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Musings of a Mother

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Peaceful Greeting(s) Fellow-Earthling(s):)

Thanks:) for making my post a part of Your day. Yes, I am a Mother…of four offspring…specifically teenagers! Some musings to follow. (My time constraints–today–do not allow for me to give the necessary attention/focus to writing all of these musings swirling in my mind. I may or may not turn this post into a series of connected content.)

From my limited-personal-point-of-view: it seems a lot of us, Earthlings, like to label/identify ourselves by our higher and/or highest values of which we feel proud…(parents or not or mature or not/younger and older alike). The parenting project/my particular parenting project is a shared endeavor with my husband of 27 years (we became parents by surprise about 8 years in)…an/one important work of mine in progress which initially seemed entailed 20 years…on average?! is one I DO NOT WANT TO FAIL!;(

Like any on the job training (kind of) position…there is learning curve and ups and downs, eh? The first kid is the guinea pig. I was the guinea pig in my family. What has helped guide this daunting process, for me, has been timeless and relevant ancient wisdom (e.g., Biblical).

In some ways, these are abnormal times in which we all live with normal parenting concerns/anxieties…aka trying to survive/thrive..do your best with what you got to work with. Do abnormal times call for unconventional or conventional parenting skills??…the parenting plan/purpose–well-adjusted, healthy-well-functioning physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually high-functioning mature, superlatively-educated, selfless, interdependent adult whom will contribute positively to community/society/brotherhood of humanity…may take longer than 20 years..eh?!;)

Seriously, at 49 years, i still have lots to learn…as Mother, Wife, Friend, Human, (etc. the uncapitalized..(pun? intended))…whatever other label(s) suit(?) me. My clothing of choice is agape love…as well as trying to dress in mildness and humility, meekness and self-control. (Writings, interactions and communications with kids and adults is like weather! You/One can be the hurricane, tornado, windstorm, rainstorm, dark cloud or ray of sunshine, rainbow, cool breeze, gentle/refreshing dew drop.)

the Doo-Wop…music to any situation…or writing…we all can add love.:) Musical tastes differ…as well as parenting styles.

IDK, may be? we all need a “monotone” message of “love” to keep humanity on happy track.

Is parenting more effective when it/(the process) is a selfless-labor-of-love?!…and not excluding tough love neither.

At times–it’s quite difficult to put your own feelings/preferences aside–as Mother–in pursuit of best interests for my child. To be an effective/good? mother means i need to be less selfish. My kids’ need to learn/grow…and say about environment/ecosystem here in Florida. I hate snakes, my kids don’t. Will i allow my hate for snakes to override/ruin their relationship with snakes?

My peculiar set of worries/anxieties…of course, the parenting course…have impacted my teens. Am trying to keep it to a minimum. Striking the balance of helping them be aware of danger of i.e. snakes (including more important concerns)…respecting…snakes, life, love, family, community…choices and consequences, etc. both positives and negatives..at the same time acknowledging, we, parents cannot take (a) kid(s) and drop him/her off at the ocean without any preparation or swimming lessons…and expect them to float and not drown nor be eaten/bitten by sharks!!

Is parenting primarily life guard?! 

So many (mind boggling?) variables can shape our parenting styles. I tend to declutter or edit (meaning i despise complicated so-called solutions to simple problems)…living and parenting, to me, boils down to learning (simply?!;)) to be less selfish everyday! When each of us, parent and child, learn to put others’ interests ahead of our own…we tend to make wiser-longer-sighted-positive choices…that benefit more than self…in the moment. (A life time is more than moments…or more moments make up a life span.)

As a spiritually-minded parent, I have always tried putting spiritual things/endeavors first…meaning also: have attempted to instill “spiritual” over material values in my kids…this excerpted reading explains some of my reasons why much better than i can articulate:

17. Why is the life of those who make no room for the Creator not truly meaningful?

17 Contrast this with what people have who, even though not being morally corrupt, make no room for the Creator in their lives. They may have the honor and the material possessions that they desire, perhaps find a measure of satisfaction in helping the needy and enjoy cultural activities and wholesome pleasures. Yet, they must admit the inescapable fact that nothing in this world has any real permanence. No one is immune to accidents, disease or death. Possessions will neither protect against these things nor can they be taken along when life ends. (Psalm 49:6-20; Ecclesiastes 5:13-15; 8:8) Well-meaning efforts to help fellow humans may come to frustration because of unfavorable circumstances. So it might well be asked: How meaningful can a life be if the ultimate future it offers is just the grave? How can it be good if it actually works against a person’s eternal future?​—Compare Ecclesiastes 1:11, 15, 18; 2:10, 11; 9:11, 12. [excerpted reading: Making the Right Choice: Choosing the Best Way of Life, Chapter 1, pp. 11-12]

Sticky note Scripture:

Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with humility*(or lowliness of mind) consider others superior to you, 4 as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3, 4)

Questions for reflections:

as parent, partner, friend, fellow-breathing-fragile-life aka human:

am i contentious or egotistical?

am i humble?

am i willing to learn from Others (including younger life and older life)…meaning do i have the mindset that Others are superior to me?

am i just looking out for my own best interests?

am i looking out for the best interests of Others?

how will being less selfish help…any/all situations/interactions/communications/relationships/circumstances??

 

11/03/18 @ 2:28 p.m.

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Ancient & Modern Inquiries

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Looking for context see this

An Ancient Inquiry

 

22. How did the Athenians’ many theories about their gods affect their way of worship?

22 In the first century of our Common Era, Athens, Greece, was a prominent center of learning. Among the Athenians, however, there were many different schools of thought, such as the Epicureans and the Stoics, each with its own idea about the gods. Based on these various ideas, many deities were venerated, and different ways of worship developed. As a result, the city was full of man-made idols and temples.​—Acts 17:16.

