A Bit of Trivia

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, one of the earliest uses of fingerprinting for purposes of identification dates to ancient Babylon, about 4,300 years ago, when merchants used fingerprints on clay tablets to finalize business transactions. The first use of fingerprints for forensic purposes in police investigations dates to 1892, when Juan Vucetich, an Argentine police official, used fingerprints to identify a criminal for the first time.

Ancient cultures in China, Persia, Greece, Egypt and Rome used fingerprints to establish identity for many purposes, including as makers’ marks on pottery, as decorations, to sign business contracts and to make loans between specific individuals. They did not use fingerprints to identify an unknown individual in the general population. Legal records show that during the Qin dynasty, which lasted from 221 to 206 B.C., the Chinese gathered hand prints, foot prints and fingerprints as evidence at a crime scene.

Taken from https://www.reference.com/world-view/history-fingerprinting-87e5bb7ff397aa0a  

Then if you want a timeline just click on this link

https://www.preceden.com/timelines/291760-history-of-fingerprints

100,000 bc – 1,000 bc

200 BC

1318

Answering a Theologian

There was an interesting article in the Christian Post this morning. It was called “Is the pandemic God’s judgment? America has 10 reasons to think so, argues theologian”.

It is a favorite pastime of many people claiming to be Christian to label one disease, one natural disaster or other tragic events as a judgment from God. But the elements are not there to speak for God and claim what is taking place is a judgment.

This article will go through that one and bring an answer to  the quoted points

An individual illness is a trial, but a worldwide pandemic is of a different order and could be God’s judgment, especially as reasons abound why He would test or judge the world, particularly America, writes a theologian.

First, one has to be told they are being judged and second, they need to be told what they are being punished for doing. None of that has taken place with this new worldwide disease.

God judges to uncover what’s hidden at the bottom of things,” he writes.

We must ask, what is being uncovered with this current disease? Everyone already knew that governments were corrupt and that they allow sinful behavior to take place, embracing evil while punishing the good. So far nothing has been uncovered that has not already been known.

Are there reasons for God to test or to punish?

It is possible that believers are being tested through this pandemic. Maybe God is wanting to see who will obey him and who will obey governments over his instructions.

What evidence does this theologian have to support his point? He produces none and tests usually end fairly quickly.

One, America has turned from the living God to “love, fear, and trust in idols of our own making,” he writes.

It is not America alone that is in this boat as many nations call evil good and good evil. But if this disease was a judgment for this behavior, where are the true prophets to say so and why didn’t they show up prior to the disease being sent to the world? God gives people time to repent before judging them and he has not done that in this case.

we don’t honor the image of God in one another, he shares. “We leave the homeless unhoused, the naked unclothed, the hungry hungry.

Having spent time among the homeless researching for a book this author has found that many of that group do not want to have a home, a job or even a family. They refuse to have responsibility. You cannot help those people.

Then why would the people who do help in those areas of society  receiving this disease? What did they do to warrant such treatment? Why are they locked down and deprived of their freedom?

While many Americans are baptized and wear the Triune name, “do we bear it with the weight it deserves?” he asks and then answers, “We live as if God didn’t exist. We’re practical idolaters.”

Jesus already warned that there would be goats among the sheep. This is not going to bring judgment upon the nations of the world.

we “know no Sabbath in our 24/7 economy.” He explains that we “give no Sabbath. We break Sabbath by withholding relief from the burdened.”

This has been done since the beginning of time. Is God going to destroy everyone because they do not observe the Sabbath? If he did then he would undermine his own goal that all men should be saved.

The fifth reason, he continues, is that we are to protect the elderly from the COVID-19 infection, “but … our social habits and institutions erode the authority of parents, the respect of the young, and the institution of the family.”

This point seems to be taking his argument in the direction of personal preference and like those who help the hungry, cloth the naked and house the homeless why are those families who do what God wants towards their family members be punished at the same time? What are they being judged for?

Six, about 46 million abortions have taken place in the country since 1973, and counting, he points out. “In many places, killing unborn children is deemed an essential service during the pandemic.”

