Saturday, April 9, 2011

A New "Ancient" Text

It seems that the wonderful world of science has been hard at work in making history; 10,000+ year old history to be exact. There has been a finding of an ancient piece of pottery which is believed to be from the historical town called Neta'im mentioned in the Holy Bible in 1st Chronicles 4:23.

It is widely accepted by scholars who study both the Dead Sea Scrolls (At Qumran) and the equally ancient Nash Papyrus, believe that papyrus: "A material on which to write made from the pith or the stems of this sedge, used especially by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans." It is mostly by faith that people, myself included, believe that the 10 Commandments were in fact written on stone tablets prior to Oral Tradition. Concerning the ancient, world this is one of the oldest documents we have, and it was written on pottery.

Thanks to MSNBC and, I have more access to the information that does not require knowledge in how to read ancient Hebrew.

"1' you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord]. 

2' Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an] 
3' [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and] 
4' the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king. 
5' Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.
Provided by University of Haifa"

This writing is believed to be dictated or maybe even written by King David himself. What is later transcribed by the artistic community of Potters is the ancient artifact that the University of Haifa now possesses. This village was believed to be near the Elah Valley, where David reigned over Israel and near by Philistine territory. If this evidence is indeed authentic then this places the findings close to the 10th century B.C, indicating that the Kingdom of Israel is much older than the scientific community previously believed by a couple of hundred years.

What is very important to us, as readers on the History of the Word, is the fact that this could be a small representation of many other forms of art (paintings, music, statutes, etc.) that contain Holy Scripture. The principles above are definitely accurate to the world-view and in accordance with Ancient Israelites (from our experience with the Holy Bible attestation). It would be several thousand years before the Holy Bible was given form by the Printing Press, but it is sincerely amazing to see how the Ancient World can still show us so many new things, and update our knowledge of the Word.

God bless, and Shalom!


Spiritual Corner:  As you may, or may not know, this is the segment of the Blog dedicated to those who truly believe that the Word of God, a.k.a the Holy Bible, is a Living Word that speaks to us... This is for those who are willing to listen.

"11 When I had commanded judges to administer my people Israel. I‘ll also grant you relief from all your enemies. The LORD also announces to you: The LORD will himself build a house for you.
12 When your life is complete and you go to join your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who will come forth from your body, and I will fortify his kingdom.
13 He will build a Temple dedicated to my Name, and I will make the throne of his kingdom last forever."
- 2 Samuel 7: 11-13 (International Standard Version 2011)

The Word of God is a Word that speaks through the ages, that transcends space and time. Contrary to popular belief, God does appoint "judges" to watch and administer over His people. This is why God always makes it a point to be careful how we judge, because if we judge in wickedness, God will judge us for our wickedness and if we judge by showing favoritism, God would not show us any favor when we are judged.

The Lord promises "relief from all your enemies" because up until this point, David (now anointed as King over Israel) had been faithful in all his ways. He did not dare to strike the previous king Saul down when he had several opportunities to do so. He did not show partiality in his judgment, but judged according to God's ways. He praised and honored God during victory and even the hard times. So by his faith and his actions, God then promised to his servant David that his house would be established forever! Was it to come through his son Solomon?

King Solomon built a house for God, the 2nd Temple, because of the destruction of the 1st Temple. This came about because of David's transgressions, because he was the greatest King with the cleanest example, but he was far from perfect. He was still a man, and like the rest of humanity, we sometimes make mistakes, even when following God in all His ways. So the Lord made this announcement, that He Himself would build a house for David.

So if it was not a promise to establish the house of David forever, or his son Solomon, because neither of them by their wisdom or righteousness could build God's house, then who could this be? When David would be resting in Paradise (when he is resting and joins his ancestors in the Bosom of Abraham) then God will raise up David's offspring after him. Now one thing I know is that God's ways are not our ways, and his time is not our time. So if there has not been one raised from David *or raised from Paradise* and from the body of David, then it may never come to pass because David's Kingdom no longer exists right?

Well Jesus Christ is called the Righteous Branch of David, the "Offspring of David," the "Seed of David," and the "Son of David." How can he be the Son of God and the son of David at the same time? What living man can rule forever and establish a kingdom forever much less keep peace and joy in the kingdom forever? It could only be someone who can live forever, and who's kingdom is infallible, indestructible, and established until the end of days.

