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The New Testament Apocrypha

The New Testament Apocrypha The New Testament Apocrypha

The first book to supply the English reader with a comprehensive view of the apocryphal literature connected to the New Testament. It contains translations of all the important texts in the style of the Authorized Version, and makes available the results of historic researches into their origin, history, and value.

Paperback: 628 pages
Publisher: Apocryphile Press (November 1, 2004)

The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation

The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation

From the Back Cover This collection of apocryphal texts supersedes the best-selling edition by M. R. James, which was originally published in 1924, and regularly reprinted. Several new texts have come to light since 1924 and the textual base for some of the apocrypha previously translated by James is now more secure, as in several cases there are recently published critical editions available. Although a modest appendix to James's edition was added in 1953, no thorough revision has previously been undertaken. In this volume, J. K. Elliott presents new translations of the texts and has provided each of them with a short introduction and bibliography directed to those who wish to pursue further the issues raised in the texts, or to consult the critical editions, other versions, or general studies. The translations are in modern English, in contrast to James's deliberate imitation of the language of the Authorized Version. The collection is designed to give readers the most important and famous of the Christian apocrypha, together with a select sample of gnostic texts. Full translations of the earliest texts are printed.

About the Author

J. K. Elliott (Editor)

Paperback: 774 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Paperback Edition edition (December 22, 2005)

The Quest of the Historical Jesus

The Quest of the Historical Jesus The Quest of the Historical Jesus

In this groundbreaking work that made his reputation as a theologian, Albert Schweitzer traces the search for the historical person of Jesus (apart from the Christ of faith) and puts forward his own view of Jesus as an apocalyptic figure who preached a radical message of the coming of the Kingdom of God. Though Schweitzer's own proposals about Jesus no longer command assent, his lasting contribution, comprising the bulk of the book, is the critique of his predecessors. Through examining the works of more than 50 18th- and 19th-century authors and scholars, he shows conclusively that each historical reconstruction of Jesus was largely a fantasy made in their own self-image.

Schweitzer's work has proved the touchstone for all subsequent quests for the "Jesus of history." It also contributed in no small measure to the remarkable resurgence in Jesus studies in the latter part of the 20th century, which culminated in the much publicized and highly controversial findings of the Jesus Seminar.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Ed edition (February 11, 2005)

The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book The Urantia Book

Love

Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. (p. 2018) “Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world.” (p. 2047) “Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful.” (p. 2047) The Father’s love can become real to mortal man only by passing through that man’s personality as he in turn bestows this love upon his fellows. (p. 1289) The secret of a better civilization is bound up in the Master’s teachings of the brotherhood of man, the good will of love and mutual trust. (p. 2065)

Prayer

Prayer is not a technique of escape from conflict but rather a stimulus to growth in the very face of conflict. (p. 1002) The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard. … (p. 1639) God answers man’s prayer by giving him an increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness. (p. 1002) …Never forget that the sincere prayer of faith is a mighty force for the promotion of personal happiness, individual self-control, social harmony, moral progress, and spiritual attainment. (p. 999)

Suffering

There is a great and glorious purpose in the march of the universes through space. All of your mortal struggling is not in vain. (p. 364) Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. (p. 556)

Angels

The angels of all orders are distinct personalities and are highly individualized. (p. 285) Angels....are fully cognizant of your moral struggles and spiritual difficulties. They love human beings, and only good can result from your efforts to understand and love them. (p. 419)

Our Divine Destiny

If you are a willing learner, if you want to attain spirit levels and reach divine heights, if you sincerely desire to reach the eternal goal, then the divine Spirit will gently and lovingly lead you along the pathway of sonship and spiritual progress. (p. 381) …They who know that God is enthroned in the human heart are destined to become like him—immortal. (p. 1449) God is not only the determiner of destiny; he is man’s eternal destination. (p. 67)

Family

Almost everything of lasting value in civilization has its roots in the family. (p. 765) The family is man’s greatest purely human achievement. ... (p. 939)

Faith

…Faith will expand the mind, ennoble the soul, reinforce the personality, augment the happiness, deepen the spirit perception, and enhance the power to love and be loved. (p. 1766) “Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith.” (p. 1733)

History/Science

The story of man’s ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation is indeed a romance of biologic struggle and mind survival. (p. 731) 2,500,000,000 years ago… Urantia was a well developed sphere about one tenth its present mass. … (p. 658) 1,000,000,000 years ago is the date of the actual beginning of Urantia [Earth] history. (p. 660) 450,000,000 years ago the transition from vegetable to animal life occurred. (p. 669) From the year A.D. 1934 back to the birth of the first two human beings is just 993,419 years. (p. 707) About five hundred thousand years ago…there were almost one-half billion primitive human beings on earth. … (p. 741) Adam and Eve arrived on Urantia, from the year A.D. 1934, 37,848 years ago. (p. 828)

From the Inside Flap

What’s Inside?

Parts I and II

God, the inhabited universes, life after death, angels and other beings, the war in heaven.

Part III

The history of the world, science and evolution, Adam and Eve, development of civilization, marriage and family, personal spiritual growth.

Part IV

The life and teachings of Jesus including the missing years. AND MUCH MORE…

Excerpts

God, …God is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true. (p. 1431) If you truly want to find God, that desire is in itself evidence that you have already found him. (p. 1440) When man goes in partnership with God, great things may, and do, happen. (p. 1467)

The Origin of Human Life, The universe is not an accident... (p. 53) The universe of universes is the work of God and the dwelling place of his diverse creatures. (p. 21) The evolutionary planets are the spheres of human origin…Urantia [Earth] is your starting point. … (p. 1225) In God, man lives, moves, and has his being. (p. 22)

The Purpose of Life, There is in the mind of God a plan which embraces every creature of all his vast domains, and this plan is an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress, and endless life. (p. 365) This new gospel of the kingdom… presents a new and exalted goal of destiny, a supreme life purpose. (p. 1778)

Jesus, The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. (p. 1091) What an awakening the world would experience if it could only see Jesus as he really lived on earth and know, firsthand, his life-giving teachings! (p. 2083)

Science, Science, guided by wisdom, may become man’s great social liberator. (p. 909) Mortal man is not an evolutionary accident. There is a precise system, a universal law, which determines the unfolding of the planetary life plan on the spheres of space. (p. 560)

Life after Death, God’s love is universal… He is “not willing that any should perish.” (p. 39) Your short sojourn on Urantia [Earth]…is only a single link, the very first in the long chain that is to stretch across universes and through the eternal ages. (p. 435) …Death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery. (p. 159)

About the Author

The text of The Urantia Book was provided by one or more anonymous contributors working with a small staff which provided editorial and administrative support during the book's creation. The book bears no particular credentials (from a human viewpoint), relying instead on the power and beauty of the writing itself to persuade the reader of its authenticity.

