Saturday, October 31, 2009

Akkadian Empire

The Akkadian Empire. Taken from Garelli, Paul: ”Akkad,“ en El Próximo Oriente asiático. Barcelona: Labor 1974. ISBN 84-335-9310-2The Akkadian Empire was an empire centered in the city of Akkad (Sumerian: Agade Hittite KUR A.GA.DÈKI "land of Akkad". ; Biblical Accad) and its surrounding region Akkadian URU Akkad KI in central Mesopotamia [].

The city of Akkad was situated on the west bank of the Euphrates, between Sippar and Kish (in Iraq, about 50 km (31 mi) southwest of the center of Baghdad). Despite an extensive search, the precise site has never been found. It reached the height of its power between the 24th and 22nd centuries BC, following the conquests of king Sargon of Akkad.

Because of the policies of the Akkadian Empire toward linguistic assimilation, Akkad also gave its name to the predominant Semitic dialect: the Akkadian language, reflecting use of akkadû ("in the language of Akkad") in the Old Babylonian period to denote the Semitic version of a Sumerian text.


Friday, October 30, 2009


Christ before Caiaphus. Oil on canvas, early 1630s. Artist: Matthias StomYehosef Bar Qayyafa (Hebrew יְהוֹסֵף בַּר קַיָּפָא, "Joseph, son of Caiaphas"), also known as Caiaphas (Greek: καϊάφας) in the New Testament, was the Jewish high priest to whom Jesus was taken after his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, and who played a part in Jesus' trial before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. Although Caiaphas acted individually, passages involving Caiaphas are among those cited over the years by those claiming a Biblical justification for anti-Semitism. He married the daughter of Annas.
12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. (John 18:10-13
In the Mishnah, Parah 3:5 refers to him as Ha-Koph (the monkey), a play on his name for opposing Mishnat Ha-Hasidim.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

seven churches of Asia

Location of the seven churches 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).


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

chronology of Jesus

Adoration of the Shepherds, Artist: Carvaggio c.1609, Oil on canvas, 314 x 211 cm. Location: Museo Nazionale, MessinaThe chronology of Jesus depicts the traditional chronology established for the events of the life of Jesus by the four canonical gospels (which allude to various dates for several events). Among historians who are Christian Biblical scholars, the literature suggests the following detailed timeline for Jesus. The timeline records Jesus as Christ and Messiah from biblical and historical accounts of his life.

According to common interpretations of the four canonical gospels, Jesus was born between 8 BC and AD 6 and was baptised by John the Baptist at the start of His ministry, about 30 years later. His ministry lasted one year (synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke) or three years (Gospel of John), and he was executed under Pontius Pilate between AD 26 and 37. He rose from the dead three days later, appeared to the disciples and others, and then ascended to heaven.

The chronology of Jesus is uncertain, disputed, and perhaps impossible to ascertain definitively based on available evidence. The texts used in chronological reconstruction, the four canonical gospels, provide few clear dates — including the year of Jesus's birth, death, and age at death. (Dates for rulers and high priests are known from other sources). Moreover, the material unique to each gospel further complicates the discernment of one, harmonized chronology. Lastly, some commentators have questioned their historicity.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Bust of Voltaire by HoudonFrançois-Marie Arouet (November 21, 1694 – May 30, 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, and philosopher known for his wit and his defense of civil liberties, including both freedom of religion and free trade.

Voltaire was a prolific writer and produced works in almost every literary form including plays, poetry, novels, essays, historical and scientific works, more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets.

He was an outspoken supporter of social reform, despite strict censorship laws and harsh penalties for those who broke them. A satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize Catholic Church dogma and the French institutions of his day.

Voltaire was one of several Enlightenment figures (along with Montesquieu, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau) whose works and ideas influenced important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions.


Monday, October 26, 2009

The Communist Manifesto


Not intended for young children]
Manifesto of the Communist Party (German: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), often referred to as The Communist Manifesto, was first published on February 21, 1848, and is one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the Communist League and written by communist theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, it laid out the League's purposes and program. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism, rather than a prediction of communism's potential future forms.

Although the names of both Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx appear on the title page alongside the "persistent assumption of joint-authorship", Engels, in the preface introduction to the 1883 German edition of the Manifesto, said that the Manifesto was "essentially Marx's work" and that "the basic thought... belongs solely and exclusively to Marx."

