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Showing posts from October, 2013

Who is “God”?

“God” is a theologically loaded word because of the conflicting “bundles of associations” people have attached to it – for example Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
(1) For most Christians, their “bundle of associations” is “Jesus is God.” (2) The “bundles of associations” of most Jews and Muslims does not include “Jesus.” (3) For most Jews, their “bundle of associations” is “YAHWEH.” (4) For Muslims, their “bundle of associations” does not include “YAHWEH.” (5) The “bundle of association” for Muslims is “Allah.” (6) The “bundles of association” for most Christians and Jews do not include “Allah.”
However, in spite of the above facts, the American media uses the word “god” as if it is a reference to all of the options above.

Read the complete article at –

Allah can no longer be used by a Christian newspaper to refer to God

Allah can no longer be used by a Christian newspaper in Malaysia to refer to God after a landmark court ruling on Monday, reversing a decision made four years previously that maintained the term transcended different faiths.
“It is my judgment that the most possible and probable threat to Islam, in the context of this country, is the propagation of other religions to the followers of Islam,” said chief judge Mohamed Apandi Ali, announcing the change.
The panel of three judges was unanimous in their decision that the use of Allah by the Roman Catholic Herald newspaper constituted a threat to the sanctity of Islam, as defined in the federal constitution.
(Does this make it clear that for the Muslims involved in this case, Allah and the Christian God are not the same being? Should Christians request that the word "God" not be used in the media for Allah?)
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What is a Good Eye?

In the previous article I discussed the idiom “evil eye.” Now I will focus on the idiom that is used in parallel to it – good eye.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If you have a good eye,your whole body will be full of light. (Matthew 6:22)
In the Greek text we find it is the phrase o ofqalmoV sou aplouV that creates a problem for translators. It proves to be a more difficult challenge than evil eye was for many translators. Below are the different ways they translated the Greek phrase above.
eye be single (King James Version) ● eye be true (Basic Bible in English) ● eyesight is good (Weymouth New Testament) ● eye is sound (World English Bible) ● eye may be perfect (Young’s Literal Translation) ● eyes are healthy (New International Version)
No wonder people get confused when they read English translations of the words of Jesus.

Read the complete article at --

A Man Shall Leave and Cleave

Genesis 2:24 is a verse that many people are very familiar with because it has been used in wedding ceremonies for centuries:.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Who said it? In verse 23, the man had been speaking. If these are his words, then it raises a couple of interesting questions.
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The Sadducees

The Sadducees arose sometime during the Maccabean period and disappeared around the time of Jerusalem’s destruction. It is difficult to offer a description of their beliefs and practices because we do not possess any written records from the Sadducees, no personal description of their beliefs and practices. Nonetheless, there are multiple sources that speak of their existence in the first century. These sources include the New Testament, Josephus, and some rabbinic texts. These sources, while often hostile towards the Sadducees, do offer a consistent picture of the Sadducees. They show the Sadducees connected to the high priesthood, possessing differing view of the afterlife, and holding different understandings of certain laws. 
Their earliest mention occurs in Josephus’s account (Ant. 13.293–299) of John Hyrcanus (160–143 BC). It is likely that the Hasmonean Dynasty, the heirs of the Maccabean revolt, formed a political alliance with the Sadducees. The Hasmoneans sought to consolida…

What is an Evil Eye?

But if you have an evil eye, your whole body shall be full of darkness. (Matthew 6:23)
Some terms create real problems for translators and o ofqalmoV sou ponhroV h (evil eye in above translation) is one of those terms. Below are some of the other choices translators have made.
your eyes are unhealthy (New International Version) ● your eye is bad (New Living Translation) ● your eye is diseased (Net Bible) ● thine eye be evil (English Revised Version) ● your eyesight is bad (Weymouth New Testament)
The majority of translators chose to translate it -- your eye is evil.  “Evil eye” is a well-known term, as can be seen by simply searching on Google.
The evil eye is a malevolent look that many cultures believe able to cause injury or misfortune for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike. Talismans created to protect against the evil eye are also frequently called "evil eyes." The term also refers to the power attributed to certain persons of inflicting injury …

How Christian Is the New Testament Book of Revelation?

Dr. James Tabor’s new article is very interesting and will no doubt ignite some new conversations about one of the most popular books in the New Testament.
“Is it possible that the New Testament book of Revelation -- known to millions as "The Revelation of Jesus Christ," and known for its dire apocalyptic language and horrific visions of the "End of time," was originally not a Christian work at all? I have become convinced that this most influential of Christian writings was taken over by the Christians and "rewritten" with a Christian overlay but the original can still be fairly easily recovered by a bit of textual sleuthing.”

Read the complete article at --

Did Anyone Call Yeshua “Christ”?

As we learned in an earlier blog – How “Yeshua” became “Jesus” – during the life of Yeshua, and for over another thousand years afterwards, the name “Jesus” was unknown. It didn’t exist. This isn’t a recent discovery. It has been known in scholarly circles for centuries. However, when it comes to local pulpits, there are numerous examples of sermons and theological disputes over the importance of the English word “Jesus.” Some say there is no salvation without the “name of Jesus.” Others preach that healing only comes through the name “Jesus.” They use the word “Jesus” like it has some “magical properties” connected to it. But, as pointed out above, no member of the Yeshua Movement or anyone else for over the first thousand years of Christianity would have known who you were referring to if anyone had asked if they knew “Jesus.” The same thing would have been true in Galilee, Samaria and Judah if anyone had asked about “Christ.”
Read the complete article at --…

What did “Heaven” Mean to Yeshua?

What did “Heaven” mean to Yeshua -- “store up treasures in Heaven” or “kingdom of Heaven”? Before we learn what it meant to him, let’s consider what it means to millions of Bible readers today. The place we will begin our study is the BHC Bible Study Tools Section on our website. Be sure to bookmark it and use it in all your Bible studies too.
The first tool we will use is a dictionary to look up the word “heaven.” The first entry is:
The abode of God, the angels, and the spirits of the righteous after death; the place or state of existence of the blessed after the mortal life.

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Did God or Satan Do It?

And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. (1 Chronicles 21:1 KJV)
In your mind, visualize what took place in the above verse between Satan and David. We will probably all agree on who David is; but who or what is “Satan”? Let’s look up the word “Satan” in the dictionary and see what it means:
The devil, adversary of God, and tempter of mankind: sometimes identified with Lucifer.[i]
Are the devil, Lucifer and Satan all the same being? Is this what you had in mind when you read the verse above:
And the devil, the adversary of God and tempter of mankind, stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

Read the complete BHC Bible Study at --

Never Forget Those Little Shoes

I was updating the Biblical Heritage website tonight and reformatting pages that I hadn't reviewed for a long time. One of those pages contained the story about a little child that died at Jonestown. It was back in late 1990 that I first saw the picture that showed the body of this innocent little child laying between the bodies of two adults that I assumed were his parents. This was a life changing moment for me and most of the work I have done since then was inspired by those "little shoes." Please take a moment and read this short story and in honor of that little life. Click on --