Sunday, January 31, 2010

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (January 27, 1775 – August 20, 1854), later von Schelling, was a German philosopher. Standard histories of philosophy make him
the midpoint in the development of German Idealism, situating him between Fichte, his mentor prior to 1800, and Hegel, his former university roommate and erstwhile friend. Interpreting Schelling's philosophy is often difficult because of its ever-changing nature.

Some scholars characterize him as a protean thinker who, although brilliant, jumped from one subject to another and lacked the synthesizing power needed to arrive at a complete philosophical system. Others challenge the notion that Schelling's thought is marked by profound breaks, instead arguing that his philosophy always focused on a few common themes, especially human freedom, the absolute, and the relationship between spirit and nature. Schelling's thought has often been neglected, especially in the English- speaking world. This stems not only from the ascendancy of Hegel, whose mature works portray Schelling as a mere footnote in the development of Idealism, but also from his Naturphilosophie, which positivist scientists have often ridiculed for its "silly"
analogizing and lack of empirical orientation. In recent years, Schelling scholars have forcefully attacked both of these sources of neglect.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Letters of Paul

The Pauline epistles are the thirteen or fourteen letters in the New Testament of the Christian Bible traditionally believed to have been written by the apostle Paul. Among them are some of the earliest extant (still existing) Christian documents. They provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of formative Christianity and, as part of the biblical canon of the New Testament, they have also been, and continue to be, hugely influential in Christian theology and Christian ethics.

The Letters of Paul are as follows:
  • Romans
  • 1 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon


Thursday, January 28, 2010


Syria (Arabic: سوريا ‎or سورية ), officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic: الجمهورية العربية السورية ), is a country in the Middle East, bordering Lebanon to the west, Palestine to the southwest, Jordan to the south, Iraq to the east (see also: Iraq Maps), and Turkey to the north. The modern state of Syria attained independence from the French mandate of Syria in 1946, but can trace its historical roots to the fourth millennium BC; its capital city, Damascus, was the seat of the Umayyad Empire and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Empire.

Syria has a population of 19 million, of whom the majority are Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims, as well as 16% other Muslim groups, including the Alawi, Shiite, and Druze, and 10% Christian.

Since 1963 the country has been governed by the Baath Party; the head of state since 1970 has been a member of the Assad family. Syria's current President is Bashar al-Assad, son of Hafez al-Assad, who held office from 1970 until his death in 2000.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Shekhinah (Hebrew: שכינה - alternative transliterations Shekinah, Shechinah, Shekina, Shechina, Schechinah, sometimes spelled Shchinah in Judaism) is the English spelling of a feminine Hebrew language word that means the dwelling or settling, and is used to denote the dwelling or settling presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem. Shekhinah is the "gentle" or "feminine aspect" of the Divine.

Shechinah is derived from the Hebrew verb 'sakan' or 'shachan'.

In Biblical Hebrew the word means literally to settle, inhabit, or dwell, and is used frequently in the Hebrew Bible. (See e.g. Genesis 9:27, 14:13, Psalms 37:3, Jeremiah 33:16), as well as the weekly Shabbat blessing recited in the Temple in Jerusalem ("May He who causes His name to dwell [shochan] in this House, cause to dwell among you love and brotherliness, peace and friendship"). In Mishnaic Hebrew the word is often used to refer to bird's nesting and nests. ("Every bird nests [shechinot] with its kind, and man with its like, Talmud Baba Kammah 92b.) and can also mean "neighbor" ("If a neighbor and a scholar, the scholar is preferred" Talmud Ketubot 85b). The word "Shechinah" also means "royalty" or "royal residence" ( The Greek word 'skene' - dwelling - is thought to be derived from 'shekinah' and 'sakan'. The word for Tabernacle, mishcan, is a derivative of the same root and is also used in the sense of dwelling-place in the Bible, e.g. Psalm 132:5 ("Before I find a place for God, mishcanot (dwelling-places) for the Strong One of Israel.") Accordingly, in classic Jewish thought, the Shekhina refers to a dwelling or settling in a special sense, a dwelling or settling of divine presence, to the effect that, while in proximity to the Shekhinah, the connection to God is more readily perceivable.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The Patriarchs, known as the Avot in Hebrew, are Abraham, his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Collectively, they are referred to as the three patriarchs (sh'loshet ha-avot) of Judaism, and the period in which they lived is known as the patriarchal period.

