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Showing posts from 2011

Last Day to Make 2011 Donation

This is the final day to make a donation for 2011. You must make your donation online for it to be received in 2011. You may send your donation by mail if you do not need for it to be a deduction in 2011.  
Every gift helps BHC produce and distribute educational materials that raise the awareness of and provide information about the origin and historical development of our biblical heritages – beliefs, doctrines, rituals and organizations. We have exciting new projects planned for 2012.
We are very grateful and thankful for your interest and your support – you make BHC’s work possible. For information and links to make your donation click on --
We wish you a very happy & healthy New Year!
Shalom,  Jim Myers  Biblical Heritage Center, Inc.

Please remember BHC in your year-end giving

Every gift, large or small,  supports BHC's work of raising the awareness of and providing information about the origin and historical development of our biblical heritages – beliefs, doctrines, rituals and organizations. We are very grateful and thankful for your prayers and your support. 
You may make a donation online to make sure it is received in 2011 or you may send it by mail if you do not need it to be a deduction in 2011.  For information and links to make your donation click on --
We sincerely thank you for your interest in our work and encourage you to share it with others.
Shalom, Jim Myers Biblical Heritage Center, Inc.

Washington & Jefferson on the Dangers of Political Parties

George Washington shared his hopes for the new nation, but also warned of a great danger that could bring the new nation to its end in his “Farwell Address.” The underlines have been added for emphases.
The unity of government whichconstitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union t…

Make a special end of year donation now & help BHC prepare for 2012

Do you find the information that Biblical Heritage Center makes available on its website, Google Group, Blog, Twitter, Facebook or Discovering the Bible helpful? How about the audio and videos found on the pages of Dr. Ike Tennison or Rabbi Jeffry Leynor?
We understand the difficult economic pressures that many face today and that is why we provide access to the above BHC resources without charge. We have found that many times the people who need this information the most are not able to pay for it. We appreciate those who have contributed to our work that make everything available for so many others.BHC is completely funded by the gifts we receive from individuals. It is not associated with or funded by any religious institution.
Please consider making a special year end donation that will help fund our work in the coming year. If our resources are helpful for you, and you are able to help financially, you contribution will make a big difference and help BHC.
If you have never donated…

The most common misconceptions about the birth of Jesus

Every year millions of people hear the Christmas story. Many of us played different roles in school plays. The typical story goes like this:
“It’s about 2000 years ago, the evening of December 25. Mary rides into Bethlehem on a donkey, urgently needing to deliver her baby. Although it’s an emergency, all the innkeepers turn them away. So they deliver baby Jesus in a stable. Then angels sing to the shepherds. Afterwards, they all join three kings with camels in worshipping the quiet, newborn.”
The problem is, this story may be almost entirely wrong. Discover what the Gospels actually say and what has been added to the story that is not in the Bible at --

Islamic Jihad rise in Gaza challenges Hamas rule

Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, killing and expelling Fatah militiamen, it never faced a real challenge to its rule. Until now its main adversary today is Islamic Jihad, which until about a year ago was considered one of Hamas’s proxies that heeded its authority and regularly fell in line with Hamas policy on when and when not to attack Israel.

In recent months though, Islamic Jihad has made an impressive leap in its capabilities and military infrastructure. This is a direct result of Iran’s decision to divert funds traditionally allocated to Hamas to Islamic Jihad instead.
Read complete article at --

The Invisible Rulers Who Are Trying to Manipulate Our Minds

The father of the modern profession of the “spin doctor” was Edward Bernays. In the opening paragraph of his 1928 book, Propaganda, Bernays wrote (underlines added for emphasis):
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
In his book Crystallizing Public Opinion Bernard reveals some very interesting conclusions about the public:
(1) It is axiomatic that men who know little are often intolerant of a point of view that is contrary to their own.
(2) Personal attack supersedes logic.
(3) Intolerance is almost inevitably accompanied by natural and true inability to comprehend or make allowance for opposite points of view.
The workings of the gregarious instinct in man result frequently in conduct of the most remarkable complexity, but it is characterized by all of …

Paul's Gospel of Christ or Peter's Gospel of Jesus?

