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h = helping?
h = hurting?
hhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmm: which is it? both?

helping/hurting hurting/helping…difficult, at times, to distinguish between.

h = hoping this blog is helping You Reader. 🙂

interesting recent reread: i’ve learned a lot from “David” (a man with an agreeable heart)…always loved archaeology…as kid wanted to be archaeologist..(1 among top 3 inclinations)..loved digging around in the dirt discovering hidden treasures…still like to dig..digging deeply to discover “Truth” treasure!!🙂 My tools different, but i keep my hands clean, eh?!

According to the Bible, King David of Israel lived in the 11th century B.C.E. and his descendants ruled for hundreds of years. But some critics have argued that David is a myth, a tribal legend created much later. Was King David a real person?

In 1993, archaeologist Avraham Biran and his team discovered a stone fragment at Tel Dan, northern Israel, bearing an inscription that refers to the “House of David.” The inscription, in an ancient Semitic script, dates to the ninth century B.C.E. It was evidently part of a monument erected by the Aramaeans, boasting of victories over the Israelites.

An article in Bible History Daily states: “The ‘House of David’ inscription had its skeptics . . . However, most Biblical scholars and archaeologists readily accepted that the Tel Dan stela had supplied the first concrete proof of a historical King David from the Bible, making it one of the top Biblical archaeology discoveries reported in BAR [Biblical Archaeology Review].”

[article: Archaeological Discovery Points to King David as a Historical Person]

 

11/17/19 @ 11:10 a.m.

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I
CON

I “con” = Con Artist?? 😉

My brain goes there…to corny play-on-words. (Not meaning to personally disrespect artists/any artist working with the (?) sacred.)

(I respect art and artists. )

My mind “respectfully” asks:  Are icons  in “deed” (oops, there i go again) counterfeits, fakes?! Ch-e-e-r-fully check out the following.🙂

“Images were unknown in the worship of the primitive Christians . . . The admission of images into the church in the 4th and 5th centuries was justified on the theory that the ignorant people could learn the facts of Christianity from them better than from sermons or books.”— Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, by McClintock and Strong, Volume 4, pages 503 and 504.

hmmm, wow…’theories’ everywhere about everything, eh?…wonder IF an ‘illiterate monkey‘ thought up this one: “ignorant people could learn the facts of Christianity from  [images] better than from sermons or books.”
Goes without saying pictures are teaching tools…however, any tool can be properly used and improperly misused, huh? (In our day and age, today’s “tool” of media manipulates to ‘only’ teach “Truth” &  “Facts” ?!)
“Ignorant” to what?? The Dishonesty and Corruption of the Church Fathers?!
Here’s a “fact”…keeping the “masses aka us ‘regular’ folks” aka the ones not HIGHLY ESTEEMED AS EXPERTS..dumb…or dumb ’em down so they cannot easily fact check/THINK for themselves…why?? or Why not?! teach people to read..or improve literacy skills or help them learn a different language say Latin…so they can be educated enough to check scripture/read for themselves and engage in comparative inquiry (True v. False) against any religious-false “oral” dogma spewing from less-educated or less-than holy priests with unholy motivations.

Appalled by a Lack of Education

Cyril Lucaris was born in 1572, in Venice-occupied Candia (now Iráklion), Crete. Possessing fine talents, he studied at Venice and Padua in Italy and then traveled widely in that country and others. Embittered by the factional struggles within the church and attracted by reformation movements in Europe, he may have visited Geneva, then under the sway of Calvinism.

While visiting Poland, Lucaris saw that the Orthodox there, priests and laity alike, were in a deplorable spiritual condition as a result of their lack of education. Back in Alexandria and Constantinople, he was alarmed to find that even the pulpits​—where the reading of the Scriptures was done—​had been removed from some churches!

ERRONEOUS PRACTICES/HUMAN TRADITION

In 1602, Lucaris went to Alexandria, where he succeeded his relative, Patriarch Meletios, in that see. He then started corresponding with various reform-minded theologians in Europe. In one of those letters, he noted that the Orthodox Church maintained many erroneous practices. In other letters, he stressed the need for the church to replace superstition with “evangelical simplicity” and to depend on the authority of the Scriptures alone.

Lucaris was also alarmed that the spiritual authority of the Church Fathers was held in equal esteem with the words of Jesus and the apostles. “I can no longer endure to hear men say that the comments of human tradition are of equal weight with the Scriptures,” he wrote. (Matthew 15:6) He added that, in his opinion, image worship was disastrous. The invocation of “saints” was, he observed, an insult to the Mediator, Jesus.​—1 Timothy 2:5.

