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Saturday, March 18, 2017

"I Got Jealous of Jesus" said Ex-Atheist Lee Strobel

Related imageImage result for Ezekiel 36:26

...After his wife's conversion to Christianity, Strobel, a journalist with the Chicago Tribune at the time, sets out to disprove Christianity, which strains his marriage and causes great internal struggle. But after an intense investigation lasting nearly two years, the evidence points to "the truth of Jesus Christ" and he accepts Christ as his savior.
Lee Strobel admitted in the interview with Laurie that one of the main reasons he initially was resistant to his wife's new-found faith was jealousy.
"I got jealous of Jesus, I felt like there was another man in our marriage," he admitted.
"I felt like she was cheating on me; she's got this emotional support she's getting from this Jesus guy."

Leslie Strobel shared part of her own struggle, revealing that she felt she could share anything with her husband, other than her faith in Christ.
"What I did find out over time is that the best way to reach him was to continue to let God grow me," she said.
She told Laurie that she began praying a specific verse for her husband, namely Ezekiel 36:26, which reads:
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart, I will put a new spirit within you, and I will take your heart of stone, and turn it into a heart of flesh."
"Once I heard that verse, I prayed it daily and daily, and that's when I started seeing his willingness to at least crack the door open a little bit and look," she said.
Laurie showed clips from the movie to the audience, and when talking about the moment Strobel turned to faith in Jesus Christ, he called it "one of the most powerful moments, it brought me to tears."
Leslie Strobel said of her husband's conversion: "There was no indication that he was close to making a decision, but when he came out and just said 'I believe,' I cried. I simply just lost it."

The powerful story shows that even when Strobel was trying to get his "wife out of the cult," God was "working in his life," Laurie highlighted.


...Lee Strobel tells CP that, during that time in his life, he felt that God was an invention of people's own fears.
"I thought that the mere concept of an all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe was absurd. I thought that God didn't create people, but people created God because they were aftraid of death — so they invented this idea of Heaven. Those were the kind of thoughts that I had," he says. "I was hostile toward Christianity. I used to mock and make fun of people who believed in Jesus being Divine."

Monday, March 6, 2017

The evidence for Jesus' existence

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The evidence for Jesus' existence

From CNN "Finding Jesus" (3/5/2017)

Some scholars who argue for the existence of Jesus says the New Testament mentions actual people and events that are substantiated by historical documents and archaeological discoveries.
Ehrman, author of "Did Jesus Exist?" scoffed at the notion that the ancient world was full of pagan stories about dying deities that rose again. Where's the proof? he asks. Ehrman devoted an entire section of his book to critiquing Freke, the mythicist and author of "The Jesus Mysteries: Was the 'Original Jesus' a Pagan God?" who says there was an ancient Osiris-Dionysus figure who shares uncanny parallels to Jesus.

He says Freke can't offer any proof that an ancient Osiris figure was born on December 25, was crucified and rose again. He says Freke is citing 20th- and 19th-century writers who tossed out the same theories. Ehrman says that when you read ancient stories about mythological figures like Hercules and Osiris, "there's nothing about them dying and rising again."
"He doesn't know much about ancient history," Ehrman says of Freke. "He's not a scholar. All he knows is what he's read in other conspiracy books."

Craig A. Evans, the author of "Jesus and His World: The Archaeological Evidence," says the notion that Paul gave his life for a mythical Jesus is absurd. He says the New Testament clearly shows that Paul was an early enemy of the Christian church who sought to stamp out the burgeoning Jesus movement.

"Don't you think if you were in Paul's shoes, you would have quickly discovered that there was no Jesus?" Evans asks. "If there was no Jesus, then how did the movement start?"
Evans also dismissed the notion that early Christians blended or adopted pagan myths to create their own mythical Jesus. He says the first Christians were Jews who despised everything about pagan culture.

"For a lot of Jewish people, the pagan world was disgusting," Evans says. "I can't imagine [the Gospel writer] Matthew making up a story where he is drawing parallels between Jesus' birth and pagan stories about Zeus having sex with some fair maiden."

    The stone that proves Pilate's existence

The words of Jesus also offer proof that he actually existed, Evans says. A vivid personality practically bursts from the pages of the New Testament: He speaks in riddles, talks about camels squeezing through the eye of a needle, weeps openly and even loses his temper. Evans says he is a man who is undeniably Jewish, a genius who understands his culture but also transcends his tradition with gem-like parables.

"Who but Jesus could tell the Parable of the Good Samaritan?" Evans says. "Where does this bolt of lightning come from? You don't get this out of an Egyptian myth."

