gathered for worship. This letter should also apply to the community of Christians today (the Christian Church, the Body of Christ).


Friday, June 12, 2009


Michelangelo‘s depiction of God in the painting Creation of the Sun and Moon in the Sistine Chapel.The name Hayah (Hebrew: היה) denotes God's potency in the immediate future, to be, exist, be present; happen, occur, take place: become, turn into, and is part of YHVH. The phrase "Hayah-'aher-Hayah" (Hebrew: אהיה אשר אהיה) comes from the word Hayah and is used a total of 43 places in the Old Testament, where it is usually translated as "I will be" -- as is the case for its first occurrence, in Exodus 3:12 -- or "I shall be," as is the case for its final occurrence in Zechariah 8:8. It stems from the Hebrew conception of monotheism—that God exists within each and everyone and by himself, the uncreated Creator who does not depend on anything or anyone; therefore "I am who I am." Some scholars state the Tetragrammaton itself derives from the same verbal root, but others counter that it may simply sound similar as intended by God, such as Proverbs 8:34 and the Hebrew words "shaqad" (Hebrew: שקד, watching) and "shaqed" (Hebrew שקד, almond branch) found in Jeremiah 1:11-12.

I am that I am1 (Hebrew: אהיה אשר אהיה, pronounced ''Hayah 'aher Hayah') is the sole response used in (Exodus 3:14) when Moses asked for God's name. It is one of the most famous verses in the Hebrew Bible. Hayah means "existed" or "was" in Hebrew; Hayah is the first-person singular imperfect form. Hayah 'aher Hayah is generally interpreted to mean "I will be what I will be", I shall be what I shall be or I am that I am (King James Bible and others).


Thursday, June 11, 2009


Rebecca at the Well. Artist: Nicola Grassi. c. 1720.Rebekah (also Rebecca, also Ribqah Hebrew: רבקה or רִבְקָה, Modern Rivqa Tiberian Riḇqāh, "to tie; to bind; captivating") was the wife of Isaac and the second matriarch of the four matriarchs of the Jewish people. She was the mother of Jacob and Esau. Rebekah and Isaac were one of the three "pairs" buried in the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron [virtual map of Hebron], together with Abraham and Sarah and Jacob and Leah.

According to the account in the Book of Genesis, Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel and the granddaughter of Nahor, Abraham's brother. She was the sister of Laban, who would later become the father of Rachel and Leah, two of the wives of Rebekah's son Jacob.

The news of her birth was told to her great-uncle Abraham after the latter returned from Akeidat Yitzchak (the Binding of Isaac), the episode in which Abraham was told by God to bring Isaac as a sacrifice on a mountain.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The first gassings of prisoners occur in Auschwitz I. The SS tests Zyklon B gas by killing 600 Soviet prisoners of war and 250 other ill or weak prisoners.Auschwitz (Konzentrationslager Auschwitz) was the largest of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camps. Located in southern Poland, it took its name from the nearby town of Oświęcim (Auschwitz in German), situated about 50 kilometers west of Kraków and 286 kilometers from Warsaw. Following the German occupation of Poland in September 1939, Oświęcim was incorporated into Germany and renamed Auschwitz.

The complex consisted of three main camps:

1. Auschwitz I, the administrative center;
2. Auschwitz II (Birkenau), an extermination camp or Vernichtungslager; and
3. Auschwitz III (Monowitz), a work camp.
The first two of them have been on the World Heritage List since 1979. There were also around 40 satellite camps, some of them tens of kilometers from the main camps, with prisoner populations ranging from several dozen to several thousand.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Theism is the belief in one or more deities. More specifically it may also mean the belief that God/god(s) is immanent in the world, yet transcends it.

Theism comes from the Greek word (theos, θεός) meaning God, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity, the Godhead, the trinity.

Scientific evidence in support of Theism (full article)

The term is attested in English from 1678, and was probably coined to contrast with atheism, a term that is attested from ca. 1587.

Views about the existence of deities are commonly divided into these categories


Monday, June 08, 2009


Rembrandt's depiction of the biblical account of Belshazzar seeing 'the writing on the wall'Belshazzar (or Baltasar; Akkadian Bel-sarra-usur) was a prince of Babylon, the son of Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, not to be confused with Daniel's Babylonian name "Belteshazzar." In the Book of Daniel (chapters 5 and 8) of the Jewish Tanakh or Christian Old Testament, Belshazzar is the King of Babylon before the advent of the Medes and Persians.

Babylonian sources
Belshazzar was the son of Nabonidus, who after ruling only three years, went to the oasis of Tayma and devoted himself to the worship of the moon god, Sin. He made Belshazzar co-regent in 553 B.C, leaving him in charge of Babylon's defense.

In the year 540 B.C. Nabonidus returned from Tayma, hoping to defend his kingdom from the Persians who were planning to advance on Babylon. In 539 B.C. Belshazzar was positioned in the city of Babylon to hold the capital, while Nabonidus, marched his troops north to meet Cyrus. On October 10, 539 B.C. Nabonidus surrendered and fled from Cyrus. Two days later, October 12, 539 B.C., the Persian armies overthrew the city of Babylon.


Sunday, June 07, 2009


Thesaloniki. Panorama of the seashore viewed from the old town walls. Author: Daniel TellmanThessalonica or Thessaloniki [virtual map of Thessalonia] (Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη), is Greece's second-largest city and the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia.

Thessalonica had a Jewish colony, established during the first century, and was an early centre of Christianity. On his second missionary journey, Paul of Tarsus preached in the city's synagogue, the chief synagogue of the Jews in that part of Thessaloniki, and laid the foundations of a church. Opposition against him from the Jews drove him from the city, and he fled to Veroia. Paul wrote two of his epistles to the Christian community at Thessalonica, the First Epistle to the Thessalonians and the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians.

