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Category Archives: literacy

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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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Lis(z)t..ening

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The way we listen…(or not) or rather the “quality” of our hearing?…it’s not just the working mechanisms of non-deaf ears…it’s the focus of our hearing…how we listen…perhaps, IS how we speak/respond.

We discussed in our previous compassion conversation the role our limbic system plays in assigning emotional priority to auditory input and how our desire(s) determines our listening. Basically, we listen (pay attention/heed) to what we “want” to hear–what has Top Emotional Priority to us individually.

To examine our listening skills, perhaps, we should examine our emotional priorities?! Because listening is learning and unless we can broaden our emotional priority (to include concern for others)…our learning (i.e. compassion) and listening will be limited at best.

Are our desires selfish? Unselfish? For example, if #1 (me) is my top emotional priority then i listen/pay attention/learn and/or practice what will benefit #1! or if my top emotional priority is unselfish and/or concern for other fragile-breathing life…i listen (pay attention and learn and/or practice) what will benefit not just myself, but all breathing-fragile life! [compassion-conversation-2]

Does the heart hearing offer the mind-mouth’s musings?

Talking is one means of learning. Listening is probably a better way of learning! Yeah, you’re correct, I need to listen more, eh? 🙂

Researchers have found that while the limbic system of our brain helps us focus on one thing while sustaining ability to hear various sounds–differentiating between many sounds becomes difficult when it involves simultaneously listening to human speech. When 2 voices compete for your ear to whom do you listen?!

I read this eye-opener point or rather ear-opener: “What we desire influences the way we hear!”  What do you desire? We select the speech we listen to/focus on depending on which one (person) we “want” to hear!

Do you pay attention?…

Part of our regulatory auditory mechanism, which tunes and de-tunes our attention process, is the limbic system. It is responsible for assigning more or less attention to a given auditory input. So, if there are multiple auditory inputs, the input most relevant to our conscious and subconscious mechanism receives top priority. When the limbic system detects new and/or more relevant information, it passes it on to the auditory cortex for processing. At the same time, a certain emotional association is assigned to it. ~The Hearing Journal/Role of Limbic System by Natan Bauman, PhD

Getting our emotions and/or desires under control or not, could hinder or help our learning!:) Let’s hope the voice that wins our listening (and/or affection) is a wise one and not a stupid one!:) Let’s hope this person (voice) is a “true” friend out for our best interests and not for his/her own! Is a True Friend a people-pleaser, ear-pleaser or neither-pleaser?! May be, we should “listen” to the unexpected/unsolicited voices that cross our path?! New, fresh voices could teach new, fresh things. (Of course, be careful/discerning.) [1-compassion-conversation]

i think this is an important point for teachers and students/students and teachers…love…teaching/talking with love and learning/listening with love…enhances the quality, speed? perhaps, pace of learning. When student cares and teacher cares–agape for fellow-fragile-life and when both care enough/enJOY/like/love topic under consideration…”real” progress is made (in pov).

Does a great teacher have great love??

“Never has another man spoken like this.”​—JOHN 7:46.

The Bible gives us glimpses of the impact he made on those who met him. For instance, Gospel writer Luke relates that people in Jesus’ hometown “began . . . to marvel at the winsome words proceeding out of his mouth.” Matthew reports that those who listened to Jesus as he taught in the Sermon on the Mount “were astounded at his way of teaching.” And John observes that the officers who were sent to arrest Jesus returned empty-handed, saying: “Never has another man spoken like this.”​—Luke 4:22; Matt. 7:28; John 7:46.

Those officers were not mistaken. Jesus was unquestionably the greatest Teacher who ever lived. He taught with clarity, simplicity, and irrefutable logic. He skillfully used illustrations and questions. He adapted his teaching to those to whom he spoke, whether they were of high station or low. The truths he taught were easy to grasp yet truly profound. However, these things alone did not make Jesus the great Teacher that he was.

Teachers of the terrible…(aka “terrible” and not terrific teachers)…

LACK GENUINE LOVE!

