Monday, March 31, 2008

Former Gay Hairdresser to the Stars accepts Christ

This is the testimony of former homosexual Danny Velasco, who was a famous and succesful hairdresser and had a salon visted by the elite of Hollywood. Danny passed away on 10/04/2007.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pink Hair Plane Talk

Witnessing at 25,000 feet above the ground.

Old Testament salvation

Some people tend to think that, in the Old Testament, people were saved by obeying the Ten Commandments (i.e., by works) and in the New Testament, people are saved by believing in Jesus (i.e., by faith).

And yet, Hebrews 11 states that those in the Old Testament were actually saved by faith. They believed God and looked forward to the coming of the promised Messiah:

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

Even Genesis says that Abraham was declared righteous (holy) by faith:
“Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6)

Modern evangelists have often used verses from the book of Romans to illustrate the way to salvation, in what they call “The Romans Road.” Typically, it usually goes something like this:

1. We must acknowledge God as the Creator of everything, accepting our humble position in God's created order and purpose.

Romans 1:20-21:

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."

2. We must realize that we are sinners and that we need forgiveness. None of us are worthy under God’s standards.

Romans 3:23:

“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”

3. God gave us the way to be forgiven of our sins. He showed us His love by giving us the potential for life through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:8:

“But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

4. If we remain sinners, we will die. However, if we repent of our sins, and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will have eternal life.

Romans 6:23:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

5. Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you are saved.

Romans 10:9-10:

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

6. There are no other religious formulas or rituals. Just call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved!

Romans 10:13:

“For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

7. Determine in your heart to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life today.

Romans 11:36:

"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen."

And yet, I think that not many people realize that the Old Testament teaches the same basic principles:

No one does good; not even one:

“The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:2-3)

We are sinful at birth:

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5)

The heart is deceitful above all things (i.e., we are sinners):

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Unclean lips (i.e., we are sinners in need of forgiveness):

"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." (Isaiah 6:5)

In contrast to those who think they are “good,” the Bible says that even the best ‘good deeds’ we do (our “righteous acts”) are like filthy rags (in the original language, the term means a woman’s menstruating rags) compared to God’s holiness:

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

God will blot out sinners from His book:

“The LORD replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.” (Exodus 32:33)

There was no sacrifice for willful sins:

"But anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes the LORD, and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised the LORD's word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him." (Numbers 15:30-31)

Prayer to blot out our iniquity (sin):

“Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.” (Psalm 51:9)

King David cried out to God for mercy:

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” (Psalm 51:1 [and the rest of Psalm 51])

Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, was saved by God’s mercy:

“With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." (Isaiah 6:7)

Sins were forgiven by a blood sacrifice:

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.” (Leviticus 17:11)

Jews no longer practice animal sacrifice, and Christians never practiced animal sacrifice. In fact, the first Jewish temple (where sacrifices were performed) was destroyed for 70 years because of Israel’s disobedience, and the second temple was destroyed about 40 years after Jesus’ death (this also means that the Jewish genealogies have been lost, so that no one can claim that their lineage goes back to King David, and therefore cannot rightfully claim that they are the Messiah…the only Jewish genealogy we have left today is that of Jesus; we have both His maternal and His paternal genealogy; and His lineage DOES go back to King David, which is one requirement of the promised Messiah).

Christ Jesus’ death on the cross was the final, ultimate sacrifice for sins. For all who are believers, Christ Jesus is the ultimate and perfect High Priest. No other sacrifice for sins is needed, for Jesus has fulfilled all of that in Himself.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Historical Reliability of the Gospels

"We have four independent documents, three of which cover much of the same material (Synoptic Gospels).

There are no known competitors for authorship of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke.)

Matthew and John were disciples and therefore eyewitnesses.

Christian writer Papias affirmed in AD 125 that Mark had carefully and correctly recorded Peter's eyewitness observations. (Mark was the earliest gospel recorded.)

The standard scholarly dating is that Mark was written in the 70's (a mere 40 years after the Resurrection), Matthew and Luke in the 80's and John in the 90's - all within the lifetime of eyewitnesses! Many believe the dates are even earlier, within 30 years of Jesus' death. The above dates are conservative. While these dates seem late, they are not. The two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great more than 400 years after his death, yet historians consider them to generally trustworthy. In other words, the first 500 years kept Alexander's story pretty much intact; legendary material developed over the next 500 years. The Creed Paul is given dates back to within 2-4 years of the events. (Crucifixion around AD 30, Paul's conversion AD 32.)

Textual Criticism is defined as: the science of comparing and classifying the manuscript evidence for an ancient document. Scholars of almost every theological persuasion attest to the profound care in which the New Testament books were copied. In the original Greek alone, there are over 5,000 manuscripts and manuscript fragments of portions of the New Testament, preserved from the early centuries of Christianity.

There is an unprecedented number of copies of the New Testament that have survived. Scholars wish they had 1/10 the number of documents for other ancient literature! There are only 9 copies of Josephus' The Jewish War, and these copies were written in the 10th - 12th centuries. Yet, this work is considered to be historically accurate.

Astonishingly, the second runner-up for the largest number of ancient documents goes to Homer's Illiad, which was the sacred literature of the ancient Greeks. There are fewer than 650 of these manuscripts and many are quite fragmentary.

Fragments of John's gospel have been found that date as early as 150 AD. This find has literally rewritten popular views of history.

Two of the almost complete New Testament documents date back to the 4th Century! These two texts play an important role in the NIV Bible. This means we have documents within 2 generations of the events, unlike 8 or 10 centuries for much of our other historical documents. In addition to the over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, there are about 24,000 other ancient New Testament documents in other languages found in areas such as Egypt and Ethiopia.

The evidence is simply overwhelming. The huge number of documents, many dating within 2 generations of the events, have allowed us to study them side-by-by side, comparing and analyzing the New Testament. While many documents are fragments, there is no part of the NT not represented by multiple documents. The history of the world is based on far fewer manuscripts and evidence!

For further study, consider the following books:

Reasonable Faith, by William Lane Craig

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, by Craig Blomberg

The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why was eating blood forbidden? And why blood sacrifices?

I have seen some unbelievers/non-Christians ask, "Why did Jesus have to die?" Because of the widespread biblical illiteracy today, there are many people who don't understand why God would sacrifice His own Son. Others have accused God of being a bloodthirsty God. Still others (likely animal rights activists) have been shocked that there were animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, comparing that to ancient pagan sacrifices (which is ridiculous, because pagan sacrifices were usually human sacrifices, and were often baby sacrifices; i.e., when they would throw their babies in the fire as an offering to the (false) god Molech). I have seen others mock the ancient Jewish Kosher Laws, including the law against eating blood.

The following is an attempt to address some of these issues, at least in part.

“Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood—I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood. 'Any Israelite or any alien living among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, "You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off." (Lev. 17:10-14)

The blood shed in the sacrifices was sacred. It epitomized the life of the sacrificial victim. After sin entered into the world, God required the blood sacrifice of animals for the atonement of sins.

"For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." (Lev. 17:11)

Definition of atonement:
- satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends
- Theology: the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God and humankind, esp. as accomplished through the life, suffering, and death of Christ
- Archaic: reconciliation; agreement

Why is blood representative of life?

