Category Archives: Bible Teaching

Ancient Sources — Post by Michael J. Findley


Cuneiform inscription found on the south side of the Van Castle hill, eastern Turkey. It’s several metres tall and wide, 25 centuries old and the message comes from the Persian king Xerxes. In Old Persian, Babylonian and Elamite Bjørn Christian Tørrissen – Own work by uploader, http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html Wikipedia

“Can you please reference some sources you used for your Hittite series?”
Seems like a simple, innocuous question. However, the first series of books I wrote include What Is An Establishment of Religion?, What Is Secular Humanism?, and What Is Science? As SCOTUS Justice Scalia wrote “The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” Antonin Scalia, in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, U.S. Supreme Court, 1987

Modern authors are so indoctrinated in the Established Religion of Secular Humanism that using them as sources for ancient history are worse than useless. You will need to spend considerable time unlearning their indoctrination before you can begin learning actual history. So here a few essentials before recommending sources.

1) Archbishop Ussher’s dates are essentially correct. Sir Isaac Newton also wrote a history of the world based on the evidence in Scripture and came to similar conclusions, that the world was created approximately 4000 BC. Sir Isaac Newton admitted that his dates could be off by decades, which is reasonable. Both Ussher and Newton use the Hebrew OT Masoretic text. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, the LXX or Septuagint add names to the geneaological records, making the creation centuries older. The first tablet of the Sumerian king’s list is different from the rest of the tablets. The rest use a base 60 numbering system. However, if the first tablet uses a base 10 system, then the number of kings are the same number and lived for the same number of years as the geneaological records in Genesis 5 between Adam and Noah in the Hebrew Masoretic text.

2) There are many minor adjustments which been made recently. Ussher has the date of the Exodus 1491 BC. Theile The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings cross references Assyrian chronology and dates the Exodus 1446 BC. The Hebrew chronology during the time of Hezekiah is uncertain. Many dissertations have shifted the exact dates back towards Ussher’s 1491 BC, but not quite that far. https://answersingenesis.org/bible-history/evidentialism-the-bible-and-assyrian-chronology/

3) Carbon 14 dating is based on a constant formation of 14C by cosmic ray bombardment of 14N high in earth’s upper atmosphere. However, a ratio of 14C:12C the nonradioactive stable isotope is necessary to arrive at a date. The established religion of Secular Humanism begins with the belief that 12C has been stable and constant for over 100,000 years. The worldwide catastrophic flood 1656 years after creation was caused by the single antediluvian continent breaking up. That volcanic activity resulted in a massive outpouring of 12C. According to Ussher the flood occurred approximately 2350 BC. The levels of environmental 12C did not fall to the levels we have measured for the past 2,000 years until about 600 BC. Items radiocarbon dated during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and his father Nabopolasser are in line with Ussher’s dates. The Minoan eruption of Thera is 14C dated between 1640-1540 BC. Making the reasonable assumption that the Thera eruption coincides with the Exodus, 14C dating is between 60-160 years older than actual dates at this time. Artifacts 14C dated 2300 years old and older have actual dates very soon after the flood.

4) Like the Assyrians and the Egyptians, the Hittites have an Old Kingdom, an intermediate period, and a New Kingdom. There are many works correlating the dates of the Egyptian and Hebrew chronologies. This one is usable. https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/unwrapping-pharaohs/

Comparing Egyptian and Hebrew chronologies, the Exodus ruined Egypt. That fits best with the end of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, which ended with the mysterious disappearance of the 13th dynasty. This begins the ruin of Egypt, the 2nd Intermediate Period. During this time Amalek ruled Egypt. Saul’s campaign to destroy Amalek brought about New Kingdoms of Egypt, the Assyrians, and the Hittites at the same time as the Israelite monarchy. The tel el Amarna letters, found in Egypt, written in Akkadian cuneiform, document diplomatic relationships during the New Kingdom. The letters between the Hittite Queen Puduhepa and Ramses the Great are especially enlightening. http://www.amarnaproject.com

5) The 8th century BC library of Ashurbanipal in Ninevah: https://www.academia.edu/2394909/The_British_Museums_Ashurbanipal_Library_Project
The Ugarit texts: http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/ugarit.html
The official chronicles of Babylon and Assyria: https://www.livius.org/sources/about/mesopotamian-chronicles/
The Babylonians reference the Hittites as the Hattie, with some spelling variations.

6) Many years of searching pyramid texts, funerary art, and obscure but interesting documents to learn how ordinary people lived in the 2nd millenium BC. The most massive and helpful collection along this line is Sacred Texts. https://www.sacred-texts.com
The editor of the sacred-texts website died in 2012 and to the best of my knowledge the site is maintained, but not updated.

