Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

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The First Book of the Maccabees

January 26, 2011

I Maccabees 1
1 After Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came from the land of Kittim, had defeated Darius, king of the Persians and the Medes, he succeeded him as king. (He had previously become king of Greece.) 2 He fought many battles, conquered strongholds, and put to death the kings of the earth. 3 He advanced to the ends of the earth, and plundered many nations. When the earth became quiet before him, he was exalted, and his heart was lifted up. 4 He gathered a very strong army and ruled over countries, nations, and princes, and they became tributary to him. 5 After this he fell sick and perceived that he was dying. 6 So he summoned his most honored officers, who had been brought up with him from youth, and divided his kingdom among them while he was still alive. 7 And after Alexander had reigned twelve years, he died.

8 Then his officers began to rule, each in his own place. 9 They all put on crowns after his death, and so did their sons after them for many years; and they caused many evils on the earth. 10 From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king; he had been a hostage in Rome. He began to reign in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks. 11 In those days lawless men came forth from Israel, and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us.” 12 This proposal pleased them, 13 and some of the people eagerly went to the king. He authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, 15 and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.

16 When Antiochus saw that his kingdom was established, he determined to become king of the land of Egypt, that he might reign over both kingdoms. 17 So he invaded Egypt with a strong force, with chariots and elephants and cavalry and with a large fleet. 18 He engaged Ptolemy king of Egypt in battle, and Ptolemy turned and fled before him, and many were wounded and fell. 19 And they captured the fortified cities in the land of Egypt, and he plundered the land of Egypt. 20 After subduing Egypt, Antiochus returned in the one hundred and forty-third year. He went up against Israel and came to Jerusalem with a strong force. 21 He arrogantly entered the sanctuary and took the golden altar, the lampstand for the light, and all its utensils. 22 He took also the table for the bread of the Presence, the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple; he stripped it all off. 23 He took the silver and the gold, and the costly vessels; he took also the hidden treasures which he found. 24 Taking them all, he departed to his own land. He committed deeds of murder, and spoke with great arrogance.

25 Israel mourned deeply in every community, 26 rulers and elders groaned, maidens and young men became faint, the beauty of women faded. 27 Every bridegroom took up the lament; she who sat in the bridal chamber was mourning. 28 Even the land shook for its inhabitants, and all the house of Jacob was clothed with shame. 29 Two years later the king sent to the cities of Judah a chief collector of tribute, and he came to Jerusalem with a large force. 30 Deceitfully he spoke peaceable words to them, and they believed him; but he suddenly fell upon the city, dealt it a severe blow, and destroyed many people of Israel. 31 He plundered the city, burned it with fire, and tore down its houses and its surrounding walls. 32 And they took captive the women and children, and seized the cattle. 33 Then they fortified the city of David with a great strong wall and strong towers, and it became their citadel. 34 And they stationed there a sinful people, lawless men. These strengthened their position; 35 they stored up arms and food, and collecting the spoils of Jerusalem they stored them there, and became a great snare. 36 It became an ambush against the sanctuary, an evil adversary of Israel continually. 37 On every side of the sanctuary they shed innocent blood; they even defiled the sanctuary.

38 Because of them the residents of Jerusalem fled; she became a dwelling of strangers; she became strange to her offspring, and her children forsook her. 39 Her sanctuary became desolate as a desert; her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths into a reproach, her honor into contempt. 40 Her dishonor now grew as great as her glory; her exaltation was turned into mourning. 41 Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, 42 and that each should give up his customs. 43 All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. 44 And the king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah; he directed them to follow customs strange to the land, 45 to forbid burnt offerings and sacrifices and drink offerings in the sanctuary, to profane sabbaths and feasts, 46 to defile the sanctuary and the priests, 47 to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and unclean animals, 48 and to leave their sons uncircumcised. They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and profane, 49 so that they should forget the law and change all the ordinances. 50 “And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die.” 51 In such words he wrote to his whole kingdom. And he appointed inspectors over all the people and commanded the cities of Judah to offer sacrifice, city by city. 52 Many of the people, every one who forsook the law, joined them, and they did evil in the land; 53 they drove Israel into hiding in every place of refuge they had.

54 Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege upon the altar of burnt offering. They also built altars in the surrounding cities of Judah, 55 and burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. 56 The books of the law which they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire. 57 Where the book of the covenant was found in the possession of any one, or if any one adhered to the law, the decree of the king condemned him to death. 58 They kept using violence against Israel, against those found month after month in the cities. 59 And on the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the altar which was upon the altar of burnt offering. 60 According to the decree, they put to death the women who had their children circumcised, 61 and their families and those who circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers’ necks. 62 But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. 63 They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. 64 And very great wrath came upon Israel.

I Maccabees 2
1 In those days Mattathias the son of John, son of Simeon, a priest of the sons of Joarib, moved from Jerusalem and settled in Modein. 2 He had five sons, John surnamed Gaddi, 3 Simon called Thassi, 4 Judas called Maccabeus, 5 Eleazar called Avaran, and Jonathan called Apphus. 6 He saw the blasphemies being committed in Judah and Jerusalem, 7 and said, ‘Alas! Why was I born to see this, the ruin of my people, the ruin of the holy city, and to dwell there when it was given over to the enemy, the sanctuary given over to aliens? 8 Her temple has become like a man without honor; 9 her glorious vessels have been carried into captivity. Her babes have been killed in her streets, her youths by the sword of the foe. 10 What nation has not inherited her palaces and has not seized her spoils? 11 All her adornment has been taken away; no longer free, she has become a slave. 12 And behold, our holy place, our beauty, and our glory have been laid waste; the Gentiles have profaned it. 13 Why should we live any longer?” 14 And Mattathias and his sons rent their clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned greatly.

15 Then the king’s officers who were enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein to make them offer sacrifice. 16 Many from Israel came to them; and Mattathias and his sons were assembled. 17 Then the king’s officers spoke to Mattathias as follows: “You are a leader, honored and great in this city, and supported by sons and brothers. 18 Now be the first to come and do what the king commands, as all the Gentiles and the men of Judah and those that are left in Jerusalem have done. Then you and your sons will be numbered among the friends of the king, and you and your sons will be honored with silver and gold and many gifts.” 19 But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one from the religion of his fathers, 20 yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers. 21 Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances. 22 We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.”

23 When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar in Modein, according to the king’s command. 24 When Mattathias saw it, be burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him upon the altar. 25 At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. 26 Thus he burned with zeal for the law, as Phinehas did against Zimri the son of Salu. 27 Then Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying: “Let every one who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!” 28 And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the city.

29 Then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to dwell there, 30 they, their sons, their wives, and their cattle, because evils pressed heavily upon them. 31 And it was reported to the king’s officers, and to the troops in Jerusalem the city of David, that men who had rejected the king’s command had gone down to the hiding places in the wilderness. 32 Many pursued them, and overtook them; they encamped opposite them and prepared for battle against them on the sabbath day. 33 And they said to them, “Enough of this! Come out and do what the king commands, and you will live.” 34 But they said, “We will not come out, nor will we do what the king commands and so profane the sabbath day.” 35 Then the enemy hastened to attack them. 36 But they did not answer them or hurl a stone at them or block up their hiding places, 37 for they said, “Let us all die in our innocence; heaven and earth testify for us that you are killing us unjustly.” 38 So they attacked them on the sabbath, and they died, with their wives and children and cattle, to the number of a thousand persons.

39 When Mattathias and his friends learned of it, they mourned for them deeply. 40 And each said to his neighbor: “If we all do as our brethren have done and refuse to fight with the Gentiles for our lives and for our ordinances, they will quickly destroy us from the earth.” 41 So they made this decision that day: “Let us fight against every man who comes to attack us on the sabbath day; let us not all die as our brethren died in their hiding places.” 42 Then there united with them a company of Hasideans, mighty warriors of Israel, every one who offered himself willingly for the law. 43 And all who became fugitives to escape their troubles joined them and reinforced them.

44 They organized an army, and struck down sinners in their anger and lawless men in their wrath; the survivors fled to the Gentiles for safety. 45 And Mattathias and his friends went about and tore down the altars; 46 they forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised boys that they found within the borders of Israel. 47 They hunted down the arrogant men, and the work prospered in their hands. 48 They rescued the law out of the hands of the Gentiles and kings, and they never let the sinner gain the upper hand.

49 Now the days drew near for Mattathias to die, and he said to his sons: “Arrogance and reproach have now become strong; it is a time of ruin and furious anger. 50 Now, my children, show zeal for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of our fathers. 51 “Remember the deeds of the fathers, which they did in their generations; and receive great honor and an everlasting name. 52 Was not Abraham found faithful when tested, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness? 53 Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment, and became lord of Egypt. 54 Phinehas our father, because he was deeply zealous, received the covenant of everlasting priesthood. 55 Joshua, because he fulfilled the command, became a judge in Israel. 56 Caleb, because he testified in the assembly, received an inheritance in the land. 57 David, because he was merciful, inherited the throne of the kingdom for ever. 58 Elijah because of great zeal for the law was taken up into heaven. 59 Hannaniah, Azariah, and Mishael believed and were saved from the flame. 60 Daniel because of his innocence was delivered from the mouth of the lions. 61 “And so observe, from generation to generation, that none who put their trust in him will lack strength. 62 Do not fear the words of a sinner, for his splendor will turn into dung and worms.

63 Today he will be exalted, but tomorrow he will not be found, because he has returned to the dust, and his plans will perish. 64 My children, be courageous and grow strong in the law, for by it you will gain honor. 65 “Now behold, I know that Simeon your brother is wise in counsel; always listen to him; he shall be your father. 66 Judas Maccabeus has been a mighty warrior from his youth; he shall command the army for you and fight the battle against the peoples. 67 You shall rally about you all who observe the law, and avenge the wrong done to your people. 68 Pay back the Gentiles in full, and heed what the law commands.” 69 Then he blessed them, and was gathered to his fathers. 70 He died in the one hundred and forty-sixth year and was buried in the tomb of his fathers at Modein. And all Israel mourned for him with great lamentation.

I Maccabees 3
1 Then Judas his son, who was called Maccabeus, took command in his place. 2 All his brothers and all who had joined his father helped him; they gladly fought for Israel. 3 He extended the glory of his people. Like a giant he put on his breastplate; he girded on his armor of war and waged battles, protecting the host by his sword. 4 He was like a lion in his deeds, like a lion’s cub roaring for prey. 5 He searched out and pursued the lawless; he burned those who troubled his people. 6 Lawless men shrank back for fear of him; all the evildoers were confounded; and deliverance prospered by his hand. 7 He embittered many kings, but he made Jacob glad by his deeds, and his memory is blessed for ever. 8 He went through the cities of Judah; he destroyed the ungodly out of the land; thus he turned away wrath from Israel. 9 He was renowned to the ends of the earth; he gathered in those who were perishing. 10 But Apollonius gathered together Gentiles and a large force from Samaria to fight against Israel. 11 When Judas learned of it, he went out to meet him, and he defeated and killed him. Many were wounded and fell, and the rest fled. 12 Then they seized their spoils; and Judas took the sword of Apollonius, and used it in battle the rest of his life.

13 Now when Seron, the commander of the Syrian army, heard that Judas had gathered a large company, including a body of faithful men who stayed with him and went out to battle, 14 he said, “I will make a name for myself and win honor in the kingdom. I will make war on Judas and his companions, who scorn the king’s command.” 15 And again a strong army of ungodly men went up with him to help him, to take vengeance on the sons of Israel. 16 When he approached the ascent of Beth-horon, Judas went out to meet him with a small company. 17 But when they saw the army coming to meet them, they said to Judas, “How can we, few as we are, fight against so great and strong a multitude? And we are faint, for we have eaten nothing today.” 18 Judas replied, “It is easy for many to be hemmed in by few, for in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between saving by many or by few. 19 It is not on the size of the army that victory in battle depends, but strength comes from Heaven. 20 They come against us in great pride and lawlessness to destroy us and our wives and our children, and to despoil us;21 but we fight for our lives and our laws. 22 He himself will crush them before us; as for you, do not be afraid of them.” 23 When he finished speaking, he rushed suddenly against Seron and his army, and they were crushed before him. 24 They pursued them down the descent of Beth-horon to the plain; eight hundred of them fell, and the rest fled into the land of the Philistines.

25 Then Judas and his brothers began to be feared, and terror fell upon the Gentiles round about them. 26 His fame reached the king, and the Gentiles talked of the battles of Judas. 27 When king Antiochus heard these reports, he was greatly angered; and he sent and gathered all the forces of his kingdom, a very strong army. 28 And he opened his coffers and gave a year’s pay to his forces, and ordered them to be ready for any need. 29 Then he saw that the money in the treasury was exhausted, and that the revenues from the country were small because of the dissension and disaster which he had caused in the land by abolishing the laws that had existed from the earliest days. 30 He feared that he might not have such funds as he had before for his expenses and for the gifts which he used to give more lavishly than preceding kings. 31 He was greatly perplexed in mind, and determined to go to Persia and collect the revenues from those regions and raise a large fund.

32 He left Lysias, a distinguished man of royal lineage, in charge of the king’s affairs from the river Euphrates to the borders of Egypt. 33 Lysias was also to take care of Antiochus his son until he returned. 34 And he turned over to Lysias half of his troops and the elephants, and gave him orders about all that he wanted done. As for the residents of Judea and Jerusalem, 35 Lysias was to send a force against them to wipe out and destroy the strength of Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem; he was to banish the memory of them from the place, 36 settle aliens in all their territory, and distribute their land. 37 Then the king took the remaining half of his troops and departed from Antioch his capital in the one hundred and forty-seventh year. He crossed the Euphrates river and went through the upper provinces. 38 Lysias chose Ptolemy the son of Dorymenes, and Nicanor and Gorgias, mighty men among the friends of the king, 39 and sent with them forty thousand infantry and seven thousand cavalry to go into the land of Judah and destroy it, as the king had commanded. 40 so they departed with their entire force, and when they arrived they encamped near Emmaus in the plain.

41 When the traders of the region heard what was said to them, they took silver and gold in immense amounts, and fetters, and went to the camp to get the sons of Israel for slaves. And forces from Syria and the land of the Philistines joined with them. 42 Now Judas and his brothers saw that misfortunes had increased and that the forces were encamped in their territory. They also learned what the king had commanded to do to the people to cause their final destruction. 43 But they said to one another, “Let us repair the destruction of our people, and fight for our people and the sanctuary.” 44 And the congregation assembled to be ready for battle, and to pray and ask for mercy and compassion.

45 Jerusalem was uninhabited like a wilderness; not one of her children went in or out. The sanctuary was trampled down, and the sons of aliens held the citadel; it was a lodging place for the Gentiles. Joy was taken from Jacob; the flute and the harp ceased to play. 46 So they assembled and went to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem, because Israel formerly had a place of prayer in Mizpah. 47 They fasted that day, put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads, and rent their clothes. 48 And they opened the book of the law to inquire into those matters about which the Gentiles were consulting the images of their idols. 49 They also brought the garments of the priesthood and the first fruits and the tithes, and they stirred up the Nazirites who had completed their days; 50 and they cried aloud to Heaven, saying, “What shall we do with these? Where shall we take them? 51 Thy sanctuary is trampled down and profaned, and thy priests mourn in humiliation. 52 And behold, the Gentiles are assembled against us to destroy us; thou knowest what they plot against us. 53 How will we be able to withstand them, if thou dost not help us?” 54 Then they sounded the trumpets and gave a loud shout.

55 After this Judas appointed leaders of the people, in charge of thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens. 56 And he said to those who were building houses, or were betrothed, or were planting vineyards, or were fainthearted, that each should return to his home, according to the law. 57 Then the army marched out and encamped to the south of Emmaus. 58 And Judas said, “Gird yourselves and be valiant. Be ready early in the morning to fight with these Gentiles who have assembled against us to destroy us and our sanctuary. 59 It is better for us to die in battle than to see the misfortunes of our nation and of the sanctuary. 60 But as his will in heaven may be, so he will do.”

I Maccabees 4
1 Now Gorgias took five thousand infantry and a thousand picked cavalry, and this division moved out by night 2 to fall upon the camp of the Jews and attack them suddenly. Men from the citadel were his guides. 3 But Judas heard of it, and he and his mighty men moved out to attack the king’s force in Emmaus 4 while the division was still absent from the camp. 5 When Gorgias entered the camp of Judas by night, he found no one there, so he looked for them in the hills, because he said, “These men are fleeing from us.”

6 At daybreak Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men, but they did not have armor and swords such as they desired. 7 And they saw the camp of the Gentiles, strong and fortified, with cavalry round about it; and these men were trained in war. 8 But Judas said to the men who were with him, “Do not fear their numbers or be afraid when they charge. 9 Remember how our fathers were saved at the Red Sea, when Pharaoh with his forces pursued them. 10 And now let us cry to Heaven, to see whether he will favor us and remember his covenant with our fathers and crush this army before us today. 11 Then all the Gentiles will know that there is one who redeems and saves Israel.”

12 When the foreigners looked up and saw them coming against them, 13 they went forth from their camp to battle. Then the men with Judas blew their trumpets 14 and engaged in battle. The Gentiles were crushed and fled into the plain, 15 and all those in the rear fell by the sword. They pursued them to Gazara, and to the plains of Idumea, and to Azotus and Jamnia; and three thousand of them fell. 16 Then Judas and his force turned back from pursuing them, 17 and he said to the people, “Do not be greedy for plunder, for there is a battle before us; 18 Gorgias and his force are near us in the hills. But stand now against our enemies and fight them, and afterward seize the plunder boldly.” 19 Just as Judas was finishing this speech, a detachment appeared, coming out of the hills. 20 They saw that their army had been put to flight, and that the Jews were burning the camp, for the smoke that was seen showed what had happened. 21 When they perceived this they were greatly frightened, and when they also saw the army of Judas drawn up in the plain for battle, 22 they all fled into the land of the Philistines. 23 Then Judas returned to plunder the camp, and they seized much gold and silver, and cloth dyed blue and sea purple, and great riches. 24 On their return they sang hymns and praises to Heaven, for he is good, for his mercy endures for ever. 25 Thus Israel had a great deliverance that day.

26 Those of the foreigners who escaped went and reported to Lysias all that had happened. 27 When he heard it, he was perplexed and discouraged, for things had not happened to Israel as he had intended, nor had they turned out as the king had commanded him. 28 But the next year he mustered sixty thousand picked infantrymen and five thousand cavalry to subdue them. 29 They came into Idumea and encamped at Beth-zur, and Judas met them with ten thousand men. 30 When he saw that the army was strong, he prayed, saying, “Blessed art thou, O Savior of Israel, who didst crush the attack of the mighty warrior by the hand of thy servant David, and didst give the camp of the Philistines into the hands of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and of the man who carried his armor. 31 So do thou hem in this army by the hand of thy people Israel, and let them be ashamed of their troops and their cavalry. 32 Fill them with cowardice; melt the boldness of their strength; let them tremble in their destruction. 33 Strike them down with the sword of those who love thee, and let all who know thy name praise thee with hymns.”

34 Then both sides attacked, and there fell of the army of Lysias five thousand men; they fell in action. 35 And when Lysias saw the rout of his troops and observed the boldness which inspired those of Judas, and how ready they were either to live or to die nobly, he departed to Antioch and enlisted mercenaries, to invade Judea again with an even larger army. 36 Then said Judas and his brothers, “Behold, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it.”

37 So all the army assembled and they went up to Mount Zion. 38 And they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins. 39 Then they rent their clothes, and mourned with great lamentation, and sprinkled themselves with ashes. 40 They fell face down on the ground, and sounded the signal on the trumpets, and cried out to Heaven. 41 Then Judas detailed men to fight against those in the citadel until he had cleansed the sanctuary. 42 He chose blameless priests devoted to the law, 43 and they cleansed the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to an unclean place. 44 They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned. 45 And they thought it best to tear it down, lest it bring reproach upon them, for the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar, 46 and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until there should come a prophet to tell what to do with them. 47 Then they took unhewn stones, as the law directs, and built a new altar like the former one.

48 They also rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple, and consecrated the courts. 49 They made new holy vessels, and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. 50 Then they burned incense on the altar and lighted the lamps on the lampstand, and these gave light in the temple. 51 They placed the bread on the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken.

52 Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year, 53 they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering which they had built. 54 At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. 55 All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. 56 So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise. 57 They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and furnished them with doors. 58 There was very great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was removed.

59 Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev. 60 At that time they fortified Mount Zion with high walls and strong towers round about, to keep the Gentiles from coming and trampling them down as they had done before. 61 And he stationed a garrison there to hold it. He also fortified Beth-zur, so that the people might have a stronghold that faced Idumea.

I Maccabees 5
1 When the Gentiles round about heard that the altar had been built and the sanctuary dedicated as it was before, they became very angry, 2 and they determined to destroy the descendants of Jacob who lived among them. So they began to kill and destroy among the people. 3 But Judas made war on the sons of Esau in Idumea, at Akrabattene, because they kept lying in wait for Israel. He dealt them a heavy blow and humbled them and despoiled them. 4 He also remembered the wickedness of the sons of Baean, who were a trap and a snare to the people and ambushed them on the highways. 5 They were shut up by him in their towers; and he encamped against them, vowed their complete destruction, and burned with fire their towers and all who were in them. 6 Then he crossed over to attack the Ammonites, where he found a strong band and many people with Timothy as their leader. 7 He engaged in many battles with them and they were crushed before him; he struck them down. 8 He also took Jazer and its villages; then he returned to Judea.

9 Now the Gentiles in Gilead gathered together against the Israelites who lived in their territory, and planned to destroy them. But they fled to the stronghold of Dathema, 10 and sent to Judas and his brothers a letter which said, “The Gentiles around us have gathered together against us to destroy us. 11 They are preparing to come and capture the stronghold to which we have fled, and Timothy is leading their forces. 12 Now then come and rescue us from their hands, for many of us have fallen, 13 and all our brethren who were in the land of Tob have been killed; the enemy have captured their wives and children and goods, and have destroyed about a thousand men there.” 14 While the letter was still being read, behold, other messengers, with their garments rent, came from Galilee and made a similar report; 15 they said that against them had gathered together men of Ptolemais and Tyre and Sidon, and all Galilee of the Gentiles, “to annihilate us.”

16 When Judas and the people heard these messages, a great assembly was called to determine what they should do for their brethren who were in distress and were being attacked by enemies. 17 Then Judas said to Simon his brother, “Choose your men and go and rescue your brethren in Galilee; I and Jonathan my brother will go to Gilead.” 18 But he left Joseph, the son of Zechariah, and Azariah, a leader of the people, with the rest of the forces, in Judea to guard it; 19 and he gave them this command, “Take charge of this people, but do not engage in battle with the Gentiles until we return.” 20 Then three thousand men were assigned to Simon to go to Galilee, and eight thousand to Judas for Gilead. 21 so Simon went to Galilee and fought many battles against the Gentiles, and the Gentiles were crushed before him. 22 He pursued them to the gate of Ptolemais, and as many as three thousand of the Gentiles fell, and he despoiled them. 23 Then he took the Jews of Galilee and Arbatta, with their wives and children, and all they possessed, and led them to Judea with great rejoicing.

