Saturday, February 27, 2010

Son of Man

In the bible, Jesus (Greek Iēsous) often refers to Himself as the Son of Man.
32And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him,33saying, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles.34And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise." —Mark 10:32-34 ESV

Christian interpretation

The phrase son of man took on Messianic significance within the Christian movement primarily due to the Jewish eschatology during the time of its early conception. Originating in the book of Daniel (7:13), in a vision, one like a son of man is described coming upon the clouds of the sky to unite the world.

As a result, some Christians believe that in the body of the New Testament, son of man is used forty-three times as a distinctive title of Jesus within this Messianic context. Other Christians interpret it as Jesus showing humility, avoiding using titles like Messiah and Son of God. Still other Christians believe the title is meant to signify Jesus upholding his identification with his humanity and fellowship with mankind, perhaps also conveying the idea that Jesus is the man par excellence. In this last context it serves as putting humans and Jesus on the same level.

Jewish interpretation

As generally interpreted by Jews, denotes mankind generally, with special reference to their weakness and frailty (Job 25:6; Psalms 8:4; 144:3; 146:3; Isaiah 51:12, etc.).

It is a title frequently given to the prophet Ezekiel, probably to remind him of his human weakness.

Additionally, the Biblical book of Daniel mentions the prophet's vision of the coming of one 'like a son of man'; possibly implying that this is not actually a man but a divine figure.

When interpreting the Bible, one cannot exclusively rely on English translations. Son of man in Job 25 is ben adam (Hebrew: בן־אדם), and "son of man" in Psalms 144 is ben enosh (Hebrew: בן־אנוש). This phrase also appears in the non-canonical Book of Enoch.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Sunni Muslims

Sunni Muslims are by far the largest denomination of Islam, the second largest being Shia Islam They are also referred to as Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamaa'h (Arabic: أهل السنة والجماعة) (people of the example (of Muhammad) and the community) which implies that they are the majority, or Ahl ul-Sunna (Arabic: أهل السنة; "The people of the example (of Muhammad)") for short. The word Sunni comes from the word sunna (Arabic : سنة ), which means the words and actions or example of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. They represent the branch of Islam that accepted the caliphate of Abu Bakr due to him being chosen by majority, thus elections, or Shurah, on the caliphate being the first distinguishing factor in Sunni Islam. Most Sunni lawyers define themselves as those Muslims who are rooted in one of the four orthodox schools of Sunni law (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafii or Hanbali).


Thursday, February 25, 2010


Babylon (in Arabic: بابل; in Syriac: ܒܒܙܠ in Hebrew: בבל) is the Greek variant of Akkadian Babilu (bāb-ilû, meaning "Gateway of the god", translating Sumerian Kadingirra), an ancient city in Mesopotamia (modern Al Hillah, Iraq, see also: Iraq Maps), the ruins of which can be found in present-day Babil Province, about 50 miles (80 km) south of Baghdad. It was the "holy city" of Babylonia from around 2300 BC, and the seat of the Neo-Babylonian empire from 612 BC. In the Bible, the name appears as בבל (Babel - Genesis 10:10, 11:1, 11:9).

In the Old Testament, the name appears as בבל (Babel), interpreted by Genesis 11:9 to mean "confusion", its Etymology from the verb balal, "to confuse".

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Billy Graham

The Rev. Dr. William Franklin Graham, Jr. KBE (born November 7, 1918 in Charlotte, North Carolina), commonly known as "Billy Graham," is an American Christian evangelist. He has often advised U.S. presidents and continues to be listed as one of the "Ten Most Admired Men in the World" in Gallup Polls. He is of Scottish descent.

Raised as a Presbyterian, Billy Graham switched denominations to Southern Baptist in 1934 during a Christian revival meeting conducted by Mordecai Ham. Graham was ordained a Southern Baptist minister in 1939.

After graduating from Sharon High School in May 1936, Graham attended Bob Jones College (now Bob Jones University) but found it to be extremely fundamentalist and, considering this disobliging, he transferred to the Florida Bible Institute, now Trinity College of Florida, in 1937 and graduated from Wheaton College in 1943.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


A codex (Latin for block of wood, book; plural codices) is a book in the format used for modern books, with separate pages normally bound together and given a cover. It was a Roman invention that replaced the scroll, which was the first form of book in all Eurasian cultures.