Leather Bound: 2097 pages
Publisher: Urantia Foundation; Box Lea edition (August 25, 2015)

The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version (Revised & expanded)

The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version (Revised & expanded) The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version (Revised & expanded)

From the editors of the bestselling The Five Gospels, The Complete Gospels presents for the first time anywhere all twenty of the known gospels from the early Christian era, offering a fuller and more fascinating picture of early Christian origins than found in the four canonical gospels alone -- or in any other source. Each of these gospels records offers fresh glimpses into the world of Jesus and his followers, including:

  • Gospel of Thomas reveals that Jesus, contrary to the popular image of him as an apocalyptic preacher of damnation and salvation, was actually a wisdom teacher who taught about the true origins of humankind.
  • Gospels of Mary suggests that women held prominent role in early church, and provides a startling look at what may have been the first attempts to supress their leadership.
  • Sayings Gospels Q, the controversial reconstruction of the first gospel used by Jesus' original followers, contains only Jesus' sayings and none of the dramatic stories about his life later told in the New Testament gospels.
  • Signs Gospel is almost entirely a catalog of Jesus' miracles, intended to demonstrate that he was the Jewish Messiah, the Anointed.
  • Secret Book of James relates that immediately prior to his ascension, Jesus imparted a private revelation to James and Peter, which James presents here as a letter.
  • Gospel of Peter contains what may have been the original passion narrative later adapted in the New Testament synoptic gospels' accounts.

Four new pieces have been added to this third expanded edition: the three Jewish-Christian gospels and the Greek fragment of the Gospels of Thomas.

Each gospel is translated into lively, contemporary English, recapturing the spirit of the original. Exciting both to read and to hear, this Scholars Version (SV) translation has -- as one reader put it -- "a vitality that jumps off the page."

The editor and contributors to this volume are members of the Jesus Seminar founded by Robert W. Funk, based at the Westar Institute in Sonama, California.

Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: HarperOne; Revised, Expanded edition (November 4, 1994)

The Lost Books of the Bible compiled by William Hone
The Lost Books of the Bible compiled by William Hone The Lost Books of the Bible compiled by William Hone

From the Inside Flap

Suppressed by the early church fathers who compiled the Bible, these apocryphal books have been shrouded in silence for centuries. Here are the Apostles' Creed, the girlhood and betrothal of Mary, the childhood of Jesus-told in all their warmth, intimacy and humanity. Translated from the Original Tongues, with 32 illustrations from Ancient Paintings and Missals.

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Testament; New edition edition (June 8, 1988)

The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts

The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts

This anthology of gospel literature contains texts that are not a part of the New Testament but are of great importance for the study of Christian origins. Containing some of the writings from the Nag Hammadi library, these sixteen texts constitute what remains of the non-canonical Gospels from the first and second centuries. They transmit sayings of Jesus and relate stories about Jesus.

About the Author

Ron Cameron is Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Paperback: 191 pages
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1st edition (January 1, 1982)


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The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set) The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set)

The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set) The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set)

The Ante-Nicene Fathers ranges from the Apostolic Fathers to various third and fourth century sources including the liturgies and ancient Syriac documents. It was intended to comprise translations into English of all the extant works of the Fathers (with the exception of the more bulky works of Origen) down to the date of the first General Council held at Nicaea in 325 A.D. This American edition by Arthur Cleveland Coxe is a revision of the original series edited by Alexander Roberts and Sir James Donaldson and published in Edinburgh. The revision involves a major rearrangement to conform to the historical sequence, the addition of brief introductions and notes indicating variances in readings, specifying references to scripture or literature, clarifying obscure passages, and noting corruptions or distortions of patristic testimony (as forged in the Decretals). The basic aim of the translations has been to strive for literary exactness, placing the English reader as nearly as possible on an equal footing with those who are able to read the original.

Volume Titles:
Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Inrenaeus
Volume 2: Hermas, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Clement of Alexandria
Volume 3: Tertullian
Volume 4: Tertullian (IV), Minucius Felix, Commodian, Origen
Volume 5: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix
Volume 6: Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius the Great, Julius Africanus, Anatolius and Minor Writers, Methodius, Arnobius
Volume 7: Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily, and Liturgies
Volume 8: Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementina, Aprocryphal Gospels and Acts, Syriac Documents
Volume 9: Gospel of Peter, Diatessaron, Testament of Abraham, Epistles of Clement, Origen and Miscellaneous Works
Volume 10: Bibliography, General Index, Annotated Index of Authors and Works

Hardcover: 6448 pages
Publisher: Hendrickson Pub; Revised edition (February 1, 1996)

On Prayer, Tertullian

From: Early Church Fathers 38 Volumes
Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Writings of the Fathers down to a.d. 325 Vol. III

edited by
Rev. Alexander Roberts, D.D., and James Donaldson, LL.D.
Translated by the Rev. S. Thelwall


TABLE OF CONTENTS


On Prayer

by Tertullian


Chapter I.—General Introduction.

The Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Reason of God—Word of Reason, and Reason and Spirit of Word—Jesus Christ our Lord, namely, who is both the one and the other,—has determined for us, the disciples of the New Testament, a new form of prayer; for in this particular also it was needful that new wine should be laid up in new skins, and a new breadth be sewn to a new garment. Besides, whatever had been in bygone days, has either been quite changed, as circumcision; or else supplemented, as the rest of the Law; or else fulfilled, as Prophecy; or else perfected, as faith itself. For the new grace of God has renewed all things from carnal unto spiritual, by superinducing the Gospel, the obliterator of the whole ancient bygone system; in which our Lord Jesus Christ has been approved as the Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Reason of God: the Spirit, by which He was mighty; the Word, by which He taught; the Reason, by which He came. So the prayer composed by Christ has been composed of three parts. In speech, by which prayer is enunciated, in spirit, by which alone it prevails, even John had taught his disciples to pray, but all John’s doings were laid as groundwork for Christ, until, when “He had increased”—just as the same John used to fore-announce “that it was needful” that “He should increase and himself decrease”—the whole work of the forerunner passed over, together with his spirit itself, unto the Lord. Therefore, after what form of words John taught to pray is not extant, because earthly things have given place to heavenly. “He who is from the earth,” says John, “speaketh earthly things; and He who is here from the heavens speaketh those things which He hath seen.” And what is the Lord Christ’s—as this method of praying is—that is not heavenly? And so, blessed brethren, let us consider His heavenly wisdom: first, touching the precept of praying secretly, whereby He exacted man’s faith, that he should be confident that the sight and hearing of Almighty God are present beneath roofs, and extend even into the secret place; and required modesty in faith, that it should offer its religious homage to Him alone, whom it believed to see and to hear everywhere. Further, since wisdom succeeded in the following precept, let it in like manner appertain unto faith, and the modesty of faith, that we think not that the Lord must be approached with a train of words, who, we are certain, takes unsolicited foresight for His own. And yet that very brevity—and let this make for the third grade of wisdom—is supported on the substance of a great and blessed interpretation, and is as diffuse in meaning as it is compressed in words. For it has embraced not only the special duties of prayer, be it veneration of God or petition for man, but almost every discourse of the Lord, every record of His Discipline; so that, in fact, in the Prayer is comprised an epitome of the whole Gospel.

Chapter II.—The First Clause.