Each point that theologian makes seems to expose his personal views and that he wishes these people were being judged and punished. He is creating reasons why they should be instead of helping to create solutions by praying that God intervenes and stop these practices.

The seventh reason, he writes, is that we “defy God’s sexual norms, and insist on our Constitutional right to do so. Many mock the very notion of sexual purity.

Keep in mind that this took place in Jesus’ time and God did not judge the world then for that practice. This theologian is ignoring the fact that before judgment God calls people to repent. he did it with Noah, with Jonah, with all the prophets and with John the Baptist and Jesus.

Where is that call now? It has not been heard and people have not had time to even act on that call before the disease struck.

Eight, he continues, we take hope from a rise in the stock market in the midst of a pandemic. “Domestic and foreign policy have long been directed toward the final end of a rising GDP. Labor is good; wealth is good; increasing wealth is good. But we have fashioned God’s good gifts into the idol Mammon.”

This point seems repetitive and not going anywhere.

The ninth reason is that our public discourse is not truthful. “Do we, as Luther said, put the best construction on the words of ideological opponents?

So far this theologian has not exposed anything that no one already knows. His writing seems to be more out of frustration that God is not taking evil out of the picture than showing solid evidence that this disease is a judgment from God.

The last reason, he writes, is that all industries are devoted to “fostering covetousness.” “Envy infects our politics. Our hungers and thirsts are not directed toward the righteousness of God’s kingdom.”

Again he is stating the obvious and has provided nothing that proves either of his premises.Sickness and pandemics have existed since the beginning of time. So have the sinful conditions he is writing about.

All he has shown is that our modern world is no different from any other age in history. The corruption that entered the world at Adam’s sin is still doing what it is suppose to do.

It is at these times believers need to look to God for their help not the secular governments. It is at these times that believers need to pray for their fellow man, their families and so on. Governments need God’s wisdom and aid.

Falsely claiming something may be a test or a judgment when one does not know is as bad as the disease and very wrong. It leads people to the wrong conclusions and motivates them to do the wrong acts.

“But we shouldn’t misconstrue relief as God’s approval,” he warns. “Our repentance needs to be radical, or soon enough we’ll face something else, something worse.”

No, radical repentance is not the correct move to make. When God sends the message that judgment is coming, repentance must be honest, truthful and through.

We still have not seen nor heard from the two prophets that God will send before the final judgment arrives so we can safely say that this disease is not a judgment but a reminder that life is fragile and we should not wait to repent of our sins or obey God.

***You can read the article at this link https://www.christianpost.com/news/is-the-pandemic-gods-judgment-america-has-10-reasons-to-think-so-argues-theologian.html

New Website!!!

We have moved all items for sale over to our new sister website. You can see it by clicking on this link https://theoarch.wordpress.com/  

We have added in our Korean English curriculum so if you know of anyone who teaches English to Koreans and need some more material let them know about our website please.

Our books are listed there as well with their price and a link to where you can purchase them. let us know what you think of the new site please.

Christian Holy Days

The CV-19 virus news has kept our minds occupied and we forgot that last Sunday was Easter. We are on lockdown and our minds were focused on other issues or we may have posted an Easter article earlier.

What reminded us of the fact that we forgot to post our annual Easter article was when we came across an old college friend’s Facebook page in where he tried to present justification for the church in general celebrating Easter.

While his post is innocent enough, it reminded us of the fact that many pastors, missionaries, and other church leaders do not investigate an issue thoroughly enough and only present a very superficial explanation for the details related to this spring holiday. Here are his words

Hi everyone reading this. I came across information that until now I have not seen. I have copied it below. It comes from an email site, “news@booksaboutjews.com. Interesting. “There are a growing number of Christians who think that the celebration of “Easter” is rooted in pagan Babylonian tradition. One of the basic assumptions is that the name “Easter” is a Christian appropriation of “Ishtar”, a Babylonian fertility goddess. Even though the words may sound similar, they probably have no etymological connection. The English word “Easter” likely comes from the Proto-Germanic “austron”, which means “sunrise” – arguably a fitting name for a celebration that commemorates Jesus’ rising from the dead.”

