Sunday, December 26, 2021

 

Good Shepherd ring: Christian or Mithraic?

 Gettyphotos

A gold ring was discovered from an underwater wreck outside the port of Caesarea, Israel. The remains found with it included silver Roman coins of the third century. The ring has an octagonal external shape with a gemstone and an engraved figure of a boy in a tunic carrying an animal (identified as a sheep) over his shoulders. Helena Sokolov, a curator at the Israel Antiquities Authority’s (IAA) coin department who researched the Good Shepherd ring, said that while the image exists in early Christian symbolism, representing Jesus as a caring shepherd, tending to his flock and guiding those in need, finding it on a ring was rare.

Most news reports (Smithsonian, AFP  and Reuters etc.) all seem to quote the same archaeologist who made the announcement saying the 'Good Shepherd' was an early Christian symbol from the second century. 

However I have my doubts. Christians did not go in for images of Christ, except when the 'church' became mixed with the surrounding religions (syncretism).  Certainly not the Jewish Christians, the Nazarenes. 

The figure appears to be that of a young boy with short, Roman-style hair.

Gettyimages

I wondered whether it was derived from Mithraism -- which came from the East and spread as far as Britain.  The ring figure wears something at the calf or ankle. Are they boots? If so they seem to be non-Jewish.

I found the following image in Mithra, ce dieu mysterieux by Martin Vermaseren. 

Bron, 

The design dates from the second century from the Mithraeum (Temple of Mithra) at Neuenheim, near Heidelberg, Germany. The tunic and hair style seem similar. 

It would be easy for the animal to be down sized to become a sheep. That's a  bit more logical and feasible than hanging a bull around your neck. It would also open a syncretic path to confusion, then deception, of 'true believers' among the Nazarenes to submit to the central religious powers of Rome.  


For what purpose would this modification be done? In the second century a religious struggle was engaged between Mithraism and Christianity. The ring makes this ambiguous. How can anyone distinguish whether this is supposedly a Christian symbol (albeit idolatrous) or a Mithraic one?

The octagonal shape may represent the seven stages of Mithraic initiation rites leading to the gemstone. 


Mithra is usually associated with killing a heifer. That is far from a Christian symbol. He is pictured on its back and cutting its throat with a dagger. But not always. The Mithraeum at Rome contains a verse about Mithra 'carrying the young bull on his shoulders': 'qui portavit umeris invencum.' So the basic design is perfectly consonant with Mithraic theology.

Is the ring Mithraic or early Christian? Is it syncretic, meant to deceive?

Let's examine the classical figure of Mithra and the bull.


The only thing that the figure on the ring lacks is the Phrygian cap which is typical of Mithra. For any deception to take place the first thing that had to go was the Phrygian cap. Christ obviously did not wear a Phrygian cap! 


Trousers! What! A figure of "Christ" wearing trousers?

If they gem engravers meant to deceive Nazarenes and Jews they made a mistake that shows the deception. The figure on the ring is not wearing calf boots. As the statue shows Mithra was wearing trousers under his tunic. The well-defined markings at the calf do not indicate a boot but the bottom edge, the turn-ups, of a pair of trousers. 

A fatal flaw if the originators or modern religionists wanted to pass it off as 'Christian'.

Trousers were the garments of Scythians and those 'barbarians' outside the Roman Empire. They included the Arsacid Parthians and Scythians of Israelite extraction. Christ called them the 'lost sheep of the house of Israel' Matt 10:6. His brother James wrote a Letter to all twelve tribes outside the land of Israel, James 1:1.

What would the Mithraic heifer mean to the people of Caesarea and northern Israel?

The Golden Heifer (Golden Calf) was the center of Israelite idolatry out of Egypt. For the northern ten tribes their retention of heifer worship led them into the Assyrian captivity. They were then exiled for this idolatry beyond the Euphrates into what became the Persian Empire, the Greco-Macedonian and later the Parthian Empire. 

The Parthians and other Eastern countries, some of whose dynasties had kings with Israelite pedigree, often had Mithra as part of their name like Mithradates (Given or dedicated to Mithras). In the first century BCE, Mithridates VI Eupator of Pontus fought three wars with Rome, and killed tens of thousands of Romans. He claimed to be of mixed Persian and Greco-Macedonian lineage, speaking the 22 languages of his subject peoples. Then Mithraism became the most popular cult of the Roman army. The slaughter of the young bull showed Mithra was master of creation. 