Although technically any modern paperback is a codex, the term is only used for manuscript (hand-written) books, produced from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages. The scholarly study of manuscripts from the point of view of the bookmaking craft is called codicology. The study of ancient documents in general is called paleography.

New World codices were written as late as the sixteenth century. Those written before the Spanish conquests seem all to have been single long sheets folded concertina-style, sometimes written on both sides of the local amatl paper. They are therefore strictly speaking not actually in codex format, although they more consistently have "Codex" in their usual names than other types of manuscript.

The codex was an improvement upon the scroll, which it gradually replaced, first in the West, and much later in Asia. The codex in turn became the printed book, for which the term is not used. In China, because books were already printed, but only on one side of the paper, there were intermediate stages, such as scrolls folded concertina-style and pasted together at the back.


Monday, February 22, 2010


Wahhabism (Arabic: Al-Wahhābīyya‎ الوهابية) or Wahabism is a conservative form of Sunni Islam attributed to Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab (1703–91), an 18th century scholar from what is today known as Saudi Arabia, who advocated a return to the practices of the first three generations of Islamic history.

Wahhabism is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia, and is also popular in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. It is often referred to as a "sect" or "branch" of Islam, though both its supporters and its opponents reject such designations. It has developed considerable influence in the Muslim world through the funding of mosques, schools and other means from Persian Gulf oil wealth.

The primary doctrine of Wahhabism is Tawhid, or the uniqueness and unity of Allah (the deity Muslims worship). Ibn Abdul Wahhab was influenced by the writings of Ibn Taymiyya and questioned medieval interpretations of Islam, claiming to rely on the Qur'an and the Hadith. He preached against a "perceived moral decline and political weakness" in the Arabian Peninsula and condemned idolatry, the popular cult of saints, and shrine and tomb visitation.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

History of Protestantism

The History of Protestantism begins with the Reformation movement, which began as an attempt to reform the Catholic Church and led to the fracturing of Christendom. Many western Christians were troubled by what they saw as false doctrines and malpractices within the Church, particularly involving the teaching and sale of indulgences. Another major contention was the rampant Simony and the tremendous corruption found at the time within the Church's hierarchy. At the time, this systemic corruption often reached all the way up to the Bishop of Rome himself, the Pope.

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses On the Power of Indulgences to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, which served as a pin board for university-related announcements. This document outlined Luther's criticisms of the Church and the Pope. The most controversial points centered on the practice of selling indulgences and the Church's policy on purgatory.

Among Luther's spiritual predecessors were men such as John Wycliffe and Jan Hus. Other reformers, such as Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin, soon followed Luther's lead. Church beliefs and practices under attack by Protestant reformers included purgatory, particular judgment, devotion to Mary, the intercession of the saints, most of the sacraments, and the authority of the Pope.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Akkadian Empire

The 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, February 19, 2010

Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus

The Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus is an event reported by all the canonical gospels, in
  • Mark 14:53–65,
  • Matthew 26:57–68,
  • Luke 22:63–71 and
  • John 18:12-24.
After the arrest of Jesus, the gospels report that Jesus was taken to the Sanhedrin, a legal body composed of the chief Sadduccees, Pharisees, and elders (Kilgallen 255). The precise location and nature of the trial varies between the canonical Gospels, and particularly between the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John.

In the Synoptics, Jesus is taken to the Sanhedrin, with Matthew adding that the Sanhedrin had assembled where Caiaphas was located, possibly implying that the gathering occurred at the home of Caiaphas.

At the time in which the narrative is set, this body was an ad hoc gathering, rather than a fixed court (Brown 146), as in the latter Council of Jamnia, and its gathering in Caiaphas' home is historically plausible, though irregular. Daniel J. Harrington argues that being located in a home makes it more likely that this was a small first preliminary hearing and not a full trial. According to Rabbinic Judaism, the Sanhedrin of the Pharisees, probably a different sanhedrin, was led by Gamaliel from approximately the year 9 to 50. This is believed to be the same Gamaliel who appears in Acts 5:34 and 22:3. Shammai may have also played a role.


