All posts filed under: Apologetics

Remains of the ancient city of Babylon in Iraq as seen from Saddam Hussein's former summer palace: Credit US Navy Arlo K Abrahamson/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Cuneiform tablet confirms the gruesome story of Jeremiah 39

Jeremiah chapter 39 paints the gruesome fall of Jerusalem to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586BC/587BC. King Zedekiah had previously been installed by the Babylonians as Judah’s puppet king after Babylon defeated Jerusalem in 597 BC. Jerusalem remained largely intact, and Judah was forced to pay an annual tribute to Babylon. However, Zedekiah, who was 21 years only when he was set up as a vassal king, eventually tired of the arrangement and rebelled against Babylon by forming an alliance with Egypt. The prophet Jeremiah who initially served as one of Zedekiah’s counselors warned against the move, but Zedekiah was by this stage doing evil in the sight of the Lord (Jeremiah 52:1-3) setting the stage for God’s devastating judgement. When King Nebuchadnezzar returned a second time to bring Jerusalem back into submission, he was in a foul mood. The battle predictably turned against Judah and with Jerusalem on the brink of falling, King Zedekiah, along with his family and personal guards, fled with the Babylonian army in pursuit. After the invaders caught up with …

Painting of Israel carrying the Ark of the Covenant into the Promised Land under Joshua by Benjamin West (1738 -1820) Credit: Wikipedia

Archaeologists to excavate site that once held the Ark of the Covenant

It is one of the great mysteries of the Bible – what happened to the Ark of the Covenant. When the Babylonians captured Jerusalem in 586 BC, they ransacked the city, hauled its citizens off into captivity and looted the Temple taking its treasures as spoils of war. A number of Bible passages list the items the Babylonians stole. One found in Jeremiah is particularly detailed and includes even pots and spoons (Jeremiah 52:17-23). But strangely missing from all the lists including Jeremiah’s and the listings provided in 2 Kings 24:13, and 2 Kings 25: 13-18 is any mention of the Ark of the Covenant. It was a gold-plated wooden box on which God’s Presence manifested. As the most important piece of furniture in the temple, the Babylonians would have coveted it. Many believe the Jews hid the Ark to stop it from falling into Babylonian hands. But when Babylon hauled Israel’s citizens into captivity for 70 years, the people who hid the Ark died and its location forgotten. Rumors even circulated that the prophet …

South American Squirrel monkey Credit: cuatrok77/Flickr/Creative Commons

Evolving Evolutionists?

Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, a respected anthropologist from the University of Pittsburgh, still believes in evolution, but his views on Darwinism have evolved over the years, due to a lack of evidence in the fossil record. In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Schwartz no longer believes in “gradualism.” According to the theory of evolution proposed by Charles Darwin, species evolved gradually over millions of years through minute incremental changes. Schwartz argues that if these minute changes actually took place, evolutionists would find thousands examples of these species at different stages in their evolutionary development. Instead the fossil record is starkly quiet with huge gaps in the fossil record. Darwin claimed that the absence of these missing links was simply a matter of bad luck. Schwartz disagrees – based on the evidence – the lack of transitional fossils says the transitions never existed in the first place. Schwartz adds that some organs, such as the eye, are so complicated that the sheer number of changes required for its evolution “defies logic.” He also takes a …

October 8, 2014 Blood Moon Credit: slworking2/Flickr/Creative Commons

Will ‘Moon Temple’ mark the beginning of a new world order?

According to Bible prophecy the moon will play a role in the end-times. The prophet Joel (Joel 2:30-31) and Apostle John (Revelation 6:12-13) both refer to a blood moon that will serve as warning sign-posts. Since Blood moons in themselves are not unusual, it is their appearance along with several other events such as a solar eclipse, stars falling from the sky and earthquakes that will make them unique. According to the Apostle John one particular Blood moon will mark the angelic opening of the sixth sea, that can be best described as a time of terror on the earth. But apparently the moon hasn’t escaped the attention of the European Space Agency (ESA) and envisions it as a part of a new utopia. An artist working with ESA’s Advanced Concept Team recently came up with a conceptual drawing of a building on earth’s celestial neighbor that he describes as a “Moon Temple.” Jorge Manes Rubio envisions it as part of a lunar base that is in the planning stages at the space agency. According …

The Strait of Gilbralter near the location of the fabled City of Atlantis Credit: joko facile/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the Biblical city of Tarshish the fabled city of Atlantis?

