All posts filed under: Apologetics

A main street in Jerusalem Credit: lab604/Flickr/Creative Commons

Archaeologists find earliest full Hebrew spelling of Jerusalem

Archaeologists have discovered the earliest full inscription of the name Jerusalem dating from the first century BC. Typically most inscriptions use the abbreviated form of Jerusalem “Yerushalem or Shalem” instead of its full name “Yerushalayim.” The shortened versions of Jerusalem are clearly the most popular spellings. Even the Bible prefers abbreviated forms over the full name. Jerusalem is mentioned 660 times in the Old Testament, but only five are the full spelling including 2 Chronicles 25:1, 2 Chronicles 32:9, 2 Chronicles 25:1, Esther 2:6, 1 Chronicles 3:5 and Jeremiah 26:18: 18 “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, ‘Thus the Lord of hosts has said, “Zion will be plowed as a field, And Jerusalem will become ruins, And the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.”’ The inscription discovered during a road construction project was found carved on the foundation support for a column of a Roman building in a village on the outskirts of ancient Jerusalem. …

Fire near Santee, CA during the 1980s. Credit: Rick Bolin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apocalypse 5: The Final Occupation

This is about the end of the book that is at the end of the Bible. It’s the last installment in a series of articles on the book of Revelation, at the end of the Bible. Revelation is a future description of the end of this age in history. Christians are supposed to read this book, but too many of us are satisfied with a few pictures like 666 (chapter 13 and verse 18) and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (chapter 6), and Armageddon, the great final battle (chapter 16 and verse 16). The pictures are interesting, but we are told to read the whole book: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (1:3) We are supposed to make sense of this book, and to understand where we are in history. So, think about something that makes you angry, or someone who has that effect. Now calm down …

St Paul's Cathedral, London, England during the Great Fire attack during World War II, December 29, 1941 Credit: National Archives/New Times Paris Bureau/Public Domain

Apocalypse 4: The Atheist Wars

I don’t believe in Santa Claus. If Santa was God, I would be an atheist. When my children were little, I took them to the mall before Christmas, where other families brought their children to see Mall Santa. Those children had fun, and got coloring books and candy canes, all for free. So where were my children? In the line up with everyone else. With my Scottish name, it must be clear that I love not spending money, and free anything is attractive to me. I don’t believe in Santa Claus, and I told my children that he was not real, but fake Santa sure was fun. And my wallet stayed safe in my pocket. I have met one atheist who truly did not believe in God. I am a Christian and he was a friend of mine. I never saw him in church, but he probably would not object to a visit. He was an atheist, not a hater. Have you noticed that most people who call themselves atheists are angry at God? They …

Israel captive in Egypt by Edward Poynter (1836-1919) Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Did archaeologists discover ‘more’ evidence of the Exodus along the Jordan River?

Ancient ruins discovered along the Jordan River is the latest evidence that the Biblical account of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt under Moses is true. For decades, Liberal theologians and others have tried to throw doubt on the account that resulted in the birthing of Israel as Moses and Joshua resettled the Hebrews in the Promised Land of Canaan. A group of archaeologists led by David Ben-Shlomo and Ralph K. Hawkins have found evidence of an ancient camp site along the Jordan River near Khirbet el-Mastarah that may be the remains of one of Israel’s early sites before entering the Promised Land. In an interview with the British newspaper, The Express, Ben-Shlomo said: “If they are, this might fit the Biblical story of the Israelites coming from the east of the Jordan River, then crossing the Jordan and entering into the hill country of Israel later.” The ruins were found near Khirbet el-Mastarah generally believed to be the ancient city of Ataroth-addar mentioned in Joshua 16:5. The Archaeologists further stated they found fragments of pottery …

Photo of Aldi Adilang's boat at moment of rescue near the Island of Guam. Released by the Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka/AP

Some things are more significant than we realize: Indonesian teenager rescued after spending 49 days lost at sea