Aversion to the Roman Catholic Church:

Those ideas, along with his aversion to the Roman Catholic Church, brought upon Lucaris the hatred and persecution of the Jesuits and those in the Orthodox Church who favored a union with the Catholics. In spite of that opposition, in 1620, Lucaris was elected patriarch of Constantinople. The patriarchate of the Orthodox Church was at that time under the domination of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman government would readily depose a patriarch and admit a new one for payment of money.

Lucaris’ foes, mainly the Jesuits and the all-powerful and fearsome papal Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith), kept slandering and plotting against him. “In the pursuit of this aim the Jesuits employed every means​—guile, calumny, flattery and, above all, bribery, which was by far the most effective weapon for winning the favour of the [Ottoman] grandees,” notes the work Kyrillos Loukaris. As a result, in 1622, Lucaris was banished to the island of Rhodes, and Gregory of Amasya purchased the office for 20,000 silver coins. However, Gregory was unable to produce the promised sum, so Anthimus of Adrianople purchased the office, only to resign later. Amazingly, Lucaris was restored to the patriarchal throne.

(makes me wonder how many??! offices of influence: religious/governmental or otherwise won…have been “purchased” through the centuries and currently…and by “clean” (?) currency/money (?) traded/exchanged by clean hands?)

Lucaris was determined to use this new opportunity to educate the Orthodox clergy and laity by publishing a translation of the Bible and theological tracts. To accomplish this, he arranged for a printing press to be brought to Constantinople under the protection of the English ambassador. However, when the press arrived in June 1627, Lucaris’ enemies charged him with employing it for political purposes, and they eventually had it destroyed. Lucaris now had to use printing presses in Geneva.

Respect for The Bible and Its Power to Educate:)

Lucaris’ tremendous respect for the Bible and its power to educate fueled his desire to make its words more accessible to the common man. He recognized that the language used in the original, inspired Greek Bible manuscripts was no longer comprehensible to the average person. So the first book that Lucaris commissioned was a translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures into the Greek of his day. Maximus Callipolites, a learned monk, started work on it in March 1629. Many of the Orthodox considered translating the Scriptures outrageous, no matter how obscure the text otherwise might be to readers. To appease them, Lucaris had the original text and the modern rendering printed in parallel columns, adding only a few notes. Since Callipolites died soon after delivering the manuscript, Lucaris himself read the proofs. That translation was printed shortly after Lucaris’ death in 1638.

In spite of Lucaris’ precautions, that translation roused a storm of disapproval from many bishops. Lucaris’ love of God’s Word was more than evident in the preface of that Bible translation. He wrote that the Scriptures, presented in the language that the people speak, are “a sweet message, given to us from heaven.” He admonished people “to know and be acquainted with all [the Bible’s] contents” and said that there is no other way of learning about “the things that concern faith correctly . . . save through the divine and sacred Gospel.”​—Philippians 1:9, 10.

Lucaris sternly denounced those who forbade the study of the Bible, as well as those who rejected the translation of the original text: “If we speak or read without understanding, it is like throwing our words to the wind.” (Compare 1 Corinthians 14:7-9.) In concluding the preface, he wrote: While you are all reading this divine and holy Gospel in your own tongue, appropriate the profit derived from its reading, . . . and may God ever lighten your way to that which is good.”Proverbs 4:18.

“Confession of Faith”

After he had initiated that Bible translation, Lucaris took another bold step. In 1629 he published at Geneva a Confession of Faith. It was a personal statement of beliefs that he hoped would be adopted by the Orthodox Church. According to the book The Orthodox Church, that Confession empties the Orthodox doctrine of the priesthood and holy orders of all meaning, and deplores the veneration of icons and the invocation of saints as forms of idolatry.”

The Confession consists of 18 articles. Its second article declares that the Scriptures are inspired by God and that their authority exceeds that of the church. It says: “We believe the Holy Scripture to be given by God . . . We believe the authority of the Holy Scripture to be above the authority of the Church. To be taught by the Holy Ghost is a far different thing from being taught by a man.”​—2 Timothy 3:16.