Some believe the mythical city of Atlantis is just that — a fable. The city was only mentioned once in ancient writings by fourth century Greek philosopher Plato (428 BC to 348 BC) who wrote of a traveler Solon who had visited the sea-faring city and described it as an advanced and wealthy civilization. But others are not convinced it is a myth. In a documentary, Atlantis Rising, produced for National Geographic, famed film-maker James Cameron (the movie Titanic) and journalist/archaeologist Simcha Jacobovici claim they have unraveled the mystery surrounding the ancient city. Plato said Atlantis was covered with mud and water and sank, leading the duo to conclude it was probably hit by a tsunami. But the philosopher also provided a clue to the city’s site describing it as being past the “Pillars of Hercules.” Cameron and Jacobovici believed these pillars referred to the Straits of Gibraltar. In an interview with Breaking Israel News (BIN), Jacobovici said this would put it along the coast of Spain, Portugal or the Iberian Peninsula. Though Atlantis is …

Credit: Steve Braund/Flickr/Creative Commons

Fearfully and wonderfully made: Appendix redeemed, we do need it

A favorite tactic of some to prove evolution is to point to what they call vestigial organs in the human body. According to this theory, vestigial organs evolved in our ancient history, but have no real purpose today. They are left over relics from our evolutionary past. One of the prime examples of a vestigial organ is the appendix that is routinely cut out when it becomes infected because doctors see no real use for it. However, a group of researchers at Midwestern University Arizona Hospital in Glendale, Arizona have concluded the appendix actually serves a very important function in the human body. Because of the large amount of lymphatic tissue in the appendix, they said it is a production center for beneficial “gut bacteria” necessary for good health. Good gut bacteria serves several important functions including helping the body absorb fiber and nutrients. It  also plays a vital role in the body’s immune system and some bacteria even supply a form of beneficial hormones. Contrary to what scientists have believed for decades, our body …

A new star appearing in the sky in 2020. Credit: wienotfilms/Flickr/Creative Commons

Orthodox Jews look to the formation of a new star as a sign of the coming Messiah

Though Orthodox Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah, they are still looking for a Messiah and an upcoming celestial event has excited some orthodox Jews because they believe it is a sign of the Messiah’s imminent arrival. A celestial event called a Nova involving the collision of two stars will soon be taking place. According to Larry Molnar, a professor of Astronomy at Calvin College in Michigan, this collision will be so bright that for six months it will be visible to the human eye on earth. In 2013, Molnar and one of his students noticed that two stars in the Cygnus Constellation were getting brighter. They realized their orbits were shrinking and they were now on a collision course. Based on earlier observations, Molnar expects the two will collide sometime in 2022. Breaking Israel News (BIN) cited an explanation of the event that Molnar provided in a video: “[The collision] will release as much energy as the sun releases in its entire lifetime … When the two finally collide, it will create a new …

Artist's rendering of an asteroid. Credit: Nasa/JPL-caltech/Wikipedia

Another near asteroid miss, missed again

It is becoming almost a regular occurrence — announcements by those looking into space for dangerous asteroids — that they had missed another near miss. Now to be fair, the asteroid called 2017 AG13 was only half the size of the asteroids the Catalina Sky Survey is looking for. It is an organization partially funded by NASA to scour the skies with NEOCam, an infra-red telescope, looking for potentially dangerous asteroids. They only had 24 hours notice on this one that passed by earth on Saturday, January 7, 2017. But half the size meant this asteroid was 25 meters to 35 meters tall — ten stories — and according to reports it was traveling at 16 kms a second (9.9 miles per second). A near miss in astronomical terms meant that it was 126,461 miles out, passing halfway between earth and the moon. Of course, any asteroids intersecting our planet’s trajectory are always a concern because of the potential for the earth’s gravity to pull them in. The asteroid that exploded high in the atmosphere …

Credit: Michael Mazzamuto/Flickr/Creative Commons

But the Lord directs our steps

Twenty years ago, my husband Dean and I were pastoring a satellite church plant in Hong Kong on an island called Discovery Bay. We had gathered a diverse group of people in one of our house churches — a good mix of new and established believers. People were coming to the Lord and being filled with the Holy Spirit. But within this group, there were also some very established missionaries. They had ministered in Hong Kong for several years, and were without a house church so they joined our small group. They were faithful servants of the Lord, but did not believe in the moving of the Holy Spirit. They saw the Holy Spirit as only “the Comforter,” and they often disagreed with the way Dean and I ministered. There is a verse in Ecclesiastes that warns evil times can suddenly fall upon us: 12 Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil …

Sun appearing over the India Ocean Credit: Nasa/Flickr

Mathematics professor predicts chaos in the next decade — a sign of the times?

