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Tag Archives: Christianity

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The Big Bang and Supernovas

The Crab Nebula, shown here as it is today, is the remnant of a supernova which was seen in the year 1054 AD and remained visible to the naked eye for about a year.  (Credit: NASA)

The Crab Nebula, shown here as it is today, is the remnant of a supernova which was seen in the year 1054 AD and remained visible to the naked eye for about a year.
(Credit: NASA)

When a star explodes, it leaves and expanding cloud of residue called a SuperNova Remnant (SNR). The Crab Nebula in the constellation of Taurus and shown in the photo to the left is a good example of a supernova. When it became visible to Earth, the supernova could be seen in the daytime in 1054 for a number of weeks. For galaxies like our own Milky Way every 25-30 years, on average, a star should blow up creating a nova—big stars create supernovas. One must ask how far out does the cloud of the Crab Nebula reach and how long did it take for the cloud to reach the limits we see today? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Big Bang Theory, naturalism

 

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The Gospel Cannot Be Hindered

Luke ends his thesis in Acts 28:30-31, showing Paul in his rented house welcoming all—Jews or gentiles—who would come to him, and there he preached the Kingdom of God and those things that concerned the Lord, Jesus Christ, with no one forbidding him. Luke shows us that Paul did this for at least two years, and afterward nothing more is written about Paul or anything further about any of the acts of the Apostles. This, I believe, is meant to be the end of Luke’s thesis. It is not an accident than nothing further is written. Acts has a real ending, and it ends here. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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How Can You Be So Obtuse?

Throughout the day there was, no doubt, and exchange of ideas and questions put forward as Paul spoke to the Jewish assembly at his residence in Rome (Acts 28:23, 30). The problem was that some believed, but, evidently, most did not (Acts 28:24), which was characteristic of the Jewish response throughout Paul’s ministry (Acts 13:45, 48; 14:4; 17:4-5; 18:6-8; 19:8-9). So, I don’t believe the ending in Rome came as a surprise to Paul. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Argument in Rome

The Jewish leaders in Rome decided to give Paul a hearing (Acts 28:22), and when they decided upon a particular day, they, and it seems many others with them, assembled at Paul’s rented residence for what would be an all day affair (Acts 28:23, cp. 28:30). Luke doesn’t state it clearly, but his choice of words implies that this was not simply Paul preaching, but what occurred was more like a heated debate. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul, Balaam and Heliodorus

I recently ran across a website comparing Paul’s conversion experience to Balaam’s effort in the book of Numbers to aid Balak’s wish to curse and destroy Israel. The website also compared both with Helidorus’ journey to Jerusalem to rob the Temple treasury in 2Maccabees. I have to admit it is an interesting comparison. I would even go as far as to say that I agree that the comparison is a valid one, but I don’t agree with the author’s conclusion? The reason for my disagreement is that there are key points that the author of the website leaves out. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Did Rome Know Nothing of Paul

Some critics have pointed out that the text’s “We have neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren come here and reported or spoken anything bad about you” (Acts 28:21) is quite unbelievable. However, just as is usually the case, the whole truth cannot be derived from a cursory read of Luke’s account. His record needs to be compared with what we know of Paul’s time in the 1st century CE, and Luke’s account needs to be tested against what he says elsewhere in his thesis. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Triumphal Entry

It seems that Luke continues his theme of presenting the final acts of Paul in a similar fashion that he presented those of Jesus in Luke 19:29-40. Just as Jesus had a triumphal entry into the capital of Judea, so Paul, although he is a prisoner of Rome, is presented as having a triumphal journey to the capital of the world (Acts 28:14-16). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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The Gospel and the Voyage to Rome

It has been said that “the tendency to over allegorize” the account should be resisted. Luke’s focus is on the rescue of the passengers from danger, including Paul. There is no proclamation of the Gospel message by Paul, and the pagans on board remain pagans after they arrive on the shore of Malta.”[1] Nevertheless, if this is so, why record anything that occurred in Acts 27? Why not simply begin with Acts 27:1 and let verse-2 begin at Acts 28:12? If what occurs between Acts 27:1 and 28:12 have no meaning for the Gospel, then what meaning would they have for Theophilus (Acts 1:1), to whom Luke wrote in order to offer him a more perfect understanding of the things he had been told (Luke 1:3-4)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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Famines and Fair Havens