We can’t live without blood in our body. Blood is essential for good health because the body depends on a steady supply of fuel and oxygen to reach its billions of cells. Even the heart couldn't survive without blood flowing through the vessels that bring nourishment to its muscular walls. Blood also carries carbon dioxide and other waste materials to the lungs, kidneys, and digestive system; from there they are removed from the body. Without blood, we couldn't keep warm or cool off, we couldn't fight infections, and we couldn't get rid of our own waste products. There are approximately 60,000 miles of capillaries in the body. Arterial circulation takes freshly oxygenated blood from the heart to all the cells throughout the body. The heart is the strongest muscle in the body. The body's blood is circulated through the heart more than 1,000 times per day. Between five and six thousand quarts of blood are pumped each day.

Since life was sacred, blood (a symbol of life) had to be treated with respect.

"And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." (Gen. 9:5-6)

Eating blood was therefore strictly forbidden. Practically every sacrifice included the sprinkling or smearing of blood on the altar or within the tabernacle, thus teaching that atonement involves the substitution of life for life.

"The priest is to sprinkle the blood against the altar of the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and burn the fat as an aroma pleasing to the LORD." (Lev. 17:6)

"He is to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting." (Lev. 1:5)

"He is to lay his hand on the head of his offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood against the altar on all sides." (Lev. 3:2)

"He is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the LORD, in front of the curtain of the sanctuary." (Lev. 4:6)

"Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar." (Lev. 4:25)

"The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be sprinkled against the altar on all sides." (Lev. 7:2)

"In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (Heb. 9:22)

Note: The method of slaughter was a quick, deep stroke across the throat with a perfectly sharp blade with no nicks or unevenness. This method is painless, causes unconsciousness within seconds, and is widely recognized as the most humane method of slaughter possible.

"Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words." (Exodus 24:8)

"This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep." (Hebrews 9:18-20)

But the blood of animals really couldn't do the trick. The Israelites were still unfaithful to their God as evidenced by their whoring after other gods. A better sacrifice was needed.

God promised His people, the Jewish people, a new covenant about 600 years before the coming of Christ. We will see that this covenant would also require blood.

"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." (Jer. 31:31)

In actuality, the blood of the Old Testament sacrifice pointed forward to the blood of the Lamb of God, Who obtained for His people “eternal redemption.” The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament were only a picture of the ultimate sacrifice. When Jesus Christ went to the cross approximately 2,000 years ago, He was the ULTIMATE sacrifice.

"…because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (Heb. 10:4)

"This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper." (Hebrews 9:9)

"He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption." (Heb. 9:12)

"The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9:13-14)

Jesus said:
"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matt. 26:28)

Speaking of Jesus Christ, our perfect and ultimate High Priest:
"But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God." (Hebrews 10:12)

"Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself." (Hebrews 7:27)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A modern parable

Check out this video called "A Man Fell in a Hole":

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Testament Historial Sites

"The foundations of the Jewish Temple Mount built by Herod the Great still stand in Jerusalem. The "Southern Steps" where Jesus and his followers entered the Temple are preserved in an active excavation site. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is generally considered a credible site for the birth place of Jesus. The huge Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is also considered a reliable historical site covering the locations of the crucifixion and burial of Christ. These sites were covered over (and thus, preserved) by the Romans in the second century AD.

On the Sea of Galilee, towns such as Nazareth are still active. Capernaum and Chorazin, two sites Jesus visited often, have been excavated and preserved. Sites of famous teachings such as Kursi (the swine miracle), Tabgha (loaves and fishes), Mount of Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount) and Caesarea Philippi (Peter's confession) are all preserved as reliable historical sites."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The greatest act of love

God created us. We disobeyed and rebelled and turned away from Him. The creation mutinied like a crew against its Captain; sinned and turned against its holy, righteous Creator. We broke God's Law (the 10 Commandments) and we continue to break His Law daily...not only outwardly, but inwardly as well. God is a righteous Judge, and He says that all sin must be punished. Not only that, but God cannot allow wickedness, selfishness, pride and sin into Heaven. But we cannot be holy and perfect and sinless like God is. Rather than send all humans to Hell, however, God the Father sent God the Son to die for pay the penalty for our take our that anyone who comes to Christ can be forgiven. God paid the price for us, that we could never pay ourselves. All we have to do is repent of (turn away from) our sins and follow Him. If we sincerely reject our sins and accept Him, asking Him to forgive us and to come into our life and make us brand new, He will. All we have to do is accept Him and follow Him. He offers us His love; all we have to do is accept it.

Watch this powerful and moving video about God's love:

Friday, March 21, 2008

A medical look at the crucifixion of Jesus

This is 'Holy Week,' the last week before Easter. Today is 'Good Friday,' the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. It commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus at Calvary.

Jesus Christ, having been arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane by the Temple Guards through the guidance of Judas Iscariot, is brought to the house of Annas, who is father-in-law of the current high priest, Caiaphas. There he is interrogated with little result, and sent bound to Caiaphas the high priest, where the Sanhedrin had assembled (John 18:1-24).

Conflicting testimony against Jesus is brought forth by many witnesses, to which Jesus answers nothing. Finally the high priest adjures Jesus to respond under solemn oath, saying "I adjure you, by the Living God, to tell us, are you the Anointed One, the Son of God?" Jesus testifies in the affirmative, "You have said it, and in time you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty, coming on the clouds of Heaven." The high priest condemns Jesus for blasphemy, and the Sanhedrin concurs with a sentence of death (Matthew 26:57-66).

In the morning the whole assembly brings Jesus to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, under charges of subverting the nation, opposing taxes to Caesar, and making himself a king (Luke 23:1-2). Pilate authorizes the Jewish leaders to judge Jesus according to their own Law and execute sentencing, however the Jewish leaders reply that they are not allowed by the Romans to carry out a sentence of death (John 18:31).

Pilate questions Jesus, and tells the assembly that there is no basis for sentencing. Upon learning that Jesus is from Galilee, Pilate refers the case to the ruler of Galilee, King Herod, who was in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. Herod questions Jesus but receives no answer; Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate. Pilate tells the assembly that neither he nor Herod have found guilt in Jesus; Pilate resolves to have Jesus whipped and released (Luke 23:3-16).

It was a custom during the feast of Passover for the Romans to release one prisoner as requested by the Jews. Pilate asks the crowd who they would like to be released. Under the guidance of the chief priests, the crowd asks for Barabbas, who had been imprisoned for committing murder during an insurrection. Pilate asks what they would have him do with Jesus, and they demand, "Crucify him" (Mark 15:6-14). Pilate's wife had seen Jesus in a dream earlier that day; she forewarns Pilate to "have nothing to do with this righteous man" (Matthew 27:19).

Pilate has Jesus flogged, then brings him out to the crowd to release him. The chief priests inform Pilate of a new charge, demanding Jesus be sentenced to death "because he claimed to be God's son." This possibility filled Pilate with fear, and he brought Jesus back inside the palace and demanded to know from where he came (John 19:1-9).

Coming before the crowd one last time, Pilate declares Jesus innocent, washing his own hands in water to show he has no part in this condemnation. Nevertheless, Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified in order to forestall a riot (Matthew 27:24-26). The sentence written is "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." Jesus carries his cross to the site of execution, called the place of the Skull, or "Golgotha" in Hebrew and "Calvary" in Latin. There he is crucified along with two criminals (John 19:17-22).

Jesus agonizes on the cross for three hours while the sun is darkened. With a loud cry, Jesus gives up his spirit. There is an earthquake, tombs break open, and the curtain in the Temple is torn from top to bottom. The centurion on guard at the site of crucifixion declares, "Truly this was God's Son!" (Matthew 27:45-54)

Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin and secret follower of Jesus, who had not consented to his condemnation, goes to Pilate to request the body of Jesus (Luke 23:50-52). Pilate asks confirmation from the centurion whether Jesus is dead (Mark 15:44). A soldier pierced the side of Jesus with a lance causing blood and water to flow out (John 19:34), and the centurian informs Pilate that Jesus is dead (Mark 15:45).