Among the scribes and Pharisees, there were doubtless intelligent men who possessed knowledge and the skills to impart it. What made Jesus’ way of teaching so different from theirs? The religious leaders of the day had no love for the common people. Rather, they despised them, viewing them as “accursed people.” (John 7:49) In contrast, Jesus was moved with pity for them, since they were “skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt. 9:36) He was warm, sympathetic, and kind. Further, the religious leaders had no true love for God. (John 5:42) Jesus, however, loved his Father and delighted to do his will. The religious leaders twisted God’s words to serve their own ends, but Jesus loved “the word of God”​—he taught it, explained it, defended it, and lived by it. (Luke 11:28) Yes, love permeated the very being of the Christ, governing what he taught, how he dealt with people, and how he instructed them.

We enjoy talking about the things we love. When we speak about something dear to our heart, we become animated and our whole demeanor reflects enthusiasm and warmth. This is especially true when we talk about a person whom we love. Usually, we are eager to share with others what we know about that person. We praise, honor, and defend him. We do that because we want others to feel as attracted to that person and his qualities as we are.

After all, true worship is based on love for God. (Matt. 22:36-38) Jesus set a perfect example. He loved Jehovah with his whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. Having spent perhaps billions of years in heaven with his heavenly Father, Jesus knew him well. The result? “I love the Father,” Jesus said. (John 14:31) That love was reflected in everything Jesus said and did. It motivated him always to do the things pleasing to God. (John 8:29) It impelled him to denounce the religious leaders, who hypocritically claimed to represent God. It also moved him to speak about Jehovah and to help others to know and love God. [excerpted: Imitate Jesus–Teach With Love w July 2009]

Question(s) for Reflection(s):

Imitate Whom?!

(Whom Worthy of Imitation?)

1/10/19 @ 3:00 p.m.

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status : slart (?)(.)(!)

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SL + ART?? Sl (ant) + art = slanted art.

“slart”…what could be categorized as “slart”?!…

(Let me START with myself: including my blog?!…LOL;) “art” in many form is…in the “eye” of the beholder? not calling myself an artist nor poet…things to which i aspire? perhaps:)!)

am a work in progress; that’s for sure!:)…hopefully at the hands of the Great Potter.

(some media is a lot of contrived ‘slart’ it seems, eh?)

Does slant = biased?!..is it more than a preference? or is it being prejudiced?

Which lens does an artist choose to use? What is his/her starting “point” ?

which angle? which slant?!

Also encapsulates:

to (cause to) lean in a position that is not vertical; to (cause to) slope:

Italic writing slants to the right.
The evening sun slanted (= shone with the light moving in a slopethrough the narrow window.

to present information in a particular way,especially showing one group of people, one side of an argument, etc. in such a positive or negative way that it is unfair:

The police claimed that reports in the media were slanted against/towards the defendant.
[Cambridge Dictionary]
Truth is the Target. Truth—my target—(and) my “accurate” destination. Truth is the target for which I aim. My personal priority/my spiritual battle is NOT with transient idea(s), culture(s), status, prestige, politics, etc.
How to read? (A Living Literacy?) A definite consideration, right?? or is it left?!
You know, an obvious, but not all languages read left to right like English. Hebrew is written right to left.
So, from my “spiritual” perspective: some things have to be read from the “correct” starting point…(for understanding).

 

Recently read this “courageous” experience and found it “Truth” “Faith” strengthening…as a person who accepts HaShem, Shem Hameforash, “Yahweh”.  (My family heritage is Lithuanian on my Mom’s side…including some Cherokee on my Dad, Isaac’s, side …my family background gravitates toward strong spirituality. My upbringing included Highly Valuing Scripture/God’s Word above man’s. Daily readings a routine. However, the emphasis was : Truth Transcends Tradition!)

“Buy truth and never sell it, also wisdom and discipline and understanding.”​—PROV. 23:23.

back to “Courageous” & encouraging experience read🙂

From his early years, a Jewish businessman named Aaron was taught that God’s name is not to be pronounced. However, Aaron had a thirst for truth. He was thrilled when a Witness showed him that by combining vowel points with the four Hebrew consonants of God’s name, it could be pronounced “Jehovah.” Excitedly, he went to the synagogue to share his wonderful discovery with the rabbis. Their reaction was not what Aaron expected. Instead of sharing his joy of learning the truth about God’s name, they spit on him and treated him as an outcast. His family bonds became strained. Undaunted, he continued to buy truth and served as a bold Witness of Jehovah for the rest of his life. Like Aaron, in order to walk in the truth, we are willing to pay the price of accepting whatever changes may occur in our social status or family relationships.

