Thinking Outside the Box
An Archaeological Find Meets Open Minds
4-16-03 Archaeology made headlines around the world last fall when an ossuary, or burial box, surfaced in Israel that bore the inscription, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." Now, a book is picking up where the headlines left off. It is called The Brother of Jesus: The Dramatic Story and Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus and His Family.
The book is co-authored by Hershel Shanks, publisher of the Biblical Archaeological Review, and Ben Witherington III, a noted New Testament scholar....
Now that the dust is settling and the critics have had their say, it appears that the early consensus is left intact. Although the burial box will always be controversial-because it surfaced through an antiquities market, rather than a controlled dig-leading experts agree that it is authentic. And it represents hard evidence to corroborate ancient Christian manuscripts....
4-18-03 - Tests on a 2,000-year-old stone box support claims that it once held the bones of James, said to have been the brother of Jesus and an important early Christian leader, scientists have concluded.
The results of the experiments, which are disclosed in a television documentary, back the suggestion that the "bone box", or ossuary, may be the oldest archaeological link with Christ....
Last year, the tomb ossuary, inscribed with the words "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus", came to light in Israel, prompting speculation over whether it was genuine or a fake and whether it referred to Jesus of Nazareth.
Since then, the box has been subjected to tests which are consistent with it coming from the right place and the right time, said Dr Ed Keall, a curator at the Royal Ontario Museum. "It is a genuine box with a genuine inscription, dating from first century AD, likely from the Silouan Valley, Jerusalem," he said....
In the journal Biblical Archaeology Review, Prof Andre Lemaire of the Sorbonne, Paris, concluded that it could be the earliest artefact relating to Jesus. Now scientists have backed his contention with tests.
A team at the Geological Survey of Israel extracted the patina, a cream-coloured film adhering to the stone, and found it matched that inside one of the letters after a study with electron microscopy, as would be expected with the genuine item.
The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto subjected the inscription to a tougher test, using long-wave ultraviolet light which should highlight attempts to fake it. Again, it looked genuine, said Dr Keall....
He concluded that the inscription on the ossuary probably referred to James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus of Nazareth. "Also, I have to point out that out of the thousands of ossuaries that have been found, there is only one - other than the James ossuary - that mentions not just the deceased, and his father, but the brother," said Prof Fuchs....
..."The artifact has since undergone further study at the Royal Ontario Museum, and passed all tests with flying colors," says Ben Witherington, a New Testament professor at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and co-author of The Brother of Jesus....
...When the news of the ossuary's discovery first appeared, my natural skepticism regarding such flashy announcements led me to dismiss the entire discovery as a fraud. With no research data in hand I would tell anyone who asked that "It is probably a fake." Or, "You cannot trust these kinds of MTV reports and the people who are trying to become famous by reporting such things." After detailed and exhaustive research these past weeks I am sad-- and happy-- to report that I was wrong. I am now convinced that there is no way this ossuary can be a forgery.
Ironically, I was in Toronto in November when the broken ossuary was displayed and debated at the SBL Annual Meeting. Scholarly colleagues debated and argued their points and I was unimpressed and unconvinced by both sides. My opinion at the time was "Why are we wasting our time with this nonsense?"
Now I know better. One should never rush to judgment unless he or she knows what they are talking about. The very arguments against its authenticity are now the arguments that support the opposite opinion!...
Obviously the ossuary was buried in the ground or stored in a tomb known to the early Christian community in Jerusalem. Perhaps the second half of the inscription was done toward the end of the 1st century and the church in Jerusalem wanted to make sure subsequent generations knew that this truly was James, the leader of the early Christian movement in Jerusalem. After all, the church relocated to Pella during the Great Revolt of 66-70 A.D. By the time of their return to Jerusalem, many, if not most, of the first generation of believers had died. This is why the inscription was amended at the time of the writing of the Gospels. The remnants of the first generation of believers wanted to make sure that future generations would not forget their heritage....
Thirdly, the script itself suggests that the inscription cannot be a forgery. Father Joseph Fitzmyer,3 an internationally know authority in first-century Aramaic, in conjunction with other Aramaic scholars, reports that no forger could have known some of the subtle nuances of the Aramaic script found on the ossuary....