24 Judas Maccabeus and Jonathan his brother crossed the Jordan and went three days’ journey into the wilderness. 25 They encountered the Nabateans, who met them peaceably and told them all that had happened to their brethren in Gilead: 26 “Many of them have been shut up in Bozrah and Bosor, in Alema and Chaspho, Maked and Carnaim” — all these cities were strong and large– 27 “and some have been shut up in the other cities of Gilead; the enemy are getting ready to attack the strongholds tomorrow and take and destroy all these men in one day.” 28 Then Judas and his army quickly turned back by the wilderness road to Bozrah; and he took the city, and killed every male by the edge of the sword; then he seized all its spoils and burned it with fire. 29 He departed from there at night, and they went all the way to the stronghold of Dathema. 30 At dawn they looked up, and behold, a large company, that could not be counted, carrying ladders and engines of war to capture the stronghold, and attacking the Jews within. 31 So Judas saw that the battle had begun and that the cry of the city went up to Heaven with trumpets and loud shouts, 32 and he said to the men of his forces, “Fight today for your brethren!” 33 Then he came up behind them in three companies, who sounded their trumpets and cried aloud in prayer. 34 And when the army of Timothy realized that it was Maccabeus, they fled before him, and he dealt them a heavy blow. As many as eight thousand of them fell that day. 35 Next he turned aside to Alema, and fought against it and took it; and he killed every male in it, plundered it, and burned it with fire. 36 From there he marched on and took Chaspho, Maked, and Bosor, and the other cities of Gilead.

37 After these things Timothy gathered another army and encamped opposite Raphon, on the other side of the stream. 38 Judas sent men to spy out the camp, and they reported to him, “All the Gentiles around us have gathered to him; it is a very large force. 39 They also have hired Arabs to help them, and they are encamped across the stream, ready to come and fight against you.” And Judas went to meet them. 40 Now as Judas and his army drew near to the stream of water, Timothy said to the officers of his forces, “If he crosses over to us first, we will not be able to resist him, for he will surely defeat us. 41 But if he shows fear and camps on the other side of the river, we will cross over to him and defeat him.” 42 When Judas approached the stream of water, he stationed the scribes of the people at the stream and gave them this command, “Permit no man to encamp, but make them all enter the battle.” 43 Then he crossed over against them first, and the whole army followed him. All the Gentiles were defeated before him, and they threw away their arms and fled into the sacred precincts at Carnaim. 44 But he took the city and burned the sacred precincts with fire, together with all who were in them. Thus Carnaim was conquered; they could stand before Judas no longer.

45 Then Judas gathered together all the Israelites in Gilead, the small and the great, with their wives and children and goods, a very large company, to go to the land of Judah. 46 So they came to Ephron. This was a large and very strong city on the road, and they could not go round it to the right or to the left; they had to go through it. 47 But the men of the city shut them out and blocked up the gates with stones. 48 And Judas sent them this friendly message, “Let us pass through your land to get to our land. No one will do you harm; we will simply pass by on foot.” But they refused to open to him.

49 Then Judas ordered proclamation to be made to the army that each should encamp where he was. 50 So the men of the forces encamped, and he fought against the city all that day and all the night, and the city was delivered into his hands. 51 He destroyed every male by the edge of the sword, and razed and plundered the city. Then he passed through the city over the slain. 52 And they crossed the Jordan into the large plain before Beth-shan. 53 And Judas kept rallying the laggards and encouraging the people all the way till he came to the land of Judah. 54 So they went up to Mount Zion with gladness and joy, and offered burnt offerings, because not one of them had fallen before they returned in safety.

55 Now while Judas and Jonathan were in Gilead and Simon his brother was in Galilee before Ptolemais, 56 Joseph, the son of Zechariah, and Azariah, the commanders of the forces, heard of their brave deeds and of the heroic war they had fought. 57 So they said, “Let us also make a name for ourselves; let us go and make war on the Gentiles around us.” 58 And they issued orders to the men of the forces that were with them, and they marched against Jamnia. 59 And Gorgias and his men came out of the city to meet them in battle. 60 Then Joseph and Azariah were routed, and were pursued to the borders of Judea; as many as two thousand of the people of Israel fell that day. 61 Thus the people suffered a great rout because, thinking to do a brave deed, they did not listen to Judas and his brothers. 62 But they did not belong to the family of those men through whom deliverance was given to Israel.

63 The man Judas and his brothers were greatly honored in all Israel and among all the Gentiles, wherever their name was heard. 64 Men gathered to them and praised them. 65 Then Judas and his brothers went forth and fought the sons of Esau in the land to the south. He struck Hebron and its villages and tore down its strongholds and burned its towers round about. 66 Then he marched off to go into the land of the Philistines, and passed through Marisa. 67 On that day some priests, who wished to do a brave deed, fell in battle, for they went out to battle unwisely. 68 But Judas turned aside to Azotus in the land of the Philistines; he tore down their altars, and the graven images of their gods he burned with fire; he plundered the cities and returned to the land of Judah.

I Maccabees 6
1 King Antiochus was going through the upper provinces when he heard that Elymais in Persia was a city famed for its wealth in silver and gold. 2 Its temple was very rich, containing golden shields, breastplates, and weapons left there by Alexander, the son of Philip, the Macedonian king who first reigned over the Greeks. 3 So he came and tried to take the city and plunder it, but he could not, because his plan became known to the men of the city 4 and they withstood him in battle. So he fled and in great grief departed from there to return to Babylon. 5 Then some one came to him in Persia and reported that the armies which had gone into the land of Judah had been routed; 6 that Lysias had gone first with a strong force, but had turned and fled before the Jews; that the Jews had grown strong from the arms, supplies, and abundant spoils which they had taken from the armies they had cut down; 7 that they had torn down the abomination which he had erected upon the altar in Jerusalem; and that they had surrounded the sanctuary with high walls as before, and also Beth-zur, his city.

8 When the king heard this news, he was astounded and badly shaken. He took to his bed and became sick from grief, because things had not turned out for him as he had planned. 9 He lay there for many days, because deep grief continually gripped him, and he concluded that he was dying. 10 So he called all his friends and said to them, “Sleep departs from my eyes and I am downhearted with worry. 11 I said to myself, `To what distress I have come! And into what a great flood I now am plunged! For I was kind and beloved in my power.’ 12 But now I remember the evils I did in Jerusalem. I seized all her vessels of silver and gold; and I sent to destroy the inhabitants of Judah without good reason. 13 I know that it is because of this that these evils have come upon me; and behold, I am perishing of deep grief in a strange land.” 14 Then he called for Philip, one of his friends, and made him ruler over all his kingdom. 15 He gave him the crown and his robe and the signet, that he might guide Antiochus his son and bring him up to be king. 16 Thus Antiochus the king died there in the one hundred and forty-ninth year. 17 And when Lysias learned that the king was dead, he set up Antiochus the king’s son to reign. Lysias had brought him up as a boy, and he named him Eupator.

18 Now the men in the citadel kept hemming Israel in around the sanctuary. They were trying in every way to harm them and strengthen the Gentiles. 19 So Judas decided to destroy them, and assembled all the people to besiege them. 20 They gathered together and besieged the citadel in the one hundred and fiftieth year; and he built siege towers and other engines of war. 21 But some of the garrison escaped from the siege and some of the ungodly Israelites joined them. 22 They went to the king and said, “How long will you fail to do justice and to avenge our brethren? 23 We were happy to serve your father, to live by what he said and to follow his commands. 24 For this reason the sons of our people besieged the citadel and became hostile to us; moreover, they have put to death as many of us as they have caught, and they have seized our inheritances. 25 And not against us alone have they stretched out their hands, but also against all the lands on their borders. 26 And behold, today they have encamped against the citadel in Jerusalem to take it; they have fortified both the sanctuary and Beth-zur; 27 and unless you quickly prevent them, they will do still greater things, and you will not be able to stop them.”

28 The king was enraged when he heard this. He assembled all his friends, the commanders of his forces and those in authority. 29 And mercenary forces came to him from other kingdoms and from islands of the seas. 30 The number of his forces was a hundred thousand foot soldiers, twenty thousand horsemen, and thirty-two elephants accustomed to war. 31 They came through Idumea and encamped against Beth-zur, and for many days they fought and built engines of war; but the Jews sallied out and burned these with fire, and fought manfully. 32 Then Judas marched away from the citadel and encamped at Beth-zechariah, opposite the camp of the king.

33 Early in the morning the king rose and took his army by a forced march along the road to Beth-zechariah, and his troops made ready for battle and sounded their trumpets. 34 They showed the elephants the juice of grapes and mulberries, to arouse them for battle. 35 And they distributed the beasts among the phalanxes; with each elephant they stationed a thousand men armed with coats of mail, and with brass helmets on their heads; and five hundred picked horsemen were assigned to each beast. 36 These took their position beforehand wherever the beast was; wherever it went they went with it, and they never left it. 37 And upon the elephants were wooden towers, strong and covered; they were fastened upon each beast by special harness, and upon each were four armed men who fought from there, and also its Indian driver. 38 The rest of the horsemen were stationed on either side, on the two flanks of the army, to harass the enemy while being themselves protected by the phalanxes. 39 When the sun shone upon the shields of gold and brass, the hills were ablaze with them and gleamed like flaming torches. 40 Now a part of the king’s army was spread out on the high hills, and some troops were on the plain, and they advanced steadily and in good order.

41 All who heard the noise made by their multitude, by the marching of the multitude and the clanking of their arms, trembled, for the army was very large and strong. 42 But Judas and his army advanced to the battle, and six hundred men of the king’s army fell. 43 And Eleazar, called Avaran, saw that one of the beasts was equipped with royal armor. It was taller than all the others, and he supposed that the king was upon it. 44 So he gave his life to save his people and to win for himself an everlasting name. 45 He courageously ran into the midst of the phalanx to reach it; he killed men right and left, and they parted before him on both sides. 46 He got under the elephant, stabbed it from beneath, and killed it; but it fell to the ground upon him and he died. 47 And when the Jews saw the royal might and the fierce attack of the forces, they turned away in flight. 48 The soldiers of the king’s army went up to Jerusalem against them, and the king encamped in Judea and at Mount Zion. 49 He made peace with the men of Beth-zur, and they evacuated the city, because they had no provisions there to withstand a siege, since it was a sabbatical year for the land. 50 So the king took Beth-zur and stationed a guard there to hold it. 51 Then he encamped before the sanctuary for many days. He set up siege towers, engines of war to throw fire and stones, machines to shoot arrows, and catapults. 52 The Jews also made engines of war to match theirs, and fought for many days. 53 But they had no food in storage, because it was the seventh year; those who found safety in Judea from the Gentiles had consumed the last of the stores. 54 Few men were left in the sanctuary, because famine had prevailed over the rest and they had been scattered, each to his own place.

55 Then Lysias heard that Philip, whom King Antiochus while still living had appointed to bring up Antiochus his son to be king, 56 had returned from Persia and Media with the forces that had gone with the king, and that he was trying to seize control of the government. 57 So he quickly gave orders to depart, and said to the king, to the commanders of the forces, and to the men, “We daily grow weaker, our food supply is scant, the place against which we are fighting is strong, and the affairs of the kingdom press urgently upon us. 58 Now then let us come to terms with these men, and make peace with them and with all their nation, 59 and agree to let them live by their laws as they did before; for it was on account of their laws which we abolished that they became angry and did all these things.” 60 The speech pleased the king and the commanders, and he sent to the Jews an offer of peace, and they accepted it. 61 So the king and the commanders gave them their oath. On these conditions the Jews evacuated the stronghold. 62 But when the king entered Mount Zion and saw what a strong fortress the place was, he broke the oath he had sworn and gave orders to tear down the wall all around. 63 Then he departed with haste and returned to Antioch. He found Philip in control of the city, but he fought against him, and took the city by force.

I Maccabees 7
1 In the one hundred and fifty-first year Demetrius the son of Seleucus set forth from Rome, sailed with a few men to a city by the sea, and there began to reign. 2 As he was entering the royal palace of his fathers, the army seized Antiochus and Lysias to bring them to him. 3 But when this act became known to him, he said, “Do not let me see their faces!” 4 So the army killed them, and Demetrius took his seat upon the throne of his kingdom. 5 Then there came to him all the lawless and ungodly men of Israel; they were led by Alcimus, who wanted to be high priest. 6 And they brought to the king this accusation against the people: “Judas and his brothers have destroyed all your friends, and have driven us out of our land. 7 Now then send a man whom you trust; let him go and see all the ruin which Judas has brought upon us and upon the land of the king, and let him punish them and all who help them.” 8 So the king chose Bacchides, one of the king’s friends, governor of the province Beyond the River; he was a great man in the kingdom and was faithful to the king. 9 And he sent him, and with him the ungodly Alcimus, whom he made high priest; and he commanded him to take vengeance on the sons of Israel.

10 So they marched away and came with a large force into the land of Judah; and he sent messengers to Judas and his brothers with peaceable but treacherous words. 11 But they paid no attention to their words, for they saw that they had come with a large force. 12 Then a group of scribes appeared in a body before Alcimus and Bacchides to ask for just terms. 13 The Hasideans were first among the sons of Israel to seek peace from them, 14 for they said, “A priest of the line of Aaron has come with the army, and he will not harm us.” 15 And he spoke peaceable words to them and swore this oath to them, “We will not seek to injure you or your friends.” 16 So they trusted him; but he seized sixty of them and killed them in one day, in accordance with the word which was written, 17 “The flesh of thy saints and their blood they poured out round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them.” 18 Then the fear and dread of them fell upon all the people, for they said, “There is no truth or justice in them, for they have violated the agreement and the oath which they swore.”

19 Then Bacchides departed from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-zaith. And he sent and seized many of the men who had deserted to him, and some of the people, and killed them and threw them into a great pit. 20 He placed Alcimus in charge of the country and left with him a force to help him; then Bacchides went back to the king. 21 Alcimus strove for the high priesthood, 22 and all who were troubling their people joined him. They gained control of the land of Judah and did great damage in Israel. 23 And Judas saw all the evil that Alcimus and those with him had done among the sons of Israel; it was more than the Gentiles had done. 24 So Judas went out into all the surrounding parts of Judea, and took vengeance on the men who had deserted, and he prevented those in the city from going out into the country. 25 When Alcimus saw that Judas and those with him had grown strong, and realized that he could not withstand them, he returned to the king and brought wicked charges against them. 26 Then the king sent Nicanor, one of his honored princes, who hated and detested Israel, and he commanded him to destroy the people.

27 So Nicanor came to Jerusalem with a large force, and treacherously sent to Judas and his brothers this peaceable message, 28 “Let there be no fighting between me and you; I shall come with a few men to see you face to face in peace.” 29 So he came to Judas, and they greeted one another peaceably. But the enemy were ready to seize Judas. 30 It became known to Judas that Nicanor had come to him with treacherous intent, and he was afraid of him and would not meet him again. 31 When Nicanor learned that his plan had been disclosed, he went out to meet Judas in battle near Caphar-salama. 32 About five hundred men of the army of Nicanor fell, and the rest fled into the city of David.

33 After these events Nicanor went up to Mount Zion. Some of the priests came out of the sanctuary, and some of the elders of the people, to greet him peaceably and to show him the burnt offering that was being offered for the king. 34 But he mocked them and derided them and defiled them and spoke arrogantly, 35 and in anger he swore this oath, “Unless Judas and his army are delivered into my hands this time, then if I return safely I will burn up this house.” And he went out in great anger. 36 Then the priests went in and stood before the altar and the temple, and they wept and said, 37 “Thou didst choose this house to be called by thy name, and to be for thy people a house of prayer and supplication. 38 Take vengeance on this man and on his army, and let them fall by the sword; remember their blasphemies, and let them live no longer.” 39 Now Nicanor went out from Jerusalem and encamped in Beth-horon, and the Syrian army joined him. 40 And Judas encamped in Adasa with three thousand men. Then Judas prayed and said, 41 “When the messengers from the king spoke blasphemy, thy angel went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand of the Assyrians. 42 So also crush this army before us today; let the rest learn that Nicanor has spoken wickedly against the sanctuary, and judge him according to this wickedness.”

43 So the armies met in battle on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. The army of Nicanor was crushed, and he himself was the first to fall in the battle. 44 When his army saw that Nicanor had fallen, they threw down their arms and fled. 45 The Jews pursued them a day’s journey, from Adasa as far as Gazara, and as they followed kept sounding the battle call on the trumpets. 46 And men came out of all the villages of Judea round about, and they out-flanked the enemy and drove them back to their pursuers, so that they all fell by the sword; not even one of them was left. 47 Then the Jews seized the spoils and the plunder, and they cut off Nicanor’s head and the right hand which he so arrogantly stretched out, and brought them and displayed them just outside Jerusalem. 48 The people rejoiced greatly and celebrated that day as a day of great gladness. 49 And they decreed that this day should be celebrated each year on the thirteenth day of Adar. 50 So the land of Judah had rest for a few days.

I Maccabees 8
1 Now Judas heard of the fame of the Romans, that they were very strong and were well-disposed toward all who made an alliance with them, that they pledged friendship to those who came to them, 2 and that they were very strong. Men told him of their wars and of the brave deeds which they were doing among the Gauls, how they had defeated them and forced them to pay tribute, 3 and what they had done in the land of Spain to get control of the silver and gold mines there, 4 and how they had gained control of the whole region by their planning and patience, even though the place was far distant from them. They also subdued the kings who came against them from the ends of the earth, until they crushed them and inflicted great disaster upon them; the rest paid them tribute every year.

5 Philip, and Perseus king of the Macedonians, and the others who rose up against them, they crushed in battle and conquered. 6 They also defeated Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who went to fight against them with a hundred and twenty elephants and with cavalry and chariots and a very large army. He was crushed by them; 7 they took him alive and decreed that he and those who should reign after him should pay a heavy tribute and give hostages and surrender some of their best provinces, 8 the country of India and Media and Lydia. These they took from him and gave to Eumenes the king. 9 The Greeks planned to come and destroy them, 10 but this became known to them, and they sent a general against the Greeks and attacked them. Many of them were wounded and fell, and the Romans took captive their wives and children; they plundered them, conquered the land, tore down their strongholds, and enslaved them to this day.

11 The remaining kingdoms and islands, as many as ever opposed them, they destroyed and enslaved; 12 but with their friends and those who rely on them they have kept friendship. They have subdued kings far and near, and as many as have heard of their fame have feared them. 13 Those whom they wish to help and to make kings, they make kings, and those whom they wish they depose; and they have been greatly exalted. 14 Yet for all this not one of them has put on a crown or worn purple as a mark of pride, 15 but they have built for themselves a senate chamber, and every day three hundred and twenty senators constantly deliberate concerning the people, to govern them well. 16 They trust one man each year to rule over them and to control all their land; they all heed the one man, and there is no envy or jealousy among them.

17 So Judas chose Eupolemus the son of John, son of Accos, and Jason the son of Eleazar, and sent them to Rome to establish friendship and alliance, 18 and to free themselves from the yoke; for they saw that the kingdom of the Greeks was completely enslaving Israel. 19 They went to Rome, a very long journey; and they entered the senate chamber and spoke as follows: 20 “Judas, who is also called Maccabeus, and his brothers and the people of the Jews have sent us to you to establish alliance and peace with you, that we may be enrolled as your allies and friends.”

21 The proposal pleased them, 22 and this is a copy of the letter which they wrote in reply, on bronze tablets, and sent to Jerusalem to remain with them there as a memorial of peace and alliance: 23 “May all go well with the Romans and with the nation of the Jews at sea and on land for ever, and may sword and enemy be far from them. 24 If war comes first to Rome or to any of their allies in all their dominion, 25 the nation of the Jews shall act as their allies wholeheartedly, as the occasion may indicate to them. 26 And to the enemy who makes war they shall not give or supply grain, arms, money, or ships, as Rome has decided; and they shall keep their obligations without receiving any return. 27 In the same way, if war comes first to the nation of the Jews, the Romans shall willingly act as their allies, as the occasion may indicate to them. 28 And to the enemy allies shall be given no grain, arms, money, or ships, as Rome has decided; and they shall keep these obligations and do so without deceit. 29 Thus on these terms the Romans make a treaty with the Jewish people. 30 If after these terms are in effect both parties shall determine to add or delete anything, they shall do so at their discretion, and any addition or deletion that they may make shall be valid. 31 “And concerning the wrongs which King Demetrius is doing to them we have written to him as follows, `Why have you made your yoke heavy upon our friends and allies the Jews? 32 If now they appeal again for help against you, we will defend their rights and fight you on sea and on land.'”

I Maccabees 9
1 Then Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah a second time, and with them the right wing of the army. 2 They went by the road which leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mesaloth in Arbela, and they took it and killed many people. 3 In the first month of the one hundred and fifty-second year they encamped against Jerusalem; 4 then they marched off and went to Berea with twenty thousand foot soldiers and two thousand cavalry. 5 Now Judas was encamped in Elasa, and with him were three thousand picked men. 6 When they saw the huge number of the enemy forces, they were greatly frightened, and many slipped away from the camp, until no more than eight hundred of them were left.

7 Then Judas saw that his army had slipped away and the battle was imminent, he was crushed in spirit, for he had no time to assemble them. 8 He became faint, but he said to those who were left, “Let us rise and go up against our enemies. We may be able to fight them.” 9 But they tried to dissuade him, saying, “We are not able. Let us rather save our own lives now, and let us come back with our brethren and fight them; we are too few.” 10 But Judas said, “Far be it from us to do such a thing as to flee from them. If our time has come, let us die bravely for our brethren, and leave no cause to question our honor.”

11 Then the army of Bacchides marched out from the camp and took its stand for the encounter. The cavalry was divided into two companies, and the slingers and the archers went ahead of the army, as did all the chief warriors. 12 Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets; and the men with Judas also blew their trumpets. 13 The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning till evening. 14 Judas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right; then all the stouthearted men went with him, 15 and they crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azotus. 16 When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed, they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men. 17 The battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell. 18 Judas also fell, and the rest fled.

19 Then Jonathan and Simon took Judas their brother and buried him in the tomb of their fathers at Modein, 20 and wept for him. And all Israel made great lamentation for him; they mourned many days and said, 21 “How is the mighty fallen, the savior of Israel!” 22 Now the rest of the acts of Judas, and his wars and the brave deeds that he did, and his greatness, have not been recorded, for they were very many. 23 After the death of Judas, the lawless emerged in all parts of Israel; all the doers of injustice appeared.

24 In those days a very great famine occurred, and the country deserted with them to the enemy. 25 And Bacchides chose the ungodly and put them in charge of the country. 26 They sought and searched for the friends of Judas, and brought them to Bacchides, and he took vengeance on them and made sport of them. 27 Thus there was great distress in Israel, such as had not been since the time that prophets ceased to appear among them. 28 Then all the friends of Judas assembled and said to Jonathan, 29 “Since the death of your brother Judas there has been no one like him to go against our enemies and Bacchides, and to deal with those of our nation who hate us. 30 So now we have chosen you today to take his place as our ruler and leader, to fight our battle.” 31 And Jonathan at that time accepted the leadership and took the place of Judas his brother.