Peter Turchin is a mathematics professor at the University of Connecticut. One of his projects is using mathematics to determine what lies ahead for the world’s future. And if he is right, it does not look good. Based on his mathematical model, Turchin is predicting a time of economic and political chaos in the the next decade – 2020s. For his predictions, Turchin used a branch of mathematics he developed called cliodynamics. According to Wikipedia, this looks upon history as just another branch of science and describes it as “the mathematical modeling of historical processes.” Basically, Turchin developed a mathematical algorithm to analyze past historical events and then used it to predict future events. Apparently, the model successfully predicted the political instability that the world is going through at the moment, but his calculations show that it won’t peak until the next decade, around 2025, and could result in the collapse of society. It will be caused by a number of events including the declining wealth of people and families that will put them under …

Dog sledding on Greenland, where the ice and snow is returning. Credit: Baron Reznik/Flickr/Creative Commons

Arctic ice cap roaring back

According to an article in the Daily Caller, the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) is reporting Greenland’s ice sheet is returning with a vengeance. The agency added that since January 1, 2017, Greenland’s ice sheet gained 8 gigatons of snow and ice. It noted the ice has been increasing since October. This increase is far above the normal rates seen this time of year, and DMI stated it is one of the highest growth rates in recent years. DMI has been monitoring the size of Greenland’s ice sheets for 24 years. Over the summer, those promoting man-made Global warming  trumpeted the arctic’s shrinking ice cap as evidence of man-made global warming. Of course, it always melts during the summer, but the melt this past year was aided by a strong El Nino effect that warmed the 2015-2016 winter. Once every three to five years, an El Nino occurs that results in warm waters — that should be pooling around Indonesia and the Philippines — moving eastward and settling along the coast of South America. Depending on …

Artists portrayal of Nero's persecution of Christians by Heinrich von Siemiradzki (1843-1902): Wikipedia

How Tacitus’ contradiction of the Biblical record actually confirms the Bible

Roman senator and orator Tacitus (55AD-118AD) is considered one of the great ancient historians. He wrote a number of books, and in his last work entitled Annals he had a couple of paragraphs about Jesus and the Christians. Though small, these two citations pack a wallop because they provide various confirmations about the Biblical account and even one contradiction that actually proves the Bible’s accuracy of events. Tacitus was providing a brief history about the Roman Emperor Nero (37AD – 67AD) and because of this felt compelled to give an explanation about Christians and Christ as they played a role in the Great Fire of Rome (July 18-23 64 AD). Many Romans believed Nero purposefully set the fire as part of his grandiose plan to rebuild Rome. To deflect the blame, Tacitus said Nero accused Christians of arson: [neither] human effort nor the emperor’s generosity nor the placating of the gods ended the scandalous belief that the fire had been ordered [by Nero]. Therefore, to put down the rumour, Nero substituted as culprits and punished …

Credit: ambimb/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have we entered the ‘post-truth’ era?

Each year, Oxford Dictionary presents its word of the year. They are not always words, sometimes they are phrases or even an emoji — “face with tears of joy” — that won in 2015. But this year’s winner takes on an almost prophetic overtone. Not that Oxford purposefully intended it too, but rather it chose the word because it identified the climate of the day. The word has been around for a while, but spiked in usage in recent months particularly in the US presidential election and Brexit — the vote where England chose to leave the EU. The word is “post-truth,” that Oxford defines as: “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” In other words people are setting the facts aside to be ruled by their emotions. Other forces besides the truth are now driving the world’s agenda. It beat out other contending words such as ‘chatbox’ that speaks of a computer program simulating conversations with humans and …

Dome of the Rock is a Muslim shrine, not a mosque. Credit: Monidas De Mon/Flickr/Creative Commons

