Book of Isaiah – Isaiah, son of Amoz, was a statesman, counselor to Kings and a prophet in the Old Testament around the 8th-century BCE. He apparently lived in Jerusalem, having a profound influence in the Kingdom of Judah.
Like many other books in the Bible, scholars question the authorship of the Book of Isaiah. While some fundamentalists still believe that all of the books of the Bible were written by the authors ascribed to them, contemporary biblical scholars generally agree that the prophetic book written in Isaiah’s name contains material from at least two other unnamed prophets, known as Deutero-Isaiah and Trito-Isaiah.
The Isaiah recorded in the Bible shows some hostility towards his political enemies, but this is tempered by his hope for a better future that he never sees… not in this world, anyhow. Wikipedia nicely sums up the bulk of Isaiah:
The first 39 chapters prophesy doom for a sinful Judah and for all the nations of the world that oppose God, while the last 27 prophesy the restoration of the nation of Israel and a new creation in God’s glorious future kingdom; this section includes the Songs of the Suffering Servant, four separate passages referring to the nation of Israel, interpreted by Christians as prefiguring the coming of Jesus Christ.¹
In Trito-Isaiah God reveals his total sovereignty over human life and thought:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are my ways your ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.²
After the Assyrian invasion of 701 BCE, it is generally believed that Isaiah was martyred.
² Isaiah 55 : 8-9 . This is one of my favorite Biblical passages and it was instrumental in my conversion to Catholicism. During a transitional stage in my life a non-Catholic Christian, quite out of the blue, suggested I read Isaiah 55 : 6-9. When I did, the power of the words hit me hard and I eventually converted to Catholicism. Interestingly, the numbers 55 and 69 had already been personally significant for several years prior, in a sort of ongoing synchronistic way. So hearing the Christian suggest I read that particular passage, and the effect it had on me, contained special significance. It seems that God usually works that way (MC).
- Book of Isaiah (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Isaiah the prophet, son of Amoz (sharperthanatwoedgedsword.wordpress.com)
- Fear Leads To Spiritual Darkness (nweatherhead.wordpress.com)
- The Beginning (discoveringisaiah.wordpress.com)
- Starting Monday off with a message from God (aliendad.wordpress.com)
- “What should we learn from the life of Isaiah?” (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Who is the “Man of Sorrows” in Isaiah 53? (verse4psalm37.wordpress.com)
- Status Report Day 98 (journeyofthebible.wordpress.com)
The Bible Code is a best selling book by Michael Drosnin which, if anything, demonstrates the popular craving for novelty and a sense of wonder.
I’ve talked to otherwise intelligent people who are impressed by this highly questionable book. But when you try to talk with them intelligently about what it says, they’ll usually blank out. They don’t want their fun ruined.
The author claims that meaningful words may be discerned when an ELS (Equidistant Letter Sequence) method is used to rearrange transliterated Bible characters.
Critics note that the same kind of results can be found when the method is applied to non-biblical books. Also, the choosing of the specific grid pattern is not well explained. The inside book cover merely says that “the computer” generated the pattern. No explanation is given as why a certain number of rows and columns were chosen for the matrix found in The Bible Code.
- Scientific Refutation of the Bible Codes (cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/torah.html)
- Whitmore, Shakespeare, and the Bible Code? (centurygirlblog.wordpress.com)
- Voice of the Bible is Key Factor to Audio Bible Appeal (prweb.com)
- Prophecy & Utopia – Torah bible codes, says some thing big will happen in 2013 (disclose.tv)
- The Genetic Code is not a synonym for the Bible Code [Pharyngula] (scienceblogs.com)
- Teacher fired for Bible: Substitute teacher sacked for giving out a Bible (simplyjuliana.com)
The word Bible comes from the Latin after the Greek biblia, or “books.” Biblia is a form of byblos, meaning the papyrus paper exported from the ancient Phoenician port city of Biblos.
Also known as the Holy Bible, the Bible is a collection of writings complied over centuries, containing the Sacred Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. Although some fundamentalists don’t like to explore the idea, mature biblical scholars, using various archeological findings and scholarly techniques, generally agree that many books of the Bible attributed to one author were likely not written by that author; possibly they were written by many authors and compiled over time.
