Thursday, September 30, 2010


Judah ("Praise") is the name of several Biblical and historical figures. The original Greek text of the New Testament makes no difference between the names "Judah", "Judas" and "Jude", rendering them all as Yĕhuwdah; but in many English translations "Judah" is used for the Old Testament figure and the tribe (tribe of Judah) named after him, "Judas" is used primarily for Judas Iscariot, and "Jude" for other New Testament persons of the same name.
  • One of the sons of the Biblical patriarch Jacob.
  • The tribe of Judah formed by Judah's offspring
The kingdom ruled by the house of David after the Kingdom of Israel broke off following the death of King Solomon.

Judah (Hebrew: יהודה Yĕhuwdah from the root word יָדָה yadah "to throw, to confess, to point out with hand extended") was, according to the Book of Genesis, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Judah; however some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an etiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite confederation. With Leah as a matriarch, Biblical scholars regard the tribe as having been believed by the text's authors to have been part of the original Israelite confederation; however, it is worthy of note that the tribe of Judah was not purely Israelite, but contained a large admixture of non-Israelites, with a number of Kenizzite groups, the Jerahmeelites, and the Kenites, merging into the tribe at various points.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

G.K. Chesterton

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

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

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

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

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected."
He is not to be confused with his cousin, A. K. Chesterton.


Video: GK Chesterton - "Orthodoxy - The Paradoxes of Christianity"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The historic Philistines (Hebrew פלשתים פלשתי Pĕlishtiy "immigrants") an inhabitant of Philistia; descendants of Mizraim who immigrated from Caphtor (Hebrew: כפתור Kaphtor Caphtor = "a crown" the original home of the Philistines, perhaps on the southwest coast of Asia Minor, maybe in Egypt or close by, or more probably on the island of Cret) is a locality mentioned in the Bible and related literature, their territory being named Philistia in later contexts. Their origin has been debated among scholars, but modern archaeology has suggested early cultural links with the Mycenean world in mainland Greece (descendants of Mizraim who immigrated from Caphtor to the western seacoast of Canaan, Strong's H6430 - Pĕlishtiy). Though the Philistines adopted local Canaanite culture and language before leaving any written texts, an indo-European origin has been suggested for a handful of known Philistine words.

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


Monday, September 27, 2010

Gospel of John

The Gospel of John, (literally, According to John; Greek, Κατά Ιωαννην, Kata Iōannēn) is the fourth gospel in the biblical canon of the New Testament, traditionally ascribed to John the Apostle. Like the three synoptic gospels, it contains an account of some of the actions and sayings of Jesus, but differs from them in ethos and theological emphases. The purpose is expressed in the conclusion, 20:30-31: "..these [Miracles of Jesus] are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. If you have faith in Him, you will have true life."

According to Trinitarianism, of the four gospels, John presents the highest christology, implicitly declaring Jesus to be God (see The Word).

Compared to the synoptics, John focuses on Jesus' cosmic mission to redeem humanity. Only in John does Jesus talk at length about himself, and John includes a substantial amount of material that Jesus shared with the disciples only. Certain elements of the synoptics (such as the parables of Jesus, exorcisms, and the Second Coming of Christ) are not found in John.

Since the "higher criticism" of the 19th century, historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus. "Some commentators regard the work as anonymous."


Sunday, September 26, 2010


Edom (אֱדוֹם), a Hebrew word meaning "red," "ruby," "scarlet," or "Edom, geographical region southwest of the Dead Sea," is a name given to Esau in the Hebrew Bible (see Gen. 25:30), as well as to the nation purportedly descended from him. The nation's name in Assyrian was Udumi; in Greek, Idoumaía; in Latin, Idumæa or Idumea.

The Edomite people were a Semitic-speaking tribal group inhabiting the Negev Desert and the Aravah valley of what is now southern Israel and adjacent Jordan. The region has much reddish sandstone, which may have given rise to the name "Edom". The nation of Edom is known to have existed back to the 8th or 9th Century BCE, and the Bible dates it back several centuries further. Recent archeological evidence may indicate an Edomite nation as long ago as the 11th Century BCE, but the topic is controversial. The nation ceased to exist with the Jewish-Roman Wars.

