An Explanation

I am not giving up the Christian faith, what God has taught me nor am I going to completely walk away. I am taking a sabbatical for several reasons.

#1. I need knee surgery

#2. I need to rest

#3. I do not want to repeat myself too much

#4. I need to take care of some personal matters

#5. I hope to get out from behind the keyboard and do some in person speaking.

I have been very fulfilled in doing this written work but I do not like one-way conversations and little feedback. I appreciate all the likes some of my regular readers provided throughout the years but they have all gone now and I wonder if I am doing any good any more. There are approx. 1,000 posts of reading material here so take your time reading and enjoy, learn and grow in Christ.

I will not be back before the new year, and if I get back I hope to provide better commentary and analysis. Quality, spirituality, being biblical is very important to me but you should have enough information to guide you through the trials of the faith and enough aid to spot false teachers when you encounter those who bring a different gospel.

Continue to feel free to comment, like or re-blog what you read here just give credit to this website. I will always get notice of when something needs approval and will try to stay current though it will be difficult if I am in the hospital.

Thanks for reading.

Some Final Words

#1. Stick With God

The tragedy could have easily driven the Robertsons from the church. But instead of breaking with evangelicalism — as many parents in similar circumstances have done — the couple is taking a different approach, and they’re inspiring other Christians with gay children to do the same. They are staying in the church and, in protesting what they see as the demonization of their sons and daughters, presenting a new challenge to Christian leaders trying to hold off growing acceptance of same-sex relationships.

Individual churches may be misguided on how to handle the ‘coming out’ of children of church members but that is no excuse to protest biblical teaching and work to get sin into the church. It is not an easy thing to do for parents but they must side with God instead of allowing their children to lead them astray from God’s truth about homosexuality and where it belongs.

When their 12-year-old son Ryan said he was gay, they told him they loved him, but he had to change. He entered “reparative therapy,” met regularly with his pastor and immersed himself in Bible study and his church youth group. After six years, nothing changed. A despondent Ryan cut off from his parents and his faith, started taking drugs and in 2009, died of an overdose.

Not every program will work. There will be failures and that is for a number of reasons.  I am not going to recommend any therapy here as I have only met one person who has said that they were successful in being redeemed from their homosexuality. I have met many who didn’t even bother to change but went to their own church in hopes that the Bible is wrong. The key is that parents need to make a hard decision–stick with God and treat their children as God leads or go with the children and disobey God. BUT do not blame the church if things do not work out.

Now we realize we were so wrongly taught,” said Rob Robertson, a firefighter for more than 30 years who lives in Redmond, Washington. “It’s a horrible, horrible mistake the church has made.”

Is the church wrong because their child died or because it was using misguided strategies and applications of scripture? Just to say that the church is wrong is not enough and more of an emotionally get even way of thinking. Churches are not perfect but then Jesus’ commands make finding the truth an individual responsibility not one that is given solely to the church. If a strategy is not working then it is up to the parents to follow god’s leading to what will or what will keep them in the kingdom.

Parents don’t have anyone on their journey to reconcile their faith and their love for their child,” said Linda Robertson, who with Rob attends a nondenominational evangelical church. “They either reject their child and hold onto their faith, or they reject their faith and hold onto their child. Rob and I think you can do both: be fully affirming of your faith and fully hold onto your child.”

That depends if the thinking is biblically based and in line with biblical teaching. This won’t work if it is allowing people to disobey God in the process. You do not have to kick the homosexual child out of the home but you cannot accept his sin or practice of it as a legitimate Christian practice. Christians need to remember the lesson God taught us all through his test of Abraham– do you love your child more than you love God? This lesson doesn’t mean you sacrifice your child and send them from your presence but it is testing you on your love for God and his ways seeing if you put God above your child.

In other words, are you going to reject God and his ways in order to accept the sinful child and his sinful ways?

We do not do things to look spiritual, we become spiritual by correctly obeying God and his word.

Kathy Baldock, a Christian who advocates for gay acceptance through her website, said evangelical parents are speaking out more because of the example set by their children. Gay and lesbian Christians have increasingly been making the argument they can be attracted to people of the same gender and remain faithful to God, whether that means staying celibate or having a committed same-sex relationship

And the parents would be wrong and falling for false teaching. You can’t be staying faithful to God by practicing sin and throwing it in his face.

There are going to be many opinions out there telling you what to do–follow God’s leading to the truth and take the correct action and stay in line with God and his word.

#2. The Ancients Were Smarter Than You Think

The clock-like assembly of bronze gears and displays was likely used to accurately predict lunar and solar eclipses, as well as solar, lunar, and planetary positions. It also tracked the dates of the Olympic Games. It wasn’t programmable in the modern sense, but some refer to it as the first analog computer. Whatever its purpose, nothing like it would appear for another 1,000 years; it’s truly an object out of time.


This is kind of insane because it means the mechanism was already very old when the ship carrying it sunk sometime between 85 and 60 BC. It also suggests that the connection to Archimedes is very unlikely.

Just an update on the Greek computer to remind everyone to make their own decisions about the past and not rely upon the experts but look to God to lead you to the truth.

#3. It Only Takes 1

The pastor of a Houston, Texas, church reportedly refused to host the funeral of a 93-year-old woman who had been a member of his congregation for 50 years because she was not current with her tithing to the church.

To ruin the reputation of Christians and the church. Or to raise stumbling blocks in unbelievers which then makes their work far tougher than it should be.

Jacques said Houston told him: “I am not changing my bylaws for someone who was not active

Here is a mistake made by many pastors. It isn’t his bylaws and it isn’t his church. The church belongs to God and the pastor is merely the steward of the congregation. But far too many pastors take unauthorized ownership of God’s church creating problems that should not exist  nor hurt the church. Pastors need the right attitude before taking over the leadership of a local congregation. It is God’s kingdom, God’s church thus it is God’s rules that reign over them.

#4. Evolutionists Have A Bad Attitude

But Cameron and his consociate, Ray Comfort, aren’t exactly abnormal when it comes to creationism. Sure, they may be a slightly more clamorous duo, but their lack of understanding about the process is shared by a large chunk of the population. The problem is, of course, that this cross section of people has it wrong.

The evidence for Evolution is undeniable, and anyone who disagrees simply doesn’t understand that evidence. Yet, idiotic notions like a 6000 year old earth have managed to find a sort of cultural protection under the umbrella of intellectual freedom. People seem to think that their opinions about reality should have some influence on the way we perceive the facts about existence, but this a self-important, absurd way to think.

So, as a public service, the Crocoduck aims to dismantle this umbrella of intellectual freedom through the only tool we know how to use: ridicule.

