All posts filed under: Bible

The Bible’s camel controversy

When people question the Bible, one thing that has been thrown out is the several references to camels in the Book of Genesis. It was actually the focus of an article by New York Times reporter, John Wilford entitled, Camels Had No Business in Genesis. Written in 2014, Wilford focussed on a study conducted by researchers at the University of Tel Aviv, who concluded that camels were not domesticated in Israel until the reign of King Solomon (971 BC-931 BC). So obviously any mentions of domesticated camels in the Promised Land prior to this date were just wrong and this includes those owned by the Patriarch Abraham who lived around 2100 BC. It may even suggest that the person who wrote Genesis lived during King Solomon’s time and just presumed that camels were in use during the time of Abraham. In other words, it was not Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible. But one thing that strikes me about the accuracy of the Bible is its focus on the smallest details. …

Is the Ark of the Covenant buried under the Temple Mount?

One of the major Old Testament mysteries surrounds the disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant that took place after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. Several passages list all the items that Nebuchadnezzar hauled out of the Jewish Temple, and none include any mention of the Ark of the Covenant, arguably the most important piece of furniture in the Temple (2 Kings 25:13-16). Many believe this omission reveals that before Jerusalem fell, the priests had managed to hide the Ark of the Covenant. But where did they hide it? Some believe the Ark might be hidden somewhere under the Temple Mount, which contains dozens of caves and labyrinths. Its location has since been lost because Nebuchadnezzar ordered the Jewish priests (including the High Priest) to be taken into captivity, where they were eventually executed (2 Kings 25:18-21). If they had hidden the ark, its location was gone with them. But Harry Moskoff, a researcher and author, states that he may have found the secret location of the Ark …

Does the Brooklyn Papyrus help confirm the Exodus story?

There is growing evidence that Israel’s exodus out of Egypt did not take place under Pharaoh Ramesses who ruled Egypt between 1279 -1213 BC as many traditionally believed, but actually took place a couple of hundred years earlier. It coincided with the time when the Egyptians were finally able to drive the Hyksos out of Egypt around 1550 BC. The Hyksos, a Semitic tribe, had invaded the northern half of the Nile Delta around 1800 BC, driving the Egyptian government south. And there is convincing evidence that Joseph and his family had settled in Egypt during the Hyksos rule after Joseph rose to power (Genesis 41:41). Of course, being Semitic, Joseph had a similar language and culture to the Hyksos which partially explains why he so quickly rose to second in command in Egypt after God anointed him. But that changed when Egyptian Pharaoh Ahmose I was able to drive the Hyksos out of Northern Egypt in 1550. The Bible describes him as the new king who ominously did not know Joseph (Exodus 1:8). Pharaoh …

How did King Saul die?

One of the ways that skeptics like to discredit the Bible is by pointing to what they allege are discrepancies involving stories that seem to contradict each other. One of the first things, I always do when confronting a contradiction is to ask the simple question, could all the different alternatives all be true. This leads us to a discussion on how King Saul died. We have four Biblical passages that seem to provide contradictory stories about his death. One says that King Saul killed himself by falling on his own sword, a second states that an Amalekite killed him, a third says the Philistines struck him down and a fourth that God killed Saul. So I want to briefly discuss these four accounts and ask could all these different descriptions be true? King Saul killed himself In 1 Samuel 31:3, we read the first and most comprehensive account of how King Saul died, where we are told he was severely wounded by archers in a battle with the Philistines. If you notice the plural …

After she died, the woman’s spirit left her body and she saw a blue tennis shoe on the hospital roof

The Bible talks about humans having a spirit and a physical body and this separate spirit, is essentially who we really are. And when the Bible speaks of body, soul, and spirit as Paul describes it in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, I believe this additional element, the soul, is what appears after our spirit merges with our physical body.

How God helped a US Congresswoman’s unborn baby survive a condition, that none survived before

An amazing story has emerged on the remarkable healing of Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s (R-Wa) baby. Faithwire reports shortly after announcing that she was expecting, doctor’s informed Beutler that her 22-week-old unborn baby would die because she was suffering from a lack of amniotic fluid and as well had no kidneys. It is a very rare condition called Potter’s Syndrome, and one that no baby had ever survived. “[The doctors] said … ‘Your baby has no kidneys, which means there’s no amniotic fluid in there, which means your baby is going to die. There is no chance your baby will live. No baby has ever survived this,’” Beutler told Faithwire. “There is nothing to describe getting news like that.” The doctors recommended an abortion. But abortion was not an option for Beutler and her husband, David, who are Christians, and they turned to prayer. A day after her diagnosis, Beutler received an email devotional discussing healing, and at that moment she felt God wanted her to ‘contend’ for their unborn child. Beutler sensed the Holy …

Was Jesus born in a cave?

