UPCOMING TRADITIONAL HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD

How many of the traditional holidays from around the world have more than a superficial connection?

Five Days Of Diwali

Diwali Calendar

History and significance of Diwali

Review of Religions: Ancient Sun Worship

Roman worship of the SUN GOD—Sol Invictus

Winter Solstice

Sun Worship | religion | Britannica.com

How Christmas Works

 

DARING THE DINOSAURS AND DRAGONS

DO WE DARE[i] THE DINOSAURS AND DRAGONS?

There still is some controversy surrounding the name Brontosaurus. When Marsh discovered some partial remains of this dinosaur in 1877 he named it Apatosaurus Ajax after the Greek god Ajax.[ii] However, when he discovered a more complete skeleton two years later, he named it Brontosaurus Excelsus.[iii] 

In 1903, scientists realized that these two specimens were actually the same type of dinosaur. With that being the case, according to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the oldest name would be the correct one: however, the Brontosaurus name seemed to be more agreeable with the imagination of the public and continues to be used to this day.[iv]

An older illustration of several brontosaurus dinosaurs grazing in water.

Several computer simulations have been conducted on how the tail worked on the Brontosaurus.[v] One simulation—introduced in the 1997 issue of Discover Magazine—showed that the tail of these creatures behaved much like a bull whip does, and that by “cracking” its tail like a bullwhip, then this creature could produce a cracking sound that was over 200 decibels, or louder than the firing of a cannon.

JOB 40:15-24 Speaks of One Such Magnificent Land Animal

  1. Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
  2. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
  3. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
  4. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
  5. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
  6. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
  7. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
  8. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
  9. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
  10. He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares (Job 40:15-24).

There are so many areas for discussion and controversy here. Questions abound, but the scriptural accounts seem to bear out what scientist have found.

    1. Was there enough vegetation to sustain them indefinitely?
    2. Should we believe man lived contemporaty with these beasts?
    3. Dinosaurs fascinate children, so why do we not delve more in to sacred literature to educate them.
    4. Is there any animal in secular history similar to these dinosaurs?
    5. With the presumed fierceness and fearlessness they possessed, what caused them to become extinct?
    6. Could this now extinct animal have been called by any other name?
    7. What ancient culture claims such a ferocious beast?

Read the following biblical account carefully and consider that some early  King James translators may not have understood because they had not lived with such beasts.  Several lesser animals were thought to be what the Lord calls Leviathan.

Job 41:1-34 Speaks of a Savage Sea Animal

  1. Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
  2. Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
  3. Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?
  4. Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever?
  5. Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens
  6. Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?
  7. Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?
  8. Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.
  9. Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?
  10. None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?
  11. Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.
  12. I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion.
  13. Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle?
  14. Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about.
  15. His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal.
  16. One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.
  17. They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered.
  18. By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
  19. Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.
  20. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron.
  21. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.
  22. In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him.
  23. The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved.
  24. His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether
  25. When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves.
  26. The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.
  27. He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood.
  28. The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble.
  29. Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear.
  30. Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire.
  31. He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment.
  32. He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary.
  33. Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
  34. He beholdeth all high things:he is a king over all the children of pride.

[i] https://www.freethesaurus.com/daring“>FreeThesaurus.com

[ii] <a href=”https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Mortals/Ajax/ajax.html”>Ajax: GreekMythology.com</a> – Oct 05, 2017

[iii] https://www.newdinosaurs.com/apatosaurus/

[iv] https://www.newdinosaurs.com/apatosaurus/

[v] https://www.livescience.com/52538-supersonic-sauropods.html 

THE EXTERNAL TESTS: Biblical Accuracy

2 Timothy 4:4
2 Timothy 4:4

THE PATRIARCHS

  • Many want to portray the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as “out of place” in history.
  • Some have said that the names of the people mentioned in the Bible during this time are mythological names – not real human names.
  • Additionally, they have tried to say that many of the Hebrew words in the Old Testament are “late” words, indicating the Old Testament was written late, and is therefore legend, not history.