Joseph of Arimathea takes the body of Jesus, wraps it in a clean linen shroud, and places it in his own new tomb that had been carved in the rock (Matthew 27:59-60) in a garden near the site of crucifixion. Another secret follower of Jesus and member of the Sanhedrin named Nicodemus (John 3:1) also came bringing 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes, and places them in the linen with the body of Jesus, according to Jewish burial customs (John 19:39-40). They rolled a large rock over the entrance of the tomb (Matthew 27:60). Then they returned home and rested, because at sunset began the Sabbath (Luke 23:54-56).
(from: )

A Medical Look at the Crucifixion:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jesus as an Historical Figure

"Consider the following evidence.

I. Testimony of a Traitor: Josephus

Josephus was a first century historian. In his autobiography, he defended his behavior in the Jewish-Roman War. He surrendered to the Roman general Vespasian during the siege of Jopatata, even though most of his colleagues committed suicide rather than give up.

He decided to join and defend the Romans. He is most known for his ambitious work, The Antiquities, which was a history of the Jewish people up to his time. The Romans employed Josephus to record their history. His works are very easy to find and are well documented.

Josephus was hated by his fellow Jews for his collaboration with the Romans. His work mentions several references to Festus, a Roman governor who also is mentioned in the New Testament.

Josephus' words about Jesus appear in The Antiquities 18.63-64:

"About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvellous things about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared."

While some scholars argue over the content of Josephus' words above, virtually none dismiss it as a clear reference to a historical Jesus that was a martyred leader of the church in Jerusalem and that he established a wide following despite the fact that he was executed under Pilate at the investigation of some of the Jewish leaders.

II. Testimony of a Roman Historian: Tacitus

Tacitus recorded what is probably the most important reference to Jesus outside the New Testament in his Annals:

"Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name ["Christians"] had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty: then upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."

In A.D. 115 he explicitly states that Nero persecuted the Christians as scapegoats to divert suspicion away from himself for the great fire that devastated Rome in AD 64. This is an important testimony by an unsympathetic witness to the success and spread of Christianity, based on a historical figure -- Jesus -- who was executed under Pontius Pilate. It is also significant that Tacitus reported that an "immense multitude" held so strongly to their beliefs that they were willing to die rather than recant their beliefs.

III. Testimony of an Historian: Thallus

Thallus wrote a history of the eastern Mediterranean world in AD 52. He writes of an eclipse that mirrors the Biblical account of the darkness surrounding the Crucifixion. While in no way proving Divinity, this reference does provide an independent corroboration of the biblical claim.

Julius Africanus discusses Thallus' historical account of the crucifixion:

"This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the Passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Saviour fails on the day before the Passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let that opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye. Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth--manifestly that one of which we speak."

Thallus notes there was darkness at the time of the crucifixion, and attributes it to an eclipse. Julius explains why an eclipse was an impossible conclusion. The focus here is not on the crucifixion, but is another source that validates the actual, physical, historical person of Jesus Christ.

IV. Testimony of a Roman Governor: Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger became the governor of Bithynia in Northwest Turkey. Much of his correspondence with his friend, Emperor Trajan, has been preserved. In book ten of his letters, he specifically refers to Christians he has arrested:

Pliny to the Emperor Trajan:

"It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the name are to be punished.

Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.

Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred. An anonymous document was published containing the names of many persons. Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ--none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do--these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.

They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.

I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened to consult you. For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved. For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it. It is certainly quite clear that the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun to be frequented, that the established religious rites, long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very few purchasers could be found. Hence it is easy to imagine what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded."

Why is this letter important? It attests to the rapid growth of Christianity among every race and class of people, free and slave, including Roman citizens. It also shows the Christians had high moral standards and were not easily swayed from their beliefs."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

How did the discovery of the lost Hittite civilization provide evidence in support of the biblical record?

"The Old Testament mentions the ancient Hittite civilization more than 50 times, either by their Hebrew name "Chitti" or by their designation as the sons and daughters Heth. However, prior to their rediscovery in the 19th century, there appeared to be no evidence for their existence outside of the Bible. Skeptics cited the missing evidence as evidence that the Bible actually fabricated their existence. This called the reliability of the biblical account into question. Basically the skeptics said, "We can't find any evidence for the Hittite civilization outside of the Bible. This demonstrates that the Bible cannot be trusted as an historical source."

Then, in the 19th and 20th centuries archaeologists hit the jackpot, not only identifying extrabiblical references to the Hittite civilization, but by actually finding and excavating the ancient Hittite capital city of Hattusa (modern day Boðazköy in northern Turkey). The rediscovery of this ancient civilization vindicated the Biblical record.

Evidence for the Hittites was bolstered in Egypt with the discovery of a treaty between Pharaoh Ramses II and the Hittite Empire. Originally written on silver tablets in Heliopolis and Hattusus, a huge copy was found on a wall of the great Karnak Temple. After years of fighting between the Hittites and the Egyptians, Ramses II and the Hittite king settled on a treaty whereby the territory of Syria and Canaan would be divided between them."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Leviticus: More than just a bunch of boring laws

According to, the idea of quarantine began in 1663, when a ship suspected of carrying disease was kept in isolation.

But God introduced the idea of quarantine to the Israelites sometime between 1406 and 1446 B.C. when He told Moses and Aaron:

"If the spot on his skin is white but does not appear to be more than skin deep and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest is to put the infected person in isolation for seven days." (Lev. 13:4)

According to, the idea of 'mold' began around 1100-1200 A.D. and the idea of mildew being a kind of fungus began in 1340 A.D. And only in the last 40 or so years have we begun to understand the dangers of mold and mildew on the respiratory system, causing allergies, asthma, respiratory infections, etc.

But again, in Leviticus 13, God not only gives the Israelites very detailed instructions on how to identify mold and mildew, but also gives explicit details on how to get rid of it.

In addition, Lev. 11:32-40 contains measures to prevent contamination of food and water supplies. The same principles govern present-day public health regulations.

But then, the Bible says this:

"The priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the one to be cleansed. Then the priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over fresh water in a clay pot. He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the infectious disease and pronounce him clean. Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields." (Lev. 14:4-7)

After giving such practical advice, which shows a knowledge of microbiology thousands of years before man even discovered microorganisms, suddenly it sounds like Leviticus is turning to superstitious ceremony.

Ah, but a closer look shows that this is not the case at all.

- The hyssop plant contains thymol, which is used as an antiseptic and a fungicide, as well as a preservative. It also contains carvacrol, which is a disinfectant and a fungicide. Hyssop has been used to relieve respiratory symptoms. Doctors use medications containing thymol and carvacrol to treat respiratory infections, remove parasites, and cleanse the body of many types of infection, fungus and bacteria.

- Cedar wood contains a substance used in medicine for skin diseases. For example, red cedar has been used to make a poultice or oil from its inner bark to treat skin diseases, including topical fungal infections and warts.

Leviticus 13 and 14 talks about leprosy, infectious skin disease, and mold. In a spiritual sense, all of these are representative and symbolic of sin. Mildew and infectious skin disease are contaminants which spread, as sin is a contaminant which spreads.

- Hyssop: they put a sponge on the stalk of the hyssop plant and put it to Jesus' lips when He was on the cross.