I don’t buy lies…and comes with a cost…which i’ve been paying. To me—it’s worth it! And having a conscience that lets One sleep soundly/peacefully helps lots. Being well-rested aids with decision-making, eh? 😉
Question for Reflection:
Do i value Truth over Tradition?
at times in life…we draw with melting crayon and perhaps, progress to extra-fine point-pen. De”pen”ds 🙂

further reading…pen? writer?..reader..

We do not find the truth in God’s Word without effort. We must be willing to make whatever sacrifices are needed to obtain it.

5, 6. (a) How can we buy truth without money? Illustrate. (b) How does truth benefit us?

Even something that is free may come at a cost. The Hebrew word translated “buy” at Proverbs 23:23 can also mean “acquire.” Both words imply making an effort or exchanging something for an item of value. We might illustrate the idea of buying truth this way. Let us say that a market advertises “Free Bananas.” Will those bananas miraculously appear on our table? No. We have to make the effort to go to the market to pick them up. Are the bananas free? Yes, but we must expend the effort and take the time to go to the market. Similarly, we do not need money to buy truth. However, we must make an effort to obtain it.

Read Isaiah 55:1-3Jehovah’s words recorded by Isaiah shed further light on what it means to buy truth. In this Bible passage, Jehovah compares his word to water, milk, and wine. Like a drink of cool, clear water, God’s words of truth are refreshing. Also, just as milk strengthens us and helps children to grow, Jehovah’s nourishing words strengthen us and help us to grow spiritually. Further, Jehovah’s words are also like wine. In what way? In the Bible, wine is associated with rejoicing. (Ps. 104:15) So by telling his people to “buy wine,” Jehovah assures us that living according to his words will make us rejoice. (Ps. 19:8) What a beautiful way to illustrate the beneficial effects of learning and applying God’s words of truth!

Another “Courageous” example…
Maria was swinging a golf club even before she was old enough to go to school. She continued to develop her golfing skills during high school and eventually earned a university scholarship. Golf was her life, and her goal was to enjoy a lucrative career as a professional golfer. Then Maria started to study the Bible, and she loved the truths she was learning. She was pleased with the changes that the truth helped her make in her life. She said: “The more I adjusted my attitude and lifestyle to the Bible’s standards, the happier I became.” Maria realized that it would be difficult for her to pursue both spiritual and material riches. (Matt. 6:24) She paid the price of giving up her lifelong goal of becoming a professional golfer and the prospects of gaining riches and fame. However, as a result of buying truth, she now […]enjoys what she describes as “the happiest, most meaningful life possible.” [excerpted readings: “Buy Truth and Never Sell It” w 11/2018]
Oh! joanie, a truth-seeker, huh?…yep, am “happily” going bananas! 🙂   
and Cheering—Keep Seeking Truth Reader:)

1/6/19 @ 6:03 p.m.

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Authenticity & Canonicity BEYOND Doubt

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A. Authenticity
B. Beyond Doubt
C. Canonicity
D. Definite
E. Exactitude

Learning our ABCDE’s…huh?:) Important in order (or out of order) to learn/use words aka put meaningful sentences together…aka act with proficiency/wisdom…(my purple highlighted past readings excerpted) a necessary:

Professor Julio Trebolle Barrera, a member of the team of experts charged with studying and publishing the ancient manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, says: “The transmission of the text of the Hebrew Bible is of extraordinary exactitude, without parallel in Greek and Latin classical literature.” Respected Bible scholar F. F. Bruce says: “The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning.” He continues: “If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.”