The eighth and tenth articles maintain that Jesus Christ is the sole Mediator, High Priest, and Head of the congregation. Lucaris wrote: “We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ sitteth on the right hand of His Father and there He maketh intercession for us, executing alone the office of a true and lawful high priest and mediator.”​—Matthew 23:10.

The 12th article declares that the church can stray, mistaking the false for true, but the light of the holy spirit may rescue it through the labors of faithful ministers. In article 18, Lucaris maintains that purgatory is a mere figment: “It is evident that the fiction of Purgatory is not to be admitted.

The appendix of the Confession contains a number of questions and responses. There Lucaris stresses first that the Scriptures should be read by every one of the faithful and that it is harmful for a Christian to fail to read God’s Word. He then adds that the Apocryphal books should be shunned.​—Revelation 22:18, 19.

The fourth question asks: “How ought we to think of Icons?” Lucaris answers: “We are taught by the Divine and Sacred Scriptures, which say plainly, ‘Thou shalt not make to thyself an idol, or a likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath; thou shalt not adore them, nor shalt thou worship them; [Exodus 20:4, 5]’ since we ought to worship, not the creature, but only the Creator and Maker of the heaven and of the earth, and Him only to adore. . . . The worship and service of [the icons], as being forbidden . . . in Sacred Scripture, we reject, lest we should forget, and instead of the Creator and Maker, adore colours, and art, and creatures.​—Acts 17:29.

Didn’t discern everything erroneous..(Hey, we’re all imperfect, eh?;) with lots to learn yet…from womb to grave.)

Although Lucaris was not able to discern fully all matters of error in the era of spiritual darkness in which he lived, he made commendable efforts to have the Bible be the authority on church doctrine and to educate people about its teachings.

Killed for killing it–ignorance.

Immediately after the release of this Confession, a renewed wave of opposition to Lucaris arose. In 1633, Cyril Contari, the metropolitan of Beroea (now Aleppo), a personal enemy of Lucaris and supported by the Jesuits, tried to bargain with the Ottomans for the patriarchal chair. However, the scheme failed when Contari was unable to pay the money. Lucaris retained the office. The following year Athanasius of Thessalonica paid 60,000 silver coins for the office. Lucaris was again deposed. But within a month he was recalled and reinstated. By then Cyril Contari had raised his 50,000 silver coins. This time Lucaris was banished to Rhodes. After six months, his friends were able to secure his restoration.

In 1638, however, Jesuits and their Orthodox collaborators accused Lucaris of high treason against the Ottoman Empire. This time the sultan ordered his death. Lucaris was arrested, and on July 27, 1638, he was taken on board a small boat as if for banishment. As soon as the boat was at sea, he was strangled. His body was buried near the shore, then exhumed and thrown into the sea. It was found by fishermen and later buried by his friends.

Ludicrous Lucaris?! “living” lessons..🙂

“It should not be overlooked that one of [Lucaris’] primary aims was to enlighten and uplift the educational level of his clergy and flock, which in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century had sunk to an extremely low point,” states one scholar. Numerous obstacles prevented Lucaris from reaching his goal. He was removed from the patriarchal throne five times. Thirty-four years after his death, a synod in Jerusalem anathematized his beliefs as heresies. They declared that the Scriptures “should be read, not by just anyone, but only by the ones peering into the deep things of the spirit after having done appropriate research”​—that is, only the supposedly educated clergymen.

Once again, the ruling ecclesiastical class suppressed efforts to make God’s Word available to their flock. They violently silenced a voice that pointed to some of the errors of their non-Biblical beliefs. They proved to be among the worst enemies of religious freedom and truth. Sadly, this is a stance that in various ways survives even to our day. It is a sobering reminder of what happens when clergy-instigated intrigues stand in the way of freedom of thought and expression.

[reading excerpted (my highlights red & purple) : Cyril Lucaris—A Man Who Valued the Bible w 2/15/00]

Questions for Reflections:
What do i value/highly esteem?
Theory?
Tradition?
Truth?
Divine/Accurate Education?
Spiritual Light?
Spiritual Darkness?
Human’s Word?
God’s Word?
Scripture? or Aprocrypha?
Freedom of Thought & Expression?
1/12/19 @ 6:26 p.m.
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‘on a scale from 1 to 10 how would…’

‘wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole…’

‘9 times out of 10…’

T.

testing.

transfiguration

Number ten in a Biblical (book of Revelation) sense…means earthly completeness.

Excerpted reading (1) a FAV book.