"A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips." (John 19:29)

- Cedar wood represents the cross.

- Scarlet yarn: Matt. 27:28 says that they put a scarlet robe on Jesus. Though the scarlet yarn could presumably represent the blood of Jesus as well, the color scarlet has also been used biblically to represent sin. Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

- Clay pot: "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." (II Cor. 4:7) As far as killing the bird over a clay pot, Jesus (God the Son) came down as a man [God formed man from clay: "the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground..." (Gen. 2:7)] to die for us.

- The bird's blood is a foreshadowing of the final/ultimate blood sacrifice of Christ Jesus.

- Releasing the bird signifies freedom from sin.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The sole, all-important, urgent message of highest priority and ultimate consequence

Do you consider yourself to be a good person?

Most people do. The Bible says that God is good, and the Ten Commandments are His standard of goodness. Ask yourself if you have obeyed the Ten Commandments. Most would answer the question, "Well, I've broken one or two, but nothing too serious, like murder, etc." So, let's go through them and see how you do:

1. You shall have no other gods before Me. (Have you always loved God above all else?)

Is God first in your life?

Many years ago, a man purchased a T.V. for his children, but the first evening they had it, the man arrived home from work and found that his children didn't even bother to greet him. They were too busy watching television. The man turned it off and explained to them that if they ignored him because they preferred to watch T.V., they were setting their love on the gift rather than the giver---a wrong order of affections. In the same way, if we love anything—husband, wife, children or even our own lives—more than we love God, we are setting our affection on the gift rather than the Giver, which is a transgression of the First Commandment.

We are also commanded to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. Jesus spoke of a man who found an injured stranger, bathed his wounds, carried him to an inn, gave money for his care and told the inn-keeper that he would pay for his expenses. We call him the good Samaritan, but in reality he wasn't "good" at all, he merely obeyed the basic command to love his neighbor as himself. That is a picture of how God expects us to love our fellow human beings. We should love them as much as we love ourselves...whether they be friend or foe.

Have you loved God with all your heart? Have you loved humanity as much as you love yourself? You be the judge. Will you be innocent or guilty on Judgment Day of breaking that Commandment?

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol. (Have you made a god in your mind that you're more comfortable with, a god to suit yourself?)

This means that we shouldn't make a god to suit ourselves, either with our hands or our mind. Is your God the One revealed in Holy Scripture, or is your god merely an “image” that you shaped to suit yourself? If you have made your own god to suit yourself, then you have committed the oldest sin in the Book. Scripture warns that no idolater will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

3. You shall not take God's name in vain. (Have you ever used God's holy Name as a curse word?)

Have you ever taken God's name in vain---instead of using a four-letter word to express disgust, you've used His name? Even Hitler's name wasn't despised enough to use as a curse word. If you have used His holy name in that manner, you are a blasphemer and will not enter the Kingdom of God.

4. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. (Do you set aside at least one day a week to worship God?)

5. Honor your father and mother.

Have you always honored your parents in a way that's pleasing in the sight of God? What about sins of your youth? Did you disobey or dishonor your parents when you were small?

6. You shall not murder. (God considers hatred to be as murder).

Jesus warned that if we get angry without cause we are in danger of judgment. If we hate our brother, God calls us a murderer. We can violate God's Law by attitude and intent. God sees our heart, not just our outward actions.

7. You shall not commit adultery. (Jesus said that "Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart"; and of course adultery also includes sex before marriage).

Who of us can say that we are pure of heart? Jesus warned, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart." Remember that God has seen every thought you have had and every sin you have ever committed. The day will come when you have to face His Law, and we are told that the impure, fornicators (those who have had sex before marriage) and adulterers will not enter the Kingdom of God.

8. You shall not steal. (Have you ever stolen anything? The value of the item is irrelevant. If so, then you are a thief—you cannot enter God's Kingdom.)

9. You shall not lie. (Have you lied even once? Including answering these questions).

Have you ever told a lie? A person who lies is called a liar. How many lies do you have to tell to be a liar? Just one. The Bible warns that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire. You may not think deceitfulness is a serious sin. But God does!

10. You shall not covet. (Have you ever jealously desired what belongs to others?)

The Bible says that God will punish all murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, adulterers, etc. He will even judge our words and our thoughts. On Judgment Day, will you be found to be guilty or innocent of breaking His commandments? Based on God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, will you go to Heaven or Hell?

Perhaps you think that God is good, and will therefore overlook your sins. But it is His goodness that will make sure that murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, etc. receive justice. He would be a corrupt Judge if He turned a blind eye to injustice. Have you kept the Commandments…ALL of them, ALL of the time?

Isn't it true that the best of us have lied, stolen, lusted, hated, failed to love God above all else, and failed to always love our neighbor as ourselves?
The Bible says that the Law is perfect. It commands you to be perfect. Are you perfect (in thought, word, and deed)?

Will you make it to Heaven? You may say that you’re still good, but God says you're not, and the Scriptures tell us that it’s impossible for God to lie. Remember that all liars will be cast into the Lake of Fire. God's Law demands justice, and the penalty for sinning against Him is death and Hell.

How can we then, live a "good" life if we have already sinned against God? At best we are reformed liars and thieves . . . but still Lawbreakers.

Think of it this way - would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? Would you sell both for $50 million? I'm sure you wouldn't. Your eyes are priceless, yet they are merely the windows of your soul. What then must your life (soul) be worth? With these thoughts in mind, what would be a fair price to pay for everlasting life? It is utterly without price. Yet, if we trust in our own goodness to enter Heaven, we are saying to God, "I should enter Heaven because I have done good - I have earned my way in."

Imagine if you wanted to give me a brand new (very expensive) car, but I said, "I can't take it! I feel embarrassed receiving such a gift . . . here's 10 cents for it." I'm sure you would be very insulted by such a pathetic offer of payment. Besides, if I pay for it, it is no longer a gift, it's a purchase . . . it's mine by right.

When we talk of entering Heaven by being good, by trying to keep the Ten Commandments etc., we are tossing God 10 cents of "self-righteousness," which is a terrible insult to Him, in the light of His sacrifice.

But there is hope! God Himself made a way where His justice and His goodness could meet. We broke the Law, but He became a man to pay the fine. Jesus suffered and died on the cross to satisfy the Law. God can forgive us and grant us the gift of everlasting life! But its not an automatic thing, nor is it a ‘blanket’ salvation where everybody in the world is automatically saved.

The only thing we can do is humble ourselves, repent of (turn away from) our sins, and receive the gift by trusting Jesus Christ alone. Almighty God demonstrated how much He loves you when Jesus suffered for you on the cross. If you want to trust in your own goodness, then you are saying His agonizing death on the cross was in vain. The Bible says, "For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." You cannot earn a gift.

When Jesus said to "believe" on Him, He was saying we should have faith in Him, in the same way you would trust a parachute to save you when you jump from a plane. You don't merely believe in the parachute - you put it on. Please don't "jump" without Jesus. If you die in your sins there is NO second chance. God will give you justice, and you will end up in Hell forever. Any troubles you have at present are dwarfed by the trouble you are in with your Creator. His wrath abides upon you (John 3:36). God doesn't want you to go to Hell. Neither do you want to go there, so confess your sins to God right now, put your trust in Jesus to save you, and you will pass from death to life. Then read the Bible daily and obey what you read. (See John 14:21). Your obedience to God is the proof of your love. Have faith in God. He will never fail you.

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin.
We were born under the power of sin's control.
- Admit that you are a sinner.

Romans 6:23a "...The wages of sin is death..."