The prayer begins with a testimony to God, and with the reward of faith, when we say, “Our Father who art in the heavens;” for (in so saying), we at once pray to God, and commend faith, whose reward this appellation is. It is written, “To them who believed on Him He gave power to be called sons of God.” However, our Lord very frequently proclaimed God as a Father to us; nay, even gave a precept “that we call no one on earth father, but the Father whom we have in the heavens:” and so, in thus praying, we are likewise obeying the precept. Happy they who recognize their Father! This is the reproach that is brought against Israel, to which the Spirit attests heaven and earth, saying, “I have begotten sons, and they have not recognized me.” Moreover, in saying “Father,” we also call Him “God.” That appellation is one both of filial duty and of power. Again, in the Father the Son is invoked; “for I,” saith He, “and the Father are One.” Nor is even our mother the Church passed by, if, that is, in the Father and the Son is recognized the mother, from whom arises the name both of Father and of Son. In one general term, then, or word, we both honour God, together with His own, and are mindful of the precept, and set a mark on such as have forgotten their Father.

Chapter III.—The Second Clause.

The name of “God the Father” had been published to none. Even Moses, who had interrogated Him on that very point, had heard a different name. To us it has been revealed in the Son, for the Son is now the Father’s new name. “I am come,” saith He, “in the Father’s name;” and again, “Father, glorify Thy name;” and more openly, “I have manifested Thy name to men.” That name, therefore, we pray may “be hallowed.” Not that it is becoming for men to wish God well, as if there were any other by whom He may be wished well, or as if He would suffer unless we do so wish. Plainly, it is universally becoming for God to be blessed in every place and time, on account of the memory of His benefits ever due from every man. But this petition also serves the turn of a blessing. Otherwise, when is the name of God not “holy,” and “hallowed” through Himself, seeing that of Himself He sanctifies all others—He to whom that surrounding circle of angels cease not to say, “Holy, holy, holy?” In like wise, therefore, we too, candidates for angelhood, if we succeed in deserving it, begin even here on earth to learn by heart that strain hereafter to be raised unto God, and the function of future glory. So far, for the glory of God. On the other hand, for our own petition, when we say, “Hallowed be Thy name,” we pray this; that it may be hallowed in us who are in Him, as well in all others for whom the grace of God is still waiting; that we may obey this precept, too, in “praying for all,” even for our personal enemies. And therefore with suspended utterance, not saying, “Hallowed be it in us,” we say,—“in all.”

Chapter IV.—The Third Clause.

According to this model, we subjoin, “Thy will be done in the heavens and on the earth;” not that there is some power withstanding to prevent God’s will being done, and we pray for Him the successful achievement of His will; but we pray for His will to be done in all. For, by figurative interpretation of flesh and spirit, we are “heaven” and “earth;” albeit, even if it is to be understood simply, still the sense of the petition is the same, that in us God’s will be done on earth, to make it possible, namely, for it to be done also in the heavens. What, moreover, does God will, but that we should walk according to His Discipline? We make petition, then, that He supply us with the substance of His will, and the capacity to do it, that we may be saved both in the heavens and on earth; because the sum of His will is the salvation of them whom He has adopted. There is, too, that will of God which the Lord accomplished in preaching, in working, in enduring: for if He Himself proclaimed that He did not His own, but the Father’s will, without doubt those things which He used to do were the Father’s will; unto which things, as unto exemplars, we are now provoked; to preach, to work, to endure even unto death. And we need the will of God, that we may be able to fulfil these duties. Again, in saying, “Thy will be done,” we are even wishing well to ourselves, in so far that there is nothing of evil in the will of God; even if, proportionably to each one’s deserts, somewhat other is imposed on us. So by this expression we premonish our own selves unto patience. The Lord also, when He had wished to demonstrate to us, even in His own flesh, the flesh’s infirmity, by the reality of suffering, said, “Father, remove this Thy cup;” and remembering Himself, added, “save that not my will, but Thine be done.” Himself was the Will and the Power of the Father: and yet, for the demonstration of the patience which was due, He gave Himself up to the Father’s Will.

Chapter V.—The Fourth Clause.

“Thy kingdom come” has also reference to that whereto “Thy will be done” refers—in us, that is. For when does God not reign, in whose hand is the heart of all kings? But whatever we wish for ourselves we augur for Him, and to Him we attribute what from Him we expect. And so, if the manifestation of the Lord’s kingdom pertains unto the will of God and unto our anxious expectation, how do some pray for some protraction of the age, when the kingdom of God, which we pray may arrive, tends unto the consummation of the age? Our wish is, that our reign be hastened, not our servitude protracted. Even if it had not been prescribed in the Prayer that we should ask for the advent of the kingdom, we should, unbidden, have sent forth that cry, hastening toward the realization of our hope. The souls of the martyrs beneath the altar cry in jealousy unto the Lord, “How long, Lord, dost Thou not avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” for, of course, their avenging is regulated by the end of the age. Nay, Lord, Thy kingdom come with all speed,—the prayer of Christians the confusion of the heathen, the exultation of angels, for the sake of which we suffer, nay, rather, for the sake of which we pray!

Chapter VI.—The Fifth Clause.

But how gracefully has the Divine Wisdom arranged the order of the prayer; so that after things heavenly—that is, after the “Name” of God, the “Will” of God, and the “Kingdom” of God—it should give earthly necessities also room for a petition! For the Lord had withal issued His edict, “Seek ye first the kingdom, and then even these shall be added:” albeit we may rather understand, “Give us this day our daily bread,” spiritually. For Christ is our Bread; because Christ is Life, and bread is life. “I am,” saith He, “the Bread of Life;” and, a little above, “The Bread is the Word of the living God, who came down from the heavens.” Then we find, too, that His body is reckoned in bread: “This is my body.” And so, in petitioning for “daily bread,” we ask for perpetuity in Christ, and indivisibility from His body. But, because that word is admissible in a carnal sense too, it cannot be so used without the religious remembrance withal of spiritual Discipline; for (the Lord) commands that bread be prayed for, which is the only food necessary for believers; for “all other things the nations seek after.” The like lesson He both inculcates by examples, and repeatedly handles in parables, when He says, “Doth a father take away bread from his children, and hand it to dogs?” and again, “Doth a father give his son a stone when he asks for bread?” For He thus shows what it is that sons expect from their father. Nay, even that nocturnal knocker knocked for “bread.” Moreover, He justly added, “Give us this day,” seeing He had previously said, “Take no careful thought about the morrow, what ye are to eat.” To which subject He also adapted the parable of the man who pondered on an enlargement of his barns for his forthcoming fruits, and on seasons of prolonged security; but that very night he dies.

Chapter VII.—The Sixth Clause.

It was suitable that, after contemplating the liberality of God, we should likewise address His clemency. For what will aliments profit us, if we are really consigned to them, as it were a bull destined for a victim? The Lord knew Himself to be the only guiltless One, and so He teaches that we beg “to have our debts remitted us.” A petition for pardon is a full confession; because he who begs for pardon fully admits his guilt. Thus, too, penitence is demonstrated acceptable to God who desires it rather than the death of the sinner. Moreover, debt is, in the Scriptures, a figure of guilt; because it is equally due to the sentence of judgment, and is exacted by it: nor does it evade the justice of exaction, unless the exaction be remitted, just as the lord remitted to that slave in the parable his debt; for hither does the scope of the whole parable tend. For the fact withal, that the same servant, after liberated by his lord, does not equally spare his own debtor; and, being on that account impeached before his lord, is made over to the tormentor to pay the uttermost farthing—that is, every guilt, however small: corresponds with our profession that “we also remit to our debtors;” indeed elsewhere, too, in conformity with this Form of Prayer, He saith, “Remit, and it shall be remitted you.” And when Peter had put the question whether remission were to be granted to a brother seven times, “Nay,” saith He, “seventy-seven times;” in order to remould the Law for the better; because in Genesis vengeance was assigned “seven times” in the case of Cain, but in that of Lamech “seventy-seven times.”