An interesting story coming out of Indonesia, may have more significance than we realize. With a population of over 260 million people, Indonesia is made up of several islands located north of Australia. The sea and fishing are a major part of life. Muslims make up 87% of its population and about 10% are Christians.  Because of their dominance, in parts of Indonesia, Muslims extremists are actively persecuting Christians. And recently the world was caught up in a story about an Indonesian teenager, Aldi Novel Adilang, 18, who miraculously survived 49 days at sea stuck in a fishing trap. The raft like boat has a hut on it and is moored in the ocean for fishing. It also has a large light that is turned on at night to attract fish. Adilang had worked in such a fishing trap since he was 16. The owner of takes food, water and gas for the generator out to his 50 fishing traps once a week. However because of high winds, Adilang’s raft broke its mooring and started …

Credit: L Geoffroy/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apocalypse 3: The Eco-Apocalypse

Doomsday cults, and doomsday predictors are everywhere. Some are Christian, but the end of the world is a big thing in most religions. The tradition in Islam is that Jesus will return and rule the world, and the teachings of the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are built around preparing for the end. Secular scientists have a Doomsday Clock, and climate change activists have their warnings about the end and our extinction. RELATED: The Doomsday Clock It seems like we all believe, and that makes us targets for cult groups that can manipulate us and ruin our lives. One group from Korea recently moved to Fiji to escape the coming apocalypse and the leaders are accused of abusing their followers. RELATED: ‘I lost my entire family to a cult’: How one woman escaped Grace Road: BBC Note that the Korean group, like most doomsdayers, are concerned about en eco-apocalypse. They were hiding in Fiji, from a coming famine. I have a serious warning for you: we all believe and we are all …

Beijing, China Credit: Oneris Daniel Rico Garcia/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is China’s ‘social credit’ system setting the stage for the antichrist?

Some experts are warning that other left-leaning governments may soon be tempted to carry out the Chinese government’s “Social Credit” system that came into full effect on May 1, 2018. The plan introduced by Chinese President Jinping will monitor and control those who don’t agree with China’s communistic policies. People will be issued a score based on their political, social and economic activities and this score will affect their ability to do things in China. Some suspect it is simply expanding a “Social Credit” system already developed by a major government-owned online Chinese retailer Alibaba. Alibaba’s financial division, Ant Financial, developed a social credit system called Sesame Credit. While many western businesses have a point system rewarding people based on how much they buy, Sesame Credit includes a strong social aspect in its system where people receive a rating between 350 and 950. The higher the score the better. The benefits of a high Sesame score include having government visa’s fast tracked, renting vehicles without a deposit. People with high Sesame ratings will even receive …

Desert in Qatar Credit: Sam Agnew/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apocalypse 2: Really, It’s their Fault

Have you ever thought about the future of war? The experts predict future combat that will be much worse than anything we have seen before. RELATED: Future war will result in destruction ‘beyond our comprehension’, says US General The Bible has been saying the same thing for thousands of years. Human beings have always been good at self destruction. We think we will succeed by conquering and stealing from the neighbors, and we always bring down destruction, in the end. The Christian Bible ends with the book of Revelation. Most people know about images from the book, but most people do not know the book. For example, if I mentioned the Antichrist, or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, people everywhere would have some cultural knowledge, but it’s hard to find even a committed Christian who has read the whole book. Let’s change that. Revelation is one narrative, a story that progresses from a beginning to an end, and it is useful for us to read the whole big picture. Those images that we all …

Field of sunflowers, Lower Saxony, Germany Credit: Christian Kortum/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study reveals the heart health benefits of optimism

An article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that having a positive outlook on life results in a person having a reduced risk of heart disease. In their study, the research group led by Darwin R. Labarthe, a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, looked at the results of several studies on the impact of a person’s psychological well-being on heart health. They revealed that an optimistic view of life not only positively impacted a person’s heart health, but that optimistic outlook also led to lifestyle choices that physically benefited heart health. This included: A 2017 study that found women who were in the top 25% for highest optimistic ranking had a 38% reduced risk of dying due to heart disease. Several recent studies discovered that people who had a purpose in their life had a reduced risk of stroke. Studies also revealed that people who had the most optimistic outlook on life where less likely to be smokers a year later. Optimistic people were also more likely …

Credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Creative Commons

‘USA Today,’ the Apostle John and the Canadian government provide ominous warnings of the future

In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John recorded a vision of the future that God gave him. It wasn’t just any future, it is what lay ahead for believers and the world in the end times leading to second coming of Christ. One of the verses that has caught the attentions of many people who study end times events are John’s references to the mark of the beast that would prevent people from buying and selling: 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17 NASV) Remember this is a vision that John had of society in the future and he was just recording what he saw. He saw people with a mark …

Storm near Garden City, Kansas, US Credit: Dave Sills/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apocalypse 1: The Boring Part

Is it possible for people call themselves Christians to fail? Can we be wrong? That’s not a serious question, and the answer is yes. The famous Pentecostal television preacher Jim Bakker went to prison. RELATED: Jim Bakker And the Roman Catholic Church is trying to recover from the scandal of sex abuse by priests. RELATED: Child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church: What you need to know Sometimes we fail, and our failure has two sides; if we do something wrong, we are prevented from doing good things. Damage control to recover from our failures doesn’t leave room for all the good that we should be doing in this world. I think that is a good starting point to understand the Apocalypse. Everyone should read the book of Revelation. In the Christian Bible, it’s the last book, and one that we often talk about. What we seldom do is read the whole book. For me, that is the best starting point to understand the last book in the Bible. “Revelation” gives us images like the …

Vineyard in Soragna, Italy Credit: Andreas Metz/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have archaeologists discovered the place where Jesus turned water into wine?

The Apostle John records that Jesus’ first miracle took place at a wedding in Cana. When the bridegroom of wedding that Christ and the disciples were attending ran out of wine, Jesus changed six pots of water into wine. According to an article in the Daily Mail, archaeologists are convinced that they have found the location where this miracle took place and it’s five miles north of the spot traditionally considered the most likely site of the Cana miracle. The new location is called Khirbet Qana and includes a series of tunnels inside a hill and with its addition, there are now four possible Cana sites. So what makes Khirbet Qana special? According to archaeologists, evidence found in the tunnels at Khirbet Qana suggest early pilgrims believed this was the original site of the Cana miracle. Inside the tunnels there are Christian markings that include crosses and the name Lord Jesus carved into the wall indicating early Christians venerated this site. They also found an old stone vessel typically used to store wine and it …

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (L to R): Death, Famine, War and Conquest. by Victor Mikhailovich Vasnetsox (1848-1926) Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons/{{PD-US}}

Yemen and the First Horseman of the Apocalypse

Did you know that the world has a huge war right now, involving millions of people? The best estimate is that twenty-two million people are directly affected by the war, and two million children are at risk from severe malnutrition. There is a real danger that the war could expand in the region, and there are reports of long-range missiles landing in wealthy countries in the Persian Gulf. RELATED: Yemeni Civil War I live far away from this civil war in Yemen, and the both sides are Arab Muslims, so I can’t criticize one faction or take sides. I know that the suffering is terrible and the UN sees no end in sight. Apparently no one is winning this “Vietnam War” of the Middle East. Did you know this war was happening? Many people in the world know nothing about it. The fighting started in March of 2015 and soon after that foreign powers intervened, or invaded. Saudi Arabia and Iran are powerful nations in the region and they are on opposite sides, with the …

A photo of STEVE (left), taken on September 28, 2016 in Caithness, Scotland Credit: Gordon Mackie/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is ‘STEVE’ a sign of the times?

According to a study by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) ribbons of purple and white light shooting up into the night sky that made its appearance a few decades back is not an aurora. Amateur photographers who started taking pictures of the phenomena named it STEVE and it seems to have stuck. These bands of purple and white lights piercing into the night sky were originally thought to be an aurora. However a research team led by a Canadian Physicist Bea Gallardo-Lacourt from the University of Calgary in Canada concluded that they are not. But, they are not exactly sure what causes them. The research group came to this conclusion after studying a STEVE that appeared in Ontario, Canada on March 28, 2008. In addition to analyzing the phenomena using ground cameras already in place to photograph auroras, they also used data from a satellite, POES-17, that found no charged particles associated with this particular STEVE. The lights associated with auroras, also called the Northern Lights, are caused when the sun spews out charged protons …

Storm near Parana, Argentina Credit: Emilio Kuffer/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the end really nigh?

