Pro and Con 1096

Posted 2-13-04

Two comets may be visible in April and May, 2004

Astronomy Picture of the Day
http://apod.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap040209.html

A newly discovered comet may outshine most stars in the sky by May. Designated Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR), the comet was discovered in 2002 October by project LINEAR. Many reports already place the comet as brighter than magnitude 7, meaning that it can now be seen with binoculars. Reports also indicate the comet already has a visible tail nearly the length of a full Moon. Since predicting the future brightness of comets is a very tricky business, there remains the possibility that T7 might never become visible to the unaided eye. Alternatively, another comet, C/2002 Q4 (NEAT), may also reach naked eye visibility at nearly the same time, making 2004 April and May two of the busiest bright-comet months in centuries.

Incoming email, Re: P&C 1095

What a wonderful job you did on the "Names of God". Thank you.

When I was born again and the Holy Spirit started illuminating Scripture for me, I visualized what I termed Biblical algebra, to wit, that if A = B and B = C, then A = C. While my scholarship cannot match your's, I did arrive at the same conclusion, that the theophanies of the OT were the pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus Christ. Agape

My reply

Thanks much for your kind words and for keeping me up on the news.

The "Angel of the Lord" is on my mind. There is no such thing as an actual angel being God, so that isn't what is meant by the Angel of the Lord. What clues do we have to help us understand who the Angel of the Lord really is?

Re: angels. Heb. 1:1-8 says, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by (en, in) his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."

Angel means messenger. The Son of God is the Father's messenger, the go between, the only mediator between God and man. 1Ti 2:5 says, "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Therefore, the mediator, the Pre-incarnate Son of God, was the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament.

In Nu. 22:21-35, we can see the Angel of the Lord in action. The Angel of the LORD is the Pre-incarnate Christ. It says, "Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and HIS SWORD DRAWN IN HIS HAND: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

"And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

"Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak."

Nu. 23:4,5,11 says, "God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram. And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak...And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether."

In Rev. 14:14, we see the Lord Jesus Christ with a sickle. At the time of the Pre-Wrath Rapture, John said, "I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man (Jesus Christ), having on his head a golden crown (which Christ receives that day, the first day of his millennial reign), and IN HIS HAND A SHARP SICKLE." The Tribulation harvest is ready to be reaped. Then "another angel came out of the temple." The words "another angel" show us that Christ is also portrayed as the Angel of the Lord in the New Testament.

We read of something similar in Joshua 5:13-15. It says, "when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man (i.e., representing Jesus Christ) over against him with HIS SWORD DRAWN IN HIS HAND: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as CAPTAIN OF THE HOST OF THE LORD (YHVH) am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the CAPTAIN OF THE LORD'S HOST (the Pre-incarnate Son of God) said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so."

I think Jesus, Joshua in Hebrew, the Pre-incarnate Son of God was and is the "CAPTAIN OF THE HOST OF THE LORD (YHVH)." Isa. 44:6 says, "Thus saith the LORD (YHVH) the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD (YHVH) OF HOSTS; I am the first (YHVH KING OF ISRAEL), and I am the last (YHVH OF HOSTS); and beside me there is no God." Anyone that saw the face of the Father would die. Anyone that sees the face of the Son of God lives.

The Angel of the Lord is the Son of God. He appears and speaks to man. John 1:18 says, "No man hath seen God (i.e., the Father) at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

In Ex. 33:20, the Father says, "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." John 5:37 says, "the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape."

John 6:46 - "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God (i.e., the Son of God), he hath seen the Father."

1 Jn. 4:12 - "No man hath seen God (the Father) at any time."

Jdg 13:17-22 says, "Manoah (father of Samson) said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on....when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God."

They didn't die, because it was the Son of God, the Angel of the LORD. At that time, His name was secret, but now it has been revealed. The name of the Son of God is Yeshua haMashiach / Jesus Christ.

Gen. 17:1 says, "when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God."