There is evidence to suggest that Engels composed an earlier draft statement for a manifesto, which was then used as the basis for this later published document, the direct authorship of which can be attributed primarily to Marx. It is claimed in the text itself to have been sketched by a group of Communists from various countries that gathered together in London.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Right Hegelians

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich HegelThe Right Hegelians, Old Hegelians, or the Hegelian Right, were the followers of German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel who took his philosophy in a politically and religiously conservative direction. They are typically contrasted with the Young Hegelians, who interpreted Hegel's political philosophy to support innovations in politics or religion.Hegel's political philosophy could be read in liberal or conservative directions.

Hegel's historicism held that both ideas and nations could only be understood by understanding their history. Throughout his life, Hegel was an orthodox member of Prussia's Lutheran Church. He devoted considerable attention to the Absolute, his term for the totality of reality that was used in his philosophy to justify belief in God. In his Philosophy of Right, Hegel wrote that:

The State is absolutely rational inasmuch as it is the actuality of the substantial will which it possesses in the particular self-consciousness once that consciousness has been raised to consciousness of its universality. This substantial unity is an absolute unmoved end in itself, in which freedom comes into its supreme right. On the other hand this final end has supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the State.

— Philosophy of Right, "The State", s. 258


Saturday, October 24, 2009


virtuesVirtue (Latin virtus; Greek ἀρετή) is moral excellence. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual and collective well-being, and thus good by definition. The opposite of virtue is vice.

Etymologically the word virtue (Latin virtus) first signified manliness or courage. In its widest sense, virtue refers to excellence, just as vice, its contrary, denotes its absence. The term as used by moral philosophers and theologians signifies an operative habit essentially good, in contrast to an operative habit essentially evil. What are traditionally known as the four cardinal virtues, enumerated by the classical Greek philosophers have been translated into English as Justice, Courage, Wisdom, and Moderation. The three virtues of faith, hope and love (or charity) are central aspects of the of the Judaic, Christian and Muslim traditions (see also Abrahamic religions).

Virtue may also be identified from another perspective: it can have either normative or moral value; i.e. the virtue of a judge is to justly convict criminals; the virtue of an excellent judge is to specialise in justly convicting criminals, this being its normative value, whereas the virtues of reason, prudence, chastity, etc. have moral value.

In classical Greek, virtue is more properly called ἠθικὴ ἀρετή (ēthikē aretē), or "habitual excellence", something practiced at all times. The virtue of perseverance is itself a necessary adjunct to each and every individual virtue, since, overall, virtue is a species of habit which, in order to maintain oneself in virtue, needs to be continuously sustained. Self-proclaimed immoralist Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, however, expressed the view that "when virtue has slept, it will arise all the more vigorous."

Virtues can be placed into a broader context of values. Each individual has a core of underlying values that contribute to our system of beliefs, ideas and/or opinions. Integrity in the application of a value ensures its continuity and this continuity separates a value from beliefs, opinion and ideas. In this context a value (e.g., Truth or Equality or Greed) is the core from which we operate or react. Societies have values that are shared among many of the participants in that culture. An individual's values typically are largely, but not entirely, in agreement with their culture's values.

Individual virtues can be grouped into one of four categories of values:

  • Ethics (virtue - vice, good - bad, moral - immoral - amoral, right - wrong, permissible - impermissible)
  • Aesthetics (beautiful, ugly, unbalanced, pleasing)
  • Doctrinal (political, ideological, religious or social beliefs and values)
  • Innate/Inborn (inborn values such as reproduction and survival, a controversial category)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ode to Joy

Deutsch: Porträt von Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805), Ölgemälde von Ludovike Simanowiz 1793/94 English: Portrait of Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, German poet, philosopher, historian, and dramatist"To Joy" (German: An die Freude, first line: "Freude, schöner Götterfunken", in English often called Ode to Joy) is an ode written in 1785 by the German poet, playwright and historian Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller. The poem celebrates the ideal of unity and brotherhood of all mankind.

