Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Satan (שָׂטָן Standard Hebrew Satan, from the proper name Σατανάς Sátanas, Arabic شيطان Shaitan: both words mean "Adversary; accuser") is a Judeo-Christian term which is, together with the Islamic term Shaitan, traditionally applied to an angel, demon, or minor god in many religions. The idea of this ultimate agent of evil was most likely introduced by the Iranian (Persian) prophet Zoroaster as the Prince of Darkness, whose ideas for the first time introduced Demons and Angels to humanity, and would later influence Judeo-Christian beliefs. Although, Zoroaster’s beliefs concentrated on the duality and the struggle of the ultimate good and the ultimate evil, it would be the Jews, having adapted these beliefs, who would later portray Satan as the inferior enemy of God, and not the all power evil fighting the all powerful creator of man, which is what Zoroasterians believed. Satan plays various roles in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha and the New Testament. In the Hebrew Bible, Satan is an angel that God uses to test man for various reasons usually dealing with his level of piety (i.e. the test in the Book of Job).

In the Apocrypha and New Testament, Satan is portrayed as an evil, rebellious demon who is the enemy of God and mankind. However, in both Jewish and Christian theology Satan is no longer understood as a true equal to God.

Since both religions are intentionally monotheistic, Satan is seen, rather, as a creature created by God-originally good, but now fallen of his own choosing. This prevents a true dualism in both religions. Good is the original status of all things made by God. Corruption comes later at the hand of created moral agents (consider Augustine of Hippo's notion of privation here).  Thus Satan is always under God's providential control and at times even his unwilling agent.


Monday, August 30, 2010


The Great Ziggurat of UR
(January 17, 2004) as viewed
from Royal tombs of UR
Babylonia, named for its capital city, Babylon, was an ancient state in the south part of Mesopotamia (in modern Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. The earliest mention of Babylon can be found in a tablet of the reign of Sargon of Akkad, dating back to the 23rd century BC. Babylonia emerged when Hammurabi created an empire out of the territories of the former Akkadian Empire. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, and retained the Sumerian language for religious use, which by that time was no longer a spoken language. The Akkadian and Sumerian traditions played a major role in later Babylonian culture, and the region would remain an important cultural center, even under outside rule, throughout the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age.

Biblical patriarch Abraham and his grandson, Lot, were originally from Ur.
27 This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. –Genesis 11:27-29
31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. –Genesis 11:31
Historically, two ethnic groups, the Sumerians and Akkadians, had dominated the region. An area rich in natural resources, and strategically located for trade routes and commerce, it was often under threat from outsiders throughout the region's history.

At around 1900 BC, following the Sumerian revival under Ur-III, Semitic Amorites from west of the Euphrates gained control over most of Mesopotamia. During the first centuries of their rule, Mesopotamia was not unified, and the most powerful city state was Isin. Some Amorites eventually formed a monarchical government in the city-state of Babylon, which would ultimatly take over the Amorite kingdoms and form the first Babylonian empire. The three centuries of their rule is known as the Old Babylonian Period.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

The 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. 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).


Epistle to the Romans

The Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans (often referred to as "Romans") is one of the letters of the New Testament canon of the Christian Bible. It is one of the seven currently undisputed letters of Paul. It is even counted among the four letters accepted as authentic (known in German scholarship as Hauptbriefe) by Ferdinand Christian Baur and the Tübingen School of historical criticism of texts in the 19th century.

The book, according to Joseph Fitzmyer, "overwhelms the reader by the density and sublimity of the topic with which it deals, the gospel of the justification and salvation of Jew and Greek alike by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, revealing the uprightness and love of God the father." N.T. Wright notes that Romans is "neither a systematic theology nor a summary of Paul's lifework, but it is by common consent his masterpiece.

Paul's Epistle to the Romans dwarfs most of his other writings, an Alpine peak towering over hills and villages. Not all onlookers have viewed it in the same light or from the same angle, and their snapshots and paintings of it are sometimes remarkably unalike. Not all climbers have taken the same route up its sheer sides, and there is frequent disagreement on the best approach. What nobody doubts is that we are here dealing with a work of massive substance, presenting a formidable intellectual challenge while offering a breathtaking theological and spiritual vision".


Friday, August 27, 2010

Feasts and Festivals

A Jewish holiday or festival is a day or series of days observed by Jews as a holy or secular commemoration of an important event in Jewish history. In Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals, depending on their nature, may be called yom tov ("good day") (Yiddish: yontif) or chag ("festival") or ta'anit ("fast").

