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Brief Summary of Apocrypha

Tobit Carried away captive to Nineveh. Had a political post with Shalmanesar. Tobit mentions his own righteousness, his givings to the poor, and particularly his burying of Jewish corpses left out. This annoyed the king. He says that those who give to the poor are blessed. He has a son called Tobias. One day Tobit is sleeping outside and bird droppings go into his eyes giving him cataracts and leaving him blind. His son goes on a journey with a young man who is really the Angel Raphael (calls himself Azariah son of Hananiah) in disguise to get money Tobit left with Gabael at Rages. He marries Sarah. She lived in Ecbatana. She had a demon that followed here and that killed seven of her husbands on their wedding nights. Gabriel tells Tobias how to scare the demon away with a fish – and prayer. They return and heal Tobit with the Fish. Judith A town in Israel called Bethulia is besieged by the Assyrian army. They take control of the water supply. After 34 days the people want to surrender. Judith is a beautiful intelligent widow. She goes down with her maid – dressed up beautifully with fine clothes and jewellery. She pretends to be a deserter. The commander, Holofernes, fancies her and wants to seduce her. At a party after a few days she gets the commander drunk and then cuts off his head. She returns to Bethulia with his head. Israel’s...

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Brief Notes on 1 and 2 Maccabees

1 Maccabees Alexander the Great son of Philip of Macedonia wins against Darius of the Medes and Persians. Kills many kings. When he dies  he splits his empire up among 4 generals who grew up with him. A bit further on Antiochus Epiphanes defeats Egypt. Then wants all his lands to give up their religions and sacrifice the Greek way, and follow Greek customs to break the law and propane the sabbath.  A gymnasium is built in Jerusalem. Some rebel and are killed. Some are attacked on the sabbath and refuse to fight back and are slaughtered. Mattathias was a priest who rebelled against the decree...

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The Early Christians

Thoughts from a short book I read published by Day One. The conditions were good for the start of Christianity. The Greeks had spread their culture, and consequently language, far and wide throughout the Mediterranean. This meant only one language was really needed to communicate with people everywhere the early Christians went. The Romans had clamped down on Piracy (Pompeii in particular) and bandits, and made a vast network of good straight roads. This enabled relatively safe and speedy travel. Finally, the Jewish Diaspora had resulted in many Jewish communities in all the main towns and cities. There were also many God Fearers – those from pagan background interested in a religion with superior morals and one God. This meant those that spread Christianity had communities to preach to throughout the Roman world. Morality in the Roman empire was dreadful with orgies, drunkenness, temple prostitutes etc. Christianity, and Judaism too, offered a fresh moral direction. The early Christians were committed to helping the poor, those in prison, and held hostage. Money was often given by selling possessions or selling church silver or gold plates...

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Summary: On Rock or Sand? John Sentamu

1. Introduction “Stability and hope are linked to purpose and productivity” There are vast swathes of the country, particularly outside of London, that are in serious economic difficulty with few jobs and low output. And in London growth is found at an individual level with poverty never far away. A lot of different schemes have been tried to bring economic recovery to cities experience a downturn. Often these have not had an affect on surrounding areas, such as in Liverpool. Some successes include Leeds, and...

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Summary of Fabricating Jesus – how modern scholars distort the gospels

In progressWatch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download Chapter 1 A lot of books appeared recently from Scholars coming out of a traditional fundamentalist background. The fundamentalist background is very rigid and ignores serious questions of issues such as who wrote the Bible, and with what purpose, and in what historical context. The majority of Christian scholars stay in the faith. A popular defence of Jesus as the embodiment of Israel’s God go along the lines of C S Lewis’s famous “lunatic, liar or Lord”. However, this is overly simplistic and misses out several options such as (i) Jesus was Israel’s Messiah and the greatest Jewish prophet, but still only a man, or (ii) the New Testament documents we have are not reliable and so we can’t be sure who Jesus was. Evans talks about misplaced faith and misguided suspicions. Misplaced faith refers to people having faith in the wrong thing such as an inerrant scripture or the gospels must be harmonizable. And in these cases when scholarly research shows these beliefs to be untrue, loss of faith can result. Misguided suspicions refer to the belief that Jesus contemporaries did not accurately pass on what he said, either incapable of passing on his words accurately or not interested in his exact words. So you have followers of Jesus who aren’t really interested in following...

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