32 When Bacchides learned of this, he tried to kill him. 33 But Jonathan and Simon his brother and all who were with him heard of it, and they fled into the wilderness of Tekoa and camped by the water of the pool of Asphar. 34 Bacchides found this out on the sabbath day, and he with all his army crossed the Jordan. 35 And Jonathan sent his brother as leader of the multitude and begged the Nabateans, who were his friends, for permission to store with them the great amount of baggage which they had. 36 But the sons of Jambri from Medeba came out and seized John and all that he had, and departed with it. 37 After these things it was reported to Jonathan and Simon his brother, “The sons of Jambri are celebrating a great wedding, and are conducting the bride, a daughter of one of the great nobles of Canaan, from Nadabath with a large escort.” 38 And they remembered the blood of John their brother, and went up and hid under cover of the mountain. 39 They raised their eyes and looked, and saw a tumultuous procession with much baggage; and the bridegroom came out with his friends and his brothers to meet them with tambourines and musicians and many weapons. 40 Then they rushed upon them from the ambush and began killing them. Many were wounded and fell, and the rest fled to the mountain; and they took all their goods.

41 Thus the wedding was turned into mourning and the voice of their musicians into a funeral dirge. 42 And when they had fully avenged the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes of the Jordan. 43 When Bacchides heard of this, he came with a large force on the sabbath day to the banks of the Jordan. 44 And Jonathan said to those with him, “Let us rise up now and fight for our lives, for today things are not as they were before. 45 For look! the battle is in front of us and behind us; the water of the Jordan is on this side and on that, with marsh and thicket; there is no place to turn. 46 Cry out now to Heaven that you may be delivered from the hands of our enemies.” 47 So the battle began, and Jonathan stretched out his hand to strike Bacchides, but he eluded him and went to the rear.

48 Then Jonathan and the men with him leaped into the Jordan and swam across to the other side, and the enemy did not cross the Jordan to attack them. 49 And about one thousand of Bacchides’ men fell that day. 50 Bacchides then returned to Jerusalem and built strong cities in Judea: the fortress in Jericho, and Emmaus, and Beth-horon, and Bethel, and Timnath, and Pharathon, and Tephon, with high walls and gates and bars. 51 And he placed garrisons in them to harass Israel. 52 He also fortified the city of Beth-zur, and Gazara, and the citadel, and in them he put troops and stores of food. 53 And he took the sons of the leading men of the land as hostages and put them under guard in the citadel at Jerusalem. 54 In the one hundred and fifty-third year, in the second month, Alcimus gave orders to tear down the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary. He tore down the work of the prophets! 55 But he only began to tear it down, for at that time Alcimus was stricken and his work was hindered; his mouth was stopped and he was paralyzed, so that he could no longer say a word or give commands concerning his house. 56 And Alcimus died at that time in great agony.

57 When Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead, he returned to the king, and the land of Judah had rest for two years. 58 Then all the lawless plotted and said, “See! Jonathan and his men are living in quiet and confidence. So now let us bring Bacchides back, and he will capture them all in one night.” 59 And they went and consulted with him. 60 He started to come with a large force, and secretly sent letters to all his allies in Judea, telling them to seize Jonathan and his men; but they were unable to do it, because their plan became known. 61 And Jonathan’s men seized about fifty of the men of the country who were leaders in this treachery, and killed them.

62 Then Jonathan with his men, and Simon, withdrew to Bethbasi in the wilderness; he rebuilt the parts of it that had been demolished, and they fortified it. 63 When Bacchides learned of this, he assembled all his forces, and sent orders to the men of Judea. 64 Then he came and encamped against Bethbasi; he fought against it for many days and made machines of war. 65 But Jonathan left Simon his brother in the city, while he went out into the country; and he went with only a few men. 66 He struck down Odomera and his brothers and the sons of Phasiron in their tents. 67 Then he began to attack and went into battle with his forces; and Simon and his men sallied out from the city and set fire to the machines of war.

68 They fought with Bacchides, and he was crushed by them. They distressed him greatly, for his plan and his expedition had been in vain. 69 So he was greatly enraged at the lawless men who had counseled him to come into the country, and he killed many of them. Then he decided to depart to his own land. 70 When Jonathan learned of this, he sent ambassadors to him to make peace with him and obtain release of the captives. 71 He agreed, and did as he said; and he swore to Jonathan that he would not try to harm him as long as he lived. 72 He restored to him the captives whom he had formerly taken from the land of Judah; then he turned and departed to his own land, and came no more into their territory. 73 Thus the sword ceased from Israel. And Jonathan dwelt in Michmash. And Jonathan began to judge the people, and he destroyed the ungodly out of Israel.

I Maccabees 10
1 In the one hundred and sixtieth year Alexander Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, landed and occupied Ptolemais. They welcomed him, and there he began to reign. 2 When Demetrius the king heard of it, he assembled a very large army and marched out to meet him in battle. 3 And Demetrius sent Jonathan a letter in peaceable words to honor him; 4 for he said, “Let us act first to make peace with him before he makes peace with Alexander against us, 5 for he will remember all the wrongs which we did to him and to his brothers and his nation.” 6 So Demetrius gave him authority to recruit troops, to equip them with arms, and to become his ally; and he commanded that the hostages in the citadel should be released to him.

7 Then Jonathan came to Jerusalem and read the letter in the hearing of all the people and of the men in the citadel. 8 They were greatly alarmed when they heard that the king had given him authority to recruit troops. 9 But the men in the citadel released the hostages to Jonathan, and he returned them to their parents. 10 And Jonathan dwelt in Jerusalem and began to rebuild and restore the city. 11 He directed those who were doing the work to build the walls and encircle Mount Zion with squared stones, for better fortification; and they did so.

12 Then the foreigners who were in the strongholds that Bacchides had built fled; 13 each left his place and departed to his own land. 14 Only in Beth-zur did some remain who had forsaken the law and the commandments, for it served as a place of refuge. 15 Now Alexander the king heard of all the promises which Demetrius had sent to Jonathan, and men told him of the battles that Jonathan and his brothers had fought, of the brave deeds that they had done, and of the troubles that they had endured. 16 So he said, “Shall we find another such man? Come now, we will make him our friend and ally.” 17 And he wrote a letter and sent it to him, in the following words:

18 “King Alexander to his brother Jonathan, greeting. 19 We have heard about you, that you are a mighty warrior and worthy to be our friend. 20 And so we have appointed you today to be the high priest of your nation; you are to be called the king’s friend” (and he sent him a purple robe and a golden crown) “and you are to take our side and keep friendship with us.” 21 So Jonathan put on the holy garments in the seventh month of the one hundred and sixtieth year, at the feast of tabernacles, and he recruited troops and equipped them with arms in abundance. 22 When Demetrius heard of these things he was grieved and said, 23 “What is this that we have done? Alexander has gotten ahead of us in forming a friendship with the Jews to strengthen himself. 24 I also will write them words of encouragement and promise them honor and gifts, that I may have their help.”

25 So he sent a message to them in the following words: “King Demetrius to the nation of the Jews, greeting. 26 Since you have kept your agreement with us and have continued your friendship with us, and have not sided with our enemies, we have heard of it and rejoiced.27 And now continue still to keep faith with us, and we will repay you with good for what you do for us. 28 We will grant you many immunities and give you gifts. 29 And now I free you and exempt all the Jews from payment of tribute and salt tax and crown levies, 30 and instead of collecting the third of the grain and the half of the fruit of the trees that I should receive, I release them from this day and henceforth. I will not collect them from the land of Judah or from the three districts added to it from Samaria and Galilee, from this day and for all time. 31 And let Jerusalem and her environs, her tithes and her revenues, be holy and free from tax.

32 I release also my control of the citadel in Jerusalem and give it to the high priest, that he may station in it men of his own choice to guard it. 33 And every one of the Jews taken as a captive from the land of Judah into any part of my kingdom, I set free without payment; and let all officials cancel also the taxes on their cattle. 34 And all the feasts and sabbaths and new moons and appointed days, and the three days before a feast and the three after a feast — let them all be days of immunity and release for all the Jews who are in my kingdom. 35 No one shall have authority to exact anything from them or annoy any of them about any matter. 36  Let Jews be enrolled in the king’s forces to the number of thirty thousand men, and let the maintenance be given them that is due to all the forces of the king.

37 Let some of them be stationed in the great strongholds of the king, and let some of them be put in positions of trust in the kingdom. Let their officers and leaders be of their own number, and let them live by their own laws, just as the king has commanded in the land of Judah. 38 As for the three districts that have been added to Judea from the country of Samaria, let them be so annexed to Judea that they are considered to be under one ruler and obey no other authority but the high priest. 39 Ptolemais and the land adjoining it I have given as a gift to the sanctuary in Jerusalem, to meet the necessary expenses of the sanctuary. 40 I also grant fifteen thousand shekels of silver yearly out of the king’s revenues from appropriate places. 41 And all the additional funds which the government officials have not paid as they did in the first years, they shall give from now on for the service of the temple.

42 Moreover, the five thousand shekels of silver which my officials have received every year from the income of the services of the temple, this too is canceled, because it belongs to the priests who minister there. 43 And whoever takes refuge at the temple in Jerusalem, or in any of its precincts, because he owes money to the king or has any debt, let him be released and receive back all his property in my kingdom. 44  Let the cost of rebuilding and restoring the structures of the sanctuary be paid from the revenues of the king. 45 And let the cost of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and fortifying it round about, and the cost of rebuilding the walls in Judea, also be paid from the revenues of the king.”

46 When Jonathan and the people heard these words, they did not believe or accept them, because they remembered the great wrongs which Demetrius had done in Israel and how he had greatly oppressed them. 47 They favored Alexander, because he had been the first to speak peaceable words to them, and they remained his allies all his days. 48 Now Alexander the king assembled large forces and encamped opposite Demetrius. 49 The two kings met in battle, and the army of Demetrius fled, and Alexander pursued him and defeated them. 50 He pressed the battle strongly until the sun set, and Demetrius fell on that day. 51Then Alexander sent ambassadors to Ptolemy king of Egypt with the following message:

52 “Since I have returned to my kingdom and have taken my seat on the throne of my fathers, and established my rule — for I crushed Demetrius and gained control of our country; 53 I met him in battle, and he and his army were crushed by us, and we have taken our seat on the throne of his kingdom — 54 now therefore let us establish friendship with one another; give me now your daughter as my wife, and I will become your son-in-law, and will make gifts to you and to her in keeping with your position.”

55 Ptolemy the king replied and said, “Happy was the day on which you returned to the land of your fathers and took your seat on the throne of their kingdom. 56 And now I will do for you as you wrote, but meet me at Ptolemais, so that we may see one another, and I will become your father-in-law, as you have said.” 57 So Ptolemy set out from Egypt, he and Cleopatra his daughter, and came to Ptolemais in the one hundred and sixty-second year. 58 Alexander the king met him, and Ptolemy gave him Cleopatra his daughter in marriage, and celebrated her wedding at Ptolemais with great pomp, as kings do.

59 Then Alexander the king wrote to Jonathan to come to meet him. 60 So he went with pomp to Ptolemais and met the two kings; he gave them and their friends silver and gold and many gifts, and found favor with them. 61 A group of pestilent men from Israel, lawless men, gathered together against him to accuse him; but the king paid no attention to them. 62 The king gave orders to take off Jonathan’s garments and to clothe him in purple, and they did so. 63 The king also seated him at his side; and he said to his officers, “Go forth with him into the middle of the city and proclaim that no one is to bring charges against him about any matter, and let no one annoy him for any reason.” 64 And when his accusers saw the honor that was paid him, in accordance with the proclamation, and saw him clothed in purple, they all fled. 65 Thus the king honored him and enrolled him among his chief friends, and made him general and governor of the province. 66 And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem in peace and gladness.

67 In the one hundred and sixty-fifth year Demetrius the son of Demetrius came from Crete to the land of his fathers. 68 When Alexander the king heard of it, he was greatly grieved and returned to Antioch. 69 And Demetrius appointed Apollonius the governor of Coelesyria, and he assembled a large force and encamped against Jamnia. Then he sent the following message to Jonathan the high priest: 70 “You are the only one to rise up against us, and I have become a laughingstock and reproach because of you. Why do you assume authority against us in the hill country? 71 If you now have confidence in your forces, come down to the plain to meet us, and let us match strength with each other there, for I have with me the power of the cities. 72 Ask and learn who I am and who the others are that are helping us. Men will tell you that you cannot stand before us, for your fathers were twice put to flight in their own land. 73 And now you will not be able to withstand my cavalry and such an army in the plain, where there is no stone or pebble, or place to flee.”

74 When Jonathan heard the words of Apollonius, his spirit was aroused. He chose ten thousand men and set out from Jerusalem, and Simon his brother met him to help him. 75 He encamped before Joppa, but the men of the city closed its gates, for Apollonius had a garrison in Joppa. 76 So they fought against it, and the men of the city became afraid and opened the gates, and Jonathan gained possession of Joppa. 77 When Apollonius heard of it, he mustered three thousand cavalry and a large army, and went to Azotus as though he were going farther. At the same time he advanced into the plain, for he had a large troop of cavalry and put confidence in it. 78 Jonathan pursued him to Azotus, and the armies engaged in battle. 79 Now Apollonius had secretly left a thousand cavalry behind them. 80 Jonathan learned that there was an ambush behind him, for they surrounded his army and shot arrows at his men from early morning till late afternoon. 81 But his men stood fast, as Jonathan commanded, and the enemy’s horses grew tired.

82 Then Simon brought forward his force and engaged the phalanx in battle (for the cavalry was exhausted); they were overwhelmed by him and fled, 83 and the cavalry was dispersed in the plain. They fled to Azotus and entered Beth-dagon, the temple of their idol, for safety. 84 But Jonathan burned Azotus and the surrounding towns and plundered them; and the temple of Dagon, and those who had taken refuge in it he burned with fire. 85 The number of those who fell by the sword, with those burned alive, came to eight thousand men. 86 Then Jonathan departed from there and encamped against Askalon, and the men of the city came out to meet him with great pomp. 87 And Jonathan and those with him returned to Jerusalem with much booty. 88 When Alexander the king heard of these things, he honored Jonathan still more; 89 and he sent to him a golden buckle, such as it is the custom to give to the kinsmen of kings. He also gave him Ekron and all its environs as his possession.

I Maccabees 11
1 Then the king of Egypt gathered great forces, like the sand by the seashore, and many ships; and he tried to get possession of Alexander’s kingdom by trickery and add it to his own kingdom. 2 He set out for Syria with peaceable words, and the people of the cities opened their gates to him and went to meet him, for Alexander the king had commanded them to meet him, since he was Alexander’s father-in-law. 3 But when Ptolemy entered the cities he stationed forces as a garrison in each city. 4 When he approached Azotus, they showed him the temple of Dagon burned down, and Azotus and its suburbs destroyed, and the corpses lying about, and the charred bodies of those whom Jonathan had burned in the war, for they had piled them in heaps along his route. 5 They also told the king what Jonathan had done, to throw blame on him; but the king kept silent. 6 Jonathan met the king at Joppa with pomp, and they greeted one another and spent the night there. 7 And Jonathan went with the king as far as the river called Eleutherus; then he returned to Jerusalem.

8 So King Ptolemy gained control of the coastal cities as far as Seleucia by the sea, and he kept devising evil designs against Alexander. 9 He sent envoys to Demetrius the king, saying, “Come, let us make a covenant with each other, and I will give you in marriage my daughter who was Alexander’s wife, and you shall reign over your father’s kingdom. 10 For I now regret that I gave him my daughter, for he has tried to kill me.” 11 He threw blame on Alexander because he coveted his kingdom. 12 So he took his daughter away from him and gave her to Demetrius. He was estranged from Alexander, and their enmity became manifest. 13 Then Ptolemy entered Antioch and put on the crown of Asia. Thus he put two crowns upon his head, the crown of Egypt and that of Asia.

14 Now Alexander the king was in Cilicia at that time, because the people of that region were in revolt. 15 And Alexander heard of it and came against him in battle. Ptolemy marched out and met him with a strong force, and put him to flight. 16 So Alexander fled into Arabia to find protection there, and King Ptolemy was exalted. 17 And Zabdiel the Arab cut off the head of Alexander and sent it to Ptolemy. 18 But King Ptolemy died three days later, and his troops in the strongholds were killed by the inhabitants of the strongholds. 19 So Demetrius became king in the one hundred and sixty-seventh year.

20 In those days Jonathan assembled the men of Judea to attack the citadel in Jerusalem, and he built many engines of war to use against it. 21 But certain lawless men who hated their nation went to the king and reported to him that Jonathan was besieging the citadel. 22 When he heard this he was angry, and as soon as he heard it he set out and came to Ptolemais; and he wrote Jonathan not to continue the siege, but to meet him for a conference at Ptolemais as quickly as possible. 23 When Jonathan heard this, he gave orders to continue the siege; and he chose some of the elders of Israel and some of the priests, and put himself in danger, 24 for he went to the king at Ptolemais, taking silver and gold and clothing and numerous other gifts. And he won his favor. 25 Although certain lawless men of his nation kept making complaints against him, 26 the king treated him as his predecessors had treated him; he exalted him in the presence of all his friends. 27 He confirmed him in the high priesthood and in as many other honors as he had formerly had, and made him to be regarded as one of his chief friends.

28 Then Jonathan asked the king to free Judea and the three districts of Samaria from tribute, and promised him three hundred talents. 29 The king consented, and wrote a letter to Jonathan about all these things; its contents were as follows: 30 “King Demetrius to Jonathan his brother and to the nation of the Jews, greeting. 31 This copy of the letter which we wrote concerning you to Lasthenes our kinsman we have written to you also, so that you may know what it says. 32 King Demetrius to Lasthenes his father, greeting. 33 To the nation of the Jews, who are our friends and fulfil their obligations to us, we have determined to do good, because of the good will they show toward us. 34 We have confirmed as their possession both the territory of Judea and the three districts of Aphairema and Lydda and Rathamin; the latter, with all the region bordering them, were added to Judea from Samaria. To all those who offer sacrifice in Jerusalem, we have granted release from the royal taxes which the king formerly received from them each year, from the crops of the land and the fruit of the trees. 35 And the other payments henceforth due to us of the tithes, and the taxes due to us, and the salt pits and the crown taxes due to us — from all these we shall grant them release. 36 And not one of these grants shall be canceled from this time forth for ever. 37 Now therefore take care to make a copy of this, and let it be given to Jonathan and put up in a conspicuous place on the holy mountain.”

38 Now when Demetrius the king saw that the land was quiet before him and that there was no opposition to him, he dismissed all his troops, each man to his own place, except the foreign troops which he had recruited from the islands of the nations. So all the troops who had served his fathers hated him. 39 Now Trypho had formerly been one of Alexander’s supporters. He saw that all the troops were murmuring against Demetrius. So he went to Imalkue the Arab, who was bringing up Antiochus, the young son of Alexander, 40 and insistently urged him to hand Antiochus over to him, to become king in place of his father. He also reported to Imalkue what Demetrius had done and told of the hatred which the troops of Demetrius had for him; and he stayed there many days. 41 Now Jonathan sent to Demetrius the king the request that he remove the troops of the citadel from Jerusalem, and the troops in the strongholds; for they kept fighting against Israel. 42 And Demetrius sent this message to Jonathan, “Not only will I do these things for you and your nation, but I will confer great honor on you and your nation, if I find an opportunity. 43 Now then you will do well to send me men who will help me, for all my troops have revolted.”

44 So Jonathan sent three thousand stalwart men to him at Antioch, and when they came to the king, the king rejoiced at their arrival. 45 Then the men of the city assembled within the city, to the number of a hundred and twenty thousand, and they wanted to kill the king. 46 But the king fled into the palace. Then the men of the city seized the main streets of the city and began to fight. 47 So the king called the Jews to his aid, and they all rallied about him and then spread out through the city; and they killed on that day as many as a hundred thousand men.48 They set fire to the city and seized much spoil on that day, and they saved the king. 49 When the men of the city saw that the Jews had gained control of the city as they pleased, their courage failed and they cried out to the king with this entreaty, 50 “Grant us peace, and make the Jews stop fighting against us and our city.” 51 And they threw down their arms and made peace. So the Jews gained glory in the eyes of the king and of all the people in his kingdom, and they returned to Jerusalem with much spoil.

52 So Demetrius the king sat on the throne of his kingdom, and the land was quiet before him. 53 But he broke his word about all that he had promised; and he became estranged from Jonathan and did not repay the favors which Jonathan had done him, but oppressed him greatly. 54 After this Trypho returned, and with him the young boy Antiochus who began to reign and put on the crown. 55 All the troops that Demetrius had cast off gathered around him, and they fought against Demetrius, and he fled and was routed. 56 And Trypho captured the elephants and gained control of Antioch. 57 Then the young Antiochus wrote to Jonathan, saying, “I confirm you in the high priesthood and set you over the four districts and make you one of the friends of the king.” 58 And he sent him gold plate and a table service, and granted him the right to drink from gold cups and dress in purple and wear a gold buckle. 59 Simon his brother he made governor from the Ladder of Tyre to the borders of Egypt.

60 Then Jonathan set forth and traveled beyond the river and among the cities, and all the army of Syria gathered to him as allies. When he came to Askalon, the people of the city met him and paid him honor. 61 From there he departed to Gaza, but the men of Gaza shut him out. So he beseiged it and burned its suburbs with fire and plundered them. 62 Then the people of Gaza pleaded with Jonathan, and he made peace with them, and took the sons of their rulers as hostages and sent them to Jerusalem. And he passed through the country as far as Damascus. 63 Then Jonathan heard that the officers of Demetrius had come to Kadesh in Galilee with a large army, intending to remove him from office. 64 He went to meet them, but left his brother Simon in the country. 65 Simon encamped before Beth-zur and fought against it for many days and hemmed it in. 66 Then they asked him to grant them terms of peace, and he did so. He removed them from there, took possession of the city, and set a garrison over it.

67 Jonathan and his army encamped by the waters of Gennesaret. Early in the morning they marched to the plain of Hazor, 68 and behold, the army of the foreigners met him in the plain; they had set an ambush against him in the mountains, but they themselves met him face to face. 69 Then the men in ambush emerged from their places and joined battle. 70 All the men with Jonathan fled; not one of them was left except Mattathias the son of Absalom and Judas the son of Chalphi, commanders of the forces of the army. 71 Jonathan rent his garments and put dust on his head, and prayed. 72 Then he turned back to the battle against the enemy and routed them, and they fled. 73 When his men who were fleeing saw this, they returned to him and joined him in the pursuit as far as Kadesh, to their camp, and there they encamped. 74 As many as three thousand of the foreigners fell that day. And Jonathan returned to Jerusalem.

I Maccabees 12
1 Now when Jonathan saw that the time was favorable for him, he chose men and sent them to Rome to confirm and renew the friendship with them. 2 He also sent letters to the same effect to the Spartans and to other places. 3 So they went to Rome and entered the senate chamber and said, “Jonathan the high priest and the Jewish nation have sent us to renew the former friendship and alliance with them.” 4 And the Romans gave them letters to the people in every place, asking them to provide for the envoys safe conduct to the land of Judah. 5 This is a copy of the letter which Jonathan wrote to the Spartans:

6 “Jonathan the high priest, the senate of the nation, the priests, and the rest of the Jewish people to their brethren the Spartans, greeting. 7 Already in time past a letter was sent to Onias the high priest from Arius, who was king among you, stating that you are our brethren, as the appended copy shows. 8 Onias welcomed the envoy with honor, and received the letter, which contained a clear declaration of alliance and friendship. 9 Therefore, though we have no need of these things, since we have as encouragement the holy books which are in our hands, 10 we have undertaken to send to renew our brotherhood and friendship with you, so that we may not become estranged from you, for considerable time has passed since you sent your letter to us. 11 We therefore remember you constantly on every occasion, both in our feasts and on other appropriate days, at the sacrifices which we offer and in our prayers, as it is right and proper to remember brethren. 12 And we rejoice in your glory. 13 But as for ourselves, many afflictions and many wars have encircled us; the kings round about us have waged war against us. 14 We were unwilling to annoy you and our other allies and friends with these wars, 15 for we have the help which comes from Heaven for our aid; and we were delivered from our enemies and our enemies were humbled. 16 We therefore have chosen Numenius the son of Antiochus and Antipater the son of Jason, and have sent them to Rome to renew our former friendship and alliance with them. 17 We have commanded them to go also to you and greet you and deliver to you this letter from us concerning the renewal of our brotherhood. 18 And now please send us a reply to this.”