In Rev. 1:8, Jesus Christ says, "I AM Alpha (the first, i.e., YHVH King of Israel) AND Omega (the last, i.e., YHVH of hosts), the beginning AND the ending, saith the Lord, which is (at the Pre-Trib Rapture), and which was (at the First Advent), and which is to come (at the Second Advent), THE ALMIGHTY." The Pre-incarnate Christ, the Son of God, the Angel of the Lord, is "THE ALMIGHTY GOD" that appeared to Abraham. Agape

Excerpts from "The Names of God"

By Lambert Dolphin
http://www.ldolphin.org/Names.html

...ELAH is Aramaic, "god." Elah appears in the Hebrew Bible in Jer. 10:11 (which is in Aramaic, and is plural, "gods"). In Daniel (the Aramaic sections) Elah is used both of pagan gods, and of the true God, also plural. ELAH IS EQUIVALENT TO THE HEBREW ELOAH WHICH SOME THINK IS DUAL; ELOHIM IS THREE OR MORE. The gods of the nations are called "elohim."...

NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES, (GREEK):

KURIOS: "Lord" Found some 600 times in the NT.

DESPOTES: "Lord" 5 times: Lu. 2:29; Acts 4:24; 2 Pet. 2:1; Jude 4; Rev. 6:10.

THEOS: "God" (equivalent to the Hebrew Elohim), 1,000 times in the NT. In the NT all the persons of the trinity are called "God" at one time or another.

I AM: Jesus upset his generation especially when He said, "Before Abraham was, I AM," John 8:58....

THEOTES: "Godhead" Col. 2:9; Rom. 1:20.

HUPSISTOS: "Highest" Mt. 21:9.

SOTER: "Savior" Luke 1:4 7....

JESUS: Derived from the Hebrew "Joshua" (Y'shua) or "Je-Hoshua" meaning JEHOVAH IS SALVATION.

CHRIST: is equivalent to the Hebrew 'Messiah' (Meshiach), "The Anointed One."

Other NT Titles for Jesus: Shepherd of the Sheep; Master; King of kings; Lord of lords; Bishop and Guardian of our Souls; Daystar, Deliverer, Advocate, Last (or Second) Adam, Ancient of Days, Branch, Chief Cornerstone, Immanuel, First Born, Head of the Body, Physician, Rock, Root of Jesse, Stone, Potentate; Chief Apostle; Great High Priest; Pioneer and Perfecter of our Faith (or Author and Finisher); Lamb of God; Lamb Slain before the Foundation of the World; Lord God Almighty.

LOGOS: "The Word of God" John l; Rev. 19:13.

SOPHIA: "The Wisdom of God," referring to Christ, refers back to Proverbs (I Cor. 1,2)...

LOGOS: "The Word of God" John l; Rev. 19:13.

SOPHIA: "The Wisdom of God," referring to Christ, refers back to Proverbs (I Cor. 1,2)...

ALPHA AND OMEGA: The First and the Last, The Beginning and The End (Rev. 1)....

Incoming email, Re: 5Doves post, Rapture

Gary D. Sargeant (27 Jan 2004)
"THREE COMINGS OF JESUS"
http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/jan2004/garys127.htm

My comments

> > Christians have so often fought over pre-tribulation and post- tribulation rapture theories, each finding scriptural support for their beliefs, with most polarizing to one point of view or the other, But very few ever seem to realize that there is some 'truth to both positions. I hope that after you have read this study, it will help you to "unify" all scriptures in a beautiful picture of God's, end-time plan, which clearly shows that some (a small number) will be translated before the tribulation for the purpose of strategy, as well as to fulfill a certain "role "; and that a much greater number will be translated at the close of the tribulation, for they will have a purpose to fulfill on earth during the tribulation, For contrary to traditional teaching, the tribulation period will see the greatest revival in human history. Even THOSE TRANSLATED FIRST WILL MINISTER ON THE EARTH AT THAT TIME.
> > JESUS REMAINS IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF OUR EARTH DURING THE ENTIRE THREE AND A HALF YEARS TRIBULATION, AND SO DO THE FIRSTFRUITS WHO WILL HAVE BEEN TRANSLATED (BUT MINISTERING TO THOSE YET ON EARTH BY APPEARING TO THEM and instructing them), When the second group is translated at the close of the tribulation, ALL of the glorified saints will be taken by Jesus into the highest heaven where the TEMPLE (and throne) of God is located.

I don't think we will be on the earth during the Tribulation. Heb 12:22,23 says, "ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in HEAVEN, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect."

