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]
Some Mysteries can be solved! Some Mysteries are worth the time, energy and effort!
Mysteries can be barriers to “accurate” knowledge.
Oh! So! You think You’re so SMART–a mystery solver, eh??
(NO! i am no mystery for You to solve Reader; am pretty honest/trusting here (and probably/most likely to my own eventual detriment. THANKS for RESPECTING MY PRIVACY aka Don’t mess with my privacy/(my protective barrier) aka Don’t try to fill in my blanks without my permission that i purposely leave out).
Now IF You’re interested in figuring out any spiritual mystery worth Your time…You may continue…IF YOU got the guts…to face the TRUTH.
[The Christian religion] “in its three classic forms of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism acknowledges one God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. According to Christian theology, this acknowledgment is not a recognition of three gods but that these three persons are essentially one.”—The New Encyclopædia Britannica.
The doctrine and term “trinity” is no where to be found in the Bible.
THE TRUTH FROM THE BIBLE
Jesus, the Son of God, never claimed to be equal to or of the same substance as his Father. Rather, he said: “I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28) He also told one of his followers: “I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.”—John 20:17.
The holy spirit is not a person. Early Christians “became filled with holy spirit,” and Jehovah said: “I shall pour out some of my spirit upon every sort of flesh.” (Acts 2:1-4, 17) The holy spirit is not part of a Trinity. It is God’s active force.
WHY IT MATTERS
The Trinity, explain Catholic scholars Karl Rahner and Herbert Vorgrimler, “could not be known without revelation, and even after revelation cannot become wholly intelligible.” Can you really love someone who is impossible to know or understand? The doctrine of the Trinity, therefore, is a barrier to knowing and loving God.
“God is not a God of confusion.” (1 Corinthians 14:33, American Standard Version) He has not hidden his identity from us. He wants us to know him. Jesus said: “We worship what we know.”—John 4:22.
If we view Jehovah as a distinct Person rather than a mysterious stranger, it is far easier to love him. “He that does not love has not come to know God,” says the Bible, “because God is love.”—1 John 4:8.
[excerpted: The Lie That Made God a Mystery w 11 2013]
Origin of Trinity…
“The impression could arise that the Trinitarian dogma is in the last analysis a late 4th-century invention. In a sense, this is true . . . The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century.”—New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), Volume 14, page 299.
“The Council of Nicaea met on May 20, 325 [C.E.]. Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions, and personally proposed . . . the crucial formula expressing the relation of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council, ‘of one substance with the Father.’ . . . Overawed by the emperor, the bishops, with two exceptions only, signed the creed, many of them much against their inclination.”—Encyclopædia Britannica (1970), Volume 6, page 386.
What does the Bible Say?
“Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘Look! I can see heaven thrown open,’ he said, ‘and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.’”—Acts 7:55, 56, The New Jerusalem Bible.
What did this vision reveal? Filled with God’s active force, Stephen saw Jesus “standing at God’s right hand.” Clearly, then, Jesus did not become God again after his resurrection to heaven but, rather, a distinct spiritual being. There is no mention of a third person next to God in this account. Despite attempts to find passages of Scripture to support the Trinity dogma, Dominican priest Marie-Émile Boismard wrote in his book À l’aube du christianisme—La naissance des dogmes (At the Dawn of Christianity—The Birth of Dogmas): “The statement that there are three persons in the one God . . . cannot be read anywhere in the New Testament.”
[excerpted: Myth 4 God is a Trinity w November 2009]
Should You Believe in the Trinity? Awake! August 2013 excerpted:
More than two billion people profess to be Christian. Most belong to churches that teach the Trinity—the doctrine that the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit together form one God. How did the Trinity become an official doctrine? More important, is this teaching in harmony with the Bible?
THE Bible was completed in the first century C.E. Teachings that led to the development of the Trinity began to be officially formulated in 325 C.E.—more than two centuries later—at a council in the city of Nicaea in Asia Minor, now Iznik, Turkey. According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, the creed attributed to the Council of Nicaea set out the first official definition of ‘Christian orthodoxy,’ including the definition of God and Christ. Why, though, was it deemed necessary to define God and Christ centuries after the Bible was completed? Is the Bible unclear on these important topics?
When Constantine became sole ruler of the Roman Empire, professed Christians were divided over the relationship between God and Christ. Was Jesus God? Or was he created by God? To settle the matter, Constantine summoned church leaders to Nicaea, not because he sought religious truth, but because he did not want religion to divide his empire.
Constantine asked the bishops, who may have numbered into the hundreds, to come to a unanimous accord, but his request was in vain. He then proposed that the council adopt the ambiguous notion that Jesus was “of one substance” (homoousios) with the Father. This unbiblical Greek philosophical term laid the foundation for the Trinity doctrine as later set forth in the church creeds. Indeed, by the end of the fourth century, the Trinity had essentially taken the form it has today, including the so-called third part of the godhead, the holy spirit.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Jesus said that “the true worshipers will worship the Father with . . . truth.” (John 4:23) That truth has been recorded in the Bible. (John 17:17) Does the Bible teach that the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit are three persons in one God?
For one thing, the Bible does not mention the word “Trinity.” For another, Jesus never claimed to be equal to God. Instead, Jesus worshipped God. (Luke 22:41-44) A third line of evidence concerns Jesus’ relationship with his followers. Even after he was raised from the dead to the spirit realm, Jesus called his followers “my brothers.” (Matthew 28:10) Were they brothers of Almighty God? Of course not! But through their faith in Christ—God’s preeminent Son—they too became sons of the one Father. (Galatians 3:26)
“If you looked down to the bottom of my soul, you would understand fully the source of my longing and – pity me. Even the open, transparent lake has its unknown depths, which no divers know.”
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
“Where words fail, music speaks.”
“Sharp knives seemed to cut her delicate feet, yet she hardly felt them, so deep was the pain in her heart. She could not forget that this was the last night she would ever see the one for whom she had left her home and family, had given up her beautiful voice, and had day by day endured unending torment, of which he knew nothing at all. An eternal night awaited her. ”
“My life will be the best illustration of all my work.”
“It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, for the most essential things are invisible to the eye.”
We should love, not in word or with the tongue, but in deed and truth.—1 John 3:18.
We should be willing to perform acts of love for our brothers “in secret,” or out of the limelight, when this is possible. (Matt. 6:1-4) We should also take the lead in showing honor to others. (Rom. 12:10) Jesus set the pattern in honoring others by performing the lowliest of tasks. (John 13:3-5, 12-15) We may have to work hard to develop the humility needed to show honor to others in this way. Even the apostles could not fully understand Jesus’ actions until they received holy spirit. (John 13:7) We can show honor to others by not thinking too much of ourselves because of our education, material possessions, or privileges […] (Rom. 12:3) And rather than envying those who receive praise, we rejoice with them even if we feel that we deserve equal honor or a share of the credit for what was done. [excerpted: w 17. 10 9 “Love in Deed and Truth” pars 9 & 10]
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]