When I received the invitation from Dr. James Tabor Head of Religious Studies at the University of Carolina, Charlotte to attend a presentation about “The Oldest Biblical Text Ever Discovered,” I have to admit that I didn’t connect the dots. I was so busy finishing the Road to Reformation television series that I simply didn’t take time to read the details of the email. Sound familiar?
Biblical Archaeology Society editors have hand-selected articles from the BAS Library that cast each of the canonical Gospels in a new light. They chose to republish an article by George Howard regarding the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew that shook the New Testament scholarly world back in 1987 when he wrote it, and is still causing tremors today!
“Although the debate has been extended and widespread, no one has ever claimed, however, to have found an original canonical Gospel in either Aramaic or Hebrew. I now make that claim, though with some qualification.” (George Howard, 1987)
It seems that people around the world are pushing the proverbial panic button—again. This time it’s the coronavirus that is making its way around the globe. As I am on my way to Israel for a REALLY important meeting, I am reminded of the need to confront the spirit of the god Pan—you know, panic.
What is Hanukkah? Hanukkah is a celebration that starts on 25th of Kislev on the Jewish calendar, which means it falls sometime in November or December on the Julian calendar. This celebration lasts 8 days, commemorating the rededication of the altar and Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BC.
The Temple, as well as Israel, had been taken over by the Greeks over the years prior to 167 BC. Under Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid Empire, Jewish ways were outlawed. He raided the Temple and carried away all the articles within the Temple and all the gold and silver he could find. A statue of Zeus was erected on top of the altar, and pigs were sacrificed regularly to Zeus. Antiochus declared himself god, Zeus incarnate, and demanded worship to himself as Zeus. A sacrifice to Zeus (Antiochus) was to be conducted on the 25th of every month, in celebration of Antiochus’s birthday. (By the way, Zeus’s “birthday” was December 25th.) Every Jewish town was to sacrifice a pig to Zeus, and all Scriptures were to be burned.
I am so excited to be writing to all of you! If you are on the Biblical Foundations International web site, you are hungry for understanding more of God, and so am I. With that thought in mind, I am sharing with you my thoughts and understanding about Hanukkah. Whether you are just starting your journey into understanding this holiday, or have celebrated it for years, I hope you enjoy either learning something new or just reviewing your affection for this special holiday that is frequently misunderstood and misrepresented.
Two minuscule 2,600-year-old inscriptions recently uncovered in the City of David’s Givati Parking Lot excavation are vastly enlarging the understanding of ancient Jerusalem in the late 8th century BCE.
The two inscriptions, in paleo-Hebrew writing, were found separately in a large First Temple structure within the span of a few weeks by long-term team members Ayyala Rodan and Sveta Pnik.
One is a bluish agate stone seal “(belonging) to Ikkar son of Matanyahu” (LeIkkar Ben Matanyahu). The other is a clay seal impression, “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech). Nathan-Melech is named in 2 Kings as an official in the court of King Josiah.
You are about to see something I’ve never done before, but it was necessary! I have been challenged to reenter the discussion, dialogue, and debate regarding the pronunciation of the Creator’s name: Yehovah or Yahweh? Instead of telling you what “they say,” I want you to see and hear it for yourself, and then watch, listen, and learn from my top 10 responses. Enjoy!
If you would like to join people from around the world for our FREE Live webinar titled The Name Explained-Part One, Register Here!
I just returned from leading the Red Letter Study Tour in Israel, and I MUST share this VIDEO with our community. I know that many of you dislike news organizations, but in this case CNN has done such a good job that even Catholics are protesting this series. After you invest 35 minutes to watch the video, you will be primed to grasp the entire 10 episode Time Will Tell series with new foundation of historical information.
Also in light of Passover and Easter being celebrated during the same weekend, the timing of this presentation on the history of the church could not be better. I pray that you all have a beautiful weekend of remembrance. I will be traveling to Florida to celebrate Passover with Rabbi Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his wife, Leah.
Ben-Gurion's favorite book
David Ben-Gurion was the first prime minister of Israel, and he loved books. So much so that when his house was built in Tel Aviv, he made sure that there was room for his personal library. Even though he knew several languages and enjoyed reading a wide variety of literature, he kept one book that was written in Hebrew by his bedside. No matter what he faced during the day, he always returned to that Book every night!
If you would like to encounter the most important book of all time, consider joining us for the Return to the Book Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina!
By Keith Johnson
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I just finished a really fun, energetic, and informative radio interview with Joseph Israel on the Kingdom Road Radio Show. Even if you choose not to come to the Return to the Book Conference, you will enjoy this program. And who knows, I might even be able to convince you to meet me in Carolina after all!