The evolutionist cannot share the realm of intellectual freedom with others even though it is not theirs to control or mandate who gets to use it. ‘Evidence for evolution’ is deniable because the process of evolution does not exist. It is a lie. Christians do understand the evidence because there is none supporting evolution but you have a hard time convincing evolutionists of that fact. You can see that nothing of God is in evolution for its supporters ignore and fail to practice God’s ways in opposing those who disagree with them.

#5. Another Christian Story Mishandled By Hollywood

Ridley Scott’s latest film “Exodus: Gods and Men” starring Christian Bale is headed to theaters on Dec. 12, but an exclusive clip offers an early look at the pivotal role of Moses on Wednesday.

Bale, who is best known for his roles in “American Psycho” and “Batman,” takes on the part of Moses with an impassioned concentration that harkens back to his aforementioned films. In a clip exclusively released to The Christian Post, the Oscar-winning actor’s Moses confronts Pharaoh Ramses, portrayed by Joel Edgerton.

Moses was said to be the meekest man alive– Numbers 12:3

Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.

It would be nice if Hollywood portrayed the man correctly instead of making him out to be some comical action figure.

#6. There Is A Thing Called Privacy

Many criticized Good, wondering why she would pose for such photos and send them to her husband, a well-known pastor. The couple stayed relatively quiet on the topic, but Franklin spoke about the situation with The Christian Post this week.

I have no problem with a wife or husband posing for such pictures if the pictures are for their spouses, though I wonder why a married couple would need such photos since they can view the real thing in person. What bothers me is the placing of these photos in areas where the wife or husband knows could be hacked or stolen. Also, I question the need to have a third-party photographing the session especially if that third-party is of the opposite sex. We have biblical rules for a reason and God did not write about being modest just to waste our time or spoil our fun.

I really question the judgment and motivations behind such photo sessions.

#7. Just Because You Do Not Like Them

Josh, of course, had to spend the entire video talking about his backwards political views, because in addition to being thankful for his beautiful family, he’s also thankful for oppressive new laws on abortion and that a good few politicians that support his ignorant views were elected into office. Lovely, right? No, no it’s not. It’s actually kind of disgusting. It’s like he’s using his adorable babies and a nice holiday to fool us all into listening to his ignorance. And really, how much lower could you get?

Does it mean you get to trash them publicly or insult them.  Even though everyone has an opinion on different topics does it mean we should express those opinions in ways that degrade others and make ourselves look like angry, jealous fools. Whether you like or dislike someone, there are correct and proper rules to use to guide one’s expression of their opinion. This is not one such example.

#8. This Is Another Bad Example

Kirk Cameron responded to low ratings of his latest film, “Saving Christmas,” by ‘blasting haters and atheists’ on Friday.

If the movie, acting and thinking is bad don’t blame the viewers, blame yourselves and try to do a better job next time after seeing where you may have went wrong. learn to properly turn the other cheek, be humble, be christian but do not sin in your response to those who did not like your work. I’ve only read about it and I don’t like it so I guess I am a hater.

#9. Conspiracy Theories

When Benedict XVI stunned Catholics by announcing that he would become the first pope in six centuries to resign, it immediately raised concerns — which were dismissed just as quickly — that an ex-pope around could undermine the legitimacy of the new pontiff.

Now, nearly two years later, those fears are emerging again, fueled by the growing discontent of conservative Catholics with Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis, and by Benedict’s presence, if not quite as a player, in church debates Francis has sparked.

Just a reminder conspiracy theories depend upon fear, irrational thinking and no real evidence. The above link is just an example only as I do not share in the conspiracy thoughts of the RCC. I am more concerned about the lack of real investigation, the lack of real evidence, the lack of honesty, and justice and so on carried out by the Christian church and its members on their own people and those outside of the Church. We need to be biblical at all times, coupled with compassion, wisdom, understanding and so on.

The Christian church and people must set the right example because no one else will. The unsaved people see God via the words and actions of his followers so strive to get it right. Let Jesus guide you and you follow correctly because more is at stake than who leads a false church. Let’s not do more damage to our Christian members than what has already been done to them by life.



The Spirit Of Truth

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [b]Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you (John 14 NASB)

12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  (John 16 NASB)

Very clear words from jesus about what to expect from our own Christian lives and the believing lives of other Christians. But there are so many who claim to be Christian or some form of believer who do not bring the truth because they refuse to follow the leading of the HS. Whatever reason they have, they alter the Gospel or other biblical books in order to make their ideas sound spiritually correct. S. Jacobovici is another person who brings a ‘different gospel’ to people and we know he doesn’t have the Spirit of Truth because of what he says. His words undo any claim he may make.

#1. I think the reason for all this negativity is that the proof for the historical marriage between Jesus of Nazareth and the woman known as Mary the Magdalene has become overwhelming. Even before our findings, everything — everything — pointed to a marriage, and nothing — nothing — argued for Jesus’ celibacy

He has that backwards. Nothing points to Jesus being married. Any claims to the contrary are read into the biblical passages by those who cannot accept a single man as Savior.

#2. The only thing that continues to argue for Jesus’ celibacy is 2000 years of theological bullying

No, I have not seen any bullying taking place on the part of those defending Christ’s celibacy. of course, defending the truth can be seen as bullying as people place subjective reasoning upon the actions of others and make mountains out of molehills when their beliefs are rejected by believers and the Church.

#3. Rabbis, then as now, are married. If Jesus wasn’t married, someone would have noticed.

There are different definitions to the term Rabbi. One is that a Rabbi is a Jewish leader trained in jewish religious practices or a leader fo a synagogue. Another definition is ‘master or teacher’ thus Jesus wa snot seen as a jewish leader but as a teacher which would dismantle Mr. Jacobovici’s point. His selective use of the definition of the word Rabbi, shows dishonestly in handling of the topic.

#4. As everyone knows, “Paul of Tarsus” came from Tarsus, an area of modern-day Turkey. What people don’t know is that in the Tarsus of Paul’s day they worshipped a god named Attis. Perhaps not coincidentally, Attis was a dying and resurrecting god. He was called “the Good Shepard”, and his earliest depictions show him with a sheep across his shoulders. All these images were later incorporated into the iconography of Paul’s version of Christianity. Put simply, Paul’s Jesus looks a lot like Attis

Now mr. Jacobovici is accusing Paul of lying to his readers and the church without any real evidence. Here is how one source describes Attis:

ATTIS was a Phrygian vegetation god, the consort of the great Mother Kybele (Cybele). He was forced by the goddess to castrate himself in a mad frenzy as punishment for his infidelity. Initiates into the eunuch priesthood of Kybele, called the Gallai, re-enacted the myth with their self-castration.

