Allusion on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight!

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During my research of the movie the Hobbit,I begin talking about what I had planned to do for my allusion with a friend. Her interest in finding out what I meant by an allusion lead us to the topic of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. J.R. R. Tolkien, if you must know is the author of The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings books, and all of which are brilliant pieces of literature. We know that they are great and interesting because J.R. R. Tolkien writes them. Interesting enough, we discussed the topic and other things that allude to such subliminal messages used by Tolkien. Then somehow, we were on the topic of Green horses. This topic lead us to the subject of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Tolkien and also Revelations the pale green horse. I am familiar with this text of Sir Gawain because of the recent English literature course. As many know, Tolkien is also known for being a literature professor and a linguist. He translated Gawain and the green knight from French. It deals with the realm of Camelot and the issues of Christianity mixing with traditional pagan gods and ideas. The green knight is, I think, supposed to be the Green Man or the god of the forest but we will discover later in this paper. Celtic mythology has different versions of him than in others. Tolkien was also really big into historical literature and did lots of other translations. So As we ended the topic, I found myself wanting to do my allusion on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. During Christmas at King Arthur’s court. the knights and court gather to celebrate in a feast known as all saints day. During the feast, King Arthur wanted to witness or hear something amazing, “glorious.” During this time, a mysterious man with “green skin” comes into the hall on a green horse desiring to challenge someone, or anyone. The green knight states that he’s arrive to test the honor of the legendary knights of the round table, and he suggest they play his a game. In this game, he will allow one to yield a fatal blow, and this one blow preferably from the hands of one of the king’s knight.  This however, will only be done if the knight agrees to meet him a year from today( meaning the day he challenged him) to receive a blow in return. Afraid of such an appeal and gazing upon a green monster looking man and horse, no one emerged from the audience to take on this challenge.

            The Green Knight maliciously mocks them and actually challenges King Arthur himself to take up the challenge. Nevertheless, before Arthur can even wallop a blow, his nephew, Sir Gawain, spoke out and said that “it’s dishonorable for the king to have to participate in such a ridiculous game.” So Gawain volunteers himself,  he is so brave. Then bringing down the axe on the green knight head Gawain slams down, and chopped his head off. Instead of dying, the green Knight picks up his own head, turns it to face the people, and tells Gawain to meet him at the green Chapel in a year and a day after, and he finally leaves out of the hall.The relevance of this is all in Revelations 6:8, “And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth” (http://biblehub.com/revelation/6-8.htm).I thought as we discussed this topic in class about the word pale, “meaning green” I had to jump on this topic.In the greek text, as discussed in class the word “chloros” is present. “Chloros” means GREEN and it is the same as seen in the word chlorophyll, which is the green color of plants (http://kenraggio.com/KRPN-GreenHorse.html). This is obviously the color of the horse and its rider. As mentioned by Ken Raggio,  the Old Testament allusion to the fourth horse in the bible is stated, “grisled and bay”(http://kenraggio.com/KRPN-GreenHorse.html) . However, “grisled” happens to be a texture (spotted or splotched) and not a color. The Hebrew word that is translated “bay” is stated by Raggio as not used anywhere else in the Bible. It is an vague term that could mean “strong or courageous.”  The act of Gawain if not noted should be seen as courageous, his willpower to give his life for King Arthur which shows his strong demeanor and selfless act of being generous. Much of Gawain focuses on exile, a mans punishment for his active will to sin. Gawain had a choice to complete the blow to the head and committed to it, and knowing his punishment towards the end. As noted earlier, the importance of the green knight leaving his sword with Gawain, could be seen as the sword of death, something that symbolizes an awaiting trial period that when the mystical creature comes back will erect its destruction and agony on its victim.Assuming that this sword holds the hellish expectation of a brutal death awaiting Gawain. In the (http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread525933/pg1#sthash.vhZXAnZH.dpuf), it mentions that in revelations it explains the times in which provide a vision to the impending death, “a killing is timed to coincide with a ‘disclosure’ of god.” This is something that the green knight gives to Gawain as a revelation of what is to happen in his near future. This assumption could be seen as hell, in revelations we read of what is to follow this horse, and indeed it is prophetic. The most important fact is a horse was given power over the ¼ of the earth and it was to kill by the sword, famine, and death. Mind you, King Arthur was the authority in those parts, who deviously convinced his people whom he had control over that he was just as clueless as them but could easily control them. This story has many multiple levels and the fact that this Arthurian parable, the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an example, on how the green knight represents the Christian beliefs on the nature religion(http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/p/GreenMan.htm).

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What is the history and meaning behind the Book of Revelations?

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Reading the book of Revelations can be quite intimidating to the average person, the description of beast, spiritual beings, the world ending, and consuming fire goes against the structure of normality. Although, in today’s culture and media such things are embraced through; television, magazines, movies, technology, and through cultures that clinch on to this type of hellish ends. However, in this culture many are into genres such as science fiction and thriller; vampire vs. human, demon vs. angel, the future holding some apocalyptic end. Revelations topples every book that I have read in the bible because of its intensity and ability to have any individual question their life and whether they are “going to hell.” As I was reading, I really felt maybe focusing on who is the actual writer of Revelations. Also how did society or their culture accept the content during the time . Did people question its truth and validity and where was the book of  Revelation found. What happen after the release of revelations and why is it called revelations.

