THE PRICE OF A LIFE

As a teen in high school, I became an avid reader, fascinated by the earliest of English literature with its accounts of the surfs and lords—presumably displaced Christians running from persecution—willing to serve in order to live. My curiosity and imagination went beyond my classmates’ because of Biblical accounts I related to the literature. Terms like “man price” and “wergild” immediately conjured relationships to Biblical laws regarding “cities of refuge” or the “avengers of blood.”

A classic literary example of a dispute over the wergild of a slave is contained in Iceland’s Egil’s Saga.

In the Story of Grettir the Strong, chapter 27, “The Suit for the Slaying of Thorgils Makson”, Thorgeir conveys to court Thorgils Arison’s offer of wergild as atonement for killing Thorgils Makson.

We read in the epic poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, that he comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (in Heorot) has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. Beowulf paid wergild from his father to Hrothgar by killing the monster Grendel and his mother. Grendel and his mother were believed to be descended from Cain. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel’s mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland.


Fair Use and Attribution

The modern novel, The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, is another example of “man price” being paid. The journal of Isildur reveals that he was justified taking the One Ring as a wergild for the deaths of his father and brother in battle. Appendix A of The Return of the King also mentions a rich wergild of gold sent by Turin II, Steward of Gondor, to King Folcwine of Rohan, after the death of his twin sons in battle.

How do these secular accounts relate to Christian evidences and our need to see where these practices originated?

CITIES OF REFUGE

Six Levitical cities were set aside to provide shelter and safety for those guilty of manslaughter. Of the 48 cities assigned to the Levites, six were designated as cities of refuge, three on either side of the Jordan River (Numbers 35:6-7; Joshua 20:7-8). The three cities of refuge west of the Jordan were KEDESH in Galilee, in the mountains of Naphtali (Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:32); SHECHEM, in the mountains of Ephraim (Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:21; 1 Chronicles 6:67); and HEBRON, also known as KIRJATH ARBA, in the mountains of Judah (Joshua 20:7).

The three cities east of the Jordan River were BEZER, in the wilderness on the plateau, or plain, of Moab, and assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:36), RAMOTH GILEAD, or Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad (Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:38); and GOLAN, in Bashan, from the half-tribe of Manasseh (Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:27).

In the ancient Near East if a person were killed, it was the custom that the nearest relative became the “avenger of blood” (Numbers 35:19; Numbers 35:21-27; Deuteronomy 19:12). It became his duty to slay the slayer. However, if a person killed another accidentally or unintentionally, the cities of refuge were provided as an asylum, “that by fleeing to one of these cities he might live” (Deuteronomy 4:42).

The regulations concerning these cities are found in Numbers 35; Deuteronomy 19:1-13, and Joshua 20. If the manslayer reached a city of refuge before the avenger of blood could slay him, he was given a fair trial and provided asylum until the death of the high priest. After that the manslayer was permitted to return home; but if he left the city of refuge before the death of the high priest, he was subject to death at the hands of the avenger of blood.

According to Scripture, who or what was the avenger of blood?

Deuteronomy 19:12—Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.

Joshua 20:3—That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

Joshua 20:5—And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.

Joshua 20:9—These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.

What were the cities of refuge?

Numbers 35:11—Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares.

Numbers 35:14—Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.

Joshua 20:2—Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:

1 Chronicles 6:67—And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs,

Identifying our Identity

This is said plainly but gently. I pray you will read and believe.

for the invisible

Identifying Our Identity

Studying steadily through the books of Law, we’ve been covering some of the physical laws God gave to the Israelites such as how to farm and how to dress. Though these were outward ordinances and no longer govern us, we know that they were given for our sakes, to teach us spiritual things (Gal 3:24, 2 Tim 3:16-17).

Leviticus 19:19

Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

Deuteronomy 22:11

Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

Many of the Old Testament laws had to do with showing the meaning of holiness and purity. Something mixed wasn’t pure. God wanted even the fabric of their clothing to be pure. In fact, He commanded…

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“Gone with the Wind” – More than Just a Movie

It was sensational. It was controversial. It was historic. In 1939 the film “Gone with the Wind” crossed a major line in the movie industry, provoking excitement and criticism. The producers also drew huge profits by doing so, as they intended. Their shocking move was immensely successful, at least from an economic point of view.