Attis was closely identified by the Greeks with Iasion, consort of the Great Mother in the Mysteries of Samothrake. His story was also the likely source for the Greek tale of Aphrodite’s love for the youth Ankhises on Mount Ida in the Troad. (

Not quite the same as Paul describes Jesus. There may be some similarities between both Jesus and Attis but those similarities were most likely added after Jesus lived by Attis’ cultic followers who resented the lack of popularity of their religious beliefs and took matters into their own hands by editing their beliefs to match with the truth. If you have read Moses’ and Aaron’s encounters with the Egyptian Pharaoh you would realize that evil copies God not vice versa.

#5. Had Jesus been celibate, Paul would certainly have invoked him as an example when arguing for celibacy. But he doesn’t. Never once does Paul argue that Christians should be celibate, because Jesus was celibate. Not once!

This is not an indication of Jesus’ celibacy. Why would Paul invoke Jesus as an example when both Paul and the rest of the Bible teach that it is okay for people to marry? Mr. Jacobovici misunderstands biblical passages and uses them to his own advantage.

#6. If one looks at the Gospels without Attis-colored Pauline glasses, there are many, many hints that Jesus was married. Specifically, after the Crucifixion, the Gospels agree that it was Mary the Magdalene who went early Sunday morning to wash and anoint Jesus’ crucified body (Mark 16:1). People have the quaint idea that ancient Jews in Jerusalem went around “anointing” each other. They didn’t. What the Gospels are telling us is that Mary the Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb to prepare his body for burial. That’s the Gospels, not me. Then and now, no woman would touch the naked body of a dead Rabbi, unless she was family. Jesus was whipped, beat and crucified. No woman would wash the blood and sweat off his private parts unless she was his wife.

Yet wouldn’t relatives, good friends and followers do so if the person killed was single? Why would they be deprived of the ritual simply because they were not married? According to Mark 16 there were two other women coming along with Mary M to anoint Jesus’ body so why would Mr. Jacobovici assume Mary M was the person washing his private areas? A mother and a sister would handle that part without shame.

#7. Besides the canonical Gospels, there are the so-called “Gnostic” Gospels. The Gnostics — or “wisdom seekers” — were an early branch of Christianity, whose origins we don’t know. What we do know is that they represent the losers in the Christian orthodoxy game.

Mr. Jacobovici does not know what was Christian and what was false teaching.  The Gnostics were not a ‘branch of Christianity’ but a people like alternative believers today who were false teachers and brought a different gospel. There was no orthodoxy game but that is simply a myth perpetuated by some scholars and Mr. Jacobovici.  The alternative books were kept out of the Bible because they had nothing of God in them and their source was from unbelievers or alternative believers.

Those alternative books’ discussion of Jesus and his marriage are just products of those who wanted a different savior not the biblical one. There is no evidence to support their claims nor do those books provide any real evidence to help their cause.

#8. What does archaeology have to say about a married Jesus?

Nothing. That is the short answer but Mr. Jacobovici raises the issue of the Talpiot tombs and states that they support a married Jesus. They do no such thing and any marital ideas are read into the ossuaries discovered there. The arguments against Mr. Jacobovici and Dr. Tabor’s ideas about what these ossuaries and tombs represent have been legitimately and credibly proven wrong. Dr. Tabor in a lecture discussing the names on the ossuaries plainly stated that he did not know what to do with the one labeled Matthew for that name did not belong to a Jesus family member.

Aside from this terrible example of eisegesis, there is no archaeological evidence showing that Jesus ever married. Any such claims come from people outside of the faith and brings no real evidence to support their contention. The translation stretch of the word Mariamene is just that a very large stretch which does not hold up under examination. (Just look up the Talpiot Tombs, Mariamene, Jesus Married and you will get enough arguments in rebuttal to see how far off the mark Mr. Jacobovici is)

#9. So what happened with this paradigm-shifting discovery? Nothing! Between 1980 and 1996 no archaeologists even reported the find. It took my 2007 documentary, The Last Tomb of Jesus, and my co-authored book, The Jesus Family Tomb to propel the find onto the headlines. And what was the world’s reaction? Again, nothing

The reason there was no real reaction is because both Mr. Jacobovici and Dr. Tabor are wrong.

#10. This brings us to our “Lost Gospel”. It appears to be a sixth-century Syriac (Christian Aramaic) text that is a translation of an earlier Greek text (fourth or second century) that Prof. Barrie Wilson and I believe preserves a first-century tradition. The text, in the rare manuscript section of the British Library for the past 160 years, is ostensibly about the biblical Joseph, of multi-colored coat fame, and his obscure wife Aseneth. But in the Syriac community from which this Gospel emerged, “Joseph” was a stand-in for Jesus, and Aseneth, “had many children by the Crucified” (Hymn 21 of Ephrem the Syrian). Clearly, we are dealing with a very thinly encoded text, concealing a Gospel that would otherwise have been destined for the bonfire.

You can see the big leap to a conclusion that Mr. Jacobovici makes here. it is the ‘I believe’ and the ‘Bible code’ cards being played together. Neither have any real value as they both lack the right evidence to support their claims. There is no real evidence that this tale is a first century story. There is also no ancient ms. informing us that the Bible was coded with special key words to hide the real truth from the enemies of the Bible then preserving it for the elite of Jesus’ followers. The ‘Lost Gospel’ is just another ancient fantasy tale much like the many we get today. It has no special biblical significance and since it was not written by someone who was an apostle or knew one, we can easily dismiss it words.

#11. But for me, the most important revelation in this long ignored manuscript has to do with a foiled plot on Jesus and Mary the Magdalene’s lives, about 13 years before the crucifixion. If our historical sleuthing is correct, this text is a Gospel before the Gospels and we can finally return Jesus to the historical context from which Paul removed him.

The problem for mr. Jacobovici is that he has no authority from God to do so . If he did we would all know it. he is just another person void of the SPirit of Truth spinning yet another yarn about Jesus and using some obscure ancient document to do so. If the Biblical Gospels were not correct, wouldn’t Jesus already have told us instead of waiting for some filmmaker to discover some hidden truth locked away in a museum after being passed over by more qualified people?

Also, wouldn’t the Dead Sea Scrolls have a copy of this story in its library? They have all but 1 biblical book so why would this one be absent? We know the missing book is Esther so no argument can be made that this scroll was rejected or overlooked by the Essenes. There is no real textual history lending any sort of legitimacy to this ancient scroll. We have a credible and legitimate textual history for every book in the Bible so why would this gospel, if true, be left out of that real record?

