There is a reference in I Samuel 27 to David raiding towns and villages of the Geshurites, among others, during the year and four months in which he lived among the Philistines to escape the wrath of King Saul.
The Old Testament was for centuries the only ancient reference to the Geshurites, but that appears to have changed recently with the discovery of a fort that dates from the Davidic era and that may have been a Geshurite facility, according to The Times of Israel.
“Dating to around the time of King David 3,000 years ago, what may be the earliest fortified settlement in the Golan Heights was recently discovered during salvage excavations ahead of the construction of a new neighborhood,” according to the Times.
“Incredible rock etchings of two figures holding their arms aloft — possibly at prayer with what could be a moon — were uncovered inside the unique fort, which was dated to circa 11th-9th century BCE.
“The striking find is being tentatively linked to the Geshurite people, whose capital is recorded in the Bible as having been located nearby, to the north of the Sea of Galilee.
They are among the most troubling of Old Testament passages for contemporary minds. I am referring to verses like Deuteronomy 2:34 and I Samuel 15:2-3 in which God ordered every Amalekite and Canaanite man, woman, child, cow, goat, etc. etc. utterly destroyed.
Doesn’t sound like justice, does it? Well, maybe there’s more to these verses than is commonly assumed, especially when there is a lack of understanding of the ancient contexts in which they were composed.
The Colson Center’s Brook McIntyre digs deep into the facts about how ancient literature portrayed things like military victories, as well as the horrific truths about the pagan culture that was dominant in what the Old Testament referred to as the “Promised Land” for Israel:
It was written by a bunch of men. It’s full of mistakes. And it’s like, really, really old. So what is “it”? It’s the Bible, the most widely read and influential book in the entire history of mankind.
The Bible gives a lot of folks heartburn with its teachings about the nature of God, man, salvation and sin, so much so that it seems to encourages more than a few of its critics to search high and low, everywhere and anywhere, for objections to discredit the book’s history, teachings and provenance.
So what are the fact-based responses to these objections? Todd Friel’s “Wretched” produced the following”Road Trip to Truth” video, which provides, it should be noted, a tiny slice of the evidence that could be introduced in response to each of the three objections.
There is virtually no religious freedom in China as the dictatorship in Beijing is steadily increasing its oppressive measures against all forms of religious practice and expression not approved by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Federalist reporter Arielle Del Turco describes the CCP’s latest gambit:
When a Chinese Christian, Chen Yu, was caught boldly selling religious publications not authorized by the government, his punishment was a seven-year prison sentence and an approximately $30,000 USD fine, handed down by a court last month.
Such steep punishment for promoting and adhering to a religion is all too common in China today. Faith is increasingly under attack in President Xi Jinping’s China. As religious expression becomes more dangerous there, people around the world should be speaking up in defense of China’s persecuted believers.
In addition to Chen’s fine and imprisonment, the court ordered local police in the Zhejiang province to destroy 12,864 religious books from his online bookstore. Make no mistake—this is a regime that is deeply afraid of the growth of Christianity.
Go here at The Federalist for the rest of Del Turco’s story.
It’s the most widely read book in human history, but the Bible may well also be the most frequently mis-understood or mis-represented written work ever produced.
Lots of people think the Bible says a lot of things that on closer inspection turn to out to be merely aphorisms or maxims. Perfect example is the cliche that “God helps those who help themselves.” No, that’s not in the Bible.
Stand to Reason’s Tim Barnett took up this issue recently and the result is a thought-provoking five-minute analysis of the crucial importance of actually knowing what the Bible says, as opposed to what its critics claim it says:
Take two people of equal intelligence, similar life experiences and educational attainment, and in the same level of professional success, then hand them the Bible and what happens?
Don’t be surprised if one of them believes the Bible and the other doesn’t. Why does that happen? How can two similarly situated intelligent people reach diametrically opposed conclusions about the same book?