More trouble on the Temple Mount

WND.com is reporting a confrontation with Muslim authorities that happened November 17, 2016 on the Temple Mount. WND.com editor Joseph Farrah along with Jonathan Cahn — a Messianic rabbi most famous for his New York Times‘ best seller, The Harbinger — were co-leading a group of 406 people on a visit to Israel. Part of this trip included a visit to the 40-acre Temple Mount located in the heart of Jerusalem. It was the original site of the First and Second Jewish Temples. The Romans destroyed the second temple used in Jesus’ day in 70AD. Today, the site is home to two Muslim buildings — the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Though Israeli government controls  the site, it has given the Jordanian Waqf, essentially an Islamic police force, considerable leeway on controlling the Temple Mount. Among other things, the Waqf monitors dress and ensures that Jews and Christians don’t pray on the site. That latter provision has forced the Jews to pray at the Western Wall down below. As part of the trip to …

Left to Right:  Explorers Roald Amundsen (1872-1928), Ernest-henry Shackleton (1874-1922) and Robert Edwin Peary (1856-1920). Credit: Wikipedia

The first man-made global warming deniers — Scott and Shackleton?

Those in the man-made global warming camp have repeatedly tried to slag those who don’t agree with them as deniers, equating them with people who deny the Jewish holocaust. It is not about the issue of warming, because the earth has been regularly warming and cooling for centuries as part of its natural cycles, it is whether or not man is causing it. Just recently researchers from England’s University of Reading went through the log books of turn of the 19th-century Antarctic explores Earnest Shackleton and Robert Scott. They made a horrifying discovery for those embedded in the man-made global warming camp. Scott and Shackleton’s 100 year-old log books revealed that the Antarctic ice bed was basically the same size then, as it is today. This means despite the cries of ‘wolf,’ the Antarctic ice bed has not shrunk because of human activity. For those in the man-made global warming camp, melting of the polar ice caps because of CO2 is at the very core of their beliefs. This will cause sea levels to rise, …

Temple of Bel (Baa)l at Palymira, Syria prior to its destruction by ISIS in 2015 Credit: Egisto Sani/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Spirit of Baal in the end times

A strange thing happened in 2016, a company manufactured full-scale 3-d replicas of the gates of a Temple of Baal that once stood in Palmyra, Syria. ISIS destroyed the 2,000 year old temple in 2015. They installed arches this past spring in Trafalgar Square in London, England and later on September 19, 2016 at Times Square in New York City. The 48′ foot arch from the Baal temple has certainly proved controversial. Some wonder if it provided an opening or portal for the spirit of Baal in these two countries, much in the same way the building of temples for Baal and Asherah would have done in ancient Israel when Queen Jezebel set them up. In his article proposing this on Charisma News, author Michael Snyder suggests the setting up of the arch may have contributed to the rise in violence in America that we are recently seeing. Or maybe it is all just one big coincidence. Or, perhaps it is just a sign of the times — an indication of what is already happening …

Muslim quarter of Old Jerusalem. Credit: meghamama/Flickr/Creative Commons

2,700 year-old reference to Jerusalem discovered on a piece of papyri

On October 26, 2016, archaeologists announced they uncovered the earliest non-Biblical reference to Jerusalem. This proves once again that the indisputable Jewish connection to Jerusalem predates the Muslim arrival by thousands of years. They discovered the name Jerusalem on an ancient piece of papyri radio carbon dated to 7 BC that antiquity robbers had pillaged from Judean desert caves in the West Bank. This is the oldest extra-Biblical reference to Jerusalem found so far. The 2,700 year-old papyri was uncovered in an operation undertaken by Israel Antiquities Authority who became aware of the theft and mounted an operation to seize back the stolen antiquities before the robbers sold it on the black market. The small piece of papyri written in Hebrew reads “From the king’s maid servant, from Na’arat, jars of wine to Jerusalem.” Because the writer specifically calls herself a servant of the king, archaeologists suspect the document — referring to the transfer of two jars of wine to Jerusalem — was part of a tax payment. It was made during the reign of …

The Muslim Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem's Temple Mount Credit: James Kirpatrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