It is best known for its musical setting by Ludwig van Beethoven in the final movement of his Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" (completed in 1824), for four solo voices, and choir.
One day he burst into the room and shouted at me: 'I got it! I have it!' He held his sketchbook out to me so that I could read: 'Lassst uns das Lied des unsterblichen Schiller singen' —Let us sing the song of the immortal Schiller; then a solo voice began the hymn of joy.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

The names of God

God creates Adam; Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo Buonarroti.God is the term for the Supreme Being believed by the majority to be the creator, ruler and/or the sum total of, existence. Conceptions of God can vary widely, despite the common use of the same term for them all.

The God of monotheism, or the supreme deity in the pantheist, panentheist and henotheistic religions, is not always thought of by believers in the same terms as are deities in many other religions -- as a powerful, human-like, supernatural being -- but rather, becomes esoteric, the deification of a philosophical category -- the Ultimate, the Absolute Infinite, the Transcendent, the One, the All, Existence or Being itself, the ground of being, the monistic substrate, etc.

Theologians and philosophers have studied countless conceptions of God since the dawn of civilization. The question of the existence of God classically falls under the branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, but is also one of the key discussions taking place within the field of the philosophy of religion.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba kneeling before King SolomonThe Queen of Sheba (Hebrew שבא Shĕba', nm. visitor, guest), referred to in the Bible books of 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, the New Testament, the Qur'an, and Ethiopian history, was the ruler of Sheba, an ancient kingdom which modern archaeology speculates was located in present-day Ethiopia or Yemen.

1 When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame, she came to Jerusalem [Map of Jerusalem] to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind. 2 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. 3 When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built.. -2 Chronicles 9:1-3
Unnamed in the biblical text, she is called Makeda (possibly meaning "not this way/not thus") in the Ethiopian tradition, and in Islamic tradition her name is Bilqis. Alternative names given for her have been Nikaule or Nicaula.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Word

Christ with the crown of thorns, 1623, Oil on canvas, 106 cm x 136 cm, Catharijneconvent, Utrecht1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3 ESV)

Textus Receptus
1:1 Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. 1:2 οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. 1:3 πάντα δι᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν ὃ γέγονεν.
Jesus1 (8–2 BC/BCE to 29–36 AD/CE) is the central figure of Christianity. He is also called Jesus Christ, where "Jesus" is an Anglicization of the Greek: Ίησους (Iēsous), itself a Hellenization of the Hebrewיהושע (Yehoshua) or Aramaic ישוע (Yeshua), meaning "YHVH is salvation"; and where "Christ" is a title derived from the Greek christós, meaning the "Anointed One," which corresponds to the Hebrew-derived "Messiah." Jesus is the incarnate Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, and the prophesied Hebrew Messiah (Anointed One, deliverer of Israel). Jesus is also known as "Jesus Christ", "Jesus of Nazareth", and "Jesus the Nazarene."

Christian views of Jesus (known as Christology) are both diverse and complex. Most Christians are Trinitarian and affirm the Nicene Creed, believing that Jesus is both the Son of God and God made incarnate1, sent to provide salvation and reconciliation with God by atoning for the sins of humanity (see also Christian worldview).


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Genealogy of Jesus

The infant Jesus in Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerard van HonthorstThe Genealogy of Jesus is recorded in two places in the bible:

1) Matthew 1:1-17, and

2) Luke 3:23-38 (in addition to several other new testament references: Mark 10:47, luke 1:32, Acts 2:29-30, Rev. 5:5, 22:16).

The Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38 accounts differ because, Luke follows Mary's lineage (Jesus' blood mother), through David's son Nathan (Luke's genealogy focused on Jesus' descent from God through the virgin birth. It placed no emphasis on Jesus being the descendant of king David) and the Matthew genealogy follows Joseph's line (Joseph being the legal father of Jesus, see below) through David's son Solomon.

God's promise to David was fulfilled because mary was the biological parent of Jesus.

The virgin birth also addressed the curse God had pronounced upon Jehoiakim. Kingship was an inherited right. By Joseph, Jesus inherited a legal claim to the throne of David. However, he was exempt from the curse of Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 36:1-32, i.e. Joseph's offspring could not claim David's throne because of the curse) because Joseph was not the genetic father of Jesus.