Chapter VIII.—The Seventh or Final Clause.

For the completeness of so brief a prayer He added—in order that we should supplicate not touching the remitting merely, but touching the entire averting, of acts of guilt—“Lead us not into temptation:” that is, suffer us not to be led into it, by him (of course) who tempts; but far be the thought that the Lord should seem to tempt, as if He either were ignorant of the faith of any, or else were eager to overthrow it. Infirmity and malice are characteristics of the devil. For God had commanded even Abraham to make a sacrifice of his son, for the sake not of tempting, but proving, his faith; in order through him to make an example for that precept of His, whereby He was, by and by, to enjoin that he should hold no pledges of affection dearer than God. He Himself, when tempted by the devil, demonstrated who it is that presides over and is the originator of temptation. This passage He confirms by subsequent ones, saying, “Pray that ye be not tempted;” yet they were tempted, (as they showed) by deserting their Lord, because they had given way rather to sleep than prayer. The final clause, therefore, is consonant, and interprets the sense of “Lead us not into temptation;” for this sense is, “But convey us away from the Evil One.”

Chapter IX.—Recapitulation.

In summaries of so few words, how many utterances of the prophets, the Gospels, the apostles—how many discourses, examples, parables of the Lord, are touched on! How many duties are simultaneously discharged! The honour of God in the “Father;” the testimony of faith in the “Name;” the offering of obedience in the “Will;” the commemoration of hope in the “Kingdom;” the petition for life in the “Bread;” the full acknowledgment of debts in the prayer for their “Forgiveness;” the anxious dread of temptation in the request for “Protection.” What wonder? God alone could teach how he wished Himself prayed to. The religious rite of prayer therefore, ordained by Himself, and animated, even at the moment when it was issuing out of the Divine mouth, by His own Spirit, ascends, by its own prerogative, into heaven, commending to the Father what the Son has taught.

Chapter X.—We May Superadd Prayers of Our Own to the Lord’s Prayer.

Since, however, the Lord, the Foreseer of human necessities, said separately, after delivering His Rule of Prayer, “Ask, and ye shall receive;” and since there are petitions which are made according to the circumstances of each individual; our additional wants have the right—after beginning with the legitimate and customary prayers as a foundation, as it were—of rearing an outer superstructure of petitions, yet with remembrance of the Master’s precepts.

Chapter XI.—When Praying the Father, You are Not to Be Angry with a Brother.

That we may not be as far from the ears of God as we are from His precepts, the memory of His precepts paves for our prayers a way unto heaven; of which precepts the chief is, that we go not up unto God’s altar before we compose whatever of discord or offence we have contracted with our brethren. For what sort of deed is it to approach the peace of God without peace? the remission of debts while you retain them? How will he appease his Father who is angry with his brother, when from the beginning “all anger” is forbidden us? For even Joseph, when dismissing his brethren for the purpose of fetching their father, said, “And be not angry in the way.” He warned us, to be sure, at that time (for elsewhere our Discipline is called “the Way”), that when, set in “the way” of prayer, we go not unto “the Father” with anger. After that, the Lord, “amplifying the Law,” openly adds the prohibition of anger against a brother to that of murder. Not even by an evil word does He permit it to be vented. Ever if we must be angry, our anger must not be maintained beyond sunset, as the apostle admonishes. But how rash is it either to pass a day without prayer, while you refuse to make satisfaction to your brother; or else, by perseverance in anger, to lose your prayer?

Chapter XII.—We Must Be Free Likewise from All Mental Perturbation.

Nor merely from anger, but altogether from all perturbation of mind, ought the exercise of prayer to be free, uttered from a spirit such as the Spirit unto whom it is sent. For a defiled spirit cannot be acknowledged by a holy Spirit, nor a sad by a joyful, nor a fettered by a free. No one grants reception to his adversary: no one grants admittance except to his compeer.

Chapter XIII.—Of Washing the Hands.

But what reason is there in going to prayer with hands indeed washed, but the spirit foul?—inasmuch as to our hands themselves spiritual purities are necessary, that they may be “lifted up pure” from falsehood, from murder, from cruelty, from poisonings, from idolatry, and all the other blemishes which, conceived by the spirit, are effected by the operation of the hands. These are the true purities; not those which most are superstitiously careful about, taking water at every prayer, even when they are coming from a bath of the whole body. When I was scrupulously making a thorough investigation of this practice, and searching into the reason of it, I ascertained it to be a commemorative act, bearing on the surrender of our Lord. We, however, pray to the Lord: we do not surrender Him; nay, we ought even to set ourselves in opposition to the example of His surrenderer, and not, on that account, wash our hands. Unless any defilement contracted in human intercourse be a conscientious cause for washing them, they are otherwise clean enough, which together with our whole body we once washed in Christ.

Chapter XIV.—Apostrophe.

Albeit Israel washed daily all his limbs over, yet is he never clean. His hands, at all events, are ever unclean, eternally dyed with the blood of the prophets, and of the Lord Himself; and on that account, as being hereditary culprits from their privity to their fathers’ crimes, they do not dare even to raise them unto the Lord, for fear some Isaiah should cry out, for fear Christ should utterly shudder. We, however, not only raise, but even expand them; and, taking our model from the Lord’s passion even in prayer we confess to Christ.

Chapter XV.—Of Putting Off Cloaks.

But since we have touched on one special point of empty observance, it will not be irksome to set our brand likewise on the other points against which the reproach of vanity may deservedly be laid; if, that is, they are observed without the authority of any precept either of the Lord, or else of the apostles. For matters of this kind belong not to religion, but to superstition, being studied, and forced, and of curious rather than rational ceremony; deserving of restraint, at all events, even on this ground, that they put us on a level with Gentiles. As, e.g., it is the custom of some to make prayer with cloaks doffed, for so do the nations approach their idols; which practice, of course, were its observance becoming, the apostles, who teach concerning the garb of prayer, would have comprehended in their instructions, unless any think that is was in prayer that Paul had left his cloak with Carpus! God, forsooth, would not hear cloaked suppliants, who plainly heard the three saints in the Babylonian king’s furnace praying in their trousers and turbans.

Chapter XVI.—Of Sitting After Prayer.

Again, for the custom which some have of sitting when prayer is ended, I perceive no reason, except that which children give. For what if that Hermas, whose writing is generally inscribed with the title The Shepherd, had, after finishing his prayer, not sat down on his bed, but done some other thing: should we maintain that also as a matter for observance? Of course not. Why, even as it is the sentence, “When I had prayed, and had sat down on my bed,” is simply put with a view to the order of the narration, not as a model of discipline. Else we shall have to pray nowhere except where there is a bed! Nay, whoever sits in a chair or on a bench, will act contrary to that writing. Further: inasmuch as the nations do the like, in sitting down after adoring their petty images; even on this account the practice deserves to be censured in us, because it is observed in the worship of idols. To this is further added the charge of irreverence,—intelligible even to the nations themselves, if they had any sense. If, on the one hand, it is irreverent to sit under the eye, and over against the eye, of him whom you most of all revere and venerate; how much more, on the other hand, is that deed most irreligious under the eye of the living God, while the angel of prayer is still standing by unless we are upbraiding God that prayer has wearied us!

