Monday, March 15, 2010

IN THE BIBLE

Throughout time, man's unquenchable thirst for knowledge and wisdom has led him to unending quests, reading thousands of books and treatises, digging archaeological sites, exploring the depths of the oceans and sending spacecrafts into the cosmos. Most often than not, they overlook and many even ignore the greatest collection of knowledge and wisdom of all times – past, present and future – the Bible.
In fact the Bible is the most accurate historical records in man's possession. Interpreted without religious bias, the Holy Scriptures is also a guiding book of infinite wisdom and a viewing window to the future. However, because of man's selfish undoing and, perhaps, ignorance and overeagerness, some facts are overlooked and others are distorted.

THE NAME OF ALMIGHTY GOD
Yahweh is a proposed English reading of יהוה, the name of the God of Israel, as preserved in the original consonantal Hebrew Bible text. These four Hebrew letters (יהוה) are often collectively called the Tetragrammaton (Greek for “four-letter word”), and are usually transliterated JHWH in German, and either YHWH, YHVH, JHWH or JHVH in English.
The name of God was considered by early Hebrews and early Christians as too sacred to be spoken aloud. The Hebrew words Adonai (meaning “My Lord”) and Elohim (“God”) were substituted so that the Scriptures can be read aloud in temples during worship. Later, some translator of the Bible, using the vowels in the word Adonai, and inserting them to the Tetragrammaton transliteration, created the proposed English reading Yahweh and consequently several transcriptions (i.e. Iehouah and Iehovah) leading to the development of the arbitrary and, quite possibly, erroneous name Jehovah.
The only mention of God’s name in phonetic or readable form is found in Proverbs 68:4: “Sing to God, sing praises to His name; extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name Yah, and rejoice before Him.” This was adapted by the King James translators from the original Hebrew text “as is,” while most other Biblical codex and manuscript translations simply read it as “Lord.” The etymology of the word “Hallelujah” or “Halleluiah” was derived from the Hebrew hallelū, meaning “praise,” and Yāh (or the Latinized Jāh).

CREATION OVER EVOLUTION In reality Biblical and scientific facts do not contradict as some scientists and theoreticians would put them. One point of argument is the origin of man.
Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882), an English naturalist, in his works, The Origin of Species on the Basis of Natural Selection (1859) and Descent of Man (1871), "suggest" that man evolved from the ranks of apes, as opposed to spontaneous creation by a Supreme Being stated in the Bible.
As it goes, Darwin's "Theory of Evolution" is truly, merely a theory with no definite, verifiable scientific proof. And those who accept it as a fact are committing a grave scientific error. In recent years, science itself in its own arguments and investigations proved "creation" to be more scientifically logical than "evolution."
The very fundamental complex of life – the genes – reveals that mankind came from a single “Mother Eve” with the same basic genetic composition as that of present-day humans, and not as that of some ape-like anthropoids.
Recent discoveries in the field of biochemistry and genetics have strengthened the facts of creation. In 1987, Rebecca L. Cann of the University of Hawaii (Manoa) announced a revolutionary discovery that portrays all Homo sapiens populations as descendant of a single “Mother Eve.” Working along this line, molecular geneticists Mark Stoneking and his colleagues at the University of California (Berkeley) decided to test the idea that "the question of human origins is ultimately a question of genetics. Their approach to the problem was based on the observation that certain portion of the DNA in the cells of all human being, called mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), is inherited by the mother alone. They discovered a piece of the mitochondrial DNA genetic sequence that was common to all samples taken from different races of people all over the world, which had to have been inherited from a single, common female ancestor of all humans alive today. To emphasize: Human not ape or apelike creature!
These discoveries literally threw Darwin's "Theory of Evolution" in the trashcan. In genetics point of view, because there was no evolution, Biblical “creation” is entirely more scientifically supportable than that of the evolutionary theory. Besides, Darwin's supposedly "missing link" is still missing!
In reality, Darwin doesn’t even have a basic knowledge of genetics; he was unfamiliar with evolutionary or even hereditary science (he is not even familiar with the works of Gregor Mendel), and as such his research resulted into a vague and inaccurate theory. As studies in genetics continue, Darwin’s evolutionary theory about man’s origin is increasingly being regarded as “unscientific.”
The Bible tells us that God created man in his own image. Now for those who believe that their ancestors are apes, that's their own problem!

