As the Democratic candidates ascend on South Carolina over the week they will pander to many factions in order to gain their votes. Yes, this includes the Christian community. Joe Biden’s opening speech is just a preview of what to expect this week. It was not by chance that he chose to end his speech with the words, “God bless you all, and may God protect our church.” I question if this was warning to Christian Democrats to vote for him to save the church from the other Dems and Trump. Let’s not forget that it was not too long ago that he flipped his position on the Hyde Amendment that would allow federal funding for abortions. Once against the Hyde amendment it, he is now for it in the mist of a heated race for the presidential nomination. His current stance on abortion is very unclear, and something he needs to be asked to clear up. The big question is what else will he flip on if he becomes president? How can he ask God to protect the church while at the same time going along with the far left of the Democratic party’s stance on abortion? He claims to be a devote Catholic, but believes its alright to undermine the Church’s position on abortion. You can not serve two masters. Your either on the side of the Church or not. This was a disgusting display of political pandering on the highest stage. It was not by accident that he chose these words. South Carolina is part of the Bible belt.
While I believe in separation of church and state, I also believe that is the duty of our elected leaders to uphold the same Judeo-Christian values our nation was found on, including the belief and fear of God. According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 79% of Americans believe in a god. Expect all of the Democrats to side-step their stance, and now the far left of the Democratic Party’s stance, on abortion. This will be the one issue they will not want to talk about on the national stage taking place in a heavy red state. They now all have the same stance, making abortion a non-topic. If you are Pro-life you will not have a Democratic candidate to chose from. They are all Pro-Choice. Joe may not come out against abortion, but his chosen silence is even worse. Joe is not the only one to expect political double talk from. Elizabeth Warren will must likely not forgo the possibility to remind the people of South Carolina about her days of teaching Sunday school in the Methodist Church. I guess if you taught Sunday school at one time you have a free pass to plagiarize and lie. Until next blog, GO WITH GOD!
(Updated from 3/21/19) Today, June 21, is the summer solstice. But, in the ancient Jewish calendar it was on a different day than the actual solar solstice. Every time I think I have started to grasp the Jewish calendar, that rapidly change. Although rather complex, I will attempt to explain it here. Most years Passover is the first Full-Moon after the vernal equinox. But, sometimes Passover begins on the second Full-Moon after the vernal equinox. This is because the Jewish calendar is lunar based, but the Jewish year solar based. 12 lunar months are shorter than a full solar year. These extra days, that becomes an extra month, are needed to keep the two calendars in sequence. Normally the 1st of Nissan (the 1st month of the Jewish calendar), a New Moon, falls before the vernal equinox, but this year, an intercalary year, it falls on April 6. Alright, that is a little clearer, but wait, the Jewish calendar also has totally different days for their equinoxes called tekufahs. The Jewish Encyclopedia neatly sums this up. It states,
The four teḳufot are: (1) Teḳufat Nisan, the vernal equinox (March 21), when the sun enters Aries; this is the beginning of spring, or "'et hazera'" (seed-time), when day and night are equal; (2) Teḳufat Tammuz, the summer solstice (June 21), when the sun enters Cancer; this is the summer season, or "'et ha-ḳaẓir" (harvest-time), when the day is the longest in the year; (3) Teḳufat Tishri, the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23), when the sun enters Libra, and autumn, or "'et ha-haẓir" (vintage-time), begins, and when the day again equals the night; (4) Teḳufat Ṭebet, the winter solstice (Dec. 22), when the sun enters Capricornus; this is the beginning ofwinter, or "'et ha-ḥoref"(stripping-time), when the night is the longest during the year. Each teḳufah, according to Samuel Yarḥinai, marks the beginning of a period of 91 days and 7½ hours.
To neatly sum this up, the Jewish calendar, based on Moon phases is shorter than the Solar year. Because of this extra days were needed for the Jewish month to occur at the same time of the year. It would be like December occurring earlier and earlier each year. At some point it would occur in the summer. Until next time, GO WITH GOD!
(From 11/17/17) Luke informs us that one month after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem. Once there, two witnesses came forward to predict the future of Jesus. Both were very devote, and more than likely knew of the tradition of prophets being born and dying during the month of Passover, and more specifically Issac being born and dying during the Passover month. From The Essence of Perfection:
In Jewish tradition, this was not uncommon; in fact, it was customary for parents to take their firstborn males to the Temple. This is because in Exodus 13:1–2 “the Lord said to Moses, ‘Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.’” This meant that every firstborn son was to become the family priest, in charge of sacrifices for every member of the family. But, after the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites committed the serious sin of the Golden Calf, in which only the tribe of Levi were not guilty. Numbers 3:11–12 informs us that, because of this, God decreed that the Levites were his and were to take the place of the firstborn sons of Israel. In Numbers 18:15, the Lord ordered that that the firstborn of any woman not from the tribe of Levi or a priest had to be redeemed from service to God by paying five shekels of silver one month after birth to a Temple priest.
Thus, as tradition called for, Jesus, who was from the tribe of Judah, was to undergo the Pidyon HaBen, meaning “the Redemption of the firstborn son.” In the traditional ceremony, Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple 31 days after birth. He would next have to respond to a ritual set of questioning indicating that this was Mary’s firstborn son. This also required him to redeem the newborn Jesus by paying the five silver shekels to the Temple priest, followed by a sacrifice of two young pigeons.
By preforming this ritual and receiving the five shekel offering, the Levites took the place of Jesus as a priest. Later it was the Levites who offered Jesus to the cross. The irony is that Jesus could never be a Temple priest or preform important day-to-day rituals there because he was not a Levite, but his death in 30 CE and the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE allowed him to become more than a priest. Jesus must have had something other than the role of high priest to aspire to.