Thursday, February 18, 2010


Barnabas was an early Christian mentioned in the New Testament. His Hellenic Jewish parents called him Joseph, (although the Byzantine text-type calls him Joses, the Aramaic version of Joseph, (Aramaic of Jesus) but when he sold all his goods and gave the money to the apostles in Jerusalem they gave him a new name: Barnabas, which means huios parakleseos (Greek: υιος παρακλήσεως) "son of exhortation," or 'man of encouragement.' see Acts 11:23) and connotes a prophet in the early Christian sense of the word (see Acts 13:1; 15:32). In many English translations of the Bible, including the
  • New International Version (NIV),
  • King James Version (KJV), and
  • New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Barnabas is called an apostle. In Acts 14:14 of these translations, he is listed ahead of Paul, "Barnabas and Paul," instead of "Paul and Barnabas;" both men being described as apostles. Whether Barnabas was an apostle became an important political issue, which was debated in the Middle Ages.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Historical Jesus

Who was the historical Jesus?
This article is about Jesus the man, based upon historical methods to reconstruct a biography of his life and times. For disputes related to the existence of Jesus, theological perspectives about Jesus, and reliability of ancient texts relating to him, see:The historical Jesus is Jesus of Nazareth as reconstructed by historians (i.e. not necessarily and usually not Christian historians) using historical methods. These historical methods use critical literary analysis of Gospel texts as the primary source for the biography of Jesus, along with non-biblical sources to reconstruct the historical context of first-century Judea. These methods do not include theological or religious axioms, such as biblical inerrancy. Though the reconstructions vary, they generally agree on these basic points:
  • Jesus was a Jewish teacher who attracted a small following of Galileans and,
  • after a period of ministry, was crucified by the Romans in the Iudaea Province during the governorship of Pontius Pilate.
Eusebius of Caesarea (~275-339) is an example of an early Christian historian and Flavius Josephus is an example of a 1st-century Jewish historian.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Melchizedek (Hebrew: מלכי–צדק Malkiy-Tsedeq, sometimes written Malchizedek, Melchisedec, Melchisedech, Melchisedek or Melkisedek), is a figure mentioned by the Hebrew Bible, in the Book of Genesis, where he interacts with Abraham:
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19 And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!" —Gen. 14:18-20 ESV
and in a Psalm, of David.

Exalted things are spoken of Christ in Psalm 110. He should not only be the unrivalled King above all the kings of the earth, but He has simultaneously always existed, in glory, as the eternal Son of God. He will rest, while sitting at God's right hand, after completing His work and suffering; He will dispense law, and judgment upon the enemies of the Most High God. Yet, He remains seated as the eternal King. All his enemies are known and collected, but the time has not yet arrived that they should be his footstool. His kingdom, being established, will be impregnable in the world, despite all its powers of darkness.

The Body of Christ are an intended, intentional and willing people. The active Spirit of Christ, bringing to attention the dark powers of this world, to Christ's believers, is the driving force for their willingness to be His Kingdom. They will be in His service in the radiant accoutrements of Holiness; this is attractive and acceptable to His people, forevermore. Many will be steadfast and faithful to Him. The morning dew of our springtime, even when we are but children, should be a hallowed time, a time dedicated to our Lord and King, Jesus. But He will not only be our King, but also our Priest. He is God's missionary to us and for us, and He is our defender with the Father. He is the conciliator between God and man. He is "a Priest of the order of Melchizedek," before the time of Aaron and the Levites, and in many regards, even greater than this order. As Christ sits at the right hand of God, His enemies should tremble, yet His people should be joyful. His victory over the powers of darkness and death will be the utter destruction of His enemies. Christ has paid our debt, He has reinstated us to the position held by man before the fall of man. He saves his friends, and He comforts them. He will be humbled; he will drink of the brook as He completes His mission. It is the wrath of God, working within the deadly poison of the law, that we can understand as, "He will drink from the brook by the way." He did drink of the waters of anguish, pain and sorrow along the way to His eternal thrown. But He will be elevated above all. He has won, and He has shared the full bounty of His victory with those who love Him!


Monday, February 15, 2010


Job (Hebrew ⁠אִיּוֹב⁠, Iyowb, "hated"), is a character in the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible. In brief, the book begins with an introduction to Job's character — he is described as a rich, blessed man who fears God and lives righteously. Satan, however, challenges Job's integrity, and so God gives Job into Satan's hand, ending in tragedy for Job: the loss of his children, wealth, and physical soundness. The main portion of the text consists of the discourse of Job and his three friends concerning why Job was so punished, ending in God answering Job. Job is also a prophet in Islam.