In the biblical old testament, the word feast (Hebrew: מִשְׁתֶּה mishteh) from shathah שָׁתָה to drink, first occurs in Genesis 19:3, when God rescues Lot.
1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, "My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the town square." 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. –Genesis 19:1-3
Lot was good, but there was not one more of the same character in the city. All the people of Sodom were very wicked and vile. Care was therefore taken for saving Lot and his family. Lot lingered; he dawdled. Thus many who are under convictions about their spiritual state, and the necessity of a change, shelve that necessitous work. The salvation of the most righteous men is of God's mercy, not by their own merit. We are saved by grace. God's power also must be acknowledged in bringing souls out of a sinful state. If God had not been merciful to us, our vacillating had been our ruin. Lot must flee for his life. He must not yearn after Sodom. Such commands as these are given to those who, through grace, are delivered out of a sinful state and condition. Return not to sin and Satan. Rest not in self and the world. Reach toward Christ and heaven, for that is escaping to the mountain, short of which we must not stop. Concerning this destruction, observe that it is a revelation of the wrath of God against sin and sinners of all ages.

The origins of various Jewish holidays generally can be found in Biblical mitzvot (commandments), rabbinical mandate, and modern Israeli history. Jesus of Nazareth observed every single one.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Simon the Zealot

The apostle Simon, called Simon the Zealot in Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13; and Simon Kananaios ("Simon" signifying שמעון "hearkening; listening", Standard Hebrew Šimʿon, Tiberian Hebrew Šimʿôn), was one of the most obscure among the apostles of Jesus; little is recorded of him aside from his name. Few pseudepigraphical writings were connected to him (but see below), and Jerome does not include him in De viris illustribus.

The name of Simon occurs in all the passages of the synoptic gospels and Acts that give a list of apostles, without further details.

Simon the Zealot was listed as one the the twelve disciples of Christ (Matthew 10:4; Acts 1:13) sometimes referred to as "Simon the Cananean" (Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15) and some identify with Simeon of Jerusalem, which others dispute on the grounds that Simeon was described at the time of Jesus' birth some thirty years before, as an old man not far from death. Simon, the name, stems from the Hebrew "Shimon" which means "hearing." The word "Cananean" stems from old Aramaic, meaning "zealous one."

He was chosen as one the Christ's twelve disciples (Matthew 10:2-4; Acts 1:13), sent on a mission to the the lost sheep of the house of Israel to preach "the kingdom of heaven is at hand," to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. He was told, "You received without paying; give without pay." (Matthew 10:5-8), present with the other disciples at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:20), and was with the other disciples for the Great Commission and Christ's Ascension.

..."Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." –Matthew 28:19-20


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Desert Fathers

The Desert Fathers were Hermits, Ascetics and Monks who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt, beginning around the third century. They were the first Christian hermits, who abandoned the cities of the pagan world to live in solitude. These original desert hermits were Christians fleeing the chaos and persecution of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century. They were men who did not believe in letting themselves be passively guided and ruled by a decadent state. Christians were often scapegoated during these times of unrest, and near the end of the century, the Diocletianic Persecution (or Great Persecution was the last and most severe Persecution by Diocletian and his colleagues Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius in the Roman empire) was more severe and systematic. In Egypt , refugee communities formed at the edges of population centers, far enough away to be safe from Imperial scrutiny.

In 313, when Christianity was made legal in Egypt by Diocletian's successor Constantine I, a trickle of individuals, many of them young men, continued to live in these marginal areas. The solitude of these places attracted them because the privations of the desert were a means of learning stoic self-discipline. Such self-discipline was modelled after the examples of Jesus' fasting in the desert and of his cousin John the Baptist (himself a desert hermit). These individuals believed that desert life would teach them to eschew the things of this world and allow them to follow God's call in a more deliberate and individual way.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. Totalitarianism is generally characterized by the coincidence of authoritarianism (i.e., where ordinary citizens have no significant share in state decision-making) and ideology (i.e., a pervasive scheme of values promulgated by institutional means to direct the most significant aspects of public and private life). Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain themselves in political power by means of an official all-embracing ideology and propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that controls the state, personality cults, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of state terrorism.

The notion of Totalitarianism as "total" political power by state was formulated in 1923 by Giovanni Amendola who described Italian Fascism as a system fundamentally different from conventional dictatorships. The term was later assigned a positive meaning in the writings of Giovanni Gentile, Italy's most prominent philosopher and leading theorist of fascism. He used the term “totalitario” to refer to the structure and goals of the new state. The new state was to provide the “total representation of the nation and total guidance of national goals.” He described totalitarianism as a society in which the ideology of the state had influence, if not power, over most of its citizens. According to Benito Mussolini, this system politicizes everything spiritual and human:


Monday, August 23, 2010

History of Palestine

The History of Palestine (Hebrew: פְּלֶשֶׁת Philistines, or Philistia = "land of sojourners") is the account of events in the greater geographic area in the Southern Levant known as Palestine, which includes the West Bank , and Gaza . Historically "Palestine" referred to a larger area, including what became modern day Israel and parts of Jordan and Syria, more or less approximating the Jewish Judean kingdom of ancientdom that was destroyed by the Romans and then renamed. The name "Palestine," in the form of the Greek toponym Palaistinê (Greek: Παλαιστίνη, see below) is derived from the Greek "Philistia" and is recorded in the work of the Ionian historian Herodotus, circa the 5th century BCE. He uses it to denote all of the coastal land of the Mediterranean Sea, including Phoenicia, down to Egypt.