7) The most important source for Hittites, the library of their capital city Hattusa.
https://eduscapes.com/history/beginnings/1400bce.htm
https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/the-last-days-of-hattusa/
https://vici.org/vici/24102/
http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/turkeyhattusa.htm
http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/1/777777190247/

I hope that this minor overview is just a start. These are “some sources.” I read several thousand cuneiform documents while writing these books. Translations, not the original Akkadian. That is not as difficult as it seems, since most cuneiform tablets are small and only a few sentences contain important information. One interesting fact I learned along the way is that over 2 million cuneiform tablets have never been translated. If anyone needs something to do…

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What My Daughter’s Cat Is Teaching Me

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Some people are dog people. Some are cat people. I am both, but for many years we have had only cats because we have so many outside the home responsibilities and cats are better with being home alone. For eight years I rode in a semi with my hubby around the 48 states and Canada and we had no pets. I have since settled with our adult hearing-impaired daughter in her apartment (not exactly by choice, but by God’s loving provision, and that is another story for another time).  We built a house and now hubby has a place to come to when he can get off the road.

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Victoria I have been blessed to become housemates with Ruth, a Siamese/Tabby mix she got from a shelter to be a hearing aid cat. If you’ve never hear of a hearing aid cat, you’re not alone. She hoped to be able to train this kitty to let her know when things are happening that she might not be able to hear. We also hoped Ruth would be a good friend and companion for Vicky as a single young woman.

Well, I’m not sure who is getting trained all the time, but this cat is daily a wonder and a blessing from God. She runs to the door anytime anyone is approaching or making noises outside. She always knows when it is time for “mommy” or “grandma” or even “Grandpa” to come home and sits waiting at the door for that happy occasion.

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She even lets us know when it’s time to get up mornings with a jump on the bed or a pat on the face (or whiskers in the face or a lick on the eyelids). Ruthie is very vocal and lets us know by meows that sound a lot like words sometimes that we need to get ready for work or shut a window or door against loud noises (she doesn’t like mowers or trash trucks). When anyone is sick she will sit with them on a raised recliner seat sharing fuzzy warmth. And sometimes she goes off and leaves us alone.

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So here’s what I’ve learned from Ruthie that I’m figuring out how to apply to my own life:

  1. Service gives opportunities for praise and reward (All a cat asks for in return for being our living alarm is meals, treats, “rubbies,” and occasional “conversations” because she is so vocal).
  2. Nobody’s perfect (she doesn’t like to be hugged or held but she is learning to tolerate it from “mommy.” And boy she does shed! She is also not a fan of Grandpa playing music on the computer. The high notes make her ears twitch.)
  3. It doesn’t take much to be a mood-lifter (just seeing her on “bug patrol” by the front door or having her curl up next to you is enough).
  4. Comfort doesn’t mean smother (She’ll sit at the very edge of the bed or seat and not intrude on what you’re doing).
  5. Active time (running up and down the stairs was one of her favorites), social time, and alone time are all important. Life is about balance.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says He has made everything beautiful in its time. So it is with Ruthie.

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Alpha/Beta Readers Wanted for Mapped Out Murders

I am requesting readers and helpers for my first contemporary “how will they catch them” murder mystery, Mapped out Murders, which is also to some extent a police procedural. I have completed a draft of almost 74,000 words and have the basic story, characters, and steps in the process mostly the way I want them.

Here are the basic elements so you can see if you are interested in reading:

Sarah and Don Groben are an ex-military couple married about 20 years, no children. She is a homicide detective. They lived in the Fargo, ND area but 5 years earlier transplanted to L.A. He is a pastor and director of Martyrs for Christ, a group similar to real life Voice of the Martyrs, specializing in the 10-40 window. Because they could not have children they have invested in helping troubled families experience godly home and family through Bible teaching and loving them in Christ.

Sarah refuses to work with a male partner or be alone with men. She does this out of respect for her father and husband. Her female partner gets the flu and she has to go alone to a crime scene where a Middle Eastern man was murdered. She finds her husband and a pastor friend there and learns that the dead man was building a small group of Middle Eastern converts from Islam to Christianity.

Don becomes her temporary partner as they uncover six murders and a conspiracy to wipe out these converts and people they may have influenced. A small version of a CAIR-like organization may be involved. Family bitterness and fear also plays a role.