In documents later released from the Roman archives, Titus made clear that his intent in destroying the Temple was to eliminate both Judaism and Christianity. The Temple was a City State to which Julius Caesar had pledged independence of religion. 

Once the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE and Jews scattered, the Romans tried by fair means or foul (mainly foul) to wipe out the Nazarene faith. While the Temple stood, vast riches in tithes and offering were sent from Phrygia, Pontus to Parthia, from Egypt to the Atlantic (Acts 2:9). 

The Jewish Wars had depleted the Roman imperial coffers. So all Jews were forced to make the same Temple tax contribution but this time to Rome. For Roman tax collectors, the Nazarenes, who also contributed to the Temple and kept the Sabbath and festivals, appeared to be Jews. If they were non-Jews they were subject to severe persecution and contempt as traitors.
How could these last, remaining, obstinate people be turned to give not only money but mind and soul to Rome? 

Syncretism was the usual path where societies modified the characteristics of the classical gods to fit local custom. That way everyone was in step to acknowledge the religious power of Rome. Deception and disinformation might blunt successive generations of Nazarenes who did not accept the Pontifex maximus and the worship of Caesar.

The question of 'Who is supreme god?' was posed when Christ was asked 'Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar?' The coin that was shown to him bore a likeness and the title Pontifex Maximus, supreme priest of all religions in the empire. (Jesus, James, Joseph and the Temple, p325)
With the Resurrection and the failure of emperor Gaius Caligula in 41 CE to refute it by setting his imperial headquarters in the Temple, Rome suffered a major religious reverse. The ancient pantheon of gods from Jupiter, Minerva, Mars, died. With the death of paganism, masses were turning to some syncretic forms of Christianity or the simpler Sun worship of Sol invictus or Helios

Then help for paganism came from the East, and the greatest enemies of the Jewish faith.
In the 200s the Severian Caesars, such as Elagabalus (also called Heliogabulus), were heavily influenced by Syrian Baal worship through marriage and offspring. They originated in Emesa, a center of Baal worship and were experts in syncretism. That made persecution of those who refused this disinformation and heathenism very difficult and even deadly for them. The Caesars maintained their powers over all religions through the office of Pontifex Maximus

On 20 November in the year 202, Caesar Septimus Severus and his Syrian wife Julia Domna erected a Mithraeum on Rome's Aventine Hill in the former private villa of Hadrian. 

The 25 December was the festival day at the Mithraeum to celebrate Mithra's birth and the coming of light. His birth was seen as a cosmic and miraculous event as the young god was ejected by a magic interior force from a rock (petra genitrix) welcomed by shepherds. Ready for action, he was completely naked except for his Phrygian cap, and armed with a flaming torch (or a globe) and a dagger. 


This Mithra with the shepherds may have been combined with the dying cult of Hermes, the shepherd god. He is most often pictured near naked, occasionally in a tunic. Certainly no trousers.



Conclusion

The combination of these events and characteristics make it likely that Mithra was a prime object of the syncretism for wiping out remnants of Christianity and subjecting them to the religious monopoly power of the Pontifex Maximus. Believers would be faced with the crucial and lethal choice of deciding whether to accept images and rites that could, on the face of it, be ambiguous symbols they could accept. Or they could face the consequences if they refused.

Mithra was associated or identified with the Sun god, Sol invictus. The struggle between Mithraism and Christianity lasted beyond the reign of Constantine in the 330s. Constantine declared himself to be a worshipper of Sol invictus. That shows there is every reason to suppose that efforts were made to combine worship and symbolism of Gentile Christianity with Mithraism.   


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Review: Timeline's Why Did Pontius Pilate Allow The Killing Of Christ? | The Man Who Killed Christ



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fppoqtIu2ug 

Useful, well-produced historical presentation but lacks discussion on several key issues.