What was it? Simply this. The movie included the word “damn,” in the very famous last line. Rhett said to Scarlett, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a _____.”

Continue reading “Gone with the Wind” – More than Just a Movie

MORE BREATHING ROOM

A Response to the original BREATHING ROOM

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Phil. 4:11-13).

Continue reading MORE BREATHING ROOM

IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, WHEN DID THE WORD IMMERSION BECOME BAPTISM?

Borrowed from the Visual Thesaurus

NT:907 baptizo (bap-tid’-zo); from a derivative of NT:911; to immerse, submerge; to make overwhelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the N. T.) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism: KJV – Baptist, baptize, wash.

NT:908 baptisma (bap’-tis-mah); from NT:907; immersion, baptism (technically or figuratively): KJV – baptism.

NT:909 baptismos (bap-tis-mos’); from NT:907; ablution (ceremonial or Christian):

NT:910 Baptistes (bap-tis-tace’); from NT:907; a baptizer, as an epithet of Christ’s forerunner: KJV – Baptist.

NT:911 bapto (bap’-to); a primary verb; to overwhelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid; in the N. T. only in a qualified or specially, sense, i.e. (literally) to moisten (a part of one’s person), or (by implication) to stain (as with dye): KJV – dip.

(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

If we follow Strong’s ‘rule,’ and take the primary word as the definition, we have the word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.

If we accept “anything” after the “i.e.,” we will come out with possible uses of the word.

The next word has 2 “i.e.”s, which makes it doubly suspect.

No doubt someone used the word figuratively somewhere at sometime in the Greek culture, which supposedly makes it a ‘possible’ meaning of the word.

Even the washing of cups, etc., refers to covering with water.

NT:911 bapto (bap’-to); a primary verb; to overwhelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid; in the N. T. only in a qualified or specially, sense, i.e. (literally) to moisten (a part of one’s person), or (by implication) to stain (as with dye):

Who knows if the following exerpt from an article is right or not, but Webster’s Dictionary says it was first used in the 1200’s.

Origin and Etymology of baptize
Middle English, from Anglo-French baptiser, from Late Latin baptizare, from Greek baptizein to dip, baptize, from baptein to dip, dye; akin to Old Norse kvefja to quench

First Known Use: 13th century
https://www.facebook.com/notes/joshua-ingram/kjv-and-the-word-baptize-did-they-make-it-up-part-1/10151658284793471/

Semantical Relationship of “Baptism” to the KJV Translators

In semantics, which is the study of the significance of words and the concepts to which they refer, there is a basic principle that what a word means to its users is determined by what its users do with that word. (55) For the purpose of this study, this principle may be formulated as a question: ‘Did the words ‘baptism’ and “to baptize’ mean” “immersion” and “to immerse” to the KJV’s translators, that is, were they synonymous with each other?” There are three key sources of evidence, which practically demand an affirmative answer to this question.

Other English Bibles

The first of these decisive factors is that every Bible, from the very first English Bible written by John Wycliffe (c. 1384) to the last Bible in English prior to the KJV, the Rheims New Testament (1582), uses either the exact words “baptism” and “to baptize” or their contemporary English equivalents in their original texts. (56, 57, 58) What did the users of these Bibles take those words to mean? The study of the baptismal mode in England indicates that they understood those words to mean “immersion” and ‘to immerse.”

I tried to check on Wycliffe’s translation, and apparently he included the word baptism instead of immersion. Supposedly the entire Roman Catholic Church believed that sprinkling (pouring at that time) was OK. Whether that is right or not, I have not been able to confirm.

I also can’t confirm whether the KJV translators made any changes in that pattern.

In this article, rather than label a specific group with the charge of transliterating the word, I have found it is better to refer to ‘translators’ in general.

If the word baptism itself were in use in the 1200’s, that would predate Wycliffe.

More ideas about immerse may be found here.