Don’s expertise in Middle Eastern languages and customs and inside knowledge of the outreach plan for these local former Muslims helps but Sarah must ultimately sort through the complex mountain of evidence to get at the truth. Bitcoin, persecution, and attitudes toward Christianity in Muslim and American cultures factor in to making her job harder.

1. Setting is Los Angeles area, but I need help with determining a region in or near the city proper that has a smaller feel, with a police precinct and a neighborhood where you could buy a small house and get to know your neighbors. I need local color, takeout options, and generally things to make the setting real. I do not want to get into too much detail about life in the city or police procedures but don’t want to be clumsily out of date or too sparse, either.

2. Need help with realistic names, customs, and cultures for various secondary characters who are transplants from Middle and Far East countries. All come from Islamic backgrounds.

3. Positioning of some flashbacks (set off in italic in the text) doesn’t seem quite right, and would appreciate input on how much info to include and where the best place to place them would be.

4. Timeline of the murders vs subsequent events. 5 happen in one day (in fact, in one hour), but I need to properly place resulting funerals at a reasonable distance for investigation progress.

5. Generally, being up-to-date and authentic about people, language, and situations. Help in better understanding Bitcoin would be great!

If you can help in any way, general critique, specific suggestions, or the points listed above, please email me at mjmcfindley@gmail.com

Thank you!

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12 Days of Christmas: Authors want to meet readers and give you stuff!

Don’t let Christmas shopping get you down! You don’t have to get out of those fuzzy slippers to find great books and get to know great authors waiting to meet you!

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Please join us starting Monday December 10th and continuing through December 21st. Every day you can see what authors are up to. You could win a $250 gift card or one of two Kindles, not to mention authors will be having their own giveaways.

You’ll find Christian fiction and maybe even devotionals or nonfiction to warm your heart and draw you closer to the reason for the season. Romances will flourish, adventures will thrill you, and clean and wholesome stories will charm away the stress and give you a few less presents to worry about.

Join our facebook group here to be ready for Monday’s festivities.

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Enjoy, like, and share this video made by Samantha Fury

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What Is the Best Way to Learn What Your Opponent Believes? — post by Michael J. Findley

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In answer to a Quora question: What’s the best way to learn the opposing side’s arguments when it comes to politics?

What is best varies from person to person. I read Plato’s Republic, then acquired an audio version to listen to it many times. Rather than the Communist Manifesto, Plato is the real foundation of the left. Communism/socialism is older than Plato, but Plato is a good beginning. I also read the works of the French revolutionaries, such as Voltaire.

While they were influential in their day, they lack an overall depth of thought. Next I read the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, which I bought for 50 cents. When a dog ate them, I did not think they were worth replacing. Next I read the personal experiences of those who lived in countries where these religions where forced on the populace, such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. 

I learned that the term “the left” came from the French Revolution. Revolutionaries took over the French Parliament and sat on the left side of the King. Everyone who opposed them sat to the right of the King. So the term “the Right” means opposed to the Left. “The Right” is not a specific belief or position. It simply means opposed to Communism/Socialism/Fascism. All are various versions of dialectical materialism; tyranny, to use the language of Thomas Jefferson. With Communism, dialectical materialism is god, controlled entirely by the government.

Socialism permits business to join the ruling class of government. Fascism permits anyone who is willing to join the party to rule over those who resist Fascism. Conservatism is quite different depending on the country. In the USA, it stands for private property, personal responsibility, free enterprise, and the understanding (belief), that these gifts are rights from God as explained in the Word of God. Government can only take rights away. It cannot bestow God given rights on anyone.

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Book Giveaway With KDP Select Starting Tomorrow

From my author friend Russell Sherrard:

My book “Genesis: Book of Beginnings” is FREE for 5 Days Monday, September 3 to Friday, September 7.

Genesis: Book of Beginnings

Genesis: Book of Beginnings

This book is a Bible Study of the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. The Bible text used for this study is the King James Version (KJV). This Book is the first book in the Series entitled Journey Through the Bible. Genesis: Book of Beginnings Book 1.

This book is a Study Guide for the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. The Bible text used for the study is the King James Version (KJV). It is fitting that we should start with Genesis, which is the book of Beginnings. Genesis: The Book of Beginnings is the first book in this series of Journey Through the Bible.

Genesis means “the beginning” and it is a book of beginnings. It records the creation of the world and the beginning of the nation of Israel. Chapters 12-50 focus on one man, Abraham, and his descendants. Abraham, his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob are called the patriarchs of Israel. Jacob’s twelve sons are the beginnings of the twelve tribes of Israel. Through Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, the whole family settles in Egypt.