The Spiritual significance of the comment in Luke 3:23 "as was supposed" (in some translations "so it was thought") (of Joseph's fatherhood) is in the fact that God is letting us know that Jewish society did NOT understand the real paternity of Jesus.. that of the Holy Spirit.. thus was incapable of understanding His ministry.. as was certainly exhibited by the actions and attitudes of the scribes, Pharisees, lawyers, etc. to whom parentage and ancestry had become a cumbersome and burdensome legalism that blighted New Testament Judaism.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mount Sinai

View from Mount Sinai, Egypt. Photograph by Mark A. Wilson (Department of Geology, The College of Wooster).Mount Sinai (Hebrew: סיני Ciynay, "thorny") has an Etymology of uncertain derivation [map of the Mount Sinai area], also known as "Gebel Musa" or "Jabal Musa" by the Bedouins, is the name of a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula. It is 2,629 m metres high and is located in a mountain range in the southern part of the peninsula. It is near a protruding lower bluff known as the Ras Sasafeh (Sufsafeh), and rises almost perpendicularly from the plain, the tallest peak on the Sinai peninsula.

The Biblical Mount Sinai is an ambiguously located mountain at which the Hebrew Bible states that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God. In certain biblical passages these events are described as having transpired at Horeb, but though there is a small body of opinion that Sinai and Horeb were different locations, they are generally considered to have been different names for the same place.

Judaism teaches that as soon as the Jewish people received the Bible at Mt. Sinai, they would be hated by the rest of the world for having been the ones to receive divine word (a state of affairs presented as a pun: Sinai as Seen-ah, which means hatred). The area was reached by the Hebrews in the third month after the Exodus. Here they remained encamped for about a year. The last twenty-two chapters of Exodus, together with the whole of Leviticus and Numbers ch. 1-11, contain a record of all the transactions which occurred while they were at Mount Sinai.

From Rephidim (Hebrew רפידים Rĕphiydiym), "rests" or "stays" or "resting places", a station of Israel in the wilderness between Egypt and Sinai (Ex. 17:8-13) the Israelites journeyed to "the desert of Sinai," and encamped there "before the mountain."In the Bible, Mt. Sinai is also called Mt. Horeb and the "Mount of God".


Saturday, October 17, 2009


Cave of the PatriarchsHebron (Al-Khalil) (Arabic الخليل, Hebrew חֶבְרוֹן, Chebrown "association" derived from the root word cheber, meaning "association, company, band") is a town in the Southern Judea region of the West Bank of around 166,000 Palestinians and 500 Israeli settlers. It lies 3,050 feet (930 m) above sea level.

Geographic coordinates : 31°32' N, 35°6' E. [map of Hebron]

Hebron is located 30km south of Jerusalem. Its elevation from sea level is about 1000m. Hebron is famous for its grapes, limestones, pottery workshops and glassblowing factories. It is also home of the nationally famous Al-Juneidi factory for dairy products.

The old city of Hebron is characterized by its narrow and winding streets, the flat-roofed stone houses, and the old bazaars. It is the home of Hebron University and Palestine Polytechnic University.

Hebron is one of most ancient cities in the Middle East, and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and was an ancient Canaanite royal city:
After this David inquired of the Lord , "Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?" And the Lord said to him, "Go up." David said, "To which shall I go up?" And he said, "To Hebron." -2 Sam. 2:1


Friday, October 16, 2009


The Pillar of Fire. Artist: Tintoretto. Date: 1577-78. Oil on canvas, 370 x 275 cm. Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice.From the Greek, theo (God), and phainein (to show forth), theophany means an appearance of a God to man, or a divine disclosure.

While the Iliad is our earliest source for descriptions of theopanies in the Classical tradition (and they occur throughout Greek mythology), probably the earliest description of a theophany is in the Epic of Gilgamesh. There, the protagonist meets Siduri, a goddess associated with brewing and fermentation. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Bible is the primary source of events which both Britannica and the New Catholic Encyclopedia cite as being theophanies.