Theophilus wants to know if what he had been taught about Jesus was true? He lived at a time where there were two very different Gospels in circulation. Paul had his own Gospel, the Gospel of Christ, but the Jerusalem Apostles that Jesus had called taught the Gospel of Jesus? In order to find the answer he asked Luke to conduct a full investigation. Read this article at --

The Biblical Heritage Center provides information through its website, groups, blog, Facebook & Twitter without charge. We know many people have been hurt by the current economic downfall and are jobless. We want to help as many people as possible. If you find our information helpful, will you please help now by making a generous year-end tax-deductible donation? Your help is greatly appreciated. For more information click go to --

New Support for Alleged Noah’s Ark Discovery

In 2010, the Hong Kong organization Noah’s Ark Ministries International or NAMI announced they had discovered the legendary vessel on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey and were subsequently accused of perpetrating a hoax. Now, a professional archaeologist states there is significant merit to their discovery.

Harvard University educated archaeologist and director of the Paleontological Research Corporation, Dr. Joel Klenck, surveyed the site, analyzed the archaeological remains and completed a comparative study. “The site is remarkable”, states Klenck.
Located at elevations above 4,200 meters on Mount Ararat and covered by layers of ice and stones, he states: “The site is wonderfully preserved, exhibits a wide array of plant materials including structures made of cypress and one room with a floor covered by chickpea seeds.” Klenck additionally notes, “I was most impressed by the artifactual assemblage, particularly the basalt bowls, stone cores and debitage.” 
“The site is no hoax,” Klenck …

Persuasively redefining Christianity has been a pastime through the ages

Professor Harold Bloom’s article in the New York Times challenges not only many popular political stances, it also questions American religion.
“Mr. Romney, earnest and staid, who is deep within the labyrinthine Mormon hierarchy, is directly descended from an early follower of the founding prophet Joseph Smith, whose highly original revelation was as much a departure from historical Christianity as Islam was and is. But then, so in fact are most manifestations of what is now called religion in the United States, including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Assemblies of God Pentecostalists and even our mainline Protestant denominations. . .
Persuasively redefining Christianity has been a pastime through the ages, yet the American difference is brazen. What I call the American Religion, and by that I mean nearly all religions in this country, socially manifests itself as the Emancipation of Selfishness. Our Great Emancipator of Selfishness, President Ronald Reagan, refreshingly evaded…

How Moses Created Thanksgiving: The Biblical Roots of America's Holiday

Bruce Feiler’s article “How Moses Created Thanksgiving: The Biblical Roots of America's Holiday” provides some very interesting insights.
“I hadn't ever associated the biblical prophet with this most American holidays, but his fingerprints are all over our turkeys. How did this happen? How did a 3,000-year-old story become the inspiration for a contemporary American national holiday?”
Read the complete article at --

Can Mediums Really Talk to the Dead?

Dean Radin of the Institute of Noetic Science interviews Dr. Julie Beischel, one of the world’s foremost researchers into the phenomenon of mediumship. Dr. Beischel is researching the continuation of consciousness after death.
Dean Radin: I want to ask you a question that you likely get a lot. How did a nice young lady with a doctorate in toxicology and pharmacology end up doing mediumship research?
Beischel: I do get asked that a lot. It’s a long story, but the short version is that when I was in graduate school, my mom committed suicide. I was twenty-four at the time. Science is my religion, and I turned to science to see what it had to say about the afterlife. Although there were some things being done, I found science did not have very many answers.
Read the complete interview at --