23. What totally different view about God did the apostle Paul present to the Athenians?

23 In about the year 50 C.E., the Christian apostle Paul visited Athens and presented to the Athenians a totally different point of view. He told them: “The God that made the world and all the things in it, being, as this One is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples, neither is he attended to by human hands as if he needed anything, because he himself gives to all persons life and breath and all things.”​—Acts 17:24, 25.

24. In effect, what was Paul telling the Athenians about true worship?

24 In other words, Paul was telling the Athenians that the true God, who “made the world and all the things in it,” is not a fabrication of man’s imagination, nor is he served by ways that man might devise. True religion is not just a one-sided effort by man to try to fill a certain psychological need or quell a certain fear. Rather, since the true God is the Creator, who gave man thinking ability and power of reason, it is only logical that He would provide a way for man to come into a satisfying relationship with Him. That, according to Paul, was exactly what God did. “He made out of one man every nation of men, to dwell upon the entire surface of the earth, . . . for them to seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us.”​—Acts 17:26, 27.

25. Explain the key point of Paul’s argument about mankind’s origin.

25 Notice Paul’s key point: God “made out of one man every nation of men.” Even though today there are many nations of men, living all over the earth, scientists know that, indeed, all mankind is of the same stock. This concept is of great significance because when we speak of all mankind’s being of the same stock, it means much more than their being related just biologically and genetically. They are related in other areas as well.

Care to read on…

26. What is known about language that supports Paul’s key point?

26 Note, for instance, what the book Story of the World’s Worship says about man’s language. “Those who have studied the languages of the world and compared them with each other have something to say, and it is this: All languages can be grouped into families or classes of speech, and all these families are seen to have started from one common source.” In other words, the languages of the world did not originate separately and independently, as evolutionists would have us believe. They theorize that cave-dwelling men in Africa, Europe, and Asia started with their grunts and growls and eventually developed their own languages. That was not the case. Evidence is that they “started from one common source.”

27. Why is it logical to think that man’s ideas about God and religion started from one common source?

27 If that is true of something as personal and as uniquely human as language, then would it not be reasonable to think that man’s ideas about God and religion should also have started from one common source? After all, religion is related to thinking, and thinking is related to man’s ability to use language. It is not that all religions actually grew out of one religion, but the ideas and concepts should be traceable to some common origin or pool of religious ideas. 

[excerpted: Mankind’s Search for God, Chapter 2, Religion–How Did It Begin?]

9/30/18 @ 1:21 a.m.

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Searching for Truth (What Other Searches Would/Could/Should be as Worthwhile?)

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Greetings Searcher:) What are You:) searching for today?! Lost keys, lost friend, lost peace, lost sleep??

Go to the Source, eh?…a good starting point:

arrogant?? -lol;) gonna quote myself here from earlier writing:

What are you searching for? Of what are you in hot pursuit? Everybody’s searching for something: a job, misplaced keys, a long-lost relative, true love, a remedy, a cure, an escape, hope, money, quiet, purpose, meaning to the daily grind, understanding, satisfying answers, truth, justice, closure, mercy, security, forgiveness, happiness, peace, pleasure, paradise?!

Have you checked the lost n’ found? 🙂

Some tire out and give up their quest without finding what they really need/want out of this life. Please, Don’t give up!

Back in the day (perhaps late 80’s?/’90)…i LOVED/Gobbled UP another Red Book…hard cover…here’s an excerpt: Chapter 3 Common Threads in Mythology: (my blue highlights)

1-3. (a) Why should myths interest us? (b) What will we cover in this chapter?

WHY consider myths? Are they not just fictions from the distant past? While it is true that many are based on fiction, others are based on fact. Take for example the myths and legends found worldwide that are based on the fact of the world Deluge, or Flood, that the Bible relates.

A reason for considering myths is that they are the foundation for beliefs and rites still found in religions today. For example, belief in an immortal soul can be traced from ancient Assyro-Babylonian myths through Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mythology to Christendom, where it has become an underlying tenet in her theology. Myths are evidence that ancient man was searching for gods, as well as for a meaning in life. In this chapter we will briefly cover some of the common themes that arise in the myths of the world’s major cultures. As we review these mythologies, we will note how creation, the Flood, false gods and demigods, the immortal soul, and sun worship crop up regularly as common threads in the patchwork of mythology. But why should this be the case?

Very often there is a kernel of historical fact, a person, or an event that has later been exaggerated or distorted to form the myth. One of these historical facts is the Bible’s record of creation.

Fact and Fiction About Creation

4, 5. What were some of the beliefs of Greek mythology?

Creation myths abound, but none have the simple logic of the Bible’s creation record. (Genesis, chapters 1, 2) For example, the account given in Greek mythology sounds barbaric. The first Greek to put myths in writing in a systematic way was Hesiod, who wrote his Theogony in the eighth century B.C.E. He explains how the gods and the world began. He starts off with Gaea, or Gaia (Earth), who gives birth to Uranus (Heaven). What follows is explained by scholar Jasper Griffin in The Oxford History of the Classical World:

“Hesiod tells the story, known to Homer, of the succession of sky gods. First Uranus was supreme, but he suppressed his children, and Gaia encouraged his son Cronos to castrate him. Cronos in turn devoured his own children, until his wife Rhea gave him a stone to eat in place of Zeus; the child Zeus was brought up in Crete, compelled his father to disgorge his siblings, and with them and other aid defeated Cronos and his Titans and cast them down into Tartarus.”