While Jesus is praying, he is transfigured before them. The apostles see his face shine as the sun and see his garments become brilliant as light, glitteringly white.

Then, two figures, identified as “Moses and Elijah,” appear. They start talking to Jesus about his ‘departure that is to occur at Jerusalem.’ (Luke 9:30, 31) His departure evidently refers to Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection, which he recently spoke of. (Matthew 16:21) This conversation proves that contrary to what Peter urged, Jesus’ humiliating death is not something to be avoided.

Fully awake now, the three apostles watch and listen in amazement. This is a vision, yet it appears so real that Peter begins to get personally involved in the scene, saying: “Rabbi, it is fine for us to be here. So let us erect three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Mark 9:5) Does Peter want the tents set up so that the vision will be prolonged for some time?

While Peter is speaking, a bright cloud covers them and a voice from the cloud says: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved. Listen to him.” At hearing God’s voice, the frightened apostles fall on their faces, but Jesus urges them: “Get up. Have no fear.”

Elijah’s appearance in the vision raises a question. “Why,” the apostles ask, “do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replies: “Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him.” (Matthew 17:10-12) Jesus is speaking about John the Baptist, who fulfilled a role similar to Elijah’s. Elijah prepared the way for Elisha, and John did so for Christ.

How strengthening this vision is to Jesus and to the apostles! It is a preview of Christ’s Kingdom glory. Thus the disciples saw “the Son of man coming in his Kingdom,” as Jesus had promised. (Matthew 16:28) While on the mountain, they were “eyewitnesses of his magnificence.” Though the Pharisees wanted a sign to prove that Jesus was to be God’s chosen King, he would not give them one. But Jesus’ close disciples were allowed to see Jesus’ transfiguration, which confirms Kingdom prophecies. Thus, Peter could later write: “We have the prophetic word made more sure.”​—2 Peter 1:16-19.

excerpted reading (2)

The father is desperate, because even Jesus’ disciples have not been able to help. In response to the man’s desperate appeal, Jesus gives the encouraging assurance: “That expression, ‘If you can’! Why, all things are possible for the one who has faith.” Immediately the father cries out: “I have faith! Help me out where I need faith!”​—Mark 9:23, 24.

Jesus notices the crowd running toward him. With all of these looking on, Jesus rebukes the demon: “You speechless and deaf spirit, I order you, get out of him and do not enter into him again!” In departing, the demon causes the boy to scream and have many convulsions. Then the boy lies there motionless. Seeing this, many people say: “He is dead!” (Mark 9:25, 26) But when Jesus takes the boy’s hand, he rises and is “cured from that hour.” (Matthew 17:18) Understandably, the people are astonished at what Jesus is doing.

Earlier, when Jesus sent the disciples forth to preach, they were able to expel demons. So now, privately in a house, they ask him: “Why could we not expel it?” Jesus explains that it was because of their lack of faith, saying: “This kind can come out only by prayer.” (Mark 9:28, 29) Strong faith along with prayer for God’s empowering help was needed to expel the powerful demon.

Jesus concludes: “Truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard grain, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20) How powerful faith can be!

Obstacles and difficulties that block progress in Jehovah’s service may seem to be as insurmountable and irremovable as a literal mountain. Yet, if we cultivate faith, we can overcome such mountainlike obstacles and difficulties.

Tests are a part of life. (Got my share of pop quizzes and quiz-givers!;) Tests of faith (whatever state of our faith) come grain-like and mountain-like.

Hey Mon:) most likely, HER mon..lol speaking of mountains…check this out:

A miraculous event witnessed by Peter, James, and John, in which Jesus’ “face shone as the sun, and his outer garments became brilliant as the light.” (Mt 17:1-9; Mr 9:2-10; Lu 9:28-36) Mark says that on this occasion Jesus’ outer garments became “far whiter than any clothes cleaner on earth could whiten them,” and Luke states that “the appearance of his face became different.” The transfiguration occurred on a mountain sometime after Passover of 32 C.E., quite a while before Jesus’ final trip to Jerusalem.

Just before the transfiguration, Jesus and his disciples were in the region of Caesarea Philippi, the present-day village of Banyas. (Mr 8:27) It is unlikely that Christ and the apostles departed from this vicinity or region when going to the “lofty mountain.” (Mr 9:2) Mount Tabor has been viewed as the traditional site from about the fourth century C.E., but lying about 70 km (40 mi) SSW of Caesarea Philippi, it seems an improbable location.​—See TABOR No. 1.