"6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder,
and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the growth of his government and peace there will be no end. He will rule over his kingdom,
sitting on the throne of David, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies will accomplish this." - Isaiah 9: 6-7 (International Standard Version 2011) 

Amen & God Bless you all! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Joshua: Successor to Moses

     Previously on "History of the Word," we discussed the importance of the father of Western religion, Moses of Canaan. Now I will move my focus to his successor, Joshua son of Nun, who inherited the responsibility of leading a distressed people into the promised land.

His Hebrew name was Yehoshua (which means "Yahweh is Salvation" or "Jehovah is Salvation") but was renamed similarly to the story of Abram being renamed to Abraham (by God) and how Jacob was renamed to Israel by the Angel of God (believed by some to be Jesus Christ).

It would seem that unlike Moses, who got his start as a simple Shepard tending to his Father-in-law's flock (Jethro), Joshua was one of the 12 Spies sent out to scout & gather information on the promised land (Canaan). Then he was chosen as a Warrior to fight for Israel: "8The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."" in Exodus 17: 8-9. According to the Holy Bible, Joshua was a very accomplished youth even before he took up leadership of  God's chosen people Israel.

Similarly to Moses, there are scholars who will debate that the accounts of Joshua are not written by Joshua himself, and that it is part of a "Deuteronomistic History"; this is basically an explanation of one of the 4 writers believed to be the main contributors to what we call the Old Testament. One such argument is that Joshua was completed in the Babylonian Exile (around 606 B.C) because of the similarities found between the writings in the Book of Joshua and the later writings of the Minor Prophets in the Babylonian Exile.

One thing that is very interesting to note is that the 10 Commandments given through the predecessor to Joshua is believed to have been written in stone. Much like the stone tablets that were written by the very hand of God Himself, there was a stone given as a gift to the Pharoah of Egypt called the "Merneptah Stele" This is archeological evidence of Israel being mentioned by an Egyptian Pharoah which has many scholars having to re-evaluate their stance on the historical accuracy of the Holy Bible, including the story of Moses and Joshua.


Spiritual Corner:  As you may, or may not know, this is the segment of the Blog dedicated to those who truly believe that the Word of God, a.k.a the Holy Bible, is a Living Word that speaks to us... This is for those who are willing to listen.

"13 Now it happened that while Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and much to his amazement, he saw a man standing in front of him, holding a drawn sword in his hand! Joshua approached him and asked him, “Are you one of us, or are you with our enemies?”
14 “Neither,” he answered. “I have come as commander of the LORD’s Army.”Joshua immediately fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, saying to him, “Lord, what do you have for your servant by way of command?”
15 The commander of the LORD’s Army replied to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you’re standing is holy.” So Joshua did so." - Joshua 5: 13-15
(International Standard Version 2011)

Jericho was a mighty city with fortified walls, and trained soldiers who thought themselves to be invincible. The people in the land of Canaan, if you believe the scripture is the Word of God and is truth, were very sinful and wicked in God's eyes. In fact he promises Israel that it is ONLY for that reason that He has chosen Israel to conquer these mighty nations who rejected God, not because they are special.

The great thing about the Lord our God, is that even despite the circumstances, God rewards people according to their heart (birth place of thoughts) and actions. Now who did Joshua see when he looked up? To his amazement he saw a man standing right in front of him. Though he had a sword drawn, and could have easily killed Joshua, the "man" instead chose to speak. Joshua, being confused and frightened, then approached asked him (overcoming his own fear) if this man was for, or against Israel.

The man responded "Neither" and this confirms that God does not go back on His Word. He promised us that: "For the LORD your God is the God of all gods, the LORD of all lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who does not show favoritism or take bribes." - Deuteronomy 10:17. This means that despite Israel being chosen as Holy, and Joshua being a Holy man among the Holy people, that even a man as respected as Joshua was not spared from lowering himself before this "man" from God.

This "man" came "as" the commander of the LORD's Army - That word 'as' indicates that He is not always the Commander of the Lord's Army. What is seen through the Revelation of the Holy Spirit, is that Joshua was obeying God enough to recognize that this was no ordinary "man." He fell to his face (showing complete humility) and worshiped him (Something that God strictly commands his children not to do to ANY thing/one/place/etc. that is not God) ~ This shows us that he recognized that this wasn't just a simple "man", but this "man" was God Himself the Lord of Hosts. Yet when we have a personal experience with God, we try to stand in His presence as if He was a "man." Joshua is teaching us here how to communicate and behave with God (being a great leader but remembering that he is but a servant to God's eyes), and how to gain favor from the Lord, because He didn't come to be on Israel's side, nor on Jericho's.