WHAT ABOUT THE DINOSAURS?When we talk of debates between science buffs in one hand and Biblical defenders on the other hand, this question will most certainly pop up. In my more than 15 years research on the Bible and Biblical manuscripts, I discovered several instances were certain Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek words have no definitve layman’s translation. Since the word “dinosaur" (“terrible lizard”) or any of the names coined for prehistoric creatures have not yet been invented at the time, the scientific part of my mind beckons me to find explanations.
The Hebrew word Liwyathan (found variously in several parts of the Bible: Job 3:8, Job 41, Psalm 74:14, Isaiah 27:1, etc.), for instance, for which the word “leviathan” was derived, really has no real and exact translation. But the narrative “huge reptile with terrible jaws and teeth” gives a clear description of a “dinosaur,” more specifically a Mosasaurus, Tylosaurus or similar prehistoric reptiles. Created by God on the fifth day (Genesis 1:21) before the creation of man and all kinds of animal life, domestic and wild, large and small, on the sixth day. Another similar creature, the Rahab (Job 9:13, 26:12), is described very similar to an Elasmosaurus or Pleisiosaurus. One creature of the Paleozoic Era (210-520 million years ago), the Dinichtys (“terrible fish”) also aptly fit the description in some Biblical translations.
Still another interesting Hebrew word is Behemah (found in Job 40:15), for which the word “behemoth” was derived. In most Bible manuscripts, it represents “large, terrible creatures similar to an ox that eat grass and have a tail like a cedar.” While other scholars shallowly compared the behemoth to a hippopotamus, the description however, is more fitting of a Triceratops, probably the most powerful dinosaur of the Cretaceous Period.

OF THE APPLE AND FIRST SINChildren stories also made us to believe that Adam and Eve committed "sin" in eating the "apple." The Bible tells no such things.
What the Bible tells us is that Eve was “deceived” by the snake in eating “it,” and “it” is the fruit from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Then Eve gave the fruit to Adam and he ate of it. Because of this, their eyes “were opened, and they knew that they were naked....” Sinning and apples were never mentioned. Here some would argue that Adam did sinned using the implicit reference to Adam in Job 31:33. But the original Hebrew text pertained the reference to “other men,” more likely Cain’s inequities, and not to Adam. Another point of reference is Romans 5:12 – “Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it.” However, in the succeeding verses, it was also stated that the Law has not yet been given and so the “sin” was not imputed. Even in the original Hebrew (also in the New Testament Greek transcription), the term given was “disobedience” and not sin. Furthermore: “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, and now knows good and evil. He must not be allowed to take fruit from the tree of life, eat it and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22, c.f. Genesis 3:5). If eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil is a “deadly” sin, why would Bible say that it made man like gods? Clearly it was meant to be metaphorical. The “disobedience” gave them “knowledge” (of good and evil), which all men now have. But since they were not allowed to partake of the fruit of the tree of life, they and all their descendants were not granted immortality. Otherwise, if Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of life and not of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, what would become of them?
To continue, Adam and Eve were given additional "labors," and not punishments. The “snake” (the representation of the devil) was the one punished. After Adam and Eve were enlightened by the fruit they ate, "God clothed them before sending them out of Eden" (Genesis 3:1-24). In the first place, being the first man and woman, they are in the process of learning, and they did have the legacy of the freedom to choose. God did not intend for His creation to become a race of mindless robots. Indeed, it was meant to be. Immortality, again in a metaphorical sense, now lies in mankind’s "knowledge" to discern good from evil, which we are further enlightened through the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

WHERE IS EDEN?The physical location of the Garden of Eden has long been the subject of scholarly investigation by both the scientific and religious communities.
"And the Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden... And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pishon; that flows around the land of Havilah, where pure gold is found; and also rare perfumes and precious stones. And the name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the country of Cush (Mesopotamia, Sudan and Ethiopia?). And the name of the third river is Hiddekel (Tigris); which flows east of Assyria (Iraq and Syria?). And the fourth river is Euphrates" (Genesis 2:8-14).
Many scholars believe that the garden was located in Sumer, at the confluence of Euphrates and Tigris rivers which have since disappeared. Archaeological findings reveal that the oldest known civilization on earth originated in this vicinity. Others believe that it is somewhere in the mysterious northland of Armenia in present-day Turkey. They reason that if the four rivers flowed out of the garden, then the location would be from the origin of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