19 This is a copy of the letter which they sent to Onias: 20 “Arius, king of the Spartans, to Onias the high priest, greeting. 21 It has been found in writing concerning the Spartans and the Jews that they are brethren and are of the family of Abraham. 22 And now that we have learned this, please write us concerning your welfare; 23 we on our part write to you that your cattle and your property belong to us, and ours belong to you. We therefore command that our envoys report to you accordingly.” 24 Now Jonathan heard that the commanders of Demetrius had returned, with a larger force than before, to wage war against him. 25 So he marched away from Jerusalem and met them in the region of Hamath, for he gave them no opportunity to invade his own country. 26 He sent spies to their camp, and they returned and reported to him that the enemy were being drawn up in formation to fall upon the Jews by night.

27 So when the sun set, Jonathan commanded his men to be alert and to keep their arms at hand so as to be ready all night for battle, and he stationed outposts around the camp. 28 When the enemy heard that Jonathan and his men were prepared for battle, they were afraid and were terrified at heart; so they kindled fires in their camp and withdrew. 29 But Jonathan and his men did not know it until morning, for they saw the fires burning. 30 Then Jonathan pursued them, but he did not overtake them, for they had crossed the Eleutherus river. 31 So Jonathan turned aside against the Arabs who are called Zabadeans, and he crushed them and plundered them. 32 Then he broke camp and went to Damascus, and marched through all that region.

33 Simon also went forth and marched through the country as far as Askalon and the neighboring strongholds. He turned aside to Joppa and took it by surprise, 34 for he had heard that they were ready to hand over the stronghold to the men whom Demetrius had sent. And he stationed a garrison there to guard it. 35 When Jonathan returned he convened the elders of the people and planned with them to build strongholds in Judea, 36 to build the walls of Jerusalem still higher, and to erect a high barrier between the citadel and the city to separate it from the city, in order to isolate it so that its garrison could neither buy nor sell. 37 So they gathered together to build up the city; part of the wall on the valley to the east had fallen, and he repaired the section called Chaphenatha. 38 And Simon built Adida in the Shephelah; he fortified it and installed gates with bolts.

39 Then Trypho attempted to become king in Asia and put on the crown, and to raise his hand against Antiochus the king. 40 He feared that Jonathan might not permit him to do so, but might make war on him, so he kept seeking to seize and kill him, and he marched forth and came to Beth-shan. 41 Jonathan went out to meet him with forty thousand picked fighting men, and he came to Beth-shan. 42 When Trypho saw that he had come with a large army, he was afraid to raise his hand against him. 43 So he received him with honor and commended him to all his friends, and he gave him gifts and commanded his friends and his troops to obey him as they would himself. 44 Then he said to Jonathan, “Why have you wearied all these people when we are not at war? 45 Dismiss them now to their homes and choose for yourself a few men to stay with you, and come with me to Ptolemais. I will hand it over to you as well as the other strongholds and the remaining troops and all the officials, and will turn round and go home. For that is why I am here.” 46 Jonathan trusted him and did as he said; he sent away the troops, and they returned to the land of Judah. 47 He kept with himself three thousand men, two thousand of whom he left in Galilee, while a thousand accompanied him. 48 But when Jonathan entered Ptolemais, the men of Ptolemais closed the gates and seized him, and all who had entered with him they killed with the sword.

49 Then Trypho sent troops and cavalry into Galilee and the Great Plain to destroy all Jonathan’s soldiers. 50 But they realized that Jonathan had been seized and had perished along with his men, and they encouraged one another and kept marching in close formation, ready for battle. 51 When their pursuers saw that they would fight for their lives, they turned back. 52 So they all reached the land of Judah safely, and they mourned for Jonathan and his companions and were in great fear; and all Israel mourned deeply. 53 And all the nations round about them tried to destroy them, for they said, “They have no leader or helper. Now therefore let us make war on them and blot out the memory of them from among men.”

I Maccabees 13
1 Simon heard that Trypho had assembled a large army to invade the land of Judah and destroy it, 2 and he saw that the people were trembling and fearful. So he went up to Jerusalem, and gathering the people together 3 he encouraged them, saying to them, “You yourselves know what great things I and my brothers and the house of my father have done for the laws and the sanctuary; you know also the wars and the difficulties which we have seen. 4 By reason of this all my brothers have perished for the sake of Israel, and I alone am left. 5 And now, far be it from me to spare my life in any time of distress, for I am not better than my brothers. 6 But I will avenge my nation and the sanctuary and your wives and children, for all the nations have gathered together out of hatred to destroy us.”

7 The spirit of the people was rekindled when they heard these words, 8 and they answered in a loud voice, “You are our leader in place of Judas and Jonathan your brother. 9 Fight our battles, and all that you say to us we will do.” 10 So he assembled all the warriors and hastened to complete the walls of Jerusalem, and he fortified it on every side. 11 He sent Jonathan the son of Absalom to Joppa, and with him a considerable army; he drove out its occupants and remained there.

12 Then Trypho departed from Ptolemais with a large army to invade the land of Judah, and Jonathan was with him under guard. 13 And Simon encamped in Adida, facing the plain. 14 Trypho learned that Simon had risen up in place of Jonathan his brother, and that he was about to join battle with him, so he sent envoys to him and said, 15 “It is for the money that Jonathan your brother owed the royal treasury, in connection with the offices he held, that we are detaining him. 16 Send now a hundred talents of silver and two of his sons as hostages, so that when released he will not revolt against us, and we will release him.” 17 Simon knew that they were speaking deceitfully to him, but he sent to get the money and the sons, lest he arouse great hostility among the people, who might say, 18 “Because Simon did not send him the money and the sons, he perished.” 19 So he sent the sons and the hundred talents, but Trypho broke his word and did not release Jonathan.

20 After this Trypho came to invade the country and destroy it, and he circled around by the way to Adora. But Simon and his army kept marching along opposite him to every place he went. 21 Now the men in the citadel kept sending envoys to Trypho urging him to come to them by way of the wilderness and to send them food. 22 So Trypho got all his cavalry ready to go, but that night a very heavy snow fell, and he did not go because of the snow. He marched off and went into the land of Gilead. 23 When he approached Baskama, he killed Jonathan, and he was buried there. 24 Then Trypho turned back and departed to his own land.

25 And Simon sent and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried him in Modein, the city of his fathers. 26 All Israel bewailed him with great lamentation, and mourned for him many days. 27 And Simon built a monument over the tomb of his father and his brothers; he made it high that it might be seen, with polished stone at the front and back. 28 He also erected seven pyramids, opposite one another, for his father and mother and four brothers. 29 And for the pyramids he devised an elaborate setting, erecting about them great columns, and upon the columns he put suits of armor for a permanent memorial, and beside the suits of armor carved ships, so that they could be seen by all who sail the sea. 30 This is the tomb which he built in Modein; it remains to this day.

31 Trypho dealt treacherously with the young king Antiochus; he killed him 32 and became king in his place, putting on the crown of Asia; and he brought great calamity upon the land. 33 But Simon built up the strongholds of Judea and walled them all around, with high towers and great walls and gates and bolts, and he stored food in the strongholds. 34 Simon also chose men and sent them to Demetrius the king with a request to grant relief to the country, for all that Trypho did was to plunder. 35 Demetrius the king sent him a favorable reply to this request, and wrote him a letter as follows,

36 “King Demetrius to Simon, the high priest and friend of kings, and to the elders and nation of the Jews, greeting. 37 We have received the gold crown and the palm branch which you sent, and we are ready to make a general peace with you and to write to our officials to grant you release from tribute. 38 All the grants that we have made to you remain valid, and let the strongholds that you have built be your possession. 39 We pardon any errors and offenses committed to this day, and cancel the crown tax which you owe; and whatever other tax has been collected in Jerusalem shall be collected no longer. 40 And if any of you are qualified to be enrolled in our bodyguard, let them be enrolled, and let there be peace between us.”

41 In the one hundred and seventieth year the yoke of the Gentiles was removed from Israel, 42 and the people began to write in their documents and contracts, “In the first year of Simon the great high priest and commander and leader of the Jews.” 43 In those days Simon encamped against Gazara and surrounded it with troops. He made a siege engine, brought it up to the city, and battered and captured one tower. 44 The men in the siege engine leaped out into the city, and a great tumult arose in the city. 45 The men in the city, with their wives and children, went up on the wall with their clothes rent, and they cried out with a loud voice, asking Simon to make peace with them; 46 they said, “Do not treat us according to our wicked acts but according to your mercy.”

47 So Simon reached an agreement with them and stopped fighting against them. But he expelled them from the city and cleansed the houses in which the idols were, and then entered it with hymns and praise. 48 He cast out of it all uncleanness, and settled in it men who observed the law. He also strengthened its fortifications and built in it a house for himself. 49 The men in the citadel at Jerusalem were prevented from going out to the country and back to buy and sell. So they were very hungry, and many of them perished from famine. 50 Then they cried to Simon to make peace with them, and he did so. But he expelled them from there and cleansed the citadel from its pollutions.

51 On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred and seventy-first year, the Jews entered it with praise and palm branches, and with harps and cymbals and stringed instruments, and with hymns and songs, because a great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel. 52 And Simon decreed that every year they should celebrate this day with rejoicing. He strengthened the fortifications of the temple hill alongside the citadel, and he and his men dwelt there. 53 And Simon saw that John his son had reached manhood, so he made him commander of all the forces, and he dwelt in Gazara.

I Maccabees 14
1 In the one hundred and seventy-second year Demetrius the king assembled his forces and marched into Media to secure help, so that he could make war against Trypho. 2 When Arsaces the king of Persia and Media heard that Demetrius had invaded his territory, he sent one of his commanders to take him alive. 3 And he went and defeated the army of Demetrius, and seized him and took him to Arsaces, who put him under guard. 4 The land had rest all the days of Simon. He sought the good of his nation; his rule was pleasing to them, as was the honor shown him, all his days. 5 To crown all his honors he took Joppa for a harbor, and opened a way to the isles of the sea. 6 He extended the borders of his nation, and gained full control of the country. 7 He gathered a host of captives; he ruled over Gazara and Beth-zur and the citadel, and he removed its uncleanness from it; and there was none to oppose him. 8 They tilled their land in peace; the ground gave its increase, and the trees of the plains their fruit. 9 Old men sat in the streets; they all talked together of good things; and the youths donned the glories and garments of war. 10 He supplied the cities with food, and furnished them with the means of defense, till his renown spread to the ends of the earth. 11 He established peace in the land,and Israel rejoiced with great joy. 12 Each man sat under his vine and his fig tree, and there was none to make them afraid. 13 No one was left in the land to fight them, and the kings were crushed in those days. 14 He strengthened all the humble of his people; he sought out the law, and did away with every lawless and wicked man. 15 He made the sanctuary glorious, and added to the vessels of the sanctuary.

16 It was heard in Rome, and as far away as Sparta, that Jonathan had died, and they were deeply grieved. 17 When they heard that Simon his brother had become high priest in his place, and that he was ruling over the country and the cities in it, 18 they wrote to him on bronze tablets to renew with him the friendship and alliance which they had established with Judas and Jonathan his brothers. 19 And these were read before the assembly in Jerusalem.

20 This is a copy of the letter which the Spartans sent: “The rulers and the city of the Spartans to Simon the high priest and to the elders and the priests and the rest of the Jewish people, our brethren, greeting. 21 The envoys who were sent to our people have told us about your glory and honor, and we rejoiced at their coming. 22 And what they said we have recorded in our public decrees, as follows, `Numenius the son of Antiochus and Antipater the son of Jason, envoys of the Jews, have come to us to renew their friendship with us. 23 It has pleased our people to receive these men with honor and to put a copy of their words in the public archives, so that the people of the Spartans may have a record of them. And they have sent a copy of this to Simon the high priest.'” 24 After this Simon sent Numenius to Rome with a large gold shield weighing a thousand minas, to confirm the alliance with the Romans. 25 When the people heard these things they said, “How shall we thank Simon and his sons? 26 For he and his brothers and the house of his father have stood firm; they have fought and repulsed Israel’s enemies and established its freedom.” 27 So they made a record on bronze tablets and put it upon pillars on Mount Zion.

This is a copy of what they wrote: “On the eighteenth day of Elul, in the one hundred and seventy-second year, which is the third year of Simon the great high priest, 28 in Asaramel, in the great assembly of the priests and the people and the rulers of the nation and the elders of the country, the following was proclaimed to us: 29 Since wars often occurred in the country, Simon the son of Mattathias, a priest of the sons of Joarib, and his brothers, exposed themselves to danger and resisted the enemies of their nation, in order that their sanctuary and the law might be perserved; and they brought great glory to their nation. 30 Jonathan rallied the nation, and became their high priest, and was gathered to his people. 31 And when their enemies decided to invade their country and lay hands on their sanctuary, 32 then Simon rose up and fought for his nation. He spent great sums of his own money; he armed the men of his nation’s forces and paid them wages. 33 He fortified the cities of Judea, and Beth-zur on the borders of Judea, where formerly the arms of the enemy had been stored, and he placed there a garrison of Jews. 34 He also fortified Joppa, which is by the sea, and Gazara, which is on the borders of Azotus, where the enemy formerly dwelt. He settled Jews there, and provided in those cities whatever was necessary for their restoration.

35 The people saw Simon’s faithfulness and the glory which he had resolved to win for his nation, and they made him their leader and high priest, because he had done all these things and because of the justice and loyalty which he had maintained toward his nation. He sought in every way to exalt his people. 36 And in his days things prospered in his hands, so that the Gentiles were put out of the country, as were also the men in the city of David in Jerusalem, who had built themselves a citadel from which they used to sally forth and defile the environs of the sanctuary and do great damage to its purity. 37 He settled Jews in it, and fortified it for the safety of the country and of the city, and built the walls of Jerusalem higher. 38 In view of these things King Demetrius confirmed him in the high priesthood, 39 and he made him one of the king’s friends and paid him high honors.  40 For he had heard that the Jews were addressed by the Romans as friends and allies and brethren, and that the Romans had received the envoys of Simon with honor.

41 And the Jews and their priests decided that Simon should be their leader and high priest for ever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise, 42 and that he should be governor over them and that he should take charge of the sanctuary and appoint men over its tasks and over the country and the weapons and the strongholds, and that he should take charge of the sanctuary, 43 and that he should be obeyed by all, and that all contracts in the country should be written in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple and wear gold. 44 And none of the people or priests shall be permitted to nullify any of these decisions or to oppose what he says, or to convene an assembly in the country without his permission, or to be clothed in purple or put on a gold buckle. 45 Whoever acts contrary to these decisions or nullifies any of them shall be liable to punishment. 46 And all the people agreed to grant Simon the right to act in accord with these decisions. 47 So Simon accepted and agreed to be high priest, to be commander and ethnarch of the Jews and priests, and to be protector of them all. 48 And they gave orders to inscribe this decree upon bronze tablets, to put them up in a conspicuous place in the precincts of the sanctuary, 49 and to deposit copies of them in the treasury, so that Simon and his sons might have them.

I Maccabees 15
1 Antiochus, the son of Demetrius the king, sent a letter from the islands of the sea to Simon, the priest and ethnarch of the Jews, and to all the nation; 2 its contents were as follows: “King Antiochus to Simon the high priest and ethnarch and to the nation of the Jews, greeting. 3 Whereas certain pestilent men have gained control of the kingdom of our fathers, and I intend to lay claim to the kingdom so that I may restore it as it formerly was, and have recruited a host of mercenary troops and have equipped warships, 4 and intend to make a landing in the country so that I may proceed against those who have destroyed our country and those who have devastated many cities in my kingdom, 5 now therefore I confirm to you all the tax remissions that the kings before me have granted you, and release from all the other payments from which they have released you. 6 I permit you to mint your own coinage as money for your country, 7 and I grant freedom to Jerusalem and the sanctuary. All the weapons which you have prepared and the strongholds which you have built and now hold shall remain yours. 8 Every debt you owe to the royal treasury and any such future debts shall be canceled for you from henceforth and for all time. 9 When we gain control of our kingdom, we will bestow great honor upon you and your nation and the temple, so that your glory will become manifest in all the earth.”

10 In the one hundred and seventy-fourth year Antiochus set out and invaded the land of his fathers. All the troops rallied to him, so that there were few with Trypho. 11 Antiochus pursued him, and he came in his flight to Dor, which is by the sea; 12 for he knew that troubles had converged upon him, and his troops had deserted him. 13 So Antiochus encamped against Dor, and with him were a hundred and twenty thousand warriors and eight thousand cavalry. 14 He surrounded the city, and the ships joined battle from the sea; he pressed the city hard from land and sea, and permitted no one to leave or enter it. 15 Then Numenius and his companions arrived from Rome, with letters to the kings and countries, in which the following was written:

16 “Lucius, consul of the Romans, to King Ptolemy, greeting. 17 The envoys of the Jews have come to us as our friends and allies to renew our ancient friendship and alliance. They had been sent by Simon the high priest and by the people of the Jews, 18 and have brought a gold shield weighing a thousand minas. 19 We therefore have decided to write to the kings and countries that they should not seek their harm or make war against them and their cities and their country, or make alliance with those who war against them. 20 And it has seemed good to us to accept the shield from them. 21 Therefore if any pestilent men have fled to you from their country, hand them over to Simon the high priest, that he may punish them according to their law.”

22 The consul wrote the same thing to Demetrius the king and to Attalus and Ariarathes and Arsaces, 23 and to all the countries, and to Sampsames, and to the Spartans, and to Delos, and to Myndos, and to Sicyon, and to Caria, and to Samos, and to Pamphylia, and to Lycia, and to Halicarnassus, and to Rhodes, and to Phaselis, and to Cos, and to Side, and to Aradus and Gortyna and Cnidus and Cyprus and Cyrene. 24 They also sent a copy of these things to Simon the high priest.

25 Antiochus the king besieged Dor anew, continually throwing his forces against it and making engines of war; and he shut Trypho up and kept him from going out or in. 26 And Simon sent to Antiochus two thousand picked men, to fight for him, and silver and gold and much military equipment. 27 But he refused to receive them, and he broke all the agreements he formerly had made with Simon, and became estranged from him. 28 He sent to him Athenobius, one of his friends, to confer with him, saying, “You hold control of Joppa and Gazara and the citadel in Jerusalem; they are cities of my kingdom. 29 You have devastated their territory, you have done great damage in the land, and you have taken possession of many places in my kingdom. 30 Now then, hand over the cities which you have seized and the tribute money of the places which you have conquered outside the borders of Judea; 31 or else give me for them five hundred talents of silver, and for the destruction that you have caused and the tribute money of the cities, five hundred talents more. Otherwise we will come and conquer you.”

32 So Athenobius the friend of the king came to Jerusalem, and when he saw the splendor of Simon, and the sideboard with its gold and silver plate, and his great magnificence, he was amazed. He reported to him the words of the king, 33 but Simon gave him this reply: “We have neither taken foreign land nor seized foreign property, but only the inheritance of our fathers, which at one time had been unjustly taken by our enemies. 34 Now that we have the opportunity, we are firmly holding the inheritance of our fathers. 35 As for Joppa and Gazara, which you demand, they were causing great damage among the people and to our land; for them we will give you a hundred talents.” Athenobius did not answer him a word, 36 but returned in wrath to the king and reported to him these words and the splendor of Simon and all that he had seen. And the king was greatly angered.

37 Now Trypho embarked on a ship and escaped to Orthosia. 38 Then the king made Cendebeus commander-in-chief of the coastal country, and gave him troops of infantry and cavalry. 39 He commanded him to encamp against Judea, and commanded him to build up Kedron and fortify its gates, and to make war on the people; but the king pursued Trypho. 40 So Cendebeus came to Jamnia and began to provoke the people and invade Judea and take the people captive and kill them. 41 He built up Kedron and stationed there horsemen and troops, so that they might go out and make raids along the highways of Judea, as the king had ordered him.

I Maccabees 16
1 John went up from Gazara and reported to Simon his father what Cendebeus had done. 2 And Simon called in his two older sons Judas and John, and said to them: “I and my brothers and the house of my father have fought the wars of Israel from our youth until this day, and things have prospered in our hands so that we have delivered Israel many times. 3 But now I have grown old, and you by His mercy are mature in years. Take my place and my brother’s, and go out and fight for our nation, and may the help which comes from Heaven be with you.”

4 So John chose out of the country twenty thousand warriors and horsemen, and they marched against Cendebeus and camped for the night in Modein. 5 Early in the morning they arose and marched into the plain, and behold, a large force of infantry and horsemen was coming to meet them; and a stream lay between them. 6 Then he and his army lined up against them. And he saw that the soldiers were afraid to cross the stream, so he crossed over first; and when his men saw him, they crossed over after him. 7 Then he divided the army and placed the horsemen in the midst of the infantry, for the cavalry of the enemy were very numerous. 8 And they sounded the trumpets, and Cendebeus and his army were put to flight, and many of them were wounded and fell; the rest fled into the stronghold.

9 At that time Judas the brother of John was wounded, but John pursued them until Cendebeus reached Kedron, which he had built. 10 They also fled into the towers that were in the fields of Azotus, and John burned it with fire, and about two thousand of them fell. And he returned to Judea safely. 11 Now Ptolemy the son of Abubus had been appointed governor over the plain of Jericho, and he had much silver and gold, 12 for he was son-in-law of the high priest. 13 His heart was lifted up; he determined to get control of the country, and made treacherous plans against Simon and his sons, to do away with them. 14 Now Simon was visiting the cities of the country and attending to their needs, and he went down to Jericho with Mattathias and Judas his sons, in the one hundred and seventy-seventh year, in the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat. 15 The son of Abubus received them treacherously in the little stronghold called Dok, which he had built; he gave them a great banquet, and hid men there. 16 When Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemy and his men rose up, took their weapons, and rushed in against Simon in the banquet hall, and they killed him and his two sons and some of his servants. 17 So he committed an act of great treachery and returned evil for good.

18 Then Ptolemy wrote a report about these things and sent it to the king, asking him to send troops to aid him and to turn over to him the cities and the country. 19 He sent other men to Gazara to do away with John; he sent letters to the captains asking them to come to him so that he might give them silver and gold and gifts; 20 and he sent other men to take possession of Jerusalem and the temple hill. 21 But some one ran ahead and reported to John at Gazara that his father and brothers had perished, and that “he has sent men to kill you also.” 22 When he heard this, he was greatly shocked; and he seized the men who came to destroy him and killed them, for he had found out that they were seeking to destroy him. 23 The rest of the acts of John and his wars and the brave deeds which he did, and the building of the walls which he built, and his achievements, 24 behold, they are written in the chronicles of his high priesthood, from the time that he became high priest after his father.