6. According to Jasper Griffin, what is the probable source of much Greek mythology?

From what source did the Greeks get this strange mythology? The same author answers: “Its ultimate origin seems to have been Sumerian. In these eastern stories we find a succession of gods, and the motifs of castration, of swallowing, and of a stone recur in ways which, though varying, show that the resemblance with Hesiod is no coincidence.” We have to look to ancient Mesopotamia and Babylon as the source of many myths that permeated other cultures.

7. (a) Why is it not easy to get information on ancient Chinese myths? (b) How does one Chinese myth explain the creation of the earth and man? (Compare Genesis 1:27; 2:7.)

The ancient mythology of Chinese folk religion is not always easy to define, since many written records were destroyed in the period 213-191 B.C.E. *(The more recent mythology of China, the result of the influence of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, will be discussed in Chapters 6 and 7.)

 Some myths have remained, however, such as the one describing how the earth was formed. A professor of Oriental art, Anthony Christie, writes: “We learn that Chaos was like a hen’s egg. Neither Heaven nor Earth existed. From the egg P’an-ku was born, while of its heavy elements Earth was made and Sky from the light elements. P’an-ku is represented as a dwarf, clad in a bearskin or a cloak of leaves. For 18,000 years the distance between Earth and Sky grew daily by ten feet, and P’an-ku grew at the same rate so that his body filled the gap. When he died, different parts of his body became various natural elements. . . . His body fleas became the human race.”

8. According to Inca mythology, how did languages come about?

From South America an Inca legend explains how a mythical creator gave speech to each nation. “He gave to each nation the language it was to speak . . . He gave being and soul to each one as well [as] the men and the women and commanded each nation to sink below the earth. Thence each nation passed underground and came up in the places to which he assigned them.” (The Fables and Rites of the Yncas, by Cristóbal de Molina of Cuzco, quoted in South American Mythology) In this case it appears that the Bible’s account of the confusion of languages at Babel is the factual kernel for this Inca myth. (Genesis 11:1-9) But now let us turn our attention to the Deluge described in the Bible at Genesis 7:17-24.

Distinguishing factual kernels…a necessary morsel (a morse code?) :)…What about the flood??

The Flood​—Fact or Myth?

9. (a) What does the Bible tell us about pre-Flood conditions on the earth? (b) What did Noah and his family have to do to be delivered from the Flood?

Taking us back to some 4,500 years ago, to about 2,500 B.C.E., the Bible tells us that rebel spirit sons of God materialized in human form and “went taking wives for themselves.” This unnatural interbreeding produced the violent Nephilim, “the mighty ones who were of old, the men of fame.” Their lawless conduct affected the pre-Flood world to the point that Jehovah said: “‘I am going to wipe men whom I have created off the surface of the ground . . . because I do regret that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah.” The account then continues with the specific and practical steps Noah had to take to save himself, as well as his family and a variety of animal kinds, from the Flood.​—Genesis 6:1-8, Genesis 6:13–8:22;1 Peter 3:19, 20; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6.

10. Why should the Bible account of the Flood not be viewed as a myth?

10 The record of pre-Flood events related in Genesis is branded as myth by modern critics. Yet, the history of Noah was accepted and believed by faithful men, such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jesus Christ, and the apostles Peter and Paul. It is also supported by the fact that it is reflected in so many mythologies worldwide, including the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh as well as the myths of China and of the Aztecs, Incas, and Maya. With the Bible record in mind, let us now consider the Assyro-Babylonian mythology and its references to a flood.​—Isaiah 54:9; Ezekiel 14:20; Matthew 24:37; Hebrews 11:7.

The Flood and the God-Man Gilgamesh

11. On what is our knowledge of the Epic of Gilgamesh based?

11 Going back in history possibly some 4,000 years, we encounter the famous Akkadian myth called the Epic of Gilgamesh. Our knowledge of this is based mainly on a cuneiform text that came from the library of Ashurbanipal, who reigned 668-627 B.C.E., in ancient Nineveh.

12. Who was Gilgamesh, and why was he not popular? (Compare Genesis 6:1, 2.)

12 It is the story of the exploits of Gilgamesh, described as being two-thirds god and one-third man, or a demigod. One version of the epic states: “In Uruk he built walls, a great rampart, and the temple of blessed Eanna for the god of the firmament Anu, and for Ishtar the goddess of love . . . , our lady of love and war.” (See box, page 45, for a listing of Assyro-Babylonian gods and goddesses.) However, Gilgamesh was not exactly a pleasant creature to have around. The inhabitants of Uruk complained to the gods: “His lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble.

13. (a) What action did the gods take, and what did Gilgamesh do? (b) Who was Utnapishtim?

13 What action did the gods take in response to the people’s protest? The goddess Aruru created Enkidu to be the human rival of Gilgamesh. However, instead of being enemies, they became close friends. In the course of the epic, Enkidu died. Shattered, Gilgamesh cried: “When I die, shall I not be like Enkidu? Woe has entered my belly. Fearing death, I roam over the steppe.” He wanted the secret of immortality and set out to find Utnapishtim, the deluge survivor who had been given immortality with the gods.

14. (a) What was Utnapishtim told to do? (Compare Genesis 6:13-16.) (b) What was the outcome of the epic journey of Gilgamesh?

14 Gilgamesh eventually finds Utnapishtim, who tells him the story of the flood. As found in Epic tablet XI, known as the Flood Tablet, Utnapishtim recounts instructions given to him concerning the flood: “Tear down (this) house, build a ship! Give up possessions, seek thou life. . . . Aboard the ship take thou the seed of all living things.” Does this not sound somewhat similar to the Bible’s reference to Noah and the Flood? But Utnapishtim cannot bestow immortality upon Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh, disappointed, returns home to Uruk. The account concludes with his death. The overall message of the epic is the sadness and frustration of death and the hereafter. Those ancient people did not find the God of truth and hope. However, the epic’s link to the Bible’s simple account of the pre-Flood era is quite evident. Now let us turn to the Flood account as it appears in other legends.