As I read the first chapter and fist verse of revelations, I gather in reading, that this was a vision given to Jesus , who from God, sent his angel to his servant John who was witnessed to this word of  God and witness to the testimony of Jesus Christ ( Revelations 1: 1-2). It sounds or looks to me when I  read back over these verses for clarity, as if John the writer and speaker; speaks in third person.  Many Christians would however explain it as being content that it is not John or someone writing this story as a listener of John, but John being “divinely inspired by God.” Researching the clarity of who is the actual writer , I read bibleprobe.com which said that the writer is Apostle John, but reading copwisecounty.org, it mentions something similar to what I believe which is that  the writer may be a hearer of John, and not john himself. The reason I say this is because of how in the intro it is written in third person, Revelations 1:1. Many believe it to be John of Patmos this we will assume as him until proven otherwise. He was about 92 years old when he wrote the book of  Revelations(bibleprob.com). During this time he was in prison in Patmos and persecuted by leaders because of his “extreme beliefs of Jesus Christ” and testifying to his second his coming (http://www.bibleprobe.com/revelation.htm). Also to throw in an interesting read, it mentions that magistrates were outraged with John at this time because he was thrown in boiling oil and lived (http://www.bibleprobe.com/revelation.htm). Well, I didn’t know oil boiled but it was something I wanted to interject.

This book is said to be written in 92-96 AD or in 70 ad, but I will go with what many scholars agree as being the actual date, 94-96AD. The next important question leading from this is the effect on society or how did their culture accept the content written in revelations at that time. Well of course, if you read Revelations you will read the prophesies which explain what John was told to tell certain people or angels what is to come good and bad.The angels reference in the text means Greek angelos “messenger, envoy, one that announces” angel.  I will only give a couple of examples which start in  Revelations 1:20 and on. John mentions, “the seven lamp stands symbolizing the seven churches.” In the letter to Ephesus, he writes and explains what god would have them to do, “I know your works; and what you have endured, you test those who do evil…nevertheless you have fallen, repent and do the first works or else (Revelations 2:1-9). This is quite scary when you read further on in revelations on what is to happen to those who don’t repent, or fall into the category of being “bottomless pit worthy.” If I had been in Ephesus at this very moment, fear would be my deepest concern and repenting high on my to do list! Another was the message john had to relay to Thyatira in revelations 2:18-2, he mentions their good service then basically tells them God said he doesn’t like this get it right or die a harsh death. John’s message to Thyatira Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess…who by her teaching deceives my servants into sexual immorality and eating idols’-meat./I have given her time to repent but she has shown no desire to repent of her immorality./See, now, how I throw her into bed and her lovers with her, and I will send them terrible suffering unless they repent of what she has done” (J.B Phillips  https://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/CPn27Revelation.htm). If I had been in Thyatira hearing this and aware of Jezebel , I am sure  many were repenting and awaiting the day of condemning. The mention of Jezebel in this area of the bible or New Testamentis really bizarre to me because I know when she is known to be relevant years before this and mention in the story in 1 Kings. Well, maybe there is another Jezebel? Nonetheless, this would strike most Christians at this time and leaders to be a constant reminder that someone is watching and maintaining order was life or death, so get in order or  be“thrown in the fire and obliterated by the beast.” To add in my next question, I will give in short my beliefs on the validity and truth of the message  during that time. The fact that John was a respected leader of the Christian community, and  a martyr , therefore making this message increasingly popular, and  influencing  much of the Christian way of life. We notice now that the influence was short lived as culture evolves  the message still has a power but has faded in strength.  As we look back now,  how those areas have evolved to brutality, yet still trying to hold religious orthodox without pure moral concept, has weaken the quality of the message that God spoke through John.

After the message was release there were many problems people found wrong with the text but it was purely how Christians interpreted the text, this may sounds familiar and quite ironic. In reading “Revelation in Late Antiquity and the Early Church,” it explains three problems during Johns time. It explains that allegory of the text has always been the problem, Allegory in greek allegoria “figurative language, description of one thing under the image of another,also meaning “literally” (http://www.etymonline.com). During the second century, “Clement of Alexandria rebuke Christian women who took the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 as a merit for wearing jewelry” http://persweb.wabash.edu). During this time and after much of the text was spread along Rome and Egypt  the text took a turn in a less figurative approach to what was to happen literally. In one of the articles I first read ,which is bibleprobe.com, it mentions that Johns vision was a look into the future of new technology or high tech weaponry. That at John’s time what we know now as advance weaponry or bio weaponry could only by God be divinely given through vision (http://www.bibleprobe.com/revelation.htm). Many scholars believe the what John saw was an advance set of machinery, which now would be him referencing or predicting our new age technology leading us into the end of this world “Apocalyptic”. Those in John’s time were more concerned of the beast and took it literally, which is still what Christians do today. Lastly, what does Revelations actually mean? Revelations is a literal reference in Greek, meaning the “Apocalypse” (pbs.org) The word apocalypse means revelation, it is said to be  “that which is exposed or revealed,” it comes from the Greek word which means to pull the cover off something (pbs.org). It is prophetic books based on the inspiration of God, and how God will selects certain human beings to speak and to be spokespeople for his will whether it be a excellent  inspiring message to tell or in the words of prophet Jeremiah, someone will have to speak (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/explanation/brevelation.html).

Why does Peter Believe that as a Christian or Believer of Jesus Christ One has to Endure Undeserved Punishment?” What is the Reward in one’s Suffering?