Sin has an ending. It results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity. The Bible teaches that there is a place called the Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people who are spiritually dead will remain. The Bible calls this the Second Death.

- Understand that you deserve death for your sin.

Romans 6:23b "...But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Salvation is a free gift from God to you! You can't earn this gift, but you must reach out and receive it.

- Ask God to forgive you and save you.

Romans 5:8, "God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!"

When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin's penalty. He paid the price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death! He paid the ransom with His own holy, perfect life. The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life. He did all this because He loved us and gave Himself for us!

- Give your life to God... His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness and change. His love bought you out of being a slave to sin. His love is what saves you -- not religion, or church membership. There is no one else Who can save you except Jesus Christ Who is God the Son. God loves you!

Romans 10:13 "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!"

- Call out to God in the name of Jesus!

Romans 10:9,10 "...If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

- If you know that God is knocking on your heart's door, ask Him to come into your heart.

Jesus said,
Revelation 3:20a "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him..."

- Is Jesus knocking on your heart's door?

Do you want to escape from Hell and from God’s wrath? Do you want Jesus to forgive you of all your sins---past, present and future? Are you willing to relinquish control of your life to Jesus, and follow Him as your Savior and as the Lord of your life?

Believe in Him.
Ask Him to come in to your heart by faith,and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.

Remember: there is no “magic formula” prayer, and merely repeating a bunch of words will not save you. ‘Being saved’ is not about saying some prayer, then going about your own way and living your life however you please. It involves following Jesus from now on and forever. It has to do with complete surrender and with a sincere heart attitude.

Just talk to Jesus in your own words. He knows your thoughts anyway. However, if you say, “I don’t know how to pray; I have no idea what to say,” then here is a sample guideline to help you:

Pray something like this:
"Dear God, today I turn away from all of my sins (name them). This day I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way for me to be saved. He is 'The Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ Please forgive me, change my heart, and grant me Your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."

If you have now surrendered and committed your life to Jesus, and have given Him full control of your life, then the Bible says that the angels in Heaven are rejoicing right now!

Not only that, but if you have asked Christ Jesus to come into your life and save you from your sins and from Hell and damnation and eternal suffering, and have asked Him to take over your life, then the Bible says that God the Holy Spirit has now come to dwell inside you! Therefore, you are now a living temple of the Holy Spirit (the third Person of the Trinity)! You are now a living temple of God!

Open the Bible to the Gospel of John and read what God says about Jesus, about you, and about being born again.

God will help you. He loves you.

You need to look for a local church where
God's word is preached. The Bible says that we are to desire God's word like a newborn baby desires mother's milk.
Aren't you hungry to know the truth?

Water baptism is one of the ways you first show that you have been joined to Jesus. This is an action, and actions will not save you. However, it is an act of obedience and a symbol of commitment.

The symbolism is this:
When you go down in the water you show that you have been crucified and buried with Him, and when you come up out of the water you show that you have been raised to walk with Him in newness of life.
(See Romans chapter 6)

You have been born again.
(See John chapter 3)

Your body has become God's temple.
Your heart is where He lives.

Forgiveness is yours in Jesus.
And you belong to Him.

You were sin's slave.
But now...

You are a child of GOD!

John 1:12
"As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nick Vujicic's Testimony

You think you've got it tough? Check this guy out, and never feel sorry for yourself again.

How having no arms and no legs has affected his walk with God.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The missing link

"The missing link between man and the merely the most glamorous of a whole hierarchy of phantom creatures. In the fossil record, missing links are the rule: the story of life is as disjointed as a silent newsreel, in which species succeed one another as abruptly as Balkan prime ministers. The more scientists have searched for the transitional forms between species, the more they have been frustrated... Evidence from fossils now points overwhelmingly away from the classical Darwinism which most Americans learned in high school..." [Newsweek, Is Man a Subtle Accident? Nov. 3, 1980 p. 95.]

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Leviticus 11: Ancient Israel's Dietary Laws

Before microscopic organisms or germs were discovered, God gave the ancient Israelites dietary laws which not only had spiritual significance, but would also protect them and help them to survive as a nation. These laws preserved the sanctity of Israel as God's holy people. Though the idea of uncleanness typified sin and defilement, it also protected the Israelites from diseases they may have otherwise become the victims of. Remember, all of this was given by God to Moses and Aaron thousands of years before infectious diseases were discovered, or the microscope was invented.

Following are a few examples:

"The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you." (Lev. 11:6)

Tularemia (also known as rabbit fever or deerfly fever) is an infectious disease in ticks and rabbits that is caused by a bacterium (Francisella tularensis). The disease was first described in Japan in 1837. Approximately 150-300 tularemia cases are reported in the United States annually, with a majority of those from Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. The bacteria F. tularensis is a hazard to laboratory staff that work closely with rabbits. Note: as few as 5-10 bacteria can result in disease.

"And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you." (Lev. 11:7-8)

In ages past, pork could cause trichinosis. Modern food preparation techniques help prevent this. Pigs are also host to various parasites. In addition, pork is unhealthy since its even higher in fat than beef. For an explanation of trichinosis, see:

"But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to detest." (Lev. 11:10)

Unclean 'fish' such as eels generally contain more parasites than fish with scales. Even today, shellfish often causes food poisoning and enteritis. For example, see:

"These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey..." (Lev. 11:13)

Carnivorous animals readily transmitted infection in a warm climate where flesh decayed rapidly. Vermin and predatory birds were likely disease carriers.

Those kosher laws from God were like an ancient version of our Food and Drug Administration, protecting public health by preventing the consumption of unhealthy foods. Yet, their purpose was also to maintain spiritual purity, and served as another way to separate Israel, God's chosen people, from the idolatrous and pagan nations around them.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Archaeoraptor Liaoningensis: Fake Dinosaur-bird ancestor

Today I want to point out another evolution fraud, this time committed in China and published in 1999 in the journal "National Geographic" 196:98-107, November, 1999. Dinosaur bones were put together with the bones of a newer species of bird, and they tried to pass it off as a very important new evolutionary intermediate.

"Feathers For T-Rex?", Christopher P. Sloan, National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 196, No. 5, November, 1999, pp.99,100,105

"National Geographic has reached an all-time low for engaging in sensationalistic, unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism."
(Storrs L. Olson, Smithsonian Institution)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Computer points to one author

“After feeding the 20,000 Hebrew words of Genesis into a computer at Technion University in Israel, researchers found many sentences that ended in verbs and numerous words of six characters or more. Because these idiosyncratic patterns appear again and again, says project director Yehuda Radday, it seems likely that a sole author was responsible. Their exhaustive computer analysis conducted in Israel suggested an 82 percent probability that the book has just one author.” (Omni magazine, August 1982)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Colored People

Just thought I'd throw in this video of D.C. Talk's "Colored People" from 1995, which speaks against racism. D.C. Talk was my favorite Christian band for years, until they went on hiatus in 2000. Since then, the members of the band have been pursuing solo careers.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Surprising Archaeological Find: Proof of Jesus' Existence?

by Mario Seiglie

Have scholars found firm evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ, His earthly father and one of His half brothers? An intriguing find bears their names.

"First it was the name of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate found in a monument in Caesarea, Israel, in 1961.

Then came the discovery in 1990 in Jerusalem of an ossuary, a burial box for bones, bearing the name of Caiaphas, the high priest who condemned Jesus. Just recently it appears the most spectacular of all archaeological finds relating to Jesus has surfaced.