The survival of the Bible is extraordinary, considering what happened to the writings of nations contemporary with the Israelites. The Phoenicians, for instance, were neighbors of the Israelites during the first millennium B.C.E. These sea traders spread their alphabetic writing system throughout the Mediterranean area. They also profited from an extensive papyrus trade with Egypt and the Greek world. Even so, the National Geographic magazine observes regarding the Phoenicians: “Their writings, mostly on fragile papyrus, disintegrated​—so that we now know the Phoenicians mainly by the biased reports of their enemies. Although the Phoenicians themselves reportedly had a rich literature, it was totally lost in antiquity.

What about the writings of the ancient Egyptians? The hieroglyphics they carved or painted on temple walls and elsewhere are well-known. The Egyptians are also famous for developing papyrus as a writing material. However, regarding Egyptian records written on papyrus, Egyptologist K. A. Kitchen says: “It has been estimated that some 99 percent of all papyri written from circa 3000 down to the advent of Greco-Roman times have perished completely.

What about Roman records that were written on papyrus? Consider this example. According to the book Roman Military Records on Papyrus, Roman soldiers were apparently paid three times a year, and a record of the pay was made on papyrus pay vouchers. It is estimated that during the 300 years from Augustus (27 B.C.E.–14 C.E.) to Diocletian (284-305 C.E), there were 225,000,000 individual pay records. How many have survived? Only two have been found that are legible.

Why have so few ancient documents written on papyrus survived? Perishable materials, such as papyrus and another common writing material, leather, decay quickly in damp climates. The Anchor Bible Dictionary says: “Because of the climate, papyrus documents from this period [the first millennium B.C.E.] are likely to be preserved only if they are in a dry desert and in a cave or shelter.

The original Bible books were evidently written on material as fragile as that used by the Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Romans. Why, then, did the material contained in the Bible survive to become the world’s most published book? Professor James L. Kugel provides one reason. He says that the original writings were copied “many, many times even within the biblical period itself.” [excerpted: The Bible a Remarkable Story of Survival w 09]

IF we feed/educate/indoctrinate/nourish/supply/train our (individual) minds/consciences only/solely with works of fiction/mind-food-fabrications, do works of fiction manifest/fabricate in our lives aka our words, our works of say senselessness/nonsense or fiction or as meaninglessness/ultimately useless pursuits?? Reminds of expression… “only as good as our word.” How “reliable” are my words?! In Other Words:)..aka “observable” actions…do my deeds truthfully back up my words??

Seriously speaking, IF i desire/want, my personal life-story to continue/play out long and my life not cut short/decay quickly…wouldn’t i do well to learn reliable survival-skills from a trust-worthy place/source of truth?

Reliability of the Bible Text. Appreciation of the reliability of the Bible is greatly enhanced when it is realized that, by comparison, there are only very few extant manuscripts of the works of classical secular writers and none of these are original, autograph manuscripts. Though they are only copies made centuries after the death of the authors, present-day scholars accept such late copies as sufficient evidence of the authenticity of the text.

Extant Hebrew manuscripts of the Scriptures were prepared with great care. Respecting the text of the Hebrew Scriptures, scholar W. H. Green observed: “It may be safely said that no other work of antiquity has been so accurately transmitted.” (Archaeology and Bible History, by J. P. Free, 1964, p. 5) The late Bible text scholar Sir Frederic Kenyon made this reassuring statement in the introduction to his seven volumes entitled The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri: “The first and most important conclusion derived from the examination of them [the Papyri] is the satisfactory one that they confirm the essential soundness of the existing texts. No striking or fundamental variation is shown either in the Old or the New Testament. There are no important omissions or additions of passages, and no variations which affect vital facts or doctrines. The variations of text affect minor matters, such as the order of words or the precise words used. . . . But their essential importance is their confirmation, by evidence of an earlier date than was hitherto available, of the integrity of our existing texts. In this respect they are an acquisition of epoch-making value.”​—London, 1933, Fasciculus I, p. 15.