1. A diplomatic accord was made under Julius Caesar and Hasmoneans that the Temple was to be treated as an independent City-State totally under control of the high priests. The armed priests had recognised powers and rights to kill all intruders including non-Israelite Roman citizens, as Titus confirms in Josephus. 2. Jesus was arrested by Temple guards led by high priests who had major reinforcements at feasts like Passover. Not Romans. Gethsemane, where Temple oil was prepared on Olivet, was part of the extended Temple grounds and Davidic property. Roman soldiers were forbidden there. 3. Jesus (Christ = Anointed) was anointed with the holy oil of special preparation that was exclusively held by Aaronic priests. The Talmud says that the high priests, like Annas and Caiaphas, were not anointed but held office because of their holy garments. It is dubious that Annas had legitimate Aaronic blood. The faithful priests who held the special oil would not anoint them, Ex 30:32,33. Jesus had direct Aaronic bloodline, like John the Baptists, as both Elizabeth (Elisheva) and Mary (Greek Mariam) were of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1). 4. Hence the struggle of the high priests (Roman nominees or Quislings) to retain power in the Temple. Jesus stopped their merchant trade in the Temple twice with the help of sympathetic priestly guards and bust the high priests' money making schemes. He denounced their hypocrisy in Matt 23 and the murder of Zacharias v35, the father of John the Baptist. John fled to the East, most likely Parthia until his surprise reappearance before the 'offspring of vipers' Mt 3:7. 5. Jesus affirmed the rule of the Eternal God but did not foment armed revolt against Rome. Pilate had access to the genealogical records that showed Jesus was the son of Joseph, called the son of David, Matt 1:20. Hence he had the legal right to kingship. Jesus did not call Pilate 'Lord' as the high priests did. Pilate knew he was rightfully a king and did not object. He was merely a prefect. He affirmed Roman recognition of Jesus as King of the Jews but he ordered the execution. 6. Pilate may have been part of the highly anti-semitic Sejanus faction that wanted to remove the 'Jewish problem'. Tiberius was in semi-retirement, leaving Sejanus to seize charge and control the Senate. 7. When Tiberius, who wanted peace and recognised the resurrected Jesus as a God, regained control, Pilate was sent for trial in 36 for abuses against the Jewish people. Gaius Caligula who had Tiberius murdered was ten times worse as an anti-semite than Pilate. He nearly brought total destruction of all Jews and world war with Rome's super-power rival Parthia.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Scientist Dr Joseph Priestley FRS on Design in Creation

 Scientist Dr Joseph Priestley FRS on Design in Creation

This is an extract of a speech given by Dr Joseph Priestley in Philadelphia before John Adams and other American Founding Fathers, in 1796.

"Far am I from supposing that the evidence for the being of a God is not demonstrative, since marks of design, with which the world abounds, necessarily imply a designing or intelligent cause. But notwithstanding this, we can never fully satisfy ourselves with respect to the objections of the atheist, that if the universe require a cause, this cause must require another; and if the author of nature, or the being we call God, exist without a cause, so may the universe itself.
"All that we can say in answer to this is that, whatever difficulty we may labour under with respect to this subject, which will always be above our comprehension, the actual visible world, and marks of design in it, cannot be denied, and therefore, whether we be able to proceed further or not, we must acknowledge a designing cause. Otherwise we might say that a house had no architect, or a child no father. If the eye of man had no designing cause, neither did a telescope, which is the instrument of a similar nature, evidently adapted to answer a similar purpose. And at this every mind would revolt."

"The author of nature is one,
that he is simply, invariably, and infinitely good, and
that all the evils we see and experience, are calculated to promote good,
are great and sublime truths, which derive from revelation only, though, on strict examination, they appear not to be inconsistent with the appearances of nature."
"Discourses related the Evidences of Revealed Religion", 1796 with a Dedication to John Adams, published during his exile in America. Joseph Priestley was known as Chemist, the discoverer of Oxygen, a philosopher, theologian and historian of the Corruptions of Christianity.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

'Church' is not what the Bible says!


The idea of 'church' is comes largely from the pagan idea of their assemblies. What the Bible says about assemblies may shock almost everyone that goes to church!

The entire NT uses terms that have nothing really to do with religious gatherings. It uses the current political terms in Greek.
They refer to the Kingdom or Empire of God!