In the Hebrew Bible
Job had Seven sons and three daughters and
He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. (Job 1:3)
His sons took turns entertaining each other with feasts; each time they completed a cycle of feast days, Job sent to them and purified them, offering burn-offerings for each one in case any of them had cursed God in their hearts. He was "blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. His good character is discussed in depth later in the book. (Job 1:1;4,5)


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon (Hebrew, ⁠מיוחסת לשלמה המלךם⁠, Shir ha-Shirim), is a book of the Hebrew Bible—one of the five megillot (scrolls). It is also known as The Song of Songs, Solomon's Song of Songs, or as Canticles, the latter from the shortened and anglicized Vulgate title Canticum Canticorum (Latin, "Song of Songs"). It is known as Āisma in the Septuagint, which is short for Āisma āismatōn (Greek, ᾌσμα ᾀσμάτων, "Song of Songs").

The protagonists of the Song of Songs are a woman (identified in one verse as "the Shulamite") and a man, and the poem suggests movement from courtship to consummation. For instance, the man proclaims:

" As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. "
The woman answers:
"As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.


Saturday, February 13, 2010


The Tigris is the eastern member of the pair of great rivers that define Mesopotamia (the name "Mesopotamia" is a Greek word meaning "the land between the rivers"), along with the Euphrates, which flows from the mountains of Anatolia through Iraq.

The original Sumerian name was Idigna or Idigina, which can be interpreted as "the swift river"[4] or "the river that goes", contrasted to its neighbor, the Euphrates, whose leisurely pace caused it to deposit more silt and build up a higher bed than the Tigris. This form was borrowed and gave rise to Akkadian Idiqlat. Either through a Persian intermediary or borrowed directly from Akkadian, the word was adopted into Greek as Tigris.

In Pahlavi, tigr means "arrow" (in the same family as Old Persian tigra-, Modern Persian têz "sharp"). However, it does not appear that this was the original name of the river, but that it (like the Semitic forms of the name) was coined as an imitation of the indigenous Sumerian name. The name of the river in English and many other languages — Tigris — is from Ancient Greek, which was in turn derived from the Persian.

It is also possible that the name Tigris, and the variants in Dicle, derives from Kurdish. In Kurdish, tij means "sharp", referring to the Tigris as a sharp and fast river.

Another name for this watercourse, used from the time of the Persian Empire, is Arvand, which has the same meaning. Today, the name Arvand refers to the lower part of the Tigris (ie, Arvand/Shatt al-Arab) in Persian.

In the Hebrew bible, it is called חדקל Chiddeqel


Friday, February 12, 2010

Antony van Leeuwenhoek

Antony (October 24, 1632 - August 30, 1723), full name Thonius Philips van Leeuwenhoek (pronounced 'vahn Laywenhook') was a Dutch tradesman and scientist from Delft, Netherlands. He is commonly known as "the Father of Microbiology". Born the son of a basket maker, at age 16 he secured an apprenticeship with a Scottish cloth merchant in Amsterdam. He is best known for his work on the improvement of the microscope and for his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology. Using his handcrafted microscopes he was the first to observe and describe single celled organisms, which he originally referred to as animalcules, and which we now refer to as microorganisms. He was also the first to record microscopic observations of muscle fibers, bacteria, spermatozoa and blood flow in capillaries (small blood vessels). He published his observations in a series of letters to the Royal Society. The name bacterium was introduced much later, by Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg in 1828, and is derived from the Greek word βακτήριον -α , bacterion -a , meaning "small staff".
His faith in God and love for His creation undergirded his science. Along with others, he exposed the fallacy of spontaneous generation (abiogenesis), the superstitious belief that life sprung from material objects, such as raw meat "birthing" maggots.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Turkish: دولت عليه عثمانيه Devlet-i Âliye-i Osmâniyye; literally, "The Sublime Ottoman State"), also sometimes known in the West as the Turkish Empire, existed from 1299 to 1923. At the height of its power in the 16th and 17th centuries, its territory included Anatolia, the Middle East, parts of North Africa, and much of south-eastern Europe to the Caucasus. It comprised an area of about 5.6 million km² (though if adjoining territories where the empire's suzerainty was recognised, dominated mainly by nomadic tribes, are included it controlled a much larger area). The empire interacted with both Eastern and Western cultures throughout its 624-year history.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire was among the world's most powerful political entities, with the powers of eastern Europe constantly threatened by its steady advance through the Balkans, the Kingdom of Hungary and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Its navy was also a powerful force in the Mediterranean. On several occasions, the Ottoman army invaded central Europe, laying siege to Vienna in 1529 and again in 1683 in an attempt to conquer the Habsburg domain, and was finally repulsed only by great coalitions of European powers at sea and on land. It was the only non-European power to seriously challenge the growing influence of the West between the 15th and 20th centuries, eventually becoming an integral part of European balance of power politics, hence blurring the distinctions.