The debates are fast and sometimes furious. But to most sober-minded people, it seems that in many books, the Bible did not drop down from God into mind of a single prophet/author.
This assertion does not, however, necessarily mean that the Bible does not come from God. Not unlike the idea of intelligent design (vs. creationism), the evolution of the Bible could very well have been overseen or, if you prefer the religious word, inspired by the Lord.
Jews and Christians each use the word “bible” but the Jewish scriptures and the Christian Bible differ.
The 39 books of Jewish Scripture are written in Hebrew, except for a few passages in Daniel and Ezra, which are written in Aramaic.
The Old Testament (or Jewish Bible) recounts God’s involvement with mankind from creation to the beginning of the Israelite’s religion, up to around the 2nd-century BCE.
The Christian Bible contains the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. The New Testament is regarded by Christians as a “new covenant” between God and his people, focusing on the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and the formation of his early apostolic church.
Several early texts competed for inclusion into the orthodox canon. The Old Testament was not decided upon until 100 CE, at the council of Jabneh. Disagreements continued until 1546, however, at which time the council of Trent declared several books as canonical which Protestants would later regard as apocryphal (texts not recognized as holy scripture but containing some merit).
The Old Testament used by the Roman Catholic Church is the Jewish Bible plus seven other books (and additions); some of the additional books were originally written in Greek, as was the New Testament.
The Old Testament used by Protestants consists of the 39 books of the Jewish Bible. The remaining, unused books and additions are called the Apocrypha by Protestants, which are generally known as deuterocanonical books by Roman Catholics. However, many Catholics use the word Apocrypha to describe all that lies outside their Authorized Bible.
An early indication of a canonical list matching today’s New Testament is found in the 39th Easter letter of Athanasius in 367 CE, designating 27 books of the New Testament in addition to the Old Testament canon.
The New Testament (Christian Scripture)
The Gospels and Acts
Acts of the Apostles
The Epistles or Letters
Book of Revelation or Apocalypse of St John
The Old Testament (Christian and Jewish Scripture)
Books of the Law (known as the Pentateuch)
Books of Poetry and Wisdom
Song of Solomon
Books of the Prophets
Additions to Esther
Wisdom of Solomon
Epistle of Jeremiah
Prayer of Azariah
Song of the Three Young Men
History of Susanna
Bel and the Dragon
Prayer of the Manasseh
† The Roman Catholic Church includes Tobit, Judith, all of Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus and Baruch in its canon.
- Part I: Is the Bible the Inspired Word of God? (thesimplewomansdaybook.com)
- Facts You Didn’t Know About the Accuracy of the Old Testament (vineoflife.net)
- What’s Missing from “A New New Testament”? (orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org)
- HarperOne’s Bible e-book sale (bltnotjustasandwich.com)
- Reloading the Canon? (mtsweat.com)
- Outline for first bible study class – Comments? (grizzersbiblethoughts.wordpress.com)
- Biblica Cleans Up the Bible with New “Books of the Bible” Release (christianwritingtoday.com)
- Bible format – trying to understand it (revivers.wordpress.com)
- The Deutero-canonical books of the Bible: dispelling a Protestant myth. (1catholicsalmon.com)
- Contradictions in the Bible (richarddawkins.net)
A Baptist is a member of a Protestant Christian Church or denomination with roots in England and Wales from the beginning of the 17th century. In the late 19th century, Baptists quickly became an important part of the American Christian landscape.
Today’s Baptist Church is a global phenomenon, the Baptist World Alliance having been established in 1905.
Baptists generally reject infant baptism, believing that sacred scripture points to the necessity of consciously choosing to embrace Christian belief. So for Baptists, a newborn who cannot choose is not ready to accept Baptism.
However, not all Baptists agree on every theological issue as, say, Catholics seem to when professing their common faith in the Mass. In fact, Baptists belief varies considerably. And this divergence of belief isn’t just a private matter, kept under wraps for fear of repercussions or to preserve the Church’s unity. Rather, it’s public. ¹
Not surprisingly, Baptist congregations tend to be run independently. And they’re quite active in organizing missions, schools and youth camps.
