Monday, July 30, 2007

The two-horned wild beast lives on

With the ascension of Gordon Brown to the position of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, many people were assuming that Britain's close relationship with the United States would be ending, with a left-winger and socialist leaning leader taking the reigns. Could it really be that the dual Anglo-American world power was not the two-horned wild beast after all?

It doesn't look like it, with Gordon Brown giving his assurance that the US is Britain's "most important bilateral relationship" and that he himself is an "Atlanticist and a great admirer of the American spirit". He also said that he wants to "do more to strenghten even further our relationship with the US."

So it seems that the two-horned wild beast keeps its two horns.

Are JWs the last people to believe in replacement theology?

After years of Protestant churchianity teaching that Jews are still God's chosen people, Zionism, or even that God has "dual covenants" by which people can be saved (the Jewish and the Christian), it appears that now even that stronghold of replacement theology, the Roman Catholic Church, believes that Jews can be saved by their Old Testament covenant with God.

"Campaigns that target Jews for conversion are no longer theologically acceptable," said the now-retired cardinal, 83, who was president of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.
The Catholic Church taught that salvation is found only in Christ through the church, but Cardinal Cassidy said it now accepted that the Jews were saved by their (Old Testament) covenant with God.
It seems these days that Jehovah's Witnesses are the only religion left that teaches that salvation is only by having faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice, and that the Israel of God is not literal Jews but Jesus' spiritual brothers.

Read more on the Catholic's change of heart at The Religious Write.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Third Temple

The Jerusalem Post has a very interesting Op-Ed on Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate's attempt to build a third temple in Jerusalem for the Jews.

Julian, who was Emperor from 361 to 363 CE, had been raised a Christian, but rejected the faith and begun worshipping Greek and Roman pagan gods, arguing that Christianity would weaken the Roman Empire. He wanted to help the Jews build a temple to weaken Christianity's claim to have "replaced" the Jews as God's chosen people.
Strangely enough when the foundations were laid for the new temple, it was reported that a fire burst forth from the ground and consumed them. Christians claimed it was proof of God's disapproval, and Jews suspected Christian arsonists!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Introductory Coptic grammer released

For all you Coptic lovers, the Coptic scholar Bentley Layton has released a new book entitled "Coptic in 20 Lessons: Introduction to Sahidic Coptic with Exercises and Vocabularies". It is good to see a new introductory text released and it should be successful considering recent Coptic discoveries promoting interest in the language.

Memra's Blog has a post on the book and how Layton shows that John 1:1 in the Coptic is literally translated "a god is the Word."

Click HERE to view the book at

Biblical oil is modern medicine

Professor Michael Ovadia from the Tel Aviv University's Zoology department has produced a modern version of a priestly anointing oil, taking his recipe from the Bible. He found that it was amazingly effective in preventing Avian flu, herpes and HIV. He has even sold his discovery to a multinational company! Michael said that he carried out his research on the suspicion that the oil played a role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases from animals to people, as Israel's priests were to anoint themselves with the oil prior to conducting animal sacrifices.

Source -

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cuneiform tablet backs up Old Testament

Assyriologist Dr. Michael Jursa has confirmed that a cuneiform tablet housed at the British Museum confirms the existence of a Babylonian official known as "Nebo-Sarsekim", who is mentioned in Jeremiah Chapter 39 as the Chief Eunuch of Nebuchadnezzar II - this title is also confirmed in the tablet. The tiny tablet is apparently a receipt for a payment from Nebo-Sarsekim to a Babylonian temple. The discovery is important because outside of the names of kings, there are very few witnesses to the existence of persons in the Old Testament.

Read more on this discovery at 24 Hour Museum or The Times.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Tom Sheepandgoats has written an excellent post defending disfellowshipping (more popularly known as shunning) in the Christian congregation.

So it is with Jehovah's Witnesses today. They could not be more unlike in personalities, backgrounds and talents (besides the factors already mentioned) yet they enjoy unshakable unity. God's spirit makes it possible.
We're zealous to safeguard this unity. When a person leaves JW tenets, he begins to lose the thinking that makes such unity possible. Some lose it instantly. More
often, it happens over time. But it does happen.

Pope says only Roman Catholicism is proper church

The Vatican has issued a document claiming that only churches in full communion with the Pope of Rome can expect full salvation (whatever that means) and other Christian faiths "lack elements considered essential to the Catholic Church". He says that Protestants are in error and Orthodox Churches have true teachings but are dissenters from recognising the Pope's authority.

As can be expected, the document has upset evangelical Anglicans and other Protestants around the world. For more on this story, click here.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

New Seven Wonders of the World

An organisation based in Portugal has revealed the "Seven New Wonders of the World" based on votes from all over the world. The winning seven are:

1. Great Wall of China
2. Statue of Christ Redeemer (Brazil)
3. Colosseum (Rome)
4. Petra (Jordan)
5. Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza (Mexico)
6. Taj Mahal (India)
7. Machu Picchu (Peru)

Read more on this here.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Persecution continues in former USSR

With intense persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Kazakhstan, Armenia and Georgia by their respective governments, officials and religious clerics, the former USSR and surrounding areas have given us some horrifying stories.
One of these countries that has been particular bad of late is Uzbekistan. Some Jehovah's Witnesses have recently been freed from a forced labour camp known as Camp No. 29 in Uzbekistan where they have been held for crimes such as "being a member of a banned religious organisation" and "illegally teaching religion".
They reported on conditions at the camp:
"drinking water is contaminated with chlorine, salt and sand. Prisoners are assigned to the production of quicklime and household soap. The manufacturing
processes used are harmful to health... this means that levels of sickness among prisoners are very high... on arrival prisoners are forced through a corridor of
guards, who beat them from both sides with 30 inch truncheons... prisoners are forced to clean out the communical toilet with their bare hands..."
Truly barbaric!

We hit the cosmic jackpot!

Over at Salon, there is an interesting preview of upcoming book "The Cosmic Jackpot" by physicist/cosmologist Paul Davies who argues that there is a "grand comsic plan" and that the universe is "filled with meaning and purpose". The book focuses on what is called the "anthropic principle", being that the laws of physics are fine-tuned to support life.

Queen of Sheba's temple attacked

The recent terrorist attack in Yemen that killed nine people took place at the Queen of Sheba Temple in the northeast of the country. The temple was built around 3000 years ago. I am not sure of the extent of the damage to the temple yet, but it sure is horrifying news to anyone with an appreciation of Judeo-Christian history. To tie this in with the Scriptures, I've thought I would highlight the following verse:

"The queen of the south will be raised up in the judgment with the men of this generation and will condemn them; because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Sol´o·mon, but, look! something more than ol´o·mon is here." - Luke 11:31 (NWT)

So here is to seeing the Queen of Sheba in the Paradise!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Vatican vs China

The Pope has written a letter to China's governing authorities asking them to respect religious freedom in their country and to investigate re-starting diplomatic ties that were severed in the 1950s.

The Roman Catholic Church doesn't officiacially operate in China, but people who share the faith come under the organisation called the 'Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association' which numbers around four million and appoints its own Bishops. There is estimated to be millions more followers that operate underground and owe allegiance to the Roman Pope.
Source -

Monday, July 2, 2007

World Watch

Here are some of the latest international developments that are of interest:

The latest African Union (AU) summit is discussing the possibility of a "United States of Africa" as a way of improving their status in the world. Source - BBC

Al Qaeda has been alleged to have attempted three attacks in Britain. The first two targeted London and failed, but the third one consisted of a car explosion at Scotland's busiest airpot. Five people have been arrested over the attacks so far. Source - Reuters (