Flood Legend in Other Cultures

15. Why is the Sumerian flood legend of interest to us?

15 Even earlier than the account in the Epic of Gilgamesh is the Sumerian myth that presents “Ziusudra, the counterpart of the biblical Noah, who is described as a pious, a god-fearing king, constantly on the lookout for divine revelations in dreams or incantations.” (Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament) According to the same source, this myth “offers the closest and most striking parallel to biblical material as yet uncovered in Sumerian literature.” The Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations, which came later, were influenced by the Sumerian.

16. From what source could the Chinese flood legends have come?

16 The book China​—A History in Art tells us that one of the ancient rulers of China was Yü, “the conqueror of the Great Flood. Yü channeled flood waters into rivers and seas to resettle his people.” Mythology expert Joseph Campbell wrote about the Chinese “Period of the Great Ten,” saying: “To this important age, which terminates in a Deluge, ten emperors were assigned in the early Chou-time mythology. Hence, it appears that what we are viewing here may be a local transformation of the series of the old Sumerian king list.” Campbell then cited other items from Chinese legends that appeared to “reinforce the argument for a Mesopotamian source.” That takes us back to the same basic source of many myths. However, the story of the Flood also appears in the Americas, for example, in Mexico during the period of the Aztecs in the 15th and 16th centuries C.E.

17. What flood legends did the Aztecs have?

17 Aztec mythology spoke of four previous ages, during the first of which the earth was inhabited by giants. (That is another reminder of the Nephilim, the giants referred to in the Bible at Genesis 6:4.) It included a primeval flood legend in which “the waters above merge with those below, obliterating the horizons and making of everything a timeless cosmic ocean.” The god controlling rain and water was Tlaloc. However, his rain was not obtained cheaply but was given “in exchange for the blood of sacrificed victims whose flowing tears would simulate and so stimulate the flow of rain.” (Mythology​—An Illustrated Encyclopedia) Another legend states that the fourth era was ruled by Chalchiuhtlicue, the water-goddess, whose universe perished by a flood. Men were saved by becoming fish!

18. What accounts are prevalent in South American mythology? (Compare Genesis 6:7, 8; 2 Peter 2:5.)

18 Similarly, the Incas had their Flood legends. British writer Harold Osborne states: “Perhaps the most ubiquitous features in South American myth are the stories of a deluge . . . Myths of a deluge are very widespread among both the highland peoples and the tribes of the tropical lowlands. The deluge is commonly connected with the creation and with an epiphany [manifestation] of the creator-god. . . . It is sometimes regarded as a divine punishment wiping out existing humankind in preparation for the emergence of a new race.”

19. Describe the Maya flood legend.

19 Likewise, the Maya in Mexico and Central America had their Flood legend that involved a universal deluge, or haiyococab, which means “water over the earth.” Catholic bishop Las Casas wrote that the Guatemalan Indians “called it Butic, which is the word which means flood of many waters and means the final judgment, and so they believe that another Butic is about to come, which is another flood and judgment, not of water, but of fire.Many more flood legends exist around the world, but the few already quoted serve to confirm the kernel of the legend, the historical event related in the book of Genesis. [excerpted reading: Mankind’s Search For God, Chapter 3, Common Threads in Mythology, pp. 41-53]

The aforementioned/highlighted examples attest to some myths having a basis in fact…kernels of “Truth”… but are all myths based on “fact(s)” ?!

post to “hopefully” be continued later…(part two).

Hoping this post helped You:) Find Some Kernels of Truth to Thread Today, Searcher:)

9/27/18 @10:07 a.m.

 

Published by:

Plate of Words

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This post/piece of writing is serving up words like food on a plate, huh?

What food do You:) like to eat??

What food is personally healthy for You and any particular/specific dietary needs You may have??

Personally, my palate does NOT prefer rotten food nor excrement on a plate (aka profanity, etc.)

DISGUSTING!!

Yucky Yuckiness:(

I don’t serve nastiness and bitterness for mind nor body food.

I “try” to treat Others and speak to Others in the respectful, truthful manner with which I would like to be treated or spoken to/of…no, I am NOT perfect; obviously. Just trying to be just and kind.

Oh, and not be disgustingly…repulsive.

And No! I don’t avoid difficult nor taboo topics. Nor does that mean wimpingly nor limpingly lightly treading on egg shells.

Yeah, i do laugh ..at “funny” jokes…and I do like dark/light humor.

“Does not the ear itself test out words as the palate tastes food?” (Job 12:11)

My personal palate prefers rich, healthy YUMMY food!:) Aka high-quality content.

P.Q.C.

For all the choosers of palatable/delicious/truthful words, this song You’ll appreciate:)

Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)

9/24/18 @ 12:21 p.m.

Further reading: excerpted:  chapter 17 (from another Fav book): (my highlghts blue)

“Can You Trust the Bible? Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?”