...According to Josephus Flavius,6 James was martyred in 62 A.D. Hegesippus writes that James was thrown from the ramparts of Jerusalem. When he failed to die from the fall he was stoned to death and buried in a tomb in the Kidron Valley. According to the early reports of the ossuary discovery, Oded Golan bought the ossuary from an antiquities dealer in the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the antiquities dealer, the box was found in a tomb near Silwan, the area where James burial was reported. If all of these facts are correct, this adds to the legitimacy of the burial box.
In conclusion, we will never be able to "prove" that this ossuary is the actual ossuary of James, the brother of Jesus. However, taking into account all of the circumstantial factors presented above (see entire article online), it would be illogical to come to any other conclusion.
Deep in the ruins of a Hebrew town sacked nearly 3,000 years ago by an Egyptian Pharaoh, scientists say they have discovered new evidence for the real-life existence of the Bible's legendary kingdoms of David and Solomon....
The latest evidence comes from Israeli and Dutch archaeologists and physicists after seven years of digging at a historic site called Tel Rehov. The site is in the Jordan valley of Israel, where successive settlements rose and fell over the centuries.
Using highly sophisticated techniques for establishing dates through the decay rate of radioactive carbon, the scientists have pinned down the time of a disputed moment in history, recorded in the Bible, when a Pharaoh now known as Shoshenq I invaded Jerusalem.
As the book of Chronicles relates in the Old Testament, Shoshenq (the Bible called him Shishak) came "with twelve hundred chariots and threescore thousand horsemen" and plundered Israel's capital, as well as such towns and fortresses as Rehov, Megiddo and Hazor.
The Pharaoh later listed those conquests on a monument in the temple of Amun at Karnak, where the Egyptian city of Luxor now stands.
The new timetable places Shoshenq's rampage and looting at Rehov in the 10th century rather than the 9th, a highly significant difference. It sets the date at about 925 B.C., some five years after Solomon was said to have died, and some 80 years earlier than other archaeologists maintain....
A report on the new evidence appears today in the journal Science...
In a telephone interview, Mazar said that one specific "layer of destruction" at the site yielded a harvest of charred grain seeds and olive pits that enabled his colleagues to date them with an unusually high level of precision. The dates of both earlier and later layers showed clearly how the successive layers of occupation could be determined from the 12th through the 9th centuries B.C., he said.
"They provide a precise archaeological anchor for the united monarchies of the time of David and Solomon," Mazar said. "The pottery we found there also tells us that the conquest dates from the same period as Meggido, when its mighty gates and walls and temples were also destroyed by Shoshenq's armies."...
Stager said. "There's no question that Rehov and the other cities that Shoshenq conquered were indeed there at the time of Solomon....
For the first time scientists have predicted the explosion of a star. The star in question is designated Supernova 2003dh and was seen to brighten on 8 April.
The prediction was the consequence of detecting a pulse of energy in the form of gamma rays from the same direction ten days earlier....
Scientists Arnon Dar and Alvaro de Rujula from the European Centre for Nuclear Research and the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel made the prediction about the explosion and watched it happen.
The pair developed a theory to account for the mysterious gamma-ray bursts that come from the depths of the Universe.
For over 30 years these bursts of high-energy radiation have mystified scientists, who cannot explain their enormous energies.
According to the Cern-Technion team, gamma-ray bursts are linked to supernovae, the cataclysmic explosions of massive stars at the end of their lives.
To test their theory, the researchers needed to wait for a gamma-ray burst that was relatively close, in cosmic terms at least.
On 29 March a particularly close and powerful gamma-ray burst, designated GRB 030329 was detected.
Looking at their calculations the CERN-Technion team immediately predicted that light from a supernova would first become clearly visible on Earth on 8 April.
And so it did....
Republican Guard generals betrayed Saddam Hussein in return for huge payments in cash and gold, it emerged last night. In so doing, they allowed the Allies to seize Baghdad virtually without a fight.
Resistance around the capital from six Republican Guard divisions just melted away because the senior commander of Saddam's elite troops defected and ordered his men to give up or go home.
The Joint Special Operations Task Forces have been operating undercover since before the war, contacting Iraqi military, intelligence and secret police leaders to make them change sides.
The teams carried suitcases full of gold bullion, US dollars, Swiss francs and euros to buy off regime leaders, and threatened to kill those who refused to cooperate.
The same techniques had been refined in Afghanistan where Operation Jawbreaker led to the defection of senior warlords.
General Maher Sufyan, the head of the Republican Guard, was allegedly spirited away from the Al Rasheed airstrip, in south-east Baghdad, to an unknown location, according to the French newspaper Le Monde and the leading Arab news channel Al Jazeera.