The Edomites
And the Lord said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger." When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Gen. 25:23-25
The Edomites may have been connected with the Shasu and Shutu, nomadic raiders mentioned in Egyptian sources. Indeed, a letter from an Egyptian scribe at a border fortress in the Wadi Tumilat during the reign of Merneptah reports movement of nomadic "shasu-tribes of Edom" to watering holes in Egyptian territory.


Saturday, September 25, 2010


Jacob (Hebrew: יעקב Ya`aqob) (יַעֲקֹב "Holder of the heel"), later known as Israel (יִשְׂרָאֵל "Prince of God") is the third Biblical Patriarch. His father was Isaac and his grandfather was Abraham. His story is told in the Book of Genesis, beginning at Gen 25:19 which describes Jacob's father Isaac, the son of Abraham.

Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, sixty years old when Esau and Jacob were born, and Abraham was 160 years old. He and his twin brother, Esau, were markedly different in appearance and behavior. Esau was a ruddy hunter, while Jacob was a gentle man who "dwelled in tents," interpreted by most biblical scholars as a mark of his studiousness in the "tents" of Torah.

During Rebekah's pregnancy, "the children struggled together within her" (Genesis 25:22).

According to Rashi, whenever Rebekah passed a house of learning, Jacob would struggle to get out; whenever she passed a house of idolatry, Esau would struggle to get out.

Fearing that she was carrying one tenacious child, Rebekah questioned God about the tumult and learned that two children were in her womb, who would become two very different nations.

They would always be in competition, and eventually, the elder would serve the younger. She did not tell her husband Isaac about this prophecy, but remembered it later when she told Jacob to go to his father in place of Esau to receive the paternal blessing.

Esau was born first. Right behind was his brother Jacob, who was grasping onto Esau's heel. Thus he was named Ya`aqob - יעקב, from the Hebrew root עקב, "heel." The commentators explain that Jacob was trying to hold Esau back from being the firstborn and claiming the Abrahamic legacy for himself.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Constantine the Great

Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (Latin: IMP CÆSAR FLAVIVS CONSTANTINVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS) (February 27, 272–May 22, 337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Orthodox Christians) Saint Constantine, was proclaimed Augustus by his troops on July 25, 306 and ruled an ever-growing portion of the Roman Empire until his death. Constantine is famed for his refounding of Byzantium (modern Istanbul) as "Nova Roma" (New Rome) or Constantinople (Constantine's City).

Constantine is best remembered in modern times for the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Council of Nicaea in 325, which fully legalized Christianity in the Empire for the first time.

These actions are considered major factors in that religion's spread, and his reputation as the "first Christian Emperor" has been promulgated by historians from Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea to the present day, though he himself was baptized only on his death bed. He had planned be baptized in the Jordan River before crossing into Persia. Persian diplomats came to Constantinople over the winter of 336–7, seeking peace, but Constantine turned them away. The campaign was called off however, when Constantine fell sick in the spring of 337.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

An die Freude

"To Joy" (German: "An die Freude," first line: "Freude, schöner Götterfunken", in English often called Ode to Joy) is an ode written in 1785 by the German poet, playwright and historian Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller. The poem celebrates the ideal of unity and brotherhood of all mankind.

It is best known for its musical setting by Ludwig van Beethoven in the final movement of his Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" (completed in 1824), for four solo voices, and choir.

"One day he [Beethoven] burst into the room and shouted at me: 'I got it!  I have it!' He held his sketchbook out to me so that I could read: 'Lassst uns das Lied des unsterblichen Schiller singen' —Let us sing the song of the immortal Schiller; then a solo voice began the hymn of joy."

The Beethoven setting of "An die Freude" is the official anthem of the European Union.

Despite Beethoven’s influence and his overwhelming popularity in Vienna his Ninth Symphony was still greeted with some criticism, chiefly for the use of human voices in the final movement. For example, Friedrich Wieck, the notorious father of Clara Schumann, said that the symphony was of “unpalatable chaos” that was “simply unpleasant and must remain so” (Schott 3). Even Wagner, who regarded Beethoven, Liszt, and himself as the only great composers in history, spoke not entirely positively of the symphony.