The dissolution of the empire was a direct consequence of World War I, when the Allied Powers defeated the Central Powers in Europe as well as the Ottoman forces in the Middle Eastern theatre. At the end of the war, the Ottoman government collapsed and Ottoman territory was divided among the victorious powers. Subsequent years saw the creation of new states from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey among them. The new republic declared most of the former ruling elite, including the Ottoman Dynasty, persona non grata. In 1974, after 50 years, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey granted the right to re-acquire Turkish citizenship to the descendants of the former ruling dynasty, (Ertuğrul Osman V, head of the House of Ottoman, repatriated in 2004).


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

General Epistles

General epistles (also called Catholic Epistles) are books in the New Testament in the form of letters. They are termed "general" because for the most part their intended audience seems to be Christians in general rather than individual persons or congregations as is the case with the Pauline epistles. However, 2 John and 3 John are included in this group despite their addresses respectively to the "elect lady", speculated by many to be the church itself, and to "Gaius", about whom there has been much speculation but little in the way of conclusive proof as to his identity.

There has been considerable speculation as to the authorship of these works. All but the most conservative scholars tend to believe 2 Peter to be a pseudonymous forgery, but these scholars are adamant in their defense of its authenticity and place in the Biblical canon. Protestant Conservatives tend to attribute the books of James and Jude to Jesus' younger half-brothers, while Roman Catholics and others who hold to the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary see this, obviously, as heretical.

Listed in order of their appearance in the New Testament, the General Epistles are:


Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Cosmology, from the Greek: κοσμολογία (cosmologia, κόσμος (cosmos) world + λογια (logia) discourse) is the study of the universe in its totality, and by extension, humanity's place in it. Though the word cosmology is recent (first used in 1730 in Christian Wolff's Cosmologia Generalis), the study of the universe has a long history involving science, philosophy, esotericism, and religion (see cosmological argument, kalam cosmological argument).

In recent times, physics and astrophysics have come to play a central role in shaping what is now known as physical cosmology, i.e. the understanding of the universe through scientific observation, experiments, and theorizing. This discipline, which focuses on the universe as it exists on the largest scales and at the earliest times, begins by arguing for the big bang, a sort of cosmic explosion from which the universe itself is said to have erupted ~13.7 ± 0.2 billion (109) years ago. After its violent beginnings and until its very end, scientists then propose that the entire history of the universe has been an orderly progression governed by physical laws. (see also: Kalam cosmological argument)

In between the doctrines of religion and science, stands the philosophical perspective of metaphysical cosmology. This ancient field of study seeks to draw logical conclusions about the nature of the universe, man, god and/or their connections based on the extension of some set of presumed facts borrowed from religion and/or observation.


Monday, February 08, 2010


Pharaoh is a title used to refer to any ruler, usually male, of the Egyptian kingdom in the pre-Christian, pre-Islamic period. An absolute, all powerful, all providing ruler. Such rulers were believed to be the reincarnation of Horus.

From the Twelfth Dynasty onwards the word appears in a wish formula 'Great House, may it live, prosper and be in health', but only with reference to the buildings of the court rather than the king himself.

10So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. — Exodus 7:10

However, the earliest certain instance where pr-`3 is used specifically to address the king is in a letter to Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) in the mid-Eighteenth Dynasty (1539-1292 BC) which is addressed to 'Pharaoh, given life, prosperity and health, the Master'.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

History of Jerusalem

The earliest traces of human occupation in Jerusalem go back to the late Chalcolithic Period and Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC). The Egyptian Execration Texts (c. 1900-1800 BC) and the Amarna letters (14th century BCE) show that the city was under the power of ancient Egypt. In one of the Amarna letters the city's governor, Abdi-Heba, asks for help from Egypt to fight the Habiru (possibly identical to the Hebrews).