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Neoliteralism, a 21st Century Theology

November 6, 2010

Neoliteralism, the Cornerstone of Judeo-Christian Theology

Today, there are a countless number of methods along with differing schools of thought when it comes to Bible Studies and Theology. At least some astute observers might say there are already far too many, with each ‘method’ or ‘school’ contradicting another so that these traditionally Christian fields of study have become nothing more than a ‘Mystery Babylon’ intellectual enterprise. Obviously, adding yet another catchy term to the list would seem to be compounding the problem, rather than providing a solution. Nevertheless, the project of Neoliteralism, a new term for a new scholarly outlook, has only one intent and that is simplification. Neoliteralism, as the word implies, presumes to take the Bible literally, but it also includes a basic understanding of what the Bible represents. This understanding is simple, not complex, and general, rather than specific. Thus, a perfect example of Neoliteralism can be seen in the following comments and remarks:

I. The Holy Bible is the most published, read, studied, documented, analyzed, interpreted and discussed book ever known in the history of the world.
II. The Holy Bible is currently available in more alphabets, languages, and versions which are spoken and written by more ethnicities and cultures than any other book on earth today.
III. The Holy Bible is the the single most influential book underlying the development of nearly all the written languages still used on earth today.
IV. The Holy Bible is the official text of Christianity, the largest religion with the most followers in the entire world.
V. The Holy Bible is the cornerstone of monotheism, represented by the three great religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
VI. The Holy Bible is the chronological story of a single family’s relationship with a specific supernatural entity that began in 3760 B.C. with Adam and ended with Joshua ben Joseph (Jesus) in 33 A.D.
VII. The Holy Bible is the most powerful piece of literature in the modern world that has inspired, motivated, and influenced more individuals to think and act in more ways than any other written document in the history of the world.

Even if the simple generalizations just mentioned may appear controversial to some readers, each one of them is not only true, but a scientific fact that cannot be denied or dis-proven. In other words, Neoliteralism is willing to make ample use of the Statistical Sciences in order to further its primary agenda, simplicity. Is simplicity an objective goal? Is simplicity biased or politically motivated? The answers to both of those questions depend on the assumptions of what simplicity will do to the fields of Theology and Religious Studies. Put bluntly, there is an infinite number of ways of interpreting Neoliteralism‘s emphasis on simplicity. The non-believer might suspect that it is simply a code word for fundamentalist Christianity intent on quashing complex, sophisticated dissent of traditional Biblical belief systems. On the other hand, the believer may mistake simplicity as either an attempt to water down or dilute Christian truth or an absurd strategy to tear down the Church which has been built upon a continuing accumulation of scholarship compiled and studied throughout the centuries.

In other words, religious scholars may well be skeptical of this new contraption, this intellectual tool known as Neoliteralism. All things considered, they have every right to be. Indeed, for most readers this is the first mention of the word Neoliteralism. This original piece of jargon could end up being nothing more than another case of self-promotion. Theologians and Religious Scholars, just like nearly everybody in today’s world, crave attention. They crave readers, listeners, endowments, large offices, and higher salaries. For some, the spread of Christian intellectual truth is also a strong underlying motivation.

With that in mind, Neoliteralism must be honest with itself and with others about what the term really means. This includes the inventor of the word and author of this essay. In other words, who is the man behind the curtain pulling the strings of Neoliteralism? Well, for starters, Neoliteralism is obviously a self-interested attempt to be different. Are not all ‘methods’ and ‘outlooks’ found in Theology the same way? Of course they are. Theologians, like all intellectuals, entered the field out of a desire to have their religious ideas read and listened to by others. Assuming the factor of self-interest remains, here are the basic, and specific, agendas underlying Neoliteralism.

I. Neoliteralism is Catholic: Catholic Christianity is emphasized because it is older and has more adherents than Protestantism. The reason is simple, St. Peter was specifically chosen to be the leader by Joshua (Jesus) (NOTE: the author of this essay is a practicing Roman/Ukrainian Catholic scholar.)
II. Neoliteralism is Judaic: Athens, Greco-Roman Philosophy, and Hellenism are ignored in favor of Jerusalem, Mysticism, and Judaism. The reason is simple, Joshua (Jesus) was and is a Jew.
III. Neoliteralism is Iconoclastic: Extreme anti-Christian sentiments and assumptions found in the visual arts proves their inherently Pagan and demonic tendencies. The reason is simple, God prohibited the graven image as one of the Ten Commandments
IV. Neoliteralism is Scientific: Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is losing ground due to scientific dissent among experts. Natural law is concurrent with biological behavior of other mammalian species.
V. Neoliteralism is Evangelical: The continued popularity of the Bible, of Christianity, and their combined historical influence clearly indicates supernatural forces that cannot be explained scientifically. The probability of Christianity’s success and the Bible’s best-selling status are statistically impossible. Judeo-Christian theology is a statistically significant reality.
VI. Neoliteralism is Judeo-Christian: Numerous sayings and parables found in the Gospels have exact parallels in the Talmud, the Apocrypha, and in modern Orthodox Judaism.

VII. Neoliteralism is Catholic, Judaizing, Iconoclast, Scientist, Evangelist, and Judeo-Christian.

Honesty should not condemn a new idea, theory, or paradigm. In short, these particular aspects of Neoliteralism cannot, and should not, disqualify it from being taken seriously. No type of Theology can ever be objective due to the pre-existing preferences of their creator or inventor. Most importantly, the above statements of subjectivity represent a key component in Neoliteralism. How so? By admitting the simple, unspoken truth of Theology and Biblical Studies. Rather than remain in denial, Neoliteralism simply accepts the reality of dualism embedded in the historical differences of Judeo-Christian thought.

Sometimes, like a coin with only two sides, objective study of these differences is impossible to achieve. Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, even nonbelievers and Pagan, are either Catholic or Protestant because, regardless of their personal faith, they will always prefer one over another. This understanding is also true concerning the traditional Christian stereotypes which have, at times, erupted into violent opposition. Historically speaking, the Glorious Revolution of England and the Iconoclasm Rebellion of the Byzantine Empire are perfect examples of ideas armed with swords. Everyone, including every theologian is, in the end, either a Judaizer or a Hellenizer, an Iconophil or an Iconoclast, an Artist or a Scientist, who is Private or Evangelical about being Christian or Judeo-Christian. To summarize, Neoliteralism is brutally honest about its intentions of being barbarically simple about Theology and Biblical Studies. Complexity and sophistication are both acceptable, but there must be balance instead of a one-sided journey into obscurity and obsolescence.

May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus.


Jason Nicholas Korning

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The Number Seven and Maccabee Christianity

October 22, 2010

The Seven Mysteries of Joshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)

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The Number Seven & God the Father

The Seven Days of Creation
I. God creates Light and separates the Light from the Darkness (Genesis 1:1-5)
II. God separates the Waters Above from the Waters Below and creates Heaven (Genesis 1:6-8)
III. God creates the Land, the Seas, and all the Plants (Genesis 1:9-13
IV. God creates the Sun (Day), the Moon (Night), and the Stars. (Genesis 1:14-19)
V. God creates all the Fish and the Birds (Genesis 1:20-23)
VI. God creates all the Animals, Insects, and then Mankind. (Genesis 1:24:31)
VII. God Rests (Genesis 2:1-4)

The Seven Noahide Laws
I. You will not commit idolatry.
II. You will not murder.
III. You will not steal.
IV. You will not commit sexual perversion.
V. You will not commit blasphemy.
VI. You will not eat the flesh of a living animal.
VII. You will establish courts to enforce these laws.

The Seven Colors of the Rainbow

I. Red
II. Orange
III. Yellow
IV. Green
V, Blue
VI. Indigo
VII. Purple

The Seven Archangels of God
I. Uriel
II. Raphael
III. Raguel
IV. Michael
V. Saraqael
VI. Gabriel
VII. Remiel (Book of Enoch 20:1-8)

The Seven Duties of the Archangels
I. Uriel: Rules over the world and over Tartarus.
II. Raphael: Rules over the souls of men.
III. Raguel: Takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries.
IV. Michael: Rules over the best part of mankind and over chaos.
V. Saraqael: Rules over the ghost, who sin in the spirit.
VI. Gabriel: Rules over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim.
VII. Remiel: Rules over those who rise from the Dead. (Book of Enoch 20:1-8)

The Seven Evils God Hates
I. The haughty eyes
II. The lying tongue
III. The hands that shed innocent blood
IV. The heart that devises wicked plans
V. The feet that run rapidly to evil
VI. The false witness who utters lies
VII. The one who spreads strife among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

The Seven Holy Maccabee Martyrs
I. St. Abim
II. St. Antonius
III. St. Guriah
IV. St. Eleazar
V. St. Eusebon
VI. St. Alimus
VII. St. Marcellus

Their Mother: St. Solomonia
Their Teacher: St. Eleazar

The Seven Catholic Books of the Bible
I. Sirach
II. Tobit
III. Wisdom
IV. Judith
V. First Maccabees
VI. Second Maccabees
VII. Baruch


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Seven & God’s Only Son, Joshua (Jesus)

The Seven Sacraments of Maccabee Christianity
I. Baptism
II. Communion
III. Confession
IV. Confirmation
V. Matrimony
VI. Ordination
VII. Anointing

The Seven Sacraments of Maccabee Christianity


The Seven Essential Beliefs of the Apostles’ Creed

I. God, the Father
II. Joshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), His only Son
III. The Holy Ghost
IV. The Holy Catholic Church
V. The Communion of Saints
VI. The forgiveness of sins,
VII. The resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

The Seven Catholic Letters of the Bible
I. James
II. Jude
III. First Peter
IV. Second Peter
V. First John
VI. Second John
VII. Third John

The Seven Joys of St. Mary
I. The Annunciation of Joshua
II. The Nativity of Joshua
III. The Gifts of the Three Wise Men
IV. The Resurrection of Joshua
V. The Ascension of Joshua
VI. The Pentecost, or Descent, of the Holy Ghost
VII. The Heavenly Coronation of Mary

The Seven Sorrows of St. Mary

I. The Prophecy about Joshua
II. The Exile of Joshua
III. The Disappearance of Joshua
IV. The Cross-bearing of Joshua
V. The Crucifixion of Joshua
VI. The Dead Body of Joshua
VII. The Burial of Joshua

The Seven Joys of St. Joseph

I. The Message of the Angel (Matthew 1:20)
II. Jesus’ Birth itself (Luke 2:7)
III. The Holy Name of Jesus (Matthew 1:25)
IV. Simeon’s prophecy that many would rise (Luke 2:34)
V. The Overthrow of Idols (Isaiah 19:1)
VI. Life with Mary and Jesus (Luke 2:39)
VII. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:46)

The Seven Sorrows of St. Joseph
I. The Doubt of Saint Joseph (Matthew 1:19)
II. The Poverty of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:7)
III. The Circumcision (Luke 2:21)
IV. Simeon’s Prophecy that many would be lost (Luke 2:34)
V. The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14)
VI. The Return from Egypt (Matthew 2:22)
VII. The Loss of the Child Jesus (Luke 2:45)

The Seven Material Deeds of Mercy
I. Feed the Hungry
II. Quench the Thirsty.
III. Clothe the Naked.
IV. Shelter the Homeless
V. Visit the Imprisoned
VI. Comfort the Sick
VII. Bury the Dead

The Seven Spiritual Deeds of Mercy

I. Instruct Ignorance
II. Counsel Doubt
III. Rebuke Sinners
IV. Endure Others Patiently
V. Forgive Others Willingly
VI. Comfort Affliction
VII. Pray for the the Living and the Dead

The Seven Churches of Revelation

I. Ephesus
II. Smyrna
III. Pergamum
IV. Thyatira
V. Sardis
VI. Philadelphia
VII. Laodicea

The Seven Last Words of Christ
I. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)
II. Amen I say to you: ‘This day you shall be with me in Paradise.’ (Luke 23:43)
III. Woman, behold your son. . . .Behold your mother. (John 19:26-27)
IV. Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? (My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?) (Matthew 27:46)
V. I thirst. (John 19:28)
VI. It is consummated. (John 19:30)
VII. Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit. (Luke 23:46, or Psalm 30:6)


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The Number Seven and the Holy Ghost


The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost
I Wisdom
II. Understanding
III. Counsel
IV. Courage
V. Knowledge
VI. Devotion
VII. Fear of the LORD

The Seven Manifestations of the Holy Ghost

I. Love
II. Joy
III. Peace
IV. Long-Suffering
V. Gentleness
VI. Goodness
VII. Faith

The Seven Expressions (or Lamps) of the Holy Ghost

I. Grace
II. Life
III. Adoption
IV. Holiness
V. Supplications
VI. Truth
VII. Glory

The Seven Mysteries of the Holy Ghost
I. The Annunciation (Luke 1:35)
II. The Visitation (Luke 1:42)
III. The Baptism (Luke 3:22)
IV. The Wedding (John 2:1-11)
V.. The Crucifixion (John 19:30)
VI. The Resurrection (John 20:19, 22)
VII. The Pentecost (Acts 2:1)

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The Number Seven, Good and Evil

The Seven Ancient Virtues of God
I. Prudence
II. Justice
III. Temperance
IV. Fortitude
V. Faith
VI. Hope
VII. Love

The Seven Holy Virtues
I. Valour: Pursuit of Courage and Knowledge
II. Generosity: Pursuit of Giving
III. Liberality: Pursuit of Will
IV. Diligence: Pursuit of Ethics
V. Patience: Pursuit of Peace
VI. Kindness: Pursuit of Charity
VII. Humility: Pursuit of Modesty

The Seven Heavenly (Contrary) Virtues

I. Chastity
II. Temperance
III. Charity
IV. Diligence
V. Patience
VI. Kindness
VII. Humility

The Seven Deadly Sins
I. Lust
II. Gluttony
III. Greed
IV. Sloth
V. Wrath
VI. Envy
VII. Pride

The Seven Demons of the Seven Deadly Sins
I. Lucifer = Pride
II. Mammon = Greed
III. Asmodeus = Lust
IV. Leviathan = Envy
V. Beelzebub = Gluttony
VI. Satan/Amon = Wrath
VII. Belphegor = Sloth (Peter Binsfeld, 1589)

The New, Seven Deadly ‘Social’ Sins
I. Human Experimentation
II. Genetic Manipulation
III. Environmental Pollution
IV. Social Injustice
V. Poverty Causation
VI. Excessive Wealth
VII. Drug Abuse

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The Gospels of Seven

Joshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) Appears to Seven Disciples
Jesus manifested Himself again to (seven of) the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. (John 21:1-2)

The Seven Woes of Joshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) from Matthew 23

I. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (Matthew 23:13-14)
II. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. (Matthew 23:15)
III. Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it. (Matthew 23:16-22)
IV. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices-mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law-justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:23-24)
V. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. (Matthew 23:25-26)
VI. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (Matthew 23:27-28)
VII. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! (Matthew 23:29-31)

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The Other Sevens

The Seventh Hour Miracle

As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living. So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him, ‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.’ So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, ‘Your son lives’ and he himself believed and his whole household. (John 4:51-53)

The Village Seven Miles from Jerusalem
Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened. And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. (Luke 24:12-14)

The Old Prophetess Married for Seven Years

And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38)

Seven, the Number of Forgiveness

Seven Times of Forgiveness
“Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ (Luke 17:3-5)

Seven-Seven Times of Forgiveness
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ (Matthew 18:21-22)

Mary, the Woman with Seven Demons

The Woman Cured of Seven Demons Supports Joshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)

Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means. (Luke 8:1-3)

The Woman Cured of Seven Demons Encounters the Resurrected Joshua (Jesus)

They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. (Mark 16:8-10)

The Miracle of Seven Loaves

Seven Loaves of Bread Feeds Four Thousand with Seven Baskets Left Over
His disciples answered Him, ‘Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this desolate place to satisfy these people?’ And He was asking them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ And they said, ‘Seven.’ And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to His disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the people. They also had a few small fish; and after He had blessed them, He ordered these to be served as well. And they ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven large baskets full of what was left over of the broken pieces.About four thousand were there; and He sent them away. (Mark 8:4-9)

Joshua (Jesus) Questions the Apostles about the Seven Loaves
‘When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?’ And they said to Him, ‘Seven.’ And He was saying to them, ‘Do you not yet understand?’ (Mark 8:20-21)

Seven Loaves of Bread Feeds Four Thousand Followers (Matthew)

Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, ‘I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.’ The disciples said to Him, ‘Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ And they said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’ And He directed the people to sit down on the ground and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 15:32-38)

Joshua (Jesus) Questions the Apostles about the Seven Loaves
‘Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up?’ (Matthew 16:10)

The Seven Demons of Lust

The Seven Demons of Nocturnal Emissions (Matthew)
Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came,’ and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation. (Matthew 12:43-45)

The Seven Demons of Nocturnal Emissions (Luke)
When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order.Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.’ (Luke 11:24-26)

The Question of Seven Husbands

The Wife of Seven Husbands (Mark)
Some Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection) came to Jesus, and began questioning Him, saying, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN’S BROTHER DIES and leaves behind a wife AND LEAVES NO CHILD, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER. There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife, and died leaving no children. The second one married her, and died leaving behind no children; and the third likewise and so all seven left no children. Last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection, when they rise again, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had married her.’ Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like Angels in Heaven. But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken.” (Mark 12:18-27)

The Wife of Seven Husbands (Luke)

Now there came to Him some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection), and they questioned Him, saying, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN’S BROTHER DIES, having a wife, AND HE IS CHILDLESS, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER. Now there were seven brothers, and the first took a wife and died childless, and the second and the third married her; and in the same way all seven died, leaving no children. Finally the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had married her.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB. Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him.’ Some of the scribes answered and said, “‘Teacher, You have spoken well.’ (Luke 20:27-39)

The Wife of Seven Husbands (Matthew)
On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him, asking, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘IF A MAN DIES HAVING NO CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE UP CHILDREN FOR HIS BROTHER. Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.’ But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching. (Matthew 22:23-33)

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The Number Seven and the Apocrypha

The LORD God Choose the Number Seven
The LORD…created all His creatures, and divided time, from time he fixed the years, and from the years..the months, and from the months he appointed the days, and of days he appointed seven. (II Enoch 65:3)

The Seven Original and Final Elements of Man
I. Man’s flesh from the Earth
II. His Blood from the Dew
III. His Eyes from the Sun
IV. His Bones from Stone
V. His Intelligence from the swiftness of the angels and from Clouds
VI. His Veins and his Hair from the Grass of the earth
VII. His Soul from the Wind. (II Enoch 30:10)

The Seven Original Elements of Man’s Creation
1. Earth
2. Morning Dew
3. Sun
4. Stone
5. Clouds
6. Grass
7. Wind (II Enoch 30:10)

The Seven Organs and Sensations of Man

I. The flesh for hearing
II. the eyes for sight
III. The soul for smelling,
IV. the veins for touching
V. the blood for taste
VI. the bones for endurance
VII. The intelligence for enjoying (II Enoch 30:11)

The Seven Natures of Man

I. Listening
II. Seeing
III. Smelling
IV. Touching
V. Tasting
VI. Enduring
VII. Enjoying (II Enoch 30:11)

The Seven Elements and Natures of Mankind

On the sixth day I commanded my wisdom to create man from seven consistencies: one, his flesh from the earth; two, his blood from the dew; three, his eyes from the sun; four, his bones from stone; five, his intelligence from the swiftness of the angels and from cloud; six, his veins and his hair from the grass of the earth; seven, his soul from my breath and from the wind. And I gave him seven natures: to the flesh hearing, the eyes for sight, to the soul smell, the veins for touch, the blood for taste, the bones for endurance, to the intelligence sweetness [enjoyment]. (II Enoch 30:10-11)

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May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus.

Jason Nicholas Korning

The Seven Hills of the Beast (Pagan Rome)

The Seven Churches (and Angels) of Revelation

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The Jewish, Protestant, and Roman Catholic Understandings of Reality

October 10, 2010

Stop Overlooking!

Start Understanding…

Where does the words Jew and Judaism come from? Many people, including some Jews, would be unable to answer that question. The word Jew is an abbreviated form of the name Judah, who was one of the 12 sons of Jacob and great-grandson of the Patriarch Abraham. Jews and Judaism are traditionally linked to the tribe of Judah, the lion, one of the twelve tribes of Israel whose ancestral lands surrounded the capital of Jerusalem. After the golden age of King David and King Solomon, the united kingdom of Israel collapsed into two separate kingdoms called Judea and Israel. The tribe of Judah stayed true to the religion originally established by Moses, while the ten northern tribes of Israel reverted to paganism and were eventually destroyed and scattered by its enemies. The tribe of Judah, represented by the nation of Judea, managed to survive this onslaught. In time, however, they too were invaded and shipped off to the Babylonian Empire as slaves. Staying true to their religious roots, even in exile, they were finally allowed to resettle Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Most, if not all, Jews of today trace their blood lineage to the tribe of Judah and not to the lost ten tribes of Israel. The direct ancestry of Jews can be described as follows:

Adam –> Noah –> Shem –> Abraham –> Jacob –> Judah –> Jesus –> Modern Jews

Many observers still remain confused by the term Jew. Is it an ethnicity or a religious affiliation? Most scholars would say both. Anyone who follows the religion of Judaism is a Jew, just as any individual born of a Jewish mother is also called a Jew. One could have pure Scandinavian or African heritage and still be a Jew through conversion. Jews can also be Pagan, or even Satanic, as well as uncircumcised as long as their mother was of Jewish blood. In short, the word Jew has two definitions. It is both a religious and ethnic term that depends on how it is utilized.

With that in mind, it is difficult to generalize about what Jewish reality is actually about. Is it a religious or ethnically based outlook? The answer, quite simply, is both. This has been the bane for many Jews throughout the ages, mostly because some Jews have taken it upon themselves to propagate ideas that are antithetical to the religion of Judaism. Several Jews, none of whom were religious, have publicly advocated anti-Christian, and anti-Jewish, policies that have caused Gentile Christians to deceitfully blame all the Jews in retaliation. Such is the paradox, and danger, of the word Jew. A very hurtful joke among Gentiles has been that they are quite glad not to be God’s Chosen People- chosen to be spat upon and despised. For the purposes of simplicity, the words Jew and Jewish shall refer to those who adhere to the religion of Judaism. According to the Holy Bible, Jews are God’s Chosen People and subject to laws that others are not required to obey. These include circumcision, kosher food requirements, along with a host of other rules that have been followed by the descendants of Judah since the time of Moses. In all, there are 613 commandments to the religion of Judaism.

There is more to Jewish reality than just this however. Apparently, Jews are commanded by God to impose, one way or another, the Seven Laws of Noah upon the entire human race. Besides for Christianity, this is the one and only Jewish conspiracy of any real importance and the Roman Catholic Church supports it without hesitation. These seven laws, as dictated by God, are as follows:

I. You will not commit idolatry.
II. You will not murder.
III. You will not steal.
IV. You will not commit sexual perversion.
V. You will not commit blasphemy.
VI. You will not eat the flesh of a living animal.
VII. You will establish courts to enforce these laws.

Some contend that the religion of Judaism, as with Christianity, is a thing of the past and will, in time, fade away to become yet another historical footnote. Others, mainly Protestant Christians, are ecstatic about the massive intermarriage that is taking place between Jews and Gentiles and the slow, but steady conversion rate to Christianity that is also happening among American Jews. Those who have seen the statistics are supremely confident that, outside of Israel, most Jews will be Christian by the end of this century. Are the Jews on the road to extinction? Not exactly.