Chapter XVII.—Of Elevated Hands.

But we more commend our prayers to God when we pray with modesty and humility, with not even our hands too loftily elevated, but elevated temperately and becomingly; and not even our countenance over-boldly uplifted. For that publican who prayed with humility and dejection not merely in his supplication, but in his countenance too, went his way “more justified” than the shameless Pharisee. The sounds of our voice, likewise, should be subdued; else, if we are to be heard for our noise, how large windpipes should we need! But God is the hearer not of the voice, but of the heart, just as He is its inspector. The demon of the Pythian oracle says:

“And I do understand the mute, and plainly hear the speechless one.”

Do the ears of God wait for sound? How, then, could Jonah’s prayer find way out unto heaven from the depth of the whale’s belly, through the entrails of so huge a beast; from the very abysses, through so huge a mass of sea? What superior advantage will they who pray too loudly gain, except that they annoy their neighbours? Nay, by making their petitions audible, what less error do they commit than if they were to pray in public?

Chapter XVIII.—Of the Kiss of Peace.

Another custom has now become prevalent. Such as are fasting withhold the kiss of peace, which is the seal of prayer, after prayer made with brethren. But when is peace more to be concluded with brethren than when, at the time of some religious observance, our prayer ascends with more acceptability; that they may themselves participate in our observance, and thereby be mollified for transacting with their brother touching their own peace? What prayer is complete if divorced from the “holy kiss?” Whom does peace impede when rendering service to his Lord? What kind of sacrifice is that from which men depart without peace? Whatever our prayer be, it will not be better than the observance of the precept by which we are bidden to conceal our fasts; for now, by abstinence from the kiss, we are known to be fasting. But even if there be some reason for this practice, still, lest you offend against this precept, you may perhaps defer your “peace” at home, where it is not possible for your fast to be entirely kept secret. But wherever else you can conceal your observance, you ought to remember the precept: thus you may satisfy the requirements of Discipline abroad and of custom at home. So, too, on the day of the passover, when the religious observance of a fast is general, and as it were public, we justly forego the kiss, caring nothing to conceal anything which we do in common with all.

Chapter XIX.—Of Stations.

Similarly, too, touching the days of Stations, most think that they must not be present at the sacrificial prayers, on the ground that the Station must be dissolved by reception of the Lord’s Body. Does, then, the Eucharist cancel a service devoted to God, or bind it more to God? Will not your Station be more solemn if you have withal stood at God’s altar? When the Lord’s Body has been received and reserved each point is secured, both the participation of the sacrifice and the discharge of duty. If the “Station” has received its name from the example of military life—for we withal are God’s military—of course no gladness or sadness chanting to the camp abolishes the “stations” of the soldiers: for gladness will carry out discipline more willingly, sadness more carefully.

Chapter XX.—Of Women’s Dress.

So far, however, as regards the dress of women, the variety of observance compels us—men of no consideration whatever—to treat, presumptuously indeed, after the most holy apostle, except in so far as it will not be presumptuously if we treat the subject in accordance with the apostle. Touching modesty of dress and ornamentation, indeed, the prescription of Peter likewise is plain, checking as he does with the same mouth, because with the same Spirit, as Paul, the glory of garments, and the pride of gold, and the meretricious elaboration of the hair.

Chapter XXI.—Of Virgins.

But that point which is promiscuously observed throughout the churches, whether virgins ought to be veiled or no, must be treated of. For they who allow to virgins immunity from head-covering, appear to rest on this; that the apostle has not defined “virgins” by name, but “women,” as “to be veiled;” nor the sex generally, so as to say “females,” but a class of the sex, by saying “women:” for if he had named the sex by saying “females,” he would have made his limit absolute for every woman; but while he names one class of the sex, he separates another class by being silent. For, they say, he might either have named “virgins” specially; or generally, by a compendious term, “females.”

Chapter XXII.—Answer to the Foregoing Arguments.

They who make this concession ought to reflect on the nature of the word itself—what is the meaning of “woman” from the very first records of the sacred writings. Here they find it to be the name of the sex, not a class of the sex: if, that is, God gave to Eve, when she had not yet known a man, the surname “woman” and “female”—(“female,” whereby the sex generally; “woman,” hereby a class of the sex, is marked). So, since at that time the as yet unwedded Eve was called by the word “woman,” that word has been made common even to a virgin. Nor is it wonderful that the apostle—guided, of course, by the same Spirit by whom, as all the divine Scripture, so that book Genesis, was drawn up—has used the selfsame word in writing “women,” which, by the example of Eve unwedded, is applicable too to a “virgin.” In fact, all the other passages are in consonance herewith. For even by this very fact, that he has not named “virgins” (as he does in another place where he is teaching touching marrying), he sufficiently predicates that his remark is made touching every woman, and touching the whole sex; and that there is no distinction made between a “virgin” and any other, while he does not name her at all. For he who elsewhere—namely, where the difference requires—remembers to make the distinction, (moreover, he makes it by designating each species by their appropriate names,) wishes, where he makes no distinction (while he does not name each), no difference to be understood. What of the fact that in the Greek speech, in which the apostle wrote his letters, it is usual to say, “women” rather than “females;” that is, γυναῖκας (gunaikas) rather than θηλείας (theleias)? Therefore if that word, which by interpretation represents what “female” (femina) represents, is frequently used instead of the name of the sex, he has named the sex in saying γυναῖκα; but in the sex even the virgin is embraced. But, withal, the declaration is plain: “Every woman,” saith he, “praying and prophesying with head uncovered, dishonoureth her own head.” What is “every woman,” but woman of every age, of every rank, of every condition? By saying “every” he excepts nought of womanhood, just as he excepts nought of manhood either from not being covered; for just so he says, “Every man.” As, then, in the masculine sex, under the name of “man” even the “youth” is forbidden to be veiled; so, too, in the feminine, under the name of “woman,” even the “virgin” is bidden to be veiled. Equally in each sex let the younger age follow the discipline of the elder; or else let the male “virgins,” too, be veiled, if the female virgins withal are not veiled, because they are not mentioned by name. Let “man” and “youth” be different, if “woman” and “virgin” are different. For indeed it is “on account of the angels” that he saith women must be veiled, because on account of “the daughters of men” angels revolted from God. Who then, would contend that “women” alone—that is, such as were already wedded and had lost their virginity—were the objects of angelic concupiscence, unless “virgins” are incapable of excelling in beauty and finding lovers? Nay, let us see whether it were not virgins alone whom they lusted after; since Scriptures saith “the daughters of men;” inasmuch as it might have named “wives of men,” or “females,” indifferently. Likewise, in that it saith, “And they took them to themselves for wives,” it does so on this ground, that, of course, such are “received for wives” as are devoid of that title. But it would have expressed itself differently concerning such as were not thus devoid. And so (they who are named) are devoid as much of widowhood as of virginity. So completely has Paul by naming the sex generally, mingled “daughters” and species together in the genus. Again, while he says that “nature herself,” which has assigned hair as a tegument and ornament to women, “teaches that veiling is the duty of females,” has not the same tegument and the same honour of the head been assigned also to virgins? If “it is shameful” for a woman to be shorn it is similarly so to a virgin too. From them, then, to whom is assigned one and the same law of the head, one and the same discipline of the head is exacted,—(which extends) even unto those virgins whom their childhood defends, for from the first a virgin was named “female.” This custom, in short, even Israel observes; but if Israel did not observe it, our Law, amplified and supplemented, would vindicate the addition for itself; let it be excused for imposing the veil on virgins also. Under our dispensation, let that age which is ignorant of its sex retain the privilege of simplicity. For both Eve and Adam, when it befell them to be “wise,” forthwith veiled what they had learnt to know. At all events, with regard to those in whom girlhood has changed (into maturity), their age ought to remember its duties as to nature, so also, to discipline; for they are being transferred to the rank of “women” both in their persons and in their functions. No one is a “virgin” from the time when she is capable of marriage; seeing that, in her, age has by that time been wedded to its own husband, that is, to time. “But some particular virgin has devoted herself to God. From that very moment she both changes the fashion of her hair, and converts all her garb into that of a ‘woman.’” Let her, then, maintain the character wholly, and perform the whole function of a “virgin:” what she conceals for the sake of God, let her cover quite over. It is our business to entrust to the knowledge of God alone that which the grace of God effects in us, lest we receive from man the reward we hope for from God. Why do you denude before God what you cover before men? Will you be more modest in public than in the church? If your self-devotion is a grace of God, and you have received it, “why do you boast,” saith he, “as if you have not received it?” Why, by your ostentation of yourself, do you judge others? Is it that, by your boasting, you invite others unto good? Nay, but even you yourself run the risk of losing, if you boast; and you drive others unto the same perils! What is assumed from love of boasting is easily destroyed. Be veiled, virgin, if virgin you are; for you ought to blush. If you are a virgin, shrink from (the gaze of) many eyes. Let no one wonder at your face; let no one perceive your falsehood. You do well in falsely assuming the married character, if you veil your head; nay, you do not seem to assume it falsely, for you are wedded to Christ: to Him you have surrendered your body; act as becomes your Husband’s discipline. If He bids the brides of others to be veiled, His own, of course, much more. “But each individual man is not to think that the institution of his predecessor is to be overturned.” Many yield up their own judgment, and its consistency, to the custom of others. Granted that virgins be not compelled to be veiled, at all events such as voluntarily are so should not be prohibited; who, likewise, cannot deny themselves to be virgins, content, in the security of a good conscience before God, to damage their own fame. Touching such, however, as are betrothed, I can with constancy “above my small measure” pronounce and attest that they are to be veiled from that day forth on which they shuddered at the first bodily touch of a man by kiss and hand. For in them everything has been forewedded: their age, through maturity; their flesh, through age; their spirit, through consciousness; their modesty, through the experience of the kiss their hope, through expectation; their mind through volition. And Rebecca is example enough for us, who, when her betrothed had been pointed out, veiled herself for marriage merely on recognition of him.