I think the Bride of Christ will visit Heaven during the Tribulation. Job 5:24 says, "thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and THOU SHALT VISIT THY HABITATION, and shalt not sin."

I Peter 1:3,4 says, "our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved IN HEAVEN for you".

Rev 4:1,2 says, "behold, a door was opened IN HEAVEN: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, COME UP HITHER, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set IN HEAVEN, and one sat on the throne."

Rev 10:1,2 says, "I saw another mighty angel (the Angel of the Lord, Christ) come down FROM HEAVEN, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow (reminding us of Saturn's rings) was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth."

Rev 10:4 says, "when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice (Christ's) FROM HEAVEN saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not."

Rev 13:6 says, "he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and THEM THAT DWELL IN HEAVEN."

Rev 18:4 says "I heard another voice from HEAVEN, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

Rev 19:1 says, "after these things I heard a great voice of much people IN HEAVEN, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:"

Rev 19:11 says, "I saw HEAVEN opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war."

Rev 19:14 says, "the armies which were IN HEAVEN followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."

> > in Revelation the Bride company is pictured as a "man-child"

I think the man-child in Rev. 12 refers to the two witnesses, Moses and Elijah. The man-child comes out of the woman, Israel. The Bride is made up of both Gentiles and Jews. That doesn't fit. When the man-child is caught up to Heaven, Israel's believers are on their way to the wilderness.

The Bride saints are already in Heaven before Christ even receives the 7-sealed Title Deed of the Earth. I think Rev 5:8,9 speaks of the Bride in Heaven. It says of the "saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood OUT OF EVERY KINDRED, AND TONGUE, AND PEOPLE, AND NATION".

> > We have already seen previously that the first group to be translated is represented by the 144,000 of Rev. 14:1.

I think that is the 2nd group to be raptured. Rev. 7:14 says, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

> > when those who are taken first RETURN TO MANIFEST TO THE REMAINING CHURCH, they will find the world vexed with demonic power, for Satan and his demons will be cast down when the first group is taken (Rev. 12:5-9). And the church on earth will need the ministry of the glorified saints to help counteract the influence of such demonic power. This is the meaning of the statement in Rev. 12:46 that "the earth helped the woman." The glorified saints will be able to appear in their glorified physical bodies and open their mouths to speak comfort, deliverance, or whatev! er is ne eded. They will help the saints on earth bring deliverance to many, and this is pictured in the deliverance wrought in Mt. 17:18.

The Bride saints are to be kept from (ek, out of, as in Rev. 5:9) the Tribulation. Luke 21:36 says, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

> > Jesus knew that false teachers would arise to use that "parousia" word to claim that his parousia is ONLY a spiritual presence with His people, and thus denying a literal, visible return of the Lord to the earth. But the word, as used by Jesus, indicates first a definite ARRIVAL IN OUR ATMOSPHERIC ENVELOPE, CONTINUING THROUGHOUT THE TRIBULATION period (present, but unseen), and then consummated by a glorious and brilliant (as lightning) VISIBLE and bodily return with His feet standing on the Mount of Olives

I think Jesus will escort the Bride saints to Heaven before the 7-year Tribulation. They will stay there until the day of the Second Advent, which follows the Second Rapture on the Day of God's Wrath by 7 months (Eze. 38:18-20; 39: 12,13).

> > Then John proceeds: "and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True. and the armies (glorified saints) which were IN HEAVEN followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." (emphasis mine)

Both Christ and the Bride saints are IN HEAVEN up to the time of the Second Advent. They come out of Heaven when they descend to Earth, not out of Earth's atmosphere.

My reply to a post on 5 Doves site

Cheryl Kennedy (30 Jan 2004)
"Re: The Ten Virgins, not all christians"
http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/jan2004/cherylk130.htm

I agree with John Tng. I think the 10 virgins of Mt. 25:1-12 are ALL believers. When a person accepts Christ, his/her "old sins" are wiped off the slate. He becomes a virgin without fault. His lamp is lit, the oil in it representing the Holy Spirit. Part of the oil cannot be lost, the sealing of the Holy Spirit. It is enough to keep the lamp lit, even though sputtering and threatening to go out, but the light isn't as bright as it should be.

We want him to see our light right away, when he comes in the night to pick up his Bride. Luke 13:27 says, "But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence (where) ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. The foolish virgins' lights are dim because of iniquity.