So God then commands him to remove his sandals from his feet because this is a holy place. Where exactly is this holy place? Did it matter that it was near Jericho, or could it have been near the Great Wall of China, by the Mayan pyramids, or in Easter Island? What God is showing us here is SO important. It is not an area that is Holy, but the area where God has chosen to dwell among His people and where the people have chosen to obey Him that makes it Holy. You may have heard "Oh this is a holy place" in the past, and that's great. However if that place is disobedient to God or hypocritical, why would God come into that place?

The reason that God appeared to Joshua is because  he WAS obedient, he was faithful, and he had all the new Israelites circumcised (in accordance to the Law of Moses) at Gilgal the day before.

Let those with eyes see what the Spirit of God has to teach them, and those with ears hear what the Lord has spoken! Amen. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Moses and the Israelites

It would be foolish of me to continue talking about the origins and history of the Word, without giving an honorable mention to the first man to receive the written Word from God Himself. Let's talk about Moses. He was the son of a Levite (the people chosen to be priests by God) woman, given up to the river to be found by Pharaohs daughter and raised by her Hebrew maidservant.

Now before Moses was a chosen leader by God, he did some questionable things (such as killing the Egyptian slave driver who was beating his fellow Hebrews) that some may view as early world terrorism but most would agree was heroic with the desire to free his captive people. Eventually God spoke to Moses and commanded Him to lead Israel out of slavery and into the promised land by way of miraculous signs and divine favor from God Himself. God warns him of not allowing anyone else other than Aaron to come up to meet Him in Exodus 19: 20-23 because if they did they would die by rousing God's anger(which we later find out could kill a mortal being in Exodus 33: 18-23).

Now who exactly is this man Moses that could speak face to face with God, and make such incredible demands such as "Now show me your glory" and still live? God even told him that if anyone shall see His face, they will surely die. Was he simply a Warrior which was lead to free his enslaved brothers, a true Prophet of God, a Magician with good intentions, or was he something more? Well speaking from a faith perspective, this man is the corner stone and example for ALL of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and a few other faith systems such as Bahá'í faith.

Historically the man Moses, or Moshe Rabbenu (our teacher/rabbi in modern Hebrew), is believed (by some scholars) to be a historical "fiction hero" who's origin and story are complete fabrications. There are other scholars who would argue that a "Moses-like-figure" would have been more accurately told from the perspective of the Canaanites exile from slavery in Egypt circa 1250-1200 B.C. Still there are others who attest to Moses being made up during the Persian empire.

For all intents and purposes we only have the testimony of Moses, which if certain scholars were correct, would deal a crippling blow to every faith that is Abrahamic and that believes in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel. While many a skeptic and atheist alike would love this to be true, what can be said for the 2.8 billion + people who have followed this same God and been lead to the promised results (be they good for obedience or bad for disobedience)? Are we all having a huge trans-hallucinogenic experience, or are we collectively experience a Law system, given to us by Moses, which is not only Divine, but also has resulted in the peace, love, joy, growth, and healing power that is God's written Word?

I can't speak for the atrocities committed by so-called Christians, Muslims, and Jews, but I can speak for a small but true population who actually live according to the Word of God and have experienced His promises and His favor in life. The choice is yours!

God bless, and thank you for your time!


Spiritual Corner:  As you may, or may not know, this is the segment of the Blog dedicated to those who truly believe that the Word of God, a.k.a the Holy Bible, is a Living Word that speaks to us... This is for those who are willing to listen.

"And he said, "Hear my words: When there are prophets among you, I the Lord make myself known to them in visions; I speak to them in dreams.
7Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house.8With him I speak face to face—clearly, not in riddles; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"" - Numbers 12: 6-8 (New Revised Standard; 3rd Book of Moses)

The Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is speaking to two of his other chosen prophets (who are the siblings of Moses) Aaron and Miriam. It is understood both historically and spiritually, that Aaron and Miriam were also prophets who heard/dreamed/seen the Will of God and would speak it to the people. What was the purpose of this? The role of the prophet was simple, it was to speak what God wanted His people to do, and to lead them to a life of prosperity in the spirit, and then the flesh.