- Where Have All the Choirs Gone? (Part I) (jasonklanier.com)
- Westboro Baptist Church -Hell Bound! ***messymandella*** (messymandella.com)
- Comedian Interviews Westboro Baptist Church… and Wins (patheos.com)
- Baptists: Believer’s Baptism (nonthaburichristianfellowship.wordpress.com)
- Missouri Baptist Relief Needs College Student Volunteers (prweb.com)
- Infant Baptism and the Reformation (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
- Comedian Pranks Westboro Baptist (joemygod.blogspot.com)
- 54 – Feb. 23 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST (james1948.wordpress.com)
- Tebow cancels talk at controversial Dallas church (bostonherald.com)
In Catholicism cherubim are angels of the second highest order in a hierarchy of nine. The word cherubim is most likely derived from several variants of an Akkadian word, karibu, meaning “great, powerful, mighty,” “one who prays, intercessor” and “gatekeepers.”¹ St. Gregory says the name indicates “the fullness of knowledge.”
Cherubim appear quite often the Bible. Some notable instances are:
- Cherubim guard the gate at the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24)
- Cherubim are gold figures forming the throne of God on the Ark of the covenant (Exodus 25: 18-20)
- Cherubim decorate Solomon’s temple (I Kings 6: 29)
- Cherubim guard the King of Tyre in Ezekiel (Ez. 28)
- Cherubim are a mount for God in Samuel (Sam 22:11).
Artistic representations and mythological ideas pointing to the idea of cherubim in the ancient world are also numerous. Archeological discoveries related to cherubim have been uncovered at Nimrud, Byblos, Nineveh and Samaria, among other places. It was not until renaissance times that cherubim came to be depicted as chubby, winged children.²
¹ Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, ed. Allen C. Myers, 1987, p. 204.
- The Ark (ghettoscorner.wordpress.com)
- His Presence is in the Present (iwanttobelieveingod.com)
- P is for Putto (grandmalin.wordpress.com)
- Anointing the Most Holy, the Ark of the Covenant (seashoremary.wordpress.com)
- The One Who Dwells Between The Cherubim (cracked-pot.com)
- Did you hear the one about Catholics “worshiping” statues? (patrickmadrid.com)
- Guardian Angels and Mentoring (djmarinizela.wordpress.com)
The story goes like this: Cain and his brother Abel make sacrificial offerings but only Abel’s is acceptable to God. Cain then murders Abel, and the Lord casts him out of the land, placing a special mark on his forehead to protect him from those who might try to harm him for murdering his pious, peaceful brother.
Cain goes on to found a city, becoming materially prosperous but forever alienated from his Maker. He’s mentioned later in the Old Testament Song of Lamech (Gen. 4:24) as the epitome of revenge. He’s also alluded to in the New Testament as “of the evil one” (John 3:12).
In pop culture, Caine (Kwai Chang Caine) is the name of a TV character played by the late actor David Carradine in the 1970′s TV series, Kung Fu. This TV Cain, also known as “Grasshopper” is a wandering Shaolin monk in early America.
Although Caine has killed the Emperor’s nephew in a act of rage back in China,¹ he becomes an advocate of peace in America. But this new mission in the New World doesn’t prevent him from kicking the daylights out of bad guys in acts of self defense.
The show became something of a cult classic and several spinoffs followed.
The idea of Cain as an archetype of evil is not limited to the Bible and TV. More examples in pop culture and literature can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cain_and_Abel#Popular_culture
Related Posts » Gemini
¹ From Wikipedia: “In the pilot episode Caine’s beloved mentor and elder, Master Po, is murdered by the Emperor’s nephew; outraged, Caine retaliates by killing the nephew. With a price on his head, Caine flees China to the western United States.”
The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient religious parchment scrolls containing some Old Testament documents, commentaries and non-Biblical material.