Wherever the name comes from, don’t forget to give thanks today for the One who rose from the dead after paying the price for our transgressions.

There are several things that we find need a more detailed explanation. First, the meaning of the name does not matter in a majority of biblical cases. Many scholars and other christian figures tend to read more into a biblical figure than they should using only the meaning of the name of that figure.

This is why we have many scholars claiming that Nimrod was an evil ruthless tyrant because his name means skillfull hunter and the Bible calls him a mighty hunter. But that is all we know of the man and to claim he was a tyrant based upon such slim data is erroneous.

The same goes for the name Easter. Actually no one knows where the name came from even though it has been proposed that it came from a Saxon goddess named Eastre/Eostre.

There may be a connection between the establishment of the Christian Easter and the pagan celebrations that took place as the festival Ostara at the time of the Spring Equinox. The timing for this was not by chance as the ancient unbeliever saw Spring as a time of renewal or rebirth.

Then Easter may have come from the early church when it started to change from celebrating Passover to celebrating Christ’s resurrection. In 325 AD the holiday was established at the Council of Nicaea.

While the origin of Easter may be unknown, the different traditions have come, like Christmas traditions, from different pagan beliefs. The Easter bunny came about because the Germanic people believed Ostara healed a sick bird by changing into a hare.

They solved the egg problem by saying that the bird, while still a bird, laid eggs as a gift for being healed. The ancient Babylonians held that the egg represented the hatching of Venus Ishtar while the ancient Egyptians and Persians used to color their eggs as they represented a renewal of life.

Second, that quote shows that the pastor will look to anything positive to justify the modern church acceptance and practice of Easter. Unfortunately, the German term usually associated with the word Easter is ostern, and in turn ostern is related to ostara.

Neither term are usually defined as ‘sunrise’. The term ‘ost’ found in both words mean ‘east’. it is possible that the sunrise definition slipped in there at some point in history but that can’t be said for certain.

This is a minor point though and can be argued till doomsday. That is because there are others who claim that the word Easter came from Eostre, a word meaning ‘spring’. It is the next point that can be derived from that quote that is most disconcerting.

Third, the lack of biblical support for the modern church to celebrate the modern holiday Easter or any supposed Christian holy day. The author of that quoted post did not go to scriptures to show that observance of Easter was okay.

To say that the Bible does not forbid creation of such days is merely an argument from silence and avoids the issue. The Bible actually does say something against creating and celebrating such days, it is just that Christian holy days like Easter and Christmas are so ingrained in the minds of believers it will be difficult to get them to change.

Both modern Christian holy days are filled with good feelings, wonderful family gatherings, good meals and a chance to celebrate what Christ did for everyone. Those are activities that are hard to let go of even when they are not in line with what scripture teaches.

The excuse that the ancient Hebrews created festivals for different events does not apply. The reason for this is if you look at the scriptures talking about those ancient festivals, the Hebrews did not get together and decide to create those festivals.

Leviticus 23 tells us it was God that created those festivals and the Hebrew observance was an act of obedience to him. At no time did God state that the Hebrews were free to create their own ‘religious’ holy days.

Then Jeremiah has one very clear sentence that tells us God’s view on this issue. It is found in chapter 10 verse 2 and it says–”Do not learn the way of the nations” There is no ambiguity in those words. Pagan festivals existed long before Christ were born and were the foundation for many of the modern ‘Christian’ festivals celebrated today.

Those people who introduced those new festivals into the church were not obeying God but doing exactly the opposite of what God had commanded. While most modern Christians are not aware of the introduction of these ‘Christian’ holy days into the church, they should be aware of biblical teaching and question their acceptance.

There are other scriptures that warn about introducing these supposed holy days into the church and they are Deut. 12:30-32, 18:9. Matthew 15:9 and Galatians 4:9-11

Fourth, that quote does not appeal to the New Testament nor show what Christ did establish when it came to celebrating his life. In this area it needs to be pointed out that Christ did not teach nor command any of his disciples or followers to create ‘Christian holy days’.