In II Peter 1:1-11, Peter addressed believers, saying, "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained LIKE PRECIOUS FAITH with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life (i.e., the sealing of the Holy Spirit) and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that BY THESE YE MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE (i.e., having extra oil of the Holy Spirit in our vessels, i.e., bodies), having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, ADD TO YOUR FAITH VIRTUE... KNOWLEDGE... TEMPERANCE... PATIENCE... GODLINESS... BROTHERLY KINDNESS... CHARITY (agape, God's kind of love). For IF these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he (the believer) that lacketh these things is BLIND (i.e., a Laodicean, a foolish virgin), and CANNOT SEE AFAR OFF (Heaven), and hath forgotten that HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS (i.e., when he accepted Christ). Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for IF YE DO THESE THINGS, ye shall never fall (i.e., be a foolish virgin): For so an entrance (i.e., via the Pre-Trib Rapture) shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

I believe that those virgins who are filled with the Holy Spirit will be the Bride group caught up to Heaven in the Pre-Trib Rapture. I think those without enough oil will be caught up to Heaven in the Pre-Wrath Rapture. We are not told how much oil is enough, so the only safe bet is to obey Eph. 5:18: "be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be FILLED with the Spirit."

To be filled, we need to use I John 1:9. It says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." If we are cleansed of all unrighteousness, the level of the Holy Spirit will rise in us like a fountain of living water. In Rev. 21:6, Jesus said, "I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."

There are different kinds of firstfruits. James 1:18 says, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." I Cor. 15:23 says, "But every man in his own order (tagmati, rank): Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. It looks like all the wise virgins of Mt. 25 are the next rank to be caught up to Heaven--in the Pre-Trib Rapture. They are "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev. 5:9). The arrive in Heaven before Christ is given the 7-sealed Title Deed of the Earth, before the first seal is broken.

The 144,000 virgins will follow in the Pre-Wrath Rapture. They are not Gentiles, but Israelites.

The 144,000 Israelites are added to the Bride group at the time of the Second Rapture. Rev. 14:4,5 says, "These are they which were not defiled with women; for THEY ARE VIRGINS. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits (i.e., another rank in the First Resurrection) unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are WITHOUT FAULT before the throne of God."

By the time of the Second Rapture, the foolish virgins have repented and confessed their sins. "These are they which came out of GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14).

I think the Philadelphian church group represents the wise virgins that have no words of condemnation listed against them. They are the ones before whom is set the "open door" of Rev. 3:8.

The Laodicean church group seems to represent the foolish virgins. They are advised to buy white garments from Christ. They face a closed door until they open the door and let Christ come in (Rev. 3:20). Rom. 8:9 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Notice that the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God.

Jesus' message to the Laodiceans says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT" (Rev. 3:19).

Heb. 12:5-14 says, "ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the CHASTENING of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (i.e., the Laodiceans are received, so they are believers). If ye endure chastening (as the Laodiceans do), God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be PARTAKERS OF HIS HOLINESS. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD." Agape

Debate continues over authenticity
UT professor says Israeli study flawed

By DAVID YONKE, 1-24-04
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040124/NEW

"It's the Shroud of Turin all over again," said Dr. James A. Harrell, a University of Toledo geology professor, of the James ossuary.

The significance of the first century limestone box, inscribed in Aramaic with the words, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," will be debated for years by scientists, scholars, and theologians, he said, just as the authenticity of the shroud, said to have been wrapped around Jesus' body, remains in dispute....

...Dr. Harrell, who has taught at UT for 25 years, said none of the data used in the IAA's report can justify the agency's outright rejection of the box's authenticity.

"It may be that they're ultimately right in their conclusion, but if so it would be for the wrong reasons," Dr. Harrell said. "I haven't made my mind up yet as to whether I think it's authentic or not, but the balance is in favor of authenticity."...

"When you write the inscription, Jesus is the last word you put on there. And if that is, by all indications, ancient and authentic - and even the IAA says that word is ancient - then the rest of the inscription had to have been written first," he said....

On scientific standards alone, the IAA report was amateurish, Dr. Harrell said.

"It was a rush job, it was not well written, there were no reasons given for conclusions, no mention of dissenting views," he said. "It was just badly done."...

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