Leonard Bernstein conducts
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D Minor
Op. 125 4th movement


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brothers (Arabic: الإخوان المسلمون al-ikhwān al-muslimūn, full title The Society of the Muslim Brothers, often simply الإخوان al-ikhwān, the Brotherhood, Muslim Brotherhood or MB) is a transnational Sunni movement and the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states, particularly Egypt. The world's oldest and largest Islamist group was founded by the Egyptian schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna in 1928.

These groups are dedicated to the credo:
Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an and Sunnah as the "sole reference point for . ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community . and state".[2]
The Brotherhood's official position of opposing most terror against civilians and condemning the 9/11 attacks is a matter of international controversy. Its position on violence has also caused disputes within the movement, with more radical, violent members at times breaking away to form groups such as the Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group) and Al Takfir Wal Hijra (Excommunication and Migration).

As noted by Discover The Networks:
In recent years, the Brotherhood has attempted to forge a reputation as a moderate and reformist Islamic group that has renounced its violent past. Lending plausibility to this reputation has been criticism of the organization by radical Islamist groups, who have condemned the Brotherhood’s willingness to participate in the political process as heretical. These groups have also criticized the Brotherhood for supposedly abandoning violent struggle as a means of establishing an Islamic empire.[20]


includes video: The Muslim Brotherhood in America

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Tribes of Israel

Israel had 12 sons, as follows: Reuben, (ראובן Rĕ'uwben, Jacob's firstborn); Simeon, (שמעון Shim`own); Levi, (לוי Leviy); Judah, (יהודה Yĕhuwdah); Dan, (דן Dan); Naphtali, (נפתלי Naphtaliy); Gad, גד (Gad); Asher, (אשר 'Asher); Issachar, (יששכר Yissaskar); Zebulun, (זבולון Zĕbuwluwn); Joseph, (יוסף Yowceph);  –Manasseh, (מנשה Mĕnashsheh); and Ephraim– (אפרים 'Ephrayim); and Benjamin (בנימין Binyamiyn). (Jacob was renamed Israel Gen. 32:27-29)

The House of Joseph (sometimes referred to as the Tribe of Joseph) were the Old Testament tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Both of these tribes were descendants of Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who are both first mentioned in Genesis 41:50-52. In Genesis 48 Ephraim and Manasseh are taken to see a dying Jacob, who blesses Ephraim (the younger son) with his right hand and Manasseh with his left hand (see Genesis 48:14,19).

The Tribe of Levi was set apart from the others in the sense that, the members of the Tribe of Levi were to be in charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony.

The Tribe of Joseph is not usually listed with the Hebrew tribes although Joseph is one of Jacobs twelve sons, the eldest of Rachel. It is sometimes referred to as the House of Joseph. Rather, the two tribes founded by his sons Ephraim and Manasseh are listed separately.

Tribal Divisions

Politically, the Israelites were composed of thirteen tribes: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Benjamin. In parts of the Bible, Ephraim and Manasseh are treated as together constituting the House of Joseph, while the Levi have a special religious role and had only scattered cities as territory; whence traditionally either Ephraim and Manasseh were counted as one tribe, or Levi wasn't counted, so that together the tribes were the Twelve Tribes of Israel (see also: Gen. 32: 27-29, Gen. 48:5).


Monday, September 20, 2010

Four Quarters of Jerusalem

The Old City (Hebrew: העיר העתיקה‎, HaEer HaAtika, Arabic: البلدة القديمة‎, al-Balda al-Qadimah) is a 0.9 square kilometre (0.35 square mile) walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem; it lies within East Jerusalem. Until the 1860s this area constituted the entire city of Jerusalem. The Old City is home to several sites of key religious importance: the Temple Mount and its Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims.

Traditionally, the Old City has been divided into four uneven quarters, although the current designations were introduced only in the 19th century. Today, the Old City is roughly divided into the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the Old City found itself located entirely on the Jordanian side of the demarcation line. During the Six Day War in 1967, which saw hand to hand fighting on the Temple Mount, the Old City transferred to Israeli control.

