In the years after Jesus was crucified at Calvary, the story of his life, death and resurrection was not immediately written down. The experiences of disciples like Matthew and John would have been told and retold at many dinner tables and firesides, perhaps for decades, before anyone recorded them for posterity. St Paul, whose writings are equally central to the New Testament, was not even present among the early believers until a few years after Jesus’ execution.
But if many people will have an idea of this gap between the events of the New Testament and the book that emerged, few probably appreciate how little we know about the first Christian Bible. The oldest complete New Testament that survives today is from the fourth century, but it had predecessors which have long since turned to dust.
So what did the original Christian Bible look like? How and where did it emerge? And why are we scholars still arguing about this some 1,800 years after the event?
There are a few forces in the World today who appear to wish to bring on World War 3, Kim Jong-un, Trump, Israel and the Fundamental Right and all should be countered for WW3 will, if it comes, will be apocalyptic for the majority of the Worlds population and to what end.
The World, today, may not be good place, but it is all our lives at stake and none should be lost due to the actions of the Warmongers, never today, tomorrow or anytime within the future.
And this is exactly what Christian Zionist millennialists like Tim Lahaie want.
Yesterday, Trump announced that he was going to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This is what the Israelis have been demanding for years, but previous administrations have not given into them, because they were very much aware that this would set off a powder keg of rage and hostility across the Middle East. Jerusalem was taken from the Palestinians, and still contains a sizable Arab population. The Israeli nationalist right would love it to be the capital of their nation, but it is also claimed by the Palestinians.
There have been mass protests and riots against Trump’s decision all over the Middle East. RT yesterday put up this footage of Israeli squaddies or the police trying to put down protesters or rioters in Bethlehem yesterday.
And politicians from across the political spectrum have condemned…
Okay, I realise that I’ve already posted three blogs in a row about Trump, and this is a further piece to the one I’ve already written about his cynical and exploitative attitude to veterans. But this stuff just keeps coming, and Trump’s still out there.
Trump organised a special event on the 28th January, a few days ago, for US veterans, and has been very loudly proclaiming that he’s raising funds for them. But when it comes to paying out, the reality seems to be somewhat different. A year or so ago, a charity for homeless ex-soldiers, Veterans in Command, wrote to The Donald asking for a donation. They finally got their reply last week. It was a bumper sticker, come through the post, with a handwritten note saying that he wasn’t going to make a donation.
The piece’s anchors, Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, point out that this isn’t…
Today, I am getting ready to go to a Christmas party held at my best friend’s house. As an American muslim, this tradition has been around me all my life and if you grew up in an open minded household you learn to respect other’s holidays and traditions. I luckily did grow up in one.
We have a tree, give presents and enjoy yummy holiday treats. Why not? It is a time to share with those closest to you and to strangers. Islam is all about providing the bridge that connects people to each other after so long of being divided. As a muslim, I am fiercely fighting to unite what was divided by greedy and ignorant men of the past and present within religion. My weapon of choice is love and education.
Through the Quran, muslims are told how important it is to give to others and to share…
The phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” never sat right with me. I was never sure why, until recently.
It brings to mind a kind strength that is callous toward pain and indifferent to weakness. Or a cold strength of ambition that propels you forward, faster, higher, while paying no heed to what you leave behind. Maybe I’m reading too much into a quip, or maybe I’ve come to desire a radically different kind of strength.
The strength I desire could be mistaken for weakness. You could say that what hasn’t killed me has made me weaker. Weaker in that I feel pain more acutely, mine as well as others’. Weaker in that I am aware of my own shortcomings, and those more forgiving of others’. And weaker in that I relinquish all desire to live life in pursuit of self-glory, instead accepting whatever God places before me, determined to find…
It’s sad to say, but it’s true.. Too often Christians are known for what we are against.. Not for what we are for. Not all of us.. Not all of the time.. But a lot of the time.
Sometimes people are turned off by the church in general. And hear me when I say that THE CHURCH is not the building. Sometimes it’s because they feel judged by those in the church. Other times it’s because of a past incident in the church where they were treated like an outcast. An outcast. Cast out.. think about it. We, as Authentic Followers of Christ Jesus should not cast someone away just because they are different.