Another ossuary has come to light, this one bearing the names of Jesus, James and Joseph, three of the most prominent people in the New Testament. The ancient Aramaic words inscribed on the limestone box state that it belonged to "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."

Close-up of the inscription. Carved in Aramaic. “Ya'akov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua.” English translation: “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”

In late October Andre' Lemaire, a specialist in ancient inscriptions and professor at the Sorbonne in Paris, announced the discovery of the stone container with the extraordinary script. An Israeli collector, Oded Golan, had purchased the box from an Arab antiquities dealer more than a decade ago. Mr. Golan had not thought the artifact important until Professor Lemaire examined it. In fact, although Mr. Golan had read the inscription, he hadn't connected it with the biblical Jesus.

The dealer told Mr. Golan that the box had come from a burial site in southern Jerusalem where a bulldozer had accidentally uncovered a site containing tombs and bone boxes dating to the time of Jesus and James.

Much to the disappointment of archaeologists and scholars, the box was not excavated by a trained archaeologist from the spot where it had rested for the last 2,000 years. Instead it was surreptitiously removed and sold on the antiquities market (as is the case with a high percentage of archaeological finds in the Holy Land). Regrettably, this prevents the examination of the box in its proper archaeological context and the elimination of any possibility of fraud.

Strong evidence for authenticity
Yet fraud seems rather unlikely. Before the announcement of the discovery, the limestone box was subjected to rigorous scientific tests to rule out the possibility. A team of experts from the Geological Survey of Israel examined the box and the inscription under a microscope and found no evidence of modern tools or tampering. Like the rest of the box, the inscription, though wiped clean in parts, has a thin sheen of particulate matter formed on it called a patina. This particular patina shows that it developed in a cave environment and that it is consistent with an age of 2,000 years.

By its very nature the artifact can be dated to within a few decades. Such bone boxes were in use from about 20 B.C. to A.D. 70, when according to Jewish custom the dead were first sealed in caves or rock-cut tombs, then their bones later transferred to a limestone bone box after the body had decayed.

Professor Lemaire further narrowed the dating by verifying that the inscription was in a cursive style used only in the few decades before A.D. 70, when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. Thus the inscription fits the style used around A.D. 62, when James, Jesus' half brother, died.

Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, which announced the discovery, explained that the inscription was reviewed by Joseph Fitzmyer, one of the world's foremost experts on first-century Aramaic and a preeminent Dead Sea Scrolls editor. Professor Fitzmyer was at first troubled by the spelling of the word for brother, because it was a plural form used centuries later. But further research yielded the same form in one of the Dead Sea Scrolls and on another first-century ossuary. "I stand corrected," Professor Fitzmyer said.

A putative forger would have to know Aramaic better than Professor Fitzmyer, which seems rather unlikely. "To my mind," wrote Mr. Shanks, "this is one of the strongest arguments for the authenticity of the James inscription" (Biblical Archaeology Review, November-December 2002, p. 33).

Many factors pointing in one direction
"It seems very probable," Professor Lemaire concludes, "that this is the ossuary of the James in the New Testament" (ibid.).

What makes the case that this is indeed the ossuary of Jesus' half brother so convincing is the combination of factors that point in the same direction. Dr. Lemaire notes that Joseph (Hebrew Yosef) and Jesus (Yeshua, or Joshua) were common names in the A.D. 60s and James (Ya'akov or Jacob) less so, but a brother would not ordinarily be named in an inscription unless he were prominent.

Dr. Lemaire says the likelihood of more than one person named James with a father named Joseph and a prominent brother named Jesus in that precise time period is minuscule.

"It is one thing to have scattered probabilities," explains John Meier, professor of New Testament at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and an authority on first-century Palestinian Judaism; "it's another thing to have lines of probabilities all converging at one point" (UPI report, Oct. 25).

Mr. Shanks stated that the "clincher" for him was the naming of the brother of the deceased. Of some 800 bone boxes discovered, 233 have inscriptions on the outside. Of these, few are inscribed with the name of a brother—only one other in Aramaic. Mr. Shanks said if one accepts the theory that the deceased was a prominent person associated with him—rather than simply associated because the brother presided over the secondary interment—the probability that the inscription refers to Jesus of Nazareth seems overwhelming."

"The death of James
The death of James, the Lord's brother—not to be confused with the two original apostles named James (see Matthew 10:2-3)—is not mentioned in the New Testament. But Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, does record it.

He writes: "Festus [the Roman procurator] was now dead, and Albinus [his successor] was but upon the road; so he [Ananas II, the high priest] assembled the Sanhedrin of the judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned" (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20, chap. 9, sec. 1).

Eusebius, a fourth-century church historian, records even more of the details of James' death: "Conducting him [James] into a public place, they demanded that he should renounce the faith of Christ before all the people; but contrary to the sentiments of all, with a firm voice, and much beyond their expectation, he declared himself fully before the whole multitude, and confessed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, our Savior and Lord.

"Unable to bear any longer the testimony of the man, who, on account of his elevated virtue and piety was deemed the most just of men, they . . . slew him . . . But, as to the manner of James's death, it has been already stated in the words of Clement, that he was thrown from a wing of the temple, [to be stoned] and beaten to death with a club" (Ecclesiastical History, 1995, pp. 75-76).

Names of other biblical figures found
Although the evidence so far points to the listing of Jesus, James and Joseph on the newfound ossuary as being the same persons mentioned in the New Testament, it cannot be proven with absolute certainty. Perhaps testing methods yet to be developed will be carried out that can further confirm the find.

In the meantime, the find nevertheless appears to be powerful evidence for the accuracy of the Gospel accounts and the literal existence of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, and His earthly family.

And by no means is this find unique; the existence of many biblical figures has been proven by archaeological finds. So far biblical names that have been positively confirmed include Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa, Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, David, many of the kings of Judah and Israel, and even Jeremiah's scribe, Baruch."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Larry Norman tribute

This is a tribute to Larry Norman, who died 2/24/08 at 60 years of age. He was considered the 'Father of Christian Rock.' He officially retired in 2001, the same year he was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame along with Elvis Presley and Keith Green. His first two solo albums, "Upon This Rock" (originally released on Capitol in 1969) and "Only Visiting This Planet" (issued by Verve in 1972), are widely considered the first Christian rock albums of any real significance. At the age of nine, Larry began writing and performing original rock and roll songs at school, experimenting and incorporating a spiritual message into his music. In 1959 he performed on Ted Mack's syndicated television show, "The Original Amateur Hour," on CBS. Upon moving to San Jose, California, he began recording for Capitol Records with his band "People!" in 1966 and for the next 2 years performed concerts supporting The Doors, The Who, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, among others. "People!" scored a Billboard Chart hit in 1968 with a cover of The Zombies' song "I Love You."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Gay Pride outreach, West Hollywood

Notice that (in contrast to, for example, those of the Westboro Baptist Church who hold up signs saying "God Hates Fags") he does not condescendingly tell them, "You homosexuals are all going to Hell!" Instead, he takes them through four of the Ten Commandments, which every single one of us has broken, and shows them that every one of us is a sinner (i.e., every one of us has lied, lusted, gossiped, stolen, cheated, cursed, used God's Name in vain, committed adultery or fornication, gotten drunk, hated, etc.), and that the only hope we have of escaping Hell is through Jesus Christ, Who loved us so much that He died for our sins. If we repent (not just regret, but turn away) of our sins and surrender to Christ Jesus, we can then have eternal life in Paradise.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Asking the Forbidden Questions

According to Darwin, the absence of intermediate fossil forms “is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” What new fossil finds, if any, have occurred since Darwin wrote these words nearly 150 years ago? Do they overturn Darwin’s bleak assessment of evolutionary theory? If the absence of intermediate fossil forms holds as much today as it did back then, why should anyone accept evolution?