ECCLESIA
Ecclesia is a political not a religious term. It means a political and legislative assembly or congregation. This is obfuscated in the KJV because King James forbade his Puritan translators to use Congregation (as translated by Tyndale) because it destroyed the church structure with a hierarchy of bishops, over which he presided.
So following this rule, we have the nonsense translation of the 'church in the wilderness' of the Exodus in Acts 7:38. This is the Qahal, the Congregation of the 12 tribes of Israel, J3, p65. The word ekklesia also appears in Acts 19:32 where it is obvious it is a political assembly of pagan Greeks roused against Paul at Ephesus. KJV could not call it a church! v37 should be translated as robbers of (pagan) temples, not churches! Was this the Puritans' revenge?
The message Christ brought was about a legitimate kingdom.
EPISTATES
Who is head of an ekklesia in Greek? An epistates.
Jesus is called an epistates 7 times in Luke 5:5 to 17:13. The epistates is the commander of the city and the key holder of the gate. (In Jerusalem it is the key of David.) The epistates also heads the popular assembly called in Greek the Boule. The Greek term sanhedrin can mean any type of council, pagan, Roman or Jewish. Context is important.
SUMBOULION and SENATORS
For Jews to recommend the death sentence to the Roman Governor who had the authority to execute, a super assembly was called to decide, a sumboulion composed of 'high priests, the senate (presbyterion) and the scribes (lawyers) and the sanhedrin,' Mark 15:1 and elsewhere. Note that what some today consider uniquely a religious officer, a presbyter, is a senator, eminently political. (Presbyter = olderman, elder; senator from Latin senex= old man).
When Greece had the presidency of the 28 Member State European Union I noted that the super-council was called a sumboulion.


AMBASSADORS
Apostle means messenger or ambassador. It is political and diplomatic. The High Priest was an ethnarch, a Roman-appointed political figure. Theophilus, the high priest in 37 CE, has the title Most Excellent of an ethnarch, a political leader, Luke 1:3. He had powers to designate ambassadors or apostles. Paul was at first an ambassador of Annas and Caiaphas, or more likely of Jonathan the successor who attacked the Nazarenes, and sent to Damascus but he became an apostle or ambassador of Christ.
When Christ said he would build his ekklesia, his Congregation, it was a political assembly. He designated first 70 for this, Luke 10. It was later expanded with the named ambassadors to 120 of the 12 tribes, Acts 1:15.
EPISKOPOS
Bishop is also a political term. The Greek term, episkopos, meant in the first century a superintendent of the ekklesia and public works sent from the central power to a subsidary state. James is called the bishop of bishops because he certified those who were in charge of the political congregations of Jews and believers at home and abroad, as the legitimate head of government.

DESPOTES
Despotes means absolute, Sovereign Ruler. It is used of masters relative to slaves, whom they could kill or torture at will. Free Jews hesitated or refused to use the term about the Emperor. For them there was only one Despot with unchallenged power -- and that was Almighty God. To use it of any human was blasphemy. In the NT Christ used it of himself as the Sovereign Ruler of the House -- the Temple -- oikodespotes, the Chief Priest. The high priests had to obey the Chief Priest, Cohen haRosh. Peter (2Peter 2:1) and Jude 4 refer to Christ as Despotes. The larger family of Christ who were Nazarenes were also called by this name.
See Jesus, James Jesus, p317.
Analyze Disinformation used against you!
Disinformation Techniques
These are examples of how disinformation techniques were used, not to change the NT, but to change the meanings of the words in the NT to fit in with the State-run Catholic church of the Roman Empire. The same disinformation technique of changing gradually the meaning of a word is used today. The change of the meaning of Palestine by the Soviet KGB is a case in point. Up to the 1950s Palestine meant Israel and Palestinian meant Jew. The Palestine Mandate defined Jews as Palestinians!

Church has different origins. The ancient British and Welsh term is Eglwys (pronounced egloois). It clearly derives from the Greek, ekklesia. The early Nazarene ekklesia did not own buildings but met in people's houses, the synagogues, or designated open spaces, Acts 16:13. 

How long was a generation in the time of Christ?