όρος Παλαιστίνη μπορεί να αναφέρεται:
  • Στην ιστορική περιοχή της Παλαιστίνης
  • ή στο μη αναγνωρισμένο, ισχυριζόμενο Κράτος της Παλαιστίνης
Palestine term may refer:
  • In the area of historic Palestine
  • Or unrecognized, arguing State of Palestine

The term was first officially used to describe all the Land of Israel after the third Jewish rebellion, Bar Kokhba’s revolt had failed to win freedom from Roman domination of the Hebrew nation. The Romans changed the region's name from Israel/Judea in order to historically disconnect the Jews from their land as punishment for their rebellion against Roman imperialism. An attempt was also made to re-name Jerusalem, to Aelia Capitolina, but this did not by and large succeed throughout history.


Sunday, August 22, 2010


Leviathan (Hebrew: לִוְיָתָן, "Twisted; coiled, cetacean, whale, sea monster, dragon, large aquatic animal, perhaps the extinct dinosaur, plesiosaurus") was a Biblical sea monster referred to in the Old Testament (Psalm 74:13-14 Job 41; Isaiah 27:1). The word leviathan has become synonymous with any large sea monster or creature. In the novel Moby-Dick it (Job[a]) refers to great whales, and in Modern Hebrew, it means simply "whale".


The word "Leviathan" appears five places in the Bible, and the Book of Job 41 is dedicated in describing Leviathan in detail.:
  • Book of Job 3:8 "May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan "; NIV
  • Book of Job 41:1-34: "Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?..He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride." KJV (quoted 1 and 34 only)
  • Psalms 74:14: "Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness." KJV
  • Psalms 104:24,25: "O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts." KJV
  • Isaiah 27:1: "In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." KJV

The king over the children of pride is a reference to Satan (the Accuser). Just as he is referred to in the New Testament as a red dragon in Rev.12 having seven heads, so in Psalm 74:14: "Thou didst crush the heads of the Leviathan,.."


Saturday, August 21, 2010


Balaam (Hebrew: בִּלְעָם, nm. absorption; swallowing) is a prophet in the Torah, his story occurring in Numbers 22-24). The etymology of his name is uncertain, and discussed below. Every ancient reference to Balaam considers him a non-Israelite, a prophet, and the son of Beor, though Beor is not so clearly identified. Though other sources describe the apparently positive blessings he delivers upon the Israelites, he is reviled as a "wicked man" in the major story concerning him.

Impure seducers and their abandoned followers, give themselves up to their own fleshly minds. Refusing to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ, they act against God's righteous precepts. They walk after the flesh, they go on in sinful courses, and increase to greater degrees of impurity and wickedness.

They also despise those whom God has set in authority over them, and requires them to honour. Outward temporal good things are the wages sinners expect and promise themselves. And none have more cause to tremble, than those who are bold to gratify their sinful lusts, by presuming on the Divine grace and mercy. Many such there have been, and are, who speak lightly of the restraints of God's law, and deem themselves freed from obligations to obey it. Let Christians stand at a distance from such. (2 Peter 2:17-22)

The stories

There are two fairly separate accounts of Balaam in the Bible:
  1. Balaam and Balak, containing a brief aside concerning Balaam, the Donkey, and the Angel
  2. Balaam and the Midianites


Friday, August 20, 2010


U2: "Where The Streets Have No Name"
 - Live At Slane Castle

U2 is an Irish rock band formed in Dublin, whose members are Christians[1]. The band features Bono (Paul David Hewson) on vocals, rhythm guitar and harmonica; The Edge (David Howell Evans) on lead guitar, keyboards and backing vocals; Adam Clayton on bass guitar; and Larry Mullen, Jr. on drums and occasional backing vocals.

"We've found different ways of expressing it, and recognized the power of the media to manipulate such signs. Maybe we just have to sort of draw our fish in the sand. It's there for people who are interested. It shouldn't be there for people who aren't." –Bono on faith, quoted in "U2 at the End of the World"

Formed in 1976, U2 has consistently remained among the most popular acts in the world since the mid 1980s.

The band has sold approximately 50.5 million albums in the U.S., according to the RIAA, and upwards of 170 million worldwide, has had six #1 albums in the US and nine #1 albums in the UK and is one of the most successful bands of the rock era. The band has won 22 Grammy awards, more than any other recording artist.

The band is also politically active in human rights causes, such as the Make Poverty History campaign as well as Live Aid, Live 8, One.org, and Bono's DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa) campaign.


The band was formed in Dublin on Saturday, 25 September 1976 . Larry Mullen, Jr., then fourteen, posted a notice on his secondary school bulletin board (Mount Temple Comprehensive School) seeking musicians for a new band. The response that followed that note resulted in seven boys attending the initial practice in Larry's kitchen. Known for about a day as "The Larry Mullen Band," the group featured Mullen on drums, Adam Clayton on bass guitar, Paul Hewson (Bono) on vocals, Dave Evans (The Edge) on guitar, his brother Dik Evans on guitar and Mullen's friends Ivan McCormick and Peter Martin. Soon after, the group settled on the name Feedback because of the amplifier noise phenomenon they favored. Martin only came to the first practice, and McCormick was out of the core group within a few weeks.