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Pain is the Christian way of life , it can sometimes feel as though it keeps some christian’s incapable of moving forward.  Christian’s who deal with such battles as these are accustomed to such sayings, “Thank you God for my pain,” “I’m going through,” “Lord give me strength to overcome this trial,” “ I am glad  I can still feel pain, ” and lastly,  “Thank God I’m going through.” All my life I have heard many of my family and friends talk about pain and embrace it with these such sayings and I admit I tend to say them also. Most of these saying are summed up result of an individuals  struggles in life, marriage, work, finances, and other difficulties faced which in some instances are pain. The fact that pain is a normal way of  life for the Christian household or fellow  believers in Jesus is a question that cannot and has not been answered in one word.Why does dealing with pain connect one closer to God? In 1 Peter, there are multiple subjects but the one that draw curiosity are the ones found in chapters 2 verse 19. In this verse, Peter discusses personal relationships with authority and  how  ones character should carry on in this position. In 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 19, Peter writes; “that there is merit in if, in awareness of God, you put up with the pains of undeserved punishment.” After reading this, I felt that it was impartial, and a bit cruel that one side would respect the feelings of one who with cruelty rules over another and causes pain. I didn’t really understand the benefits of this’ “undeserve punishment,”so I researched what Peter meant . Many Christians such as myself, have ignorantly assumed that we know because it seems self explanatory , but  not so much. While searching this question of what Peter meant by enduring pain, I did not find much but was taken to the “denial of peter,” during his discipleship with Jesus. There had been no information that would bring me to answering this question so I wondered did Peter call Jesus his master because masters are usually associated with striking or responsible for pain. I raise this question, altough we are no longer in this section of the bible would it be okay to reference back if it  will help me answer my question? Well Peter did however call Jesus his master upon meeting him at the sea when he was first called which is actually questioned by many scholars. In the article by Charles Spurgeon called The Contradictory calls to Peter he writes;              John tells us that Peter was called by Christ through the preaching of John the Baptist, who bore witness that Jesus was Christ, the Messiah (John 1:37). Matthew, on the other hand, tells us that Peter and his brother were fishing, that Christ was walking by the lake of Galilee, and that as He passed by He saw these men fishing, called them by name, and said, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:18-19). However the third call, and that afterwards Jesus called not Peter and Andrew alone, but the whole twelve of His disciples and set them apart to be Apostles (Matthew 10:1-2). “ Spurgeon believes that this last call is different from the other. Coming to look at the subject we find that the first call was the call at Peter’s conversion, which called him to be a disciple while still at his daily work as a fisherman” (http://www.jesus.org/life-of-jesus/disciples/three-contradictory-calls-to-peter.html). I mention this because it leads to my question with Peters actions and behavior later on as a servant or better yet a disciple of Jesus. While at the sea when peter is exhausted and tired, he is asked by Jesus to fish a little more after a long day of fishing and no catch. Think about this pulling in nets is hard work , the ropes drenched in water, and not to mention, the sun beaming down on his face draining his energy.  When I think of this, I think of a long hard day at the gym or at work and after this I am ready to go home, my feet are in pain , sweating profusely and a little more would mentally and physically exhaust me. Peter had been fishing all day ,  “it was near night” and  “Jesus” ask him to fish a little more and that he does. I would imagine myself saying, “now Jesus, all these fish here, I know you see my net is empty, so master I havent caught any so lets come back tomorrow when I have rested.” hi-res image of No matter what happens in %23life, be %23good to people. Being %23good to people is a %23%23wonderful legacy to leave behind. Luke 5:4-7, English Standard Version (ESV) , 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. After this I thought on what a little more can mean, “Just a little more suffering” because that is what peter talks about later in 1 peter chapter 4 versus 12-14. He would know somewhat of what a little suffering may mean. He was of course a disciple and had many enemies but some friends and he was outside for hours fishing for his master. This then lead me to why should a Christian endure suffering and how does it affect them, because they are constantly looking for that reward mention in chapter 2 of  1Peter. I researched and I actually found three explanations and they were the best answers among many. Beth Davies-Stofka wrote in his article Suffering and the Problem of Evil three significant reasons to what suffering means by key historical figures, “The first, “ Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons and a Church Father, believed that evil is necessary for human moral and spiritual development and is part of God’s purpose. God created humans in a morally and spiritually imperfect state so that they can strive in response to suffering, in order to grow into full fellowship with God. This argument continues to influence Christian thought and belief.” The second, “theologian Augustine, born in 354, who became the Bishop of Hippo in north Africa. Augustine proposed that, since God endowed people with free will, we were able to freely choose to do evil as well as good. Simply stated, there is evil in the world because humans choose to do evil things. “Free” will is not free if we can only choose the good, so God does not prevent us from choosing evil. Suffering is the price we pay for this freedom to choose.”The third, mention in his article is,“18th-century philosopher G.W. Leibniz who believed that despite our suffering, and the tragic and catastrophic events in our lives, we are living in the best of all possible worlds. God is in control, Leibniz believed. When something terrible happens, it is not because God is not involved. God allowed it in order to prevent an even more terrible event from occurring. God is able to anticipate and prevent consequences that we cannot see. Since God is good and loving, we can trust that God creates and sustains the best possible world (http://www.patheos.com/Library/Christianity/Beliefs/Suffering-and-the-Problem-of-Evil?offset=1&max=1).” “His explanations really were knowledgeable and useful and I could now mention the reward Peter spoke of now. In the words of  MISS E. M. LEATHES “ a Reward is a payment for service rendered; a prize gained by conduct; a wage paid for labor accomplished.  “Do good,” our Lord says, “and your reward shall be great” (Luke 6: 35).  “To him that worketh,” says the Apostle, “the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt” (Rom. 4: 4): that is, if he has worked for it, he has earned it, and the reward is his due.  But [eternal] salvation is exactly opposite. “By grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is.the gift” – not the reward – “of God: not of works, that no man should glory” (Eph. 2: 8).  No man has ever lived, or ever will live, that earned his salvation through works: it is a gift given purely and solely on the abandonment of all self-righteousness” (http://www.themillennialkingdom.org.uk/RewardThroughSuffering.htm). It is one thing to endure for grace because as a christian many can be ignorant of why they endure pain, therefore, it is also a matter of their decisions and whether they are the cause of their own pain and suffering. When peter said, “undeserved punishment,” he meant things out of ones control because you cannot control what others do to you but i is possible to control what we do to ourselves ad others. Do not be ignorant in your own knowledge but learn from your suffering.