King David spoke of a lifetime being 70 or 80 years. So when the parable of the Fig Tree says that once Israel begins to flourish again, the Return of Christ will happen within a generation, does he mean within 80 years?
King David in a time of almost continuous war spoke of the life-span being 70 or 80 years. However people lived shorter lives or much longer lives, both before and after David.
Public hygiene makes a huge difference. With improvements the chemical, pharmaceutical industries claim that today's longevity is due to their medicinal productions, while others have attributed it to better water quality, cleanliness and understanding of the natural laws of health.
What was the length of a generation in the time of Christ when he said 'that generation (of the fig tree revived) shall not pass away"?
The Esseans and their Egyptian-based brethren the Therapeutae (the Greek actually means worshippers of God) lived long. These two groups identified with believers of the pre-Christian and Nazarene period were known as physicians expert in healing (asiai) as were the Nazarenes. How long did they live? We have the witness of Hegesippus of the first and second century, recorded in Eusebius Ecc History book 3, ch 32. Symeon, son of Clopas, was a cousin of Jesus who around 100 CE was the successor of James, the superintendent (bishop) of the Temple.
2. Hegesippus, whose words we have already quoted in various places, is witness to this fact also. Speaking of certain heretics he adds that Symeon was accused by them at this time; and since it was clear that he was Christian, he was tortured in various ways for many days, and astonished even the judge himself and his attendants in the highest degree, and finally he suffered a death similar to that of our Lord.
3. Here's what Eusebius wrote:
"But there is nothing like hearing the historian himself, who writes as follows: Certain of these heretics brought accusation against Symeon, the son of Clopas, on the ground that he was a descendant of David and Christian; and thus he suffered martyrdom, at the age of one hundred and twenty years, while Trajan was emperor and Atticus governor...
6. "And after being tortured for many days he suffered, and all, including even the proconsul, marvelled that, at the age of one hundred and twenty years, he could endure so much. And orders were given that he should be crucified."
Atticus was Roman Legate from 99 to 102 CE.


7. When did the Fig Tree begin to flourish again?
Was it in 1967 when Jerusalem was liberated?
Was it in 1948 when the State of Israel was declared?
Was it in 1920 when world powers declared that a Mandate so that all Jews could reclaim the land that belonged to them and which they had continually claimed for nearly 2000 years of exile?
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Saturday, September 4, 2021

What was Joseph's reaction to the news of Mary's pregnancy?

The answer will depend on whether you follow later “Church Fathers” and medieval myth or read the Bible as a historic document in its original Hebrew and Greek for the Jewish audience it was originally intended for. The Gentile Church after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE interpreted the NT in a way to conform to Hellenistic and semi-pagan culture. This took for granted that demi-gods were the product of gods like Zeus descending on 15 year old virgins and producing demi-gods. 

Dionysus, alleged son of Zeus and Persephone
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_demigods

Jerome was obsessed with virginity and the Virgins of Rome. (Rome would disappear if there were no more Vestal Virgins.) He said both Joseph and Mary were perpetual virgins. He made matters worse with mistranslations from Greek to Latin in his Vulgate NT.



How would a Jew, a believer in Jesus Christ, read the Greek NT?
1. He would understand Hebrew marriage was different from Roman marriage or modern marriage. Genealogy dominated all society among the 12 tribes. That is why the NT starts with Christ’s pedigree and the Hebrew scriptures in their order ends with Chronicles. The Messiah had to be a lineal descendent of David, John 7:42 and as Paul says Romans 1:3.

2. Parents therefore arranged marriages of their young children. When they reached their teens and first maturity the girl and boy could agree and they were ‘betrothed’ by a ceremony of qiddushin or erusin. This meant they were married in the sense that only a divorce ( a ‘get’) could break the bond. (Far different from present day ‘engagement’). The girl still lived at her father’s house until the bridegroom had built a home for her and was ready to assume all duties of its head of household. Then he called for her and the community to celebrate the wedding in a ceremony called nisu’in, the ‘home-coming’ or ‘coming together’ mentioned several times in the NT in Matt 25, Revelation etc.

3. When the NT says Joseph and Mary (Mariam in the Greek) were betrothed it means they were married according to the Hebrew custom. Once the girl/ woman left her father’s home the couple could enjoy their marriage and man became fully her husband. The nisu’in was an extra ceremony. For Joseph it was not normally possible to bring Mariam to Bethlehem, because as the hereditary home of King David it had been destroyed by Herod, who saw all Davidic descendants as enemies to his claim as king under the Romans. The NT says there was ‘no place’ there. Only shepherds were allowed there. Then Herod used the Roman registration decree to get Davidic claimants to register in Bethlehem. It was highly dangerous for Joseph. More so for Mariam who was both old and pregnant, Luke 1:36. God, through an angel, told Joseph ‘not to be afraid to take your wife with you,’ Mt 1:20, because the child was conceived according to God’s plan.