Right now there are three main denominations of Judaism. They are called Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism. The vast majority of intermarriage and conversion to Christianity is occurring in the Conservative and Reform communities, not in the Orthodox. What is most likely to happen is that Jewish reality, far from disappearing, will experience a revival that will turn many Jews towards the oldest and most authentic form of Judaism called Orthodoxy. This type of Judaism has long viewed both Conservative and Reform Judaism as blasphemy and heresy, just as devout Roman Catholics have often regarded Protestant Christianity in a similar manner. It should be remembered that Jesus was an Orthodox Jew. There was really no other actual form of Judaism at the time.

Many Jews will contend that Orthodoxy descends directly from Moses and his teachings, similar to the way Roman Catholicism comes straight from the actual Apostles and disciples of Rabbi Jesus. It is not so much that Orthodox Judaism deserves to survive is that it will survive, which is how the Church wants it. This isn’t a popularity contest. To both of them, Reform and Conservative Jews were, and are, heretics who are destined to either fall away from actual Judaism or be reconverted to the one true faith of Orthodox Judaism, which in fairness should simply be called Judaism. The ranks of Orthodoxy will grow in number both in Israel and in the United States due to conversion and the large number of children found in Orthodox families. Reform and Conservative Judaism will continue to dwindle away as the years go by.

Jewish reality will, in fact, become smaller and more Orthodox, but there will also emerge a new Jewish-Christian reality never seen before in history except during the days of the early Church. It is an astonishing phenomenon that will quite likely continue well into the next century. This is unlikely to be interrupted by any anti-Semitic backlash as was the case in Weimar Germany and Imperial Spain. The reason, of course, is that this time the Gentiles are peacefully welcoming, rather than violently demanding, Jewish conversion to Christianity. The tremendous amount of intermarriage is also helping to stabilize the situation. Assimilation was possible before, this time it is inevitable. At the same time, Orthodox Jewish reality, like the diamonds they specialize in, won’t be going away anytime soon. As the Bible states: ‘Only a few of you will be left among the nations where the LORD will lead you.’ (Deuteronomy 4:27)

Basic Jewish reality bears an astonishing resemblance to what many would mistakenly call Christian reality. Those who know their history might well contend that for the past two thousand years this reality was often preached, but seldom practiced, except by the Jews themselves. Christian anti-Semitism, a menace that will hopefully go extinct very soon, has kept Christians from acting towards Jews as God has commanded. The commandments are very explicit about how to treat others and hopefully Christians will begin to obey them. This is not to say that all Jews at all times have obeyed them, but the nonviolent, peaceful actions of the vast majority of unarmed Jews throughout the centuries speak for themselves. Christians have been violent bullies towards the Jews for far too long and will hopefully begin to obey what many Jews consider to be the three most important commandments in the Bible. They are as follows:

Individual: Biblical Quote (Source)
God: You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Neighbor: You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18)
Stranger: You shall love the stranger as yourself…I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:34)

Jewish reality, so often a source of pain, disappointment, despair and suffering is about to change. It has been changing since 1945. Hitler and the Nazis lost the war and, more importantly, they lost the debate about how to solve the Jewish ‘problem’. The problem was not with the Jews, it was with the Gentiles and their inability to act like their LORD and savior Rabbi Jesus did by forgiving them. As Jesus Himself said while suffering on the cross, ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ Will Jewish reality survive acceptance and tolerance rather than persecution? Some contend that without the hatred and disdain of the Gentiles, Jews will assimilate rapidly and Judaism will fade away until there are none left to practice it. Others contend that history is simply returning to an age-old reality that the Jews were, and are destined to be, God’s chosen people and ‘a light unto the Gentiles’.

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD
your God has chosen you out of all peoples on earth to be His
people, His treasured possession.

– Deuteronomy 7:6

In the future, as in the past, Jews will return to being a noble, honorable, dignified people rather than the cringing, pathetic stereotypes caused by centuries of Christian hatred and abuse. The return of the Jewish nobleman, respected throughout Gentile society, has just started and will continue indefinitely.

Protestant Reality
Some old-fashioned Catholics will cheerfully inform you that Protestants have all been roasting in Hell ever since Martin Luther passed on. Having discovered the truth behind this claim, some of them become more stubborn than a mule and continue to insist they are in Heaven unto this very day. They might also tell you that more than a few Protestants are guaranteed to act exactly like Martin Luther on any given occasion. They act like Nazis whenever they are ‘winning’, and Soviets whenever they are ‘losing’. Sadly, they flat-out refuse to listen to anyone who tries telling them that life is no game and death is most certainly no laughing matter.

Even today there are still a few highly-educated Catholics who will warn you that many Protestants, especially those who are also Freemasons continue to secretly, and sometimes openly, worship Zeus/Jupiter as God the Father and Apollo as the Son, mostly because they would never, ever, actually accept a Jew as their Immortal God or their Heavenly King. Most Catholics don’t find this out until after they die, while those who do are attacked for their beliefs and remain somewhat in danger their whole lives, mainly because of the powerful Protestant Gentile/Freemasonry establishment lobby. The American Protestant ‘powers that be’ also do not want any Jew to ever know that this nation’s Protestant/Freemason Establishment secretly despises them, or that their grandfathers and fathers secretly rooted for Hitler during World War II. Even so, the miraculous invention of the Atomic Bomb by a group of almost exclusively Jewish scientists, decades after having been theoretically discovered by a Jewish physicist named Einstein, ended up causing the demonic Protestant/Freemasonry ruling class to suddenly become quite wary of their unexplained power and continued post-Holocaust success, both in this country and in Israel.

Today, their basic strategy of lies and deception is to keep the Jews  too busy working and making money to ever really wonder about who actually controls the American after-life, namely the American world of the dead. In the meantime, the Protestant heretics fully intend on keeping every living Jew and/or Catholic totally clueless about the after-life, so that their own hand-picked proteges, their own 21st century Sons of Freemasonry, can continue to retain exclusive access, power and control over the American spiritual realm.

Seen in perspective, these Catholic ‘conspiracy theories’ about American Protestants should always be taken with a grain of salt, even though they may sometimes come dangerously close to the truth. Accusations against Freemasons and their deluded Protestant masses have diminished in recent years because the Church has finally recognized that what they see as blatantly obvious, historical evidence that Freemasonry is evil, wicked, Pagan and anti-Christian does nothing to convince non-Catholics that Freemasonry should be outlawed and legally prohibited from ever being re-organized. Tragically, 99% of Americans have absolutely no idea that the most successful third party in the history of this country was officially called the anti-Masonic Party. As the name implies, this political party was founded upon a very intense opposition to any and all forms of Freemasonry. Party members included Founding Father and former US President James Quincy Adams. Since that time, the near total social, cultural, and intellectual black-out about publicizing or mentioning the evils of Freemasonry, the Catholic Church of today is also slowly learning to deal with a 500 year old movement that calls itself Protestant Christianity, but is nothing more than international Freemasonry in reality.

Suffice it to say, St. Peter and his international team of Church Angels seem to finally be willing to listen to others, to control their anger, and to try dealing rationally with a heretical, yet very seductive, religious viewpoint that does not seem to be going away anytime soon. The astonishing disappearance of open and public Roman Catholic Church warnings and denunciations of Freemasonry seem to indicate that the devout and righteous forces of St. Peter have finally learned to appear more tolerant, and perhaps even a bit clueless, about the demonically Protestant American world of today. This should be seen as a much-needed improvement in Church strategy, a deliberate attempt to ‘be wise as serpents’ when dealing with their enemy.

Considering the disastrous results of St. Peter’s disastrous campaign against Freemasonry, which consisted of dozens and dozens of official Church documents, written and published by nine different Popes over the course of nearly 225 years, a change in strategy was both effective and essential. In other words, Catholics are finally becoming better at defending and attacking their demonic foe, the Freemasons, without the media or the public even noticing or caring.  On the surface of things, the Pope continues to barely ever mention Protestantism, except to compliment of support them. This is a vast improvement from the days when learned Roman Catholics would instantly dismiss Protestant reality with a simple quote from Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.’

As far as they were concerned, Protestant Christianity was, and is, little more than ‘the gates of hell’ in disguise, which were composed of two sexually violent men (pillars) intent on ‘spanking’ any disobedient Chatholic ghost/soul who refused to go upstairs to the the Protestant cesspool in the sky that the non-Catholic Christians still call Heaven. Put simply, Protestants were the builders, the heretics, the enemy. Some contend that this is still the case even today.

Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games. You can have anything you
want, but you better not take it from me…Take you to your knees, I want to
hear you scream…

– Welcome to the Jungle, by Guns & Roses

Since 1945, this sort of thinking is being replaced by a more ecumenical understanding of Protestantism, one that takes into account a fairly recent phenomenon known as Evangelical Protestantism. To its own dismay, the Church of today is actually quite impressed and just a tad envious of what these Evangelicals have managed to accomplish in the last 50 years. It must be remembered that, since the Reformation, the difference between Catholic and Protestant was something that many Christians were willing to kill and die for. Catholics and Protestants would almost never intermarry and refused to be buried next to one another. Times have changed drastically, especially since the end of World War II, and even more so after Vatican II during the 1960s.

To be honest, the current crisis occurring within the mainline denominations of Protestantism, especially in Europe, is something the Church has secretly desired for a long time. In truth, there remain forces in Roman Catholicism that want Protestant Christianity to be destroyed immediately, some would say by any means possible. They cheer on the current illegal immigration from Latin America knowing full well that it is religious warfare by any other name. They figure that by overwhelming this country through sheer numbers, Roman Catholicism will simply establish itself by default. They envision a situation where the Church rules from the northern reaches of Canada down to the tip of Chile. They rightfully view the United States as the last outpost of a renegade Christianity, backed by Freemasonry, that must be stopped at all costs. They see little difference between a Buddhist and a Protestant, both of them being heretics that need conversion. This may sound a little extreme, but Americans who are interested in the situation, especially Protestants, must remember that Roman Catholicism is found in literally every single nation on this planet. In reality, many Catholics in the United States do not always see themselves as Americans, even though they may actually be American citizens. Many of them do not view this Protestant nation as ‘the most Christian nation in the world.’ Instead, they consider the United States a blasphemous abomination built upon lies and deceptions of Freemasonry with a pornographic culture that comes straight from Sodom and Gomorrah. Scratch an anti-American and many times you will find a Roman Catholic, or their hidden influence, hiding behind the rhetoric.

Aside from all that, Protestant reality is something that must be dealt with one way or another. It is here to stay. In the form of Evangelical Christianity, it is making quite a few inroads into third-world nations and is spreading like wildfire in South America, Asia and Africa. Obviously, the Holy Ghost is with them to some extent. Nothing else explains their phenomenal success. The basics of Evangelical Christianity, as seen by the Church, can be described as follows:

Salvation
Protestant: Man is saved through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Catholic: Salvation continues through a personal relationship with Jesus.

Scriptures
Protestant: The entire Bible is the literal word of God.
Catholic: Except for the Ten Commandments, the entire Bible was written by men, but inspired and edited by God

Sacraments
Protestant: The Bible, and not tradition, is the true source of Christianity.
Salvation: All Seven Sacraments were established by the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ

While none of these of these doctrines are that particularly offensive to the Church, the theology that lies behind them is. Some Fundamentalist Evangelicals deny the Christian trinity, which has been a key component of the Church from its very inception. A personal relationship with Jesus is also somewhat of an alien concept to Roman Catholics who believe that Jesus ascended into Heaven almost 2,000 years ago and has not yet returned. The Church considers the Bible to be very difficult to understand for many readers and has established traditions that are based upon the Biblical interpretations of the early Church fathers, who read the Gospels in its original and unadulterated form. The authorship of the Bible is attributed to Moses, the prophets and the disciples of Jesus, not God Himself. These differences in beliefs between Roman Catholics and Evangelical Protestants can be summed up in the following manner:

God of Christianity
Evangelical Protestantism: Jesus Christ is LORD.
Roman Catholicism: The LORD God of Israel consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Good Works
Evangelical Protestantism: Man is saved by faith alone.
Roman Catholicism: Good works can, does, and will contribute to salvation.

Holy Bible
Evangelical Protestantism: Written by God.
Roman Catholicism: Written by various men guided by God.

At its worst, the Protestant mind is filled with superstitions, misconceptions, and self-righteousness. At its best, it is as sharp and keen as the most prominent, and insightful of the lethargic and media-shy, Roman Catholic theologians. One wonders why the best of them won’t simply convert to the faith of their forefathers and not to the plethora of denominations that calls itself Protestant Christianity. Too many Protestants are fixated on the Book of Revelation and its apocalyptic predictions. Many will state publicly that they truly believe they are living in the end times where an all-powerful New World Order is about to stamp the number 666 on everyone’s right hand and forehead. Get real. They also believe that the UPC bar code is possibly a precursor to this totalitarian system of the Beast.

Evangelical Protestants need to wake up and see how foolish they appear to unbelievers by scaring themselves and others into thinking the end of the world is near. The United States is years, perhaps centuries, away from any real danger posed by a godless, technological dictatorship ruled by the devil himself. There are far too many God-fearing Christians, and Jews, who own guns and are either serving in the military now, or have served, that simply would not obey any orders that contradicted their deeply held religious faith. Too many people would fight back and the forces of Satan would lose in a big way. There is nothing to be truly scared of in today’s world except for a possible nuclear attack by Islamic terrorists.

Rabbi Jesus is not coming to earth anytime soon. One of the primary reasons why is that He simply does not need to do so after having thoroughly discredited the diabolical, yet seemingly Judeo-Christian, political alternative to Christianity commonly known as International Socialism, or Communism. What makes the Protestants look even more foolish is their utter lack of understanding that perhaps Jesus Christ is too busy repairing the damage that has been done to the Eastern Orthodox Christian Kingdom of Heaven after Satan and his forces took over in 1918. Far too many American Protestants still do not realize that Russia was Christian for 1,000 years before becoming the Soviet bad guy during the Cold War. One must remember that it has only been since 1991, that the opposing Communist nuclear superpower known as the Soviet Union finally collapsed, thus proving to the entire world that Communism was an evil lie of the Devil. Sincere Christian Protestants who still want to meet Jesus in person as soon as they can, will simply have to wait until they die to finally meet Him in His fierce, hot, and most terrible Divine glory that will probably end up terrifying most of them anyway.

In the meantime, Protestants should give the one, true Church a chance when deciding whether or not to be members of the Free Methodist as opposed to the United Methodist Church. Protestants should serious consider visiting their local Roman Catholic Parish before making that critical choice between the Southern Baptist, rather than the First Baptist, or even the Anabaptist congregations to name just a few. To be sure, there remain certain Catholic doctrines that Protestants love to regurgitate whenever discussing why they are not Roman Catholic. Some of these theological beliefs that Protestants still willingly deny and the actual Scriptures that back them up are as follows:

The Trinity
Protestant Denial: God is not composed of three different entities. The sign of the cross is unnecessary ritual.
Actual Gospels: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)

Transubstantiation
Protestant Denial: Communion bread and wine is not the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.
Actual Gospels: For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink… whoever eats me will live. (John 6:55)

Papal Infallibility
Protestant Denial: The Pope is not infallible and is just another man like St. Peter was in the beginning.
Actual Gospels: You are Peter…I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

Communion of Saints
Protestant Denial: The tradition of the Saints has no Biblical basis. There is no proof they are in Heaven as the Church claims they are.
Actual Gospels: Many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised…and appeared to many. (Matthew 27:52)

Entire volumes could be written about why, where, and how the Protestants are wrong about Christianity. It is ironic that, on the Left, the mainline Protestant denominations are fast becoming pagan outlets of a cheap New Age spirituality with openly gay pastors and female witch reverends who lead the Sunday services and perhaps lecture them about the evils of homophobia. While, on the Right, the Evangelical Protestants are becoming hard-core followers of the laws of the Bible as they are written, in other words, very real 21st century ‘Judaizers’. Some cultural critics would complain that their modern, mega-Church services are still more like Hollywood game shows than true expressions of faith. It is true that, in the past, Evangelicals were too quick to blame the Jews, the feminists, and the homosexuals for this current crisis of faith rather than their fellow Protestants who are not following the laws of the Bible at all. In the end, it’s better to denounce all unbelievers equally than to single out historically oppressed minorities who do have reason to be agitated.

Roman Catholicism, which has literally seen it all throughout history, truly wants these modern born-again Christians to succeed, but not as Protestants. They are much like 24-karat gold that is going unclaimed and unredeemed. Their souls are not necessarily the property of Luther, Calvin or Wesley. The faith of Jesus Christ is not a shopping mall with many different items to choose from. It was founded by Saint Peter in Rome and continues to this very day under the name of the Roman Catholic Church. It is to be hoped, and prayed for, that the protests among the heretic Christians will finally die down and they will willingly and proudly return to the faith of their fathers.

The Catholic Reality
Probably the most important aspect of Catholic reality, the one that Protestants hysterically deny, is that the Roman Catholic Church was, and still is, the original and most authentic form of Christianity. It is Christianity. This comes from the Gospels themselves thus making Protestants not only wrong by tradition, but wrong by the very Word of God. Rabbi Jesus tells Peter that he is destined to found a Church that will eventually take over the whole world and that he, and he alone, not Paul, is to be known as the founder and leader of all Christianity.

I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates
of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth
shall be loosed in heaven.

– Matthew 16:18-20

Nothing in the Gospels, absolutely nothing, predicts, foresees, or approves of such a thing known as Protestant Christianity. For Catholics, they are still heretics who must be reconverted to the one, true faith. Catholic reality is the dominant reality of the Western world. No other reality, except perhaps for Islamic reality, has as many adherents and fellow worshippers. Jewish reality, with less than 20 million, is only 2% of Roman Catholicism’s one billion people. Not to belittle it, but its numbers hardly signify as a competitor faith. There are more Roman Catholic Churches in more countries than any other Church or international organization ever known. For this reason, the Church is the most multiracial institution in the history of the world. The foundation of Roman Catholicism consists of the Ten Commandments, the LORD’s Prayer, and the Apostle’s (Nicene) Creed. To begin with, the Ten Commandments, as understood by the Church, are as follows:

I. I am the LORD your God. You will have no other gods but me.
II. You will not use the name of the LORD in vain.
III. You will honor the Sabbath day.
IV. You will honor your father and mother.
V. You will not kill.
VI. You will not commit adultery
VII. You will not steal.
VIII. You will not lie.
IX. You will not envy your neighbor’s wife.
X. You will not envy your neighbor’s property.

The LORD’s prayer and the Apostle’s Creed also play a large part in the theology of the Church. The LORD’s prayer is considered to be the prayer most suited in celebrating the message of Rabbi Jesus and has, in time, become the most fundamental Christian prayer of them all. Indeed, it is the prayer Jesus recites in the Gospels when asked for an example on how to pray to God. The Apostle’s Creed, similar to the much longer Nicene Creed, dates back to around the 3rd century A.D. and has been the basic set of beliefs for all Roman Catholics since that time. Both the Creed and the LORD’s prayer are listed as follows:

The LORD’s Prayer
Our Father,
Who is in heaven,
Holy is your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is
In Heaven.
Give us this day
Our daily bread
And forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those
Who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
And deliver us from evil.

The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Roman Catholicism also includes the Seven Sacraments, rituals used since the days of the early Church fathers. Each of them is considered holy and sacred aspects of the faith, which are permanent and not subject to change over time. Roman Catholics are taught to avoid the Seven Deadly Sins that may lead to damnation and to act according to the Seven Virtues that are necessary for salvation. These three parts of the faith, 777, can be listed as follows:

The Seven Sacraments
I. Baptism
II. Communion
III. Confession
IV. Confirmation
V. Matrimony
VI. Ordination
VII. Anointing

7 Deadly Sins,Virtues
I. Pride, Faith
II. Greed, Hope
III. Envy, Charity
IV. Wrath, Prudence
V. Avarice, Justice
VI. Gluttony, Fortitude
VII. Sloth, Temperance

The elements of the Church, which include the Ten Commandments (Law), the LORD’s prayer (Prayer), the Apostle’s Creed (Doctrine), the Seven Sacraments (Ritual), Deadly Sins (Evil), and Virtues (Good), provide the basic structure of Roman Catholicism today and in the future. Calls for changing any of them would be construed as blasphemy and heresy, not because they are hopelessly outdated, but because they don’t need to be changed. All of them are based upon Scriptures and are not simply ‘Roman’ traditions that are alien to the true Christian faith as some Protestants would have you believe.

Contemporary observers of the Church, some of whom remain unbelievably deluded and implacably hostile towards this institution, actually believe it is possible, or likely, that the Church will eventually change its position on fundamental issues such as abortion, euthanasia, sexual perversion, and female priests. They mistakenly believe that they have all the answers to these so-called problems and that their vision of the future, instead of the Church’s, will prevail. Given the fact that these critics have only been around since the 1960s and are going to die soon makes the Church highly confident that Catholic reality will triumph over any other alternative reality.

Today’s New Age values of tolerance for sexual degeneration and intolerance for female virginity does not scare or frighten the Church which is nearly 2,000 years old. The reason why is that the Church knows, for a fact, that true believers in God and Christianity will always out-reproduce nonbelievers. When it comes down to it, Christians will always outbreed the pagans, the agnostics, and the atheists. The future, as well as the past and the present, is Roman Catholic. Those who disagree should remember that, no matter what they say or what they do, they will always be outnumbered. In the end, Roman Catholic reality has already won.

The Nakedness of Noah

May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus.

Jason Nicholas Korning

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Planet Abraham and the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Future

October 7, 2010

 

Judeo-Christian-Islam

 

Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty. Walk before Me and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly…No longer shall your name be called Abram, instead your name shall be Abraham. For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly prosperous, and I will make nations of you and kings will come forth from you. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.’

– Genesis 17:1-7
_________________________________________________________________________
The World of Abraham’s Children, both Old and New

 

The Judeo-Christian-Islamic Legacy of Abraham

What has happened to Europe, especially Western Europe? Some commentators claim, many of them atheists, agnostics and Socialists, that modern Europe, as it is today, is the wave of the future. For them religious belief, the age of faith is over, and Socialism is the future. If that is so, then the future looks a little too Islamic and a lot less Christian than many other Westerners find comfortable. The idea that advanced society is going to slowly turn into some sort of agnostic, vaguely pagan, technological utopia where all the races live together in peace is the wishful thinking of tenured University professors and nothing more.

Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham
was still standing before the LORD. Abraham came near and said, ‘Will You indeed
sweep away the righteous with the wicked?…Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slaythe righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?’

– Genesis 18:22-25

Islam is thriving, in both the Middle East and in continental Europe. Devout Muslims are snatching up work visas, residency permits, and ultimately, new citizenships, in every single country in Europe that is naive enough to give them permanent access. They are not giving up their Muslim heritage or religion and most importantly, they are not intermarrying with the white Europeans at all. In other words, they are not assimilating into the secular, Socialist mainstream of modern Europe in the least. Instead, they are rebelling, rioting, and plotting terrorism against it. Like it or not, they are colonizing Europe in the hopes of a future Islamic take-over. Christianity, at the same time, is not taken seriously by the vast majority of today’s Europeans, and has, since the 1960s, slowly fallen down. Unless there emerges political leaders with the audacity to throw these Muslim foreigners out, they are there to stay, right in the former heart of Christendom, just like the Jews who came before them. This is why there is still a slight danger that a racist backlash against these Muslims, similar to Nazism, may spread across Europe within the next several decades.