Their primary wives — Sarah (wife of Abraham), Rebekah (wife of Isaac), and Leah and Rachel (the wives of Jacob — are known as the Matriarchs. Thus, classical Judaism considers itself to have three patriarchs and four matriarchs.

The word has mainly taken on specific ecclesiastical meanings. In particular, the highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic Church (above Major Archbishop and primate), and the Assyrian Church of the East are called patriarchs.

The office and ecclesiastical conscription (comprising one or more provinces, though outside his own (arch)diocese he is often without enforceable jurisdiction, unlike the Pope of Rome) of such a patriarch is called a patriarchate. Historically, a Patriarch may often be the logical choice to act as Ethnarch, representing the community that is identified with his religious confession within a state or empire of a different creed (as Christians within the Ottoman Empire).


Monday, January 25, 2010


To be like Christ; showing the spirit of Christ.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon Peter and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
—Mark 1:35-37, NIV
We know about Jesus...
  • healing the sick;

  • raising the dead;

  • throwing the money-changers out of the House of God;

  • having mercy on the woman caught in the act of adultery;

  • feeding the multitude from a few pieces of bread and a few fish;

  • performing many miracles


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian physicist, astronomer, astrologer, and philosopher who is closely associated with the scientific revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope, a variety of astronomical observations, and effective support for Copernicanism. According to British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking,
"Galileo probably contributed more to the creation of the modern natural sciences than anybody else. "
He is often referred to as the "father of modern astronomy," as the "father of modern physics", and as the "father of science". The work of Galileo is considered to be a significant break from that of Aristotle. The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, treated in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics.

He once said, "I render infinite thanks to God for being so kind as to make me alone the first observer of marvels kept hidden in obscurity for all previous centuries."


Saturday, January 23, 2010


Heresy, according to the Oxford English dictionary, is a "theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the 'Catholic' or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. by extension, [heresy is an] opinion or doctrine in philosophy, politics, science, art, etc., at variance with those generally accepted as authoritative."

Urgent concerns with the uniformity of belief and practice have characterized Christianity from the outset.

The process of establishing orthodox Christianity was set in full swing when Paul wrote the epistles that comprise a large part of the New Testament.

On many occasions in Paul's epistles (see also the letters of Paul), he defends his own apostleship, and urges Christians in various places to beware of false teachers, or of anything contrary to what was handed to them by him. The epistles of John and Jude also warn of false teachers, as does the writer of the book of Revelation.

In the middle of the 2nd century, three unorthodox groups of Christians adhered to a range of doctrines that divided the Christian communities of Rome: the teacher Marcion, the pentecostal outpourings of ecstatic Christian prophets of a continuing revelation, in a movement that was called "Montanism" because it had been initiated by Montanus and his female disciples, and the Gnostic teachings of Valentinus.


Friday, January 22, 2010

The Big Bang

In physical cosmology, the Big Bang is the scientific "theory" that the universe emerged from a tremendously dense and hot state about 13.7 billion years ago.

Observational evidence for the Big Bang includes the analysis of the spectrum of light from galaxies which reveal a shift towards longer wavelengths proportional to each galaxy's distance in a relationship described by Hubble's law. If this observation that galaxies are moving away from us is not at any special position in the universe (the Copernican principle), then this suggests that space itself is expanding. Extrapolation of this expansion back in time yields an initial state in the distant past in which all matter and energy was at an immense temperature and density. This initial state is the key premise of Big Bang theory.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lineage of Jesus

The lineage 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.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Biblical Archaeology

Biblical archaeology involves the recovery and scientific investigation of the material remains of past cultures that can illuminate the periods and descriptions in the Bible. As with the historical records from any other civilization, the manuscripts must be compared to other accounts from contemporary societies in Europe, Mesopotamia, and Africa; additionally, records from neighbors must be compared with them. The scientific techniques employed are those of archaeology in general including excavations as well as chance discoveries.