THE CONSTRUCTION OF NOAH'S ARK
The blueprint for the construction of the Noah’s Ark came from God Himself. While the dimensions of the ship are still debatable because of the uncertainty of the length of the cubit (most scholars accept it as equal to 1.5 feet), the measure used in the Biblical account, scholars maintain that the ship's length of 300 cubits, width of 50 cubits and height of 30 cubits can be translated to mean 450 by 75 by 45 feet. This is about the size of 20 modern-day standard basketball courts.
The specifications mentioned in the Book of Genesis speak of a box-like construction. What about the hydrodynamics of the Ark? Can it really survive the cataclysmic upheaval of the Great Deluge? The answer is a definite yes! The length-to-breadth ratio of six to one (300 to 50 cubits) has great advantage over any other proportions. From the standpoint of stability and rolling, the ratio 6:1 is about as nearly perfect as can be desired. As with regards to buoyancy, there can be no other vessel as buoyant and seaworthy as the Ark.
Whereas Noah's ship ranks as the first of its kind, today's shipbuilders had several thousand years of shipbuilding expertise to rely on, but all the accumulated knowledge they could draw from did not give them a better ratio than that of the Ark. This is a clear evidence of Divine Perfection, of the truth of everything narrated in the Holy Scriptures.

THE GREAT DELUGE
Geological investigations point to the fact that Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, was once upon a time underwater. This is in conformity to the Biblical narrative, “The water became deeper, and the ark drifted on the surface. It became so deep that it covered the highest mountains; it went on rising until it was 15 cubits (22.5 feet) above the top of the mountains” (Genesis 7:18-20).
It has been scientifically estimated that over 75 percent of the earth’s surface is sedimentary in nature, with some areas having more and others less sediments. Tests have shown that while the United States has prodigious sedimentary deposits, centering in California and the Colorado Plateau, the deepest sedimentary deposits (60,000 feet deep) is found in India. It is, however, noted from the layers of silt and clay that the flood duration was between 150 to 200 days, just like what the Holy Scriptures tells us.
The prominent Russian scholar Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1979) had examined the presence of fish in sedimentary rock, and his conclusion fully supported the catastrophe theory: “When a fish dies, its body floats on the surface or sinks to the bottom and is devoured rather quickly, actually in a matter of hours, by other fishes. However, the fossil fish found in sedimentary rock is very often preserved with all its bones intact. Entire shoals of fishes over large areas, numbering billions of specimens, are found in a state of agony, but with no mark of a scavenger’s attack.”
George F. Dodwell, a retired astronomer and former director of the Adelaide Observatory in South Australia, computed in 1960 a secular variation of the obliquity of the ecliptic, which led to an interesting discovery. He found a curve, and after allowing all known changes, discovered a typical exponential curve of recovery of the earth’s axis after a sudden change from a former nearly vertical position to an inclination of 26.5 degrees, from which it was returned to an equilibrium at the present 23.44 degrees, during the interval of the succeeding 3,194 years to A.D. 1850. He computed the time of the change in the earth’s axis at 2345 B.C. His resulting conclusion is none other than the Biblical account of the Flood.
The Chinese character for the word “boat,” when calligraphed piece by piece would translate “vessel of eight mouths.” This clearly described the Ark and the eight people in it: Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. The Shujing (Book of History), also tells of a story about a “great flood” that “reach the heaven” dated around 2348 B.C., just three years off of Dodwell’s calculation. The Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2000 B.C.), an ancient Babylonian story written on 12 cuneiform tablets is said to be quite similar to the accounts of the Noachian Deluge. Indeed over the millennia, approximately 100,000 books in no less than 80 languages have been written about the Flood.