Chapter XXIII.—Of Kneeling.

In the matter of kneeling also prayer is subject to diversity of observance, through the act of some few who abstain from kneeling on the Sabbath; and since this dissension is particularly on its trial before the churches, the Lord will give His grace that the dissentients may either yield, or else indulge their opinion without offence to others. We, however (just as we have received), only on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection ought to guard not only against kneeling, but every posture and office of solicitude; deferring even our businesses lest we give any place to the devil. Similarly, too, in the period of Pentecost; which period we distinguish by the same solemnity of exultation. But who would hesitate every day to prostrate himself before God, at least in the first prayer with which we enter on the daylight? At fasts, moreover, and Stations, no prayer should be made without kneeling, and the remaining customary marks of humility; for (then) we are not only praying, but deprecating, and making satisfaction to God our Lord. Touching times of prayer nothing at all has been prescribed, except clearly “to pray at every time and every place.”

Chapter XXIV.—Of Place for Prayer.

But how “in every place,” since we are prohibited (from praying) in public? In every place, he means, which opportunity or even necessity, may have rendered suitable: for that which was done by the apostles (who, in gaol, in the audience of the prisoners, “began praying and singing to God”) is not considered to have been done contrary to the precept; nor yet that which was done by Paul, who in the ship, in presence of all, “made thanksgiving to God.”

Chapter XXV.—Of Time for Prayer.

Touching the time, however, the extrinsic observance of certain hours will not be unprofitable—those common hours, I mean, which mark the intervals of the day—the third, the sixth, the ninth—which we may find in the Scriptures to have been more solemn than the rest. The first infusion of the Holy Spirit into the congregated disciples took place at “the third hour.” Peter, on the day on which he experienced the vision of Universal Community, (exhibited) in that small vessel, had ascended into the more lofty parts of the house, for prayer’s sake “at the sixth hour.” The same (apostle) was going into the temple, with John, “at the ninth hour,” when he restored the paralytic to his health. Albeit these practices stand simply without any precept for their observance, still it may be granted a good thing to establish some definite presumption, which may both add stringency to the admonition to pray, and may, as it were by a law, tear us out from our businesses unto such a duty; so that—what we read to have been observed by Daniel also, in accordance (of course) with Israel’s discipline—we pray at least not less than thrice in the day, debtors as we are to Three—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: of course, in addition to our regular prayers which are due, without any admonition, on the entrance of light and of night. But, withal, it becomes believers not to take food, and not to go to the bath, before interposing a prayer; for the refreshments and nourishments of the spirit are to be held prior to those of the flesh, and things heavenly prior to things earthly.

Chapter XXVI.—Of the Parting of Brethren.

You will not dismiss a brother who has entered your house without prayer.—“Have you seen,” says Scripture, “a brother? you have seen your Lord;”—especially “a stranger,” lest perhaps he be “an angel.” But again, when received yourself by brethren, you will not make earthly refreshments prior to heavenly, for your faith will forthwith be judged. Or else how will you—according to the precept—say, “Peace to this house,” unless you exchange mutual peace with them who are in the house?

Chapter XXVII.—Of Subjoining a Psalm.

The more diligent in prayer are wont to subjoin in their prayers the “Hallelujah,” and such kind of psalms, in the closes of which the company respond. And, of course, every institution is excellent which, for the extolling and honouring of God, aims unitedly to bring Him enriched prayer as a choice victim.

Chapter XXVIII.—Of the Spiritual Victim, Which Prayer is.

For this is the spiritual victim which has abolished the pristine sacrifices. “To what purpose,” saith He, “(bring ye) me the multitude of your sacrifices? I am full of holocausts of rams, and I desire not the fat of rams, and the blood of bulls and of goats. For who hath required these from your hands?” What, then, God has required the Gospel teaches. “An hour will come,” saith He, “when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and truth. For God is a Spirit, and accordingly requires His adorers to be such.” We are the true adorers and the true priests, who, praying in spirit, sacrifice, in spirit, prayer,—a victim proper and acceptable to God, which assuredly He has required, which He has looked forward to for Himself! This victim, devoted from the whole heart, fed on faith, tended by truth, entire in innocence, pure in chastity, garlanded with love, we ought to escort with the pomp of good works, amid psalms and hymns, unto God’s altar, to obtain for us all things from God.

Chapter XXIX.—Of the Power of Prayer.