We are called to love like Jesus. Is it always easy? I think you know the answer to that. It is only possible if we let Jesus love through us.
JERUSALEM (JTA) — When Amit Re’em embarked on a 1999 excavation of an abandoned Ottoman prison in the Old City of Jerusalem, he didn’t expect anything revolutionary.
The dig was primarily aimed at inspecting the site before it was transformed into an event space for the nearby Tower of David Museum, and Re’em, then just 28, hoped at most to uncover some remains of a Herodian palace, or maybe part of a wall from the second century.
He did find those things — along with much more.
In one 49 meters by 9 meters (160 feet by 30 feet) space, Re’em unearthed an archaeological timeline of Jerusalem dating back 2,700 years. Layers from nearly every era of the city’s history lay on top of each other, from the time of the First Temple through the Roman, Crusader and Ottoman periods, and up to Israel’s independence in 1948.
Remains from those eras are strewn throughout the Old City, but rarely are they found so close together or so well preserved.
“The strength of the remains and the layering of them one on top of each other is like an open book, the whole historical and archaeological sequence of Jerusalem laid out in front of our eyes,” Re’em told JTA. “We expected to find things, but the strength that we saw them in was beyond our expectations.”
Called the Kishle — Turkish for prison — the site was built as a jail by the Ottoman Turks in the 1800s and used by the British in the 1940s to hold captured Jewish militia members. A map of Greater Israel etched by an imprisoned member of the pre-state Irgun militia is still visible on the wall.
Below the prison lay the foundations of a fortification wall built in the eighth century BCE by the ancient Jewish King Hezekiah, who like later rulers took advantage of the site’s strategic high ground. Across the room are remains of another defensive wall built 600 years later by the Hasmoneans, who ruled Jerusalem after the Maccabees revolt.
The room also houses remains of the wall of a massive Herodian palace built near the beginning of the Common Era, as well as basins from the Crusader period that were likely used to dye clothes and tan leather. The current walls of the Old City, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, sit atop the Herodian wall and later served as the outer wall of the prison.
Re’em also believes the room may have been the site of Jesus’ trial by Pontius Pilate. Pilate would have tried Jesus in a prominent location like Herod’s palace, Re’em said, noting that the original route of the Via Dolorosa that Jesus followed to his crucifixion passed the spot where the Kishle now stands.
“A lot of times you expect something and don’t find it because you didn’t get down to the lower layers because of logistics, budget, you name it,” Re’em said. “On the other hand, archaeological layers and remains are [sometimes] destroyed. Here we were lucky the remains weren’t damaged or destroyed. We could dig for two years from the top down to the bottom.”
Re’em’s findings convinced the Tower of David Museum not to build on the site. But since the dig ended in 2001, the room remained closed due to budget constraints until the museum’s new director, Eilat Lieber, opened it to the public last year.
The room has not been changed since 2001 and looks like an active archaeological dig. Lieber hopes to place a glass floor above the remains and to augment them with 3-D imaging that will show what the space looked like in different periods.
“It’s like a hello from different historical eras that connect us to this place and allow us to understand what was here,” Lieber told JTA. “What remains are stones, but behind the stones are what was here, who the characters were.”
Many of Re’em’s conclusions about the room are based on dating techniques and inferences from historic sources. The claim that the walls belonged to Herod’s palace come in part from the writings of the historian Josephus Flavius. Re’em’s belief that the basins were used for cloth dying is derived from an account by Benjamin of Tudela, a medieval Jewish traveler, plus remnants of red dye on the basin walls.
But Re’em added that at a certain point, dating and accuracy become less important than what the site means to visitors looking for a spiritual experience.
“As an archaeologist who works in Jerusalem, it doesn’t matter where the real location of Jesus’s trial was,” he said. “What matters is what people believe.
“At the Kishle site, people can touch the stones of the Herodian palace. Whoever wants can see this place as the location of the trial of Jesus.”…………’