Belief in American Exceptionalism Waning

The Wall Street Journal reports that “Belief in American Exceptionalism Waning.” Below are some interesting stats from the article:
Americans also are less likely than Europeans to say that success in life is determined by forces beyond our control as most agree that they have control over their own fate. There’s also a religious divide across the Atlantic. Half of Americans say that religion is very important in their lives compared to 22% in Spain, 21% in Germany, 17% in Britain and 13% in France. Meanwhile, 53% in the U.S. say it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values, compared to 33% in Germany, 20% in Britain, 19% in Spain and 15% in France.
Read complete article at --

7 Questions Every Christian Should Consider

Below are seven questions that every Christian should consider.
(1) Shouldn’t the beliefs and teachings of every Christian church reflect Jesus’ beliefs and teachings?
(2) Shouldn’t Jesus’ words be the foundation of any religion that promises eternal life to anyone who believes on him?
(3) Do you think someone else’s beliefs and teachings should hold a higher place in Christianity than Jesus’?
(4) What would Christianity be without Jesus?
(5) Does anyone really think that the Jesus that lived and taught in Judea in the first century CE created a religion with 40,000 denominations?
(6) If you are a Christian, do you think Jesus created your belief system?
(7) What is the highest priority of God?
Post your comments and answers on this blog or email them to me. I am very interested in hearing from you.

Justice and Human Rights

Rabbi Jill Jacobs has written a very interesting and informative article.

"At first glance, the language of rights and the language of obligations seem to be at odds with one another. One asks, “What does each person deserve?” and the other asks, “What must each person give?” I choose instead to see rights and obligations as necessary complements to one another. Having a right does us little good if no individual, community, or government bears responsibility for ensuring our access to that right. On the flip side, there would be little incentive to take on obligations toward another person if we did not fundamentally believe in that person’s right to a certain standard of living."

Read complete article at --

Foreigners, Eunuchs and Early Christians

Sometimes biblical research is like archaeology -- you have to dig and dig to fine a clue. But sometimes, they are so big they are like giant billboards, as in this case. The clues are linked to the words “foreigner” and “eunuch.”

People today are told they must say a prayer, have a personal emotional experience with Jesus, believe the right things, or join the right church – or some combination thereof, in order to go to heaven instead of hell. But as you will read – Jesus didn’t teach that message of salvation.

Read the complete article at –

Supreme Court Asked “What is a Minister?”

When is a minister really a minister? That’s the question the Supreme Court will grapple with in the coming months. A conflict between a commissioned minister and Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church has made it all the way to the supreme judicial body of the land. There are several issues at stake:

(1) whether a church body has the right to handle disputes according to its own tenets of faith,
(2) when is someone not a “minister” but simply an employee, and
(3) how to apply the 1st amendment in the case of Christian schools.

The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, of which Hosanna-Tabor is a part, has struggled greatly over the years with the question of when her ministers and members may appeal to “secular authority” to resolve disputes.

Read complete article at -

UK Chief Rabbi delivers Invocation prayer at US Senate

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks delivered the Invocation prayer in the US Senate on Wednesday, becoming the first Jewish community leader from the UK to fulfill the honor.

“Sovereign of the universe, who created all in love, teach us to love all that is good and beautiful in this world. Teach us to honor the dignity of difference, recognizing that one who is not in ourimage is none the less in your image; never forgetting that the people not like us, are still people – like us.

“At this fateful moment in the human story, bless us that we may be a blessing to others.

Guide the nations of the world to honor you by honoring one another. So that by reaching out in love, we may turn enemies into friends, and become your family on earth as you are our parent in heaven.

“Beloved God, bless the members of this United States Congress and guide their deliberations, that they may govern this great nation with wisdom and justice, grace and compassion, bringing honor to your name, and your b…

The Perfect But Imperfect Noah

Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn is editor of Meorot: A Forum for Modern Orthodox Discourse and the American director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel. His article on “The Perfect But Imperfect Noah” is very interesting an informative.