The appearance of Zeus to Semele in his full godhead, "all his glory", is more than a mortal can stand and she is burned to death by the flames of his power. However, most Greek theophanies were less deadly. Unusual for Greek mythology is the story of the immortal Prometheus, not an Olympian but a Titan, who brought knowledge of fire to humanity. There are no descriptions of the humans involved in this theophany, but Prometheus was severely punished by Zeus.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia cites examples such as Gen 3:8a. The same source then quotes Gen 16:7-14. In this case, initially it is an angel which appears to Hagar, however it then says that God spoke directly to her, and that she saw God and lived (Gen 16:13). The next example the New Catholic Encyclopedia cites is Gen 22:11-15, which states explicitly that it was the angel of the Lord speaking to Abraham (Gen 22:11a). However, the angel addressing Abraham speaks the words of God in the first person (Gen 22:12b). In both of the last two examples, although it is an angel present, the voice is of God spoken through the angel, and so this is a manifestation of God Himself.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Michael Whitaker Smith

Michael W. SmithMichael Whitaker Smith (born October 7, 1957, to Paul and Barbara Smith in Kenova, West Virginia), often nicknamed "Smitty", is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist.

Since his first solo project in 1983, Smith has become one of the most popular artists in the Contemporary Christian music world, while also finding considerable success in the mainstream.

"Life's not all about the stuff we can accumulate or the honors people heap on us. Serving people in the name of Jesus is what really matters in the world. We have to step into peoples' lives so that they can be changed by God.

But we really have to start believing this is our mission - that this is the authority that is ours as children of God. Simple acts can start to change thousands of peoples' lives.

So I'm taking a stand - and I hope others will - to stand outside of the walls of the church, rubbing shoulders with the lost and to really live what I believe and embrace who I am in Jesus Christ. We are called to share our joy by serving the lost. The poor. The sick. The brokenhearted. The least of these. In Christ, we are given the courage and strength to change the world."
-ONE Music: Michael W. Smith
Official Website:


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ex nihilo

artistic view of creationism Ex nihilo is a Latin term meaning "out of nothing". It is often used in conjunction with the term creation as in Creatio ex Nihilo, "Creation out of nothing." God created merely by speaking it into existence.
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day (Genesis 1:1-5 ESV).
Due to the nature of this, the term is often used in creationistic arguments, as some religions believe that God created the universe from nothing. It has also been argued that this concept cannot be deduced from the Hebrew and that the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, speaks of God "making" or "fashioning" the universe. However, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812) refuted these arguments in section II of his book titled "Tanya".



Jonah (detail), Artist: Buonarroti Michelangelo, Date: 15111. Jonah (יוֹנָה pigeon, dove; darling, sweetheart) was a person in the Biblical Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh, the son of Amittai ("My Truth"), from the Galilean village of Gath-hepher, near Nazareth.

2. In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Jonah is the 5th book in a series of books called the Minor Prophets (itself a subsection of the Nevi'im or Prophets). Unlike other prophetic books however, this book is not a record of a prophet's words toward Israel. Instead of the poetry and prophetic prose of Isaiah or Lamentations, this book tells the story of an apparently inept prophet who becomes one of the most effective prophets in the entire Bible.

God ordered Jonah to preach at the city of Nineveh. Jonah did not want to, and tried to avoid God's command by sailing to Tarshish. A huge storm arises. The sailors, realizing this is no ordinary storm, cast lots, and learn that Jonah is to blame. Jonah admits this, and states that if he is thrown overboard, the storm will cease. The sailors throw him overboard, and the seas calm. Jonah is miraculously saved by being swallowed by a large fish. In chapter two, while in the great fish, Jonah prayed to God and asked forgiveness and thanked God for being so faithful, and the result was, God commanded the fish to vomit Jonah out.

God again orders Jonah to visit Nineveh and preach to its inhabitants. He therefore went there and walked through it, crying "In forty days Nineveh shall be destroyed." The Ninevites believed his word, and appointed a public fast, from the meanest of the people to the greatest; the king himself putting on sackcloth and sitting in ashes. God had compassion and did not bring His wrath against the city at that time.


Monday, October 12, 2009


The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew, 1722, Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Oil on canvas, 167 x 139 cm, San Stae, Venice"Bartholomew": in Aramaic "bar-Talemai?", Greek: "son of Tolmai" or from Ptolemais, often identified with the Nathanael of John 1:45-1:51.

The name Nathanael is derived from the Hebrew: "Nathanael" a male given name that means "gift of God" (from Hebrew natan "he gives" + el "God"). Based on this meaning, many have assumed it was not a given name, but a family name.

