Archive | October, 2017

Bible History Part 5 D.17.11.01

31 Oct

In the bible Abraham’s grandson Jacob changed his name to Israel, and that word actually means in Hebrew, one who wrestles with God. This was an apt description of what would be the ups and down relationships between the Jewish people and their god.
The remainder of Genesis takes the Hebrew story farther, eventually with the onset of the great famine in Canaan, and the people’s eventual dwelling in the land of Egypt, where they would be enslaved.
The book of Exodus details the Hebrew’s plight under the Pharaohs. This is where the story of Moses is told in exceptional detail, something that was missing in other biblical books.
Moses draws on the story of him being rescued from the Nile by Pharaoh’s daughter. Raised for a time as an Egyptian, Moses discovered his true identity.
Decoded Series

Abrahamic Origin Part 4 D.17.10.31

30 Oct

All three major faiths see themselves as Abrahamic in their origin. The book of Genesis has been contentiously examined by scholars of all faiths for more than 2,000 years. It is written in such a way that there can be a diversity of opinion on the actual biblical stories it tells.
What is agreed by many, is how it explains the origins of the Jewish people. At the time of Abraham and for several centuries, the Hebrews were identified by their neighbours for their belief in one invisible, all-powerful god. The word Hebrew probably meant landless, since Abraham’s stock did not originally have firm control over the land of Canaan. Eventually, the word Israel would replace the word Hebrew in the Bible.
Decoded Series

Biblical History Part 3 D.17.10.30

29 Oct

The Tanakh applied the male pronoun for God but this might have reflected the patriarchal nature of the then-evolving Jewish religion.
Genesis accounted for God commanding Abraham to circumcise himself and all his male progeny eight days after their birth.
Abraham’s elderly wife Sarah seemingly could not bear him children. He fathered a son, Ishmael, by a slave woman named Hagar. After Ishmael’s birth, Sarah discovered that she had conceived and would in a short time give birth to a son, Isaac. She then ordered the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael.
Decoded Series

Biblical History Part 2 D.17.10.29

28 Oct

Abraham came from a family of idol worshipers, and for unexplained reasons, he travelled to Haran, located in northern Mesopotamia. It was at this point Abraham moved from being an ordinary Mesopotamian and becomes the first Hebrew. God directed Abraham to journey southward to Canaan, a land hugging the eastern Mediterranean coast.
What makes this juncture critical, is the appearance of god. Unlike the many existent religions of the time, the Hebrew god was invisible and all-encompassing. Without form, gender, colour, or shape
They believed their god was the creator of the entire world and universe.
Decoded Series

Biblical History Part 1 D.17.10.28

27 Oct

The bible is a story book about a tribe of people from antiquity. There is no solid basis for the content and it must be taken into consideration that it was compiled when the world of civilization was in its infancy. The stories of that time were sensationalized by the bible so keep that in mind as I cover its history.
The biblical texts commence with Genesis and this discusses the creation, the downfall of mankind and the story of Noah’s ark. There is evidence that was recently found at the bottom of the Black Sea that suggest a catastrophe, perhaps on the order of the Great Flood, eradicated an existing civilization. The idea of the Great Flood of Antiquity is viable and to the people of that time it would probably seem it was a god like action.
Genesis turned its attention to Abraham, a native of the city state of Ur, a community flourishing in the late Bronze Age. The city is mentioned four times in Genesis. Ur lay at the mouth of the Euphrates River, today found in south-eastern part of Iraq. This was a fairly advanced society for its time. The population consisted of various Middle Eastern peoples. The common language that was spoken was Aramaic, which eventually became the vernacular that would be spoken in ancient Israel.
Decoded Series

The Biblical Origin D.17.10.27

26 Oct

According to historical understanding:
Dating the Bible’s canonization is difficult, but it was made by Jewish religious scholars in the 5th century BCE, after the destruction of the first Temple and the Babylonian exile.
The Five Books of Moses, or the Torah, offers the history of creation, the appearance of Abraham about 1900 BCE, and subsequent Jewish history throughout the building of the second Temple in Jerusalem.
In addition, the Jewish Bible contained a major body of laws for daily living. These laws codified within a religion, as the Jews were set apart from other peoples of antiquity. For clinging to the Bible, the Jews would also become known to others in the world as the People of the Book.
The Tanakh provides many of the basics about early Jewish history and the evolving law.
Decoded Series

The Early Story of the Jews D.17.10.26

26 Oct

The Jewish bible is the origin of the understanding of the Jewish story. It is called the Tanakh in Hebrew, or for Christians, it is called the Old Testament.
The Tanakh consists of the Pentateuch, also known as the Five Books of Moses, which were received at Mount Sinai. These include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Jewish Bible also consists of additional books. Those include the major prophets, the minor prophets, and the writings of 13 additional holy books.
Decoded Series

The Ancient Jews D.17.10.25

24 Oct

Archaeological and anthropological studies have confirmed the existence of Jews. This does not confirm the existence of a god but rather of a tribe of peoples in antiquity.
The Jews are one of the western culture to have made the transition from ancient times to the present.
Professor Norman Cantor wrote over two decades ago the book, The Sacred Chain. In this survey of Jewish history, he accounted for all the trials and tribulations experienced by this relatively small group of people. He argued that at every critical point, amid centuries of persecution, conversion pressures, and the lures of assimilation in today’s world, a surviving Jewish remnant, or a sacred chain, has always continued the beliefs and traditions, going back over 3,000 years.
Decoded Series

The Bridging of Ancient Civilizations C.17.10.24

23 Oct

There are links in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome with a period called the Middle Ages.
That bridge is the unique story of ancient Israel, and the contributions made by the Jewish people in shaping Western civilization.
Why is this a unique story? The Hebrews, or Jews, first emerged out of the Mesopotamian world of antiquity. They founded their own kingdom, later encountered the Greek and Roman empires, survived them both, and after their exile from their homeland, established vibrant communities throughout Asia Minor, North Africa, and Western Europe.
Despite all odds against them, the Jews survived into the Middle Ages. Their unique story, one based originally on Biblical accounts, has been well established.
Decoded Series

Via Appia Antica D.17.10.23

22 Oct

The Via Appia Antica, the Old Appian Way is one of the main highways leaving Rome for the south of Italy and was part of the road that would have taken you to Brindisi, where you could get a boat to Greece in the imperial period.
That was an area where the road appears much as it did thousands of years ago – the original Roman paving. It can still be seen as how straight and smooth the Roman roads were built, and this is an area that hasn’t been built up on and covered up with a new highway or something.
This is evidence of the way that the modern city of Rome is like a palimpsest, with different layers of history and architecture and archaeology all sort of on top of each other.
Decoded Series