What was the author’s goal in writing such a small book as the book of Jude?

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What was the author’s goal in writing such a small book as the book of Jude?

While reading the books for my class project, I was apprehensive as to what I would find to write about this week. Interesting enough, I actually stumbled upon, well had to read the book of Jude as a part of my project. The book of Jude is a short book, I felt if I start reading why not start with the shortest books and go from there. While reading the book of Jude , I schemed thoroughly up and down the pages, looking for things that were unfamiliar and also unusual words that posed a question that I could not answer. Though there were multiple things worthy of being topics of discussion but the message behind Jude seemed especially important. Though I did not write about this part of Jude , I wanted to list a unique I read in the book of Jude. It is the story of the archangel Michael and the devil, “Michael and the devil had  an argument earlier in the text. It only gives us a small insert of what happened early during the time of Moses death, however I do not remember this story at all or have knowledge of it. More importantly, it goes on to describe how the archangel Michael was engaged in argument with the devil about the corpse of Moses. Both were arguing on who would have his body, this was so weird what would they need with a dead corpse anyway. The commentary expressed, however, that this argument was about who would claim Moses’s body after death,” (New Jeresalem Bible Jude. 1.8-9). This is amazing and something new to me, yet it was certainly not the main focus of my paper. Prematurely, I wanted to know who is the author of this book and  what were the characteristics that made him important to add in the biblical text.  The book was a of course pretty straight forward and  to the point in expressing something that was going on at this time, which is evident in the Jude verses 3-7. In reading you can perceive that something is bothering  the author and he is addressing a situation and this this made me typically want to know more.

Of course the writer of this books name is Judas, and in short Jude, he is also believed to be the half brother of Jesus” (insight.org). As insight.org explains, “The author identified himself as the “brother of James” (Jude 1:1), importantly enough that he was probably not the apostle named Jude, a man who was called “the son of James” (Luke 6:16). That the author of the book of Jude identified himself as the brother of James likely aligns him with the family of Jesus” (insight.org). “The half brother of Jesus is only speculation because of the opening text which explains that he is the servant of Jesus and brother of James” (insight.org). How they get that he is the brother, comes from the genealogy of James which he is believed to be the brother of Jesus and his older brother to be exact, he is not the apostle James which is ruled out because this book was written after the Apostles death in A.D. 44 (biblestudytools). “Also to add, the book of Jude is said to be written in A.D. 67 and 80” (insight.org)

This now answers my question on why this book was important. If the brother of  Jesus wrote the book, it would definitely be important because this was someone who grew up with Jesus and probably watched him during his exploits. It is said that Jude was not a follower of Jesus, however,  until after his  brother’s death, which the same is said for James, both did not follow their brother until after his death (insight.org). This is sad to know, you watch your brother your whole life and maybe witness  him do marvelous acts, yet not follow him until after his crucifixion, typically families.

Next order of business is finding out who was the author addressing in Jude,  there are multiple stories out there that speak that he was speaking against Gnostic beliefs (atheism.about.com). Around this time many we going around preaching and giving false messages “leading people astray and encouraging the practice of moral libertinism” (atheism.about.com).  “Gnosticism comes from the Greek gnosis, which means ‘knowledge,’ and applied to various religious beliefs on different forms of their reality (atheism.about.com). These realities are multiple beliefs on ‘Phenomenon:’ of one God creator of all things; or a spiritual knowledge given through mystical powers (demiurge);or of God the creator of the real world who  opposes demiurge”(atheism.about.com). “Libertinism are practices or habits of life; disregard of authority or convention in sexual or religious matters” (dictionary.com). These people were known for their indulgence in physical pleasures and free spirited individuals who could care less about morality and Jesus belief of saving and sinning no more. Jude’s audience were Christians, whom he desired to have knowledge of what would come from ignorance. His objective was to save  Christians (Jesus followers) from the likes of false teacher, yet help individuals who were trying to stand in strong in their faith, but could waver because of teaching like that of “libertinism” (insight.org). As I finished reading the the article from insight .org, it really expressed the author’s intent of the book of Jude. The book of Jude in short, is straight to the point and did need useless words or to waste words. “Jude had no space or time to dance around the issue, these heresies were worthy of condemnation because they were rejecting authority and pleasing themselves” (insight.org).

Who was Gamaliel ? How and why was his roles significant in the early stages of Christianity?

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In reading the introduction to Acts and scheming through some of the articles that present research regarding the authorship of this text, I have learn a couple of interesting and somewhat knowledgeable facts of things not typically  read or understood on the surface by bible readers. Much of what I have learned of the history of the text, I am not sharing in this current blog but something as simple as finding out that Luke is believed to be the author of this text is interesting. My question this week will focus on who is Gamaliel, and how did he influence Christianity?

When searching through the usual Google search engine for accessible information, my hunt led me to multiple encyclopedias. The encyclopedia had information of Gamaliel and his life which contained multiple aspects and subjects that presented the information somewhat in chronological order. My first Oder of business was to find out who exactly is Gamaliel. I looked up his name because of its form and uniqueness and found that Gamaliel is a masculine proper name, from Greek Gamaliel, and in Hebrew Gamli’el, meaning ‘reward of God,’” and that he was to many etymonline.com. Gamaliel came from a line of leaders dating back to the Old Testament, he was son to “Pedahzur” leader of Manasseh studylight.org. He was also the grandson of the “great Rabbi Hillel,” who was a respected and prominent leader among the Jewish community, he is said to have created the group of Pharisee’s and the Law “Torah” Jewish Encyclopedia. Gamaliel was a “Pharisee” which I thought it would be beneficial to give knowledge of what this word means and where it derived. Pharisee as described by etymonline.com is, “Late Latin Pharisæus, from Greek Pharisaios, from Aramaic perishayya, emphatic plural of perish “separated, separatist,” corresponding to Hebrew parush, from parash “he separated.” Ancient Jewish sect (2c. B.C.E.-1c. C.E.) distinguished by strict observance but regarded as pretentious and self-righteous, at least by Jesus (Matt. xxiii:27). Meaning “self-righteous person, formalist, hypocrite” is attested from 1580s.” Gamaliel was also a doctor of  law which is something he inherited from his grandfather Rabbi Hillel, Gamaliel is also honored by Paul as being his teacher bartleby.com .