In 1980, Jordan proposed the Old City to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. It was added to the List in 1981. In 1982, Jordan requested that it be added to the List of World Heritage Sites in danger.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Testament view on the life of Jesus

The four canonical gospels of the New Testament are the main sources of information for the traditional Christian narrative of Jesus' life.

Genealogy and family

The Gospels give two accounts of Jesus' genealogy: one in the male line through his legal father Joseph of Nazareth (Matt 1:2–16 and one through his mother, Mary, while referencing his supposed father; Luke 3:23–38). Both accounts trace his line back to King David and from there to Abraham. These lists are identical between Abraham and David, but they differ between David and Joseph. Matthew starts with Solomon and proceeds through the kings of Judah to the last king, Jeconiah. After Jeconiah the line of kings terminated when Babylon conquered Judah. Thus, Matthew shows that Jesus is the legal heir to the throne of Israel. Luke's genealogy is longer than Matthew's; it goes back to Adam and provides more names between David and Jesus, thus giving us direct descendants from Adam to Jesus through Mary.

Joseph of Nazareth appears only in descriptions of Jesus' childhood. With Jesus commending Mary into the care of the beloved disciple during his crucifixion (John 19:25–27), it is likely that he had died by the time of Jesus' ministry. Both Matthew 13:55–56 and Mark 6:3 tell of Jesus' relatives. Mark 6:3 reports that those hearing Jesus asked, "Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, mentions at 1:19 that "I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord's brother." The first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus also describes James the Just as "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ" (translation of William Whiston), though this passage has been suggested as an interpolation (see Josephus on Jesus). Additionally, the Christian historian Eusebius (who wrote in the 4th century but quoted earlier sources that are now lost) refers to James the Just as Jesus' brother (see Desposyni). However, Epiphanius argued that they were "Joseph's children by his (unrecorded) first wife", while Jerome argued that they were "Jesus' cousins". The Greek word adelphos in these verses is often translated as brother in many Bible translations. However, the word can refer to any familial relation, and Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, along with certain other Christians, cite later revelations concerning the perpetual virginity of Mary, contend the correct translation of adelphos is kinsman or cousin.

Includes Mark Farner's remake of his own classic Grand Funk Railroad song, "Some Kind of Wonderful"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Witch of Endor

In the Hebrew Bible, the Medium or Witch of Endor in 1 Samuel 28:1-8 and 1 Samuel 28:3-25, was a woman "who possesses a talisman", through which she called up the ghost of the recently deceased prophet Samuel, at the demand of King Saul of Israel.

In order to understand the context of the story of Saul and the Witch of Endor, it is necessary to first understand what lead up to it—where The LORD Rejects Saul as King.  If you are not familiar, read this first: 1 Samuel 15.

After Samuel's death and burial with due mourning ceremonies in Ramah, Saul had driven all necromancers and magicians from Israel. Then, in a bitter irony, Saul sought out the witch, anonymously and in disguise, only after he received no answer from God from dreams, prophets or the Urim and Thummim as to his best course of action against the assembled forces of the Philistines. The prophet's ghost offered no advice but predicted Saul's downfall as king; Saul calmly accepted his doom and fell in battle the next day with his sons dying with him too.

Following the orders of the king, the woman summons the ghost of Samuel from the abode of the dead, to give him advice. This, however, is not given. After complaining of being awakened from his long sleep, the prophet's ghost berates him for disobeying God, and predicts Saul's downfall, with his whole army, in battle the next day, and adds that Saul and his sons will join him, then, in the abode of the dead. Saul is shocked and afraid, and the next day the army is defeated and Saul commits suicide after being wounded.