Bartholomew (Nathanael) was born in Cana of Galilee (John 21:2).

45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." John 1:45-46
He was listed as one of Christ's twelve disciples (Matthew 10:2-4; Acts 1:13).

He was honest
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!" (John 1:47)


Sunday, October 11, 2009


Tribal peoples in Papua New GuineaIn religion, the term "Animism" is used in a number of ways.
  • Animism (from animus, or anima, mind or soul), originally means the doctrine of spiritual beings.
  • It is often extended to include the belief that personalized, supernatural beings (or souls) endowed with reason, intelligence and volition inhabit ordinary objects as well as animate beings, and govern their existence (pantheism or animatism). More simply, the belief is that "everything is alive", "everything is conscious" or "everything has a soul".
  • It has been further extended to mean a belief that the world is a community of living persons, only some of whom are human. It also refers to the culture or philosophy which these types of Animists live by, that is, to attempt to relate respectfully with the persons (human, rock, plant, animal, bird, ancestral, etc.) who are also members of the wider community of life.
"Animism" can refer to the religion or beliefs or philosophy of the above interpretations. It can also refer to the culture and practices related to Animism.

There are three differing definitions of what constitutes animism. The most widely held and accepted is that it is a belief in non-human souls.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Egyptian hieroglyphs

Egyptian characters and alphabets. Author: Carl Faulmann (1835-1894). German. The Book of the Book Containing the characters and alphabets of all ages and all peoples of the world. Second, increased and improvedEgyptian hieroglyphs (sometimes called hieroglyphics) were a writing system used by the Ancient Egyptians that contained a combination of logographic and alphabetic elements. Cartouches were also used by the Egyptians. The variety of brush-painted hieroglyphs used on papyrus and (sometimes) on wood for religious literature is known as cursive hieroglyphs; this should not be confused with hieratic.

The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek ἱερογλυφικά (hieroglyphiká); the adjective hieroglyphic, as well as related words such as ἱερoγλυφος (hieroglyphos 'one who writes hieroglyphs', from ἱερός (hierós 'sacred') and γλύφειν (glýphein 'to carve' or 'to write', see glyph). Hieroglyphs themselves, were called τὰ ἱερογλυφικά (γράμματα) (tà hieroglyphiká (grámmata), 'engraved characters') on monuments (such as stelae, temples and tombs). The word hieroglyph has come to be used for the individual hieroglyphic characters themselves. While "hieroglyphics" is commonly used, it is discouraged by Egyptologists.

Hieroglyphs emerged from the preliterate artistic traditions of Egypt. For example, symbols on Gerzean pottery from circa 4000 BC resemble hieroglyphic writing. For many years the earliest known hieroglyphic inscription was the Narmer Palette, found during excavations at Hierakonpolis (modern Kawm al-Ahmar) in the 1890s, which has been dated to circa 3200 BC. However, in 1998 a German archaeological team under Günter Dreyer excavating at Abydos (modern Umm el-Qa'ab) uncovered tomb U-j of a Predynastic ruler, and recovered three hundred clay labels inscribed with proto-hieroglyphs, dating to the Naqada IIIA period of the 33rd century BC. The first full sentence written in hieroglyphs so far discovered was found on a seal impression found in the tomb of Seth-Peribsen at Umm el-Qa'ab, which dates from the Second Dynasty. In the era of the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom, about 800 hieroglyphs existed. By the Greco-Roman period, they numbered more than 5,000.


Friday, October 09, 2009


The Guardian Angel Protecting a Child from the Empire of the DemonIn religion, folklore, and mythology a demon or demoness is a supernatural being that has generally been described as a malevolent spirit, or daemon and djinn. A demon is frequently depicted as a force that may be conjured and insecurely controlled. The "good" demon in recent use is largely a literary device (eg: Maxwell's demon). In common language, "demonizing" one's opponent is an aspersion.

The Greek conception of a daemon (δαίμων) appears in the works of Plato and many other ancient authors, but without the evil connotations which are apparent in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible and in the Greek originals of the New Testament. The medieval and neo-medieval conception of a "demon" in Western civilization (see the Medieval grimoire called the Ars Goetia) derives seamlessly from the ambient popular culture of Late (Roman) Antiquity: Greco-Roman concepts of daemons that passed into Christian culture are discussed in the entry daemon. The Hellenistic (see Hellenistic civilization) "Demon" eventually came to include many Semitic and Near Eastern gods as evaluated by Christianity.

