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,

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.

RECORD / RECORDER

The RECORDER was also called a chronicler, scribe, or secretary—A high functionary in the court of the Jewish kings, part of whose duty seems to have been to chronicle the events of the reign, but who also occupied a position corresponding with that of the modern vizier (2 Samuel 8:16; 20:24; 1 Chronicles 18:15, etc.). His high rank is shown by the facts that, with other officers, he represented Hezekiah in speaking with Rabshakeh (2 Kings 18:18), and, in the reign of Josiah, superintended the repairs of the temple (2 Chronicles 34:8).

(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

SCRIBES were writers and transcribers of the law as seen in the following Scriptures: 2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Samuel 20:25; 1 Kings 4:3; 2 Kings 12:10; 2 Kings 18:37; 2 Kings 19:2; 1 Chronicles; 24:6; 1 Chronicles 27:32; Nehemiah 13:13; Jeremiah 36:12-18

The king’s secretary was also an official recordist: 2 Kings 12:10-12; 2 Kings 22:1-14; Esther 3:12; Esther 8:9

In 2 Kings 25:19; 2 Chronicles 26:11, the recorder was the mustering officer of the army.

They were instructors in the Law: Matthew 7:29; Matthew 13:52; Matthew 17:10; Matthew 23:2-3.

Deuteronomy 30:19—I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Deuteronomy 31:28—Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.

2 Samuel 8:16—And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;

2 Samuel 20:24—And Adoram was over the tribute: and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder:

1 Kings 4:3—Elihoreph and Ahiah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder.

2 Kings 18:18—And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.

2 Kings 18:37—Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rab-shakeh.

1 Chronicles 16:4—And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel:

1 Chronicles 18:15—And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, recorder.

2 Chronicles 34:8—Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God.

Ezra 4:15—That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.

Ezra 6:2—And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written:

Nehemiah 12:22—The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers: also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian.

Esther 6:1—On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

Job 16:19—Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.

Isaiah 8:2—And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.

Isaiah 36:3—Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah’s son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph’s son, the recorder.

Isaiah 36:22—Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

John 1:19—And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

John 1:32—And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

John 1:34—And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

John 8:13—The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

John 8:14—Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

John 12:17—The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.

John 19:35—And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

Acts 20:26—Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

Romans 10:2—For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

2 Corinthians 1:23—Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.

2 Corinthians 8:3—For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;

Galatians 4:15—Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

Philippians 1:8—For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 4:13—For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

1 John 5:7—For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

1 John 5:10—He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

1 John 5:11—and this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

3 John 12—Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

Revelation 1:2—Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Our need for correction and discipline (Prov. 15:10)

RECORD / RECORDER

THE OLD IS A SHADOW OF THE NEW

Colossians 2:16-17—Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Hebrews 8:3-6—For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

Hebrews 10:1—For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

One should be able to see why it is important to study the Old Testament; it helps us better understand the New.

Continue reading THE OLD IS A SHADOW OF THE NEW

OTHER HEAVENLY BEINGS, PART 3

One might ask why such a study and why categorize the heavenly beings this way?  I have tried to show that there are various types of spiritual beings working with and for the Heavenly Father and his elect. The main way these beings are categorized is by their appearances as well as their abilities, positions and purpose. These categories should help to give a better understanding and knowledge of heavenly beings.  Mind you, I am not claiming to expose everything because I do not know all there is to know about them.

Continue reading OTHER HEAVENLY BEINGS, PART 3