This city has known many wars, and various periods of occupation. According to Genesis 14:18-20, the city (named as Salem) was ruled by king Melchizedek, a priest of God. According to one Jewish tradition reported by the midrash, it was founded by Abraham's forefathers Shem and Eber.

Later, according to the Biblical narrative of the Books of Samuel, it was controlled by the Jebusites, a group that scholars generally believe to have been Hittite.

It is probable that Melchizedek was himself a Jebusite; the -zedek part of the name occurring in other rulers such as Adonizedek, and in some biblical references to Jerusalem itself, such as neweh zedek (Jeremiah 31:23, where it is often translated as home of righteousness).


Saturday, February 06, 2010


Cush (כּוּשׁ "Dark,") was the eldest son of Ham, brother of Canaan and the father of Nimrod, mentioned in the "Table of Nations" in Genesis 10:6 and in I Chronicles 1:8. It is usually considered to be the eponym of the people of Kush. Six Arabian tribes are also sons of Cush.

In Genesis, Cush was the father of the Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. He is also the father of Nimrod.

Another person named Cush in the Bible is a Benjamite who is mentioned only in Psalm 7 and is believed to be a follower of Saul.

Cush is first mentioned in Genesis 2:12-14:
12(The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.


Friday, February 05, 2010

The First Temple

Solomon's Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Beit HaMikdash), also known as the First Temple, located on The Temple Mount, was, according to the Bible, the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. It functioned as a religious focal point for worship and the sacrifices known as the korbanot (see korban) in ancient Judaism. Completed in the 10th century BCE, it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.

Before his death King David had provided materials in great abundance for the building of the temple on the summit of Mount Moriah (1 Chronicles 22:14; 29:4; 2 Chronicles 3:1), where he had purchased a threshing floor from Araunah the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:21 et seq.), on which he offered sacrifice.

The Bible states that in the beginning of his reign, King Solomon of the united Kingdom of Israel, set about giving effect to the ideas of his father, and prepared additional materials for the building. From subterranean quarries at Jerusalem he obtained huge blocks of stone for the foundations and walls of the temple. These stones were prepared for their places in the building under the eye of Tyrian master-builders.

According to this account, Solomon also entered into a pact with Hiram I, king of Tyre, for the supply of whatever else was needed for the work, particularly timber from the forests of Lebanon, which was brought in great rafts by the sea to Joppa, whence it was dragged to Jerusalem (1 Kings 5).

According to tradition, Solomon also provided for a sufficient water supply for the temple by hewing in the rocky hill vast cisterns, into which water was conveyed by channels from the "pools" near Bethlehem. One of these cisterns, the "great sea," was capable of containing three million gallons. The overflow was led off by a conduit to the Kidron.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. Kierkegaard strongly criticized both the Hegelianism of his time, and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Danish church. Much of his work deals with religious problems such as the nature of faith, the institution of the Christian Church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. His early work was written under various pseudonyms who present their own distinctive viewpoints in a complex dialogue. Kierkegaard left the task of discovering the meaning of the works to the reader, because "the task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted". Subsequently, many have interpreted Kierkegaard as an existentialist, neo-orthodoxist, postmodernist, humanist, individualist, etc. Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, Kierkegaard came to be regarded as a highly significant and influential figure in contemporary thought.

Søren Kierkegaard was born to an affluent family in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. His mother, Ane Sørensdatter Lund Kierkegaard, had served as a maid in the household before marrying Søren's father. She was an unassuming figure: quiet, plain, and not formally educated. She is not directly referred to in Kierkegaard's books, although she too affected his later writings. His mother died on July 31, 1834, age 66.

His father, Michael Pedersen Kierkegaard, was a melancholic, anxious, deeply pious, and fiercely intelligent man. Convinced that he had earned God's wrath, he believed that none of his children would live past the age attained by Jesus Christ, that of 33. He believed his personal sins, such as cursing the name of God in his youth and possibly impregnating Ane out of wedlock, necessitated this punishment. Though many of his seven children died young, his prediction was disproved when two of them surpassed this age: Søren and Peter Christian Kierkegaard, a Lutheran bishop several years Søren's senior. This early introduction to the notion of sin and its connection from father and son laid the foundation for much of Kierkegaard's work (particularly Fear and Trembling). Despite his father's occasional religious melancholy, Kierkegaard and his father shared a close bond. Kierkegaard learned to explore the realm of his imagination through a series of exercises and games they played together.