The idea of demons is as old as religion itself, and the word "demon" seems to have ancient origins. The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the etymology of the word as Greek daimon, probably from the verb daiesthai meaning "to divide, distribute." The Proto-Indo-European root *deiwos for god, originally an adjective meaning "celestial" or "bright, shining" has retained this meaning in many related Indo-European languages and cultures (Sanskrit deva, Latin deus, German Tiw), but also provided another other common word for demon in Avestan daeva.

In modern greek, the word 'δαίμων', is the greek word for demon. But, in ancient greek, the word "δαίμων" means somebody very clever....


Thursday, October 08, 2009


Lot and His Daughters. Author: Orazio Gentileschi. Date: 1622-23.In the Bible, Lot (לוֹט "Hidden, enclosed, covering") was the nephew of the patriarch, Abraham or Abram. He was the son of Abraham's brother Haran. (Gen. 11:27)

The story of Lot is told in the
Book of Genesis 11-14, 19.

Lot followed his uncle from Haran. He accompanied Abram and his family in his journeys to Egypt.
When Abram traveled to the Land of Canaan at the command of God, Lot accompanied him. (Gen 12:1-5). Abram had always a great affection for him, and when they could not continue longer together in Canaan because they both had large flocks and their shepherds sometimes quarelled (Gen 13:6,7), he gave Lot the choice of his abode. Lot went southeast to plains near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, since the land there was well watered. (Gen. 13:10-12).

About eight years after this separation, Chedorlaomer and his allies attacked the kings of Sodom and the neighbouring cities, pillaged Sodom, and took many captives, including Lot. Abraham armed his servants, pursued the confederate kings, and overtook them near the springs of Jordan. He recovered the spoils they had taken and brought back Lot with the other captives. Abraham was offered a reward by the King of Sodom, but refused even a shoelace.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1563)The tower constructed by the builders at Babel (that is, Babylonia - modern day Iraq []) became a symbol of their defiance against God, (Gen. 11:1-6). It was probably modeled after a ziggurat which is a mound of sun-dried bricks and was probably constructed before 4,000 bc.

According to the narrative in Genesis 11 of the Bible, the Tower of Babel was a tower built by a united humanity to reach the heavens.

Because the hearts of men were said to be inherently evil and disobedient, they were striving to make a name for themselves instead of worshipping the God who created them.

Because of this open defiance, God stopped their efforts by confusing languages so that no one could understand each other. As a result, they could no longer communicate and the work was halted. The builders were then scattered to different parts of Earth. This story is used to explain the existence of many different languages and races.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Territory of the Hyksos, 1750(?)-1575 A.C.The Hyksos (Egyptian heka khasewet meaning "foreign rulers") were an ethnically mixed group of Southwest Asiatic or Semitic people who appeared in the eastern Nile Delta during the Second Intermediate Period. They rose to power during the Second Intermediate Period, and ruled Lower and Middle Egypt for over one hundred years, forming the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties of Egypt, (ca. 1674-1548 B.C.E.).

Traditionally, only the six Fifteenth Dynasty rulers are called "Hyksos".

The Hyksos had names that bear strong similarities to Canaanite names, especially those which contain the names of Canaanite deities such as Anath or Ba'al. Archaeologists think of the Canaanites as being indistinguishable from the Phoenicians. The Hyksos introduced new tools of warfare into Egypt, most notably the composite bow and the horse-drawn chariot.

The numerous Sixteenth Dynasty princes are believed to be a mixed collection of "Hyksos", Asiatic Semites, and local native Egyptian princes. The names of the Fifteenth Dynasty Hyksos are known from Egyptian monuments, scarabs and other small objects, and Manetho's history of Egypt, written during the time of Ptolemy II.


Monday, October 05, 2009

G.K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith &rtquo;G.K.&ltquo; Chesterton (b. 29 May 1874—d. 14 June 1936), English writer.Gilbert Keith Chesterton (May 29, 1874–June 14, 1936) was an influential English writer of the early 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy, and detective fiction.