Mount Hermon, on the other hand, is only about 25 km (15 mi) NE of Caesarea Philippi. It rises to a height of 2,814 m (9,232 ft) above sea level and would therefore be “a lofty mountain.” (Mt 17:1) Hence, the transfiguration may have taken place on some spur of Mount Hermon. This is the view of many modern scholars, though the Bible’s silence on the matter leaves the exact location uncertain.

The transfiguration probably took place at night, for the apostles “were weighed down with sleep.” (Lu 9:32) At night the event would be more vivid, and they did spend the night on the mountain, for it was not until the next day that they descended. (Lu 9:37) Just how long the transfiguration lasted, however, the Bible does not say.

Prior to ascending the mountain, Christ had asked all of his disciples: “Who are men saying that I am?” whereupon Peter replied: “You are the Christ.” At that Jesus told them that he would die and be resurrected (Mr 8:27-31), though he also promised that some of his disciples would “not taste death at all” until they had first seen “the Son of man coming in his kingdom,” or “the kingdom of God already come in power.” (Mt 16:28; Mr 9:1) This promise was fulfilled “six days later” (or “eight” according to Luke, who apparently includes the day of the promise and that of the fulfillment) when Peter, James, and John accompanied Jesus into “a lofty mountain” (Mt 17:1; Mr 9:2; Lu 9:28) where, while praying, Jesus was transfigured before them.

M.E. aka Moses & Elijah…& “hoʹra·ma” Drama:)

During Jesus’ transfiguration, Moses and Elijah also appeared “with glory.” (Lu 9:30, 31;Mt 17:3; Mr 9:4) They talked about Christ’s “departure [a form of the Greek word eʹxo·dos] that he was destined to fulfill at Jerusalem.” (Lu 9:31) This eʹxo·dos, exodus or departure, evidently involved both Christ’s death and his subsequent resurrection to spirit life.

Some critics have endeavored to class the transfiguration as simply a dream. However, Peter, James, and John would not logically all have had exactly the same dream. Jesus himself called what took place a “vision” (Mt 17:9), but not a mere illusion. Christ was actually there, though Moses and Elijah, who were dead, were not literally present. They were represented in vision. The Greek word used for “vision” at Matthew 17:9 is hoʹra·ma, also rendered “sight.” (Ac 7:31) It does not imply unreality, as though the observers were laboring under a delusion. Nor were they insensible to what occurred, for they were fully awake when witnessing the transfiguration. With their literal eyes and ears they actually saw and heard what took place at that time.​—Lu 9:32.

Yahweh speaks:

As Moses and Elijah were being separated from Jesus, Peter, “not realizing what he was saying,” suggested the erecting of three tents, one each for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. (Lu 9:33) But as the apostle spoke, a cloud formed (Lu 9:34), evidently (as at the tent of meeting in the wilderness) symbolizing Jehovah’s presence there on the mountain of the transfiguration. (Ex 40:34-38) From out of the cloud there came Jehovah’s voice, saying: “This is my Son, the one that has been chosen. Listen to him.” (Lu 9:35) Years later, with reference to the transfiguration, Peter identified the heavenly voice as that of “God the Father.” (2Pe 1:17, 18) Whereas in the past God had spoken through prophets, he now indicated that he would do so through his Son.​—Ga 3:24; Heb 1:1-3.

The apostle Peter viewed the transfiguration as a marvelous confirmation of the prophetic word, and by having been an eyewitness of Christ’s magnificence, he was able to acquaint his readers “with the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Pe 1:16, 19) The apostle had experienced the fulfillment of Christ’s promise that some of his followers would “not taste death at all until first they see the kingdom of God already come in power.” (Mr 9:1) The apostle John may also have alluded to the transfiguration at John 1:14.

Fortified & Strengthened:

The transfiguration, it seems, served to fortify Christ for his sufferings and death, while it also comforted his followers and strengthened their faith. It showed that Jesus had God’s approval, and it was a foreview of his future glory and Kingdom power. It presaged the presence of Christ, when his kingly authority would be complete.

[excerpted reading (3) & my highlight: Insight On the Scriptures, Vol. 2,Transfiguration” pp.1120-1121.]
1/8/19 @ 2:34 p.m.

p.s. reference: excerpted readings (4) & (5) :

[“Christ the Focus of Prophecy” w 05/ 1/15 pp. 10-15]

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