4. Matt ch 1:18 says: (a) they were betrothed, that is married in our sense. (b) Before their ‘coming together’ Mariam was found to be pregnant by God’s grace of his spiritual action. The term ‘coming together’ refers to nisu’in the celebration of the community at the bridegroom’s home. It is used both in Hebrew and Greek secular literature to mean the ceremony of a bridegroom taking his new wife to his home and the community coming together to celebrate it. The next verse has nothing to do with divorce. The Greek word means putting aside, that is putting her in a safe place and avoiding a long journey during pregnancy and possible death by Herod’s men.

5. To create the virgin conception myth, v 25 was distorted or misunderstood by the early Gentile church. It was ripped out of the chronological sequence. They ignored the Jewish and Christian culture.

And he did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn son.

Read the context. Mariam was already pregnant. Jewish purity law forbade intercourse with a pregnant woman. If this occurred the legalists could say the child was not pure. This was especially important for Joseph and Mariam and any claim to priesthood and royalty of their offspring. Early Christian/Nazarene writings take the same view about forbidding intercourse once the wife is pregnant.

6. Joseph and Mariam would clearly be both shocked and delighted that they were to have a child as they were both in their old age, Luke 1:36, and it was a miracle as was the child Isaac of Abraham and Sarah and many other faithful couple in the Bible. Children in old age is a sign of God’s hand. In Jewish law a woman is considered a virgin before she menstruates. An old woman who is past her menopause is also considered to be a virgin for the purposes of her fulfilling the laws of purity called Niddah described in Leviticus 12 (=Luke 2:22) and Lev 15:19ff.

7. The semi-pagan Roman-instituted church of Constantine wanted nothing to do with the Jews. Medieval followers of Jerome etc confused the NT history with that of Hellenistic deities and hang-ups about virgins because the Greek and especially Hebrew scriptures were forbidden. The Latin Vulgate was gibberish to many priests and their parishioners. Hebrew scrolls were burnt. Translations into local languages were forbidden on pain of death. Ignorance reigned.

8. The Bible is quite clear about the two spheres of begettal. One is that of humans in marriage. Christ explained that a spiritual, second begettal was possible through the Spirit of God, John 3, to Nicodemus. The confusion caused by the pagans who claimed to be Christians has hidden this greatest truth from present-day, would-be followers of the Eternal God. The authentic documents are recorded more fully at "Jesus, James, Joseph and the past and future Temple" N54final version and in the paper version.


Monday, August 2, 2021

Why I am discontented with Robert Kuhn's 'Closer to Truth'

The Mission of getting Closer to Truth

I can't say that I have listened to all Robert Kuhn's series in his format called Closer To Truth. There is a vast library now of 3500 videos of the world's greatest thinkers. Over the years I dipped into quite a few. Overall Robert Kuhn has done a magnificent job in covering such a range of views and expertise that is rarely found with such sympathetic yet probing integrity. His interviews cover physicists, biologists, scientists, philosophers, theologians, historians and many scientific disciplines of all hues.

I found them all interesting in that they were interviews with specialists and experts but I came away dissatisfied with almost all of them.

Why? 

True and whole Science

I found that they lacked a coherent scientific structure. Academic disciplines are becoming more and more separated into silos and few experts can have the vision of an overview from the heavens to the deep analysis of the infinitesimal detail. Silo-hopping results in lack of overall cohesion. Then there were failings of internal logic, which is natural. As humans we are all reluctant to yield our own prejudice for pure fact and logic. This is especially the case when it comes to theological foundations of knowledge. Materialistic liberalism infuses much modern thought, even (or especially!) among theologians. Iron needs to sharpen iron, but the right sort of iron is needed to make a sharp blade to bring overall satisfaction. Some borrow extradisciplinary iron that is already rusty.

Theology creates the big divide in academia, where the predominant philosophy disdains it. Knowledge of God requires logically obedience to God as our Creator. Or at least reverence and awe. Skeptics disparage moral laws. Or to put it another way, those who refuse the Ten Commandments call themselves atheists or excuse themselves with a religious label. What is their conscientious objection? 