After 18 months of rehearsals, Feedback changed its name to The Hype. The band performed with their new name at a talent show in Limerick, Ireland on 17 March 1978. One of the judges for the show happened to be CBS Records' Jackie Hayden; they won the contest, earning a £500 prize. Hayden was impressed enough with the band that he gave them studio time to record their first demo. Jackie Hayden later went on to work for Irish Magazine Hot Press.

In an interview with Christianity Today, Bono said:
"I just go where the life is, you know? Where I feel the Holy Spirit," Bono told Christianity Today. "If it's in the back of a Roman Catholic cathedral, in the quietness and the incense, which suggest the mystery of God, of God's presence, or in the bright lights of the revival tent, I just go where I find life. I don't see denomination. I generally think religion gets in the way of God.

"I am just trying to figure it out. Everybody wants to make an impact with their life, whether it's small scale with friends or family—that's really big, is the truth—or whether it's on a grand scale, in changing their communities and beyond.

"I just want to realize my potential." He recalled one pastor's recent advice: Stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Find out what God's doing. It's already blessed. "That's what I want," Bono said. "I want to align my life with that.


  1. «www.atu2.com U2 Bible References in lyrics Retrieved 8/20/2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Comparative religion

The Truth About Muhammad
(Book By Robert Spencer).

Comparative religion is a field of religious study that analyzes the similarities and differences of themes, myths, rituals and concepts among the world's religions. Religion can be defined as "Human beings' relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, spiritual, or divine" (see also spiritual formation, divinity).

In the field of comparative religion, the main world religions are generally classified as either Abrahamic, Indian or Taoic. Areas of study also include creation myths and Humanism.

In the study of comparative religion, the category of Abrahamic religions consists of the three monotheistic religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, which claim Abraham (Hebrew: אברם 'Abram "exalted father," later to be named Avraham אַבְרָהָם "father of a multitude" or "chief of multitude" by God (אלהים  'elohiym), cf. Genesis 17:5 Arabic Ibrahim ابراهيم ) as a part of their sacred history. Other religions (such as the Bahá’í Faith) that fit this description are sometimes included but also often omitted.

The original belief in the One God of Abraham eventually became present-day Judaism. Christians believe that Christianity is the fulfillment and continuation of the Jewish Old Testament, recognizing Jesus as the Son of God.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


 Love Song - Third Day
Christ is the English term for the Greek Χριστός (Christos) meaning "anointed", which as a translation of the Hebrew משח (mashach) meaning "to smear," "anoint," "spread a liquid," carries much of its original Jewish meaning of משיח mashiyach (nm. Messiah, anointed by the Lord; Christ) or appointed by God with a unique and special purpose (mission) on Earth.

Did Christ decant his soul until death for us, and will we think any thing too high-priced for him? Do we give him the prized chrism of our best affections? Let us love him with all the heart, though it is common for devotion and tenderness to be misunderstood and blamed; and remember that kindness and compassion to the poor will not exonerate any from remarkable acts of holiness to the Lord Jesus. Christ commended this woman's honorable attention to the notice of believers in all ages. Those who exalt Christ he will exalt. Parsimony was Judas' master lust, and that layed him bare to the sin of betraying his Master; the devil conformed his temptation to that, and so... vanquished him.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Absalom or Avshalom (Hebrew: אַבְשָׁלוֹם "Father/Leader of/is peace", Standard Hebrew Avšalom), in the Bible, is the third son of David, king of Israel. He was deemed the handsomest man in the kingdom.

The length of the war between Israel's first king Saul, and David, tried David's faith and patience, and made his settlement at last the more welcome. The contest between grace and corruption in the hearts of believers, may aptly be compared to this warfare. There is a long war between them, the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; but as the work of holiness is carried on, corruption, like the house of Saul, grows weaker and weaker; while grace, like the house of David, grows stronger and stronger.

David's third son, Absalom, was born in Hebron, the son of Maacah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur.

His sister Tamar had been raped by David's eldest son, Amnon, who was in love with her. Absalom, after waiting two years, revenged by sending his servants to murder Amnon at a feast to which he had invited all the king's sons:

23 After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king's sons. 24 And Absalom came to the king and said, "Behold, your servant has sheepshearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant." –2 Samuel 13:23-24

More ...
 (includes video Eric Whitacre When David Heard Part 1 & 2)

Monday, August 16, 2010


Machaerus is a fortress fifteen miles southeast of the mouth of the Jordan river, in the wild and desolate hills that overlook the Dead Sea from the east. The fortress was originally built by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus (104 BC-78 BC) in about the year 90 BC (Josephus, Wars 7.6.2). It was destroyed by Pompey's general Gabinius in 57 BC (Josephus, Wars 1.8.5), but later rebuilt by Herod the Great.

Flavius Josephus tells us that the Machaerus as the site of the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist.