For what has God, who exacts it ever denied to prayer coming from “spirit and truth?” How mighty specimens of its efficacy do we read, and hear, and believe! Old-world prayer, indeed, used to free from fires, and from beasts, and from famine; and yet it had not (then) received its form from Christ. But how far more amply operative is Christian prayer! It does not station the angel of dew in mid-fires, nor muzzle lions, nor transfer to the hungry the rustics’ bread; it has no delegated grace to avert any sense of suffering; but it supplies the suffering, and the feeling, and the grieving, with endurance: it amplifies grace by virtue, that faith may know what she obtains from the Lord, understanding what—for God’s name’s sake—she suffers. But in days gone by, withal prayer used to call down plagues, scatter the armies of foes, withhold the wholesome influences of the showers. Now, however, the prayer of righteousness averts all God’s anger, keeps bivouac on behalf of personal enemies, makes supplication on behalf of persecutors. Is it wonder if it knows how to extort the rains of heaven—(prayer) which was once able to procure its fires? Prayer is alone that which vanquishes God. But Christ has willed that it be operative for no evil: He had conferred on it all its virtue in the cause of good. And so it knows nothing save how to recall the souls of the departed from the very path of death, to transform the weak, to restore the sick, to purge the possessed, to open prison-bars, to loose the bonds of the innocent. Likewise it washes away faults, repels temptations, extinguishes persecutions, consoles the faint-spirited, cheers the high-spirited, escorts travellers, appeases waves, makes robbers stand aghast, nourishes the poor, governs the rich, upraises the fallen, arrests the falling, confirms the standing. Prayer is the wall of faith: her arms and missiles against the foe who keeps watch over us on all sides. And, so never walk we unarmed. By day, be we mindful of Station; by night, of vigil. Under the arms of prayer guard we the standard of our General; await we in prayer the angel’s trump. The angels, likewise, all pray; every creature prays; cattle and wild beasts pray and bend their knees; and when they issue from their layers and lairs, they look up heavenward with no idle mouth, making their breath vibrate after their own manner. Nay, the birds too, rising out of the nest, upraise themselves heavenward, and, instead of hands, expand the cross of their wings, and say somewhat to seem like prayer. What more then, touching the office of prayer? Even the Lord Himself prayed; to whom be honour and virtue unto the ages of the ages!




TABLE OF CONTENTS


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The Oxford History of the Biblical World

The Oxford History of the Biblical World The Oxford History of the Biblical World

Here, in one impressively illustrated volume, leading scholars offer compelling glimpses into the biblical world, the world in which prophets, poets, sages, and historians created one of our most important texts--the Bible.

For more than a century, archeologists have been unearthing the tombs, temples, texts, and artifacts of the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean world. Using new approaches, contemporary scholars have begun to synthesize this material with the biblical traditions. The Oxford History of the Biblical World incorporates the best of this scholarship, and in chronologically ordered chapters presents the reader with a readable and integrated study of the history, art, architecture, languages, literatures, and religion of biblical Israel and early Judaism and Christianity in their larger cultural contexts. The authors also examine such issues as the roles of women, the tensions between urban and rural settings, royal and kinship social structures, and official and popular religions of the region. Readers will find that 200 photographs, line drawings, and maps as well as an insert containing 25 color photographs vividly illustrate the history discussed.

Understanding the biblical world is a vital part of understanding the Bible. Broad, authoritative, and visually engaging, The Oxford History of the Biblical World will illuminate for any reader the ancient world from which the Bible emerged.

Hardcover: 672 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 21, 1999)

The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas

The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas

Casting the tumultuous history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam against the rich canvas of the Near East, The Biblical World reveals how three great religions emerged from the same cradle. Author Jean-Pierre Isbouts employs a non-denominational perspective and a wide range of sources—from ancient hieroglyphic texts to the latest scientific findings—to place Bible stories in the framework of history. Chronologically arranged chapters detail battles, conquests, tribal migrations, natural calamities, and more, supporting the stories with intriguing archaeological evidence. To locate sites and events, National Geographic cartographers have created fifty all-new maps of stunning quality. Hundreds of photographs and artifacts add visual excitement. Quick-read timelines link events across cultures while illustrated sidebars focus on what life was like during each era: family roles, farming, trade, dress, childbirth, burial customs, and other aspects of daily existence.

The story traces the evolution of Judaism from Abraham to the Unified Kingdom of Israel... chronicles the emergence of Christianity in the context of Greco-Roman civilization... and identifies the unique circumstances that prepared for the rise of Islam. The multi-dimensional approach weighs similarities and differences among the three faiths and follows developments in nearby lands. With a foreword from bestselling author Bruce Chilton and text reviewed by distinguished advisers, The Biblical World offers a carefully researched, balanced view of history and religious tradition. For its scope, beauty, and relevance in today's world, this unparalleled atlas is destined to become a classic.

About the Author

Jean-Pierre Isbouts holds a Ph.D in archaeology and art, and is currently Professor of Culture and Media Studies at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. He is the writer and producer of four programs that explore the legacy of the Bible, including the award-winning television mini-series The Quest For Peace.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (November 6, 2007)

Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Old and New Testament

Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Old and New Testament Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Old and New TestamentVine's Complete Expository Dictionary Old and New Testament

A Nelson exclusive. Study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages-without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. This classic reference tool has helped thousands dig deeper into the meaning of the biblical text. Explains over 6,000 key biblical words. Includes a brand new comprehensive topical index that enables you to study biblical topics more thoroughly than ever before.

Hardcover: 1184 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 2nd Edition edition (August 26, 1996)

Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

Like a redwood that towers above all other trees, The Strongest Strong’s takes James Strong’s classic concordance to unprecedented heights. Reflecting thousands of research hours, custom computer technology, and an exclusive database perfected over twenty years, The Strongest Strong’s is packed with features that make it the last word in accuracy and usefulness. No other Strong’s concordance can touch it. This is no mere study tool. Destined to become a foundational resource for Bible study the world over, The Strongest Strong’s is a landmark in biblical reference works.

What Makes This Strong’s the Strongest? Rebuilding Strong’s time-honored concordance from the ground up, biblical research experts John Kohlenberger and James Swanson have achieved unprecedented accuracy and clarity. Longstanding errors have been corrected. Omissions filled in. Word studies simplified. Thoroughness and ease of use have been united and maximized.

Kohlenberger and Swanson have also added the Nave’s Topical Bible Reference System―the world’s most complete topical Bible, updated, expanded, and streamlined to meet the needs of today’s Bible user. No other edition of Strong’s or Nave’s gives you all the information combined in The Strongest Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.