Having the Spirit of Truth in us means that we can spot a phony believer or story and take the appropriate action. We learn how to ask the right questions to get the right information to aid our judgment. we do not just blindly accept what someone says simply because they claim to be a Christian, a follower of God or talking about biblical or church history. Working with the Spirit of Truth means we are not unaware but do our spiritual homework so that we are not led astray and miss out on heaven.

Alternative believers, scholars & Mr. Jacobovici use key Christian words to confuse the true believer. Words like ‘Gospel’  but in reality we know there are only 4 books bringing us the good news. The alternative books categorized as gospels by those scholars, etc., are not bringing any good news at all. They are containing elements contrary to biblical teaching and do not present us with the truth. Following the Spirit of Truth’s guidance, we can recognize their error and stay away from them.

The supposed Gnostic Gospels are really false teaching and only use Jesus as a hook to trap unwary people. It is the same explanation for cults whose religious figures and writings include similarities to Jesus. They want to trap and deceive people not bring them to salvation. There was no marriage of Jesus to Mary M. despite what false teachers and alternative believers may claim.


Another List

The owner of Formerly Fundie has produced his own list for Thanksgiving and supposed Christian action. The list is his subjective opinion on what Christians should be doing and not one item is founded in scripture The bolding will be his.

1. The timing of “Black Friday” couldn’t be more ironic if we wanted it to be.

I do not know what is ‘ironic’ about Black Friday being on a Friday. And are people really reverting to a different personality because they want to try to save some money? being a good steward is a Christian teaching whereas the Thanksgiving holiday is not.

The day after we supposedly pause to be grateful for what we have, we revert to alternate personalitie

We can and are to be thankful everyday for what we have. Thankfulness is not limited to a human created holiday. Does that mean when we go shopping for savings throughout the year we have adopted different personalities because we are not grateful or thankful at those times?

always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father (Eph. 5:20 NASB)

2. We are called to be people who are different than the world around us.

So believers are not allowed to shop nor allowed to save money by going to sales? Are we to stop driving our cars, taking the subway or working as well?

The word “holy” means “different” or “set apart,” and as Christians, we’re called to be a testimony to a God who is different than anything in all creation, by living differently than everything else in all creation

Being holy usually means ‘not sinning’ not ‘not shopping’. Here is one dictionary’s definition of the word:

Living or undertaken with highly moral or spiritual purpose; saintly.(;_ylt=A0SO80t2gnZUWb8AgPtXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0MHY4aDVtBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2dxMQR2dGlkA1NNRTI4OF8x?p=holy&.sep=)

I did not find his definitions anywhere I looked.

3. Our Black Friday behavior might be greed, and greed is the second most condemned sin in all of scripture.

It might be or it might be pure motives as well as many people shop to help others, their own families or just have fun. Why paint everyone with the same brush then condemn them for something they are not doing?

Greed is simply defined by the “selfish and excessive desire for more,” and sadly, this is a very accurate way to describe the bulk of American culture. Unfortunately, this selfish desire to always have more is something the bible calls idolatry

Really? I have never seen the practice of ‘idolatry’ linked to one of the deadly sins called ‘greed’.  Idolatry is worshipping a false god while greed is a desire to possess as much as possible and usually implies a monetary desire. I do not know where that author is getting his definitions but it seems he is applying a more personal preference to the words he defines instead of a biblical correct definition. You can double-check the meanings as I have done.

4. The Bible teaches that whatever possessions we own should be modest

I guess he really means ‘inexpensive’ as the Bible verse he uses doesn’t seem to address the issue he says it does

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, [a]modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. (1 Tim. 2 NASB)

Christians should be the people who are content, not the people need to have the biggest and best wide-screen television.

Yes we should be content but that doesn’t mean we are not allowed to shop for sale items on Black Friday.  Maybe a television set is broken or some other household item needs replacing are we not content when we go to the sales to find legitimate replacements? Does his idea of contentment mean we have to pay top dollar for everything we buy?

5. Remember, you won’t be taking any of the stuff you buy with you.

So, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? So we are to pay top dollar because we are going to leave it all behind anyways? That just doesn’t make sense.

1 Timothy 6 warns us against the pursuit of “things” and reminds us of the ultimate truth

The problem I have with a lot or people is that they abuse scripture in order to force their personal and subjective preferences on others. According to his logic, we can’t save money because we are pursuing something even though we may not be pursuing anything but want to save some money because of biblical teaching.  The generalities and assumptions that author uses is defeating his point of view and shows him to be more of a jealous whiner than a spiritually based believer who is actually concerned about the spiritual status of his fellow-man.

Making people guilty of charges they are not committing is as wrong as violating scripture. That is punishing the innocent for things they did not do and God frowns upon that

I will let you go through that set of verses. Again that author’s logic fails for according to it we cannot buy or rent homes, cars, and other material  possessions we need in order to live correctly.

6. Think about the poor around us who look to us to model the Kingdom of God.

Are they really thinking that or are they thinking about where their next meal is coming from? Guilt trips do not work because it assumes that the people going to these sales have not made provisions for the poor already.

What kind of “Christian” message do we send to the poor when they can barely eat, but we can spend thousands of dollars on Black Friday?

His whining and guilt trips are getting worse. He assumes people are spending thousands of dollars on an event that happens once a year then attacks his own assumption and not the true reality. Sure Christians can do better but to people like that author, better is never enough. He forgets that we are to be good stewards of our money and take care of our own families also. We can be generous to the poor as well as go attend a sales event if for nothing else to see what all the excitement is about. Not every person going to these sales are ignoring the poor

7. Consider the message our Black Friday consumerist behavior might send to our children.

Come on…the children card? How absurd. He assumes that all attendees are teaching their children one thing then doing another. How utterly inappropriate to use that point and say it with a straight face.

Are we teaching our children that life is all about having a lot of “stuff” or are we teaching them that there are a host of more important things in life? Furthermore, when we shower our children with too much “stuff

Again he assumes that parents are only teaching their children one reason for attending these sales. That reason is his assumption. That is very arrogant of him to even consider. Even though some parents fail at this time of year, they will also fail at other times of the year as well. For the same reason he provides above. Black friday is not the source for consumerist teaching. His arguments fail because he is too narrow in his application of his reasons.

8. While we’re out amassing stuff on Black Friday, people around the world will die from causes that you and I could help prevent if we’d spend our money differently.