When national leaders choose to believe a lie

The Nation of Israel and Jews have been part of the Middle East for thousands of years. One of the earliest non-Biblical references to Israel is found on the Merneptah Stele in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt. The stele, a 10 foot high (3 meters) granite stone monument, was discovered in 1896 during archaeological work on the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes Also called the Israel Stele, it is dated to the reign of the Egyptian king Merneptah (1213 BC – 1203 BC). It outlines his various military victories. The last three lines list his defeat of Canaan including Israel: “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not;” Yet despite this find and thousands of other archaeological discoveries, in a recent UN vote Egypt along with 23 other nations passed a motion that effectively denies any Israeli connection to Jerusalem’s temple mount and Western Wall (the Jewish Wailing Wall). This  motion declaring the Temple Mount a purely Muslim site was passed in a 24-6 vote by the United Nations Educational and Scientific and …

Tim Tebow Credit: Duane Schoon/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does Tim Tebow ‘expect’ to heal the sick?

ABC News has a fascinating article on a recent incident involving Tim Tebow. A former Heisman Trophy winner (2007), NFL quarterback and TV announcer, Tim Tebow, 29, is a born-again Christian. He is very vocal about his faith and has come under attack because of this. With no NFL prospects, Tim recently tried professional baseball and ended up in the New York Mets organization playing with the Scottsdale Scorpions. Remarkably on the first pitch on his first time at bat, Tim hit a home run. The feat was widely reported in the media. But recently Tim gained more press while playing a game in the Arizona Fall League. He was signing autographs after the game when a person in the crowd had a seizure. ABC News wrote: Brandon Berry, who was in the front row, dropped to the ground as his mouth began to foam and his body convulsed in what was later determined to be a seizure. The violent shaking stopped, and Berry went limp. Tebow seeing what had happened approached the group who …

Propaganda painting of Adolph Hitler at the front (1942-43). Credit: James Vaughan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Was the world’s most evil man a false Christ that Jesus warned would appear in the end times?

24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24 NASV) In the days before His crucifixion, the disciples asked Jesus what signs they could expect to show the end times were upon them. Jesus warned of wars, famines and earthquakes. But the very first thing He mentioned was “false Christs and false prophets.” Jesus said people would show up claiming to be Christ (literally pseudochristos). They would be so deceptive that even the elect — the ones chosen by God — would be vulnerable to their influence. Wikipedia has compiled a list of people over the last 100 years who have claimed to be Jesus. It is by no means complete, but it includes some brilliant people such as an electrical engineer and even a former MI5 agents (England’s secret service). Some of the more notorious included David Koresh (1959-1993), who founded a religious group called Branch Davidian. He along with 75 followers died in a 1993 siege …

Tel Lachish from inside the city. Credit: Wikipedia/Liadmalone

Does an ancient toilet confirm 2 Kings 10:27?

27 They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day. (2 Kings 10:27 NASV) This verse tells the story of King Jehu eradicating Baal out Israel. After destroying the idols in one particular temple, Jehu ordered his men to set up a toilet in the Baal sanctuary. This transformation to an outhouse was the kings way of desecrating the temple and recent archaeological excavations suggest it was a common practice. Archaeologists working at the Tel-Lachish site in central Israel have made an amazing discovery. They found a toilet in an ancient Baal shrine. The site is dated to the reign of King Hezekiah (715BC to 686BC). This is the remains of the ancient city of Lachish mentioned several times in the Bible (2 Kings 14:17-19). Many consider it Judah’s second most important city behind Jerusalem. King Sennacherib of Assyria destroyed Lachish in 701AD during the reign of  Judah’s King Hezekiah. Hezekiah, one of Israel’s most prominent reforming kings, is listed in …

Ein Gedi Leviticus scroll. Credit: Dr. Brent Seales

Ancient Leviticus text reveals the accuracy of the Bible

Using a process called ‘virtual unwrapping,’ scientists were able to read the the text on a parchment destroyed in an ancient synagogue that burned down in 600 AD. The parchment was inside a box called the Holy Ark used by Synagogues to store Biblical scrolls. The scrolled parchment made up of five layers was found in 1970 in a synagogue discovered in the archaeological remains of a small Jewish community referred to as Ein Gedi on the coast of the Dead Sea. The whole town apparently burned down at the same time. Archaeologists stopped working on the scroll when it disintegrated at touch. It sat unstudied until University of Kentucky computer scientists scanned the charred parchment using a mico-CT scanner at the request of the Israeli Antiquity Authority. They basically used this to create digital images of the scroll and then flattened the sheets. Because the Jews used an ink with metal properties the scanners were able to easily pick out the Hebrew lettering. According to Breaking Israel News (BIN), the scroll contained text from …