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do
not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you. Your reward shall be very great.’

– Genesis 15:1

International elites, in their cosmopolitan exuberance, foresee a secular, New World Order from Tokyo to New York to London to Paris to Berlin to Moscow where everyone can all live happily together with little threat of any religious resurgence, ethnocentrism, or civil disorder. This unlikely future fails to take into account some glaring historical facts that contradict the rosy picture painted by liberal internationalists. First of all, the foreign population of Japan is so small that it barely registers in a completely insular society composed of one race and one culture. Much to the chagrin of the globe-trotting elites, the Japanese have a blatantly racist society that frowns upon any and all interracial marriage including with those of Chinese or Korean descent. This is not about to change anytime soon, mostly because very few Japanese are Christian. Marriages between white and Asian Christians, which is occurring more often in the United States than ever before, has no parallel in actual Asian society whether it be in China, Korea, or Japan. Not only are these societies not letting in European, African, or American immigrants, they are refusing to racially mix with one another to any great extent. There are very few Japanese-Koreans, or Chinese-Vietnamese, or any other ethnic Asian combinations. They are the persecuted exceptions to the rule. These nations, all of them Asian, are as ethnocentric now, in practice, than they were before World War II. The Vietnamese despise the Chinese who loathe the Japanese who hate the Koreans. They do not mingle like literally all of the North, Latin, and South American nations do. This is mainly due to the Latinos common religion called Roman Catholic Christianity. Unfortunately in Asia, Shintoism doesn’t marry Buddhism, Hinduism, or Taoism and therein lies the trouble, both now and in the future.

I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you
and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

– Genesis 12:3

The global elite also conveniently forgets that New York City suffered a horrific terrorist attack less than seven years ago, committed by Muslims on a city that is increasingly populated by Muslims. Who’s to say that there aren’t more attacks to come? Apparently Islamic extremists would rather kill their own people rather than let the ‘Great Satan’ get away with their attempt at creating one of the first multiracial nations in history. This is especially due to the pornographic, hedonistic and low-grade American culture that is exported worldwide to the anger and resentment of many different nations, including most of the Muslim world.

And the LORD said, ‘The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great,
and their sin is exceedingly grave.’

– Genesis 18:20

The recent bombings in London also show that Islam continues having no qualms about exporting mass terrorism to Europe itself. Many Muslim immigrants have no great desire to fit into the culture of their host countries and it seems that the reverse is also true. In France, Germany, Holland and Spain, the white natives are not seeking to assimilate the Muslims through intermarriage. Great Britain is exceptional in that it is imitating the United States in their policy of tearing down cultural barriers in order to encourage interracial marriages that create multiracial children. Australia is a perfect example of this where more and more white Australians are marrying Asians, Indians, and Latin Americans to create a new, authentically Australian ‘race’ of people that speak English as their national language. The problem with this is that, unlike Australia, with its enthusiastic Asian Christian population, the family unit in Great Britain is breaking down rapidly. For a variety of reasons, Europe is becoming more and more de-Christianized every single day. Multiracial communities need Christianity in order to sustain the family unit. They also need Christianity to help break down the ethnocentrism that discourages interracial marriages and families. African Christians, Asian Christians, and American Christians marry each other in Churches, not mosques. Agnostic, modern Europeans tend not to marry at all and if they do it is certainly not to the largest minority found in continental Europe today, the Muslims.

The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son (Ishmael). But God said to
Abraham, ‘Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maiden. Whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. And of the son of the maiden I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.’

– Genesis 21:11-12

Some observers of the situation, like Pat Buchanan, for example, seem to think that Western Civilization is dying and will be incapable of revitalizing itself. In terms of ‘race’ he may well be right. However, Western Civilization was never really about ‘race’ at all. It was about God and Christianity. How did the blond-haired, blue-eyed Nordic barbarians become some of the most advanced people in the world? They were completely illiterate primitives at the time of Christ, while the dark-skinned, dark-haired, dark-eyed Romans and Jews were reading and writing Greek, Latin and Hebrew and living in the most advanced civilization in the world. The Vikings later prospered, not because of their fair skin and blue eyes, but because of their conversion to Christianity and the culture that it spawned.

In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you
have obeyed My voice.

– Genesis 22:18

Put simply, Pat Buchanan, among others, mistakenly believes that Western Civilization is, and was, more about race than religion and culture. He sees the massive wave of Hispanic immigration to the United States, not as something to celebrate, but as something to despise. He despairs at the statistics showing that white Europeans are about to start declining in population very soon rather than bewailing the bland agnosticism and anti-Christian hostility that many white Europeans now express as ‘universal’ values for a future humanity. Americans, especially devout white Americans, should not be afraid of the changes that are about to take place in this country. During the 21st century, the United States is about to become darker in skin color, but far more Christian than it is presently. Samuel Huntington writes:

A slow process of racial blurring is occurring both biologically from intermarriage
and symbolically and attitudinally, with individual multiracialism becoming a more
widely accepted norm. Americans approve of their country moving from a multiracial
society of racial groups to a nonracial society of multiracial individuals.

The so-called ‘lecherous’ and ‘promiscuous’ dark-skinned hordes are not about to stand for the obviously pornographic and anti-Christian culture that American society now has. Society is about to become far more moral as Asian, Hispanic and African Christians increasingly marry into the majority white population. Latin Americans will not put up with the pornography, Asian Americans will not put up with the hedonism and promiscuity, and African Americans will not put up with the continued destruction of the black family for very much longer. The statistics show the following:

77 percent of blacks, 68 percent of Latinos, 67 percent of Asians, and 53 percent of
whites said it made no difference whether people married someone of their race or of
a different race. As one professor of sociology commented, ‘interracial marriages and
their approval is increasing terribly fast. If you have hang-ups about interracial marriage,get over it. The train’s left the station.’

It may take a century or two, but Western Civilization is slowly being replaced by what could be called American Civilization, a multiracial, possibly bilingual, mainly Christian phenomenon. Pat Buchanan’s dire predictions and race-baiting theories are a reflection of his own bigotry and not a good indicator of what to expect within the next one to two hundred years.

Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, and from your
relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you and I
will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great, so you
shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you
and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.’

– Genesis 12:1-3

Secular liberalism does not create lasting interracial ties. Monogamous, heterosexual Christian love between a man and a woman does and there is no denying that simple fact of nature. Everyone knows that Europe, especially Northern Europe, is becoming more Socialist politically and economically, and more feminine and homosexual culturally. How could these blond-haired, blue-eyed, staunchly heterosexual, former barbarian giants become so effete so quickly? The answer is the surprising loss of Christian sexual morality that has occurred since the end of World War II.

Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate
of Sodom…They turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for
them…Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old…and they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may have anal sex with them.’ Lot went out to them at the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, ‘Please, my brothers, do not act so wickedly.’

– Genesis 19:1-7

Europe is wrong about a great many things. First, the future is not some elite sect of white, Socialist, sexually degenerate, unmarried citizens ruling over an unruly dark horde of devout African Christian families and monogamous, culturally conservative Muslims. If it is, then that future is doomed to failure within a few short generations. The Christian and Islamic masses would not put up with being ruled by pagans for very long. The white liberal outlook is also destined to extinction because, soon enough, Black or Asian Christians, straight from the third world, will rightly identify their agenda as degenerate perversion that is attempting to destroy the family unit and replace it with state-controlled nurseries filled with children who will never know their fathers at all. They may grow up never knowing their mothers either. Europe’s future utopia without the family is simply a pagan daydream and nothing more.

When they had brought them outside, one said, ‘Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and…escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.’ The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. Then the LORD rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire…and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities. But Lot’s wife, from behind him, looked back and she became a pillar of salt.

– Genesis 19:22-26

Western Europe, now a bastion for atheist stupidity and barely disguised ethnocentric Socialism, is Christianity’s present sorrow. Its hope lies in Asia and Africa, especially China, Vietnam, Japan, and India. Rest assured, these stubborn nations who have refused the Christian message more than once, remain quite capable of shedding their pagan traditions and becoming new additions to the Kingdom of God. These nations must be converted, because paganism has no future, it only has a past. Rest assured, if Christianity does not do this, Islam will. Only a member of the international elite, who chats with his fellow agnostics at Starbucks about the brilliance and sophistication of the European single mother, would believe otherwise.

 

Judeo-Christian-Islamic Peace Activism

 

______________________________________________________________________________
Isaac, the Jewish Son of Abraham

On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.’

– Genesis 15:18

In 1948, the United Nations voted in favor of the creation of a Jewish nation-state called Israel. For the first time in literally 2,000 years, the Jews were once again to have a country that they could truly call their own. After centuries of wandering from place to place, and suffering terrible, and undeserved, abuse at the hands of both Christians and Muslims, the Jewish people were finally back to where they originally started. This was predicted in the Old Testament. It reads:

Even if you are exiled to the ends of the world, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will bring you back. The LORD your God will bring you into the land that your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.

– Deuteronomy 30:4-5

Since its inception, Israel has been fighting for its very survival against the hostile Muslim nations that surround it. Mostly due to their military expertise, the Jews have so far managed to fend off these numerous attacks. This is to their credit, but it does not solve the problem that they are now facing. Islam, for whatever reason, has flatly refused to accept even the existence of Israel and continues to advocate for its destruction. There is every reason to believe that the next attack upon Israel will not be committed by conventional forces, but by an act of nuclear terrorism. The worst part about this possibility is that Israel might not even know who is responsible. The question is how it would respond to such violence. It seems more than probable that if Israel suffers an assault from an atomic bomb, Mecca, Baghdad, Ammon, Cairo, Beirut and Damascus will end up being destroyed in retaliation. The entire Middle East would go down in flames.

Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to
him, ‘Abraham…Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go
to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains
of which I will tell you.’ Then they came to the place of which God had told him and
Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid
him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from Heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him, for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’

– Genesis 22:1-12

This possible nuclear exchange could well trigger a world economic super-depression and cause massive shortages in oil, which would last for years if not longer. World War III would be a distinct possibility. Most Muslims know that any nuclear terrorist attack upon the state of Israel would be suicidal. Sad to say, there are more than a few extremists that are willing to commit that suicide anyway, regardless of the consequences. That is the most terrifying aspect of the situation.

Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him…It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch
which passed between these pieces.

– Genesis 15:17

The destruction of Israel does not necessarily mean the end to Judaism or to the Jewish people. Currently, there are more Jews living in New York City and the surrounding area than in all of Israel. If Israel does manage to survive the present danger represented by Islam and nuclear terrorism, there’s every reason to believe that the long-term security of the Jewish people may become a reality. Nuclear apocalypse is not inevitable whether it be in this generation or in the generations that follow. Hatred for Jews and Israel found in the nations of Islam can and will subside given enough patience and time. This may take a century, but it must occur in order to ensure the continued existence of the Jewish nation-state. Israel cannot survive among hostile neighbors indefinitely. Here are four case scenarios that explore the future possibilities of this nation:

Scenario: The Event *** The Results

Best Case: Palestine thrives. *** Peaceful coexistence with Israel is established through economic growth and self-rule.
Better Case: International Intervention. *** Israel and Palestine eventually agree to mutual disarmament, and eventual international government control of the entire region.
Worse Case: Nuclear War occurs. *** Israel barely survives nuclear attack. The entire Middle East is partially destroyed.
Worst Case: Nuclear Holocaust ensues. *** Israel is rendered unlivable and ceases to exist.

 

Judeo-Christian-Alliance

 

One should certainly hope, and pray, for the best-case scenario to win the day. There are, however, numerous threats that must be dealt with soon in order to achieve a lasting peace. Right now, Iran continues to work on an atomic bomb in the hopes of destroying Israel. Some contend that they already have a working thermonuclear device while others say that this is still years away. Regardless of who is correct, the odds are that the United States, a staunch ally of Israel, will put a halt to any real threat even if this involves military intervention. The top targets of nuclear terrorists and the cities most likely to suffer thermonuclear attack within the next few decades are as follows:

1) New York City: contains the largest Jewish population in the world.
2) Tel-Aviv: contains the 2nd largest Jewish population in the world.
3) Jerusalem: contains the 3rd largest Jewish population in the world.

As nearly everybody knows, all three of these targets contain millions of Jews as potential victims. Make no mistake, the fanatical Muslims want to kill as many Jews as they can regardless of the consequences. That is why these three cities are the most in danger of nuclear annihilation.

The angel of the LORD said to her, ‘Behold, you are with child…And you shall call
his name Ishmael. He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against
everyone and everyone’s hand will be against him and he will live to the East
of all his brothers.’

– Genesis 16:11-12

The only way to avoid these potential catastrophes is for Islam and its extremists to come to terms with the existence of Israel. This can and will be done through the elimination of dictatorships still found in many Muslim nations and their replacement with governments that do not spew hatred of the Jews while oppressing their own people. It is no coincidence that the Muslim nations least hostile to Israel and the Jews, namely Pakistan and Turkey, are also democracies. Free society does not mean the end to Islam, but to its renewal. As these nations develop beyond third-world status and rid themselves of dictatorial regimes, their hatred for Jews and Israel will most likely diminish. In the meantime, one must hope that Muslim terrorists never get hold of any weapons of mass destruction. From Hiroshima, Japan to Auschwitz, Poland, the answer must always be ‘never again’. Nothing else is more important.
_________________________________________________________________________
Ishmael, the Islamic Son of Abraham

Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Drive out this maiden and her son, for the son of this maiden shall not be a heir with my son Isaac.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar…and sent her away. She departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was used up, she left the boy under one of the bushes…for she said, ‘Do not let me see the boy die.’ God then heard the lad Ishmael crying and the Angel of God called out to Hagar from Heaven and said to her, ‘What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad Ishmael where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.’ Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and…gave the lad a drink. God was with the lad and he grew. He lived in the wilderness and became an archer.

– Genesis 21:9-20

Centuries ago, Christianity was a much simpler system of beliefs in that it was the truth, the Jews were wrong, and Mohammed was a heretic. Now that the religion of Islam has outpaced Christianity, it may be time to reassess this outlook. There are now more Muslims in the world today than Christians. Just recently, Pope Benedict has reached out to Islam, even to the point of visiting a Muslim country for the first time in history. The Church has unofficially softened its approach to this religion and is now willing to discuss whether or not Mohammed was, in fact, divinely inspired. To be sure, Muslims are still considered heretics, as are Protestants and Jews. However, the ability of Islam to last over 1,300 years is still worthy of attention. The acceptance of Jesus as a great prophet and the reverence for his mother Mary remain key components of the Muslim faith. The Church’s attitude towards this faith is now becoming similar to the way the Jews first viewed Christianity. As it is written:

If this endeavor or activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes
from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves
fighting against God.

– Acts 5:38-39

Those Christians who remain wary of Islam should remember that, according to tradition, Muslims are not categorized as pagans and are instead considered fellow worshippers of the God of Abraham, the God of Moses and the God of Jesus. Instead, the Church always emphasized the heretical nature of Mohammed’s insistence to have been inspired by God through the archangel Gabriel. In truth, they have never really denied that Muslims worshipped the God of the Holy Bible, they have just objected to Mohammed’s refusal to accept Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, and to the claim he too was an actual prophet. The major religious differences between Christianity and Islam can be listed as follows:

Virgin Mary
Islam: Mary was a great, righteous woman worthy of reverence.
Christianity: Mary was the Mother of God. One may pray directly to her.

Jesus Christ
Islam: Jesus was a great leader and prophet, a man of God. He was not the Son of God or the Messiah.
Christianity: Jesus Christ was, and is, the only Son of God, the LORD and Savior of al mankind. One may pray directly to Him.

Mohammad
Islam: Mohammad was a prophet inspired by God (Allah) through the archangel Gabriel to write the Koran and found a new religion called Islam.
Christianity: Mohammad was not a prophet, but a heretic who rejected Jesus as his LORD and Savior. He also denied the truth of Christ’s resurrection and ascension into Heaven.

Thousands of years ago, Abraham’s son Ishmael, the traditional forefather of the Arab peoples, was cast out of his father’s tent along with his mother Hagar into the desert wilderness. The archangel Gabriel came and gave them comfort. Indeed, long before this divine intervention in the desert, it had already been foretold that Ishmael and his descendants were destined for greatness:

As for Ishmael, I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile. He shall become the father of twelve prince, and I will make of him a great nation.

– Genesis 17:20

Throughout the centuries, the Church has found it extremely difficult to convert any true Muslims, especially Arabs, to Christianity. The reverse has also proven true in many cases. Perhaps God meant for some of His subjects to follow a different prophet than Jesus or Moses and that religion is called Islam. One thing is for sure, Muslim fanatics, who believe that they are at war with the West and advocate terrorism against it, are destined to become a thing of the past. Most normal Muslim families want the same thing that Jewish and Christian families desire- to raise their children in peace, to make a good living, and to worship God according to their own traditions.

For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household
after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice.

– Genesis 18:19

Those in the West hoping for a new crusade against the infidel Muslims are probably going to be disappointed. It wouldn’t be much of a fight anyway and would cause irreparable harm to the Christian nations, while leaving the pagan nations of polytheistic India and Communist China untouched. Isn’t it better for Muslims and Christians to work together and compete fairly for the conversion of the pagans that remain in this world? Going to war would simply play into the hand of the devil and his lies that all Islam and Christianity ever managed to accomplish was to create war and bloodshed.

Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had
stood before the LORD and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and
toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land
ascended like the smoke of a furnace.

– Genesis 19:27-28

During the next century or so, the Muslim nations are destined to quit bickering with one another and begin to unite politically, socially, economically, and culturally. This should not worry the Christian West to any great extent as long as they have eschewed violence and warfare as an acceptable means to the end. Islam’s conglomerate of Muslim nations will not be going away, so it’s best to dealwith them now rather than wait for Mohammed’s empire to return. That is inevitable, going to war with them is not.

 

The Judeo-Christian-Islamic Empire of Abraham

 

_____________________________________________________________________________
China, the Oriental Son of Abraham

Now Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore to him Zimran and Jokshan and Medan and Midian and Ishbak and Shuah. Now Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac, but to the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still living, and sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the East.

– Genesis 25:1-6

Throughout known history one military fact has remained true. He who controls the high seas controls the entire world. Nations such as France, Germany, Italy and Japan have all tried to thwart this history and every one of them failed miserably. France attempted an Empire during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte and failed at Waterloo. Some claim this was the work of British carrier pigeons trained by the Rothschild family. More recently, Germany, Italy, and Japan also attempted their own private Empires during World War II and ran straight into the British Navy and, even worse, their affiliate, the American Navy. Because of their inherent weakness at the high seas, they were all destined for defeat and international dishonor.

 

The Occident (West) and the Orient (East) of the Judeo-Christian Tradition

 

Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine who was a priest of God
Most High. He blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor
of heaven and earth and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies
into your hand.’

– Genesis 14:18-20

Control of the high seas has passed hands several times throughout history. Empires have risen and fallen almost exclusively due to the influence of naval power. This power, wielded by the few and coveted by the many, brought immense amounts of wealth to those nations who were actually lucky and skillful enough to have obtained it. A brief historical sketch of those who have controlled the seas throughout the ages is as follows:

Israel –> Greece –> Rome –> Venice –> Spain –> Britain –> United States

During the cold war, control of the high seas was shared between the West, represented by the United States, and the international Communist Empire, represented by the Soviet Union. It was clear, even at the time, that the Americans still had the upper hand. Today, now that Russia is a liberal democracy slowly crawling out from under its Socialist past, that upper hand has grown considerably. Currently, the United States is without a doubt, the sole superpower and undisputed ruler of the high seas. The question is how long they will be able to maintain this dominance. The United States Navy is literally decades ahead of its potential rival, Communist China. Unfortunately, if there is to be a World War III it will be fought with China and the consequences will be disastrous.

Indeed I will greatly bless you…and your seed shall possess the
gate of their enemies.

– Genesis 22:17

Examining the situation with an open mind, one can properly point out that this confrontation is not inevitable. If China decides to rid itself of Communism and slowly turn aside from their suicidal ambitions to become a military superpower, especially a naval superpower, then the United States can continue in its control of the high seas indefinitely. This means, practically speaking, that the U.S. Navy will maintain its military superiority for centuries to come, but there is one problem with this scenario, however, and it has to do with economics. Can the U.S. afford to do this? Not really and in the long run not at all. Regardless of whether or not China transforms itself into a democratic society, it is already destined to become an economic super-giant sometime soon. Within a century, China will have an economy that is vastly larger than that of the United States and will thus be able to afford enough defense buildup to eventually overwhelm the U.S. in terms of military might. The most likely scenarios for a future China are as follows:

Scenario I. World War
China: All-out thermonuclear warfare ends in complete devastation of China.
United States: Would most likely win the war, but most of the U.S. would be, quite literally, destroyed.


Scenario II. Civil or Regional War

China: Somewhat more likely considering China’s past and their current situation.
United States: Would become involved as a peacemaker with possible military intervention.

Scenario III. Peace & Democracy
China: In time, a Christianized China will inevitably become an Imperial democracy.
United States: China and the U.S. live in peace forever, resulting in a global government centuries later.

 

Israel (NW), China (NE), Islam (SW), Christendom (SE)

 

China’s historical position as a ‘gentle giant’ of the East may, in fact, hold true for the future. The reason why is that the next move in this endgame is the fate of Taiwan, where the exiled nobility and royalty of Imperial China now reside. It has remained a free ally of the United States for the past fifty years and seems to be the likeliest hotspot of any future hostilities. It is most probable that the United States will, in fact, go to war with Communist China if they attempt to take this democratic nation by force. Near run-ins have already occurred and it is simply a matter of time before China once again reaches out in frustration. There is also a chance that this may not happen. One can only hope for peace, and given the overall picture, it doesn’t appear that China plans upon committing national suicide anytime soon. Conspiracy theorists are convinced that historians called it a Cold War because they somehow knew that a Hot War with China, or Russia, was destined to happen at some point in the future. Thankfully, conspiracy theories usually always turn out to be wrong.

May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus.

 

The LORD our God

 

Jason Nicholas Korning

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Comparing the Political, Scientific, and Religious Understandings of Reality

October 7, 2010

The Political Understanding of Reality
In nature, there is the color red and there is the color blue. In Great Britain, there is the Labor Party and the Conservative Party. In the United States of America, there is the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Europe and South America have the Social Democratic Party, the Christian Democratic Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party. In the Roman Catholic Church there is only one political party. It is called the Conclave of Cardinals who meets, dressed completely in red, to decide who is to be the next Pope. Here is the reality:

Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon…the ancient
serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world.

– Revelation 12:3-9

When the Cardinals have decided by vote upon the next Pope, a chimney is opened which spews forth white smoke, much like a fire-breathing dragon. Coincidence? Not completely. The Roman Catholic Church is the oldest working democracy in the world. It is also the oldest nation-state, a political entity that has lasted for almost 2,000 years. Kingdoms and nations have come and gone, while the Church has remained, picking through the ruins of many a lost empire. These failed empires include Napoleon’s French Empire, Kaiser Wilhelm’s German Empire, the Hapsburg’s Austria-Hungarian Empire, Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich, and the Soviet Union’s Communist Empire. All of them have fallen, while Vatican City has continued in its mission to convert the world to Christianity.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe
all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the
end of the age.