Many might be surprised by the notion that Jesus was born in a cave, but essentially that is the claim being made by the Church of the Nativity, located in Bethlehem, that is built over the site of where it believes Mary gave birth to Jesus. The Lord’s actual birthplace was in a cave located below the church’s main altar, that can be accessed by two staircases on either side. In fact, the grotto where it claims Jesus was born is part of a larger network of caves that can be accessed from neighbouring buildings, but is now blocked by gates. But not everyone agrees that Christ was born in a cave. One common argument against it, is that Luke, who provided the most extensive narrative of the events surrounding Christ’s birth (Luke 2:1-21), does not mention a cave. Why didn’t he do this? It’s argued that Luke would have mentioned the cave if it was unusual. What was unusual to Luke, is that because there was no room in the inn, Joseph and Mary …

Biblical warfare: How Assyria conquered Lachish and how the Jews tried to defend it using a chain

Archaeologists from Israel and America have released a report confirming how the Assyria’s King Sennacherib was able to conquer the small Judean city of Lachish. The interesting battle, recorded in Isaiah, says during his invasion of Judah, the Assyrian King was able to conquer Lachish (Isaiah 36:1-2) and then surrounded the city of Jerusalem where Sennacherib’s representatives taunted the city and Judah’s King Hezekiah with its imminent destruction if Hezekiah didn’t surrender (Isaiah 36:4-24). After King Hezekiah called on God, the prophet Isaiah delivered a prophetic word that King Sennacherib would hear of trouble brewing causing him to withdraw and return to his homeland, which is exactly what happened (Isaiah 37:5-7). The archaeologists released a report on the remains of a massive ramp that the Assyrian army built up to the city’s walls, confirming details of the Lachish’s destruction found engraved on walls in Nineveh, which was then the Assyrian capital. The large wall carving, where Sennacherib brags about his defeat of Lachish, shows a huge ramp had been built up the city’s wall, located …

Anthropology confirms the Bible’s description of a race of GIANTS

As we read the Bible, we find several mentions of giant men. Of course, the most famous of these was Goliath. Throughout history, there have been stories of giant people. The Guinness Book of Records states that the tallest man on record was an Illinois man, Robert Pershing Wadlow, who grew to a size of 8’11”. In this instance, Wadlow’s giant size was due to problems with his pituitary gland that resulted in an inordinate release of growth hormones. Reports suggest that Wadlow was still growing when he died at 22 years of age in 1940 due to an infection. But as we look at the Biblical record, we see that the Bible was not talking about one offs, a person here or there who reached extraordinary size due to glandular problems, it talked about a race(s) of giants known as the Nephilim. The first reference to the Nephilim is found in the Book of Genesis, in the lead up to the worldwide flood: 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when …

Have archaeologists found the location of Mt Horeb, where Moses delivered the Ten Commandments?

There has been some interesting archaeological developments recently challenging long held Christian views on Israel’s exodus from Egypt under Moses. If you want to find archaeological evidence of Israel’s departure from Egypt, you need to look about 300 years earlier to the reign of Pharaoh Ahmose I (1550-1525 BC) rather than Pharaoh Ramesses II (1279 BC to 1213/12 BC) who has traditionally been considered the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The Ipuwer Papyrus dated to 1550 BC, provides a breakdown of several of the plagues mentioned in Book of Exodus. And now archaeologists are suggesting there is evidence of the location of Mt Horeb, also referred to as Mt Sinai, where Moses delivered the Ten Commandments, but it requires a major rethink of where it took place. Most Christians believe that Mt Horeb is located somewhere in today’s Sinai Peninsula. Though there has been no archaeological evidence supporting this, that isn’t necessarily unexpected because the Israelis were living in tents and would have left a very small footprint for archaeologists to discover. But according to researchers …

How can Christians argue with Atheists? 