Chesterton has been called the "prince of paradox." He wrote in an off-hand, whimsical prose studded with startling formulations. For example:

"Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it."

He is one of the few Christian thinkers who are admired and quoted equally by liberal and conservative Christians, and indeed by many non-Christians. Chesterton's own theological and political views were far too nuanced to fit comfortably under the "liberal" or "conservative" banner. And in his own words he cast aspersions on the labels saying,


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Judas Iscariot

Taking of Christ. Date: c. 1598. Artist: CaravaggioJudas Iscariot (died April AD 29–33) was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve original apostles of Jesus, and the one who is said to have betrayed him.

Biblical narrative
Mark states that the chief priests were looking for a "sly" way to arrest Jesus. They determine not to do so during the feast because they were afraid that the people would riot. It is after the feast that they do end up arresting him.

According to the account given in the gospels, he carried the disciples' money box and betrayed Jesus for a bribe of "thirty pieces of silver" by identifying him with a kiss—the "kiss of Judas"— to arresting soldiers of the High Priest Caiaphas, who then turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate's soldiers. These "pieces of silver" were most likely intended to be understood as silver Tyrian shekels (see also Biblical and Talmudic units of measurement).

Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, should not be confused with Jude Thomas (more commonly known as Saint Thomas the Apostle), or with Saint Jude who was also one of the twelve disciples and a brother of James the Less.


Saturday, October 03, 2009


Jacques DerridaDeconstruction is a term in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, denoting a process by which the texts and languages of Western philosophy (in particular) appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions and absences they reveal within themselves. Jacques Derrida coined the term in the 1960s, and proved more forthcoming with negative, rather than pined-for positive, analyses of the school.

Subjects relevant to deconstruction include the philosophy of meaning in Western thought, and the ways that meaning is constructed by Western writers, texts, and readers and understood by readers. Though Derrida himself denied deconstruction was a method or school of philosophy, or indeed anything outside of reading the text itself, the term has been used by others to describe Derrida's particular methods of textual criticism, which involved discovering, recognizing, and understanding the underlying—and unspoken and implicit—assumptions, ideas, and frameworks that form the basis for thought and belief, for example, in complicating the ordinary division made between nature and culture. Derrida's deconstruction was drawn mainly from the work of Martin Heidegger and his notion of Destruktion but also from Levinas and his ideas upon the Other.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Childhood of Jesus

Presentation of the temple, Artist: Philippe de Champaigne. c. 1648The Child Jesus is a religious symbol based on the activities of Jesus as an infant up to the age of twelve that recurs throughout history, starting from around the third or fourth century. It includes religious figurines and icons of the infant Jesus, usually with his mother, Mary, and his legal father Joseph.

Holy Family
This "original nuclear family" symbolized the Holy Trinity to many early Christian believers. They solidified the family unit with such deep spiritual significance that the Holy Family eventually became an integral part of Roman Catholic religious dogma.

The Scriptures and many apocryphal works were passed down either by word of mouth or through song, and later in works of art. The symbolism of the Child Jesus in art reached its apex during the Renaissance: the holy family was a central theme in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci and many other masters.


Thursday, October 01, 2009


Jesus (8–2 BC/BCE to 29–36 AD/CE) is the central figure of Christianity.
Christ with the crown of thorns, 1623, Oil on canvas, 106 cm x 136 cm, Catharijneconvent, UtrechtHe is also called Jesus Christ, where "Jesus" is an Anglicization of the Greek: Ίησους (Iēsous), itself a Hellenization of the Hebrew יהושע (Yehoshua, Joshua) or Aramaic ישוע (Yeshua), meaning "YHVH is salvation"; and where "Christ" is a title derived from the Greek christós, meaning the "Anointed One," which corresponds to the Hebrew-derived "Messiah." Jesus is the incarnate Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, and the prophesied Hebrew Messiah (Anointed One, deliverer of Israel). Jesus is also known as "Jesus Christ", "Jesus of Nazareth", and "Jesus the Nazarene."

Christian views of Jesus (known as Christology) are both diverse and complex. Most Christians are Trinitarian and affirm the Nicene Creed, believing that Jesus is both the Son of God and God made incarnate1, sent to provide salvation and reconciliation with God by atoning for the sins of humanity (see also Christian worldview).




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