By contrast Near Eastern archaeology is simply the archaeology of the Ancient Near East without any particular consideration of how its discoveries relate to the Bible.


Monday, January 18, 2010


Masada (a romanization of the Hebrew מצדה, Metzada, from מצודה, metzuda, "fortress") is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in Israel on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.

Masada became famous for its significance in the First Jewish-Roman War (Great Jewish Revolt), when a siege of the fortress by troops of the Roman Empire led to a mass suicide of the site's Jewish defenders when defeat became imminent.

The cliffs on the east edge of Masada are about 451 m high, dropping off to the Dead Sea, and the cliffs on the west are about 100 m high; the natural approaches to the cliff top are very difficult. The top of the plateau is flat and rhomboid-shaped, about 600 by 300 m. The center of the plateau is at 31°18′55″N, 35°21′13″E. There was a casemate wall around the top of the plateau totaling 1400 m long and 4 m thick with many towers, and the fortress included storehouses, barracks, an armory, the palace, and cisterns that were refilled by rainwater. Three narrow, winding paths led from below to fortified gates.

According to Flavius Josephus, a First century Jewish Roman historian, Herod the Great fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE as a refuge for himself in the event of a revolt. In 66 CE, at the beginning of the First Jewish-Roman War (also called the Great Jewish Revolt) against the Roman Empire, a group of Jewish rebels called the Zealots (kana'im, "zealous ones") who objected to Roman rule of Judea (as the Roman province of Iudaea, its Latin name). Commanded by Elazar ben Ya'ir (who may have been the same person as Eleazar ben Simon), the Zealots took Masada in 68 from the Roman garrison (see also Roman Legion) stationed there. After they persuaded the Romans to disarm they then slaughtered every man of it. In 70, they were joined by additional Zealots and their families who were expelled from Jerusalem by the other Jews living there shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem (and the Second Temple), and for the next two years used Masada as their base for raiding and harassing Roman and Jewish settlements alike.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Huldrych Zwingli

Huldrych (or Ulrich) Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland. He attended the University of Vienna and the University of Basel. He continued his studies while he served as a pastor in Glarus and later in Einsiedeln where he was influenced by the writings of Erasmus, a humanist scholar and theologian.

In 1519, Zwingli became the pastor of the Grossmünster in Zürich where he began to preach ideas on reforming the church. In his first public controversy in 1522, he attacked the custom of fasting during Lent. In his publications, he noted problems in the corruption of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, promoted clerical marriage, and attacked the use of images. In 1525, Zwingli introduced a new communion liturgy to replace the mass. Zwingli also clashed with the radical wing of the Reformation, the Anabaptists, which resulted in their persecution.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Exodus

The Exodus, more fully The Exodus of Israel out of Egypt, was the departure of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt under the leadership of Moses and Aaron as described in the biblical Book of Exodus. It forms the basis of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Although we cannot be 100% certain, we have a general idea how many people were among the Israelites during the Exodus because
1 The LORD spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: 2 "Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. 3 You and Aaron are to number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army. -Num 1:1-3
And Moses and Aaron and one man from each tribe proceeded to count them:

Numbers from each of the tribes
(note: the alotment of the tribes happened after the Exodus.)
  • Reuben: ראובן
    —46,500 men
  • Simeon: שמעון
    —59,300 men
  • Gad: גד
    —45,650 men
  • Judah: יהודה
    —74,600 men
  • Issachar: יששכר —54,400 men
  • Zebulun: זבולן
    —57,400 men
  • Ephraim: אפרים
    —40,500 men
  • Manasseh: מנשה —32,200 men
  • Benjamin: בנימין —35,400 men
  • Dan: דן —62,700 men
  • Asher: אשר —41,500 men
  • Naphtali: נפתלי —53,400 men
  • Levi: לוי —not counted


Friday, January 15, 2010

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation is the growth and development of the whole person by an intentional focus on one’s (1) spiritual and interior life, (2) interactions with others in ordinary life, and (3) the spiritual practices (prayer, the study of scripture, fasting, simplicity, solitude, confession, worship, etc.). In Care of Mind, Care of Spirit, Gerald G. May has written, “Spiritual formation is a rather general term referring to all attempts, means, instruction, and disciplines intended towards deepening of faith and furtherance of spiritual growth. It includes educational endeavors as well as the more intimate and in-depth process of spiritual direction.”