During the time of Gamaliel’s life, persecution and criticism towards Gentiles and Jews surrounded Jerusalem and the movement that Christianity or era of Christianity served as a reminder, a aversive relationship felt amongst the community of Romans and elites toward Christians and Gentiles. Gamaliel’s influence toward Christianity is spoken of in Acts the 5th chapter and the 34th verse, yet his influence in increasing the spread of Christianity had been cleverly hidden, but also started way before that of Paul his student, where Paul is known to have a primitive role in Christianity. After reading St. Gamaliel, I was intrigued to find out that St. Stephen was buried at Gamaliel’s home, he is said to have been buried near Stephen, there is also speculation that after Stephens death, he was baptized and converted by Peter and John Catholic Forum. Gamaliel’s life as well as after his death, his reoccurrence in 415 is  considered apocryphal.  The story is explained, “that Gamaliel whom  is dead at this time,  appeared in angelic form on three occasions to Lucian the priest, upon appearing to Lucian, he gave the instructions to, ‘tell bishop john to open the tomb’ where he “Gamaliel,” St.Stephen, and other servants of Christ lay” Relics of St.Stephen . This location had been concealed and could only be known by Gamaliel, upon finding this location and the body of St.Stephen’s an incident which recorded as follows, “Upon the opening of Saint Stephen’s coffin the earth trembled, and there came from the coffin an agreeable scent. There was at that moment a vast multitude of people assembled at the burial place, among whom were many persons afflicted with various maladies; seventy-three recovered their health instantlyRelics of St.Stephen. The history and myths of such a legend is wondrous and is important to the embodiment of Gamaliel’s life and his act to preserve and honor someone such as Stephen and other Christ followers, this is “apocryphal.” The research of his significance in Christianity and his objection to having the apostles flawed instead of stoned was an act of valor. His act of intervening and explaining the reasons why there acts incur a less severe punishment was a catalyst in favoring and of the foundations and progression in Christianities success.

“How did the Pharisees know that the woman was adulterous?”

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Throughout history and even in our current culture we deal with truths, values, and identity. As any country, we tend to have accusers, many who are vicious,  high minded individuals who judge the lives of others but never looking into their own. These individuals portray themselves as “Good Ol common folk” or those I am particularly interested in identifying from our past that have set the stage for such accusers and their accusations . In john 7 and 8 there is a story of the Pharisees and interesting as the word sounds an “adulterous” woman. In hearing this word “adulterous,” it sounds as if she is of filth. Adultery as Merriam Webster puts it isvoluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband” (Merriam-Webster.com). I have noticed in my lifetime how this behavior has always had this dogma that weighs heavily on the roles for women. In John eight, the scribes and Pharisees bring a woman to Jesus plainly telling him, “ they have caught her committing the act of adultery”… “Now Moses , in the law says this… but what do you say?” My first thought is how they split the law and Moses up distinguishing that Moses a particular person says this but the Law commanded them to “do.” So this was interesting and something I never notice. However, if they caught her in the act they should punish her and not come to someone they had already deemed unworthy to tell them anything. Secondly, why were the Pharisees near her while she was committing the act and where was her partner who she committed the act with her. As I was looking for help to answer the question I read a blog that made great observations while  reading the story. In Jerry Jacques , blog he answered a similar question using previous text in the law of moses. He stated, “The question was not about her guilt, it was about punishment.” He believes that they set the question in a manner so that Jesus had no choice but to agree with Moses or not. By saying, “in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women” (8:5), they put Moses, perhaps the most respected and revered Old Testament figure of the time, as the authority. Asking Jesus, “now what do you say?” is a public call to see if Jesus would challenge Moses (Clearer Perspective). After this he also explains that the Pharisees did not bring the man with her to accuse him also. Pharisee’s which had not honored the full law because they neglected to bring in her partner in crime. Jacques reference Leviticus 20:10, which says, “If  a man commits adultery with another man’s wife — with the wife of his neighbor — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.” This can also be found in Deuteronomy 22:22 which says, “if a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.” Using the previous evidence, or assuming that Jesus meant they were the sinners when he said “the ones who have not sin or have no sin should cast the first stone” (8:10-11). I believe that John chapter 8 verses 10 and 11  maybe the answer to one of the posed questions. Jesus always knew the heart of people so maybe that is what he saw. Let’s do more digging. It is believable that the Pharisees were the men she commited the act with. Looking into the words of Jesus they were testing him to see if he was not just a man but could understand their craftiness. The humor is trying to discover exactly where these scribes and Pharisees had been, or even understanding the writer’s purpose in describing these events leading to Jesus explaining, “those who are guiltless casting the first stone” (New Jerusalem Bible, John. 8.1-10). Jesus knew more than he let on, he could have been thinking yea you caught her but foolish people seeking to condemn a women and embarrass her in public. Lets not forget he was in front of people teaching which I neglected to pay attention to until I read Jacques  blog.  How they caught her is pretty much a mystery.  There were multiple witnesses because it states both scribes and Pharisees. The fact that after he said these words they had walked away seem so effortless and they didn’t put up much fight because there case lacked sufficient evidence.  Now regarding the importance of the Pharisees and the principles surrounding the judgment or trial were absorbing finds. Searching the Adulterer Women, I came across a couple of blogs both the first one which I mention;  www.clearerperspective.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/the-woman-caught-in-adultery-the-pharisees-mistake/, and this next one  evidenceforchristianity  by Dr. John Oakes. Oakes explains in his blog  the authenticity of the “adulterer message.” He writes, “all the later manuscripts included the passage in John 8. There are only three of all the thousands of Greek manuscripts, which do not include John 8. The problem is that it is the three which are of the earliest and most reliable.  The text, meaning John 8 may not be a reliable source but it has so many interpretations by scholars. But to explain Oakes text, it talks  about the Torah and the Codex Siniaiticus which goes into detail in his  article, “The story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8) is not in the Codex Sinaiticus. How does this relate to biblical infallibility?” The most important part of this article is that he does explain that even if it is not true the inspiration like most of these biblical words are thoughts inspired by God anyway. In summing up points, we find that the Pharisees could be just as guilty of the crime because they failed to commit and follow the full law by bringing in both the man and the woman. This could also allude to their guilt.  In jimmy Akins “9 things you should know about the woman caught in adultery” he really has some interesting thoughts.However, I wanted to mention only one Akin’s thoughts on how Jesus sits back and has this demeanor of who can judge. “While this authoritative reply reminds us that it is only the Lord who can judge, it reveals the true meaning of divine mercy, which leaves open the possibility for repentance and emphasizes the great respect for the dignity of the person, which not even sin can take away.”(http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/9-things-you-should-know-about-the-woman-caught-in-adultery#ixzz2yXtfa0bf).