How do you feel about Atheism? In 2011, four men who argue for Atheism met in the home of one member of the group, and talked freely. They have been described as the “Four Horsemen of the New Atheism.” After their meeting, they continued to argue against religion and they opposed any belief in God. The New Atheists are known to be aggressive and preachy, and they have been called fundamentalists and evangelicals for their beliefs. At first, the aggressive Atheists opposed Christianity, and they seemed like a sect of disaffected Christians. Recently. Some of them spoke against the religion of Islam, and that didn’t work for them. They are now accused of “Islamophobia” which is socially unacceptable prejudice. Some aggressive Atheists have been criticized and rejected because of their opinions about Islam, and the New Atheism movement is struggling now, a victim of political correctness.  They did much better when they only attacked Christians. READ: The New Atheism If you want a sample of how aggressive Atheists speak, here are some recent titles: Why …

Dealing with a Bible discrepancy: How long was Israel in Egyptian captivity, 200 years or 430 years?

In this article I want to deal with what appears to be a discrepancy in the Bible between how long Israel was in Egyptian captivity before they started their journey to the Promised Land under Moses. In the Book of Exodus, we are told that Israel was captive in Egypt for 430 years: 40 Now the time that the sons of Israel had lived in Egypt was 430 years. (Exodus 12:40 NASV) However, in Galatians, the Apostle Paul writes that the 430 years starts from the time that God first gave his promise to the Patriarch Abraham to the end of their Egyptian captivity: 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as one would in referring to many, but rather as in referring to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came 430 years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it …

An ancient description of the Garden of Eden from the ruins of Ebla?

When we study the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis, we have record of several significant events. It starts with the creation account, the garden of Eden, man’s fall into sin, a record of men and women living for nearly 1,000 years and the flood. But according to the Bible, the defining moment in human history took place at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, when God broke humans apart by imposing different languages. This resulted in the formation of different cultures and nations. But it is important that we understand this point. Though the Tower of Babel led to cultures developing their own unique history, everything prior to Babel was still common history to all groups. And this is why we have stories of a massive flood in cultures around the world, from places as far away as Hawaii to China. We also have accounts of people living long lives in Babylonian literature, and as well in the ancient histories of the Romans, Greeks, Indians and even the Chinese. Some of …

What Hurricane Ida tells us about the parting of the Red Sea

The Mississippi River is the second-longest river in North America flowing 2,320 miles (3,730 km) from Minnesota’s Lake Itasca in the Northern US to the Gulf of Mexico. It drains water from 32 states and two Canadian provinces. And when it comes to water volume, it ranks as the 14th largest river system in the world. And an interesting story emerged out of Hurricane Ida that smashed the state of Louisiana over the weekend with winds reaching 150 mph (240 km/h). Ida snapped trees, dumped two feet of rain in some areas, whipped up seven foot storm surges, tore roofs off buildings and knocked out power to all of New Orleans, leaving one million people without electricity. But in the midst of this destruction a strange thing happened. According to a report by the US Geological Survey (USGS), for a two-hour period on Sunday (Aug 29, 2021), Hurricane Ida actually reversed the flow of the Mississippi River, causing it to flow up stream. According to the USGS, prior to Ida’s arrival, the Mississippi River was pouring  300,000 cubic …

How a Jewish Navy Sailor found Christ after reading the forbidden chapter in the Bible

In an interview with One for Israel Ministry, a Jewish man, named Israel, shared how he became a Christian while serving in the US Navy. And specifically, it was one chapter in the book of Isaiah that challenged him to believe Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. Israel had grown up in a Jewish home and at his Bar Mitzvah, the Rabbi warned Israel against believing in Jesus and as well told him never to read the New Testament, because it was just for gentiles. When he joined the US Navy in 1960, he tried fitting in with the other sailors by drinking and cavorting with the girls, but this only violated his conscience and made him feel guilty. At the time, the US Navy was giving Bibles to the sailors according to their faith. There were Bibles for Catholics and protestants and Jews also received their own Bible, the Tanakh, that only contained the Old Testament. But when one of his fellow sailors encouraged Israel to read Isaiah 53, that talks about the suffering of …