In the following video, former NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace talks about the three reasons that typically explain why an atheist rejects God and how that happens. Wallace, who is the founder of coldcasechristianity.com, also includes some fascinating information about him and his father, who remains an atheist:
“Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. Everything that is written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles and He will be mocked, insulted, spit on; and after they flog Him, they will kill Him, and He will rise on the third day.”— Luke 18:31-33
And C.S. Lewis said:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
Among the best-known passages in the New Testament are those in the Gospel of John describing Jesus’ encounter in the temple in Jerusalem with a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) doesn’t like that version of the incident, according to Christian Headlines, so the order went out to rewrite it in a university textbook used to teach ethics in vocational schools.
If you work on Capitol Hill, you better understand Critical Race Theory (CRT) because it suffuses, both esoterically and exoterically, so much of the analyses of social, political and economic issues heard in media, on campus, in the think tank world and in politics.
If you are Christian who works on Capitol Hill, it’s even more important that you understand the roots of CRT, its essential assumptions and claims, and the consequences of accepting it as a legitimate analytical tool for policy-makers.
The following Colson Center video addresses the basic question of whether CRT is consistent with Biblical Christianity:
When Los Angeles Homicide and then-convinced atheist Detective J. Warner Wallace was nearing decision time in his investigation of Christianity following his wife’s conversion, he realized there were three key issues he needed to resolve.
First, were the Gospel accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ written during the lifetimes of eyewitnesses who saw and heard the Lord?
Second, were those eyewitnesses’ Gospel accounts corroborated in some way by independent sources, and, third, did their accounts change in the several centuries after they died?
Wallace, the cold-case expert featured on NBC’s “Dateline” and author of “Cold-Case Christianity” and “God’s Crime Scene,” discusses the evidence he considered and why he concluded the Bible is trustworthy in the following video:
Oxford Professor Emeritus John Lennox addresses a fascinating question: How are the countless pagan gods of the ancient world different from the God of the Bible who came among us as Jesus Christ?
For one thing, Lennox points out, all of the pagan gods came from creation in some manner, out of the primordial soup or thrown down from Mt. Olympus, and so forth. Jesus, the Bible tells us, didn’t come from creation, He created it! See Colossians 1:16.
That’s pretty profound when you think about it, but it’s just one of many ways in which Jesus is absolutely and unqualifiedly unique. And Lennox, mathematician and philosopher that he is, has much more to share with us in this delightful video:
Race is front and center in the American mind these days as it has not been for many years. The news media is a cacophony of often clashing opinions about race and its proper significance in our nation’s history.
It’s thus easy to find out what men think about race, but what about God? What does God say about race is the question posed in recent weeks by Pastor Mark Massey of Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) in Sykesville, Maryland.
As it happens, Mark started FBC in 1984 and has been its senior pastor ever since. He was born and raised in Arkansas and graduated from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Mark is also vice president of the board of directors of the 52-Week Ministry Foundation that is the organizational entity behind HillFaith. Continue reading “What Does God Say About Race?”
Pretty much everybody has at least heard about Noah’s Ark and the great flood in the ancient world that destroyed all life except him and his family, plus the many pairs of every animal.
Skeptics of the Bible and Christianity typically dismiss the flood account in Genesis 7 as the product of a localized disaster in which a large area — but far from the entire globe, as scripture claims — was covered with water. Or they claim it’s just a myth, like those found in Greek and Roman mytholody.
But if that’s the case, Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace asks, why are there are ancient accounts all around the world of a catastrophic flood that covered the globe and only a select few humans and animals survived?
Thousands of churches and synagogues across the country have moved their regular services from meeting together in one facility to gathering “together” via Internet teleconferencing. It’s a suitable approach for coping with a temporary problem.
But what if the problem becomes more long-lasting, with official directives banning gatherings of 10 or more people continuing past the end of April and well into … well, who knows how long? That’s when things could get very complicated and when that happens, Congress almost always gets involved.
PJMedia Managing Editor Paula Bolyard has a thoughtful, accessible look at why the situation is a challenge for Bible-based congregations now and a warning of what could be coming down the road.