Progressions invariably come from organisms with the same basic body plan. In the “evolution” of the horse, we are always dealing with horse-like organisms. And even with the “evolution” of reptiles into mammals, we are dealing with land-dwelling vertebrates sharing many common structures. What we don’t see in the fossil record is animals with fundamentally different body plans evolving from a common ancestor. For instance, there is no fossil evidence whatsoever that insects and vertebrates share a common evolutionary ancestor.

The challenge that here confronts evolution is not isolated but pervasive, and comes up most flagrantly in what’s called the Cambrian Explosion. In a very brief window of time during the geological period known as the Cambrian, virtually all the basic animal types appeared suddenly in the fossil record with no trace of evolutionary ancestors. The Cambrian Explosion so flies in the face of evolution that paleontologist Peter Ward wrote, “If ever there was evidence suggesting Divine Creation, surely the Precambrian and Cambrian transition, known from numerous localities across the face of the earth, is it.” Note that Ward is not a creationist.

The challenge of the fossil record that Darwin identified 150 years ago has not gone away. To his credit, the late evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould conceded this point: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.

But IS this inference actually reasonable?

According to evolutionist Richard Dawkins, the “evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design.” Yet he also states, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” How does Dawkins know that living things only appear to be designed but are not actually designed?

The great fallacy of evolution is that it claims all the benefits of design without the need for actual design. In particular, evolution attributes intelligence, the power of choice, to a fundamentally irrational process, namely, natural selection. But nature has no power to choose. Real choices involve deliberation, that is, some consideration of future possibilities and consequences.

But natural selection is incapable of looking to the future. Instead, it acts on the spur of the moment, based solely on what the environment right now deems fit. It cannot plan for the future. It is incapable of deferring success or gratification. And yet, so limited a process is supposed to produce marvels of biological complexity and diversity that far exceed the capacities of the best human designers.

There’s no evidence that natural selection is up to the task. Natural selection is fine for explaining certain small-scale changes in organisms, like the beaks of birds adapting to environmental changes. It can take existing structures and hone them. But it can’t explain how you get complex structures in the first place. That’s why cell biologist Franklin Harold writes, “there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is a scientific research program that looks for signs of intelligence from distant space. Should biologists likewise be looking for signs of intelligence in biological systems? Why or why not? Could actual intelligent design in biological systems be scientifically detectable?

After all, “intelligent design is scientifically detectable in many areas of science, such as archeology, forensics, and cryptography.” And “nonhuman intelligence could be scientifically detectable, as with SETI.”

Do any structures in the cell resemble highly intricate machines designed by humans?

Evolutionists claim that these structures evolved. But if so, how? Could such machines have features that place them beyond the reach of evolution?

There are structures in the cell that don’t just resemble humanly built machines—they actually are machines in every sense of the word.

Take, for instance, the bacterial flagellum, which is now referred to as the “Icon of Intelligent Design” by some evolutionists because it has been so effectively used to criticize evolution. The bacterial flagellum is a marvel of nano-engineering.

Biologist Howard Berg at Harvard refers to it as “the most efficient machine in the universe.” The flagellum is a little bi-directional motor-driven propeller that sits on the backs of certain bacteria and drives them through their watery environment. It spins at 20,000 rpm and can change direction in a quarter turn. It requires approximately 40 protein parts for its construction. If any of the parts are missing or not available in the right proportions, no functional flagellum will form. So, how did it evolve?

Despite thousands of research articles that have been written about the structure and function of the flagellum, biologists don’t have a clue how it could have evolved. Evolutionists have only one straw at which they continually grasp when trying to explain how the flagellum might have evolved, namely, that the flagellum contains within it a structure similar to a microsyringe found in some bacteria. Having found this sub-structure, evolutionists merrily conclude that the microsyringe must have evolved into the flagellum.

Such pathetic lapses in logic are everywhere in the evolutionary literature. The challenge for evolutionary theory is not to find components of such systems that could be grist of natural selection’s mill. Rather, it is to provide detailed, testable, step-by-step scenarios whereby such components could reasonably have come together to bring about the marvels of nano-engineering that we find in systems like the flagellum.

What evidence would convince you that evolution is false? If no such evidence exists, or indeed could exist, how can evolution be a testable scientific theory?

"The burden is on Darwin and his defenders to demonstrate that at least some complex organs we find in nature really can possibly be formed in this way, that is, by some specific, fully articulated series of slight modifications.” (University of Texas philosopher Robert Koons)

The evolutionist J. B. S. Haldane, when asked what would convince him that evolution was false, replied that finding a rabbit fossil in pre-Cambrian rocks would do quite nicely. Such a fossil would, by standard geological dating, be out of sequence by several hundreds of millions of years. Certainly such a finding, if rigorously confirmed, would overturn the current understanding of the history of life. But it would not overturn evolution.

Haldane’s rabbit is easily enough explained as an evolutionary convergence, in which essentially the same structure or life form evolves twice. In place of a common underlying intelligent design, evolutionists invoke evolutionary convergence whenever confronted with similar biological structures that cannot reasonably be traced back to a common evolutionary ancestor.

So long as some unknown or unexplored evolutionary pathway might have led to the formation of some biological structure or organism, evolutionists prefer it over alternative explanations such as intelligent design. And since the unknown and unexplored allow for an infinity of loopholes, the committed evolutionist regards Darwinian and other materialist explanations of life’s origin and subsequent development as always trumping alternative explanations, regardless of the evidence.

Richard Halvorson, writing for the “Harvard Crimson,” has aptly remarked, “We must refuse to bow to our culture’s false idols. Science will not benefit from canonizing Darwin or making evolution an article of secular faith. We must reject intellectual excommunication as a valid form of dealing with criticism: the most important question for any society to ask is the one that is forbidden.

Evolution has become an ideology, and the one thing that ideologies fear is exposure.
That’s why evolution forbids certain lines of questioning. But the questions need to be asked. Too much is riding on evolution for it to escape proper scrutiny.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Adam, the Flood & the Tower of Babel

Turning just a few pages into the Bible, we
read about the first cities known to man after the
global flood of Noah’s day.

One of Noah’s descendants was a man by
the name of Nimrod, whose kingdom included the
cities of Babel, Erech, Akkad, and Calneh, in the
land of Shinar. Asshur went forth and built
Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen in the
land of Assyria.

These first cities lay in a land modern historians
call ancient Mesopotamia, which means “the
land between two rivers.” The two rivers it refers to
are the Tigris and the Euphrates. This land would later
be the staging ground for two of the world’s most
feared Empires: Assyria and Babylon. That
land is what we refer to today as Iraq.
I remember during my college days taking a
class in Western Civilization, and the very first cultures
mentioned in the history book we were assigned,
was that of the ancient Akkadians and
Sumerians who lived in Mesopotamia. This
should come as no surprise, since the city-state
of Akkad, as well as the cities of Sumer, were mentioned
in Genesis 10:10-12, long ago.

One of the most amazing finds uncovered in
Akkad was that of a seal, which possibly shows that
the Akkadians knew of the story of the temptation
of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. George
Smith, of the British Museum, who lived during the
middle 1800's, wrote: “One striking and important
specimen of early type in the British Museum has
two figures, sitting one on each side of a tree, holding
out their hands to the fruit, while at the back of
one (the woman) is stretched a serpent. We know
well that in these early sculptures none of these
figures were chance devices, but all represented
events or supposed events, and figures ... , thus it
is evident that a form of the story of the Fall, similar
to that of Genesis, was known from early times
in Babylonia.”