The word Genesis means origin or creation. Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, is a book of beginnings. It has been said that every major doctrine has its seed or beginning in Genesis. For example, the material universe, the human race, sin, the promise of the Messiah, languages and the Hebrew nation all have their beginnings in the book of Genesis. For this reason Genesis is called the seed pot of the whole Bible. Every great fact, truth and revelation is found in this book in germ form. The book of Genesis is essential to the understanding of all the other books of the Bible.

Moses wrote the book of Genesis about 1500 years before Christ. Moses received the oracles directly from God. They were not handed down by word-of-mouth (Acts 7: 37, 38). God can just as easily tell a person the past as he can the future. The book Genesis covers a time period of nearly 2500 years, from the Creation to the journey of Israel into Egypt.

After reading the book would you do me the honor to pop over to Amazon and give an honest review?

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To Get it for FREE Click on the Button Above

 

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The Beginning of the Gospel — Post by Michael J. Findley

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This is the record of the life of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Matthew 1:1

The Jews knew the Law, the Old Testament, and understood the Messiah. This introduction to the first gospel ever written, just a few years after the resurrection of the Messiah, was either a declaration of the power of God or absolute blasphemy. To the Jewish audience and non-Jews who understood Judaism, this was the clearest possible declaration that Jesus had the legal authority to be the Messiah.

Since many people have attempted to write an orderly account of the events that have transpired among us, just as they were passed down to us by those who had been eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning, I, too, have carefully investigated everything from the beginning and have decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1-4

Written after Matthew, probably before Mark, and decades before John, Luke was the only gospel writer who did not personally witness the life of Jesus on earth. Luke’s gospel is based on careful investigation of eyewitnesses. This provides us a different point of view, probably a Greek point of view. Because of his Greek name, many also assume that Luke was not a Jew. Since many people attempted to write about the Messiah, we know that the Spirit of God did not see fit for most of these attempts to survive.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Mark 1:1

Mark is the gospel to the Romans, written decades after Matthew and Luke were well known. It was intended to communicate as much information as possible to very busy people who, at least on the first read, would not spend much time with yet another religious book. However, Romans were used to multitasking and assimilating written material.

So what is this beginning of the gospel? It immediately relies on the authority of the Old Testament, “As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet…” Mark 1:2

Under Solomon, Israel controlled the eastern Mediterranean and sent trading ships far beyond any boundaries the Romans knew. They defeated a million-man army out of Egypt and Africa. Israel still existed as a nation, unlike Assyria, Persia, the Hittites, the Babylonians, and the other kingdoms of the Middle East.

Jews friendly to Rome lived throughout the Roman Empire, including in Rome. The Jewish temple of Herod was larger, covered in gold and the most magnificent building in the entire Roman Empire. The thick, tall walls combined with the water supply of the pools of Bethesda made Jerusalem more defensible than any city in the Roman Empire, including Rome. Jerusalem was also rebellious and difficult to govern. For these and many other reasons, the average Roman was very much of aware of the Jews and their prophets, even if they did not know Isaiah by name.

The Romans also believed in a recent creation by God, or gods, as described in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The Romans believed in just laws and just administration of those laws. Though Roman beliefs were very different from taught by Moses and in the Torah, Mark believed that he could omit Creation and the Law from his gospel and go immediately to Jesus the Messiah based on the prophets and the testimony of John the Baptist.

Decades later the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were known throughout the Roman Empire and available to anyone who was interested. John wrote the final gospel to the philosophical Greeks to combat Gnosticism. He took a very different approach, beginning with Creation and Jesus as the Creator.

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And God was the Word. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made which was made. John 1:1,2.

Creation is where God’s revelation to the Jews begins.

In the beginning, God created the universe. Genesis 1:1

The entire universe came into existence by God speaking it into existence. God did not wave a wand, cast a spell, or use intermediates such as angels. God did not think the universe into existence. God spoke it into existence. Without creation, there is no gospel.

For by him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether they are kings, lords, rulers, or powers. All things have been created through him and for him. He himself existed before anything else did, and he holds all things together. Colossian 1:16,17

He holds everything together by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:3

“What happened to the Messiah’s promise to return? Ever since our ancestors died, everything continues as it did from the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately ignore the fact that long ago the heavens existed and the earth was formed by God’s word out of water and with water, by which the world at that time was deluged with water and destroyed. 2 Peter 3:4-6

All Scriptures are from the International Standard Version.

Image Credit: The Four Evangelists — Painting by Jacob Jordaens  1625–1630. Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen (2005), Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

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