“Noah was a righteous man; perfect in his generation.” As many students learn in their first Torah classes, the phrase “in his generation” gave our Rabbis license to fling open the gates of interpretation. Some saw it as additional praise for Noah, while others saw it as a criticism of his righteousness: perfect “in his generation” — but, evidently, not in the generation of Abraham or Moses. What is this rabbinic ambivalence all about?

Noah provided the Rabbis with a central idea in Judaism. The Torah paints a generally negative picture of gentiles (think of Genesis, where Abraham’s neighbors are immoral pagans, or Exodus, where they are Egypt’s cruel slavemasters; in Leviticus, gentiles engage in abominable practices like…

When did Christianity stop being a Jewish sect and become its own religion?

How old is Christianity? When did it stop being a Jewish sect and become its own religion?

New archaeology discoveries of churches are crucial Biblical archaeology findings that help answer those questions. But when did Christianity begin to build these churches? Early Christian gathering places are difficult to identify because at first Christians met together mostly in private homes. Even as Christian populations grew, distrust and persecution by their Roman rulers forced the early church to stay out of the public eye.

Read complete article at --

Religion, Anger & Murder

Do you think Adam and Eve ever told their sons about the “good old days in the garden”? According to the account in Genesis there were only four people alive at that time – Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel. So, what did they talk about? It doesn’t seem like Adam and Eve would have had a large variety of prior experiences to draw upon, even if they did live hundreds of years back then. By the way, how large would their vocabularies have been anyway?
I wonder if Adam and Eve ever had any arguments or quarrels after leaving the garden.Do you think the boys ever heard dad say to their mom, “If you just hadn’t eaten that fruit!” Or did their mom say, “Why did you just stand there and keep your mouth shut! Were you afraid of a snake?” Surely, after living in the Garden of God, where all of their needs were met without having to work, those days would weigh heavily upon their minds.
Something, however, would happen that would cause their eldest son to murder his younger brother – immediate after the f…

Happy Rosh Hashanah 2011

Dates, History, Customs, Jewish New Year Explained
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated in 2011 from sundown on Sept. 28 to nightfall on Sept. 30. The Hebrew date for Rosh Hashanah is 1 Tishrei 5772.
Though Rosh Hashanah literally means "head of the year, " the holiday actually takes place on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. This is because Rosh Hashanah, one of four new years in the Jewish year, is considered the new year of people, animals and legal contracts. In the Jewish oral tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the completion of the creation of the world.
Find more about Rosh Hashanah at --

The Jewish Meaning of Baptism

John the Baptist was a Jew doing something that was very common, and still is, in Judaism. He would have been called "John the Immerser," not “John the Baptist.” Ritual immersion has been an important part of Judaism for thousands of years. Click on this link below for Rabbi Leynor’s discussion about the Jewish meaning of baptism -

How & What Did Jesus Teach His Disciples?

The Jewish Jesus was a teacher and the men he called to be the apostles were called “disciples,” which means they were students. The Jesus Movement was a movement built upon an educational model.The definition of the word “teach” is “to cause to know,” so what did Jesus want his disciples to know?
Read the current issue of Discovering the Bible at –

Was Jesus a Jew? & What Price the Uniqueness of Jesus?

The Biblical Archaeology Society published two very informative articles in its “Bible History Daily.”
Was Jesus a Jew?
But Jesus was born in a Jewish home and lived in the Jewish culture and in the land of Israel. Was Jesus a Jew? Yes, Theological study is further discovering the Jewish Jesus and what his Jewishness means to Christian theology and Jewish-Christian relations.
What Price the Uniqueness of Jesus?
To wrench Jesus out of his Jewish world destroys Jesus and destroys Christianity, the religion that grew out of his teachings. Even Jesus’ most familiar role as Christ is a Jewish role. If Christians leave the concrete realities of Jesus’ life and of the history of Israel in favor of a mythic, universal, spiritual Jesus and an otherworldly kingdom of God, they deny their origins in Israel, their history, and the God who has loved and protected Israel and the church. They cease to interpret the actual Jesus sent by God and remake him in their own image and likeness. 
Read both articl…

Deuteronomy may be the last book of the Torah, but it is not Judaism's last word.