Elijah confronting King Ahab and jezebel Credit: Painting by Sir Francis Dicksee (1853-1928)/Wikipedia

Dutch scholar convinced ancient seal belonged to Queen Jezebel

Dr. Marjo Korpel who now teaches Old Testament studies at Amsterdam and Groningen Universities in Holland has concluded an ancient seal discovered in Israel in 1964 actually belonged to Israel’s notorious, evil-Queen – Jezebel. Many consider Korpel to be a careful and respected researcher and her conclusions garnered a huge reaction in the archaeological community. The account — recorded in 1 and 2 Kings — tells the story of King Ahab’s marriage to Jezebel — a Phoenician princess. When Jezebel arrived to take her place at Ahab’s side, she brought a wedding present for her husband — 400 prophets of Asherah and 450 prophets of Baal. Almost immediately, two centers of idol worship popped up — one at each of Israel’s capital cities. A Baal temple was built in Samaria and at the main palace in Jezreel, Jezebel set up the temple of Asherah where the 400 prophets of Asherah served this deity and ate at the table of Jezebel (1 Kings 16:32, 33; 1 Kings 18:19). In the end, she dominated her husband and effectively …

The Magdala Stone: Credit: Hanay/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Does the Magdala Stone provide a clue to why Jesus was crucified?

The discovery of a small coin dated to 29 AD was tantalizing enough, but its discovery in an ancient synagogue found in Northern Israel along the Sea of Galilee has provided new understanding of ancient Judaism and even the Gospels. The site was uncovered during construction of a christian retreat center and spa for a Catholic order called the Legionnaries of Christ. The organization which trains men for the priesthood has a controversial reputation. Some accused the order of  being cult-like due to its regimented structure that during its early years forbid adherents from contacting their families. This policy has since been completely reversed. The coin confirms the synagogue’s existence during the time Jesus ministered in Galilee. He undoubtedly taught at this synagogue as the Lord regularly spoke at synagogues throughout Israel  (Luke 4:15). The town where the synagogue was discovered is the hometown of Mary Magdalene. She was a close follower, who Christ delivered of evil spirits. 2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, …

The beauty of creation. Credit: Max Norskog/Flickr/Creative Commons

Scientists who dissent on evolution

We are inundated constantly with messages on evolutionary theory. We see it referenced in movies, documentaries, newspapers, magazines, websites and even TV ads. Though flooded almost daily with this belief, many are unaware there is a growing list of scientists who openly question the very tenants of Darwin’s theory of evolution. This is happening because the evidence does not support the theory — one of the basic theorems of science. In fact, a website (www.dissentfromdarwin.org) was set up a few years ago specifically for scientists having second thoughts about Darwin’s theory of evolution. In order to join this prestigious list, one must have a doctorate in one of the sciences such as chemistry, physics or biology or be a medical doctor. The signers must willingly subscribe to this basic belief: “We are skeptical of claims of the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” This list — updated quarterly — is managed by the Discovery Institute and as …

Do the earliest references to Yahweh in Egypt confirm the Exodus? Credit: clubmed.co.uk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Egypt meets Yahweh: Another confirmation of the Exodus?

When we look at Biblical accounts there are many mentions of Egypt with the most prominent being Israel’s exodus out of that country under Moses. It was  a dramatic encounter that brought the full force of Yahweh against Egypt and its pharaoh who refused to let Israel leave. Similarly, there are several references to Israel in Egyptian records — from mentions on wall carvings and steles to papyris. According to Charles Aling the oldest reference is found on the Merneptah Stele dated to around 1208 BC that refers to a group of people called the Shasu. Aling who specializes in Egyptology is chairman of the History department at Northwestern College. The Egyptians referred to the Shasu several times through the centuries. The word is used to describe a semi-nomadic people who lived in Canaan. It is generally believed that Shasu incorporated all the Semitic people – descendants of Abraham — such as the Edomites, Ishmaelites, Moabites and Israelis. From the Egyptian records the Shasu were generally looked upon as enemies of Egypt and in one …

Asteroid -- Credit: Kevin Gill/Flickr/Creative Commons

Another near brush with the apocalypse?

