Daily Archives: 25 Dec 2011

It Just Wouldn’t Be Christmas if Someone weren’t Shot…

A 7-year-old boy was in critical condition on Christmas Day after being shot in the head shortly after midnight.  The boy, Leonard Cobb III, was one of two people hit by bullets apparently fired from across the street of a home on the 1000 block of Durbin Street, in Gary, Ind.

Had enough of this gun violence yet?  I didn’t think so.  Merry Christmas…

Robert Deutsch on the ‘Temple Seals’

Robert writes, quoting the earlier report (see the link below)

“The team believes the tiny seal was put on objects designated to be used in the temple, and thus had to be ceremonially pure.”

To which he responds

Very interesting BUT the interpretation has to be different: The seal impression (the bullae) has two finger prints on the back and there is no evidence that it served to seal or to be attached to an artifact.

In the Mishna (Kedoshim, Tamid 3:3) is mentioned the “chamber of the seals” which was in the temple. There the seals were kept, whose impressions on bullae served as evidence of the payment for sacrifice.

The purchase of “seals” which are probably Bullae, is also mentioned in the Mishna:  “Who wishes to get libations, goes to Yohanan who is over the seals, hands him over coins and receives a seal. He goes to Ahiya who is over the libations, hands him over a seal and receives libations. At evening they meet, and Ahiya presents the seal and exchanges them for coins”. (Moed, Shekalim 5:4).

Therefore the bulla discovered by Shukrun and Reich is in fact a receipt, or the means of payment which was used to buy offerings.

Robert Deutsch

How the REAL 99% Spend Christmas

The next time one of the #Occupy people tell you they have it badly because they live in the First World and don’t have a greater share of capital, show them this picture and ask them why this shouldn’t be them:

via Ebro Mamanim on FB

Death is the Reason for the Season

The New Testament is right to draw from this theological well (Is 53) as it nicely expresses the reason for which redemption is necessary. No one should celebrate Christmas without remembering that it is because of sin that the sending of the redeemer is necessary.

To put it poetically

If it weren’t for your being so depraved
He wouldn’t have been planted in the grave.

In Isaiah we find

Like sheep we had all wandered away, each going its own way, but the LORD let fall on him all our crimes. 7 He was oppressed and tormented, but didn’t open his mouth. Like a lamb being brought to slaughter, like a ewe silent before her shearers, he didn’t open his mouth. 8 Due to an unjust ruling he was taken away, and his fate—who will think about it? He was eliminated from the land of the living, struck dead because of my people’s rebellion.  (CEB)

He died because of you. He was raised from the grave for you. That shouldn’t be forgotten on the day people think most about Him.

Christians in The Middle East Celebrate the Savior’s Birth

Al Jazeera has a fantastic photo array of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East celebrating Christmas.  Take a look.  Here’s my favorite- from the Church of the Nativity in the little town of Bethlehem:

Praying for the Nigerian Church

Two bomb explosions targeting Christmas morning church services in Nigeria have left at least 25 people dead, officials said, in what appears to be a series of co-ordinated attacks in the heart of the country.

The first attack occurred near a Catholic church in Madala, on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital Abuja, during morning prayers. Rescue workers have recovered at least 25 bodies from the church as officials continue to tally those wounded in various hospitals, said Slaku Luguard, a co-ordinator with Nigeria’s national emergency management agency (Nema).

A second explosion was reported 100 miles away outside a church in the city of Jos, the scene of a bombing campaign on Christmas Eve last year. Government spokesman Pam Ayuba said the blast near the Mountain of Fire Church was followed by gunshots and that at least one police officer had been wounded.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks but Nigerian security forces have been battling the militant Islamist Boko Haram group, which wants to impose Islamic sharia law across the country, which is split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims.

The Prince of Peace hasn’t yet been embraced in many places on our planet, has he…

The First Written Evidence Confirming Jerusalem Temple Ritual Practices

Photo by: Vladimir Naykhin

Israeli archaeologists have uncovered the first archeological find to confirm written testimony of the ritual practices at the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.  An Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeological survey at the northwestern corner of the Temple Mount yielded a tiny tin artifact, the size of a button, inscribed with the Aramaic words: “Daka Le’Ya,” which the excavation directors on behalf of the IAA, archaeologists Eli Shukron and Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, explain means “pure for God.”

Researchers believe the artifact, dated to the first century, towards the end of the Second Temple period, is a seal similar to those described in the Mishnah. If they are correct, this is the first time physical evidence of the temple ritual was found to corroborate the written record.  The team believes the tiny seal was put on objects designated to be used in the temple, and thus had to be ceremonially pure.

A first century artifact is quite interesting.  Let’s hope for higher resolution photos soon.

UPDATE:  Joseph Lauer provides a link for hi res photos.  Thanks Joseph!

Merry Christmas!

Milk And Cookies

Have a wondrous day and a brilliant New Year!