When Herod the Great died, it passed into the hands of Herod Antipas, and his foreign relations with Nabatea made the place, strategically oriented in the direction of Nabatea, of special importance to him.

Upon the death of Herod the Great, the fortress was passed to his son, Herod Antipas, who ruled from 4 BC until 39 AD. It was during this time, at the beginning of the first century AD, that John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded at Machaerus.


Sunday, August 15, 2010


Eli (עלי "to go up, ascend, climb") is the name of one of the last Israelite Judges before the rule of kings in ancient Israel.  He was also the main priest and trained the young prophet Samuel.

His sons (Hophni and Phinehas) were considered to be very wicked and were eventually struck down by God for the inreverence they showed in doing their priestly duties. God's judgment fell on Eli himself when hearing that Israel lost the Ark of the Covenant to their enemies. After he was told this he fell over in his chair and died.

Hannah, is the wife of Elkanah. He also has another wife Peninnah who bore children with Elkanah. Penninnah at every chance needles Hannah about her barrenness to the point that brings Hannah into deep despair. Her husband sees her distress and tries to uncover her deep despair with these questions.
"Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?" 
The story indicates that Hannah gave no answer to the questions and rose and presented herself before the Lord weeping bitterly in the temple. When she is found in the temple by the priest she is praying silently, but her lips are moving. The priest witnesses this odd posture and concludes she is drunk. In her despair she prays to the Lord for a child and if her prayer is granted she will give the son back to the Lord. After Hannah's explanation of her sobriety, Eli blesses her with peace and a guarantee that the God of Israel will grant her request. She went home ate and drank with her husband and was filled with hope. Subsequently Hannah becomes pregnant; her child is named Samuel. The time had come to offer the yearly sacrifice at the temple but Hannah stayed home. She promises to go with him to the temple when Samuel is weaned and planned to leave him with Eli to be trained as a Nazirite. The book of 1 Samuel 2 records Hannah's beautiful prayer to the Lord. She rejoices and exalts the Holy One, "There is none holy like the LORD [Yahweh,"[1]] therefore, the nation should rejoice also in this Holy One. This story of Hannah intertwines itself with the culture of the nation of Israel. Eli is the high priest of Shiloh, the last Israelite judge before the rule of the kings, therefore, the Shiloh tradition will become an old and lost tradition that,  when the prophet Jeremiah comes on the scene in the history of the Lord's people, he will seek to renew and to bring back the way of the Shiloh tradition to the people of Israel because the kings have become wicked and defile the temple and tradition of Yahweh.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Augustinian hypothesis

the evangelist Matthew
inspired by an angel
The Augustinian hypothesis is a solution to the synoptic problem, which concerns the origin of the Gospels of the New Testament. The hypothesis holds that Matthew was written first, by Matthew the Evangelist, a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth. Mark the Evangelist, a disciple of the apostle Simon Peter, wrote the Gospel of Mark second, and used Matthew and the preaching of Simon Peter as sources. Luke the Evangelist, a disciple of Paul of Tarsus, wrote the Gospel of Luke, and was aware of the two Gospels that preceded him. Unlike some competing hypotheses, this hypothesis does not rely on, nor does it argue for, the existence of any document that is not explicitly mentioned in historical testimony. Instead, the hypothesis draws primarily upon historical testimony, rather than textual criticism, as the central line of evidence. The foundation of evidence for the hypothesis is the writings of the Early Church Fathers: historical sources dating back to as early as the first half of the 2nd century, which have been held as authoritative by most Christians for nearly 2 millennia. Finally, adherents to the Augustinian hypothesis view it as a simple, coherent solution to the synoptic problem.

The problem of the Relationship of the Synoptists was first seriously discussed by Augustine (d. 430), in his three books De Consensu Evangelistarum (Opera, Tom. III., 1041–1230, ed. Migne). He defends the order in our canon, first Matthew, last John, and the two apostolic disciples in the middle, like sons to be embraced and thus placed in the middle and between the two (in loco medio constituti tamquam filii amplectendi, I., 2), but wrongly makes Mark dependent on Matthew. His view prevailed during the middle ages and down to the close of the eighteenth century.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Dallas Willard

Dallas Willard
image ©dwillard.org
Dallas Willard (September 4, 1935 - ) is an American philosophy professor and author born in Buffalo, Missouri. His work in philosophy has been primarily in phenomenology, particularly the work of Edmund Husserl. His more popular work has been in the area of Christian spiritual formation, within the various expressions of historic Christian orthodoxy.


Willard attended William Jewell College, and later graduated from Tennessee Temple College in 1956 with a B.A. in Psychology, and from Baylor University in 1956 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion. He went to graduate school at Baylor University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a Ph. D. in Philosophy with a minor in the History of Science in 1964.

In his book "The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God," Willard  writes:
"The most telling thing about the contemporary Christian is that he or she has no compelling sense that understanding of and conformity with the clear teachings of Christ is of any vital importance to [their] life, and certainly not that it is in any way essential..Such obedience is regarded as just out of the question or impossible."