True science requires a pure conscience. A persistent, pure conscience can also break empires. The conscience of Judeo-Christian believers in DDR, Hungary, Poland and Russia brought the downfall of the atheistic USSR. It showed Marxism was unscientific. The Politburo was biased. It banned free discussion of the spiritual, or non-materialism. Education in Museums of Atheism did not work.

Today, however, the West is still suffering from USSR's ideological attacks and materialism that emptied churches and more. Soviet propaganda undermining society structures was long-lasting. Now the more subtle Chinese atheism and autocracy produces thousands of choking weeds. But even media and internet censorship in USA will not stop the quest for truth. There may be more professing Christians in China than in Europe.             

Origin of modern Science

The scientific method derives from classical reform theology. In our modern era, the Hon Robert Boyle in the 17th century and later the Royal Society laid down personal rules that a searcher for truth must make sure that his conscience is absolutely clear of prejudice, and preconceptions. Experiments must be totally impartial. Facts and logic should provide the answers. The early scientists learned logic from the Bible -- for example debunking apparent contradictions by testing multiple hypotheses. They also compared the standard Roman Catholic belief and myths with historic documents now published and translated into the common languages for the first time. The vast collection of papal claims made over a millennium were exposed as frauds. 

Today our knowledge is increased in many areas. (In some other areas it has declined, such as the motor motive of science that there is one truth and fraud should be exposed and rejected.) The ideology of the popes is replaced by a Darwinistic / neo-Marxist premise (both failed theories). That results in false conclusions that everything evolved or economics dictates all human history and knowledge.

It is not progress to turn all phenomena into mindless, purposeless materialism. Such nonsense permeates the whole framework of present day thought. It represents the greatest danger to civilization -- materialism, only matter is important, not the spiritual world. Did electrons evolve to create Dark Energy, did amoebas grow to become elephants? Was it a triumph of workers over capitalists? Class warfare failed, so atheistic Marxists turn to race wars as the new Dialectical materialism.

Use your brain!

All civilizations knew that human mind is different from rocks and chemicals and far superior in its potential to the animal brain. The whale does not do better at mathematics or astronomy because its brain is seven or eight times bigger than man's 1300 gms. Or an elephant brain with 256 billion neurons, three times more than a human.

On the other hand some birds can circumnavigate the whole planet and find their way home. The aptly named godwit, shaped like a high tech fighter aircraft, travels from Alaska to New Zealand in one go, and later flies back across oceans. No stops for food.

Some humans get lost in their own city. Could you manage two non-stop trips totalling 29,000 kms?

The godwit reduces the size of its internal organs to make space for fuel. Its brain size? The whole bird weighs about 300 gms -- and its brain must be just a couple of grams. Butterflies also travel across oceans and back.   

 

Big Picture

The search for truth must take all new facts and conclusions into account.

What new knowledge needs to be integrated?

The great scientists of its modern foundation period knew man was a spiritual being. They applied this knowledge. Newton and William Whiston, his successor as Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, John Wilkins, cryptologist, philosopher, Anglican bishop and first Secretary of the Royal Society, John Ray the pioneering biologist, and many others were fervent Christians. Science boomed because they were scientists in mind and spirit. Ray like Paley described how each creature was finely constructed for its own good purpose. The Bible animated all their researches. The same can be said for the next generations, such as Faraday and Maxwell who electrified our present society. Their electromagnetic wave theory is based on 'spiritual fields'. The designs of God indicate his purpose and plan but also act as a spearhead to new discoveries.

Your God is too small

No-God atheists and small-minded ministers need to stretch their minds to the reality of Creation and obviously the Creator. 

We know now that the Universe is far more magnificent and vast than any could have imagined. It stretches 14 or 15 billion light years to the visible rim. Who knows what lies beyond it?  The maximum speed of 74 km/second for a rocket was achieved by the Juno probe to Jupiter using the slingshot of gravitational assist. It would take such a probe 15 billion x 300,000 x 31.56 million seconds divided by 74 -- 6 trillion years -- to reach the rim of the universe and peak into what is beyond our visible sighting of stars. I can't wait that long.