The Scrolls were accidentally discovered in 1947 west of the Dead Sea at (what was then) Jordan. From 1947 to 1951 additional Scrolls were discovered. The bulk of the Scrolls were in 11 caves near Qumran. They present us with Hebrew biblical texts 1000 years older than previously discovered, and in at least of three different types of script.¹
Most scholars believe they were written by the Essenes, a Jewish religious community at Qumran overrun by the Romans in 68 CE. Randall Price notes that the discovery was synchronous with the formation of Israel as an independent nation (Jungians might say synchronistic.)
The discovery of the Scrolls reveals, among other things, how some scholars act more on self-interest than a supposed concern for the dissemination and development of knowledge. After their discovery, the Scrolls were zealously hoarded by a select group of scholars. Other scholars were literally barred from seeing them. Although the papyrus on which they were written was often fragmented and required painstaking reconstruction, many of the excluded scholars say the inner circle of researchers retained the Scrolls for a far longer period than reasonable.
Moreover, misleading press releases were issued, saying the content of the Scrolls would entirely change the way the world looks at the Bible and Christianity. Most likely these claims were born out of naive enthusiasm but also, perhaps, sheer sensationalism.
Although no one seems to know when the Scrolls were written, Randall Price says they “yield dates from 225 BCE to CE 68.”² But Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise maintain that the procedure known as AMS Carbon 14 dating (often cited as alleged proof of an artifact’s date) “is still in its infancy, subject to multiple variables, and too uncertain to be applied with precision to the kind of materials we have before us [the Scrolls].”³
Some of the Scrolls were discovered beyond the caves at Qumran. The editor-in-chief of the Scrolls Translation and Publication Team says
It is misleading to say that all of the Scrolls were written by the Qumran group, i.e. the Essenses. We now believe that many, maybe most, of the Scrolls found at Qumran were actually not written by people who dwelt at Qumran. Some scholars even believe that all of the Scrolls were written outside of Qumran without any connection to the Qumran community.4
Nevertheless, some writers like Barbara Thiering affix a specific date and location to the writing of the Scrolls, apparently for no other reason that to support their own ideas.
¹ See S. G. F. Brandon Ed., A Dictionary of Comparative Religion, 1971, p. 522.
² Randall Price, Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996, p. 81.
³ Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, RockPort MA: Element Inc, 1992, p. 13.
4 Emmanuel Tov, cited in Price, p. 83.
- Download Wealth in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the Qumran Community (Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah) (Studies of the Texts of Thedesert of Judah) (mceboqoe.typepad.com)
- Liturgical Perspectives: Prayer and Poetry in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls read online (eerodsq.typepad.com)
- Holman QuickSource Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls downloads (dcuivum.typepad.com)
- Download The Haunted Desert: Archaelogy and the Dead Sea Scrolls Film In Ipod Quality (ufeebeu.typepad.com)
- The Dead Sea Cipher book downloads (ztvmayu.typepad.com)
- Tomb robbers, ancient tunnels and a cryptic Dead Sea Scroll bring drama to a sleepy suburb (timesofisrael.com)
- Nehemiah Found! (withmeagrepowers.wordpress.com)
- President Obama Visits The Franklin Institute’s Dead Sea Scrolls: Life And Faith In Ancient Times Exhibition (uwishunu.com)
- Resurrecting Scripture at Qumran (insightforliving.typepad.com)
- Dead Sea Scrolls At Fort Worth Baptist Seminary (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- Historic Dead Sea Scrolls Readied For Their Closeup at Franklin Institute (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- More Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Sales at CBD (ntinterpretation.wordpress.com)
- Barack Obama pays visit to Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit (timesofisrael.com)
Daniel is a central figure who interprets dreams and visions in the Old Testament Book of Daniel. The book was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic by an unknown author.
One of the more memorable stories appears in sixth chapter, where Daniel is protected from ferocious lions while held captive in their den. Through a divine miracle he remains untouched.
While more mystically inclined Christians would take this as a demonstration of the power of faith in a God who can work miracles when he so chooses, the more worldly type of Christian tends to see the story as representing Israel’s protection from heathen kingdoms (symbolized by the beasts).