[…], Isaac Newton, said: “No sciences are better attested than the religion of the Bible.”⁠9

The Bible and Health

12. How did a physician contrast common superstitions regarding health with statements in the Bible?

12 Throughout the centuries there has been great ignorance on matters of health. A physician even observed: “Many superstitions are still believed by large numbers of people such as, that a buckeye in the pocket will prevent rheumatism; that handling toads will cause warts; that wearing red flannel around the neck will cure a sore throat,” and others. Yet he explained: “No such statements are found in the Bible. This in itself is remarkable.”⁠10

13. What hazardous medical treatment was prescribed by ancient Egyptians?

13 It is also remarkable when one compares hazardous medical treatments used in the past with what the Bible says. For example, the Papyrus Ebers, a medical document of the ancient Egyptians, prescribed the use of excrement to treat various conditions. It directed that human excrement mixed with fresh milk be applied as a poultice to lesions that remain after scabs fall off. And a remedy for drawing out splinters reads: “Worms’ blood, cook and crush in oil; mole, kill, cook, and drain in oil; ass’s dung, mix in fresh milk. Apply to the opening.”⁠11 Such treatment, it is now known, can result in serious infections.

14. What does the Bible say about waste disposal, and how has this been a protection?

14 What does the Bible say about excrement? It directed: “When you squat outside, you must also dig a hole with [a digging instrument] and turn and cover your excrement.” (Deuteronomy 23:13) So, far from prescribing excrement in medical treatment, the Bible directed the safe disposal of sewage. Up until the present century the danger of leaving excrement exposed to flies was generally not known. This resulted in the spread of serious fly-borne diseases and the death of many people. Yet the simple remedy was on record in the Bible all the time, and it was followed by the Israelites over 3,000 years ago.

15. If Bible advice regarding touching dead persons had been followed, what medical practice resulting in many deaths would have been avoided?

15 During the last century medical personnel would go directly from handling the dead in the dissecting room to conducting examinations in the maternity ward, and they would not even wash their hands. Infection was thus transferred from the dead, and many others died. Even when the value of hand washing was demonstrated, many in the medical community resisted such hygienic measures. Doubtless unknown to them, they were rejecting the wisdom in the Bible, since Jehovah’s law to the Israelites decreed that anyone touching a dead person became unclean and must wash himself and his garments.​—Numbers 19:11-22.

16. How was wisdom beyond human knowledge shown in directing that circumcision be performed on the eighth day?

16 As a sign of a covenant with Abraham, Jehovah God said: “Every male of yours eight days old must be circumcised.” Later this requirement was repeated to the nation of Israel. (Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:2, 3No explanation was given why the eighth day was specified, but now we understand. Medical research has discovered that the blood-clotting element vitamin K rises to an adequate level only by then. Another essential clotting element, prothrombin, seems to be higher on the eighth day than at any other time during a child’s life. Based on this evidence, Dr. S. I. McMillen concluded: “The perfect day to perform a circumcision is the eighth day.”⁠12 Was this mere coincidence? Not at all. It was knowledge passed on by a God who knew.

17. What is another discovery of science that confirms the Bible?

17 Another discovery of modern science is the degree to which mental attitude and emotions affect health. An encyclopedia explains: “Since 1940 it has become more and more apparent that the physiologic function of organs and the organs systems are closely allied to the state of mind of the individual and that even tissue changes may occur in an organ so affected.”⁠13However, this close connection between mental attitude and physical health was long ago referred to in the Bible. For instance, it says: “A calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”​—Proverbs 14:30; 17:22.

18. How does the Bible direct people away from damaging emotions and emphasize showing love?

18 The Bible, therefore, directs people away from damaging emotions and attitudes. “Let us walk decently,” it admonishes, “not in strife and jealousy.” It also counsels: “Let all malicious bitterness and anger and wrath and screaming and abusive speech be taken away from you along with all badness. But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate.” (Romans 13:13; Ephesians 4:31, 32) Especially does the Bible recommend love. “Besides all these things,” it says, “clothe yourselves with love.” As the greatest proponent of love, Jesus told his disciples: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you.” In his Sermon on the Mount he even said: “Continue to love your enemies.” (Colossians 3:12-15; John 13:34;Matthew 5:44) Many may scoff at this, calling it weakness, but they pay a price. Science has learned that lack of love is a major factor in many mental ills and other problems.

19. What has modern science discovered regarding love?

19 The British medical journal Lancet once noted: “By far the most significant discovery of mental science is the power of love to protect and to restore the mind.”⁠14 Similarly, a noted stress specialist, Dr. Hans Selye, said: “It is not the hated person or the frustrating boss who will get ulcers, hypertensions, and heart disease. It is the one who hates or the one who permits himself to be frustrated. ‘Love thy neighbor’ is one of the sagest bits of medical advice ever given.”⁠15

20. How did a doctor compare Christ’s teachings in the Sermon on the Mount with psychiatric advice?

20 Indeed, the Bible’s wisdom is far ahead of modern discoveries. As Dr. James T. Fisher once wrote: “If you were to take the sum total of all the authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene​—if you were to combine them, and refine them, and cleave out the excess verbiage—​if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount.”⁠16

The Bible and History

21. About a hundred years ago, how did critics view the historical value of the Bible?

21 After Darwin’s publication of his theory of evolution, the Bible’s historical record came under widespread attack. Archaeologist Leonard Woolley explained: “There arose towards the close of the nineteenth century an extreme school of critics which was ready to deny the historical foundation of practically everything related in the earlier books of the Old Testament.”⁠17 In fact, some critics even claimed that writing did not come into common usage until the time of Solomon or afterward; and, therefore, the early Bible narratives could not be relied upon since they were not put into writing until centuries after the events occurred. One of the exponents of this theory said in 1892: “The time, of which the pre-Mosaic narratives treat, is a sufficient proof of their legendary character. It was a time prior to all knowledge of writing.”⁠18