HISTORY AND PREHISTORY
The oldest known man-made relic on Earth was dated to be around 8,000 years old, found at the first Eridu settlement during the Ubaid period in Sumeria. Scientific and historical studies confirmed this to be around 1,500 years pre-Noachian (before Noah and the Great Flood), based on sedimentary formation of the excavated site. This calculation approximates that of Biblical accounts of 1656 years considering there is a 130 years gap before Adam had his third son Seth outside of Eden (Genesis 5:3).
Indeed the time frame from Adam having his third son to the Noachian Deluge, according to Biblical accounts (Genesis 5), is exactly 1,656 years. In fact, if you compute the ages of Adam’s descendants up to the time of the flood, you will find out that the death of Methuselah (the oldest man in the Bible at 769 years old) coincided with the Great Flood. This in a sense is the beginning of man’s history. But there is also such a thing as pre-history. Adam was created on the sixth day; what about before that?
According to the Bible, “God existed before time began” (Psalms 93:2) and “one day and a thousand years is the same to God” (Psalms 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8). I hold on to this as “fact” and not mere conjecture or rhetoric. Allow me, however, to inject my own analysis. Since God, in the beginning, was in the universal void, then the six days mentioned in Genesis constitute six “universal days” and not six Earth days.
In science we know that one complete rotation of the Earth on its axis equals one Earth day; one complete revolution of the Earth around the Sun is equivalent to one Earth year. But everything in the universe is moving. The Milky Way, the galaxy to which our Solar System belongs is about 100,000 light years in diameter. The Earth, the Sun; the entire Solar System lies at the outer rim of the Milky Way. Nobody has yet been able to compute the exact time it would take the Solar System to have a complete revolution around the Milky Way. That’s only for starter.
The cross-sectional distance of the galactic system to which the Milky Way and 30 other known galaxies belong is approximately 5.3 million light years. For the size of the Universe, on the other hand, all the great scientific minds of the world can only speculate its near-infinity – and it’s still expanding! Science itself admits that only five percent of the Universe is known and this reality is written in the Bible (Job 9:7-10, 11:7-8).
The oldest known mineral on Earth – Zircon – was measured to be around 4.4 billion years old. Most scientists place the age of the Universe to be around 13.7 billion years old. Having known the aforementioned parameters, let us go back to the Bible. In Verse 1 of Genesis 1, “God created the Universe,” and in Verse 2, the Earth was mentioned as “still formless and desolate.” Base on science, the two verses constitute a difference of 9.3 billion years.
Since everything in the Universe is moving away from the point of origin, time duration is therefore relative to every point in the expanding universal sphere. It is, however, given that in the initial moment of Creation, the so-called “Big Bang” in science, the energy released was so powerful that everything traveled so far away, as such time carries an exponential duration. That’s Verse 1 of Genesis!
When the Earth was set in place (“still formless and desolate” – Verse 2) around 4.4 billion years ago, simultaneously creating light everywhere as a consequence of nuclear formation (Verse 3-4). Thereafter the energy of Creation began to subside;the ozone layer began to form above the Earth (around two billion years ago); gravity became a force that separate one heavenly body after another from the great void of space (Verse 6-8). The expansion slows down and so does time duration for each particle of space. The Earth began to form; “land is separated from the sea" (Verse 9-10). According to science, the supercontinents began to break up some 600 to 800 million years ago. As the Earth started to clear up from the geologic chaos, plants appeared before any animals on Earth. The Bible tells the same account (Verse 11-13). The expansion continues to slow down, and the orbits of the moons and the planets developed; the Solar System is in its final constitution (Verse 14-19, c.f. Psalms 74:16-17). The Paleozoic and Mesozoic Eras (120-520 million years ago) heralded the coming of Earth’s first animals, great and huge – the prehistoric creatures: Trilobites and dinosaurs. The Bible also tells the same things, which understandably may not be quite specific, but still incredibly relevant (Verse 20-23). Then God created all the kinds of animals, domestic and wild, that we know today (Verse 24-25).
Finally, the advent of Man, which was created in God’s image (Verse 26-30). Note that this part of Earth’s chronology (and anthropology) is the subject of tremendous debates: How long ago was the advent of the first human beings on Earth? Again if we talk of apes or ape-like anthropoids, there’s no arguments – the estimate of 60 million years ago is just about right. But if we talk of humans, then the arguments start. Remember that even science does not have an exact duration of time for Earth’s specific prehistory. It is, however, quite clear that the timeline is correct in the Biblical perspective.
Now, let us get back to the slowing down of the universal “genesis.” In the Bible, the advent of man is between the completion of the sixth day and the beginning of the seventh day. Considering there has yet a fixed time duration, it could be from between 10,000 to 200,000 year ago. While Adam’s age was given in Genesis, it was base on time constituted after the seventh day.
The creation of the universe according to the Bible was completed by the end of the sixth day. “By the seventh day God finished what he had been doing and stopped working. He rested and declared the day as holy...” (Genesis 2:1-4). As a consequence of the completion of the universe, time now becomes a fixed standard unit of measure, no longer a variable based on universal expansion. The time when Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden approximates the time of the earliest settlement in Sumeria, around 8,000 years agp. The Bible, science, archaeology and history point to the same specific time and place.