The story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den has captivated artists throughout the ages.
The first image by the London born Briton Rivière (1840–1920) posted above shows a serene Daniel standing supremely confident in the power of God’s saving grace. By way of contrast, this second image by the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) shows a more human Daniel, fervently praying while almost naked, and looking understandably afraid.
- In the Den (bongodogblog.com)
- Historic Minas Gerais: CONGONHAS (07): The Twelve Prophets VI: Daniel (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Daniel in the Lions Den (brakeman1.com)
- The Test of Faith in a Den of Lions (webmasteryates.wordpress.com)
- Daniel (tylersheart.wordpress.com)
- Story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den (communitas.typepad.com)
Exodus is the second book of the Pentateuch (and Old Testament of the Christian Bible). It outlines God’s punishment of the Egyptians and Israel’s departure from bondage in Egypt, facilitated by the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, and their subsequent travel through the wilderness, as led by God through the intercession of the prophet Moses.
Although no Egyptian historical records tell of the parting of the Red Sea and Israel’s escape from captivity, the New Oxford Annotated Bible claims
There can be little doubt that the story rests upon actual historical occurrences.¹
Other respected, mainstream scholars concur that, while it was once fashionable to give too much credence to the alleged historicity of Jewish scriptures and, later, to conversely discount them as myth,
It is reasonable to believe that a good part of the biblical stories have a historical background.²
¹ New Oxford Annotated Bible , 1991, p. 69.
² Mircea Eliade, Ioan Couliano and Hillary S. Wiesner, The Eliade Guide to World Religions, New York: HarperCollins, 1991, p. 169.
- Couliano – Eliade guide to world religions (celclibrary.wordpress.com)
- Mircea Eliade (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Why is obscure Bible verse from Exodus trending on Twitter? (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
- The Bible in Our World (Lesson 2) (thebiblemeditator.wordpress.com)
- Exodus 23:1: The Bible Verse Inspiring Rap Lyrics – and a Rap Feud (entertainment.time.com)
- How did Moses part the Red Sea? (blueline2011.wordpress.com)
- Lineage of Moses and Aaron (Exodus 6:13 – 27) (refreshmyheartinchrist.wordpress.com)
In one version of two found in the Biblical book of Genesis, Eve is the first woman created by God from Adam’s rib.
According to the Bible story, Adam and Eve originally lived in an innocent state of grace, characterized by their blissful life in Eden. God directly told them that they could eat anything in the garden except for fruit from the tree of knowledge at the garden’s center. Eve, however, was tempted by the clever and subtle serpent to eat from the tree of knowledge. The evil serpent said that her eating the fruit of of the tree would enable the first woman and man to become like gods, “knowing the difference between good and evil.”
Eve ate the forbidden fruit and then tempted Adam, who also ate. Suddenly they recognized their nakedness, lost their innocence and felt ashamed. They immediately covered their now-private areas with leaves. God their creator was stirred to great anger and thrust them out of the garden. He stationed an angel with a flaming sword at the garden’s entrance to ensure their banishment.
Women in general were cursed to suffer during childbirth and the harsh realities of suffering and mortality were imposed on mankind.
Scholars note that the story is likely influenced by or adapted from similar ancient Near-Eastern myths. Christian theologians are well aware of this idea. But they maintain that it does not necessarily contradict the idea that the Bible is a revealed text.¹
¹ For a Catholic position claiming that all sacred scripture is without error, see http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=8441. On the role of interpretation, see http://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/PBC_Interp-FullText.htm. And on the importance of understanding scripture through the door of faith, see http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20100930_verbum-domini_en.html#The_Interpretation_Of_Sacred_Scripture__In_The_Church
- Eden (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Eden – The First Earth-Home (brakeman1.com)
- Our free will (welcomingjesus.wordpress.com)
- Not That Tree! (susangray2011.wordpress.com)
- Bible Challenge – “GARDEN OF EDEN” (pjsprayerline.blogspot.com)
- All About Eve (chronicle.com)
- Too Soon? (withapology.wordpress.com)
- The Garden of Eden: Between two trees (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)