Willard taught at the University of Wisconsin in Madison from 1960-1965. Since then he has taught at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he served as Director of the School of Philosophy from 1982-1985. He has also held visiting appointments at UCLA (1969) and the University of Colorado (1984).

His publications in philosophy are concerned primarily with epistemology, the philosophy of mind and of logic, and with the philosophy of Edmund Husserl. He has translated many of Husserl's early writings from German into English.


Thursday, August 12, 2010


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

Within the context of Matt 22:37 (ἀγαπάω agapaō) where Jesus quotes Deut. 6:5 (Authorship attributed to the Moses), the Hebrew word in Deuteronomy is אהב 'ahab Strong's H157 means (human love for another, human love for or to God, God's love toward man, etc.)

Strong's Lexicon, G25 defines agapaō as such:
  1. of persons

    • to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
    • to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The Mufti of Constantinople
Within the Islamic theological framework the concept of taqiyya (تقیه) pronounced as "tagiyeh" by speakers of Iranian Persian, derives from the Arabic triliteral root waw-qaf-ya and denotes 'piety, devotion, uprightness, and godliness refers to the practice of precautionary dissimulation whereby believers may conceal their faith when under threat, persecution or compulsion.

Origin of the Practice

The practice of concealing one’s faith in dangerous circumstances originates in the Qur'an itself, which deems blameless those who disguise their beliefs in such cases. The practice of taqiyya in difficult circumstances is considered legitimate by Muslims of various persuasions. Sunni and Shi'i commentators alike observe that Q 16:106 in particular refers to the case of ‘Ammar b. Yasir, who was forced to renounce his beliefs under physical duress and torture.

Similarly, Q 3:28 enjoins believers not to take the company of doubters unless as a means of safeguarding themselves.

Two texts in the Koran specifically refer to taqiyya. The Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam reportedly said:

"[H]e who keeps secrets shall soon attain his objectives. … All War is a ruse” and “Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers; if any do that, they shall have no relation left with Allah except by way of precaution … [taqiyya] that ye may guard yourselves." [Koran 3:28 and 40:28, emphasis added]

Regarding 3:28, Ibn Kathir, a prominent authority writes, "Whoever at any time or place fears their [infidels'] evil may protect himself through outward show." As proof of this, he quotes Muhammad's companion, al-Hassan, who said, "taqiyya is acceptable till the Day of Judgment [i.e., in perpetuity]."

Lying and cheating in the Arab world is not really a moral matter but a method of safeguarding honor and status, avoiding shame, and at all times exploiting possibilities, for those with the wits for it, deftly and expeditiously to convert shame into honor on their own account and vice versa for their opponents. If honor so demands, lies and cheating may become absolute imperatives." [David Pryce-Jones, "The Closed Circle" An interpretation of the Arabs, p4]

“No dishonor attaches to such primary transactions as selling short weight, deceiving anyone about quality, quantity or kind of goods, cheating at gambling, and bearing false witness. The doer of these things is merely quicker off the mark than the next fellow; owing him nothing, he is not to be blamed for taking what he can.” [David Pryce-Jones, "The Closed Circle", p38]


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Battle of Vienna

Battle of Vienna, painting by Józef Brandt
(larger image)
The Battle of Vienna (German: Schlacht am Kahlenberg, Polish: Bitwa pod Wiedniem or Odsiecz Wiedeńska, Turkish: İkinci Viyana Kuşatması, Ukrainian: Віденська відсіч / Viděns'ka Vidsič) took place on the September 11th and 12th of 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. It was a battle of The Holy League versus the Ottoman Empire and fiefdoms of the Ottoman Empire near the Kahlen Berg mountain in Vienna. The battle marked the beginning of the political hegemony of the Habsburg dynasty in Central Europe.
15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

16 "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, –Matthew 10:15-17 ESV

Putting the above verses into context, what we are talking about, here, is a battle that has been going on, continually, since the fall of man. It is a spiritual war between the forces of good and evil.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Johannes Kepler

Portrait of
Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler (December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630) was a German Lutheran mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, and a key figure in the 17th century astronomical revolution. He is best known for his laws of planetary motion, based on his works Astronomia nova and Harmonice Mundi; Kepler's laws provided one of the foundations of Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation. Before Kepler's laws, planets' orbits were believed to be circular. Kepler's laws of planetary motion proved that the planets' orbits were actually elliptical.

Through his career Kepler was a mathematics teacher at a Graz seminary school (later the University of Graz, Austria), an assistant to Tycho Brahe, court mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II, mathematics teacher in Linz, Austria, and adviser to General Wallenstein.

He also did fundamental work in the field of optics and helped to legitimize the telescopic discoveries of his contemporary Galileo Galilei.

Kepler lived in an era when there was no clear distinction between astronomy and astrology, while there was a strong division between astronomy (a branch of mathematics within the liberal arts) and physics (a branch of the more prestigious discipline of philosophy); he also incorporated religious arguments and reasoning into his work, such that the basis for many of his most important contributions was essentially theological. Kepler described his new astronomy as "celestial physics", as "an excursion into Aristotle's Metaphysics", and as "a supplement to Aristotle's On the Heavens", transforming the ancient tradition of physical cosmology by treating astronomy as part of a universal mathematical physics.