On Sunday I went to a picnic-barbecue for a place where I work. The afternoon was beautiful, and we sat around talking about things, like old friends. We agreed that we would not talk about work, and the made the time almost perfect. One friend spoiled the happy mood by saying “I think the apocalypse is going to happen soon.” I don’t think he’s a Christian, but he drives long distances with a truck, and he visits a lot of places. His summary is simple, we can’t continue like this. He was just saying what he feels, and he spoke sincerely. My friend was watching people and nature, and sometimes I think the whole world is one big argument. People are divided. Nations like Turkey, India, Brazil, and Argentina are struggling with debt and economic collapse. Apparently, the Yellowstone Caldera, a super volcano, is larger and more ready to erupt than we thought, and there are other super volcanoes. We had so much smoke last week from forest fires in the west, that we called …

The Siege of Jerusalem by David Roberts (1764-1864) Source: Wikipedia

Bulla confirms existence of Jerusalem’s false prophet Ben Pashur

In 2008, Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar announced a remarkable discovery. While working near a guard tower from the remains of King David’s ancient palace, her team discovered a bulla with the name Ben Pashur inscribed on it. People of importance had seals which they imprinted either on wet clay or wax that would seal an official document verifying its authorship and authenticity. In this case, the seal with Pashur’s name on it had been imprinted in clay. But Mazar was amazed it had survived. The bulla should have dissolved in damp ground surrounding it, but it didn’t. This was because it had been hardened in a fire that undoubtedly destroyed the document that it was sealing, but preserved the bulla. But there was more to this story. In 2006, at this very same location, Mazur’s team had discovered another bulla with the name Yehuchal ben Shelemayahu on it. Similar to Pashur’s bulla it had been fired and preserved as well. Both bullas are in pristine condition and there is no doubt who they belong too …

The Dead Leaf butterfly with its colorful wing display that perfectly mimics a dead leaf when closed. Credit: Left image Public Domain/Right image quartl/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Transformed!

I remember as a boy living in Shellbrook, a small Saskatchewan town, walking down the main street when a butterfly fluttered in front of me. Almost instantly it was set upon by a sparrow. What followed was an aero-acrobatic display. Though the sparrow was clearly faster, the butterfly was incredibly elusive. It swooped up and down to avoid captures. Sharp turns left, then right. Darting in every direction as the bird repeatedly dove in to catch it. And the sparrow was always a second too late, biting at air as the butterfly made another erratic move with a brain barely as large as a dot on an “i.” Then just as suddenly as it started, it was over. The bird broke off its unsuccessful chase and landed at the top of the one-story building I was walking by. I could see its beak open, as it breathed heavily trying to catch its breath. The butterfly continued its flight as if nothing had happened. It is interesting display because the butterfly has two sets of wings. …

The modern Upper Room in Jerusalem Credit: Catholic Church England and Wales/© Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Where was the Upper Room?

The Upper Room is probably most famous as the spot where the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples recorded in Acts 2. From there, they spread out into the streets of Jerusalem and lit the place on fire. But it served as more than that. Some believe that the disciples may have actually used the Upper Room as living quarters while they were in Jerusalem: 13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. (Acts 1:13 NASV) The Greek word “katameno” means to abide, live and remain which is how the Apostle Paul used the word when he told the Corinthians that he is thinking of living in Corinth for the winter (1 Corinthians 16:6). When the Holy Spirit fell, it is said that the sound of rushing wind filled the “whole house” (Acts 2:1-2). The Greek …

Gibraltar Crossing near the city of Tarshis Credit: Cubanito, Wikipedia

Did an ancient Babylonian priest refer to Jonah?