Perhaps it was a combination of the testimony of the visiting Magi, Simeon and Anna at the Temple and Old Testament prophesy that inspired the young Jesus to become a prophet himself. If Simeon and Anna, who were elderly and worshiped on a regular basis at the Temple, were aware of the integral existence mentioned in the Talmud, then they also would have been aware of any future prophets being born during Passover and presented to the priest as part of the redemption of the firstborn son only 31 days after the Passover celebrations. Thus, their testimonies are important and they are the perfect witnesses. There must have been something special about Jesus; he more than likely did not have a halo over his head as depicted in Renaissance paintings, and probably would have looked like any other 31-day-old newborn, but the presence of signs in the night sky, the fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and the prophesy found in the Talmud may have aided Simeon and Anna in making their prediction of great things for Jesus.
We know from Luke,
DURING PASSOVER: PART 1
Greetings everyone, most of the time I like to blog about Christian themed topics with historical insights. I’m a historian first, and like to focus on learning new information that has been lost, mostly from religion. I’m not a pastor, but a teacher. I’m only a messenger. I provide the lessons, what you do with it is up to you. But if you agree with or are intrigued by what I blog then pass it along. Today, I’m going out of my normal lesson plan to tell you what I see. Recently I read a few tweets that suggest that Christians stay out of politics because all it does is divide people. I think that this is terrible idea based on what history has taught us. The Christians of the 1st-4th century protested and often died trying to gain legal rights for Christians in the Roman Empire. In the 19th century, one of the leaders and martyrs of the Mexican independence movement, Father Miguel Hidalgo, was a religious leader. Today he is considered the Father of Mexico. More recent, countless Eastern European Catholic leaders were religiously active during the rise, height, and fall of Communism. They were imprisoned because of their beliefs in freedom of religion and thought. Christians must be involved in politics, and if the situation demands protest, then do it. The Socialist agenda is the same as the planned Communist takeover of the world. Socialism just sounds less harmful. Their agenda is to weaken Christianity and create a Socialist utopia. DO NOT LET THE SOCIALIST WIN. This is what I see as their manifesto. I have no proof of this, but this is based on events from the past. We must learn from history or be doomed to repeat it. Everything they are doing has been attempted before.
The Socialist Manifesto
I will end my rant for the day. Until next blog, GO WITH GOD!
I recently noticed that Pro-Choicers, who are very good at thinking like lawyers, have been using verses from the OT to support their cause. According to them, God does not consider an unborn a legal human until birth. For example, 2 Kings 8:12 states,
12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
The punishment of the Babylonians is told in Isaiah 13:18, never mind that the fetus is called “fruit of the womb.”
18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.
My response to this is that these were time of war, and it was part of the rules of combat. God did not literally say that it was alright to kill a fetus without atonement, only in times of war as his punishment against the enemies of Israel.
Perhaps the most misused verse is Exodus 21:18 from the RSV version of the Bible. It states,
22 “When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall[b]be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
But, the older King James translation specifically notes that the woman was injured, but the baby was born without “mischief.” Of course, this is not noted by the Pro-Choicers. In fact, the NRSV has changed the wording of the verse to indicate that the baby was safely born. The KJV verse states,
22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
I’m not even going to blog about the importance of the Annunciation to Mary in the NT to the Catholic Church. Early on in Church history, the pregnant Mary was revered. This is not only scene in the Catholic Church, but all Christian Churches. Because of this, I have always wondered why Mary, pregnant with child, traveled to the town of Bethlehem when she was so close to delivery. Luke mentions that Caesar Augustus issued a degree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman Empire. This required everyone to register in his town of origin. Matthew gives no account of a Roman census. But, if this were also the time during Passover, it might explain why Mary would travel at such a critical time in her pregnancy. In order to align with the integral idea, Jesus’ birth would have had to occur around Passover during the month of Nissan, and Joseph and Mary would have visited the Temple during the Passover worship. To the Jews, Passover was the most important holiday, and the Temple the most sacred site in Israel.
According to the Bible, the First Temple was built by King Solomon around 957 BCE. Deuteronomy 12:2–27 says that the Temple replaced the Tabernacle in the Sinai Desert constructed by followers of Moses, becoming the sole place of sacrifice in Israel. In 586 BCE, the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. In 536 BCE, King Cyrus of Persia ordered the rebuilding of the Temple. Around 20 BCE, during the reign of Herod, the Temple was renovated and expanded, becoming known as Herod’s Temple. In 70 CE, the Temple was destroyed by the Romans during the Jewish War. In 691 CE, after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, a Muslim shrine, the Dome of the Rock, was constructed on the Temple Mount and remains there today.
The Talmud mentions that pregnant women were close enough to the Temple during times of worship that they could smell the sacrifices. In Avot 5:8, it is acknowledged, “Ten miracles were wrought in the Sanctuary: No woman miscarried from the scent of the holy meat, and the holy meat never stank . . . and a man never said to his fellow, “The place is too strait for me to lodge in Jerusalem.”[Hence, according to this passage, even women close to birth had a special place to worship. Never too strait refers to the fact that rooms to stay in were always available. Therefore, women were an important part of Temple worship and had their own place in the Temple.
I believe that all of this shows that Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem mainly because it was the time of Passover. A good Jew was suppose to go to Jerusalem during Passover. Women had their place at the Temple, and pregnant women were there also. According the Talmud, they were protected while there. My blogs are here for you to learn. What you do with this information is your choice. I'm only a messenger. There is ample proof that Jesus was born during Passover, and early forms of Antisemitism crushed this belief. For more on my message read, The Essence of Perfection. The more you help me with my message the more it can get out. It is important to inform the world of Jesus' perfection and to remind people that he was Jewish, and would not approve of the rampant rise in Antisemitism.
1 Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, 2765.
15 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest, I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.