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Paga: The intercessor claims territory for God

A look at the different meanings of the Hebrew word 'Paga' which is translated intercessor.

Has Golgotha lost its nose?

Is this the site of Jesus' crucifixion -- Golgotha, the place of the skull Photo: hoyasmeg/Foter/CC BY

Is this the site of Jesus’ crucifixion — Golgotha, the ‘Place of a Skull’ Photo: hoyasmeg/Foter/CC BY

Three Gospel writers — Matthew (Matthew 27:33), Mark (Mark 15:22) and John (John 19:17) — refer to the place of Jesus’ execution as Golgotha.

The Aramaic word “Golgotha” means simply “skull” and the three writers add the phrase the “Place of a Skull” to specifically describe the spot.

33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, (Matthew 27:44 NASV)

For years, many were uncertain what Golgotha referred to. Jerome, an early Latin priest (347 AD – 420 AD), said the place received its name from the skulls that littered the execution area after crucifixion. Others today believe it refers to an unusual weathering of limestone rocks that created a skull-like appearance in the rock, still visible today. (more…)

What I saw in the doctor’s office

My first selfie -- a doctor's office magazine on my knee.

My first selfie — a doctor’s office magazine on my knee.

[by Dean Smith] I was waiting in the doctor’s office for an appointment when I saw it — another confirmation of the Book of Genesis.

The waiting area is a large room with eight rows of padded chairs down the middle.  In the far corner, there is an enclosed play area for children. Only a choice few chairs have arms. I quickly sat in one of those.

The room was half full of people with various ailments. Old to young. Mostly women. (more…)

Ben Carson says prison proves gay lifestyle is a choice, later apologizes

Ben Carson speaking at CPAC in 2015.  Photo Greg Skidmore/Foter/CC BY-SA

Ben Carson speaking at CPAC in 2015. Photo Greg Skidmore/Foter/CC BY-SA

[by Dean Smith] In an interview on CNN, Ben Carson, a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination, was asked if being gay was a choice. There are several pushing the idea that homosexuality is genetic, however, a number of studies on identical twins suggest this is not the case.

In a response to Chris Cuomo’s question, Carson said he believes being gay is a choice.

Using the prison system as his example, Carson stated:

“Because a lot of people who go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”

(more…)

How God loved and chased down an atheist lesbian university professor

[by Dean Smith] If there was anyone I would have written off as an impossible case for conversion, it was Dr Rosaria Champagne Butterfield.

She was a left-winger, lesbian, atheist and an English professor at Syracuse University. In my world, three strikes and you are out. But thankfully, a reformed Syracuse Presbyterian pastor and his wife, Ken and Floy Smith, had more faith than I did.

In her testimonial, “My Train Wreck Conversion,” on Christianity Today, Rosaria tells how God chased her down.

One of my favorite lines from her article is: “As a leftist lesbian professor, I despised Christians. Then somehow I became one.” (more…)

Is the Muslim Dome of the Rock really sitting on the original site of the Jewish Temple?

Is the Dome of the Rock really the site of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem? Photo: Serithian/Foter/CC BY-NC

Is the Dome of the Rock sitting on an old Roman fortress? Photo: Serithian/Foter/CC BY-NC

[by Dean Smith] The Muslim’s Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem has been a source of conflict between Muslims and Jews for years. In a video at the end of this article, you will see a confrontation between a group of Muslim agitators and US senator Dennis Ross when he recently visited the Dome.

According to tradition, the Dome of the Rock sits on the original site of the Jewish Temple before the Romans destroyed it in 70 AD. The Dome, built in 691 AD, is considered one of Islam’s oldest buildings. The State of Jordan operates and manages the Dome, which is probably Jerusalem’s most notable land mark.

But recently some are suggesting the Dome of the Rock was not the original site of the Jewish Temple. (more…)

Has Jesus’ childhood home been discovered?

Nazareth at dusk Photo: 1yen/Foter/CC BY-NC-SA

Nazareth at dusk Photo: 1yen/Foter/CC BY-NC-SA

[by Dean Smith] In a Biblical Archaeological Review article, archaeologist Ken Dark reports he may have found Jesus’ childhood home in Nazareth. According to the Bible, Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1), raised in Nazareth (Luke 4:16) and eventually moved to Capernaum (Matthew 4:13) where He started ministering.

In 670 AD, an Irish Monk named Adomnan from Iona wrote a document called De Loctis Sanctis that discussed the pilgrimage of Bishop Arculf to Nazareth. During his journey, Arculf visited a church at the site of the home where Jesus grew up. (more…)

The Incomparable Observer

Photo: Daiju Azuma/Foter/CC BY-SA

Photo: Daiju Azuma/Foter/CC BY-SA

[by Earl Blacklock] From his childhood, Jean Henri Casimir Fabre was a gifted self-taught observer of nature whose extensive research and writings on insect and arachnid anatomy and behavior set the highest standard for scientific inquiry.

Fabre won a scholarship to a school for teachers, where he taught himself Latin and Greek. While studying a text on entomology, he discovered an error. The book said that the hunting wasp kills beetles before feeding them to its larvae. Through careful observation, Fabre saw that the wasp instead paralyzes its prey, delivering them to its young still alive. From that observation, Fabre learned the principle that in science, all authority must be questioned.

A teacher of biology at a high school for boys in Avignon, Fabre devoted his free time to the study of insects and arachnids. He would spend hours after school studying and recording the drama of the lives of creatures that lived nearby, from the way they would signal their presence to how they killed their prey. (more…)

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