The voyage is likely to be lonely. Even though the universe is dotted with stars and many may have planets, the Earth is the only known planet in our solar system and beyond where we know there is life such as bacteria. But we see good and negative spiritual forces in battle all day long. 

As we look deeper we find that the Earth has not only an extraordinary abundance of life but it is in forms that earlier man had could not imagine. Life exists in the deepest oceans and in the upper atmosphere. The simplest of cells, seen through microscopes, is as well organized as a massive city. But a cell has powers that go far beyond it. It can search for chemical foodstock. It can reproduce. It can make other cities. 

Each of the creatures on earth can tell us a lesson about how to live, care for young or not, or avoid our predatory enemies. They are education. We have a book of wisdom written in Nature. Modern technologies look to Nature's original design to find new designs and inspirations. 

Diseases caused by man's foolishness find their therapeutic solutions in Nature. The Nobel-prize-winning therapeutic Ivermectin, a powerful world-changing corrective and preventative to viruses (including in practice corona viruses), was found in the soil of a golf course in Japan by Satoshi Omura. It is one of the most tested, effective and cheapest of drugs. Then 'science' changed. Today the 'science' of its use may be distorted by profits of Big Pharma or a globalist agenda of those like WHO. 

A detailed View

Let's go smaller. Small, small fingers are required.

Last century's scientists started off by believing that the fundamental building blocks of our world, whether atoms or then atomic particles, would be simple systems. (atom= Greek indivisible) We could then work out the Lego construction of the universe.

The truth turned out to be far more complex, as is all nature. A whole zoo of particles and anti-particles, quarks, neutrinos, photons and strange and beautiful beasts act both as waves and particles. But they all work well and the average citizen does not have to look 'under the hood' to see how the material world works. Complexity and functionality is everywhere in harmony.

The universe is founded in wisdom down to the smallest detail we can figure out.

A pair of the smallest particles retain an intimate interconnection. When a human observes and measures one, the other, perhaps now at the far reaches of a galaxy, 'knows' and reacts faster than light travels. Man's decision-making affects the physical characteristics of the universe in ways we are only beginning to understand. Man operates on a spiritual plane. The human mind acts beyond the material physics.

From the least particle to the entire spread of the universe each brings a lesson to Mankind. The Great Creator God will not fit into man's box of experiences. From the stuff a billionth of a centimeter to that billions of light years, all give a lesson: if we wish we can grow in knowledge, wisdom and maturity. But silo academics must abandon 'Greek' thinking about atoms, universal measures of time and space to come to truth.

Truth, then what?

The crux of my remarks here would be to pose the question: where does one start?

Information, it has now been shown to the satisfaction of astrophysicists, can survive a Black Hole collision. Information existed before the beginning of the Universe 14 or so billion years ago. An impartial look at the existence of humankind and human observation of nature shows that it involves not only information but knowledge (from whence we deduce our sciences) and wisdom -- which is necessary for human maturity, the building of virtuous character.

Therefore all scientific analysis must start with the Wisdom Giver. Even the skeptics think they are wise. Usually groups of humans become unwise.

The early scientists were Jews or Christians but they shunned organised religion. Newton's researches led him to reject the pagan trinity. Whiston was expelled from Cambridge because of 'heresy'! Others adhered to obscure congregations of believers or were known as non-conformists and unitarians like many of America's founding fathers. They did not conform to crowd psychology. They rejected the church that absorbed paganism. They searched for truth and paid the price for non-conformity to errors. That showed that their pure conscience was fundamental to science and faith in God. Which scientist today is persecuted? Which scientist is not influenced by peer pressure or by grants from industry or government? Which real scientists are able to teach or debate in group-think universities?

After analyzing the proofs of God and how the atheistic skeptic refused them, Whiston concluded that biblical prophecy was paramount. He foretold in the 1700s, based on the Bible, that Jews would rebuild their homeland in Israel. A Temple would be built. The first happened in 1948, despite centuries of skeptics saying it was impossible. The second is yet to come. 

Diamond quality

Why did I feel unsatisfied with Closer to Truth? Getting close to truth is a start. Truth merely excludes the false. Wisdom is better than knowledge; knowledge is better than information, information is better than data. A diamond is more valuable than raw carbon. 

I was taught that Wisdom is the principle thing. Above all seek wisdom. Awe of the Eternal is the beginning of wisdom.