22. What has been learned about the ability of early peoples to write?

22 In recent times, however, a great deal of archaeological evidence has accumulated to show that writing was common long before the time of Moses. “We must again emphasize,” archaeologist William Foxwell Albright explained, “that alphabetic Hebrew writing was employed in Canaan and neighboring districts from the Patriarchal Age on, and that the rapidity with which forms of letters changed is clear evidence of common use.”⁠19 And another leading historian and excavator observed: “That the question should ever have been raised whether Moses could have known how to write, appears to us now absurd.”⁠20

23. What was discovered regarding King Sargon, resulting in what revision of views?

23 Time and again the Bible’s historical record has been substantiated by the uncovering of new information. The Assyrian king Sargon, for example, was for a long time known only from the Bible account at Isaiah 20:1. In fact, during the early part of the last century this Bible reference to him was discounted by critics as of no historical value. Then archaeological excavations produced the ruins of Sargon’s magnificent palace at Khorsabad, including many inscriptions regarding his rule. As a result, Sargon is now one of the best known of the Assyrian kings. Israeli historian Moshe Pearlman wrote: “Suddenly, sceptics who had doubted the authenticity even of the historical parts of the Old Testament began to revise their views.”⁠21

24. How closely does an Assyrian account of Sargon compare with the Bible account regarding the conquest of Samaria?

24 One of Sargon’s inscriptions tells of an episode that previously had been known only from the Bible. It reads: “I besieged and conquered Samaria, led away as booty 27,290 inhabitants of it.”⁠22 The Bible account of this at 2 Kings 17:6 reads: “In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and then led Israel into exile.” Regarding the striking similarity of these two accounts, Pearlman observed: “Here, then, were two reports in the annals of the conqueror and the vanquished, one almost a mirror of the other.”⁠23

25. Why should we not expect that Biblical and secular records would agree in every respect?

25 Should we expect, then, that Biblical and secular records would agree in every detail? No, as Pearlman notes: “This kind of identical ‘war reporting’ from both sides was unusual in the Middle East of ancient times (and on occasion in modern times too). It occurred only when the countries in conflict were Israel and one of its neighbours, and only when Israel was defeated. When Israel won, no record of failure appeared in the chronicles of the enemy.”⁠24 (Italics added.) It is not surprising, therefore, that Assyrian accounts of the military campaign into Israel by Sargon’s son, Sennacherib, have a major omission. And what is that?

26. How does the account by Sennacherib compare with that found in the Bible regarding his military expedition into Israel?

26 Wall reliefs from King Sennacherib’s palace have been discovered that depict scenes of his expedition into Israel. Written descriptions of it were also found. One, a clay prism, reads: “As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit to my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong cities . . . Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage. . . . I reduced his country, but I still increased the tribute and the katrû-presents (due) to me (as his) overlord.”⁠25 So, Sennacherib’s version coincides with the Bible where Assyrian victories are concerned. But, as expected, he omits mentioning his failure to conquer Jerusalem and the fact that he was forced to return home because 185,000 of his soldiers had been killed in one night.​—2 Kings 18:13–19:36; Isaiah 36:1–37:37.

27. How does the Bible’s account of Sennacherib’s assassination compare with what ancient secular accounts say about it?

27 Consider Sennacherib’s assassination and what a recent discovery reveals. The Bible says that two of his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, put Sennacherib to death. (2 Kings 19:36, 37) Yet both the account attributed to Babylonian King Nabonidus and that of the Babylonian priest Berossus of the third century B.C.E. mention only one son as involved in the slaying. Which was correct? Commenting on the more recent discovery of a fragmentary prism of Esar-haddon, Sennacherib’s son who succeeded him as king, historian Philip Biberfeld wrote: “Only the Biblical account proved to be correct. It was confirmed in all the minor details by the inscription of Esar-haddon and proved to be more accurate regarding this event of Babylonian-Assyrian history than the Babylonian sources themselves. This is a fact of utmost importance for the evaluation of even contemporary sources not in accord with Biblical tradition.”⁠26

28. How has the Bible been vindicated in what it says about Belshazzar?

28 At one time all known ancient sources also differed with the Bible regarding Belshazzar. The Bible presents Belshazzar as the king of Babylon when it fell. (Daniel 5:1-31) However, secular writings did not even mention Belshazzar, saying that Nabonidus was king at the time. So critics claimed that Belshazzar never existed. More recently, however, ancient writings were found that identified Belshazzar as a son of Nabonidus and coruler with his father in Babylon. For this reason, evidently, the Bible says Belshazzar offered to make Daniel “the third ruler in the kingdom,” since Belshazzar himself was the second. (Daniel 5:16, 29) Thus the Yale University professor, R. P. Dougherty, when comparing the Bible book of Daniel with other ancient writings, said: “The Scriptural account may be interpreted as excelling because it employs the name Belshazzar, because it attributes royal power to Belshazzar, and because it recognizes that a dual rulership existed in the kingdom.”⁠27

29. What confirmation has been discovered regarding what the Bible says about Pontius Pilate?

29 Another example of a discovery that confirms the historicalness of a person mentioned in the Bible is given by Michael J. Howard, who worked with the Caesarea expedition in Israel in 1979. “For 1,900 years,” he wrote, “Pilate existed only on the pages of the Gospels and in the vague recollections of Roman and Jewish historians. Next to nothing was known about his life. Some said he never even existed. But in 1961, an Italian archaeological expedition was working in the ruins of the ancient Roman theater in Caesarea. A workman overturned a stone that had been used for one of the stairways. On the reverse side was the following, partially-obscured inscription in Latin: ‘Caesariensibus Tiberium Pontius Pilatus Praefectus Iudaeae.’ (To the people of Caesarea Tiberium Pontius Pilate Prefect of Judea.) It was a fatal blow to the doubts about Pilate’s existence. . . . For the first time there was contemporary epigraphic evidence of the life of the man who ordered the crucifixion of Christ.”⁠28​John 19:13-16;Acts 4:27.