Intelligence sources have told strategic analysts Stratfor that senior Republican Guard generals and commanders from the Special Republican Guard and the Iraqi security services betrayed Saddam and revealed his location on two occasions, leading to the "decapitation" raids designed to assassinate him and his senior men....
The following text has been placed in the House of Commons library by the Foreign Office. This is a draft, which officials say will be "topped and tailed" - but not substanially altered - within the next two weeks....
A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors....
PHASE I: ENDING TERROR AND VIOLENCE, NORMALIZING PALESTINIAN LIFE AND BUILDING PALESTINIAN INSTITUTIONS
PRESENT TO MAY 2003
In Phase I, the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence according to the steps outlined below; such action should be accompanied by supportive measures undertaken by Israel.
Palestinians and Israelis resume security cooperation based on the Tenet work plan to end violence, terrorism, and incitement through restructured and effective Palestinian security services. Palestinian undertake comprehensive political reform in preparation for statehood, including drafting a Palestinian constitution, and free, fair and open elections upon the basis of those measures....
PHASE II: TRANSITION
JUNE 2003 DECEMBER 2003
In the second phase, efforts are focused on the option of creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty, based on the new constitution, as a way-station to a permanent status settlement....
Furthering and sustaining efforts to normalize Palestinian lives and build Palestinian institutions, Phase II starts after Palestinian elections and ends with possible creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders in 2003....
PHASE III: PERMANENT STATUS AGREEMENT AND END OF THE ISRAELI PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
Parties reach final and comprehensive permanent status agreement that ends the Israel Palestinian conflict in 2005, through a settlement negotiated between the parties based on UNSCR 242, 338, and 1397, that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and includes an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue, and a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem that takes into account the political and religious concerns of both sides, and protects the religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide, and fulfills the vision of two states, Israel and sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.
It is not our object in this list of scriptures to refute all the arguments used by many who try to prove that Jesus is Yahweh. We simply present some of the scriptures that most definitely show that the Father is Yahweh and that Jesus is not Yahweh [his Father]:
Jesus was sent by Yahweh, speaks for Yahweh, represents Yahweh. Jesus is not Yahweh [who is the Father] whom he represents and speaks for.Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; John 3:2,17; 5:19,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10;15:15; 17:8,26; Hebrews 1:1,2; Revelation 1:1
Jesus receives his inheritance and dominion (power) from Yahweh. Jesus is not Yahweh [the Father] who gives him this dominion. Psalm 2:7,8; 110:1,2; Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 7:13,14; Hebrews 1:2,6.
Jesus is son of the Most High Yahweh. He is not the Most High Yahweh. Genesis 14:22; Psalm 7:17; 83:18; 92:1; Luke 1:32; John 13:16.
Jesus is anointed [made christ, the anointed one] by Yahweh. He is not Yahweh who thus anoints him. Psalm 2:2; 45:7; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 2:36.
Yahweh speaks to Jesus. Jesus is not Yahweh who speaks to him. Psalm 2:7,8; 110:1; Matthew 22:41-45.
Jesus is the servant of Yahweh; he is not Yahweh whom he serves. Isaiah 42:1; 53:11; Matthew 12:18; John 13:16; Acts 4:27,30
Jesus is given the power of life in himself from Yahweh. Jesus is not Yahweh who gives him this power.1 Samuel 2:6; Psalm 36:9; John 5:21,25-29.
Yahweh [the Father] is the only Most High. Jesus is not the Most High Yahweh who is his Father. Deuteronomy 4:35,39; Psalm 2:7; 83:18; Luke 1:32; John 10:29; 17:1,3; Hebrews 1:5; Revelation 5:7
Yahweh appoints and gives Jesus authority as judge and to judge in his [Yahweh's] stead. Jesus is not Yahweh who gives this authority to him. Isaiah 11:1-4; 42:1; John 5:22,23,27-30; Acts 17:31.