Friday, September 17, 2010

The abomination of desolation

The abomination of desolation (or desolating sacrilege) is a term found in the Hebrew Bible, in the book of Daniel. It also occurs in the book of 1 Maccabees and in the New Testament gospels, for example:

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. –Luke 16:15

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. –Rev 17:4

But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Rev 21:27
from the Greek βδέλυγμα bdelygma a foul thing, a detestable thing, of idols and things pertaining to idolatry.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Canaan (Arabic کنعان, Hebrew כְּנַעַן, Septuagint Greek Χανααν) is an ancient term for a region roughly corresponding to present-day Israel/Palestine including the West Bank, Western Jordan, southern and coastal Syria and Lebanon continuing up until the border of modern Turkey.

Various Canaanite sites have been excavated by archaeologists, most notably the Canaanite town of Ugarit, which was rediscovered in 1928. Much of our modern knowledge about the Canaanites stems from excavation in this area.

In linguistic terms, Canaanite refers to the common ancestor of closely related semitic languages including Hebrew, and Ugaritic, and was the first language to use a semitic alphabet, from which the others derived their scripts; see Canaanite languages.

The name Canaan is of obscure origins but is extremely ancient; the first known references appear in the 3rd millennium bc, possibly from hurrian sources in the Mesopotamian city of Nuzi.

The biblical explanation is that it derives from Canaan, the son of Ham and the grandson of Noah, whose offspring correspond to the names of Canaanite tribes in Genesis 10.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Gaza (Arabicغزة Ġazzah; Hebrew עזה `Azzah "the strong", From עָזַז `az "strong, mighty, fierce") is the largest city within the Gaza Strip, part of the Palestinian Territories. The city, which has a population of approximately 400,000, is frequently termed "Gaza City" in order to distinguish it from the larger Gaza Strip.

15 Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, 16 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the clans of the Canaanites dispersed. 19 And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon in the direction of Gerar as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations. –Genesis 10:15-20

Inhabited since at least the 15th century BCE, Gaza has been dominated by several different peoples and empires throughout its history. The Philistines made it a part of their pentapolis after the Ancient Egyptians had ruled it for nearly 350 years. Under the Romans and later the Byzantines, Gaza experienced relative peace and its port flourished. In 635, it became the first city in Palestine to be conquered by the Rashidun army and quickly developed into a center of Islamic law. However, by the time the Crusaders invaded the city, it was in ruins. In later centuries, Gaza experienced several hardships from Mongol raids to floods and locusts, reducing it to a village by the 16th century when it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. During the first half of Ottoman rule, the Ridwan dynasty controlled Gaza and under them the city went through an age of great commerce and peace.


includes Video: Hamas Leader Mahmoud Al Zahhar Our Plan Is to Establish a Palestinian State Without Recognizing Israel and Without Giving Up the Right of Return

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


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

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

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

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


Monday, September 13, 2010

The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven seem to be variations of the same idea. A kingdom implies a king. Our king is Jesus. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36).  Jesus' authority did not come from man but from God (Luke 22:29).

The Kingdom of God (or the Kingdom of Heaven) is a key concept in Christianity based on a phrase attributed to Jesus of Nazareth in the gospels. The phrase occurs in the New Testament more than 100 times. Basileia tou theou was commonly translated into English as “Kingdom of God” in the New Testament, and refers to the reign or sovereignty of God over all things.

This was as opposed to the reign of earthly powers, especially the Roman empire, which occupied Nazareth and Capernaum, where Jesus lived, as well as other cities mentioned in the Bible as visited by Jesus, most notably, Jerusalem.

Discussion of the basileia dates backs for centuries. Eusebius identified basileia with monarchy while Augustine of Hippo foresaw a merger of the church and basileia. Aquinas, however, ignores the concept and, considering its prominence in Jesus dialectic, it was relatively little discussed by Christian theologians until Johannes Cocceius (1660} and Hermann Samuel Reimarus in the 18th century, during what has become known as the "first quest" for the historical Jesus.


Sunday, September 12, 2010


According to the Hebrew Bible, Moses (Hebrew: משה Mosheh "to draw out, pull out") led the Israelites out of Egypt, and received the Torah of Judaism from God on Mount Sinai. The Torah contains the life story of Moses and his people until his death at the age of 120 years, according to some calculations in the year 2488, or 1272 BC. Consequently, "may you live to 120" has become a common blessing among Jews.