(Those who argue against the existence of Jesus say they aren't trying to destroy people's faith.
"I don't have any desire to upset people," says Freke. "I do have a passion for the truth. ... I don't think rational people in the 20th century can go down a road just on blind faith.".)..

..."Finding Jesus" premieres March 5 at 9 p.m. EST and a companion resource site has been created for those interested in learning more. The site will provide clips and sermon outlines for pastors and group discussions.
The CNN series was inspired by Finding Jesus the book by award-winning journalist and filmmaker David Gibson, co-authored with Michael Mckinley. To find out more information about the season, visit the website.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ancient Palace of Sennacherib was Uncovered after Tomb of Jonah was Destroyed by ISIS

ISIS' Destruction of Tomb of Jonah Uncovers Ancient Palace of Biblical King Sennacherib

 ..."Jonah's descent into the depths in the belly of the great fish and subsequent triumphant prophetic mission to Nineveh is seen as a reference to and prototype of the death and resurrection of Jesus."

The team of researchers believe that IS has been tunneling to access ancient artifacts, such as statues, coins, jewelry and mosaics, looking to sell them on the black market to fuel its ongoing war in the region.
One of the tunnels reportedly led archaeologists to the remarkable marble cuneiform inscription of King Esarhaddon of the Assyrian empire, who ruled from 681 to 669 B.C., and renovated the palace built for King Sennacherib.
The Bible describes part of Sennacherib's military rule in II Chronicles 32:1, where it says: "After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself."
Breaking Israel News reports that the 2,300-year-old palace was partially destroyed during the Sack of Nineveh in 612 B.C.
The archaeologists also discovered in another part of the tunnel stone sculptures of an Assyrian demi-goddess believed to sprinkle "water of life" to protect humans in her care.
"There's a huge amount of history down there, not just ornamental stones," Salih added. "It is an opportunity to finally map the treasure-house of the world's first great empire, from the period of its greatest success."
Officials reported back in July 2014 that IS, which was just beginning its conquests in Iraq, had destroyed the tomb of Jonah, the biblical prophet said to have been swallowed by a whale.
"In Christian tradition, the story of Jonah is an important one," scholars Joel S. Baden and Candida Moss told CNN back then. "Jonah's descent into the depths in the belly of the great fish and subsequent triumphant prophetic mission to Nineveh is seen as a reference to and prototype of the death and resurrection of Jesus."
The researchers have been able to expand their efforts since the Iraqi government's reclamation of the western half of Mosul back in February, though the campaign to liberate the entire city and push IS out of Iraq continues.
It has not been made clear why IS radicals destroyed the tomb of Jonah back in 2014, given that a Muslim mosque had also been build there for a prophet venerated by Islam.
"It is believed that ISIS, as part of the Salafi movement, rejects the concept of worshiping at shrines and therefore destroyed it to prevent Muslims from worshiping there," BIN offered.
"Some have speculated that the destruction of the site was intended to wipe o

(Click the link below to read more about Sennacherib king of Assyria )

You may also click the link below for many archaelogical discoveries in Old Testament

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sennacherib king of Assyria & his army killed by the Angel

How God miraculously answered King Hezekiah's prayers these 2 times are fascinating!
2 Kings 19:9 ...Sennacherib king of Assyria sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah, ‘Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by saying, “Jerusalem shall not be handed over to the king of Assyria.”11 Listen, you have heard what the Assyrian kings have done to all the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be spared? 12 Did the gods of the nations whom my forefathers destroyed rescue them—Gozan and Haran [of Mesopotamia] and Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad [of noFrthern Syria], the king of the city of Sepharvaim, and of Hena and Ivvah?’”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the house (temple) of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim [of the [b]ark in the temple], You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made the heavens and the earth. 16 Lord, bend down Your ear and hear; Lord, open Your eyes and see; hear the [taunting] words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to taunt and defy the living God. 17 It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have devastated the nations and their lands 18 and have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not [real] gods but [only] the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they [could destroy them and] have destroyed them. 19 Now, O Lord our God, please, save us from his hand so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know [without any doubt] that You alone, O Lord, are God.”
 32 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: “He will not come to this city [Jerusalem] nor shoot an arrow there; nor will he come before it with a shield nor throw up a siege ramp against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same way he will return, and he will not come into this city,”’ declares the Lord. 34 For I will protect this city to save it, for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”
35 Then it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went forth and struck down 185,000 [men] in the camp of the Assyrians; when the survivors got up early in the morning, behold, all [185,000] of them were dead. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria [d]left and returned home, and lived at [e]Nineveh. 37 It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with a sword; and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son became king in his place
2Kings 20 