Spiritual formation is a universal experience. Dallas Willard writes that
“it is a process that happens to everyone…. Terrorists as well as saints are the outcome of spiritual formation. Their spirits or hearts have been formed.”
A study of various world religions such as:
  • Judaism,
  • Islam,
  • Hinduism,
  • Buddhism,
  • Confucianism, and
  • Taoism
and others would enable one to understand specifically how each religion views spiritual formation or spiritual growth within its unique belief system.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


The historic Philistines (פלשתים Hebrew פלשתי Pĕlishtiy) were a people who inhabited the southern coast of Canaan around the time of the arrival of the Israelites, their territory being named Philistia in later contexts. Their origin has been debated among scholars, but modern archaeology has suggested early cultural links with the Mycenean world in mainland Greece (descendants of Mizraim who immigrated from Caphtor (Crete?) to the western seacoast of Canaan, Strong's H6430 - Pĕlishtiy). Though the Philistines adopted local Canaanite culture and language before leaving any written texts, an indo-European origin has been suggested for a handful of known Philistine words.

If the Philistines are to be identified as one of the "sea peoples", then their occupation of Canaan will have taken place during the reign of Rameses III of the twentieth dynasty, ca. 1180 to 1150 bce. Their maritime knowledge presumably would have made them important to the phoenicians.

In egypt, a people called the "peleset" (or, more precisely, prst), generally identified with the philistines, appear in the medinet habu inscription of ramesses iii, where he describes his victory against the sea peoples, as well as the onomastica of amenope (late twentieth dynasty) and the great Papyrus Harris (papyrus harris i), a summary of ramses iii's reign written in the reign of Ramses IV. Nineteenth-century bible scholars identified the land of the philistines (Philistia) with Palastu and Pilista in Assyrian inscriptions, according to Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897).


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Jericho (Arabic أريحا , Hebrew ירחו Yĕriychow "city of the moon" from the masculine noun: ירח yareach "moon" ) - is a town in the West Bank, Palestine near the Jordan River.

The first mention of Jericho in the Bible is from Numbers 22:
1 Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. -Numbers 22:1-3

Jericho has a population of approximately 19,000. It is believed by some to be the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the world. The current mayor of Jericho is Hassan Saleh.

The present city was captured by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967. It was the first city handed over to Palestinian Authority control in 1994, in accordance with the Oslo accords. After a period of Israeli readministration, it was returned to the Palestinian Authority on 16 March 2005.

Jericho has a population of approximately 1900. It is believed, by some, to be the oldest continually occupied settlement in the world.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Persian Empire

DariusThe term Persian Empire refers to a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau. The political entity that was ruled by these kingdoms has been known as Persia throughout history.

Generally, the earliest entity considered the Persian Empire is Persia's Achaemenid Empire (648-330 BC) a united Aryan-indigenous Kingdom that originated in the region known as Parac (Strong's H6539, Heb. פרס) and was formed under Cyrus the Great. Successive states in Iran before 1935 are collectively called the Persian Empire by Western historians.

Biblical usage

Persia = "pure" or "splendid"

1) the empire Persia; encompassed the territory from India on the east to Egypt and Thrace on the west, and included, besides portions of Europe and Africa, the whole of western Asia between the Black Sea, the Caucasus, the Caspian and the Jaxartes on the north, the Arabian desert, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean on the south

a) Persia proper was bounded on the west by Susiana or Elam, on the north by Media, on the south by the Persian Gulf and on the east by Carmania Persian = see Persia "pure" or "splendid"

2) the people of the Persian empire

Strong's H6539


Sunday, January 10, 2010


Ishmael or Yishma'el (יִשְׁמָעֵאל "God hears or obeys") is Abraham's eldest son, born by his servant Hagar. Ishmael the son of Abraham, is first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Genesis as the eldest son of Abraham by Hagar, Sarah's female Egyptian maid-servant or slave.