30. What has been discovered regarding the use of camels that substantiates the Bible record?

30 Modern discoveries even substantiate minor details of ancient Bible accounts. For instance, contradicting the Bible, Werner Keller wrote in 1964 that camels were not domesticated at an early date, and, therefore, the scene where “we meet Rebecca for the first time in her native city of Nahor must make do with a change of stage props. The ‘camels’ belonging to her future father-in-law, Abraham, which she watered at the well were​—donkeys.”⁠29 (Genesis 24:10) However, in 1978 Israeli military leader and archaeologist Moshe Dayan pointed to evidence that camels “served as a means of transport” in those early times, and hence that the Bible account is accurate. “An eighteenth-century BC relief found at Byblos in Phoenicia depicts a kneeling camel,” Dayan explained. “And camel riders appear on cylinder seals recently discovered in Mesopotamia belonging to the patriarchal period.”⁠30

31. What further evidence is there that the Bible is historically accurate?

31 Evidence that the Bible is historically accurate has mounted irresistibly. While it is true that secular records of Egypt’s Red Sea debacle and other such defeats have not been found, this is not surprising since it was not the practice of rulers to record their defeats. Yet, discovered on the temple walls of Karnak in Egypt is the record of Pharaoh Shishak’s successful invasion of Judah during the reign of Solomon’s son Rehoboam. The Bible tells about this at 1 Kings 14:25, 26. In addition, Moabite King Mesha’s version of his revolt against Israel has been discovered, being recorded on what is called the Moabite Stone. The account can also be read in the Bible at 2 Kings 3:4-27.

32. What can visitors to museums today see that verifies Bible accounts?

32 Visitors to many museums can see wall reliefs, inscriptions and statues that verify Bible accounts. Kings of Judah and Israel such as Hezekiah, Manasseh, Omri, Ahab, Pekah, Menahem and Hoshea appear on cuneiform records of Assyrian rulers. King Jehu or one of his emissaries is depicted on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser as paying tribute. The decor of the Persian palace of Shushan, as the Biblical characters Mordecai and Esther knew it, has been re-created for observation today. Statues of the early Roman Caesars, Augustus, Tiberius and Claudius, who appear in Bible accounts, can also be viewed by museum visitors. (Luke 2:1; 3:1; Acts 11:28; 18:2) A silver denarius coin, in fact, has been found that bears the image of Tiberius Caesar​—a coin Jesus asked for when discussing the matter of taxes.​—Matthew 22:19-21.

33. How does the land of Israel and its features provide evidence that the Bible is accurate?

33 A modern-day visitor to Israel familiar with the Bible cannot help but be impressed with the fact that the Bible describes the land and its features with great accuracy. Dr. Ze’ev Shremer, leader of a geological expedition in the Sinai Peninsula, once said: “We have our own maps and geodetic survey plans, of course, but where the Bible and the maps are at odds, we opt for The Book.”⁠31 To give an example of how one can personally experience the history presented in the Bible: In Jerusalem today a person can walk through a 1,749-foot-long tunnel that was cut through solid rock over 2,700 years ago. It was cut to protect the city’s water supply by carrying water from the hidden spring of Gihon outside the city walls to the Pool of Siloam within the city. The Bible explains how Hezekiah had this water tunnel constructed to provide water for the city in anticipation of Sennacherib’s coming siege.​—2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:30.

34. What have some respected scholars said about the Bible’s accuracy?

34 These are but a few examples that illustrate why it is unwise to underestimate the Bible’s accuracy. There are many, many more. So doubts about the Bible’s reliability are usually based, not on what it says or upon sound evidence, but instead upon misinformation or ignorance. The former director of the British Museum, Frederic Kenyon, wrote: “Archæology has not yet said its last word; but the results already achieved confirm what faith would suggest, that the Bible can do nothing but gain from an increase of knowledge.”⁠32 And the well-known archaeologist Nelson Glueck said: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”⁠33

Honesty and Harmony

35, 36. (a) What personal shortcomings did various Bible writers acknowledge? (b) Why does the honesty of these writers add weight to their claim that the Bible is from God?

35 Something else that identifies the Bible as coming from God is the honesty of its writers. It is contrary to imperfect human nature to admit mistakes or failures, especially in writing. Most ancient writers reported only their successes and virtues. Yet Moses wrote how he had “acted undutifully,” and so was disqualified from leading Israel into the Promised Land. (Deuteronomy 32:50-52; Numbers 20:1-13) Jonah told of his own waywardness. (Jonah 1:1-3; 4:1) Paul acknowledges his former wrongdoings. (Acts 22:19, 20; Titus 3:3) And Matthew, an apostle of Christ, reported that the apostles at times showed little faith, sought prominence and even abandoned Jesus at his arrest.​—Matthew 17:18-20; 18:1-6; 20:20-28;26:56.

36 If Bible writers were going to falsify anything, would it not be unfavorable information about themselves? They would not likely reveal their own shortcomings and then make false claims about other things, would they? So, then, the honesty of the Bible writers adds weight to their claim that God guided them as they wrote.​—2 Timothy 3:16.

37. Why is the internal harmony of the Bible such strong evidence that it is inspired by God?

37 The internal harmony around a central theme also testifies to the Bible’s Divine Authorship. It is easy to state that the Bible’s 66 books were written over a period of 16 centuries by some 40 different writers. But think how remarkable that fact is! Say that the writing of a book began during the time of the Roman Empire, that the writing continued through the period of the monarchies and to modern-day republics, and that the writers were people as different as soldiers, kings, priests, fishermen, and even a herdsman as well as a medical doctor. Would you expect every part of that book to follow the same precise theme? Yet the Bible was written over a similar period of time, under various political regimes, and by men of all those categories. And it is harmonious throughout. Its basic message has the same thrust from beginning to end. Does this not lend weight to the Bible’s claim that these “men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit”?​—2 Peter 1:20, 21.