In those days [when Sennacherib first invaded Judah] Hezekiah became deathly ill. The prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not recover.’” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Please, O Lord, remember now [with compassion] how I have walked before You in faithfulness and truth and with a whole heart [entirely devoted to You], and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle courtyard, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Go back and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father (ancestor): “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. Behold, I am healing you; on the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life and save you and this city [Jerusalem] from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will protect this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”’”Then Isaiah said, “Bring a cake of figs. And they brought it and placed it on the [painful] inflammation, and he recovered.”..2 kings 20:8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will [completely] heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day?” Isaiah said, “This will be the sign to you from the Lord, that He will do the thing that He has spoken: shall the shadow [indicating the time of day] go forward ten steps, or go backward ten steps?” 10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to go forward ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps.” 11 So Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow on the steps ten steps backward by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.

Friday, March 3, 2017

If There Were No Mankind, God Doesn't Exist?

Dear Martin, the philosopher:

I lament that your so called " God " only exists in philosophy and abstract land but not in real world. How I wish you could be more realistic!

Let me ask you a question, " If nobody heard a giant tree falling in a far away forest, is this 'tree falling', real or not?" Does this tree falling or its very existence depends on being heard and defined by humans? This falling giant tree could have existed many thousand years before humans started to have history.

 If There Were No Mankind, God Is what?("假如沒有人類,上帝是什麼? ")
This question of yours is really really very subjective and totally from human perspectives, don't you think? It can only apply to all man made gods & goddesses whose existences do depend on human beings to invent, create and to worship, don't you think?

Is our Creator God made in mans' image or the other way around? Did human beings exist in the beginning of the universe?

How could our Creator God be defined by humans? Who is the Lord of our life? Are we even the lords of our own lives? Can we control our lives?

Our Creator God is self existent (自有永有的)  and exists by Himself, He is the cause of all the living creatures and no one has caused Him to exist.

Since my high school years, I've liked a proverb that says "Pride is like an arrogant rooster who thinks the Sun rises because of its crowing!" ( 驕傲就像 一隻自以為太陽升起是因它啼叫的公雞。) This year is the year of Roosters, and without roosters, no Sun could rise, right? ( No Sun could even exist without roosters!) In a word, do you mean " If there were no mankind, then God doesn't exist? " ( 假如沒有人類, 上帝就不存在嗎?)

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Here below are a couple of links for you to think about and comment.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Top Ten Archaeological Discoveries in 2016

Archaeological discoveries announced in 2016 help us better understand the Bible and the biblical world, and affirm the Bible’s details about events and people.
Below are the top findings from the important excavations taking place in the lands of the Bible or that have a biblical connection. (This list is subjective, and based on news reports rather than peer-reviewed articles in scientific publications.)

10. Ancient papyrus mentions Jerusalem

What appears to be the oldest non-biblical Hebrew-language reference to Jerusalem was found on a small piece of papyrus recovered from antiquities robbers who said they had found it in a cave in the Judean desert. The inscription reads, “From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem.” Dated to the seventh century B.C., the inscription was found four years ago but announced this past October. Only one other papyrus document from Israel’s First Temple Period has ever been found. However, some archaeologists and textual scholars have raised questions about the provenance of the text, and have suggested that since it was not found in a supervised excavation, it may be a forgery.

9. Ancient glass factory

Judea was known as one of the centers of glass manufacturing in the Roman world. Archaeologists excavated the remains of a glass production facility at the foot of Mt. Carmel, near Haifa, when it was discovered by workers of the Jezreel Valley Railroad Project.

8. Sunken junk from Caesarea Maritima

Old metal objects were typically melted and recycled, so a ship that sank on the way to the recycler offered a treasure trove of ancient metal objects when its cargo was discovered by scuba divers last summer. Protected by the sand on the sea bottom for 1,600 years, the mostly bronze objects include idols, lamps, and several clumps of coins.

7. Solomon's Palace at Gezer

A monumental residence built in the 10th century B.C. and excavated this past fall has been dubbed “Solomon’s Palace,” even though there’s no direct connection to the Israelite king outside of the dating, which was done through pottery remains and stratigraphic chronology. According to 1 Kings 9:16–17, the Egyptian pharaoh conquered and burned Gezer, and presented it as a dowry for his daughter’s marriage to Solomon, who then rebuilt the city.

6. Hundreds of Roman writing tablets

From the other end of the Roman Empire comes evidence for the ubiquity of writing in the first century. (Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, used a writing tablet in Luke 1:63.) More than 400 ancient wooden tablets were excavated in London, the oldest dating to A.D. 57. The tablets were originally covered with wax and written on with a stylus. The wax is gone, but the impressions of many notes in Latin remain. They are being translated and studied.