"Hear my words" - Is a command from God letting us know that He is speaking to them now. We see how a Prophet of God communicates with the Lord by means of visions or dreams (day/night dreams). So God does not speak to them directly, but He still speaks to them which is a great privilege and an honor. To KNOW that the God who created all of the universe  has even taken a moment to speak to a lowly mortal is a gift by itself...

"Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house." - So obviously God does NOT speak via dreams or visions with Moses. Well doesn't that mean that God is playing favorites? God forbid because the Lord shows us in the Torah and later in the book of Romans: "For God does not show favoritism." Why then would God entrust Moses with ALL of His house? What is His house in the first place? God's House is where two or more honor, exalt, and worship His Holy name, but in this context, it is the House of Israel.

There is a reason that God speaks face-to-face, and clearly as opposed to riddles which must be studied and deciphered. Do you want to know why God said that Aaron and Miriam should be afraid to speak badly about Him? What I will show you now is something that isn't taught in most congregations but is the secret to being honored by God and favored in all your ways in real life. The reason why God made Moses the one to be entrusted with all of Israel, and why no one should curse his name is because of this:

"Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth." - Numbers 12:3

It's all about being humble. More so than anyone who was alive at the time, God choose Moses because He was humble. He was not perfect and he was made of the same flesh and blood that we all share, but it was his true humility that made him highly honored and protected by God Himself... So if you want true blessings from God, it's time to be humble and be like Moses (which is exactly how Jesus Christ elaborates on how we should behave), and you will be blessed and entrusted with treasures from God that you never thought possible!

Amen & God bless :) 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What's in a Canon?

What is in a canon anyway? The best definition for canon, as I am using it, is "an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture." There are many different "authorities" who dictate what canon is accurate and which ones are not.

In this look of the "History of the Word," I want to share with you how it is that world religions based on Abraham chose their Holy Books. What today is observed as the Holy Bible did not happen easily (from a historical-critical approach) but did happen nonetheless when the religions were unified.

This is one of the many reasons why the Jewish cannon (or Hebrew canon) is not exactly like the Christian cannon. They have minor differences in translations and are fiercely debated by scholars in the Jewish community, such as Dr. Michael Brown and several other prominent respected Orthodox Jewish Rabbi's (which are teachers/leaders). One topic that is bringing passionate, but respectful, arguments within both Jewish and Christian believers alike, are the believed words of King David in the 22nd chapter of "The Book of Psalms" which were written approximately 1,030 years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ.

These are the words of Psalm 22:16 in the modern Hebrew translation (modern Hebrew to Ancient Hebrew and Aramaic is like modern Spanish compared to Latin/Portuguese respectively):

"17 For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evil-doers have inclosed me; like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet." - Hebrew Translation. 

This is the translation provided by a group of scholars who actually studied Aramaic, and looked into the multiple connotations of the ancient languages (also our translation is 16 because verse 1 in the Hebrew starts with the intro "for the leader of music" etc.):

"16 For dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evil-doers has encircled me. They gouged[1] my hands and my[2] feet." - Aramaic Translation.

Though this is a small representation of the many examples that exist. The main reason why it is important to understand this concept is because historical proof may not fit with the religious agenda of the group who follows this scripture. In the time when Psalms 22 was believed to have been written, the common tongue was indeed Syriac (otherwise known as Aramaic) because Hebrew was not invented until the Babylonian exile which was around 300 years later.

So when I ask what is in a canon, what I'm really asking is are you willing to accept what was actually written or are you like the proverbial stone tablets given to Moses at Mount Sinai? Is it possible that perhaps certain translations were not accurate, and if so, does it change your faith? This is why the canon chosen is so important for people of faith. As far as I'm concerned, all it does for me is give me better insight to what should be followed, not weakening or strengthening my faith!

Thanks for stopping by, God bless and have a great day! :)


Spiritual Corner:  Would you like to join me for a Revelation from the Holy Spirit related to the concept given above? If so you've come to the right place. Today we will examine just one verse: 

"1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?" - Isaiah 53:1

The Word of God has many interpretations and many different belief systems, because of the many different interpretations. However the Word also teaches us that the very same question I posed above has so much more to do with faith than what you can "prove" or "disprove." This doesn't tell us that we cannot have logic and evidence to support our faith, but when God speaks who is willing to listen?