Jesus is never described as the father of Jesus, and Yahweh is never described as the son of Yahweh. The term "everlasting father" refers to Jesus' role toward mankind that he purchased, and of whom he has become father as the second or "last Adam." (Romans 5:15-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22,45,47; Psalm 45:16) Jesus came in the name of Yahweh his Father. (Deuteronomy 18:15,18; Matthew 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; John 3:2,17; 5:19,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; Hebrews 1:1,2; Revelation 1:1) Yahweh never came in the name of any other than himself, thus since there is none higher, he swore by himself. -- Hebrews 6:13
Jesus' role as Mighty EL refers to the power and authority given to him by the Mighty EL that is mightier than he, the only true Supreme Being, Yahweh. -- Psalm 2:2,7,8; 110:1,2; Isaiah 9:6,7; 61:1; Luke 1:32; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 7:13,14; John 17:1,3; Acts 2:36; Hebrews 1:2,6.
No scripture says that Jesus was God Almighty in the flesh, although possessing the mighty power of Yahweh as did Moses, he could be referred to as God (ELOHIM, THEOS) in a manner similar to Moses. (Exodus 7:1; Deuteronomy 18:15,18; Acts 3:18-22) Neither in the case of Moses nor Jesus does this make either of them into God Almighty who gives them their power and authority.
Rom. 8:9,10 (HRV) says, "Now you are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if truly the SPIRIT OF ELOAH (God) dwells in you. But if a man does not have the SPIRIT OF THE MESSIAH (which is the same as the Spirit of God) in him, this one is not his. But IF THE MESSIAH [IS] IN YOU, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness."
If we do not have the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of God, in us, we can't see beyond the natural. We need be able to think on another plane, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Remember that man cannot be in two places at one time, but God can. The Spirit of the Messiah binds the whole Body of the Messiah (all people, Jews, Gentiles and the Church, that are trusting in Him) together into a spiritual temple, wherein God dwells.
I will use the Stone Edition Tanach and the Hebraic-Roots Version "New Testament" unless marked otherwise.
> > No scripture says that Jesus was God Almighty in the flesh, although possessing the mighty power of Yahweh as did Moses, he could be referred to as God (ELOHIM, THEOS) in a manner similar to Moses.
Moses is not God. Ex. 3:6 says, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to gaze toward God."
You must have missed Rev. 1:8. JESUS SAID, "I AM ALEF (the first) AND TAV (the last), SAYS ADONAI YHWH (Lord Yahweh), he who is (at the Pre-Trib Rapture) and was (at the First Advent) and is to come (at the Second Advent), WHO IS THE ALMIGHTY."
Col. 2:9 says, "THE MESSIAH. IN WHOM DWELLS ALL THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY." Moses did not have "all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Neither do we. Yeshua HaMashiach did.
Rev. 4:8 says, "Holy, holy, holy, YHWH (YAHWEH) ELOAH (GOD) ALMIGHTY, he who was (at the First Advent) and is (at the Pre-Trib Rapture) and is to come (at the Second Advent)."
Rev. 11:17 says, "We praise you, ADONAI (Lord) YHWH (YAHWEH) ALMIGHTY, who is (King of kings and Lord of lords on the Tishri 1 that begins the millennial reign of Christ) and was (King of Israel in Old Testament days), because you have taken your great power and you have reigned."
Moses is the servant of God in Rev. 15:3. Christ is God. It says, "and they were singing the song of Moshe, the servant of Eloah, and the song of the lamb (Christ our Passover, I Cor. 5:7) and saying, Great and marvelous [are] YOUR (the lamb's, Yeshua's) WORKS, ADONAI YHWH ALMIGHTY, just and true [are] YOUR WORKS, KING OF THE AGES" (i.e., King of Israel, Isa. 44:6).
In Rev. 1:17,18, JESUS SAID, "I AM THE FIRST (YHWH, Yahweh, King of Israel) AND THE LAST (YHWH, Yahweh of hosts, Isa. 44:6), Even he (Yeshua/Jesus) who is alive and was dead and behold, I am alive forever and ever. Amen. And I have the key of hell and of she'ol."
In Rev. 22:12,13, JESUS SAID, "Behold, I come quickly (at the Rapture) and my reward [is] with me and I will give to every man according to his work. I AM ALEF AND I AM TAV, THE FIRST (Yahweh King of Israel, Lord of the Old Testament) AND THE LAST (Yahweh of hosts, Lord of the New Testament) and the beginning AND the end."
Isa. 44:6,7 says, "Thus said HASHEM (YHWH, Yahweh), King of Israel AND its Redeemer, HASHEM (YHWH, Yahweh), Master of Legions; I am the first (Yahweh, King of Israel) AND I am the last (Yahweh, Master of Legions), and aside from Me there is no God. Whoever will declare that HE is like ME, let him proclaim it." "HE" (King of Israel) is like "ME" (the Redeemer, Master of Legions).