A MISSING DAY
A few years ago, a space scientist, Harold Mills of Maryland, U.S.A. and his companion in the space program discovered through computer analysis that the earth "lacks a day of rotation." This means the earth somehow "stops moving" for one whole day.
Reviewing the Bible: "On the day that the Lord gave the men of Israel victory over the Amorites, Joshua spoke to the Lord. In the presence of the Israelites he said: 'Sun, stand still over Gideon; Moon, stop over Ajalon Valley.' The sun stood still and the moon did not move until the nation had conquered its enemies. This is written in The Book of Jashar. The sun stood still in the middle of the sky and did not go down for a whole day. Never before, and never since, has there been a day like it, when the Lord obeyed a human being. The Lord fought on Israel's side!" (Joshua 10:12-14).
For the sun and the moon to stop moving, the Earth would have to stop moving, since it revolves around the sun on a fixed orbit. So, the earth did stop for one whole day and that was written in the Book of Joshua thousands of year ago!

THE SIN OF IDOL MAKING
The Second Commandment states: "Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow down to an idol or worship it, because I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generations. But I show my love to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my laws" (Exodus 20:4-6, Deuteronomy 5:8-10).
Throughout history, however, man have worshipped idols and adorned their churches with earthen images of "saints" and supposedly "divine" figures. Alleged "miracles" were even attributed to these icons. It became a religious fanatical tradition. Many times in the Bible, God warned his people against making and worshiping idols (Leviticus 19:4, Deuteronomy 4:15-19) and punished them for their idolatries but these unholy practices continued up to this day. In Isaiah 44:9-20, God clearly rebuked idolatry and in Chapter 10 of the Book of Jeremiah, the words against idolatry are clearly given by God. In Romans 1:22-23: “They say they are wise, but they are fools; instead of worshipping the Immortal God, they worship images made to look like mortal man...”
Again in Psalms 135:15-18 God said: “Their idols are made of silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, and eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, they are not even able to breathe. May all those who made them and trust in them, become like their lifeless works.”
Today, there are religions throughout the world, "Christians" and otherwise, that produce and use icons, scapulars, crucifixes, carved, molded and painted statues and images, worshipping them blindly, even kissing their feet and adorning them with gifts, flowers and candles forgetting that the True and Living God hates those things (Deuteronomy 4:25).

IT IS NOT DELILAH"In the Bible, 1,000 years B.C., there's a story of ancient history..." – so goes an old song by Neil Sedaka. The song relates, in melodic humorous adulteration, the story of Samson. Most of us, sad to say, do not really know the story of Samson.
For a start, do you know who is Samson's father? His name is Manoah and he is from the tribe of Dan. His wife has never been able to bear a child until the Lord's angels said to her one day that she'd soon be pregnant and instructed her not to drink wine or eat unclean food, and when the boy is born, his hair must not be cut, because from the day of his birth he would be dedicated to God as a Nazirite. He would be the one to rescue Israel from the Philistines.
In children stories, Delilah supposedly cut Samson's hair that made him weak. This is a fallacy. Delilah was promised by the five kings of Philistines that each of them would give eleven hundred pieces of silver if she could trick Samson into telling her the secret of his strength and in the process capturing him. She persistently asked Samson the secret, imploring his love for her. But our hero also constantly told her something else until one day he got so sick and tired of her bothering him about it that he finally told her the truth about his hair.
Delilah then lulled Samson to sleep in her lap and then "called a man, who cut off Samson's seven locks of hair. Then she began to torment him for he had lost his strength" (Judges 16:19).

WHOSE WEARING THE WRONG CLOTHES
In the Bible, "Women are not to wear men's clothing, and men are not to wear women's clothing; the Lord your God hates people who do such things" (Deuteronomy 22:5).
During the early times, and even in some parts of the Middle East and Asia today, however, the men were the ones wearing dresses, gowns, robes and skirts, and the women wore pants, jeans and slacks. So whose wearing the wrong clothes at this point in time?