Really? Now the death card? This is what he considers to be valid reasons for skipping Black Friday sales? How do we know that we will save people from death if we spend out money differently? That is assuming that God has not  placed certain limitations upon people’s existence on earth. Not every one will be saved from death because we do not go to the sales and he is forgetting that a majority of people are not going to these sales and are spending their money differently. Yet people are still dying.

9. Remember the words of Jesus: “wherever your treasure is, there will be your heart also.”

Again, that is assuming that all the people who are attending these sales have their treasure on earth and go to find those treasures.

This principle is easy: the more money you spend on things, the more you love things. The more you spend your money on people, the more you love people.

This is not true as guilt trips do not produce love but resentment. Forced giving does not breed love or treasures but negative feelings towards others and a hatred for the poor. The Bible tells us that God loves a cheerful giver not a giver who is guilted or forced into giving.

10. Jesus never asked us to buy a bunch of crap for his birthday.

First, it is not his birthday; second, we are not buying it for him; third, we are allowed to give gifts to others whether those gifts come from Black Friday sales or that author’s approved sources.

Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Christ

No, christmas is a secular holiday misappropriated by early church heathens who wanted to make Christianity more attractive. We have communion to celebrate the birth of Christ, a biblical supported activity not found in the annals of Christmas lore. There is no biblical teaching to celebrate Christmas.

Loading up on the latest electronics and spending our money on more things for ourselves, is perhaps the most utterly insulting way we could celebrate the birth of someone who lived and taught simplicity and generosity

I wonder what he does with rich biblical people who possessed many things yet were able to maintain their faith and were approved of God? Yes we are not to love the world or the things in it but that doesn’t mean we do not get to own some of those things. We just treat them as God would want and not sin by possessing them.

This year, may we– the people of Jesus– live differently than the world around us. May we reject the need for excess material possessions, may we embrace lives of simplicity and generosity, and may we remember that loving people should always be more important that having more “things.”

His plea lacks any biblical authority, any biblical support and anything else we would consider Christian as his opposition is based upon generalized assumptions not fact, reality or truth. It would be nice if people lived their personal views instead of trying to force them upon others while warping scripture to justify their sinful actions. I am not a ‘sales’ person (even though I like saving money) and see no need for Black Friday sales but that doesn’t mean I have any scriptural authority or justification to force people to adhere to my views.

We are to obey God over man and when we do attend events like Black Friday or even sporting events or some other cultural activity, we do so while obeying God’s word– we do not sin while doing so. For all that author knows, some Christians may use these sales to help the poor obtain something they could not normally buy for them. Humans cannot read the hearts and minds of those attending these events thus we should not judge them then write articles of condemning them.

Much To Talk About- 85

#1. Scientists Have No Idea

Scientists have long been puzzled by homosexuality, as it seems to be at odds with the basic human drive to reproduce.

Various theories have been offered–from the notion that homosexual men make more diligent uncles than their heterosexual counterparts (and thus are better at ensuring the survival of their relatives) to the notion that the same gene that codes for homosexuality in men makes women more fertile.

Now researchers from the University of Portsmouth in England have put forth a controversial new theory. They say homosexuality evolved in humans and other primates because it helps us form bonds with one another.

I hope I am not the only one who is tired of seeing secular scientists and secular science stick their noses into every topic under the sun and try to shoe horn an explanation into a topic that already has the answer given to it by the Bible. The rise of homosexuality is not due to ‘bonding’, how utterly stupid of an idea, but due to the corruption that entered the world at Adam’s sin. Homosexuality is not a natural act but a sinful one. It does not have a natural source but an evil supernatural one.

Homosexuality is not of God, yet here we have unbelieving scientists trying to make sin look good in violation of scripture.

#2. Too Much Science

In the Spring 2009 issue of Bible and Spade, I wrote an article entitled “Making Sense of the Days of Peleg.” In it I attempted to arrive at a biblically faithful and scientifically reasonable understanding of Genesis 10:25

Where did believers get the idea that they had to explain every biblical event in a scientific manner? I have dealt with ABR people for many years now and have challenged them on many issues and their main response has been: ‘You know the rules.’ Their meaning behind that statement is ‘we have to please secular academic people to get our point heard.’ But that is the wrong way to be heard. It is also the wrong way to present and investigate biblical events. We do not have to follow secular rules to investigate anything, believers need to follow God’s rules. We need to be honest, truthful, not lie, and go for the truth.

We do not need a ‘scientifically reasonable understanding’ of Genesis because science is not one of God’s criterion in understanding his word. Knowing the truth is. Right now, I do not believe that the continents were physically divided at that time. How could they when all the water from the flood did not disappear but raised ocean levels approx. 400 feet or so?  Then with the volcanic action taking place we have no idea exactly how the different continents looked or were linked together in the pre-flood world. We have had far too many natural disasters to credibly study the past  geographical landscape and declare with any scientific certainty what took place in Peleg’s time.

Let’s dive into our study now. We begin by observing how various English versions render Genesis 10:25, noting how different translators treat the text:…So far, so good; we have perfect agreement among these three versions regarding the use of “divided” to render the verb palag. The various translators were of one mind here. But now, we turn to Genesis 10:32…Hmmm…three translations, three different renderings of the same Hebrew verb, parad! This is a red flag indicating something requiring our particular attention. Moreover, the KJV uses “divided” to translate both palag and parad. Since the original Hebrew uses different words, we cannot confidently affirm they both mean “divided” in exactly the same way. We should not shrug this off and simply assume the words are synonyms; rather, we owe it to God to ask why HE inspired the writer to use different Hebrew words in these two verses. The NASB and ESV agree with the KJV in translating palag as “divided” in 10:25, so we have good reason to trust that translation; however, they disagree with the KJV and each other over how to render parad in 10:32. Where the KJV says “divided,” the NASB renders it “separated,” while the ESV elaborates by giving it as “spread abroad,” a somewhat different nuance. The translators have left work for us to do…

This is a great example of over-thinking the issue. If you go to the link you will see that the three separate meanings mean the exact same thing. The bold words (not mine) presents an assumption that is ignoring the obvious. It is not impossible for two different Hebrew words to have as part of their definition package the same meaning. English does it so why can’t Hebrew? Of course, Lanser wouldn’t have anything to write about if he took the obvious position. He is making a mountain out of a molehill and importing into the text something that is not there.

All three words mean the exact same thing and there is no conspiracy on the part of the translators to create problems for biblical readers. One just has to look for the motivations behind the translators work to get a better idea of why they used the words they did. One reason God could have had for using different words is that he was not a fan of repetition. We do not know why for sure but one thing is clear– God kept the meaning the same and the fault lies with the translators for wanting to be different in their work.