But he was not silent on this issue. Christ did instruct his disciples and followers in what they should do if they want to celebrate his birth, life, death and resurrection. Luke 22: 14 to 20 provides everyone Jesus’ instructions.

They are to practice what is now called communion. It is done without fanfare, without bragging and in complete humbleness as the New Testament church member obeys God in his instructions to the church.

These simple act of remembrance is far more powerful than any supposed Christian Holy Day that man has created on their own since Jesus went back to heaven. There is no New Testament teaching instructing any member of Christ’s Church to set aside a special day and call it holy.

Humans cannot do that for they are not holy. Only God can do that. Some people may argue that there is a special holy day for modern Christians. They claim it is Sunday as Christ rose from the dead on that day and ascended into heaven also on that day.

But again, there is no biblical teaching to change the day that God established, the Sabbath, from Saturday to Sunday. Men were not given the power to create holy days for God’s church.

Finally, that quote represents other issues best left for another day. Getting past the superficial and into the truth takes work., it also takes courage to speak out and try to make changes in the modern church and get it closer to what God wants to see done.

You will notice that Jesus’ instruction son how to celebrate his resurrection, etc., does not exclude family and friends gathering together some other time and having a great meal and so on. Some of the other traditions of Easter and other supposed Christian holy days can be left out, of course.

The church is not to be the same as the unbelieving world. If it means that to be different the church dispenses of the observance of these so called Christian holy days, then so be it.

The church needs to offer the world something it does not already have.

 

Archaeological Pet Peeves

#1.  https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/

One of the first pet peeves we have has to deal with the Biblical Archaeology Society. if you haven’t heard. Hershal Shanks has retired and enjoying his later years without the pressure of publishing the magazine or heading up the organization.

What bothers us is that he selected an atheist to take over. There have been a lot of changes made already to the structure of the magazine and the organization. So far, we have found none to be thrilling, good or even factual.

Robert Cargill took over the BAR magazine and it certainly is not a good change. He doe snot believe in God yet feels he can handle biblical issues objectively, even though everyone knows he can’t. The changes we have seen have caused us to stop support the organization as we liked the store they society had.

That is gone now and in our opinion that is a travesty, especially since we were about to buy the BAR update they had offered for years. Anyways, these changes makes us wonder if true biblical archaeologists will be published anymore.

We wished Mr. Shanks had selected a true Christian archaeologist to run both BAR and BAS. That way the truth would stand a chance in getting published.

#2. BAR Content- https://www.baslibrary.org/biblical-archaeology-review/46/2/21

Right now the current issue of BAR and different articles in their library are free. But the content is not as good as it should or could have been. The argument over when writing began in Israel does not do the topic justice and basically ignores the fact that writing was done prior to the 10th century BC.

With archaeology blind to the past and so many professional scholars and archaeologist missing a lot of manuscripts and other pertinent data, their claims to a late creation of writing is nonsensical. The information is not there to make that type of conclusion.

The author of that piece linked above, (and it may not be free for long) ignores the weaknesses of archaeology and that so much evidence has been lost due to wars, time and other factors.

This misinformation is a pet peeve of ours as it is basically lying to the people.

#3. Well meaning people- https://patternsofevidence.com/2020/04/10/discovery-of-12th-century-temple-at-lachish/?inf_contact_key=0711e8eaafcfcbf773e30797723ef6ef680f8914173f9191b1c0223e68310bb1

We know Timothy Mahoney only through brief discussions we had with him while he was preparing his first documentary. He is someone who wants to help prove the bible true and strengthen the faith of other believers but it is hard to do when the newsletter just sends out stories of archaeologists’ conclusion without questioning their validity.

That discovery is hard to accept by us as it is the same conclusions almost every other ancient building has when it is revealed to the world.Just because supposed cultic materials were found inside a room, doe snot make this building cultic or even used as a temple.

We would like to see these well meaning people use a bit more critical thinking when looking at or addressing these discoveries. The article even says that despite the lack of finding the right artifacts, they are going with the temple identification anyways. That is not good archaeology.

While we like the biblical perspective section included in the article, it is too easy to read things into the discovery when little can be taken out.