Though known primarily for his confrontation with a whale, Jonah was a well-known prophet in Israel and is referenced several times (Judges 16:23-24; 1 Samuel 5:1-7; 1 Chronicles 10:8-12; 2 Kings 14:25). But of course it’s his story of calling the city of Nineveh to repentance that he is most known for. When Jonah refused to obey God’s call and took passage on a ship heading towards Tarshish near the Strait of Gibraltar on the coast of Spain, God stirred up a storm to get Jonah’s attention. After the sailors threw Jonah overboard, he was swallowed by a Grey whale (my vote but far from certain) and after a three days was coughed up on a beach undoubtedly along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. From there Jonah headed far inland to Nineveh that was then part of the nation of Assyria and delivered a message of repentance. Led by the king, the city responded and repented. Some have suggested, the king may have been impacted by Jonah’s whale story, because one of the …

William Maillis, 11, being interviewed by HCHC Media Credit: HCHC Media/YouTube capture

11-year-old genius and college graduate wants to use science to prove existence of God

Though he is only 11 years old, William Maillis graduated from Florida’s St. Petersburg College on July 21, 2018 with an Associate in Arts degree. Officially classified a genius at age five, William was using complete sentences at 7 months. He was adding and subtracting by two. By the age of three he knew the alphabet in multiple languages and had mastered Algebra by the age of four after his older brother briefly introduced the mathematical concept to him in the backseat of the car while the family was on a drive. His father Peter Maillis serves as a priest at the Saints Raphael, Nicholas & Irene Hellenic Orthodox Church based in Palm Harbor, Florida. To keep him entertained, his parents put magnetic letters and numbers on the family fridge which as a child he organized into mathematical equations. Though he graduated from high school when he was just nine, the biggest challenge the teachers had through high school was keeping him engaged and focused because he so quickly mastered the material. So during high …

I vote Grey whale: The story of Jonah

A group of archaeologists digging at a Roman fish factory plant located near the Straights of Gibraltar made a discovery that may answer the question on what swallowed Jonah. The salting factories first showed up around 400 BC. Many are familiar with the story of the disobedient prophet who God wanted to send to Nineveh to call the city to repentance. Jonah, who obviously hated this enemy, refused to go fearing they would repent and God would spare them judgement. So to escape his calling, Jonah booked a boat to Tarshish, that oddly enough most Biblical scholars believe was located on the coast of Spain near the Straights of Gibraltar. In an effort to catch Jonah’s attention, God stirred up a large storm that the sailors believed was divine in origin. After Jonah fessed up, the sailors threw him overboard and the prophet was swallowed up by a large fish or sea creature that eventually vomited up the prophet along the shore near Nineveh, where he successfully called the city to repentance. So what did …

Ilulissat, Greenland Credit: Baron Reznik/Flickr/Creative Commons

Global warming taking a vacation this summer in parts of the Arctic

Though we are still getting the usual rhetoric about how man-made climate change is destroying the earth unless we act immediately, we are not hearing about the unusual climatic conditions affecting parts of the Arctic this year. There is a reason for that. This summer has been a been a particularly cold one in Greenland and it doesn’t fit the man-made global warming narrative that the ice is melting and will result in rising ocean levels unless we immediately do something to reduce CO2 emissions. But not only is the cold weather disrupting the narrative of the climate-change activists and politicians, the cold weather is also having a profound impact on shore birds that nest along Greenland’s coastline each summer. According to Scientific American, typically by June the snow has receded in Greenland allowing shore birds to nest and raise their young in July. However, this year has been cold and the ice and snow has continued into the summer preventing shore birds from finding food and nesting spots. In an interview with Scientific American, …

Main street of Valletta, Malta Credit: Neil Howard/Flickr/Creative Commons

Will angelic activity pave the way for the greatest revival in world history?