The real key here is that if you use secular science’s ways and rules, (including secular academia and scholarly rules), then the believer is going to get off track and come to a faulty conclusion. They are not following God and the HS to the truth but secular science to the wrong answer.

From the research I did for this article and the one from 2009, I am confident that the most biblically faithful way to understand Genesis 10:25b is as referring to some event which caused a split in the primordial continent of Pangaea, which had came out of the Flood still intact, and this split marked the onset of plate tectonics that divided the Americas from Eurasia and Africa

This conclusion would not fit the evidence we have for the flood. The idea for Pangea came from some secular researcher who noted that the continents looked like they could fit together

German meteorologist Alfred Wegener, through his proposed theory of continental drift, first introduced the idea of this supercontinent in 1912.

If you take a look at the proposed maps, the different continents do not look like they can fit together without some added help. Aid which we do not know anything about. It is just too much of a stretch to draw that conclusion because we do not have any real or credible evidence to support it. We cannot trust secular sources for they are deceived people. Why Lanser is, is anyone’s guess.

If we want to be honest, I would say that the dividing of the earth points towards Babel not a supercontinent but we cannot be sure because God does not provide more details to the phrase.

#3. Is It Really A Morality Test?–

In a recent essay for a religion survey course I wrote that “If there are good teachings or moral ideas in the Bible or in the words of Jesus, they are good independent of their source and to rely on someone else’s teaching for your own morality is to be amoral.” My professor wrote a comment on my essay asking: “…what about when people motivated by religious ethics do really good things like the Civil Rights Movement? …are they amoral even if their cause is good?” By way of responding, I’d like to consider the classic “trolley problem” of ethics

Or maybe I should say ethics but that would be splitting hairs. The ‘trolley problem’ really does not support the idea of an ethical dilemma or even a moral one because there is no ethical or moral option included in the example. The person being presented with this example is not given a choice between morality and immorality, they are just given different degrees of the same choice. They either kill one person or 5 so it is not an ethical or moral dilemma, the person is being asked to choose which option of killing they prefer.

Killing one person is not more moral or ethical than killing 5. Killing is wrong no matter how many or few people are put to death if people want to judge morals or ethics then they have to include a real moral or ethical option to the problem. You can’t make a moral or ethical decision when no such option is available, all you are doing in this case is seeing how many people a person will kill and that is neither moral nor ethical. God said thou shalt not kill thus the person presented the question is asked to violate their faith no matter what they do and that is not a good test to judge what is or isn’t moral.

But what if a person (ridiculously) states that they didn’t pull the lever because their religion prohibits pulling levers or tampering with trolleys? Can it really be said that they made a moral decision regarding the situation? My argument is that they have not. Their moral decision took place much earlier when they decided that the anti-lever-pulling religion was good and worth obeying.

The author of that post is basically saying that unless you choose my ideas of morality then your religion is immoral and unethical but then we must ask what makes his ideas of ethics and morality better than God’s or some other religious belief? He has presented nothing that demonstrates that his ideas are superior to God or any religion but has just simply inserted his beliefs into the fray as another subjective choice.  In other words, he thinks he is superior to God while using a faulty example to prove his superiority. His conclusion is absurd:

There is no such thing as religious morality; there is only morality.

He thinks that just because non-believers have a form of morality that God was not the source of that standard. His conclusion is pure assumption for he has not proven the exact alternative source for morality but just simply dismisses God as the source. He misses the point of why secular people have a form of right and wrong in their lives and fails to give credit to the religious instruction provided to unbelievers and the proclamation of God’s moral standard throughout history. Adam and Eve came first, to the pre-flood world thus they made known God’s standard to that group of people. Then Noah and his family came first to the post-flood world and presented God’s standard to his descendants.

The standard for morality and ethics is a religious standard for it comes from God and presented to others by believers.

#4. What Is Protection Really? —

My friend chimed in, “Wait a minute. There’s nothing new here? I never heard of this stuff—and I graduated from this school and had you as a teacher.” The Bible professor replied, “Our job is to protect you from this information.”

The definitions for the word ‘protection’ are vague at best and allows for a lot of interpretation and application to take place In the example above the word is being used to mean ‘isolate from’ and I have never been fond of that application for one does not learn why the subject matter is wrong, why it is really dangerous and why one needs protection from it. The idea of ‘isolating from’ leaves the ‘protected’ person vulnerable to the dangers that come with the false teaching or other theories presented to the believer by the secular world. So the end result is that we have not protected any believer from anything but made them ripe for destruction instead.

We achieve the very thing we hope to avoid. If we really want to protect young believers and pastors from the wiles of evil then we need to inform them of what the attack looks like, why it is wrong and how to defeat it biblically. We are not doing young believers any favors by keeping them in the dark then wishing them well when they go off to a secular university and have their faith demolished by experienced secular professors who relish the idea of destroying someone’s biblical faith.

I would go as far as saying that we are sinning against our own people by isolating them instead of teaching them how to handle such theories, presentations and other ideas that challenge their faith and their eternal destination. I like to use the example of power tools in this discussion. Many parents feel that they are ‘protecting’ their children by isolating them from such helpful instruments and by not instructing them on the proper use or the dangers that come with operating such equipment. Then we do further damage by not telling them how to deal with a mistake or injury that comes with improper use of the tools.

Parents want to protect their children but instead, they leave them unprepared to handle the equipment and keep them vulnerable to injury instead of teaching them how to avoid hurting themselves and others. Biblical protection has more at stake than bodily injury so we should take it more seriously and protect out fellow believers by feeding them the correct spiritual food so that they are prepared to defend themselves and deal with spiritual injuries when the need arises.

#5. I Have Never Liked This Humor and

I find both insulting to God and the Christian faith.

Much To Talk About- 84

#1. The Sentence Is In

The South Korean ferry captain in charge of the vessel that capsized in April and killed more than 300 people, most of them high school students, was sentenced to 36 years in prison on Tuesday

This may not be important to you but it is to me. A while back the Korea Times asked for people to send in their prayers concerning the Sewol Ferry Tragedy and part of my prayer was that the courts did not use emotion or revenge as motivation for handing out punishment for the crimes committed by the crew of that ferry. The prosecutors had asked for the death penalty and in review, I agreed because of the things that the Captain and his crew did not do in this mess. They didn’t do it over 300 times and that was the same reasoning the prosecutors gave to justify their request.