Moses's greatest legacy was probably expounding the doctrine of monotheism, which was not widely accepted at the time, codifying it in Jewish religion with the 1st Commandment, and punishing polytheists. He is revered as a prophet in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The birth of Moses occurred at a time when the current Egyptian monarch had commanded that all male children born to Hebrew captives should be killed by drowning in the Nile River.
22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive. –Exodus 1:22

1. Exodus 1:22 Samaritan, Septuagint, Targum; Hebrew lacks to the Hebrews

The Torah leaves the identity of this Pharaoh unstated, but he is widely believed to be Ramses II; other, earlier pharaohs have also been suggested including a Hyksos pharaoh or one shortly after the Hyksos had been expelled.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Temples of Jerusalem

The Temple in Jerusalem or the Holy Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Bet HaMikdash) was built in ancient Jerusalem in c. 10th century BCE and was subsequently rebuilt twice, after the Babylonian exile and during Herod the Great's renovation. It was the center of Israelite Jewish worship, primarily for the offering of sacrifices known as the korbanot. It was located on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, was the center of ancient Judaism, and has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism anticipate the Third Temple being built in the future.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Temple was built by Solomon. It replaced the Tabernacle of Moses

  • The First Temple (also known as Solomon's Temple)
  • The Second Temple, ( Herod's Temple: massive expansion of the Second Temple)
  • The Third Temple
(Since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, religious Jews have prayed that God will allow for the rebuilding of a Third Temple.)

The Temple Mount was the site of the first and second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and according to Judaism is to be the site of the third and final Temple in the time of the Messiah. It is also the site of two major Muslim religious shrines, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, taken over through Islamic conquest in the 7th century. Jews and Christians are not allowed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque, even though it is built upon the ground where God authorized the building of the First Temple.

It is the holiest site in Judaism, the third holiest site in Islam, and has special significance to Christianity. It is thus one of the most contested religious sites in the world.


Friday, September 10, 2010


King David in Prayer
The Books of Kings (Hebrew: מֶלֶךְ‎ melek) are books included in the Hebrew Bible. They were originally written in Hebrew and are recognized as scripture by Judaism and Christianity (as part of the Old Testament). According to Biblical chronology, the events in the Books of Kings occurred between the 10th and 6th centuries BC.

The books contain accounts of the kings of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. They contain the annals of the Jewish commonwealth from the accession of Solomon until the subjugation of the kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians (apparently a period of about four hundred and fifty-three years). The Books of Kings synchronize with 1 Chronicles 28 – 2 Chronicles 36:21. While in the Chronicles greater prominence is given to the priestly or Levitical office, in the Kings greater prominence is given to the royal and prophetic offices. Kings appears to have been written considerably earlier than Chronicles and as such is generally considered a more reliable historical source.

During his old age, King David spends his nights with Abishag, a woman appointed for the purpose of keeping him warm. Adonijah, a son of David, gathers attendants and persuades Joab and Abiathar to support his claim to be David's heir. Opposed to this are Zadok, Benaiah, Nathan, and Shimei, as well as the army generals, who favour Solomon, another son of David. Adonijah invites his supporters, neutral court officials, and his other brothers excepting Solomon, to the Zoheleth stone. Nathan persuades Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, to trick David into announcing that Solomon is his heir. After having done this, David has Solomon anointed as the next king. When Adonijah is told, he and his guests flee, and Adonijah seeks sanctuary at the Jerusalem altar. Begging not to be harmed by Solomon, Adonijah is only told that he will not be harmed if he is guiltless. Dying, David instructs Solomon to take revenge on Joab, a supporter of Adonijah, and Shimei, and to be kind to the sons of Barzillai. Adonijah approaches Bathsheba asking for a conciliatory gesture from Solomon, namely he asks for Abishag, but when Bathsheba asks Solomon about this, Solomon has Benaiah slaughter Adonijah. Abiathar, who had supported Adonijah, is then deposed from being head priest of the Jerusalem altar and exiled to his homeland, and he is replaced by Zadok. Joab, another of Adonijah's supporters, seeks sanctuary at the Jerusalem altar, but Solomon has Benaiah slaughter Joab at the altar. As for Shimei, Solomon orders him to remain in Jerusalem, but when Shimei later retrieves his servants who had fled to Gath, Solomon has Benaiah slaughter Shimei for leaving.