There are several strange verses in the Book of Revelation, but one found in chapter 14 has always caught my attention. In the midst of the end-times judgements hitting the earth and increased persecution of Christians, the Apostle John saw an angel flying in the mid heavens preaching the Gospel. 6 And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; (Revelation 14:6 NASV) The angel would preach this message to every nation, every tribe and tongue. No one would be exempt. So what would be the purpose of an angel preaching the Gospel in the mid heavens? I suspect that this message being spoken from the invisible spiritual realm would in some way impact those living in the natural. Why else would God have an angel do this? I have written on this in the past, but we have an interesting account involving the prophet Daniel’s encounter with a Godly angel while sitting along …

Jesus healing the blind man by El Greco (1541-1614) Credit: Wikipedia

Barbara Snyder’s healing from MS shocked doctors

In his book, The Case for Miracles, evangelist Lee Strobel cites the miraculous healing of Barbara Snyder that took place nearly 30 years ago. Strobel, 66, is a former investigative journalist with the Chicago Tribune. He became a Christian in 1981 shortly after he decided to investigate Jesus and the Christian faith after his wife became a Christian. After his conversion, Lee worked briefly as a pastor before moving into an apologetic’s ministry focusing on writing and video productions. In his most recent book, Strobel decided to look at miracles. Though he believed the Biblical stories of Christ’s miracles, Strobel was less convinced miracles were happening today. However, after analyzing several miracles Strobel is convinced they are. One miracle in particular stands out. It involves Barbara Snyder and took place nearly 30 years ago. The Mayo Clinic had diagnosed Barbara with multiple sclerosis. Despite several operations and treatments, Barbara continued to deteriorate to the point that she was put into respite with doctor’s orders not to resuscitate. By this point, she was almost blind and …

Volcano erupting on Iceland in 2010. Credit: Dagga Billa/Flickr/Creative Commons

Should the US be worried about volcanoes?

If recent media reports are correct, Americans should be increasingly concerned about volcanoes. Earlier this month, two major North American volcanoes suddenly became active resulting in two governments issuing “Yellow Alerts.” The Mexican government issued a “Yellow Alert” for the country’s Mt. Popocatepetl and the American government issued a similar yellow alert for Alaska’s Great Sitkin. According to the US Geological Survey, there are six levels of alert for active volcanoes: Green: Describes volcanoes with minor levels of activity such as steam and small earthquakes, but are not considered a threat to erupt. Yellow: This designation is for volcanoes that have experienced elevated signs of activity. Explosions have increased from low to moderate. There is a threat of ash falling near the volcano and even the possibility of limited lava flows. Orange Watch: This indicates there is an increased risk of an explosion. Though the time frame is uncertain. Orange Warning: At this level a volcanic eruption is imminent or a minor eruption is already underway. This would result in lava flows and ash production …

Malaysia Credit: Juha Riissanen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Oops, that wasn’t supposed to happen: genetic study unravels evolutionary theory

A study produced by two geneticists Mark Stoeckle from New York’s Rockefeller University and David Thaler from Switzerland’s University of Baler concluded that 90% of animals came into existence at the same time as humans and relatively recently. This conclusion seriously challenges the theory of evolution that requires millions of years for animals to slowly evolve, with man being the climax of the evolutionary cycle. In their study published in the Human Evolution journal, the two geneticists examined the “DNA barcodes” of 100,000 species of animals stored in GenBank, a genetic data base operated by the American government. Based on this study, the two concluded that animals appeared at the same time as humans about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. Though there may be some dispute on the dating, their study nevertheless confirms the Biblical account that says humans and animals were created at the same time on the fifth day. In an interview with Christian Headlines, Ken Ham founder of the creationist organization Answers in Genesis suggested the age numbers were inflated by evolutionary …

Where is Mt. Sinai?