Is this just? I think it is for a couple of reasons: First, there is no way to adequately and humanly punish someone for over 300 deaths. I would not want to place the murder label on their actions because murder implies intent and I do not think there was actual intent to kill any of the passengers on the part of the Captain and his crew. Second, he is a 68 year old man and by the time his sentence is up, he will be over 100 if he lives that long. Basically this is a life sentence or death sentence for him. I highly doubt that he will survive to see freedom again.

In tragedies like this, we have to make sure that we abide by God’s rules in adjudicating those involved. Christians are not to sin in the process nor are they to throw the rules out and let emotion take over. As much as it would appease the parents and families of the victims we cannot go overboard in our seeking of justice nor can we forget to apply mercy when it is appropriate to do so. We must take into account, before we make our decisions, how much God has forgiven us, how much mercy he has bestowed upon us and then follow his example, asking for his aid in being just and merciful to those who do not deserve it.

We believers have to be the leaders in bringing real justice, real fairness and real mercy to the legal arena and rest of the world. No one else is going to do it.

{CNN has a better story:


#2. Check The Source

The Bible is not God, nor is it a substitute for God, and to treat it as if it were God or a surrogate of God is to treat it in the very way that it itself condemns over and over again.”-Peter J. Gomes

When you find out who Mr. Gomes was, then you understand why he made that comment

The Rev. Peter J. Gomes, a Harvard minister, theologian and author who announced that he was gay a generation ago and became one of America’s most prominent spiritual voices against intolerance, died on Monday in Boston. He was 68

He wanted to get rid of the Bible because it told him things he did not want to hear. But that is the way it is with those who can’t abide or accept God’s rules. They want to toss out God’s communication to us simply because they want something different. They make all these false accusations against the Bible and those believers who hold to it as infallible and inerrant words of God just because they cannot humble themselves and give up their sin.

The Bible may not be God but it is God’s word to us. If we did not have it, we would not know what to do to gain salvation and lead the correct life. Anything would go and nothing would be wrong. God’s word protects us from anarchy and other dangerous living situations. It keeps the boundaries objective instead of subjective, while providing us with a standard where we can appeal to when others fail to do the right thing. Everyone knows what is really right and what is really wrong. If we followed Mr. Gomes thinking, we would have no such standard and sin would abound far more than it does already and no one would ever be safe.


#3. You Need REAL Evidence

At least 15 women are speaking out to various media outlets accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct.

They include 12 women who either CNN has spoken to or read court documents about, who have spoken on camera about their allegations or whose alleged attacks have been addressed by Cosby’s attorney.

Among the latest accusers is former supermodel Janice Dickinson. She told “Entertainment Tonight” that Cosby assaulted her in 1982 after the two had dinner in Lake Tahoe. She alleges he gave her a pill and a glass of red wine shortly before she passed out.

This story just won’t go away and I am not going to take a judgmental position of Mr. Cosby. Why? Simply because I was not there and I do not know what really happened. Do I believe the women who are bringing these allegations? No. Why? Simply because they are using innuendo, unsupportive accusation, and other meaningless tools to attack a man who may be innocent. NOT ONE of these women has produced any real, legitimate, credible physical evidence and  many have shot down their own allegations by stating that they returned for more supposed sexual encounters with Mr. Cosby.

A real rape victim does not do that, especially when they are not held captive and had lots of freedom to go to the police at the time. I see a lot of piling on by these women for whatever spiteful and angered reason they may have but I see nothing real. The Bible lays out rules on how to get justice and even though there may be 16 witnesses in this case, nothing supports their testimony so they really are not victims or witnesses. The Bible also tells us to be honest, not lie, not falsely accuse and so on so we really need to show that an actual crime was committed and not base our allegations on pure hearsay.

The real evidence has to be there and handled correctly so that the accuser is not vulnerable to charges of corruption, hatred, sinful acts and so on.As t stands we are to treat Mr. Cosby as God would want not as a criminal as accusation is not the same as convicted but as a person needing biblical action. We do not render evil for evil, nor do we judge others.

#4. This Is How NOT To Respond To…–

The violence that has broken out in Ferguson following the grand jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson is not what the Brown family wanted, family attorney Benjamin Crump told CNN. “They wish that people will not be violent” but be peaceful and constructive, he said

…when receiving news you did not like. Turn the other cheek is far more appropriate even in issues like these. Jesus did not provide an escape clause that allows us to sin and act badly when we do not get our way. In no situation are we allowed to sin in retaliation to supposed violations to our lives and liberties. Again, we turn to Jesus for our example as he was falsely accused, arrested, mistreated and judged. He did not commit any sin in behavior, word or thought in return. Nor should we even though we may see an injustice carried out. We look for God’s guidance to solve the problem instead of resorting to sinful ideas and practices.

Basically the crowd is demanding justice via bullying and that is not just nor is it right. It is committing more sin in search of personal appeasement. Politicians should not use this decision as an excuse to be unjust as they mine for votes amongst these affected people for that will be a greater travesty than what has already taken place.

The Christian needs to go God’s way in order for all people to see real justice and that God is interested in their lives and problems.

#5. Food For Thought-

The majority of America’s churches teach that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. But considering our country’s near-400-year history, can we honestly say that our concepts and perceptions about God haven’t evolved?

Is our contemporary American God the same as in 1629, when the Puritans began organizing a mass exodus toward their “Promised Land”?

Is our modern God the same as in 1801, when Christians at a revival in Kentucky became so filled up with God’s spirit that they got down on all-fours and barked and howled like wild dogs?

More recently, is our God the same as in 2000, when born again George W. Bush won (sort of) the presidential election by rallying America’s then thriving evangelical electorate with a Jesus-tinged GOP rhetoric he called “compassionate conservatism”?

The truth is, no. God is likely not exactly the same as God was yesterday, not here in the United States, not among America’s faithful. Here, God changes.

Our making God into our own image isn’t a new trend. We’ve been changing God since Anglo Saxons first stepped foot onto these shores. Here are five examples.

I place this here more for people to think on than comment upon. I do think that the author has it wrong and misreads what believers actually do and only picks minute examples to taint the whole of Christendom.

To be truthful, God does not change. His methodology may vary but he does not change and that is where that author has made his error in judgment. That author confuses character and personality with methodology which throws him off track. But I will let you be the judge.

Just Archaeology- 11

#1. Underwater Discovery

Remains of an ancient settlement, complete with a ruined pottery workshop, have been found on the bottom of the Aegean sea off the small island of Delos, the Greek ministry of culture has announced.

Dubbed by the Greek media “a small underwater Pompeii,” the structures lay at a depth of just 6 feet on the northeastern coast of Delos.

“In the past these ruins were identified as port facilities,” the culture ministry said.