Suppose you (as a Christian, a Jew, or a Muslim) are told by your religious leaders that you should burn another religion's Holy Book, or persecute homo-sexual's, or murder people in the name of your god. That means that you haven't believed the message of God's peace, of God's love or of God's unfailing mercy. Has the arm of the Lord been revealed to these people? Did God not say "Vengeance is mine," and does not the Lord also say:

"Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.
5Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." - Psalm 40: 4-5

This word from Isaiah 53 is complemented by Psalm 40: 4-5 because it is the same message that runs in common with all the Holy Books used in the majority of the canon's used today. It is all about trusting in God, not simply just liking the words and hearing them. It is not just about believing in God, but it is about actually believing God Himself. "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder." - James 2:19

In all things remember that God's arm is not to short to save, and everyone who's trust and faith is in the One True God will have salvation in the small trials to the great tribulations. That is a promise that God makes to all the children who believe Him and accept (follow) His message. 

God bless, and Amen! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Oldest Biblical Scriptures

The Holy Bible is a very complex entity. It is almost as if it were a living breathing evolution of a teaching passed down from ancient times that is still relevant to many people in this modern age.

Before it was ever written, it was transmitted by Oral Tradition. It is believed that afterward there were literally scriptures written in stone, which is debatable. However there is a treasure trove found in Qumran, a city in Israel, known collectively as The Dead Sea Scrolls.These scriptures date to around 150 B.C.E to 70 C.E (within 40 years of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ). The only scrolls believed to be older are the Nash Papyrus (though they are still hotly debated among scholars to this day).

I attended a lecture given by one of the prominent translators and scholars on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Professor Lawrence Shiffman. The presentation was very helpful to have a better understanding of the original teachings of the Holy Bible, including the pseudepigrapha which were writings that were intentionally fake to better explain certain concepts; The Book of Enoch is one of the many confirmed pseudepigrapha.

Dr. Shiffman also stated that the content (words) of the scrolls is not very different from what we find in our modern Holy Bible. That knowledge blows a huge hole in the theory that the Holy Bible was drastically altered and changed to be completely different from the original source (The First Council of Nicaea). Ironically the Roman Catholic Church did not change much of what was written in the modern Bible, but did change what was taught (religious practice). It was illegal to read it yourself when the Pope was in power over the King, thanks to the unification efforts of Constantine. There are slight variations in a few words, but nothing that changes the original concept. The original commandment was not changed from "Thou shalt steal" to "Thou shall not steal," for example.

This being said there are no existing copies of the 100% original scripture as written by the first hands that ever wrote them (dictated by God), but we can thank Oral Tradition for preserving these teachings for so long. In the Hebrew Museum of Israel, the original text of the Prophet Isaiah is written in a different dialect of Hebrew (not the original Hebrew). That brings me to the language issue. The original Hebrew is not the same as it was in the times of Moses. According to Dr. Shiffman, Aramaic (used from the time of the major prophets until shortly after Jesus Christ) was "not completely understandable by knowing Hebrew, but similar to a Spanish speaker being able to pick up a good amount of Portuguese."  That is how we are have a fairly close translation without a codex or "Rosetta Stone" like object.

There is always so much more to say, but that's all for now folks. Please enjoy the Spiritual look into the word below if you'd like! 

Spiritual Corner:  Let's take a deeper look into this scripture:

 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished." - Matthew 5:18 

The Lord Jesus Christ prophesied that the Word of God would never pass away until heaven and earth pass away. This implies that heaven (the universe) and earth (as a whole planet) will pass away (perish) eventually. This doesn't mean that you should start to run around like a chicken without a head, or go into mass panic. God's time is not our time... "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD." (Isaiah 55:8).

What is important to note is that His Word will never pass away, it transcends physical space and time, and if you obey His Word, then the promise is that you will have eternal life that transcends physical space and time. Furthermore the commands that God gives are for better living on Earth, it's not all about waiting to die to get your reward (contrary to popular belief). 