"I will give you a son, who will be called Ishmael, because I have heard your cry for help." (Genesis 16:11)

In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), Ishmael's life is described in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 16, 17, 21, 25) and later texts. In Genesis 16 Sarai (Abram's wife) gives him her maid-servant Hagar to bear him children, since she believed that God had kept her from having children (Genesis 16:2).

Hagar became pregnant and despised Sarai (Genesis 16:4) who then expelled Hagar from the home of Abraham in retaliation.


Saturday, January 09, 2010


Jihad (Arabic: جهاد‎), an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād is a noun meaning "struggle." Jihad appears frequently in the Qur'an and common usage as the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of Allah (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid, the plural is mujahideen.

A minority among the Sunni scholars sometimes refer to this duty as the sixth pillar of Islam, though it occupies no such official status. In Twelver Shi'a Islam, however, Jihad is one of the 10 Practices of the Religion.

According to scholar John Esposito, Jihad requires Muslims to "struggle in the way of God" or "to struggle to improve one's self and/or society." Jihad is directed against Satan's inducements, aspects of one's own self, or against a visible enemy. The four major categories of jihad that are recognized are Jihad against one's self (Jihad al-Nafs), Jihad of the tongue (Jihad al-lisan), Jihad of the hand (Jihad al-yad), and Jihad of the sword (Jihad as-sayf). Islamic military jurisprudence focuses on regulating the conditions and practice of Jihad as-sayf, the only form of warfare permissible under Islamic law, and thus the term Jihad is usually used In fiqh manuals in reference to military combat.


Friday, January 08, 2010

Kingdom of Judah

Map of the Tribe of Judah areaThe Kingdom of Judah (Hebrew מַלְכוּת יְהוּדָה) in the times of the Hebrew Bible, was the nation formed from the territories of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin after the Kingdom of Israel was divided, and was named after Judah, son of Jacob (Israel, see sons of Jacob). The name Judah itself means "Praise of God."

Judah is often referred to as the Southern Kingdom to distinguish it from the Northern Kingdom (the Kingdom of Israel) after the division of the Kingdom. Judah's capital was Jerusalem. (see also History of ancient Israel)

After the death of king Saul (2 Samuel 2:1-11), around 920 BCE, Jeroboam led the revolt of the northern tribes, and established the Kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 11-14), consisting of nine tribes: Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, Menasseh, Ephraim, Reuben and Gad (and some of Levi), with Samaria as its capital. But very soon after the tribe of Benjamin joined the tribe of Judah, and Jerusalem became the capital of the new kingdom (Joshua 18:28), which was called the kingdom of Judah.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Golan Heights

The Golan Heights (Arabic: الجولان‎ al-Jūlān, Hebrew: הגולן‎ HaGolan) is a strategic plateau and mountainous region at the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. The geographic area lies within, or borders, the countries of Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The Golan plateau encompasses about 1,800 square kilometres (690 sq mi); it is situated south of the mountains and extends to the east. Since 1967, the term generally refers to a somewhat different 1,200 square kilometres (460 sq mi) area that includes the western portion of the plateau, a small portion of the Jordan River Valley in the northwest, and higher, mountainous areas in the north, which descend to the southeast from Mount Hermon.

The Golan Heights are of great strategic importance in the region. The Golan Heights were undisputed Syrian territory until Israel captured the region on 9-10 June 1967 during the Six-Day War. The area has remained under Israeli occupation since then. The territory was successfully defended by Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, though a portion was later returned to Syria. In 1981 the area was unilaterally annexed by Israel. The Golan Heights remain disputed, with an ongoing Syrian claim for the land to be returned.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Nation of Islam

The Nation of Islam[1] (NOI) (Arabic: أمة الإسلام‎, Ummah al-Islāmu) is a religious Black Supremacist group founded in Detroit, Michigan, United States by Wallace Fard Muhammad in July 1930 with the self-proclaimed goal of resurrecting the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of the black men and women of America. NOI also promotes the belief that Allah will bring about a universal government of peace.