We are told that it was only with great difficulty that the vessel was able to get around the cape at the eastern extremity of Crete to gain shelter from the strong sea winds out of the northwest (Acts 27:7-8). Not long afterward they were able to sail into the port of Fair Havens. Considering the late time of the year and the fact that already the vessel had been struggling against the prevailing winds in this arduous journey, one might expect the captain to want to winter at this harbor that seemed to promise safety for both lives onboard and the ship’s cargo. In fact, this is exactly what is behind Paul’s argument (cp. Acts 27:9-10). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Voyage to Rome Begins

Luke commences Paul’s journey to Rome by resuming the we passages that he left off using in Acts 21:18 at Jerusalem. It had been argued that the we passages simply refer to the people in the boat and immediately afterward on land, but this doesn’t seem to fit. For example, Luke continued to use the first and third person plural in passages on land from Acts 21:4 to 21:18, a time-span of over two weeks. Moreover, in Acts 27:1 Luke says: “When it was determined that we should sail to Italy…” At this point Paul and company weren’t on the vessel they hoped would bring them to Italy. Neither the captain of this vessel nor its crew would go to Italy. The ship Paul boarded was a coasting vessel that hugged the shore line, while making stops at several ports where it unladed its cargo and perhaps took on more. Eventually, the centurion with Paul was able to find a seaworthy vessel that could take them to Italy at Myra of Pamphylia (Acts 27:6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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Paul’s Life in the New Testament

This is a rough sketch of where Paul was and what he was doing during his Apostleship to the gentiles. Unlike a similar blog I posted, this one concerns three-year blocks of time, which seems to be Paul’s pattern for his intended labor. Whatever he decided to do, he planned out a three year period for that work. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God

 

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Paul’s Post Council Journeys

Below is a chart of Paul’s journeys from the time of the Jerusalem Council and afterward until the close of Luke’s thesis. I have noted every year based upon what seems to be Paul’s overall plan of spending three years doing the work of God in any given area. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God

 

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This Is Madness!

One of the most often used criticisms of Christianity today is that our trust in the validity of the Scriptures is a clear expression of our ignorance of reality. Anyone who is claims to be Christian and pursues a career in science is viewed with suspicion—after all isn’t a Christian scientist an oxymoron? Like jumbo-shrimp the two words simply don’t go together. Centuries ago nearly all the great universities of the west were run and financed by Christians, yet today we’re seen as a bunch of coneheads who are simply irrelevant when it comes to education or politics.[1] Perhaps it may come as a surprise that this attitude of being out of touch with reality can also be found in the 1st century CE among the movers and shakers of the times. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

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The Matter Set Before King Agrippa

King Agrippa, the son of Herod of Acts 12, came to Caesarea to with his sister, Bernice, of offer Festus his royal welcome to the east (Acts 25:13). The meeting occurred sometime in 59 CE either during the summer just after the Pentecost holy day or during the autumn just after Tabernacles, which includes several annual holy days.[1] Since Paul’s journey to Rome occurs some weeks after the fast (Acts 27:9 – i.e. the Day of Atonement), Agrippa’s visit probably occurred just after the autumn holy days, showing Festus spent the summer months in vain, wondering what to write to Caesar concerning Paul (cp. Acts 25:26). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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Festus’ Consultation with Agrippa

We can probably date King Agrippa’s visit with Festus just after one of the Jewish annual feast days, either Pentecost or Tabernacles, cir 59 CE. No doubt the king and his sister, Bernice, celebrated the Jewish holy day(s) at Jerusalem and afterward came to Caesarea to pay their respects to the new Roman governor of Judea (Acts 25:13). Since the royal couple’s visit lasted for some time, Paul’s house arrest would have no doubt been noted, and whoever initiated the discussion of Paul’s state, Festus took the opportunity to seek Agrippa’s advice on how to accuse Paul in his letter to the emperor (cp. Acts 25:26). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2013 in Gospel, Paul in bonds

 

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