THE EBLA TABLETS

  • In 1964, Paolo Matthiae of the University of Rome discovered the city of Ebla in what is modern-day Syria. It appears that the peak of the empire would have been around the time that Abraham lived.
  • In that city, Matthiae uncovered over 15,000 tablets of ancient writing, only a few of which have been translated yet.
  • What has been translated, however, has provided enormous support for the accuracy of Genesis.
  • The Ebla tablets refer to many of the places mentioned in the Bible such as Hazor, Megiddo, Jerusalem, Lachish, Dor and Gaza, proving that these cities were significant around the time of the Patriarchs, just as the Bible indicates. It also mentions Canaan as a geographical area.
  • Eblaite variations of Hebrew names such as Israel, Ishmael, and Micaiah were names used every day not legendary figures.
  • The Ebla tablets use many of the words, which scholars had previously identified as “late,” indicating that these words are actually early words.
  • There is now no reason to think that the Old Testament was not written early!

ABRAHAM’S UR

  • Before the 1920s, there were no references to Ur of the Chaldees by ancient historians, and scholars assumed that Ur was either non-existent or else some obscure village in the desert, with Abraham being just an insignificant nomad wandering around.
  • In 1922, however, Leonard Wooley began to excavate around a prominent ziggurat in Tell el Maqqaya.
  • He had discovered Ur.
  • Ur and the other contemporary Sumerian cities were no mean dwellings of crude-minded man; evidence suggest they built dams and dikes for flood control, irrigation canals, invented a plow with a seeding attachment, the wheel, hot and cold running water and sewage pipes in wealthy homes.
  • The Golden Age of Ur was around 2100 B.C., about a hundred years after Abraham was to have lived as far as we can tell.
  • Abraham wasn’t leaving just a primitive village when God called him out of Ur.
  • The earliest Sumerian literature written in cuneiform suggests that they originally worshipped one God.
  • By Abraham’s time, however the Sumerians worshipped over 5,000 different gods, including by voluntary human sacrifice

WAR OF THE KINGS

  • Gen 14:1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;
  • Gen 14:2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.
  • Gen 14:3 All these joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.
  • Gen 14:4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
  • Gen 14:5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim,
  • Gen 14:6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness.
  • Gen 14:7 And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.
  • Gen 14:8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
  • Gen 14:9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
  • In 1918, William Albright wrote an article claiming that Genesis 14 was either borrowed from a legend or made up entirely.
  • Since that time, however, the historicity of Genesis 14 has been proven beyond a doubt.
  • In 1933, 23,000 clay tablets were discovered in the kingdom of Mari on the Euphrates river which prove those very kings did exist, and fought. Albright also discovered archaeological evidence that the cities mentioned in Genesis 14 were at war during that time.
  • Ultimately, Albright changed his position.

THE MARI TABLETS

  • The Mari tablets also provided more evidence that Genesis records an accurate account of real people and places.
  • It makes note of the city of Nahor, mentioned in Genesis 24:10, and identifies everyday names such as Abraham, Jacob-el and Benjamin. These names do not refer to the actual biblical people, but show that these were common names                                                     in that time.

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ELIXIR

The far reaching idea of an elixir may be seen by the many ways the word is used—elixir of life, fountain of life, panacea, cure-all, nostrum.

When ancient Chinese tribes found gunpowder for the first time, they obviously didn’t know what it was. Their journals and notes from that first discovery still exist, and the lead scientist called the power “an elixir of immortality” – which is pretty ironic considering it has led to more death than any other substance.

A metaphor is a figure of speech, which makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated but share some common characteristics. The link, 15 Famous Metaphors in the Bible, does not use the phrase water of life, but from other illustrations given there, one may identify it as a metaphor often used in Scripture.

There is such a comparison in John 7:37-39. “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

A similar metaphor appears in John 4:7-15.  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.  8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)  9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.  10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.  11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?  12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?  13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.  15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

Matthew 5:6—Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Revelation 7:15-17—Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

FIGURATIVE USES:

Water of life
John 4:14
John 7:37-39
Revelation 21:6
Revelation 22:17

Water of affliction
2 Samuel 22:17-18
Psalms 69:1
Isaiah 30:20
Isaiah 43:2

Water of salvation
Isaiah 12:3
Isaiah 49:10
Isaiah 55:1
Ezekiel 36:25
John 4:10
John 7:38

Domestic love
Proverbs 5:15

SYMBOLICAL USES:
Proverbs 5:15
Isaiah 8:7
Revelation 8:11
Revelation 12:15
Revelation 16:4
Revelation 17:1
Revelation 17:15

Read deeply and consider the implications of the word elixir as it relates to the water of life in Scripture.

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,