– Matthew 28:19-20

With that in mind, one can assume that the Church considers its mission to be far more important than mere politics. Just recently, it has seen many ancient kingdoms turn into democracies throughout the world. Eschewing kings and queens, modern countries now regard ‘democracy’ as the most precious thing in the world, rather than seeing it as just another form of political organization. ‘Democracy’ began in ancient Greece, moved to Rome, and then reappeared centuries later in Great Britain, France and the United States.

It should be remembered that ‘democracy’ was originally advocated by the philosophers Plato and Socrates, both homosexual pedophiles. Some contend that these historical facts are irrelevant. There are others who claim that, because of this, democracy is inherently homosexual. This may well be the case. Consider the fact that, just recently, the people of Canada and Spain, along with quite a few other democratic Christian nations, actually voted in favor of same sex marriages. For the first time in more than 2,000 years, the State was now allowed to sanction sodomy as an individual right and to give explicit approval and encouragement to the act of anal sex.

It wasn’t so long ago that oral and anal sex between any two people was against the law. Now, the right to indulge in sodomy within marriage has become the law. It has taken a scant thirty or so years for this to occur. With the ways things are going, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality are next. Perhaps in another thirty years a father having sex with his thirteen-year old daughter and then again with their pet dog will also be perfectly legal. Biblical law is the only thing standing in the way. Current advocates for pedophilia include author Judith Levine who writes:

Sex is not harmful to children. It is a vehicle to self-knowledge, love, healing,
creativity, adventure, and intense feelings of aliveness. There are many ways
even the smallest of children can partake of it.

Society seems to be returning to the sexual decadence that was prevalent in pre-Christian Rome. Among the pagans, incestuous relationships between brother and sister, mother and son, and father and daughter were not uncommon and, most importantly, they were not prohibited by law. Pedophilia was perfectly legal and practiced throughout the Roman Empire. Only the Jews, by both custom and law, prohibited these acts and deemed them both grotesque and disgusting. Consider the following:

Pedophilia was a constant and accepted expression of Roman sexual appetite…’If
children were constantly molested, it was because Roman adults found that the
deepest-rooted passion and the one that was hardest to overcome was sexual desire
for very young boys and girls.’

Only time will tell if the modern world begins to degenerate to this point. Until then, it’s simply sexual politics as usual. Biblical reality no longer seems capable of teaching the proper amount of guilt and shame that constrains human lust. The modern world has gone from prayer in schools to mandatory sex education in just a short amount of time. It is hoped that society’s slide into sexual degeneration can be stopped before it’s too late, before it has reached the point of no return.

Traditionally in political reality, the colors red, white and blue represented Protestant Christian democracy as in the flags of Great Britain, France, the United States, and Australia, while the colors red, white and green represented Roman Catholic democracy as in the flags of Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Mexico. These distinctions no longer seem to matter as much as the dichotomy found between the political Left, symbolized by the color red, and the political Right, symbolized by the color blue or green. The current patterns of thought that distinguish between these two main strands of political reality can be grouped together in the following manner:

Field of Thought: Ism of The Left, Ism of The Right
Policy: Liberalism, Conservatism
Government: Globalism, Nationalism
Economics: Socialism, Capitalism
Warfare: Pacifism, Patriotism
Culture: Multiculturalism, Pluralism
Society: Progressivism, Traditionalism
God: Atheism, Monotheism
Religion: Paganism, Judeo-Christian-Islam
Christianity: Ecumenism, Fundamentalism
Philosophy: Nihilism, Pragmatism
Morality: Moral Relativism, Idealism
Ethics: Utilitarianism, Dualism
Outlook: Relativism, Realism
Identity: Collectivism, Individualism

As can be seen, many of the basic differences in political doctrine between the Left and the Right cannot, and will not, be reconciled. Year after year, the Right is becoming more and more in favor of Christianity, while the Left is becoming more hostile towards traditional religion and is showing its true colors as a front for the religion of paganism. This is especially true in the United States of America where, since the late 1960s, conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans are fast becoming anachronisms. Politics is polarizing along religious lines, with the Republicans becoming more Christian and the Democrats becoming more pagan with each passing year. The relevant issues that define current American political reality can be listed as follows:

Issues: The Left, The Right
Political Party: Democratic Party ,Republican Party
Abortion: Approve, Oppose
Raising the Minimum Wage: Approve, Oppose
Inheritance Taxes: Approve, Oppose
Euthanasia: Approve, Oppose
Gun Control: Approve, Oppose
No-Fault Divorce: Approve, Oppose
Gay & Lesbian Marriage: Approve, Oppose
Affirmative Action: Approve, Oppose
Sex Education: Approve, Oppose
Global Warming Regulation: Approve, Oppose
Public Funding for PBS: Approve, Oppose
Support for United Nations: Approve, Oppose
Teaching Darwinian Evolution: Approve, Oppose
School Prayer: Oppose, Approve
School Vouchers: Oppose, Approve
New Oil Drilling in Alaska: Oppose, Approve
Military Spending Increases: Oppose, Approve
Death Penalty: Oppose, Approve
Nuclear Power: Oppose, Approve

The recent influx of Hispanics onto the American political scene may change these polarizing tendencies. They are politically liberal, but culturally conservative. They support high taxes for the rich, but vehemently oppose same-sex marriage. They approve of school choice so that they can send their own children to Catholic school, but also want to raise the minimum wage through government mandate. They represent a unique, political voting bloc destined to become more powerful as they increase in population. Neither the Christian Right or the pagan Left will dominate American politics anytime soon, but their influence can still be seen in today’s issues and will be seen in tomorrow’s political reality.

The Scientific Understanding of Reality
Many aspects of the current scientific outlook remain fairly troubling. It was not always this way as science was once the domain of Churchmen who made many of the first important discoveries in several different fields. God and Christianity were considered undisputed facts and foundations of all knowledge. Times have changed and, in today’s world, the scientific outlook can be almost militantly atheist. They are all skeptics now apparently. Preferring to remain aloof from the ‘absurd’ superstitions, that supposedly plague so many of their fellow citizens, scientists have now developed a particularly hostile attitude towards all things religious. Some of the main doctrines supporting this arrogant and elitist view of reality, include the following:

1. The existence of a Creator God cannot be proven scientifically.
2. The existence of life after death cannot be proven scientifically.

These two assertions are the mainstay for almost all secular, atheist thought which modern science continues to base itself upon. For the most part, they believe that anything, which cannot be repeated three times under controlled conditions, is false or falsifiable. That is the basic definition of reality as science claims it to be. However, many things that have supposedly been described scientifically still remain fairly unexplainable. Consider the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, and the awesome beauty they represent. Looking at them causes one to think that someone, an omnipotent artist of some sort, must have created them on a whim for others, especially mankind, to enjoy. Scientists will say that they are simply a random product of the right temperature, atmospheric pressure, and geographical latitude combining with the sunlight to create shimmering curtains of sparkling colors. They might even go on to say that, even though these Northern Lights seem to be the work of a designer, this is simply a coincidence. They will assert that the Aurora Borealis is merely a by-product of the blind forces of nature and nothing more. They cannot prove this to be the case, but they don’t need to as long as they can fool the people into thinking they have all the answers and that those answers are always correct.

It is not a fact that the Northern Lights were never created by an ancient, intelligent designer, it is merely an assumption made by atheists, many of them scientists. They cannot prove these lights emerged from unguided physical chaos for no reason. They can only claim that to be the case. They cannot prove it at all. Science cannot explain their unique beauty, only the existence of God can.

Put simply, just because the existence of God cannot be proven ‘scientifically’ really doesn’t mean very much. Many things cannot be proven ‘scientifically’ including the theory of evolution. Just because scientists see certain things under a microscope or through a telescope doesn’t mean they exist. They have blind faith that the microscope or telescope is showing the true picture of reality to the naked eye, but who is to say they aren’t just seeing imaginary things through a blurred piece of glass? Many people attest to having seen God personally, but they are almost always labeled as mentally ill. Notice the unfairness of the dichotomy. Those who see God in visions are called crazy and locked up in lunatic asylums, while those who see viruses or quarks through microscopes are called scientists and given money and Nobel Prizes. Why is that so?

True believers should care very little that God cannot be proven scientifically. Many other things, like thunder and lightning, for example, cannot be proven or explained either, only described. They are both totally awesome, but completely unnecessary aspects of a material reality that wouldn’t change much if they ceased to exist- kind of like old stage props that someone forgot to throw away. Nevertheless, just like the Northern Lights mentioned previously, they do exist and will continue to do so long after today’s scientists are safely buried six feet under. God is dead, said Nietzsche. Science is dead, replied God.

Modern science has reached an apex of godless materialism that is decaying from within. The theory of evolution is coming under attack by more and more people, scientists and laymen, who have noticed large gaps in the science of Darwinism that need to be addressed. In other words, the Darwinian theory of evolution is full of holes. It is bad science and will eventually be overtaken by what is called the theory of Intelligent Design. Why so? Consider the kangaroo, for example. Darwin would tell us that this species evolved from small tiny mice that were the predecessors of nearly all mammals. Inch by inch, century by century, they became larger, their front feet atrophied and became small, while their back feet grew and became very powerful, thus causing their distinctive way of running by hopping. Science boldly declares that there is an evolutionary reason why this happened that has nothing to do with the creative choices of a whimsical designer. No, this happened because hopping somehow contributes to their survival. How so? How does hopping contribute to adaptation and reproductive success? Why not have them be like deer or gazelle, which are even faster than kangaroo, and thus able to outrun many would be predators? There is no reason why, the scientists are just being silly and stupid about the issue because Darwinism confirms their atheism, Intelligent Design denounces it.

Why do kangaroos have pouches in which to nurture their young? Science tells us that this is to protect their helpless, infant children. Well then, why don’t any other mammals have these nifty pouches for their young? Monkeys have to use their hands, while dogs and cats have to use their mouths to carry their young, yet they are still around too. Science will also try to claim that all these changes that created today’s kangaroo came about incrementally and over a long period of time. The problem with this assertion is that there are no fossils showing these half kangaroo-half mice creatures that grow larger and larger over the generations. There are no half-pouching half-nesting, or half-hopping half-running pre-kangaroos found in the fossil record. That means that these unique features must have all come about in a single generation. That is scientifically impossible and would prove Darwinism to be dead wrong. There is no evidence, no scientific proof that kangaroos evolved from something else at all. The kangaroo rat doesn’t have a pouch or a head and skull like a dear as kangaroos do, so they don’t really count as an ancestor.

The fossil record shows nothing except that kangaroos appeared from nowhere millions of years ago as if they had been created from scratch by a God with an intelligent sense of humor. They did not evolve at all except into wallabies, which are simply a smaller, slightly different form of kangaroo. In fact, many observers would claim that, with the available evidence, it appears they were created by an intelligent, but goofy, designer like many of the exotic species found in Australia. Scientists dislike, some might say despise that conclusion, but it seems to be the most reasonable and logical answer to the huge gaps in the fossil record for almost all species.

Many mammals seem created and not evolved, consider the golden eyes and wonderful mane of the male lion and the awesome stripes of the tiger, the startling blue eyes of some cougars and the all-black fur of black panthers. Science tells us they are all felines and have a common ancestor, but where and who is that common ancestor? The ice-age sable-toothed tiger does not a lion make, nor does a bob-cat seem like a cheetah’s first cousin. To be sure, they all seem designed in a similar manner- the creative mark of a specific personality, an intelligent breeder of felines. They do not appear to be the product of random mutation and adaptation. What purpose do lion manes and tiger stripes serve? None! Black, white and orange Tiger stripes do not help as camouflage in an all green jungle, while big-maned old lions don’t always get the girl in order to carry their big-mane success on to the next generation. The scientists are fooling the public and nothing more.

Consider the unique look and character of some animals and their inherent fascinating beauty. The rattlesnake, the parrot, the polar bear, and the giraffe, all bear the mark of creative intelligent design. A list of the evolutionary explanations for these animals and their counterarguments are as follows:

The Rattlesnake
Animal Evolution: Tail acts as a noise-maker that scares off intruders. It evolved because it worked so well.
Creative Design: Why would a deadly snake need to scare off anybody? God created the rattle to warn man of its danger.

The Parrot
Animal Evolution: Multiple colors and vocal abilities serve as attraction to mates. They evolved that way.
Creative Design: God created the parrot to astonish mankind with their innate ability to speak words and look like artwork.

The Polar Bear
Animal Evolution: All-white fur is meant to blend into surrounding area in order to ‘sneak up on’ and catch prey or to hide from dangerous ‘rivals’.
Creative Design: What prey? Polar Bears eat fish. The water is blue or black, not white. God created Polar Bears to look artic cool.

The Giraffe
Animal Evolution: Neck evolved to become longer to reach higher levels of tree leaves.
Creative Design: Why didn’t they just eat grass? They can barely bend down to drink water. God created Giraffes for fun.

The plant kingdom also appears to have been created, not made through random mutation and selective adaptation. Consider the Venus fly-trap, the thorned rose, the English daisy or the redwood tree. It seems like God had a team of designers, angels, who left their own personal fads and favorites, repetitions and rip-offs, perhaps even mistakes, scattered among the plant and animal kingdoms. Nothing else explains their individuality. Chaos does not explain it because there is certainly room for hundreds of different species that were never invented.

The possibilities for multiple canine species are endless, yet all we find is the jackal, hyena, wolf, coyote, and dog. Just recently, man, like the angels before him, has managed to use his God-given genius to create many various breeds of dogs. As different as they look in size and color, they are all amazingly the same species. In truth, random chaos would yield more canine species than there are presently. A limited number of canine designers as opposed to say bird designers would explain the diverse array of bird species and small number of canine species. The peacock is another perfect example of Intelligent Design. How did such a wingless bird with a ton of superfluous plumage ever survive? The answer is that it did not need to. In the real world, it isn’t always survival of the fittest, but of the most magnificent and beautiful. Nothing else explains the killer whale, the zebra, the penguin, the panda bear, or the magpie. Their distinctive black and white colors serve no evolutionary function at all. Instead, they appear to be a sign of Intelligent Design.

In addition to failing to prove the theory of evolution, science also does not really explain color. It describes it, but cannot explain it at all. There could very well be 4-10 different ‘primary’ colors instead of just three. Nothing in science or mathematics proves otherwise. Color is about personal perception and not objective observation. There could be many more colors that the naked eye is unable to see. Perhaps some of the other animals see them, while humans remain incapable. Serious questions need to be asked concerning the science of color. Why are there only 6 colors in the rainbow? Why are they arranged in such a manner? The answer is that science doesn’t really know why. The only reasonable, logical, rational explanation for this is that the rainbow was designed by someone who simply chose, for example, to put red on top and purple on the bottom. This someone, God or one of His angels perhaps, made an individual decision to place them in that order.

It does not matter if science states that the colors vibrate at different frequencies in a sequential order. The rainbow’s color sequence could very well be different and not change scientific reality in the least. The so-called electro-magnetic spectrum would be no different if, for example, yellow was on the top instead of red. Yellow would simply have the top frequency and red would have a frequency lower down on the rainbow, but the scientific frequencies would remain the same. Suppose that red vibrated at 10 units per second while yellow vibrated at 30 units. Switching them would cause yellow to vibrate at 10 and red to vibrate at 30. The science would stay the same, while the rainbow’s appearance would be drastically different. There could also be a larger amount of colors without really affecting the electro-magnetic spectrum at all. Neither math nor science would need to change. A partial list of the ‘scientifically’ possible combinations, showing that the rainbow’s color sequence is completely arbitrary and unexplainable, is as follows. These possible rainbows have been given names creatively chosen by a specific individual who has no scientific credentials.

The Different Possible Sequences of Colored Arches in the Sky
Rainbows: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple
Peachstripes: Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Red
Mellowlines: Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Red, Orange
Plantbars: Green, Blue, Purple, Red, Orange, Yellow,
Coolhues: Blue, Purple, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green
Royalarches: Purple, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue

Today’s science would deny that God created the rainbow as a promise to mankind to never flood the earth again, but it will probably never be able to explain the sequence of earth’s rainbow. The reason why is obvious. Modern science refuses to accept or allow a place for a Creator of the universe who designed some attributes of nature, such as rainbows, in a completely arbitrary manner, much like an interior designer or architect chooses different bathroom fixtures. The rainbow and its colors prove that singular intelligent choice, in other words design, is an integral part of the natural world. There is no other explanation.

On a similar note, science cannot explain why mankind is now starting to dream in color rather than black and white. Decades ago, it was common to hear that people don’t dream in color and most would agree with that statement. Today, more and more individuals are dreaming in color with each passing year. Less and less people are color blind with each passing generation as well. Some might call this evolution, but there really is no scientific proof for this. Dreams are completely unnecessary in terms of evolution and adaptation. Nevertheless, those who dream in color are fast becoming the majority in society and this is true across racial lines as well. Mankind is not changing, dreams are.

The human female hymen is also an example of a completely unexplainable aspect of nature. Its only purpose is to prove virginity. The reason why women’s menstrual cycles are related to the tide and the movements of the moon also defy explanation. Why do male humans have one less rib than female humans? There are many aspects of the natural world that still remain mysterious and may be construed as possible evidence that there is a God and that man was created, not made.

Finally, science denies that there is an existence, a conscience reality, for each individual soul after biological death ensues. They state, quite assertively, that once brain death occurs, no further thought is possible. Thought requires synapses they say- electro-chemical sparks in the cortex must continue firing in order to think and to feel. No other reality is possible. This denies the very real life-after-death experiences that have become a part of thousands upon thousands of people’s lives. These life-after-death experiences have occurred well after brain death has commenced. This is impossible scientifically, yet patients say that for several minutes after they were physically dead, and their brain waves went flat, they remembered something more. They remembered being dead after brain activity had ceased! Nothing explains this except for the possibility that there is an existence, a life, after death unless one wants to claim they are all lying about it. That is unlikely, so one is stuck with the stark reality of these experiences.

Science is changing, slowly but surely, back to a reality that allows for a God and for a continuing existence after death. A century from now, Darwinism will have been firmly refuted and tossed aside as an explanation to how life began and how different species came into being. Intelligent Design will become the dominant paradigm for most scientists. Theories of adaptation and genetic mutation will be retained to explain some, but not all natural phenomena. Strict Darwinism, an outlook bristling with hostility towards God and religion will have become a thing of the past. The actual, final proof of God’s existence won’t be arriving anytime soon, but alternative understandings of scientific reality will become a standard part of mankind’s view of the world. Ghosts, dreams and forms of ESP are realities that have yet to be explained. Centuries of scientific discoveries lie ahead. How they are to be interpreted is still unknown. Let the debate begin.

The Religious Understanding of Reality
The human race often forgets, or even denies that, behind what philosopher John Rawls has called ‘the veil of illusion,’ there lies an eternal reality called the spiritual realm. For the most part, this realm is divided into areas where the wicked are punished for their deeds, while the righteous are rewarded for theirs. It is astonishing that across cultures, man has always believed that there is judgment awaiting him after death. Scriptures states the following:

The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and
abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the
thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by
no means clearing the guilty.

– Exodus 34:6-7

From the Native Americans to the Chinese to the Europeans, they have all believed in a merit system that rewards good behavior and punishes wicked behavior. Why is that? Some would say that it is intuitive, while others would contend that it is simply to scare the living into good behavior by threatening them with eternal damnation. The three great religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have differing beliefs concerning the spiritual realm. There are as follows:

Judaism
The Sheol: an underground world of ghosts where the wicked are separated from the others and punished, while the righteous await entrance into Paradise and eventual resurrection of the dead in the World-to-Come.
Paradise: A pleasant, comforting world of ghosts where the righteous end up at some point, traditionally known as the Heart of Abraham

Christianity
Heaven: A place of eternal happiness for the righteous as a reward for their faith and good works.
Purgatory: A place of good works and spiritual purification that eventually leads to Heaven.
Hell: A place of eternal fire reserved the wicked. It is forever.

Islam
Heaven: consists of seven levels with the most righteous at top.
Hell: consists of seven levels with the most wicked at bottom.

In addition to this, these three religions also share a belief in spiritual beings called angels. The origins of these beliefs are quite mysterious. They cannot be traced to Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian or Persian sources and are, in fact, unique to the Biblical tradition. The angels are considered servants of God that were created before the universe was even founded. They are organized into a hierarchy of nine different types that are as follows:

I. Seraphim
II. Cherubim
III. Thrones
IV. Dominations
V. Virtues
VI. Powers
VII. Principalities
VIII. Archangels
IX. Angels

Today, even in Islam, believers remain fairly ignorant about the angelic tradition. Hopefully in the future this will change and society will become more literate when it comes to angels and their influence throughout history. The archangels, for instance, have individual names and personalities much like human beings do. Studied carefully, one could say that the religion of Judaism is the religion of the archangel Michael, who is considered the guardian angel of Israel and the Jewish people. The religion of Christianity is the religion of the archangel Lucifer, the highest of angels and the one closest to God- His only son, so to speak. The religion of Islam is the religion of the archangel Gabriel, who, from Ishmael to Mohammad, has guided his people towards the one true God, Allah.

There are some Christians who would object to this analysis contending that Lucifer is Satan, the devil, and Jesus is the son of God, not the archangel Lucifer. This comes from a folk-tale that was written down in the late Middle Ages by a man named Milton. This fictional novel was called Paradise Lost. There is absolutely no reason to believe that it is true and may, in fact, be completely false. The archangel Lucifer is an office, a position held within the angelic hierarchy, and can therefore be reassigned to another individual if necessary. The whole Christian story, if read carefully, is about the archangel Lucifer coming to earth in the form of a man named Jesus and being destined to die in order to take away the sins of the world. He is resurrected, ascends into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, which is traditionally where the archangel Lucifer is supposed to sit. There is every reason to believe that Lucifer and Jesus are one in the same person, both then and now. The terms son of God, son of the morning, and morning star are used interchangeably to describe angels, especially one particular angel known as Lucifer. The evidence that Jesus is, and was, the archangel Lucifer is as follows:

Nicene Creed
Archangel Lucifer: Lucifer was thrown down by God from Heaven into hell.
Jesus Christ: Rabbi Jesus came down from Heaven, was born of the virgin Mary, was then crucified and died…He descended into hell.

Book of Revelation
Archangel Lucifer: Lucifer was also known as the morning star, the son of the morning. (Isaiah 14:12)
Jesus Christ: I Jesus…am the root and branch of David, the bright morning star. (Revelation 22:16)

Ancient Tradition
Archangel Lucifer: Out of all the angels, Lucifer was the most powerful and heir to the throne of God.
Jesus Christ: I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

The Hebrew terms Son of God and morning star are found elsewhere in the Old Testament. In the Book of Job it reads: ‘the morning stars sang in chorus and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ How could this be if Jesus was the only Son of God? How could there be sons of God as in more than one Jesus Christ? The answer is that the terms used in the Bible can have multiple meanings to them. One thing is clear, however, the Book of Revelation has Jesus clearly admitting to its author John that He is the archangel Lucifer. Milton, the author of an exciting, but clearly fictional novel, may well have been horrifically wrong about Lucifer. Hopefully someday Christians will finally realize this and recognize their LORD and savior Rabbi Jesus as also being the archangel Lucifer who sits at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven, now as always, the brightest and the greatest of all the angels.

May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus.

 

The LORD our God

 

Jason Nicholas Korning

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