Kierkegaard's father died on August 9, 1838 at the age of 82. Before his death, he asked Søren to become a pastor. Søren was deeply influenced by his father's religious experience and life and felt obligated to fulfill his wish. Two days later, on August 11, Kierkegaard wrote:
"My father died on Wednesday. I had so very much wished that he might live a few years longer, and I look upon his death as the last sacrifice which he made to his love for me; .. he died for me in order that, if possible, I might still turn into something. Of all that I have inherited from him, the recollection of him, his transfigured portrait .. is dearest to me, and I will be careful to preserve [his memory] safely hidden from the world."


Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Joshua or Yehoshúa (יְהוֹשֻׁעַ "The LORD of/is help/court") is a biblical character, much of whose life is described in the biblical Book of Joshua. The lack of a vav after the shin would normally indicate a pronunciation of Yehoshēa`, and in three places he is actually called Hoshēa. In Greek he is called Ιησούς (Iēsoûs) του Ναυή, the same as the name of Jesus of Nazareth and others bearing the Hebrew name Yēshua`. He is a historical figure, and would have lived sometime between the 18th century BC and the late 13th century BC.

Joshua was the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim and the successor to Moses as the leader of Israel. See also History of ancient Israel and Judah. He is called Jehoshua in Num. 13:16 (A.V.), and Jesus in Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8 (R.V., Joshua).

He was born in Egypt, and was probably of the age of Caleb, with whom he is generally associated. He shared in all the events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the host of the Israelites at their great battle against the Amalekites in Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-16).

He became Moses' minister, and accompanied him part of the way when he ascended sount sinai to receive the (Exodus 32:17). He was also one of the twelve spies who were sent on by Moses to explore the land of Canaan (Num. 13:16, 17), and only he and Caleb gave an encouraging report.

Before Moses died, he appointed Joshua as his successor. The people were encamped at Shittim when he assumed the command before crossing the Jordan River. Upon Joshua devolved a twofold duty: to conquer the land, and to apportion it among the tribes (see tribes of Israel). According to the Book of Joshua, God encouraged him to be strong and to cling to the Law, which was never to "depart out of his mouth." After enlisting the cooperation of the kindred east Jordanic tribes, his first concern was to spy out Jericho. On receiving the report of his emissaries he gave the necessary instructions for the crossing by the Israelites of the Jordan River. With the Ark of the Covenant carried by the priests in the van, on the tenth day of the first month of the forty-first year after the Exodus the Israelites set out to conquer the land.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Pelagius (ca. 354 - ca. 420/440) was an ascetic monk and reformer who denied the doctrine of original sin from Adam and was declared a heretic (see heresy) by the Roman Catholic Church. His interpretation of a doctrine of free will became known as Pelagianism. He was well educated, fluent in both Greek and Latin, and learned in theology. He spent time as an ascetic, focusing on practical asceticism, which his teachings clearly reflect. He was not, however, a cleric. He was certainly well known in Rome, both for the harsh asceticism of his public life as well as the power and persuasiveness of his speech. His reputation in Rome earned him praise early in his career even from such pillars of the Church as Augustine of Hippo, who referred to him as a "saintly man." However, he was later accused of lying about his own teachings in order to avoid public condemnation. Most of his later life was spent defending himself against other theologians and the Catholic Church.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Tribe of Asher

The Tribe of Asher (Hebrew: אשר "happy") is one of the Hebrew tribes of Israel, founded by Asher the eighth son of Jacob. Asher, his four sons and a daughter, settled in Egypt.
And Leah said, "Happy am I! For women have called me happy." So she called his name Asher. —Gen 30:13
The tribe may be the same as the Weshesh mentioned in Egyptian accounts (the W of Weshesh is a modern invention for ease of pronunciation, the egyptian records containing mention of the group refer to Uashesh). The Weshesh were part of a tribal confederation known as the Sea Peoples, which also included Peleset (the Philistines), Danua (possibly Dan), Tjekker (thought to mean of Acco, and thus may refer to Manasseh), Shekelesh (thought to mean men of Sheker, and thus may refer to Issachar).

Records only state that the Sea People attacked Egypt, and other nations, but not where hey came from or where they went to. As such there has been much speculation, with some thinking they either invaded, or returned home to, coastal Canaan, and subsequently their federation for some unknown reason split, with some tribes joining the Israelite federation.





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