#4. ABR- https://biblearchaeology.org/

Generally we like ABR (Associates for Biblical Research) But sometimes they seem to side with the wrong people in their search for good biblical scholarship. One of those times was when they were writing about modern day abortion and child sacrifice in ancient Carthage.

Their siding with unverifiable accounts and condemning the people of Carthage without enough evidence does rub us the long way. Christian organizations have the responsibility to get to the truth and that objective can’t be done when one is agreeing with the words of the enemies of the subject people.

Sometimes Christian archaeologists and professionals tend to focus moor eon doing scholarship than it is on getting to the truth. That is what bothers us here as scholarship should be second to presenting the truth correctly.

Getting the truth out helps people build up their faith and see that God does not lie. Even when it means going against secular rules and opposing widely accepted theories and conclusions.

For the most part ABR does a good job but there are those times…Oh and the people at ABR do not like us as we have read some of their published works and had to correct some of the points they made. Those points mis-stated some facts and even though we were helping them we were told to leave them alone.

#5. Mis-stating ancient medical practices

We do not have a link for this as this is a late addition to the list. But we do get tired of archaeologists and scholars continuing to pass on misinformation about the past.

Most of the time, they read one or two incantations that may have come from an ancient version of the modern primitive witch doctor and assume or leap to the conclusion that all ancient people followed those incantations or used those possible medical doctors.

They do this in spite of the myriad of evidence for professional prescriptions, top notch surgeries that rival modern surgeons talents and abilities and other credible evidence.

The ancient world is not that much different from the modern one. Sure there may have been with doctors using their false religious beliefs to try and heal their fellow citizens but that does not mean they were in every society and every ancient civilization.

The modern world has the same type of people practicing their healing beliefs using their false religions as an aid. They are found where primitive societies exist and even in modernized nations.

Their presence does not mean that all people in a nation or society subscribe to those beliefs or even followed them. Nor does it mean that the ancient world was void of talented and capable doctors and surgeons.

This is the title of one good book to read about ancient medicine and its practices- Science & Secrets of Early Medicine by Jorgen Thorwald. There are others and inside you will see that the ancient world had world class doctors and surgeons handling their medical needs when they arose.

———————————–

The thing is we need people willing to get to the truth even when it applies to biblical archaeology, physics, and other areas of science. Doing what the unbeliever does is not going to cast the light Jesus wants us to cast.

 

Top 10 Discoveries of 2019

For biblical archaeology that is. The list and contents that we will post here come from the Christianity Today article found at this link https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/december/biblical-archaeologys-top-10-discoveries-of-2019.html

The credit is all theirs and we are just posting the content to make sure more people read about what archaeologists have uncovered in the past year

10) Philistines had European ancestry

DNA extracted from skeletons excavated from burials at the Philistine city of Ashkelon in modern-day Israel showed European ancestry. This confirms what has long been believed and what the Bible says about the Philistines. Jeremiah 47:4 and Amos 9:7 connect the Philistines with Caphtor, which has been identified as Crete, the home of the Minoan civilization. The DNA record shows that the Philistines quickly intermarried with the local population, diluting the genetic signature.

9) Genesis was correct on Edomites

Archaeologists studying copper slag deposits from Timna in Israel and Faynan in Jordan (two sites south of the Dead Sea) found that Edomites used advanced, standardized techniques more than 3,000 years ago to mine copper. In light of this discovery, they concluded that the Edomite kingdom was formed by the middle of the 11th century BC, about 300 years earlier than previously thought. Genesis 36:31 says there were kings in Edom before there were any Israelite kings.

8) The horn of an altar

The 2019 excavation at Tel Shiloh, the site where the Israelite tabernacle stood for several centuries, turned up what appears to be the corner of an altar. The discovery illustrates 1 Kings 2:28: Joab “fled to the tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar.”

7) Goliath wall at Gath

This year’s excavation at Tel es-Safi (the Philistine city of Gath) reached a layer that dates to the 11th century BC, the time of King David. The walls of this layer are 13 feet thick, twice as thick as previously excavated walls from the 10th and 9th centuries. Archaeologist Aren Maier called it the “Goliath layer,” after the city’s most famous resident of the time.