Paul's teaching about the end of the world is expressed most clearly in his letters to the Christians at Thessalonica. Heavily persecuted, it appears that they had written asking him first about those who had died already, and, secondly, when they should expect the end. Paul regarded the age as passing and, in such difficult times, he therefore encouraged marriage as a means of happiness. He assures them that the dead will rise first and be followed by those left alive (1 Thessalonians 4:16). This suggests an imminence of the end but he is unspecific about times and seasons, and encourages his hearers to expect a delay. The form of the end will be a battle between Jesus and the Man of Lawlessness (3ff) whose conclusion is the triumph of Christ.


Saturday, June 06, 2009


Christ Before Caiaphas: The Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus is an event reported by all four Gospels, in Mark 14:53-65, Matthew 26:57-68, Luke 22:63-71 and John 18:12-24.A Sanhedrin (Hebrew: סנהדרין Greek: συνέδριον synedrion, "sitting together," hence "assembly" or "council" from a presumed derivative of a compound of "syn" Union and "hedraios" from a derivative of hezomai "to sit"). It is an assembly of 23 judges biblically required in every city. The Great Sanhedrin is an assembly of 71 of the greatest Jewish judges who constituted the supreme court and legislative body of ancient Israel. The make-up of the Great Sanhedrin included a chief justice (Nasi), a vice chief justice (Av Beit Din), and sixty-nine general members who all sat in the form of a semi-circle when in session. "The Sanhedrin" without qualifer normally refers to the Great Sanhedrin. When the Temple in Jerusalem was standing, (prior to its destruction in 70 CE), the Great Sanhedrin would meet in the Hall of Hewn Stones in the Temple during the day, except before festivals and Shabbat (Hebrew for the Sabbath).


Friday, June 05, 2009


The Power and Majesty of Elohim as seen in nature.Elohim (אלהים) is a Hebrew word which expresses concepts of divinity. It consists of the Hebrew word Eloah (אלוה) with a plural suffix. Elohim is the third word in the Hebrew text of Genesis and occurs frequently throughout the Hebrew Bible. The most commonly accepted root of this source among Jewish scholars is that the word literally translates to "powers" meaning God is the One in control of these powers.
Bereshit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'arets
(Genesis 1:1, Jewish Transliterated text)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
(Genesis 1:1, English Text)
This word choice may be contrasted with the Tetragrammaton, which appears throughout the second telling of creation, in Genesis 2. The documentary hypothesis usually attributes Genesis 1:1 to the priestly source.
Tetragrammaton (from the Greek τετραγράμματον, meaning 'four-letter [word]'), and are usually transliterated JHWH in German, and YHWH or YHVH or JHWH or JHVH in English.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Wernher von Braun

Wernher von Braun, with the F-1 engines of the Saturn V first stage at the US Space and Rocket Center.Dr. Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Germany and the United States. The German scientist, who led Germany's rocket development program (V-2) before and during World War II, entered the United States at the end of the war through the then-secret Operation Paperclip. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen and worked on the American ICBM program before joining NASA, where he served as director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the superbooster that propelled the United States to the Moon. He is generally regarded as the father of the United States space program. Wernher von Braun received the National Medal of Science in 1975. He was tall, articulate and spoke English with a distinctive German accent.

After von Braun's death, Major General John Medaris commented,

"His imagination strolled easily among the stars, yet the farther out into the unknown and unknowable vastness of Creation his thoughts went, the more he was certain that the universe, and this small garden spot within it, came from no cosmic accident, but from the thought and purpose of an all-knowing God."

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

West Bank

Local Government in the West Bank The West Bank (Hebrew: הגדה המערבית‎, Hagadah
Hamaaravit, Arabic: الضفة الغربية‎, aḍ-Ḍiffä l-Ġarbīyä), also referred to in Israel and by Jews as "Judea and Samaria", is a landlocked territory on the west bank of the Jordan River in the Middle East. To the west, north, and south the West Bank shares borders with the mainland Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the country of Jordan. The West Bank also contains a significant coast line along the western bank of the Dead Sea. Since 1967 most of the West Bank has been under Israeli military occupation.

Prior to the First World War, the area now known as the West Bank was under Ottoman rule as part of the province of Syria. In the 1920 San Remo conference, the victorious Allied powers allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War saw the establishment of Israel in parts of the former Mandate, while the West Bank was captured and annexed by Jordan, who destroyed any existing Jewish villages. The 1949 Armistice Agreements defined its interim boundary. From 1948 until 1967, the area was under Jordanian rule, and Jordan did not officially relinquish its claim to the area until 1988. Jordan's claim was never recognized by the international community.

The West Bank was captured by Israel during the Six-Day War. With the exception of East Jerusalem, the West Bank was not annexed by Israel. Most of the residents are Arabs, although a large number of Israeli settlements have been built in the region since 1967.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Masoretic Text

Nash Papyrus (2nd century BCE) contains a portion of the pre-Masoretic Text, specifically the Ten Commandments and the Shema Yisrael prayerThe Masoretic Text (MT) is the Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible (Tanakh). It defines not just the books of the Jewish canon, but also the precise letter-text of the biblical books in Judaism, as well as their vocalization and accentuation for both public reading and private study. The MT is also widely used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles, and in recent decades also for Catholic Bibles.

The MT was primarily copied, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the seventh and tenth centuries CE. Though the consonants differ little from the text generally accepted in the early second century, it has numerous differences of both little and great significance when compared to (extant 4th century) versions of the Septuagint, originally a Greek translation (around 300 BCE) of the Hebrew Scriptures in popular use in Palestine during the common era and often quoted in the second part of the Christian Bible (known as the New Testament).




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