38. What does it take for a person to trust the Bible?

38 Can you trust the Bible? If you really examine what it says, and do not simply accept what certain ones claim that it says, you will find reason to trust it. Yet, even stronger evidence exists that the Bible was indeed inspired by God, which is the subject of the next chapter.

[Blurb on page 202]

“The astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same”

[Blurb on page 204]

The Bible is remarkably free from superstitious expressions

[Blurb on page 206]

The close connection between mental attitude and physical health was long ago referred to in the Bible

[Blurb on page 215]

It is contrary to human nature to admit mistakes or failures, especially in writing

[Blurb on page 215]

The Bible is harmonious throughout

[Diagram on page 201]

This water cycle, generally unknown in ancient times, is described in the Bible

[Picture on page 200]

This is how some ancients believed that the earth was supported

[Picture on page 203]

Frozen-solid mammoth uncovered in Siberia. After thousands of years, vegetation was still in its mouth and stomach, and its flesh was edible when thawed out

[Picture on page 205]

In the past century, doctors did not always wash after touching the dead, causing other deaths

MORGUE

MATERNITY

[Picture on page 207]

The Bible’s emphasis on love harmonizes with sound medical advice

[Picture on page 209]

A limestone relief of King Sargon, who had long been known only from the Bible account

[Pictures on page 210]

A wall relief from King Sennacherib’s palace in Nineveh, showing him receiving booty from the Judean city of Lachish

This clay prism of King Sennacherib describes his military expedition into Israel

[Pictures on page 211]

Victory monument of Esar-haddon, son of Sennacherib, amplifies 2 Kings 19:37: “And Esar-haddon his son began to reign in place of him”

This inscription, found in Caesarea, verifies that Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea

[Pictures on page 212]

This wall relief verifies the record found in the Bible of Shishak’s victory over Judah

The Moabite Stone records the revolt of Moab’s King Mesha against Israel, described in the Bible

[Pictures on page 213]

King Jehu, or an emissary, paying tribute to King Shalmaneser III

Marble bust of Augustus, the Caesar when Jesus Christ was born

A silver denarius with Tiberius Caesar’s inscription, like the one Christ asked for

[Picture on page 214]

Interior of tunnel that King Hezekiah had hewed out to provide water for Jerusalem during Assyrian siege

The Footnotes for Ya:)

Chapter 17

Can You Trust the Bible?

1. Free Inquiry, “The Bible as a Political Weapon,” by Gerald Larue, Summer 1983, p. 39.

2. Scientific Monthly, “Geology and Health,” by Harry V. Warren, June 1954, p. 396.

3. Cook’s Commentary, edited by F. C. Cook, 1878, Vol. IV, p. 96.

4. Encyclopedia Americana, 1977, Vol. 9, p. 553.

5. The World Book Encyclopedia, 1984, Vol. 20, p. 136.

6. God and the Astronomers, by Robert Jastrow, 1978, pp. 11, 14.

7. Ibid., p. 16.

8. The Saturday Evening Post, “Riddle of the Frozen Giants,” by Ivan T. Sanderson, January 16, 1960, pp. 82, 83.

9. The New Dictionary of Thoughts, 1954, originally compiled by Tryon Edwards. Revised by C. N. Catrevas and Jonathan Edwards, p. 534.

10. The Physician Examines the Bible, by C. Raimer Smith, 1950, p. 354.

11. The Papyrus Ebers, by C. P. Bryan, 1931, pp. 73, 91, 92.

12. None of These Diseases, by S. I. McMillen, 1963, p. 23.

13. Encyclopedia Americana, 1956, Vol. 18, p. 582b.

14. The Lancet, “Mental Health and Spiritual Values,” by Geoffrey Vickers, March 12, 1955, p. 524.

15. Today’s Health, “How to Avoid Harmful Stress,” by J. D. Ratcliff, July 1970, p. 43.

16. A Few Buttons Missing, by James T. Fisher and Lowell S. Hawley, 1951, p. 273.

17. Abraham, Recent Discoveries and Hebrew Origins, by Leonard Woolley, 1935, p. 22.

18. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, “Exodus,” edited by J. H. Hertz, 1951, p. 106.

19. From the Stone Age to Christianity, by William Foxwell Albright, 1940, pp. 192, 193.

20. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, p. 106.

21. Digging Up the Bible, by Moshe Pearlman, 1980, p. 85.

22. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, edited by James B. Pritchard, 1969, pp. 284, 285.

23. Digging Up the Bible, p. 85.

24. Ibid.

25. Ancient Near Eastern Texts, p. 288.

26. Universal Jewish History, by Philip Biberfeld, 1948, Vol. I, p. 27.

27. Nabonidus and Belshazzar, by Raymond Philip Dougherty, 1929, p. 200.

28. The Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, March 24, 1980, “Unearthing Pontius Pilate,” by Michael J. Howard, pp. B1, B2.

29. The Bible as History, by Werner Keller, 1964 edition, p. 161.

30. Living With the Bible, by Moshe Dayan, 1978, p. 39.

31. The Sun, San Bernardino, California, October 19, 1967, p. B-12.

32. The Bible and Archæology, by Frederic Kenyon, 1940, p. 279.

33. Rivers of the Desert, by Nelson Glueck, 1959, p. 31.

(Sorry cannot include images here…only written references to such.)
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