The Petitions in the Lord’s Prayer

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The Petitions in the Lord’s Prayer

            In our bible literature class, we are currently reading the book of Luke in the New Testament. The importance of  finding a topic that interest me is always difficult because so much of this book has events or stories that any person could expound on. Well this week I decided that I would look into the “Lord’s prayer.” As I have read the prayer that Jesus instructs his disciple to pray, it always makes me think of how a person holds a name holy. What kingdom is coming? How to ask forgiveness of one’s sins, and also how do we forgive one another. In this prayer, much of its topics any person could easily understand, yet many say this is a petition to God and my question is what are these petitions?  Image

In Luke 11: 1-4 one of the disciples inquires of Jesus to teach them how they should pray and in reply Jesus says, “When you pray, this is what to say.” Notice that Jesus did not say this is what you should say but he says “what to say.”  In reading the article biblicalarchaeology.org  it describes this prayer as being a petition to God for daily bread. Daily bread is significant because in the distant future after the disciples this would be a prayer used  by many Christians and Jews to refer to Jesus or the Bible as their daily bread. Jesus significance of dying on the cross was believed to give life and grace for sinners, which is why he is believed to be the bread of life for many Jesus believers. The importance of bread is so profound that many believe it to hold some “mystical powers,” I happened to come across an article by Gary Amirault called Breaking Bread while looking for information on the Lord’s prayer. In this article by Amirault,  he quotes the thoughts of one middle eastern man from Syria , this man gives an account on the sacredness of of bread. In this excerpt he describes the word “aish” which means bread; “the life giver” and similar to what many believe the crucifixion of Jesus was for many of his followers BreakingBread.

I thought I would share the excerpt that Amirault used in his article to illustrate how important bread is to Middle Eastarn culture,

 “As the son of a Syrian family I was brought up to think of bread as possessing a mystic sacred significance. I never would step on a piece of bread fallen in the road, but would pick it up, press it to my lips for reverence, and place it in a wall or on some other place where it would not be trodden upon. What always seemed to me to be one of the noblest traditions of my people was their reverence to the “aish” (bread; literally “the life-giver”). While breaking bread together we would not rise to salute an arriving guest, whatever the social rank. Whether spoken or not, our excuse for not rising and engaging in the cordial (Near East) salutation before the meal was ended, was our reverence for the food (hir-metal-aish). We could, however, and always did, invite the newcomer most urgently to partake of the repast The aish was something more than mere matter. Inasmuch as it sustained life, it was God’s own life made tangible for his child, man, to feed upon. The Most High Himself fed our hunger. Does not the psalmist say, “Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.”? (From The Syrian Christ by Abraham Rihbanypublished 1916.)” (http://www.tentmaker.org/BreakingBread/2.html).

              The Lord’s prayer is believed by many scholars and historians as being the seven petitions and I only discuss six. The first petition starts off with the “Lords name being held holy.” In a commentary by Matthew Henry he gives the meaning of each line and it’s importance to the completion of the prayer lords-prayer1. In this first stanza, he equates the name of God as being a name that evokes praise and thanksgiving. He does not see the name as for alms but for the good that name itself holds, his translation of being held holy is the “sanctification and adoration.” In reading the Vatican’s interpretation, it that calling on this name will draw each individual into his plan that begin during the first times” Vatican. The history of the name of God was a mystery which was revealed slowly in the beginning of the bibles literature and was as the Vatican writes, “inaccessible to the people.” As time went on it was slowly revealed to Moses to set forth restoration and good which is one of the many reasons it is held holy and should remain holy Vatican. The name was not given easily and a name as the bible says should be used in vain. In the second stanza, it talks about the kingdom coming something we read in Matthew and Luke as John the Baptist declares, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

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The Vatican writes, “In the New Testament, the word basileia can be translated by “kingship” (abstract noun), “kingdom” (concrete noun) or “reign” (action noun) It may even be that the Kingdom of God means Jesus himself, whom we daily desire to come, and whose coming we wish to be manifested quickly to us.” “For as he is our resurrection, since in him we rise, so he can also be understood as the Kingdom of God, for in him we shall reign” Vatican.