Egyptian farmer stumbles upon tablet of obscure Pharaoh mentioned in the Bible

There have been hundreds of archaeological discoveries confirming the accuracy of the Old and New Testaments, but the ones I appreciate the most are those that confirm the obscure mentions, where an individual whose name is only mentioned once in the Bible is confirmed by archaeology. Even the smallest of details is accurate. In the Book of Jeremiah, the prophet warned Judah that with Babylon poised to invade the country as part of God’s judgment, the Jews should simply give up, and they would be treated mercifully by their Babylonian captors. However, false prophets rose up who told the King of Judah to resist the Babylonians and God would bring a great victory. They were wrong. Part of this resistance included King Zedekiah asking an Egyptian Pharaoh by the name of Hophra to help Judah resist Babylon. Hophra failed and Jerusalem was conquered and the people of Judah were hauled off into captivity. 30 This is what the Lord says: ‘I am going to deliver Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hands of his enemies …

If God Does Not Exist Then Injustice Does Not Exist

By Dr. Michael L. Brown I recently had a friendly online debate with a former Muslim known as Apostate Prophet (called AP for short). The subject was, “Does God Exist?” In my opening comments, I stated that I did not specialize in debating this issue and that I realized that arguments that seemed compelling to me would be mocked by many atheists. Conversely, I stated that I have listened to the best arguments of atheists and said to myself, “Are you kidding me? Is this the best you have to offer?” (For similar reflections from a Christian apologist on the weakness of atheistic arguments, see Tom Gilson’s recent article here.) So, I made clear from the start that my goal was not to convince the viewers that my view was right. Rather, it was to explain to them why I was 100 percent sure that God is real, especially since so much of my faith is based on my own life experiences rather than on abstract philosophical arguments . To make my case, I gave …

Arrowheads discovered confirming ancient battle for the Philistine city of Gath

For Bible readers, the Philistine city of Gath is best known as the home town of Goliath, a 9+ foot giant in the Philistine army who was taken down by a young boy, named David, with a sling (1 Samuel 17:4). It was also the city that Joshua had earlier described the city as being home to giants (Joshua 11:22). Archaeologists with Bar-Ilan University have been working at the ancient city of Gath, located 21 miles west of Bethlehem, for several years and now believe it was one of the largest cities of that time. According to an article published in Near Eastern Archaeology, they believe they have found evidence supporting the Bible’s narrative that the city was besieged and successfully captured by King Hazel of Aram, an attack recorded in 2 Kings: 17 About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. (2 Kings 12:17 NIV) Archaeologists working at the site known as Tel-es-Safi/Gath discovered bone arrowheads and as well a workshop where …

How a DNA study the media claimed disproved the Bible actually proved it

In an article written in 2017, the popular British newspaper, The Telegraph, claimed that an analysis of DNA of a 3,700-year-old Canaanite woman proved that the Bible was wrong. The publication was citing a study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics stating that the woman’s DNA was closely related to the DNA of people living in Lebanon. In its article, The Telegraph explains: The ancient Canaanites survived a divine call for their elimination and went on to become modern-day Lebanese, a study finds. In other words, the descendants of the Canaanites were alive and well nearly 4,000 years later, so obviously the Bible made a huge mistake stating the Canaanites had been wiped out. And, it wasn’t just The Telegraph, several mainstream media outlets joined in to take shots at the Bible. Here is a sampling of a few of the headlines: The Bible was WRONG: Civilization God ordered to be KILLED still live and kicking: Express Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out: The Daily Mail …

‘Foreign Accent Syndrome’ and the Tower of Babel

In 1941, a young Norwegian woman suffered a serious head injury after being hit by shrapnel during a German air raid during World War II. Though the woman recovered a bizarre thing happened when she began speaking Norwegian with a German accent. It was so noticeable that her fellow Norwegians began to avoid and shun her. She experienced what today is referred to as Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) that occurs when people who have experienced stroke or severe head trauma begin speaking their native tongue with a distinctive and recognizable accent. It is a rare condition, first mentioned in 1907 by a French Neurologist named Pierre Marie, and since 1941 there have been approximately 100 cases of FAS. In 2013, the BBC did a documentary on a woman from England who went to a hospital in 2010 after experiencing a severe migraine. When she woke up the next morning, Sarah Colwill was speaking with a Chinese accent, that was so noticeable that others mocked her accent and would ask her to make fried rice. In …