Akkadian “Temptation Seal”
From 2,300-2,200 B.C.

The first city mentioned in the Bible as being
among the cities of Nimrod is Babel. And in fact,
the city’s name, as well as the Tower of Babel account,
is recorded outside of the Bible.

Fragments of an Assyrian tablet were discovered
at Nineveh by Austen Henry Layard, during the
middle of the 18th century, that closely parallel the
Biblical Tower of Babel account. The artifacts now
reside in the British Museum (registration number
K.3657) and reads as follows: “his heart was evil
against the father of all the gods . . . Babylon was
brought into subjection, small and great alike. He
confounded their speech . . . their strong palace
(tower) all the days they built; to their
strong place in the night He completely made an
end . . . In His anger His word was poured out . . .
to scatter aboard He set his face, He gave this
command, and their counsel was confused . . .
He saw them and the earth. . . of stopping not . . .
Bitterly they wept at Babi.”

Sumer’s oldest and most important capital
city was Uruk (biblical 'Erech'). Present day Iraq
possibly derived its name from this ancient city.
Uruk is recorded on an artifact known as the
‘Sumerian Kings List’ which also mentions the
Elamites. These are the same Elamites who descended
from Elam, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, as
listed in Genesis 10:22.

Sumer’s capital was later moved from Erech
to UR, the same city which Abraham later left to
go to the land of Canaan. The Bible calls this city
"Ur of the Chaldeans" in Genesis 11:31. An Inscription
from Argistis near Van verifies this title. It
states, “This is the spoil of the cities I obtained for
the people of the Khaldis (Chaldeans) in one

One fascinating archeological find at Ur is
that of a temple tower which the Akkadians called a
ziggurat. This tower found at UR was later rebuilt
by king Nabonidus of Babylon, who reigned between
555-539 B.C."

Ziggurat ruins at Ur

On inscriptions found at this ziggurat,
Nabonidus states that he had rebuilt the structure,
which he learned was originally constructed by two
kings who lived 1,500 years prior to himself. One
inscription also bears the name of another Biblical
Babylonian prince by the name of Belshazzar, who
would live to see God’s handwriting on the walls of
Babylon as recorded in Daniel chapter 5.

The ziggurat, which resembled a four-sided
stepped pyramid, was probably similar to that of the
Biblical tower built at Babel. Other towers in Mesopotamia,
such as the one at Ur, have been found at
Calah (Nimrud), Assur, Akkad (Sippar), Uruk,
Cush (Kish), Borsippa, Aqarquf, Khorabad and
Eridu, a city near Ur.

Inscriptions from various Babylonian kings
also record the construction of these temple towers,
which they say reached to the sky, with similar
wording to that found in the Bible’s 'tower of Babel'

Hammurabi, who ruled nearly 2,000 years
before Christ, states: “He restored the temple
Emeteursag ... and built the temple tower
...whose top is sky high.”

Much later in the sixth century B.C.,
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, wrote: “I raised
the summit of the Tower of stages at Etemenanki
so that its top rivaled the heavens.”

We also know from Babylonian inscriptions
that these towers reached heights of up to 300

Archaeology in this region has also uncovered
one of the earliest accounts of the flood. It is
listed on an artifact known as the 'Sumerian Kings
List,' dating back to 2,170 B.C. The inscription
reads: “The flood swept over (the earth). After
the flood had swept over (the earth) (and)
when the kingship was lowered (again) from
heaven, kingship was (first) at Kish (Cush).”

What is interesting about this statement is
not only that the flood is mentioned, but it also mentions a
city founded by Cush (who was "the son of Ham, the
son of Noah"). The Bible, in Genesis 10:8, states that
Nimrod descended from Cush. The city of Kish
(Cush) was located in the area very close to Babylon.

Another artifact from the Sumerians was
found at Nippur (biblical 'Calneh') which states: “A
flood came over the cities to destroy the seed
of all mankind . . . all the wind-storms,
exceedingly powerful attacked as one. At the
same time, the flood swept over the culture
centers. For seven days and seven nights, the
flood had swept over the land. The huge boat
had been tossed about by the windstorms on
the great waters.”

Another fascinating artifact was found at
Nineveh, which was one of the cities of Asshur mentioned in
Genesis 10:11. It gives an account of the flood,
somewhat similar to the Bible’s account, showing
they also had a knowledge of the great flood of
Noah’s day:

“ a ship, seek thou life . . . aboard the
ship take thou the seed of all living things . . . All
my family and kin I made go aboard the ship. The
beasts of the field, the wild creatures of the field . . .
I made go aboard . . .”Board thou ship and batten
up thy entrance!” That stated time had arrived: He
who orders unease at night, showers down a rain of
blight. I watched the appearance of the weather.
The weather was awesome to behold. I boarded the
ship and battened up the entrance. With the first
glow of dawn, a black cloud rose up from the horizon.
. . . Consternation over Adad reaches the
heavens, Who turned to darkness all that had been
light . . . For one day the south storm gathered
speed as it blew, overtaking the [people] like a battle.
No one can see his fellow . . . Six days and six
nights blows the flood winds, as the south-storm
sweeps over the land . . . On the seventh day the
flood subsided in battle . . . the flood ceased.
I looked at the weather; stillness had set in. And all
of mankind had returned to clay. . . . On mount
Nisir the ship came to a halt. . . . When the seventh
day arrived, I set forth a dove. The dove went back
and forth, but came back; since no resting place for
it was visible. Then I sent forth a swallow. The
swallow went forth, but came back; since no resting
place for it was visible. Then I sent forth and
set free a raven. The raven went forth and, seeing
the waters diminished, he eats, circles, caws and
turns not around. Then I let out (all) to the four
winds and offered a sacrifice. I poured out a libation
on the top of the mountains.”

Tablet number 11 of the Gilgamesh
Epic, dated to the 7th century B.C.,
found at Nineveh, gives an account of
a flood, with some similarities to that
of the Bible.

Another of Nimrod’s cities was Calneh which,
according to the Talmud, is associated with the site
of Nippur. According to Genesis 11:1-9, Nimrod’s cities,
which included the region of Babel, Erech, Akkad
and Calneh, was known as the land of Shinar.
The name 'Shinar' is found in Egyptian records
from Pharaoh Amenhotep II, who wrote: “Now
when the prince of the land of Naharin, the Prince
of Hatti, and the prince of Shinar heard of my
great victory, . . . they asked me to spare their

To the Northwest of Shinar lies the cities
founded by Asshur, who was a descendant of
Noah’s son, Shem. His first city was named after
himself: Assur. And just like the ruins from Akkad
and Sumer, a ziggurat has also been uncovered at

Another one of his cities mentioned in Genesis
10:11 is Calah. The existence of this city has
been found on a royal inscription from Assurnasirpal
II, an early king of Assyria, who states “I
took over again the city of Calah.”

The Biblical city of Resen, mentioned in Genesis
10:12, is believed to be the city known as Larissa
(Al-Resen or 'City of Resen'). In Hebrew, 'Resen'
means “fortified place." The historian Xenophon
recorded that Larissa was a great fortress located
between the cities of Nineveh and Calneh.

The city Rehoboth Ir is associated today
with the Assyrian city of Khorsabad.
And of course, last but not least is the great
city of Nineveh, which later became the capital of
the Assyrian empire.