A Stunning Array of World-Class Features

In order to experience all the advantages of The Strongest Strong’s, you’ll have to look inside. But here is a thumbnail sketch of what awaits you:

  • Computer-verified accuracy. For the first time ever, cutting-edge computer analysis provides unparalleled, pinpoint accuracy
  • Strong’s numbering system speeds you through word studies, giving you clear insights into Greek and Hebrew words
  • Goodrick-Kohlenberger numbers in the dictionary indexes give you access to the growing library of reference tools that use these numbers―another unique feature
  • The most up-to-date Hebrew and Greek dictionaries ensure precise meaning in your word studies
  • Nave’s Topical Bible Reference System supplies the complete descriptive content and references (without the Bible text) of Nave’s Topical Bible, expanded to provide a total of more than 100,000 verses indexed by subject, word, phrase, synonym, and example
  • Cross-references to places and names used in Bible translations besides the KJV
  • Word counts furnish a complete accounting of every word in the Bible
  • Fast-Tab locators help you find your place quickly and easily
  • Smythe-sewn binding opens fully, lays flat, and lasts longer
  • Words of Christ highlighted in red
  • Maps
  • Clear, easy-to-read type PLUS: Comprehensive guidance for using The Strongest Strong’s
  • Major Social Concerns of the Mosaic Covenant
  • Old Testament Sacrifices
  • Hebrew Calendar
  • Hebrew Feasts and Holy Days
  • Weights, Lengths, and Measures of the Bible
  • Kings of the Bible
  • Harmony of the Gospels
  • Prophecies of the Messiah Fulfilled in Jesus
  • Parables of Jesus
  • Miracles of Jesus
  • Chronology of the Bible

About the Author

Dr. James Strong (1822-1894) was formerly president of Troy University and professor of exegetical theology at Drew Theological Seminary.

Hardcover: 1742 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Supesaver ed. edition (September 1, 2001)

Zondervan Pictorial Encylopedia of the Bible, Vols. 1-5
Zondervan Pictorial Encylopedia of the Bible, Vols. 1-5 The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (5 Volume Set)

From the Back Cover

The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, the result of more than ten years of research and preparation, provides Bible students with a comprehensive and reliable library of information. Varying viewpoints of scholarship permit a well-rounded perspective on significant issues relating to doctrines, themes, and biblical interpretation. Well-organized and generously illustrated, this encyclopedia will become a frequently used resource and reference work because of its many helpful features: - More than 5,000 pages of vital information of Bible lands and people - More than 7,500 articles alphabetically arranged for easy reference - Hundreds of full-color and black-and-white illustrations, charts, and graphs - Thirty-two pages of full-color maps and hundreds of black-and-white outline maps for quick perspective and ready reference - Scholarly articles ranging across the entire spectrum of theological and biblical topics, backed by recent archaeological discoveries - Two hundred and thirty-eight contributors from around the world. The editors have brought to this encyclopedia the fruit of many years of study and research.

About the Author

Merrill C. Tenney was professor of theological studies and dean of the Graduate school of Theology at Wheaton College.

Hardcover: 5 volume set More than 5,000 pages
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing House; Second Printing edition (March 15, 1975)

Archaeology of the Bible: The Greatest Discoveries From Genesis to the Roman Era
Archaeology of the Bible: The Greatest Discoveries From Genesis to the Roman Era Archaeology of the Bible: The Greatest Discoveries From Genesis to the Roman Era

From ancient holy sites, to buried relics and treasures, National Geographic uncovers the history and the archaeological discoveries from Scripture and the biblical world. Richly illustrated and written from an objective and nondenominational perspective, author Jean-Pierre Isbouts uses the latest scientific and archaeological discoveries to place biblical stories in the framework of human history. Chapters, beginning with the dawn of human civilization and ending with present day and the future of archaeology, chronicle hundreds of sites and artifacts found in Sumer, Babylon, the Second Temple, along the route of the Exodus, and in many other regions across the Middle East. Timelines bridge hundreds of years and several empires, maps give readers a visual sense of location, while hundreds of photos and illustrations of rare artifacts and ancient places add to the visual splendor. lt concludes with details of what remains to be found and the evolving dynamic of biblical faith in an increasingly scientific world in which archaeologists make daily breakthroughs.

About the Author

JEAN-PIERRE ISBOUTS is a humanities scholar and graduate professor in the doctoral programs at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. He has published widely on the origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, including the bestseller Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas; Young Jesus: Restoring the “Lost Years” of a Social Activist and Religious Dissident; From Moses to Muhammed; The Shared Origins of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and The Mysteries of Jesus. An award-winning filmmaker, Isbouts has also produced Charlton Heston’s Voyage Through the Bible, The Quest for Peace, and Young Jesus.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (October 25, 2016)

Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines
Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines

NEW Anniversary Edition of Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps and Timelines, Volume 1 covers over 200 Bible topics and features MORE pages, 6 EXTRA topics, updated information, and a bonus 24' fold-out on Jesus' Family Tree.

The #1 Bible Reference book celebrates its 10th anniversary with an updated 230-page edition that features more Bible maps, charts and illustrations than the original! This stunning, easy-to-understand reference book still provides the same full-color, REPRODUCIBLE Bible charts and overviews that made the original a favorite, but in an easier-to-use, updated format!

Plus! It includes over 37 ADDED pages of ALL NEW content on popular Bible topics, including Psalm 23, Lord's Prayer, the 12 Tribes of Israel, and more!

Features ALL NEW content and Updated Information, such as:

  • 6 NEW pamphlets on popular Bible topics, including Psalms 23, Lord's Prayer, Twelve Tribes of Israel, and more.
  • Bonus 24' foldout of the genealogy of Jesus!
  • Our 4 bestselling 'Then and Now Bible Maps' that show where Bible places are located today.
  • And More!

Features more than 200 REPRODUCIBLE Bible Charts, Maps, and Timelines, including:

2 Bible Foldout Posters: Bible Time Line and Jesus' Genealogy

  • NEW! Jesus' Genealogy 24' Foldout!
  • Bible Time Line 24'

Overviews on Popular Old Testament Topics

  • NEW! Psalm 23
  • Tabernacle
  • Ark of the Covenant
  • Archaeology & the Bible (50 Proofs of the Old Testament
  • Solomon's Temple
  • Names of God
  • The Ten Commandments and You
  • 100 Well-Known Old Testament Events
  • The Creation
  • The Exodus

Overviews on Key Old Testament Topics

  • NEW! The 12 Tribes of Israel
  • Kings and Prophets
  • Family Tree of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
  • The Judges
  • Feasts & Holidays of the Bible
  • Archaeology & The Bible (50 Proofs of the New Testament)

Overviews on Popular New Testament Topics

  • NEW! The Lord's Prayer
  • NEW! Essential Christian Doctrine
  • NEW! Heroes of the Faith: Hebrews 11
  • The Twelve Disciples
  • 1 Corinthians 13: The Love Chapter
  • The Armor of God
  • The Fruit of the Spirit
  • 100 Well-Known Events from Acts to Revelation

Overviews of Jesus' Life and Teachings

  • Jesus & The Names of God
  • The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  • Events in the Life of Jesus
  • Miracles of Jesus
  • Parables of Jesus
  • The Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount
  • Evidence for the Resurrection

Bible Overview: Books of the Bible and Key Bible Stories

  • NEW! 52 Key Bible Stories
  • 100 Well-Known People in the Bible
  • 100 Well-Known Prayers in the Bible
  • Books of the Bible
  • Bible Overview Old Testament
  • Bible Overview New Testament
  • UPDATED! Table of Biblical Weights and Measures
  • 100 Proofs for the Bible

Christian History

  • How We Got the Bible
  • Christian History Time Line

Charts Comparing Christianity to Islam and 20 Other World Religions

  • UPDATED! Islam and Christianity
  • UPDATED! Christianity, Cults and Religions pamphlet

And so much more!

Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Rose Publishing; 10th Anniversary edition (March 13, 2015)


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