You see the Law, which is followed by Jewish believers (from a Rabbinical tradition) and many times followed by Christians who actually obey what is written in the Word, was not meant to limit our lives or simply to take away what we like. Many Christians believe that Jesus Christ came into the world to get rid of Jewish Law (the Law of Moses) however He Himself said (in the verse right before the focal verse) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17) The Law that Jesus was referring to was the Torah (first 5 books of Moses) and the Major/Minor Prophets plus the Books of Wisdom (Psalms, Proverbs,etc.)... In other words these words of the Old Testament still apply to this day for those who believe:

"13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today--to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul--
14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.
15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied." - Deuteronomy 11: 13-15

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Origins of the Holy Bible

Before the Holy Bible was ever the Written Word, it was the spoken Word passed down directly from the mouth of God to the servants who spread the knowledge of His existence.

The people at Mount Horeb, or Mount Sinai depending on the translation you trust most, were told by the Lord our God:

"you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." - Exodus 19:6

The Lord God commanded the prophets to "speak" to these Israelites all the words which he gave. This is important in the reflection of how the Holy Bible has survived since the inception of the ideas, the teachings, and the Law that was given through the servant Moses (or Moshe in Hebrew) to the modern cybernetic-age. 

Oral Culture, or Oral Tradition, was the definitive form of communication in humanity for as far back as humanity can be traced. It is nearly as old as the cave paintings found approximately 8-10 thousands years ago. This is not conclusive evidence that God is real, because that is a decision that we all have to make for ourselves, but to show how the Holy Bible survived through invasions, through persecution, through oppression, and is now the most purchased/read book of all time. That doesn't happen by accident or chance. 

Many people believe that Oral Culture is the concept of "I say A, B, & C to someone... By the time it gets to the 400th person the story becomes X,Y, & Z." This is true with non-important stories or gossip, but Oral Culture was a sophisticated and very integrated method of transmitting anything we humans deemed important. It was very social as opposed to the private writings of a hermit scribe. When someone in the community orally transmits an idea, the elders, as well as everyone who knows the story, would work together like a system of checks and balances. If someone said "The Lord your God says to kill anyone who you don't like" everyone in the community would correct and many times punish the orator for "bearing false testimony." 

These are the very beginnings of how the Ancient Israelites used their available tools to give us what is arguably the most influential text of all time! 


Spiritual Corner:  I want to use this bottom space for those of you who believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God, this will be a short but concise look into the spiritual meaning to hopefully support the evidence above.

"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." -Joshua 1:8

God spoke through his servant Joshua, who is a prophet (one who speaks what the Lord God commands them to speak), who was the assistant of Moses who is believed to have spiritually written all the events of the first 5 books of the Bible (The Torah). He told the people do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth. What does that mean?

To not allow a "book" to depart from your mouth implies that you must first know the book so well that you can speak what is written with little to no difficulty. It shows us that God wanted us to take time and study His word, not simply gloss over it or read it out of obligation.

"Meditate on it day and night" shows us that to meditate is to be able to "to engage in contemplation or reflection." To contemplate or reflect means to give logical consideration to. God wants us to not blindly speak His words, but to contemplate what His words mean, to  understand them, so that we will not be deceived by arguments that sound accurate but may not be. 

We are told to be "careful to do everything written in it." Well if we take our time to understand and remember what is written, the next step is to not just be a pretty-looking reciter (or actor) but to actually live by what you have understood. The be "careful" indicates a warning because there is an awareness that is not easy for us to do. 

If we do, however, obey the Law and Commandments of God, we see that *then* we will be prosperous and successful. The Word of God is designed to make us better, to make us wiser, and ultimately to bring us success and true prosperity which is not in any way limited to monetary wealth. We will be prosperous in health, in love,  in all the things which we truly value and that brings us peace, self-control, and wisdom! 

God bless you all, and thanks for reading :)

Monday, February 7, 2011


The Word of God, more commonly known as the Holy Bible, has been in the hot seat of world-wide acceptance and simultaneously one of the most controversial scriptures ever written. It happens to be the best seller of all time as well.

This Word is composed of 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament, and 27 that are collectively called the New Testament. It is believed to be written over the course of 1,500 years (B.C.E) that covers a time span (mostly transmitted by Oral Tradition) considerably longer than the first writings.

 My purpose is to take a look into the history of how the Holy Bible has been transmitted for such a long period of time. What started as Oral Culture remembered by societies, then became written through parchments, papyrus, paper, and is now even distributed digitally.

I won't pretend to keep it a secret that I live by the Word of God, and I recognize that there are spiritual applications that can not be understood without prayer and faith in the Holy Spirit. However, that is not my only purpose and I hope I can provide information that is both fun, and that takes off some of the gravity placed on the Holy Bible.