From 1978 to the present, outspoken critic of American society, Louis Farrakhan (born as Louis Eugene Walcott), has been the leader of a reconstituted Nation of Islam, the original organization having been renamed and dissolved by Warith Deen Muhammad. The Nation of Islam's National Center and headquarters is located in Chicago, Illinois, and is also home to its flagship Mosque No. 2, Mosque Maryam.

The original Nation of Islam was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1930 by Wallace Fard Muhammad also known as Master W. D. Fard Muhammad (1877-1934 or later). The Nation of Islam teaches that W. Fard Muhammad is both the "Messiah" of Christianity and the Mahdi of Islam. One of Fard's first disciples was Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975), who led the organization from 1935 through 1975.

By the time Elijah Muhammad died there were 75 NOI centers across the United States.


Nation of Islam official website

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Malcolm X

Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was an African American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. His detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska. By the time he was 13, his father had died and his mother had been committed to a mental hospital. After living in a series of foster homes, Malcolm X became involved in the criminal underworld in Boston and New York. In 1945, Malcolm X was sentenced to eight to ten years in prison.


Monday, January 04, 2010

Founders of Modern Science

Science (from the Latin scientia, 'knowledge') is a system of acquiring knowledge based on the scientific method, as well as the organized body of knowledge gained through such research. Science as defined here is sometimes termed pure science to differentiate it from applied science, which is the application of scientific research to specific human needs.

Scholasticism, came to an end about the time of the Black Death, and the initial period of the subsequent Italian Renaissance is sometimes seen as a lull in scientific activity. The Northern Renaissance, on the other hand, showed a decisive shift in focus from Aristoteleian natural philosophy to chemistry and the biological sciences (botany, anatomy, and medicine). Thus modern science in Europe was resumed in a period of great upheaval: the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation; the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus; the Fall of Constantinople; but also the re-discovery of Aristotle during the Scholastic period presaged large social and political changes.


Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Shahada

The Flag of Hamas with the Shahada calligraphy, frequently used by Hamas supporters
The Shahada, also spelled shahadah, (Arabic: الشهادة aš-šahāda from the verb šahida "to testify") is the Islamic creed. The Shahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of Allah and acceptance of Muhammad as his prophet. The declaration reads: Lā ilaha illa al-Lāh, Muhammadun rasūlu l-Lāh “There is no allah but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" (in English). This declaration is called the Kalima, which literally means "words." Recitation of the Shahadah is the most important of the "Five Pillars of Islam," for Muslims, and is performed daily.

Narrated Ibn Umar: Allah's apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
  1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's apostle.
  2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
  3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity).
  4. To perform Hajj (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca).
  5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

    (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, p. 17).

Non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam do so by a public recitation of the creed. Technically the Shi'a do not consider the Shahadah to be a separate pillar, but connect it to the beliefs.

Was "Allah" the biblical God or a pagan god in Arabia during PRE-ISLAMIC times?
The Muslims claim that Allah in PRE-ISLAMIC times was the biblical God of the Patriarchs, Prophets, and The Twelve Apostles. The issue is thus one of continuity. Was "Allah" the biblical God or a pagan god in Arabia during PRE-
ISLAMIC times? The Muslim's claim of continuity is essential to their attempt to convert Jews and Christians for if "Allah" is part of the flow of divine revelation in Scripture, then it is the next step in biblical religion. Thus we should all become Muslims. But, on the other hand, if Allah was A PRE-ISLAMIC PAGAN DEITY, then its core claim is refuted. Religious claims often fall before the results of hard sciences such as archeology. We can endlessly speculate about the past or go and dig it up and see what the evidence reveals. This is the only way to find out the truth concerning THE ORIGINS OF ALLAH. As we shall see, the hard evidence demonstrates that the god Allah was a pagan deity. In fact, he was the Moon-god who was married to the sun goddess and the stars were his daughters.