The Apostle John was probably in his late 70s when Roman emperor Domitian banished this favorite of Jesus’ disciples to the Island of Patmos due to his Christian beliefs. It was on this idyllic island located off the coast of Turkey that God gave John a disturbing apocalyptic vision of the end times, that today we call the Book of Revelation. In his vision, John saw many strange things, but perhaps one of the most disturbing was a flaming mountain falling from the sky and hitting an ocean. 8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. (Revelation 8:8-9 NASV) The resulting devastation will be catastrophic. The size suggests this is not a meteorite strike, but rather an asteroid. Though we are accustomed to seeing meteors blazing through our atmosphere, if they reach earth without …

Workers sifting through the 400 truckloads of dirt hauled out of the Temple Mount as part of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. Photo: Zachi Dvira Pikiwiki Israel

Ancient flooring from Herod’s Temple discovered?

Archaeologists with the Temple Mount Sifting Project believe they have discovered the floor that made up the court-yard of Herod’s temple. This was the floor Jesus walked on when He visited the temple in the Gospels. They made the announcement at a news conference today. The first Jewish Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC, who then sent most of the Jews into captivity. After Persia’s King Cyrus conquered Babylon, he allowed the Jews under Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah to return to Israel and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. The construction of the smaller second temple started around 538 BC and was eventually completed in 515 BC (Ezra 6). Though it survived near destruction in 332 BC, after quelling a Jewish rebellion Antiochus IV Epiphanes (215 BC – 164 BC) desecrated this second temple by setting us an idol of Zeus inside it and sacrificing a pig. But the temple continued and it was this version that King Herod restored and expanded in 20 BC.  The transformation was …

Photo of Allepo, Syria (Photo Craig Jenkins Wikipedia/Creative Commons) where Muslim extremists captured Karla Mueller insert image (YouTube capture)

Despite ISIL’s torture and rape, Kayla Mueller refused to renounce Christ

On August 4, 2013, American Kayla Mueller, 24, from Prescott, Arizona was working as a humanitarian aid worker in Syria when ISIL captured her and a friend, Omar Alkhani, as they were leaving a Doctors without Borders hospital in Aleppo. Omar who was a contractor for Doctors without Borders was released a few weeks later. Meanwhile, hoping for a ransom, ISIS moved Kayla to various locations throughout Syria. In 2014, the Islamic extremists notified Kayla’s parents of their daughter’s kidnapping. However, nothing could be worked out and  after 18 months in a brutal captivity, Kayla died in February 2015 after an air strike by the Jordanian air force. Recently in an interview with ABC’s news program 20/20, four hostages who shared a cell with Kayla came forward with a story about her remarkable faith in Christ. It appears ISIL was purposefully trying to force Kayla to recant her faith. But in the face of the unrelenting torture, Kayla remained strong to the end. According to ABC, her torture included “verbal abuse, prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation, stress …

Model of Herod's Temple at the Israel Museum. Photo: Berthold Werner/Wikipedia

What will Israel’s third temple look like?

An interesting article on Breaking Israel News (BIN) recently caught my attention. I have reported previous how some Orthodox Jews in Israel are preparing for the construction of a third Temple – the first one being Solomon’s temple and the second built by King Herod that was in place during Jesus’s day and destroyed in 70 AD. A group of Orthodox based in Israel found the The Temple Institute (TTI) in 1987 to prepare for the construction of a third temple. TTI has already made a number of temple utensils (including a massive altar), ordered architectural drawings for a new temple and even started a school to train priests in how to make sacrifices. Their desire to build a third temple is based in part on an Old Testament prophecy found in Ezekiel. In a vision, God carries the Prophet Ezekiel to a future temple that is not remotely similar to either of the two temples previously constructed (Ezekiel 40). This leads some to conclude that God intends to have a third temple built. However, …