This article from "The Girl and the Drash": 
And the man that will act willfully, not listen to the priest who stands there to sever God, or to the judge, that man shall die, and you shall destroy the evil from among Israel. (Duet. 17:12) T After the temple is destroyed and the court in Jerusalem is abandoned, the early rabbis read this passage and saw nothing of their world within it. Forced to abandon temple Judaism, they begin the incredible task of creating a Judaism that walks off the Torah scroll and finds shelter in the Talmud's folio. For this new Judaism to work, the everyday litigant and the highest court in Jerusalem are replaced with rabbinic scholars and the study halls of Yavneh, the first city of rabbinic Judaism. The litigant who does not obey the court is transformed into the rebellious elder, who does not obey the rabbinic majority.  
However, unlike the insubordinate litigant, the rebellious elder is not killed. In the Babylonian Talmud, his dissent is to…

Did Wessel influence Luther?

From their very beginning universities were the seedbeds for new ideas in many disciplines, including religion. John of Wessel, a professor at the University of Erfurt in Germany (1445-1456)introduced some of the new ideas that would pave the way for a completely new form of Christianity. The major transition would come a century later under the leadership of Martin Luther.[i]
“He who thinks to be justified through his own works does not know what it is to be saved . . . the elect are saved by grace alone . . . Whom God wishes to save He would save by giving him grace.”
Did Wessel influence Luther’s work? A number of scholars believe he did, but Luther denied it. He said, “If I had read the works of Wessel beforehand, it might well have seemed that I derived all my ideas from him.”[ii]

[i] [ii]

When Communities Identify Their Own Poor, Aid Has The Most Effect

By asking peers to decide who deserves the most government aid--instead of using empirical measurements--money can have more lasting effects. When governments and NGOs plan on giving assistance to the most needy, how do they know who needs the most assistance? It's a question people are at great pains to answer, yet social welfare programs around the world are still plagued by error and abuse. . . Fairness and poverty, as it turns out, are somewhat subjective. There was only a minor difference in accuracy between the two methods, but the researchers found the community approach led to 60% fewer complaints, and far fewer difficulties distributing funds, compared to objective methods in the villages.

Read complete article at --

Who is a Jew? Abrahamic Covenant

One of the problems with Judaism, as we are now experiencing it in the 20th and 21st Centuries, is "who is a Jew," who needs "conversion" or "reconversion," and how or in what way a person can or should become "a Jew."

One does not wish to be needlessly crude about this, but the Nazis had no difficulty determining this, even though many and even most so-called "Jews" still do today. They just looked into your genealogy or ancestry to see if there was some “Jewish” ancestor somewhere (male or female, it didn't matter to them) or, in many cases if one were male, they just looked if you were circumcised – rightly, unfortunately, realizing this had something to do with honoring "the Covenant of Moses"; and that was that. Hitler didn't ask if your mother was Jewish though, inter alia, this might have been one of the questions he might have asked. 

Read the complete article at --…

Would Jesus be more interested in your questions or your goose bumps?

In Matthew 5:1-2 we read:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His talmidim came to him, and he began to teach them.
To be a member of the original Jesus Movement was first and foremost a commitment to being a learner. Jesus’ followers were called “disciples,” which in ancient Israel would have been talmidim. A rabbi would teach his talmidim by his words and conduct.
The primary focus of the teachings of the rabbis was the words of the Torah – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Lessons from the Torah would be linked to the writings of the Prophets and the Ketuvim (third section of Hebrew Scriptures). It is essential for one to understand that no books of the New Testament existed during the time of the Jewish Jesus. If you had been sitting on the side of the hill the day the “Sermon on the Mount” was given you would have heard Jesus teaching about sections of the Torah and Prophets.
The fact is that this was the model -- an educatio…