UNDERSEA MOUNTAINS
Before science was able to see the existence of mountains and ranges under the oceans, these have already been described in the Bible, in one of King David's songs (II Samuel 22:16).
Undersea travel, on the other hand, was first described by the Prophet Jonah (c. 850 B.C.). In the Bible, Jonah was swallowed by a large fish and he remained in its stomach for three days and nights. "...The water came upon me and choked me; the sea covered me completely, and seaweeds wrapped around my head. I went down to the very roots of the mountains, into the land whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O lord my God, brought me back from the depths alive..." (Jonah 2:5-6).
The first submarine that successfully explored the ocean depths was invented only in 1887, almost 2,800 years after Jonah's underwater odyssey.

CIRCULAR EARTH
Eratosthenes (c. 276-196 B.C.), a Greek scholar, greatly influenced by the observation of Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), measured the circumference of the Earth and proposed that the Earth was round. During his time, people believed that the Earth was flat. Those who think otherwise were accused of heresy, and the likes of Eratosthenes and Galileo were not spared from this "inquisition." In fact it was only in 1993, after 13 years of study and re-evaluation by the Vatican, that Pope John Paul II declared that the Catholic Church was wrong to condemn Galileo. The pope said that Galileo’s condemnation had resulted from “tragic mutual incomprehension.”
In the Bible: "It is he who sits above the circle of the earth..."(Isaiah 40:22). The Earth is circular or nearly circular in shape known already to the Prophet Isaiah (c. 800 B.C.), more than 500 years before the birth of Eratosthenes; more than two millennia before the discoveries of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642); long, long before Ferdinand Magellan ship's completed the first circumnavigation of the world in 1522; and almost 3,000 years before Yuri Gagarin (b. 1934) of Russia became the first man in space to witness the Earth's round form.


THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE
Like in Isaiah 40:32, the circular form of the Earth was also mentioned in Job 26:10. The description also pertains to an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth opposite the Prime Meridian where the date changes as one travels east or west across it, roughly along the 180º, corresponding to the time zone boundary separating -12 and +12 hours (day and night) – This is the International Dateline. Bildad, one of Job’s friends, described it quite aptly: “He drew a circular horizon on the face of the sea. At the boundary of light and darkness.”

THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY
It is known historically and Biblically (as told in the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah) as “The Babylonian Captivity.”
In 586 B.C., the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 B.C.) destroyed Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar II is remembered as the builder of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the king who carried off the Jews into their Babylonian captivity (587-586 B.C.). This was prophesied by Jeremiah more than 10 years before it happened. The Jews remained in Babylon under the Medo-Persian Empire until 538 B.C. and there began to speak Aramaic. The Book of Daniel, from which the history of the Jews in exile was told, is mostly written in Aramaic.

HANGING IN EMPTY SPACEWe know that the Earth, the planet in which we live is continuously moving in space seemingly hanging in its boundless void held in balance and order by a mysterious force.
Isaac Newton (1642-1727), an English scientist and mathematician, uncovered this phenomenon and termed his concept as the "Theory of Universal Gravitation." But more than 2,400 years before Newton even start to understand the principle of the "falling apple," the Bible had already recorded the fact: "God stretched out the northern sky and hung the earth in empty space" (Job 26:7).
It is also worth mentioning that in the next verse: “He binds up the water in His thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it.” (c.f. Job 38:34). How fascinating indeed that the clouds are full of water and yet does not fall to earth.

WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE AND BURIED IN ROME?
The answer is a definite “No” to both questions. Simon (Peter), the "Prince of the Apostles” was the son of Jona and a native of Bethsaida in Galilee. Christ gave him the name Cephas (Peter), the rock to which He will build his church (Matthew 16:18, John 1:42). There are many controversies surrounding the apostle Simon Peter, especially regarding his death and burial place. Some biblical historians have mistaken another man, Simon Magus (described by the Samaritans as a sorcerer that is "the great power of God" and was rebuked by Simon Peter – Acts 8:9-24) to be Peter, and that his body was buried in Vaticanus (beneath today’s Basilica of St. Peter in Rome), which was a pagan cemetery during those times, and which is very much against the early Christian traditions.
In the 15th century, the Roman emperor Constantine erected a church in the said burial ground, and it has been a traditional belief that Peter was indeed buried there. To this day, the Roman Catholic Church says that the tomb of Saint Peter is under the altar of the Basilica in Rome. "Only, the actual vault itself in which the body lies is no longer accessible and has not been so since the ninth century." There are those, however, who think that it would not be impossible to find the entrance and to reopen it once more. A unanimous request that this should be done was made to Pope Leo XIII by the International Archaeological Congress in 1900, but so far, without result.
In 1957, British archaeologists Jocelyn Toynbee and John Ward Perkins concluded in their painstaking investigation that there is no definite proof that Peter’s remains was buried under the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome as was claimed by Pope Pius XII in his 1950 Christmas message.
On the other hand, there are archaeological proofs and documentations that Simon Peter’s burial place was in Jerusalem, near the Mount of Olives. The 1958 book Gli Scavi del Dominus Flevit, documented that an ossuary was found beneath a monastery in the Jerusalem site called Dominus Flevit with an Aramaic inscription that read Simon Bar-Jona, a named mentioned by Christ in Matthew 16:17. The book was written by P. B. Bagatti and J. T. Milik, both Roman Catholic priests.
Another book, Peter’s Tomb Recently Discovered In Jerusalem, written under the name F. Paul Peterson also detailed the circumstances and evidences underlying the fact that the Apostle Peter was indeed buried in Jerusalem and not in Rome.
There are also those who ascribed him as the first pope because he was allegedly martyred and again buried (again) in Rome, but this is not the universally accepted fact. Many Biblical scholars dispute the fact of Peter’s alleged presence in Rome during the prescribed time (A.D 41 to 66), much more he’s burial in a pagan site like Vaticanus. In fact the Bible itself disputes this claim:
According to the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, Peter was in Joppa and then to Caesarea (Palestines), ministering unto the household of Cornelius (Acts 10, historically around A.D. 42 to 43), was imprisoned by King Herod (Agrippa I) in Jerusalem (Acts 12), and was preaching in Jerusalem (Acts 13, A.D. 46-52). In the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, Paul mentioned his return to Jerusalem after 14 years (A.D. 61) where he met Peter and the other disciples, and soon after that met Peter again in Antioch (Turkey), where he "withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed," (Galatians 2:11) and said to Peter, "If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?" (Galatians 2:14, around A.D. 65 onward).

THE HEAD OF THE APOSTOLIC CHURCHContrary to popular belief, Peter (Cephas) was not the head of the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem, but James. In fact, James was the first patriarch of Jerusalem, who presided over and gave judgment to the arguments between Paul and Peter regarding “concerns over whether Gentile Christians need be circumcised to be saved” (Acts 15:1-21); hence he is sometimes called James the Just. His name means “Holder of the Heel.”

THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST
The Book of Revelation "reveals" to us many symbolic figures, and one such figure is that of the anti-Christ – the beast.
"...on his head was a name that was insulting to God" (Revelation 13:1). On the tiara which Popes wear are inscribed the following: VICARIVS FILII DEI. Literally it means the "substitute of the Son of God." Indeed, these words are blasphemous – for no one can substitute His place.
The Bible gave the following challenge: "Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666" (Revelation 13:18).
Now consider this mathematical "revelation": Transform or assume the letters, VICARIVS FILII DEI to be Roman Numerals, get their Arabic equivalent and add them. Those without equivalent are considered 0. That is:
There are many who claimed to have discovered this “revelation.” It is found in the writings of many different religious denominations including the Seven Day Adventist, the World Church of God, the Iglesia ni Cristo, the Rizalistas, and even Catholics. In fact, it may have been in the memoirs of Don Mariano San Pedro y Esteban, a 19th century Spanish trader and traveler and nephew of Queen Isabella II (1830-1904), who himself was a devout follower of Saint James, where it was first uncovered. According to his diaries, it was during his visit to Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) where he first saw the inscription in the pope’s tiara.
In 1939, Eugenio Pacelli was crowned as Pope Pius XII with a tiara having such inscription. It is also noteworthy to mention that both Pope John Paul I (who died mysteriously) and Pope John Paul II (there are those who also questioned the cause of his death) refused to wear the tiara with the inscribed blasphemous phrase.

"Read your Bible now, by the chapters and not by a few verses, and learn while you still have time. Learn the wisdom by yourself and never depend upon the thoughts of other people. It is God who will teach you if you indeed seek to be taught."




THE END
This is a secret that I cannot reveal!

NOTE: This is just a part of what I called my enlightening "Biblical Adventure." I have a lot more discoveries and I will continuously update this blog as time goes by.