Concerning the Christian Greek Scriptures, Sir Frederic Kenyon stated: “The interval then between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”​—The Bible and Archæology, 1940, pp. 288, 289. [excerpted readings: Manuscripts of the Bible, Insight, Vol. 2]

Reasons to Check it Out aka Worthy of Scholarly Attention aka Study the Bible aka Make it Daily PRIORITY Reading…IF some of us feel we have benefitted in some way (trivial or otherwise) by “fictional” works…how MUCH MORE so would/could we benefit (Monumentally) by Bible reading?! Of course, us humans aren’t so willing to do anything without any self-interest or self-benefit, eh?!;) Many of us have the attitude (about any seemingly disciplined, time-consuming endeavor) what’s in it for me?!;)…a little or A LOT, “limited” results or limitless/immeasurable ones? 🙂

The Bible is not an unrelated assortment or collection of heterogeneous fragments from Jewish and Christian literature. Rather, it is an organizational book, highly unified and interconnected in its various segments, which indeed reflect the systematic orderliness of the Creator-Author himself. God’s dealings with Israel in giving them a comprehensive law code as well as regulations governing matters even down to small details of camp life​—things that were later mirrored in the Davidic kingdom as well as in the congregational arrangement among first-century Christians—​reflect and magnify this organizational aspect of the Bible.

Contents. In contents this Book of Books reveals the past, explains the present, and foretells the future. These are matters that only He who knows the end from the beginning could author. (Isa 46:10) Starting at the beginning by telling of the creation of heaven and earth, the Bible next gives a sweeping account of the events that prepared the earth for man’s habitation. Then the truly scientific explanation of the origin of man is revealed​—how life comes only from a Life-Giver—​facts that only the Creator now in the role of Author could explain. (Ge 1:26-28; 2:7) With the account of why men die, the overriding theme that permeates the whole Bible was introduced. This theme, the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty and the ultimate fulfillment of his purpose for the earth, by means of his Kingdom under Christ, the promised Seed, was wrapped up in the first prophecy concerning ‘the seed of the woman.’ (Ge 3:15) More than 2,000 years passed before this promise of a “seed” was again mentioned, God telling Abraham: “By means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves.” (Ge 22:18) Over 800 years later, renewed assurance was given to Abraham’s descendant King David, and with the passing of more time Jehovah’s prophets kept this flame of hope burning brightly. (2Sa 7:12, 16; Isa 9:6, 7) More than 1,000 years after David and 4,000 years after the original prophecy in Eden, the Promised Seed himself appeared, Jesus Christ, the legal heir to “the throne of David his father.” (Lu 1:31-33; Ga 3:16) Bruised in death by the earthly seed of the “serpent,” this “Son of the Most High” provided the ransom purchase price for the life rights lost to Adam’s offspring, thus providing the only means whereby mankind can get everlasting life. He was then raised on high, there to await the appointed time to hurl “the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan,” down to the earth, finally to be destroyed forever. Thus the magnificent theme announced in Genesis and developed and enlarged upon throughout the balance of the Bible is, in the closing chapters of Revelation, brought to a glorious climax as Jehovah’s grand purpose by means of his Kingdom is made apparent.​—Re 11:15; 12:1-12, 17; 19:11-16; 20:1-3, 7-10; 21:1-5; 22:3-5.[excerpted readings: Bible

Worthwhile reading is a positive-coping, self-helping/thriving-timely-tool…:) Plus, i personally have no (warranted) trust issues whatsoever with the Bible Books…all 66: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (Canticles), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation…(unlike some other books; too many to enumerate).

READING worthwhile material is a beneficial pursuit. French political philosopher Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat) wrote: “For me, study has always been the sovereign remedy for the weariness of life. No distress has ever come upon me that an hour’s reading has not dispelled.” To a supreme degree, this is true of Bible reading. Said the inspired psalmist: “The law of Jehovah is perfect, bringing back the soul. The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise. The orders from Jehovah are upright, causing the heart to rejoice.”​—Psalm 19:7, 8. [excerpted Bible Reading Profitable & Pleasurable–w 00]

HAPPY READING READER TRUSTWORTHY BOOKS!:)

3/12/18 @ 8:51 p.m.

p.s. a brief acknowledgement that this 1 post does not adequately develop “in detail” the canonicity of “each” individual Bible book per se…foder for another post perhaps; when i get/make time. As always, i encourage You to do Your own research on the reliability of any of Your particular readings secular or other.

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