6) Loaves and fishes mosaic

Archeologists uncovered a mosaic in the ruins of a Byzantine church, built around AD 450 in the Decapolis city of Hippos Sussita. The church, overlooking the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, was destroyed by invaders in AD 614. This scene of Jesus feeding the 5,000, found in an unexpected location, may have something to say about where that miracle took place. The traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000 is further north.

5) A seal “Belonging to Ga’alyahu son of Immer”

As the Temple Mount Sifting Project reopened in a new Jerusalem location, researchers announced the discovery of a clay seal impression (bulla), identifying it as “the first readable ancient Hebrew inscription found on the Temple Mount.” The priestly family of Immer served in the temple (1 Chron. 24:14). Pashur, son of Immer, is called the chief official in the temple of Yahweh, when he had Jeremiah beaten and put in the stocks (Jer. 20:1–2).

4) A seal “Belonging to Adonijah, Royal Steward”

Another bulla, announced this year, was found in sifted material taken from under Robinson’s Arch at the southwest corner of the Temple Mount in 2013. It has been dated to the 7th century BC. Three men in the Old Testament are named Adonijah, including a son of King David. But none of them lived in the 7th century, so this is a fourth Adonijah. The position of royal steward is known from several biblical texts.

3) A seal of “Natan-Melech, the king’s servant”

This bulla was found in the Givati parking lot excavation, the largest ongoing excavation in Jerusalem (since 2007). Archaeologists recovered it from the ruins of a building that was probably destroyed during the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. In 2 Kings 23:11, Nathan-Melech is described as an official in the court of King Josiah. The phrase “Servant of the King” appears often in the Bible and on bullae.

2) Kiriath Yearim identified as Emmaus

In the story of Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13–34, the location of Emmaus is described as 60 Roman stadia from Jerusalem, which translates to 7 miles. For centuries, scholars have tried to pin down the location of Emmaus. Sites at various distances west of Jerusalem have been proposed, but without archaeological evidence.

Israeli archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, known as a biblical minimalist and Bible critic, offered this new identification based on the Hellenistic-era fortifications his excavation uncovered at Kiriath Yearim. He notes there are two lists of Hellenistic fortified towns around Jerusalem (from the ancient historian Josephus and in 1 Maccabees 9:50). Both of them include Emmaus. Kiriath Yearim is seven miles from Jerusalem.

Kiriath Yearim is mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament, most famously as the place where the Ark of the Covenant was held (1 Sam. 7:1–2) before King David moved it to Jerusalem (1 Chron. 13:5–6; 2 Chron. 1:4).

1) Pilgrimage road opens in Jerusalem

When archaeologists discovered the New Testament-era Pool of Siloam (John 9:7) in 2004 during a sewer repair project, they also discovered the lower end of the first-century street that led up to the Temple Mount. Since then, work has been underway to excavate the street so that Jewish and Christian pilgrims today can walk on the same road that Jewish and Christian pilgrims walked in the first century.

This underground street is not entirely accessible yet, but a ceremony opening part of the street last summer drew the US ambassador, among other dignitaries.

Archaeological work in the city of David area, the oldest part of Jerusalem, is of great interest to both Christians and Jews, but it is also controversial. Many of the residents are Palestinian Arabs, and, despite the efforts of archaeological engineers, some have complained that their homes are being ruined because of the excavations underneath.

As a reminder

In this country they have closed the bookstores which makes lockdowns harder to endure BUT if you need reading material my new books can come to you via your cell phone, tablet, laptop or PC. Just click the links and make a purchase.

Dr. David Tee’s latest 2 books were published and now available. These are short E-books and they are short because he wants people to read them. If you would be so kind to purchase a copy and then if you like them, pass the word and the links on to your friends and relatives. he would appreciate it.

Book #1- Archaeology: What You Need to Know

find it at this link: https://books2read.com/u/bW1Z0G

Book #2: Noah’s Flood Did Take Place: An Examination of the Non Scientific Evidence

find it at this link: https://books2read.com/u/brvoyW

Thanks for the help