Debating an evangelical turned atheist, Muslim apologist, and more

By Dr. Michael L. Brown Earlier on Tuesday (April 6), I had the distinct joy and privilege of recording four TV shows for a new series I’m hosting called “That’s Debatable with Dr. Brown.” It will air on the new AWKNG TV network, hopefully starting sometime next month. The debates we recorded covered four different subjects: 1) Has the Church Replaced Israel? 2) Are There Valid Reasons to Leave Christianity? 3) Does the God of the Bible Exist? 4) The Quran or the Bible: Which Is the Word of God? The guests included an Anglican vicar, a former Charismatic Christian turned agnostic, a former evangelical turned atheist, and a Muslim apologist. On Wednesday (April 7), I’m scheduled to do four more debates, one with a gay pastor on Jesus and LGBTQ+ people, one with a transgender pastor on affirming trans identities, one with a progressive Christian on abortion, and one with a questioning Christian on divine healing. This means that, aside from one or two of the shows, none of the other guests share my …

More Dead Sea Scroll fragments of the Bible discovered

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is reporting that archaeologists have found nearly two dozen fragments from the Book of Zechariah and Nahum in a cave known as the “Cave of Horrors” that was originally discovered in the 1950s in connection with the Dead Sea Scrolls. In 2017, the IAA decided to re-visit these caves over concerns that looters were working the caves. To access the Cave of Horrors, archaeologists had to repel down a 260-foot cliff. The cave got its name from the skeletons of 40 men, women and children that had taken refuge in the cave hiding from Roman soldiers during the second century Jewish revolt that took place between 132 AD and 136 AD. Archaeologists also found the remains of a Roman camp near the cave leading some to speculate that they knew the Jews were in the cave and simply decided to starve them out. And though the cave had not been studied for nearly 60 years, this second effort proved worthwhile. In addition, to discovering fragments of the Bible, they also …

Jerusalem’s Pilgrim road was built by Pilate, and it was a sign of things to come

Archaeologists have determined that a road thought to have been originally constructed by King Herod Agrippa (41 AD to 44 AD) was actually built by Pontius Pilate who was governor of Judea from 26 AD to at least 37 AD. Agrippa was the grandson of King Herod who ruled at the time of Christ’s birth. Known as the Jerusalem Pilgrim Road, it is a popular tourist site for both Jews and Christians. The stepped road, that was over a third of a mile long (600 meters), started at the Pool of Siloam (a mikveh or ritual bath) near the southern gates of the city and travelled up to the Jewish temple. And we see a reference to the upward incline in Acts 3:1, when we are told that Peter and John were going “up” to the Temple. Jews used this road for pilgrimages to the Temple during three of the feasts, Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. Josephus estimated that upwards of two million would visit Jerusalem during those festivals. Jewish pilgrims started their …

Evidence that the Jewish Temple existed on the Temple Mount

In recent decades, there have been several making the outrageous claim that the Jews have no right to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, because the Jews never had a Temple. In addition to several Muslim scholars, you also have atheists and those with a left-wing political agenda making this and similar claims. In an article entitled, Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem, the New York Times describes the growing controversy on the Temple’s existence noting: “Temple denial, increasingly common among Palestinian leaders, also has a long history: After Israel became a state in 1948, the Waqf removed from its guidebooks all references to King Solomon’s Temple, whose location at the site it had previously said was “beyond dispute.”” Of course, the Bible clearly states that the Jews actually built two Temples on Mount Zion, including the first Temple built by King Solomon, destroyed in 587 BC, and a second Temple built by Ezra that later underwent major renovations by King Herod. That Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. …

What happened to those extra books in the Bible?

Someone phoned me, the other day, and asked me a question I did not expect. He wanted to know about the extra Bible books, the ones Protestants don’t include in their Bibles. There are at least seven extra books in Roman Catholic Bibles, and even more in Orthodox Bibles. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the most liberal, with the most books in their official Bible. Strangely, this is an issue for many young people today. I thought this was a boring topic that only a few scholars cared about, but now we have a younger generation, and they have questions. When was the last time you had a conversation about the Apocrypha, the Deuterocanonical Books, or the Septuagint? Me neither. The question from my friend was from someone who doesn’t read the Bible, I think. He never mentions it. The question about those extra books is like a challenge; ‘If you people can’t decide on the official version, I won’t start reading the Bible.’ We talked, and I hope the conversation was useful to him. …

