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Showing posts from December, 2012

Final Day to Make a Year-End Donation for 2012

This is the last day to make a donation for 2012. If you have not made a donation yet or would like to add to your other tax-deductible donations of 2012 – make an online donation today before midnight. Our work is completely funded by individuals who understand the importance of our work. We sincerely appreciate your support. Thanks to everyone that has helped make the work of the Biblical Heritage Center possible. To donate, click on – http://www.biblicalheritage.org/BHC/donate.htm

Stanford Appoints Atheist Chaplain

There's an atheist chaplain at Stanford. This is good news. John Figdor has a degree from Harvard Divinity School and he does what chaplains do. He counsels those in need and visits the sick. And what's more, he's welcomed as part of the Office of Religious Life. His appointment not only broadens the conversation about "belief" and "unbelief" but also exposes the confusion at the heart of that conversation. We are often talking at cross-purposes. As Figdor points out, "Atheist, agnostic and humanist students suffer the same problems as religious students - deaths or illnesses in the family, questions about the meaning of life, etc. - and would like a sympathetic nontheist to talk to."
Evidently he's part of a growing number of "faith-free" chaplains at universities. All the benefits of religion without the god bit. And here's where the conversation, with all its risk of confusion, gets interesting. For me, faith is all about …

Only a Few Days Left to Make a 2012 Year-End Donation

There are only a few days left for you to make a tax-deductible donation for 2012. With all of the uncertainty concerning what happens in Congress in the next few days, your decision to donate in 2012 could be important. The Biblical Heritage Center is funded by donations made by individuals. We are not associated with or receive funding from any religious institution or other organizations. This allows us the independence needed to follow factual evidence instead of defending any creed or doctrine. BHC relies on individuals who value factual information regarding their biblical heritage -- the Bible, beliefs, religious institutions, etc. If you understand and believe this is important -- please contribute and help us do our work. In order to make an online donation before the end of 2012 click on – http://www.biblicalheritage.org/BHC/donate.htm

2,750-year-old Temple Discovered in Israel

The finds, dated to the early monarchic period and including pottery figurines of men and horses, provide rare testimony of a ritual cult in the Jerusalem region at the beginning of the period of the monarchy. The temple remains were discovered at the Tel Motza site, located to the west of Jerusalem. The walls of the structure are massive, and it includes a wide, east-facing entrance, conforming to the tradition of temple construction in the ancient Near East: The rays of the sun rising in the east would have illuminated the object placed inside the temple first, symbolizing the divine presence within. A square structure which was probably an altar was exposed in the temple courtyard, and the cache of sacred vessels was found near the structure.
For more information and pictures see the two articles below: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/2-750-old-temple-discovered-israel-192009936.html
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/Early+History+-+Archaeology/Temple_vessels_Biblical_Tel_Motza_2…

2012 Corruption Perceptions Index of Countries and Territories

The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 - 100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean.  A country's rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories included in the index. This year's index includes 176 countries and territories. See complete list at -- http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/results/

Dead Sea Scrolls Are Now Online & Available to Public

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is very proud to present the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, a free online digitized virtual library of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hundreds of manuscripts made up of thousands of fragments – discovered from 1947 and until the early 1960’s in the Judean Desert along the western shore of the Dead Sea – are now available to the public online. The high resolution images are extremely detailed and can be accessed through various search options on the site. Watch the short 4 minute introduction video at -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Yp6nLMPt-og
View the Dead Sea Scrolls at -- http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/home

Remember the Victims of Sandy Hook School

I am a grandfather and I have a 6 year old granddaughter. I had CNN on when the first reports of the shootings started coming in. It literally hurt to hear the words that almost sounded unbelievable, because all I could think about was those little kids that went to school that day. CNN posted a list of the names of those who were murdered at school and comments about their lives. I urge you to read the list to honor and remember each of those special lives. It is posted at -- http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/15/us/connecticut-shooting-victims/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews

After almost thirty years of research about the Bible and Jesus I have concluded that the highest value of the biblical text and Jesus is, what we call Life 1st and it means doing acts of TOV, which we define as "acts that protect and preserve life, and enhance the quality of life." My prayer is that Americans of all or no religion, choose to make Life 1st our highest value and work hard to make our world a better…

Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity

Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity by James D. Tabor should be required reading for every Christian. I first met James in the late 1980s at a conference in Ft. Worth, Texas and I was impressed by the fact that he laid his cards on the table when it came to discussing the histories of Christianity and Judaism. James hasn’t changed. On the second page (xvi) of the preface of Paul and Jesus you will find:
“. . . the message of Paul, which created Christianity as we know it, and the message of the historical Jesus and his earliest followers, were not the same. In fact, they were sharply opposed . . .”
Anyone reading the New Testament Gospels and Paul’s Epistles critically knows that Tabor is correct. So, why will Paul and Jesus challenge the beliefs of millions of Christians? One reason can be traced back to the Niagara Bible Conference that published the “Five Points of Fundamentalism” in 1895. It stated the conference’s conclusion that there are five essential belief…

Please Help BHC

In 1999, when we began our work at the Biblical Heritage Center, our goal was not to just be an academic educational venture. It was to make the lives of people better and make the world a safer place for all people. We believe an important way to do this is by providing people with facts about their biblical heritages – from the writing of the books of the Bible to the religious institutions that base their authority on the Bible and the belief systems they have created.
The problem we face is that many of the facts that we discover do not agree with people’s religious beliefs.  We do not promise to save people, get them in heaven or save them from hell. We promise to give to provide the most accurate factual information we can find about their biblical heritages, which includes the religious and other authoritarian institutions that do promise to do those things. Our biblical heritages affect the quality of life, the way relate to each other, how we teach our children, and as we hav…

The first Jewish Hellenist

When we think about Hanukkah, we see it as a conflict between the Hellenists and the traditionalists. The Hellenists sympathized with the Seleucids, exercised in the nude in their gymnasia, and followed their culture and language to qualify as young Greek ephebes, or soldier- gentlemen. The young priests neglected their Temple duties and went off to the gymnasium and some even reversed their circumcision so as not to appear too Jewish. The Second Book of Maccabees is horrified at this (4:14 ff), and we do not sympathize with the youngsters, because the Seleucids also introduced pagan sacrifices into the Temple and tried to make the Jews adopt these practices. Matityahu was the first to refuse openly to do so, and when the Greek officer came to Modi’in and ordered Matityahu, as the local leader, to make the sacrifice and eat the entrails, he refused and, when another Jew rushed forward to carry out the order, Matityahu killed him and the officer and fled into the countryside with his f…

The Christmas Clues: A Glimpse of the Real Jesus & the Founders of Christianity

Christmas provides us with two clues that give us a glimpse of the real Jesus and the founders of Christianity. The first is the Theology of Christmas and the second is the Spirit of Christmas. The Theology of Christmas consists of beliefs and the Spirit of Christmas is defined by actions. Their origins provide us the very important clues.

Download or read the complete article at - http://www.biblicalheritage.org/DTB/1212_DTB_Christmas_Clues.pdf

Government promises world won’t end on Dec. 21

The U.S. government wrote a helpful blog post on Monday titled, "Scary Rumors About the World Ending in 2012 Are Just Rumors." The post on USA.gov says NASA scientists have received thousands of letters from people convinced that the world will end on Dec. 21, based on a misunderstanding of the ancient Mayan calendar that's been promulgated in doomsday message boards online. Some people think a giant comet will strike Earth that day, others that we are about to collide with another planet. A NASA scientist said he's received several letters from young people contemplating suicide because they believe the apocalypse is coming. "The world will not end on December 21, 2012, or any day in 2012," the post says.
Read complete article at -- http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/government-promises-world-won-t-end-dec-21-192819519.html