Carrying the Teachings

Carrying the Teachings By Dr. Ike Tennison
“If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting.” (2 John 10)
The first time I really studied (not just read!) this passage, I came away somewhat puzzled.
The reason I was puzzled had to do with the words “…does not bring this doctrine….”How would the person who goes to answer the door know whether or not the person at the door was bringing this doctrine with him or her?
Read the complete article at –

Paul “judges” Peter

The following is a word study from Dr. Ike Tennison.
According to various English translations of Paul’s remarks made in Greek in Galatians 1:18, Paul went to Jerusalem to “see” or “visit” or “get acquainted with” Peter. There are several Greek words for “see” or “visit” or “get acquainted with,” but the word used in this verse is not one of them. The word used here is what is called a hapax legomenon—which means “something said only once” and, in this case, that means the use of the word in Galatians 1:18 is the only place in the entire New Testament where it is used. What does this word mean?
The Greek word is transliterated historesai, the aorist active infinitive of the Greek contract verb historeo. Contract verbs are derived from nouns. In this case, the noun is histor or istor. In ancient Greece, when a decision needed to be made, the council of elders took turns addressing the issue. After all had spoken, the judge of which speech won (made the decision) was an istor. Therefore, …

What does Genesis 1:1 mean to you?

You are invited to download the survey, complete it and share your thoughts with us. Names will not be revealed. Our goal is to simply gather information that helps us understand the range of meanings associated with this verse. We will share our findings in future articles. Thank you!
Download survey in PDF format at –
Download survey in Word format at –

Why is there so much multi-victim violence?

We have probably all heard about the horrible attacks on Norway's government headquarters and a youth retreat that left at least 93 dead on Friday. While doing some research about the belief system of the man who has confessed to doing those violent acts the following news stories popped up.They all happened in the United States on Saturday.
7 wounded in casino shooting near Seattle 07/23/11 -- An armed, 42-year-old Covington-area man entered the club looking for a woman who was possibly his wife or girlfriend, Sidell said. He discovered her with another man and shot them both. The man then fired multiple rounds, hitting five more people, Sidell said.
9 wounded in house party shooting in central Fla.
07/23/11 -- A suspect fired several shots from a handgun after fighting erupted among teenagers at a birthday party at a central Florida home, leaving nine people wounded, authoritie…

$720 House That's Built In A Week

India's Tata Group--known as the maker of the world's cheapest car--is setting its sights on the world's cheapest home, with a $720 flatpack house that can be constructed in a week. . . The basic flatpack model is 215 square feet, consists of coconut fiber or jute walls and interiors, and has a life expectancy of just 20 years. Tata plans to offer a prefab kit containing windows, roofs, doors, and more to customers. 
Read the complete article at --

The Greatest Commandment

It is clear that the leaders of the Pharisees and Sadducees were very interested in Jesus’ position on issues that were important to them. It was in an encounter with a lawyer, who was also a Pharisee, that Jesus that was asked a question that members of other Jewish sects would have been very interested in knowing his answer. The question was this – “Which commandment is the greatest commandment?” 
Read complete article at  --

Are you willing to think for yourself and test what you have been taught?

The Biblical Heritage Center’s primary mission is to provide factual information that will help you make quality decisions in life, religion and spirituality. BHC is not a religious organization and thus requires no one to adhere to an official “Statement of Faith” or “Religious Creed,” but hopes and strongly suggests that you adopt our “Informed Believer’s Primary Guideline” -- no matter what your religious or spiritual background:
"My Belief System will be large enough to include all of the facts; I will be open enough to allow it to be tested; and I will be flexible enough to change it when I become aware of errors or new facts."
How can one be committed to the “truth” if he or she excludes facts from their Belief System? If one refuses to allow his or her Belief System to be tested, how will they know if it contains erroneous information or lacks specific facts? Wouldn’t it be dishonest for a person to say that he or she values the truth the most, but refuses to change their …