First example of the ancient ‘Royal Purple’ found in Israel

According to report in the Daily Mail, archaeologists working in the Timma Valley in Southern Israel have discovered the remains of a fabric that was coloured in royal purple. This was the first time an example of this expensive and rare colouring has been discovered. It was apparently preserved because of the area’s dry climate. This ancient purple was reknown for its ability to hold its colour for long period of times. According to radio carbon testing the fabric was 3,000 years old. Purple was extremely rare because it was produced in small amounts from a gland inside the mollusks found in the Mediterranean Sea. Each gland produced the equivalent of a single drop of the dye and according to reports it took about four million mollusks to produce a pound of dye. At times, the purple dye was so expensive, it cost more than gold. As a result of its rarity and expense, the colour quickly became associated with royalty in Biblical times. Speaking for the Israel Antiquities Authority, Naama Sukenik stated: ‘This is …

The Discovery of an ancient description, ‘Christ, born of Mary,’ hints to an earlier battle with heresy

Israeli archaeologists working in the Jezreel Valley recently announced that they found an ancient description of Jesus dated to the fifth century. It was found in the remains of a Byzantine Church located near the village of et-Taiyiba. Curiously, the phrase, “Christ, born of Mary,” may hint of a great theological battle that raged in the early church a couple of centuries earlier. The Greek inscription, that was carved on stone and appeared on top of the entrance, reads in full: “Christ, born of Mary. This work of the most God-fearing and pious bishop [Theodo]sius and the miserable Th[omas] was built from the foundation… Whoever enters should pray for them.” According to Dr. Leah Di-Segni who works at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the phrase “Christ, born of Mary” was used by the people to ward off curses associated with an evil eye. As part of this, people often included this phrase in letters they were sending to friends. One of the persons mentioned in the greeting was Theodosius, the archbishop for the area around …

Does a ritual bath confirm the location of the Garden of Gethsemane?

Oddly, the discovery of a ritual bath, also known as a mikveh, at the Church of Gethsemane (officially called The Church of All Nations and the Basilica of the Agony) may confirm that this is the site of the Garden of Gethsemane that was visited often by Jesus and His disciples The church and associated garden, located outside the walls of Old Jerusalem, is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Israel and is typically visited by millions each year. The word Gethsemane means oil press and its location at the base of the Mt of Olives makes sense as the ancient Jews built their oil presses near where the olives were grown to limit handling and transportation. Both Mark (Mark 14:32-42) and Mathew (Matthew 26:36-56) referred to it as Garden of Gethsemane which would suggest the garden contained an oil press. Speaking for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), archaeologist Amit Re’em explains: “Two thousand years ago, it was a field outside the walls of Jerusalem, full [of] olive trees and in the middle of …

Shaking bridge?

In Hebrews 12:27, the writer talks about a day coming when everything that can be shaken, will be shaken. Just make sure you are not on a bridge when it happens. On Nov. 30, 2020, people were stopped from using New York’s Verrazzano-Narrow Bridge because of high winds:

Seven modern misconceptions about the original Christmas story

When we listen to Christmas carols and read our Christmas cards, we sometimes get the wrong impression about what really took place on the day Jesus was born. The following are seven modern misconceptions about the events surrounding the birth of Christ. None of these take away from the miracle that took place that day. 1. Jesus was not born on December 25th Look there is nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25. As we read the Biblical account, the Lord’s birth was obviously a significant event and was very much celebrated. But it did not take place on December 25th. The fact that shepherds were in their fields when Jesus was born, suggests that Christ was probably born during spring lambing. So how did we end up with Dec. 25? Well, that was the result of the compounding of an earlier mistake. One of the first festivals initiated by the Roman Catholic Church was the Assumption of Mary, that celebrated her conception by the Holy Spirit. They set that date …

Did Balaam prophesy about the Star of Bethlehem?

Balaam was an interesting Old Testament character. He was some type of diviner, perhaps soothsayer or sorcerer, whom King Balak of Moab hired to curse Israel before an upcoming battle. During the several prophecies that Balaam delivered, there was one that many believe referred to the star that showed up announcing Christ’s birth. Now obviously Balaam had a reputation as a seer, for Balak to be willing to purchase his services. And Balaam’s international fame was confirmed by Dutch archaeologists who found a text written about Balaam on a plastered wall dated to around 1200 BC in the ancient town of Deir Alla located in Jordan. The text was actually written by the Canaanites and spoke Balaam, son of Beor three times in the first four lines, exactly as the Bible describes him (Numbers 22:5). In this inscription, Balaam is referred to as a seer of the gods indicating he was well known and revered among the gentiles. The text also provides several of Balaam’s curses that suggests this was his specialty and apparently, these …