We don’t know for sure where Mt Sinai is located. The mountain, also called Horeb (Deuteronomy 4:10), was the location where Moses received the Ten Commandments. It’s traditionally believed that Mt. Sinai is Jebel Musa located in Egypt on the Sinai Peninsula. Jews held this belief as early as 100 AD and people were making pilgrimages to the site. Christians accepted this and several monasteries were later built near the mountain. However, in an interview with WND, Pastor Joel Richardson is bucking the trend by suggesting Mt Sinai is actually located in Saudi Arabia. He believes a mountain called Jabal al-Lawz is actually Mt Sinai. In fact, the Apostle Paul describes Mt Sinai as being in Arabia, but it is uncertain what he meant by Arabia. At that time, this vague description could have easily included the Sinai Peninsula: 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. (Galatians 4:25 NASV) After personally visiting Jabal al-Lawz, Richardson gave several reasons why he …

The Temple Mount Credit: Ben and Ash/Flickr/Creative Commons

Discovery of three small coins confirms the Jews ancient connection to the Temple Mount

Archaeologists working on the remains from the Temple Mount have discovered five small coins that speak of an incredible time of religious freedom in Israel’s history. Though only three of the coins are legible, they are dated to the fourth century. This puts them at the time when King Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return their homeland from their Babylonian captivity and rebuild Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in 538 BC. The archaeologists believe the other two similarly sized undecipherable coins are from the same set. Seven millimeters wide, the coins have an image of a barn owl on one side. The Jews basically copied the Athenian Abol, a Greek coin used in ancient times. It is curious that they used the owl because it was considered unclean under Jewish law and it also represented the goddess Athena to the Greeks. Instead of having the Greek letters ΑΘΕ used to signify Athens, the three legible coins had the Aramaic word YHD. According to an article on ynetnews, this is the shortened version of …

Istanbul, Turkey Credit: Mehmet Aktugan/Flickr/Creative Commons

What’s happening in Turkey?

My family church, when I was a boy, was famous for talks about Bible prophecy. The pastor had giant charts the size of curtains, to explain what the Bible said about the future of the world. I remember that he could fill the church with his Sunday evening talks, and I vaguely remember pictures of animals with several heads, on those enormous sheets. This was before computers and projectors, and those wall-sized pictures were famous. Years later, as an adult, I met strangers in far away places who wanted to talk about those huge pictures. Our pastor was a good man, and his ideas were conservative. He just wanted us to know what the Bible said about the future of the world, and he made a sincere effort to teach us. I may have been the only kid in my school who knew about Gog and Magog in the land of the north. One thing I remember clearly from those talks was the advice to look north. From the Bible’s perspective, that means north from …

Raising of the cross by Peter Paul Ruben (1577-1640) Credit: Wikipedia

A 2,000 year old skeleton discovered showing evidence of crucifixion

Though the Bible and several other ancient historical documents talk about crucifixion as a brutal form of Roman execution, there has been very little archaeological evidence found of this ancient practice. However, a group of Italian researchers discovered that a skeleton of man uncovered in Northern Italy in 2007 was probably crucified. If this proves correct, it will be only the second example found revealing the brutal form of punishment used by the Romans to execute criminals. The first one was found in 1968 while excavating a Jerusalem cemetery connected  with the second Jewish temple (2 BC t0 70 Ad). In an ossuary used to store the bones of the deceased, they discovered a man with a nail in his heel. There was also a fragment from the olive tree used for the cross attached to the nail. Because the metal nails were so valuable, the Roman typically pulled them out after the person had died. This is part of the reason, it is difficult to determine if a person was crucified. In this case, …

Credit: Timo Luege/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the Spirit of Jezebel rearing its painted face again?

Evan Vickers, a Republican senator from Utah, was staying at a hotel in Washington, DC, when there was a knock on his door. When he opened it, he found a young woman standing in front of him. In an interview with KSTU-TV, Vickers told what happened next: “I opened the door and there was a young lady standing there and she said ‘Hi,’ and I said, ‘Hi,’ who are you?” And she said, ‘I’m your date.’ I said, ‘No, you’re not.’ She said, ‘Yes, I’m your date.’” The woman would not leave and insisted several times she was his date. When Vickers refused to go along with it, the young woman eventually walked to the elevator still claiming she was his date. Vickers returned to his room, locked the door, and called for an associate to accompany him.  It is uncertain what was going on but there is speculation that the woman was trying to entrap the senator. He warned other politicians to be careful. Several years ago a prominent pastor of a very large …

Volcanic column of smoke on Hawaii's Big Island taken May 7, 2018 Credit: macprohawaii/US Geological Survey/Flickr/Public Domain

A near asteroid hit and volcanic eruption on Hawaii: Apocalyptic shots across the bow?