This is believed by historians  to be the calling of Jesus in his last coming, and it is said in this line that one pleads to see the finish work of grace on earth. In the third stanza is illustrates, “giving us each day our daily bread” as a petition to those who believe Jesus was the son of God, these people will see God as their father and Jesus as his son. This explains the bread as being the nourishment needed to sustain life. The Vatican explains that the nourishment has levels in which help to sustain life. The bread gives life , prayer which keeps the person in constant communication with God, and the reading of the word which one feeds on daily, completing the word as food for daily bread.  In the fourth and fifth stanza, I thought it best to combined both petitions because as historians translate one can only be forgiven if he has forgiven others for their sins.  These debts, trespasses, or sins are the things that are wrong  both according to the law of Moses and the new covenant set up by the life of  Jesus. In this stanza, one can only be forgiven if he has forgiven others. Therefore, unless this one piece of the prayer is carried out entirely then the Christian or Jesus believers petitions are deemed void and inaccessible. if one has not showed enough love to forgive another then their prayer should not be heard. In the last stanza, which is my favorite it says put us not to the test but in all what is the test? The test is whether one will be tempted by evil or the evil one. In the commentary by Matthew Henry he translates evil in the last stanza as  “APOTOUPONHROU,” the wicked one lords-prayer6 . Satan is expressly called OPONHROS, the wicked one , he is sorrow, sin, and evil. In the Lord’s prayer one pleads for the holiness and confidence in God. The prayer is to be victorious and having a holy character from within to the outer character and also being victorious. This prayer is pleading for the deliverance of a person from evil and to be dressed with cleanliness and the Vatican explains, “we do not cease to sin, to turn away from God.” These petitions are exhortations explain that the person is sinful but in confession hoping for mercy and redemption and to see the Kingdom come and above all understand the beauty of forgiving and forgiveness Vatican!

Image http://assets3.faithgateway.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/DD-forgiveness-grace-happens-here.jpg

What is a Beelzebub?

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Nothing in this body of the text is written to discredit or demoralize the faith of any said person but to enrich what knowledge I have read from multiple areas of others dynamic finding and research. I am not holding this information to be fictional neither factional but presenting information from others that have done research and provided answers to questions we all seek to find whether they agree or disagree with our beliefs each should be used to the better of  our society.

            Exactly what is Beelzebub? In reading Mark  in the New King James Bible there was an incident in Ch.3 when Jesus ask the Pharisees is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save life or to kill it?’ But they kept silent”( New King James Version, Mark 3: 4). By this statement he was asking the Pharisee’s it it right to heal or to continue to let someone be sick or lame to heal a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath. This statement was interesting not only did it question the importance of doing good but it brought up the topic of what is evil? In continuing my reading, my interest was at first to discover the importance of the word evil and its roots. As I continued reading that desire to to know what is evil changed. In continuing my reading of Mark, the text goes on to describe Jesus anger with the hearts of the Pharisees but yet still healing the hand. It goes on to describe the events, leading to my main question in  Mark 3: 22- with the scribes calling him “Beelzebub the ruler of demons.” After this, Jesus states, “How can Satan cast out Satan?” So my question is exactly what is a Beelzebub? Where did the word originate? How is it connected to Satan? Is Jesus a Beelzebub?

            As I began looking for information regarding Beelzebub, my first thought was I have seen this word before in my English Literature class when we read Milton’s Paradise Lost, if you have not read the book please read it because there are many interesting analogies and Milton has an extremely astonishing imagination. But back to my original question, I figured, I would go to my favorite site which is http://www.etymonline.com/index.php, in my search I read that the word is in connection with Baal. Beelzebub is a Philistine God and has multiple translations and here are some of the names mentioned: Lord, Satan, false gods “Lord of the Flies,” which if anyone notice is also a book. Beelzebub is derived from the word Baal and Baal means owner, master, or lord. This name is really old but Baal as the Encyclopedia Mythica writes dates back all the way to the 14th century BCE among the Semitic people (Mythica., 2014).  These people were the descendant of Shem,  Noah’s oldest son (Mythica., 2014). This name was known around that time because of its was thought to be Syrian and Persian gods but also Canaan fertility god.

 http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/baal.html  

Baal was the son of El,

“El is the name by which the supreme Canaanite deity is known. This is also a name by which God is called in the Old Testament — El, the God (Elohim) of Israel (el elohe yisrael: Gen. 33:20”… Despite all this, El was considered the exalted “father of years” (abu shanima), the “father of man” (abu adami), and “father bull”, that is, the progenitor of the gods, tacitly likened to a bull in the midst of a herd of cows. Like Homer’s Zeus, he was “the father of men and gods.” (Northernway.org, 2014).

            This is information to be read, I am not supporting the information but would like everyone to have knowledge of what is out there. The Encyclopedia explains that Baal is a deity whom died and was to be raised from the dead. His connection to the calf is that during his invitation to visit Mot or “god of death” in the land of the dead he took this calf along with him to give him strength while he went to Mot who is enemy (Mythica., 2014). Anat who is Baal’s wife asked Mot to bring  Baal back to life but Mot refused and suffered a inhumane death, she killed him.( He was a god? They Die?) Then Anat took over the land of the dead and mind you she is Baals wife, I do not think killing is good but it sounds like the opposite which is bad. The information goes on but for futher reading I have put the link below this paragraph that I used from the encyclopedia.