5. Temple Mount floor designs identified

The geometric patterns of the stone tile floors of the porticos of the Jewish Temple built by King Herod have been identified from tile fragments recovered by the Temple Mount Sifting Project. Volunteers have been steadily processing tons of dirt illegally excavated from Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in 1999. Seven different tile designs have been recreated so far by Frankie Snyder, a project team member with an academic background in mathematics and Judaic studies.

4. Philistine cemetery excavation

Some of the secrets of the Philistines, the nemesis of the ancient Israelites, are expected to be revealed as archaeologists study remains excavated from a cemetery at Ashkelon. The excavations took place over the last three summers, but were revealed only in 2016. Although most of the main cities of the Philistines have been excavated, there is still a lot of important information that has eluded scholars. But that may change with the new information gleaned from these burials. “It was just a goldmine of a cemetery,” said Daniel Master, a Wheaton College professor who co-directs the excavation.

3. Stone jar factory found near Cana

Halfway between Cana and Nazareth, a cave was discovered where limestone had been mined and carved into cups, bowls, and jars, which were highly valued for their ritual purity during the first century. The cave’s proximity to Cana suggests it may have been the source of the water jars that were used for the wedding in Cana attended by Jesus and his disciples in John 2:1–11.

2. Lachish gate shrine illustrates Hezekiah’s reforms

In the ruins of a shrine excavated next to the gate of Lachish, the largest city of the kingdom of Judah after Jerusalem, archaeologists found an altar with the horns cut off from each corner. They also found a stone toilet that was never used, which had been placed in the holy of holies, apparently to desecrate it. They attributed both discoveries to the religious reforms under King Hezekiah, described in 2 Kings 18:4.

1. Unsealing the tomb of Christ

The most notable aspect of repairs that took place at the traditional tomb of Christ in October—the first look inside the tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre since at least the year 1555—is that the workmen found just what they expected. The badly-in-need-of-repair marble edicule that surrounded the tomb was stripped down to the limestone platform where the body of Jesus was believed to have been laid after his crucifixion. “It appears to be visible proof that the location of the tomb has not shifted through time, something that scientists and historians have wondered for decades," said Fredrik Hiebert, National Geographic’s archaeologist-in-residence. The original limestone cave walls of the tomb were also preserved to a higher level than expected inside the edicule.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Toilet Converted from a Shrine

Top Ten Discoveries In Bible Archaeology In 2016


#7 – Desecrated Gate-Shrine Discovered at Tel Lachish (Sept. 2016)
The gate structure at Tel Lachish. Photo credit: Guy Fitoussi/Israel Antiquities Authority
Archaeologists excavating a six-chambered gate at the biblical city of Lachish made three discoveries that they claim confirm details described in the Old Testament. The gate-shrine of Tel Lachish – the largest discovered from the First Temple period – has been dated to the eighth century BC using artifacts that were found in the rooms, including jars, grain scoops, and jar handles stamped with a lmlk (“belonging to the king”) seal:
1) Benches were unearthed at the city gate, confirming what is known from history, that the city gates were a place the elders, judges, governors, and kings sat to do business. “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land” (Prv 31:23).
2) Within one of the rooms in the city gate, excavators found two four-horned altars with the horns intentionally broken off. This is believed to be evidence of the reforms of King Hezekiah, who “removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles” as part of his reforms (2 Kgs 18:4).
Finally, a stone chair with a hole in the middle, which archaeologists have identified as a toilet, was found in the corner of the room. This suggests an intentional desecration of the gate-shrine, and is reminiscent of the Bible’s description of Jehu turning the temple of Baal in Samaria into a latrine(public toilet) (2 Kgs 10:27).
(They smashed the sacred pillar and wrecked the temple of Baal, converting it into a public toilet, as it remains to this day.)

3 Archaeological Finds in 2016 That Confirmed Biblical Accuracy

 A toilet discovered at Tel Lachish. It was discovered in a "large room that appears to have been a shrine."
"The room contained two four-horned altars, whose horns had been intentionally damaged." As John Stonestreet told BreakPoint listeners, the damage was, in likelihood, part of King Hezekiah's reforms.
But what about the toilet? Well, if you're going to desecrate a pagan shrine, nothing does the trick like turning it into an outhouse, which is exactly what another reformer, Jehu, did to a temple of Ba'al in 2 Kings. Apparently, Jehu wasn't unique in this regard.

Findings like these should not surprise us. As John put it, "The Bible is the best-attested book of antiquity. Nothing else is within the same solar system." Our faith is firmly rooted in history, not some "once upon a time."