Coincidence or alarm bell? A stunning blood moon over Manhattan

On August 24, 2016, the British newspaper The Telegraph published photos of a stunning blood moon that appeared a day earlier over New York skyline. The incredible images were taken by Jennifer Khordi, a semi-professional photographer, from her spot 25 miles away in New Jersey. She described it as one of the “most amazing things I have ever seen.”  Others commented on the photos stating they had seen the same thing. You can see more of Jennifer’s stunning photos taken that night on her Instagram account and Facebook page. Then on that same day, August 24, 2016, websites around world started broadcasting news of a powerful earthquake that hit the province of Riete in the mountainous region of Italy. In a matter of hours the death toll climbed from 38 people to 120 then to 247, with more expected. The town of Amatrice, which is only 100 kms (60 miles) from Rome, was the epicenter of the quake. It was one of three villages severely hit. A tourist town according to Reuters, Amatrice was voted …

Left: A model of the Traditional perception of the Tabernacle of Moses (Bibleplaces.com); Right: Andrew Hoy's depiction of a six story Tabernacle (Diagram Andrew Hoy)

Will the real Tabernacle of Moses please stand up

You are probably familiar with drawings and even full-scale models (seen above on the left) displaying the Tabernacle of Moses. When Moses was given the instructions for the Tabernacle, most envisioned it as a small rectangular tent constructed to house the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 36:8 – 39:43). This tent building served Israel for nearly 400 years, sitting for 300 years at Shiloh, until Solomon constructed the Temple. There was just a brief interlude when David constructed a tabernacle for the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chronicles 15:1). But recently Andrew Hoy, a mechanical engineer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has challenged this traditional notion of what the Tabernacle looked like by suggesting it was instead a larger tent, nearly six stories high. According to Breaking Israel News, Hoy’s journey started when he left the Lutheran church he was attending in America to study Hebrew at a Jewish seminary in Israel. He wanted to learn the original language to better understand the Old Testament. As he looked at the passages describing the Tabernacle, he began to envision something much different from long-held …

Otranto harbour as seen from the castle. Photo: Marco Frattola/Flickr/Creative commons

Ancient beheadings — the Otranto martyrs

Most were shocked by the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians along the shores of the Mediterranean by Islamic extremists in early 2015. But this was not the first time, Muslims beheaded Christians for their faith. Six centuries ago, Muslims beheaded 813 Christian men in Otranto, Italy because they refused to convert to Islam. The Muslim Ottoman Empire had for decades being trying to take Europe and at one point controlled most of Spain. After conquering Constantinople (today called Istanbul, Turkey) in 1453, the Muslims set their sights on Southern Europe and ultimately Rome. Though many want us to focus on how horrid the Christian crusades were, they pale in comparison to he hundreds of battles initiated by the Muslims in their effort to conquer Europe. On July 28, 1480, over 130 Ottoman galleons and ships with 18,000 troops on board sailed into the Otranto harbour, today a quaint village on the southern coast of Italy, population 5,670. The castle that guarded the city in the 1400s still stands today. According to historians Arnaldi and Scirocco, the Muslims, led by Commander …

Galilean Sunset. You can see the Sea of Galilee in the distance. Photo: Dan Zelazo/Flickr/Creative commons

Matthew 9:35 receives its verification

A verse in the Gospel of Matthew has caused lots of problems. I don’t think Matthew gave it a second thought when he added it. He wrote: 35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (Matthew 9:35 NASV) But those opposed to Christianity have used this verse and other similar ones to discredit and even question Jesus’ ministry. Why? Because Matthew said Jesus had preached in the synagogues in the villages of Galilee and since no synagogues had been found in rural Galilee, it is argued they did not exist and the verse was a complete fabrication. And since it also talked about Jesus healing every type of sickness and disease, this called into question Christ’s ministry. But on August 9, 2016, the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology discovered a small rural synagogue dated to the second temple period confirming they did exist. This is the temple, built by King Herod, that …

Photo: Nick Kenrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

Evidence of Noah’s flood found in China?

In nearly every culture in the world, there are a stories from their ancient past of a massive flood that wiped out the world — from Eskimos in the Northern Arctic to aborigines in Australia. According to an article in the Washington Post, the Chinese have a story of a flood that covered their mountains and hills. Ancient Chinese emperor Yao wrote: “The flood is pouring forth destruction. Boundless and overwhelming, it over tops hills and mountains. Rising and ever rising, it threatens the very heavens.” Compare his account to how Genesis describes Noah’s flood: 18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. (Genesis 7:18-19 NASV) Recently archaeologists uncovered evidence of a massive flood that hit China about 4,000 years ago. This included the remains of small children trapped by the waters. Their dating would put it in the time frame of the …