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/baal.html

  Baal is also known as the God of thunder, rain, and, lightening (Mythica., 2014). Though he doesn’t give off such a bad persona in this literature the bible states it as an idol worshiped by the Israelites in their rebellion against the God of Abraham on their journey to the promise land.  Baal was the son of El connection with the God in Hebrew that is where the difference of names come into par Baal to Baalzebub in Hebrew. Notice also that words have meaning but are changed directly or indirectly throughout history so the true meaning of a word can change. Though there is no mention of Jesus just with biblical knowledge he is the son of Abba which is a Aramaic translation (Etymonline.com, 2014). Baal was worshiped throughout the history of the people and according to encyclopedia mythica it was widely accepted by the Jews, Canaanites, and Phoenicians (Mythica., 2014).This does not mean all Jews but some.  Exactly what is a“Beelzebub?” It is a name in an ancient story of a god, it is the greek form of the word Baal just translated differently among culture and languages. Is beelzebub evil, however, it will depend on which literature one is reading and respects, is he Jesus no because Jesus would need to draw strength from a calf. Nor was he bringing others to life but men serviced him by human sacrifice. Is Beelzebub connected to Satan? This question certainly depends on whom you ask.

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/baal.html

 

Sources

Etymonline.com. 2014. Online Etymology Dictionary. [online] Available at: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=beelzebub&searchmode=none.

 

Mythica., E. 2014. Baal. [online] Available at:  http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/baal.html.

 

Mark. New King James Version. New ed. Nashville: Nelson, 1994. Print

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02388c.htm .

Who is Mary the Mother of Jesus?

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            In all the research and information and questions that come to mind , no one has truly answered this question for me, and that is Who is this Mary the mother of Jesus? I feel in order to really know someone you have to know who they are and knowledge of their family. Many people know the lineage of Joseph, which is Jesus’ father, but no one really talks about the present life of Mary, and her family. As I began reading Matthew my interest stayed within this topic of genetics, and I desired to know how to connect  Jesus to David. Though Joseph through reading is assumed the rights of being Jesus’s adopted father not biological (genetic) father, how is Jesus inherited the blood of David. How this is possible, I do not know? Mary was pregnant before she had ever been intimate or married Joseph. Not having knowledge of Mary the mother of Jesus descent makes it suitable to question the authenticity and factual evidence, so this was a question for me to ask? Possibly, I might come close to answering this question or not. Who is Mary and how is Jesus connected to David?

            One of the best ways to find out who a person may be is to find out where they are born or who are there parents. The best way to find Mary is by her name, so I goggled the etymology of her name, and for those who may not know exactly what etymology is click this link http://www.etymonline.com/ and it will take you to the homepage which best sums up the general understanding of etymology.

The information in which I gathered from http://www.etymonline.com/ I copy and paste [“proper name, Old English Maria, Marie, “mother of Jesus,” from Latin Maria, from Greek Mariam, Maria, from Aramaic Maryam, from Hebrew Miryam, sister of Moses” (Etymonline.com. 2014).]  With this I decided to research the Hebrew name given which is Miryam. This name as explained on the babynamesworld.com website as derived from the Latin “Marie but generally comes from the Hebrew name Miryam. As I search the web for the name “Miryam,” I stumbled across an interesting assumption from J.Tierny ( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07204b.htm), his research lead him to interesting facts involving a High Priest by the Name of Heli which is derived from the Greek name  Heli and Hebrew Eli. Heli, however, as Tierny explains it from  the research of Lord A. Hervey text is that Joseph’s mother was the widow of Heli and married Heli’s closest of kin which is Jacob. Jacob and Heli’s widow through conception had Joseph. Joseph however is considered Heli’s son because of the as Tierny explains the “Levirate Laws.” So this claim lead me to search for more answers, I began to search for resources that would support this claim but some were similar in events but not as supportive, yet interesting. The links below are of the article’s written by Tierny and Anthony Maas.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07204b.htm

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=22

            I found many viable resources but none that would lead me to a set conclusion in how Jesus was of the seed of David if he was not Joseph’s son who was the son of Jacob. The information from Newadvent.org, actually had logical evidence that presents factual or assuming factual information. Mary is the daughter of Joachim and Anne Arabic:Hannah with further reading and searching many have assumed that Mary’s mother died at child birth and Mary was an orphan which written  in the Quran as Hannah Binti Faquad as she passed away her sister took care of Mary and she was promised to Joseph. Also In the book The History of al-Tabari Vol 4 page 103 it has a list of genealogy of Mary’s connection to David. Also an interesting fact that many know is that  Mary’s aunt whom raised her is the mother of John the Baptist which is written in the The History of al-Tabari Vol. 4: The Ancient Kingdoms,) and the link provided below has a limited view of pages displaying the content of the books. This content illustrates Mary connection with David  and how she is Mary the mother of Jesus,  and also the daughter Joachim and Hannah Binti Faquad, who died at child birth. She is niece to Zachariah and maybe even Joseph allegedly but nonetheless she was adopted into a family as a baby but she is the mother of Jesus and the wife of Joseph whom she was promised.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Jhqs4wa7iRAC&pg=PA103&lpg=PA103&dq=who+is+Faqud&source=bl&ots=bXdmQv3Tt1&sig=FvCqZpyLnXYvSWbh6Vnn_NWVvno&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wp_TUtfYMpOrsQSD-IDwDA&ved=0CF8Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=who%20is%20Faqud&f=false

 

Sources

Babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com. 2014. Mary | Name Meaning & Origin | Girl Name Mary | Baby Names World. [online] Available at: http://babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com/meaning_of_Mary.html [Accessed: 10 Jan 2014].

Etymonline.com. 2014. Online Etymology Dictionary. [online] Available at: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=Mary&searchmode=none

Inter-islam.org. 2014. The Prophet Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him). [online] Available at: http://www.inter-islam.org/Biographies/Hazisa38.html [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014].

Tierney, J. (1910). Heli. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 11, 2014 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07204b.htm