Thursday, September 09, 2010


(Hebrew: נוֹחַ or נח Noach "rest") biblical patriarch, son of Lamech, father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth; builder of the ark which saved his family from the destruction of the world which God sent on the world by the flood; became the new seminal head of mankind. He and his family alone survived the deluge by means of an ark, which he had been commanded to build and to place therein:
"2 Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate,.." (Gen. 7:2)

While the Deluge and Noah's Ark are the best-known element of the story of Noah, he is also mentioned as the "first husbandman" and the inventor of wine, as well as in connection with the somewhat mysterious episode of his drunkenness and the subsequent Curse of Ham.

Some analyses of the text of the story have suggested that its present form combines two originally separate sources, possibly relating to two separate stories, and that it contains elements of earlier Mesopotamian mythology, although both of these points are disputed and controversial.

The story of Noah was the subject of much elaboration in the later Abrahamic traditions, and was immensely influential in Western culture.


Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Simo Parpola about Assyrians
Assyria in earliest historical times referred to a region on the Upper Tigris river, named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur. Later, as a nation and Empire, it also came to include roughly the northern half of Mesopotamia (the southern half being Babylonia). The capital is Nineveh.

Assyria proper was located in a mountainous region, extending along the Tigris as far as the high Gordiaean or Carduchian mountain range of Armenia, sometimes called the "Mountains of Ashur".

The Assyrian kings controlled a large kingdom at three different times in history. These are called the Old, Middle, and Neo-Assyrian kingdoms, or periods. The most powerful and best-known nation of these periods is the Neo-Assyrian kingdom, 911-612 BC.

Early history
The most important prehistoric (Neolithic) site in Assyria is at Tell Hassuna, the center of the Hassuna culture.

Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria, little is positively known. According to some Judeo-Christian traditions, the city of Ashur (also spelled Assur or Aššur) was founded by Ashur (also Asshur) the second son of Shem, who was deified by later generations as the city's patron god.

The upper Tigris river valley seems to have been ruled from Sumer, Akkad, and northern Babylonia in its earliest stages, being part of Sargon of Akkad's empire. Destroyed by barbarians in the Gutian period, it was rebuilt, and ended up being governed as part of the Empire of the 3rd dynasty of Ur.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Islam (Arabic: الإسلام, "submission (to the will of Allah") has long been considered a monotheistic faith–one of the Abrahamic religions, and the world's second-largest religion. Followers of Islam are known as Muslims. Muslims believe that Allah revealed his divine word directly to mankind through many prophets and that Muhammad was the final prophet of Islam.

In Arabic, Islām derives from the three-letter root Sīn-Lām-Mīm (س-ل-م), which means "submission; to surrender; to obey; peace". Islām is a verbal abstract to this root, and literally means "submission/obedience," referring to submission to Allah.

There can be little doubt that one of the most contentious propositions that may be encountered across the broad spectrum of Muslim-Christian debate is the suggestion that, rather than being the omnipotent God of creation, the God of Abraham, the sole and all-powerful Ruler of the universe, Allah might merely be instead the evolutionary development of a native Arab god from being a high god in a previously polytheistic, or at best henotheistic, religious environment to being the monotheistic deity now worshipped by over a billion Muslims the world over. As a theological system, Islam has invested quite a lot of emotional and spiritual capital into the belief that it is the final revelation of Allah, the return to the true religion of the only God from the apostate departures which are represented by every other system on earth. Therefore, any suggestion that the god of Islam may have merely been elevated to his present exalted status from a previous position of being one among many in the pagan system found in the Jahiliya, the so-called “Times of Ignorance”, will naturally meet with a negative response from Muslims.


includes video: The Third Jihad Wake Up America!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The First Intifada

The First Intifada (1987-1993) (also "intifada" and "war of the stones") was a mass Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule that began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem .

Intifada (انتفاضة intifāḍat) is an Arabic word for shaking off, though it is generally translated into English as rebellion. According to a 2007 article in the Washington Post, "the word "intifada" crystallized in its current Arabic meaning during the first Palestinian uprising in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is often used as a term for popular resistance to oppression.

Palestinian actions ranged from civil disobedience to violence. In addition to general strikes, boycotts on Israeli products, graffiti, and barricades, Palestinian demonstrations that included stone-throwing by youths against the heavily-armed Israel Defense Forces brought the intifada international attention. Intra-Palestinian violence was also a prominent feature of the Intifada, with widespread executions of alleged Israeli collaborators contributing almost half of the death toll among Palestinians.

More...  plus video...IDF Soldiers...


Hubal (Arabic: هبل‎) was a moon god worshipped in Arabia, notably at Mecca before the arrival of Islam.

Hubal in Mesopotamia
Tracing the origins of ancient gods can be quite nebulous. If the name Hubal is related to an Aramaic word for spirit, as suggested by Philip K. Hitti, then Hubal may have come from the north of Arabia.

In Sumer, in southernmost Mesopotamia north of Arabia, the moon-god figures in the creation epic, the Enuma Elish. In a variant of it, Hubal is chief among the elder gods. According to Hitti, a tradition recorded by Muhammad's early biographer ibn Ishaq, which makes ˤAmr ibn-Luhayy the importer of an image of Hubal from Moab or Mesopotamia, may have a kernel of truth insofar as it retains a memory of such an Aramaic origin of the deity.

Outside South Arabia, Hubal's name appears just once, in a Nabataean inscription; there hbl is mentioned along with the gods Đu sh-Sharā (ذو الشراة) and Manawatu—the latter, as Manat, was also popular in Mecca. On the basis of such slender evidence, it has been suggested that Hubal "may actually have been a Nabataean", but the Nabataeans were cosmopolitan traders who drew on many traditions in every aspect of life.


includes video How will people recognize Imam Mahdi (AS) & how 70,000 Scholars will accept Dajjal as Imam Mahdi?

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Jeremiah or Yermiyahu (יִרְמְיָהוּ) His writings are collected in the book of Jeremiah, and the Book of Lamentations. Jeremiah is considered by some modern scholars (as well as some Ancient Rabbis) to have written, or redacted much of the Old Testament, as we have it today. His language in "Jeremiah" and "Lamentations" is quite similar to that in Deuteronomy and the "Deuteronomic history" of Joshua, Judges, the Books of Samuel, and the Books of Kings. Jeremiah is also famous as "the broken-hearted prophet" (who wrote or dictated a "broken book", which has been difficult for scholars to put into chronological order), whose heart-rending life, and true prophecies of dire warning went largely-unheeded by the people of Judah. YHWH told Jeremiah, "You will go to them; but for their part, they will not listen to you".

According to the Book of Jeremiah, he was called to the prophetical office when still young; in the thirteenth year of Josiah (628 BC). He left his native place, Anatoth, (where Jeremiah was perhaps a member of the priesthood) and went to reside in Jerusalem; where he assisted Josiah in his work of reformation.



Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Tower of Babel

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

According to the narrative in Genesis 11 of the Bible, the Tower (Strong's H4026: מִגְדָּל migdal, nm. a tower so called for its height (Gen. 11:4), especially used of the tower of fortefied cities and castles. Also adj. great, large, big, huge; strong; rich; grand. From primitive root: גָּדַל gadal: to grow, become great or important, promote, make powerful, praise, magnify, do great things) of Babel (Strongs H894 בבל Babel, "confusion (by mixing)") was a tower built by a united humanity "whose top [may reach] unto heaven."(Gen. 11:4)

Because the hearts of men were said to be inherently evil and disobedient, they were striving to make a name for themselves instead of worshiping the God who created them.  Because of this open defiance, God stopped their efforts by confusing languages so that no one could understand each other. As a result, they could no longer communicate and the work was halted. The builders were then scattered to different parts of Earth. This story is used to explain the existence of many different languages and races.




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