Kepler also found a formula relating the size of each planet’s orb to the length of its orbital period: from inner to outer planets, the ratio of increase in orbital period is twice the difference in orb radius. However, Kepler later rejected this formula, because it was not precise enough. As he indicated in the title, Kepler thought he had revealed ’s geometrical plan for the universe. Much of Kepler’s enthusiasm for the Copernican system stemmed from his theological convictions about the connection between the physical and the spiritual; the universe itself was an image of God, with the Sun corresponding to God the Father, the stellar sphere to the Son of God, and the intervening space between to the Holy Spirit. His first manuscript of Mysterium contained an extensive chapter reconciling heliocentrism with biblical passages that seemed to support geocentrism. With the support of his mentor Michael Maestlin, Kepler received permission from the Tubingen university senate to publish his manuscript, pending removal of the Bible exegesis and the addition of a simpler, more understandable description of the Copernican system as well as Kepler’s new ideas. Mysterium was published late in 1596, and Kepler received his copies and began sending them to prominent astronomers and patrons early in 1597; it was not widely read, but it established Kepler’s reputation as a highly skilled astronomer. The effusive dedication, to powerful patrons as well as the men who controlled his position in Graz, also provided a crucial doorway into the patronage system.


Sunday, August 08, 2010


The Great Bend of
the Nilein Sudan, looking
north across the Sahara
Desert towards Northern
Sudan and Southern Egypt.
Courtesy NASA.
The Nile (Hebrew: יאור y@`or, Arabic: النيل an-nīl) of Egyptian origin, meaning river, stream, canal, Nile, Nile-canal. The Nile is one of the two longest rivers on Earth.
After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile –Gen. 41:1
In Greek, the word "Nile" ('nIl) comes from the word Neilos (Νειλος), a Greek name for the Nile River. Another Greek name for the Nile was Aigyptos (Αιγυπτος), which itself is the source of the name "Egypt."
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD, "Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs. 3 The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. Exodus 8:1-3

Among the Hebrews יאור (A River) signified:

a ditch, canal, channel. Is. 33:21, where it is the fosse of a fortified city ; Sept. SmqvI. So of the canals of the Nile.
  • 22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live." –Exodus 1:22

  • 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Exodus 2:3

  • 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the water. Wait on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake.–Exodus 7:15

  • 5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. 6 And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, "How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?" 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished.–Dan 12:5-7


Saturday, August 07, 2010


Archaeological sites
of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia refers to the region now occupied by modern Iraq, eastern Syria, and southern Turkey. The name comes from the Greek words μέσος "between" and ποταμός "river", referring to the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris (the Arabic term is بين نهرين Bayn Nahrain "between two rivers"). The fertile area watered by these two rivers is known as the "Cradle of Civilization," or "cradle of humanity" and it was here that the first literate societies developed.

The biblical Patriarch Abraham was from Ur in Mesopotamia.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the young woman to whom I shall say, 'Please let down your jar that I may drink,' and who shall say, 'Drink, and I will water your camels'—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master."

15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, "Please give me a little water to drink from your jar." 18 She said, "Drink, my lord." And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, "I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking." 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels. 21 The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the LORD had prospered his journey or not. –Genesis 24:10-21 ESV
There has never been a political entity called Mesopotamia, nor does Mesopotamia have any definite boundaries; the name is simply a convenient one invented by Greek historians to refer to a broad geographical area.


Mesopotamia has been home to some of the world's major ancient civilizations, succeeding the major prehistoric cultures such as Ubaid and Jemdet Nasr, including the Sumerian city states, and the Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian Empires.


Friday, August 06, 2010


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

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

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

Its position is clearly indicated in the Bible: it lay north of Bethal and Silo, on the high road going from Jerusalem to the northern districts (Judges 21, 19), at a short distance from Machmethath (Joshua 17:7) and of Dothain (Genesis 37:12-17); it was in the hill-country of Ephraim (Joshua 20:7; 21:21; 1 Kings 12:25; 1 Chronicles 6:67; 7:28), immediately below Mount Gerizim (Judges 9:6-7).

These indications are completed by Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who says that the city lay between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, and by the Madaba Map, which places Sychem, also called Sikima between the Tour Gobel (Ebal) and the Tour Garizin (Garizim).


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Temple of Herod

A Greek language inscription from
Herod's Temple, late 1st century
BCE. It warns gentiles to refrain
from entering the Temple enclosure,
on pain of death.
The Temple of Herod in Jerusalem was a massive expansion of the Second Temple along with renovations of the entire Temple Mount. Herod the Great's expansion project began around 19 BCE. The renovation by Herod began with the building of giant underground vaults upon which the temple would be built so it could be larger than the small flat area on top of Mount Moriah. Ground level at the time was at least 20 ft. (6m) below the current level, as can be seen by walking the Western Wall tunnels. The edge of this platform remains everywhere; part of it forms the Western Wall.