When the popularity of the Moon-god waned elsewhere, the Arabs remained true to their conviction that the Moon-god was the greatest of all gods. While they worshipped 360 gods at the Kabah in Mecca, the Moon-god was the chief deity. Mecca was in fact built as a shrine for the Moon-god.

The evidence reveals that the temple of the Moon-god was active even in the Christian era! Evidence gathered from both North and South Arabia demonstrate that Moon-god worship was clearly active even in Muhammad's day and was still the dominant cult. According to numerous inscriptions, while the name of the Moon-god was Sin, his title was al-ilah, i.e. "the deity," meaning that he was the chief or high god among the gods. As Carleton S. Coon pointed out, "The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God." The Moon-god was called al-ilah, i.e. the god, which was shortened to Allah IN PRE-ISLAMIC TIMES. The pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave to their children. For example, both Muhammad's father and uncle had Allah as part of their names.

The fact that they were given such names by their pagan parents proves that Allah was the title for the Moon-god even in Muhammad's day. Prof. Coon goes on to say, "Similarly, under Mohammed's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being."

This fact answers the questions, "Why is Allah never defined in the Qur'an? Why did Muhammad assume that the pagan Arabs already knew who Allah was?" Muhammad was raised in the religion of the Moon-god Allah. But he went one step further than his fellow pagan Arabs. While they believed that Allah, i.e. the Moon-god, was the greatest of all gods and the supreme deity in a pantheon of deities, Muhammad decided that Allah was not only the greatest god but the only god.

The Muslim's claim that Allah is the God of the Bible and that Islam arose from the religion of the prophets and apostles is refuted by solid, overwhelming archeological evidence. Islam is nothing more than A REVIVAL of the ancient Moon-god cult. It has taken the symbols, the rites, the ceremonies, and even the name of its god from the ancient pagan religion of the Moon-god.

As such, it is sheer idolatry and must be rejected by all those who follow the Torah and Gospel.


Saturday, January 02, 2010

History of Iran

courtesy of Microsoft Bing
History of Iran and Greater Iran (also referred to as the "Iranian Cultural Continent" by the Encyclopedia Iranica) consists of the area from the Euphrates in the west to the Indus River and Jaxartes in the east and from the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Aral Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south. It includes the modern nations of Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the eastern parts of Turkey and Iraq. It is one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, covering thousands of years, from the ancient civilization on the Iranian plateau, Mannaeans civilization in Azarbaijan, Shahr-i Sokhta (Burned City) near Zabol in Sistan va Baluchestan, and the ancient Jiroft civilization in Kerman (more than 5000 BCE) followed by the kingdom of Elam (more than 3000 BCE) and the Median, Achaemenid, the Parthian, the Sassanian dynasties and following Empires to the modern Islamic Republic of Iran. The Elamites called their country Haltamti, Sumerogram ELAM, Akkadian Elamû, female Elamītu "resident of Susiana, Elamite". Additionally, it is known as Elam in the Hebrew Bible, where they are called the offspring of Elam, eldest0son of Shem (see Elam in the Bible. Genesis 10:22, Ezra 4:9).


Friday, January 01, 2010

THE Serpent

Serpent is a word of Latin origin (serpens, serpentis) which is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit term serp, that is normally substituted for "snake" in a specifically mythic or religious context, in order to distinguish such creatures from the field of biology.

Hebrew Bible
In the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) of Judaism, the speaking Serpent (nachash) in the Garden of Eden brought forbidden knowledge, but was not identified with Satan in the Book of Genesis. Nor is there any indication there in Genesis that the Serpent was a deity in his own right, aside from the fact that the Pentateuch is not teeming with talking animals.

1"Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God has made," ( Genesis 3:1)

Moses lifts up the brass snake, curing the Israelites from Snake Bites. Hezekiah called the snake Nehushtan though he was cursed for his role in the Garden, this was not the end of the Serpent, who continued to be venerated in the folk religion of Judah and was tolerated by official religion until the in time of king Hezekiah. The Book of Numbers provides an origin for an archaic bronze serpent associated with Moses, with the following narrative:

6 "And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the
people; and much people of Israel died.
7 "Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he Looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." ( Numbers 21:6-9 KJV)


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