#2. Best Dressed Discovery

Spanish archaeologists digging in Egypt have unearthed a female mummy still wearing her jewels.

The mummy was discovered in the necropolis below the temple of Pharaoh Thutmosis III (1490-1436 B.C.), on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor (southern Egypt). The find dates to the Middle Kingdom (2137-1781 B.C.).

For nearly four millennia, the “Lady of the Jewels,” as the mummy was nicknamed, eluded tomb raiders, her sarcophagus trapped under a collapsed roof.

#3. Book Of The Dead

Researchers have deciphered an ancient Egyptian handbook, revealing a series of invocations and spells.

Among other things, the “Handbook of Ritual Power,” as researchers call the book, tells readers how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat “black jaundice,” a bacterial infection that is still around today and can be fatal.

The book is about 1,300 years old, and is written in Coptic, an Egyptian language. It is made of bound pages of parchment — a type of book that researchers call a codex.

#4. Roman Port–

Ostia Antica, the famous Roman port that served the city of Rome from the days of the Republic through Imperial times, is noted for its remarkably preserved ancient buildings, frescoes and mosaics. Located near Rome, its ruins lie near the modern suburb of Ostia, a popular destination for tourists and teams of excavating archaeologists for years. During its heyday it skirted the banks of the Tiber river, but silting over centuries of time has placed the site 3 kilometres (2 miles) from the sea. Many of its ancient structures, however, remain extraordinarily intact, almost as if to imply that nothing has changed.

#5. Climate Change

Scientists will have to find alternative explanations for a huge population collapse in Europe at the end of the Bronze Age as researchers prove definitively that climate change – commonly assumed to be responsible – could not have been the culprit.

Archaeologists and environmental scientists from the University of Bradford, University of Leeds, University College Cork, Ireland (UCC), and Queen’s University Belfast have shown that the changes in climate that scientists believed to coincide with the fall in population in fact occurred at least two generations later.

#6. Ancient Footprints

Danish archaeologists have uncovered 5000-year-old footprints during excavations for the new tunnel beneath the Fehmarn Belt.

Museum Lolland-Falster writes in a press release that the footprints belong to Stone Age people attempting to rescue their fishing traps during a storm.

“This is really exceptional. What we usually find is waste they left behind, like tools and pottery. This is something completely different,” says Terje Stafseth, an archaeologist at Museum Lolland-Falster, in a press release.

It is the first time that archaeologists in Denmark have come across human footprints. The footsteps were found along the edge of a several metre long system of fishing traps.
See the footsteps in the video at the top of the article.

#7. Ancient Shaving

A rudimentary razor blade used by fashion-conscious men 4,000 years ago has been unearthed on the site of an ancient settlement in Siberia. Archaeologists found the Bronze Age bathroom accessory during an expedition to the Vengerovo region of Novosibirsk.

The thin bronze plate had been sharpened on both sides and experts believe it was used to trim beards and cut hair, and may have doubled up as a knife.

What is particularly interesting about the find is that razors were only starting to become popular in the Bronze Age as males put a stamp on their individual identities.

Vyacheslav Molodin, the deputy head of the Siberian Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, said experts were excited by the find in the Vengerovo region, the first such discovery here.

#8. Ancient City

Misis (Mopsouestia) might be outshone by Rome, but the ancient city on the banks of the Ceyhan River in southern Turkey is just as old as the old imperial capital, while arguably trumping Rome’s moniker of “the eternal city” with its own title, “the immortal city.” Some 7,000 years after its founding, archaeological work at the site is now revealing the traces of antiquity.

The city is located right next to the Ceyhan River, 27 kilometers east of the center of the southern province of Adana on the historic Silk Road.

As part of a project titled “The Infinite City: Misis,” made by Yüreğir Municipality, excavations have been continuing in the area, headed by Professor Anna Lucia of the National Research Council at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and Professor Giovanni Salmeri of Pisa University.

Structures such as city walls, stadiums, caravanserais and theaters are being unearthed during the archaeological works in the ancient city, which was first settled seven millennia ago.

#9. Chinese Mural

A 1,000-year-old tomb with a ceiling decorated with stars and constellations has been discovered in northern China.

Found not far from a modern day railway station, the circular tomb has no human remains but instead has murals which show vivid scenes of life. “The tomb murals mainly depict the daily domestic life of the tomb occupant,” and his travels with horses and camels, a team of researchers wrote in their report on the tomb recently published in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics.

On the east wall, people who may have served as attendants to the tomb’s occupant are shown holding fruit and drinks. There is also a reclining deer, a crane, bamboo trees, a crawling yellow turtle and a poem. The poem reads in part, “Time tells that bamboo can endure cold weather. Live as long as the spirits of the crane and turtle.”

#10. Underground Pyramid

Archaeologists are scratching their heads about an underground pyramid-shaped structure they have been excavating beneath the historic medieval town of Orvieto in Italy. But it may not be a mystery forever. They hope to find answers as they continue to tease artifacts and architectural materials from the soil.

“We discovered it three summers ago and still have no idea what it is,” write Prof. David B. George of St. Anselm College and co-director Claudio Bizzarri of PAAO and colleagues about the site. “We do know what it is not.  It is not a quarry; it’s walls are too well dressed. It is not a well or cistern; its walls have no evidence of hydraulic treatments.”*

Calling it the “cavitá” (‘hole’ or ‘hollow’ in Italian), or hypogeum, the archaeologists have thus far excavated about 15 meters down. They marked their third year at the site in 2014. By then they had uncovered significant amounts of what they classify as Gray and Black bucchero, commonware, and Red and Black Figure pottery remains. They have dated deposits to the middle to the end of the 6th century BCE.

#11. Archaeology Can Be Dangerous

Archaeology and war don’t usually mix, yet that’s been the case for years at Karkamış, an ancient city along the Turkey-Syria border where an excavation team announced its newest finds Nov. 15 just meters from territory controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Karkamış, dating back more than 5,000 years, is close to the Syrian city of Jarablous, which now flies the black banner of the Islamic extremist group.

U.S.-led coalition aircraft flew overhead as Nicolo Marchetti, a professor of archaeology and art history of the ancient Near East at the University of Bologna, detailed the latest finds. Marchetti is the project director at Karkamış, where the Turkish military let archaeologists resume work in 2011 for the first time since its troops occupied the site about 90 years ago.

“Basically we work 20 meters away from the Islamic State-controlled areas,” Marchetti said, standing at the site, which is guarded by more than 500 Turkish soldiers, tanks and artillery. “Still, we have had no problem at all. … We work in a military area. It is very well-protected.”