During the 18th century, if a naval ship was unable to recognize an oncoming vessel it would fire a warning shot in the general direction of the ship. Under the law of the sea, the ship receiving the shot was expected to hoist its flag so it could be recognized and respond with a shot of its own. It was form of rudimentary communication between ships. With modern communications equipment, the shot across the bow has taken on a more ominous tone. When naval vessels, such as the coast guard, are pursuing another vessel, they will perform a shot across the bow typically in front of the ship telling it to stop. The shot demonstrates that the fleeing ship is within range, sighted and more importantly the pursuing ship is willing to go the next step if it does not come to heel. One has to ask if the world just received a shot across the bow. According to the Bible’s apocalyptic literature, the end times will be marked by massive asteroids slamming into the …

An Israeli sunset Credit: Israel Nature Photographers/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does an ancient archaeological discovery tell us something about ‘spiritual warfare’?

There is a strange story in the Old Testament talking about a battle that took place between Israel and Moab. Found in 2 Kings 3, we are told that Israel had the kingdom of Moab in subjection. As a vassal, the Moabites paid an annual tax to Israel of 100,000 lambs and the wool from 100,000 sheep. The reason was obvious, we are told that Mesha, the King of Moab, was a breeder of sheep (verse 3) and had obviously developed a unique breed that was in demand. By this time, Israel had split apart into two nations, Samaria (Israel) and Judah. King Ahab of Israel had just died and King Mesha decided this was an opportune time to break free from Israel’s domination. Undoubtedly, Israel became aware of the problem when Mesha refused to pay the tribute. So Jehoram, the new King of Israel contacted King Jehoshaphat of Judah and an unnamed King of Edom to help Jehoram bring Moab back into submission. Obviously, it was in everyone’s best interest to keep Moab under …

Credit: Ajith Kumar/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did being caught up to Paul’s ‘Third Heaven’ lead to a miraculous recovery for brain dead teen?

The media describes him as the “Miracle Boy” from Mobile, Alabama. Two months ago, Trenton McKinley, 13, was in a trailer being pulled by a dune buggy when the person driving slammed on the brakes forcing the trailer to flip. They were driving on cement and Trenton was thrown out and the trailer landed on his head. Unconscious, he was rushed to hospital. By the time his mother, Jennifer Reindl, arrived, her son had been dead for 15 minutes. His heart kept stopping and they were rebooting it using adrenaline. According to Fox News, the doctors gave Trenton little hope adding that even if he came out of the coma he would be a vegetable because of oxidation. The only thing keeping him alive was life support. After going several days of registering no brain activity, the doctors finally told Jennifer there was nothing more that could be done. If his heart stopped again, they would not use adrenaline to restart it. One Saturday a few weeks back, the doctors told Jennifer they would keep …

Blind burrowing mole rats find evidence of King David’s reign

With the help of burrowing mole rats, archaeologists have found more evidence of King David’s reign. When the moles dig into the ground, they deposit the unearthed dirt around their hole and archaeologists will sift through this dirt to see what lies deeper down. It was just such mounds that led to the discovery of the ancient city of Eglon, 30 miles south of Jerusalem, by Dr. Faust Yair Sapir of Bar-Ilan University. Mentioned in Joshua, it was one of five Amorite cities that formed a league to resist Israel. The cities were defeated and Eglon was incorporated into the Tribe of Judah. As they began their archaeological dig of the 15 acre site, they discovered evidence of its original Canaanite roots including a pottery bowl the Canaanites offered to their gods to protect their buildings. This along with radio carbon dating of coal and olive pits dated the original building to the 12th century BC. Then they noticed the building was later rebuilt into a design unique to ancient Jews consisting of a courtyard …