In John 10:30, Jesus said, "I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE." This is like De. 6:4. It says, "Hear, O Israel: HASHEM (YHWH) is our God (Elohim, plural), HASHEM is the One (echad, united) and Only."
In John 8:23-28, Jesus said, "You are from below, and I AM FROM ABOVE. You are from this world. I AM NOT FROM THIS WORLD. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you trust that I AM HE (THE FATHER), you will die in your sins....and they did not know that he spoke to them about THE FATHER. Yeshua said to them again, When you have lifted up (i.e., crucified) the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM HE."
Isa. 42:1, 5-8 says, "BEHOLD MY SERVANT (Note: 'THE MESSIAH [Targum]'), whom I shall uphold; My chosen one, whom My soul desired; I HAVE PLACED MY SPIRIT UPON HIM so he can bring forth justice to the nations....THUS SAID THE GOD, HASHEM (YHWH, YAHWEH), Who created the heavens and stretched them forth (Yeshua/Jesus created everything, John 1:1-3; Heb. 1:1,2); Who firmed the earth and its produce, Who gave a soul to the people upon it, and a spirit to those who walk on it: I AM HASHEM (YHWH, YAHWEH); I have called you with righteousness; I will strengthen your hand; I will protect you; I WILL SET YOU (THE MESSIAH) FOR A COVENANT TO THE PEOPLE (THE ISRAELITES), for a light to the nations; to open blind eyes; to remove a prisoner from confinement, dwellers in darkness from a dungeon. I AM HASHEM (YHWH, YAHWEH); THAT IS MY NAME."
John 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word (Logos, i.e., the Messiah), and the Word was with Eloah, and ELOAH (GOD) WAS THE WORD (MESSIAH). This was in the beginning with Eloah. Everything existed through him, and without him not even one thing existed of that which existed."
Col 2:2,3,8,9 says of "the Messiah, that in Him are concealed ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge....Beware lest a man should rob you by philosophy and by empty deception according to the doctrines of the sons of men, and according to the elements of the world, and not according to THE MESSIAH. IN WHOM DWELLS ALL THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY."
In John 6:38, Jesus said, "I descended from heaven." In John 3:13, Jesus said, "no man has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven." Notice that Jesus both "descended from heaven" and still "is in heaven."
John 4:24 says, "Eloah is spirit." Eloah (God) can be on Earth and in Heaven at the same time. "For Eloah was in the Messiah who reconciled the world with his majesty" (II Cor. 5:19). The KJV is clearer. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself."
Isa. 9:6 says, "a child has been born to us (inheriting his human nature from his mother), A SON has been given to us (inheriting his Deity from his Father), and the dominion will rest on his shoulder; the Wondrous Adviser, MIGHTY GOD, ETERNAL FATHER." Shalom and agape
If I remember right, someone said she should be 3 years old, but the scripture above does not specify her age. Neither does De. 21:3. Maybe someone else will know more about the 3 years. Agape
In his unpublished MSS, "Syllabus of Bible Chronology," Dr. Arnold D. Ehlert, former head librarian of BIOLA library, La Mirada, CA, Campus, said, "Up to this point there is perfect agreement in arriving at the date 2008 A.H. as the date of Abram's birth by Anstey, Panin and Ussher."
Dr. Ehlert also said, "The result arrived at is characterized by the accuracy and certainty of an exact science. It cannot be one year more. It cannot be one year less. This is so mathematically exact and so absolutely certain, that since Ussher proved that Terah was 130 when Abram was born, no chronologer, who accepts the text of the Old Testament, has ever made the period covered by the Book of Genesis from the creation of Adam to the death of Joseph anything else but 2369 years. The only exception is R.G. Faussett, who supposes that Abraham left Haran, not as Scripture says, when his father Terah died, but after an interval of two years....Panin agrees with Anstey on all dates up to birth of Moses. He dates the 430 years from Abraham's second covenant and gets 2457 A.H. instead of 2433 A.H. for birth of Moses."
The best chronologer I've found is Martin Anstey. He wrote "The Romance of Bible Chronology" (London: Marshall Bros., 1913). There are two volumes, the second is his chart. Both volumes were Reserve Books at the BIOLA library when I did my research. Agape
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