In 1948, Jordan destroyed the Jewish Quarter and much more of the wall was revealed along the southern side.

Although we have no biblical information regarding this enormous temple, we do know that in the 49th year of its building program, Jesus' body ("His Temple") was destroyed, (John 2:18-25). 49-years is 7 x 7, which is a Jubilee (Hebrew: יובל see Leviticus 25:10).
15 And making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade."

17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."

18 So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" 19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20 The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" –John 20:15-20 ESV


Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Katzrin village, columns stand
in the ancient synagogue
Katzrin (Hebrew: קצרין‎, also spelt Qatzrin or Kazerin) is the administrative center and largest town in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The town offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. To the south is the Sea of Galilee , to the north Mount Hermon, and to the west the hills of the Upper Galilee. Katzrin was established in 1977 after the government of Israel decided settling and populating the Golan Heights was of prime importance for Israel. In addition, Katzrin was planned as an urban center that would provide a variety of services to the rural communities and military bases scattered throughout the Golan. In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights (including Katzrin). Costumed guides demonstrate and explain construction methods, agricultural and manufacturing processes in Hebrew and English.


The Katzrin Synagogue was built in the 6th century CE atop a more modest 4th-5th century synagogue. Fragments of a mosaic floor have been found. The synagogue was apparently destroyed by the Golan earthquake of 749. In the Mamluk Empire, part of the standing ruin was roofed and used as a Mosque. After a brief period, this use and the village itself were abandoned until 1967.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Temple Tax

Denarius, of Tiberius.
A silver coin, also called a Dinar, 
or Drachma.  Tiberius issued only one type of Denarius, sothis is most probably the coin shown to Jesus. Mt.22.17-21, Mk.12.14-17, Lk.20.21-25.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus paid the temple tax. In Jesus' day, the denarius was the form of money used to pay Caesar, but the temple tax was paid with the drachma. Luke 20 tells us that the teachers of the law and the chief priests sent spies to watch Jesus. They asked Him,
22 "Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 "Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?"

Jesus asked to see a denarius and whose portrait and inscription were on it knowing that Tiberius Caesar's portrait and inscription were on it, and He taught that it was right to uphold our witness as citizens of the communities where God has placed us.

Those who are most crafty in their designs against Christ and his gospel, cannot hide them. He did not give a direct answer, but reproved them for offering to impose upon him; and they could not fasten upon any thing wherewith to stir up either the governor or the people against him. The wisdom which is from above, will direct all who teach the way of God truly, to avoid the snares laid for them by wicked men; and will teach our duty to God, to our rulers, and to all men, so clearly, that opposers will have no evil to say of us.


Monday, August 02, 2010

Luke the Evangelist

St Luke the Evangelist (detail).
Artist: Domenico Ghirlandaio.
Date: 1486-90. Medium: Fresco.
Location: Cappella Tornabuoni,
Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Luke the Evangelist (לוקא, Greek: Λουκᾶς Loukas) is said by tradition to be the author of both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, the third and fifth books of the New Testament. In Catholicism, he is patron saint of physicians and surgeons, and his feast day is October 18. His earliest notice is in Paul's Epistle to Philemon, verse 24.. He is also mentioned in Colossians 4:14 and 2 Timothy 4:11, two works commonly ascribed to Paul. Our next earliest account of Luke is in the Anti-Marcionite Prologue to the Gospel of Luke, a document once thought to date to the 2nd century AD, but more recently has been dated to the later 4th century. However Helmut Koester claims the following part – the only part preserved in the original Greek – may have been composed in the late 2nd century:

Luke is a Syrian of Antioch , a Syrian by race, a physician by profession. He had become a disciple of the apostles and later followed Paul until his [Paul's] martyrdom. Having served the Lord continuously, unmarried and without children, filled with the Holy Spirit he died at the age of 84 years.

Some manuscripts add that Luke died "in Thebes, the capital of Boeotia". All of these facts support the conclusion that Luke was associated with Paul.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevski, 1863
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, Fёdor Mihajlovič Dosto'evskij, sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, Dostoievsky, Dostojevskij, Dostoevski or Dostoevskii (November 11, [O.S. October 30] 1821 – February 9, [O.S. January 28] 1881) was a Russian writer, essayist and philosopher, known for his novels Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

Several Dostoyevsky Quotes:

“Love a man, even in his sin, for that love is a likeness of the divine love, and is the summit of love on earth”

“If God does not exist, then everything is permitted”

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love”

“The soul is healed by being with children”

Dostoyevsky's literary output explores human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society. Considered by many as a founder or precursor of 20th-century existentialism, his Notes from Underground (1864), written in the embittered voice of the anonymous "underground man", was called by Walter Kaufmann the "best overture for existentialism ever written."  A prominent figure in world literature, Dostoyevsky is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest psychologists in world literature, although some fellow novelists have assessed his works as mediocre and full of platitudes.




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